3. The Battle of Rossignol-Tintigny
August 22, 1914
In the early morning hours, the regiment was given the alarm. The morning of the 22nd. broke foggy and dim, as the regiment received orders at 7:30 am to break camp. On order of the Division, the 24th Infantry Brigade with its' attached artillery was to drive up to Affenois and then on to Chaufferkranz by Les Fossés, during which march the II/Field Artillery Regiments 57 was to take Rossignol under fire.
The general situation had suddenly changed on the early morning of the 22nd, in that the High Command had ordered the 4th army, set to the southeast of the Army of the German Crown Prince, which was then engaged in battle with strong French forces along the line Montmedy-Longuyon-Landres and on to the Northeast, and specifically for the VI korps to seize onto the right flank of the (Crown Prince's) attack and cover it. Therefore the Korps order was for the 12 Division to march forward from Leglise to Rossignol.
At about 9:00 in the morning, the veil of fog lifted, and hot burned the August sun, as the detachments marched over to Hamipré, where the II Batt. re-joined the Regiment, in sharp right angles to the south, and together with the Division, marched to Les Fossés.
The Troop order of the 12 Division under the command of Generallt. Chales de Beulieu (right) was as follows:
Main Body, in marching order:
In the van, I.R. 157 marched with their patrols out, which were struck and taken under fire from all sides by French cavalry in the thick, big forest of Neuschateau. The vanguard troop, the I/157, was immediately involved in a desperate infantry battle. At 9:10 am, the II/157 and the 2/Pionier Regt. 6 were sent into the fight to try to help. The leading left flank of the attack was covered by the 2nd Uhlans, on foot. Without artillery support, which was not possible in the thick forest, J.R. 157 stayed in place, except for the III/batt. and the M.G.K., which were likewise now sent into action, marching forwards.
9:55 am saw the entry into the battle of the bulk of J.R. 63 as they came from the line of march, ordered to go over through the forest from Chiny to Termes, breaking out to the west. They were to protect the flank from enemy positions in Rossignol village should the Division break out from the forest.On the report before marching out of a new enemy force at Sury, received the 24th Inf. Brig. (without II/J.R.23) the order to march against this southwesterly enemy, taking up a ready position by Les Fossés and covering the right flank of the 12th division from here to Rossignol. About 12 noon, the ordered ready position was taken up.
The food was being given out. Then suddenly, Cannon fire! First from the direction of Rossignol, then very soon from the northwest, from Neufchâteau, then on the entire front. No skirmish any longer: a great battle had begun!
The I/J.R. 63 was ahead, still fighting to reach the forest edge north of Termes, when it was recognized that there were strong enemy columns on the march into Termes and Rossignol. The III and II Batl. of J.R. 63 were sent forward. On the edge of the village, and on the northeasterly heights, a fire fight began, soon with increasing vehemence. In this time, the forest battle on either side of the Les Fossés-Rossignol road, with the J.R. 157 and sections of J.R. 63, also increased in vehemence. Rich in number were the lost. The units were actually coming through one another.
The exit of the woods must under all circumstances be forced! Therefore, at 1:10, the 24th brigade received the order, that J.R. 62 should be sent in. At the same time, an order arrived for the J.R. 23 from Brigade; body stays on the march right ahead to Rossignol. J.R. 23 and I./F.A. Regt. 21 follow up through Chauffee to Rossignol. Sections of J.R. 23 attack in sections. I./F.A.R. 21 takes up position following the regiment.