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It was not long before the allies felt the fatal effects of their Anne. being abandoned by the British forces. Villars having re- 1712. ceived orders to raise the siege of Landrecy at any rate (m), and his army being reinforced with part of the garrisons of Villars several places, he resolved to attack the small body of the sign to por confederate troops incamped at Denain, which kept an open fess himself communication between prince Eugene's army and the vil- of the camp lage of Marchiennes, through which all their artillery, am- Brodrick. much to her honour, and the steady conduct, in fo great a good of her subjects. That the nobleman, and fo couragious & news of Dunkirk's being in our heart, is what has made you enhands, could not have been fol. vied by fome, dreaded by your lowed by any more agreeable, enemies, and applauded by all than that of his grace's having men of knowledge and underdirected his march towards standing. Your grace's march Ghent: For as, by the poffef- to Ghent, &c. is a Coup de fion of the former place, we Maitre ; it is owned to be To in should treat with the French un France and Holland : And I der great advantage; so, by the must own, I take a double pleasteps which he had taken for fe- fure in it, because it is done by çuring the latter, the Dutch and the duke of Ormond, to whose Imperialists would be brought to person I have so intire a frienda more decent way of behaviour Thip, and in whose success I to the queen, than they had take so particular an interest. hitherto been in. That her ma. Monsieur Torcy wrote a very jesty recommended to his grace just compliment on the affair of the securing to himself the pof- Denain, That the allies might feffion of Ghent, as long as now fee, what they had loft by might be thought necessary; as her majesty's withdrawing her allo che reinforcing the garrison forces, and what value they of Dunkirk, and the furnishing ought to put upon a nation, that place with what stores he which every where led victory might spare, and the garrison with it. I am, with the utmost want. Cond. of the D. of Or. respect and attachment, &c.' mond.
OXFORD. The lord-treasurer also com (m) During the fiege of Lanplimented the duke of Ormond drecy, Voltaire says, it was dein a very uncommon ftrain : bated at Versailles, whether the Aug. 5, 1712.
king should retire to Chambort,
He told marshal d'Harcourt, My Lord,
> that in cafe of a new disaster, No pen, nor tongue, is able he would affemble all the poto express the great pleasure I bles of his kingdom, conduct took in your grace's successes. them to the enemy, in spite of It was a very great fatisfaction his age of 74 years, and die at to see so much done for the pub- their head.' Volt. Lewis XIV, lic; to see fuch an example of P. 224.
Anne. munition, and provisions, must necessarily pass; rightly judg1712. ing, that, if he could possess himself of these stores, the allies
would not be in a condition to carry on their fiege. To execute this design, he passed the Scheld, and, incamping on the Selle towards Chateau-Cambrefis, ordered one thousand five hundred men to widen and level the roads towards the Sambre, and to lay bridges over that river. Upon these motions, prince Eugene caused a great intrenchment to be made before his left, and posted behind it general Fagel with forty battalions, and caused his right to move up nearer about three leagues, that he might be in a condition to maintain the fiege with all his forces. Mean while Villars caused the count de Broglio to advance along the Selle with forty fquadrons, caufing all the passages of that river to be guarded, to the end that none of the parties of the allies might pass over it, to obferve the motions of the French army. At the same time he ordered the marquis de Vieuxpont to march with thirty battalions of the left, some artillery and pontons, and lay bridges at Neufville over the Scheld, between Bouchain and Denain. He caused him to be followed by count Albergotti with twenty other battalions, and by all the army, in four columns, and a fifth of artillery, having some days before fent the heavy baggage to St. Quintin. Notwithstanding the marquis de Vieuxpont made all possible expedition, he could not reach Neufville till the 24th of July, at eight in the morning, where he immediately caused bridges to be laid over the Scheld. Broglio arrived about nine with his forty squadrons; as did likewise Villars, who ordered him to pass over before the infantry, which he did with great difficulty, by reason of a morafs, which was beyond the bridge, which the horse and dragoons were forced to march through four a-breaft.
The precautions, which Villars had used, to conceal his true design, and his march from the confederates, succeeded so well, that prince Eugene had no intelligence of either till the 24th, at seven in the morning; when being informed, that the enemy laid bridges over the Scheld, he haftened to the camp at Denain, after having given orders to the troops, which he had drawn to some distance from it, to follow him. The prince viewed the camp and intrenchments at Denain; gave
the earl of Albemarle such directions, as he thought necessary for the defence of that important poft; reinforced the eleven battalions, that were there, with fix more from the army; and judging, that fourteen squadrons, which were
also in the intrenchments, would be useless, he caused them Anne.
