free ebooks

A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

Mansfeld marched against Wallenstein


Wallenstein

was tall and meagre in person. His forehead was high but narrow, his hair black and cut very short, his eyes small, dark and fiery, and his complexion yellow. His voice was harsh and disagreeable: he never smiled, and spoke only when it was necessary. He usually dressed in scarlet, with a leather jerkin, and wore a long red feather on his hat. There was something cold, mistrustful and mysterious in his appearance, yet he possessed unbounded power over his soldiers, whom he governed with severity and rewarded splendidly. There are few more interesting personages in German history.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

TILLY, WALLENSTEIN AND GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS.

(1625--1634.)

The Winter of 1625--6. --Wallenstein's Victory. --Mansfeld's Death. --Tilly defeats Christian IV. --Wallenstein's Successes in Saxony, Brandenburg and Holstein. --Siege of Stralsund. --The Edict of Restitution. --Its Effects. --Wallenstein's Plans. --Diet at Ratisbon. --Wallenstein's Removal. --Arrival of Gustavus Adolphus. --His Positions and Plans. --His Character. --Cowardice of the Protestant Princes. --Tilly sacks Magdeburg. --Decision of Gustavus Adolphus. --Tilly's Defeat at Leipzig. --Bohemia invaded. --Gustavus at Frankfort. --Defeat and Death of Tilly. --Gustavus in Munich. --Wallenstein restored. --His Conditions.

--He meets Gustavus at Nuremberg. --He invades Saxony. --Battle of Luetzen. --Death of Gustavus Adolphus. --Wallenstein's Retreat. --Union of Protestant Princes with Sweden. --Protestant Successes. --Secret Negotiations with Wallenstein. --His Movements. --Conspiracy against him. --His Removal. --His March to Eger. --His Assassination.

[Sidenote: 1626. WALLENSTEIN.]

Before the end of the year 1625, and within three months after Ferdinand II. had commissioned Wallenstein to raise an army, the latter marched into Saxony at the head of 30,000 men. No important operations were undertaken during the winter: Christian IV. and Mansfeld had their separate quarters on the one side, Tilly and Wallenstein on the other, and the four armies devoured the substance of the lands where they were encamped. In April, 1626, Mansfeld marched against Wallenstein, to prevent him from uniting with Tilly. The two armies met at the bridge of the Elbe, at Dessau, and fought desperately: Mansfeld was defeated, driven into Brandenburg, and then took his way through Silesia towards Hungary, with the intention of forming an alliance with Bethlen Gabor. Wallenstein followed by forced marches, and compelled Gabor to make peace with the Emperor: Mansfeld disbanded his troops and set out for Venice, where he meant to embark for England. But he was already worn out by the hardships of his campaigns, and died on the way, in Dalmatia, in November, 1626, 45 years of age. A few months afterwards Prince Christian of Brunswick also died, and the Protestant cause was left without any native German leader.

[Sidenote: 1628.]

During the same year the cause received a second and severer blow. On the 26th of August Christian IV. and Tilly came together at Lutter, a little town on the northern edge of the Hartz, and the army of the former was cut to pieces, himself barely escaping with his life. There seemed, now, to be no further hope for the Protestants: Christian IV. retreated to Holstein, the Elector of Brandenburg gave up his connection with the Union of the Saxon States, the Dukes of Mecklenburg were powerless, and Maurice of Hesse was compelled by the Emperor to abdicate. New measures in Bohemia and Austria foreshadowed the probable fate of Germany: the remaining Protestants in those two countries, including a large majority of the Austrian nobles, were made Catholics by force.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us