1705 – Campaign in Lombardy

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1705 – Campaign in Lombardy

The campaign lasted from April to December 1705

Introduction

At the end of the campaign of 1704 in Lombardy, although they had been driven out of Lombardy, the Imperialists had reestablished their numerical superiority. The Franco-Spanish Army of Lombardy under command of the Grand Prieur de Vendôme had taken its winter-quarters with its headquarters at Castiglione delle Stiviere while a strong detachment under M. de Medavi had taken position at Palazzolo in Venetian Territory. The Grand Prieur had also taken possession of the Island of Sirmione on Lake Garda to serve as depot for the fleet of M. de Laubépin who had started to harass the communications of the Imperialists on this lake.

For the entire campaign of 1705, the Duc de Vendôme continued to command all the French and Spanish troops operating in Italy. The situation forced him to split his forces and to form two armies: one in Piedmont to face the army of the Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, and another one in Lombardy to oppose the Imperialists. The Duc de Vendôme then confided his army of Lombardy to the Grand Prieur de Vendôme, his brother, while still retaining overall command. The Prince de Vaudémont excused himself due to his health and did not command any field army, but continued to command in the Duchy of Milan.

The first goal set by Louis XIV for the coming campaign was the siege and capture of Turin in Piedmont, the capital of the Duke of Savoy. Cannon were cast in Pavia and 40 artillery pieces were sent from France by way of Genoa along with a large quantity of ammunition taken from the arsenals of Provence and Alsace.

However, the success of the Allies during the previous campaign (1704) had given the Imperialists the means to send reinforcements to Italy. On 27 February, the Elector of Palatinate signed a contract with Emperor Leopold I, by which he agreed to send 3,200 infantry in two regiments (Isselbach Infantry, Sachsen-Meiningen Infantry) and 900 horse, also in two regiments (Hatzfeld Cavalry, Vehlen Dragoons) to Italy. Furthermore, the British and the Dutch planned to send 8,000 men to the Duke of Savoy by way of Nice.

Thus, the Duc de Vendôme took command of the Army of Piedmont and undertook a campaign in Piedmont while the Duc de La Feuillade was charged of the conquest of the County of Nice.

Description

Winter-quarters and Preparation

On 7 January 1705, the Venetian garrison (300 men) of the Castle of Palazzolo handed it over to Medavi who immediately detached M. de Lautrec with 400 horse to seize the town and the castle of Pontoglio.

For his part, the Prince de Vaudémont ordered to entrench all fords of the Adda from Lake Lecco to Pizzighettone and sent 2,000 peasant to M. de Medavi to entrench the fords on the Oglio between Palazzolo and Pontevico.

On 20 January, Medavi assembled 20 grenadier coys and 1,000 horse at Carpenedolo and forded the Chiese with all his cavalry and 300 grenadiers riding pillion. They marched to Mezzane where he defeated a detachment of 150 horses occupying the village.

The Grand Prieur also shut down the sluices at Palazzolo and Pontoglio, thus depriving the mills downstream from water.

On 27 January, the Grand Prieur personally went to Mantua.

On 31 January, the Grand Prieur assembled 27 grenadier coys, 400 fusiliers, 1,100 horse and 4 guns (12-pdrs and 8-pdrs) at Valeggio. While the Grand Prieur would be making himself master of the region between Lake Garda and the Adige, M. de Medavi would make a diversion in the region of Brescia. Medavi chose to advance on Torbole Casaglia.

On 1 February, the Grand Prieur marched from Valeggio to Lazise on Lake Garda. The Venetian garrison opposed no resistance and the Grand Prieur occupied the town. Meanwhile, Medavi marched with 1,500 horse to the suburbs of Brescia. He then sent a detachment of 100 dragoons and 100 horse to Monpeano (unidentified location) and marched with the rest towards Torbole Casaglia.

On 2 February, a detachment under M. de Ceberet drove the Imperialists out of the village of Cavaion while another detachment under M. Dillon made itself master of Affi. The Grand Prieur, seeing that the Imperialists were retreating on Rivoli which commanded the defile between Lake Garda and the Adige, decided to make an attempt to seize Rivoli. On his way, he was delayed by 2 bns which he had to drive back. He then sent 12 grenadier coys and some cavalry under M. de Vaudrey to rapidly reach Rivoli. However, the Imperialists reached Rivoli before Vaudrey, but he managed to drive them out of the place and pursued them up to Croara (maybe Caiar) where they crossed the Adige. Vaudrey then returned to Rivoli where the Grand Prieur was arrived. In these affairs, the Imperialists lost 300 men killed, 150 wounded and 300 taken prisoners.

On 3 February in the morning, Medavi sent M. de Lautrec with 500 horse to reconnoitre Torbole. Lautrec saw that the Imperialists were already marching on Torbole. He retired to rejoin Medavi's Corps but his retreat had been cut by 550 horse occupying Roncadello. Lautrec attacked them and drove them back but suffered heavy losses, being himself wounded and taken prisoners along with 60 men. The rest of his detachment managed to reach Torbole. Medavi, his mission accomplished retired to Palazzolo. Meanwhile, the Grand Prieur evacuated Rivoli and returned to Lazise and Bardolino. These two places made him master of the navigation on Lake Garda.

The Grand Prieur transferred the small flotilla of M. de Laubépin from the Island of Sirmione to Lazise.

On 11 February, entrenchments at Lazise and Bardolino being completed, the Grand Prieur returned to Castiglione delle Stiviere, leaving 300 men in Lazise and 150 men in Bardolino. He also sent 2 bns to reinforce the garrison of Desenzano.

On 12 February, the Grand Prieur arrived at Castiglione delle Stiviere where he was informed that the Imperialists had sent back their equipment, their artillery and their sick to Salò and Riva del Garda. He was of the opinion that Leiningen's Army would march towards Tyrol or Vicenza. However, Medavi feared that Leiningen was preparing to march on the Upper Oglio and to enter into the Duchy of Milan.

On 14 February, at Medavi's insistence, the Grand Prieur sent him a reinforcement of 1 bn and 1 dragoon rgt.

On 16 February, the Grand Prieur was informed that the Imperialist corps, who had retired behind the Adige, had been reinforced with 600 horse arriving from Bavaria and that it was advancing on Bardolino and Lazise. The Grand Prieur immediately detached M. de Cappy (1 infantry rgt, 3 cavalry rgts, 2 grenadier coys and 300 commandeered horse) towards Monzambano and Ponti on the Mincio.

The Imperialists retired behind the Adige to the Valpolicella Valley where they took cantonments under the command of General Roccavione.

The Grand Prieur personally went to Mantua to observe Leiningen's manoeuvres, leaving command to M. de Langallerie. He also instructed Medavi to be ready to effect a junction with his main army.

In March, the Palatine troops (3,200 foot, 900 horse) destined for Italy, left their winter-quarters in Palatinate.

On 25 March, the Imperialist cavalry encamped at Novi (probably Nave) and Monpiano under the command of Zrini and Visconti retired to Gavardo.

On 26 March, Zrini's and Visconti's cavalry took the road to Rocca d'Anfo. The Imperialists were also assembling important magazines at Pescantina and San Michele near Verona. They had also assembled pontoons at Sacco on the Adige.

At about this time, the Imperial Württemberg Infantry (2,000 men) arriving from Germany reached Meran (present-day Merano) near Bozen (present-day Bolzano). Furthermore, Zinzendorf Dragoons arrived in Tyrol.

On 28 March, taking advantage of a heavy fog, an Imperialist detachment of 300 foot and 500 horse attacked Borghetto on the Mincio which was defended by only 2 grenadier coys. The defenders retired in a small fort and resisted to the assault. The Imperialist detachment retired before the arrival of M. de Cappy with a relief force.

The Grand Prieur was now convinced that Leiningen intended to effect a junction with Roccavione's small corps cantoned in the Valpolicella.

By 1 April, Leiningen's main body of infantry was still at Gavardo, Salò and Maderno. Meanwhile, Roccavione's Corps would count 3,500 horse and 1,500 foot as soon as Zrini's and Visconti's cavalry would join him.

Informed that Imperialist detachments had passed the Po and fearing for Modena, the Grand Prieur detached Medavi from Mantua with 2 grenadier coys and 300 horse. He also sent 400 horse and 15 grenadier coys posted in the region of Brescia and along the Mincio under M. de Vaudrey towards Mantua.

On 5 April, Medavi's detachment effected a junction with d'Esclainvilliers' detachment (600 foot, 300 horse taken from the blockade of Mirandola) at Bondeno on the Panaro. The same day, Vaudrey's detachment reached Mantua.

On 6 April

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vaudrey's detachment marched from Mantua to Ostiglia.
    • The Grand Prieur gave orders to 4 cavalry and dragoon rgts posted on the Oglio to march towards Mantua and Ostiglia.
  • Imperialists
    • The Imperialists repassed the Po, abandoning tne entrenchments that they had started to erect downstream from Baura.

M. de Vaudrey advanced down to Ro on the right bank of the Po, opposite Polesella, where he awaited new orders.

A few days later, the Grand Prieur recalled Vaudrey to Mantua. Langallerie's troops taken from the blockading forces around Mirandola were also sent back. The Grand Prieur left only the 4 cavalry and dragoon regiment coming from the Oglio in the region of Ferrara under the command of M. de Châteaumorant.

The Grand Prieur also ordered to burn all mills and to burn or sink all boats on the Po between Polesella and the mouth of the river in retaliation for the assistance that the Venetians and the Papal States had given to the Imperialists during their last expedition.

In mid-April, after the capitulation of Verrua in Piedmont after a long siege, the Duc de Vendôme sent his troops in winter-quarters and went to Casale. Meanwhile, the army commanded by the Grand Prieur de Vendôme in Lombardy comprised 32 bns and 53 sqns. It held the two banks of the Po, on one side up to the Panaro River where it blockaded Mirandola; on the other side, it occupied Mantua where the Grand Prieur had established his headquarters. This army also occupied the banks of the Mincio, from its mouth to Lake Garda to the exception of Peschiera which was held by a Venetian garrison. The Grand Prieur had also occupied and entrenched Lazise and Bardolino on the east shore of the lake. He had also occupied the Sirmione Island which served as a refuge for the armed barks operating on the lake.

