Prinz Clemens Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Prinz Clemens Infantry

Origin and History

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

A single battalion regiment was first raised 1704 by Colonel Rudolf von Bünau, the chef of the regiment was Duke Johann George zu Sachsen-Weißenfels. In 1705, it was increased to 2 battalions by merging with the "Venediger" regiment. Till 1717, it served in Poland, Brabant and Pomerania.

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 companies of the disbanded 2nd Garde regiment. In 1749, 6 companies were disbanded.

In 1756 the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service as Flemming Fusiliers.

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 battalions in 14 companies. In 1778, it was reduced to 2 battalions in 10 companies.

Seven Years' War Organisation

The État of 1756 mentions 2 battalions with 10 companies of musketeers and 2 companies 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 battalion with 4 companies plus 1 coy unmounted Gardeducorps serving as grenadiers.

Chef of the regiment:

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

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • 1744: Major-General Hans Julius von Kötzschau (in 1756, he became commander of the detachment reinforcing the Königstein fortress, died 1759)
  • 1757: Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Wilhelm von Kaltenborn
  • 1760: Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Erdmann von Brandenstein (died on February 19, 1773)
  • 1763: Lieutenant-General Diede von Fürstenstein

The regiment was disbanded in 1813 as "Infanterie Regiment No. 5".

Service during the War

1756

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.

1757

In April 1757, 500 men of the former Prinz Clemens, who were posted in Wittenberg, absconded from the Prussian service. They marched through Poland to finally reach Hungary where the regiment was re-established at Gran (present-day Györ). It now consisted of a single battalion (one grenadier and four fusilier companies). This new regiment was included into the Saxon Auxiliary Contingent serving with the French Army.

1758

On April 29, 1758, to avoid further contact with the Prussians, the contingent marched from Schwechat through southern Germany and had, by July, assembled in Strasbourg.

On August 25, the battalion left Strasbourg and marched to Cologne, by way of Haguenau, Dürkheim, Alzey and Kreuznach. On September 3, the regiment was part of the Saxon contingent, under the command of Prince Xaver, which encamped at Castrop, 15 km from Recklinghausen, on its way to make a junction with the French army of the Marquis de Contades in Westphalia. On September 18, the battalion proceeded to Westphalia. On September 29, it reached Soest, where it was assigned to Chevert's Division. In the order of battle of that day, the battalion was deployed in the second line, under Lieutenant-General von Galbert. This division reinforced the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse.

On October 10, the Saxon 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.

1759

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 Prince Xaver. For a while, it defended the village of Hahlen in a very hard fight. After the battle, the regiment was sent to Hanau to recover.

The regiment (still a single battalion) took up its winter-quarters in Aschaffenburg in the County of Würzburg.

1760

On March 24, 1760, the regiment left its winter-quarters, marched to Lohr and encamped along the Main River.

On June 11, the regiment proceeded by way Saalmünster and Willinghausen.

On July 10, the regiment made a junction with the French army at Itter.

On July 31, the regiment, as part of Prince Xaver's Corps, attacked Allied entrenchments at Wallershausen near Kassel and drove the troops led by generals von Kielmannsegg and Luckner back.

On November 16, the regiment encamped near Deideroda. On December 3, it took its winter-quarters between Langensalza and Gerstungen.

1761

For the campaign of 1761, the regiment, as part of Prince Xaver's Corps, was assigned to the army of the French General Stainville.

On February 15, the regiment took part in the Combat of Langensalza, where it was deployed in the first line near Nägelstedt.

1762

On May 21, 1762, the regiment marched towards the left bank of Werra River. On June 25, it encamped near Mielenhause-Büren.

On July 23, the regiment took part in the second Combat of Lutterberg against the Allied corps of Schlieffen, Waldhausen, Zastrow and Gilsa. After three hours of hard fighting, the Saxon troops had to give way. The battalion formed the rearguard when the defeated corps of Prince Xaver retreated.

On November 15, a preliminary peace treaty was signed between France and Great Britain in Fontainebleau and the regiment went with the Saxon Contingent to winter-quarters near Würzburg.

1763

In March 1763, the Saxon Contingent left Würzburg and marched in three columns to their homelands, the regiment returning to Langensalza.

Uniform

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 colours. Because of the difference between Austrian and Saxon colour pigments, the distinctive colours have perhaps changed a little bit (medium blue instead of French blue ?).

Privates

Uniforms - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white/blue pom poms and a small brass button
Grenadier
Prinz Clemens Grenadier Mitre Cap in 1756 - Copyright Frédéric Aubert
mitre (Prussian style) with a brass front plate and a white headband, French blue sack with red piping, French blue within red pompom on a French blue on a red round base

black tricorne laced white between 1757 and 1760

bearskin (French style) with a French blue (?) bag from 1761

Neckstock red
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)
Collar French blue
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs French blue, each with 3 vertical brass buttons
Turnbacks French blue fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat French blue with horizontal pockets with 3 brass buttons and lapels with brass buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard black with brass fittings
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

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 (blue = French blue) with a yellow (buttons colour) piping.

Ordinarfahne: blue (French blue) 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 colour) with a white piping.

Leibfahne - Copyright Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne – Copyright Kronoskaf

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

Schuster/Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, Leipzig 1885

Verlohren: Stammregister und Chronik der Kur-und Königlich Sächsischen Armee, Leipzig, 1910

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

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for additional information on the origin and history of the regiment and its services during the war