Hving joined with the Field Marshal at Ulm, we crossed the Danube, and quartered over-night in the earldom of Kirchberg, being General Major Ruthven his lands, disposed unto him by his Majesty for good service▪ and hearing the enemies' army were at Memmingen within six miles of us, we advanced the next morning towards them, with a resolution to beat them back unto Bavaria, being almost equal with them in strength, we continued our march with extreme cold, till the second night that we quartered in a great dorp, a mile from the enemy, so that in the night fire entering in our quarter, with difficulty we saved our ammunition and artillery, having lost many horses, and the most part of the army's baggage. Notwistanding whereof, we marched the next day towards Memmingen, and before our coming the enemy having strongly beset the town, he marched away two miles from the town, thinking to engage us with the town, that he might return again with advantage to relieve it, seeing we had not time to entrench ourselves, he being then so near.
But we find at our coming the enemy was gone, we drew up in battle within reach of cannon to the town, where they saluted us with cannon till it drew near night, and then leaving strong watches before the town, for fear of out-falling, laying our watches to keep them in, we quartered over-night in dorps, attending the up-coming of our baggage, being scarce of victuals and without forage, but such as we brought with us. The next morning our baggage being come, and hearing the enemy was within two miles of us, leaving a strong hinderhalt to keep in the garrison, we marched with the rest of the army after the enemy, where before night our fore-troops did skirmish together, and we having the best of it, the enemy was forced to leave a strong rear-guard of horse and dragoniers, making the rest of his army to march away unto a pass beside Kempten, being a strong strait pass, the country being strait and hilly, full of woods, very commodious for ambuscadoes, so that we could not march to them, but in order of battle; our fore-troops of horse and dragoniers advancing softly on the enemy, being forced to recognosce still before them, till at last they charged their horse-watches, which being beaten by ours, we did get three cornets from them, where incontinent Major Sidserffe with Ramsey's musketeers fell on their dragoniers and skirmished with them, till they were forced to retire, and being dark, our army having set out their horse and foot watches before them, they stood the whole night in battle, till it was day, and the enemy being gone in the night, the way thwart and deep, some of his cannon being left behind, were buried, burning their carriages with their wagons as they did break, making them unprofitable for us.
We continued our march in the morning, minding to attrap them, so that by midday they having turned their cannon on the pass towards us, they forced our army to stand without reach of their cannon, trying on both hands of the pass to win through, but in vain, seeing there was no passage near hand, but at that one place, where we did cannonade one against another for two days, till the enemy retired their cannon within Kempten, and the rest of their army unto Bavaria, having crossed both the Lech and the Iller again.
The enemy being gone, we retired for want of victuals and forage, the country being spoiled, we were forced to over-see the beleaguering of Memmingen, for that time passing by it towards Mindelheim, where we rested two days, and then marched on Kaufbeuren, where in two days we forced the garrison to a composition, being content to march away without arms, getting a convoy to Landsberg on the Lech.
The weather being extremely cold under the snowy Alps, we refreshed our army three days at Kaufbeuren, and the fourth day marched towards the Iller, where the water being small, we made a bridge of our small cannon with their carriage, being placed two and two alongst the river at an equal distance of eight foot asunder, where we laid over deals betwixt the cannon, passing over our whole infantry alongst the bridge; which being past and the deals taken off, the horses spanned before the cannon, led them away after the army. And quartering that night in the fields, the next morning we beleaguered Kempten; Having battered hard for three days together with cannon, at last the breach being made and the town almost brought to an accord, having lost divers soldiers and officers before it, hearing the Duke of Bavaria his army was crossed the Lech again at Landsberg, having gotten a strong supply, and being made certain, they were to march unto the Duke of Württemberg's Land, the Field Marshal, after great pains taken, was forced to quit Kempten, and to march with the army to be before them in Württemberg.
The Duke's army on their march by the way, took in a castle beside Kaufbeuren, where Captain Bruntfield and Quarter-master Sandelens were taken prisoners, and were sent to be kept at Lindau. As also in their by-going, they took in Kaufbeuren, and continued their march alongst the Iller, till they crossed with their army at Brandenburg, we lying that night with our army within a mile of them; The next day we strived who might pass the Danube first for going to Württemberg, where it was our Fortune to get betwixt them and the pass, having line at Munderkingen, while as they had crossed a mile below us on the river. Which when we understood by our intelligence of their being so near, incontinent the Field Marshal caused our artillery and foot to march over in the night, so that before day our army advanced towards the pass, leaving dragoniers behind us, to burn and to cast off the bridge; But the bridge was no sooner set on fire, but the enemies fore-troops did drive our dragoniers after us, they coming up full squadrons of horse and foot driving up our rear, consisting of three regiments of horse, Colonel Daggenfield, Colonel Cratzstein and Colonel Monro of Fowles, being three valorous Barons, who resolved amongst themselves, Daggenfield should charge the enemy first, which he manfully did, and then retired, who immediately was rescued by Colonel Monro, having charged the enemy, retired, being shot through the right foot with a musket bullet, and Colonel Cratzstein rescuing him again, charged the enemy the last time, keeping them up till the rest were safely retired, and then retiring himself at the spurs, being last, was pitifully cut over the head with a pole-shable, the enemy following them still, till they were repulsed by our dragoniers. Nevertheless they did get the most part of our baggage, and a great number of the horsmen's led horses, servants and coaches.
