Freytag Jägers

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Origin and History

Freytag Freikorps in 1760 - Source: Richard Knötel Uniformkunde

The unit was raised in May 1757 by Vice-Oberjägermeister Count von der Schulenburg, who had been promoted to major-general. The unit consisted of:

  • 2 mounted jäger companies (respectively under Captain Friedrichs and Captain von Ompteda)
  • 2 foot jäger companies under the command of Major Freytag from Diepenbroick Infantry (each company respectively under Captain Dyckhoff and Captain Baring).

Soldiers were raised among hunters, gamekeepers and other persons experienced with rifles.

On July 22 1757, a third foot company, under Captain von Wrede, was added to the regiment. On August 1 of the same year, a fourth foot company was raised and placed under the command of Captain von Linsingen.

By the end of 1757, the unit consisted of:

  • Staff
    • 1 commander
    • 1 major
    • 1 adjutant
    • 1 regimental quartermaster
    • 1 field preacher
    • 1 regimental surgeon
    • 1 staff quartermaster-sergeant
    • 1 provost and servant
  • Mounted Corps of 2 companies (for a total of 212 men), each company of:
    • 4 officers
    • 9 NCOs
    • 90 jägers
    • 1 clerk
    • 1 farrier
    • 1 surgeon
  • Foot Corps of 4 companies (for a total of 624 men), each company of:
    • 5 officers
    • 14 NCOs
    • 135 jägers
    • 1 clerk
    • 1 surgeon

In 1758, 2 additional foot companies were raised. The unit thus comprised 2 mounted companies and 6 foot companies.

in 1759, 1 additional mounted company was raised. The unit thus comprised 3 mounted companies and 6 foot companies. The same year, the unit was reorganised into 3 brigades, each of 2 foot companies and 1 mounted company. The unit also received one 4-pdr gun.

In 1760, 3 additional mounted companies were raised. The unit thus comprised 6 mounted companies and 6 foot companies. Accordingly, each brigade now consisted of 2 foot companies and 2 mounted companies.

The successive Jägerkorps inhabers were:

  • since 1757: Count von der Schulenberg
  • from 1759 until 1763: Lieutenant-Colonel von Freytag

By 1763, the Freicorps consisted of 3 mounted companies and 4 companies of foot. It was disbanded at the end of the war.

Service during the War

Freytag Jägers 1760 - Source: Gmundener Prachtwerk

On July 26 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where its foot jägers were detached on the Obensberg while the mounted jägers were scouting in front of the right wing.

On May 26 1758, a detachment of 160 men of this unit was part of Wangenheim's Corps encamped at Dorsten. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand of Brunswick in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the unit took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-general von Spörcken.

On April 13 1759, part of the the unit was at the Battle of Bergen where it was attached to the vanguard. After a fight, Freytag's light troops occupied Marköbel to the north-east of Bergen, pushing back the French picquets. In June, 5 coys of the regiment were part of the Allied Main Army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick and 5 other coys were with Imhoff in Hesse. On August 4, the regiment was part of the detachment, under the command of Urff, sent towards Paderborn through Lemgo, Detmold and Lippspringe. On August 5, Urff's detachment intercepted the French heavy baggage at Detmold, capturing the escort (about 800 men), the Saxon military chest, Contades' confidential correspondence and the baggage of most senior officers.

By the end of January 1760, the unit was attached to the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. On April 28, a French force (Apchon Dragons and some volunteers) under M. de Vair launched an attack on Vacha on the frontiers of Hesse, forcing the Allied force (2 coys of Freytag Foot Jägers, 1 coy of Freytag Horse Jägers, and 1 sqn of Black Hussars) under the command of Colonel Freytag to abandon the town. Freytag then took position on a neighbouring rising ground to delay the French while Allied reinforcements (2 grenadier bns) were sent to his support. Upon arrival of these reinforcements, the French force retired pursued by the Allies beyond Geisa. In this affair, the Allies lost 30 men killed or wounded and the French 120 men. On July 16, the unit joined the Hereditary Prince near Treysa. He used it as an escort while reconnoitring the French positions before launching a surprise attack. The unit then participated in the Engagement of Emsdorf where the Hereditary Prince captured most of Glaubitz's detachment.
Throughout the war, the regiment was heavily involved in the Kleinkrieg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne without lace with a sprig of oak leaves and a black cockade fastened by a green rosette
Grenadier not applicable
Neck stock black
Coat dark green with 3 pewter buttons under the lapels
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white with a pewter button (left shoulder)
Lapels dark green, each with 9 pewter buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs dark green, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks dark green fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat dark green with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters grey
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white shoulder belt
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes (black boots for mounted jägers)


Troopers were armed with a musket.

Officers

n/a

Musicians

n/a

Colours

n/a

References

Gmundener Prachtwerk, circa 1760

O'Hara, Danny: Yahoo SYW Group Message No. 32

Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.