General Major Kniphowsen, being come with a supply of horse and foot to our army at Loitz, and being joined with us, his Majesty did give him orders to desire from the Colonels of all regiments of foot and horse (according to a Swedens custom used at such times) the list of their marching men, and of their sick, the lists being severally given; our army did effectivè consist of fifteen thousand men, of foot and horse, able to fight.
The next morning every regiment of foot, according to custom, was commanded to have a competent number of cannon baskets ready made, to be transported the next day on wagons before Demmin, which we were to beleaguer; Therefore this preparation was made before hand for the batteries, the wood being scarce and far from thence.
The fourteenth of February, we did break up, horse and foot, and marched towards Demmin from Loitz, our horsemen were directed to lie without us, on both sides of the town alike, so that the town could get no supply, without they would first beat our horsemen, and next our foot; his Majesty remaining with the infantry, as his choice, we encamped on a hill, and about it within cannon shot of the town, being our best quarters in the extremity of the cold, without house or shelter to defend us from the wind.
At our first drawing up in battle, a worthy gentleman called Robert Rosse, one of our regiment, was killed with the cannon, being blowing of tobacco before the regiment; died instantly, and was transported to Loitz, where he was honourably buried in the Church, whose last words were worth the noting, saying, Lord receive my soul.
His Majesty having first disposed of the horsemen, in giving them their directions, the foot was standing in battle, under the mercy of the cannon, behind this hill for two hours, while his Majesty was in viewing and recognoscing both town and castle: which done, the guards were commanded forth to their several posts, to the artillery, and to his Majesty's baggage, then his Majesty directed General Major Kniphowsen, and his forces, with the thousand commanded musketeers, to take in the passage that went to the castle, on which service was commanded Herr Tivell his Lieutenant Colonel, called [blank space] who commanded the party; under whom was, with the commanded men of our regiment, Lieutenant George Heatly, the service beginning hot on both sides, striving for the pass, the Lieutenant Colonel was killed. At which time Lieutenant Heatly being shot, notwithstanding, behaved himself valourously, being the first with his musketeers that cleared the pass from the enemy, in making them give ground, he possessed the mill on the other side of the pass, till the rest of the commanded musketeers did follow the enemy to the castle; where Kniphowsen with his forces did advance, the pass being free.
His Majesty having given orders where the batteries should be made, giving General Banier charge to attend the army, as it begun to grow dark, his Majesty accompanied by Colonel Tivell, went to appoint the place where the approaches should begin, where the guards should be kept that were to guard the workmen, in case of an out-fall: where presently both the guards, and the men that should work, were commanded forth, with sufficient officers to oversee them. Likewise there were men commanded from every regiment proportionably, for making the batteries, and a strong guard was appointed to guard the cannon against an out-fall; others were commanded from every regiment, to make more cannon baskets, and the furriers, with convoys, were ordained to return to Loitz, for bringing of proviant to every regiment.
This all orderly done, he that had meat in his knapsack, being free of duty, could invite his comrade to supper, and make merry till he were commanded on duty himself, where divers did eat that were not sick on the morrow.
The enemy perceiving the next morning the guards by the approaches, saluted them with cannon and musket, and were saluted again, though not so kindly as friends do one another. The service continued the whole day, his Majesty oft visiting the castle, being hardest pressed, as of most consequence; for the castle once won, the town could not hold out.
Upon the castle were seven companies of Colonel Holk's regiment, who fearing to be blown up by a mine, entered in treaty, and were content to take service under his Majesty, and to render their colours, which immediately was agreed upon, and their colours brought to be planted and spread on our batteries, as tokens of his Majesty's victory. The cannon in the mean time from our batteries, thundering till night on their works, they begun to be discouraged, finding the castle was given over, they were out of hopes to maintain the town longer.
The next morning Captain Beaton of our regiment, having the guard in the trenches, the enemy falling out strong, the Dutch retired and gave ground, while our folk maintained their post valiantly in sight of his Majesty, who commanded General Bannier with some musketeers of Herr Tyvell's regiment and ours (led on by Major Potley an English cavalier of good worth) to second the guards, and to beat back the enemy in plain champaign, General Bannier advanced, the enemy playing hard with cannon on them, Notwithstanding whereof, entering the skirmish, the enemy was beat back not without great loss on both sides, where I cannot but commend Bannier his carriage, being in sight of his King, as his Majesty did commend our nation for their good behaviour and charity: for a Captain of Bannier's regiment being left for dead on the field, his countrymen for fear, refusing to bring him off, he was voluntarily brought off by our countrymen, to their great praise, who after disdaining his comrades and thanking our countrymen, he died of pain and agony before night.
