BATTLE OF LOBOSITZ, OCT. 1, 1756.
Certainly I will fight. But do not flatter yourself about the result. A happy chance alone can help us. Go, in Gods name to Tangermünde. Wait there how destiny shall have disposed of us. I will reconnoitre the enemy to-morrow. Next day, if there is any thing to do, we will try it. If the enemy still holds to the Wine Hills of Frankfort, I shall not dare to attack him.
This movement of Frederick took place on the 1st of October, 1758. On the 5th, General Daun, who stood in great dread of the military ability of his foe, after holding a council of war, made a stealthy march, in a dark and rainy night, a little to the south of Fredericks encampment, and took a strong position about a mile east of him, at Kittlitz, near L?bau. With the utmost diligence he reared intrenchments and palisades to guard himself from attack by a foe whom he outnumbered more than two to one. He thus again blocked Fredericks direct communication with Silesia.Yesterday I joined the army, and Daun decamped. I have493 followed him thus far, and will continue it to the frontiers of Bohemia. Our measures are so taken that he will not get out of Saxony without considerable loss.If these terms are not accepted within a fortnight, I will not be bound by them.
Early in the spring of 1759 the Prussian king had gathered the main body of his troops in fortresses and strong positions in the vicinity of Landshut, on the southwestern frontier of Silesia. The enemy, under General Daun, faced him, in longer and denser lines, equally well intrenched. At the same time, powerful bands of the allies were in various parts of Europe, menacing the domains of Frederick at every vulnerable point. The allies dreaded477 the prowess of their foe. Frederick was compelled to caution by the exhaustless numbers of his opponents. Thus for many weeks neither party entered upon any decisive action. There was, however, an almost incessant series of fierce and bloody skirmishes.FREDERICK TRIUMPHANT.
CHAPTER XX. THE RETREAT.It was an affecting sight, says M. Bielfeld, to see a dying man in the midst of a brilliant illumination, surrounded by princes, and visited by a triumphant monarch, who, in the midst of the incessant clamor of exultation, sought only to alleviate the sick mans pangs, participating in his distress, and reflecting upon the vanity of all human grandeur.
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It was one of the grimmest camps in nature; the canvas roofs grown mere ice-plates, the tents mere sanctuaries of frost. Never did poor young Archenholtz see such industry in dragging wood-fuel, such boiling of biscuits in broken ice, such crowding round the embers to roast one side of you while the other was freezing. But Dauns people, on the opposite side of the Plauen Dell, did the like. Their tents also were left standing in the frozen state, guarded by alternating battalions no better off than their Prussian neighbors.142The expenses of the war were enormous. Frederick made a careful estimate, and found that he required at least three hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars a month. He could not carry on another campaign with less than four million five hundred thousand dollars. He had been expecting that Louis XV., who in person was in command of the French army on the Rhine, would send him a re-enforcement of sixty thousand troops to enable him to crush the forces of Prince Charles. But week after358 week passed, and no re-enforcements came. The French, intent upon their conquest, were as selfishly pursuing their own interests on the Rhine as Frederick was pursuing his in Silesia.
In the month of October, 1747, Field-marshal Keith visited his Prussian majesty at Sans Souci. In a letter to his brother he thus describes the results of his observations:
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