The sources for this section are O. Schuster and F.U. Francke's Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee; Heinrich A. Verlohren's Stammregister und Chronik der Kur- und Koniglich sächsische Armee; Siegbert Wagner's series of plates titled, Bemalungsangaben für die Zeit des Spanishen Erbfolgekrieg; August Kuhn's Materialen zum spanischen Erbfolgekrieg, Teil 12, Subsidientruppen Friedrich August II; a series of 11 color plates by Walter Dietrich on the Saxon Army 1697-1707; a series of 13 color plates by Eichhorn after R. Trache on the Saxon Army 1700-1720; and a series of 16 unauthored color plates on the Saxon Army 1700-1710. Despite the number of sources, information on the uniforms of the Saxon Army remains fragmentary. Friedrich August was Elector of Saxony for almost 39 years, dying in January,1733. During these years, uniform styles changed, as did facing colors. The first complete picture of Saxon uniforms dates from the Zeithauner Encampment of 1730. Unfortunately, a number of the sources, Kuhn in particular, have used the uniform information from 1730 as the basis for the uniforms worn at the beginning of the Century. With this in mind, I have tried to piece together as complete a picture as possible of the uniforms worn by the Saxon Army during the period 1700-1716.
In late 1998 a book was published in Germany on the uniforms of the Saxon Army 1683-1763. It generally conforms to the information provided here, but it does contain some interesting differences. I recommend anyone interested in the Saxon Army try to obtain a copy.
Other Ranks: Coat: red with a red shoulderstrap(?) on the left shoulder under which ran the cartridge box belt. Illustrations show the row of buttons only reaching to the waist;although, they may have gone the full length of the coat. The coat had horizontal pockets with three buttons. The cuffs and coat lining were in the regimental facing color (see chart below). Each cuff had three buttons. Buttons were either brass (yellow) or pewter (white) (see chart below). The coats of the two Guards regiments may have had a collar. Dietrich shows a collar in his illustrations of these regiments. For the line regiments, collars are more questionable. If a part of the coat, they would have been in the regimental facing color. Coats were normally worn buttoned. Kamisol: red with brass or pewter buttons along its full length. These buttons were smaller than those on the coat. The exact number is unknown. Breeches: usually leather. Stockings: greyish-white or white reaching over the knee and secured by a leather strap under the knee. Belts: a waist belt from which the sword and bayonet scabbards were suspended, and a cartridge box belt which was worn over the left shoulder. Both were buff leather. Dietrich shows white belts for the Guards regiments. Cartridge Box: probably black leather for the line regiments; although a natural leather color is also possible. Dietrich shows the cartridge box worn by the Guard with red cord trim on the flap. In some cases there is a brass FA and crown on the lid. Grenadiers also wore a small waist cartridge box. For the Guard regiments it was trimmed with red cord and had a circular brass plate and crown. Neckcloth: white or black. Kuhn indicates that the two Guard regiments had a red neckcloth. Dietrich has white neckcloths for both Guard regiments. In all probability both a white and a black neckcloth were standard issue to all infantry regiments. Sword and Bayonet Scabbards: dark brown leather with white metal fittings. The sword hilt was also white metal. Shoes: Black with a brass buckle. Gauntlets: buff leather. Headgear: Tricorne: black felt. The tricornes of the line regiments, at least initially, were without lace; however, towards the end of the period lace may have been added, and if so it would probably have been in the button color. Dietrich has lace in the button color for the Guard regiments. Grenadier Caps: a red, mitre-type cap of stiffened-cloth similar in appearance to the Russian grenadier cap of the period. The trim and rear base were in the facing color. The tuft in the button