The Battle of Fontenoy 1745


From the Letters of Richard Davenport in the 4th troop of Horse Guards
Ath Camp, 15th May, 1745.

'The engagement was on the 11th. We marched from our camp, which was about two miles from the enemy, the Headquarters being at Brissoel, at the break of day, the right wing, viz. the British and Hanoverian troops, through Vezon, which was a village we had taken possession of the night before, and formed in a plain to the left of it.

The enemy's artillery played very briskly for some hours from three batteries whilst the troops were forming and General Campbell had his leg shot off. 

Our cannons also fired very briskly on their batteries, which appeared to be silenced and the troops marched up to their entrenchments in good order and with a seeming appearance of victory. Suddenly the French opened with two fresh batteries, one from a wood to the right and the other from the village of Fontenoy to the left, which played incessantly during the whole engagement and destroyed great numbers, the two batteries being less than a mile from on another.  

The Horse were equally exposed to the cannon with the Foot.'  

'It appears by the returns that the right wing has had 5,842 killed and wounded. The Dutch are supposed to have lost very few' 

'The French did not think fit to pursue us, otherwise I think many more must have been killed. The Horse were not engaged at all.' 

'The Duke was in the hottest of the fire, so was Lord Craufurd. Our Foot Guards have suffered extremely. The French Foot Guards ran away from the first fire as at Dettingen. The Blues behaved admirably.'

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