1760 - Austrian campaign in Saxony
The campaign lasted from February to December 1760
The Opposing Armies
The Prussian Army
The various Prussian armies had not been equally affected by the campaign of 1759. The army of Prince Heinrich, which had remained encamped at Schmottseiffen for a large part of the campaign, had been almost entirely spared from combat losses. However, it had suffered from illness due to the harsh weather, and to its numerous manoeuvres and strenuous marches. Nevertheless, it was in far better conditions, than the other Prussian armies, which had heavily suffered in the battles of Palzig and Kunersdorf, and been forced to converge several weak battalions of their infantry regiments. Furthermore, at the end of the year, all of Finck's Corps had been forced to surrender as prisoners of war at Maxen. Finally, Diericke's detachment had been captured near Meissen. Overall, 12 infantry rgts and 6 cavalry rgts had been captured during that campaign. With all these losses, Frederick's Army suffered from a serious lack of experienced officers.
In January 1760, Fredrick's infantry in Saxony comprised 15 grenadier bns and 42 musketeer bns for a total of 771 officers and 27,340 men (at full strength they should have counted 1,156 officers and 46,416 men). His cavalry comprised 109 sqns for a total of 439 officers and 10,937 men (at full strength they should have counted 685 officers and 17,533 men). Including the freikorps and the jägers, Frederick's Army in Saxony numbered 1,272 officers, 40,561 men and 11,079 horses.
By January 20, 10 interim bns of convalescents (each of 450 men) had been established and organised in two brigades under Major-General von Stutterheim and Major-General von Hauss. The first brigade included Du Moulin Grenadier Battalion, Hommerstedt Grenadier Battalion, Kahlenberg and Sydow (2 bns); the second, Zastrow, Luck, Hasslocher, Ponickau Grenadier Battalion and Seher Grenadier Battalion.
Officers were sent to Brandenburg, Pomerania, Magdeburg, Halberstadt and Silesia to enlist recruits. Other recruits were enlisted in the occupied territories of Saxony (6,000 men), Thuringia, Anhalt and Mecklenburg. All grenadier bns, which had been captured in 1759, were re-established at half-strength and combined in three converged bns: Schwerin, Kleist, and Benckendorff.
Some of the units in the process of being rebuilt could initially only be used in fortresses. That was the case for Rebentisch Infantry, and Knobloch Infantry assigned to the Fortress of Breslau (present-day Wrocław/PL); Zastrow Fusiliers, Münchow Fusiliers and the 2 bns of Tresckow Infantry, in Schweidnitz (present-day Świdnica/PL). To compensate, 9 garrison bns were equipped for campaign with battalion guns, wagons, and horses: I./Alt-Sydow and II./Alt-Sydow at Breslau, I./Mellin, II./Mellin, III./Mellin and IV./Mellin at Schweidnitz; and I,/Jung-Sydow, II./Jung-Sydow and IV./Lattorf.
Losses among cavalry units were less important and most of them were able to replenish their ranks. The hussars in particular rapidly returned to full strength with the recruitment of volunteers. A few dragoon rgts received smaller Polish horses instead of the usual German horses.
The troopers returning from captivity were used to re-establish Horn Cuirassiers and Vasold Cuirassiers at half-strength. The two were temporarily combined to form a single 5 sqns rgt. Bredow Cuirassiers and Jung-Platen Dragoons, each counted only 2 sqns for the campaign of 1760. The Württemberg Dragoons, whose recruiting cantons were in the hands of the Russians, could only field a single sqn. The Gersdorff Hussars fielded only 3 sqns. In Saxony, Colonel von Kleist added 2 sqns to his Free-Hussars and raised 4 sqns of light dragoons.
Throughout winter, the Prussian artillery received new pieces recently cast in Berlin and Breslau. For the first time, the Prussian orders of battle showed the heavy artillery organised in batteries of 10 pieces. Each infantry brigade was supposed to be accompanied by such a battery. The horse artillery, which had been captured at Maxen, was not re-established before June, when Prince Heinrich allocated 6 light 6-pdrs to the Bayreuth Dragoons at Landsberg.
The Austrian Army
The Austrian Army had suffered very low casualties during the campaign of 1759. However, there were a lot of illness due to this unusually long campaign. By April 15, 1760, most rgts were at full strength. However, the new recruits had not yet joined their respective rgts and had been kept in "depot" behind the front. Furthermore, 20,000 men were in hospitals.
Prelude to the Campaign
At the beginning of 1760, the Allied Corps under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick stayed in Saxony until February 15 to assist the Prussian Army. Meanwhile Frederick II tried to recapture Dresden. Frederick advanced upon the positions of Maquire's Corps near Dippoldiswalde but found them unassailable. He then abandoned his project.
In January, Frederick sent troops to Western Saxony and Thuringia to enforce his requisitions of recruits, money and provisions. Lieutenant-Colonel von Kottwitz of the Gens d'Armes marched with 300 horse towards Querfurt and Langensalza. Similarly Captain Kovacs went to Duderstadt and the Eichsfelde with the Free Hussars; Major-General von Bandemer, towards Zeitz with the Leib-Carabiniers; and Captain de Froideville, towards Zwickau with a detachment (250 men) of Schorlemmer Dragoons. Complaints from the affected districts reached Bamberg, where Field Marshal Serbelloni had assumed command of the Reichsarmee. Serbelloni ordered FML Luszinsky, who was posted near Plauen and Scheitz with a corps of Austrian light troops, to send patrols forward in the direction of Gera, the Vogtland and downstream along the Saale River.
Around mid January, Frederick put his troops into partial cantonments. From this moment, he did not make use of the Hereditary Prince's Corps. His right wing and headquarters were at Freiberg with his troops spread in the villages from Wilsdruff, in the centre, and his left wing southward. General Schmettau was at Görlitz with 7 bns and 15 sqns. Meanwhile, Field-Marshal Count Daun inexplicably remained in its unassailable entrenchments in the vale of Plauen near Dresden. Feldzeugmeister Count Lacy was cantoned on the right bank of the Elbe with a large corps while FML Beck's Corps was pushed forward to Zittau. The Saxon cavalry was posted near the Silesian border in front of Görlitz, facing Schmettau's Corps. This general situation lasted until April.
For the campaign of 1760, Daun had, as usual, the chief command of the Grand Army (100,000 men) in Saxony. He was assisted by the Reichsarmee. According to the general plan settled upon for the campaign, Daun with his Grand Army would fix Frederick in Saxony and would follow him if ever he marched to the rescue of Silesia. Meanwhile, Feldzeugmeister Loudon would lead a large corps in Silesia and operate jointly with the Russian Army of Count Saltykov.
At the beginning of February, Prince Heinrich left the army because of illness and, with the permission of the king, went to Wittenberg. Margrave Karl temporarily replaced him as commander of the left wing of the army, quartered in the vicinity of Wilsdruff. Frederick ordered Lieutenant-General von Wedel to second the margrave.
On February 14, a small detachment of Leib-Carabiniers was attacked in Naumburg by Austrian hussars, who captured 1 officer and 16 men.
In mid-February, Beck resolved to attack the Prussian positions at Cossdorf (present-day Koßdorf) across the Elbe. These positions covered Torgau and the towns of the area.
By mid-February, Frederick was convinced that, for the coming campaign, Daun's main army would initially remain in its present positions, while Loudon's Corps (estimated at 20,000 men) would effect a junction with the Reichsarmee and advance through Thuringia towards Leipzig and Halberstadt. Beck would try to make a junction with a Russian corps in the vicinity of Glogau (present-day Glogow/PL) and Saltykov would lay siege to Colberg (present-day Kołobrzeg/PL) with his main army. Accordingly, he decided to split his main army in two corps: an Army of Saxony under his own command and an Army of Silesia under Prince Heinrich. The latter would have to cover Glogau and Breslau, and to inflict a defeat on the Russians before their main army set off from its winter-quarters. However, he was instructed to keep a force near Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Góra/PL) and, if necessary, to send troops to the relief of Neisse (present-day Nysa/PL).
On February 19, an Austrian detachment (Erzherzog Leopold Cuirassiers, Hessen-Darmstadt Dragoons under Major-General von Wiese, Bethlen Hussars and Dessewffy Hussars under Colonel Hintzmann, 4 grenadier coys and 500 Grenzer light troops under Colonel Zedtwitz) marched to Grossenhain. After a short halt, the detachment crossed the Röder creek and proceeded to Cossdorf, which was defended by General Ernst Heinrich von Czettritz.
At dawn on February 20, Beck's troops surprised Czettritz's detachment in the Engagement of Cossdorf. A few hours later, the Prussians re-advanced, repulsed Beck and recovered Cossdorf. During this affair, the Austrians had captured Czettritz's personal baggage, where they found a copy of the book "The General Principles of War," which was in fact a set of secret instructions given by Frederick II to his generals. The book would be published in Austria in 1761.
At the end of February, Frederick learned that part of Loudon's Corps was marching towards Prague and that the Reichsarmee should advance on Gera. From an intercepted letter, he also learned that the main Austrian reinforcements would be directed towards Upper Silesia. Frederick estimated that he had enough time to redirect the Army of Silesia against the Russians and then send it back to Silesia. He thought that decision would be gained east of the Elbe River, not in Saxony.
At the beginning of March, Frederick initiated the work to reinforce the positions, where he intended to retire behind the Triebisch River. Entrenchments were erected from the Radewitzer Height over the Katzenhäuser and from Miltitz on the left bank of the Triebisch to Meissen, all passages across the river were blocked with barricades.
On March 5, fearing another attack, Colonel Dingelstedt, who had assumed command after the capture of Czettritz, retired to new positions between Blumberg and Torgau with his detachment.
When Major-General von Schmettau, who was posted in and around Görtlitz with his corps, was informed of Beck's attack on Czettritz's positions, he decided to outflank Beck's Corps and to attack it in the rear. However, General Fouqué, to whom Schmettau was subordinate, drew his attention to the fact that in this case the enemy corps stationed at Zittau could also advance and seize the Prussian posts at Görlitz and Lauban. Shortly afterwards, Schmettau learned that the Austrians were reinforcing their detachments at Bautzen, Löbau, Zittau and Reichenberg, and planned to attack him. So not only did Schmettau abandoned his design against Beck's Corps, but he also asked Frederick whether he might withdraw in front of the vastly superior Austrian forces. The king agreed, provided that circumstances required it.
On March 8, seeing that the Austro-Imperials were pushing detachments in Western Saxony, Frederick ordered the Leib-Carabiniers to retire from Zeitz to Weissenfels.
On March 10, Schmettau's Corps retired behind the Queiss River at Lauban, where it was very close to Fouqué's quarters.
In mid-March a Prussian detachment of 10 bns and 5 sqns with 8 heavy artillery pieces under Lieutenant-General von Wedel took cantonment in and around Meissen, to prevent General Beck from advancing on Torgau.
On March 16, Major-General von Bandemer, who commanded the Leib-Carabiniers posted at Zeitz, fell ill and confided command to Colonel von Arnstädt. The sqns of the regiment were instructed to concentrate at Teuchern in preparation for the planned march towards Weissenfels.
On March 17 early in the morning, 2 sqns of the Leib-Carabiniers, who had not yet left Zeitz, were surrounded by Austrian light troops (Baranyay Hussars, a detachment of Kurfürstin Leib-Dragoner, Otto Jägerkorps, a few hundred Grenzer light troops and a detachment of Saxon Revertenten). As the first troopers rode out of the Pegau Gate, they bumped into Grenzer light troops who occupied the suburb. Without hesitation, Lieutenant von Krahn broke through these light troops with his troopers. However, he found that the Elster Bridge was occupied by Otto Jägercorps. As it proved impossible to force his way across the bridge, Lieutenant von Krahn turned right and rode further downstream where his detachment swam across the Elster. Colonel von Arnstädt did not follow Krahn's example, choosing instead to get out of Zeitz through the Gera Gate with the rest of the 2 sqns. As his troopers came out of this gate, they were attacked by the enemy cavalry, which threw them down the slope towards the Elster, while the Austrian infantry, who had meanwhile entered the town, fired on them from behind. Most of Arnstädt's troopers were taken prisoners. In this action, the Leib-Carabiniers lost 14 officers and 202 men, as well as a kettle-drum and two standards.
On March 18, the Austrian detachment retired from Zeitz to Gera.
King Frederick was very angry when he heard of the action at Zeitz, which he blamed on Arnstädt's carelessness.
On March 21, Frederick sent Major-General von Schenckendorff with a strong detachment to Zeitz to prevent further incursions by the Austrian light troops.
On March 25, Schenckendorff's detachment (Grenadier Battalion Nimschöfsky, Grenadier Battalion Bähr, Grenadier Battalion Schwartz, the rest of the Leib-Carabiniers, Lieutenant-Colonel von Kottwitz's 300 horse and 200 Kleist Hussars with 2 twelve-pdrs) arrived at Zeitz.
By April, the entire Saxon cavalry corps (now counting 5,288 men) was attached to Lacy's Corps posted near Radeberg. The Uhlans encamped near Strehla, the Chevauxlegers at Königsbrück.
At the beginning of April, General of Cavalry Andreas Hadik was sent to assume command of the Austrian Contingent attached to the Reichsarmee.
On April 7
On April 8
- On April 8 in the evening, Kleefeld's light corps arrived at Zwickau. When he heard that a Prussian convoy was spending the night at Niedermülsen, he set off from Zwickau at midnight and marched along the eastern bank of the Mulde.
On April 9
- Engagement of Niedermülsen
- When Froideville saw that the Austrian light troops caught up with his convoy, he took position on a height between Niedermülsen and Wernsdorf and tried to oppose resistance.
- The Prussian cavalry was broken and Froideville was taken prisoner along with 4 officers and 98 men. The 100 men of Prinz Moritz Infantry under Captain von Lentz resisted steadfastly and were able to retire.
- Schenckendorff's detachment returned to Borna, after completing its mission.
