The March to the Danube
The March to the Danube
Abstract and Keywords
John Churchill, the duke of Marlborough, began his military campaign on April 9, 1704, by crossing the English Channel. He was determined to preserve English national independence, make England's empire British, secure the Protestant succession to the imperial throne, and protect both Europe and America from the aggression of Louis XIV of France. He was taking Queen Anne's troops to assist Germany by an assault on the Moselle frontier with France and informed the states general that he was marching into Germany. The duke asked the Dutch deputies for twelve battalions and hoped to secure the services of the Anglo-Dutch auxiliary troops marching from Denmark. His goal was to build an army of 50,000 men at Coblenz. The duke believed that he and his men would have no trouble marching directly to the Danube. This chapter offers an account of the duke of Marlborough's epic 600-mile journey from Bedburg to Bavaria and his famous march to the Danube, which culminated in the burning of Bavaria and the destruction of Heidenheim.
ON THE NIGHT of April 9, 1704, John Churchill, the duke of Marlborough, crossed the English Channel to open the epic campaign that would preserve English national independence, make England's empire British, secure the Protestant succession to the imperial throne, and rescue both European and American liberty from the aggression of Louis XIV. The campaign would, so its genius hoped, make a deathless reputation for the name “Marlborough” in a world that had forgotten “the detested names of Whigg and Torry.” For once, the Channel crossing itself had that Augustan calmness which poets and praetorians alike now ascribed to the captain general. Quiet crossings “I prefer to most things,” Marlborough admitted, but he was as anxious as ever to get ashore. He left the becalmed Peregrine in a small boat, had himself rowed to the nearest port, and took horse to The Hague, all on April 10. There he found the Dutch generals determined to destroy his campaign.1
Since he was taking the queen's troops to assist the Germans by an assault on the Moselle frontier with France, the Dutch generals said, they had recommended that the states general withdraw the twelve Dutch battalions already with the Imperialists, troops whose aid Marlborough had been promised. The duke declined to be daunted. Instead, he told the duchess and the treasurer, the queen and her consort, and no one else that he would order the British battalions to assemble at Maestricht, march thence to Coblenz (at the junction of the Rhine and the Moselle), and rendezvous in route with the Hessians, Hanoverians, and Prussians in English pay. Only when he had assembled his little army in Coblenz would Marlborough inform the states general that he was marching into Germany and ask the Dutch deputies for those twelve battalions (under their courageous commander, that invaluable staff officer Major General Johan van Goor). If Marlborough could also secure the services of the Anglo-Dutch auxiliary troops marching from Denmark, he would concentrate an army of (p.59) 50,000 men at Coblenz. Then, the duke wrote to his intimates, “I shall make no difficulty of marching directly to the Danub.”2
A march to the Danube might present no difficulty to the mind of Marlborough, but it was unimaginable to insular Englishmen. Its goal, the rescue of the Hapsburg empire, was repugnant to anglican xenophobes. The high tories were both. Therefore, if Marlborough's march was anything but an unimaginable success, he expected not only to lose parliamentary support for the European alliance but also to be impeached himself for high crimes. “If he fails,” wrote Sir Edward Seymour when news of Marborough's march at last became public, “we will break him up as hounds upon a hare.” “I am very sensible,” Marlborough admitted, “that I take a great deal upon mee. But should I act otherways the Empire would be undone, and consequently the whole confederacy.”3
Marlborough worked by day and night, despite blinding headaches, to overcome Dutch defensiveness. When, on April 21/May 2, he declared to the states general that, with or without their concurrence, he was ordering the queen's troops and the English auxiliaries to march to the Moselle, the Dutch deputies were doubly generous in reply. They declared that General Goor's battalions could remain on the Rhine and would link up with Marlborough's army when it reached the Moselle junction. They agreed to supply the expeditionary army with artillery, munitions, and river transport. They declared to Marlborough (and so to his Dutch detractors and his English enemies) that “they should be satisfied with whatever I should think was for the publick service.” In the event, the Dutch deputies were even better than their promises. When, as Marlborough predicted, the best units of the French field army followed him out of the Netherlands and up the Rhine, the states general also released to Marlborough the elite Danish auxiliary troops: eight regiments and twenty squadrons. But it was a measure of the precariousness of English politics, and Marlborough's constant mindfulness of their military makeweight, that he had to leave six English infantry regiments and four squadrons of cavalry in Dutch seaport garrisons “soe that,” as he wrote to Godolphin, “if you should have any alarme they are at hand.”4
On April 25/May 6, 1704, Marlborough's military career came full circle. Thirty-seven years had passed since John Churchill had received his first commission, a pair of colors in the First Guards. On this day, Queen Anne commissioned her captain general colonel of the royal bodyguard. Henceforward, the serving battalion of the First Guards would be Marlborough's own escort.5
Marlborough now dominated the greatest of regimental connections. The First Guards supplied many more imperial administrators and commanders than any line regiment. It had done so ever since its formation at the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. When, in the spring of 1704, Marlborough took command of the Guards, Andrew Wheeler, a veteran of the Guards' first American expedition, to Virginia in 1676, was still among his captains. By virtue (p.60) of his Guards captaincy, Wheeler told Marlborough, the Virginia veteran was the eldest lieutenant colonel of the English army. Having served the whole war in Flanders under king William, Wheeler sought Marlborough's brevet as colonel “to keep his seniority in the Army.” To obtain that brevet, Wheeler volunteered to take command of the winter quarters of the Guards in Ghent in succession to Brigadier Braddock: “I shall Entirely submitt my self to yr Grace's Benign Consideration; And as I am a Souldier of ffortune, and that my Commission is my Bread, for which I have serv'd now above Thirty Years.” Like so many Guards officers, Wheeler's every promotion, from captain lieutenant up, had been earned by administrative service abroad. Following three winters at Ghent, Andrew Pitcairn Wheeler was brevetted colonel by Marlborough, the final promotion of an officer whose regimental career had begun in the repression of Bacon's revolution and the royalization of Virginia three decades earlier.6
For most of the two decades after 1704, Marlborough's mediation sent Guards officers to imperial posts. Captain (and Lieutenant Colonel) Henry Worsley was a connection of Harley's. Worsley both survived his patron's eclipse and benefited from Marborough's restoration to the Guards command. He became governor general of Barbados in 1722. William Dobbyn had been Sir Edmund Andros's subaltern in the Barbados Regiment and in the garrison of New York. As an officer of the 15th, Dobbyn had joined lord Churchill's coup and become lieutenant governor of Antigua when the regiment sailed out to the Leeward Islands, the cockpit of the West Indies. Dobbyn was a newly promoted captain of the Guards when Marlborough took command of the regiment. He reassigned Dobbyn to the old headquarters of the 15th, the vital frontier fortress at Berwick. There he succeeded as lieutenant governor another veteran of the 15th, Edward Nott, when Marlborough sent Nott out to command Virginia. Dobbyn's promotion to Berwick made room in the Guards for Michael Richards, whom Marlborough rewarded for his defense of Newfoundland from the French. The same intake of Guards officers added to Marlborough's command William Blakeney, who afterward recruited the American Regiment, was distinguished at Cartagena, and became a famous lieutenant governor of Minorca (1748–56). John Selwyn, son of the late governor general of Jamaica, was now commissioned in the Guards. Marlborough's promise to another dying officer brought James Edward Oglethorpe, afterward the founder of Georgia, into the premier officer corps. The last year of Marlborough's first term in command of the Guards saw Philip Anstruther, also a commandant of Minorca (1740–43), added to the roster of the duke's disciples. Indeed, as late as 1756, First Guards officers appointed or promoted by Marlborough were still in command in the empire. When, on the eve of the march to the Danube, Marlborough was commissioned colonel of the First Guards, he became the center of a regimental connection that spanned nearly ninety years of England's first imperial administration.7
