Graf Rutowsky Light Dragoons
Origin and History
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:
- in 1756: General Field Marshal Count Rutowsky (sold his regiment 1762)
- from 1762: Johann Gustav Baron von Sacken (colonel and later major-general, died on October 8, 1789)
- from 1763: Lieutenant-Colonel Adam Heinrich von. Nitzschwitz
During the Seven Years' War the regiment had the following Kommandeur:
- from 1745: Colonel Georg Karl Baron von Dyherrn (later lieutenant-general, died on April 25, 1759 from the wounds suffered at the battle of Bergen)
- from 1759: Colonel von Schlieben (promoted to major-general in 1761, becoming commander of a 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.
After the war, the regiment garrisoned Ortrand and its surroundings.
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, they were then commanded by Prussian officers but they initially continued to wear their former Saxon uniforms
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.
The uniform depicted in this section is inspired by an illustration from a 1756 manuscript of the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced yellow with dark red/black pompoms and a white cockade fastened by a small yellow button|
|Waistcoat||straw with yellow buttons|
|Breeches||straw buff leather|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.
To do: specify particularities of the uniforms of the officers
To do: specify particularities of the uniforms of the musicians
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).
The first squadron carried the white colonel (Leib) standard while the 3 other squadrons each carried one ordonnance standard.
Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee. [History and present state of the Saxon Army.] 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793
Schuster/Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, file I. Leipzig 1885, p. 95
Verlohren: Stammregister und Chronik der Kur-und Königlich Sächsischen Armee, Leipzig, 1910
Harald Skala for additional information on the origin and service of the regiment