Aquitaine Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Aquitaine Infanterie

Origin and History

As per a tradition, the regiment would have been originally raised in 1604 by M. de Némon, a gentleman from Lorraine. On January 17 1625, it was re-raised by the Duc de La Force and incorporated into the regular French Army. However, it was disbanded on May 26 1626 to the exception of its mestre de camp company.

On 27 March 1630, La Force's regiment was re-established and followed its owner in Piedmont. In 1631, the duke gave his regiment to his son: the Marquis de Castelmoron. The regiment then served in Lorraine. At the beginning of 1632, it was still posted in Lorraine but was soon transferred to Languedoc where it distinguished itself at the occupation of Alais, Lunel and Béziers before returning to Lorraine. In 1633, it took part in the storming of Freidembourg between Metz and Trier, and in the investment of Nancy; and in 1634, in the sieges of La Mothe and Bitche.

In 1635, at the beginning of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59), the regiment accompanied Normandie Infanterie in its numerous expeditions. In 1636, the regiment took part in the combat of Baccarat, in the siege of Oberhenheim, in the capture of Ruffach (only a detachment) and then garrisoned Louhans and other places in Franche-Comté. In 1637 and in the first part of 1638, the regiment served in Franche-Comté. In October 1638, it marched across Switzerland to effect a junction with the Duke of Saxe-Weimar besieging Breisach. In 1639, it was transferred to the Army of Flanders. In 1640, it was sent to Italy to the exception of a few companies left in Montbéliard, as garrison. Companies serving in Italy took part in the siege of Turin while the companies of Montbéliard made several incursions in Franche-Comté and captured the Castle of Bodencourt. In 1643, the companies left at Montbéliard took part in the sieges Thionville and Sierck. In 1644, the companies serving in Italy occupied Asti. In 1645, the companies serving in Italy were at the siege of Vigevano and fought in the Battle of the Mora. In 1646, the Marquis de Castelmoron ceded the regiment to the Comte d'Orval, Sully's son. The regiment was reunited in Italy by the end of the year. In 1647, the regiment was given to the Marquis de Cugnac and continued to serve in Italy.

In 1648, during the troubles of the Fronde (1648-1653), the regiment was recalled to France. In 1649, the Marquis de Cugnac sided against the Cardinal Mazarin and was deprived of his regiment who was relegated to garrison duty. He soon re-obtained his regiment to lose it definitely on 20 January 1650. The regiment remained without owner for more than a year. In 1651, it was given to the Comte de Duras, Turenne's nephew who continued to serve with the rebels under the Prince de Condé. Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel de Bellecense assumed effective command of the regiment. In 1651, it served in Lorraine and took part in the siege of Chasté. In 1652, it fought in the Battle of the Faubourg Saint- Antoine. In 1653, it took part in the siege of Bellegarde in Burgundy; in 1654, in the siege of Belfort; in 1655, in the siege of Landrecies. It then assumed garrison duty in Corbie where it remained until August 1657. In 1657, it joined Turenne's Army at the sieges of Saint-Venant and La Mothe-aux-Bois. In 1658, the regiment took part in the siege of Dunkerque and in the Battle of the Dunes. It then garrisoned Menin till the Treaty of the Pyrenees.

In 1664, the regiment was attached to the Army of Italy but the Treaty of Pisa was signed with the Pope while the army was still on the march. In 1665, the regiment became the property of the Comte de Rauzan

In 1667, at the outbreak of the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment campaigned in Flanders, garrisoning Tournai and Douai. In 1669, it took part in the relief expedition sent to Crete to assist the Venetians against the Turks, and was almost annihilated during the defence of Candia. The remnants of the regiment then returned to France. On 20 January 1670, they were incorporated into the newly formed Duc d'Anjou Infanterie (raised on 19 December 1669) who inherited the seniority of the old regiment. The same year, the new regiment campaigned of Lorraine, taking part in the capture of Épinal, Chasté and Longwy. On August 24 1671, after the death of the Duc d'Anjou, Louis XIV gave the name of the Province of Anjou to the regiment.

