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Benjamin W. Wheeler 


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RIDERS OF MANY LANDS. Profusely illustrated by Remington, and 
from photographs of Oriental subjects. 8vo, $3.00. 

trations. ShtdttUt* Edition, Crown 8vo, Hi. 00, net. Postpaid. 

PATROCLUS AND PENELOPE: A Chat in thk Saddle. Po^r 
EeUtion. With woodcuts from instantaneous photographs. Crown 
Syo, half roan, $1.25. 

GREAT CAPTAINS. With Maps, etc. 8vo, $2.00. 

Great Captains : 

ALEXANDER. A History of the Origin and Growth of the Art of War, 
from the Eariiest Times to the Battle of Ipnus, b. c. ^i ; with a de- 
tailed account of the Campaigns of the (ireat Macedonian. With 337 
Charts, Maps, Plans of Battles and Tactical Manoeuvres, Cuts of 
Armor, Uniiorms, Siege Devices, and Portraits, a vols. 8vo, #5.00. 

HANNIBAL A Hutory of the Art of War among the Carthaginians 
and Romans, down to the Battle of Pydna, 168 b. C ; with a detailed 
account of the Second Punic War. With 327 Charts, Maps, Plans of 
Battles and Tactical Manoeuvres, Cuts of Armor, Weapons, and 
Uniforms, a vols. 8vo, $5.00. 

C>CSAR. A History of the Art of War among the Romans, down tu 
the End of the Roman Empire ; with a detailed account of the Cam> 
paigns of Caius Julius Ca:sar. With 258 Charts, Maps, Plans of 
Battles and Tactical Manoeuvres, Cuts of Armor, Weapons, and 
Engines. 2 vols. 8vo, $5.00. 

GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS. A History of the Art of War from its 
revival after the Middle Ages to the end of the Spanish Succession 
War, with a detailed account of the Campaigns of the great Swede, 
and the most famous Campaigns of Turenne, Cond^, Kugen^, ana 
Marlborough. With 237 Charts, Maps, Plans of Battles and I'ac- 
tical Manoeuvres,^ Cuts of Uniforms, Arms, and Weapons. 2 vols. 
Svo, #5.00. Also in I voL 8vo, $5.00. 

NAPOLEON. A History of the Art of War, with many Charts, Maps, 
Plans of Battles and Tactical Manoeuvres, Portraits, Cuts of Uni- 
forms, Arms, and Weapons. 

VOL. I. Includes the period from the be^nning of the French 1 
Revolution to the end of the Eighteenth Century, with a detailed 
account of the Wars of the French Revolution. 

VOL. IL Includes the period from the beginning of the Consulate 
to the end of the Friedland Campaign, with a detailed account of 
the Napoleonic Wars. 

VOL. III. Includes the period from the beginning of the Peninsu- 
lar War to the end of the Russian Campaign. 

VOL. IV. Includes the period from the battle of LUtzen through 
Napoleon's last campaign. 

4 Yols. 8to, eatch 1^4.00 net. Carriage extra. 


Uniform in style with the above volumes. 


The complete series (Alexander to Napoleon) will cover the History 
iA the Art of War from the earliest times down to 1815. 

Boston and New York. 


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C^me fj^olumeir 


" Faite$ la guerre offentive eomme Alexandre^ Annibal^ C^sar, 
Gustave Adolphe, Twrenntf le prince Eugkne et Fridiric ; lisex, reli- 
sex Vhistoire de lew quatre-vingt-huit campagnes ; modiiez-votu sur 
euXf — c*est le seul moyen de devenir grand capitaine et de surprendre 
le sScret de Part ; voire ghiie^ ainai idairi^ vous fera rejeter des m<iX' 
imes opposies h celles de ces grands hommes.*^ — Napoleon. 

** La tactique, le$ ivclutions^ la science de Pofficier de ginie, de 
Voffider (TartiUerie peuvent s'apprendre dans les traitis; — mais la 
cannaissance de la grande tactique ne s^acquiert que par Vexphience 
etpar Vitude de Vhistoire des campagnesde tous Us grands capitaines,^* 
— Napolbon. 


That the immense gap of sixteen and a half centuries which 
intervenes between the last campaign of Julius Caesar and the 
first campaign of Gustavus Adolphus is left ahnost untouched, 
must be justified by once more reminding the reader that the 
author has made no attempt to cover the history of war, but 
seeks only to indicate the origin and growth of what to-day 
we call the art of war. No preface, however long, can explain 
the purpose of the volumes of which these two are a part, so 
well as the few words of Napoleon which have been chosen 
as a motto, and which follow the dedicatory page. ^^ Bead, 
reread the history of their eighty-eight campaigns," says this 
last of the (xreat Captains. A history of the origin and 
growth of the art of war is in reality only the story of the 
campaigns of those leaders whose deeds have created the art 
The history of war is beyond limit; to treat it in equal 
detail would call for hundreds of volumes, and the author 
has contemplated no such work. 

A distinguished professor of history^ recently wrote the 
author : ^^ You will have an embarrassing wealth of material 
in the military changes from Caesar to Gustavus Adolphus. 
As I run over the time, I see how you can use your narrative 
skill on the slaughter of the legions of Varus in the Teuto- 
wald ; the hurried marches of Aurelian while his soldiers 
sung that wild song of slaughter given by flavins Vopiscus ; 
the Croths of Alaric and the Huns of Attila, and the struggle 

1 Samoel Willard, LL. D. 

viii PREFACE. 

of armed mobs at Chalons ; the skillful work of Belisarius ; 
the saving of Europe by Leo the Isaurian, to whose work the 
picturesque battle of Tours was but a supplement ; the cam- 
paigns of Charlemagne, earliest in modern times to march 
converging columns upon an enemy ; knights and crusaders, 
and that greatest of all cavalry battles, greatest that ever was 
or ever will be, Dorykeum ; the Normans at Hastings ; the 
Swiss piling up the rampart of ten thousand dead at St. 
Jacobs ; the vain charge of Talbot, representative of the out- 
going chivalry, against cannon and earthworks at Chatillon ; 
these, and two score more of the illustrations of the (change 
from the old to the new, — how can you leave them out — how 
can you put them in ? " And just because none of these acts 
in the drama of history had any influence on the art of war, it 
is not within tlie scope of this work to narrate them. Many 
of the deeds of the Great Captains, indeed, had no such 
influence ; but though these may none the less have found a 
place in their general military history, there is nothing to 
warrant the author in going outside of the Great Captains to 
dilate upon mere acts of heroism or mere scenes of carnage. 

Hence, though the period between Munda in 45 b. c. and 
the Danish campaign of 1611 is dismissed with a mere sum- 
mary, the author does not believe that he has left any gap 
unfilled in the actual history of the art c^ war ; and as its 
revival began with Gustavus Adolphus and was carried for- 
ward more or less expertly by his successors, it will be found 
that from the beginning of the seventeenth century down to 
1815, the narrative in these and future volumes will cover 
most of tlie important wars. 

Every nation, in gazing at the glories which surround its 
victories and its heroes, is apt to lose sight of the comparative 
standing of the latter. To the Prussian, Frederick the Only 
stands out unoqualed ; to the Scandinavian, Gustavus ; to the 


Frenchman, Napoleon; to the Austrian, Prince Eugene or 
the Archduke Charles ; to the Englishman, Marlborough or 
Wellington. It is only when each of these generals is 
grouped with the others on the theatre of war where he 
played his part, that one can properly gauge his place among 
the captains. To some of us Anglo-Saxons it may seem 
heresy to assume that Prince Eugene was equal as a general 
to the Duke of Marlborough. And yet, such was the case. 
Alone, he conducted more successful campaigns, he won more 
victories and he did more first-rate work than Marlborough ; 
while at Blenheim, Oudenarde and Malplaquet, he bore half 
the burden and won half the renown. When the facts are 
looked at dispassionately, the place assigned to each of the 
great generals in these volumes will, it is believed, be borne 
out by the mature judgment of any military student not suf- 
fering from patriotic astigmatism. 

It is comparatively easy to write up a campaign without a 
map. This tell-tale absent, errors can be more easily covered ; 
a general allegation will suffice for a more specific one. But 
the author has striven to so illustrate his work with charts 
as that every statement may be readily checked off by refer- 
ence to the terrain. The ancient maps of the country and of 
battle-fields, while full of information and suggestiveness, are 
apt to be topographically wrong and hence misleading ; it is 
hoped the maps and charts in these volumes will prove more 
acceptable. The same care has been expended on them by 
personal visits to the battle-fields as was given to former 
volumes ; but they are intended rather to illustrate the text 
and to aid in comprehending the campaigns than as samples 
of the geographer's art. The amount of ground to be covered 
has resulted in their being made on a smaller scale than here- 

Little space could be spared for the exploits of individual 


generals or divisions ; the battle descriptions have been con- 
fined to what was strictly essential to a clear understanding 
of the manceuvres. Particular heroism has been rarely men- 
tioned ; except in the case of the leading generals, it does not 
fit into the scheme of the work. 

Dates in the old records are inaccurate and puzzling ; but 
the New Style (ten days later than the Old Style) has been 
followed, — it is hoped without many errors. The political 
history of the times has been only incidentally mentioned ; 
the author can scarcely vouch for its being free from error, — 
he pretends to no knowledge of the intricate state imbroglios 
of the sixteenth century. 

The authorities to which these volumes are indebted are very 
numerous. Having no knowledge of Swedish, the author has 
been obliged to rely upon German, French or Italian transla- 
tions of the home records ; but such eminent men as Droysen 
have carefully covered this ground ; and most of the better 
class of historical works, such as Geijer's Sveriges Historia, 
or Gustavus' Letters, exist in German. Moreover, the cam- 
paigns which made Gustavus forever great were rather a part 
of the history of Germany than of Sweden. 

The following works, among others, have been laid under 
contribution, some of them very freely: Arkenholtz, Beau- 
rain, Billow, Chemnitz, Coxe, Desormeaux, Droysen, Duvivier, 
Dudik, Feuquieres, Forster, Gallitzin, Gfrorer, Grimoard, 
Ghialdo Priorato, Harte, Hurter, Julius, Kausler, Keym, 
Khevenhiiller, Lediard, Lossau, Mauvillon, Oman, Puffen- 
dorf, Quincy, Ramsay, Banke, Swedish Intelligencer, Soden, 
Le Soldat SuMois, Sporschill, Theatrum Europseimi, Viller- 
mont, Voltaire, Zaber, Zanthier, a great number of memoirs, 
dispatches and letters of many of the generals, and old 
Netherland, Niimberg and other German records. The au- 
thor has drawn from too many eminent historians and critics 


to do less than acknowledge gratefully liis indebtedness to 
each and all. But he has uniformly got his best suggestions 
from visits to the battle-fields, which, however changed in 
minor details, still remain substantially as they were. 

Parts of the work have been much condensed; but the 
reader can readily understand that it would have been easier 
to write thrice the number of pages than to contract so vast 
a subject into what may be placed in two short volumes. It 
is a far more satisfactory task to go into the minute details 
of a single campaign than to deal superficially with the 
manoeuvres of many ; but though the scheme of this work 
necessitates in places severe condensation, the author trusts 
that no important matter distinctly contributory to the art of 
war has been slighted. 


I. The Eba of Cavalry. 378-1315 .... 1 
IL Reappearance of Infantry. 1315-1500 . 10 

III. Changes in Tactics. — Sixteenth Century . . 22 

IV. The Swedish Army-Changes. 1523-1632 28 
y. The Swedish Organization and Tactics. 1611- 

1632 • 47 

VI. The Young Prince and King. 1611-1617 63 

VII. The Poush Wars. 1617-1625 .... 79 
VIII. The Thirty Years' War. Religious Phase. 

1618-1625 86 

IX. The Danish Period. 1625-1630 . .100 

X. The Polish Wars continue. 1625-1627 . . 117 
XI. The Poush Wars end. 1628-1629 . .131 

XII. The Swedish Period begins. January to June, 

1630 146 


1630 157 


December, 1630 172 

XV. Winter - Quarters at Barwalde. January, 

1631 192 

xvi. gustavus and tllly manceuvre. february to 

April, 1630 201 

XVIL Magdeburg. Septebcber, 1630, to May, 1631 . 215 


July, 1631 229 

XIX. Tilly invades Hesse-Cassel and Saxony. Au- 
gust, 1631 244 





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Portrait of Gustayus, after Van Dyke (Manioh Gallery) 


Knight. (15th Century) 6 

Dismounted Knight (13th Century) 7 

Knight. (15th Century) 7 

Knight in Armor. (13th Century) 8 

Knight. (12th Century) 9 

Swiss Halberdier. (16th Century) 11 

Swiss Sergeant Halberdier 11 

Swiss Pikeman. (16th Century) 11 

Swiss Captain. (16th Century) 12 

Lance and Halberd Heads. (16th Century) 12 

Bernese Soldiers. (15th Century) 13 

Swiss Pikeman. (16th Century) 13 

Geneyese Mercenary. (16th Century) 14 

English Long-bowman. (14th Century) 14 

English Long-bowman. (14th Century) 14 

Cross-bowman. (12th Century) 15 

Cross-bowman. (12th Century) 15 

Cross-bowman. (15th Century) 15 

Cross-bowmen. (15th Century) 16 

Hand Gun 18 

Bombard of Rhodes (calibre, 22 in.) 18 

Big Cannon. (15th Century) 18 

Bombardelle. (15th Century) 19 

French Gun. (15th Century) . • • • • • • .19 

Hand Bombardelle. (15th Century) 19 

Mounted Culterineer 19 

Cross-bow. (15th Century) 20 

Cro6i-bow. (15th Century) 20 


Hand Culverin, 1480 21 

Arquebusier, 1507 21 

Officer. (Uth Century) 27 

Danzig Citizen Soldier (taking oath) 32 

Lansquenet (16th Centniy) ••••••• 33 

Musketeer, 1572 33 

Pikeman, 1534 34 

Pikemau, 1572 34 

Grenadier, 1696 35 

Officer of French Foot, 1647 35 

Arquebus and Rest (16th Centory) 36 

Musketeer, 1630 36 

Match-look, Stockholm Museum 37 

Wheel-lock, Stockholm Museum 37 

Fbtol FlinUock (1613), Stockholm Museum .... 37 

Early Bayonets 38 

English Soldier (unequipped) 39 

German Officer, 1630 39 

Dragoon, 1616 40 

Hungarian Irregular. (17th Century) 40 

Croat 41 

Siege-guns, Stockholm Museum 42 

Three-pounder Regimental Gun, Stockholm Museum ... 43 
Three-pounder Leather Ghm, Stockholm Museum ... .43 

Early Mortars 44 

Early Mortar 44 

Cnlyerin, 1500 46 

Suit worn by Gustavus at the Dirsohau Combat • . . .49 

Swedish Musketeer 50 

Swedish Pikeman 50 

Swedish Officer .51 

Swedish Cuirassier 62 

Swedish Ensign of Cuirassiers 53 

Cannon suggested in the 15th Centory 62 

Azel Oxenstiem 68 

Sweden and the Baltic 71 

Rig[a ..•••...•••. 82 

Arquebus. (16th Century) 85 


The Bohemian Revolt 91 

miy 95 

TUly'fl ManoBUTies in Baden 97 

Halberd with Gnn (16th Centory) 99 

Christian of Denmark 103 

Map of Danish Period 104 

Wallenstein . 105 

Stralsond, partly from an old plan Ill 

Geneyese. (16th Centory) 116 

Polish Horseman 118 

The Vistala-OderuElbe Country 120 

Danzig and Vicinity 122 

Operation at Mewe 124 

Stuhm Operation 138 

Alhanese Horseman 144 

The Landing-place • • • . . 158 

Oder-£lbe Coontry 160 

Stettin 162 

Pikeman of Thirty Tears' War 171* 

Ribnitz 174 

The Attack on Gars 188 

«« Advance Pikes ! " 191 

Swiss Pikehead. (15th Centory) 200 

Demmin • • • . . 202 

Frankfort 211 

Halberd Head 214 

Magdeburg 221 

Swiss Sword. (15th Centory) 228 

The Werben Camp • . 239 

Borgstall Operation 241 

Horse and Equipments used by Grustavus at Liitzen • • 243 

Elbe-Main Country 245 

Leipsic and Breitenf eld 249 

Brigade and Half-brigade 256 > 

The Armies in Line 262 

Battle of Breitenfeld. (2d Phase) .267 

Gustavus, by Van Mierevelt . • 271 

The Main Country 284 

• •• 


Mainz ■ 292 

Landsknecht. (16th Century) 300 

Statue of Gnstavus Adolphos in Stockholm 311 

The Upper Danube Country 313 

Crossing of the Lech 316 

Bfatch-lock. (15th Century) • 324 

Ntimberg 338 

Arquebus. (16th Century) 340 

The Rival Camps 342 

Swords. (16th Century) 352 

Gustavus Adolphus, from Augsburg bust 363 

A Burgundian. (15th Century) 372 

Region near Liitzen 378 

Gustavus praying before Liitzen 385 

Battle of LUtzen 387 

Musket Battle-axe. (16th Century) 397 

Fusee Arrows • • • • • 411 

Battle of NSrdlingen 417 

French Sergeant, 1630 420 



THE ERA OF CAVALRY. 37»-1316. 

As the ranks became filled with meroenaries, the Roman legion fell from iti 
high estate. Hand to hand tactics g^ye way to missile weapons, the bow came 
into fashion, and ballistic machines and portable stakes appeared in line of 
battle. The barbarians grew in efficiency beyond the legionaries, and to pro- 
tect the Tast frontier of the empire, cayalry came to be essentiaL Adrianople 
proved that horse conld ride down foot, and mounted service became the more 
honorable. German cavalry, enlisted by the emperors, proved its preeminence, 
and the footman sank into insignificance. While the western nations relied on 
hard knocks, the Byzantines kept np a species of military art, — one of form 
and stratagem, rather than pure tactics or strategy, in which valor was prized, 
but discretion ranked higher. The Teutonic races depended on stout infantry : 
in their great raids there was little horse. Feudalism introduced the mailed 
knight, who for centuries reigned supreme. Useful in holding back the Moor, 
the Viking and the Magyar, he was not a soldier in the best sense ; his in- 
stability equaled his courage. He knew but one tactics, — to charge straight 
at the enemy, — and he was frequently routed by bad ground. Armies were 
set up in deep squares, and accident often decided the day. Armored mercena- 
ries succeeded the knights, but were no better. Feudalism called for castles ; 
oastles led to a war of sieges. Of stratefiry ^d^ tactics there was none. The 
Crusades were full of prowess ; they gave us no military lessons, except that of 
blind devotion. 

The feature characterizing the history of the art of war, 
from the fall of the Roman empire to the era of the Refor- 
mation, is the rise of cavalry as the main reliance of nations, 
and the corresponding decadence of infantry. This condition 
lasted for many centuries, until the English long-bow and the 


Swiss pike and halberd, coupled to the growth of fireaims, 
again reduced the horseman to his true leveL Cavalry is an 
essential arm ; even the rapid-firing weapon of to-day cannot 
quite displace it ; but it is neither fitted to stand alone, nor 
to dominate infantry. Only when the footman is the main 
reliance of the commander can the art of war reach its highest 

We have seen how the Roman legion, which was at its 
Ecnith when the burgess-soldier's stanch courage put a term 
to Hannibal's splendid bid for the conquest of Italy, degen- 
erated by easy and natural gradations until it became a merely 
mercenary body, unable to cope with the barbarian invaders 
of the peninsula. In proportion as it forfeited character it 
became burdened with ballistic machines, it grew unwieldy, 
and lost so much of its marching speed that, to have at hand 
forces which could effectually be transferred from one threat- 
ened point on the enormous imperial frontier to another, the 
Emperor Constantiue began to increase the cavalry by taking 
from each legion its auxiliary tumue, and collecting these 
into large bodies destined to serve alone. 

The enemies of Rome, moreover, were no longer the ill- 
armed savages of yore. Their weapons and accoutrements 
had been vastly improved by contact with the empire, and the 
legion could not slash its way through a body of mere human 
brawn, — still less so with its own diminished stanchness. 
That the old Roman quality had perished was abundantly 
proven by the numerous ballistic machines, and by the beams 
and stakes carried along on pack-mules, not for the ancient 
purpose of intrenching the nightly camp, but to save the 
legion from cavalry attacks on the field of battle. These 
supplementary engines and tools meant that. the legion had 
been reduced to an im-Roman defensive. 

In the battle of Adrianople (a. d. 878), the Gothic squad- 


rons accomplished what cavalry had never compassed since 
Hannibal's Numidians waded in the gore of Cannae, — they 
destroyed a Roman army. This battle was the capstone to 
the belief that it was more honorable to fight on horseback 
than on foot, for the Goth had found that, unassisted, he could 
ride down the vaunted Roman legionary. While this was 
due more to the deterioration of the foot than to the meliora- 
tion of the horse, yet while the latter continued to gain, the 
former continued to lose. For a thousand years to come 
cavalry was uppermost. It naturaUy deemed itself the supe- 
rior of foot, as indeed it became and remained, — until the 
long-bow of the hardy British yeoman mowed down the super- 
cilious French chivalry at Cr^y. 

Adrianople made it evident that the legions alone could no 
longer uphold the Roman supremacy. 

With this lesson in mind, Theodosius began to enlist bands 
of Teutonic chiefs, and from now on the Roman soldier quite 
lost caste, and the barbarian horseman became the pillar of 
the empire. Indeed, he proved his right to the title by riding 
down the veteran Gallic legions which had risen under 
Magnus Maximus, and by more than one other noteworthy 
deed of prowess. 

Another change soon became apparent. The Roman foot- 
man, already used to the support of ballistic machines and 
portable stakes in the line of battle, began to rely more and 
more on missile weapons, and to discard the arms of close 
quarters. The bow for the first time became a Roman weapon. 
Not but what the bow is an admirable arm, especially against 
cavalry ; it has asserted itself at intervals from remotest 
ages ; but it was a new thing to see the Roman legionary take 
kindly to long-distance weapons, and a thing to excite one's 

Cavalry reigned supreme. At a later day the Gothic horse- 


man rode to and fro throughout Italy, and still further proved 
that infantry, such as the Roman legion had then become, 
was no match for the best of mounted troops. All Europe 
soon vied in arming and training cavalry, and infantry sank 
to a still lower level. It was fit only for garrison duty, — to 
defend walls. The Roman cavalry ended by adopting the 
bow, and became the same body which had annihilated 
Crassus on the plains of Mesopotamia. Horse-archers and 
horse-lancers were the choice of the day. The latter, the 
heavy squadrons, were more unwieldy, but they were able at 
least to ride down the Oriental horse-archer. 

It was thus arose all over Europe the idea that cavalry 
should be the chief and only arm ; the idea that mounted 
service alone was honorable ; the idea that the footman was 
a sloven and a coward. 

The Byzantines were, in matters military, the legitimate 
successors of the old Roman empire. Their armies for cen- 
turies held back the barbarian inroads from the east ; they 
were, during their life, the best of their kind. They have 
been much disparaged by historians, and in a sense it is true 
that the Byzantines were not successful ; but for all that, 
ihey had an art in their wars, while in the west of Europe 
thews and sinews won the day. And while the doughty blows 
of the Frank appeal to our Saxon instinct of manliness rather 
than the ambush, stratagem and studied method of the 
Byzantine, yet the latter showed more intelligence in what 
he did and in the way he did it. Several books of tactics re- 
main to us from this era, and the means of successfully com- 
bating the various races that might be met — Frank, Magyar 
or Saracen — were assiduously discussed. Moreover the 
eastern emperors did succeed in holding their territory 
against western assaults for generations. 

The strength of the Byzantines lay in their heavy cavalry, 


and this they set up in two lines and a reserve, whose three 
suecessiye shocks told well. Courage was valued highly, but 
discretion and a knowledge of how to utilize varying condi- 
tions were deemed a better quality. Bull-headed pluck was 
not so highly considered as it was in the west ; stratagem 
showed a higher kind of soldierly ability, — even treachery 
held its place in the Byzantine scheme. A similar tendency 
was shown in the seventeenth century in the preference of 
manoeuvres over battles ; and was not Hannibal called per- 
fidious because he resorted to ruse in his unequal struggle 
against ponderous Rome ? Despite these facts, which sound 
worse in the telling than they actually were, the Byzantines, 
so far as an art in war is concerned, were a half dozen centu- 
ries ahead of any nation in the west. 

From the era of the Byzantine empire onward for many 
centuries it is impossible to speak with much accuracy about 
war or the art of war. History there is none ; chronicles 
mislead. Of war there was much ; of art in war there was 
little — as we understand it, none — until Gustavus Adolphus 
again infused method into what others had done with no 
method at all. Strategy had rarely shown itself since the days 
of Caesar ; tactics was whatever suited each nation or tribe, 
and never rose to the rank of grand-tactics. If a commander 
was able enough to pattern his battle-tactics to the ground 
on which he fought and to the work he had to do, he was 
deemed a marvel of originality and sldll. 

All nations did not go to war mounted. It was Gothic 
infantry, not horse, which marched down the Italian penin- 
sula under Totila ; but it was the cavalry of Belisarius and of 
Narses which proved fatal to them ; and for three centuries 
the Franks kept increasing their proportion of moimted men. 
The bulk of the Teutonic forces remained foot ; and while 
Charles Martel and Charles the Great had a goodly array of 


oavaby, their armieg were reaJly infantry, supplemented to a 

moderate extent by horse. 

When the kingdom of Charles the Great was broken up 
and the local connts began to acquire a semi-independence, 
feudalism arose, and horsemen acquired still greater impor< 
tance. They had their merits. It was they who kept back 
tiie rast inroads of that era from north, east and south. 
Without them Christendom might have been overrun; no 
wonder the knight in armor won the regard of the whole earth. 
In England the superiority of the horseman was not dem- 
onatrated until the battle of Hastings, when William's horse, 
backed by his arcliers, did their 
share in overthrowing Harold's 
brave but reckless axemen ; but 
the superiority of the knight in 
armor was as marked during the 
feudal period in Britain as it was 
on the continent. 

From the establishment of feu- 
dalism until the Swiss at Moigar- 
ten and the English at Cr^cy 
proved the ability of good foot to 
withstand the best of cavalry, the 
horseman was preeminent. He was 
not a good soldier ; he had no idea 
of discipline ; courage, a certain ability to use his cumbrous 
weapons, and the sort of futh in his own invintsbility which 
helped to render him invincible, were his only recommenda- 
tions. There was no art in what he did. His only tactics 
was to charge straight at the enemy on sight When he 
charged on good ground, no foe could resist his impact ; but 
he might end his gallop in a marsh, or against a palisade. 
At Mansoura, St. Louis' knights were entangled in the streets 

EDigbt. (IHh Centwj.) 

DiimounUd Enight. 
(IStli Ccotorr.) 

of a town and utterly worsted. The 
knight was ignorant of art. Each army 
was formed in three great columns or 
** battles ; " these galloped upon the en- 
emy similarly marshaled, and, after a 
tussle of hours, one or the other would 
be forced bach, often by an accident of 
terrain or on account of the loss of a 
leader. To set a successful ambush was 
a rarity which was applauded as a won- 
der. For many centuries armies moved 
into the enemy's territory, not to secure 
m strategic point, but to ravage the land and secure plunder 
from the harassed people. Victualing by any method was not 
attempted, and so soon as one section was eaten out, another 
must be sought, irreapective of its military value. 

Battles were rare. The rival armies did no reconnoitring, 
and thus at times scarcely 
knew each other's where- 
abouts. They met by ac- 
cident more often than by 
design, and not infre- 
quently sent word to each 
other to meet at a given 
spot and fight it out, — 
as the Cimbri had in- 
vited Marius to battle at 
Vercellse. Even then it 
exceeded their ability to 
marshal their forces on 
fair terms, for it took all 
day to deploy a small marching column into line of battle. 
A modem army manoeuvres thrice as rapidly. 

Kaight (IGUi Century.) 



KnigHt in Armor. 
(13th Century.) 

The feudal knight was so utterly without discipline or reli- 
ability that mercenaries gradually crept into favor. But the 
mercenary was cast in the same mould ; he was a man in 

armor, if not a knight, and was 
equally bold and useless, though 
more loyal to his chief. So long 
as he was paid, he would stay 
with the colors, which was more 
than you could count on in the 
knight. The mercenary became 
the support of autocratic mon- 
archs ; but when, at the end of a 
war, bands of mercenaries began 
to move to and fro over the face 
of the country, seeking a new lord and fresh campaigns, they 
became of questionable utility and unquestionable danger. 

The feudal system called for castles ; castles led to a war 
of sieges rather than a war of manoeuvring and fighting. 
Many of these castles were to the armies of that day more 
serious obstacles than Ehrenbreitstein or Gibraltar to a mod- 
em force. They began by being simple in construction ; 
they ended by being elaborate and solid. There were but 
two ways of capturing them : starvation or undermining the 
walls, and to the latter the mediaeval armies were ill adapted. 
These castles robbed war of all skill, and reduced operations 
to the scale of raids which disregarded their existence, or to 
a series of tiresome sieges. For generations after the inven- 
tion of gunpowder, artillery had small effect on these solid 
feudal structures ; less than the ancient catapults and rams. 

The Crusades were the typical work of the mailed knight ; 
and as this warrior made practically no impress on the art of 
war, so the Crusades teach us no useful lessons. Both were 
equally unpractical ; each served its purpose, but neither war 


nor warrior was worthy of mutation, unless it be in the guile- 
less devotion of the latter. There were abundant and splen- 
did feats of arms ; there was nothing to repay study. To 
record all the deeds of valor which war has evoked is but to 
record the history of the human race ; our task is to evolve 
the history of the art of war from these deeds: in other 
words, to separate from the mere acts of courage those in- 
stances of intelligent applicaticm of courage which have added 
to our knowledge of what constitutes modem war. The thou- 
sand years during which cavalry was the sole dependence 
of Europe have in this sense few lessons for the military 



It was the plucky peasant of Switxerland and Britain who reiSstabliahed the 
Talue of foot The Swiss carried an eighteen-foot pike, or a heavy halberd ; 
and in their mnscnlar grasp these weapons were irresiBtible. They fought in 
an echeloned line of three solid bodies, which cavalry could not break, nor the 
infantry of the day withstand, and they were hardy marchers. At Morgarten 
(1315) they destroyed an army of knights in a mountain pass, and at Laupen 
(1339) one in the open field. Only when broken could they be beaten, as they 
later were by the Spanish sword and buckler. Equally splendid was the record 
of the English long-bow, with its cloth-yard shaft. At Cr^cy (1.346) this weapon 
utterly overthrew the French chivalry ; Poitiers (1350) and Agincourt (1415) 
proved that the day of infantry had come back. The long-bowman behind his 
■takes could not be approached by cavalry ; when broken or on the march he 
was like other foot. Swiss and Briton proved to the knight in armor that he 
was not invincible. Zisca*s wagon-fort was another link in the same chain ; 
the Hussites became a terror in Germany. The disappearance of feudalism, 
the growth of intelligence, and the invention of gunpowder all contributed to 
reestablish warfare as a science. The cross-bow began to be replaced by the 
musket ; and the unwieldy knight g^ve way to the more active footman. As 
kings gained power and raised their own armies, war became more regular ; 
and toward 1600 conditions arose which might rehabilitate the art of war. 

It was the courage of the hardy peasantry of two western 
nations quite as much as the invention of gunpowder, which 
put a term to the ascendancy of the feudal knight, and 
reestablished infantry as the arm which should bear the brunt 
of battle. The English long-bowman with his cloth-yard 
shaft found that he could annihilate the best of cavalry from 
a distance ; the Swiss pikeman proved that armored knights 
could not ride down his steady array of protended spears. 
These facts were a revelation, and at once modified the posi- 

tion of tlie horaeman in war. Each 
represented a new development of 
shock and miBsile tactics. The Swiss 
array was a modem revival of tbe old 
phalanx of Philip and Alexancler; 
and, though the how was one of the 
most ancient of weapons, it had never 
yet been what the English yeoman 
made it. 

The Swiss pike was eighteen feet 
long, with a steel head of from twelve 
to thirty-six inches, was grasped in 
8wui Hilbardisr. both hands, and held shoulder high, 
with a downward slant. The second, 
third and fourth rank pikes protruded beyond the 
front ; the rest were held upright. This arm resem- 
bled in length and application the sarissa of Macedon, 
but it was differently held. Around the central pen- 
non of the Swiss column stood the halberdiers, who 
wielded an eight-foot heavy-headed 
weapon which could cleave the best 
of armor, lop off arms or legs, 
or even, it is said, decapitate 
a horse. Without the up- 
land brawQ and tremendous 
national spirit which inspired 
the Swiss, however, even 
these weapons would have 
avuled nothing. It was hardy 
strength, the love of country, 
and the iostinct of liberty 
which lent them terror. 
The Swiss were rapidly 



iiioVilii«d and swift on the march. Like the 

early Roman l^ona, they always attacked, and 

wearing no armor, could not only keep well 

ahead of the cumbroua armies of the day, but 

descend on the enemy's line with an impetus 

like the avalanches of their native 

bills. They employed light troops, 

cross-bowmen, to skirmish ahead of 

the columns, and these retired into 

the intervals when the charge was 


The Swiss had no great generals. 
It waa the courage and steadfastness, 
the weapons and skill of the men 
which won. But they had an admi- 
rable battle-field tactics. They mar- 
shaled three colnmns, Vorhut (van- 
guard), Gewaltshaafen (power-mass) 
and Nachhut (rearguard), and launched them on the foe in 
echelon, with the advantage of successive impact, indepen- 
dence of movement and the safety of each column from par- 
taking of the repulse of another. At times the three columns 
were marshaled with the cen- 
tre or the wings in advance, 
a partial checker-wise forma- 
tion. The wedge and the 
hollow square, or "hedge- 
h<^," showed that the Swiss 
had studied the tactical 
forme of antiquity. 

The first victory of the 
Swiss foot, at Morgarten in 1315, was not due to its superior 
formation or tactics. The feudal horsemen were lured into 



BencM Soldien. 
<15tli Century.) 

an icy mountam-pass, witli a precipice above them on the 
right, and a lake below them on the left ; and here 
they were destroyed by rolling 
1(^ and bowlders down upon 
their line, and thus hurling 
them into the gulf beneath. 
This, coupled to a furiotu 
front attack wit^ the 
deadly, halberd, gave the 
knightB no room to set 
their lances in rest, or 
to swing their awords. 
Morgiu1«n was not a 
battle; it was a sur- 
prise and butchery ; 
but it opened the eyes 

of the arrogant knight to the fact that, even 
though he be afoot, a man 's a man for a' that. 
At Laupen (1889) the Swiss 
infantry, quite unsustained 
and in the open field, met, 
with its serried ranks and 
bristling pikes, an array of 
heavy horse backed by the 
best infantry of the day. The 
foot was quickly dispersed, 
and all the power of the 
armored knights could not 
drive the columns from their 
ground. Infantry, after a 
doEen ceotories of decay, had agtun proved its worth. 

Bannockburn accomplished the same end in another part 
of the world and in a different way. 



Genercw Ueroeiur;. 
(lOth Cental?.) 

It was only by similar tactios b> their own — by dismounted 
heavy oavalTy, or by bodies of footmen formed on the same 
method, such as the Landsknechte 
of Germany — that the Swiss met 
their match. Later on the Span- 
iards, with Bword and buckler, found 
that they could annihilate the Swiss 
column, if, like the legionaries 
against the phalanx at Fydna, they 
could but once penetrate a gap. 
Foot could be matched by foot ; but 
infantry had asserted its superiority 
over horse, and in a combat b^ 
tween the two arms, the pike was 
useful when sword and shield were 
of no account; the Swiss column 
had a distinct advantage over the Spanish line. 

What placed a limit to the utility of the Swiss column was 
the Tevival of oastrametatjon and the improve- 
ment of artillery. A ool- 
nma with long spears was 
ill adapted to carrying 
works, nor could it live 
under well - plied salvos 
of cannon. These weak 
points, and yet more inter- 
cantonal jealousies and a 
consequent deterioration 
in discipline, eventually 
sealed the fate of the Swiss 

Of even more interest 
tluD the Swiss footman'e msatery of cavalry is the wonderful 



(12di Csntniy.) 

result obtained by the long-bow of the Engliahman. UDtil 

the reigD of John, the cFOS»-bowniiiD had been in the aacend- 

ant Whatever its origin, it was Edward I. who brought die 

long-bow into favor. At Falkirk (1298) 

the long-bowmen did wonders, and while 

at Bannockbum (1814) want of support 

caused their overthrow, it was thej who 

at Cr^cy (1346) proved to the haughty 

chivalry of France that a new era had 

arisen. With their flanks protected from 

Uie chaises of horse and their stakes set 
up before them, the line of 
long - bowmen, vomiting its fire of three-toot 
shafts, could not be reached by the best of cav- 
alry. Poitiers (1356) was cumulative testi- 
mony, and Agincourt (1415) made it plun 
' beyond cavil that infantiy was r^aining its 
proper place in war. 

That the French, later in this century, won 
p victories ag^nst the Eng- 

lish is due to the fact 
lihat they had learned to 

attack the enemy only at a disadvan- 
tage, and not when the long-bowman 

could put in his best work ; they feU 

upon them on the march in lieu of 

assaulting their chosen ground. Once 

broken up, the long-bowmen were no 

more invulnerable than any other foot ; 

they were in fact at the mercy of 

cavalry charges, or of stout infan- 
try armed with good baud to hand weapons and vigorously 


(12th Cwtnrr-) 

(IBUi Csnhiry.) 


That the knights recognized the growing value of infantry 
is well shown in the fact that large bodies were now fre- 
quently dismounted to fight on foot, and that with their 
heavy armor and weapon8 they could more than once bear 
down the lighter line of unmiuled infantry, — provided 
always that they bad not to march far or faat. 
The Germans learned another lesson as to the efBciency 
of foot, in the Hussite wars 
of the fifteenth century. 
John Zisca was an ex- 
traordinary man. He well 
understood that his half- 
armed, undisciplined peas- 
ant rabble, with all their 
religious zeal, could not 
oope with tnuned troops, 
and least of all with feudal 
cavalry. But he stood at 
bay, and with hia wagon- 
fortress scheme developed into a science of defensive tac- 
tics, he, too, helped teach the heavy-armed rider that the 
footman, well used, was more than his equal. This wagon- 
oamp tactics grew to be so exact that Zisca's armies changed 
from the defensive to the offensive, and moved to and fro 
over the land with more swiftness than their opponents ; 
and woe betide the heavy horse which dared to chai^ 
in on the w^on-burg. The Hussites, in open field, would 
march into the very teeth of a German army. They were 
marshaled in five columns, the artillery and cavalry in the 
centre ; outside this two short wagon-columns, and then 
again two long ones. As by magic, the short wagon-columns 
would gallop up to form a front line and back to form a 
rear one ; the whole structure waa lashed together with 


chains or ropes ; on each wagon mounted its special squad 
of defenders, and lo, in the twinkling of an eye, ahnost a 
Boman camp in the midst of the enemy's battalions. And 
from out this camp would sally men with flails and pikes, 
whose fanatical fury was irresistible. So dreaded were they 
that a handful of Hussites would sometimes disperse an army. 
Nothing but artillery could successfully demolish these wagon- 
burgs, and Zisca had always a superior equipment of guns to 
silence the enemy's. German armies coidd finally not be got 
to face the Hussites. This tactics was not within the domain 
of regular warfare ; but it was an instance of able adaptation 
of means to end, and a further proof of the value of the foot- 
man properly put to use. Internal dissensions among Bohe- 
mians finally broke up this remarkable method of defensive 
tactics. But while it existed, it worked towards the same 
end of destroying the ascendancy of horse. 

So long as the feudal power remained in force, there was 
small chance of a revival of the art of war. But princes, dis- 
satisfied with the untrustworthiness of the forces raised under 
the feudal system, resorted to mercenaries, either in time of 
war, or to protect their real or pretended rights against their 
own vassals. Feudalism outgrew its usefulness. It accom- 
plished its mission and gave way to something better, taking 
with it that warrior who from one point of view is the preux 
chevalier of all the ages, and from another the typical armed 
bully, — the mailed knight. 

Beferences to explosive substances like gunpowder, or to 
burning substances like Greek fire, are to be found in works 
literally as old as Moses. Among later references, some of 
the Brahmins of Alexander's time are said by Philostratus to 
have been able to ''overthrow their enemies with tempests 
and thunderbolts shot from their walls ; " Archimedes, at 
Syracuse, is said by Plutarch to have '' cast huge stones from 



his machines with a great noise ; " Ca- 
ligub is stated by Dion Cassius to have 
had machines which " imitated thunder 
Mid lightning and emitted stones;" 
and Marcus Graccus in the eighth cen- 
tury gives a receipt of one pound of sulphur, two of willow 
charcoal and six of saltpetre, for the dischai^ of what we 
should call a rocket. 

The use of Greek fire was understood as early as the sixth 
century, hut powder was earliest used in China, perhaps a 
thousand years before Christ, 
and was introduced to Euro- 
peau notice by the Saracens. 
Neither Schwartz nor Bacon 
can be ^d to be its inventor. 

Early in the fourteenth cen- Bombard of Rhode*. Calibre, 22 ia. 

tury cannon and gunpowder " '™' ^*'"'' ^'* p™™**- 

appear to have been known in Florence ; in 1838 mention is 
made of them among the stores in the Tower of London and 
the arsenal at Bouen ; and in 1346 guns — perhaps hand 
guns — are said to have been used at CrtScy. 

It is certain that the Spanish Moors, shortly after 1326, 
had made the use 
of gunpowder, Bre- 
arms and cannon 
well known in west- 
em Eui-ope, and by 
the end of the cen- 
tury they were the 
common property of 
all armies. At first 
their high cost pre- 
cluded their use ex- 



(lOth CentoTT.) 

oept in Bieges and the defense of towns ; it was mucli later, 
at the battle of Bosabeck, in 1382, between the Dutch and 
French, that field-ai^ 
tilleiy appeared. 

At the end of tlie 
fourteenth century 
guna were cast of 
bronze, copper and 
iron, and called bombardcs. Some of these were huge speci- 
mens, which consumed large charges of powder, and hurled 
stone balls of from one hundred to one thousand pounds 
weight. Mortars appeared in Italy about the middle of the 
fifteenth century. 

The French first made 
use of field - artillery, 
which could be trans- 
ported in the army train. 
That which accompanied 

Frenoh Gun. (IGth Century.) 

Charles VIIL to Italy in 1494 was, comparatively speaking, 
light, rapid of fire and well served. Other nations gradually 
fell into line, and Gustavus made artillery of really light calibre. 
Id the fifteenth and sixteenth centu- 
ries part of the 
infantry bore fire- 
' arms. These were 
at first extreme- 
ly crude, being 
merely a gun-bar- 
rel lashed to a 
stick and set off 
by a match ; but by the end of the sixteenth century they 
had all grown to have a lock, and the form of the weapon 
b^^ to approach the musket. 

Hand BombudoUe. 
(IMk CaDtnrr.) 



(15th Century.) 

In the second half of the fifteenth century firearms and 
artillery had become a necessary part of the equipment of 
an army. The feudal organization was disappearing, and 

the power of kings received 
more recognition. Both these 
things combined to make possi- 
ble a revival in the art of war. 
Standing armies had become 
the rule, and war was no longer 
the exclusive prerogative of 
the nobleman. As infantry re- 
sumed its sway and cavalry was 
set back to its proper function ; as artillery improved and 
discipline was enforced, those conditions gradually obtained 
on which Gustavus Adolphus exercised so marked an influ- 
ence. Since the Byzantine art disappeared, there had been 
no basis on which to build such a thing as a science of war ; 
but a proper 
basis was now 

By the mid- 
dle of the six- 
teenth century 
the cross-bow 
and infantry 

was armed with pikes, halberds and muskets. At first the 
musketeers were but ten or fifteen to a large company ; but 
the number increased until, early in the seventeenth century, 
two thirds of the men were armed with muskets. They all 
wore light helmets and breastplates. 

The Dutch, in their wars against Spain, made marked tac- 
tical progress. Particularly, Maurice of Nassau improved 

CroOT-bow. (15t]i Centary.) 


the mnsket and look, made rules for the footmen, introduced 
the cadenced step, and prescribed many evolutions, ployments 
and deployments. Other able soldiers were working in the 
same direction. 

Band Cnlverin. (148a) Arqoebiuier. (IGOT.) 



Heayt hone had fought in oolimm ; then in one long line ; later the column 
was resumed. The foot was ployed into hig battalia or ^* battles," huge squares 
of pikemen thirty or forty deep, with cross-bowmen or musketeers on the comers 
or sides. As artillery and firearms improved, the depth was reduced. These 
battles stood in line or checker-wise, and sUrmishers operated in front of and 
between them. Up to the fifteenth century the horse stood in front of the line 
of battle ; later it was mixed with it, and a reserre was kept. From the six- 
teenth century the cavalry was put on or behind the flanks. Artillery was 
too heavy to follow troops ; it delayed their marches, and always fell to the 
victor. Parallel order was invariable; the lines were cumbrous, and battles 
were bloody because the troops once in could not be got out of action. Pursuit 
was unknown. Marches were in close column, with van and flankers, but at no 
great distance. The tnun was enormous. Food was got by plunder. The use 
of mercenary troops introduced rank and command ; those who raised the men 
became the officers. There was no discipline. Punishments were Draconic ; 
rewards brilliant. Up to about 1500 prisoners had been killed ; the system of 
ransom then sprang up, to the sad increase of the train. Earthworks around 
camps grew into use. In besieging fortresses treachery was resorted to, and 
the ancient siege devices were used until the introduction of artillery. The art 
of besieging remained crude until the sixteenth century, when the Italians, and 
later the Dutch, improved it, and engineering began to take on a better form. 

Pkiok to the sixteenth century it had been a habit to draw 
up heavy cavalry in one long line (en haye). The rule then 
grew up of marshaling all cavalry in solid columns, which 
opened in onler to use their firearms. The foot was likewise 
marshaled in heavy squai*es, called battalia or "battles." 
The cross-bowmen, later the musketeers, formed the front and 
rear ranks of these battles, and a file on each flank. The 
rest of them were posted on the four comers in bodies, of 

« BA TTLES:* 28 

which, when the front rank had fired, it retired behind the 
rest to load. The depth of these battles long remained thirty 
to forty men ; but as artillery became more dangerous, early 
in the seventeenth century, it was reduced to ten and eight 
men, and even to five. As a general rule, the pikemen and 
halberdiers fought in close, the cross-bowmen and musketeers 
in open, ranks ; in other words, the long-range and hand to 
hand fighters kept to their appropriate formations. The fight 
was opened by volunteers, or men chosen by lot (^erifants 
perdus^ forlorn hopes), who skirmished out in front, and 
though they rallied in groups in case they were attacked by 
cavalry, they were often ridden down. 

In line of battle, the cavalry, up to the fifteenth century, 
was wont to be in front, the foot in the rear. Later, the 
columns of foot were for mutual support mixed with those of 
horse in the same line, as the fire of the cross-bowmen would, 
it was thought, make the work of the horse more easy ; and a 
reserve of heavy horse and foot was kept in the rear. From 
the sixteenth century on, the foot stood habitually in the 
centre, the cavalry on the flanks, or behind the flanks. There 
was no set battle-order. The battles were placed in one con- 
tinuous line, or checker-wise, or at times in concave order. 
Open ground was sought and, if possible, with the sun and 
wind in the rear. 

The artillery was placed in batteries at any commanding 
part of the line, and the horses or oxen which dragged it were 
sent to the rear. It could neither follow the troops in a vic- 
tory nor sustain an advance, and in case of disaster was sure 
to fall into the enemy's hands. Despite these demerits, artil- 
lery grew in importance : its advantages outweighed its short- 

The introduction of firearms brought about many changes. 
Open order became essential, and cavalry looked on its fire 


as superior to the cold weapon. The horsemen awaited a 
charge and received it with salvos of musketry, while during 
a charge the men stopped to fire a volley, or often several ; 
though, if without firearms, they still charged as of old. The 
dragoons dismounted and fought on foot. The infantry 
fought in open or closed order, according as it bore missile or 
close-quarter weapons. 

The rival lines were slowly formed behind a cloud of skir- 
mishers. Duels between champions or small bodies were fre- 
quent. Parallel order was almost invariable ; flank attacks 
or turning movements were rare or accidental. In the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries battles were often sanguinary, 
and ended in the annihilation of one army. Firearms reduced 
the casualties because battles were sooner decided. Pursuit 
was almost never undertaken. It was in fact a traditional 
habit to remain three days on the field of victory, to celebrate 
the event and to divide the booty. 

Marches were conducted in as heavy columns as the roads 
allowed ; the cavalry and foot were mixed ; the artillery, 
strongly escorted, was in a separate column. Van- and rear- 
guard and flankers were put out, but at no great distance. 
The baggage-train grew enormously in size ; non-combatants 
and women accompanied the army in almost incredible num- 
bers, and the soldiers were followed by their prisoners and 
booty, in whatever fashion they could be transported. Com- 
pared to the orderliness of an army of to-day, the army of 
three hundred years ago was worse than a mob. 

During the feudal era, rank and command, as we under- 
stand it, did not exist ; but the employment of mercenary 
troops gradually evolved a system. The monarch appointed 
the army commanders and the colonels ; the latter selected as 
captains the men who raised the companies ; the captains 
obose their lieutenants ; and the men were often permitted to 


select the petty (or non-commissioned) officers. This ancient 
device was substantially the system which prevailed in raising 
volunteer regiments during our civil war. 

On recruitment the men were expected to report with a 
given number of days' rations, after which the prince they 
served was supposed to keep them in victual ; but this was 
so ill done that plunder was the universal means of subsist- 
ence. There were no magazines until much later ; regular 
requisitions on the enemy's territory were unknown, food was 
usually brought from the army's base, and this was a long and 
tedious process, whose irregularity forbade rapid manceuvres, 
and gave rise to hunger and sickness, to desertions and 
plunder. Nor until long after regular armies had become the 
rule was there any method in feeding troops, and their pay- 
ment was even more shiftlessly conducted than the rationing. 

Even so late as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the 
feudal organizations showed no discipline whatever ; but the 
growth of mercenary organizations made severer methods 
imperative. In the sixteenth, Ferdinand the Catholic in Spain, 
Francis I. and Henry II. in France, and Charles V. in Ger- 
many made codes of laws for their respective armies. Under 
these codes the punishments were Draconic, and rewards 
were allotted for courage and exemplary service ; but unless 
a general was able and much beloved by his men, no laws 
could keep up a discipline such as to-day we take for granted. 

Prisoners in feudal times had been habitually treated with 
such cruelty that few escaped with their lives. Only the 
nobles coidd buy release. But little by little a system of ran- 
som sprang up under which even the common soldier could 
hope for freedom. This was a step in the right direction,, 
but it increased the train to a dangerous degree, and ham- 
pered still further the movements of troops. 

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries armies camped 


without much artificial protection, though the wagons were 
used as defenses ; but firearms soon made it essential for 
camps to be surrounded by earthworks, on which guns were 
mounted. The profiles of these works gradually became more 
marked, and bastions and outworks were erected. Especially 
the artillery parks were fortified lest the guns should be 

In attacking fortresses, the ancient means of rams, movable 
towers, catapidts and ballistas, Grreek fire and like devices 
remained in use until the introduction of gunpowder. Walls 
of circumvallation and contravallation were thrown up, and 
mining was commonly resorted to. In the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries great advance was made in the con- 
duct of sieges, especially by the Italians. These new methods, 
improved on in the Netherlands, led up to the modem art 
of engineering. Treacherous dealings were first essayed 
with the commandant of a strong place, or with a friendly 
party within walls. Secret escalade might be attempted. 
If neither was available, a regular siege was undertaken. 
Trenches were dug, at first without system, later in zigzags. 
Batteries were erected to command the enemy's walls, and 
breaches were operated. Powder was too costly to use in 
mining ; walls were undermined by heat, as in antiquity. 
The besieged kept up a heavy fire, threw burning substances 
at night to light up the siege-lines, built outworks from which 
to disturb the operations, made sorties, and defended them- 
selves from assaults with stubbornness. To a storm-captured 
fortress no quarter was given, and the defenders fought with 
this knowledge. 

The wars in the Netherlands in the last half of the six- 
teenth century gave a great impetus to engineering. Out- 
works grew in extent and importance, and inner works were 
built to enable the besieged to hold the fortress even after 


the loss of the walls. Regular sieges were long drawn out. 
Trenches were opened beyond cannon-shot ; covered trenches 
or saps nearer to ; and breastworks at given distances took 
the place of parallels. All but the breaching batteries were 
placed so as to command the tops of the walls. Many of our 
common devices, such as mantelets, fascines, sand-bags, had 
their modem origin in these days. Breaches were carried by 
storming parties made up of volunteers. The besieged grad- 
ually learned in a cruder way all the arts of defense which 
are now put into use. 

The role played by the invention of gunpowder has been 
exaggerated ; it was an effect, not a cause ; gunpowder was 
but one manifestation of the growth of the world out of the 
darkness of the Middle Ages ; the advance in military art 
was another. It was in reality the dawn of the new era of 
intelligence, the emergence from the ignorance which had 
eng^ulfed Europe for a thousand years, which lay at the root 
of all these improvements. It was time mankind should 
redeem itself. 

Qfaocr. (14th Century.) 



Fbom Alexander to GsBsar, the art of war rose to a g^at height ; from Cmaat 
to Gojitayiis, it sank into oblivion ; Gnstayus re-created it. Gunpowder g^aye a 
new <lirection to war. Ancient arms were simple ; annies needed no magazines, 
nor trains to carry munitions, and eyerything tended to battle. When firearms 
and cannon were introduced, the strong places where the munitions lay became 
so important as to be fortified, and armies sought rather to capture these than 
to fight battles. Hence a S3rstem of sieges. Armies could not go far from their 
munitions; artillery was heayy; marches were slow and tedious; victories 
could not be made decisive by pursuit ; and all war was f ormaL Troops were 
raised by recruitment or press-gangs, and their quality was bad. Sweden first 
created a national militia, and its regular anny, drawn therefrom, had no mer- 
cenaries. In France there were then but fifteen thousand men as a standing 
army. Marked tactical advance was soon made, and troops grew more mobile. 
Infantry was the bulk of the force ; pikemen gradually gave way to musketeers, 
especially for light troops. The file was still deep ; but Gustavus reduced it to 
six, which deployed to three deep to fire. The men wore light armor and a pot 
helmet. The pike was shortened. The musket, after many stages, g^w light 
enough to dispense with the crutch-rest; paper cartridges were introduced; 
and finally the bayonet was added. The foot got organized into companies and 
regiments, and rank and command were settled. Fire g^w more rapid, especially 
among the Swedes, but minor tactics was crude. Cavalry consisted of cuiras- 
siers and dragoons ; light horse existed in eastern Europe only ; all was organ- 
ised into comets and regiments. Cavalry had grown to rely on its firearms ; 
Gustavus taught it to charge at a gallop. The Swedish artillery was far ahead 
of any other. Gustavus made light and handy gruns, which could keep up with 
the troops and fire with rapidity ; and he invented fixed ammunition. At one 
time the king used leather g^uns. The artillery was reduced to a system of 
regular calibres, and the handling of gims became a science. 

It is desirable to review part of wliat has been said in 
former volumes, in order to lead up to the military status of 
Sweden, when Grustavus Adolphus was on the throne. His- 


tory shows us three main periods in the art of war : the first 
from remote antiquity to the decadence of Rome ; the second, 
during the Middle Ages, and down to Gustavus ; the third, 
from the beginning of Gustavus' work to the present day. 
During the first period, the art of war under the Greeks and 
Romans, and notably under Alexander, Hannibal and Caesar, 
attained a height such that, in view of the uncertainty in war- 
fare and of the changeableness of tactics arising fi*om the 
rapidity of modem invention, it may be said to dispute the 
palm with that of the nineteenth century. During the second 
period, the art of war sank to its lowest level, as letters and 
arts were forgotten, and began slowly to rise, as people again 
became intelligent ; and to this rise the introduction of gun- 
powder contributed. From the genius of Gustavus in the 
third period, the art of war acquired a notable impetus and a 
life which, invigorated by the great deeds of Frederick and 
Napoleon, has brought it to the present high development. 

It was the introduction of gunpowder into Europe which 
gave the key-note to the new science of war, so different from 
that which obtained among the ancients. The two periods 
in which war has really flourished, and which have been not 
over three hundred years in length, were separated by a gap 
of many centuries. The distinction between the two was a 
marked one. 

The armies of the Greeks and Romans were, as a rule, not 
numerically large. Their method of victualing troops was 
such that food could be found almost everywhere, and it was 
not usually necessary to establish storehouses of provisions or 
to bring rations from a great distance. The weapons of the 
ancients were simple, and those which did not last long — 
spears, darts and arrows — could be readily manufactured in 
any place, and by the soldiers themselves. Great arsenals of 
military stores were imessential to an army in the field ; nor 


had powder and ball, or other ammunition, to be brought up 
from the rear to supply the waste of battle. For this reason 
the ancients had no need of fortresses, or depots in their rear. 
Communication with home was of less importance than after 
the introduction of gunpowder with all its machinery, and the 
reasons which make the security of a base so essential in 
modern times were to the ancients of no moment whatever. 

With the ancients battle was the one important feature. 
The nature of their weapons brought them at once into close 
quarters, and kept them there. To withdraw an army from 
battle with a moderate loss if things went wrong was impos- 
sible, — to all but the very few great generals. There was 
no artillery to keep the enemy at a distance and arrest his 
pursuit while the beaten troops were retired out of action ; 
and the rival lines were too much intermingled to make this 
possible if there had been. Battles commonly resulted in 
victory for one side and fearful massacre for the other. 

The average generals of antiquity needed no art except 
the art of fighting battles, — in other words, tactics. To them 
what we call strategy was an unessential art. They marched 
their armies out to a convenient plain in which to fight, and 
everything depended on the victory they there might win. 
The great captains of antiquity were undeniably able strate- 
gists as well as fine tacticians ; but strategy is the very essence 
of intellectual common sense, and their clear vision enabled 
them to see the advantage of doing that which we have now 
reduced to rules and called a science, — which indeed is but 
a collection of those things which the great captains have 
taught us how to do. 

In modem times, when the introduction of firearms, for 
infantry and cavalry alike, became universal; when much 
artillery accompanied armies ; when their numerical force 
became larger, and they had to be fed and supplied with 


ammunition from magazines in their rear, the importance of 
these depots became so great that they were invariably turned 
into fortresses ; and their value lent an equal importance to 
the lines of oommunication out to tiie army depending upon 
them. These lines had to be protected at all hazards, for 
their interruption for even a few days might bring disaster to 
the army thus cut off. 

Again, the transportation of rations and material of war 
required long trains, and consumed much time. The loss of 
a convoy or of a fortress was as harmful as the loss of a bat- 
tle. Thus in a certain sense battles forfeited their original 
importance, and people took instead to manoeuvring on the 
enemy's communications or to capturing his fortresses. 

Victories, to be decisive, must as a rule be followed by vig- 
orous pursuit ; and the armies of the early period of gunpow- 
der, loaded down, depending on depots, and followed by a 
horde of non-combatants, often exceeding in number the 
arms-bearing men, were cumbrous and unsuited to pursuit. 
A further reason why battles were followed by so little gain 
was that they were delivered only to defeat, destroy or inflict 
loss on the enemy — from purely tactical reasons — without 
any ulterior purpose. The art of making battle subserve a 
larger purpose in the general campaign-scheme, so that a vic- 
tory shall be of due effect, was not then understood. It is, in 
modem times, of recent origin. Thus, though there was an 
effort to make war a science, to reduce it to rules, the lack of 
broader knowledge and the cumbrous method of the day ren- 
dered the average campaigns, even up to the end of the sev- 
enteenth century, slow, long drawn-out and indecisive ; full of 
wrong, ill-digested methods, of a curious sort of formality or 
subservience to certain hard and fast rules. 

Sweden was the first country in Europe which built up 
for herself a regular and at the same time national military 


orgaaizatioD. In other countries what army there existed vsa 
small, — had originally seryed as a species of guard of honor 
to the king. Id case of war, troops were raised by conscrip- 
tion, or under a rude militia system, by voluntary or press- 
gang enlistments, or by the purchase of mercenaries. In the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the soldier of fortune 
was a typical character, equally use- 
ful and tmreliable in war, and dan- 
gerous in war and peace alike. These 
men earned their livelihood by arms 
as a trade, not as a profession ; they 
expected to live on their pay and ra- 
tions, and they hoped to grow rich 
by plunder. The free towns were 
garrisoned by tlieir citizens, who 
were enrolled in a regular body for 
the defense and policing of their 
city ; in case they needed additional 
Duuig Citizen Soldier (uk- forces they resorted to mercenaries. 
Sweden was a noteworthy excep- 
tion. As early as the sixteenth 
century the Vasa kings laid the foundation of a national 
regular army, and Gustavus Adolphus perfected it. The 
Swedish army was a pattern organization, in which there 
were no mercenaries. It consisted of a given number of 
regular troops, raised, paid, fed and equipped by the state, 
and back of these stood a militia kept up by the ]>eople. 
The regulars were intended for wars outside tlie national ter- 
ritory, the militia for the defense of the fatherland ; and the 
regulars were kept at full strength by drafts from the militia. 
The raising of the troops was based on a careful system of 
land-tenure, under which all able-bodied males from fifteen 
years up were called into service ; and Gustavus introduced 

Fma u oLdprluL 

(leth Centmy.) 


a novel method onder which each soldier vaa supposed to 
own and to be supported and eqnipped by a certain parcel of 
land, rising in size and importance accord- 
ing to arm and grade. 

The militia consisted of eight cavalry and 
twenty infantry regiments, each raised in 
whole or in part in a given district from its 
own inhabitants, and kept on foot at the 
expense of that district The men there 
liable to duty assembled at a given time 
under its standard, and each distriot raised 
from three hundred to six hnndred men. 
King Eric strove to make the conscripts 
from each set of twelve districts into a 
regiment, but these proved too irregular in size. The early 
number of three thousand to a regiment was finally reduced 
to eleven hundred and seventy-six ; and Gustavus equalized 
companies and regiments. The militia 
was carefully drilled, kept at its full com- 
plement by annual drafts, and relieved 
from taxes and some other burdens. As 
Sweden was poorly populated, and the 
militia contributed to the regular contin- 
gent no more than twelve or fifteen thou- 
sand men a year, Gustavus was eventu- 
ally compelled to resort to mercenaries 
to fill his war-thinned ranks; and re^- 
ments came to his army from all parts of 
Germany, the Netherlands and England. 
But the Swedes were the leaven of the 

The otiier nations of Europe boasted no such settled organ- 
izatioD. All middle Europe was split up into petty princi- 


palities, of a size which precluded aimies worthy 
the name. Of the Catholic German troops, Wal* 
lenstein'g were perhaps the best ; Tilly's ranked 
next. Of the Protestant German troops, the 
Saxons were deemed to hold the palm, though 
they did not prove it at Breitenfeld ; then die 
Hessians, and the army of Brunswich-Liineburg, 
the latter being patterned on the Swedish. Den- 
mark had practically no army system. France, 
at the time, had only fifteen thousand men as a 
standing army, with cadres that could be in- 
creased to fifty thousand in case of need, of 
which ten thousand would be mounted. This 
was a mere fraction of what she called out 
under the Grand Monarque. 

Though there had been little advance in gen- 
eral mihtary organization, the tao- 
tical systems of the various coun- 
(1534.) ^^^ ^^ improved. William and 
Maurice of Orange, Spinola, 
Henry IV. and Coligny each contributed some- 
thing to the discipline and structure of troops ; 
and Guetavus put on the capstone in the Swed- 
ish army changes. The wars in the Nethei^ 
lands and Germany in the sixteenth and sev- 
enteenth centuries had shown up the defects 
which had come down from feudal times, and 
the bright intellects among rulers and their 
servants set themselves the task of supplying 
the remedy. But to create a system which 
should permanently afFect the art of war re- 
muned for Gustavns Adolphus. 

Infantry, in the early part of the seventeenth 



century, oonsisted of pikemen and musketeers, and with tlie 
efScieocy of firearmB the latter increased from one third to 
two thirds of the force. In Swedish companies of one hun- 
dred and fifty men, there were sev- 
enty-five musketeers and fifty-nine 
pikemen, the rest being petty and 
oommissioned ofBcers. The mus- 
keteers were reckoned aa light 
troops, best fitted for scouting and 
outpost service ; they had a pot 
helmet, a sabre and 
a musket The pike- 
men were the heavy 
armed, and were 
deemed superior in 
value, — what we 
should call die troops 
of the line. They 

had full body-armor, and until the seventeenth 
century thigh-pieces. Their eighteen-foot pikes 
were finally replaced by partisans, with eleven- 
foot shaft, and two-foot double-edged head, 
four inches in width. Later, the length of the 
partisan and shaft appears to have been cut 
down to not over eight feet. Grustavus fore- 
saw that musketry was the arm of the future, 
and gradually decreased the number of pike- 
' men as well as took from the weight of their 
armor to add to their mobility. In 1631 he 
introduced entire regiments of musketeers. The distinction 
between riflemen who fired guns and grenadiers who threw 
hand grenades dates back to him. The word " grenadier " 
was coined at the defense of Batisbon by the Swedes in 1632, 


Fool (1047.) 



Arqnebns and Rest. 
(16th Century.) 

when those soldiers who took the risk of handling and casting 
hand grenades from the walls were given extra pay ; for the 
riflemen could fire from behind cover as they could not. The 
officers of infantry carried a partisan and a sword. Bow- 
men did not exist in Germany. 
In 1623 Gustavus organized 
the Swedish companies of one 
hundred and fifty men, set up 
in files six deep. Four com- 
panies made a " squadron " or 
battalion ; eight companies a 
regiment ; three regiments a 
" great regiment " or brigade. 
Some regiments enlisted in for- 
eign parts had but one hun- 
dred and twenty men to the company. The companies and 
battalions stood in line with vaiying intervals between them. 
The arming of Uie infant^Tunderwent a considerable 
change. There appears to have been a number of '' double- 
pay " men (veterans) as far back as Eric's time. They car- 
ried the pike and wore armor, and numbered at times nearly 
three fourths of the force. The 
old arquebus and cross-bow, 
heavy and clumsy, with their 
forked rest, were replaced by 
the musket ; but this still 
needed a rest. It was provid- 
ed with a match-lock, a device 
originally more reliable than 
the flint-lock, which often 
missed fire ; but gradually the 
latter was improved, and drove 
out the match. About 1626 Musketeer. (1680.) 



liatohlook. (Stockholm Musenin.) 

Giistavas lightened the musket sufficiently to dispense with 
the crutch, and introduced the wheel-lock ; and in his wars 
against the Poles, not 
above taking a hint 
from any source, he 
resorted to the old 
Roman, or, one might 
say, the English long- 
bowman's habit of 

having the men carry sharpened palisades, not for camping, 
but to erect a defense against the Polish lancers from 
behind which they could fire upon them. This was a spe- 
cies of survival of 
the musket - rest ; 
it finally became 
only an iron-point- 
ed rod ; and to it 
some have as- 
cribed the origin 
of the bayonet. It was carried after a while in the train, 
as it loaded down the men and militated against rapidity. 

The next important improvement in firearms, and this was 
first made in the 
Swedish army, was 
the introduction of 
paper cartridges. Of 
these the men car- 
ried ten, together 
with spare powder 
and ball, in car- 
tridge-boxes or ^'bandoliers" slung across the chest from 
left shoulder to right side; while a sword hung in a belt 
from right shoulder to left side. The bayonet and flint-lock 

Wheel-look. (Stockholm Mnaenm.) 

Ilstol Flint-lock. (1613. Stockholm Mnaenm.) 



were introduced in France some time after Gustavus' death ; 
and the troops armed with this handy musket (JhcUe — fusil; 
though the name probably came ivom focus — fire, Italian 
focile) were called fusiliers. The bayonet was mounted on 
a wooden plug to be inserted in the bore of the musket. It 
first made its appearance in the wars in the Netherlands. 

Infantry, in all the European countries, finally got divided 
into regiments and companies ; but these were of no especial 
numerical strength. The company occasionally ran up as 

high as three hundred men, and the 
regiment to over four thousand. Gus- 
tavus' regukr regiments were more uni- 
form. The companies had one hundred 
and fifty men, and eight to twelve com- 
panies made a regiment. In 1630 eight 
companies were deemed a battalion or 
regiment. It goes without saying that 
the exigencies of active service often 
changed all this. A note by Oxenstiem 
exists which speaks of foot regiments varying between fifteen 
hundred and nineteen hundred men ; cavalry regiments with 
from four to eight companies ; and they must have varied 
much more. To one who has served with regiments which 
from one thousand men would run down, in the course of a 
campaign, to two hundred or less, this seems a very small vari- 
ation ; but Swedish recruits were used to equalize old regi- 
ments, not to make new ones. The Swedish militia regiment 
varied according to the popidation of the district in which it 
was raised. In the bulk of the countries of Germany about 
two thousand men made up an infantry regiment, and its 
officers were a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major, quartermas- 
ter and regimental clerk; a barber and one assistant, who 
were surgeon and apothecary ; a provost-marshal and one as-* 

Early Bayonets. 


sigtaiit ; a chaplaia and one assistant ; a judge advocate and 
his clerk. The infantry company had a captain, a lieutenant, 
an ensign, two sergeants, one muster-clerk, a quaitermaster, an 
armorer, six oorporals, two drummers and a fifer. In active 
service there were sinety to ninety-four common soldiers, 
fifteen upper and twenty<oiie lower file-leaders and four 

Loading and firing, with the constant 
improvement in firearms, grew more rapid ; 
and yet it took ninety-five to ninety-nine 
"motions" to complete the operation, 
though GuBtavus had al)olished a large 
number of oseless ones. On the other 
hand, the minor tactics of the foot-soldier 
was very omde, and was confined to the 
simple facings, wheel- 
ings, ploymentB and de- 
ployments. The solid 
masses or phalanxes of 
the Spanish style re- 
mained in use by all 
hut the Swedes, while Gustavus set up his 
men six deep, the pikemen in the centre, 
the musketeers on the flanks or in small 
intermingled bodies, and later three deep. 
The cavalry consisted of cuirassiers and 
dragoons, the latter being mounted in- 
fantry. There had been mounted arque- 
busiers, but Gustavus gave these weapons 
up in favor of lighter fireanns in all cavalry regiments. 

In the imperial armies were heavy cavalry, carbineers and 
Croats or Hungarian irregulars. These three species of horse 
were known by different names in different countries, and 


Dragoon. (1616.) 


varied in them all. When GustaTus 
came to tbe throne, the cavalry was 
still considered the more honorable 
arm; but the nobility, which grew 
poorer as the commonalty gained in 
intelligence, were unable voluntarily 
to keep this arm up to its ancient 
standard, and Gustavns was finally 
compelled to recruit his cavalry in 
the same manner as his foot. It 
was not strong ; in Sweden were only 
some thirty -five hundred mounted 
troops. As the firearm gained in 

efficiency, horse-armor was discarded ; tbe lance gave way to 

the more useful carbine, and the dragoons, introduced into the 

Swedish army from Germany in 1611, were furnished with an 

infantry musket and dismounted to fight. They were really 

bodies of infantry, comprising both musketeers and pikemen, 

and mounted to enable them to 

move fast. They lacked the 

cavalryman's distinctive boots 

and spurs. Yet they were not 

bad cavalry ; their record aa 

such was good. The cuirassier 

retained helmet, cuirass of front 

and back pieces, sword and two 

pistols ; but from this time on 

light cavalry has constantly 

gained in relative efficiency over 

the heavy. 

Like foot, the horse was organized into regiments and com< 

panics, the latter also called " squadrons " or " comets." The 

Swedish cavalry regiments had a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel 

Hungariui Irr^nlai. 



and major, a quartermaster, regimental clerk and a barber- 
surgeon. The cavalry comet, or company, bad a captain with 
four horses, a lieutenant and an ensign with three horses 
each, two corporals with two horses each, a quartermaster 
with two horses, a muster-clerk, a chaplain, a provost, a 
barber, a farrier, each with one horse, two trumpeters and one 
hundred and two common soldiers ; or, all told, one hundred 
and fifteen men with one him- 
dred and twenty-five horses. 
The strength of the cavalry reg> 
iments of other countries was 
very various, and the difEculty 
of procuring horses often dis- 
mounted great numbers of men. 
The imperial companies aver- 
aged one hundred horses, the 
regiments eight hundred. The 
Swedish r^ments of cavalry 
had eight comets, aggregating one thousand horses. 

The main trouble with the liorse prior to Gustavus' day 
was its slowness in charging. It would ride up to the enemy, 
when each rank would successively fire and then wheel off 
to reload. The light horsemen served as scouts ; the heavy 
cavalry lacked Uan, never undertaking the true role of horse. 
The Swedish cuirassiers, on the contrary, were taught to ride 
at a gallop, to fire their pistols at speed, and then take to the 
naked weapon. K they were superior to the German cavalry 
in any one point, it was in their better tactics, and this was 
Crustavus' doing. On the whole, the Swedish cavalry, barring 
discipline, was no better than the German ; perhaps the heavy 
cavalry was not as good as the best German squadrons, on 
account of the smaller size of the Swedish horses, nor the 
light as good as the Groat irregulars. 



But there was no question as to the superiority of Swedish 
artillery. Gustavus Adolphus introduced marked changes in 
this arm, mainly by making the guns and carriages lighter 
and handier, and by adapting their movements to those of the 
other arms and to the requirements of the battle-field. In 
this, as in all his military efforts, his motto was mobility and 
rapidity of fire. 

There were, according to size, three kinds of guns : siege, 
ship, field. The twenty-four-pounder siege-gun weighed three 
tons ; the twenty-four-pounder field-gun only twenty-seven 
hundred pounds. The twelve-pounder siege-g^ weighed a 
ton and a half, the twelve-pounder field-gun only eighteen 
hundred pounds. The six-pounder siege-gun weighed three 



a, Twenty-four pounder ; calibre, 5 inches ; weight, 6,000 potmdi. (Stockholm 
Artillery Muaeum.) 6, TweWe-pounder ; calibre, 4 inches ; weight, 2,600 
pounds. (Stockholm Artillery Museum.) e. Six-pounder ; calibre, 3.3 inches ; 
weight, 1,700 pounds. (Stockholm Artillery Museum.) 

fourths of a ton ; the six-pounder field-gun twelve hundred 
pounds. There were also three-pounders and two-pounders for 
field use. The ship-guns were intermediate in heft. There 
was some variation in these measurements and weights. The 
heavy siege-guns took thirty-six horses to move, and could not 
go into the field. There were various patterns of guns, can- 


non-royal, cnlverinB, falconets, single and double (i. e. heavy 
and light) and mortars ; bnt the latter were not much used. 
All these pieces weie extremely unhandy. The single cannon- 
royal was twelve feet long and called for twenty-four horses to 
transport it ; culverins needed sixteen. 

One of Gustavus' artillery officers, von Siegeroth, in doing 
practice work with guns, new 
and old, had found that 
shorter guns, properly con- 
structed, were equaUy ef- TT™,.pom.der IUgim,nt«l Gnn. 
feotive. In 1624 Grustavus o»iibn, te inct™ ; weight, «o potmdi. 


commanded all old and 

unserviceable ordnance to be recast into newer patterns; 
and a year later he himself contrived a gun which one horse 
or three men could handle to good effect. This gun was in- 
tended as a regimental piece ; and each regiment had one and 
later two of them. It was an iron three- and four-pounder, 
and the cartridge, which weighed less than a pound and a 
half, consisted of the charge held in a thin turned wooden 
ease, wired to the ball. This was the first artillery cartridge, 
the original fixed ammuni- 
tion. The gun was after- 
wards introduced into oth- 
er European armies as the 
pKce Suedoise, Not only 
had it the virtue of lesser 
weight, but its cartridge 
was always ready, and it 
could be fired eight times 
to six shots of a musketeer with the awkward arm of the day. 
Gustavus' merit thus lay in making guns which could be 
handled more like our own than the cumbrous ordnance then 
in use. In the wars against the Poles he employed with 

"nireQ-poniHler Lfather Gnn. 
<Bt<>eklialai ArtiUarr Uiuaum.) 


profit the so-oalled leather cannon, a fact which shows how 
lacking in power the artillery of the day muat have bean. 
These guns were invented in the early twenties by Colonel 
Wurmbrandt, and coDsiated of a thin copper tube reinforced 

Eul; Mortan. 

by iron rings and bands, then bound with rope set in cement, 

the whole covered with sole leather. The tube was made to 

screw ia aiid out, as it grew heated by from eight to twelve 

dischargee and had to be cooled. The gun-carriage was 

Bbaped out of two oak planks. Three men could carry a gun, 

which without carriage weighed ninety pounds, and was fired 

with a light cliarge. Of fourteen of these cannon only is 

mention made ; and after being used in 1628-29 in Poland, 

they disappeared in favor of 

the king's four-jtounder cast^ 

iron guns. These last named 

regimental guns remained in 

common use in Europe until 

the artillery was reorganized 

and massed by Fi'ederick. 

The capacity for evolutions 

and the rapidity of fire of 

Gustavua' batteries excited 

nniversal admiration. Grape 

and canister were generally employed in the field-^na, round 

shot only in siege-guns. Gustavua used his cannon in masses 

Sazlj Mortar. 


as well as with regiments, and the excellence of his artillery 
largely contributed to his successes. This arm with the 
Swedes was immensely superior in effectiveness to that of 
any other European army ; the king was the first to show of 
what artillery was really capable. 

Mortars throwing bombs were first used at the siege of 
Lamotte in 1634. Hand grenades, shells, fire-balls, etc., came 
into more general use as the German chemists made their 
many new discoveries. Artillery-practice grew to be some- 
thing of a science ; experts took it up, and the troops were 
better instructed. The regimental guns were attended by 
grenadiers detailed for the work ; and there were special com- 
panies for the reserve guns. Musketeers supported the guns 
among the Swedes ; cavalry was wont to do so in the imperial 

In this connection the following extract from Holingshed's 
Chronicles, showing what English ordnance at the end of the 
sixteenth century was, may not be uninteresting : — 

The names of oar greatest ordnance are commonly these : EM- 
nety whose weight is two handred poands, and it hath one inch 
and a quarter within the month. Faleonet weigheth five handred 
pounds, and his wideness is two inches within the moath. Falcon 
hath eight handred pounds, and two inches and a half within the 
moath ; Minion poiseth eleven handred pounds, and hath three 
inches and a quarter within the mouth ; Sucre hath sixteen handred 
pounds, and is three inches and a half wide in the mouth ; Demir 
Culverin weigheth three thousand pounds, and hath four inches 
and a half within the mouth ; Culverin hath four thousand pounds 
and five inches and a half within the mouth ; DemuCannon, six 
thousand pounds, and six inches and a half within the mouth ; 
Cannon, seven thousand pounds, and seven inches within the mouth ; 
E'Cannon, eight thousand pounds, and seven inches within the 
mouth ; Basilisk^ nine thousand pounds, eight inches and three 



qauten within the moath. By which proportions also it ia euy to 
come hy the weight of erery shot, bow maay scores it doth flee at 
poiot blank, and how much powder is to be had to the same, and 
finallf bow many inches in height each bullet oof^t to carry. 



Boom of 










2i pounds 



4i pounds 

















CDlTerio. (ISOa) 



GuBTAYUB was unable early to nnifonn his troops, but he g^ye each a 
special color of regimental flag. In arms and equipment there was uniformity, 
and the men were warmly clad in their peasant* s dress, and had waterproof 
fur-lined boots for winter. His first improyement was to lessen the file to 
three deep in firing ; but the pikemen stood in close serried order, six deep. 
The brigades had alternate bodies of musketeers and pikemen, and foot was 
mixed with horse in parts of the line. All changes tended towards rapid fire 
and mobility. The cayalry from ten was also cut down to three ranks, and 
was ployed into column to charge. From an inert body Ghistavus made it an 
aotiye one. Though the artillery was used in masses, each regiment kept its 
own pieces. In battle the skirmishers held the ground while the line formed ; 
then the cayalry cleared the front, the artillery opened, and the Une adyanced, 
first to fire, then to push of pike. In marches Oustayus dispensed with a 
rear-guard when marching toward, with a yan when marching from, the enemy. 
His men were rapid goers. In battle he paid keen heed to the terrain, and 
made his three arms work together. The discipline of the Swedes was wonder- 
ful ; good conduct was uniyersal ; the usual military crimes were qui^ absent. 
The pay was small but reg^ular ; the food was ample, and was obtained, not 
by plunder, but from magazines carefully proyided. The troops were quar- 
tered in towns or fortified camps. The train was much decreased. Religious 
duties were strictly obseryed. Promotion went by seniority and seryice. 
Rewards and punishments were just. There were reg^ental schools for the 
children of soldiers, many of whom, as well as their wiyes, went with the 
troops. Loose women were not tolerated. As an engineer, Gustayus was far 
ahead of his day ; he had many experts ; fortification was wonderfully well 
done ; and field-works were constructed rapidly and efficiently. The Swedish 
nayy as well as the army was largely increased and brought to a state of high 

Gustayus Adolphus is usually referred to as the origi- 
nator of uniforms. This is not striotly correct. Some of the 
Swedish raiments were known by a color, not of the uniform 


but of the standard. Ehrenreuter's regiment had red silk 
for its ensign ; the Vizthum regiment, old blue ; WinkeFs, 
blue ; Teuffel's, yellow ; Hepburn's, green ; the Pomeranian 
regiment, white ; the three Hanse regiments, black. The 
ensign was of one solid color, on which figured an emblem. 
Such was one of white damask, with the royal crown sur- 
mounted by a rose, and ^^Gustavus Adolphus " on one side, 
and on the other, ^^ Touch me not or you 'U get burnt ; " 
or, again, a blood-red standard, with a flame and a figure 
bearing sword and scales, and the motto ^^For King and 

For many years Guatavus had no uniforms for his troops. 
At the beginning of his reign the men served, each in the 
peasant's dress in which he reported. In arms and equip- 
ment alone was there uniformity, save in so far as the peas- 
ants dressed alike. In 1613 a uniformed royal body-guard 
was organized, and in 1621 Gustavus ordered that the sol- 
diers of the line be clad alike so far as possible, instead of 
in the long jerkin and smock-frock of the peasant, ^^ so that 
they should not be despised among the nations of the out- 
land." A year after he ordered that companies and regi- 
ments be unifomdy clad ; but all this took time. The clothing 
of the Swedish peasant was coarse, but being hand-made it 
wore well, and a good garment might not be lightly dis- 
carded. So that even in 1626 people spoke of the Swedes 
as ill-appearing louts in bad clothes. The uniformed troops 
indeed donned their uniforms only on dress occasions, as at 
the visit of princes, or at reviews in their honor. They some- 
times had holiday insignia issued for special use; at the 
Altmarkt Conference the men on duty wore blue and gold 
tabards. When the matter got settled, the men appear to 
have worn a sleeveless tunic and loose knee-breeches, which, 
indeed, was the national cut of dress ; and over this their 


armor and dquipmenta. An undergarment covered the arma ; 
the legs were clad in coarse woolen stockings and the feet 
in shoes or bootees, according to season, for the foot and 
dragoons ; in boots for the cavalry. The infantryman wore 
at times a species of gaiter from the knee down. Clothing 
depots were established at several of the 
Swedish cities ; but although the work was 
all done in these depots, the patterns are 
said to have come from Paris, then already 
the centre of fashions, small and great. It 
is true that Gostavus eventually arrived at 
uniforming his troops ; for years his efforts 
lay in that direction, but he aimed still more 

at providing warm and useful clothinfc. The 

* Swt wow ky Q 

men had fur garments and gloves, fur-lined TUKttliaDiii 

boots and woolen stockings, and many had a Combit. (Stock- 

. , , , , hdm MnsenlD.) 

sort of Russian bootee of waterproof leather. 

