Saturday, January 26, 2013

Battle of Zerbst 3. Afternoon.

General view of Imperialist line
Looking west from the east flank.
Continuing the Archduke Piccolo's report to the Emperor of the Battle of Zerbst, 13 March, 1739.

 The morning action having failed to achieve the destruction of the Rebel left flank, I drew in what remained of our Horse, and regrouped the whole Army to face the retaliation I hoped the enemy would attempt.  If it took several hours to complete my preparations, he too was finding the undertaking required lengthy regrouping from the defensive stance he had adopted at the outset.  Palffy Infantry was marched to the right flank to form a front behind which the Cavalry could retire and reform.  The 1st Artillery Company was withdrawn from the hill upon which it stood and was to redeploy in the centre of Palffy Regiment, forming 

The Rebel left flank
also looking westward
a formidable line should the enemy seek to attack it. The open flank to the east was to be covered by the Cavalry.  Meanwhile, Hildburghausen infantry took over the position evacuated by the artillery.

Soon, masses of enemy cavalry began approaching Palffy's position.  Dense columns - or successive lines - of infantry looked set also to attempt the rising ground where now stood Hildburghausen immediately behind the crest.

By now our preparations were about complete.  Second artillery were in the process of deploying on the flanks of the defile between Hildburghausen's hill and the Jagers' dense woodland.  Behind them stood the Baden-Durlach Infantry, with a detachment of Alt-Colloredo forming upon its left, with its own left flank thrown forward.

Whilst Palffy Infantry and a battery form a line,
Imperialist cavalry rally to their right rear.
 On the left Arenburg and a detached company of Alt-Colloredo formed a re-entrant awaiting an attack by what appeared to be a full Brigade of Rebel infantry, supported by jagers and Heavy Horse.  On this flank, however, the enemy declined to try conclusions, whilst the action developed on the other flank.
General view of the eastern end of the battlefield
( Unfortunately, once again, picture taking got forgotten as a brisk action developed on the right flank, and it all happened between this and the next picture.)

The action on the right opened with a quick attack by the 1st Ulrichstein Cavalry.  But by this time the artillery detailed to support the infantry had arrived betimes and were already waiting for this moment.  The Palffy Infantry gallantly held their volleys to the last moment, the enemy horse were seared with canister at point blank range, and the whole attack collapsed before they could make contact.  In short the enemy cavalry were served out in the same manner as our own Trautmannsdorf Cavalry had been earlier in the day.

The end of the rebel attacks.  The assault by 1st Heavy
Cavalry against Palffy Regiment was seen off by gunfire and musketry.
The infantry assault on the hill met at short range by Hildburghausen infantry.
 Shortly afterwards, the enemy 5th Battalion, supported by a regiment supplied by the Herzog von Rechburg, began mounting the hill to assault Hildburghausen Infantry.  That gallant corps once again lived up to its reputation for hard fighting.  Advancing to the crest, they delivered into the faces of the enemy such a blistering series of volleys that scarce a third remained with the colours at the end of the half hour.  True, Hildburghausen lost some 80 men out of the line, many due to the fire of the Rechburg supporting infantry, but it is estimated 5th Bn lost three times as many, and the Rechburgers did not come off unscathed, neither.
The Imperialists on the left await a Rebel attack that never comes...
 That decided the action, right there: not so much the decisive victory we felt entitled to expect early in the morning, but far less than the crippling of of one of the pincers closing upon his army that Marshal Noailles must have been counting upon.  
The Archduke, still harbouring notions of attack, heaps up
horse, foot and guns on the right flank...
 As the enemy drew back I had begun building up towards our right (eastern) flank with the view of renewing our own effort there.  However, by now it was already mid-afternoon, and Baron Glockenspiel represented to me (actually it was Barry) that we had already achieved enough to claim the victory - at least from a strategic point of view - and rather than risk compromising the success we had gained by an assault of uncertain success, we should wait.
 Somewhere east of Zerbst, General Plodt of Altmark-Uberheim must once again be marching upon Zerbst.  The city could not be allowed to fall whilst the Imperial Army remained undefeated, therefore the rebel Army must retreat.  Within two or three days the decisive battle must be fought, and, with the cooperation of the electoral troops, the Imperialists would have the superior numbers.
 Reluctantly, the I allowed myself to be persuaded.  The action sputtered to a halt, as the opposing armies faced each other across the shallow valley east of Asper Village.  Confident that the enemy would evacuate their positions overnight, I gave orders for tomorrow's follow-up.  Losses in this action were slight - some 400 on our side, and somewhat over 500 of the enemy.  
Back at their start lines, the rebels await the nightfall.
The battle is over.
I remain, Sire, your most humble and obedient servant,
Archduke Piccolo, Marshal-General