In mid-April, Schenckendorff's detachment left Borna and rejoined Frederick's main army. Major-General Salenmon was sent to the vicinity of Merseburg with Freibataillon Salenmon (recently re-raised in Leipzig) and Captain Kovacs' Frei-Hussars to cover Leipzig and to observe the Reichsarmee. The Schmettau Cuirassiers were sent to Stargard in Pommerania. East of Torgau, there remained only Major von Monjou with 3 sqns of Möhring Hussars, 100 Zieten Hussars, 100 Kleist Hussars and 120 Krockow Dragoons.
On April 17, an Austrian detachment advanced from Frauenstein and attacked 4 sqns of Kleist Hussars under Lieutenant-Colonel von Röell, posted on the Lower Bobritzsch on the right wing of the main Prussian army, which was still posted near Freiberg. The Austrians were driven back.
On April 18, Hadik arrived at Bamberg to replace FM Serbelloni at the head of the Austrian Contingent attached to the Reichsarmee. Serbelloni then left for Transylvania.
On April 19, Frederick and Prince Heinrich met in Meissen in preparation for the campaign.
On April 21, Lieutenant-Colonel von Bohlen of the Kleist Hussars attacked an Austrian outpost near Burkersdorf and took a number of prisoners.
On April 24, Frederick left Freiberg and joined his left wing near Wilsdruff to personally lead the retreat behind the Triebisch River. He confided command of the right wing to Lieutenant-General von Hülsen. A few days before the heavy artillery and the baggage had been sent to these new positions.
On April 25 in the evening, Frederick's left wing set off in two columns and marched to the new positions northward on Korbitz and Meissen behind the Triebisch. Meanwhile, the right wing marched in two columns and crossed the Mulde River near Nossen. The retreat took place on a moonlit night and the Austrians did not react to these movements.
Meanwhile, Daun, for the last two weeks, had taken the field, posting himself astride of the Elbe River, half in Dresden, half on the opposite or northern bank of the river. Lacy was thrown out ahead in good force on this vacant side.
On April 26
- Frederick's entire army (55½ bns, 92 sqns for a total of approx. 50,000 men) took position in the entrenchments behind the Triebisch. Its right wing was anchored on the Mulde River at Nossen and its left wing on the Elbe at Meissen. Hülsen's Corps (19 bns, 24 sqns) was encamped near the Katzenhäusern, its cavalry secured a line extending from Gruna (unidentified location), by way of Ober-Eula, Nieder-Eula and Rothschönberg to Munzig. Hussar outposts were established along the Mulde at Leisnig, Döbeln, Rosswein and Nossen. The 14 bns of the second line took position in the fortified camp of Schletta, between Robschütz and Korbitz. The 20 bns of the first line and the cavalry were quartered in the villages to the rear. Unless they were on outpost duty, cavalry units took position to the west and north of the infantry. The Möhring Hussars were posted near Krögis to protect the line of communication between Hülsen's Corps and the camp of Schletta by way of the Katzenhäusern. Frederick established his headquarters in Schletta. These new positions extended from Meissen southward about 16 km, commanding the passes of the Erzegebirge (Metal Mountains) and defending Leipzig, Torgau and Saxony in general.
- Frederick started building large entrenchments and equipped them with a numerous artillery (250 guns in the front alone). He would remain in these strong positions more than 6 weeks until mid June.
- Only the light troops of the Austrians had followed the Prussians in their march to the Triebisch. They soon took positions between Röhrsdorf, Neukirchen and Bieberstein.
- Daun sent Berlichingen forward to Wilsdruff.
At the beginning of May
On May 8, Zedmar managed to take 43 prisoners during a skirmish near Grossenhain. He then took position to the southeast of Torgau.
By May 12, Palatine troops were concentrated in a camp at Ebensfeld, south of Staffelstein.
On May 27, 160 Prussian hussars under Captain von Prittwitz marching from the vicinity of Cottbus to maintain a line of communication with Prince Heinrich's Army were surprised near Kolkwitz by the Saxon Schiebel Uhlans and driven back towards Fehrow with a loss of 1 officer and 47 men.
The Race to Silesia
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed order of battle of the Austrian forces operating in Saxony in early June
Detailed order of battle of Frederick's Army in Saxony in early June.
On June 1
- Daun had to dedicate a large part (24 bns, 40 sqns) of his army to occupy Plauen and thus cover Dresden. His main army was accordingly reduced to only 37 bns and 90 sqns.
- The infantry of Daun's main army encamped with its right wing anchored on the right bank of the Elbe on the heath of Dresden, and its left wing extending from Dresden up to the Wind-Berge south of Gross-Burgk (unidentified location). The Weisseritz River covered the front of its positions. All the Austrian cavalry still remained in its quarters.
- Part of the former Hadik's Corps remained near Dippoldiswalde under FZM Count Wied as a Reserve Corps (14,000 men, including 5,600 Grenzer light troops and hussars).
- Light troops (3,070 men) under Major-General von Ried were posted near Freiberg.
- The garrison of Dresden consisted of 7 bns under FZM Count Maquire.
- In the region of Zittau, FML Beck was at the head of 6,600 men (including approx. 3,000 light troops).
- The Reichsarmee under the command of the Prince of Zweibrücken was encamped by brigades near Hassfurt, Eltmann and Kulmbach.
- Lacy's Corps (17,000 men) was encamped on the east bank of the Elbe on the heights near Boxdorf.
- In the evening, FZM Count Lacy assembled a strong cavalry detachment near Grossenhain to drive back Zedmar's detachment and make a reconnaissance towards Torgau.
- Major von Zedmar was still posted in the vicinity of Nichtewitz and Adelwitz on the east bank of the Elbe near Kossdorf with the Zieten Hussars, 120 men of the Krockow Dragoons, 100 men of the Kleist Hussars and the Freibataillon Quintus Icilius to observe Lacy's Corps.
- Frederick, for his part, after leaving 16 bns and 24 sqns in the vicinity of Meissen, could march towards Silesia with 38 bns and 70 sqns. He planned to cross the Elbe at Zehren, 6 km to the northwest of Meissen, on June 15, once Lieutenant-General Duke of Holstein-Gottorp would have joined him with the 2 dragoons rgts arriving from Western Germany.
On the night of June 1 to 2,
- Lacy's cavalry detachment marched in three columns .
- The right column was under the command of the Saxon Major-General Count Renard and consisted of 400 Schiebel Uhlans and 2 sqns from each of the 3 Saxon chevaulegers rgts. This column was charged to turn Zedmar's positions by way of Gröditz, Kröbeln, Saxdorf and Kötten.
- An hour after Renard's departure, the centre column under Lacy's direct command followed along the main road leading from Grossenhein to Torgau by way of Kossdorf. It consisted of 400 Rudnicki Uhlans, 2 sqns from each of the 3 Saxon chevaulegers rgts, and the Saxon Karabiniergarde.
- The left column under Major-General Prince Liechtenstein set off at the same time as Lacy's column and marched along the Elbe. It consisted of the Kaiser Hussars, the Liechtenstein Dragoons and the Birkenfeld Cuirassiers.
- Lacy's cavalry detachment marched in three columns .
- Engagement at Kossdorf
- Zedmar had no idea that such a force was advancing against him. However, in the middle of the night, the Rudnicki Uhlans mistakenly engaged the Kaiser Hussars, believing they were a Prussian unit. The din of battle gave alarm in Zedmar's camp. His hussars were sent forward to support his outposts at Kossdorf.
- Between Nichtewitz and Blumberg, the Prussian hussars bumped into the uhlans and drove them back. Zedmar pursued them and came to contact with the Saxon chevaulegers of the centre column. However, he then learned that another enemy cavalry column was also advancing along the Elbe and threatened to cut his line of retreat towards Torgau. He immediately retired to Graditz.
- Neither the right column, which had been delayed by bad roads, nor the left had been able to intervene against Zedmar's detachment. Lacy returned to Grossenhain.
- In this affair, the Zieten Hussars lost 50 men but captured 2 officers and 34 men. The Austrians lost 3 officers and 46 men.
On June 3, Lacy retired to the vicinity of Dresden.
On June 6, Frederick established a strong battery at Seilitz.
On June 10, Frederick sent Major-General von Krockow with the Krockow Dragoons and Normann Dragoons by way of Torgau to the right bank of the Elbe to cover, in conjunction with Zedmar's detachment, the planned crossing of the river by Frederick's Army, and to observe Lacy's Corps encamped on the heights of Boxdorf.
On June 11
- Lieutenant-General Duke of Holstein-Gottorp reached Leipzig with the Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons and Finckenstein Dragoons. He made a junction with Krockow's detachment near Torgau and assumed command of the corps. A Prussian force including 20 dragoon sqns, the Zieten Hussars and the Freibataillon Quintus Icilius was now assembled on the right bank of the Elbe to cover the construction of a bridge near Zehren.
- Zweibrücken established his headquarters at Hof, where he assembled his army (26 bns for a total of 14,300 foot, and 22 sqns for a total of 2,200 men).
- General Kleefeld's light corps, previously posted along the Saale and Mulde rivers, marched by way of Zeitz towards Altenburg.
- FML Luzinsky was posted with a detachment (7 bns, 9 sqns for a total of 6,000 men) of the Reichsarmee near Römhild to prevent Hessian, Hanoverian or Prussian raids in Franconia.
On June 13
- The Duke of Holstein-Gottorp took position at Kossdorf with his corps.
- Frederick initially planned to cross the Elbe with his whole army, leaving only Hülsen's Corps on the left bank. However, when he learned that Loudon had left Frankenstein (present-day Zabkowice Slaskie/PL). he decided to cross the river only with the first line of his army until he would know more about Loudon's intentions.
- The Reichsarmee set off from Hof and marched towards Saxony by way of Zwickau, Zschopau and Frauenstein.
On June 14
- At 6:00 p.m., Prussian Engineer-Major Petri began to build a pontoon-bridge. Meanwhile. the 20 bns of the first line and 48 sqns set off from their quarters and marched at regular intervals, brigade by brigade and assembled near Zehren. Only the generals' and commanders' chaises, the regimental surgeon wagons and the pack horses were taken along as baggage. The money wagons of the regiments, all company and bread wagons initially remained on the left bank.
- At 7:00 p.m., as work continued on the pontoon-bridge, 100 Möhring Hussars and the Freibataillon Courbière, who had crossed the river aboard barges, occupied the heights of Zadel. They were soon followed by the two first infantry brigades, which crossed the river on prepared bridges, each made of two large prams.
- At 7:30 p.m., the two last infantry brigades began to cross the pontoon-bridge.
On June 15
- At 1:45 a.m., all the infantry and the Möhring Hussars had crossed to the right bank of the Elbe and marched in two lines.
- Around 4:00 a.m., the Duke of Holstein with his 30 sqns and Freibataillon Quintus Icilius made a junction with Frederick's troops near Zadel.
- Frederick set off with the Zieten Hussars, Möhring Hussars, Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons and Finckenstein Dragoons, Freibataillon Courbière, Freibataillon Quintus Icilius and 10 bns, and marched towards Zscheila.
- On its way, the Prussian cavalry came to contact with the Austrian Kaiser Hussars the near Gröbern and drove them back with losses.
- Margrave Karl followed Frederick with the bulk of the cavalry and heavy artillery, as soon as these had completed the crossing.
- Around 10:00 a.m., the Prussian army established its camp with its right wing at Zscheila and its left at Naundörfel. The villages along the front of the camp were occupied and Frederick established his headquarters in Proschwitz.
- The second line of infantry, under the command of General Bülow, remained at the entrenched camp of Schletta.
- A boat-bridge was built at Meissen and the pontoon bridge was disassembled at Zehren and rebuilt at Kohlhof (unidentified location) near Meissen. Hülsen took position near the Katzenhäusern to cover these operations.
- During the crossing of the Elbe by Frederick's Army, Lacy was posted at Moritzburg with 30,000 men, only 16 km to eastward. However, the rest of his cavalry remained idle near Weinböhla.
- Daun was encamped at Reichenberg, within 3 km of Lacy, inexpugnably entrenched as usual. When he was informed of the crossing of the Elbe by part of Frederick's Army, instead of seizing the opportunity presented by the divided Prussian Army, he advanced his grenadier and carabiner corps to support Lacy.
- The Reichsarmee reached Zwickau. As soon as it would reach Dresden, Daun would be free to cross the Elbe with the main body of his army and to make a junction with Lacy's Corps.
If Frederick wanted to exploit the current favourable location, he would have to act quickly. Moreover, the aggravation of the situation in Silesia made every day count. Therefore, Frederick decided to attack Lacy's Corps, which was posted between Radeburg and Moritzburg. He estimated its strength to 17 bns, 40 sqns and 2 uhlan rgts. He expected Daun to quickly reinforce this corps with 15 bns if it was threatened.
On June 16
- Daun moved the second line of his right wing under General of Cavalry Buccow, which was still posted on the eastern bank of the Elbe, to the heights of Boxdorf to support Lacy's Corps.
- Daun personally reconnoitred the Prussian positions near Proschwitz from the Spitzhause, south of Wahnsdorf.
On June 17
- The first line of Daun's right wing joined the second in the camp near Boxdorf. Daun entrenched his camp.
- Lacy's Corps advanced further north and set up a new camp east of the large ponds near Moritzburg on the heights between Gross-Dittmannsdorf and Bärnsdorf.
On June 18
- At 3:00 a.m., Frederick marched in three columns with the troops he had assembled on the right bank of the Elbe towards Lacy's positions. He thought that Lacy's Corps was still posted between Radeburg and Moritzburg. His vanguard, followed by the right column, marched by way of Großdobritz towards Naunhof. The centre column marched by way of Lauterbach on Mittel-Ebersbach. The left column marched towards Nieder-Rödern, it should cross the Promnitz River south of Radeburg and continue its advance along its eastern bank. Frederick planned to turn Lacy's right wing and force him to retire towards Boxdorf to get support, and hoped to force a battle.
- Hülsen's Corps replaced Bülow's second line in the camp of Schletta.
- During the march, Frederick was informed that Daun had taken position in the vicinity of Boxdorf with the main body of his army. He sent orders to General von Hülsen to leave 6½ bns (Grenadier Battalion Nesse, Salmuth Fusiliers, Grant Fusiliers, II/Frei-Infanterie Wunsch, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 2 coys of Hauss Fusiliers), 300 hussars and the light dragoons near Schletta and Meissen and to follow his own army with the rest of his corps.