These were in part issued to the troops, in part bought by 
the individual soldiers. It was the protection afforded by 
such clothing that enabled Gustavus to conduct his winter 
campaigns in Germany, — to the astonishment and confusion 
of hb enemies. 

The chief improvement in the tactical formation, and this 
was brought about by the introduction of gunpowder, lay in 
the lessening of the depth of the file ; and yet it is curious 
how old-fashioned soldiers like Tilly stuck to their deep bat- 
tles when artillery was becoming effective. Gustavus made 
many other changes in the formation and manceuvring of the 
troops. Infantry had already got set up in not exceeding ten 
ranks. The musketeers stood in closed files but with open 
ranks, which gave space for the rank which had fired to 
retire to reload, and they sometimes attacked in open order, 
almost in what we should call a skirmish line ; the pikemen 



Swediih Mnsketoer. 

stood in closed ranks and 
files. Crustams first reduced 
the formation of mnsketeers 
to six ranks, which for firing 
closed into three ; this re- 
mained the pattern for many 
years, and at the close of the 
Thirty Years' War was uni- 
yersal. The hattle disap- 
peared, and was succeeded 
hy a proper fire line. 

In line the pike- 
men were placed 

in tlie centre, with the musketeers on the flanks 
or grouped at the comers of the bodies ; or else 
the divisious of musketeers and pikemen alternated. 
A mass of men ready for action was called a tertia, 
or battalion (hattle), or squadron. In Germany 
and Spain these hattles were several thousand 
strong; among the French they consisted of not 
over five or six hundred men. Gustavus 
first brigaded his r^ments, and gave to 
many brigades a peculiar color of standard. 
The exigencies of the service demanded fre- 
quent changes, and we bear of brigades of 
two regiments formed in five lines, of which 
the two rear ones were the reserve, and in 
them the divisions of pikemen and musket- 
eers alternated. Such a formation is shown 
in Lord Reay's sketch, of which later ; but 
it was not universal. Or ag^n, the brigade 
was set up in three lines, so as to show more 
Svaduh Pikstnaa. front ; this was the formation adopted by 



GhiatftTiiB lit Breitenfeld. At stUl another period the brigade 
was formed with a diriBioo of pikemen in advance, and fonr 
divisions of musketeers in two lines in the rear. At Liitzen, 
a dozen Swedish companies were ployed into column, one 
behind the other, and had eight oompanicB in one line as a 
reserre. Any one of these brigade-formationB was handier 
in movement, and less endangered by artillery, than the usual 
deep masses ; and it was particolarly use- 
ful from having the reserve to call upon. 

It seems odd that there should not be 
more certainty as to the organization and 
minor tactics of an army of modem days ; 
but matters were in a transition period, 
due to the constant improvements in bal- 
listics, and there is no moment of time 
when any one method universally obtained, 
even in Sweden. It might be difficult, 
when arms of precision call forth so many 
changes, to say Just what the organization 
of infantry is to-day, or may be within five 
years. Going back to include our civil 
war, in view of the changes in all civilized 
countries, it might indeed puzzle one to state without great 
prolixity just what a regiment or a brigade is ; and records 
were not so carefully kept in the seventeenth century. Many 
of the foreign regiments in Gustavus' army had each its own 
formation and drill, which it was wise not to alter, lest the 
efficiency of the body should be affected. 

Taught by his studies, Gustavus revived the ancient habit 
of mixing small detachments of infantry with cavalry. He 
made these composite bodies from two hundred to four hun- 
dred strong, and gave each one a field-gun. On important 
nccaaioDB he detailed men from different organizations to 
form a corps d'ilite of musketeers. , 

Swedish OffiMT. 



The infantry commonly fired m salvos by ranks, sncceed- 
ing ranks coming forward, while the one which had fired 
retired through the intervals to reload. Gustavus introduced 
the habit of having the front rank kneel bo as to fire with- 
out shifting ranks, as this was apt to unsettle the line. On 
occasion he used what was virtually a fire by file. 

The cavalry had hitherto been formed in from four to ten 
ranks. Gustavus cut it down to three ranks, which much 
increased its mobility. The fancy skirmishing (^caracoles') 
was abolished, as well as the use of firearms as the sole 
resource in the attack. The king insisted that the squadrons 
should charge at a gallop with pistols or naked blade ; a style 
quite in accordance with his own tremendous fire and energy. 
The Swedish cavalry rode in 
two or more lines, company in 
rear of company, or checker- 
wise ; occasionally in one line 
en mwraille. Other horse still 
refied on its fire alone, which 
made it excessively slow. 
There were exceptions : do 
better cavalry stood in line 
than splendid Pappenheim's ; 
but as a rule the cavalry of 
the day was inert. With Gus- 
tavns, on the contrary, even 
the dragoon partook more of 
the impulse of the cavalry- 
man than of the stolidity of the infantry soldier ; while in 
the other armies the dragoon remained a mere well-trans- 
ported footman. In his intelligent management of both these 
arms Gustavus soon had imitators. His victories showed 
the superiority of his system so thoroughly that the whole 

Svednh Ciunwier. 



world turned from the ancieut methods to study what he had 

It was the habit in all armies to place the horse in the 
wings; and a sort of precedence by seniority that decided 
the place in line made the con- 
stant shifting of r^ments awk- 
ward and dangerous. Gustavus 
kept cavalry in the wings, but he 
also placed cavalry companies in 
rear of each line of infantry, 
wliere they served to aid in re- 
establishing any sudden check. 

The artillery was posted along 
the front, or on advant^eous 
ground. Under Gustavus the 
three arms supported each other 
much in the modem way. Herein 
consisted the value of the king's 
method. His army became a well- 
designed machine, with all parts 
operating smoothly, instead of a disjointed mass, whose sev- 
eral parts worked out of time, and failed at the critical mo- 
ment to sustain one another. 

The acts of a battle were these. The ground was first 
held by the small bodies of skirmishers, who, from their dan- 
gerous calling, were called forlorn hopes, or enfants per- 
dua; and behind these the lines quietly formed in parallel 
order. Then, often not waiting to withdraw these skirmish- 
ers, the cavalry charged down the front to clear out the cur- 
tain they had formed, to the destruction of friend and foe 
alike ; which done, the artillery opened fire along the entire 
line. Under its smoke the cavalry — usually on the fianks — 
would charge again; the foot would get into musket-range. 

Sva^th Bon^ ot 


and if it could unsettle the enemy, would finally come to 
^^ push of pike." There being rarely anything like grand- 
tactics, or a battle plan, the lines got much intermixed. 
Whichever side could retain the best semblance of formation, 
or rather the side which showed the less confusion, would be 
apt to win. 

An army marched usually in van-guard, main force and 
rear-guard ; Gustavus dispensed with rear-guard when march- 
ing towards the enemy. Light troops formed the van and 
flankers. There were two or three columns, each a line 
when in order of battle, and so formed that the platoons or 
companies could readily wheel into line. Occasionally the 
columns marched checker-wise. Armies began to get over 
more ground than formerly; especially the Swedes made 
good marches ; but the rate was not equal to the best of this 

In battles more heed was now paid to topography, and 
the operations were better suited to it. Artillery played a 
more decided role. The utility of reserves came into recog- 
nition. While the order of battle remained parallel and there 
was no grand-tactics, yet flanking marches, the advance of 
a second line through a wearied first line, and other like 
manoeuvres, were not uncommon. Gustavus made none but 
parallel front attacks. The value of his tactics lay in the 
disposition of the troops : in so placing the pikemen as to 
cover the musketeers ; the musketeers as to sustain the pike- 
men ; while each brigade sustained the other and each was 
all-sufficient to itself, with well-protected fianks, like a small 
movable fortress. But it was rather the mobility of each 
separate body than its solidity which lent it self-sustaining 

The }>arent of grand-tactics is ability to manoeuvre ; with- 
out mobility bodies cannot do this ; and Gustavus, from the 


new conditions imposed by gunpowder, first wronglit out 
details which enabled men to move rapidly on the battle-field. 
Basing on his work, later commanders introduced what we 
now know as grand-tactics. Gustavus especially saw how to 
adapt his troops and position to the topography and the con- 
ditions ; he seized the vital moment in a battle and made 
the most of it. To him belongs the credit of first, in modern 
times, forcing the passage of a rapid river in the face of a 
strong and able enemy. And even though he f aUed in his 
assault on the Alte Veste, Gustavus showed the world that 
there need be no hesitancy in storming intrenchments or 
strong positions. Both operations had imitators. 

As the king's was better than any other European army in 
organization, so it was superior in discipline and esprit de 
corps. The Swedish primeval peasantry was excellent ; big- 
fisted and stout-hearted, it in no wise feared danger or suffer- 
ing. The Swedes " do not defend their men with walls, but 
their walls with men " was a contemporary saying. Since 
they had emerged from serfdom many peasants had acquired 
property, and each proprietor was held to furnish a man to 
the government or to the army. The crown had grown to 
rely greatly on the people, and the reason the Vasa family 
had so strong a hold on the masses was that they always 
sided with the peasantry against the nobles and clergy. 

The pay of the Swedish troops was small ; the narrow 
exchequer of the country allowed no greater. The budget 
in 1630 was twelve million rix dollars ; but the troops were 
regularly paid during the life of Gustavus Adolphus. There 
is no table in the Swedish archives which details the entire 
pay-roll, and there is some question as to the amounts. The 
several records vary greatly. The following strikes us as 
high ; but we do not know what each officer had to maintain, 
or what deductions may have been made for rations, clothing, 


arms, etc. A lower scale is given in other records. The pay 
of the generals and staff was : Field marshal, 1,000 rix dol- 
lars a month ; colonel-general of artillery, 600 ; colonel and 
chief of scouts and colonel and chief quartermaster, 500 
each ; colonel and quartermaster of cavalry, 300. The rate 
of pay of the lesser staff-officers was presumably assimilated 
to that of their regimental grade. 

The scale of regimental pay in the foot was : — 

Colonel 184 rix dollars a month. 

Lientenant-oolonel 80 " '' '* 

Major 61 " « 

Chief quartermaster 30 " " " 

ChapLuns (2) each 18 " " " 

Judge advocates (2) each 80 '* " ^ 

Surgeons (4) each 12 " « " 

Regimental clerk 80 " ** " 

Qerk of council of war 18 " " " 

Provoet-manhals (4) each 12 " " " 

Assistant of marshal 10 *' "" " 

Beadles (2) each 8 " ** ** 

Hangman 7 " " ** 

The scale of company pay was : — 

Captain 61 rix dollars a month. 

Lieutenant 80 " " " 

Ensign (ancient) 30 " " " 

Sergeants (2) each " '* <* 

Assistant ensign 7 ** " " 

Assistant quartermaster 7 " " ** 

Armorer 7 ** " " 

Company clerk 7 ** ** '* 

Musicians 4 ** ** '* 

Corporals (6) each 6 " " ** 

FUe leadere (15) each 6 " " " 

Under leaders (2) each 4 " '' '' 

Privates 8i " " " 

Officers' servants 3 " " " 


In the cavalry the rates were considerably higher, — espe- 
cially for the field-officers. 

The troops were fed from magazines, — one of the most 
important of the improvements of Gnstavus, who established 
depots in suitable localities, and saw to it that they were kept 
full from Sweden, or by systematic contributions from the 
countries traversed. There was a regular staff of commis- 
saries who distributed provisions to the regiments in bulk, 
and they were then issued to the men by the major, who seems 
also to have been charged with the fatigue and policing duties 
of the camp. Sutlers or traders were permitted at times to 
set up their booths near by. During Gustavus' life the troops 
were well cared for ; after his death things went on in a more 
hap-hazard way, and the army was apt to be fed and paid 
from the results of plunder. 

Gustavus quartered his troops in towns or cities ; if in for- 
tified camps, in huts or tents. Wherever they were, camp 
and garrison duties were obligatory, and discipline was never 

The baggage-train was much decreased by Gustavus. A 
cavalry company was allowed ten wagons ; an infantry com- 
pany three, the regimental staff eight. To us this seems a 
large allowance ; but the train and camp-followers of an army 
in the seventeenth century were far beyond any modem 

The one thing which made Gustavus' army a power was the 
infusion of the man himself into its very pith. The Swedish 
troops were instinct with strong religious feeling, and exhibited 
the qualities that spring from it, — good behavior, obedience, 
absence of crime, cheerful courage and good discipline. At 
the root of this lay Gustavus* own example, which was a 
never-varying pattern of soldierly bearing. Regular morning 
and evening prayers were introduced by the king ; he first 


oommissioned chaplains. Before battle there was a service 
. by the priests, and a dedication of the army to the service of 
Grod. Regular days of prayer were appointed at intervals 
in General Orders, and Gustavus caused to be printed and 
distributed to the army a special Soldiers' Prayer-Book. In 
Germany it was to most men a wonderful sight to see the 
distinguished field-marshal kneeling upon the ground beside 
the humblest private in earnest prayer. 

Promotion went strictly by seniority and services ; nepotism 
was unknown. The highest in the land must begin at the 
foot of the military ladder, as the king himself had done. 

At the siege of Riga, in 1621, Gustavus issued a set of field 
regulations which long remained in force. They established 
a regimental court-martial, of which the commanding officer 
was president and ^^ assessors " elected by the regiment were 
members ; and a standing general court-martial, which had 
the royal marshal of Sweden as president and higher officers 
as members. To the monarch was the last appeal. Provost- 
marshals might arrest on suspicion any offender, and imprison 
and bring him before the court ; but they might not hang for 
any offense, except resistance to their orders. The regimental 
court tried for thieving, insubordination, cowardice and all 
minor crimes ; the higher court had cognizance of civil causes 
in the army, treason and the more serious crimes. Decima- 
tion, by beheading or hanging, was the lot of any regiment 
which ran away in action, and the regiment was thenceforth 
held to lie out of camp and do menial service till it retrieved 
itself. ^^ Riding the wooden horse " with a musket tied to 
each foot, shackles, bread-and-water-arrest, were conmion. 
There was no flogging. Even small breaches of discipline 
were severely punished, and misdemeanors were visited impar- 
tially with regard to persons. The higher crimes were pun- 
ished with death, among others theft, plunder, violence to 


women, cowardice, or the surrender of a fortress, except in 
extremity. The articles of war were excellent. The universal 
testimony is that there were few breaches of discipline. But 
they did occur : in 1631, Gustavus had to issue an adhorta- 
torivm to the troops on account of acts of plunder, and a 
number of men were executed. As a rule, however, the Swed- 
ish soldiers were exemplary, in word and deed, far beyond 
the soldier of that century. An officers' tribunal or court of 
honor existed for passing on their misdoings. Gustavus was 
especially severe on dueling, which was forbidden under pain 
of death. It is related that he permitted two officers, who 
especially requested leave, to meet ; that he himself attended 
the duel, and said to the principals : ^^ Now, gentlemen, at it, 
and stop you not till one of you is killed ! Moreover, I have 
the provost-marshal at hand, who will at once execute the 
other I " Cheerful prospect I 

A soldier's wife was allowed to accompany the regiment ; 
but the bane of the German army, a troop of loose women 
among the camp-followers, was unknown. In each regiment 
were schools for the children of soldiers, many of whom, 
according to the curious custom ot those days, accompanied 
their fathers, even on campaigns. As crimes were remorse- 
lessly punished, so- were services adequately rewarded, by pro- 
motion, presents of money and pensions. But excellent as 
it was, it must be admitted that the perfect organization of 
the Swedish army did not outlive Gustavus himself. 

All other European armies at this time were alike, and 
characterized by disorder and indiscipline. The troops were 
rarely paid, ill-fed and scantily clothed. The officers were 
over-luxurious ; the men barely provided for. The troops 
were carelessly quartered in the towns or wherever it came 
easiest, and their presence was the signal of grievous oppres- 
sion ; while in the wake of a marching army stalked desola- 


tion. The baggage -train was enormous, as the men were 
permitted to carry along their plunder, and the number of 
non-combatants is hard to credit. In one army of forty 
thousand men, one hundred and forty thousand camp-follow- 
ers are said to have been counted. The armies were full of 
cut-throats, outcasts and soldiers of fortune, and their con- 
duct was that of highway robbers, even in the land of friends. 
Despite capital punishment for a number of crimes, and the 
penalty was often exacted, such a body could not be kept 
from gruesome atrocities, from which indeed neither man, 
woman nor child escaped. But prisoners had come to be 
well treated because they were expected to pay ransoms ; and 
acts of heroism were not uncommon. Rewards were as marked 
as punishments. Especially Wallenstein was distinguished 
for the severity of his punishments and the splendor of his 

Gustavus was himself an expert, and he organized a superb 
corps of engineers. In Germany, folk were astonished to 
see scores of men of science accompany the army, and to 
note the way they were put to use in intrenching positions. 
Franz von Traytor was the " general of fortifications," or, as 
we should say, chief of engineers ; and an engineer -ofiBcer 
named Portions was noted for excellent work. There was a 
special corps of miners ; but the entire army was drilled in 
throwing up fortifications and in pontoon-bridging. Even the 
cavalry were taught to throw a bridge. By spreading this 
knowledge so thoroughly throughout the army, Gustavus could 
intrench himself on unavailable ground, and quickly repair 
and make serviceable the walls of places he captured. He 
wrote a series of ^^ Instructions " on this subject which are 
clear and sound. He had learned all that the Netherlands 
had to teach, and had bettered on some of it. 

Field-fortification in this era was common. Outlying posts 


were defended by redoubts and star-shaped forts with pali- 
sades, drawbridges and all manner of entanglements. Armies 
in the field, as well as those besieging strong places, covered 
themselves with works more or less complicated. A camp 
was not dissimilar to the Roman camp, with its wall and 
ditch, streets of tents, parade-ground and careful divisions, 
the difference being mainly one of arms and organization. 
Gnstavus adopted the system of field-fortification which had 
been brought to perfection in the Netherlands ; but he altered 
it in many ways. Instead of having a single line of unbroken 
works, he would build a series of mutually supporting isolated 
works, in two or more lines. In his camps he placed his 
troops with a much greater front than usual, and allowed 
each regiment to have its baggage in its own rear. 

Rank and command were as follows : The king was supreme. 
Next came the royal marshal. Over a large army there was 
a general-field-colonel, and over smaller armies, commanders, 
general-commanders and field-marshals. In 1623 there were 
only two commanders, Jacob de la Gardie and Hermann 
Wrangel. There were field-majors, and general-field-majors. 
Bernard von Thiim, who came to Sweden from the Nether- 
lands with a regiment of foot, was made a general-field-major. 
Then came colonels, lieutenant-colonels and majors, and then 
the company officers. In 1626 there were fifteen colonels and 
nineteen lieutenant-colonels. In 1630 Gustavus Horn was 
made field-marshal, Ake Tott and John Baner generals. 
The nucleus of a general staff was begun ; Kniphausen was 
its chief, and he was succeeded by Baudissin. The chief 
of artillery in Germany was the twenty-seven-year-old, but 
exceptionally able. Colonel Torstenson. 

Permanent fortification was rather blindly borrowed from 
the system of the Netherlands. Sieges were formally con- 
ducted with lines of circum- and contrarvallation carefully 



prepared. Regular trenches, as we understand them, did not 
appear till towards the end of the Tlur^ Years' War. The 
means of siege was laborious rather than scientific ; nor can 
it be claimed that GrustaTus was peculiarly able in his sieges. 
The navy was much increased. Many ships were bought 
in Germany ; more were built by Swedish private capital. In 
1630 the Mercury of thirty-two guns was the flagship. The 
Westerwik had twenty-six guns, the Apollo and Pelican 
twenty each, the Andromeda eighteen, the Kainbow thirteen, 
the Stork twelve, the Parrot ten, the Black Dog eight, the 
Dolphin two. In 1632 there were five admirals and fifty-four 
ships of war, whose crews numbered from for^-eigbt to one 
houdred and aix^ men. 

CannoD siifreot^ ■» ^^ ^^''^ Cvt^aij. 



GuBTAYUB Vasa, the grandfather of Gnstavus Adolphus, was a prince of 
exceptional force. He introdaced Protestantunn into Sweden, raised and edn- 
oated the peasantry, and took their part against the priests and nohles. He 
fostered commerce and created a merchant marine. All the Vasas were able, 
cnltnred and strong ; but there was a touch of insanity in the family. Eric 
aho^ed it and was deposed. John had a tendency to Romanism, and his son 
Sigismnnd tamed Catholic on inheriting from his mother the throne of Poland. 
By this act he forfeited the Swedish crown ; and Charles, the father of onr 
hero, was made king. Gnstayus was bom in 1594, was oaref ally edacated, and 
showed woaderfnl ability. He mastered several languages and was a keen 
student. His character as a lad was the promise of the man ; he was a good 
writer and a fine speaker, and was physically strong, open hearted, brave and 
religious. At eleven he entered the army, and was allowed to attend the 
meetings of the royal counciL He watched the Russian campaign of 1610, and 
engaged in that of 1611 against Denmark. Though only successful in part, he 
showed intelligence, persiBtency and marked originality in what he did. Charles 
IX. died this year, and Gustavus, who, though only seventeen, was at once 
crowned, found himself at war with Russia, Poland and Denmark. The cam- 
paign of 1612 exhibited ability ; but it was only successful in so far as it enabled 
Sweden to make a peace by purchasing from Denmark some territory in 1613. 
Next year there were no operations, but in 1615-16 the young king attacked 
Russia from Finland and won a large strip of territory. The eyes of Europe 
began to be attracted to him. In 1617 Russia ceded the conquered provinces, 
and the war dosed. 

The grandfather of Gustavus Adolphus, the great Gus- 
tavus Vasa (1523-1560), was a man. of sound and powerful 
character, and a truly noteworthy Protestant prince. It was 
he who laid the foundation of the growth of Sweden. When 
he came to the throne, the Swedes were all but a semi-barbar- 
ous people, who, said the king, were so shortsighted as to rob 


every mereliant who ventured among them. The Reforma- 
tion did so much for the country, however, that a hundred 
years later Gustavus Adolphus saw his people as advanced in 
intelligence and culture as any nation of northern Europe ; 
and the Swedish nobility held high rank among the aristo- 
cracies of the Continent. The growth of Lutheranism in 
Sweden was not merely a religious revival ; it was largely due 
to political facts. Gustavus Vasa, its founder, though a g^reat 
man, was far from a profoundly religious man ; but he saw 
that by confiscating the estates of the church, he could help 
forward the national finances as well as bind the nobles to his 
tause ; and that by getting rid of the priests, who all desired 
a single and Catholic Scandinavia under the rule of Denmark, 
he would establish his own family more firmly on the throne. 
It was he, in fact, who made the throne hereditary in the 
Vasa family. In addition to introducing Protestantism, Gus- 
tavus I. established a commerce for Sweden by favoring the 
middle class as against the nobles ; and he added largely to 
the territory of the country by means of encroachments on his 
neighbors that were equally in fashion then as now. It was 
this head of the Vasas who created the Swedish fleet, and who 
improved the style of ship-building by bringing Venetian 
workmen to instruct his own thorough but less subtle design- 
ers. Under him the Swedish merchant marine grew to a 
reputable size. Gustavus Vasa left his crown to his eldest, 
and dukedoms to his other sons, and was succeeded in turn 
by his first son Eric, his second son John and the latter's son 
Sigismund ; and then by his fourth son Charles IX., the 
father of Gustavus Adolphus.^ 

The entire family were able men and broad. The Vasas 
stood so far above any of the other Swedes that they may be 
said to have reigned by a sort of Homeric right. Not only 

^ See Vasa Family-Tree, page 65. 


possessed of force of character and brains, most of them were 
highly cultured, well read in literature, and versed in the arts 
and sciences. Many were truly noble men. The Vasa blood 
had a markedly good strain. 

King Eric was able, but he showed evidences of the insan- 
ity which, coupled to its vigorous intellect, unquestionably 
resided in the Vasa family. He was deposed in 1567, and 
his brother John ascended the throne. John inclined to 
Catholicism, though he never avowed so much ; but he mar- 
ried Catherine Jarghellon of Poland, and when the Jarghel- 
lon monarchs died oUt, his son Sigismund was made king of 
Poland, and, as was imperative, became a Catholic at the 
same time. 

In order not to forfeit his claim to the throne of Sweden 
by his change of religion, Sigismund granted extravagant 
privileges to the nobles ; but the country had a parliamen- 
tary government, the four Estates — nobles, clergy, citizens, 
peasants — having each a voice, and the three last named 
were stanch Protestants. Despite Sigismund's efforts, even 
by force of arms, to make Sweden a Catholic country, he 
failed in his end, was eventually deprived of the crown, and 

OiuUtiib VaM (I.) 1623-1660. 

Srfe XIV. John m. Hagnua. Amu MarUzzCluurlM IX.= Ohrlittitt 

1660^1668. 1668-1602 of the 

=Gatheriii« Juvhellon. PaUtliuito. 



100ft, d. 1022. 


Kfaig of PoUukL 




of Holstein. 


CaUi0rine=John Oaalmir. OusUtoi (IL) Adolphua, Char! 

I 1611-16S2, Philip, 

Oharlea X 1664-1600. =]Urla Slinon d. 10& 

I I of Bnadanbanr. 
OhATlM XL 1600-1007. 

OhtflM Xn. lOOT-mO. ChrbtinA. 



retired to Poland, breathing vengeance. In 1604 Charles 
IX. became king, and the throne was entailed on his eldest 
son, Gustavus Adolphus, and his descendants, ^^ being Protes- 
tants." With this patriarchal family back of him, the prince 
came honestly by his ability, his uprightness, his courage and 
his energy. 

Gustavus II., or Gustavus Adolphus, was bom in Stock- 
holm, December 19 (N. S.), 1694, son by his second wife of 
the then Duke Charles, whose nephew Sigismund was on the 
throne. By his first wife Charles had had but one daughter, 
Catherine, who married Count John Casimir, and became the 
life-long friend and adviser of the future monarch, and the 
progenitress of the succeeding kings. 

Charles was not as brilliant as most of the Vasas, but he 
was practical to the last degree, a quality at the time of more 
importance than high culture ; the mother of Gustavus had 
that which Charles lacked, and the young prince was sur- 
rounded by every advantage which strong intelligence and 
high mental and moral aims could bring him. If Charles IX. 
wanted some of the burly intellectual qualities of the family, 
he none the less exhibited in a high degree the common-sense 
ability of his father. He did much for the military organi- 
zation of the kingdom ; he compiled the first code of Swedish 
laws ; he labored hard at the financial status and equalization 
of taxes, and gave a new impetus to mining; he ordered 
topographical surveys of the kingdom to be made; and he 
prepared the way for his son in a fashion which could scarcely 
have been bettered. 

Charles was happily bom to reign over an unspoiled peo- 
ple. The Swedish peasantry was rude and ignorant, but it 
was stout and loyal. Like the soil of New England, the 
Scandinavian land had trained its dwellers to work and to 
endure ; and religion had made them earnest and true. In 


fact, his faith represented to the Swedish peasant his fealty 
to both God and king, much as it does to the Russian of 
to-day, but with a broader intelligence. 

Giistavus Adolphus was a lad of great personal beauty 
and strength, and his naturally alert mind was a pregnant 
soil for careful training. Even in his boyhood he showed 
that breadth of quality which later in life lent him such 
preeminence, — a deep and earnest religious nature, strongly 
imbued with the tenets of Protestantism, an unswerving 
moral character, warm affections, great amiability, frankness 
and a strict sense of rectitude. Coupled with these from ear- 
liest youth there were noted in him that species of courage 
which absolutely ignores danger, and those habits of mind 
and heart which are wont to call forth the manly virtues. 
And as this species of character usually possesses its purely 
human side, so we find in the king certain failings in temper 
and tricks of thought which all the more endear him to us. 
He was not a mere king of high heels and wig and ermine 
cloak ; he was a man enacting his role in the face and eyes 
of all the world. 

Many a pretty story is told of his childhood. ^^ Do not 
go into that wood," said his nurse to him one day ; ^^ there 
are big snakes there I " ^' But just give me a stout stick," 
replied the brave little fellow, ^^ and I '11 soon kill them all I " 
One day, when he was taken to see a naval review, an officer 
of rank asked him which ship he preferred. "Why, that 
one there," replied the five-year-old prince. " And why. Your 
Boyal Highness ? " " Because she has got the most guns." 
It was natural that his tastes should run to war ; it was part 
of the Vasa education as well as inheritance. 

The lad was a close student, and took a keen interest in 
languages, sciences and belleaJettrea, His education was con- 
ducted under the oversight of his father and mother, and of 


Axel Oxenstiem, wbo later became his prime mtDister as well 
aa most intimate friend. Hia father drew up a memorandum 
of routine for him, which, by qo means hicking the same reli- 
gious impulse, stands out for its common sense in marked 
contrast to that drawn up by the 
father of Frederick the Great 
Charles had the utmost futh in 
the future of Grustarus. Jlle 
faciei, said he on his death-bed, 
when an unusually knotty ques- 
tion arose which had puzzled him 
fuid hia council, and which he was 
fain to put into other hands. 

Gustavus' masters were selected 
after consultation with the Swed- 
ish Estates. His special tutor 
was John Skytte, clerk of the 
supreme court, assisted by a German, Helmer (or Otto) von 
Miimer, both traveled men and able ; Count de la Gardie 
was his military instructor, and later one of his trusted 
generals. Sweden was noted for inviting distinguished for- 
eigners to its court, and never fwled to make the best use 
of their abilities. 

Gastavus became an exceptionally clever linguist. He 
read and could fmrly express himself in Greek, Latin, Dutch, 
Italian, Russian and Polish, beside his native tongue ; he 
read history to good effect, — Xenophon in the original was 
his favorite book, — and was well rounded in his studies. 
Durii^ his campaigns, Grotius' Commentary, " De Jure Belli 
et Pacis," was his constant companion. He has left us a 
history of the Yasas which is distingmshed by its clear grasp 
of his subject and dignified style ; he spoke and wrote with 
equal pointedness and force, and was considered to be the 


best orator in Sweden. Many of his poems, particularly the 
religious ones, are still sung by rich and poor in Sweden, as 
Luther's are in Germany. In gymnastic sports, and in the 
use of weapons, he was unexcelled, and was a skillful horse- 
man. Not only had he courage, but his bodily strength and 
health were exceptional. On one occasion, when he felt an 
attack of fever coming on from undue exposure, he sweated 
it off by a prolonged and violent fencing-bout with young 
Count Brahe. His temper was exceedingly quick, and in 
his youth a blow followed a word with scarce an interval ; 
but he always made honest and ample amends for his has- 
tiness, and later in life he learned the rare virtue of self- 
control. The eyes of all Sweden were early riveted on the 
promising heir to the throne, and great things were hoped 
of him. 

When, in 1604, Gustavus reached ten years of age, his 
cousin Sigismund had already been deposed on account of his 
Catholic fanaticism, which had pushed him to acts intolerable 
to the Swedes, and Gustavus' father, as Charles IX., sat 
upon the throne. Sigismund retired to Poland, and both he 
and his powerful kingdom threatened and proved to be the 
most dangerous opponents Sweden could have. 

In his eleventh year Gustavus entered the army at the 
lowest step, and worked his way patiently up. As a training 
in statecraft he was allowed to sit at the meetings of the 
ministry, and the council soon learned to appreciate his 
worth. Quite without pedantry, — a thing which speaks 
volumes for his instructors, — the lad exhibited a clean-cut 
idea of the strength and weakness of Sweden, of its proper 
r61e in the economy of northern Europe, and of his own 
duties as future ruler. The death of Philip II. had relieved 
hordes of soldiers of fortune from duty in the Netherlands, 
and many men trained in this famous school of war came 


to Stockholm to offer their services to the king, who was 
expected soon to measure swords with Poland. These vet- 
erans were dear to Gustavus, because from them he learned 
of the warlike deeds of Maurice of Nassau, his special hero. 
War was even then his pride and his dream ; the old Viking 
blood throbbed lustily in his veins. 

Much to his chagrin, Gustavus was not permitted to serve 
in the Russian campaign of 1610, but he went to Finland 
and watched it near by under the guidance of de la Gardie ; 
and when he reached the age of seventeen, his father, with 
the consent of the Estates, declared him of age, — ^^ worthy 
of wearing a sword," — and he was given a small command 
in the war with Denmark in 1611. 

The Goth was strong in the young prince; it seethed 
indeed in the Vasa blood: Eric at times showed the tiger 
instinct; prosaic Charles once challenged the king of Den- 
mark to personal combat. And in this his first taste of 
war, Gustavus showed the utmost coolness and disregard of 
danger, riding up into the immediate vicinity of the enemy 
when out reconnoitring, and scanning them through his glass, 
quite unconscious that fear was an instinct with most men. 

The young general raised some forces in West Gothland 
and essayed to relieve Ealmar, then under siege ; but fortune 
seemed to favor the Danes, who captured the fortress as weU 
as Elfsborg on the west coast. Young Grustavus, however, 
shipped his detachment over to Oland, and took this island 
and the fortress of Borgholm. On his return there fell into 
his hands a letter from the Danish commander of the small 
fortress of Christianopel, begging the Danish king for five 
hundred horse. Ghistavus at once made use of this lucky 
accident. He clad five hundred Swedes in Danish fashion, 
led them himself to Christianopel, reached the place at night, 
was admitted, and took possession of the fortress. These 



early exploits showed the stuff of whitdi the prince was made, 
and exhibited that ability to utilize favorable opportumties 
whioh later became so marked a trait 

Oenias for war is only genius given a warlike direction. 
The same mental tissue which makes the poet, the astrono- 
mer or the musician, if coupled to vigorous character, and 


given the opportunities of war, will make the captain. Bat 
the character must equal the intellect, and the opportunity 
be of the highest. 

During the reign of Charles IX. Sweden was but a small 
and unconsidered country. Beside Stockholm, her only cities 
of importance were WesterJis, Orebro and Kalmar. Gothen- 
borg did not grow to be important until after Gustavus' 
death. Sweden's neighbors were, moreover, all in a position 
and mood to push her hard. Denmark held the key to the 
Baltic by her two fortresses of Kronborg (Elsinore) and 
Helsingborg on either side of The Sound, and the southern 
provinces of the Swedish peninsula, as well as all Norway, 
belonged to the Danish crown. Sweden could reach the sea 
only by the river Gote, at the mouth of which was the for- 
tress Elf sborg, and this, though in Swedish hands, was largely 
neutralized by the not far distant Danish fortress of Bohus. 
Thus holding the key of the Baltic, Denmark claimed to con- 
trol its commerce, and was a neighbor much to be dreaded. 
One of the dreams of Christian IV. was once more to organ- 
ize a single Scandinavian dynasty under the rule of his own 
house ; an aspiration that made him anti-Swedish to the core. 
Holland had also asserted herself in the commerce of the 
Baltic, but not in such a manner as to provoke war. All 
she desired was free trade everywhere and non-interference. 

War with Russia, then a minor power, had been going on 
for some years, for Sigismund and Charles IX. were each 
seeking to place on the Russian throne a claimant friendly to 
his own interest. Apart from politics, the matter resolved 
itself into a struggle for Livonia between Sweden and Poland, 
and at the time of Charles' death, Sweden had obtained a 
sort of foothold in that province. Russia's ambition was to 
recover her Baltic possessions, and the king of Poland was 
intent on regaining the crown of Sweden. 


The only other prince who had a hand in the game of 
northern European polities was George William, the elector 
of Brandenburg. This sleepy potentate had no broader idea 
of policy than to hold on to what he already had, and to keep 
out of war either for religion or any other cause. He was 
the distinct reverse of what a Hohenzollem is apt to be. 

It was on October 30, 1611, that Charles IX. died. As a 
matter of precedent, Gustavus Adolphus could not ascend 
the throne until he was twenty-four years old. But so excep- 
tional were the circumstances surrounding Sweden that within 
two months, on December 17, 1611, the ministry, to whom, 
as a species of regency, Charles had confided Gustavus and 
the welfare of Sweden, clad the seventeen-year-old prince in 
the fullest power as king ; the people accepted him as such ; 
and during his twenty-one years' reign, no Swedish subject 
ever regretted this action. Gustavus chose Axel Oxenstiem, 
himself only twenty-eight years old, as prime minister, and 
during life was devoted to him as one of the best of his 
statesmen and generals. Oxenstiern was as prudent and calm 
as Gustavus was impetuous and high-struug. The two, with 
a friendship so unusual between king and minister, could not 
have been better matched. The qualities of each were a com- 
plement of those of the other. It seems strange enough that 
these two men, whose united ages were but forty-five years, 
should have thus set forth on so gigantic an undertaking. 

Few young monarchs have ever been so harassed on taking 
up the reins of government. Gustavus' situation recalls for- 
cibly that of Alexander. Not only was there great distress 
in many parts of Sweden, not only were the finances of the 
country on a questionable basis, but Sweden was actually at 
war with Denmark, Russia and Poland ; and these countries 
were apt to hold the young king cheap. 

It was manifest that Gustavus could not cope with all 


these powers at once ; that his only safety lay in finishing, if 
possible, the war with each one singly. The conflict with 
Denmark was the most pressing; the others were all but 
dormant, and could be staved off for a season. 

Christian had begun the war in April, and within two 
months had appeared before and captured Kalmar, and 
greatly strengthened its works. The fortress of Elfsborg 
was also in the possession of the Danes, and the young king 
foresaw that to attempt their recapture would involve more 
time than he had at command. He determined on an incur- 
sion into Danish territory, as an easier means of accomplish- 
ing his object, and in 1612, leaving a force in the vicinity of 
Elfsborg to prevent further aggression by the Danes from 
that quarter, he marched with the bulk of his army into 
Schbnen, where Christian had stationed a detachment. 

According to the military art of the day, this was an 
unusual if not unwise proceeding. To undertake a sharp 
offensive on one point of the theatre of war as a defensive 
measure to another part, simple as the problem is, would 
never have occurred to the average general of the early 
seventeenth century. But Gustavus had not studied the lives 
of great captains in vain. Convinced that he was right in 
his theory, he followed up his movement by besieging Hel- 
singborg. The plan should have succeeded, but the Danes, 
with a sudden onslaught on his army, placed him in grave 
danger, and forced him to raise the siege. This failure nei- 
ther discouraged the young king nor drove him from his pur- 
pose. Its effect was the reverse; his mood was elasticity 
itself, and he determined on an irruption into Norway ; but 
this too proved fruitless, and despite good calculation the 
whole campaign came to naught. 

A severer test of Gustavus' character and ability could 
scarcely have been made. No doubt there were many innuen- 


does by the wiseacres of broken maxims of the science of 
war ; such a failure would have drawn the temper of most 
men* But like Frederick after Mollwitz, the king only saw 
the dearer and felt the more reliant; and the operations, 
though unsuccessful, go to show that the bent of the future 
great warrior's mind had already grown beyond the formal 
limitations of the military art of his century. 

One incident in the campaign came close to putting a term 
to the king's career. In a battle on the ice on the lake of 
Widsjo, he and his horse fell through, and he was with diffi- 
culty rescued. Military manoeuvres on^the ice, or the engulf- 
ing of many men, are no rarities in these northern latitudes. 
This was but one of a series of accidents and wounds, gener- 
ally brought on by the king's inordinately reckless gallantry. 
He is the captain who most resembles Alexander in the 
Homeric quality of his courage. He could not keep out of 
the fray. 

Meanwhile the Danes, under personal command of Chris- 
tian, prepared an expedition against Elfsnabben and Jonko- 
ping. The latter was a border fortress, and both were impor- 
tant places from a military standpoint, to hold which would 
give the Danes a secondary base for the invasion of the inte- 
rior of Sweden. Gustavus had taken up a position near by, 
to forestall any such movement, but was, both by land and 
sea, distinctly weaker than the enemy. Harboring small 
respect for his youthful opponent, Christian made bold to 
push for Stockholm, hoping to capture it out of hand during 
the absence of the king. lie had already reached Waxholm, 
within a half dozen miles of the capital, when Gustavus, 
catching the alarm, returned at the head of a smaU force, 
roused and armed all the able-bodied population, and march- 
ing boldly out to meet Christian at Waxholm, compelled him 
to withdraw. 


Disappointed in the results of this unimportant campaign, 
and under the influence of England, Christian, who utterly 
lacked the moral equipment of Gustavus, and who was more- 
over held much in check by his nobles, a turbulent, unreason- 
able set of men, now expressed his willingness to make peace. 
Gustavus, who was a soldier to his finger-tips, felt bitterly 
the necessity of ending by negotiation a first war which he 
would fain have ended by the sword ; but he was glad to be 
rid at any price of his nearest and most dangerous enemy, 
and Christian, at the peace of Knarod, January 19, 1613, 
yielded up Kalmar, and later Elfsborg and his other con- 
quests, on payment by Sweden of an indemnity of a million 
rix tlialer, about eight himdred and fifty thousand dollars. 
This was a heavy tax for so small and poor a country, but 
the peace was made with honor, and was abundantly worth 
thrice the money. A special tax was imposed for the ransom 
of Elfsborg, and Swedish territory was left intact. 

No sooner rid of Denmark than Gustavus turned to the 
Russian question. Ilis father had already conquered Ingria 
and Carelia. His old tutor, de la Gardie, the general there 
in command, had won a reputation for energy and fair mili- 
tary skill. Gustavus' younger brother, Charles Philip, had 
some time before been selected as a candidate for the Rus- 
sian throne, which at this time was a shuttlecock between 
several rival factions, but Charles IX. had not approved the 
act, and Gustavus now declined to assert the claim by arms. 
His sole purpose was to prevent the king of Poland from 
putting on the throne a tool of his own. Nor did he in 1613 
consider himself quite ready to undertake so extensive an 
affair ; for the Danish war had delayed his preparations. 

It was at this time that Gustavus' love affair with the 
beautiful young Countess von Brahe occurred, and it has been 
said that this too contributed to his delays. At all events, 



nothing was accomplished until the next year, 1614, by which 
time he had fully completed his equipment for a Russian 

Michael Feodorovitch, the ancestor of the Romanoffs, had 
been elected czar ; but de la Gardie, on behalf of Sweden, 
protested against the choice, for the general still favored the 
pretensions of his young prince. Though Gustavus' object 
was more an effort to strengthen the grasp of Sweden on the 
Baltic than to push his brother's claims, he was none the less 
keenly bent on war. After some effort, he managed to patch 
up a two years' truce with Poland, and sent Charles Philip 
with troops to Wiborg, in the Swedish province of Finland, 
to protect it from invasion. Some exchanges had already 
taken place between de la Gardie and the Russians, and the 
war was fairly inaugurated. 

In 1615 the young monarch marched with an army from 
Finland into Ingria, past the present site of St. Peters- 
burg, took Angdov by storm, conquered the whole province, 
besieged Pleskov, which was strongly fortified, and, finally 
successful in reducing it, made proposals of peace through 
the mediation of Great Britain. But these were rejected. 
In this campaign de la Gardie was the young king's second 
in command, and his teacher in the art, as he had been his 
tutor in the science, of war. He was to Gustavus what old 
Schwerin was to Frederick, or Parmenio to Alexander. 
But Grustavus himself made good use of his experience. 
Like these other great captains, from the start he over- 
shadowed his pedagogue, and laid the first foundations of 
Swedish discipline. In lieu of the fearful acts of violence 
which accompanied the raising and the progress of any army 
of that day, all was order and quiet system. Even the Rus- 
sians acknowledged that the behavior of the Swedes was 
vastly better than that of their own troops in their own land. 


Every one who placed himself under Swedish protection was 
in fact protected ; the army was fed by contributions regularly 
levied and paid for ; plundering by individuals was punished 
by death. What the regulations prescribed from the cabinet 
was actually carried out on the field. The reputation of the 
young king began to spread all over Europe. The one man 
who gauged Gustavus accurately was Wallenstein, though he 
would allow him no ability as compared with himself. ^^ By 
all means help Sigismund to crush him," said he at a later 
day. ^^ He is a worse foe than ever was the Turk." 

Ghistavus was early approached to take part with the Prot- 
estants of Germany, where the wise foresaw the bitter strug- 
gle which promised to break out. An envoy from the Uni- 
versity of Heidelberg came to beg him to act as mediator 
between the Lutherans and the Calvinists ; and Landgrave 
Moritz of Hesse asked him to join a Protestant alliance for 
mutual protection. But while the young monarch watched 
events with a keen eye, he wisely refrained from any under- 
taking which might interfere with his activity against his 
hereditary enemies, and especially Sigismund. He kept on 
good terms with Christian, who, though he was often a cause 
of grave anxiety, never again overtly attacked Sweden, but 
with fair honesty held to the ^^ brotherly compact " he had 
sworn with Ghistavus over his wine ; and a truce was made 
with Russia looking towards a peace. The year 1616 was 
spent in Finland, in building up this province, much exhausted 
with the burdens of war; and by the treaty of Stolbowa, 
February 27, 1617, Russia, hard pressed between Sweden and 
Poland, definitely ceded to Sweden the provinces of Ingria 
and Carelia, with the fortresses of Kexholm, Noteborg, Ivan- 
gorod, Janra and Koporie, and paid over a considerable sum 
of money. 


THE POLISH WARS. 1617-1626. 

Hayino Tainly striven to make peace with Poland, and having Meoied only 
a tmoe, Gnstayns set to work to carry ont his projected army changes, and at 
interrals traveled in Germany. In 1620 he married the sister of the elector of 
Brandenhnrg. At the end of the Polish trace, in 1621, he sailed with a fleet to 
Livonia, and laid siege to Riga. Poland was harassed hy the Turks, and thongh 
the siege was difficult, Riga fell in September, and the king occupied Courland. 
Thus hemmed in, Sigismund made a fresh truce, which, with one or two inter- 
mptioos, lasted till 1625. The Polish king was under the control of the Jesuits 
and of the emperor, and would not agree to a permanent peace, looking on 
Gustavus as illegitimately king. The intervals made by the several truces gave 
Sweden leisure to establish herself on a sound financial and military iMuris, one 
which for her size was exceptional ; and estates, people and king all worked in 
hearty harmony. 

Having happily settled the differences with Denmark and 
Russia, Gustavus strove to transform into a permanent peace 
his two years' truce with Sigismund ; but his best efforts pro- 
duced no effect on this fanatic. Sigismund plotted in every 
conceivable manner against the country of his birth ; and that 
war must eventuate was not doubtful. But circumstances 
delayed the crisis. The truce, already several times extended, 
was again in 1618, and very fortunately for Sweden, renewed 
by Sigismund, owing to the other complications of Poland, — 
mainly the invasion of the southern part of that kingdom by 
Bethlen Gabor, prince of Transylvania, — and through the 
mediation of King Christian. This aid was a first-fruit of 
the peace Gustavus had made with Denmark, and afforded 
the young monarch the leisure to carry out the changes in 


discipline and tactics which he had already so auspiciously 

During 1619 and 1620, at intervals in this work, Gustavus 
traveled, generally incognito^ through a part of western 
Europe. Shortly after his accession — as already mentioned 
— he had had a passionate attachment for a beautiful young 
lady of the Swedish court. Countess Ebba von Brahe (who 
used, by the way, to accompany the king's playing of the 
flute, on which it is hoped that he was a better performer 
than that other great captain and petty musician of Sans 
Souci) ; and though his devotion was entirely honorable, the 
queen-mother contrived to break up his purpose of sharing 
his throne with the lady. In this connection it may be noted 
that there is but one record of immorality against Gustavus. 
He had by a Dutch lady a natural son, born in 1616, who, at 
Liitzen, won his spurs on the field where his father fell. In 
an age of sexual laxity, this was a clean record. It was polit- 
ically essential that Gustavus should wed ; Sweden must 
have an heir, and after a trip to Berlin as Captain Gars 
(Gustavus Adolphus Bex Sueciae) he married the sister of 
the young elector of Brandenburg. From this alliance the 
Swedish Estates were warranted in hoping nmch ; for Bran- 
denburg was able to help in the complicated business with 
Poland. During this period of travel Gustavus' letters show 
that his thoughts were never away from home, nor his activity 
less in testing all the new things he saw which might con- 
tribute to the perfection of his army or the building up of 
Sweden. He journeyed as far as Heidelberg ; the cultivated 
beauties of the Palatinate must have struck him as a sin- 
gular contrast to his own rugged plains ; and what he learned 
of places and people enabled him the better to understand 
the religious struggle which had already been inaugurated, 
and in which he was destined to bear the giant's part. 


The Thirty Years' War was already two years old, and 
terror reigned in many parts of Germany. Gustavus foresaw 
that Sweden, though geographically removed from the scene 
of conflict, would sooner or later be drawn into the vortex ; 
and in 1621 he sought once more to renew the truce with 
Poland, but in vain. Sigismund, under the political control 
of his relative the emperor, and under the religious control of 
the Jesuits, then the growing power of the Roman Church, 
could not be influenced, especially as a fourteen years' truce 
which he had just concluded with Russia saved him harmless 
from danger in that quarter. War supervened, but Sweden 
was in every sense more ready than ever before, and people 
and ministry alike sustained their young monarch with hearty 
good will. 

If war it must be, no better time could perhaps have been 
chosen for Sweden. During the five years' respite Gustavus 
had organized both her finances and her troops. Taxes had 
been carefully laid, and the raising of men for the army had 
been systematically based on a tenure of land which equalized 
the burdens. The priests from the pulpit preached the war, 
the nobility was encouraged to yield its best efforts to the 
cause, and the soldier was given an honorable position in 
society. The officer who bore him well was considered the 
equal of the noble, and the aristocracy was thus merged into 
the military scheme. For the first time in modem days there 
arose a new form of government, — the military monarchy. 
East Gothland had fallen to the crown on the death of Gus- 
tavus' cousin John, diminishing the chances of internal strife ; 
and his marriage, it was thought, had given him a political 
foothold in Germany despite the opposition of Poland. 

As a first act in the opening of the campaign of 1621, 
Ghistavus set out to conquer Livonia, to which the Swedish 
royal family ever since King Eric's time had some preten- 



sions, though pretensions of this kind, in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, were wont to have a slender basis. 
With a fleet of one hundred and fifty-eight vessels, the king 
landed twenty-four thousand men, mostly infantry, at the 
mouth of the Dwina River, took the fort commanding it, and 
opened the siege of Riga on August 13. In this and his 
future Polish wars Gustavus had the assistance of his later 
so celebrated generals, Horn, Ban^r, Torstenson and Wrangel. 
The siege of this important city proved difficult. It was 
strong, contained a goodly garrison, and, though on the score 
of religion Livonia was not warmly attached to Sigismund, 
the city had a public-spirited population. The Poles were 
noted for stout, if spasmodic, fighting. Luckily for Gustavus, 

Sigismund was unable to send re- 
inforcements to Riga because of 
an inroad of three himdred thou- 
sand Turks, the result of his de- 
feat at Jassy the year before ; and 
no imperial aid was forthcoming. 
The siege was vigorously pushed ; 
a line of contravallation was built, 
and the army divided into four 
unequal corps according to the 
lay of the laud. The king was 
personally active in every step of 
the operation. While insisting 
on discipline unknown at that 
day, he encouraged the men by 
his presence and enthusiasm, and afforded them the exam- 
ple of what a commander-in-chief should be. He had the 
true soldier's way of winning their love. Gustavus thrice 
offered terms to the garrison before opening a bombard- 
ment, and a belated army of relief, ten thousand strong. 



under Prince Radziwill, was attacked and beaten. Two of 
the outer works, a redoubt and a half moon, were taken by 
storm ; but two other assaults were driven back, and Horn 
and Ban^r both wounded. Mining was then resorted to in 
September ; a gallery of the king's own invention was laid on 
to cross the wet ditch ; this was partly filled up, and every- 
thing was prepared for an assault in force upon the breaches 
opened. Annoyed at the stubborn defense, the king had 
determined to explode all the mines at once, to storm the 
place, and give it up to plunder ; but in the six hours' truce 
granted September 16, before the assault should begin, the 
garrison wisely concluded to surrender. The siege had lasted 
four weeks. Well satisfied at the victory, Gustavus treated 
the people of Riga with generosity, and after banishing the 
Jesuits, who had behaved in a peculiarly hostile manner, took 
an oath of fealty from the town. The campaign had opened 

From Riga Gustavus marched through Courland to M ittau, 
and as a matter of strategic safety, placed a friendly garrison 
of two thousand men in the town ; for the duke of Courland 
was on terms of amity with Sweden. 

Before moving into Poland, where he hoped to compel a 
peace, the king again approached Sigismund with offers of 
negotiation. Sigismund was only half tractable ; he would 
not conclude peace ; but owing to the trouble which the 
Turks and Tartars were giving him, he did agree to continue 
the truce another year, leaving to the Swedes, as a guaranty, 
the already conquered part of Livonia. Hereupon Gustavus 
evacuated Courland, and returned to Stockholm, late in 1621. 
The promise of the campaign had been fulfilled ; but quiet 
was not restored without another warlike incident. 

The king's brother, Charles Philip, died in 1622 ; he him- 
self had as yet no heir ; and these circumstances renewed the 


aspirations of Sigismund to the Swedish throne. Nothing 
could better fit into the plans of the Emperor Ferdinand, and 
under the advice of the latter, Sigismund began to think of 
carrying the war into Sweden. As Poland had no fleet, Si- 
gismund betook himself to the free city of Danzig, hoping to 
build ships in its harbor, a work for which its vast commerce 
and connection with the Hanse towns afforded ample means. 
A less suspicious mind than Gustavus' would have seen no 
harm in this ; but the Swedish king was alert ; towards the 
middle of June, 1622, he appeared before Danzig with a 
strong fleet, and after some negotiation compelled the city to 
bind itself to neutrality. This prompt action led up to the 
proposal of an armistice by Sigismund himself, and to a fur- 
ther renewal of the old truce ; whereupon Gustavus returned 
home. Signed in June, 1622, this truce left Sweden in 
possession of Livonia, and of some places in Courland ; it 
was kept up by more or less irregular extensions for three 

Sigismund's unwillingness to make peace was not unnat- 
ural. The Catholic princes of Germany looked on Protestant 
Gustavus, who came of the junior Yasas, as an usurper of the 
Swedish throncf and would gladly have seen Catholic Sigis- 
mund back in his place. They feared Gustavus' restless 
ability, and were ready for anything to humble him. The 
Jesuits ceased not to foster the oppression of the Protestants. 
Under their influence, Sigismund would not enter into a per- 
manent peace, for that was treason to his religion, while a 
truce was a mere military incident. On the other hand, Gus- 
tavus showed himself at all times ready to make terms with 
Sigismund, on the basis of the good of Sweden. His constant 
offers of peace remind one of Caesar's many proposals to 
Pompey. Both Caesar and Ghistavus were no doubt honestly 
desirous of peace on terms satisfactory to the cause of each ; 


each was careful to place himself on record as a peace-maker, 
though neither would have given up a substantial part of 
what he deemed his rights. Of the two, however, Gustavus 
was by far the more frank and upright in his protestations. 
If ever a man said what he meant and stuck to it, it was the 
king of Sweden ; CsBsar veiled his meaning in diction which 
never committed him to any definite action. 

At home Gustavus was sure of his ground. The unity of 
king, ministry and people was in marked contrast to the con- 
dition of any other country of Europe. Scarce a chapter in 
the world^s history exhibits affection, confidence and mutual 
helpfulness between prince and people in equal measure. 
The king took no step without consulting the Estates, and 
they and the ministry never failed to sustain him. In the 
new organization of the Swedish army, which, in 1625, he 
more formally undertook, he had the hearty support of all 
classes. Under it, a regular army of eighty thousand men 
was raised, in addition to the equally large militia system 
already adverted to. He was now ready for any war which 
must come, though he felt that he was not yet prepared 
definitively to embrace the cause of his German brother 

Arqnebns. (16th Century.) 



Thb Thirty Yean* War originated in the desire of the Cathoiio princes of 
Germany to prevent the growth of Protestantism, and in the desire of the 
emperor to make his role a real instead of a nominal one. These two aims so 
lacked consistency that many princes would work for one and not the other. 
There were seven prince-electors who chose the emperor ; there was a German 
Diet, but it did not represent the people. The several potentates were practi- 
cal autocrats ; the Diet was their meeting-place ; only the free cities gov- 
erned themselves. The emperor's power was small; though nominally the 
fountain head, he could enforce his will only by the ban of the empire. The 
two religions were more at odds in temporal than spiritual matters. Much of 
the property of the f^atholic bishoprics had been secularized where people had 
adopted the new religion, and the Peace of Augsburg, in 1552, had settled 
questions thus arising. Fifty years later things could not revert to that status, 
and yet the Catholics were bent on recovering, the Protestants on holding, what 
they had since taken. Maximilian of Bavaria was the champion of the Cath- 
olics ; Christian of Anhalt of the Protestants. The Lutherans and Calvinists 
did not act in common ; the leading Protestant princes were not helpful. A 
Ihrotestant Union was formed in 1608 to prevent the Catholics from retaking 
what the Protestants already had ; a Catholic League followed. Though the 
struggle went on, war was not precipitated until 1618, when Bohemia drove 
out her new king, Ferdinand, and the emperor undertook to replace him. In 
1619 Ferdinand himself was elected emperor, Frederick of the Palatinate was 
chosen king of Bohemia, and the war was prosecuted in earnest There was 
no community of action among the Protestants, and neither party won success 
until, in 1G20, Frederick was defeated near Prague by the imperial general 
Tilly, and driven from Bohemia, while Mansfeld and later Christian of Bruns- 
wick, who commanded Protestant armies, were driven up into the Weser 
country. The armies of the day, living by plunder, were barbarous beyond 
telling, and the land suffered much. Tilly kept on, until by 1623 all south 
Germany was reduced, and the emperor resolved on putting down Protestantism 
in north Germany as well. Mansfeld and Brunswick alone stood in the way. 


Though the operations of the Thirty Years' War, prior 
to the entrance on its stage of the great Swede, have little 
value as a military study, a few pages must be devoted to the 
subject to show the desperate situation of the war when Gus- 
tavus finally threw himself into the scale against the empire 
and the persecution of the Protestants. As little time as 
possible will be taken from the more important phases. 

The remote causes of the war were twofold : the purpose 
of the Catholic powers to weld the chains of religion on pro- 
testing Europe ; and the purpose of the emperor to make his 
rule a real instead of a nominal one over entire Germany ; 
for the Hapsburgs had long dreamed of a universal Euro- 
pean empire. These two purposes were inconsistent; they 
could not live together. Potentates who would work faith- 
fully to compass the religious end would sacrifice religion to 
prevent a reestablishment of imperial rule. And it was this 
inconsistency which brought about the eccentricities of the 
war, and lay at the root of the never-ending changes among 
the contestants ; which led Catholic France to subsidize Prot- 
estant Sweden, and prevented Maximilian of Bavaria from 
working kindly under his brother in the faith, the Emperor 

Not but what the Protestants were to blame. The Luther- 
ans and Calvinists were as incapable of continued joint effort, 
as they were intolerant of each other^s dogmas; and their 
quarrels, quite as much as the diverse purposes of the Cath- 
olics, operated to prolong the struggle. It was the knot of 
this imbroglio that Gustavus Adolphus essayed to cut ; aud 
implacable as were the contestants, unreasonable as were 
their motives, he succeeded, before his early death, in perma- 
nently preventing the emperor from fettering Protestantism, 
and in giving the death-blow to imperialism. He thwarted 
the realization of both the causal aspirations. The sixteen 


years of awful warfare which succeeded his death were due 
to the shortsightedness and petty jealousies of those who con- 
tinued the struggle in his name, and who during his life had 
worked with reasonable unanimity with or against him. The 
motif of the war was religious toleration ; what Germany 
began, France completed ; but it was Gustavus who made the 
success of France a possible thing. 

There were four phases to the Thirty Years' War: the 
Religious, the Danish, the Swedish, the French. 

To us English peoples, the construction of the German 
empire in the seventeenth century is an enigma. We hear 
that there was an emperor, and we read of a diet, and it is 
hard to comprehend why the people had no voice in the gov- 
ernment. But they practically had none whatever. The 
land was ruled by a few princes, each possessing within his 
own borders almost absolute power. 

There was a vast number of small principalities, among 
which were seven princes called electors, who, on the death 
of one, chose the succeeding emperor. Three of them were 
religious : the archbishops of Cologne, Trier and Mainz ; 
four of them were temporal : the king of Bohemia, the elec- 
tors of Brandenburg and Saxony and the elector-palatine. 
The emperor was the acknowledged successor of the Roman 
Caesars and of Charles the Great ; but he had no real power, 
except in so far as he was also king of some particular coun- 
try. As emperor he he^d a mere empty title. lie was sup- 
posed to be the source of everything ; from him all holdings 
of kingdoms, principalities and powers were deemed to have 
been derived, but the princes who so held under him resented 
the slightest interference with their acts. 

The Diet was in no sense a popular assembly. Far from 
being a mouthpiece of the people, it did not even represent 
the smaller princes. It was a mere congress of the larger 


autocrats, to arrange their, so to speak, international rights. 
The only power the emperor could exert against a prince 
was to put him to the ban of the empire, a mild species 
of lay excommunication, which hurt him not the least, pro- 
vided he had a good army and a full treasury, and was at 
peace with his neighbors. To be sure, Germany was divided 
into Circles, each of which had an imperial court to decide 
questions between the princes; but the decisions were far 
from being always fair, and yet farther from being generally 

The Estates of the empire, some of the princes to wit, 
met in the Diet in three Houses. The electors, excepting 
the king of Bohemia, who only voted in the election of an 
emperor, formed the first ; the second contained a number of 
smaller princes, ecclesiastical and lay ; the third, deemed an 
inferior body, was filled by representatives of the free cities. 
Except for the latter, the people was utterly without repre- 
sentation. Nothing better proves this than the fact that at 
the beginning of the seventeenth century the vast majority 
(stated at ninety per cent.) of the population of Germany 
was Protestant, while the Diet was opposed to Protestantism ; 
and the further fact that most of the lay princes, members of 
the Diet, as individuals sustained the new religion, if they did 
not actually profess it. This condition of affairs was fraught 
with, and naturally resulted in, war. 

Under Charles V., the Convention of Passau, in 1552, led 
to the Peac« of Augsburg, which attempted to settle the many 
vexed questions arising from the very natural seizure of Cath- 
olic Church property in entirely Protestant countries; but the 
Augsburg terms provided nothing for the future, and only 
Lutheranism, not Calvinism, was recognized. Meanwhile, the 
new religion was growing, and matters could not practically 
be measured by a standard fixed at any given time. There 


were further seizures of ecclesiastical property and rifling of 
monasteries ; and eight of the great northern bishoprics 
became Protestant. The bishop, as he was still called, was 
in reality only a prince who sometimes spoke of himself as 
Administrator. So things went on for a generation or more. 

The Protestants did not grow in wisdom as they grew in 
stature. Theological quarrels arose among them, which gave 
the Jesuits, as being all of one mind, a fair claim to a hear« 
ing; and finally the Catholics began once more to gain 
ground. The two main questions in dispute were the rights 
of the Protestant administrators, and the status of the secu- 
larized lands. At the end of the century the Catholics insisted 
on going back to the Augsburg basis of 1552 ; the Protestants 
desired to modify matters to suit the conditions of the day. 
The disputes waxed hotter, but there appears to have been 
more hostility manifested by the princes than the people. As 
a rule, the Catholic and Protestant populations tolerated each 
other fairly well. 

All this grew worse and worse. Maximilian of Bavaria 
was the champion of the Catholics ; Christian of Anhalt, a 
Calvinist, was the leader of the Protestants ; John George, 
elector of Saxony, a Lutheran, played the part of peace- 

Maximilian was an able man with an ample treasury and a 
good army. He held to the Peace of Augsburg as the only 
true measure of values, and to conform to this meant to uproot 
all that had been done in more than fifty years. The Prot- 
estant princes found the ownership of the ancient Catholic 
lands altogether too convenient to be given up; and their 
faith agreed with their liking. The most unprotected part of 
Protestantism was in the south German states, which lay 
between Catholic Bavaria and the bishoprics of Bamberg and 
Wurzburg on the one side, and those of Worms and Speyer, 



the electorates on the Rhine and the Spanish possessions on 
the other. These south German Protestants were mainly Cal- 
vinists, as their brethren in the north were mostly Lutherans. 
Christian of Anhalt was a stanch Calvinist, and an able 
politician, in fact too much of a diplomat. Maximilian wisely 
armed; Christian sought to accomplish results by finesse. 
Every one foresaw an irrepressible conflict. 

The Bohemiaii ReTolt. 

Finally, in 1607, a religious riot in Donauworth induced 
the emperor, with only a show of trial, to put it to the ban, 
and Maximilian was appointed to execute the decree, which 
he did with inexcusable rigor. At this, the free cities of the 
south — Niimberg, Ulm and Strasburg — took alarm, and in 
1608 a Protestant Union, under the leadership of Christian 
(and incidentally of Frederick of the Palatinate), was formed 
for mutual defense. To it belonged Hesse-Cassel, Wiirtemr 


berg, Baden-Durlach and many of the free towns ; Saxony 
and Hesse-Darmstadt refused to join ; Brandenburg, Meck- 
lenburg, Pomerania and Brunswick - Liineburg remained 
neutral. The Union in the same year was followed by the 
creation of a Catholic League under Maximilian, which was 
joined by nearly all the princes of south Germany, the Main 
and lower Rhine ; but the emperor took no part in it. The 
two parties — Union and League — stood ready for war, and 
succeeding conventions and diets effected nothing toward 
peace. John George of Saxony, who was a good sportsman 
and a deep drinker rather than a wise ruler, despite his 
extensive power and his good intentions, had not the person- 
ality to enforce his moderate views, and the seething of the 
trouble went on. It is fruitless to follow all the phases of 
the singular struggle ; but it never ceased until finally, in 
1618, it broke out into open war. 

In 1611 Budolph, king of Bohemia, who was also archduke 
of Austria and German emperor, was driven from the throne 
of Bohemia by his brother Matthias, who next year, on 
Rudolph's death, was elected emperor. The Bohemians had 
extorted from Rudolph a sort of imperial charter for freedom 
of conscience. This charter Matthias sought to undermine, 
and in the Bohemian Diet of 1617, the Estates were per- 
suaded into acknowledging Matthias' cousin. Catholic Fer- 
dinand of Styria, as hereditary king of a throne which had 
always been elective. Thus the House of Austria fastened 
its talons upon Bohemia, and shortly, as was to be ex})ected, 
ihe persecutions of the Protestants became more marked. 

In 1618 the Bohemians rose under Count Henry of Thum, 
jhe new king was deposed, his regents expelled in the famous 
defenestration of Prague, the Jesuits were driven from the 
land, and thirty directors were chosen who appealed for help 
to their brother Protestants. John George of Saxony refused 


any except such aid as would reconcile them to the empire, 
but Frederick of the Palatinate took up their cause in theory. 
The Protestants in Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia and Upper 
Austria began to arm. £very one was expecting a struggle 
and sought to be ready. The emperor was fairly driven into 
war ; but his low treasury and internal troubles prepared for 
him a difficult task. 

Bohemia raised thirty thousand men. Count Mansfeld, an 
able officer but distinctly a soldier of fortune, just at the end 
of his service under the duke of Savoy, joined the Bohemians 
with a small division ; Silesia and Brunswick sent troops. 
Neutral Brandenburg and Saxe- Weimar promised secret aid, 
and other countries, notably Holland, money. Negative assist- 
ance in the way of an attack on Austria was hoped from 
Protestant Bethlen Grabor, and even from the Turks. 

Three strong places in Bohemia had remained true to the 
emperor : Catholic Pilsen, Budweis and Krummau. Instead 
of advancing at once on the emperor, Counts Thum and 
Mansfeld engaged in a siege of these fortresses, and Pilsen 
was actually taken. The emperor sent against them small 
armies under Dampierre and Bouquoi, the latter a general 
educated in the best school of that day, the Netherlands ; but 
the operations of 1618 were trivial, and the Bohemian Diet, 
which had pulled down its king, showed no sign of replacing 
him by any effective government. The Protestant Union 
naturally promised its aid ; but the disagreements between its 
members made the assistance of questionable utility to the 

The succeeding winter was made noteworthy by the begin- 
ning of depredations on the part of the unfed, unpaid troops, 
of license which was the disgraceful characteristic of the 
Thirty Years' War, and which ended by transforming Ger- 
many into a desert and retarding her progress a hundred years. 


In 1619 Matthias died, and in August Ferdinand IT., the 
deposed king of Bohemia, was elected. Moravia and Silesia 
had openly revolted. Mansfeld remained during the year in 
Bohemia to watch Bouquoi. Thum marched through Mora- 
via on Vienna, and actually reached and cannonaded the city. 
Almost any man but Ferdinand would have succumbed ; but 
the future emperor was made of iron, and luckily for him 
Dampierre turned to help Vienna and drove Thum away, 
while Bouquoi faced Mansfeld and beat him in a battle near 
Prague. Thum returned to Bohemia, and Bouquoi took to 
the defensive ; Dampierre made an unsuccessful foray into 
Moravia. None of these operations had any result. 

Never was a better chance for independence thrown away. 
Had the joint forces of Bohemia and its allies been used in 
one body, they could at this moment have secured anything 
at the gates of Vienna ; but the Bohemians resorted to polit- 
ical means in lieu of pushing the war with military vigor. 
They chose as their king Frederick of the Palatinate, who 
was son-in-law of James of England, and who, they believed, 
possessed friends of the helpful sort. Their calculations 
proved false. Frederick — as king of Bohemia and elector- 
palatine — would become the strongest prince in Germany, 
possessing two out of the seven electoral votes, a fact which 
aroused the keenest jealousy of every other potentate, espe- 
cially John George, and even stirred up the Union ; while, on 
the other hand. King James did naught to aid his kinsman. 
The Bohemians made a treaty with Bethlen Gabor, though 
the latter was too busy in seeking to tear Hungary from the 
emperor's grasp to be more than an indirect ally ; and they 
appealed to Gustavus for assistance. Bouquoi, with twelve 
thousand men, retired to the imperial capital, and established 
a camp on the left bank of the Danube, below Vienna, back- 
ing on the river, a position curiously considered by the mili- 



tary men of that time tlie strongest a general oould liold. 
ThuTD witK ten thousand men joined Bethlen Gabor with 
sixteen thousand ; the two essajred in vain to drive out Bou- 
qnoi, and at last, wearied with winter campwgning, Bethlen 
Gabor made a separate peace with the emperor, and Thum 
was compelled to retire. His several advances on Vienna, 
too much in detiul, had home 
no fmit. But they had been 
brilliantly conceived. 

These two years, neglected 
by Bohemia, enabled the em- 
peror to conduct a strong oSen- 
sive in 1620. He had utilized 
his time by inducing jealous 
Saxony to side against Freder- 
ick ; by inciting Bavaria and 
Spain to activity ; and by 
frightening the Union into 
withdrawing its aid from the 
new king of Bohemia, so as to defend itself. The Lower 
Palatinate was soon threatened by twenty thousand men under 
the Spanish general Spinola, who marched up the Rhine from 
t^LB Netherlands to Mainz, and, despite the Union, reduced all 
the Palatinate on the left bank of the Rhine; while Max- 
imilian mobilized the Bavarian troops, and the Catholic 
League collected an army at Donauwbrtb. The Bohemians 
were inexpertly led by Christian of Anhalt, who was barely 
able to hold them together. The duke of Bavaria, whose 
general-in-chief was the celebrated Count Tilly, a Walloon, 
Jan Tzerklas by name, reduced the Protestants of Upper 
Austria in August, joined Bouquoi's forces, and with fiffy 
thousand men marched into Bohemia. Frederick, whose 
friends at the first sign of danger all seemed to forsake him, 


96 « WHITE HILL.'' 

withdrew with his army towards Mansfeld at Pilsen. The 
Bohemian armies were ill supplied, suffered from disease, 
had no discipline, and plundered right and left. Frederick 
and Mansfeld did not agree. The latter remained in Pilsen, 
and Frederick retired towards Prague. Tilly, whose army 
was equally ill behaved and ill supplied, followed Frederick 
sharply, and on November 8, 1620, at the battle of the 
White Hill, near Prague, utterly defeated him. Frederick 
fled the country, and was put to the ban of the empire. The 
operation on the part of Tilly deserves praise. He had 
profited by his opponent's weakness. 

Bohemia was soon subjugated. Mansfeld held Pilsen some 
time, but eventually retired to the Upper Palatinate. The 
land was punished in a frightful manner, according to the 
fanatical method of the day. The elector of Saxony, mean- 
while, reduced Silesia, and was allowed to annex Lusatia as 
his reward. John George was a peace-maker, or at least he 
was consistent in so proclaiming himself, but he was always 
ready to earn a new strip of territory, and he kept his eye on 
the main chance. 

In 1621 the emperor set himself to reduce the Palatinate ; 
Frederick would not sue for amnesty. Spinola had already 
put his foot on the Lower Palatinate, and was visiting the 
land with the wonted atrocities. Hesse-Cassel, Strasburg, 
Ulm and Niimberg made terms. England, the Netherlands, 
Denmark and Switzerland sought to encourage the Union to 
better efforts, but this body lacked a capable leader whose 
hands were free, and it broke up in ApriL Mansfeld en- 
deavored to defend the Upper Palatinate for Frederick, but 
his troops were if anything more lawless than the enemy's, 
and it was well that he was eventually forced to retire. 

It is impossible to describe the barbarity of these armies. 
The soldier was a professional who hired himself to the gen- 



eral promising the greatest chance of plunder, and there was 
not a vice or a brutality from which he shrank, even among 
friends, while in the enemy's country, murder, rapine and 
incendiarism were the rule of every day. '' Do you think my 
men are nuns ? " asked Tilly, in answer to complaints of ruf- 
fianism ; and yet Tilly's army was comparatively well in hand. 
Neither man, woman nor child escaped the ruthless savagery 
of the soldier of the Thirty Years' War, — excepting always 
those under the control of Gustavus Adolphus. And such sol- 
diers were all the less efficient, for their habits clashed with 
every military plan ; armies moved to seek plunder, not suc- 
cess. Yet such was the method of raising and maintaining 
troops that it was deemed a matter of course that these things 
should be. The effect on the country or on the army was not 

From the Upper, Mansfeld marched to the Lower Palati- 
nate, where he won some slight 
successes against Spinola, and 
then sat down in Hagenau, 
watching Tilly on the Neckar, 
and Spinola on the Main. 
Meanwhile, Bethlen Gabor 
again appeared on the scene. 

Bouquoi had been killed, and 
his army was in full retreat. 
If Frederick was in desperate 
straits, Ferdinand's position 
was far from eaay. 

Now came an accession of 
forces for the Protestants. 
Early in May, 1622, Christian of Brunswick, an adventurer 
almost as desperate as Mansfeld, starting from the north, and 
the margrave of Baden-Durlach from the south, each with 

'nily's MancBayres. 


twenty thousand men, marched to join Mansfeld, who crossed 
the Rhine, and after meeting the margrave at Wiesloch, de- 
feated Tilly in an ambush. But, wasting his time, he allowed 
Tilly to join the Spanish forces, and to march on the mar- 
grave, who had again separated from him. Falling on him 
at Wimpfen on May 6, before Mansfeld could come up, Tilly 
defeated him, meanwhile holding Brunswick in check by a 
detachment of Spinous troops borrowed for the occasion. 
On these being later withdrawn, Brunswick marched down 
to the Main country to join Mansfeld. But Tilly caught him 
crossing the river at Hochst June 20, attacked him in the 
rear, and badly cut him up. Heidelberg, Mannheim and 
Frankenthal now easily fell to Tilly. 

Space forbids us to detail this, as well as many other inter- 
esting operations. Tilly had manoeuvred skillfully. By keep- 
ing in one body he had prevented the junction of three armies 
of twenty thousand men each, and beaten them in detail, by a 
set of manoeuvres which abundantly deserve study. They are 
one of the early instances of clever strategic work following 
upon the blank page of the Middle Ages. And yet Tilly 
was not usually fertile in strategic manoeuvres. Mansfeld 
and Brunswick were finally driven out of the Lower Palati- 
nate, passed through and devastated Alsace and Lorraine, 
and retired to Metz ; and from thence, after a brush with the 
Spanish troops, Mansfeld, with his army, entered the service 
of the Netherlands. 

Claiming his reward for Tilly's accomplishment, Maxi- 
milian was made elector, and given the Upper Palatinate. 
Emboldened by success, the emperor resolved to carry the 
war to the north against the dukes of Mecklenburg, Bruns- 
wick and Pomerania. He had reason for congratulation. 

The war was thus transferred to the Weser. Frederick 
had dismissed Mansfeld and Brunswick from his employ; 


but far from disbanding their forces, these generals foresaw 
means of subsistence and renown in marching their armies 
to another section. There was nothing they so little desired 
as peace. Each was fighting, not for Protestantism, but for 
himself. North Germany was as much opposed to them as 
it was to Tilly. If Mansfeld and Brunswick had not moved 
north, it is improbable that the emperor would have sent 
Tilly beyond the Palatinate ; some kind of a peace would 
have been patched up. But these free lances kept about 
their work, and the men who were supposed to be the cham- 
pions of the new faith grew to be its most intolerable foes. 

Mansfield, in 1623, devastated the Catholic holdings on 
the left bank of the Rhine with his Netherlands troops, while 
Brunswick lay beyond the Werra with some twenty-five 
thousand Dutch and north Germans, near Gottinc^en. Tilly 
moved upon him, crossed the river in his front,L sent \ 
detachment around his left wmg. This time, however, the 
veteran counted without his host. Brunswick fell succes- 
sively on each part of Tilly^s army, and beat it singly. But 
losing part of his forces by disbandment, he fell back to join 
Mansfeld. Tilly followed, and attacking him August 6 at 
Stadtlohn, west of Miinster, on the Ems, defeated him with 
grievous loss. Only six thousand men out of twenty thou- 
sand succeeded in joining Mansfeld. No further operations 
were undertaken this year, but all the armies went into win- 
ter-quarters, accompanied by the usual course of atrocious 
devastation of the countries they occupied. 

Halberd with Qnn. (10th Century.) 


THE DANISH PERIOD. 162&-1630. 

GnsTAYCTB had repeatedly been appealed to by the Gkrman Protestante for 
aid; but his Polish wan kept him too busy to respond. Recognizing that 
erentoally Sweden wonld be inyolved, he expected to cooperate, but in hb own 
fashion. France, England and Holland, all anti-Hapsburg, had been irreg^- 
larly furnishing funds to the Protestant armies, but lacking a worthy leader, 
there was no consistent action. In 1625 Gnstarus offered to undertake the war 
CD certain distinct terms ; but Christian of Denmark underbid him, and Eng- 
land made a treaty with Christian, under whom Brunswick and Mansfeld were 
to serve. Thus began the Danish phase. To oppose Christian was Tilly, the 
Bayarian general ; and the celebrated Wallenstein was commissioned by the 
emperor to raise an army. The two had seventy thousand men to Christianas 
sixty thousand. Living by plunder, all these armies weighed heavily on the 
land. While Tilly advanced against Christian, Wallenstein defeated Mansfeld 
at the Dessau bridge ; but he then weakly followed when Mansfeld pushed south 
to join Bethlen Gabor in Transylvania, thus wasting the campaign. Mansfeld's 
annywas eventually disbanded, and Wallenstein returned. Meanwhile Tilly 
defeated Christian at Lutter in 1626, and in 1627 drove him well back into 
Hdlstein. Wallenstein now arrived, took the reins, and pushed Christian into 
the Danish islands. All (Germany was the emperor^s, save the free cities 
and Stndsund ; but from this latter place, in 1628, Wallenstein, after a long 
siege and heavy loss, was driven back. King Christian sued for peace, and in 
1629 was let off on easy terms, so that Wallenstein might devote himself to 
Gustavus, who was shortly to come upon the scene. The war had been re- 
morselessly conducted, and without broad method. Results had been obtained 
rather from weak opposition than by able measures. 

To detail the complicated political and religious events of 
the Thirty Years' War is without the scope of the present 
work ; nor can we dwell on its early military manoeuvres. 
With the exception of a few of Tilly's and Wallenstein's, 
the marches and countermarches of the plundering hordes 


have no value ; the military history of Gustavus, and of a 
few great captains who succeeded him, claims our attention. 

During all this seething of the German imbroglio, Sweden 
was engaged on other business. As a strong Protestant, Gus- 
tavus was ambitious to help his downtrodden brethren of the 
faith ; but he was a stronger Swede, and he looked primarily 
to the welfare of his fatherland. That this welfare was 
bound up in its religion, Gustavus had the intelligence to see, 
as his grandfather, the great Gustavus I., had seen ; that the 
European conflict could be settled only by the sword and 
by means of strange political alliances ; that, unless Sweden 
soon took an active part in the struggle she would eventually 
be passively crushed : all this was plain to him, and the 
young king was ready to act so soon as the time was ripe. 
But though hot-headed in the fray, though embracing with 
exceptional fervor a cause he had once joined, Gustavus was 
cool and dispassionate, prudent and calculating, in the cabi- 
net. True Swedish polity would not permit him to under- 
take a work which might lay him open to the treachery of 
Sigismnnd, which might again bring Sweden under the dicta- 
tion of Poland ; nor could he put his hand to so great a busi- 
ness unless he was more amply equipped with the sinews of 
war than his own poor land could furnish. In the work to 
be done he was willing to join the man to whom public opin- 
ion was now pointing. King Christian of Denmark, or he was 
ready to see the latter undertake it single-handed. But of 
first importance to him was peace or a lasting truce with 
Poland ; Gustavus would not needlessly sacrifice Sweden 
upon the altar even of Protestantism ; she must be placed 
beyond danger from outside foes ; and such a peace or truce 
Gustavus set himself resolutely to conquer. Not closing 
his eyes to the suffering in Germany, he limited his action 
to his manifest capacity. 


There was, moreover, a feeling in Gustayus" mind, that, in 
a military sense, he could best aid the Protestant cause by an 
advance upon the emperor^s dominions through Silesia, — 
by reaching out towards Bethlen Gabor, who had married 
the sister of his queen, and was one of his devout admirers. 
This plan likewise necessitated a previous conquest or neu- 
tralization of Poland, some place near which would then 
serve as a base of operations. 

