I have not seen another example of this unusual type of document.  It is a Royal Bavarian “Cabinet Order” sent to the Artillery Brigade Command in response to earlier correspondence received.

 

 

Figure 1: Royal Bavarian Cabinet Order. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

Here is a transcription of the text in German:

 

Maximilian Joseph

von Gottes Gnaden König von Baiern

 

Auf den allerunterthänigsten Bericht vom 26. Vorigen Monats wird unserem Artillerie-Brigade-Kommando in den Anlagen ein goldenes Ehrenzeichen zum Ersatze des dem Oberlieutenant Molzberger in dem Laufe des gegenwärtigen Krieges auf der Retirade (militärischer Rückzug) bey Kowno zu Verlust gegangenen, dann ein Duplicat dessen verlorenen Unterlieutenants Patents Tax- und Siegelfrey zu dem Ende zugeschlossen um beide Gegenstände bemerkten Oberlieutenants durch das Artillerie und Armee Fuhrwesens Bataillon behändigen zu lassen

 Was das einbeförderte silberne Ehrenzeichen des vor dem Feinde gebliebenen Fuhrwesens Korporal Ziegler betrifft, so folgt solches mit dem Auftrage andurch zurück, dasselbe, gemäß den bestehenden Statuten, der Familie des Verlebten ausliefern zu lassen.

 München den 4. Juni 1813

Max Joseph

v. Triva

An das Artillerie-Brigade-

Kommando                                                                                                                                          Auf

Des goldene Ehrenzeichen und                                                                                          königlichen allerhöchsten Befehl                                  
Unterlieutnants-Patent für                                                                                                        Der General Sekretär

den Oberlieutnant Molzberger betreffend                                                                                        Maubach

                                Erhalten                  eingetragen”

 

 

 

Freely translated into modern German:

 

“Maximilian Joseph

von Gottes Gnaden König von Baiern

 

Auf den alleruntertänigsten Bericht vom 26. vorigen Monats wird unserem Artillerie-Brigade-Kommando in der Anlage ein goldenes Ehrenzeichen, welches Ersatz für das dem Oberleutnant Molzberger im Laufe des gegenwärtigen Krieges auf dem militärischer Rückzug bei Kowno verloren gegangenem Ehrenzeichens ist, wie auch ein Duplikat des verlorenen Unterleutnants-Patents, steuer- und siegelfrei übergeben, um es durch das Artillerie- und Armeefuhrwesensbataillon aushändigen zu lassen.

Was das eingelieferte silberne Ehrenzeichen des vor dem Feinde gebliebenen Fuhrwesens Korporal Ziegler betrifft, so geht dieses mit dem Auftrage zurück, dasselbe, gemäß den bestehenden Statuten, der Familie des Verlebten zu übergeben.

München den 4. Juni 1813

Max Joseph

v. Triva

An das Artillerie-Brigade-

Kommando                                                                                                                     Auf

das goldene Ehrenzeichen und                                                                  königlichen allerhöchsten Befehl

Unterlieutnants-Patent für                                                                                Der Generalsekretär

den Oberlieutnant Molzberger betreffend                                                                  Maubach

Erhalten                  eingetragen”

 

 

 

Roughly translated into English:

 

“Maximilian Joseph

by God’s Grace King of Bavaria

 

To the most humble report of the 26th of the previous month of our Artillery Brigade Command in the attachment is a Golden Honor Award, which replaces for Lieutenant Molzberger the Honor Award lost in the course of the retreat at Kovno during the present war, as well as a duplicate of the lost Second-Lieutenant’s Patent, delivered tax and seal free, to be handed over through the Artillery and Army Baggage Train Battalion.

As regards the delivered Silver Honor Award of Baggage Train Corporal Ziegler, who remained before the enemy, this goes back with the order to hand over the same, according to the existing statutes, to the family of the deceased.

 

Munich the 4th of June 1813

Max Joseph1

v. Triva2

To the Artillery-Brigade-

Command                                                                                                                    By

concerning the Golden Honor Award                                                         Royal All Highest Command

and Second-Lieutenant’s Patent for                                                                   The General Secretary

Lieutenant Molzberger                                                                                                   Maubach3

Received                        registered”

 

 

1. König Maximilian I Joseph von Bayern (*May 27, 1756, †October 13, 1825)

2. Graf Johann Nepomuk von Triva, General of Artillery, Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Grand Chancellor and Grand Cross Recipient of the Military Max Joseph Order (*September 20, 1755, †April 8, 1827)

3. Ritter Peter von Maubach, General Secretary of the Army Ministry

 

Note that the location “Kowno” (Kovno in English) is now known as Kaunas, Lithuania.  After the retreat from Moscow the Bavarian forces were repeatedly decimated by attacking Russian troops and marauding Cossacks, and by the end of 1812 the situation was desperate.

