Organisation & Tactics
Arms & Equipment
Flags & Standards
|The Infantry - Uniforms
The 1798 Uniform (Cont'd)
The unique fur cap was retained, maintaining the high front and low rear which gave rise to its French nickname fauteuil, or 'armchair'. It would seem impossible to be definite about its evolution, as old examples were doubtless worn fro years after a new pattern had been authorised. At some time (probably between 1798 and 1805) a black leather front peak was added; a watercolour by von Kobell, c.1806, shows both peaked and peakless caps worn concurrently, so change was probably gradual.
The cap almost always had the nap of the hair upswept, though some illustrations may record examples with drooping fur. The large brass plate with irregular edges was not universal in design; the central arms were altered over the years, and a variety of trophies of arms are recorded. Some extant caps feature a small black leather rear peak (*figure 3. below) and even smaller side flaps over the years, though these are rarely depicted in contemporary illustrations, probably because they were usually concealed by the fur. The cloth rears seem to have continued in the facing colour for some time, though at some date (probably before 1811) rear cloth patches were ordered to be yellow with white lace for all regiments. The 1811 regulations specify yellow, but delays in the implementation result in facing-coloured patches being depicted as late as 1813-14. The design of wavy lace on the patches seems to have varied, judging from illustrations and extant examples, including caps with horizontally-striped patches (an artists' error?), and examples without that part of the 'bag' crossing to the right of the cap. Grenadiers continued to carry the stirrup hilted sabres in a combined frog with the bayonette, and to use the brass grenade badge on the cartridge box, but the match case on the shoulder belt was replaced in later years (probably after 1809) by a brass grenade badge.
1.) German fusilier, pre-1798
2.) German grenadier pre-1798
3.) Rear view of German grenadier 1798 (without peak fur cap)
Like the different commissioned ranks, those of NCOs were not distinguished by badges of rank. The Prima Plana ranks (Feldwebel, Fourier, ordinaire Cadetten) carried sabres of a higher quality than those of grenadiers, with gilded fittings and yellow and black camel hair sword knots, in a combined frog with the bayonette; they had leather gloves, and carried a 'Spanish reed' cane, normally suspended by its thong from a button on the breast of the jacket, with a loop on the shoulder belt to secure it when the owner was under arms. Corporals carried similar equipment, but with a grenadier sabre with woolen knot, leather gloves, and a hazel cane.