This idea was in fact worked out from the then standpoint 
in much detail. While Christian of Denmark should con- 
duct a campaign in support of the Protestants in the west of 
Grermany, Gustavus, with Danzig or Stettin as a base, would 
march up the Oder through Silesia, straight on the emperor's 
hereditary possessions. The Silesians, mainly Protestants, 
would, as he knew, rise in his support and contribute heavily 
in recruits ; Bethlen Gttbor would fall upon Poland and help 
to compel her neutrality ; the countries to be marched through 
were fruitful and able to sustain large armies ; the road was 
practicable, the Warta being the only considerable river to 
be passed. But all this demanded money ; and England and 
Holland — who alone had elastic finances — would not pro- 
duce it. With reference to this plan, it must be remarked 
that Gustavus recognized that it had weaknesses ; for Beth- 
len Gabor was the most unreliable of men, and Poland was 
not beyond being a serious enemy in his rear. But it was 
much his habit to deal in the possibilities of any given 
situation. He had the true gift of imagination, without 
which the captain, alike with the musician, the poet, the 
astronomer, never grows to his greatest stature. We shall 
encounter many of his imaginings. They all had their prac- 
tical value. 

For twelve years before Gustavus had any part in the 
Thirty Years* War, hostilities and atrocities had been con- 


gtantlf going on ; and France, England and Holland, unwill- 
ing to see tlie Hapsburga gain the upper hand iu Europe, 
but without consistent plans, had been alternately subsidis- 
iug and forsaking the Protestant princes of Germany. These 
three moneyed powers could not work in unisou, having each 
a different motive and aim. In 1624 Gnstavus made to 
England a proposal to undertake 
the German business on condition 
that a port on the south shore of 
the Baltic was assured bim, and 
another in the North Sea ; that he 
should have abundant subsidies ; 
that England should pay for seven- 
teen thousand of the fifty thousand 
men he deemed essential ; that Den- 
mark should be neutralized by an 
English fleet in The Sound; and 
that he himself should have sole 
command of all forces uuder arms. 
But Christian was negotiating to- 
wards the same end ; he was will- 
ing to accept much lower terms ; 
he could not sec as far as Gnstavus did ; and his offer 
the English government accepted in 1625. Until 1629 the 
Thirty Years' War was in what is known as the Danish 
period. The Danish king's object in undertaking the war 
cannot be said to have been as ingenuous as that of the 
Swede ; he acted more from a desire to enrich himself out of 
the bishopric of Bremen and other neighboring ecclesiastical 
foundations, than from any strong championship of Protes- 
tantism. Nor was he fitted to the task of commanding the 
armies of several nationalities, officered by men of diverse 
training and ideas, which the Protestants would put xxoAia 


Dauiih Period. 

amiB. But the Swedish monarch's war kept S^ismund 
awa; from Christian's field, which was a help pro tanto, and 
Christian never doubted his own ability. It was no doubt 
well that Grustavus was left to finish the Polish problem 
before he undertook a war so distant from the Vistula. He 
ooold afford to bide bis time. 

Christian thus assumed the lead of the German Protestants. 
To oppose him the emperor in 1625 oommissioned Wallen- 
stein to recruit an army. Tilly still commanded the forces of 
M^Timili'an The Dane was promised a busy campaign. 



England agreed to subsidize Mansfeld and Brunswick, who 
joined the new commander-in-cliief, tbua giving bim some 
six^ thousand men. But these troops were not rendezvoased 
until November, 1625, while TiUy had crossed the Weser 
into lower Saxony in July. Lukewarm towards Mansfeld, 
the BritiBh subsidies were irregular ; but the latter's career 
as a bold and measurably successful adventurer was height- 
ened in brilliancy by t«lying largely on his own resources. 

Christian's opening was 
weak ; though he had in his 
service Count Thum, and 
the margrave of Baden- 
Durlach (young Bernard of 
Saxe-Weimar, later so cele- 
brated, was present too), he 
merely garrisoned sundry 
places and sat down in a 
fortified camp at Bremen, to 
conduct a small war with 
Tilly, who duly appeared iu 
his front. He was appar- 
ently unmindful of the fact 
that Wallenstoin was rapidly 
putting afield an army for 
the emperor, and that dan- 
gers were encompassing him on every side. Between them 
Tilly and Walleustein may have had seventy thousand men. 

Albrecht von Waldstein, or Wallenstein, was bom a Bohe- 
mian Protestant, and educated as a Moravian ; but though he 
early threw himself into the arms of the Jesuits, bis religion 
was limited to belief in himself and the tenets of astrology. 
He entered the service of the emperor as a young man, and 
earned his praise and gratitude by many able military and 


diplomatio schemes. He became wealthy by marriage, 
wealthier by his own speculations, and was already prince of 
Friedland, and one of the most powerful men in Bohemia, 
when Ferdinand needed to raise an army. 

It is alleged that Wallenstein agreed with Ferdinand that 
he would sustain his army on the country ; but it is probable 
that the emperor promised to support it. That his low treas- 
ury forbade his carrying out such an undertaking made the 
matter come to the same thing. On the other hand Wallen- 
stein probably agreed that there should be no plundering ; 
that he would raise victual by contributions from the regularly 
constituted authorities. It was all one ; the countries through 
which Wallenstein passed were invariably left a desert. To 
create an army was what both emperor and general aimed at ; 
the means by which it was raised or fed or paid was imma- 
terial to either. 

Wallenstein*s method of supporting his army was no other 
than that of the adventurer Mansfeld, but he did it in a more 
systematic way, acting in every land he entered as if he were 
the supreme lord, whose only law was I will. He paid his 
men well ; he took good care of them ; he kept them out of 
danger until he disciplined them into the semblance of an 
army ; he was himself magnificent, and deemed nothing too 
good for his followers. Tilly, on the other hand, was a rough, 
blunt soldier, whose men worked hard and had but an occar 
sional reward in the sack of a town. Wallenstein^s army was 
on a much more splendid, if no more efficient scale. 

The Czech was unquestionably an able strategist ; he pre- 
ferred, to be sure, to avoid battle and resort to manoeuvre ; 
but according to the art of that day, he had few peers. An 
equally shrewd politician, he harbored schemes looking towards 
the unity of Germany under the Hapsburgs, with equality of 
the two religions, in which schemes he himself should figure 


as leader ; but these material strivings not unf requently inter- 
fered with his better military knowledge. Unlike a great 
commander, he did not call the political situation to the aid 
of his strategy ; he rather subordinated his strategy to his 
political desires, forgetful that it is only after victory that one 
may gainfully do this. While Wallenstein served a Catholic 
master, he had the breadth to see that in religious toleration 
lay the best chance to spread the imperial power ; and toward 
this end he constantly strove. 

Jealous of any competition in the field, Wallenstein resolved 
to open a campaign on his own lines about the left flank of 
Christian. He passed from Bohemia into Saxony, crossed to 
the right bank of the Elbe at Dessau, where he fortified a 
strong bridge-head, and prepared to advance on the Danish 
king. To counteract this advance, Mansfeld, who had been 
in the Liibeck country and in Brandenburg, crossed the 
Havel, took Zerbst, and in late April, 1626, marched boldly 
on towards the Dessau bridge. His attempt, April 25, to 
capture it failed ; Wallenstein held his men behind their 
defenses, and at the right moment debouched upon Mans- 
f eld's exhausted troops, which had shown some gallantry in 
the advance, and cut his army to pieces. 

Mansfeld was elastic. With the help of John Ernest of 
Saxe-Weimar, he again recruited forces in Brandenburg and 
Silesia (the devastation of the war and the burning of home- 
steads made half the population ready to enlist), and at the 
end of May moved towards Hungary, via Crossen, Gross Glo- 
gau and the Jablunka Pass, to join Bethlen Gabor, who was 
again at war with the emperor. Wallenstein, sending to Tilly 
some six thousand men under Merode, followed Mansfeld, a 
fact so singular, so eccentric in both a military and a collo- 
quial sense, that only the fear of grave danger to Ferdinand 
from the joint operations of Mansfeld and Bethlen Gabor, can 


explain it. By some authorities he is stated to have received 
especial instruction from Vienna to follow Mansfeld, and 
that under these he unwillingly directed his march via Juter- 
bogk towards the Oder. It was a creditable thing for Mans- 
feld to lure an old and able soldier like Wallenstein after 
him, and away from his proper sphere ; and it was equally 
discreditable to Wallenstein to be so lured away by a man to 
whom he would have referred with a sneer. 

Mansf eld was not as fortunate as his manoeuvre was bold. 
In December, 1626, Bethlen Gabor made a new peace with 
Ferdinand, and Mansf eld was driven to disband his army and 
to make his own way to Venice, where he died. Brunswick 
had died in the spring. Neither of these soldiers of fortune 
lived to see the awful burning of the fire they had so largely 
helped to kindle. 

Wallenstein's retrograde march had been useless, and he 
did not again get to work in north Germany until late in 
1627. He had wasted two campaigns. 

While Wallenstein was thus occupied, Tilly followed up 
King Christian. In May, 1626, Christian marched towards 
the Elbe to the aid of Mansfeld, or rather to lay his hand on 
the Weser bishoprics, but found that both he and Wallen- 
stein had moved towards Hungary. He attacked the Dessau 
position, but, aided by a reinforcement from Tilly, the gar- 
rison left there by Wallenstein drove him back, and he 
retired to Brunswick, and sat down to the siege of several 
towns. Nothing but smaller operations took place between 
the rival armies, and these mostly fell out in favor of Tilly. 
After taking Gottingen, and learning that Christian had 
advanced on him as far as Nordheim, Tilly moved toward 
the reinforcements Wallenstein had sent him, drew them in, 
and turned on his adversary. Christian withdrew, but Tilly 
foUowed him up, reaching him at Lutter, August 27, 1626 ; 


Christian's unpaid troops fought in a half-hearted manner, 
and Tilly defeated him badly. Christian retired to Holstein 
to recruit. This operation redounds to Tilly's credit, and 
caused the Protestant princes to shake their heads as to 
Christian's ability to carry out his programme. German 
Protestantism was not to be thus conserved. 

In truth, Christian was in a bad way. The common folk 
had a song, of which the refrain ran, " Perhaps within a year 
he'll be, A king without a kingdom." He sent embassies 
everywhere, — to England, Holland, Venice. France and 
Holland gave only a part of the promised subsidies ; yet by 
praiseworthy exertions he got together in the winter of 1626-27 
an army of thirty thousand men. Cut off from the lower 
Saxon Circle, he had thrown that part of Germany into a 
defensive attitude; and now Brunswick turned to the em- 
peror ; Mecklenburg ordered the Danish troops out of its ter- 
ritory, and Brandenburg sent reinforcements to the Poles. 

The wonderful imperial successes of the past five years in 
war and politics had left only Mecklenburg, Pomerania and 
Denmark to uphold the integrity of the Protestant faith. 
Ferdinand dreamed of extending his empire to the Baltic; 
and there were folk, even Protestants, who deemed such a 
consunmiation not wholly to be regretted ; for as against the 
ill-doings of Mansfeld and Brunswick, Ferdinand and the 
empire stood for order. His armies opened the campaign of 
1627 by reducing Silesia ; Tilly crossed the Elbe at Arthen- 
burg in August, and moved into Holstein. Christian stoutly 
defended himself against Tilly^s advance ; but Wallenstein, 
who had marched with nearly a hundred thousand men 
through Silesia and Brandenburg, burning and plundering, 
and extorting all manner of contributions, now appeared on 
the scene. Sending Amim to Pomerania, and Schlick to 
Mecklenburg, each with a small army, Wallenstein crossed 


the Elbe at Winsen towards the end of August, and moved 
into Jutland. Tilly, meanwhile, had again beaten Christian 
in September, and the king, leaving garrisons in Gliickstadt 
and other strong places, had gradually retired up the penin- 
sula to avoid further battle. On the arrival of Wallenstein, 
who, as the emperor's general, claimed to be the ranking offi- 
cer, Tilly was sent back across the Elbe, ostensibly to pro- 
tect the joint communications, but really to be got out of the 
way, while Wallenstein cleared the peninsula of the Protes- 
tant forces, and drove the Danes to take refuge in the 
islands, whither, having no fleet, he could not well pursue 
them. Though one of his titles was that of ^^ Imperial Ad- 
miral,** he had no ships, and could not isolate towns with a 

There was widespread opposition to Wallenstein's military 
sway, and especially to his soldiery. He had scarcely a 
friend in north Germany. Every one protested against Fer- 
dinand's army, while technically remaining loyal to the 
emperor. The great Czech's work was, however, done with 
zeal and military intelligence ; and he was shortly rewarded 
by Ferdinand with the duchy of Mecklenburg, which, having 
sustained Denmark, was declared to be forfeited ; and he had 
already been created duke of Friedland. The end of 1627 
saw the emperor in full control of the shore of the Baltic, 
save only Stralsund, and in possession of all its abutting 
countries. Pomerania was occupied; Wismar and Bos- 
tock were taken ; only the Hanse towns and Stettin still held 
their own. Brunswick and Hesse-Cassel were the sole prov- 
inces which maintained any show of independence. 

It must be said to Wallenstein's credit that, however intol- 
erable his regime, he was not fighting the battles of the Jes- 
uits, or of religious oppression. To him Protestant and 
Catholic were one. His controlling idea was imperialism — 



-and to aooomplish this he WM willing to lay 
all religious disputes aside. But Ferdinand ooald not recog- 
nize his duties as emperor apart tiom Ids duties as a Cath- 
olic, and Wallenstein was compelled to follow his dictation. 
The Czech was at the height of his gloiy. He dr«amed him- 
self the conqueror of Genoany, at the head of a powerful 
army, in the new rSle of deliverer of the empire, advancing 

Putir Imii nn old ptao. 

on the Tarks, and taking Constantinople. He forgot the 
CatlioUo League ; he fot^t Maximilian and Tilly. And he 
forgot in his dreams, hat not in reality, the king (d Sweden. 
So long as Qustavns held sway on the Baltic, as he now did, 
Wallenstein's power was an uncertain term, — and he knew 
it. He had been watching the career of the " Snow King," 
as he jeeringly called him, and while he did not hold him at 
a great value, as measured by hig only standard, himself, he 


yet saw in Gustavus* holding of the Baltic grave cause to 
fear for his own schemes. 

Stralsund was now the saving clause. This strongly forti- 
fied city was of equal importance to all Protestants. Eng- 
land, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, the Hanse towns, all joined 
to help her. She could, like Danzig, be provisioned from the 
sea. Gustavus had always recognized the value of Stralsund 
as the best strategic base on the Baltic. He had at one 
moment conceived the idea of conducting a defensive cam- 
paign in Germany, and of going to Stralsund in person to 
organize it from there. It would be fatal if the Catholic 
League should control so important a harbor. He had al- 
ready sent Stralsund supplies, and dispatched six hundred 
men under a good officer. Colonel Rosladin, with a naval 
adviser. Admiral Flemming; and in 1625 he had made a 
twenty years' treaty, offensive and defensive, with the town. 

Stralsund was not one of the so-called free cities, but 
was practically on the same basis, though she owed nominal 
allegiance both to Pomerania and the emperor. But she 
declined to admit the imperial army, whose ill fame had pre- 
ceded it, whereupon Wallenstein ordered his lieutenant. 
Count Arnim, to besiege the city. Arnim already held the 
island of Riigen, and soon took Danholm, which commanded 
the mouth of the harbor ; but in March, 1628, the Stralsund- 
ers drove him out of this latter island. 

The town held a nimiber of old soldiers, six hundred 
Danes, and six hundred Swedes, and the citizens were instinct 
with courage. In May Gustavus had sent them a cargo of 
powder, and Christian, who was now in earnest, joined in 
putting Stralsund on a solid footing. Wallenstein, angered 
at the unexpected resistance, was fain to come to the aid of 
his lieutenant. ^^ I will take Stralsund, were it hung to 
heaven by chains," he is, somewhat doubtfully, quoted as 


Baying; and to a deputation of citizens he pointed to his 
table : ^^ I will make your city as flat as this." The citizens 
sent their properly and families aboard ship or to Sweden, 
but showed no signs of yielding. Wallenstein, surprised, 
nettled, disconcerted, kept on with the siege, but made no 
progress. Soon after his arrival at Stralsund, about the 
end of June, he ordered a storm, and kept it up three days. 
But it was met at all points, despite valor, ability and im- 
mense excess of force. No greater result followed a twenty- 
four hours' bombardment. Without a fleet, or means of cre- 
ating one, the siege ran the same course as Gustavus' siege 
of Danzig. On July 9 and 10 more Danish troops and a 
Danish fleet arrived, and a week later two thousand Swedes 
under Leslie and Brahe. Wallenstein felt his weakness, and 
abated his demands, but with no result ; and on July 24, 
1628, he retired from the siege with a loss of twelve thousand 
men, baffled. Stralsund had taken the first step in saving 
Protestantism in Germany. 

In 1628 matters in Germany were ripe for absolutism. 
The Jesuits anticipated full control of European affairs. The 
ideal of Ferdinand, to recover the lost dignities and power of 
the empire ; and either the ideal of Maximilian, to recover 
for the church its lost property, or the ideal of Wallenstein, 
to found imity on a military government, seemed about to be 
realized. Gustavus' ideal of a Corpus Evangelicorum — or 
union of all Protestant powers for self-defense — had not 
been formulated. No part of Germany now stood out except 
the Ilanse towns ; and to reduce these seemed but a small 
work compared to what had already been accomplished. To 
a deputation of Hanse towns which pleaded for Stralsund, 
Wallenstein had replied : ^^ I will have Stralsund first, and 
each of you in turn after ! " But when they had conquered 
all Germany, it was on this commercial rock that the efforts 


of Ferdinand and Wallenstein were wrecked. Truly, money 
is the sinews of war. 

Meanwhile Stade, at the mouth of the Elbe, had been taken 
by Tilly, but Gliickstadt held out, and in January, 1629, 
Tilly retired from this place, though Wallenstein lent his 
personal aid. The towns, the merchant class in other words, 
had demonstrated that they were greater than these vaunted 
generals ; stronger in their rights than the successor of the 
CsBsars. They had put a limit to their conquests. 

It was the siege of Stralsund which brought conviction to 
the mind of Grustavus that Sweden must and now might throw 
herself into the scale against the Hapsburgs. He was far- 
sighted, as Christian was not. Denmark had been subdued 
on land, but though at sea she still held her own, Christian 
had lost courage. Finally begging for mercy, Wallenstein, 
who recognized, if he did not acknowledge, his own limitations, 
was only too ready to show it. At the Peace of Liibeek, 
May 12, 1629, Christian was freed from the obligations he 
had taken on himself at the inception of his luckless cam- 
paigns. In this Danish period of the Thirty Years* War, the 
emperor had been completely successful ; but Christian was 
treated with uncommon leniency, for Wallenstein wanted 
securely to shelve him before he undertook to master Gusta- 
vus ; and on the promise that he would thereafter stand aloof 
from German affairs. Christian even received back the lands 
which the emperor had taken. 

Wallenstein had already received his reward. Maximilian 
was now given the Upper Palatinate and that part of the 
Lower Palatinate which is on the right bank of the Bhine, 
ooupled to its electoral vote ; and within these lands Protes- 
tantism was soon interdicted. 

The emperor had begun the war by seeking to discipline 
some rebellious subjects; he had ended by conquering all 


Gtermany. The Edict of Hestitutioii — issued May 19, 1629 
— oompelled the Protestants to restore to the Catholics all 
the religious property acquired by them since the Peace of 
Passau in 1552 ; and Wallenstein was charged to see this 
done. The archbishoprics of Magdeburg and Bremen, the 
bishoprics of Minden, Yerden, Halberstadt, Liibeck, Batz- 
burg, Miznia, Merseburg, Naumburg, Brandenburg, Havel- 
berg, Lebus and Camin, and one hundred and twenty smaller 
foundations, were torn from the Protestant clergy and their 
congregations, and restored to the Catholics. With Wallen- 
stein at the head, this was not done leniently : all Germany, 
from the Alps to the Baltic, groaned under the awfid manner 
of the doing. Protestantism was fairly proscribed. In some 
localities it was worse than in others. In Nordlingen there 
was not a single Catholic, but the imperial commissioners 
nevertheless marked all the churches and their property for 
surrender to Catholic priests. 

To be truthful, the fault had lain with the Protestants. 
They had never stood by each other, nor acted for any time 
in concert ; their political jealousies had been stronger than 
their religious aspirations. On the other hand, the emperor, 
both in politics and war, had shown a persistency worthy of a 
better cause ; while his generals, Wallenstein and Tilly, and 
his right-hand man, the elector of Bavaria, had well seconded 
his courage and intelligence. 

Meanwhile two strong men had been watching the successes 
of Ferdinand : Bichelieu from his jealousy of the Hapsburgs 
and dread of their ascendancy ; and Gustavus from his love 
of Sweden and fear that Protestantism would be trodden out 
of Germany. 

There is little in the campaigns of the first twelve years of 
this war which savors of what to-day we call military method. 
Occasional smaller pieces of work were excellently done, but 


the whole was unsystematic, and the grand strategy of the 
field was forgotten in the political ideas of the leaders, and 
in the commissariat demands of the armies. In a country 
parceled out like Germany, this was not to be wondered at. 
The armies marched hither and yon without consistent pur- 
pose. Allies did not work into each other's hands. A town 
rich in booty was as much an objective of every commander 
as a fortress at a key-point or the army of the enemy ; and 
the habit of living on the country was coupled with ati'ocities, 
the recital of the least of which makes one's blood curdle. 
Wallenstein, Tilly, Mansfeld and Brunswick were guilty of 
acts of savagery which would stamp them with eternal infamy, 
— except that such was the era. Marches were mere devas- 
tating raids, only then having an ulterior object when the 
conquest of a province lay in the way ; and the fact that it 
was believed that no fortress should be left in the rear of a 
marching army made all operations slow and indecisive. 

We shall see a different method while Gustavus Adolphus 
is in the field. 

All this anticipates the Polish campaigns of Gustavus from 
1625 to 1629, to which we must now return. 

C161I6TM6. (10th Gontnry.) 


Ik 1625, noable to prolong the trace with Poland, Ghistayiu, with twenty 
thousand men, set sail for Liyonia, and thence inyaded Coorland. Here he was 
met by a Polish army, which he defeated at Walhof in January. His idea still 
was that he might aid the Protestants by pushing a column through Silesia. 
In 1620, with reinforcements, he sailed for Pillau, which he took, though it 
belonged to Brandenburg ; then advanced on Konig^berg, and down towards 
Danzig, seizing all the towns on the way, and besieged this, to the Poles, essen- 
tial harbor. Sigismund came up with an army and blockaded Mewe, which the 
Swedes had taken ; but Gustayus relieyed it by a brilliant cotq). In 1627 the 
Poles under Koniezpolski tried, before the king^s arrival, with partial success, 
to raise the siege of Danzig ; and cut off some of the Swedish reinforcements ; 
but when Gkistavns reached Danzig, affairs changed. The king, too yenture- 
some, was here wounded, and matters remained at a standstill. In August the 
Poles drew near ; and in an ensuing engagement Gustavus was again and more 
severely wounded. While invalided, a naval engagement took place off Danzig, 
in which the Swedes were beaten, but the siege was not raised. When con- 
valescent, the king captured some surrounding towns, and more effectually shut 
in the place. Owing to his late arrival and two wounds, this campaign was not 
of marked gain. 

After the completion of the new military organization of 
Sweden, and the failure of all attempts to negotiate a per- 
manent peace with Sigismund to replace the existing truce, 
(xustavus, like a true soldier, made up his mind, if war it 
must be, to open hostilities by vigorous measures. With 
twenty thousand men, on a fleet of seventy-six vessels, he again 
set sail for the mouth of the Dwina, in June, 1625, captured 
Kockenhusen and other points held by the Poles in Livonia, 
and reduced the entire provindSe. The attempt of a Polish 
colonel with two thousand men to retake Riga failed, the 



detachnieiit being all but destroyed ; and a second one by 
Marshal Stanislaus Sapieha, with tbiee thonsand men, was 
driven ofF with a loss of all the guns. From Riga Gustavus 
crossed the border into Courland and captured Mittau and 
Baaske. The cold weather had come, but the king was better 
equipped to conduct a winter caropugn than the enemy ; for 
hia men, with their fur-Uned boots of waterproof, oiled leather 
and thick stockings, and otherwise coarsely but scrviceably, 
warmly and uniformly clad, could keep the field at any 

field - Marshals Leon Sapieha and Gosiecowski, with 
twenty-six hundred cavalry and thirteen hundred foot, ad- 
vanced to the rescue of 

Gustavus went out 
to meet them, relying mainly 
on his excellent infantry, for 
he had little horse. Early 
recognizing the value of foot, 
it was he who first in modern 
times put it in its proper 
place with relation to the 
other arms. He believed in 
it ; and, moreover, the Swed- 
ish horses were too small for 
anything but light cavalry, 
BO that, until bigger animals 
could be got in Germany, he fain must put up with what he 
had. Once Gustavus found how much reliance he could 
place upon his foot, he never ceased to devote his best ener^ 
gies to its development On the other hand, the Polish gen- 
erals' reliarK^} was on their superior cavalry, which was their 
nation's favorite arm. 

Gustavus had as yet conunanded in no pitched battle, and 

Polkh Hoiseman. 


he was eager to measure swords with the enemy. The armies 
met at Walhof, in Courland, January 16, 1626, and the king 
utterly worsted the Poles, with loss of sixteen hundred killed, 
many prisoners, much of the artillery, baggage and many 
standards, the Swedish loss being small. There are no de- 
tails of this battle. Except the king's brief dispatches home, 
which dwelt on results rather than tactics, there is no record 
from which we can divine his method of attack. The fire 
in the Castle of Stockholm in 1697 destroyed many papers 
which might have given us more light. Sapieha fled to 
Lithuania, followed by Gustavus, who on the way took Bir- 
zen and another strong place ; which success accomplished, 
the king again endeavored to make peace. But part of the 
embassy which he sent to Warsaw was seized, and with diffi- 
culty released. Peace was not upon the cards. The king 
demanded of Lithuania a heavy contribution in money, and, 
the season being advanced, left de la Gardie to secure his 
conquests in Livonia, and returned to Stockholm, with the 
intention of attacking from another quarter in the spring. 
Being still restricted in strategic operations by the Polish 
war, the king thought that by advancing up the Vistula, he 
might connect on his right with Christian of Denmark, or 
Mansfeld, and on his left with Bethlen Gabor. This project 
was the one already referred to for a joint effort to reach the 
heart of the empire. But it was never put into execution. 

From Stockholm, on June 15, 1626, the king, with twenty- 
six thousand men on one hundred and fifty ships, sailed to 
the coast of East Prussia, landing near the fortress of Pillau, 
at the mouth of the Frische Haff . This place belonged to 
his brother-in-law, the elector of Brandenburg, as duke of 
Prussia, then a fief of Poland ; and Gustavus asked permis- 
sion to occupy it as a storehouse, and a strong place to pro- 
tect his reembarkation. But the inert elector demanded 


three weeks to consider the matter ; Gustavus had no time to 
spare ; he summarily took Pillau, and by equally unanswera- 
ble arg^uments compelled the elector to neutrality. With his 
characteristic bluntness he said to him : " I am aware that 
you prefer to keep a middle course, but such a course will 
break your neck. You must hold on to me or to Poland. I 
am your brother Protestant, and have married a Brandenburg 
princess ; I will fight for you and defend this city of yours. 
I have good engineers, and know a bit of the business my- 
self. I doubt not I shall defend it against Poland or — the 
deviL My men, if you like, are poor Swedish peasant louts, 
dirty and ill-clad ; but they can deal you lusty blows, and 
shall soon be given finer clothing.'* His acts, moreover, 
argued better than his phrases. 

In case he should make an advance through Brandenburg, 
Gustavus did not lose sight of the fact that his army would 
be moving into a position where it would become the strategic 
centre of a line, of which the king of Denmark, who stood 
between the Elbe and the Weser, was the right, and Mans- 
feld, on the Oder, was the left. All his lines of advance 
were duly weighed, and his active mind made potential plans 
far ahead. But his immediate task was simpler ; and supe- 
rior to any plan for joining the German struggle was the 
intent to cut Poland off from access to the Baltic, as he 
already had Russia, by the occupation of the entire coast line. 
He never lost sight of his great aspiration, '^ Dominium Maris 
Baltidy He gauged its value rightly. 

Gustavus continued his advance. Konigsberg was threat- 
ened until it promised neutrality. Braunsberg, Frauenburg 
and Tolkemit were surrendered July 1-3, and the Jesuits here 
and elsewhere were expelled from the cities, and their goods 
confiscated ; for these priests were mixed up in every polit- 
ical matter, and did infinite harm. Elbing, July 6, and Mari- 

122 DANZIO. 

enburg, July 8, followed suit, as well as all the towns of West 
Prussia. But Dirschau and Danzig, which had broken neu- 
trality, and were in dread accordingly, held out. Gnstavus 
moYcd on Danzig, and camping in the Werder, near the 
mouth of the Vistula^ reconnoitred the town and the fortress 
Weichselmiinde. He then began to recruit from the con- 
quered districts, and crossing the Vistula on a bridge of boats 

Danzig^ and Vioiiiitj. 

below Dirschau, July 12, he stormed that town and Mewe, to 
hold which cut Danzig off from her trade with the interior. 
The king's hope was not only to take Danzig as a base and 
depot for himself — '' sedes belli " was the phrase of the day 
— but to hamper the Poles by cutting off from them access 
to an essential harbor. Everything looked promising, when 
suddenly Sigismund appeared on the theatre of operations 
with thirty thousand men, and camped at Graudenz, several 
days' march up the Vistula. 


Danzig was a strong place. It disputed with Novgorod 
the title of richest mart of eastern Europe. It was a free 
city, owing mere nominal allegiance to Poland, and was a 
prize for him who controlled it. But it could be provisioned 
from the sea, which Gustavus seemed unable to prevent. 
Danzig proved valuable to the Swedes as an object-lesson ; 
and from his experience here the king was able to show Stral- 
sund how to defy Wallenstein ; but though it had this second- 
ary value, its obstinacy in holding out largely neutralized the 
Swedish successes in the four years of the Polish war. 

The presence of Sigismund quite altered Gustavus' plans. 
Though much weaker than the Poles, the king deemed it wise 
at once to march against them. The fortresses he had taken 
were no permanent defense ; he must beat the Poles in the 
field. Led by Sigismund and his son, Vladislas, the enemy 
advanced to Marienburg; on meeting the Swedes, a few 
unimportant skirmishes occurred, when the Poles withdrew, 
crossed the Vistula near Neuenburg, and began a siege of 
Mewe from the south. 

The Swedish commandant was prepared to resist to the 
uttermost, but Mewe needed victual, and, though such an 
operation was then unusual, Gustavus personally headed a 
reinforcement and succor-train for the garrison with three 
thousand foot and three hundred horse. Despite due at- 
tempts at secrecy, the plan was discovered ; the Poles essayed 
to stop the convoy, and with light horse and some artillery 
occupied a position athwart its path. Rather than bring the 
whole Polish army down upon himself, the king resorted to a 
ruse, gave his movement the appearance of a reconnoissanoe, 
and proceeded to withdraw. His clever dispositions deceived 
the Poles, and throwing out Count Thum with part of his 
force to divert the enemy's attention by active demonstra- 
tions, he himself made a detour with his convoy somewhat out 


of sight and covered by horse. Tburo performed his work 
K> well that the Poles, under the impression that the Swedish 
garrison was about to be drawn from Mewe, and that the 
place would fall to them iu any event, made no serious 
advance. Their manifest role was to attack sharply, and 
to closely observe the place 
to ascertain the real purpose 
of the Swedes. They did 

Thum had a severe skir- 
mish with the Polish light 
horse, which alone had been 
put in, and was obliged to 
withdraw a space for fear of 
being cut off from the king. 
But he held the force in 
check, and the Poles, though 
they had abundant time, neg- 
lected to reinforce it. Gus- 
tavus managed luckily to run 
bis convoy into Mewe tnaa the north side, and then turned 
to protect the withdrawal of Thum. 

The Poles had used but a small part of their troops, though 
in actual numbers ten to one of the Swedes. They feared 
that Qustavus was in force, and feinting to draw them from 
their good position. A simple demonstration on either of 
the Swedish flanks would have disclosed the true situation, 
and been fatal to the king's project. Gustavus reared safely 
up river to Dirscfaau, and the Poles raised the blockade of 
Mewe. Their loss, stated at five hundred men, far exceeded 
that of the Swedes. 

It is rare that a fortress has been re-victualed in this 
fashion iu the teeth of so numerous besiegers. As an opera- 

Opaiatiiai kt Mam. 


tion it was quite unusual then, and is not usual at any period. 
The management of the affair was perfect. In the fighting 
Gustavus had himself led his men, and, as was his wont, run 
grave danger, being, it is said, twice captured in the fray, and 
twice cut out by his immediate companions. He had tested 
the quality of the Poles, who, except for undoubted bravery, 
had little in the way of good soldiership to recommend them, 
and did not appear to be dangerous opponents. Sigismund^s 
generals had a narrow appreciation of what a large army 
should do which blockades a town, and finds itself attacked 
by a handful of the enemy seeking to relieve the place. Bold 
as Gustavus' attempt had been, he was well seconded by 
Polish hebetude. On the succeeding day he marched in force 
into Mewe. Sigismund, less persistent in war than obstinate 
in politics, made signs of desiring peace, but coupled his pro- 
posals with impossible conditions. Placing his troops under 
Oxenstiem in winter-quarters, for the year was far spent, the 
king returned to Stockholm. The ministry and people sup- 
ported his refusal to listen to the Polish conditions, and a 
more reasonable proposal was drawn up and sent to Warsaw ; 
but as Sigismund did not answer before the next year, the 
war went on. 

The command of the Poles, at the opening of 1627, was 
given to Crown-Marshal Koniezpolski, who was sent to raise 
the siege of Danzig. Gustavus was at home ; but the Swedes 
held Putzig, Dirschau, Mewe, Elbing and Pillau, thus encir- 
cling the city. To break through this line, Koniezpolski saw 
that Putzig afforded the easiest means, and he was as success- 
ful in his venture as he was bold. The garrison of Putzig, 
unfortunately short of both munitions and food, was quickly 
reduced to straits ; but though surrendering, it obtained the 
right to march out with colors flying. This again opened the 
communication of Danzig with Germany, and neutralized all 


Qastavus' work so far done. Nor was this the end of ill- 
luck. Eight thousand recruits, coming to the Swedes from 
Germany, were met by Koniezpolski on the march from and 
driven back to Hammerstein, and the place forced, on April 
15, to capitulate, in a manner not creditable to the Swedish 
garrison. The officers were made prisoners — among them 
Colonels Streif and Teufel — and the men released on a 
yearns parole. This was a notable piece of partisan warfare. 

During this period of Swedish reverses, Gustavus had been 
kept in Stockholm by contrary winds. By no means cast 
down by these backsets, he doubted not to overcome them 
when he should reach the ground. Sailing from Elfsnabben 
May 4, he landed on the 8th at Fillau. When he reached 
the army at Dirschau with the six thousand troops he had 
brought, he found it increased by recruitment up to thirty-five 
thousand men. But to his surprise he also found that the 
elector of Brandenburg had taken up arms against him, and 
had raised four thousand ^^ blue coats *' for his suzerain 
Sigismund. These were intrenched near Pillau, at Loch- 
stadt. Gustavus made short work of the matter ; he set out, 
speedily captured the little Prussian army, and forcibly en- 
listed the entire body under his own standard. George Wil- 
liam learned his lesson, and thereafter remained neutral. 

Gustavus began by a careful reconnoissance of the works 
surrounding Danzig. The citizens had occupied the ^^ Danzig 
Head," or strip of land at the west mouths of the Vistula, 
and here was a redoubt which Gustavus especially desired to 
reconnoitre. While thus engaged. May 25, 1627, viewing 
the works from a boat, he was wounded by a bullet in the 
flesh of the hip, which laid him up, and fui*ther delayed 
operations. During this period the Poles concentrated their 
forces ; Sigismund threatened de la Gardie in Livonia, and 
the king was compelled to send Horn to his assistance. 


Ghistavus Adolphus was personally much too ventaresome 
for a commanding general. In this particular the family ten- 
dency to insanity perhaps manifested itself ; but his was as 
admirable a form of the disease as that of ''Macedonia's 
Madman.*' The same day on which he was wounded^ he had 
been almost captured by two Polish horsemen, who suddenly 
sprang upon him while out reconnoitring and far from his 
attendants; and but a few weeks before, he had barely 
escaped being cut down in a cavalry skirmish. But no ex- 
postulations were of any avail. Ghistavus would run risks 
fit only for officers of lower rank. For this venturesome- 
ness Ozenstiem attempted to take him to task, saying that 
a monarch had no right to risk a life so needful to his sub- 
jects. But Gustavus cited Alexander, and the necessity of 
showing his men that they must despise danger* "What 
better fate could overtake me than to die doing my duty as 
king, in which place it has pleased heaven to set me?" he 
quietly replied In this particular the monarch could not be 

Meanwhile, Koniezpolski drew within six miles, and under- 
took, on August 18, a reconnoissance of the Swedish posi- 
tion. Gustavus headed a body of cavalry and drove back 
the Polish horse, which retired through the village of Ro- 
kitken. This place lay in a country much cut up by hills and 
ravines, and the village was held by Polish infantry and artil- 
lery. Gustavus had placed some batteries on a convenient 
hill, with orders to attack the village, and had galloped up an 
adjoining height to reconnoitre, when he was again wounded 
through the right shoulder, near the neck. The Swedes, 
somewhat disheartened, withdrew. 

The bidlet was deep and could not be cut out, and the 
wound proved dangerous. Gustavus at first feared that it 
was his mortal hurt ; and, indeed, he was kept from duty for 


three months. Meanwhile the siege went slowly on. It is 
related that the king's body physician, while dressing the 
wound, was led to say that he had always feared this or 
worse, as His Majesty so constantly courted danger. '' Ne 
sutor ultra crepidam,'* answered the royal patient. 

On recovery Gustavus recaptured Putzig, and once more 
cut Danzig from its communication with Germany, while a 
Swedish fleet under Sternskjold blockaded the port. The 
Danzigers had also patched up a fleet ; and under command 
of Admiral Dickmann, a Dane, they made, November 28, an 
attack on the Swedish navy, and inflicted a severe defeat 
upon it, but not without heavy loss of their own. Dickmann 
and Sternskjold both fell, and a Swedish captain — some say 
Sternskjold — blew up his ship rather than surrender. This 
naval battle exhibits the strength and ability of Danzig. 
The misfortune seemed to cap the adverse occurrences of the 
year, though the Danzigers had won but an empty triumph, 
and at a loss of five hundred of their best sailors. A 
stronger fleet was brought up, and Gustavus began to draw 
his lines closer about the city. In order to do this effectu- 
ally, it was essential to capture two towns south of the Frische 
Haff. The king, though not yet convalescent, headed the 
party against Wormditt; General Tott that against Uutt- 
stiidt. The former was taken by storm ; the latter surren- 
dered. No further operations, save another minor naval 
fight in the harbor of Danzig, occurred this year, and Gus- 
tavus returned to Stockholm in December, partly for the 
benefit of his health. 

The campaign of this year was of small account, — indeed 
almost a failure, — owing to the adverse weather, which kept 
the king from the scene of action, and to the aggravating 
delays occasioned by his wounds. It was fortunate that the 
enemy took no better advantage of their opportunities. 


Nothing can excuse their carelessness in not assuming the 
offensive during this period, in connection with the garrison 
of Danzig. The Poles never lacked courage, but they were 
rarely well led. A vigorous policy must have occasioned seri- 
ous complications to Gustavus* lieutenants, and might have 
brought disaster ; for Gustavus had not sufficient forces to 
blockade so strong a place as Danzig, and at the same time 
hold head to an army fully equaling his own, and vigorously 
directed. Koniezpolski opened against Gustavus' lieuten- 
ants with vigor ; but he drew back to a strict defensive after 
the arrival of the king. 

There were uncompleted fortifications on the Bischofsberg 
and Hagelberg, near Danzig, which it has been said should 
have been attacked by Gustavus, but even their capture 
would not necessarily have brought about the fall of the 
place ; for the Swedish ordnance, though the best then 
known, was not capable of reaching every part of the town 
from those eminences ; and the Danzigers would have fought 
hard. It seems that Gustavus might have been wiser to 
resort to a simple blockade, and in July, before the very 
dilatory enemy was ready, to fall on and cripple him for 
the campaign. Had he accomplished the latter, he could 
have turned on Danzig with a better chance ; for without 
the moral support of the presence of Sigismund's army, the 
town would scarcely have resisted so stoutly ; and easy terms 
might have secured it. 

Moreover, in a military sense, the Swedes were not well 
placed. The time for the Polish army to attack Gustavus 
was while his attention was taken up by the siege. His 
desire to capture Danzig before moving on the enemy was 
perhaps a mistake. As Lossau has pointed out, had the 
Poles defeated Gustavus while he lay near the city, so as to 
punish his army badly and thrust it back towards the west, 


his line of retreat would have been through an extremely 
poor country, in which an army, especially one partly broken 
up, could scarcely subsist ; whereas an advance on the Polish 
army up the Vistula, even if resulting in defeat, would have 
g^ven GustavuB a better chance to retire and to save his army 
whole. But these were new problems of war, unknown to 
the soldiers of the day ; and the Swedish monarch was slowly 
working them out. He cannot be held to look at war from 
our own point of view, illumined as it is by the work of a 
Frederick and a Napoleon, as well as by his own ; for he was 
still hampered by the fear of fortresses, so strong a sentiment 
of his era. And happily Koniezpolski showed indolence to 
a degree which corrected the evils which might have flowed 
from Gustavus' position and wounds. 

Danzig had so far resisted Gustavus' best efforts. It was 
a proud city, without religious prejudices, and while owing 
slender allegiance to Poland, it held its own rights at a high 
value. In this it was seconded by Holland, and morally sus- 
tained by all powers which preferred not to see the Baltic 
reduced to the position of a Swedish lake. 

It must be said to the credit of Wallenstein's foresight 
that he was constant in his advice to the emperor to assist 
the Poles. If Gustavus was allowed to win success he would 
prove the worst enemy the empire could have, he wrote to 
Ferdinand. He woidd gladly have accepted Gustavus as an 
ally, if the monarch could at a cheap price be kept from 
entering into the German imbroglio, where he himself was 
now enacting the chief role. With his usual habit of sowing 
by all waters, Wallenstein even sought diplomatic means of 
establishing communication with Gustavus, meanwhile doing 
his best to cripple him, and instructing his lieutenant on the 
Baltic, Amim, to prevent the Swedes at all hazards from 
landing in Pomerania or Mecklenburg. 


THE POLISH WARS END. 1628-1629. 

Again joining his army near Danzig, in 1628, Gaatavna pushed the siege ; 
Koniezpolski indulged in making sundry diversions ; but the king marched out 
against him, and in a sharp battle drove him up the Vistula. Danzig was about 
to fall, when unusual floods overflowed the country, and drove the Swedes out 
of their works. Qustavus had been studying the (German situation, had made a 
treaty as to Baltic trade with Denmark, and had thrown a force and munitions 
into Stralsund. When the emperor overran all north Gfermany except the free 
towns, the king saw that he must shortly enter the contest, and he pushed the 
Poles hard for a peace. In 1629 the emperor sent a force to join them, and 
operations became active. The enemy moved sharply on Gustavus, and with 
initial success, but within a few days he turned the tables and defeated them 
with heavy loss. This, coupled to the exhaustion of Poland and the interven- 
tion of France, brought about a six years^ truce, under which Gustavus held all 
his conquests. In these Polish wan Gustavus, like Ctesar in Gaul, had trained 
his army for its future work in (Germany, and himself in war*s broader prob- 
lems. He had learned to know his men and they to lean on him ; and he had 
gradually transformed the slow-moving army of the day into an active and 
mobile force. He was now ready to enter the lists for Protestantism. 

During the winter, in relation to commerce in the Baltic, 
Gustavus had made a treaty with Denmark, which granted 
him a passage through The Sound, — a matter of prime 
importance. In the spring of 1628 he left Stockholm with 
thirty ships. Near Danzig he encountered seven of the city's 
vessels, of which he took five and sank one ; and landed prob- 
ably near Futzig. The Swedish fleet cruised opposite Dan- 
zig, but could not prevent the place from being victualed by 
Polish blockade-nmners. The army was still concentrated 
near Dirschau, in its location of last year, but Gustavus 
desired to establish a foothold at some point nearer to Dan- 


zig ; he selected and personally headed a body of seven thou- 
sand men, and, unexpectedly to the enemy, threw them across 
the Vistula, on a quickly constructed bridge, to the island 
called the Kleine Werder, which he took. This island gave 
him a better position from which to threaten and choke off 
the place. No serious fighting is spoken of ; very likely none 
occurred ; but in this respect there are many gaps in Swed- 
ish annals ; we have more data about Caesar's battles than 
those of Gustavus. The Swede did not write commentaries ; 
and his dispatches are usually bare of military detail, though 
full of matter dwelt on at that day. 

Without imdertaking any serious operation, Koniezpolski 
endeavored to interrupt the siege by diversions against 
several of the towns held by the Swedes. He captured Mewe, 
again took Putzig, and, gradually approaching Danzig, hoped 
to effect something which might raise the siege. Gustavus 
detailed General Tott with a cavalry force to watch these 
operations. Tott fell into an ambush west of Grebin, but 
though surrounded by thrice his force, he cut himself out 
without harm ; he even captured some prisonera and flags, 
and brought in the news of the enemy's force. Unwilling to 
attack the Swedish army, Koniezpolski annoyed the besieging 
force materially, and Gustavus determined to rid himself of 
his interference. Immediately upon this affair of Tott, leav- 
ing a part of his forces before Danzig, he suddenly marched 
with the bulk of them on the Polish army, met and attacked 
it not far from his camp, — the exact locality, curiously, is 
not known, — and by his sharp initiative well kept up, the 
mobility of his foot and his vastly superior artillery, defeated 
it with a loss of three thousand men, four guns and fourteen 
flags, and drove it well up the Vistula. Koniezpolski himself 
fell, heavily wounded. 

It is a grievous loss in the study of the life of Gustavus, 


that so little is known of these Polish battles ; so little of the 
siege of Danzig. Here was a general engagement with a high 
percentage of loss, and yet even the battle-field is neither 
named, nor can it be identified. This war was the monarch's 
schooling, as Gaul was Caesar's, or Spain Hannibal's ; but we 
know as much of Hannibal's Iberian, and much mor6 of 
Caesar's Gallic, battles than we do of these. 

The king now tightened his grip on Danzig, by land and 
sea. It would soon have been reduced by hunger, had it not 
been for a serious flood in the Vistula, which drove the 
Swedes out of their trenches and camps, and forced Gustavus 
to raise the siege all but totally. And at the same time 
Sigismund came on the scene with heavy reinforcements for 
Koniezpolski, which complicated the situation still more. 

Sigismund was more implacable than ever. Approaches 
from the Dutch states-general to bring about a peace were 
met with refusal. Leagued with the emperor, Spain and all 
the Catholic powers, and under the thumb of the Jesuits, he 
would listen to no argument. He looked forward to the 
probable arrival of a Spanish fleet in the Baltic as well as to 
an imperial auxiliary corps from Germany ; he had received 
subsidies from both branches of the Hapsburgs, and the Polish 
parliament had voted him generous supplies. Moreover, as 
the emperor, in 1628, had succeeded in gaining the upper hand 
in Germany, Sigismund was emboldened by the failure of 
the Swedes at Danzig to hope, not only to drive them from 
Poland and Livonia, but eventually to carry the war into 
Sweden, and again lay claim to the throne of his ancestors. 

After the failure of their own disjointed efforts, there had 
been but two sources from which the Protestants of Germany 
could ex])ect assistance : from Gustavus, or from Christian of 
Denmark. They had enlisted the services of the latter to no 
great profit, and as it was inexpedient for Sweden to under- 


take two wars at the same time and the Polish king would 
not make peace, they oould, for the moment, not count on 
Ghistayus. But when Christian was driven back by Tilly and 
Wallenstein to the confines of Jutland, many of the Protes- 
tants again turned to the king with urgent appeals for help. 
Wallenstein had already selected Stralsund as the most avail- 
able base for operations against Sweden or Denmark, and 
was blockading it. Such a threat to the Baltic had naturally 
brought Christian and Ghistavus closer together, and the 
treaty they made included an agreement to defend the free- 
dom of the Baltic. Christian went personally to Stralsund, 
provisioned it, and saw to its proper manning; and the Danish 
fleet destroyed several vessels sent by Sigismund to the help 
of Wallenstein. All this had occurred during the king's own 
blockade of Danzig ; and finally Wallenstein was compelled 
by Stralsund's brave resistance, as well as by the command 
of the emperor, who disapproved of his generalissimo's obsti- 
luu^Ji to give up the blockade. This imperial reverse was in 
reality a Swedish victory ; for it was due to the heroic defense 
of the town by the garrison which Grustavus had sent thither 
under Colonel Leslie. 

The siege of Stralsund was so noteworthy a failure from 
every point of view that it alone, says Lossau, suffices to dis- 
pute the place of Wallenstein among remarkable generals* 
And yet Wallenstein was a great soldier. Did not Gustavus 
fail before Danzig ? 

The defense of Stralsund opened to Gustavus himself an 
important foothold for operations in Germany, as well as for 
the protection of the Baltic ; and that he had well weighed 
this fact is shown in the treaty which he made with the city, 
one extremely favorable to it and of equal value to the pro- 
jects of the king. 

The imperial party paid small heed to Gustavus. Wal- 


lenstein by no means underrated the king, but he distinctly 
overrated himself. Had he stated the case as he saw it, he 
might have placed Gustavus next to himself among the com- 
ing captains of Europe, — proximua^ aed longo intervcUlo, 
EKs structure of mind had not the self-confidence which accu- 
rately gauges the opposition while relying on its own powers ; 
it rather possessed the self-esteem which arrogates all to its 
own capacity and allows nothing to the opponent. This was 
the secret of Wallenstein's great strength, and of his singular 
weakness as welL He won where self-assertion alone can 
win ; when he met equal power, he lost. 

The emperor did not keep Sigismund provided with money 
as had been agreed, and had Polish coffers not always been 
at a low ebb, the king might have found it more difficult to 
maintain his footing near Danzig. After the raising of the 
siege, Gustavus received considerable accessions of troops, 
including two thousand cavalry from Germany under Rhine- 
grave Otto Ludwig ; but he was unable to bring the Polish 
army to a decisive battle on terms which he could accept. 
Koniezpolski confined himself to small operations and occu- 
pied strong positions ; and Gustavus was fain to content him- 
self with half measures. The Swedes took Neueuburg, Stras- 
burg with much material, and Schwetz ; and one detachment 
under Baudissin undertook a gallant raid to the gates of 
Warsaw, where it produced the utmost consternation, while 
Wrangel made a bold foraging expedition inland from Elbing. 
Later Baudissin was captured, but exchanged. The Poles 
made a few unimportant gains, and on one occasion actually 
surprised the Swedish army ; but they failed to follow up 
their successes. 

The singular poUtical complications made the war in Ger- 
many drag slowly on. Having won his exceptional triumphs, 
the emperor, as we have seen, began tampering with Chris- 


tian of Denmark, and finally (1628-29) a congress was held 
at Liibeek, and May 22, 1629, peace ensued. From this 
peace, Gustavus, king of Sweden, and Frederick, ex-elector 
of the Palatinate, were expressly excluded. Gustavus had 
sent his representatives to the congress, but Wallenstein had 
arrogantly refused them admittance ; nor was any notice 
taken of the king's protest by either the emperor or Wallen- 
stein. Grustavus had at the time sent an embassy to Ferdi- 
nand ; but he recalled it when excluded from the Liibeek 
Congress ; nor would he receive an imperial mission, because 
in the accompanying documents the title of king had been 
formally denied him. But he made a public demand for the 
restoration of the status quo ante bellum. The refusal of 
Wallenstein to recognize Sweden was one of the immediate 
reasons of Gustavus undertaking the Protestant cause in Ger- 
many ; for it was the one thing wanting to convince him that 
Sweden would shortly become involved. 

The successes of the emperor and the many high-handed 
acts of Wallenstein had the effect of bringing the Protestants 
into warmer sympathy, and his brethren in Germany once 
again turned to Gustavus for leadership. Distinct appeals 
had been theretofore made in 1615, 1619, 1621 and 1622 ; 
but never had the cause so sadly needed help, nor Sweden 
been so nearly ready. The conditions seemed to drag the 
king against his will into the contest which had been going 
on for ten years. France had already flung herself in the 
scale, out of antagonism to Spain and fear for the balance of 
power in Europe, and had offered herself as intermediary 
to procure a peace with Poland, so as to untie Gustavus' 
hands. It was fully determined in Sweden, so early as Feb- 
ruary, 1629, that Gustavus should at no distant date move 
to the assistance of Germany. 

In the beginning of this year (1629), during the king's 


absence at home, Wrangel fell upon the Polish army in its 
winter-quarters. The latter retired, but Wrangel followed, 
caught up with it at the village of Gurzno, near Strasburg, 
beat it, and drove it to Thorn, which place, however, he could 
not take. The Poles, severely oppressed by the burdens of 
the war, earnestly desired pe^e, but Sigismund was ready 
to consent to no more than a short truce even under the 
pressure of the Brandenburg and Dutch ministers ; and this 
truce even was so made as to be capable at any time of being 

Meanwhile an imperial army under Count Amim, of seven 
thousand foot, two thousand horse and some artiUery, was 
approaching to aid the Poles. Gustavus joined the Swedish 
army in June, about the time when Amim made his junc- 
tion with Koniezpolski at Graudenz. As Sweden was at 
peace with the empire, this was a gratuitous act of war by 
the emperor; it was really intended to retard the Swedish 
interference in Germany, and it accomplished its purpose. 
There was a considerable body of Swedish horse at Marien- 
werder, and this the king now reinforced with foot to meet 
the enemy's threat, sending at the same time a protest to 
Wallenstein for his breach of the comity of nations. 

Gustavus had eight thousand foot and five thousand horse. 
Koniezpolski, with his much superior forces, determined to 
deliver battle. His plan was good, and might have been 
dangerous to any one not watchful. On June 27 he marched 
from Graudenz along the river flats towards Marienwerder, 
purposing to bear off to Stuhm and turn the left flank of the 
Swedes. But Gustavus had already concluded to retire to 
M arienburg, and his column was defiling along the Stuhm 
road. So soon as he was instructed as to Koniczpolski*s 
march, he sent the rhinegrave with a body of eight hundred 
horse to protect the narrows between the lakes at Stuhm, so 



as to head off the enemy from the marching oolomn and 
oblige them to make a long detonr, and with strict orders not 
to bring on an engagement, but merely to occupy the enemy's 
attention. Tlie enemy's cav- 
alry reached Houigfeld ; the 
king's orders were not obeyed, 
and when he shortly arrived 
with the rear-guard of his 
army, he found that the rhine- 
grave had attacked, fallen 
into an ambuscade, and been 
beaten with a loss of two hun- 
dred men. In his endeavor 
to sustain him, a hot combat 
of cavalry ensued. Guatavus 
agajn was in the thick of the 
fray, and narrowly escaped 
death or capture. A Polish 
cavalryman seized him by the 
shoulder-belt, but Gustavus slipped it over his head and 
escaped. His party was beaten back, but the defile at Stuhm 
was held, and the whole force reguned Marienbni^. He bad 
lost a number of men, Sags and guns. 

The fault had lain with the landgrave; but it appears 
from this engagement that Gustavus' light cavalry was not 
always as watchful as it should have been, or not always put 
to proper use. Perhaps the lack of enterprise on the part 
of Koniezpolsbi may have bred this carelessness. Nothing 
trains cavalry except an active enemy. 

Gustavus' spirit was singularly elastic. Unable to sit still 
nnder defeat, he went again at the problem, and soon 
retrieved his disaster. The enemy advanced to the river 
Nogat, really a part of the delta of the Vistula. Gustavus 


moved upon them, and in a sharp and decisive encounter, 
defeated them with a loss of four thousand men. The details 
of the battle are not known. Some historians ignore it. But 
it is manifest that the campaign did not end with a defeat of 
the Swedes. The sole evidence of many of the operations 
of Gustavus lies in the dispatches from the army to the home 
government; and the king's singular modesty of statement 
robs the after-world of much it ought to know. His letter 
to Oxenstiem about the battle of Breitenfeld might be the 
description of a small cavalry combat. There were no war- 
correspondents in those days, and the Swedish ojfficers were 
too busy with making history to write it. Fancy a battle in 
our day in which the enemy forfeits four thousand men being 
thus lost to fame ! Triumphal columns are erected by some 
nations to perpetuate battles where the loss has been but a 
dozen ! And yet this is not without parallel in modem days. 
Many of the actions about Petersburg in 1864 and 1865, where 
casualties ran up into the thousands, are barely recorded with 
a name ; many outpost-combats where hundreds bit the dust 
are known only as ^^ the picket-fight of such a date." 

The ill-success of their late venture had a further tendency 
to make the Poles long for peace ; and the barbarous con- 
duet of the troops of Amim, a pestilence which broke out 
in the camp of the allies and kept the country people from 
bringing in supplies, the growing fear of Gustavus, and the 
dwindling prospect of success combined to make Sigismund 
more tractable. Negotiations were opened in August, 1629, 
and, under the influence of the French ambassador, were 
ended in a six years' truce. This was signed, on October 6, 
at Stuhmsdorf ; and by its terms Sweden retained all Livo- 
nia ; Memel, Pillau and some other places in ducal Prussia ; 
Braunsberg, Tolkemit and Elbing in Polish Prussia. Dan- 
zig remained neutral, but by a separate treaty agreed to pay 


two thirds of its customs into Gustavus' treasury. Sweden 
restored the rest of Poland and Courland to Sigismund. But 
in case no peace should result from the truce, Marienburg 
was to be again surrendered to Sweden, being meanwhile 
held by the elector of Brandenburg in trust. Gustayus 
was formally recognized as king, — a marked concession by 

Richelieu no doubt had weight in bringing about this 
truce ; he was the last ounce in the scale ; but it is scarcely 
doubtful, even if France had not acted as intermediary, that 
Sigismund would have concluded peace. He and his subjects 
were exhausted by the war. 

Thus, after eight years, ended the early wars of Gustavus 
Adolphus. The king had conducted six campaigns against 
Poland, and two against Denmark and Russia. These cam- 
paigns, not iK>ssessing the importance of his later ones, and 
lacking a record of their remarkable features, — for it is 
often the details which show up the military ability displayed 
in a campaign, — were yet what trained Gustavus in the 
habits of war, and i)ermitted him to view the struggle in 
Germany from a broader basis of ex]>erience; they were a 
practical school in which he could teach his right hand the 
cunning it would so soon need on the European stage, and 
his army could be hai*dencd into a boily fit for its arduous 
task. He entered the Danish war a young and inex])erienced 
leader of men ; he emerged from the last Polish campaign 
ready equipped to prove himself in the coming two years one 
of the world's great captains. 

In these campaigns Gustavus had observed the practical 
working of his new army organization, and learned a fond 
the then existing system of tactics and strategy. He was 
enabled to gauge the advantages of his own method, which, in 
the shoi*t remaining term of his life, he moulded into what 


was the origin of the modem art of war, — into what brought 
the world back to dispositions both intellectual and humane. 
These campaigns had been conducted against different peo- 
ples, — Danes, Russians, Poles, — and the king had gleaned 
varied experience. He learned the habits of different lead- 
ers and armies, and strove to adapt his own ways to theirs. 
His infantry underwent a good schooling against the large 
and excellent forces of Russian and Polish cavalry, and 
learned to protect itself against this arm. It was swift on 
the march, and steadier in defeat and victory than any imperial 
troops, even if no more stanch in battle than the Walloons of 
Father Tilly. His own cavalry the king had gradually im- 
proved by imitating the Poles, and by adding discipline and 
ensemble to it. There was superb horse on the other side, the 
Black Brigade, for instance, under its model cavalry leader, 
Pappenheim; but, headed by the king, the Swedish was as 
good. Had it earlier met the German cavalry, it could not 
have held head against it. Gustavus' artillery, much im- 
proved in organization, drill and technical knowledge, gave 
a wonderful account of itself. He had studied what the 
Turks had done, and had profited by their errors. They had 
got the biggest guns which could be cast ; he made his handy, 
quickly served, and accurate of aim. Theirs were of all sizes 
and patterns ; he reduced the matter to some sort of scale. 
There were heavy guns, needing thirty-six horses to trans- 
port; siege-guns, much smaller ; and field-guns, six-, four- and 
two-pounders, the latter being handled by one horse. The 
regimental four-pounder could be fired faster than a musket ; 
and the leather cannon, originally adopted for their small 
weight, were driven out by the monarch's light metal gun. 

Swedish success was largely due to technical engineering 
and ordnance skill, which seconded the energy and ingenuity 
infused by Gustavus into the armies under his control. As 


an engineer, he was far ahead of Wallenstein or Tilly. He 
understood the value of field-works in their best sense ; his 
engineer companies were numerous ; and by quickly building 
works to protect his men, he would stand on groimd the 
enemy would abandon. 

Under Gustavus' watchful eye, every branch of the ser- 
vice had grown in efficiency. Equipment, arms, rationing, 
medical attendance, drill and discipline, field manoeuvres, 
camp and garrison duty, reached a high grade. Energy and 
extra exertion were recognized ; luxury was discountenanced ; 
the troops looked earnest, severe, but they were kindly. The 
officers had all served from the bottom up, and had learned 
to work and to obey. Promotion was by seniority and merit. 
Justice was pronounced. Of the many Romanists in the 
Swedish ranks, none complained of unfair treatment. 

As in the little, so in the large. Gustavus treated each 
country he entered with a strict eye to economics, instead of 
sucking out its life-blood. The population made no com- 
plaints, and he could nourish and keep his men together in 
camp, when the enemy must disperse in cantonments, and 
run the risk of being destroyed before concentration. 

In the seventeen years Gustavus had been king, each cam- 
paign had added to the skill and efficiency of the Swedish 
army. There was no question of its distinct 8ui)eriority over 
any European army of its day. And chiefly was this shown 
in substituting the idea of mobility for the old idea of weight. 
Speed was the watchword of Gustavus' tactics; it was his 
speed which won his victories. His motto was, "Action, 
action, action ! '' 

In these campaigns, too, not only had Gustavus learned to 
know his generals and men, but they had gauged their mon- 
arch-leader; and there had arisen that mutual confidence, 
esteem and affection which only the great captain effectually 


oommands. As there was no danger or labor which their 
general and king did not share, in which he did not bear an 
equal part, so the Swedish army saw in him a harbinger of 
victory, a sure protection in disaster ; Gustavus' own char- 
acter, bravery, religious ardor, honesty and humanity infused 
itself into every soldier in the army. Nothing can exagger- 
ate the advantage which this good understanding between 
chief and army gives ; no leader who lacks the divine spark 
ever reaches its full measure. 

In listening to the last appeal of the Protestants to under- 
take their cause, Gustavus was actuated by faith in his reli- 
gion, by an honest sense of the dangers and needs of Sweden, 
and by feelings in which personal or national ambition had 
no foothold. It is a difficult task to twist even isolated 
remarks or letters of the king into a semblance of personal 
ambition ; it is impossible, from the whole of his utterances, 
to deduce any ambition but that of serving his country and his 
country's God. His address to the Estates in 1630 plainly 
shows his mood : *^ The Hapsburgs are threatening Sweden, 
and must be met instantly, stanchly. It is a question of de- 
fending the laud of our sires. The times are bad, the danger 
is great. Let us not look at the unusual sacrifices and load 
we must all unite to bear. It is a fight for parents, for wife 
and child, for house and hearth, for country and religion.'' 
And the people's answer was as full of courage and of mean- . 
ing as the king's address. It was like the upswelling of the 
old Roman burgess-blood when the unparalleled disaster of 
CannsB threatened the state with annihilation ; it was like the 
uprising of the North when the nation was threatened with 
disruption in 1861. Heavier taxes were willingly paid ; indi- 
viduals built and equipped vessels ; every man laid aside his 
private broils and griefs, stood shoulder to shoulder and linked 
hands with his neighbor for God, King and Fatherland. 



The openly expreesed opioton of WallenBtein, — in a cer- 
tain respect a measure of this great hut arrogant man, — with 
regard to the undertaking of the king of Sweden to lead the 
Protestant cause in Grermanj, was well shown in bis hoast 
that he would " drive the Snow King from Germany with 
rods if he should dare to show his face there ; " and Ferdi- 
nand, puffed up with his wonderful successes, echoed the 
opinion with : " So we have got a new litde enemy, have 
we? " But Wallenstein knew better, if Ferdinand did not. 
Hia private correspondence and statements show a clear 
appreciation of the danger which the arrival of Gustavus 
threatened to bis carefully erected structure. Alone, Wal- 
lenstein ruled Grermany as its strongest warrior ; with Gus- 
tavus there, he knew that be had a rival, he feared that he 
might find his master. 




In twelve yean (1618 to 1630) the empezor had oremm all Qermanj, 
No one had been found to hold head to Wallenstein and IHlly, and the Protee- 
tantB tamed in despair to GkutaTna. It wae a wrecked oanse he was to oham- 
pion, and none of the Powers lent aotiTe aid. Happily Wallenstein was put 
aride, and France was ready to pay money to check the dangeroos rise of the 
Hapsbnrgs. Qustayns entered the Usts. Whether Sweden should conduct a 
defensive or an offensive war was promptly settled by the king, sustained 
by his Estates and people. Though he placed too much reliance on the Protes- 
tant princes, his general calculations were just The motives of the king were 
honorable ; he had no personal ambition ; he proposed to protect the interests 
of Sweden and of Protestantism, — and what Sweden needed was a " bastion " 
on the south shore of the Baltic, to enable her to control that sea. The winter 
of 1629-^ was a busy one. Munitions were collected, taxes equalized, troops 
raised and equipped under the new system, and seventy-eiz thousand men 
were placed under arms, of whom thirteen thousand were destined for Ger- 
many. This number the king expected to double by recruitment there, for the 
emperor had at least one hundred thousand men. What Gustavus took with 
him was a mere nucleus for accessions from the German princes. 

Before the beginning of the Thirty Years' War, Ger- 
many was about equally divided between the Protestant 
and Catholic princes; and when the former took up arms, 
the emperor's authority extended over not more than half of 
the territory which is comprised between the Rhine and the 
Oder, the Alps and the Baltic. At the expiration of twelve 
years of war (1618-1630) the entire territory named had 
been overrun by the imperial forces, save only the free towns 
of the north, Stettin and the fortress of Stralsund. The 


Protestants had begun the war with encouraging prospects ; 
they were now disunited and cowed. It was under these con- 
ditions that from many sources entreaties reached Gustavus 
to come to the rescue of his brothers in the faith ; it was 
these conditions which the monarch faced in becoming the 
champion of Protestantism. 

Gustavus had for at least two years foreseen that he must 
take a hand in the German imbroglio ; early in 1629 such 
action was fully determined ; but when, in 1630, he finally 
appeared upon the scene, he was called on to contemplate so 
wrecked a cause, that the boldest soldier with inexhaustible 
resources would scarce have cared to face it ; while he stood 
almost alone, with the sole good-will of poverty-stricken 
Sweden at his back, and the very men who most ardently 
besought his aid were the ones who afforded him the least 
assistance. He had no earnest allies. Denmark was neutral 
if not an enemy, though Christian proffered friendship in 
public. France was uncertain, for though Richelieu was 
bound on the destruction of Austria and tendered subsidies, 
his method and his ultimate aim were not those of Gusta- 
vus. England could not be relied on. Holland, though the 
states-general approved its attitude, was jealous of Sweden's 
prestige in the Baltic, and was ready to take a hand in the 
matter from purely commercial motives, — ready to gain by 
Gustavus' defeat as much as by his victories. Liibeck and 
Hamburg limited their helpfulness to trading silver for the 
army-chest against Swedish copper. The dukes of Pomera- 
nia and Mecklenburg tendered assistance indeed, as well as 
the margrave of Baden, the administrator of Magdeburg 
and Landgrave William of Hesse ; but we shaU see how 
much this meant. And meanwhile Poland was bitter as gall, 
and Betlilen Gabor was dead. Not a power was ready to 
throw itself heartily into the scale ; the German princes were 


at odds among themselves and cowed by overwhelming mis- 
fortune ; and while the Hanse towns had armed to protect 
themselves, they cared not to aid Protestantism for any but 
selfish motives. Money was their god. 

The one thing in Gustayus' favor was that the grasping 
measures of Ferdinand had for some time excited the gravest 
discontent among even the Catholic princes ; that the savage 
cruelties and ruthless devastation of the war had exasperated 
the Protestants and roused the horror of Europe. All poten- 
tates looked with distrust upon the growing manifestations of 
imperial ambition ; for Austria now had at her feet the very 
liberties of Germany. Whither might not Ferdinand's greed 
of power lead him ? On the other hand, most of the Prot- 
estant princes, to save themselves, had accepted the emperor's 
sway ; some of them, led by personal motives, were in accord 
with him ; others again sought protection in a neutral bear- 
ing. A mere handful, notably the dukes of Hesse-Cassel 
and Brunswick-Liineburg, as well as the free towns of the 
Hanseatic League, still maintained a bold front of opposi- 
tion, while Stralsund had held her own with the aid of a 
Swedish garrison, and Magdeburg had stood a siege by Wal- 
lenstein. But with these few brave exceptions, Germany had 
bowed her head to the stroke, showing neither power nor 
will to withstand the imperial dictation, or to fight for her 
religion or independence. Ferdinand was master. The Ger- 
man princes would probably have gone over to him in a 
body, had they not feared his future policy. He had the 
entire matter in his grasp. But no man is all-wise ; Ferdi- 
nand foolishly quarreled with his electors on a side issue, 
and lost their loyal support, while the Edict of Restitution, 
issued in March, 1629, completed the break-up of confidence. 

Not only were none of the other European powers anxious 
to come to Germany's assistance, but none of them were pre- 


pared to do so. England was busy with intestine disquiet, 
and in the end of the year made peace with Spain, which 
for once drew her closer to the Hapsburgs. The Netherlands 
were still at war with Spain, and the last thing they wanted 
was an inroad by the victorious armies of Wallenstein, Tilly 
or Pappenheim. Spain herself was Hapsburg, and were she 
not so, she had, in addition to the war in the Netherlands, 
the Mantuan imbroglio in Italy. Denmark had been beaten 
into peace, and then bought into neutrality for a price, and 
Christian was morbidly jealous of Gustavus, and ready to 
do anything underhand to thwart his plans. The Turks 
were an uncertain element. Brandenburg had sent troops 
to Poland, and had scarcely forgiven Gustavus' foray on her 
territory. Saxony felt bound by her oath to the emperor to 
resist armed aggression, while John George, the elector, was 
intent on peace at any price. The other Protestant princes 
were either frightened or reduced in means beyond power 
to help. 

Only France and Sweden remained. Though France had 
at first inclined towards the emperor, or at least towards the 
League and Bavaria, when matters took too decided a turn 
in Ferdinand's favor. Cardinal Richelieu clearly saw that 
political gain lay in aiding the Protestants, so as to weaken 
the power of Austria ; but as Catholic France could not 
openly enter the lists on behalf of Protestantism, Bichelieu 
preferred to use his influence with Sweden to take up the 
cause, relying for eventual results upon the location and 
healthy condition of the Swedish nation and the proven tal- 
ents of its king. 

The two marked features of European politics of the day 
were thus Austria's aggressiveness, and the change of the 
foreign policy of France. 

It was not difficult to induce Gustavus to enter into this 


plan. The Swedes, in his opinion, needed a ^^ bastion *' on 
the southern shore of the Baltic in order to maintain their 
supremacy on this sea; and Stralsund was just that. But 
Gustavus' demands were at first deemed too high by France. 
He asked a considerable lump sum down and six hundred 
thousand rix dollars a year as subsidy. This Bichelieu 
declined, though his general course remained helpful, and 
he eventually came to Gustavus' terms. 

Sweden was neither a populous nor a rich country. She 
numbered but a million and a half of souls, and her annual 
budget ran up to not exceeding twelve million rix dollars. 
But she made up in a great degree for this weakness in 
material resources by the simplicity and strength of her 
people, her well-regulated government and particularly her 
remarkable military organization. The army had been tried 
in its eight years' war against Denmark, Russia and Poland ; 
and the genius of its king, sustained by the love and devotion 
of his people, and coupled to the strong Protestant sentiment 
of the nation, made Gustavus a noteworthy champion. Many 
reasons weighed with Sweden and the king. That the emperor 
had sent an army to help the king of Poland against him 
while he was at peace with the empire ; that the Swedish 
embassy had been thrust from the congress at Liibeck and 
heaped with contumely, rankled deeply in Gustavus' nature. 
Sensible, frank and generous, he was yet sensitive in matters 
relating to his dignity, and prompt to resent any affront to 
Sweden. The oppressions of the Protestants appealed strongly 
to both king and nation. Danger unquestionably threatened 
Sweden now that Germany had succumbed, and Gustavus 
was ambitious to show that his country was not a cipher in 
the religious and political complications of Europe. 

When the question came up as to whether Sweden should 
wage a defensive war within her own borders, or an offensive 


war in Germany, many of the more conservative statesmen 
inclined to the former view, notably the prime minister, 
Oxenstiem. The emperor, said he, had one himdred and 
sixty thousand veteran troops, while Protestant Grermany was 
exhausted. How could Sweden with her small army enter the 
lists against such a host, and without aid? Better spend 
money on a strong fleet and hold the south shore of the Baltic. 
Oxenstiem's idea was perhaps not a mere inert defensive, for 
he was willing to argue the other plan; but he proposed 
to conduct any offensive which might be undertaken to the 
east of the Oder, and to remain strictly on the defensive in 
Pomerania. The king gave many reasons against this. His 
idea was merely to observe the country to the east of the Oder, 
and to resort to a stout offensive in north Germany. Sweden, 
he argued, could count more than Oxenstiem would allow on 
the aid of the Protestant princes and free towns of Germany, 
if once upon its soil. The Hanse towns, which had held a 
convention at Liibeck in November, 1629, where they had 
agreed to arm for mutual defense, now sought alliance with 
the several Protestant powers, and had made efforts to secure 
the aid of Sweden. Stralsund must not be forsaken. Wal- 
lenstein had made a bid for the Hanse towns by flattery, 
which failing, he had attacked Stralsund by force. This city 
had shown the ability of the free towns to defend themselves, 
and no time must be given for the idea of defense to grow 
cold. Magdeburg had proven her stanchness. All were now 
ready to aid. It was imperative for Sweden to hold the 
German coast of the Baltic, and prevent the emi)eror from 
building a fleet. An offensive war in Germany would cost 
Sweden less than the defense of her own soil ; and the saving 
for her people of the atrocities of such a war as was being 
waged on the mainland was a manifest duty. The defense of 
Sweden could well be left to its militia and fleet, if a Swedish 


army opposed the emperor in Germany. Delay was the most 
dangerous thing of alL Should he once become absolute 
master in Germany, the emperor could no longer be con- 
trolled, and Sweden would be in greater danger than ever. 

In order to feel the pulse of the nation, the king convened 
in Upsala eleven of the leading Swedish senators ; and on 
mature discussion of the case presented by the king, these men 
unanimously agreed that an offensive in Germany was the 
wiser course. 

In the event, Gustavus was mistaken in his reliance on 
the willingness or ability, of the Protestant princes of Ger- 
many to lend their aid ; he had gauged them at too high a 
value, for they proved to be controlled by their fears or their 
selfish interests rather than by the good of their religion 
or their country. But he was not mistaken in his financial 
estimates ; for in 1632 the war consumed only one sixth of 
the Swedish revenue. 

The king's plan was comprehensive ; and he never lost 
sight of the value of the sea. Unless he controlled the Baltic, 
he had no base whatsoever, and what he proposed was quite 
as much to equip a big Swedish fleet and a fair-sized Swedish 
army, as it was merely to land Swedish forces in Germany 
and there conduct a land campaign. That a base on the 
Baltic had no value without a powerful Swedish fleet no man 
saw more plainly than the king ; for years he had striven for 
dominium maris Baltici. 

Gustavus' motives in undertaking this war have been the 
subject of grave discussion and much disagreement. It can- 
not be alleged that they were purely religious, that it was 
solely as the champion of Protestantism that he risked so 
much. But it may be honestly claimed that he had no per- 
sonal ambition to subserve. He was by birth and nature a 
Viking, a species of colonizing fighter ; but he neither sought 


foreign conquest nor foreign gold. Sweden later became over 
lustful for both ; but Qustavus strove first for the defense of 
his fatherland, and next for the defense of his reli^on. He 
has been accused of seeking to create a Protestant German 
empire with himself as its ruler; but there is no tangible 
evidence to sustain this view, while there is a multitude of 
testimony to controvert it. No monarch ever had a more 
intimate friend and confidant than Qustavus possessed in Axel 
Oxenstiem, his chancellor, trusted adviser and one of his 
able generals ; nor was there ever a man in whom truth was 
more ingrained. Many years after Gustavus* death, when the 
subject first grew into a controversy, Oxenstiern wrote in a 
private communication : ^^ King Gustavus Adolphus wanted 
the Baltic coast ; he harbored the idea of some day becoming 
emperor of Scandinavia, and this land was to contain Sweden, 
Norway, Denmark to the Great Belt and the lands abutting 
on the Baltic. With this in view it was that he first con- 
cluded a peace with Denmark, as favorable as it was then 
possible to endure, and later one with Russia with regard to 
the Baltic. He took the coast and river moutlis from Poland 
by seizing the lucrative customs. Then he attacked the Roman 
emperor, and demanded as war-indemnity from the German 
princes, to whom imi)erial lands shoidd be given in exchange, 
Pomerania and Mecklenburg. Denmark was also to be 
clipped of all territory down to the Great Belt, and Norway 
was to become ours. It was on these lines that this great 
king intended to construct an independent kingdom. But 
that, as the saying goes, he desired to be German emperor is 
not true." 

So unbounded was the confidence of his subjects that the 
king had little difficulty in impressing his opinion on the 
people, the Estates and ministry, and shortly the work began. 
He opened negotiations with the anti-Hapsburg peoples. He 


appointed his brother-in-law, Count John Casimir, his repre- 
sentative in Sweden, commissioned to act* with the advice of 
the council and of Field-Marshals de la Gardie and WrangeL 
He made arrangements for internal government for a long 
absence, leaving explicit instruction as to land administration, 
recruiting and taxes, loans, victual and war material for the 
future. He accumulated present moneys and supplies to 
accompany the army. He ordered new fortresses to be built 
on the coast opposite Denmark. He strengthened his fleet 
and built a number of transports. 

There were great preparations in Sweden during the winter 
of 1629-30. The nitre and sulphur works were kept busy 
shipping to the powder-mills at Naka and Watinge. Calcu- 
lations were made for furnishing a ton and a half of powder 
per regiment per month, and about fifty cartridges per man, 
plus twenty-four hundred pounds of lead and thirty-six hun- 
dred pounds of match punk, of which the consumption was 
necessarily large. The armories in aU parts of Sweden were 
driven ; and armor, helmets, partisans, pikes, spades and picks 
were turned out by government and by private firms. Each 
regiment was to have issued to it five hundred and seventy-six 
muskets and bandoliers, four hundred and thirty-two sets of 
armor, four hundred and thirty-two pikes and one thousand 
and eight helmets and swords. In addition, forty-eight par- 
tisans were issued to the three officers and three non-commis- 
sioned officers of each of the eight companies, and sixteen 
drums to the regiment. 

In order to equalize taxes so that the aristocracy should 
not escape, a mill-tax, or tax on com, had been laid in 1625 ; 
in 1627 it was changed to a poll-tax ; and now, in 1630, a 
war-tax was added. The income in 1630 was about twelve 
million rix dollars, of which three fourths was spent on the 
war ; but in 1631 and 1632 the cost ran down to five and a 


half and two and a fourth million rix dollars ; for Grerman 
and foreign subsidies began to help out. 

The clergy preached the cause as heartily as the recruiting 
officers enforced it. All males from sixteen to sixty must 
report at the local rendezvous, and those who were not house- 
holders or who worked for wages were first enrolled. Of the 
rest, each tenth man was drawn by lot from those between 
eighteen and thirty, excepting miners, especially in the nitre 
and sulphur mines, and manufacturers of arms and ammuni- ' 
tion. Only one son was taken from a family ; a man having 
no sons was excused. On enlistment, papers in triplicate 
were made out, much as with us, and the men were subse- 
quently mustered in companies. The troops assembled at 
Kalmar, Elf snabben and other places for shipment to general 
rendezvous, in May, 1630. 

Arrangements had been made for raising men abroad as 
well as at home. Kniphausen and Spens were recruiting to 
good effect in England ; Falkenberg, in the Netherlands, had 
no luck. Many recruits were got from the mustered-out sol- 
diers of the late Danish war, and in Brandenburg, Poland 
and Danzig. In June, 1629, Colonel Morton arrived with 
two regiments of Scotchmen. 

In the conquered towns of Livonia and Prussia there were 
still twelve thousand men. These were left as a reserve 
under Oxenstiem, who recruited them up to twenty-one thou- 
sand. Six thousand more, under Leslie, were in Stralsund 
and on the island of Riigen. Leslie was active in recruiting, 
and the Hanse towns furnished a few men. By the early 
months of 1680 there had been organized an army of seventy- 
six thousand men, of which forty-three thousand were Swedes ; 
and in the fleet were three thousand more. Of this total, 
thirteen thousand were destined for Germany, to which were 
added, by reinforcements during 1680, twenty-three hundred 


men from Sweden, twenty-eight hundred from Finland, two 
thousand from Livonia, thirteen thousand six hundred from 
Prussia, and the six thousand garrison of Stralsund, an aggre- 
gate of about forty thousand men. There were left in Swe- 
den sixteen thousand men, in Finland six thousand five 
hundred, in the Baltic provinces five thousand, in Prussia 
seven thousand six hundred, — thirty-five thousand men in all. 

The cost of the forty thousand men in Germany was esti- 
mated at eighteen hundred thousand rix dollars a year, or 
forty-five rix dollars per man. This amount varied during 
Gustavus' reign from forty-one and one third to fifty-two rix 
dollars per man per year. Cheap enough service for any 
class of men, and the Swedes were of the best. 

Ghistavus had no doubt that he would receive considerable 
accessions from the friendly princes of Germany ; and men 
from the disbanded armies of Mansfeld and Brunswick, it 
was believed, only waited his arrival to join his standard in 
large squads. The armies of Denmark and Poland, lately 
mustered out, would furnish abundant recruits. His thir- 
teen thousand men woidd, he calculated, be increased to a 
substantial body so soon as he placed foot on German soil. 
But as against the seventy-five thousand aggregate on Gus- 
tavus' muster-rolls, of which he led but thirteen thousand to 
Germany, Wallenstein and Tilly were yet afoot, with armies 
which easily reached a hundred thousand men. 

