Schomberg Dragons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Schomberg Dragons

Origin and History

The regiment was formed by the Maréchal de Saxe on March 30 1743 under the name of “Volontaires de Saxe”. It initially consisted of 6 brigades each of 80 uhlans and 80 pacolets (dragoons) as a traditional Polish uhlan pulk where the pacolets served as valets for the uhlans. Thus, the front rank consisted of lancers and the rear rank of dragoons.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1743 and 1744, the unit took part in the expeditions of Swabia and Bavaria. From 1745 to 1748, it then took part in the campaigns of Flanders.

In 1749, after the war, the unit assumed the role of Palace Guard for the Maréchal de Saxe at the Castle of Chambord.

On November 30 1750, after the death of the Maréchal de Saxe, the uhlans were disbanded and the dragoons became the “Volontaires de Friesen”. On June 22 1755, the unit was renamed once more and became known as the “Volontaires de Schomberg”. It now consisted of 6 brigades of 80 dragoons for a total of 480 men.

In 1756, the regiment counted 3 squadrons and ranked among the light troops.

On February 1 1762, an ordonnance transformed the unit into a dragoon regiment who ranked 17th. The new regiment was known as the “Dragons de Schomberg”. On April 1 of the same year, it was increased to 4 squadrons .

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

  • since April 11 1755: Comte de Schomberg
  • from January 1 1762 till January 23 1772: Comte de Donnezan

Service during the War

By August 1 1757, the unit was garrisoning Voiron in Dauphiné.

On March 6 1759, during the Allied spring offensive in Western Germany, the Duc de Broglie advanced 3 dragoon rgts to support the Volontaires de Schomberg who had taken position at Neuhof, about 24 km from Steinau. Broglie also sent 1 cavalry rgt between Hanau and the quarters of Apchon Dragons to cover Schomberg's retreat. In June, at the beginning of the French offensive in Western Germany, the Volontaires de Schomberg were part of the “Right Reserve” under the command of the Duc de Broglie who had taken position at Friedberg in Hesse. On June 9, the Volontaires de Schomberg reached Obermöllrich and Niedermöllrich on the Eder. On the evening of July 8, they accompanied Broglie in his raid on Minden. On August 1, the Volontaires de Schomberg took part in the Battle of Minden where they were attached to Broglie's Corps. They were probably deployed on the far bank of the Weser watching Luckner's detachment.

By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the centre vanguard of Broglie's Army. M. de Stainville left Dingelstädt with the Volontaires de Schomberg, Bercheny Hussards and Royal-Nassau Hussards and marched towards Halberstadt. From October 15 to 24, Stainville scoured the Hanoverian countryside before returning to Heiligenstadt (present-day Heilbad Heiligenstadt). On November 19, the unit was part of M. de Stainville's Corps who retired from Eschwege to Eisenach to cover the establishment of the Saxon Contingent on the Upper Werra. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Gotha.

To do: campaigns of 1761 and 1762

Uniform

Although the regiment counted dragoons and uhlans during the War of the Austrian Succession, the uhlans were disbanded in 1750. Indeed, no mention is made of these uhlans in the various Etats militaires after this date.

1753 (Volontaires de Schomberg)

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753
Headgear crested brass helmet trimmed with seal fur; with 2 brass rosettes; black horsehair tail
Neck stock black cravate (red as per Raspe)
Coat dark green lined scarlet with white buttons and with a white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar scarlet
Shoulder straps left shoulder: red epaulet fringed red

right shoulder: aurore (light orange) aiguillette

Lapels scarlet, each with 8 white buttons arranged 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pocket, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs scarlet, each with 4 white buttons + 3 white buttons (arranged vertically)
Turnbacks scarlet
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather fastened with hooks and eyes and edged with 2 scarlet braids
Breeches buff leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt red
Cartridge Pouch red leather
Scabbard black leather with copper fittings
Footgear buckled shoes with oiled calf leather soft bottines (sort of leather gaiters) or, for foot service, white gaiters
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth light brown furr
Housings light brown furr


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet (always fixed to the musket), 2 pistols and a sabre.

Officers

The uniforms of the officers were similar to those of the troopers with the following differences:

  • black tricone laced gold
  • black cravate
  • the coat was made of Elbeuf woollen cloth (or of a woollen cloth of identical quality) and had a golden aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • linings were made of woollen cloth as well
  • dark green waistcoat with yellow buttons (no lace)

Officers were also armed with a musket and a bayonet and carried a cartridge pouch containing 6 cartridges. This musket was shorter than the muskets carried by troopers.

