The Army of Georland

The Army of Georland

Saturday, 30 November 2013

More about the army of Georland



The main source of information on George Alfred Keef’s army and collection is of course the 60 or so pages of the History of the Army of George 1. There are however other sources, in particular two notes made by his widow Alice and his son Patrick Keef on the history of the collection, and the collected letters of George Alfred Keef while abroad on military service to mother Phoebe, his aunt Mary, and his brothers Arthur and Herbert.

The original collection were lead toy soldiers of the Franco Prussian War. These French and German figures (including Prussians, Bavarians and Wurtemburgers) were altered and repainted to represent British Regiments. Each figure was marked on the base with its regiment. These figures in the original collection were demi rondes, rather than flats. The original foot figures seem to have been 30mm from foot to eye. The cavalry figures had separate riders and horses.

Artillery were real miniature guns which could be loaded with gunpowder, wad, and lead shot, and actually fired by match. The artillery dominate some of the narratives of battles in the History and it is not hard to see why as they were fairly lethal (although it is difficult to acquire supplies of gunpowder today with no questions asked). A number of the surviving figures show damage consistent with suffering this artillery fire.(others have tried this at different times - see this Vintage Wargaming ink to Franz Stollberg.

There is also a pontoon train, with wagons, horses, pontoon boats which will actually float in water, and wooden sections to make the decking. There are also two wooden forts, one of which was designated as Windsor Castle.

A number of the figures are flats. These seem to be of German troops and were incorporated into that part of the collection deemed “the enemy”. These seem to be slightly smaller than the demi rondes, being more like 25mm measured foot to eye.

The Franco Prussian War took place from 1870-71, a couple of years before the battles documented in the History started – the first, the battle of Prebat, being dated 22nd February 1873. Though it is not clearly stated this helps suggest the dates given in the History are the actual dates of the games when the battles were fought.

The History dates the army back to around 1860 and suggests it was first acquired for George’s older brothers Arthur and Herbert, who together with their friend J Arrowsmith initially used them to recreate historical battles from the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars. It looks as though George was behind the development of the make believe world of Georland to provide a setting for much increased wargaming activity, boosted no doubt by the reinforcements coming from the Franco Prussian troops.

The History (Second Epoch) refers to the army occupying a little more attention from November 1872 due to numerous desertions, mainly to the colours of G Collard (presumably another friend, along with Jack Arrowsmith). The Journal then mentions the raising of 4 Prussian infantry regiments in November, 4 more infantry regiments in December, 8th February the 9th Cuirassiers, and on 22nd February a newly raised Cavalry regiment, the 3rd Dragoons, was present. This seems likely to be the point at which the Franco Prussian War figures joined the army - clearly the original figures on its formation in the early 1860s must have been of different subjects.

The Franco Prussian War being so recent also provided some background to Georland and the History, including the enemy’s alliance with Prussia and the arrival of their expeditionary force in November 1873. The Prussian generals are not mainly fictional characters but bases on actual Prussian generals from the Franco Prussian and in some cases Napoleonic Wars.

There is a slight mystery over the sepia photograph of the army on the parade, used to illustrate this blog. There is a reference to a full parade of the army being held in 1940 by Patrick Keef, and it could be that this photograph records this occasion, though conceivably it could have been earlier. It is accompanied by two diagrams, indicating the unit names for all these figures and the organisation of the army. This shows the 1st and 2nd Army Corps and a Guards Division, totalling 45,000 men.

In February 1874 the History refers to a change in recording numbers in the narrative, previously given in hundreds, to actual numbers (i.e. a number of troops originally given as 10 would now be shown as 1,000). This suggests to me that a scale of 1:100 was being used, and without trying to count all the figures in the photograph it seems reasonable that there may be 450 figures shown as they represent the 45,000 figure given in the army organisation chart.

The final page of the History provides a chronology of all the battles and a list of all the Georland units present at each one. Together with the photograph, drawing and chart, this may provide the basis for further investigation of the structure of the army.

George Keef took the greater part of his army with him on his postings to Burma and the North West Frontier and his letters contain further information, including instructions to his brothers on the movement of units and for example ordering the firing of a 21 gun salute on the occasion of his mother’s birthday. In Rangoon George Keef shared a bungalow with the Regimental Surgeon and they kept the army set up on the floor on a large canvas map. In India the army was kept on shelves in a series of tins on a chalked map of India.

There is a list dated 1st March 1878 showing the station of the various units of the Georland Army, in locations including India, Chatham, Liverpool and Edgehill. The letters also tell us that in January 1878 George bought a Kriegspiel set, minus rules, from a Colonel returning to England, and asked a copy of Baring’s English translation of the rules to be ordered and sent out to him.

The History is silent on the rules used for the games with figures, although as stated above we do know of the use of gunpowder firing cannon.


Further research into the George Keef letters may provide more insights and information in due course.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Antiques Roadshow 8th September 2013


The Keef Family collection made its first public appearance on the Antiques Roadshow from Eastbourne Bandstand: 2 when Oliver Keef discussed it and his grandfather George Keef with Roadshow expert Graham Lay.

The Antiques Roadshow page on this blog (on the menu under the main heading of the blog) also contains the Antiques Roadshow segment (also shown below) together with notes of what was said.

This blog mainly focuses on the contents of The History of The Army of George 1, the Journal recounting the campaigns fought by George Keef, his brothers Arthur and Hubert, and their friends in the 1870s and 1880s.

All orginal material on this site is copyright the Keef Family and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. This can be requested by submitting a comment on this post enclosing an email address. This comment will not be published but you will then be contacted by email.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

History of the Army of George I

The following posts contain the contents of the History of the Army of George 1.


George was George Alfred Keef, the founder of the army. The notes he kept were later bound together by his grandson Oliver Keef. George appears in the pages as King George himself, usually referred to as H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty) or Imperator. He seems to have been invincible in the field through the many campaigns recorded

After the Epoch XI B, the Journal is written in a different hand and style. If we assume the dates attributed to actions in the Journal are the same as in  real time then this change would take place in 1875. It is possible that this second hand is that of one of his brothers, Herbert Keef or Arthur Keef.

This transcript has been produced from photographs of the pages of the original Journal. As they are foolscap in size they could not easily be scanned. The maps illustrating the posts are from the same source so are not of a high definition - it may be possible to replace these with clearer images at a later date.

The transcript seeks to reproduce faithfully the spellings, abbreviations and punctuations of the original. In a very few cases it has been impossible to identify particular words. Often these are names, either of places or characters, which are fictional. In these cases the most likely spelling is given and we have tried to make this consistent throughout the whole History.

 Where there is an editorial note to help clarity it is given in [square brackets and italics]. Other brackets have been taken from the text.

Some words are spelt in more than one way in the text and this has been repeated here. Words such as honour and vigour are spelt -or in the manuscript and this spelling is repeated here. Capitalisation is slightly erratic in the manuscript. Where necessary extra paragraph breaks have been introduced into posts to make them easier to read on screen. In a very few cases punctuation has been altered the better to convey the author's intentions.

I would like to thank the Keef family for making the manuscript available and helping to decipher it where this has been difficult.

It is intended to add further historical notes and illustrations, along with a gazetteer of place names, a list of characters, and other appendices, at a later date.

The family are also considering whether to make the full transcript available in Kindle or other format.

The wargaming activity of George Alfred Keef and Herbert Keef is remarkable in two ways:

the completeness with which it has been documented and how this information has survived;

the early date (first use 1860, the Journal's campaigns starting in 1872) which is substantially earlier than the 1898 publication date of Lloyd Osbourne's article in Scribners Magazine on Robert Louis Stevenson's wargames, which has traditionally been held to be the first published account of gaming with miniature figures, the publication in 1913 by H.G. Wells of Little Wars, or the early wargames of the Trevelyan brothers.

