1705 – Campaign in Piedmont

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

The campaign lasted from January to November 1705


During the campaign of 1704, the Duc de Vendôme had made himself master of all the places belonging to Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy on the left bank of the Po River and occupied the country located between this river and the Alps.

In November 1704, the Duc de Vendôme had laid siege to the Fortress of Verrua. However, he encountered unexpected difficulties and, by the end of the year, he had not yet captured the place. This jeopardized the plans for the coming campaign where Louis XIV intended to lay siege to Turin as early as February.

Furthermore, when, early in 1705, Louis XIV learned that the Allies planned to land 8,000 men at Nice to reinforce the Savoyard Army, he had to divert troops for the conquest of the County of Nice. A total of 18 bns (including 4 bns belonging to the Navy) and 6 dragoon sqns were allocated to this expedition which was placed under the command of the Duc de La Feuillade.


Map of the Duchy of Savoy in 1700 published in Wikimedia Commons by user Raymond Palmer and released in the public domain

Siege of Verrua

The Duke of Vendôme had undertaken the Siege of Verrua since mid-October 1704 but the place was still stubbornly resisting.

In the first days of January 1705, the troops of the Duc de Vendôme worked intensively to repair the damages caused to their siege works during the sortie of the garrison of Verrua on 26 December 1704.

The Allies reinforced their line of communication between their bridge on the Po and Verrua, placing there 1 Imperial bn and 2 Savoyard bns.

Vendôme then ordered to the Comte d'Estaing to advance the cavalry on the right bank of the Po towards Chivasso and sent him 5 bns to support his enterprise.

On 12 January, the Comte d'Estaing assembled the cavalry at Piovà Massaia near Cocconato.

On 13 January, the Comte d'Estaing marched to Casalborgone.

On 14 January, the Comte d'Estaing marched to San Sebastiano.

On 15 January, the Comte d'Estaing took cantonments with his right at Lauriano, his centre opposite Chivasso and his left at Gassino. He intercepted and burned three boats loaded with fodder who were sailing down the Po from Turin to supply the Allies at Crescentino. In this position, d'Estaing seriously threatened the line of communication of the Allies between Turin and their main camp at Crescentino, depriving them of any navigation on the Po.

On 16 January, the Count d'Estaing marched towards Turin with part of his cavalry to reconnoitre the country, advancing up to San Mauro at 6 km from Turin. He then sent forward his hussars and 100 dragoons who reached the barrier of Turin, capturing some cattle. He finally returned to his cantonments.

On the night of 19 to 20 January, informed that an Allied detachment (150 men from the garrison of Turin) had taken post at San Mauro, d'Estaing detached Captain de Mailly at the head of 3 grenadier coys and 150 fusiliers towards San Mauro.

On 20 January before daybreak, Mailly attacked the Allied detachment at San Mauro, driving it away and capturing 1 officer and 15 men.

The Po had swelled so much, due to rain and snow, that d'Estaing was unable to launch any raid on the left bank of the river. Nevertheless, the Allies scattered cavalry detachments along the left bank to prevent any crossing, recalling the detachment posted in the direction of Ivrea. They then established a line of communication by roads from Turin to Crescentino. To diminish consumption of fodder in d'Estaing's new cantonments, Vendôme recalled 12 sqns which he sent to Trino where there were still 9 other sqns.

On 23 and 24 January, weather getting better, Vendôme's troops started to repair the siege works around Verrua.

On 28 January, snow started to fall again and contined for six days, filling the trenches. All operations were interrupted.

On 9 February, the Comte d'Estaing marched from Verrua with the cavalry and took quarters at Asti and on the right bank of the Tanaro. The 5 bns, which he had previously received from Vendôme, rejoined the army. At Verrua, the breaches in the first two walls were now practicable and the works protecting communications with Crescentino were heavily damaged. However, the third wall had yet suffered little damage.

On 10 February, 12 grenadier coys from Vercelli, Ivrea and the Aosta Valley joined Vendôme's Army at Verrua, in preparation for as general assault. M. de Lapara, a famous engineer, arrived at Verrua at Vendôme's request.

On 2 March, Vendôme stormed a fort on an island of the Po, linking Verrua to the camp of the Duke of Savoy at Crescentino.

Vendôme then built a new line of entrenchments linking his left wing with the fort on the island. This line was strengthened with three redoubts. A similar operation was undertaken between the right wing and the bank of the Po, thus completing the circumvallation of Verrua.

Vendôme then recalled 800 horse along the bank of the Po to prevent an attack through the fords by the Allied cavalry detachment (300 horse) posted behind a palisaded entrenchment.

On 14 March in the morning

  • Allies
    • The Duke of Savoy retired from the camp of Crescentino with the Allied army and set his old camp afire.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vendôme, who was preparing an attack on the camp with 20 grenadier coys, 15 bns and 50 sqns, immediately passed the Po with 7 grenadier coys and 250 horse, rapidly making himself master of the town of Crescentino. He also ordered to move the bridge recently constructed at Moncestino upstream on the Dora Baltea. Vendôme was now master of all the country between the left bank of the Dora Baltea, the Alps, the Po and the Sesia.

The Duke of Savoy retired to Turin while the Count von Starhemberg entrenched his corps at Chivasso. The Allies (26 bns, 19 cavalry and dragoon rgts) then took up their winter-quarters, part at Turin, part at Chivasso. The cavalry was encamped along the right bank of the Dora Baltea from its mouth to Ivrea. All passages were defended by redoubts manned by infantry detachments.

On 18 March, Vendôme sent back his cavalry to its quarters, disposed in such a way as to allow assembly of 50 sqns within 36 hours.

On the night of 25 to 26 March, the French arrested a corporal of an Imperialist unit who was deserting from Verrua. In fact, he was a spy sent to Verrua by Starhemberg to inform the governor of the place that, in eight days, the Duke of Savoy would advance on Verrua with his cavalry and part of his infantry; that he would take position in the island; and that, at this moment, the governor, should explode all his mines and come out of the place.

Vendôme, taking no chance, established another line of entrenchments across the plain, from the mountain of Guerbignano (probably Carbignano) to the Po, defended by 8 guns, 1,000 horse and an infantry corps that could be supported by 17 bns. Furthermore, he sent 2 cavalry and dragoon rgts to Crescentino; and a party of cavalry and hussars to secure the road to Chivasso.

On 31 March, officers of the Allied army advanced to the mouth of the Dora Baltea to reconnoitre Vendôme's new entrenchments. The fire from the artillery defending Verrua intensified, suggesting that the Allies planned to exhaust all ammunition before leaving the place.

