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The Soldiers of Hesse Nassau: Chapter VII – 1810 and 1811

The Soldiers of Hesse Nassau: Chapter VII – 1810 and 1811

The Soldiers of Hesse Nassau: Chapter VII – 1810 and 1811

Translated by Greg Gorsuch

1810 and 1811 – The partisan war against the guerrillas. Feats of arms of the chasseurs à cheval of Nassau.

After the four great battles of 1809 in the peninsula in which the German Division took a glorious part, our allies of the Confederation of the Rhine would for three years be in charge of the occupation of the country and of fighting relentlessly against the bands of Spanish partisans: these, all over the country, therefore waged a bitter war at our posts, upset our communications, attacked our convoys, kidnapped our couriers and mercilessly massacred the small detachments and the isolated that they could surprise. An ungrateful war, and an arduous military task for our allies: they would no longer have this training for great encounters, where we fight under the eyes of an entire army, and where feats of arms do not go unnoticed: it was an obscure heroism that they would have to deploy every day, in continual skirmishes against adversaries who were always fleeting when they could be reached, but always disturbing by their extreme mobility and their skill in finding the most numbers where they wanted to strike an unexpected blow…

Austria was once again defeated. The Emperor wanted to put an end to Spain, and two armies under the orders of Masséna and Soult were in charge in 1810 to drive the English out of Portugal; but the lack of agreement of the two marshals would cause Napoleon’s strategies to fail, and it would be the beginning of the failures which would end for us with the loss of Spain.

While two armies were fighting against the British forces, 70,000 men were charged with the occupation of the provinces and the safety of communications with France: the German Division was one of these latter troops; we have seen above that it had been, on its return from Bayonne, deployed north of Burgos, on the roads of the Ebro, guarding the northern part of Old Castile.

Its stay in this region was not of long duration: new orders soon sent it to Segovia, then to Madrid where it received the mission to occupy the province of La Mancha and the defiles of the Sierra Morena; it was established there as follows:

1st Brigade:

General CHASSÉ

{ Regiment of Nassau:  1,130 men in Infantes. detachment in Talavera.
Dutch regiment:  818 men in Almagro, detachment in Talavera.
2nd Brigade:


{ Baden Regiment:  1,301 men at Consuegra.
Battalion of Frankfurt: 593 men at Manzanares.
3rd Brigade: { Regiment of Hesse:  1,457 men in Toledo.
Cavalry { Westphalian Light Horse Cavalry (3 squadrons), in Guadalajara.
Nassau chasseurs à cheval (1 squadron, 128 men), in Almagro.
Dutch hussars (2 squadrons), in Almagro.
Baden artillery, with a detachment from that of Hesse, at Manzanares.
Grand total:  6,244 men present and 1,136 sick or in hospitals.[1]

General Lorge, governor of the province of La Mancha, replaced General Leval at the head of the division which became ‘2nd Division of the Army of the Center’.

As it is impossible to follow the details of the marches and small operations of our allies of Hesse and Nassau during the period from 1810 to 1812, their history will be simply summarized by the indication of their main engagements against the 27 guerrilla bands which then campaigned in La Mancha.


1810: Fights between Lerma and Burgos, and at Garcillán, escorting couriers to Bayonne, while the German Division was still stationed in Old Castile. The artillery of Darmstadt remained in Segovia from the middle of February to the middle of March; it was then distributed among several posts, when the Hessian regiment, descending in Estremadura, sent detachments to Santa-Cruz-de-Mudela, on the Jabulón and at the Tagus crossing points at Talavera and Almaraz.

In April, fighting near Talavera, during an escort of couriers; and near Rielves, against the band of El Médico which attacked a courier coming from Toledo; in May, engagement against the guerrillas near Azauria; in Cebolla, the 20 Hessians who escorted 1 French orderly officer were surrounded and killed by a band of 200 Spaniards.

