1710 – Rákóczi Uprising in Hungary
The campaign lasted from January to December 1710
By the beginning of 1710, Rákóczi's soldiers exhausted and disheartened. Soldiers as well as farmers suffered from diseases. Many soldiers died of bubonic plague.
In January, Lászlo Ocskay, a defector who had joined the Imperialists, was captured by a rebel detachment between Tyrnau and Verbo. He was sentenced to death and executed at Neuhäusel on 8 January. For his part, the Imperialist FM Heister let the rebel commanders Ladislav Fodor and Adam Wolfard be executed.
Rákóczi, who expected help from Tsar Peter I of Russia, was very disappointed when he realized that the tsar did not send as much help as expected. Only the Swedish King Karl XII sent some troops to Rákóczi. These troops along with some Polish soldiers commanded by Joseph Prince Potocki made a junction with Rákóczi's Army. Some of them formed the garrison of Neuhäusel under the command of Anton Count Esterházy.
Near Érsekújvárba, Rákóczi, assisted by Count Károlyi and by Csáky, tried to penetrate the cordon of Imperial troops deployed in Komitates (Counties) of Szepes, Gömör and Neograd.
On 21 January, Rákóczi reviewed his troops near Kalló and made a speech in five languages (Hungarian, Swedish, Polish, German and Latin), promising rich booty to Swedish and Polish soldiers.
On 22 January, the Rebel General Stephan Andrássy capitulated at Leutschau (present-day Levoča/SK) which was occupied by the troops of Colonel Löffelholz. The same day, Károlyi with a vanguard of 12,000 men marched towards the village of Vadkert/HU. FML Damian Johann Baron von Sickingen and GFWM Saint Croix had taken position at the head of approx. 2,500 men (Sickingen Infantry and detachments of Uhlefeld Cuirassiers, Hohenzollern Cuirassiers and La Tour Cuirassiers, Savoyen Dragoons and Althan Dragoons and some 500 hussars, probably the Secula Militia Hussars) had laid an ambush near Romhány/HU. Sickingen expected to confront a vanguard of approximately 1,000 rebels and confident to win the engagement. At the beginning of the combat, Károlyi gained some advantages because the Imperial hussars became disordered. FML Sickingen was driven back into a swamp by rebel hussars, making it very difficult to escape. The rebels, believing that they had already won the engagement, ceased combat and started to plunder. At this moment, Sickingen and Saint Croix launched another attack with their cavalry and put the rebels to flight. Károlyi lost nearly 2.000 men, 27 flags and 2 guns, his troops rallied at Vadkert. Romhany was the last big battle of Rákóczi's Uprising. The rebels never recovered from this disaster.
On 12 July, the Castle of Szepes (present-day Spišský hrad/SK) surrendered to the Imperialists and was occupied by Löffelholz's troops.
On 12. September, Käsmark (present-day Kežmarok/SK) surrendered to the Imperialists.
On 25 September, an Imperial army under the command of FM Johann Pálffy made itself master of Neuhäusel where it captured 107 guns.
Bartfeld (present-day Bardejov/SK) capitulated at about the same time.
Meanwhile, rebel troops under the command of the Balogh brothers threatened the country on the right bank of the Danube and Transylvania. Adam Balogh was defeated at Szekszárd
On 17 October, Adam Balogh was beheaded as ordered by FM Pálffy.
For his part, Peter Balogh was beaten by Colonel Schilling at the head of the Bayreuth Dragoons near Somlyo. Furthermore, Colonel Monticelli at the head of the Uhlefeld Cuirassiers annihilated a detachment led by the Rebel Commander Pallocsay near Siófok; Colonel Cusani occupied Szolnok, losing only 4 men; Colonel Viard and Ebergényi won a victory in the Komitat of Gömör; and Andrássy finally surrendered at the Castle of Krasna Horka.
In this situation, Emperor Joseph I made a new attempt to achieve peace. FM Johann Pálffy. who had good contacts among the Hungarian aristocracy, received instructions to negotiate an armistice. Pálffy contacted Count Károly.
On 29 November, Nikolaus Prinyi and Franz Rhédey surrendered at Erlau.
On 10 December, the city of Eperies (present-day Prešov/SK) surrendered to the Imperialists.
FM Johann Count Pálffy then assumed overall command of the Imperial army in Hungary.
Imperial troops took their winter-quarters: Löffelholz at Patak; Virmond at Eperies; and Viard at Göncz. Kaschau, which was still in the hands of the rebels, was blockaded.
Geschichte des k. u. k. Dragoner-Regimentes Kaiser Ferdinand Nr. 4, Wiener-Neustadt 1902
Pillersdorf: Das 57. Infanterie-Regiment Fürst Jablonowski, Vienna 1857
Fessler, Dr. I. A.: Die Geschichte der Ungern, Part IX, Vol. 19. Leipzig 1825
Skala, H.: Ján Bernhard Štefan gróf Pálffy, vojvodca a diplomat, lecture at the Symposium of Bojnice/SK, 2003
Harald Skala for the initial version of this article