At the close of Chapter XB it is stated that after H.I.M. defeated the enemy marching for the siege of Powgen + Judisel they returned to Sopy + H.I.M. being too weak to attack them retired.
After Mercury had been forced to retreat out of Fredrichsburg (X A) a ponderous force was sent by sea to attack H.I.M.’s flank and assist the invasion which was knocked on the head by H.I.M. at Napoleon. This force landed at Sopy + Toby for the siege of Powgen Percy + Judisel which places had been much strengthened (vide Plate) [i.e. see map]
The vanguard of the Toby Army under General Schnapps having occupied Ponville,+ Major General MacCully with the 4th Corps on the 2nd June stormed the place; but on the advance of General Steinmetz with the main army he fell back to Fiskin where he was ordered to stay + oppose the further advance of the Prussians.
General Mercury, who had arrived at Percy to take command of the Army now ordered M G MacCully to retire + induce the foe to pursue him toward Campon so that General Mercury with the 3rd Corps could cut them off by occupying Fiskin and their Rear. This was put into effect on the 30th June altho’ the 3rd Battalion of 87th Regt had to be sacrificed. The Prussians had no sooner passed through Fiskin along the Campon Road than the 3rd Corps attacked, took + held it against all attempts to regain it +
After this victorious prelude to the Campaign General Mercury now commenced operations for the relief of Gishiel + Judisel + the rescue of Toby where the enemy had entrenched themselves.
The dispositions of the enemy forces were as follows
Preparing for the siege of Bourgen + at Sopy IX + XIX Corps about 40,000
Judisel + Toby 5th Corps Bavarians about 26,000
At Reckurt covering the sieges 6th Rhineland Divn about 14,000
Of these the Army at Reckurt first received the attention of Lord Mercury.
Lieut Genl Ernest was sent accordingly with a force of around 2,000 men against it, + found at Skerielasche about a mile before Reckurt. He at once attacked. The village of Skerielasche was, after a bloody struggle taken, but all attempts to gain the crest of the heights behind it were in vain; a desperate charge of the Scots Greys alone preserving one column from destruction, till the flank of the foe was turned + broken by the 10th Brigade some 1100 strong.
Appearing unexpectedly they sent a volley amidst the flank companies of the German battalions, + charging at once, so completely disordered them that on the advance of the line in front they gave way at all points leaving 2,750 killed + wounded + 2150 prisoners 7 guns + 3 colors in the hands of Genl Ernest whose loss was only 1900 killed. Sending Major General MacCully with a light column in pursuit Lt Genl Ernest joined General Mercury with the rest of the army. General Mercury now projected the capture of Toby.
His army moved direct from Percy on Toby General Drouot with the Guards moved from Georgetown towards Toby whilst Maj Genl MacCully with his light column from Reckurt marched on the opposite side of the River [blank] to Toby north which he took on Sunday the 15th July in the morning.
The opposite side of the town was in the afternoon attacked on the all sides by the united Armies of General Mercury + Drouot who had swept all opposition before them.
Whilst the 3rd + 4th Corps under General Mercury stormed the upper entrenchments, General Drouot with the 5th + 1st Corps forced the lower entrenchments.
Hard fighting, + all was over – Toby was retaken at the expense of 582 killed + 2,104 wounded.
The loss of the Prussians was enormous; no less than 20,500 men were left on the field of whom 1,715 were killed + 14,507 wounded. A battalion of Prussian Guards (the 6th King’s Grenadiers) before the surrender were shot down in one of the streets by order of General Brown 31st Foot. Their standard was emblazoned with many titles of their prowess in former actions as “Leipzig” “Sedan” + “Paris”. 189 guns + 69 colors were taken with 14,507 prisoners.
General Mercury now advanced to Judisel and entered that town on the 18th July having defeated a small Prussian army that attempted to bar his progress at Centreville, about 4 miles from Judisel on the 17th. The Prussian force at first near 20,000 was dispersed after a severe + short struggle in which the 6th Dragoons were deeply engaged, leaving 4,800 prisoners in the hands of the victors. A numerous number of stragglers, siege guns + transport was also taken. General Mercury was now created a Marshal of Georland + Earl Toby for his late triumphs. It is a good thing these honors were so promptly bestowed for within a week General, now Marshal, Mercury was a prisoner within the fortress of Powgen.
Immediately after his entry into Judisel he departed for the relief of Powgen which place had held out bravely under the command of Col Sanbow who had forced his way into the city at the commencement of the siege. He found himself in the command of a garrison of 5,700 men. Since the Mutiny Powgen had been greatly strengthened three outlying forts now defended the town itself. The Prussians had driven the garrison out of the town + were besieging the forts when Marshal Mercury advanced on that place [+] changed the siege to a Blockade. For, General v Kirchbach having collected an army of some 35,000 men at La Plume Lord Mercury whose army, now reduced by losses to scarce 15,000 fell back to a position on a low range of heights extending from Fort Retaliate (the northern fort of Powgen) to Judisel. The village of Ampus is situated on the top of the Left of this height. Here the Marshal superintended his tactics.
His forces consisted of the 3rd + 4th Corps of Infantry 9,700 + the 4th 5th 6th 7th + 8th Cavalry Brigades 3,400. His whole force was only 13,870 men. General v Kirchbach also had been joined by a Brigade from Toby under Voight Rhietz advanced against Marshal Mercury at the head of 42,000 men.
