Origin and History
The regiment was raised on July 12 1667 by the Comte de Jonsac. In 1685, it ceased to be a gentleman regiment and took the name of the Province of Beauvoisis.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served on the Rhine and the Moselle in 1734. In 1736, it was at Aire.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1741. In 1742, it took part to the Bohemian campaign. In 1743, the regiment was at Braunau. In 1744 and 1745, it served in Flanders. In 1746, it was stationed in Dunkerque. In 1747 and 1748, it once more took part to the campaigns in Flanders.
The regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 41st and was under the command of:
- since May 26 1745: Marquis de Lugeac
- from February 10 1759 to 1780: Chevalier de Clugny
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was at the camp of La Hougue.
In 1757, the regiment was sent to Germany where it contributed to the submission of the Prussian towns of Westphalia. Somewhere between August 23 and September 6, it joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach. On September 27, it was brigaded with Royal Barrois Infanterie and Royal Lorraine Infanterie under M. de Rivray in the first line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, the regiment took part to the disastrous battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Rohan Montbazon Infanterie in the Reserve under Broglie. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in Hanau in Hessen.
At the end of January 1758, the regiment was assigned to the army that Louis XV planned to send to Bohemia for joint operations with the Austrian Army. However, when the Allies launched their surprise offensive, the regiment retreated towards Düsseldorf and Deutz with the bulk of Broglie's army. It passed the Rhine on April 3 and 4. By July, it had joined Soubise's army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. In the first days of June, as a French army prepared for an offensive in Hesse, the regiment was part of a detachment under the command of Broglie who followed up Ysenburg during his retreat. On July 23, the regiment took part to the combat of Sandershausen where it was placed in the first line of the left wing. It took the brunt of the Hessian assault and suffered very heavy casualties. On October 10, it was present at the battle of Lutterberg where it was placed at the extreme left of the first line. It was not involved into any serious fighting during this battle.
On Tuesday January 2 1759, at about 5:00 AM, Nassau Prince Louis Infanterie presented itself before the Sachsenhausen Gate of Frankfurt and was admitted as previously agreed. As soon as it had entered the town, the regiment ordered the town-guard to deposit arms and to admit 5 other regiments (Beauvoisis (2 bns), Rohan Montbazon (2 bns), Rohan Rochefort (2 bns), Bentheim (2 bns) and Royal Deux-Ponts (4 bns)). These regiments then seized the artillery on the walls and all the other gates, easily capturing the city of Frankfurt. This very important town remained under French control for the last four years of the war. On April 13, the regiment took part in the battle of Bergen where it formed part of the third line of the right wing under the command of Prince Camille de Lorraine. The regiment was deployed in column behind the village of Bergen. Broglie ordered it to counter-attack the Allies who were making progress against Bergen. The regiment charged at the point of the bayonet and drove back the Allied attack. After this battle, it returned to France and was sent on the coasts of Bretagne where it was stationed until the end of the war.
To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
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.
The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had red and aurore (light orange) opposed cantons and a white cross. The ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1685 to 1791.
Anon.; Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I"; Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides
Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé
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
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.