(p.61) At least a dozen other future governors general were serving with the line regiments of foot and horse that followed the duke toward the Danube. They were headed by the newly promoted lieutenant general, George Hamilton, earl of Orkney (titular governor general of Virginia, 1705–37). Orkney was colonel of the Royal Scots, the first of foot, “Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard.” Both battalions of Orkney's regiment marched with the expeditionary army up the valley of the Rhine in May 1704. Ahead of the infantry, in Wood's cavalry, rode Captain Samuel Shute (governor general of Massachusetts, 1716–23) and Lieutenant John Pitt (now Marlborough's master of horse, afterward governor of Bermuda, 1727–37). Pitt was a son of the famous governor of Fort Madras, “Diamond” Pitt, and brother of another soldier, Thomas, lord Londonderry (governor general of the Leeward Islands, 1727–29). William Cosby (successively governor general of Minorca and of New York, 1732–36) rode as a volunteer in Cadogan's Horse, to which he was commissioned as a cornet in August. The duke of Schomberg's horse were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles de Sybourg, who would hold several West Indian commands in the 1720s. Robert Hunter (who was commissioned lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1706 and who served as governor general of New York and New Jersey, 1709–20, and Jamaica, 1727–34) was the major of Charles Ross's Irish dragoons. As major of the dragoon brigade, Hunter was brevetted lieutenant colonel by Marlborough. Captaincies in the 10th Regiment were held by Alexander Spotswood, Marlborough's deputy quartermaster general (lieutenant governor and commander in chief of Virginia, 1710–22, quartermaster general in Scotland after 1725, and colonel of the American Regiment and major general of the Cartagena expedition in 1739) and John Ligonier, imperial chief of staff in “the Great War for the Empire.” William Gooch (lieutenant governor and commander in chief of Virginia, 1727–51) commanded a company in the earl of Derby's regiment. Richard Kane, “Marlborough's drillmaster” (governor of Gibraltar, 1720–27, and of Minorca, 1730–37), commanded as major in the Royal Irish by Marlborough's “act” or brevet. General Ingoldsby's hard-fighting corps was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Sabine (governor of Gibraltar, 1730–38). One of his captains, James Jones, as colonel of a garrison regiment would become the nemesis of brevet Colonel Daniel Parke, Marlborough's aide-de-camp, when Parke became governor general of the Leeward Islands. Parke, a wealthy and well-connected Virginian, had just ridden into the camp at Bedburg, either on his 30-guinea pad, “a very pretty young” hunter, or his charger, “a Stone horse that I was offered Sixty Guineas for in London.”8
All of these officers, as William Penn wrote excitedly from far-off Pennsylvania, were enlisted in “this mighty march, to the Danube, of the D[uke] of M[arlborough]'s with so prodigious an artillery requiring 2000 horse to draw it.” The actual number was 5,000 horse, but Penn's perceptive point was that Marlborough's expedition to the Danube “will give a turn to the French affairs, and may England, poor England, ever prevail. He will be Xenophon and Cyrus (p.62) too if he beats the great D[uke] of Bavaria, so great a Captain and a Sovereign Prince, now the French [have] joined him.”9
Even before Marlborough's march began, Marshal Tallard had pushed some 12,000 recruits over the Rhine and through the defiles of the Black Forest to reinforce the Franco-Bavarian army on the Danube. Tallard's success was owing to the supine behavior, if not the outright treason, of the Imperial commander on the Rhine, the margrave of Baden. It was Baden with whom Marlborough would have to cooperate, but both Baden and the French still thought that Marlborough intended to leave the Rhine near Coblenz and invade France along the line of the Moselle. The French had a much shorter march from their field army's quarters behind the lines of Brabant to a point on the Moselle, Trèves, say, at which they could meet Marlborough's invasion. So they let Marlborough start off ahead of them, never dreaming that from Coblenz he would turn east to the Danube rather than west up the Moselle. “If thay should lett mee get ten days before them,” the captain general wrote to his wife, the French might be too late to prevent his march to the Danube and his rescue of the empire.10
The officers and men of Marlborough's little army were still just as ignorant of their Danube destination as were the French and the allies when the captain general reached Bedburg on May 14, 1704. There Marlborough's staff not only issued every regiment its full arrears of pay and allowances but, to complete every soldier's astonishment, also advanced a full month's subsistence money, all in gold. For once, an army was not to live off the countryside. Instead, Marlborough's men would pay cash for provisions provided at prearranged campsites. The results of a year's planning and preparation now became apparent to the ranks, even as the quartermasters general turned to their more immediate task of sorting out the expeditionary force's transport: 1,700 carts, 6,000 cart horses, 5,000 artillery horses, and 4,000 cavalry horses. Four thousand peasants were conscripted as “pioneers” to execute the engineers' orders to level the roads, bridge the rivers, and assist the soldiers in building camp defenses and field fortifications. That last task was not necessary for Marlborough's army, uniquely mobile and aggressive among the armies of its age, never entrenched in 1704.11
At first light on May 19, the British drums beat the “General.” The army rose, dressed, and packed. At dawn, the drums beat the “Assembly.” The army struck tents, loaded baggage, called in pickets, and stood to arms. At 6:00 a.m., the drums beat the “March.” The regiments formed up. After a moment of silent anticipation, a single drum to the right of each regiment began to beat the slow British cadence. The regiments faced right, turned from a line of battle into a column of march, and followed the drums toward Germany.12
Fifty-one battalions and ninety-two squadrons filed away from the camp at Bedburg toward Bonn and the Rhine. As they moved out, Marlborough wrote to his duchess, rejoicing that he had at last a prospect of victory, “for the troops (p.63) I carry with me are very good, and will do whatever I will have them.” As soon as he learned of Marlborough's march toward the Rhine, Marshal Villeroy explained to Versailles that “there was only danger at the point where the Duke in person stood at the head of the allied troops.” So Louis XIV ordered his marshal to encamp most of the French field army behind the barriers of Brabant and to set out himself with elite units to cross the Ardennes and head off Marlborough from France. Villeroy took with him “thirty-five battalions and forty-five squadrons of the best troops in the Low Countries, with orders, as I am informed,” Marlborough wrote, “to observe me wheresoever I march.” Villeroy's detachment fulfilled Marlborough's prediction: with the weakened French on the defensive in Flanders, the Dutch could, if they would, release reinforcements to Marlborough's command. More men were of the essence for, as Marlborough was told when he reached Bonn on May 23, the French had now gotten 26,000 recruits through the imperial defenses to reinforce the Franco-Bavarian army on the Danube. “If the Dutch doe not consent to the strengthening the Troupes I have,” Marlborough told Godolphin, “wee shall be overpowered by numbers.”13
On May 25, Marlborough and his advance guard of cavalry were in Coblenz, at the junction of the Rhine and the Moselle. His infantry crossed the Moselle at Coblenz four days later. Then, to their utter astonishment, instead of turning right, up that river, into France, the British soldiers were ordered to wheel left and cross the Rhine itself over two long pontoon bridges. From the bridgeheads, the British columns turned right and marched south along the bowstring of the great bend in the Rhine between Coblenz and Mainz. As Marlborough's men crossed Hesse, they were joined by Hessian and Prussian contingents, and they learned that the Dutch had released seven or eight battalions and twenty-one squadrons of Danes to follow the captain general up the valley of the Rhine. When the growing army reached Mainz, it was but ten miles from the magazines and credits organized at Frankfurt by Marlborough's staff. The captain general wrote to the lord treasurer that he would draw on the Frankfurt bankers “to take up a months pay for the English…. For notwithstanding the continual marching, the men are extremely pleased with this expedition, soe that I am sure you will approve of my taking all the care possible that they may not want.”14
His quartermasters general executed Marlborough's orders for the care of the men on the march with unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness. Captain Parker of the Royal Irish recalled that “we generally began our march about three in the morning, proceeded about four leagues or four and a half [twelve to fifteen miles] each day, and reached our ground about nine. As we marched through the countries of our Allies, commissaries were appointed to furnish us with all manner of necessaries for man and horse; these were brought to the ground before we arrived, and the soldiers had nothing to do, but pitch their tents, boil their kettles, and lie down to rest. Surely never was such a march (p.64) carried on with more order and regularity, and with less fatigue both to man and horse.”15
Despite the exacting care of Colonel Frederick Thomas van Hangest-Genlis d'lvoy, the Dutch quartermaster general, and of his English colleagues, for the ease of the troops and the provision of supplies and forage, Marlborough had to issue the strictest orders he could devise against foraging and looting. Captain Spotswood and his guards arrested numerous armed English marauders. Another Scot, the pious Major Blackadder of the Cameronians, concluded (perhaps for the edification of his brother in Maryland) that “the English army are sinners exceedingly before the Lord, and I have no hopes of success, or that this expedition shall prove to our honor.”16