- Near Großdobritz, the Prussian vanguard (Zieten Hussars, Möhring Hussars, Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons, Normann Dragoons, Freibataillon Quintus Icilius, Freibataillon Courbière, II. and III. Garde, Grenadier Battalion Nimschöfsky, Grenadier Battalion Rathenow) came to contact with Austrian light troops under General Brentano, who retired by way of Steinbach without opposing resistance and took refuge in the forest east of this village. As the vanguard reached Ober-Rödern, Austrian artillery posted on the opposite bank of the Röder fired at them. The Austrians soon withdrew to a heavily entrenched position between Bärnsdorf and Gross-Dittmannsdorf. The Prussian hussars attacked Brentano's rearguard and captured 100 men.
- Around 2:00 p.m., Frederick went to the heights west of Radeburg to observe the strong Austrian positions. He decided to wait for the arrival of Hülsen's Corps before launching his attack. His army encamped between Bärwalde and Radeburg, his position extending up to Berbisdorf, ready to cross the Roder Stream.
- At 4:00 p.m., Frederick assembled his generals and staff officers in Radeburg, and informed them of his intention to give battle on the following day. He informed them of his order of battle and ordered them to have their troops under arms by 3:00 a.m. the next day.
- Around 5:00 p.m., Hülsen's Corps arrived at the Prussian camp. It was quartered in Ober-Ebersbach, Mittel-Ebersbach, Ober-Rödern and Nieder-Rödern.
- As always, the Austrians were well informed about the movements of the Prussians, so they knew of Frederick's preparations.
- Daun moved his right wing from Boxdorf eastwards and deployed it between Boxdorf and the forest north of Klotzsche, facing Bärnsdorf. His left wing crossed the Elbe on a pontoon bridge near Übigau and occupied the former camp of the right wing.
- Daun ordered the Reserve, then posted at Dippoldiswalde under FZM Count Wied, to occupy the camp of Plauen.
- General Ried advanced up to Nossen with his light corps and reconnoitred up to Katzenhäuser.
- In the evening, Daun was informed that Hülsen's Corps had crossed the Elbe and was marching to join Frederick's Army. However, Daun could not believe that Frederick would give battle, judging that he would rather try to march towards Silesia. Accordingly, he held himself in readiness to follow him there.
In the night of June 18 to 19, Lacy retired by way of Medingen and Lausa.
On June 19
- Early in the morning, Lacy's Corps was posted to the southeast of Lausa with its right wing on the heights east of this village and his left wing resting against the woods north of Klotzsche, with outposts at Hermsdorf, Marsdorf and Vilkersdorf.
- Daun deployed his army in order of battle with several large batteries along its front. Daun's right wing was separated from Lacy's left wing by a forest. The entire Austrian Army of 60,000 men was thus concentrated and entrenched on the hill of Reichenberg.
- At 4:00 a.m., the Frederick's Army was on the move for Bärnsdorf to give battle, when he was informed by his hussars that Lacy had retired. Austrian deserters confirmed the news.
- In the morning, Frederick, escorted by the hussars, the Normann Dragoons, Freibataillon Quintus Icilius and Freibataillon Courbière, reconnoitred the Austrian positions and realised that it was impossible to successfully attack such a superior force. He then returned to his camp. He could only hope that Daun would soon march off towards Silesia. If so, he planned to reach Bunzlau in six or seven marches and make a junction with Fouqué's small army. Meanwhile, he entrenched his camp at Radeburg.
- Frederick was also worried for the small detachment left behind at Meissen with the baggage and the bakery and ordered Hülsen's Corps (including Grenadier Battalion Lossau and Markgraf Carl Infantry) to return to Schletta, leaving only a detachment near Großdobritz at Frederick's disposal to support Colonel von Linden, who was already posted there.
- Frederick remained in these positions for a week.
On June 20
- Frederick's Army remained idle in its camp.
- Hülsen's Corps marched back towards Meissen, Hülsen had just encamped near Großdobritz, when he was informed that a strong Austro-Imperial corps was marching from Dresden on Linden's position. Hülsen sent him a reinforcement of 5 sqns of Schorlemmer Dragoons and 5 sqns of Kleist Hussars and soon followed with the rest of his corps. He was still on the march when he learned that only the outposts on the right flank of Linden's detachment had been attacked, and that there was no danger otherwise. Hülsen decided to remain on the eastern bank of the Elbe and encamped on the heights of Proschwitz.
- Frederick detached Major-General von Krockow to Großdobritz to maintain communication between his main army and the corps left behind in the vicinity of Proschwitz and Meissen. This detachment consisted of Grenadier Battalion Jung-Billerbeck, Krockow Dragoons, Anhalt-Bernburg Infantry, 60 hussars and 6 heavy cannon.
- Daun's Army encamped.
On June 21
On June 22
- Colonel von Kleist with 300 hussars, 3 sqns of Kleist Light Dragoons, 3 sqns of Schorlemmer Dragoons and the II/Frei-Infanterie Wunsch attacked a detachment of 300 Jazygier-Kumanier Hussars, which was posted near Katzenhäusern under Colonel Török. Kleist annihilated this detachment and brought back 2 officers and 42 men as prisoners.
- Krockow's detachment drove back an attack.
- The Reichsarmee coming from Franconia arrived at the camp of Plauen near Dresden to make a junction with Daun's Army. It encamped in the Vale of Plauen and its headquarters were established in Dresden.
- Kleefeld's Corps remained near Altenburg and Luzinsky's Corps near Römhild.
These reinforcements brought the Austro-Imperial Army operating in Saxony to a total of 100,000 men. Against them, Frederick could field only some 50,000 men. He knew that, if Loudon attacked in Silesia, he would be unable to send any reinforcement.
On June 23
On June 24
- After learning of the capture of Fouqué's Corps at Landeshut, Daun, who was convinced that Frederick would desperately try to march towards Silesia, instructed Loudon to leave some troops in front of Glatz (present-day Kłodzko/PL) and in Landeshut and to join him in the vicinity of Löwenberg (present-day Lwowek Slaski/PL) or Schmottseiffen (present-day Pławna Dolna/PL) with the rest of his army.
- In the evening, Austrian officers notified the Prussian outposts that Fouqué's Corps had been annihilated in Silesia and Fouqué himself had been taken prisoner.
On June 25
- The Austrians celebrated Loudon's victory in the Battle of Landeshut in Silesia, fought on June 23.
- Frederick had not yet received any confirmation of the crushing defeat suffered in Silesia. He decided to move his main camp from Radeburg to Großdobritz, since there was a lack of forage around Radeburg.
- In the evening, Frederick sent his train under escort to Großdobritz.
On June 26
- Early in the morning, hoping to lure Daun in an open battle, Frederick abandoned his camp of Radeburg and retired unmolested in three columns to Großdobritz.
- Daun remained idle in his camp of Boxdorf, pushing detachments on Brockwitz and Grossenhain to observe the road to Ortrand.
- The Austrian Reserve Corps under FZM Count Wied, which had been encamped west of Dresden, joined Daun's main army.
- Lacy sent his light troops under Brentano towards Radeburg and sent detachments to Königsbrück and Schönfeld to observe Frederick's movements.
- Daun also sent General di Stampa to reinforce the Austrian Army of Silesia.
On June 27
- Lacy's Corps marched to Gross-Dittmannsdorf.
- Frederick received a report from Major-General von Zastrow posted at Schweidnitz, confirming the catastrophe of Landeshut. He also learned that Daun had sent reinforcements to Loudon in Silesia. He was convinced that Breslau would be Loudon's next target, with a view of making a junction with the Russian army there.
On June 29
- In the morning, Frederick learned that Lacy, reinforced with part of the Austrian main army, had quitted Lausa and was marching on Krakau (near Königsbrück) by Radeburg.
- Frederick instructed Hülsen to recross the Elbe at Meissen on July 2, to encamp near Schletta and to keep the Reichsarmee in check.
- In the evening, Frederick sent Lieutenant-General von Zieten with the Zieten Hussars, 3 dragoon rgts (Normann, Holstein, Finckenstein) and 6 bns (Grenadier Battalion Falkenhayn, Prinz Ferdinand Infantry, Wied Fusiliers and Freibataillon Quintus Icilius) to reconnoitre Brentano's positions. Zieten marched by way of Lampertswalde to Linz, southwest of Ortrand, and sent patrols towards Königsbrück, Krakau, Ortrand and Elsterwerda. Near Königsbrück, they captured 1 officer and 48 uhlans. Zieten then encamped near Lampertswalde.
At the end of June the Austrian Army comprised 62 regular infantry rgts with 123 grenadier coys and 126 bns for a total of 78,295 men. The Grenzer and other light troops totalled 16,958 men. The regular cavalry comprised 35 rgts with 30 elite coys and 128 sqns for a total of 24,886 men. There were 16 hussar rgts with 66 sqns for a total of 8,605 men. Thus the Austrian Army had a grand total of 128,744 men. Its artillery numbered 548 pieces, more specifically:
- 366 x 3-pdrs
- 82 x 6-pdrs
- 56 x 12-pdrs
- 8 x 24-pdrs
- 36 howitzers
On July 1, Frederick resolved to march towards Silesia. His artillery train, his bakery, his provision wagons and his heavy baggage were sent to Lampertswalde.
On Wednesday July 2
- Frederick marched eastward in two columns from Großdobritz towards Quosdorf (a small village east of Königsbrück) in a woody country, crossing the Röder between Radeburg and Grossenhain and took the direction of Krakau and heading for Silesia.
- Frederick, who knew that Daun would follow him, hoped that he could force him to give battle.
- Near Lampertswalde, Zieten's detachment and the train made a junction with the army, forming a third column. Some uhlans and hussars harassed the columns, which had to march through forested areas, but were easily repulsed.
- Frederick's Army crossed the Pulsnitz at Krakau, the first village in Lusatia. The march lasted from 3:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and covered 32 km, leaving Daun's positions to the right.
- Frederick's Army encamped south of the poor hamlet of Quosdorf where Frederick established his headquarters.
- As instructed, Hülsen returned to the camp of Schletta on the left bank of the Elbe.
- Daun now had the confirmation that Frederick was aiming for Silesia. He instantly reinforced Lacy's Division to about 20,000 men and ordered him to follow up Frederick and to harass his army.
- Daun moved the Carabinier and the Grenadier Corps under Major-General d'Ayasassa to Bischofswerda.
- Lacy followed the Prussian army along its right flank. He encamped near Lichtenberg and his advanced troops occupied Königsbrück.
On Thursday July 3
- Frederick's Army rested around Krakau.
- Frederick advanced towards Königsbrück with an escort of 4 bns, the Normann and the Möhring Hussars to reconnoitre the Austrian positions from the Keulenberg. The Austrian troops occupying the town evacuated it. Frederick let his infantry there and rode with his dragoons and hussars up to Reichenbach (unidentified location). The country people informed him that Lacy was encamped near Lichtenberg. Frederick sent Major von Monjou with 200 Möhring Hussars to reconnoitre Lacy's camp and he returned to his own camp with the rest of his escort. He decided to attack Lacy the next day while Zieten would turn his flank. He planned to march at midnight.
- Daun's main army marched from Boxdorf, followed by the Grenadier Corps and encamped near Grossharthau.
- FML Count Lanthiery and Count Guasco had been left behind at Boxdorf with rgts of the former Reserve. They had been instructed to reinforce the Reichsarmee and support the Prince of Zweibrücken. Their forces consisted of 10 bns with 12 grenadier coys and 15 sqns with 3 elite coys. More precisely:
- The Austrian Carabinier and Grenadier Corps marched from Bischofswerda towards Bautzen.
In the night of July 3 to 4
- Just after midnight, the left Prussian column marched by way of Reichenau, along the slopes of the Keulenberg; the centre column by way of Königsbrück and Gräfenhain towards Gross-Naundorf. Frederick was with the vanguard. The region was full of boggy intricacies, lakelets, tangly thickets, stocks and stumps which delayed the march.
- The Prussian cavalry crossed the Pulsnitz near Stenz, west of Königsbrück and marched to Lomnitz. Zieten was delayed by Grenzer light troops.
- Baggages and bakeries had been left behind with Frei-Infanterie Quintus Icilius to guard them.
- Lacy's outposts informed him of the advance of the Prussian columns and he had time to retire.
On Friday July 4
- Around 9:00 a.m., the Prussian columns finally reached the heights near Gross-Naundorf but they found Lacy's camp abandoned.
- Frederick was informed that Daun had established his camp near Bischofswerda. He decided to recross the Pulsnitz River and to encamp on the Heights of Neues Dorf, north of the town of Pulsnitz, facing eastwards.. He established his headquarters east of Pulsnitz towards Ohorn. To secure his right flank, he let the Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons and Finckenstein Dragoons with 3 grenadier bns on the south bank of the Pulsnitz River.
- By midnight Quintus had joined him with the baggage.
- Daun's main army encamped on the eastern bank of the Spree River near Klein-Bautzen.
- Daun sent his second line under Count Wied to secure the road of Bautzen and block Frederick's advance on Silesia.
- An Austrian detachment, which had remained hidden in the woods, successfully ambushed a dragoon outpost near Lichtenberg, capturing 2 officers and 43 men.
- Lacy's Corps marched to Radeberg to get closer to Dresden.
On Saturday July 5
- At 3:00 a.m., Frederick's Army was on the march again, heading northward to the Abbey of Sankt Marienstern, 24 km farther, in an attempt to precede Daun in Silesia.. Frederick established his headquarters at the abbey.
- Daun rested his army at Kein-Bautzen near Bischofswerda.
- Lacy's Corps marched to Bischoswerda.
In the night of July 5 to 6, Daun set off from his camp at Kein-Bautzen with his 50 or 60,000 men wanting to block the road to Silesia, and marched to Reichenbach, on his way to Görlitz, losing 200 men on the road. Lacy formed his rearguard at Bischofswerda.
