Dachenhausen Dragoons

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Origin and History

Dachenhausen Dragoons Grenadier as per the Gmundener Handschrift
Copyright: Franco Saudelli

In 1670, Duke Georg Wilhelm of Celle acquired a regiment of four companies which had been initially established by Lieutenant-Colonel Franke for the Electorate of Cologne. It had been enlisted in the region of Liège and was made up of poor Walloons mounting Polish horses. In 1671, the regiment formed part of the force which captured the city of Braunschweig. In 1673, it served against the French on the Rhine.

In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment marched to Alsace where it took part in the combat of Entzheim. In 1675, it took part in the siege of Trier. In 1678, it fought in the Battle of Saint-Denis.

In 1679, two companies of the regiment were disbanded.

In 1683, the regiment was re-established at four companies. In 1684, two additional companies were recruited.

In 1685, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment was sent to assist the Imperial army operating in Hungary and took part in the siege of Neuheusel and in the Battle of Gran. In 1687, two companies were disbanded.

In 1686, the regiment was posted on the Elbe to guard Hamburg against Danish entreprises.

In 1688, during the Nine Years’ War (1688-1697), part of the regiment was sent to the Netherlands to assist Prince William of Orange but was soon recalled to Hanover to protect Holstein-Gottorp against Danish entreprises. In 1690, the regiment marched to Brabant and fought in the sanguinary Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, it took part in the Battle of Leuze; in 1692, in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen; in 1695, in the sieges of Huy and Namur.

In 1700, the regiment took part in the campaign against the Danes in Holstein.

In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was re-established at six companies. In 1702, it took part in the invasion of the Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; in 1703, it the engagement of Gimmig and in 1704, in the Battle of Blenheim]]. In 1705, at the death of Duke Georg Wilhelm of Celle, the regiment was incorporated into the Hanoverian Army. In 1708, it fought in the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1710, the regiment returned to Hanover. In 1711, 400 men of the regiment under Major von Müller advanced in the Bishopric of Hildesheim and occupied Marienberg, Wiedelah and Steinbrück.

In 1719, the regiment took part in the campaign in Mecklenburg and in the action of Wallsmühlen.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment formed part of the Hanoverian Contingent send to the Austrian Netherlands. In 1743, it campaigned on the Mayn and fought in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1745, it took part in the Battle of Fontenoy; in 1746, in the Battle of Rocoux; and in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld.

During the Seven Years' War, the successive regimental inhabers were:

  • from 1748: Colonel Gustav Friedrich von Behr (died on November 29, 1752 in Celle)
  • from 1753: Colonel Johann Christoph von Dachenhausen (died in April 1758 as major-general)
  • from 1758: Major-General Carl Gustav von Dachenhausen (retired in 1759)
  • from 1759: Major-General Georg Carl von Breitenbach (shot dead in front of Marburg on February 13, 1761)
  • from 1761: Colonel Adrian Friedrich von Veltheim (formerly commanding the Grenadiers zu Pferde, promoted to major-general in 1761, died on May 7, 1765 at Walsrode)

The regiment was disbanded in 1803.

Service during the War

On July 26 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where two squadrons fought in the second line of the right wing. In addition to the force already mentioned, two squadrons of the regiment began the battle posted near the Afferde watchtower not far from Hameln. These four squadrons were not really tested in 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, trusting 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 12, during the aborted attack on the French positions at Rheinberg, the regiment was in Spörcken's (second) column of attack. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-General von Spörcken. In December, when the Allied army took its winter quarters in Westphalia, the regiment was quartered in the Bishopric of Hildesheim.

In March 1759, the regiment formed part of the corps of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick who entered into Hesse, driving back the French back to Königshofen and capturing more than 2,000 prisoners. On April 6, this corps effected a junction with the main Allied army under Ferdinand of Brunswick. The regiment then formed part of Schulenburg's Brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing. On April 13, it fought in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the vanguard of the second column under the Prince von Ysenburg, covering the flank of the attempted Hanoverian infantry advances into Bergen. In this battle, the regiment lost Lieutenant von Blüchert who was wounded. In June, the regiment was part of Imhoff's Corps operating in Hesse. On August 1, 130 men of the regiment were part of the centre of the Corps of the Hereditary Prince who attacked and defeated Brissac's French Corps in the engagement of Gohfeld. This detachment was attacked by 500 foot but it drove them back. The regiment was then attached to Imhoff’s Corps posted at Appelhülsen to cover the siege of Münster.

In February 1760, the regiment took up its winter-quarters at Emsdetten in the region of Münster. On July 25, two squadrons of the regiment formed the rearguard of Spörcken’s Corps near Wolfhagen where they were attacked by French cavalry. On July 31, three squadrons of the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the third line of the right wing on each side of Ossendorf. In September, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Wesel. In October, a detachment of 150 men of the regiment was attacked by four French squadrons near Scharmbeck nor far from Dorsten. They managed to drive the French back, killing several men and taking some 40 prisoners. In this affair Lieutenant Berling was wounded.