The Imperialist army under the Count von Leiningen counted approx. 13,000 men and was stationed in the region of Trentino. Leiningen was at Gavardo with the main body of his infantry. The rest of his army was posted along the west shore of Lake Garda by Salo, Riva and Torbole up to the Adige River. A separate corps of 1,200 foot and 3,500 horse had taken position in the Polisella Valley under General Roccavione who had his headquarters at San Michele, launching raids on the Lower Adige.

The Imperialists were forming important magazines at San Michele on the Adige and at Pescantina near Verona. Boats were assembled at Sacco (unidentified location) on the Adige to build bridges. The leading elements of the reinforcements arriving from Germany had already reached Trient (present-day Trento).

Siege of Mirandola

On ????, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme received orders to lay siege to Mirandola which was defended by a garrison of approx. 1,000 men.

On 13 April, the Grand Prieur embarked at Mantua the artillery (28 cannon and 5 mortars) destined to the siege of Mirandola. It was transported on the Mincio, the Po, and the Secchia to Concordia. He also sent 9 bns and 4 sqns under M. de Lapara to lay siege to Mirandola.

On 17 April, part of the Franco-Spanish artillery transported from Mantua arrived at the camp near Mirandola.

On the night of 19 to 20 April

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Lapara undertook the Siege of Mirandola, opening the trench in front of the place.
    • M. de Lapara reconnoitred Fort La Rocca and realised that it was too distant from the city. He sent 2 grenadier coys to cut its communication with Mirandola and established two 12-pdrs in front of the fort. At daybreak these two pieces opened and the garrison (82 men) of Fort La Rocca evacuated it. The fleeing garrison was intercepted by the 2 grenadier coys and mostly annihilated or captured.

From 20 April, the defenders of Mirandola kept up a lively fire.

On 23 April

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme quitted Casale Monferrato and personally went to Milan to confer with the Prince de Vaudémont. Vendôme was convinced that the Imperialists intended to advance in the region of Brescia. The Prince of Vaudémont mentioned that he would contribute 10 Spanish bns and 15 Spanish sqns for the campaign.
  • Imperialists

On the night of 23 to 24 April, the French made a lodgement on the angle to the right of the covert way.

On 24 April, cannon batteries opened on Mirandola. However, a heavy rain filled the trenches and work was interrupted.

On 25 April, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme arrived at Lapara’s camp in front of Mirandola to observe the progress of the siege.

On 26 April

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Grand Prieur de Vendôme, informed that Prince Eugène was at Rovereto, returned to Mantua. He immediately sent 2 infantry rgts from Castiglione delle Stiviere to reinforce Châteaumorant’s detachment (4 cavalry and dragoon rgts) posted on the right bank of the Po in the region of Ferrara.
    • M. de Lapara sent the 2 cavalry rgts that were part of his siege corps to reinforce Châteaumorant.

On 27 April

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Weather improving, M. de Lapara was able to resume the siege of Mirandola. Trenches were emptied, siege works repaired and artillery pieces placed in batteries.
    • The Prince de Vaudémont sent the Spanish Contingent (10 bns, 15 sqns, 20 cannon) towards the Oglio.

At the beginning of May, the Imperialists were still divided in several corps:

  • a corps of 6,000 foot and 2,000 horse in the vicinity of Verona on the right bank of the Adige
  • a corps at Polesella Bella on the Po
  • a corps at Gavardo
  • reinforcements assembling at Rovereto under Prince Eugène

On 1 May, the Duc de Vendôme arrived at Mantua and assumed command of the Army of Lombardy. He decided that 37 bns and 55 bns would form the field army while 15 bns and 10 sqns would assume garrison duty. He also gave orders to 2 bns recently arrived from Naples by way of Genoa and to 9 bns sent from the Army of Piedmont under Vaubecourt to march to Lombardy. He also gave orders to 6 Spanish bns posted on the Oglio to advance to the Mincio. He let the 15 Spanish sqns on the Adda.

On 3 May, Louis XIV informed the Duc de Vendôme that he did not consider his Army of Lombardy strong enough to hold its ground against the Imperialists and told him to recall 6 bns from Piedmont.

On 5 May

  • Imperialists
    • A cavalry corps of 4,000 men and a Prussian contingent of 4,000 men joined Eugène's Army. The cavalry was redirected to Verona. All these troops were incorporated into the corps of G.d.C. Count Leiningen. Eugène's Army counted 17,000 men (including Leiningen's Corps).

On 6 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme and the Grand Prieur de Vendôme reconnoitred the banks of the Upper Mincio and then went to Castiglione delle Stiviere and reconnoitred the region up to Ponte San Marco.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène arrived at San Michele near Verona and assembled his troops in preparation for the crossing of the Adige.

On 7 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme learned that General Bibra had just replaced the Count von Leiningen as commander of the Imperialist troops stationed in the region of Brescia, that he had assembled his troops (approx. 6,500 men) and then marched along the Chiese River and encamped on the left bank of this river near Calcinato. Vendôme was also informed that Prince Eugène was near Verona and intended to cross the Adige with his whole force to make a junction with Bibra’s Corps.
    • The 11 bns requested by Vendôme embarked under M. de Maulevrier at Pavia to sail down the Po.

Prince Eugène tries to cross the Mincio River

On 8 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène crossed the Adige with 7,000 foot and 6,000 horse on the bridge that he had established downstream from Verona and encamped at Santa-Maria de Zevio
  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, the Duc de Vendôme went to the heights near Calcinato to reconnoitre Bibra’s positions at Beddizole. He soon realised that Bibra’s main role was to attract his attention while Prince Eugène would act offensively on the Mincio. Accordingly, the Duc de Vendôme left only 10 bns and 12 sqns under the command of the Grand Prieur de Vendôme in the region of Brescia and decided to concentrate the rest of his army at Mantua and on the Upper Mincio. He even evacuated his outposts at Lazise and Bardolino on Lake Garda. He also detached M. de Murcey and M. de Saint-Pater with 2 bns and 1 cavalry rgt from Montechiari to Monzambano to guard the fords of the Mincio between Monzambano and Goito. Upon its arrival at Monzambano, this detachment was joined by 4 cavalry rgts sent forward from Mantua. There were already 1 French bn, 5 Spanish bns and 3 cavalry rgts posted along the Mincio.

On 9 May

  • Imperialists
    • The army of Prince Eugène sojourned in its camp near Zevio.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Another French bn arrived at Carpenedolo.

On 10 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène marched to Povegliano near Villafranca.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • 5 bns detached from the Army of Piedmont arrived at Mantua. Another 6 bns were expected soon along with 2 bns recalled from the right bank of the Po. M. de Medavi was also expected at Mantua with his Spanish cavalry.
    • In front of Mirandola the ditch was now almost completely filled and the breaches practicable.

On 11 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène sent detachments towards the fords on the Mincio between Monzambano and Goito while his army marched to Salionze where he intended to throw a bridge across the Mincio.
    • Mirandola capitulated to M. de Lapara, its garrison (900 men, including officers) surrendering as prisoners of war.
  • Engagement of Salionze
    • As soon as Murcey and Saint-Pater were informed of the march of the army of Prince Eugène towards Salionze, they hurried there with 2 cavalry rgts and Bretagne Infanterie. They also sent orders to all troops deployed along the Mincio to join them as soon as possible.
    • When Murcey and Saint-Pater arrived on the Mincio vis-à-vis Salionze, the Imperialist infantry was already deployed along the river with 2 cannon and boats, two of which being already afloat. 100 men were behind two entrenchments.
    • Murcey and Saint-Pater immediately took position on the bank of the Mincio with their 2 cavalry rgts and Bretagne Infanterie.
  • For two hours the French held their ground along the Mincio, allowing time for reinforcements to arrive. They then established entrenchments.
    • In this action, the Franco-Spanish lost 90 men (75 men from Bretagne Infanterie alone) while the Imperialists lost approx. 400 men killed or wounded.
    • The Duc de Vendôme arrived from Castiglione delle Stiviere as the Imperialists were retreating. He encamped his troops near Monzambano where he took up his quarters, leaving only 2 grenadier coys in the entrenchment facing Salionze.

On the night of 11 to 12 May, Prince Eugène retired his boats from the Mincio and assembled his troops behind the heights near Salionze.

On 12 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme assembled 18 bns and 37 sqns at Monzambano.
    • The Grand Prieur de Vendôme remained in the region of Brescia with his 10 bns and 12 sqns to observe and contain Bibra’s Corps.
    • M. de Toralba, who commanded on the Oglio, received orders to march towards the Monpeano Valley with 800 foot and 200 horse and to make himself master of Sant-Osetto.
    • The rest of the Army of Lombardy was at Mantua, or on the Lower Po or at Mirandola.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène retired to Povegliano near Villafranca.

On 13 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène encamped upstream from Verona with his right at Castelnuovo and his left towards Bussolengo. He also occupied Lazise and Bardolino.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Imperialist garrison of Mirandola evacuated the place and M. de Lapara sent 1 bn to occupy it and sent the rest of his siege corps back to Mantua.

On 14 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène had 1,000 men transported across Lake Garda to reinforce Bibra’s Corps.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The siege corps of M. de Lapara arrived at Mantua.

The Duc de Vendôme, complying to the instruction of the king recalled 6 bns (La Marine, Leuville, Solre) from the Army of Piedmont to reinforce the Army of Lombardy.

On 15 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène had another 1,500 horse and foot transported aboard 22 boats across Lake Garda to reinforce Bibra’s Corps.
    • In the evening, Prince Eugène decamped from Castelnuovo and marched to Lazise and Bardolino with his army.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Laubépin, who was posted at Desenzano on Lake Garda with three armed barks, attacked the Imperialist convoy as it left the shore, chased it down to San Vigilio (unidentified location) and forced it to land its troops. During a cannonade that last four hours, he sank 5 of their boats.

On the night of 15 to 16 May, Prince Eugène embarked with part of his army at Torri del Benaco to avoid Laubébin armed barks.

