Kurfürstin Leib-Dragoner

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Palatine Army >> Kurfürstin Leib-Dragoner

Origin and History

The regiment was created on September 1, 1744 in Heidelberg as the Kurfürstin-Leibregiment-Dragoner. Three existing regiments: Manderscheid, Hatzfeld and Elliot each contributed one squadron (3 companies) to the newly raised regiment.

On September 23, 1744, the Hatzfeld squadron was reviewed in Ladenburg and was later assigned to Zastrow's Corps. At the end of April, this squadron returned to Heidelberg and was integrated into the Leib-Dragoner regiment. By August of the same year, the regiment was encamped at Niedrgrund near Mannheim, where it received a fourth squadron from the disbanded Leibregiment zu Pferd. However, the troopers of this fourth squadron had no horses. The regiment then consisted of 696 men with only 200 horses.

By that time, the Hatzfeld squadron (as part of Leib-Dragoner), under Brigadier Baron von Moytrey, Major Repken and Captain Gabriel Sebastian La Marche, was part of the Palatine Auxiliary Corps led by Lieutenant-General Kasimir Wittich von Zastrow. This corps had been taken in the Imperial service on May 22, 1744, in accordance with the treaty concluded between Elector Karl Theodor and Emperor Charles VII. The Hatzfeld squadron took part in the campaigns of the Second Silesian War in 1744 and 1745. The other two squadrons garrisoned Düsseldorf

In the spring of 1746, the fourth squadron finally received horses. By October, half of the regiment garrisoned in the Duchy of Jülich and Berg (Düsseldorf).

In 1756, the regiment garrisoned Mannheim.

In 1758, the regiment was augmented to 5 squadrons or 10 companies for a total of 800 men organised as follows:

  • staff
    • 1 colonel
    • 1 lieutenant-colonel
    • 1 Oberwachtmeister
    • 1 quartermaster
    • 1 auditor
    • 1 regimental surgeon
    • 1 Proviantmeister
    • 1 Wagenmeister
    • 1 provost
  • 10 companies, each consisting of:
    • 1 captain
    • 1 Wachtmeister
    • 1 quartermaster
    • 4 corporals
    • 1 surgeon
    • 1 blacksmith
    • 1 saddler
    • 1 drummer
    • 1 cadet
    • 65 troopers

During the Seven Years' War, the 'Kurfürstin (Electoral Princess) Elisabeth Auguste von Pfalz-Sulzbach was the nominal commander of the regiment. However, the effective commanders were:

  • from 1748: Ludwig Joseph baron von Murua
  • from 1758: Colonel Friedrich (aka Löe) Baron von Winckelhausen
  • from 1763 to 1768: Johann Abraham von Floret

In 1778, the regiment became known as “Kurfürstin”.

In 1790, the regiment changed name once more to become “1. Dragonerregiment Kurfürstin”.

Service during the War

1758

On June 20 1758, the regiment (5 squadrons, each of 2 companies, for a total of 802 men) was assigned to the Palatine "Reichskontingent" and joined the Imperial corps of FML Karl Baron Dombasle in Bamberg.

On July 11, at a review in Münchenberg, the regiment numbered 655 men.

On August 17, the regiment skirmished with the Prussian hussars of Major von Kleist, and lost 20 men taken prisoners by the Prussians.

On August 27, the regiment, as part of Dombasle's Corps, made a junction with the Reichsarmee in Struppen.

On November 9, the regiment occupied Nossen, but rejoined Hadik's Corps on November 11.

On November 15, the regiment took part in a skirmish with the Prussians near Eilenburg and lost 9 men.

By December 8, the regiment was in Salzungen and Barchfeld.

1759

On January 8, 1759, the regiment reached Erfurt and was assigned to the corps of Count Guasco.

On February 23, the regiment was attacked by the Szekely Hussars near Künhausen and lost 34 men taken prisoners.

On May 8, the regiment reached the camp of Hadik's Corps at Münchenberg.

On May 11 1759, during the Prussian incursion in Franconia, the regiment was detached with Cronegk Infantry under General Riedesel to form the rearguard during the retreat of the Austro-Imperial army towards Kulmbach. In the afternoon, this rearguard was attacked near Steinach by the Kleist Hussars and Meinicke Dragoons under the command of General Platen. After a fierce combat, Riedesel was forced to surrender with his whole detachment. In this affair, 522 men of the regiment were taken prisoners. The Leib-Dragoner ceased to exist as an operational regiment for the time being.