The garrison of Manzanares, where there was a Hessian piece of 8, having been menaced by the partisans, the second piece of 8 was sent to Almagro; the artillery of Darmstadt took part a little later in a fight fought in front of Ciudad Real; it then returned to Almagro where General Chassé was stationed with the Nassau regiment.

The guerrillas of Ventura attacked Toledo on 17 June: the city was almost stripped of troops; but the Hessian companies which defended it were fortunately freed by the unexpected arrival of 300 French and Swiss soldiers who had escaped from the prison ships of Cadiz; the Spaniards believed in the approach of a relief column and quickly retreated.

The Hessian regiment numbered only 900 men at the beginning of July; a reinforcement battalion, intended for it, left Darmstadt at the end of March under the orders of Major Kohler in charge of taking command of the regiment in Spain; this battalion, employed during its passage in Biscay as mobile columns led by General Thouvenot against the insurgents, arrived on 23 June in Madrid and joined the regiment in Toledo: the Hessian infantry was thus reinforced by 512 men and 7 officers .

During the summer and autumn months, the battalions of Darmstadt had many affairs, mainly with the band of Camillo: the latter attacked Puebla-de-Montalbán, then Rielves (24 September), then again, Puebla-de -Montalbán; a little later, it was with the guerrillas of Isidro Mir that the Hessians fought in Cebolla and Yepes; finally, the Hessian posts still had several engagements in October and November at the bridge of Puebla-de-Montalbán, in Junela, in Sonreca.

General La Houssaye, Governor of Toledo, organized an expedition to the city of Cuenca in December where he had been informed of Spanish gatherings: he attacked the partisans on 14 December, and, despite the forces opposed by them – more than 3,000 men – he beat them, dispersed them, pursued them, taking away 4 cannons, looting and burning the city of Cuenca and returned to Toledo with the battalion of Hesse and Major Kohler:

“…Mr. von Kohler, major commanding the regiment of Hesse, who was able to distinguish himself by the Prince of Essling at the battle of Wagram and who has never ceased to give proof of intelligence and dedication since he arrived in Spain , stood out particularly in this affair.  His Catholic Majesty instructed me to ask Your Highness to request from the Emperor the decoration of the Legion of Honor for this officer.”[2]

1811: At the beginning of 1811, the regiment of Hesse occupied the following locations:

Headquarters and 2nd company of grenadiers, in Puebla-de-Montalbán.
1st in Toledo
1st battalion, in Talavera.
2nd at Navalmoral and at the Arzobispo and Almaraz bridges.

General La Houssaye having received the order to take a column to the south left on 11 January from Navalmoral with the regiment of Hesse, 2 French battalions, 2 regiments of dragoons and 7 pieces of cannon; he arrives at Mérida, communicated with Marshal Soult’s army, and, towards the end of February, returned via Almaraz to Toledo where the Hessians relieved the Dutch regiment.

The main affair of the regiment was, in April, that of Puebla-de-Montalbán: Major Kohler defended the bridge and the city against the band of Isidro Mir, 8 to 900 men strong and 3 guns; Kohler had only his 2nd Company of grenadiers, part of the 1st Battalion of his regiment and 60 French cavalrymen of the 18th Dragoons: standing energetically against the attackers, he repelled their attacks from six in the morning until two in the evening; the Spaniards do not even manage to force the bridge, defended by Lieutenant Vogel with 50 grenadiers; the partisans, discouraged, withdrew: but Colonel Lafitte, commander in Talavera, warned by Major Kohler, set out in pursuit of them with 3 squadrons of the 18th Dragoons and 150 Hessians led by Major Weber; he reached them on 11 April at three in the morning near Menasalbas after a forced march of twelve leagues, and destroyed them almost completely. The beautiful defense of Montalbán had cost Kohler only one man killed and two wounded.

On 29 July, the Hessians inflicted at Navalmoral de Pusa a bloody defeat on the El Médico guerrillas. The regiment left for Cordoba on 23 November.

