Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Hammerstein Cavalry
Origin and History
The regiment was raised in 1631, during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) by Oesener. A few years later, Oesener was promoted to colonel of a new regiment, his former regiment being taken by Brigadier von Rauchhaupt. In 1632, Rauchhaupt’s regiment took part in the Battle of Lützen; in 1634, in the siege of Minden; in 1638, in an action near Winsen.
In 1664, the regiment was at the Battle of St. Gothard, the passage of the Raab.
In 1665 and 1666, the regiment fought against the Dutch in East Frisia.
In 1671, the regiment was at the capture of Braunschweig.
In October 1679, the two aforementioned regiments (Rauchhaupt’s and Oesener’s) were combined in a single one.
In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment served on the Rhine. In 1689, it was at the capture of Mainz, Bonn and Kayserswerth. In 1690, it was transferred to the Netherlands but returned home in the autumn. In 1693, it was sent to the Netherlands once more where it took part in the Battle of Landen. It then took part to most operations in Netherlands till the end of the war.
In 1700, the regiment was sent to the Duchy of Holstein to contain the Danes.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), the regiment took part in the Battle of Blenheim]]; in 1706, in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet.
In 1715 and 1716, the regiment took part in the blockade of Wismar.
In 1719, the regiment took part in the action of Wallsmühlen against a Russo-Mecklenburger force.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in the Netherlands. In 1743, it took part in the Battle of Dettingen; in 1746, in the Battle of Rocoux; and in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld.
During the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhabers were:
- from 1733: Colonel Christian Ludewig von Hammerstein (promoted to brigadier in 1742; to major-general in 1743; to lieutenant-general in 1747; died in 1760)
- from 1760: Colonel Balthasar von Jüngermann (retired in 1761)
- from 1761: Colonel August Heinrich von Sprengel (Alt-Sprengel)
The regiment was disbanded in 1803.
Service during the War
In July 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in the cavalry right wing. The cavalry was not really tested in this battle. They were superbly mounted, but drilled in the old German style tactics which meant that they were steady, but slow. They would have charged at a trot and quite likely would have received an enemy charge at the halt placing their trust in their firearms.
On May 26, 1758, the regiment was with Ferdinand's main force in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was located in the left wing as part of the brigade under Lieutenant-General von Spörcken.
In March 1759, during the Allied spring offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was attached to the corps of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick who advanced against the Reichsarmee in the regions of Würzburg and Saxe-Meiningen, capturing three regiments of Cologne at Meiningen and routing a cuirassier regiment between Stockheim and Mellrichstadt. The regiment was then attached to Schulenburg Brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing of the Allied army. On April 13, it took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the vanguard of the second column under Prince von Ysenburg. The cavalry of this column covered the flank of the attempted infantry advances into Bergen. In this battle, the regiment saw very little action other than the occasional skirmish and lost Cornet Kirchhof who was wounded. In June, the regiment was part of Imhoff's Corps operating in Hesse. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the 8th column under Lieutenant-general Duke of Holstein. It took part in the capture of a French battery near Malbergen and drove the Touraine and Rouergue infantry brigades out of their defensive positions. In this battle, the regiment lost Lieutenant von Rohden, killed; and Major Schnering, Captain von Hammerstein, Captain von Dachenhausen, Lieutenant von Wolfrath, Lieutenant Oldenburg and Cornet von Berger, wounded. The regiment then accompanied the Allied army who pursued the retiring French army through Paderborn and Hesse. It then encamped near Crofdorf an der Lahne. The regiment was later attached to General von Breidenbach’s Corps who covered the siege of Münster. In December, the regiment marched towards Eschwege. On December 15, it effected a junction with the corps of the Hereditary Prince who marched towards Freyberg to reinforce the Prussian army.
On January 7, 1760, the regiment followed the Hereditary Prince in his difficult march against the Austrian corps of General Ried posted at Marienberg on the Bohemian frontier. However, Ried had enough time to retire. In February, the regiment returned to Saxony and took up its winter-quarters in Hildesheim. In November and December, it took also part in the unsuccessful blockade of Göttingen.
In 1761, the regiment took part in the siege of Kassel. It then joined Luckner’s Corps with which, on July 17, it expelled the French from Neuhaus. On August 14 and 15, it took part in an action against the French corps of the Comte de Belzunce near Dassel, capturing 400 prisoners. In the night of October 13 to 14, the regiment took part in the relief of Braunschweig.
By May 23, 1762, the regiment served in Granby's Corps which formed the left wing of the Allied Army towards Dörnberg. On June 24, still part of Granby's Corps, it fought in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. The regiment was later attached to Wangenheim’ Corps who covered the left flank of the Allied army on the Ohm.
Accurate Vorstellung der saemtlichen Churfürstl. hannöverischen Armee zur eigentlichen Kentniß der Uniform von jedem Regimente nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird Nürnberg: Raspe 1763 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt)
|Headgear||black tricorne laced yellow with oak leaves as a field sign, a black cockade and green/white small bobs on the hat (green bobs in 1761)|
|Coat||white with dark green lining; and with 6 brass buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the right side and 1 brass button at the small of the back on each side
|Waistcoat||straw (dark green in 1761)|
Troopers were armed with a Pallasch (straight steel hilted sword), two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook.
According to Wissel, the uniform modified in 1761: the waistcoat and the lining of the coat being changed to straw.
Officers wore a yellow silken sash across the right shoulder; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; a golden lace on the tricorne. They did not carry any cross-belt.
NCOs had golden laces on the cuffs, pockets and waistcoat. They did not carry any cross-belt.
Musicians comprised trumpeters and one kettle-drummer. They were dressed in reverse colours and probably had swallow nests at the shoulders. Staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives.
The kettle-drums were made of copper.
The kettle-drum apron and trumpet banners were white, probably fringed in gold, and carried the White Horse on a red ground within the Garter; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath
The regiment carried one Leibstandarte and one regimental standard.
Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field, the metal of the embroideries and fringe is not specified in any of the sources that we consulted (we illustrated golden embroideries and fringe since the uniform had brass buttons)
- obverse: centre device consisting of the Silver Horse on a red ground within the Garter with the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
- reverse: centre device consisting of a silver column with uneven gold scales; a drawn sword on the scales; a trophy of arms below the column and the motto “PRO LEGE ET GREGE” underneath
Regimental Standard: white field, the metal of the embroideries and fringe is not specified in any of the sources that we consulted (we illustrated golden embroideries and fringe since the uniform had brass buttons)
- obverse: centre device consisting of a White Horse on a red ground; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
- reverse: centre device consisting of a column with two uneven gold scales; a drawn sword on the scales; a trophy of arms below the column and the motto “PRO LEGE ET GREGE” underneath
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Wissel, Friedrich v. and Georg von Wissel: Geschichte der Errichtung sämmtlicher Chur-Braunschweig-Lüneburgischen Truppen, sammt ihren Fahnen, Standarten und Pauken-Devisen ...], Zelle, 1786, pp. 64-84
Manley, S.: Uniforms of the Danish and German States' Armies 1739 - 1748, Potsdam Publications
Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006