Honorable or not, on June 3, the allied infantry, artillery, and heavy baggage, all under the command of Charles Churchill, crossed the River Main where it joins the Rhine at Mainz. They found themselves in the principality of the elector of Mayence. The elector had made a very good thing out of filling the shopping lists of Marlborough's quartermasters general, for they paid on the spot, in gold. This was “a thing hitherto unknown in Germany” where both the Imperialists and the French lived off the land, the former paying in worthless chits on a bankrupt treasury, the latter paying not at all. So, after the grateful elector invited General Churchill and his officers to dine and dance at his palace, they invited him to review their commands beforehand. “The Regiments were drawn out on purpose, and were so fresh, and so clean” that the elector and his staff “were greatly surprised at their handsome appearance. But when his Highness came to Her Majesties Battalion of Guards, which then consisted of above 700 able men, and was drawn up by itself, on the Right of all, he Seem'd to view each man from Head to Foot and observing not only their order, but the[ir] cleanliness, and their Arms, Accoutrements, Clothes, Shoes and Linnen, he said to the General ‘Certainly all these Gentlemen are Dressed for the Ball.’”17
After the ball was over, Churchill's command set out again “thro' that mountainous Country, where one Hill took up a whole days march and could hardly have been ascended in that time but for the Indefatigable care and pains of Colonel Blood,” commander of the artillery train. Marlborough and the cavalry were far ahead, already at the point of decision for the entire army, the campaign, the course of the war, and the future of three empires. That decisive spot was the crossings of the River Neckar upstream of its junction with the Rhine.18
There the duke and his advanced guard were less than a day's ride from Philipsburg. Toward that town Marlborough had ordered the Dutch, Hessian, and Lunenberg troops already cantoned along the upper Rhine to make a feint. At Philipsburg, Marlborough had ordered a bridge of boats built across the Rhine. With troops and bridge, he threatened the fortress city of Landau and (p.65) the province of Alsace, two great prizes of Louis XIV's aggressions. Toward this threatened point the French armies were moving, having come on from the Moselle once Marlborough was well past it. But now the French armies, under marshals Tallard and Villeroy, were not only divided from Marlborough and the allies by the Rhine, the French were also two full weeks of forced marches from being able to intercept Marlborough at Philipsburg. And they did not know where he was going next. Once Marlborough disclosed his intentions, it would take the French four weeks to agree on a countermove and get orders for it from Versailles. Then the French generals would discover that they needed another detachment from Flanders. They had yet to get across the Rhine. By the time the French began their pursuit, Marlborough had long since left the Rhine behind him. He had stretched his lead over Villeroy and Tallard to six weeks, time enough to invade Bavaria.19
By contrast with the uncertainty of the French about his intentions, Marlborough was fully informed of his enemies' difficulties and deliberations. His intelligence system (which seems to have included at least one very highly placed informant at Versailles) had provided the captain general with complete copies of the French war ministry's memoranda and dispatches. In contrast to the enemy's dispersion, Marlborough was within a week of concentrating 51,000 men of his own. He was in touch with an equal number of Imperialists. The two allied armies lay between the French force in Alsace, building toward 60,000 troops, and the Franco-Bavarian army on the Danube, perhaps 50,000 men. When united, the allies would be twice the size of either enemy force. So, on the one hand, the French marshals were frozen in defense of Alsace. On the other hand, the mere threat of Marlborough's march toward the Danube, and his army's union with the Imperialists to invade Bavaria, had halted the Franco-Bavarian movement to attack Vienna and to put the elector of Bavaria on the Imperial throne. The grateful emperor had already offered Marlborough a princely title and estate as an acknowledgement that the captain general's bold movement up the Rhine had preserved both the capital and the throne of Leopold I. Marlborough had “stolen a march” indeed.20
“Wee have for a time saved the Empire by this March,” Marlborough wrote Godolphin. Anything more than a reprieve, however, depended upon Marlborough's ability to use the time and space he had put between himself and the French marshals in Alsace to “reduce the Elector of Bavaria.” During the first week in June 1704, while the allied infantry marched across the Palatinate to reach Marlborough and the vanguard, the duke informed the states general that he was moving “to the Relief of the Empire.” He asked their permission to take with him General Goor and his twelve battalions. Before they acceded to the captain general's request, the states debated the question. So all Europe learned that Marlborough would attack Bavaria. The news “was a terrible Surprize to the French.” They had at first believed that Marlborough would invade (p.66) France up the line of the Moselle. Then they had thought that he would recross the Rhine into Alsace. Now it was clear that he intended to crush the Franco-Bavarian army on the Danube and devastate Bavaria.21
The Danube decision was no less a surprise to the duke's own officers. Even “General Churchill (the Duke's brother) knew nothing of the matter before this time.” At least one senior officer had been informed a little earlier. On May 22, Orkney had written to Selkirk that “I don't doubt but the March of an English Army into Germany will make a great noise with you, as it does with us.” Now that Orkney could see Marlborough's plan, he agreed that an attack on Bavaria was “the greatest Stroak we could do.” It had forced the French to strip their army in the Netherlands of its best troops, leaving the Dutch a huge superiority if, Orkney wrote, the Dutch would only use it. Clearly, the French were willing to bet the outcome of the war in the Netherlands on preserving Bavaria and the Franco-Bavarian assault on Vienna. On the allied side, the Imperial field commander, Prince Louis, the margrave of Baden, was so impressed that he had offered to share alternate days of command with Marlborough, “which I believe is more than he would do with any prince in Germany.” Now everything depended on the endurance of the troops. “I really never saw such marching,” Orkney exclaimed. “We march day and night” toward a denouement on the Danube.22
On June 4, the bulletin of Marlborough's army announced that the cavalry had crossed the Neckar and encamped near Philipsburg while the duke concentrated the Dutch, Hessians, and Lunenberg infantry from the Rhine garrisons. “With them and the English horse,” so the bulletin declared, “his Grace designs to proceed to the Danube,” followed by the foot and artillery under General Churchill and (at a further remove) by the Danish troops coming up from Holland. To Godolphin, Marlborough was more particular: “I shall, in two days after the junction [with the Imperialists under Louis of Baden], march directly to Donauwörth. If I can take that place, I shall there settle a magazine for the army.” Then Marlborough could cross the Donauwörth bridges over the Danube into Bavaria. Donauwörth was the essential objective both as the bridgehead to Bavaria and as the terminus of Marlborough's new line of communications from Frankfurt to the Danube, via Nuremberg, Heidenheim, and Nördlingen. Marlborough had magazines and hospitals prepared at Nördlingen. There the Circles of Franconia and Suabia were stockpiling Imperial requisitions and English purchases of grain, wagons, and forage. On June 8, the day he reported his plans to Godolphin, Marlborough ordered the colonel of every foot regiment to have a new pair of shoes for each of their soldiers sent to Nördlingen so that the men would be freshly shod when they crossed the Danube.23
The next day, June 9, 1704, prince Eugene of Savoy, the victor of Zenta, the most renowned captain of the age, rode into Marlborough's camp to help him plan both the defense of the Rhine against the advance of the French marshals (p.67) from Landau and the allied assault on Bavaria. Eugene and Marlborough agreed that if the elector of Bavaria did not abandon the French, they would destroy his country. The strategic agreement of these, the two most aggressive generals in the Western world, one everywhere famous, the other essentially untried, reflected their instant affection, the spiritual kinship of “the Great Twin Brethren.” One of Marlborough's sergeants best expressed what the union of the prince and the duke would mean to the war and the West. His comrades smiled, said Sergeant Millner, when they saw “the two greatest Men in the Age, with Friendship and Confidence in each other” at the head of the allied army.24
