1758 - Austrian invasion of Saxony

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The campaign lasted from July to November 1758

Description

Early operations in Saxony

At the beginning of 1758, the Reichsarmee had taken up its winter-quarters in three groups:

  1. in Asch (present-day Aš), Hof and in the Upper-Palatinate
  2. around Kronach, Hildburghausen, Meiningen and Schmalkalden
  3. around Kulmbach and Nuremberg

For their part, the Austrian Bretlach Cuirassiers and Trautmansdorf Cuirassiers, and the Blau Würzburg Infantry had taken up their winter-quarters in Bohemia.

On January 10, the Maréchal de Richelieu ordered the Maréchal de Camp Marquis de Voyer to assemble on the Upper Oker a force of 6,000 men recalled from their winter-quarters in Braunschweig, Wolfenbüttel, Schladen and Goslar; and to advance in three columns on Halberstadt which was defended by the Prussian Major-General von Jungkenn.

In the night of January 10 to 11, Voyer set off from the Oker. However, the night march and the cold weather delayed his advance and allowed Jungkenn to discover his design.

On January 11

  • Prussians
    • Jungkenn evacuated Halberstadt and assembled his force on the road leading to Aschersleben.
  • French
    • At 9:00 a.m., two of the French columns arrived at Halberstadt. Voyer occupied the town and sent Turpin with 2 bns and 7 sqns to Quedlinburg.

Alarmed by the French attack, Prince Heinrich sent Colonel von Salmuth with I./Salmuth Fusiliers from Gardelegen to Stassfurt. He also sent 3 sqns of the Leibregiment zu Pferde from Leipzig to reinforce Jungkenn.

On January 16, after putting Halberstadt and its surrounding heavily to contribution (121,000 Talers cash, 79,000 Talers in bills, 11,150 Talers in payment and 1,400 sacks of grain), the French retired to their winter-quarters behind the Oker, leaving 4 bns and Turpin Hussards in the area of Schladen with outposts on the right bank of the Oker.

Frederick II did not let Voyer’s exactions go unpunished. In a letter sent to Richelieu by Prince Heinrich, Frederick announced retaliatory measures in the countries of the French allies and a stricter treatment of the captured French officers. Field-Marshal Keith was also instructed to raise all due contributions in Saxony, and Dresden had to pay 500,000 Talers. Furthermore, Frederick ordered to advance Jungkenn’s detachment, sending Colonel von Tauentzien of the I./Garde to replace Jungkenn.

On January 19, Prince Joseph von Hildburghausen ceded the command of the Reichsarmee to FZM Landgrave von Fürstenberg. He then left Nuremberg for Vienna.

On January 22, Kalckreuth Fusiliers were ordered to leave Berlin and to march to Magdeburg where they would replace Hesse-Cassel Fusiliers.

At the end of January

  • Prussians
    • Prince Heinrich assembled Jungkenn’s detachment in the region of Wanzleben, Egeln and Stassfurt and reinforced this detachment with Hesse-Cassel Fusiliers sent from Magdeburg.
    • At Gardelegen, Salmuth’s detachment, covering the Altmark, was replaced by 2 Landbataillons sent from Berlin.
    • II./Kahlden Infantry went from Halle, by Aschersleben to Halberstadt.

On January 30, even if he did not expect success against the French superior forces, Prince Heinrich sent Colonel von Tauentzien’s Corps (Jungkenn Müntzer Fusiliers (2 bns), Salmuth Fusiliers (2 bns), Hessen-Cassel Fusiliers (2 bns), Leibregiment zu Pferde (5 sqns), Meinicke Dragoons (270 men), Szekely Hussars (85 men) and Seydlitz Hussars (50 men)) assembled at Gross Oschersleben against the neighbouring French outposts.

On January 31 before dawn, Tauentzien advanced by Hessen on Hornburg. At 5:00 a.m., he arrived in front of the place and formed two attack groups, each of 1 bn and 100 volunteers who made themselves masters of the gates, totally surprising the garrison (14 officers and approx. 300 men) who surrendered without resistance. In the afternoon, the Prussians retired towards Osterwieck, followed by Turpin Hussards send out from Schladen. Turpin Hussards were lured into an ambush prepared by the Prussian hussars and dragoons, losing 30 men.

On February 2, Tauentzien’s Corps reached Halberstadt and took quarters in the town and surrounding villages. Tauentzien personally returned to Leipzig and Jungkenn re-assumed command. The troops remained undisturbed in these quarters till the end of the month, replenishing their ranks.

In February, the Emperor promoted Prince Friedrich von Pflaz-Zweibrücken to field marshal and appointed him as commander-in-chief of the Reichsarmee. For the coming campaign, the Reichsarmee received wagons for supplies and each battalion, a wagon for its chapel, cashbox, medicines, shoes, etc. Two pieces were also allocated to each battalion. The army was also equipped with a general hospital.

In February, Freibataillon Mayr, which was quartered in Reichenbach im Vogtland drove back enemy troops posted at Plauen and occupied the place.

In mid February, Prince Heinrich detached 10 bns and 15 sqns from the Prussian army under his command in Saxony to assist the Allied winter offensive in West Germany.

In March

  • Prussians
  • Imperials
    • After the success of the Allied winter offensive in West Germany and the false report of a Prussian army of some 23,000 men assembling near Leipzig, the commanders of the Austro-Imperial army feared a Prussian offensive in Franconia. Accordingly, they decided to assemble the Reichsarmee even though its armament was not yet completed.
    • The Prince of Zweibrücken arrived at Nuremberg where he assumed command of the Reichsarmee which consisted of 38 bns, 30 grenadier coys, 26 sqns with 46 three-pdr and 26 four-pdr regimental pieces for a total of 23,200 foot, 3,100 horse, 525 artillerymen and 78 pontoniers. These figures did not change much till the end of October.
  • Austrians
    • Sincere’s Corps assembled on the right bank of the Elbe near Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice) and Melnik, in case that the Prussians would launch an offensive from Lusatia.

On March 11, Prince Heinrich received instructions from Frederick, informing him that he would assume command of the Prussian army presently posted in Saxony under the command of Keith, and that he would have to lead this army against Bohemia. Prince Heinrich replied, expressing his doubts that his little army would suffice to besiege and capture Prague especially because he lacked the necessary artillery and engineers.

Frederick’s answer to Prince Heinrich’s previous message specified that, for the planned siege of Prague, he just had to use the siege artillery stored in the Fortress of Magdeburg and have it moved to the Elbe.

After the capitulation of Minden, on March 15, the strong Prussian detachment previously sent to assist the Allies returned to its winter-quarters in Saxony. Meanwhile, Prince Heinrich was taking his dispositions for the next campaign with his small army (22 bns and 20 sqns).

On March 25, Frederick wrote to Prince Heinrich to refute his last objections, stressing the importance of synchronized operations of the Army of Saxony with his own army. Frederick considered that with the help of the siege artillery which would be transported on the Elbe up to Leitmeritz, Prince Heinrich should have no difficulty to capture the weakly garrisoned City of Prague within eight days. Prince Heinrich argued that there was not enough gunpowder in Magdeburg to sustain a siege and that the Reichsarmee would seize the occasion to march on Leipzig. He rather propose to advance into the territory of the Holy Roman Empire and to confront the Austro-Imperial army. Frederick maintained his orders to march into Bohemia and to lay siege to Prague.

At the end of March

  • Prussians
    • After assisting the Allies in their winter offensive, Prince Heinrich marched by Halberstadt towards Saxony.
  • Imperials
    • The units of the Reichsarmee were instructed to assemble at the newly established headquarters at Bamberg.

On March 28, Prince Heinrich arrived at Dresden.

Order of Battle
Detailed OOB of the Prince Heinrich’s Army at the beginning of April.

On April 1, Keith set off from Dresden to rejoin Frederick’s Army.

First movements of the Reichsarmee

Austria convinced the Reichsarmee to redeploy on the border between Saxony and Bohemia to protect the latter from a potential Prussian invasion from Saxony. The Reichsarmee was further reinforced by an Austrian Corps under the command of General Dombasle, consisting of Austrian troops who had previously served with the French in Westphalia. The Reichsarmee was cantoned in Franconia with its left linked to the French positions through Thuringia and the Fulda Country and its right linked to the Austrian troops covering Bohemia.

Prince Heinrich wanted to wait until the Army of Saxony was fully assembled before launching operations against the Reichsarmee. However, he learned that the Reichsarmee, which had its quarters in and around Hof, had left its quarters and retired to Kulmbach and Kronach. He then sent a reconnaissance party (Freibataillon Mayr, 150 men of the Szekely Hussars under Colonel von Mayr) from Reichenbach im Vogtland in the direction of Hof. Mayr marched by Plauen and Oelsnitz.

On the morning of April 12, Mayr reached Hof which had not yet been completely evacuated by the Imperials. He took more than a hundred prisoners and found some flour and oat in the magazines of the place. Part of these provisions were distributed among his detachment and the rest destroyed.

On April 13, Frederick wrote to Prince Heinrich mentioning that an advance into the Holy Roman Empire would lead to no decision while the capture of Prague would be a shock for the Court of Vienna. He finally allowed Prince Heinrich to operate against the Reichsarmee until the king captured Olmütz (present-day Olomouc) in Moravia. However, at this moment, he should immediately advance on Prague.

On April 14, informed that the Reichsarmee was assembling to march against him, Mayr retreated.

The commander in Leipzig informed Frederick that there were a few thousands musket destined to the Austrian army in Suhl and 2,000 muskets destined to the Württemberger Contingent in Zella. Frederick immediately instructed Prince Heinrich to seize these supplies.

From April 20, the units of the Reichsarmee gradually arrived at a camp near Bayreuth. Splényi Hussars were charged of the forward protection of the camp. Furthermore, 5 bns under Major-General Count von Holnstein were posted near Waldsassen; and 6 bns under Major-General Prince Karl zu Stolberg, near Kulmbach. Altogether, Zweibrücken's Army consisted of:

  • 15 bns, 14 grenadier coys and 3 cuirassier sqns under General Kolb
  • 17 sqns cantoned in the neighbouring villages
  • Austrian Splényi Hussars occupying Hof

On April 21, Prince Heinrich sent Colonel von Mayr with Freibataillon Mayr and 150 men of the Szekely Hussars to seize the weapons stocked at Suhl and Zella. Mayr’s detachment marched from Reichenbach im Vogtland by Schleiz, Saalfeld and Königsee.

On April 23, Mayr’s detachment reached Ilmenau.

On April 24, Mayr’s detachment reached Suhl after an arduous march through the Thuringian forest which was still covered with ice and snow. His hussars advanced to Zella and Schleusingen. The Austrians had already taken possession of the muskets stored in Suhl. However, in Zella, Freibataillon Mayr seized 1,050 muskets destined the troops of the Swabian contingent of the Reichsarmee.

On April 26, Mayr’s detachment retired from Zella with its booty and retraced its step towards Reichenbach im Vogtland.

On April 29, Mayr’s detachment arrived at Reichenbach im Vogtland.

Order of Battle
Detailed OOB of Serbelloni’s Austrian Army at the end of April.

At the end of April

  • Prussians
    • Frederick sent reinforcements to Prince Heinrich in Saxony. These reinforcements marched by Görlitz and Bautzen towards Dresden.
  • Austrians
    • The Austrians thought that a Prussian offensive from Lusatia now seemed unlikely but that an offensive from Saxony into Bohemia was possible. Serbelloni, who had assumed command of the Austrian corps formerly under Sincère, received instructions to cross to the left bank of the Elbe, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Török on the right bank with 700 hussars and Grenzer light troops to guard the mountain passes leading to Lusatia.
Detail of a map illustrating movements of the Austrians and Prussians in Saxony from May to August 1758
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen by the German Grosser Generalstab, Vol. 3
Courtesy: Tony Flores
Legend:
Blue: Prussian corps
- Solid blue lines: advance of Prince Heinrich's Army in May
- Blue dashed lines: retreat of Prince Heinrich's Army in August
Red: Austro-Imperial Corps
- Solid red lines: movements of the Reichsarmee
- Dashed red lines: movement of Serbelloni's Corps

At the beginning of May, the Palatine Kurfürstin Leib-Dragoner (5 sqns) were taken in Austrian pay.

By May 1, the concentration of the Reichsarmee near Bayreuth was completed. The initial plan for this campaign was to select some 13,000 men from the best troops of the Reichsarmee who would effect a junction at Eger (present-day Cheb) with a 40,000 men strong Austrian army assembling at Leitmeritz for an offensive in Saxony. Meanwhile, the rest of the Reichsarmee would cover Thuringia and other Imperial territory. Zweibrücken feared that the Prussians could prevent this junction. For his part, Serbelloni did not dare to advance too far to effect this junction because he feared for Prague.

By May 2, Prince Heinrich had finally received the reinforcement sent by Frederick II (2 bns and 20 sqns under General Driesen) as well as the 2 bns sent from Berlin (4 other bns were still on their way). He then started to assemble his army.

By May 4, the Austrian FML Count Maquire was at Niemes (present-day Mimoň) with the main body of Serbelloni’s Army (Prinz Savoyen Dragoons, Bretlach Cuirassiers, Trautmansdorf Cuirassiers, Modena Cuirassiers, Marschall Infantry, Platz Infantry, Salm Infantry, Sincère Infantry and 300 Grenzer light troops).

On May 5, Maquire's Corps marched to Budin (present-day Budyně nad Ohří) where it arrived on May 7.

On May 11, Maquire's Corps reached Laun (present-day Louny).

On May 15

  • Imperials
  • Prussians
    • Prince Heinrich sent Freibataillon Mayr careering about in Franconia once again. Mayr even reached Bayreuth where the camp of the Reichsarmee had lately been.

