Correspondence of the Siege - Part III

Czestochowa, 1655 

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Based on material from Twierdza Jasna Gora (Jasna Gora Fortress) by Ryszard Henryk Bochenek, Bellona Publisher, 1997 (Translated by Rick Orli, (c) 2002) 

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fortressview.jpg (223653 bytes) Jasna Gora Fortress

1 Dec 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

30 November - 1 December saw heated negotiations, which cumulated in the imprisonment of our envoys by the Swedes. The cease-fire was terminated.  As commander of the Fortress of Jasna Gora I received a letter from General A. Wittenberg.   He wrote that per the 21 October surrender in Krakow, the defense of the Jasna Gora fort is regarded as a revolt against the lawful ruler. For this act the commander and garrison risk the harshest punishment.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

pharness.jpg (43723 bytes)

3 December 1655                                                (fictional letter adapted from the Deluge)

To: Panna Marianna Zbrozka, Warsaw  

From Jan Zbrozki, Colonel of Pancerni Cavalry in the service of His Royal Majesty  Charles, King of Sweden and Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania

My Dear Wife Marianna

A few nights ago the fortress made a sally against the siege lines, and caught the sentries with their pants down.  This is very significant, so I will tell the story in some detail, so that you can understand the situation here exactly.  I was patrolling to the east in the predawn hours, almost a mile and – I am sure you will be glad to hear – safely away.  I immediately galloped to the scene, but could hardly make progress for the throngs of panicked Germans and Czechs running aimlessly about.   The sally force retreated to the fort with no effective resistance either coming or going, but the soldiers on our side of the lines were in quite a state for some time. Once some men even acted as if I and the 5 men with me were an attacking army - but they seemed more ready to surrender than to shoot.

But at last the chaos-laden night came to its merciful end. Silence returned to Jasna Gora and to the Swedish earthworks. Daylight began to whiten the tops of the church spires, the monastery roofs regained the scarlet hues of their bricks and tiles, and light seeped back to the countryside below.

Mueller and his staff rode to the scene of the night's disaster. The old general knew that the monastery gunners would probably catch sight of him and his suite on that exposed bastion and might open fire but he ignored the danger. He had to see the damage for himself and count all his losses with his own eyes. His staff rode behind him, just as heartsick and horrified as he; their faces were as solemn as if they were following a funeral cortege.

They dismounted at the foot of the rear glacis and continued the rest of the way on foot, following more or less the path taken by the raiders. Evidence of the furious fighting lay everywhere around them: among the mute, spiked cannon in their ruined revetments, in the toppled shelters and torn canvas trampled underfoot and, lower down, amid the still lines of silent, empty tents and the stacks of corpses.

The piles of slaughtered men were particularly shocking; half naked, dressed in sodden rags, with blind staring eyes fixed on their own last moment of unutterable terror, they were clearly torn out of a deep sleep and killed before they realized that their sudden nightmare wasn't just a dream. Many of them were barefoot, few clutched a rapier in their lifeless hands, almost none wore helmets or any kind of headgear. Many were piled just inside their tents, having wakened barely enough to scram­ble off their cots and make for the exit; others littered the ground between the tents, killed as they tried to find refuge in the darkness.

There were so many dead piled upon each other in so many places that they resembled the aftermath of some cataclysmic, natural disaster. Some sort of deadly plague came to mind at first sight. But the deep wounds carved into their chests and faces, and the scorched features in which grains of gunpowder, fired at such close range that they didn't have the time to burn away, testified all too clearly that this was the work of human hands, not nature.

Mueller climbed higher. His cannon stood mutely in their embrasures, as useless as dead logs. The body of a cannoneer lay draped over one of them, cut almost in half by a terrible scythe-stroke, and staining the gun carriage and the ground beneath it with a pool of blood which had already started to congeal in that wintry air.

The general said nothing. He noted everything as carefully and as grimly as if he were performing a routine inspection and none of his officers dared to break his silence.

What could they say in any event? How could they offer any consolation to their veteran com­mander who had sustained such a terrible defeat through his own underestimation of his enemy? A novice, fighting his first en­gagement, couldn't have shown greater miscalculation. This was, they knew, not only a defeat but a disgrace as well. Because hadn't the general himself called that defiant third-rate fortress a chicken coop? Didn't he say that he'd crush it in his fingers like a clod of earth? Didn't he have nine thousand regulars under his command while over there, behind those puny walls, crouched a mere two hundred defenders?