On Sunday July 6
- Learning that Daun was ahead of him on the road to Silesia, Frederick left the Abbey of Sankt Marienstern in three columns at 3:00 a.m. He marched eastward, intending to cross the Spree River and, leaving Bautzen to his right, to encamp near Leichnam (present-day Spreewiese), to the northeast of Klix, on the flank of Daun. In front of each column went wagons with a few pontoons, there being many brooks and little streams to cross. The day was very warm and soldiers, disobeying orders, drank at the streams. Consequently, 105 Prussian soldiers died during the march that day. On his way, Frederick was informed that Daun had preceded him at Reichenbach and realised that Daun was now hopelessly ahead on the road to Silesia.
- Therefore, Frederick changed his plan and decided to attack Lacy, whose position extended from the village of Göda westward on several km. Frederick then ordered to wheel to the right and to cross the Spree farther down near Nieder-Gurig. He encamped between Burk and Gleina, establishing his headquarters at Nieder-Gurig.
- In the evening, Zieten occupied Bautzen after its evacuation by the Austrian light troops, which retired to Hochkirch.
- In the evening, an Austrian cavalry column appeared on the heights near Salzenforst west of Bautzen but it retired at nightfall.
In the night of July 6 to 7, Austrian deserters reported that the cavalry column seen near Bautzen was Lacy's vanguard.
On Monday July 7
- Frederick's Army rested in Bautzen neighbourhood.
- Engagement near Göda
- Frederick reconnoitred westward in the direction of Salzenforst with 200 Zieten Hussars and a picquet of 600 horse to observe Lacy's position. Zieten followed him with 300 Zieten Hussars, 300 Möhring Hussars, the Normann Dragoons and the Czettritz Dragoons.
- Frederick bumped into a uhlan outpost in the Salzenforst. He ordered infantry support but, without waiting for it, he attacked and drove back the uhlans and the Paul Anton Esterházy Hussars, who had come to their support, capturing 100 prisoners.
- In the heat of the pursuit, the Zieten Hussars under Major von Zedmar advanced up to Göda, a small town 10 km west of Bautzen, where they came to contact with Lacy's entire cavalry.
- Lacy personally led the Saxon Kurland Chevauxlegers and his cavalry counter-attacked. The Prussian cavalry picquet which came to the support of the hussars was no match for this powerful corps.
- When Zieten's detachment appeared, Frederick decided to retire to the Kreuzberg, south of Salzenforst. The village was occupied by 1 sqns of Czettritz Dragoons, while the rest of the Zieten Hussars, who had remained at the camp, occupied the hill.
- Lacy's cavalry was closely following Frederick's reconnaissance party. Frederick was almost captured by 2 uhlans.
- As Frederick's small force reached the vicinity of Klein-Welka, the Grenadier Battalion Falkenhayn, arriving from Dahlowitz, came to its support. The II./Goltz Infantry also came out of Bautzen and the Prussian cavalry of the right wing rushed to support Frederick's retreating detachment.
- The Austrians stopped the pursuit and retired towards Göda.
- During this affair, most of the prisoners initially taken by the Prussians managed to escape while the Austrians captured 3 officers and 310 men.
- Daun's Army reached Görlitz, passed the Neisse River and proceeded towards Naumburg (present-day Nowogrodziec/PL) on the eastern bank of the Queis River.
Siege of Dresden
On Tuesday July 8
- At 8:00 p.m., the tents of the Prussian Army were struck and it recrossed the Spree near Bautzen. Frederick had silently issued, with his best speed, in three columns, by three roads, towards Lacy. Of the columns, two were of infantry: the leftmost and the rightmost. The column of cavalry was in the middle.
- With most of the Austrian forces now posted in Silesia, Frederick estimated that he had an opportunity to recapture Dresden. He informed General Hülsen that he intended to turn against Lacy's Corps. To do so, he planned to cross the Elbe at Pillnitz or Pirna with the pontoons which Hülsen would send him. Meanwhile, Hülsen would advance on Kesselsdorf.
- Lacy was vigilant and cautious. He learned by his Grenzers that Frederick was advancing in his direction and immediately gathered his troops. His corps was now isolated east of the Elbe River with only the Reichsarmee, encamped near Dresden, to support it.
- Daun's Army crossed the Queis River and entered into Silesia. It encamped at Ottendorf (present-day Ocice/PL) near Naumburg, where it was joined by General von Stampach with part of his corps (Jung-Colloredo Infantry, Mercy-Argenteau Infantry, Serbelloni Cuirassiers) and by Bayreuth Infantry previously attached to Beck's Corps.
- Daun and Loudon met at Ottendorf and had a conference, where they resolved to besiege Glatz.
- Beck's Corps took position at Bunzlau (present-day Bolesławiec/PL).
At 1:00 a.m. in the night of July 8 to 9, Lacy, expecting an attack, set out from Rothnausslitz. He first retreated to Bischofswerda, then westward at an extraordinary rate, hurrying towards Weissig east of Dresden and the Reichsarmee.
On July 9
- Early in the morning, Frederick marched by way of Bischofswerda to Großharthau. He left only 300 Möhring Hussars behind to observe Daun's movements. He vainly sent his cavalry to catch up with Lacy.
- Field Marshal Daun was still idle near Naumburg am Queis with his army. Loudon, whose corps had reached the vicinity of Liegnitz, visited Daun at his headquarters in Ottendorf, east of Naumburg. Both agreed to keep their current positions to prevent Frederick from marching towards Breslau and Schweidnitz, while the siege of Glatz would be vigorously continued.
- Lacy finally halted on the Height of Weissenhirsch, within 3 km of Dresden.
- When he heard of Frederick's movements, the Prince of Zweibrücken recalled the Austrian troops recently placed under his command, which were still encamped at Boxdorf, to encamp them under the guns of Dresden not far from his Reichsarmee.
In the night of July 9 to 10, Zweibrücken had the baggage of the Austrian Contingent and 3 of its cavalry rgts moved to the opposite bank of the Elbe, the infantry soon followed.
On July 10
- In the morning, Lacy's Corps marched from Weissen Hirsch to the Neustadt of Dresden. Lacy's Corps then marched through Dresden, crossed to the western bank of the Elbe and took position between the Müglitz and Lockwiter streams, at Großsedlitz near the Plauen Chasm, close to the Reichsarmee. In these strong positions, Lacy's Corps was facing the Elbe to oppose any attempt by Frederick to cross the river. Lacy's outposts extended from Pirna, which was still occupied by the Palatine Garde-Regiment, up to Tolkewitz.
- The Austrian Contingent attached to the Reichsarmee joined Zweibrücken's main body. However, Zweibrücken was not inclined to withstand an attack by Frederick's Army, which he estimated at approx. 55,000 men. His own army numbered 33,000 men and Lacy's Corps, 19,700 men, including his light troops.
- Daun was informed that Frederick was marching back upon Dresden. Daun detached General Ried to follow up the Prussians, moved his vanguard back to Bautzen and then awaited further information.
- Frederick continued his march in three columns: the right column under Zieten marched by way of Radeberg and Lausa; the centre column, on the main road leading from Bischofswerda to Dresden; and the left column marched by way of Schmiedefeld to Rossendorf. These columns met no opposition. There was only a brief combat near Weissen Hirsch with Lacy's weak rearguard, which soon disengaged and followed Lacy's Corps. The Prussian army encamped near Weissig while Zieten's column stopped near Lausa and Marsdorf. With Lacy's Corps guarding the western bank of the Elbe, Frederick could not cross the river between Dresden and Pirna as initially planned. He decided to cross it at Kaditz, downstream from Dresden.
The time allowable for the capture of Dresden was very brief. Daun could trace back his steps to Dresden within a week. Nevertheless, Frederick calculated that Daun would be slow to react. This allowed him a good two weeks to besiege Dresden. An interval that Frederick considered sufficient to capture the town.
On July 11, using a bridge of barges established near Meissen, Hülsen sent 48 pontoons escorted by Grenadier Battalion Lossau to Weinböhla.
On July 12
- Hülsen's pontoons were transported from Weinböhla to Kaditz.
- Hülsen's Corps set off from Meissen in two columns and took position between Rennersdorf and Mobschatz to protect the troops erecting the pontoon bridge at Kaditz against any initiative from the Reichsarmee.
- Colonel von Kleist with the Kleist Hussars and Kleist Light Dragoons advanced by way of Steinbach and attacked enemy hussars who were posted on the heights of Pennrich. During the pursuit, the Prussians received heavy fire from Gorbitz and were forced to turn back. Colonel von Kleist with 7 hussar sqns and the II/Frei-Infanterie Wunsch took position near Roitzsch in front of the right wing of Hülsen's Corps. Furthermore, 3 hussar sqns and the Feldjäger zu Fuß were posted near Kemnitz on the Elbe River.
- Zieten set off from Marsdorf and marched by way of Reichenberg to Kaditz. After his arrival there, he began to erect a pontoon-bridge and a bridge of boats. By 4:00 p.m., the pontoon-bridge was completed.
- When Zweibrücken was informed of Hülsen's advance, he recalled his outposts near Plauen to his main body. He then sent 10 Austrian bns, 6 Imperial bns 1,148 Grenzers and 120 hussars, a total of 13,900 men to reinforce the garrison of Dresden. Dresden was now defended by a force of 15,000 men under the command of FZM Count Maquire.
- As Frederick's design against Dresden became obvious, Daun sent General von Buccow to Weissenberg with a strong vanguard.
In the night of July 12 to 13
- Zieten crossed the Elbe.
- Zweibrücken retired to Dohna, by way of Lockwitz.
On July 13
- Zieten also completed the bridge of boats at Kaditz.
- Frederick's Army followed Zieten across the Elbe River.
- Freibataillon Quintus Icilius and II/Frei-Infanterie Wunsch as well as 5 sqns of Zieten Hussars had been left behind at Boxdorf to complete the destruction of this fortified camp and to reconnoitre eastwards.
- General Duke of Holstein and General von Bülow remained at Weissig with 10 bns and 20 sqns.
- As soon as the Frederick's Army had crossed the Elbe and with the arrival of Hülsen's Corps, Frederick reorganised his army in a vanguard and two lines. They marched in two columns by way of Kaufbach to Fördergersdorf. Major-General von Kleist was posted near Mobschatz with 6 bns and 300 hussars, while Goltz Infantry was sent back to the bridge. As Frederick reached Steinbach at the head of his vanguard, he was informed that the Reichsarmee had retired from the Vale of Plauen on the previous night and taken position on the heights of Burkhardswalde while Lacy was posted near Gross-Sedlitz. Frederick now turned his attention to Dresden and sent Holstein orders instructing him to take position on the heights of Boxdorf.
- Frederick's Army then marched by way of Pennrich, crossed the Weisseritz River near Plauen and headed in the direction of Leubnitz. When the vanguard came within cannon shot of the walled "Great Garden", Frederick brought up a battery of 12-pdr guns and, under its fire, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and Freibataillon Courbières entered the garden. The Grenzer light troops of Colonel von Zettwitz stubbornly resisted; every hedge, every bush had to be cleared, but the Prussians managed to drive them back to the suburb of Pirna. In this action, the Prussians lost 15 men killed and 3 officers and 66 men wounded.
- Holstein received new orders instructing him to complete the encirclement of Dresden from the right bank of the Elbe.
- Frederick let his army encamp. Lieutenant-General von Wedel with the second line was entrusted with the siege of Dresden, while the first line would cover it against any attack coming from the Reichsarmee or Lacy's Corps.
- In the evening, Holstein's Corps marched from Boxdorf and encamped in front of the "Neustadt" of Dresden, where he was joined by Kleist's detachment. The Freibataillon Quintus Icilius and 5 sqns of Zieten Hussars had been left at Boxdorf. The Salmuth Fusiliers advanced to Reichenberg and Freibataillon Quintus rejoined Holstein's Corps. I./Goltz Infantry guarded the bridge at Kaditz and II./Goltz Infantry guarded the bakery at Briessnitz.
- In the morning, Zweibrücken's Army encamped on the heights of Gross-Sedlitz and Burkhardswalde, behind the Müglitz stream. Lacy's Corps took position on its right wing. Light troops covered the front of the new positions while Kleefeld secured the left flank near Dittersdorf.
- Daun was informed that Frederick had crossed the Elbe and was now advancing on Dresden.
The Siege of Dresden would last until July 29.
On July 14
- At 2:00 a.m., Daun sent his Grenadier and Carabinier Corps under Major-General d'Ayasassa towards Dresden and instructed Buccow's corps to march to Dresden from Görlitz..
- Major-General von Ried with his light corps began to harass Holstein's Corps, which was posted on the right bank of the Elbe, appearing near Weissen Hirsch and the Fischhaus.
- By that date, Lacy's Corps consisted of 10,106 regular foot, 2,432 Grenzers and jägers, 4,930 regular horse and 2,841 hussars and uhlans, for a total of 19,700 men.
- Frederick summoned FZM Count Maquire to surrender the city of Dresden, offering him free withdrawal. Maquire rejected his summon. His light troops took cover in the houses and the burnt-out walls between the Elbe and the "See Gate" along the city ditch.
On July 15
- 5 fifty-pdr mortars and 10 twelve-pdr guns were sent from Torgau. However, most of siege artillery and ammunition had to be sent from Magdeburg.
- At Dresden, the Prussian artillery set fire to some places in Dresden, but they were extinguished with little effort.
- Daun set off from Naumburg/Queis and encamped near Görlitz with the main Austrian army, which he had strengthened with detachments drawn from Bohemia and Silesia.
On July 17
- The Grenadier and Carabinier Corps reached Bischofswerda, and Buccow's vanguard, Grossharthau. They then marched to the heights near Weissig.
- Daun's Army reached Klein-Förstchen, west of Bautzen, after having marched by way of Görtlitz and Weissenberg. Daun was then informed that Frederick had built a bridge downstream from Dresden and was trying to establish a second one upstream from the city near Loschwitz, After a short rest, Daun's Army resumed its advance and reached Weissig, where it arrived very tired during the evening. It encamped on the heights of Weissig and Gönnsdorf and Daun established his headquarters at Schönfeld.
On July 19
- Now that the siege artillery had been installed in the batteries, the bombardment of the Altstadt of Dresden began.
- Frederick was informed that Daun had reached Weißig with 30,000 men on the previous night. Nevertheless Frederick was determined to continue the siege of Dresden.
