Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Capture of Dixmuide en Deinze 1695, pt. II

This blog reported earlier on the capture of Dixmuide and Deinze by the French in July 1695. In July 1695, in order to divert the Confederates from their siege of Namur, the French undertook operations against the towns of Dixmuide and Deinze. They did not succeed in raising the siege, but captured both towns nevertheless. With the capture of these town, the complete garrisons of 10 battalions (regiments) of infantry and one regiment of dragoons went into captivity.

The identity of most of these eleven regiments can be established without too much effort: the English and Scots regiments, and one Dutch at Deinze, are mentioned as such in several sources. The problem lies with the other regiments at Dixmuide. Besides the two English and two Scots regiments, there were four more regiments. Some sources make reference to two each of Dutch and German regiments, others mention Dutch and Danish. Two of these four can be found without too much work as well: one Dutch regiment in English pay, and a Danish regiment in English pay. The colonel of this last regiment, Elnberger, was also governor of Dixmuide and was beheaded for surrendering to the French without any serious attempt to defend the town.

Of the remaining two regiments, the previous blog report makes mention of one Dutch regiment and a regiment from Wolfenbüttel. Though the latter is correct, the former was actually a Brandenburg regiment in Dutch service. We are talking here about the regiment Jung-Holstein. The Wolfenbüttel regiment, in the previous blog said to be Regiment Holle. Holle died in 1693, however, and contemporary sources referred to the regiment as Regiment Schack; Schack may have been the successor.

This missing piece of information comes from a letter from the Duke of Württemberg to Antonie Heinsius, the Dutch Raadspensionaris, dated 17 August 1695. This letter details the 'l'infame reduction' of Deinze and Dixmuide, and loss of ten battalions and one regiment of dragoons. It also informs us on the French bombardment of Brussels: 4000 bombs in 36 hours.
The letter can be found in the second part of Het Archief van den Raadspensionaris Antonie Heinsius, page 101, found in full on Google Books.

So, taken into captivity were two English regiments of foot, three Scots regiments, two Dutch regiments, one Danish, one Brandenburg, and one Wolfenbüttel, and one English regiment of dragoons.