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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 18 by Thomas Carlyle

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ten or twenty miles from Keith, Friedrich (head-quarters oftenest
Prossnitz, the chief camp) stands facing Daun; who lies concentric
to him, at the distance of another ten or twenty miles, in good
part still thirty or forty miles from Olmutz, veiled mostly under a
cloud of Pandours.

"Of Friedrich's impatiences we hear little, though they must have
been great. Prince Henri is ready for Prag; many things are ready,
were Olmutz but done! May 22d, Prince Henri had followed Mayer in
person, with a stronger corps, to root out the Reichsfolk,--and is
now in Bamberg City and Country. And is even in Baireuth itself,
where was lately the Camp of the new Reichs General, Serene
Highness of Zweibruck, and his nascent Reichs Army; who are off
bodily to Bohemia, 'to Eger and the Circle of Saatz,' a week
before. [ Helden-Geschichte, v. 206-209.
Wilhelmina's pretty Letter to Friedrich ("Baireuth, 10th May");
Friedrich's Answer ("Olmutz, June, 1758"); in OEuvres de
Frederic, xxvii. i. 313-315.] Fancy that visit of
Henri's to a poor Wilhelmina; the last sight she ever had of a
Brother, or of the old Prussian uniforms, clearing her of
Zweibrucks and sorrowful guests! Our poor Wilhelmina, alas she is
sunk in sickness this year more than ever; journeying towards
death, in fact; and is probably the most pungent, sacredly tragic,
of Friedrich's sorrows, now and onwards. June 12th, Friedrich's
pouting Brother, the Prince of Prussia, died; this also he had to
hear in Camp at Olmutz. 'What did he die of?' said Friedrich to the
Messenger, a Major Something. 'Of chagrin,' said the Major, 'AUS
GRAM.' Friedrich made no answer.--

"On the last night of May, by beautiful management, military and
other, Duke Ferdinand is across the Rhine; again chasing the French
before him; who, as they are far more numerous, cannot surely but
make some stand: so that a Battle there may be expected soon,--let
us hope, a Victory; as indeed it beautifully proved to be, three
weeks after. [Battle of Crefeld, 23d June.] On the other hand,
Fermor and his Russians are astir; continually wending towards
Brandenburg, in their voluminous manner, since June 16th, though at
a slow rate. How desirable the Siege of Olmutz were done!"

On express from Vienna, Daun did bestir himself; cautiously got on
foot again; detached, across the River, an expert Hussar General
("Be busy all ye Loudons, St. Ignons, Ziskowitzes, doubly now!"),--
expert Hussar General, one item of whose force is 1,100 chosen
grenadiers;--and himself cautiously stept southward and eastward,
nearer the Siege Lines. The Hussar General's meaning seemed to be
some mischief on our Camp of Neustadt and the outposts there;
but in reality it was to throw his 1,100 into Olmutz (useful to the
Commandant); which--by ingenious manoeuvring, and guidance from the
peasants "through bushy woods aud by-paths" on that east side of
the River--the expert Hussar General, though Ziethen was sent over
to handle him, did perfectly manage, and would not quit for Ziethen
till he saw it finished. Which done, Daun keeps stepping still
farther southward, nearer the Siege Lines; and, at Prossnitz,
morning of June 22d, Friedrich, with his own eyes, sees Daun taking
post on the opposite heights; says to somebody near him, "VOILA LES
they are learning to march, though!"--getting on their feet, like
infants in a certain stage ("MARCHER" having that meaning too,
though I know not that the King intended it);--they have learned a
great many things, since your Majesty first met them.
Friedrich took Daun to be, now at last, meaning Battle for Olmutz,
and made some slight arrangements accordingly; but that is not
Daun's intention at all; as Friedrich will find to his cost, in few
days. That very day, Daun has vanished again, still in the
southerly direction, again under veil of Pandours.

Meanwhile, in spite of all things, the Siege makes progress;
"June 22d, Balbi's sap had got to their glacis, and was pushing
forward there,"--June 22d, day when Daun made momentary appearance,
and the reinforcement stole in:--within a fortnight more, Balbi
promises the thing shall be done. But supplies are indispensable:
one other convoy from Troppau, and let it be a big one, "between 3
and 4,000 wagons," meal, money, iron, powder; Friedrich hopes this
one, if he can get it home, will suffice. Colonel Mosel is to bring
this Convoy; a resolute expert Officer, with perhaps 7,000 foot and
horse: surely sufficient escort: but, as Daun is astir, and his
Loudons, Ziskowitzes and light people are gliding about, Friedrich
orders Ziethen to meet this important Convoy, with some thousands
of new force, and take charge of bringing it in. Mosel was to leave
Troppau June 26th; Ziethen pushes out to meet him from the Olmutz
end, on the second day after; and, one hopes, all is now safe on
that head.

The driving of 3,000 four-horse wagons, under escort, ninety miles
of road, is such an enterprise as cannot readily be conceived by
sedentary pacific readers;--much more the attack of such!
Military science, constraining chaos into the cosmic state, has
nowhere such a problem. There are twelve thousand horses, for one
thing, to be shod, geared, kept roadworthy and regular; say six
thousand country wagoners, thick-soled peasants: then, hanging to
the skirts of these, in miscellaneous crazy vehicles and weak
teams, equine and asinine, are one or two thousand sutler people,
male and female, not of select quality, though on them, too, we
keep a sharp eye. The series covers many miles, as many as twenty
English miles (says Tempelhof), unless in favorable points you
compress them into five, going four wagons abreast for defence's
sake. Defence, or escort, goes in three bulks or brigades;
vanguard, middle, rear-guard, with sparse pickets intervening;--
wider than five miles, you cannot get the parts to support one
another. An enemy breaking in upon you, at some difficult point of
road, woody hollow or the like, and opening cannon, musketry and
hussar exercise on such an object, must make a confused transaction
of it! Some commanders, for the road has hitherto been mainly
pacific, divide their train into parts, say four parts; moving with
their partial escorts, with an interval of one day between each
two: this has its obvious advantages, but depends, of course, on
the road being little infested, so that your partial escort will
suffice to repel attacks. Toiling forward, at their diligent slow
rate, I find these trains from Troppau take about six days (from
Neisse to Olmutz they take eleven, but the first five are peaceable
[Tempelhof, ii. 48.]);--can't be hurried beyond that pace, if you
would save your laggards, your irregulars, and prevent what we may
call RAGGERY in your rearward parts; the skirts of your procession
get torn by the bushes if you go faster. This time Colonel Mosel
will have to mend his pace, however, and to go in the lump withal;
the case being critical, as Mosel knows, and MORE than he yet knows.

Daun, who has friends everywhere, and no lack of spies in this
country, generally hears of the convoys. He has heard, in
particular, of this important one, in good time. Hitherto Daun had
not attempted much upon convoys, nor anything with success:
King's posted corps and other precautions are of such a kind, not
even Loudon, when he tried his best, could do any good; and common
wandering hussar parties are as likely to get a mischief as to do
one, on such service. Cautious Daun had been busy enough keeping
his own Camp safe, and flinging a word of news or encouragement, at
the most a trifle of reinforcement, into Olmutz. when possible.
But now it becomes evident there must be one of two things:
this convoy seized, or else a battle risked;--and that in defect of
both these, the inevitable third thing is, Olmutz will
straightway go.

Major-General Loudon, the best partisan soldier extant, and
ripening for better things, has usually a force of perhaps 10,000
under him, four regiments of them regular grenadiers; and has been
active on the convoys, though hitherto unsuccessful. Let an active
Loudon, with increased force, try this, their vitally important
convoy, from the west side of the River; an active Ziskowitz
co-operating on the east side, where the road itself is; and do
their uttermost! That is Daun's plan,--now in course of execution.
Daun, instead of meaning battle, that day when Friedrich saw him,
was cautiously stealing past, intending to cross the River farther
down; and himself support the operation. Daun has crossed
accordingly, and has doubled up northward again to the fit point;
Ziskowitz is in the fit point, in the due force, on this east side
too. Loudon, on the west side, goes by Muglitz, Hof; making a long
deep bend far to westward and hillward of all the Prussian posted
corps and precautions, and altogether hidden from them; Loudon aims
to be in Troppau neighborhood, "Guntersdorf, near Bautsch," by the
proper day, and pay Mosel an unexpected visit in the passage there.

Colonel Mosel, marshalling his endless Trains with every excellent
precaution, and the cleverest dispositions (say the Books), against
the known and the unknown, had got upon the road, and creaked
forward, many-wheeled, out of Troppau, Monday, 26th June.
[Tempelhof, ii. 89-94.] The roads, worn by the much travelling and
wet weather, were utterly bad; the pace was perhaps quicker than
usual; the much-jolting Train got greatly into a jumble:--Mosel, to
bring up the laggards, made the morrow a rest-day; did get about
two-thirds of his laggards marshalled again; ordered the others to
return, as impossible. They say, had it not been for this rest-day,
which seemed of no consequence, Loudon would not have been at
Guntersdorf in time, nor have attempted as he did at Guntersdorf
and afterwards. At break of day (Wednesday, 28th), Mosel is again
on the road; heavily jumbling forward from his quarters in Bautsch.
Few miles on, towards Guntersdorf, he discovers Loudon posted ahead
in the defiles. What a sight for Mosel, in his character of Wagoner
up with the dawn! But Mosel managed the defiles and Loudon this
time; halted his train, dashed up into the woody heights and
difficult grounds; stormed Loudon's cannon from him, smote Loudon
in a valiant tempestuous manner; and sent him travelling again for
the present.

Loudon, I conjecture, would have struggled farther, had not he
known that there would be a better chance again not very many miles
ahead. London has studied this Convoy; knows of Ziethen coming to
it with so many; of Ziskowitz coming to him, Loudon, with so many;
that Ziethen cannot send for more (roads being all beset by our
industry yesterday), that Ziskowitz can, should it be needful;--and
that at Domstadtl there is a defile, or confused woody hollow, of
unequalled quality! Mosel jumbles on all day with his Train, none
molesting; at night gets to his appointed quarters, Village of
Neudorfl; [The L, or EL, is a diminutive in these Names:
(NEUDORFL) "New-ThorpLET," (DOMSTADTL) "Cathedral-TownLET," and the
like.] and there finds Ziethen: a glad meeting, we may fancy, but
an anxious one, with Domstadtl ahead on the morrow. Loudon concerts
with Ziskowitz this day; calls in all reinforcements possible, and
takes his measures. Thursday morning, Ziethen finds the Train in
such a state, hardly half of it come up, he has to spend the whole
day, Mosel and he, in rearranging it: Friday morning, June 30th,
they get under way again;--Friday, the catastrophe is waiting them.

The Pass of Domstadtl, lapped in the dim Moravian distance, is not
known to me or to my readers; nor indeed could the human pen or
intellect, aided by ocular inspection or whatever helps, give the
least image of what now took place there, rendering Domstadtl a
memorable locality ever since. Understand that Ziethen and Mosel,
with their waste slow deluge of wagons, come jumbling in, with
anxiety, with precautions,--precautions doubled, now that the woody
intricacies about Domstadtl rise in sight. "Pooh, it is as we
thought: there go Austrian cannon-salvos, horse-charges, volleying
musketries, as our first wagons enter the Pass;--and there will be
a job!" Indecipherable to mankind far off, or even near. Of which
only this feature and that can be laid hold of, as discernible, by
the most industrious man. Escort, in three main bodies, vanguard,
middle, rear-guard, marches on each side; infantry on the left,
cavalry on the right, as the ground is leveller there. Length of
the Train in statute miles, as it jumbles along at this point, is
not given; but we know it was many miles; that horses and wagoners
were in panic hardly restrainable; and we dimly descry, here
especially, human drill-sergeantcy doing the impossible to keep
chaos plugged down. The poor wagoner, cannon playing ahead, whirls
homeward with his vehicle, if your eye quit him,--still better, and
handier, cuts his traces, mounts in a good moment, and is off at
heavy-footed gallop, leaving his wagon. Seldom had human drill-
sergeantcy such a problem.

The Prussian Vanguard, one Krockow its commander, repulsed that
first Austrian attack; swept the Bass clear for some minutes; got
their section of the carriages, or some part of it, 250 in all,
hurried through; then halted on the safe side, to wait what Ziethen
would do with the remainder. Ziethen does his best and bravest, as
everybody does; keeps his wagon-chaos plugged down; ranks it in
square mass, as a wagon fortress (WAGENBURG); ranks himself and
everybody, his cannon, his platoon musketry, to the best advantage
round it; furiously shoots out in all manner of ways, against the
furious Loudon on this flank, and the furious Ziskowitz on that;
takes hills, loses them; repels and is repelled (wagon-chaos ever
harder to keep plugged); finally perceives himself to be beaten;
that the wagon-chaos has got unplugged (fancy it!)--and that he,
Ziethen, must retreat; back foremost if possible. He did retreat,
fighting all the way to Troppau; and the Convoy is a ruin and
a prey.