- Holstein's Corps was forced to retire from the right bank of the Elbe and to make a junction with Frederick's Army on the left bank.
- Now master of the right bank of the Elbe, Daun had a direct line of communication with Dresden.
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed order of battle of Frederick's Army in Saxony on July 20.|
On July 20
- Ried's light corps advanced up to Radebeul.
- Daun's Army encamped between the road leading to Radeberg and Grossenhain and the edge of the Heath of Dresden, facing the Neusatdt. A bridge of boats was established near Friedrichstadt, downstream from Dresden.
On July 25, realising that he had no chance to obtain the surrender of Dresden, Frederick decided to recross the Elbe.
On July 27
- General Ried with his light troops intercepted 18 ships loaded with grain and other provisions upstream from Meissen.
- Near Riesa, a detachment of Grenzers under Lieutenant-Colonel Count Dönhoff captured 15 ships sent for the Prussian magazines. The escort (3 officers and 64 men of Hauss Fusiliers) was taken prisoners.
- Frederick started his preparations to recross the Elbe.
- In the evening, Frederick detached Major-General von Syburg with 4 bns ( Grenadier Battalion Falkenhayn, Grenadier Battalion Jung-Billerbeck and Lestwitz Infantry), a few hussars and 10 heavy artillery pieces to Meissen to secure the Elbe and cover the crossing of the Triebisch River. On his arrival at Meissen, Syburg sent the battalion of Hauss Fusiliers already posted there to Riesa with a few hussars.
The news from Silesia were not good: the Austrians besieging Glatz (present-day Kłodzko/PL) had received heavy artillery pieces from Königgrätz; Loudon had reinforced the siege corps and stood in an entrenched camp between Parchwitz (present-day Prochowice/PL) and Liegnitz (present-day Legnica/PL). Frederick decided to march to the relief of Silesia. Hülsen would remain in Saxony and re-occupy his former camp near Schletta.
On July 29, Frederick learned of the fall of Glatz in Silesia and decided to raise the siege of Dresden..
Another Attempt to reach Silesia
In the night of 29 to 30 July, Frederick's Arny set off unmolested from Dresden. It crossed the Weisseritz River and encamped on the heights east of Wilsdruff, with Kesselsdorf in front of its right wing, and its left extending up to Hühndorf.
On July 30
- Lieutenant-General Wedel went to Meissen with a detachment of 7 bns (Wedel Infantry, Alt-Braunschweig Infantry, Prinz Ferdinand Infantry, Grenadier Battalion Stechow) and 10 heavy cannon to secure a crossing place over the Elbe and to build a bridge. However, Grenzer light troops had taken position in the vineyards on the right bank. Wedel's artillery was unable to drive them out of the vineyards.
- In the evening, Wedel had to resume his march downstream with the pontoons and the bns of General von Syburg to establish bridges near Hirschstein.
- Frederick also detached Hülsen westward at Kesselsdorf with 10,000 men.
- Lacy's Corps advanced to the Vale of Plauen.
On July 31
- Early in the morning, Frederick's Army set off from its camp and crossed the Triebisch River, on his way to Meissen, where it intended to cross the Elbe and to make for Silesia as fast as possible. Frederick sent Wedel across the Elbe to cover this passage. The troops destined to cross the Elbe encamped north of the Ketzerbach between Schieritz and Nieder-Muschütz, facing the Elbe.
- In the morning, the bns that Wedel had sent to Meissen followed him at Hirschstein.
- General von Hülsen marched from Kesselsdorf to his former camp near Schletta behind the Triebisch River with his corps (18 bns, 26 sqns and approx. 35 heavy artillery pieces for a total of approx. 12,000 men), which consisted of the same units as in June, with the exception of II./Goltz Infantry which remained with Frederick's Army in exchange for the Feldjäger zu Fuß. Hülsen's artillery consisted of:
- 10 x heavy 12-pdr guns
- 10 x medium 12-pdr guns
- 10 x light 12-pdr guns
- a few 7-pdr howitzers
- 2 x 18-pdr howitzers
- Hülsen pushed a battalion forward to the right into an entrenchment near Robschütz, dominating the narrow Triebisch Valley. Small garrison occupied Meissen and Riesa to maintain communication with Torgau. Hülsen's light troops were posted near Mohlis, Tronitz and Krögis to secure the rear and the right flank of Hülsen's Army. Without sufficient troops to occupy them, Hülsen had to abandon the entrenchments near Katzenberg, leaving only a strong cavalry outpost nearby.
- The detachment of Major-General Salenmon (Freibataillon Salenmon and the 2 sqns of Freihussars Kleist under Captain von Howarth) also belonged to Hülsen's small army. It was posted near Leipzig to observe the region of the Saale River. The City of Leipzig was garrisoned by 2 bns of the Garrison Regiment Itzenplitz and I./Horn Fusiliers under Major von Keller. There were also weak garrisons in the fortresses of Torgau, and Wittemberg.
- Zweibrücken was at the head of approx. 25,000 men (36 bns, 26 grenadier coys, 43 sqns and 3 carabinier coys with some heavy artillery). He marched from his positions near Burkhardswalde behind the Müglitz River to his former camp near Plauen, between the Wildruffer suburb of Dresden and the Windberg near Gross-Burgk. The front of these positions was secured by Major-General Veczay with his hussars and Grenzers, who were posted near Kesselsdorf. The left flank was covered by Major-General von Kleefeld, who was posted near Freiberg with his detachment. He had outposts along the Mulde River up to Nossen and Rosswein overlapping the Prussian right flank.
- Lacy's Corps followed Frederick's movements, crossed the Elbe near Übigau and took position between Übigau and Trachau.
- Daun returned to Bischofswerda to block the road to Silesia without moving too far away from Dresden.
- Daun sent light troops under Brentano and Ried to burn all the bridges on the Röder and the Spree. Beck did the same on the Spree, the Neiss and the Queiss rivers.
- At Bischofswerda, Daun received news from Loudon, informing him that the Russians planned to reach Breslau on August 3. If Prince Heinrich could stop or delay the Russians, Loudon considered that he could lay siege to Breslau without their assistance.
In the night of July 31 to August 1, Wedel established a pontoon-bridge and a bridge of boats near Merschwitz
On August 1
- Kleefeld's cavalry attacked the Hulsen's cavalry outpost neat Katzenberg, but they quickly retired by way of Nossen when Prussian reinforcements appeared.
- From 2:00 to 5:00 a.m., Frederick crossed to the right bank of the Elbe at Zehren (present-day Diera-Zehren) near Schieritz, as near Meissen as he could. He camped that night between Wantewitz and Dallwitz.
Daun did not intend to contest the crossing of the Elbe, he was more preoccupied to take a position to better cover Dresden and to precede Frederick if ever he tried to march towards Silesia. Daun was also worried because he could not prevent Frederick's Army to march northwards and make a junction with Prince Heinrich's Army.
Hülsen's small corps (17 bns, 25 sqns) was now left alone to defend Saxony against the combined forces of the Reichsarmee and General of Cavalry Andreas Hadik, which by that time consisted of 23,516 regular foot, 2,224 Grenzers, 4,967 regular horse and 2,291 hussars for a total of 32,998 men.
On August 2
- Frederick rested his army (38 bns, 78 sqns with 78 heavy artillery pieces for a total of approx. 30,000 men) in the camp of Dallwitz in Saxony before the long march of five days towards Silesia. The heavy artillery was organised in batteries of 10 pieces each, which would accompany each infantry brigade. His troops received provisions of bread for two weeks. His army would march in three columns with the first line forming the first column; the second line, the centre column; and the reserve, the third column. On his way, Frederick hoped that he could force Daun to offer a decisive battle.
- Daun sent his baggage ahead.
On Sunday August 3
- At 2:00 a.m., Frederick's Army set off from Dallwitz and marched in three columns. The left column would form his first line of battle in case of fighting. The second column would also become the second line while the third column would be kept as a reserve. The chaises and money-wagons of all generals as well as the wagons of the regimental surgeons remained with their respective battalions. The heavy batteries also remained with the brigades to which they belong. When the march was through woody country, the cavalry regiments went in between the battalions to be ready against the operations of the Grenzers light troops. Zieten Hussars and Frei-Infanterie de Courbière formed the vanguard of the first column, which would be accompanied by Frederick, while Möhring Hussars and Frei-Infanterie Quintus Icilius formed its rearguard under Zieten. The vanguard of the second column was made of Normann Dragoons and Krockow Dragoons while Czettritz Dragoons formed its rearguard. Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons were at the vanguard of the third column while Finckenstein Dragoons were closing the column. During every march, two battalions of the second column joined the third column so that the third column consisted of 10 battalions and the second of 6, while on march. Three pontoon wagons went ahead of each column. There were 500 wagons in each of the second and third columns.
- Frederick's Army crossed the Röder River near Nieder-Rödern, and the Pulsnitz River between Königsbrück and Krakau. In the evening, it encamped between Königsbrück and Koitzsch, facing southwards.
- As soon as Lacy was informed of the march of Frederick's Army, he marched from Uebigau to Schönborn with his corps, harassing Frederick with Grenzers light troops parties and breaking bridges to delay his march.
- Without knowing of Frederick's march, Daun had already decided to march towards Liegnitz by way of Naumburg am Queis, and to take position behind the Katzbach to prevent Frederick from crossing that river.
- Around 6:00 a.m., as soon as Frederick's march was confirmed, Daun left Bischofswerda marching in four columns towards Bautzen and trying to stay ahead of Frederick's advance towards Silesia.
- Colonel von Zettwitz took position near Weinböhla with his detachment, which had been reinforced with 1 bn. His outposts occupied Zscheila and Cölln, east of Meissen.
On August 4
- Frederick's Army marched by way of Kamenz and encamped on the east bank of the Schwarzwasser, with its right wing extending up to Luga (unidentified location) and Frederick's headquarters at Radibor where the left wing was posted.
- Daun's main army marched to Reichenbach in Upper Lusatia.
- Ried's Light Corps followed Frederick's Army, marching from Bautzen to Weissenberg.
- Lacy's Corps reached Pohla, north-east of Bischofswerda while his light troops under Brentano followed Frederick's rearguard.
On August 5
- A detachment (200 hussars, 100 Grenzers, 1 bn and 2 grenadier coys of Varell Infantry) under Colonel von Graeven, which had reached Zeitz, retired to Gera.
- Frederick marched to Döbschütz north of Bautzen.
- Daun marched to Neukretscham (unidentified location), leaving his Reserve at Richenbach.
- Ried marched to Löbau.
- Lacy followed up the Prussian columns, encamping at Geblitz (unidentified location, maybe Gebelzig).
On August 6
- Frederick passed the Rothwasser to enter into Silesia and encamped at Oberrothwasser (near present-day Czerwona Woda).
- Daun passed the Queis (present-day Kwisa) and occupied the camp of Schmottseiffen.
Frederick and Daun had now left the Saxon theatre of operations for Silesia (for further details about Frederick's operations see the relation of his campaign in Silesia).
Saxony left without a Prussian Army to defend it
The Prince of Zweibrücken, who commanded the Reichsarmee in Saxony, formed the design to attack the isolated and feeble Prussian corps left in Saxony under the command of Hülsen.
On August 8
On August 9
- Zweibrücken sent General von Veczay to Wilsdruff with light troops to establish outposts along the Triebisch River.
- The Reserve Corps (8 bns, 5 sqns) under the command of the Prince of Stolberg marched from the vicinity of Plauen to Kesselsdorf.
- Kleefeld's Corps advanced from Freiberg to Augustusberg, south of Nossen.
- Hülsen at Meissen, with his small Prussian corps (17 bns, 25 sqns), was now alone to defend Saxony. He was worried that Kleefeld's Corps could threaten his right flank and rear, but he decided to maintain his present positions. Hülsen was also informed that an Austrian detachment (800 hussars and Grenzers and the German Free-Jäger Corps (Otto)), advancing from Altenburg by way of Frohburg and Norna towards Rötha, was threatening his line of communication with Leipzig.
On August 10
- Hülsen sent Colonel von Kleist with a strong detachment (Grenadier Battalion Beyer, Grenadier Battalion Nesse, 100 men of the II./Freiregiment Wunsch, 100 light dragoons, 200 Schorlemmer Dragoons and 300 hussars) by way of Döbeln and Rochlitz to threaten the rear of the Austrian detachment advancing on Rötha.
- Major-General von Salenmon was instructed to advance from Leipzig on Zeitz, where Graeven's Imperial detachment had been reported.
- To attract the attention of Kleefeld, who was posted near Nossen, Hülsen sent the II./Grant Fusiliers and 1 bn of Freiregiment Wunsch and 200 hussars under Lieutenant-Colonel von Roêll by way of Rosswein towards Etzdorf, where Roëll drove back one of Kleefeld's outposts.
On August 11
- The detachment of Colonel von Zettwitz was reinforced with grenadiers, hussars and a few artillery pieces.
- Kleist's detachment reached Döbeln, where he learned that only the German Free-Jäger Corps (Otto) were still posted near Leisnig and that the rest of the Austrian detachment had already retired towards Mittweida.
On August 12
- Kleist advanced on Leisnig and realised that the German Free-Jäger Corps (Otto) had retired to Geringswälde. He pursued them with his hussars and light dragoons and caught up with them south of Geringswalde, near Hilmsdorf, capturing 2 officers and 60 jägers. After this success, Kleist marched in the direction of Rochlitz.
- Graeven's detachment retired to Naumburg.
On August 13
- Around 4:00 a.m., the advanced elements of the Reserve Corps of FML Prince of Stolberg appeared in front of the Prussian outposts near Siebeneichen on the ridge south of Meissen. After a brief engagement the Prussian Feldjäger zu Fuß were driven out of the vineyards, where they had taken position. The Prince of Stolberg then encamped near Bockwen while his advanced elements occupied the heights south of Meissen. An agreement was soon concluded between the Prussian jägers, who had re-established themselves in the vineyards between Meissen and Korbitz, and the Imperials to declare the suburbs of Meissen as neutral.
- In the morning, Major-General von Kleefeld crossed the Mulde River near Nossen on the extreme left wing of Hülsen's positions, forcing the Prussians to abandon their outposts near Krögis and Katzenberg. Kleefeld immediately occupied the heights near Katzenberg.