At Versailles, Louis XIV feared that the Allies would be able to resist in Verrua until the arrival of an Imperialist army in Lombardy, thus jeopardizing his plan to capture Turin. Accordingly, he sent orders to Vendôme to storm Verrua as soon as possible.

On 9 April, the garrison of Verrua finally surrendered as prisoners of war after a long siege.

On 10 April, the garrison (1,250 men including officers) came disarmed out of Verrua. They were escorted to the Duchy of Milan. There were still 270 sick or wounded in Verrua where only 17 guns and 5 mortars were still operational. Verrua was a heap of ruins.

Vendôme gave orders to repair the inner wall of Verrua and garrisoned this town with 2 bns. Louis XIV sent instructions to entirely destroy the place and to keep only the dungeon. He gave similar instructions for Ivrea where only the castle and the citadel should be preserved.

Winter-quarters and preparations

On 14 April, Vendôme's Army began to take its quarters. It was covered to its right by the Dora Baltea and extended on the right bank of the Po from Asti, Nizza, Acqui, Alessandria to Pavia. Vendôme himself went to Casale where he established his headquarters. The rest of the Franco-Spanish army occupied the Lomellina, the region of Novara and Vercelli up to Lake Maggiore and the Alps.

The Franco-Spanish operating in Piedmont totalled 60 bns and 63 sqns. Furthermore, 4 bns and 1 dragoon rgt were blockading Montmélian in Savoy.

For its part the Allied army, after the loss of 24 bns taken prisoners at Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua, was reduced to only 26 bns and 19 cavalry or dragoon rgts. The main body of infantry was entrenching itself at Chivasso while other units were posted between the Dora Baltea, the Alps and the Po.

In mid-April, after the capture of the city of Nice (the castle and the citadel were still occupied by the Savoyards), La Feuillade sent 7 bns and some dragoons to Susa in Piedmont. These troops would be joined by 9 bns coming from Dauphiné.

Operations then came to a standstill. The Franco-Spanish army had quarters on the two banks of the Po: on the left banks these quarters extended up to the mouth of the Dora Baltea; and on the right bank, by way of Asti, up to the Tanaro and then to Alessandria.

The Franco-Spanish had been so far successful that the Duke of Savoy implored the emperor to send a fresh army.

At the end of April, the Duc de Vendôme quitted Casale Monferrato and personally went to Mantua to assume command of the Army of Lombardy. He left command of the Army of Piedmont to the Comte de Vaubecourt who was at Vercelli.

At the beginning of May, Vendôme sent orders to Vaubecourt to send him a reinforcement of 11 bns (including 2 bns recently arrived from Naples by way of Genoa) to Lombardy.

On 7 May, the 11 bns requested by Vendôme embarked under M. de Maulevrier at Pavia to sail down the Po.

Vaubecourt then prepared ammunition depots at Crescentino for the planned siege of Chivasso, and at Casale for the planned siege of Turin. He also supervised the demolition of all the Piedmontese places which had been captured during the previous campaign, including Verrua.

On 14 May, an Allied corps (2,000 foot, 4,000 horse and some artillery pieces) assembled between Chivasso and the Dora Baltea.

On the night of 14 to 15 May, the Allied corps separated in two columns: one passed the Po at Chivasso to threaten the Franco-Spanish quarters on the right bank of this river; the other (approx. 650 horse) crossed the Dora Baltea at Mazzè and advanced to the mill of Bosafarinera on the Ivrea Canal upstream from Santhià.

On 15 May

  • Allies
    • In the morning, a cavalry detachment of the latter column crossed the Sesia at Recetto, upstream from Vercelli, and advanced by way of Briona up to Oleggio, in the Duchy of Milan, where it raised heavy contributions. It was then ferried across the Ticino River and reached Gallarate where it also raised contributions.
  • Franco-Spanish
    • Vaubecourt immediately sent the 24 sqns which he had at Vercelli and along the Sesia. A detachment tried to intercept the Allies while another took position at the various fords of the Sesia to cut their line of retreat.

On 16 May, the Allied detachment, which had reached Gallarate, advanced downstream along the Ticino and reached Abbiategrasso where it captured the personal baggage of the Duc de Vendôme and of a few other general officers, as well as a few horses and mules along with provisions and some artillery.

On 17 May, Vaubecourt, who had himself advanced to Mortara, learned that the Allied detachment operating in the Duchy of Milan counted only some 650 horse and that after plundering Bosso (unidentified location), it was trying to recross the Ticino. Vaubecourt immediately marched with 13 sqns to the right bank of the Ticino to prevent the crossing of the Allied detachment. Meanwhile General Valfuentes followed them on the left bank with 400 horse. Nevertheless, the Allied detachment managed to be ferried unmolested across the Ticino at Bereguardo. Vaubecourt resumed the pursuit and caught up with the Allied detachment one hour before nightfall at Cairo and San Nazana (two unidentified locations) in a loop of the Po. The Allies deployed in lines, their right anchored on a ravine, which was occupied by dismounted dragoons and their left protected by a hedge. Vaubecourt impetuously attacked them without reconnoitring the terrain. He initially drove them back, but they rallied and defeated him. M. de Vaubecourt was killed during the engagement.

On 18 May at daybreak, the French returned to the battlefield but the Allies had precipitously retired to Vigevano and Novara, leaving part of the booty which they had accumulated during their raid in the Duchy of Milan. The French then tried to pursue them but were unable to catch them up. However, another French detachment (800 horse) under M. de Mauroy, which was posted at Carpignano on the Upper Seia fell on the Allied rearguard opposite Lenta. The engagement lasted almost an hour. The Allies lost 2 officers, 20 men and 30 horses but the rest managed to cross the Sesia.

On the night of 18 to 19 May, 50 French dragoons crossed the Sesia, followed the Allied detachment up to Lenta and surprised them in their camp, forcing them to flee and to abandon their prisoners. The French captured 2 officers and a few men, recaptured part of their booty, and captured many stragglers.

On 19 May, the Allied detachment effected a junction near Santhià with another detachment (3,000 horse) sent forward to cover their retreat. Together, they recrossed the Dora Baltea.

After the death of M. de Vaubecourt, Lieutenant-General d’Albergotti assumed command of the Franco-Spanish Army of Piedmont. He sent orders to the troops quartered between the Po and the Tanaro to assemble near Trino and Crescentino on 25 May. Similarly, he sent orders to the troops quartered on the banks of the Sesia to assemble near Vercelli on the road leading to Ivrea.

On 20 May, according to d’Albergotti’s orders, the Franco-Spanish units started to march to their assigned positions.

