"The Erbprinz, who is still rather to northeastward, that is to rightward, not directly frontward, of Du Muy's lines; and whose plan of attack is still dark to Du Muy, commences [about 8 A.M., I should guess] by launching his British Legion so called,--which is a composite body, of Free-Corps nature, British some of it ('Colonel Beckwith's people,' for example), not British by much the most of it, but an aggregate of wild strikers, given to plunder too:--by launching his British Legion upon Warburg Town, there to take charge of Du Muy's right wing. Which Legion, 'with great rapidity, not only pitched the French all out, but clean plundered the poor Town;' and is a sad sore on Du Muy's right, who cannot get it attended to, in the ominous aspects elsewhere visible. For the Erbprinz, who is a strategic creature, comes on, in the style of Friedrich, not straight towards Du Muy, but sweeps out in two columns round northward; privately intending upon Du Muy's left wing and front--left wing, right wing, (by British Legion), and front, all three;--and is well aided by a mist which now fell, and which hung on the higher ground, and covered his march, for an hour or more. This mist had not begun when he saw, on the knoll-tops, far off on the right, but indisputable as he flattered himself, --something of Ferdinand emerging! Saw this; and pours along, we can suppose, with still better step and temper. And bursts, pretty simultaneously, upon Du Muy's right wing and left wing, coercing his front the while; squelches both these wings furiously together; forces the coerced centre, mostly horse, to plunge back into the Diemel, and swim. Horse could swim; but many of the Foot, who tried, got drowned. And, on the whole, Du Muy is a good deal wrecked [1,600 killed, 2,000 prisoners, not to speak of cannon and flags], and, but for his eight bridges, would have been totally ruined.
"The fight was uncommonly furious, especially on Du Muy's left; 'Maxwell's Brigade' going at it, with the finest bayonet-practice, musketry, artillery-practice; obstinate as bears. On Du Muy's right, the British Legion, left wing, British too by name, had a much easier job. But the fight generally was of hot and stubborn kind, for hours, perhaps two or more;--and some say, would not have ended so triumphantly, had it not been for Duke Ferdinand's Vanguard, Lord Granby and the English Horse; who, warned by the noise ahead, pushed on at the top of their speed, and got in before the death. Granby and the Blues had gone at the high trot, for above five miles; and, I doubt not, were in keen humor when they rose to the gallop and slashed in. Mauvillon says, 'It was in this attack that Lord Granby, at the head of the Blues, his own regiment, had his hat blown off; a big bald circle in his head rendering the loss more conspicuous. But he never minded; stormed still on,' bare bald head among the helmets and sabres; 'and made it very evident that had he, instead of Sackville, led at Minden, there had been a different story to tell. The English, by their valor,' adds he, 'greatly distinguished themselves this day. And accordingly they suffered by far the most; their loss amounting to 590 men:' or, as others count,--out of 1,200 killed and wounded, 800 were English." [Mauvillon, ii. 114. Or better, in all these three cases, as elsewhere, Tempelhof's specific Chapter on Ferdinand (Tempelhof, iv. 101-122). Ferdinand's Despatch (to King George), in
This of Granby and the bald head is mainly what now renders Warburg memorable. For, in a year or two, the excellent Reynolds did a Portrait of Granby; and by no means forgot this incident; but gives him bare-headed, bare and bald; the oblivious British connoisseur not now knowing why, as perhaps he ought. The portrait, I suppose, may be in Belvoir Castle; the artistic Why of the baldness is this BATTLE OF WARBURG, as above. An Affair otherwise of no moment. Ferdinand had soon to quit the Diemel, or to find it useless for him, and to try other methods,--fencing gallantly, but too weak for Broglio; and, on the whole, had a difficult Campaign of it, against that considerable Soldier with forces so superior.
