Palatine Preysing Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Palatine Army >> Palatine Preysing Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on May 11, 1755 from troops contributed by Prinz Birkenfeld Infantry, Isselbach Infantry and Baaden Infantry, each of them contributing two companies. During peacetime, it garrisoned Düsseldorf.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was not at full strength, totalling only some 1,000 men. It consisted of two battalions. Theoretically, each of these battalions should count one grenadier company (100 men) and 5 musketeer companies (each of 140 musketeers). The regimental artillery consisted of one gun per battalion, each served by 20 artillerymen detached from the Palatine Artillery.

While campaigning, its grenadiers were usually formed into converged grenadier battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the chef of the regiment was:

  • from May 11, 1755: Joseph Philipp Baron von Preysing
  • from March 3, 1762 to January 1, 1790: Carl Ludwig Baron von Rodenhausen

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • from 1753: Karl Baron von Horst
  • from 1758 until 1768: von Jacquemin

Service during the War

1757

In 1757, the regiment was part of the 6,000 men strong Subsidienkorps (Palatine Auxiliary Corps) hired by France to serve in Germany.

On April 25, the regiment (now numbering 1,349 men), which was attached to Baaden's Corps, arrived at a camp of the French army at Derendorf near Düsseldorf.

At the end of June, the Palatine Auxiliary Corps advanced through Westphalia to join the French Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by Maréchal d'Estrées.

On July 6, the Palatine Corps led by General Isselbach reached the camp at Bielefed where Palatine troops were allocated to various corps. The present regiment and Baaden Infantry joined the corps of the Marquis de Contades. All grenadier companies of the Palatine infantry regiments formed two converged grenadier battalions.

On July 26, the regiment took part in the battle of Hastenbeck where it supported the leading columns of the left wing. After the victory, it encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the French Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2.

On September 6, the regiment, along with Baaden Infantry was left in Rethem to secure the crossing of the Aller River. On September 22, it marched to Wolfenbüttel.

On November 16, the retreating Palatine troops reached Hamm and Lippstadt, where they remained until December 8.

On December 24, the Palatine troops reached Celle.

At the end of the year, the regiment took its winter quarters in the town of Verden. This position was in the fourth line of the French Army.

1758

On March 17, 1758, after the capitulation of Minden, the French army marched in two columns to the Rhine. The Palatine Auxiliary Corps (now only 9 battalions strong) was in the left column under Lieutenant-General de Villemur. After crossing the Rhine, the exhausted Palatine troops recovered, the present regiment came to Düsseldorf.

On March 30, the French army reached Wesel.

In April, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in Düsseldorf. It remained in this town during the Allied campaign on the west bank of the Lower Rhine in June.

On June 28, Düsseldorf was besieged by the Hanoverian General von Wangenheim. The fortress commander, General Isselbach, sent Major von Quentel to Mannheim to receive further orders. The Elector of Palatinate, who was concerned about the treasures of his residence city, agreed to surrender the place. The garrison (6.000 men!) capitulated and left on July 9, “with military honour” to rejoin Clermont's Army at Köln.

On July 17, after the ignominious capitulation of Düsseldorf, the French mistrusting the Palatine auxiliary troops, individual battalions were deployed along with French regiments. The present regiment and Prinz Birkenfeld Infantry, were placed in the first line, under the command of the Maréchal de camp De Roy.

On August 6, the French army marched by way of Krefeld to the Rhine, crossed that river and reached Recklinghausen.

By August 20, the entire regiment had joined the Army of the Lower Rhine, now under the marquis de Contades, encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the first line.

The army then remained idle until the beginning of October.

On November 13, the army went to its winter-quarters. On November 19, the present regiment took up its quarters in Hambach and Bedburg

1759

On January 1, 1759, French subsidies not being renewed because the Palatine troops had proven to be quite unwilling allies to the French, the regiment returned to Palatinate where it assumed garrison duty in Heidelberg and Mannheim.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with blue within white pompoms
Grenadier
Preysing Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Copyright Kronoskaf
Austrian style bearskin with brass shield and a white bag laced blue with a blue tassel
Neckstock black
Coat blue coat with 3 brass buttons under the lapels and 1 in the small of the back

N.B.: during summer, a linen smock was worn instead of the coat

Collar none
Shoulder Straps white with 1 brass button (left shoulder)
Lapels white with 7 brass buttons grouped 1,2,2,2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs white with 3 brass buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a small brass button
Waistcoat white with 15 brass buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black with 22 brass buttons
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt paille (straw) or white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with 4 little yellow grenades, grenadiers wore an additional little cartridge box at their waistbelt, it was black with one yellow grenade
Bayonet Scabbard natural leather
Scabbard natural leather with brass fittings only at the beginning of war, later none
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a curved sword.

Other interpretations

Pengel and Hurt specify that the uniform had white collar and no lapels.

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • scalloped tricorne with a black cockade and no pompoms
  • golden gorget (since 1755)
  • gold buttons and laces
  • white and blue striped sash (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • white and blue sword frog (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • buff gloves
  • black cane

Grenadier officers used a musket instead of a spontoon. Therefore, they wore a little cartouche (laced gold with a golden front plate) at the waistbelt.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

For more details on the various patterns of Palatine colours used during this period, please refer to our article on the Palatine Line Infantry Colours.

Warning: we are still working on the graphical representations of the colours and some details may change during the week of July 16 to 22.

Colours before 1760

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; border consisting of with white and blue flames with golden decorations; centre device consisting of an image of the Madonna standing on a snake, surmounted by a red scroll carrying the motto “Sub Tuum Praesidium Virgo Gloriosa”; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor and golden decorations.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): blue field decorated with golden floral patterns; centre device consisting of the golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor surmounted by a red and gold Electoral cap; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor.

Leibfahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf

Colours from 1760

Each battalion carried 2 colours: the first battalion carried the Leibfahne and a 'Kompaniefahne, while the second battalion carried two 'Kompaniefahnen. A red and a yellow variants of the Kompaniefahne seem to have cohabitated.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; border consisting of with white and blue flames with golden decorations; centre device consisting of an image of the Madonna standing on a snake, surmounted by a red scroll carrying the motto “Sub Tuum Praesidium Virgo Gloriosa”; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor and golden decorations.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen)

  • red variant: red field bordered with a light blue and white lozenges pattern; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of the Elector of Palatinate within a rococo frame, flanked by a trophy of arms and a golden couchant lion, a collar of the Order of Saint Hubertus beneath, the whole resting on a white cloud the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor with a cross of Saint Hubertus beneath.
  • yellow variant: yellow field bordered by three rows of white and light blue lozenges; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of of Pfalz-Sulzbach within a rococo frame, flanked by a trophy of arms and a golden couchant lion, the Collar of the Order of St. Hubertus beneath, each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor with a cross of Saint Hubertus beneath.
Leibfahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne (red variant) - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne (yellow variant) - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

Bezel, Oskar; Geschichte des Kurpfälzischen Heeres, Bayrisches Kriegsarchiv, IV. File, part 1 and 2, Munich 1925

Pengel, R.D. And G. R. Hurt; Bavaria, Saxony & the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms and Flags of the Senen Years War, Hopewell: On Military Matters, 1981

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

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

Acknowledgments

rf-figuren for the initial version of this article.