1760-07-26 – The Allies retire from Istha

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Brunswick Army >> Roth Hussars >> 1760-07-26 – The Allies retire from Istha

July 26 1760 – Istha

Reverend Fülling describes the events of the day in great detail. General Granby, who had been residing at Fülling's house in Istha called for him in the morning of July 26 informing him in French that the allied troops, which had set up camp in the area a few days prior would be retreating to Kassel and that Fülling should send his possessions to Kassel. Fülling did not succeed in finding transport on such short notice as all of the remaining horses in the village had been hidden in the woods. By midday Granby and his troops had left, the allied rear guard commanded by the Hereditary Prince passed through the village, asking for provisions, the din of cannon fire drawing closer. The last to pass through the village were the 'mountain Scots', from a window in the attic he witnessed them skirmish with soldiers of the Chasseurs de Fischer.

Then the village was engulfed in a 'terrible silence', no one dared to move. After about half an hour you could hear the sound of a horse's hooves. It was a Schomberg dragoon, who, pointing a pistol at me, demanded money. After giving him some, he left and returned in company of two other dragoons and a hussar of the Fischer-Corps, now demanding ham. As Fülling's wife went to get the ham the soldiers dismounted and followed her to the storage, drawing their sabres, taking two chicken, some venison, bread, sausages and butter. The hussar also took the watch from Fülling's pocket. While the requisition of food seems to have been accepted by Fülling, he complained to the other Schomberg dragoons about his watch. Shortly after, Fülling was approached by an officer, the Comte de Goustin, who at point blank forced the Fischer hussar to return the watch to its owner. The Comte remained at Fülling's house for which he was thankful. While talking to the Comte a shot rang out from somewhere in the village. There was a short skirmish of Allied hussars and the French. In this skirmish a Brunswick Hussar was severely wounded and left behind. He died there after Fülling was able to talk to him briefly, the hussar stating that he was from the village of Bernsdorf in Waldeck.

Note: Fülling continues to describe in detail how his house became the French headquarters for a few days, leaving only a small chamber for him and him and his wife and all their goods. The church was converted into a prison. The villagers tried to sell their remaining livestock to the soldiers under-price, not being able to feed the animals anymore and afraid that they would be confiscated anyways. Fülling states that he was relieved that the French behaved very politely and friendly, unlike in other nearby villages, but that the crops in the fields were ruined or confiscated and that water became very scarce due to the presence of such a number of troops. A few days later the headquarters had moved on, the extent of destruction became visible. A soldier of the Gardes Suisses remained with Fülling. However, the reverend had to pay for the 'sauvegarde'. The villagers were happy to be alive. But the peace was only short lived. The following day Swiss soldiers passed through the village bringing the news of the defeat at Warburg and the fields again filled with tents of French soldiers.
Fülling's account covers the complete war and is incredible reading. Not always as detailed as above, but always interesting. While military accounts are quite abundant, those from a villager's perspective are quite scarce. The Die Isthaer Chronik des Pfarrers Johann Georg Fülling can be freely downloaded in pdf format.

July 27 1760 – Istha

Buried a Brunswick Hussar who, according to his own information, had been born in Berndorf in Waldeck. He died on the 26th of wounds received from the French when the Royal French headquarters had resided here.

References

Acknowledgement

Stephen Westfall for this glimpse of daily life during the Seven Years' War.