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ther behind. But he did not change this disposition
till he had asked the marshal's advice, entirely solic-
itous about the success of the day, never presuming
on his own opinion, and declaring that he was come
to the army only for his own, and for his son's

Then he advanced toward the side of Antoin, at
the very time that the Dutch were moving forward

236 The War of 1741.

to make their second attack : the cannon-balls fell
round him and the dauphin; and an officer named
M. d'Arbaud, afterward colonel, was covered with
dirt from the rebounding of a ball. The French
have the character of gayety even in the midst of
danger : the king and those about him, finding them-
selves daubed with the dirt thrown up by this shot,
laughed ; the king made them pick up the balls,
and said to M. de Chabrier, major of artillery,
" Send these balls back to the enemy ; I will have
nothing belonging to them." He afterward returned
to his former post, and with surprise observed, that
most of the balls that were then fired toward the
woods of Barri, from the English battery, fell upon
the regiment of Royal-Roussillon, which did not
make the least movement, whereby he could form
any conclusion either as to its danger or its losses.

The enemy's attack, till ten or eleven o'clock, was
no more than what Marshal Saxe had foreseen. They
kept firing, without results, upon the villages and the
redoubts. Toward ten the duke of Cumberland took
the resolution of forcing his way between the
redoubt of the woods of Barri and Fontenoy. In this
attempt he had a deep hollow way to pass, exposed
to the cannon of the redoubt, and on the other side of
the hollow way he had the French army to fight.
The enterprise seemed temerarious. The duke took
this resolution only because an officer, whose name
;was Ingoldsby, whom he commanded to attack the
redoubt of Ew, did not execute his orders. Had he

The War of 1741. 237

made himself master of that redoubt he might have
easily, and without loss, brought his whole army
forward, protected by the cannon of the redoubt,
which he would have turned against the French.
But, notwithstanding this disappointment, the Eng-
lish advanced through the hollow way. They passed
it almost without disordering their ranks, dragging
their cannon through the byways ; they formed in
three close lines, each four deep, advancing between
the batteries of cannon, which galled them most ter-
ribly, the ground not above twenty-four hundred
feet in breadth. Whole ranks dropped down to the
right and left ; but they were instantly filled up ;
and the cannon, which they brought up against Fon-
tenoy and the redoubts, answered the French artil-
lery. Thus they marched boldly on, preceded by six
field-pieces, with six more in the middle of their

Opposite them were four battalions of French
guards, with two battalions of Swiss guards at their
left, the regiment of Courten to their right, next
to them the regiment of Aubeterre, and farther on,
the king's regiment, which lined Fontenoy the length
of the hollow way.

From that part where the French guards were
posted, to where the English were forming, was
rising ground.

The officers of the French guards said to one
another : " We must go and take the English can-
non." Accordingly they ascended to the top with

238 The War of 174 1.

their grenadiers; but when they got there, how
great was their surprise to find a whole army before
them ! The enemy's cannon and small shot brought
very nearly sixty of them to the ground, and the
remainder were forced to return to their ranks.

In the meantime the English advanced, and this
line of infantry, composed of the French and Swiss
guards, and of Courten, having upon their right the
regiment of Aubeterre, and a battalion of the king,
drew near the enemy : the regiment of English
guards was at the distance of fifty paces ; Campbell's
and the Royal Scotch were the first ; Mr. Campbell
was their lieutenant-general ; Lord Albemarle their
major-general ; and Mr. Churchill, a natural son of
the famous duke of Marlborough, their brigadier.
The English officers saluted the French by taking
off their hats. The count de Chabannes and the
duke de Biron advanced and returned the compli-
ment. Lord Charles Hay, captain of the English
guards, cried out, " Gentlemen of the French guards,
give fire."

