Von Bruckenheim was berated most heatedly by Ludwig , Graf von Altstein in front of the General Staff.
However, Ludwig knew that von Bruckenheim was still one of his most able officers and refrained from sacking him once he had vented his anger.
Ludwig decided to give von Bruckenheim a chance to redeem himself by sending him to probe the Eisenburg forces with a reconnaissance in force.
The forces at his disposal were:-
The Blau Altstein Hussars
2 Infantry regiments
1 Squadron of Dragoons
A company of Jagers zu Fuss led by the redoubtable Captain Kranz.
Von Bruckenheim found Fritz von Essling on the march and immediately launched an attack upon the Eisenbuger column.
Von Esslings troops deployed from the march with great speed and repulsed the Altsteiners after a series of fierce firefights and melees.
Von Bruckenheim fell back in disarray after his impetuous attack and returned to Ludwig with his tail firmly between his legs. He was received by Graf Ludwig at camp, downgraded to Colonel and sent at once to the northern frontier to take command of a garrison battalion.
Fritz von Essling was resting while encamped close to the border when an exhausted messenger was brought to him by his guards. The messenger had grave news for the general, the elderly and infirm septuagenarian Herzog Eugen had passed away in his sleep.
The Duke had no male heir to the Dukedom and his daughter Katarina was now the Duchess of Eisenburg-Essling.
This news would encourage the Count of Altstein in his attempt to become the next Duke of Eisenburg-Essling by defeating von Essling and forcing Katarina to marry him.
Within days Fritz von Essling received orders from the Duchess to advance into Altstein and defeat Graf Ludwig in battle.
On his advance north von Essling came upon an Altstein force commanded by Brigadier Albrecht von Kurstein in the vicinity of the Bergwald forest.