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Help of the Community Required

Dear Friends,

does anybody have some reference material/images of mounted Napoleonic French infantry officers of about 1814? Details of horse gear are particularily needed. Your assitance will be highly appreciated.


Re: Help of the Community Required

Look at the "Waterloo" Film. French Mounted Infantry Officer is specifically in scene when mass infantry columns advance. Movie Uniform designs(based on research) were by Ugo Perioli in his book published after the film release.good luck

Re: Re: Help of the Community Required

You should NEVER EVER use a movie as reference!!!
It´s a work of art and not of science research.

I am not a nappi-Time specialist, so I cannot help directly.
Ask on; we have a lot of napoleonic specialists there who have material to nearly every question. You can use english.

try the NA

Dear Strelets

The UK has the Napoleonic Association with groups dedicated to the French Army. This page lists the contacts

These are some of the people who work on the Sharpe TV programmes so they are very knowledgeable especially on horse furniture etc. Try the cavalry section-John Norris
if not they can probably put you in touch with groups in France, Holland, Germany and Russia.
Good luck

Re: Re: Re: Help of the Community Required has a load of good uniform plates; comes in English and French

Re: Re: Re: Help of the Community Required

Suggest you Refer to the book by Ugo Pericoli,UNIFORMS OF wATERLOO then cross refer. Hotel Des Invalides/Musee de L'Armie(Curator) .Also strongly refere to the Reenactment groups 21er/23eme Regiment de Ligne have an incredible source of Information and reference material they gladly share.

Re: Help of the Community Required

The folks on Napoleonic message boards are knowledgeable. Besides the advice they write (which may or may not be right), they at least can point you to good reference books, expert names, sources, and specific pictures.

Re: Re: 'Legio" had planned to produce this

The company 'Legio' had this listed as a project, but I'm pretty sure that they've given up on it.

Re: Re: Re: 'Legio" had planned to produce this

Hi Strelets,
for the official uniform take a look at Osprey's Man at Arms 141 Napoleon's Line Lnfantry, page 33.


French mounted line infantry officer

A drawing by Edouard Detaille, isn't it? He has also produced an other drawing showing an 1815 mounted line infantry officer with bicorn marching in front of the ranks.

Although the appearance of the officers looks convincing, the drawings are not contemporary, unfortunately. Contemporary illustrations of mounted French line infantry officers seem to be extremely rare. Possibly, quite a number of contemporary paintings or prints are being preserved by private collectors or provincial museums. Many may not yet have been published - or still have to be detected.

Frankly, the only contemporary illustration of a French mounted line infantry officer I know of is the portrait of colonel Grillot of the 93rd Line Infantry made by Christian Suhr and published in the work called "The Burgess of Hamburg" (plate 78). The uniform, however, is clearly pre-Bardin: c.1808-9, I'd say. As for the saddlery, he uses a natural leather "English saddle" (with rounded side flaps). Both pistol holster cover and saddle cloth are blue edged with gold lace, but the former has a single broad lace only and no flap (but is open at the top; you can see the pistol grip), while the latter has a broad outer lace piped red along the inner egde of the lace, and a narrow inner lace which looks as if it were made of thick twisted cord(?). The pistol holster itself appears to be provided with a gilt chape. All harness parts are of black leather with a few gilt(?) metal buckles, etc. There is no breast girth. The stirrups of iron appear to have been attached to the leather strap by means of a gilt clamp or buckle.
In spite of being mounted, Grillot is wearing the usual top boots (not high boots) to which gilt spurs have been attached.

If you are in need of a facsimile copy of "Le Bourgeois de Hambourg", you can order it here, for example, at a rather cheap price:

(Click "Suche" and enter "Bourgeois de Hambourg", then "Los")

Hope this helps.

Re: French mounted line infantry officer

you are right, I don't know of any contemporary source showing a mounted officer on horseback for the very late Empire period, only superior officers at foot.

At secondary sources, Rousselot shows a light infantry officer, dismounted standing aside of his horse in the Bardin uniform.

Re: Re: French mounted line infantry officer

Hi Carnot,
Several other secondary illustrations showing mounted French line infantry officers wearing the Bardin uniform can be found in the Bucquoy-Collection (Les Uniformes du Premier Empire. L'Infanterie de Ligne et l'Infanterie Légère, Paris 1979):

p.82, Plate 6: Colonel en grande tenue. Mathieu, premier colonel du régiment (i.e. of the 153rd of the line in 1813), by Bucquoy, 1907

p.164, Plate 121: Chef de bataillon...en grande tenue en 1813 (of the 8th of the line), by Toussaint, no date

p.167, Plate 126: Chef de bataillon...Tenue de campagne de 1815 (en manteau, again of the 8th of the line), by Bucquoy, 1913

Can't tell anything about how reliable they are.


Re: Re: Re: French mounted line infantry officer


I missed those, not that reliable - compare red saddle cloth verus blue for example, Herbert Knötel, does show them also in the book edited by Elting, but he already got the dates wrong, dating them for 1812 wheras for shure recent research and especially the recently published Freiberger and Dresden picture manuscript do show that the Bardin uniform appreared in late 1813 in the German Campaign.
Bernard Coppens shows a nice Major in one of the Carnets about Waterloo.

I would stick with Rousselot, he seem to be still the best secondary source for French Napoleonic Infantry.

Re: Re: Re: Re: French mounted line infantry officer

Yes, Toussaint has his officer with red saddle cloth and holster covers. Looks strange - but who knows?. Bucquoy's illustrations appear to be more reliable as they show blue ones. Especially, the figure of the colonel of the 153rd may be a copy of a contemporary portrait as Bucquoy even mentions the man's name (Mathieu). However, I couldn't find any reference to his possible source, so I don't know for sure.

mounted officer

@strelets: send me a mail, I´ll send you a scan I have found in my papers.

Re: Help of the Community Required

look Osprey books they are exelent and acurate

Re: Re: Help of the Community Required

I disagree, some are very good, others are not.


Perhaps not a "source", and not 1814, but here are some painted metal scans with mounted french infantry officers with pre-Bardin lapels.

I have a book with Edouard Detaille's paintings, and it does have a black and white picture of a mounted french line infantry officer in Bardin uniform. Counted find it on the web and don't have a scanner, unfortunately.

If I find more, I'll show the link.

Some miniatures scans

Some nice poses:

Perhaps a bit too dramatic:

Re: Help of the Community Required

Hi Strelets,

in the Freiberger Handschrift is a lot of interesting
material to answer your question.

If you like, please contact me at home and I can send you photos.


Re: Re: Help of the Community Required

Hi Uwe

I checked it an cannot find any mounted infantry officer in the Bardin uniform, neither in the Freiberger, nor in the "Camp de Dresde", on what page did you find them??

Re: Re: Re: Help of the Community Required

Dear Carnot,

on page 117 of the Campe de Dresden you can see the
details of officer shabrackes.
Well, they are all ADC's, but Courcelle took this information for line officers too.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Help of the Community Required


so there is no mounted infantry officers in the Bardin uniform in the whole book, I did fear I missed something, as for the shabraques, I still would be dubious if that was used as general distinction, but I did not research that topic.