Krockow, with the 250, has got under way again; hearing the powder-
wagons start into the air (fired by the enemy), and hearing the
cannon and musketry take a northerly course, and die away in that
ominous direction. These 250 were all the carriages that came in:--
happily, by Ziethen's prudence, the money, a large sum, had been
lodged in the vanmost of these. The rest of the Convoy, ball,
powder, bread, was of little value to Loudon, but beyond value to
Friedrich at this moment; and it has gone to annihilation and the
belly of Chaos and the Croats. Among the tragic wrecks of this
Convoy there is one that still goes to our heart. A longish, almost
straight row of young Prussian recruits stretched among the slain,
what are these? These were 700 recruits coming up from their
cantons to the Wars; hardly yet six months in training: see how
they have fought to the death, poor lads, and have honorably, on
the sudden, got manumitted from the toils of life. Seven hundred of
them stood to arms, this morning; some sixty-five will get back to
Troppau; that is the invoice account. They lie there, with their
blond young cheeks and light hair; beautiful in death;--could not
have done better, though the sacred poet has said nothing of them
hitherto,--nor need, till times mend with us and him. Adieu, my
noble young Brothers; so brave, so modest, no Spartan nor no Roman
more; may the silence be blessed to you!

Contrary to some current notions, it is comfortably evident that
there was a considerable fire of loyalty in the Prussians towards
their King, during this War; loyalty kept well under cover, not
wasting itself in harangues or noisy froth; but coming out, among
all ranks of men, in practical attempts to be of help in this high
struggle, which was their own as well as his. The STANDE, landed
Gentry, of Pommern and other places, we heard of their poor little
Navy of twelve gunboats, which were all taken by the Swedes.
Militia Regiments too, which did good service at Colberg, as may
transiently appear by and by:--in the gentry or upper classes, a
respectable zeal for their King. Then, among the peasantry or lower
class--Here are Seven Hundred who stood well where he planted them.
And their Mothers-- Be Spartan also, ye Mothers! In peaceable
times, Tempelhof tells us the Prussian Mother is usually proud of
having her son in this King's service: a country wife will say to
you: "I have three of them, all in the regiment," Billerbeck,
Itzenplitz, or whatever be the Canton regiment; "the eldest is ten
inches [stands five feet ten], the second is eleven, the third
eight, for indeed he is yet young."

Daun, on the day of this Domstadtl business, and by way of masking
it, feeling how vital it was, made various extensive movements,
across the River by several Bridges; then hither, thither, on the
farther side of Olmutz, mazing up and down: Friedrich observing
him, till he should ripen to something definite, followed his
bombarding the while; perhaps having hopes of wager of battle
ensuing. Of the disaster at Domstadtl Friedrich could know nothing,
Loudon having closed the roads. Daun by no means ripens into
battle: news of the disaster reached Friedrich next day (Saturday,
July 1st),--who "immediately assembled his Generals, and spoke a
few inspiring words to them," such as we may fancy. Friedrich
perceives that Olmutz is over; that his Third Campaign, third lunge
upon the Enemy's heart, has prospered worse, thus far, than either
of the others; that he must straightway end this of Olmutz, without
any success whatever, and try the remaining methods and resources.
No word of complaint, they say, is heard from Friedrich in such
cases; face always hopeful, tone cheery. A man in Friedrich's
position needs a good deal of Stoicism, Greek or other.

That Saturday night the Prussian bombardment is quite uncommonly
furious, long continuing; no night yet like it:--the Prussians are
shooting off their superfluous ammunition this night; do not quite
end till Sunday is in. On Sunday itself, packings, preparations,
all completed; and, "Keith, with above 4,000 wagons, safe on the
road since 2 A.M."--the Prussians softly vanish in long smooth
streams, with music playing, unmolested by Daun; and leaving
nothing, it is boasted, but five or three mortars, which kept
playing to the last, and one cannon, to which something
had happened.

Of the retreat there could be much said, instructive to military
men who were studious; extremely fine retreat, say all judges;--of
which my readers crave only the outlines, the results. Daun, it was
thought, should have ruined Friedrich in this retreat; but he did
nothing of harm to him. In fact, for a week he could not comprehend
the phenomenon at all, and did not stir from his place,--which was
on the other, or wrong, side of the River. Daun had never doubted
but the retreat would be to Silesia; and he had made his
detachments, and laid himself out for doing something upon it, in
that direction: but, lo, what roads are these, what motions
whitherward? In about a week it becomes manifest that the retreat,
which goes on various roads, sometimes three at once, has converged
on Leutomischl; straight for Bohemia instead of Silesia; and that
Daun is fallen seven days behind it; incapable now to do anything.
Not even the Magazine at Leutomischl could be got away, nor could
even the whole of it be burnt.

Keith and the baggage once safe in Leutomischl (July 8th), all goes
in deliberate long column; Friedrich ahead to open the passages.
July 14th, after five more marches, Friedrioh bursts up
Konigsgratz; scattering any opposition there is; and sits down
there, in a position considered, he knows well how inexpugnable;
to live on the Country, and survey events. The 4,000 baggage-wagons
came in about entire. Fouquet had the first division of them, and a
secondary charge of the whole; an extremely strict, almost pedantic
man, and of very fiery temper: "HE, D'OU VENEZ-VOUS?" asked he
sharply of Retzow senior, who had broken through his order, one
day, to avert great mischief: "How come you here, MON GENERAL?"
"By the Highway, your Excellency!" answered Retzow in a grave
stiff tone. [Retzow, i. 302.]

Keith himself takes the rear-guard, the most ticklish post of all,
and manages it well, and with success, as his wont is.
Under sickness at the time, but with his usual vigilance, prudence,
energy; qualities apt to be successful in War. Some brushes of
Croat fighting he had from Loudon; but they did not amount to
anything. It was at Holitz, within a march of Konigsgratz, that
Loudon made his chief attempt; a vehement, well-intended thing;
which looked well at one time. But Keith heard the cannonading
ahead; hurried up with new cavalry, new sagacity and fire of
energy; dashed out horse-charges, seized hill-tops, of a vital
nature; and quickly ended the affair. A man fiery enough, and
prompt with his stroke when wanted, though commonly so quiet.
"Tell Monsieur,"--some General who seemed too stupid or too languid
on this occasion,--"Tell Monsieur from me," said Keith to his Aide-
de-camp, "he may be a very pretty thing, but he is not a man (QU'IL
[Varnhagen, Leben des &c. Jakob von Keith,
p. 227.] The excellent vernacular Keith;--still a fine breadth of
accent in him, one perceives! He is now past sixty; troubled with
asthma; and I doubt not may be, occasionally, thinking it near time
to end his campaigns. And in fact, he is about ending them;
sooner than he or anybody had expected.

Daun, picking his steps and positions, latterly with threefold
precaution, got into Konigsgratz neighborhood, a week after
Friedrich; and looked down with enigmatic wonder upon Friedrich's
new settlement there. Forage abundant all round, and the corn-
harvest growing white;--here, strange to say, has Friedrich got
planted in the inside of those innumerable Daun redoubts, and
"woods of abatis;" and might make a very pretty "Bohemian Campaign"
of it, after all, were Daun the only adversary he had! Judges are
of opinion, that Daun, with all his superiority of number, could
not have disrooted Friedrich this season. [Tempelhof, ii. 170-176,
185;--who, unluckily, in soldier fashion, here as too often
elsewhere, does not give us the Arithmetical Numbers of each, but
counts by "Battalions" and " Squadrons," which, except in time of
Peace, are a totally uncertain quantity:--guess vaguely, 75,000
against 30,000.] Daun did try him by the Pandour methods, "1,000
Croats stealing in upon Konigsgratz at one in the morning," and the
like; but these availed nothing. By the one effectual method, that
of beating him in battle, Daun never would have tried. What did
disroot Friedrich, then?--Take the following dates, and small hints
of phenomena in other parts of the big Theatre of War.
"Konitz" is a little Polish Town, midway between Dantzig and
Friedrich's Dominions:--

"KONITZ, 16th JUNE, 1758. This day Feldmarschall Fermor arrives in
his principal Camp here. For many weeks past he has been dribbling
across the Weichsel hitherward, into various small camps, with
Cossack Parties flying about, under check of General Platen.
But now, being all across, and reunited, Fermor shoots out Cossack
Parties of quite other weight and atrocity; and is ready to begin
business,--still a little uncertain how. His Cossacks, under their
Demikows, Romanzows; capable of no good fighting, but of endless
incendiary mischief in the neighborhood;--shoot far ahead into
Prussian territory: Platen, Hordt with his Free-Corps, are
beautifully sharp upon them; but many beatings avail little.
'They burn the town of Driesen [Hordt having been hard upon them
there]; town of Ratzebuhr, and nineteen villages around;'--burn
poor old women and men, one poor old clergyman especially, wind him
well in straw-roping, then set fire, and leave him;--and are worse
than fiends or hyenas. Not to be checked by Platen's best
diligence; not, in the end, by Platen and Dohna together. Dohna
(18th June) has risen from Stralsund in check of them,--leaving the
unfortunate Swedes to come out [shrunk to about 7,000, so
unsalutary their stockfish diet there],--these hyena-Cossacks being
the far more pressing thing. Dohna is diligent, gives them many
slaps and checks; Dohna cannot cut the tap-root of them in two;
that is to say, fight Fermor and beat him: other effectual check
there can be none. [ Helden-Geschichte, v. 149
et seq.; Tempelhof, ii. 135 &c.]

"TSCHOPAU (in Saxony), 21st JUNE. Prince Henri has quitted Bamberg
Country; and is home again, carefully posted, at Tschopau and up
and down, on the southern side of Saxony; with his eye well on the
Passes of the Metal Mountains,--where now, in the turn things at
Olmutz have taken, his clear fate is to be invaded, NOT to invade.
The Reichs Army, fairly afoot in the Circle of Saatz, counts itself
35,000; add 15,000 Austrians of a solid quality, there is a Reichs
Army of 50,000 in all, this Year. And will certainly invade
Saxony,--though it is in no hurry; does not stir till August come,
and will find Prince Henri elaborately on his guard, and little to
be made of him, though he is as one to two.

"CREFELD (Rhine Country), 23d JUNE. Duke Ferdinand, after skilful
shoving and advancing, some forty or fifty miles, on his new or
French side of the Rhine, finds the French drawn up at Crefeld
(June 23d); 47,000 of them VERSUS 33,000: in altogether intricate
ground; canal-ditches, osier-thickets, farm-villages, peat-bogs.
Ground defensible against the world, had the 47,000 had a Captain;
but reasonably safe to attack, with nothing but a Clermont acting
that character. Ferdinand, I can perceive, knew his Clermont;
and took liberties with him. Divided himself into three attacks:
one in front; one on Clermont's right flank, both of which
cannonaded, as if in earnest, but did not prevent Clermont going to
dinner. One attack on front, one on right flank; then there was a
third, seemingly on left flank, but which winded itself round
(perilously imprudent, had there been a Captain, instead of a
Clermont deepish in wine by this time), and burst in upon
Clermont's rear; jingling his wine-glasses and decanters, think at
what a rate;--scattering his 47,000 and him to the road again, with
a loss of men, which was counted to 4,000 (4,000 against 1,700),
and of honor--whatever was still to lose!" [Mauvillon, i. 297-309;
Westphalen, i. 588-604; Tempelhof; &c. &c.]

Ferdinand, it was hoped, would now be able to maintain himself, and
push forward, on this French side of the Rhine: and had Wesel been
his (as some of us know it is not!), perhaps. he might. At any
rate, veteran Belleisle took his measures:--dismissal of Clermont
Prince of the Blood, and appointment of Contades, a man of some
skill; recall of Soubise and his 24,000 from their Austrian
intentions; these and other strenuous measures,--and prevented such
consummation. A gallant young Comte de Gisors, only son of
Belleisle, perished in that disgraceful Crefeld:--unfortunate old
man, what a business that of "cutting Germany in four" has been to
you, first and last!

"LOUISBURG (North America), JULY 8th. Landing of General Amherst's
people at Louisburg in Cape Breton; with a view of besieging that
important place. Which has now become extremely difficult;
the garrison, and their defences, military, naval, being in full
readiness for such an event. Landing was done by Brigadier Wolfe;
under the eye of Amherst and Admiral Boscawen from rearward, and
under abundant fire of batteries and musketries playing on it
ahead: in one of the surfiest seas (but we have waited four days,
and it hardly mends), tossing us about like corks;--so that 'many
of the boats were broken;' and Wolfe and people 'had to leap out,
breast-deep,' and make fight for themselves, the faster the better,
under very intricate circumstances! Which was victoriously done, by
Wolfe and his people; really in a rather handsome manner, that
morning. As were all the subsequent Siege-operations, on land and
on water, by them and the others:--till (August 8th) the Siege
ended: in complete surrender,--positively for the last time (Pitt
fully intends); no Austrian Netherlands now to put one on revoking
it! [General Amherst's DIARY OF THE SIEGE (in Gentleman's
Magazine, xxviii. 384-389).]

"These are pretty victories, cheering to Pitt and Friedrich;
but the difficult point still is that of Fermor. Whose Cossacks,
and their devil-like ravagings, are hideous to think of:--
unrestrainable by Dohna, unless he could cut the root of them;
which he cannot. JUNE 27th [while Colonel Mosel, with his 3,000
wagons, still only one stage from Troppau, was so busy], slow
Fermor rose from Konitz; began hitching southward, southward
gradually to Posen,--a considerably stronger Polish Town; on the
edge both of Brandenburg and of Silesia;--and has been sitting
there, almost ever since our entrance into Bohemia; his Cossacks
burning and wasting to great distances in both Countries;
no deciding which of them he meant to invade with his main Army.
Sits there almost a month, enigmatic to Dohna, enigmatic to
Friedrich: till Friedrich decides at last that he cannot be
suffered longer, whichever of them he mean; and rises for Silesia
(August 2d). Precisely about which day Fermor had decided for
Brandenburg, and rolled over thither, towards Custrin and the
Frankfurt-on-Oder Country, heralded by fire and murder, as usual."

Friedrich's march to Landshut is, again, much admired. Daun had
beset the three great roads, the two likeliest especially, with
abundant Pandours, and his best Loudons and St. Ignons:
Friedrich, making himself enigmatic to Daun, struck into the third
road by Skalitz, Nachod; circuitous, steep, but lying Glatz-ward,
handy for support of various kinds. He was attempted, once or more,
by Pandours, but used them badly; fell in with Daun's old abatis
(well wind-dried now), in different places, and burnt them in
passing. And in five days was in Kloster-Grussau, safe on his own
side of the Mountains again. One point only we will note, in these
Pandour turmoilings. From Skalitz, the first stage of his march, he
answers a Letter of Brother Henri's:--

TO PRINCE HENRI (at Tachopau in Saxony). "What you write to me of
my Sister of Baireuth [that she has been in extremity, cannot yet
write, and must not be told of the Prince of Prussia's death lest
it kill her] makes me tremble! Next to our Mother, she is what I
have the most tenderly loved in this world. She is a Sister who has
my heart and all my confidence; and whose character is of price
beyond all the crowns in this universe. From my tenderest years, I
was brought up with her: you can conceive how there reigns between
us that indissoluble bond of mutual affection and attachment for
life, which in all other cases, were it only from disparity of
ages, is impossible. Would to Heaven I might die before her;--and
that this terror itself don't take away my life without my actually
losing her!" [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 179,
"Klenny, near Skalitz, 3d August, 1758;" Henri's Letter is dated
"Camp of Tschopau, 28th July" (ib. 277).] ...

At Grussau (August 9th) he writes to his dear Wilhelmina herself:
"O you, the dearest of my family, you whom I have most at heart of
all in this world,--for the sake of whatever is most precious to
you, preserve yourself, and let me have at least the consolation of
shedding my tears in your bosom! Fear nothing for US, and"--
O King, she is dying, and I believe knows it, though you will hope
to the last! There is something piercingly tragical in those final
Letters of Friedrich to his Wilhelmina, written from such scenes of
wreck and storm, and in Wilhelmina's beautiful ever-loving quiet
Answers, dictated when she could no longer write. ["July 18th" is
the last by her hand, and "almost illegible;"--still extant, it
seems, though withheld from us. Was received at Grussau here, and
answered at some length ( OEuvres, xxvii.
i. 316), according to the specimen just given. Two more of hers
follow, and four of the King's (ib. 317-322). Nearly meaningless,
as printed there, without commentary for the unprepared reader.]

Friedrich had last left Grussau April 18th; he has returned to it
August 8th: after sixteen weeks of a very eventful absence.
In Grussau he stayed two whole days;--busy enough he, probably,
though his people were resting! August 10th he draws up, for Prince
Henri, "under seal of the most absolute secrecy," and with
admirable business-like strictness, brevity and clearness,
forgetting nothing useful, remembering nothing useless, a Paper of
Directions in case of a certain event: "I march to-morrow against
the Russians: as the events of War may lead to all sorts of
accidents, and it may easily happen to me to be killed, I have
thought it my duty to let you know what my plans were," and what
you are to do in that event,--"the rather as you are Guardian of
our Nephew [late Prince of Prussia's Son] with an unlimited
authority." Oath from all the armies the instant I am killed:
rapid, active, as ever; the enemy not to notice that there is any
change in the command. I intend to "beat the Russians utterly
[A PLATE COUTURE, splay-seam], if it be possible;" then to &c.:--
gives you his "itinerary," too, or probable address, till "the
25th" (notably enough); in short, forgets nothing useful, nor
remembers anything that is not, in spite of his hurry.
["DISPOSITION TESTAMENTAIRE" (so they have labelled it); given in
OEuvres, iv. (APPENDICE) 261, 262.
Friedrich's TESTAMENT proper is already made, and all in order,
years ago ("11th January 1752"): of this there followed Two new
Redactions (new EDITIONS with slight improvements, "7th November,
1768," and "8th January, 1769" the FINALLY valid one); and various
Supplements, or summary Enforcements (as here), at different times
of crisis. see PREUSS, iv. 277, 401, and OEuvres de
Frederic, vi. p. 13 (of Preface), for some confused
account of that matter.] For Mlnlster Finck also there went a
Paper; seal lzot needing to be opened for the moment.

With Margraf Karl, and Fouquet under him, who are to guard Silesia,
he leaves in two Divisions about Half the late Olmutz Army:--added
to the other force, this will make about 40,000 for that service.
[Stenzel, v. 163.] Keith has the chief command here; but is ordered
to Breslau, in the mean time, for a little rest and recovery of
health. Friday, 11th August, Friedrich himself, with the other
Half, pushes off towards Fermor and the Cossack demons;
through Liegnitz, through Hohenfriedberg Country, straight for
Frankfurt, with his best speed.

Chapter XIII.


Sunday, 20th August, Friedrich, with his small Army, hardly above
15,000 I should guess, arrived at Frankfurt-on-Oder: "his Majesty,"
it seems, "lodged in the Lebus Suburb, in the house of a
Clergyman's Widow; and was observed to go often out of doors, and
listen to the cannonading, which was going on at Custrin."
[Rodenbeck, i. 347.] From Landshut hither, he has come in nine
days; the swiftest marching; a fiery spur of indignation being upon
all his men and him, for the last two days fierier than ever,--
longing all to have a blow at those incendiary Russian gentlemen.
Five days ago, the Russians, attempting blindly on the Garrison of
Custrin, had burnt,--nothing of the Garrison at all,--but the poor
little Town altogether. Which has filled everybody with lamentation
and horror. And, listen yonder, they are still busy on the solitary
Garrison of Custrin;--audible enough to Friedrich from his northern
or Lebus Suburb, which lies nearest the place, at a distance of
some twenty miles.

Of Fermor's red-hot savagery on Custrin, it is lamentably necessary
we should say something: to say much would he a waste of record;
as the thing itself was a waste of powder. A thing hideous to think
of; without the least profit to Fermor, but with total ruin to all
the inhabitants, and to the many strangers who had sought refuge
there. One interior circumstance is memorable and lucky to us.
Artillery-Captain Tielcke happened to be with these people;
had come in the train of "two Saxon Princes, serving as
volunteers;" and, with a singular lucidity, and faithful good
sense, not scientific alone, he illuminates these biack Russian
matters for such as have to do with them.

Tielcke's Book of Contributions to the Art of War italic> [ Beytrage zur Kriege-Kunst und (ZUR) Geschichte
des Krieges von 1756 bis 1763 (six thin vols. 4to,
with many Plates); cited above.] is still in repute with Soldiers,
especially in the Artillery line; and indeed shows a sound
geometrical head, and contains bits of excellent Historical reading
interspersed among the scientific parts. This Tielcke, it appears,
was a common foot-soldier, one of those Pirna 14,000 made Prussian
against their will; but Tielcke had a milkmaid for sweetheart in
those regions, who, good soul, gave him her generous farewell, a
suit of her clothes, perhaps a pair of her pails; and in that guise
he walked out of bondage. Clear away; to Warsaw, to favor with the
King and others (being of real merit, an excellent, studious,
modest little man); and here he now reappears, in a higher
capacity; as articulate Eye-witness of the Custrin Business and the
Zorndorf, among much other Russian darkness, which shall remain
comfortably blank to us.

Up to Custrin, the Journal of the Operations of the Russian Army,
which I could give from day to day, ["TAGEBUCH BEYDER &c. (Diary of
both Armies from the beginning of the Campaign till Zorndorf"), in
Tielcke, ii. 1-75; Tempelhof, ii. 136, 216-224; Helden-
Geschichte, v.; &c. &c.] is of no interest except to
the Nether Powers of this Universe; the Russian Operations hitherto
having consisted in slow marches, sluttish cookeries, cantonings,
bivouackings, with destruction of a poor innocent Country, and
arson, theft and murder done on the great scale by inhuman
vagabonds, Cossacks so called, not tempered on this occasion by the
mercy of Calmucks. The regular Russian Army, it appears,
participates in the common horror of mankind against such a method
of making war; but neither Feldmarschall Fermor, nor General
Demikof (properly THEMICOUD, a Swiss, deserving little thanks from
us, who has taken in hand to command these Missionaries of the
Pit), can help the results above described. Which are justly
characterized as abominable, to gods and men; and not fit to be
recorded in human Annals; execration, and, if it were possible,
oblivion, being the human resource with them., The Russian
Officers, it seems, despise tbis Cossack rabble incredibly;
for their fighting qualities withal are close on zero, though their
talent for arson and murder is so considerable. And contrariwise,
the Cossacks, for their part, have no objection to plunder, or
even, if obstreperous, to kill, any regular Officer they may meet
unescorted in a good place. Their talent for arson is great.
They do uncountable damage to the Army itself; provoking all the
Country people to destroy by fire what could be eaten or used, the
foraging, food and equipments of horse and man; so that horse and
man have to be fed by victual carted hundreds of miles out of
Poland; and the Russian Army sticks, as it were, tethered with a
welter of broken porridge-pots and rent meal-bags hung to every
foot it has.

East Preussen is quiet from the storms of War; holds its tongue
well, and hopes better days: but the Russians themselves are little
the better for it, a country so lately burned bare; they are merely
flung so many scores of miles forward, farther from home and their
real resources, before they can begin work, They have no port on
the Baltic: poor blockheads, they are aware how desirable, for
instance, Dantzig would be; to help feeding them out of ships;
but the Dantzigers won't. Colberg, a poor little place, with only
700 militia people in it, would be of immense service to them as a
sea-haven: but even this they have not yet tried to get; and after
trying, they will find it a job. "Why not unite with the Swedes and
take Stettin (the finest harbor in the Baltic), which would bring
Russia, by ships, to your very hand?" This is what Montalembert is
urgent upon, year after year, to the point of wearying everybody;
but he can get no official soul to pay heed to him,--the
difficulties are so considerable. "Swedes, what are they?" say the
Russians: "Russians what?" say the Swedes. "Sweden would be so
handy for the Artilleries," urges Montalembert; "Russians for the
Soldiery, or covering and fighting part."--"Can't be done!"
Officiality shakes its head: and Montalembert is obliged to
be silent.

The Russians have got into the Neumark of Brandenburg, on those bad
terms; and are clearly aware that, without some Fortress as a Place
of Arms, they are an overgrown Incompetency and Monstrosity in the
field of War; doing much destruction, most of which proves self-
destructive before long. But how help it? If the carrying of meal
so far be difficult what will the carrying of siege-furniture be?
A flat impossibility. Fermor, aware of these facts, remembers what
happened at Oczakow,--long ago, in our presence, and Keith's and
Munnich's, if the reader have not quite forgot. Munnich, on that
occasion, took Oczakow without any siege-furniture whatever, by
boldly marching up to it; nothing but audacity and good luck on his
side. Fermor determines to try Custrin in the like way,--if
peradventure Prussian soldiery be like Turk?--

Fermor rose from Posen August 2d, almost three weeks ago;
making daily for the Neumark and those unfortunate Oder Countries;
nobody but Dohna to oppose him,--Dohna in the ratio of perhaps one
against four. Dohna naturally laid hold of Frankfurt and the Oder
Bridge, so that Fermor could not cross there; whereupon Fermor, as
the next best thing, struck northward for the Warta (black Polish
stream, last big branch of Oder); crossed this, at his ease, by
Landsberg Bridge, August 10th [Tempelhof, ii. 216.] and after a day
or two of readjustment in Landsberg, made for Custrin Country (his
next head-quarter is at Gross Kamin); hoping in some accidental or
miraculous way to cross Oder thereabouts, or even get hold of
Custrin as a Place of Arms. If peradventure he can take Custrin
without proper siege-artillery, in the Oczakow or Anti-Turk way?
Fermor has been busy upon Custrin since August 15th;--in what
fashion we partly heard, and will now, from authentic sources, see
a little for ourselves.

The Castle of Custrin, built by good Johann of Custrin, and "roofed
with copper," in the Reformation times,--we know it from of old,
and Friedrich has since had some knowledge of it. Custrin itself is
a rugged little Town, with some moorland traffic, and is still a
place of great military strength, the garrison of those parts.
Its rough pavements, its heavy stone battlements and barriers, give
it a guarled obstinate aspect,--stern enough place of exile for a
Crown-Prince fallen into such disfavor with Papa! A rugged,
compact, by no means handsome little Town, at the meeting of the
Warta and the Oder; stands naturally among sedges, willows and
drained mire, except that human industry is pleasantly busy upon
it, and has long been. So that the neighborhood is populous beyond
expectation; studded with rough cottages in white-wash; hamlets in
a paved condition; and comfortable signs of labor victoriously
wrestling with the wilderness. Custrin, an arsenal and garrison,
begirt with two rivers, and with awful bulwarks, and bastions cased
in stone,--"perhaps too high," say the learned,--is likely to be
impregnable to Russian engineering on those terms. Here, with
brevity, is the catastrophe of Custrin.