On the night of 20 to 21 May, Cherisey Cavalerie and Grammont Cavalerie, were attacked at Castell'Alfero, where they had taken quarters for the night, by 500 Allied horse. Their advanced posts warned them in time and they drove back the attack. They were supported by 2 coys of Bourke Infanterie. However, M. de Cherisey and a few officers were taken prisoners. The Allies then retired in two distinct detachments: one advanced on Asti and Annone and vainly summoned the garrisons to surrender; the other crossed the Tanaro and put Nizza-della-Paglia (present-day Nizza Monferrato) to contribution.

On 23 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • D’Albergotti detached M. de Goesbriant’s Corps to Nizza-della-Paglia and took position at Montechiaro with another corps.
    • The rest of the Franco-Spanish army under the Comte d’Estaing resumed its march and reached Crescentino and Vercelli.
  • Allies
    • The detachment operating in Monferrato retired by way of Alba to San Michele.

On 27 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • D’Albergotti having received intelligence that only 1,000 Allied horse and 1 infantry rgt where encamped at San Michele and that their main army was at Chivasso and on the Dora Baltea, left behind the two corps posted at Nizza-della-Paglia and Montechiaro and went to Crescentino to prepare the concentration of his army on the Dora Baltea.

On 28 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Comte d’Estaing with 1 bn, 8 grenadier coys, 1,600 foot and 2,800 horse escorted a large convoy of some 450 carts loaded with grain and flour from Vercelli towards Ivrea, reaching Santhià.
    • 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, Philippe Grand Prieur de Vendôme, a lazy dilettante.

On 29 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • D’Estaing reached Cavaglia with part of the escort while the rest resumed its march towards Ivrea.

On 30 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • D’Albergotti advanced from Crescentino to Borgo d’Ale near the Dora Baltea with a detachment to cover the march of d’Estaing’s convoy.
    • D’Estaing’s Corps arrived at Ivrea with the convoy.
  • Allies
    • Savoyard troops stationed in Monferrato retired precipitously to Chieri while the Imperialists troops concentrated at Rondissone where they assembled all the boats of the Dora Baltea and the Chiusella.

On 31 May

  • Franco-Spanish
    • D’Albergotti returned to Crescentino after having reconnoitred the course of the Dora Baltea downstream from Ivrea.
    • D’Estaing returned to Vercelli with the escort as well as with the pontoons left there at the end of the previous campaign and the recently arrived recruits.
    • M. de Ruffey went from from Ivrea to Biella with 2 bns to secure communication with French Savoie through the Aosta Valley and to quench a revolt in the area of Biella.
    • The Duc de Vendôme personally set off from Milan. In the evening, he reached Casale. Louis XIV had asked him to open the siege of Turin and then to confide the supervision of this siege to the Duc de La Feuillade and then return to Lombardy to re-assume command of the Army of Lombardy against the Imperialists led by Prince Eugène de Savoie.

An Allied detachment (400 horse) made a new incursion in Monferrato advancing by way of Alba on Nizza-della-Paglia which was occupied by M. de Goesbrient who detached 1 cavalry rgts and a few dragoon sqns against it. The followed the Allies along the Belbo and caught up with their rearguard at the entrance of a defile, capturing a few men. The rest escaped in the mountains towards Alba.

The French received intelligence that the Allies had

  • 4 coys of the Guardie, 1 cavalry rgt and 1 dragoon rgt encamped at San Michele
  • 1 cavalry rgt and 2 dragoon rgts encamped at Avigliana
  • the Savoyard infantry at Turin, Cuneo, Alba and Chivasso
  • the Imperialists in various corps between Chivasso, the Dora Baltea and the Chiusella

For its part the Franco-Spanish Army of Piedmont was deployed as follows:

  • on the right bank of the Po at Vercelli, Trino, Crescentino and Ivrea
  • on the left bank of the Po at Montechiaro and Nizza-della-Paglia

Furthermore, its cavalry and infantry were almost completely re-established; provision and artillery depots were ready at Crescentino and Ivrea; the demolition of the fortifications of Ivrea, Vercelli and Verrua was nearing its end. D’Albergotti was only waiting for the return of the Duc de Vendôme to open the campaign.

For his part, the Duc de La Feuillade had sent 6 bns to Ivrea at the end of May and deployed 10 other bns in the valleys from French Savoie to Susa. They were supported by 4 dragoon rgts. Meanwhile, M. de Vallière maintained the blockade of Montmélian with 8 bns.

Opening of the campaign

On 4 June, the Duc de Vendôme arrived in Piedmont.

On 8 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme assembled his army which encamped at Saluggia along the bank of the Dora Baltea. However, all fords were still impracticable.
  • Allies
    • The Duke of Savoy encamped with his army on a height the opposite side near the Dora Baltea.

On 10 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Goesbrient, arriving from Nizza-della-Paglia, effected a junction with the army of the Duc de Vendôme. He had left only 5 sqns behind at Crescentino.
    • The Duc de Vendôme instructed the Duc de La Feuillade to march towards Susa with the 10 bns which he had to bring to Piedmont along with 1 dragoon rgt.

On 11 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme decamped from Saluggia and marched northwards in two columns along the Dora Baltea to Borgo Masino. He then went to Ivrea, escorted by 4 dragoon rgts. There he found 8 bns waiting to join his army.

On 12 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The army of the Duc de Vendôme marched to Ivrea where it crossed the Dora Baltea: the artillery, the cavalry and the baggage on the bridge of Ivrea; and the infantry on a bridge established downstream. The army then forded the Chiusella and encamped with its right at Romano (present-day Romano Canavese) and its left at Strambino where Vendôme established his headquarters.

On 13 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, the army of the Duc de Vendôme marched in two columns: the right column against Caluso; the left one against Mazzè. These two posts were occupied by Allied detachments. The army encamped with its left at Torazzi (probably Torazza Piemonte) and its right at Rondissone.
    • A bridge was thrown across the Dora Baltea in front of Saluggia and M. d’Arène encamped nearby with 7 bns. Another entrenched bridge was thrown across the Dora Baltea near its confluence with the Po, to secure communications with Crescentino.
  • Allies
    • The Duke of Savoy was still encamped with his army near the Dora Baltea on a height opposite Saluggia. As Vendôme’s Army approached, the Allied army rapidly retired to Chivasso. Vendôme’s vanguard was unable to catch up with the rearguard of the Allies.

On 14 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The army of the Duc de Vendôme sojourned near Torazzi, waiting for a convoy.