On 16 May

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène disembarked at Salo and marched to Gavardo. The rest of his infantry was transported across Lake Garda and joined his army at Gavardo while his cavalry rode by Riva and Rocca d’Anfo. Between the Adige and Lake Garda, Prince Eugène had left only the detachment that he had recalled from the Po.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme and the Grand Prieur were finally informed of the movements of Prince Eugène. Until then, they still thought that he was at Bussolengo.

On 18 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Grand Prieur de Vendôme marched with 22 bns, 18 sqns and 10 cannon on Bedizzole, hoping to surprise Bibra’s Corps in his camp before he could effect a junction with Prince Eugène. Informed of his march, Bibra precipitously left his camp at Bedizzole and marched to Gavardo. The troops of the Grand Prieur were unable to catch up with Bibra’s rearguard. The Grand Prieur occupied the camp with his left at Bedizzole and his right at the Castle of Drugolo.

On 19 May, the Duc de Vendôme rejoined the Grand Prieur at Bedizzole and assembled most of the Army of Lombardy (37 bns, 47 sqns), leaving 4 bns and 4 sqns under the command of M. de Toralba on the Upper Oglio; 4 bns and 9 sqns under M. de Louvigny, entrenched on the Mincio between Peschiera and Goito; 2 bns and 6 sqns under M. de Châteaumorant on the Lower Po between the mouth of the Panaro up to Ponte di Lago Scuro; and 10 bns in the various places.

On 21 May, the Imperialists dislodged a detachment (800 foot, 200 horse) belonging to the corps of the Marquis de Toralba from Sant- OOssetto (unidentified location), taking 2 grenadier coys prisoners while Toralba managed to retire to Nave with the rest of his detachment.

On the night of 22 to 23 May, the Duc de Vendôme detached M. de Medavi and M. de Saint-Pater with all the grenadiers and dragoons to make themselves masters of the heights of Muscoline, overlooking the Imperialist camp at Gavardo.

On 23 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, the Army of Lombardy set off from Bedizzole in two columns (a column of infantry and one of cavalry).
    • At 7:00 a.m., the Duc de Vendôme and the Grand Prieur arrived on the heights of Muscoline. They saw the Imperialist infantry taking position in the entrenchments surrounding their camp and the Imperialist cavalry deploying in order of battle on a small plain between Gavardo and the heights occupied by their infantry. The front of the Imperialist entrenchments extended on some 1.8 km and enclosed the village of Soprazocco and six hamlets.
    • The Duc de Vendôme considered that these Imperialist positions were too strong to attack them and decided to take positions that would prevent the Imperialists from debouching into the plain.
    • The Duc de Vendôme reconnoitred the heights of Muscoline to see if they would suit his purpose, as he intended to block the débouchés between the Chiese and Lake Garda. Meanwhile, an artillery duel took place during three hours.
    • The Duc de Vendôme encamped his army with its right towards Lake Garda and its left anchored on the Chiese River, his infantry covered by the heights and his cavalry along the Chiese to the left of the infantry. He then established his headquarters at Muscoline.
    • The Duc de Vendôme then gave orders to entrench his camp, marking himself the locations for the redoubts and batteries that M. de Lapara was charged to establish.

On 24 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Army of Lombardy worked at the entrenchments of its camp.
    • The Marquis de Toralba occupied Nave with instructions to retire to the Oglio if ever a large Imperialist corps would advance against him.
    • Leuville Infanterie and Solre Infanterie, sent as reinforcement from Piedmont, arrived at Vendôme’s camp.
    • The Duc de Vendôme asked permission to the king to return to Piedmont to capture the Fortress of Chivasso. He also gave orders to Isle de France Infanterie to march from Piedmont and join the Army of Lombardy.

On 25 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme established 10 cannon on a plateau to the left of his infantry. This artillery was so close to the camp of the Imperialists that they were forced to move part of their right wing back.
    • La Marine Infanterie, sent as reinforcement from Piedmont, arrived at Vendôme’s camp.

On 26 May, the Duc de Vendôme occupied the castles of Monengo and Soyanne (two unidentified locations) as well as a chapel to close the gap between his right wing and Lake Garda.

Louis XIV had accepted the suggestion of the Duc de Vendôme to send him back to command the Army of Piedmont. Upon the duke’s insistence, his brother, Philippe Grand Prieur de Vendôme, a lazy dilettante, assumed command of the Army of Lombardy.

On 28 May, the Duc de Vendôme personally set off from his camp of Moscoline (unidentified location) and went to Milan. He left command of the Army of Lombardy to his brother, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme, instructing him that, if Prince Eugène marched by his right, the Grand Prieur should oppose him by following the naviglio between Gavardo and Brescia.

On 29 May, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme, accompanied by M. de Médavi and M. de Lapara and escorted by 1,000 horse and 10 grenadier coys reconnoitred the vicinity of Brescia, Roncadelle, Torbole, Poncarale and Ghedi to locate a place suitable for an entrenched post to block the road from Sant-Ossetto and Nave. Unable to locate such a position, the Grand Prieur gave orders to the Marquis de Toralba to retire to Palazzolo on the Oglio. The Grand Prieur just occupied a few outposts on the Mella and on a few canals. The Grand Prieur also ordered the construction of a bridge on the Chiese to the left of his camp.

On 31 May, the bridge on the Chiese was completed. It was used the same day to attack an Imperialist forage party in the vicinity of Goglione. On the same occasion, the Franco-Spanish made themselves master of a farmstead located on the other side of the bridge, on the canal between Gavardo and Brescia; and threw a garrison of 4 grenadier coys under M. de Narbonne (lieutenant-colonel of Mirabeau Infanterie) into it.

On the night of 31 May to June 1, a large Imperialist infantry detachment with cannon surrounded and attacked the farmstead held by M. de Narbonne. The latter held his ground, allowing 2 infantry brigades and dismounted dragoons to come to his rescue. In this affair, the French lost 20 officers and 226 soldiers, or dragoons killed or wounded. The French estimated the losses of the Imperialists to 900 men.

On 1 June, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme placed a large detachment in the farmstead and posted another detachment at the bridgehead. He also sent 3,000 workers to entrench the position from the canal to the Chiese.

On 4 June, the Duc de Vendôme arrived in Piedmont. The Allies retreated to Chivasso.

By 5 June, the Grand Prieur had strengthened the defences of the castles of Monengo and Soyanne and cut the roads accessible to the enemy in these parts.

The Grand Prieur de Vendôme tried to avoid the junction of Eugène's Army with the Savoyard Army of Duke Victor Amadeus. He was informed that the Imperialists had a corps (3,000 men) whose cavalry was encamped at Nave and infantry at Sant-Ossetto.

As the Imperialists had recalled the detachment which they had on the Lower Po, the Grand Prieur did the same and recalled 2 bns and 6 sqns previously posted on the Po under M. de Châteaumorant, leaving only 1 bn and 4 sqns. The Grand Prieur was now at the head of 39 bns and 53 sqns. The rest of his troops were deployed along the Mincio (4 bns and 5 sqns) and along the Upper Oglio (the Marquis de Toralba with 4 bns and 4 sqns).

The Grand Prieur received intelligence that the Imperialist corps posted at Nave and Sant-Ossetto received reinforcements daily, that a bakery was being established there and that Prince Eugène had workers preparing roads in the mountains. Everything indicated that Prince Eugène intended to march on Brescia and to advance on the Upper Oglio.

Prince Eugène crosses the Oglio River

The Grand Prieur de Vendôme, despite warnings from M. de Médavi, the Prince the Vaudémont and M. de Saint-Fremont about the danger for the Oglio and for the region of Milan, decided to remain in his camp of Moscoline.

On 10 June, the Grand Prieur sent his heavy baggage to Castiglione delle Stiviere and transferred 8 sqns under M. de Cappu from Drugolo to Castiglione, replacing them by 300 horse to escort convoys.

On 12 June, the Palatine infantry (Isselbach Infantry, Sachsen-Meiningen Infantry for a total of approx. 3,000 men) reached Rovereto. The Palatine cavalry (Hatzfeld Cavalry, Vehlen Dragoons for a total of approx. 900 men) crossed the mountains and reached the Sabbia Valley.

On 13 June, the Grand Prieur, to be able to react to an advance of the Imperialists towards Brescia, sent the 4 bns and 5 sqns previously posted on the Mincio under M. de Louvigny to Montechiari. He left only 4 sqns on the Lower Po and 11 bns in the various places.

On 16 June, the Palatine Isselbach Infantry, Sachsen-Meiningen Infantry were transported with wagons and carts from Riva and Gargnano to Saló.

On 19 June

  • Imperialists
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Grand Prieur de Vendôme reconnoitred new positions, escorted by 500 grenadiers and 1,000 horse.

On 21 June, the Palatine Isselbach Infantry, Sachsen-Meiningen Infantry arrived at Roccavione's camp near Nave.

On the night of 21 to 22 June, Prince Eugène decamped from Gavardo and marched to Nave. Meanwhile, Roccavione's Corps, previously posted at Nave, marched to the bridge on the Mella on the road leading from Brescia to Palazzolo on the Oglio.

On 22 June in the morning, some twelve hours after the departure of the Imperialists, the Franco-Spanish finally realised that the enemy had abandoned its positions at Gavardo and Salo. The Grand Prieur marched with his army towards the Oglio, after distributing bread for four days. The Franco-Spanish army encamped near Montechiari after crossing the Chiese River. The Grand Prieur also detached M. de Louvigny with 3 bns and 3 sqns to march to Ostiano and reinforce the Marquis de Toralba on the Upper Oglio.

On the night of 22 to 23 June, M. de Cappy marched with 500 horse to Pontegatello in an attempt to locate the Imperialist army.

On 23 June at daybreak, the Franco-Spanish army marched in two columns towards Ghedi and Montirone. A few hours later, M. de Cappy reported that he had driven an Imperialist detachment out of Chiaviche and had advanced up to Pontegatello. The Grand Prieur sent him a reinforcement of 100 dragoons. Cappy made himself master of the bridge on the Mella near Pontegatello and learned that the army of Prince Eugène was encamped at Torbole and Roncadelle. At these news, the Grand Prieur turned southwestwards to get farther from the enemy and encamped at Bagnolo with his right in front of this village and anchored on a deep canal with another canal to its front.

