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Standard Bearer Clerfayt Rergiment 1798

The Infantry - Uniforms

The 1798 Uniform (Cont'd)

The 1798 knapsack was small, 23cm high x 8cm deep, carried on white leather shoulder straps joined by a horizontal connecting strap with a half-round iron buckle accross the breast. The knapsack closed with three white leather straps on the rear face, similar straps secured the folded greatcoat on top; flaps on the sides excluded rain-water, and on the right side was a 25cm leather thong used for tyng the wooden tent pegs to the knapsack. However, several varieties of knapsack appear to have been used during this period, including a larger variety with a rear flap some 30cm deep, which sometimes buckled on the under edge of the knapsack rather than in the middle of the rear face.

The cartridge box was similar to that used previously, with an 8cm shoulder belt; consisting of a wooden framework covered with black leather, it had a flap fastened on the under edge (preventing penetration of rain); the large brass plate was discontinued. At the right side was a pocket in which flints were stored. The waist belt was abolished, the sabre being withdrawn from all except the grenadiers, NCOs and musicians; the bayonette was now carried in a single frog 12 x 6.5cm at the rear of the left hip, suspended from a 5cm wide white leather belt over the right shoulder, with a half-round brass buckle; the bayonette scabbard was however unchanged. The wooden canteen with funnel-shaped mouth and wooden stopper was in common use, though in later years contemporary illustrations show an increasing use of metal, box-shaped canteens, similar to types apparently carried earlier.

A new musket was introduced in 1798, similar to earlier patterns but of improved construction with brass fittings, of 17.6mm calibre, measuring 150 cm in length and weighing 4.8kg. The lock-protector was withdrawn. The next patter (1807) had the same specifications but was slightly lighter and had iron fittings. The triangular bayonette was between 32 and 38cm in legth.


Light infantry 1798 - 1801. The officer has Hungarian cuffs, the other men 'German' cuffs. The NCO at right carries his cane passed through a loop on his sabre belt. Note:* absence of helmet front plate __'FII' cypher only.
( Plate from Ottenfeld)


As with the previous uniform, officers' coats were more elegantly cut than those of the other ranks, with tails sufficiently long to touch the ground when the wearer knelt. The white, single breasted coat had a standing collar and round 'German' cuffs of the facing colour, with two buttons closing the rear seam of the cuff; like those of the rank and file, the buttons were undecorated and in regimental colour (either gilt or silver). Skirt lining the turnbacks were white, the skirts being swept back from immediately below the line of buttons on the breast. No markings distinguished the various commissioned ranks until 1814 - 50, the only distinction being metallic lace of the regimental 'colour' around the upper edge of the rear seam of the cuffs of field officers; the earlier (though forbidden) practice of wearing similar lace on the collar seems to have lingered for some time. The only lace worn by company officers was the Berentatzen on the pointed cuffs of Hungarians; no epaulettes were worn, though some uniforms had small shoulder straps to secure the pistol belt. The white waistcoat was single-breasted, with small buttons, with the lace worn unoficially in some cases now being prohibited. Breeches were white for Germans and light blue for Hungarians, the latter with .5mm gold or silver lace on the outer seams and as knots on the thigh. The black boots reached to the knee; Hungarians also wore laced Hussar boots. The 1798 helmet had gilded fittings, with a crest of black and gold cord for field officers, and black and yellow silk for others.