On June 23, the only remaining company (90 men), led by Captain Baron von Hövel, guarded the headquarters of the general-in-chief in Ostheim.

On December 11, the remnants of the regiment took up their winter-quarters in Ebern. During this month, the regiment was reinforced by new recruits.

1760

In mid-April 1760, the regiment was re-established in Seßlach.

On May 17, the regiment marched to Berga an der Elster.

On June 3, during a review of the Reichsarmee, the regiment had 576 men. On June 8, it was assigned to the corps of Count Stolberg and went to Hof. On June 13, the army marched to Zwickau, Stolberg's Corps forming the vanguard.

On June 22, the Reichsarmee made a junction with the Austrian army of FM Daun in the "Plauenscher Grund" near Dresden

On July 1, the regiment was reinforced to a strength of 70 horsemen per company. On July 10, four squadrons of the regiment, along with the Bayreuth Cuirassiers, occupied Laubegast (part of Dresden). On July 13, during retreat of the Reichsarmee, the regiment was in the rearguard. In the morning the army encamped between Groß-Sedlitz and Burkhardtswalde. On July 14, one squadron of the regiment and some other troops reinforced General Vécsey.

On August 20, three squadrons of the regiment took part in the Combat of Strehla. On August 27, the regiment took part in the capture of Torgau.

On October 2, the regiment took part in the Combat of Wittenberg.

On October 30, the Reichsarmee marched to Zwenckau, the regiment with some Imperial battalions led by FML Kleefeld remained at Lucka. This corps went later on to Altenburg

On November 7, the troops were billeted, and the regiment went to Hilbersdorf and Glösa.

On November 23, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Förbau.

1761

Throughout the month of February 1761, the regiment stood in constant readiness, being harassed by the Prussians.

On March 18, the regiment was in Tanna, it then marched by way of Roda, Hirschberg and Naila, reaching Helmbrechts on March 28. It then took some rest there.

By April 14, the regiment was in Wurzbach.

On June 4, the regiment encamped near Lichtenberg.

On July 1, the regiment was sent with Major-General Würzburg to reinforce the corps of Count Guascos in Chemnitz.

By the end of August, the regiment served under General Nauendorf in an outpost near Gösnitz.

On December 15, the regiment took up its winter-quarters between Orlamünde and Rudolstadt.

1762

On April 20, 1762, the regiment (520 men) was assigned to the corps of FZM Maquire. On May 13, it arrived at St. Michaelis near Freiberg. On May 14, it encamped near Lichtentanne, south-west of Zwickau.

By July 15, the regiment formed part of Luszinsky's Corps.

On August 3, after the retreat of the army to Franconia, the regiment encamped near Bayreuth.

On August 26, the regiment marched by way of Asch, Eger Tepel, and Luditz to Podersam (Podbořany/CZ).

On October 29, the regiment took part in the Battle of Freiberg. After the battle, it marched with Kleefeld's Corps by way of Trumsdorf and Mainleus, reaching Weidhausen in the County of Coburg on December 11. On December 12, the regiment returned to the County of Thurnau.

At the end of December, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Scheinfeld.

1763

On January 30, 1763, the regiment marched with other Palatine troops to their homeland. The regiment then garrisoned Zutzenhausen near Sinsheim.

Uniform

Until 1747, the troopers kept the uniforms of their original regiments (Manderscheidt, Hatzfeld and Elliot).

Privates

Uniform in 1777 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1760
as per Bezel
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne without lace with blue within white pompoms and a black cockade
Horse Grenadier
Kurfürstin Leib-Dragoner Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: rf-figuren from a Not By Appointment template
Austrian style bearskin with a brass plate and a red bag laced white with a white tassel
Neckstock black
Coat dark red coat lined red with 3 brass buttons under the lapels and 1 in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps yellow aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels black with 8 brass buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs black Swedish style cuffs, each with 3 brass buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat straw without buttons
Breeches straw
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with a golden plate
Gloves straw
Scabbard natural leather
Footgear long black riding boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red bordered yellow with rounded corners
Housing black holsters with a red flap bordered with a yellow lace


Troopers were armed with a straight bladed sabre (brass hilt), a musket and 2 pistols.