On 24 June, the army of the Grand Prieur crossed the Mella at Manerbio and encamped with its right anchored on this village and its left at Bassano. The whole camp was covered by canals on the left, in front and on the right. The Grand Prieur, informed that Prince Eugène still was in the area of Torbole, decided to sojourn at Manerbio, fearing that Eugène could suddenly returned to the region of Mantua. M. de Saint-Fremont strongly disagreed with this decision, urging the Grand Prieur to march as fast as possible to the Oglio but was unable to make him change his mind.

On 25 June, the Grand Prieur had two bread convoys sent to his camp under strong escorts, one arriving from Soncino, the other from Castiglione delle Stiviere. Meanwhile, the Grand Prieur went to Pontevico to order the Venetians to established two bridges on the Oglio. When he returned to his camp at Manerbio, he was informed that some Imperialist infantry had been spotted quite close to his right. He deployed his army in order of battle with the first line on the canal which covered his camp; 3 infantry brigades and 2 dragoon rgts at Bassano supported by part of his cavalry which took position on the canal covering his left. Furthermore, 4 cannon were placed in Manerbio; 4 cannon in Bassano and the rest of the artillery in front of the first line. His troops started to erect earthworks.

On the night of 25 to 26 June, the army of the Grand Prieur bivouacked. Meanwhile, the Imperialists retired.

On 26 June, the Grand Prieur remained encamped at Manerbio, fearing that Prince Eugène was still in the vicinity. In the evening, he was informed that Eugène had had returned to Torbole and Roncadelle. Nevertheless, the Grand Prieur decided to remain at Manerbio. M. de Saint-Fremont tried once more to convince him to march to the Oglio but in vain.

On 27 June at noon , Eugène arrived on the Oglio with his vanguard, crossed the river at the ford at the height of Calcio and Pumenengo. He then drove 4 grenadier coys out of these two outposts. He forced them to retire behind the Palavicini Canal and managed to drive them out of this position as well. Eugène then made himself master of the Castle of Calcio whose garrison (50 Spaniards) surrendered as prisoners. He then threw a bridge on the Oglio.

In the night of 27 to 28 June

  • Imperialists
    • Eugène’s Army crossed the Oglio and encamped between the Pamphilio Canal, the Canal of Cremona and the Oglio with its right towards Cividate, its left at Calcio and an infantry corps at Urago to guard the bakery and the bridge.
    • Savoyen Dragoons and Herbeville Dragoons forded the Oglio near Calcio under the command of FML Franz Josef Count Serényi and General Leopold Prince von Anhalt-Dessau. While crossing the river, Serényi fell from his horse and drowned. Six dragoons who tried to help him also drowned.

On 28 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Marquis de Toralba sent his Spanish cavalry behind the Adda River and took refuge in Palazzolo with 7 Spanish bns, leaving only 300 men in Pontoglio.
    • At 9:00 a.m., the Grand Prieur was informed of the passage of the Oglio by Eugène’s Army. He detached M. de Saint-Fremont and the Chevalier de Luxembourg with all the grenadiers, 50 men per bn and the 4 dragoon rgts to cover Soncino. The small baggage was sent to Ostiano where the heavy baggage had already been placed. The Grand Prieur’s Army crossed the Oglio on the two bridges established downstream from Pontevico and encamped at Bordolano.

On 29 June, the Grand Prieur reached Soncino with his army which encamped with its right at Soncino and its left towards Crema and started to entrench its camp. The Grand Prieur had taken no measure to prepare the road for this march which was done in the greatest disorder.

On 1 July

  • Engagement of Ponte San Pietro
    • The Marquis de Toralba retired in the direction of the Upper Adige by way of Bergamo with his detachments and Louvigny’s detachment towards the Adda, leaving only 200 men in the Castle of Palazzolo.
    • The whole cavalry of the first line of the Imperialists (including Vehlen Dragoons) and all grenadiers (approx. 1,000 men) under Prince Joseph von Lothringen pursued Toralba's detachment
    • The Imperialist cavalry caught up with Toralba's detachment near Ponte San Pietro and surrounded it. THey were soon joined by the grenadiers.
    • After a combat of a few hours, Toralba surrendered as prisoner of war along with 1,100 men. However, M. de Louvigny managed to escape with the vanguard.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène then occupied Pontoglio and Palazzolo, taking 500 prisoners and capturing some 6,000 flour and grain bags.
  • Franco-Spanish
  • The Grand Prieur detached the Chevalier de Broglie with 7 bns and 3 dragoon sqns from Soncino to secure the passage of the Adda River between Cassano and Lecco, on a distance of 42 km, and occupied the entrenchments built in the area. There were already 9 Spanish sqns and 2 French sqns posted on the Adda. Informed of the disaster of Ponte San Pietro, the Grand Prieur gave orders to sent the heavy baggage to Lodi on the next day.

On 2 July, the heavy baggage of the Army of Lombardy were sent from Soncino towards Lodi.

On 3 July, the Army of Lombardy decamped from Soncino and marched in two columns to Ombriano. During the march M. de Châteaumorant, covering the main body with 500 horse, engaged a troop of 80 Imperialist horse and drove it back to Fontanella, bringing back a few prisoners. The Franco-Spanish army encamped with its right at Crema and its left extending towards Lodi, with its front and flanks covered by canals. Ombriano was occupied by 2 infantry brigades. Only 50 French soldiers and 200 Spanish foot and 30 Spanish dragoons had been left behind at Soncino.

On 4 July, the Grand Prieur had 36 bns and 50 sqns in his camp of Ombriano. In the afternoon, he reconnoitre towards Rivolta on the Adda. He continued to ignore the advice of M. de Saint-Fremont and of the Prince de Vaudémont.

On 9 July, Prince Eugène invested Soncino.

On 11 July

  • Imperialists
    • The entire army of Prince Eugène was in front of Soncino where it occupied the old camp of the Grand Prieur.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme sent 9 bns and 10 sqns from Piedmont to reinforce the Army of Lombardy. The 9 bns embarked aboard vessels at Crescentino to sail down the Po. The 10 sqns took the road to Candia (Candia Lomellina).

On 12 July, the Duc de Vendôme ceded command to the Duc de La Feuillade at Chivasso and left for Lodi.

On 13 July

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène obtained the surrender of the garrison (500 men) of Soncino.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme reached Lodi, Soon afterwards, the 10 bns sent from Piedmont disembarked at Lodi. The Prince de Vaudémont met the Duc de Vendôme there for a conference where it was decided to march immediately to relieve Soncino and confront Prince Eugène.

On 14 July in the morning, the Duc de Vendôme arrived at the camp of the Grand Prieur at Ombriano. There, he learned that Soncino had already surrendered and that an Imperialist corps (1,600 horse with some infantry and cannon) had already reached Bordolano and Casalbuttano near Cremona. The Duc de Vendôme immediately detached 100 foot to occupy Ostiano on the Oglio. He also had 2 bns (his own and Labour Infanterie) under M. Destouches transported on the Oglio by way of Casalmaggiore to Gazzuolo to defend this passage on the Oglio. He decided that the Chevalier de Broglie would remain on the Adda with 9 bns, 14 sqns and 6 cannon. He also sent M. de Bissy to assume command in Mantua and recalled the 4 sqns posted on the Lower Po to reinforce Mantua.

On 15 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • at daybreak, the Duc de Vendôme decamped from Ombriano with the Army of Lombardy, marched in two columns. The column of infantry crossed the Serio on the bridge of Crema and the column of cavalry forded the river. The Duc de Vendôme then deployed his army in order of battle with its right at Izano and its left at Offanengo which was occupied by 1 infantry brigade. After wards, he detached his hussars with 1 Spanish dragoon rgt supported by 1 cavalry brigade and a few grenadier coys the Chevalier de Luxembourg to dislodge an Imperialist outpost at Romanengo. The army then continued its march up to Fiesco where it encamped with its right at Fiesco and its left at Izano, its front covered by a small canal.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène encamped with his right at Romanengo and his left at Ticengo. He established his headquarters at Albara (unidentified location).

On 16 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme, with the Imperialists so close, recalled 3 bns (Grancey Infanterie (2 bns), Berwick Infanterie (1 bn)) and 5 sqns (Belleisle Dragons) from the troops which had been posted on the Adda River. He also charged M. de Moyria to open the roads towards Soresina with 400 labourers supported by 200 horse.
    • In the morning, the Duc de Vendôme was informed by the commander of the detachment (100 men) sent forward to occupy Canneto or Ostiano, that he had reached Gabbioneta and that Ostiano was not occupied by the Imperialists. Vendôme immediately detached M. de Caylus with 300 dragoons to occupy Ostiano. He also sent M. d’Uzès towards Genivolta with 600 horse to cover the march of Caylus.

On 17 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Moyria with 100 horse engaged an Imperialist detachment of 150 horse near Trigolo and drove it back.
    • The 10 sqns sent from Piedmont under M. d’Albergotti arrived at Lodi after having marched by way of Candia and Pavia.

On 18 July, the Duc de Vendôme sent his baggage to Castelleone.

On 19 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Army of Lombardy marched in three columns, the cavalry column on the right, the artillery and the baggage forming the centre column, and the infantry column on the left. It arrived early in its new camp which had its left at Soresina and its right at Casalmorano. In this new position, it covered Pizzighettone and Cremona.
    • M. de Couches, who had been detached in front of the army with 100 horse, drove an Imperialist detachment back to Casaletto which was occupied by some Imperialist infantry.
    • The 10 sqns sent from Piedmont under M. d’Albergotti effected a junction with the Army of Lombardy at Soresina, bringing it total strength to 47 bns and 70 sqns excluding the 6 bns and 9 sqns under the Chevalier de Broglie still posted on the Adda.
    • The Duc de Vendôme detached M. de Moyria with 600 horse to take position on the Oglio and find a passage.