On 15 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The army of the Duc de Vendôme sojourned one more day near Torazzi, waiting for a convoy.
    • A bridge was thrown across the Po in front of San Sebastiano and 1 infantry brigade and 1 dragoon rgt were posted there.
    • M. d’Arène set off from Saluggia and crossed the Po at Crescentino with 10 bns, 4 sqns and 6 artillery pieces.

On the night of 15 to 16 June, the grenadiers of M. d’Arène advanced to Lauriano. D’Arène then marched with the rest of his corps to San Sebastiano where he arrived at 6:00 a.m.

Siege and Capture of Chivasso

On 16 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At 6:00 a.m., the army of the Duc de Vendôme set off from Torazzi and marched in two columns to Chivasso where it deployed in order of battle within cannon range of the place.
    • Meanwhile, the Duc de Vendôme personally crossed the Po on the bridge established upstream from San Sebastiano and went to the camp of M. d’Arène. He then reconnoitre the positions of the Allies on both sides of the Po.
    • D’Arène posted detachments in entrenched posts in front of Castagneto and the Chapel of San Grasse.
    • Vendôme’s Army encamped in front of Chivasso between Berri (unidentified location) and the Po.
    • A bridge was thrown on the Po to communicate more rapidly with d’Arène’s Corps.
    • In the evening, Vendôme sent a reinforcement of 2 bns to M. d’Arène who was instructed to establish a battery in front of Castagneto.
  • Allies
    • The Fortress of Chivasso was garrisoned by 3 bns. The fortress had many bastions, a palisaded covert way, and a wide and deep wet ditch.
    • The Allied cavalry was deployed in order of battle, its right anchored on a communication established between Chivasso and the Po, and its left at the Orco. The communication was occupied by 7 or 8 bns. On the right bank of the Po, the head of the bridge of Chivasso was covered by the Castle of Contrabuc (unidentified location). On the ridge extending from this castle to the village of Castagneto ran an entrenchment. An Allied force (14 bns, 20 sqns) defended the right bank of the Po River. Another Allied force (including 3 sqns of Serényi Dragoons) defended Castagneto. Overall the Allies had 4,500 foot and 3,000 horse.

On 17 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • As darkness fell, d’Arène launched an attack on two farmsteads along the entrenchments near the Castle of Contrabuc. His troops made themselves master of these positions but in the confusion the fired on each other and were forced to retire, losing 80 men killed or wounded.

On 19 June, the Duc de La Feuillade, set off from Grenoble, according to Vendôme’s orders.

On the night of 19 to 20 June, the Duc de Vendôme launched a new attack against the entrenchments near the Castle of Contrabuc at the head of two columns. The first column under M. de Carcado comprised 100 carabiniers, 28 grenadier coys and 1 infantry brigade; the second, under M. d’Orgemont, 8 grenadier coys, 3 bns and 3 dismounted dragoon rgts.

On 20 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, the two French columns sent against the entrenchments near the Castle of Contrabuc, made themselves master of a part of these entrenchments. The Allies sent reinforcements which arrived too late and took position on another height facing the entrenchments.
    • Vendôme then gave orders to entrench these new positions and transferred six 24-pdrs from his battery in front of Castagneto.
    • D’Arène then remained on the right bank of the Po with 13 bns and 1 dragoon rgts while Vendôme returned to the left bank with the rest of the troops who had taken part in the attack.
    • On the left bank, the French made themselves masters of the Capuchin Monastery and of a few farmsteads near Chivasso. M. d’Albergotti opened the trench with 4 bns and 5 sqns.

On the night of 20 to 21 June, the Comte d’Estaing relieved d’Albergotti with 4 bns and 5 sqns to resume work at the trenches in front of Chivasso.

On 21 June

  • Cavalry engagement in front of the trenches at Chivasso
    • In the morning some Allied cavalry appeared in front of the French trench at Chivasso.
    • The Prince d’Elbeuf, commanding the 5 sqns guarding the trenches, sent 3 sqns across a navigation canal to engage the Allies.
    • The 3 sqns sent by d’Elbeuf drove back the Allied cavalry but were counter-attacked by some Allied sqns hidden in the woods nearby.
    • The Prince d’Elbeuf managed to send back 1 sqn across the canal but the 2 remaining sqns were overwhelmed and destroyed. The prince was killed during the engagement.

On the night of 21 to 22 June, the Comte d’Aubeterre led work at the trenches in front of Chivasso.

On 22 June, the Duc de Vendôme extended his right closer to the Orco and started to work at a circumvallation line. A large part of the terrain surrounding Chivasso had been flooded by the defenders, but Vendôme identified a point of attack.

On the night of 22 to 23 June, the Duc de Vendôme opened the trench at the selected point of attack and the work moved within 200 m of the covert way of the Fortress of Chivasso. The left of the parallel was anchored on the road leading from Crescentino to Chivasso while the right was secured by a redoubt. Two batteries were also established on the left bank of the Po to batter the entrenchments of Castagneto and a farmstead near the bridge of the Allies.

On 23 June, the Duc de La Feuillade assembled 10 bns and 1 dragoon rgt at Susa.

On 24 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • M. de Lapara arrived in front of Chivasso to supervise the siege works. He represented to the Duc de Vendôme that the two newly established batteries were useless. These batteries were removed and a new battery of 12 artillery pieces was erected on the left bank of the Po to batter the communication between the Fortress of Chivasso and the Po.
    • The Duc de la Feuillade set off from Susa and marched to Bussoleno on the Dora Riparia, leaving detachments, reinforced with the militias of Brançonnais, Oulx and Cesane at Perosa (probably Perosa d’Argentina) and in the Saint-Martin Valley to contain the incursions of the Waldensians.

On 26 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The new battery opened on the communication between the Fortress of Chivasso and the Po.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade’ Corps reached Villaralmese on the left bank of the Dora Riparia where he entrenched his camp. He had left 1 bn and 1 sqn at Bussoleno.
  • Allies
    • The Allies had 200 horse at Avigliana and a larger cavalry corps at Caselette

On 28 June, the trenches in front of Chivasso were within a stone throw of the covert way.

On 29 June, the Duc de La Feuillade reconnoitred towards Caselette with 10 grenadier coys and 150 dragoons. He vainly tried to ambush a cavalry detachment.

