Sunday, 11 July 2010

Clearing the hedgerows

The Légère advanced cautiously ducking whenever they heard a shot and only a few bodies lay behind them on the slopes by the time they reached the first hedgerow. Obeying the shouts of their officers and NCOs they crossed the hedges into more open ground and advanced.

Casualties began to mount but they continued forwards. On the left they paused to fire, whereas on the right they charged the enemy hiding behind the hedgerows. In both cases the results were the same, the riflemen fled up the slopes towards their main line.

Colonel Anjou, was pleased, the enemy had been quickly cleared from their initial positions, but where was the rest of the army? Colonel Letort was equally anxious as he couldn’t launch his cavalry forward until the crest line of the ridge was cleared or at least checked for other surprises.

It was a while later that Colonel Jolais arrived with the 56ieme DB de Ligne. Immediately the four battalions available were sent forward. As they advanced the enemy guns opened fire, and as a round shot ploughed though his men, Colonel Jolais spotted markers that had been placed earlier by the enemy, presumably to mark the range. Luckily his men realised the benefit of speed and rapidly descended to the valley floor and crossed the hedge to join the Voltigeurs beyond.

Meanwhile, the whole of the artillery had arrived, and opened fire at extreme range and elevation at the Frundberg militia on the opposite hill.

Once in position on the valley floor Anjou and Jolais split the force between them Anjou took the left which was mainly légère backed up with a battalion of Ligne, whereas Jolais took his second and third battalions and some légère.

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