by Lady Fitz-Ullin immediately, and have, of course, visited
And Campaign Third has closed in this manner;--leaving things much as it found them. Essentially a drawn match; Contending Parties little altered in relative strength;--both of them, it may be presumed, considerably weaker. Friedrich is not triumphant, or shining in the light of bonfires, as last Year; but, in the mind of judges, stands higher than ever (if that could help him much); --and is not "annihilated" in the least, which is the surprising circumstance.
Friedrich's marches, especially, have been wonderful, this Year. In the spring-time, old Marechal de Belleisle, French Minister of War, consulting officially about future operations, heard it objected once: "But if the King of Prussia were to burst in upon us there?" "The King of Prussia is a great soldier," answered M. de Belleisle; "but his Army is not a shuttle (NAVETTE),"--to be shot about, in that way, from side to side of the world! No surely; not altogether. But the King of Prussia has, among other arts, an art of marching Armies, which by degrees astonishes the old Marechal. To "come upon us EN NAVETTE," suddenly "like a shuttle" from the other side of the web, became an established phrase among the French concerned in these unfortunate matters. [Archenholtz, i. 316; Montalembert, SAEPIUS, for the phrase "EN NAVETTE."]
"The Pitt-and-Ferdinand Campaign of 1758," says a Note, which I would fain abridge, "is more palpably victorious than Friedrich's, much more an affair of bonfires than his; though it too has had its rubs. Loss of honor at Crefeld; loss of Louisburg and Codfishery: these are serious blows our enemy has had. But then, to temper the joy over Louisburg, there was, at Ticonderoga, by Abercrombie, on the small scale (all the extent of scale he had), a melancholy Platitude committed: that of walking into an enemy without the least reconnoitring of him, who proves to be chin-deep in abatis and field-works; and kills, much at his ease, about 2,000 brave fellows, brought 5,000 miles for that object. And obliges you to walk away on the instant, and quit Ticonderoga, like a--surely like a very tragic Dignitary in Cocked-hat! To be cashiered, we will hope; at least to be laid on the shelf, and replaced by some Wolfe or some Amherst, fitter for the business! Nor were the Descents on the French Coast much to speak of: 'Great Guns got at Cherbourg,' these truly, as exhibited in Hyde-Park, were a comfortable sight, especially to the simpler sort: but on the other hand, at Morlaix, on the part of poor old General Bligh and Company, there had been a Platitude equal or superior to that of Abercrombie, though not so tragical in loss of men. 'What of that?' said an enthusiastic Public, striking their balance, and joyfully illuminating.-- Here is a Clipping from Ohio Country, 'LETTER of an Officer [distilled essence of Two Letters], dated, FORT-DUQUESNE, 28th NOVEMBER, 1758:--
"'Our small Corps under General Forbes, after much sore scrambling through the Wildernesses, and contending with enemies wild and tame, is, since the last four days, in possession of Fort Duquesne [PITTSBURG henceforth]: Friday, 24th, the French garrison, on our appearance, made off without fighting; took to boats down the Ohio, and vanished out of those Countries,'--forever and a day, we will hope. 'Their Louisiana-Canada communication is lost; and all that prodigious tract of rich country,'--which Mr. Washington fixed upon long ago, is ours again, if we can turn it to use. 'This day a detachment of us goes to Braddock's field of battle [poor Braddock!], to bury the bones of our slaughtered countrymen; many of whom the French butchered in cold blood, and, to their own eternal shame and infamy, have left lying above ground ever since. As indeed they have done with all those slain round the Fort in late weeks;'--calling themselves a civilized Nation too!" [Old Newspapers (in
LOWER RHINE, JULY-NOVEMBER, 1758. "Ferdinand's manoeuvres, after Crefeld, on the France-ward side of Rhine, were very pretty: but, without Wesel, and versus a Belleisle as War-Minister, and a Contades who was something of a General, it would not do. Belleisle made uncommon exertions, diligent to get his broken people drilled again; Contades was wary, and counter-manoeuvred rather well. Finally, Soubise" (readers recollect him and his 24 or 30,000, who stood in Frankfurt Country, on the hither or north side of Rhine), famed Rossbach Soubise,--"pushing out, at Belleisle's bidding, towards Hanover, in a region vacant otherwise of troops,-- became dangerous to Ferdinand. 'Making for Hanover?' thought Ferdinand: 'Or perhaps meaning to attack my 12,000 English that are just landed? Nay, perhaps my Rhine-Bridge itself, and the small Party left there?' Ferdinand found he would have to return, and look after Soubise. Crossed, accordingly (August 8th), by his old Bridge at Rees,--which he found safe, in spite of attempts there had been; ["Fight of Meer" (Chevert, with 10,000, beaten off, and the Bridge saved, by Imhof, with 3,000;--both clever soldiers; Imhof in better luck, and favored by the ground: "5th August, 1758"): MAUVILLON, i. 315.]--and never recrossed during this War. Judges even say his first crossing had never much solidity of outlook in it; and though so delightful to the public, was his questionablest step.