color. Dietrich’s illustrations show a metal plaque and name plate on the front of the Guards’ grenadier caps in the button color. The caps of the line regiments may also have had an embroidered plaque and grenades, or FA, crown and grenades also embroidered. Musket: brown stock with white metal fittings and a natural leather sling. Non-Commissioned Officers: These wore the same uniform as the Other Ranks. For the line regiments, the halbard was the only insignia of rank. The illustrations of Dietrich show a Guard NCO with a button on each side of the collar near the front edge. Otherwise, the uniform as for the Other Ranks. NCO’s may have followed the fashion of the time and had silver lace on the cuff and tricorne. Musicians: Based on the available evidence, there appears to have been no uniform distinctions for musicians. They wore the same uniform as the Other Ranks. Drums appear to have been painted. The shell was painted red with downward reaching flames in the facing color forming a triangular pattern. Rims in alternating vertical stripes of red and the facing color. The Polish-Saxon Arms or Saxon Arms may have appeared on the drum shell. Officers: Line officers wore the same uniform as the Other Ranks with the exception of a silver sash mixed with red/crimson threads. The sash was either worn around the waist or over the right shoulder. In 1715 the gorget was authorized. It was of white metal with FA and crown in gold. Breeches may have been of blue cloth. Although there is no hard evidence, officers may have followed the fashion of officers in other states and had gold buttons and gold lace on cuffs, pockets, buttonholes and tricornes. Dietrich has an illustration of a company officer of a Guard regiment. In it the officer wears the same uniform as the Other Ranks, but the tricorne is trimmed with silver lace and white feathers with a white cockade or rosette on the left side. There is a white/silver shoulderknot and aguillette on the right shoulder. The waist and cartridge box belts are trimmed in silver lace. The cartridge box is buff leather with the flap trimmed in silver, and a silver plaque and crown on the flap. The figure has a black neckcloth, and is armed with a fusil.
Note: The numbers in () refer to the numbers in Part 1-Unit Histories, and do not represent precedence.
FACING and BUTTON COLORS Regiment Facing Color Button Color Notes Polnische Garde (1) 1701 White Pewter Sächsische Garde (2) 1701 White (Yellow) Brass (Pewter) Sacken (9) 1701 Moss Green Pewter Egidy (5) 1701 Dark Straw Brass Steinau (6) 1701 Green Pewter Black neckcloth Kurprinz (3) 1701 Lemon Yellow Pewter White neckcloth Königin (4) 1701 Dark Straw Pewter White neckcloth Thielau (7) 1701 Lemon Yellow Brass Black neckcloth Pistoris (8) 1701 Bleumourant Pewter Görtz (12) 1701 Sea Green Pewter Marshall v.Bieberstein (15) 1701 Moss Green Brass Rothenberg (17) 1701 Sea Green Brass Reuss (14) 1701 Bleumourant Brass Löwenhaupt (16) 1701 Dark Blue Brass Fürstenberg (11) 1701 Dark Blue Pewter Biron (10) 1701 Black (?) Pewter Venediger (10) 1705 Blue ? Blue stockings Drost (20) 1701 Bleumourant Brass Beichlingen (13) 1701 Gray or Blue-Gray Pewter White leather breeches Zeitz (18) 1701 Green Brass Weimar (19) 1701 Gray Brass Flemming (32) 1711 Cinnamon Brown Brass Seckendorff (29) 1710 Blue Brass Blue vest, leather breeches O'Gilvy (23) 1707 Bleumourant Brass Bleumourant vest Weissenfels (27) 1704 Gray ? Black neckcloth
1. Dietrich shows the Sächsische Garde with yellow facings and pewter buttons, and the Polnische Garde with brass buttons.
2. Kuhn states that the two Guard regiments had red neckcloths.
3. IR Ansbach-Kavanagh (33). According to Wagner Plate No.146, Other Ranks wore a dark blue coat with crimson cuffs, vest and lining, and white metal buttons. Leather breeches, grey stockings, black neckcloth and white tricorne trim. Drummers wore a crimson coat and breeches, white cuffs, coat lining and sleeve lace. NCO’s had silver cuff lace, but otherwise as the Other Ranks. Officers had crimson breeches, gold buttons and buttonhole lace, white neckcloth and a siver and black sash.
