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Run For Your Lives!
On July 1st 1644 Prince Rupert had entered the city of York. This was a major success for the Royalists as the north of England had sided with Parliament and had been a centre of opposition against Charles 1. York was a major religious city and was very prosperous so whoever controlled it had an advantage over their enemies, when Rupert took control Parliament retreated towards Tadcaster. The royalists with a boosted moral after this victory decided to push on in pursuit of their enemies. On July 2nd they caught a part of the Royalist force by a moor near Long Marston. In this initial battle the royalists came off worse since Rupert had to marshal his army on the moor itself while the Parliamentarian force were on dry land. As well as this Rupert had to wait for his army to regroup since they had chased after the Parliament side at different speeds also Parliament had setup their positions before the battle meaning they were better positioned on roads with generals who could easily pass messages through the ranks while Rupert was left unorganised and confused.
The traditional method of fighting was to have cavalry regiments flank your infantry regiments and the horse regiments would attack the enemy first weakening and confusing them and then have your infantry attack. At Marston Moor, Rupert had the major difficulty of fighting with less infantry men than he would have expected since they had not all arrived. This not only left him badly outnumbered with 18,000 men against 28,000 but he could not make any plans since he didn't have all of his men yet. However despite these major issues Rupert did have one advantage over Parliament and that was that the geography of the moor gave his men a lot of protection, the moor the Royalists were in was covered in hedges and ditches meaning any attack Parliament made was very dangerous. Rupert sent his musketeers to these ditches hoping they would be able to cut down any advance by the enemy side without being attacked themselves (Rupert's left flank was particularly well defended by these ditches and hedges.) The commander of the Royalist force on the left flank was Lord John Byron and he decided to attack the Parliamentarians opposite him who were led by Oliver Cromwell...
This attack failed and it allowed Cromwell to strike back and attack the Royalists left flank but this attack also failed but only because Rupert rushed men over from the right flank to help push back Cromwells advance. The royalists were initially more successful on the right but their commander their Lord George Goring, could not sustain his assault when most of his men were over on the left flank fighting and so he was eventually defeated by a combination of men commanded by Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax. With both sides under attack the foot soldiers in the middle of Rupert's force were in chaos. The Duke of Newcastle arrived with his soldiers late in the day since he had refused to fight earlier because of an ongoing money dispute but when the Royalists started to lose he helped bringing with him a group of "Gentlemen Volunteers only", Newcastle suggested waiting for a force of 3000 lead by Colonel Clavering as well as a group of around 2000 collected Garrisons before resuming the battle but Prince Rupert said he had a letter from the King ordering for the battle to be ended quickly (he never showed this letter to Newcastle.) Newcastles men were defeated within an hour and most Royalist influence in the north was ended.
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