In 1800 Wachtmeister (Sergeant-Major) Peter Molzberger was awarded the “Silver Medal” for distinction at Hohenlinden.  In 1805 Wachtmeister (Sergeant-Major) Peter Molzberger was awarded the “Golden Medal” and the French Legion of Honor (Army-Order of January 11, 1806) for distinction at Iglau (Jihlava).  In 1805 Molzberger was a member of the 5. Chevaulegers-Regiment.  Per the Army-Order of February 28, 1809, Wachtmeister (Sergeant-Major) Peter Molzberger of the Fuhrwesens-Bataillon (Baggage Train Batallion) was promoted to Unterlieutenant (Lieutenant).

It should be noted that the French Legion of Honor listed above was a “Chevalier” (Knight) per the 1811 Royal Bavarian Army Ranklist.

On April 19, 1809 Korporal Georg Ziegler, from Rothenburg an der Tauber, of the Fuhrwesens-Bataillon (Baggage Train Batallion) was awarded the “silberne Ehrenzeichen” (Silver Honor Award) (Army-Order of April 8, 1810).  Per the statutes, “Im Sterbfalle wird das Ehrenzeichen der Familie zum Andenken zugesendet” (In case of death, the Honor Award is sent to the family as a memento).

The “Silver Medals” listed above were the Bavarian “Militärische Ehrenzeichen silberne Medaille” (Military Honor Award Silver Medal) or more simply “silberne Ehrenzeichen” (Silver Honor Award).  The “Golden Medal” listed above was the Bavarian “Militärische Ehrenzeichen goldene Medaille” (Military Honor Award Gold Medal) or more simply “goldenes Ehrenzeichen” (Golden Honor Award).  These medals per the statutes had a “bust of His Majesty the King” on one side, and on the other side the “Royal Bavarian Coat-of-Arms held by a standing lion with a drawn sword and the inscription “Der Tapferkeit”.  This medal was worn on a black ribbon with white and sky-blue small stripes at the edges.  The award could, like the Military Max Joseph Order, only be earned in the field through an action of personal bravery.  Note that later issues of this award became know as the “Militär-Verdienst-Medaille” (Military Merit Medal), and then unofficially, and finally, at the end of Great War in March, 1918, officially, the “Tapferkeitsmedaille” (Bravery Medal).

 

 

Figure 2: Obverse of an example of a silberne Militärische Ehrenzeichen of the possible type that was awarded to Korporal Georg Ziegler. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 3: Reverse of an example of a silberne Militärische Ehrenzeichen of the possible type that was awarded to Korporal Georg Ziegler. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 4: Bavarian Military Honor Award Statutes. From: Rangliste der Königlich Bayerischen Armee für das Jahr 1811. Page 198.

 

 

Figure 5: Bavarian Military Honor Award Statutes (continued). From: Rangliste der Königlich Bayerischen Armee für das Jahr 1811. Page 199.

 

 

Figure 6: Summary of awards of Bavarian “goldene und silberne Militärische Ehrenzeichen” (Gold and Silver Military Honor Awards). From: Rangliste der Königlich Bayerischen Armee für das Jahr 1811. Page 200.

 

 

As one can see from the table listed-above, there were 7 goldene Militärische Ehrenzeichen awards and 83 silberne Militärische Ehrenzeichen awards prior to the formation of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806.  These medals had either the bust of Kürfürst Carl/Karl Theodor von Pfalz-Baiern (*December 11, 1724, †February 16, 1799) on the obverse if they were awarded from 1794 to 1797, or the bust of Kürfürst Maximilian IV Joseph von Pfalz-Baiern (*May 27, 1756, †October 13, 1825) on the obverse if they were awarded from 1799 to 1805.  On January 1, 1806, Kürfürst Maximilian IV Joseph von Pfalz-Baiern was crowned König Maximilian I Joseph von Bayern.  I do not know for certain, but I would speculate that sometime after January, 1806, recipients of the earlier coinages surrendered their medals for newly-minted medals with the bust of König Maximilian I Joseph von Bayern on the obverse.