Gustavus issued no formal declaration of war. The attack 
on his aUy, Stralsund, made the war appear to him a defen- 
sive one. But certain negotiations between the king and the 
emperor, which Gustavus well knew woidd come to nothing, 
were carried on for a while through the intermediation of 
Christian of Denmark. Stettin, the capital of Pomerania, 
was being threatened by the imperial army, and Gustavus 
felt that he must save the town. He was ready to sail from 


Elfsnabben, whither all the troops were forwarded, by the 
end of May, but adverse winds kept him in port three weeks. 
His forces were embarked on two hundred transports, pro- 
tected by thirty men-of-war. 

The mouths of the Oder were to be the point of debarka- 
tion, and Gustavus had made himself familiar with every rood 
of the country. From this point he proposed to seize, or 
treat with, the cities along the coast on either side of Stral- 
snnd, and especially Stettin, and make his base strong by 
a depot at the latter place, from whence he could advance 
up the Oder. The general plan was fully worked out ; the 
details had to wait upon the conditions of the moment. 

Pomerania had never been friendly, and had given aid and 
comfort to the imperialists; but when the news came that 
Gustavus would probably land on her shores, Duke Bogislav, 
a very old man, sent an embassy to Gustavus to pray him not 
to make a aedea belli on his territory. Gustavus answered, 
without mincing words, that on their own attitude depended 
his conduct to the Germans when he should have reached 
their shores. He should sail for Pomerania, establish him- 
self within her borders, and use her as by her future acts she 
deserved to be used. 

Before embarking, the king issued a proclamation appoint- 
ing three days of public fasting and prayer for the success of 
the cause. 

After making all arrangements for the government of his 
kingdom, Gustavus' three-year-old daughter Christina was 
accepted as his heir ; to her all Swedes swore fealty, and the 
king left the fatherland in May, 1680, on what was to him 
and to all the world a holy mission, — to accomplish it, 
indeed, but never to return. 



GuBTAYUB sailed May 80, and landed at the month of the Oder without 
oppoeition, the imperial generals retiring to Gktfz and Anklam. Occupying 
Ueedom and Wollin, he set his fleet to cruise along the coast, advanced on 
Stettin, and though Duke Bogislay sought to preserve his neutrality, took 
and garrisoned it ; upon which a favorable treaty was made, and the Swedes 
camped in Oderburg, near by. Every place taken was strongly fortified. As 
the enemy held the rrat of the coast, the communication between Stralsund, 
Stettin and East Prussia was not secure, and Gustavus set to work to extend 
his holding, and to blockade the places along the coast which he could not 
take, while the enemy strengthened Ghirz, and there encamped the bulk of their 
force. The king first intended to secure his foothold and the line of the 
Tollense in his front ; but while so operating, the enemy took Clempenow and 
Pasewalk, massacred the garrisons, and seized the Tollense. Oxenstiem, from 
East Prussia, was pushing out towards the king, who kept steadily at work 
making firm his standing on the coast ; Magdeburg declared in favor of the 
Swedes, and Colonel Falkenbeig was sent thither to take command. 

The troops were embarked June 9, 1630 ; and after a delay 
of three weeks, waiting for a favorable wind, the fleet set sail 
with its burden so precious to Protestant Germany. Heavy 
weather still further retarded its progress in the open off 
Stockholm ; a stormy passage ensued, during which the ship- 
ping beat about several days, and was with difficulty kept 
together ; but it finally made land, and anchored July 4 in 
the lee of the island of Riigen, close to Usedom, near the 
mouth of the Peene River. The two hundred transports and 
men-of-war had aboard six thousand sailors, ninety-two com- 
panies of foot, one hundred and sixteen companies (half- 
squadrons) of horse, and eight hundred guns of all calibres. 

Denmark had recently made efforts to purchase the island 



of Riigen, an acquisition which would have made a base at 
the mouth of the Oder quite insecure for Sweden. For some 
time the imperialists had held the bulk of the island, of which 
a large part belonged to the city of Stralsund ; and as it was 
essential to clear the coast, it was determined by Gustavus 
that Kiigen should be recaptured. On March 13 Leslie 
took the island of Hiddensee, and garrisoned it with three 
hundred men ; on the 29th he put over troops to Biigen, and 
captured tlie works at the several landing-places out of hand. 
The imperialists tried in vain to eject the Swedes, and at the 
end of April retired wholly from Riigen, except a garrison 
of three hundred men in one of the forts, which on June 7 

likewise fell. Biigen was thus secured to 
the Swedes. 

The imperial general, Torquato Conti, a 
cruel man even among the wolves of that day, 
and equally incompetent, was at Anklam, 
twenty miles to the south. So soon as he 
heard of the fleet being sighted, he sent de- 
tachments to light fires along the beach, 
hoping Gustavus would believe that a large 
hostile force was on hand. But the ruse 
failed ; Conti lost his best chance of dealing 
the Swedes a hearty blow as they landed, and 
his parties retired from the coast. Boats, 
ordered some time before by Gustavus, were 
on hand imder control of his own officers ; 
the king headed the landing parties, and the troops were 
disembarked on Usedom. As Csesar is said to have fallen 
when he reached Africa, so Gustavus, on landing here, 
stumbled on the gang-plank, and slightly injured his knee ; 
but he is not recorded to have turned the matter into an 
omen. The Swedish blood flowed too calmly to need such 

The Landing- 


adventitious aid. On putting foot on shore, he knelt and 
offered up unaffected prayer ; then seized a spade, and began' 
himself the work of intrenching a line to cover the landing. 
It took two days to disembark ; the companies were succes- 
sively set to work; an old line of defenses was occupied; 
new ones were drawn up, and soon the first intrenchments 
of Peenemiinde, which place was included in the circuit, 
were completed. Victual issued to the men had been mostly 
consumed in the long delay and passage ; provisions had 
been ordered to be collected in Stralsund, but the king found 
on hand only a small supply. It was not an encouraging 

Gustavus was wont to speak his mind ; and for this lack 
of provision he roundly held to task John Skytte, to whom 
he had committed the business; he moreover sent urgent 
dispatches to Oxenstiem, in Prussia, to hurry forward sup- 
plies ; and feeling reasonably secure, on July 28 he sent six 
men-of-war and thirty-six other vessels to the chancellor for 
their transportation. 

Further to protect from inroads the coast already occupied, 
Gustavus ordered a suitable naval force to cruise between 
Travemiinde and Riigen. Two days after landing, he took 
twelve hundred musketeers and a small body of horse, and 
started out southerly towards the region opposite Wolgast to 
reconnoitre the country. Arrived there, he found that the 
imperialists had built a fort on the island to protect the cross- 
ing. Reconnoitring the rear of the fort from the water, 
and sending back for a force of four thousand men, and all 
the horse which had already got mounted, Gustavus prepared 
to take the place ; but the imperial garrison retired to the 

On July 11 Gustavus left a thousand musketeers in the 
fort, and with three thousand foot and tweniy-five hundred 



hone set out to sweep Usedom clear of the enemy. The 
imperialists had built two forts to protect the passage from 
Usetlom to Wollin across the Swine inlet. On the Swedes' 
approach the garrison fled over to Wollin, burned its boats 

Odw-Elba CoQDti;. 

and the Wollin defenses, and retired to the back of the 
bland. Gustavus managed to get boats, put across to W<d- 
lin, garrisoned the fort, and made after the fugitives as far 
as the Divenow inlet, but was too late to prevent their buru' 
ing the bridge across it. Having thus secured the mouths 
of the Oder, the king returned to headquarters in Usedom. 


No sooner landed than Gustavus incorporated in his army 
five thousand of the garrison of Stralsund. He had made 
good progress ; for not only did his possession of Stralsund, 
Usedom and WoUin secure the mouths of the Oder, but it 
gave him an almost certain claim to Stettin, the capital of 
Pomerania, still in the hands of Duke Bogislav. The entire 
coast of north Grermany, save Stralsund, the island of Riigen, 
what Gustavus had taken and Stettin, was held, however, by 
the imperialists. Happily, Wallenstein was away, and no one 
made any sensible effort to arrest the Swedish advance. 

Pomerania is divided into two parts by the Oder, and 
Stettin, from its position, was a natural capital of the duchy. 
It had been besieged by the imperialists, but without success. 
General Savelli was in the country southeast of Stralsund, 
while Conti was on the west bank of the Oder. When the 
imperial generals saw that the Swedes had actually landed, 
they retired, Savelli to Anklam and Conti up the Oder to 
Garz on the left and Greifenhagen on the right bank. This 
gave Gustavus a chance to thrust himself in between the two 
parts, and he made arrangements to advance on Stettin. 

In April, before leaving Sweden, the king had sought to 
influence this well-fortified city in his behalf, and we have 
seen that Stettin had stoutly defended itself against the impe- 
rialists. While Conti was lax, Gustavus was active. He left 
Colonel Leslie in command of Wollin, General Kagg of Use- 
dom, and both under Kniphausen, to whom was committed 
the general supervision of the territory so far taken ; he 
detailed officers to patrol the coast to secure all possible 
landing-places ; and went in person to the southern part of 
Usedom near the Swine, to collect boats on which to ship a 
suitable force for an advance on Stettin. On July 18 he had 
seventy-four companies, eight thousand seven hundred and 
twenty-three men, ready to be shipped. On July 19 they 



were put aboard such vessels, fifty-one in number, as were 
of suitable draught to sail up the river. Next day the fleet 
made Stettin by noon, and Gustavus landed part of the 
troops near the castle of Oder- 
burg below, where he took up 
a good position. 

^^,„ .^. . . One would expect to see the 

l/Vr <^^'fe ISA t W^ *^ 

uXV-'-'-WiinRs- _1 Evangelical powers of Germany 
iHw."*'"- \l4iWit V unite to receive Gustavus with 
open arms. Nothing shows their 
supineness more than the fact 
that, save only Stralsund, ->— 
and this was held by his own 
garrison, — not a city, not a 
prince, not a circle, did aught 
to welcome the champion they 
had called. Every one waited 
to see how his perilous under- 
taking would result, before com- 
mitting himself to the Swedish monarch's support. It was 
an iU beginning; had not Gustavus been of a buoyant nature, 
he might have faltered now ; but worse was yet to come. 

Pomerania would have liked to remain neutral, and 
Bogislav tried his old tactics to influence the Swedes to leave 
him so ; but Gustavus would none of it. Colonel Damitz, 
the commander of Stettin, under orders of the duke, declined 
tp admit the Swedes ; in fact, threatened to fire on the flotilla 
if it should approach closer. He sept a drummer as bearer 
of a message, who waa speedily turned back with answer that 
Damitz should come himself, as the king of Sweden was not 
in the habit of recognizing messages from men of regimental 
rank. The colonel came with some ambassadors from the 
duke, but they had no authority to allow the occupation of 


the city; Dor was any headway made until the king told 
Bogislav in so many ^ords, at an interview which was shortly 
held, that he would countenance no neutrality on the part of 
the Germans, and that he had made suitable arrangements to 
take Stettin by force if not willingly yielded. Neither would 
he tolerate delay. '^ Every procrastinator is not a Fabius," 
said he. Grustavus already divined that the anticipated Ger- 
man support would not be forthcoming, and he proposed to 
handle this lethargic temperament without gloves. Stettin 
was given up. 

The Swedish troops, owing perhaps to the lateness of the 
hour on that day, did not march into Stettin through the city 
gates, but through some incomplete defenses, and took formal 
possession on July 20. As the imperial forces were gather- 
ing near by at Garz, Giistavus would not prejudice his posi- 
tion by a minute's loss of time. 

A treaty was concluded by which Swedish influence was 
made predominant in all matters, commercial and political, 
and three thousand men of the Pomeranian garrison of 
Stettin, under Damitz, were taken into the Swedish service 
as the " White Brigade." They proved to be excellent troops. 
The city of Stettin was garrisoned by three regiments and 
three companies of the Swedish guard. Having paid a goodly 
sum of money, Bogislav was permitted to resume nominal 
sway in Pomerania. The real control remained with the 

This acquisition of Stettin was a vast gain for Gustavus, and 
an equal detriment to Ferdinand. So far the foothold had 
been got without the loss of a man. Gnstavus had secured 
his base of operations, and there shortly came an accession of 
troops from Prussia, from disbanded men who had served with 
Mansfeld or under the Danish flag, and from other sources. 
The conditions were such that a man could earn his bread as 


a soldier with gpreater safety from the perils of war than as a 
farmer, and many sought refuge in the ranks. These new 
enrollments ran the effective of Gustavus' army up to twenty- 
five thousand men. 

After having thus yielded to Grustavus, Bogislav could 
scarcely make his peace with the emperor, though he with 
good right claimed that the imperial troops had abandoned 
him. Pomerania was pronounced rebellious, and the cruelties 
of the imperial forces were redoubled, a fact which added to 
Gustavus* welcome as a possible deliverer. 

About this time there are said to have been several attempts 
to assassinate the Swedish king, prompted by fanatical Roman 
Catholics ; but such matters have no special interest for us 

Gustavus* habit was to secure his every step. A notable 
engineer, he put his knowledge into daUy practice. Stettin, 
in lamentable condition, was at once taken in hand, and its 
fortifications strengthened according to the best art. Leslie 
had been ordered to do the like by Stralsund, as well as to 
fortify Bergen, the chief city of Riigen, to restore the works 
at the ferry, to erect forts at several important places, to make 
strong the camp at Peenemiinde, and to fortify all the villages 
on Usedom. Wollin and Cammin opposite were to be placed 
in a state of good defense ; the Divenow to be held by redoubts ; 
and the bridge to the mainland to be rebuilt, and strengthened 
with a bridge-head. 

The works of Stettin were extended to beyond Oderburg, 
with trenches, redoubts and well-devised lines, and near Oder- 
burg was erected a large camp. In four days, by using the 
entire laboring population, the work was substantially done, 
and the array quartered there, except the three garrison regi- 
ments in the town. 

Grustavus had brought only foot to Stettin. The cavalry — 


thirteen companies under Colonel Teuffel — had been ordered 
to follow with one thousand musketeers, by way of the bridge 
at Wollin. The march of Teuffel was somewhat delayed ; 
and Gustavus, growing anxious, sent out a scouting party to 
see what had become of the column. In this party was an 
officer who had formerly been an imperialist. He now 
deserted, and gave the enemy all the news he had been able 
to gather ; but though the imperialists broke up on July 23, 
to intercept Teuffel, this officer headed them off and reached 
camp in safety. 

To celebrate worthily his successful landing Gustavus 
appointed July 23 as a day of prayer, and it was duly 
observed throughout the army. 

While it is true that Gustavus had strongly established 
himself on the Oder, there was still a deal left to be desired. 
The imperialists held the whole country into which he had 
thus driven a wedge ; they extended in a huge semicircle 
around his position at Stettin, from Colberg on the east, which 
was held by a big detachment, to Wolgast on the west, where 
troops were assembling ; while the camp which they had estab- 
lished above Stettin, at Garz and Greifenhagen, aUowed them 
to make a diversion on any point along the Oder — say Politz, 
or the mouth of the Dma — from which they might cut off 
the Swedes from Stralsund and the Peenemiinde camp. 

The town of Damm, opposite Stettin, was an important 
point commanding the east branch of the Oder. On July 22 
Gustavus sent Count Brahe with his squadron to seize the 
place ; and this drew within the Swedish lines the entire Oder 
stream and the mouth of the Plone River. As an outpost a 
fort was begun between Stettin and Garz, and large stores 
were accumulated in Stettin. Damitz was told off to take 
Stargard, which capitiilated after a short struggle. Treptow 
and Greifenberg were shortly after taken; Damitz seized 


Sazig in the beginning of Augost ; and Naugart and Plate 
were captured. This series of operations gave the Swedes 
the possession of the territory inclosed by the Oder, Plone 
and Rega rivers, and out Colberg off from Garz and Greifen- 
hagen. Each place taken was strengthened and garrisoned. 

In reconnoitring towards Gurz on one occasion, Gustavus 
again subjected himself to undue risk. He rode ahead with 
an escort of twenty horsemen, followed by a second detach- 
ment of seventy, and entering a defile not previously explored, 
he fell into an ambush, his escort was overpowered, and he 
himself was captured* His captors did not know him, and as 
good luck would have it the rear squadron rode up in season 
to rescue him. It was by mere chance that he had not been 
cut down. 

Gradually the king extended his grasp towards Oxenstiem 
in Prussia, whom he ordered to send an able officer to occupy 
the Stolpe country, while be himself proposed to invest Col- 
berg. Kiigenwalde, by a lucky accident, was seized by a force 
of three small Scotch regiments from Pillau, under Colonel 
Munroe. This body, sent out on another errand, had been 
shipwrecked ; but by a combination of daring and good sense, 
Munroe contrived to turn ill into good fortune, and seized the 
town. He won warm commendation from the king. 

On the other hand it is related that an enterprising Swedish 
colonel conceived the project of a sudden attack on an out- 
lying post of the enemy's at Garz ; but, not possessing the 
virtue of silence, his plan leaked out, the enemy heard of it, 
and the attack was beaten biu;k with loss. Though the officer 
brought in two stands of colors, the king gave him a sharp 
reprimand on the score of allowing his plan to become known. 
No courage or good conduct could excuse an idle tongue, 
said he. 

Quite as important as the closing in on Colberg was to 


reach out overland towards Leslie in Stralsund. Gustavus 
was theoretically well placed, with Oxenstiem on his left and 
Leslie on his right ; but practically he was not certain in his 
communications with either. Only by water could he surely 
reach them. The imperialists still held Uckermiinde and the 
Peene country, Anklam, Wolgast and Greifswalde. Espe- 
ciaUy Anklam was important, as it threatened Usedom, and 
here, on Gustavus' landing, Savelli had taken up his stand. 
But the imperialists were lacking in wisdom. Lest Gustavus 
should advance south from Stettin, the bulk of the forces in 
the Peene country were drawn into the Garz-Greifenhagen 
position, and Gustavus ordered Kagg from Usedom to occupy 
Anklam. So little could he understand the fatuity of the 
imperialists, that in the same breath he cautioned Kagg 
against a possible ruse de guerre. Anklam was taken and at 
once fortified ; though as the population was not favorable to 
the Swedes, the work was slow. 

Uckermiinde was also occupied; and Barth, near Stral- 
sund, fell to Gustavus without effort. Wolgast, one of the 
very important places, as it held the key to the road from the 
Swedish camp at Peenemunde to the continent, capitulated 
to Kniphausen, July 28; but the garrison retired to the 
castle, and held out with stubborn courage till August 16. 
Greifswalde seemed no longer tenable for the imperialists; 
and yet it held out. 

The result of these manoeuvres was practically to control 
the coast from Stralsund to Wollin on one side of the Oder 
mouth, and the shutting in of Colberg on the other. 

Still Gustavus' occupation was far from being a perfect 
one. His main army lay in three detachments : his own at 
Oderburg and Stettin ; Kagg's basing on Usedom, as a link 
in the chain; Kniphausen's on Peenemunde or Stralsund. 
Until all three were so placed as to be able to act as one 


body, Gustavus would not rest content. Nor would the pos- 
session of Anklam suffice. Unless the Swedes held the line 
of the Tollense, they could scarce present such a front to 
Savelli as to prevent his puncturing their defense. And 
though Stolpe alone would not control Farther (eastern) 
Pomerania, this section might wait. Hither (western) Pom- 
erania was of greater importance, and this the king set out to 

Such, then, was the first problem before Gustavus could ' 
venture on a march to Mecklenburg, which was one of his 
early projects. Kagg had already got a footing on the Peene, 
but as the imperialists might at any moment move on him, or 
on Kniphausen from the Mecklenburg garrisons, because they 
held the fords over the ToUense at Treptow and Demmin, 
Gustavus gave Kniphausen instructions to move forward on 
all places in his front ; while Kagg was so to operate as to 
seize the line of the Tollense and prevent Kniphausen from 
being taken in flank while he pushed out from Stralsund. 
The joint operation would forestall reinforcements to the 
places they might attack. 

A small Swedish outpost had already been pushed as far 
as Clempenow, and on August 12 Savelli, from Greifswalde, 
where he still was, sent a detachment to watch it. So soon 
as he heard of the fall of the Wolgast fort, he himself broke 
up from Greifswalde, and at the head of nearly all his force 
marched, by way of Demmin, on Clempenow, receiving 
on the way a reinforcement from Grarz. On August 28 he 
stormed Clempenow. The garrison of barely a hundred 
men — far too small a force to put where it was — defended 
itself with true Swedish heroism ; nearly the whole niunber 
fell ; one officer and six men surrendered. This gave Savelli 
control of the Tollense region, and he at once strengthened 
Demmin, Loitz and Clempenow, while he garrisoned Trep- 


tow, Neu-6randenburg and Friedland. By this salient, basing 
on the Tollense and with apex at Greifswalde, the Swedes 
were thus held back to the coast, and Kniphausen feared that 
Savelli would push on Anklam. 

But Savelli had another idea. It was not so much a stra- 
tegic success as a momentary triumph he desired. The small 
and unprotected town of Pasewalk was held by a hundred and 
fifty Swedes as an outpost to Stettin. It should have been 
occupied in greater force, but Gustavus felt that he needed 
all his troops in Oderburg, especially as he was organizing a 
movement to Mecklenburg, and was reluctant to eat up his 
aggregate in garrisons. For the moment, indeed, he was in 
Stralsund ; and it is possible that he did not know how small 
a force there was. Savelli sent to Pasewalk a body of a 
thousand men, and on a foggy morning in early September 
the imperialists surprised the place, of whose condition they 
had learned by the treachery of some townsmen. The citi- 
zens who were on duty fled at the first assault; and the 
Swedes were left to defend themselves in scattered detach- 
ments against the overwhelming force. Nothing could be 
done to save the place. They fell, arms in hand, to the last 
man, and the town was burned to the ground. 

The Swedes and imperialists could boast of about even 
luck, but the Swedes had illustrated the noble qualities 
infused into them by their monarch. 

On the other side of the Oder, Oxenstiern was at the head 
of the reserves in Pillau and Elbing. To open proper land 
communications with him, and to afford safe transportation 
for reinforcements and victual from there, Cammin and Col- 
berg had still to be taken. The duty of clearing the country 
between the Oder and the Elbing region was now intrusted 
to Kniphausen, with whom Oxenstiern cooperated. Accord- 
ing to the then military idea, that every strong place should 


be either taken or observed before any advance could be 
made beyond it, this was no easy business. 

It had been originally agreed between Bogislav and the 
imperialists that the two most important fords of the lower 
Oder, Garz and Greifenhagen, should remain in the hands of 
the Pomeranian troops. On Gustavus' landing, Conti had 
forcibly demanded admittance to these places ; the command- 
ants yielded, and moving in, Conti strengthened the works, 
and imagined that he was after a fashion blockading Stettin. 
Astride the river, he lay strongly intrenched in the Garz 
camp on the left bank of the Oder, connected with the 
right bank by a bridge and a bridge-head, whose approaches 
were covered by the little town of Greifenhagen. Though 
his strength did not warrant Conti in interfering with the 
king^s operations on the coast line and lower Oder, yet Garz 
and Greifenhagen were really the gates of Brandenburg, and 
merely to hold them was a benefit. All Conti pretended to 
do was to ravage the neighboring country, and to attempt to 
throw succor into Colberg. At the same time a small impe- 
rial force was assembling in western Mecklenburg. 

It is no part of our province to detail the fiendish devasta- 
tion, burning, rapine and murders of the imperial troops. 
Scarce a valuable within reach escaped these licensed thieves, 
scarce a woman escaped their lust; not a home but was 
broken up, not a family but was ruined. The elector 
of Brandenburg issued an edict calling on all persons to 
arrest marauders, or, failing ability to do this, to shoot them 
down. But the peasantry was helpless. What could an 
unarmed countryman do against prowling ruffians armed to 
the teeth ? 

In early August, under Christian William, the dispossessed 
administrator, who had secretly returned, Magdeburg rose 
in revolt against the imperial rule and declared in favor of a 


Swedish allianoe. The uprismg was not cleverly manned, 
nor had Gustavus, unprepared for distant busineas, desirod 
sooh early action ; and no sooner had Christian William 
taken the first step than he called on the Swedes to help him 
take the second. Gastavus sent him Colonel Falkenberg, 
with instructions to do all that was possible to put Magde- 
burg in a stAte of perfect defense, and hold it for the Prot- 
estant cause. The king was preparing to march to Mecklen- 
burg; bat Magdeburg was another thing; it was but one 
factor in bia larger calculations, not the main objective of a 
movement. Nor was the road thither opea to him. Just 
now the question of good winter-quarters was occupying his 
. thoughts. To extend his possession of the coast, so as to 
gain a foothold on the Elbe and parley with Hamburg and 
Liibeck, was on bis programme, but not yet reached. Mag- 
deburg was important, but it was not the one important 
thing, and it was far removed. Christian William looked at 
the Swedish plan of campaign from the narrow standpoint of 
his own interest ; Gustavus kept the whole theatre of war in 
his eye. 



DECEMBER, 1630. 

Mbcklenburo had been given to Wallenstein, and GuataynB proposed to 
reinstate the dukes, as well as reach oat towards Liibeok and Hamburg, Mag- 
deburg, Hesse-Cassel and Lauenburg. He left Horn on the Oder, returned 
to Stralsund, and headed a column on Rostock and Wismar. He captured 
Ribnitz, but as the enemy threatened his holdings south of Stralsund, he 
advanced no further, and returned to his ** bastion/* Tilly now replaced Wal- 
lenstein, whose arrogance had given general dissatisfaction, and hosts of the 
latter* s disbanded men enlisted with the Swedes. The king returned to 
Stettin, whence he dispersed a large imperial force near Denmiin, and shortly 
after visited the siege of Colberg, from which he had beaten back several relief 
parties. Though contemplating an advance to the Elbe, he deemed it wise to 
complete his bastion first, and not to close the year without some handsome 
stroke; he made careful preparations to attack Greifenhagen and Gan, fell 
suddenly on them, carried them by storm, and drove tlie imperialists headlong 
up the Oder towards Ctistrin. This was a marked success. The king now prac- 
tically held the entire coast line of Pomerania, and out to East Prussia, and had 
a wedge firmly driven into Germany along the Oder. His standing for the 
coming year was good, if only some of the (German princes would join him. 

So soon as Gustavus had made his base secure, he contem- 
plated a movement into Mecklenburg to restore his cousins, 
the dukes, whose territory had been given to Wallenstein for 
his sei^vices against northern Germany ; to open up connec- 
tion with the duke of Hesse-Cassel, who, so far, was the only 
German prince who had volunteered active aid, with the 
administrator of Magdeburg, who asked for assistance, and 
with the duke of Saxe-Lauenburg, who promised it. Liibeck 
and Hamburg were also on his programme; and while the 
route proposed was not direct, it was the only one he could 


pursue without the permission of the electors to cross Bran- 
denburg and Saxony. The king had been up to Wolgast and 
Stralsund, but had returned early in September. 

The imperialists held Wismar and Kostock, towns which 
Gustavus was anxious to secure, as this route would enable 
him to provision himself for the winter and to keep the impe- 
rial forces from the coast near the lower Oder. Before mov- 
ing towards Mecklenburg, Gustavus made a reconnoissance to 
ascertain whether he could push the enemy from Garz. But 
he foimd their camp so strong that for the moment he declined 
the attack. It looks as if it would have been wiser to dispose 
of the imperial general in his front before undertaking an 
advance apparently so eccentric as one towards Mecklenburg. 
But Gustavus saw that as Conti was boimd to remain, like a 
mole, buried within his fortifications, it was safe to disregard 
him ; he recognized the danger in the enemy's holding Ros- 
tock and Wismar, which ports were necessary to his scheme 
for controlling the shore of the Baltic so as to exclude an 
inimical or even neutral fleet ; he believed that a handsome 
diversion elsewhere would aid eventual operations on the 
Oder ; and he must carefully consider the matter of winter- 
quarters, for which purpose Mecklenburg was well adapted. 

General Gustavus Horn had, in August, brought reinforce- 
ments from Finland and Livonia, and him the king left with 
a large part of the army in Stettin, giving him orders to act 
on the defensive, forward what reinforcements he could col- 
lect, and in case of being attacked by overwhelming odds to 
retire towards his chief. He might use his time in making a 
diversion on Greif swalde, which ought to be had before spring, 
so as to keep communications open between Stettin and Stral- 
sund. Should the Garz army attempt an operation in force 
towards the king, Horn was to let the Greif swalde project go, 
and march to his assistance. 



The king left Stettin by boat, September 4, with three 
thousand men, and reached Wolgast the next day. He 
expected to take over some troops from Teuffel and the Fin- 
landers, and calculated that the ^^ Hamburg" and ^^Liibeck*' 
regiments, with some forces from Prussia, would give his 
column not far from nine thousand foot and four thousand 
horse. But he had pitched his expectations too high. Pur- 
posing to move by sea on Rostock, it not only turned out 
that there were not ships enough, but the reinforcements from 

Prussia were not at hand ; there was a deal of sickness in 


camp, and supplies and money came in slowly. The enemy 
was growing stronger in Garz, and Teuffel was needed in 
Stettin. Worse still, apathy reigned in a population which 
should have risen en masse to welcome Gustavus ; the Ger- 
mans had seen their hope so constantly fail, they had been 
■o woefully ground under the imperial heel, that they dared 

not afford aid and comfort to their 
new champion. 

It was September 9 when Grus- 

tavus reached Stralsund. The 

troops followed six days later, 

and were embarked; but rough 

weather holding them aboard for 

nearly three weeks, about every 

sixth man was ill, and the cavalry 

well-nigh exhausted. Under stress 

of these adverse circumstances, 

Ghistavus substituted a land invar 

sion for the one by sea, and put 

his men and material ashore. 

From Stralsund the column headed for Mecklenburg, the 

frontiers of which were stoutly held by Savelli. Passing 

Barth, the Becknitz was reached, where in the morass made by 



the river near its mouth lay the village of Dammgarten, 
while on the further side of the river, in Mecklenburg, ap- 
proachable by a ford from Dammgarten, was Ribnitas. The 
country had been wasted by the imperial forces; so much 
so that the king was not only called on in many places to 
distribute com to the famishing peasantry, but to refrain 
from victualing in others. He paid in coin -for all that the 
soldiers needed and could collect. 

Dammgarten, though possessing a tower of some strength, 
was held but by ten men, who at once gave it up, and on 
September 25 General Ban^r marched in. In Kibnitz were 
one hundred and fifty foot and two hundred horse, and 
the ford was protected by a redoubt in the marsh, with a 
ditch twenty-five feet wide and fifteen feet deep, a palisaded 
wall, eighty men, and a number of guns. Two smaller 
redoubts flanked the main one. Expecting the fleet to co- 
operate in taking Rostock and Wismar, Grustavus had no 
siege-guns with him; bad weather still kept the ships at 
Stral9un(U and only the light fieldpieces were on hand. To 
avoid this redoubt, Gustavus threw two pontoon bridges 
across the river near the mouth, and though the imperial gar- 
rison sought to disturb the work, on the 26th it was ready, 
and next day Gustavus appeared before Ribnitz. 

The enemy's horse came out for a skirmish, but meeting a 
bold front they retired towards Rostock. The foot resisted 
for a short hour, when the gates were blown open by petards, 
the place entered, and the imperialists taken prisoners. The 
heavy guns having arrived, the garrison in the redoubt which 
had refused to surrender was battered out. A foothold in 
Mecklenburg was thus obtained, and the troops were given a 
short rest in Ribnitz. 

Here the king learned that the imperial forces were assem- 
bling in the Demmin country, where Montecuculi — later so 



distiDguished — had arrived with a body of horse ; and believ- 
ing that they were about to follow him into Mecklenburg to 
head off his further advance, he ordered Horn to send him 
all the troops he could spare, keeping in Stettin and Anklani 
only what was needed for defense. 

Meanwhile on October 2, with one thousand men, Gusta- 
vus set out to capture a small but strong fort near Wiistrow, 
on the inlet known as the Binnensee ; next day the garrison 
surrendered, and the ground so far occupied was duly strength- 

The imperialists had formerly got possession of Rostock 
by a ruse. It was guarded only by its citizens, and the impe- 
rial troops asked permission to march through the place to 
save an inconvenient circuit. Once in, they remained, and 
held the town for Wallenstein. It was a place of impor- 
tance; this port and Wismar once secured by the Swedes, 
they would control the entire coast from Stralsund to 
Liibeck, on the friendship of which city Gustavus placed 
considerable reliance. Ribnitz was a sort of outwork to 
Rostock; but the capture of the latter place would con- 
sume time ; the situation in the Demmin region in the centre 
of his line appeared to require the king's personal attention 
more than a siege on an extreme flank ; and he renounced 
his present design upon Rostock and turned to other busi- 

While Gustavus was threatening Mecklenburg, the impe- 
rialists had not been idle. Conti had tried the strength of 
the Stettin works, but was driven back with a loss of three 
hundred men ; and some slight exchanges occurred between 
foragers, with attempts on Damm and Gollnow, and on Buch- 
holtz near Damm. To watch Gustavus" operations so as to 
join him if necessary, and to conduct the small war thus 
forced upon him, kept Horn busy enough. 


Gustavus had a singularly fertile brain, and his correspond- 
ence details a variety of plans which from time to time he 
considered, generally rejecting all but that which was at the 
moment most available. Though the matter has no bearing 
on the manoeuvres which now ensued, it is interesting to fol- 
low out the king's ideas. His general scheme before pushing 
the imperial army to battle — always his ultimate object — 
was to stimulate the activity of the friends of the cause, and 
to encourage the arming of the Protestant population all over 
the theatre of war. He hoped from available resources, the 
Netherlands, Prussia, Poland, Livonia, as well as Germany, 
to increase his aggregate force to seventy or eighty thousand 
men, not coimting allies. With this strength he had consid- 
ered a specific scheme of moving in five different armies for- 
ward from along the whole coast line, Colberg, Stralsund, 
Liibeck, the Weser and Bremen, in more or less concentric 
lines, upon the heart of Germany. This was an apparently 
dangerous division of forces, warrantable only on the assump- 
tion that some of these columns would be those of allies 
whose active aid he could not otherwise hope to obtain, and 
who would for the time being assist in a negative if not a 
positive way. In effect it was to be an operation on two 
lines : one through central Germany and one up the Oder, 
straight on Vienna. 

This five-column plan is spread out in a letter to Oxenstiem 
from Ribnitz, dated October 8, 1630. Horn and Teuffel, says 
the king, should have forty-six thousand men, march up the 
Oder, holding Brandenburg and Silesia ; the king with forty- 
two thousand, the *'*' Royal Army," would base on Pomerania 
and Mecklenburg ; the fourth should be a Magdeburg army 
of ten thousand men, whose task should be the Elbe country ; 
the Hanse towns, led by the archbishop of Bremen, should 
cooperate with Hamilton and Leslie, both of whom were 


expected to raise considerable forces. These columns, a hun- 
dred thousand and over strong, would, thought the king, be 
sure to coni{)el a peace. This was a sanguine view of the 
case, and though it was based on a strength which Gustavus 
was fairly warranted in believing that he could raise during 
the coming winter, it was perhaps too rose-colored a scheme ; 
and to do Oxenstiem justice, he saw this aspect of the plan, 
and told the king that he would find his means unequal to it. 
The chancellor was, unquestionably, an able man, much more 
conservative than the king, and his best adviser. His weak- 
ness lay in his sometimes leaning towards a defensive policy, 
and with all his strong sense, he lacked the divine afflatus. 
His own plan, which in this same month he worked out with 
a great deal of care, was to garrison Pomerania with twelve 
thousand men ; to project a column of fourteen or fifteen 
thousand men along the Oder through Silesia, under Horn ; 
while the Royal Army should consist of over thirty thousand, 
and be manoeuvred to meet the imperial forces on the Elbe. 

The king in this instance gave heed to Oxenstiem's ideas, 
especially as the late harvest in Sweden had not been up to 
the usual mark, and taxes lay heavily on the people. His 
own plan had been but tentatively drawn up; for, long 
before it could be inaugurated, there came about a marked 
change in the existing conditions, very much in his favor, 
and still he did not attempt to carry it out. 

A congress in Ratisbon to devise means to put an end to 
the war in Germany had been sitting nearly six months, and 
it ended, in November, 1630, in the emperor's investing 
Count Tilly with supreme command in the place of Wallen- 
stein, against whom the Catholic potentates had conceived a 
great prejudice, for his unmeasured assumption and the utter 
license of his troops. The result of this change was tiiat a 
large part of the army, enlisted for service under Wallenstein's 


personal command, was disbanded, and the total imperial forces 
were reduced to some seventy thousand men, of which the 
bulk were in southwestern Germany, or engaged in the war in 
Italy. Thus in the early part of the Grerman campaign, the 
emperor was unable to meet Ghistavus' invasion with suffi- 
cient forces. Considerable numbers of these disbanded men 
enlisted under Gustavus' banner; and it is as wonderful a 
thing to say of the king that he made good soldiers of men 
spoiled by Wallenstein's fearful indiscipline, as to tell of 
Hannibal that he made out of the riff-raff of southern Italy 
soldiers who could stand up against the legions of Marcellus 
and Nero. Thus reinforcements came from an unexpected 
quarter ; and Falkenberg's men began to come forward from 
Holland. Had Gustavus intended a definite adherence to the 
five-column plan, he would have been in better shape to carry 
it out than in October he could have hoped to be. 

It appears singular to us that upon the displacement of 
Wallenstein the disbanding of substantially all the imperial 
army should follow. But the method of raising troops at 
that day was peculiar. Wallenstein no doubt had, with each 
regimental commander, a personal contract under which the 
latter served and received pay for himself and his men ; and 
this contract fell when Wallenstein ceased from command. 
Many who had been in the imperial service before may have 
remained as a nucleus of a fresh army ; many may have been 
sent in small bodies to other armies ; but most of the men 
were mustered out with their general, and were at liberty to 
enlist where they would. It was all one to them. 

The chief complaint made by every member of the Congress 
of Ratisbon was the ill behavior of Wallenstein's forces, 
from whose depredations friends and foes alike had suffered ; 
and after his dismissal, orders were issued to keep the men 
under severe restraint ; but troops which have once enjoyed 


a loose rein cannot be fully brought in hand ; and Germany 
was never freed from the worst horrors of war until her ter- 
ritory was occupied by Gustavus ; nor indeed after the king's 
death was humanity in war an element recognized by his 
successors, or if recognized, enforced. 

At the time of Wallenstein's dismissal, it is said that Gus- 
tavus approached him through Count Thum to negotiate for 
his services ; but this will be referred to later. 

Gustavus definitively gave up his five-column scheme. He 
was not ready to launch out on so broad a manoeuvre. Taught 
by the apathy of the Protestant princes, his caution came to 
the surface, as in his German campaigns it so often and so 
felicitously did ; he choked down the Vasa recklessness, — as 
Charles XII. was never able to do, — and concluded to narrow 
his operations to the completion of his bastion, to concentrate 
instead of parceling out his forces, and for the nonce to 
operate on some point in the Tollense line. This looks like a 
marked descent from his larger scheme ; but it was just this 
caution, method, exactness, which Gustavus was to teach the 
world. His base was not yet perfectly secure, and he delayed 
bolder operations until he should have made it so. We shall 
see him in rapid action before many months. He selected 
Demmin as his objective, and left Baner with some three or 
four thousand troops to blockade the place, and to hold the 
territory between it and the Recknitz River, while he returned 
to Stettin with four thousand men. Shortly after, learning 
that six thousand troops under Savelli had marched to the 
relief of Denunin, he broke up thither with a force of four 
thousand men, met the imperialists in the vicinity of the 
place, engaged them, and, by the greater mobility of the 
Swedish infantry and its dashing courage, defeated and drove 
them back to Rostock with loss of their entire artillery and 
train and many standards. 


Here again was a briUiant feat of arms, the details and the 
exact locality even of which are unknown. Records were ill 
kept in this era. Were it not that the bare facts are suffi- 
ciently vouched for by the Swedish dispatches and the impe- 
rial records, we should be tempted to set down some of 
these successes as mere paper-victories. But Gustavus was 
quite free from that particular weakness which induces a man 
to claim a victory or hide a defeat. His mind was too com- 
prehensive to seek for such adventitious aid. It is we who 
lose by not knowing the details; the victor himself loses 

Gustavus returned to Stettin. During his absence Schaum- 
berg, the successor of Conti, had made a further useless 
attempt to take Stettin, and had then sent a force to release 
Colberg from the Swedish blockade. At the moment, this 
was one of the most important places along the coast. The 
king's initial plan was to extend his base so as to include the 
whole Baltic shore, much as Alexander deemed the whole east 
coast of the Mediterranean essential as a base from which 
to advance into Persia. The Swedes already held a goodly 
part of the shore line, and Colberg, a strong fortress, was 
indispensable to complete it. The operations so far had 
isolated the town, and cut it off from Garz ; but so long as it 
was held by an imperial garrison, it threatened the left flank 
of the Swedish line, as well as communications with Oxen- 
stiern in Prussia ; and even Gustavus was not yet free from 
the prejudice of the day with regard to fortresses. 

Colberg was held by Colonel Mors, and blockaded by Colo- 
nel Sperreuter. On September 23 the imperialists at Garz 
sent five companies of cavalry to make their way into the 
place; but Horn heard of their presence, headed them off, 
and compelled them to return by a long circuiL The garri- 
son feared its ability to hold out. 


Ejiiphausen, who was now in charge of the Colberg region, 
expected to operate mainly with troops to come from Oxen- 
stiem. Towards the end of October Horn ascertained from 
deserters and scouts that a marked stir in Garz indicated a 
movement in force towards Colberg. He strengthened GoU- 
now, and sent word to Kniphausen to hurry forward the 
oncoming Prussian troops to Belgard or Cbrlin, and occupy 
the line of the Persante. Kniphausen was active. He made 
Schievelbein the rallying-point of all arriving troops, and 
threw several companies into it ; but the Prussian troops were 
much delayed. 

On November 7 Horn got news of the actual march of a 
heavy column from Grarz in the direction of Colberg. Delay- 
ing a day lest the manoeuvre shoidd be a mere feint to lure 
him from Stettin, Horn marched by Gollnow and Greifenberg 
to Treptow. Instructed of his purpose, Kniphausen, still on 
the Persante, left a suitable force under Colonel Hepburn to 
hold this position, cautioned Sperreuter to stand firm, and 
contain the garrison of Colberg, and himself marched to 
Treptow, which he reached November 10. From here the 
two Swedish generals moved to Bossentin near Colberg to 
await the enemy. 

The imperialists had made a big circuit to avoid detection, 
and on the night of November 10 their column reached 
Schievelbein. Here Colonel Munroe held head against 
their attack, and they swerved off towards Colberg. Keep- 
ing out his patrols, Horn was well advised of their move- 
ments, and they advanced until they found that Horn stood 
athwart their path. Discouraged, they turned to retire, but 
Horn followed and gave them battle. A heavy fog prevented 
the possibilities of good management, and after desultory 
fighting, Horn, who had accomplished his aim, fell back to 
the Persante, and the imperialists towards their base, their 


attempt to relieve Colberg having proven a dismal failure. 
Lest in his absence his camp should be attacked, Horn then 
returned to Stettin by the direct road. 

The movements of the Swedes in Mecklenburg aud Pome- 
rania had so far been parts of one great whole. From Rib- 
nitz Gustavus was reaching out towards Liibeck and project- 
ing an operation towards the Elbe. The duke of Saxe- 
Lauenburg, a small principality on the lower Elbe, was pre- 
paring to join him, while Magdeburg, further up the river, 
stood as an allied outpost in front of this right flank. As Ghis- 
tavus progressed with his movement on Ribnitz, Magdeburg 
loomed up in his mind as a suitable point on the Elbe for 
him to occupy in force. But it was not to be. Christian 
William, the administrator, was unfortimately not the man to 
second Gustavus' broad plan, even in so far as his one city 
fitted into it ; and Lauenburg proved too weak to accomplish 
his aim. After a short period of success the latter succumbed 
to Pappenheim in a battle at Ratzburg, — a failure that drew 
the fire of Liibeck, which had been recruiting for the king. 
These new factors in the problem made it doubtful 
whether Gustavus could accomplish any strategic good by 
pushing forward to the Elbe at the present moment. To 
entertain an army might be difficidt, as the season was get- 
ting late, and the financial question was not an easy one. 
Troops and material arrived slowly from Prussia, and an 
advance meant to consume large forces for garrisons. The 
enemy had reinforced the troops in Mecklenburg, and to 
advance would open to attack the newly conquered bastion. 
Already somewhat reduced by labor and sickness, the army 
ought soon to be given its winter rest. 

As he coidd place no reliance on German aid, Gustavus 
was convinced that he must concentrate his efforts. Yet his 
instinct as a soldier called on him to end the campaign by 


some stroke worthy of his reputation. It was as much a 
matter of moral effect as of material gain that he was aim- 
ing to compass, to show that the Snow King had come to 
Grermany on no child's errand. But how? By advancing 
towards the Elbe he coidd make no sensible gain, and not 
to win was of itself failure. On studying the entire situation, 
he determined to return to Stettin, to draw the enemy from 
Garz and beat him in the field, or to attack him where he 
stood. Kniphausen still held for the advance to the Elbe. 
Horn and Teuffel were of Gustavus' opinion, but they coun- 
seled speed, lest the enemy should retire to Frankfort and 
intrench his winter-quarters. 

Gustavus had returned to Stralsund. Oxenstiem was 
ordered to forward cavalry as soon as possible ; Kniphausen 
was drawn on for troops for Stettin ; Ban^r was to complete 
the works near Ribnitz, garrison it, and then join Gustavus ; 
the infantry to be sent via Wolgast to Horn ; Gustavus him- 
self, with the cavalry, would march to Stargard, be joined by 
Sperreuter and the Prussian cavalry, making a total of thir- 
teen thousand five hundred foot and six thousand horse, and 
with these the king purposed to move on Garz. 

All this was admirably planned. But Oxenstiem wrote 
that he could only send the Prussian troops by detachments, 
and Kniphausen reported that he could scarce spare a hun- 
dred men. For a moment Gustavus was uncertain what to 
do ; then his courage rose to the occasion, and he determined 
to go on with the plan, be his force more or less. 

It was at this time that he heard of the enemy's failure to 
relieve Colberg. On November 16 he reached Greifenberg, 
and here Horn, Kniphausen and Baudissin were ordered for 
consultation. As a result, Horn was instructed to remain 
near Colberg ; Baner and Ake Tott were drawn in from 
Mecklenburg to reinforce him ; Gustavus returned to Stettin. 


On November 21 he reached the city, and heard sundry 
rumors of a renewed attempt on Colberg. He scarcely 
believed this probable, for the enemy, after the late experi- 
ence, would be unapt to break up with a small force, and a 
large one woidd at this season have difficidty in victualing ; 
but he notified Horn to instruct the population along the 
probable route to drive their cattle to a place of safety. The 
imperialists, however, were contemplating a movement, in the 
belief that the Swedes would not expect one. So soon as 
Gustavus satisfied himself of the fact, he ordered Horn from 
Greifenberg down to the line of the Ihna, to take up a posi- 
tion between Stargard and GoUnow and hold the fords, and 
to draw, if essential, from Bauer's and Dargess' troops. On 
December 1, while Horn was carrying out his instructions, 
he received new ones from Gustavus, who had ascertained 
that the proposed movement was delayed or postponed, that 
only five or six thousand foot remained in Gai*z, and that, 
owing to scant forage, the cavalry had been cantoned in 
various villages on the east side. Here was an opportunity 
for a stroke. Gustavus could either collect his cavalry and 
fall smartly on the enemy's scattered horse ; or he could call 
in from Horn all available forces, join them to his own, 
and with this column attack the depleted Garz intrench- 
ments. He summoned Horn, Kniphausen and Baudissin to 
Gollnow for a conference. 

Gustavus was one of the men who belies the old military 
saw that a council of war never fights. Having sought the 
opinion of his marshals and thus become familiar with all the 
facts, he himself decided, and always for a vigorous policy. 

It is not usual to detail the to and fro manoeuvres of troops 
under the orders and counter-orders given by the command- 
ing general as the kaleidoscopic game changes under his eye ; 
only the marches or attacks finally decided on are wont to be 


mentioned, while the intermediate period, during which the 
commander is fencing to discover his enemy's weak guard, is 
ignored ; but it is interesting now and then to enter into even 
petty details ; for all operations, however large, are made up 
of these, and it is the general who gauges accurately the mean- 
ing of the information brought in by his scouts, and who 
then orders skillfully, that succeeds on the chessboard of war. 
Gustavus was by no means certain of the outcome of the 
attack he proposed to deliver ; but to make provision for an 
unsuccessful result and then to put his whole soid into the 
work was natural to his character. He had determined that 
the campaign should not end until he had forced a battle on 
the enemy, but he recognized the dangers which might follow 
failure. Like all his utterances, his letter dated December 5, 
to John Casimir, commending Sweden and his own wife and 
daughter to his care in case of disaster, is affecting. And 
his instructions to the Swedish people were to the last degree 
explicit. When Tott and Ban^r were ordered away from 
Stralsund, Generals Sten Bjelke, Rynnig and Soop were left 
in joint command, — a curious division of authority which 
largely obtained all through the era of which we are treating. 
Eighteen hundred and fifty men were left in Stralsund, and 
Anklam, WoUin, Cammin, Uckermiinde, Barth and Bibnitz 
each had a garrison, — the total of garrisons in places already 
captured running up to ten thousand six hundred men. To 
these joint commanders Gustavus gave orders, in case of dis- 
aster, to look well to Stralsund, — so that it might be at all 
hazards kept safe for Sweden. Shoidd they need it, they were 
at liberty to draw in some or all of the garrisons of adjoining 
towns ; but they were in no case to lose courage or to give up 
Stralsund. The command in Stettin, where forty-four hun- 
dred men were left in garrison, was given to Colonels Carl 
Ban^r and Leslie. Early in December the available troops 


were got together ; Tott's and Ban^r's regiments were ordered 
in from west Pomerania, Horn's corps and other troops from 
east Pomerania. Some twenty-five hundred horse came from 
Prussia and, added to the force from Stettin, the king col- 
lected eight thousand foot and six thousand horse, ten siege- 
guns, each drawn by twenty-four horses, and a number of 
field-pieces. Part of the force was to go by land from Damm, 
where they rendezvoused, part by water on the fleet, which 
had been all along lying in the Oder at Stettin ; and after 
careful inspection, on December 24 the start was made, and 
Gustavus set out to drive the enemy from his intrenchments. 
That the imperial forces in Garz were in a wretched plight 
from cold and hunger, and in a worse state of discipline, — 
actually in no condition at this season to withstand the 
Swedish army, — justified the selection by the king of this 
moment for moving upon them, though he had no entirely 
reliable evidence to go upon, but rather judged from his 
military experience and instincts. It was in truth so. Count 
Schaumberg, the new commander of the imperial forces on 
the Oder, gave to his chief, Tilly, the most distressing reports 
of the condition of the army, in which, said he, there were 
not over four thousand footmen fit for service. The cavalry 
was better, but half was dismounted and all inefficient. He 
begged for an inspector who should report the state of the 
forces turned over to him by Conti, and with which he was 
held to show results. It was the lack of victual which had 
driven him to send away the horse to the outlying districts, 
even so far as the Neumark. In the Swedish camp matters 
were on a better footing. The home troops were in good 
shape ; the newer recruits were getting into order ; all were 
warmly clad, fairly well fed, full of an excellent spirit, and 
in condition for any work. The difference between the old 
system and that introduced by Gkistavus was pronounced. 


Colonel di Capua lield Oreifenhagen with some thousand 
men ; the rest lay in the camp at Garz. Sohaumberg hegan 
already to thick of retreat to Landsberg to defend the line 
of the Warta. He 
harbored fears that 
both it and Frank- 
fort might fall, and 
his retreat to Silesia 
be out off, but he 
did not feel war- 
ranted in leaving 
his post without 
instructions from 
Tilly. He did 
not anticipate an 
immediate attack ; 
and his position was 
good though his 
troops were not. 

Greifenhagen lay 
on low ground be- 
tween the Beglitz 
and a line of hills which slope down towards it. These hills 
command the town, which had only a wall of no great strength, 
with a few towers but no flanking bastions, and a dry ditch 
protected by another light wall. 

The route of the Swedes lay along both sides of the Oder, 
and the army was accompanied by the flotilla and a flying 
bridge, to keep up connection between the separated wings. 
Marching on the right bank, the Swedish van reached Grei- 
fenhagen late in the evening, and after a smart skirmish, drove 
the imperialists within walls. Don Capua had no idea that 
GostaTua with Us entire army was upon him ; he looked on 

Hie Attack OD Omn. 


the body as a mere reconnoissanoe. The Swedes camped over- 
night in a wood near by. Next morning all joined in a solemn 
Christmas-day service, and the attack was begun. Some of 
the siege-guns were hauled up to the highest hill, not a musket- 
shot distant from the town, and, protected by an infantry 
detachment, opened fire. In a short while a breach was made, 
and the king in person headed the assaidting party. Twice 
the Swedes were driven back, but on the third attempt the 
imperialists gave ground, and Don Capua, who had behaved 
with gallantry, was forced to turn from the fierce onslaught. 
But Leslie lay in wait in the rear of the imperialists, on the 
Oder, aboard the boats, and by a heavy fire drove them back 
on the Swedish line of musketry. Thus hemmed in, the 
entire force surrendered. Gustavus' loss was small ; that of 
the enemy was reported between one and two hundred. 
Startled from his fancied security, Schaumberg made up his 
mind to summary retreat, if possible towards west Pomerania 
to join the imperial forces on the Tollense, where, by a vigor- 
ous push, he might make the Swedes nervous as to their 
communications, and thus draw the fire of their advance up 
the Oder. 

Next day Gustavus broke up early and marched along the 
right bank towards Marwitz, near by which a fort protected 
the bridge to Garz. This bridge-head had a deep wet ditch 
and was strongly held. The king anticipated resistance, and 
the army marched on the place in order of battle. But the 
garrison did not even wait their coming. So soon as the van 
of horse put in its appearance, they withdrew over the bridge, 
burned it, and took up a position in a work on the further 
side. Out of this they were driven by the Swedish artillery, 
and thence retired to Gturz. 

Schaumberg no longer delayed ; he could not reach west 
Pomerania, for the Swedes on the left bank were upon him. 


He burned the Oder bridge at Garz, threw his guns into the 
marsh, destroyed so far as he was able the public buildings, 
gates and defenses, as well as the victual he coidd not carry 
off, and marched hastily away to the south, putting the torch 
to every village on the route, and leaving scarce a spear of 
grass behind. 

Cavalry under Baudissin was sent in pursuit, which cap- 
tured much material, said to have included three hundred 
wagons full of plunder; and detachments were hurried on 
towards Ciistrin and Landsberg to cut the enemy off from the 
fords and bridges there. Following to Pyritz, Gustavus drove 
out the garrison, which fled headlong ; and Schaumberg 
retired rapidly up the left bank to Frankfort, and marched 
part of his forces to Landsberg on the Warta, to hold the line 
of that important river. The Swedes followed them up, and 
in several rear-guard combats inflicted considerable loss upon 
them, badly cutting up four of the best imperial regiments. 
The king headed direct for Landsberg, and it was lucky for 
the town that he did not know that it was in bad case, with 
few troops, empty magazines, twelve guns, and only eight or 
nine hundred-weight of powder. Ignorant of the facts, Gusta- 
vus did not attack; moreover his men were weary, it was 
bitter cold, his own victual was getting short, and he feared 
imperial concentration on the line of the Warta, which would 
prevent his holding Landsberg, if taken. He retired to 
Kbnigsberg in the Neumark, where he rested his ti*oops, call- 
ing on Horn with the foot and Tott with the cavalry to follow 
up and complete the rout; while Leslie on the left bank 
should advance inland and seize Locknitz, Prenzlow and the 
Uckermark. Patrols were set along the river as far up as 
Schwedt. To be ready for further operations, if these should 
be forced upon him, Ghistavus called for all available troops 
from Oxenstiem and Horn. 



Thongh the king's army bad been much the better and die 
opposition liad been weak, it cannot be denied that he had 
von a brilliant advantage. He had driven the enemy oat of 
good intrenchments, at that day considered a distiaguished 
feat of &rms, and although the operations were neither bloody 
nor on a vast scale, they redounded greatly to his credit. All 
Germany rang with his praises ; in Vienna " they shook with 



GuflTAVUfl had as yet no idea of the petty jealouaiee of the Qerman prinoea. 
He had every right to expect the elector of Brandenburg to stand by him. 
But George William felt more bound to the emperor than to his religion ; he 
aimed at neutrality, but allowed the imperial troops what he denied the Swedes. 
GustaTUB built a fortified camp at B&rwalde, and housed his troops. Here 
Richelieu made a treaty to pay him for keeping thirty-six thousand troops in 
Germany, all mutual friendly states to have due protection, and no violent 
upheavals to be made. Tilly was on the Weser. On hearing of the capture of 
Gan, he started towards the Oder, but shortly returned and undertook, with 
Pappenheim, the siege of Magdebuig. The Protestants held a convention in 
Leipeic, and though Gustavus was in Germany at the request of many of them, 
there was no mention of the king in their deliberations. Anxious to complete 
his base on the Oder before he moved to the Elbe, Gustavus sought to aid Mag- 
deburg by threatening Frankfort, so as to draw Tilly away from there, and in 
February Tilly marched to the Oder. Some slight mancBUvring took place, 
but no serious operations, except that Tilly compelled the Swedes to raise the 
■lege of Landsberg. Ghistavus determined to draw him from the Oder into the 
open country. 

Gustavus' trials were about to begin. The military prob- 
lem was difficult enough ; but as yet the king had no idea 
of the complex network of paltry prides and jealousies, of 
private grudges and selfish interests, in which he would now 
be caught, and which would seriously hamper his best efforts. 
It is wonderfid that he had the courage to enter upon any 
campaign in Germany, after tasting the difficidties which 
from the start beset him ; it is doubly wonderful that within 
two years he should have reduced to possession the whole 


G^rge William, the drowsy elector of Brandenburg, had 
repeatedly exchanged embassies with Gustavus, but not to 
offer assistance ; his one aspiration was to save his dominions 
from invasion. Neutrality was his only thought; despite 
which he allowed the passage of Schaumberg's fleeing forces 
through his fortress of Ciistrin, — of itself the baldest breach 
of neutrality. Gustavus demanded equal passage. The elec- 
tor was between the devil and the deep sea. He must offend 
either Gustavus or the emperor ; and either was able to visit 
him with condign punishment. He began early in January 
with a declination to allow Ghistavus to pass Ciistrin, on a 
number of trivial pretexts, mainly his duty to the empire ; 
the king answered by demanding actual possession of the 
fortress, instead of free passage ; the elector must not, said 
Gustavus, shield the imperialists and prate of neutrality. 
Though Gustavus was long-suffering, when he acted it was 
without fear, favor or affection ; but it was difiBcult to say 
how far he might trench on the rights of Brandenburg, lest 
he should force George William into open enmity. He needed 
him as a friend ; he must keep him at least neutral. 

The imperialists had reassembled twelve thousand men in 
Frankfort, and as the elector persisted in denying the Swedes 
a passage through Ciistrin, Gustavus, unwilling to advance 
with this fortress and Landsberg in his rear, for the moment 
pocketed his wrath, and took up quarters at Schwedt, and at 
Barwalde, on the right bank of the Oder, at which latter place 
he constructed an intrenched camp, and housed his main force. 
He repaired the Garz works in order to keep open his Oder 
line; blockaded Landsberg with four thousand men under 
Tott ; and sent out detachments to clean Brandenburg of the 
isolated plundering bands of imperialists which were overrun- 
ning the country and harassing a friendly population. He 
would have been glad to push on and relieve Magdeburg 


from Pappenheim's blockade ; but his Swedes needed rest ; it 
was winter ; his new recruits had to be got into shape ; and, 
above all, his base was not yet free from danger. Should he 
march to the Elbe, his line of operation would be open to 
interruption by the imperialists from Frankfort ; and indeed, 
in the present tone of the electors of Brandenburg and Sax- 
ony, he coidd not venture to cross their territory. 

Gustavus had good reason for self-gratulation. In six 
months the Swedes had advanced from the seacoast to the 
line of the Warta, leaving in the emperor*s possession, within 
the line covered by the Trebel-ToUense-Ucker, only Demmin 
and Greif swalde, and east of the Oder only Colberg ; these 
places were blockaded by his forces, and Ban^r lay on the 
frontier of Mecklenburg with four thousand men. 

It is true that Ghistavus had secured so easy a triumph 
against no well-organized resistance. Couti had been dis- 
tinctly unskillful ; and what with Wallenstein dismissed and 
his forces disbanding, with Tilly far off in the Weser country, 
seeking to gather Wallenstein*s men into the fold of the 
League, though the aggregate of the enemy had been large, 
only isolated garrisons and weak divisions had been on hand 
to oppose him. He had encountered more political than 
military opposition. With the true soldier's ardor, he had 
hoped for a battle ; but not only had he met no real army 
in the field to outmanoeuvre and beat ; it took many weary 
months to force Tilly to the point of risking his master's 
cause in a general engagement. 

In the camp at Barwalde Gustavus lay in the early weeks 
of 1631, busying himself with recruitment and discipline, to 
prepare his men for more vigorous measures in the spring, 
and with urging the Protestant princes to concerted action. 
He issued a proclamation to all who had fled from imperial 
cruelties to return, and many did so. Contributions on the 


country were regularly levied and paid for. Billeted soldiers 
were forbidden to ask more than bed, the right to cook at the 
general fire, salt, and vinegar to correct the bad quality of 
the water of the plains. 

To win the elector of Brandenburg's active help, Gustavus 
used his best endeavors, but this Protestant sovereign, and 
brother-in-law of the king, preferred an ignominious neutral- 
ity ; and — more discreditable still — the head of the Luther- 
ans in Germany, John George of Saxony, simply ignored 
Gustavus' advances. Such was the attitude of the men the 
king had come to aid. In George William's case it was 
hebetude ; in John George's it was jealousy. 

To counterbalance this, there was one real cause of con- 
gratulation. Richelieu plainly desired to cooperate with 
Ghistavus. Former negotiations had failed, owing to certain 
formalities on which both parties could not agree. But on 
January 23, 1631, Gustavus and Louis XIII. concluded a 
five years' treaty, by which the king of Sweden agreed to 
maintain thirty thousand infantry and six thousand horse in 
Germany, against a payment of three hundred thousand 
livres (five livres equaled two rix dollars) for the past year's 
expenses, and a future annual subvention of a million livres, 
payable May 15 and November 15, in Paris or Amsterdam, 
at Gustavus' option. 

The other terms of the treaty contemplated protection of 
mutual friends and of the Baltic, the freedom of commerce, 
and generally the restitution of the status quo ante helium. 
In conquered territory Gtistavus agreed to respect certain 
laws of the empire, and not to disturb the Catholic religion 
where he found it duly established. The treaty was to be 
open for any princes to join who desired to cooperate in the 
common cause. With Bavaria and the League neutrality or 
friendship should be maintained, if they would do their part 


Count Tilly, now in supreme conunand of the imperial 
forces, lay on the Weser awaiting reinforcements from Italy 
and recruits from the League. Though he knew how worth- 
less were his lieutenants and troops on the Oder and the coast, 
he took no action to direct or relieve them. A slow, old-fash- 
ioned soldier, not able, if measured by the high standard, yet 
not without marked capacity in his way, Tilly was noted for 
never having lost a great battle. He had always waited for 
the advantage to be on his side before engaging ; but he was 
far behind the times in dealing with such an antagonist as 
Gustavus. Count Pappenheim had repeatedly urged his chief 
to head off the Swedes in overrunning the land, but to no 
avail. Tilly would not move till he got ready. 

Out of this inert mood he was rudely startled by the disas- 
ter to Schaumberg, who wrote that he had saved a bare four 
thousand foot and an equal number of horse; and that it 
would be lucky if he could hold Frankfort and Landsberg, 
for the king was aiming at the roads to Silesia, and his own 
men were down-hearted to the last degree. On receiving 
Schaumberg's first intelligence, Tilly had broken camp ; on 
January 9 he was in Halberstadt; January 13, in Calbe. 
His lax habit had lost him Garz and Greifenhagen. 

The Protestant princes, in the beginning of February, 
1631, assembled in Leipsic at the invitation of the elector 
of Saxony. There were represented the houses of Saxony, 
Brandenburg and Hesse, and some smaller principalities, as 
well as all the free towns. This body was convened to devise 
measures for withstanding the imperial tyranny, but it actu- 
ally accomplished nothing, and it is a marvelous fact that in 
their deliberations, which lasted two months, Gustavus was 
not even mentioned. The tone of the convention was given by 
the elector of Saxony, who still deemed it possible, by simple 
appeals to Ferdinand and without war, to bring back matters 


to their original basis and to reconcile the Protestant and 
Catholic claims. The convention acted as if Germany was 
in a state of profound peace, instead of almost on the eve of 
political and social disruption. Except for what was said by 
William of Hesse, not a voice was raised which fairly repre- 
sented the disturbance which prevailed. In answer to all the 
advances of Gustavus, only a timid outside intimation was 
conveyed to him that, under favorable conditions and on his 
own pledges to do and to refrain from doing all manner of 
uncertain things, the friendship and good-will of the Evan- 
gelical principalities might perhaps be extended to him. 
John George still believed Gustavus to be an unessential 
factor in the problem, and still hoped that he could sway 
obstinate, high-handed Ferdinand by meekly worded corre- 
spondence. For all the Protestant body paid any heed to 
him or his doings, Gustavus might as well have remained 
quietly in Sweden. Such were his German friends. 

Meanwhile, the imperial forces had been winning some 
successes in the Elbe country. Christian William, in the late 
summer of 1630, had armed Magdeburg, Halberstadt and 
other neighboring towns, had driven the imperial forces from 
the region, and carried on an assiduous small war. But his 
success was short-lived. Pappenheim, with seventeen thou- 
sand men, having, as already narrated, surrounded the duke 
of Lauenburg and captured his army on the lower Elbe, 
returned and blockaded Magdeburg in September. 

This was not the first attack on this proud Hanse city. 
In the summer of 1629 Wallenstein, engaged in enforcing 
the Edict of Restitution, had laid siege to it, but mindful of 
the failure at Stralsund and of his own reputation, had 
accepted a ransom of one hundred thousand dollars, and left 
in September. Magdeburg then patched up a treaty, offen- 
sive and defensive, with the other League towns, — Ham- 


burg, Lubeck, Bremen, Brunswick and Hildesheim. In 
June, 1630, the ex-administrator got possession of the place, 
and made the treaty already mentioned with Gustavus in 
August, by which the king agreed to have a heed to the city 
in all its dangers, to defend it without cost, never to forsake 
it, or to conclude any peace in which it was not protected. 
No sooner was this treaty made than Pappenheim appeared 
before it, and opened his lines. 

The fact that such a treaty was made, and the additional 
fact that Magdeburg was captured and sacked before Gusta- 
Yus could reach it, have been made the text of many accusa- 
tions against the Swedish king. It is a common allegation 
that before this disaster could occur, Gustavus was bound to 
march to the relief of the city. This is a charge easily made ; 
but there were many considerations for the king to weigh. 
He had but half won his base on the sea or the Oder, and he 
might not lightly prejudice it. Until he could, beyond a per- 
adventure, command the Oder from the line of the Warta 
north, and the entire territory back of the Trebel-Tollense 
line, he was scarcely justified in advancing inland. Accord- 
ing to all reports from Magdeburg, and to all military 
probabilities, the city could hold out against Pappenheim 
indefinitely, and, if Tilly joined him, against both for two or 
three months. The king had small doubt that he could keep 
Tilly in the Oder country by threatening Frankfort, the loss 
of which would open the road through Silesia directly to the 
hereditary possessions of the emperor. He was in constant 
communication with Magdeburg, and thought he knew 
whereof he spoke, and his letters to FaJkenberg show his 
feelings in the matter with perfect clearness. Despite all 
that may be said, it remains true that Grustavus did what was 
humanly possible to succor Magdeburg. He may not have 
foreseen all the difficulties in his path when he made the 


treaty, but he was fairly justified iu assuming that Magde- 
burg could resist a longer siege, and that it would not be (as 
it was) treacherously surrendered by the imperial party 
within its walls ; he sent one of his best officers to take com- 
mand, and money to raise troops ; and he received credible 
information that Tilly was on the point of abandoning the 
siege, as he actually was on the eve of the storm. Still more 
to the point, Gustavus could hardly anticipate the unreason- 
ing opposition of Brandenburg and Saxony ; he had the best 
of reasons for believing that he would have forced the enemy 
to battle long before Magdeburg should weaken ; and he was 
actually within a short march of the city when it was taken. 
It is not worth while, in view of Gustavus' life-work, to 
combat the statement that he deliberately abandoned Magde- 
burg to her fate. If any accusation be brought against him, 
it should be for miscalculation of what he could accomplish 
while Magdeburg held out. All this anticipates the narra- 
tion of the facts, but it is well to bear the matter in mind, in 
order to appreciate the king's operations between the date of 
the treaty and the fall of Magdeburg. 

In February, 1631, the main imperial army under Tilly 
finally made its appearance in Grustavus' front. The aged 
and rather inert generalissimo had been at fault in not sooner 
sustaining his forces on the Oder, but he was unused to the 
winter operations to which the Snow King's activity had forced 
him. After his ineffectual start for the Oder, he had been 
tempted to move to the assistance of Pappenheim at Magde- 
burg ; but when he heard how hard pressed Schaumberg was, 
Tilly began to fear for Silesia, should the line of the Warta 
be lost ; so he abandoned the Magdeburg scheme and crossed 
the Elbe at Dessau. Then via Treuenbrietzen and Saarmund, 
some twenty thousand strong, he marched on Frankfort, which 
he reached January 18, 1631. This gave the imperialists thirty- 


four thousand men. Gustavus had succeeded in helping 
Magdeburg by drawing Tilly from its gates. 

From Frankfort, leaving a garrison of five hundred of his 
best troops in the place, Tilly marched to Landsberg, and 
compelled the Swedes to raise the siege and fall back to the 
main camp at Biirwalde. The sturdy old warrior gave cer- 
tain indications of a readiness to draw the king, who had but 
twenty-five thousand men and many of these detached, from 
his intrenched camp to a battle in the open ; but he did not 
choose to assault the Biirwalde works, nor was a special 
offer of battle made. Gustavus was engrossed with the Meck- 
lenburg problem. Until he should quite clear the imi)erialist8 
out of the territory near the coast, he could not be satisfied 
of its security ; and to sustain Magdeburg in her courageous 
defense, he must advance from a base which could not be 
threatened. The antagonism of Brandenburg and Saxony 
made this all the more true. There was another idea lurking 
in Gustavus' mind : that a threat towards the towns still held 
by the enemy in Mecklenburg would draw Tilly thither from 
the Frankfort region, and afford him an opportunity to return 
and capture this city and Landsberg out of hand. These 
strong places were essential to the operations he contemplated 
between the Elbe and the Oder, but he could scarcely hope to 
get hold of them so long as Tilly was within their walls. And 
by luring Tilly to follow him, he might so manoeuvre as to 
get a chance of battle in the open, or of catching the impe- 
rial army at a disadvantage, while not affording the enemy an 
occasion to return to Magdeburg. 

SwiBS Pikehead. (15th Century.) 



APRIL, 1630. 

With twelve thouBUid men Gkutayns moved into the Demmin region. Tilly 
■lowly followed on a aoatherly route. The king captured Demnoiin and MTeral 
minor towns. Colberg shortly fell, and only Gkeifswalde held out within his 
bastion. He contemplated a moyement on the Elbe, but Tilly showed signs of 
attacking his lines, and the king feared he might break through. Instead of 
so large a scheme, Tilly took Neu-Brandenburg, and, massacring the garrison, 
retired towards Magdeburg. Gbstayus believed that a sharp threat on Frank- 
fort would again draw Tilly away from this aUy, and in March, with fourteen 
thousand men and a large force of guns, he advanced up the Oder. Giistrin 
fell, and Frankfort was taken by storm, with a number of general officers. 
This was a brilliant exploit, and for his lesson in audacity modem war is 
indebted to the Swedish king. Advancing on Landsberg, the place surren- 
dered. The bastion was thus pushed forward to the Warta, and the road to 
Vienna was open. Such a situation should have called Tilly away from Mag- 
deburg. Had not Qustavus felt it his duty to relieve the city, he might have 
advanced directly on the emperor. Tilly did indeed start to the relief of 
Frankfort, but being too late, headed back to Magdeburg. The Swedish hold- 
ing was now a semicircle from Mecklenburg to Prussia, with a chain of strong 
places aU the way, Frankfort in the centre. 

In pursuance of his design to entice Tilly away from the 
Oder, Qustavus left Horn in a camp at Soklin, with six cav- 
alry and six infantry regiments fronting towards the Warta, 
and under orders to hold the enemy to the Landsberg-Ciistrin 
line; not to risk an engagement, but to act defensively 
against superior forces ; and to seize Frankfort and Lands- 
berg if the opportunity offered. Horn's reserves would lie 
in Pyritz, Stargard and Gollnow, so as to protect the Oder, 
the Neumark and eastern Pomerania. Should the enemy 



go into winter-quarters, Horn might attack Landsberg and 
Driesen, the two most important points on the line of the 

On January 26 Ghistavus himself set out with six cavalry 
and four infantry regiments, plus some Stettin battalions, in 
all twelve thousand men. Kniphausen, who commanded in 
the Stralsund region and was now besieging Greif swalde, was 
sent orders to be ready to join the king. Marching by way 
of Stettin, where he crossed the Oder, past Locknitz, which 
he took, Pasewalk and Waldeck, Gustavus left a small gar- 
rison in Prenzlow. At Neu-Brandenburg the imperialists 
capitulated February 2, and were paroled. The small gar- 
rison of Treptow retired lest it should be taken prisoner, and 

Clempenow was captured 
a day or two later. To 
hold these towns protected 
the proposed siege of Dem- 
min. It was cold winter 
weather, but the posses- 
sion of western Pomera- 
nia was too important to 
delay till spring. 

Demmin, anciently a 
strong place, had been re- 
paired by the imperial- 
ists. It was the apex of 
the Peene-Trebel-Tollense region. Savelli held it with seven- 
teen hundred men, while in Loitz, near by, lay six hundred 
more, and fifteen hundred in Greif swalde. Demmin was easy 
to fortify, and art had been called to the aid of nature. It 
was surrounded by a bastioned earthwork with a wide wet 
ditch and glacis ; and the vicinity was commanded by a field- 
work inclosing a strong tower, north of the town, on the left 



bank of the Peene and surrounded by the morass made by 
the river. Tilly had told Savelli that he must hold the place 
at least fourteen days, as he had supplies and ammunition in 
abundance. That the marsh was frozen helped the besiegers 
somewhat. In addition to ordering Kniphausen to join him 
at Demmin with all his available foot and some siege-guns, 
the king had instructed Baudissin to march to Treptow with 
his cavalry ; and with eight hundred musketeers he went for- 
ward to reconnoitre Demmin. Torstenson with the artillery 
was to follow to Clempenow. 

The king saw that Loitz had first to be taken, for it stood 
like a detached work on the left bank of the Peene, and pos- 
sessed a castle of some strength. This was accomplished, 
Savelli was cut off from Greifswalde, and the road from 
Stralsund was opened for Kniphausen, whom the king again 
admonished to bring his batteries. 

Tilly met this march of Gustavus by leaving Schaumberg 
in the vicinity of Frankfort with eight thousand men, and 
starting himself with twenty thousand for Mecklenburg. 
Perturbed at the situation, he had delayed some time. If 
he left Frankfort, he feared that Horn would seize on Lands- 
berg ; if he stayed, that Ghistavus would advance across the 
Havel on Magdeburg. Finally he chose the least dangerous 
course and set out early in February. He could break through 
Gustavus' lines at Prenzlow, Neu-Brandenburg, or some point 
on the Trebel-Recknitz, if he wanted to go to the relief of 
Greifswalde ; or he could march straight to the Havel, if he 
proposed to attack Magdeburg. His course was plain. During 
the ensuing manoeuvres Tilly was seeking to draw Gustavus 
away from Frankfort and the open road to Silesia, as well as 
to prevent his marching to the relief of Magdeburg; and 
Gustavus' aim was to keep Tilly from adding his army to the 
besieging forces at Magdeburg, and to take Frankfort and 


Landsberg from him by a stratagem. On the direct road up 
the Oder the king had got possession of all the towns, so 
that Tilly was obliged to move his columns by a detour south 
of Berlin: via Beskow, Fiirstenwalde, Mittenwalde, Saar- 
mund, Brandenburg and Neu-Ruppin. This, to be sure, 
enabled him to cover the line of the Havel, which would head 
Gustavus off from Magdeburg ; but he was seriously delayed 
on his march by the opposition of several towns. 

The king learned of Tilly's march, from Horn, on February 
10. Selecting Malchin as a good outpost to prevent inter- 
ference with his operations against Demmin, he ordered 
Kniphausen and Baudissin thither; and meanwhile dis- 
patched Captain Moltke with thirty-six horse to reconnoitre 
the place. This officer managed to make the enemy believe 
that the king was close by with the Demmin army, and seized 
the town, though the garrison was thrice the size of his own 
force. For a mere scouting party, this was a pretty opera- 
tion, and opened the way for the approaching troops. On 
February 12 Gustavus marched from Loitz on Demmin, send- 
ing cavalry ahead to cut off Savelli from retreat. On the 
13th he reached the work on the left bank, whose garrison of 
Landsknechte retired to the tower. Out of this they were 
driven by mining, and rather than be blown into the air they 
surrendered, the men enlisting under the Swedish colors. 
At the same time approaches were opened and pushed on 
the right bank against Denmiin. In two days Savelli con- 
cluded he had better make terms. He was allowed to retire 
with the honors of war, conditioned on his army and himself 
not serving in Pomerania and Mecklenburg for three ensu- 
ing months. Having yielded up a place which could have 
offered a long resistance, Savelli withdrew to Neu-Ruppin. 
Much artillery and a large supply of corn and forage 
fell to the Swedes. Tilly found grievous fault with his 


lieutenant ; he would accept, and indeed there was, no excuse. 
He desired to make an example of Savelli ; but this officer, 
who had friends at court, got off with a few months' arrest, 
and was later given higher employment. The capitulation of 
Demmin allowed free exit for all personal effects. Among 
these was the baggage of Quinti del Ponte, a deserter and 
traitor, who had made an attempt on the king's life, and 
in it the money he had received from his treachery. On 
being asked whether he would confiscate the stuff, Gustavus 
replied that it was included in the terms, and that he had no 
mind to take petty revenge on the man. 

In view of the Swedish successes all along the line, the 
Pomeranian Estates were now persuaded to raise ten thou- 
sand foot and three thousand horse to garrison the land, a 
help which released an equal number of Swedes for the 
field. Gustavus had surely deserved this first assistance. 

For the moment, and not anticipating much manoeuvring 
on Tilly's part, the king appears to have deferred his designs 
on Frankfort in favor of putting his men for needed rest in 
winter-quarters. Behind his curtain of strong places, he 
designed to clean up his work by the capture of Colberg and 
Greifswalde, and perhaps of Rostock and Wismar, and with 
nothing in his rear, the more safely advance to the relief of 
Magdeburg, and approach Hamburg and Liibeck. The pro- 
jected line of winter-quarters was to extend from the Oder to 
Stralsund : Baner in command of the right along the Trebel 
and Tollense ; Kniphausen at Neu-Brandenburg in the cen- 
tre; Teuffel and Baudissin on the left, along the upper 
Ucker ; beyond the Oder, Horn. The strong places on the 
line were Ribnitz, Dammgarten, Tribsies, Demmin, Malchin, 
Clempenow, Treptow, Neu-Brandenburg, Prenzlow, Garz and 
Schwedt. East of the Oder the line would run parallel to 
the Warta-Netze. Near Wolgast were Kagg and Tott with 


the reserve cavalry. The king personally went to Stettin to 
oversee the whole or to plan new operations. Opposite this 
Swedish line lay the imperialists, with an irregular front 
from Frankfort to Magdeburg, and outlying forces in the 
Rostock- Wismar country. 

Not meaning to lie idle because he contemplated winter- 
quarters, Ban^r was instructed by the king to press the siege 
of Greifswalde from the south, but to have a heed lest the 
enemy should break through the line to relieve it. Tott was 
to help with his cavalry, and to lend a hand to Ban^r or 
Kniphausen, as needed. Now that he was quite cut off from 
the imperial army, Ban^r called on the commandant of 
Greifswalde to surrender, but Colonel Perusi refused terms 
and prepared for defense. 

Gustavus had seriously considered a march up the Oder 
through Silesia ; but the attitude of Brandenburg and Sax- 
ony held him back. Tilly's dread in this quarter was ill- 
founded ; but the old-fashioned soldier justly feared some 
operation which he could not fathom, and chose the Ruppin 
country as a good place from which to attack any novel 
problem. In going to Stettin the king left his lieutenants 
with some distrust ; but he had a right to believe that they 
oould hold their own. Kniphausen was active in procui*ing 
information in his front, and late in February had come to 
the conclusion that Tilly was about to attack Prenzlow, so as 
to break through the line to relieve Greifswalde. Gustavus 
had the same notion, and cautioned the officers in command 
to be ready to concentrate to oppose any such attempt. 
Later indications were that Tilly was aiming at Neu-Bran- 
denburg, and Kniphausen sent notice to Bauer and Baudis- 
sin. Like information was received by the king, who sent 
word to Ban^r to sustain Kniphausen, as he could do without 
weakening his siege lines. On March 6 Ban^r reached Fried- 


land, where he was to await the king's further orders ; Bau- 
dissin had broken up towards the same place ; and the king 
likewise prepared to move to Kniphausen's assistance. 

The siege of Colberg had been going on continuously for 
months under Boetius, and finally, on March 2, from lack of 
victual, Colonel Mors surrendered, marched out with the 
honors of war, and was given free passage to Landsberg. 
The fall of Colberg made available the bulk of the garrisons 
of the surrounding places in the Neumark ; Leslie was left 
in command of what remained ; the surplus force was ordered 
to Stettin, and on March 7 Gustavus, thus reinforced, reached 

Meanwhile Tilly slowly advanced to Neu-Ruppin, found 
Savelli there with the Demmin garrison, and learned of the 
loss of Colberg. Thence he headed for Neu-Brandenburg. 

