1759 Recruiting Regulations

The Regiment Royal Deuxponts or von Zweibrucken was the proprietary regiment of the Count Christian Deuxponts and was manned by citizens of Duchy and the surrounding German-speaking regions. This regulation was enacted to protect his subjects from the types of abuse that characterized recruiting pratices in the period making the Royal Deuxponts a truly "volunteer" force.
By the Grace of God We CHRISTIAN IV Count Palatinate By Rhine, Duke in Bavaria, Count of Neldenz, Sponhiem and Rappoltstien, Lord of Kohenack, etc..

Hereby deign to let it be known,

WHEREAS it is our most gracious Intention that in Our Duchy of Zweybruecken recruiting for the Regiment ROYAL DEUXPONTS proceed with the utmost expedience, and that no-one under heavy penalty shall dare to obstruct this process, nor those persons who seek to prevent men who wish to enter service by seeking to deter them from such action: on the other hand also the recruiters who must refrain from Acts of Violence against and mistreatment of our subjects under equally sever penalty: THAT We have not only graciously appointed Our Government Counselor de Savigny to hear all charges and complaints brought before him by recruiters as well as by Our subjects, and to convey these matters to us in writing, but also to promulgate a special ordinance for the prevention of such complaints as We most graciously find good and proper:

We further decree and accordingly desire:

  1. WHEREAS a recruiter would dare to beat or knock about Our subjects, or in one instance or another take the subject from his house by force, than the village mayor or the local law enforcing officer shall take the same into custody and deliver him to Militia Captain Engelman, at the same time charges should be filed with Counselor de Savigny where the truth of the matter will thereupon be duly investigated, and the criminal shall be severely punished.

  2. WHEREAS it is permissible for all and every subject to drink a measure of one with soldiers on recruiting duty - provided they pay their share of the cost - it is not to be construed to be a compulsion join military service.

  3. WHEREAS, on the other hand, as it occurs frequently, one gives hopes to the soldiers to let himself be inducted and cause the expenses to mount: Then he who continues to sit with the soldiers beyond the first measure of wine shall be obliged to become a soldier, or at least, according to the circumstances, pay out of his own pocket for food and drink and any other expenses arising therefrom; otherwise the village mayor will upon request of the soldier, send our subject to jail under guard and bring the matter to the attention of Counselor de Savigny so that the circumstances can be investigated and appropriate action taken.

  4. WHEREAS all and sundry who in a tavern, or elsewhere, accept bounty money, be it in earnest or with the intention to deceive the recruiters, shall be regarded as recruits and will be held to abide by the agreement made with the recruiters.

  5. WHEREAS no innkeeper or tavern owner shall give a soldier more than one half measure of wine on credit, and - when the soldier continues to drink - than he shall insist each time upon payment of the already consumed half measure: However, should a soldier in the process of endeavoring to have a prospective recruit join the service be in need of money, then the tavern keeper, or whoever it may be - if indeed sees the recruit - may advance the money and the innkeeper may grant credit up to five Gulden for food and drink. Care must be taken that a person who advances cash place it in the hand of the recruit and immediately proceed hither with recruiter and recruit and demand the money from the merchant Cetto, where he is to receive a bonus of six Kreuzer per hour for his troubles. Should, on the other hand, one giving credit or advancing cash fail to come immediately hither with the recruiter and instead comes to claim payment of the debt after the recruiter pays off and the money is spent: Then he shall demand nothing and accept the loss as his own fault.

    We now graciously desire that Our Decree in its full text be fully complied with, for which reason officials and mayors are hereby expressly enjoyed to observe its provisions seriously and that they will be held accountable for all damages arising from non-conpliance. The same shall also be so be printed for everyone's knowledge and be affixed at public places.

    We have set our hand and imprinted our Secret Ducal Seal hereunder.

    Zweybruecken, the 17 day of January in the year 1759.

Christian, Pfaltz-Graf

Der Werber or The Recruiting Party

B&W Image:The Recruiting Party

The process of recruiting prompted a period artist, Kasper Pitz, who was active in the Palatinate and Zweibrucken, to paint "Der Werber" - "The Recruiting Party" - around 1780. This tavern scene aptly portrays country life in the period and the people from which most fo the soldiers destined to go to America came from. One of the officers is a French dragoon, the other in the red uniform (center) with the plumed hat is from a Swiss Regiment in French service.