L'Armée du Charles-Frédéric, margrave d'Anspach-Bayreuth, 1769–1791

Brandebourg-Ansbach Régiment d'Infanterie von Seybothen (Bayreuth)

Fusiliers du 2e Brandebourg-Ansbach Régiment d'Infanterie von Seybothen et camp-followers civils haggle about prices at a sutler's tent. Charles-Frédéric d'Anspach inherited the land of the Markgraf von Bayreuth when the Bayreuth line died out en 1769. The small army of Anspach-Bayreuth consisted of deux bataillons d'infanterie, designated infantry regiments en service britannique, one Jägercorps de quatre compagnies, un détachement d'artillerie de quatre canons régimentaires, staff et medical personnel. By treaty signed on 1 Février 1777 l'armée du Anspach-Bayreuth was hired to assist l'Armée Britannique in its struggle against the Rebellion in the American Colonies. A total of 1.285 officiers et soldats left Anspach on 7 Mars 1777 et arrived in New York on 3 Juin that year. En 1778 reeinforcements were sent to America which raised the number of Anspach-Bayreuth troops en service britannique to 1.644 officiers et soldats. Some sources claim that as many as 2.353 soldats joined la cause britannique, of which 1.170 did not return to their fatherland. Many Anspach-Bayreuth soldiers fell in battle ou died from diseases contracted pendant la guerre, but a large number of those who would not return to Franconia preferred to settle in the New World.

Army Composition

The infantry regiments were just one bataillon strong, composed of one compagne de grenadiers et quatre de mousquetaires. The Jägercorps had four companies, one of which sailed avec the first Anspach-Bayreuth contingent. Les régiments d'infanterie ont été nommés d'après leurs commandants. Colonel von Voit initially commanded the infantry regiment from Bayreuth et later took command of the Anspach infantry regiment. Le major von Seybothen, commandant d'une compagnie du régiment d'infanterie de Bayreuth, en est devenu le nouveau commandant.

Infanterie-Bataillon von Pölnitz
Infanterie-Regiment von Eyb
Infanterie-Regiment von Voit

Garrisoned at Anspach. The regiment was initially commanded by Colonel von Eyb who was succeeded by Colonel von Voit of the second Anspach-Bayreuth regiment. The uniform consisted of a blue coat, with red cuffs and lapels, red turnbacks, white metal buttons, a white vest, and white breeches.

Infanterie-Bataillon von Drais
Infanterie-Regiment von Voit
Infanterie-Regiment von Seybothen

Garrisoned at Bayreuth. Colonel von Voit was succeed in command of the regiment by Major von Seybothen. The uniform consisted of a blue coat, with black cuffs and lapels, red turnbacks, white metal buttons, a white vest, and white breeches.

Anspach Jägercorps

Garrisoned at Anspach. The brown leather waist cartridge pouch bore the Franconian crown and royal cipher CFCA in yellow metal. One company of the Jägercorps, commanded by Capitain von Cramon, sailed to Portsmouth with the infantry and artillery contingent. The remaining three Jäger companies followed in late March. In Marzo of 1779 command of Capitain Cramon's company passed to Hauptmann Freiherr von Waldenfels. The uniform consisted of a green coat, with red cuffs and lapels, red turnbacks, yellow metal buttons, a green vest, and buff breeches.

Ansbach Artillerie

Garrisoned at Anspach. Premierleutnant Hoffmann and 44 men served the 4 Regimentsgeschütze regimental guns attached to the Anspach-Bayreuth infantry. Hoffmann was later promoted to Captain. The uniform consisted of a blue coat, with red cuffs and lapels, red turnbacks, white metal buttons, a white vest, and white breeches.

