Mansbach Infantry

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1701 by Colonel Melchior von Schöpping.

During the Second Jacobite Rising, in 1746, the regiment was loaned to Britain and located in Scotland where, on April 16 during the Battle of Culloden, the Hessian contingent took up position to the south to cut off any path of retreat for the Jacobites.

During the Seven Years' War, the successive Chefs of the regiment were:

  • since 1744: Major-General von Mansbach
  • from 1763 to 1767: Major-General von Gräffendorff

During the Seven Years' War, the successive Kommandeure assuming effective command of the regiment were:

  • since 1751: von Rockhausen
  • from 1757: von Toll
  • from 1758: von Wilmosky
  • from 1760 to 1765: Colonel von Gräffendorff

During the American War of Independence the regiment was designated as “Trümbach” after its Chef at the time. In 1776, it was sent to North America. In 1778, it was renamed “von Bose” and was stationed in Savannah. In 1780, the regiment was stationed at Charleston. It was captured at Yorktown in 1781.

In 1789, the regiment was amalgamated with the Infanterieregiment No. 9.

Service during the War

By May 20 1757, the regiment occupied the town of Paderborn. On July 26, during the French invasion of Hanover, it took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it fought in the first line of the centre.

From March 8 to 14 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in western Germany, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Minden. By May 26, the regiment was with the corps of the Prince von Anhalt in the camp of Coesfeld. When the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick proceeded to the crossing the Rhine during the night of May 31, the regiment soon followed up on June 2, crossing at Emmerich, and was then sent to Kleve. On June 12, it was present at the aborted attack on Rheinberg. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-General von Spörcken. On September 29, when a French force launched a surprise assault on Bork where the Lieutenant-General Duke of Holstein-Gottorp's Corps was encamped, the regiment managed to escape from the trap.

During the first half of 1759, the regiment formed part of the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to Gilsa's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first column under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick which advanced in support of the left flank attack on Bergen. In mid June, the regiment was part of Wutginau's Corps which had taken position at Büren in Westphalia. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the 6th column under Major-General von Bischausen. It then took part in the attack on Naumburg (August 17) and Wetter (August 28). On November 30, it was part of the Allied force who conducted the attack on Fulda where the Hereditary Prince surprised the Württemberger Contingent in the service of France. During this action, it was attached to Bevern's column. On December 9, it marched towards Saxony to reinforce the Prussian Army who had suffered several drawbacks.

On July 10 1760, the regiment was part of Lieutenant-General von Gilsa's Reserve at the Combat of Corbach. This reserve did not take part in the engagement. On the night of July 14, having intelligence that a French party (6 bns, Bercheny Hussards and some light troops) under General Glaubitz was on its way to Ziegenhain from Marburg, evidently with the object of disturbing his communications, Ferdinand detached the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick to take command of 6 bns (Behr (1 bn), Marschalk (1 bn), Mansbach (2 bns) and Hessian 2. Garde (2 bns)) which were lying at Fritzlar, and to attack Glaubitz whose forces had encamped at Vasbeck for the night. On the morning of July 15, the Hereditary Prince marched rapidly southward, being joined on the way at Zwesten (present-day Bad Zwesten) by Luckner Hussars and by the 15th Light Horse (under Major Erskine), which had just arrived from Great Britain. On reaching the vicinity of Ziegenhain, he found that Glaubitz was encamped farther to the west, near the village of Emsdorf. His troops being exhausted by a long march, the Hereditary Prince halted for the night at Treysa. On July 16, he captured most of Glaubitz's detachment in the Engagement of Emsdorf. On July 30, the regiment was at the combat of Weißenstein.

On January 2 1761, the regiment took part in the assault on Duderstadt and in the combat of January 3 near this town. On February 15, it took part in the surprise attack on the Saxon Contingent and fought in the Combat of Langensalza. From February 19 to March 28, it took part in the siege of Kassel. On July 15 and 16, it fought at the Battle of Vellinghausen.

On June 24 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. On October 15, it was at the opening of the siege of Kassel. From November 6 to 15, it took part in the siege of Ziegenhain.

Uniform

Hessian troops wore a uniform in the Prussian style including the grenadier and fusilier hat. Until 1750 the trousers were dark blue. The stock was red for the other ranks and white for officers.

It seems that, like the uniforms of the Hanoverian army, those of the Hessen-Kassel got simpler during the war. At the beginning of the conflict, there still were white lace around lapels and cuffs but the new uniform issued in 1760 had no such laces.