By May 17, the Austrians had posted 3 bns and 3 cavalry rgts at Saaz (present-day Žatec) under General Count Althann to ease communication with the Reichsarmee. Meanwhile, advanced parties under Hadik blocked the passes across the Erzgebirge from the Elbe up to Graslitz (present-day Kraslice).

On May 19, the main body of the Reichsarmee encamped near Eger after marching from Bayreuth, by Weidenberg, Wunsiedel and Schirnding. Major-General Holnstein joined the army at Schirnding with his troops; and the detachment of the Prince of Stolberg effected a junction with the army at Eger.

Prussian incursion in Franconia

By May 20, Prince Heinrich had assembled 18 bns and 27 sqns near Zwickau and Reichenbach im Vogtland for his planned incursion in Franconia. More precisely, his small corps consisted of:

Prince Heinrich left the rest of his field troops (13 bns, 13 sqns) near Freiberg under the command of Lieutenant-General von Hülsen to cover Saxony and protect his line of communication. More precisely, Hülsen’s small corps consisted of:

Hauss Fusiliers, which previously garrisoned Leipzig was replaced there by Saldern Fusiliers. The latter regiment was replaced at Wittenberg by Kalckreuth Fusiliers coming from Magdeburg.

On May 22

  • Prussians
    • Part of Prince Heinrich’s Army advanced from Zwickau and joined the troops already assembled at Reichenbach im Vogtland. The vanguard (the freikorps and hussars) reached Plauen the same day.
  • Imperials
    • The Reichsarmee left Eger and marched towards Saaz in Bohemia.

On May 23

However, the retreat of the Reichsarmee to Bohemia persuaded Prince Heinrich to refrain from further advance, since he did not want the isolated troops left behind at Freiberg in Saxony under Hülsen to be attacked and defeated. Nevertheless, he had not abandon his plan to make an incursion into Franconia. Finally, he decided to remain near Plauen with the main body of his small army but to send forward a strong detachment into the country of Bamberg, hoping that an incursion into the Reich would create such a turmoil that the threatened princes would withdraw their troops from the Reichsarmee and declare neutrality.

For this purpose, Prince Heinrich sent forward Lieutenant-General von Driesen with about 3,500 men:

Driesen’s Corps was ordered to advanced into the Bishopric of Bamberg, collect contributions and launch raids with small detachments in Upper-Palatinate. Prince Heinrich thought that these measures would convince the Bishop of Würzburg that a strong Prussian force would follow.

On May 24, Belling Hussars and part of Szekely Hussars skirmished with a detachment of Splényi Hussars.

On May 25, Belling’s detachment reached Eger where it set fire to a magazine of hay. It then advanced beyond Eger to Unter-Sandau (present-day Dolní Žandov) and Einsiedl (present-day Mnichov u Mariánských Lázní), while the rearguard of the Reichsarmee withdrew to Karlsbad (present-day Karlovy Vary). Belling’s detachment then retreated unmolested towards Oelsnitz.

On May 26, Driesen set out of Hof, marching by Bayreuth and Hollfeld.

On May ??, the rest of the Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers reinforced Driesen’s Corps. Furthermore, Belling Hussars effected a junction with Driesen’s Corps.

On May 28, the Reichsarmee arrived at Saaz where it made a junction with an Austrian Corps under the command of General Andlau. The Duke of Zweibrücken then took command of the combined army which, including the Austrian troops of Serbelloni at Laun and of Hadik at Brüx (present-day Most), now consisted of 43 bns, 41 grenadier coys, 36 grenzer coys and 79 sqns. It counted 35,000 men to which were added 15,000 Austrians of a solid quality.

Reacting to Belling’s raid in the rear of the Reichsarmee, the Prince of Zweibrücken and Serbelloni held a council of war at Saaz where they decided to despatch a corps of 6,000 men under FML Count Esterházy to drive the Prussians out of the district of Eger. Esterházy’s rearguard was placed under the command of Major-General Baron Luzinsky.

Luzinsky followed Belling’s detachment up to Eger as it retreated. Luzinsky then advanced to Asch and Adorf.

The next movements of the Reichsarmee were planned to force Prince Heinrich to retire:

  • G.d.C. Count Althann’s Corps (12,000 men) would drive the troops of Lieutenant-General von Hülsen out of Freiberg
  • Hadik with a few thousands men would attack Pirna and the Fortress of Sonnenstein and capture arms, ammunition and provisions stored there

As Driesen’s detachment approached, Rosenfeld's detachment of the Reichsarmee, which was now posted at Lichtenfels to protect Franconia, retired to Bamberg.

On May 31

  • Prussians
    • Driesen’s Corps arrived at Bamberg. Rosenfeld’s detachment occupied the town. Rosenfeld was summoned to surrender but refused. Driesen then attacked and, after a long firefight, managed to enter into Bamberg. The outbreak of a fire forced Rosenfeld to capitulate under the condition of free withdrawal with weapons, equipment and baggage.
  • Imperials
    • Althann’s Corps set off from Brüx. However, Althann did not advance directly on Freiberg. Because of the advantageous positions of the Prussians and of their strength, Althann considered that an attack was unfeasible.

As Rosenfeld was marching towards Würzburg, Driesen occupied Bamberg but could raise only a small contribution of 20,000 Reichstaler because the court and cathedral treasuries had already been removed to Würzburg when Driesen’s approach became known.

The Prussian hussars raided Mid and Lower-Franconia. There was great consternation in the empire. In Nuremberg, the gates were closed and the war-chest transferred to Rothenburg an der Tauber.

At the beginning of June, Rosenfeld’s detachment effected a junction with the Austrian corps of FML Baron Dombasle at Würzburg. Dombasle’s Corps, which was on the march from the Netherlands, through Mainz and Franconia towards Bohemia. Dombasle’s Corps consisted of:

Dombasle, despite Zweibrücken’s orders to attack the Prussians, considered that his badly equipped troops were almost unusable and would not even be able to hold Würzburg.

To block the way to a possible invasion of Saxony by the Reichsarmee via Sebastiansberg (present-day Hora Svatého Šebestiána), Prince Heinrich ordered Lieutenant-General Hülsen to take position at Zschopau. He also sent Hülsen a reinforcement of 5 bns (Puttkamer Infantry, Hülsen Infantry, Freibataillon Wunsch) and 7 sqns (Leibregiment zu Pferde and 2 sqns of Szekely Hussars) from Plauen to Zschopau under Major-General von Asseburg.

After the return of Driesen’s Corps, Prince Heinrich remained at Plauen with the main body of his army.

On June 3, once Asseburg’s reinforcements had reached Zschopau and Marienberg, Colonel von Wunsch attacked the entrenchments of the Sebastiansberg with Freibataillon Wunsch, Freibataillon Chossignon (detached from Hülsen’s Corps) and 5 sqns of Szekely Hussars. They seized and destroyed the entrenchments, forcing the defenders to retreat to Komotau (present-day Chomutov). Wunsch then retired unmolested to Marienberg while the enemy reoccupied Sebastiansberg.

On June 4, Austrian hussars captured a convoy of flour and oat between Hof and Plauen.

On June 5

  • Prussians
    • Hülsen set off from Freiberg with his corps.
  • Imperials
    • Esterházy’s Corps arrived at Eger.
    • Hadik arrived at Rosenthal (unidentified location) from Teplitz (present-day Teplice).

In the moonlit night of June 5 to 6, Hadik’s Corps marched towards Pirna which it finally reached at daybreak. It was now impossible to launch a surprise attack and Hadik retired by Schönwald (present-day Krásný Les, Petrovice) towards Brüx.

On June 6

  • Prussians
    • Informed that Esterházy was not at Eger and Luzinsky at Asch, Prince Heinrich encamped at Hof with the bulk of his army. He also detached a few bns to escort the transports arriving from Bamberg on the road to Bayreuth.
    • Hülsen’s Corps effected a junction with Asseburg’s reinforcements near Zschopau. Hülsen then assumed command over the entire force.
    • Salmuth Fusiliers occupied Chemnitz.
  • Imperials
    • The Austro-Imperial army remained idle in its camp of Saaz.

On June 9, Hadik arrived at Brüx where Althann’s Corps had halted to cover the frontier and support Hadik’s Corps.

With his incursion in Franconia, Prince Heinrich had not achieved his intended goal: to force the Reichsarmee to retreat. On the contrary, in his present positions, an advance of the Reichsarmee could cut him off from Dresden. Therefore, he decided to recall Driesen’s Corps and to effect a junction with Hülsen’s Corps after Driesen’s arrival.

On June 10

  • Prussians
    • Driesen’s Corps set off from Bamberg.
  • Imperials
    • Soon after Driesen’s departure, Dombasle reoccupied Bamberg where he was joined by the Palatine Kurfürstin Leib-Dragoner.
    • Hadik marched from Brüx towards Saaz.

On June 14, Driesen’s Corps effected a junction with the main body of Prince Heinrich’s Army at Hof.

On June 16, Prince Heinrich retired from Hof.

On June 22, Prince Heinrich reached the vicinity of Zwickau and Reichenbach im Vogtland.

Operations come to a standstill

Prince Heinrich stopped for several days, sending detachments towards Asch where Luzinsky had advanced posts. Luzinsky temporarily retired to Asch.

Prince Heinrich let Lieutenant-General Itzenplitz with 8 bns (Grenadier Battalion Jung-Billerbeck, Grenadier Battalion Lubath, Finck Infantry, I./Kahlden Infantry, II./Kahlden Infantry, II./Hauss Fusiliers, I./Grabow Fusiliers) and 7 sqns (Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers and 2 sqns of Szekely Hussars) at Zwickau to observe Dombasle’s Corps. With the rest of his army, Prince Heinrich then marched by Chemnitz towards Zschopau.

On June 25, Prince Heinrich’s Army effected a junction with Hülsen’s Corps near Zschopau, on the southern side of Saxony with his eye well on the passes of the Erzgebirge (Metal Mountains). His army (21 bns and 40 sqns) encamped in 3 lines at Zschopau. The Freibataillon Mayr and 4 sqns of Belling Hussars were sent by Lössnitz to the vicinity of Marienberg. Afterwards, 1 sqn was sent to make a raid through Thuringia in the region of Fulda, and to spread the rumor that soon a stronger Prussian army would appear there.

Even after the arrival of Prince Heinrich at Zschopau, Zweibrücken remained idle.

On June 26, a detachment (Knobloch Infantry and I./Hauss Fusiliers) under Major-General Knobloch took position at Freiberg to protect the line of communication with Dresden.

Both armies then remained in their respective positions until mid July.

By July, the heavy artillery of the Reichsarmee consisted of:

  • 10 x 6-pdr guns
  • 4 x 12-pdr guns
  • 4 x 12-pdr howitzers

with a pontoon train of 30 wooden pontoons.

Prince Heinrich estimated that he had not to fear any invasion of Saxony by the Reichsarmee as long as he maintained his positions at Zschopau. Accordingly, he contented himself at first with raids on the enemy outposts.

On July 5

  • Prussians
    • Lieutenant-Colonel von Belling set off from Saxony with 3 sqns of Belling Hussars and 1 sqn of Szekely Hussars to join the Prussians operating against the Russians on the Oder.
  • Imperials
    • Zweibrücken was informed that the Prussians had abandoned the siege of Olmütz. These news changed nothing to his passive behaviour. On the contrary, Daun had to persuade Zweibrücken that he could resume his operations against the army of Prince Heinrich without fearing an intervention of Frederick’s Army which was retiring towards Bohemia. Quite reluctantly, Zweibrücken then finally decided to advance in the direction of Pirna with the Reichsarmee.

On July 6, Grenadier Battalion Jung-Billerbeck and Grenadier Battalion Lubath, detached from Itzenplitz’s Corps, rejoined the main body of Prince Heinrich’s Army at Zschopau. They were subsequently employed with the Prussian light troops against the enemy outpost at Joachimsthal (present-day Jáchymov).

On July 9, Esterházy’s Corps returned to the main Imperial army at Saaz.

On July 16, the sqn previously sent against Fulda rejoined the main body of Prince Heinrich’s Army at Zschopau after having retired by Eschwege, Dingelstädt, Nordhausen and Merseburg.

The Austro-Imperial Army enters into Saxony

On July 20, now that operations in Moravia had turned in favour of the Austrians, Zweibrücken at the head of the Reichsarmee quitted his camp of Saaz and moved to a new one between Brüx. The Austrian auxiliary troops, assembled at Laun, marched to Bilin (present-day Bílina).

On July 21, the Austro-Imperial vanguard, under the command of Hadik marched to Teplitz.

On July 22, when Prince Heinrich was informed of the departure of the Austro-Imperial Army from Saaz, he immediately transferred the 3 bns (Knobloch Infantry and I./Hauss Fusiliers) posted at Freiberg under Major-General Knobloch to occupy the heights of Lungwitz near Dippoldiswalde and to stop the incursions of the Austrian light troops. He reinforced them with Bredow Fusiliers sent from his camp at Zschopau. He also recalled Itzenplitz’s Corps to his main army.

On July 23, Hadik advanced to Tornow (unidentified location) with the vanguard. To cover the advance of the vanguard, light troops made a diversion on Marienberg.

On July 25, part of Itzenplitz’s Corps set off from Zwickau and marched to Chemnitz. Kahlden Infantry was left at Zwickau and I./Hauss Fusiliers at Freiberg.

When the Austrian General Dombasle was informed of Itzenplitz's retreat, he quitted his camp at Hof and marched northwards to Gefell, sending his light troops as far as Halle.

On July 28, the II./Salmuth Fusiliers set off from Chemnitz on their way to Halberstadt to protect the region against French raids.

The advance of Knobloch to Dippoldiswalde worried Zweibrücken who sent detachments to Schönwald and Altenberg.