On 30 June

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At 1:00 p.m., two French detachments set off to attack the two farmsteads protecting the bridge that the Allies had on the Po at Castagneto. The first division (13 grenadier coys and 3 bns) was charged to attack from upstream; and the second of 4 bns, from downstream. The battery (12 pieces), which had opened on 26 June on the communication between Chivasso and the Po, had already seriously damaged the entrenchments around these farmsteads but the Allies had broken all roads and paths and built an abatis. The French grenadiers managed to reach the foot of the entrenchments but the Allies seized a ridge and fired in their flank, forcing them to retire. The French bns then attacked but were repulsed too. In this affair, the French lost 140 men killed or wounded.
    • In the evening, work began at a trenches leading to the entrenchments at Castagneto. Soon, 100 men were posted in a lodgement near these entrenchments. In addition, a battery (4 x 24-pdrs) was established on a plateau overlooking the farmsteads.

On 1 July

  • Allies
    • A corps of 1,000 Allied horse arrived at Alpignano, near Rivoli on the Dora Riparia. In addition, Avigliana and Sant-Antonio (probably Sant'Antonio di Ranverso) were occupied by Allied infantry.

By 2 July, the trenches in front of Chivasso were within 7 m. from the palisade of the covert way of the great angle. However, this angle was mined and M. de Lapara decided to wait for his miners to explode this mine.

On 3 July

  • Allies
    • 2 Waldensian bns and 1,000 horse took position at Avigliana and peasant began to assemble to cut the communication of La Feuillade with Susa.

On the night of 3 to 4 July, Lapara’s miners successfully exploded the mine under the great angle. Work immediately began on breaching batteries.

On 4 July

  • Allies
    • 300 Allied grenadiers and an infantry corps tried to dislodge the French from the great angle. But they were forced to retire into Chivasso after a combat of three hours.
    • An Allied corps (300 foot, 200 Waldensians and 3 sqns) attacked the French outpost at Bussoleno, in an attempt to cut the line of communication of La Feuillade with Susa, but the defenders (1 bn under M. de Courty) drove them back.
  • French
    • The Duc de La Feuillade retired from Villaralmese to Chiavria (unidentified location), leaving only 3 well entrenched bns at Villaralmese.

On 5 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, 12 artillery pieces began to fire on the fortifications of Chivasso.
    • The Duc de Vendôme was informed that his brother, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme had failed to contain the Imperialist army of Prince Eugène which had crossed the Oglio and entered into the Duchy of Milan. He immediately gave orders to the Duc de La Feuillade to effect a junction with his own army.
    • In the evening, La Feuillade set off from Chiavria with his corps and marched all night.

On 6 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, La Feuillade’s Corps reached Caselette where it captured 2 men belonging to an Allied patrol. La Feuillade then learned that 1,000 Allied horse were posted at Alpignano under M. de Martini.
    • La Feuillade rested his troops for two hours at Caselette before resuming his march towards the Cirié Forest, closely followed by the Allied cavalry corps. La Feuillade reached Cassa where his corps spent the night.
    • In the evening, the Comte d’Estaing was detached from Chivasso with 20 grenadier coys and 3,000 horse to effect a junction with La Feuillade’s Corps near the Cirié Forest, fording the Orco at Feletto during the night. His vanguard bumped into Martini’s cavalry corps which had taken position in the Citié Forest to ambush La Feuillade’s Corps.

On 7 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Before daybreak, La Feuillade’s Corps set off from Cassa.
    • Around 5:00 p.m., La Feuillade’s Corps reached a height at the entry of the Lanzo Valley near the Stura and the Cirié Forest. Upon arrival, La Feuillade fired six cannon shots, the agreed signal to inform the Comte d’Estaing of his presence, but he received no response and decided to rest his troops and encamped in a strong position. Some 400 horse belonging to d’Estaing’s detachment attacked Martini’s cavalry and, supported by the rest of d’Estaing’s cavalry, routed the Allies who lost some 200 men in the action.

On 8 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, informed that the Duc de La Feuillade was encamped on the opposite bank of the Stura, d’Estaing detached M. du Héron with some cavalry to effect a junction with La Feuillade’s Corps.
    • At 10:00 a.m., La Feuillade crossed the Stura on a bridge that the Allies had just evacuated. At 5:00 p.m., he effected a junction with d’Estaing’s detachment at Mathi.

On 9 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Early in the morning, the Duc de La Feuillade and the Comte d’Estaing marched to Rivarolo and Feletto on the right bank of the Orco where they met the Chevalier de Forbin, who had been detached by the Duc de Vendôme with 1 grenadier coy and 400 horse to get some news.
    • The Chevalier de Forbin escorted the Duc de La Feuillade to Chivasso.

On 10 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • D’Estaing returned to his camp with his own detachment and with the 10 bns and 3 dragoon sqns that the Duc de La Feuillade had brought with him from Savoie.
    • A lodgement was established at 20 m. from the farmsteads defending the line of communication of the defenders of Chivasso with the Po.

On 11 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de Vendôme sent 9 bns and 10 sqns to reinforce the Army of Lombardy. The 9 bns embarked aboard vessels at Crescentino to sail down the Po while the 10 sqns, under M. d’Albergotti marched by way of Candia Lomellina and Pavia towards Lodi.

On 12 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de La Feuillade replaced the Duc de Vendôme as commander-in-chief of the Franco-Spanish army in front of Chivasso (40 bns and 52 sqns for a total of approx. 21,000 men) while the duke hurried towards Lombardy to put a stop at the advance of Prince Eugène’s Army.

On 15 July, three French breaching batteries opened against a bastion of Chivasso while the miners reached the counterscarp.

To reinforce his army in front of Chivasso, the Duc de La Feuillade transferred 3 bns and 3 sqns from the vicinity of Acqui, Asti and the Aosta Valley. He also recalled the grenadier coys of the rgts stationed at Verrua, Crescentino and Montmélian. He completed the line of circumvallation and started to work at a line of contravallation. Finally, the Duc de La Feuillade asked the Court for a reinforcement of 4 bns and 6 sqns, but this request was rejected.

On 16 July, the breaching batteries opened fire on Chivasso while a parallel was established on the glacis.

On 23 July, the French managed to establish a lodgement on the covert way in front of Chivasso.

The Duc de La Feuillade was now confident that he would soon be master of Chivasso. He decided to attack the Allied cavalry which was encamped at Brandizzo to force to retire on Turin.

On 26 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • At daybreak, the Duc de La Feuillade crossed the Orco with 46 sqns (including Hautefort Dragons, Dauphin Dragons, Languedoc Dragons), 11 bns and 5 grenadier coys which he had recalled from Crescentino, Verrua and from the blockade of Montmélian.
    • M. de Lapara remained in the line of countervallation with 20 bns and 2 dragoon rgts to continue the siege of Chivasso. In the evening, he threw 2 grenadier coys against the demi-lune which they took. They then made a lodgement to prepare the assault against the left bastion.
    • M. d’Arène remained on the right bank of the Po with 11 bns.
    • De La Feuillade encamped near Cerclo and had a bridge built on the river to communicate with the troops which he had left at Chivasso.
  • Allies
    • The Allied cavalry corps encamped at Brandizzo precipitously retired to Settimo.

