Cheusses Infantry

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1702 for the Prince Adolph von Mecklenburg-Strelitz. It garrisoned at Harburg.

In 1716, when Tsar Peter the Great operated in Zealand, the King of Denmark repeatedly asked him to retire. Finally most Russian troops retired towards Greater Poland while the rest landed at Stralsund and took up their winter-quarters in Mecklenburg. Duke Karl Leopold of Mecklenburg had since many years disputes with the nobility of his duchy. He seized this opportunity presented by this Russian contingent to pressure the nobility. The tsar invoked the fact that the duchess was his brother's daughter to assist Karl Leopold and refused to evacuate the duchy until Karl Leopold had obtained the submission of the nobility. During this period, the nobility and subjects were burdened with such unbearable conditions that only many of them fled. The Duke of Strelitz and his whole court even left for Ratzeburg. The tsar occupied Strelitz and seized Travemünde, clearly revealing his intention to occupy the Duchy of Mecklenburg. These event finally draw the attention of the King of Great Britain and of the Holy Roman Empire. The nobility of Mecklenburg renewed its complaints to the Imperial Diet about the abuse that they suffered. Finally, in 1719, the Holy Roman Empire sent a force of 12 battalions (including the present regiment) to Mecklenburg. This force met the Russian and Mecklenburger army at Wallsmühlen.

In 1733, the regiment was part of a force of ten battalions who quenched a revolt in Mecklenburg.

In 1734 and 1735, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment served on the Rhine against the French. In 1735, it fought in the Battle of Clausen.

In 1738, part of the regiment marched against the Danes and drove them out of Steinhorst.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment joined the Austrian army operating in Flanders. In 1743, the regiment was attached to the Reserve Corps encamped near Hanau. In 1744 and 1745, it served on the Rhine before returning to Hanover. In 1747, it was sent to Brabant where it took part in the Battle of Lauffeld.

Since the creation of the regiment its successive inhabers were:

  • from 1702: Colonel Adolph Friedrich, Prince von Mecklenburg-Strelitz (died on 12 May 1708)
  • from 1708 to 1717: Colonel Knöbel (retired in 1717)
  • from 1717: Colonel August Friederich von Rhöden (retired as lieutenant-general in 17410
  • from 1741: Colonel Werner Friederich von Spörken (exchanged his colonelcy for the one of Sporken Infantry in 1742)
  • from 1742: Lieutenant-General Johann Georg von Wrangel (died in July 1746)
  • from 1746: Colonel Wilhelm de Cheusses (retired in 1757 as major-general)
  • from 1757: Colonel Carl Heinrich von Dreves (promoted to major-general in 1759, retired in 1761)
  • from 1761 to 1783: Colonel Burchard Rudolph von Goldacker (promoted to major-general in 1775, died as governor of Lüneburg in 1783)

Service during the War

In 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment was encamped at Nienburg and did not take part in the Battle of Hastenbeck. At the end of the year, during the Allied counter-offensive in Hanover, the regiment was allocated to Major-General Diepenbroick’s Corps who advanced on Bremen.

In March 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in western Germany, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Minden. On May 26, the regiment was with the Allied Main Army under Ferdinand of Brunswick in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Erbprinz (Hereditary Prince) of Brunswick. At 1:00 p.m., the regiment followed the Hereditary Prince in his attack against the wood held by Saint-Germain Division. Towards the end of the battle, the Hereditary Prince and Gilsa rallied the battalion along with other Allied infantry units and advanced onto the plain. The Comte de Gisors at the head of 4 squadrons of Carabiniers charged these advancing battalions who let them close in to about 20 paces before firing a devastating volley mowing down in an instant most of the first rank. A single squadron managed to break through but the third rank of infantry knocked it down. In this battle, the regiment lost more than 200 men killed (including Captain-Lieutenant Wilding and Lieutenant von Scheiter) or wounded (including Lieutenant von Goeben). Soon afterwards, despite these heavy losses, the regiment managed to capture a French detachment near Roermond.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the Allied Main Army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. In July, it was part of the force who occupied Bremen. On July 28, on its way back to the the corps of the Hereditary Prince, the regiment captured Osnabrück, taking 300 prisoners. On July 29, it effected its junction. On August 1, the regiment was part of the left wing of the corps of the Hereditary Prince who attacked and defeated Brissac's French corps in the engagement of Gohfeld. At the end of the year, the regiment was allocated to a corps under the Count of Bückeburg who laid siege to the Citadel of Marburg and captured it.

