13th Hussar Regiment (Jérôme Napoléon)
By: Markus Stein and Edmund Wagner
Translator: Justin Howard
This article previously appeared in Issue 1 of the German-language magazine Depesche, which is published by our partner, Napoleon Online. We appreciate the kindness of the editor, Markus Stein, for giving us permission to publish the translation.
By imperial decree of 6 August 1813, Napoleon “presented” his brother Jérôme – King of Westphalia – with a regiment of hussars, whose core was to be created from various troops of the French and Westphalian armies, and which was to be completed by new recruits from Lorraine. This regiment became the hussar regiment “Jérôme Napoléon” of the Westphalian Guard and was initially supplied with horses from the depot of the Westphalian Guard Chevauxleger, because the majority of the complement arrived in Kassel without horses. The regiment was also supplied with horses from the depots of the line hussar regiments after both of these had been disbanded. In October 1813, the regiment accompanied the King during his flight to France, where it was later (1 January 1814?) renamed as the 13th French Hussar Regiment.
In 1813, the regiment was involved only in the actions around Kassel, suffering the following losses to its officers:
24 September 1813 near Kassel:
28 September 1813 in action at the bridge over the Fulda River near Kassel:
In 1814, the regiment was involved in several minor actions in France, and on 24 March 1814 was almost fully decimated at the Battle of Fère-Champenoise.
The losses among the officers during 1814 were as follows:
2 and 3 February in action near Chaussée:
On 1 March 1814, Second-Lieutenant CHATELAIN was wounded during duty as escort to Marshall Macdonald.
25 March in the Battle of Fère-Champenoise:
The regiment was supposed to consist of four squadrons, but according to contemporary reports was consistently under-strength as well as inadequately equipped and clothed.
The detailed organisation of the regiment corresponded to that of a line hussar regiment, and was therefore as follows (the related number of horses is given in brackets):
The senior regimental staff with
This gave the following theoretical (!) strengths:
The differing regimental strengths result from the fact that in wartime the Lieutenant-Colonel, Quartermaster, Master Tailor (a captain?), the Rider, the Master Craftsman, the Craftsmen and one of the Surgeons 3rd class stayed behind in the depot.
The regimental train was supposed to comprise an officers’ baggage wagon, a wagon for victuals, a munitions wagon and an ambulance.
For this, 8 train soldiers with 16 draft horses were seconded from a company of train soldiers.
In the Westfälische Moniteur of 20 September 1813, the following officers are mentioned in the regiment’s roll:
Description of Plate 1
The plate by Edmund Wagner depicts four troop types from 1814, after a previously unpublished drawing by Herbert Knötel.
Figure A: Officer
Scarlet shako with gold band, cap plate, cords and chin strap; black peak with gold rim; French cockade (blue in the centre, then red, then white on the outer ring); scarlet plume in a gold loop.
Scarlet dolman with scarlet collar and gold lace (on the collar), buttons and frogging.
Blue pelisse with gold frogging, lace and buttons; silver-grey trimming.
Blue breeches with gold lace.
Crimson boots with gold lace, gold tassels and gilt spurs.
Crimson-coloured woollen sash with gold loops.
Crimson crossbelt with gold studs and border.
Sabre with gold hilt and gold scabbard; gold sword knot.
Black sabretache with gold eagle and gold ornamentation.
Crimson barrel sash and crimson sabretache straps with gold buckles and lace.
Scarlet cloth shabraque with gold edging and tassels at the corners; black leather knee patches.
Blue portmanteau with gold lace.
Gold bridle with gold buckles.
Gilt stirrups with gold stirrup leathers.
Figure B: Trumpeter in parade dress
Scarlet shako with black top; yellow plate and yellow chin straps; yellow cords; black peak with brass rim; yellow lace; French tricolour cockade (as Figure A); light-blue over white plume; white loop.
White dolman; blue collar and blue cuffs with yellow lace; yellow frogging and brass buttons.
White pelisse; yellow frogging and brass buttons; yellow lace; white trimming; white lanyard.
Red, Hungarian breeches with yellow lace trimming.
Black boots with yellow trim and yellow tassels; white spurs.
Scarlet-coloured woollen sash; white loops with blue central stripes.
Sabre with brass hilt and scabbard; white sword knot.
Scarlet sabretache with yellow “13” and yellow lace.
White barrel sash with white straps; brass buckles.
Brass trumpet; white/blue cords.
Black sheepskin shabraque with red wolf’s teeth edging.
Blue portmanteau with yellow lace and yellow “13”.
Black bridle with brass buckles.
White stirrups with black stirrup leathers
Figure C: Trumpeter
Scarlet shako; large tricolour cockade (as Figure A);
Yellow loop and yellow button; black peak with yellow rim; yellow lanyard; shako upper band yellow, lower band black; yellow chin straps; green pompom.
Dolman as figure B.
White pelisse; yellow frogging and yellow lanyard;
Brass buttons; white lace; black trimming.
Scarlet overall with black leather reinforcing; blue stripe on the outer seam; brass buttons.
Black boots with white spurs.
Sash as figure B.
Crossbelt as figure B.
Sabre, barrel sash and straps as figure B.
Black sabretache with brass “13”.
Trumpet and cords as Figure B.
Black sheepskin shabraque with green wolf’s teeth edging.
Green portmanteau with yellow “13” and yellow lace.
Bridle, stirrups and stirrup leathers as figure B.
Figure D: Hussar
Shako as figure C.
Scarlet dolman with scarlet collar and cuffs; yellow lace and yellow frogging; brass buttons.
Blue pelisse; yellow lace, frogging and yellow lanyard; brass buttons.
Grey overall with black leather reinforcing; red stripe on the outer seam; brass buttons.
Boots, leather, sabre, sash and sabretache as figure C.
White to light grey sheepskin shabraque with green wolf’s teeth edging.
Portmanteau, bridle, stirrups and stirrup leathers as figure C.
Fritz Lünsmann Die Armee des Königreichs Westfalen, 1807-1813.
A. Martinien Tableaux par corps et par batailles des officiers tués et blessés pendant les guerres de l’Empire (1805-1815).
Unpublished drawings by Herbert Knötel from his Estate in the Wehrgeschichtliches Museum (Army Historical Museum), Rastatt.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2010