On 27 July, the Duc de La Feuillade detached M. de Caylus with grenadiers, carabiniers and a few cannon to attack the bridge of Brandizzo which was still defended by 1 dragoon rgt. At the first cannonshot, this rgt precipitously retired towards the mountains, abandoning its tents and several horses.

On 29 July

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Around 4:00 a.m., the Duc de La Feuillade detached the Prince de Robecq to Volpiano with 1,200 horse (including the carabiniers) and 500 grenadiers to give the impression that it was a foraging party.
    • In the morning, the Duc de La Feuillade marched on Settimo to attack the Allied cavalry. At 8:30 a.m., his own cavalry caught up with the reaguard of the Allies which was retiring from Settimo. The Prince de Robecq was delayed and arrived at the end of the engagement. The French took 150 prisoners, 200 horses, 2 kettle-drums and 2 standards from Vaubonne Dragoons. The French lost 20 men killed or wounded.
    • De La Feuillade left M. de Vergetot at Settimo with 3 bns and the Saint-Mico cavalry brigade. He posted his grenadiers and Châtillon Dragons at Brandizzo and then returned to his camp at Cerclo with the rest of his cavalry and 8 bns.
  • Allies
    • After its retreat from Settimo, the Allied cavalry deployed in order of battle on a height overlooking the Stura.

In the night of 29 to 30 July, leaving a garrison in Chivasso, Duke Victor Amadeus retreated with his troops towards Turin. Meanwhile, the Allied troops posted at Castagnetto marched by San Mauro to Turin.

On 30 July, the Duc de La Feuillade entered in Chivasso. He gave orders to transport by the Po the artillery and ammunition from Casale, Crescentino and Pavia to Chivasso. He intended to form an artillery park of 36 cannon and 40 mortars. He also chose Susa to form an artillery depot of 44 pieces sent from Dauphiné (22 pieces of these had already arrived). M. de Lapara remained in Chivasso to fill the trenched and to repair the breaches. De La Feuillade returned to his camp of Cerclo.

Unsuccessful Siege of Turin

On 1 August, the Duc de La Feuillade assembled his army at Cerclo.

On 2 August, the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Leini with his army.

On 4 August, the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Cirié with his army. He then took dispositions to distribute the troops which should protect the rear of his army, his communications with Genoa and his convoys coming from the Po. Thus, he left 1 bn in each place and post such as Asti, Acqui, Carcare, Trino, Chivasso and Crescentino. He also left 240 horse in Crescentino, 1 dragoon rgt at Sale and 60 horse and 30 hussars at Vercelli. He detached 24 men from each bn for garrison duty. He also recalled 3 bns from the Aosta Valley and let only garrisons in Ivrea and Fort Bard. After all these measures, de La Feuillade still had 50 bns (each counting 290 men on average), 300 grenadiers detached from other bns, all his cavalry (each sqn counting 100 men on average) to the exception of the dragoon rgt posted at Sale, and 350 horse detached from other rgts.

On 5 August, the army of the Duc de La Feuillade sojourned at Cirié.

On 6 August at daybreak, the army of the Duc de La Feuillade set off from Cirié, and crossed the Stura near Villanova where it encamped. De La Feuillade detached the Chevalier de Miane with 3 bns, 4 grenadier coys and 50 horse to occupy Lanzo and established a hospital there.

On 7 August

  • French
    • The army of the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Venaria, a residence of the Duke of Savoy, where it encamped with its right anchored on the park of residence and its left on the Stura with the Seronde River behind the camp.
  • Allies
    • The troops of the Duke of Savoy were encamped on the glacis of Turin. According to reports, they consisted only of 4,000 foot and 3,300 horse, not counting the 500 dismounted cavalrymen posted in the Citadel of Turin.

On 10 August, the Duc de La Feuillade reconnoitred the fortress of Turin, escorted by 500 grenadiers and 2,000 horse. The Duc de La Feuillade established his artillery park and his hospital at Altessano; and his provision depot and his bakery at Venaria.

On 11 August, de La Feuillade sent back 37 sqns to the Upper Stura. From these, 31 sqns encamped between Caselle and Borgaro, and 6 sqns in Volpiano and Leini. He also sent 2 bns to secure the left of the 31 sqns. De La Feuillade still had 17 sqns and 48 bns with him at the camp of Venaria.

The Court at Versailles approved of de La Feuillade’s dispositions and decided to send him 4 bns from Germany.

The Duc de La Feuillade informed the French Court that he would not be able to open the trench in front of Turin before 15 October, due to illness in his army.

On 20 August, the Duc de La Feuillade wrote to M. de Chamillart to ask for a reinforcement of 14 bns and 15 sqns without which he would be unable to lay siege to Turin.

On 6 September, the Duc de La Feuillade decamped from Venaria and advanced on Turin. His army took position between the Stura and the Dora. To cover the army, 2 bns and 600 horse were left at Settimo; 1 bn at Brandizzo; 1 bn at Abbatia (unidentified location); and 2 dragoon rgts along the Dora.

The French then built lines between the Dora and the Po. Farmsteads were occupied, redoubts built and two fortified bridges established on the Dora at Lucento.

By 10 September, the French lines were sufficiently established to man them with 13 bns under M. d’Orgemont. De La Feuillade planned a direct attack on the citadel because the defenders had already established three covert ways in front of Turin.

On 18 September, realising that an attack on the citadel was not advisable and that the city of Turin had very strong defensive works, the Duc de La Feuillade sent envoys to the Court and to the Duc de Vendôme to report on the situation and to ask for orders.

The same day (18 September), the Duc de La Feuillade detached M. de Raffetot with 500 grenadiers and 200 horse to put the Val-de-Pont (unidentified location) to contribution; and the Comte d’Estaing with 2 brigades of carabiniers and 1 dragoon rgt to meet with the 4 bns sent from Germany which had now reached Susa.

The Comte d’Estaing left 400 regulars and 700 militia at Susa to guard the line of communication with the army of the Duc de Feuillade.

By 24 September, the French lines in front of Turin had been completed.

On 25 September

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Comte d’Estaing returned to Rivoli on the Dora where he received a reinforcement of 2 infantry brigades.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade received Vendôme’s new orders instructing him to open the siege in front of Turin as soon as possible and to privilege an attack on the citadel.

