Nizhegorodskiy Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Russian Army >> Nizhegorodskiy Infantry

Origin and History

The Nizhegoródskiy Regiment was formed in 1708-1709 when Peter the Great reorganized the Russian infantry regiments and renamed each of them as per a city or province of his empire.

At the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1748, the regiment was part of the Russian army sent to assist Austria and who marched from Moscow to the Rhine.

From 1740 to 1756, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in the area of Mittau (present-day Jelgava) in Courland.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the nominal command of:

  • from February 28 1748 : Colonel Johann von Ceve Manteuffel (major-general at the beginning of the Seven Years' War) , assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Leonitev Barabanov
  • from 1762 : Jakov von Brandt

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:

  • from 1757 to June 1759: Ivan von Helvig (in 1759 became commander of Königsberg)
  • from June 27 1759 to September 1761: Colonel von Budenbrock (Major Koriagin assumed command until his arrival)
  • from October 7 1761 to 1763: Colonel Baron von Asch (Lieutenant-Colonel Sitin assumed command until his arrival)

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment contributed the third company of its third battalion to the creation of the 1st Grenadier. Without this company, the regiment now consisted of 3 bns and 2 grenadier companies for a total of 2,626 men. It was stationed in Courland.

In 1757, the regiment took part in the campaign in East Prussia under Field-Marshal Count Apraxin. It was at the siege of Memel under Brigadier Treyden. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was part of Fermor's 1st Division and belonged to Lubomirsky's Brigade. When the Russian army deployed, it was kept in reserve behind the centre. In this battle, the regiment lost 5 officers, 15 grenadiers and 16 musketeers killed; and 8 officers and an unknown number of privates wounded. It took up its winter-quarters in Memel as part of Riazanov's Brigade. By November 3, the regiment counted (including various detachments):

  • Staff (4 officers
  • Junior staff (20 officers)
  • 2nd rate officers, NCOs, musicians and non-combatants (382 men)
  • Grenadiers (452 men)
  • Musketeers (1,075 men)
  • 157 horses for baggage
  • 27 horses for the regimental artillery

During its march to its winter-quarters, the regiment lost 10 officers and NCO, 61 grenadiers and 187 musketeers.

In January 1758, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Russian invasion of East Prussia where they were attached to Jakovlev's Vanguard. After the capture Königsberg, the regiment went to Elbing (present-day Elbąlg) where it remains till April. By April 3, the regiment consisted of 3 staff officers, 18 lower staff officers and 1,299 men (plus 46 sick). One officer and 13 men were commandeered to the secret howitzers service. Around mid-November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Dirschau (present-day Tczew) and Mewe (present-day Gniew) in northern Poland where it formed part of Volkonsky's Brigade attached to the 1st Division.

At the beginning of the campaign of 1759, the regiment was attached to Villebois' Division and consisted of 3 staff officers, 23 lower staff officers, 1,634 men, 289 horses for baggage and 24 horses for artillery. On July 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it was attached to the 2nd division commanded by Villebois. It was deployed in Leontiev's Brigade on the left of the second line of the infantry centre between Voronejskiy Infantry and Bjeloserskiy Infantry. In this battle, the regiment lost only 7 men wounded. A few week later, on August 12, it fought at the bloody Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the centre between Bjeloserskiy Infantry and Novgorodskiy Infantry, in the 3rd Division as part of Leontiev's Brigade. In this battle, the regiment lost 5 officers and 150 soldiers heavily wounded; 14 officers and 323 soldiers lightly wounded; 13 officers and 111 soldiers killed and 135 men missing. After the battle, the regiment counted only 627 men. On August 16, along with Uglitskiy Infantry, the regiment under Bekkendorf escorted the wounded and throphies to Posen (present-day Poznañ). The regiment took its winter-quarters in Dirschau (present-day Tczew) in Poland. In October, the regiment numbered 4 staff officers, 21 lower staff officers, 1,527 men, 30 NCO, musicians and non-combatants, and 196 sick and wounded. The regiment received new uniform, 638 recruits and some officers and NCOs.

For the campaign of 1760, the regiment was part of Fermor's 1st Division and consisted of 4 staff officers, 23 junior staff officers, 52 NCO, 1,905 privates (plus 56 in hospital), 275 baggage horses and 21 artillery horses. After mobilization and concentration in Posen, the regiment was attached to Brown’s 2nd division. In October, the regiment was in Landsberg (present-day Gorzów Wielkopolski) from where it marched to Friedland with the rest of the division. It took up its winter-quarters in Graudenz (present-day Grudziądz) where it received two 8-pdr unicorns to replace its regimental guns.

For the campaign of 1761, the regiment was attached to the 2nd division under General Prince Aleksander Golicyn. After concentration at Posen, the regiment marched to Silesia with the main army. In October, the regiment followed Buturlin when he returned to Poland and then marched to Pomerania. On November 5, the regiment reached Stargard (present-day Starogard Gdanski). It took its winter-quarters in Thorn (present-day Toruń). By then, the regiment counted only 26 officers in both senior and junior staffs and 995 soldiers.

In 1762, the regiment was attached to Dolgorukov's 3rd Division. It returned to Russia.

Uniform

Most Russian regular line infantry regiments wore the same uniforms.