On 20 July, the Duc de Vendôme along with M. de Châteaumorant marched from Soresina with 6 grenadier coys and 550 horse to reconnoitre Genivolta and a nearby Imperialist outpost, planning to capture these positions and thus prevent Prince Eugène from moving downstream along the Oglio. However, his hussars and grenadiers engaged the Imperialist detachment (1 Croat bn) holding this outpost and stormed the entrenchment. Seizing this opportunity, the Duc de Vendôme threw 2 infantry brigades with 4 cannon into Genivolta and the nearby entrenchments.

On 21 July

  • Imperialists
    • The Imperialists attacked the Castle of Marcaria which was defended by only 100 men.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme extended the right wing of his army up to Genivolta.
    • In the evening, the Duc de Vendôme detached the Grand Prieur de Vendôme with 8 bns and 11 sqns to effect a junction with Caylus’ and Destouches’ detachment (2 bns, 300 dragoons) at Gazzuolo. The Grand Prieur reached Casalbuttano with his troops on the same evening.
    • The Duc de Vendôme also instructed M. de Bissy to send a few 24-pdr cannon to the Grand Prieur and gave orders to M. d’Albergotti with 4 grenadier coys and 1 dragoon rgt to assemble boats for the construction of two bridges on the Oglio at Bordolano.

On 23 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. d’Albergotti completed the two bridges at the foot of the Castle of Bordolano. He then left 1 dragoon rgt to guard these bridges. The Duc de Vendôme reinforced these dragoons with 200 foot, 200 horse and the hussars. He had instructed the hussars to roam the opposite bank of the Oglio and cut communication between Ostiano and the Imperialist army.
    • The Grand Prieur arrived at Gazzuolo with his cavalry after two force marches and effected a junction with Caylus’ and Destouches’ detachment.

On 24 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The infantry of the Grand Prieur arrived at Gazzuolo. The Grand Prieur then crossed the Oglio and encamped on its left bank.
  • Engagement near Campitello
    • As the Grand Prieur was pitching his camp. An Imperialist party (400 horse) under the Partisan Saint-Amour showed up near Campitello.
    • M. de Chemerault marched against Saint-Amour with 4 grenadier coys and 350 horse, routed him and pursued him towards Marcaria, capturing 40 horses and 25 men.
    • The Imperialists then evacuated the Castle of Marcaria which was soon occupied by 300 horse under M. de Simiane.

On 25 July, the Grand Prieur sojourned near Campitello to rest his troops and receive a supply of bread.

On 26 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Grand Prieur marched upstream along the Oglio up to Acquanegra where he found the bridge on the Chiese occupied by 200 Imperialists entrenched there. The Grand Prieur sent M. d’Autrey with 4 grenadier coys and 200 horse to cross the Chiese River further upstream at Asola where 100 Imperialist horse retired with opposing any resistance.
  • Imperialists
    • Baron von Wesel, who commanded a corps of 4,000 men distributed in various places on the Oglio, retired when he saw that the enemy had turned his position after crossing the Chiese at Asola. He evacuated Acquanegra and Canneto, and assembled his corps with 4 cannon at Ostiano where he entrenched his force.

On 27 July, the Grand Prieur crossed the Chiese, occupied Canneto and encamped at Volongo, only 4 km from Ostiano.

On 28 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme asked the Grand Prieur to march on Wesel’s Corps posted at Ostiano, believing that the Imperialists whose provisions were stored at Palazzolo and Soncino would try to support the place with their whole army.
    • The Duc de Vendôme detached M. de Muret with 1 dragoon rgt, 300 foot, 200 horse and 4 cannon to occupy Gabbioneta, located on the right bank of the Oglio vis-à-vis Ostiano, and to destroy the bridge which made the Imperialists masters of both banks of the river.
  • Imperialists
    • A corps of 4,000 men under General Visconti crossed the Oglio at Soncino and advanced to Orzinuovi to support Wesel at Ostiano.

On 29 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme gave orders to M. d’Albergotti to cross the Oglio on the bridges of Bordolano with 4 bns and 8 sqns and to advance to Quinzano to drive a wedge between the corps of Visconti and Wesel. Upon his arrival at Quinzano, d’Albergotti started to entrench his position.

On 31 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme recalled d’Albergotti’s detachment from Quinzano to Bordolan. D’Albergotti, leaving his 8 sqns, 2 grenadier coys and 200 foot at Bordolano under M. d’Esclainvilliers, then reinforced Muret’s forces posted at Gabbioneta which had already made themselves masters of two castles near Ostiano and had built a redoubt for 100 men in front of the Imperialist bridgehead. Together, d’Albergotti and Muret now had 4 bns, 6 dragoon sqns, 200 horse and 300 foot with 4 cannon.
    • The Duc de Vendôme had also destroyed all roads leading from the main camp of the Imperialists to Castelleone and from there to Crema.
    • The Grand Prieur de Vendôme had thrown a bridge on the Oglio at Monticelli (unidentified location) to establish communication with d’Albergotti and Muret.
    • The Grand Prieur also broke all bridges on the Mella River from Manerbio to its source (the Imperialists had already broken all bridges on this river from Manerbio to its mouth).
    • 3 sqns and 4 cannon sent from Mantua arrived at the camp of the Grand Prieur. He was now at the head of 10 bns and 14 sqns with 8 cannon.
  • Imperialists
    • Wesel’s Corps was now surrounded by Franco-Spanish forces at Volongo, Gabbioneta and Bordolano.

On 1 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. d’Albergotti went to Volongo to urge the Grand Prieur to act against Wesel’s Corps posted at Ostiano. Together, they planned a joint attack on Ostiano.

On 2 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the evening, d’Albergotti marched with 4 grenadier coys to the redoubt which covered the Imperialist bridgehead vis-à-vis Ostiano. His grenadiers, under M. de Muret and M. de Carolles stormed the bridgehead.
    • The Grand Prieur de Vendôme, who was supposed to advance on Ostiano with his corps, was still in his camp at Volongo.

On the night of August 2 to 3, Wesel retired from Ostiano and marched towards Manerbio. The grenadiers of M. d’Albergotti crossed the Oglio on boats and entered into Ostiano. The Grand Prieur sent a few troops to pursue Wesel’s Corps but it was too late to intercept it. Wesel crossed the Mella at Manerbio and effected a junction with Visconti’s Corps which had marched from Orzinuovi to Gabbiano (unidentified location).

On 3 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Informed of Wesel’s retreat, the Duc de Vendôme marched to Bordolano with 2 infantry brigades and 2 cavalry brigades. He then learned that the Grand Prieur had not yet reached Ostiano and that Wesel was already to the north of Bordolano. The Duc de Vendôme then returned to his camp at Soresina.
    • The Grand Prieur placed 200 men as garrison in Ostiano and sent back the 3 sqns and 4 cannon previously supplied by Mantua.

On 4 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Grand Prieur marched upstream along the left bank of the Oglio.
    • M. de Muret marched upstream along the right bank of the Oglio.

On 5 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The corps of the Grand Prieur and of M. d’Albergotti and M. de Muret both reached Bordolano.

On 6 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. d’Albergotti remained at Bordolano with the cavalry.
    • The Grand Prieur rejoined the main army with the infantry.

On ? August, the Duc de Vendôme, on the insistence of the Prince de Vaudémont, sent 1 dragoon rgt to reinforce the 4 bns and 9 sqns posted on the Adda.

On 9 and 10 August, M. de Moyria repaired the roads leading from Soresina to Moscona and Trigolo in preparation for the offensive of the Duc de Vendôme.

Prince Eugène tries to cross the Adda River

On 11 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Moyria marched towards Trigolo. On his way, he was informed that the Imperialists had abandoned this position which he occupied.
    • At 6:00 a.m., the Duc de Vendôme was informed by M. de Moyria that the Imperialists had evacuated Trigolo. He also received intelligence that the Imperialists were marching but their destination still remained unclear. Vendôme decided to wait for more information about their destination.
    • At 5:00 p.m., the Duc de Vendôme learned that Prince Eugène was crossing the Serio River at Crema and that Romanengo and Casaletto had been abandoned. Vendôme then marched with his army in three columns towards the Serio and the Adda. He instructed M. d’Albergotti to join him with the cavalry which was at Bordolano; and M. de Dillon to remain at Genivolta with 12 bns.
    • At 11:00 p.m., Vendôme’s Army reached Fiesco where the duke received confirmation that Prince Eugène had crossed the Serio River at Crema and was marching towards the Adda. Vendôme sent a message to M. de Dillon instructing him to join the army with 10 bns, leaving only 1 bn in the Castle of Genivolta and 1 bn in the nearby entrenchments.

On 12 August

  • Imperialists
    • Upon reaching the Adda, Prince Eugène tried to find a place to establish a pontoon bridge somewhere between Trezzo and Vaprio but he found resistance everywhere. He finally encamped at Capriati with his right on the height of Trezzo, his centre at Brembate and his left beyond the Brembo Stream.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • At sunrise, Vendôme’s Army arrived at the bridge of Crema. When the Duc de Vendôme heard the sound of cannon in the direction of Trezzo, he hurriedly set off with 4 dragoon rgts towards the Adda River, instructing the Grand Prieur to lead the army to Bagnolo.
    • At noon, the Duc de Vendôme reached Lodi where he assembled boats to establish a bridge on the Adda.
    • In the evening, after giving some rest to his dragoons, the Duc de Vendôme set off from Lodi and marched all night.

On 13 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At 9:00 a.m., the Duc de Vendôme reached Cassano on the Adda with his 4 dragoon rgts. This was the rightmost post of the Chevalier de Broglie whose troops were distributed along the Adda from Cassano to Trezzo.
    • The Duc de Vendôme personally went to Trezzo to reconnoitre Broglie’s positions. The Adda was now defended by 4 French bns, a few Spanish bns and 33 sqns (including 24 dragoon sqns).
    • A bridge of boats was completed the same day at Cassano.
    • After inspecting Broglie’s positions, the Duc de Vendôme returned to Cassano.
    • Grand Prieur marched with the main army from Bagnolo to Agnadello.

