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The Great Northern War
Sunday, 28 April 2019
Kruse's regiment
Topic: Regiments

On 2 April 1701 Col. Carl Gustaf Kruse wrote to Governor General de la Gardie in Reval, outlining the details for how his regiment (Upplands tremänningsregemente till häst) was going to be transported across the Baltic Sea.

From Stockholm:

169 men from Uppland
144 men from Västmanland
104 men from Närke
42 men from Södermanland

They were accompanied by: 

Colonel Kruse
Major Reuter
4 cavalry captains (ryttmästare)
3 lieutenants
5 cornets
2 chaplains
5 quartermasters
13 corporals
4 muster scribes
1 feldsher's apprentice
6 trumpeters
10 farriers and provosts

The regimental quartermaster
The regimental chaplain
1 judge advocate or scribe
The regimental aide-de-camp
1 feldsher
1 drummer
1 gunsmith
I saddler 

From Skenäs:

42 men from Västergötland
229 men from Ösergötland

They were accompanied by:

Lt. Colonel Wennerstedt
1 cavalry captain (ryttmästare)
3 lieutenants
2 cornets
1 chaplain
2 quartermasters
8 corporals
1 muster scribe
1 feldsher's apprentice
2 trumpeters
3 farriers and provosts

From Västervik:

104 men from Östergötland

They were accompanied by:

1 cavalry captain (ryttmästare)
1 lieutenant
1 cornet
1 quartermaster
3 corporals
1 muster scribe 
1 feldsher's apprentice
1 trumpeter
1 farrier
1 provost

To this was added a large number of servants and horses. 1 horse for each soldier, 14 horses for the colonel, 12 for the lieutenant colonel, 9 for the major and so on. The colonel had 9 servants, the lieutenant colonel 6 and the major 5 etc. The total sum of men and horses was:

100 officers, non-commissioned officers etc., 123 servants, 240 horses for the officers, non-commissioned officers etc., 834 soldiers and 834 horses. In total 1,057 men and 1,074 horses. 

Source: EAA.1.2.286, pp. 83 ff, Rahvusarhiiv, Tartu 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:14 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 28 April 2019 8:15 PM MEST
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Sunday, 8 November 2015
Clothes for the militia
Topic: Regiments

Among the papers of Mikael von Strokirch, Economy Governor in the Latvian district of Livonia, there is a specification of a suitable model of uniform for the militia. It is undated, but appears to be from June 1702:

A grey vadmal coat with yellow lining, grey karpus with yellow lining, leather breeches (if possible, otherwise one pair of vadmal and one pair of linen), woolen socks and gloves, leather shoes, a pair of shirts, a pair of linen neckcloths, a short fur coat for the winter, cartridge box in two parts (of black leather) and a leather belt.

In a following letter to a captain in the militia Strokirch states that the recently departed Governor General Dahlbergh had not made any decision regarding how the militia was to be dressed, he had simply approved the suggestions made by various captains. The result had been something like the enclosed specification.

Source: EAA (Tartu), EAA 278.1.IV-52, p. 50 ff



Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:15 PM CET
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Sunday, 11 October 2015
Otto Vellingk and the new regiments : part 2
Topic: Regiments

On 18 June 1700 Vellingk wrote a new report about the raising of new regiments. He informed the King that Col. Magnus Wilhelm Nieroth had agreed to recruit 200 foot soldiers. If the King gave his permission Vellingk believed it would be possible to transfer 200 men from Campenhausen's regiment in Riga, 100 men from the garrison in Dorpat and another 100 from the garrison in Pernau to Nieroth's unit, creating a regiment of 600 soldiers. This regiment could eventually become permanent and stationed in either Dorpat or Pernau.

The King replied on 9 July. He did not like Vellingk's method very much. Charles XII concluded that it weakened the already existing units and gave too profitable terms to Nieroth and others - they would only have to recruit a minor part of the regiments and then they would be presented with additional men on the Crown's expense. Surely these officers could do better? 

Vellingk replied on 13 August. He noted that the King had not approved of transferring 400 men to Nieroth and another 400 to Lt. Col. Helmersen. Vellingk assured the King that his intention had not been to weaken the existing units, but rather the opposite. Unfortunately there was a shortage of recruits, so it was necessary to pay them 8-10 "riksdaler" to sign up. However, Vellingk would do his best to persuade Helmersen and Nieroth to agree to modified terms, but both officers were in the besieged Riga. As for the agreement with Schlippenbach there were problems. The Lieutenant Colonel was not prepared to accept the terms offered to Albedyhl, so Vellingk had been forced to rewrite the agreement three times. Eventually Schlippenbach had written directly to the King. However, Vellingk would get in touch with Schlippenbach once more and inform him of the King's wishes. 


Riksarkivet (Stockholm), Skrivelser till Konungen. Karl XII, vol. 29

Riksarkivet (Stockholm) Riksregistraturet 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 4:17 PM MEST
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Sunday, 4 October 2015
Otto Vellingk and the new regiments : part 1
Topic: Regiments

On 14 March 1700 Charles XII wrote to Governor Vellingk about the situation after the Saxon attack on Riga. At the end of the letter the King pointed that out that it would be most welcome if more regiments could be raised. Unfortunately the financial resources were limited and the mobilization of the army and navy meant that there were many needs. If someone from private means would undertake such recruitment the King could promise very good terms. 

Vellingk replied to this letter on 30 March. He wrote that he had already during a visit to Reval made an agreement with Colonel Gustaf Ernst Albedyhl about a dragoon regiment of 600 men to be ready within four months. He had also concluded a similar deal with Captain Hans Henrik von Liewen, who had promised to raise a battalion of infantry (500 men) within four months in exchange for an appointment as Lieutenant Colonel. Vellingk himself promised to recruit a regiment of dragoons in Kexholm.

On 21 April Vellingk again wrote to the King about the situation. Ingria was large and as 5,000 men were needed just for defending Narva and Ivangorod, it was very important to raise more soldiers. Vellingk offered to recruit a dragoon regiment, which would become a permanent part of the province's defenses (in peace and war). To form a trained basis for such a regiment the Governor wished to take five men from each company in six the Finnish regiments that were at hand (240 men in all). The King rejected this part of Vellingk's proposal, but agreed to another part of it - to put 300 men light cavalry which traditionally were raised in the province during wars by the nobility and the leaseholders (these soldiers were not part of the so called "adelsfana"). 

Vellingk also asked permission to raise a regiment of infantry. There were two companies of Skytte's regiment (Dorpat) in the province - one in Nöteborg and the other i Kexholm. The Governor proposed to remove them from Skytte's unit and have them form the basis for the new regiment, but again the King refused. The rest (700 men) would be raised in Kexholm county, where there were both men and a will to contribute to the defense of the province. This part was accepted by Charles XII.

In the same letter Vellingk updated the information about his previous agreements. Lt. Col. Schlippenbach and Lt. Col. Albedyhl hade agreed to reach 600 dragoons each and Captain von Liewen 500 musketeers. They had not yet signed the papers, but were prepared to do everything possible in His Majety's service even though their economic means were rather modest.  

Vellingk gives more details about Liewen's regiment in a letter to Governor General De la Gardie on 10 April.  Liewen had in the agreement been giiven permission to recruit in the districts of Weissenstein, Wesenberg, Hapsal and Leal, but the regiment would rendezvous at Hapsal. Vellingk asked de la Gardie to give all possible assistance to Liewen and his officers during the recruitment phase and find quarters and provisions for the soldiers.



Riksarkivet (Stockholm), Livonica II, vol. 192
EAA (Tartu), EAA 1.2.284


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 12:01 AM MEST
Updated: Saturday, 3 October 2015 9:46 PM MEST
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Sunday, 27 September 2015
New regiments
Topic: Regiments

On 6 July 1700 Charles XII instructed Governor General Dahlbergh to send in a list of those regiments which had been created in Livonia, Estonia and Ingria since the beginning of the war. The King knew that Axel Julius de la Gardie had agreed to recruit an infantry regiment and Governor Otto Vellingk one dragoon regiment and one infantry regiment, while Hans Henrik von Liewen and Carl Adam Stackelberg where to recruit an infantry battalion each. Had Dahlbergh made any such agreements with other officers?

The Governor General got the King's letter on 27 July and replied immediately. As far as he knew Stackelberg and Liewen had concluded their agreements with Governor General de la Gardie, while Wolmar Anton von Schlippenbach, Gustaf Ernst Albedyhl, Magnus Wilhelm Nieroth, Liewen (which one?) and Magnus von Helmersen had made their agreements with Governor Vellingk, commander of the relief army. Dahlbergh had concluded an agreement with Wolmar Anton Meyerfeldt, who later had agreed to recruit for Nieroth as his Lieutenant Colonel (draft of the original agreement in LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 335). 


LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 72 

LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 149 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:20 PM MEST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 7:49 PM MEST
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