CREATION OF THE REGIMENT OF POLISH LANCERS.
When in December 1806, Napoleon, and Guard entered for the first time Warsaw, a Polish honor guard, commanded by Count Oginski, was at once intended for the particular service of his person, and had, jointly with the squadrons of the French Imperial Guard, to take care of his safety as long as his sojourn in Poland lasted. This guard, very few, but whose behavior and zeal did not slow down for one moment, gave birth in the Emperor of the idea to attach to his Guard a body of cavalry composed entirely of Poles. And so, some months later, March 2 of the following year (1807), commanded, by a decree of his headquarters at Osterode that it would be formed in Warsaw a pulk (regiment) of Polish light cavalry composed of four squadrons which would be built-into the cavalry of the Old Guard.
“Every Pole, said this decree, will be able to enter this regiment: the nobles, the middle-class and the country folks will have free access to it. Physical defects, the lack of education, loose morals, will only be the only exclusion. However, any Pole who would like to enter this body must, as much as possible, have domiciled in Poland or to have a guarantor of his morality and his fidelity.”
In this elite corps, which was completely formed a month afterwards, i.e. in April, a great number of Poles of note took service, ones driven by a patriotic feeling, others in the hope to contribute in a more immediate way to the re-establishment of their nationality. One must understand how much everyone was divided, during the campaign of Russia, the glory and the vicissitudes of the Imperial Guard: the history is there; it took account of their devotion to them and their sacrifices.
Subsequent to this decree, a decision taken by the Emperor, on January 15, 1807, prescribed that the attachments of the supply wagons of the Old Guard would be doubled: having granted eight to each regiment of grenadiers and chasseurs.
Another decree, dated from the castle of Finkeinstein (Poland), April 12, changed the company of the veterans of the Guard to two hundred men.
Lastly, July 29th of the same year, the Imperial Artillery School of Fère was, by a decision taken at Saint-Cloud, especially assigned to artillery of the Guard.
UNIFORM AND ARMAMENTS OF THE POLISH LANCERS.
Royal blue Kurka; collar, reverses, facings and turnbacks crimson, bordered with a silver lace (galon); crimson braid on all the seams of the coat (habit); epaulettes and aiguillettes of white cord (fils).
Trousers going down over the boots, out of crimson cloth with blue cloth stripes; white buttons.
Cartridge box carrying an eagle. Lance flag crimson and white. Hussar style saber, with white belt and attached to the coat (habit) by a plate carrying an eagle.
Square schapski, crimson and grooved, with a copper sun carrying in the center a crowned “N”. Visor furnished with a copper edge; chin strap copper chain link and white cord (fils) cordage; white plume.
Coat bag (porte manteau) blue and round.
LISTS OF NAMES.
REGIMENTS OF THE LIGHT HORSE LANCERS, known as POLISH LANCERS.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2005
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