And if that wasn't enough to humiliate him and ruin his reputation, wasn't he a soldier, an acknowledged master of his trade, while his opponents were a flock of monks? For Mueller, the new day promised some harsh and difficult hours. Meanwhile an infantry company had arrived and started car­rying out the dead. Four of them bore a corpse on a sheet of canvas and halted before the General without a command.

Mueller glanced down and turned his eyes away. "... De Fossis,"he murmured. Our chief engineer.

The four pikemen had barely moved away when another stretcher party appeared in the near distance. This time Sadovski walked out to meet them and called back: "It's Horn they are carrying!"

The fearless Horn was still alive and he would suffer many days of torment. The peasant who had cut him down reached him with just the tip of his scythe, but the blow opened up his entire chest. Horn was still conscious. Catching sight of Mueller and the staff he smiled and tried to speak but his voice came out in a strangled hiss. Then pink froth bubbled out of his mouth, his red eyelids quivered and he slid into a silent darkness. "Carry him to my tent!" Mueller ordered sharply. "Let my own surgeon look after him at once!" And then the officers heard him murmuring dully to himself: "Horn... Horn... I saw him last night in a dream... Ah, who can understand this? Who can explain such things? 

He fixed his eyes on the ground at his feet and stood deep in thought when suddenly Sadovski's frightened voice pulled him out of his gloomy introspection. "General! General! Look, Your Excellency! There... Over there...! The monastery...!"

Mueller glanced up and then stared astonished. The morning was already bright with the full light of day. The last of the night's shadows were gone and only a few pale streamers of mist drifted above the ground. But the sky overhead was clear, pink with the last glows of sunrise, and promising sunny weather. A white layer of rising fog clung to the walls of Jasna Gora, as it did each morning, but rather than shrouding the entire church as it drifted upward, it seemed to lift it into the sky. Some quirk of nature or an optical illusion made it appear as if the church and its spire weren't merely protruding from the fog but soaring high above the rock and the mist itself, rising higher and higher as if they'd broken free of their foundations, and drifting free under the pinkish sky.

The shouts of nearby soldiers showed that they too had spotted the phenomenon. "That's just the fog that's causing the illusion!" Mueller shouted.

"The fog is under the church, not over it,"Sadovski observed.   "It's an amazing thing," said the Prince of Hesse. "But I'd swear this church is ten times taller than it was yesterday and that it's hanging in the air."

"It's rising! It's going up!” the soldiers were shouting all along t he earthwall. "It's going to vanish...!"

Again, whatever the cause of the illusion, the banks of fog on which the church was seated started to boil upward, shooting straight up into the sky like a column of mysterious smoke, while the gleaming structure perched on its billowing summit seemed to lift and soar right along with it. Up and up it went, sweeping ever higher in its own white cocoon of mist that blazed with reflected sunlight, while at the same time it began to dwindle and dissolve in the wispy haze until, at last, it disappeared from sight.

Mueller's eyes showed amazement and superstitious fear as he turned to his officers. "I must say, gentlemen,"he said. "That I've never seen anything quite like this before. It makes no natural sense. I don't understand it. Unless, of course, we're willing to talk about Papist witchcraft...?"

"I've heard the soldiers asking how are we to bombard this kind of a fortress?" Sadovski said and then went on to ask in his own right: "How indeed? I'm at a loss myself!"   "But what comes next, gentlemen?" the Prince of Hesse cried out. "Does anyone care to risk a wager? Is that church still in that fog up there or isn't it?"

They stood in a wondering and uneasy silence for several minutes longer.   "Even if there is a natural answer for this phenomenon," the Prince said at last. "I don't see it as a good sign for us. Just think gentlemen! In all the time we've been here, we haven't moved a single step forward!"

"Forward?" Sadovski shook his head. "I'd settle for standing still, never mind moving forward! The truth is that we've suffered one setback after another and last night's was the worst. The men are disheartened. They're losing their spirit and they're starting to drag their heels. You can't imagine what they're saying in the regiments. And there are other strange things that've started happening..."

"Such as what?"Mueller snapped.

"For quite some time none of our men have been able to go outside our lines alone or even in twos or threes. Those that do simply disappear. You'd think we had wolves circling Czestochowa. I sent an ensign and three men to Wielun not so long ago, to fetch me some warm clothing, and that's the last I've seen of them."

