Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

The Saxon Army 1810 - 13

Part I: The Infantry (Continued)

By Howard Giles

Sketches by Geoff Gibbs


Line Infantry

Line Infantry Officer

Line Infantry Officer

The establishment of the Line Infantry was 8 Regiments, each of 2 battalions of Musketeers and 2 companies of Grenadiers, with a total strength of 2,073, all ranks as follows;


1 Oberst
1 Oberstlieutenant
2 Majors
2 Aerzte (Doctors)
1 Regiments Quartermeister
1 Ober-Auditeur
1 Ober-Regiments-Chirugus (Senior Surgeon)
2 Fahnenjnker (Ensigns)
1 Stabs-fourier
1 Stabschirugus
1 Regiments-Tambour (Regimental Drum Major)
1 Battalions-Tambour (Battalion Drum Major)
8 Hautboisten 1. Klass (1st Class Oboists)
12 Hautboisten 2. Klass
1 Buchsenmacher (Armourer)
1 Buchsenschafter (Armourer's Woodworker)
1 Profoss
1 Profossknecht (Provost's assistant)

Line Infantry Musketeer

Line Infantry Musketeer


8 Musketeer and 2 Grenadier Companies:

6 Kapitäns 1. Klass
4 Kapitäns 2 Klass
10 Premierlieutenants
20 Souslieutenants
10 Feldwebel (Company Sergeant-Majors)
20 Sergeants
10 Fouriers
5 Chirugen
100 Korporals
6 Grenadier-Tambours
24 Musketier-Tambours
4 Grenadier-Zimmerleuts (Pioneers)
16 Musketier-Zimmerleuts
360 Grenadiers
140 Musketiers

It had long been the practice to detach the Grenadiers and organise them into 'ad hoc' battalions for filed operations; the only time an entrie Regiment marched together was on the parade ground. There were no light companies.

French style uniforms were worn;

Regiment Facings Buttons
König 1810: Scarlet
1813: Red
Niesemeuschel 1810: Scarlet
1813: Red
White Metal
Prinz Anton Blue Brass
Von Low Blue White Metal
Prinz Maximilian Yellow Brass
Rechten Yellow White Metal
Prinz Friedrich August Green Brass
Prinz Clemens* Green White Metal

* Renamed 'Von Steindel' in Spring 1813.


Line Grenadier Drummer

Line Grenadier Drummer


Shako: Tall red plume, red cords white cockade held in place by gold lace, brass chin schales, brass plate bearing 'F A R' (Friedrich Augustus Rex).

Tunic: White short-tailed Habit-veste, with collar, cuffs and lapels in facing colour, turnbacks and shoulder straps piped with facing colour, pointed cuffs and shoulder straps.

Breeches: White. Loose grey trousers on campaign.

Gaiters: Short black gaiters.

Crossbelts: Two white leather belts, one over the left shoulder supporting the cartouche box, which was decorated with a brass grenade, and one over the right shoulder supporting the bayonet and sabre-briquet. Brown leather scabbards, brass fittings. Silver sword-knot with red lace.

Pack: Calfskin, with white leather straps and grey blanket roll.

Greatcoat: Grey with red patch on each side of the collar.

Musket sling: Natural leather.

Leib Grenadier Garde Private

Line Infantry Uniform Details: Private

Breeches: White. White trousers on campaign.

Gaiters: White, reaching above the knee, with 18 buttons.

Buttons: Brass.

Crossbelts: White leather, supporting the bayonet and sabrebriquet on the left hip, and the cartridge box on the right. Brown leather scabbards with brass fittings. Silver sword-knot with red lace.

Pack: Calfskin, with white leather straps and grey blanket roll.

Leib Grenadier Garde Private

Line Infantry Uniform Details: Officer

Greatcoat: Grey.

Musket Sling: natural leather.


As above, except:

Shako: Plain black, with white cords and cockade, white pompom topped with facing colour.

Greatcoat: Grey, play.

Uniform Distinctions


Officers: Brass band around top of the shako, in the style of an inverted representation of the coronet band on the Royal coat of arms. A brass fitting held the plume. Brass gorget, gold buttons and cords, white gloves, epee on waistbelt.

Gold epaulettes were worn as follows:
Officer's Epaulette

Officer's Epaulette


Colonel - 2 fringed epaulettes with gold crescents.
Lieutenant Colonel - As above, but with silver crescents.
Major/Captain - 1 fringed, 1 contre epaulette, both plain.
1st Lieutenant - As above, but with straight 'carmin' lace.
2nd Lieutenant - As above, but with zig-zag lace.

Fringed epaulettes were worn on the left shoulder, contre epaulettes on the right. This was reversed for adjutants.

NCOs: A plain band around the top of the shako, of brass or white metal, depending on the regimental buttons. NCOs wore plumes tipped in black. Rank distinctions do not seem to have worn on the arm, French style, although sources disagree on this point.

Drummer's Shoulder Nest

Drummer's Shoulder Nest

Drummers: As for the company, except for shoulder nests piped with the facing colour. Brass drums, the hoops painted with diagonal stripes running right to left, alternately in white and facing colour.

Hair was cut short for all ranks.

Regimental Artillery

After the 1809 campaign, captured Austrian 4lb field guns were issued to the 'heavy' line Infantry, 2 to each Regiment. The guns were served by men drawn from the Regiment. I have been unable to discover any uniform distinctions for these troops. Most of the guns wre lost in Russia and the Infantry of 1813 fought without the benefit of Regimental guns.





Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2001


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