Won by the Sword by G. A. Henty
Chapter XIX: The Peasants' Revolt
After eating a meal Hector had a talk aside with MacIntosh.
"Do you really think that these varlets will venture to attack us?"
"I do indeed," the old sergeant said. "They have taken several places as strong as this by sudden assault. They are desperate, and, as I hear, fight like demons, regardless as to how many fall. As far as stout arms go we are well supplied, for there are at least a hundred men capable of bearing arms, and all have had more or less drill since I have been here. Unfortunately, however, our wall pieces are old and scarce fit for service, several of them will, I feel sure, burst at the first discharge."
"But they have no artillery at all, MacIntosh?"
"I am sorry to say that they have, sir, and a good amount of it. They captured ten field pieces when they defeated the troops, and have obtained a score of others from the chateaux that they have taken. They have only to plant them three or four hundred yards away at the end of the plateau, and they would easily batter down the gates, and might even in time effect a breach in the walls."
"That is serious indeed, MacIntosh. Is there any other way in which they can attack us save in front?"
"I think not. I was careful to examine the face of the precipice when I first took command here, and wherever it seemed to me that an active man could climb up I had portions of the rock blown up, and have so scarped the face that I do not think it is scalable by human foot. But there is nothing to prevent their crossing the fosse on a dark night, and so stealing along and making an attack on all sides of the house."
"Then our first care must be to prevent this, MacIntosh, by building walls along by the fosse from the corner towers to the edge of the plateau. The distance is very short, not more than eight or ten yards at the outside. We have, I see, any number of horses and not a few carts. Let the tenants be set to work at once, and, going down the road into the ravine below, fill their carts with blocks of stone and haul them up here. Let active boys be sent out in all directions as scouts to bring in word when the insurgents are approaching; and at the same time let twenty well armed men of the garrison go down with the carts, so as to give confidence to the tenants and cover their retreat up the road if the insurgents should suddenly make their appearance. Let some of the men take billhooks and axes down with them, and cut poles. These must be sharpened, and as the walls are built, fixed among the stones so as to make a cheval-de-frise. At the same time let half a dozen stout ladders be constructed, so that the defenders of these walls may, if unable to hold them, make their retreat up to the battlements. I wish now that I had ordered a strong bastion to be thrown up so as to cover the gate from an attack by artillery, but it did not seem likely that we should be besieged by any force having guns, and I let the matter remain until the tenants should be better off and we could spend our money on such work. However, it is too late now to think of that. I suppose there is a portcullis to the gate?"
"Yes, and I got it in good working order when I first came here; but the cannon would speedily shatter that, as well as the bridge drawn up in front of it and the gate behind it."
"Then as I have no doubt that there are plenty of flour sacks, we must fill these with earth and pack them between the bridge and the portcullis, and fasten the bridge in its place with any chains that may be available, so that it will keep erect. The earth packing, however much it may be battered, will protect the portcullis of the gate for some time against their fire."
"It is a good idea if we have time to carry it out, colonel. We have still four or five hours' daylight, and as I think that this is of even greater importance than the side walls, we will set the tenants to work at once, and it will save time if they take down the sacks, of which, as you say, we have an abundance."
A few minutes later a dozen active boys left the castle, and scattered to various points on the hills around, so as to command a view over a considerable extent of country. Soon after, some thirty carts went down the road accompanied by a number of men with shovels, and twenty of the garrison commanded by one of the old soldiers. All returned loaded with sacks of earth; these were taken into the castle, when the portcullis was lowered and the drawbridge across the fosse raised. An opening was left on the top to allow the sacks to be lowered into the space between the bridge and the portcullis. A score of men with ropes went on to the wall above and lowered them behind the drawbridge, where five or six men stowed them away. As soon as it became dark torches were lighted, and by ten o'clock a solid mass of sacks filled with earth were packed in the space between the portcullis and the drawbridge.