On 26 September, the Duc de La Feuillade advanced on Turin with all his cavalry, 3 dragoon rgts, and 5 bns. He marched upstream along the Dora, crossed this river at Alpignano and encamped with his left at Alpignano and his right at Rivoli where he effected a junction with the corps of the Comte d’Estaing. De La Feuillade gave an additional bn to M. d'Orgemont who had remained in the lines and sent M. de Paysac forward with 300 horse to reconnoitre in the direction of Turin.

On 27 September, de La Feuillade rested his army while all wagons and horses of the artillery were sent to Susa to bring back cannon to the artillery park. He also reconnoitred the road that he intended to follow to advance on Turin.

On 28 September, the Duc de La Feuillade marched in two columns up to Collegno. His army then deployed in order of battle in sight of the citadel and then advanced up to Lucento where it was joined by the 10 bns of M. d’Orgemont. It then bivouacked on the spot.

On 29 September, the army of the Duc de La Feuillade encamped with its right anchored on three farmsteads and its left to the Dora with a good communication with d’Orgemont’s Corps through the two bridges established at Lucento. The Duc’s army consisted of 53 bns and 55 sqns, including its detachments at Chivasso and Susa.

On 30 September

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Work began on lines of circumvallation and contravallation in front of the Citadel of Turin. They extended on a distance of 2.15 km. The centre of these lines was at 900 m. from the citadel. Some 1,100 wagons loaded with flour and bread had already reached Venaria and another 1,100 wagons loaded with ammunition (30,000 cannonballs, 3,000 bombs) arrived on the same day.
    • In the evening, M. de Dreux, the envoy previously sent to Louis XIV arrived at the camp with the order to abandon the entreprise against Turin; to simply establish quarters to blockade the city during winter; to send back 4 bns (Dauphin (3 bns), Bourbon (1 bn)) to Provence to reinforce the troops besieging Nice; and to send to the Duc de Vendôme in Lombardia all the troops that were not needed for the blockade.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade immediately sent a message to Louis XIV to implore him to countermand his orders.

On 2 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The artillery park of the Duc de La Feuillade counted 58 x 24-pdrs and 23 heavy mortars.
    • Suddenly, without waiting for the king’s answer, the Duc de La Feuillade changed his mind and decided to raise the siege of Turin.
    • A convoy of artillery was sent back to Susa, escorted by 4 bns (Dauphin (3 bns), Bourbon (1 bn)). Another convoy of artillery left for Chivasso.
    • 2 cavalry rgts left the camp of the Duc de La Feuillade and marched towards Alessandria.
    • Additional entrenchments were established in front of Turin.

On 4 October, after reading de La Feuillade’s message, Louis XIV decided to countermand his orders and to let him continue the siege of Turin, but it was already too late.

By 7 October, the French had completed their entrenchments in front of Turin.

On 9 October, the last convoy left the French camp near Turin. The Duc de La Feuillade transferred the baggage of the army, escorted by 4 infantry rgts, across the Dora by the two bridges at Lucento to d’Orgemont’s entrenched camp.

On 10 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • The Duc de La Feuillade decamped from the vicinity of Turin. All his cavalry deployed in order of battle between the Dora and the highway leading from Turin to Rivoli. His infantry (now only 17 bns) with 14 cannon marched in two columns on this highway. The rearguard consisted of all grenadiers and dragoons. The army encamped near Rivoli with its right anchored on this town and its left at Alpignano. 300 grenadiers occupied the Castle of Alpignano.
    • D’Orgemont remained in his entrenched camp along the Dora while the baggage were sent upstream along the left bank of the river and passed the bridge of Alpignano to rejoin the army.

On 11 October, the Duc de La Feuillade sent 1 infantry rgt to Chivasso, 1 infantry rgt to Crescentino, and 1 dragoon rgt to Savoy to prevent the relief of Montmélian by Savoyard troops.

The Duc de Vendôme was very disappointed when he learned about the raising of the siege of Turin. In his opinion, such an occasion would not present itself again.

Unsuccessful Siege of Asti

On 13 October, the Duc de La Feuillade decamped from Rivoli, crossed the Dora and reoccupied his former camp at Venaria. He recalled d’Orgemont’s Corps to effect a junction with his own corps at Venaria. He sent the Chevalier de Givry with 5 bns to Perosa; 2 bns to Susa, 2 bns to Chivasso; 2 bns to Castagnito, 1 bn to Crescentino, 3 bns to the Aosta Valley under M. de Carcado, 1 dragoon rgt at Ivrea under M. d’Arène, and 1 dragoon rgt to the blockade of Montmélian.

On 14 October, de La Feuillade sent 8 bns and 9 sqns to reinforce the Duc de Vendôme in Lombardy. The infantry marched to Crescentino where it would embark aboard vessels and the cavalry marched by way of Casale and Pavia. De La Feuillade still had 25 bns and 43 sqns with him. The Duc de La Feuillade suddenly changed his mind and ordered the infantry destined for Lombardy to stop at Crescentino, and the cavalry to halt at Casale.

On 15 October, the Duc de La Feuillade, informed that Prince Eugène had left his camp near Cassano, marched with 18 sqns to Crescentino on his way to Alessandria, leaving command to the Comte d’Estaing at Venaria who was instructed to retire towards Chivasso and then to cross the Po.

On the night of 15 to 16 October, d’Estaing marched from Venaria, recrossed the Stura, the infantry on a bridge, the cavalry and baggage across a ford.

On 16 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • In the morning, D’Estaing assembled his corps at Caselle and then marched to Volpiano.
    • The Duc de La Feuillade marched to Casale where he effected a junction with the 9 sqns waiting there for his orders.

On 17 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • De La Feuillade was informed that the Allies had 1,000 foot and 1,000 horse in the region of Asti and Annone to defend the area. He changed his plan and decided to march on these two towns. He sent his cavalry towards Alessandria and confided his vanguard (4 bns, 8 sqns and 8 cannon) to M. de Goas who took position at Moransengo.
    • D’Estaing’s Corps crossed the Malone but was unable to cross the Orco because of the heavy rain falling since two days. Only the cavalry a some baggage managed to cross the Orco and to reach Crescentino. The pontoon bridge destined to the infantry was broken by the current.

On 18 October, d’Estaing’s infantry was threatened by the flooding of the Malone but managed to reach San Benigno.

By 20 October in the evening, d’Estaing had established a bridge of boat at the mouth of the Orco.

On the night of 20 to 21 October in the evening, d’Estaing’s infantry passed the bridge across the Orco and reached Chivasso. The army of the Duc de La Feuillade was thus separated in four isolated corps.