The Ulrichstein Campaign to be continued...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Battle of Zerbst 2. Morning

Dawn, 13 March  1739
Rechburg troops advancing;  Ulrichstein Rebel Infantry
arrivingon the field.
From: Marshal-General Archduke Piccolo commanding
Army of Guarantee of Integrity of Ulrichstein
HQ Near Asper Village (2 days' march south of Zerbst);

To:  His Imperial Majesty Emperor Violoncello VI 
At: Schnitzel.

14 March 1739.

I beg leave to report a victory over the Rebel Army and their Ally the forces of the Herzogtum von Rechburg yesterday.  Though not as decisive as we might have hoped, I believe our success leaves us in a position - with the assistance of the troops of Altmark-Uberheim - to bring the campaign within a few days to a final and successful conclusion.
Rechburg Infanty occupy Asper Village; Cavalry on either
flank.  Ulrichstein Brigades move up.
Yesterday's was two battles in effect: the early ,\morning attempt by Graf Tympani's Horse to overwhelm the Rebel left flank, ultimately unsuccessful despite his victory over the Uhlans of Rechburg; and the afternoon attack by the insurgents upon our line.  That was seen off with serious losses to the rebel cause.
The Imperialist line.  Moorgham Village anchors the Imperial left,
and Graf Tympani's Cavalry surge forward on the right.
The early dawn saw our army approaching the Paisley River - a stream fordable along its length with only moderate difficulty - and passing through the village of Moorgham.  In the distance to the north, we could see the Rechburg troops approaching.  No sign of the Rebel Army, but owing to the determination of the Rechburg approach, it seemed clear that Marshal Noailles's forces could not be far off.
Baron Glockenspiel's command: Imperial troops on the left flank.
(As it transpired the Rebels began 'off table'.  Each Brigade had to roll for time of arrival, with the ETA being Move 3.  The tariff was:
Roll 1: Celerious Commander Brigade arrives 2 moves early (i.e. Move 1);
Roll 2:  Diligent Commander; Brigade arrives 1 move early;
Roll 3: Arrive on time;
Roll 4: Arrive on time;
Roll 5: Unforeseen delays; Brigade arrives 1 move late;
Roll 6: Dilatory commander; Brigade arrives 2 moves late (i.e. at Move 5).

Well, Barry (Marshal Noailles) rolled 3 dice for the infantry Brigades.  Triple 1.  There are times when you wonder if there is a God or Goddess of Wargames - Bellona perhaps.  If so, she has a wicked and capricious sense of humour.  So all the infantry and the guns (I forgot to do a separate roll for the artillery)  arrived on Move 1.  The Horse must have been acting as a rearguard for the army, for they turned up late at Move 4.)
Looking along the Rebel line.

As the Horse, massed upon our Eastern flank, splashed across the stream, our infantry were finding the crossings progressing rather more slowly.  My plan was before the arrival of the rebel horse, to assail the enemy left if I could, anchoring my own left upon the village of Moorgham.  This place was somewhat protected from the west side by a tract of impassible country penetrated solely by the river gorge.  Although a company of Baden-Durlach garrisoned the west face of the village, no attack developed from this sector during the whole day.  The remainder of the regiment formed a front along the river bank together with a battery.  The jagers protected this front for a space, then regrouped for a transfer to the dense woods a short distance from the far bank.

