With great enthusiasm did everybody learn the fact that Prince Eugene seized Pest yesterday.
The blessing of the Lord of hosts is upon us and by His grace we will succeed this year. Not like two years ago! We arrived at Buda one month earlier, we have the numbers, we have better equipment. We will get Buda back from the Turkish.
In the morning, based on the order of Prince Charles, the majority of the army set out from Szentendre. The enormous army marching along the Danube for hours was an enthralling sight. Riding on my horse I could follow this march with my eyes for a long time. First, the cavalry, then the infantry sitting on carts, and then cavalry again. This was the order of the commander-in-chief, he did not want the troops arriving at the castle to be tired – since the first day of the battle is never easy. The castle must be enclosed, because if the enemy can walk in and out freely, the siege will never end. ‘The sooner we cut Buda off from the world, the quicker we may seize it’ (explained an officer) - which is known by everyone who has ever participated in a battle.
The crowd was swarming cheerfully. It is the beginning of the campaign which means everybody is fit and healthy, well-fed. The soldiers became silent only when they walked past the commander-in-chief and his troop.
I looked at the generals. In the middle there was Charles of Lotharingia being firmly in the saddle, it was visible that he had lived through many battles. He is forty-three years old, his appearance is insignificant. His clothes are simple; the majority of his generals were parading more expensive clothes than him. “If he is the one who leads us, we will win.” I heard this sentence coming from a cart. I was an old imperial soldier praising him to his fellow infantrymen. “I gought together with him in the first battle, at Szentgotthard” 20 years have passed since then.” He said to the boy sitting next to him.
Next tot eh commander-in-chief, was Count Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, who was the legendary defender of Wien. He is now the commander of the infantry, he is going to charge the castle.
In this morning, we finally saw what he came here for: the castle of Buda was defiantly towering above us. It was swimming in sunshine, emerging from the green vegetation, providing a marvelous scenery. Obviously, we could not admire it for so long. Especially the cavalry was the one who kept getting the orders one by one. After leaving the ruins of the monastery of Poor Clares at Obuda – they said that this place was one of the intellectual and spiritual centres of the former Hungary (nobody, who saw it now, would have thought it) – the regiments set out right towards the hills one after the other. They climbed up on the Rózsadomb – here is the tomb of Gül Baba, a Turkish, who led a saintly life, Muslims like coming here from all over their Empire – then they climbed down to the stream of Saint Paul, then went on along the hillside, creating a great circle until they reached the Danube at Saint Gellért Hill.
Meanwhile, the Turkish surprised us here and there. They sometimes attacked the carts and the cavalry riding on the main road, as well. But we just kept moving forward, in an unstoppable way. We approached the little town, which is situated under the castle, from North (it is between the Castle Hill and the Danube, called Víziváros), so the Turkish shut themselves up behind the walls.
I, myself, rode until the farther, south end of the Castle. The road was going along a stream, the stream of Saint Paul, which stems from the Buda Hills in the North, then flows along the Castle Hill – if it overflows its banks, the only commander here is this stream. – then it flows into the Danube, after turning suddenly on the south end of the Castle. After going round Saint Gellért Hill along the Danube, I reached the opposite of south end of the occupied Pest yesterday. There was grand piece of work going on on the other side: A floating bridge was being put together by the soldiers. Their loud callings were perfectly audible on this side, too. They had every reason to be happy since the first victory was achieved by them, and Pest was not a bad piece of booty.
On the southern side of the Gellért Hill where the road to Fehérvár turns left, the headquarters of Maximilian Emanuel was being built. Meanwhile the tents of the Bavarian troops were being set up as far as the eye can see. Some cavalrymen had already climbed up on the hill and seized a little fortress which was built on the top of the Gellert Hill (that was taller than the Castle Hill) by the Turkish. The king himself wants to climb up to personally learn some information about how the goal of this year’s campaign: the ancient capital of the Hungarians looks like.