Having lain long still as in a sleep, without fear of our enemies, being within a fast leaguer, in th'end his Majesty begun to stir first, causing parties to present themselves before Wallenstein's leaguer, as if they went to borrow a bear, or rather to provoke their enemy to try their valour, but the Imperialists having no great desire to fight, but attempted only in the night to fall over the Pegnitz, giving us alarms to little purpose, being soon repulsed, finding us always ready on our guards attending their nightly coming, our outward watches being a mile from us, so far as Fürth on the side of the river, having also perdues a foot without the leaguer, our sentries on the walls at batteries, colours and corps-de-gards; so that it was hard to surprise us. But the greatest hurt they did us, was by their Crabbats, while as our servants and horses went forth to forage, for in one day for my part I lost three of my servants, and five of my best horses; But in th'end our forage grew so scarce, that many did quit their horses for want of entertainment; Nevertheless, twice every week strong parties of horse, with strong convoys of musketeers were sent forth to bring in forage, where it was my fortune to have been oft commanded with the foot; little skirmishes we had without great hurt, being always in hope of relief in need; Nevertheless, whatsoever street we went out on, their garrisons were still ready to snap some or other amongst us on our wings, and then away they went unto their strengths; sometimes they came from Forcheim, sometimes from Buche, and sometimes from Rothenbach, so that always some devilish garrison or other snatched at us aside, though they durst not draw near our bodies; neither could the enemy know on what quarter we went forth on, and if they knew, sure that quarter we went out on was beset by ambuscades of our people, to attend them, in case they should fall in betwixt us.
On the twenty-eight of July, his Majesty had commanded out Colonel Dowbattle, with some troops of horse, and some dragoniers, towards Furstat in the upper Pfalz, which lay but two miles from Neumarkt, where the Imperial army had their magazine-house for their victuals, and ammunition; which was beset with five hundred soldiers; Dowbattle the thirtieth of July coming before it ere it was day, he divided incontinent his folks in two deals, putting the one half to the over door or port, and the other half to the other port; the over port made up with a petard, the Swedens entering, they gave fire; and at their entry they killed the Lieutenant Colonel Revenheller, being one of their own, thinking he was an enemy, being shot in the shoulder he died shortly after at Nuremberg. All the Imperial garrison was almost cut off; the proviant wagons were plundered, and the town was burnt, having brought four hundred oxen, that were both great and fat, unto Nuremberg.
His Majesty immediately after Colonel Dowbattle was marched, followed with a party of a thousand musketeers, and some eight hundred horse towards Burgthann on the dorps; thinking, if the enemy got intelligence of Dowbattle's march, they would set after him; And therefore to make his retreat good, his Majesty went towards Bosbowre. At the same time General Major Sparre, with eight hundred horse, twenty cornets of Crabbats, and five hundred musketeers commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gordon, and Major Lesly, which party of the enemy had an enterprise on Lauf, to take it in, for hindering us from forage, having no door open to go out on, but that only; and having met with his Majesty in the fields, his Majesty most heroically charged them, and killed many with the first charge: General Major Sparre kept himself by Colleredo his horsemen, and the foot were commanded by Gordon and Lesly, two Scots cavaliers, who then serving the Emperor did behave themselves valiantly for a time, as I did hear his Majesty of Sweden give testimony of their valour, alleging if the Emperor's horsemen had behaved themselves like the foot, his Majesty had not returned victorious; for Sparre intending to have broken through his Majesty's horses, the Crabbats having run away, the rest of the Imperial horsemen were overcome, and then most part of their foot were cut down. General Major Sparre was taken prisoner, with Gordo and Lesly, and were brought all three unto Nuremberg, with three cornets.
In obtaining this victory Colonel Ree was killed, his Majesty after his death being forced to light from his horse, and command the musketeers, having skirmished well for an hour on both sides, the praise whereof his Majesty did give to the Scots cavaliers, that commanded the Imperialists, to whom he promised before they were taken, within three days to let them loose again ransom-free. Nevertheless, they were kept for five weeks with us their countrymen, where we made merry as friends. Here also in this conflict was killed his Majesty's kammerjunkare, called Boyen; and another chamber-man, called Cratzistene, that attended his Majesty.
About the ninth of August, the Imperialists catched a great number of our horses at forage, and waited on us so well, that there was no more hopes to bring forage unto the leaguer; so that many of our horsemen, for want of horses, were put to their feet, till our succours were come unto us.
The thirty-fifth Observation.
Here we have two mighty armies waiting to take advantages one of another, being resolved for to gain credit to endure all toil and misery, and they contemned all hazard and danger, to win glory to themselves, being armed with courage and military virtue, contemning spoil and riches, leaning to their virtue they delight in the war, being taught by discipline heartily to embrace poverty for their mistress; and here the soldier wearied, is content to make the ground his bed to lie on, as also making the first morsel, that chances to his hand, to satisfy his appetite, and instead of sleeping out the whole night, he is contented with a nod, nothing seeming impossible or impregnable unto his courageous and resolute mind, glorying more in his contented poverty, than others do in their greatest riches; for he thinks he hath not to do with gold, being able to command his own desires: as the bravest leaders, and most valiant captains of armies have ever made greater esteem of honour and renown, than deceivable riches, or of the spoil of their enemies; reserving glory and honour unto themselves, they allowed the spoil for the common soldier, hunting after an immortal name to leave behind them after death, rather than with the spoil of others to be thought rich, robbing themselves of a good name, and their soul and conscience of eternal rest.
We see then, that it is much better to contest with honest men for virtue and a good name, than with the avaricious or niggard, that hath come to an estate with the spoil of his enemies, or perhaps with the spoil of his friends, or worst of all, by detaining their means from them, who did serve valiantly for it, with the loss of their blood. Such conquests unlawfully made by some officers, are rather to be pitied than envied; and I am of the mind, he hath provided well for his wife, children, and friends, that leaves an immortal name behind him for himself and his after death, rather than to leave them rich in the Devil's name by unlawful conquest.
His Majesty of Sweden having had here but a weak army (though expert in military virtue) he resolved to weary the enemy having a strong and mighty army, to be entertained with all sort of provision, which must needs be brought from afar, out of Bavaria, upon the axle or wagons, being a labour of infinite pain and toil, to transport entertainment for fifty thousand men daily, and corn for horses such a far way; and having appointed their magazine-house in the upper Pfalz, to weary them the sooner, his Majesty very wisely, as we see, plotted the ruin of it, to be effectuated by Colonel Dowbattle, being known for a cavalier of much worth, that formerly had done his Majesty divers notable good services, as at this time, which made his Majesty to be the more careful of his safe retreat, in coming himself with a party betwixt the enemy and him, to be his second; being no small honour, where in the first rencounter Colonel Ree was killed, and then a little captain of the Leeffe regiment, throwing off his doublet did valourously command, supplying the place of the Colonel, till such time as his Majesty took notice of his noble carriage, and then lighted from his horse, taking the command to himself: Nevertheless, at his Majesty's return to quarters, he did give his own portrait, with a gold chain to the Captain, and advanced him to a lieutenant colonel's place, for reward of his virtuous carriage in sight of his master.
Colonel Ree being killed, I being then the eldest Lieutenant Colonel, under his Majesty's army of foot, having served three years before as Lieutenant Colonel, I sought of his Majesty, as my due, according to the custom then used, that I might be made Colonel to Ree's regiment, which his Majesty confessed openly to have been my due; Nevertheless, on other considerations showed by his Majesty unto me, I was contented to give way to his Majesty's will; whereupon his Majesty urged me to be Colonel to the regiment I had commanded so long, in absence of my Lord of Rhees, seeing his Lordship had advertised his Majesty, he was not to return to his charge: As also, he had sent his warrant under his hand unto me, to deal with his Majesty to get the regiment being weak to be made up for myself; but I being desirous to have commanded strangers, the other regiment being strong, and ours very weak, my intention was to have joined them both in one, seeing at that time his Majesty would not admit me to recrue the regiment from Scotland; but having given me patent as colonel, his Majesty assigned a muster-place for me in Schwabenland, from whence I was to receive moneys to strengthen my regiment (being then but seven companies) to twelve; and before the next summer, I made them up to ten companies; his Majesty having the eighteenth of August 1632, placed me colonel over the regiment, at which time Major John Sinclaire was placed my lieutenant colonel, and Captain William Stewart was made major.