We hope that you will find it not only historically significant but interesting and entertaining.

First Epoch

The army first originated in the year about AD 1860 all engagements within this period being co-jointly with troops; or army or armies (being allies or enemies as the case may have been) serving under H[erbert] Keef[brother], A[lice] Keef [mother], and J Arrowsmith; no conflicts at this period have been chronicled and as 500 men was the maximum ever obtained by the 3 armies united they were them, not of such a class to cope with those forces of more destructive warfare of the later day Army; no ammunition, and being used they were then neither so grand or so bloody.

Representations of battles gone by as Waterloo + Sevastopol were most frequently practised.

In September 1878 the remaining portion of the original army of Keef stood as follows:

Infantry

20th Foot, 21st Foot, 22nd Foot, 24th Foot, 25th Foot, 26th Foot. Also the ensigns of the 42nd and 93rd Foot

The 11th Hussars is all that remains of the army of H Keef.

The 8th, 9th and 33rd Regiments of Foot, a captain in the Horse Artillery Battery A, Troop 1, are veterans from J Arrowsmith’s army, enrolled about 1869.

Second Epoch

Prebat - Smatsche - Recknot - Huzmers



Towards the latter end of the year 1872 the Army began to occupy a little more attention as by numerous desertions (mostly to the colours of G Collard the army started to show so marked a deficiency in numbers, material so that it was plain to their General that the time was at hand when either the army should be reorganised throughout, the force increased, the officers augmenting & the staff revising, as the only alternative, that of immediately disbanding the troops under arms to prevent a further expenditure and decay.

The former alternative was chosen and in November 1872, 4 Prussian infantry regiments* (now the 10th, 11th, 12th and 40th Foot) were raised. The following month 4 infantry Regiments*(now the 27th 87th + 88th Foot and 1st Battn Coldstream Guards) were added to the army.

Feb 5th 1873 ushered into the camp the 9th Cuirassiers. The troops were first exposed to artillery fire on the 22nd Feb at which a newly raised Cavalry Regiment (3rd Dragoons) was present. The CG [Coldstream Guards], 27th, 87th, 88th Foot with the 9th C[uirassiers] stormed and took the defiles and fort of “Prebat” from the Prussian Infantry and the 3rd Dragoons.


March 1st The enemy having gathered the remains of the garrison form the battle of “Prebat” took post behind the hill of “Smatcshe”). The pursuing force arrived on the crest of the hill before the fleeing army was discovered. Preparations were at once made for the attack. Both armies had secured reinforcements. The 11th Hussars were added to H Keef’s Army and the 7th Dragoons to that of the enemy (*the 27th, 87th and 88th Regiments who had behaved so well at Prebat had gone over to the enemy). The advance to the right of the enemy’s line having extended too far, and considerably reduced the centre for the purpose of turning H.I.M.’s [His Imperial Majesty’s] Left. H.I.M. rode to the front and led on Drouot’s Artillery, a new and splendid corps.

They moved forward steadfastly with their fine Commander at their head. The Emperor followed with the Old French and Grenadier Guards, new Regiment also the 9th Cuirassiers. Against the weakened centre the steady masses under Drouot’s command threw their all powerful strength. The shock was terrific. Pressed forward by the corps behind (Coldstream Guards), the troops went forward in fine style, the centre was completely crushed. In vain the 4th & 3rd Dragoons endeavoured to retrieve the lost ground, the former were charged and broken by the 8th Hussars, the latter were driven off by the superior Cuirassiers.

H.I.M. having reformed his broken column led on to the attack of the left wing. Mercury so justly renowned here for a time kept his ground but the whole of the force being overwhelmed he took to flight. After this no resistance was offered and 4 guns & 18 prisoners and the greater part of the material of his army was taken. His loss was immense while we had comparatively suffered little. One Regiment (the Grenadier Guard) which took the rear and protected the attacking column was all most [sic] annihilated by the fire of an Armstrong Battery from the enemy’s right. This was the only considerable loss. During the night the Right [were] unable to maintain their position through the defeat of the Left and centre and the loss + want of artillery and ammunition and retired by the road to Huzmers.


H.I.M.’s army came up with the enemy at Recknot where having received a powerful contingent they determined to make a stand.

The Emperor detaching 2 troops of Drouot’s Artillery to open fire on the extreme left of his position. This battery was furiously charged by the 3rd Dragoons and the 9th Cuirassiers. The defection of the latter corps was most unwarranted, as H.I.M. had attached this fine Regiment about his person and loaded them with gifts and honours. (The defection of the 9th C[uirassier]s caused the want of cavalry, especially in the present + severe deplete and such was the urgency of the time that 5 new Cavalry Regts were immediately levied (1.2.5.6 +12th)).

The 12th Lancers attempting to support Drouot’s Artillery were hopelessly smashed by the many squadrons of the enemy’s horse. On this H.I.M. ordered the 1st Brigade of Heavy Cavalry of the Guard (1st Life Guards & 6th Dragoon Guards) to charge, with a cheer the men dashed into the thickest of the fray. Cuirassiers, Hussars & Dragoons fled headlong before this splendid force, throwing the infantry of the left into disorder in their hurry to escape the swords of their destroyers. Pell-mell into the disordered ranks the affrighted Cavalry rushed. The opportunity was seized in a moment by H.I.M. to fill up the gap in the broken line. Accordingly, into the midst of the confusion dashed the Heavy brigade followed by the Grenadier Guards and Drouot’s Artillery. At this time the Right wing of the enemy was attacked and driven back by H.I.M.’s Left and finally broken and thrown into disorder by a furious charge of the 6th Eniskillen Dragoons & 2nd Scots Greys. The two wings were now in direful condition and in full retreat.

The Centre then made a rigorous stand but the powerful artillery fire to which they were exposed being too destructive to maintain the position about 5 pm they retreated. The 87th and 88th Regiments, under Mercury, now Major, kept the ground for some time, but H.I.M. advanced that fine regiment the Coldstream Guards, who quickly dispersed the. The 87th and 88th were then the Napoleon + Mercurian Guard.


A large number of fugitives fled along the road to Huzmers but many were cut down by the pursuing Cavalry. But the horses were so exhausted that the pursuit could not be extended over a space of 3 miles, the men having been in the saddle 10 hours.

Owing to this the main body were collated + reformed + the following day fell back. H.I.M. having determined to rest his army bivouacked on the field of battle. A strong rearguard being attached and repulsed by the enemy on the 15th. H.I.M. hurried to the front but the enemy had gone. On reconnoitring it was found that they were determined to make a final stand at the head of the pass of Huzmers  a strong + numerous force being there assembled. H.I.M. at once issued orders + the dawn of the 15th found his division in front of the enemy. A splendid attack of 2 troops of DA [Drouot’s Artillery] + 3rd Bn GG [3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards] in spite of a charge of the 3rd Dragoons and a vigorous resistance from the 11th regiment turned the left wing.

The overthrow of his Heavy Cavalry in the Centre by the Life + Dragoon Guards and on his extreme Right the Light Cavalry by the 12th Lancers + 9th Dragoons annihilated the mounted arm of his force, all this attended with great loss. By 3.30 pm his Centre had begun to give way before the ceaseless + destructive fire of the 3rd + 4th troops DA [Drouot’s Artillery] and the spirited charges made by the Foot Guards. The Left however stood firm. Although opposed to the cannonade of DA the Centre now being supported by the reserves began to retrieve the lost ground. This was the decisive moment.

H.I.M. ordered the Coldstream Guards (who had been in the rear + had not been engaged) to advance and break the opposing lines. With a mighty “Vive l’Empereur” they passed onto the front. What emotions filled each breast as that thrilling shout arose! What emotions filled the Emperor’s mind as the bearskinned warriors went on. On this depended his Rule, his Fortune + Fate. Oh! What a mighty state depending on these veteran troops. They knew the task entrusted to them. And as the cannons mowed them down, as deploying into line they pushed upon the foe, as wounded, dying, bleeding on the ground, as driving on before the defeated enemy, as joining in the universal cry of victory each thought of their General + Emperor alone.

