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the crew to wait for him on the beach, he wandered up the

source:zoptime:2023-11-29 23:50:03

Vellinghausen is a poor little moory Hamlet in Paderborn Country, near the south or left bank of the Lippe River; lies to the north of Soest,--some 15 miles to your left-hand there, as you go by rail from Aachen to Paderborn;--but nobody now has ever heard of it at Soest or elsewhere, famous as it once became a hundred years ago. Ferdinand had taken a singular position there, in the early days of July, 1761. Here is brief Notice of that Affair, and of some results, or adjuncts, still more important, which it had:--

the crew to wait for him on the beach, he wandered up the

"This Year, Ferdinand's Campaign is more difficult than ever; Choiseul having made a quite spasmodic effort towards Hanover, while negotiating for Peace. Two Armies, counting together 160,000 men, in great completeness of equipment, Choiseul has got on foot, against Ferdinand's of 95,000. Had a fine dashing plan, too;-- devised by himself (something of a Soldier he too, and full of what the mess-rooms call 'dash');--not so bad a Plan of the dashing kind, say judges. But it was marred sadly in one point: That Broglio, on issuing from his Hessian Winter-quarters, is not to be sole General; that Soubise, from the Lower-Rhine Country, is to be Co-General;--such the inexorable will of Pompadour. This clause of the business Ferdinand, at an early stage, appears to have guessed or discerned might, for him, be the saving clause.

the crew to wait for him on the beach, he wandered up the

"Now, as formerly, Ferdinand's first grand business is to guard Lippstadt,--guard it now from these two Generals:--and, singular to see, instead of opposing the junction of them, he has submitted cheerfully to let them join. And in the course of a week or two after taking the field, is found to be on the western or outmost flank of Soubise, crushing him up towards Broglio, not otherwise! And has, partly by accident, taken a position at Vellinghausen which infinitely puzzles Broglio and Soubise, when they rush into junction at Soest (July 6th)) and study the thing, with their own eyes, for eight whole days, in concert.' What continual reconnoitring, galloping about of high-plumed gentlemen together or apart; what MEMOIR-ing, mutual consulting, beating of brains, to little purpose, during those eight days!--

the crew to wait for him on the beach, he wandered up the

"Ferdinand stands in moory difficult ground, length of him about eight miles, looking eastward; with his left at Vellinghausen and the Lippe; centre of him is astride of the Ahse (centre partly, and right wing wholly, are on the south side of Ahse), which is a branch of Lippe; and in front, he has various little Hamlets, Kirch-Denkern [KIRCH-Denkern, for there are three or four other Denkerns thereabouts], Scheidingen, Wambeln and others; and his right wing is covered farther by a quaggy brook, which runs into the above-said Ahse, and is a SUB-branch of Lippe. At most of these Villages Ferdinand has thrown up something of earthworks: there are bogs, rough places, woods; all are turned to advantage. Ferdinand is in a strongish, but yet a dangerous position; and will give difficulties, and does give endless dubieties, to these high- plumed gentlemen galloping about with their spy-glasses for eight days. One possibility they pretty soon discern in him: His left flank rests on Lippe, yes; but his right flank is in the air, has nothing to rest on;--here surely is some possibility for us? A strong Position, that of his; but if driven out of it by any method, he has no retreat; is tumbled back into the ANGLE where Ahse and Lippe meet, and into the little Town of Hamm there, where his Magazine is. What a fate for him, if we succeed!--

"Ferdinand, by the incessant reconnoitring and other symptoms, judges what is coming; concludes he will be attacked in this posture of his; and on the whole, what critics now reckon very wise and very courageous of him, determines to stand his chance in it. The consultations of Broglio and Soubise are a thing unique to look upon; spread over volumes of Official Record, and about a volume and a half even of BOURCET, where it is still almost amusing to read; [ Memoires Historiques (that is to say, for most part, Selection of Official Papers) sur la Guerre que les Francais ont soutenue en Allemagne depuis 1757 jusqu'au 1762: par M. de Bourcet, Lieutenant-General des Armees du Roi (3 tomes, Paris, 1792);--worthily done; but occupied, two-thirds of it, with this Vellinghausen and the paltry "Campaign of 1761"!] and ending in helpless downbreak on both parts. Of strategic faculty nobody supposes they had much, and nearly all of it is in Broglio; Soubise being strong in Court-favor only. Exquisitely polite they both strive to be; and under the exquisite politeness, what infirmities of temper, splenetic suspicions, and in fact mutual hatred lay hidden, could never be accurately known. 'Attack him, Sunday next; on the 13th!' so, at the long last, both of them had said. And then, on more reflection, Broglio afterwards: 'Or not till the 15th, M. le Prince; till I reconnoitre yet again, and drive in his outposts?' 'M. le Marechal's will is always mine: Tuesday, 15th, reconnoitre him, drive him in; be it so, then!' answers Soubise, with extreme politeness,--but thinking in his own mind (or thought to be thinking), 'Wants to do it himself, or to get the credit of doing it, as in former cases; and bring me into disgrace!' Not quite an insane notion either, on Soubise's part, say some who have looked into the Broglio-Soubise Controversy;-- which far be it from any of us, at this or at any time, to do. Here are the facts that ensued.