The night passed off quietly, the horses and carts remaining beyond the fosse. Planks had been placed across one end of this, and the horses and carts taken over. The horses were picketed round the castle, a supply of forage being placed there for their use, while the carts were packed closely by the fosse, so as to form an obstacle to any of the assailants who might try to pass. At daybreak they were again run across the planks, the horses brought round and harnessed, the scouts being sent out as on the day before. All day the work went on, and by nightfall two walls twenty feet long and eight feet high, bristling with pointed staves, were erected. They stood some twenty feet back from the edge of the fosse, and extended from the wall to the verge of the precipice. The carts and horses had, before the walls were built, been taken round to the back of the castle, where the plateau extended some fifty yards beyond the defences. Evening was just coming on when the boys came in, two of them bringing a report that a great crowd of men could be seen approaching from the west.
MacIntosh, with thirty men, were at once lowered down from the battlements, and took up their places in an intrenchment which had been during the day thrown up at the point where the road came up to the plateau, while a score of the tenants assembled at the edge of the cliff, where great piles of blocks of stone had been collected in readiness to throw down. Lighted torches were placed at intervals along the road, and three or four great cressets, holding balls of tow soaked in turpentine and oil, were set up on the edge of the plateau; these were to be lighted when the peasants attempted to mount the hill.
An hour passed, and then a flame sprang up from a house and outbuildings in the valley, lighting up the ground around and showing that a great crowd was gathered on the road there.
"How many should you say there were, MacIntosh?"
"I should put them at four or five thousand."
"Yes, they are certainly not short of four thousand. What wild looking figures! They are just the same in appearance as those who attacked Madame de Blenfoix's chateau. See, they are lighting torches, and I expect they mean to make an attack at once. Their guns are with that group in the rear of the others; at any rate they will not be of any use in assisting them to make their way up this road. They are evidently working themselves up to a state of madness. There are half a dozen fellows addressing them from various points."
The men who had been brought down to guard the intrenchments at the head of the road were all armed with muskets, and carried in addition long pikes. Presently a roar of shouts and yells was heard, and then there was a rush on the part of the crowd towards the foot of the long ascent.
Hector moved to the place where the tenants were posted.
"Do not hurl a single stone down until I give you the word, nor light the cressets; the torches they carry will be quite sufficient for us to make them out, and the attack will be all the more successful if it comes as a surprise."
Then he returned to the breastwork. The men here had been posted by MacIntosh eight abreast. When the head of the column of insurgents were halfway up the hill they opened a scattered fire; they had armed themselves with the muskets they had taken from the troops.
"Their guns will be of little use to them, for few of them can ever have had firearms in their hands before; do not fire a shot, MacIntosh, until I give the order. It is clear that someone must have told them that we have thrown up this intrenchment today, or they would not have wasted their ammunition."
Not a shot was fired until the leaders of the peasants were within forty yards. Up to this time no torches had been shown in the intrenchments, but now these were suddenly brought forward, and Hector, in his helmet and body armour, mounted on to the breastwork. The head of the column paused on seeing a row of levelled muskets and three rows of pikes forming a hedge of steel.
"My men," Hector shouted in a loud clear voice, "halt, I beseech you, before harm comes to you! I know that you have sore grievances, I know that you and your wives and families are well nigh famishing, but how do you think that you will better your condition by assaulting castles and burning down chateaux? You are but preparing labour for yourselves and heaping up fresh imposts on your own heads, for it is you who will have to rebuild them, it is you who will have to pay for the damage that you have done. At any rate, none can say that you have cause for enmity against me and mine, for I have done all in my power to mitigate the sufferings of my people, and the proof is that not one of them has joined you. The taxes that press so heavily upon you are not the work of your feudal lords, they are caused by the necessity for defending France against the assaults of foreign enemies, and were every noble in the land slain it would still be necessary that these taxes should be collected, unless France is to be overrun by the Spaniards and Austrians. I would fain abstain from spilling one drop of your blood, but I must defend myself if you attack me, and I warn you that, numerous as you are, you will not succeed in capturing my castle. I am a soldier of France, and as I have shed my blood in defending her against her enemies, so if you persist I shall not hesitate in shedding yours in my own defence. I implore you to disperse to your homes; even if you gain successes for a time, it would but draw down vengeance upon you."