All was now confusion + dismay. All was forgotten in their hasty flight. The splendid charge of the Coldstreams had disheartened each one, fear possessed the routed + overthrown enemy. The whole surrendered including the general. Many who had resolutely fought on and been wounded were taken prisoner. The victory was complete. H.I.M. returned back laden with trophies and spoil from the field. 7 guns + all the material of the enemy was taken and the spirit of mutiny (for a time) broken.


Third Epoch



A band of desperadoes under a leader named Fredrich falling in with the fugitives from the slaughter at Heymers. Fredrich with great skill collected the dispersed survivors, and joining them to his new band, these with many adherents from disaffected districts he assembled and formed into an army of no inconsiderable strength. H.I.M. surrounded by his troops was under the walls of the strong fortress of Biddex, devoting his time in ease + pleasure, not taking measures to immediately put down this rising. It was not till the enemy had reached within 50 miles of the fortress of Nuklehunder, then the strongest in the kingdom, that H.I.M. offered any resistance to the approach of the usurper Fredrich, having taken the title of King Fredrich 1. Into Nukhelhunder were sent therefore a large amount of troops including the Guards + a large convoy of artillery + warlike stores. This force H.I.M. deemed sufficient to defend his dominions.

Owing to a misunderstanding respecting a peremptory order ambiguous + arbitrary between H.I.M. + the Infantry and Cavalry of the Guard, a strong spirit of disaffection prevailed among the ranks. The seductive luxury of the city of Nukhelhunder, who were in communication with the invader, soon to King Fredrich’s side those veteran troops to whom the power of blood + thunder were as nought. H.I.M. hearing of this insubordination and mutinous manifested immediately despatched Colonel Blucher with the Hussars of the Guard (4th) + the Coldstream Guards to enforce the orders + to take military action against those who had been foremost among the disaffected.

The men fearful of their conduct on the approach of Col Blucher shut the gate of the city. Blucher falling back for reinforcements to Cidex, Fredrich and his army appearing before the walls of Nukhel he was joyfully welcomed + hailed as deliverer. The prisoners from Heymers were set free, and Mercury was brought from the dungeons of Nuklehunder to the command of a division in King Fredrich’s army. With this division General Mercury followed Blucher + seizing the village of Littleton made himself master of the whole of the country between Littleton + Nukhel.



On the return of Blucher H.I.M. resumed the Generalship of those forces which remained at Cidex. On the 11th April 1878 he with the greater part of his army passed out of the fortress + crossed the isthmus of Cidex + ascended the plain of Littleton. On reaching the height of the plateau the 11th Hussars deployed + the 20th and 21st Foot extended as skirmishers. The Tower of Littleton Church was soon discovered, but here all further progress ceased. From Nukhel to Littleton a line of troops bespoke the approaching army. In + around the village a very efficient force was massed.

The command of these devolved upon Mercury who had taken up his residence at Littleton Castle. The grand reserve lay within Nukhel under King Fredrich’s immediate command. As all progress to Nukhel would be futile, while Littleton remained in the enemy’s possession, H.I.M. at once attacked that place. A vigorous cannonade upon the village, answered with great spirit by a gun planted at the head of the streets, prepared the way for a grand assault on the village which was successful, although accelerated by the blowing up of a gun killing and wounding many. Mercury being taken, offered his services to H.I.M. which was accepted. The fall of Littleton was followed by the immediate abandoning of his position, it being untenable, not, however, without an attempt to regain the village which was frustrated by the skilful movement of the army at Littleton + a fine flank charge of the 12th Lancers, but this fine regiment was annihilated, five sixths being destroyed. After this attempt he fell back to Nukhel, followed by H.I.M. and the whole army.

A well maintained fire was kept up and cavalry charges decided his retreat.

Fort Resistance an outer battery was stormed + carried by the 7th (now 27th) + a strict blockade maintained. An attempt to storm the Armstrong Battery by DA [Drouot’s Artillery] was defeated by the tremendous artillery fire + charge of the Life Guards. With difficulty the guns were brought off + H.I.M. after decided to wait for reinforcements before making any fresh assaults.  This respite Fredrich occupied in levying fresh troops and reorganising his forces. A strong body of troops raised in the North of Scotland and a new Battalion of Foot Guards were sent out to Nukhel. On the 24th of June these new levies appeared before Littleton in which 2 Prussian Regiments alone remained. The impetuous attack made by the Highlanders + 1st battalion of New Guards was followed by the immediate flight of the garrison.

Having gutted the village, they, on the approach of Mercury with the Mercurian + Napoleonic Guards, evacuated it + proceeded by a circuitous route to the North entrance to Nukhel in safety, As soon as the approach of the Highlanders was known in Nukhel a large sortie was made. The 5th, 1st, 2nd Cavalry Regiments dashed out of the valley, onwards, upsetting all in the way as H.I.M. formed the nearest regiment in one large square. A long line of artillery + infantry (reinforcements rec’d since Littleton) stretched along the left. Between these 2 fires the Reckless Cavalry came on. When within 200 yards of the square the guns commenced firing. A mass of struggling fallen men + horses told how accurate had been the aim.

The shattered Life Guards were at once attacked + flattened by the Heavy Cavalry of H.I.M. the gallant 5th pushing bravely but hopelessly forward met death upon the bayonets of the Coldstream Guards. After this H.I.M. advanced his whole line. The Grenadier Guards, who had followed the cavalry out of Nukhel, unable to withstand the overwhelming force withdrew within the citadel. Along the valley Drouot’s Artillery advanced when half way Mercury at the head of his Guards dashed out to the front, followed by the whole army of H.I.M. in spite of the destructive fire from the Armstrong Battery which mowed the ranks at every fire. The Battery however was at last reached, stormed + taken by DA. Mercury at the front charged with fury the Grenadier + the YB [meaning unclear] Guards. By superiority of force + numbers these brave soldiers were cut down + all would have fell had not Fredrich surrendered to H.I.M.

The scene after this battle was horrific. Never throughout his long experience had H.I.M viewed such a scene of horror + pain. The carnage had been fearful. Within Nukhel the Scotch + Grenadiers lay side by side in the agonies of death. Many were found wasted away with hunger + disease + famine. The bravery + devotion of these troops were such that H.I.M. expressed a wish that they would enlist under his banner. Fredrich therefore induced them to take the oath of loyalty to H.I.M. They were incorporated into his army as the GG/FG + 42nd + 79th + 93rd Highlanders. (How well they kept their oath is shown by their deeds at Firban, Lasterne, Powgen + etc.). For this Fredrich was pardoned and set free. This endeth the Campaign of Littleton.




Fourth Epoch

Firban - Emburg - Lasterne



On the 4th August 1873 H.I.M. crossed the frontier of his territories to attack + invade the kingdom of Fredrichsburg. This invasion after the surrender of Nukhel was a despotic movement on the part of H.I.M.

The enemy had posted his troops in and about the village of Firban. Batteries of great strength were erected at every available spot, just a mile behind a second line of batteries stronger than the first. This strong position was occupied by an army of about 215 men commanded by DM Hasher. His majesty arrived in front of Firban, which lie on the borders, at 7 am on the morning of the 4th. By 9.30 the whole army numbering about 200 arrived on the scene. H.I.M. after an ineffectual attempt to shell the position opened a sharp cannonade but with little effect. At 10.30 Major-General Campbell’s Division with DA were extended to the right in order to turn the enemy’s left. The guns drove all within the fort. The fire of the Batteries was so severe that the troops began to waver. The 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards coming to the support a general rush was made + the Battery (No [left blank]) was stormed + taken the enemy abandoning the intervening space between the 1st and 2nd lines.