Musicians

no information available

1758 (Volontaires de Schomberg)

Troopers

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Militaire of 1758 and 1761

completed when necessary as per Raspe
Headgear crested brass helmet trimmed with seal fur; with 2 brass rosettes; black horsehair tail
Neck stock black cravate (red as per Raspe)
Coat dark green lined scarlet with white buttons and with a white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar scarlet
Shoulder straps left shoulder: red epaulet fringed red
Lapels scarlet, each with 8 white buttons arranged 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pocket, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs scarlet, each with 4 white buttons + 3 white buttons (arranged vertically)
Turnbacks scarlet
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather fastened with hooks and eyes and edged with the regimental lace : a red braid decorated with 2 white stripes
Breeches buff leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt red
Cartridge Pouch red leather
Scabbard black leather with copper fittings
Footgear buckled shoes with oiled calf leather soft bottines (sort of leather gaiters) or, for foot service, white gaiters
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark green bordered with a red braid decorated with 2 white stripes
Housings dark green bordered with a red braid decorated with 2 white stripes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet (always fixed to the musket), 2 pistols and a sabre.

Officers

The uniforms of the officers were similar to those of the troopers with the following differences:

  • black tricone laced gold
  • black cravate
  • the coat was made of Elbeuf woollen cloth (or of a woollen cloth of identical quality) and had a golden aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • linings were made of woollen cloth as well
  • dark green waistcoat with yellow buttons (no lace)

Officers were also armed with a musket and a bayonet and carried a cartridge pouch containing 6 cartridges. This musket was shorter than the muskets carried by troopers.

Musicians

no information available

1762 (Schomberg Dragons)

Troopers

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear crested brass helmet trimmed with seal fur; with 2 brass rosettes; black horsehair tail
Neck stock black cravate (red as per Raspe)
Coat dark green lined scarlet with white buttons and with a white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar scarlet
Shoulder straps left shoulder: red epaulet fringed red

right shoulder: aurore (light orange) aiguillette

Lapels scarlet, each with 7 white buttons arranged 1-2-2-2
Pockets horizontal pocket, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs scarlet, each with 3 white buttons arranged vertically
Turnbacks dark green
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather fastened with hooks and eyes and edged with 2 scarlet braids
Breeches buff leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt red
Cartridge Pouch red leather
Scabbard black leather with copper fittings
Footgear soft black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark green bordered with an aurore (light orange) braid decorated with 2 black "lezardes"
Housings dark green bordered with an aurore (light orange) braid decorated with 2 black "lezardes"


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet (always fixed to the musket), 2 pistols and a sabre.

Officers

The uniforms of the officers were similar to those of the troopers with the following differences:

  • black tricone laced gold
  • black cravate
  • the coat was made of Elbeuf woollen cloth (or of a woollen cloth of identical quality) and had a golden aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • linings were made of woollen cloth as well
  • dark green waistcoat with yellow buttons (no lace)

Officers were also armed with a musket and a bayonet and carried a cartridge pouch containing 6 cartridges. This musket was shorter than the muskets carried by troopers.

Musicians

no information available

Guidons

Regimental guidons for the Volontaires de Schomberg (ex Volontaires de saxe), before 1762 (silken swallow-tailed guidons): red field bordered, embroidered and fringed in gold, a golden royal sun with the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” in gold.

Standard of the Volontaires de Schomberg in 1753 - Source: Frédéric Aubert from an original plate by Gilbert Noury


Regimental guidons for the dragons de Schomberg in 1762 (silken swallow-tailed guidons):

  • obverse: blue field; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a red scroll bearing the motto “NEC PLURIBUS IMPAR”
  • reverse: red field; centre device consisting of the arms of Schomberg with a vertical scroll bearing the motto “MENTE MAGNIFICAT”
Standard of the Dragons de Schomberg in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert from an original plate by Gilbert Noury


References

This article is mostly a translation of the following books which are now in the public domain::

  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 437

Other sources

Le Bivouac - Amicale des collectionneurs de figurines historiques Provence Côte d'Azur

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Linienblatt, David: Not By Appointment – Schomberg Dragoons

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1761

Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1762

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

Service Historique de l'armée de terre; Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757

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