The count d'Antroche, then lieutenant, and since
captain of grenadiers, answered with a loud voice :
" Gentlemen, we never fire first ; do you begin."
Then Lord Charles, turning about to his men, gave
the word of command, in English, to fire ! The Eng-
lish made a running fire ; that is, they fired in pla-
toons : when the front of a battalion, four deep, had
fired, another battalion made its discharge, and then
a third, while the first were loading again. The line

The War of 1 741. 239

of French infantry did not fire; it was single, and
four deep, the ranks pretty distant, and not at all
supported by any other body of infantry ; they must
have been surprised at the depth of the English
corps, and their ears stunned with the continual fire.
Nineteen officers of the guards were wounded at this
first discharge ; Messrs, de Clisson, de Langey, and
de la Peyrere lost their lives ; ninety-five soldiers
were killed on the spot ; two hundred and eighty-five
were wounded ; eleven Swiss officers were wounded,
as also one hundred and forty-five of their common
men ; and sixty- four were killed ; Colonel de Cour-
ten, his lieutenant-colonel, four officers, and seventy-
five soldiers dropped down dead ; fourteen officers,
and two hundred soldiers were dangerously
wounded. The first rank being thus swept away, the
other three looked behind them, and seeing only
some cavalry at the distance of above eighteen hun-
dred feet, they dispersed. The duke of Grammont,
their colonel and first lieutenant-general, whose
presence would have encouraged them, was dead ;
and M. de Luttaux, second lieutenant-general, did
not come up till they were routed. The English,
in the meantime, advanced gradually, as if they
were performing their exercise : one might see the
majors holding their canes upon the soldiers' mus-
kets, to make them fire low and straight !

Thus the English pierced beyond Fontenoy and
the redoubt. This corps, which before was drawn
up in three lines, being now crowded by the nature

240 The War of 1741.

of the ground, became a long solid column, unshaken
from its weight, and still more so from its courage.
It advanced toward the regiment of Aubeterre : at
the news of this danger M. de Luttaux made all
haste from Fontenoy, where he had been danger-
ously wounded. His aide-de-camp begged of him to
stay to have his wound dressed. " The king's serv-
ice," answered M. de Luttaux, " is dearer to me than
my life." He advanced with the duke de Biron at
the head of the regiment of Aubeterre, led by the
colonel of that name ; but, on coming up, he received
two mortal wounds ; at the same discharge M. de
Biron had a horse killed under him ; a hundred sol-
diers of Aubeterre were killed, and two hundred
wounded. The duke de Biron, with the king's regi-
ment under his command, stops the march of the
column on its left flank; upon which the regiment
of English guards, detaching itself from the rest,
advances some paces toward him, kills three of his
captains, wounds fifteen others, and twelve lieuten-
ants; at the same time two hundred and sixty-six
soldiers were killed, and seventy-nine wounded. The
regiment de la Couronne, perceiving itself placed a
little behind the king's, presents itself to the English
column; but its colonel, the duke d'Havre, the lieu-
tenant-colonel, all the staff-officers, and in short,
thirty-seven officers are wounded so as to be obliged
to quit the field ; and the first rank of the soldiers,
to the number of two hundred and sixty, entirely

The War of 1741. 241

The regiment of Soissonnois, advancing after la
Couronne, had fourteen officers wounded, and lost
a hundred and thirty soldiers.

The regiment of Royal, which was then with la
Couronne, lost more than any other corps at these
discharges : six of its officers, one hundred and
thirty-six soldiers were killed; thirty-two officers,
and five hundred and nine soldiers, were wounded.

It was probable that the English, who were
advancing toward the king's regiment, might attack
Fontenoy in reverse, while they were cannonading
it on the other side, and then the battle would have
been inevitably lost. The duke de Biron, having
placed some grenadiers in the hollow way which
lined Fontenoy, rallied his regiment, and made a
brisk charge upon the English, which obliged them
to halt. One might see the king's regiment, with
those of la Couronne and Aubeterre, intrenched
behind the heaps of their comrades, who were either
killed or wounded. In the meantime two battalions
of French and Swiss guards were filing off, by dif-
ferent roads, across the lines of cavalry, which were
above twelve hundred feet behind them. The offi-
cers, who rallied them, met M. de Luttaux, first
lieutenant-general of the army, who was returning,
between Antoin and Fontenoy. "Ah, gentlemen,"
said he, " do not rally me ; I am wounded, and
obliged to retire." He died, some time after, in
unspeakable torment; before he retired, he said to

the soldiers he met belonging to the regiment of
Vol. 3316

242 The War of 1741.

guards, " My friends, go and join your comrades
that are guarding the bridge of Calonne." Others
hurried through a little bottom, which goes from
Barri to " Our Lady in the Wood/' up to the very
place where the king had taken post, opposite the
wood of Barri, near la Justice. Their grenadiers,
and the remainder of the two battalions, rallied
under the count de Chabannes toward the redoubt of
Eu, and there stood firm with M. de la Sonne, who
formed it into one battalion, of which he took the
command, because, though young, he was the oldest
captain, the rest having been either killed or