On 14 August

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène started to establish bridges on the Adda near Cornate upstream from Trezzo.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Informed of the attempt of the Imperialists to establish bridges near Cornate, the Duc de Vendôme all the troops posted on the right bank of the Adda at Cornate. He also instructed the Grand Prieur to send him 15 bns from the troops encamped at Agnadello by way of the bridge of Cassano and to deploy the main army with its left at the bridge of Cassano and its right at Rivolta.

On 15 August

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène managed to send 500 men on the right bank of the Adda where they established a bridgehead.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Early in the morning, the 15 bns sent by the Grand Prieur, led by M. de Saint-Fremont and the Comte de Luxembourg, effected a junction with the forces of the Duc de Vendôme on the right bank of the Adda.
    • The Grand Prieur concentrated all his forces in a narrow positions at Cassano on the left bank of the Adda.
    • The Duc de Vendôme then placed his 4 dragoon rgts and his 4 French bns at the débouché of the bridge of the Imperialists. He also gave orders to establish a bridge at Vaprio to ease communications with the main army. Near Cornate, the cannonade lasted the whole day.

Battle of Cassano d’Adda

On the night of 15 to 16 August, Prince Eugène removed his bridge at Cornate and marched towards Lodi. On the road leading from Milan to Verona, Eugène's vanguard encountered a French patrol and took them prisoners. The prisoners informed Prince Eugène that the Grand Prieur de Vendôme was encamped near Rivolta with 10,000 men and had sent his baggage to Cassano.

On 16 August, Prince Eugène formed his army in order of battle and advanced on Cassano. Surprise was not complete because the Duc de Vendôme arrived in time to support his brother. The Imperial army attacked in 3 columns. The first under Count Leiningen should occupy the bridge of Cassano, the second under Prince Alexander von Württemberg and the third under Prince Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau should cross the canal and push the enemy back into the Adda River. In the ensuing Battle of Cassano, the Imperialists were unable to force the passage of the Adda and at 5.30 a.m., Prince Eugène ceased combat and retired to his camp at Treviglio.

On 20 August

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Dillon had been left on the right bank of the Adda with 4 French bns, 2 Spanish bns and 9 Spanish sqns to improve the entrenchments.
    • The Duc de Vendôme sent 2 bns under M. de Barville to reinforce the detachment defending Genivolta.
    • The Duc de Vendôme marched to Rivolta with his army (45 bns, 66 sqns) and encamped with his right at Agnadello and his left anchored on the Adda. He maintained the bridge at Cassano and established a new one near his left.

By 4 September, the Duc de Vendôme, who had received orders from Louis XIV to contain the army of Prince Eugène while another Franco-Spanish army would lay siege to Turin in Piedmont, completed the entrenchments of his camp near Rivolta.

Prince Eugène advances southwards between the Adda and the Oglio

On ?15? September, Prince Eugène sent a large detachment from Treviglio to Soncino.

On 16 September, informed of the movement of the Imperialists on Soncino and fearing for his own positions near Genivolta, the Duc de Vendôme detached M. de Figuerroa with 800 horse with 400 foot riding pillion towards Genivolta to reinforce M. de Barville.

On 17 September in the morning, Figuerroa’s detachment arrived just in time to relieve the Castle of Genivolta which was attacked by an Imperialist detachment under Königsegg, the latter being wounded in the engagement. The Imperialists retired on their army and M. de Figuerroa, leaving the 400 foot to reinforce M. de Barville, returned to the camp of Rivolta with his 800 horse.

At the end of September, Louis XIV decided to raise the siege of Turin in Piedmont and to transfer troops to the Duc de Vendôme in Lombardy, enjoining the latter to take advantage of his superiority to drive Prince Eugène back into the mountains. Vendôme was very displeased by this decision, arguing, rightly, that such an occasion could not be found again.

After much tergiversations, the siege of Turin was finally raised. The Duc de Vendôme then decided to make a new attempt to dislodge Prince Eugène from the Adda before he could receive additional troops. Vendôme asked for reinforcements (13 bns and 12 sqns from Piedmont).

On 7 October, Prince Eugène, assembled an infantry corps at Fontanella near Romanengo.

On 10 October

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène decamped from Treviglio. His army marched two columns by way of Caravaggio and Vailate and encamped with its right at Pieranica and its left at Trescore.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • At 2:00 p.m., the Duc de Vendôme was informed that the Imperialists were marching southwards. He detached M. de Cappy with 800 horse to observe their movements.

On 11 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, the Duc de Vendôme was informed that the Imperialists were marching on Crema. He set off from his camp at Rivolta and marched in two columns (a left column of cavalry and a right column of infantry) by way of Pandino to Palazzo where he encamped. 1 bn had been left at Rivolta to guard the baggage who were moved to Lodi the same day.
    • The Duc de Vendôme instructed M. de Dillon, who commanded on the Upper Adda, to march downstream to Lodi with 2 dragoon rgts and 2 French bns.

On 12 October

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène encamped with his right between Crema and Ombriano and his left towards San Michele with the Cremasco canal covering his camp. From this position, he could launch attacks against the Franco-Spanish positions at Genivolta or launch raids in the regions of Cremona and Mantua.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Army of Lombardy marched in two columns: the cavalry column by way of Crespiatica; the infantry column by way of Postino. The army encamped on the road leading from Lodi to Crema, near the village of Tormo, with its left in front of this village and its right anchored to a marsh in the direction of Cerreto.
    • The Duc de Vendôme, concerned for Cremona, decided to recross the Adda at Lodi and then to cross it again at Pizzighettone in an attempt to reach Castelleone before the Imperialists. He had a second bridge thrown on the Adda.

On 13 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Around noon, the Duc de Vendôme detached M. d’Albergotti with 2 infantry brigades and 1 cavalry brigade with 8 cannon to march to Pizzighettone by way of Lodi.
    • In the evening, Vendôme’s Army marched in two columns. It passed by Lodi and, from there, the infantry column marched by way of Castiglione d’Adda and the cavalry column by way of Casalpusterlengo.
    • As he moved away from the Adda, Vendôme left 5 French bns and 3 French sqns, and 5 Spanish bns and 6 Spanish sqns under M. de Dillon in the entrenchments between Cassano and Lodi.
    • To confuse the enemy, Vendôme had left M. de Courtades in the camp of Tormo with approx. 350 horse and a drummer from each battalion.
  • Imperialists
    • In the evening, Prince Eugène’s Army encamped near Montodine where there was a bridge on the Serio River.

On 14 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the evening, Vendôme’s infantry column recrossed the Adda at Pizzighettone where it encamped. His cavalry remained on the right bank of the river.

On 15 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, Vendôme’s cavalry crossed the Adda. Once the cavalry on the left bank of the Adda, the rest of Vendôme’s Army marched in two column, the right column consisted of all dragoons, 5 infantry brigades and the entire right wing of the cavalry; the left column, marching along the Adda, of 1 cavalry brigade, 5 infantry brigades and the entire left wing of the cavalry. The army encamped with its right anchored to a farmstead on the road leading to Castelleone and its left at Gombito where Vendôme established his headquarters.

On 16 October

  • Engagement of Montodine
    • Vendôme was informed that the Imperialists occupied the bridgehead and the part of the village of Montodine located on the left bank of the Serio, with 3 bns and 1,000 picked men. He decided to dislodge them. He assembled the grenadiers of the army (100 men per battalion), 50 men per squadron and 3 dragoon rgts, and organised them in two corps. Vendôme took command of left corps of the left and confided the corps of the right to M. d’Albergotti.
    • At noon, Vendôme’s column arrived within range of Montodine. However, Albergotti’s column was still quite far. Not willing to give the Imperialists the opportunity to reinforce their position, Vendôme decided to attack with his own column.
    • The Chevalier de Broglie stormed the entrenched houses of Montodine at the head of 5 grenadier coys.
    • The rest of the Franco-Spanish grenadiers followed Broglie and, after a combat of two hours, drove the Imperialists out of their bridgehead.
    • M” d’Albergotti arrived as the action was almost finished but he occupied houses from which he could fire on the retiring Imperialists.
    • The Imperialists precipitously recrossed the Seio to rejoin their army, leaving behind 300 men killed and 115 men taken prisoners.
    • Vendôme built entrenchments and then left detachments at Montodine, returning to his camp with the rest of his forces.

On 17 October

  • Imperialists
    • At daybreak, Prince Eugène decamped from Montodine and marched upstream along the right bank Serio River to Crema.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Informed of the retreat of the Imperialists, Vendôme decamped from Gombito and marched upstream in two columns along the left bank Serio River. He marched at the head of his army with the vanguard (6 grenadier coys, 600 horse, 2 dragoon rgts).
    • At 1:00 p.m., Vendôme, at the head of the vanguard, reached Rivolta-Magra (near Ripalta-Vecchia) near Crema, driving back an Imperialist cavalry detachment.
    • When Vendôme saw the Imperialist vanguard advancing on Crema, he confided his own vanguard to MM. De Valfuentes, de Saint-Pater and de Châteaumorant, with instructions to observe the enemy, and rode back to bring back the rest of the army which was making a too long halt at Castelleone.
    • Vendôme then marched with the main body of his army but could only reach Ripalta-Vecchia where it encamped.

Vendôme lays siege to Soncino

On 18 October

  • Imperialists
    • The army of Prince Eugène marched to Crema and encamped with its left at Santa-Maria-della-Croce, under the walls of Crema, and its right at Sergnano, its rear covered by the Seio River.
  • Prince Eugène sent 400 horse and some infantry to the left bank of Serio by way of the bridge of Crema.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, Vendôme marched with the main body of his army in two columns. He encamped at Casaletto, his left at San-Bernardino where he established his headquarters.
  • Engagement of Crema
    • Vendôme gave orders to the 6 grenadier coys and the 2 dragoon rgts of his vanguard to attack the Imperialist troops which had taken position on the left bank of the Serio at Crema.
    • At 6:00 a.m., Vendôme’s vanguard attacked and forced the Imperialists to retire to the right bank.
    • The Imperialist army deployed in order of battle on the right bank of the Serio and advanced towards the bridge of Crema.
    • Vendôme’s Army deployed on the left bank of the Serio.
    • The fire of Vendôme’s grenadiers forced the Imperialists to move away from the river.
    • Prince Eugène moved 4 cannon forward and Vendôme opposed them 6 cannon.
    • A firefight lasted from noon to midnight.
    • The two armies then returned to their camp, leaving troops to cover the bridge of Crema and prevent the crossing of the enemy.
    • 200 horse belonging to Vendôme’s Army managed to ford the Serio and reached the glacis of Crema, capturing a few wagons loaded with tents and baggage.

