I have, Your Majesty, the honor to report a sharp action outside Corbach Friday last.
The Prince of Kesse-Kassel attempted to turn the flank of Your Majesty’s army. The attempt was manfully repulsed by the eleven battalions under my immediate command.
The enemy came boldly forward with Griffen’s Brigade on their left and Von Bischausen’s on their right. I advanced to battle with Brigadier du Skim-mer on my right, my own brigade under Brigadier du Blind in the center and Brigadier du Caq on the left. I deployed our six-pounder battery in the center.
While Griffen came on directly; Von Bischausen paled at the regular blasts from our six-pounders and sidestepped to our left, threatening du Caq’s small brigade with his five. Du Blind was ordered to support du Caq and did this smartly by advancing the Second Battalion Grenadiers Chantilly and the Royal Italians into the gap, held only by a two-gun six pounder section and a similar section of 3-pounders.
Du Skim-mer, supported by both battalions of Regiment Belzunce from du Blind’s brigade, engaged Griffen in the center of the field. Here, under intense musketry from the Hessians both First Belzunce and First Couronne retreated in some disorder. However the second battalions moved forward to take their places and cause fearful casualties on the Hessian front line.
On our left, Von Bischausen engaged du Caq, a quarter hour later, due to the Hessian maneuver to avoid our guns. Regiment Briqueville (both battalions) blunted the assault, forcing both Battalion Von Toll and the Lieb Battalion to withdraw in disorder. They then advanced to engage the enemy’s second line, which had been thrown into disorder as well, Battalion Prinz Isenberg and Battalion Prinz Ferdinand.
While the musketry battles were underway 2nd Chantilly made to charge the Hessian medium guns. These guns were rather ineffective most of the afternoon, firing their canister high. However, at the instant the Grenadiers were about to change from L’Advance to the Pas de Charge, a single canister ball struck both Major du Stunn and Captain Erg. This sudden loss of command created a hesitancy in the grenadiers which halted their advance. By the time command had been reestablished (I sent Captain En Gorge from my staff to take control) the enemy was retiring.
Von Bischausen led valiantly from the front, rallying and blandishing. The situation became critical when First Briqueville retired. Du Caq brought forward the first battalion of Regiment La Roche and stabilized the line. When the Battalion Prinz Isenberg retired, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. The Royal Italians, who had been deployed to support Du Caq was suffering from a lack of resolute leadership; it’s colonel and major having been taken by the flux the day before.
Du Skim-mer won the day. His brigade had been taking and causing incredible damage with Griffen. Despite his battalions wavering, the enemy suffered equally. When our six-pounder battery swung to engage Griffen’s left that tipped the balance from the edge. Both the Garde Grenadiers and the Battalion Manbach were forced to retire. I watched the proud grenadiers crumble, their ranks reduced by two-thirds, when first one mustached sergeant and the one private after another lost confidence and stumbled to the rear.
With both battalions in retreat Griffen could not hold the others, battered as they were by Du Skim-mer’s regular volleys. Making the best of his situation Griffen, who had fought strongly and skillfully, ordered his men to retire on the British main body. Von Bischausen was required to follow suit.
My command, in total, suffered 987 killed and wounded; half in Brigadier Du Skim-mer’s command, attesting to the ferociousness of his engagement. I am told, by an officer of the Hessians with whom my ADC negotiated a convention for the wounded and dead, that the Hessians suffered similarly. He giving their losses at 1010.
I am, Majesty, your obedient servant
Marechal De Broglie
Diatribes are simply often humorous recountings of the games played by the Long Island Irregulars. We play with toy soldiers and are unabashedly happy to have never lost this part of our childhoods..