A general view of the battlefield
Meanwhile, the enemy troops were shaking themselves out into a holding position around the Asper Village and the hills and ridges east therefrom.  The Rebel light infantry penetrated the light woods hard by Asper's west side, whilst the Rechburg Heavy Cavalry (identified as the Klutzenputz Cuirassiers) fetched a sweep around the west side of the timber and menaced our left.
A view of the Rebel line, looking northeastwards.
Observing the lack of enemy cavalry to his front - save the lone Schaggenstein Uhlans - General Graf von Tympani hoped by a quick advance to overwhelm the rebel foot and guns.  In this he got rather ahead of his supports, only a single battery being in a position to offer help.  The enemy practice proved far more effective than anticipated.  Nadasti hussars, already much reduced in earlier actions, fell back early.  Khevenhuller dragoons suffered a similar fate, and the gallant charge by Trautmannsdorf Cuirassiers against the overlarge Rebel battery was broken up by canister and grape.  
The Imperialist Horse ride into Artillery Hell.
Nadasti Hussars have already broken  and are disappearing
out of the picture to the left.  Anhalt-Zerbst are engaging the
Uhlans; Trautmannsdorf are preparing to charge the guns
Possibly over-boldened by all this, plus the timely arrival of the Ulrichstein Horse, the Rechburg Uhlans offered battle to our Anhalt-Zerbst Cuirassiers.   Nothing loth, the Cuirassiers at once charged and flung them back with heavy loss at trivial cost to themselves.  But the fact remained that we had incurred very heavy losses overall to our Horse, with The Hussars, Dragoons and Trautmannsdorf Cuirassiers out of action for the rest of the day.  We could no longer count on any superiority in that arm, and still
faced a considerable deficit in terms of foot and guns.  Nevertheless, I saw no reason to suppose the action had yet been decided.

Far to the rear, the Imperialist infantry are still moving up,
unable to help the cavalry.
Confident that the enemy needed a decisive victory more than we did, we continued to offer battle.  For the remainder of the morning, I drew in the cavalry on the right whilst building up a front of foot and guns.  By this time the Rebel Horse had long since arrived upon the field.  In the circumstances, then, it seemed meetest to leave off our own attack, and invite the enemy to try his luck.  By no means were we to accept the repulse of our cavalry as the arbiter of the action.

(Unfortunately, the Archduke doesn't seem to have conveyed a true impression of just how shatteringly effective the rebel gunnery was. The reason for the paucity of pictures at this point was I was so caught up in trying to force home a telling cavalry attack - with few supports - in the teeth of the galling gunfire of 15 guns (5 models), that I forgot about  getting the camera into action. Three cavalry units reduced by more than half - and Trautmannsdorf Cavalry didn't even make it to the guns.  The temptation would be at once to start fiddling with the rules, but one ought not to be over-hasty in this regard.  It would have been equally tempting to concede the palm - I know many wargamers who would have done - but upon reflection concluded the battle was not yet lost.)

After the cavalry action (in the excitement of rapidly unfolding events,
I simply forget to take pictures).  Suffice to say, Kevenhuller dragoons
were shattered under the accurate and massed gun fire and are disappearing out of the picture,
  Trautmannsdorf  broke themselves upon the rebel guns.
Birkenfeld and Anhalt-Zerbst  Cuirassiers cover their retreat.
A lull settled over the field as we made arrangements to form a line.  The jager won the race for the thick woodland, aided by an earlier incident in which the enemy light foot came under accurate fire from our 2nd Artillery Battery near Moorgham.
So effective was our gunnery that the enemy jager retired hastily into the light woodland whence they had emerged.  But it soon became clear that the guns would be wanted nearer the centre of our line.  They were ordered to cross the bridge and deploy in the defile between the wood and the rising ground to the east of it.

At the same time, Baron Glockenspiel, commanding at the village formed his available troops - Baden-Durlach and Arenburg Infantry into a re-entrant, flanked by the impassible ground on the left and the jagers in the woods on their right.
The enemy were finding it difficult to bring their forces in a position to attack.  Nevertheless, the ball was in his court, and time was not on his side.

