Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Life and Diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader
Chapter XII


CAMPAIGN FIFTH, 1706.

Major Blackader leaves Rotterdam and joins the Army—Plan of Operations—Battle of Ramillies—Consequences of the Victory—Siega of Menin—Siege of Dendermond—Siege of Aeth—Troops retire to Winter Quarters.

Until the opening of the campaign, Major Blackader continued at Rotterdam, happy in the society of his friends, and more cheerful, because more occupied in the duties of his new commission, and enjoying regularly the ordinances of the gospel. He mingled also more in diversions and company, to which his post necessarily more exposed him; still, however, he was on his guard against being misled by their seductions; and at the same time he speaks of his compliances in a strain of self-accusation, resolving not to let his respect for the opinions of the world betray him into a conformity with its vices and follies.

January 26. I often stay out in company too late at night. But I must keep at a greater distance from the world, and not be so conform to it. I must rise above its opinion and applause, else I can never servo God aright, or be at ease in my own mind. I cannot serve two masters; if I cleave to him, I am sure to be hated and reproached by the other. I could easily change my conduct, and overcome my natural reserve of temper, and live more freely and gaily; but I dare not do it for fear of involving myself in sin, especially in the army among vicious men. So I think the safest and wisest course is to take rather the hatred and reproach of men, than to wound my conscience, or offend my God. I have been better carried through and provided for, than many others who have turned themselves into all shapes in conformity to a wicked world. Therefore I’ll keep my old way, and study holiness and strictness of life, let the world laugh or think as it will.

March 11, 12, 28, Sitting in a court martial these three days; putting up short requests for counsel and direction. I see men are ready to flatter themselves— to judge and determine things according to the rules of gentlemanly breeding and honour. I believe things will go in a far different way at Christ’s tribunal.

March 29. This forenoon set apart for prayer, and imploring God’s presence and blessing with us this campaign. I desire, as formerly, to go out, trusting him,—hoping in his mercy,—depending upon his promises, that he will go with me, to be a present help in time of trouble; that his grace will be sufficient for me: that he ivill perfect strength in my weakness, and never leave me nor forsake me. So I hope I shall be well carried through.

April 23. Making court to some great men. Iam like a speckled bird among them. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but I have chosen you out of the world, &c. I know my post requires that I should keep more company than I did, and live more open and sociable with my acquaintance; hut then the conversation of the men of the army puts a lock and continual restraint upon me. I fear the snares and poison of had example.

April 24. This day is kept by the authority of this country as a fast and humiliation before the army go out. I kept it also in my family by secret and joint prayer.

April 29. In confusion and business all day, in order to marching.

April 30. Marched out of the Busse this day. Now my life of hurry and noise begins.

May 1. This day we had a long fatiguing march. There was a great eclipse of the sun about ten o’clock.

May 2—6. Marching every day. In the afternoon, when our regiment came to their ground (at Bilsen,) I met with a signal mercy. My horse had very near fallen above me, plunging and rearing, being frightened with the colours and drums.

May 8. We joined the great army to-day (near Tongres.)

May 9. Marching. One of the worst days and roads we ever travelled in. I pitied the poor soldiers, though very well myself. Now we begin to talk of action, and that very quickly. O Lord, here I am, do with me what seems good unto thee, for thou art my God. I trust in thee, and hope in thy mercy.

I flee to the chambers of thine Omnipotence, love, and faithfulness; there I shall be safe. Help me to discharge my duty as a man, as a Christian, and as a soldier.

May 11. Advancing this day toward the enemy. I observe, to the praise of free grace and mercy, that the nearer I come to action, the more cheerful and vigorous I am, and grace more lively. Faith in exercise through the day; fleeing to the well-ordered covenant, and resting on the promises of God.

Camp, St. Tron. Friday, May 10.

I wrote you on Tuesday last, when we lay within two leagues of Maestricht. I thought when we had joined the great army, I should have got time to go in and see the Colonel’s Lady; hut we did not so much as rest one day, hut marched immediately after we had joined. I never saw the roads and the weather worse. It is generally thought we are marching straight toward the enemy, to do something before they he joined by Marshal Marsin who is coming in all haste. They are lying near Tirlemont, hut we flatter ourselves they will retire behind their lines when we march up that way. For my share, I wish with all my heart they could stand where they are, and give us a fair day of it, and fair play for our lives; for though I am no way fond of fighting for fighting’s sake, yet I wish to see the war at an end ; and before I marched such another day as yesterday was, I would rather fight them to-morrow; for I hate fatigue above all the business of our employment.