The English column kept firm and close, and was
continually gaining ground. Marshal Saxe, with all
the coolness imaginable, seeing how dubious the
affair was, sent word to the king by the marquis de
Meuze, that he begged of him to repass the bridge
along with the dauphin, and he would do all he
could to repair the disorder. " Oh ! I am very sure
he will do what is proper," answered the king ; " but
I will stay where I am." This prince was every
moment sending his aides-de-camp from brigade to
brigade, and from post to post. Each set out with
two pages of the stables, whom he sent back succes-
sively to the king, and afterward returned to give
an account himself. The order of battle was
no longer the same it had been in the beginning:
of the first line of cavalry not above half was left.
The division of Count d'Estrees was near Antoin,

The War of 1741. 243

under the duke d'Harcourt, making head with its
dragoons and with Crillon against the Dutch, who,
it was apprehended, might penetrate on that side,
while the English on the other were beginning to
be victorious : the other half of this first line, which
was naturally the duke d'Harcourt's division,
remained under the command of Count d'Estrees.
This line vigorously attacked the English. M. de
Fienne led his regiment, M. de Cernay the Croats,
the duke of Fitz-James the regiment called after his
name ; but little did the efforts of this cavalry avail
against a solid body of infantry, so compact, so
well disciplined, and so intrepid, whose running fire,
regularly supported, must of course disperse all those
small detached bodies, which successively presented
themselves : besides, it is a known thing that cavalry
alone can seldom make any impression upon a close
and compact infantry. Marshal Saxe was in the
midst of this fire : his illness not permitting him to
wear a cuirass, he had a kind of buckler made of
several folds of stitched taffeta, which he carried on
his saddle-bow : he put on his buckler, and rode
up with full speed to give directions for the second
line of cavalry to advance against the column. The
count de Noailles marched directly with his brigade,
composed of the regiment of his name, of which
the eldest of the family is always colonel ; the only
privilege of the kind in France, and granted to the
first marshal of the name of Noailles, who raised
this regiment at his own expense. The regiment

244 The War of 1741.

belonging to the duke de Penthievre made also a
part of this brigade. Count de Noailles fell on with
great bravery; the marquis de Vignecourt, captain
in this regiment, the worthy descendant of a family
which has given three grand masters to the order
of Malta, rushes with his squadron to attack this
column in flank ; but the squadron was cut in pieces
in the midst of the enemy's ranks, except fourteen
troopers, who forced their way through with M. de
Vignecourt. An English soldier drove his bayonet
with such violence into this officer's leg, quite
through the boot, that he was obliged to leave both
bayonet and fusil : the horse, having received several
wounds, ran away with his master ; while the butt-
end of the musket, trailing on the ground, widened
and tore the wound, of which the captain died a
little while after. Out of fourteen troopers, who
had broken through the column, six remained, who
were soon made prisoners ; but the English sent
them back the next day, out of regard to their

Count d'Argenson, son of the secretary of war,
charged the enemy with his regiment of Berri, at
the same time that the regiment of Fienne was also
advancing. He came on to the attack three times
at the head of a single squadron ; and, upon a false
.-eport, his father thought him killed. The count
de Broinne, the chevalier de Brancas, the marquis de
Chabrillant headed and rallied their troops ; but all
these corps were repulsed one after the other. The

The War of 1741. 245

count de Clermont-Tonnere, maitre-de-camp of the
cavalry, the count d'Estrees, and the marquis de
Croissi were everywhere : all the general officers
were continually riding from brigade to brigade.
The regiments of the colonel-general, and Fienne,
with the Croats, suffered greatly ; that of Prince
Clermont was still more roughly handled, twenty-
two of their officers having been wounded, and of the
Croats twelve. All the staff-officers were in motion :
M. de Vaudreuil, major-general of the army, rode
every minute from right to left. M. de Puisegur,
Messrs, de Saint Sauveur, de Saint Georges, de
Mezieres, aid-quartermasters, were all wounded.
The count de Longaunai, aid-major-general, re-
ceived a wound, of which he died a few days after.
It was in these attacks that the chevalier d'Apcher,
a lieutenant-general whose name is pronounced
d'Ache had his foot shattered by a ball. Toward
the end of the battle he came to give an account
to the king, and spoke a long while to his majesty
without expressing the least sign of pain, till at
length the violence of the anguish compelled him to