(The effect of my rule set is to give the whole thing a rather stately feel - it takes time to do things.  This affects both sides, of course.  There are certain things that make life difficult.  I do not allow guns to fire over the heads of friendly troops.  Such a practice was Not Done - for a given value of 'Not Done', of course.  The other is the problem of passage of lines.  I'd give something to know how it was effected, but I suspect the wargamers' interpenetration has the effect - and the credibility - of Star Trek style teleportation).
Within a few hours, our preparations were complete, and we could face with confidence whatever the enemy might attempt to our discomfiture.

To be continued...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lyndhurst Chronicles: A Plug.

In the Year of Our Lord, 17-something-odd, amid the dissolution of the Council of Peers and the discovery that Great Britain might, after near on a century since the decease of Charles Stuart, after all have a true-born king, copies of this tract was found tacked to the doors of churches, taverns and halls throughout London.  Though the eponymous Duke was not named in the tract, everyone - including His Grace himself - knew who was the subject of its matter.

This, of course, is a plug for Barry Taylor's Lyndhurst Chronicles, a story of an anti-historical Great Britain, an alternate Great Britain, a what-if Great Britain, after a royal interregnum dating from the failure of the Stuart line after a mere two generations.   It is a wargames narrative, of course, but one with a bit of a difference.  Here's the link:  Enjoy.

A London 'Sans-Sabot' (shoeless poor)
posting a scurrilous tract slandering
a well known Duke.
In case readers find the above a strain to read - as I do, here it is again, pasted from the original Word File.

The bad old Duke of Romney is an evil little man;
He has no redeeming features, none at all.
His face is ugly as sin, you need a box to put it in,
And in his boots he stands just sixty inches tall.

He’s the Master of telling lies – he pulls the wings off flies –
His evildoing knows no curb nor bridle
The devil finds work for idle hands, as ev’ryone understands,
But from the Devil’s work the Duke is never idle.

He connives with the smugglers, schemes with the wreckers,
He rides with the Revenue Men as well.
Bringing contraband ashore, he takes the wreckers’ score,
Then with troopers he rides them all down into Hell.

There is no evil he will shrink at; no crime that he will blink at;
His Grace has neither conscience nor scruple:
As his accomplices swing, and dance the Hangman’s Fling,
He boasts that Beelzebub’s his willing and able pupil!

But his evillest crime of all, as seen by great and small,
Was to plot the murder of our true born King.
May his crimes lie unforgiven, his bloated corpse rot unshriven,
For the Duke has never compassed one good thing.

The lowly worm find haven; a repast for the raven;
My His Grace perform Good Works in his decease.
But his soul be sport of Devils, ‘midst diabolic revels.  
May the Duke never ever Rest in Peace.

This posting is also, of course, a bit of a plug for myself.  Every now and then I have posted pieces of verse by way of comment in others' blog spots.  This is usually due to something they have written or pictured that conjures up one of the Muses of verse (I prefer to think it's Calliope, but Erato sometimes chips in;  and Clio, the Muse of History, is always present) there It has occurred to me that they might get a better readership elsewhere - and of course, I want to be recognised as their author.  

But if the recipients of such versifications from myself like them enough to reproduce them as part of a posting, they are welcome to do so.  I would be flattered.

Meanwhile, Barry (Marshal Noailles) and I (Archduke Piccolo) fought last weekend the action that was to decide the fate of the Ulrichstein Rebellion.  The story of that battle will follow as soon as I collate the pictures and other data.  A day or so.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Battle of Zerbst - 1. The Gathering Storm

The Rechburg column leads the Rebel army, marching
south to meet the Imperialists
Having made his arrangements whilst in Zerbst, and at least for the time being settled the matter of summary executions without due process, Marshal Antoine Noailles gathered his army, and marched south.  In this he had had to take a considerable gamble.  His entire army was with him: not a single soldier had he left to watch the recently defeated Electoral column on the road to the east of Zerbst.  It was just as well, he reflected, that the Council of Burghers hadn't known this, or his visit to the Rathaus might not have gone so well.  As it was, he cursed the delay that has forced his overnight stay in the town.