Be not the least concerned for me, for I am in the hands of a merciful God, who only makes me to dwell in safety. You must excuse me for not writing long letters. I hope you have consideration enough to think that I have now a great deal of business more than I had, and I rather choose to write short letters than to write none at all. Remember me to your kind host Mr. Montier, and all friends at Rotterdam. I mean to see Colonel Borthwick this afternoon if I have time, I am thine, &c. J. B.

To Mrs. BLACKAnisa, Mr. Montier’s,

On the Scots Dyke, Rotterdam.

The action they were now upon the eve of, was the famous battle of Ramillies, the consequences of which were as important in the Netherlands, as those of Blenheim had been in Germany. The campaign of this year opened with the most brilliant success on the side of the Allies; and proved in its termination one of the most calamitous and disgraceful that France had yet experienced. The disasters of 1704 were forgotten, and partly repaired by the temporary advantages of last year; and Louis had recruited his ranks with such astonishing celerity, that an army of 70,000 men was again equipped and ready to take the field. It was commanded by Marshal Villeroi and the Elector of Bavaria. The magazines were replenished with all necessary stores, and the most extraordinary exertions were to be made to retrieve the glory of their nation, and call back fortune, which seemed to have deserted their arms. During the preceding campaigns, they had generally acted upon the defensive, and left the Allies to become the assailants. Yet victory seemed to declare against them, though they had often the superiority in numbers and the advantages of the ground.

This year the French cabinet changed their mode of tactics, and determined to try the event of active hostilities. Their Generals were instructed to become the aggressors, in the fond hope of becoming conquerors. But these sanguine expectations, as will appear, became their ruin, by betraying them into rash and precipitate measures.

The Confederates were no less eager for an engagement, but they scarcely anticipated so early an opportunity for it. Louis, who had in vain employed all the arts of his intriguing court to create jealousies and divisions among them, now resolved to attack them before the Danes and Prussians could effect a junction with the main army. But the expedition of these troops disappointed his expectations, for they joined the Duke on the very morning of the battle. Both armies met on the 23d of May, N. S. at Ramillies, about eleven miles north of Namur. This place, though but a paltry village surrounded with a ditch, has been rendered famous to all posterity, by one of the most celebrated battles that took place in the whole course of the Confederate War.

The particulars of this memorable engagement arc too well known to be here recapitulated. I shall, however, transcribe the account of it which Major Blackader gives, in a letter to his wife, two days after the battle.

Camp Vilvoord, May 15.

Every campaign produces new and greater mercies to me. It has pleased the Lord to give us a signal victory, on Sabbath last, over the French army; and, in particular, he. has mercifully covered my head in the day of battle, and compassed me about with songs of deliverance. We had marched every day almost without intermission since we came from the Bussey and the Duke was resolved to come to action with the French as soon as possible. But we were surprised to find that they were camped without their lines; and expected whenever we should advance, they would retire. But we have heard since, that they were as forward to fight as we were, and had positive orders to fight; and if we had'not attacked them, they would have attacked us; for they had more battalions than we had, and all the best troops.

On Sabbath, about eleven o’clock, we and they being both on our march, came in view of one another. They possessed themselves of some villages that were strong and not easy to be forced. We advanced and made our dispositions to attack, and whenever we came near enough, they cannonaded us furiously all the time we were advancing. We had here about twenty men killed and wounded. Poor Harry Borthwick was the first, and had his leg shot off by a cannon ball. The English had the right, and when we were just beginning to attack a village opposite to us, the Duke sent his orders not to attack there, but to march to the left, were the Dutch were, and push on the affair: but the Dutch had forced it ere we came up. It is said the French thought themselves very sure of the day, for they had made their dispositions so that all their Gens d’armes, and best troops, should sustain the attack upon the left, where they knew the Dutch were; thinking so to beat the Dutch first, and then they would afterwards beat the English.

It was very hot work for above two hours. None of the English came to close action but Mordaunt’s and Churchill’s Regiments; and all we lost was by cannonading. There were about 4000 prisoners taken, with most of their cannon and ammunition, and bread, waggons, and horses, and most of the Generals’ and officers’ baggage. The battle began on our wing between four and five o’clock, and we pursued them till midnight. We did not think the action at first so considerable, but the effects of it are very remarkable and surprising, for there is like to be a revolution of the whole country.

