Bourscheidt Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Palatine Army >> Bourscheidt Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised in 1682 in the County of Jülich, his chef was Colonel Heinrich Ferdinand von Bernsau. On 29 October 1688, Johann Friedrich Count Elteren (aka d'Autel) was appointed as the new proprietor of the regiment.

Between 1694 and 1700, the regiment was in Imperial pay. At the end of May 1694, it marched to Italy. Its commander was Major Karl Kaspar Baron von Bourscheidt. The regiment (10 companies à 120 men for a total of 1,200 men, excluding staff) was assigned to Prince Eugène's troops and fought in Italy in the battle of Turin and Casale. In 1697, it took part in siege of Bihacz and fought against the Turks in Hungary.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive Chefs of the regiment were:

  • from 1694: Karl Kaspar Baron von Bourscheidt (retired in 1706)
  • from 1 May 1706: Johann Philipp Baron von Bettendorf (died in 1711)
  • from 1 March 1712: Johann Friedrich von Ebertz (retired in 1713)
  • from 11 April 1713 to 1727: Friedrich Franz Baron von Norpath

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 1696: Lieutenant-Colonel von Buonaccorsi (retired in 1703)
  • from 1703: von Rennesse (retired in 1705)
  • from 1705: Johann Friedrich von Ebertz ( proprietor since 1712)
  • from 1712: :Friedrich Franz Baron von Norpath (proprietor since 1713)

Service during the War

In June 1700, the regiment returned from Italy. By that time, it had in 2 battalions for a total of only 800 men.

1701

In 1701, the regiment garrisoned in Jülich.

1702

At the beginning of July 1702, the regiment was part of the contingent that the Elector of Palatinate promised to send to reinforce the Dutch corps of General Dopff.

In the order of battle of 31 July, the regiment (2 battalions for a total of 1,200 men) was deployed between Lauterbourg and Wissembourg. From July to September, it took part in the Siege of Landau, where it was posted near Wissembourg.

1703

In 1703, the regiment was initially allocated to the corps of G.d.C. Count Nassau-Weilburg, operating on the Upper Rhine (in the vicinities of Neustadt an der Haardt and Alzey). It was later posted in the Lines of Stollhofen. During the year it was placed in Imperial pay.

1704

In 1704, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Stollhofen.

Towards the end of the year, the regiment joined the corps which had undertaken the Siege of Landau. It encamped on hills between the Birn and Schleid creeks, east of Wollmesheim. In the night of 15 to 16 November, the regiment took part in the storming of the ravelin.

At the end of the year, after the capture of the place, the regiment garrisoned Landau.

1705

In 1705, the regiment campaigned on the Upper Rhine in the corps of Count Nassau-Weilburg.

On 22 July, the second battalion formed part of the garrison of Homburg, which was invested by the French.

On 12 August, the regiment (2 battalions) arrived on the Lauter River and remained in the Lines of Lauterbourg. On 16 August, it secured the bridge near Lauterbourg

In December, the regiment (2 battalions in 16 companies) took up its winter-quarters in Klingenmünster, Billigheim, Minfeld, Wachenheim and Labsheim

1706

At the beginning of 1706, the regiment was assigned to the Palatine Contingent operating on the Upper Rhine.

On 4 May, the regiment encamped near Philippsburg.

On 28 May, the regiment (now Bettendorf) was sent to the Lower Rhine where it joined an Allied army in Flanders and was assigned to the brigade of Colonel Friedrich Johann Baron Frankenberg.

On 15 June, Frankenberg's Corps left Maastricht, and the regiment marched to Bruxelles.

The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Maastricht.

1707

In 1707, the regiment (897 men) was assigned to Frankenberg's Corps in Flanders.

The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Maastricht.

1708

In 1708, the regiment was assigned to the Palatine Contingent which reinforced Prince Eugène's Army in Flanders. It was probably at the Siege of Lille.

At the end of the year, the regiment returned to Maastricht.

1709

In June 1709, the regiment (1,267 men) escorted the heavy artillery destined to the Siege of Tournai. The convoy arrived there only on 11 July, after various difficulties.

For the rest of the year, the regiment probably garrisoned Maastricht.

1710

In 1710, one battalion was posted in Maastricht, the other in Limburg.

1711

On 15 May 1711, the regiment (2 battalions under majors Jaquemin and Somers, for a total of 1,168 men) left Maastricht and marched to Saxony.

On 19 July, the regiment reached Glogau (present-day Glogów/PL) and Sagan (present-day Zagan/PL).

By the end of August, the first battalion numbered 523 men, and the second 524 men.

On 15 September, Lieutenant-General Baron von Bettendorf died and Colonel von Ebertz became the new proprietor of the regiment.

After a long, futile period of inactivity in the camp, the troops were called back to the Low Countries. The regiment marched to the Lower Rhine and the Meuse.

1712

On 5 February 1712, the regiment arrived at Maastricht after its long march from Silesia.

On 1 March, one battalion left Maastricht and was assigned to Welderen's Brigade. The other battalion remained in Maastricht, and was later transferred to Huy.

In July, the regiment took part in the blockade of Landrecies. It was dispatched to secure the bridgehead at Denain but arrived too late, the troops of G.d.C. Albermarle had already been routed.

By mid-October, the regiment was back in Maastricht.

1713

In 1713, the regiment (2 battalions, each of 608 men) was posted on the Upper Rhine. In May, it was sent back to the Electorate of Palatinate. It crossed the Meuse and was assigned to the corps of General Vehlen.

By August, it was in the vicinities of Gernsheim and Hofheim. It later took position in the Lines of Ettlingen.

The regiment spent the winter in Bretten.

1714

In March 1714, after the Treaty of Rastatt the regiment returned to Palatine lands. It garrisoned Neustadt a. d. Haardt, Alzey and Veldenz.


Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1708 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per Bezzel and Robert Hall
Headgear
Fusilier black tricorne laced white with a white and blue pompom on the left side
Grenadier probably a bearskin cap with a red flame and a white tassel
Neck stock white
Coat dark blue with red lining and with white buttons from top to bottom on the right side, one white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels red, each with 7 white buttons arranged 1-2-2-2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks white, each fastened with a small white button
Waistcoat red with 15 white buttons from top to bottom (the seven upper buttons were not fastened) with horizontal pockets, each with 1 white button
Breeches dark blue
Stockings white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff leather
Waistbelt buff leather, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch buff leather
Bayonet Scabbard buff leather
Scabbard buff leather with brass tip
Footwear black shoes fastened with a strap


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet; and a sword.

A large bag was carried on a wide yellow strap over the shoulder.

Other interpretations

In 1685, Goldberg and Hall represent the regiment with a dark blue coat with grey-white lining; grey-white cuffs, grey-white waistcoat and yellow buttons. However, it seems that the distinctive colour of the regiment changed somewhere during the War of the Spanish Succession, maybe as late as 1708.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the rank and file but with the following distinctions:

  • cuffs bordered with a golden braid
  • absence of the large ammunition pouch

Corporals and sergeant-majors carried a stick and a halberd or a pike.

Officers

Officers carried spontoons and had white and blue sashes.

Musicians

The uniforms of the musicians were identical to those of the rank and file but decorated with lace.

The shell of the drums were decorated with alternating white and blue flames and carried the cypher of the Electorate of Palatinate.

Colours

no information found

References

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

Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Spanischer Successions-Krieg I. ser. IV. file, Viena 1877

Goldberg, Claus-Peter and Robert Hall: War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714 – Electorate Palatine under Elector Johann Wilhelm 1690-1716, s.l., 2003

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

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala the initial version of this article