Garde du Corps
Grenadier zu Pferd
Other Ranks: Coat: red with horizontal pockets with three buttons each. Dark green cuffs, lining and collar. The cuffs had two or three buttons. Red shoulderstrap on each shoulder. Coats were worn buttoned. Kamisol: red. Buttons: yellow metal (brass). Breeches: buff leather. Neckcloth: white. Belts: buff leather. Cartridge Box: buff leather. Gauntlets: buff leather. Boots: black leather. Scabbard: dark brown leather with white metal fittings. Headgear: a red, stiffened-cloth, cap with dark green trim and tuft. A yellow metal plaque and name plate on the front. Carbine: dark brown with white metal fittings and a natural leather sling. Saddlecloth: dark green trimmed white. Drummer: same uniform as the Other Ranks, but a with dark green swallow’s nest on each shoulder. The drum shell was red with dark green flames, and the rim was striped dark green and red. Officer: same as the Other Ranks, but with red breeches, a sash of mixed red and silver threads, and the white trim of the saddlecloth contained a dark green wavy line. Horses: all illustrations of this unit show gray horses for all ranks.
Trabants and Karabiniers
Coat: red with red cuffs and lining. The coat skirts may have been turned back. Kamisol: red. Buttons: yellow metal (brass or gold). Cuirass: black with brass/gold fittings and worn under the coat. Breeches: buff leather. Neckcloth: white. Gauntlets: buff leather. Belts: buff leather. Cartridge Box: natural leather. Headgear: black tricorne with gold lace, white feathers and a white rosette/cockade. Boots: black leather. Scabbard: brown leather with white metal fittings. Saddlecloth and Pistol Covers: red trimmed yellow/gold(?).
Coat: red with horizontal pockets with three buttons each. Medium blue collar, coat lining and cuffs. The latter with three buttons each. The coat skirts may have been turned back. The coats were normally worn buttoned. Kamisol: red with small buttons along its entire length. Buttons: yellow metal (brass or gold). Breeches: buff leather. Gauntlets: buff leather. Belts: buff leather. Cartridge Box: natural leather. Headgear: black tricorne trimmed with white/silver lace and a white rosette/cockade. Boots: black leather. Scabbard: brown leather with white metal fittings. Saddlecloth and Pistol Covers: medium blue trimmed white/silver(?).
Coat: red. The coat front was edged with gold lace. Horizontal pockets with three buttons and edged with gold lace. Blue lining, and red over blue cuffs edged with gold lace. The coat was normally worn buttoned. Kamisol: red. Buttons: gold. Breeches: buff leather. Boots: black leather. Neckcloth: white. Belts: buff leather with the carbine belt covered with blue cloth edged with gold lace. Gauntlets: buff leather. Headgear: black tricorne trimmed with gold lace and white feathers, and a white rosette/cockade on the left side. Scabbard: black leather with gold fittings. Saddlecloth: red trimmed in gold-blue-gold and possibly the Royal monogram in the outer corners in gold. Pistol Covers: red trimmed as saddlecloth, and a gold Maltese cross.
Coat: A buff leather coat or jerkin. A great deal of uncertainty exists as to whether or not any facing colors appeared on the jerkin. Dietrich’s illustration of a cuirassier of the Leibregiment shows no facing colors. I believe this to have been the case. Also, there were probably no buttons on the cuffs, or coat front. By 1707, and probably earlier, the red coat was adopted, and was worn over the jerkin. A contemporary Swedish painting of the Crossing of the Düna in July 1701 shows what is probably the Königin Cuirassier Regiment in red coats with facing colors on the cuffs and coat lining. The coat skirts are also turned back. Cuffs and coat lining were in the facing color (see chart below). All illustrations of cuirassier show the coat skirts turned back; however, this was not officially regulated, and the coat skirts could just as easily been left to hang free. In any case, the coat skirts were hooked not sewn back Buttons: either white (pewter) or yellow (brass). Kuhn states that all buttons were pewter. Cuirass: polished metal or blackened with brass fittings and edged in red or possibly the facing color. It is not known if the Other Ranks wore just the front plate, or both the front and rear plate. The cuirass was worn over the jerkin but under under the red coat. Kamisol: red. Breeches: buff leather. Gauntlets: buff leather. Belts: buff leather. Cartridge Box: buff or natural leather. Boots: black leather. Headgear: A black tricorne with trim in the button color and possibly a white rosette/cockade on the left side. Early in the period a lobster-style helmet similar to that worn by Austrian and Bavarian cuirassier also may have been worn. Scabbard: brown leather with white metal fittings. Neckcloth: white or black. Saddlecloth and Pistol Covers: either solid red or red trimmed in the button Color.Officers: a silver waist sash containing red/crimson threads. Tricorne trimmed with gold lace. The red coat could also have had gold buttons, and possibly gold lace on cuffs, pockets and buttonholes after the fashion of the day. Breeches may have been blue cloth.