On July 28, the Austro-Imperial Army marched from Brüx to Dux (present-day Duchcov).

On July 29

  • Imperials
    • The Reichsarmee marched from Dux to Teplitz.
    • Dombasle's Corps moved from Gefell to Plauen.
    • Luzinsky marched to Reichenbach im Vogtland.
  • Prussians

Prince Heinrich realised that the Austro-Imperial army planned to invade Saxony by the Gottleuba (present-day Bad Gottleuba) highway with Daun's support. Accordingly, he resolved to move his main force in the Dresden-Pirna area. To cover the movement of his army towards Dresden, Prince Heinrich made a diversion on the Bohemian border.

On July 30

At his point Zweibrücken interrupted operations, fearing that any further advance would expose Bohemia to an attack by the corps of Prince Heinrich still posted at Zschopau. Therefore Zweibrücken decided to wait until Prince Heinrich had retired to the Elbe before advancing deeper into Saxony. Serbelloni vainly tried to persuade him that an advance on Dresden would force Prince Heinrich to withdraw.

Prince Heinrich decided to detach Major-General von Asseburg (Grenadier Battalion Jung-Billerbeck , Grenadier Battalion Lubath, Hülsen Infantry, 500 commandeered foot, 400 commandeered horse, Freibataillon Mayr, Freibataillon Chossignon, 2 sqns of Belling Hussars and 4 x 12-pdrs) towards Bohemia to launch an attack against the Austrian positions on the Sebastiansberg, hoping that this would induce the Reichsarmee to withdraw from Saxony.

By July 31

  • Prussians
  • Austrians
    • The vanguard of Dombasle’s Corps, under Luzinsky, occupied Zwickau.
  • Engagements
    • A Prussian detachment attacked the entrenchments of Passberg (unidentified location) defended by 100 man of the Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer and some regular foot. The Austrians stood their ground for four hours before being driven out.
    • Asseburg’s detachment attacked the newly erected entrenchments at Sebastiansberg which were defended by 3 bns (including 1 bn of Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer under the command of Major Vorberg), 2 grenadier coys and some 1,000 horse under General von Kleefeld. Freibataillon Mayr and Freibataillon Chossignon made themselves masters of the forward entrenchments. They then hurled themselves against the main entrenchments but they were finally driven back after several hours of stubborn fighting. Furthermore, Freibataillon Wunsch coming from Annaberg, which was supposed to attack the enemy in flank, was stopped by the inaccessible roads and numerous abatis and did not reach its assigned position. The Prussians retired in disorder towards Marienberg where they rallied around Hülsen Infantry which was posted there. In this action, the Prussians lost 3 officers and 41 men killed; 5 officers (including M. de Chossignon who would later die from his wounds) and 83 men wounded; and 106 men missing or taken prisoners. The Austrians lost 1 officer and 50 men killed or wounded and 26 men taken prisoners. Even though, the engagement of Sebastiansberg resulted in a failure for the Prussians, it strongly influenced Zweibrücken in his decision to halt at Teplitz, fearing even more a Prussian advance into Bohemia.
    • During a skirmish against Prussian hussars near Dippoldiswalde, the Austrian Major-General Baron Mittrowsky was wounded and taken prisoner.

In August, when the Saxon Contingent received 24 four-pdr regimental guns, the Saxon artillerymen who had formerly been integrated as grenadiers in Fürst Lubomirsky Infantry and Prinz Gotha Infantry were detached from these regiment to serve the new artillery pieces.

On August 1, Dombasle sent Colonel Cotvos with 600 horse and hussars to raise contributions in the district of the Saale and the vicinity of Halle.

On August 2, Dombasle’s Corps, advancing by Plauen, reached Reichenbach im Vogtland.

On August 4, Zweibrücken sent his Reserve Corps (6 bns and 2 cavalry rgts) under FML Count Maquire from Teplitz to Brüx and then to Komotau where it encamped to support the troops posted near Sebastiansberg.

On August 5, the I./Salmuth Fusiliers arrived at Leipzig.

When Prince Heinrich saw that the Reichsarmee had not retreated after the engagement of Sebastiansberg, he decided to move closer to the Elbe. His situation was getting more difficult with the arrival of Dombasle on this theatre of operation.

Major General von Finck advanced at the head of several bns from Chemnitz on Zwickau. Seeing this, Luzinsky retired on Reichenbach im Vogtland.

On August 6, Prince Heinrich decamped from Zschopau with the main body of his army and retired to Chemnitz and Öderan between Freiberg and Dippoldiswalde.

When the Prussians retired from Zschopau, the Austrian detachments occupying the passes in the Erzgebirge came out of the mountains and harassed them with constant skirmishes.

On August 7, Daun sent Loudon with a strong corps towards Upper Lusatia. FML Loudon advanced from Eipel (present-day Úpice) with a strong vanguard consisting mainly of light troops, marching towards Reichenberg (present-day Liberec), Friedland (present-day Frýdlant v Čechách) and Seidenberg (present-day Zawidów).

On August 8

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Luzinsky advanced up to Lichtenstein.
    • Dombasle advanced up to Zwickau.
  • Prussians

The retreat of Frederick with the main Prussian army from Skalitz (present-day Česká Skalice) in Bohemia towards Silesia had left the way open to Daun to effect a junction with the Russian army on the Oder, if he so desired.

Detail of a map illustrating movements of the Austrians and Prussians in Saxony and Silesia from August 10 to September 11 1758
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen by the German Grosser Generalstab, Vol. 3
Courtesy: Tony Flores

On August 10

  • Austrians
    • The Austrian main army under Daun quitted its camp at Horzeniowes (present-day Hořiněves) near Smirzitz (present-day Smiřice) and marched towards Zittau and Görlitz in Lusatia, by Gitschin (present-day Jičín), Turnau (present-day Turnov) and Reichenberg.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • When Zweibrücken realised that Prince Heinrich could not threaten Bohemia from his new positions, he recalled his Reserve Corps from Komotau to Brüx.
  • Prussians
    • Keith being sick, Frederick confided command of his army in Silesia to Margrave Karl before leaving for Brandenburg with a small corps. Margrave Karl was left at the head of 33,000 men in 44½ bns and 80 sqns.
    • On the Silesian border, Major-General von Puttkamer at the head of Puttkamer Hussars and Freibataillon Salenmon was sent to Greiffenberg (present-day Gryfów Śląski). Puttkamer soon realised that the Austrians were advancing from the area of Jaromirz (present-day Jaromer) and Eipel towards Reichenberg in the general direction of Lusatia. Their light troops were already roaming the country up to Friedland.

On August 11

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Zweibrücken at the head of the Reichsarmee marched from Teplitz towards Kulm (present-day Chlumec).
  • Prussians
    • The main body of Prince Heinrich’s Army (22 bns, 3 cavalry rgts and most of the hussars) was assembled near Chemnitz and Öderan.
    • Major-General von Knobloch with 4 bns (Knobloch Infantry, Bredow Fusiliers) and 6 sqns (400 commandeered cuirassiers, 2 sqns of Szekely Hussars) was sent to Maxen.

On August 12

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Hadik with the vanguard of Zweibrücken’s Army penetrated up to Berggiesshübel.
    • The Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer attacked by surprise the Prussian camp on the Kohlberg, killing 100 men and capturing horses and baggage. Meanwhile, Maquire's Corps returned to its camp at Teplitz.
  • Prussians
    • Prince Heinrich's Main Army occupied the following positions:
      • Pirna and Sonnenstein guarded by Garrison Regiment Nr. IV von Grape;
      • Kohlberg entrenchments guarded by 1 Frei-Infanterie battalion and 1 fusilier battalion;
      • on the heights of Maxen, Knobloch with 6 bns and 400 horse;
      • at the camp near Chemnitz and Öderan, Prince Heinrich with 12 bns and 10 sqns;
      • at the camp of Hilbersdorf, Hülsen with 5 bns and 5 sqns;
      • at Freiberg, 2 bns;
      • at Waldenburg, Asseburg's Corps consisting of 6 bns and 15 sqns.

On August 13

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Zweibrücken threw a bridge over the Elbe at Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem) to establish a better line of communication with Daun's Army.
  • Austrians
    • General Guasco crossed the bridge at Aussig with his newly assembled corps of carabiniers and grenadiers from Daun's force.
  • Prussians
    • Asseburg was mistakenly informed that Dombasle had already reached Chemnitz and Zschopau. Accordingly, he retired from Waldenburg to Penig.

On August 14

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Dombasle’s Corps reached Zschopau.
  • Austrians
    • Guasco reached Tetschen (present-day Děčín) and occupied its castle.
  • Prussians
    • On the Silesian border, Zieten reached Lähn (present-day Wleń) with the Münchow Fusiliers and the Württemberg Dragoons. Puttkamer retired to Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Śląski) as ordered by Zieten. Zieten had learned that a camp for 40,000 men was being prepared near Zittau.

On August 15

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Dombasle's Corps (15,000 Austrians) advanced up to Chemnitz to observe Asseburg's Corps which had retired northwestwards on Penig.
  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army reached Reichenberg.
  • Prussians
    • On the Silesian border, Zieten let Puttkamer advanced once more on Greiffenberg where Austrian hussars had been reported. Zieten then marched with his own detachment to Löwenberg. Puttkamer found that Greiffenberg was already occupied by 1,200 Austrian horse and Grenzers (part of Loudon’s light corps). He decided to wait for reinforcements.

On the night of August 15 to 16, Zieten, informed of the situation during the evening, immediately marched with the Münchow Fusiliers and the Württemberg Dragoons.

On August 16

  • Austrians
    • Guasco's Corps marched to Schandau (present-day Bad Schandau) to cover the construction of a bridge across the Elbe near Krippen and Schandau and thus establish communication with Hadik's Corps at Berggießhübel.
    • Daun learned that Frederick had left Landeshut (present-day Kamienna Góra) with a corps and marched towards Liegnitz (present-day Legnica).
  • Prussians
  • On the Silesian border, early in the morning, Zieten arrived near Greiffenberg with his detachment. However, the Austrians had already evacuated the town. Later the same day, he was informed that the main Austrian army was marching on Zittau and that its vanguard had already reached Seidenberg. In the evening, Zieten retired to Löwenberg.

The early capture of Pirna and of the Fortress Sonnenstein was one of the objectives of the Reichsarmee. Indeed these places constituted the starting points for any further operations against Dresden. Furthermore, Pirna offered a secure point to establish communication across the Elbe between the Reichsarmee and Daun’s Army.

On August 17

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Zweibrücken’s main body finally encamped between Schönwald and Peterswalde (present-day Petrovice), in its slow and hesitant advance into Saxony.
    • Maquire's Corps encamped at Nollendorf (present-day Nakléřov).
  • Austrians
    • Daun arrived at Zittau with the Austrian main army, establishing magazines.
    • Loudon pushed up to Seidenberg where he left General Harsch to guard the Silesian border with a corps of about 11,000 men and to block the passages across the Queis.

On August 18

  • Austrians
    • Guasco's Corps received the support of 8 bns and 2 cavalry rgts led by FML Count Trautmannsdorf.
    • Loudon occupied Görlitz.
  • Prussians
    • 4 sqns of Belling Hussars, which were returning from Brandenburg, joined Asseburg’s Corps at Penig.

Zweibrücken threw a boat bridge across the Elbe at Schandau. It was covered by the Grenadier Corps under Major-General Count Guasco and by a detachment of 8 bns and 2 cavalry rgts under FML Count Trautmansdorf.

As the enemy advance troops approached Pirna, Prince Heinrich decided to gradually reinforce Knobloch’s detachment at Maxen with 4 bns (I./Kahlden Infantry, II./Kahlden Infantry, Finck Infantry). He also posted Freibataillon Monjou and 900 commandeered troops on the Kohlberg near Pirna and ordered them to fortify their positions.

When Prince Heinrich was informed that Daun was advancing towards Zittau and that the Reichsarmee had resumed its advance, he decided to move closer to Pirna with the main body of his army.

Daun enters into Saxony

On August 19, Daun pushed forward from Zittau with nothing but Zieten to cover him in the distance, aiming for Prince Heinrich's rear, not his flank.

On August 20

  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army marched from Zittau to Görlitz. This movement was intended to cover Loudon's advance from Seidenberg towards Brandenburg where he planned to make a junction with a Russian army. Daun had now abandoned his plan of a junction of his entire army with the Russian army and was waiting for new instructions from Vienna.
    • Daun could now march on Berlin; or return to Silesia to confront the army of Margrave Karl; or effect a junction with Serbelloni’s Corps; which had been posted in north-western Bohemia to cover the region against any incursion of the army of Prince Heinrich, and operate in conjunction with the Reichsarmee against Saxony and recapture Dresden. Daun finally decided to march towards the Elbe.
    • Loudon was sent to Lower Lusatia with 7,000 light troops to raise contributions and to act as if the Austrians intended to march on Berlin and effect a junction with the Russians. A detachment of 500 cavalrymen under Lieutenant-Colonel von Palasti was sent forward by Guben to the region of Frankfurt/Oder.
  • Prussians
    • Prince Heinrich retired from the region of Chemnitz and Öderan with 8 bns and 12 sqns. He then assembled his army in two main groups: one in a camp near Großsedlitz where he established his headquarters; the other under Lieutenant-General Hülsen in a camp between Maxen and Gamig. Prince Heinrich also sent 5 bns to entrench themselves on the western edge of the ridge extending to the south-east of Pirna.
    • The Prussians had advanced posts near Pirna and the Castle of Sonnenstein.
    • In Silesia, Margrave Karl, fearing that the Austrians would march from Zittau towards Brandenburg and the Mark, set off from Landeshut. Fouqué, previously posted at Friedland to observe the Austrian forces left on the Bohemian frontier, was now responsible for the defence of Silesia.