Eugene and Marlborough rode from their review of the British army up the road to Gross Heppech. There, from June 13 to June 15, 1704, they met with the Imperial theater commander, that crafty veteran of wars courtly and military, Louis, margrave of Baden. After much debate and jockeying for command advantage, they agreed that Prince Eugene would command the defense of the Rhine while Marlborough and his army marched through the Swabian Jura to join prince Louis's force entrenched at Ulm. The united armies would then attack the elector of Bavaria. The operation would be directed on alternate days by Baden and Marlborough. Baden declared that his willingness to share command with the duke was a vast condescension. Since his campaigns against the Turks, prince Louis considered himself “the first general in Christendom.” He pointed out that he was now at the head of the Imperial army in the heart of the empire itself. It was only the debt that the empire owed the English queen and her captain general for sending her army so far from home that persuaded Baden to yield any command to Marlborough, he said. The margrave added that he had never made such a concession to Eugene, for all his fame. Marlborough was not at all grateful. He would, as he told his intimates, far rather have served with prince Eugene than share command with the devious, even treacherous, old margrave, but at least he thought that he could count on Eugene to delay the French.25
Thus far agreed, the generals set their staffs to work writing and distributing the necessary orders for the movements of three allied armies. Marlborough's staff made their headquarters at the Lamb, a famous hostelry, where they discovered that the strength of the local wines more than compensated for the thinness of German lager. The duke's young, privileged aides-de-camp messed with the veteran officers of the First Guards and Prince George of Denmark's regiment, the infantry escorts of the duke and his brother, General Charles Churchill. Over dinner, an affray occurred between a Guards officer and one of the duke's aides, the notoriously hotheaded Virginian Daniel Parke.26
An exceedingly handsome young man, the son of a Virginia councilor, treasurer, and secretary of the same name, Daniel Parke had become the protégé of the veteran governor general Sir Edmund Andros and so a provincial councilor and a visitor of the College of William and Mary. Joining the English army, Parke served as an aide to the earl of Arran in king William's last campaign. He (p.68) joined Marlborough's own staff in 1703. Parke was a scion of the Evelyn clan. Its head, the famous diarist and silviculturist (and more to the point, gunpowder manufacturer) John Evelyn, was both an acquaintance of Marlborough and an intimate of Godolphin. Parke had planned to pyramid his family connections and his military service into the command of Virginia. His confrontation at the Lamb seemed to have ended his ambitions. A court of honor judged Parke to be at fault. He promised to resign his commission at the close of the campaign.27
It was slowed by rain and cold. Marlborough's infantry and artillery took ten days to struggle through the muddy defiles of the Jura (Swabian) uplands, “impassable by any but such as were carry'd on by an invincible Resolution.” Major Blackadder's despondent diary entries reflected the hardship: “Marching all day. Great fatigue, bad weather, bad roads.” By June 22, Marlborough was once again riding over the ground on which he had fought the Imperialists thirty years before, as a colonel of Louis XIV in Marshal Turenne's army. Now captain general of England, Marlborough had his army in touch with its Imperial allies under Louis of Baden, at Elchingen, ten miles north of Ulm and fifteen miles west of the Danube bridges at Donauwörth. Two days later, General Goor led sixteen Dutch battalions into Marlborough's lines. On the 27th, the English infantry and artillery, with the Hessian and Prussian infantry, all commanded by General Churchill, struggled into camp over roads “very heavy, deep and tedious.” Every allied battalion was reviewed by Marlborough as it came into camp. He was relieved to find the men “very hearty and in good Order, after all their tedious marches.”28
The allies had now concentrated some 85,000 men only two leagues from the camp of 50,000 men commanded by the elector of Bavaria, but this Franco-Bavarian army escaped into a fortified position during Louis of Baden's day of command (and because of his warning to his brother elector that Marlborough would attack the next day). Thwarted by Baden at Ulm, Marlborough learned that the enemy had also been warned of his intention to assault Donauwörth. A peasant reported that the elector of Bavaria had suddenly reinforced the garrison on the heights commanding the town, the famous Schellenberg, with 13,000 men, and that they were digging in.29
Nonetheless, Marlborough resolved to attack. On July 1, 1704, he “sent out the Quartermasters General with a party of 400 horse to gain more Particular Inteligence.” On their return after dark, the duke dispatched the commissary of hospitals and a medical staff to the Norlingen depot to prepare for a large number of casualties. At midnight, Marlborough ordered 6,000 or 7,000 picked troops from his command, plus three regiments of Imperial grenadiers, to be ready to advance at 2:00 a.m. At 3:00 on the morning of July 2, Marlborough and his brother, with their escorts and elements of the 5,850 infantry under the particular command of Lieutenant General Goor, followed the quartermasters general, their escorts, 400 pioneers, and thirty-six pontoons eastward along the north bank of the Danube toward Donauwörth and the Schellenberg.30
(p.69) By 8:00 a.m. on July 2, 1704, the quartermasters general were again in sight of the Schellenberg. They ordered the regimental quartermasters and their color men to mark a camp, hoping to convince the French and Bavarians that they would not be attacked that day. Marlborough and his generals joined the quartermasters general at 9:00 a.m. and advanced with them to inspect the enemy positions. They observed that the enemy, forewarned of the allied advance, had not only reinforced the garrison of the Schellenberg but also that the cavalry of their main army had encamped in two bodies on the other side of the Danube, in order of battle, leaving a space for the Franco-Bavarian infantry to pitch their tents between the wings of horse when they arrived from Ulm. The duke and his staff noticed that the defenders of the Schellenberg had yet to complete two sections of their entrenchments, one between the counterscarp of Donauwörth itself and the old fort on the crest of the Schellenberg, and the other between that fort and the northwest angle of the elevation. Marlborough decided to attack the second gap. It was the smaller of the two and more difficult of access, but it was the natural assignment for his wing, left and junior, of the allied army. More important, an attack upon this gap would concentrate the defenders to their right, further from the city and away from the larger, more level gap between the Donauwörth fortifications and the old earthwork atop the Schellenberg. Into that weakly defended sector, Marlborough would ask Louis of Baden to lead the Imperialists, who had marched from their camp two hours after Marlborough's assault force. If Marlborough could launch the attack during the day, his day of command, he could prevent the enemy from closing the gaps, from further reinforcing the garrison, or from settling the rest of their army in the camp across the Danube, any one of which events would doubtless give Louis of Baden the excuse he would use not to attack Donauwörth when he took back the command on July 3.31
In midmorning, Baden and his staff arrived at the front and Marlborough again went forward, with Baden and the commanders of his own attack, Goor and Orkney, to assign each his part in the storm of the Schellenberg. When they retired at noon, the generals found that Marlborough's storm troops, wading through the sodden fields of the Danube valley and across at least three of the Danube's tributaries, had only just reached the banks of the Wernitz, “a deep still River” that intersected the Danube three miles west of Donauwörth. The Wernitz was crossed by but a single bridge. So the allied engineers had launched thirty-six pontoons, linked them with prefabricated girders, and were now laying the bridge decks. The assault troops were still on the wrong side of the river, however, they were visibly tired from their twelve-mile march through the mud, and they were still three miles from their objective.32
At this discouraging moment, prince Eugene's adjutant arrived and rode up to Marlborough to tell him that the French army had reached Strasbourg, was about to cross the Rhine, and would push fifty battalions and sixty squadrons, 40,000 men, through the Black Forest. They would not just reinforce, (p.70) they would virtually double the size of the Franco-Bavarian army on the Danube. Eugene would delay them if he could, but his force was less than half the strength of Marshal Tallard's. If Marlborough were to invade Bavaria and preserve Vienna, it was now or never. If he could not capture Donauwörth today, he would have to retreat north, along his new line of communications, into Franconia. He would leave the Danube Valley, the Austrian Empire, and the Grand Alliance to the mercy of Louis XIV's armies. He would find himself in the hands of the merciless men of the tory right. It was the movement that would “either gain him a great Reputation, and very much shelter him from his Enemies (which are not a few) or be his Ruin.” It was, said the laconic duke, “a case of victory or death.”33