When they were come within half a musket-shot, the
Anne. federates had built at the village of Provi, by reason of a mo1712. rafs lying over-against Denain, in order to cut off the retreat
of the runaways, and hinder their being fuccoured by prince Eugene's army, which was seen advancing in columns on the other fide of the Scheld. Upon his arrival, the prince caused that redoubt to be attacked; but, it being defended by the regiment of Navarre, sustained by part of the French army posted on the bank of the Scheld with artillery, he was obliged to draw off, and encamp the next day near Quesnoy and Bavory, to support the troops employed in the fiege of Landrecy. The loss of the French (if we may credit their own accounts) did not amount to above four hundred men killed and wounded; among whom were no persons of distinction, besides the marquiss de Tourville, son of the late marshal of that name, killed; the marquifs de Meuse-Choiseul dangerously wounded; the chevalier de Tefle, colonel of the regiment of Champagne, and monsieur de Gaufsac, wounded, As to the confederates, it was reckoned, they had about one thoufand killed, two thousand five hundred taken prisoners, and near one thoufand five hundred drowned; among which laft was the brave count Dhona, governor of Mons; and among the sain was count Naffau-Woudenbourg, an officer of great merit, and highly esteemed by prince Eugene. Among the prisoners were the earl of Albemarle, general, the prince of Anhault (brother of the prince of Anhault-Dessen) the prince of Nassau-Seckin, lieutenant-generals; the prince of Holstein, the baron Dalbergh, and monsieur Zobel, major-generals; the colonels count de la Lippe, Tengnagel, Spaen, Kavanoch, and Greck; and lieutenant-colonels Donelly, Herbfhause, Heuske, Brakel, Munnick, Els, and Goumoins ; and the majors Winkel, Fabrice, Bulome, Till, and Styrum; 50 captains, 121 lieutenants and enfigns; besides 4 aids de camp, and the commiffary of the artillery, Taurinus. In the camp were found twelve brass cannon, a large quantity of ammunition and provifions, a great number of horses, and a considerable booty, which was given to the foldiers.
As it is usual for the multitude to judge of events, efpecially those of war, by the success, and to censure the unfortunate, prince Eugene was blamed, both for seeming to despife the enemy, and leaving the earl of Albemarle exposed at a great distance from the main army; and for sending him no greater reinforcement than fix battalions. As to the first, it is certain, the prince was not insensible of the danger, which
the earl was in; and therefore he had proposed the removing Anne. the stores of artillery, ammunition, and provisions, from 1712. Marchiennes to Bouchain; but it seems, the States deputies, through parsimony, were against that council. As to the fecond point, the prince, with several other experienced generals, having viewed the intrenchments at Denain, could not but think seventeen battalions sufficient to defend that post, till he came up to their affiftance with the whole army; which they would infallibly have done, had the battalions, attacked by count Broglio, performed their duty. And, if it had not been for the breaking of the bridge by the weight which was on it, so that the reinforcement fent by the prince could not join the troops under the earl of Albemarle, Villars's attempt might have turned fatally on himself, and to the ruin of his whole army. However, the Kane's te prince's march to Landrecy is thought by fome to have been moirs. the greatest oversight he ever made, considering, that, at this juncture, the French had delivered Dunkirk into the hands of the English ; that Villars was greatly reinforced from the Rhine, and all the garrisons about him, and the duke of Ormond had received his orders for marching off with his troops. It is obfervable likewise, that the duke of Ormond, the very evening of the day on which he declared the cessation of arms, sent to Denain for the pontons which he had lent the earl of Albemarle ; nor could all, that either the earl, prince Eugene, or the States deputies fay, prevail with him to leave them but for eight days; and the next day it was reported, that two French engineers in disguise, went with thofe who took up the pontons, and made fuch observations on the earl of Albemarle's works, as served their purpose. However, it does not appear, that the duke knew any thing of it ; but his conduct in this affair was very much censured, and gave his enemies an handle to say, that matters had been concerted between him and those sent by Villars. And it is certain, that the want of the pontons was the loss of Denain; for prince Eugene, having some notice of the marshal's design, marched the evening before the action, with the greatest part of the army from Landrecy, and was up time enough to have succoured the earl of Albemarle; but, by the time he got to the Scheld, the bridge was broke by the crowd of baggage they had been sending over; so that he was not able to give the earl the least assistance, but looked on, and faw his fate (n);
Se (n). Voltaire observes, that this action was the preservation