At the end of December, Lieutenant Engelhard, sent with 120 Hessian soldiers to Ciudad-Rodrigo, was attacked in Miguelturra by the 600 men of the Chaleco band; besieged in the village and cannonaded by the 3 artillery pieces of the partisans, he defended there three whole days at the end of which he was delivered by the chasseurs à cheval from Nassau, followed by a detachment of Dutch infantry; this officer received the cross of the Legion of Honor as a reward for this glorious feat of arms.

During the year 1811, the personnel of the Hessian artillery were distributed in Toledo, Manzanares and Consuegra; assembled on 1 February 1812 in Seville with the ‘Crown Prince’ Regiment, it went with them to Badajoz: we will see a little further on the important part taken by the Hessian contingent in the defense of this place.


1810: Like their comrades of the regiment of Hesse, the soldiers of Nassau are also continually involved in the partisan war which bloodied all the province of La Mancha; security had completely disappeared from the country and attacks against the isolated were increasing every day; no soldier, in the morning, could flatter himself that he would surely reach the evening without having been struck by the bullet of a guerrilla or the knife of an assassin.

“Captain Fustenwarter, of Nassau, riding his horse outside the walls of Villa-Nueva-de-los-Infantes, a town occupied by 1,000 infantry, 300 horses, and where an armed picket was on the market square, was assaulted by a Spaniard who took the reins of his horse with one hand and stabbed him with the other: the officer having jumped to the ground to dodge the blow, the Spaniard immediately mounted the horse and fled when the captain rushed forward …”[3]

After two small fights in Puerto-Lápice (April-May), Colonel von Kruse at the head of 100 infantry and 40 chasseurs à cheval from Nassau directed a bold operation against the bands of Francisco Abad and Baños, and defeated them completely at Infantes (4 July):

“…140 dead well counted who remained on the ground, without counting an infinity of wounded, were the result of this affair which greatly honors M. von Kruse, as well as MM. von Normann and Rettberg commanding the chasseurs of Nassau.”[4]













The band of Francisquetto, made up of 300 infantry and 300 cavalry with a few small guns, was met at Soquéllamos on 7 September by Colonel von Kruse who was pursuing it with his regiment:

“The guerrillas were almost entirely destroyed:  160 killed, 2 cannons, a lot of ammunition and baggage were the trophies of this brilliant engagement.”[5]

The Emperor learned of this feat of arms, which earned Colonel von Kruse the Cross of Officer of the Legion of Honor.

Regarding this affair, Bernays reports that laconism was very much in fashion in the army since Napoleon had said to Krasinski, in front of Somosierra:  “You will take these guns for me!” Everyone prided himself on imitating the master: when Colonel von Kruse was tasked by General Lorge with dispersing Francisquetto’s guerrillas, he simply said to his officers: “I will go to look for Francisquetto, I will beat him and I will take his guns.”  He did indeed reach it, as we have just seen, and his report read as follows:  “I have just found Francisquetto, I beat him and I took his guns.[6]

Napoleon wanted to show the princes of Nassau the gratitude of France for the services their contingent rendered him in Spain:  an Imperial decree of 19 July 1810 authorized the seriously wounded officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the 2nd Regiment of Nassau to combine with the pension provided by the government of Nassau an annual gratuity paid by France:  this gratuity, of 500 francs for officers and 75 francs for non-commissioned officers and soldiers, was awarded in 1810 to 2 officers and 28 men of the regiment.[7]

Colonel von Kruse, in a report dated the end of December 1810, proudly mentions “that not a single soldier in his regiment was taken with arms in hand by the enemies during the year, despite the daily battles sustained in the many expeditions in which he had participated.”

In the course of 1810, the contingent of Nassau was reinforced by 330 men for the 2nd Infantry Regiment, and 31 cavaliers on foot intended for the squadron of chasseurs à cheval. This detachment, which left Wiesbaden on 13 December 1809, had passed through Metz, Châlons, Versailles; arrived on 4 January 1810 in the latter city, it did not leave again until the following 9 February, crossed Orleans, crossed the Pyrenees, arrived on 25 May in Madrid and on 1 June in Toledo.

