Home Great Northern War Historical Atlas Guestbook
Armies Battles and Sieges Colours and Standards
 
  ARMIES
 
  Sweden
 
Prussia 1702-15
 
Prussia 1740-63
  Russia

 
 
  SWEDEN
 
  Organisation
 
 
The Guard - part 1
 
The Guard - part 2
 
 
  DENMARK-NORWAY
 
  Infantry uniforms
  Cavalry uniforms
 
Artillery uniforms
 
Norwegian uniforms
 
  Organisation

 
 
  SAXONY
 
  Infantry uniforms
  Cavalry uniforms
 
Artillery uniforms
 

Örjan Martinsson

Saxon Cavalry Uniforms
in the Great Northern War

The Saxon cavalry basically had the same uniforms as the infantry and for general information about these I refer to the infantry uniforms page. But just like the infantry the cavalry had red coats with facings in the regimental colour.

The proper cavalry, the cuirassiers, had a cuirass which was worn underneath the coat. They could also fight without a coat and were then dressed in a buff coat underneath the cuirass. According to Lars-Eric Höglund the cuirassiers had leather vests and breeches. Daniel Schorr on the other hand states that the vest (camisole) was red if it was worn with the buff coat or in the regimental colour if it was worn with the coat. The saddle cloths and pistol covers were according to him either completely red or red with an edge in the button colour (usually white, pewter buttons = white button colour). The edge had in its turn a stripe inside with a colour that varied for the individual regiments. The stripe was usually straight but could also be wavy. The officer saddle cloth was red with an edge in gold or silver before 1707, after 1707 they were blue.

Dragoons did not wear cuirasses. They too had leather breeches and the vest was either red or in the regimental colour. Daniel Schorr states that dragoon saddle cloths and pistol covers were usually in the regimental colour but could also be red (when that is the case I will mention it in the text below). Just like the cuirassiers the edge on the dragoon saddle cloths and pistol covers were usually white and in some cases they too had an inner stripe in the edge. The officer saddle cloths had the same appearance as the cuirassiers' officer saddle cloths.

Leibgarde/Garde du Corps
(Leib-Trabantengarde, Leib-Garde zu Ross, Garde du Corps, Garde zu Pferd)

Leibgarde zu Ross, or Garde du Corps as it was also called, went through several changes in its organisation during the course of the war. It was created 1 August 1701 by merging four different units: Leib-Trabantengarde, "Grands Mousquetaires", Carabiniers and Horse Grenadiers. The first unit had already in the beginning of the year received the name Garde du Corps. The new combined unit consisted of four companies of 200 trabants/guardsmen each. But it was disbanded already in November 1702 and used to create four new cuirassier regiments. The Leibgarde was resurrected 30 July 1703 and consisted then of four corps (trabants, carabiniers, horse grenadiers and dragoons) with 150 men each. Yet another reorganisation in the autumn of 1707 transformed all four corps into trabants.

Trabants

Horse Grenadiers

According to Schorr the trabants had in 1693 a red coat that was richly decorated with gold. In 1701 the coat was red with leather-coloured (buff) cuffs and lining. From 1707 they had crimson coats with leather-coloured cuffs and collar as well as camisoles/buff coats of elk skin. The saddle cloths were blue with edge in aurora and white. Later the cuffs and collar were paille (straw-coloured) and the leather camisole was replaced with paille camisole of cloth. The saddle cloths became crimson and the coat was decorated with black velvet combined with silver and silver-plated buttons. The trumpeters had yellow coats with bleumourant (light blue) cuffs and laced with bleumourant mixed with silver. In 1715 the coat was still crimson but all silver had been replaced with gold.

Höglund on the other hand writes that the trabants had paille yellow coats with silver buttons and cuffs, lining, vest, breeches and neckcloth in red. The bandolier was also red with silver lace. The hats had white lace and a plume in blue and yellow. Could Höglund's uniform be a buff coat which was worn instead of the cloth coat?

Schorr states that there is no information on the carabinier uniform but guesses that it looked the same as the Trabant uniform. Höglund on the other hand states that it is the dragoon uniform that is unknown while his description of the carabinier uniform is similar to Schorr's description of the dragoons. It would appear as if one of them has got the units mixed up.

According to Schorr the dragoons had in 1703 a red coat with cuffs, lining and collar in bleumourant. The buttons were yellow (brass or gilded), the camisole was red and the breeches were of leather. The headgear was a tricorne hat with lace in white and silver, and decorated with a cockade. saddle cloths and pistol covers were medium blue with edging in white and silver.

Höglund mentions that the carabiniers had hats with gold lace, crimson coat with brass buttons, pale blue lining and cuffs, pale yellow vest with pale blue lace and pale yellow breeches. The saddle cloths were pale blue with both a broad and a narrow lace, and the royal cypher in gold.