So you see, my wife, things have turned around quite dramatically here.  The moral of the Swedes, and all the men, is very low, only the arrival of reinforcements and the apparent display of loyality shown by King Kazimer's former Royal Guard regiment have kept the siege on track.  However, there is now quite active partisan action in the area, and our supply lines are much in threat.  There are constant rumors that regimental and larger partisan forces are operating near us, and that forces loyal to the King Kazimer are assembling.  I have heard that the action taken by the Swedes to secure the Royal guard - by crossing over into Silesia - is a violation of terms and grounds for the Hetmans to consider their oath's nullified.  I cannot say more.

You Husband,    Jan

 

PPolCavMarch.jpg (54424 bytes)

3 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

The 2nd and 3rd day of this month brought intensive bombardment of the artillery against the fort from dawn of 2 December to evening 3 December by cannons situated in Redoubt R1 from the north and R1 from the south. The effect of the bombardment was modest.  Local fires in the buildings of the monastery that were ignited by incendiary projectiles were ably extinguished by the defenders.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

PSweadMarch.jpg (56227 bytes)

czestofortw12_7.jpg (217523 bytes) Situation December 7PDemiCartun.jpg (57373 bytes)  (click to enlarge)

             Right, Demi-Culverin (24 pdr - siege gun

            pulled by 20 horses or 80 men) PSwedcannonRoll2.jpg (44692 bytes)

 

 

9 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

There was sporadic exchange of fire during 4-6 December between the artillery of the Swedes and the fort.  Next, General Muller sent a Rotmistrz (captain) of a Pancerni ‘Cossack’ banner by the name of Piotr Sladkowski as an envoy to the fort on December 7, to again encourage our capitulation.  However, once among us, he avowed his support of King Jan II Kazimer and warmly encouraged us defenders to buck up and bear the siege. 

The Swedes then intensified the siege work, and set up a battery in Redoubt R1 aimed toward Bastion BIV Saint Trojcy. They also began a new approach trenchwork P2 toward the north curtain wall, and built there also a new Redoubt, R3.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

czestofortw12_10.jpg (219313 bytes)Situation December 10pdemicartunfire.jpg (43792 bytes)

          Right, 24 pdr from arsenal of Krakow, ready to fire...

 

 

10 Dec.1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

General B. Muller's siege corps was strengthened with 6 heavy siege cannons - two half- Culverin  24prs and four quarter-Culverin 12 pdr from the Krakow arsenal, with 200 foote. (Probably 2 companies of infantry from F. Wolff's regiment under the command of Captain Jana Guldyny.) These also escorted the replacement chief military engineer Oberslejtnant (Lt. Colonel) Fredrick Getkant, who took over the job of directing the siege work against Jasna Gora.  Having received these reinforcements, General Muller’s Siege force now counted 3200  - 1800 cavalry, 1200 foote, 100 dragoons, 100 artillerymen, with 19 Cannon: 2 siege guns 24pdrs, 4 siege guns - 12 pdrs,  9 6 pdrs, and 5 regimental cannon 3-4 pdrs. The ratio of besieged to besiegers at the beginning was about 1:7.5 personnel and 1:0.33 artillery and now it is 1:10.7 and 1:0.63

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

pjghit.jpg (45498 bytes) Hard  HitPdirecthit.jpg (49093 bytes)

                                          CounterBattery Fire

 

 

12 Dec 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

They managed over the night of the 10th to before dawn of the 11th of December to bring the new siege cannons to their firing positions. Supporting the siege attack against the north face of Jasna Gora fort, one half-Culverin 24pdr was positioned in north redoubt R1B (R1-annex), and the 4 quarter-Culverin 12 pdrs were emplaced in redoubt R3. From the southern direction only the one 24 pdr was stationed in the south R1 redoubt.