It was 3:00 in the afternoon, twelve hours since their advance had begun, before Marlborough's picked troops got across the Wernitz. He detailed his thirty-five squadrons of cavalry to cut fascines and to carry these bundles of branches forward on their saddlebows to the waiting infantry. Then, under the cover of the smoke from the burning village of Berg, Marlborough moved up his artillery batteries. Meanwhile, Marlborough's infantry battalions were formed up by General Goor along the face of the adjacent wood, the Boschberg. From the woods, the British and the Dutch looked up a quarter mile of steep slope toward the gap, perhaps 300 yards long, between the old Swedish fort on the Schellenberg and the northwestern angle of the enemy works. Here the Franco-Bavarian entrenchments had been left unfinished for, as the French commander recalled, “we did not believe that the enemy would dream of approaching from this direction.” The steepness of the slope and the closeness of the woods impeded the linear formation of infantry and, just 30 yards from the defenders' ditch and parapet was a deep ravine. The attackers knew nothing of that natural moat when, shortly after 4:00, their colors first appeared above the crest of the Boschberg valley and alarmed the defenders of the Schellenberg.34
At 5:00 the British cavalry brought up the fascines to the leading infantry regiments, then defiled to the rear, forming two lines close behind and “in support” of the four lines of foot. Marlborough himself rode to the front to look up at his enemy. “Giving his Orders with the greatest Presence of Mind imaginable and exposing his Person to the greatest Danger,” the duke organized the assault. All the while, the enemy artillery cut swathes in the tightly packed ranks of redcoats and bluecoats, fully exposed and at point-blank range. Drawn up on the slope behind their trenches, the French and Bavarian battalions were almost equally vulnerable. The first shots from Colonel Blood's English batteries tore through the French grenadier regiment ranked behind the northwest angle. A cannonball cut in half the lieutenant with whom the regiment's colonel was speaking. The colonel recalled that the same salvo killed “twelve grenadiers, who fell side by side in the ranks so that my coat was covered with brains and blood…. I had five officers and eighty grenadiers killed on the spot before we had fired a single shot.”35
(p.71) At 6:00, Marlborough ordered his infantry to charge. The attack was led by two “forlorne hopes,” each of 130 volunteers. One was commanded by captain the lord Mordaunt of the First Guards, Peterborough's heir, the suitor of Marlborough's daughter, Mary. Mordaunt was wounded and fifty of his men were killed by the first blast of case shot from the enemy artillery. The other advance party was led by Henry Blount and William West of the Guards together with their friend, Marlborough's aide, Daniel Parke. “After Blunt and West were kill'd, I lead up those two platoons to the French,” Parke recalled. Shot in both legs, Parke nonetheless “remain'd the whole day in the Battle.” He would bring back from the assault on the Schellenberg only one sergeant and twenty-six men of the forlorn hope. The doomed volunteers were followed forward by the entire first line of Marlborough's infantry, General Ferguson's command: the First Guards battalion; both battalions of Orkney's Royal Scots; Ingoldsby's regiment (the 23d, whose commanding officer, Joseph Sabine, was wounded as he took his first step toward the Schellenberg); and the 37th. To the right of these five redcoated British battalions an equal number of General Goor's bluecoated Dutch advanced.36
Galled by the artillery firing down on them from the Schellenberg and the guns of Donauwörth firing up from the city walls, the allies nonetheless advanced until they were eighty paces from the enemy entrenchments. Then the enemy's first volley of musketry shot down General Goor and most of his staff. The allied assault stopped. While Orkney's officers moved up to take command of the attack, his Royal Scots lost 400 men to another blast of case. Finally, the attackers moved forward again, only to encounter the ravine. Amid slaughter and smoke, they mistook it for the enemy ditch, threw down their fascines, and advanced over them only to find themselves at the edge of the actual ditch, under heavy small-arms fire both from the enemy, who were standing to their parapet less than twenty feet away, and from their own army, twenty ranks deep behind them. The allied vanguard broke and ran. The French and the Bavarians swarmed over the parapets and charged, bayoneting the fugitives. The pursuit ran headlong into the First Guards. The Guards companies had already lost every one of their captains and the Guards platoons had lost all their subaltern officers and three-fourths of their sergeants. Nevertheless, they had reformed as volunteer officers, such as Colonel Parke, struggled to the front. Rallying on the steep and slippery slopes of the Schellenberg, the Guards beat the enemy back into their entrenchments. Meanwhile the allied cavalry stopped their retreating infantry and “forced them up again to the charge.”37
To lead that charge, the surviving generals and colonels of Marlborough's brigades and battalions now dismounted and walked to the front of the ranks. The cavalry closed up from behind. Led by their senior officers and pressed by their own horse, the allied battalions marched slowly forward to a second attack. “The English infantry led this attack with the greatest intrepidity,” the French sector commander reported, “right up to our parapet, but there they (p.72) were opposed with a courage at least equal to their own…. We were all fighting hand to hand, hurling them back as they clutched at the parapet; men were slaying, or tearing at the muzzles of guns and the bayonets which pierced their entrails; crushing under their feet their own wounded comrades, even gouging out their opponents' eyes with their nails, when the grip was so close that neither could make use of their weapons. It would have been quite impossible to find a more terrible representation of Hell itself than was shown in the savagery of both sides on this occasion.”38
At last, just before 7:00, the British troops fell back once again to the shelter of the Boschberg dip. They left the Schellenberg entrenchment full to the level of the enemy parapet with the corpses of their comrades, but the ferocity and the duration of their attack had forced the defenders to concentrate on that dreadful angle. Ten French and Bavarian battalions had been crammed into the defense of the Boschberg gap. A front just 300 yards long had consumed five-eighths of the entire defense of the Schellenberg entrenchments, although they stretched for nearly two miles. In particular, the defensive concentration against Marlborough's assault had drawn the troops out of the second gap, the 700 yards between the Donauwörth counterscarp and the old fort on the hillcrest.39
Into this unguarded gap, Louis of Baden led the right wing of the allies. The margrave changed the minds of Marlborough's officers about his courage (if not about his loyalty). “He charged very boldly at the head of his men,” Daniel Parke noted, “and was the first that broke the Enemy.” Baden was followed by the Imperial infantry. They crossed the unfinished enemy entrenchments without firing a shot. The governor of Donauwörth had neglected to line the counterscarp galleries with musketeers to take the attackers in flank. The Imperialists could therefore form up on the hillside, put their backs to the silent town, and march, slowly and with shouldered arms, northward up the gentle slope toward the undefended flank of the enemy infantry bunched at the northwest angle of the Schellenberg defenses. All the enemy attention was directed outward, at Marlborough's colors flying behind the Boschberg ditch. At last, too late, the Bavarian cavalry awakened to the Imperial advance and charged. The countercharge of the German cuirassiers beat the Bavarians back.40
At that very moment, just after 7:00 on the evening of July 2, 1704, the surviving Dutch and British infantry, reinforced by the dismounted Scots dragoons, made a third attack on the northwest angle. As French defenders flinched from the menacing approach of the Imperialists on their unguarded flank, Marlborough's men at last drove over that terrible parapet and pushed the French and Bavarian infantry back up the slope. Marlborough himself crossed the entrenchment with the first squadron of the English cavalry. As the Scots dragoons remounted, the captain general gave his final order of the battle: “Kill, Kill and destroy.” The entire British cavalry swept the scattering defenders across the mile-broad open plateau, “hackt them down at a miserable (p.73) rate,” and drove the survivors off the Schellenberg, either into the woods to the north or down the southern slope to the Danube. The pontoon bridges collapsed under the weight of the fugitives. Thousands drowned. The Bavarian commander, count D'Arco, escaped before the bridges broke (leaving his entire camp, gold plate, guns, tents, and all, to the British plunderers). Fewer than 3,000 of the 12,000 or 13,000 French and Bavarian troops who had defended the Schellenberg ever reached the electoral camp across the Danube: “the rest were killed, or downed, or deserted, or were taken prisoners.”41
In one and one-quarter hours of fighting at the Boschberg angle, Marlborough's infantry had suffered 1,223 casualties. Altogether, his command lost 1,500 of the 4,000 foot actually engaged. Losses among the field officers were disproportionately high: fifty-three were killed on the spot. Together with the First Guards and the Royal Scots, Ingoldsby's (23d) Regiment was especially hard hit. Its veteran commander, Colonel Joseph Sabine, brevet Lieutenant Colonel James Jones, and Major Richard Ingoldsby, all future provincial commanders, were among the regiment's dozen wounded officers. The wounded faced a dreadful night. No sooner had the firing stopped then “it grew dark and rained heavily, a cold rain, al night, and many poor wretches who could not of themselves creep off the place were left till the next morning and then found expiring.”42