FACING COLORS Regiment Facing Color Notes Leibregiment (3) 1707 White Königin (7) 1707 Straw Red neckcloth Kurprinz (4) 1700 White, 1707 Yellow Black neckcloth v.Eichstädt (8) 1707 Coffee Brown White neckcloth v.Beust (9) 1707 Black White neckcloth v.Damitz (6) 1707 Blue Black neckcloth Prinz Alexander (11) 1707 Green White neckcloth a.d.Winckel (10) 1707 Cinnamon Brown
Coat: red with horizontal pockets. Cuffs and coat lining in the regimental facing color (see chart below). Buttons were either brass or pewter. Kuhn suggests that all buttons were pewter. The pockets and cuffs each had three buttons. The coat may have had a collar later in the period; if so, it would most probably have been in the facing color. Coats were normally worn buttoned. Kamisol: red with small buttons along the full length. Breeches: leather or blue cloth. Neckcloth: white or black. Gauntlets: buff leather. Belts: buff leather. Cartridge Box: buff or natural leather. Boots: black leather. Headgear: a black tricorne without trim, at least early in the period. Later, trim may have been in the button color, and there may have been a white rosette or cockade on the left side. Scabbard: brown leather with white metal fittings. Saddlecloth and Pistol Covers: red trimmed in button color. Drums: probably similar to infantry drums - red with flames in the facing color.
FACING COLORS Regiment Facing Color Notes Leibregiment (1) White Kurprinz (2) Lemon Yellow (?) v.Milkau (3) Black v.d.Goltz (4) Parrot Green White neckcloth v.Brause (6) Lemon Yellow White neckcloth v.Schulenberg (7) Straw Black neckcloth Bayreuth (8) Light Blue Black and white striped neckcloth Oertzen (9) Blue,1707 Green 1705 White neckcloth Wrangel (10) 1707 Coffee Brown Black neckcloth Ansbach-Schmettau (16) see note below
DR Ansbach-Schmettau (16) according to Wager Plate No.145. Other Ranks wore a light grey coat with crimson-red cuffs and lining, crimson-red vest, white metal buttons, leather breeches and black neck cloth. A black tricorne with white trim. Buff belts, black cartridge box and black boots. Saddlecloth and pistol covers crimson-red trimmed white. Gray portemanteau trimmed crimson-red. NCO’s had silver cuff lace. Drummers wore a crimson coat with light grey cuffs and lining, crimson breeches and coat wings. The drum was painted red with red and blue striped rims and buff cords. Officers wore a grey coat with crimson cuffs, crimson breeches and vest. Gold buutons and buttonhole lace and gold lace on the coat seams. A black sash mixed with silver threads. White neckcloth.
Coat: gray with red cuffs, lining and possibly a collar, Kuhn gives yellow (brass) buttons. Stockings: red. Kamisol: probably red. Breeches: leather. Headgear: a black tricorne trimmed with yellow lace. Officers: gold tricorne lace, and a silver sash mixed with red/crimson threads worn over the right shoulder.
NOTES ON THE SAXON ARMY 1700-1716