The more the English column advanced the deeper
it became, and of course the better able to repair
the continual losses which it must have sustained
from so many repeated attacks. It still marched
on, close and compact, over the bodies of the dead
and wounded on both sides, seeming to form one

246 The War of 1741.

single corps of about sixteen thousand men, though
it was then in three divisions.

A great number of troopers were driven back in
disorder as far as the place where the king was
posted with his son ; so that these two princes were
separated by the crowd that came tumbling upon
them. The king did not change color; he was
concerned, but showed neither anger nor inquietude.
Happening to observe about two hundred troopers
scattered behind him toward " Our Lady of the
Wood," he said to a light horseman, " Go and rally
those men in my name, and bring them back." The
light horseman galloped, and led them back against
the enemy. This man, whose name was de Jouy, did
not imagine he had done any great feat ; the minister
inquired after him a long while, to reward him,
before he could be found. During this disorder the
brigades of the life guards, who were in reserve,
advanced themselves against the enemy. Here the
chevaliers de Suze and de Saumery were mortally
wounded. Four squadrons of gendarmes arrived
at this very instant from Douay, and, notwithstand-
ing the fatigue of a march of seven leagues, they
immediately engaged the enemy : but all these corps
were received like the rest, with the same intrepidity,
and the same running fire. The young count deChev-
rier, a guidon, was killed; and it happened to be
the very same day that he was admitted into his
troop. The chevalier de Monaco, son of the duke de
Valentinois, had his leg pierced through. M. de

The War of 1741. 247

Guesclin received a wound in the foot. The car-
bineers charged the enemy; but had six officers
killed, and twenty-one wounded. All these attacks
were made without any preparation or agreement,
and are what we call irregular charges, in which
the greatest bravery can avail nothing against dis-
cipline and order.

Marshal Saxe, though extremely weakened with
the fatigue, continued still on horseback, riding
gently in the midst of the fire : he passed close under
the front of the English column, to observe every-
thing that passed toward the left, near the wood of
Barri. There they were going on in the very same
manner as toward the right; endeavoring, but in
vain, to throw the column into disorder. The French
regiments presented themselves one after the other ;
while the English, facing about on every side, prop-
erly disposing their cannon, and always firing in
divisions, kept up this running and constant fire
when they were attacked; after the attack they
remained immovable, and ceased to fire. The mar-
shal perceiving a French regiment at that time
engaged with the enemy, and of which whole ranks
dropped down, while the regiment never stirred,
asked what corps that was ; they told him, it was the
regiment de Vaisseaux, commanded by M. de Guer-
chi ; he then cried out : "Admirable indeed ! " Thirty-
two officers of this regiment were wounded, and
one-third of the soldiers killed or wounded. The
regiment of Hainault did not suffer less : their col-

248 The War of 1741.

onel was son of the prince de Craon, governor oi
Tuscany ; the father served in the enemy's army, and
his sons in the king's. This hopeful youth was
killed at the head of his troop ; near him the lieu-
tenant-colonel was mortally wounded ; nineteen
officers of this corps were wounded dangerously,
and two hundred and sixty soldiers lay dead upon
the spot.

The regiment of Normandy advanced; but they
had as many officers and soldiers wounded as that
cf Hainault : they were headed by their lieutenant-
colonel, M. de Solenci, whose bravery the king com-
mended on the field of battle, and afterward
rewarded by making him a brigadier. Some Irish
battalions fell next upon the flank of this column :
Colonel Dillon was killed, fifty-six officers were
wounded, and thirteen fell upon the spot.