In the night, Marlborough visited those of the wounded who had been gotten into shelter. One of them was his aide-de-camp Lewis Oglethorpe, son of Marlborough's old comrade Sir Theopolis Oglethorpe. Hit twice, Lewis Oglethorpe was mortally wounded. Marlborough promised his expiring aide that he would make a military career for his younger brother, James Edward Oglethorpe. As soon as he was of an age to serve, Oglethorpe received from Marlborough a commission in the First Guards. So the military career of the founder of Georgia had its beginning on the slopes of the Schellenberg.43
The storm of the Schellenberg opened a new epoch in the military reputation, and so the imperial effectiveness, of the redcoated troops and their captain general. Marlborough wrote that “the English in particular have gained a great deal of honour in this action, which I believe to be the warmest that has been known for many years.” Prince Louis added his tribute to the deathless courage of the islanders: “the English Troops might be kill'd, but they could not be beaten.” Still, the immediate effects of the killing on the surviving fighting men were sobering. “We are not yet recovered out of the confusion the death of Our Friends has put us in,” the chaplain of Orkney's Royal Scots wrote. Major Blackadder of the Cameronians walked the battlefield the morning after the fighting and “got a preaching from the dead. The carcasses cold very thick strewed upon the ground all corrupted … our comrades and friends lying as dung upon the earth.” Yet their sacrifice had seized the Schellenberg, a natural fortress taken only once in forty-three previous attacks, in 1632, by Gustavus Adolphus himself, after a short march and at the second attack. With the (p.74) commanding heights in hand, the allies advanced that night into the suburbs of Donauwörth. They bridged the streams around the city in preparation for a dawn attack on the town. They even began to bridge the Danube itself, preparatory to an assault on the Franco-Bavarian camp. Dawn showed no camp to attack.44
The elector of Bavaria had reached camp just in time to see his men driven into the Danube. The shock of the Schellenberg demoralized the prince as well as his army. They instantly broke camp and retreated right across Bavaria to shelter under the guns of Augsburg. As he fled past Donauwörth, the elector ordered his governor to set fire to the town and the magazines, then to evacuate the garrison, break the Danube bridge behind them, and retreat east along the Danube to Ingolstadt, Marlborough's next obvious target. With the allies already in the suburbs of Donauwörth, however, the Bavarians did not wait to see if the fires they set had caught hold before they fled over the Danube bridge, nor did they pause to break it. The townspeople quickly put out the fires and opened the gates to the allies. So they seized intact both the great military magazines and the vital bridge, material rewards for the Dutch and British losses on the Schellenberg.45
As Marlborough had so long foreseen, his capture of Donauwörth both anchored his communications with Frankfurt to the north and opened Bavaria to the south. His enemies, whether the men of the left in Holland or the men of the right in England, gave all the credit to Prince Louis. That prince's own commander, the emperor, nonetheless told Marlborough that the victory which, he reiterated, had saved his empire and the grand alliance, “was chiefly owing to your counsel prudence and conduct, as well as to the bravery of the troops who fought under your command.” As Marlborough wrote to his duchess, “in truth it is very plain, that if her Majesty's troupes had not been here, the Elector of Bavaria had now been in Vienna,” borne in by French bayonets. The Schellenberg, with all its momentous consequences, was Marlborough's first European triumph. He wrote to his wife that “my name here will not dye for some time, which is a pleasure to mee, though I should be ill used by my own country.”46
On July 5, 1704, Marlborough's command crossed the Danube on the Donauwörth span and five pontoon bridges. The elector of Bavaria was out of reach, but Marlborough anticipated that the allied advance would force him “to eat up his own country,” the endgame of early eighteenth-century warfare. On July 6, the quartermasters general, escorted by 4,000 men and twelve guns, prepared to bridge the River Lech and cross into Bavaria itself. Marlborough hoped that the allied advance into “the heart of the Elector's country” would persuade that recalcitrant prince to leave the French and rejoin the Empire, but Marshal Tallard was advancing to the elector's relief. Once they were joined, the Franco-Bavarian forces would be much stronger than the allies, even if Prince Eugene reached Marlborough and Baden with his force more or less (p.75) intact after fighting a delaying action. Marlborough had to coerce the elector quickly, but logistical problems peculiar to the well-fed English gave the elector time both to recover from the shock of the Schellenberg and to learn that his French allies were on the march. “Our greatest difficulty,” Marlborough explained to Godolphin, “is that of making our bread follow us, for the troups that I have the honour to command can't subsist without it, and the Germains that are used to starve, can't advance without us.”47
By July 7, 200 additional wagons had been hired to carry the English bread ration. Major Cadogan was taking on the late General Goor's tactical and organizational tasks. Likewise, Captain Spotswood and the staff began to assume the management of the allied armies that king William had preserved as the prerogative of Dutch professionals. So it was an anglicized general staff that got 10,000 men across the Lech. The captain general rejoiced in his deepening authority over march-trained and battle-hardened troops and their even more disciplined officers. “I have great reason to hope that every thing will goe well,” Marlborough wrote, “for I have the pleasure to find all the officers willing to obaye, without knowing any other reason than that it is my desire.” Menaced by that rarest of eighteenth-century military phenomena, an absolute command of aggressive troops, the Bavarians abandoned Neuburg, “a place of the greatest consequence to us,” Marlborough explained, “since it will make it easy for us to have all our provisions for the subsistence of the army, from the Circle of Franconia” transported directly into Bavaria across the Danube. Neuburg was occupied by the British dragoons. Colonel Hunter oversaw the bridging of the Danube to the city. The army was resupplied. Bavaria lay undefended before the allies. They raped it.48
“As we advance we burn and destroy,” Marlborough declared. The allies torched ancient towns and prosperous villages, cut crops and killed livestock, all the way to the gates of Munich. On July 25, 1704, the day that the elector of Bavaria issued his final refusal to resume his allegiance to the emperor—he would, Max Emmanuel said, rather “serve as a dragoon under the French King than as General in the Emperor's Service”—the allied cavalry fired “372 towns, villages and farmhouses and it was a shocking sight to see the fine country of Bavaria all in a flame.” After five dreadful days, Marlborough declared himself sick of burning Bavaria to no purpose: “these poor people suffer onely for their master's ambition” to be emperor himself. Henceforward, Marlborough confined his men to camp, but they had already so pillaged the Bavarian countryside that there was “nothing to be seen for a great way round but an universal Desolation of Sixty Villages in Flames, burning to Ashes, and nothing omitted that the Law of War would allow.” The 600-mile journey of the British from Bedburg to Bavaria, the famous march to the Danube, ended at Heidenheim in twelve days of destruction.49
(1) . Marlborough to the duchess, Hague, Apr. 24, Oct. 20, 1704, Blenheim MS, E.2, Snyder, Correspondence, 287, 385; same to Hedges, Apr. 22, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:249.
(2) . Marlborough to Godolphin, Apr. 11[/21], 18[/29], 21[/May 2], 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 275n, 278–79, 282. On May 10, Marlborough also intimated his plan to the English envoy at Vienna, Murray, Dispatches, 1:258–59.
(3) . Churchill, Marlborough, 1:780; Marlborough to Godolphin, and to the duchess, Apr. 21[/May 2], 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 282–83.
(4) . Marlborough to Godolphin, Apr. 21, 24, May 4, to the duchess, May 16[/27], Snyder, Correspondence, 282, 286, 295, 304; bulletin, May 2, 28, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:252–53n, 285n; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:320–21, 328–29; Lediard, Marlborough, 1:288–89; Kane, Campaigns, 54; Taylor, Marlborough, 1:154; Add. MS 9114, 18b.
(5) . Milner, Journal, 82; Kane, Campaigns, 53; Jones, 15th, 58n; Churchill, Marlborough, 1:751; Dalton, Army Lists, 5: pt. 2, “The Blenheim Roll”; Hamilton, Guards, 1:443; Webb, Governors-General, 468; Webb, Lord Churchill's Coup, 14. More mundanely, the Guards colonel managed the most profitable contract for regimental clothing. Marlborough had already rejected one pattern as “too good,” i.e., too expensive, reducing the difference between the clothing allowance he received from the Guards' off-reckonings and the price he paid the clothiers. Profitability appears in the price—1,000 guineas—that Capt. and Lt. Col. Stephen Piper offered Marlborough for the regimental agency in succession to Governor General Mathew, Apr. 10, 1704, Add. MS 61293, 100. Marlborough to Godolphin and to the duchess, Apr. 18, 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 279, 281.
