Isselbach Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created in 1693 by Franz Karl Count Wrtby (aka Vrtby). It initially consisted of nine companies, for a total of 614 men. The regiment garrisoned Heidelberg.

In 1694, the regiment fought against the French on the Upper Rhine. In 1695, it garrisoned Heidelberg again.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Chef of the regiment was:

  • from 1 November 1701 to 1714: Franz Fortunat (aka Friedrich Ferdinand) Baron von Isselbach

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

  • from 1699 to 1701: Franz Fortunat Baron von Isselbach (the proprietor of the regiment)
  • from 1703: Johann von Salmuth (killed in action at the Battle of Turin)
  • from 1706: Baron von Buchwitz
  • from 1712: Colonel Knodt

Service during the War

1701

In 1701, the regiment garrisoned Speyer.

1702

For the campaign of 1702, the regiment was allocated to the corps of Lieutenant-General Philipp Ludwig von Leiningen-Westerburg-Rixingen. On 22 April, the regiment marched with this corps to the Lauter River.

From 10 June, the regiment took part in the Siege of Landau. In the order of battle of this day, the regiment (1,200 men) deployed in the second line of the left wing. On 25 July, the regiment lost 3 men killed and 8 wounded during a sortie of the defenders.

1703

In January 1703, the regiment garrisoned Neuburg, his Chef Franz Fortunat Baron Isselbach was the commander of the fortress.

On 3 February, Isselbach had to capitulate at Neuburg, 487 men of his regiment were taken prisoner of war and 498 men joined the Bavarian service. The regiment was then re-established in Kaiserslautern.

On 13 October, the regiment was assigned to the corps of the Count Nassau-Weilburg, which secured Palatine lands.

On 8 November, one battalion of the regiment was deployed in Nassau-Weilburg's Corps, the other in the corps of Prince Ernst Ludwig von Sachsen-Meiningen, which marched to the relief of Landau. On 16 November, the two battalions of the regiment took part in the Combat on Speyerbach, where they were deployed in the second line of the left wing. Most of men of the regiment were taken prisoners by the French.

1704

In 1704, the regiment was taken in Imperial pay. We have no information about the service of the regiment during this campaign. It probably remained in Kaiserslautern during the whole year.

1705

In 1705, the regiment was assigned to the Palatine Corps which set off from Palatinate in April to reinforce the Imperialist army in Italy.

On its way, the Palatine Corps was stopped and placed, along with six Imperial regiments, under the command of Count Gronsfeld, who had been ordered to suppress the uprising in Bavaria.

On 18 May, with the situation stabilized in Bavaria, the regiment led by Colonel von Salmuth left Munich and resumed its march towards Italy.

On 12 June, the regiment arrived at Rovereto. On 16 June, wagons and carts were provided in Riva and Gargnano to transport the regiment to Saló. On 21 June, it finally reached the camp of General Roccavione at Nave.

On 16 August, the regiment took part in the Battle of Cassano where it lost 11 men killed; 5 officers, and 35 men wounded; and 6 missing.

At the end of the year, the regiment was assigned to the corps of the Imperial General Battée and took its quarters in the County of Verona.

1706

In mid-January 1706, the regiment formed part of Battée's Corps posted between the Chiese River and Lake Garda.

On 24 April, the regiment was transported by ships from Gargnano to Riva and Torbole, where it made a junction with the corps of the Imperial General Cunt Reventlau.

By 4 July, the regiment was in San Michéle. On 16 July, once the bridge near Masi and Badia had been completed, the regiment left Bonavigo and went to Castelbaldo. On 20 July, it crossed the Po River. On 24 July, it encamped between Pontelaguscoro and Ferrara.

On 7 September, the regiment took part in the Battle of Turin, where it was deployed in the first line, in the Isselbach's Brigade. Its colonel, Johann von Salmuth, was killed during the battle.

On 25 September, the regiment was allocated to the corps of Count Daun who had been instructed to capture Pavia and, after its surrender, Tortona.

In October, the regiment was part of General Isselbach's detachment during the siege of the Castle of Tortona, which was stormed on 29 October.