Marshal Saxe then returns by the front of the col-
umn, which had advanced three hundred paces
beyond the redoubt of Eu and of Fontenoy. He
went to observe whether Fontenoy still held out;
there he found that they had no more ball, so that
they answered the enemy's shot with nothing but

M. de Brocard, lieutenant-general of artillery, and
several other officers of the ordnance were killed.
The marshal then desired the duke d'Harcourt,
whom he happened to meet, to go and beseech his
majesty to remove farther off; at the same time
he sent orders to the count de la Marck, who

The War of 1741. 249

defended Antoin, to quit that post with the regiment
of Piedmont. The battle seemed to be past all hope ;
they were bringing back their field-pieces from every
side, and were just upon the point of removing the
artillery of the village of Fontenoy, though a sup-
ply of ball was come ; they had even begun to send
off the train. Marshal Saxe's intention was now to
make his last effort against the English column.
This enormous mass of infantry had suffered much,
though it still seemed to be of the same depth : the
soldiers were surprised to find themselves in the
middle of the French camp without any cavalry :
they continued unshaken ; their countenance was
bold and undaunted, and they seemed masters of the
field of battle. If the Dutch had advanced between
the redoubts of Bartens, and acted vigorously in
conjunction with the English, the battle would have
been lost beyond all recovery, and there would have
been no retreat, either for the army, or, in all prob-
ability, for the the king and his son. The success of
a last attack was dubious. Marshal Saxe, knowing
that the victory, or an entire defeat, depended on this
attempt, thought of preparing a safe retreat, at the
same time that he was doing all that lay in his power
to obtain the victory. He sent orders to the count de
la Marck to evacuate Antoin, and to move toward
the bridge of Calonne, in order to favor this retreat
in case of a last disappointment. This order was
extremely mortifying to the count de la Marck, who
saw the Dutch ready to take possession of Antoin

250 The War of 1741.

the moment he quitted it, and to turn the king's artil-
lery against his own army. The marshal sent a
second order by his aide-de-camp, M. Dailvorde ; it
was directed to the count de Lorges, who was made
answerable for the execution of it ; so that he was
obliged to obey. At that time they despaired of the
success of the day; but the greatest events depend
on the most trivial circumstances, on a mistake, on
some unexpected stroke.

Those who were near the king must have imag-
ined the battle was lost, knowing that they had no
ball at Fontenoy, that most of those who belonged
to the ordnance were killed, that they also wanted
ball at the post of M. de Chambonas, and that the
village of Antoin was going to be evacuated.

Those who were near the duke of Cumberland
must have likewise had a bad opinion of the day,
because they still imagined themselves exposed to
the cross-fire of Fontenoy and of the redoubt of
Barri. They were ignorant that the French were
firing only with powder ; the Dutch, who could not
have been informed of the orders given for evacuat-
ing Antoin, did not advance; the English horse,
which might have completed the disorder into which
the French cavalry were thrown by the English col-
umn, did not appear ; they could not advance with-
out coming near to Fontenoy or to the redoubt, the
fire of which still seemed uniform. Here it will be
asked, why the duke of Cumberland did not take
care to have that redoubt attacked in the beginning,

The War of 174 1. 251

since he might have turned the cannon that was
there against the French army, which would have
secured him the victory. This is the very thing he
had endeavored to effect. At eight o'clock in the
morning, he ordered Brigadier Ingoldsby to enter
the woods of Barri with four regiments, in order
to make himself master of that post. The brigadier
obeyed ; but perceiving the artillery pointed against
him, and several battalions who lay flat on their
bellies, he went back for cannon. General Campbell
promised him some, but this general was mortally
wounded at the very beginning of the engagement,
with a ball fired from that very redoubt, and the can-
non was not ready soon enough. Then the duke of
Cumberland, afraid of nothing so much as losing
time, had taken the resolution of passing on with
his infantry, in defiance of the fire of the redoubt ;
and this enterprise, which one would imagine must
have proved fatal to him, had hitherto succeeded.

They now held a tumultuous kind of a council
around the king, who was pressed by the general,
and in the name of France, not to expose his per-
son any longer. At this very instant arrived the
duke de Richelieu, lieutenant-general of the army,
who served as aide-de-camp to the king : he was come
from reconnoitring the column and Fontenoy; he
had charged the enemy with the regiment of Vais-
seaux, and with the life guards ; he had also made
M. Bellet advance with the gendarmes under his
command, and these had stopped the column, which

252 The War of 1741.

now no longer advanced. Having thus ridden about
and fought on every side without being wounded, he
presents himself quite out of breath, with his sword

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