On August 21, Loudon set off from Seidenberg and marched by Muskau (present-day Bad Muskau), Forst and Cottbus to Peitz. His light troops sacked the Prussian villages and spread terror up to the gate of Frankfurt/Oder, angering Loudon with their excesses.

Kleefeld's Corps marched to Liebstadt where it made a junction with Hadik. Meanwhile, Trautmansdorf's Corps, along with the grenadiers and the reserve under Maquire reached Pirna.

By August 23

Asseburg retired towards the main body of Prince Heinrich’s Army.

By August 25

  • Austrians
    • The small fort of Peitz, located in the middle of several waterways and covering the road leading from Cottbus to Frankfurt/Oder surrendered to Loudon, Its garrison, under the command of Colonel von Brösigke, had only 60 men fit for duty and 10 artillerymen. It obtained free withdrawal to Berlin. Loudon threw a garrison in Peitz and took position near Cottbus with his detachment.
    • The Austrian Corps de Réserve and the Grenadier Corps took position on the Königsteiner hills near Lang-Hennersdorf.
  • Prussians

On August 26

  • Austrians
    • Daun's Main Army set off from Görlitz and marched to Bautzen to establish communication with the Reichsarmee, leaving FZM Margrave Christoph von Baden-Durlach behind at Schönberg with 17 bns, 25 sqns and 400 grenzers for a total of some 12,000 men to cover Lusatia, Bohemia and the magazines at Zittau; and to protect the flank of the main army against any enterprise of Margrave Karl.

On August 27

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Zweibrücken had assembled his army in a camp near Struppen and threw a bridge across the Elbe near Oberrathen and Wehlen (present-day Stadt Wehlen) to establish a line of communication with Daun.
    • Hadik remained at Berggiesshübel.
  • Prussians
    • Asseburg’s detachment reached the vicinity of Kesselsdorf from where its infantry marched to the camp of Maxen.
    • On the Silesian border, Margrave Karl decided, considering the change of situation, to march towards Lauban (present-day Lubań) and thus threaten the Austrian magazines at Zittau.

On August 28

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Dombasle’s Corps effected a junction with the Reichsarmee near Struppen.
  • Austrians
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Török with his hussars and Grenzer light troops advanced to Stolpen on the right bank of the Elbe.
    • Daun reached Bautzen with his main army.
  • Prussian
    • On the Silesian border, Margrave Karl set off from Plagwitz, marching downstream along the Bober.

On August 29

  • Austro-Imperials
    • Zweibrücken sent a corps of 8,000 men under FZM Prince August von Baden-Durlach to the right bank of the Elbe to secure communication with Daun’s Army. Baden-Durlach’s Corps took position between Hohnstein and Schandau.
  • Prussians
    • On the Silesian border, Zieten marched from Naumburg am Queis (present-day Nowogrodziec) to Guben in Brandeburg with his 30 sqns and the Freibataillon Salenmon.

On August 30

  • Prussians
    • The rest of Zieten’s Corps rejoined him at Guben in Brandenburg.
    • On the Silesian border, Margrave Karl reached Sprottau (present-day Szprotawa) with his army, on his way to Brandenburg.

On August 31

  • Prussians
    • On the frontier with Brandenburg, Zieten’s Corps marched westwards from Guben through Lieberose in the direction of Lübben to prevent the Austrians from advancing from Peitz towards the region south of Berlin.

At the end of August, overall the 56 infantry rgts of the Austrian Army counted 84,521 men (at full strength, they should have counted 101,820 men). These rgts counted a total of 108 field bns, 111 grenadier coys.

Order of Battle
Detailed OOB of the Prince Heinrich’s Army at the end of August.

On September 1

  • Austrians
    • After marching by Marienstern (probably Mariensteig), Kamenz and Königsbrück, Daun reached Nieder-Rödern. His army vastly outnumbered Prince Heinrich's Army, and Daun could count on a sure success if he succeeded to cross to the left bank of the Elbe and effect a junction with the Reichsarmee. He would thus be able to oppose 100,000 men to Prince Heinrich’s 20,000, attacking from two sides. However, such a manoeuvre asked for energy and fast execution to bring a decision before Frederick’s return to Saxony.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • Zweibrücken sent a corps against Sonnenstein under Maquire. The Fortress of Sonnenstein was defended by a Prussian garrison under Colonel von Grape.
  • Prussians
    • In Southern Brandenburg, Prince Franz von Braunschweig, who had initially been sent towards Beeskow by Frederick, arrived near Wendisch-Buchholz (present-day Märkisch Buchholz) with his 6 bns (Kurssell Fusiliers, Wied Fusiliers, Freiregiment Hordt), according to Frederick’s new instruction.
    • On the Silesian border, Margrave Karl crossed the Bober near Sagan and then redirected his march westwards by Priebus (present-day Przewóz), according to the new orders received from Frederick the previous day instructing him to keep an eye on Daun’s Army.

During the night of September 1 to 2, Prince Heinrich's Army quitted its camp at Großsedlitz in two columns in total silence, moved westwards and encamped on the heights of Gamig behind the Müglitz, abandoning the garrison of Pirna (Garrison Regiment Nr. IV consisting mostly of Saxons and 200 commandeered men under Colonel von Grape) to its fate.

Daun was attempting to isolate Prince Heinrich from the other Prussian corps and to catch his small army between Zweibrücken's Austro-Imperial Army and his own. However, Daun was informed that Zieten had prevented the planned raid of Loudon's Corps into Brandenburg and that the Russians had been stopped at the Battle of Zorndorf. Furthermore, the Prince of Durlach informed Daun that Margrave Karl was advancing along the Bober towards Sagan (present-day Zagan). Finally, Daun learned that Prince Heinrich had repositioned his army at Gamig.

Daun then lost two days trying to locate a passage across the Elbe downstream from Dresden, and negotiating with Zweibrücken to synchronize their movements. Daun wanted Zweibrücken to send some 9,000 men from the Reichsarmee to Meissen to secure the crossing of the Elbe by the Austrian army. Zweibrücken answered that he could not send such a corps to Meissen before four days.

On September 2

On September 3

  • Austrians
    • Daun, changing his plan, sent Lacy to make a junction with Zweibrücken's Austro-Imperial Army.
    • Loudon who was back from Brandenburg, was posted at Hoyerswerda to the northeast of Dresden to protect the line of communication with the Prince Durlach's Corps at Löbau. Loudon would remain at Hoyerswerda until September 5, covering the march of Daun’s Army to the region north of Dresden.
    • Bela was detached to Görlitz to cover Lusatia.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • Maquire summoned the commandant of the Fortress of Sonnenstein, Colonel von Grape, to surrender. Grape answered that he would defend the fortress to the last man. Maquire started to work at the construction of three batteries (one on the Galgenberg, one near Cunnersdorf and a last one in the old Saxon entrenchments on the right bank of the Elbe).
  • Prussians
    • In Brandenburg, Margrave Karl’s Army marched to Müllrose, on its way to effect a junction with Frederick’s Army near Sonnewalde.
    • Zieten’s Corps reached Lübben in Lower-Lusatia.

On September 4

  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army marched from Nieder-Rödern to Radeberg.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • The corps of Margrave August von Baden-Durlach occupied Hadik’s former camp at Berggiesshübel.
  • Prussians
    • Margrave Karl marched to Trebatsch with his cavalry while his infantry followed up to Beeskow.
    • Prince Franz von Braunschweig effected a junction with Zieten’s Corps at Lübben in Lower-Lusatia.

On September 5

  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army marched back to Stolpen. A possible junction with the Reichsarmee was postponed.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • At daybreak, Maquire’s three batteries opened on the Fortress of Sonnenstein. The artillery of the fortress answered. Around 5:00 p.m., Colonel Grape surrendered with Garrison Regiment Nr. IV (1 ,442 men) which were taken as prisoners of war.
    • Zweibrücken's Army occupied the camp of Pirna.
  • Prussians
    • The troops of Zieten and Prince Franz von Braunschweig advanced from Lübben to Luckau from where they would act as Frederick’s vanguard.
    • Margrave Karl’s Army reached Lübben.
    • Prince Heinrich built a strong abatis and a redoubt near Weisser Hirsch up to the road to Radeberg.

On September 6

  • Austro-Imperials
    • On the morning, the captured Prussian garrison (41 officers, 1,442 men) marched out of the Fortress of Sonnenstein with drums beating but had to deposit arms when it reached the gate. The whole garrison then became prisoners of war. The Austrians had also captured 10 colours and 45 artillery pieces.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick allowed a day’s rest to his small army. He received information that, by September 4, Daun still was in the vicinity of Königsbrück. He sent orders to Margrave Karl to take the direction of Elsterwerda because Daun was throwing a bridge near Meissen to attack the rear of the army of Prince Heinrich. Frederick planned to cross the Elbe at Torgau and to attack the Austrian army in the rear.
    • Margrave Karl’s Army marched by Muskau towards Spremberg. Its cavalry, under the Prince von Württemberg attacked the cavalry of Lieutenant-Colonel Palasti near Spremberg, capturing 2 officers and 163 men.

On September 7

  • Prussians
    • When he learned that Daun had abandoned his plan to cross the Elbe, Frederick redirected his march towards Dobrilugk.
    • Zieten and Prince Franz von Braunschweig marched from Luckau to Herzberg.
    • The army of Margrave Karl reached Senftenberg.

On the night of September 7 to 8, Daun received a letter from Empress Maria Theresa enjoining him to offer battle to Prince Heinrich if it was still possible. Daun then considered to cross the Elbe on September 10 and attack Prince Heinrich but the approach of Frederick’s Army soon changed his project.

On September 8

  • Austrians
    • The Austrians threw a bridge of boat across the Elbe near Sonnenstein.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • The Reichsarmee set off from its camp near Struppen and encamped on the heights to the east of Gottleuba. The Prince of Zweibrücken kept his headquarters at Struppen.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick reached Elsterwerda with his small army.
    • Margrave Karl rested his army at Senftenberg.

Frederick arrives in Saxony

On September 9

  • Austrians
    • Daun went to Lohmen near the Elbe to discuss with Zweibrücken the combined attack planned for the following day. Zweibrücken asked to postpone the attack to the night of September 10 to 11 to allow him enough time to prepare it adequately.
    • Loudon’s Corps retired before the army of Margrave Karl and marched from Kamenz to Radeberg behind the Röder.
  • Prussians
    • Zieten and Prince Franz von Braunschweig who had followed his advance, protecting his right flank made a junction with Frederick's force at Grossenhain.
    • In the afternoon, Frederick, having learned that Daun had established a camp at Stolpen and that a bridge was being thrown across the Elbe at Schandau, marched with 12 bns and 63 sqns to Großdobritz, one march from Dresden, while the main body of his army remained at Grossenhain.
    • Margrave Karl’s Army marched from Senftenberg to Grossenhain where it arrived at night. During the march 200 men had deserted.

On September 10,

  • Austrians
    • In the afternoon, Loudon reported to Daun that Frederick’s Army had reached Großdobritz and that Margrave Karl had marched to Grossenhain. Daun abandoned his design of crossing the Elbe and attack Prince Heinrich. He then remained idle in his camp near Stolpen.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • The Reichsarmee was assembled in the camp of Pirna.
    • In the evening, Hadik, who was posted near the Prussian right wing, retired to Berggiesshübel.
  • Prussians
    • Frederick rested at Großdobritz.
    • By that date, Prince Heinrich had recalled most of the units (to the exception of Hessen-Cassel Fusiliers and I./Brandes Fusiliers) which he had previously sent to Dresden. These units rejoined his army at Gamig.

On September 11

  • Prussians
    • Frederick’s whole Army marched to Reichenberg where it established its camp. Frederick was now at the head of 64½ bns and 118 sqns. The Wied Fusiliers and the Kurssell Fusiliers were left behind at Grossenhain to guard the bakery.
    • The 10 cuirassier sqns (Prinz von Preußen Cuirassiers, Markgraf Friedrich von Brandenburg Cuirassiers) previously sent by Prince Heinrich to reinforce Dohna's Corps in Brandenburg were sent back to Gamig to reinforce his army.
    • Frederick decided to manoeuvre against Daun's right flank and to threaten his magazines at Zittau. To execute his plan, Frederick first had to dislodge Loudon from his positions at Radeberg. He charged Retzow of this mission and gave him 14 bns, 3 Freikorps bns and 25 sqns.
    • Frederick detached Major-General von Puttkamer with the Puttkamer Hussars, 3 bns of Freikorps and the Feldjäger zu Fuß to Langebrück to screen Loudon’s Corps at Radeberg.
  • Austrians
    • Daun resolved to maintain his position at Stolpen to interdict Silesia to the Prussian army and thus hoping to help Harsch enterprises in these quarters. Daun's camp at Stolpen was a very strong position with his front and right flank protected by the steep-sided Wesenitz and his left flank covered by the Fort of Stolpen and a steep-sided stream. All roads leading to Stolpen passed by deep defiles. Loudon was at Radeberg covering Daun’s right flank, Durlach at Löbau and light troops linked Daun's position to Zweibrücken's Army through a bridge thrown across the Elbe near Pirna.
    • In the afternoon, a detachment of Loudon’s Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer was driven back of its outpost at Weisser Hirsch by the Hessen-Cassel Fusiliers after an obstinate fight. In this combat the Prussian rgt lost 1 officer and 10 men killed; and 75 men wounded.
    • The corps of Margrave Christoph von Baden-Durlach moved from Schönberg to Löbau to protect Daun’s line of communication with Zittau.

On September 12

Frederick slowly advances towards Zittau

Detail of a map illustrating movements of the Austrians and Prussians in Saxony and Silesia from September 12 to mid October 1758
Source: Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen by the German Grosser Generalstab, Vol. 3
Courtesy: Tony Flores

During the night of September 12 to 13, Retzow's detachment remained in arms near Langebrück.