(6) . Webb, Governors-General, 468, lists the Guards connections. Meml. of Lt. Col. Andrew Wheeler to Marlborough, Jan. 3, 1705/6; same, June 6, 1708, May 3, 1710, Add. MS 61297, 90, 94, 96. See also the case of Guards captain James Rivers and the West India expedition of 1703, Add. MS 61306, 106–7, Guy to Marlborough, Aug. 2, 1710, Add. MS 61293, 153.
(7) . Hamilton, Guards, 1:225, 228, 247, 427; HMC, Portland MS, 4:582; Webb, Governors-General, #17; Dalton, Army Lists, 5: pt. 2; David P. Henige, Colonial Governors from the Fifteenth Century to the Present (Madison, WI, 1970).
(8) . When it marched with Marlborough from Bedburg, the battalion of the 1st Guards was scandalously underofficered. It remained so until Cutts, etc., at last joined the army, two days after the Schellenberg. Cutts at least had the excuse that he had earned some leave by commanding the English winter quarters in the Netherlands. In public, Marlborough downplayed the difficulty (Murray, Dispatches, 1:384), but privately he vowed that “another year I shall make them all goe out of England before mee,” Snyder, Correspondence, 313; bulletin, May 14, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:263. Kane to Cardonnel and enc., May 24, 1704, Add. MS 61291, 50, 51. Hunter's brevet is in Add. MS 61298, 23. Governors general on the march to the (p.436) Danube commissioned to command colonies before 1727 are minuted in Webb, Governors-General, appendix. Parke's pass, dated at Harwich, April 24, 1704, is in CSPD, 1703–4, 336. Parke to Davenant, July 13, 1704, Add. MS 4741, 5.
(10) . Marlborough to the duchess, May 3 [/14], 18[/29], 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 295, 306; Lediard, Marlborough, 1:293; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:326–27, 331; Churchill, Marlborough, 1:746, 747.
(11) . Marlborough to Lowndes, Apr. 29, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:250–51; bulletin, May 14, 19, ibid., 263, 265, and see 256, 379, 381; Francis, “March,” 95, 96; Peter Verney, The Battle of Blenheim (London, 1976), 46–47; Cadogan to Raby, Add. MS 22196, partially printed in JSAHR 50 (1972): 250–51; Add. MS 9114, 18, 26.
(12) . Kane, Campaigns, 4–5.
(13) . Coxe, Marlborough, 1:325; Trevelyan, Blenheim, 358n; Add. MS 7063, 481–89; Add. MS 9114, 22–24; Marlborough to the duchess, May 4, 1704, Blenheim MS E.2, Snyder, Correspondence, 296; same to Hedges, May 21, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:270. The bulletin of May 21, 1704, makes the French force in pursuit of Marlborough thirty-six battalions and fifty-five squadrons, Murray, Dispatches, 1:273; Churchill, Marlborough, 1:749; Marlborough to Godolphin, May 12/23, 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 300; same to the council of state, same, Murray, Dispatches, 1:274–75, and see 276–78.
(14) . Bulletin, May 25, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:280–81; Add. MS 9114, 25; Milner, Journal, 82, 83; Parker, Memoirs, 30; Kane, Campaigns, 54; Marlborough to Godolphin, May 18/29, 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 305; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:331.
(15) . Parker, Memoirs (Chandler, ed.), 31.
(16) . C. Churchill to Marlborough, Kernel, May 31, 1704, Add. MS 61163, 166; Murray, Dispatches, 1:273; Add. MS 9114, 23b, 26b; Select Passages from the Diary and Letters of the Late John Blackadder, Esqr., Formerly Lieutenant Colonel of the XXVIth or Cameronian Regiment, Afterwards Deputy Governor of Sterling Castle (Edinburgh, 1806), 13. Blackadder, son of the famous hill preacher and Williamite agent, had served at Landen and Steinkirk with the brothers Vetch (also sons of a Cameronian leader and principals in the Scots colony of Darien and of Nova Scotia). Blackadder himself was succeeded by Sir John Hope (Bruce), who became governor of Bermuda (1721–27), and Philip Anstruther, colonel of the Cameronians, lieutenant governor of Minorca (1742–43). S. H. F. Johnston, The History of the Cameronians, vol. 1, 1689–1910 (Aldershot, England, 1957); Webb, Governors-General, #26, 161, 165. Much of the Cameronian mindset is captured by Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian (Edinburgh, 1818).
(18) . Add. MS 9114, 27–29. This is a copy of Add. MS 61408. This “Blenheim Journal” is commonly attributed to Marlborough's chaplain, Francis Hare, but was probably written by Charles Churchill's chaplain and secretary, Josiah Sandby. On this authorship, see Charles to William Churchill, Mar. 16, 1710/11, Add. MS 61368, 27 (which also suggests editing by Richard Steele), and F. R. Harris, “The Authorship (p.437) of the Ms. Blenheim Journal,” BIHR 55 (1982): 20–36. Add. MS 9114 is cited here as somewhat more legible. See also, ch 1, n2.
(20) . Lediard, Marlborough, 1:303–5; Milner, Journal, 86; Marlborough to Godolphin, June 4, 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 317–18; Churchill, Marlborough, 1:763–69. The political stakes were assessed by Harley to Marlborough (May 23/June 3, 1704, Add. MS 61123, 4) when he wrote of this “the most Generous & Gallant Action in the World on which depends the fate of the German Empire.” The jealousy of the English dukes at Marlborough's elevation to princely rank was palpable: at the news they “looked Sullen & sate silent,” duke of Buckingham to Marlborough, Aug. 28, 1707, Add. MS 61363, 154.
(23) . Murray, Dispatches, 1:293–94; Add. MS 9114, 34–35, 37; Marlborough to Godolphin, May 28/June 8, 1734, Snyder, Correspondence, 313; same to the assemblies of the circles of Franconia and Suabia, June 16, 19; same to C. Churchill, June 8, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:301, 311–18. Marlborough also arranged that his Dutch troops should be supplied from these bases: same to Heinsius, June 25, 1704, 't Hoff, Correspondence, 114.
(24) . Bulletins, June 9, 12, 1704, Marlborough to Harley, June 13, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:302, 305, 307; Lediard, Marlborough, 1:306; Marlborough to Godolphin, May 28/June 8, Snyder, Correspondence, 317. On Eugene and Zenta, see Nicholas Henderson, Prince Eugene of Savoy (London, 1964), esp. 40–45, and Derek McKay, Prince Eugene of Savoy (London, 1977), 41–47. Marlborough to Godolphin, June 4 [/15], 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 318, and see same to the duchess, May 31[/June 11], June 4/15, 1704 (316, 318); Lives of the Two Illustrious Generals, 59–61; Add. MS 9114, 35–35b; Lediard, Marlborough, 1:307; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:336–37; Milner, Journal, 87, 88; Kane, Campaigns, 54.
(26) . Hamilton, Guards, 1:446; Milner, Journal, 88.
(27) . John Evelyn forwarded Parke's career in Virginia by using his influence with Blathwayt. This dated back to Evelyn's commissionership of plantations in the 1670s. On Feb. 9, 1706, Evelyn recorded, “I went to waite on my L. Treasurer where was the Victorious Duke of Marlborow, who came to me & tooke me by the hand with extraordinary familiarity & Civility, as formerly he was used to doe without any alteration of his good nature…. I had not seen him in 2 yeares & believed he had forgotten me,” Edmond S. de Beer, ed., The Diary of John Evelyn (London, 1955), 5:584. Always courteous, Marlborough never forgot. Parke, as well as Evelyn, benefited. Parke to Cardonnel, June 15, 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.31. The intimacy of the Evelyn and Godolphin families was also helpful to Parke's career. (p.438) On the Parke-Evelyn connection, see de Beer, ed., Diary of Evelyn, 5: 574–75n; Ruth Anne Bourne, “John Evelyn the Diarist and His Cousin Daniel Parke,” VMHB 78 (1970): 3–33; Helen Hill Miller, Colonel Parke of Virginia (Chapel Hill, NC, 1989), 9–11, 73, 78. This connection would produce yet another personal tie between Marlborough's command and Washington's. George Washington Parke Custis, Colonel Parke's great-grandson and Gen. Washington's stepson, memorialized Daniel Parke's career and linked it through his family to his stepfather in Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington (New York, 1860). Custis's mother was Eleanor Calvert of the Baltimore family. In 1831, his daughter married R. E. Lee at the home Parke Custis built, Arlington.
