Prinz Clemens Infantry

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Origin and History

Grenadier of Prinz Clemens Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

A single battalion regiment was first raised 1704 by duke Johann George zu Sachsen-Weißenfels. In 1705, it was increased to 2 battalions by merging with the "Venediger" regiment (sic. – read Benediger). Till 1717, it served in Poland, Brabant and Pommerania.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served in Poland in 1734, then on the Rhine in 1735 and finally in Hungary from 1737 to 1739.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part to the campaigns of 1741, 1742, 1744 and 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia and Saxony. In 1748, it was augmented by 4 coys of the disbanded 2nd Garde regiment. In 1749, 6 coys were disbanded.

In 1756 the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service as Generalmajor Graf von Flemming's regiment.

In 1757, the regiment reformed with 1 battalion in Hungary and fought with the French armies till 1763. After the peace settlement of Hubertusburg, it reformed in 3 bataillons in 14 coys. In 1778, it was reduced to 2 battalions in 10 coys.

Seven Years' War Organisation

The État of 1756 mentions 2 battalions with 10 coys of musketeers and 2 coys of grenadiers. Each musketeer coy counted 95 men, grenadier coy 97, the regimental staff consisted of 17 men. The regiment totalled some 1,160 men.

In 1757, the regiment was reformed in 1 bataillon with 4 coys plus 1 coy unmounted Gardeducorps serving as grenadiers.

Chef of the regiment:

  • 1746: Prinz Clemenz von Polen und Sachsen (bishop of Augsburg and Ratisbon, in 1768 prince-elector and archbishop of Trier)

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • 1744: Major-general von Kötzschau (in 1756, he became commander of the detachment reinforcing the Königstein fortress, died 1759)
  • 1757: Lieutenant-colonel von Kaltenborn
  • 1760: Lieutenant-colonel von Brandenstein
  • 1763: Lieutenant-general Diede von Fürstenberg


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 Rochow, as part of von Bolberitz'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 forcefully incorporated into the Prussian army as Flemming Fusiliers.

In 1757, 500 men of the former Prinz Clemens absconded from the Prussian service. They marched through Poland to finally reach Hungary where the regiment was reestablished. It now consisted of a single battalion. This new regiment was included into the Saxon Auxiliary Contingent serving with the French Army.

In 1758, to avoid further contact with the Prussians, the contingent marched through southern Germany and had, by July, assembled in Strasbourg. On September 3 1758, the regiment was part of the Saxon contingent, under the command of prince Xaver, who encamped at Castrop, 15 km from Recklinghausen, on his way to make a junction with the French army of the Marquis de Contades in Westphalia. The contingent made a junction with Contades' army around mid September. As part of Chevert's and Fitzjames' divisions, it reinforced the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, the contingent first saw action at the battle of Lutterberg where its determined attacks decided the day for the French army. On October 20, 10 days after their victorious action at the battle of Lutterberg, the Saxon regiments rejoined Contades at Werl.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the left wing under the command of the baron de Dyherrn. In June, during the French offensive in West Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry left wing under the command of the comte de Lusace.

To do: description of the actions of the regiment from 1760 to 1763.

Uniform

To do: for the uniform table please replace all “???” with the corresponding information.
If the information is not available, indicate “n/a” in italic character.
If there was no such element, indicate “none” in italic character.

Privates

Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with ??? pom poms
Grenadier mitre (Prussian style) in 1756 with ??? frontplate and headband, ??? back with ??? piping, ??? pom pom

black tricorne laced white from 1757 to 1761
bearskin (Austrian style) with ??? bag from 1761

Neckstock ???
Coat white with ??? buttons and ??? buttonholes
Collar ???
Shoulder Straps ???
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal/vertical pockets, each with ??? buttons and ??? buttonholes
Cuffs ??? with ??? buttons and ??? buttonholes
Turnbacks ??? fastened with a ??? button
Waistcoat ??? with ??? pockets, each with ??? buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box ???
Bayonet Scabbard ???
Scabbard ???
Footgear black shoes


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

Officers

Officers and NCOs wore a black tricorne laced ???silver/gold??? with a white cockade.

Officers wore ??? breeches.

Musicians

Drummer Uniform in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Drummer Uniform in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:

  • blue coat heavily decorated with yellow braids on the sleeves (chevrons), swallow nests, buttonholes and pockets
  • white collar, white cuffs edged yellow, white turnbacks
  • brass buttons
  • blue waistcoat with brass buttons
  • buff breeches
  • white gaiters


Colours

To do: brief textual description of flags

Colonel Flag: ???

Regimental Flag: ???

References

Origin and History: editors translation from "Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee." (History and present state of the Saxon Army.) 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793.

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

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