1811: In 1811, the regiment of Nassau was employed first in the province of La Mancha against the ever-growing bands of the Spanish partisans.

Battle of Peñas de San Pedro (30 January). A mobile column leaving from Infantes arrived by Bonillo and Albacete in front of Peñas where the 1st Company of Grenadiers of Nassau (Captain Umbusch) engaged with a strong guerrilla; the regular garrison was driven back into the citadel by the 1st Company of Voltigeurs, after the city gate had been forced by the sappers of Nassau, and the grenadiers had driven the partisans of the guerrilla out of the walls: a summons to the commander Spanish of the citadel remained without effect: but, the companies of Nassau not having with them the large artillery essential to reduce the work, abandoned the city the following day:  this fight cost them 1 killed and 13 wounded.

Surprise at Infantes (6 March). During an expedition of Colonel von Kruse on Albacete, the town of Infantes was only occupied by 200 men from Nassau under the orders of Captain von Berninger. The latter was attacked on 6 March at daybreak by 400 infantry and 200 Spanish cavalry from Alcaraz, who jostled a French post of the 23rd Regiment in charge of reinforcing the garrison, and entered the city; but 10 shoemaker soldiers from Nassau working in a large house on the main street opened fire against the invaders: the latter, surprised by this discharge, stopped for a moment, thus giving Captain von Berninger time to reunite his soldiers and despite a wound he received from pushing back the Spaniards with a sharp bayonet attack; the small infantry garrison had 3 killed and several wounded in this affair.

The regiment of Nassau returned at the beginning of June to its posts of Manzanares, Almagro and Ciudad-Real; it then dispatched a certain number of officers to Germany to supervise reinforcement detachments.

“Captain Jäger, pay master, arrived at Villarrubio, sent to ask Colonel Fritch (from Frankfurt) for an escort to reach Manzanares, the region being infested with guerrillas. The carrier of his dispatch, instead of arriving in the night, did not arrive until nine in the morning, claiming to have lost his way: Fritch smelled a betrayal, took 90 men and ran to meet Jäger, whom he had lost; finding himself engaged since nine o’clock in the morning in a fight with the horsemen of the guerrillas. Jäger had with him only 50 men from Nassau, 12 voltigeurs from Frankfurt and 15 French dragoons of the 13th Regiment: he had formed a square and was defending himself as best he could… Fritch, who encountered on his route 30 Polish lancers and brought them with him, launched them at the enemy who lost 9 killed and 16 wounded: Jäger, thus freed, could happily arrive to Manzanares.”[8]

The soldiers of Nassau fought in July at Lezuza (we will see the details of this brilliant affair a little later) and pass shortly after under the orders of General Trelliard who took at that time the command of the Division of the Confederation of the Rhine and the functions of governor of Toledo, replacing General Lorge, who was obliged by his health to take rest. A situation of the month of August reported 1,148 men, present under arms with the 2nd Infantry Regiment of Nassau, and 127 cavalry with the squadron of the chasseurs à cheval; these two corps, reunited in Infantes, then counted in the 1st Brigade, at the head of which was the brave Dutch General Chassé, the future defender of Antwerp in 1832, whom the whole army of Spain knew under the legendary name of ‘General Bayonet’.