On September 13

  • Prussians
    • In the morning, Retzow reconnoitred the Austrian positions.
    • On September 13, Frederick marched in two columns, the Austrian light troops facing him retiring. He reached Schullwitz and Bühlau. Keith, who had recovered from sickness, followed Frederick with the main body of the army in two columns. Frederick’s and Keith’s troops encamped in four lines on the heights near Schullwitz. The infantry formed the two first lines and the cavalry the two last ones. Frederick established his headquarters at Schönfeld. From the new Prussian camp, one could see a large part of the Austrian camp on the heights of Stolpen behind the Wesenitz; and the rows of tents of the Reichsarmee on the other side of the Elbe. Frederick decided to move against Loudon’s Corps, hoping that Daun would come to its rescue and offer battle.
    • Two bridges were thrown across the Elbe near Pillnitz to establish communication with Prince Heinrich. These bridges were guarded by the Grenadier Battalion Rohr.
  • Austrians
    • Daun had already given orders to Loudon and Durlach to move closer to his main army.
    • Loudon retired to Arnsdorf without being attacked by Retzow (Frederick was furious when he learned that Retzow had not engaged Loudon’s Corps).
    • Durlach moved to Putzkau to cover Daun's right flank. He also moved the Austrian carabiniers and grenadiers closer to Lohmen and his Reserve near Stürza; and placed 5 hussar regiments under Esterházy on the heights of Dür-Röhrsdorf to cover his left flank and the communications with Zweibrücken's Army.
    • General Bela was positioned at Bautzen from where he pushed patrols on Kamenz and Elstra.
    • The Austrian bridge at Pirna was transferred to Oberrathen.

On September 14

  • Prussians
    • Retzow marched to Radeberg where he was reinforced by 10 sqns. His vanguard occupied Klein Wolmsdorf and Wallroda.
  • Austrians
    • Loudon at Arnsdorf was still blocking the road to Bautzen.
    • The Margrave of Baden-Durlach moved closer to Daun’s camp, reaching Nieder-Putzkau.

On September 15

On September 16

  • Prussians
    • Frederick prepared everything for a general attack on Loudon's position. Around 5:00 a.m., Frederick marched with 8 bns and 40 sqns to Fischbach along the highway leading to Dresden.
    • Retzow, who had been reinforced by 7 bns and 5 sqns, was now at the head of 23 bns and 40 sqns. He was supposed to attack Loudon’s right wing at Klein-Röhrsdorf at 6:00 a.m. However, since Loudon had already retired, Retzow’s hussars only managed to capture a detachment of Grenzer light troops (6 officers and 363 men) in the forest near Gross-Röhrsdorf. Retzow’s Corps effected a junction with Bevern’s and encamped on the heights south of Arnsdorf.
    • The rest of the Prussian troops returned to the camp near Schönfeld.
    • Frederick was informed of the latest developments in Pomerania and sent 8 bns to reinforce the Prussian force operating on this theatre of operation.
    • Realising that Daun was not willing to accept an open battle and was remaining in his entrenched camp at Stolpen, Frederick decided to threaten his line of communication with Zittau.
    • Frederick barracked his infantry while his cavalry built stables from branches and scrubs.
  • Austrians
    • Informed of the advance of Bevern’s detachment, Loudon had already retired under cover of a dense fog through a wooded area to the Kapellenberg near Dürren-Fuchson the left wing of the army, losing 369 grenzer light troops taken prisoners during his manoeuvre. At Dürren-Fuchs, he received a reinforcement of 3 infantry rgts and 2 cavalry rgts sent by Daun.

On September 17

  • Austrians
    • Hadik marched from Berggießhübel to Glashütte on his way to Freiberg.
    • The Corps de Reserve of Maquire replaced Hadik’s Corps at Berggießhübel.

On September 21

  • Prussians
    • Frederick learned from deserters that the Austrians were gradually sending back their baggage by Neustadt towards Bohemia.
  • Austrians
    • Cotvos’ detachment rejoined Dombasle’s Corps after raiding the County of Hohenstein.

On September 24, Prince Heinrich sent Lieutenant-Colonel von Kleist with a corps (400 picked men from various Freikorps, 4 sqns of Szekely Hussars, 500 picked cavalrymen) to roam the region of Altenburg, Penig and Zwickau and harass the Reichsarmee, making it more difficult for them to get supply from this region.

On September 25

  • Prussians
    • Frederick had the two bridges of boats at Pillnitz removed.
  • Austrians
    • Loudon retired to Bischofswerda.
    • Daun remained idle in his camp at Stolpen but sent the corps of Margrave Christoph von Baden-Durlach back from Nieder-Putzkau to Wilthen to cover the road leading to Löbau and Zittau.

On September 26

  • Prussians
    • Retzow’s Corps marched to Hauswalde, following Loudon.
    • On September 26, Frederick advanced towards Hauswalde with the left wing of his main army, linking with Retzow’s Corps. Frederick encamped at Rammenau near Bischofswerda.
    • Keith covered the march with the right wing and then followed up to Arnsdorf.
  • Austrians
    • Part of the Reserve Corps under FML Marquis d’Aynse was sent to Nieder-Putzkau to replace Baden-Durlach’s Corps and to support Loudon’s Corps.

On September 27

  • Prussians
    • Frederick’s whole army was reunited and encamped near Rammenau.
    • Frederick sent Major-General Angelelli for a reconnaissance in force of Loudon’s positions. The Prussian light troops engaged Loudon’s Grenzer light troops in the woods near Geissmannsdorf without tangible results.
    • In the evening, Frederick sent Lieutenant-General Prince Friedrich Eugen von Württemberg with the Württemberg Dragoons, the Puttkamer Hussars and the Werner Hussars in a reconnaissance towards Loudon’s positions.
    • Frederick gave order to attack Loudon’s camp on the following day.
  • Austrians
    • The corps of the Margrave von Baden-Durlach reached Löbau.

On September 28

On September 29

  • Prussians
    • Retzow’s Corps reached Bautzen. However, Frederick could not follow him with the main army for lack of supplies. He thus lost the occasion of cutting Daun from his magazines at Zittau.

By the end of September, it seems that all cuirassier and dragoon rgts of the Austrian field army had been re-established at 5 field sqns and 1 elite (carabinier or horse grenadier) coy). Daun’s Army counted some 73,000 men:

  • main army: 35,842 foot, 10,653 horse and 758 hussars with 40 x 6-pdr guns, 24 x 12-pdr guns and 18 x 7-pdr howitzers
  • Loudon’s Corps: 1,094 foot, 6,705 Grenzer light troops, 778 horse and 1,447 hussars with 4 x 6-pdr guns and 2 x 7-pdr howitzers
  • Durlach’s Corps: 10,146 foot, 2,085 Grenzer light troops, 3,275 horse and 310 hussars with 4 x 6-pdr guns, 4 x 12-pdr guns and 2 x 7-pdr howitzers

On October 1

  • Austrians
    • The Corps of General Bela marched from Weissenberg to Hochkirch.
    • Daun recalled 5 bns and the Portugal Cuirassiers which had previously been detached to Zweibrücken's Army.

On October 2

On October 3, Hadik arrived at Freiberg.

On October 4, Daun held a council of war where Zweibrücken attended. It was decided to leave the camp of Stolpen, to move closer to the magazines and to occupy a new camp at Löbau.

On October 5

  • Austrians
    • Daun detached the Duke of Ursel with the second line of the left wing to occupy the heights of Tautewalde on the road to Wilthen.
    • At dusk, Daun’s Army set off from the camp of Stolpen, where it had resided for four weeks, and marched the whole night in two columns by Ottendorf and Ober-Putzkau to a new camp between Crostau and Cunewalde.
    • The Duke of Arenberg led the rearguard consisting of Loudon's Corps, the Reserve, the second line of grenadiers and carabiniers and the hussar regiments under Esterhazy. Loudon went to the Lammerberg near Neukirch.
    • The carefully planned march, was carried out heavy security measures and proceeded unmolested to destination.
  • Prussians
    • When Frederick learned that Daun was retiring, he gave orders to pursue the rearguard. However, the Prussians were repulsed with a loss of 400 men.

On October 6

  • Engagement near Nieder-Putzkau
    • Between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m., the troops encamped near Hauswalde finally noticed that the Austrians had retired. Frederick immediately set off from the vicinity of Bischofswerda with the Freibataillon Angelelli, the Freibataillon du Verger, the Feldjäger zu Fuß and 5 sqns of the Möhring Hussars and marched towards Nieder-Putzkau. His detachment should soon be followed by 9 bns and 3 dragoon rgts.
    • Major-General von Angelelli drove some Grenzer light troops out of Nieder-Putzkau where thy had defended a bridge across the stream. The Freibataillon Angelelli and the Freibataillon du Verger crossed the bridge and deployed beyond a small plain in the middle of the forest.
    • Major-General Count Esterházy at the head of the Kaiser Hussars and the Esterházy Hussars suddenly came out of the forest and attacked the Prussian light troops. For a moment, Frederick was in danger.
    • Some Austrian infantry followed Esterházy’s force. It broke the last resistance of the Prussian light troops and captured 3 artillery pieces.
    • The Feldjäger zu Fuß managed to stop the Austrian hussars at the bridge.
    • In this action, the Prussians lost 7 officers and 317 men killed, wounded or taken prisoners.
  • Prussians

During the night of October 6 to 7, the Austrian Corps of Bela (Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer (1,812 men) and an unidentified hussar unit (437 men)) occupied the Strohmberg, a very high hill dominating the neighbourhood. Retzow had neglected to occupy this height with appropriate forces, posting only some cavalry which retired at night.

Battle of Hochkirch

On October 7

On October 8

  • Prussians
    • Bülow joined Keith with supplies at Bischofswerda with the bread wagons sent from Dresden. Bülow had left Asseburg Infantry and 5 sqns of Zieten Hussars behind to escort the wagons transporting a nine-day supply of flour.
    • Keith decided to immediately depart to bring these supplies to the main army, leaving only 3 bns (Lattorf Infantry, Freibataillon du Verger) and 5 sqns of Krockow Dragoons at Bischofswerda under the command of Bülow to wait for the convoy of flour.

On October 9

  • Prussians
    • Keith’s Corps effected a junction with Frederick’s Army.
    • Retzow received the order to make himself master of the Strohmberg on the following day. This height was located within cannon range of the Austrian right wing.
    • The Freibataillon Salenmon joined Retzow’s Corps.
    • Frederick sent back Keith to Bautzen with 6 bns (Forcade Infantry, Münchow Fusiliers, Bülow Fusiliers) and 5 sqns of Möhring Hussars to await the arrival of Bülow’s transports and then bring them to the army.
    • I./Salmuth Fusiliers set off from Torgau to join Hülsen’s Corps.

On October 10

  • Prussians
    • Early on that day, Frederick marched with the main army in 4 columns towards Hochkirch.
    • The baggage followed with no significant escort, Near Jenkwitz not far from Bautzen, the baggage were attacked by surprise by a party of hussars belonging to Loudon’s Corps which had managed to get close to the baggage under cover of a morning fog. The Prussians lost a number of wagons. Part of the convoy turned back and fled towards Bautzen. Keith sent 5 sqns of Möhring Hussars from Bautzen to assist the convoy while the [Oertzen Dragoons|Czettritz Dragoons]] and the Normann Dragoons came from the Prussian right column to rescue the baggage. They chased Loudon’s hussars and recaptured 18 wagons and took 5 officers and 32 men prisoners.
    • By 9:00 a.m., Retzow deployed his troops out of his camp near Weissenberg. However, he thought that it would be too risky to make himself master of the Strohmberg so close to the positions of the main Austrian army; even though the heights was occupied by only a few hundreds Grenzer light troops. He decided to wait for the arrival of Frederick’s Army before launching an assault. He rather sent his light troops (freikorps) and his hussars to the Löbauer Wasser. He was supposed to send 4 bns to support them but, by this time, Major-General Baron Siskovics had already occupied the height with 4 grenadier bns and heavy artillery.
    • Around 11:00 a.m., when the fog finally lifted, the new Austrian positions could clearly be seen and Retzow's troops had to return to their camp without accomplishing anything. Frederick had Retzow arrested under the charge of cowardice.
    • The Prussian main army was drawing closer to Hochkirch where the hussars of the vanguard dislodged an advanced party of 200 Austrian cuirassiers, capturing 1 officer and 39 men. Frederick stopped because there was still dense fog. He sent an adjutant to establish communication with Retzow’s Corps. After a while, this adjutant brought back the news that Retzow had not taken possession of the Strohmberg. Frederick was very displeased by these news. He sent a second adjutant to put Retzow under arrest. The Prince von Württemberg replaced Retzow as commander of the corps posted near Weissenberg.
    • As the Prussian army was arriving at Hochkirch the fog lifted and Frederick could see the Austrian army drawn in battle order in front of its camp at Kittlitz. Despite the proximity of the Austrian Army, Frederick decided to encamp at Hochkirch for the night. Frederick knew that his position was quite bad but, since the Austrians had never attacked him since the beginning of the war, he decided to wait for the arrival of supplies before moving to another location. Marwitz objected in pitching camp in such position but was put under arrest and another adjutant did it. In fact, the camp was so close to the Austrians that the quartermasters were shot at by the Austrian artillery while marking the camp. The headquarters were established at Rodewitz.
    • In the afternoon, General von Bülow arrived at Bautzen with his convoy of flour. Immediately, the bakery was set up.
  • Austrians
    • When Daun heard of Frederick’s march, he reoriented the front of his right wing from north to north-west and used the former third line of this wing to extend the front up to the Strohmberg.