The hand of God was visibly to be seen, and his judgment, in sending a panic fear among the enemy 3 for they retired in such disorder, that their soldiers flung away their arms : their muskets, scabbards, &c. Were scattered up and down the whole country.

We marched all Monday, and came near Louvain, expecting assuredly that they would stop us at the Dyle, where they stopt us last year. But we got account on our march that they had quitted Louvain and retreated towards Brussels; and the people of Louvain told us, that their army marched through there in such a pitiful hurry, that they could hardly keep in a body at all, and most of them were without arms. So we took possession of Louvain, and marched next day (for the Duke does not sit his time this year) towards Brussels; and on our march we heard that they had abandoned that also, and in short the whole country, for Colonel Durell is gone with 200 horse to take possession of Mechlin. They have also quitted Antwerp, and this letter is written within a league of Brussels, which we are in possession of.

There is a spirit of division among them, for the Spaniards refuse to join with the French, and seem inclined to submit all to the House of Austria; and the Bavarian troops that are here say, they came to assist their Duke, and. have no business with the French.

In this surprising turn of .affairs there is much of the hand of God to be seen; and indeed we are like men in a dream, to see ourselves so suddenly possessed of so many places. I hope there are greater things to be done yet; The Lord make us thankful, and O grant that his mercies may reform us. I have particular reason to be grateful; but what puts water in my wine-cup is, that poor Colonel Borthwick was killed that day, behaving like a gallant man; We buried him yesterday at his colours. Captain Denoon is killed.

Do not fear fighting, for we think to see only Frenchmens’ backs all this campaign. I hope you will offer up the sacrifice of praise for the public and for me. I am thine, &c. . - J. B.

To Mrs. Blackader, Rotterdam.

From the above it appears that Major Blackader’s Regiment was posted on the right wing, which sustained the smallest share in the contest. The Duke of Marlborough had ordered the attack to commence on that side, but it was entirely a manoeuvre to deceive the enemy; for while they were misled to detach their best troops to support the left wing, where it was supposed the attack would he made, they unguardedly left their centre and their right exposed, against which the Duke intended to direct the main efforts of his army. The stratagem succeeded; Vil-leroi and the Elector were completely outwitted. The greatest slaughter was made by the Dutch and Danes on the enemy’s right, near the villages of Franquenies and Ramillies. The French, both Generals and troops, never shewed less conduct or courage than on this occasion. At Hochstet they fought for eight hours, and killed or wounded nearly 11,000 of the Allies. At Ramillies all was flight and consternation in two hours; while the victors did not lose above 8000 men.

The Duke of Marlborough displayed no less talent in improving this victory, than he had shewn in achieving it. The rapidity with which he pursued the vanquished army, prevented them entirely from drawing together into a body, so as to form any obstruction to. his future progress. As no former battle had been more disastrous to the enemy, so none was more extensively beneficial to the Allies. The submission of Brabant, and almost the whole Spanish Netherlands!, followed in the space of fifteen days: Louvain, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Oudenard, Mechlin, and other towns surrendered at discretion. Ostend, Meniri,

Dendermond and Aeth, were reduced by force, the garrisons making some opposition, but the French not daring to attempt their relief. At several of these sieges Major Blackader was present, as we shall find in course of the Diary.

May 12. Sabbath. Day of the battle; and here I have one of the most remarkable Ebenezers of my life to set up. This day we fought with the French, and by the great mercy of God did beat them. The battle was not general, but it was hot to those that were engaged. Our regiment was no farther engaged, but that we were cannonaded for some hours, and had several men killed and wounded. I was not near the Duke; but upon our wing we had great want of Generals and distinct orders; and some of those we had, seemed somewhat confused: So it was not our Conduct, but kind Providence. I observe also that the English had but small part in this victory. They are the boldest sinners in our army, therefore God will choose other instruments. Also the English have got a great vogue and reputation for courage, and are perhaps puffed tip upon it; and so God humbles their pride, as it were, by throwing them by. I was easy, and helped to discharge my duty well. We were very much fatigued with the pursuit, and lay all the night in the open fields without cover. Give me grace, O Lord, never to forget this great and glorious-day at Ramillies.

May 13. Marching this-day to improve our victory; but we are stopped, for the enemy has retired over the Dyle, and is there posted and strongly fortified. Probably we may attack them to-morrow, and if they stand to it, the action is likely to be very bloody.

