Shortly after 6pm on the evening of 4th August 1773, the Battle of the Elbow turned into a full-blown affair. General de Latte's cavalry brigade had finally been able to concentrate on his left flank at the western end of the battlefield. It was, however, unable to do much thanks to the mass of confused men and riderless horses before it on the south bank of the Elbow.
Unfazed by the problems of his hussars, dragoons, and cuirassiers in their thwarted attempt to ford the river, General de Latte gave the signal for his entire front line to cross the river by any means possible. This move was in accordance with the general orders he had issued to his officers prior to the battle. The infantry regiments in his center advanced and were immediately disordered as they waded into knee-deep water, which in some places came up to the men's chests. Still, the River Elbow was noticeably calmer here than had been the case further to the west a short while before.
About the only thing that might be said for de Latte's army at this point in the early evening concerned that squadron of the 11th Hussars that he had previously left behind to guard his right flank. Seeing an opportunity, and hungry for glory in the eyes of his superior officers, its young captain led a charge against just a handful of enemy Jaeger zu Fuss. The latter turned their attention toward the thundering cavalry, cocked their rifled muckets, and waited.