1777 Campaign History

  • 28 Février 1777 - Le 2e (Bayreuth) Régiment d'Infanterie departs Bayreuth to join the rest of the army garrisoned at Anspach.
  • 04 Mars – The Bayreuth infantry regiment arrives at Anspach.
  • 07 Mars – The army departs Anspach in the direction of Ochsenfurt on the Main river. 1st Regiment takes quarters at Markt Bergel, 2nd Regiment at Burkbernheim, et the Feldjäger company at Ottenhofen.
  • 08 Mars – The army takes night quarters at Uffenhofen. The Markgraf departs his army et returns to Anspach.
  • 09 Mars – The army arrives at Ochsenfurt in the afternoon, via Gollhofen et Oberickelsheim, et embarks on river transports. There are not enough ships available to transport the entire formation, et additional ships have to be ordered from Wurtzbourg. In the meantime, the hommes are kept on board their crowded ships.
  • 10 Mars – The infantry regiments rebel, because of the unacceptably crowded conditions aboard their river transports. The troops are disembarked et spend the morning in et around the town of Ochsenfurt, drinking et getting out of control. The order to reembark is disobeyed by the 2nd regiment which mutinies et takes to the hills above Ochsenfurt. The Jäger company is sent after them et a brief firefight ensues which leaves one man of the Bayreuth regiment dead et two wounded. Order is eventually restored et the regiments return to their ships. 40 hommes remain unaccounted for, some of whom have fled to the nearby Kloster Tückelhausen. A Jäger detachment de 20 chasseurs under Premierlieutenant Heinrich Karl Philipp von Freilitzsch is sent after the fugitives. The Jägers occupy the monastery, but they are recalled to Uffenheim in the evening. The Markgraf is informed of the mutiny by a dispatch which reaches him at Anspach in the evening. Immediately the horses are saddled again et an escort made ready which accompanies the Markgraf on his return journey to Ochsenfurt via Uffenheim.
  • 11 Mars – The Markgraf arrives at Ochsenfurt early in the morning to rally his troops et hear their grievances. The mutineers are forgiven if they promise to sail to America without causing further trouble. The troops embark et the transports push off at 08.30 hours. The Markgraf accompanies the transports to Dortrecht, Holland.
  • 13 Mars – The transports arrive at Hanau on Main.
  • 15 Mars - Lieutenant Freilitzsch et his Jägers are ordered to march to Wertheim on Main et collect any fugitives du 2e Régiment d'Infanterie along the way.
  • 17 Mars - Lieutenant Freilitzsch embarks his Jäger detachment at Wertheim. Most of the fugitives had been rounded up et they are shipped out to join their regiment.
  • 25 Mars – The convoy arrives at Nijmegen, Holland, et le troupes franconiennes are sworn in to serve King Georg III of England.
  • 26 Mars – The convoy arrives at Dortrecht, Holland, where the troops are transferred aux navires anglais et the Markgraf bids them farewell.
  • 31 Mars – The ships sail to Portmouth, England
  • 07 Avril – The fleet of nine transport ships sails from Portsmouth. Chasseurs hessois, et recruits from Waldeck et Hesse-Cassel had been taken on board as well.
  • 03 Juni – The transport fleet drops anchor in New York Harbour.
  • 05 Juni – The troops are landed on Staten Island.

Le contingent franconien was present at the Siege of Yorktown in Octobre of 1781. Many of the infantry were captured there when a detachment of 400 picked hommes de la division d'infanterie légère sous Lafayette, commandé par Colonel Alexander Hamilton, took Redoubt No.10 by night assault on 14 Octobre. The remainder des troupes franconiennes went into captivity when Lieutenant-General Earl Cornwallis surrendered the Yorktown garrison five days later, on 19 Octobre 1781. Les troupes franconiennes were exchanged et released from captivity in Mai 1783, to be shipped home.

The sale of the troops into foreign service, et the hardship endured by the soldiers as well as their families back home, caused a deep rift between the Markgrave et his people. On 2 Décembre 1791, during a break of journey at Bordeaux, France, the Markgraf sold the two counties of Anspach-Bayreuth for a yearly pension of 300,000 fl. (Florin - Guilders) to his cousin Frédéric-Guillaume II de Prusse. Charles-Frédéric d'Anspach-Bayreuth settled in England, et died there on 5 Janvier 1806, aged 70.

Questions Fréquents

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Figurines de la Guerre d'Indépendance Américaine