TUESDAY, 15th AUGUST, 1758. At two in the morning, several thousand
Russians, grenadiers, under Quartermaster General Stoffeln, whom
the readers of Mannstein know from old Oczakow times, are astir;
pushing along from Gross Kamin, through the scraggy firwoods, and
flat peat countries; intending a stroke on Custrin, if perhaps they
can get it: [Tempelhof, ii. 217; but Tielcke, ii. 69 et seq., the
real source.]--not the slightest chance to get Custrin;
Prussian soldiership and Turkish being two quite different things!
The pickeering and manoeuvring of Stoffeln shall not detain us.
Stoffeln came along by the Landsberg road (course of the now
Konigsberg-Custrin Railway); and drove in the Prussian out-parties,
who at first took him for Cossacks. Stoffeln set himself down on
the north side of the place; planted cannon in certain clay-pits
thereabouts, and about nine o'clock began firing shells and
incendiary grenadoes at a great rate. Tielcke saw everything,--and
had the honor to take luncheon, that evening, with certain chief
Officers, sitting on the ground, after all was over, and only a few
shots from the Garrison still dropping. [Tielcke, ii. 75 n.]

At the third grenade, which, it seems, fell into a straw magazine,
Custrin took fire; could not be quenched again, so much dry wood in
it, so much disorder too, the very soldiers some of them disorderly
(a bad deserter set); so that it soon flamed aloft,--from side to
side one sea of flame: and man, woman and child, every soul (except
the Garrison, which sat enclosed in strong stone), had to fly
across the River, under penalty of death by fire. Of Custrin, by
five in the evening, there was nothing left but the black ashes;
the Garrison standing unharmed, and the Church, School-house and
some stone edifices in a charred skeleton condition. "No life was
lost, except that of one child in arms." All Neumark had lodged its
valuables in this place of strength; all are fled now in horror and
terror across the Oder, by the Bridge, before it also unquenchably
takes fire, at the western or non-Russian end of the place. Such a
day as was seldom seen in human experience;--Fermor responsible for
it, happily not we.

Fermor, in the evening, said to his Artillery People: "Why have you
ceased to fire grenadoes?" "Excellency, the Town is out;
nothing now but ashes and stone." "Never mind; give them the rest,
one every quarter of an hour. We shall not need the grenadoes
again. The cannon-balls we shall; them, therefore, do not waste."
On the morrow morning, after this performance on the Town, Fermor
sends a Trumpeter: "Surrender or else--!" rather in the tremendous
style. "Or else?" answers the Commandant, pointing to the ashes, to
the black inconsumable stones; and is deaf to this EX-POST-FACTO
Trumpeter. The Russians say they sent one yesterday morning, not
EX-POST-FACTO, but he was killed in the pickeerings, and never
heard of again. A mile or so to rear of Custrin, on the westward or
Berlin side of the River, lies Dohna for the last four days;
expecting that the Laws of Nature will hold good, and Custrin prove
tenable against such sieging. So stands it on Friedrich's arrival.

We left Friedrich in the Lebus Suburb of Frankfurt, Sunday, August
20th, listening to the distant cannonade. Next morning, he is here
himself; at Dohna's Camp of Gorgast, taking survey of affairs;
came early, under rapid small escort, leaving his Army to follow;
scorn and contemptuous indignation the humor of him, they say;
resolution to be swiftly home upon that surprising Russian
armament, and teach it new manners. The black skeleton of Custrin
stares hideously across the River; "Custrin Siege" so called still
going on;--had better make despatch now, and take itself away!
He greatly despises Russian soldiership: "Pooh, pooh," he would
answer, if Keith from experience said, "Your Majesty does not do it
justice;"--and Keith has been known to hint, "If the trial ever
come, your Majesty will alter that opinion." A day or two hence,
amid these hideous Russian fire-traceries, the Hussars bring him a
dozen of Cossacks they have made prisoners: Friedrich looks at the
dirty green vagabonds; says to one of his Staff: "And this is the
kind of Doggery I have to bother with!"--The sight of the poor
country-people, and their tears of joy and of sorrow on his
reappearance among them, much affected him. Taking inspection of
Dohna, he finds Dohna wonderfully clean, pipe-clayed, complete:
"You are very fine indeed, you;--I bring you a set of fellows,
rough as GRASTEUFELN ["grass-devils," I never know whether insects
or birds]; but they can bite,"--hope you can!

Tuesday, August 32d, at five in the morning our Army has all
arrived, the Frankfurt people just come in; 30,000 of us now in
Camp at Gorgast. Friedrich orders straightway that a certain
Russian Redoubt on the other side of the River, at Schaumburg, a
mile or two down stream, be well cannonaded into ruin,--as if he
took it for some incipiency of a Russian Bridge, or were himself
minded to cross here, under cover of Custrin. Friedrich's intention
very certainly is to cross,--here or not just here;--and that same
night, after some hours of rest to the Frankfurt people,--night of
Tuesday-Wednesday, Friedrich, having persuaded the Russians that
his crossing-place will be their Redoubt at Schaumburg, marches ten
or twelve miles down the River, silently his 30,000 and he, till
opposite the Village of Gustebiese; rapidly makes his Bridges
there, unmolested: Fermor, with his eye on the cannonaded Redoubt
only, has expected no such matter; and is much astonished when he
hears of it, twenty hours after. Friedrich, across with the
vanguard, at an early hour of Wednesday, gets upon the knoll at
Gustebiese for a view; and all Gustebiese, hearing of him, hurries
out, with low-voiced tremulous blessings, irrepressible tears:
"God reward your Majesty, that have come to us!"--and there is a
hustling and a struggling, among the women especially, to kiss the
skirts of his coat. Poor souls: one could have stood tremendous
cheers; but this is a thing I forgive Friedrich for being visibly
affected with.

Friedrich leaves his baggage on the other side of the Oder, and the
Bridge guarded; our friend Hordt, with his Free-Corps, doing it,
Friedrich marches forward some ten miles that night;
eastward, straight for Gross Kamin, as if to take the Russians in
rear; encamps at a place called Klossow, spreading himself
obliquely towards the Mutzel (black sluggish tributary of the Oder
in those parts), meaning to reach Neu Damm on the Mutzel to-morrow,
there almost within wind of the Russians, and be ready for crossing
on them. It was at Klossow (23d August, evening), that the Hussars
brought in their dozen or two of Cossacks, and he had his first
sight of Russian soldiery; by no means a favorable one, "Ugh, only
look!"--As we are now approaching Zorndorf, and the monstrous tug
of Battle which fell out there, readers will be glad of
the following:--

"From Damm on the Mutzel, where Friedrich intends crossing it
to-morrow night, south to Gross Kamin, not far from the Warta,
where Fermor's head-quarter lately was, may be about five miles.
From Custrin, Kamin lies northeast about eight or ten miles:
Zorndorf, the most considerable Village in this tract, lies--little
dreaming of the sad glory coming to it--pretty much in the centre
between big Warta and smaller Mutzel. The Country is by nature a
peat wilderness, far and wide; but it has been tamed extensively;
grows crops, green pastures; is elsewhere covered with wood (Scotch
fir, scraggy in size, but evidently under forest management);
perhaps half the country is in Fir tracts, what they call HEIDEN
(Heaths); the cultivated spaces lying like light-green islands with
black-green channels and expanses of circumambient Fir. The Drewitz
Heath, the Massin or Zither Heath, and others about Zorndorf, will
become notable to us. The Country is now much drier than in
Friedrich's time; the human spade doing its duty everywhere:
so that much of the Battle-ground has become irrecognizable, when
compared with the old marshy descriptions given of it. Zorndorf, a
rough substantial Hamlet, has nothing of boggy now visible near by;
lies east to west, a firm broad highway leading through: a sea of
forest before it, to south; to north, good dry barley-grounds or
rye-grounds, sensibly rising for half a mile, then waving about in
various slow slight changes of level towards Quartschen, Zicher,
&c.: forming an irregular cleared 'island,' altogether of perhaps
four miles by three, with unlimited circumambiencies of wood.
It was here, on this island as we call it, that the Battle, which
has made Zorndorf famous, was fought.

"Zorndorf (or even the open ground half a mile to north of it,
which will be more important to us) is probably not 50 feet above
the level of the Mutzel, nor 100 above Warta and Oder, six miles
off; but it is the crown of the Country;--the ground dropping
therefrom every way, in lazy dull waves or swells; towards Tamsel
and Gross Kamin on southeast; towards Birken-Busch, Quartschen,
Darmutzel [DAR of the Mutzel, whatever "DAR" may be.] on northwest;
as well as towards Damm and its Bridge northeast, where Friedrich
will soon be, and towards Custrin southwest, where he lately was,
each a five or six miles from Zorndorf.

"Such is the poor moorland tract of Country; Zorndorf the centre of
it,--where the battle is likely to be:--Zorndorf and environs a
bare quasi-island among these woods; extensive bald crown of the
landscape, girt with a frizzle of firwoods all round. Boggy pools
there are, especially on the western side (all drained in our
time). Mutzel, or north side, is of course the lowest in level:
and accordingly," what is much to be marked by readers here, "from
the south, or Zorndorf side, at wide intervals, there saunter
along, in a slow obscure manner, Three miserable continuous
Leakages, or oozy Threads of Water, all making for Quartschen, to
north or northwest, there to disembogue into the Mutzel. Each of
these has its little Hollow; of which the westernmost, called
Zabern Hollow (ZABERNGRUND), is the most considerable, and the most
important to us here: GALGENGRUND (Gallows-Hollow) is also worth
naming in this Battle; the third Leakage, though without
importance, invites us to name it, HOSEBRUCH, quasi STOCKING-
quagmire,--because you can use no stockings there, except with
manifest disadvantage."--Take this other concluding trait:--

... "Inexpressible fringe of marsh, two or three miles broad,
mostly bottomless, woven with sluggish creeks and stagnant pools,
borders the Warta for many miles towards Landsberg;
Custrin-Landsberg Causeway the alone sure footing in it; after
which, the country rises insensibly, but most beneficially, and is
mainly drier till you get to the Mutzel again, and find the same
fringe of mud lace-work again, Zorndorf we called the crown of it.
Tamsel, Wilkersdorf, Klein Kamin, Gross Kamin, and other places
known to us, lie on the dry turf-fuel country, but looking over
close upon the hem of that marsh-fringe, and no doubt getting
peats, wild ducks, pike-fishes, eels, and snatches of summer
pasture and cow-hay out of it."

Thursday, August 24th, Friedrich is again speeding on;
occupying Darmutzel and other crossing-places of the Mutzel;
[Mitchell to Holderness, "DErmItzel, 24th August, 1758" (MEMOIRS
AND PAPERS, i. 425; Ib. ii. 40-47, Mitchell's Private Journal).]--
by no means himself crossing there; on the contrary, carefully
breaking all the Bridges before he go ("No retreat for those
Russian vagabonds, only death or surrender for them!")--himself not
intending to cross till he be up at Damm, Neu Damm, well eastward
of his Russians, and have got them all pinfolded between Mutzel and
Oder in that way. In the evening, he reaches Damm and the Mill of
Damm, some three or four miles higher up the Mutzel;--and there
pushes partly across at once. That is to say, his vanguard at once,
and takes a defensive position; his Artillery and other Divisions
by degrees, in the silent night hours; and, before daybreak
to-morrow, every soul will be across, and the Bridge broken again;
--and Fermor had better have his accounts settled.

Fermor's roving Cossack clouds seldom bring him in intelligence;
but only return stained with charcoal grime and red murder: up to
late last night, he had not known where Friedrich was at all;
had idly thought him busy with the Schaumburg Redoubt, on the other
side of Oder, fencing and precautioning: but now (night of the
23d), these Cossacks do come in with news, "Indisputable to our
poor minds, the Prussians are at Klossow yonder,--captured a dozen
green vagabonds of us, and have sent us galloping!"--which news,
with the night closing in on him, was astonishing, thrice and four
times important to Fermor.

Instantly he raises the siege of Custrin, any siege there was;
gets his immense baggage-train shoved off that night to Klein
Kamin, Landsberg way; summons the force from Landsberg to join him
without loss of a moment;--and in the meanwhile pitches himself in
long bivouac in the Drewitz Wood or Fir-Heath, with the quaggy
Zaberngrund in front. Quaggy Zaberngrund,--do readers remember it;
one of those "Three continuous Leakages," very important, to Fermor
and us at present? This is the safest place Fermor can find for
himself; scraggy firs around, good quagmires and Zabern Hollow in
front; looking to the east, waiting what a new day will bring.
That was Fermor's posture, while Friedrich quitted Klossow in the
dawn of the 24th. Be busy, ye Cossack doggeries; return with news,
not with mere grime and marks of blood on your mouths!

Evening of the 24th, Cossacks report that Friedrich has got to Damm
Mill; has hold of the Bridge there; and may be looked for, sure as
the daylight, to-morrow. Fermor is 50,000 odd, his Landsberg forces
all coming in; one Detachment out Stettin way, which cannot come
in; Fermor finds that his baggage-train is fairly on the road to
Klein Kamin;--and that he will have to quit this bosky bivouac, and
fight for himself in the open ground, or do worse.

(25TH AUGUST, 1758).

Artless Fermor draws out to the open ground, north of Zorndorf,
south of Quartschen; arranges himself in huge quadrilateral mass,
with his "staff-baggage" (lighter baggage) in the centre, and his
front, so to speak, everywhere. [Excellent Plan of him, or rather
Plans, in his successive shapes, in Tielcke, ii. (PLATES 4, 5, 6,
7, 8).] Mass, say two miles long by one mile broad; but it is by no
means regular, and has many zigzags according to the ground, and
narrows and droops southward on the eastern end: one of the most
artless arrangements; but known to Fermor, and the readiest on this
pinch of time. Munnich devised this quadrilateral mode; and found
it good against the Turks, and their deluges of raging horse and
foot: Fermor could perhaps do better; but there is such a press of
hurry. Fermor's western flank, or biggest breadth of quadrilateral,
leans on that Zabern Hollow, with its fine quagmires; his eastern,
narrowest part, droops down on certain mud-pools and conveniences
towards Zicher. Gallows Hollow, a slighter than the Zabern, runs
through the centre of him; and with his best people he fronts
towards the Mutzel Bridges, especially towards Damm-Mill Bridge
whence Friedrich will emerge, sure as the sunrise, one knows not
with what issue. Artless Fermor is nothing daunted; nor are his
people; but stand patiently under arms, regardless of future and
present, to a degree not common in soldiering.