A strong body of Cavalry charged the troops who threw them back by a sharp rattle of musketry. H.I.M. leaving command to his generals, at the head of his regiment (5th DG) 10th Hussars with the Enniskilleners and Greys in reserve rode at the enemy. Although superior in numbers, the enemy were cut to pieces, not without hard fighting, frightful loss + the charging of the reserve. The conflict taking place in front of the battery it could not fire + being stormed was taken by the CG 3rd Battalion. At 12 the 23rd Welch Fusiliers 8th + 9th Foot + D’s Artillery advanced to storm the village. At 2 the village was taken + the centre of the enemy’s position was stormed + taken at the point of the bayonet by the grand charge of the Guards under Major Gen Cambridge. The Irish Regt + the Reserve formed in line to receive them were overthrown + put to rout by the irresistible fury of the attack + the solidity of the column.

A trifling advantage on the right was temporarily gained by the defeat of the 8th Hussars by the enemy’s Lancers and Firban for a moment was in the enemy’s hands. But the 1st LG under Mercury charging defeated him with great slaughter the enemy quickly abandoned the position + fled in disorder. By 7 pm all firing had ceased, the victory gained. The enemy had 80 killed + 132 wounded. Our loss was 120 killed + wounded. The Grenadier Guards, 5th DDG + 10th Hussars had lost ¾s of their original complement + H.I.M. was wounded, his life being saved by Lt Col Ellis of the 5 D Guards who was killed in a charge at Abosot at Sep 11 1873.

The enemy were immediately followed by H.I.M. and his whole army. Receiving considerable reinforcements he halted at the next town Emburg where he received r=the second defeat at the hands of H.I.M. The village being the centre of his position the 11th Hussars charges up the main street + gained the place, very few infantry being there. The enemy attacked the town repeatedly with the 12th Lancers 4th Hussars and 2nd Dragoons as H.I.M. sent forward the 5 DG. The town was taken + retaken 4 times but finally the overthrow of his Cuirassiers, who had outflanked Emburg, by the 1st LG and defeat of the whole of his cavalry in Emburg by the final charge of the 6th D[ragoons] and 2nd D[ragoons].



After this severe cavalry contest the enemy withdrew, his position being enfiladed on the left by the severe fire of DA. They were followed so quickly that H.I.M. came up with them near Lasterne whither where they were retreating. Overtures of peace being made H.I.M. was absent attending the conference. This did not however prevent hostilities. General Mercury who commanded in the absence of the Emperor immediately attacked the enemy (altho' in a strong position) with the bayonet. As the troops advanced the terrific fire to which they were exposed broke the column s. At this moment the enemy launched his cavalry into the demoralised ranks. A terrible slaughter ensued. The Guards alone stood firm till the arrival of the Heavy Brigade of the Cavalry of the Guard dispersed the enemy’s squadrons. This cavalry fight had covered the advance of DA and the Armstrong being brought to bear upon the enemy’s massed columns played with dreadful effect upon them forcing them to relinquish the ground.

The victory was dearly won. Out of 35 men the Grenadier Guards left 25 dead upon the field. Other regiments, particularly of the Guard, suffered in proportion. The Coldstreamers were almost annihilated, the 5th Imperial Dragoon Guards lost 5/6ths of their original complement. This battle (Lasterne) was fought 11th August 1873.


 The enemy however showed a great desire for peace. H.I.M. at once entered into negotiation + peace was signed 13th Aug 1873.

A million-and-a-half war indemnity, expenses paid + the large county of Bordrore annexed to the empire were the fruit of the campaign. On the payment of the money H.I.M. immediately evacuated the enemy territory.

Fifth Epoch - The Great Mutiny

Powgen - Aldesk - Horpers - Sopy - Abosot



The troops all except the 12th +18th Foot which were at Chatham, and the 13th + 9th + 25th Foot at Lorkal were now at Horpers Barracks. On the 6th Sept H.I.M. left with the Grenadier + Dragoon Guards for Chatham. Captain Ernest who had distinguished himself at the battle of Lasterne was elected by competition in command of No. 4 Div. at Horpers. On the morning of the 7th he assembled the troops of the div for Drill. A private of the 33rd Regt manifesting a spirit of insubordination Ernest struck him and immediately the whole Regt surrounded him. The 8th HG coming up at the moment Col Hasher demanded his return.

On their refusal to give him up, Hasher ordered the Battalion to disperse them. But forming line they in a resolute manner repelled the attack + Hasher fell back pending the arrival of the other Corps. Disaffection, rapidly spread. The Battalion C[oldstream] G[uards] retreated before a large force from No. 4 Div. The whole of No. 3 was in arms. In No. 3 the Irish also joined the outcry. Hasher having exasperated the rebels by his attempt by force to subdue them, they united and drove him from the Barracks. He took up head quarters at Aldesk and Maj General Campbell took command. Several cavalry skirmishes took place on the 9th.

The rebels having petitioned his Majesty, H.I.M. refused to enter into any negotiations unless they gave up their arms + marched out of Horpers. This they refused to do + prepared for hostilities. The 12th L[ancers] + the 13th H + 25th + 19th H at Jorkal joined + seized Powgen a military town fortified on behalf of the mutineers. As this was of importance to H.I.M. the whole of the force at Aldesk in obedience to orders joined H.I.M. + the united forces marched to Powgen. They had however been anticipated, the rebels leaving a small force in Horpers had proceeded to Powgen where they arrived late on the 12th. H.I.M. arrived before the town on the 13th, his army numbering about 200 Infantry and 80 Cavalry: that of the enemy about 300 infantry and 70 Cavalry. Six hundred and twenty men now faced each other about to enter upon a bloody conflict. The enemy’s left wing stretched along the Left Bank of the river Abasot. The Right extended from Powgen some distance.



The battle commenced at one o’clock by an attack on the enemy’s Right. DA created such a panic by its murderous fire that the reserves of that army were brought up to support, but they too were thrown into disorder and before the reserves were rallied the troops ruched forward crossed the river + maintained their position on the Left bank. The enemy’s Cavalry were repulsed in their endeavour to drive them back. The Grenadier Guards, preceded by the Tirailleurs of the Guard (23rd Welch Fusiliers) followed and proceeded to turn the left of the rebels’ position.

General Black who commanded determined by one grand movement to recover the lost ground and decide the day. The Left wing was marched to the Right, and the whole of the Cavalry including the reserve under LG Hasher dashed headlong on H.I.M.’s advancing column. The extreme right, under the command of Drouot, fell back, DA and the other guns alone remaining. The Guards under Major General Cambridge formed line and delivered a series of rolling fires on the advancing horsemen.  When within 50 yards the artillery opened fire. Lancers Cuirassiers Hussars Dragoons mingled in the death struggle on the grassy turf. The remainder dispersed and H.I.M. rested for the night on the field of battle.

The following day Sunday that 4th September the sun shone brightly on the two forces. H.I.M. however was up and active. He with the officers attended Divine Service in the morning, Colonel Herbert taking Sacrament. The troops were under arms by 6 am and H.I.M. rode to the right and viewed the approaching conflict. Mercury Chief of Staff on the 13th now superintended the Right attack which immediately commenced. The 8th DG at the same time attacked the Right of the enemy who stood their ground firmly till the reserves and elite of the army withdrew by the road to Herbert under the personal command of General Black head of the insurrection LG Hasher being left in command. An immediate assault on the town was ordered. Mercury sent forward therefore the 3rd Battalion of the G[renadier] G[uards], but they received such a galling fire that he ordered them to retreat, perceiving the rashness of such an endeavour. On the Left the RH Guard received in like manner being forced to retire. The enemy were however now in and around Powgen without hope of escape. H.I.M. at once commenced to lay siege to the place.
  