Six August was marked for the contingent of Nassau by a lamentable event: Colonel von Kruse with 360 men of his regiment, 90 chasseurs à cheval from Nassau and 2 pieces of artillery from Baden received the mission of escorting a convoy of 400 carts of peasants and 100 mules loaded with provisions: leaving Infantes, it went to San-Clemente via Bonillo and Villarrobledo.  Informed that a strong guerrilla was to attack his detachment, the Colonel retired and left Villarrobledo on 6 August; the mounted chasseurs and an infantry platoon with Captain Furstenwarter led the long column of wagons which stretched for a league, the rest of the infantry following behind the convoy. After two hours of march, the vanguard collided with the Spaniards:  they were the two united guerrillas of El Marquesito and Chaleco, with a effective force of 1,000 infantry and 600 cavalry: in front of forces so superior to his disposal, Kruse decided to form the park; but the Spanish cavalry having withdrawn, the march was resumed; when the convoy was fully deployed, the long line of its carts was assaulted at several points by the infantry of the guerrillas, while the enemy cavalry, having returned to combat, suddenly threw themselves on the escort: it was with great difficulty that Colonel von Kruse scarcely had time to form his infantry in a square; he continued to march in this formation, closely pressed by the Spanish partisans whose lances struck the soldiers placed in the third row of the square…  The sick carried on carts were all massacred by the guerrillas – except the grenadier Peter Müller who forced his driver to follow the square, killed a Spanish rider and ended up falling pierced with 14 wounds. He was raised, he was saved: he recovered and received the silver medal from Nassau. This unfortunate affair cost the chasseurs à cheval the Lieutenant von Eschwege and 9 horsemen killed, the lieutenants von Rettberg and Reichenau and 25 wounded chasseurs; the infantry numbered 38 men hors de combat: 12 killed and 26 wounded among which was Captain Pahl.








GENERAL CHASSÉ, Commander of the 1st Brigade of the German Division, (4th Division of the 1st Corps). — Spain, 1811.


It was not the last engagement of the year for the Nassau regiment; it still had various meetings with the guerrillas, in October at Santa-Cruz, in November at Villa-Neuva-de-la-Fuente and at Villa-Neuva-de-los-Infantes.

Lieutenant von Trapp, charged on 15 October with 27 men from Nassau and a small detachment of the French 13th Dragoon Regiment to escort a courier, was attacked near Santa-Cruz-de-Mudela, in the Sierra Morena, by 600 partisans enemies; the dragoons could have emerged, but did not want to abandon the German infantry; after having exhausted all his cartridges the Lieutenant von Trapp was taken prisoner with his small troop in which 2 men had been killed almost all the other wounded.

On 2 November, Colonel von Kruse, gathering supplies at the head of a column of 300 men from his regiment and 80 horsemen from Nassau, had just left Albaladejo and was marching on Villa-Nueva-de-la-Fuente when he learned from one of his reconnaissance of the presence near this last village of a guerrilla group made up of a strong battalion of infantry and a squadron: he immediately moved against the partisans; while he attacked them in front with two companies whose fire immobilized them, he flanked them with two other companies which fell with bayonets on the Spaniards; the latter did not wait to be approached and fled, leaving 80 dead on the ground. The numerous wounds received both by the riders and by the horses of the chasseurs à cheval Nassau in the recent combat of Lezuza did not allow them to push the pursuit to the fullest: they nevertheless brought back 229 prisoners including 6 officers. This happy fight cost Colonel von Kruse only 6 wounded, among which was Lieutenant Colonel von Goedecke, successor to the regiment of Lieutenant Colonel Méder: the latter had just been promoted Colonel of the Nassau 1st Regiment then employed in the Army of Catalonia:  we will find this brilliant officer later, whose loyalty dominated the events of 1813 and who died gloriously in 1814 in the service of France.







In the Sierra Morena.





An attempt by the guerrillas on Infantes, carried out on 20 November, to deliver the prisoners taken at Villa-Nueva-de-la-Fuente, remained unsuccessful, and the 2nd Regiment of Nassau reached the end of the year 1811 without further new fights, in its posts of Infantes, Solana, Manzanares, Santa-Cruz-de-Mudela and Almagro.


The Nassau chasseurs à cheval squadron, commanded by Major von Reineck, Captain Normann, and Lieutenants Hagen and Eschwege, arrived in Spain in 1808 and played the most brilliant and glorious role there; its history, until 1813, was only a succession of great deeds in which, with the wildest bravery, the most absolute devotion and loyalty were revealed.