Gustavus had sent word to Kniphausen to hold Neu-Bran- 
denburg manfully (or, if he had to surrender, to make good 
terms), and he would within a few days either relieve him or 
undertake an operation to draw Tilly away. The fact was 
that Ghistavus had begun to revert to his old plan of an 
attack on Frankfort. He did not believe that Tilly was 
merely aiming at Neu-Brandenburg. It scarcely seemed 
worth his while ; he concluded that the imperial general was 
concentrating for a dash on either Stettin or Greifswalde. 
The apex of the Stralsund-Greifswalde position is Demmin, 
and even should Neu-Brandenburg fall, it was no fatal loss, 
for the place could be got back later. It looks a little as if 
Tilly, angered at the loss of Colberg, was at this moment 
willing to come to battle with the king ; but Ghistavus 
thought best to draw him away from his Mecklenburg lines 
by a diversion on Frankfort and Landsberg, convinced that 
he would follow. There was a greater gain here, and less 
danger in case of defeat. In pursuance of this plan, the 


king ordered some of the troops east of the Oder to Krahnig, 
opposite Schwedt, and Torstenson and Carl Ban^r, with some 
artillery, bridge materials and victual, to a camp he had 
intrenched on the Oder between Schwedt and Vierraden. 
Purposing to call Baner to his own side, he left Horn in com- 
mand of the forces behind the Peene, Trebel and Recknitz, 
with orders to cover Wolgast, Loitz and Demmin ; to retire, 
if necessary, on Anklam and Stralsund ; and in case Tilly 
should advance on Gustavus, to follow him up, leaving only 
a small force behind him. 

The king miscalculated. Tilly paid no heed to his move- 
ments. He had indeed no deep design, but was looking for 
some small success. He was not active enough to be seduced 
away by able manoeuvring. From Neu-Ruppin, on March 
12, he reached Stargard, just south of Neu-Brandenburg. 
This latter was not a place which could be easily defended. 
Gustavus called it a ^' naked spot," and Kniphausen had not 
a single gun. Nor had he got the king's final orders ; the 
messengers had been captured; and instead of capitulating 
honorably, the brave old man determined to hold on, and 
thrice refused Tilly's demand, replying that he would defend 
the town to the last man. 

Tilly began a furious cannonade, and kept it up two days, 
breached the mean walls with his artillery, and stormed the 
town March 23. The resistance was heroic ; the fighting of 
the Swedes surprised Tilly beyond measure. Quarter was 
neither asked nor given; four hundred imperialists fell; 
Tilly gave the town up to plunder, and annihilated the gar- 
rison. Every male was ruthlessly slaughtered, except Knip- 
hausen and three other officers. Outrage of every kind ran 
riot. Nothing was spared, — as a species of revenge for the 
capture of Demmin and Colberg ; but it was a sad contrast to 
the recent conduct of the Swedes under parallel conditions. 


It did the imperialists no strategic good, for Tilly saw no 
advantage in advancing farther. He was not a man to be 
encouraged by success, nor had he any surplus enterprise to 
boast of. 

Friedland is a bare twenty miles from Neu-Brandenburg. 
Why neither Ban^r nor Baudissin came to Kniphausen's aid 
is not explained. The error may have lain in the king's fail- 
ure to guess Tilly's rather blind design, and in orders a 
record of which is not on hand. 

When Horn ascertained the fall of Neu-Brandenburg, he 
withdrew the troops from Friedland, leaving only a garrison, 
broke down the bridge at Treptow, and retired to Demmin, 
to protect the approaches to Stralsund and Greifswalde by 
holding the fords of the Peene and Trebel. Tilly, on weigh- 
ing the difficulty of marching on either Stralsund, Greifs- 
walde or Anklam, and fearing that, by a sudden dash, Gus- 
tavus might seize the passage of the Havel, concluded to 
retire to Neu-Ruppin. When he did so, Horn returned to 

A small compensation for the Neu-Brandenburg disaster 
shortly occurred when the rhinegrave met a detachment of a 
thousand horse on its way from Rostock to the imperial army, 
and completely destroyed it. 

Count Pappenheim had made to the elector of Bavaria 
many complaints of Tilly's dilatoriness, and about this time 
there came orders to Tilly to let everything lapse which inter- 
fered with the capture of Magdeburg. No doubt Tilly would 
have retired as it was, for without reason he became nervous 
about the Dessau bridge. He wanted to be near Leipsic, 
where the convention was being held ; and as his position as 
representative of both the empire and the League subjected 
him to contradictory instructions, he chose an operation which 
should suit every one's ideas, — the siege of Magdeburg. 


On Tilly's retiring from the Neu-Brandenburg holocaust, 
Gustavus imagined that he was aiming at Prenzlow, to march 
up the Ucker to the sea, interpose between Horn and him- 
self, and deliver battle to one or other ; he ordered Horn to 
march via Pasewalk to Locknitz, so as to be able at any 
moment to join him, while Carl Ban^r was instructed to make 
secure the works of Schwedt. Gustavus thus prepared to 
fight in one body and with a good camp in his rear. But 
when he ascertained that Tilly had retired to Neu-Ruppin, 
he gave up his defensive attitude, and struck so as to draw 
Tilly away from his now manifest intention to return to Mag- 
deburg. He believed that a direct threat on Frankfort 
would do this, and sent Horn back to the command of the 
Stralsund-Stettin country, with orders to push the siege of 
Greifswalde, and to send a body of horse to watch the east 
side of the Oder. If he captured Greifswalde, he could 
make a move on Rostock, or threaten Mecklenburg in some 
other quarter. Ban^r accompanied the king. 

Just as the king was about to start, he heard that the impe- 
rialists from Landsberg had sent out a detachment and had 
captured Arnswalde. This moved him to speed. With four- 
teen thousand men and two hundred guns, on March 27, 
1631, he broke up from Schwedt, headed his column along 
both Oder banks for Frankfort, the main force on the left 
bank, and the flotilla and flying-bridge in company. The 
right flank and rear of the army was protected by the camp 
at Schwedt, as well as by flanking detachments. Baudissin 
led the column with the cavalry ; the king followed with foot 
and artillery. The horse scoured the country well to the 
west, and a detachment captured Oranienburg, to forestall 
a possible threat to the flank. On March 30 the column 
reached Wrietzen. 

Ciistrin was of the first importance. Gustavus had an 



intelligeat observer here, received f reqnent mformation, and 
knew all about the place. The oommandant, G)lonel Kracht, 
was speedily convinced of the QselessneBS of resistance, and 
gave up the place on demand. Continuing the advance on 
April 1, the outlying posts and scout- 
ing parties of the imperialUts weru 
encountered. On the 2d the army 
was in front of Frankfort. 

No sooner arrived than the king 
set about a siege. Some six thou- 
sand imperial troops were in the 
town, and a number of distinguished 
officers, Marshal Tiefenbach, Count 
Schaumberg, General Monteououli 
and Colonel Sparre. They had de- 
termined on defense, and burned the 

The Swedish army lay on the hills to await the fleet, aai 
prepare material for the siege. Gustavus reconnoitred. On 
the first night trenches were opened, not without opposition. 
On April 3 three batteries were planted opposite the Guben 
gate, and three regiments posted opposite the Lebus gate. 
The fire from the batteries was effective, and a small breach 
was made. In the late afternoon a body of men was sent 
forward to capture the outworks, so as to drive the enemy 
within walls, or, as some anthorities rather improbably state, 
as attack was begun by a junior Swedish officer on his own 
motion, and then followed up. However started, the Swedes 
advanced with exceptional gallantry, got through the ditch, 
clambered up the wall, tore down the palisades, and drove 
the imperialists helter-skelter from the town gates. But they 
did not stop here. Some musketeers planted ladders, reached 
the wall, and blew the gates down with petards. Nothing 


oould resist the fury of the soldiery. Every man met in arms 
was cut down ; seventeen hundred were killed, Count Sehaum- 
berg among them, and one thousand were captured, including 
many officers; a large amount of stores was taken. The 
town was given up for three hours to plunder, in retaliation 
for the massacre at Neu-Brandenburg ; but no citizen's life 
was taken. A part of the garrison made efforts to escape ; 
many were drowned in the Oder. A small part, including 
two general officers, escaped towards Silesia; individuals 
reached refuge even as far as Glogau. 

This capture of a walled city with strong defenses and 
heavily garrisoned, containing a number of capable military 
men, without waiting for a perfect breach, was an exceptional 
venture, and earned the Swedes great credit. The news 
spread fast, and the king hoped that the victory would influ- 
ence the German princes to join him. 

The modem art of war is indebted to Gustavus Adolphus 
for more than one lesson in audacity. It was well that the 
world should learn that bold assaults are justifiable ; and in 
this the Swedish hero led the way. This capture of Frankfort, 
and especially the later crossing of the Lech and the assault 
on the Alte Veste, were object lessons of exceptional value. Not 
but what breaches had been stormed before Gustavus' time. It 
is not for ordinary boldness that he deserves credit ; but he 
should be awarded the highest encomium for doing those 
acts which in his era were condemned as foolhardy, and for 
showing the world that intelligent audacity is not of necessity 

From Frankfort, on April 5, Gxistavus with all the horse 
and three thousand foot advanced on Landsberg. The van of 
dragoons drove before it the Croats, of whom many still 
infested the country, and inflicted heavy loss on these savage 
marauders. Out of twelve hundred, not two hundred got 


away. On April 7 the Swedes reached the vicinity of the 
town. Horn had been ordered to cross the river from 
Schwedt, and head for Landsberg, with all the force he could 
collect, to help shut in the town. He arrived the same day 
as the king. 

Gustavus had supposed that Tilly would take some vigor- 
ous action to relieve Landsberg, and ordered Ban^r to break 
down the CUstrin bridge, to finish a redoubt already com- 
menced there and make it as strong as possible, and to hold 
Frankfort stoutly. This would head the imperial army off, 
as Tilly could not cross at Schwedt. Should he try Crossen, 
up river, Gustavus purposed to check him with his cavalry ; 
should he go as far south as Glogau, Gustavus would pay no 
heed to him, as he hoped in that case to be through with 
Landsberg before the enemy could reach it. 

Bandr, with five regiments from Frankfort, joined the 
king April 15. On the same day operations were opened 
against Landsberg. The town lay in the valley, and pos- 
sessed a castle, and an outlying fort, on whose possession 
depended the security of the castle. Gustavus directed his 
artillery against the fort, and placed gun§ so as to take it in 
reverse. After no great interchange of fire, and the repulse 
of a sortie, a demand was made ; and, April 16, in pursu- 
ance of a short negotiation, the garrison of four thousand 
men surrendered, and received free exit on agreement not to 
serve for eight months. Crossen speedily followed. The 
Swedish left flank was thus abundantly secured, and the king 
drew in the bulk of his forces to Frankfort. The road to 
Silesia was open. 

Now, had Gustavus, as is sometimes alleged, really been 
indifferent as to Magdeburg, would he not have chosen the 
plan long urged by Oxenstiern, and have himself advanced 
through Silesia on Vienna, instead as he did of intrusting 


this section to Count Horn ? Such an advance would have 
suited his paymaster, Richelieu ; it would have struck at the 
heart of his enemy ; he was justified by the neglect of the 
men he had come to help in looking solely to his own and 
Swedish interests ; he would have had a walk-over to Vienna, 
and have possibly made a brilliant coup. That, instead of 
the alluring route, he chose to turn back towards the men 
who needed help, but who said no thanks for what he ten- 
dered, is sufficient proof that he was faithful to the cause he 
had undertaken beyond what can be said of most great 

Tilly had remained a long time inactive at Neu-Ruppin, 
and then started in the direction of Magdeburg. When he 
learned that Gustavus had moved against Frankfort, he also 
turned that way, sending word to the place that he was on 
the road to relieve it ; but hearing at Brandenburg that he 
was too late, he sat down not far from Berlin to wait. He 
believed that Grustavus would either march on Silesia or back 
to Magdeburg, and he was unwilling to follow him to Silesia. 
His desire was to draw the king from the Oder towards the 
Elbe, so that he might engage battle with him on favorable 
terms ; failing which, to capture Magdeburg, and make such 
an example of it as would frighten the Protestants into sub- 
mission. But for some time he embraced no action. Not 
until Landsberg fell did he start for the Elbe. 

The king sent word of his wonderful success to Magde- 
burg, promised succor within two months, and said that he 
based his calculations on the belief that the town could hold 
out easily at least so long. 



liAODSBuao had been well fortified by Falkenberg, whom GnstaTHi had 
lent thither. The Elbe bridge was protected by several forts, the walls made 
strong) and the city became a fortress. After taking Frankfort, as Tilly 
returned to Magdeburg to help Pappenheim, who had been there many months, 
Gnstayus decided to march to its relief. But he was opposed by the eleotots of 
Brandenburg and Saxony. The former forbade the Swedes to cross his terri- 
tory, or to occupy the fortresses essential to the Swedish advance, until the 
king threatened force, when he reluctantly yielded ; even the danger to Magde- 
burg would not induce the latter to permit a Swedish march across his land to its 
relief, though the imperialists had gone to and fro at will. As John George with 
forty thousand men held the balance of power, Ghistavus might not provoke 
his enmity ; and believing with reason that Magdeburg could hold out several 
weeks longer, he urged his negotiations for passage. Meanwhile, the siege was 
sharply pushed. Falkenbeig had twenty-five hundred men, Tilly and Pappen- 
heim thirty thousand, but the resistance was stubborn. Finally, Tilly, fearing 
the advent of the king, contemplated withdrawal ; but during previous negotia- 
tions, when the garrison was off its guard because an imperial herald was within 
walls awaiting answer to Tllly^s ultimatum, an assault, aided by the treachery of 
citizens, was made on May 20, the place was taken, given up to plunder, burned, 
and forty thousand souls perished. This holocaust was properiy charged by 
Gustavus to John George. 

In the light of his recent success, Gustavus might contem- 
plate an advance on the Elbe. His base was secure. There 
was no danger of interruption from Poland, and Silesia was 
open to him. Tilly gave up hope of regaining the Oder, but 
for a while he lay near Brandenburg, and sent parties out as 
far as Crossen. He threatened Berlin, but the citizens put 
the city in a state of defense, burned the suburbs, and flatly 
denied him victual ; and on the fall of Landsberg he marched 


towards Magdeburg, and crossed at Dessau. The Oder gone, 
he felt that he must hold the Elbe, and he was impelled to 
wreak on Magdeburg a vengeance for the loss of Frankfort. 
Tilly was still a slave to the old method, in which the deter- 
rent virtue of cruelty was an article of faith. It is proven 
by modem investigation that the wanton slaughter and burn- 
ing at Magdeburg were not by his command, but the fact 
remains that Tilly was a representative of the old school, one 
of whose tenets was that the sack of a city was a species 
of right to which the soldier had a claim. In this light he 
cannot be absolved from the barbarism exhibited in that 
unfortunate city. 

Now was surely Gustavus' time to relieve Magdeburg, and 
he resolutely set about it. The military danger of such an 
advance was past, and the king's assurances of speedy succor 
were founded on this fact. But Gustavus had as yet no con- 
ception of the political difficulties which lay athwart his 
path, and the military and logistic difficulties were by no 
means all surmounted. Victual was hard to get ; Pomera- 
nia was slow in filling her quota ; remittances from home and 
abroad came in after tedious delays ; the cavalry had nm 
down by excess of the winter's hard work and deprivation 
80 as to be appreciably below that of the enemy in effective- 
ness. So much was this the fact that the king was called 
on for the first time to punish depredations, and yet the 
troops — horse and foot alike — suffered at times almost to 
the verge of mutiny. " Many excuses, little support," com- 
plained the king. 

But all this was of small account compared to the difficulty 
of bringing the electors of Brandenburg and Saxony to a 
helpful attitude. Gustavus could not begin an unauthorized 
march through the territory of either, lest the prince con- 
cerned should fall upon his rear ; and he was able to make 


no impression upon them. They were not small potentates 
like Bogislav ; should Brandenburg and Saxony join hands 
to resist the king, his helpfulness to the cause of Protestant- 
ism was at an end. The business caUed for diplomacy, not 
force ; and George William had already been antagonized by 
the Custrin matter. 

On April 21 the king himself was in Custrin, where he 
worked out his plans for the Magdeburg expedition. His 
next step must be to the fortress of Spandau, as a secondary 
base to secure his advance. Horn was left in command on 
the Oder, with headquarters in Custrin, and was to make up 
a new army from the recruits collected in Pomerania and 
arriving from Sweden. A garrison was placed in Landsberg, 
and a rendezvous was given for May 1, at Kopenick, to all 
troops destined for the army of the Elbe. 

It was hard to argue George William out of his neutral- 
ity ; commissioners effected nothing ; a personal interview 
in Berlin proved of no avail. Until Gustavus, in a fit of 
righteous indignation, declared almost at the cannon's mouth 
that unless Custrin and Spandau were voluntarily yielded, he 
woidd occupy them by force, he made no headway. It was 
manifest that he must rely on possession, not promises. 
George William could expect no imperial aid ; he placed no 
reliance on Saxony ; he believed himself in Gustavus* mili- 
tary power ; he weakened, and finally came to terms. Control 
of both Ciistrin and Spandau was given to Gustavus until the 
Magdeburg incident should be closed ; but the vacillation of 
the man is no better shown than in the fact that George Wil- 
liam wrote an apologetic letter to the emperor, excusing his 
action, and stating that he had caused as great a delay as 
possible. A pretty champion of his faith indeed I 

No sooner in Spandau than, on May 8, Gustavus started 
for the Dessau bridge, in the hope that he would have less 


trouble with the elector of Saxony. His back was scarcely 
turned when George William alleged fresh difficulties — 
mostly his duty to the empire — in delivering up f uU control 
of Spandau, where Gustavus had left but a small body of 
men. The opposition amounted to nothing, but was an addi- 
tional source of worry. Compulsion alone was an argument 
with this shortsighted potentate, who, from a species of moral 
cowardice difficult to understand, still clung to his pre- 
tended neutrality. It was hard to rupture the old imperial 
tie, even for religion. 

When Tilly finally retired from the Oder country, Gus- 
tavus intended promptly to follow him up ; but the road open 
to the imperialists had been completely barred to him. Bran- 
denburg once opened, he must reckon with Saxony; and 
John George would not allow him to cross his fords at Wit- 
tenberg or Dessau. The only other road was via Branden- 
burg and Mockem, through a country which had been so 
completely devastated that it gave an ill promise to the Swed- 
ish commissariat, which was at ebb-tide ; and moreover 
the bridge at Magdeburg was already in the hands of the 
besiegers. He could not well advance to the aid of Magde- 
burg from any point lower down the Elbe ; for the bridges 
were scarce, or had been destroyed ; the boats had all been 
neized by the enemy; the river ^as wide; he had no pon- 
toon-train, and to secure means of crossing would consume 
much time ; the vicinity he must occupy had been devastated, 
80 as to be unfit to sustain operations; and wherever he 
should attempt to cross, it must be in the face of a superior 

Every avenue to his objective seemed closed ; and while 
anxious to relieve his faithful ally, Gustavus could scarcely 
be held — as a matter of good faith or a matter of common 
sense — to compromise his whole military scheme, built up 


with endless care and caution, by so moving as to endanger 
his communications, magazines and points cTappui^ to risk 
an uprising of Brandenburg and Saxony in his rear. 

His difficulties can scarcely be overestimated. Most Prot- 
estant princes still looked at him as a second Christian of 
Denmark, who, at the proper time, might sell their cause to 
save himself ; they not only refused his advances, but declined 
to raise troops for the common cause. The electors of Bran- 
denburg and Saxony could not have done less for him had 
they been open enemies. In truth they would have proven a 
simpler factor in the problem had they met him sword in 

Gustavus represented to John George with the utmost 
frankness the condition of Magdeburg, as also his own and 
Tilly's relative strength, and by correspondence and embas- 
sies, begged this head of the Grerman Protestants for aid in his 
perilous venture. The elector would scarcely deign to answer ; 
and answers, when they came, were argumentative solely. 
The diplomatic interchanges are interesting, but they do not 
come within our province. That John George forbade a 
march through his territory suffices to explain Gustavus* 
long delay in carrying out his promise to stand by the city 
of Magdeburg in its distress. Tilly outnumbered him ; the 
elector of Saxony, with an army of forty thousand men, held 
the balance of power ; the elector of Brandenburg in his rear 
was not to be relied upon, — and to be brief, Gustavus was 
not a Charles XII. Had he been so, he might have relieved 
Magdeburg — perhaps — while the dull-witted electors were 
gaping at his boldness ; but he would not have been of the 
stuff to save Protestantism in Germany. Happily for us, 
he was better balanced, and would not risk Sweden and the 
future of the faith on a hair-brained advance, however bril- 
liant. He felt constrained to remain on the Havel, along 


which he advanced as far as he might, until he could over- 
come the inertia of the Saxon elector. 

Putting aside politics — in this case John George with his 
forty thousand men — the military problem could be readily 
solved. Tliree or four stout marches by way of Dessau, the 
destruction there of Tilly's force, the building of a bridge- 
head to preserve his line, and the summary attack of the 
enemy besieging Magdeburg were among the possibilities. 
But if we assume that Gxistavus' duty was merely a military 
one, and that he was bound to disregard all political compli- 
cations, we can scarcely imagine his pushing far into the tan- 
gled network before him. All great soldiers have succeeded 
because they made politics subserve their military scheme; 
and so did the Swedish monarch. We may imagine the bold 
and rapid advance which some historians have told us it was 
his duty to make, to redeem his pledge to Magdeburg ; we 
may picture its success ; but we shall have created a paper 
campaign, and a paper hero, we shall not have depicted the 
Gustavus who saved the Reformation in Germany, and who 
was the father of modem war. Gustavus was not great 
because he was either cautious or bold ; he was great because 
he knew when to be cautious and when to be bold. We 
shall see him bold enough by and by. 

To return to Magdeburg. Colonel Falkenberg haa been 
sent by Gustavus to take charge of its defense in the fall of 
1630, and had entered the city October 19. He found the 
situation far from bad. The enemy had less than six thou- 
sand men, was merely observing the city, and Falkenberg felt 
confident that he could hold the place for many months. He 
was warmly welcomed, and his influence was at once felt. He 
took full command, — the administrator retaining only his 
body-guard and a sort of advisory control, — and began 
recruiting outside and repairing the works within. 


The Elbe at Magdeburg baa a number of islauds close 
together. The bridge over the river utilized these, and a 
bridge-head stood oa the right bank. Perceiving that the 
enemy, by attacking 
the islands from up 
river, could cut off the 
bridge, Falkenberg 
built a big work at the 
south end of the most 
important one, and for 
the several sections of 
the bridge redoubts. 
To strengthen the 
bridge - bead on the 
right bank, a work 
called " Trutzkaiser " 
was erected on the 
Miihlberg, a hill near 
by which commanded 
it Two heavy works 
were built on the south of the town, one on the water's edge, 
and one in the outer comer ; a number of bastions were 
constructed to strengthen the city wall, and the Sudenberg 
suburb was protected by a strong redoubt. On the west the 
two gates were strengthened by two horn- works and a crown- 
work. The north side, where the Neustadt lay, possessed a 
round bastion on a point surrounded by a dry arm of the 
Elbe. The gate here was fortified with two towers, and the 
suburb was itself intrenched. Work was vigorously pushed, 
and by the end of the year the citizens could truly claim that 
Magdeburg was a fortress. Falkenberg had shown energy 
and intelligence. But Magdeburg had a weak spot within 
waUs. Christian William, the town council, the military 


under Falkenberg, the common folk, and a strong party of 
disaffected Catholics — each group of a different mind — 
furnished abundant means for disag^ement and promise of 

Tilly paid small heed to Magdeburg. Between Gustavus 
and that scornful city, he scarcely knew which way to turn ; 
and yet its capture would have been almost the hardest blow 
he could deal the Swedes. Pappenheim understood this well. 
For months correspondence ran between the imperial army 
and the Magdeburg council, and efforts were made to bring 
the city back to the empire. But Falkenberg never permit- 
ted it to waver in its fealty to Gustavus, though the imperi- 
alists numbered some of the most influential citizens. He 
was not infrequently put to it to reconcile conflicting inter- 
ests ; but though he could not accomplish the moral task, 
he mastered the material one, and during the winter of 
1680-31, he labored to make the surrounding defenses 
stronger, and at designing new ones. On the right bank, 
whence Gustavus was expected, were erected the "Trutz- 
Pappenheim " furthest to the east, and the " Trutz-Tilly " 
nearer the town ; and upstream a large work, the ^^ Magde- 
burg Succor." A line of heavy intrenchments arose along 
the right bank, and Falkenberg had twenty-five hundred 
men, plus citizen-militia, to man them. 

In November Tilly had proposed to besiege the city, but 
contented himself with leaving Pappenheim to blockade it 
while he turned towards Gustavus. He left his lieutenant 
with ten thousand men, but at times drew on this nimiber 
for other service. Pappenheim was a hot-headed officer, ill 
adapted to so slow a process as this blockade ; to storm the 
city was more in his style ; and he fretted under the task. 
Count Wolf von Mansfeld had a small army near by, but leat 
no assistance, a fact which irritated Pappenheim still more. 


finally, toward the begiiming of April, Tilly was moved by 
Pappenheim's entreaties to permit him to take active meas- 
ures ; and the gallant lieutenant needed no second order. 
Falkenberg could not pretend to hold his long enceinte with 
his limited number of men. He might have been wise sooner 
to withdraw into the city. The defiant ^^ Trutss-Pappenheim " 
was selected as a beginning, and after equally gallant assault 
and resistance, this redoubt, with the ^^ Magdeburg Succor " 
and the " TrutsB-Tilly," fell on April 9. On the morrow two 
more works on the right bank succumbed to Pappenheim's 
impetuous energy and heavy excess of forces; while Mans- 
feld did a more moderate share in taking the three Buckau 
redoubts. The Magdeburgers lost all their outlying works 
and fully five hundred men. Some ten days later Tilly 
arrived. The joint forces before the town amounted to 
twenty-five thousand men, plus a detachment of nearly five 
thousand more at the Dessau bridge. This was fearful odds 
for Falkenberg's small garrison, now reduced to little more 
than two thousand soldiers. He had felt able to hold his 
works against Pappenheim, but now he had twelve times his 
force to face. 

Shortly after the fall of Frankfort, Tilly had received 
orders to march to the protection of the emperor's hered- 
itary lands, which would be threatened by the capture of 
that city. To do this was impossible. To divide forces 
would be to insure the failure of both detachments ; and the 
emperor had troops in Silesia, as it was. Tilly served both 
the League and the empire ; and a council of war decided to 
capture Magdeburg as a first step. 

The imperialists were now able to attack the works at the 
bridge-head and on the islands. The garrisons defended 
themselves nobly, even according to Pappenheim's high esti- 
mate, but eventually, about April 80, Falkenberg deemed it 


best to draw them in, and the bridge and islands were lost. 
The citizens began to despair, and Gustavus seemed as far 
off as months ago. 

News came from time to time from the Swedish ai'my, and 
its successes faintly cheered the weary waiters ; but the nego- 
tiations with Brandenburg and Saxony were to the last degree 
disheartening. Falkenberg and the council wrote repeatedly 
to the king, representing the growing scarcity of victual and 
powder, the intention of the enemy to control the Elbe by a 
bridge at Schonebeck, eight miles up river, the almost muti- 
nous condition of the people, the unhelpfulness of the admin- 
istrator ; and prayed for speedy succor — " or we are lost." 
But Gustavus was powerless ; the two electors barred his 

There may have been men in the world's history who would 
have braved even these conditions, who would have frayed a 
path across Brandenburg and Saxony in the teeth of any 
opposition, and have marched to the relief of Magdeburg 
without regard to what lay behind them. But there have also 
been gigantic failures in the world's history from just such 
impetuousness. No one can accuse Gustavus of lack of per- 
sonal boldness. Of all great captains he is most like Alex- 
ander in his reckless disregard of danger, and even tlie Mace- 
donian could show no more wounds. His moral force — his 
capacity to face responsibility — was as marked. But what 
Gxistavus did for the art of war sprang less from the exu- 
berance of his courage, less from that species of moral brav- 
ery which impels a man to take abnormal risks, than it did 
from his exceptional power of calculating correctly by the 
existing conditions what course would most certainly tend to 
the eventual success of the whole scheme. He had not the 
gambler's instinct so strongly as Napoleon. Had he let loose 
the reins of his gallantry, he would never have grown to be 


ihe champion of Protestantism ; no one can tell what might 
have become of the cause of Reform in Germany. Such a 
Gustavus certainly could not have saved it. 

Falkenberg now leveled the suburbs to protect the town. 
On May 4 the inhabitants of the Sudenberg retired within 
the walls, and this suburb was burned ; and when Pappen- 
heim moved to the Neustadt, this too was fired. When all 
outlying garrisons were drawn in, there were not quite twenty- 
two hundred and fifty men, horse and foot. Pappenheim 
began regular approaches in the ruins of the Neustadt. 

Fearing that Gustavus would come to its relief before he 
had reduced it, Tilly opened negotiations with the town early 
in May. He wrote to the mayor and council, to the adminis- 
trator, to Falkenberg. But the advances were refused and 
messages again sent to Gustavus, praying hard for immediate 
succor. The council, however, offered to leave the whole 
matter to the joint decision of the electors of Brandenburg 
and Saxony, and the Ilanse towns ; they held their messen- 
gers ready to depart upon this errand, so soon as Tilly should 
send a safe-conduct ; and of all this he received clear notice. 

Tilly was puzzled what to do. He heard of Gustavus' suc- 
cessive advances to Kopenick, Berlin, Spandau, Potsdam. He 
learned that negotiations were going on with John George, as 
well as George William, and he feared their early success. 
He was apprehensive lest the Saxon army should appear at 
Dessau. He must get possession of Magdeburg speedily, or 
else retire, baffled, as Wallenstein had done at Stralsund. He 
deemed himself in bad case, when he really had no cause to 
fear, for he had a larger force than Gustavus, unless Saxony 
should join the king. On the first appearance of Swedish 
cavalry near Zerbst, Tilly destroyed the Dessau bridge. 

While using his most persuasive measures against the town, 
the work in the trenches went on. The bombardment was 


opened on May 17, and was kept up three days. Under cover 
of it, the approaches in the Neustadt, in the Sudenberg and 
on the island progressed. Pappenheim, in the Neustadt, got 
to the very margin of the ditch, and fairly seamed the Neu- 
stadt with trenches. He sapped the counterscarp and pushed 
a covered gallery over the ditch, while the defenders were kept 
ofiE the walls by a heavy fire. Breaches were operated ; the 
biggest of the towers feU ; indefatigable Pappenheim pushed 
five approaches to i^e fauase^yraye of the new bastion, tore 
out the palisades, and laid several hundred ladders. He 
worked on the other side of this bastion as well, making it a 
key-point for his proposed assault. The defenses of the town 
were also weakened on the west and on the river fronts. 

The defenders opposed this work with equal energy. Fires 
from the enemy's hot balls were kept down by systematic 
measures. The besieged countermined, and patched up the 
works as fast as these were disturbed; but from want of 
powder they could not maintain a steady fire. 

On May 18 Tilly again dispatched a herald into the town. 
During the two weeks since the proposal to arbitrate, he had 
neither refused it nor sent a safe-conduct ; and now, on the 
score of time, he declined to allow the submission of the case. 
He practically demanded unconditioned surrender, or threat- 
ened to storm the town. The approach of the Swedes, of 
which Tilly now hourly expected to hear, spurred his deter- 
mination to adopt any course, right or wrong, to get posses- 
sion of the city. 

The council was convened, and the citizens were called 
together on May 19 to frame an answer. It was determined 
to treat with Tilly. Falkenberg protested, and asked for a 
meeting with the council, to be held at 4 A. M. on the 20th. 

On the afternoon of the 19th the fire of the imperialists 
ceased, and they could be seen, from the town, moving the 


siege-guns to the rear. The townspeople began to hope that 
Ghistavns was nearing, and TiUy was in fact on the point of 
giving up the siege, lest he should be interrupted by the 
^^ Snow King." He still hoped that at the last moment the 
town would accept his ultimatmn, and he called a council of 
war to determine what to do. At this council it was sug- 
gested that an assault, delivered at an early morning hour, 
had succeeded elsewhere and might succeed here, and this 
suggestion Tilly eagerly grasped at. He determined to storm 
the breaches at daylight next day. 

Through the disaffected Catholics Tilly knew all that was 
going on in the town. They kept him posted as to the 
strength of the guard at various points, the hours of relief, 
the means of defense, the want of powder ; and there is not 
wanting evidence that messages were thrown from the walls 
on the morning of the 20th, before sunrise, to the effect that 
now was the very time. 

Whatever the other facts, it is beyond dispute that while 
the council was sitting in debate on Tilly's ultimatum, while 
the imperial herald was still within the walls of Magdeburg 
aMraiting the council's answer, the army of Tilly was ordered 
forward to the walls. It is beyond dispute that the general- 
issimo had given every indication to the town that he was 
still negotiating and would await a final answer, and yet he 
sent Pappenheim to storm the works. This treachery is on 
a par with that of Csesar against the Usipetes and Tench- 

At daylight some of the guard had left the walls, prompted 
thereto by the knowledge that the ultimatum was being dis- 
cussed, and the belief that there was nothing for the moment 
to fear. The officers of rank were all at the council. Mat- 
ters were more lax than usuaL At 7 a. m., after quiet prepa- 
ration, Pappenheim assaulted at two points : the round bas- 


tion near tlie Elbe, where a party of Croats was sent forward, 
and the bastion which he had so vigorously approached, where 
he in person led the party. The Croats easily forced their 
way in. Pappenheim found only a few sentries on hand and 
the watch surrounding the chaplain at morning prayers ; and 
he pushed his party over the walls with scarce a semblance of 
opposition. He was having things all his own way, when 
Falkenberg appeared, hastily summoned from the council 
chamber, and met him with what men he could instantly 
collect. For a brief moment Falkenberg was able to check 
both the Croats and Pappenheim ; but he soon fell. Pap- 
penheim was receiving constant accessions to his force, and 
in less than an hour there remained nothing to resist him. 
Mansf eld was slow in storming ; but when Pappenheim had 
effected his entrance, he too forced his way into tlie town. 

The city was given over to plunder. The horrors of the 
scene have been all too often dwelt on. There perished forty 
thousand souls. Treachery was followed by its fellow, mas- 

It will always remain doubtful how Magdeburg was burned. 
It is charged to Tilly unjustly ; Pappenheim, Falkenberg, the 
citizens, the imperial troops, have each in turn been accused 
of deliberately destroying the beautiful city. The event left 
Magdeburg a pile of ashes surrounding the cathedral, which 
alone escaped. 

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The capture of Biagdebm^ meant letreat for QustaynSf lest Brandenbnrg 
and Saxony 8hoiil4 side with the emperor and endanger his bastion. He fell 
back to the Hayel, and here awaited Tilly. But the Walloon had won fame 
enough; he essayed no forward movement; reinforcements were coming np 
from Italy, which he desired to draw in before attacking Gustayns ; and he was 
shortly ordered to move on Hesse-Caasel and Saxony, to compel their submis- 
sion to the imperial dictates. Pappenheim remained in the Magdebnig country. 
Hesse-Cassel prepared for resistance; the landgraye and the duke of Saxe- 
Weimar were stanch allies of Gnstayus. Seeing that Tilly did not advance 
on him, Gustavus strengthened the Havel line, and compelled George William 
to yield up Spandau for the war. Shortly Ghrei&walde, the last town within 
the bastion, fell ; Mecklenburg was overrun, and the dukes reinstated. Gus- 
tavus, now secure at all points, extended his right flank to the Elbe, to 
draw Tilly from Hesse-Cassel ; crossed the river, and intrenched a camp at 
Werben. Tilly did in fact come up, joined Pappenheim and moved towards 
the king. The latter fell on his advanced cavalry-parties and cut them up. 
Licensed, Tilly marched on Werben and attacked the camp; but, severely 
punished, he retired. 

At the downfall of the proud Lutheran city, the Catholics 
rejoiced with cruel taunts ; many Protestants were disheart- 
ened, many cowed by her awful fate. Who knew where next 
the imperial lightning might strike? No one was seer enough 
to foretell a deliverer in the Swedish monarch. The only 
man in Germany who gauged his value was Wallenstein. 

The capture of Magdeburg meant retreat for Gustavus. 
Had he reached the place in time to drive off Tilly, Bran- 
denburg and Saxony might have joined his cause ; now they 


were more likely to be enemies who might cut him off from 
the sea. He must force Brandenburg to his will without 
delay ; Saxony must wait. As some were inclined to blame 
the king for forsaking Magdeburg, he issued a manifesto, 
couched in no equivocal terms, putting the blame on John 
Greorge, where it properly belonged, for his obstructive meas- 
ures ; and, quite out of patience with the time-serving of the 
Protestants, prepared to retire. 

He was fortunate in one thing. Had Tilly followed him 
up, sustained by Saxony, the Swedes might have been crowded 
back to the coast. But TiUy sat down to enjoy his success, 
and never dreamed of an advance. He deemed Gustavus' 
entire venture at an end, as a less well-poised leader's might 
have been, as Christian's had been. Pappenheim chafed 
under this restraint ; but he was young and ardent, and he 
was not the commander-in-chief. 

Having for the moment no inducement to advance to the 
Elbe, and uncertain as to Tilly's manoeuvres, Ghistavus again 
assumed the line of the Oder as a point d'apjmi. He dis- 
patched orders to Horn to rebuild the Oder bridge at 
Schaumberg, so that the Swedish army might retire on it if 
driven back ; and Frankfort was to be fortified to the highest 
degree by chief engineer Portions. These precautions were 
wise, but, as matters eventuated, they were not needed. 

There was no doubt in Gustavus' mind that the enemy 
would now seize the opportunity which victory hatl given 
him, and be prepared to meet him. The Swedish line was 
open to attack from Silesia, and this was to be guarded 
against on the line of the Oder-Warta. It was open to 
attack from Dessau, and this could be met by holding the 
line of the Spree-Havel. An imperial attack from Mecklen- 
burg was improbable on account of the promised restoration 
of its dukes ; and if Greifswalde were once secured, Pome- 


rania was tolerably safe. This left a long but good defensive 
line, and from it Gustavus could debouch towards the Elbe, 
if the enemy did not break down his defense. By pivoting 
on Frankfort he could swing forward his right, and by secur- 
ing a strong place on the Elbe, his new base would be more 
firmly held than ever. Its front would cover much territory, 
but it would be protected by such places as Stettin and 
Frankfort on the left, and Hamburg and Liibeck on the 
right ; while in the centre Gustavus would fortify a strong 
line on the Havel. Hamilton was shortly expected in the 
Weser with a goodly force, and this would add Bremen to 
the cause and extend the line to the North Sea. 

The command of the important centre was given to Ban^r 
early in July. He had three brigades: Teuffel's at Bran- 
denburg and Kathenow ; Hepburn's at Potsdam ; a third 
was divided between Bemau and the Biitzow country, which 
latter place was a defile in the network of lakes in this part 
of Mecklenburg. Headquarters were at Fehrbellin. 

The left was intrusted to Horn. He had a bare fifteen 
hundred men, and news came that the imperialists in Silesia, 
encouraged by the Magdeburg success, would soon move 
down the Oder. The outpost at Crossen occasionally had 
touch with the enemy, and in May, as suggested by Pappen- 
heim, a number of regiments assembled in the Glogau coun- 
try, and threatened Crossen and Ziillichau. To meet this 
threat, Gustavus ordered Horn to strengthen Crossen, to 
recruit up his garrisons in the Neumark, and particularly 
to hold the bridges at Frankfort, Ciistrin and Schaumberg. 
He was to turn Arenswalde, Barwalde and Konigsberg into 
strong places to retire on. If Crossen was attacked, Gusta- 
vus assured Horn that he would hurry to his relief with 
troops from the Havel and Spree. 

Happily for the cause, the imperialists lacked earnestness. 


They had stomach for their plundering ; they had none for 
serious war. Horn had time to carry out his orders ; the 
imperialists played with the business. They took Kotbus ; 
Horn captured Griineberg ; and soon after Gustavus advanced 
him to Crossen, where he erected a strongly intrenched camp. 

On the whole, the horror of Magdeburg enraged rather 
than discouraged the Protestants ; and despite the threats of 
the emperor they continued to equip troops, though without 
joint action. Hesse-Cassel and Saxe- Weimar were among 
the most active ; while the elector of Saxony used his large 
army to preserve his neutrality. 

It was at Stettin that Gustavus received an embassy from 
Bussia, tendering good-wiU and an auxiliary corps. The 
king declined the troops, but received the minister with 
pleasure, and sent back friendly thanks to the czar. 

Tilly's conduct after his victory at Magdeburg was not 
that of a great soldier. He lamely explained, in a letter of 
May 26 to the elector of Bavaria, that until he knew which 
way Gustavus had retired, he was unable to pursue him, and 
must remain in situ ; that it would take some time to raze 
the walls, fill up the ditch, and see to victualing Magdeburg ; 
that the enemy had seized all the defiles in firandenburg ; 
that this electorate was so destitute of provision that no army 
could move through it ; and, as victual was growing scarce, 
he suggested a march against Hesse-Cassel and Thuringia, 
where was abundance. This he wrote, while Gustavus stood 
on the Havel, anxious as to the enemy's advance from a 
military standpoint ; actually dreading its political effect on 
George William; fearing that he might lose his initiative, 
mistrusting some combination that might drive him back to 
the sea. How Tilly could imagine that he might absent him- 
self from the theatre of active operations without opening the 
way to farther Swedish advance, it is hard to see. Curiously, 


Pappenheim, who usually had the happy trick of seeking the 
enemy, rather favored the plan of Tilly ; but he was not the 
man to dally in its execution, if adopted. 

In view of the generalissimo's representations and the con- 
tinued arming of the Protestants, the emperor did order 
Tilly to take measures to compel the minor powers to cease 
warlike preparations, as being inconsistent with their fealty ; 
but the old general was hard to get started. He remained 
in Magdeburg tiU the beginning of June ; and wrote to Max- 
imilian that with the Swedes and Saxons joining hands, 
which he expected daily, and with Hesse-Cassel arming in 
his rear, he feared to be surrounded and his army compro- 

Tilly was a queer compound of courage and the want of it. 
No man possessed more personal gallantry, as he had demon- 
strated on a himdred fields ; but he lacked that larger intel- 
lectual and moral force which enables one to gauge danger 
and to accept responsibility. He was a noble battle-field 
fighter ; but he sufiEered from strategic myopia. Finally the 
old man took courage, left five thousand foot and seven hun- 
dred horse in Magdeburg, imder Mansfeld, and Pap]>enheim 
near by with a small army, and at the head of seventeen 
thousand five hundred foot, seven thousand horse and twenty- 
eight guns, broke up towards Hesse-Cassel. On the way the 
imperial troops devastated the country with fire and sword, 
and committed untold atrocities. To swell their numbers 
the League furnished nine thousand foot and two tliousand 
horse ; the Netherlands, four Spanish regiments ; in .Silesia 
were ten thousand men ; from Italy twenty-five thousand 
were started north under Aldringer and Fiirstenberg. The 
latter came up very slowly ; some of the columns took a 
year to reach the Elbe from Mantua, being delayed in Swabia 
and Franconia by their orders to compel the Leipsio Conven- 


tion states to submit to the emperor and disarm. Matters 
looked serious for Hesse-Cassel ; but for all the dangers men- 
acing him, the gallant landgrave ceased not from his work. 

William of Hesse-Cassel was young, but a man of action. 
So early as August, 1630, he had offered his assistance to 
Giistavus, averring that he could not bring much, but that 
his two fortresses, Cassel and Ziegenhain, should be shut to 
the imperialists and open to him. Gustavus concluded a 
treaty with him ; and urged him to combine with the states 
of Weimar, Culmbach and Wiirtemberg, and the free towns 
of Frankfort-on-the-Main, Merseburg and Strasburg, which 
between them could readily arm ten thousand men. The 
landgrave did his best, but the interference of the imperial- 
ists prevented him, and Duke Bernard of Weimar, who 
worked with him, from accomplishing much. At the Leipsic 
Convention, these two wei'e almost the only ones who spoke 
for the Swedes. Under the Leipsic agreement, they armed, 
as it was undei*stood, for defense, but really proposing to aid 
Gustavus and to seek his aid. As Tilly approached, the 
landgrave mobilized his men, beset the defiles and roads, 
strengthened his fortresses, and peremptorily refused Tilly's 
demands for contribution. Fortunately for the cause, the 
elector of Saxony, though still claiming neutrality, was 
angered by the menaces of Tilly, and determined to resist to 
the uttermost any inroads on his territory by either party. 

Gustavus kept strictly to his agreement with Brandenburg, 
and after some tedious negotiations succeeding the fall of 
Magdeburg, on June 9 surrendereil Spaudau, which had 
been tuiiied over to him only until the fate of that city should 
be decided. 

If we look at the mere military question, Gustavus was 
not justified in his anxiety ; but a study of the entire situa- 
tion, political and military, shows us that the antagonism of 


Saxony and the unreliability of Brandenburg placed the king 
in a questionable case. To surrender Spandau meant to give 
up the line of the Havel, as well as touch with the Elbe ; 
and if the elector should demand back Ciistrin, Stettin itself 
would not be safe. Gustavus felt that he was justified in 
any course to prevent such a catastrophe. He told George 
William that if he so chose he would leave him to fight the 
imperial army single-handed. This was in reality the last 
thing the time-serving elector dared face. He would have 
been happy to leave Spandau and Ciistrin in Swedish hands 
as the price of support, but, as was his habit, he delayed and 
talked, while Gustavus, along the Havel, awaited Tilly's 
advance. Had it not been for abandoning Hesse-Cassel and 
Weimar, he would have gladly returned to the Oder. 

Gustavus had complied with his obligation ; but, sick of 
the fast and loose conduct of George William, he made up 
his mind to cut the knot of the difficulty; and some days 
after the surrender of Spandau, he marched on Berlin, and 
at the mouth of his cannon, supported by his army in line of 
battle, forced the elector to a fresh treaty, by which the 
Swedes should retain Spandau for good ; have constant pas- 
sage through Ciistrin, or indeed occupy it with their troops ; 
and the elector should pay the Swedes thirty thousand thalers 
a month. The trifling of George William was thus brought 
to an end ; he concluded to come to an amicable understand- 
ing, and the treaty was subscribed amid festivities. 

The king concentrated near Brandenburg some twelve 
thousand men, and while awaiting events, secured his position 
by taking and strengthening neighboring towns on the Elbe 
and Havel. Greifswalde in his rear was the last outstanding 
fortress in Pomerania. Early in June a stray party of impe- 
rialists, perhaps on a reconnoissance, appeared before Malchin, 
and led Gustavus to believe that an attack on Stralsund or 


the relief of Greif swalde was in contemplation. He ordered 
General Ake Tott, one of his best officers, to collect all 
available troops in Loitz on June 20, where he intended to 
meet him ; but unable to leave Brandenburg, he intrusted 
the entire conduct of the affair to Tott, who, with twenty-two 
himdred men, marched on Greifswalde, and on the night of 
Jime 22-23 opened his trenches. On the 23d a sortie was 
repelled and a bombardment begun. This was followed by 
the appearance of a herald, and on June 25 the imperialists 
marched out. The commandant, Perusi, had been killed, or 
the matter would have been less easy. For this briUiant suc- 
cess Tott was made field-marshal, and ordered to advance 
against Rostock and Wismar, to open the road to Liibeck. 
To have an eye to the situation, Gustavus shortly after went 
on to Greifswalde ; but finding that Tott was abreast of the 
business, he returned to Spandau July 2. 

With a suitable van of cavalry, the new field-marshal 
moved into Mecklenburg, spread all over the country, took 
Biitzow and Schwan, drove the imperialists before him, and 
blockaded Rostock. A detachment marched south from 
Malchin, and seized Mirow and Plan. The dukes wei'e in 
Liibeck, waiting with a small army, and in connection with 
them, though Giistrow and Schwerin held out till midsummer, 
Tott reduced all Mecklenburg except Rostock, Wismar and 
Domitz. Many men from the garrisons thus taken preferred 
to enlist in the Swedish service to being paroled or held as 
prisoners. On July 5 the dukes were formally reinstated in 
their rights ; but they showed small gratitude ; they acted in 
a selfish and shortsighted manner, and every {K)und of bread 
for the troops which had reinstated them had to be wrung 
from their unwilling grasp. 

Baner, whom Gustavus had left on the Havel, with instruc- 
tions to occupy all the strong places on that river, to strengthen 


the works of Spandau and Brandenburg, and to build a 
redoubt at Potsdam, took Havelberg by storm on June 22, 
and strongly garrisoned it. Gustavus could now see his way 
clear to a campaign on the Elbe ; with Pomerania, Mecklen- 
burg and Brandenburg imder his control, he practically com- 
manded all the country to the north of that river ; and Tilly 
was otherwise occupied. The scene had changed. 

After what seemed to many his decisive victory at Magde- 
burg, Tilly, under his instructions to enforce the Edict of 
Restitution, to compel the disarmament of the German 
princes, or to incorporate their troops in his own army, moved 
via Aschersleben June 9, Oldisleben and Miihlhausen June 
16-26, and captured Gotha, Eisenach and Weimar, while 
Erfurt bought itself ofiE by a payment of money. He sent 
out detachments right and left, demanding that the imperial- 
ists be admitted into the fortresses ; that the landgrave 
should disband his army, furnish the empire five regiments, 
give over Cassel and Ziegenhain to imperial garrisons, and 
pay the contributions which he shoidd assess. Assembling 
his forces at Cassel, William firmly refused. Tilly wavered. 
The landgrave had six thousand or more men, recruits to be 
sure, but still soldiers, in his fortresses, and the victor of 
Magdeburg was loth to attack them. Age was encroaching 
on his energy ; but his presence none the less put Hesse-Cas- 
sel in a perilous case. 

About this time some eight thousand men from Sweden 
were arriving in Stettin. Of these, four thousand were 
brought to the main force on the Havel, and four thousand 
were sent to Tott, who was to join the king with old troops 
to an equal number. At the same time seven thousand Eng- 
lish troops, under Marquis Hamilton, landed in the mouth of 
the Peene, instead of in the Weser, as expected. These regi- 
ments were sent to Horn on the Oder, and he was ordered to 


leave a total of four thousand new men on that line, and pre- 
pare to join the king with the balance. Gustavus aimed at 
having service-hardened men at the front. Hamilton's troops 
are said not to have been of the best quality ; before the end 
of the campaign they ran down to fifteen hundred men by 
disease and desertion, and were in a sad state of discipline. 

Heartily tired of the timidity and unhelpfulness of the 
Protestant princes, the king now saw himself by his own 
efforts in possession of the bastion on the south of the Baltic 
which he had originally aimed to possess for the safety of 
Sweden ; and the idea began to impress itself upon him that 
if his brothers in the faith cared so little for his help, he 
might hold this bastion, whose walls would be the lines of 
the Oder-Warta, Spree-Havel and Elbe, and stand in a 
purely defensive attitude against the emperor. Both the lack 
of funds and the questionable tendencies of Denmark made 
this course seem not unadvisable ; but to complete the work, 
Ghistavus must plant his foot firmly on the Elbe, and to this 
he now addressed himself. The question of the defensive 
might wait. 

Arrived in Spandau, he determined to push at once for the 
Elbe, not only to complete his bastion, but to draw Tilly away 
from Hesse-Cassel. Heading seven thousand foot and three 
thousand horse, he moved from Brandenburg out towards 
Burg. He imagined that he might tempt Pappcnheim from 
Magdeburg across the river, and engage him ; but failing 
this, he headed downstream, to Jerichow, which he reached 
July 8. Pappenheim had an outpost at Tangermiinde, oppo- 
site, and was at the moment there. On July 9 the king again 
moved upstream, to lead him to believe that he was aiming 
for Magdeburg, and Pappenheim marched up to anticipate 
him. Like Cassar on the Elaver, Ghistavus immediately 
marched back to Jerichow, put a few hundred men across 



The Werben Cftiiip. 

on boats, captured Tangermiinde and its castle July 10, as 
well as Stendal and Arneburg, collected all the boats up and 
down river and built a bridge, on which he crossed his army, 
and took up a strongly fortified camp near the town of 
Werben, opposite the 
confluence of the Havel 
and the Elbe. Utiliz- 
ing the embankments as 
works, he built a fort on 
the right bank to protect 
his bridge, which he moved 
up from Tangermiinde, 
and threw up another fort 
at the mouth of the HaveL 
Havelberg hieid already 
been taken, and Gustar 
vus' position on the Elbe was made reasonably secure. Pap- 
penheim retired to Halberstadt. 

The garrisons of these places were captured, and the men 
sent in a body to headquarters. As the king came out to 
inspect them, they fell on their knees to beg for mercy. 
^^ Get up,'' said the king, ^^ I am no god for you to fall do¥m 
before." Then he added, ^^ You have all acted like brigands 
and deserve the gallows ; but I will make you a present of 
your lives." 

Though he would have liked to march on Magdeburg, Gus- 
tavus contented himself with what he had got. His feeling 
for the offensive was damped by the conduct of the men he 
had expected to find frank and faithful allies. He held 
Brandenburg in the leash, but Saxony was not to be moved, 
and he was at a loss to explain Tilly's queer lack of enter- 
prise. Gustavus could get no money ; victualing was so diffi- 
cult that on one or two occasions the population had cause to 


complain of excesses by the troops ; there was a vast deal of 
sickness. The weeks in Werben during July and August, 
1631, were perhaps the monarch's most disheartening period. 

One of his objects — to draw the enemy away from his 
allies — had been accomplished by the march to Werben. 
Pappenheim, single-handed, felt unequal to the task of facing 
Gustavus, and called Tilly to his aid. His chief threw up 
his half-hearted attack on Hesse-Cassel, left a portion of his 
troops on its borders, and hurried back to the Elbe. Despite 
his victory he had lost two months and accomplished nothing, 
while Gustavus had greatly bettered his position. Joining 
Pappenheim, Tilly, with twenty-seven thousand men, took 
position at Wolmirstiidt below Magdeburg, and on July 27 
threw out three regiments of cavalry towards Werben to 
reconnoitre. Gustavus was ready to meet him in earnest. 
To help protect the Havel line, he ordered Horn to leave 
suitable garrisons in Frankfort, Landsberg and Crossen, and 
some cavalry to scout the Oder-Warta, and to march with all 
his available force to Fiirstenwalde, detaching meanwhile a 
thousand musketeers to firandenburg. Tott was to send an 
equal number. 

The king had not exceeding sixteen thousand men, but 
he took advantage of the isolation of Tilly's cavalry party. 
From Ameburg, twelve miles up the river, where he had 
concentrated his own cavalry, he marched, August 1, to Bellin- 
gen, and sent out patrols, and later an intelligent staiT-officeF 
to reconnoitre. The latter brought in some prisoners and 
information as to the enemy's whereabouts, acting on which 
the king advanced at nightfall halfway to Burgstall. Here 
he divided his force, which was about four thousand strong, 
into three columns. The first, under the rhinegrave, was to 
attack Burgstall ; the second, under Baudissin, was to fall 
on Angem ; the king with the third would advance between 




the two others on Bheindorf. The columns were set in 

The rhinegrave captured Burgstall, cut down or dispersed 
the imperial regiment there stationed, and took its baggage. 
At Angem the attack was equally successful, the enemy 
losing three hundred killed and many prisoners. When the 
king reached Kheindorf, he found 
Tilly's men, who had caught the 
alarm, drawn up in line. Though 
he had with him but three hun- 
dred horse, he fell with fury upon 
the imperial regiment, which of- 
fered no worthy resistance, and cut 
it to pieces; part escaped in the 
darkness, but all the baggage was 
taken. In the fray Gustavus, with 
his usual recklessness, rode into the 
midst of the enemy, was surrounded, 
and but for the fidelity and cour- 
age of Captain Harold Stake, would 
have lost his life. After this bril- 
liant foray the party retired to 
Bellingen, and to Werben the next 
day, stationing the cavalry at Sten- 
dal. This capital stroke decidedly 
raised the morale of the men, while the imperialists felt the 
blow to a greater degree than the loss warranted. 

To make up for this defeat, which he appeared to resent 
keenly, Tilly, leaving Wolmirstiidt with fifteen thousand foot 
and seven thousand horse, moved on August 6 to the camp 
at Werben, drew up in battle order, and cannonaded the 
works with sixteen heavy guns, sharply but ineffectively. 
He was doubtful about assault, as no practicable breach had 


Bnrgfstall Operation. 


been made, until he was given to understand by what he sup- 
posed were disaffected soldiers in Gustavus' service, that at 
a given time next day the Swedish guns would be spiked at 
a particular part of the line. Relying upon this informa- 
tion, which he had no means of verifying, he sent his men to 
the assault August 7. But the Swedish guns — as always — 
were in good hands ; Tilly's onslaught, though delivered with 
the old soldier's wonted elan and in massed columns, was met 
by so murderous a fire that its onset was checked ; while the 
cavalry under Baudissin at the opportune moment debouched 
from a side gate, and galloping in on the Walloon's flank, 
completed his discomfiture with extremely heavy losses. 

In this cavalry charge young Duke Bernard of Saxe- 
Weimar distinguished himself and attracted the monarch's 
eye. While Gustavus' reckless exposure of his person in 
battle was often without justification, his example none the 
less produced a wonderful effect on the officers of the army. 
Where the king exhibited such a spirit, how should any 
man lack bravery ? The result of Gustavus' gallantry was 
markedly for good, — indefensible as it was, and sad as its 
results proved in the succeeding year. 

Seeing no gain from remaining in Gustavus' front, Tilly 
retired to Tangermiinde August 9. He had incurred a loss 
of six thousand killed and wounded within a few days, plus 
a great number of desertions. Thence, hearing that on 
August 7 Horn had arrived at Rathenow with nine thousand 
men, he hastily retired to Wolmirstadt, lest he should be taken 
in flank. The imperial general thus left under a cloud the 
vicinity where so long he had triumphed. The two captains 
had measured swords, and unconquered Tilly had given up 
the field without a victory. 

As Tilly might be about to cross the Elbe, to pierce the 
Havel line, Ghistavus prepared a bridge over the Dosse, so as 



readily to retire to its defense, and ordered Bui^r to dam 
and flood the river. But Tilly did not venture any forward 

The king had consamed a year in securing hJB bastion od 
the soathem shore of the Baldo. At times his conduct had 
seemed to savor of over-oaution ; but when we consider that 
he landed in Germany with but thirteen thousand men ; that 
he had received no assistance from the folk he had come to 
aid; that he was opposed by superior nombers, the sum total 
of the year shows up splendidly, and his caution had been 
worth any amount of recklessness. His base was now 
aasnred, and the time for action had come. We shall see 
how nobly he improved it 



Tbb Bonth Gtermaii Protestanti had all snbmitted to the imperial decrees ; 
it remained to force the north German principalities into line. Gustayus left 
the Werben camp well g^arrisoned, and assumed position on the HaveL Tilly 
maiched on Hesse-Cassel, where the landgrave and Bernard held head to 
him, and then against Saxony, with orders to disarm it Marking his progress 
with fire and sword, he reached Leipsic and gave his ultimatum. The elector 
was in sad case, but he had brought his troubles on his own head. After a few 
days* resistance, Tilly captured Leipsic, and sat down to await reinforcements. 
Meanwhile Gustavus advanced to the Elbe, anticipating what must follow. 
Driven to desperation, John George made a treaty, offeniiive and defensive, with 
the king, and Gustavus crossed the Elbe and marched to join the Saxon army, 
which was put at his entire disposal A council of war determined on attack, 
and the two armies advanced towards Leipsic. Gustavus, with his line of 
■maU brigades and shallow formation, armed with handy muskets, and aided 
by quick-firing cannon, was to measure himself against the heavy battles of 
renowned Tilly. It was activity against bulk. Tilly lay with his back to 
Leipsic, facing north ; Gustavus was advancing southerly. 

For many months the imperial troops under Fiirstenberg, 
Aldringer and Fugger had been marching up from Italy, had 
moved into Swabia and Franeonia, and by untold outrage 
compelled the Protestant princes who were acting under the 
Leipsic Convention, to submit to the emperor, to enlist under 
the imperial banners the troops raised for their own defense, 
and to pay heavy penalties. These officers had orders to 
reinforce Tilly, and their head of column had already crossed 
the Main. Tilly remained at Wolmirstadt, which was a 
oentral point between Brandenburg, Saxony and Hesse- 


Cassel, and enabled him to watch them all. His troops were 
badly off as to health and victual, and quite wanting in camp 
discipline, though in battle, be it said to their credit, Tilly's 
men always behaved well, as their chief commanded nobly. 

While the king was awaiting events, Landgrave William 
of Hesse-Cassel came to Werben, definitely to cast in his for- 
tunes with the Swedes ; and a treaty offensive and defensive 
was made, in which Weimar was included. Ten thousand 
men could be raised by these states ; and it was agreed that 
the Swedes should protect the new allies, who would open 
their fortresses to Gustavus and close them to the emperor. 
The landgrave did not feel tliat Gustavus had failed in his 
obligations to Magdeburg, and shortly went back to watch 
his territory. 

For his gallantry displayed in Tilly's attack on Werben, 
Duke Bernard of Saze-Weimar had been made colonel of 
Gustavus' body-guard cavalry regiment. With the landgrave 
the king sent back two of his best battalions as a nucleus for 
drill and discipline, and it was arranged that Bernard should 
take command of the Hessian contingent, as the landgrave had 
much confidence in his military skill. Then, in mid-August, 
leaving in the Werben camp, under Baudissin and Teuffel, a 
force sufficient to defend it, with eighteen thousand troops the 
king moved by his left, back of the Havel, and took post at 
Havelberg, Brandenburg and Rathenow, in a position to con- 
centrate and move on any point. He considered the Havel, 
under the circumstances, a better rendezvous than Werben. 
Each detachment had orders to act on the defensive if 
attacked, utilizing the near-by strong places, until the king 
came up to its assistance. Gustavus had materially gained 
since the disaster at Magdeburg, but he was still compelled 
to wait on Saxony, whose action he believed the enemy under 
the positive orders of the emperor would shortly force ; or 


should Tilly advance, by confining him to the devastated strip 
between the Havel and the Elbe, the king hoped to drive him 
back on Saxony, and thus oblige the elector the quicker to 
decide whose cause he would embrace. Meanwhile, as Tilly 
moved on his new errand, Gustavus advanced nearer the 
Saxon border, to be ready to help John George whenever 
the elector should be ready to help himself. The imperialists 
played into his hands. 

Tilly had definite orders to bring the north German 
princes back to their fealty, as those of south Germany had 
been, — by the sword. From Tangermiinde he had notified 
the Hessians that they must choose between landgrave and 
emperor, and the loyal Hessians gave a noble reply. With 
but five thousand men under his command, Bernard threw 
down the gauntlet. He captured Fritzlar at the end of 
August, while the duke of Hersfeld laid Fulda under contri- 
bution. This was bold conduct in face of the approach of 
the Italian troops, eager to do by Hesse-Cassel as they had 
done by the south German states. But the danger to Hesse 
and Weimar settled itself. Tilly reached Eisleben August 
28 ; and from here, under his new instructions, he ordered 
Aldringer with his seven thousand men, and Fiirstenberg 
with his twenty thousand, to join him for an attack on Sax- 
ony. Tiefenbach from Silesia was to demonstrate on the 
Saxon rear, while Fugger was sent against Hesse-CasseL 

The reason of this change of plan was that the emperor felt 
that it was time to compel Saxony to disarm and submit to 
his authority. He had already made some demands in May 
and July, after a long correspondence dating back to 1630, 
and he now proposed to show that his demands must be met. 
It was for this purpose that Ferdinand ordered Tilly to move 
on John George and enforce the Edict pf Restitution. 

Between them the imperial generals had thirty-four thou- 


sand men, and Aldringer liad got as far as Jena. Tilly^s 
troops moved towards Leipsic with the usual barbarous dev- 
astation, — two hundred burning villages lay in his wake, — 
and reached Halle September 4, and Merseburg next day. 
They finally went into camp between the two places, and 
roving about, plundered the entire neighborhood of Merse- 
burg, Naumburg and Zeitz. Here Tilly declared himself. 
He demanded that John George should quarter and feed the 
imperial army, disband his new levies, serve under his (Tilly's) 
orders with a suitable contingent, formally recognize the 
emperor, and disavow any and all connection with the Swed- 
ish business. 

John George was in pitiable case ; but sympathy for him 
would be wasted. Saxony was torn by three parties, the 
Swedish, the imperial and the neutral. Between his ties to 
the emperor, his Lutheranism, and his desire to erect in Ger- 
many a Third Party which should grow to be strong enough 
to control both the emperor and the emperor's enemies, he 
knew not which way to turn. And yet fire and sword were 
at his gates. He was at this moment under the control of 
Count Amim, who was a Brandenburger and a Lutheran, had 
been Wallenstein's lieutenant at Stralsund, had served with 
Koniezpolski against Gustavus in Poland, and had now 
become Saxon generalissimo. The Third Party notion was 
as much Amim's pet idea as the Corpus Evangelicorum^ or 
union of the Protestant powers, was Gustavus'. 

In all his negotiations with John George, the king had 
shown himself frank and aboveboard in his desire to sub- 
serve the cause of religion in Germany. He was even now 
ready to leave the cause with John George and retire to 
Sweden, providing his rights and those of his fatherland were 
fitly recognized. He had done everything to persuade the 
elector to joint efforts, but John George could not bring him- 


self to an alliance with Sweden until the last ray of hope was 
gone of reconciling the two religions under the empire. 

Nearing Leipsic, Tilly, on September 8, demanded a sup- 
ply of victual from 
this city; but the 
citizens were bold 
in their reply. Un- 
less their master, 
the elector, con- 
sented, they would 
have no dealings 
with TiUy. The 
imperial general 
appeared before 
the gates, devas- 
tated the entira 
re^on, and again 
demanded quar- 
ters and rations. 
Ag&ia refused, he 
moved on the 
town, camped near 
MiJekem, and 

threatened Xieipsio 
with utter destruo- 
tioo unless it sur- 
rendered. More 

Lnprie and Brelteufild. 

bold than discreet, the citizens replied as before. Tilly 
opened trenches, planted a heavy battery of si^;e-guns and 
mortars at Pfaffendorf, and intrenched the heights at 
Eutritsch to bar the road from Diiben, by which the Swedes 
might come. The citizens burned the suburbs, manned the 
walls, and replied with some effeot to Tilly's fire, which began 


September 14. After nearly a day's bombardment Tilly 
again demanded surrender, and threatened the city with the 
fate of Magdeburg in case the gates were not forthwith 

The three messengers sent by the elector had been cap- 
tured ; Leipsic did not know how near relief was ; and fur- 
ther resistance being mere madness, Tilly's ultimatum was 
accepted September 16. Four hundred thousand florins were 
paid, the small garrison marched out with the honors of war, 
and Tilly occupied the town. Scarcely within walls, Tilly 
received news of the approach of the allies. He at once 
marched to the north of the city, and drew up in battle order 
on the hills opposite Podelwitz and Gobschelwitz, and with 
Leipsic in his rear. He would have been glad to wait for 
Aldringer and Fugger, but reinforcements were to be denied 

The plundering and devastation of the imperial army had 
embittei'ed the elector, whose obstinate clinging to his impos- 
sible neutrality was now reaping its reward, and Anally pre- 
vailed on him to declare against the empire. Not counting 
garrisons, he had some eighteen thousand men assembled in 
Torgau to prevent Tilly's reaching Dresden. 

Gustavus had advanced to Wittenberg on September 2, 
with Ave thousand cavalry. Ban^r and Teuffel followed, 
while to Tott was committed the duty of holding the bastion, 
should matters turn out badly. Horn was to form a new 
army, on the nucleus of the Havel troops, from a promised 
Brandenburg contingent, some Swedish eavalr}*^ to arrive, the 
Scotch battalions, and the men of Hamilton and Leslie ; and 
to be ready, if ordered, to move on Silesia. 

The Swedish army, on September 3, had reached Coswig 
and Wittenberg. John George having succumbed, Branden- 
burg and Saxony, from whatever motives, were arrayed on the 


Swedish side, and Gustavus saw daylight before him. An 
alliance offensive and defensive was made at Coswig, Septem- 
ber 10, by which the elector agreed to give the Swedish army 
a month*s pay, furnish it with rations, and admit it to his 
most important cities. All defiles were to be open to Gusta- 
vus and closed to the imperialists ; the conduct of military 
affairs was to be left to Gustavus, and no peace was to be 
concluded without him. The king agreed to drive the impe- 
rialists from Saxony, and stand by John George to the last. 
Had Brandenburg and Saxony joined him a year before, what 
might not have been accomplished ! Hereupon, instant orders 
were given to break up, all available forces were called in to 
the colors, Horn was instructed to join the king, and the 
army crossed the Elbe at Wittenberg and headed for Diiben 
on the Mulde, the rendezvous with the Saxons. 

The ^^ order of battle " in which they passed the bridge is 
interesting. On September 9 a cavalry detachment of five 
hundred men had crossed and been spread out as a curtain 
to cover the bridge ; and on September 12 Quartermaster- 
General Bouillon, with three hundred cavalry and a small 
wagon-train, joined them. The army itself began to cross 
September 13. First marched a vanguard of two thousand 
foot, a detachment of cavalry, and twelve guns drawn by 
teams of eleven to thirty-one horses ; ordnance and munition 
wagons came next, carts loaded with cannon-balls, nine regi- 
mental pieces with their munition wagons, all followed by 
four blue and white comets. His majesty of Sweden in 
person followed, under special escort of two cavalry comets, 
with black and gold pennants, his battle-charger led behind 
him; and then several other comets, blue and red, white, 
orange, yellow, red, blue, green. Behind these filed four 
royal six-horse canopy coaches and two royal baggage wagons, 
and again cavalry comets, green, blue and red. Then fol- 


lowed the infantry regiments with their pieces and powder 
and ball carts, the baggage wagons and pack-horses; and 
then the bulk of the cavalry with all its baggage. Last filed 
the general wagon-column under escort of horse and foot. 

The army halted at Kemberg towards evening, and next 
day, September 14, it reached Diiben. 

From Torgau the elector reached the vicinity of Diiben 
September 15. Gustavus rode over to the Saxon army, 
warmly greeted the elector, and narrowly inspected the 
troops, which were drawn up in parade order. He estimated 
the six regiments each of horse and foot at twenty thousand 
men, though they are elsewhere given at sixteen thousand. 
A joint inspection of the Swedish army followed. There 
were twenty thousand foot and seventy-five hundred horse 
in line. 

At a council of war immediately succeeding these ceremo- 
nials, Gustavus advised a series of manoeuvres to tire out the 
imperial army and seek to place it at a disadvantage before a 
general battle. He spoke of his ability to do this as superior 
to Tilly's, and suggested the distress Brandenburg and Sax- 
ony would be in in case of a defeat. For himself, he said, 
he could retire beyond seas, for which purpose he had a good 
base to embark from and a fleet. Curiously, John George 
the procrastinator now urged immediate battle. He was 
anxious to save Saxony from the plundering to which it was 
being subjected, was unwilling to subsist two armies during 
the suggested manceuvres, and had great confidence in the 
Swedish capacity for fighting. Gustavus was not loth to 
deliver battle, and it was determined to march without delay 
to the relief of Leipsic. On the 16th the allied army 
marched from Diiben to Wolkau. 

*^In the early twilight of the 6th (16th N. S.) we passed 
through Diiben and reached the hamlet of Wolkau, one and 


a half (German) miles from Leipsic, near evening," writes 
the king, from whose letters or dispatches comes a good bit of 
information ; ^' and here we rested over night. On the 7th 
(17th), in the gray of the morning, I ordered the bugles to 
sound the march, and as between us and Leipsic there were 
no woods, but a vast plaiu, I deployed the army into battle 
order and marched towards that city. After an hour and a 
half's march, we saw the enemy's vanguard with artillery on 
a hill in our front, and behind it the bulk of his army." 

It is not possible accurately to gauge the nimibers of the 
two armies. Apparently good authorities differ, and even 
the Swedish records are at variance with regard to the 
Saxons. On the day of the battle the Swedes, according to 
the official list, had twenty-six thousand eight hundred men 
in line, viz. : nineteen thousand one hundred foot, and seven 
thousand seven hundred horse. The joint forces may have 
been forty-five thousand men. Neither can the strength of 
Tilly's army be justly given, but it no doubt fell a good deal 
short of forty thousand men. 

Until Frederick the Great astonished Europe with his 
grand-tactics, there are but few battles of modern times which 
exhibit novelty in manceuvre. Armies met in a formal way, 
drew up in parallel order, advanced on each other, and there 
ensued a hand to hand conflict much wanting in the element 
of calculation or the utilization of favorable conditions ; who- 
ever stood the hammering or staved off demoralization the 
longer won. 

The battle of Breitenfeld was a good sample of retrieving, 
by quick decision and action, an impending disaster, of utiliz- 
ing an opportunity offered, of true battle-captain's work. It 
was not noteworthy for any special exhibition of what we now 
call grand-tactics, for it was not fought as it was intended it 
should be ; but it was essentially noteworthy as being the first 


great engagement in which the modem tactics of mobility, 
of which Grustavus Adolphus was the originator and expo- 
nent, were opposed to the Middle Ages tactics of weight ; in 
which the new Swedish was opposed to the old Spanish 
method. In this sense the contest was as interesting as the 
matching of phalanx against legion. 

The Spanish tactics, as already explained, consisted in 
marshaling heavy bodies — battalia or battles — of troops in 
such masses that their mere advance should be irresistible, 
and that they should break a charge of cavalry upon them as 
the cliff breaks up the waves. The line was set up with foot 
in heavy squares in the centre, and horse in heavy columns on 
the wings, and after the fire of the artillery and the charge of 
the squares had shaken the enemy, the duty of the horse was 
to ride him down. The infantry battalia were wont to con- 
sist of fifty files ten deep, of which mass the bulk was mere 
pushing, not fighting force ; and on the four corners stood 
groups of musketeers, two or three deep ; while other musket- 
eers were put out as skirmishers to protect the flanks of the 
battalia. Such was the Spanish battalion ; it was an oblong 
fortress with bastions at the corners, and surrounded by 

In these huge masses of human brawn the weapons were 
equally cumbersome. The pike was long and heavy, of use 
only to keep an opponent at a distance, not to demolish him 
by stroke of arm ; and the old musket, requiring ninety-nine 
^* times and motions " to handle, and a crutch to lean it on to 
fire, was as slow and ineffective as the artillery. Nor was the 
cavalry much less lumbering. Like a child with a new toy, 
it had fallen in love with its firearms, had come to discard it? 
shock-tactics, and had learned to rely on repeated salvos of 
its carbines or pistols. These salvos were delivered from 
near at hand, and the squadrons lost the momentum of the 


full gallop charge from a distance. It was really mounted 
infantry, one regiment differing from another only in weight 
of armor or weapons. No doubt all this had a defensive 
value ; but set it going at any pace, and it would fall apart 
by its own weight. 

What Gustavus had been introducing and practicing his 
troops to use, ever since he ascended the throne, was a gun 
which could be rapidly fired, and a formation in which men 
could readily manoeuvre. The Swedes had now next to no 
armor to hamper their movements ; their musket was so light 
as to need no crutch, and its wheel-lock was vastly better 
than the match-lock of the imperialists. In addition to this, 
Gustavus' artillery was immeasurably superior, and the regi- 
mental pieces could actually follow the regiments. 

Moreover, instead of these large bodies, which were in* 
tended to act together and be mutually dependent, the Swedes 
had a line made up of smaller battle groups, each of which 
was independent and self-sustaining. Gustavus had the habit 
not of collecting all his horse in a mass on each flank, but of 
alternating bodies of horse and foot in parts of the line itself. 
To soldiers brought up under the modem system, this formar 
tion seems odd enough, but it well suited the fire of that day, 
as it had suited at times the ancient tactics ; bodies of cavalry 
need no longer dash uselessly against the battles, but the 
horse and foot were able to support each other in an advance. 
When the musketeers had broken the enemy by their fire, 
the horse pushed out and charged him. In retreat they 
^worked equally well ; the musketeers protected the horse, and 
the horse prevented the broken foot from being ridden down. 
In the centre of the line the foot was not always mixed with 
horse ; but the units were smaller. The full Swedish brigade 
is stated at one thousand two hundred and twenty-four men, 
and was made up of either one strong or two or three weak 


regiments. It was a sort of wedge of one body of pikemen 
backed by two others, and in the intervals and on the flanks 
bodies of musketeers who might break out, deploy to fire, and 
again retire into the brigade. At Breitenfeld the brigades 
stood in three lines. The sketch of Lord Reay was not the 
common order of the Swedish brigade formation, though it 

may have applied to foreign 

rrn bodics iu Swcdish service. 

[7^x;r| [Itbff\ @ pulp] p^I^ Perhaps the diifference exists 

lAggMi in the use of the words ^' lialf- 

l"*^^ UifcH |'»H brigade " for what others 

n.Hu>Hi.T£tii« PL.^iicHCN called '^ brigade." The leading 

Brigade and Half-brigade. half-brigade of Lord Reay's di- 

Lord Beay't ■ketch. . . . 

agram corresponds to what is 
usuaUy referred to as a brigade ; the rear half-brigade does not. 

As already explained, the line had been reduced to files 
three deep for firing in battle, though supposed to be six deep 
in fact ; the first rank knelt and the other two stood. This 
gave much more effective fire and reduced casualties. Fire 
was delivered by platoon or by rank, and each rank having 
fired had but two others to pass to go to the rear and load. 
In the imperial army it might have nine ranks to pass. 

What Gustavus gained in men by his shallow formation, 
he utilized by carefully marshaling his second line ; and what 
his first line lost in weight was made up by a second line or 
by reserves. It must not be supposed that the Swedish line 
lacked strength. It had nearly as many men, over six to the 
lineal metre of front, as the imperialists. Its organization 
gave it both power and elasticity. The two armies differed 
as a rigid cast-iron bar differa from an elastic steel sword- 
blade. The latter has life which the other lacks. 

We shall see how these two systems worked in the first 
general engagement where they fairly and squarely met. 


The Leipdo plain is wide and flat, irith here and there a rolling hillock good 
for artillery. Tilly had an admirahle line, and a splendid array of retenun. 
He had never lost a great hattle, and his men were eager to fight. The 
Swedes were not handsome, but the stnff was there. The Saxons were a 
bespangled lot, but they did not know what fighting meant. Tilly stood in a 
line of seventeen great battles, with Pappenheim and Fiirstenberg on the 
flanks, and with his guns admirably posted. Early astir, the Swedes marched 
towards the enemy with cheer. Bmshing away Tilly's outposts, they came 
into line with the Saxons on their left. In the Swedish wings horse was mixed 
with the foot in alternate small detachments ; the right wing under Ban^r was 
principally horae ; the king led the centre, mostly of foot ; Horn on the left, 
with horae and foot. Each regiment had its guns, and the reserve artillery 
under Torstenson was on the left centre. The Saxon formation is not known. 
The batUe opened with artillery, and restless Pappenheim rode out, unordered, 
to break the Swedish right ; but Ban^r met him manfully, and drove him off in 
flight Next, Fiirstenberg chaiged in on the Saxons, and sent them flying to 
the rear. Tilly had viewed these unauthorised advances in dismay ; but the 
flight of the Saxons uncovered Gustavus* flank; he prepared to strike him 
there, and wheeled in upon him. Qustavus was ready. Forming a crotchet of 
his left, he reinforced Horn, and then, heading the cavalry of the right, he 
rode down the late line of battle, captured Tilly's guns, and turned them on 
the enemy. The centre swung round so as to prolong Horn's new line, and 
Torstenson's guns took Tilly's squares in flank. The battle was won; but 
brave Tilly with his Walloons held firm until fairly torn to shreds. Then, 
thrice wounded, the old hero was borne off the field by his beaten troops d*4litt. 
The victory was complete. Activity had proved superior to weight. 

The original intention of Tilly had been to operate defen- 
sively behind the Elster and Saale until his belated lieuten- 
ants should arrive, but Pappenheim had been hotly urging 
on his chief the necessity of at once quelling the spirit of the 


Protestants by beating them in battle, as he had no doubt 
unconquered Tilly could do. Few of the generals sustained 
the chief in waiting for reinforcements, and Tilly listened to 
the plea of his young and ardent officers. The events around 
Leipsic brought the armies together, and after the capture 
of the city, Tilly sat down with his back to it to await the 
onmarch of the new allies. 

The plain north of Leipsic is admirably adapted for the 
evolutions of an army. It stretches for miles in either direc- 
tion with but slight accentuation, and what slopes do exist 
are as if created for the play of artillery. Tilly had previ- 
ously sent out and intrenched some heights at Entritsch so 
as to hold the road from Diiben, and had selected for his line 
the elevation facing Podelwitz and Gobschelwitz athwart the 
allied advance; his batteries, protected in a slight way by 
earthworks, lay near the turnpike. 

While the Swedes and Saxons, in the gray of the morning 
of September 17, 1631, were preparing to cross the Lober- 
bach in their advance on Leipsic, Tilly led his brilliant 
colunm to these same heights and out beyond; and some 
time before the arrival of the allies, had drawn up his long 
array, with Breitenfeld to the rear of his left, a mile or so 
away, and Seehausen behind his right. The sun and wind 
were both at his back, a feature much in his favor. 

In contrast to the rough and rusty Swedes, Tilly com- 
manded a splendid-looking set of veterans. His army num- 
bered men who had followed him for years, and knew that 
he had never yet been conquered in a battle. Prominent 
among these were his Walloons, at the head of whom he 
took his stand on his white battle-charger, which was known 
to every man in line. As the rugged old veteran of seventy- 
two passed along, shouts of "Father Tilly!" rang from 
battalion to battalion. There was no feeling of uncertainty 


in the imperial army. That fuU-throated cheer presaged 

As variously computed, Tilly had from thirty-two to forty 
thousand men, of which a quarter was cavalry. He drew 
up the infantry in seventeen great battalia, of fifteen hun- 
dred to two thousand men each, in the centre, and ranged 
the horse in similar masses of about one thousand men, ten 
deep, on the flanks. Pappenheim with his famous black 
cuirassiers was on the left, Fiirstenberg, who had personally 
come up, was on the right, with the cavalry just back from 
Italy, under Isolani, in first line. Tilly is credited with 
but twenty-six guns. This was the number reported as 
captured by the Swedes, but it seems as if there must have 
been more. His guns were difficult to handle, but he would 
scarcely meet his new antagonist without an effort to place 
in line batteries more nearly equal to the Swedish, whose 
effectiveness he must well know. His heavy guns were 
placed between the right wing and the centre ; his light guns 
in front of the centre. 

