What's your worst guilty pleasure
by Jörg Julius Reisek
In 1792 France declared war on the Austrians and their allies. As a result, the areas on the left bank of the Rhine became the target of military action. The proximity of the Mainz fortress had a negative effect on the Kreuznach. The warring parties changed constantly; it was billeted, raised and looted.
After the French withdrew, Reich troops moved into quarters in Kreuznach on October 31, 1795. They were able to hold their own on November 11th, before the city was retaken by the French on December 1st. The manual and house book by Petrus Gebhard gives a clear overview of the military and civil situation (see Bad Kreuznacher Heimatblätter 1932, 14-16).
The French attack began at dawn. Despite the arrival of new Prussian troops under the command of Major General Rheingraf Carl von Salm-Grumbach, the "enemy" managed to penetrate the Neustadt and occupy the Nahe Bridge. From there the old town was hard pressed until the French were repulsed by a storm attack in the afternoon. Gebhard writes about this: “The division of the good captains von Weidenbrück and von Hundhausen pushed the enemy away from the Binger Thor and thereby ended this stubborn battle, which lasted until half past five in the evening. . . On this day, the Churköllnische are to be praised the most, because they fought like real soldiers and earned general praise and thanksgiving, which the local city also paid in a letter of thanks. "
This letter of thanks has been preserved with other accompanying papers in the Bad Kreuznach city archive. How the documents got into the archive can no longer be clarified today. Perhaps they stayed in the quarters because they had to flee.
"We mayors and councilors of the Electoral Palatinate city of Kreutznach give the Elector of Cologne, Captain Baron von Wydenbruck, and the Captain of Hundhausen, the owed testimony that they were on the 11th of this when our city was again taken under the command of his Excellency." Herr General Majors von Salm Grumbach, on the full day of horror, showed up and distinguished themselves especially with your troops, tired from a forced march from Kirchheim Bollanden.
Our savior, the corps of brave imperial troops, commanded by the brave imperial count, appeared at that moment before our gates as the two hills which dominate Kreuznach, along with the city, had already been lost by the enemy advancing with overwhelming strength, the French had already met en masse under the protection of their cannons, and howitzers, with which the city and region were ceaselessly streaked, through the Binger Gate and our streets, the Noh Bridge, which connects the city with each other, was taken and occupied, as a German resistance, and bravery set limits to their victory here.
Forward, Brothers, called the courageous Germans hurrying to help, and Truz, the most stubborn resistance, they were masters of the bridge again. At the head of their Brave Warriors, the two Herrhauptleuthe reported above hurried with doubled paces, relieved the rest of the brave Imperial troops that had been in the fire at a loss, courageously attacked the enemy at the beginning of the High Street, drove him out of the city drove him bit up to the Martinsberg and afterwards asserted with the rest of your brave and courageous troops the most dangerous post, the Binger Thor, which the enemy tried to force again.
He had two cannons against such a thing, not only ceaselessly smearing this place with howitzers and grapeshots, but also hurled back three times, sowing death and perdition from small fire pipes on this one point, only German bravery, German steadfastness, and heroism, which the brave troops animated, achieved this important post, with the same our city, and our terrified region: for on the falling night, after his unsuccessful attempt, the enemy, after further arrival, saw all the heights around ours City, and with them at the same time to leave his advantageous positions, which we forever recognize with the warmest and most guilty thanks, and in honor of the two captains of Wydenbruck and v. Hundhausen testify that the same people have the most beautiful share in this most decisive thing, and for us so important victories.
Documented from our handwritten signatures, and the larger Raths-Siegel-Kreuznach d. November 13, 1795.
Electoral Palatinate / signatures / made out by me. Schneeganz - Stadtschreiberey Administrator "
Von Hundhausen made a plan of the situation. It contains the layout of the city and entries on strategic points, wounded and fallen.
The text on the plan is as follows:
- A castle gate
- B Thor on Ziticus his house
- C Thor on the pain of his house,
- They lead into the gardens and into the field
- “The above part of the city of Kreuznach is the one on the left bank of the Nahe river, and shows where the affair between the French and the German Allies took place on November 11th in 1795, the enemy had been with the Imperial and Hessians all day Darmstadt troops engaged and would have resigned completely if Lecour's [help] had not arrived from the Franconian and Kurkölln troops. A Köllner division under my command was lucky enough to drive the enemy back to the Martinsberg, but with one Loss of 75 dead and lead shepherds, lieutenant Müller remained without the cross (b). (d) Ensign Tils was wounded and subsequently captured. (c) Lieutenant Hartig was wounded. (a) I received a shot through the hat. (f) Sergeant Sibbel was wounded in the ravine. We took the Darmstadt cannons that had already been lost from the enemy. "
The above-mentioned Sergeant Sippel is the author of a letter dated November 21, 1795, which has also been preserved. In it he reports to his commanding officer about the conditions in the Mainz hospital:
,, ... my blesur is healing well, but I'll keep a calendar, and my left arm, I won't be able to do anything anymore, yesterday I thought I was going to die of a headache, and worst of all, I have no days, every day is for me a year, I have no job, everything is dead,. . . For so long I have been careful for Reconvallescent Hauss, and now suddenly the devil is leading me here. . . With our other injured people, who are in the reconciliation house, it is quite good, but head the poor people who live in the hospital, they all scream with hunger ... by the way, I ask you to forgive myself that the Fiihrer Bähr gave me a Cronthaler, me I had to get a new shirt and two socks, which was taken out of my knapsack that night ... "
Sippel planned to return on December 1st. On the same day Gebhard reports about the defenders of the city: “They, in order to maintain their fame acquired on Martini Day, fought like the lions, planted some cannons at the Mainz gate in the Schweickardischer Garten to avoid those standing at Laimenkauth to disturb the French so that they should not be a hindrance to their advance across the bridge. This alone did not help and they were silenced. . . ".
Author: Jörg Julius Reisek
Editorial processing: Dominik Kasper
Edited version of an article published in the Bad Kreuznacher Heimatbl Blätter (1991.5).
The Central Library for Local Studies will be happy to provide you with further literature on the topic.
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