Frei-Infanterie de Bequignolle
Origin and History
In December 1760, Frederick II instructed Major Quintus Icilius to raise 7 new Frei-Infanterie battalions. The battalion was raised on February 3 1761 in Quedlinburg from deserters of the French army and of the Reichsarmee.
According to Bleckwenn's classification system, the unit is designated as “Frei-Infanterie Regiment F13”. The unit consisted of one battalion.
During the Seven Years' War, the unit was under the command of:
- since February 3 1761 till 1763: Lieutenant-colonel Johann Leonhard d'Artois von Bequignolle
In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War, the battalion was incorporated into the Silesian infantry regiments.
Service during the War
For the campaign of 1761, the battalion was attached to the corps operating in Saxony under the command of Prince Henri.
For the campaign of 1762, the battalion was once more attached to the army of Prince Henri operating in Saxony.
To do: more details on the campaigns from 1761 to 1762.
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red; 2 pewter buttons on each side under the right lapels; 3 pewter buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
|Waistcoat||light blue with one row of pewter buttons|
|Gaiters||tall black gaiters|
Privates were armed with a short musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabres.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- tricorne with wide silver lace and black and white quartered pompoms
- no shoulder strap
- collar and cuffs edged silver
NCOs were probably armed with a sabre and a half-pikes measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.37 m.).
NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).
Officers had tricorne wearing a scalloped silver lace, a black cockade fastened with a small silver button and a silver strap; and 2 black within silver pompoms (1 in each lateral corne of the tricorne). Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no turnback nor shoulder straps. They had a silver aiguillette on the right shoulder. They wore black and silver sash.
Officers probably carried spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).
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None of the Freikorps units carried official colours or standards to the exception of von Kleist Frei Korps.
Bleckwenn, Hans (Hrsg.): Das Altpreussische Heer - Erscheinungsbild und Wesen 1713-1807, Teil III: Übersichten altpreußischer Uniformgestaltung, Band 5: Die Uniformen der preußischen Technischen Truppen, Rückwärtigen Dienste und Kriegsformationen 1753-1786, Osnabrück 1984
Cremer, Peter: Die Preussischen Freikorps im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Auflistung der Freikorps, ihrer Einsätze, der Uniformen, der Chefs und deren Geschichte, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.
Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin 1901, Anlage 1-2
Jany, Curt: Geschichte der Königlich Preußischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, Zweiter Band: Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740-1763, Reprint Osnabrück 1967
Michael Zahn and Digby Smith for the information provided for the creation of the initial version of this article.