The veteran Drouot had died previous to the mutiny of Sept 3rd. His constitution had given way in August. His loss was deeply affected by H.I.M. and the whole army. He was the oldest and highest officer in the army. A brief history of his career may not be unacceptable to our readers. He enlisted in the 3rd Bavarian Dragoons, where he rapidly advanced to the rank of Col[onel]. At H.I.M.’s desire he in June 1872 quitted Germany and entered the service as Col[onel] of the Young Guard. His bravery at the battle of Smatsche rendered him conspicuous, and under the eye of H.I.M. he rapidly rose to the rank of general where his career was stopped as death overtook him. He died of an influenza from a cold taken at the battle of Lasterne. He had fought in the battles of Smatsche, Huzmers, Recknot, Littleton, Nukhelhunder, Furban, Emburg + Lasterne. His exploits were chiefly as Colonel Commander of the Battery of Artillery of the Guard which after a while took the name of Drouot’s artillery. DA under his superintendence became far famed the sharp boom of the guns carrying death + consternation in the enemy’s ranks. His successor was his son Drouot + by H.I.M.’s order G Collard late 14th Cuirassiers. This officer had risen from the rank of private in the 1st Life Guards under the able tuition of his father. He first commanded at Powgen on 18/9/78

Sept 15th 1873. Receiving intelligence on the 26th of the assembly of the Corps under General Black at Horpers he on the 22nd despatched Maj Gen Cambridge to attack him at that place with a larger one under his command including the third fifth and seventh battalions Foot Guards and the Fifth dragoon guards. Brigadier General Mercury being second in command. The force arrived at the town of Aldesk on the 24th and immediately marched forward. At Aldesk it was joined by four battalions [of] foot ­­­­­­raised by Captain Ernest who had escaped from the rebels the day of the outbreak. These were called the Aldesk Volunteers, and, afterwards the 29th, 30th, 31st + 32nd Regiments. The enemy had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­occupied the heights above Horpers in a great force. The position was very strong + protected by a powerful Artillery. Against this, he (Cambridge) advanced with 111 Infantry and 16 Cavalry, the force of the enemy was rather less but superior in Cavalry.

The whole line advanced at six o’clock in spite of a vigorous fire which was answered along the whole line. The position was carried by the Guards in the centre, MG’ Campbell’s division on the Right, and BG Mercury’s division of Aldesk Volunteers on the Left. The enemy had posted his reserves too far behind and his lines were in the hands of H.I.M. troops before the reserves could reach the disputed points. Three tremendous cavalry charges were rendered ineffectual by the repulse and defeat of the attacking horsemen, on the right by Col MacConnal concentrated musketry fire, on the Left by Brigadier General Mercury’s well directed fire, altho’ one Regiment being unformed being routed with great loss (29th); and by the centre under Captain Ernest comm[ander] of Brigade pro tem forming square till the arrival of the Dragoon Guards who quickly cleared the field.

The whole army now advanced but the reserves of the rebels discharging a furious that they were ordered back and the enemy immediately fell back to Horpers leaving 35 dead upon the field. One standard, that of the 22nd Regiment, and 16 prisoners with 3 guns were the trophies of the victories. The loss on the other side had been also heavy 29 being hors de combat. Of these 10 were Guards. The officers were for immediately storming Horpers but the Duke of Cambridge apparently satisfied with his victory entered into correspondence with the mutineers in Horpers, and on the 26th Sept signed the Convention of Horpers allowing them a free passage from that place. This exasperated his officers who saw that they must have fallen an easy prey to the victorious and ­­­­­­­­­­enraged army, and Mercury who had been deputed to carry out the terms of the convention resolved to let no opportunity slip which should serve to renew hostilities.

The evacuation took place on the 27th and an altercation took place about ammunition which was not mentioned in the convention. Mercury refused to allow it to be taken and attempted to take it by force. The enemy resisted and drew it off. On this and their refusal to give it up he dispatched a courier to Head Quarters at Aldesk and immediately commenced a vigorous cannonade on the enemy at two o’clock. On securing intelligence of the outbreak of fresh hostilities the Duke of Cambridge despatched the gun boat “Percy” with the 45th Sherwood Foresters on board to the scene of strife. This gun boat was the first of a powerful fleet ordered by H.IM. designed and built by Messrs F Nicholson & Co Ship Builders, Toby. The Percy carried 2 guns + the second, the Wonder frigate of 8 guns.

The Percy arrived off Horpers at 8.10 pm. In the meantime Cambridge hurried to the field with the Coldstreams and reserves. The Grenadiers Fusiliers and DA had already reached the field and commenced attacking the Right. Mercury pressed in on the centre and the 45th having disembarked charged the Left and took the ammunition waggon with the stores, which, catching fire burnt with indescribable fury and finally blew up. The enemy were in direful condition when Cambridge again interfered and they were allowed to march off leaving all their guns in the hands of the victor.* (Such however was their direful condition that out of the splendid army they entered Horpers with only a fortnight before but 43 out of the original 120 original complement remained).


In the interim, the enemy at Powgen discovered the small force bloc[k]ading sallied out, on which H.I.M. retreated to the vicinity of Powgen. On the [left blank] October the enemy having reorganised the multitude in Powgen advanced against the lines which H.I.M. had erected before his position at Sopy. At the same time a strong column proceeded along the Sea Coast towards Hictown to take H.I.M.’s Left Wing. H.I.M. was early on the field, altho’ the foe had taken advantage of the right which was not so dark as they could have desired, and a torrent of orders apparently unconnected poured forth. Immediately the “Percy” with DA and CG set sail.

The force in Sopy marched for the front where the attack apparently was strongest. The Grenadiers and Fusiliers gallantly held the Camp, the Left was ably held by the 23rd Welsh Fusiliers. But the column proceeding to the flank attack being within a mile and a half of Sopy, they sent forward the Cavalry to take the Camp in rear. Already were the Dragoons penetrating the midst of the tents, and H.I.M. was aware of the fact. He instantly ordered the Life Guards to charge. With alacrity they took to horse and being formed by their Colonel (Herbert) in squadrons dashed on with an irresistible force but being attacked by fresh foes (Cuirassiers and Lancers) in succession they being overwhelmed by numbers they were compelled to give way tho’ but slowly. H.I.M. with his great military eye had forseen and [unreadable] flying like the wind.

Quarter of an hour later the 10th H were mingling shoulder to shoulder with the Life Guards in the deadly struggle. Having arrived off the coast where the enemy’s flanking column was proceeding the “Percy” disembarked the troops on which the column retreated to the Left and effected a junction with the army, followed by DA. The Scots Greys who were also distant asked at once made for the raging cavalry fight at full speed. Assaulting in close squadrons the centre of the fight they completely cut off a force of dragoons who surrendered and being now in great superiority over the enemy drove them back within their lines pursuit being prevented by the impenetrable phalanx. With this all fighting ceased and the conflict which had been raging 3 hours was over by 10 pm.

During the night H.I.M. drew off his forces and took up his position in Sopy. The enemy immediately commenced to scour the country round. H.I.M. however having finished the war in Aldesk the enemy having been driven out of that quarter through the victories of his General Cambridge at Aldesk and Horpers was now joined on the 4th October by the army of Aldesk, BG Mercury having been left at Horpers razing the fortifications with his division. The troops arrived in the new frigate the Wonder. H.I.M. had now 130 men under his command. Owing to the bad state of the weather his projected attack on the rebels was postponed and the enemy perceiving the great strength of H.I.M.’s forces withdrew to the protection of their stronghold. The weather clearing up H.I.M. immediately commenced on the great military movements which brought to a close this bloody insurrection. As a precaution, the conscription had been called out and was now in training.  H.I.M. however hoped to be able to finish the war with the forces comprising his army.