Friday, August 25th, by half-past three in the morning, Friedrich
is across the Mutzel; self and Infantry by Damm-Mutzel Bridge,
cavalry by another Bridge (KERSTEN-BRUGGE, means "Christian
Bridge," in the dialect of Charlemagne's time, a very old
arrangement of Successive Logs up there!) some furlongs higher up.
The Bridge at Damm is perhaps some three miles from the nearest
Russians about Zicher; but Friedrich has no thought of attacking
Fermor there; he has a quite other program laid, and will attack
Fermor precisely on the side opposite to there.
Friedrich's intention is to sweep quite round this monstrous
Russian quadrilateral; to break in upon it on the western flank,
and hurl it back upon Mutzel and its quagmires. He has broken his
two bridges after passing, all bridges are gone there, and the
country is bottomless: surrender at discretion if once you are
driven thither! And Friedrich's own retreat, if he fail, is short
and open to Custrin. "Admirable," say the Critics, "and altogether
in Friedrich's style!"--Friedrich, adds one Critic, was not aware
that the Russian Heavy-Baggage Train, which is their powder-flask
and bread-basket and staff of life, lies at Klein Kamin, within few
miles on his left just now, Russians themselves on his right;
that the Russians could have been abolished from those countries
without fighting at all! [Retzow, i. 305-329.] This is very true.
Friedrich's haste is great, his humor hot; and he has not heard of
this Klein-Kamin fact, which in common times he would have done,
and of which in a calmer mood he would, with a fine scientific
gusto, have taken his advantage.

Friedrich pours incessant southward; cavalry parallel to infantry
and a certain distance beyond it, eastward of it; and they have
burnt the Bridges; which is a curious fact! Continually southward,
as if for Tamsel:--poor old Tamsel, do readers recollect it at all,
does Friedrich at all? No pleasant dinner, or lily-and-rose
complexions, there for one to-day!--Some distance short of Tamsel,
Friedrich, emerging, turns westward;--intending what on earth?
thinks Fermor. Friedrich has been mostly hidden by the woods all
this while, and enigmatic to Fermor. Fermor does now at last see
the color of the facts;--and that one's chief front must change
itself to southward, one's best leg and arm be foremost, or towards
Zorndorf, not towards the Mutzel as hitherto. Fermor stirs up his
Quadrilateral, makes the required change, "You, best or northern
line, step across, and front southward; across to southward, I say;
second-best go northward in their stead:" and so, with some other
slight polishings, suggested by the ground and phenomena, we anew
await this Prussian Enigma with our best leg foremost. The march or
circular sweep of these Prussian lines, from Damm Bridge through
the woods and champaign to their appointed place of action, is
seven or eight miles; lines when halted in battle-order will be two
miles long or more.

Friedrich pours steadily along, horse and foot, by the rear cf
Wilkersdorf, of Zorndorf,--Russian Minotaur scrutinizing him in
that manner with dull bloodshot eyes, uncertain what he will do.
It is eight in the morning, hot August; wind a mere lull, but
southernly if any. Small Hussar pickets ride to right of the main
Army March; to keep the Cossacks in check: who are roving about,
all on wing; and pert enough, in spite of the Hussar pickets,
Desperado individuals of them gallop up to the Infantry ranks, and
fire off their pistols there,--without reply; reply or firing, till
the word come, is strictly forbidden. Infantry pours along, like a
ploughman drawing his furrow, heedless of the circling crows.
Crows or Cossacks, finding they are not regarded, set fire to
Zorndorf, and gallop off. Zorndorf goes up readily, mainly wood and
straw; rolls in big clouds of smoke far northward in upon the
Russian Minotaur, making him still blinder in the important moments
now coming.

Friedrich rides up to view the Zabern Hollow: "Beyond expectation
deep; very boggy too, with its foul leakage or brook: no attacking
of their western flank through this Zaberngrund;--attack the corner
of them, then; here on the southwest!" That is Friedrich's rapid
resource. The lines halt, accordingly; make ready. Behind flaming
Zorndorf stands his extreme left, which is to make the attack;
infantry in front; horse to rear and farther leftwards,--and under
the command of Seidlitz in this quarter, which is an important
circumstance. Right wing, reaching to behind Wilkersdorf, is to
refuse itself; whole force of centre is to push upon that Russian
corner, to support the left in doing it;--according to the Leuthen
or LEUCTRA principle, once more. May no mistakes occur in executing
it this day!--

The first division of the Prussian Infantry, or extreme Left,
marches forward by the west end of flaming Zorndorf; next division,
which should stand close to right of it, or even behind it in
action, and follow it close into the Russian fire, has to march by
the east end of Zorndorf; this is a farther road, owing to the
flames; and not a lucky one. Second division could never get into
fair contact with that first division again: that was the mistake:
and it might have been fatal, but was not, as we shall see.
First division has got clear of Zorndorf, in advancing towards its
Russian business;--is striding forward, its left flank safe against
the Zaberngrund; steadily by fixed stages, against the fated
Russian Corner, which is its point of attack. First division,
second division, are clear of Zorndorf, though with a wide gap
between them; are steadily striding forward towards the Russian
Corner. Two strong batteries, wide apart, have planted themselves
ahead; and are playing upon the Russian Quadrilateral, their fires
crossing at the due Corner yonder, with terrible effect;
Russian artillery, which are multitudinous and all gathered down to
this southwestern corner, are responding, though with their fire
spread, and far less effectual. The Prussian line steps on, extreme
left perhaps in too animated a manner; their cannon batteries
enfilade the thick mass of Russians at a frightful rate ("forty-
two men of a certain regiment blown away by a single ball," in one
instance [Tielcke.]), drive the interior baggage-horses to despair:
a very agitated Quadrilateral, under its grim canopy of cannon
smoke, and of straw smoke, heaped on it from the Zorndorf side
here. Manteuffel, leader of that first or leftmost division, sees
the internal simmering; steps forward still more briskly, to firing
distance; begins his platoon thunder, with the due steady fury,--
had the second division but got up to support Manteuffel!
The second division is in fire too; but not close to Manteuffel,
where it should be.

Fermor notices the gap, the wavering of Manteuffel unsupported;
plunges out in immense torrent, horse and foot, into the gap, into
Manteuffel's flank and front; hurls Manteuffel back, who has no
support at hand: "ARAH, ARAH (Hurrah, Hurrah)! Victory, Victory!"
shout the Russians, plunging wildly forward, sweeping all before
them, capturing twenty-six pieces of cannon, for one item. What a
moment for Friedrich; looking on it from some knoll somewhere near
Zorndorf, I suppose; hastily bidding Seidlitz strike in:
"Seidlitz, now!" The hurrahing Russians cannot keep rank at that
rate of going. like a buffalo stampede; but fall into heaps and
gaps: Seidlitz, with a swiftness, with a dexterity beyond praise,
has picked his way across that quaggy Zabern Hollow; falls, with
say 5,000 horse, on the flank of this big buffalo stampede;
tumbles it into instant ruin;--which proves irretrievable, as the
Prussian Infantry come on again, and back Seidlitz.

In fifteen minutes more (I guess it now to be ten o'clock), the
Russian Minotaur, this end of it, on to the Gallows Ground, is one
wild mass. Seldom was there seen such a charge; issuiug in such
deluges of wreck, of chaotic flight, or chaotic refusal to fly.
The Seidlitz cavalry went sabring till, for very fatigue, they gave
it up, and could no more. The Russian horse fled to Kutzdorf,--
Fermor with them, who saw no more of this Fight, and did not get
back till dark;--had not the Bridges been burnt, and no crossing of
the Mutzel possible, Fermor never would have come back, and here
had been the end of Zorndorf. Luckier if it had! But there is no
crossing of the Mutzel, there is only drowning in the quagmires
there:--death any way; what can be done but die?

The Russian infantry stand to be sabred, in the above manner, as if
they had been dead oxen. More remote from Seidlitz, they break open
the sutlers' brandy-casks, and in few minutes get roaring drunk.
Their officers, desperate, split the brandy-casks; soldiers flap
down to drink it from the puddles; furiously remonstrate with their
officers, and "kill a good many of them" (VIELE, says Tielcke),
especially the foreign sort. "A frightful blood-bath," by all the
Accounts: blood-bath, brandy-bath, and chief Nucleus of Chaos then
extant aboveground. Fermor is swept away: this chaos, the very
Prussians drawing back from it, wearied with massacring, lasts till
about one o'clock. Up to the Gallows-ground the Minotaur is mere
wreck and delirium: but beyond the Gallows-ground, the other half
forms a new front to itself; becomes a new Minotaur, though in
reduced shape. This is Part First of the Battle of Zorndorf;
Friedrich--on the edge of great disaster at one moment, but
miraculously saved--has still the other half to do (unlucky that he
left no Bridges on the Mutzel), and must again change his program.

Half of the Minotaur is gone to shreds in this manner; but the
attack upon it, too, is spent: what is to be done with the other
half of the monster, which is again alive; which still stands, and
polypus-like has arranged a new life for itself, a new front
against the Galgengrund yonder? Friedrich brings his right wing
into action. Rapidly arranges right wing, centre, all of the left
that is disposable, with batteries, with cavalry; for an attack on
the opposite or southeastern end of his monster. If your monster,
polypus-like, come alive again in the tail-part, you must fell that
other head of him. Batteries, well in advance, begin work upon the
new head of the monster, which was once his tail; fresh troops,
long lines of them, pushing forward to begin platoon-volleying:--
time now, I should guess, about half-past two. Our infantry has not
yet got within musket-range,--when torrents of Russian Horse, Foot
too following, plunge out; wide-flowing, stormfully swift; and dash
against the coming attack. Dash against it; stagger it; actually
tumble it back, in the centre part; take one of the batteries, and
a whole battalion prisoners. Here again is a moment! Friedrich,
they say, rushed personally into this vortex; rallied these broken
battalions, again rallied and led them up; but it was to no
purpose: they could not be made to stand, these centre battalions;
--"some sudden panic in them, a thing unaccountable," says
Tempelhof; "they are Dohna's people, who fought perfectly at
Jagersdorf, and often elsewhere" (they were all in such a finely
burnished state the other day; but have not biting talent, like the
grass-devils): enough, they fairly scour away, certain disgraceful
battalions, and are not got ranked again till below Wilkersdorf,
above a mile off; though the grass-devils, on both hands of them,
stand grimly steady, left in this ominous manner.

What would have become of the affair one knows not, if it had not
been that Seidlitz once more made his appearance. On Friedrich's
order, or on his own, I do not know; but sure it is, Seidlitz, with
sixty-one squadrons, arriving from some distance, breaks in like a
DEUS EX MACHINA, swift as the storm-wind, upon this Russian Horse-
torrent; drives it again before him like a mere torrent of chaff,
back, ever back, to the shore of Acheron and the Stygian quagmires
(of the Mutzel, namely); so that it did not return again; and the
Prussian infantry had free field for their platoon exercise.
Their rage against the Russians was extreme; and that of the
Russians corresponded. Three of these grass-devil battalions, who
stood nearest to Dohna's runaways, were natives of this same burnt-
out Zorndorf Country; we may fancy the Platt-Teutsch hearts of
them, and the sacred lightning, with a moisture to it, that was in
their eyes. Platt-Teutsch platooning, bayonet-charging,--on such
terms no Russian or mortal Quadrilateral can stand it. The Russian
Minotaur goes all to shreds a second time; but will not run.
"No quarter!"--"Well, then, none!"

"Shortly after four o'clock," say my Accounts, "the firing,"
regular firing, "altogether ceased; ammunition nearly spent, on
both sides; Prussians snatching cartridge-boxes of Russian dead;"
and then began a tug of deadly massacring and wrestling man to man,
"with bayonets, with butts of muskets, with hands, even with teeth
[in some Russian instances], such as was never seen before."
The Russians, beaten to fragments, would not run: whither run?
Behind is Mutzel and the bog of Acheron;--on Mutzel is no bridge
left; "the shore of Mutzel is thick with men and horses, who have
tried to cross, and lie there swallowed in the ooze"--"like a
pavement," says Tielcke. The Russians,--never was such VIS INERTIAE
as theirs now. They stood like sacks of clay, like oxen already
dead; not even if you shot a bullet through them, would they fall
at once, says Archenholtz, but seem to be deliberate about it.

Complete disorder reigned on both sides; except that the Prussians
could always form again when bidden, the Russians not. This lasted
till nightfall,--Russians getting themselves shoved away on these
horrid terms, and obstinate to take no other. Towards dark, there
appeared, on a distant knoll, something like a ranked body of them
again,--some 2,000 foot and half as many horse; whom Themicoud
(superlative Swiss Cossack, usually written Demikof or Demikow) had
picked up, and persuaded from the shore of Acheron, back to this
knoll of vantage, and some cannon with them. Friedrich orders these
to be dispersed again: General Forcade, with two battalions, taking
the front of them, shall attack there; you, General Rauter, bring
up those Dohna fellows again, and take them in flank.
Forcade pushes on, Rauter too,--but at the first taste of cannon-
shot, these poor Dohna-people (such their now flurried, disgraced
state of mind) take to flight again, worse than before; rush quite
through Wilkersdorf this time, into the woods, and can hardly be
got together at all. Scandalous to think of. No wonder Friedrich
"looked always askance on those regiments that had been beaten at
Gross Jagersdorf, and to the end of his life gave them proofs of
it:" [Retzow;--and still more emphatically, Briefe eines
alten Preussischen Officiers (Hohenzollern, 1790),
i. 34, ii. 52, &c.] very natural, if the rest were like these!