- While the Imperial Reserve Corps was taking position near Meissen, the Grenadier Corps and the Carabinier Corps, both under FML Count Guasco, had taken position further south near Burkhardswalde. A few hours later, the main body of the Reichsarmee encamped to the north-east of Sora, near Wilsdruff.
- The Prince of Zweibrücken rightly considered an attack on Hülsen's Corps in its strong positions along the Triebisch as hopeless and decided to turn them.
- On the right bank of the Elbe, Colonel Zettwitz took position at Proschwitz with some 500 Grenzers and some artillery pieces and bombarded provision ships on the Elbe near Meissen, sinking three of them. However, they were soon forced to abandon this position by a few Prussian guns (two 12-pdrs and an 18-pdr howitzer) which had been attributed to I./Grant Fusiliers to protect these ships.
- Kleist's detachment reached Altenburg.
On August 14
- Engagement at Tronitz
- Guasco's Grenadier Corps and Carabinier Corps joined Kleefeld's Corps near Katzenberg. Together, these corps advanced by way of Leutewitz against the heights of Tronitz.
- Hülsen sent Colonel von Linden with 3 bns (Bevern Infantry and II./Grant Fusiliers) and 2 hussar sqns to Tronitz to stop the advance of the Imperial corps.
- Linden's detachment reached the heights west of Tronitz just at the moment when Guasco's vanguard was about to climb the slopes of the Leutewitz Valley. Linden quickly deployed his battalion guns and fired canister shots, driving back the Imperials towards Leutewitz.
- Guasco withdrew his vanguard and contented himself with establishing a camp together with Kleefeld just south of Krögis.
- Linden's detachment remained on the heights west of Tronitz.
- Kleist intended to march to Zeitz to attack an Imperial detachment which had been reported there. To do so, he planned to make a junction with Salenmon's detachment, which had advanced as far as Pegau. However, Kleist received orders from Hülsen, to retire as soon as possible to Schletta.
On August 15
- The main body of the Reichsarmee, which had followed Guasco and encamped south of Katzenberg, rested for a day.
- Stolberg took position on the left flank of the main army.
- Zettwitz took position at Zadel on the right bank of the Elbe. He burned four ships and captured two others.
- The corps of FML Luszinsky, which had previously been stationed in Franconia to protect the rear of the Reichsarmee from any enterprise by the Allies from Hesse or Hanover and by Frederick from Thuringia, had taken position near Erfurt, ready to march towards Saxony by way of Naumburg.
- Hülsen planned to reinforce Linden's detachment with the I./Grant Fusiliers, but he decided to redeploy this battalion near Zehren where the Grenzer light troops of Colonel von Zettwitz were threatening to cross the Elbe.
On August 16
- Zweibrücken moved his Reserve Corps from Siebeneichen and sent it to Ziegenhain in the direction of Lommatzsch. There were now only Grenzer light troops and hussars near Bockwen, south of Meissen.
- At noon, Stolberg marched to encamp at Ziegenhain.
- With the advance of the Imperial Reserve Corps to Ziegenhain and the presence of Zettwitz's detachment in Zadel, endangering his line of supply on the Elbe and his line of communication with Torgau, Hülsen decided to abandon his positions and to retire to Riesa.
- In the morning, Kleist's detachment reached the vicinity of Lommatzsch, after his raid in the direction of Altenburg. It made a junction with Linden at Jagen (unidentified location).
- Around 8:00 p.m., after sending back its baggage, Hülsen's Corps marched in three columns, Kleist's light troops and 1 grenadier bn formed the rearguard.
In the very dark night of August 16 to 17, Hülsen's Corps marched on muddy roads. Its last elements managed to cross the Ketzerbach east of Lommatzsch only at daybreak.
On August 17
- At daybreak, the light troops of the Reichsarmee, reinforced by a few cavalry units, followed the retreating Prussians.
- In the morning, when Zweibrücken was informed of Hülsen's retreat, he decided to send his Reserve Corps forward from Ziegenhain to march parallel to the Prussians, by way of Staucha. Similarly, Colonel von Zettwitz was instructed to keep pace with the retreating enemy on the right bank of the Elbe.
- The main body marched to Lommatzsch, where it encamped. Meissen was occupied by 1 bn of Kurtrier Infantry.
- Hülsen deployed his corps on the heights north of the Ketzerbach to allow his baggage train to gain a greater lead.
- Around 9:00 a.m., Hülsen resumed his retreat, marching in two columns towards the Jahna near Riesa. He then took position between Pausitz and Riesa, on the north bank of the Jahna.
- When the light troops of the Reichsarmee came to contact with his outposts, Hülsen, considering his present positions inadequate, decided to continue his retreat towards Strehla and let his baggage train march ahead.
On August 18
- Zweibrücken continued his advance with the main body of the Reichsarmee, crossing the Jahna near Riesa, Pausitz, Seerhausen and Stauchitz. He took position between Gröba and Weida, while the Grenadier Corps and the Carabinier Corps took position on the Haide-Berge, just west of Weida. He established outposts at Gröba, Merzdorf, Canitz and Borna.
- Stolberg's Reserve Corps and Kleefeld's Corps encamped at Kleinragewitz and Ganzig near Bornitz.
- Zettwitz advanced along the right bank of the Elbe up to Zeithain.
- While his army was taking position, Zweibrücken rode with Hadik, escorted by the hussars and a few dragoon sqns, to reconnoitre the Prussian positions across the Döllnitz, driving back Hülsen's cavalry outposts. They then continued their reconnaissance up to Gross-Rügeln and the Otten-Berge, east of Terpitz and retired when Hülsen sent his infantry and cavalry forward.
- Hülsen's Corps marched towards Strehla.
- Lieutenant-General von Hülsen posted 10 bns (Bevern Infantry, Alt-Schenckendorff Infantry, Grant Fusiliers, Salmuth Fusiliers and Markgraf Carl Infantry) in a single line behind the existing entrenchments established between Leckwitz and Strehla by Prince Heinrich during a previous campaign.
- Major-General von Braun, who was posted on the Dürrenberg, north of Clanzschwitz covered the right wing with 4 grenadier bns (Lubath, Burgsdorff, Beyer, Lossau) and a few heavy artillery pieces. These grenadiers were isolated 1,500 paces from his main position.
- The I./Schorlemmer Dragoons (5 sqns) were posted between Leckwitz, on the extreme right wing, and the Dürrenberg. The village of Leckwitz was occupied by 3 coys of Hauss Fusiliers while the 2 other coys of this battalion were posted in Klein-Rügeln, in front of the left wing.
- In front of the right wing, one hussar sqn was posted at Liebschütz and another one at Clanzschwitz. The front of Hülsen's positions was covered by detachments of hussars, light dragoons and 1 bn of Freiregiment Wunsch, who were posted at Zausswitz, Gross-Rägeln, Reussen and Oppitzsch. The Grenadier Battalion Nesse and the II./Schorlemmer Dragoons were posted north of Gross-Rüglen to support these outposts.
- Hülsen fully realised that his positions were over extended, considering the size of his weak corps and that he would be unable to withstand an attack from the far superior Reichsarmee for long. However, to boost the morale of his troops after their retreat, he decided to remain in his positions until Zweibrücken prepared an attack or sent a corps towards Dahlen in an attempt to cut his line of retreat to Torgau. Then he planned to march to Torgau.
On August 19
- Luszinsky's Corps reached Naumburg where the detachment of Colonel von Graeven and the rest of the German Free-Jäger Corps (Otto) joined it. Luszinsky left 1 bn of Hohenlohe Infantry and the Württemberg Dragoons to occupy Naumburg.
- The Württemberger Contingent (10 bns, 5 sqns, and 24 eight-pdrs and twelve-pdrs) reached Scmalkalden.
- Hülsen sent his baggage and provision train towards Torgau, to make sure that it would not delay his march when time would come to retire.
- Hülsen received incorrect intelligence that Luszinsky's vanguard had already reached Weissenfels and that the Duke of Württemberg was at Auerstedt with his corps. These corps seemed to target Leipzig or Wittenberg. Hülsen sent the Freibataillon Salenmon to reinforce the garrison of Leipzig and he appointed Major-General von Salenmon as commander of Wittenberg.
- Hülsen decided to retire to Torgau during the night of August 19 to 20. However, at this moment, when he received a report from Colonel von Kleist, who had reconnoitred the camp of the Prince von Stolberg near Bornitz and who considered that it would be easy to attack during the night. Hülsen did not want to ignore such a favourable opportunity to raise the morale of his corps by a successful engagement. He then ordered Kleist with his light troops and Major-General von Braun with 5 bns to launch a night attack against Stolberg's camp.
- At nightfall, the troops assigned to the attack set off from their positions.
- Around 11:00 p.m., the Prussian detachment was already approaching Schmorkau when reports came in from all sides that the enemy was about to advance. The Prussians immediately turned back and returned to their initial positions. Hülsen precipitously deployed his corps in order of battle and prepared his artillery. His troops awaited the attack of the Reichsarmee army with confidence, having just learned of Frederick's victory at Liegnitz.
On August 20, at the Combat of Strehla in the Schlettau-Meissen Country, the Austro-Imperial Army (30,000 men) made an attack on Hülsen (10,000 men). Hülsen's principal post was on the Dürrenberg. Hülsen stood to his ground and Kleist distinguished himself with his hussars. Hülsen remained master of the field and captured 1,217 prisoners (one prince among them) and one gun. In this action, the Austrians lost more than 3,000 men dead, wounded or taken prisoners; the Prussians lost some 500 men.
On August 21
- Hülsen remained in his positions until 8:00 a.m.. Seeing that the Prince of Stolberg was reorganizing his corps, he retired on Strehla. At noon, Hülsen left Strehla and marched towards Torgau.
- The Austro-Imperial Army immediately occupied Hülsen's former camp at Strehla, sending its light troops as far as Meissen.
On August 22
- On his arrival at Torgau, Hülsen encamped his small army with its right wing on the Ratsweinberg between the city and Zinna and its left wing near the "Grossen Teiche". The Grant Fusiliers and the Hauss Fusiliers occupied the ground between this pond and the Elbe near Losswig. The Grenadier Battalion Heilsberg covered the right flank. Lights troops were posted on all sides to secure the positions and to reconnoitre the vicinities. The camp was entrenched and the causeway between the "Grossen Teiche" and the Elbe was blocked.
- The camp was facing westwards and its left flank was covered by the marshy flats near Losswig. A two-sided bridgehead linked the camp with Torgau, thus securing an unhindered line of retreat to the eastern bank of the Elbe.
- Major von Roth with 100 Kleist Hussars took position at Eilenburg to cover the line of communication with Leipzig. Furthermore, the 2 sqns of Kleist Freihusaren under Captain von Kowatsch rode from Leipzig to rejoin Hülsen's Army.
- Parties of foot jägers and hussars reconnoitred towards Werdau across the Elbe.
- On August 22, the main body of Zweibrücken's Army marched from Strehla to join detachments under Kleefeld and Veczay, who had followed the retreating Prussians up to Belgern. Kleefeld then marched to Schildau and Veczay to Mahitzschen. The Reserve Corps advanced to Sitzenroda, 3 km to the south-east of Schildau.
- Nikolaus Esterházy Infantry, which had suffered heavy losses at Strehla, was sent to Meissen to garrison the place, replacing 1 bn of Kurtrier Infantry which rejoined the army.
- Zweibrücken and Hadik considered the Prussian positions near Torgau too strong to be stormed. They decided to cross the Elbe to threaten Hülsen's line of communication with the Mark, hoping to force him to retreat again.
- Luszinsky's Corps reached Eilenburg after having marched by way of Pegau, Borna and Wurzennin the previous days. As Luszinsky's Corps approached, the detachment of Major von Roth retired from Eilenburg to Düben and informed Hülsen of the arrival of this new force.
On August 23
- The Prince of Zweibrücken threw a bridge across the Elbe at Dröschkau. The construction was covered by Zettwitz's detachment, which was posted at Alt-Belgern on the right bank of the river. Zettwitz had already sent reconnaissance parties up to Spremberg in the direction of Silesia, to avoid being attacked by surprise by Frederick's troops.
On August 24
- Guasco's Grenadier Corps and Veczay's light troops crossed the Elbe. Guasco then advanced up to Alt-Belgern
- Veczay marched to Kossdorf; and Zettwitz, to Blumberg.
On August 25
- Zweibrücken's main body marched to Alt-Belgern.
- The Reserve Corps and Kleefeld's Corps marched from Schildau and Sitzenroda to the banks of the Elbe.
- A reconnaissance party (200 horse) under Lieutenant-Colonel Roëll, which had been sent towards Alt-Belgern, informed Hülsen that the Austro-Imperial army had crossed the Elbe. For the time being, however, Hülsen just reinforced his outpost at Werdau, because he still intended to hold out at Torgau. He considered that Zweibrücken would not dare to penetrate past his positions into the Mark; and if he did, Hülsen could still follow him by way of Wittenberg.
On August 26
- Luszinsky's Corps marched north-westwards from Eilenburg to Bitterfeld
- Stolberg's Reserve Corps and Kleefeld's Corps crossed the Elbe.
- Major von Roth took position at Halle.
- Hülsen feared that Luszinsky was planning to plunder the Prussian Saale district around Halle. Since Hülsen could not prevent this movement, he tried to distract Luszinsky by sending a detachment (Grenadier Battalion Lubath, I./Salmuth Fusiliers, 100 men of II./Frei-Infanterie Wunsch, 3 hussar sqns and 150 dragoons) under Colonel von Linden from Halle to Düben to threaten Luszinsky's communications with the Reichsarmee.
On August 27
- Luszinsky's Corps sojourned near Bitterfeld.
- The Reserve Corps joined the main body of the army while Kleefeld's Corps marched to Triestewitz (present-day Arzberg).
- Major-General von Salenmon arrived at Wittenberg.
On August 28
- Undeterred by Linden's manoeuvre, Luszinsky's Corps marched to Halle.
- Early in the morning, Kleefeld's Corps, which had been reinforced with a few bns and sqns, appeared before the Prussian outpost near Graditz. The defenders, retired to Werdau where they joined the foot jägers. Together, they then retired to the eastern bridgehead at Torgau, closely followed by the Austrians.