1707

In 1707, the regiment, as part of the Isselbach's Brigade, was assigned to the corps of General Marchese Visconti, which remained on the Dora Baltea River to cover Piedmont against enemy attacks.

At the end of the year, the regiment was recalled to Germany.

1708

In 1708, the regiment was assigned to the Palatine Contingent which reinforced Prince Eugène's Army in Flanders.

From 13 to 21 October, during the Siege of Lille, the regiment was posted to the south-east of the city.

On 16 November, the regiment along with other Palatine troops marched by way of Bruxelles, Mecheln and, Roermond. At the end of November, the regiment was in Maastricht.

1709

Between 3 January and 25 February 1709, the regiment was in the vicinity of Cologne.

On 20 June, the regiment arrived at Ghent.

In July, the regiment was assigned to the corps of General Bettendorf and escorted the heavy artillery train to Tournai.

On 11 September, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet, where it was deployed in the second line.

From 27 September to 20 October, the regiment took part in the Siege of Mons.

On 6 November, the regiment left for its winter-quarters in Palatinate.

1710

In 1710, the regiment campaigned with Prince Eugène in Flanders, where it was assigned to the corps of G.d.C. Baron Vehlen.

In the order of battle of July, in the camp of Prince Eugène, the regiment (770 men) was posted in the second line of the centre.

The regiment did not take part in the sieges of Aire and Saint-Venant.

On 14 November, when the Allied left for their winter-quarters, the regiment went to Jülich-Berg.

1711

In 1711, the regiment was part of the Palatine corps of General Count Vehlen. This corps only took part in small actions (Klein Krieg).

On 14 June, the regiment, as part of Vehlen's Corps, marched by way of Rumillies-Melles, Soignies, Nivelles, Tirlemont, Maastricht, Düren, Jülich, and Andenach to Koblenz, where it crossed the Rhine on 9 July.

On 27 August, when Prince Eugène left his camp near Esslingen and advanced to Dudenhofen, G.d.C. Vehlen's Corps (including the present regiment) remained in the vicinity of the Lines of Weissenburg.

In mid-November, when the Allied troops took up their winter-quarters, the regiment was initially quartered in the neighbourhood of Frankfurt, and later on in the vicinity of Jülich-Berg.

1712

During the first half of 1712, the regiment remained in the vicinity of Jülich-Berg and saw no action.

In June and July, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Siege of Le Quesnoy.

On 24 July, the regiment was sent to the support of the Allied force engaged in the Battle of Denain.

1713

By the end of May 1713, all Palatine troops were in the camp of Prince Eugène at Graben. The regiment was under the command of Colonel Knodt. The main body of the regiment was posted in the so-called Rheinschanzen (entrenchments), while the rest of the regiment garrisoned the Citadel of Mannheim.

On 15 June, the French led by General Albergotti laid siege to the Rheinschanzen. By 26 June, these entrenchments had been so severely damaged by constant bombardments that their commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Kuhla, was forced to evacuate them. The defenders abandoned the damaged entrenchments at night.

On 26 August, the regiment, once more assigned Vehlen's Corps, crossed the Neckar and reached Gernsheim and Hofheim. At the end of August, when Prince Eugène withdrew his troops southwards, the regiment, now part of Isselbach's Corps, secured the Rhine between Sandhofen and Oberhausen.

During the winter 1713/1714, the regiment was in the vicinity of Mannheim.

1714

In March 1714, after the Treaty of Rastatt, one battalion of the regiment garrisoned Mannheim, and the other Frankenthal.

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 no information found
Neck stock white
Coat dark blue with yellow 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 yellow, each with 7 white buttons arranged 1-2-2-2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs yellow, each with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks none (it seems that the basques of the coat could be turned back if needed but this was a rare practice during this period)
Waistcoat yellow blue 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 large ammunition pouch was carried on a wide strap over the shoulder.

Other interpretations

Bezzel mentions a dark blue waistcoat.

NCOs

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

  • cuffs bordered with a 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

no information found

Colours

Tentative Reconstruction
Colonel Colour - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore
Ordonnance Colour - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore

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