1756 Uniform

Privates

Uniform before 1760 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white pompoms (maybe red, maybe none) and a small yellow button
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a white sack laced yellow with a white pompom. A silver plate (or white plate with yellow ornaments) and silver (or blue) base.
Neck stock red
Coat dark blue with 2 yellow buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes under the lapels (maybe 3 yellow buttons and 3 white buttonholes in 1756)
Collar none (maybe a white collar)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels white, each with 6 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal, each with 2 yellow buttons
Cuffs white, with 2 yellow buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks red fastened with a yellow button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white (maybe still blue in 1756)
Gaiters black for campaigning and during winter, white for parades and during summer
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with a brass plate
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


Troopers were armed with a sword (brass hilt) and a musket which was fitted with a leather carry strap.

Officers

Officers wore a white stock and, as a sign of their commissioned rank, a gorget, in button colour, and sash. The sash was of silver silk shot with red flecks.

NCO's carried the Prussian style partizan.

The standard staff was black.

Musicians

By the Seven Years War the convention of wearing reversed colours had disappeared. Drummers now wore the same dark blue coat with white and red livery lace placed along the coat seams in seven inverted chevrons along the sleeves and around the 'swallows nests' on the shoulder. Very much a copy of the Prussian style.

Drum barrels were of polished brass and were decorated with the Hessian lion surrounded by a laurel wreath with a crown above. The Hessian lion was striped red and white with a red tongue on a royal blue background. The drum cords were white and, for this regiment, the rim was a pattern of alternating blue and yellow diagonal stripes.

1762 Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1761 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with red pompoms and a small yellow button
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a white sack laced red with a red pompom. A brass plate and base with grenade, centred was the Hessian Lion above a shield and stand of arms with three grenades in addition.
Neck stock black
Coat dark blue with 2 yellow buttons and 2 white buttonholes (each with two red stripes) under the lapels, and 1 white buttonhole (same pattern as above) at the small of the back
Collar white
Shoulder Straps white fastened with a yellow button
Lapels white, each with 6 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal, each with 2 yellow buttons
Cuffs white with 2 yellow buttons and 2 white buttonholes (same pattern as above) on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks red fastened with a yellow button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black for campaigning and during winter, white for parades and during summer
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with a brass plate
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


Troopers were armed with a sword (brass hilt) and a musket which was fitted with a leather carry strap.

Colours

To the present day, a definitive reconstruction of the Hesse-Cassel colours during the Seven Years' War is non-existent. All existing publications are mostly speculative. The Leib (colonel) colour was probably white and the regimental colour assumed dark blue.

Here follows a tentative reconstruction of these flags used till 1767. The flag poles were black.

Colonel Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

Bleckwenn, Hans: Europa kämpft in Flandern... Die Morier-Bilder in Windsor Castle, Teil IV: Hessen-Kassel 1748, in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, XXX Jg. (1960), Nr. 207, S. 122-125 and Nr. 208, S. 166-168

Böhm, Uwe Peter: Hessisches Militär: Die Truppen der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel 1672-1806, Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde e.V., Beckum 1986

Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Band 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin 1903

Henry, Mark: Hessian Army of the 7 Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VII No. 3

Manley, S.: Uniforms of the Danish and German States armies 1739-1748, Potsdam Publications

Mohr, Kurt: Einiges über die Hessen-Kasselsche Infanterie 1760, in: Artikel für KA7-Sammler aus alten "Zinnfigur" Heften (1924-1944), KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Manuskript, Köln 1980, S. 106-107

Mulder, Luke: Some Notes on Landgraf Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel Re-Organization of 1760, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No. 2

Noeske, Rolf: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, 1. Ergänzung Hessen-Kassel, KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt 1989

Ortenburg, Georg: Das Militär der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel zwischen 1783 und 1789, Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde e.V., Potsdam 1999

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

Renouard, Carl: "Geschichte des Krieges in Hannover, Hessen und Westfalen von 1757 bis 1763", 3 Bände, Cassel, 1863-64

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

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Infanterie des Landgrafentums Hessen-Kassel während des Siebenjährigen Krieges, in: Artikel für KA7-Sammler aus alten "Zinnfigur" Heften (1924-1944), KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Manuskript, Köln 1980, S. 104-106

Witzel, Rudolf: Hessen Kassels Regimenter in der Allierten Armee 1762, bearb. u. hrsg. von Ingo Kroll, Norderstedt 2007

Zahn, Michael: Stammliste und Gefechtskalender der Regimenter der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel im Siebenjährigen Krieg (1756-1763) - Teil 1: Infanterie, Metzingen, 2009

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