On 24 October, the bridge of Casale was re-established and the Duc de La Feuillade advanced on Alessandria.

On 25 October, de La Feuillade rested his army for a day at Alessandria.

On the night of 25 to 26 October, d’Estaing sent the garrison of Castagnito forward to occupy the posts of San Raffaele and Bussolino.

On 26 October

  • Franco-Spanish
    • Early in the morning, d’Estaing with 32 bns, 2 cannon and 1 mortar crossed the Po at Chivasso. Meanwhile, Ruffey with 20 sqns crossed the Po at Crescentino. After the passage of the PO, d’Estaing sent 6 bns to make themselves masters of Rivalba, and 2 bns to take post at San Sebastiano, Lauriano and Casalborgone to cover his communication with Chivasso. Together, these two corps then attacked the outposts of the Allies in the mountains between the Po and the plain of Villanova d’Asti, and more particularly the post of Montechiaro. D’Estaing also captured Bressiano (probably Berzano), Albugnano and Cinzano. Ruffey’s Corps reached Cocconato and occupied Primeglio, Passerano, Marmorito and Schieran (unidentified location). D’Estaing then posted 4 bns at Pogliano and advanced with his 8 remaining bns to Moncucco.
    • De La Feuillade marched with his cavalry, 1 bn of Royal-Artillerie and 4 cannon to Quattordio where his force was joined by 900 militia from Monferrato sent by the Duke of Mantua and by Goas’ Corps. The latter then marched to Portacomaro.

On 27 October, the Duc de La Feuillade drove the Allies out of the heights of Annone and prepared to attack the entrenchments of the Castle of Annone. A first attack against the castle failed with a loss of 30 men.

On 28 October in the morning, the Duc de La Feuillade established 8 cannon on two heights in preparation for an assault but the Allies (207 men) surrendered as prisoners of war.

On 29 October, the Duc de La Feuillade set off from Annone and marched to Scurzolengo.

On 30 October, de La Feuillade rested his troops at Scurzolengo.

On 31 October, de La Feuillade marched to Montechiaro which had been evacuated by the Allies along with all their posts in the Sessante Valley.

The Duc de Vendôme vainly sent messages after messages to La Feuillade to get the reinforcements which he was supposed to send him.

On 3 November, the Duc de La Feuillade advanced on Asti, encamping at Cortanze.

On 4 November, the Duc de La Feuillade sojourned at Cortanze.

On 5 November, the Duc de La Feuillade marched to Settimo where 31 grenadier coys of d’Estaing’s Corps effected a junction with his force.

On 6 November, de La Feuillade marched to Asti and encamped in front of the place, his right anchored to the height where the Chapel of Madona-della-Viatosta stood and his left to another height above the “Chartreuse,” where de La Feuillade established his headquarters, covered by the grenadiers. Furthermore, 2 bns and 3 dragoon rgts occupied the height of the chapel. The same day, the artillery marched from Annone escorted by 1 bn of Royal-Artillerie and 1 other bn. However, rain and flooding made its progress arduous.

On the night of 6 to 7 November, the French prepared a trench to plant some artillery to breach the Sant Pietro Gate. This trench was occupied by 200 grenadiers.

On 7 November, the French abandoned the new trench because it had been filled by the rain. The Allies sallied from Asti in an attempt to fill this trench but we unable to complete their mission.

On the night of 7 to 8 November, the Duc de La Feuillade assembled all the grenadiers, carabiniers and dragoons along with the sappers for an assault against the suburb of Asti but the attack was countermanded because of heavy rain.

On 8 November in the morning, the Duc de La Feuillade, informed that his artillery would soon arrive, deployed his grenadiers at the entry of the plain, out of reach of the artillery of Asti, to wait for his own artillery and escort it to his camp. He also gave orders to all carabiniers and dragoons to be in readiness to support the grenadiers. He himself rode to meet the column of artillery. Suddenly, 100 horse sallied out of Asti, followed by all the Allied cavalry (1,400 horse). The first 100 attackers were driven back by the 2 bns escorting the French artillery. However, the rest of the Allied cavalry defeated the carabiniers and dragoons while their infantry (1,000 men) attacked the grenadiers. The Duc de La Feuillade rallied his grenadiers and all his cavalry came out of his camp and drove back the attackers. In this action, the Allies lost approx. 400 men killed or wounded and 2 standards; the French lost 300 men killed or wounded including 2 maréchaux de camp, 2 brigadiers and 40 officers.

On 10 November, the Duc de La Feuillade reorganised his camp. His cavalry, which was deployed on his right at Madona-della-Viatosta, and the 2 bns covering its flank, encamped in the plain with its right in front of San Pietro Gate and its left anchored on the Tanaro where a large farmstead was occupied by 2 bns while 3 other bns covered the flank. The headquarters remained at the “Chartreuse” covered by the grenadiers and the rest of the infantry did not change positions.

On the night of 10 to 11 November, 400 workers, covered by 12 grenadier coys and 500 horse under M. de Mauroy, opened the trench in front of Asti and worked at a battery, but the continuous rain and snow did not allow then to complete the battery.

On 11 November, the trench and the plain were flooded and work was interrupted. Furthermore, the overflowing of the Po delayed a a bread convoy that should leave Alessandria and the cavalry could not find forage.

On 12 November in the morning, the Duc de La Feuillade raised the siege of Asti. His army crossed the Versa unmolested. De La Feuillade then sent the 31 grenadier coys, previously contributed by d’Estaing, and a few bns back to d’Estaing by way of Castello Alfero. The rest of his army with the artillery moved downstream along the Tanaro down to Cagliano where it encamped.

The Duc de La Feuillade then sent 8 of his best bns and 12 sqns to the Duc de Vendôme. He decided to take up his winter-quarters at Casale.

On 13 November, the troops of the Duc de La Feuillade marched to their winter-quarters and he personally went to Casale where he established his headquarters.

The Allies concentrated their quarters around Turin. The subjugation of Piedmont was put off until next year, by Louis's orders.


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. 294-309
    • Vol. 5, pp. 111, 130-218
  • Wengen. F.: Geschichte des k. u. k. 12. Dragoner-Regiments Prinz Eugen v. Savoyen, Brandeis, 1879
  • Spanish Succession, War of the, in Encyclopaedia Britannica (c1910-1922), Vol. 25, pp. 602-603
  • Dedekind, F.: Geschichte des k. k. Kaiser Franz Joseph I. Dragoner-Regimentes Nr. 11, Vienna 1879