N.B.: the entire section on uniform is based on information provided by Arthur Yushkevich and Daniel Milekhin

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Summer uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black felt tricorne laced white with a white cockade on the left fastened with a copper button
Grenadier
Grenadier mitre in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf

until 1759: the M1756 mitre with a brass front plate embossed with trophies of weapons and standards and carrying in its centre the regimental coat of arms surmounted by the Imperial Eagle (sometimes painted black); a black leather skull-cap and neck guard with brass reinforcements and decorations; and a white wool pompom.

from 1760: red cloth cap with red turnbacks with white lace (golden for officers) on the seams of the cap and on the edges of the turnbacks; a white wool pompom.

(*)Note: grenadiers still used cloth leftovers after the making of uniforms, and, for example, the grenadiers of the Observation Corps 1st Musketeer used red cloth for both caps and turnbacks.

...for more information on the evolution of the grenadier mitre cap of the Russian infantry, see Russian Line Infantry Uniform

Neckstock black
Coat dark green with 9 copper buttons on the right side on the chest, and 2 copper buttons (one on each side) in the small of the back

N.B.: During summer campaigns, the coat was not worn, being left with the baggage. Soldiers carried a cornflower blue cape rolled over the shoulder. Since the waistcoat was red, Russian line infantry appeared to be entirely clad in red.

Collar red
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs red without buttons (some authors illustrate 3 copper buttons but we followed Leonov)
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat long sleeved red waistcoat lined green with 9 copper buttons, and with 2 en patte d'oie pockets each with 3 copper buttons, small green collar and green cuffs
Breeches red
some illustrations suggest that white breeches were also worn during Summer
Gaiters black leather with 10 large buttons covered with black fabric (white for parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt elkskin leather
Waistbelt elkskin leather
Cartridge Box black covered with a copper plate
Bayonet Scabbard ???
Scabbard black leather with copper fittings
Footgear black shoes


During winter, line infantry wore knee-length cornflower blue cape.

Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates, but were distinguished by gold laces on their tricorne, collar, and cuffs, more precisely

  • Sergeant: gold laces on cuffs (in 3 rows) and collar
  • Fourrier, Master-at-arms and Sub-Ensign: gold laces on cuffs (in 2 rows) and collar.
  • Corporal: gold lace on collar

Officers

Dmitriy Alexeevich Rezanov, lieutenant ('poruchik') of line infantry by Mina Kolokolnikov, 1752 - Source: Wikimedia Commons

Musketeer officers wore a gold laced tricorne (gold/black pompoms) or a simpler tricorne without lace. Grenadier officers wore a grenadier mitre, similar to that of grenadiers (or an earlier Modified M1731 model), but with a coloured regimental coat of arms.

Officer’s coat was similar to that of rank and file , but with a gold laced collar and lateral pockets closed by flaps en patte d’oie with 3 golden buttons each. Generally officers wore their coat with opened turnbacks. They also wore white cravates, green breeches and beige gloves.

Officers wore a gorget with the regimental coat of arms. For officers from ensign to captain, it was covered with silver; for majors, lieutenant-colonel and colonel with gold.

Officers carried a musket in action, the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned. They also carried a sword suspended to a red leather belt.

Officer’s cartridge box was edged in gold.

Officer’s saddlecloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one or two gold stripes (the inner broader), as rank distinction. EPI ciphers on the corner and holsters.

Officers wore a black and yellow (higher ranks - black and gold) silk sash.

Musicians

Line Infantry Regimental Musician (Oboist) Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Line Infantry Company Musician (Drummer or Fifer) Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf

Company musicians (drummers and fifers) wore the same uniform as privates with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar.

Regimental musicians (oboists) wore the same uniform as privates with braids on cuffs, pockets and collar. Buttonholes and buttons were laced. Each sleeve was decorated with 4 chevrons with 2 wide drummer laces on each side.

The Drum Major had a gold edge on his tricorne, and gold braids on cuffs and collar.

Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and green, green and white cords.

Important notice: Even though our illustrations depict yellow laces, the colour of the braids on the uniforms of the musicians were chosen by the colonel. For instance, it could have been the distinctive colour of the regiment (shown on the ordonnance flag). They were often decorated with red “XXXX” in the middle.

N.B.: During summer campaigns, the green coat was not worn, being left with the baggage. Since the waistcoat was red, Russian line infantry musicians appeared to be entirely clad in red.

Colours

The flags were mounted on a 3,35 m. red wooden pole.

Colonel Colour: white field with, in its centre: an Imperial Eagle bearing the regimental arms on a breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St.George’s Order. In each corner: a red flame pointing at the centre.

Regimental Colours: sky blue field, in its centre: a gold crown surmounting a gold shield bearing the regimental arms. In each corner: a red flame pointing at the centre.

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Regimental Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

Funcken, L. and F., Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin, 1902, Appendix 1

Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband, Russian Army of the Seven Years War, Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996

Lubimow, A.J., Die Feldzeichen der russischen Armee 1741-1761, in. Die Zinnfigur, Uniformheft 18

Pengel and Hurt, Russian Infantry of the Seven Years War, Birmingham, 1976

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

Viskovatov, A. V., Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900

Ziegler, Volker, Die Russische Linien-Infanterie zur Zeit des 7-jährigen Krieges, Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für hessische Militär- und Zivilgeschichte 3, 2005

Zimin, Vladimir; Istorіya Nizhegorodskago Regiment 1700-1800, St Petersburg: 1900

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

Acknowledgements

User:Carlo bessolo for the initial description of the uniforms

Tomasz Karpiński for the additional information on the service of this regiment from 1756 to 1761