On 19 October

  • Imperialists
    • The army of Prince Eugène remained in its position near Crema.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme detached M. de Vérac with 600 horse to reconnoitre the vicinity of Soncino, to summon the Imperialist garrison and to prevent its escape.

On the night of 19 to 20 October, Vendôme gave orders to entrench the fords of Ricengo and Casale Cremasco, upstream from Crema.

On 20 October

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène marched upstream along the Serio towards Mozzanica where the river was easily fordable on a large distance.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme considered that he was not in a condition to offer battle and sent only 2 infantry brigades and 1 cavalry brigade under M. de Saint-Fremont to Casale Cremasco to observe the Imperialists and to force them to ford the Serio farther upstream.

On the night of 20 to 21 October, Eugène’s Army forded the Serio between Vidolasco and Mozzanica and took position on the left bank between Vidolasco and Camisano.

On 21 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Fearing that the Imperialist could reach Soncino before him, the Duke of Vendôme decided to march on Soncino.
    • At daybreak, Vendôme’s Army decamped from San-Bernardino and marched in two columns. The right column (300 picked horses and all the cavalry) marched by way of Gramignana and Ticengo; the left column (cavalry guards, and all the infantry), by way of Romanengo and Ticengo. Baggage were sent by way of Rivolta-Magra and Rivoltella (unidentified location) to Castelleone.
    • In the evening, Vendôme’s Army encamped in front of Soncino with its right anchored on the Oglio River and its left at Ticengo where the headquarters were established.
    • Vérac’s detachment, which was posted on the Upper Oglio to mask Soncino, was increased to 3,000 men.
    • Saint-Fremont rejoined the army with the detachment (2 infantry brigades and 1 cavalry brigade ) which he was commanding at Casale Cremasco.
    • Barville’s detachment (2 bns), which were occupying Genivolta, rejoined the army, leaving only 180 men to occupy Bardolano and Genivolta and the nearby entrenchments. Barville brought with him 8 cannon destined to open on Soncino.
    • A bread convoy arriving from Pizzighettone by way of Rivolta Magra, Gramignana and Ticengo, was attacked near Cumignano but the enemy were repulsed by Lieutenant-Colonel de Custaing with the 150 horse forming the rearguard, and the entire convoy reached the army.

On 22 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme entrenched his camp in front of Soncino.
    • Baggage rejoined the army by way of Genivolta.

On the night of 22 to 23 October, Vendôme had 4 grenadier coys, 400 foot and 400 labourers working at the siege works. They established a battery of 6 cannon.

On 23 October at daybreak, Vendôme’s battery opened on Soncino. After a few hours the doors of the gates had been broken down. At noon, the garrison (400 men) surrendered as prisoners of war. Thus, Vendôme captured the forage magazine almost intact.

Last manoeuvres of the campaign

The Duc de Vendôme then took measures to prepare for an advance on Palazzolo on the Upper Oglio. Realising that the reinforcements promised by the Duc de la Feuillade had not yet left Piedmont, he instructed M. Dillon, who had been left behind the Adda, to leave these positions and to effect a junction with his own army.

On 25 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Two bridges were established on the Oglio near Soncino. An old redoubt was repaired to cover the bridgehead on the left bank of the Oglio.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène took position with his right at Fontanella and his left at Calcio. He also threw two bridges on the Oglio and detached a corps at Urago on the left bank of the Oglio.

On 27 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Work began on a communication of about 720 m. on the right bank of the Oglio between Soncino and the new bridges. It would be covered by redoubts and would constitute a sort of entrenched camp where Vendôme intended to leave 10 bns to secure Soncino and the region of Cremona when he would launch his offensive on Palazzolo.

On the night of 28 to 29 October. M. de Dillon set off from his positions behind the Adda River and marched towards Crema.

On 30 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. Dillon effected a junction with Vendôme’s Army.
    • Thiérache Infanterie (only 160 men) rejoined the Army of Lombardy.

On 3 November

  • Imperialists
    • Eugène’s Army marched in three columns and crossed the Oglio: the cavalry at Pontoglio; the infantry on the two bridges established between Calcio and Urago; and the baggage at Palazzolo. Heavy rains had swelled the Oglio and the bridges broke and the rearguard was forced to march to Pontoglio to cross the river on the stone bridge there.
    • Eugène’s Army encamped with its right at Urago, where the headquarters were established, and its left at Castelcovati.

On 4 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, the Duc de Vendôme prepared to cross the Oglio near Soncino but his boat bridges had been broken by the swollen waters of the Oglio. The boats had been carried away by the flow and new ones had to be requisitioned at Ostiano and Pizzighettone.
    • In this situation, Vendôme decided to make himself master of Pontoglio and of the part of Palazzolo located on the right bank of the Oglio to prevent the Imperialists from recrossing the river.

On 6 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The entrenched camp near Soncino was completed.

On 8 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, Vendôme decamped from Soncino and marched in two columns with 41 bns, 9 cavalry sqns and 9 dragoon sqns to Cividate where he encamped. The right column (all dragoons, 8 infantry brigade, all artillery and baggage) had marched by way of Torre Pallavicina and Pumenengo; the left column (1 cavalry brigade, 2 infantry brigades) had marched by way of Ticengo and Fontanella.
    • As he passed by Calcio, Vendôme left 3 infantry brigades with 8 cannon under M. de Medavi to occupy the place.
    • As he passed by Pontoglio, Vendôme left 2 infantry brigades and 9 dragoon sqns under M. d’Albergotti who entrenched his force in front of the bridgehead.
    • The rest of Vendôme’s troops remained in the entrenched camp at Soncino under the command of M. de Saint-Fremont).

On 9 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme marched on Palazzolo with 1 infantry brigade, a detachment of dragoons and 6 cannon and made himself master of the part of the town located on the right bank of the Oglio.

On the night of 9 to 10 November, the Imperialists evacuated their bridgehead on the right bank of the Oglio at Palazzolo.

The Duc de Vendôme sent M. de Filtz to Gavardo with the hussars and 300 horse to raze the entrenchments that the Imperialists had left there.

On 11 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Work began at entrenchments on the right bank of the Oglio from Palazzolo to Soncino.
    • Vendôme sent his troops to cantonments.

On 12 November

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène decamped from Urago and marched to Roncadelle and Pontegatello on the Mella River.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Informed of the march of the Imperialists towards the Mella River, Vendôme personally went to Soncino and gave orders to all his infantry under M. d’Albergotti to march there on the following day, except 12 bns left under the command of M. de Medavi on the Upper Oglio to occupy Palazzolo and Pontoglio and to complete the entrenchments.
    • 5 Spanish bns and 1 Spanish sqn joined Vendôme’s Army on the Oglio. Vendôme was now at the head of 56 bns and 71 sqns.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade sent 8 of his best bns and 12 sqns from Piedmont to the Duc de Vendôme.

On 13 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme vainly tried to cross the swollen Oglio at Soncino with his cavalry. He decided to cross the river at Ostiano and sent M. de Saint-Fremont forward with 9 sqns and 2 dragoon rgts. However, Saint-Fremont found the terrain even more flooded in this area and halted at Gabbioneta.
    • The infantry marched to Soncino according to Vendôme’s orders.
    • In the evening, Vendôme established his camp at Corte de’ Cortesi and cantoned his army from Soncino to Bordolano.

On 14 and 15 November, heavy rain continued and Vendôme sojourned at Corte de’ Cortesi. Meanwhile, the bridges at Bordolano were extended. Vendôme also recalled the 9 sqns that were with Saint-Fremont. He also asked Saint Fremont to cross the Oglio as soon as possible with his 2 dragoon rgts.

On 16 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, Vendôme assembled his army near Bordolano. The infantry then crossed the Oglio.
    • The Duc de Vendôme established his headquarters at Verolavecchia, his infantry cantoned at Quinzano, Verola Alghise (unidentified location) and Verolavecchia, and his dragoons at Scorciarolo (unidentified location).
    • M. de Saint-Fremont crossed the Oglio at Ostiano and established two bridges on the Lower Mella.
  • Imperialists
    • In the morning, Prince Eugène set off from his camp near Roncadelle and marched in three columns towards Ponte San Marco and Montechiari, behind the Chiese River.

On 17 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme’s cavalry crossed the Oglio at Bordolano and cantoned in second line at Monticelli, Villanuova and Campazzo.
    • M. de Coulanges was detached with 400 horse towards the Mella River on the road leading from Verolavecchia to Brescia to cover the march of the army but he was driven back by Imperialist cavalry.

On 18 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme’s Army marched to Cigole on the Mella River. Part of the troops (all dragoons, 6 infantry brigades) crossed the Mella on the bridge of Pavone where the infantry cantoned. The dragoons advanced to Gottalengo, 2 other infantry brigades occupied Cigole, 2 other infantry brigades remained at Quinzano. Vendôme established his headquarters at Cigole.
    • The artillery, escorted by 1 infantry brigade marched by way of Monticelli and Ostiano where it crossed the Mella on one of Saint-Fremont’s bridges.
    • Part of the cavalry crossed the Mella on the bridge of Pralboino and cantoned at Gambara while the rest of the cavalry remained on the right bank of the Mella and occupied the villages of Pralboino and Milzano.

On 19 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. d’Albergotti led the dragoons ahead of the main body, crossing the Gambara Canal at Gambara and marching by way of Casalromano. He made himself master of the bridge of Asola on the Chiese River and cantoned at Santa-Croce.
    • Vendôme’s left column (1 cavalry brigade and all the infantry) followed the dragoons. The cavalry cantoned at Corvione, forming the left of the army; all the infantry, in the villages of Medole (unidentified location), Sorbara, Casalromano, Cadimarco and Fiesse.
    • Vendôme’s right column (the cavalry) cantoned at Canneto, Levale (unidentified location) and Bizzolano.
    • The Duc de Vendôme established his headquarters in the farmsteads of Asola.
    • The 2 infantry brigades posted at Quinzano marched to Pavone with the caissons.

