Between seven-thirty and eight o'clock on the evening of 4th August 1773, General Phillipe de Latte gave the order for his men to break off contact and begin an orderly retreat to their south. He had no wish to squander any more of his troops, who, during the course of several hours, had failed to cross the River Elbow and establish a foothold within the Grand Duchy of Stollen as ordered by the conniving Princess Antonia III. The Zichenauer infantry took heavy casualties in its attempt to do so, and the bulk of de Latte's artillery was unable to make much of a dent in the Stollenian center during the course of the battle despite being massed into a grand battery.
In addition, the Zichenauer cavalry brigade on de Latte's left flank found itself unable to ford the swirling, rushing River Elbow where it was initially positioned. Many men and horses were lost in two successive attempts to cross. By the time it occurred to the brigade commander to move his squadrons to another part of the battlefield and attempt a crossing there, his path was blocked by formed bodies of retreating infantry and stragglers.
General de Latte hung his head in abject shame as his retreating infantry marched past his position. What would Princess Antonia say? He feared that he knew the answer already without actually hearing it. She had been explicit in her instructions after all. Hell hath no fury like a petty monarch disobeyed. The group of Zichenauer and allied officers around him were silent for a few moments in a show of solidarity and respect, save for de Latte's closest aide, Major Paolo di Biscotti, who exclaimed, "I'm parched! Who's for a fresh espresso and a cherry-cheese Danish? There's a simply charming little sidewalk cafe in that village back there."
Across the river meanwhile, General von Tschatschke gathered his officers for final orders and to send news of their subdued victory back to the capital. They agreed, to a man, that their victory had been due more to lucky shooting and a strong position, together with a sometimes inexplicably sluggish enemy army and command, rather than any great tactical aptitude on their parts. Still, pocket flasks of sherry and cognac were produced, clay pipes filled with tobacco and lighted, and toasts were made. Regardless of how it had come about, von Tschatschke and his officers had held off a powerful enemy army. An unusual occurrence to say the least.
All across the Stollenian front, regimental bands struck up their respective marches, and colors were unfurled to celebrate victory as von Tschatschke and his aides looked on. The infantry lines were redressed by the officers and NCOs of the various regiments along the northern bank of the River Elbow while the enlisted men emitted occasional loud jeers and jarring raspberries in the direction, and much to the chagrin, of the retreating Zichenauers. For relatively little physical exertion and only light casualties, the Army of Stollen had somehow managed to hold off yet another attack. It had been a good day, but how much time would elapse before General de Latte would again try to invade the Grand Duchy? And what new tricks might he have up his sleeve? Only time and arcane history books would tell.
As the sun set, several regimental officers in his front line sent messages to General von Tschatschke, imploring him to allow them to cross the river with their men and pursue the defeated Zichenauers. However, von Tschatschke remained mindful of his numerically weaker force and the orders originally sent him from Krankenstadt, stipulating that he simply hold the enemy at bay and refrain from any foolhardy advances of his own into the Electorate of Zichenau. Von Tscatschke, therefore, politely refused his subordinates' requests and sent his own orders in reply for the units along his front line to establish both piquets and bivouacs for the night. The Battle of the River Elbow was at an end.