After this show made of courage, by the besieged, they being discouraged, desired a parley, where Major Greeneland an English cavalier then serving the Emperor, was sent out to make the accord with his Majesty, pledges delivered by both, the accord agreed on was subscribed, where it was concluded, the governor should march out with flying colours, and arms, and with two pieces of ordnance, with bag and baggage, and a convoy to the next Imperial garrison, providing the governor should leave behind him all cannon, being threescore pieces of brass, all store of ammunition and victual, and all spare arms, and to march forth precisely the next day by twelve of the clock.
But had the governor the Duke of Savelly been so valorous, as those he commanded, he might, in respect of the season & situation of the town, have kept the city a month longer, so that to our judgments he was no good soldier, knowing his General was able to relieve him.
The enemy thus marched away, and his Majesty having beset the garrison, hearing General Tilly with a strong army had taken resolution to visit his Majesty in Mecklenburg, he stood not long on advisement, but out of hand disposed of his army courageously, wisely, and circumspectly, as the event did witness his Majesty's good command an resolution. Demmin, beset with Swedens, General Bannier was ordained to stay there, for to command the garrison, and to keep correspondence with his Majesty's, and with others in case of Tilly's coming: General Major Kniphowsen was sent with his own regiment, and six companies of my Lord of Rhees commanded by his Lieutenant Colonel Bainshow to lie at Neubrandenburg, Major Sinclair with two companies was ordained to lie at Treptow, the Grave Fonottenburg with his Majesty's regiment of horse, and my squadron of foot was appointed to lie at Malchin, his Majesty himself with the rest of the army were to lie at Pasewalk, being the pass unto Pomerania, and to the Oder, Field Marshal Horne being recalled with his forces from Landsberg, was ordained to lie at Friedland: all having their instructions and orders in writ, which they durst not pass one jot; to th'end, that wherever Tilly's army would settle, the rest of our army from the several garrisons, should come together to relieve the party besieged, if his Majesty thought fitting. So leaving Demmin, having lost three hundred men before it, our march holds out, according to our several orders and instructions.
The fifth Observation.
ALL things were achieved unto here, by the goodness of a glorious order, being seconded with skilful and valorous officers and soldiers, obedient even unto death, every one by revolution keeping his certain time and turn, and that with strictness, each being greedy of their own honour and advancement, under this noble king and general who liked of no wicked soldier, living out of compass and rule; such as were birds of the devil's hatching, all such were banished from this army, that was led by pious and religious Gustavus of never dying memory; who could not abide any that would profane God's ordnance, or that refused to give obedience to good orders.
Here at Loitz, before our rising to Demmin, I could not but pity, though an enemy, the Italian governor, that commanded in Loitz, who suffered himself, the place, and his followers to be surprised, knowing of the army's approach: for we see by his example, that goods evil conquest with great pains, are soon lost, going away with wings swifter then the wind; whereof histories are full of examples, to which purpose I will infer one story, I have read of Hugolene Gerrardesque Depise, as records, Paulus Aemilius in the eighth book of the French story. This Hugolene being a commander for the Pope over the Guelfs, having chased a part of the Ghibellines that were with the Emperor, terrifying the rest, he became so greatly renowned amongst his own folk, that he commanded what he pleased, and was made lord and governor of a city (as this Italian was here) being accounted noble, rich, magnificent, and learned, he was married, having good issue, he abounded in all riches, more than he could desire or wish, being counted happy, and at his ease according to his own mind, and the opinion of his friends; he made a feast on his birth day, and having assembled his friends; being merry he fell in commendation of his own worth and honour, extolling himself above the clouds so far, that he begun to ask of one of his nearst friends, if he thought he lacked anything to make him happy: the other considering the uncertainty of worldly affairs, and the deceitful vanities thereof that perish in a moment when the Lord pleaseth but to breathe, said; certainly the wrath of God cannot be far from this thy great prosperity. Incontinent the forces of the Ghibellines begining to stir, unexpected come about the lodging, break in through the ports, kill his children, and take himself, who begging life being refused, was miserably murdered, and all his goods taken by the enemy in Italy, in the year 1288, to teach all mortal men not to glory too much in uncertain riches, that come but slowly and go away swiftly.
Those men that are meanly risen, may justly be checked here, that when they have attained unto wealth, riches and honour, presently they will begin to counterfeit the nobility, pressing to tread in their footsteps, though not belonging unto them: for wealth attained unto, it may be by unlawful means, should not make the owners too proud of it, lest suddenly it may be lost, as chanced to Hugolene. Nevertheless some fantastic officers, that cannot govern themselves nor their wealth, they will hunt and hawk, with trains on prince's bounds (as I have known some do being abroad) thinking themselves equal to princes. whereof they were far short, and they will have their silver plate, their gold, their silver, their jewels, their coaches, their horses, their trains, and officers of houshold counterfeiting greatness and great men, having, it may be, but little worth besides, suffering themselves in their pomp to be surprised, their goods taken from them, and then to be cast in a close dungeon or prison, till they die for want, the reward of their pride; whereas it had been better, they had lived with greater sobriety and modesty, and then if misfortune should happen unto them, they would be the more respected, and consequently the sooner set at liberty.