Friedrich stayed hardly one day in Neissen Country; Silesia, in the jaws of destruction, requiring such speed from him. His new Series of Marches thitherward, for the next two weeks especially, with Daun and Lacy, and at last with Loudon too, for escort, are still more singular than the foregoing; a fortnight of Soldier History such as is hardly to be paralleled elsewhere. Of his inward gloom one hears nothing. But the Problem itself approaches to the desperate; needing daily new invention, new audacity, with imminent destruction overhanging it throughout. A March distinguished in Military Annals;--but of which it is not for us to pretend treating. Military readers will find it in TEMPELHOF, and the supplementary Books from time to time cited here. And, for our own share, we can only say, that Friedrich's labors strike us as abundantly Herculean; more Alcides-like than ever,--the rather as hopes of any success have sunk lower than ever. A modern Alcides, appointed to confront Tartarus itself, and be victorious over the Three-headed Dog. Daun, Lacy, Loudon coming on you simultaneously, open-mouthed, are a considerable Tartarean Dog! Soldiers judge that the King's resources of genius were extremely conspicuous on this occasion; and to all men it is in evidence that seldom in the Arena of this Universe, looked on by the idle Populaces and by the eternal Gods and Antigods (called Devils), did a Son of Adam fence better for himself, now and throughout.
This, his Third march to Silesia in 1760, is judged to be the most forlorn and ominous Friedrich ever made thither; real peril, and ruin to Silesia and him, more imminent than even in the old Leuthen days. Difficulties, complicacies very many, Friedrich can foresee: a Daun's Army and a Lacy's for escort to us; and such a Silesia when we do arrive. And there is one complicacy more which he does not yet know of; that of Loudon waiting ahead to welcome him, on crossing the Frontier, and increase his escort thenceforth!--Or rather, let us say, Friedrich, thanks to the despondent Henri and others, has escaped a great Silesian Calamity;--of which he will hear, with mixed emotions, on arriving at Bunzlau on the Silesian Frontier, six days after setting out. Since the loss of Glatz (July 26th), Friedrich has no news of Loudon; supposes him to be trying something upon Neisse, to be adjusting with his slow Russians; and, in short, to be out of the dismal account-current just at present. That is not the fact in regard to Loudon; that is far from the fact.
LOUDON IS TRYING A STROKE-OF-HAND ON BRESLAU, IN THE GLATZ FASHION, IN THE INTERIM (July 30th-August 3d).
Hardly above six hours after taking Glatz, swift Loudon, no Daun now tethering him (Daun standing, or sitting, "in relief of Dresden" far off), was on march for Breslau--Vanguard of him "marched that same evening (July 26th):" in the liveliest hope of capturing Breslau; especially if Soltikof, to whom this of Glatz ought to be a fine symbol and pledge, make speed to co-operate. Soltikof is in no violent enthusiasm about Glatz; anxious rather about his own Magazine at Posen, and how to get it carted out of Henri's way, in case of our advancing towards some Silesian Siege. "If we were not ruined last year, it was n't Daun's fault!" growls he often; and Montalembert has need of all his suasive virtues (which are wonderful to look at, if anybody cared to look at them, all flung into the sea in this manner) for keeping the barbarous man in any approach to harmony. The barbarous man had, after haggle enough, adjusted himself for besieging Glogau; and is surly to hear, on the sudden (order from Petersburg reinforcing Loudon), that it is Breslau instead. "Excellenz, it is not Cunctator Daun this time, it is fiery Loudon." "Well, Breslau, then!" answers Soltikof at last, after much suasion. And marches thither; [Tempelhof, iv. 87-89 ("Rose from Posen, July 26th").] faster than usual, quickened by new temporary hopes, of Montalembert's raising or one's own: "What a place-of-arms, and place of victual, would Breslau be for us, after all!"
And really mends his pace, mends it ever more, as matters grow stringent; and advances upon Breslau at his swiftest: "To rendezvous with Loudon under the walls there,--within the walls very soon, and ourselves chief proprietor!"--as may be hoped. Breslau has a garrison of 4,000, only 1,000 of them stanch; and there are, among other bad items, 9,000 Austrian Prisoners in it. A big City with weak walls: another place to defend than rock- hewn little Glatz,--if there be no better than a D'O for Commandant in it! But perhaps there is.