May 14. The ways of God are wonderful, and past finding out. A disappointment this day that was not unpleasant; for instead of meeting with a vigorous resistance, as we expected, the enemy is gone, and we have got possession of Louvain. The effects of this battle are much greater than we expected. The Lord has sent a panic fear among the French army, and they are so shattered, that they can hardly get them kept together. They seem not resolved to stand any where.

May 15. Marching to Brussels. Still more and more of the surprising consequences of this victory. They have abandoned Brussels and all Brabant. The Lord is taken heart, and hand, and spirit from our enemies. He has sent a spirit of division, an unaccountable consternation among their Generals, and among the sundry troops they are made up of.

May 16. Passing the canal at Yilvoord. No resistance from the enemy, though we thought, happen what might, they would have defended the canal.

May 19. A fatiguing march this Sabbath. All day I met with what I fear and hate in this trade, viz. cursing, swearing, filthy language, &c. yet though it was a hell around me, I bless the Lord there was a heaven within. We are still pursuing our victory, and they are still fleeing before us. There is certainly something in this affair beyond human working, for our beating them merely could not have such wonderful effects. They called themselves 70,000 men before they fought; eighty battalions of foot. I do not believe there were 3000 of them killed, and Their loss was computed altogether at 20,000, of which 8000 were killed. yet their army is mouldering away, so that they have almost no foot in any body together. This is the finger of God, and not the doing of man.

May 20. We advanced this day towards Ghent, and still the French give way and retire. They have now quitted the Scheldt, and we are masters of Ghent peaceably.

May 21. This day is appointed by the General as a thanksgiving through the army for our victory and success, and all the chaplains are to preach.

May 23. Effects of our victory still more surprising; towns that we thought would have endured a long siege, are giving up and yielding without a stroke. Even the thoughtless creatures in the army observe the hand of Providence in this rapid success; but they laugh at these things.

May 24. Marching still forward; crossing the Lys above Ghent. Still no enemy to be seen. Bruges, Antwerp, and in short all Brabant and Flanders almost yielded. "What the French got in a night by stealth at the King of Spain’s death, they have lost again in a day. That old tyrant who wasted God’s church, is about to be wasted himself. Last war, and for a long time while God was using him for a scourge to the earth, there was conduct in his Generals,— strength and courage in his armies. They were a warlike people which their enemies were forced, at their sad expense, to confess: But now there is a sensible change, they are not like the men they were. I heard one of their own Colonels who is now killed say, “the only thing he regretted was, that he could not live till he should tell the king that he had his armies composed of Generals without heads, and soldiers without hands.” Our ordinary regiments beat their best troops, wherever we meet them in any equality of numbers.

May 25. Marching this day to Arsel, a place famous for the retreat of Prince Vaudemont, made here in 1695, in presence of the French army, who were thrice as strong as ours. And at this place I have a monument set up of thankfulness and praise for merciful deliverance from men who were ready to swallow us up. Now we are got in again to Cambray, where we were in the last war. I hope to have comfortable remembrancers of the mercy and goodness of God to me in several places.

May 21. Our success and good news come thick upon us from all airts: We had this night a feu-de-joi for the French raising the siege of Barcelona.

June 5. Going on command; and I observe with thankfulness, the goodness of God to me. I sought of him (and always do seek) to give me such commands and parties as I may he kept free of ill company; and this day I was threatened with such, hut Providence turned them another way. It was lot and chance apparently that did it by the dice, hut I look above these things to an over-ruling power.

July 10. We are now advanced farther into the country than ever we were able to penetrate last war. Most of this day, like many others, spent in idle company, foolish jesting and conversation. At night I rodq the round through the second line.

July 18. Diverting myself this day, riding abroad hunting all the forenoon. I was surprised when I. came home by an unhappy accident (a duel) in the regiment. What a mercy it is to he kept out of temptation.

July 21. Sabbath. In the house of mourning, where I was called to see an acquaintance die, the effect of that unlucky accident I spoke of. O that men would be wise, and learn at other men’s cost. Drunkenness and gaming was the occasion of this tragedy.

August 2. Hochstet; a day which I will remember as long as I live, &c.

August 3. I went this day to see the siege of Menin, and was in the trenches four or five hours; and I observe this of myself, (and I set it down that I may be humble,) I own freely that any measure of courage and resolution I can pretend to is allenarly the free gift of God, and not owing to natural temper, or constitution, or blood, or any thing of that sort; for I find if God were to withdraw his grace from me, I would be one of the most timid creatures in the army. I own too, that whenever I have clearness that I am in my duty, or called to such a post, be there ever so much danger, I can go cheerfully, for I know that my charges are borne. But my spirits fail always, in proportion as I am doubtful or unsatisfied.

