Graf Rutowsky Light Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Graf Rutowsky Light Dragoons

Origin and History

Trooper of Graf Rutowsky Light Dragoons in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was raised in 1742 in Saxony by Colonel Vitzthum von Eckstädt.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in the campaigns of 1744 and 1745 in Saxony.

In 1756, the regiment was captured at Pirna and incorporated into the Prussian Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons. Two bodies, under Sergeants Ehring and Heysing, and a third, under Corporal Eichler, escaped Prussian service and reformed in Moravia. The men were distributed among the Chevauxlegers regiments. Both sergeants were made captains, and Corporal Eichler was promoted cornet in 1761. The remaining dragoons served as grenadiers with the Saxon infantry till 1761. That year, they were re-mounted for cavalry service.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, in 1756, the regiment consisted of 4 squadrons, each of 2 companies, for a total theoretical strength of some 514 men.

During the Seven Years' War the regiment had the following Chefs:

During the Seven Years' War the regiment had the following Kommandeur:

  • since 1745: Colonel Baron von Dyherrn, later lieutenant-general (died in 1759 from the wounds suffered at the battle of Bergen)
  • from 1759: Colonel von Schlieben, promoted major-general in 1761 becoming commander of the newly raised cavalry regiment, and killed in 1762 in the second combat of Lutterberg

In 1763, the regiment reformed in 4 squadrons by incorporating the Frei-Husaren von Schill squadron. The latter received ‘German’ dragoon uniforms in 1764.

Service during the War

At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. At Pirna, the regiment was deployed on the right wing under von Arnim, as part of Rechenberg's Brigade. The Prussians blockaded the Saxon army in Pirna from September 9 until October 15 when the Saxons finally had to surrender. The regiment was then incorporated into the Prussian Herzog von Württemberg Dragoons.

In 1757, two bodies, under Sergeants Ehring and Heysing, and a third, under Corporal Eichler, escaped Prussian service and reached Moravia where they were distributed among the Chevauxlegers regiments. Both sergeants were made captains, and Corporal Eichler was promoted cornet in 1761. The remaining dragoons served as grenadiers with the Saxon infantry till 1761. That year, they were re-mounted for cavalry service.

Uniform

The uniform depicted in this section is inspired by an illustration from a 1756 manuscript of the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with dark red/black pompoms and a white cockade fastened by a small yellow button
Neckstock black
Coat dark red
Collar black
Shoulderknot white aiguillette on the right shoulder, a dark red shoulder strap with a yellow button on the left shoulder
Lapels black with 8 (4x2) yellow buttons
Cuffs black, each with 3 (or 2 ?) vertical yellow buttons
Turnbacks black
Waistcoat straw with yellow buttons
Breeches straw buff leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box no information available
Scabbard brown with brass fittings
Footgear black boot
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth two interpretations:
  1. dark red bordered with a wide white braid with two black stripes; decorated in the rear corner with the crowned cipher "AR3" in white
  2. black bordered with a wide white braid with two black stripes; decorated in the rear corner with the crowned cipher "AR3" in white
Sabretache two interpretations:
  1. dark red bordered with a wide white braid with two black stripes; decorated with the crowned cipher "AR3" in white
  2. black bordered with a wide white braid with two black stripes; decorated with the crowned cipher "AR3" in white
Blanket roll no information available


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.

Officers

 To do: specify particularities of the uniforms of the officers

Musicians

 To do: specify particularities of the uniforms of the musicians

Colours

Leibstandarte: white damask field, centre device consisting of a gold shield of ornate design carrying the Royal Polish arms (white eagles and white knights on a red field) and on the centre the arms of Saxony beneath the electoral hat, surmounted by a crimson royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. Crowned monogram "AR3" in gold on each corner. Fringe in heavy ponceau red and black (distinctive colors).

Ordinarstandarte: heavy ponceau red damask (Gros de Tour) field. In the centre the monogram "AR3" in gold, surmounted by a crimson royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. One of the 4 arms of Saxony and Poland in small gold crowned shield on each corner. Fringe in heavy ponceau red and black (distinctive colors).

Graf Rutowsky Light Dragoons Leibstandarte - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Graf Rutowsky Light Dragoons Ordinarstandarte - Source: Frédéric Aubert

The first squadron carried the white colonel (Leib) standard while the 3 other squadrons each carried one ordonnance standard.

References

Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee. [History and present state of the Saxon Army.] 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793.