It has been asserted on the generally plausible ground of 
the custom of the day, that Tilly's army was drawn up in 
two lines. But all old pictures of the battle show but one 
line, and Tilly covered so great a stretch of front that, with 
his deep battalia, he had scarce enough men to form a 
regular second line. Only the Italian author Gualdo speaks 
of two lines; other accounts mention no second one. How- 
ever disposed, the imperial line was longer than the allied, 
considerably overlapping the Swedish. Tilly had many 
times won success by wheeling in on the enemy's flank, and 
he may have hoped to do so here. Not proliflc of novelties 
in tactics, he based his faith on the time-tried manoeuvre. 
His men bound white kerchiefs in their hats, and the watch- 
word was " Jesu-Marial " 


With a small column of cavalry, Pappenheim had been 
sent forward to arrest the aUied advance at the little stream 
Loberbach, if perchance some advantage might be had of 

At early daylight the Swedes had fallen into line, and 
advanced in battle order across the even plain from Wolkau, 
towards Leipsic. After an hour and a half's march they 
ran across the enemy's van, and then caught sight of the 
imperial array on the slopes where it had taken up its stand. 
To cross the Loberbach, the armies were compelled to ploy 
into column, and here they encountered the skirmishers of 
Pappenheim ; but they threw them back, and crossed at the 
several fords. 

Tlie Swedes held the right and centre; the Saxons the 
left; but the two armies fought as separate organizations. 
There is no record of the Saxon formation ; the Swedish may 
be of interest. The Saxons lay on the east of the Diiben 
road; the Swedes on the west. 

The Swedish centre had in first line four brigades of foot 
under Generals Winkel, Carl Hall, Teufifel and Ake Oxen- 
stiem; in reserve to the first line the cavalry regiment of 
Ortenburg, and the Scottish infantry under Monroe and 
Ramsey. In second line the centre had three brigades, of 
which one Scotch under General Hepburn, and two German 
under Generals Vitzthum and Thurn. Behind this stood 
the reserve cavalry under Sehafmann and Kochtitzky. 

At the head of the right wing, which was mostly cavalry, 
stood Field-Marshal Ban6r, second in command. In first 
line were the East Gothland, Sm^nd, West Gothland, and 
two Finland regiments under Tott; and the Wiinsch and 
St^lhandske regiments, the best of their kind. Between each 
two of the small cavalry divisions there was stationed a body 
of two hundred musketeers. In reserve was the Bhinegrave 


regiment. In second line stood the cavalry regiments of 
Sperreuter, Damitz, and the Courland and Livonia regi- 

Field-Marshal Horn commanded the left wing. In first 
line stood the cavalry regiments of Baudissin, Calenbach and 
Horn, interspersed with the bodies of two hundred musket- 
eers already mentioned. There was no reserve to this first 
line. In second line came Courville's and Hall's cavalry 
regiments. Between each two cavalry divisions was the 
same body of two hundred musketeers. 

The regimental pieces were in front of the regiments; 
what we might call the reserve artillery was massed in front 
of the left centre under Torstenson. 

On the left of Horn came the Saxons, destined by their 
utter lack of discipline, not to say cowardice, to aid in win- 
ning the battle. 

The whole Swedish army wore hopeful green branches in 
their headgear, and the pass-word was ^^God with us!" 
Gustavus, who, despite his growing bulkiness, was always 
a noble figure, addressed the troops amid great enthusiasm. 
He wore but his common buff coat, and a gray hat with a 
green feather. Armor he had long ago discarded as uncom- 
fortable ; for the Danzig bullet still lay in his shoulder, and 
he was irritated by the weight of the cuirass. He sought but 
the protection of the Almighty. 

The Saxon army was freshly equipped, and looked well. 
The imperialists wore gold and silver ornamented clothes, — 
the plunder of an hundred towns, — and from their headgear 
nodded fine plumes. Their horses were big showy Germans; 
the Swedish horses were small and gaunt. Compared to the 
other soldiers on this field, the Swedish peasant made a 
slender show; but the stuff was in him, as his fine friends 
and foes alike found out and long remembered. 


So soon as they came within range, the imperial artillery 
began playing on the allies, and their marshaling took place 
under constant fire; but when the Swedish guns could be 
got up, they were put in battery, and replied three shots for 
one. The advance and deployment of the allied line had 
taken till nearly noon, and for two hours and a half after 
that time, there was no exchange except a cannonade, which 
indeed went on during the whole day. 

Pappenheim's splendid cuirassiers had returned from the 
Loberbach and had taken place in line. All were now 
awaiting some incident to call for an opening attack; the 
imperialists expected the allies to advance, and Gustavus was 
making sure that aU was ready, to give the signal call. 

Pappenheim was growing restless. He was bold and 
impatient. Having stood the Swedish artillery fire for a 
number of hours, he could contain himself no longer. Grath- 
ering his five thousand horse in hand, and without awaiting 
orders from his chief, he thundered down upon Ban^r, who 
held the Swedish right, galloping in on him at the head of 
the best cavalry division then in arms. Tilly recognized his 
lieutenant's mistake before he had ridden a hundred yards. 
"They have robbed me of my honor and my glory!" he 
cried, throwing up his arms in despair. 

In order to place his line where the disadvantage of dust 
would not be so great — the wind was southwest and the 
plain parched from a long drouth — Gustavus had, after 
crossing the Loberbach, moved well to his right, to establish 
his position. 

The idea of Pappenheim was that he could edge to the left 
enough to outflank the Swedes, and then, by a half right 
wheel, push in and destroy their flank. He did not know 
Ban^r. He forgot, too, that his advance would separate 
him from the main body of the army at a time when he 


might be sadly needed. His action was in every sense to 

Not only was Pappenheim's advance an error, what was 
worse, it failed. 

The Swedish formation and excellent behavior easily with- 
stooil the shock. The ^'commanded musketeers'' — as the 
small bodies interspersed with the cavalry were called — 
received the cuirassiers with withering salvos, and between 
shots the Finns and Goths charged out on the horsemen 
with a gallantry which cheered the whole right flank. Ban^r 
at once imderstood the purpose of the brave but over-impetu- 
ous Pappenheim; and when the imperial commander turned 
from the Swedish front, and rode around its flank, he was 
met before he was ready by a stiff counter-charge from one 
of the cavalry regiments in reserve behind the first line. 
Not discouraged, though checked, Pappenheim renewed and 
renewed his charges. Seven times did he rally his men, and 
dash down upon the Swedish front and flank ; but the mus- 
keteers — fit prototype of Fritz's Prussian foot — stood their 
ground as steadily in the hand to hand conflict as if they had 
been on parade, and the Swedish cavalry, though lighter by 
far, wavered not from their doughty resistance. The Hol- 
stein infantry regiment, which was sent by Tilly to Pappen- 
heim's support, was cut to pieces, and the duke fell at the 
head of his men. No impression whatever had been created 
by Pappenheim's advance; and even this preux chevalier was 
eventually thrown back, decimated and unnerved, was fol- 
lowed sharply by Ban^r and driven ofif the field. The wreck 
fled towards Halle, and Grustavus discreetly recalled the pur- 
suers to the line. 

It must be remembered that the cavalry charge of that 
day was not delivered at a gallop. The troops rather rode 
at a trot, and at a convenient distance halted to use their 


firearms. So long as there was a volley left, they did not 
draw their swords. It was not a question of solid impact; 
cavalry was not then the ^'arm of the moment;" it fought 
like infantry on horsebs^ck, and the footman's *^push of 
pike "was much more common than the horseman's cold 
steel, so long as the enemy showed a front. When he lost 
steadiness, came the cavalryman's chance ; he coidd slash up 
broken infantry if he could not break it. 

On the allied left the result was different indeed. The 
charge of the imperial cavalry, under Fiirstenberg and 
Isolani, coidd not long be held back after Pappenheim had 
staiiied on his gallant but mistaken ride; the squadrons 
drove forward, straight upon the Saxon array. Nor did 
they meet a line of Swedish veterans; except for some efforts 
by the horse and artillery, they crushed in the Saxon forma- 
tion the moment they reached it ; and the loss of a few gun- 
ners, the unseating of a few officers, was enough to send the 
bespangled battalions of John George to the right-about. 
The elector was seized with an equal terror; he and his 
body-guard turned and spurred away to Eilenburg. In a 
short half hour the imperial cavalry of the right had driven 
the whole Saxon contingent — nearly half the army — from 
the field; having done which, it prepared to turn in upon 
the now naked left flank of the king of Sweden. 

The Swedish train behind the army caught the infection 
from the flying Saxons, and made its way to the rear, in 
much disorder. As non-combatants they were mostly hired 
Germans, on whose stanchness no reliance could be placed. 

The battle had begun without the orders of Father Tilly; 
it was running its course without any interference by him; 
it was going quite against his wishes. But at this juncture, 
from his position in the centre, he was quick to see that the 
Saxon flight had opened a chance by which he might repair 


the errors already made, and win the day. The Swedish 
left was open; and Tilly's centre of irresistible Spanish 
battalia not only overlapped it, but he now outnumbered the 
king at least three to two. Moreover Tilly was compelled 
to act, for the fire from Torstenson's quick-served gims was 
growing deadlier every minute. He gave the order to 
advance in the wake of Fiirstenberg, and, in the belief that 
the king would not separate his left from his centre, obliqued 
to the right, so as to get well beyond Gustavus' left. The 
direction of his movement was to the east of the Diiben 
road; and be it said for the credit of Tilly's manoBuvring 
capacity, that a part of his heavy line of battalia was able 
to march obliquely to the right, make a partial wheel to the 
left, and still advance in serried ranks against the position 
where, when it started out over two hours before, had stood 
the Swedish naked flank; while Fiirstenberg rode further to 
the north, to come down upon its rear. 

But Gustavus was alive to the danger, and Horn could 
manoeuvre twice as fast as the best of Tilly's battles. Under 
Gustavus' instructions Horn smartly wheeled his wing to 
the left, threw out detachments to hold the ditches of the 
Diiben road, and was ready to meet the imperial general 
long before he reached the spot; while the king, hastily 
drawing Vitzthum's and Hepburn's brigades from the second 
line of the centre, threw them in to sustain the new line on 
the left. The fight here was thus established on a safe basis, 
and despite their heroic charges tlie Swedes drove the impe- 
rial cavalry back, and were ready to attack the battalia when 
they shoidd put in their appearance. 

Now came the moment for Gustavus and his mobile line, 
and the king grasped it in a twinkling. Biding back to the 
right, he gave hurried orders to Ban^r, and heading the 
West Gothland horse down along the front of the Swedish 



Battle of Breitenf eld. (2d PhMW.) 

line, he aent them charging at a furious gallop in on the 
flank of Tilly's battles. Here it was cold steel; not a volley 
was fired, but the squadrons dashed straight at the enemy 
with the momentum of a 
pas de charge. Gustavus 
himself waited but to seize 
the Sm&landers, East 
Gothlanders and Finns, — 
four regiments, — and fol- 
lowed hard along, bearing 
to the right up the slope 
where still stood the im- 
perial guns. These were 
heavy and hard to move, 
and the king and his 
horsemen swept over them wholesale, captured them in a 
trice, sabred the gunners where they stood, and in a few 
minutes turned the battery against the flank of Tilly's line, 
now standing at bay where the brave old soldier had hoped 
to turn the tide. Never, in modem days, had the chances 
of battle been improved by so rapid, so masterly, so bold a 

The temporary promise of success of the imperial right, 
and the failure of its left, had thus given a new and curious 
direction to the line of battle. The Swedish left stood 
ahnost at right angles to where it had first been marshaled, 
with Tilly, in more or less irregular order from his unwonted 
manoBuvre, facing it. The king had captured Tilly's origi- 
nal position, and was not only pounding the imperialists 
with their own cannon-balls, but Torstenson had swung round 
his reserve artillery, which had stood in front of the Swedish 
centre, and was pouring the contents of his munition wagons, 
on a line parallel to the late Swedish front, into the huge. 


defiant squares. Gustavus now made a general wheel to the 
left by his centre and right, so as to prolong the new front 
of Horn. He had already, by capturing the imperial bat- 
teries, cut the enemy off from Leipsic, but the battle was 
still to be won, and there was a fierce and prolonged hand 
to hand fight along the Diiben road. With all the artillery 
in his hands and all the cavalry now left upon the field, it 
could, however, end but one way. It was solely a question 
of how complete the victory should be; of what losses the 
imperialists would stand before their resistance was tiimed 
into flight ; of how tough Father Tilly was. 

Tilly's veterans fought in a way to preserve their own 
fame and their general's reputation. Standing at bay with 
the Swedish array on two sides of them, torn by the fire of 
their own and the enemy's guns; with their cavalry in dis- 
tant flight, no reserves to aid, no hope of anything but 
destruction, the battles of Tilly stuck manfully to their task. 
Gaps were torn in their ranks to no purpose. There they 
stood, partly from gallant love of their rough old chief, 
partly from the sheer inertia of their massed formation, — 
as the ranks of Porus had stood at the Hydaspes, as the 
Russian hollow square would stand at Kimersdorf . Finally, 
towards nightfall, the stampede began. Once begun, it 
spread fast, and shortly, save a small body of braves who 
surrounded Tilly, the infantry battalia melted into a mass 
of fugitives. There was no organization left. Pappen- 
heim's famous horsemen had hours ago been broken, and 
with Fiirstenberg's had fled; and Tilly's battles crumbled 
i before the activity of the Swedish onslaught. 

The Saxon guns were recaptured by the Swedes. The 
imperial army lost seven thousand killed, six thousand 
wounded and captured, all its artillery, ninety flags and the 
whole train. The rest of the army fled in every direction, 






mostly towards Halle, whither, thrice wounded and scarcely 
escaping capture, Tilly also made his way, and from thence 
to Halberstadt. Here he joined Pappenheim, collected what 
he could of his forces, and retired to the line of the 

It is related that, so soon as the battle was fairly won, 
Gustavus dismounted, kneeled on the blood-stained field, 
and offered up thanks to the Giver of Victory, while aU near 
by him joined earnestly in his pious act. With Gustavus 
such sincerity was inbred, — like the unspoken battle prayers 
of Stonewall Jackson. 

The king, whose loss had not exceeded twenty-one hun- 
dred killed and wounded, left the Saxon contingent to cap- 
ture Leipsic, and followed up the retreating imperialists. 
With his usual push he himself headed a body of fifteen 
hundred horse, and at Merseburg, on September 19, overtook 
a considerable detachment, beat it, and captured three thou- 
sand prisoners. He occupied Halle, September 21, but did 
not pursue beyond the Saale, for he wished to be secure in 
his foothold in Saxony before he moved decisively into 
western or southern Germany. The imperial garrison in 
Leipsic surrendered September 23, and the Saxons returned 
to Torgau. 

After Ijring some time in the Halberstadt region, Tilly 
moved to the Weser, where he recovered his strength rapidly. 
"Whose house doth bum, Must soldier turn" was true, and 
he found plenty of recruits. 

Breitenfeld, the first great battle of the modem era, is 
peculiar in more than one way. Counting out the Saxons, 
who were but a source of weakness, the king was heavily 
outnumbered, and was attacked successively and in force on 
both flanks, in a manner which on more than one occasion 
has proved fatal to an army. Attempted flank attacks some- 


times open gaps in the line which delivers them, and result 
in more harm to it than gain made against the enemy. In 
this case, the flank attacks, while not lacking in direction 
and vigor, were met with great constancy; and Pappenheim's 
being delivered without orders, took the control of the battle 
out of the hands of the general in command. The situation 
which led up to Tilly's overthrow was none of his making, 
though Pappenheim afterwards complained of not being sup- 
ported in his first charge, and it was Tilly's putting all his 
strength into the manoBuvre on the naked Swedish left flank 
which practically broke up his line. This would not have 
happened had Tilly been faced by a line of slow-moving bat- 
tles ; and few generals, in any era, would have neglected so 
apparently good an opening. It was the Swedish mobility, 
led by Gustavus' splendid vigor, and his true coup d'oeil 
to seize the moment and order the manoBuvre needed, which 
won the battle, rather than Tilly's errors which lost it. 
Against a heavy line like his own the imperial general 
would doubtless have been victorious, despite the error of 

Gustavus was at once recognized as the Protestant Hero. 

Those who had looked askance at him, who had likened him 

to Christian of Denmark, were now vociferous in his praise ; 

those who had feared to join his standard by word or deed, 

lest heavy retribution should await them in case of failure, 

now openly declared for him. All Germany was overran 

I with pamphlets to laud him, with pictures and medals of 

: Gustavus the Great. For once the Catholic press and pam- 

i phleteers were silenced. Their defeat had been too over- 

I whelming. Nothing could be said to excuse it. 

[ The spirit of the Swedes was as much heightened by this 

j victory as the king had gained in glory. The enlistment of 

prisoners and the gathering up of garrisons swelled the ranks 



of Hie Protestant allies. A new army assembled on the 
lower Elbe; Tott besieged Rostock, while Landgrave Wil- 
liam and Duke Bernard held Fugger in check, cleaned 
Hes8e-Ca8s4;l of imperial troops, and made enterprising raids 
into adjoining Catholic territorr- 



In fourteen months GnstaTui had not only seonrely established his bastion, 
but at Breitenfeld had quite changed the aspect of the cause; all laggards 
now crowded around him with offers of help. Tilly retired behind the 
Weser ; the Catholics saw in the Snow King a dangerous opponent ; and the 
Protestant prospects were flattering. Even Wallenstein aspired to serve the 
king, but GustaTUS mistrusted him. With Saxony and Brandenburg as allies, 
OustaTus moTed confidently to the Erfurt country, through Thuringia to the 
Main, and to the bishoprics dubbed the Priest's Alley, leaving John Geoi^ to 
command an operation towards Silesia. Many thought the king should march 
direct on Vienna ; but it was method, not temerity, which distinguished Ous- 
tarus, and he preferred not to prejudice what was already won. Tilly was 
watched by a minor column, and the king pushed on to the Main. He used 
his interior lines ; every strip gained was carefully guarded ; treaties were 
made with the lands he crossed, and with the free cities, such as Niimberg. 
The Main was reached early in October, Wiirzburg and its castle taken, contri- 
butions levied, and the Jesuits banished. Tilly meanwhile raised a new army, 
marched to Aschaffenburg, joined the duke of Lorraine, and began to operate 
timorously in the region south of the Main, with near forty thousand men. 

Only fourteen months had elapsed since Gustavus had 
landed in Germany, but by his far-seeing, cautious and 
well-digested plans, crowned by the decisive victory of Brei- 
tenfeld, he had completely changed the prospects of the 
Protestants. He had secured a firm footing in northern 
Germany, where he held all but a few of the strong places 
down to Saxony, and had isolated these. His communica- 
tions with Sweden were secured by the control of the sea, 
and he had practi(*ally established his long-coveted Domi- 
nium Maris Baltici. After many and vexatious delays he 


had concluded treaties with Brandenburg, Saxony, Hesse- 
Cassel and Weimar, and was strengthened by accessions of 
troops, tendered and promised from many other quarters. 
On landing, the horizon was dark and unpromising; the sky 
had now cleared, and the sun of success blazed forth to cheer 
the hearts of all. 

As Gustavus had gained in moral weight, so his army had 
gained in aplomb and confidence. His operations had at times 
appeared slow and cautious, but they had been sure, and, 
what is better, were justified by the results. He had met 
with but one serious failure, — Magdeburg, — and this was 
chargeable to the elector of Saxony. Breitenfeld had placed 
him on the most prominent pedestal in Europe. The Catholics 
no longer looked de haut en has on the ^^Snow King." He 
was a redoubtable opponent as well as the Protestant Hero, 
— the "Lion of the North and Bulwark of the Faith." The 
imperialists had lost in spirit and organization all that the 
Sweiles had gained. Their retreat to the Weser opened 
the heart of the emperor's possessions to the king's thrust, 
with but a trivial force in the way. The emperor's authority 
had received from his "new little enemy" an almost fatal 
blow, and the Protestants of north and west Germany, who, 
cowed into submission, had feared to welcome the uncertainty 
of Swedish aid, now rose, and with hearty good-will enlisted 
under Gustavus' standards. These fourteen months had 
distinctly shifted the moral superiority from the Catholic to 
the Protestant party. Gustavus had risen beyond being 
king of Sweden. He was now the leader of the attack in 
a great German war, in which the task he had undertaken 
was to establish beyond future question the equality of 
religions all over the land. But the work was not yet in 
a condition to leave to others. Gxistavus had put his hand to 
the plow, and might not look back. It required the same 


wise and vigorous action in the future, to complete the struc- 
ture which had been so well builded in the past. 

Tilly's lamentable failure to withstand the Swedish advance 
began again to draw attention to Wallenstein, who had been 
nursing his wrath in a species of court in his Bohemian 
castles, or nursing his gout in Karlsbad. The terror which 
had been engendered by Gustavus' successes on the Oder now 
sank into insignificance before the terror inspired by the 
battle of Breitenfeld. The walls of cities hundreds of miles 
distant from the scene of action were kept manned ; Bohe- 
mian forests were laid low to block the roads upon which it 
was feared that the king might advance; in Prague they 
equipped a new army; in the Ingolstadt churches they 
prayed to be ^^ delivered from the devil and the Swedes, the 
Finns and the Lapps." Vienna was said to be "dumb with 
fright;" the emperor was so nearly at the end of his wits, 
say some questionable chroniclers, that he sought means of 
bringing about peace, and even contemplated flight to Gratz. 
Universal terror pointed the world to Wallenstein. Only 
he could inspire confidence ; the popular sentiment was in his 
favor, in the army and outside. 

It is a curious fact that of the noted soldiers of the Thirty 
Years' War, only Pappenheim was a German, and while 
Pappenheim was a bold and able lieutenant, he was killed 
before he rose to higher command. Gustavus was a Swede ; 
Wallenstein was a Czech ; Tilly a Walloon ; Turenne a French- 
man ; of the minor generals, the only German who won repute 
was Bernard of Weimar, and he forfeited his all at Nord- 

Oddly, Wallenstein had been looking in another direction, 
— towards his old antagonist, Gxistavus. Approaches are 
said to have been made to him about these days by England ; 
they certainly were by the Swedish monarch, and these 


WaUenstein had not thrust aside, though he openly denied 
them. Tilly heard the nunor of such negotiations and taxed 
the Czech with it; but WaUenstein reassured him. In the 
same way Gustavus sought to influence Amim, so as to 
reach Saxony. He was not above any honorable means to 
accomplish his end, and WaUenstein was in no man's 
employ. Nor would it have made any odds if he had been. 
Like the rest he was a mercenary, even if a great one. StiU 
more important to the fortunes of Germany, WaUenstein 
stood in correspondence with Amim. It was in keeping 
with the spirit of the times that these secret negotiations 
should go on. Save Gustavus, scarce a potentate in Europe 
had a disinterested servant. The great Bohemian, unlike 
most of his contemporaries, was not hide-bound by religion. 
He had broader aims, and would have welcomed an era of 
tolerance, in which he could strive for a German empire, 
under the Hapsburgs, to be upheld by himself as miUtary 
chief. In another sense Gustavus had equal aspirations, 
but not for the German crown. 

His dismissal from command had hit WaUenstein hard. 
In the summer of 1681 he undoubtedly stood ready to enter 
into an alliance with Gustavus, and to serve the Protestant 
cause, to revenge his wrongs on Ferdinand. Gustavus was 
almost on the point of intrusting him with an army, but it 
is doubtful if, in the Swedish service, WaUenstein would 
have proved a success. Then came the battle of Breitenfeld; 
and the emperor began once more to look towards his ancient 
general. But WaUenstein was disinclined to listen, and for 
a while it appeared as if the three strongest men in Europe 
— Gustavus, Richelieu, and WaUenstein — were to form an 
anti-Hapsburg triumvirate. 

Now that Gustavus had shown his strength, the Anhalt 
princes joined the cause. They made a treaty at HaUe to 


pay three thousand riz dollars a month, to build forts and 
bridges as directed by the king and at their own cost, to 
hold their strong places and defiles for the Swedes while 
denying passage to the emperor, and generally to act under 
Gustavus' direction, in exchange for the protection afforded 
by the alliance. 

As when Magdeburg was crying aloud for succor, there 
was again more than one road open to Gustavus. He must 
choose his plan. Should he move against west Germany and 
the beaten army of Tilly, who was now basing himself on 
the Catholic princes of the Rhine ; should he march through 
the Thuringian forest on Franconia and the ^^ Priest's 
Alley;'' or should he move southeastward, on the emperor's 
hereditary possessions? At a council of war held at Halle 
shortly after the victory, the elector of Saxony and William 
of Weimar were present. John George had recovered from 
the disgrace of his own and his army's flight from the battle- 
field, for Gustavus had treated him, as he could well afford 
to do, with an easy touch. After the battle the king had 
sent to congratulate him on the victory, and to thank him 
for having suggested an inunediate movement on the enemy, 

— and dull John George was as far from appreciating the 
touch of satire in the facts as Gustavus was from intending 
any slur. At this council Oxenstiem and many others 
advised a march on Vienna. Count Horn made a strong 
military plea for it. A simmiary operation, they thought, 
against the emperor in his capital would bring him to a 
peace which would set all the questions of Europe at rest. 
There were few forces — perhaps ten thousand men under 
Tiefenbach in Silesia, and less in Bohemia under Maradas 

— to oppose such a march, and the elector of Saxony prom- 
ised to care for the southwest. That the sentiment was 
strongly in favor of such a project is shown by the fact that, 


twenty years afterwards, Oxenstiem reiterated his opinion 
before the senate in Stockhohn that such a march would 
have been the wisest one to make. The chancellor could be 
venturesome on occasion. 

But though not slow to see the advantages suggested, the 
plan did not meet with the king's idea of a systematic 
method of carrying on the camp^gn; nor, be it slid to his 
honor, did it chime with the pledges he had given his Protes- 
tant friends. So far results had come, not from the bold- 
ness, but the caution of his operations. What he had won 
and held was by intelligently securing each step as he pro- 
gressed, and by doing nothing which had not its place in the 
general plan. Still, as was his wont, the king weighed care- 
fully all the proa and conSj and listened patiently to every 

Small confidence could be felt in the ability of the Saxon 
army, beaten so easily at Breitenfeld, to do satisfactory work * 
against imperial forces in the Main country, if Ferdinand 
should order a concentration there. John George, and espe- 
cially Amim, would be glad to control the south German 
territory; for John George had political and financial 
schemes to push there, and Amim his Third Party business; 
none of which appealed to Gustavus' common sense. The king 
preferred personally to undertake south Germany, while the 
Saxons should sustain a force of twelve thousand Swedes, and 
a Bohemian army to be placed under Wallenstein's command 
(should he be won over), and the latter with this force might 
push on to Vienna. Moreover, Gustavus never quite lost 
his anxiety as to his communications, for he reposed no faith 
in the constancy of John George or George William, and 
could still conceive the possibility, even if remote, of Saxony 
and Brandenburg rising behind him, should he be too far 
distant. A single check in a movement on Vienna by his 


main force would be surely fatal. He knew the iron will of 
Ferdinand, and did not believe that even the sack of his 
capital would bring him to terms. The emperor had already 
been tried in this matter, — and Vienna at that day was not 
the capital which it now is. Like the Madrid of the eigh- 
teenth century, it might be taken by an enemy a dozen times 
without affecting the war. Ferdinand might retire to the 
south and involve Gustavus in an extremely dangerous stem 
chase. Nor was a march on Vienna the best way to compel 
the withdrawal of the Edict of Restitution. Nothing but 
Gustavus' presence could stay Tilly from visiting on any of 
the Protestant cities the fate of Magdeburg. The king 
must consider the work to be done before winter, and decide 
where he might best dispose his troops. Along the Main 
lay the rich Catholic bishoprics, — and here he could not only 
victual his men, but repair the wrongs of his brother Protes- 
tants. How much more negotiation was needful to induce 
the Protestant princes to work together was uncertain. 
Breitenfeld had changed people's faces, but the king had 
not forgotten his long struggle with Brandenburg and Sax- 
ony, and he believed that a single failure would renew the 
doubtful attitude of most of his present supporters. 

The king's immediate idea was that he would personally 
move to the Erfurt country for winter-quarters, and govern 
his further operations from there. Not that he would dis- 
perse his men, but he would accumulate magazines, and 
make his own headquarters here, while the troops lay in 
Thuringia, with Hesse, Weimar and Saxony near by; and 
from here he would move on the Franconian bishoprics, 
compel contributions, recruit up an army for a brilliant cam- 
paign in 1632, and utilize the winter to consolidate his con- 
quests, and to bring his allies to work in unison and furnish 
men and money as well as smiles and promises. Tilly must 


be considered; but the king deemed it sufficient to secure his 
own right by defensive means against him and the Rhineland 
princes, and his proposal to occupy, free and arm south- 
western Germany would cut Tilly ofiE from Bavaria and the 
emperor; while, if successful, it would win as firm a footing 
in western Germany as he already had in northern. All 
parties agreed that it was not worth while to follow Tilly to 
the Weser. Such an advance with his main force would 
be taking the king away from his general direction, which 
should lead to southern Germany and towards the emperor. 
Though he must not be overlooked, operations against Tilly 
need not be conducted by the main force; a part of the 
allied aimies, while protecting the king's flank, could pre- 
vent the miperialists gaining dangerous headway. 

The march on Vienna was given over. Gustavus pre- 
ferred to operate from his interior lines against all his 
enemies at the same time. With his main force he would 
move through Thuringia and Franconia to Swabia, to rouse 
southern Germany into activity, and gain a vantage-ground 
from which to attack Bavaria. When he should have 
secured the whole region from the lower Oder to the middle 
and upper Rhine, he could operate against Bavaria and 
Austria from the west. Meanwhile the Saxon, and perhaps 
Walleustein's, campaign against Silesia, Bohemia and Mora- 
via would secure the king's left in his advance, and keep 
up the semblance of an operation against Vienna; and the 
army of Ilesse-Cassel and Weimar would operate against 
Tilly, prevent his venturing into western Germany, and 
secure the king's right. No doubt this plan was the wisest, 
though it did not suit all the Swedish generals, as it cer- 
tainly did not satisfy the king's paymaster, Richelieu. But 
this far-seeing statesman did not withdraw his financial sup- 


The plan thus finally adopted by Gustavus has been much 
criticised by soldiers. Folard likens his declination to march 
on Vienna to that of Hannibal, who failed to march on 
Rome after the overwhelming victory of Cannae. The com- 
parison — though not so intended — is an apt one. Both 
Gustavus and Hannibal were right in their action. 

Lossau gives a better set of reasons. Tilly, he argues, 
was beaten, but he should, with Fugger and Aldringer, have 
been followed up and annihilated. For this purpose, eight to 
ten thousand men under Horn or Ban^r sufficed; and when 
the work was accomplished, the corps could rejoin the main 
army. The elector of Saxony could easily manage the prob- 
lem of the south German states with a small force, — there 
being no great opposition there, and could lend Gustavus a 
large part of his forces for a march on Vienna, which there 
was at the moment no organized army to oppose. Through 
Bohemia and Moravia the Swedish army could be easily 
victualed, and such a march might have made the subsequent 
raising of Wallenstein's army impossible. In the event, 
he says, Gustavus was compelled to operate on the Danube 
under much less favorable conditions. On the Baltic, in 
Saxony, in Bohemia, in Westphalia, in Hesse, in Thuringia, 
in Franconia, everything went well for Gustavus; ill for the 
emperor. Ferdinand had but fifty thousand men; he had 
lost more than half Germany; Hungary was threatened; 
Bavaria was imreliable ; the Protestants of Uppei: and Lower 
Austria were in revolt. What better time for Gustavus to 
push home than the present? 

All this is fair and proper criticism. But, prior to Gus- 
tavus' advent in Germany, there had been, in the history 
of the Christian era, many bold operations, and there had 
been no methodical ones. It was method that Ghistavus was 
to teach in war, not alone boldness. This last quality is 


oommon, when taken by itself; combined with discretion it 
is rare. As Alexander would not advance into the heart of 
Persia until he had acquired as a base the entire eastern 
Mediterranean coast; as Hannibal declined after both Trasi- 
mene and Cannae to march on Rome; as Caesar, after 
crossing the Rubicon, took all the towns on the Adriatic 
before he would march to the capital, so Gustavus now 
decided to make sure of what he had, and to risk nothing for 
a questionable gain. In the purely military aspect, he was 
right; taking the political factors into account, doubly so. 

In pursuance of this general scheme — which was far- 
sighted, reckoned on all the political and military factors, 
paid due heed to the demands of his Protestant allies, 
and had a basis of broad but to the world novel military 
judgment — the Swedish monarch set to work. Ban^r was 
ordered to leave a garrison in Landsberg, to deliver up pos- 
session of Frankfort and Crossen to the elector of Branden- 
burg, to take command of the Saxon army when it should 
be in condition for the field, to draw in the Havel and 
Werben garrisons, and to assume a strong position near 
Calbe on the Elbe, building forts at Rosenburg and Dessau, 
the mouths of the Saale and the Mulde. He was to send 
a cavalry force to take Halberstadt, and to aim at capturing 
Magdeburg; in fact, Ban^r was to clear the western skirts 
of the bastion of all imperialists and then to watch it. 

Tott, who lay on the lower Elbe, with the same end in 
view was instructed to seek helpful alliances in the Bruns- 
wick-Liineburg-Lauenburg territory, and with the free cities 
of Bremen, Liibeek and Hamburg. He was to besiege 
Rostock, and capture the outstanding towns in the Bremen 
region. All recruits to arrive from England, Scotland and 
the Netherlands — and they were a large body — were to 
land in the Weser and join Tott. 


Oxenstiem was instructed to order sundry Prussian gar- 
risons to Pomerania, from which most of the seasoned troops 
had been drawn. He had already reported in person to the 
king, who was glad to have him near at hand as an adviser. 

Starting on September 27 from Halle, the king, with 
twenty-six thousand men, headed for Thuringia, by way of 
Querfurt. He was not sure that he could push beyond this 
section before winter. 

On October 2 Erfurt, one of the chief cities of the elector 
of Mainz, primate of Catholic Germany, was seized by a 
clever stratagem of Duke William, and after much discus- 
sion agreed to serve the cause, and was strongly garrisoned. 
Here a final treaty was made with the four brothei*s of the 
house of Saxe- Weimar. 

The operations of the year had brought about a change in 
the strategic position. In securing ]iis bastion on the Baltic, 
Gustavus had a base whicth called for a front of operations 
running east and west, from say Landsberg to Werben. 
He now found himself backing on the Elbe and Saale. His 
rear was protected by the Frankfort-Crossen line, and no 
enemy was near it except Tiefenbaeh in Silesia. Along the 
Elbe-Saale he lay practically facing west, with the centre 
point of operations at Erfurt, and groups of forces on his 
right extending down the Elbe. These groups, under Tott 
and Banc^r, on completing their work would join Landgrave 
William in the Saale region ; while the Royal Army would 
push through the Thuringian Forest to the Werra, and on 
through Franconia to the Main. This advance would help 
the forces on the Oder by diiving back the enemy, as well 
as aid the Saxons in their advance through Silesia and 
Bohemia. But until the imperial allies along the Rhine, 
with the Spanish Netherlands at their back, could be neu- 
tralized, Gustavus could not safely extend his base so as to 
project a line of advance on the heart of the empire. 


At Erfurt the forces controlled by Gustavus and expected 
to be raised were substantially as follows : The Royal Army 
numbered eighteen thousand foot, six hundred dragoons and 
seventy-five hundred cavalry, which it was purposed to 
increase by eleven thousand foot and seveniy-five hundred 
horse. Ban^r had four thousand men in the field and thirty- 
five hundred in garrison, which were to be increased by 
six thousand and twenty-six hundred respectively. Tott 
had five thousand five hundred Swedes and eight thousand 
Mecklenburgers, plus ten thousand eight hundred in garri- 
son ; all to be increased by six thousand Dutch troops, five 
thousand recruits, eight thousand in new regiments and 
thirty -five hundred Swedish cavalry. Hesse -Cassel had 
ten thousand men, to be increased by seven thousand; and 
Weimar was to raise eleven thousand five himdred. Thus 
the seventy thousand men already under the colors, it was 
hoped, would be nearly doubled. These calculations were 
well borne out by the promise. 

As Bernard preferred to serve immediately under the 
king, Gustavus left the reigning duke, William of Weimar, 
in command of the Thuringian territory, to recruit for the 
above contingents, and gave him as a nucleus twenty-six 
hundred foot and four hundred horse. 

How far Gustavus planned his advance from Erfurt can- 
not be said; but he sent embassies to Bayreuth and to 
Niimberg to pave the way. He took no step in the dark. 
The army advanced through the Thiiringerwald range in 
two colmuns : one via Gotha and Meiningen, one under the 
king in person via Amstadt (October 7), Ilmenau and 
Schleusingen (October 8), where headquarters were estab- 
lished. The two columns reunited at the fortress of Konigs- 
hofen, the key to the bishopric of Wiirzburg, which suc- 
cumbed only to Torstenson's heavy guns, and was left with 
a strong garrison. 


The next place essential to clear the country between the 
Saale and the Main was Schweinfurt, which surrendered, 
and received a sure commandant with a suitable garrison. 
Guatarus was greeted by the laity as the harbinger of free- 
dom, hut there was a great flight of priests and friars. He 
issued a proclamation covering all kinds and conditions of 


men. He had come, he said, to protect the Protestants 
from further injustice; but all, whatever their faith, who 
obeyed the law, would be protected from injury. Arrived 
October 18 at Wiirzburg, the capital of Franconia, whose 
prince-bishop had fled, the town capitulated October 15; 
but the garrison and chief inhabitants retired with their 
valuables to the castle of Marienburg, on the further bank, 
where they deemed themselves quite beyond reach. 

This castle lies on a high rock, perpendicular on the water 
side, but approachable from the land. The gate was pro- 
tected by a deep ditch, with a half -moon outwork; there 
were no other defenses. The bridge over the Main had been 
broken down, but this was repaired; Colonel Ramsay was 
sent over it, and Colonel Leslie put across in boats, each with 
a detachment, under a heavy fire, by which they suffered 
considerably. The place refused terms, and the Swedes 
opened lines and erected batteries. After the destruction 
of one of the towers, on October 18, about 5 A. M., the 
castle was stormed by several regiments, led by Colonels 
Lillie and Burt. Though stoutly defended, the party 
gained the half -moon with ladders, and drove out the garri- 
son, pursuing which through the drawbridge, let down for 
the fugitives, the Swedes pushed on, blew down the gate, 
and captured the place. Immense booty was taken, as 
Marienburg was the strongest place on the Main, and had 
been made a storehouse for valuables ; a vast amount of ord- 
nance-stores was got; and the bishop's valuable library was 
sent to Upsala University. Wiirzburg was mulcted eighty 
thousand rix dollars, and town and castle were strengthened 
and suitably held. All Jesuit property was confiscated, but 
no person was injured. The Jesuit was, according to Gus- 
tavus, hostis humani generis^ and was treated accordingly. 
Protestant worship was restored. 


At Wiirzburg was made a treaty between the king and 
the Franconian Circle; the duke of Liineburg came with 
offers to raise some regiments; and an embassy from Wiir- 
temberg arrived. With Niimberg, after long negotiations 
and delays, a treaty offensive and defensive was concluded 
October 21, and the city raised a garrison of three thousand 
foot and two hundred and fifty horse, and strengthened its 
defenses. Similar treaties were made with Anspach and 
Bayreuth. At the same time a demand was made on the 
bishop-electors of Cologne, Mainz and Trier to acknowledge 
Gustavus' authority; to pay forty thousand rix dollars a 
month; to furnish provisions; to open forts and defiles to 
the Swedes, and to deny these to the emperor; and to give 
Protestants full religious equality with Catholics. Recruit- 
ing had good results. Franconia was rich ; it had suffered 
little from the war; and its joining the cause was a marked 
gain. Business kept Gustavus in Wiirzburg a month. 

The progress of the Swedes began to excite terror all 
through Catholic Germany; some of the princes were con- 
tent to accept the situation, some fled, some showed a bold 
front. The bishop of Bamberg, to gain time, entered into 
feigned negotiations with Gustavus, who decided to press 
on to the Rhine, and wished to avoid a present expedition 
up the Main ; by which ruse the bishop managed to hold his 
possessions until Tilly later came to the rescue. He cleverly 
bafiSed the king, — as a rule a difficult matter. 

After his defeat at Breitenfeld, as already narrated, Tilly 
had made his way north, with the relics of his army, a mere 
disorganized mob, of which barely half were armed. On 
September 20 he reached Halberstadt, where Pappenheim 
joined him; thence he marched to Hildesheim, crossed the 
Weser at Corvey near Hoxter, and drew in the Cologne 
troops on September 28. Hearing that Gustavus had headed 


south to Thuringia, after a while he himself turned towards 
Hesse. Early in October, at Fritzlar, Aldringer, who from 
Jena had retired via Erfurt, and Fugger joined him, giving 
Tilly eighteen thousand foot, and half as much cavalry. 

Seeing that Gustavus stiU continued onward to the Main, 
Tilly moved in the same direction by way of Fulda and 
Aschaffenburg, so as to move aroimd the head of the Swedish 
advance, cross the Main, and work south of the king, to 
regain possession of Wiirzburg. He had in view to join to 
his own forces the thirteen thousand men of the shifty duke 
of Lorraine, who had made a treaty with the emperor, had 
crossed the Rhine in September at Worms, and was moving 
on Aschaffenburg. But the duke did not escape disaster. 
As it happened, Gustavus had gone down the Main, recon- 
noitring. On November 2, not many miles from Wiirzburg, 
he ran across the enemy^s van of four thousand men. Send- 
ing back for Baudissin's body of four thousand horse and 
two thousand musketeers, he fell on the enemy's camp not 
far from Bischofsheim and dispersed the entire body. The 
duke retired, with the relics, on his main body, managed to 
join Tilly in Miltenburg, and the joint forces amounted to 
some thirty-eight thousand men. Gustavus learned of Tilly's 
movements at Wiirzburg. He imderstood that he was fum- 
ing on either Wiirzburg, Schweinfurt, or Bamberg; but 
though he cared little for him so long as Niimberg could 
take care of herself, he was careful to protect his allied cities 
and to close all available defiles. 

When Tilly marched away from the Weser and towards 
Franconia, Landgrave William and Duke Bernard put in 
some good work. The latter gave a hearty blow to Fugger; 
and the landgrave fell on Vacha, took a big convoy intended 
for Tilly at Corbach, and captured Munden and Hoxter. 
These outside operations cannot be detailed. 


Lbayino Tilly, Pappenheim returned to the Weaer ; Tilly was ordered by 
BCaximilian to protect Bavariaf and sat down at Windsheim. Gnstaynfl moved 
down river to aeonre hia hold on the Main and the Rhine before turning toward 
the Danube. Taking all the cities on the way, he reached Frankfort November 
16. He had thirty-two thousand men. Mainz, which had a Spanish garrison, 
resisted ; and Gkistavus marched up the Rhine, crossed, and attacked the city 
from the left bank. While so engaged, he heard that Tilly was besieging 
Niimberg, and at once started with a column of twenty-six thousand men 
towards his ally ; but at Frankfort he learned that TiUy had failed before the 
place, which had resisted all his threats. Returning to Mainz, Gustavus took 
the place December 22, and quartered his army there. During this period 
Pappenheim was operating against Gustavus' lieutenants on the Weser, showing 
ability, but accomplishing no substantial result. On retiring from Numberg, 
Tilly took up quarters in the Nordlingen country. The official list of Gusta- 
Tus* troops and allies at this time shows eighty thousand men under the colors, 
with an equal number to be raised during the winter, — a marked contrast to 
the thirteen thousand men who landed near Stralsund a year and a half before. 

With Fugger and Aldringer Tilly had marched from 
Miltenburg and taken Rothemburg and Windsheim, had 
devastated Franconia where he crossed it, and reached 
Anspach November 20. Gustavus had not succeeded in 
cutting him off from Bavaria. He had separated from Pap- 
penheim, who, unable to agree with his chief, preferred to 
march back to Westi)halia, a territory some one must defend 
for the emperor. It is asserted that Tilly intended to bring 
on another general engagement at an early date. This is 
perhaps doubtful ; for though Tilly never lacked courage, he 
lacked enterprise of a certain stamj), and had scarcely yet 


forgotten Breitenfeld. When he reached the Tauber, he 
had recovered his base and could choose a safe defensive, or 
a march to the Main to seek his adversary. He did not do 
the latter; for, whatever his intentions, his master, Maxi- 
milian, nervously fearing for his borders, ordered him to 
stop at covering Bavaria, and not to undertake operations 
which might lead to battle. Tilly took up positions with 
twelve thousand men at Donauworth and Gxintzenhausen, 
sent an equal number to the Upper Palatinate, and began to 
recruit. From annoyance at his orders, he was tempted to 
lay down the command, but was dissuaded by his immediate 
officers and Maximilian's personal request. He sent a 
detachment to seize on Wertheim, but without success, for 
the king, who was watching his operations, laid an ambus- 
cade for the detachment and severely handled it; and inmie- 
diately after made a descent on four imperial regiments at 
Creglingen, and all but destroyed them. Shortly receiving 
fourteen thousand men of reinforcement from Alsatia, the 
Lower Palatinate and Wiirtemberg, and emboldened by 
his numbers, Tilly advanced columns to Sothemburg, Winds- 
heim and Ochsenfurt, and took up a position at Windsheim, 
the king being for the moment sick in Wiirzburg. 

Considering the total defeat of Tilly not many weeks 
back, he had shown commendable energy in coming to the 
protection of his master's territory, and in making even par- 
tial attacks on the new allies of Sweden. But the timiditv 
of the elector had prevented the veteran from utilizing his 
numerical, if not actual, superiority at the points attacked; 
and it had enabled the Swedes, without opposition, to plant 
themselves firmly on the Main. That Tilly could have pre- 
vented the seizure of the Main is improbable, but he might 
have made it difficult. 

Holding Thuringia and Franconia, the king did not for the 


moment care to move on Tilly ; the possession of the Main 
down to the Rhine seemed more important; and Tilly, by 
moving to the upper Main, had yielded up all power to 
defend the lower. Leaving Horn with five thousand foot 
and two thousand horse to hold the Wiirzburg bishopric, 
and to complete the subjection of Franconia, the king 
started down the Main November 9, with eighteen thousand 
men, intending to gain control of or neutralize the bishoprics 
of Mainz, Trier and Cologne, the other Catholic Rhine 
princes and the Spanish troops, to relieve the Palatinate, and 
to take advantage of the richness of the country to add to 
his material strength before moving against southern Ger- 
many, Bavaria and Austria. His general scheme, as we 
have seen, was built on procuring large accessions of troops. 

Whatever historians may say of Gustavus' declination to 
march on Vienna after the victory of Breitenfeld, they can- 
not complain that he was not thorough in what he undertook 
to do in lieu thereof; and the event proves his own plan the 
wiser. While one cannot prove that a march on Vienna 
would not have brought Ferdinand to his knees, it remains 
certain that, had Gustavus undertaken this course, the world 
would have remained the poorer by many lessons in method- 
ical war. 

The task he was now undertaking was not difficult, for the 
Catholic princes were unable to offer much opposition, and 
the garrisons along the Main were weak. Before leaving 
Wiirzburg, he sent out Colonel Hubald, with twenty-two 
hundred dragoons and cuirassiers, to capture Hanau, which 
this officer did by storm on November 10; Gelnhausen, 
Friedburg and Hochst surrendered, and on November 17 
Rothenfels did the like. As the enemy was at Rothemburg, 
the king personally headed a detachment and fully garrisoned 
Schweinfurt; and a strong body was left in Wiirzburg. 


The bulk of the Royal Army marched down on the left bank 
of the Main, a smaller body on the right bank. The bag- 
gage, artillery and supplies were floated down on boats 
between tlie troops. A large number of the towns were 
found ready to join the Swedish cause, Wertheim on the 
20th, Miltenburg on the 21st, Aschaffenburg on the 22d, 
Steinheim on the 25th, and Offenbach on the 26th. Frank- 
fort, after some delay, concluded to swell this number on the 
28th. The garrisons, as a rule, entered the Swedish service. 

At Frankfort a mild treaty was made with Hesse Darm- 
stadt, which until now had held aloof; that principality 
reserved all its powers, but gave up, until the war should 
be ended, the fortress of Riisselsheim, which, standing between 
Mainz and Frankfort, was of marked importance. 

On November 28, through Frankfort, Gustavus marched 
to Hochst, Konigstein, Florsheim and Kostheim; and at 
Hochst there joined him fourteen thousand men from Hesse- 
Cassel, under Landgrave William, which, as Tilly had 
moved away from the Weser, were no longer needed there. 
This gave Gustavus thirty-two thousand men, with which 
he sat down on the right bank of the Rhine, astride the 
Main, the bulk of the force threatening Mainz. 

This great city possessed a powerful bridge-head in the 
fortified town of Kastel on the right bank of the Rhine ; two 
thousand Spanish troops under Coimt Silva which formed 
the garrison of Mainz vowed they would die to the last man 
sooner than give up the place; and on being asked by the 
elector if he had enough troops, Silva replied that he had 
enough to whip three kings of Sweden. The citizens made 
some advances, but Gustavus recalled to their mind their 
hitherto stubborn refusals to treat, and declined any but sur- 
render without terms. The elector prepared for defense ; he 
drove piles in the Main at its mouth, sank ships, and clogged 



up the river with stones; having done which he lost heart, 
left Silva to protect his capital, and fled with the bishop of 
Worms to Cologne. The garrison ill-treated the citizens 
and prepared for a stout resistance. 

The king did not deem it possible to take Mainz from the 
right bank, and it was difficult to cross the river below 
the city in order to besiege it, though Bernard had taken the 
Mouse Tower and Ehrenfels near Bingen. There was a 


bridge of boats at Hochst; numerous boats fitted with g^uns 
and breastworks lay in the river, and Gustavus began to 
isolate Mainz. He seized the custom-house buildings oppo- 
site Bingen, and Walluf , and levied on the country contri- 
butions of forty-five thousand rix dollars a month. He sent 
out detachments to the Lahn, and took Limburg and other 
places, with much booty. Having meanwhile reduced the 
right bank as far up as the Neckar, he was preparing to 


cross above, when news reached him that Tilly was besieging 

This was a surprise. Gustavus postponed his designs 
against Mainz, left things as they were, and started De- 
cember 9, determined to relieve Niimberg by a battle. 
He had with him seventeen thousand foot and nine thousand 
horse of the Swedish, Hesse-Cassel and Weimar troops. 
While his columns were defiling through Frankfort, he 
made a definitive treaty with that city ; and learning at the 
same time that Tilly had given up the siege of Niimberg 
and retired to the Danube, he again returned to the Rhine. 

This raid persuaded the king that Tilly might push in on 
his communications, and he made dispositions accordingly. 
Horn's corps was strengthened by drafts on Teuffel and on 
Niimberg, with headquarters at Windsheim, so as to sustain 
at need either the king or Saxony; Duke William was 
ordered to push his army from Thuringia forward towards 
Schweinfurt, lest Horn should be suddenly detached. Thus 
Horn and the Weimar armies were made a link between, 
or a reserve to the king or the elector of Saxony. 

While strictly maintaining his kingly dignity, Gustavus 
was easily approached by all. One day, in Frankfort, a 
priest was discovered in the anteroom with a concealed dag- 
ger; it was currently reported that a band of Jesuits had 
bound themselves with an oath to take his life; and bets 
were laid in Augsburg that Gustavus would not live six 
months. Much of this may have been idle talk, but when 
Gustavus was urged to keep a body-guard about him, he is 
said to have replied: '*Then you would have me disregard 
the protection of God?" His very contempt of death was 
in some respects a safeguard. About this time are recorded 
some utterances of the king concerning his mission in Ger- 
many and his duty to Protestantism. One day at table with 


the king of Bohemia, the landgrave of Darmstadt and many 
other princes, the king said : ^^ Believe me, I love a comfort- 
able life as well as any man, and I have no desire to die an 
early death. The emperor would readily make a separate 
peace with me to get me to return to Sweden. But I dare 
not leave so many innocent people subject to his revenge. 
Were it not for this, I would soon get me gone." 

On his return Gustavus went seriously at the Mainz prob- 
lem. He left the landgrave to blockade the city from the 
right bank, — the Rhinegau, — and to occupy the coimtry up 
and down on either side the Main; he himself passed over 
to the south side, and on December 10 made a demonstration 
towards Heidelberg. On December 13, from Gemsheim, 
he turned quickly down river to a point opposite Oppenheim 
where was a redoubt held by Spanish troops. These refused 
to surrender ; but having undertaken a piece of work, Gus- 
tavus was not easily arrested. Despite the opposition of the 
Spanish cavalry on both banks, on the night of December 
16-17 he put three hundred men in boats across the Rhine, 
built a bridge near Gernsheim, probably at one of the bends 
where his guns coidd protect the operation, crossed in the 
succeeding two days, December 17 and 18, with all his 
troops, took Oppenheim, stormed the castle, advanced 
towards and blockaded Mainz, and cut the city off from the 
Rhine up and down, as well as from the Main. The isolated 
redoubt on the right bank surrendered. In a reconnoissance 
here, the king by liis reckless pushing out to the front, not 
properly accompanied, was again all but captured. His 
disregard of danger was a growing evil. No wonder he 
eventually fell a victim to it. 

On December 22, after two days' siege. Count Silva, 
despite his heroic protests to do or die, surrendered Mainz, 
and the troops were allowed the honors of war. Most of 


them entered the king's service. It was a question whether 
this capture of Mainz was not an act of war against Spain, 
which Gustavus would have preferred to avoid, as his quarrel 
was one against the Austrian Hapsburgs. But Silva had 
received orders to be helpful to Mainz against Sweden, and 
Spain was already in the Baltic at Wismar. No war had 
been declared or was considered to exist, and yet acts of 
war had been committed by both parties. Gustavus was 
ready for what must come, and the ministry and estates sus- 
tained him. A contribution of eighty thousand rix dollars 
was levied on Mainz ; one of forty-one thousand rix dollars 
on the Jesuits, and another of forty thousand on the Cath- 
olic priests. These were hard terms, for the Spaniards had 
already plundered the town ; but the money was paid. 

The king quartered his foot in Mainz, the horse in the 
surrounding coimtry. He put the city in a state of excellent 
defense, surrounded it with works, built a strong redoubt on 
tlie Jacobsberg, replaced the bridge of boats across the 
Rhine to Kastel and made a new one to Kostheim, fortified 
the confluence of the Main and Rhine by a strong fortress, 
"Gustavburg," on the left Main bank, gave the left bank 
of the Rhine in charge of Duke Bernard, established his 
winter-quarters and his court in the city, and moved for the 
moment to Frankfort, where he was made happy by the 
queen joining him. The elector of Mainz soon after broke 
off his connection with the emperor. About this time, also, 
the duke of Lorraine withdrew his forces, much weakened 
by sickness and desertion, from Tilly's army, and hurried 
home to defend his territory, threatened by France on one 
side and the Swedes on the other. His army was soon dis- 
banded by active contact with the French, who took Trier, 
Coblentz and Hermannstein (now Ehrenbreitstein), and he 
too forswore his fealty to the emperor. 


The Spanish troops were lying on the Moselle, and from 
Mainz Gustavus organized an army to operate against them. 
Rhinegrave Otto Ludwig, in command of its vanguard, 
defeated at Creuznach a body of Spaniards with a loss of 
seven hundred killed, and later captured a number of places 
near by. It is asserted that Gustavus contemplated a march 
to the Netherlands to give the Spaniards the coup de grace ; 
but Tilly was too threatening a factor, and the Dutch prom- 
ised to keep the Spanish army busy. Whatever his project, 
he did not in fact move far from the Mainz country; nor 
did it prove essential, for in the course of January and Feb- 
ruary, 1632, imder the instances of Duke Bernard, all the 
Catholic princes of the Rhine, as far as the Netherlands, 
pledged themselves to neutrality ; Worms, Speyer and Mann- 
heim did the like ; the Spanish troops were forced to with- 
draw to the Netherlands, and the Protestant allies securely 
occupied both banks of the middle Rhine, Alsatia, the 
Lower Palatinate, Cologne, and other principalities. 

When Tilly marched from the Weser to Swabia, he left 
in the region between the Elbe, the sea and the Weser 
but a small body of troops to sustain the Catholic garrisons. 
The most important imperial towns were Magdeburg, Ros- 
tock, Wismar, and Domitz. Pappenheim, who, it will be 
remembered, had parted with Tilly in the Anspach region, 
and returned to Westphalia, had collected some eight thou- 
sand men, and, in November, 1631, raised the siege of 
Madgeburg, which an equal force of Swedes under Ban^r 
had just brought to the point of surrender. Ban^r retired 
into his strong position at Calbe, and Pappenheim shortly 
evacuated Magdeburg, burned the Elbe bridge and moved 
against Liineburg. He soon found himself surrounded by 
the superior forces of Tott, Hamilton, Ban^r, and the bishop 
of Bremen, and a considerable accession of men raised for 


Ban^r in Thuringia; he was compelled to retire behind the 
Weser, into the lower Rhenish Provinces, against which the 
duke of Hesse-Cassel continued to operate from the south, 
in such a manner as distinctly to aid Liineburg, the lower 
Saxon Circle and Bremen by his diversions. Then Magde- 
burg, Domitz, Rostock, Wismar and other towns were suc- 
cessively captured by Tott and the Protestant allies. 

AU this was not, however, accomplished without some diffi- 
culty; for Pappenheim operated with boldness and skill, 
prevented the allies from joining forces, compelled Tott to 
give up the siege of Stade, and when, in consequence of 
Baner and Duke William joining in his front, he was con- 
strained to retire to Westphalia, he sat down near Cassel 
and held himself until he was ordered to join Wallenstein in 
Saxony. After he lef t, Baudissin and Liineburg had freer 
play; the lower Elbe and the Weser region were quite 
cleared of the emperor's troops, and Ban^r, after taking 
Magdeburg, was able to move with a considerable part of 
his force by way of Thuringia aud Franconia to join Gus- 
tavus, as Duke William, after taking Gottingen and Duder- 
stadt, also did. But this is anticipating events; and there 
is no space to devote to the details of these minor operations. 
Their object and result were to conserve the bastion which 
the king had erected with so much time and skill. 

When Gustavus marched down the Main, Tilly, though 
much superior in force, still undertook no operations against 
Horn, whom the king had left with eight to ten thousand 
men to hold the upper river, — a fact largely due to the con- 
trary orders and pusillanimity of the elector of Bavaria. He 
contented himself with devastating the region between Wind- 
sheim and Anspach; and on November 28 he marched from 
Anspach, via Schwabach, on Niirnberg, demanded money 
and rations, and threatened to lay siege to the place. The 


citizens manned the walls, and even sent out the newly levied 
troops to skirmish with the enemy. TiUy threatened the 
city with the fate of Magdeburg, unless it complied with his 
demands ; but the threat was idle and the siege short-lived. 
Tilly's army suffered from a want of provisions; the elector 
feared that he would get cut off from Bavaria, and ordered 
him back; a portion of his forces was already detached to 
Bohemia; a Protestant officer in the emperor's service proved 
traitor, and brought about an explosion in the ammunition 
depot of Tilly's artillery park; everything seemed to conspire 
against him, and, on December 4, he withdrew to Niirdlingen, 
and quartered his troops on the left bank of the Danube, 
from the borders of Bohemia to the upper Neckar and Wiir- 
temberg. It was to meet this threat of Tilly's on Niimberg 
that Gustavus had so suddenly left Mainz. 

Instead of making his winter-quarters in Erfurt, Gustavus 
had advanced to the Rhine and Main, had conquered a large 
territory, and could choose his winter-quarters where he 
would. A year before, he had wintered at Barwalde in the 
midst of privation and danger, with disappointment and 
uncertainty staring him in the face; now, he could winter in 
the golden city of the Rhine, in the enjoyment of plenty, 
and with the approbation of all Germany. Booty was 
immense; tlie arsenals of Wiirzburg supplied quantities of 
munition and clothing; victual was abundant; and the poor 
Swedish peasant reveled in Franconian wheat and wine, 
lie had never dreamed of such luxury ; he ate and drank to 
his heart's content. A Capua was more to be feared than 
a Valley Forge. 

There is in the Swedish archives an official list, giving 
the troops at this time under Gustavus' command, and indi- 
cating what was needed to bring the companies and regi- 
ments up to fuU strength. 


In the Army of the Rhine, under the king's command, there were 
with the colon 113 companies of foot, viz. : the Royal regiment of 12 
companies ; Hogendorf, 12 ; Winkel, 12 ; Bandr, 8 ; Wallenstein, 8 ; 
Vitzthum, 8 ; Hepburn, 12 ; Lunsdel, 8 ; Monroe, 8 ; Ruthven, 8 ; Ram- 
say, 8 ; Hamilton, 8. Total, 10,521 men, plus 3,000 of Hamilton's re- 
cruits. To bring these up to normal strong^ of 150 men per com- 
pany, there were to be raised 6,521 men. And a further increase of 
18,000 men was contemplated, viz. : 40 companies of 3,000 men of Ham- 
ilton's recruits ; 80 companies of 150 men each, to be recruited by Ton 
Solms, Isemburg and Nassau, and by Hubald and H6mig. The cav- 
alry had in line 83 companies, viz. : Smalandera, 8 companies ; West 
Goths, 8 ; Finns, 8 ; Duke Bernard, 8 ; the rhinegrave, 12 ; Tott, 12 ; 
Ussier, 10 ; Callenbach, 8 ; Livonians, 5 ; Courlanders, 4. Total, 5,300 
men, to be recruited up to normal of 9,175 men. To these were to be 
added 20 companies, with 2,500 men ; to be raised by von Solms, John 
of Hesse, and Taupadel. The present total was 18,821 men. The grand 
total would thus be 46,717 men. 

In the Franconian Army, under Horn, were 63 companies of foot, viz.: 
Axel Lillie, 8 companies ; Ozenstiem, 8 ; Erich Hand, 8 ; H&rd, 8 ; von 
Thum, 8 ; von Reike, 12 ; Wallenstein, 8 ; Dragoons, 3. Total, 5,161 
men, to be increased by 12,844 men, by recruits from von Solms, Mar- 
grave Hans Greorge, Truchsetz, Mussfeld, Canoski and Hastfehr. The 
cavalry had 36 companies, viz. : Baudissin, 12 ; Kochtitzki, 8 ; Witzle- 
ben, 8 ; Sperreuter, 4 ; East Goths, 4 ; and 600 recruits under Hastfehr. 
Total, 3,119 men, to be increased by 8,531 men, by recruits from Duke 
Ernest, von Solms, the margrave of Brandenburg, the duke of Wei- 
mar, von Dundorp, von Hoffenhttlt and Truchsetz. The present for 
duty were 8,280 men. The grand total was to be 29,655 men. 

The landgrave of Hesse had 6 regiments of foot, with 6,000 men, to 
be raised to 7,200 ; 32 companies of cavalry, with 2,000 men, to be raised 
to 4,000. He proposed to raise 6 new regiments of 7,200 men. Present 
total, 8,000 men. Proposed total, 18,400 men. 

The Mecklenburg corps had 56 companies of 3,900 men, to be raised 
to 11,100 men. 

The Lower Saxon Army, under Tott, had 136 companies of 12,000 
foot ; 8 companies of 1,000 horse. To be raised, 7,850 men. Present 
total, 13,000 men. Proposed total, 20,850 men. 

The Magdeburg Army, under Ban^r, had 194 companies, with 
10,437 men, to be raised to 30,821 men ; 69 companies cavalry, with 


1,800 men, to be msed to 8,37S men. Total prewnt, 12,237 men. Pn>< 
poaed totBl, 39,196 men. 

The WeimftT Corps, under Duke Williun, had fi ccfrimentB of 3,000 
men, to be niied to 6,000 ; and 20 oompuiiM of 1,000 hone, to b« niaed 
to 2,500. PreKnt total. 4,000 ; proposed total, 8,500. 

Garrison troops weie 10,416 men, to be iucreased to 13,150. In 
Erfurt were 2,545 men, to be increased to 4,825. 

lu addition to these new German troopB, Gustavus expected in the 
spring of 1632 from Sweden, 48 companies of foot, of 7,200 men, and 
12 companies of cavalry, of 1,500 men. 

The graD<l total, then, which Gustavus had under the col- 
ors at the end of 1631 was 63,700 foot and 16,000 cavalry; 
and this he had good reason to hope, for the campaign of 
1632, to increase up to 153,000 foot and 43,500 hone. 
Such au army had never yet been seen in Germany. 

It (ISA C«Btai7.) 



At Mainz GustaYus held his winter** court, — the mcwt pronuBent monaroh 
in Enrope. At this time he oonld hare claimed the crown of Qermany ; that 
he did not shows the purity of his amhition. ETerything looked smiling ; and 
yet everything hinged on the king^s life. All Europe was agog at his wonder- 
ful accomplishments, but the g^ybeards shook their heads, and wondered 
whether Germany was to be made snbsenrient to Sweden. Still, on the surface, 
all went well ; the Protestants were in the ascendant both in a political and 
military sense, while the emperor was crowded to the wall. In 1632, howeveri 
the theatre was too extended. There were too many places to hold, too many 
new regions to reduce ; the king rarely had under his personal command as 
large an army as he should. At Mainz he had orer one hundred thousand men, 
but these were in eight several parcels, all apparently essential : Mainz, Wiint- 
buig, Hesse, Saxony, Magdeburg, Mecklenburg, lower Saxony and gaxrisona. 
During the late winter Horn and Tilly did some mancBUTring on the upper 
Main. Gnstavus came to Hom*s assistance, and Tilly moved back to the Dan- 
ube. The king followed, crossed the Danube at Donauwdrth, and Tilly 
intrenched himself behind the Lech at Rain, to protect Bavaria. 

It was a splendid court rather than the rude winter-quar- 
ters of a campaigning army which was seen at Mainz in the 
winter of 1631-82; and ambassadors from every European 
power paid their respects to the victorious monarch. Nego- 
tiations consumed th^ days and weeks. Treaties were made 
with the duke of Brunswick and the city ; a new one with 
Mecklenburg and formal ones with Liibeck, Liineburg and 
Bremen. Negotiations were pursued with Wiirtemberg, 
Ulm and Strasburg. Gustavus was the centre-point, the 
observed of all observers, the most powerful of the kings of 
the earth, the most briUiant individual of the times. And 


yet the Swedish standing was uncertain ; everything hinged 
on Gustavus and his purposes; and what he could accom- 
plish hinged on his own life, for there was no one to succeed 
him in his peculiar work. Gustavus recognized this fact 
without arrogance. He might have claimed, and without 
contest have been allowed, the crown of a new kingdom of 
Germany ; all he asked was a German Protestant Confeder- 
ation — a Corpvs Evangdicorum — under himself as chief. 
This desire might have taken formal shape, had the electors 
of Brandenburg and Saxony been like the other allies; but 
they remained intractable, the one from hebetude, the other 
from envy. 

The whole of Europe was still at odds and evens. The 
dictates of religion were buried under the selfish personal or 
political motives which governed every monarch. England 
was shifty ; Charles I. promised nothing, and his promises, 
if made, would be worthless. He was, in fact, plotting with 
the emperor, and would do anything to secure the restora- 
tion of Frederick to the Palatinate. Maximilian was for 
a while in league with Richelieu, who was eager to secure 
neutrality for the Catholic League while humiliating the 
House of Hapsburg. He sought to compass some agreement 
between the League and Gustavus; but this was difficult; 
and finally, when he accepted Gustavus' conditions to allow 
the League a neutrality which should reduce its army to 
twelve thousand men and tie it hand and foot, Maximilian 
in anger threw over Richelieu, and thereafter clave to the 
emperor. Denmark was jealous of Swedish successes; but 
her recent pimishment forbade her to act. The Netherlands 
followed their loadstone, gold. Spain was or was not at 
war with Gustavus, as either saw fit to construe the situa- 
tion. Poland was bitter as gall, but impotent. Russia was 
friendly. Brandenburg was inert. Ferdinand kept on his 


way with his usual directness. Richelieu and Gustavus 
were equally anti-Hapsburg, but from different standpoints. 
And finally John George of Saxony, ruled by Amim, leaned 
first to Gustavus, then to Ferdinand. His great foible was 
jealousy of the king; his worst defect was an ancient and 
unreasoning sense of fealty to the empire ; his main aim was 
a Third Party in Germany, which, under his lead, should 
dominate both the emperor and the king; and he alternately 
corresponded with Gustavus and with Wallenstein. Faith- 
ful to neither because faithless to himself, he was destined 
to be the means of wrecking his own cause, and of visiting 
the horrors of war on his own dominions. And yet John 
George believed that he was honesty personified, and in a 
certain sense' he was so ; but he had dropped so far behind 
the times that he could neither gauge the German situation, 
nor appreciate what kind of honesty the times demanded. 

Our attention is constantly drawn to the transformation 
which had taken place since the king had come upon the 
scene. The situation forces itself upon us. When Gxistavus 
landed with his thirteen thousand men, the Protestant cause 
was on the wane, the party utterly discouraged, and the 
emperor everywhere successful. Now Ghistavus had nearly 
one hundred and fifty thousand men in garrison and in the 
field. Recruiting was active. All the Protestant princes 
were in league with the Swedes. France was sustaining the 
cause by means which neutralized the Catholic princes on 
the Rhine, and the rest were dominated by the conditions 
surrounding them. The Swedes were on the borders of 
Bavaria, cutting the emperor from the Rhine bishoprics, — 
Cologne and Trier, — and were about to invade his domin- 
ions, while his ^^buffer-state," Bavaria, was made unreliable 
by the abject fear of the elector for his possessions. Ferdi- 
nand had sent to Poland for troops, but these were refused 


on the plea of a threat from Russia, — perhaps fostered by 
Gustavus. Pope Urban refused Ferdinand countenance, 
alleging the war to be not for Catholicism, but for Hapsburg 
aggrandizement. From Spain he could hope nothing, for she 
was busy in the Netherlands. Upper Austria was in readi- 
ness for revolt. Turkey was threatening to invade Ijower 
Austria. Switzerland favored the Protestants. And still 
worse, the emperor had but eighty thousand men, of which 
sixty thousand, ill-cared for and in bad heart, lay on the 
left bank of the Danube, from Swabia to Moravia, striving 
to protect the inheritance of the emperor from further 
inroads, and the rest in garrisons or detachments in Silesia, 
lower Saxony, Westphalia, on the Elbe, Weser and Rhine, 
where they scarcely held their own. lie was recruiting in 
all directions, but to small effect. And more than all, the 
moral superiority had gone over to the side of the Protes- 
tants. This astonishing change was entirely due to Gustavus' 
methodical handiwork. 

There hiid been a suggestion, hard to be traced to its 
source, that peace could be had on terms indefinitely 
stated, but these were not such that Ferdinand could accept 
them. It was sheer inability to help himself that induced 
him again to turn to Wallenstein, the idea of employing 
whom Gustavus had given up for fear that he could not be 

The casual observer might be led to say that all these 
results sprang directly from the victory of Breitenfeld ; that 
had Gustavus beaten the enemy in a great battle at an ear- 
lier day, his standing would have been as good and much 
time saved. But a carefid survey of the king's problem, 
and of the results as he worked them out, will convince the 
student that the solid gain Gustavus had made came more 
from his careful method than from his splendid victory. A 


Breitenfeld in 1680 would not have taught him the true 
inwardness of the German situation. He would have leaned 
more heavily on Grerman support; he would have taken too 
favorable a view of the helpfulness of his allies, and he 
might have undertaken operations which would have resulted 
in his overthrow. Had he pushed for an early victory, won 
it, and utilized it for an advance into Germany without his 
carefully established base, not only would he not have been 
the great exponent of methodical war, but he would scarcely 
have redeemed the Protestant cause. Gustavus belongs to 
the six Great Captains because of his careful method and 
his boldness combined ; if either quality won him more than 
the other, it was his scrupulous care in doing well whatever 
he undertook to do. 

But brilliant as Gustavus' standing was, splendid as had 
been his achievements, the conditions existing in the German 
political structure promised no certainty of continuing wel- 
fare; and these conditions reacted on the military problem 
vastly more than they would in a war of conquest. In 1632 
there was altogether too extended a theatre of operations; 
such, in fact, as to forbid one leadership. Ghistavus' opera- 
tions in Franconia and Bavaria had small influence on those 
of his lieutenants; but the outside operations were of no 
great moment, except in so far as they weakened the Koyal 
Army. What interest there is centres in the work of the 
king and of his great opponent, Wallenstein. 

There is nowhere a crisp statement of Gustavus' plan for 
the campaign of 1682 ; nor anything to show that he formu- 
lated a definite one, beyond the general scheme of moving 
down the Danube and occupying the lands on its either bank. 
In no other war was the influence of petty states on the gen- 
eral military scheme so prominent; no other great captain 
waging an offensive war was ever compelled to weigh so 


many and inconsiderable questions. Had Grustavus come as 
a conqueror, — the role of all other great captains, save 
Frederick, — he might have brushed aside these smaller 
requirements, and have dealt solely with the larger factors ; 
but he came as a liberator, to restore and not take away, 
to build up and not tear down; and every one of the petty 
principalities had to be considered as a sovereign nation. 
The contrast between his patience with the German princes 
and Napoleon's brusque method of dealing with them is 
marked. It is all the more astonishing that, in the short 
twenty-eight months Gustavus enacted his part on the 
European stage, he accomplished so vast a result. 

From a military point of view, his forces were in detach- 
ments altogether too small. While Gustavus was at Mainz, 
his active roll of over one hundred thousand men was in eight 
armies: eighteen thousand under his own command; twenty 
thousand under Horn on the Main ; thirteen thousand under 
Bandr in Magdeburg; Tott moving from Mecklenburg to 
lower Saxony had thirteen thousand ; the Saxons had twenty 
thousand; William of Hesse, eight thousand; the duke of 
Mecklenburg, four thousand ; and in various garrisons fifteen 
to twenty thousand more. Every one of these armies was 
essential where it stood; and yet it seemed as if none of them 
could stand alone, and the year 1632 shows us Gustavus 
striding from place to place to help first this detachment and 
then that, arresting a necessary manoeuvre here to save an 
irretrievable loss yonder; a condition due to the lamentable 
division of Germany into petty sovereignties. Still, despite 
his difficulties, the king accomplished a year's work perhaps 
unequaled in all military history; and, as no other great 
captain was happy enough to do, he sealed the deed of 
conserved Protestantism which, unrequited, he gave to his 
German brethren, with his life's blood. 


When, towards the close of 1631, Tilly had withdrawn 
from before Niimberg, Horn gathered what forces he could 
readily spare from other work and marched from Rothemburg 
along the Tauber to Mergentheim, and thence to the Neckar, 
took Heilbronn and Wimpfen, and drove Tilly's troops in 
that region back to the Danube. Having cleaned Swabia of 
Catholic troops, he was ordered by Gustavus to Windsheim, 
to recruit, for part of his army had been detached to Mag- 
deburg, where Pappenheim was confronting Ban^r. Horn's 
quota was fourteen thousand men; but he did not reach it, 
being hindered by a two weeks' truce between Gustavus and 
the League pending certain negotiations. At its expiration 
Horn turned towards Frauconia, where he threw back a 
force of a thousand foot and horse coming from Forscheim, 
and after occupying Hochstadt by surrender, captured Bam- 
berg and sat down there. 

This was an open town without defenses. At the end of 
February Tilly advanced against it from his winter-quarters 
in Nordlingen. Horn made preparations to hold out, as he 
expected reinforcements from lower Saxony, and built long 
lines of works around the town. But his new troops were 
not yet in hand. Tilly had at least twenty thousand men, 
thrice his force, and coming from Nordlingen, had assembled 
at Neumarkt and thence advanced. Horn had not got Bam- 
berg in order for defense, when the enemy's van put in its 
appearance. One of his cavalry regiments was, against 
orders, drawn into action, was beaten, and in falling back, 
demoralized a newly recruited infantry battalion. The panic 
spread, the troops abandoned the works and fled over the 
bridge on the Regnitz into the town, with the enemy at 
their heels. Horn headed a regiment of foot and one of 
horse, drove the enemy back over the river, and held him 
until the bridge could be broken down; and he saved his 

808 A NEW PLAN. 

artillery and baggage. But he deemed it prudent to retire 
to Eltman, down the Main, and then collecting his army at 
Hassfurt (where in a cavalry combat he won a handsome 
success), he marched to Schweinfurt, and later took up a 
position at Wiirzburg. Gustavus blamed Horn for this 
affair, which he said unduly encouraged the enemy. Tilly 
retook Bamberg, and went on to Hassfurt to attack Horn, 
but the Swede had already retired with all his impedimenta, 
and had marched on to join Gustavus at Geldersheim. Tilly 
ceased his pursuit to besiege Schweinfurt, where, after 
intrenching the town, Horn had left a garrison of three regi- 

Early in 1632 Gustavus seems to have made a plan to 
base on Mainz, march up the Rhine into the Palatinate, 
take Heidelberg, move thence into WUrtemberg, and follow 
down the Danube from its headwaters into Bavaria. His 
lieutenants had captured Braunfels on the Lahn, Boben- 
hausen, Kirchberg and Bacharach, and had just taken 
Creuzuach by storm, all of which tended to keep the Span- 
iards from too great activity in Alsatia, and he was about 
ready to start, when he heard of Tilly's advance on Horn. 
He at once changed his plan to a march up the Main, to join 
Horn, hoping between them to drive Tilly beyond the Dan- 
ube and to follow him into Bavaria. 

Duke Bernard was left under Oxenstiem in Alsatia, to 
hold head against the Spaniards. But the two did not 
agree; and Gustavus soon called Bernard to his own side. 
He committed to the landgrave the duty of keeping watch 
of the elector of Cologne and other Rhenish princes; he left 
Tott to act against Pappenheim on the Weser with the 
troops of the lower Saxon Circle, and Ban^r on the Elbe; 
and now, secure in every step he had so far taken, he started 
from Hochst, March 15, with twenty thousand men, through 


Frankfort and Steinheim to Aschaffenburg, and across to 
Lohr, where he rested March 18. He had written to Niim- 
berg and Schweinf urt not to lose heart at the fall of Bam- 
berg, but to persevere in the good cause. He joined Horn 
near Schweinf urt, and concentrated the bulk of his troops 
at Kitzingen, March 21-24. His avowed purpose was to 
bring Tilly's army to battle, for Wallenstein was again 
afoot, and the king would like to disable Tilly before the 
imperial forces could concentrate. He was working to this 
end when he heard what turned out to be the false news that 
TiUy had marched towards the Upper Palatinate. 

On this the king resolved to leave three thousand men to 
act as an outpost to Franconia, and head for the Danube, 
instead of following Tilly away from the more essential work 
in Swabia. He ordered in Ban^r and William of Weimar, 
and with forty-five thousand men set out via Windsheim 
(March 26-28) and Fiirth (March 30) towards Niimberg, on 
the way to the Danube. The fact that Tilly had not moved 
did not now affect his plan. 

Up to the 24th Tilly had lain in the Bamberg country, 
but on the king's approach he declined to again tempt his 
fortune in a battle, gathered all the forces under his com- 
mand, and withdrew up the Regnitz by way of Forscheim 
and Erlangen. The king's smart advance had prevented 
Tilly from detaching any forces against Oxenstiem on the 
Rhine. Both armies were apparently aiming for Niimberg, 
but Tilly concluded to pass by the city, and marched through 
Neufnarkt to Ingolstadt. Here he crossed the Danube, 
proceeded upstream, and sat down near the fortress of Rain, 
behind the Lei^h. 

Maximilian had conceived the notion that Gustavus would 
prefer battle with Tilly to an invasion of Bavaria, and had 
ordered his generalissimo to withdraw towards Bohemia or 


Austria, and manoeuvre to join Wallenstein's new imperial 
army. He hoped thus to draw Gustavus from Bavaria. 
But his war council strongly opposed leaving the entrance to 
Bavaria open ; and Tilly was withdrawn to the Danube, and 
his army so placed as to prevent Gustavus' inroad. As the 
Swedish king would probably aim for Swabia, the Lech 
would be a strong line on which to defend the land. It was 
this lack of purpose in the elector which had given rise to 
the rumor Gustavus had heard, and it was the later deci- 
sion which had shaped Tilly's march. Under such contra- 
dictory orders, no wonder that Tilly was unequal to a situa- 
tion with which at his best he was scarcely abreast. 

At this time Gustavus would have been glad to enter into 
a bond of neutrality with Maximilian, and rather expected 
an embassy to treat of peace; but the elector was yet too 
sure of his ground to make advances. He placed great 
reliance on what Wallenstein would accomplish when once 
he took the field, and felt reasonably confident of the future. 

Gustavus, accompanied by Frederick of the Palatinate 
and other notables, entered Niirnberg in state, March 81, 
and was received by the population with enthusiasm. But 
he could not delay; his movements were decided by the 
retreat of the enemy. Having inspected the defenses, he 
turned to follow Tilly, moved via Schwabach and Monheim, 
and rea(*hed Donauworth April 5. Here he bombarded and 
captured the works on the Schellenberg in front of the town, 
forced the two thousand infantry there to a precipitate flight 
across the Danube with a loss of five hundred men, took 
Donauworth, restored its works, and rebuilt the bridge 
which the enemy had tried to destroy. Horn was sent along 
the left bank with a suitable force, to occupy Ulm, which 
had already agreed to ^ji alliance, and take other fords and 
places on the way. This duty Horn accomplished in good 

wQrtembero joins. 811 

style, oollecting much provision and material. HocLstMt 
was garrisoned by two thousand foot and eight hundred 
horse; DiUingen, Lauingen, Grundelfingen, Guntzbarg were 
all friendly; Lichtenaa, Pappenheim and Wiilzburg were 
taken by Sperreuter. The duhe of Wiirtemberg declared 
against the emperor, and rused eight thousand men for the 

Tilly made no pretense to oppose all this. He had, since 
Breitenfeld, lost much of his desire to cross swords with the 
Swedes, and his present orders were limited to the defense 
of Bavaria. 

StMM of QuttTM Adolflnw in 



HAvnro oroMed the Danube, GhiBtayns was on the left bank of the Leeh. 
Tilly held an apparently inexpugnable position on the other side ; bat a reeon- 
noiBsance satisfied the king that the position could be forced. Such a thing was 
unheard of ; but Gustavus did unheard-of things. Establishing a heavy bat- 
tery on the river bank, under corer of its fire and of the smoke of burning 
straw, he sent oyer a party to build a bridge>head, threw a pontoon bridge, and 
crossed his men. The imperialists met the crossing in force, but the king 
pushed on and drove them out of Rain. Tilly was mortally wounded. From 
Rain the king rooved up the Lech to take Augsburg, and then marched on 
Ingolstadt. Maximilian retired to Ratisbon ; the king crossed the Danube and 
laid siege to Ingolstadt. Wallenstein, again in command of the imperial 
armies, was threatening Saxony ; Gustavus marched on Munich, to draw him 
from thence. In Swabia he seized the principal towns, and was fast reducing 
the country, when Wallenstein's inroad into Saxony constrained him to move 
north. Worse than the military threat was that, through Amim, Wallenstein 
was tampering with the elector, and thus sapping Gustavus' oommunicationa. 