On October 11

  • Prussians
    • Major-General von Rebentisch, with 8 bns of the corps of the Prince of Württemberg, was supposed to launch an attack against the Strohmberg. Frederick intended to support this attack with 9 bns under Prince Franz von Braunschweig. However, when Frederick was informed that the height was strongly occupied by the Austrians, he canceled the attack.
    • Keith, leaving Lieutenant-General Prince Friedrich of Hessen-Cassel with 6 bns (Bülow Fusiliers, Münchow Fusiliers, Asseburg Infantry) and 5 sqns of Möhring Hussars to cover the bakery at Bautzen, set off with 4 bns (Lattorf Infantry, Forcade Infantry) and 10 sqns (Krockow Dragoons and 5 sqns of Zieten Hussars), escorting the wagons to Frederick’s camp.
  • Engagement of Jenkwitz
    • Loudon had advanced towards Rachlau and Wuischke.
    • Keith’s column had just gone through Jenkwitz when Loudon’s hussars and 3 sqns of Löwenstein Chevauxlegers appeared near Soritz. Several hundreds of Grenzer light troops came also out of the woods south of Rachlau and opened fire on the convoy with 3 field pieces. Keith sent his wagons forward to Waditz and planted a few cannon on the height east of Steindörfel. Frederick immediately sent Major-General von Geist to the rescue with the 3 grenadier bns of his right flank, 5 sqns of Zieten Hussars and 4 heavy pieces. Geist occupied the heights north of Meschwitz to fire in the flank of Loudon’s Corps. The Grenzer light troops retired to the forest while Loudon’s cavalry attacked Keith’s rearguard but was driven back. The Prussian captured 3 officers and 17 men.

On October 12

  • Prussians
    • The Prussians were busy preparing their march towards Weissenberg and Gröditz, repairing the bridges near Nechern and Wurschen.
  • Austrians
    • Daun held a council of war where it was unanimously decided to attack. Entrenchments and batteries would be erected along the front and barriers erected in the woods on the left wing to strengthen Frederick's belief that the Austrians were only considering defence. Meanwhile, comprehensive reconnaissances and improvements of roads would be undertaken in preparation for the attack against the Prussian right wing.

On October 13

  • Prussians
    • Lattorf Infantry and 100 hussars escorted the wagons of the army towards Bautzen; while II./Kalckstein Infantry escorted the wagons of Retzow’s Corps. These two convoys headed for Bautzen where they should reload. These troops were ordered to return to the camp on the next day, marching by Purschwitz to Weissenberg.
    • Major-General von Kannacher marched from Bautzen with 3 bns (Münchow Fusiliers, I./Bülow Fusiliers) and 200 hussars to bring back flour from Dresden. Once he would get these supplies, Frederick planned to cross the Löbau during the night at Gröditz, pushing back the Austrian Corps of Durlach and to encamp at Schöps on the Austrian right flank. To reconnoitre the area, Frederick went personally to Weissenberg escorted by Forcade Infantry. He then decided to make this manoeuvre during the night of October 14 to 15.
    • I./Salmuth Fusiliers joined Hülsen’s Corps at Herzogswalde.
  • Austrians
    • Daun planted a new battery in front of his centre. Then at nightfall, the entire Austrian Army started advancing in several columns towards Frederick's position.

On the night of October 13 to 14, the Battle of Hochkirch began with a night attack. The Austrians almost succeeded in surrounding the Prussian army but Frederick managed to extricate his army from this trap and retired to Purschwitz and Kleinbautzen on one of the branches of the Spree. The Prussians finally encamped at Doberschütz.

The morning after the Battle of Hochkirch - Source: Carl Röchling, 1895

On October 14

  • Prussians
    • Kleist’s detachment reached Altenburg.
  • Austrians
    • Daun, who had retired into his entrenched camp at Kittlitz, sent messengers to General Harsh in Silesia, urging him to speed up the siege of Neisse (present-day Nysa). He then celebrated his victory without doing any attempt to impede the movements of the defeated Prussian army.
  • Austro-Imperials
    • Part of Zweibrücken's Austro-Imperial Army finally left its camp at Pirna and moved to Berggießhübel while Maquire's Corps de Réserve went to Lauenstein. Zweibrücken had left his right wing and the Grenadier Corps (now under FZM Landgrave of Fürstenberg) in his camp at Pirna.

On October 15

On October 16

  • Austrians
    • The Austrian Grenadier Corps went from Pirna to Berggießhübel.
  • Prussians
    • In the evening, Frederick assembled the commandants of regiments and grenadier battalions and announced them his firm will to engage the Austrians at the first occasion, preferring to die than to retreat.

On October 17

  • Austrians
    • Daun departed from his camp at Kittlitz and and marched by Wurschen, closer to Frederick's positions. He deployed his right wing on the heights of Belgern covered by the Löbau River and some ponds. All Austrian grenadier companies along with the carabiniers were posted on this plateau. Daun's lines extended on the heights behind the villages of Kumschütz and Baschütz up to the defile of Jenkwitz. Daun then took disposition to reinforce his new camp with defensive works.
    • Loudon’s Corps (6,400 foot, 2,700 horse) took position on the heights of Weissitz near Jenkwitz in front of Daun’s left wing to cover this wing.
    • Most of Durlach's Corps made a junction with the Austrian main army while the rest (2,800 light troops) took position on the Schaafberg near Baruth under the command of Major-General Bela to cover the right flank and the road to Görlitz.
    • Daun detached FML Count Guasco at the head of 8 bns to reinforce Harsch’s Army which was besieging Neisse in Silesia.
  • Prussians
    • Prince Heinrich recalled Hülsen’s Corps from Freiberg to Dippoldiswalde to compensate for the reinforcements he had to send to Frederick.
    • Kleist’s detachment advanced on Chemnitz. Near this town, he bumped into Hadik’s outposts. After a skirmish, Kleist retired to Penig when Hadik sent his infantry forward.

On October 18

On October 20

  • Austrians
    • Daun detached Major-General Nauendorf to Königsbrück with 2,000 light troops to threaten Frederick’s line of communication with Dresden.
    • By that date, the Austrian artillery of the field army consisted of 2,190 artillerymen, 653 fusiliers and 2,177 infantry henchmen for a total of 5,020 men (excluding Serbelloni’s Corps).

Now that the Russians and Swedes were slowly retiring towards their winter-quarters in Pomerania and Poland, Frederick resolved to recall most of Wedell's and Dohna's Corps from Pomerania and Brandenburg to reinforce Saxony. His plan was now to go to the rescue of the besieged Fortress of Neisse in Silesia, hoping that Prince Heinrich, reinforced by Wedell and Dohna, could hold Dresden for 3 to 4 weeks.

Frederick marches to Silesia

On October 21

  • Austrians
    • Major-General von Kleefeld, who had been sent forward from Chemnitz with 1,700 men by Hadik, arrived at Freiberg, forcing Kleist to retire towards Dresden.
  • Prussians
    • Prince Heinrich arrived at Frederick’s camp near Doberschütz with the required reinforcements. On his arrival, Frederick promoted him to general of infantry. Frederick was now at the head of 56½ bns and 118 sqns. Despite the proximity of the Austrian camp, he decided to undertake a march towards Görlitz.

On October 22

  • Prussians
    • In the evening, a convoy transporting the sick and wounded of the Prussian army (about 3,000 men) left Bautzen escorted by Bülow Fusiliers and 5 sqns of Szekely Hussars. It marched towards Dresden by a large sweeping movement by Kamenz, Königsbrück and Radeberg. However, when he arrived at Kamenz, Bülow was informed that the Austrian General Nauendorf had taken position at Königsbrück with 4 infantry regiments. Bülow then received new orders from Frederick, instructing him to march from Kamenz through Hoyerswerda to Glogau (present-day Głogów) in Silesia.
  • Austrians
    • Maquire marched from Lauenstein and effected a junction with the main army at Berggießhübel. FML Nikolaus Count Esterházy then assumed command of the Corps de Réserve.
    • The Prince of Zweibrücken assembled the main body of the Reichsarmee at Berggiesshübel, leaving a detachment under FML von Rosenfeld at Pirna.

On October 23

  • Prussians
    • Kleist took position near Pennrich to observe Hadik’s Corps and to reconnoitre along the Elbe. Kleist received a reinforcement of a few bns.
    • At 10:00 p.m., General Bornstedt with 4 bns and 5 hussar sqns left Frederick's camp with the supply and ammunition train. The convoy advanced along the Spree River up to Commerau where it crossed on the right bank.
  • Austrians
    • Part of Kleefeld’s detachment rejoined Hadik near Freiberg.

On October 24

  • Prussians
    • At 6:00 p.m., a Prussian Corps of 6 bns and 5 hussar sqns marched with the baggage by Salaa and Leichnam (unidentified location) to Neudorf where it crossed the Spree. He then waited for the main army.
    • At 10:00 p.m., the Prussian infantry occupying the advanced posts retired on the main army in total silence, leaving only cavalry in these posts. About the same time, the vanguard consisting of Werner Hussars, Frei-Infanterie de Salenmon (1 bn) and the 8 bns brought by Prince Heinrich, marched on Drehsa (does not correspond to the general direction of the movement, more probably Brösa), crossed the Spree at Geisslitz, turned right and advanced through Weigersdorf, Gross Radisch and Diehsa up to the camp at Ullersdorf. The first column, consisting of infantry followed the same road. The second column, consisting of cavalry, crossed the Spree at Neudorf followed by Braun's convoy. It advanced through Dauban, Leipgen and Kollm to the camp at Ullersdorf.
    • The same evening, Bornstedt departed from Commerau with the supply train and marched by Lieske, Tauer, Förstgen, Sproitz to Jänkendorf.
    • Prince Heinrich led the rearguard composed of 11 bns (Grenadier Battalion Bähr, Grenadier Battalion Dieringshofen, Grenadier Battalion Heyden, Grenadier Battalion Manteuffel, Lattorf Infantry, Manteuffel Infantry, Freibataillon Angelelli, Freibataillon du Verger, Frei-Infanterie de Salenmon and the Feldjäger zu Fuß) and 20 sqns (Normann Dragoons, Zieten Hussars and the pickets of the cavalry). As soon as the Prussian Army had left the camp, he occupied the Spitzbergen heights until daybreak.
    • Frederick encamped with his right at Diehsa, his left at Baarsdorf and his headquarters at Ullersdorf.
  • Austrians
    • Chased from the road to Görlitz, the Austrian Corps of Bela retired on the Austrian main army.
    • When Daun was informed that Frederick's entire army had taken possession of the road to Görlitz behind his own lines, the heads of the Prussian columns had already reached Gross Radisch. The only immediate measure taken by Daun was to send Caramelli to pursue the Prussian rearguard.

On October 25

  • Prussians
    • In the morning, Prince Heinrich at the head of the rearguard followed the Prussian army which marched in two columns swung around the right wing of the Austrians posted at Baruth.
    • At noon, Bornstedt arrived at Jänkendorf (about 0,5 km from Ullersdorf) with the supply train and formed a wagenburg.
    • In the afternoon, the main body reached Ullersdorf where it encamped.
  • Austrians
    • The Austrians occupied Bautzen where they captured Prince Moritz and General Geist who had been left behind because of their severe wounds.
    • In the afternoon, Daun sent ahead Lacy with the grenadiers, Arenberg with the Reserve and Esterházy with 2 regiments of hussars (Kaiser and Paul Anton Esterházy) to Reichenbach, 12 km west of Görlitz to observe Frederick's Army. When they saw Frederick's camp at Ullersdorf, they realised that he would be at Görlitz before them unless they marched during the following night. They then decided to occupy the Landeskrone heights, southwest of Görlitz, to secure communication with Zittau.
    • By 7:00 p.m. the Landeskrone was occupied.
    • By that time, Daun’s Army counted 22 cavalry rgts which could field 110 sqns. Their elite coys were with the Grenadier Corps.

On October 26

  • Prussians (before the engagement)
    • At 2:00 a.m., Frederick marched from Ullersdorf with the vanguard reinforced by all dragoon and hussar units of the army. To hide his march, he took a small road passing by Ober Rengersdorf, from where he reached the plain in front of Görlitz.
    • At 3:00 a.m., the main body followed, the first column taking the same road, the second column marching alongside by Nieder Rengensdorf, the third column (consisting of Bornstedt with the supply train), reinforced by Freikorps and the Feldjäger zu Fuß, marched towards Görlitz by Särichen, Grosskrauscha and Ludwigsdorf.
  • Austrians (before the engagement)
    • At 4:00 a.m., Daun finally quitted his camp near Belgern and advanced towards Görlitz. He encamped with his right on the Burgsberg near Jauernick-Buschbach, his centre on the Landeskrone and his left at Markersdorf. The camp was rapidly entrenched.
    • Loudon's Corps formed the rearguard which followed the Prussians. However, Major-General Count Caramelli, who was replacing Loudon as commander because the latter was sick, allowed the Prussian rearguard to retire unmolested.
  • Engagement of the Landeskrone
    • In the morning, the Kaiser Hussars and Paul Anton Esterházy Hussars as well as the Carabinier Corps and the Grenadier Corps reached the Landeskrone. While the infantry and the artillery took position on the Landeskrone, the 2 hussar rgts under Major-General Count Esterházy, and the carabiniers and horse grenadiers under Major-General d’Ayasasa advanced to the west of Görlitz to observe the Prussian army and, if possible, to stop it.
    • Frederick was at Ebersbach with his vanguard when it made contact with elements of Austrian light cavalry. Frederick instructed Werner Hussars and Puttkamer Hussars to occupy the heights facing the Landeskrone to hide the arrival of the Prussian dragoons and cuirassiers.
    • When the Prussian dragoons were formed behind their hussars, the latter attacked Paul Anton Esterházy Hussars and threw them back on their carabiniers. Joined by the carabiniers and horse grenadiers, the Austrian hussars rallied and attacked the Prussian hussars who retired. The Austrians followed them across a difficult ditch.
    • Meanwhile, Czettritz Dragoons along with 3 sqns of Normann Dragoons had marched under the cover of that ditch. The Prussian dragoons then fell on the pursuing Austrian cavalry, allowing the Prussian hussars to rally and to join the fight. The defeated Austrian cavalry had to recross the ditch and to retire to the Landeskrone. In their retreat, the Austrians lost a great number of carabiniers and horse grenadiers killed while 418 along with 8 officers were taken prisoners.
  • Prussians (after the engagement)
    • Frederick first considered attacking the Austrians on the Landeskrone but this position was too strong. He then encamped in the plain with his right at Ebersbach and his left at Görlitz. The headquarters at Görlitz were guarded by 17 bns. The villages of Ebersbach and Girbigsdorf were both occupied by 10 bns. Several bridges were thrown over the Neisse River and Frei-Infanterie le Noble and Frei-Infanterie du Verger crossed the river.
  • Austrians (after the engagement)
    • The Grenzer light troops hastily evacuated Görlitz but remained master of the lower part of the village of Girbigsdorf.
    • Loudon’s Corps encamped near Liebstein to the northwest of Görlitz, on the flank of the Prussian army, and was reinforced by Nauendorf’s detachment. Bela’s light troops were posted at Schönberg on the right bank of the Neisse.