Such an overwhelming superiority of numbers could hardly fail to ensure success and after a long + bloody struggle Marshal Mercury’s Right being turned he was forced to take refuge in Powgen his retreat being covered by Genl Ernest who commanded the Right. The 15th + 16th Hussars were overthrown + fled before a numerous force of the enemy’s Cavalry whose pursuit was checked by a daring charge of the 6th Dragoons whose loss was 300. The total losses were Georland 1587 Prussian 2780.
Lieut Genl Might with the 10th Divn of the 5th Corps repulsed every effort of the enemy to turn the Left + so encompass + “Sedan” the army under General Mercury who was thus enabled to reach Powgen where he assembled + reorganised the broken relics of his defeated army. In the battle of Ampus (25th July) he left neither a gun nor a Color in his enemy’s hands.
His position was now one of great danger. The Prussian hosts swarmed round Powgen + it was evident to all that unless some help from without came soon Powgen with the late victorious army must surrender.
At this juncture every eye turned to H.I.M. who had as yet taken no active part in the field being engaged at Georgetown finding reserves etc.
As soon as the defeat of Marshal Mercury became known the whole country took alarm. Stocks ran down from 90½ to 27 3/8ths in 3 days. The Reds became clamorous for the dethronement of H.I.M. and nothing but some extraordinary decided victorious turn in events could keep the country from Anarchy + Revolution. This event H.I.M. was now destined to perform.
Immediately collecting every available man he joined General Drouot who with the Guard Corps had fell back to Toby on the re-investment of Judisel which place they now again bombarded.
Marshal Mercury in the meantime had burst out of Powgen at the head of a small force of 5000 leaving his Cavalry + Heavy Guns behind him and by a circuitous route he joined the Imperator at Toby on the 20th August. With all his forces now altogether 30,000 the Imperator marched straight on the Prussians attacking Judisel who now abandoning their siege operations faced round and took up a strong position over some 8 miles.
Judisel was on the eve of succumbing although its brave commander Maj Genl Tierney had offered a stout resistance and made several sorties with his garrison to which he had added 3 Regiments of Volunteers raised in the town. With these he issued from the town with Marshal Mercury’s Army and joined the Imperator at Toby.
His Majesty attacked the enemy on the 22nd August the Right + centre advanced. The village of Herbert lay in the centre of the enemy position + was stoutly defended and after repeated repulses was finally taken by the Highlanders. The centre had also met a severe resistance and but for the distinguished bravery of several of its leaders would have been unable to establish any superiority over the foe. As it was, however Ferenjeuse Hall + Park after a stubborn conflict fell into their hands. The Prussian general von Moltke with his tactical genius was not to be easily overcome however. He drew back his force + advanced the Prussian guards on to a rising ground where he collected + formed all his Artillery in the tremendous line. He saw that not fewer than 44 pieces of cannon were here at one time. Behind these were placed the Infantry of the Prussian Guard. The Cavalry was still more to the rear.
It was impossible for H.I.M. to break this impenetrable phalanx. Linesmen + Highlanders alike were swept out of the range of their sweeping fire.
One thing remained to be tried. That was H.I.M.’s opinion. It was the opinion of the whole army. That was the Guards who had hitherto been in the Rear. The order was given + all was turned to those on whom rested Victory or Defeat, Power or Shame, Victory or Annihilation. Suddenly 10,000 bearskins moved telling of their advance straight upon the foe. The fire opens, roar after roar is followed by file after file of squashed corpses. Heedlessly they press on till at the cannon’s mouth. The 1st battn Grenadier Guards + 23rd Fusiliers are almost blown away by the fire but the Battalions in the rear press o’er them + on the Prussian Infantry. Tremendous scene, - 25 minutes of agonising uncertainty shows Blue Coats flying before the Bloody Bayonets of Georland Guards. The Prussian Cavalry now advance to pressure their foeman and in overwhelming numbers bear down upon the 5th Drag[oon] Gds + 1st Life Guards who undismayed offer a firm resistance, but the numbers of the foe were already pressing them back when the arrival of MG Bing with the 11th Hussars turned the scale + the Prussians were everywhere overthrown. The Georland Cavalry of the Line were now let loose upon them. Hussars Enniskillens + Greys flew on like the wind scattering the broken Prussians like chaff before the wind.
General von Roon now driven to distress signed a capitulation immediately after the action + immediately left Toby with the Prussian fleet.
This glorious victory may be said to conclude the war for with the exception of a small action fought by M Slasher at Jerr the triumphant march of H.I.M. through Fredrichsburg after relieving Powgen + his subsequent entry into Kidde was without any opposition.
By the terms of the convention the Prussians immediately quitted the kingdom never to return.
The Peruvians also entered Kidde and the death of Kaiser Fredrich rendering the throne vacant. The Kingdom was divided the greater part being given to H.I.M. Peruni took a large piece and Myjiji with an extensive country around was created a Duchy and given to Marshal Mercury who was the hereditary heir to the Fredrichsburg throne. What remained was given to the Fredrichsburgan General Duke Albrecht who was nominated Grand Duke of Fredrichsburg. After staying some time at Kidde H.I.M. left for Georland followed by the army. It appears from returns that the total loss of H.I.M.’s army during the whole campaign was 10,425 killed + 26,065 wounded.
Plans to illustrate preceding campaign.