120. Bataillon de Neuchâtel - Empire Histofig - Le site de jeu d'histoire
Empire Histofig - Le site de jeu d’histoire

120. Bataillon de Neuchâtel

Monday 3 October 2011, by frederic pouvesle

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Prince of Neuchatel’s Battalion

The Kingdom of Prussia gives the Principality of Neuchatel to France in 1805 and Marshal Berthier is raised to the dignity of Prince of Neuchatel.

By decree of May 11, 1807, the Emperor raises in the Principality an infantry battalion to serve in the French army. It is established as French infantry battalions and composed of a staff with:

1 Major
1 Recruiting Lieutenant
1 Assistant-Surgeon
1 Quartermaster
1 Drum-Major
3 Master-Craftsmen

and of six companies (one carabineers, one voltigeurs and four fusiliers) each composed of:

1 Captain
1 Lieutenant
1 Second-Lieutenant
1 Sergeant-Major
1 Furrier
4 Sergeants
8 Corporals
2 Drummers
1 Sapper
140 Carabineers, voltigeurs or fusiliers

By decree of 27 August 1808, strength is augmented by an artillery company composed of:.

1 Captain
1 Lieutenant (Engineer)
1 Second-Lieutenant (Train)
1 Quartermaster-Sergeant
1 Sergeant-Major
2 Sergeants (Gunner)
1 Sergeants (Sapper)
1 Sergeants (Train)
1 Furrier
4 Corporals (Gunner)
2 Corporals (Sapper)
2 Corporals (Train)
1 Drummers
32 Gunners
16 Sappers
16 Train Drivers

Prince of Neuchatel’s Battalion takes part in the campaigns of 1809 in Austria, of 1810-1812 in Spain, of 1812 in Russia and of 1813 in Germany and is then wiped out.

Battalion is disbanded on 19 June 1814. At the end of the Empire, Principality of Neuchatel is given back to Prussia.

Unit commanders

Battles

  • 1809 : Wagram
  • 1812 : Borodino, Berezina, Krasnoi
  • 1813 : Dresden, Leipzig, Hanau

Standards
The battalion was likely granted an eagle in 1809. Flag model is unknown but could be a standard infantry flag with the coat of arms of the Neuchatel Principality.

Fusiliers:

  • French cut dress with short tails and closed lapels in light orange cloth. Scarlet collar. White wool fringed epaulets. Scarlet lapels. Scarlet cuffs with scarlet flaps (rectangular with 3 buttons). Scarlet turnbacks bearing yellow five-tipped star patches, vertical pockets simulated by a scarlet piping. White metal buttons stamped with "EMPIRE FRANÇAIS, BATAILLON DE NEUFCHÂTEL ".
    From 1812, short tailed habit-veste with pointed cuffs, alla ornaments as preceding dress.
  • White waistcoat and breeches. High gaiters, white in summer dress and black in winter replaced from 1810 by black short gaiters in all dresses. Black shoes
  • French black felt shako with black leather top, base band and side V bearing a brass rhomboid plate stamped with imperial eagle. White cords and flounders. White ball pompon over tricolour cockade with white strap. Black leather peak with brass strengthening and brass chinscales.
  • White leatherwork. Black leather cartridge pouch.

Grenadiers
Troopers’ dress with scarlet wool fringed epaulets. Yellow grenade patches on turnbacks. Black bearskin without plate with scarlet plume, cords and flounders. From 1812, shako with scarlet top band, base band, cords, flounders plume and pompon. Brass grenade plate on pouch. Infantry sabre with single bar brass hill and black leather scabbard with brass fittings. Scarlet sabre strap.

Voltigeurs
Troopers’ dress with green wool epaulets with yellow crescent and green fringes. Yellow horn patches on turnbacks.
Shako with green cords, flounders and pompon, green plume with yellow top.
Brass horn plate on pouch. Infantry sabre with single bar brass hill and black leather scabbard with brass fittings. Green sabre strap.

NCOs
Troopers’ dress with white or silver on scarlet base rank stripes. For sergeants, cords and epaulets entwined with silver thread.

Officers
Troopers’ dress with long tails and rank silver thread epaulets and shako top band. White piping on collar, lapels, cuffs and turnbacks. At the beginning of the regiment’s life, officers wear in full dress a black felt hat with large brims and upturned front brim.

Drummers and hornists
Dark blue coat with scarlet collar, lapels, cuffs and cuffs flaps trimmed with livery lace of silver lace with yellow stripes.

Sappers
Grenadiers’ dress with sapper’s ’badge (white cloth crossed axes) on both arms. Whitened leather apron. Cartridge pouch trimmed with white lace bearing brass grenade over crossed axe plate. Sappers axe and sabre.

Musicians
Dark blue coat with scarlet collar, lapels, pointed cuffs and turnbacks trimmed with yellow lace. Trefoiled epaulets on both shoulders. White plume and pompon.

Gunners

  • French cut dress with short tails and closed lapels in dark blue cloth. Yellow collar piped white. Blue shoulder straps trimmed scarlet. Yellow lapels piped scarlet. Yellow rounded cuffs piped scarlet. Yellow turnbacks piped scarlet bearing blue grenade patches, vertical pockets simulated by a yellow piping. Brass buttons.
    From 1812, short tailed habit-veste in dark blue cloth. Yellow collar piped white. Scarlet wool fringed epaulets. Blue lapels piped yellow. Yellow cuffs with blue flaps (trident shaped with three buttons) piped yellow. Yellow turnbacks bearing blue grenade patches.
  • Blue waistcoat, blue breeches with yellow side band. High gaiters, white in summer dress and black in winter replaced from 1810 by black heart shaped short gaiters with scarlet lace and tassel in all dresses. Black shoes.
  • French black felt shako with black leather top, base band and side V bearing a brass rhomboid plate stamped with imperial eagle over crossed guns. Scarlet cords and flounders. Scarlet plume and ball pompon over tricolour cockade with white strap. Black leather peak and brass chinscales.
  • White leatherwork. Black leather cartridge pouch bearing brass crossed guns plate. Infantry sabre with single bar brass hill and black leather scabbard with brass fittings. Scarlet sabre strap.

Train drivers

  • French cut dress with short tails and closed lapels in dark blue cloth. Yellow collar. Scarlet wool fringed epaulets. Blue lapels piped yellow. White cuffs and cuffs flaps. Blue turnbacks piped yellow bearing white grenade patches, vertical pockets simulated by a yellow piping. Brass buttons.
    From 1812, short tailed habit-veste in dark blue cloth. Blue collar piped yellow. Scarlet wool fringed epaulets. Blue lapels piped yellow. Blue rounded cuffs piped yellow. Yellow turnbacks.
  • White waistcoat and breeches. Black high-cuffed boots.
  • Other details as gunners.

Engineers

  • French cut dress with short tails and closed lapels in dark blue cloth. Blue collar piped scarlet. Scarlet wool fringed epaulets. Blue lapels piped scarlet. Blue rounded cuffs piped yellow. Black turnbacks piped scarlet with blue flaps piped scarlet. Yellow turnbacks piped scarlet.
  • Shako bearing a brass rhomboid plate stamped with imperial eagle.
  • Other details as gunners.
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