- In the afternoon, the main body of the Austro-Imperial army joined Kleefeld's Corps, and deployed between Zschackau and Triestewitz, while the Reserve Corps took position between Zwethau and Zeckritz. Kleefeld occupied the villages of Kreischau and Graditz.
- In the afternoon, Hülsen changed the front of his camp to face eastwards towards the Elbe, his right anchored on Torgau and his left 4 km north at Repitz. The narrow passage between the "Grossen Teiche" and the Elbe remained occupied.
- Linden's detachment was recalled from Düben and posted near Drebligar to prevent the Austro-Imperials from crossing the Elbe near Dommitzsch. Linden was also instructed to send detachments across the Elbe to induce Zweibrücken to believe that Hülsen planned to cross the river at Dommitzsch. Linden also wanted to prevent Kleefeld's light troops from raiding into Brandenburg. Accordingly, he sent Lieutenant-Colonel von Roëll to Jessen by way of Wittenberg with the Kleist Hussars and 100 dragoons.
- Hülsen received a message from Ferdinand of Brunswick to inform him that he was in no condition to support him. Nevertheless, Hülsen still hoped that the news of the advance of the Württemberger Contingent from Gotha by way of Langensalza and Mühlhausen would induce Ferdinand to divert troops to cover Braunschweig.
On August 29, Zweibrücken reconnoitred Hülsen's positions and found no way to attack them. He had vainly hoped that his manoeuvre would have forced Hülsen to recross the Elbe to maintain communication with the Mark.
On August 30, seeing that the Prussians continued to defend Torgau and his magazines, Zweibrücken established a bridge near Strehla, some 14 km upstream from Torgau and his army began crossing the Elbe.
On August 31
- The Austro-Imperial army completed the crossing of the Elbe, and encamped near Schildau. The Reserve Corps under Prince von Stolberg advanced to Belgern.
- As Hülsen's southern positions between the "Grossen Teich" and the Elbe were considered unassailable, Zweibrücken decided to make a turning movement north-westwards.
- Considering that the Austro-Imperials were not threatening the Mark any more, Hülsen recalled Roëll's detachment from Jessen and Linden's detachment from Drebligar. His army reoccupied its previous positions around Torgau.
|Order of Battle|
|Detailed order of battle of the Austro-Imperial army operating in Saxony in late August.
Detailed order of battle of the Prussian army of Lieutenant-General Hülsen in the autumn of 1760.
On September 2
- Zweibrücken's Army marched from Schildau to a new camp between Strelln and Doberschütz
- Stolberg's Reserve Corps advanced to Schildau.
- Veczay's and Kleefeld's light troops occupied Beckwitz, Klitzschen, Gräfendorf, Mockrehna, Wildenhain and Weidenhain, to envelope Hülsen's positions from the west.
- Colonel von Zettwitz remained near Belgern with his hussars and Grenzer light troops.
- Hülsen sent a battalion to defend Leipzig.
The two armies then remained in these positions, observing each other, until September 21.
On September 3
- An Imperial infantry rgt occupied Eilenburg to secure communication with Franconia.
- After having raised contributions in Halle and its vicinity, Luszinsky returned to Bitterfeld, leaving a garrison in Halle.
On September 8
- The Württemberger Contingent reached Lauchstädt. Troops occupied Halle and Merseburg.
- Luszinsky's Corps encamped near Düben, with outposts near Pressel, Falkenberg and Dahlenberg. Luszinsky recalled the garrisons left in Naumburg and Halle to his corps, now that the arrival of the Württemberger Contingent had made the occupation of these places unnecessary.
On September 9
- The main body of the Württemberger Contingent marched to Merseburg, while advanced elements occupied Günthersdorf halfway between Merseburg and Leipzig. The Duke of Württemberg wanted to make himself master of the Fortress of Leipzig, which was still occupied by the Prussians.
- The Duke of Württemberg summoned the commander of the Fortress of Leipzig, Major von Keller of the Hessen-Kassel Fusiliers, to surrender the place. Keller answered that he would set fire to the suburbs of Leipzig as soon as the duke would launch an attack and that he would defend the place to the last man. He also threatened to destroy the place as soon as a breach would be made in the walls and would then retire to the citadel.
On September 12, after reconnoitring the Fortress of Leipzig and realising that it would not be easily conquered, the Duke of Württemberg marched to Halle with his contingent (10,000 men). He would remain there until September 19, raising contributions in the region.
On September 14, Zettwitz's detachment moved to Mühlberg to better protect the line of communication of the Austro-Imperial army with Dresden, since it was feared that operations in Silesia would come to a complete standstill. This also influenced Zweibrücken's action on the right bank of the Elbe and made him consider a return to the left bank.
On September 18, the Duke of Württemberg personally went to Zweibrücken's camp near Strelln.
On September 20, the Württemberg Contingent set off from Halle.
On September 21, the Württemberger Contingent reached Bitterfeld.
On September 23
- The Württemberger Contingent arrived at Düben.
- Luszinsky's Corps marched to Dommitzsch.
- After several weeks of inactivity, Zweibrücken, who had just received additional heavy artillery pieces from Dresden escorted by 1 bn of Clerici Infantry, resumed his operations.
- The light troops of the Reichsarmee were directed northwards. Kleefeld and Veczay occupied the towns of Vogelgesang and Elsnig, while the Grenadier Corps advanced towards Weidenhain.
On September 24
- The main army marched from its camp near Strelln in the direction of Neiden, while its light troops advanced to Süptitz and Zinna, close to the front of Hülsen's positions, after these towns had been evacuated by the Prussians.
- Around noon, the main army encamped to the north-east of Grosswig. The Grenadier Corps took position north of Süptitz, in front of the right wing of the main army; while Kleefeld's Grenzer light troops were posted to the north-west of Zinna, in front of the left wing.
- Colonel von Zettwitz, after the arrival of the artillery transport from Dresden, moved back from Mühlberg to Mahitzschen. He was reinforced by a few bns and some cavalry from the main army and advanced against Hülsen's the left wing up to Wessnig and Bennewitz.
- The Württemberger Contingent marched to Pretzsch on the Elbe 24 km downstream of Torgau .
- The joint action of the Austro-Imperial army, with the corps of the Duke of Württemberg and Luszinsky on both banks of the Elbe to encircled Hülsen's positions had been fixed to September 26.
- Hülsen sent his baggage to the opposite bank of the Elbe. They were assembled in a camp under the guns of the bridgehead.
On September 25
- Zweibrücken reconnoitred Hülsen's positions.
- The Duke of Württemberg ordered to establish a bridge on the Elbe near Pretzsch.
- Luszinsky threw a bridge on the Elbe at Dommitzsch and sent his vanguard across the Elbe.
- Zettwitz advanced a little further and his artillery opened against the free bns posted near Losswig, without causing any damage.
- Hülsen trusted in the strength of his positions and his troops stood in readiness for battle. At the worst, his line of retreat to the Mark by way of the Fortress of Torgau was secured. He had also formed an ad hoc bn with the convalescents.
- In the evening, Hülsen received a report from one of his outposts near Prettin, informing him that the Württemberger Contingent was preparing to establish a bridge near Pretzsch and that Luszinsky was doing the same near Dommitzsch. Furthermore, a few detachments of Grenzer light troops and jägers belonging to Luszinsky's Corps had already crossed the Elbe. Hülsen's immediately detached Major von Heilsberg with the Grenadier Battalion Heilsberg, 150 horse and 2 twelve-pdrs to interrupt the construction of these bridges.
On September 26
- Early in the morning, 2 Austro-Imperial bns appeared in front of the Prussian positions and drove back some outposts. However, it soon became apparent that the main army was not marching behind them, and they soon retired when the Prussian artillery opened against them and the II./Markgraf Carl Infantry advanced. It seemed that Zweibrücken was waiting for the arrival of Luszinsky's Corps and the Württemberger Contingent on the eastern bank of the Elbe before undertaking a serious attack.
- Early in the morning, Major von Heilsberg reached Lichtenburg where he came to contact with some Austro-Imperial infantry. He realised that the bridges were already completed and that 2 bns and all of Luszinsky's cavalry had already crossed the Elbe. In front of such superior forces, Heilsberg retreated to Dautzschen.
- Despite Frederick's instructions to hold Torgau, Hülsen knew that the magazine of the place had supplies for only 14 days and that he could not expect the arrival of any relief force within this period. In fact, he had only the choice to offer battle or to retreat. He decided to launch an attack on the positions of the Austro-Imperials, planning to cross the Elbe in the night of September 26 to 27 and to attack Luszinsky's Corps and the Württemberg Contingent by surprise, before retiring into his present positions.
- Evacuation of Torgau
- Around noon, Hülsen was informed that the Austro-Imperial army was deploying near Dommitzsch. However, he doubted this report because of the presence of extensive forests west of Torgau. He then received a report from Major von Heilsberg that Luszinsky's Corps was advancing on Dautzschen. Hülsen now had to act quickly. The evacuation of his current positions was carried out hastily. However, part of the bread and forage supplies was still in the magazines in Torgau. Furthermore, all pack-horses were still in a camp on the west bank of the Elbe. Hülsen had no time for an ordered retreat and the entire army crossed the bridge of Torgau and the pontoon bridges immediately after the train. His sudden orders caused disorders while crossing the bridge.
- Around 1:00 p.m., the Austro-Imperials began to advance. Kleefeld, who had observed the evacuation of Torgau from his positions north of Zinna, occupied the abandoned positions with his light troops. He was closely followed by Zweibrücken's entire army. Colonel Zettwitz was also advancing from the south and, swinging around the fortress to the south-east, marched towards the bridges. Kleefeld's light troops did the same north of Torgau,
- The determined action of Colonel von Roebel held back the advancing Grenzer light troops at musket range. However, he was unable to prevent the Austro-Imperials from deploying light guns under cover of the Elbe dam. These immediately directed their fire against the bridges.
- By that time, most of Hülsen's army had already crossed the bridge and only the rearguard came under fire but did not suffer very heavy losses (95 men killed or wounded). Hülsen had left the battalion of convalescents in Torgau.
- Soon afterward the bridge of Torgau caught fire and burnt down. However, Hülsen was unable to recover his pontoon-bridge (40 pontoons) and had to leave it in the hands of the Austro-Imperials. Nevertheless, the fortress artillery and Hülsen's own heavy artillery were able to hold off the enemy at a distance from the right bank.
- Hülsen immediately marched northwards and reached Rosenfeld at nightfall. There, Heilsberg's detachment made a junction with Hülsen's Army.
- Zweibrücken summoned the garrison of Torgau to surrender. This garrison under Major von Normann consisted of 3 garrison bns (2 bns of Garrison Regiment Lettow and I./Garrison Regiment Grolman) and 1 convalescent bn) for a total of 62 officers and 2,450 men with 29 iron artillery pieces. It had ample ammunition but provisions for only a few days. Nevertheless, Normann capitulated.
- Around 5:30 p.m., Lieutenant-Colonel von Oginsky from Garrison Regiment Lettow, who occupied the bridgehead with 250 men of his battalion, managed to escape with his men when he was informed that the fortress had capitulated. He rejoined Hülsen's Army.
- During this time, Luszinsky's Corps had marched to Prettin. In the evening, it recrossed the Elbe from Prettin to Dommitzsch.
In the night of September 26 to 27, Hülsen resumed his march from Rosenfeld in two columns, which reached Bethau and Gross-Treben.
On September 27
- Around 5:00 a.m., Hülsen's Army was assembled at Lichtenburg. Hülsen planned to attack the two isolated corps of Luszinsky and of the Duke of Württemberg. However, he was informed that Luszinsky had already recrossed the Elbe. Similarly, the Württemberger Contingent was already posted at Pretzsch on the left bank of the Elbe. Hülsen then tried to destroy the bridge that the Austro-Imperials had at Dommitzsch but their superior artillery prevented this to happen.
- Hülsen's Army marched to Jessen. On his way, Hülsen learned of the capitulation of Torgau.
- The garrison of Torgau deposited arms and surrendered as prisoners of war who were escorted to Meissen.
- Zweibrücken garrisoned Torgau with 1 bn of Hessen-Darmstadt Infantry.
On September 28
- Luszinsky's and Kleefeld's corps crossed the Elbe at Dommitzsch and advanced in the direction of Hülsen's Army. Luszinsky occupied Lebien and Kleefeld's light troops, Naundorf on the road leading from Torgau to Scheinitz.
- The detachment of Colonel von Zettwitz made a junction with the Württemberger Contingent near Pretzsch.
On September 29
- The main army marched from Torgau to Dommitzsch, crossed the Elbe and encamped near Prettin.
- Zweibrücken sent Luszinsky's Corps towards Jessen, the Prussian outposts retired behind the Black Elster and Luszinsky occupied Zwiesigko (unidentified location) and Grabo.
- The detachment of Colonel von Zettwitz advanced south of the Elbe towards Wittenberg, surprising and taking prisoners the garrison (1 officer and 15 men) of the leftmost bridgehead. Zettwitz then took position near Pratau.
- Hülsen sent Colonel von Roebel with 500 horse, the FussJägers and Hauss Fusiliers to reconnoitre towards Annaburg, where Roebel surprised 1 hussar sqn belonging to Kleefeld's Corps and took some prisoners. Roebel then returned to Jessen where he reported that Kleefeld's Corps was not followed by the main Austro-Imperial army.
- Hülsen finally came to the conclusion that he would very soon be outflanked in his position behind the Black Elster. He feared to be cut from Wittenberg and decided to retire to this fortress. He deployed 5 sqns of Kleist Hussars and Grenadier Battalion Lubath behind the Black Elster between Jessen and the Elbe to prevent any surprise attack from these quarters. He also sent his baggage forward to Wittenberg.
On September 30
- At 3:00 a.m., Hülsen's Army set off from Jessen in two columns and marched to Wittenberg. Colonel von Kleist formed the rearguard with the light troops and 4 bns (Grenadier Battalion Lubath, Grenadier Battalion Nesse, Grenadier Battalion Heilsberg and Hauss Fusiliers).