For one thing, it meant more time for the Archduke Piccolo to join his colleague, Baron Glockenspiel.  It was known that the Imperial Army approaching would then be formidable, far more than a match for the Rechburg column that stood between it and the vital town of Zerbst.  It meant a delay in the battle.  It furthermore meant that to have any real chance of bringing the revolt to a satisfactory conclusion, Noailles had to bring as much force to bear as he could scrape together.   And that meant leaving the road open to the east.  Could he defeat the Imperialists, and lost the town meanwhile to the Electoral column, he would have sufficient strength, he hoped, to retake the place, and then be in a position strong enough to bring Bishop ter Plonck and the Emperor to the negotiating table.

So ran the thoughts of the Marshal as, after accompanying his army for a couple of days,  he rode on ahead  to join his Ally, Count Raunchfester.  The news he received was not good: the Imperialist columns had indeed linked up just the previous evening, and were on the way north.  Approaching the village Asper, Noailles and Rauchfester surveyed what they could see of the Imperialists. 

The sight was not encouraging.  Hoping to hold the line of the Unsaunter Stream, they could see that the Imperialist cavalry were already across it, or would very soon be.  The splendidly disciplined Imperialist infantry swarmed over the Paisley Ridge and through Moorgham Village close by the stream.   The Archduke was not known for dilatoriness!
Imperialist Infantry crowning the Paisley Ridge.
Midway between the flags rides the young but formidable
Archduke Piccolo, in command.

As his allies marched forward to occupy the Asper Village and form a defence line, Noailles sent back to hurry forward his own men.  Time was of the essence.  There could be no delay.  If the Rebellion was to have any chance of success, now was the time to defeat the Imperialists.

Orders of Battle:
Allies: Marshal Antoine Noailles
Volunteer Army of Ulrichstein:
1st Brigade: 1st/8th, 2nd, 11th Battalions e@ 17 figures
2nd Brigade : 3rd, 4th, 9th Battalions e@ 17 figures
3rd Brigade: 5th, 6th Battalions (e@ 19 figs; 10th Bn @ 17.
Unbrigaded: 7th Jager Battalion @ 17 figs
Artillery: 1 Coy: 6 men, 2 guns; 2 Coy: 8 men, 2 guns
Cavalry Brigade:  1st Cavalry @ 12 figs; 2nd Cav. @ 13 figs; 3rd Hussars @ 14 figs
Totals: 227 figures, 4 guns (174 Foot, 39 Horse, 14 Gunners)

Rechburg Column: General Count von Raunchfester
Ewige-Blumenkraft Infantry @ 33 figs
Gimmeitor-Oels Infantry@ 30 figs
Klutzenputz Cuirassiers @ 12 figs
Schaggenstein Uhlans @ 13 figs
Artillery: 8 gunners, 2 guns.
Totals: 96 figures, 2 guns (63 Foot, 25 Horse, 8 gunners)

Grand Total, Allied Army: 323 figures, 6 guns (237 Foot, 64 Horse, 22 gunners)

Imperial Army: Marshal-General Archduke Piccolo
Hilberghausen Infantry @ 28 figs
Arenburg Infantry @ 31 figs
Alt-Colloredo Infantry @ 31 figs
Baden-Durlach Infantry @ 36 figs
Palffy (Magyarian) Infantry @ 36 figs
1st Feldjagerkorps @ 19 figs
Trautmannsdorf Cuirassiers @ 16 figs
Berkenfeld Cuirassiers @ 19 figs
Anhalt-Zerbst Cuirassiers @ 19 figs
Khevenhuller Dragoons @ 15 figs
Sqn Nadasti Hussars @ 10 figures
Artillery: 2 coys e@ 2 guns and 10 gunners

Total by Imperial Army: 280 figures, 4 guns (181 Foot, 79 Horse, 20 gunners)

The Imperialist Army looks heavily outmatched, except in the Cavalry arm, but what Marshal Noailles has to bear in mind, is that although his army has seen action and will have improved its performance, it is still not up to the class of the Imperialists nor the regulars from Rechburg.  For all that, once the rebels arrive, the Archduke will realise that his available strength will by no means be too much to overcome the superior numbers arrayed against him.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A slight diversion...

