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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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for his purposes.  Lastly, he did something which in the eyes of the
courtiers seemed the most incredible thing of all, he actually wrote
a long letter to Louis XIV himself.  This letter was dated from the
"Desert, Cevennes," and signed "Cavalier, commander of the troops
sent by God"; its purpose was to prove by numerous passages from Holy
Writ that Cavalier and his comrades had been led to revolt solely
from a sense of duty, feeling that liberty of conscience was their
right; and it dilated on the subject of the persecutions under which
Protestants had suffered, and asserted that it was the infamous
measures put in force against them which had driven them to take up
arms, which they were ready to lay down if His Majesty would grant
them that liberty in matters of religion which they sought and if he
would liberate all who were in prison for their faith.  If this were
accorded, he assured the king His Majesty would have no more faithful
subjects than themselves, and would henceforth be ready to shed their
last drop of blood in his service, and wound up by saying that if
their just demands were refused they would obey God rather than the
king, and would defend their religion to their last breath.

Roland, who, whether in mockery or pride, began now to call himself
"Comte Roland," did not lag behind his young brother either as
warrior or correspondent.  He had entered the town of Ganges, where a
wonderful reception awaited him; but not feeling sure that he would
be equally well received at St. Germain and St. Andre, he had written
the following letters:--

"Gentlemen and officers of the king's forces, and citizens of St.
Germain, make ready to receive seven hundred troops who have vowed to
set Babylon on fire; the seminary and the houses of MM. de Fabregue,
de Sarrasin, de Moles, de La Rouviere, de Musse, and de Solier, will
be burnt to the ground.  God, by His Holy Spirit, has inspired my
brother Cavalier and me with the purpose of entering your town in a
few days; however strongly you fortify yourselves, the children of
God will bear away the victory.  If ye doubt this, come in your
numbers, ye soldiers of St. Etienne, Barre, and Florac, to the field
of Domergue; we shall be there to meet you.  Come, ye hypocrites, if
your hearts fail not.


The second letter was no less violent.  It was as follows:--

"We, Comte Roland, general of the Protestant troops of France
assembled in the Cevennes in Languedoc, enjoin on the inhabitants of
the town of St. Andre of Valborgne to give proper notice to all
priests and missionaries within it, that we forbid them to say mass
or to preach in the afore-mentioned town, and that if they will avoid
being burnt alive with their adherents in their churches and houses,
they are to withdraw to some other place within three days.


Unfortunately for the cause of the king, though the rebels met with
some resistance in the villages of the plain, such as St. Germain and
St. Andre, it was otherwise with those situated in the mountains; in
those, when beaten, the Protestants found cover, when victorious
rest; so that M. de Montrevel becoming aware that while these
villages existed heresy would never be extirpated, issued the
following ordinance:--

"We, governor for His most Christian Majesty in the provinces of
Languedoc and Vivarais, do hereby make known that it has pleased the
king to command us to reduce all the places and parishes hereinafter
named to such a condition that they can afford no assistance to the
rebel troops; no inhabitants will therefore be allowed to remain in
them.  His Majesty, however, desiring to provide for the subsistence
of the afore-mentioned inhabitants, orders them to conform to the
following regulations.  He enjoins on the afore-mentioned inhabitants
of the hereinafter-mentioned parishes to repair instantly to the
places hereinafter appointed, with their furniture, cattle, and in
general all their movable effects, declaring that in case of
disobedience their effects will be confiscated and taken away by the
troops employed to demolish their houses.  And it is hereby forbidden
to any other commune to receive such rebels, under pain of having
their houses also razed to the ground and their goods confiscated,
and furthermore being regarded and treated as rebels to the commands
of His Majesty."

To this proclamation were appended the following instructions:--

"I.  The officers who may be appointed to perform the above task
shall first of all make themselves acquainted with the position of
the parishes and villages which are to be destroyed and depopulated,
in order to an effective disposition of the troops, who are to guard
the militia engaged in the work of destruction.

"II.  The attention of the officers is called to the following:--
When two or more villages or hamlets are so near together that they
may be protected at the same time by the same troops, then in order
to save time the work is to be carried on simultaneously in such
villages or hamlets.

"III.  When inhabitants are found still remaining in any of the
proscribed places, they are to be brought together, and a list made
of them, as well as an inventory taken of their stock and corn.

"IV.  Those inhabitants who are of the most consequence among them
shall be selected to guide the others to the places assigned.

