My 1809 project’s smallest unit – a unit of three Carneville Freikorps infantrymen – hadn’t appeared on the 1809 Blog since Post 31. The figures were not really necessary for an Essling refight as the Carneville infantry were virtually annihilated approaching the neighbouring village of Gross Enzersdorf as the Austrian 5th Column manoeuvred to outflank the French forces. Before attacking Essling village, Rosenberg had carefully deployed Hohenlohe’s column in assault formation ready to contest Gross Enzersdorf. This proved unnecessary as the French, in the face of greater numbers, withdrew to Essling – but not before two regiments of chaussers à cheval had cut down the inexperienced Carneville Freikorps infantrymen. The infantry were, presumably, acting as skirmishers out in front of the main Austrian body. 200 out of the 208 were put out of action. Only 73 returned to the ranks in time for Wagram.

Carneville Freikorps Infantry Based

For the figures, I had followed an illustration of a Carneville Freikorps light infantryman in Gilles Boué’s Essling – in essence, a standard light infantryman, the kind that ceased to exist by 1801. Likewise, when the light infantry were originally formed in 1798 the Freikorps units largely ceased to exist. The Carneville Corps stood out as surviving these reforms. There was pictorial evidence of Carneville jäger from the earlier period in long blue pantaloons and green jacket, in Grenz-like uniforms. Perhaps the Carneville jägers continued to dress this way while the regular Freikorps infantry adopted the light infantry regulations, holding on to them even after they were dropped by the rest of the army.
POST 135