General Major Kniphowsen with his regiment and six companies of my Lord of Rhees' regiment, commanded then by Lieutenant Colonel Lindesey, were appointed to lie in Neubrandenburg: when as the enemy lay down before Brandenburg, I was recalled from Malchin with my squadron to join with Field-marshal Horne at Friedland, being commanded to leave a Captain with a hundred musketeers behind me of commanded men to beset Malchin: at this time also Major Sinclaire with his own company, and Captain Semples, were commanded to beset Treptow, which lay but two miles from Brandenburg; his Majesty with the rest of the army, being at Pasewalk, Tilly with his army being engaged in the beleaguering of Brandenburg, consisting then of twenty-two thousand foot and horse, having twenty-six pieces of ordnance, with all furniture answerable, he beleaguered Brandenburg, thinking his Majesty being so near, might be moved to engage his army with disadvantage to relieve it: But his Majesty being more wise, and having had a greater design in his head, he suffered Tilly to try his fortune against a place of no such importance, as to engage a king and a crown, a country and an army, in relieving of it; and his Majesty relying much on the wisdom, discretion, and valour of General Major Kniphowsen, as that of himself he was sufficiently able to make an honourable accord, when better could not be. And in the mean time, to divert the enemy from him, his Majesty did make a caracole with the half of his army towards Schwedt on the river of the Oder, where he built a ship-bridge over the river, and caused to fortify it with skonces, that in his option he might come and go on both sides of the river, till Field-marshal Horne might join with him.
General Tilly hearing the King was marched, and fearing some great design, he pressed Brandenburg so much the harder, with continual shooting of cannon till a breach was made, and then out of time Kniphowsen did send his Lieutenant Colonel with a drummer to the breach, to desire a parley, but being neglected by the enemy, as too late. The parley refused, Lieutenant Colonel was killed, the enemy having given orders for a general storm, which going on, Lieutenant Colonel Lindesey and Captain Moncreiffe were both killed, and Lieutenant Keith and Ensign Haddon, were also cut down in the fury, with many a brave soldier besides, who being denied quarters, fought valiantly to the last man.
The other Scots officers of the regiment, being within the town, as Captain Ennis, Captain Gunne, Captain Beaton, and Captain Lermond, with their officers and soldiers, were for the most part, taken prisoners, with Lieutenant Lyell, and some other inferior officers, Captain Ennis being on another post without the port, which was not stormed at all, the enemy having entered on the other side of the town, where in the fury they did put the most part to the sword, and coming through the town port, upon Ennis his post behind him, he and Lieutenant Lumsdell did leap into the graff, and saved themselves through a marsh from the fury of their enemies, and came to us to Friedland. Brandenburg thus taken in, a party was sent towards Treptow, where Sinclaire did command, getting orders to take it in also. But Sinclaire did behave himself valiantly in falling out upon the enemy, who retired again without great hurt, and maintained the town for two nights, till he had received orders from the Field-marshal to quit it in the night. And after that he did join with us at Friedland.
The Field-marshal knowing that Brandenburg being taken, the enemies' forces would march upon him, and he having orders and instructions in writing from his Majesty, he retired with his army over the pass towards Anklam, the enemy advanced to Friedland, finding us to be gone, they retired in haste back to Brandenburg, and from thence they march back again to Ruppin, suspecting his Majesty had marched before them towards Magdeburg: Tilly's army being marched, we retired to Friedland, from whence Ensign Greame, with some dragoniers, was sent to Brandenburg to take order for the hurt and sick, whom General Tilly had left behind him, which were plundered, and some others killed by the Ensign and his soldiers, who had also run the same hazard by the enemy his Crabbats, had they not retired in time; after whose return, my musketeers being come from Malchin, we were ready to march.
The sixth Observation.
The cruelty and inhumanity used here by Tilly's army, giving so ill quarters to our nation, to burghers, and to those that served at the altar, was not long unpunished, at such places, as they least expected.
And General Major Kniphowsen was not void of blame, for refusing a treaty in due time, seeing he had no certainty of relief, and being left to capitulate with the enemy, at his own discretion (by his instructions he had from his Majesty) he ought to have embraced the opportunity of time (which once past is not to be recovered) in capitulating with the enemy for honourable quarters, rather than to have brought himself and others to the slaughter, for he who delays to embrace time when it is offered, must not press to recover it, and oft-times good occasions in warfare are lost, when commanders are ignorant of their enemies' doings. Therefore while time is, we ought to be diligent and careful; for it is better to be in safety through preventing, than basely to suffer under our enemies, occasion being past, which oft-times in wars helps more than virtue itself: for if Kniphowsen had embraced Tilly's offer when he might, our worthy comrades had not suffered as they did, which sufferance after that made cavaliers being freed out of prison, to seek conditions elsewhere for their advancements, such as Captain Ennis, being first made Major to Colonel Monro of Obstell, was afterward Lieutenant Colonel to the master of Forbesse, after the death of that worthy cavalier Sir Arthur Forbesse. Likewise Captain William Gunne, being come out of prison, was after advanced by Sir Patrick Ruthven, General Major and governor of Olme, to be his Lieutenant Colonel over the Dutch in Schwabeland.
Captain Beaton was made major, and afterward lieutenant colonel to young Colonel Skeutte.
Captain Lermond also was advanced to be captain of dragoniers, and James Lyel, having served long under Sir John Ruthven his regiment, the regiment reduced, and the Captain levying again for the French service, was pitifully murdered by knaves in Westphalia.
Henry Lindesey advanced to be captain of his Majesty's Leeffe regiment under Grave Neles, after for reward of his virtue and valour, was preferred to be lieutenant colonel to Colonel Alexander Lesly the younger: Captain Brumfield was made major to Colonel Gunne, and after that regiment was reduced, being under Sir John Ruthven, was pitifully hurt in combat, and then resolutely died of his wounds at Buxtehude, being much lamented by all that knew him, for as valourous and expert an officer, as any of his quality was under our army: so that we see here, that though the regiment suffered great loss at Brandenburg, nevertheless the valiant officers were advanced according to their former good carriage.
Likewise I cannot with silence here pass by the valourous carriage of Major John Sinclaire at Treptow, in making a fair show of a bad game, while as the enemy came before Treptow with a party of a thousand musketeers, he not having a hundred musketeers within the town in all, nevertheless fell out with fifty amongst a thousand, and skirmished bravely and orderly with the enemy, and retired again with credit, making the enemy think that he was a great deal stronger within walls. I confess as it was well ventured, so the cavalier was beholden to fortune, in coming so safely back. But I will not advise my friend to make use of the like; for if the enemy had haply got a prisoner of his, who could have showed his true strength, that might have caused the loss of all. But the cavalier did hazard fair to gain credit: for as he was valourous in conduct, and amongst others, even so being singled out, he feared no man, as you shall see in the subsequent observations before we end our march.
Here also I did observe the difference betwixt the King our master and old Tilly; where I did see his Majesty, though younger, out-shoot the elder in experience, who by winning of a dorp (which was afterwards slighted) with the loss of two thousand men, over and above the toil sustained by his army, and the loss of some cannon, he lost Frankfurt on the Oder, where three thousand were put to the sword, in requital of his cruelty used at Brandenburg.