1° Reggimento Fanteria Leggera
1st Light Infantry Regiment

Uniform Guide

History

The regiment has its origins in the light infantry battalions of the Cisalpine Republic and formed part of the original army created to defend the new Kingdom of Italy in 1805. Its campaign history is summarised below:

1806/7 - Prussia
Served in VIII Corps, present at the sieges of Colberg and Stralsund.
1808 - Spain
Part of Pino's division of VII Corps in Catalonia. Engaged at Rosas, Cardedeu & Molins del Rey.
1809 - Italy & Austria
Two battalions served in the Army of Italy, initially in Julhien's brigade of Fontanelli's division (the army was reorganised several times during the campaign). Fought at Sacile and Klagenfurt.
1809 - Spain
The regiment remained in VII Corps, fighting at Igualada, San Magin & Valls before sending one battalion back to Italy. Part of the "covering corps" for the siege of Girona.
1810 - Spain
The remaining two battalions, still in Pino's (later Severoli's) division of VII Corps, was at the siege of Hostalrich - the last Spanish Garrison in central Catalonia.
1811/12 - Spain
After covering the siege of Tortosa, the regiment was part of the Italian force ambushed and defeated at L'Illa. Transferred to Suchet's Army of Aragon with the rest of the Italian division (now commanded by Peyri). After the siege of Valencia in 1811, the regiment does not appear to have taken part in any further actions in Spain, although it appears in orders of battle as late as June 1813. Presumably it was engaged in garrison duties.
1812 - Russia
The 4th battalion formed part of Fontana's brigade in Pino's Division of IV Corps. They fought at Malo-Jaroslavetz and were so depleted by the retreat that they only mustered 7 officers and 6 men (from an original strength of nearly 500) at the end of December 1812.
1813 - Germany
By April 1813 the 4th battalion was rebuilt and allocated, with the 2nd & 3rd battalions, to St Andrea's brigade, Peyri's division, IV Corps. However the regiment did not take part in either Lützen or Bautzen, but may have been part of the force overwhelmed at Königswartha. After the armistice the regiment fought at Gross-Beeren, Dennewitz, Wartenburg, Leipzig & Hanau.
1814 - Italy
The remnants of the regiment, from both German and Spanish theatres, fought in General Zucchi's division of the army of Italy.

Organisation

The regiment was organised into four battlions and a depot in line with the standard infantry organisation.

Uniform

An early picture of the appearance of this regiment is given by the Otto Manuscript, which shows several of its members as they appeared in 1807.

Figures from the Otto Manuscript

The light infantry uniform was not formalised until 1811 when the following was specified:

Headgear
On campaign, all companies wore a French style shako with a white metal lozenge-shaped plate bearing the regimental number within a hunting horn. The shako bore a green, red and white cockade and a pom-pom that was green over white for cacciatori, green or yellow for volteggiatori and red for carabinieri. Shako cords were white for cacciatori, green and yellow for volteggiatori and red for carabinieri. for parade dress, the carabinieri wore a bearskin bonnet with a red plume and without a front plate, the red cloth patch at the rear bore a white cross. For undress wear, a green bonnet-de-police fatigue cap was worn, piped in the regimental colour (see below).
Coat
The coat was dark green and of the short tailed habite-veste pattern (the long tailed habit-coat was worn prior to 1811). Yellow was the regimental facing colour and was used on the collar and cuffs and as piping on the pointed lapels, pockets, shoulder straps, cuff flaps and turn-backs. There is some evidence that turn-backs were white, but sources conflict. Instead of shoulder straps, volteggiatore wore green epaulettes with yellow crescents, carabinieri wore red ones. Waistcoats were yellow piped with dark green.
Breeches
Breeches were dark green and worn with knee-length black gaiters with white metal buttons. On campaign, green overall trousers were worn with a facing colour stripe down the outer seam.

This new uniform appears on two figures of the Weiland Manuscript.

Figures from the Weiland Manuscript

Sources

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Software error:

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For help, please send mail to the webmaster (webmaster@napitalia.org.uk), giving this error message and the time and date of the error.

Further Reading

A group of Italian enthusiasts have come together to recreate this regiment. You can find out more about them and the regiment on their web site.