The Voltigeurs of the Young Guard were created from the two regiments each of the earlier Tirailleurs-Chasseurs (December 1810) and Conscrits-Chasseurs (February 1811), both of which were first first formed in 1809. Details of these earlier formations can be found in my previous post about the Imperial Guard Infantry as it stood in 1809. These first four regiments were progressively augmented in parallel to the increasing numbers of Tirailleurs (as detailed in my post on their evolution), reaching six units by August 1811, thirteen units by April 1813, and 19 regiments by the end of January, 1814, at which time the Guard comprised almost 1/3 of the entire army!
Two Regiments of Voltigeurs of the Imperial Guard; 28mm Front Rank figures.
Another view of the two units; their uniform was based upon that of the earlier-Tirailleur -Chasseurs.
1st Regiment, Young Guard Voltigeurs. Changes from the Tirailleur-Chasseur uniform include green epaulettes with yellow crescents.
Another view of the 1st regiment; these units also adopted the yellow (or chamois/buff) collars of the line Voltigeurs.
The plumes of the Voltigeurs of the Guard were red over green, but several sources indicate roughly even proportions of both, rather then the green tipped red plumes of the Fusilier-Chasseurs (and the earlier Tirailleurs-Chasseurs). I have, of course, opted for the roughly equally colored variant!
This unit is the 2nd Regiment of Voltigeurs. The Voltigeurs were authorized to carry fanions instead of standards/Eagles; these were to be red and plain, lacking any inscription that would identify them as belonging to the Imperial Guard.
I have painted my 2nd unit with buff collars instead of the yellow collars I used for the First regiment. The Voltigeurs seem to have lacked the white lace "chevrons" at the sides of their shakos as worn by the Tirailleurs and Fusilier-Grenadiers and Fusillier-Chasseurs of the Guard.
The plumes had a green or yellow pom pom at the base; when not in full dress (and after April 1813, when the plumes were withdrawn) the shako would be worn with just the pom-pom. I of course have chosen the more showy yellow pompoms at the base of the plumes for my units. Funken's illustration of these soldiers shows both variations
To command my Young Guard Division, we have a jumped up Colonel of Tirailleurs, assisted by an NCO of the Voltigeurs.
The officers of the Voltigeurs generally worse the same uniform as the Chasseurs a Pied of the Old Guard (and thus also the Fusilier-Chassuers), with the shakos appropriate to the Fusilier-Chasseurs.
The NCO shakos of the Voltigeurs had a gold lace band at the top, and the shako cords were of mixed gold, red. and green, similar to those of the more senior regiments of the Chasseur arm of the Guard infantry.
My two Voltigeur units are both in Firing poses, with the second rank reaching for cartridges from their cartridge boxes in the First regiment, and biting open fresh cartridges in the Second regiment. I like to have some of my Napoleonic infantry units firing, even though they are a bit more trouble to store in that pose.
Ne tirez pas jusqu'à ce que vous sentez le schnitzel sur leur souffle !