In 1672, at the beginning of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment was attached to Turenne's Corps. It then took part in the sieges of Orsoy, Rheinberg and Doësbourg before taking its winter-quarters in Holland. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht before being transferred to Germany; in 1674, in the conquest of Franche-Comté, in the siege of Besançon, in the Battle of Ensheim; in 1675, in the Battle of Turckheim. In the Spring, the regiment was transferred to Flanders where it was at the sieges of Liége, Dinant, Huy and Limbourg. In 1676, it took part in the submission of Landrecies, Condé, Bouchain and Aire; in 1677, in the siege of Valenciennes, in the Battle of Cassel, and in the siege of Saint-Omer. It was then transferred to the Rhine where it participated in the siege of Freiburg. In 1678, it returned to Flanders where it took part in the sieges of Ghent and Ypres, in the blockade of Mons and in the sanguinary Battle of Saint-Denis before ending the campaign on the Rhine with the capture of Kehl and of the Castle of Lichtemberg. It then took its winter-quarters in the County of Marck. In 1679, it fought in the Battle of Minden.

In 1684, the regiment participated in the siege of Luxembourg.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the grenadiers of the regiment contributed to the capture of Philisbourg. The same year, the regiment took part in the capture of Mannheim and Frankenthal. In 1689, it completed the submission of Palatinate and defended Mainz. In 1690 and 1691, the regiment continued to serve in Germany. In 1692, it initially campaigned on the Moselle before being transferred to the Low Countries where it served at the siege of Namur, fought in the Battle of Battle of Steenkerque and took part in the capture of Charleroi. In 1693, it was at the siege of Huy, fought in the Battle of Landen and in the siege of Charleroi. In 1694, it campaigned in Germany. In 1695, it returned to Flanders and was at the bombardment of Bruxelles. In 1696, it served on the Meuse. In 1697, it took part in the siege of Ath.

In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was initially stationed on the Rhine. It was then transferred to Northern Italy where it took part in the Battle of Chiari. In 1702, it participated in the Battle of Luzzara and in the capture of Luzzara and Borgoforte; in 1703, in the expedition in Tyrol, in the submission of Bersello, Nago and Arco and in the Combat of San Sebastiano; in 1704, in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the Battle of Cassano, in the Combat of Gumbetto and in the capture of Soncino and Montmélian; in 1706, in the battles of Calcinato, Castiglione and Turin. It then retired to Provence where it defended the frontier in Var during winter. In 1707, the regiment took part in the relief of Toulon. It then entered into Savoy after the retreat of the Austro-Savoyard army and took position in the passes of the Alps where it remained till the Treaty of Ryswick (1713) to the exception of an expedition against Césanne in 1708.

At the beginning of 1714, the regiment was sent to Roussillon. In June, it went to Catalonia where it took part in the siege of Barcelona.

In 1715, the regiment returned to France. On August 15, the soldiers of the disbanded Noë Infanterie were incorporated into Anjou Infanterie.

In 1733, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733–35), the regiment returned to Italy where it took part in the sieges of Gera d'Adda, Pizzighetone and the Castle of Cremona. In 1734, it contributed to the submission of Novarre, Serravalle, Fort d'Artona and Tortona, in then took part in the affair of Colorno and in the battles of Parma and Guastalla. In 1735, it contributed to the capture of the Castle of Gonzaga, of Reggiolo and of Revere. It returned to France in 1736.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48), the regiment campaigned in Bavaria and took part in the invasion of Bohemia. In 1742, it participated in the unsuccessful defence of Prague and in the ensuing retreat towards France. In 1743, it was sent to Dauphiné. In 1744, it took part in the capture of Villefranche and Montalban, in the siege of Coni and in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo; in 1745, in the submission of Tortona, Serravalle, Acqui, Alessandria, Casale, Pavia, Piacenza and Valencia, and in the Battle of Bassignano; in 1746, in the siege of Tortona and in the battles of Piacenza and Rottofreddo. It then retired to Provence. In 1747, the regiment took part in the relief of Antibes and in the capture of Montalban, Nice, Villefranche and Vintimiglia.

In 1749, the regiment formed part of the garrison of Toulouse.

On September 10 1753, the regiment took the name of the province of Aquitaine when it was given by Louis XV to the young Duc d'Aquitaine.

The regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).

On December 10 1762, when the French army was reorganized, it incorporated the two battalions of the disbanded Berry Infanterie.

In 1763, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Briançon and later in Strasbourg.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 19th and was under the command of:

  • Since July 20 1746: Marquis de Rochechouart
  • February 20 1761: Vicomte de Broglie

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the army assembled at the camp of Calais.