"On the 12,000 English, Soubise had attempted nothing. Ferdinand joined his English at Soest (August 20th); to their great joy and his; [Duke of Marlborough's heavy-laden LETTER to Pitt, "Koesfeld, August 15th:" "Nothing but rains and uncertainties;" "marching, latterly, up to our middles in water;" have come from Embden, straight south towards Wesel Country, almost 150 miles (Soest still a good sixty miles to southeast of us). CHATHAM CORRESPONDENCE (London, 1838), i. 334, 337. The poor Duke died in two months hence; and the command devolved on Lord George Sackville, as is too well known.] 10 to 12,000 as a first instalment:--Grand-looking fellows, said the Germans. And did you ever see such horses, such splendor of equipment, regardless of expense? Not to mention those BERGSCHOTTEN (Scotch Highlanders), with their bagpipes, sporrans, kilts, and exotic costumes and ways; astonishing to the German mind. [Romantic view of the BERGSCHOTTEN (2,000 of them, led by the Junior of the Robert Keiths above mentioned, who is a soldier as yet), in ARCHENHOLTZ, i. 351-353: IB. and in PREUSS, ii. 136, of the "uniforms with gold and silver lace," of the superb horses, "one regiment all roan horses, another all black, another all" &c.] Out of all whom (BERGSCHOTTEN included), Ferdinand, by management,--and management was needed,-- got a great deal of first-rate fighting, in the next Four Years.
"Nor, in regard to Hanover, could Soubise make anything of it; though he did (owing to a couple of stupid fellows, General Prince von Ysenburg and General Oberg, detached by Ferdinand on that service) escape the lively treatment Ferdinand had prepared for him; and even gave a kind of Beating to each of those stupid fellows, [1. "Fight of Sandershausen" (Broglio, as Soubise's vanguard, 12,000; VERSUS Ysenburg, 7,000, who stupidly would not withdraw TILL beaten: "23d July, 1758," BEFORE Ferdinand had come across again). 2. Fight of Lutternberg (Soubise, 30,000; VERSUS Oberg, about 18,000, who stupidly hung back till Soubise was all gathered, and THEN &c., still more stupidly: "10th October, 1758"). See MAUVILLON, i. 312 (or better, ARCHENHOLTZ, i. 345); and MAUVILLON, i. 327. Both Lutternberg and Sandershausen are in the neighborhood of Cassel;--as many of those Ferdinand fights were.]--one of which, Oberg's one, might have ruined Oberg and his Detachment altogether, had Soubise been alert, which he by no means was! 'Paris made such jeering about Rossbach and the Prince de Soubise,' says Voltaire, [
"Contades had not failed, in the mean while, to follow with the main Army; and was now elaborately manoeuvring about; intent to have Lippstadt, or some Fortress in those Rhine-Weser Countries. On the tail of that second so-so Victory by Soubise, Contades thought, Now would be the chance. And did try hard, but without effect. Ferdinand was himself attending Contades; and mistakes were not likely. Ferdinand, in the thick of the game (October 21st- 30th), 'made a masterly movement'--that is to say, cut Contades and his Soubise irretrievably asunder: no junction now possible to them; the weaker of them liable to ruin,--unless Contades, the stronger, would give battle; which, though greatly outnumbering Ferdinand, he was cautious not to do. A melancholic cautious man, apt to be over-cautious,--nicknamed 'L'APOTHECAIRE' by the Parisians, from his down looks,--but had good soldier qualities withal. Soubise and he haggled about, a short while,--not a long, in these dangerous circumstances; and then had to go home again, without result, each the way he came; Contades himself repassing through Wesel, and wintering on his own side of the Rhine."
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