- On his arrival at Wittenberg, Hülsen encamped north of the fortress with his right leaning on the defensive works of the fortress and his left on the heights, south of the village of Teuchel. Hauss Battalion occupied Teuchel and the light troops established outposts at Labetz, Trajuhn and in Piesteritz. Hülsen immediately began to entrench his camp and established a battery of 18 heavy artillery pieces on his left wing.
- Luszinsky followed the retreating Prussian army up to Gallien and his light troops advanced up to Hohndorf.
- The main army reached the Elster and Kleefeld's light troops reached Leetza. The village of Zahna was also occupied.
- The Duke of Württemberg followed Zettwitz's detachment, marching from Pretzsch to Wartenburg on the left bank of the Elbe.
On October 1
- The Württemberger Contingent reached Pratau. A bridge was thrown on the Elster to establish communication with Zettwitz's detachment.
- The Prince of Zweibrücken escorted by a few sqns tried to reconnoitre the Prussian camps but his escort was driven back by Colonel von Kleist with a few Prussian sqns and 2 bns.
- Hülsen held a council of war to determine if he should make a stand at Wittenberg or retire in the Mark of Brandenburg. His generals decided to remain near Wittenberg and Hülsen took dispositions to repulse the expected attack of the Austro-Imperials. He also sent all the sick and wounded, along with those of the garrison of Wittenberg and the baggage to Brandenburg.
- In the evening, Hülsen was informed that Württemberger troops were marching along the Elbe towards Wörlitz with a pontoon-train. He immediately detached Colonel von Roebel with the bn of Hauss Fusiliers and the II./Salmuth Fusiliers with four 12-pdrs to Coswig to hinder any attempt made by the Württembergers to cross the Elbe River. Some 400 men belonging to the garrison of Wittenberg replaced the Hauss Battalion at Teuchel.
On October 2
- Early in the morning, the main army marched out of its camp near Elster in two columns. Luszinsky formed the vanguard, and Kleefeld covered the right flank.
- Combat of Wittenberg
- Around 9:00 a.m., the main body of the Austro-Imperial army reached the heights of Euper.
- The Prussian outposts at Labetz and Trajuhn were abandoned as Luszinsky's cavalry advanced. The troops retiring from these outposts joined the light cavalry of Colonel von Kleist, the Schorlemmer Dragoons and 2 bns. Confronted by this force, Luszinsky retired to the main army.
- After a brief cannonade, Kleist also retired on the main Prussian army and took position on the heights between Teuchel and Dobien with his light cavalry and the II./Schorlemmer Dragoons to secure the left flank of Hülsen's Army.
- After an artillery preparation, during the Combat of Wittenberg, the Austrian division attacked the Prussian left but was repulsed.
- Darkness finally put an end to the bitter struggle. Again, the bulk of the Austro-Imperial army had not intervened. It had marched to Schmilkendorf where it encamped during the evening, on the flank of Hülsen's small army.
- Hülsen realised that he could easily be surrounded if he did not retreat swiftly. Late in the evening, he sent his baggage towards Coswig, escorted by 2 bns (I./Bevern Infantry, I./Salmuth Fusiliers).
- Hülsen soon followed with his small army, covered by the Grenadier Battalion Nesse, posted on the Gallun-Berg, to the north-west of Reinsdorf and the I./Grant Fusiliersnear Apollensdorf. Major-General von Salenmon was left behind to defend Wittenberg.
On October 3
- Around 3:00 a.m., Hülsen's small army reached Coswig (Anhalt), where it made a junction with Roebel's detachment, and with 500 recruits and convalescents arriving from Berlin.
- After resting his army for five hours, Hülsen resumed his march towards Mühlstedt.
- Hülsen's retreat imperilled the small garrison of Leipzig under Major von Keller, who received orders to evacuate the place and to take refuge in Magdeburg.
- Zweibrücken undertook the Siege of Wittenberg.
- General Veczay and Lanthiery with 2 hussar rgts, 2 cavalry rgts and a few bns followed the small Prussian army.
On October 4, Keller and the Prussian garrison set off from Leipzig after nailing the heavy artillery pieces which they could not bring with them.
On October 5
- Hülsen marched by way of Belzig to Beelitz, where he encamped in very strong positions. He sent his field-bakery and his supply column to Potsdam, escorted by the Salmuth Fusiliers.
- Hülsen learned that Cossack parties had raised contributions in Beelitz shortly before his arrival. He also learned that a Russian corps (approx. 4,000 men) under General Totleben had appeared before Berlin on October 3 and that another stronger corps under Chernyshev was soon expected. Hûlsen immediately decided to march to the relief of Berlin as soon as his troops would have recovered from their long march. Accordingly, he allowed his men to rest for a day.
On October 6
- Two Austrian deserters informed Hülsen that Lacy was also on the march for Berlin at the head of 12,000 men. At the same time, Hülsen received a message from the Prince of Württemberg, who had rushed from the Uckermark to Berlin with the former corps of General Jung-Stutterheim, asking for immediate support. Hülsen immediately sent Major-General von Kleist with 6 bns and 12 sqns to the relief of Berlin. He planned to follow with the rest of his small army on the next day, thus abandoning Saxony to its fate.
On October 8, the Austro-Imperial Army was at Wittenberg.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the departure of Frederick who was marching to the relief of Berlin, Daun had marched from Silesia with 60,000 men and advanced towards Saxony.
On October 14
- Wittenberg surrendered to Zweibrücken.
- Daun marched to Ullersdorf in Saxony.
Leipzig, Torgau, Wittenberg and all that country had fallen to the Reichsarmee. Not a town or a magazine now belonged to Frederick in Saxony.
Return of the king
On October 15, now that Berlin was free, Prince Eugen and Hülsen hastened to the relief of Wittenberg but they only found a heap of ruins with the Prussian garrison gone, as prisoners of war. Prince Eugen retired from Belzig to Ziesar where he took post within reach of Magdeburg and supply and waited for new order. Meanwhile, he despatched Kleist upon the Duke of Württemberg army in Halle Country. The duke immediately withdrew in Württemberg.
N.B.: Prince Eugen of Württemberg commanded a Prussian Army while the Duke of Württemberg commanded the contingent of his own duchy subsidized by Austria. They were brothers serving in enemy armies.
On October 16, Daun reached Mikel (unidentified location) on the Spree. The same day, the Austro-Imperial Army (35,000) men repassed the Elbe at Bernsdorf midway between Königsbrück and Hoyerswerda.
On October 17, Prince Eugen marched to Treuenbritzen. The same day, Daun's Army reached the region of Kamenz and remained there for two days due to bad weather and poor road conditions
On October 19, Daun reached Hermsdorf near Ruhland, advancing towards Torgau.
On October 20, Daun marched to Frauenheim Röderaue near Elsterwerda.
On October 21, Daun marched to Martinskirch (unidentified location).
On October 22, after two days of march from Lübben in Brandenburg, Frederick with 30,000 men arrived at Jessen on the Elbe, near Wittenberg. He had now resolved to concentrate his army against Saxony. The same day, Daun reached Tristewitz (present-day Arzberg) opposite Torgau where Lacy made a junction with the main army.
On October 23, Frederick established his right wing at Wittenberg and his left wing, under Zieten, at Jessen. The Austro-Imperial troops previously occupying Wittenberg fell back southwards to Bad Düben. The same day, Daun threw a bridge on the Elbe and sent his reserve along with his grenadiers to Dommitzsch on the left bank. The Reichsarmee was encamped near Pratau.
On October 24, Frederick threw a bridge on the Elbe at Rosslau. Prince Eugen marched eastwards from Kalbe to Dessau, closing the gap between his corps and the Prussian Main Army. The same day, Daun passed the Elbe with the Austrian Main Army and encamped at Großwig. Lacy's Corps remained at Tschekau (unidentified location, maybe Zwethau on the right bank) while Ried took position at Pretzsch with the light troops. Meanwhile, the main body of the Reichsarmee was at Wittenberg.
On October 25, Frederick marched to Coswig with the right wing and 10 bns of the left wing.
On October 26, Frederick crossed the Elbe at Rosslau, in Dessau Country, between Rosslau and Klikau, 28 km below Wittenberg, about midway between Wittenberg and the inflow of the Mulda into Elbe. He encamped at Jonitz where he was joined by Prince Eugen and Hülsen who were waiting for him in this area with 14,000 men. These reinforcements brought Frederick’s army to about 80,000 men. The Reichsarmee marched to Düben.
On October 27, the Prussian Army marched to Kemberg. The Reichsarmee immediately withdrew from Bad Düben to Leipzig. Hearing that Frederick was across the Elbe, Daun moved southward and planted himself at Eilenburg to support the Reichsarmee. The same day, Ried's light troops were attacked near Grauischen (unidentified location) and forced to retire on Bad Düben.
On October 28, Lacy passed the Elbe and encamped at Süptitz.
On October 29, Frederick posted himself at Bad Düben between Daun and the Reichsarmee. He then detached Hülsen with a considerable force to attack the Reichsarmee in Leipzig. Frederick then began to form a small magazine in Bad Düben to supplement Magdeburg who was his only available magazine in this area. The same day, Daun marched back to his camp of Torgau deploying his right at Zinna and his left towards Großwig. Lacy took position behind Schildau, the grenadiers behind Großwig and Brentano at Betaune (unidentified location).
On October 30, Lacy retired to Mockrehna, Ried at Strellen (maybe Strehla) and the grenadiers to Weidenhain Dreiheide. The same day, Frederick marched to Eilenburg and encamped near Thallwitz. Hülsen passed the Mulde and encamped at Gostewitz (unidentified location), detaching Linden with 9 bns and 15 sqns on Leipzig. In the evening, Linden found the Reichsarmee taking refuge in Leipzig.
During the night of October 30-31, Linden summoned Leipzig. At about 5:00 a.m. he found that the Reichsarmee had vanished in the mist. In fact, it was marching full speed towards Wechselburg. Daun, with Frederick ahead of him, made not the least attempt to help them.
Battle of Torgau
On November 2, Linden threw 2 bns, including Freibataillon Quintus Icilius, in Leipzig as garrison, and rejoined Hülsen who returned to Bad Düben to join Frederick. The Prussian Main Army marched in four columns towards Torgau, leaving Roebel's Brigade at Eilenburg. It camped at Schildau that night, some 11 km on the southward side of Torgau. Frederick was with the vanguard as usual. Ried's Austrian light troops retired to Mockrehna. The Reichsarmee reached Colditz. However, the bad weather, forced the Reichsarmee to march to Chemnitz where its troops took up quarters.
On November 3, Frederick tried to attack the entrenched Austrian Army on two fronts. His manoeuvres were delayed and his first attacks ended unsuccessfully. Finally, Zieten's Corps attacked in the evening and, after a confused fight, won the Battle of Torgau. Frederick had taken shelter in the little church of Elsnig for the night. The news of the Prussian victory at Torgau soon reached him. He moved his headquarters to Torgau. During this battle, Daun had lost about 12,000 killed and wounded, 8,000 prisoners, 45 guns, 29 flags and 1 standard. The Prussian loss was between 13 and 14,000 men, of whom 4,000 prisoners. General Buccow briefly assumed command of the Austrian Army to replace Daun who had been wounded. However, Buccow was wounded too and O’Donnell took command.
End of the Campaign
On November 4, there was pursuit of Lacy and some prisoners and furnitures were got from him. Frederick encamped at 10:00 a.m. with his right at Süptitz and his left at Neiden. Hülsen was detached with 10 bns and 25 sqns to occupy Torgau, seizing 20 boats used for the Austrian bridges.
On November 5, the Prussian Army rested while the Austrian Army retired along the right bank of the Elbe through Mühlberg to Sagritz (east of Riesa).
On November 7, the Reichsarmee retired on Chemnitz. Frederick detached Hülsen against the Reichsarmee.
On November 8, the Austrian Main Army passed the Elbe and made a junction at Dresden with Lacy's and Macquire's Corps who had quitted the Reichsarmee to reinforce Daun. These combined forces then took post behind the inaccessible Plauen Chasms.
On November 12, Frederick encamped near Dresden, which he hoped to recapture, with his right at Grumbach and his left at Roitzsch while General Queiss passed the Elbe on a bridge established at Meißen and marched to Tschaila (unidentified location) with 9 bns and 8 sqns, facing Beck's Corps. Meanwhile, Prince Eugen left with 8 bns and 5 sqns to put a stop to the incursions of the cossacks in the Brandenburger Neumark.
By the end of November, harassed by Hülsen, the Reichsarmee had retired behind the Saale where it took its winter-quarters.
At the beginning, Prince Stolberg established a chain of outposts in front of the winter-quarters of the Reichsarmee.
Frederick's headquarters were at Leipzig where he arrived on December 8. He dispatched 10,000 men under the command of General Forcade through Thuringia to make a junction with the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick who was operating against the French. However, roads were in such bad conditions that Forcade had to stop on his way.
On December 11, Daun and Frederick signed a convention, Frederick took his winter-quarters in the Meissen-Freyberg Country, in front of the Austrians and their impassable Plauen Chasms. Daun then went to Vienna this winter, in need of surgery.
To the exception of a small area around Dresden, Frederick had managed to recapture most of Saxony.
This article is essentially a compilation of texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
- Vol. 12 Landeshut und Liegnitz, Berlin, 1913, pp. 11-16, 25-26, 30-35, 53-56, 69-72, 122-157, 184-186
- Vol. 13 Torgau, Berlin, 1914, pp. 160-170, 179-205
- Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 511, 513-518, 535, 538-542
- Carlyle, T.: History of Friedrich II of Prussia, vol. 20
- Jomini, Baron de: Traité des grandes opérations militaires, Vol. 3, 2nd ed., Magimel, Paris, 1811, pp. 223, 245, 257-266, 268-270, 282-284, 308, 324-333, 341-342, 365-366
- Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 481-486
- Wengen, F. Von: Geschichte des k. k. österreichischen 13. Dragoner-Regimentes Prinz Eugen von Savoyen, Brandeis 1879
- Bezzel, Oskar; Geschichte des Kurpfälzischen Heeres ..., Bayrisches Kriegsarchiv, V. File, part 1 and 2, Munich 1925