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The Napoleon Series > Publications > Despeche In English

Electorate of Saxony, Kettle-Drummer of the Kochlitzki Cuirassier Regiment 1806

By: Markus Gärtner and Patrice Courcelle

Translator:  Justin Howard

This article previously appeared in Issue 3 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.



In this issue of Depesche, in the series “From the Archive”, we present a drawing of an unusual figure by the well-known Belgian uniform painter Patrice Courcelle. Hans-Karl Weiβ is especially to be thanked for helping to make the drawing available; without his efforts this article probably wouldn’t have been possible.


The Kochtitzki Cuirassier Regiment was raised in 1748, originally under another name, which changed as follows:

1764    von Anhalt-Dessau  or  Prince of Anhalt
1786    von Rex
1789    von Zezwiitsch
1801    von Kochtitzki
1808    von Zastrow

The regiment was finally disbanded after the defection to the allies in 1813.

When general mobilisation was declared in Saxony in 1806, the Kochtitzki Cuirassier Regiment found itself in the following corps after uniting with the Prussian army at the start of October:

Royal Prussian and Electorate of Saxony combined Army Corps
(General of Infantry Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen)

2nd Division of the left wing

Divisional Cavalry (Major-General von Nostitz)

Carabinier Regiment (4 Squadrons)
Chevau-léger Regiment Prince Albrecht” (4 Squadrons)
Cuirassier Regiment Kochtitzki (4 Squadrons)
Horse Artillery (1 Battery)

After the infamous outcome of the twin battles of Jena and Auerstädt on 14 October 1806, the remnants of the Saxon troops pulled back in the direction of their homeland on the orders of their – Saxon – superiors. The reason was that at the time the Saxon and French governments were already in negotiation and a neutrality pact was to be reckoned with at any moment.


In 1806, the Saxon army included four regiments of heavy cavalry, namely Garde du Corps, Carabinier Regiment, Kurfuerst Cuirassier Regiment and Kochtitzki Cuirassier Regiment.

Each of these four regiments consisted of a regimental staff as well as four squadrons, each of two companies. According to regulations, the staff consisted of 1 Commanding Officer, 1 Lieutenant-Colonel, 2 Majors, 1 Regimental Quartermaster, 1 Adjutant, 1 Auditor, 1 Surgeon, 1 Staff Quartermaster, 1 Kettle-drummer and 1 Provost’s Assistant.

Among the 8 companies of the regiment, 8 Captains, 8 First Lieutenants, 16 Second Lieutenants, 8 Company Sergeant-Majors, 8 Company Ensigns, 8 Quartermaster-corporals, 8 Surgeons, 40 Corporals, 8 Trumpeters, 8 Blacksmiths and 600 Troopers.

This gives a theoretical (!) total strength of 734 men for a regiment of heavy cavalry.

Plate 1: Kettle-Drummer of the Kochlitzki Cuirassier Regiment 1806

Description of Plate 1

Black bicorn; silver braid along the edge; silver tassels in the corners; white plume with bright red tip; white cockade with brass button.

White Kollet; yellow collar with white braid; yellow cuffs and turnbacks, also with white braid; on the rear two “false sleeves” with yellow ornamentation on the visible side; along the hook placket of the breast two white braids.

White trousers.

Black boots.

White waist belt with white leather straps.

Sabre with brown leather scabbard; brass fittings; brass hilt; silver sword-knot.

Yellow shabraque; double white lace on the edge.

Black bridle with iron fittings; iron stirrups.

Silver kettle-drum; yellow aprons with silver fringe and tassels.


For the plate:

Sachsen-Uniformen 1763-1860, 162 Aquarelle by E. Simmer (ca. 1900) courtesy of C.M.D. Vetters Dresden, WGM Rastatt.

In addition, for the text:

F. Kersten / G. Ortenburg. Die sächsische Armee Beckum 1982

O. Schuster / F. Franke. Geschichte der sächsischen Armee Leipzig 1885

Lienhart / Humbert. Volume V Royaume de Saxe

Knötel / Sieg. Handbuch der Uniformkunde Hamburg 1937

Hauthal. Geschichte der sächsischen Armee Leipzig 1859


Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2010