On July 10 1760, the regiment was part of a column under Lieutenant-General von Oheimb sent by Ferdinand of Brunswick to support the Hereditary Prince engaged in a Combat near Corbach. Oheimb's column arrived too late to take part in the action, reaching Meineringhausen only at 9:00 a.m. On September 19, the regiment, under General Wangenheim, took part in the affair of Löwenhagen.

On February 15 1761, the regiment was attached to General von Spörcken's Corps who took part in the surprise attack on Langensalza. It then took part in the unsuccessful siege of Kassel. On July 16, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen where it formed part of Wolff's Corps detached by Spörcken from Herzfeld to reinforce Wutginau.

By May 23 1762, the regiment formed part of the Allied Main Army under Ferdinand of Brunswick. On June 24, the regiment fought in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it formed part of the 6th column under General Spörcken. On July 23, it took part in the Combat of Lutterberg when the Allies surprised the Saxon Contingent and forced it to retire. After the successful attack, the regiment formed part of the rearguard who covered the retreat of the Allied Army. In November, it returned to Hanover where it was placed in garrison at Lüneburg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced yellow with a sprig of oak leaves, three yellow and red pom poms and a black cockade
Grenadier
Cheusses Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Hannoverdidi
Prussian mitre in the British pattern with a small front flap. Middle yellow front with crowned red field bearing GR and the Order of the Garter and a blue scroll reading NEC ASPERA TERRENT. Small middle yellow flap with grenade and decorations. Red sack, middle yellow base lined with yellow lace.
Neck stock black
Coat red with 2 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes under the lapels
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red (left shoulder)
Lapels middle yellow, each with 7 brass buttons and 7 yellow buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes
Cuffs middle yellow (slashed in the British pattern), each with 3 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes just above each cuff on the sleeves
Turnbacks middle yellow fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat middle yellow with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Breeches straw yellow
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


N.B.: several other sources, like the Brauer Knötel plates, depict this uniform with straw yellow and green as distinctive colour (straw yellow lapels, straw yellow cuffs, green turnbacks and green waistcoat). The uniform seems to have changed during the war.

Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword, and carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Note: Wissel mentions that in 1761, the lining of the coat and the waistcoat changed from yellow to straw.

Officers

Officers had gold lace lining the cuffs and lapels, a black cockade hat, a gold gorget with the arms of Hanover in the centre and carried a yellow sash slung over the right shoulder. Sergeants wore straw gloves. Partizans were carried.

Musicians

Drummers wore a red coat with swallows nest and lace in yellow.

The drum pattern had hoops of alternating middle yellow and red diagonal stripes, white drum cords over a brass drum with the Arms of Hanover in the centre. The belt was red laced gold.

Colours

Colonel Colour: white field bearing the arms of Hanover (common to all Hanoverian infantry regiments except 10-B).

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

Regimental Colour: yellow field; within a palm wreath a ship at sea is backed by cliffs and stars above; blue scroll above reads IN DEO CONSERVATIO MEA. Hereafter, we present an illustration from the Reitzenstein Sammlung, dating from circa 1761 (left) and the interpretation of Hannoverdidi (right).

Regimental Colour - Source: Interpretation of the Reitzenstein Sammlung (circa 1761)
Regimental Colour - Source: Interpretation of user Hannoverdidi

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

Other sources

Biles, Bill: The Hanoverian Army in the 18th Century, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VI No. 3

Gmundener Prachtwerk, circa 1761

Knötel, H. der Jung, and Hans M. Brauer: Uniformbogen Nr. 45, Berlin

Pengel, R., and G. R. Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Reitzenstein Sammlung, Bomann Museum, Celle

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar