1711 – Rákóczi Uprising in Hungary
The campaign lasted from January to May 1711
At the beginning of January 1711, the Imperial Montecuccoli Cuirassiers and Rabutin Dragoons, previously stationed in Transylvania, were instructed to march to Hungary. FM Johann Pálffy, received intelligence that 15 rebel regiments were concentrated near Nagy-Kalló. He decided to support the two regiments arriving from Transylvania.
On 5 January, Pálffy arrived at Nagy-Körös with his corps (Uhlefeld Cuirassiers, Savoyen Dragoons, Althan Dragoons, and 2 grenadier coys with 6 guns). He then crossed the Theiß river (Tisza/HU) near Szolnok. He then made a junction with the Kortics Free Hussars and some Raizen (Serbian militia from Croatia) and marched by way of Nagy-Iván, and Hortobágy towards Debrezin (present-day Debrecen/HU), under very harsh conditions.
On 7 January, Pálffy arrived near Szoboszló. He then rested his exhausted troops for a few days.
In the night of 8 to 9 January, 6 Kuruc sqns attacked Pálffy’s Corps in its camp near Szoboszló. After a short engagement, Pálffy’s cavalry drove the enemies back.
On 9 January, Pálffy sent Colonel Schuhknecht with 300 dragoons and one hussar company ahead to reach Debrezin as soon as possible. On its way, this detachment was attacked by a force of 700 Kurucs led by Peter Halász and Nyuzó, near Puszta-Onód. Schuhknecht drove them back and took 1 officer and 21 men prisoners. In the evening, Schuhknecht reached Debrezin, which had already been evacuated by the rebels.
On 10 January, Schuhknecht‘s detachment made a junction with the 2 rgts (Montecuccoli Cuirassiers and Rabutin Dragoons) recently sent from Transylvania under the command of FML Hercules Pius Count Montecuccoli.
On 12 January, Pálffy proceeded to Debrezin where he effected a junction with Schuhknecht‘s and Montecuccoli‘s detachments.
Towards the end of January, FM Pálffy met the Kuruc Commander Sándor Károlyi at Nagy-Kalló and they agreed armistice was agreed on an armistice of three weeks. Notwithstanding this agreement, the Kuruc commander of Kaschau, Daniel Esterházy, refused to surrender.
On 31 January, Pálffy, escorted by 200 men of Althan Dragoons under the command of Colonel Acton, met Rákóczi at Vája. Pálffy tried to convince him to stop further violence and to come to an agreement with Emperor Joseph I.
Meanwhile in a meeting at Salánk near Munkács, the aristocrat representatives of the Hungarian and Transylvanian Komitates (counties) disagreed with Rákóczi's aim. Seeing this, Rákóczi promoted Sándor Károlyi commander-in-chief of the entire rebel army and authorized him to negotiate with the representatives of the emperor. Stephan Sennyey was appointed commander of the Castle of Munkács. Bercsényi, Simon Forgách and Anton Esterházy were strongly against any negotiation with Pálffy and even considered to imprison Károly but Rákóczi opposed them. Afterwards Rákóczi left for Poland and later for France. He would never return to his native country.
On 17 April, Emperor Joseph I died.
On 27 April, FML Ladislaus Baron Ebergényi persuaded the Kuruc commanders of Kaschau, Daniel Esterházy and Johann Nyáry, to surrender.
On 30 April, Pálffy met Count Károlyi at Szatmár. Councillor Carl Locher published the conditions of peace and the agreement was signed by both parties.
On 1 May, Pálffy, escorted by 200 men of Rabutin Dragoons, went to the field at Majtény where Count Károlyi waited for him with 15,000 men. Then, 129 standard-bearers formed a circle around Pálffy and his staff and put the flags down. Károlyi and his commanders swore allegiance to the emperor. All rebels, to the exception of Rákóczi and Bercsényi received general pardon.
Only the Castle of Munkács still resisted. It was besieged by FML Löffelholz. Meanwhile, G.d.C Jacob Marquis Cusani was encamped near Kalló with the present regiment, Uhlefeld Cuirassiers and Savoyen Dragoons to cover the siege corps.
On 22 June, the Castle of Munkács capitulated. This marked the end of Rákóczi’s Uprising.
Geschichte des k. u. k. Dragoner-Regimentes Kaiser Ferdinand Nr. 4, Wiener-Neustadt 1902
Pillersdorf: Das 57. Infanterie-Regiment Fürst Jablonowski, Vienna 1857
Pizzighelli, C.: Geschichte des k. u. k. Ulanen-Regiments Kaiser Joseph II. No. 6, Vienna 1908
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