On September the 30th a force had been ordered by the Prince of Hessen to perform a forage to the towns of Gross Zecker and Hollenbeck. The force assembled for this mission consisted of 2nd and 6th hussar squadrons, the jaeger companies Jess and Schou (could be family!) from the Oldenborgske 1st and 3rd respectively and 2 musketeer companies from Slesvigske 1st. The force was placed under the capable command of Major Späth. The Major had also been promised a 2 cannon reinforcement from battery Gønner, but as these failed to show up at the assembly point in Kogel, Major Späth decided to begin the march without them.
Späth formed 2 columns and personally led one of them through Seedorf and Gross Zecker, while the other column, led by captain Jess (who had been assigned hussar lieutenant Ewald as an assistant) marched over Sterley and Hollenbeck. Both columns had Marienstädt as their final objective. The enemy the two columns encountered (a mix of Tyrolian jaegers, Prussian hussars and a few Cossacks) had been taken by surprise and was quickly routed so that the foraging in Gross Zecker and Hollenbeck could begin unhindered. Thereafter the march continued towards Marienstädt. During the march the right column suddenly came under fire from enemy pickets (2-300 of them) in the hamlet Klein Zecker. Captain Jess, leading the column, instantly deployed his infantry and a fire fight evolved. The fight quickly grew quite fierce as the Danes took cover among trees and in ditches, and skirmished with he enemy taking cover in the buildings of Klein Zecker.
The left column had meanwhile marched into a 2 company strong enemy picket near Marienstädt. Major Späth found it unwise to push any further and ordered captain Jess to defend his position, while he himself deployed his forces for battle, linking his musketeer company with captain Jess´s skirmishing lines. The enemy received a number of reinforcements and several attempts were made to advance out of Klein Zecker, but the Danish musket fire repulsed every attempt. The foraging ended and 30 wagon loads of foraged supplies moved from Gross Zecker and Hollenbeck to safety near Kogel mill. When the wagons were reported to be in safety Major Späth gave the order for a general withdrawal. The Danes disengaged the enemy and fell back towards the main lines. No attempts to pursue was made by the enemy.
The Danish losses amounted to 7 wounded (a lieutenant and 5 jaegers from Oldenborgske 2nd and 1 hussar from the 2nd squadron). The enemy losses are unknown but presumed to be somewhat higher due to the repulsed breakout attempts of Klein Zecker.
The most important thing about this skirmish were the observations the Prince of Hessen made. Based on these observations he concluded that the Tyrolian jaegers had a number of excellent riflemen and that they could shoot at far greater ranges than the Danes.
La guerre, un massacre de gens qui ne se connaissent pas, au profit de gens qui se connaissent mais ne se massacrent pas. PaulV