Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chasseurs de Fischer Part One

The Chasseurs de Fischer
Johann Christian Fischer born January 17 1713 in Stuttgart , † July 1 1762 in Kassel ) (Jean Chrétien Fischer) He was the son of an accountant in a tobacco factory in Stuttgart, Georg Albrecht Fischer and his wife Christine Magdalene, nee Faber, a student at the University of Giessen.

After the death of his father in 1737 he entered the French Army, first as a valet of Count du d'Armentières. In 1741 he served as a groom under François-Marie de Broglie in Bavaria and Bohemia. In 1742 he became an adjutant of Count Maurice of Saxony (Marshal de Saxe) during the Bohemian campaign at the siege of Prague. Each day the grooms grazed the officer’s horses on the islands in the Moldau. A unit of Austrian Hussars forded the river with the intention of carrying off the horses, Fischer organised the grooms and fought them off successfully. For his conduct on this occasion is was rewarded and promoted to subaltern and permitted to organise a band of volunteer chasseurs under Marshal de Saxe.

On the 1st of November 1743, the volunteer corps is recognized by ordinance and named “Compagnie Franche des chasseurs”, formed of 45 foot and 15 mounted men. The compagnie then became the “Corps mixte des cavaliers, fantassins et chasseurs de Fischer”, formed of 400 foots and 200 mounted men.
For the services Fischer rendered in 1743 for the Comte de Saxe He received thanks for his exploits and was rewarded with the protectorate of the marshes of Belle Isle and de Noailles.

The Fischer chasseur corps was so successful during the War of Austrian Succession that these mixed corps were also created
* In 1744, the Arquebusiers de Grassin;
* In 1745, the fusiliers de la Morlière;
* In 1746, volontaires de Gantès, volontaires bretons and volontaires de Dauphiné
* In 1747, volunteers of Hainaut, then the royal volunteers

In 1744, under Count Maillebois, Fischer’s Chasseurs operate first in Flanders, and from there, passed in Alsace during the siege of Freiburg and Breisgau, and in winter they also operate in Hessen and Wetterau. In Butzbach he procures from the Abbey of Arnsburg 60 heavily laden wagons with grain, hay and straw.

In 1745 he was at the vanguard of the army of the Palatinate and entered Frankfurt, where he took, with a bold stroke, the editor of the local Gazette, whose differences had displeased the government of Louis XV. In Flanders, with the army of Marshal Saxe, Fischer continues the exploits of a partisan warfare, and offers outstanding intelligence to the French Army during the campaign.

In 1747 increased to 600 men 400 chasseurs and 200 chasseurs a cheval. After the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom, where he distinguished himself, the king granted him on September 15, 1747 a commission to hold the rank of lieutenant-colonel of infantry and cavalry.

In 1749 a grenadier company was added to the Chasseurs, Bearskin caps were worn. Because the treaty of AIX THE CHAPEL in October, 1748 the unit is reduced to 104 men. The Chassuers de Fischer are the only light corps remaining in the army.

During the period of peace in 1754, the Fischer Chasseurs were used to try to halt the activities of notorious smuggler Mandrin. Fisher surprised them at Gueunand (Saone-et-Loire), but despite his superior numbers, could not capture him.

In 1755 at the request of the King, Johan fischer raised a corps of wholly German troops in Pondicherry called the “Compagnie des Indes”, a corps of German volunteers who subsequently serve in the war in America and India.

During the Seven Years' War his reputation would be at its peak. The corps was increased to eight mounted chasseurs a cheval companies and seven chasseurs and one grenadier company by prescription of July 8th the enrollment is increased to 1200 men.

With two hundred men in July 1757, he took Hildesheim, Marburg, Ziegenheim, entered Göttingen. Einbeck. He raised contributions, took prisoners, captured war materiel and supplies. In August he inflicted a serious defeat on the Hanoverian light infantry, who lost one hundred and two killed and twenty-seven prisoners and they capture two colours. At the end of September, he fights at Halberstadt. On the 1st of October he brings the corps to Nordhausen , and on 15 December they enter winter qauters in Buchholz and Schwarmstedt.

On 23 June 1758 in the Battle of Krefeld , the French light troops under Fischer warn Louis de Bourbon that the Brunswick corps commanded by Marshal Ferdinand of Brunswick have encircled the French. During the battle Fischer gets a cut in the back and shot in the leg, for his actions he was promoted to lieutenant general. In September 1758 he is in Narzburg, he receives 6000 Thalers contribution from the city, he also holds the same contribution on Katlenburg. At Ziegenheim, they also take 14 cannons and 60 000 bags of flour.

After the Battle of Bergen (April 13, 1759), he defeated the Prussian rearguard at the river crossing Arloff und Hungen, they cut to pieces a grenadier battalion, two squadrons of dragoons, and compelled three squadrons of Reg Finckenstein dragoons to lay down their arms. They captured two Finckenstein standards, the Finckenstein kettledrums and their regimental pay chests. Fischer is for his exploits promted to brigadier general 21st April 1759. His unit fights at the Battle of Minden , which the French lose. On 2 September 1759, he became a Knight of the Order of Merit, given by the French monarchy to its Protestant Officers.
On 20 May 1760 was at Elberfeld and moved on 5 June to Duisburg. At the battle of Warburg at 31 July 1760 the Fischer Corps are almost destroyed. On 15 October 1760 they formed the vanguard of French in the Battle of Kloster Kampen , and again suffered heavy losses. The troops winter quarters in Mettmann environment and then withdraw to France after the victory of Clostercamp (October 16, 1760).

In spite of Johan Fischer’s services rendered to the French army, he was envied by many and loved by few. Under Marshal de Broglie Fischer he suffered a semi-disgrace (a case of missing contribution money). On the April 27, 1761, Louis XV signed a order giving the Chassuers de Fischer to the Marquis de Conflans. The Fischer corps was then renamed Dragons-Chasseurs de Conflans, then in 1763 the Legion de Conflans, which later became the 5th Hussards in 1776.

Fischer is cashiered and now part of the intelligence and information service, before the battle of Wilhelmstal in Hanover, he bribed a certain Herr Goldberg and was misinformed by him of the movements of the enemy, the French lose the battle after being encircled and suffer heavy casualties. Fischer is reproached by a French Prince Soubise, he is challenged to a duel and was wounded and dies three days later at Landwerhagen on the 1 July 1762, (Some accounts have him dying of a fever I suspect from infection from the wound suffered).

General Pajol concludes the very short notice he devoted to Fischer: "His life should be written with details and widespread in the army as an example and encouragement."

The Prince Soubise builds him a marble grave monument in Kassel. (I am yet to find its actual location)

If anybody can add to his story it would be greatly appreciated, also I could find no images of Johan Christian Fischer.

Uniform details
1744 Dark green coats, vests trousers, yellow buttons no lace, scarlet cuffs, collar, epaulette, dark green mirliton, white border, yellow fleur de lys, black belts

1757 grenadier green cuffs, vests, trousers, yellow buttons, scarlet cuffs, collar, epaulette, white fringe, black fur grenadier cap with fluer de lys brass plate.

1759 Dark green coats, vests trousers green cuffs, yellow buttons no lace, scarlet collar, orange epaulettes, dark green mirliton, white border, yellow fleur de lys, black belts, grenadier black fur grenadier cap with fluer de lys brass plate.
1761 Dark green coats, vests, trousers, yellow buttons no lace, scarlet cuffs, collar, tricorne white border, , black belts, green epaulette brown fringe (Dragons-Chasseurs de Conflans)

Chassuers a cheval
1744-49 Pelisse scarlet lined with gray furs, yellow lace, Dolman dark green, scarlet cuffs, yellow lace, Scarlet Hungarian trousers, black hussar boots, Mirliton black, white feather and cockade, yellow fleur de lys, Sabretache scarlet, with yellow lace, yellow fischer symbol, shabrache scarlet, yellow lace, yellow fischer symbol, yellow and scarlet barrel sash, black belts, brown saddle leatherwork and horse furniture, black sabre scabbard, brass fittings.

1749-53 Pelisse green lined with brown furs, yellow lace, Dolman dark green, scarlet cuffs, yellow lace, Scarlet Hungarian trousers, black hussar boots, Mirliton black, white feather and cockade, yellow fleur de lys, Sabretache scarlet, with yellow lace (one source has orange), yellow fischer symbol, shabrache green, yellow lace, yellow fischer symbol, yellow and scarlet barrel sash, brown leatherwork, black sabre scabbard, brass fittings

1753-61 Organisation

a staff with 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 2 aide-major d'infanterie, 2 aide-major de cavalerie, 1 aumônier (Chaplian), 1 chirurgien-major (surgeon), 1 maréchal-des-logis (logistics officer) , 1 auditeur ( pay clerk), 1 prévôt(gendarme ou policier officer), 1 greffier (clerk of the court), 2 archers (gendarme ou policier) and 1 exécuteur de justice (privilege de prevote et de justice).

-1 company of 3 officers and 60 grenadiers.
The grenadiers company: 1 capitaine, 1 lieutenant, 1 sous-lieutenant, 2 sergents, 3 caporaux, 3 ansepessades, 1 tambour and 41 grenadiers.

-8 companies of 3 officers and 71 fusiliers.
Each company of fusiliers: 1 capitaine, 1 capitaine en 2nd., 1 lieutenant en 1er., 1 lieutenant en 2nd., 1 sous-lieutenant, 4 sergents, 4 cadets, 1 fourrier, 1 capitaine d'arme, 6 caporaux, 6 ansepessades, 2 canonniers, 2 charpentiers, 2 tambours and 72 fusiliers.

-8 companies of 4 officers and 40 Chassuers.
Each company of dragoons:1 capitaine, 1 lieutenant, 1 cornette, 2 maréchaux-des-logis, 4 brigadiers, 2 cadets, 1 trompette and 43 cavaliers.

Lieutenant-colonel commandant & capitaine en 1er de toutes les compagnies – Jean Chrétien Fischer
Aide-major de cavalerie – M. Thomas Fischer
Aide-major d'infanterie – M. Orbs
( I need to add more officers yet)

I have found no information for a standard yet, can anybody help?

Arch. War. - Pinard, Chron. Hist.-mil., VII, 527. –
E. of Ribeaucourt, Life millet. AD Fischer. –
R. Dupuy, Hist. 12th fighter, 1891, p. 18, 19.
Pajol wars under Louis XV, V, 366 and 367.
Funck-Brentano, Chuck, 1908, p. 270 ff.
Mouilard Plates
Pengel and Hurt

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