Then on the 11th of December, The Swedish artillery attacked Bastion BIV Saint Trojcy and the adjoining part of the north curtain wall. From redoubt R1-annex (or shall we say R1B) the Swedish artillery discharged intensive fire all day against Bastion BIV  Saint Trojcy from a distance of about 60 rods (180 M).  The fire was powerful and effective, and on the left face of the bastion a quite large breach was beaten out.  The artillery fire was effective also in breaching the south curtain wall near redoubt R3, firing from 80 rods (240 M).  Near Bastion BIV  Saint Trojcy, the curtain wall was also suffered a breach of substantial dimensions - the parapets were obliterated, according to the blunt entry in my diary.  Also damaged was the stonework of the northern wall of the monastery building, just beyond the curtain wall. Our retaliatory artillery file was also effective, and we surprised the attackers by destroying a cannon - The Swedes lost 1 cannon and 6 Artillerymen (‘puskarzy’or montrossmen), The effect fire of the cannons of 4-6 pdrs had been relatively modest.  The 12 and 24pdrs newly brought into action were dangerous.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

czestofortw12_13.jpg (221033 bytes)

 Left, Situation December 13                   poundem.jpg (53132 bytes)

            Right, Pound 'em! the Swede's quarter-culverins in action

 

13 Dec. 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

The Swedes focus their north artillery bombardment from the batteries in Redoubts R1B (R1-annex) and R3 against Bastion BIII Saint Rocha.  R3 is 80 rods, and R1 is 100 rods distant. 

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

14 Dec. 1655
To Pan Zagloba
My dear and honored friend:

The apparent ineffectiveness of the artillery attack on 12 December against Bastion BIII Saint Rocha forced the Swedes to move to face to a new direction contiguous with trench work P3 and built artillery
battery Redoubts R4 and R4B, located at a distance of 80 Rods (240 M) and 60 Rods (180M) respectively. These new siegeworks were built under the direction of Swedish officers by peasants rounded up from around the monastery. Work zigzagging to redoubt R4 began the night of 12 December, and finished before dawn on the 14th Dec. on R4B which significantly further advanced the northern approaches to the fort.

They emplaced into the newly built redoubt R4-B a powerful demi- culverin 24pdr (IA24). The Swedes opened fire on 14 December with the aim to breach bastion BIII Saint Rocha. The artillery within the fort reacted with immediate counterbattery fire. The counterfire destroyed parts of Redoubt R4-B, and crushed the demi-culverin, killing some of its crew. This forced the Swedes to abandon redoubt R4 and R4-B. The barrel of the demi-culverin was destroyed, and it was hauled away to
the scrap yard once the damage to the carriage was repaired.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

15 Dec, 1655

General Muller

My Lord:

At your command, the conscript salt miners have been collected by the raiding party and have been set to work on the mine today from the north trenchworks, 28 rods from the wall. Initial progress is good, more than one rod on the first 8 hours.  If the rock in our path allows, we shall be under the wall as early as the 21th but more likely a few days later.  Progress will be entirely dependent on the solidity and hardness of the rock we will encounter.

 

Oberslejtnant F. Getkant, Chief Engineer

Pdirecthit.jpg (49093 bytes)

 

18 December 2003

General Muller

My Lord:

The mine is approaching Bastion Saint Trojcy. It has reached one Staje (49.2 M) from the trench work north of the fortress. The work was facilitated by a heavy fog, however, we have also hit solid rock and so our rate of progress is now as little as a half-Rod per day.

The conscripted miners have been cooperative only through the application of violent discipline.  A few chose death over work against the monastery, which they hold in superstitious awe.

Oberslejtnant F. Getkant, Chief Engineer

 

PVeyhardMullerKon.jpg (44306 bytes)

 Vehyard, Muller

 

 

czestofortw201.jpg (214617 bytes) Position Dec 19, showing mine at north east. marked 'chodonik minerski'

19 Dec, 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

The Swedes are attempting to attack us with an underground mine, directed toward Bastion BIV Saint Trojcy.  

They shifted the artillery attack on the north front of the fort.  The object of the mining is certainly to attack with an explosive mine from a tunnel reaching to the base of the wall. The target of the attack is apparently Bastion Saint Trojcy. The digging started on the 15th or 16th Dec.  Mining work is being carried out by professional miners and other mountain folk, rounded up by the reiters and forced to work. The tunnel starts at the end of trench P1, about 25-30 rods (75-90 M) from the north curtain wall. 

At least the defenders on the north face were cheered that the bulk of the Swedish artillery was moved south, from where it fired at the south curtain wall by the gate rampart and along the wall of the monastery’s basilica.  Particularly intensive Swedish bombardment from this direction was delivered from dawn to noon of 17th Dec. The gate and bascule bridge was damaged, and we lost 4 musketeers. 

