Uniforms of the Chasseurs-à-Pied de la Garde
The Drummers & Musicians
By Paul Dawson
The uniform of the drummers was identical to that of the soldat as laid out previously, the only differentiation being noted below. The tambour did not carry the giberne or baionette. No information has come to light about the exact details of the uniforms prior to 1808, though it may be inferred from what the Grenadier tambours wore.
In 1808, the drummers wore the same pattern habit as the men but with red, green, and gold chevron lace to the collar, cuffs, turnbacks, long pockets and lapels. A laced taile appear above the long pockets. Brandenberg loops appeared at all buttonholes. The collar and cuffs were edged in 15 mm gold lace and the lapels in 23 mm gold lace. Plain red epaulettes were worn. The full dress habit required 15 meter 30 cm of lace in 1810.
In undress or on campaign, a second habit was worn. This had plain gold lace to the colour, cuffs, and turnbacks. The surtout may have been retained which had gold lace to the collar and cuffs.
The tambour maitre wore the same uniform but the lacing was plain gold. He wore sergant-majors rank distinctions, and the collar had an inner thin gold lace. He wore a chapeau in place of the bonnet-à-poil, and gold lace suvarov boots in place of gaiters. The drum corporal wore the same uniform as the drummer, again with a chapeau replacing the bonnet a poil
The cuissier was a white leather apron and was designed to protect the breaches from rubbing on the drum. It was suspended from a white leather waist belt and fastened to the leg by the means of two leather straps. All buckles were brass. It could be purchased from Maison Decomis 56 de la rue Verrerie a Paris for 8 francs.
The collier porte-caisse was a white leather drum carriage that cost 8 francs. Above the brass port bagette, a brass grenade and hunting horn device appeared. The port bagette cost 8 francs, the plaque 6,60 francs and the parade drum sticks were purchased from La Maison Bellanger au 36 rue de Petits Carreaux for 9 francs. The 1801 regulations note that the belt was to be 42 inches long, and 3 inches 3 mm wide at the shoulder and 4 inches 4 mm at the hip. The porte bagette was to measure 4 inches wide and 4 inches long.
The drum had a brass body with light blue hoops, and white stay cords. The drum with spare skin and stays cost 64 francs- a drum used by the ligne cost only 10 francs.
Uniform of the Drum Major: 1814
The uniform worn by the drum major was as extravagant as his counterpart in the Grenadiers-à-Pied and is documented in the Martinet series of prints. Many authors dealing with the Chasseurs-à-Pied in 1815 have ascribed to them their Imperial uniforms. This is in error, as the Royal Decree of 14 October introduced a new uniform for the Chasseurs head of column and band, and was authorised by General Curial, the officer commanding the Corps des Chasseurs-à-Pied de France. The Duc du Berry, who expressed his satisfaction at the appearance of the Regiment, issued the uniform in time for an inspection. The decree of 8 April 1815 only fixed the organisation of the regiment and not their dress. The regimental archives at SHAT confirm that the Royalist uniform was worn during the Cent Jours, which is described below.
In full dress he wore a chasseur style habit in royal blue, with blue collar and crimson cuffs, turnbacks and lining. All seams were laced with silver lace. Brandenbourgs with fringes were worn at all button holes. Silver buttons were worn along with silver bullion epaulettes. The white waistcoat and breaches had silver lacing, silver laced Hungarian knots appearing on the thighs of the breaches, the outer seams of which were laces silver also. Hussar style boots laced silver were worn. In full dress a colpack, with silver cords, crimson bag laced silver and with a white plume over crimson panache was worn. In undress, a chapeau laces silver was worn. Also worn in undress was a royal blue surtout with silver lacing to collar and cuffs. This was worn along with blue overalls, the outerseams of which may have been laced gold. The baudrier was made from crimson morocco leather, edged with silver bullion fringing in the full dress. The old Imperial baudrier (scarlet leather edged gold) was worn in undress. The old mace and saber may have remained in use.
Musicians wore a chasseur style habit but with crimson cuffs, turnbacks and lapels laced with silver lace. The blue collar was also laced silver. Silver trefoil knots were worn at the shoulder. A chapeau, laced silver, with a white plume was worn. Crimson hussar style boots were worn in place of the jockey boots worn previously.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2005
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