The twenty-fourth of March, his Majesty with the army continued the march, from Schwabach towards Donauwörth upon Oettingen & Pleinfeld, and went before the castle of Mansfeld on the hill, being the strongest of any one in Dutchland, and finding he could get nothing done, young Papenham being commandant there, was advertised by his Majesty, if that he would not give over the castle, his fathers earldom thereabouts should be ruined (which he, though unwilling, behoved to suffer) but the cavalier regardless of his Majesty's threats, did keep out the castle, so that his Majesty, for that time, was forced to leave it.
His Majesty leaving a strong garrison in the town next to it, he continued his march towards Donauwörth, and quartered the army on the Hill above the town: by this time his Majesty of Poland died, as also then Duke Barnard of Weimar had put a thousand Finns on the other side of the Rhine, in Bissen, and beset Hochspeyer, at which time the Spaniard again did set over the Moselle, of intention to relieve Frankenthal, but was sent back with shame over the Moselle by the Duke's army then left in the Pfalz: at which time the Chancellor Oxensterne being there in person, and Palsgrave Christian Birkafield, his excellence the Rex-chancellor caused the Dutch regiments marching towards the enemy, to beat the Scots march, thinking thereby to affright the enemy; but it fell out contrary; the Dutch that marched in the van with the Scots march, being charged by the enemy, made a base retreat, till they were holden up again by the valour of the Scots, that were there (viz.) Sir John Ruthven, and his regiment, having had all his officers of valiant Scots, as Lieutenant Colonel John Lesly, Major Lyell, Captain David King, and divers others, resolute cavaliers, that stood to it, with the assistance of Colonel Lodowick Lesly, and his regiment and officers: being all old beaten soldiers, formerly called Sir John Hamilton's regiment; by their valour, resisting the enemy, and encouraging their comrades, who were flying; the victory, that before was doubtful, is restored again to the Swedens; so that Palsgrave Christian did swear, in audience of the whole army, to his excellency the Rex-chancellor, that had it not been for the valour of the Scots brigade, they had all been lost and defeated by the Spaniard.
Here also was evidently seen, as was formerly mentioned, the valour of Rut-master Hume, in view of his Excellency, in defeating the Spanish horsemen, being far inferior in number unto them, where the Dutch Cavalry, led by him, repaired the over-sight of their Infantry, that had the Vanguard. To return to the beleaguering of Donauwörth, wherein did lie Herzog Randolph, Maximilian of Saxon Löwenburg, with fifteen hundred soldiers, and five hundred boors of foot, wherein were also five hundred horsemen, who finding his Majesty was come to visit him, resolved to defend the town so long as he could, and to that effect, begun with cannon and musket to play amongst us, who seeing his Majesty had caused to plant some cannon before the port, to play alongst the bridge, he sallied out bravely, and did beat the Swedens that guarded the cannon, from their cannon, which they nailed, and a Scots Captain called Semple, that commanded the Swedens, was blamed, for the Swedens fault, that did leave him alone; who unwisely, fearing to be taken prisoner, came off after his fellows, and we having beaten back the enemy; the captain was put in arrest, till he were heard before a council of wars.
Incontinent after that, his Majesty planted batteries on the hill, for to play with cannon on a long stone-house, that lay on the other side of the River; wherein were a number of foot and horse, come from Bavaria, to strengthen the garrison, but their entry was hindered by our timely coming; on which our cannon played so hard, till the house was creviced, so that they were forced to quit it, with the loss of many men, and they being gone, our cannon then played hard on the town-ports and walls, doing the enemy great hurt.