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

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czbattle.jpg (65737 bytes) Storm

21 December, 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend:

The Swedish attempt at mining Bastion BIV Saint Trojcy was interdicted on 20 December by a sally of the our men. I made the decision to attack already on 18th December. The attack was executed on 20 Dec at 13:00, commanding the sally force was S. Zamojski, who led his force of about 30 men out of the sally port on the right shoulder of Bastion Saint Trojcy. This squad surprised the contingent of miners as they were working on the tunnel, and then proceeded to attack with great ferocity the works adjoining redoubt R1B, and then under cover of artillery fire from the fort returned without loss.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

JasnaGoraOriginalWall.jpeg (16351 bytes) The original 1655 walls, built over in 1680's

 

December 22 1655

My Lord:

It is with great personal danger to myself that I communicate this important and valuable new information to you.

Just when I though there was some hope that this madness would finally come to an end, a certain Rotmistrz Sladkowski came under the guise of being your emissary, instead declared his loyalty to Kazimier.  He loudly begged Father to save Czestochowa, and defend it to the last.  He gave a detailed report of expected reinforcements, told of the siege guns on the way, and told of, as he put it, the horrors of Swedish occupation.

Then again and again during the horror of the bombardment I and others begged Kordecki to return to sanity, and to submit to our gracious Majesty, Charles, who I am sure will forgive his loyal servants. The nobles boast of the success of their sally, but we know it was for naught, just another waste of blood.   Now that the mine is in place, I and a few others plead as much as humanly possible that we must give up this folly at once.

We know that your sappers have broken into an old underground passage that leads directly under the monastery, We all know that your Grace is preparing to strike the final blow, and I still have some hope that this can end without the destruction of us all.  During the weeks of mining the tension rose to unbearable levels, none could sleep as we could hear the faint scrapings of the miners, approaching closer and closer.  My hands and indeed my entire body shook whenever I allowed my mind to dwell on the fate that the mine inevitably foreshadowed.

My Lord, have mercy on us!

Your obedient servant,

‘Szczurecki’

 

 

 

23 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

There is a break in the heavy fighting, as we understand the Swedes are running low on ammunition for the siege artillery, which was delayed in transit from Krakow.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

December 24, 1655                   (fictional letter adapted from the Deluge)

To: Panna Marianna Zbrozka, Warsaw  

From Jan Zbrozki, Colonel of Pancerni Cavalry in the service of His Royal Majesty  Charles, King of Sweden and Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania

My Dear Wife Marianna

I will celebrate Wigilia tonight with little except for the thought of you and our children in my heart.

The situation is looking increasingly in the favor of the defenders of the Fortress.  The nights are always now bitterly cold, and many of the men have insufficient shelter and clothing. The sentries still are unable to maintain fires for warmth, for the fortress will fire accurately at any campfire within 1000 meters. Many suffer from frostbite, and food is scarce and bad.  In contrast, everyone is certain, that the defenders of the monastery are dry, well fed, and comfortable. Moral is very low, grumbling is pervasive.  Many Poles have deserted to the partisans– I hear that the Hetmans may be breaking with the Swedes.   There is a real storm rising over the Commonwealth.

Muller had Rotmistrz Sladkowski hung.

Again the defenders have performed a sally.  I was with General Muller investigating a partisan action, when a Reiter officer galloped up.  ‘General! The miners have all been slaughtered to a man! The infantry shield is shattered and running!’   Muller replied: ‘I’m going mad!’

We saw whole detachments of incomparable Swedish infantry, who had never been defeated anywhere before, now turned into a panicked mob that scattered, disheveled and running in blind terror, and showed how low their morale had fallen and how fragile their discipline had become.  They were abandoning even those redoubts that were far from danger.  We rode up just in time to hear the cheers, songs, and laughter of the sally force, who sauntered into their fortress as if on feast day parade on a sunny December afternoon, to the salute of their own cannon.  Again, they seemed to have suffered no losses.  Soon one of the saluting guns felled two of Muller’s own bodyguard.  Shouts came to pull back, but Muller said nothing.  He sat on the horse as if he were frozen, and after a minute let himself be led out of cannon range as meekly as a lamb.  He refused to see anyone for the rest of the day.