On the morning of the 1st October the frigate “Wonder” set sail with a strong force chiefly the army of Horpers being the Highland brigade and 3rd + 5th Battalions Foot Guards and 2nd North British Dragoons. Proceeding southward along the coast they embarked at 10 pm about 15 miles below Sopy. H.I.M. being informed of their safe arrival immediately marched with his army for Powgen, the “Percy” and “Royal George” proceeding into the River Abosot protecting the advance of the columns, having Drouot’s Artillery on board. Arrived before Powgen at 6 pm. They advanced in line upon that hitherto invincible fortification, the key of H.I.M.’s dominions in the North.

The rebels had thrown up entrenchments before Powgen by the Left Bank of the river. Behind these and extending through the town to the rearward a considerable force, but on the Right bank of the river which was unfortified either by Nature or Science, the great bulk of the army reposed. H.I.M. therefore advanced with his army consisting of Guards alone against the entrenched position. DA on the opposite (Right) side of the river occupied the strongest part of his army assisted by a vigorous fire from the “Percy” with her bow and stern chasers the distance being great. The well directed discharges from the guns of the Artillery of the Guard decimated those battalions in front of the Rebel line.

The attack of the Guards was met by a strong cannonade which caused great loss to the Grenadiers + Fusiliers who led the way. At this junction the troops from the “Wonder” after a toilsome march appeared on the Right Bank. With irresistible ardour they advanced and joining DA attacked with the bayonet the shallow lines of the rebels and driving before them both reached the bridge which crosses the river, and enters by the road into the town. Here the rebels made a determined stand and for a long time defeated all who ventured to approach and Battalion after Battalion of Highlanders was forced back in a vain effort to gain possession. At length the Brigade of Guards under Captain Ernest with the 79th Regiment under Colonel MacConnal who had shown great military skill and commanded the whole of the force from the “Wonder”, superceding his late superior MG Campbell, gained a footing on the Bridge immediately strengthening themselves by the advance of a Battery of Artillery.

This with a charge of the Scots Greys throwing the mutineers into disorder prepared the way for a grand assault by the whole of the Corps on that Bank of the river which was eminently successful altho’ this was in a measure owing to the want of Cavalry on the part of the rebels; all their Cavalry being then engaged in a deadly combat with the Cavalry of H.I.M. This cavalry encounter was the most furious and bloody that had ever been witnessed no mercy being given on either side – at length the Heavy Brigade carried all before them.

While this fight continued on the Left of Powgen H.I.M. with the Guards advanced to storm the fortress and Col MacConnal with Drouot’s Artillery having effected the passage of the well contested bridge advanced upon it from behind driving their foes before them till they arrived before the gate of the town. Their ponderous weight was blown to pieces by a discharge from Drouot’s Gun No. 1. The troops formed in columns rushed forward: and the Guard under the Duke of Cambridge, having taken the entrenchments, and stormed the fortification in front; the two armies overturning all who opposed them met in the centre of the town, and after a blockade of 21 days, during which 2 pitched battles had been fought. There were captured 39 prisoners 5 banners; one standard and a vast amount of Stores, Ammunition, Guns etc., with 2 Generals.

This victory decided the complete overthrow of all rebellious machinations altho’ attended with a great sacrifice. A few statistics may be instructive to the reader. The 1st Corps d’armée out of 119 men lost 39. The second Corps lost 13 men. The Heavy Cavalry of the Guard lost above ½ of their number. The Life Guards who went into action 11 strong came out with but 5, the Guard lost 24 out of 90 men, the Highlanders 11 out of 25. The town (Powgen) was given over to the soldiery + a scene of pillage to attendant upon such scenes was continued by Official decree by H.I.M. for 3 days. Powgen paid severely for the hospitable treatment she gave to the army who held her for such a time. H.I.M. immediately commenced strengthening Powgen when the Fredrichsburg War interrupted his peaceful slumbers.


We cannot conclude the Mutiny without bestowing a passing glance to that fine regiment the “Fifth Dragoon Guards” or Heavy Dragoons of the Guard. Their banner with this campaign was full of names, and they had been engaged in every battle except that of “Sopy”; from the Battle of Recknot downward to this ____. These are the names that decorate their glorious flag. “Recknot” – “Huzmers” – “ Nukhel” – “Emburg” -  “Lasterne” – “Hisban” – “Powgen” – “Aldesk” – “Horpers” – “Abosot”.

VI Epoch - The Fredrichsburg War

Lepolinques - Mount Errecey - Fiskin - Chippinon - Campers - Chapmon - Starper - Fiskin - Ponville




After the Battle of Horpers Sept 27th 1873 the army of the rebels without cannon + in direful condition now but 45 men marched to Fredrichsburg, and were entertained by King Fredrich at his capital Kidde. On the conclusion of the mutiny H.I.M despatched a message to that king demanding the surrender of General Black + all who had lately borne arms against H.I.M. After some vacillation King Fredrich, with the hope of taking H.I.M. by surprise + before his army recovered its strength + elasticity, with the intention of recovering his ancient province of Brodore (ceded to H.I.M. after Lasterne) and wresting from the power of H.I.M. the fort of Routsbach in Tertsche which is a neutral party H.I.M. held; declared war through her protector + supporter King William of Prussia Emperor of Germany who sent Oct 20th 1873 an exorbitant + insolent [ultimatum] to H.I.M. which of course was not complied with. War was now virtually declared, and King Fredrich with hasty + fatal speed despatched an expedition for the purpose of conquering H.I.M.’s Southern province and of taking the capital before H.I.M. who was at Powgen with the army could come + protect them. So secretly was the expedition prepared that it had entered the waters of the Galsher before its presence was known.

But hearing of the force under MG Mercury at Horpers General Blucher who commanded the expedition determined to destroy that officer + his small force before proceeding to the capital. Accordingly the troops were disembarked at Toby, the next port to Horpers, and were immediately marched towards Horpers. BG Mercury however on information of the invasion immediately put his little force on the road to Toby and on the 29th Oct arrived at the Lepolinques and a few minutes later up came the Fredrichsburgans who immediately advanced to the assault. The force under Blucher was 65 Inf 15 Cav and 4 guns. Mercury having called out the conscription, which had been levied but not brought out during the mutiny, had increased his force + now commanded 57 infantry + 12 Cavalry but had only 4 small imperfect howitzers.

On the right the Lepolinques were attacked repeatedly by fresh troops and the 30th Regt had great difficulty in holding their ground till the arrival of the 31st Regt. On the Left the 15th H gave way to the enemy’s horse squadrons of till a magnificent charge of the 11th Huss[ars] cleared the horsemen from the field. At the same time LG Mercury at the head of the 29th 32nd + 45th advanced along the road. The centre which was weakened by the effort on the Lepolinques gave way before the serried line of bayonets and the victory was complete. Blucher retreated + collected the remains of the expedition in Toby. But Mercury quickly followed and the following morning 30th Oct took Toby after a strong resistance with the bayonet. The whole materiel with 4 guns, General Blucher and almost the whole of the army were taken; the transports + fleet which brought them escaping from the scene with a very small remnant of the expedition.

This defeat determined King Fredrick to await reinforcements from Prussia. H.I.M. set to work to reorganise and reinforce his army and raised fortifications about, protecting the great roads of his capital.

Nov 10th a Prussian armament arrived at Capistone, the principal seaport of Fredrichsburg. This was the first of an army of 300 men from Europe. With it also came General Steinmetz + several other noted officers who immediately set to work preparing for the invasion of Georland.