"TUESDAY, JULY 15th, 1761, Broglio reconnoitred with intensity all day, drove in all Ferdinand's outposts; and about six in the evening, seeing hope of surprise, or spurred by some notion of doing the feat by himself, suddenly burst into onslaught on Ferdinand's Position: 'Vellinghausen yonder, and the woody strengths about,--could not we get hold of that; it would be so convenient to-morrow morning!' Granby and the English are in camp about Vellinghausen; and are taken quite on the sudden: but they drew out rapidly, in a state of bottled indignation, and fought, all of them,--Pembroke's Brigade of Horse, Cavendish's of Foot, BERG-SCHOTTEN, Maxwell's Brigade and the others, in a highly satisfactory way,--'MIT UNBESCHREIBLICHER TAPFERKEIT,' says Mauvillon on this occasion again. Broglio truly has burst out into enormous cannonade, musketade and cavalry-work, in this part; and struggles at it, almost four hours,--a furious, and especially a very noisy business, charging, recharging through the woods there;--but, met in this manner, finds he can make nothing of it; and about 10 at night, leaves off till a new morning.

"Next morning, about 4, Broglio, having diligently warned Soubise overnight, recommenced; again very fiercely, and with loud cannonading; but with result worse than before. Ferdinand overnight, while Broglio was warning Soubise, had considerably strengthened his left wing here,--by detachments from the right or Anti-Soubise wing; judging, with good foresight, how Soubise would act. And accordingly, while poor Broglio kept storming forward with his best ability, and got always hurled back again, Soubise took matters easy; 'had understood the hour of attack to be' so-and-so, 'had understood' this and that; and on the whole, except summoning or threatening, in the most languid way, one outlying redoubt ('redoubt of Scheidingen') on Ferdinand's right wing, did nothing, or next to nothing, for behoof of his Broglio. Who, hour after hour, finds himself ever worse bested;-- those Granby people proving 'indescribable' once more [their Wutgenau also with his Hanoverians NOT being absent, as they rather were last night];--and about 10 in the morning gives up the bad job; and sets about retiring. If retiring be now permissible; which it is not altogether. Ferdinand, watching intently through his glass the now silent Broglio, discerns 'Some confusion in the Marechal yonder!'--and orders a general charge of the left wing upon Broglio; which considerably quickened his retreat; and broke it into flight, and distressful wreck and capture, in some parts,-- Regiment ROUGE, for one item, falling wholly, men, cannon, flags and furniture, to that Maxwell and his Brigade.

"Ferdinand lost, by the indistinct accounts, 'from 1,500 to 2,000:' Broglio's loss was 'above 5,000; 2,000 of them prisoners.' Soubise, for his share, 'had of killed 24,'--O you laggard of a Soubise! [Mauvillon, ii. 171-189; Tempelhof, v. 207-221; Bourcet, ii. 75 et seq. In Helden-Geschichte (vi. 770-782-792) the French Account, and the English (or Allied), with LISTS, and the like. Slight LETTER from Sir Robert Murray Keith to his Excellency Papa, now at Petersburg, "Excellency first," as we used to define him, stands in the miserably edited Memoirs and Correspondence (London, 1849), i. 104-105; and may tempt you to a reading; but alters nothing, adds little or nothing. Sir R. fights here as a Colonel of Highlanders, but afterwards became "Excellency second" of his name.] And it is a Battle lost to Choiseul's grand Pair of Armies; a Campaign checked in mid volley; and nothing but recriminations, courts-martial, shrieky jargonings,--and plain incompatibility between the two Marechaux de France; so that they had to part company, and go each his own road henceforth. Choiseul remonstrates with them, urges, eucourages; writes the 'admirablest Despatches;' to no purpose. 'How ridiculous and humiliating would it be for us, if, with Two Armies of such strength, we accomplished nothing, and the whole Campaign were lost!' writes he once to them.