Scheither Light Troops

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Scheither Light Troops

Origin and History

This Freikorps was raised in 1758. It originally consisted of a single squadron of Carabiniers of roughly 90 men. By 1759, the unit had been increased with 4 companies of 75 foot Jägers each. By 1761, each of these 4 companies counted 106 men.

The Freikorps' Inhaber was:

  • since 1758 till 1763: Captain Georg Albrecht Heinrich von Scheither

The unit was disbanded at the end of the war.

Service during the War

Throughout the war, the regiment was involved in the Petite Guerre in the western theatre of operation.

On May 26 1758, this newly raised unit was part of Wangenheim's Corps encamped at Dorsten. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand of Brunswick in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. During the night of May 29 to 30, Wangenheim sent a small detachment under the command of Scheiter from Duisburg across the Rhine. Scheiter attacked the quarters of a battalion of Cambrésis Infanterie at Homberg and Essenberg and put them to flight. Scheiter's Corps also repulsed 2 bns of Navarre Infanterie. During this raid, they captured five 6-pdr guns and the new uniforms of Navarre. Scheiter then repassed the Rhine. On June 23, the unit was present at the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-General von Spörcken, but it does not seem to have been involved in any engagement. On June 26, Scheiter recrossed the Rhine to blockade Düsseldorf. On June 27, Wangenheim and his corps got order to attack the French in Düsseldorf. To support this attack, Scheither and his men interrupted the French communication with Wesel and Kölln. From August 12, Ferdinand started collecting his troops at Coesfeld where the British troops joined his army on August 21. On August 29, he shifted the main part of his army to Duelmen (including Scheither and his men). September was a period of small skirmishes where the Hanoverians were more successful than the French, especially Luckner and Scheither. On September 6, Scheither and his carabiniers swam across the Lippe near Gartrop (between Dorsten and Wesel) where the Lippe was so deep and wide that no one would have expected such an attack. A secret note had informed them about a French transport coming from Wesel to Recklinghausen (where Contades and the main part of his army were lying). The escort of the convoy was not very watchful, and although it was numerically superior, it was surprised and routed by Scheither's men, many being killed or taken prisoners. Scheither and his carabiniers destroyed everything of the convoy they could not take away, plundered the traders who followed the convoy and drove away a flock of oxen. Scheither also intercepted two French couriers with dispatches, then crossed the river again swimming with all prisoners, oxen and captured horses. He did not lose a single man. In December, when the Allied army took its winter-quarters in Westphalia, the unit was quartered in a chain of posts between Stadt Loon, Geschen, Loburg, Coesfeld, Lette, Dülmen and Ham.

In June 1759, the corps was part of the main Allied army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick.

By the end of January 1760, the unit was attached to the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. On the night of June 21 to 22, the unit arrived at Recklinghausen. In August, the unit took part in several skirmishes on the Lower Rhine. On August 21, French light troops attacked Scheither's Corps but were repulsed. On September 7, the unit was part of Major Bülow's detachment who advanced on the Upper Eder to threaten Broglie's communication with the Main. The detachment was sent forward to Butzbach where they captured 2 coys of Cavalerie Liégeoise along with 2 standards. During the same raid, the detachment destroyed about 250 wagons of flour at Grünberg and Hungen.

Uniform

Carabiniers

Trooper of Scheiter Carabiniers in 1759
Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne without lace with a green cockade
Neck stock black
Coat white edged green
Collar none
Shoulder Straps green fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs green laced with 2 rows of white vandycked braids
Turnbacks white edged green
Waistcoat green edged white
Breeches straw yellow
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box n/a
Bayonet Scabbard not applicable
Scabbard black with pewter fittings
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark green bordered with a white vandycked braid, with a badge in the corner representing a white horse surmounted by a white crown
Sabretache dark green bordered with a white vandycked braid with a white "GR" royal cipher surmounted by a crown
Blanket roll bordered with a white vandycked braid


Foot Jägers

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Jäger black tricorne without lace and a green cockade fastened with a silver rosette
Grenadier brown "Austrian style" bearskin
Neck stock black
Coat dark green with 13 pewter buttons
Collar dark green laced with a white vandycked braid
Shoulder Straps dark green with a pewter button (left shoulder)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs dark green laced with a white vandycked braid
Turnbacks dark green fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat straw with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Breeches straw yellow
Gaiters grey
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box n/a
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword.

Officers

The Officiers carried gold lace on the vest, cuffs and coat pockets.

Musicians

n/a

Colours

n/a

References

Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Atwood, Rodney: The Hessians. Mercenaries from Hessen-Kassel in the American Revolution, Cambridge 1980

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

Acknowledgements

Karola Sauerländer for details on the campaign of 1758