Menin, which the Allies were now besieging, is situated on the Lys, nine miles north of Lisle, and five south-west of Courtray. It was one of the most regular fortifications in Flanders, and nothing that art could invent was wanting to render it impregnable. It was built under the immediate direction of Yauban, and was reckoned the master-piece of that celebrated engineer. It was defended by a garrison of 6000 men, with abundant stores of all warlike provisions. Being a place of such importance, and reckoned a key to the French conquests in the Netherlands, the Duke of Marlborough resolved to besiege it instantly, although it was reckoned by many too bold an undertaking. The troops to be employed on this occasion were those who had shared least in the previous services of the campaign. The trenches were opened on the 4th of August, and on the 23d the town capitulated, much sooner than might have been augured from the strength of the place.

August 7—12. Going towards Menin. Marching most of the night, and mistaking our way in the dark. But what is all mankind but a mass of confusion, wandering in the dark. I was serious, and tolerably helped to do my duty. I was concerned at seeing the poor soldiers snatched in a moment into eternity, and many, perhaps, not well prepared. On the night of the 8th we were alarmed, and our regiment was drawn out by three next morning; but it proved only a feint of the enemy. On the 12th I rode again in to Menin, which surrendered that day. The evening I spent in secret prayer to God, earnestly begging that his presence may go with me wherever we go next, whether to fight or besiege. On the 14th I witnessed the whole garrison of Menin march out.

The next place the Allies besieged was Dendermond, a strong town at the confluence of the rivers Scheldt and Dender, which had been under blockade ever since the battle of Ramillies. It was situated among morasses, and had formerly baffled the whole army of the French King, who commanded in person. General Churchill had the direction of this undertaking, and took the place after a siege of seven days.

August 15—26. We marched out here this day, and are going to the siege of Dendermond; and how things may go, or what may befal us there, the Lord only knows. On the 16th we were on our journey by three o’clock in the morning, and marched till five at night; a sore day for the poor soldiers. We had good quarters, and good accommodation. I observe the goodness of the Lord to us; for on the 19th our regiment was ordered to take post at a place near the town, where we would have been continually exposed, even lying in our tents, to the enemy’s fire; and it was also a very unwholesome place, by reason of water and marsh-ground. But just as we were marching to it, we were countermanded, and ordered to lie and cover the General’s quarters. As we marched, we were almost within musket shot of the town, and we wondered they did not ply their cannon at us. As we retired they fired some pieces at us, but they did us no hurt.

The kindness of Providence to us at this siege is remarkable in other respects, in withholding of rain for so long a time, whereby the marsh-ground is dried up, and the water, which is the strength of the place,' is now of no use to it. Even the people of this country say that God fights for. us; for old men of seventy years observe, they never saw such a drought, or the waters so low about the town as they are now. On the 24th I expected to go into the trenches, or command an attack on some part of the town. I should not be afraid to go alone in the strength of God, for he is able to lay the walls as low as those of Jericho. His arm is not shortened > he can keep me safe, though all the bombs of France were raging over my head, and all. their cannon arrayed in a battery against me.

Next day (Sabbath) we attacked a redoubt, and soon carried it; and upon this, the place did immediately capitulate. On the 26th I spent all the forenoon visiting the works and the town; it is a very important place, and we have got it very easily. The Providence of God is very observable, for now that the town is ours, there are great rains come on. If this weather had come a few days sooner, I know not what might have been the consequences. I bless God for the good accommodation I have had at this siege, which has been so gentle and cheap to us.

August 29. This day an easy march. I was obliged to be in company all the afternoon, where there was too much drinking. There was no body drunk, but a great deal of time trifled away. I hate myself when my head is in the least heated, or when a cool-thinking distinct temper, is in the least marred, though it should be far from drunkenness. And I bless God that my heart never warms, nor my soul mixes so with any company, as to steal me off my feet. The longer I stay, the more uneasy I am; and the worse the company is, the more I am upon my guard.

September 5. Now we are ordered to the siege of Aeth. We were surprised at this, for we expected, after our taking of Dendermond, that our regiment should not have been concerned in any more sieges this campaign; and indeed we are wronged and imposed upon. For my part I am very well satisfied at our coming to this siege. It is thou, O Lord, that sendest me here; I look above Generals. It is in mercy thou bringest me here, for all thy dealings with me are mercy. Thy presence will go with me, whether I go to trenches, attacks, or batteries. It was a fatiguing march this day, and very late before we got to our camp. At three next morning I went the round through all the English Regiments.