I have read of cavaliers that served long and truly with credit, whose minds were not set on outward things perishable; but rather their hunting was after a good name, renown and credit to leave behind them, when all other things might be stripped from them; which in my opinion were more to be commended then those that would counterfeit worth being without it. But on the contrary, I have known some cavaliers, that hunted after credit, did gain much renown, and were rich in credit, though poor otherwise, leaving no more houshold stuff behind them, but a spit and a pot, being so given to sobriety in their lifetimes, that sometimes they were contented with a morsel of dry bread from a soldier. Not that I would have any cavalier, that hath merited well, to be careless to maintain himself in credit, according to his charge, if by lawful means he can do it, and if plenty increaseth, I would wish him timely to dispose of it, for his nearst friends or succession in a part, and the overplus I would wish him to bestow for the weal of the public, and the adorning of his country, that after his death, the monuments of his virtue, and trophies of his victories might live, and speak to succeeding ages, that such a one hunted well in attaining unto honour, and perpetual renown and credit.
Here also by the example of a worthy master and leader, being the Phoenix of his time, for a general, that he who hath seen his variable essays, and learned to lay up the same in store, if he follow but his master's precepts, and observe his orders, he cannot but in time merit the title of a judicious commander; and doubtless one day having passed his prenticeship well under such a master, he cannot but merit honour and reward, and then may be made choice of for the service of his King and country, before those who had not such experience under such a leader. In remembrance of whom, I will infer an accident happened his Majesty of famous memory, the time of his beleaguering.
His Majesty walking alone on a marsh that was frozen, of intention with a prospective glass, to spy into the enemies works, the ice breaking his Majesty falls up to the middle in water, being near my guard where Captain Dumaine did command, who seeing his Majesty fall in, went towards him, of intention to help him out, which his Majesty perceiving, lest the enemy might take notice of them both, his Majesty wagged his hand that the Captain might retire, which the enemy perceiving, shot above a thousand shot of Musket at his Majesty, who at last wrought himself loose, coming off without hurt, and sat a while by our guard fire.
The Captain being a bold spoken gentleman, well bred, and of good language, begun very familiarly to find fault with his Majesty, for his forwardness in hazarding his Majesty's person in such unnecessary dangers; on whom, at that time, the eyes of all Europe were fixed, expecting their freedom and reliefs (from the tyranny of their enemies) to come from his Majesty, and in case any misfortune or sinister accident (as God forbid) should happen unto his Majesty, what then would become of his Majesty's confederates, and which was worst, what would become of many brave cavaliers of fortune, who had no further hopes then to live, and to be maintained under his Majesty their leader?
His Majesty having heard the Captain, patiently thanked him for his good counsel, and he could not but confess his own fault, which he could not well help, seeing his mind was so, that he thought nothing well done which he did not himself, and so went to dinner, where before he changed his wet clothes, in a cold tent, he called for meat, and dined grossly, and taking a great draught of wine went and changed his clothes, and immediately coming forth again, while as the enemy had fallen out, as was said before in the discharge.
The time of this out-fall, our soldiers being commanded under Major Potley to beat back the enemy, going on service, there happened a merry accident to one of our countrymen (then ensign to my colonel's company) called James Lyle, being in sight of his Majesty, going down a a steep hill, the enemy playing hard with cannon, the Ensign happened to fall forwards, the wind blowing off his periwig, which tumbled down the hill, the Major sware a great oath, the poor cavalier's head was shot from him, and seeing him rise again without his false head, sware the cannon had shot away the skin, with the hair of his head being bald.
His Majesty at this time also seeing a Dutch captain's cloak about him going on service, commanded to recall him, and to command out another, which was a disgrace to the captain, whom his Majesty openly reproved, saying, If he had intention to have fought well, he would have felt no cold, and consequently the carrying of his cloak was needless.
In this mean time his Majesty looking on, from the enemies' battery a cannon bullet came so near his Majesty, though he was really stout, he was made to stoop, and behind his Majesty, the thigh was shot from a Swedens Captain, belonging to the artillery, who died the same night.
Here I cannot let pass an oversight unworthily committed by General Major Kniphowsen, while as the enemy was marching out, the guard of the posts being committed to the Swedens, having got command from his Majesty to let no officer nor soldier come within the town, till the enemy was marched out; Kniphowsen pressing in was put back by the captain that commanded: Whereupon Kniphowsen not knowing what direction the captain had, or from whom, he lifting a baton, broke it on the captain's head, which was evil thought of by his Majesty and the whole officers of the army. Nevertheless, we never heard of the reparation: so that I would never wish my noble friend to lie under an affront, though done by any foreign King, for if I could not be revenged, I would serve against him to be revenged, if not of him, yet at lest of his, for which I crave pardon, having spoken rather like a soldier than a divine, for nothing should divert my heart sooner from my superior, than disdain or contempt.