Having induced the governments of Faschel, Kaiserlich + Laros to join their league for the overthrow of H.I.M. + the partition of his country Georland, among them: they immediately commenced active preparations, after sending to H.I.M. a final ultimatum which being the same as the first, was of course unattended to. Therefore on the 17th Nov the heads of the governments of Faschel, Laros + Kaiserlich promulgated a declaration in accordance with that of King Fredrich + the Emperor of Germany which was tantamount to a declaration of war. Immediately a Prussian fleet set sail with transports from Capistone + arrived off Toby on the 22nd November 1873. To protect his kingdom H.I.M. with his Guard (140) lay near Georgetown. Mercury with the army of the north (120) was at Prebat. Of the great roads from Fredrichsburg one only was unprotected. The rest were guarded by Powgen, Judisel, Percy, Prebat, Pelito. On the South Cidex alone protected the Capital, which with Nukhelhunder complete the list of H.I.M.’s protecting walls. Of these the Capital Georgetown was of the first class with its supplementary Nukhel + is almost invulnerable. 

On hearing of the warlike attitude of the other patrons of Hocosia H.I.M. with the Aldesk Volunteers + 13th + 6th Hussars the division which won the battle of Lepolinques left Georgetown + marched southward for Faschel. ­­­­On reaching Bordwib he secured intelligence of the arrival at Sopy of the Prussian fleet + army. He at once embarked the troops for Routsbach + returned to Georgetown. There assembling the service battalions of the Guard he left the city with the army 140 in numbers. Never had the Guard looked so well. Crowds assembled + cheered them on. They left the ­­­­­­­­­allurements for the country fields perhaps for knighthoods or Glory most likely to wet the walls of Percy with their blood or stain the fields of Mount Errecey, Fiskin, Starper + Ponville.

In obedience to orders MG Mercury had left Prebat + had arrived at Percy the night before the Prussians + H.I.M. The Guard arrived on the 26th November 1873. Mt Errecey the key to Percy N was occupied by the Grenadier Guards. Percy in addition to its garrison, the depot battalions 59 +45 sheltered the Scots Fusilier Guards. The Coldstream Guards were at Campers midway between H.I.M. + MG Mercury, who with his army was at Campon with 100 men. General von Steinmetz with the vanguard arrived at Fiskin on the 25th but on the arrival of his main body he advanced against Mount Errecey, where the 1st + 2nd Brigades were extended. H.I.M. with the Scots Fusiliers was ready before they assaulted the Mount + after a vain attempt they were driven down.

But having turned by a skilful movement H.I.M.’s right, Steinmetz again prepared to attack Mount Errecey. H.I.M. ordered up the whole remaining reserves + anxiously awaited the appearance of MG Mercury who was expected to come on the enemy’s rear early in the afternoon but he had not yet come in view. H.I.M. had therefore to sustain 2 fresh attacks on the position at Mount Errecey + the whole of Drouot’s Artillery with the 2 Battalions Coldstream Guards could with difficulty check the advance of the turning force which General Flasher commanded. After suffering an enormous loss, the army of Major General Lord Mercury of Nukhelhunder appeared.

They had marched from Campon, having abandoned the road + left their artillery when near Fiskin which place was filled with Prussian troops, and now appearing suddenly in rear of Steinmetz’s army pressed on with such vigour that the turning force was completely cut off from the main. Before General Steinmetz could change front he was attacked by MG Mercury with the 8th or Irish Brigade at the point of the bayonet and compelled to give way. Being strongly supported by the 5th division under LG’s MacConnal and Campbell the Guards on Mount Errecey rushing down on the [disordered?] battalion the Prussian army was broken + defeated, + Steinmetz drew off his whole force having lost 4 guns, 1 General and 115 men. The turning force being nearly all killed or taken prisoner and in a vain attempt to charge through the Georish line with a Regiment of Uhlans.  Hasher General of Fredrichsburg was killed. Steinmetz was closely followed + driven out of Fiskin + fled to Ponville on the Jonkif where the gunboats of the Prussian fleet prevented any further pursuit + accordingly H.I.M. with his Guard retired to Fiskin.

The army of the north returned to Campon as new evils overshadowed the lustre of the victory at Mount Errecey. Prince Fredrich Karl von Preussen with an army of 200 men had obtained Fort Prebat by a strategic movement and having opened the road for the invasion of Georland was now en route for the seat of war. Having raised a fresh army of 100 men he prepared to annihilate H.I.M. at a blow. For this purpose he marched on Percy south by Ridetown leaving his headquarters at Horpers. Steinmetz was ordered to regain Fiskin + march on Mount Errecey while the fresh army under Generals Black + von der Tann proceeded direct for Campon for Percy. Happily for H.I.M. von Steinmetz advanced too soon for on the 29th Nov. he attacked stormed + tool the village of Fiskin altho’ H.I.M. with the 1st 2nd and 3rd brigades (Guard) held the post, but the 4th brigade (Coldstreams) with DA coming up retrieved the village + the honour + prestige of the Guards.

After mainly attempting to regain the position by a cavalry charge of Uhlans who were driven back by the 1st Life Guards who gave no quarter, their brave Colonel, Brigadier General Herbert, whose renown gained by his broadsword + powerful arm on the bloody fields of Firban Emburg Lasterne + finally but greater at Sopy + Abosot great; having been mortally wounded by a spent bullet at Mount Errecey on the 26th, Lieut Col Lucan succeeded to the command: the Prussians slowly retired, leaving 2 standards, 9 prisoners + 68 killed + wounded on the field. H.I.M. immediately with the greater part of his army returned to Percy where reinforcements awaited him. Having failed in his attempt to seize the bridge at Campers where he had been anticipated H.I.M. was forced to abandon his posts at Campon Fiskin and Campers owing to the advance of Prince Fredrich Karl on Campers.

H.I.M. held the place with the Irish (8th Brigade) + the Scots Fusilier Guards while the retreating army of MG Mercury from Campon passed through for Percy 2nd Dec. An orchard on the left was during the action was taken + retaken by the 27th + 88th Regts. When all had passed his majesty abandoned the hamlet + withdrew toward Percy. Campers was immediately seized + occupied by a body of Prussians + Bavarians under General von der Tann who marched for Campon where he was joined by the army of the north under General Black the rebel who had by the capture of  Prebat which he effected opened a road for the invasion of Georland + gained the command of an army. A division was immediately sent to Fiskin which the Grenadier Guards + BG Cambridge abandoned + Fiskin was also occupied. H.I.M. was to all appearances checkmated; but the time of danger only served to render his genius more famous, to render his glory more bright than that which the world cannot give + which alone gives to him whose brow encircled by that crown, which guarantees the liberty, order, wisdom + justice metes out to his own subjects at once proclaims “Honor et fidele”.

After a close reconnoitre of the enemy line, in which he was nearly taken prisoner by a squadron of Uhlans H.I.M. determined upon immediate action, the Prussian line being too extended.

The Duke of Cambridge with the 1st + 2nd Brigades on the 9th manoeuvred before Campon, which place was immediately strengthened by fresh battalions from Starper where Prince Fredrich had his headquarters.

On the 10th MG Mercury with the 8th Brigade 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards + Scots Fusilier with Drouot’s Artillery, having under him Brigadier Generals Hasher + Drouot proceeded in flat bottomed boats down the river Youkif + effected a landing at Chapnow + drove out the few troops posted there with the 8th Brigade whose leaving to protect the place, with the rest of his force he marched for Starper but was repulsed by the dreadful fire he received. An attempt to break his force, on the part of Prince F was however the means of destroying the Prussian Guard + shattering several other Regts. As soon as Major General Mercury appeared on the field H.I.M. with the 5th 6th + 7th Brigades attacked Starper from the road from Percy.