The assailants had paused when he commenced to speak, and those in front had listened to his words, but those behind, not knowing what was going on, continued to shout and to press up the hill. As he finished speaking there was a yell of defiance, and the column rushed forward.
"Aim low," Hector shouted as he leapt down among his men, "fire!" Eight muskets flashed out. "Second line, fire! Now handle your pikes, the rear lines will reserve their fire."
Although ten or twelve of the leading rank of the insurgents had fallen, there was no pause among the others, and they rushed forward to the hedge of pikes.
"Take charge here, MacIntosh; I will run and get the stones at work." In half a minute he stood by the side of the tenants.
"Heave then down!" he said. He had chosen a spot where the rock rose perpendicularly above the road. "Drop them over," he said, "so that they may fall straight. The biggest you must roll over with your levers, but work them to the edge and let them topple over; don't thrust them out or they will bound over the road. Now!"
Twenty rocks were dropped down together. Even above the din of shouting the crash as they fell below was heard, followed instantly by yells and cries.
"Move farther on and give them another shower," Hector said; and again the rocks fell on the crowded causeway. The first volley had caused a pause -- numbers had been crushed, many of the stones as they rolled down the road had carried confusion to those below; the second volley completed their discomfiture. Appalled by a discharge against which they had no shelter and which was wholly unexpected, those near whom the stones had fallen turned, and in their panic swept those below them on the road down into the valley, many being overthrown and trampled to death. Ignorant of what was going on behind them, the crowd above the spot where the stones had fallen were still pressing upward, those in front hewing with their scythes and axes at the pikeheads.
Hector ran back there. "The two rear ranks will now fire!" he said.
The men dropped their pikes, and two volleys of musketry were poured into the insurgents. Those of the front line were swept away by the fire, and for a moment the whole recoiled.
"Now, men," Hector shouted, "cross the breastwork and sweep them away with your pikes!"
With a cheer the men leapt over the embankment. There was room for ten abreast, and in a treble line with levelled spears they bore down upon the rebels. The charge was irresistible. A few of the leaders of the peasants threw themselves on to the spears and died there, the others strove, but in vain, to fly. Their comrades behind, ignorant of what was going on, still pressed up, and it was not until the screams and shouts of those in front, and the pressure downwards, brought the column to a stand and then bore it backward, that they learned that the defenders had taken the offensive, and were sweeping all before them. Then a panic arose, and the peasants rushed down the road, the tenants above saluting them as they passed with another volley of rocks. Halfway down the hill Hector halted his men, and led them up to the intrenchment again over a road encumbered with dead bodies.
"I think that will do," he said. "After the tale those who have got down safely will have to tell, we may be sure they will do nothing until morning, and it may well be that they may think it advisable to be off to attack some other place not so strongly defended. However, we will presently beat them up, and if possible capture their cannon, and without them they could not hope to take any fortified house well defended."
For a time there was a prodigious din in the valley, sounds of men shouting and quarrelling, of others trying in vain to make their voices heard, and to address the excited peasants. In an hour it quieted down, and by midnight all was still. Hector had been busy with his preparations.
"How many horses have we?" he asked.
"Well nigh a hundred, colonel."
"That is more than enough. Now, MacIntosh, do you and the men here go down the road and pitch the bodies over; we should never get the horses over them."
Then he went to where the tenants were still waiting. "Now, my lads," he said, "I want a big gap made in one of these walls we built today, wide enough for a horse to pass through it, and strong planks laid across the fosse." Then he ascended the ladder up to the battlements. He found the baroness and her daughter standing over the gateway.
