Organization of the Saxon Heavy CavalryIn 1763, the Cavalry arm of the Electorate of Saxony was composed of eight regiments of Cuirassiers and one of Dragoons. The oldest of these, the Garde du Corps, dated back to before the Thirty Years War, with the Kurfurst regiment tracing its origins back to 1680, and the von Zastrow regiment back to 1696. By 1799, there were three Heavy Cavalry Regiments in the army, plus the Garde du Corps. They all rode excellent, expensive Holstein horses, with those of the Garde du Corps being black (except that for officers of that regiment riding golden bays).
The Garde du Corps had 4 squadrons with a theoretical strength of 429 men; the other Heavy regiments had 4 squadrons totaling up to 734 men each. Most of the fine horseflesh of these regiments was appropriated by the French in the aftermath of the debacle of 1806, and it was not until war with Austria became imminent in early 1809 that the bulk of the horses were replaced. The Kurfust regiment became the Koenig regiment when Saxony became a Kingdom within the Confederation of the Rhine, and then the Leib regiment in 1809.
Uniforms of the Saxon Heavy Caavlry
Prior to 1810, the Saxon Heavy Cavalry regiments wore single breasted, buff colored tunics with the facing colors on the cuffs, turnbacks, and collar. The regimental lace appeared as edging on the collar, cuffs, shoulder straps, turnbacks, and down the front seam of the tunic. Vests were in the facing color, again trimmed with the regimental lace. Buff colored breeches were worn. Belts were white. Headwear was a black bicorn with a loop, and button, corner tassels, and a tall white plume. Trumpeters are said to have worn reversed colors, with red plumes on their hats. The plumes of Officers had a black base, while those of the NCO's had a black tip.
The shabraques were in the facing color, trimmed with the regimental lace, with the monarch's "FA" cipher in the corners. Saddle covers were of white or black sheepskin. Horse furniture was of black leather.
Saxon Heavy Cavalry, Regimental Distinctions, 1800 - 1809
Garde du Corps
Yellow w/ 2 red stripes
Yellow w/ red & black stripes
Kurfurst, later Koenig, then Leib
Yellow w/ red edges
Kochtsky, later Zastrow
Yellow w/ black and white edges
From 1810 the uniforms of the Heavy cavalry underwent major changes. The Bicorn gave way to a brass helmet in 1810. The helmet had a brass comb with a black crest and a white plume, with a black fur turban (with a gold oak leaf pattern overlaid for officers). Black Cuirasses (front plates only)were officially part of the equipment for the Leib (lined red) and von Zastrow (lined yellow) regiments , but seem to have been seldom worn; none of the regiments brought theirs with them on the Russian campaign in 1812, for example. Officers of the Garde du Corps had gold belts, white for everyone else.
Officer, Saxon Garde du Corps, 1810 - 1813 (Knoetel)
From 1810, the Leib and von Zastrow Cuirassiers changed to white tunics and pants (one source says much earlier, in the later 18th century), whilst retaining their former red and yellow facings respectively. The patterns of the regimental lace also changed. Knoetel shows yellow lace (gold for officers) for The Garde du Corps and Leib Cuirassiers, white lace (silver for officers) for von Zastrow. However, far more complex lace designs, yet different form the earlier ones listed under pre 1810, are shown (possibly only for use with full dress uniforms) in detail on this site:
From 1810, the Trumpeters wore helmets with red crests and plumes.Trumpeter's tunics from 1810 were red faced dark blue for the Garde du Corps, red faced white for the Leib-regiment, and yellow faced white for the von Zastrow regiment. Trumpets were silver with gold cords (Osprey says blue and white cords) for the Garde du Corps, brass with gold cords for ther Leib Cuirassiers,, and black mixed with yellow for the von Zastrow Cuirassiers.
Here are some of my vintage Minifigs again, depicting the Leib-Kurassiere Garde regiment. For field wear, dark grey pants with a red stripe down the outside seam might also be worn.
Note the red tunic, crest, and plume of the Trumpeter, whose uniform also best shows the placemnent of the regimental lace. For whatever reason, this particular unit is the Saxon Cuirassier regiment least commonly seen on our tabletops!
The portmanteau of the heavy cavalry regiments were in the facing colors: in 1813, dark blue for the Garde du Corps, yellow for von Zastrow, and red, as seen here, for the Leib regiment. The unique Saxon style standards with distinct borders by regiment were carried by the heavy cavalry regiments as well.
Arms of Saxony, as seen on the standards
There are a great many conflicting versions of the details of the uniforms of the Saxon army, and none more so than with regard to these heavy cavalry regiments. See the multiple sources listed in the first post of the series on Saxony for many additional images and references, including details of the patterns for the standards, lace, etc.