A Frenchman by birth, Dampierre was a major actor in the Bohemian War until he was KIA at Pressburg. He had been in imperial service since 1602, fighting generally in the eastern borderlands and against the Republic of Venice and learning his craft under such renowned commanders as Giorgio Basta. He had the command of a unit of mounted arquebusiers in 1609 and subsequently commanded units and mixed task forces that consisted of a variety of mounted types and Hungarian infantry. During this period he became skilled in all facets of warfare, ranging from partisan warfare to siegecraft and battles and encounters. He was oberst-inhaber (colonel-proprietor) of Arquebusier Regiment (AR) Dampierre (1617-1620), a unique unit that Dur Écu will profile in a future post, and he was promoted to Obristwachtmeister zu Feld über alles Kriegsvolk zu Ross – essentially commander of the imperial horse – during the Bohemian War.
Following the death of the Emperor Matthias (Mar. 20, 1619), the revolt against imperial authority mushroomed, and support for the Archduke Ferdinand’s candidacy for the vacant imperial crown ebbed away. A Bohemian army under Thurn blockaded Vienna and Hungary joined the revolt. At the height of the crisis, Dampierre led his splendid regiment (subsidized by Ferdinand’s younger brother Leopold) into Vienna with banners flying and trumpets sounding (June 5, 1619), parading before the Vienna Hofburg in a dramatic show of support for the archduke that cowed his immediate enemies and caused them to flee the city.
Dampierre’s theatrics, combined with the news of Bucquoy’s victory over Mansfeld at Zablat on June 10th, began the decline of the revolt, which was crushed at the Battle of the White Mountain outside Prague (Nov. 8, 1620).
Sources: Janko, Wilhelm Edlen von. “Heinrich Duval Graf von Dampierre.” Mittheilungen des K.u.K. Kriegs-Archivs (1876); Tomaschek, Eduard. Geschichte des K.K.Dragoner-Regiments No. 8 Generallieutenant und Feidmarschall Raimund Graf von Montecuccoli, Reichsfürst und Herzog von Melfi, von dessen Errichtung 1617 bis zum Jahre 1888. Wien: Verlag des Regiments, 1889 (biographical sketch, 9ff.).