While we lay at Mainz, his Majesty having heard that the Spaniard had set over a strong army at Hochspeyer, of intention to fall on the Rhinegrave his regiment of horse, lying in the hinder Pfalz, betwixt Bacharach and the Moselle, who having no foot forces with him, his Majesty made choice of me, to be sent unto him with a party of five hundred commanded musketeers, for to assist him in maintaining the garrisons in those parts, from the incursion of the Spaniard, and his Majesty hearing of the Queen's coming towards Frankfurt, leaving orders with Duke Barnard of Weimar (then governor of Mainz, and commander over the army in his Majesty's absence) to direct me away with the party to the Rhinegrave, his Majesty being gone, I was sent for by the Duke to receive my orders, which were, I should receive five hundred commanded musketeers, with sufficient victuals and ammunition, and then to ship them at Mainz, and to go down the Rhine towards Bacharach, and there to send to the Rhinegrave for further orders, but before my departing, I took orders in writ from the Duke, how to carry myself in obeying of the Rhinegrave his commands, and immediately I went and received the party, being in readiness on the market-place, with proviant and ammunition for the voyage, and being shipped we went down the Rhine towards Bingen on the Nahe, that runs by Bad Kreuznach through the Pfalz into the Rhine at Bingen, where Sir James Ramseys regiment did lie in garrison, out of which there went with me of that regiment a captain with a hundred musketeers; being shipped, we continued our course towards Bacharach, where being landed, I desired from the governor (being a captain under the Red regiment) quarters for my soldiers, till I got orders whether to march, but the captain being discourteous, closed the ports, using us unfriendly, whereupon I desired to be let in to speak with him, which being granted for me alone, I entered, and having spoke with the captain, was refused of quarters, and of proviant for my soldiers, whereupon I retired forth, & the ports being closed again, I made our soldiers make good fires of the driest wood without the town, whereof there was no scarcity; and being dark, the town lying alongst the River, we getting intelligence there was a water-gate, where there stood a sentry, I took a small boat and two officers with me, and entering the sallying port, the sentry suspecting no enemy, we took him off, swearing if he cried, we would kill him, and bringing him to our guard, left him to their keeping, and immediately I went in at the sallying port, accompanied with my officers and some musketeers, and having set a guard at the port, we went to the captain's quarter, and took in his lodging, where we made good cheer, jeering the Captain, till he was contented to send forth abundance of victuals for the whole party; & to make good quarters for our whole officers within the town, where they did get both meat & money; and beside, I made all the dorps that were without the town belonging to it, to pay a contribution of money to me & my officers, for keeping good order, which we did to repay the captain's unthankfulness.
The next day leaving the party to make good cheer, I went to the Rhinegrave to receive his commands, who directed me to march to a dorp within two miles of Coblenz, and to quarter there till further orders; I retired to the party, and forcing the Captain to send fifty musketeers with me; we followed our orders, and quartered within two miles of Coblenz.
The Rhinegrave having gotten intelligence where some of the Spaniards did lie in quarters, with his regiment falling into their quarters, he did defeat two regiments of them, that were come over the Moselle before the army.
The next day, he advertised me, he was to advance with his regiment towards Hochspeyer, near the Moselle, to attend the enemies' coming, and if he were distressed, he would advertise me, whereby I might timely beset the strengths.
The Spaniard having set over his army at Hochspeyer, being ten thousand strong, getting intelligence of the Rhinegrave's quarter, they marched on it, where he lay in open dorps, in a manner trusting and reposing too much unto himself and his strength, mis-regarding his enemies, being a cavalier who was both courageous and resolute, who had also resolute and valourous officers and soldiers under him, a sudden alarm had no power to fright him or his, being his watch was commanded by Rut-master Hume of Carrelside, who was a cavalier of courage and of good experience, finding by intelligence the enemy was approaching on his guard, he advertised his Colonel timely to draw out on horse-back, and to expect his enemy in the field, who did take no notice of the first advertisement, till the Rut-master rode to him, and advertised him to draw to the fields, he commanded him again to retire unto his watch, he knew his own time, the Rut-master scarce returned, when he with his watch were charged by three troops, which charge he received, and charged them again, and then retired on the Colonels quarter, being so hard followed, that by the Colonel was on horse-back, he was invironed by three regiments of the enemies whom he bravely charged home, with four troops of his, and making them to retire, he did caracolle about from the enemy, having suffered loss on the charge. The young Grave of Nassau, then a Rut-master, being hurt and taken, and divers more inferiors being retired, he commanded Rut-master Hume with the other four troops, to make a stand before the enemy; to hold them off till such time he were retired.
The Rut-master seeing the enemies strong, coming up in full squadrons one after another, he drew up very wisely his four troops in the entry of a wood, making a large and broad front, whereby the enemy might judge, he was stronger than he was; as also, that they might think he had musketeers behind him in ambuscade for a reserve or hinterhalt, which made the enemy give them the longer time, and the better opportunity to his colonel to retire with ease. The Rut-master finding the enemy to fall off a little, he retired his troops at an easy trot, till he overtook the Colonel, who thought before their coming they had been all cut off.
Immediately the Rhinegrave sent to me to beset the garrisons (as I did) and then he sent post unto his Majesty, acquainting his Majesty how all had passed, and of the enemies' strength; which his Majesty having known, he drew his army together at Mainz, with a resolution to fight with the Spaniard, before he were suffered to relieve Frankenthal, but the enemy hearing of his Majesty's preparation, they retired over the Moselle again, and they being retired, I was recalled with the party unto Mainz, where having left a Captain and a hundred musketeers with the Rhinegrave to be disposed on, having got orders to that effect from his Majesty, which afterwards were all cut off by the enemy; the rest of the party dismised, I retired to my commands.
The twenty five Observation.
The duty of an officer leading a party is almost alike to the duty of a general leading an army, in fight, in march, in quartering, in command; and those he commands ought to give the like obedience unto him, though strangers, as if absolutely they were of his own regiment; and his care for them should be as for himself. He ought also at the undertaking of the command or charge over them, to foresee to be sufficiently provided of all things necessary for such service, as he is commanded on, of ammunition, spades, shovels, materials for his cannon and petards, with his guides to convey him from one place to another, till he come to the end of his intended march, doing all things by wise and deliberate steadfastness, in command without wavering, not altering his orders, as he must answer to his general, to whom he is to give account: and his best is, to have his orders in writing, that in case of variance betwixt commanders, writing may bear him thorough, when orders by mouth will be denied: neither ought he in his command to be timorous or rash, but rather resolute and remiss, as occasion offers, and on occasions apart, when his command must be relative to another's direction, that is but subordinate to a general, he must deliberate wisely what to do, and he must foresee the best and worst of things; but having once deliberated, let him be as resolute in the execution as he can.
Likewise here we see in the Rhinegrave a rare example, both of remissness and courage in one person. For first being made forescene of the enemies' coming, he showed his remisness, having refused to give eare to the several advertisments till in th'end he was pursued unawares, and then he did testify his inward courage and resolution in charging the enemy, being three regiments, with four troops putting them to a retreat.
Nevertheless, we see him alike beholden to the Rut-master for his advertisement, as for his safe retreat, having first and last suffered the dint of the enemies' arms on him, and holding it off his commander. A brave example to be imitated and followed of all cavaliers, that would gain honour and reputation.