Despite all his manoeuvres, Frederick had been unable to force Daun to give battle or to retire to Zittau.

On October 27

  • Austrians
    • Loudon encamped on the heights of Königshain on the Prussian right flank.

On October 28

  • Prussians
    • Wedell quitted Suckow in Pomerania with a Prussian force and marched towards Berlin.
  • Austrians
    • Daun sent FML Count Wied with a strong reinforcement of 9 bns, 10 grenadier coys and 4 cavalry rgts to General Harsch, hoping that he would be able to capture Neisse before Frederick's arrival.
    • Daun also detached Bela to occupy the mountains of Schönberg (unidentified location) while Loudon was preparing to vigorously pursue the Prussian rearguard in Silesia.
    • Daun himself was waiting for Frederick to quit Saxony before attempting a raid on Dresden.
    • Esterházy's Corps was sent to the camp at Pirna.

On October 29

  • Prussians
    • In the afternoon, the Prussian army being now resupplied, Bornstedt marched towards Gruna (present-day Gronów) with the supply train.
    • Braun crossed the pontoons bridge at Görlitz and marched to Leopoldshain (present-day Łagów) with the artillery train and baggage escorted by 4 bns.
    • In the evening, after spending a few days at Görlitz organising supplies, Frederick led his vanguard (8 bns, 45 sqns and part of his artillery) across the Neisse and took position east of Görlitz.
  • Austrians
    • Daun held a council of war where it was decided to let Frederick advance into Silesia and to take advantage of his absence to make himself master of the three cities of Dresden, Leipzig and Torgau. Accordingly, Daun sent General Tillier to discuss with Zweibrücken how to combine their operations against Dresden.

During the night of October 29 to 30, the battalions cantoned in the surrounding villages joined the main army which also crossed the Neisse unmolested under cover of its vanguard. The infantry crossed on two trestle bridges downstream from Görlitz while the cavalry simply forded the river.

On October 30

  • Prussians
  • Austrians
    • Major-General Baron von Tillier arrived at the headquarters of the Reichsarmee with a message from Daun, informing Zweibrücken that, if Frederick marched into Silesia, Daun’s Army would try to free Saxony.
    • Loudon, who had re-assumed command of his corps, passed the Neisse and harassed the Prussian rearguard, advancing up to Pfaffendorf (present-day Książnica in Gmina Dzierżoniów). Meanwhile, Bela operated from Schönberg against the flank of the Prussian columns. The Prussian rearguard lost some 200 men killed or wounded in these actions.

On October 31

  • Prussians
    • In Brandenburg, Wedell arrived at Berlin.
  • Austrians
    • On October 31, the Reserve Corps of the Austrian army, led by FML O'Kelly, passed the Neisse at Görlitz. This corps had been instructed to advance unless Loudon wanted to use if ever he wanted to attack a Prussian corps.

By the end of October, Daun’s main army together with Harsch’s Corps and Serbelloni’s Corps counted 60 infantry rgts who could field 114 bns and 116 grenadier coys. Together with the Reserve Corps, Loudon’s Corps and Serbelloni’s Corps counted a total of 22, 461 cavalrymen (at full strength, these units should have counted 35,062 men)

Daun blockades Dresden

On November 3

  • Austrians
    • Daun threw a bridge over the Neisse River to give the impression that he planned to pursue the Prussian Army in Silesia.
    • Zweibrücken, who was charged to drive back Finck’s Corps from Maxen to Dresden, marched from Berggießhübel to Lauenstein in the direction of Freiberg with the Austro-Imperial Army.

On November 4

  • Austrians
    • In the morning, Daun took the road to Bautzen instead of entering into Silesia.
    • Zweibrücken marched to Hermsdorf. Now, only Roth Brigade guarded the bridge of boats at Pirna.
  • Prussians
    • Wedell’s Corps set off from Berlin and marched to Mittenwalde where it waited for the arrival of Dohna’s Corps. Only 8 bns under Manteuffel were left in North Germany.

On November 5

  • Prussians
    • Finck’s Corps abandoned its camp at Gamig and retired to Pennrich behind the vale of Plauen to avoid being attacked on both fronts. The new Prussian position had its right towards Zöllmen and its left at Pesterwitz.

On November 6

  • Austrians
    • The Reichsarmee reached Freiberg, about 50 km to the south-west of Dresden, after marching by Frauenstein. Its pontoon train was put at the disposal of Daun’s Army.
    • Hadik advanced to Nossen.
    • Török with his light troops blocked the road leading out of Dresden on the right bank of the Elbe.
    • Daun reached Helmsdorf with his army, after marching by Wurschen and Harthau. The vanguard passed the Elbe and advanced on Dresden.
    • The Grenadier Corps and the Carabinier Corps reached the Elbe near Pirna.
  • Prussians
    • In the evening, Finck, who initially expected that only a small Austrian corps was marching on Dresden, could see the long rows of campfires of Daun’s Army on the heights of Dittersbach between Stolpen and the Elbe. He decided to retire through Dresden and to cross to the right bank of the Elbe. On his way, he reinforced the garrison of Dresden, hoping that it could resist to Daun’s attacks.

On November 7

  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army crossed the Elbe on two boat-bridges near Pratzschwitz and encamped near Lockwitz about 10 km to the south-east of Dresden.
    • The detachment of the Reichsarmee posted at Pirna under Rosenfeld marched towards Freiberg.

During the night of November 7 to 8, Finck held a council of war where it was decided to march towards Meißen at daybreak before being totally surrounded. Two officers were sent to Schmettau commanding at Dresden to inform him of these dispositions and to ask him to hold until the arrival of Wedell's and Dohna's reinforcements. Daun was soon informed of the intentions of the Prussians. Indeed, this was exactly what Finck was hoping for. He did not intend to leave for Meißen but instead to delay Daun's operations.

On November 8

  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army remained in its camp near Lockwitz. Daun personally reconnoitred, under strong escort, the region between Lockwitz and Dresden and the Prussian camp near Pennrich.
    • In the evening, Zweibrücken detached Hadik’s Corps from Nossen towards Torgau to capture the city which was defended by only 2 bns.
    • Zweibrücken detached Major-General von Nagel with 5 bns, 2 cavalry rgts and a few heavy artillery pieces from Freiberg to reinforce Hadik’s Corps.
  • Prussians
    • At daybreak, Finck went to Dresden to discuss his plan with the governor of the city, Lieutenant-General Count Schmettau. The governor had already made the necessary preparations to set fire to the suburbs if the Austrians attacked. Meanwhile, Finck had given orders to bake foods, to throw a bridge over the Elbe downstream of Dresden and to prepare three roads leading to this bridge.
    • Finck’s Corps took position near Pennrich. Finck kept his troops ready to march and reconnoitred his line of retreat.
    • In Brandenburg, 5 sqns of Schorlemmer Dragoons, belonging to Dohna’s Corps, effected a junction with Wedell’s Corps near Mittenwalde.

On November 9

  • Austrians
    • Daun’s Army advanced to Nöthnitz, south of Dresden, his vanguard drove weak Prussian detachments back to the suburbs. To complete the encirclement of the city, G.d.C. Count O’Donell was sent to Gersdorf on the right bank of the Elbe with 5 bns and 30 sqns.
  • Prussians
    • At 6:00 a.m., Finck’s baggage and artillery train marched under an escort consisting of 30 men from each battalion.
    • At 2:00 p.m., Finck was informed that Daun's Army was on the move. Finck's Corps was placed under arms and the detachments at Wilsdruff and Kesselsdorf recalled. The whole corps then marched from Pennrich by the left. The first column consisting of infantry marched by Altfranken, crossed the bridge, entered into Dresden by the Wilsdruff Gate, went through the city and encamped in front of the new town. The second column, consisting of Grabow Fusiliers and all the cavalry, marched by the Freiberg Road, crossed the boat-bridge, went through the city and encamped between the “Black Gate” and the “White Gate”. The train had marched in front of the second column. To cover the march of his corps, Finck had taken position at Plauen with 6 bns acting as a rearguard. Colonel Mayr who had occupied the park was attacked and fought till the evening when he retired to the suburbs of Dresden.
    • In Brandenburg, Wedell, who was still waiting for the arrival of Dohna’s Corps near Mittenwalde, received new orders from Frederick, instructing him to immediately march to the relief of Saxony and to protect the magazine at Torgau. He marched by Baruth and Dahme towards Saxony.
    • Bülow Fusiliers and 5 sqns of Szekely Hussars, which had previously escorted a convoy of sick and wounded from Bautzen to Glogau, joined Wedell’s Corps at Baruth.

On November 10

  • Prussians
    • At 3:00 a.m., Schmettau was informed that Daun was planting his batteries in the suburbs. Schmettau, who had previously taken dispositions for this, set fire to the suburbs; 280 houses were burned down.
    • A few bns and sqns of Finck’s Army dislodged Török’s Corps from its positions near the Weissen Hirsch.
  • Austrians
    • Around noon, the Saxon Colonel von Zawoisky, an envoy sent by Daun, arrived in Dresden. Schmettau explained him that he had received orders to defend the place to the last man. Daun considered that he could not storm the place and decided to blockade the city and to wait for the results of the enterprises of the Reichsarmee against Leipzig.. He planned to take up his winter-quarters along a line extending from Pirna, by Freiberg to Leipzig.
    • O’Donell’s Corps encamped near Weissig.
    • Rosenfeld’s detachment effected a junction with the Reichsarmee near Freiberg.


On November 11

On November 12

  • Austrians (before the engagement)
    • Hadik completed his march and arrived in the neighbourhood of Torgau.
    • Nagel’s detachment reached Grimma.
    • Zweibrücken marched towards Nossen with the main body of the Reichsarmee on his way to Leipzig which was already blockaded by parts of Kleefeld's and Lichtenstein's detachments. A small force was left at Freiberg to defend the place.
  • Prussians (before the engagement)
    • Dohna rested his troops near Dahme. Despite his initial orders to support Finck’s Corps, he decided to advance as fast as possible towards Torgau.
  • Engagement near Torgau
    • In the morning, a small Prussian hussar detachment, which had been sent from Torgau to reconnoitre in the direction of Eilenburg, found that Hadik’s Corps was marching on Torgau. The detachment slowly retired in front of Hadik’s Corps and returned to Torgau.
    • Colonel Grolman came out of Torgau with 500 men and a few artillery pieces and took position across the road leading to Eilenburg to wait for the hussar detachment.
    • Hadik, thinking that he was facing a larger corps deployed his troops for an attack.
    • By that time, Wedell’s Corps was within 10 km of Torgau when Wedell was informed that Hadik was marching on Torgau. He immediately rode forward at the head of his cavalry. He moved through Torgau and continued his advance beyond the fortress. He was soon joined by his infantry which had followed as fast as it could.
    • Hadik did not want to engage his exhausted troops in battle and decided to retire to Eilenburg. The wooded terrain along the road from Torgau to Eilenburg made pursuit too difficult and Hadik was able to retire unmolested.
  • Austrians (after the engagement)
    • Hadik took position at Eilenburg where he was reinforced by Major-General von Nagel arriving from Grimma. Hadik then received orders to block the passages of the Mulde to cover the advance of the Reichsarmee on Leipzig. Hadik then detached 1,200 horse to Düben (present-day Bad Düben) to guard one of the passage of the Mulde.

On November 13

  • Austrians
    • Zweibrücken reached Waldheim with the Reichsarmee on his way to Leipzig which was defended by Saldern Fusiliers and II./Salmuth Fusiliers. Zweibrücken’s vanguard reached the vicinity of Leipzig.
    • O’Kelly retired from Lauban and marched to Zittau from where he intended to cover Bohemia as ordered by Daun.
    • Loudon had first retired to Marklissa (present-day Leśna/PL) and then to Zittau. When O’Kelly’s and Bela’s corps arrived at Zittau. Loudon took position at Rumburg (presnt-day Rumburk/CZ).
  • Prussians
    • As Dohna reached Herzberg, he received a letter sent to him by Frederick two days before, confirming him that he had taken the good decision when he had resolved to relieve Torgau.