This elite troop quickly made a reputation in the midst of our army of veteran troops whose reputation was already made; it quickly became the terror of the Spaniards and was one of our best instruments against the guerrillas of Old Castile and La Mancha.

In the war against the partisans, on grounds usually unfavorable to the action of the cavalry, against adversaries always infinitely superior in number; there was no question of applying the ordinary principles of combat of the troops on horseback: in the interminable defiles of the Sierras, on the bridges, in the mountains, one could not think of deploying in line of battle:  the attack formation was usually the column of road, supported – when it was possible – by a flank attack executed by a dozen cavalrymen … This way of fighting, imposed by the terrain, gave the chasseurs of Nassau marvelous results: there were few engagements where they did not put more than 100 adversaries hors de combat, while suffering themselves only a much lower loss due to the initiative of the shock and to the resolution with which their leaders led them there.  In the long run, however, the squadron ended up being only a handful of men, since it left three-quarters of its strength in Spain; but its attacks were so sharp, and its pursuits so fierce, that in the year 1811 alone it destroyed more than 1,000 men in the guerrillas.

We left the chasseurs from Nassau at Burgos in 1809, under the orders of General Thiébault, governor of Old Castile, who employed them in the service of escorts and communications; the General also used them at this time in various expeditions against the guerrillas: at Celada, four leagues from Burgos, and at Santo-Domingo (January); in these first encounters, the chasseurs established their reputation, which was to grow steadily.

Let us give the floor to General Thiébault to hear him recount one of the brilliant affairs in which he made perfect use of his Nassau horsemen: we were in pursuit of the Villa-Campo band, and Thiébault, followed only by the chasseurs à cheval, had outpaced his infantry by several leagues:

“… A few Spanish horsemen showed themselves at last and, approaching our little troop, came to insult them quite closely. “My general!” – exclaimed Lieutenant Hagen at once, of the chasseurs of Nassau, a true Ajax in figure and daring, – “allow us to go and chastise these brigands there!” But if there were troops that needed to be led by animating them, these chasseurs, the Duke of Nassau’s own Guards, only needed my presence to be restrained and moderated.  It was indeed an elite corps, or, more exactly, a small troop of heroes… No man was ever punished there other than by chasing him away.”

Following these enemy riders, Thiébault came across 800 Spanish horses in fine order:

“Two young Amazons, resplendent with embroidery, pretty as angels and enraged demons, mounted on fine and light horses, came up to us, provoking us in a hundred ways and even firing pistol shots at us. Hagen foamed: “For God, my General,” – he would say, – “let us charge, and there will be many misfortunes if I do not bring back one for you and one for me:  you will choose! … “

The French infantry was two leagues behind; the General took the Major of the Nassau chasseurs aside and says to him:

“Let us leave the follies of Hagen there; you know your soldiers better than I, you are a leader of experience and ability; you sense the position that I am in, and as for myself, and as for the Duke of Nassau:  so, what is your opinion on what is possible? – “My opinion,” – replied the Major, – “since Your Excellency asks me, is that we will beat them.”

It was decisive: the chasseurs, in the situation dismounted, remounted their horses… When the trumpets sounded, we emerged… Charge, success, flight of the Spaniards. I sent an officer from Nassau to give the Major the order to return to Logrono: but Hagen had continued two and a half leagues, killing or wounding 60 men and 30 horses, having himself only 3 wounded which he brought back on a cart. “And that woman you promised me,” I asked him, laughing.  “My horse prevented me from taking her, and I did not have the courage to pull her, even to dismount her: besides, I told her beautiful things, and she will remember me!”[9]

When the squadron left Old Castile and arrived in the province of La Mancha, in 1810, it fought the guerrillas in May in Malagón and La Motta; in July, at Villa-Nueva-de-los-Infantes, with the help of Colonel von Kruse and a detachment of infantry from Nassau, – and at La Calzada where Major von Reineck with 60 chasseurs fell on a band of 300 Spaniards the engagement was prompt and decisive:

“Its result was a great credit to the Major and his brave troop; 60 brigands remained dead on the battlefield, several were wounded; 20 horses fell into our hands, not counting those killed or injured. M. von Reineck had only one chasseur killed.”[10]

From August until the end of the year, the calendar of the chasseurs of Nassau was marked by a host of engagements: in Malagón, in Abenójar, in Agudo, during the month of August; in September, at Soquéllamos (with Kruse’s infantry) and at La Nova; in October, in Picón near Ciudad-Real, again in Malagón; in November in Puertollano, in Argamasilla; finally in December, in Miguelturra and La Calzada; on this last point, a detachment of 80 infantry coming from Almagro, attacked by 500 guerrillas of the Chaleco band, had been defending itself for twelve hours already when Lieutenant Hagen arrived unexpectedly with 60 Nassau chasseurs, fell on the Spaniards, knocked them over and chased them for four hours – as the horsemen of his squadron knew how to do:

40 brigands were killed, several horses fell into our hands, and, besides this success, Baron von Hagen had the satisfaction of freeing 80 soldiers who had sworn to die rather than surrender. I ask for the decoration of the Legion of Honor for M. von Hagen.”[11]

Generals Lorge, Chassé, D’Armagnac, who knew the squadron under their commands, all cited them as an outstanding troop and did not haggle them for praise or rewards.  Bernays, in his incurable Gallophobia, quotes the proposal for the Legion of Honor of which Major von Reineck was the object:[12]

The French general asked, with an eagerness mingled with sincere administration, the cross for Major von Reineck, an officer of unparalleled bravery…”

and he follows this sparkling motif with a reflection which he believes is piquant:

What was it that a German officer would have done and suffered, before a French general made up his mind to speak of him in such terms?”

It was simply necessary that the bravery and devotion of this German officer should have been recognized by the French general, his chief, his judge in such matters; and it is perhaps here the occasion to recall that the French general who had under their orders German troops during the Napoleonic period, knew not only to force their esteem, but also to gain their attachment.

In 1811, the activity of the Nassau squadron did not slow down: it fought in March in Albacete; in April, near Almaden where again Lieutenant Hagen stood out; in June, in Villarrubio, in July, in Los Infantes, la Calzada, Mestanza and Lezuza:  in this last affair, initiated by Colonel von Kruse and Major von Reineck against the guerrillas of Murillo 1,000 infantry and 600 cavalry strong, the Nassau chasseurs found themselves in the presence of 400 Spaniards formed in a square on a rocky ridge; Reineck charged them without waiting for the infantry, breaks through the square, kills 40 enemies, takes 100 prisoners and unfortunately falls struck to death by a bullet while he rallied his chasseurs… This loss was keenly felt throughout the German Division, for he was ‘the father of his men, the protector of peaceful people and the terror of the enemy’.

The Nassau chasseurs had new affairs in Villarrobledo, Abenójar, Agudo, in August; in Soquéllamos and las Novas in September; at Villanueva-de-la-Fuente (with Colonel von Kruse’s infantry) in November; in Ciudad-Real on December 31. These were always the same episodes which were repeated without respite against the tireless guerrillas, and each success was paid for by some precious life:  the number of the brave decreased, – but the value made up for the number and the squadron always fought with the same honor.

[1] Situation on 9 January 1810.

[2] Report from General Belliard to the Prince of Neufchâtel.

[3] Hergenhahn.

[4] Report from General Lorge to Marshal Soult, Manzanares, 10July 1810.

[5] Report from General Lorge to General Belliard, Chief of Staff of the Army of the Center (Costa de Serda, p. 88).

[6] Bernays, p. 173.

[7] Bernays, p. 73.

[8] Bernays, p. 194.

[9] Thiébault, IV, pp. 370-375.

[10] Report of the German adjutant-commander, chief of staff of the Confederation of the Rhine division, to Marshal Soult.  Manzanares, 12 July 1810.

[11] Report from General Belliard to the Minister of War.

[12] Bernays, p. 196