Uniforms of the Chasseurs-à-Pied de la Garde
By Paul Dawson
The bonnet-à-poil was of identical pattern to those of the chasseurs. The cordon, glands and fund du bonnet were all in gold bullion, which cost 46,50 francs. The cordon by themselves cost 26,50 francs and were supplied by M Aubineau 213 Rue da la Saint-Honore. A bonnet with cordon cost complete 45,50 francs. All officers up to the rank of Chef de Battalion wore red plumet, Chef de Bataillion 50/50 red and white, and Major all white. The bonnet sans plaque cost 300 francs and were purchased from Maillard rue Saint-Honore.
In 1810, the officiers plummet was officially regulated to be 560 mm long, and where to be white for Colonel, red with a white base for Major, and all red for Chef de Bataillon.
Officers had a special pattern cockade , which cost 2,40 francs. Unlike the soldat or sous officer, the pompom was gold bullion and the eagle device was stamped gilt copper.
The chapeau was of a similar pattern to that of the soldat. The Major wore white carrotte in the chapeau. The chapeau could be purchased from Herbert et Godart, rue du Bac Paris, for 100 francs.
The bonnet de police was as previously described but with gold replacing aurore in all respects.
Officers wore the same habit as the grenadiers and sous-officiers, though in finer quality material. Turnback grenades were embroidered in gold wire, as were the brides, and the buttons were gold plated.
Unlike the Ligne, officiers up to the rank of chef de battalion, wore the same pattern epaulette. The chef de battalion had bullion fringing.
A gilt copper gorget with silvered eagle within laurel leaves device, was worn when on duty.
When off duty or on campaign, the surtout was worn. This single-breasted jacket had turnbacks and long pockets identical to those on the habit. The collar and front seam were piped red. The plain blue round cuffs may have been pipe red. The front was closed by means of 9 large uniform buttons.
Officers wore a white waistcoat. The white wool cost 18.25 francs, the serge lining 1.50 francs. The white wool was obtained by marinating the cloth in acid and boiling in vinegar.
In walking out dress, a white waistcoat and nankeen breaches were worn.
Les Pantalon tricot
In full dress white breaches were worn with white gaiters. Otherwise white breaches and jockey style cuff boots were worn. The pantaloon tricot were supplied by M. Garel rue d’Echille. On campaign the breaches were either replaced by white or blue overalls , which were worn along with the surtout and white waistcoat.
The year1815 saw officers being issued with grey pantalon toil.
Le manteau capot
Officers wore the same pattern greatcoat as the rank and file but in better quality cloth. By 1815, officers were being issued with a redingote gris which was closed at the front by two rows of 7 large uniform buttons. The bottom edge was to be 320 mm from the ground.
Two patterns of centurion existed, either in white leather or black leather for undress.
At least two different issue of plaque have been note, that of 1805 and 1809 which measures 73 mm tall by 113 mm wide. The centurion could be worn over of under the breaches flap. White waist belts and epees were worn exclusively in walking-out dress.
Officers also wore white leather gloves.
Subalterns wore black boots with faun folded down uppers. Mounted officers were shod in a choice of three boots: the totally smooth and highly polished, one piece full dress pattern; the semi rigid campaign boot with soft body and stiff knee section; or the fully soft-leather two piece, bottes a l’ecuyere, for foot duty and off duty. The spurs were of gilt bronzed iron and were detachable. All officers wore low shoes with silver or gold buckles in walking out dress.
The only mounted officers were captains and above. The shabraque was made from Imperial Blue cloth and was square cut, the edges of which had a double row of gold lace around it (the outer measuring 6 cm, the inner 3 cm wide). In the rear corner of the shabraque, a gold embroidered flaming grenade device appeared. In revue order, an Imperial Crown appeared in the rear corners. The rubbing plates were of black leather, the girth being grey on campaign and gold in full dress. The double pistol holster hoods carried the same lacing. The stirrup leathers were red. The snaffle rein and bridle were gold, whilst the parade harness was of black leather.
Officers carried a special pattern sabre that had a blued and gilded blade bearing the inscription “Garde Imperiale” on one side and “Chasseurs-à-Pied” on the reverse. The hilt was gilded brass as were the rest of the fittings. Both weapons were carried from a waist-belt.
For full dress occasions and in walking out dress, officers the garde pattern, though many officers carried none regulation epee d’ville.
Mounted officers carried two year IX or XI Charleville pistols, or a pair of privately purchased pistols
Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2005
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