Help support TMP

"Saxon Musketeer Battalion Skirmishers 1813" Topic

5 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

632 hits since 27 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Martyn K27 Aug 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

I have been looking into the skirmishers for the Saxon Musketeer and Grenadier Battalions of 1813. As a result, I have more questions than answers.

I am aware that there were two light regiments (Von Lecoq and Von Sahr) that were formed from the regimental Schutzen in 1810. I am also aware that there was a separate Jager Company.
What I am looking at is did the musketeer and grenadier battalions have the ability to provide their own skirmishers in 1813.
My current thinking is that prior to 1810, each Saxon Company had 12 Schutzen (1 Officer, 1 drummer of fife and 10 Schutzen). This meant that each battalion of four companies had 48 Schutzen. These Schutzen were deployed behind the third rank as part of the file closer rank. They could then be dispatched as skirmishers.
Some information that I have seen suggests that the Battalions continued to use Schutzen even after the light Battalions were formed. I have seen a few references of Schutzen being used, such as supporting the Grenadier Battalion Spiegal at Dennewitz.

I have also seen reference to musketeers from the third rank being used as skirmishers in 1813 and I have seen references to grenadiers from the grenadier battalions being deployed in skirmish order.
My thought on "third rank skirmishers" is that they may have been musketeers from any rank being used in skirmish order but then musketeers from ranks further back moved forward to fill the empty positions, giving the effect that the skirmishers were taken from the third rank. This is just a theory at the moment.

What I suspect, and hopefully others can prove or disprove with evidence, is that skirmishing in the 1813 musketeer battalions was done as follows:
1) The battalions still contained 48 schützen (12 from each company) deployed with the file closer line. These schutzen were used as skirmishers when required.
2) The relatively small number of schutzen where supported in their skirmisher duties by musketeers taken from the "third rank" whenever additional skirmishers were required.

Any information that people can provide to put me on the right track would be appreciated.

Prince of Essling Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2017 2:18 p.m. PST

Slight correction on formation of the light regiments, according to Nafziger's "Poles and Saxons of the Napoleonic Wars":
In 1793 an internal schutzen element was organised in each regiment where 2 officers and 3 drummers were designated to lead the scharfschutzen (sharpshooters). each company provided 1 corporal and 8 men. Eventually buglers replaced the drummers.
On 18 May 1808 the schutzen were organised into 2 battalions each of 4 companies. Each company consisted of 1 company commander, 2 subalterns officers, 1 company quartermaster, 1 surgeon, 12 NCs, 3 buglers, 1 drummer, 3 sappers and 150 schutzen.
On 1 May 1810 the 2 battalions wee expanded into 2 regiments of 2 battalions each. A battalion had 4 companies each.
After the disastrous 1812 campaign the Saxons organised 2 light infantry regiments initially of 1 battalion each, growing to 2 battalions each by August – which are the ones mentioned by Martin K above.
Nafziger is slightly confusing as in the midst of the text is a reference to 1809whiuch says these company schutzen were reorganised with the Garde-Grenadier-Regiment drawn together so that every company had a section of 4 files and every 2 sections had 1 peloton of schutzen. the first stood as the Grenadier-scutzen and the entire division of 40 files stood in 2 ranks in 5 pelotons. The organisation of the internal company schutzen in 1809 changed slightly from the arlier organisation – now consisted of 1 officer and 10 men including a drummer or fifer per company.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2017 3:45 p.m. PST

The use of the third rank to skirmish was standard for the Saxons before 1806. There is no reason to think they didn't have the ability after that date.

However, didn't the Saxons organize on the French model with a company of light infantry in each battalion once the Schutzen were organized as separate units?

Major Bloodnok28 Aug 2017 5:18 p.m. PST

I may be mistaken but, I believe the Saxons retained their four coy. bns. for the entire war. A Musketeer regiment would have had eight Musketeer Coys, and two Gremadier Coys.
The Grenadiers were usually stripped to form Grenadier bns..

von Winterfeldt28 Aug 2017 10:58 p.m. PST

the Saxons didn't adopt the French modell – I have to read on this in Jörg Titze's comprehensive study of Saxon infantry.

Eye witness accounts even show the Saxon Guard grenadiers skirmishing in 1813 – turning their bearskin caps round so to avoid that the shining brass plate provided an obvious target

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.