On February 13, 1761, the regiment took part in the attack against Marburg where his chief, Major-General von Breitenbach, and Captain von Bülow were killed. On February 18, along with Müller Dragoons, the regiment fought against the French corps of General de Maupéou near Sachsenberg, taking several prisoners including Maupéou himself. In October, the regiment, as part of Wangenheim’s Corps, marched to the region of Hildesheim to support the relief of Braunschweig, followed the enemy and was at the cannonade in front of Einbeck.

On June 24 1762, the regiment fought in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal as part of the cavalry corps. A few weeks later, om July 23, it took part in the second combat of Lutterberg where it captured two standards and 12 cannon. The regiment was then attached to Walthausen’s Corps who, on July 31, drove back the enemy from Carlshaven. This corps then effected a junction with the corps of Prince Friedrich von Braunschweig near Hof-Geissmar. Together, they marched on Wanfried. On August 7, they dislodged the enemy from Eschwege. On August 18, they laid siege to Kassel. On August 23, the regiment was detached from this corps and joined the main army near Wetter.

Uniform

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)

Troopers

Uniform in 1759 -
Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne laced silver with oak leaves as a field sign and a black cockade
Grenadier Prussian-style mitre cap; red front carrying the silver “GR” monogram within the Garter supported by a lion and a unicorn; red flap decorated with the silver Springing Horse over trophies of arms; white sack; red headband; silver within red pompom
Neck stock red
Coat white without lace
Collar none
Shoulderknot red aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels red laced white, each with 8 white buttons and 8 white buttonholes arranged 2 by 2
Cuffs red Swedish cuffs laced white, each with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat light buff (only from 1762 according to Wissel who mentions that, before 1762, it was red)
Breeches light buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff
Waistbelt buff
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots with white knee-covers
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth basic color red; border from the inner edge out, white line, red line, white pattern black rectangles superimposed on pattern, white line; emblem of a white horse on red ground over green turf in a white floral wreath surmounted by a gold crown with red interior

N.B.: during wartime, saddlecloth and holster caps probably used a simpler pattern based on the distinctive colour of the regiment edged in the button colour.

Sabretache see saddlecloth
Blanket roll red


Troopers were armed with a Pallasch' straight steel hilted sword, two pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Officers wore a yellow silken sash across the right shoulder; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; silver lace on the tricorne. They did not carry a bandoleer.

NCOs

NCO had silver laces on the cuffs, pockets, lapels and waistcoat. They did not carry a bandoleer.

Musicians

Musicians were dressed in reverse colours and probably wore shoulder laces. The staff kettle-drummer probably carried NCO distinctives. His kettle-drums were made of copper and had a crimson apron fringed silver carrying the Springing White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by the Lion and the Unicorn; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath.

As dragoons, musicians were drummers. The likely drum pattern would have been similar to the foot with hoops in alternating facing color and white diagonal stripes, white drum cords over a brass drum with the Arms of Hanover in the centre.

Standards

The first squadron carried the Leibstandarte while the 3 remaining squadrons carried an Eskadronstandartewhich varied from one squadron to the other.

In several cases, the colour of embroideries and fringes was not specified, in other cases they were described as golden. However, the buttons colour being white, we assumed silver embroideries and fringes for the reconstruction of these standards.

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with silver embroideries; silver fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn within the Garter; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” on a scroll underneath
  • reverse: similar to the obverse
Leibstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

'2nd Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): crimson field with silver embroideries; silver fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Springing White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a tournament lance with a silver pennant carrying a similar lance with several arrows at mid length; the motto “VIRTUS UNIONE INVICTA” above
2nd Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

'3rd Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): crimson field with silver embroideries; silver fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Springing White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device depicting a golden lion resting on a trophy of arms; the motto “PARCERE SUBJECTIS” above
3rd Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

'4th Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): crimson field with silver embroideries; silver fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Springing White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device depicting St. George piercing the dragon with his lance; the motto “VIRTUS ANIMI SUPERAT OMNIA” above
4th Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

Other sources

Biles, Bill: The Hanoverian Army in the 18th Century, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VI No. 3

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part I : Das Heer von 1763, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 1-4 (1909), page 3-15

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part II: Das Heer von 1770, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 4-5 (1909), page 15-20

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Kurze Stammliste. 1617 bis 1803, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 6-11 (1909), page 22-42

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II

Niemeyer, Joachim and Georg Ortenburg: The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Heereskunde

Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: Seven Years War. Brunswick-Luneburg (Hanover). Hessen Cassel. Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Schaumburg Lippe. Supplement, Birmingham 1984

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

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Schirmer, Friedrich: Nec Aspera Terrent: Eine Heereskunde der hannoverschen Armee von 1631 bis 1803, Niedersächische Hausbücherei, Bd. 3, Hannover 1929