"Is all over?" they asked, as he came up to them.
"Yes, for the present. We have beaten them handsomely, and without the loss of a single man."
"Will they attack again in the morning, do you think?"
"I feel sure that they will not do so. You see, they relied upon their cannon for taking the chateau, and they find they are useless. I am going to make a sortie before daybreak, for I want to capture those cannon. So long as they hold them they will continue their work, and they may not always meet with so stout a resistance. The loss of their cannon will dishearten them, as well as lessen their power for evil. I shall take every man who can carry arms, and leave ten at the breastwork to defend it; but there is no chance whatever of their attempting to come up here while we are attacking them, so you need have no fear."
"We shall not be afraid, Colonel Campbell, our confidence in you is absolute; but do you not think that you are running a great risk in attacking a force some forty times as large as your own?"
"One cannot call it a force, it is simply a mob, and a mob that has suffered a terrible repulse, and the loss of three or four hundred men tonight. We shall take them by surprise. I am going to mount all the tenants. MacIntosh tells me that they have all been drilled as cavalry as well as infantry. He, with the twenty men of the regular garrison on foot and ten of the tenants, will make straight for the guns. I shall be with the horsemen, and as soon as we have scattered the mob, we will harness the horses to the guns and bring them up here, so that I shall strengthen the castle as well as weaken the peasants."
The tenants were all informed of what was going to be done.
"It will be to your benefit as well as ours," he said, "for you may be sure that in the morning, if they give up the idea of again attacking us, they will scatter all over the estates and sack and burn every house, whereas if we succeed in dispersing them, no small portion of them will at once scatter to their homes, and the rest will take care not to come near this neighbourhood again."
At twelve o'clock MacIntosh sent a man to say that the road down was clear, and that three hundred and twenty dead bodies had been thrown over. At three o'clock in the morning the horses, round whose hoofs pieces of sacking had been tied, were led across the fosse. One of MacIntosh's sergeants was put in charge of the ten men who were to remain at the intrenchment, the castle being left entirely in the hands of the women and boys. The mounted tenants were eighty in number, all carrying long spears and swords. The torches had long since burnt out, and each man leading his horse went noiselessly down the road, MacIntosh with the footmen leading the way. They halted at the bottom of the road. There was no sound from the spot where the insurgents were lying a couple of hundred yards down the valley, fatigued by a very long march on the previous day, and the exertion of dragging the cannon, for only a few of these were horsed. Presently the day began to break, but not until it became light enough to see perfectly, did Hector give the order to mount, and leaping into the saddle prepared to lead them.
The mounted men had been divided into four bands of twenty each. Paolo and the three troopers each took the command of a party. Hector's orders were: "Keep together until the peasants are in full flight, then separate in pursuit. The movement must be put down or the whole province will be ruined, therefore give no quarter, and pursue until your horses are tired, then return here. Now, MacIntosh, do you advance straight upon the guns; it is probable that they are all loaded, therefore carry them with a rush. The moment we see you engaged we will charge."
The horsemen were in single line, extending from side to side of the valley. Hector kept his eye upon MacIntosh's party. They were close to the guns before any of the sleepers awoke. Then there was a sudden shout, and numbers of the men rushed to the cannon. MacIntosh was there as soon as they were, and pouring in a volley rushed upon the guns. At the same moment Hector gave the word to charge, and with levelled spears the horsemen rode down into the midst of the crowd. Appalled by this sudden attack, which was wholly unexpected, the resistance was but slight. Many of the peasants at once threw away their arms and fled. Those who resisted were speared or overthrown by the horses. As the valley widened the four troops separated a little, each cutting a way for itself through the peasants. It was no longer a fight; and a wild panic seized upon the whole of the insurgents. Some rushed straight down the valley, others ran up the opposite hillside; but the slope here was gradual, and the horsemen were able to pursue.