Crossing the Danube at Donauworth, the king found him- 
self on the left bank of the Lech, behind which, intrenched 
north of Rain, lay Tilly and the elector, who here came up 
to direct his generalissimo's operations. At a council of 
war, it had been decided that Tilly's army was too much 
lacking in morale to face Gustaviis offensively, and that it 
should act strictly on the defensive until Wallenstein, who 
was again afoot, could come up, or at least send reinforce- 
ments. In their front was the Lech, and in their rear the 
small river Ach ; the right flank leaned on the Danube ; the 
left was protected by Rain. Redoubts had been built along 
the low-lying river front and joined by intrenchments ; and 



heavy guns in suitable batteries stood at intervals. The 
fords of the Lech, up to Augsburg, and this city also, were 
held by Tilly ; the bridges had been destroyed and the towns 

If he so chose, the king might turn Tilly out of his posi- 
tion at Rain by crossing the Lech above him, or he might 
coop him up in a comer where he could not victual and thus 
force him out to fight; but this would take time, and after 
a careful reconnoissance, he assured himself of the actual 
weakness of the enemy's apparently impregnable position. 
Both banks were a low, marshy plain, which to-day has been 
drained by canaling the Lech ; then the marsh lay between 
the Catholic position and the river. Higher land lay 
further away from the banks. The bulk of Tilly's army 
was in a woody defile back of the low ground, waiting 
for Wallenstein's arrival. Gustavus chose a third course. 
He had concentrated his forces at Nordheim, ready for any 
operation. He believed that the proper time had come for 
a bold stroke. From the fact that his whole campaign thus 
far had been cautious and systematic, neglecting no point 
from which trouble might arise, it will not do to assume that 
Grustavus lacked audacity. He was by nature overbold, and 
he now determined to impose on the enemy by crossing the 
river in their teeth, and attacking them in the intrenchments 
behind which they believed themselves invulnerable. The 
moral advantage to be gained by such a blow he esteemed 
would more than compensate for the loss, or danger of fail- 
ure. At the council of war preceding the attack, when 
Horn brought up all the questionable conditions of the case, 
— and they were many and grave, — Gustavus replied, in 
the words of Alexander at the Granicus: "What, have we 
crossed a sea and so many big rivers, to be stopped now by 
a mere brook? " The attack was decided on. 


On April 18, at early dawn, Gustavus made a reconnob- 
Banoe close to the enemy's works. Coming near an imperial 
outpost on the other side, the king Bhouted across to the 
sentry: "Good morning, meia Herr! Where is old Tilly?" 
"Thank you, Herr, Tilly is in quarters in Rain," replied 
the man, and then asked: "Comrade, where is the king?" 
"Oh, he 's in his quarters tool " replied Gustavus. "Why, 
you don't say the 

king gives you quar- y'\2fH^ "^'w^ '^ 

ters?" "Oh, yes, -■^'^''■'7,"^ 
indeed ; come over 
to uB and you shall 
have fine quarters '. " 
laughed Gustavus 
as he rode away, 
merry over the ad- 

Preparations had 
heen speedily be- 
gun, a battery of 
seventy - two guns 
was erected on the 
left bank where it 
was higher than the 
right, and where 
was a hend in the 
stream with convex- 
ity toward the Swe<les; and under cover of a constant fire, 
directed by the king in person, a bridge was thrown in the 
bend in such a way that the artillery and musketeers on the 
banks could protect it; and when it was nearly done, there 
was set over a party of three hundred Finns, who were con- 
cealed by burning damp straw to prodnoe thick smoke, and 

CtomIiik of tlia Lttoh. 


to each of whom was promised ten rix dollars in case of snc- 
eess. In the night of April 14-15 the boat-bridge was com- 
pleted and a bridge-head of earthworks thrown up. The 
king led the infantry across, and sent some of the cavalry 
upstream to ford the river just above the enemy's posi- 
tion, while the rest with the artiUery filed across the bridge 
April 16. 

Tilly and the elector strove to interrupt these proceedings. 
They issued from their camp with selected troops, which 
they concealed in a wood on their left, opposite the Swed- 
ish bridge-head, and made from this cover a number of 
attacks on the Swedes, at the same time opening fire from 
all the guns which could be brought to bear on the bridge 
or the atlvancing enemy. But the cross fire of the Swedish 
batteries inflicted much greater loss on them. The troops 
in the wood were driven out in confusion, and the Swedish 
infantry more than held its own, while the cavalry made a 
demonstration upon their flank. The engagement was of 
no mean proi)ortions ; the Swedish cavalry threw back the 
imperial horse which was sent in successive columns against 
them, and the infantry was put in to quite an extent; but 
the affair was in the main an artiUery duel. Tilly had his 
thigh shattered by a cannon-ball, of which wound, though 
Gustavus sent him his body-surgeon, the grim old soldier 
died two weeks later, and Aldringer, who succeeded him, 
was wounded in the head. From twelve hundred to two 
thousand men were killed or wounded on the Swedish side ; 
the imperial casualties are stated at four thousand men. 

At the loss of their leaders — the elector being held of 
small account as a soldier — the imperial troops lost heart, 
and took refuge in their intrenched camp. The king made 
no assault, owing to oncoming darkness, ignorance of the 
work, and the exhaustion of his men, but remained on the 


battle-field. He had gained his object. The imperial army 
had lost morale and organization, and his own had gained 
in equal measure. Though the enemy should have been able 
to hold the works, which were strong, against the attack 
which would have been made next day, the elector retired 
during the night to Neuburg and thence to Ingolstadt, 
where he took up a position surrounding the fortress and 

Gustavus has been criticised for not following the enemy 
sharply and seeking to beat him in at least a rear-guard 
fight; for their retreat was made in much disorder; but so 
to take advantage of a victory had not yet been recognized 
as a maxim of war. Practically, until Napoleon's day, there 
was no pursuit. Indeed, vigorously to pursue is almost the 
rarest feat of any victorious general. It has not been over 
frequently seen since Napoleon's day. Nor may a captain 
be fairly criticised from the standpoint of the art of a later 
day. He must be tried by the standard of the art as he 
found it and left it. But it would seem that even if Grustavua 
did not tactically pursue the enemy after the victory on the 
Lech, he might have been wise to follow him up as a stra- 
tegic operation. He could have sent part of his forces to 
Augsburg under Ban^r or Horn, and have himself sought 
to inflict a fresh defeat on Maximilian before he could 
recover from his late demoralization, or be joined by Wal- 
lenstein. But the king had his own way of doing things; he 
now repeated the procedure which had succeeded so well in 
Pomerania and the Franconian country, and began to oc- 
cupy the newly taken territory in a systematic manner. 

He crossed the Lech, April 17, with the remainder of his 
cavalry and the infantry, took Rain, seized all the towns 
along the right bank of the river to Augsburg, and ordered 
Torstenson and the heavy guns up the left bank to Ober- 


hausen; and, to collect victual and contributions from all the 
tributary towns, he sent out a detachment into the Neuburg 
country. Augsburg, though a free city, was held in subjection 
by the imperial garrison. There was a bridge across the Liech, 
but this had been smeared with pitch, preparatory to setting 
it on fire. Gustavus moved up the right bank, camped at 
Lechhausen, and threw his pontoon bridges across the 

The triangle Ulm-Augsburg-Donauworth was exception- 
ally strong. Had Gustavus desired it as a defensive ^^sedem 
belli^^^ as he calls it, he could have held it against large 
odds. But defense was the last thing to think of. Swabia 
occupied, he proposed to move down the Danube, and on 
April 20 he entered Augsburg, which made some opposi- 
tion to his demands, took its oath of fealty and promise of 
contribution, left Lechhausen April 26, and headed down 
the river Paar towards Ingolstadt, the strongest fortress in 

Horn was in advance with the cavalry. The main colunm 
got to Aiehach on the 26th, to Schrobenhausen the 27th, 
and to within eight miles of the river opposite Ingolstadt on 
the 28th. In reconnoitring, Gustavus found the enemy on 
the north bank, with a strong bridge-head on the south to 
protect the stone bridge leading across the Danube from 
Ingolstadt. Alongside of this stone bridge the enemy liad 
thrown a pontoon bridge, and built a redoubt as its bridge- 
head. At daylight on the 29th an attack was made on this 
redoubt, but the Swedes were driven back with a loss of 
twenty killed. The troops were put into camp opposite 

Early on April 30 Gustavus made a second reconnois- 
sance, and riding too near the works, had his horse shot 
under him. A cannon-ball passed just behind the calf of 


his leg and went through the horse, which fell. Without 
any expression of astonishment Gustavus extricated himself, 
mounted another horse and went on with his work. Shortly 
after, one of the princes of Baden was killed near him by 
a cannon-ball, and when Grustavus returned to camp, these 
events were made the subject of discussion between him and 
his generals at dinner. Among other things Gustavus said: 
^^I take God and my conscience to witness, as well as all the 
tribulation I am undergoing and shall undergo, that I have 
left my kingdom and all I deem of value, solely for the 
security of my fatherland, to put an end to the fearful reli- 
gious tyranny which exists, to replace in their rights and free- 
dom the Evangelical princes and estates of Germany, and 
to win for us all a permanent peace." He concluded his 
conversation by referring lightly to his danger: ^^ Whoso 
lives for honor must know how to die for the universal 
good,'' he said. 

More curious than the military situation was the political 
status. The elector of Bavaria had formerly refused Gus- 
tavus' offers of neutrality ; now he was flying from the king 
and appealing for aid to WaUenstein, whose fall he had been 
chiefly instrumental in causing not many months ago; and 
it was he who now desired an accommodation. He made 
propositions for a truce and subsequent peace, but the king 
refused these as the elector had refused his own. He had 
no confidence in Maximilian, and believed, as was the fact, 
that he desired a truce merely to wait for WaUenstein. 

It is thought by some critics that Gustavus should have 
embraced his present opportunity of cutting the elector off 
from Bohemia and Austria; but it was no easy task. After 
Tilly's death Maximilian lost his head, and on May 2 for- 
sook Ingolstadt, which, from the nature of the case, had 
not been yet blockaded. He had lost confidence in his 


army, as his army had in him, and was eager for Wallen- 
stein, to have some strong soul to lean on. He withdrew 
unhindered by Neustadt, where he crossed the river, to Ratis- 
bon, which, though a free city, he occupied by stratagem, 
and thus secured his communications with Bohemia. 

So soon as Gustavus saw that the garrison was being with- 
drawn from the bridge-head redoubt, he stormed it, crossed 
the Danube, sat down to besiege Ingolstadt, and sent Horn 
on to ascertain the enemy's movements. Horn followed to 
Neustadt, found that the Bavarian army had headed to 
Ratisbon, scoured the coimtry thoroughly, and sent detach- 
ments as far as its gates. 

While opening the siege of Ingolstadt, the king heard that 
Wallenstein had left part of his army to worry the elector 
of Saxony, and was advancing on Bavaria with twenty thou- 
sand men. It was important to save Saxony from imperial 
badgering or influence, for comparatively little of either 
might induce John George to make his peace with the 
emperor; and Amim, who practically controlled him, was 
really in league with Wallenstein. Ghistavus deemed it 
wise to make matters so threatening in Bavaria as not only 
to rouse Maximilian to follow and flght him, but to entice 
Wallenstein away from Saxony. He raised the siege of 
Ingolstadt May 4, — he had but just begun the work, — 
left a corps of observation at its gates, and marched into 
the interior of Bavaria. Horn was recalled, and reached 
Wollenzach May 5, took Landshut two days later, and levied 
ten thousand rix dollars contribution. Mosburg fell May 
6, and Freising surrendered and paid its tribute. 

As Gustavus advanced on Munich, he heard that Wallen- 
stein showed no sign of following him. He had miscalcu- 
lated: the Czech was the more intent on Saxony. For a 
moment the king thought he would move to the aid of this. 


his most important ally. He prepared to leave Ban^r in 
Bavaria, to send Horn to help Oxenstiem against the Span- 
iards in the Rhine-Main country, and himself to march to 
succor John George. While so engaged, he heard fresh 
news, — that WaUenstein proposed to join the elector of 
Bavaria with his whole force. This made it imperative that 
Gustavus should not parcel out his own army, but keep well 
concentrated. He reverted to his first view and moved on 
Munich. The capital was taken without difficulty, a contri- 
bution of forty thousand rix dollars was levied, and there 
was found great store of material and guns, of which latter 
one hundred and nineteen buried ones were dug up. Gus- 
tavus remained here three weeks. 

The cities received the Swedes without great difficulty, 
but the population of the country districts of Bavaria and 
Swabia remained hostile, and kept up a constant small war. 
Soldiers who were caught singly or away from their compa- 
nies were visited with mayhem, or death by torture, and 
many hundred soldiers thus perished. Prayers in the Bava- 
rian churches were said to rxm: ^^God save us from our 
country's enemy, the Swedish devil." Gustavus took no 
revenge for this conduct, but levied contributions only. To 
Munich he said: ^^I could inflict on you the penalties of 
Magdeburg, — but fear not, my word is worth more than 
your capitulation papers.'' 

Gustavus' troops in Swabia had captured Nordlingen, 
Landsberg, Fiissen, Memmingen, Kempten, Leutkirch and 
other places. But the holding was insecure. The peasantry 
rose and killed the Swedish garrisons in some of these towns, 
and a few imperial officers headed the rising, which finaUy 
reached ten thousand men. Colonel Taupadel was unable 
to handle the business, and Colonel Buthven from Ulm' tried 
his hand with equal unsuccess. Towards the end of May, 


Ulm was threatened by Ossa with detachments of troops 
raised for Wallenstein. Gustavus left Ban^r in Munich, 
and started for Ubu, via Memmingen. Here he heard to 
his great distress that the Saxons were treating with Wallen- 
stein, and that the latter had taken Prague. He had paid 
too little heed to the growth in strength of the great Czech 
and to liis ()[)erations in Bohemia ; and yet he could not have 
arrested Wallenstein 's movements without the cooperation 
of the Saxon army, whose theatre was to have been Bohemia, 
but which had as miserably failed in its action as the elector 
had in his promises. 

To go back some months : two imperial generals, Tief en- 
bach and Gutz, with ten thousand men, had pushed their 
way, in October, 1631, from Silesia into Lusatia and Bran- 
denburg, had, as usual, devastated their route, and had sent 
parties out as far as Berlin and Dresden. Their career was 
ha})pily of no long duration. Ferdinand had made up his 
mind tliat a policy of excoriation towards Saxony was not a 
paying one, and to try a milder experiment, recalled these 
raiders. After they had left, there moved, in accordance 
with Gustavus' general scheme, from Torgau and Frankfort 
on the Oder into Bohemia and Silesia, a force of Saxons 
under Amim, of Swedes from the Elbe under Ban^r, and 
of English under Hamilton, numbering from twenty to 
twenty-five thousand men. In Bohemia they received help 
from the population, and no great imperial force offered 
resistance. On November 10 they took Budin and Prague, 
where they beat the enemy in a smart combat, thrust the 
imperialists back from Nimburg on Tabor, and in Decem- 
ber captured Eger and Pilsen. The emperor was con- 
strained to call to the business Marshal Gallas, who had 
just come up from Italy ; but this officer was slow. Every- 
thing was redolent of success. Bohemia was friendly; impe- 


rial opposition scarcely existed; the Protestants of Austria 
were gaining heart for action; the Transylvanian prince 
Kakoczi fell upon Hiingary and penetrated as far as Austria, 
— an admirable diversion. But the Saxon elector, appar- 
ently on the eve of success, began to listen to the wily coun- 
cils of Amim, who was in correspondence with Wallenstein, 
and instead of pushing on towards Moravia and into Austria, 
to second Gustavus' manoeuvres, returned to Dresden, sat 
him down, and considered whether he could not make satis- 
factory terms with the emperor and save himself from so 
big a military budget. It was at this time that Wallenstein 
reappeared on the scene in person. This trickery separated 
the English and Swedish brigades from the Saxons; they 
retired from the undertaking, while the Saxons under Amim 
remained in Bohemia to conduct a petty war and to plunder 
the land. 

The new set of conditions centring about Wallenstein 
induced Gustavus to return to Ingolstadt with his main force. 
William of Weimar was left with a corps in Bavaria, on the 
right bank of the Danube, and Horn with a corps was to 
occupy the upper Khine and Swabia. Recruiting for the 
Swedes went on even as far as Switzerland. 

Meanwhile the Rhine was a scene of conflict in which 
Swedes, French, Spanish and Germans all bore a hand. A 
French army had appeared in Lorraine to chastise its duke 
for joining Tilly a year before, and, isolated, he was glad to 
return to his fealty on any terms. When Grustavus left the 
Main, he gave the control of the left bank of the Rhine into 
French hands; for it was better that Richelieu should have 
control here than to let the section lapse into the hands of 
the Spaniards or Austrians. 

Oxenstiem had orders to respect the French holdings, 
little as Grustavus Uked the attitude of Richelieu; and the 


operations of the prince of Orange came to the chancellor' s 
aid. But meanwhile the imperialists and Spaniards were 
not idle. Generals Ossa, Fiirstenburg and Montecuculi gave 
trouble; and Coimt Embden moved up the Khine capturing 
sundry places. At Speyer a Swedish colonel capitulated, 
but the place was later evacuated by the imperialists. Pap- 
penheim moved from the Weser on the Khine country. On 
the other hand Horn, who had been ordered to the Rhine 
from the confines of Bavaria, took Lahneck, Stolzenfels and 
Coblenz in July. 

These Ilapsburg successes again induced the French, 
despite their strained relations with Sweden, to work against 
the common enemy; and what they did west of the Khine 
had the effect of making the work on the east bank the 
lighter for Oxenstiem and Horn. 

Then came the king's orders, of which more anon, to 
march to his support in Niirnberg. Oxenstiem left Horn 
to conduct the Moselle campaign, and prepared to send all 
available troops to the main army. 

To the forces of the duke of Wiirtemberg, who had 
declared against the emperor and raised eight thousand men, 
Gustavus added some Alsatian regiments and some of Oxen- 
stiern's old troops, and this army, imder Horn, reduced 
Baden-Durlach, and made a handsome campaign in Alsatia. 

Tlie details of these operations cannot be given. They 
were merely the policing of the outside of the arena, within 
whose boimds the giants struggled for the mastery. 

Match-lock. (16th Century.) 



JUNE, 1632. 

DxspiTS GnstsyuB* open-handed dealing, many princes of Eorope did not 
trost bim. Unselfish devotion to any oaose was too rare to make the kin{p*s 
honorable condnet seem reaL Too great sncceas had the same e£Feot as too 
great disaster ; suspicion was as bad as abject fear. When Ferdinand f onnd 
himself so hard beset he retnmed to Wallenstein, the only soldier who might 
stem the eng^ulfing tide. The great Czech, still smarting from his deposition 
in 1630, w6ald make none but his own terms ; and these were practically the 
emperor*s transfer of all his powers on the theatre of war. Thus equipped, 
Wallenstein soon raised an army, and assembling it in Bohemia, attacked the 
Swedes in their weakest point by tampering with Saxony. John Qeorge, jeal- 
ous of Gnstayus* playing first r81e in Germany, clung to his Third Party to 
oflFset Gustavus* Corpus Evangelicorum ; Brandenburg was uncertain; France 
was fearful of too much Swedish influence ; other powers held aloof. When 
Wallenstein entered Saxony, John G^rge called for aid, and leaving Ban^ to 
continue his work in Bavaria, the king started north with eighteen thousand 
men. He was anxious to interpose between Wallenstein and Maximilian, who 
was marching to join the new conmiander-in-chief , but was two days late. 
Wallenstein lay at Eger. Gustavus was unable to fathom his design so as to 
determine his own action ; but, having ordered reinforcements from all his lieu- 
tenants, he finally moved to Ntimberg, and put the place in a state of defense. 
Works were erected all round it, and here Gustavus awaited his opponent. 
Instead of smartly attacking the king near Eger with his threefold larger 
force, Wallenstein slowly followed, reaching Niimberg the end of June. 

The success won by Gustavus Adolphus had not been 
without its disadvantages. As his brothers in the faith had 
looked on him with distrust when he first landed in Ger- 
many, so now both the Protestant and Catholic extremists 
began to fear that the astonishing victories he had won 
might lead the king to extend his empire over Germany. 



Self-control and honest purpose were not the common attri- 
butes of the rulers of that day ; and however frank and con- 
sistent Gustavus had been, few people but fancied that there 
was something back of his generous, outspoken conduct 
which they could not fathom, but none the less dreaded. In 
addition to this the Catholics harbored an especial fear for 
their religion. They knew tliat the Lutherans had been 
hardly dealt with. When would their own turn come? 
France, too, hatl begun to see a danger in Swedish victories; 
Kichelieu wanted an agent, if not a tool ; he had no use for 
a master, and he was already half inclined to enter the lists 
to put a limit to Gustavus' career of triiunph. He would 
surely do so, should it reach a stage dangerous to Europe 
or to France. Richelieu was able to understand Gustavus 
if any one could, but he acted on the theory of distrusting 
every one until he proved himself honest ; of not trusting too 
far either honest man or rogue. 

It was true from the other standpoint that Gustavus had 
reached the highest pinnacle of fame and material suc- 
cess, and that the emperor had correspondingly lost. Ferdi- 
nand's case at the end of 1631 was desperate. He had not 
only been beaten in the game of war, but he seemed to have 
forfeited all his friends. He had turned to England, France, 
the Italian princes, the pope, and could get help from none. 
Even the pope was an out and out Gustavus man. Ferdi- 
nand had tried to make peace with the elector of Saxony, 
but Wallenstein, who was smarting from his dismissal, had 
Arnim under his thumb, and Amim swayed John George. 
His position had grown worse and worse. From the Baltic 
to the boundary of France and to the foothills of Switz- 
erland, the Swedish king had carved his victorious path, 
and now stood in absolute control. France was threat- 
ening Trier, whose elector had been forced into neutrality. 


The elector of Mainz, the bishops of Bamberg and Wiirz- 
burg had fled. The elector of Saxony had overrun Bo- 
hemia. The duke of Lorraine had been disarmed. The 
Protestants were everywhere under arms, and there was 
revolution in the Ems country. Bavaria was unreliable. 
The Spaniards had been beaten out of the Lower Palatinate. 
The Turks threatened. The Swiss had aU but joined Gus- 
tavus. Ferdinand was not himself capable of commanding 
his armies. What could he do? WaUenstein against him 
was too dangerous. He must win him back or succumb. 
Under these circumstances, towards the close of 1631 the 
emperor turned to the Bohemian, who alone seemed able to 
save him from a further downward course. 

We have seen how WaUenstein had been sowing by all 
waters ; how near he had come to entering into the service 
of Gustavus ; how he had sought means, by negotiations with 
hU enemies, of paying back Ferdinand in his own coin. 
Now that he was needed, WaUenstein was not to be had on 
any but the most humiliating terms. He took rather than 
was given the command. The imperial treasury was empty; 
Ferdinand was at the very end of his resources, material and 
moral ; and he stood out against no conditions to buy back 
the only soldier in Germany capable of matching the Swed- 
ish hero. Before WaUenstein would consent to enter the 
lists again, the emperor formaUy agreed to leave to him 
the exclusive military power over aU imperial possessions; 
the civil power over aU imperial territory in the possession 
of the enemy, including the right to confiscate lands; the 
absolute right to dictate operations; and in aU cases of 
reward and punishment the emperor^s action was to require 
WaUenstein's consent. Ferdinand agreed to stay personaUy 
away from the army, and to keep it furnished with provi- 
sion, money and material. Li addition to this WaUenstein 


was to have free entry into all imperial lands, to be rein 
stated in the duchy of Mecklenburg, and at the expiration 
of the war, of whose event he had no manner of doubt, to 
be rewarded by one of the imperial hereditary dukedoms. 
He received, in January, 1632, a provisional appointment 
to supreme conunand for three months ; in April it was made 

Such a contract with a subject was as degrading as it 
was unusual ; and it of necessity meant that, when his use- 
fulness should have past, Wallenstein would be put out of 
harm's way by fair means or foul. There coidd be no other 
outcome to it. Wallenstein, in assuming command, practi- 
cally put a term to his own career, however brilliant it might 
meanwhile be. 

The promise to victual the new army was a mere farce. 
Ferdinand liad no money, and both he and Wallenstein 
knew that the forces must live by plimder. Even the 
Magdeburg wolves were tame compared to the wild beasts 
of Wallenstein's new divisions. Never, perhaps, have so 
many brutes under one standard disgraced the name of 
soldier, in every act except the mere common virtue of cour- 
age. On appointment, Wallenstein at once began to recruit, 
in tlie Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Silesia, Moravia, 
Croatia, the Tyrol, — everywhere. It was not long before 
his reputation, his riches, his generosity, brought about him 
forty thousand men. These he assembled near Znaim in 
Moravia, twenty -five miles north of Vienna. 

This activity soon changed the political conditions in 
favor of Ferdinand. Wallenstein was a real power as well 
as an able soldier, and his apparent reconciliation with the 
emperor brightened the Catholic horizon beyond anything 
since the horror of Magdeburg. The situation, already 
colored by jealousy of Gustavus, seemed to shift as by the 


turning of a kaleidoscope. France was an uncertain ally. 
Brandenburg and Saxony could not be counted on: John. 
George had already invited George William to join in an 
anti-Swedish alliance. Gustavus' friends in Germany feared 
the residt of the reconciliation. These circumstances tended 
to put an end to the king's bold offensive, inclined him to 
greater caution than he had exhibited since Breitenfeld, 
warned him to hold fast to the position he had conquered in 
Bavaria and Swabia, on the upper Danube, on the Main, 
and the Rhenish country, rather than press farther on into 
the bowels of the land. 

The most uncertain element was Saxony. John George 
was born to keep his friends and his enemies in equal per- 
plexity. On the very eve of destruction, he had thrown 
himself into the arms of Gustavus, and the king had treated 
him with exceptional generosity, — a fact of which he now 
seemed oblivious. Under the suasion of Amim, his every effort 
was to rid himself of Swedish influence. He could not bear 
to have Gustavus enact the first role in Protestant Ger- 
many. John George had long imagined that Gustavus could 
be bought off by money ; he now believed tliat an accession 
of territory would do it. He forgot his own solemn compact 
of the days of sore distress; he could not appreciate the 
danger Sweden was running in this war on German soil. 
He claimed support from Gustavus ; he forswore in the same 
breath the fealty he had pledged to the man who had saved 
Saxony from fire and sword. Gustavus foresaw the vacilla- 
tion of John George ; and he did his best to prevent it. He 
ceased not in his negotiations; he kept a diplomatic agent 
at the elector's elbow ; he wearied not in urging John George 
to hold fast to the right, and he promised rescue from Wal- 
lenstein, even as he had delivered him from TiUy. But an 
evil star reigned over the court of Dresden. 


Maximilian, fearful of Wallenstein's revenge for his share 
in the latter's dismissal, begged the emperor to forbid his 
entering Bavaria; but Ferdinand's voice had no weight 
with the new generalissimo. WaUenstein's desire to rescue 
Bohemia from the Saxons, to break their treaty with Gus- 
tavus, to weaken the king's communications with his base, 
and to draw him out of south Germany, was more potent ; 
it constrained the Czech to march to Bohemia rather than 
Bavaria. This he did in February, 1682, and without a 
pretense of opposition, the Saxons fled from WaUenstein's 
army on its first appearance. 

For many months WaUenstein had been tampering with 
Amira, who practically controlled John George. The Czech 
now represented that he was anxious to keep peace with 
Saxony; he showed the emperor's formal authority, and 
assured the elector that the Edict of Restitution should be 
annulled in his dominions. He pretended that his warlike 
advance was but a matter of form, lest the Jesuits should 
suspect his design; but that he was ready at any time to 
conclude an alliance with John George, who might also per- 
suade Brandenburg to join the compact. The elector was 
disposed to an accord, if it would save his land ; but he was 
slow in making up his mind. Meanwhile WaUenstein took 
Prague on May 18, and drove the Saxons back to their own 

By this time the king had moved into Bavaria, and Maxi- 
milian again appealed to the emperor, now praying for 
WaUenstein's aid, and agreeing to serve under his com- 
mand. Placated by this concession, WaUenstein left ten 
thousand men imder Maradas to protect Bohemia, and 
marched with his army to Eger. From here he made an 
inroad into Saxony, plundering and burning as he advanced. 
He wished to show John George the sort of thing he might 


expect in case he delayed too long. Then, hearing that 
Maximilian was seeking a junction with him, Wallenstein 
returned to Eger, and thence advanced to Tirschenreut, to 
receive the elector, and to gain the advantage which the 
Bavarian army would lend him. 

John George had eighteen thousand foot and eight thou- 
sand horse. This was a large body to throw from one to the 
other side. He lay at Leitmeritz, and a march for Gustavus 
from Munich thither was far from easy. Properly employed, 
there was enough of an army to defend Saxony, while to 
leave the Danube at this moment looked like a sacrifice of 
what had been so far accomplished. Gustavus ceased not 
his negotiations, and urged, in lieu of every other matter, 
his Corptis Evangelicorum. But no appeal to John George 
weighed against what this shortsighted potentate deemed for 
the present advantage of Saxony. 

When Ghistavus at Memmingen learned of the fall of 
Prague, he also heard of a raid on Munich by Colonel 
Craatz, who had been sent by the elector to spy out the 
disaster to the land, and who, finding his way barred, sat 
down to besiege Weissemburg. The king had at once deter- 
mined to march north. He returned to Munich at the head 
of a small body of horse, and gathering all the news he 
could, marched to Donauworth, which he reached June 12. 
Here he called in Ban^r with troops from Munich, and some 
regiments from Memmingen. He was too late to save 
Weissemburg, which had capitulated June 7 ; but as the 
articles of capitulation were broken, he wrote to Maximilian 
demanding Craatz*s punishment, or he would visit the breach 
of faith on Munich. 

Of the first importance was to sustain John George, as a 
political and military necessity. The king sent William of 
Weimar to Magdeburg to collect all the available troops and 


march to Saxony, where he would himself join him, and 
wrote the elector that he should rely on him for victual to the 
daily amount of sixteen thousand pounds of bread, eight 
thousand pounds of beef and sixteen thousand ^^ measures'* 
of beer, at the places mentioned on the itinerary, viz. : the 
15th of Jime, Aschersleben ; 16th, Eisleben and Friedsburg; 
17th, Halle; 18th, Skeuditz; 19th, Leipsic; 20th, Wiirzen; 
21st, Oschatz; 22d, Meissen; 23, Dresden. As matters even- 
tuated, these supplies were never sent. 

His mind once made up to march north and interpose 
between Wallenstein and the Bavarians, Gustavus left ten 
thousand men under Bandr in Bavaria, and Bernard at 
Memmingen, with orders to keep the enemy out of Swabia 
and Bavaria by every practicable means, paying especial 
heed to Augsburg; and started Jime 14 from Donauworth, 
with ten thousand foot and eight thousand horse, in pursuit 
of Maximilian. On Jime 16 he was at Schwabach ; on the 
18th at Fiirth. 

During the spring of 1632 Gustavus had not kept suffi- 
ciently concentrated. He cannot weU be held to have fore- 
seen the turn affairs were to take, but it is scarcely to his 
credit to be forced to move against two armies number- 
ing at least sixty thousand men, with only eighteen thousand 
of all arms, and no reinforcements within many days' march. 
If the monarch is subject to criticism at any time during his 
German campaigns, it is at this moment, and for this lapse. 
"Where were the one hundred and fifty thousand men with 
which he was to open the campaign of 1632? The role of 
pacificator, protector, had induced him to spread them all 
over the theatre of war. His desire to rescue his Protestant 
friends led him to prejudice his military standing. 

The immediate task was to interpose between Maximilian 
and Wallenstein: nothing more helpful could be done for 


John George. It was June 20 that Gustavus learned that 
. Maximilian had left garrisons in Ingolstadt and Ratisbon 
and was marching by way of Amberg, and that Wallenstein 
had started from the Eger country to meet him. There was 
just one chance. If he could reach Weiden first, he might still 
head off and beat Maximilian before Wallenstein came up. 
He could reckon on both of these generals being slow. On 
June 21 he left Fiirth via Lauf, and on the 22d was at 
Hersbruck, with van at Sulzbach, which the Bavarians had 
reached June 17. On June 25 the army was at Vilseck, 
where it could threaten the road leading from Amberg to 
Weiden, over which the Bavarians must pass to join Wallen- 
stein. But despite good calculation and good marching, 
Gustavus was just too late. He learned at Vilsech that, the 
day before, the Bavarian van had met Wallenstein*s van at 

Now comes what some historians have characterized as 
a curious phase in Gustavus' character. Throughout his 
campaigns he had shown caution as remarkable as Csesar's ; 
but he had exhibited a boldness and a power of taking and 
holding the initiative which were as wonderful as Alexan- 
der's. All Europe looked with open eyes at this Lion of 
the North, who in two short years had marched from the 
seacoast well up the Oder, to the Elbe, to the Main, to the 
Rhine, to far beyond the Danube, — even to the confines of 
the Alps ; who so covered his ground as to hold against all 
opposition the territory he traversed; who had not only 
beaten the best armies of the empire and the League, but 
had reduced Ferdinand to the very verge of ruin. Here he 
stood, still with the initiative in his hand, and though with 
small nimibers, yet with troops flushed with success, and 
able to compass the almost impossible. What would he do? 
For some days Gustavus hesitated; he shifted plans oontin* 


ually, and for the first time appeared to forfeit his initiative. 
He had never done this before, except when Saxony stood 
between him and Magdeburg; and there had then been a 
more than valid excuse. To be sure, he was hampered by 
want of troops; he must wait for reinforcements, and was 
necessarily reduced to a role of extreme caution ; but he was 
slower to decide than we have been wont to see him. His 
first idea was that Wallenstein and Maximilian purposed to 
overrun Saxony; and in lieu of marching the Royal Army 
to the aid of the elector, he bethought him to return to the 
Danube, lay siege to Ingolstadt, and seek to draw the enemy 
away from Saxony by a smart diversion on the hereditary 
possessions of Ferdinand. Again, he thought that should 
the enemy actually enter Saxony, he would march to Dresden 
with his own column, sustained by the Rhine and Thurin- 
gian armies. Again, he planned to march via Coburg, draw 
in the Liineburg and Hesse forces, and head for Meissen. 
Again, after a couple of days, as the enemy still remained at 
Eger, Gustavus imagined they might be aiming for Fran- 
conia, or perhaps for Bavaria, and he would stand where he 
was and wait developments. He called in Duke William 
and the duke of Liineburg by rapid marches, via Coburg to 
the Bamberg country, while Landgrave William should 
remain as a check to Pappenheim. But Hersbruck, where 
he now lay, lacked victual, and was a bad point for a ren- 
dezvous, and if Ghistavus was to give up offensive action, it 
was evident that he must retire. 

Should he move to the Main — the natural rendezvous ? 
That would be to give up Bavaria, and especially Nurnberg, 
which was not to be thought of. Finally, Gustavus settled 
on Niimberg for concentration, as the place where he was 
nearest to all the points demanding his attention. 

This apparent indecision has been much discussed, and by 


some critics has been held up against the king. It does not 
appear to need much notice, except because it has already 
provoked it. Gustavus with his small force had merely been 
mentally alert, while his bulky opponents, Wallenstein and 
Maximilian, had inertly lain in quarters, waiting for the 
king to decamp. The fact is that Gustavus had a hyper- 
active mind ; we have seen evidences of it before. He was 
continually conjuring up some new idea as to what the enemy 
might do, and framing schemes to counteract it. He was, 
so to speak, constantly casting an anchor to windward. He 
wrote much to Sweden, or to Oxenstiem, or to some inti- 
mate; he was free in stating his plans to his correspondents; 
and this amplitude of resources looks like indecision, when 
it was a mere discussion of hypothetical cases. Gustavus 
did not, like Caesar, write commentaries at the close of his 
campaign, in which he could state motives which accorded 
with the event; he wrote as and when he thought, in the 
midst of the utter uncertainty of events, and he voiced his 
every idea. The apparent indecision was a mere habit of 
thinking aloud. What great captain who always voiced his 
thoughts would escape the charge of indecision? We judge 
the captain Alexander from the records of his friends; Han- 
nibal from the story of his enemies; Csesar from what he 
himself penned after the achievement; Frederick from his 
silent deeds alone; and we are but even now finding what 
the real Napoleon was, from the memoirs of his contempo- 
raries. What we know of Gustavus is largely drawn from 
his own letters written at the moment. Let us be slow to 

Consistency is a jewel, no doubt; but a man who is honest 
with himself, and who keeps up with the events of stirring 
times, cannot always be consistent. What seems true to-day 
may prove false to-morrow; the wise step of the morning 


may be a fatal one at sundown. As events chase each other 
onward, no one can long remain of the same mind. In a 
ceiliain sense consistency is narrowness, and in this sense the 
great Swede was broad ; he took no pains to conceal a change 
of purpose when he made it. 

The forces Gustavus reckoned on concentrating by mid- 
June at Hersbruck, or in the Niimberg region, were : — 

1foot> Honsi 

Royal Army, now numbering 9,000 6,500 

Duke of Weimar, from the Saale .... 4,000 1,500 

Ozeiistiern, from the Rhine 4,000 1,500 

Duke of Luneburg, from the Weser • . . 2,000 1,500 

Landgrave of Hesse, from Cologne . . . 2,000 1,500 

Baudissin, from lower Saxony 3,000 2,000 

Total 24,000 14,500 

In addition to which Saxony was to furnish 6,000 foot, 4,000 horse. 
Grand total, 30,000 foot, 18,500 horse. Later, Bernard from Swabia 
and Ban^r from Bavaria were ordered to Niimberg. 

When Gustavus definitely ascertained that his operation 
to hinder the enemy's junction had failed, and comprehended 
that Wallenstein might now operate on his commimications 
with north Germany, he all the more stood firmly for Niim- 
berg. lie had visited the place June 19, when the army 
was at Fiirth, bad inspected the walls and works, and dis- 
cussed peace and the Corpus JEvangdicorum with the coun- 
cil. To protect this city, to lure Wallenstein from Sax- 
ony, and to act on the defensive imtil he could recruit his 
forces, was now his manifest role. 

A strong sense of fidelity was mixed with the king's deci- 
sion to march to Niimberg : he could not desert the city he 
had agreed to stand or fall by. There was no force majeure 
as there was at Magdeburg. He had no choice. Niimbei^ 
was at that time the cross-roads of the great routes between 


Saxony and the Main, the upper Rhine and the Danube 
countries. The city was Gustavus' choicest ally, and held 
not only a Swedish and friendly garrison, but a large supply 
of victual and material of war. 

Despite these advantages, Niimberg was not his best 
place. From a military standpoint, Mainz or Wiirzburg 
was preferable. At Mainz the king was more strongly 
posted; at Wiirzburg, with Oxenstiem in the Palatinate, 
and Bernard in Swabia, he would have been at the apex of 
a strong triangle; and the only outside enemy was Pap- 
penheim on the Weser, and he was neutralized by Tott. 
Maximilian would not have moved far from Bavaria, and 
of Wallenstein Gustavus had no fear, so soon as he backed 
up against his reserves. Once defeat -Wallenstein, and Fer- 
dinand would be hopeless. This was the purely military 
aspect, but the moral fact remained that he might not desert 
Niimberg. Moreover the king was imwilling to leave south 
Germany, lest he should create an unfortunate impression, 
lose the fruits of his hard-won successes, and prejudice his 
new-made allies. The alternative of battle remained; but he 
could not now advance on Wallenstein, having no more than 
a third his force. For Wallenstein numbered more than 
sixty thousand men, and rumor ran that Pappenheim was 
on the march to join him. 

Quite apart from the military situation, Gustavus was 
ready to make a universal peace, if it included the Corpus 
Evangelic(yrum. This project he had submitted to John 
George some time since ; he now again did so to Niirnberg, 
and it was made a subject of careful consideration as to 
means and terms. Gustavus could certainly have made 
peace with Ferdinand, and have kept for himself Mecklen- 
burg and Pomerania. But what then became of the Corpus 
Evangelicorum^ for which he had sacrificed so much? 


Gustavus had sent ahead his engineer, Hans Olaf, to 
examine the defenses of Niimberg. Arrived there June 29, 
he inspected the works in person, and gave directions where 
to build uew intrenchments. He made requisition on Niim- 
berg for fourteen thousand pounds of bread a day; the 
bahince he expected to get from Franconia. Returning to 
Hersbruck, he started with the army on July 1. The foot 


marched direct; the horse via Altdorf ; on July 3 the army 
arrived at Nurnberg, and with the aid of the citizens, Gus- 
tavus began to surround the town with a cordon of redoubts. 
Niimberg is irregularly oval in shape from northeast to 
southwest, and the Pegnitz nms through it from east to 
west. The walls were good, and the citizens had already 
done much to strengthen them. Gustavus planned a new 
set of outer works, according to the most approved Swedish 


theory; soldiers and citizens were alike told off in fatigue 
parties; all worked with a will, and in fourteen days the 
task was done. These works, destined to contain the Swed- 
ish army, were strongest on south and west, for Gustavus 
rightly conjectured that Wallenstein, if he followed him, as 
was hardly to be questioned, would camp on the hills at 
the foot of which the Rednitz ran, and which lay on the 
southwest of, and four miles from, the town across the plain. 
The moat was twelve feet wide and eight feet deep, and the 
line was strengthened by a great number of minor works. 
A new redoubt was built at the entrance of the river Pegnitz 
into the city, and one at its outlet, and a ravelin and a horn- 
work were constructed between the Spittler and the Lady 
Gates on the south of the town. A line of earthworks 
extended aroimd the entire place, from the market village 
of Wbhrd on the east to the Judenbuhl on the north, and 
round to the Pegnitz at St. John's. On the other side of 
the Pegnitz were two extensive redoubts, at the "White 
Lead Garden" and the Gostenhof, connected by suitable 
works and ditches, and in front of the Gostenhof redoubt 
were several outworks and half-moons. South of the city 
gates was meadow land, which was protected by extra strong 
works, one between Steinbiihl and Schweinau, another 
between Steinbiihl and the city; and on the Botenbach road, 
on the edge of the wood, there was a strong redoubt, and 
still another on the Altdorf road. The works, broadly 
speaking, formed a big bow on the north of the city from 
the outlet of the Pegnitz to its inlet. On the south there 
were two bows, one from the Pegnitz inlet and one from its 
outlet, both ending at the main gates. On these works 
Gustavus mounted some three hundred guns of all sizes, the 
captured Bavarian and Swabian guns among them. 

The good spirits and the determination of the Niirnber- 


gers to stand by Gustavus were marked. All citizens from 
eighteen to fifty years old were put under arms. The elderly 
men undertook guard duty in the town and on the town 
walls. For the outworks, there were made up of the enrolled 
young men twenty-four bodies of from eighty-one to one 
hundred and fourteen men, each known by a red and white 
flag, and on a blue square in the upper comer a golden 
letter of the alphabet. The militia was about three thousand 
strong, plus two regiments of recruits, one being of three 
thousand, one of eighteen hundred men. Thus from the 
Niimbergers Gustavus had eight thousand foot and three 
hundred horse. 

The Swedish troops outside the city were at first well 
supplied with rations ; but these soon rose in price, and some 
excesses were complained of. These breaches of discipline 
were treated summarily, by hanging the conmion soldiers, 
and making the officers pay heavy damages. There was, no 
doubt, cause of complaint ; but the Swedes were angels com- 
pared to the fiends in Wallenstein's army. The king or- 
dered the population to bring into the town all the provisions 
of the adjoining coimtry. The several armies or reinforce- 
ments had already been ordered to head towards Niimberg. 
The king pushed out a part of the cavalry to Neumarkt to 
reconnoitre. This party was, however, driven in, and Wal- 
lenstein moved with more than sixty thousand men to Niim- 
berg, reaching the place early in July. 

Arquebus. (IGth Century.) 



If Gostanu is taxable with ill management for being in Wallenstein^s front 
with but a third his.forcef his activity made up for lack of numberB. Wallen- 
stein erected a vast camp four miles from Nnmberg, and streng^ened it by 
erery means known to the military art ; but he showed no symptom of attack. 
He was more than cautions. Qustayus waited for his reinforcements. There 
were sixty thousand men in the imperial camp, one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand souls in Niimberg, and supplies soon ran short. Nothing but small war 
was waged. Gustams captured a convoy, and Wallenstein took some adjoin- 
ing towns. In the crowded city sickness supervened. In this starving-match 
neither side could claim an advantage. Gustavus was not certain that Wallen- 
stein might not decamp and march toward Franconia or the north, and so 
ordered his arriving reinforcements as to head off either movement. Finally, 
in mid-Aug^ust, Oxenstiem arrived. By every rule of warfare Wallenstein 
should have attacked Oxenstiem or Gkistavus before the junction ; but he did 
neither. Gustavus marched out, ready for battle, but there was no stir in the 
imperial camp, and he met his lieutenant at Bmck. 

If caution as a general may be said to have been one of the 
solid merits of Gustavus, so may it be called one of the glar- 
ing defects of Wallenstein. Though outnumbering his oppo- 
nent three to one, the imperial general remained at Eger 
until Gustavus withdrew from his front. Having argued out 
his course for this campaign, he had concluded to play a 
waiting g:ime. Wallenstein had not the instinct of battle 
which inspired Gustavus: against an enemy whom he had 
contemptuously threatened to drive from before him with a 
rod, and whom he ought to have crushed in the first engage- 
ment, he deliberately declined to undertake the offensive. So 
soon as the Swedish army left his front, he followed on sev- 


eral roads via Tirschenreut, Weiden, Amberg and Stilzbacb, 
which pUce he left July 5 for Lauterhofen. In this town 
Gustavus had left a detachment under Taupadel, who, out 
with a regiment of dr^oons and some squadroDs of cuiras- 
siers on a reconnoissance, learned that the enemy's artUIeiy, 
covered by four thousand men, was in Neumarkt. More 
brave than discreet, Taupadel sallied forth to attack Neu> 
markt, rau across the enemy, was lured into an ambush, and 
on July 6 was all but annihilated. The king heard of his 

Tha Bival Camps. 

dilemma and sought to cut him out, but the harm was dme 
before he could come up. 

On July 10, at Xeuniarkt, the Bavarian and imperial 
armies were completely merged. As to their strength, author- 
ities vary between sixty and eighty thousand men. Next day 
Roth and Schwabach were seized, and the upper Bednitz was 
occupied. Marching out with his cavalry by way of Fiirth, 
Gustavus carefully observed his opponent, and drew up in 
line at Cadolzburg, in a position whose flanks were secure. 


Far too weak for battle, he yet invited attack, which Wallen- 
stein declined. '' There has been enough fighting ; I will 
show them another method," said the Czech. 

Gustavus' road to Donauworth was now cut off. After a 
two days' rest, the enemy advanced to Stein, and here and at 
Zimdorf they intrenched a camp some four miles from Niira- 
berg, which in three days, by employing large details, was 
completed. It stretched from Stein to Fiirth along the left 
bank of the Rednitz ; it had a circumference of a dozen 
miles, and was cut in halves by the little stream Bibert, 
which empties into the Rednitz. Over the Bibert, within the 
lines, were a wagon bridge and a foot bridge. The east and 
north sides of the camp were the more strongly intrenched* 
The south and larger half contained the villages of Kreutles 
and Altenburg, and was well fortified at its southeast extrem- 
ity. Opposite Gerbersdorf the trees were cut down, and 
redoubts built along the Rednitz. A strong square redoubt 
lay on the southwest comer. The smaller north half, around 
Zimdorf, was the strongest part of the camp ; it leaned on 
wooded hills, and was especially well defended on the east 
side, where it had three redoubts, with a fourth one in front 
and opposite Dambach. Three strong batteries were estab- 
lished at the most northerly point of the enceinte^ and the 
heights were made as safe as art could do it In the wood at 
the northern extremity, on the Burgstall, a hill two hundred 
and fifty feet above the Rednitz, lay a ruined castle, called 
the Alte Veste, with a lodge near by; and these were pe- 
culiarly strengthened, being surrounded by palisades and 
ditches ; heavy g^ns were mounted, and through the woods 
slashings were cut for their fire. Further to the west lay one 
more strong, square fort. The rest of the camp had only a 
single wall and ditch. 

The Swedes had sought to interfere with these operations, 


but had, whenever a small party ventured out and crossed 
the Rednitz, been thrust back ; and when Gustavus, at the 
head of a big division of horse, filed out one day, in the hope 
of luring the enemy from his defenses, he was unable to 
induce a single regiment to come forth. Wallenstein's new 
method manifestly excluded fighting, unless he was forced 
into it. 

Despite his vast superiority of numbers, and though the 
elector urged an attack, lest his land should be entirely eaten 
out, the imperial commander refrained from a vigorous policy 
against the king, fancying that he could blockade him in 
Niimberg and compel him by hunger to submit to a peace. 
He had already cut him off from Swabia and Bavaria, and 
he harbored great faith in this Fabian policy. The conception 
of the plan cannot be said to do credit to Wallenstein's in- 
telligence or energy ; but the execution was consistent and 
thorough. The method was weak, but Wallenstein was well 
adapted to the task. He was brought to it, moreover, by the 
fact that the king's fortified camp was exceptionally strong, 
and that, according to the ideas of the times, it was unwise 
to attack intrenchments even with overwhelming forces. It 
was Wallenstein's habit not to fight unless all the conditions 
were beyond question in his favor, — or he had to. He had 
conceived a different opinion of the ability of the Snow King 
from what he originally held, and was unwilling to operate 
against him by any but the very safest system. No really 
great man ever more markedly lacked the fighting instinct ; 
and that Wallenstein was a great man — a great soldier — is 
not to be questioned. Again, Wallenstein estimated the pro- 
vision of the allies to be much more limited than it really 
was ; and it is alleged that, being a devout believer in astrol- 
ogy, he had had it foretold him that Gustavus' fortune would 
last only till toward the close of the current year. For some 


months the king had shown a willingness to conclude peace, 
on terms which should protect both Sweden and the German 
Protestants, a fact which Wallenstein misconstrued. He was 
far from understanding the firm character of the monarch, 
and the impossibility of compelling him to a peace which he 
would feel to be harmful to his allies or to Sweden, or in the 
slightest degree derogatory to his own dignity. Gustavus 
better understood Wallenstein. He knew him to be an ambi- 
tious man and an able soldier ; but he did not credit him 
with being a great general. As Wallenstein had originally 
erred in underrating Gustavus, so Gustavus now erred — but 
in a lesser degree — in underrating Wallenstein, for the 
Bohemian had a marvelous power of biding his time, and a 
conception of strategy leagued to politics beyond that of any 
man of his day, — save only the king. That the quality of 
Wallenstein's troops was not high Gustavus knew, while his 
own, though few, were of the very best. He believed that, 
despite his small force, he could hold his own until his rein- 
forcements arrived, and, as he was habituated to do, he put 
his trust in Providence, and relied upon his army and his 
own genius. 

Wallenstein was sun*ounded by his old officers, Gallas and 
Aldringer, Holcke, Sparre and Piccolomini among them ; 
but it cannot be said that his men were of the best. There 
was not the leaven in the imperial army which the rugged, 
honest Swede made in the body commanded by Gustavus, 
although this, too, had its questionable elements. But Wal- 
lenstein's position was strategically and tactically a strong 
one. It commanded the road from Numberg to the Main 
and the middle Bhine country, as well as those to Bavaria 
and Swabia ; it was, in the light of those days, in the light 
of almost any day, inexpugnable ; and the Czech was strong 
on the defensive, and believed that he was so placed as to 


await events longer than his enemy. Detachments of restless 
Croats were sent out to the north, south and even east of 
Niimberg, to seize and keep the roads the more effectually, 
and with orders to hold the Swedes to their defenses and pre- 
vent their foraging. 

In this situation the rival armies lay for weeks, waging 
only a small war, in which the Swedes were generally suc- 
cessful. The most important of these operations was an 
attack of Wallenstein's, July 15, on a part of the Swedish 
defenses erroneously pointed out to him as a vulnerable spot, 
which, not driven home, failed with a loss of three hundred 
men ; but on August 6 the imperialists captured the fortress 
of Lichteuau, by which they could threaten the king*s com- 
munications with Wiirtemberg. To offset this, Gustavus sent 
out Taupadel, with three regiments of dragoons and cuiras- 
siers, to capture a train of a thousand wagons of victual which 
was on the way to Wallenstein's camp from Bavaria, and on 
August 9 Taupadel escaladed Freistadt and captured the 
convoy. On his way back he met Gustavus, who had gone 
out to sustain him with three thousand men. Wallenstein 
had dispatched a force to intercept Taupadel, but its com- 
mander, Sparre, was not fortunate. He had four squadrons 
of cavalry, twenty companies of Croats and five hundred foot. 
The king attacked him with his customary fury, riding into 
the midst of the combat, in which he lost a number of his 
escort, but after a short, sharp fight he corraled the whole 
force. Sparre was himself taken prisoner. The officers en- 
gaged were rewarded with gold medals, and each man was 
given a rix dollar. 

The opposing forces remained inactive. Ghistavus waited 
far beyond his calculation for his reinforcements ; and it was 
fortunate that Wallenstein was unwilling to attack, and pre- 
ferred the slower process of starvation. So far-seeing had 


the king's preparations been that for some weeks there was 
no scarcity of food in the city and camp beyond what is com- 
mon in any beleaguered place. There was, however, lack of 
forage for the beasts, and many died. Wallenstein's Croats 
were the more able foragers, and soon had better mounts to 
keep up the work. Foreseeing want of bread, should the 
imperial general persist in his policy, Gustavus offered to 
make peace if Niimberg so elected, but the city bravely 
stood to its guns. Actual hunger first appeared in Niim- 
berg ; then in the Swedish camp ; last in Wallenstein's. 
This general's severity and natural lack of feeling stood him 
in good stead in holding down his men. 

It did not take long to reduce both armies to a pitiable 
condition. There were one hundred and thirty-eight bakers 
in Niirnberg, but they could not bake bread fast enough to 
fill the hungry mouths of citizens, soldiers and numerous 
refugees. All told, there were one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand souls ; the companion of hunger, disease, by and by 
set in, and ere long deaths grew beyond the capacity to bury. 
Ck)rpses lay in the streets ; the graveyard and the pauper's 
ditch were filled ; lack of forage had killed half the horses, 
and the stench of decaying carcases and unburied bodies bred 
a pestilence. Under circumstances like these, order could not 
always be preserved ; it was a wonder that it was preserved 
so well. In the imperial camp matters were not much bet- 
ter ; hunger and disease claimed an almost equal number of 

This sitting down to starve each other out seems an unwar- 
ranted method of conducting war, as well as a costly one ; 
but it was with good reason that Gustavus remained quiet, 
for he could neither desert Niimberg nor strike until he 
could gather his forces. Whatever the king's excuse, there 
was no good reason for WaUenstein's failure to bring about 


active work before Gustavus could be reinforced. Those who 
claim for the Bohemian an ability beyond his contemporaries 
are called on to explain this singular want of enterprise, as 
well as other lapses in the Niimberg campaign. 

Gustavus had not been, and still was not, certain as to what 
Wallenstein's movements would be. When at Niimberg he 
heard of his march on Schwabach, he imagined that his pur- 
pose might be to march to the Rhine or to Wiirzburg, or to 
interpose between Oxenstiern and himself. This would be a 
serious matter, and Gustavus altered his former orders to his 
lieutenants. He instructed Oxenstiern to march to Wiirz- 
burg, and to keep in touch with the enemy, hold the Main, 
and prevent Wallenstein from getting victual from that 
region. Bandr he ordered to leave Ulm and Augsburg 
strongly garrisoned, and to join Oxenstiern at Wiirzburg. 
Loth to give up his hold on either the Main or the Danube, 
the king's idea was to keep a line of strong places between 
these rivers, along the Tauber and the Wormitz, — Mergen- 
theim, Rothemburg, Dinkelsbiihl, Nordlingen, — to head off 
Wallenstein from marching to the Rhine. The position at 
Niimberg would cut him off from the Bamberg and Culm- 
bach country, and compel him to victual from Bavaria or the 
eaten-out Up})er Palatinate, and perhaps to retire from want 
of food, as Wallenstein was seeking to make him do. 

Swabia proved a weak link. Ban^r and Bernard had at 
first done well, and had extended their holdings, but General 
Craatz, sustained by the Catholic population, had then forced 
them back to Augsburg; had taken Friedberg, Landsberg 
and Fiissen, and had even entered into secret dealings with 
Augsburg. Ban^r found that neither he nor Bernard could 
leave the country until Craatz was definitely beaten. 

On July 30 Bernard was at Fiissen, Ban^r in Dietfurt 
Oxenstiern had reached Wiirzburg July 23 with seven thou- 


sand men, — none too soon, as Wallenstein's light cavalry 
was overrunning the region; and the landgrave joined the 
chancellor with four thousand more on the 28th. Duke Wil- 
liam, who was marching on Saxony, on receiving his new 
orders, headed for the Main, and on the 27th was at Hild- 
burghausen, where he received a reinforcement of four foot 
and two horse regiments from Saxony. From the news 
received from Ban^r and Bernard, Oxenstiern made up his 
mind that it was not possible to carry out the king's orders. 
He could not hold the line from Wiirzburg to Donauworth 
with his own troops alone. In view of the approach of the 
landgrave, of Duke William and the Saxons, he adopted a 
plan of his own, viz. : to hold the strong places on the Main, 
leave a fi*ee corps to manoeuvre in the region, and to march 
with the rest up river to the Bamberg territory. Duke Wil- 
liam from Schweinfurt, which he had reached, was to meet 
him near Hassfurt, and between them they would use up 
Holcke, who was assembling in the vicinity. Should Holcke 
retire from Bamberg, they would follow him up, beat him, 
and be ready to join Gustavus at Niimberg when desired. 
The chancellor began to execute this scheme July 31, and 
did actually drive back the enemy towards Bamberg, and 
recapture Hassfurt. 

This change Gustavus did not approve. He still desired 
to keep Wallenstein from marching to the Rhine, or from 
victualing on the Main country, as he imagined he might. 
He preferred a concentration near Rothemburg, with an ad- 
vance on Anspach or Lichtenau, from whence Oxenstiern 
could either join Gustavus or push the enemy. The advan- 
tage of this plan was the control of a rich country for victual- 
ing. Holcke could be disregarded ; for with the strong places 
in the Bamberg country held by the Swedes, he could accom- 
plish no permanent harm. Gustavus' plan would keep Wal* 


lenstein away from Swabia, which Oxenstiem's plan would 
not ; and if the game was to be famine^ the king was anxious 
to confine him to a limited area. Still Gustavus, who reposed 
the greatest confidence in his chancellor, wrote him to act as 
appeared most advantageous; but urged him to keep the 
main intention in view, to get together the troops, keep up 
communications with Niimberg, and not to be drawn into 
battle before joining the king. This Oxeustiem did. Duke 
William joined him August 16 at Kitzingen ; and all Swa- 
bian forces which could possibly be spared marched towards 
him, Ruthven being left to hold the land. 

Ban^r had lately been successful in that region. He had 
recaptured Friedburg and Landsberg, and pushed Craatz out 
of the country. On August 7 he reached Nordlingen in obe- 
dience to Oxenstiem's call, awaited Bernard from Ottingen, 
and August 15 both stood at Kitzingen. 

To reach Gustavus, three roads were open to the new army : 
to move direct towards the enemy and intrench in his front ; 
or via Anspach to the south of him ; or to Windsheim or 
Neustadt on the Aisch, then down to the Aurach at Ems- 
kirchen, and the Rednitz at Bruck, and thus pass to the north 
of him. Gustavus preferred the last because, once at Bruck, 
the enemy could not hinder the junction ; but he wisely left 
the decision to Oxenstiem, bidding him not to call the enemy 
down upon himself. In case of attack he must hold himself 
at least a day, the king would come to his relief, and between 
tihem they would give the enemy a beating. These prelimi- 
nary instructions were rendered nugatory by Wallenstein's 
remaining inert, but they were much in the king's style ; 
and so soon as he concluded that Wallenstein would venture 
nothing, he bade Oxenstiem hurry forward his troops. 

The chancellor broke up from Kitzingen August 17 ; on 
the 19th he was at Windsheim, and rested two days. Receiv- 


ing Gustavus' orders to march direct to Bruck, after a day 
of pralyer on the 22d, — rather an odd delay under existing 
orders, — he moved to Neustadt the 23d, and on to Brack, 
where he found that Gustavus had built a bridge across the 
Rednitz. Wallenstein could now no longer prevent the junc- 
tion, if he wished to do so. The king's small army of twenty 
thousand men had been reinforced by Oxenstiem's thirteen 
thousand, the landgrave's four thousand, the duke's six thou- 
sand, and five thousand Saxons, to more than double its 

By every rule of the art, even in that day, Wallenstein 
should have taken steps to prevent these reinforcements from 
reaching the king. That he would do so was anticipated and 
provided for in Gustavus' movements ; that he did not was 
made a matter of sneering criticism in the Swedish camp. 
Gtistavus now welcomed a general engagement as an outlet 
to a situation which every day and every additional mouth 
rendered more critical. But Wallenstein kept close to lus 
lines, and it is distinctly to his discredit to have done so. 
His conduct has been called Fabian, but the phrase is not a 
happy one. Fabius had no troops which could encounter 
Hannibal's. He refused to fight, because there was no gain 
in fighting. Hannibal had shown the Romans all too often 
that he could beat them under any conditions in the field ; 
Fabius chose a policy of small war, of cutting Hannibal's 
communications, of fighting detached forces; and, having 
chosen it, he carried it out, and so worked as seriously to 
hamper the Carthaginians. But Wallenstein had a huge 
overweight of men, not, to be sure, the equals of the Swedish 
veterans, but troops which had been under his command for 
six to eight months, largely composed of mercenaries who were 
old soldiers, and men who shortly at Liitzen showed that they 
could fight ; he had always boasted that he was in every mili^ 


tary respect Gustayus" superior ; his one chance of annihilat- 
ing the Snow King, at whom he had jeered for years, was in 
delivering battle while Gustavus had but a fraction of his 
force, and in then turning on his lieutenants ; and to do this 
he had had abundant opportunity, gallantly offered him by the 
battle-eager Swede. But Wallenstein did nothing. Fabius 
in his own way was active ; Wallenstein was lethargy itself. 

The utmost that can be said for him was that he lacked 
confidence in his troops ; but he was not occupying a position 
where he could better them. If he desired opportunity for 
organization and discipline, he had ill chosen time and place. 
Deliberately to starve any army is a poor way of preparing 
it for battle. After this criticism, however, it is but justice 
to say that to the plan which Wallenstein had with premedi- 
tation adopted, he clung with perfect consistency. The plan 
itself ranks him low as a general ; the execution of the plan 
was masterly. 

Having heard that Oxenstiem had reached Bruck, the 
king, with part of his forces, moved out to meet him, fully 
prepared for attack in case Wallenstein should interfere with 
his manoeuvre. But there was not even a show of it, and the 
king and his lieutenant safely joined hands. 

Sworda. ( IGth Century.) 



Additional forces ooiiBiimed more food. Starvation was depleting both 
armies. Gustams sought battle. On August 31 he drew up in order along the 
Rednitz to invite Wallenstein out, but the Czech would not sdr. Next day 
Gustavus bombarded his camp, but with no better result. The king was bound 
to haye the matter out. He could fight, but not bear his men^s distress. On 
September 2 he captured Fiirth. To effect a lodgment here, the strongest 
point, would command the enemy^s entire camp ; to force an entrance elsewhere 
would not do so. On September 3 the king assaulted the Alte Veste. He 
had calculated to get artillery up the hill to force his way in, but no guns 
could be hauled up ; the Swedes had but their muskets, pikes and brave hearts 
to break down defenses manned by cannon and equal numbers. For a whole 
day and night, and next morning, they stood to their work like heroes, at a 
loss of perhaps four thousand men ; but in vain ; Gustavus retired baffled. 
Still he nearly succeeded, and he deserves credit for showing the world that 
good infantry may attack stout works heavily manned, with the hope of carry- 
ing them. The Swedes were beaten, but not demoralized. Wallenstein took no 
advantage of his victory. The armies remained two more weeks on the spot 
On September 17 the king sent Wallenstein a formal challenge to come out to 
battle, and drew up on the 18th to meet him. But the Czech did not budge. 
Disheartened, Gustavus moved towards Wiirzburg. Three days later Wallen- 
stein decamped and marched to Forscheim. 

The concentration of his forces gave Gustavus nearly fifty 
thousand men ; but it ran up the number to be fed, including 
Niimberg, to thrice as many. The situation grew critical 
There was little food left, and no forage within twenty miles ; 
the whole vicinity had been eaten up. Disease and hunger 
made big gaps in the Swedish ranks, and yet more among the 
citizens. Matters were not better in Wallenstein's camp. 
Fugger had arrived from Bavaria with eight thousand men, 


and though Wallenstein sent Holcke with six thousand to 
Saxony, he still had over forty-five thousand men in camp. 
Here were two hundred thousand mouths crying for bread. 
The exhaustion of the country, the small war waged by the 
Swedes, and the capture of his great convoy brought grave 
distress to the imperialists. At Eger, Wallenstein had had 
sixty thousand men. Sundry detachments and depletion from 
want of victual had run down this force by a good quarter. 
The number is given in the Swedish archives as thirty-six 
thousand men ; but there is some error in the estimate. Both 
Swedish camps — Brack and Nurnberg — had, say letters of 
that day, to be rationed from Nurnberg. This is hard to 
understand : convoys might have come from the Main coun- 
try. However this may be, the king's present equality of 
forces, and the bald fact that he could not long hold starva- 
tion aloof, induced him to move on the enemy. To beat or 
force him back from Niirnberg was the only outlet, and he 
sought to entice Wallenstein from his intrenchments. 

It was on Tuesday, August 31, that out of both the camps 
the Swedish army debouched for battle. The lines about 
Niirnberg were occupied by the militia, and a camp g^ard 
was left at Bruck. The forces united in Kleinreut, and went 
into battle order opposite the imperial camp along the Red- 
nitz, with three heavy batteries suitably posted. 

Here was a challenge to tempt any soldier. But Wallen- 
stein raised not a finger. A mere artillery fire, not even a 
severe one, was all he condescended to. A couple of small 
bodies issued from the gates, and advanced to skirmishing 
contact, but on being pressed by the Swedes, retired quickly 
within walls. In one of these skirmishes Ban^r was unfor- 
tunately wounded. Remaining in position, the Swedes threw 
up intrenchments for the batteries during the night ; and the 
next day bombarded the enemy's camp. But on account of 


its vast area the fire was ineffective, and the reply was 

As Wallenstein's camp lay close to the edge of the Red- 
nitz, an attack upon it by fording the river was hardly advis- 
able, lest the men, disarranged by crossing in the teeth of 
the enemy, should be unable to resist a stout sally. But the 
matter must be brought to a head. The king lacked the 
patience of Wallenstein. Whatever we may say of the want 
of audacity of the imperial general (and he was the very 
opposite of Napoleon's ^'De Faudace, encore de I'audace, 
tou jours de Taudace ! "), we cannot deny him the ability to 
hold in hand a large body of the most insubordinate elements 
during a period of the utmost distress ; or the persistency to 
carry through his plan without swerving, however tempted 
by his enemy to the arbitrament of battle. This is no small 

During the night of September 1-2, Giistavus, intent on 
battle, broke up from camp, captured Fiirth, crossed the 
Rednitz, and, opposite Wallenstein's fortifications, encamped 
close to the enemy, so disposed that the cavalry should attack 
on his right, where was the weakest part of the wall, while 
the foot, under his own command, should assault on the left 

Why Gustavus chose this, the strongest place in Wallen- 
stein*s line, is not certain ; but he accurately gauged it as the 
key of the position, from which, once taken, he would domi- 
nate the camp. If he ruptured the wall at any other point, 
he would not succeed in the same ^measure as if he forced an 
entrance on the north, where qn the Burgstall lay the Alte 
Veste. From no other point could he use his artillery to 
such advantage ; from no other point could he be so sure of 
his victory. The front along the Rednitz had been con- 
denmed ; the side furthest from the city was too distant as 
a tactical point; to gain a foothold on the south end gave 


but promise of a half success. Be his reasons as they may^ 
he chose this place, not doubting that his guns could be got 
up to aid in the attack. 

All day long on the 2d Gustavus was busy fortifying the 
new camp and making approaches to the formidable lines. 
While so engaged he received word from scouts and some 
prisoners that Wallenstein was on the point of retiring, and 
would leave a strong rear-guard behind in the trenches. 
The work was hurried on, and the Swedish approaches were 
got close to the camp-ditch. The news proved to be false ; 
Wallenstein was in truth moving, but it was only a change 
of quarters, from the north end further down the camp, to 
clear the ground for the coming attack ; but Gustavus stood 
to his decision for an assault next day. 

On Friday, September 3, 1632, somewhat before 10 a. m., 
the Swedish foot, who had stuck green boughs in their hats 
as a token of good cheer, were launched against the heights 
crowned by the Alte Veste. The hill was steep and rugged ; 
with great eflEort only could a few light guns be hauled up by 
hand and got into position ; most of them remained behind. 
It was, on the Swedish side, entirely an infantry battle. 
Practically the artillery accomplished nothing, and while the 
horse aided what it could, it had to fight dismounted and not 
as cavalry. The Swedes advanced with the utmost enthu- 
siasm and confidence. Had they not defeated better troops 
than these at Breitenfeld? What were intrenchments to 
them, every man of whom had stormed breaches time and 
again ? The fire grew deadly. Aldringer, who commanded 
at this point, was sharply reinforced by Wallenstein with six 
infantry regiments, on whose heels came speeding almost all 
the rest of the army. Gustavus was omnipresent, leading on 
his men, putting in regiments here and companies there, and 
laboring hard to get guns up the slope. This was all-impor- 


tant. The enemy afterwards confessed that a good battery 
at the Alte Veste would have driven them out of camp. The 
Swedes acted the part of men. Despite the grape and can- 
ister from the imperial cannon^ of which there were over a 
hundred in line, and the volleys of musketry from the walls, 
so constant as to make one continuous roar, they held their 
own with utter contempt of death. Many imperial officers 
fell, Fugger among the number. The Swedes fared no bet- 
ter : scores of superior officers were killed ; every one was 
in the thick of it. Torstenson was captured ; Bernard's horse 
was shot under him ; the king's boot-sole was shot away. The 
general officers were doing their full duty. The troops were 
freely put in, and from time to time seemed to have success 
just within their grasp. To meet one desperate advance, 
Wallenstein launched one of his best cavalry regiments, the 
Kronberg, at the Swedish line, but Stalhandske's Finns 
thrust it back decimated. 

Thrice the gallant Swedish foot captured the Burgstall; 
thrice were they hustled out with grievous loss. A new line 
followed each one that lost ground. No troops ever showed 
better heart, but the Alte Veste could not be held if taken. 
They took, however, under gallant Bernard, a height facing 
the castle, and had they been able to get guns up there, they 
could have pounded the castle to pieces, and raked Wallen- 
stein's camp. Scandinavian grit well seconded a Viking's 
courage. For twelve mortal hours the bloody work went on, 
— as Wallenstein expressed it in a letter to the emperor, 
" caldissimamente^^'' — but the Swedes had made no real 
gain. All agree that the fighting was hot, — the Swedes said 
hotter than Breitenfeld; the imperialists, hotter than the 
battle of the White IliU. 

At dusk a slow rain began to fall, which made the roads 
and slopes too slippery to leave any hope of success. Had 


the fight been continued two hours more, said prisoners, the 
imperialists would have run out of ammunition and been com- 
pelled to retire. But Gustavus called a halt. The Swedes 
held their ground through the night, and the firing between 
the lines never ceased. Early next morning the king tried 
the chances of one more sally from the woods which he held, 
but to no effect. Wallenstein saw his advantage, and re- 
doubled the force of his counter attack. By 10 a. m. he 
pushed the Swedes out of the wood they had all along held, 
down the slope and back to Fiirth. The battle had lasted 
twenty-four hours. Many dead' and wounded were left upon 
the field. The Swedish loss is variously given at from two 
thousand to four thousand killed and wounded. There is no 
official list. Wallenstein lost half as many as the Swedes. 

In this first battle between Wallenstein and Gustavus, to 
the Swede belonged the honor, to the Czech the victory. But 
not to win here was to lose ; and the king had not won. 

Though it had been the only means left to the king to 
break the deadlock, it was none the less true that the assault 
had failed, and with a heavy loss. Like all similar unsuo- 
cessful assaults, like Fredericksburg, Kenesaw, Cold Harbor, 
in our civil war, Gustavus' attack on the Alte Veste has been 
denounced as reckless and out of place. But for all that, it 
was a distinct gain to the modem art of war ; and as a first 
attempt to compass what was then deemed impossible, should 
be exempt from the blame which may sometimes be visited 
on other failures. It had at that day been usual to oper- 
ate a breach in the wall of a fortress, and then to launch 
a column perhaps many times greater in numbers than 
the entire garrison of the place to storm it, but no such 
assault was attempted unless the breach was practicable. 
It had been considered impossible to storm a fortified camp, 
not because the walls could not be breached, but because the 


defenders were presumably as numerous as the attacking 
force. And yet it was essential that attacks on such posi- 
tions should find their place in war. Without them, the 
modem art could not be developed. Some brave soul was 
called on to prove that such an attack was feasible, and 
therefore justifiable; Gustavus' very failure demonstrated 
this ; that his men were not disheartened by the failure, they 
shortly proved by their gallantry at Liitzen ; and since the 
introduction of firearms, the king deserves credit for first 
showing the world the ability of good infantry to attack and 
hold themselves in front of strong intrenchments manned by 
equal numbers and mounted by plenty of artillery. His 
great successor, Frederick, made it plain that what Grustavus 
attempted was achievable ; and the heroic effort of the king 
and his gallant Swedes to force their way into the Alte Veste 
was as distinct a step forward in the art of war as it was a 
splendid exploit. Defeat is not always a disgrace or loss ; 
nor is victory always a gain or glory. Had the attack on 
the Alte Veste succeeded, it would have won unstinted praise. 

Grustavus understood his failure; with a vigorous com- 
mander in his front, he would be running a grave risk ; with 
Wallenstein he wa^, barring loss of men, no whit worse off. 
In a letter to the Niimberg council he explained the reason 
of his assault, acknowledged his failure, and asked care for 
the wounded and continued issues of bread, as well as six or 
seven thousand workmen to finish his intrenchments near 
Fiirth. He was determined not to leave Niimberg so long as 
there was any hope of success. 

Gustavus had, since his negotiations with Wallenstein in 
the fall of 1631, made several further attempts to influence 
the imperial general In the spring of 1632 he is said to 
have approached him, and he did so again when first in 
Niimberg. But at this time Wallenstein was in negotiation 


with John George, and would listen to no advances, though 
Gustavus is said to have offered to help him to the Bohemian 
crown. In July there were renewed evidences of WaUen- 
stein^s willingness to work toward a peace ; and now Gusta- 
vus sent Colonel Sparre, recently captured, to Wallensteis, 
with overtures for the exchange of prisoners and incidentally 
to treat of peace. Exchanges were effected, but Wallenstein 
referred the other question to Vienna, where it was so long 
delayed that it was practically dropped. 

Gustavus worked uninterruptedly on the Fiirth intrench- 
meuts, which he prolonged from the Rednitz above the village 
with a northerly sweep to the rear, a distance of over two 
miles. So long as there was any chance, he still hoped for 
success. Rations had grown so short that the men got bread 
but once in three or four days ; no forage could be had within 
a day's march. Yet the Swedes had open communications to 
Kitzingen and Wiirzburg, while Wallenstein had not even 
the road to Neumarkt. It was reported September 9 that he 
could not hold himself over three days more. For all that, 
Wallenstein did not budge. He sat sullenly in place. It was 
a game of patience. 

The rival armies — starving though they were — remained 
on the spot two weeks after the battle, the Swedes alone 
carrying on a small war, while Wallenstein forbade replies to 
their attacks. Hunger was now at its height, and was per- 
haps the worse in the imperial camp. Contemporary writers 
state the loss of each army to have been twenty thousand men 
in the two and a half months they lay near Niimberg. This 
number, in the Swedish army at least, is exaggerated. In 
the city ten thousand people are said to have died. The 
cattle all perished, and the vicinity was transformed into a 

It was evident to the king that no further advantage could 


be gained by remaining at Niimberg. He could neither 
entice nor force Wallenstein out to battle ; he could not cap- 
ture his camp. He determined to cut the knot ; either to 
reestablish himself upon his direct communications with north 
Germany, or else to go on with his operations in Swabia, 
basing on the Mainz-Wiirzburg country. He was too high- 
strung to play longer at this game. He had tried assault ; 
he had offered battle ; he had sought negotiation. All had 
failed. Wallenstein was the colder-blooded, and, in such a 
contest, the stronger. Niirnberg was left well supplied with 
men, — eight regiments of foot, niunbering forty-four hundred 
men, and three hundred horse, under brave old Kniphausen ; 
while Oxenstiem was to remain in the city to represent the 

Having done this, Gustavus sent Wallenstein, on September 
17, a formal challenge to come out to battle on the next 
day ; at the appointed hour he drew up the entire army and 
marched past the imperial camp, stopping on the way to can- 
nonade it. But Wallenstein would not be tempted ; he did 
not even answer the defiance. 

There is a touch of pathetic gallantry in Gustavus' act, 
which appeals to the heart of every man who has ever felt the 
intoxication of battle ; there is a touch of sullen grandeur in 
the refusal of the challenge by the proud Czech, who would 
not be moved by any taunt. The veteran salutes with a thrill 
of enthusiasm the mants of the noble Swede ; he cannot rev- 
erence the memory of his foeman. 

Failing in every effort to obtain an advantage over Wal- 
lenstein, Gustavus concluded to leave the field ; he broke 
camp and marched unchallenged past Wallenstein's intrench- 
ments towards Wiirzburg. His first camp was at Langen- 
zenn ; the next at Weinsheim ; he then marched to Neustadt, 
whence he started September 23 for Windsheim. The army 


with detachments had shrunk to about twenty-four thousand 

Here occurred a curious episode. An embassy from Tar- 
tary reached the king, to see the Wonder of the North, and 
to congratulate him on his splendid achievements. The time 
was less appropriate than after Breitenf eld or Rain. 

Wallenstein, who had watched this proceeding without 
apparent interest, now waited until the 22d, when Gustavus 
had reached Neustadt. As there was no further danger of 
an ambush, after burning his camp and the inclosed hamlets, 
and leaving a vast number of sick and wounded behind and a 
quantity of baggage, he also broke up, and passing almost 
under the walls of Niimberg, moved, September 23, through 
Fiirth and Bruck to Forscheim, burning all the villages near 
Niimberg. The indignant garrison sallied out, and inflicted 
considerable loss on Wallenstein's rear-guard. 

The imperial general had won, — won by standing famine 
three days longer than the Swedes, and by refusing every 
offer of battle. What he had won it is difficult to say. He 
had come to Niimberg to capture the city ; he had followed 
Gustavus presumably to beat him in battle. But he had 
conducted solely a campaign of depletion. Each army had 
lost thrice the lives a battle would have consumed ; no sub- 
stantial advantage had been gained except by Ghistavus in 
the safety of Niimberg. Each leader again took to manceu- 
vring. Arrived in Forscheim, Wallenstein also could muster 
a bare twenty-four thousand men. 

The reasons Wallenstein gave the emperor for not follow* 
ing up Gustavus in what he was pleased to call his retreat 
after a lost battle were that he could not quickly collect, nor 
did he wish to tire out, his cavalry, which was dispersed about 
the country to forage ; that Gustavus held all the passes and 
could head him off at every point ; and that he preferred not 



to risk the gain he had already made. Gustavus had no 
excuses to offer. ^^ I attacked the enemy's intrenchments and 
was beaten back/' said he ; ^^ but could I have had him in 
the open field, I would have shown another result." He 
proved his words good at Liitzen. 

Statesmen may differ as to who had shown himself the 
greater man ; but the fame of the captain may safely be left 
with the soldiers of all generations. 

QoftaTUi Adolphni. 

Fran boft modeled in 1632, at Augibarg (oomldered tiM bail 
portnift of tbo king at tho timo of his dMth). 



After the breaking of the Numberg deadlock, Gastayus imagined that 
Wallenstein would head for Saxcmj to resume operations; and he sought 
to so mancBUvre as to tempt him awaj. The Saxon army under Amim, irith 
some Swedes, was in Silesia, where it had pushed the enemy well up the Oder. 
In September Wallenstein^s lieutenants invaded Saxony from south and east, 
and devastated the region. But uncertain what Wallenstein would do, Gnsta- 
Tus marched back to Swabia and resumed his operations, hoping that a threat 
to move down the Danube would forestall the Saxon campaign. An insnrree- 
tion in Upper Austria o£Fered an opening, and Gustarus believed that John 
George could hold head for a while against Wallenstein. Oxenstiem strongly 
favored this plan; but Gustavus eventually chose to reduce Swabia. While 
proceeding with this work he ascertained that WaUenstein, paying no heed to 
the Danube, was steadily marching on Saxony, the one weak spot in the Swed- 
ish armor. This he must meet. Meanwhile the operations on the Weser and 
near Gustavus^ bastion were progressing, on the whole in favor of the Swedes, 
though Pappenheim had been active and intelligent ; but finally the bulk of 
all these forces was ordered to Saxony, where the great struggle promised to 
occur. The instability of John G^rge had again resulted in bringing war 
within his own borders. 

Wallenstein advanced to Bamberg, took it, sent detach- 
ments to the most important neighboring towns, and detailed 
Gallas with a small corps towards Saxony. His intention 
was clear. He would now compel John George to bend to 
the imperial will, as he was on the point of doing when inter- 
rupted by the presence of Gustavus at Weiden and by his 
march to Niimberg. 

When Wallenstein followed Gustavus to Niimberg the 
king had utilized some of the Saxon troops, thus become 


available, while the bulk under Amim, with the Pomeranian 
and Brandenburg armies, held Lusatia and Silesia. 

Shortly after Saxony had sent some regiments to Gustavus 
— thus convincing him of John George's loyalty — Holcke 
had marched from the Niirnberg country on that state, and 
by the beginning of September, devastating unmercifully, 
he reached the vicinity of Dresden. In the beginning of 
October Gullas joined him near Freiburg, which they took 
as well as Meissen. Here the Saxons defended the river, 
and the imperialists marched on Oschatz, keeping up their 
devastations in a manner as systematic as it was fiendish. 
The result of John George's vacillation was to make his 
country again the battle-field. Had he heartily joined with 
his brother Protestants, Saxony would have been spared most 
of the ills she suffered at the hands of the emperor's armies. 

On September 26, at Windsheim, the king ascertained 
Wallenstein's retirement from Niirnberg, but he learned none 
of the details, nor whether the elector had separated from 
him. If, by his hesitation opposite Wallenstein at Eger, the 
king had prejudiced his initiative, here was a chance to 
regain it ; but he had barely sufficient information on which 
to act. He might leave a part of his forces in Thuringia, to 
be ready to march to the aid of Saxony if threatened ; with 
the rest, resume the conquest of Swabia, and from there push 
down the Danube on the emperor's hereditary possessions. 
Or he might send a slender column to Swabia, and march 
with the bulk of his force against Wallenstein, who, he 
already guessed, was bound for Saxony. Frederick or Napo- 
leon would have done the latter ; but Gustavus reasoned 
otherwise ; he could not desert his friends along the Danube. 
Battle-eager as he was, his feeling for method in what he did 
was the stronger instinct. 

