SHAT, archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pičce 23
Translated from the French by Richard Couture.
Journal of the 1757 campaign
The Prince de Soubise left yesterday to join his reserve at Hamm.
A detachment of the Royal Corps and 10 guns were also sent to Hamm.
The Marquis d’Armentičres, who had come here, returned to Gueldre to take the last measures to blockade the place. Command of the siege will then be left to M. de Beausobre, maréchal de camp, who will receive his orders.
The regiments are :
· Los Rios (Austrian): 1 battalion
· Périgord: 1 battalion
· Lowendahl: 2 battalions
Mr. de St Germain still occupy the same posts; Having heard of enemy movements, Mr. the Maréchal advanced new troops on the Lippe. He then took measures to advance as soon as circumstances will require it and as supply will permit it.
Having learned the day before yesterday that there was a body of 300 Hanoverian cuirassiers near Varindorf in the Bishopric of Müster, a detachment of 25 hussars under Mr. de Marsin, lieutenant in the Chasseurs de Fischer, and 25 grenadiers under M. de Clery, captain in the same unit, was sent to reconnoitre them. At Gussen, at two lieues (leagues ?) from Varindorf, they learned that the enemy was just leaving the place after creating lot of disorder. The detachment followed the enemy and Mr. de Marsin finally reached them with his hussars at Harwimkel. They were then 120; seing that they were taking measures to attack him and now supported by Mr. de Clery, he was able to chase them away from the village. Around 1.000 paces beyond the village, the enemies took a formation of attack. Mr. de Marsin and Mr. de Clery did the same. They both attacked them so vigorously that they routed them, killing them 35 to 40 men, including an officer and they captured 10 men, including an officer.
Mr. de Marsin was wounded, but nobody was killed on our side; there were a lot of horses wounded.
The Prince de Soubise marched today from Hamm to Lipstadt. He visited the place and the works undertaken by Mr. the Comte de St-Germain; the troops of the garrison successfully carry on these works with all their goodwill.
There are 10 battalions in the place or close enough to enter it if ordered.
There is no news that the troops encamped near Bielefeld or cantoned to the west of the Weser had been increased. A few corps were cantoned in Rittberg.
The French commanders learned that the Duke of Cumberland, with about 10.000 men, had advanced up to Bielefeld and that his corps could be reinforced by several Hanoverian regiments who had encamped to the west of the Weser. On hearing this news, Mr. the Maréchal moved 6 battalions from Dorstein and Halteren to be able to support the posts occupied by the Prince de Soubise. He also ordered part of the army to cross the Rhine and to encamp near Halteren, Dorstein and Wesel. The camp of Dorstein contains today 11 battalions while the camp of Wesel has 13 battalions and 12 squadrons. The arriving regiments will increase the strength of these camps.
We have just learned that MR. the Prince de Soubise leaved Hamm to visit the town of Lippstadt.
We learned yesterday that the enemy advanced on Versmel, a village of the County of Ravensberg, and that some of his detachment reached Reda. As this new position let the enemy closer from Münster, Mr. the Maréchal advanced the corps of Mr. de Villemeur, encamped in Dorstein, towards Batteren; this corps will join the troops of the camp of Halteren and then advance on Lower-Dulmen.
The Maréchal intends to advance on Dulmen with the troops of the camp of Wesel if the enemy made more determined moves.
The Grenadiers de France, half of whom formed part of the garrison of this town, were moved the day before yesterday to encamp in second line with the Grenadiers Royaux of Daulon.
The camp of Wesel is now composed of 26 battalions and 16 squadrons, besides the La Mothe battalion who arrived on today. The artillery train had also been established.
The Roy Regiment arrive tomorrow to encamp at Burick to work at the entrenchment of the bridgehead.
The cavalry camps of Dun, Darpet and Ruremonde are successively assembled. The enemy had not made any move since a while and the reserve of Mr. the Prince de Soubise still occupies the same quarters. This stillness and the state of our supplies, decided Mr. the Maréchal to stay in his camp at Wesel and to move forward only when he will think it becomes a necessity.
He suspended the march of the corps of Mr. de Villemeur, encamped at Dulmen, to harmonize it with the other movements of the army. Mr. the Marquis de Laval, maréchal de camp, is still encamped in Halteren with six battalions and six squadrons.
Mr. the Duke of Cumberland had recently advanced, in the Bishopric of Paderborn, a corps that is encamped between Nienbus and Paderborn: he had left the Prussian regiments in Bielefeld and his main army is encamped at Brackwede. He continues to occupy the post of Rittberg to cover the communication of his main army with the corps near Paderborn.
These news decided Mr. the Maréchal to make a general movement with his army. Mr. the Prince de Soubise, who was with the reserve at Hamm, advanced to Lippstadt and was replaced by six battalions that Mr. de Muy had in Dortmund and five battalions that Mr. de Laval commanded in Halteren.
M. de Villemeur marched on Lower-Dulmen and was joined by 18 battalions from the camp of Wesel; sixteen squadrons from this camp arrived in Münster on May 28 and the rest of the troops remaining in Wesel under the Duc d’Orléans started the same movement on May 25.
The camp of Münster is organized into several lines between the town of Münster and the Wene; Mr. the Maréchal established his head-quarters in Münster: he had arrived on May 26; he passed by Dorstein and Halteren to reconnoitre this part of the Lippe.
He ordered the Duc de Brissac, commanding the cavalry corps at Neuss, to march on Wesel where he will arrive on May 29 and 30.
The cavalry camp of Ruremonde will keep its position for a while.
Mr. the Comte de Maillebois came back yersteday from a trip ordered by the Maréchal on the Ems from Tillgit to Ridemburg, during wich he reconnoitred the enemies position, and prepared the march Mr. the Maréchal will do in a few days.
All the army will be assembled in front of Münster on June 3, the light troops and various detachments guarded the Ems; parties in front of this river facilitate reconnaissance and observe the movements of the enemy, who is always in Bruckwede and Paderbon. These parties entrenched themselves in these outposts and would join the main French army when needed. The reserve is still in Lippstadt and consisted of 26 battalions and 18 squadrons, from where it could join the main army in a single light march when it will take position.