(28) . Add. MS 9114, 40; Milner, Journal, 88, reports a two-day halt because the artillery had bogged down. Churchill to Marlborough, June 18, 20, 1704, Add. MS 61163, 170, 172; Marlborough to Churchill, June 20, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:320, and see 291–300, 303, 313–14, 321, for other expressions, to his brother and to the quartermasters general, of Marlborough's concern for his infantry; Lediard, Marlborough, 1:316; Marlborough to the duchess, June 14 [/25], 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 324; Blackadder, Diary, 16. Bulletin, June 22, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:322; Add. MS 9114, 41, 43, Webb, Lord Churchill's Coup, 31–36.
(29) . Parker, Memoirs, 32; Lediard, Marlborough, 1:312–14. M. De La Colonie, The Chronicles of an Old Campaigner, 1692–1717, trans. Walter C. Horsley (London, 1904), 178–79, reports that exact intelligence was given to prince Louis of Baden by a Bavarian corporal. See also Kane, Campaigns, 54; Milner, Journal, 89, 94; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:348, 351n. Estimates of the garrison's size ranged up to 18,000, but 12,000 seems the most likely number. Marlborough's plan pitted 2.5 times that many men against the defense, a bit less than the three to one of present-day practice. The allies counted 96 battalions, 184–202 squadrons, 48 cannon, and 24 pontoons. Of this force, 86 squadrons and 49 battalions were commanded by Marlborough. See also Coxe, Marlborough, 1:346; Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 130; bulletin, June 26, 29, Murray, Dispatches, 1:327, 328–29; Marlborough to the duchess, June 18/29, same to Godolphin, July 4, 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 326, 328.
(30) . Add. MS 9114, 43–44, is followed here on the question of command. On the composition and sources of this, the official account from Marlborough's headquarters, see Cardonnel to Harley, Sept. 25, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:409 and n. 18 above. Francis Hare had been tutor to the Marlboroughs' son at Cambridge. Then he was commissioned chaplain general of the army and came out with Cutts's party. They arrived after the battle of the Schellenberg (see Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 133–34). If Hare composed or helped Sandby compose Add. MS 9114, reference was had to Cardonnel's records. This account is contradicted by Churchill, Marlborough, 1:792. In his official account to Harley, July 3, 1704 (Murray, Dispatches, 1:330–31), Marlborough simply states that “I resolved to attack.” See also Lediard, Marlborough, 1:321; Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 130; Marlborough to Godolphin, [June 22/] July 3, 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 327.
(31) . See Add. MS 9114, 44b–45 and, in addition to the sources cited in n. 29, see also Kane, Campaigns, 54; Milner, Journal, 94–95; and Parker, Memoirs, 32, all of which reflect the orderly book of the Royal Irish (18th) Regiment.
(32) . Add. MS 9114, 45. Kane, Campaigns, 54, describes the situation at noon. For the advance, see the map in Marcus Junkelmann, Das greulichste Spectaculum Die Schlacht von Hóhstädt 1704 (Augsburg, 2004), 28, copy courtesy of Ms. Cindy Cooper.
(35) . Hompesch to the states, in Lediard, Marlborough, 1:329 and see also 1:323, 330, 331–35; De La Colonie, Chronicles, 182–93.
(38) . Churchill, Marlborough, 1:802; De La Colonie, Chronicles, 185.
(39) . The scene is described in De La Colonie, Chronicles, 176, and is depicted in the “Dunawert” panel from the Blenheim tapestries, Wace, Marlborough Tapestries, #40. Maps are in Churchill, Marlborough, 1:806; Coxe, Marlborough, Atlas, #7; Hilarie Belloc, The Tactics and Strategy of the Great Duke of Marlborough (London, 1933), 71; Verney, Blenheim, 65; Junkelmann, Höhstät, 29.
(41) . Add. MS 9114, 50–51, Murray, Dispatches, 1:338. And see Parker, Memoirs, 32, 33; Churchill, Marlborough, 1:805. Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 131, says only 1,800 men survived from twenty-five battalions and six squadrons of French and Bavarians. Lediard, Marlborough, 1:323, records the defenders' loss at 5,000–6,000 from a force of 18,000–32,000; Kane, Campaigns, 54–55, says 7,000 of the enemy were killed, 2,000 deserted, and 4,008 were taken prisoner, from a force of 18,000. Parke, writing to Davenant ten days after the battle, put the enemy killed at 8,000, Add. MS 4741, 6. Junkelmann, Höhstät, 29, gives D'Arco only 9,000 men, with another 1,000 in the city.
(43) . Lediard, Marlborough, 1:334; Marlborough to Godolphin, Sept. 29, 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 374n, 396n; Luttrell, Brief Relation, 5:410, 485. Oglethorpe did not die until November, but he was never able to take up the post of equerry to the queen that Marlborough had promised to him if he survived. Dalton, George the First's Army, 126; Marlborough to lady Oglethorpe, Sept. [6/]17, 1705, Murray, Dispatches, 2:268; lady Oglethorpe to Marlborough, Godalming, Sept. 12[/25], 1705, Blenheim MS A.I.27; Webb, “Agricola in America,” Reviews in American History (1978): 318–25.
(44) . Add. MS 9114, 53–54; Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 130; Blackadder, Diary, 19; Marlborough to Harley, July 3, 1704, Murray, Dispatches, 1:331. Hompesch (in (p.440) Lediard, Marlborough, 1:330) estimated the Dutch loss at 1,600–1,700. The entire allied loss was about 5,474 (1:323, 335), including sixteen generals, forty-five field officers, eighty-eight captains, 247 subalterns, and 4,928 private soldiers. Milner (Journal, 96–97) makes the allied casualties 5,304. See Marlborough to Godolphin, Donawert, July 4, 1704, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 328.
(46) . Lediard, Marlborough, 1:335, 342–47; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:363; Marlborough to Godolphin, July 4, same to the duchess, May 28[/June 8], June 23[/July 4], July [5/]16, 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 329, 314, 328–29, 338; Add. MS 9114, 55–56. The queen left Marlborough in no doubt as to whose victory she thought it was (London, July 4, 1704, Blenheim MS F.2.15, Add. MS 61101, 70), and Harley wrote (July 18/29, 1704, Add. MS 61123, 38) that “the angry people here find the ground begin to fal from under them.” He wished Marlborough “a Series of Successes which is so necessary for all our affaires abroad & will make our winter campagne at home less difficult.” Harley especially relied on the impact of Marlborough's victory to forward the union negotiation.
(47) . Marlborough to Godolphin, [June 23/]July 4, [June 25/]July 6, Blenheim MS A.I.14, Snyder, Correspondence, 328, 330–31; Kane, Campaigns, 55; Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 145; Add. MS 9114, 59b–60.
(49) . Marlborough to Godolphin, May 28/June 8, July [5/]16, [12/]23, 1704, same to the duchess, July [19/]30, 1704, Snyder, Correspondence, 313, 336–37, 341, 343, 344; Coxe, Marlborough, 1:375; Churchill, Marlborough, 1:821–22; Kane, Campaigns, 55, 56; Parker, Memoirs, 34; Johnson, “Letters of Noyes,” 146; Milner, Journal, 104; Add. MS 9114, 61b, 64, 72b–73. Lediard, Marlborough, 1:349–50, 352, notes that Marlborough refused to accept the enormous ransoms offered him for his forbearance, another indication that in military matters, avarice did not drive him. This destruction Marlborough kept always before him. See the “Horrors of War,” in Wace, Marlborough Tapestries, #23, 24, as well as the same subject in the tapestries of Marlborough's subordinate Henry Lumley (#32, 33).