Archiac Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years' War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Archiac Cavalerie

Origin and History

This gentleman's regiment was raised by the Marquis de Coulanges in 1665.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1733 and 1734. In 1735, it was at Clausen.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Bavaria in 1742. In 1743, it operated in Alsace and in 1744 in Swabia. In 1747, it was transferred to the Alps but returned to Flanders in 1748 where it took part in the siege and capture of Maastricht..

In 1755, the regiment was stationed at Richemont.

The regiment counted 2 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the colonel of the regiment was:

  • since February 1 1749 until April 14 1763: Comte d'Archiac

When the French Cavalry was reorganised, the regiment was incorporated into Du Roy Cavalerie on April 14 1763 at Périgueux.

Service during the War

By August 1 1757, the regiment had joined the French army in Germany. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the first line at Meinersen near Wolfburg.

In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Kerken. 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 where it was placed on the right wing of the first line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the right wing of the first line, under Armentières. 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 under the Marquis de Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow up the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the right wing of the first line.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the cavalry centre deployed behind the Wartberg under the command of the Comte de Beaupréau. In June, during the offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades and was deployed in the first line of the cavalry left wing. On August 1 1759, it took part in the disastrous Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry centre under the command of du Mesnil. By August 15, during the French retreat, the regiment, who had suffered heavily at Minden, could only field a single squadron.

By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the left reserve of the first line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Saint-Germain. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the first line of the centre. By September 17, the regiment acted as a detachment to protect foraging. On October 13, it arrived at Neuss with Castries. On October 16, it took part in the Battle of Clostercamp. At the end of October, the regiment, who had heavily suffered during the Battle of Clostercamp, was sent back to France.

To do: campaigns of 1761 and 1762

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761

completed when necessary as per Raspe
Headgear black tricorne (reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat) laced silver, with a black cockade on the left side fastened with a black silk strap and a small pewter button
Neckstock black cravate
Coat grey white lined grey white with 4 pewter buttons under the right lapel and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder straps regimental lace (yellow braid with a green stripe) fastened with a small pewter button
Lapels red with 8 pewter buttons, 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks grey white (red in 1758) fastened with a pewter button
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat grey white lined grey white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff leather
Waistbelt buff leather
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear soft black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with the regimental lace (yellow braid with a green stripe)
Housings blue bordered with the regimental lace (yellow braid with a green stripe)
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They were also supposed to wear a breastplate under their coat during battle but this regulation was not always followed.

Evolution of the uniform during the war

Throughout the war the French cavalry uniform seems to have evolved significantly. Our only primary source for the uniform at the start of the conflict is the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753. The first primary pictorial evidence comes from Raspe in 1761. Here we present various interpretations of the evolution of the uniform.

Raspe's illustration depicting the uniform towards the end of 1760 shows the following evolutions:

  • a white cockade on the tricorne
  • coat, lapels, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid
  • grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid and grey white breeches (maybe the dressed uniform)
  • only 3 buttons on each cuff

Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757:

  • a white cockade on the tricorne
  • grey white cuffs
  • only 3 buttons on each cuff
  • red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • no turnbacks
  • no lace on the coat and waistcoat
  • Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
  • brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs

Musicians

n/a

Colours

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field, embroidered and fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”

Archiac Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert from a plate by Gilbert Noury


References

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

  • Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 326

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F., Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Lienhart, docteur and René Humbert, Les uniformes des armées françaises”, Leipzig,

Menguy, Patrice, Les Sujets du Bien Aimé

Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas, Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1761

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

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