The pass being narrow, and we having the advantage of them, being able to receive them with our whole army, horse and foot, while as they could not advance unto us but by divisions, at most thirty in front against a steep hill, where our army was standing ready in battle, to receive them horse, foot and artillery. Which they considering the great disadvantage they had to pursue us, drawing their army also in battle, they planted their ordnance against us, where once begun, we continued the whole day cannonading one against another, where neither foot nor horse could join to skirmish. But the night coming on, the Field Marshal directed his great cannon away before, and leaving a strong rearguard of horse and dragoniers at the pass, getting orders to remain there till midnight, we retired the rest of our army unto Württemberg Land, having five miles to march, before day, our retreat being in the night, though safe, was confusedly made.
The enemy finding at mid-night that we were gone, followed up our rear-guard, skirmishing a little, in the end retired. And the whole army crossed the Danube again, of intention to ruin all our muster-places in Schwabenland: and in their way they took a French Marquess prisoner on his muster-place, and Colonel John Forbesse, being both careless they were surprised in their quarters, and were kept prisoners for three years.
The army quartered themselves in Schwabenland and Tyrol alongst the BOdense, setting garrisons in towns, as in Constance, Biberach, Überlingen, and divers more. During this time our army was well entertained and refreshed in good quarters in Württemberg Land, having secured them for that time from their enemies, we attended the Rhinegrave his coming with a supply from Alsace: as also we did get a strong supply of country soldiers from the Duke of Württemberg, with a great deal of ammunition, and a supply of horse and cannon. The Rhinegrave being come, finding ourselves strong again, we resolved to search the enemy, for to make him retire unto Bavaria again, which we effectuated within ten days. After our up-breaking having crossed the Danube again, the enemy being retired, our army did settle themselves in a close leaguer at Donauwörth for three months together, attending the conclusion of the meeting at Heilbronn, resolving to enterprise no exploit or hostility against the enemy, till such time as they should know, who should content them for their by-past service, as also whom they should serve in times coming.
During which time I went to Heilbronn to solicite my regiment's affairs with the Rex-chancellor, and being there my cousin Colonel Monro of Fowles died of his wounds at Ulm, where he was buried, and there after my brother was killed by the insolency of some Dutch soldiers, which were of another regiment, not his own, who was also buried at Bacharach on the Rhine, and his Lieutenant Colonel John Monro discharging himself of the regiment, they were reduced at Heidelberg on the Neckar to two companies under Captain Adam Gordon, and Captain Nicholas Rosse: which two companies by the Chancellor his orders I took from Palsgrave Christian his army, and marched with them to Donauwörth, where in July 1633, I joined them to my regiment, of whom I took leave, leaving them under command of my Lieutenant Colonel John Sinclaire, who immediately afterward was killed at Neumark in the upper Palatinate, and was transported to be buried at Donauwörth. My Major William Stewart succeeded to the Lieutenant Colonel's place, I being gone for a recruit to my regiment unto Britain. From that time to the Battle of Nördlingen, being a year, they were led by Lieutenant Colonel Stewart, brother to Claire. And since I did not see the service, I continue to speak of the last year's expedition, till I be informed of those who did see the service, as I did the rest.
The forty-two Observation; being the last.
In wars wisdom is of such worth, that the spirit and skill of one commander is sometimes better than thousands of armed men. And nothing encourages an enemy more than the foolishness and ignorance of their enemies in warlike business: But on the contrary, he sleeps not sound that hath a wise enemy. For a wise leader doth all things wisely, and it becomes not a leader to use himself to vanity, or to intemperate appetites, for, how can he command others, that never pressed to command his own inordinate desires? and brave leaders of armies and valourous Captains should ever look to their honour and renown, more than unto riches or pleasure, spoil or gain, quitting the spoil of their enemies to their soldiers, they ought to reserve the honour and fame for themselves: for, he wants not means but enriches his family, that hath won credit, and leaves it to his posterity. Our contestation then should be for honour and credit, and not for unlawful spoil or gain, esteeming more of magnanimity, wherever it is found, than of riches attained unto; it may be, through feebleness and cowardice, lying in a garrison, having never seen an enemy, or a man killed in the fields; when other cavaliers did show their valour before their enemies, gaining more credit, though less wealth, which is of shortest continuance. For we are not worthy the name of soldiers, if we glory (as many do) more in gathering riches (that perish faster than they come) than we do to get an immortal good name: for we must think still, that true honour doth consist only in virtuous actions, which should make us more ambitious of credit, than of unlawfull gain attained unto by avarice.