Of poor General Rauter, Tempelhof and the others, that can help it,
are politely silent; only Saxon Tielcke tells us, that Friedrich
dismissed him, "Go, you, to some other trade!"--which, on Prussian
evidence too, expressed in veiled terms, I find to be the fact:
Militair-Lexikon, obliged to have an article
on Rauter, is very brief about it; hints nothing unkind;
records his personal intrepidity; and says, "in 1758 he, on his
request, had leave to withdraw,"--poor soul, leave and more!

Forcade, left to himself, kept cannonading Themicoud;
Themicoud responding, would not go; stood on his knoll of vantage,
but gathered no strength: "Let him stand," said Friedrich, after
some time; and Themicoud melted in the shades of night, gradually
towards the hither shore of Acheron,--that is, of Acheron-Mutzel,
none now attempting to PAVE it farther, but simmering about at
their sad leisure there. Feldmarschall Fermor is now got to his
people again, or his people to him; reunited in place and luck:
such a chaos as Fermor never saw before or after. No regiment or
battalion now is; mere simmering monads, this fine Army;
officers doing their utmost to cobble it into something of rank,
without regard to regiments or qualities. Darkness seldom sank on
such a scene.

Wild Cossack parties are scouring over all parts of the field;
robbing the dead, murdering the wounded; doing arson, too, wherever
possible; and even snatching at the Prussian cannon left rearwards,
so that the Hussars have to go upon them again. One large mass of
them plundering in the Hamlet of Zicher, the Hussars surrounded:
the Cossacks took to the outhouses; squatted, ran, called in the
aid of fire, their constant friend: above 400 of them were in some
big barn, or range of straw houses; and set fire to it,--but could
not get out for Hussars; the Hussars were at the outgate: Not a
devil of you! said the Hussars; and the whole four hundred perished
there, choked, burnt, or slain by the Hussars,--and this poor
Planet was at length rid of them. [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> v. 166.]

Friedrich sends for his tent-equipages; and the Army pitches its
camp in two big lines, running north and south, looking towards the
Russian side of things; Friedrich's tent in front of the first
line; a warrior King among his people, who have had a day's work of
it. The Russian loss turns out, when counted, to have been 21,529
killed, wounded and missing, 7,990 of them killed; the Prussian
sum-total is 11,390 (above the Prussian third man), of whom 3,680
slain. And on the shores of Acheron northward yonder, there still
is a simmering. And far and wide the country is alight with
incendiary fires,--many devils still abroad. Excellency Mitchell,
about eight in the evening, is sent for by the King; finds various
chief Generals, Seidlitz among them, on their various businesses
there; congratulates "on the noble victory [not so conclusive
hitherto] which Heaven has granted your Majesty." "Had it not been
for him," said Friedrich,--"Had it not been for him, things would
have had a bad look by this time!" and turned his sun-eyes upon
Seidlitz, with a fine expression in them. [Preuss, ii. 153.
Mitchell (ii. 432) mentions the Interview, nothing of Seidlitz.]
To which Seidlitz's reply, I find, was an embarrassed blush and of
articulate only, "Hm, no, ha, it was your Majesty's Cavalry that
did their duty,--but Wakenitz [my second] does deserve promotion!"
--which Wakenitz, not in a too overflowing measure, got.

Fermor, during the night-watches, having cobbled himself into some
kind of ranks or rows, moves down well westward of Zabern Hollow;
to the Drewitz Heath, where he once before lay, and there makes his
bivouac in the wood, safe under the fir-trees, with the Zabern
ground to front of him. By the above reckoning, 28 or 29,000 still
hang to Fermor, or float vaporously round him; with Friedrich, in
his two lines, are some 18,000:--in whole, 46,000 tired mortals
sleeping thereabouts; near 12,000 others have fallen into a deeper
sleep, not liable to be disturbed;--and of the wounded on the
field, one shudders to imagine.

Next day, Saturday, 26th, Fermor, again brought into some kind of
rank, and safe beyond the quaggy Zabern ground, sent out a
proposal, "That there be Truce of Three Days for burying the
dead!"--Dohna, who happened to be General in command there,
answers, "That it is customary for the Victor to take charge of
burying the slain; that such proposal is surprising, and quite
inadmissible, in present circumstances." Fermor, in the mean while,
had drawn himself out, fronting his late battle-field and the
morning sun; and began cannonading across the Zabern ground;
too far off for hitting, but as if still intending fight: to which
the Prussians replied with cannon, and drew out before their tents
in fighting order. In both armies there was question, or talk, of
attacking anew; but in both "there was want of ammunition," want of
real likelihood. On Fermor's side, that of "attacking" could be
talk only, and on Friedrich's, besides the scarcity of ammunition,
all creatures, foot and especially horse, were so worn out with
yesterday's work, it was not judged practically expedient. A while
before noon, the Prussians retired to their Camp again;
leaving only the artillery to respond, so far as needful, and
bow-wow across the Zabern ground, till the Russians lay down again.

Friedrich's Hussars knew of the Russian WAGENBURG, or general
baggage reservoirs, at Klein Kamin, by this time. The Hussars had
been in it, last night; rummaging extensively, at discretion for
some time; and had brought away much money and portable plunder.
Why Friedrich, who lay direct between Fermor and his Wagenburg, did
not, this day, extinguish said Wagenburg, I do not know; but guess
it may have been a fault of omission, in the great welter this was
now grown to be to the weary mind. Beyond question, if one had
blown up Fermor's remaining gunpowder, and carried off or burnt his
meal-sacks, he must have cowered away all the faster towards
Landsberg to seek more. Or perhaps Friedrich now judged it
immaterial, and a question only of hours?

About midnight of Saturday-Sunday, there again rose bow-wowing,
bellowing of Russian cannon; not from beyond the Zabern ground this
time, nor stationary anywhere, but from the south some transient
part of it, and not far off;--one ball struck a carriage near the
King's tent, and shattered it. Thick mist mantles everything, and
it is difficult to know what the Russians have on hand in their
sylvan seclusions. After a time, it becomes manifest the Russians
are on retreat; winding round, through the southern woods, behind
Zorndorf and the charred Villages, to Klein Kamin, Landsberg way.
Friedrich, following now on the heel of them, finds all got to
Klein Kamin, to breakfast there in their Wagenburg refectory,--
sharply vigilant, many FLECHES (little arrow-shaped redoubts, so
named) and much artillery round them. Nothing considerable to be
done upon them, now or afterwards, except pick up stragglers, and
distress their rear a little. The King himself, in the first
movement, was thought to be in alarming peril, such a blaze of
case-shot rose upon him, as he went reconnoitring foremost of all.
[Tempelhof, ii. 216-238; Tielcke, ii. 79-154; Archenholtz, i.
253-264; Helden-Geschichte, v. 156-179 (with
many LISTS, private LETTERS and the like details); &c. &c.]

And this was, at last, the end of Zorndorf Battle; on the third day
this. Was there ever seen such a fight of Theseus and the Minotaur!
Theseus, rapid, dexterous, with Heaven's lightning in his eyes,
seizing the Minotaur; lassoing him by the hinder foot, then by the
right horn; pouring steel and destruction into him, the very dust
darkening all the air. Minotaur refusing to die when killed;
tumbling to and fro upon its Theseus; the two lugging and tugging,
flinging one another about, and describing figures of 8 round each
other for three days before it ended. Minotaur walking off on his
own feet, after all. It was the bloodiest battle of the Seven-Years
War; one of the most furious ever fought; such rage possessing the
individual elements; rage unusual in modern wars. Must have altered
Friedrich's notion of the Russians, when he next comes to speak
with Keith. It was not till the fourth day hence (August 31st), so
unattackably strong was this position at Klein Kamin, that the
Russian Minotaur would fairly get to its feet a second time, and
slowly stagger off, in real earnest, Landsberg way and Konigsberg
way;--Friedrich right glad to leave Dohna in attendance on it;
and hasten off (September 2d) towards Saxony and Prince Henri,
where his presence is now become very needful.


Fermor, walking off in this manner,--not till the third day, nay
not conclusively till the seventh day, after Zorndorf,--strove at
first to consider himself victorious. "I passed the night on the
field of battle [or NOT far from it, for good reasons, Mutzel being
bridgeless]: may not I, in the language of enthusiasm, be
considered conqueror? Here are 26 of their cannon, got when I cried
'Arah' prematurely. (Where the 103 pieces of my own are, and my 27
flags, and my Army-chest and sundries? Dropped somewhere; they will
probably turn up again!)" thinks Fermor,--or strives to think, and
says. So that, at Petersburg, at Paris and Vienna, in the next
three weeks, there were TE-DEUMS, Ambrosian chantings, fires-of-
joy; and considerable arguing among the Gazetteers on both parts,--
till the dust settled, and facts appeared as they were. To the
effect: "TE DEUM non LAUDAMUS; alas no, we must retract; and it was
good gunpowder thrown after bad!"

On always homewards, but at its own pace, waited on by Dohna, goes
the Russian Monster: violently case-shotting if you prick into its
rearward parts. One Palmbach,--under Romanzow, I think, who had not
taken part in the Battle, being out Stettin way, and unable to join
till now,--Palmbach, with a Detachment of 15,000, which was thought
sufficient for the object, did try to make a dash on Colberg,--how
happy had we any port on the Baltic, to feed us in this Country!
But though Colberg is the paltriest crow's-nest (BICOQUE),
according to all engineers, and is defended only by 700 militia
(the Colonel of them, one Heyde, a gray old Half-pay, not yet
renowned in the soldier world, as he here came to be), Palmbach,
with his best diligence, could make nothing of it; but, after
battering, bombarding, even scalading, and in all ways blurting and
blazing at a mighty rate for four weeks, and wasting a great deal
of gunpowder and 2,000 Russian lives, withdrew on those remarkable
terms. [In Helden-Geschichte, v. 349-365
("3d-3lst October, 1758"), a complete and minute JOURNAL of this
First Siege of Colberg, which is interesting to read of, as all the
Three of them are.] And did then, as tail of Fermor, what Fermor
and the Russian Monster was universally doing, make off at a good
pace,--having nothing to live upon farther,--and vanish from those
Countries, to the relief of Dohna and mankind.

September 2d, Friedrich, leaving all that, had marched for Saxony;
his presence urgently required there. Daun ought to be far on with
the conquest of that Country? Might have had it, say judges, if he
had been as swift as some.--At Zorndorf, among the Russian
Prisoners were certain Generals, Soltikof, Czernichef, Sulkowski
the Pole, proud people in their own eyes: no lodging for them but
the cellars of Custrin. Russian Generals complained, "Is this a
lodging for Field-Officers of rank!" Friedrich was not used to
profane swearing, or vituperative outbursts; but he answered to the
effect: "Silence, ye incendiary individuals. Is there a choice left
of lodgings, and for you above others!" Upon which they lay silent
for some days, till better suited; in fact, till exchanged,--and
perhaps will soon turn up on us again.

Chapter XIV.


So soon as Friedrich quitted Bohemia and Silesia for his Russian
Enterprise, there rose high question at Vienna, "To what shall our
Daun now turn himself?" A Daun, a Reichs Army, free for new
employment; in Saxony not much to oppose them, in Silesia almost
nothing in comparison. "Recapture of Silesia?" Yes truly; that is
the steady pole-star at Vienna. But they have no Magazines in
Silesia, no Siege-furnitures; and the season is far spent. They
decide that there shall be a stroke upon Dresden, and recovery of
Saxony, in Friedrich's absence. Nothing there at present but a
Prince Henri, weak in numbers, say one to two of the Reichs Army by
itself. Let the Reichs Army rise now, and advance through the Metal
Mountains from southeast on Prince Henri; let Daun circle round on
him, through the Lausitz from northeast: cannot they extinguish
Henri between them; snatch Dresden, a weak ill-fortified place, by
sudden onslaught, and recapture Saxony? That will be magnanimous to
our august Allies;--and that will be an excellent scaffolding for
recapture of Silesia next year. And cannot Daun leave a Force in
the Silesian vicinities,--Deville with so many thousands, Harsch
with so many,--to besiege one of their Frontier Places; Neisse, for
example? Siege-furnitures to come from Mahren: Neisse is not
farther from Olmutz than Olmutz was from it.

That was the scheme fallen upon; now getting executed while
Friedrich is at Zorndorf well away. And that, if readers fix it
intelligently in their memory, will suffice to introduce to them
the few words more that can be allowed us here upon it. A very few
words, compressed to the utmost,--merely as preface to Hochkirch,
whither we must hasten; Hochkirch being the one incident which,
except to studious soldiers, has now and here any interest, out of
the very many incidents which, then and there, were so intensely
interesting to all mankind. To readers who are curious, and will
take with them any poorest authentic Outline of the Localities
concerned, the following condensed Note will not be unintelligible.