"Paolo, take your troop up the hill. Let the others keep straight down the valley." And, heading these, Hector galloped on, shouting to MacIntosh to harness what teams there were to some of the guns and take them up to the top of the road, and then bring the horses back for some more.
For two hours the pursuit continued. Occasionally a group of peasants gathered together and tried to stem the tide, but these were speedily overcome, the long spears bearing them down without their being able to strike a blow at the riders, and at the end of that time the insurgents were scattered over a wide extent of country, all flying for their lives. Hector now ordered trumpets to sound; he was soon joined by the other troops, and at a leisurely pace they rode back to their starting point. Not more than half the guns had as yet been taken up, for MacIntosh had found it necessary to put double teams to them in order to drag them up the steep road. The mounted men had all brought ropes with them, and, dismounting, eight yoked their horses to each gun, and in an hour the whole were brought up to the plateau, the drawbridge was lowered, the sacks of earth cleared away, and the portcullis raised, the gates thrown open, and the garrison filed into the courtyard, greeted by cries of welcome from the women.
"I think that we have crushed the insurrection in this part of Poitou," Hector said to Madame de Blenfoix. "We have certainly killed six or seven hundred of them, and I am sure that the remainder will never rally. We will rest today, and tomorrow morning we will set to work to complete the defences of the chateau, so that it may be held by a comparatively small number of men."
The joy of the women was extreme when they found that not a single man had fallen, though a few had received gashes more or less severe. The next morning the whole of the men and boys set to work under Hector's directions. The intrenchment at the top of the road was greatly strengthened, an opening through which a cart could pass being left in the middle.
A gun was placed on each side of this, and twenty sacks of earth laid down by the side of the opening, so that this in the course of a few minutes could be closed, and a gun placed close by run into position between the other two. The greater part of the men, however, were employed in raising a mound of stones and earth in front of the gateway, so as to cover this from the fire of any guns which, after the outward intrenchment had been stormed, might be brought up on to the plateau. The women, and even the children, assisted in the work by carrying earth, while men, with the horses and carts, brought stones up from the valley.
It took a fortnight's hard work before the outwork was completed. It was twenty feet high, triangular in form, and solid in construction. Many of the tenants were accustomed to stonework; and while the rest of the bastion was constructed of rough stones mixed with earth, a parapet four feet thick, of roughly dressed stones, was carried along on the crest of the two outward sides. Four guns were mounted here; the rest of the cannon were placed on the outer wall instead of the honeycombed guns before in position, and the castle was thus prepared to stand a regular siege.
Hector remained for a week after the work was completed, paid the tenants liberally for the services they had rendered, and dismissed them to their homes, for the terrible blow that had been inflicted upon them had so cowed the peasants that order had been completely restored in that part of Poitou. Then, after taking an affectionate adieu of Madame de Blenfoix and her daughter, he rode back to Paris, where he remained for two months.
At the end of that time, being heartily tired of the frivolity and intrigues, and disgusted at the immorality of the court, he obtained leave from Mazarin to rejoin his regiment, as the campaign might be expected to open shortly again. The cardinal had warmly congratulated him upon the suppression of the insurrection in Poitou, of which he had received full details from his agents long before Hector reached Paris.
"I have always exhorted the officers and the troops engaged in putting down these risings to spill no more blood than is absolutely necessary. But it needed a great lesson, such as you have given them. Otherwise, as soon as the troops were withdrawn the peasants would rise again."
Turenne had also been in Paris, and had strongly represented to Mazarin the necessity for the armies of France and Sweden in Germany acting together, since while they were acting separately, and at great distances apart, the Austrians and Bavarians could unite and crush the one, while the other could offer it no assistance. It was owing to this that the conquests made by the troop of France and Weimar had been repeatedly wrested from them. The cardinal listened to his advice, and determined to bring about a union between the two armies of the confederation. In the meantime a conference was going on at Munster between the representatives of the various conflicting powers, but each put forward such exorbitant demands that no progress was made.
