Nagel Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Reichsarmee >> Nagel Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was first raised in 1688. From 1749, it was designated by the name of its Inhaber (owner) who was also the commander-in-chief of the contingent provided by Prince-Elector Clemens August to the Reichsarmee.

The garrison place of the regiment was Coesfeld.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of a single battalion including 7 companies of fusiliers, 1 company of grenadiers and 2 x 4-pdr battalion guns. During the war, its effective strength fluctuated between 741 and 469 men.

During the Seven Years War, the regimental Inhaber and commander was:

  • Colonel Josef Marsil von Nagel zu Loburg

Service during the War

In 1757, the contingent of Münster assembled in this town. In August, it marched on Bonn by Meiningen where it was joined by the Mengersen Infantry of the Diocese of Paderborn. These 3 regiments were then assigned to the guard of the train of the Reichsarmee. In October, the regiment along with the Kreisinfanterieregiment Baden-Durlach advanced towards Gera in Saxony. In September, the regiment counted approx. 600 men. In November, it defended the passage of the Saale River at Kösen. On November 4, it counted 579 men. It was not directly involved in the Battle of Rossbach. However, during the withdrawal of the Franco-Imperial Army, the regiment took part in a small rearguard action against Prussian troops where only its regimental artillery was involved. In December, the regiment counted 522 men and was part of the security line established in the Thuringian Forest. For this reason it became almost impossible for the unit to take its winter-quarters.

Late in the autumn of 1757, the Lieutenant-General Prince de Soubise reported in his "Mémoire raisonné sur l'armée de l'empire," that he rated this regiment as good.

Source: Brodrück, Karl: Quellenstücke und Studien über den Feldzug der Reichsarmee von 1757. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte im 18. Jahrhundert, Leipzig: Dyck, 1858

By 1858, the original French "mémoire" could be found in the "Paris War Archice" (Carton 3433, No. 17).

At the beginning of the campaign of 1758, the regiment was part of the Reserve under General Macquire and was involved into a few advanced posts combats within the empire. In August and September, the regiment took part in operations in the area of Pirna. The company of grenadiers of the regiment took part in the siege of the Fortress of Sonnenstein and then occupied its Obertor. Then in September, the unit joined Hadik's Corps and took part in the advance on the Mulde River. During the retreat, it was in the second line. It then went into winter-quarters in the Thuringian Forest.

The campaign of 1759 started early in February, when Ferdinand of Brunswick advanced on Bergen. He detached his nephew, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick with a division (a third of Ferdinand's force) to clear his left flank before continuing his march from Fulda. Nagel Infantry along with Mengersen Infantry were entrenched at Schmalkalden. The regiment then counted 579 men. When the Allies advanced up to Salzungen, the regiment was forced to hastily retire to Wasungen. On April 1, the Hereditary Prince attacked Meiningen and Wasungen, forcing their garrisons to surrender as prisoners of war. The garrison of Wasungen consisted of Nagel Infantry while the Meiningen garrison consisted of Elverfeldt Infantry and Kurköln Leibregiment. In this occasion, the Hereditary Prince also captured 6 guns and 6 flags. During this raid, he made a total of some 2,000 prisoners.

The regiment was not involved into any other action until the end of the war.



Uniform - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
Musketeer black tricorne laced white (the colour of the pompoms is not known)
Grenadier Prussian style grenadier cap with a brass frontplate, a red headband piped yellow, a red sack piped yellow
Neckstock red
Coat Prussian style Prussian blue coat
Collar not known
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels red with 6 brass buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red with 3 brass buttons arranged vertically
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt whitened leather
Waistbelt whitened leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard probably black
Scabbard probably black
Footgear black


Officers wore the same uniforms as the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with blue/silver pompoms
  • golden gorget
  • blue/silver sash
  • spontoons
  • straw coloured gloves


Drum barrels were of polished brass and were decorated with the arms of the Electoral Prince of Münster. The drum cords were white. The rim was probably decorated with a pattern of alternating sky blue and white rhombuses or dents.


The regiment carried two colours: a Leibfahne and a Regimentsfahne. These colours were identical to those of the Elverfeldt regiment.

The flagpoles were probably striped blue and silver and had golden finials.

Leibfahne: white field decorated with blue rhombuses (Bavarian pattern); centre device consisting of a shield carrying the cross of the Grand Master of the Deutschen Orden surrounded by a wreath.

Leibfahne - Copyright: Ernst Boehm of the KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg
Regimentsfahne - Copyright: Ernst Boehm of the KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg


Berking, Harald H.: Die vergessene Armee oder die "Hoch-Stifft Münsterischen Troupen" bis zu ihrer Auflösung, in: Die Zinnfigur, vol. 22 (1973), no. 2, page 30-38 and no.3 page 58-68

Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D.; Weirich, W.-D.: Die Reichsarmee 1757-63, II. Teil: Die einzelnen Einheiten, ihre Stärke, Zusammensetzung, Uniform und Feldzeichen, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.

Haas-Tenckhoff, Bruno: Das Fürstbischöflich Münsterische Militär im 18. Jahrhundert, in: Westfalen Hefte für Geschichte, Kunst und Volkskunde, Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens (1930) page 141-156

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

Zeigert, Dieter: Das münstersche Heer im Siebenjährigen Krieg 1756-1763, in: Westfälische Zeitschrift, Zeitschrift für Vaterländische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, hrsg. von dem Verein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens, vol. 137 (1987), page 25-87


rf-figuren for the initial version of this article