On November 14

  • Austrians
    • Zweibrücken rested the Reichsarmee near Waldheim.
    • The Grenadier Corps under G.d.C. Baron Bretlach, reinforced with 3 cavalry rgts, acting in concert with the Reichsarmee, reached Naunhof.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s Corps effected a junction with Wedell’s near Torgau. Dohna then assumed command of the entire forces which consisted of 23 bns and 32 sqns.

On November 15

  • Prussians (before the engagement)
  • Austrians (before the engagement)
    • Loudon retired to Zittau in Saxony.
    • The Austro-Imperial Army marched to Colditz where Zweibrücken was informed of Dohna’s arrival at Torgau. He also received information from Daun stating that Frederick was on the march to return to Saxony. Zweibrücken immediately abandoned his design against Leipzig and decided to retire to Chemnitz and to take up his winter-quarters.
  • Engagement of Eilenburg
    • The town of Eilenburg is located on the left bank of the Mulde. The Mühlgraben, a tributary of the Mulde, bathed the west side of the town. A wooden bridge linked the town with the right bank of the Mulde, while another wooden bridge crossed the Mühlgraben. Hadik had established his camp on the hilly western bank of the Mühlgraben.
    • Around 1:00 p.m., Wedell's vanguard arrived near Eilenburg. Hadik’s Corps had been surprised by the sudden advance of the Prussians and barely had time to prepare for battle.
    • The weak garrison of Eilenburg rapidly set fire to the bridge over the Mulde but did not manage to destroy it before the arrival of the Prussian vanguard. Colonel Count Hordt led a battalion of his Freiregiment, which was forming the head of the Prussian vanguard, across the burning bridge, into town, and drove out the garrison which did not oppose much resistance.
    • On the bridge crossing the Mühlgraben, which had also be set afire, the Prussian vanguard met stronger resistance. The Austrians positioned their heavy artillery pieces, aiming them to rake the bridge on the Mulde.
    • Despite the superiority of their artillery, for several hours, the Prussians did not manage to make significant progress. Lieutenant-General Prince of Stolberg seconded by Major-General Baron von Nagel at the head of the Gyulay Infantry and of the troops of Cologne, put up a strong resistance. These regiments repulsed three Prussian attacks.
    • Meanwhile, the Prussians were lucky enough to find a ford downstream from Eilenburg where their whole cavalry crossed to the left bank of the Mulde.
    • Hadik timely sent most of his cavalry to the threatened left wing and launched it against the approaching Prussian squadrons. However, it was thrown back, and its defeat made the retreat of the whole corps inevitable.
    • Despite the already falling darkness, the Prussian cavalry pursued Hadik’s Corps which was retiring on Grimma, attacking its rearguard with success. The Austrian cavalry fell back on its infantry which in the darkness opened fire on them, believing that these were Prussian troops.
    • Hadik’s weary corps resumed its retreat towards Grimma without any halt.
    • In this combat Hadik lost more then 200 men killed, wounded or taken prisoners, as well as 3 artillery pieces.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna encamped near Eilenburg.
  • Austrians (after the engagement)
    • At Grimma, Hadik was reinforced by 10 squadrons of the Splényi Hussars and Szechényi Hussars under the command of Reid and Luzinsky. Hadik called Kleefeld and Lichtenstein to join his own force.
    • At Colditz, Zweibrücken received news that Hadik had been attacked at Eilenburg by the combined forces of Dohna and Wedell and forced to retire on Grimma.

Frederick comes back from Silesia

On November 16

  • Austrians
    • Hadik’s Corps resumed its retreat from Grimma to Colditz.
    • The main body of the Reichsarmee set off from Colditz and marched in the direction of Chemnitz.
    • The Austrian Grenadier Corps marched in the direction of Penig.
    • Daun, who, even before receiving news from Zweibrücken, had decided to retreat to Bohemia, retired to Pirna and Berggiesshübel. Before leaving, he had destroyed part of the defensive works of the Fortress of Sonnenstein.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna remained at Eilenburg.
    • Finck followed Daun’s Army with part of his troops. In the evening, finding no opportunity to attack the Austrians, he returned to his camp.
    • Frederick’s Army reached Görlitz. Frederick still considered the possibility to give battle to Daun. Still ignoring Dohna’s success at Eilenburg, he sent him new orders instructing him to remain at Torgau until November 20, and to march on Leipzig only if Torgau was not threatened anymore.

On November 17

  • Prussians
    • Frederick crossed the Löbau at Weissenberg and established his headquarters at Maltitz, southwest of Weissenberg. There he learned that Daun had abandoned the blockade of Dresden.
    • The rest of Frederick's Army returned to Silesia under the command of Margrave Karl.
  • Austrians
    • The main body of the Reichsarmee reached Chemnitz.
    • The Austrian Grenadier Corps reached Penig after having marched by Borna.
    • Hadik let his troops take up quarters in and around Colditz.

On November 18

  • Prussians
    • Frederick set off from Maltitz for Bautzen with 7 bns (Grenadier Battalion Bornstedt, Kahlden Infantry, Goltz Infantry, Puttkamer Infantry) which he had taken from the Prussian Army of Saxony after his defeat at Hochkirch along with 25 sqns (Kyau Cuirassiers, Krockow Cuirassiers, Puttkamer Hussars and 5 sqns of Möhring Hussars) and marched to Dresden with Prince Heinrich.
    • Frederick left the rest of his army at Weissenberg under the command of Margrave Karl.
    • On his way, Frederick learned of the failure of the enterprises of the Reichsarmee against Leipzig. Considering that the corps of Dohna and Wedell were no more required in Saxony, he sent orders to Dohna to march to Mecklenburg and drive the Swedes out of this principality. Meanwhile, Wedell would raise contributions in Anhalt and get recruits and horses.
  • Austrians
    • The small garrison left at Freiberg by the Reichsarmee evacuated the town.

On November 19, Finck approached Daun’s camps at Pirna and Berggiesshübel, thinking that the latter was preparing to march but, since Daun was still idle in his camps, Finck returned to Dresden and let his troops take quarters in the vicinity of the city.

On November 20

  • Prussians
    • Dohna sent Frei-Infanterie von Hordt and 8 sqns of Malachowski Hussars towards Eastern Pomerania to defend the region against Cossack raids.
    • Marching by Pulsnitz, Frederick arrived at Dresden with his cavalry detachment (Kyau Cuirassiers, Krockow Cuirassiers, Puttkamer Hussars and 5 sqns of Möhring Hussars) and took up his quarters in the palace of the elector. Learning that the Reichsarmee was still in the vicinity of Chemnitz, he decided to clear Saxony of any remaining enemy troops and sent new orders to Dohna and Wedell, instructing Dohna to take position at Wurzen and Wedell to advance to Grimma. Meanwhile, Frederick detached Wildersheim to Pirna with 2 bns and 5 sqns, and Hülsen to Freiberg with 5 bns and 5 sqns so that the Reichsarmee would be threatened on several sides.
    • Around that time, the main Prussian army under Margrave Karl, which was posted in Lusatia, could not depend anymore on Saxony for its provisions. It had to take up its winter-quarters in Silesia. Margrave Karl slowly retired from the region of Weissenberg by Görlitz towards Naumburg am Queis.
  • Austrians
    • The Prince von Zweibrücken retired from Chemnitz with the Reichsarmee.

On November 21

  • Austrians
    • Daun set off from Pirna and Berggiesshübel and marched towards Bohemia.
  • Prussians
    • Dohna set off from Eilenburg and marched to Wurzen while Wedell marched to Grimma.
    • according to Frederick’s plan, Lieutenant-General von Hülsen set off from Dresden with 7 bns and 10 sqns and marched to Freiberg, sending advanced parties up to Oederan.
    • Frederick’s infantry detachment (Grenadier Battalion Bornstedt, Kahlden Infantry, Goltz Infantry, Puttkamer Infantry) arrived at Dresden.
    • Frederick was informed that Daun had razed the Fortress of Sonnenstein and was retiring towards Bohemia.
    • Prussian troops immediately occupied the camps at Pirna (Brandes Fusiliers and 5 sqns Szekely Hussars) and Berggiesshübel (Freibataillon Wunsch). The Prussians also started to repair the fortifications of Sonnenstein.

On November 22

  • Prussians
    • Dohna’s Corps marched to Leisnig and Wedell's Corps to Rochlitz where a skirmish took place with some hussars of Hadik’s Corps.
  • Austrians
    • The Reichsarmee reached Zwickau where it effected a junction with the Austrian Grenadier Corps which had marched from Penig by Glauchau.

On November 24

  • Prussians
    • Wedell remained at Rochlitz.
    • Dohna returned from Leisnig to Wurzen in preparation for his march towards Mecklenburg which had been postponed during the operations against the Reichsarmee.
  • Austrians
    • Hadik’s Corps reached Zwickau after marching by Glauchau.
    • The Prince von Zweibrücken set off from Zwickau with the Reichsarmee and marched in the direction of Hof.

On November 25, the Reichsarmee took up quarters in the vicinity of Ölsnitz and Plauen.

On November 28, Dohna’s Corps set off from Wurzen and marched to Leipzig on its way to Mecklenburg.

On November 29, the Reichsarmee marched from the vicinity of Ölsnitz and Plauen to take up its winter-quarters. The Prince of Zweibrücken initially planned to establish these quarters along a line passing by Auerbach, Reichenbach, Greiz and Gera.

After the retreat of the Reichsarmee, groups of the Prussian Army of Saxony gradually took up their winter-quarters. Most of the infantry and of the Freikorps and part of the cavalry took position along the road leading from Dresden to Plauen; while most of the cavalry was posted in the region of Naumburg, Merseburg, Eilenburg, Herzberg, Dobrilugk and Spremberg. The garrison of Dresden consisted of Grenadier Battalion Bornstedt, Kahlden Infantry, Goltz Infantry, Puttkamer Infantry, III./Garrison Regiment VII Lange and V./Garrison Regiment VII Lange. Furthermore, I./Kalckreuth Fusiliers occupied Wittenberg; II./Kalckreuth Infantry and [[Prussian Garrison Regiment III|Garrison Regiment III Grolman, Torgau; and Saldern Fusiliers, Leipzig. Wedell went to raise contributions in the Principality of Anhalt with 3 bns and 100 hussars: Grenadier Battalion Östenreich at Dessau, I./Wied Fusiliers, at Zerbst, and II./Wied, at Bernburg. Meanwhile, the rest of Wedell’s Corps took up its winter-quarters in the vicinity of Gera and Greiz.

The Principality of Anhalt was forced to pay 360,000 Talers and to supply 2,400 recruits and 1,600 horses.

On December 1

  • Prussians
    • Major von Roëll at the head of 4 sqns of Szekely Hussars captured 3 officers and 82 men belonging to Hadik’s Corps, in an outpost near Neumark to the northeast of Reichenbach.
    • Dohna’s Corps (21 bns and 35 sqns) marched from Leipzig to Bitterfeld on its way to Pomerania to repulse the Swedes.

After the Prussian advance against Reichenbach, the Prince of Zweibrücken decided to move his outposts back to a line running from Adorf, Hof, Saalburg, and along the Saale up to Saalfeld and to establish his winter-quarters with his right wing up to Asch (present-day Aš/CZ) and his left wing up to Schmalkalden.

On December 10, Frederick, escorted by 5 sqns of Möhring Hussars, set off from Dresden to rejoin the main army in Silesia, reaching Torgau the same day. He confided command in Saxony to Prince Heinrich.

On December 13, the Prince of Zweibrücken established his headquarters in Nuremberg and then departed for Vienna.

On December 14, Frederick reached Breslau after having marched from Torgau by Cottbus.

The main body of Daun’s Army took up its winter-quarters in Northwestern Bohemia, west and south of the Elbe in and around the towns of Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice/CZ) and Bunzlau (present-day Stará Boleslav/CZ) up to the vicinity of Cerekwe (present-day Nová Cerekev/CZ), Netolitz (present-day Netolice/CZ) and Prachatitz (present-day Prachatice/CZ) to the south. The headquarters were established at Prague. To secure the quarters of the main body, O’Kelly’s Corps took position on the right bank of the Elbe and two additional corps were posted on its left bank: Loudon’s Corps near Teplitz (present-day Teplice/CZ), and FML Count Forgách near Kaaden (present-day Kadaň/CZ). Furthermore, O’Kelly’s outposts linked with Beck’s positions in front of Silesia. Finally, 4 infantry rgts and 2 cavalry rgts under FML d’Arberg were posted on the left wing of Daun’s winter-quarters, ready to come to the rescue of the Reichsarmee near Eger (present-day Cheb/CZ). A line of communication with the Reichsarmee was maintained by Colonel Török with 600 hussars posted near Haslau (present-day Hazlov/CZ).

References

This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763
    • Vol. 6 Leuthen, Berlin, 1904, pp. 89-91
    • Vol. 7 Olmütz und Crefeld, Berlin, 1909, pp. 35-39, 53, 187-206, Anhang 6, 7, 8
    • Vol. 8 Zorndorf und Hochkirch, Berlin, 1910, pp. 248-276, 303-338, Anhang 56
  • Jomini, Henri, Traité des grandes opérations militaires, 2ème édition, 2ème partie, Magimel, Paris: 1811, pp. 86-90, 171-176, 178-241, 247-256
  • Carlyle T., History of Friedrich II of Prussia, vol. 18
  • Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 324-324
  • Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 446-450

Other sources

Cogswell, Neil: First Battle of Torgau, November 13, 1758, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. IX No. 2

Wengen, F. v.: Geschichte des k. k. österreichischen 13. Dragoner-Regimentes Prinz Eugen von Savoyen, Brandeis, 1879

Zweibrücken: Journal of the Imperial Army of Execution under the Orders of His Most Serene Highness the Prince von Pfalz Zweybrucken

Acknowledgements

Alessandro Colaiacomo for the description of the manoeuvres during the month preceding the battle of Hochkirch