I recently discovered on line a series of 'Comic' artworks by one J. Scott Campbell.  One of his specialities involves adult reinterpretations of Disney heroines.  Raunchy, but not altogether rude, and certainly the execution is extremely colourful and attractive.

At any rate, one of his examples - I won't reproduce it here; you can gave fun looking - led me to two things:
[a] having a crack at such drawing myself - with the monochromatic result you see infra; and
[b] to wonder if there would be much interest  in this sort of thing on this blog spot.

Not that I'll be doing all that much of it anyhow - I'm never quite sure about its OK-ness.   But I do seem to recall that a certain ... erm ... courtesan, the Countess Eustacia von Honigfalle, was supposed to be making an appearance in the occasional chronicles of the Age of Unreason...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ulrichstein Campaign: Allerednic

The Rathaus Chamber was in an uproar as the Marshal Francois Noailles, together with his small escort of six troopers, clumped through the unguarded doors.  The Marshal recognised at once Reverend Warisburg giving voice from the podium.  Presumably it was his turn to speak, but he was not having it all his own way. Every sentence, every phrase, was greeted in divers parts of the Chamber with cheers, cries of 'Hear him, hear him!' and more than the occasional 'No-o-o-o!'

'Now is the time!' foamed the Reverend, stock askew and hair dishevelled in his passion, ' Now is the time for the idolaters, the ungodly, the unchosen of God to be expunged from this new-found Republic!  Let them answer for their treacheries, let them be judged for their betrayals, let them be sentenced for their iniquities, and, sirs, let that sentence be ... death!  Let us not lick up the vomit of tolerance, let not the Amalekites live; smite them as Jehovah commanded Saul! Execute the men, banish their families, destroy or confiscate their estates for the Cause.  Destroy them all, say I!'

The debate at the Zerbst Rathaus
'...And you, sirrah!' as the speaker, made aware of the clumping of cavalry boots upon the floor of the Chamber and the sudden hush that followed, observed the Marshal. 'What hast thou to say, sir Marshal, to charges of treason?  Treason, sir!  I so charge thee in the name of the Republic and this Chamber.  I say treason, for surely treason it was to allow escape the godless minions of Belial when thou hadst them in the hollow of thine hand.   Thou hadst but to stretch forth thine arm, and they were ours!'

'Godless minions, sayest thou,' quoth the Marshal, his lip curling with the revulsion he felt. 'Methought the army we had just defeated were fellow followers of Luther and Calvin.  But no doubt thou knowest best.  But I beg leave to wonder how it is thou know'st ought of whether the Army of Altmark-Uberheim was even within reach of our arm.  Was not the Reverend Warisburg seen at the crisis of the day, slinking furtively from the field of battle?'  The insult was calculated and deliberate.  The Marshal now knew who was at least one of the perpetrators of the crime without.  The others would soon be known.  Vengeance would be swift.
The debating Chamber, where Marshal Noailles
has his encounter with Reverend Warisburg.

'Thou shalt not interrupt me sirrah!' bellowed the Reverend, ruddy with rage, 'Thou shalt be brought before the justices to be appointed by this Chamber - '

'No doubt you will be one of the panel,' murmured the Marshal, not so sotto voce that those within a few feet of him couldn't hear.

'- to answer to charges of treason, peculation,  trafficking with the enemy.  The prisoners taken at the late battle will be brought before the Council to be executed -'

'I will do no such thing!'  The Marshal's voice had been well honed to cut through Northern sea gales as well as the thunder of battle.  As a well travelled sea-going merchant as well as a seasoned soldier, his roar cut through the Reverend's tirade like an axe.

'Sirs!  Burghers of Zerbst!  I saw outside something I thought never to see in this Republic.  A gibbet in the street, with dependant corpses.  Executed for no crime - no crime I say!,' Reverend Warisburg made to speak and was silenced.  'Were there a crime, the charges would have been laid, witnesses sought for the prosecution and defence of the accused, a trial convened with judges, counsel, and a jury of the defendant's peers.  Even the laws of our enemy, His Excellency Cornelius, demanded as much of  jurisprudence.'

