The Prussian Uhlan / Ulan / Uhlanen/ Ulanen Regiments

SITE DEVELOPERS NOTES (April 12, 2000): It's a 143 year old story that haunts me to this day and it's a story that is going to be told eventually in another area of this site.  How and why I came to develop this site will be explained here. 

 


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KAMMERSTATT, GERMANY

My Great Grandfather, Uhlan Trooper Nr. 34: Joseph Wilhelm Vogel II (994466 bytes)My great-grandfather, Joseph Wilhelm Vogel II, was born in the tiny farming community of Kammerstadt, Bühlerzell, Wüerttemburg; Germany, on 24 Mar 1857, to the parents of Andreas Wilhelm Vogel V and Maria Anna Schneider.

My Aunt Ann Vogel-Watson remembers a long time ago that Joseph, her grand-father, had told her of HIS grandfather serving in the Prussian Army when Napoleon went to war in Russia. He had received severe frost bite injuries to his feet and/or legs from the freezing Russian winter and the subsequent retreat of Napoleon's Army at the Rhein river town of Kaub where the fortress Schloss Pfalzgrafenstein still sits majestically in the middle of the river. He was in the Cavalry. He would have been with the infamous Prussian General Bloucher.  We know that Joseph Wilhelm Vogel was in a Prussian cavalry regiment unit. The 13th Army Corp., 2nd Escadron (Squadron), 20th Uhlanen Regiment, Trooper No. 34.

Joseph Vogel entered the Prussian Army on November 6 in 1878. He was 21 years, 2 months and 18 days old when he entered the service.

567.jpg (56888 bytes) An Uhlan regiment Cavalry officer was used in close attack or pursuit of an enemy. Lances adorned with banners and streamers were used when routing the enemy from the field. The cavaliarst was also issued side arms and rifles. The side arms were typically a single action carbine rifle, pistol and a dress saber with the regiment and unit number and
insignia engraved into the blade. Upon release from the service, an officer was responsible for his own clothing for the trip home. If he a brought his own clothing in he was expected to wear it out.

Equipment and saddlery belonged to the army.

Joseph "vacated" the service. He was honorably discharged from service on September 25, 1881 and returned home to Kammerstadt where he most likely went back to farming. (for more on the his time in the Prussian Military see the Prussian Military Section of Book). He served 3 Years, 3 months and 14 days as Uhlan.



 click to enlarge (101030 bytes)Recently (summer of 1997) I discovered an old painting in a round frame that has my grandfather's name on the back, in pencil. The painting is of a man and woman in 18th century clothing. The woman is standing next to the man who is sitting. He is a wounded solider with a bandage around his forehead and a heavy blanket over his lap. He is also holding a crutch in one hand and she is holding his other hand. He is wearing an Uhlan officer's uniform. A connection? It is a very romantic type of painting. I have to wonder if this is my grand father's vision of the grand father he would never know. I also wonder if my grand father knew of his very rich German heritage.


recruits.jpg (113882 bytes) On 6 Nov 1878, Joseph went to the Ludwigsburg Palace near Stuttgart to enlist in the Prussian Uhlan Regiment.  He was 21 years, 2 months and 18 days old when he entered the service. He served 3 Years, 3 months and 14 days as Uhlan. Joseph "vacated" the service. He was honorably discharged from service on September 25, 1881 and returned home to Kammerstadt where he most likely went back to farming. 

An Uhlan regiment Cavalry officer was used in close attack or pursuit of an enemy. Lances adorned with banners and streamers were used when routing the enemy from the field. The cavaliarst was also issued side arms and rifles. The side arms were typically a single action carbine rifle, pistol and a dress saber with the regiment and unit number and
insignia engraved into the blade. Upon release from the service, an officer was responsible for his own clothing for the trip home. If he a brought his own clothing in he was expected to wear it out.

Equipment and saddlery belonged to the army but could be purchased.

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THE VOGEL HAUS - KAMMERSTATT

So, 1 year and 9 days from the date that he left the Prussian Army he left his home, family and country for America. Joseph was 25 years old. He and a friend, 21 year old Jacob Straub, left for America. Request for Ships arrival records were sent to the National Archives in Washington, DC on 6/8/94. On 8/14/94 I have received word from the National Archives that the records exists, however, they are unreadable. This is due ion part to poor handling of the records at the port of entry. 

Who Straub is. No one in Germany knows of this name. Possibly a fellow soldier from the Army. According to our paperwork, Joseph and Jacob left Belgium for New York on a ship named the S.S. Jan Breydel . The ship's captain was Meichle. They left on October 4, 1882. The trip cost 176 German Marks. That is the equivalent of $100 US Dollars. It is not known what happened to him between the time he arrived in New York and the time that arrived on the county census roles in the Town of Avoca.

click here to read more on this passenger ship.The S.S. "Jan Breydel" was owned by Theodor C. Engels & Co. of Belgium. Her gross tonnage was 3,414; length, 340 ft.; beam, 40 ft.; straight bow, 1 funnel, 3 masts. She was of iron construction, had screw propulsion with compound engines. Her normal service speed was 11 knots. Built in 1880 by C. Mitchell & Co. (later Armstrong Mitchell), Newcastle upon Tyne. With the "De Ruyter" and the "Pieter de Coninck" they were able to maintain a fairly regular passenger service between Antwerp and New York or Boston until 1888, when the Engels Line decided to discontinue carrying passengers. The ship was purchased by the Dampskibs Selskabet "Thingvalla" (Thingvalla Line [Danish]) and renamed the "Danmark". In April 1889 her propeller shaft snapped about 800 miles from Newfoundland. The Atlantic Transport cargo steamer "Missouri" fell in with her on the following day and proceeded to take her in tow. Early the next morning it was discovered that the "Danmark" was in a sinking condition, her 800 passengers and crew being transferred to the "Missouri", which landed them safely in the Azores some days later [N. R. P. Bonsor, _North Atlantic Seaway; An illustrated history of the passenger services linking the old world with the new.  (1st ed.; Prescot, Lancashire: T. Stephenson & Sons, 1955), pp. 331, 366-367].

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I hope to be able add some additional color photos of Uhlan equipment.


2 : Lancers

An Uhlanen MountAs early as 1704, the Prussians were using cavalry troops armed with lances. In 1745, a unit known as "Bosniaken" was linked with the ‘Totenkopf-Husaren-Regiment" and wore a costume which derived from Bosnian and Polish national costume. By 1806, the Prussian Army still retained units with strong Polish/Bosnian links. These were the ‘Towarczys" Regiment and a self-standing "Towarczy" Battalion, both of which were armed primarily with the lance, and were used for scouting and foraging duties for which the Uhlans became justly famous. These troops were used in East Prussia and the bordering Polish and Austrian-Hungarian states and had a distinctly Tartar-Slav appearance.

Saxony also had its ‘Ulanen-pulks in the 18th. century, and in Bavaria a lancer regiment was raised in 1813, dressed in the ‘Österreichischer’ style.

The Prussian Uhlan regiment, raised in 1806/7 from the former ‘Towarczys", had a strength of eight squadrons. but was later split in two to form two separate regiments of four squadrons each. By 1819, the establishment of Uhlan Regiments had been increased to two Guard Regiments and eight line regiments distinguished by facing colours and different coloured buttons.

The Garde-Regiments stemmed from the Leib-Ulanen-Eskadron re-titled the Garde-Ulanen-Eskadron in 1810; a second Garde-Ulanen-Regiment was raised in 1819. The line regiments were raised from the Freiwillige and National cavalry regiments of the 18l3-1815

 Freedom War, the Freikorps Lützow, Freikorps Hellwig and the Russo-German Legion. In 1860, besides a 3rd Garde-Regiment, a further four line regiments were formed. In 1856, the third line regiment received the title Ulanen-Regiment König Alexander II von Russland. In 1866, Regiments 13-16 were formed. In 1884 the "West branhussarcharge.jpg (18754 bytes) Preussen Ulanen Regiment No. 1" was titled "Ulanen-Regiment Konig Alexander Ill von Russland (West Preussisches) No. 1". In 1889 Kaiser Wilhelm I I was declared the Regimental Chief of the "Ist Hannoverschen Ulanen-Regiment No. 13" which, on the same day, was re-titled "Konigs-Ulanen-Regiment (1 Hannoversches) No. 13". In 1902 the "Ulanen-Regiment Hennings von Treffenfeld (Altmarkisches) No. 16", was granted the distinction of wearing the cypher of King George of Saxony, and in the next year the "Thüringische-Ulanen-Regiment No. 6", was granted similar-distinction in respect of King Christian IX of Denmark.

By 1871 the Wüerttemburg cavalry had been re-organized as two Dragoon and two Uhlan Regiments. The Uhlans became the 19th. and 20th. Uhlan Regiments in the national numbered sequence. The Royal Armies of both Saxony and Württemberg retained their own War Ministries and Headquarters Staffs and Establishments and were bracketed in the 1st. and 2nd. Royal Saxon Army Corps (XII and XIX of the National Army) and the Royal Württemberg Army Corps (XIII of the National Army). These armies retained many characteristics of their old uniforms. The 1st. and 2nd. Saxon Uhlans which were both raised in 1867 were given the numbers 17 and 18 in the national numbered sequence in 187 1. A further Saxon Regiment was raised in 1905 and took the number 21.

6.jpg (57541 bytes) The Royal Bavarian Army remained completely autonomous under the command of its King and with its own Headquarters Staff and Establishments. It was formed in the I , II and III Bavarian Army Corps and retained its old uniforms but accepting some characteristics of the Prussian uniform and adapting these to their own needs. Both the Ist. and 2nd.

Bavarian Uhlan Regiments were raised on the 21.12.1863 and did not figure in the numbered sequence of the national army. 


THE PRUSSIAN UHLANEN REGIMENTS
GENERAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE UHLAN UNIFORM
UHLAN REGIMENT DESCRIPTIONS
REGIMENTAL FACING, BUTTON AND LANCE CAP COLOURS
REGIMENTAL COLONELS-IN-CHIEF
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE UHLANS AND THE DRAGOONS
PLATE #88C - EARLY 19TH CENTURY PRUSSIAN UHLAN UNIFORMS
PLATE #88D - EARLY 19TH CENTURY PRUSSIAN UHLAN UNIFORMS
PRUSSIA AND IT'S HISTORY
 

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