Frei Korps von Scheither
Sapper and Grenadier
This corps of light troops was raised in 1758 by a captain von Scheither of the Horse Grenadier
Guards. At first it consisted of a squadron of carabiniers and two infantry companies, one of jägers and one of grenadiers; In all 420 men. By 1761 it had grown to 900 men in four troops of carabiniers, each of 106 men and two grenadier companies with a special company of expert marksmen 60 strong. Sometime in 1760 they appear to have been joined by a troop of ulans although this is not mentioned in muster rolls and only pictorial evidence remains. Von Scheither himself had risen to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel by 1762.
The Jäger company is said to have worn black hats with a green cockade with the rest of the uniform as shown for the grenadier on the left. The uniforms illustrated in the plate are based on descriptions in C.C.P Lawson’s History of the Uniforms of the British Army Vol 2 and the Gmundener Prachtwerk. The grenadier’s uniform is relatively consistent in both sources although the cuff details in the Gmundener manuscript are indistinct. The green coat has whitemetal buttons and no lapels while the waistcoat was straw colored. The gaiters are dark gray. The bearskin cap is of brown fur and no bag is apparent although green cords with tassels are shown hanging from the rear. One wonders what the condition of such headdresses were after months of campaigning. The musket is the British Tower pattern issued to Hanoverian troops for obvious reasons.
Lawson describes the uniform of a sapper or carpenter which was the same as for the other foot troops. There is no mention of an apron, which is unusual although he wears brown gaiters, which may have been leather and consistent with his trade. The significant item is the headdress, which is probably based on pictorial evidence not mentioned in Lawson’s work but presented in an illustration. It is similar to the British light dragoon pattern. The body is of black boiled leather and the comb is of white metal. The turban is green with white edging and pattern with a front piece or flap with the white horse of Hanover. A crimson plume is on the left side emanating from a green cockade.