'Seven days ago, those people - some my friends and colleagues, sirs - were guiltless of any crime against this republic.  No one had a word to say to their discredit.  That at least some were of the Catholic faith was neither here nor there - indeed , against considerable provocation by some zealots, harboured no ill-will towards the revolution we are endeavouring to achieve.  All were doing as asked to finance our war effort.  Their quarrel, as ours is, was against Bishop Cornelius's attempt to profit from our suffering in the recent famine.   They deserved no such end as they suffered.'

'They were traitors and idolaters!' shrieked Warisburg, 'Out of their own mouths were they condemned!  '

'Out of their own mouths?' rejoined the Marshal, 'Now, why would any of them have made any such confession, and it were not true?  Couldst answer me that, Your Reverence?'

The Committee of Public Sanctity conducts its 'treason trials'
at Zerbst
Warisburg made to answer but Noailles overrode him. 'I daresay they had their reasons, compelling reasons, urgent reasons.  I dare equally say that witnesses were brought forth to offer testimony against the accused.  Incriminating documents no doubt came to light, overheard conversations, stories of diabolical practices, secret murders,  foul deeds -  one has to admire the zeal with which such a compendious volume of evidence was processed, examined, their evidential value assessed in a mere few days... My, my, someone has been working with excessive diligence, that the accused were to be found hanging in the square with such dispatch!'  That the Marshal's charges were mere conjecture didn't stop him.  He know how these things went.  His Huguenot ancestors did not stint in the telling of their stories of persecution in the heretofore. 

'The Committee of Public Sanctity was authorised and charged with the responsibility to act, and act decisively!'  quoth the Reverend.  Noailles noticed that he was starting to look around the Chamber in mute appeal for support.  But the hush in the Chamber was complete, as the Burghers, testing the wind, found it was blowing against Warisburg, and like to carry him off.  No one seemed inclined to intervene in his behalf.  The Marshal had rather hoped he could discover Warisburg's accomplices by their speaking up.  Never mind.  He wasn't finished yet.

'So the accused are condemned, and executed,' dropping his tone, he continued into the silent chamber.  'Now, what of their properties?  Their goods, their livestock, their wealth, h'mmm?  Did I hear mention as I entered this sacred Chamber, mention of their wholesale confiscation or  destruction?  What was the fate of their families?  Were the wills of the deceased read?  Let me be enquire, gentlemen: under what laws were these trials and executions carried out? '
Pile of Shame.  Nothing at all to do with the narrative.
Work in progress for the Ulrichstein Campaign. 

'They were carried out with due process of martial law!' Wariston said flatly, 'Their wills were declared void, their estates confiscated and their families expelled from the Republic.'

'By whom and by what authority was martial law declared?' demanded the Marshal, 'I was neither consulted nor indeed informed.  Martial law is as a rule administered and policed by the military, which, I perhaps too credulously believed, I commanded.  I repeat: under what authority were these executions, confiscations and banishments enacted?  Under what law?'

A figure hidden some rows behind Warisburg spoke up. 'The exiguous situation demanded action!' Ah! The Marshal hid a satisfied grin.  Dear old Waldo Scheisterbeck. Sheisterbeck et Sons, Merchants. He must be getting on in years, but still good for a bit of double-dealing, fraud and lifting of unregarded trifles like other people's wealth.  It could not have fallen out better.   There was his leverage.  He could now go after Warisburg, and the others could wait.  They wouldn't have to wait long.  A week maybe.

'What happened to the confiscated estates?  Who administers them?  How are they to be disposed of?'

'A special Committee was set up by the Council, all according to procedure.' averred the merchant, defiantly, 'The Committee of Public Sanctity.  It was all legal and above board...'

'So it carried out its functions under no law,' the Marshal was as implacable as stone, and when a clamour arose in response, 'To contradict me is to contradict the facts: these banishments were criminal; the confiscation of estates, theft; the executions,  murders.  All disguised, I'll wager, under a thin veneer of hearsay evidence, extorted confessions, forged documents and bogus affidavits.'

