Prinz Xaver Infantry
Origin and History
A regiment of one battalion was raised in 1723 to garrison the royal pleasure residences. In 1729, it became garrison of Dresden. In 1730, it was augmented by a grenadier battalion from the Duke of Saxe-Weimar and now became the "Grenadier Regiment Sachsen Weimar". The Freikompagnie Grenadiers of the Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolfstadt were also incorporated into the regiment the same year. In 1733, the Duke of Weimar recalled his battalion, which was then replaced by contributions from the other regiments and new recruits. This new regiment now received tricornes.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Poland from 1733 to 1736.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the campaigns of 1741, 1742, 1744 and 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Saxony. In 1748, it was augmented with 3 coys of the disbanded Allnbeck regiment and 1 coy of Bellegarde.
In 1749, 6 coys were disbanded.
In 1756, the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service as Major-General Karl von Bevern Regiment, but the 1st battalion absconded from this service on March 30 1757. The regiment reformed with 2 battalions in Hungary and beats the Grenadiermarsch since that time. Till 1763, it fought with the French armies. After the treaty of Hubertusburg, it reformed in 3 battalions in 14 coys.
In 1778, the regiment 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 reformed in 2 battalions with 8 coys plus 1 coy grenadiers.
Chef of the regiment:
- 1733: Xaver, königlicher Prinz von Polen und Sachsen (lieutenant-general in 1758)
Kommandeur of the regiment:
- 1742: Colonel von Gersdorff
- 1757: Colonel von Cavanagk (sic. - read Kavannagh, Irish), died 1761
- 1761: Colonel von Carlsburg (took service with the Leibgrenadiergarde in 1768)
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 left wing under von Harthausen, as part of von Gersdorf'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 Jung-Braunschweig-Bevern Fusiliers.
On March 30 1757, the first battalion absconded from the Prussian service. It took possession of the colours, the guns and the regimental chest and departed from Crossen under the command of musketeer Belling, from Major Weißenbach's company. Belling was reported missing after the passage of the Oder. The battalion finally reached Poland under the command of sergeant Knabe, who was now promoted captain. A new regiment was then formed from these troops and included into the Saxon Auxiliary Contingent serving with the French. It still consisted of 2 battalions.
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, 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. This 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.
Besides the uniform worn at the beginning of the war in 1756 and after the capitulation of Pirna, the new regiments were re-dressed with white uniforms from Austrian depots, just adapting the distinctive colors. Because of the difference between Autrian and Saxon color pigments, the distinctive colors have perhaps changed a little bit (medium blue instead of light blue ?).
|Coat||white with a brass button in the small of the back, 6 (3+2+1) brass buttons on the chest, 3 brass buttons at waist level (right side only)
|Waistcoat||light blue "bleu mourant" with horizontal pockets with 3 brass buttons and lapels with brass buttons|
Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- a black tricorne laced gold with a white cockade
- a golden gorget
- no turnbacks
- light blue breeches
The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:
- light 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
- light blue waistcoat with brass buttons
- white breeches
- black gaiters
Leibfahne: white field. In the centre an ermine mantel backed light blue, crowned with a royal gold crown. On the mantelgold, four shields wearing the Polish arms (white eagle on a red field), the arms of Lithuania (white knight riding a horse on a red field), the royal "AR" in gold on a light blue field, , the arms of Saxony (two crossed crimson swords on a field of black over white and a lime green crown on a black and yellow stripe field). A very richly designed border in the distinctive color (light blue = bleu mourant) with a yellow (buttons color) piping.
Ordinarfahne: light blue (bleu mourant) field. In the centre, the golden royal cipher "AR" on a white pedestal surmounted by a royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. A very richly designed border in yellow (buttons color) with a white piping.
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.