Here also we see great difference betwixt leaders; For after we had gotten Field-marshal Horne to lead us, we began by his valourous good conduct to recover again, what others had suffered the enemy to possesse: and before he advanced, he made his friends sure behind him, as Ulm, and the Duke of Württemberg, that always in necessity he might make a safe retreat, as a wise general ought to do, looking what might happen. So then we see, that as resolution is needful, counsel is not to be despised coming from a steadfast mind; for it is better to save ourselves and others, than to be the instruments to lose both. But when we have no time to resolve long in matters deplorable, then resolution should have place before long advisement.
Here also I did observe, that generals are forced to be ruled according to the occurrences in war. For the Field-marshal thinking to get advantage of the enemies' army, he left the garrison of Memmingen behind him; For he knew well, if once he did beat or remove the enemies' army, he could deal the easier with the garrison in subduing of it. Moreover, we see here, how necessary cannon are to a general to make a safe retreat, getting any advantage of ground.
Likewise we see here the goodness of intelligence, which is ever most necessary to an army, without which no good can be done or effectuated. Which made the Field-marshal quit the gaining of Kempten, to save the country of Württemberg by his diligence and celerity, in marching to gain the pass before the Imperialists.
On the other part, sloth and neglective watch is to be condemned, while as through security cavaliers suffer themselves to be surprised, as became of the French Marquess and Colonel John Forbesse, being both taken in their beds, who ought rather, through good intelligence, to have been on horseback in the Fields before the enemies' coming.
Also the valour of those cavaliers that made the retreat good, is worthy praise, they having carried the tokens of their valour in their bodies, for the safety of their comrades.
My cousin Fowles being shot in the foot, retired to Ulm to be cured, who through the smart of his wound fell into a languishing fever: and as the wound was painful to the body, so the sinful body was painful to the soul, the body being endangered except the wound were cured, and the soul was not sound till the body's sin were healed, and both for six weeks did much smart the patient, while as his wounds were dressed. But though his bodily wound was incurable, yet his soul was cured by the punishment of his body. For, all the time, he like to a good Christian, made himself night and day familiar by prayers unto God, till he found reconciliation through Christ. So that his end was glorious, having long smarted under correction, though his life was painful.
O happy wounds that killed the body, being they were the means to save the soul by bringing him to repentance! Let no friend then bedew their eyes for him that lived honourable as a soldier, and died so happy as a good Christian. My brother Colonel Monro of Obstell being untimely and innocently taken out of this life, being a true Christian and a right traveller. His life was his walk, Christ his way, and Heaven his home. And though during his life time his pilgrimage was painful, yet the world knows, his way did lead to perfection: for he leaned still on Christ, in whom he was made perfect. And therefore let no man doubt, that though his end was sudden, but his home was pleasing, being by his brethren after death made welcome to Heaven: and though he travailed hard, yet I persuade myself he walked right, and therefore was rewarded and made welcome through Christ his Redeemer.
Shortly after him, my dear cousin and Lieutenant Colonel John Sinclaire being killed at Neumark, he did leave me and all his acquaintance sorrowful, especially those brave heroics (Duke Barnard of Weimar and Field-marshal Horne) whom he truly followed and valourously obeyed till his last hour, having much worth he was much lamented, as being without gall or bitterness.
Likewise at this time Lieutenant Hector Monro, being also a stout and a valourous gentleman, died of a languishing ague in Württemberg, being much lamented by his comrades and friends.
We read in the Roman story; That the memory of the dead was ever honourable and precious, so that the Romans wore mourning for their dead friends above a year. And the Athenians had an order amongst them, that all those who died bravely in wars, their names should be inregistred and set in chronicle: as also frequent mention was ordained to be made of their names, and of the exploits done by them, in the public meetings. Moreover, it was ordained by them to celebrate days in their remembrance, wherein the youth should be exercised in divers exercises of body, called sepulchres, whereby the people might be encouraged to follow arms, for to gain honour to themselves, to the end that disdaining death they might be encouraged to fight for the weal of the public. And polemarch the leader for those youths, in time of their exercise, was wont to sing verses and songs made in praise of those that died valourously serving the public, and to incite others to the like magnanimity. The youths did sing them also before the people.
To conclude then this observation; since GOD hath made me poor by the want of my friends, I find no other remedy, but to enrich myself in being content with his will; being persuaded, as they have gone the way before me, I must needs follow, and then others by my example must learn to be contented to want me: And though I leave them poor, they can be rich in God being content; For, we are neither rich nor poor by what we possess, but by what we desire.