The Duke of Bavaria, indignant at the small support that Austria had given him, was playing off France against the latter power. Mazarin was persuaded that he was only waiting for an opportunity to desert the Imperialist cause, and therefore ordered Turenne not to cross the Rhine, as the duke had promised that he would remain neutral unless the French advanced into Germany, when the feelings of his subjects might force him to take the field again on the side of Austria.
Turenne was therefore ordered to besiege Luxembourg. The marshal, however, had no belief in the Bavarian promises, and on arriving on the Rhine early in April, and seeing that were he to march with his army away to Luxembourg the cause of France and Germany would be lost, he continued to make various excuses for not moving, until the Duke of Bavaria, having obtained many concessions from Austria, threw off the mask, and marching with his army joined that of the emperor in Franconia. Thus the whole Imperial forces were posted between the French and the Swedes.
Turenne saw that his only hope of success would be to effect a juncture with the Swedes, and wrote to the cardinal to that effect; then, without waiting for an answer, he set his army in motion. A tremendous circuit had to be made. He forded the Moselle six leagues above Coblenz, the bridges over the Rhine being all in possession of the enemy, marched up into Holland, and obtained permission from the king to cross at Wesel, which he reached after fourteen days' march. Crossing the Rhine on the 15th of July he marched through the country of La Mark, and through Westphalia, and on the 10th of August joined the Swedes under General Wrangel, who had received news of his coming, and had intrenched himself so strongly that the enemy, who had arrived before him, did not venture to attack him. The enemy now fell back at once and encamped near Freiburg. Their army was superior in force to that of the allies, they having fourteen thousand horse and ten thousand foot, while the allies had but ten thousand horse and seven thousand foot. The allies had, however, sixty pieces of cannon against fifty of the Imperialists. The allies advanced to Freiburg and offered battle, but the Archduke Leopold, who commanded the Imperialists, declined to come out of the great intrenchments he had thrown up round his camp.
Turenne then marched towards the Maine, and, halting ten leagues from Mayence, sent for the infantry, of which he had left a portion there, to join him. The whole force of the allies was now united, and took many towns. As, however, they were still inferior in force to the Imperialists, Turenne refused to weaken himself by placing garrisons in these places, contenting himself with blowing up the fortifications of some and carrying off the principal inhabitants of others as hostages. The Imperialist army still remained inactive, and Turenne was able therefore to turn his attention to Bavaria. Crossing the Rhine at Donauwurth he besieged Augsburg and Rain. The latter place was captured, but the former, being reinforced by fifteen hundred men, held out stoutly, and it was necessary to open trenches and proceed in regular form against it. The Duke of Bavaria, greatly alarmed at this invasion of his dominions, sent off message after message to the emperor, complaining of the manner in which the Imperial army remained inactive, leaving the allies to employ their whole force against him. He threatened that unless the army advanced at once to his assistance he would make terms with France. Imperative orders were thereupon sent to the archduke to move against the French. The allies fell back, as his force was greatly superior to theirs, and the archduke took up a strong position, intending to force the allies to retire into Franconia as soon as the country round them was exhausted.
Turenne and Wrangel divined his purpose, and although it was now the beginning of November and snow was on the ground, they marched against him. On arriving near his camp they found that it was strongly fortified, and could be attacked only by passing behind great marshes and defiles. Changing their intentions, they left two thousand horse in front of his camp, making believe that they intended to attack him, then marched with all haste to the Lech and advanced against Landsberg, which they took by assault. In the city were the principal magazines of the Imperialist army, and the allies, finding sufficient provisions there to last for six months, encamped round the city and decided to winter there unless attacked, in the meantime sending out bodies of cavalry, which levied contributions up to the very gates of Munich. Leopold, thus deprived of his magazines, retired with the Austrian contingent, and the Bavarians returned home.