You Husband,    Jan

 

SnoTrudge.jpeg (15485 bytes)

 

                                                                          

    

 

potopline.jpg (200201 bytes)

 

 

25 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

The Swedish ammunition supply has apparently been replenished.  The Swedes on December 24 bombard the north face of the Jasna Gora fortification. Throughout the afternoon the artillery concentrated in redoubts R1, R3, and R4 poured intensive and damaging fire on the north wall of the monastery, thoroughly breaching it. Their Cannons fired chiefly shells /grenades, and incendiary projectiles, including iron balls heated red-hot.  The fire was very heavy.  Large sections of the northern wall of the monastery came down, and the wall is pierced through.  The fire was maintained with such intensity that in the evening the barrel burst on the second and we hope final Swedish demiKartun 24pounder.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 Swedish Camp- Krakow[1].jpg (40280 bytes) Swedish Camp at Krakow

                                             

26 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

I replied to the request for a contribution in my capacity of fortress commander and Prior, in a letter I sent dated 26 December 1655 to General Muller and General J.W. Wrzesowicz. We, in a very diplomatically worded missive, declined to pay.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

P.S. I included some Christmas wafers with the letter.

 

 

envoy.jpg (46766 bytes) A letter is delivered

26 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

Shortly after midnight on Christmas General B. Muller sent a letter to the monastery, dated the 25th of December 1655.  In this letter, they offered to allow us to not surrender the fortress if we should only pay a modest ransom.  They suggested a contribution of forty thousand thalers  from the monastery, and an additional twenty thousand thalers from the nobility.   They threatened also that in the event of our continued resistance, that they would raze the countryside in a 10-mile radius from Jasna Gora.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

-(forty thousand thalers =120,000 zloty… enough to buy a few good hussar horses- sort of in the one million US dollar range in 2002 money)

 

 

Swedish Regimental Gun (about 3.5 pdr

 

SnoTrudge.jpeg (15485 bytes)

 

                                                                          

                                                 

27 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

The morning light of the 27th of December, Saint John day, saw the dust of the retreating columns of the Swedish army.  General Muller abandoned the siege of the Jasna Gora.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

 

PPolCavMarchOVH.jpg (50341 bytes)

 

30 December 1655

To Pan Zagloba

My dear and honored friend,

Our scouts trail the retreating Swedes.  The two damaged 24 pounders are being transported to the Krzepice fortress. The artillery company (8 6 pounders, 4 12 pounders), some Swedish foote regiments with their regimental 4 pounders, and the dragoons retreated to Krakow under the command of lieutenant Colonel F. Getkant.  The company of reiters under Prince Saski marched to Kosciana, for winter quarters lay-up.  The regiment of rieters under General J.W. Wrzesowicz and Colonel Sadowski regrouped at Wielun, where a standing garrison was created from one company of this regiment.  The Reiter regiment of colonel J.K. Beddecker took winter quarters in Kalisza.   The rieter squadron under Colonel H. Engell moved to Poznan, where he rejoined his regiment. The Polish pulk (regiment) of Foote under Colonel Wolff with the regimental cannons and the company of Sandomier furrow infantry moved to Piotrkov, and the Regiments of Polish Quarter Cavalry under Colonel M.S. Kalinski and Colonel Zbrozki are quartered in Warsaw.

With you in Faith,
Augustin Kordecki
Prior of Jasna Gora, and Fortress Commander

 

  Jan Casimir Vasa, 

  King of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth

 

                                                                          

The End....

 

Kordieski.jpg (145180 bytes)The memoirs of  Prior Augustin Kordecki, fortress commander, were published in 1658 as Nova Gigantomacia in Carlo Monte Czestochoviensi in Latin. Prior and Commander in 1655, he was 51 years old. He wrote a faithful synthesis of the battle modeled after traditional battle reports.    Also parts are based on text from The Deluge by Henryk Sienkiewicz, Translated by W. S. Kuniczak, Published by Copernicus Society of America, copyright 1991 W.S. Kuniczak

(The novel - we strongly recommend the Kuniczak translation- is available from major e-bookstores (e.g. Albris), also specialty stores. )

Also, from 'Potop' (The Deluge), a wonderful movie by Jerzy Hoffman, 1976,Pauline Fathers Logo www.poleart.com

 

 

Click below to see the first set of letters covering:

Go To The First Part:

 Siege events up to Nov. 21, 1655

Go To The Second Part:

 Siege events Late November 1655

 

                                                   Right, Prior Kordecki             

 

 

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