"Daun, pushing out with his best speed, along the Bohemian-Silesian
border, had got to Zittau AUGUST 17th; which poor City is to be his
basis and storehouse; the greatest activity and wagoning now
visible there,"--among the burnt walls getting rebuilt. And in the
same days, Zweibruck and his Reichs Army are vigorously afoot;
Zweibruck pushing across the Metal Mountains, the fastest he can;
intending to plant himself in Pirna Country. Not to mention General
Dombale, Zweibruck's Austrian Second; who has the Austrian 15,000
with him; and, by way of preface, has emerged to westward, in
Zwickau-Tschopau Country; calculating that Prince Henri will not be
able to attend to him just now. And in effect Prince Henri, intent
upon Zweibruck and the Pirna Country, takes position in the old
Prussian ground there ('head-quarter Gross Seidlitz,' as in 1756);
and can only leave a Detachment in Tschopau Country to wait upon
Dombale; who does at least shoot out Croat parties, 'quite across
Saxony, to Halle all the way,' and entertain the Gazetteers, if he
can do little real mischief.

"AUGUST 19th, from Zittau, Daun, after short pause, again pushes
forward,--nothing but Ziethen attending him in the distance, till
we see whitherward;--Margraf Karl waiting impatient, at Grussau,
till Ziethen see. [Tempelhof, ii. 258, 260 et seq.] Daun, soon
after Zittau, shoots out Loudon, Brandenburg way, as if
magnanimously intending 'co-operation with the Russians;' which
would give Daun pleasure, could it be done without cost.
Loudon does despatch a 500 hussars to Frankfurt [Friedrich now gone
for Custrin], who, I think, carry a Letter for Fermor there;
but lose it by the way,"--for the benefit of readers, if they will
wait. "Loudon captures a poor little place in Brandenburg itself;
bullies it into surrender, after a day (the very day of Zorndorf
Battle, 'August 25th'):--place called Peitz, garrisoned by forty-
five invalids; who go on 'free withdrawal,' poor old souls, and
leave their exiguous stock of salt-victual and military furnitures
to Loudon. [In Helden-Geschichte, v. 229-232,
the "Capitulation" IN EXTENSO.] Upon which Loudon whirls back out
of those Countries; finding his skirts trodden on by Ziethen,--who
now sees what Daun and he are at; and warns Margraf Karl [properly
Keith, who has now joined again, as real president or chief] That
HITHER is the way. Margraf Karl, on the slip for some time past,
starts from Grussau instantly (I should guess, not above 25,000 of
all arms); leaving Fouquet with perhaps 10,000 to do his utmost,
when Generals Harsch and Deville with their 20 or 30,000 come upon
Silesia and him,--as indeed they are already doing;
already blockading Neisse, more or less, with an eye to besieging
it so soon as possible.

"Meanwhile, Serene Highness of Zweibruck, the Reichsfolk and some
Austrians with him, prefaced by Dombale more to westward, is
wending into Pirna Country; and, in spite of what Prince Henri can
do (Mayor and the Free Corps shining diligent, and Henri one of the
watchfulest of men), Zweibruck does get in; sets Maguire with
Austrians upon besieging Pirna, that is to say, the Sonnenstein of
Pirna; 3d-5th SEPTEMBER, gets the Sonnenstein, a thought sooner
than was counted on; [In Helden-Geschichte,
v. 223-228, account of this poor Siege, and of the movements before
and after.] and roots himself there,--'head-quarters in Struppen'
again, 'bridge at Ober-Raden' again, all as in 1756; which, if
nothing else can well do it, may give his Highness a momentary
interest with some readers here. Prince Henri is at Gross Seidlitz,
alive every fibre of him: but with Daun circling round to northward
on his left, intending evidently to take him in flank or rear;
with Dombale already to rear, in the above circumstances, on his
right; and Zweibruck himself lying here in front free to act, and
impregnable if acted upon: what is Prince Henri to do? It is for
Henri's rear, not his flank, that Daun aims: AUGUST 26th, Daun, who
had got to Gorlitz, a march or two from Zittau, started again at
his best step by the Bautzen Highway towards Meissen Bridge, a 70
or 80 miles down the Elbe: there Daun intends to cross, and to
double back upon Dresden and Prince Henri; who will thus find
himself enclosed between THREE fires,--if two were not enough, or
even if one (the Daun one itself, or the Zweibruck itself, not to
count the Dombale), in such strength as Prince Henri has!

"A lost Prince Henri,--if there be not shift in him, if there be
not help coming to him! Prince Henri, seeing how it was, drew back
from Gross Seidlitz; with beautiful suddenness, one night;
unmolested: in the morning, Zweibruch's hussars find him posted
---------------------------------- ^ (sic) ?k ------------

inexpugnable on the Heights of Gahmig,--which is nearer Dresden a
good step; nearer Dombale; and not so ready to be enclosed by Daun,
without enclosure of Dresden too. Prince Henri's manoeuvring, in
this difficult situation, is the admiration of military men: how he
stuck by Gahmig; but threw out, in the vital points, little camps,
--'camp of Kesselsdorf' (a place memorable), on the west of
Dresden; and on the east, in the north suburb of Dresden itself
across the River (should we have to go across the River for Daun's
sake), a 'strong abatis;' and neglected nothing; self and everybody
under him, lively as eagles to make themselves dangerous, Mayer in
particular distinguishing himself much. Prince Henri would have
been a hard morsel for Daun. But beyond that, there is help on
the road."

WHICH HALTS AT HOCHKIRCH (September 12th-October 10th, 1758).

Daun, since August 26th, is striding towards Meissen Bridge;
without rest, day after day, at the very top of his speed,--which I
find is "nine miles a day;" [Tempelhof, ii. 261.] Bos being heavy
of foot, at his best. September 1st, Daun has got within ten miles
of Meissen Bridge, when--Here is news, my friends; King of Prussia
has beaten our poor Russians; will soon be in full march this way!
King of Prussia and Margraf Karl both bending hitherward; at the
rate, say, of "nineteen miles a day," instead of nine:--Meissen
Bridge is not the thing we shall want! Daun instantly calls halt,
at this news; waits, intrenches; and, in a day or two, finding the
news true, hurries to rearward all he can. From the Russian side
too, Daun has heard of Zorndorf, and the grand "Victory" of Fermor
there; but knows well, by this sudden re-emergence of the Anti-
Fermor, what kind of Victory it is.

Was it here while waiting about Meissen, or where was it, that Daun
got his Letter to Fermor answered in that singular way? The Letter
of two weeks ago,--carried by Loudon's Hussars, or by whomsoever,--
for certain, it was retorted or returned upon Daun; not as if from
the Dead-Letter Office, but with an Answer he little expected!
Here is what record I have; very vague for a well-known little fact
of sparkling nature:--

"A curious Letter fell into Friedrich's hands [Bearer, I always
guess, the Loudon Hussar-Captain with his 500, pretending to form
junction with Fermor], Prussian Hussars picking it up somewhere,--
date, place, circumstances, blurred into oblivion in those poor
Books; Letter itself indisputable enough, and Answer following on
it; Letter and Answer substantially to this effect:--

"DAUN TO FERMOR [Probably from Zittau, by Loudon's Hussars].

"Your Excellenz does not know that wily Enemy as I do. By no means
get into battle with such a one. Cautiously manoeuvre about;
detain him there, till I have got my stroke in Saxony done:
don't try fighting him. DAUN."

"ANSWER AS FROM FERMOR (Zorndorf once done, Daun by the first
opportunity got his Answer, duly signed 'Fermor,' but
evidently in a certain King's handwriting):--

"Your Excellenz was in the right to warn me against a cunning
Enemy, whom you knew better than I. Here have I tried fighting him,
and got beaten. Your unfortunate "FERMOR."
[Muller, Kurzgefasste Beschreibung der drei Schlesischen
Kriege (Berlin, 1755); in whom, alone of all the
reporters, is the story given in an intelligible form. This
Muller's Book is a meritoriously brief Summary, incorrect in no
essential particular, and with all the Battle-Plans on one
copperplate: LIEUTENANT Muller, this one; not PROFESSOR Muller,
ALIAS Schottmuller by any means!]

September 9th, Friedrich and Margraf Karl, correct to their
appointment, meet at Grossenhayn, some miles north of Meissen and
its Bridge; by which time Daun is clean gone again, back well above
Dresden again, strongly posted at Stolpen (a place we once heard
of, in General Haddick's time, last Year), well in contact with
Daun's Pirna friends across the River, and out of dangerous
neighborhoods. Friedrich and the Margraf have followed Daun at
quick step; but Daun would pause nowhere, till he got to Stolpen,
among the bushy gullets and chasms. September 12th, Friedrich had
speech of Henri, and the pleasure of dining with him in Dresden.
Glad to meet again, under fortunate management on both parts;
and with much to speak and consult about.

A day or two before, there had lain (or is said to have lain) a
grand scheme in Daun: Zweibruck to burst out from Pirna by
daybreak, and attack the Camp of Gahmig in front (35,000 against
20,000); Daun to cross the River on pontoons, some hours before,
under cloud of night, and be ready on rear and left flank of Gahmig
(with as many supplemental thousands as you like): what can save
Prince Henri? Beautiful plan; on which there were personal meetings
and dinings together by Zweibruck and Daun; but nothing done.
[Tempelhof, ii. 262-265.] At the eleventh hour, say the Austrian
accounts, Zweibruck sent word, "Impossible to-morrow; cannot get in
my Out-Parties in time!"--and next day, here is Friedrich come, and
a collapse of everything. Or perhaps there never seriously was such
a plan? Certain it is, Daun takes camp at Stolpen, a place known to
him, one of the strongest posts in Germany; intrenches himself to
the teeth,--good rear-guard towards Zittau and the Magazines;
River and Pirna on our left flank; Loudon strong and busy on our
right flank, barring the road to Bautzen;-- and obstinately sits
there, a very bad tooth in the jaw of a certain King; not to be
extracted by the best kinds of forceps and the skilfulest art, for
nearly a month to come. Four Armies, Friedrich's, Henri's, Daun's,
Zweibruck's, all within sword-stroke of each other,--the universal
Gazetteer world is on tiptoe. But except Friedrich's eager
shiftings and rubbings upon Stolpen (west side, north, and at
length northeast side), all is dead-lock, and nothing comes of it.

Friedrich has his food convenient from Dresden; but a road to
Bautzen withal is what he cannot do without;--and there lies the
sorrow, and the ACHING, as this tooth knows well, and this jaw
well! Harsch and Deville are busy upon Neisse, have Neisse under
blockade, perhaps upon Kosel too, for some time past, [Neisse
"blockaded more and more" since August 4th (Kosel still earlier,
but only by Pandour people); not completely so till September 30th,
or even till October 26th: Helden-Geschichte,
v. 268-270.] and are carting the siege-stock to begin bombardment:
a road to Silesia, before very long, Friedrich must and will have.
Friedrich's operations on Daun in this post are patiently artful,
and curious to look upon, but beyond description here: enough to
say, that in the second week he makes his people hut themselves
(weather wet and bad); and in the fourth week, finding that nothing
contrivable would provoke Daun into fighting,--he loads at Dresden
provisions for I think nine days; makes, from two or from three
sides, a sudden spurt upon Loudon, who is Daun's northern outpost;
brushes Loudon hastily away; and himself takes the road for
Bautzen, by Daun's right flank, thrown bare in this manner.
[Tempelhof, ii. 278.]

Road for Bautzen; which is the road for Zittau withal, for Daun's
bread-basket, as well as for Neisse and Harsch! Nine days'
provision; that is our small outfit, that and our own right-hands;
and the waste world lies all ahead. OCTOBER 1st, Retzow, as
vanguard, sweeps out the few Croats from Bautzen, deposits his
meal-wagons there; occupies Hochkirch, and the hilly environs to
east; is to take possession of Weissenberg especially, and of the
Stromberg Hill and other strong points: which Retzow punctually
does, forgetting nothing,--except perhaps the Stromberg, not quite
remembered in time; a thing of small consequence in Retzow's view,
since all else had gone right.

Hearing of which, Daun, with astonishment, finds that he must quit
those beautifully chasmy fastnesses of Stolpen, and look to his
bread; which is getting to lie under the enemy's feet, if Zittau
road be left yonder as it is. OCTOBER 5th, after councils of war
and deliberation enough, Daun gets under way; [Ib. ii. 279.]
cautiously, favored by a night very dark and wet, glides through to
right of Friedrich's people, softly along between Bautzen and the
Pirna Country; nobody molesting him, so dark and wet: and after one
other march in those bosky solitudes, sits down at Kittlitz,--ahead
or to east of Bautzen, of Hochkirch, of Retzow and all Friedrich's
people;--and again sets to palisading and intrenching there.
Kittlitz, near Lobau, there is Daun's new head-quarter;
Lobau Water, with its intricate hollows, his line of defence:
his posts going out a mile to north and to south of Kittlitz.
And so sits; once more blocking Zittau road, and quietly waiting
what Friedrich will do.