On 20 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The 2 infantry brigades escorting the caissons reached Gambara.

On 22 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme moved the 2 brigades posted at Corvione to Remedello di Sotto, closer to the bridge of Asola.
    • The 2 infantry brigades escorting the caissons set off from Gambara and rejoined the army, cantoning at Cadimarco and Fiesse.
    • The artillery, escorted by 1 infantry brigade, arrived at Casalromano.
    • The Duc de Vendôme was now in a position to cross the Chiese at Asola or Acquanegra to march against the Imperialists. He planned to attack the outposts of Carpenedolo and Montichiari.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène received a reinforcement of 3 bns and 1 dragoon rgt.

On 23 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme’s Army marched in two columns. The left column crossed the Chiese on the bridge of Asola; the right column at Acquanegra. They advanced up to Casalmoro. The infantry cantoned at Medole where the headquarters were established, and at Castel Goffredo.

On 25 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme assembled his army.

On 26 November

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme’s Army marched in three columns
      • The left column, consisting of all the infantry, marched by way of Medole to Castiglione, its flank covered by 500 horse.
      • The centre column consisted of all the cavalry preceded by 5 dragoon rgts.
      • The right column consisted of the artillery and baggage.
    • The army took up its quarters on the mountain in two lines (one of infantry, the other of cavalry) forming a set square with Castiglione delle Stiviere at its apex.
      • 4 infantry brigades cantoned in the village of Esenta
      • 2 infantry brigades were deployed between Esenta and Castiglione
      • 4 infantry brigades and the artillery remained in the suburb of Castiglione where the headquarters were established
      • The 5 dragoon rgts cantoned behind Castiglione in the farmsteads of Fontane
      • All the cavalry cantoned at Solferino and its neighbourhood up to Castiglione

On 27 November

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène moved his army, placing his right at Calcinato and his left at Lonato which was occupied by a Venetian garrison. He left a corps in Montichiari but evacuated Carpenedolo.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme immediately threw 100 foot and 200 horse into Carpenedolo.

On 28 November

  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène marched on Lonato, covered by the Fossa-Seriola. His infantry crossed the ditches and made itself master of the covert way of Lonato.
    • Prince Eugène deployed his army along a canal between Lonato and Montichiari and began to entrench his new positions. His cavalry encamped behind this line towards Calcinato
  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, Vendôme detached the Prince de Pio with the 4 infantry brigades posted at Esenta and 6 cannon to occupy all farmsteads scattered in the mountains between Esenta to Lonato. The Prince arrived too late to prevent the capture of the covert way of Lonato by the Imperialists.
    • Informed that the Imperialists were marching on Lonato, Vendôme advanced with his army. He deployed his infantry on the heights between Lonato and Esenta. His cavalry and dragoons deployed in second line from the suburbs of Desenzano, which was occupied by the Venetians, to Rivoltella.

The two armies only separated by the Fossa-Lonato cannonaded each other for three days without any tangible result.

On 1 December

    • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène retired his troops from the bank of the Fossa-Lonato and established them in entrenchments on the heights between Lonato and Montichiari which was occupied by 3,000 men with some cannon.

Each army continued to improve its entrenchments.

On 2 December

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The 8 bns and 12 sqns sent from Piedmont by the Duc de La Feuillade arrived at Palazzolo on the Oglio.

The Duc de Vendôme decided to make himself master of Desenzano and to establish a bakery there. This would allow him to march along Lake Grada in the direction of Salo and thus turn the left of the Imperialists; while M. de Medavi would march on Brescia with part of the troops posted on the Oglio, including the recent reinforcements.

On 4 December

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Medavi assembled a Franco-Spanish corps of 9 bns (3,200 men) and 9 sqns (900 horse) at Pontoglio.

On 5 December

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Medavi marched from Pontoglio to Rovato with his corps, leaving 11 weak bns and 3 sqns in the various posts on the Oglio.

On 6 December

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme detached the Comte d’Estrades with the 5 dragoon rgts towards Desenzano. D’Estrades, with the help of the Venetian garrison, made himself master of Desenzano, seizing many barks in the harbour. Vendôme gave orders to arms these barks to launch raids on Lake Garda. In the evening, after the capture of Desenzano, the 5 dragoon rgts returned to their cantonments and were replaced by 6 bns.
    • M. de Medavi marched from Rovato to Roncadelle with his corps. As soon as he reached his destinations, he sent detachments towards the Imperialist army. He also gathered forage in the plain of Brescia and had it transported to Palazzolo and Pontoglio, as instructed by the Duc de Vendôme, to deprive the enemy from subsistence for its cavalry for the coming winter.
    • One of Medavi’s party also attacked an Imperialist convoy near Torbole, hamstringing more than 100 teams of oxen and making 40 prisoners.
  • Imperialists
    • Prince Eugène vainly tried to make himself master of Lonato.

Winter-Quarters

The Duc de Vendôme personally reconnoitred the shores of Lake Garda from Desenzano towards Salo. He noticed that the passage between Lake Garda and the mountains near Padenghe was so narrow that the Imperialist defenders and decided to cancel his planned offensive towards Salo.

A few days later, Medavi was reinforced by 7 sqns sent from Vendôme’s Army.

The Duc de Vendôme had Medole, Carpenedolo and Rivoltella entrenched as well as many farmsteads on the line extending from Lake Garda to Castel-Goffredo. Entrenchments were also erected on the Lower Oglio and those on the Mincio and the Fossa-Maestra between Curtatone and Borgoforte were repaired. The island of Sirmione on Lake Garda was occupied to serve as a base for the armed barks.

On 26 December

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme sent his troops to their winter-quarters. The first line extended from Desenzano to Castiglione delle Stiviere and Carpenedolo; the second line, from Bardolino and Lazise on Lake Garda to Ostiano. He also threw bridges on the Mincio between Valeggio and Borghetto to allow most of his army to assemble within 24 hours. Only 4 bns and 13 sqns took up their quarters in the regions of Modena and Mirandola under the command of M. de Saint-Fremont.
    • M. de Medavi retired to the Lower Oglio with his corps.
    • The Spanish troops took up their winter-quarters on the Upper Oglio between Soncino and Calepio.

At the end of December, the Elector of Palatinate undertook to send the 3 Palatine infantry rgts in Dutch pay (Aubach, Barbo and Efferen) to reinforce the troops in Italy.

On 1 January 1706

  • Imperialists
    • The army of Prince Eugène marched to its winter-quarters. Part of his infantry took up its winter-quarters on the left bank of the Chiese, from Montichiari and Calcinato to Gavardo, where the prince established his headquarters; another part of his infantry, between Gavardo and Salo; and the rest on the shores of Lake Garda up to Gargnano. His cavalry remained on the right bank of the Chiese, between Gavardo and Breno, in the plain of Brescia.

A few days later, Prince Eugène sent a corps (1,000 foot, 2,000 horse) under Colonel Paté to the region of Verona.

On 3 January, the Duc de Vendôme personally went to Mantua where he established his headquarters. M. de Medavi remained at Castiglione to command the first line of the winter-quarters.

On January 7, M. de Tavagny was detached with 2 bns and 1 dragoon rgt to occupy Villafranca in the region of Verona. M. de Dillon was sent to assume command in this area.

On 8 January, Vendôme detached M. de Guerchois with 10 grenadier coys, 200 foot, 300 horse and 2 cannon to capture the region of Villa-Bona located between the Adige the Canal Bianco and the Tartaro and thus deprive the Imperialists from a good source of provisions. Guerchois, his infantry and his artillery embarked at Mantua while the cavalry followed along the river.

On 10 January, Guerchois’ detachment reached the region of Villa-Bona and made itself master of it as well as the village of Badia (Badia Polesine). Guerchois entrenched his detachment in these two outposts and established a bridge on the Tartaro. From these positions, Guerchois blocked all passages allowing the Imperialists to get some supply from the region of Rovigo, Padua and even from the sea and Trieste.

On 15 January

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Medavi advanced with 1,200 foot and 1,800 horse to Castelnuovo, between Villafranca and Lazise to prevent an Imperialist attack on Lazise and Bardolino.
  • Imperialists
    • The Imperialists broke down the bridge they had on the Adige at Pontone (maybe Porton).

M. de Medavi sent back his detachment to their winter-quarters and returned to Castiglione. He had a bridge built on the Chiese at Acquafredda.

Prince Eugène left for Vienna, confiding command of the corps stationed in the region of Brescia to General Reventlau and of the corps in the region of Verona to the Prince Anhalt. The Palatine cavalry reached Trento and then marched to San Martino and San Michele near Verona. All other Palatine troops took their winter-quarters between Chiese and Lake Garda.

On 20 January, Vendôme sent a reinforcement of 2 bns to M. de Guerchois. These bns took position on the Tartaro between Zelo and Trecenta.

A few days later, Vendôme sent another reinforcement of 3 bns and 7 sqns to M. de Guerchois.

On 31 January, the Duc de Vendôme left Mantua, confiding command to M. de Medavi.

On his way, the Duc de Vendôme met with the Duc de La Feuillade at Marignano to discuss of the next campaign.

On 3 February, the Duc de Vendôme left for Versailles.

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books, which are now in the public domain:

  • Pelet and François Eugène de Vault: Mémoires militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne sous Louis XIV
    • Vol. 4, pp. 357-368
    • Vol. 5, pp. 130-131, 139-140, 144, 218, 238-379
  • Spanish Succession, War of the, in Encyclopaedia Britannica (c1910-1922), Vol. 25, pp. 602-603
  • Bezzel, O.: Geschichte des Kurpfälzischen Heeres, Bayrisches Kriegsarchiv, IV. file, 2. part, Munich 1925
  • Dedekind, F.: Geschichte des k. k. Kaiser Franz Joseph I. Dragoner-Regimentes Nr. 11, Vienna 1879