"V.  With regard to the live stock, the persons who may be found in
charge of it shall drive it to the appointed place, save and except
mules and asses, which shall be employed in the transport of corn to
whatever places it may be needed in.  Nevertheless, asses may be
given to the very old, and to women with child who may be unable to

"VI.  A regular distribution of the militia is to be made, so that
each house to be destroyed may have a sufficient number, for the
task; the foundations of such houses may be undermined or any other
method employed which may be most convenient; and if the house can be
destroyed by no other means, it is to be set on fire.

"VII.  No damage is to be done to the houses of former Catholics
until further notice, and to ensure the carrying out of this order a
guard is to be placed in them, and an inventory of their contents
taken and sent to Marechal de Montrevel.

"VIII.  The order forbidding the inhabitants to return to their
houses is to be read to the inhabitants of each village; but if any
do return they shall not be harmed, but simply driven away with
threats; for the king does not desire that blood be shed; and the
said order shall be affixed to a wall or tree in each village.

"IX.  Where no inhabitants are found, the said order shall simply be
affixed as above-mentioned in each place.


Under these instructions the list of the villages to be destroyed was
given.  It was as follows:

18 in the parish of Frugeres,
5    "      "  Fressinet-de-Lozere,
4    "      "  Grizac,
15   "      "  Castagnols,
11   "      "  Vialas,
6    "      "  Saint-Julien,
8    "      "  Saint-Maurice de Vantalon,
14   "      "  Frezal de Vantalon,
7    "      "  Saint-Hilaire de Laret,
6    "      "  Saint-Andeol de Clergues,
28   "      "  Saint-Privat de Vallongues,
10   "      "  Saint-Andre de Lancise,
19   "      "  Saint-Germain de Calberte,
26   "      "  Saint-Etienne de Valfrancesque,
9    "      "  parishes of Prunet and Montvaillant,
16   "      "  parish of Florac.

A second list was promised, and was shortly afterwards published: it
included the parishes of Frugeres, Pompidon, Saint-Martin, Lansuscle,
Saint-Laurent, Treves, Vebron, Ronnes, Barre, Montluzon, Bousquet, La
Barthes, Balme, Saint-Julien d'Aspaon Cassagnas, Sainte-Croix de
Valfrancesque, Cabriac, Moissac, Saint-Roman, Saint Martin de Robaux,
La Melouse, le Collet de Deze, Saint-Michel de Deze, and the villages
of Salieges, Rampon, Ruas, Chavrieres, Tourgueselle, Ginestous,
Fressinet, Fourques, Malbos, Jousanel, Campis, Campredon,
Lous-Aubrez, La Croix de Fer, Le Cap de Coste, Marquayres, Le
Cazairal, and Le Poujal.

In all, 466 market towns, hamlets, and villages, with 19,500
inhabitants, were included.

All these preparations made Marechal de Montrevel set out for Aix,
September 26th, 1703, in order that the work might be carried out
under his personal supervision.  He was accompanied by MM. de
Vergetot and de Marsilly, colonels of infantry, two battalions of the
Royal-Comtois, two of the Soissonnais infantry, the Languedoc
regiment of dragoons, and two hundred dragoons from the Fimarcon
regiment.  M. de Julien, on his side, set out for the Pont-de-
Montvert at the same time with two battalions from Hainault,
accompanied by the Marquis of Canillac, colonel of infantry, who
brought two battalions of his own regiment, which was stationed in
Rouergue, with him, and Comte de Payre, who brought fifty-five
companies of militia from Gevaudan, and followed by a number of mules
loaded with crowbars, axes, and other iron instruments necessary for
pulling down houses.

The approach of all these troops following close on the terrible
proclamations we have given above, produced exactly the contrary
effect to that intended.  The inhabitants of the proscribed districts
were convinced that the order to gather together in certain places
was given that they might be conveniently massacred together, so that
all those capable of bearing arms went deeper into the mountains, and
joined the forces of Cavalier and Roland, thus reinforcing them to
the number of fifteen hundred men.  Also hardly had M. de Julien set
his hand to the work than he received information from M. de
Montrevel, who had heard the news through a letter from Flechier,
that while the royal troops were busy in the mountains the Camisards
had come down into the plain, swarmed over La Camargue, and had been
seen in the neighbourhood of Saint-Gilles.  At the same time word was
sent him that two ships had been seen in the offing, from Cette, and
that it was more than probable that they contained troops, that
England and Holland were sending to help the Camisards.

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