Prince Fredrich Karl leaving the protection of his Left to his infantry with a Battalion + 2 Regts of Hussars charged furiously down the hill towards the new army of H.I.M. Mercury having reformed the shaken ranks of his troops again advanced on the left of Starper, Brigadier General Hasher with the Coldstream Guards having come on the rear of the village at the same time that Drouot’s Artillery + the Scots Fusilier Guards stormed the heights the place was won + the shattered relics were cut down by the 5th DGs like cattle. In his attempt to overthrow H.I.M. Prince Fredrich Karl was repulsed + he returned for Starper to conduct the retreat which he saw was unavoidable but his return was impossible the hill being in possession of MG Mercury + on the Left the 6th Brigade blocked his escape that way. In the execution of this turning march the 6th Brigade lost its brave Commander MacConnal who fell when leading the 79th, his own regiment. He had distinguished himself at Firban + Mt Errecey and particularly at Aldesk + Abosot * (he was buried at Percy Dec 16th 1873 followed by his own Regt + detachments from the 92.91.71.41.79 HLI Mercury + Hasher. Capt. McCully of the 42nd succeeded.

Captain Cameron of the 92nd took the command in a very able manner. In his attempt to escape by the Right Prince Fredrich Charles was taken + his Hussars cut to pieces by 6th + 2nd Dragoons + 5 DG. MG Mercury with the 5th + 7th Brigades immediately set off + successively regained Napoleon + Smatsche + on the 14th Dec 1873 appeared before Campon which on his approach was abandoned von der Tann in his attempt on the 5th Brigade at Chapman on the 11th having lost ¾ of his division. With the [remainder?] he rejoined General von Steinmetz at Ponville on the 15th after a toilsome + circuitous march owing to the capture of Fiskin by H.I.M. which was stormed on the 14th Dec by Drouot’s Artillery + the guards. Out of 17 men Drouot lost 13. The Prussian General von Gocken lost 34 killed + wounded + 15 prisoners.

H.I.M. followed to Ponville. Mercury marching through Percy marched on the south of Ponville but owing to no road except that through Toby being able to bear Artillery, he had reluctantly to leave his guns at Prompil from whence he marched on Ponville with his army about 100 men on the 18th Dec. H.I.M. lay before the other side of Ponville waiting the appearance of the army of the north coming on the enemy’s rear. This ruse de guerre he had practised with great success at Mounty Errecey, Harper + Campon. Now again it succeeded to the glorification of H.I.M. + the freedom of his country from foreign invaders. At 11 o’clock on the morning of the 19th Dec 1873 Lieut Genl Mercury attacked the Prussian position at Ponville with the bayonet. The 71st Highland Light Infantry leading the way was shattered by the terrific fire from the town. The 79th headed by their new commander Major MacCully in vain charged on the foe. The Prussian riflemen stood firm + coolly opened fire + the gallant 79th was forced back.



Lieut Gen Mercury hurried to the front + with the 5th + 8th Brigades stormed + took the Battery which mowed down the ranks of the 71st + 79th. The 5th Brigade surrounding the church of Ponville put every Prussian to the sword. The 42nd + 93rd under Lt Col Campbell charged the town near the ridge + forced a body of Uhlans with General von Steinmetz to flee from their death spreading bullets. The lower part of the town was cleared by the 7th Brigade under Major Cameron. In the meantime H.I.M. had attacked the upper half of Ponville + aided by the capture of the Left of the town on that bank by Major General Hasher aided by Brigadier General Drouot with the 3rd + 4th Brigades + Drouot’s Artillery had gained a complete victory and were driving the discomfited foe over the Bridge which they had hardly passed before Mercury + his troops gained the lower + larger part of the town.

They had no recourse but to flee on board their gunboats which protected their disastrous overthrow. When all had embarked the fleet sailed from Toby Dec 20th with but 20 men the relics of that large army that landed only a month before. Great indeed were their disasters having in 28 days lost 2 Generals 480 men 28 guns +7 colours. H.I.M. had also suffered severely having lost upwards of 200 killed + wounded. This ended the first campaign.

VII Epoch - Faschellic War - Routsbach - Desundra - Dulivea - Ardel



While the contending armies were manoeuvring in the South of Georland the allies of Fredrichsburg raised 2 armies of 100 men each. One under the command of the Kaiser of Kaiserlich having attacked Routsbach was overthrown + defeated by the garrison of Routsbach. On Nov 30th 1873 28th 29th 30th 31st 32nd 33rd 15th + 16th Hussars under Lt Col Ernest who following up his victory burnt Befforalski, but on the approach of the 2nd army, which had been marching to the siege of Cidex but had returned south to retrieve the disaster of Routsbach, he returned to the shelter of the walls of Routsbach. The allies immediately commenced to besiege that place but H.I.M. by the victory of Ponville having freed the northern part of the kingdom had at his disposal for the field full 200 men.

Lieutenant General Mercury was given the command of a force of 60 men + ordered to Routsbach. By a skilful flank movement he suddenly came upon the Left flank of the Faschellan army which abandoned its guns Camp equipage + fled leaving its prisoners in the hand of their victors. The Kaiserlich army besieging Routsbach from the south was forced, by the defeat of their attack to retreat precipitately leaving their heavy Batteries in the hand of LG Mercury Dec 25th.

Leaving the 2 Battalions of Foot Guards to retain Routsbach LG Mercury with the whole of his force followed the retreated Faschellans + the 29th arrived before Dulivea which he immediately layed siege to. Between Dulivea + Ardel an army was however collecting for offensive movement against LG Mercury’s flank and he urgently wrote to H.I.M. for reinforcements. H.I.M. having entered Drouot’s Artillery on Roughrider left with that Regt + many others for the scene of strife. With 60 men he joined Mercury and they advanced on the 2nd January 1874 upon the new assembled army near Desundra. H.I.M. retaining his position DA, LG Mercury commanded.

He had to oppose the enemy 60 infantry + 15 Cavalry: 90 infantry + 24 Cavalry. The enemy centre was protected by a Battery the Right flank the weakest. Accordingly Major General Drouot with the 71st + 92nd Regiments advanced on that part of the enemy’s line. The 91st however being attacked by a body of Kaiserlich Hussars formed up but being cut through + through by the fire of a battery they were thrown into disorder + lost in 5 minutes six men. Drouot was among the wounded + was taken prisoner by the Kaiserlich Hussars who dashing on the broken Regiment cut down almost all.

The 92nd altho’ ably commanded by Major Cameron shared a similar fate. But the Scots Greys coming up cut down the hussars and in the space of 12 minutes 25 human beings bit the dust. Drouot’s Artillery now advanced to the Left + opening (fire) on the foe forced them to give way. To keep up their line, the enemy so weakened the Left + Centre that the former was gained by the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, the latter after much hard fighting in which the 42nd lost 9 men. By the 42nd 93rd etc. the Right then surrounded broke + fled + the victory was complete with the loss of 26 wounded + 8 killed.

The army here took up its quarters and recounted its strength. On the night of Tuesday the 6th of January 1874 Dulivea was stormed the column having to surmount innumerable obstacles. They were twice repulsed + would have given way but Col Ernest at the head of the 30th + 32nd Foot restored confidence + the stronger side of Dulivea was gained at the cost of 11 killed + 24 wounded. The 20th + 25th each lost 9 men + the 33rd 7. The forlorn hope was annihilated. The following night before H.I.M. could attack the remaining side of the town, the enemy after blowing up the magazines abandoned the town + retreated along the road to Laros pursued by the 15th Hussars.

H.I.M. divided the army. A division of the Guard receiving fresh reinforcements advanced on Ardel, the capital of Faschel, under Major General Drouot. The Lord of Faschel having refused to accept the terms H.I.M. offered, the Major General Drouot, with great alacrity prepared for the siege. On the 17th January the bombardment commenced. Drouot’s own + the Artillery of the Guard ably assisting the besiegers. Ardel being open to access from all sides soon became a prey to the flames which by the 21st had consumed nearly ½ of the capital. The Faschel therefore signed the treaty of Ardel by which he ceded to H.I.M. Holocha £7,000,000 + other concessions. The chief town was taken possession of while the greater part of the army left for Routsbach en route for Georland arriving at Pelito January 29th and entering Fredrichsburg joined the army of Lieut Genl Mercury at Cetoy Feb 5th 1874.