The night drawing on, his Majesty commanded Colonel Hepburne, with his brigade, to march to a bridge a mile above Donauwörth, and to cross over for to beset the other side of the town, whereon his Majesty thought the enemy would press to escape: before mid-night the Colonel arriving there, did place our musketeers in strong platoons, by hundreds, in the most advantagious parts, for offending the enemy; our pikes and colours were drawn up in three strong bodies, or squadrons, and were commanded to stand by their arms, to be in readiness, in case of alarm: And having placed our sentries, perdues, and others, by break of day the enemy fell forth eight hundred strong of musketeers on our Quarter; the service begun by our musketeers, we came up with full squadrons of pikes amongst them, and entered on the execution, till we made them throw down their arms, and cry for quarters; some for safety retired back to the town, and were followed in by us, and cut off within the town; while others made way for his Majesty's forces to enter from the other side; so that the enemy were pitifully cut down the most part of them in the fury. The town also was spoiled and quite plundered: but some of the soldiers, with the Jesuits and monks, that had escaped alongst the bridge, being sent after were overtaken, and the most part cut off: the rest above three hundred were brought back prisoners: within the garrison were found dead above five hundred, and some were drowned in the stream, and a thousand that had got their lives, were forced to take service under the regiments; but being Papists of Bavaria, as soon as they smelt the smell of their fathers' houses, in less than ten days they were all gone.
The in-taking of this pass on such a sudden, wrought a terrible fear amongst all the Papists in Bavaria; in like manner, his Majesty did send Palsgrave Augustus, with some forces to Höchstat, a pass on the Danube, which he immediately took in, and by this time was General Tilly with his army come on the Lech towards Rain on the River: and having beset it strong, he beset also all other parts betwixt that and Augsburg, and the Duke himself caused to take their arms from all the professors of the reformed Religion in Augsburg, and having beset it with two thousand soldiers, he retired himself to Ingolstadt.
His Majesty after the in-taking of Donauwörth, commanded General Bannier, with a party of four thousand strong, of horse, foot, and artillery, towards Neuburg on the Danube; but it was beset before their coming, and they retiring again to Donauwörth, where our whole army being joined, we marched towards the river of the Lech, of intention to force a pass unto Bavaria, being then thirty two thousand strong, of horse and foot.
The twenty-eight Observation.
General Tilly knowing his Majesty was so near with a strong army to be revenged on him, for the ruffle he had given to Gustavus Horne at Bambricke: he never rested his army, but continually kept them on foot, attending still our coming; and we, to verify the desire we had to be revenged on him, did neglect no time, till at last, we found him out, where we intended to try Fortune again, which never smiles always on one, but is ever variable, keeping no constant course, being whiles here, now there; and commonly we see, that those who have been most fortunate in their time (as this old General was) they have an insatiable desire of victory, and prosperous fortune, till near their end, that they are overcome themselves.
Here we see his Majesty's diligence alike, in following of his enemy, as he fled before him; as in his pursuit at Donauwörth, being the pass, we were holden up at, which his Majesty with diligence did get in his power, being so hard pursued, that the enemy got no time to relieve it, though the cavalier that defended it, showed himself resolute in defending of it, as in out-falling on our guards, which were Swedens, who having neglected their duty, were blame-worthy, as their Captain that commanded them, who ought to have preferred death before life, ere he had quite his post; seeing his standing could have moved others to help him, though the Swedens left him. But his Majesty having got the victory over the town, by the valour of the Captains countrymen, their intercession then procured his pardon, though not his admission to his former command.
Likewise here we see that stone houses are vain defenses against cannon: where the walls once pierced, those within are in worse case then if they stood on plain fields. Therefore at such times, it is better to adventure forth unto the fields out of reach, then to be smothered within walls, as were many within this house both of horse and foot.
Here also as in the continuance of the story, we see the valour of Hepburne and of his brigade praiseworthy, being first and last instruments of the enemies' overthrow in gross or by parties, being commanded men: where often we were well seconded by Ramsey's men, seeing those were ever commanded on desperate exploits, being still appointed the fore-troops of the army, well led and conducted by Major Sidsersse, who was a cavalier both diligent and valorous, being also trusted on good occasions for his judgment in command.
As his Majesty was diligent in the taking of this pass, so he was careful to repair it, by helping of the ruins, and in besetting it again with a strong garrison, establishing good order and discipline, having left Colonel Worbrane, an Osterreicher Freiherr, as governor, being a man expert in making of cannon, and in devising of fireworks; As also he understood well how best to fortify irregular works as these were. And therefore his Majesty most wisely did concredit, according to his gifts, the maintaining of this pass to his care and diligence, which both he did show in fortifying the town, even so far as art could be helpful to nature.