The horse grenadiers had according to Schorr red coats with dark green cuffs, lining and collar as well as red camisoles, leather breeches and a white neckcloth. The grenadier cap was stiff and red with dark green lace and had a brass plate (which according to Höglund contained the coat of arms of Saxony with the text: "GUARDE"). The saddle cloths were dark green with a white edge. According to Höglund the white edge on the saddle cloths and pistol covers had a wavy line. He also deviates from Schorr by noting that the breeches were red.

Dragoons
 (according to Daniel Schorr)

Carabiniers
 (according to Lars-Eric Höglund)


Cuirassiers

In the beginning of the war a cuirassier regiment consisted of 12 companies which together with a regimental staff of ten men had a combined strength of 898 men. Each company had 64 privates and a company staff of 10 men. At the end of 1702 and early 1703 the cuirassier regiments were reduced to 8 companies. The size of the companies and the regimental staff remained the same which resulted in a total strength of 602 men.

In battle the regiments were formed in squadrons which first consisted of either two or three companies, but from 1703 only of two companies.
 

Chevaliergarde

This unit which was created 30 July 1703 was inspired by the Swedish Drabant Corps. It consisted of 180 men, all officers.

Schorr writes that the coat was red with gold buttons and that the front and pockets were edged with gold lace. The cuffs were red over blue and laced with gold. Blue lining, red camisole, leather breeches and white neckcloth. A tricorne hat with gold lace and feathers and cockade in white. The saddle cloth was red with an edge in gold-blue-gold and the royal cypher in the corners. The pistol covers were like the saddle cloth but also decorated with a white Maltese cross.

Höglund specifies that the blue colour was dark blue and that the royal cypher consisted of the letters AR underneath a crown. He deviates from Schorr by noting that the vest/camisole was of leather and decorated with lace in gold and violet.

Leibregiment zu Pferde

Both Höglund and Schorr states that they had white facings. But the former mentions pewter buttons while Schorr (referring to the year 1707 for his information) writes that they were to have brass buttons. Schorr also mentions that this regiment traditionally had buff coats with red cuffs. The saddle cloth was red with a white edge and inside that edge there were a blue stripe.

Kurprinz

Schorr states that they had yellow facings, pewter buttons and black neckcloths in 1707. Höglund also mentions that they had black lace on their hats.

Königin
(Queen's Regiment)

Straw yellow facings and pewter buttons. Schorr mentions that the neckcloth was red in 1707 and Höglund mentions that the hats had red lace.

Banér's Regiment
Jordan's Regiment

1699
1701

(Disbanded 1704)

Uniform unknown. The colours and their standards do not give any clues to what their uniforms might have looked like since they in 1704 were issued three older standards with different colours (yellow, red and green)

Steinau's Regiment
Damitz' Regiment
Johnston's Regiment
Zühlen's Regiment
Criegern's Regiment

1699
1706
1713
1715
1717

Bleumerount (pale blue) facings and pewter buttons. Schorr mentions that the neckcloth was black in 1707 and Höglund mentions that the hats had black lace.

Reichenau's Regiment
Eichstädt's Regiment
Wolffersdorf's Regiment

1700
1702
1716

Höglund writes that the facings were coffee brown, the buttons were of pewter and the hats hade white lace. Schorr also mentions that they had coffee brown facings in 1707 and that the neckcloth was white.

Höglund states that the standards were cinnamon brown and that they received eight new grey standards in 1709. The latter could be a sign of a change of the uniform colour.

Beust's Regiment
von Reitzenstein's Regiment
Moritz von Sachsen's Reg.

1702
1706
1712

(Disbanded 1707)

Black facings. Höglund mentions that they had pewter buttons and white lace on the hats. Schorr mentions that they had white neckcloths in 1707.

Tiesenhausen's Regiment
Gersdorff's Regiment
Winckel's Regiment
Althahn's Regiment
Kyau's Regiment
Arnstädt's Regiment

1702
1704
1706
1713
1714
1715

Höglund states that they had cinnamon brown facings. Schorr notes that they in 1707 grey facings but with cinnamon in parenthesis. Schorr also mentions that they had pewter buttons.

Flemming's Regiment
Prinz Alexander's Regiment

1703
1706

Green facings. Höglund says that they had pewter buttons and white lace on the hats. Schorr says they had brass buttons and white neckcloths in 1707.

Sachsen-Meiningen
(In Saxon service 1711- 1717)

Schorr has no information about this regiment but Höglund have them with red coats and probably green lining and cuffs.

Wiedemann's Regiment
(1704)

This regiments was issued four old standards in 1704 but is not mentioned by Schorr. Its uniform is unknown and Höglund thinks it was a temporary unit consisting of recruits. Three of the standards were blue and the fourth was green.


Dragoons

The organisation of the dragoon regiments is unknown but it seems to have been the same as for the cuirassiers. That is twelve companies in the beginning of the war and from 1703 eight companies. Furthermore it is uncertain whether the horse grenadiers of each regiment were concentrated in a single company and if this in that case was counted as one of the regular 8/12 companies or was an additional company.
 