Aeth is a frontier town of Hainault, situate on the Dender, twenty-four miles south of Ghent. The fortifications were in good repair, and there was every provision necessary for a long and vigorous defence, except men, the garrison consisting only of 2000. The campaign of this year was sufficiently glorious, and might have ended with the reduction of Dendermond. The troops also appear to have been satisfied with their successes, and rather discontented at the prospect of embarking again in another siege; but the Duke of Marlborough was determined to follow the current of victory, which now ran so strong in his favour. On the 17th the besiegers began their line of circumvallation; the trenches were opened in a few days after, and on the 2d of October the place surrendered.

In this siege the Cameronian Regiment had their due proportion of fatigue and danger, being in the trenches, with little intermission, night and day; although they did not suffer very severely.

September 6—21. I am lodged ih a house pretty near the town, and exposed to the fire of the batteries; but I can lay me down in peace, and sleep, for the Lord makes me to dwell in safety. On the 9th we got orders that we were to mount the trenches tomorrow. I was taken up all the afternoon in getting necessary preparations and viewing the posts. Our regiment entered the trenches at night, and though there was a great deal of firing all night, we had not a man either killed or wounded. I had not that distinctness of faith that I would, but I was fervently plying the throne of grace for strength to do my duty. The 11th we continued in the trenches all day. There was a great deal of firing, both cannon, bombs, and small shot, yet we lost only two men. I have new experiences of God’s goodness in preserving and defending me. Others may take it for chance or random, hut I look to a higher hand. On the 15th we had a respite, that day being appointed a thanksgiving for the great victory obtained in Italy. At night there was a feu-de-joi through all the army, trenches, and batteries. The Lord is doing great things for us, and humbling the proud tyrant of France. On the 17th I went into the trenches again to join our Colonel, who was then on command. In the afternoon I was ordered myself to take command of the workmen, where we continued the whole night. We pushed our trenches very near the counterscarp; there was a brisk fire kept up, and seven or eight of my workmen wounded, yet it pleased the Lord to protect me.

Next day our whole regiment was ordered to the siege, and a very had rainy day it was. Our trenches where we were posted, ran close to the counterscarp ; and at twelve at night we took post and made a lodgment in the counterscarp with eighteen men and an Ensign. Cannon halls, bombs, grenades, and small shot, were flying thick, yet we lost not a man the whole night. The 19th was a day of particular providence to me, that I shall not forget as long as I live. Judgment and mercy were mixed together. We continued in the trenches the whole day, and lost several men, having seventeen killed and wounded. We were heat out of that lodgment in the counterscarp at two o’clock in the afternoon, and we retook it again at six. I fell into a mistake of about a quarter of an hour in timing the attack. I cannot tell wliat influence this had, or whether the same consequences might not have fallen out had it happened otherwise. But my conscience smote me about it, and I thought the surest way for me was to flee to the blood of Jesus for pardon. At night, coming out of the trenches I was in great confusion of spirit, I had only a servant with me, for the regiment was gone off before. Being very dark and wet, and on foot, we wandered and mistook the way; I had a water to cross, and my servant durst not venture to bring my horses over, as it was a very bad bridge, I got a horse of the Colonel’s, and coming to the bridge, it fell, and both horse and I were thrown into the water; I was in danger of being drowned, the horse falling on his side, and my foot sticking in the., stirrup. I got clear, and got out, but could not get out the horse for near a quarter of an hour, so that lie was almost drowned. At last I got him out, and presently my own horses came to me: so I came home blessing God for his merciful deliverances, and in the meantime trembling at his judgments. On the 21st the town surrendered. The Lord has put new' songs of praise in my mouth. May he give me grace to pay my vows, and walk humbly with him all the days of my life.

The siege of Aeth closed the campaign of this year. On the 1st of October Major Blackader marched with his regiment from the town. They were ordered to Courtray to superintend the repairs of the fortifications under Major-General Murray, a service which appears to have created some murmuring among the exhausted troops.

October 22, We are disappointed this day, for instead of marching into our garrison as we expected, we arc ordered to march to Courtray to-morrow, which has put us all out of humour.

In November they returned to winter-quarters at Bruges.


Return to Book Index Page


 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast