Napoleonic Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order Recipient Ignaz Freiherr von Hacke

Ignaz Freiherr von Hacke was born on September 22, 1788 at Neuburg an der Donau.  His father Alois Freiherr von Hacke was a Knight of the Order of Saint George.  On July 4, 1805 he was appointed as an Unterlieutenant to the 2. Linien-Infanterie-Regiment “Churprinz” (“Kurprinz”).  The document shown below is his patent for Unterlieutenant which is dated July 17, 1805.  The document is signed by Prince-Elector (Kurfürst) Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria (* 5. 27. 1756, † 10. 13. 1825).  Note that Prince-Elector (Kurfürst) Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria became King Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria on January 1, 1806.  The document is also signed by Bavarian Minister Maximilian Josef Garnerin, Count von Montgelas (* 9. 12. 1759, † 6. 14. 1838).  In addition, the document is signed by later Military Max Joseph Order Archivist and Private War Councillor (Geheimer Kriegsrat) Ludwig von Langlois.  Ludwig von Langlois was the Archivist of the Military Max Joseph Order from March 1, 1806 until May 2, 1856.




Figure 1:  Unterlieutenants Patent for “Ignatz Baron Hacke” of the 2. Linien-Infanterie-Regiment “Churprinz”.  Image from the author’s archive.




Figure 2:  Detail of the signature of Prince-Elector (Kurfürst) Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria.  Image from the author’s archive.




Figure 3:  Detail of the signature of Bavarian Minister Maximilian Josef Garnerin, Count von Montgelas.  Image from the author’s archive.




Figure 4:  Detail of the signature of Private War Councillor (Geheimer Kriegsrat) Ludwig von Langlois.  Image from the author’s archive.




Figure 5:  Detail of Unterlieutenants Patent.  It is interesting to note that his first name is spelled “Ignatz” on this document.  Image from the author’s archive.




In the Campaign of 1805 against Austria on December 5th at the Battle of Stecken, Lieutenant Freiherr von Hacke (wounded through a cut to the head) along with wounded Oberlieutenant Baron Schrenk, were surrounded by Austrian Cavalry.  Through their persistent opposition they allowed time for their remaining troops to retreat.


Freiherr von Hacke took part in the campaigns against the Prussians in 1806 and 1807.


In the campaign against Austria in 1809 he fought in the Battle of Abensberg on April 20, 1809.


During the course of the engagement at Neumarkt a. d. Rott on April 24, 1809, Hacke received a shot to the thigh.


Regarding some of his actions in the Tirolian Campaign and his subsequent award of the French Legion of Honor:


“Im weiteren Verlaufe dieses Feldzuges nahm Hacke, welcher am 12. Mai 1809 zum Oberlieutenant befördert und am 20. Juni zum Regimentsadjutanten ernannt worden war, an den Gefechten in Tirol rühmlichen Anteil, wobei er in jenem bei Schwaz am 15. Mai einen Streifschuß am Fuße erhielt.

In dem Berichte, welchen General Minucci über das Treffen bei Znaim und speziell die Wegnahme von Teschwitz (10. Juli) an den Generallieutenant Wrede erstattete, wird ebenfalls wieder Oberlieutenant Hacke, der hierbei einen Streifschuß an der rechten Hüfte erhalten hatte, ehrenvoll genannt.

Unterm 10. September 1809 ward Hacke, welcher schon am 13. Mai (Armeebefehl vom 1. Juni) den Orden der französischen Ehrenlegion erhalten hatte, zum Adjutanten des Generalmajors und Kommandanten der 2. Infanterie-Brigade der 2. Division Graf Beckers ernannt und am 15. April 1812 zum Hauptmann 2. Klasse im 7. Infanterie-Regiment befördert.”


A rough translation into English:


“In the further course of this campaign Hacke received, on May 12, 1809 promotion to Oberlieutenant (Senior Lieutenant) and on June 20 was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment, commendably participated in the Battles in Tirol, where he received a grazing shot to the foot at Schwaz on May 15.

In the dispatches, where General Minucci reported about the engagement at Znaim and specifically the capture of Teschwitz (July 10th) to Generallieutenant (Lieutenant-General) Wrede, Oberlieutenant (Senior Lieutenant) Hacke is also, who here had received a grazing shot to the right hip, again honorably mentioned.

On September 10, 1809, Hacke, who had received the Order of the French Legion of Honor on May 13 (Army Order dated June 1st), was appointed the Adjutant of Major-General and Commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Division Graf Beckers and on April 15, 1812 promoted to Captain 2nd Class in the 7th Infantry Regiment.”



In the Ranklist of the Royal Bavarian Army for the year 1811 (Rangliste der Königlich Bayerischen Armee für das Jahr 1811), “Ignaz Baron Haacke” is listed as an Ober-Lieutenant and a Brigade-Adjutant on the VII. Linien-Infanterie -Regiment Lowenstein-Werthheim.  His seniority date was May 12, 1809.




Figure 6:  Brevet awarding the Knight (Chevalier) of the Order of the Legion of Honor (Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur) to Baron de Hacke (Ignace).  Image from the author’s archive.




The Knight (Chevalier) of the Order of the Legion of Honor (Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur) was awarded to Bavarian Major Baron de Hacke (Ignace) of Neuburg, Kingdom of Bavaria on May 13, 1809.  The document shown above was signed at the Château de Tuileries by King Louis XVIII on September 1, 1824 in the thirtieth year of reign.  The document was also signed by The Secretary General of the Order Viscount de Laimmare [Le Secrétaire General de l’Ordre Vte. (Vicomte) d Laimmare].  In addition, the document was signed by The Grand Chancellor of the Royal Order of the Legion of Honor (Le Grand Chancelier de l’Ordre Royal de la Légion d’Honneur) Jacques MacDonald (* 11. 17. 1765, † 9. 25. 1840).


Reviewing the Legion of Honor document, some questions came to mind:

Since his award was for action in 1809, and this document was signed in 1824, what is the explanation for why he was given the document 15 years later?

What type of actual Chevalier cross would he have received?

Would he have received the 1809 type of cross, or the 1824 type of cross?


In order to have these questions answered, I consulted with Jean-Christophe Palthey, Phaleristic Expert and member of the SFEP (Syndicat Français des Experts Professionnels en Œuvres d’Art et Objets de Collection), and his answer was as follows:

“The answer is easy, during the First Empire, members (later called knights) of the Légion d’honneur, received a simple letter from the Grand Chancelier Lacepede, informing the new member that he was include in the Légion d’honneur, as member, officer, commandant, etc…  This document was the only official imperial document. After the first abdication in 1814, and after Waterloo, the Légion d’honneur was conserved by Louis XVIII, who was a very clever man. As he wanted to be sure of the loyalty of all these veterans of the Imperial adventure, he asked all the knights to swear fidelity to him.  The knight had to sign a “serment de fidelité au Roi”, and send them back with the original nomination document, then they received a formal diploma, with the royal coat of arms (for free if soldiers, with a fee for officers). On this docuement you can find two dates, the first one, the oldest, is the date when he was officially named and received in the Légion d’honneur, the second the date when the diploma was signed by the king (his secretary).

So of course he received a 1809 knight badge, but after 1814, he had to wear a royal badge with Henri IV.  Sometimes, as they were usually very poor, they only changed the centers of the cross, explaining many “mixed” types.”

For an example of the type of award that Major Baron de Hacke could have worn follow this link:




Figure 7:  Detail of the Brevet awarding the Knight (Chevalier) of the Order of the Legion of Honor (Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur) to Baron de Hacke (Ignace).  Image from the author’s archive.




Lieutenant Hacke fought in the battles of the Bavarians in the Northern Tirol later in 1809:


“On October 16, 1809 began the decampment of all three Bavarian Divisions against Tirol, from Salzburg and Reichenhall, from Traunstein and from Fischbach.”

“Between Unter- and Ober-Jettensburg Lieutenant Hacke with the advance-guard came upon an enemy picket of thirty men, that fled after a short battle.”

“The Tyroleans made some cannon shots and small arms fire, until they were thrown back by Lieutenants Schrott and Hacke with charging Bayonets, pursued to the Bodenbühl (Bodenbühlpaß), and they were then driven into the hands of the column advancing from Meleck.”


Ignaz Freiherr von Hacke was awarded the Imperial Russian Saint Vladimir Order 4th Class for action at the Battle of Brienne (La-Rothière) on February 1, 1814:


“Der Feldzug 1814 gegen Frankreich sollte Hacke wiederholt Gelegenheit zur Auszeichnung bieten.

Am 1. Februar 1814 in der Schlacht be Brienne (La-Rothière) hatte 1 Bataillon des 7. Infanterie-Regiments in Verbindung mit 1 Bataillon des “Szekler”-Regiments den Befehl erhalten das von der französischen Brigade Roubert besetzte Dorf Chaumenil zu nehmen. Von dem Oberst Rodt in Kolonne gesetzt, griff das Bataillon des 7. Regiments mit großer Unerschrockenheit, gefällten Bajonetts ohne zu feuern das Dorf an. Eine volle Ladung aus den feindlichen Geschützen, obwohl sie den Tod in die Reihen der Stürmenden schleuderte, konnte keinen Augenblick das Vordringen der Siebener hinder. Chaumenil ward genommen und bis zum Ausgange der Schlacht behauptet. Unter jenen, welche sich bei diesem Sturme ganz besonders auszeichneten, wurde Hauptmann Hacke ganannt, welcher hierbei jedoch durch einen Schuß in die linke Wade verwundet, aber auch für die bewiesene Auszeichnung mit dem russischen St. Wladimir-Orden 4. Klasse belohnt wurde.”


A rough translation into English:


“The 1814 campaign against France would provide Hacke repeated opportunities for awards.

On February 1, 1814 at the Battle of Brienne (La-Rothière) 1st Battalion of the 7th Infantry Regiment in connection with 1st Battalion of the “Szekler”-Regiment had received orders to take the village of Chaumenil (Chaumesnil) occupied by the French Brigade Roubert. Brought in a column by Colonel Rodt , the Battalion of the 7th Regiment attacked with great intrepidness, the village fell by bayonets without being fired upon. A full charge from the enemy guns, although they threw death into the onrushing ranks, could not for a moment hinder the advance of the Seventh. Chaumenil (Chaumesnil) had been taken and suggested the pending outcome of the battle. Among those, who through this assault particularly distinguished themselves, Captain Hacke was mentioned, who was wounded by a shot in the left calf, and was awarded the Russian Saint Vladimir Order 4th Class as a sign of recognition.”


Ignaz Freiherr von Hacke was awarded the Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order on June 24, 1815 for action at Montieramey on February 24, 1814:


“Als am 24. Februar 1814 die Franzosen, der Heerteil unter General Gerard und der zweite französische Heerteil (Reiterei), die verbündete Arrieregarde heftigst verfolgten, erhielt das 1. Bataillon des 7. Infanterie-Regiments unter Major von Fortis den Befehl die hart bedrängte verbündete Kavallerie aufzunehmen und das Dorf Montieramey zu verteidigen.

Hauptmann Hacke meldete sich sogleich freiwillig zur Verteidigung der vorwärts dieses Dorfes gelegenen Brücke über das Flüßchen la Barse. Als die ganze Arrieregarde der bayerisch-österreichischen Armee, mehrere Kavallerie-Regimenter unter der persönlichen Ausführung des österreichischen Generals Frimont die Brücke passiert, als das 2. leichte und ein österreichisches Bataillon als endlich das 1. Bataillon des 7. Regiments selbst den Rückzug durch Montieramey angetreten hatten, stand Hacke mit seiner Kompagnie den feindlichen andringenden Waffen allein gegenüber.

Die nun ansprengende feindliche Reiterei wurde zwar von Hacke durch eine gut angebrachte Decharge sogleich zurückgeworfen und zum Weichen gebracht, allein die Franzosen setzten dennoch ihre Versuche fort, die Brück zu forcieren, was ihnen jedoch infolge des immer wohl angebrachten und wohl unterhaltenen Feuers von Hacke’s Kompanie nicht gelang.

Als nun den Füsilieren die 1. Schützenkompanie zur Unterstützung geschickte wurde, währte das Feuer noch 1 ½ Stunden.

Jetzt rückte aber eine neue feindliche Infanteriekolonne mit Artillerie an, doch gelang es Hacke, begünstigt durch das nunmehr eingetretene Dunkel der Nacht, auch diese ihm an Zahl weit überlegenen Feinde zu täuschen. Links von Hacke’s Kompagnie befand sich nämlich unter Lieutenant Kaiser ein Zug Schützen in ausgelöster Ordnung und während dieser tiraillierend ein ununterbrochenes Feuer unterhielt, ließ Hacke bei dem jedesmaligen Anprellen des Feindes eine Kompagnie-Decharge geben, wobei er stets das sehr laute Kommandowort: Bataillon – Tan – Feuer! gebrauchte.

Obwohl der schwachen bayerischen Abteilung mehrere Bataillone gegenüber standen, so wurden letztere doch bei der Dunkelheit der Nacht derart getäuscht, daß sie ihr Vorhaben, die Brücke mit Sturm zu nehmen, nicht ausführen konnten.

Hacke sendete bei dem jedesmaligen Zurückweichen der Franzosen ihnen tüchtiges Gliederfeuer nach, wodurch sie viele Leute verloren und, obwohl sogar mit Kartätschen auf die Bayern feuernd, doch deren Bravour nachgeben un weichen mußten.

Diese hartnäckige, von abends 5 – 8 Uhr währende Verteidigung der Brücke führte endlich Mangel an Patronen herbei und Hacke sandte um Munition oder Unterstützung zurück.

Der Bataillonskommandeur erteilte aber nun infolge höherer Weisung Hacke den Befehl zum Rückzuge und detachierte gleichzeitig die 1. Grenadierkompagnie unter Oberlieutnant Bienenthal zur Ablösung Hacke’s und Deckung der Arrieregarde.

Die Grenadiere rücken in schönster Ordnung an, übernahmen die Arrieregarde und leisteten tiraillierend den besten Widerstand. Die Franzosen aber, als sie bemerkten, daß das Feuer ihrer Gegner schwächer wurde, stürzten mit aller Heftigkeit auf die Grenadiere, welche sich, der erhaltenen Ordre gemäß, fechtend zurückziehen mußten.

Da Bienenthal’s Kompagnie hierdurch zu sehr gedrückt wurde und wahrscheinlich auch aufgerieben worden wäre, nahm Hacke abermals die 1. Füsilierkompagnie zusammen, suchte die Leute, welche noch mit einigen Patronen versehen waren, heraus und eilte so den Grenadieren zu Hilfe.

Die Franzosen, durch erneutes Feuern, sowie durch Schreien der Mannschaft im Zaume gehalten, glaubten, es wäre Unterstützung gegen sie angekommem und begnügten sich, zumal sie nur mit größtem Verluste Schritt für Schritt erobern mußten, mit dem Besitze von Montieramey.

Dieses konnte ihnen Hacke aber um so weniger mehr streitig Machen, als die 1. Füsilierkompagnie nun gar keine Patronen, die 1. Grenadierkompagnie aber nur mehr wenige hatte und gleichzeitig vom Bataillonskommando der wiederholte Befehl zum Rückzuge eintraf.

Ohne vom Feinde weiter beunruhigt zu warden, zog sich Hacke ungefähr eine Stunde zurück und schloß sich hier an ein zu seiner Aufnahme bestimmtes Bataillon an.

Der hartnäckigen Verteidigung oben erwähnter Brücke muß es teilweise zugeschrieben werden, daß das Armeekorps selbst ungehindert ohne Verluste seinen Rückmarsch über Vendeuvre nach Bar-sur-Aube fortsetzen konnte.

Das am 22. Dezember 1814 zu München unter dem Vorsitze des Oberstlieutenants von Aicher abgehaltene Ordenskapitel sprach sich den auch einstimmig für die Aufnahme Hacke’s in den Orden aus und im Armeebefehl von 24. Juni 1815 ward er wegen der Auszeichnung bei Montieramey am 24. Februar 1814 zum Ritter de Militär-Max-Joseph-Ordens ernannt.”


A rough translation into English:


“On February 24, 1814 as the French, the army section under General Gerard and the Second French Army Section (cavalry), intensively pursued the Allied rear-guard, the 1st Battalion of the 7th Infantry Regiment under Major von Fortis received the order for the hard-pressed Allied cavalry to engage and to defend the Village of Montieramey.

Captain Hacke immediately volunteered for the defense of the advance on this Village near the bridge over the la Barse Rivulet. As the entire rear-guard of the Bavarian- Austrian Army, several cavalry regiments under the personal direction of Austrian General Frimont passed the bridge, the 2nd Light and an Austrian Battalion, and finally the 1st Battalion of the 7th Regiment itself had joined the retreat through Montieramey, stood Hacke with his Company the enemy pushing forward weapons against it alone.

The now galloping enemy cavalry were certainly by Hacke through a well applied discharge immediately thrown back and made to give way, yet the French nevertheless continued their attempts to force the bridge, which they failed however as a result of increasingly well-applied and well-maintained fire by Hacke’s Company.

Now when the Fusiliers of the 1st Rifle Company were sent to support, the fire lasted for 1 ½ hours.

Now however a new enemy infantry column with artillery advanced, yet Hacke succeeded, now aided by the darkness of the night, however to deceive this far superior number of enemies. Left of Hacke’s Company was located under Lieutenant Kaiser a squad of riflemen in activated arrangement and during this sharp-shooters maintained a continuous fire, let Hacke give at each rebound of the enemy a Company-discharge. While always using the very loud command-words: Battalion – Aim – Fire!

Despite the weak Bavarian detachment several battalions stood against it, so the latter yet in the darkness of the night were so deceived, that they could not execute their intentions to take the bridge by assault.

Hacke at each retreat of the French sent efficient organized fire after them, making them lose many men, and although even with canister shot firing on the Bavarians, but their bravura gave way and they had to yield.

This persistence, from 5 to 8 pm during defense of the bridge finally led to a lack of cartridges, causing Hacke to send back for ammunition or assistance.

The Battalion Commander due to higher orders now issued to Hacke the command to retreat and at the same time detached the 1st Grenadier Company under First-Lieutenant Bienenthal to Hacke’s relief and to protect the rear-guard.

The Grenadiers retreated in perfect order, took over the rear-guard and provided skirmishers the greatest resistance. The French however, when they realized, that the fire of their opponents was weakened, fell upon the Grenadiers with full force, who, in accordance with the received order, had to withdraw from combat.

Since Bienenthal’s Company as a result was too hard pressed and probably would also have been decimated, Hacke gathered the 1st Fusilier Company anew, looked for men, which were provided with some cartridges, and hurried out to help the Grenadiers.

The French, through renewed firing, as well as through shouting held the troops under control, believed, there would be assistance arriving against them and they acquiesced, especially since they had to conquer step by step with only the greatest losses, to possess Montieramey.

This allowed Hacke but less so to make a further challenge, as the 1st Fusilier Company was now out of cartridges, the 1st Grenadier Company had but a few and at the same time the repeated command from the Battalion Command to retreat arrived.

Without being further troubled by the enemy, Hacke withdrew in about an hour and here joined his designated Battalion for his reception.

That the Army Corps itself could continue without loss its return march through Vendeuvre to Bar-sur-Aube unhindered must be partially attributed to the stubborn defense of the above-mentioned bridge.

On December 22, 1814 at Munich under the chairmanship of Lieutenant-Colonel von Aicher the Order-Chapter was held and voiced unanimously for the inclusion of Hacke into the Order and in the Army-Order of June 24, 1815 he was appointed a Knight of the Military Max Joseph Order because of the distinction at Montieramey on February 24, 1814.”




Figure 8:  Copper plate print of Ignaz Freiherr von Hacke in uniform wearing his three (3) Orders and another award.  The print is signed by Hacke.  Image from the author’s archive.




Figure 9:  A legal document (possibly a will) concerning Ignaz Baron von Hacke dated May 10, 1816.  His seal and signature can be seen at the bottom of the document.  Image from the author’s archive.




Figure 10:  Obituary Notice dated March 30, 1839 stating that “Ignatz Freyherrn von Hacke” died at fifty (50) years of age.  Image from the author’s archive.




Per the Obituary Notice “Ignatz Freyherrn von Hacke” was a Knight of the Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order, a recipient of the Royal French Legion of Honor, and a recipient of the Imperial Russian Vladimir Order.  In Figure 8 Freiherr von Hacke is portrayed wearing (from left to right) a Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order Knight’s Cross, possibly a Bavarian Military Commemorative for 1813-1815 (Militärdenkzeichen für 1813, 1814, und 1815), a Knight’s Cross of the Royal French Legion of Honor, and an Imperial Russian Saint Vladimir Order 4th Class.




Figure 11:  Obituary Notice dated February 9, 1857 stating that Mathilde Freifrau von Hacke née Werner-Lemfort died at sixty-seven (67) years of age.  Image from the author’s archive.




Thank you for your interest regarding this article.

I wish to extend my thanks to Expert Jean-Christophe Palthey of Lausanne, for his gracious assistance in the preparation of this article.  His very thorough explanation regarding the history of the awarding of the Legion of Honor provided a great deal of information that clarifies significant factors concerning the history of this Order that were previously a mystery to me.

Comments are welcome.

– Lorin



Hackl, Othmar.  Rangliste der Königlich Bayerischen Armee für das Jahr 1811.  Nachdruck der Ausgabe München 1811. Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück, 1982.

Schrettinger, Baptist.  Der Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden und seine Mitglieder.  München, 1882.

Völderndorff u. Waradein, Ed. Frh. v.  Kriegsgeschichte von Bayern unter König Maxmilian Joseph I.  Zweiter Band.  Fünftes Buch.  München oV, 1826.



For an overview of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809:


For more information regarding the Battle of Albensberg:


For more information regarding the Battle of Neumarkt a. d. Rott:


For more information regarding the Battle of Znaim:


For more information regarding the Battle of La Rothière:


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