The Duke of Bavaria, finding that his whole dominions would be captured unless he made terms, therefore opened negotiations, and on the 14th of March, 1646, peace was signed, the terms being that he should separate himself entirely from the empire and deliver five of his fortresses to the allies, who would thus, should he again break his word, have means of access into his dominions. The allied forces were now in a condition to march upon Vienna. They had during the winter plundered a large portion of Bavaria; they and their horses had recovered from their fatigue, and their force now amounted to fourteen thousand foot and twenty thousand horse. At this moment, when the Imperialists believed that all was lost, for without the assistance of Bavaria they could put no army in the field that could hope to make head against the allies, Mazarin interposed and saved Austria from destruction.
The Catholic powers had long been privately urging upon him the danger that would arise should Austria be crushed. The Swedes would acquire very large accessions of territory, the Protestant German princes, their allies, would similarly benefit, and Protestantism would become the dominant religion in Germany. Such would, indeed, have undoubtedly been the case had the allies marched to Vienna and dictated terms of peace there. An order was therefore sent to Turenne to march with his army to Flanders, where the Spaniards were gaining great advantages, as Enghien, now become Prince of Conde by the death of his father, had been sent into Catalonia with the greater portion of his army. Turenne, foreseeing that his German regiments would refuse to march to Flanders, leaving their own country open to invasion and plunder by the Imperialists, warmly opposed the plan, and sent messenger after messenger to the cardinal urging him to countermand the order. The friends of Bavaria and the Catholic princes urged strongly upon the queen that the continuance of the war would utterly destroy the Catholic religion in Germany, and that the Swedes alone would reap advantage from the fall of the house of Austria. Moved by their arguments and those of Mazarin to the same effect, she supported the latter, and peremptory orders were sent to Turenne to march to Flanders, where matters were going from bad to worse. Turenne obeyed them, captured on his march towards the Rhine several towns and fortresses, destroying their fortifications so that they would not be able to oppose him if he returned to Germany. But on arriving on the Rhine his anticipations of trouble were fulfilled. General Rosen, whose blunder had been the cause of the disaster at Marienthal, and who had since his return from captivity persistently worked in opposition to Turenne, fomented discontent among the troops of Weimar, and directly they crossed the Rhine they absolutely refused to advance. They had just cause for complaint; they had fought with distinguished valour, and they alone had saved the French army from suffering crushing defeat at Nordlingen; their pay was six months in arrear, and the proposal now that they should leave their own country and fight in Flanders was naturally most repugnant to them. They at once marched away towards Strasburg. Turenne followed them with three thousand infantry, four French regiments of horse, and the only one of the Weimar cavalry that had remained faithful to him, and came up just as they were about to recross the Rhine.
Partly by entreaties, partly by showing his confidence in them, by putting himself wholly in their power, the marshal induced a portion of the Weimar cavalry to return to their duty. General Rosen, who was to a large extent responsible for the mutiny, was arrested and imprisoned at Philippsburg, the rest of the mutineers rode away with the loss of a portion of their number, and joined the Swedes. After this the order for Turenne to march to Flanders was countermanded.
The war languished for a few months, the Imperialists were defeated after a hard fought cavalry battle by Turenne and the Swedes, and the country was overrun by the latter, whose horsemen raided almost up to Innsbruck. But all parties were growing weary of the conflict, which had now lasted thirty years. It had inflicted incredible suffering upon all who were concerned in it, and had produced no important results whatever, except that it had prevented the entire crushing out of Protestantism in Germany, and the peace conference for the first time began to work in earnest.
At last, after Bavaria had been wasted from end to end, and the duke driven into exile, peace was concluded, the emperor yielding every point demanded by France, as he saw plainly enough that unless he did so Turenne's army would be at the gates of Vienna at the commencement of the next campaign, and in October, 1648, hostilities ceased. Turenne went to Munster and acted as the French negotiator in arranging the peace, to which his genius, steadfast determination, and the expenditure of his own means, by which he had kept the army on foot, had so largely contributed.