Friedrich is at Bautzen since the 7th; impatient enough to be
forward, but must not till a second larger provision-convoy from
Dresden come in. Convoy once in, Friedrich hastens off, Tuesday,
10th October, towards Weissenberg Country, where Retzow is;
some ten or twelve miles to eastward,--Zittau-ward, if that chance
to suit us; Silesia-ward, as is sure to suit. At the "Pass of
Jenkowitz," short way from Bautzen, Pandours attempt our baggage;
need to be battered off, and again off: which apprises Friedrich
that Daun's whole Army is ahead in the neighborhood somewhere.
Marching on, Friedrich, from the knoll of Hochkirch, shoulder of
the southern Hills, gets complete view of Daun,--stretching north
and south, at right angles to the Zittau roads and to Friedrich, in
the way we described;--and is a little surprised, and I could guess
piqued, at seeing Daun in such a state of forwardness.
"Encamp here, then!" he says,--here, on this row of Heights
parallel to Daun, within a mile of Daun: just here, I tell you!
under the very nose of Daun, who is above two to one of us; and see
what Daun will do. Marwitz, his favorite Adjutant, one of those
free-spoken Marwitzes, loyal, skilful, but liable to stiff fits,
takes the liberty to remonstrate, argue; says at length, He,
Marwitz, dare not be concerned in marking out such an encampment;
not he, for his poor part! And is put under arrest; and another
Adjutant does it; cannon playing on his people and him while
engaged in the operation.

Friedrich's obstinate rashness, this Tuesday Evening, has not
wanted its abundant meed of blame,--rendered so emphatic by what
befell on Saturday morning next. His somewhat too authoritative
fixity; a certain radiancy of self-confidence, dangerous to a man;
his sovereign contempt of Daun, as an inert dark mass, who durst
undertake nothing: all this is undeniable, and worth our
recognition in estimating Friedrich. One considerably extenuating
circumstance does at last turn up,--in the shape of a new piece of
blame to the erring Friedrich; his sudden anger, namely, against
the meritorious General Retzow; his putting Retzow under arrest
that Tuesday Evening: "How, General Retzow? You have not taken hold
of the Stromberg for me!" That is the secret of Retzow: and on
studying the ground you will find that the Stromberg, a blunt
tabular Hill, of good height, detached, and towering well up over
all that region, might have rendered Friedrich's position perfectly
safe. "Seize me the Stromberg to-morrow morning, the first thing!"
ordered Friedrich. And a Detachment went accordingly; but found
Daun's people already there,--indisposed to go; nay determined not
to go, and getting reinforced to unlimited amounts. So that the
Stromberg was left standing, and remained Daun's; furnished with
plenty of cannon by Daun. Retzow's arrest, Retzow being a steady
favorite of Friedrich's, was only of a few hours: "pardonable that
oversight," thinks Friedrich, though it came to cost him dear.
For the rest, I find, Friedrich's keeping of this Camp, without the
Stromberg, was intended to end, the third day hence:
"Saturday, 14th, then, since Friday proves impossible!" Friedrich
had settled. And it did end Saturday, 14th, though at an earlier
HOUR, and with other results than had been expected. Keith said,
"The Austrians deserve to be hanged if they don't attack us here."
"We must hope they are more afraid of us than even of the gallows,"
answered Friedrich. A very dangerous Camp; untenable without the
Stromberg. Let us try to understand it, and Daun's position to it,
in some slight degree.

"Hochkirch (HIGHkirk) is an old Wendish-Saxon Village, standing
pleasantly on its Hill-top, conspicuous for miles round on all
sides, or on all but the south side, where it abuts upon other
Heights, which gradually rise into Hills a good deal higher than
it. The Village hangs confusedly, a jumble of cottages and
colegarths, on the crown and north slope of the Height;
thatched, in part tiled, and built mostly of rough stone blocks, in
our time,--not of wood, as probably in Friedrich's. A solid,
sluttishly comfortable-looking Village; with pleasant hay-fields,
or long narrow hay-stripes (each villager has his stripe), reaching
down to the northern levels. The Church is near the top;
Churchyard, and some little space farther, are nearly horizontal
ground, till the next Height begins sloping up again towards the
woody Hills southward. The view from this little esplanade atop,
still better from the Church belfry, is wide and pretty. Free on
all sides except the south: pleasant Heights and Hollows, of
arable, of wood, or pasture; well watered by rushing Brooks, all
making northward, direct for Spree (the Berlin Spree), or else into
the Lobau Water, which is the first big branch of Spree.

"The place is still partly of Wendish speech; the Parson has to
preach one half of the Sunday in Wend, the other in German.
Among the Hills to south," well worth noting at present, "is one
called CZARNABOG, or 'Devil's Hill;' where the Wendish Devil and
his Witches (equal to any German on his Blocksberg, or
preternatural Bracken of the Harz) hold their annual WITCHES'-
SABBATH,--a thing not to be contemplated without a shudder by the
Wendish mind. Thereabouts, and close from Hochkirch southward, all
is shadowy intricacy of thicket and wild wood. Northward too from
Hochkirch, and all about, I perceive the scene was woodier then
than now;--and must have looked picturesque enough (had anybody
been in quest of that), with the multifarious uniforms, and tented
people sprinkled far and wide among the leafy red-and-yellow of
October, 1758." [Tourist's Note, September, 1858.]

In the Village of Wuischke, precisely at the northern base of that
shaggy Czarnabog or Devil's Hill, stand Loudon and 3,000 Croats and
grenadiers, as the extreme left of Daun's position. Wuischke is
nearly straight south of Hochkirch; so far westward has Loudon
pushed forward with his Croats, hidden among the Hills;
though Daun's general position lies a good mile to east of
Friedrich's:--irregularly north and south, both Friedrich and Daun;
the former ignorant what Croats and Loudonries, there may be among
those Devil's Hills to his right; the latter not ignorant.
Friedrich's right wing, Keith in command of it, stretches to
Hochkirch and a little farther: beyond Hochkirch, it has Four flank
Battalions in potence form, with proper vedettes and pickets;
and above all, with a strong Battery of Twenty Guns, which it
maintains on the next Height immediately adjoining Hochkirch, and
perceptibly higher than Hochkirch. This is the finis of Keith on
his right; and--except those vedettes, and pickets of Free-corps
people, thrown out a little way ahead into the bushes, on that
side--Friedrich's right wing knows nothing of the shaggy elevations
horrent with wood, which lie to southward; and merely intends to
play its Twenty Cannon upon them, should they give birth to
anything. This is Friedrich's posture on his right or south wing.

From Hochkirch northward or nearly so, but sprinkled about in all
the villages and points of strength, as far up as Drehsa and beyond
Drehsa, to near Kotitz, a less important village, Friedrich extends
about four miles; centre at Rodewitz, where his own head-quarter
is, above two miles north of Hochkirch. Not far from Rodewitz, but
a little to left and ahead, stands his second and best Battery, of
Thirty Guns; ready to play upon Lauska, a poor village, and its
roadway, should the Austrians try anything there, or from their
Stromberg post, which is a good mile behind Lauska. His strength,
in these lines, some count to be only 28,000, or less. Four or five
miles to northeast, in and behind Weissenberg (which we used to
know last summer), lies Retzow, with perhaps 10 or 12,000, which
will bring him up to 40,000, were they properly joined with him as
a left wing. Daun's force counts 90,000; with Friedrich lying under
his nose in this insolent manner.

Daun's head-quarter, as we said, is Kittlitz; a Village some two
miles short of Lobau, in the direction southeast of Friedrich;
perhaps five miles to southeast of Rodewitz, Friedrich's lodging.
It is close upon the Bautzen-Zittau Highway; Zittau some twenty
miles to south of it, Herrnhuth and the pacific Brethren about
half-way thither. Kittlitz lies more to south than Hochkirch
itself; and Daun's outposts, as we saw, circle quite round among
those Devil's Hills, and envelop Friedrich's right flank.
But Daun's main force lies chiefly northward, and well to west, of
Kittlitz; parallel to Friedrich, and eastward of him;
with elaborate intrenchments; every village, brook, bridge, height
and bit of good ground, Stromberg to end with, punctually secured.
Obliquely over the Stromberg, holding the Stromberg and certain
Villages to southeast and to northwest of it, lies D'Ahremberg, as
right wing: about 20,000 he, put into oblique potence; looking into
Kotitz, which is Friedrich's extreme left; and in a good measure
dividing Friedrich from the Retzow 10,000. And lastly, as reserve,
in front of Reichenbach, eight or nine miles to east of all that,
lies the Prince of Baden-Durlach, 25,000 or so; barring Retzow on
that side, and all attempts on the Silesian Road there.
Daun's lines, not counting in the southern outposts or Devil's-Hill
parties, are considerably longer than Friedrich's, and also
considerably deeper. The two head-quarters are about five miles
apart: but the two fronts--divided by a brook and good hollow
running here (one of many such, making all for Lobau Water)--are
not half a mile apart. Towards Hochkirch and the top of this brook,
the opposing posts are quite crammed close on one another;
divided only by their hollow. Many brooks, each with a definite
hollow, run tinkling about here, swift but straitened to get out;
especially Lobau Water, which receives them all, has to take a
quite meandering circling course (through Daun's quarters and
beyond them) before it can disembogue in Spree, and decidedly set
out for Berlin under that new name. The Landscape--seen from
Hochkirch Village, still better from the Church-steeple which lifts
you high above it, and commands all round except to the south,
where Friedrich's battery-height quite shuts you in, and hides even
those Devil's Hills beyond--is cheerful and pretty.
Village belfries, steeples and towers; airy green ridges of
heights, and intricate greener valleys: now rather barer than you
like. The Tourist tells me, in Friedrich's time there must have
been a great deal more of wood than now.

(Saturday, 14th October, 1758).

Friedrich, for some time,--probably ever since Wednesday morning,
when he found the Stromberg was not to be his,--had decided to be
out of this bad post. In which, clearly enough, nothing was to be
done, unless Daun would attempt something else than more and more
intrenching and palisading himself. Friedrich on the second day
(Thursday, 12th) rode across to Weissenberg, to give Retzow his
directions, and take view of the ground: "Saturday night, Herr
Retzow, sooner it cannot be [Friedrich had aimed at Friday night,
but finds the Provision-convoy cannot possibly be up];
Saturday night, in all silence, we sweep round out of this,--we and
you;--hurl Baden-Durlach about his business; and are at Schops and
Reichenbach, and the Silesian Highway open, next morning, to us!"
[Tempelhof, ii. 320.] Quietly everything is speeding on towards
this consummation, on Friedrich's part. But on Daun's part there
is--started, I should guess, on the very same Thursday--another
consummation getting ready, which is to fall out on Saturday
MORNING, fifteen hours before that other, and entirely supersede
that other!--

Keith's opinion, that the Austrians deserve to be hanged if they
don't attack us here, is also Loudon's opinion and Lacy's, and
indeed everybody's,--and at length Daun's own; who determines to
try something here, if never before or after. This plan, all judges
admit, was elaborate and good; and was well executed too,--Daun
himself presiding over the most critical part of the execution.
A plan to have ruined almost any Army, except this Prussian one and
the Captain it chanced to have. A universal camisado, or surprisal
of Friedrich in his Camp, before daylight: everybody knows that it
took effect (Hochkirch, Saturday, 14th October, 1758, 5 A.M. of a
misty morning); nobody expects of an unassisted fellow-creature
much light on so doubly dark a thing. But the truth is, there are
ample accounts, exact, though very chaotic; and the thing, steadily
examined, till its essential features extricate themselves from the
unessential, proves to be not quite so unintelligible, and nothing
like so destructive, overwhelming and ruinous as was supposed.

Daun's plan is very elaborate, and includes a great many
combinations; all his 90,000 to come into it, simultaneously or in
succession. But the first and grandly vital part, mainspring and
father to all the rest, is this: That Daun, in person, after
nightfall of Friday, shall, with the pick of his force, say 30,000
horse and foot, with all their artilleries and tools, silently quit
his now position in front of Hochkirch, Friedrich's right wing.
Shall sweep off, silently to southward and leftward, by Wuischke;
thence westward and northward, by the northern base of those Devil
Mountains, through the shaggy hollows and thick woods there,
hitherto inhabited by Croats only, and unknown to the Prussians:
forward, ever forward, through the night-watches that way; till he
has fairly got to the flank of Hochkirch and Friedrich: Daun to be
standing there, all round from the southern environs of Hochkirch,
westward through the Woods, by Meschwitz, Steindorfel, and even
north to Waditz (if readers will consult their Map), silently
enclosing Friedrich, as in the bag of a net, in this manner;--ready
every man and gun by about four on Saturday morning. Are to wait
for the stroke of five in Hochkirch steeple; and there and then to
begin business,--there first; but, on success THERE, the whole
90,000 everywhere,--and to draw the strings on Friedrich, and bag
and strangle his astonished people and him.

The difficulty has been to keep it perfectly secret from so
vigilant a man as Friedrich: but Daun has completely succeeded.
Perhaps Friedrich's eyes have been a little dimmed by contempt of
Daun: Daun, for the last two days especially, has been more
diligent than ever to palisade himself on every point;
nothing, seemingly, on hand but felling woods, building abatis,
against some dangerous Lion's-spring. They say also, he detected a
traitor in his camp; traitor carrying Letters to Friedrich under
pretence of fresh eggs,--one of the eggs blown, and a Note of
Daun's Procedures substituted as yolk. "You are dead, sirrah," said
Daun; "hoisted to the highest gallows: Are not you? But put in a
Note of my dictating, and your beggarly life is saved."
Retzow Junior, though there is no evidence except of the
circumstantial kind, thinks this current story may be true.
[Retzow, i. 347.] Certain it is, neither Friedrich nor any of his
people had the least suspicion of Daun's project, till the moment
it exploded on them, when the clock at Hochkirch struck five.
Daun, in the last two days, had been felling even more trees than
they are aware of,--thousands of trees in those Devil's
wildernesses to Friedrich's right; and has secretly hewn himself
roads, passable by night for men and ammunition-wagons there:--and
in front of Friedrich, especially Hochkirch way, Daun seems busier

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