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • gold laced tricorne
  • brick red coat lined bright red
  • no collar on the coat
  • golden buttons, laces and epaulets
  • white and blue striped sash (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • white and blue sword frog (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • black cane

Musicians

no information available yet

Guidons

Cavalry guidons were not affected by the unification of Palatinate and Bavaria in 1777 nor by the issuance of standardized colours in 1788. Both guidons retained a Palatine heraldry, so even though the guidons illustrated hereafter date from 1784, they should have been quite similar at the time of the Seven Years' War, to the exception of course of the year 1784 appearing on the scrolls.

Leib Guidon (Colonel Guidon):

  • obverse: swallow-tailed white field guidon with gold embroideries in the form of laurel branches and fringed in gold; in corners one and four the "CT" monogram for Carl Theodor surrounded by golden palm branches and surmounted by an elector's hat; in corners two and three the "AE" monogram for Augusta Elisabeth, the Electoral Princess, surrounded by golden palm branches and surmounted by an elector's hat; centre device consisting of crest of Pfalz-Sulzbach, surrounded by a red mantle and various trophies of arms, this crest consisted of.
    • top from left to right:
      • Duchy of Kleve: a golden 8-pointed star on a red ground with a silver heart shield
      • Duchy of Jülich: a black rampant lion on gold
      • Duchy of Berg: a red rampant lion with blue crown and claws on a silver field
    • middle from left to right:
      • County of Moers: a black horizontal bar on gold
      • Margraviate of Bergen op Zoom: three silver St. Andrew crosses on red above three green hills
    • bottom from left to right:
      • County of Mark: a silver-red checkered bar on gold
      • County of Veldenz: a blue rampant lion with gold claws and crown on silver
      • Upper County of Sponheim: a silver-red checkered field
      • County of Ravensberg: three red chevrons on a silver ground
    • central shield:
      • fields 1 and 4: Palatinate, a golden rampant lion, with red crown, tongue and claws
      • fields 2 and 3: Bavaria, white and light blue lozenges
      • heart shield: Arch-Steward of the Holy Roman Empire, a golden orb on red.
below the crest, the collars of four orders, from top to bottom:
  • Order of the Golden Fleece
  • Order of Saint Hubertus
  • Order of Saint George
  • Order of the Lion of the Palatinate
  • reverse: same design as obverse; centre device depicting the Holy Virgin, dressed in red and blue; she is standing on a globe and crescent, crushing a snake under her feet; blue-grey clouds around the globe; the Virgin's head is surrounded by gold rays and she is holding a pilgrim's staff in her right hand. The whole is surmounted by a golden scroll with the motto “17/TE DUCE/84” in black characters
Obverse of the Leibguidon – Source: Volker Scholz


Eskadronguidon (Squadron Guidon): light blue staff with steel ferrule; brass or gilt finial

  • obverse: same design as the obverse of the Leibguidon
  • reverse: swallow-tailed red field guidon with golden embroideries in the form of laurel branches and fringed in gold; in corners one and four the "CT" monogram for Carl Theodor surrounded by golden palm branches and surmounted by an elector's hat; in corners two and three the "AE" monogram for Augusta Elisabeth, the Electoral Princess, surrounded by golden palm branches and surmounted by an elector's hat; centre device consisting of a golden lion rampant with a red tongue on a green ground, surmounted by a golden scroll with the motto “17/CEDERE NESCIT/84” in black characters
Reverse of the Eskadronguidon – Source: Volker Scholz


References

Bavarian Army Museum, Ingolstadt

Bezel, Oskar: Geschichte des Kurpfälzischen Heeres ..., Bayrisches Kriegsarchiv, IV. File, part 1 and 2, Munich 1925

Kraus, Jürgen: Bayerische Fahnen, Die Fahnen und Standarten des bayerischen Heeres vom 16. Jahrhundert bis 1918, Verlag Militaria, Vienna, Austria, 2017

Kühlmann/Papst: Geschichte der bayerischen Fahnen und Standarten mit den Feldzeichen der in Bayern aufgegangenen Staaten, Vol. 1, München 1959

Pengel, R.D. And G. R. Hurt: Bavaria, Saxony & the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms and Flags of the Senen Years War, Hopewell: On Military Matters, 1981, pp. 51-52

Wikipedia (German) – Liste der kurpfalzbayerischen Regimenter der Frühen Neuzeit

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

Acknowledgments

rf-figuren for the initial version of this article and Volker Scholz for the information on the guidons of the regiment