Leibregiment Dragoner

White facings. Schorr mentions that they had brass buttons and depicts them with red saddle cloths and pistol covers edged with white.

Kurprinz
(Disbanded 1702)

Lemon yellow facings. The regiment was disbanded in 1702 and its men were transferred to Garde du Corps.

Wolffenbüttel's Regiment
Milchau's Regiment

1700
1701

Höglund notes that the facings were black and that they had pewter buttons and hats with white lace. Schorr also mentions that they had pewter buttons and that the facing colour was black in 1700. But according to him the facing colour was changed to yellow in 1701.

 

Stammer's Regiment
(Disbanded 1701)

Uniform unknown. When the regiment was disbanded the privates were transferred to Garde du Corps.

 

Goltz' Regiment
Flemming's Regiment
Bielke's Regiment

1699
1712
1715

According to Höglund the regiment had parrot green facings, white neckcloths and white hat lace. According to Schorr they had in 1707 black facings, brass buttons and white neckcloths.

It is curious that Höglund and Schorr have such conflicting information about this regiment. But if the regimental colour was changed at some point then both could be correct. The question is then which point in time Höglund's undated information refer to. Was it before or after 1707?

Brause's Regiment

According to Höglund the regiment had yellow facings and vest, pewter buttons, white neckcloth and white hat lace. Schorr specifies the colour to lemon yellow and he too mention that the neckcloth was white.

Schulenburg's Regiment
Saint-Paul's Regiment
1702
1710

Schorr writes that the facings were straw yellow in 1707 and that the neckcloth was black. Höglund tells that the facings and vest were pale yellow, the buttons were of pewter and that both neckcloth and hat lace were black.

Oertzen's Regiment
Dünewald's Regiment
Weissenfels' Regiment
1703
1705
1712

Höglund states that the regiment had blue facings in 1703 but Schorr writes that it was first in 1704 that they received red coats with blue facings. The year before the coat was blue with an unknown colour on the facings. They agree on that the regiment had pewter buttons, white neckcloths and that the facings colour was changed to green in 1707. Höglund specifies the colour to light green and notes that the vest was also of that colour and that the hat lace was black.

Schorr has depicted the saddle cloth and pistol covers as green with a white edge in 1707. This could then have been changed in 1712 so that an inner red stripe was added to the white edge.

Brandenburg-Bayreuth
(Disbanded 1717)

Schorr mentions that the facings were bleumerount in 1707 and that they had pewter buttons and white or black neckcloths. Höglund describes the facing colour as light blue and notes that the vest was also of that colour. A part from pewter buttons he also mentions that the hat had black and white lace.

Schorr has depicted the regiment's saddle cloth and pistol covers in blue with a white edge containing an inner red stripe.

Wrangel's Regiment
Baudissin's Regiment
1704
1710

Schorr mentions that the facings were coffee brown in 1707 and that the neckcloth was black. Höglund adds that the uniform in 1707 had pewter buttons, coffee brown vest and black hat lace.

Flemming's Regiment
(Disbanded 1707)
Fürstenberg's Regiment
(Disbanded 1707)
Jordan's Regiment
(Disbanded 1707)

Both uniforms and colours are unknown for these three units which existed in 1704-1707.

Winckel's Regiment
(Disbanded 1706)

This was a temporary unit created in 1705 by recruits intended for the main army's regiments. It participated in the battle of Fraustadt 1706 and was disbanded afterwards.

According to Höglund it had probably not been issued regular uniforms and was instead likely dressed in grey fatigues.

Feilitzen's Regiment
Flemming's Regiment
Baudissin's Regiment

1709
1717
1718

This was a regiment hired from Ansbach in 1709. According to Höglund it had blue coats with red facings and pewter buttons. Schorr also mentions pewter buttons but he describes a red coat with blue facings for Flemming's Regiment (maybe a later uniform?) Schorr has also depicted this uniform with red saddle cloth and pistol covers.

Ansbach-Schmettau
(Regiment from Ansbach in Saxon service 1713- 1717)

According to Höglund its uniform was a blue coat with pewter buttons and crimson cuffs, lining and vest as well as leather breeches and a crimson saddle cloth with white edge. This uniform appears to be identical uniform with the one Höglund described for the preceding Ansbach regiment.

Schorr deviates by writing that the coat was light grey and that the saddle cloth was crimson or possibly blue. He also adds that the neckcloth was black and the hat lace was white. The NCOs were to have silver lace on their cuffs and the drummers crimson coats with light grey cuffs and lining with crimson breeches. The officers also had grey coats with crimson cuffs and lining. But buttons, buttonholes and seams were decorated with gold. Furthermore they had a black sash mixed with silver threads. The neckcloth was white.

Back to the Campaigns of the Saxon Army.