In 1806 recipients of the Churpfalz/Kurpfalz-bayerisches Militär-Ehrenzeichen (Order for Officers), which was awarded from 1795 through January, 1805, surrendered their awards for newly founded Military Max Joseph Order awards in accordance with the Military Max Joseph Order statutes.  It would therefore stand to reason that a similar practice was followed concerning the earlier coinages of the Militärische Ehrenzeichen medals.

In 1813 Lieutenant Molzberger would have received the post-1806 coinage of the goldene Militärische Ehrenzeichen to replace his lost original.

Reviewing the table listed above, it is also interesting to note that from 1805 through 1809 there were 180 goldene Militärische Ehrenzeichen awarded and 944 silberne Militärische Ehrenzeichen awarded.

 

 

Thank you for your interest regarding this article.

I wish to extend my thanks to Expert Researcher Walter Kinast of Karlsfeld, for his invaluable assistance in the preparation of this article.  He transcribed the contents of the handwritten document into modern German and also provided thorough research information regarding the recipients of the “Militärisches Ehrenzeichen”mentioned in the document.  Without his kind assistance and expertise this article would not have been possible.

Comments are welcome.

– Lorin

 

 

Literature:

Hackl, Othmar.  Rangliste der Königlich Bayerischen Armee für das Jahr 1811. München, 1811.

Purkart, Carl A. v. Kriegserinnerungen für Bayern mit besonderer Beziehung auf die Kriegsepoche von 1790 bis 1815. Dannheimer, Kempten, 1829.

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

Sichler, Oskar v. Geschichte des königlich bayerischen 5. Chevaulegers-Regiments “Prinz Otto”.  München, 1876.

 

 

For more information concerning the Bavarian Army retreat at Kowno/Kovno/Kaunas:

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://www.napoleon-online.de/armee_bayern_infanterie1812_teil3.html&prev=search

For more information concerning the Battle of Hohenlinden:

https://www.frenchempire.net/battles/hohenlinden/

 

 

6 Comments
  1. Hello Lorin, a really impressive document. In the files one reads again and again “medal, decoration, commemorative medal, medal for bravery, medal of the military Max Joseph order, etc.”. These are all unofficial or wrong names for the Military Medal of Merit. Only from March 2, 1918, the name “Medal for Bravery” officially replaces the previous term “Military Merit Medal”. No matter what the medal was called, it was and still is highly valued. Thank you for creating this article where my contribution was just a very small part.

    Thank you for creating this interesting post.
    Walter

  2. Here again an excerpt from the files of the Bavarian main state archive, department 4, war archive, file number MKr 3345. In the subject one can read “renewal of the embossing stamp to the medals of the military Max Joseph order” an example of many wrong designations for the time still correct official designation “military merit medal”.

    • Servus Walter,

      Thank you for this supplemental information regarding official and un-official naming designations used for this award. It is fascinating to study the variations used over the years. It sometimes makes the interpretation of historical documents a bit challenging.

      Thanks again for all of your work regarding the preparation of this article, it is much appreciated.

      Best regards,

      Lorin

  3. Servus Lorin,

    The new medals could be coined only when the new insignia were set. The files of the Main State Archives in Munich show the following (MKr 3345):

    March 21, 1807

    The Hauptmünzamts Kassier Seidl hands over a mark over costs, which on the 32 new- and 16 umgeprägten (I do not know the English word for it, I try it so: the old medals were again overprinted with the new stamps)golden medals, then 100 new and 26 umgeprägten silver medals, so that the sum total of one thousand three hundred four and twenty guilders, 18 cruisers amount.

    From this one can see that the royal military merit medals were not coined until 1807.

    Your approach, that some members of the Churfürstlichen MVM have been exchanged for royal MVM later, is very interesting. I had not even thought of that possibility. I’ll look for it.

    Best regards,
    Walter

    • Servus Walter,

      Thank you for this information regarding the MVM medal coinage in 1807 by the Royal Bavarian Mint. I find it very interesting that they re-struck some previously-struck Churfürstlichen MVM planchets (gold and silver) with the new dies. It was a practical cost-saving measure. I therefore wonder if some of the 1807 re-struck MVM pieces may show traces of the original Churfürstlichen MVM under-struck design?

      Best regards,

      Lorin

  4. Servus Lorin,

    I do not believe that. The high pressure of the press and the production of the stamping dies with a slightly conical surface (they ensure that the material can be evenly distributed from the inside to the outside during embossing) will leave no trace of the previous embossing. Probably they were overprinted several times.

    Best regards from Bavaria
    Walter

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