Gustavus had learned that Wallenstein would not necessa- 


rily follow his lead, — the Czech cared not for the devastataon 
of Bavaria or Austria, provided he personally suffered not, 
— and by marching down the Danube, it was not certain that 
the imperial commander would be induced to give up his own 
designs. It might mean to leave Saxony to her fate, should 
he go far from the Main. Still, he believed that John Geoige 
would have force enough, with his own army and a small 
Swedish contingent, to hold head against Wallenstein, who 
during the approaching winter season would not be excep> 
tionally active, and he began work on a broader scheme. A 
rebellion of the peasantry had long been brewing in the 
Austrian provinces, where Protestantism had been put down 
with much cruelty ; and it was still a question whether a 
march down the Danube to their aid might not give the 
imperialists enough to think about at home to prevent Wal- 
lenstein from pushing his offensive. These provinces were 
already on the verge of an uprising, and had sent messages 
begging for aid, which Gustavus had indeed promised. He 
proposed to leave, out of his royal army, five thousand foot 
and two thousand horse on the Main, and to head seven 
thousand foot and forty-three hundred horse on the foray 

Oxensticm, though far more cautious than the king, was 
warmly in favor of the plan, as he had been, after Breiten- 
feld, of a march on Vienna. He believed that Wallenstein 
and Maximilian could not refrain from flying to the succor of 
these threatened lands, from which they drew their supply 
of recruits, and which should be protected at any sacrifice. 

Gustavus finally declined the plan, and curiously chose 
instead an operation towards the Lake of Constance, in order 
to reduce the country at the headwaters of the Rhine and 
Danube. This does not strike the modem soldier as a wise 
manoeuvre, though it was much in Gustaviis' style, whose 


general scheme always included the possession of all lands 
from the point of entrance to some natural boundary. Post- 
poning the Danube matter, he left Bernard in conmiand of 
eight thousand men in the Schweinfurt country to watch the 
imperial army, prevent a raid into Franconia, and in case 
it started towards Saxony, to move north and protect John 
George. Ruthven, with ten thousand men, was left on the 
Danube and Lech to control Bavaria. Baudissin, with the 
Rhine and Hesse troops, continued to watch Pappenheim 
along the Weser. Duke George of Liineburg was to guard 
Brunswick and the lower Saxon Circle. Oxenstiem was sent 
from Niimberg to lower Saxony to administer that territory, 
which had f aUen into bad repair. 

On the way back to Windsheim from Niimberg, whither 
he had gone to discuss plans with Oxenstiem, Gustavus 
inspected the wrecked imperial camp, where so many of his 
men had bravely sacrificed themselves ; and on October 1 he 
broke up from Windsheim and marched south by way of 
Dinkelsbiihl, Nordlingen and Donauworth (October 3, 4 
and 5), where he crossed the Danube to the relief of Rain, 
which the Bavarians were besieging. On arrival, he found 
that the Swedish commander, Colonel Mitschefal, had sur- 
rendered the place the day before, with the Swedish army 
right at hand. Of this act of cowardice Gustavus made 
an example : Mitschefal was tried and executed. The king 
made preparations to recapture Rain, for its possession by 
the enemy cut him off from Augsburg. He marched up the 
Lech, across at Biberbach, and down to Rain. The capitular 
tion of the town brushed away what the king would have felt 
was a threat to the communications between Bavaria, Swabia 
and the Main. 

Ready to continue his march towards the Lake of Con- 
stance, Gustavus heard from Oxenstiem that Wallenstein 


had marched to Bamberg, and from Baudissin that Pappes- 
heim was threatening Hesse. He delayed action for further 
news. Should Wallenstein move on Bernard and join Pap- 
penheim, he instructed Bernard to hold the fords of the 
Main and withdraw to Rothemburg or Nordlingen, where 
Gustavus would meet him and move promptly on the enemy. 
Should Pappenheim march on Franconia, Bernard was to 
stay on the Main and throw him back. Should Wallenstein 
move on Saxony, there was at this season not much danger 
to anticipate, providing John George remained true to his 
compact. Should Wallenstein seek to winter in Franconia, 
Gustavus would continue on to the uplands. He was again 
pushing his initiative; Wallenstein ^s campaign so far had 
only checked the Swedish programme; in reality nothing 
had been lost. The summer's operations. had interrupted, not 
discontinued, Gustavus^ general plan. He still hoped to 
draw Wallenstein south and get at him in the open ; or at 
least to sever Maximilian from him, and reduce to the lowest 
point his capacity to harm Saxony. 

Meanwhile Horn, on the Rhine, had captured Coblenz, 
Strasburg and other places, and had driven the Spanish and 
Lorraine forces out of Germany. The king instructed him 
to clean the Lower Palatinate, while the rhinegrave drove the 
im|)erialists out of Alsatia. Benfeld, Sohlettstadt, Tiirkheim, 
Colmar were occupied, Frankenthal captured, and Heidelberg 
blockaded. In the bastion country, Pappenheim and Tott 
were equally matched, but the Swedes had got possession of 
the Bremen archbishopric. 

Wallenstein paid no heed to Gustavus' operations. He 
remained for a while near Bamberg, quartered his troops for 
their needed rest over a large area, collected food, and levied 
contributions to pay his troops. Bernard prevented his taking 
Schweinfurt, and beset the passes of the Thiiringerwald to 


ke^ him from Erfurt. Wallenstein finally broke up, marched 
on and took Coburg, — Taapadel held out in the fort, — pur- 
posing to move through the Forest to attack Saxony from the 
west. But hearing that Bernard from Schweinfurt, by a 
march on Hildburghausen and Schleusingen, was threatening 
his flank, and unwilling to encounter even his small force, he 
changed his plan, marched by way of Cronach and Hof , on 
October 20 reached Plauen, and at Altenburg joined Gallas 
and Holcke. At Coburg Maximilian withdrew his eight 
thousand men, leaving Wallenstein sixteen thousand, and, 
glad to quit the haughty duke of Friedland, returned to save 
his possessions. At Ratisbon he was joined by six thousand 
troops raised by the Spaniards in Italy. 

Ordering Pappenheim to join him in Franconia or Saxony, 
Wallenstein from Altenburg advanced on Leipsic. While 
Gustavus was hoping to draw him away from John George, 
the Czech had remorselessly marched on this ally. In 
strategic manoeuvring and persistency of purpose, Gustavus 
had met his match. 

A page may well be devoted to the operations on the Weser. 

Since his separation from Tilly, Pappenheim had been con- 
ducting an active campaign in Westphalia and the lower 
Saxon Circle. Early in 1632 Mansfeld had been besieged 
in Magdeburg by Ban^r, and was on the point of capitula- 
tion when Pappenheim suddenly appeared, and by a coup de 
main relieved him. Gustavus, then in the Main region, 
debated a march to the assistance of Ban^c, but it was quite 
too late. Ban^r joined Duke William in January, and Pap- 
penheim retired across the Weser. When the king called these 
forces to the south, Pappenheim recrossed the Weser and fell 
on the corps of Kagg, who alone was left behind, and pushed 
him back to Hildesheim. Landgrave William was compelled 
to retire to Cassel. 


In January Tott had finally captured Wismar, had crossed 
the Elbe at Domitz, and had sat down to besiege Sjtade at 
its mouth. Tott had formerly done efficient work, but he 
now appeared to lose his energy. He needed the immediate 
control of the king. Repeatedly instructed to join Kagg 
and the landgrave, on one pretense or other he neglected to 
do so, and remained in the Bremen territory, the government 
of which drifted into the worst condition. Kagg^s conmiand 
sank into an equally low state, and frequent serious com- 
plaints reached the king's ears. Ready to utilize the situa- 
tion, Pappenheim marched against Tott, who continued lazily 
to blockade Stade. 

To replace Tott Gustavus sent Baudissin, who, less strong 
than Pappenheim, at all events went to work ; and his first 
attempt was to hem his enemy in the Bremen peninsula, and 
cut him off from the Weser. Pappenheim was skillful enough 
to disconcert this plan, and while Baudissin joined Duke 
George in June at Hildesheim, Pappenheim prevented the 
landgrave from meeting his allies by a threat to his territory. 
From Hesse Pappenheim moved towards Hildesheim, and 
July 8 captured the Moritzburg, but withdrew without battle 
and across the Weser and Rhine to Maestricht, heedless of 
the orders of Maximilian to march on Niimberg, where be 
was much needed. 

Gustavus equally needed Duke George at Niirnberg, but 
for fear of Pappenheim he only drew some troops from him, 
and left him to sustain Baudissin. The latter, in August, 
marched across the Weser with eight thousand men into 
Westphalia, to hold head against Pappenheim's forces left 
there under Gronfeld, and Duke George undertook the siege 
of Wolf enbiittel. Both were succeeding well when Pappen- 
heim reappeared on the scene, forced Baudissin back, slightly 
defeated him at Brakel, and crossed the Weser at Hoxter, in 


the teeth of the Swede, who retired to Hesse. He then cap- 
tured Hildesheim, October 9, and thus had open to him the 
whole country as far as the Elbe. 

This was the moment when Maradas was threatening and 
Holcke and Gallas were invading Saxony, and Wallenstein 
was at Coburg. John George called on Liineburg to come 
to his aid ; and already in retreat before Pappenheim, he 
made haste to do so, marching towards Wittenburg and 

The situation in Germany had undergone a remarkable 
change during the past year. The Swedish bastion, from 
Danzig to Hamburg, remained substantially the same. The 
line of the Warta was still held, with Frankfort as an 
advanced work, and outposts in Silesia. The entire country 
between the Elbe and the Weser was practically in the hands 
of the Protestants ; for though Pappenheim, while manoeuvring 
on the Weser, had kept that region in constant turmoil, now 
that he had moved to Saxony, Baudissin, utilizing his absence, 
overran Berg and Cologne, and, capturing almost all the 
cities, again compelled the bishop elector of Cologne to neu- 
trality. Thuringia and the entire Main coimtry were firmly 
held by the Swedes. Horn, as we have seen, had conquered 
Alsatia, and driven the Spaniards from the Lower Palatinate. 
Wiirtemberg and Swabia were occupied by the Swedes, and 
there was only Maximilian — a weak opponent — in the way 
of the march of a strong and well-led colunm down the 
Danube to Vienna. 

But there was a weak spot in the king of Sweden's harness, 
and Wallenstein had thrust straight at it. Saxony was the 
one uncertain element, and though formally in alliance with 
Gustavus, and bound to him by every tie of gratitude and honor, 
now, at the critical moment, — when to keep faith meant 
certain Protestant success, to break faith meant almost as cer- 


tain failure, — the elector violated all his pledges. The 
emperor had failed in the policy of conciliation, which Wal- 
lenstein had so dubiously carried out with fair words coupled 
to fire and sword, and it had been concluded between them 
to resume the old system of coercion. Moving in June from 
Silesia into Lusatia, Maradas had as usual destroyed in the 
most cold-blooded manner every hamlet along the route. 
Arnim marched to meet this threat, a corps of Swedes 
from the Oder joined him, and the imperial army retired to 
the upper Oder, and from there back to the borders of Hun- 
gary, leaving the Saxons to reconquer and hold all Silesia. 
But while Arnim was thus winning an apparent success, he 
was at a distance, and the two other columns of imperialists 
sent by Wallenstein under Gallas and Holcke moved into 
Saxony and took )K)ssession of the whole electorate west of 
the Elbe. This should have drawn the Saxon army back 
from Silesia, but it did not. Saxon indecision was again, 
as at Breitenfeld, the cause of a vast change in the Swedish 
plan of campaign, and her soil became, as it was but just it 
should, the theatre of conflict. 

A Buxgnndian. 
(15th Century.) 



Thx Btmggle for initiatiTe between GustayuB and Wallenatein had been 
about even. The king had drawn Walleustein from Saxony to Nfimberg, bnt 
Wallenstein had now resumed his work there, ordering Pappenheim to join him. 
Kearing Leipeic with threats to level it unless surrendered, he took it, and 
sat down to await events and ravage the land. The uncertain attitude of 
Sazonj and Brandenburg, and the questionable bearing of the greater powers 
with regard to further Swedish conquests, warned the king to look well to his 
bastion. Anxiety as to what John G^rge might do, despite his treaty, deter- 
mined him to march to Saxony. Leaving a sufficient force in Swabia and on 
the Main, he headed for Erfurt, joined Bernard November 2, thence pushed 
on, and November crossed the Saale, whose fords he had been wise enough to 
seize. Writing to the elector to send him what troops he could, he reconnoi- 
tred in lus front at Naumburg. Amim would not return from Silesia, and the 
elector sent Gustavus no assiBtance. Wallenstein was uncertain what to do. 
Not believing that Gustavus would attack him, he dispersed his forces, send- 
ing Pappenheim to Halle ; but when he saw that the king meant to fight, he 
quickly ordered him back. Gustavus would have liked to join the Saxons 
before engaging, but aware that Pappenheim was away, he decided cm battle as 
he was. 

For some months there had been a measuring of moral 
strength between Gustavus and Wallenstein, and so far there 
had been no great advantage on the side of either, though 
from a military aspect distinctly greater ability and charac- 
ter had been exhibited by the king. Wallenstein's threat 
to Saxony had drawn Gustavus away from work he had 
undertaken in Bavaria ; Gustavus' threat oii Eger and his 
taking position at Niimberg had drawn Wallenstein from 
work he had begun in Saxony. In the operations around 
Ifiimberg, the initiative had all come from Gustavus, as it 


had prior to his leaving Munich ; Wallenstein had con- 
stantly declined the gage of battle. It was Gustavus* move- 
ment which broke up the deadlock, though he had failed in his 
assault on the Alte Veste. Then Gustavus resumed the lead ; 
but Wallenstein, with a persistency which does him vast 
credit, paid no heed to the king's threat against the Austrian 
possessions, leisurely marched on Saxony, and resumed his 
efforts to drive John George back into the imperial fold. 
His movement was designed to draw the king away from the 
Danube by seriously threatening his communications. It was 
a question as to who should yield to the other ; and in this 
case Wallenstein^s utter disregard of misfortune which did 
not personally affect himself stood him in good stead; while 
Gustavus' loyalty to Saxony weakened his strategic purpose. 
There is no denying Wallenstein the title of a great man ; 
nor can large military ability be gainsaid him, despite his 
utter lack of tlie true soldier's audacity. He is the only gen- 
eral Gustavus ever met who was a foeman worthy of his steel, 
who on more than one occasion compelled the Swede to 
change his own manoeuvres to follow those of his opponent. 
This was largely due to the complex political conditions 
enlacing the Swedish problem, while the Czech was practi- 
cally untrammeled ; but it was in part due to Wallenstein's 
strong character and indisputable if unadventurous military 
skill. A touch of the divine spark would have made Wallen- 
stein truly great ; and were not so many vices and so much 
human suffering to be laid at his door, he would almost stand 
unsurpassed in the history of his times. 

Wallenstein's general plan was not to surround Saxony, 
but to concentrate his forces so as to meet Gustavus, who, 
about the end of October, he learned was already on the 
march towards him. From Coburg he ordered Pappenheim 
to march on Leipsic or Merseburg, and to seize Torgau or 


some other Elbe crossing; and, impatient at his slowness, 
reprimanded him for conducting war on his own score instead 
of obeying orders. But Wallenstein was in error. Pappen- 
heim had grasped the necessity of joining his chief, and was 
already aiming for Erfurt via Miihlhausen and Langensalza ; 
and when he heard that Gustavus had reached Erfurt, he 
turned aside past Buttstadt towards Merseburg, there crossed 
the Saale and reported. The imperial armies went into camp 
at Weissenfels. 

With threats like those of Tilly a year before, Wallenstein 
marched against Leipsic, and was met by a similar refusal. 
The commandant of the Pleissenburg, or inner fortress, was 
on two successive days called on to surrender, but he gal- 
lantly refused. Early on October 31 Holcke advanced on the 
city, captured the suburbs despite a heavy fire, and began to 
bombard it. A third demand was refused, as was a fourth, 
which threatened not to leave man or dog alive in the place. 
Then Wallenstein opened his batteries. The town, well 
aware that it could not make a prolonged resistance, finally 
gave in, and received favorable conditions; and two days 
later the Pleissenburg did the like. 

Wallenstein's light troops now raided the entire country 
between the Saale and the Elbe, and even beyond. Neu- 
stadt, Kahla and Saalfeld were taken ; the peasantry sought 
refuge wherever they could, — in Erfurt, Wittenberg and 
Magdeburg. Torgau, Weissenfels, Merseburg, Naumburg, 
surrendered ; HaUe was occupied, but the fortress held out. 

Ghistavus had learned that Wallenstein had left Bamberg, 
and was marching north towards Coburg. Oxenstiem was 
anxious to have him disregard this manoeuvre, and continue 
his own scheme. The king and the chancellor both believed 
that the forces in and about Saxony sufficed for her to hold 
her own; that Wallenstein would not quietly permit the 


devastation of the emperor^s hereditary possessions ; that, 
having once drawn Wallenstein away from Saxony, it could 
be done again by vigorous measures on the Danube. If the 
Main and Saxon armies held the fortresses, — such as Mag- 
deburg, Wittenberg and Dresden, Frankfort, Wiirzburg and 
Scbweinfurt, — and stood on a strict defensive, Wallen- 
stein would be able to do no permanent damage to the cause ; 
he would probably not conduct larger operations ; while Gus- 
tavus could all but destroy Bavaria and the entire Danube 
country. If Saxony suffered, it would be her own fault. 

This was sound military reasoning ; it had been Grustavus' 
own idea ; but he had promised John George to come to his 
assistance at just such a juncture as this. He had striven to 
save Magdeburg ; he had saved Niirnberg ; should he do 
less for Saxony ? Moreover, he feared for his bastion ; he 
knew that Wallenstein was his equal in persistent manoeu- 
vring, if not in battle ; and, what was worse, the European 
powers were beginning to look on Gustavus' cause as the 
losing one. His star was, they feared, declining. 

The latter was an element of the utmost gravity. The 
Netherlanders had never been warmly interested in the 
Swedes, — commercial relations forbade it; should a peace 
be made by the king with Spain, their position would be still 
less friendly. France stood in a questionable attitude, despite 
Gustavus' help in securing for Louis the control of the left 
bank of the Rhine, and the payment of the subsidies agreed 
on at Barwalde stood in danger. Denmark had never been 
frank in her peaceful declarations, and, now that she had lost 
control of the Baltic, was ripe for any anti-Swedish plot ; 
indeed, rumors came that such negotiations were on foot. 
England ought surely to be Gustavus' ally; but relations 
with her were strained, and all attempts to patch up a rea- 
sonable treaty had failed. Frederick had not yet been 


restored to the Palatinate, though Gustavus certainly intended 
that he should be, and this was a further cause for English 
grumbling. The brilliant successes of Ghistavus where all 
others had failed had begun by provoking universal jealousy, 
and had been followed by apprehension of his downfall and 
of what might prove to be its result. These puzzling political 
conditions weighed sorely on Gustavus, and it was they rather 
than the military situation which led him to his action. 
With the aid of his old allies, or at least their ingenuous 
neutrality, he felt himself quite abreast of the situation. 
But with less than this, he was too good a soldier to risk 
what he had won at so vast a cost His letters at this time 
show what he considered his problem to be. 

His first duty was to put Saxony beyond question on such 
a basis as once moi*e to be the outwork of his Baltic bastion. 
He had not quite lost hope of personally controlling Wallen- 
stein ; failing which, he had faith that he could beat him in 
battle. Alive with this feeling, he left Pfalzgraf Christian 
with four brigades and three thousand cavalry, to contain 
Maximilian, so that he might not again join Wallenstein ; 
put necessary garrisons along the Danube, — Donauworth, 
Rain, Augsburg and other places, — and on October 18 
started for Erfurt. He ordered Duke William and Baudis- 
sin thither with all their troops and at all hazards. Bernard 
was to join him on the march ; should Maximilian have 
passed Niimberg on his way south, he purposed to take along 
Kniphausen too. 

Passing Donauworth, the column reached Nordlingen Octo- 
ber 20, and Rothemburg (via Dinkelsbiihl) October 27. On 
the 22d, with an escort of seven hundred cavalry, Gustavus 
went ahead to Niimberg, to consult with Oxenstiem. The 
chancellor was to remain in south Germany, with headquar* 
ters in Ulm, and, as a general scheme, was to convene all the 


Circles having the good of Protestantiain at heart, and join 
their fightiag and victualing powers, to sustain the king and 
oppose the emperor. In this interview Gustavus, as if in 
anticipation of his early death, gave Oxenstiem all neceasaiy 
instructions as to the government of Sweden during the 
minority of his daughter Christina. 

From Bothemburg the army marched via EitdngeD to 
Sohweinfurt and Schleusingeu. Decamping from here No- 

vember 1, the Thurtngian Forest was passed at night ; and 
at Amstadt, November 2, Gustavus joined Bernard, who had 
wisely crossed the mountains to head off Fappenheim from 
Erfurt and Weimar. The troops needed rest, and two days 
were given them at Amstadt, whence, November 5, they 
marched to Erfurt, and remained in camp several days. 

Breaking up from Erfurt, the king, eager for battle, headed 
the army for Buttstadt, which Fappenheim had recently 
passed ; and Colonel Brandenstein was wisely soit forward 


through Kosen defile to Naumburg, which he took. In the 
presence of the enemy the army was ployed into battle col- 
umns and the country suitably patrolled. The enemy^s light 
troops fell back along the Saale, and on November 8 Kosen 
was occupied in force, which, unless held, might compel the 
army to make a long detour to cross the Saale. In that day, 
the defile was of great importance. To-day, the country has 
many roads. 

At early morning on November 9 Gustavus crossed the 
Saale at the Altenburg ford with the Swedish cavalry ; the 
foot crossed at Kosen. At noon the whole army passed 
Naumburg, and occupying a camp in front of the Jacob's 
gate, proceeded to throw up works. The king's intention 
was to do here what he had done at Niirnberg : intrench a 
camp, wait for the Saxon army, and then force battle on 

Constantly in touch with John George, Gustavus had unin- 
terruptedly advised him of the situation ; be had too much 
at stake in the loyalty of Saxony to neglect these negotia- 
tions ; and he had kept the elector well posted as to what 
troops would be in his vicinity and ready to lend a hand in 
case of attack. On starting north, he begged John George 
to draw his troops together so as to join the Swedish army ; 
to occupy all defiles and strong places with large detach- 
ments ; to cut off victual from Wallenstein ; and not to be 
frightened by the reputed strength of the enemy, whose actual 
strength had been depleted numerically and morally. From 
Arnstadt he wrote again, asking for at least three thousand 
horse to be sent to Naumburg. From Naumburg he conjured 
the elector to send all available forces to the Saale, first of 
all those of Duke George ; to hurry forward the cavalry, and 
let the foot, artillery and baggage come by the safest road, — 
perhaps via Mansf eld. There was no time to bring troops 


from afar ; the immediate work must be done with those at 
hand ; though, indeed, Amim should be ordered in from Sile- 
sia. A small cavalry force, said the king, should be sent to 
Wittenberg and scout out towards EUdle to clear the country. 
He urged John George to rouse the entire population, and 
order the peasantry to carry on a small war against the 
invaders. He had come to save Saxony ; but Saxony must 
put her own shoulder to the wheel. He himself was waiting 
only to learn the enemy's whereabouts and intentions. Above 
all he urged an immediate junction of the Saxon with the 
Swedish army. 

Duke George was sent orders to break up from Torgau and 
Wittenberg, and to join the king as quickly as possible with 
the cavalry. 

Amim, despite orders to return, was prolonging his stay in 
Silesia, while the imperialists had concentrated in the Leipsic 
region. lie finally in person visited Dresden, November 6, 
but still foolishly urged that the place for the Saxon army 
was Silesia; and after making a flimsy inspection of the 
Liineburg troops, he again left, insisting that he could at best 
spare a couple of regiments for Saxony. And he managed to 
convince the elector that he was right. 

John George was conducting a political, not a military cam- 
paign. He again took to petty discussions of trivial points, 
while the enemy was within his dominions, and was prevented 
from desolating them by the sole presence of GKistavus. 
With every desire, he said, of sending troops, the bulk of the 
army was in Silesia, and that on hand was essential to protect 
the fortresses and the crossings of the Elbe. To exhibit his 
good-will, however, he would send two regiments, a force of 
about fifteen hundred cavalry, which should join Duke George 
and with him march to the Swedish army. John George had 
by solemn treaty agreed to give Gustavus the control of his 


entire army; the king had forsaken his own plans on the 
Danube to fly to the aid of his ally, and now John George 
offered him a paltry fifteen hundred men I Even this force 
came too late. 

By November 14 Gustavus had substantially ascertained 
the situation of the imperialists. There were but two of his 
trusted generals with him, Bernard and old Kniphausen, in 
which latter ofiBcer, brave though not always lucky, Gustavus 
reposed much confidence. As was natural, Bernard advised 
fighting, — and this was the mood of the king. Kniphausen 
advised waiting for the Saxon and Liineburg reinforcements, 
the weight of which advice Gustavus recognized. But to 
delay for these meant to permit Wallenstein to collect his own 
forces, which Gustavus learned were much scattered. Before 
the Saxons, Hessians and Liineburgers could arrive, Pappen- 
heim would be back, said the king, and his desire was to fight 
before this took place. The enemy was never so weak as 
when unexpectedly attacked, and Wallenstein seemed to be 
undecided what to do. ^^I, your king and leader, will go 
ahead and show every one the path of honor." Gustavus 
decided to advance on the morrow and fight. 

Wallenstein had taken measures to have his outlying armies 
join him. Aldringer had been ordered away from Maxi- 
milian; Gallas had been called in, but the imperial com- 
mander did not anticipate an immediate challenge. It was 
suggested by Pappenheim to make a raid on Erfurt, but as 
Bernard had already joined the king, this was a useless oper- 
ation. The generalissimo sent detachments to Naumburg, 
hoping to be able to occupy the defile at Kosen, and the pas- 
sages of the Saale, but these detachments came too late; 
Gustavus had anticipated him. 

While Gustavus was straining every nerve for battle, Wal- 
lenstein acted with indecision. He called a council of 


war. This light-headed body advised against an attack on 
the Swedish camp as dangerous ; counseled going into winter- 
quarters, which they alleged would oblige the king to do the 
same ; to send a corps to Westphalia and the Rhine against 
Baudissin, to prevent the inroads and growth in importance of 
the Protestants in that section ; and to quarter over a limited 
area so as easily to concentrate. This lamentable counsel 
Wallenstein was weak enough to accept. There is perhaps 
no better measure of the two men than the manner in which 
Gustavus dominated his council of war and decided for attack, 
and the manner in which Wallenstein listened to the trivial 
decbion of his. Yet both commanders were equal autocrats, 
and, in a certain sense, of equal strength. 

In pursuance of the advice of the imperial council, Pappen- 
heim was kept till some other troops came to hand, and was 
then sent to lialle, with orders to hold this town, or if advis- 
able, to send a couple of regiments to Cologne, and free 
it from the threat of Count Berg, whom Baudissin had 
dispatched thither. Leaving a garrison under CoUoredo in 
the castle of Weissenfels, and sending detachments southerly 
towards Altenburg and Zwickau to observe the Swedes and 
keep the Saxons from joining them, Wallenstein retired, 
November 14, with his entire force towards Merseburg, to 
take up quarters between the Saale and the Flossgraben, so 
as to be near both Halle and Leipsic. He smelled not the 
battle afar off. 

Wallen stein's strategic situation was remarkably good ; he 
had blundered into it unawares ; if he recognized he did not 
utilize it. His army lay in the midst of the three allied 
bodies : the Swedes at Naumburg ; the Saxons at Torgau ; 
and the force from the lower Saxon Circle with the Bruns- 
wick-Liineburgers, who were marching from Wittenberg up 
the Elbe. Taken together, these forces exceeded Wallen- 


stein^s, but singly he was largely superior to any one of them. 
Here was his chance to fall on and destroy either of the three, 
before they should concentrate. He might take the Swedish 
army first, as the most dangerous, or he might lop off the 
Wittenberg column and by so much reduce his enemy's 
strength. No doubt the Saxons intrenched at Torgau and 
Gustavus in camp at Naumburg were better able to hold their 
own, even against odds. But Wallenstein's lazness now 
appeared as marked as his former persistency. He was at 
best not inclined to do battle, when he could accomplish his 
end by any other means. He harbored a dread of the king, 
despite his success at the Alte Yeste ; and he again adopted 
the strictly defensive role. 

On the other hand, the decisiveness and energy of Gustavus 
grew as he advanced. The speed with which he had marched 
from Bavaria — Donauworth to Naumburg in eighteen days 
— had enabled him to anticipate Wallenstein at the crossing 
of the Saale, as well as to prevent him from imposing on the 
fears of the elector. Determined to come at once to battle, 
the king was about to march on Grimma, via Pegau, to unite 
with the Saxons ; but when he heard, November 15, of Wal- 
lenstein's retrograde movement on Merseburg, he followed 
him instead, giving up his original intention of intrenching 
a camp at Naumburg. He would wait, he thought, until be 
had concentrated his forces and advanced somewhat farther. 

Divining the king's intention, when Colloredo, from the 
castle of Weissenfels, saw the heads of the Swedish columns 
and fired the three guns agreed on as a signal, Wallenstein 
called a new council of war, and under its advice again under- 
took to bar the road to Leipsic to the Swedes, and thus prevent 
the junction with the Saxons which he believed Gustavus was 
aiming to make. He ordered Pappenheim, who was besieging 
the Moritzburg at Halle, to return, to drop everything else, 


and hurry back by forced marches, — a thing he should have 
done without waiting for the council. ^^ Let nothing prevent 
your being with me early to-morrow (November 16) with all 
your forces," wrote the general, anxious not to fight without 
his fiery lieutenant to uphold his hands. In consequence of 
this manoeuvre, Wallenstein found the bulk of his army at 
Liitzen on the 15th, and from here he sent out parties to scour 
the country. In his front were the fords of the Rippach, held 
by Isolani's Croat cavalry outposts. As Gustavus advanced 
to Rippach and Posema, he met these detachments, which 
disputed the passage ; but they were brushed aside, and late 
on November 15 the Swedes crossed the stream. Gustavus 
spent some hours in reconnoitring the ground in his front. 

It is a question whether the line of the Rippach itself 
would not have been a stronger defensive line for the impe- 
rialists. But Wallenstein had given his cavalry no clear 
instructions to hold the passage, nor had he arranged to sus- 
tain the outposts with any vigor, and the latter withdrew on 
the approach of the Swedes. Darkness prevented pursuit. 
Between the Rippach, the Saale and Liitzen — the exact 
spot is not known — the Swedes lay on their arms in line of 

It is impossible to do more than guess at the force of the 
two armies which were to wrestle for the mastery on the 
morrow. For the Swedes the data vary between fifteen and 
thirty thousand men. It is only certain that Gustavus' army 
was much weaker than Wallenstein's. It may have num- 
bered eighteen thousand men ; while the imperialists can 
scarcely have had less than twenty-five thousand ; and this 
number was to be reinforced by fully eight thousand more, 
whenever Pappenheim should come up. 

Once set on battle, Gustavus took no account of the dis- 
parity of numbers. He knew that it was Wallenstein*s strong 


intrenchmeiits, and not lack of Swedish stomach, which had 
lost faim the fight at the Alte Yeste ; and he adranoed with 
entire confidence in himself and in them. Late at night on 
the 15th the general officers assembled round the traveling* 
coach in which the king spent the night, to receive instrufr 
tiouB for the morrow. Some spoke of the enemy's superior 
strength, but Gustavus plainly gave his own views, and ended 
by saying that he could no longer endure to be widiin reach 
of Wallenstein and not move on him sword in hand. He 
burned to show him what he and his Swedes could do in the 
open field. This answered every objection ; and all present 
crowded around to assure the king of their fidelity even unto 
death. This interview is a prototype of the famous speech of 
grim old Frederick to his generals on the eve of Leuthen. 

Ooitonu Pnjlnfr befon LBtnn. 
(Won Bnon'a HutoriMl Paintiv.) 

LtJTZEN. NOVEMBER 16, 1632. 

Wallevsteik mutt hold Leipno to preveiit the janotioii of Swedes and 
Saxoos ; and the Menebnig turnpike for Pappenheim. He adyanced to Lntzen 
and eatablished himself, facing sontherly along the oanaeway, whose ditchea 
made a line of works in whioh Wallemtein hoped to dnplioate the battle of the 
Alte Veste. On reconnoitring, Qustayus planned to tnm the enemy^s left by a 
aharp attack and cat him off from Leipaio ; not to be driven from his gfround 
was victory enough for Wallenstein. The imperial left leaned on the Floss- 
graben, the right on Lntzen, and in its front and in front of the right centre 
were two big batteries. The foot stood in foor great battles in the centre, the 
cavalry on the wings ; the ditches were lined with mosketeers. Solidity was 
the theory of the imperial line. Qnstavus drew up parallel to the enemy in his 
lighter order. In the wings was horse, mixed with foot, and cavalry was in 
reserve. The centre was of foot, with a heavy battery in front ; and regimental 
pieces stood all along the line. Bernard was on the left ; Kniphausen in the cen- 
tre ; the king led the right, where was to be the bulk of the fighting. After a 
cannonade, the Swedes attacked. The resistance was hearty, but the Swedish 
right forced its way across the causeway and pushed in the imperial left. The 
left was equally happy ; and the centre crossed the causeway and began to swing 
in on Wallenstein^s battles. But taken in flank by a column of horse, the Swed- 
ish centre fell back in some confusion. The king heard of the disaster to his 
centre; and heading some cavalry regiments, he galloped towards the place 
from whence they had fallen back. It was foggy, and, far ahead of his men, 
he ran into a stray party of imperial cavalry and was killed. About this time 
Pappenheim came on the field, and drove back the advanced Swedish right by 
a superb charge in which he also lost his life. The king*s death maddened the 
Swedes. Bernard and Kniphausen reestablished the Swedish line; and the 
Northlanders swept everything before them, and revenged their dead hero in a 
holocaust of blood. Wallenstein retreated to Bohemia ; part of his army fled 
to Leipsic, part to Mersel^rg. He is said to have lost ten thousand men. 

No engagement of modem times has a greater mass of 
conflicting records than the battle of LUtzen. From the vari- 



ous statements you may sketch out a dozen different theories 
of the manner in which it was lost and won. It was, how- 
ever, in the main a simple battle in parallel order, fought out 
with extraordinary obstinacy, and one whose phases were only 
those which may always occur in such an action, as the several 
parts of each line roll forward and back, in response to rein- 

Battle of Liitzen. 

forcements brought up, or to gallant attacks made or repulsed. 
The principal facts are clear ; but such interesting ones as 
the hour at which Pappenheim came upon the field, or the 
periods in the battle at which GKistavus and Pappenheim were 
killed, or indeed which was killed first, are wrapped in contra- 
dictory statement. There are indeed many different stories 
of the manner of Gustavus' death. 

The plain of Liitzen is low and fiat. Cutting it substan* 


tially from southwest to northeast runs the turnpike which 
leads through Liit-zen village from Weissenfels to Leipsic. 
This was Wallenstein's proper line of retreat, for he could 
not well give up Leipsic, if he was to stand between John 
George at Dresden and Giistavus at Naumburg; and he 
needed it for winter-quarters as well. The road here lies 
like a causeway above the plain ; some of the old maps show 
it straight, others with a marked curve between Liitzen and 
the Flossgraben, — as it may then have had ; but the matter 
is unessential : all details cannot possibly be reconciled. On 
either side of the road are deep ditches, generally containing 
water ; but though apparently at the time of the battle they 
were dry, they were such still as to make an excellent line of 
field-works ; and these ditches Wallenstein ordered to be well 
dug out during the night, and lined them with a strong force 
of musketeers. Running north and south a trifle less than two 
miles to the east of Liitzen was the Flossgraben, a dull stream 
meandering down towards Zeitz, and not so deep but that both 
cavalry and infantry could wade it The causeway ditch 
could likewise be crossed by both arms ; but it was none the 
less a serious obstacle, much in favor of the imperialists, 
who intended to fight on the defensive, as they had at the 
Alte Veste. 

Wallenstein drew up his army back of the causeway and 
facing southeast, with the right flank behind and leaning on 
the village of Liitzen, which he had set afire to prevent the 
Swedes from attempting to drive his forces out; and with 
the left flank leaning on the Flossgraben and somewhat 
refused, say some authorities. If the road was not straight, 
the imperial line may have conformed to its direction and 
thus have had a wing thrown back. It is probable that he 
had a small flying wing out beyond the Flossgraben; cer> 
tainly the ubiquitous Croats must have pushed to the other 


side, to put their harassing tactics to better use than they 
could do in the line of battle. 

Along Wallenstein's front, then, ran the causeway, which 
stood up noticeably above the surrounding plain ; and to the 
eye of the imperial general it seemed to yield a good chance 
of duplicating the victory of last August, if he could hold 
his men equally well to their task. To retain it and throw 
back the Swedish attack meant to keep Leipsic and to hold 
his route towards Merseburg and Halle, where lay part of his 
troops, and from which he was anxiously expecting the return 
of Pappenheim, — his stanchest lieutenant. Not to be driven 
from the causeway was victory enough for Wallenstein, just 
as the defense of the Alte Veste was in his eyes a notable 
feat of arms. He did not gauge victory from the standpoint 
of the great captain. 

Not far back of the causeway, in front of the imperial 
right wing, was posted a battery of heavy guns, and another 
was in front of the right centre. The former stood on a 
slight rise just north of Liitzen, in the midst of windmills. 
The number of guns has been, like that of the forces engaged, 
very variously stated. The greater part of the infantry was 
in the centre in four great battalia, set up in the Spanish 
style, and arrayed substantially as they had been at Breiten- 
feld. Much discussion has been indulged in to show that 
the imperial general had his army set up in three lines, and 
there exists a plan in Wallenstein's own hand for such a 
disposition. Be this as it may, the battle does not appear 
to have depended on there being any given number of lines. 
The imperial forces were drawn up in an order in which 
solidity played the main part, and it was Wallenstein's pur- 
pose to fight a strictly defensive battle, holding the causeway 
from Liitzen to the Flossgraben as his line of works. 

A portion of the infantry was posted in the windmills and 


in the gardens which surround the village of Liitzen. The 
imperial cavalry composed the wings of the army, the left 
under Ilolcke and Piccolomiui, though it was hoped that 
Pappenheim would arrive in season to command the left 
wing. It is said that, in imitation of Gustavus' tactics, foot 
was interspersed with horse in the imperial right, under 
Colloredo ; and they could well have been put to use behind 
the many garden walls. 

Wallenstein himself remained with the centre, and was 
carried in a litter, as his gout prevented his mounting a horse. 

The advance of the Swedes from Naumburg was such that 
they were marching directly upon the flank of the imperial 
army. It would seem as if Wallenstein's better line would 
have been across the turnpike, not along it, — perhaps, as 
suggested, behind the Rippach, — so as to enable Pappenheim 
to fall in on his right when he should arrive. Frederick 
would have sharply punished the great Czech for such a tac- 
tical blunder ; but, like Alexander at Arbela, Gustavus 
declined to ^^ steal a victory," and drew up for a parallel 
battle. Unless the king's idea of marching on Pegau and 
Grimma to join the Saxons, coupled to the knowledge that 
Wallenstein lay in and about Liitzen, had led him to camp 
the day before somewhat to the south of the village, it is hard 
to see why he should not have used his opportunity for a 
flank attack. But battle-tactics was as yet a simple affair ; 
Gustavus had done enough for the art of war in teaching 
armies mobility ; he cannot be held to complete the science to 
which he contributed so much. Perhaps the best explanation 
is that the king desired to drive the enemy away from 
Leipsic and not towards it ; or, in case of defeat, to retire 
towards the Saxons on the Elbe. 

In two columns corresponding to the two lines of battle he 
proposed to fight in, Gristavus advanced, and drew up in line 


at a distance of less than a mile from, and parallel to, the 
enemy. We know his formation better than Wallenstein's. 
Four half brigades were posted in the centre of each line. 
Count Brahe was in command of those in the first line; 
Kniphausen of those in the second line. The right and left 
wings of the second line of the centre, under Kniphausen, 
were composed of horse. In reserve was cavalry under 
Colonel Ohm, in rear of Kniphausen. In front of the in- 
fantry centre there was one battery (some authorities say 
two) of twenty-six heavy guns; and near forty light regi- 
mental pieces stood in front of the musketeers who sus- 
tained the horse. On both wings of the first line were 
squadrons of horse, each two separated by detachments of 
foot In the wings of the second line there was only cav- 
alry. Liitzen lay in front of the Swedish left wing, and the 
right lay on the Flossgraben. No doubt a Swedish flying 
wing was placed or later got beyond this waterway. Ber- 
nard commanded the left wing, and the king, with Stal- 
handshe and his Finns as a body guard, the right. The 
baggage was near Meuchen, behind the Flossgraben. 

Gustavus rarely slept much in the presence of the enemy, 
but he passed the night in his traveling-coach vrith Bernard 
and Kniphausen. The drums were beaten long before day- 
light, and the Swedish army bestirred itself. Prayers were 
said by the chaplains, and '^ Fine Feste Burg " and one of 
Gustavus' own hymns were sung as the men fell in. 

Gustavus rode his brown charger and wore no armor. 
Bernard and Kniphausen begged him to wear cuirass and 
helmet. But a cuirass irritated his old shoulder-wound, and 
he refused. His battle-speech to his men was short and to 
the point, and he rode ahead with " Forward in God's name ! 
Jesu ! Jesu I " on his lips. 

The object Gustavus aimed at was to cut Wallenstein off 


from Leipsic, so as to recapture the place and unite with John 
George. His tactics then was to pivot on his own left, which 
faced Liitzen, and to drive the imperial left and centre away 
from the causeway. To this he addressed himself. 

Though the troops had stood to arms at daylight, it was ten 
o'clock before they reached contact with the enemy. This 
delay was largely due to the fog which blanketed the plain, 
but it is an interesting thing for those of us who have seen an 
army on the march deploy from marching column into line, 
and win a pitched battle with high percentage of casualties 
in three or four hours, to note the length of time the formal 
marshaling of an army took prior to the day of that rest- 
less tactician, Frederick. Once aligned, the Swedes opened a 
heavy artillery duel, which lasted a full hour, and under its 
cover they advanced near the turnpike and stood ready for 
hand to hand work. 

When he deemed that his artillery had made a sufficient 
impression, the king personally led forward his right wing of 
horse and foot, and gallantly charged on the causeway. He 
was received by a heavy fire ; but after a sharp and pro- 
longed tussle, the king drove the imperial musketeers from 
the ditches on both sides of the causeway, crossed this obsta- 
cle, and made a successful attack on the enemy's left wing 
beyond, driving the Croats off in the wildest flight. So 
stanch had their advance been that the imperial baggage park 
was threatened, and was summarily transferred from the left 
to the rear of the right, where lay the heavy batteries. 

The king gave orders to pay small heed to the Croats, but 
at all hazards to break the ranks of the cuirassiers. These 
fine troops under Piccolomini fought like the black devils 
they were, and their intrepid commander was repeatedly 
wounded ; but despite their bravery, they were forced back 
by the tremendous successive impacts of the squadrons 


headed by the king. Meanwhile the cavalry of the Swedish 
left wing was all but equally fortunate against the horse on 
' the imperial right. And not to be behindhand, the infantry 
in the centre had advanced, driven the musketeers pell-mell 
out of their ditches, crossed the causeway, and taken the 
imperial battery opposite the centre. The initial gain had 
been sharp and marked all along the Une. 

But the success was short-lived. After crossing the cause- 
way, the foot brigades wheeled somewhat to the left to take 
the imperial centre in flank, a manoeuvre which exposed their 
own ; and before they could make an impression which was 
effectual on the battles of Wallenstein, several of the impe- 
rial cavalry regiments of the left centre and left, which had 
somewhat retired, were again massed, and bore down on the 
victorious Swedes like a torrent. Thus taken crisply in flank 
and in the face of a superior force, the gallant brigades failed 
to hold their own, and after a stout struggle were driven 
back and lost the battery they had taken. They had fought 
stanchly. In one regiment every captain was shot down. 
The Yellow cavalry and the Blues had successively advanced 
to the rescue, but only to be thrown back in disorder. The 
line was wavering. A disaster might result. The loss was 
as sudden as the gain had been, and the infantry was retiring 
across the causeway. Word of this state of affairs was sent 
to Gustavus, who was still driving the enemy on the right, 
and who believed that the whole line had kept its initial 
advance. As at the Alte Veste, Wallenstein had no ambition 
to fight a battle offensive. If he could hold the turnpike, the 
victory, so far as he needed it, would be won. And now 
that the Swedish central attack had failed, and his men had 
reoccupied the causeway ditches, he did not push them out 
to accentuate his gain, but held them in their place. A few 
squadrons alone galloped out beyond the imperial front. 


While the king was reestablishing order in his right wing, 
somewhat unsettled by its hard-earned advance, and was pre- 
paring for a second blow, he learned of the retreat of his centre. 
His fears were aroused for the success of the day, and he at 
once headed the Smaland cavalry regiment, and with his 
usual impetuosity galloped over to the aid of his hard-pressed 
infantry. The king was heavy, but he rode good stock and 
fast. In his over-eagerness, and followed only by three 
companions, he galloped far ahead of his column, and in the 
fog which was again coming down upon the field, aimed for 
the place, slightly back of the causeway, where he expected 
to find his infantry, but from which the brigades had just now 
fallen back ; here, between the lines, a stray party of impe- 
rial cuirassiers rode down upon him by simple accident, una- 
ware of who it was. The king was shot in the bridle-arm ; 
and, his horse swerving towards his own line, he received a 
bullet through the body. He f^ll from his horse with his 
last and mortal wound. 

There was at the time a species of lull in the battle, caused 
by the falling back of the Swedish centre and the momen- 
tary pause of the right. As the imperialists had no idea of 
advancing beyond the causeway, there was a wide open space 
in their front, and it was during this lull and between the 
causeway and his own front that Gustavus fell. His death 
was announced to the army by his charger galloping rider- 
less back to the Swedish lines, covered with blood, and his 
appearance excited the men to a frenzy of revenge. 

Some time after midday Count Pappenheim appeared on 
the field from Halle, leading his van. of cavalry. He had 
come with his best troops at a double-quick. Eagerly inquir- 
ing where Ghistavus fought, — his death was not yet known 
to the enemy, — with a column composed of eight cavalry 
regiments, which he quickly assembled, he fell sharply on the 


Swedish right wing and forced it back, practically regaining 
the ground their initial advance had won. Centre and right 
were weakening before the imperial attack ; but the Swedish 
left held its own in and about Liitzen, and Wallenstein's 
lack of push saved the Swedes harmless from disaster. At 
this juncture, or somewhat later, gallant Pappenheim was 
killed, and his regiments, lacking his fiery leadership, hesi- 
tated and fell back; the Swedish right could once more 
gather for a blow. 

On learning of the king's death, Bernard, who was on 
the Swedish left, inmiediately took command, and replaced 
the king on the right. Kniphausen led the centre. Count 
Brahe replaced Bernard on the left, where the cavalry had 
already sharply and successfully attacked the causeway, Liit- 
zen and the enemy's right wing. Be-f orming the ranks in the 
intervals of quiet, which only Torstenson's guns now inter- 
rupted, Bernard ordered an advance all along the line, though 
the day was fast wearing away. The Swedes again pressed 
forward, this time screwed up to the highest pitch. Between 
the darkness and the fog, manoeuvring had become impossi- 
ble. It was a mere brute push for mastery. Piccolomini 
took Pappenheim's place, and led several regiments up to 
resist the renewed attack of the Swedish horse on the impe- 
rial left. The rival lines clashed, mixed, and rolled to and 
fro in a frantic death-struggle. In their first charge the 
Swedes carried everything before them. They recovered the 
body of the king, and again di*ove the imperialists far be- 
yond the causeway. But some time after 4 p. m. the rest of 
Pappenheim's cavalry came up, and, maddened by the news 
of their splendid leader's death, they drove home a charge 
on the Swedish line which gained the lost ground, and once 
more pushed the assailants back across the causeway. No 
man could presage victory. 


But gallant Bernard of Weimar would hear of no retreat, 
though even brave old Kniphausen is said to have sug- 
gested it. Torstenson's guns were still able ; the line 
could be again patched up, and every Swedish heart was 
nerved to avenge the king. One more effort was made for 
the manes of the dead hero, and the charge was given with 
the vigor of loving despair. The decimated ranks of the 
Northlanders closed up shoulder to shoulder, the first and 
second lines were merged into one, and forward they went in 
the foggy dusk, with a will which even they had never shown 
before. Nothing could resist their tremendous onset. On 
right, centre, left, everywhere and without a gap, the Swedes 
carried all before them. The imperial army was torn into 
shreds and swept far back of the causeway, where so many 
brave men had that day bitten the dust. At this moment 
some ammunition chests in rear of the imperial line exploded, 
which multiplied the confusion in the enemy's ranks. Dark- 
ness had descended on the field ; but the Swedes remained 
there to mourn their beloved king, while the imperial forces 
sought refuge from the fearful slaughter and retired out of 

Liitzcn has been called a drawn battle. It was unequivo- 
cally a Swedish victory. The imperialists lost all their artil- 
lery, a number of standards, and, it is said, ten or twelve 
thousand men in killed, wounded and prisoners. Part of the 
force fled to Merseburg, part to Leipsic. That Wallenstein 
could reach Leipsic is cited as proof that the battle was 
drawn. But this was rather the usual want of pursuit. The 
Swedes slept on the field, and next day returned leisurely to 
Weissenfels, to weep for their dead lord. 

Quite unaware that any future historian would find ground 
to state that the battle was drawn, Wallenstein retreated with 
the relics of his army to Bohemia. The loss of the Swedes 


has been called numerically equal to that of the enemy. 
Especially was it greater in the loss of its king and captain. 

The dispositions of the Swedes and the vigor of their 
repeated attacks had been eminently praiseworthy. Wallen- 
stein showed indecision in fighting a defensive battle ; but no 
criticism can be passed on the manner of his fighting. It 
was a battle-royal in every sense, nobly fought out by each 

The Swedes had destroyed the last army of the emperor. 
At the opening of the year Ferdinand had been at the end 
of his resources, when Wallenstein came to his aid ; and the 
great Czech had now been utterly defeated. We know what 
Grustavus had already accomplished ; he stood on the thresh- 
old of the imperial hereditary possessions, with every land 
from the Rhine and the Alps to the Baltic and the Vistula 
subject to his control, and firmly held. Had he outlived the 
battle of Liitzen, can we doubt that he would have dictated 
peace on his own terms in Vienna ? And would it not have 
been a peace promising more durable results than if he had 
reached Vienna after his initial victory at Breitenfeld? 
His wisdom was fully proven ; but a higher power had dis- 
posed of his life. 

Muaket BstUe-aze. (16th Century.) 


GusTAYUB was tall, atrong and handaome, royal in bearing, oondeaoencBiig 
in manner, with noble feature*, golden hair and a clear bine eye. In intellect 
and scholarship he had no snperion ; he was an eloquent speaker, and witrte 
hymns which are song to-day all orer Sweden. His dig^nity nerer left him ; 
but though intimate with few, he was i^proaohable by all. Of a aenaitiTe 
nature, he was in youth quick of word, but he learned self-control and patienoe. 
Earnest piety was a constant guide, impelling him to justice and good deeds. 
His ambition was pure. In strength of will he was unchanging ; he consulted 
all, but himself decided. No captain eyer bore him with more sjdendid ooor- 
age ; Alexander had no more wounds ; he went to danger as to a feast. Splen- 
did in reward, he was just but summary in punishment. A hard worker, he 
was doubly busy in the field, trusting no man's eyes but his own, nor leaving 
work to others which he might do himself. He can scarcely be said to have 
been aided by Fortune. In dealing with his half-hearted allies, Ghutaviis exhib- 
ited the patience of Hannibal, the persuasiTeness of Casar. He taught the 
modem soldier many lessons : method according to one well-considered plan ; 
careful accumulation of supplies ; activity in marches and manoduvres ; rapid- 
ity of fire ; the value of taking and holding key-points ; the necessity of a sue 
base and communications ; the security which resides in discipline ; the fabot that 
well-timed audacity is not foolhardiness. In winning his bastion, Gustavna 
showed caution backed by vigor ; in defeating Tilly and overrunning the Main 
country, boldness, rapidity and rare skill ; on the Lech and at the Alte Veete, 
magnificent contempt of danger and difficulty; at Niimberg, admirable con- 
stancy ; and at Liitzen he sealed his honorable purpose with his blood. More 
than all this, he taught the world that war may be conducted on civilised lines. 
Had he lived, he would have dictated religious peace in Germany ; as it was, he 
won it. He is properly called the Father of the Modem Art of War. 

It is a curious fact, and much to be regretted, that we 
know so little about the Hero of the Thirty Years' War. 
We are told endless facts about Frederick and Napoleon ; 
we know much less about Ghistavus. 


Gustavus Adolphus was of tall and powerful frame; he 
had a royal bearing, great dignity, coupled to suavity, and a 
noble carriage ; but he was inclined, in the last few years of 
his life, to corpulence. This condition, however, so little 
interfered with his virility that his fondness for physical 
exertion led him into danger as to a feast. His hair and 
beard were golden yellow ; he had large light blue eyes, very 
expressive, eager and luminous, with a soft and kindly, yet 
proud look. His forehead was lofty and his nose strongly 
Roman. His daughter, Queen Christina, wrote of him as a 
very handsome man ; he was certainly kingly in his demeanor, 
as is testified by all his contemporaries. Earnest and liberal 
in all he did, no one who came near him but felt the influence 
of his character. 

To an uncommon breadth of intellect Gustavus joined the 
well-poised knowledge of the apt scholar and the iron will of 
the true soldier. Once convinced that he was right, nothing 
could bar the execution of his project. He was of a quick, 
sensitive — one might say touchy — habit, coupled, as is rare, 
to a deep feeling for right, truth and religion. His quick 
temper was but superficial ; at heart he was kindly, charitable 
and patient. His piety was honest, outwardly and inwardly, 
and impelled him to fair dealing and uprightness. Religion 
was never a cloak. He read daily and at length in his Bible, 
and prayed as openly and unreservedly as he spoke. He was 
fond of reading, well acquainted with the classics, and studied 
keenly the works of Hugo Grotius. He once, however, said 
that had Grotius himself been a commanding general, he 
would have seen that many of his precepts could not be 
carried out. 

Gustavus spoke eloquently, and wrote easily and vrith a 
certain directness which in itself is the best style for a clear 
thinker. His hymns are still sung among the countryfolk 


of Sweden with the fervor in which the people shrines his 

Condescending, kind and generous, Ghistavus was often 
splendid in his rewards for bravery and merit. When, in his 
youth, the later Field-Marshal Ake Tott performed some act 
of signal gallantry, the king thanked him before the whole 
forces paraded under arms, ennobled him on the spot, and 
with his own hands hung his sword upon him. But Gustavus 
was equally sununary and severe. Once, on complaint being 
made of marauding by Swedish soldiers, the king assembled 
all his ofiicers and severely held them to task ; then, going 
into the camp and seeing a stolen cow in front of the tent 
of a petty officer, he seized the man by the hair and handed 
him over to the executioner. '^ Come here, my son," said he ; 
^' better that I punish thee, than that God, for thy sin, visit 
vengeance on me and the whole army." 

While singularly quick tempered, Gustavus was eager to 
undo a wrong he might commit. '^ I bear my subjects' errors 
with patience," he said, " but they too must put up with my 
quick speech." He condescended often, at times too much, 
but no one was ever known to take advantage of his affability. 
Every one in his presence felt the subtle influence of great- 
ness ; his meed was the hearty respect of all who approached 

Intimate with few men, and these only his leading generals 
or the princes he happened to be cast with, Giistavus was 
much attached to his chancellor. Axel Oxenstiem, and relied 
markedly on his judgment. Only Oxenstiem was privileged 
to speak plainly to the king. '^ You are too cold in all things, 
and hamper me too much," once said the monarch. ^^ True," 
replied the chancellor, '^ but did I not now and then throw 
cold water on the fire, your Majesty had long since burned 
up." It was chiefly at dinner, which at that day was eaten 


before noon, that the king talked, and discussion then was 

This always busy monarch was especially busy in the field. 
Like Napoleon in his early years, he saw throughout life 
everything with his own eye ; he would not rely on others, 
and always rode with the van of the army. His eagerness to 
know what was in his front many times put him in peril of 
his life ; but he never overlooked an advantage of ground, nor 
was late in giving an order to meet the requirements of the 
occasion. In the cabinet he was strong and suggestive, the 
prime mover in every scheme ; and though he constantly held 
councils of war, they never failed to fight. 

He studied to know his opponents. He gauged Pappen- 
heim high ; Tilly was " brave, but nothing but an old cor- 
poral ; '^ Wallenstein he underrated, partly because he dis- 
liked his pomp and egotism, and feared his loyalty. And yet 
he did him ample justice. Gustavus himself was too great to 
harbor petty jealousy of greatness in others. What he admired 
in Pappenheim was that which he himself so notably possessed, 
— a quick decision and fiery execution. 

Sensitive to a degree with regard to his royal name and 
dignity, Gustavus hated adulation. Just prior to Liitzen, 
when, in passing through Naumburg, the people prostrated 
themselves, he remarked with a protest : '* Our cause stands 
well, but I fear God will punish me for the folly of this 

Except Alexander, no great captain showed the true love 
of battle as it burned in the breast of Gustavus Adolphus. 
Such was his own contempt of death, that his army could not 
but fight. When the king was ready at any moinent to lay 
down his life for victory, how should not the rank and file 
sustain him ? With such a leader, a defeat like Tilly's at 
Breitenfeld, or Wallenstein's at Liitzen, was not possible. 


Nor was his courage a mere physical quality'; his moral and 
intellectual courage equaled it. Hannibal's march into Italy 
was but one grade bolder than Gustavus' into Germany ; 
CsBsar's attack at Zela was no more reckless, if less matured, 
than Gustavus' at the Lech. 

The military student may read the records of war for seven- 
teen centuries succeeding the death of Caesar, without finding 
in its conduct any mark of that art and purpose which the 
pesX Roman, as well as Alexander and Hannibal, so con- 
stantly exhibited. Abundant courage, abundant intelligence, 
abundant opportunity will be found, but no broad, clean-cut 
method. When, however, the student turns to the page which 
narrates the operations of the Swedish king, he once again 
recognizes the hand of the master. The same method which 
has delighted him in the annals of the Macedonian, the Car- 
thaginian and the Roman is apparent ; the broad, firm ideal 
and never swerving moral force of which those captains were 
such brilliant examples may be seen; and from now on, 
thanks to the impress made on the art, he will find generals 
of the second rank who intelligently carry forward what 
Gustavus Adolphus rescued from £he oblivion of so many 

The operations of Gustavus in the Thirty Years' War are 
divisible into three epochs. From his appearance in Germany 
to his passing of the Elbe, his conduct of affairs was marked 
by great caution. It must be borne in mind that Gustavus 
had, barring the technical skill of the day, no military teach- 
ing except that which came from his study of the deeds of the 
ancients, and no guide except his own genius. War, up to 
his day and in his day, had been unmethodical and purpose- 
less. This first epoch was of fourteen months' duration, and 
was consumed in securing a foothold in Pomerania, Meck- 
lenburg and Brandenburg, in so careful and methodical a 


manner as to stand out in contrast to any other campaign of 
this era. Every circumstance was against him. He had but 
slender means to oppose the emperor's apparently unlimited 
resources. He came upon the scene at a time when the cause 
he had embraced was a wreck. The Protestant princes whom 
he sought to help, at whose req4iest he had undertaken the 
gigantic task, in lieu of flocking to his standard, looked on 
him with suspicion, and afforded him small countenance. 
Yet he lost not courage. With a clear aim in view, he pressed 
steadily on, and reached his end gradually, step by step. He 
bent every effort to secure the cooperation of the men who so 
coldly scanned his work. He exhibited patience akin to Han- 
nibal's, persuasiveness like to CaBsar's, boldness equal to Alex- 
ander's. He captured fortresses at the key-points and held 
them : rarely was a strong place wrested from the Swedish 
grasp. He accumulated supplies where he could be sure of 
keeping them : but once during his German campaign — at 
Niimberg — was he out of victual. He firmly secured his 
communications with the base he thus carefully established 
and with Sweden, and never manoeuvred so as to lose them. 
He gradually overcame •the shortsighted policy of his brother 
Protestants, and strengthened himself with allies and fresh 
accessions of recruits. He acted, not as the leaders of armies 
for many centuries had acted, as if the population of the 
countries they traversed were mere brute beasts, mere pro- 
ducers of food for the great and their hirelings, but with a 
spirit of kindliness and Christian charity which won over all 
the populations to his side. He kept troops under a discipline 
which was the marvel of its day, supplied their wants by legit- 
imate means, paid them regularly, and allowed no marauding 
or plunder. The few instances in which the Swedes were 
convicted of crimes which were then the daily accompaniment 
of the profession of arms were summarily punished. Gusta- 


vus understood how to avoid battle with an enemy who was 
too strong to beat ; how to lead him away from the key-points 
of the theatre of operations, so as to secure them himself ; 
how to operate energetically against an enemy who was his 
equal or his inferior in strength ; how to employ the tactical 
ability of his troops ; how to infuse into his men his own 
enthusiasm on the battle-field ; how to utilize a victory to a 
greater extent than any of his predecessors of the Middle 
Ages or of his own era, and how to heighten and maintain 
the morale of his troops in victory and defeat alike. The 
only failure of Gustavus' first epoch was his inability to save 
Magdeburg from the hands of Tilly. This was due not to his 
failure to advance to her rescue, but to a natural miscalcula- 
tion of her powers of resistance, of Tilly's perseverance, and 
to the perverse refusal of the Saxon elector to allow the 
Swedes a passage over his territory. 

Then came the second epoch. So soon as, by his cautious 
and intelligent conduct, the king had set himself firmly in 
place between the sea, the Oder and the Elbe, had protected 
his flanks and rear from all probability of danger, and had 
persuaded the electors of Brandenburg and Saxony to join 
his standard, in other words had established his bastion, he 
at once altered his method of operation. When the enemy 
would stand he assumed the ofiPensive, crossed the Elbe, 
attacked him at Breitenfeld, added immensely to his strength 
and morale by beating him, and, leaving a portion of his 
troops to operate with the allies and to protect his flanks and 
communications, he advanced rapidly into the very heart of 
Germany. In three weeks, he had established himself firmly 
on the Main, in Franconia and Thuringia ; in ten days after, 
he had advanced down the Main to the Rhine, taking all the 
strong places on the way ; in three months more, he had laid 
his hands on the whole middle Rhine country ; and in two 


and a half months from this last period, he had crossed the 
Danube, beaten the enemy at the Leeh by one of the boldest 
operations undertaken since the Christian era, and had occu- 
pied almost all Bavaria. Thus in eight months, from Sep- 
tember, 1631, to June, 1632, he had traversed and held a 
much larger territory than he had previously gained in four- 
teen, and had become the most powerful of the monarchs of 
Europe. He put to use the boldest and most decisive opera- 
tions, and yet never failed in the method and caution which 
were his guide; by his skill, courage and intelligence he 
established himself as firmly in southern Germany as he had 
previously done in northern. A glance at the territory he 
covered, — from the north shores of the Baltic to the foothills 
of the Alps, — and a comparison of it with that conquered by 
any other captain of modem times, and the measure of the 
few months during which he was actively a combatant in the 
Thirty Years' War, will satisfy the most exacting admirer of 
the past masters in the military art ; and this especially so, if 
we remember the political entanglements in which the king 
was caught, the fact that he came to save and not to conquer, 
and that statesmanship often dictated his manoeuvres rather 
than his clear grasp of the strategic situation. 

Gustavus was now at the height of his reputation and suc- 
cess ; the eyes of all Europe were upon him, and he was 
ready to attack Austria from the west. Here begins the third 
epoch of his operations. At this juncture the policy of France 
changed ; she feared that Gustavus would aspire to a political 
prominence which would unsettle the balance of power in 
Europe ; his allies began to suspect him of aspiring to the 
crown of Germany ; and Wallenstein, the only soldier in 
Germany who was in any sense worthy to be matched against 
the king, raised a large army, and by marching on Saxony 
threatened the Swedish communications with the Baltic, estab- 


lished with so much care and skilL The whole situation 
changed. Gustavus was no longer so secure as he had been 
when his allies were whole-hearted, and his policy suddenly 
changed back to the cautious one he had early shown. Of 
the first importance in all his operations, whether offensive 
or defensive, particularly so as he was now apt to be thrown 
on his own resources, were his communications with the Main 
and the Rhine, and with his bastion in north Germany. 
Second to this was the protection of allied Niimberg, to 
which city he had promised succor, should she be attacked. 
By taking position at Niimberg, he accomplished all these 
ends, for he drew Wallenstein away from Saxony, and kept 
him away from the Main and Rhine. At Niimberg, so long 
as his forces remained largely inferior to Wallenstein's, Gus- 
tavus acted on the defensive, indulging only in small war ; 
but when, by his lieutenants coming up, the Swedish army 
grew to equal Wallenstein's, Gustavus again went over to an 
offensive startling in its boldness. 

It cannot be denied that, while Wallenstein was in the field, 
Gustavus gave over part of his initiative to the Bohemian 
as he had never done before. But this was in a great measure 
owing to the political difficulties by which he was beset. 
Had the elector of Saxony been the firm and loyal ally to 
Gustavus that Gustavus was to him; had the king not been 
compelled to look sharply for treason in his rear, it is doubt- 
ful whether he would have yielded any part of his initiative, 
even to his great opponent. 

When his offensive at Niimberg failed and his provision 
quite gave out, Gustavus retired, not at once to Bavaria, but 
to the Main, to make sure of his communications there ; and 
so soon as it appeared that Wallenstein had no immediate 
thought of disturbing these, leaving a lieutenant to observe 
. him, Gustavus again took up' his old thread and returned to 


Bavaria to complete his conquest of Swabia and Wiirtemberg. 
Then, for the second time, Wallenstein, by moving on Sax- 
ony, coupled to the weak attitude of the elector, threatened, 
and now more seriously, the king's communications with the 
Baltic, and compelled him again to resort to quick and deci- 
sive operations. His march to Saxony and his attack on the 
enemy at Liitzen were rapid, bold and skillful. 

His life's striving here closed in a glorious death ; but the 
work the great king accomplished in little over two years in 
Germany was so vast, so solid and so inteUigently planned, 
that it remains scarcely doubtful that, had he lived, he would 
have dictated to entire Germany the terms upon which the 
religious faith of all men should be held and practiced. 

The student of Gustavus' life will notice in these several 
epochs a peculiarly intelligent adaptation of his work to the 
existing conditions. From his landing at Riigen to his pas- 
sage of the Elbe, there was a cautious but by no means inde- 
cisive policy, to be largely ascribed to the unexpected cold- 
ness of the German Protestants ; to the ungrateful laxness 
of his cousins, the dukes of Mecklenburg; to the brainless 
hebetude of the elector of Brandenburg ; to the uninteUigent 
yearning for neutrality of the elector of Saxony. The prob- 
lem was one of politics, not war. From the crossing of the 
Elbe to the starving-match at Niimberg, the student wiU see 
exceptional activity and courage, in no wise lacking intelli- 
gent, methodical caution. From the break-up at Niimberg 
to Gustavus' death upon the field at Liitzen, he will recog- 
nize an alternation as the circumstances dictated, from the 
cautious mancBuvring of the first epoch to the intrepid energy 
of the second. 

From Caesar's time on, Gustavus was the first who firmly 
and intellectually carried through a campaign on one well« 
considered, fuUy digested, broad, and far-seeing plan, and 



who swerved therefrom only for the time being to meet con- 
ditions which could not be foreseen from the beginning ; whose 
g^rasp was such that, whatever the conduct of the enemy, he 
was never compeUed to abandon, but at most to vary, his 
plan ; and whose work was done against an enemy at most 
times much his superior, and among friends whose half- 
hearted loyalty made them more dangerous than the foe. 

Gustavus was in the habit of assembling his generals in 
council. The advice of his most trusted lieutenants was often 
opposed to what he did ; but they could not see as far as he 
did. Not even Oxenstiem's crisp judgment was equal to the 
king's. And a council of war under Gustavus never deterred 
the king from pushing home. He listened patiently to all 
his generals ; but he decided the action himself. It was he 
who maintained the consistency of his course through good 
and evil fortune alike. Each variation had its definite object, 
which attained, the general plan was at once resumed. In 
all Gustavus did there was a certain intelligent sequence and 
interdependence of movements that produced a perfectly sys- 
tematic whole, in which the unity of plan was never disturbed. 
And with this broad plan there always went hand in hand a 
careful execution of detail upon which depended the success 
of the whole. His occupation remained firm ; his victualing 
was sufficient to his needs ; his movements accomplished what 
he sought to attain. Even when, as before Niimberg, or 
before Liitzen, he was driven to change his operation lest his 
allies in north Germany should play him false, it was only 
to defer, not to abandon, his own project. 

In pursuance of his cautious policy Gustavus neglected no 
step of his advance. He left behind him no important for- 
tress or city without observing, blockading or besieging it ; 
he held the passages of all important rivers in his path by 
erecting suitable bridge-heads, or by occupying necessary 


towns which controlled them ; he kept upon his line of opera- 
tions suitable detachments, often armies, or met threats in 
force upon them by a prompt movement of his main force 
upon the enemy. He so managed the division of his armies 
as not to decrease his own strength, nor to lose the ability to 
concentrate at least as rapidly as the enemy ; he used his 
allies for the work they could best perform ; he kept the 
main offensive in his own hands, generally so ordering that 
his lieutenants should act on the defensive, unless they out- 
numbered the enemy, and then he urged them to all due 
vigor; while he himself always undertook the part which 
entailed the greatest labor, and called for the most courage 
and intelligence. 

Noteworthy as was Grustavus' caution, his vigor of execu- 
tion when he undertook a fighting offensive was as remark- 
able. His caution was not the caution of Wallenstein, who 
fought shy of battle, and fed his men by devastating the land 
of foe and friend ; it was the caution which watched his base 
and line of communications, his victual, his munition and his 
allies; while his decisiveness lay in his intelligent choice 
between sharp movement upon the enemy with his whole 
force when the conditions were favorable to a battle, or when 
the moral superiority of the troops would allow, and the 
policy of seizing important provinces and cities, and of util- 
izing the resources of the country and of allies so as to increase 
the circle of his operations. His caution was such that, by 
every step he advanced into the heart of Germany, he weak- 
ened the enemy by just so much. Wallenstein left the land 
he crossed useless to the enemy because he had pillaged it as 
he went ; Grustavus spared the country he traversed, but he 
held it by enlisting the population in his favor, and by care- 
ful military occupation. The simple recital of his marches 
and manoeuvres shows their value. 


The secret of Gustavus* successes lay, not in the element of 
luck, for luck may be said on the whole to have run against 
him rather than in his favor, — not against him as it ran 
against the Carthaginian, but certainly not in his favor as it 
ran in Csesar's, — the secret lay in his broad and intelligent 
general plan, in his adherence to the work as he had originally 
cut it out, and in his suiting his bold operations or cautious 
manoeuvres to the circumstances as they existed or arose. As 
with Alexander, Hannibal and Csesar, it was the man him- 
self whose very brain and soul were put into his work ; and 
this man possessed all those qualities of head and heart 
which produce results in war whenever they coexist with that 
other factor, opportunity. EquaUy great as monarch and as 
soldier, he united in his one person the art of both. His 
nation and his amy were devoted to him as history has rarely 
shown devotion. His motives were perhaps the highest and 
purest which have ever inspired any of the great captains ; his 
pursuit of them was steadfast and noble, open-handed and 
above-board, courageous and discreet. In weighing his intel- 
ligence, sound judgment, strong will, perseverance, hardihood 
and carefulness, he is properly put in the rank of the six 
great captains, — three of ancient, three of modem days. If 
we look further and gauge the results of what he did, if we 
view the purposeless and barbarous nature of war as it was 
conducted up to his day ; if we weigh the influence which his 
short two years' campaign had upon all modem war, we may 
indeed in a moral sense, and in a sense making toward civili- 
zation, place Gustavus Adolphus yet higher. His pointing 
out the importance of key-points — at that time generally for- 
tresses — in holding a country ; the value of feeding an army 
by careful accumulation of supplies, instead of by ravaging 
every territory traversed ; the use of a carefully drawn plan 
of operations, extending over the whole ground to be covered ; 


and the propriety of waging war in a more Christian and civ- 
ilized spirit, marks the first step towards the modem system. 
Gustavus Adolphus has fairly earned the title of Father of 
the Modem Art of War, and must be acknowledged as the 
captain of all others who re-created methodical, systematic, 
intellectual war, and who taught the world that there could 
exist such a thing as civilized warfare. 

After his death his lieutenants endeavored to carry out his 
system ; but there was no one, not even Oxenstiem, who was 
equal to the task. They retained something of what he gave 
them ; in many things they slid back into the old ruts ; and 
war again assumed the aspect of gigantic raids. 

Among his enemies, during the remainder of the Thirty 
Years' War, history shows nothing but inhumanity, over 
which it is well to draw a veiL 

Fnaee Anowi. 

NORDLINGEN. 1633-1631 

The death of Oustanu altered the entire aspect of German afPain. There 
was no longer a centre point, for Oxenstiem was not a monarch ; but he and 
Richelieu kept on with the work which Gnstami had lo well builded. Many 
of the powen stepped out of the Swedish programme, but the war went on. 
Bernard next year was to operate down the Danube ; a Saxon-Swedish force 
was to nuuMBuvre in Silesia ; a third army in Westphalia. The Weser army 
succeeded well ; Bernard and Ban^r, along the Danube, advanced as far as 
Upper Austria ; Horn kept the imperialists out of Swabia. The Silesian force 
adranced sgainst Wallenstein, who prudently retired to a fortified camp, while 
his lieutenants invaded Saxony. He then moved on the Oder ; but his conduct 
was weak ; and later returning to Bohemia, he was asMSsinated in February, 
UVi4. Archduke Ferdinand took command of the imperial force, captured 
Ratisbon and Donauworth, and sat down before Nordlingen. Bernard and Horn 
went to its relief, but attacking the archduke without proper concentration, 
they frittered away their strength, and were disastrously defeated, with the 
loss of the bulk of their army, and all their material. Men who made a 
mark as lieutenants of Gustavns found that there is more to war than they had 

The death of Gustavus Adolphus completely changed the 
current of affairs in Germany. Its first effect was a practi- 
cal rupture of all the treaties which bound the Protestant 
princes to the Swedish cause. The majority of them shortly 
began to make approaches leading to reconciliation to the 
empire. Richelieu was the only man who saw that now more 
than ever was it essential to uphold the balance of power 
against the Hapsburgs. It was he who stepped in and 
induced the Swedes to continue the war. Oxenstiem was 
the natural successor of Gustavus in the control of both the 
military and political issues ; he agreed with the French min- 


ister, and despite her exiiaustion, Sweden went on, hoping to 
gain, in the end, the object for which Gustavus had fought, 
as far at least as Swedish security was concerned. The 
treaty with Russia was renewed ; Poland agreed to a contin- 
uance of the existing truce ; and the entire resources and 
confidence of the Swedish nation were given to the great 
chancellor. But even Oxenstiem was not a Gustavus. The 
German princes, who had been ready to follow the lead of the 
splendid king, were unwilling to subordinate themselves to a 
mere prime minister ; and Richelieu had much ado in pre- 
vailing on them to so act as not to forfeit the gain already 
made. In one way or other, however, they were fairly well 
committed to the cause; and for two years the work and 
method of Gustavus went on under Oxenstiem, — so far at 
least as was possible without the presence of the man and 
king himself. 

The strategic plan contemplated three lines of operation. 
Bernard, with the bulk of the Swedish army, was to move 
into south Germany, pick up the troops left there by Ghista- 
vus, and then, basing on the Main, work down the valley of 
the Danube. Part of the Swedish army, with the Saxon and 
Brandenburg contingents, was to operate in Bohemia and 
Silesia. Another part, with the troops of the Hessian and 
lower Saxon Circle, was to hold Westphalia and protect 
north Germany. The winter succeeding Lutzen was con- 
sumed in preparing for the execution of the comprehensive 

But Ferdinand was not idle. The fortune of war had rid 
him of his arch-enemy, and he foresaw greater advantages 
from a continuance of the struggle than from any peace 
which could be made with Richelieu at the council-board. 
To be sure, the army of Wallenstein was almost broken up, 
and had to be recruited anew ; but the Bavarian forces were 


intact, and had been considerably increased by accessions 
from Lorraine and from Spanish troops. Few things go fur- 
ther to disprove the standing which has been claimed for 
Wallenstein as the best captain of his era than the secon- 
dary role he now played, after the only man who was called 
his equal had been removed by the accident of battle. 

In the spring of 1633 the allies began operations more 
vigorously than the imperialists. In the Weser country they 
beat the forces of Merode and Gronfeld, and captured many 
fortresses. On the Danube, Bernard joined Ban^r, who 
had been forced out of Bavaria ; and while Horn drove the 
imperialists out of Swabia into Switzerland and besieged 
Constance, Bernard pushed the emperor's army down the 
river, took Ratisbon before Gallas, whom Wallenstein at 
once dispatched from Bohemia to its succor, could arrive 
on the spot, and then crossed the Isar and moved on Upper 

Meanwhile Aldringer, whose duty it was to contain Horn, 
marched into the Tyrol, where he joined a heavy body of 
Spanish troops and pushed his way through Swabia on Alsa- 
tia, hoping both to neutralize Horn and to entice Bernard 
away from his Danube conquests. Horn followed, after 
drawing in what reinforcements he could; and Aldringer 
found his sc^heme so unpromising of success that he retired. 

To offset these gains, the Catholic armies had the upper 
hand in Silesia and Saxony. The allies, early in the year, 
marched through Lusatia into Silesia and overran that prov- 
ince. Wallenstein met this operation by moving from Bohe- 
mia into Silesia, where he took up a fortified camp at Miin- 
sterberg, from which, despite very great superiority in force, 
he retired on the approach of the allies. This defensive 
policy on Wallenstein's part is difficult to understand, and 
redounds little to his credit. Meanwhile Holcke and Pio- 


oolomini invaded Saxony ; the former took Leipsic, the latter 
threatened Dresden. Amim hurried back to defend the 
electorate, leaving Thum with but twenty-five hundred men 
in Silesia. This was Wallenstein's opportunity, for he had 
forty thousand men. He moved on Thum, beat him, and 
marched down the Oder, captured Frankfort and Landsberg, 
and even raided beyond the Warta. But the imperial gener- 
al's operations essentially lacked vigor, even with nothing to 
oppose him ; and he finally yielded to the entreaties of the 
emperor and returned to Bohemia, from whence he marched 
on Bavaria to hold head against Bernard. His approach of 
the Upper Palatinate did indeed force Bernard to retire; 
but Wallenstein went into winter-quarters, owing to the late 
season, ready to march on Saxony or back to Bavaria in the 
spring. The great Czech's career was, however, sumn^arily 
cut short. His peculiar character and faithlessness had made 
him too many enemies among the rich and powerful, from 
Ferdinand down. He was assassinated in February, 1634, 
in the fortress of Eger. 

At the beginning of the spring of 1634 Bernard again 
advanced on Upper Austria. The imperial army was now 
wholly at the disposition of the emperor ; and his son, the 
Archduke Ferdinand, was placed in command, with Gallas 
as his second. This force marched on Ratisbon, joined the 
duke of Lorraine, who with the Bavarian army was besieging 
the place, captured it on the 26th of July, and marched up 
the left bank of the river. Bernard retired to Augsburg, 
gathered in Horn's troops, and took post at Lauingen. The 
archduke moved to Donauworth, and taking it August 16, 
marched on and laid siege to Nordlingen. 

Meanwhile Ban^r and Amim had advanced into Bohemia, 
but had been beaten at Prague on the 28th of June, and had 
returned to Saxony. 


Nordlingen called od Bernard for assistance. The duke, 
with Horn, had sixteen thousand foot and ten thousand horse, 
but the archduke and Gallas had thirty-five thousand men or 
over. Bernard desired to await the rhinegrave, but the situ- 
ation of the town had become desperate ; it had withstood one 
assault, but could not much longer hold out. He decided on 
attacking the imperial army. 

The archduke was carrying on the siege from the south 
only ; but a reinforcement that Bernard managed to send the 
garrison did not hinder the operations, which were pressed 
vigorously. Horn advised taking up a strong position and 
trying to cut off the besiegers from victual ; but Bernard was 
for a battle, and he was sustained by a majority of the higher 
officers. He still felt the enthusiasm of Liitzen. It was, how- 
ever, with great surprise that, on the 6th of September, the 
imperial commander saw the army of the allies, which had 
lain back in the hills on the road to Ulm, appear and offer 

The plain of Nordlingen is bounded on the southwest and 
south, at a distance of three or four miles from the city, by 
a chain of hills, which rise from three hundred to six hundred 
feet. Nearer the town, across the road to Ulm, are other 
hills, perhaps one hundred feet high, and between the two 
runs a small brook, the Goldbach or Forellenbach. It was 
here that the archduke undertook to defend his siege opera- 
tions from interruption by the alUes. On the approach of 
the latter, he left only five thousand men in the lines, and 
advanced to meet Bernard with the rest. He was able to 
anticipate them, and as the vanguard filed out from the 
higher hills, the imperial cavalry fell upon it and drove it 
back. It was essential for Bernard to gain full possession 
of the debouches from these hills, and this he accomplished. 
He was anxious, before the enemy could do so, to seize the 



lower obain of hilla, as these were practically the key to the 
battle-field; and he seat out a brigade of infanby with a 
battery to get a foothold there, while he himaolf deployed his 
army in the valley along the Goldbach. But the day was 
far gone, and as the allied artillery was not able to get a 
aatisfactoTy position, the duke deferred the attack till the 

The archduke spent the night fortifying the hills he had 
secured, and in placing batteries to advantage. He ooonpied 

Battle ot NSidli^vo. 

a line from Schmahingen to Hohlheim. On the heights of 
Aalburg on his left he expended special cate, and placed 
there his best troops, the Spanish foot. The cavalry of the 
left wing lay behind works in two lines ; the Geimaa foot 
held the right with a good part of the cavalry. There were, 
all told, seventeen thousand foot and thirteen thoasand horse. 
At daybreak of September 6 the allies broke out from 
their position in two columns, the right under Horn, the left 
under Bernard. Horn was to attack near SchmtihiageD, Ber- 
nard near Ederheim and atoug the Ulm road. The duke bad