More pile of shame.  Recruiting Heavy Horse for the
Herzogtum von Rechburg, a small realm that lies on the
western border of Ulrichstein.
'I will not have it!'  The Marshal's voice thundered across the room. 'No, sirs, I will not!  Shall it be said that the Church of the Republic takes no delight in unbloody sacrifices?   It shall not!  Nor shall it be said that Bishop Log was superseded by Reverend Stork.  I will not have it that merchants profit by fraud, murder and theft under the protection of soldiers fighting for better and nobler causes!  Sirs!  This ends now!'

'Hypocrite! You would set yourself up as dictator?'  Warisburg was game enough, thought the Marshal.  But he was disinclined to admire his pluck.

'I did not accept command of the Army of the Republic to seat in power a buzzing of zealots, nor a conniving of merchants, much less myself,' returned the Marshal.  Let the Burghers of Zerbst remain for the nonce an interim Council of Governance, to maintain existing laws and ordinances, and to draw up a Covenant or constitution of rights and responsibilities for all the people of the Republic!

'See you,' he went on, 'The Revolution is not yet over; the War is yet to be won.  It ill behoves us to presume upon events as yonder Reverend is wont to do, along with his friends.  There is a battle to fight, we need all the resources we can call upon.  Speaking of which brings me to this: I charge the Reverend Warisburg with treason, murder and theft.'
The pile of shame deepens.  Imperial Cavalry:
Birkenfeld and Anhalt-Zerbst Cuirassiers,
and Kalnoky Hussars.

'I deny all charges!' the Reverend's voice rose to a shriek, 'I appeal to this chamber!  Count Schimmelfardt, Lord Schlurrp - surely as fellow Committee members you will vouch for me?  Herr Radishoven, Boncke, Strudel - friends!  Wouldst bear witness in my behalf?'  Silence greeted these appeals.  Everywhere he looked, Warisburg saw nothing but the cold eyes of denial.  Too late, he realised that by naming names he had left himself without a single friend in the room.  Within the day he would have none left in the city.

'I ask for no trial,' after a space, the Marshal resumed speaking, in a tone quieter than formerly.  'The man stands before this Council - the highest Court in this land - condemned out of his own mouth.  A guilty verdict must be inevitable,' the Marshal paused to let that sink in.  When the few tentative dissenting voices died away, he continued.  'I ask two things.  That whatever sentence is passed upon his Reverence, he be placed in my charge.  I am reminded that after the late battle, First Brigade is badly in need of replacements for the good men lost.'

'A man of the cloth may not wield blade, spear nor firearm, ' wailed the abandoned Warisburg.

'So the man of the cloth instead wields the thumbscrew, the rack, and the gibbet,' sneered the Marshal.  'Perhaps His Reverence is not aware that in my youth I, too, was destined for the Church.  You will not sway me or anyone else by any such specious argument.  You claim a zeal for the Church: what better employment could that zeal ask but to wield a sword in its cause?'

The quondam Reverend Warisburg being
escorted to the recruiting office at Corneliusstrasse
'Sirs, the Imperial Army lies but a few miles to the south of this place, with the Herzog's wisp of an army between.  I go now to meet this enemy with, let me tell you, no guarantee as to the outcome.  Deal justly.   The Committee of Public Sanctity might well continue its function with newly elected or appointed members, its first task to investigate those named just now by his Reverence, and the former Committee members.  Redress for the wrongful harm to citizens of this country must be sought, gentlemen!  For myself, I shall march forthwith to join General Raunchfester  and face the enemy.  Come along, Your Reverence...'

'Take this person,' he said to the senior officer of his escort upon leaving the Chamber, whence he could hear the uproar of unruly debate begin anew, 'to Corneliusstrasse, and the recruiting office there.  This recruit is to begin training at once...'

What awaits Rev Warisburg at Corneliusstrasse.
As they left, the Marshal contemplated the fate of one who sought to raise himself from genteel but obscure poverty to fame and fortune, only to lose it all and end far worse off than he began.  Not the story of Cinderella, dear me, no.  Quite the reverse.  Allerednic.