In 1757, the regiment was sent to Germany to join the Army of the Lower Rhine for the planned invasion of Hanover. On April 3, the regiment was assigned to the Corps of six battalions blockading the Duchy of Gueldre, it occupied Neukirch. At the end of June, it was encamped at Bielefeld with Maréchal d'Estrées' main corps. On July 26, it took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck and then to the ensuing conquest of Hanover where the town of Minden and Hanover were captured. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven on September 8, the regiment followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. In this camp, the regiment was placed in the centre of the second line. After the defeat of the Franco-Imperial army at the Battle of Rossbach, the whole French army retreated to the Rhine. During this retreat, the regiment took part in the expedition against Celle where, on December 25, along with La Marine Infanterie and Vaubécourt Infanterie, it forced the passage of the Aller at the bridge of Alten-Zell and occupied the town of Celle. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the third line of the French Army in Lemgo.

At the beginning of 1758, the regiment was on the Dutch border. In April, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Viersen. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It remained in this camp until June 12 and was placed in the centre of the second line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the first line under de Lorges. In Mid August, after Ferdinand's retreat to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the Army of the Lower Rhine, now under the Marquis de Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the second line.

By May 10 1759, the regiment was part of the corps under the command of the Comte de Noailles who had taken position near Deutz on the right bank of the Rhine. In June, during the French offensive in western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre. On June 25, the regiment took part in the capture of Münster. On July 13, it was part of a corps, under M. de Beaupréau, sent forward by Contades to Eidinghausen near Gohfeld to support Broglie at Minden. On July 14, this corps passed the Weser and marched to the French camp near Minden where it replaced Broglie's reserve. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry left wing under the command of Guerchy. Along with Auvergne Infanterie, it distinguished itself. During the retreat which followed this defeat, the regiment was assigned to Saint-Germain's Corps which took position near Dransfeld to protect the crossing of the gorge of Münden by of the French army. On August 10, this corps was attacked by an Allied force under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. The regiment, along with Auvergne Infanterie counter-attacked and drove them back. In this affair, the regiment lost Captain Vérouillière, Lieutenant d'Uzer and Lieutenant Deshors, killed; and Captains Cabanès, Bardon, Rivière, do Bonaisent, Gombaud, Lavelunet, Mercadier and 7 lieutenants wounded.

By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the second line of the French Army on the right bank of the Rhine, in Rheingau and on the Nidda. By mid March, it was billeted in Rudesheim, in the second line of the French Army. By May 23, it was part of the first line of the infantry centre of Broglie's Army. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Münden at the confluence of the Werra and Fulda.

In 1761, the regiment defended Kassel which it was garrisoning since a few months. On March 7, it took part in a sortie, filling the trenches, burning the camp, nailing 6 guns, capturing 4 howitzers and taking 203 prisoners. On July 16, during the Battle of Vellinghausen, along with Rouergue Infanterie, it relieved the Deux-Ponts Brigade who had seriously suffered from combat.

On June 24 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it suffered heavy losses (Captain de Conssoles and Lieutenant de Chalvet killed; Battalion Commander Cabanne, captains Mercadier, du Margat, de L'Enferna, Medrano de Bolac, du Parc, Préfort, Milly, Geoffroy and 9 lieutenants wounded; and Colonel Vicomte de Broglie. Lieutenant-Colonel de Vilhac and 37 officers taken prisoners). The regiment returned to France at the end of the same year and took its quarters at Besançon.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758 and Etat militaire 1761

completed where necessary by information taken from Taccoli's uniform plates and the manuscript of the Musée de l'Armée
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neckstock black
Coat grey-white lined grey-white
Collar blue
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets (5 copper buttons on each single pocket)
Cuffs blue with 4 copper buttons
Turnbacks none (Taccoli illustrates grey-white turnbacks in 1759)
Waistcoat blue
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Waistbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

Officers

n/a

Musicians

The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection


Colours

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance colours: a white cross with two opposed quarters ondés (waved) aurore (light orange) and red and two opposed quarters ondés red and blue. All quarters of the ordonnance flags were bordered with red, blue and aurore squares.

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 4, pp. 371-399

Other sources

Anon. manuscript: Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website which is unfortunately not online anymore)

Mouillard, Lucien: Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris 1882

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23

Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.