Bezons Cavalerie

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on March 15 1749 with troops contributed by other cavalry regiments.

In 1756, the regiment ranked 69th and counted two squadron.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • since March 15 1749: Marquis de Bezons
  • from May 1758 to December 1 1761: Marquis d'Hericy

When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was amalgamated with Aquitaine Cavalerie to form the new Artois Cavalerie regiment. However, effective incorporation seems to have taken place only on April 30 1763.

Service during the War

Somewhere between August 23 and September 6 1757, the regiment 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 Penthièvre Cavalerie under M. de Bezons in the first line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Lastic de Saint-Jal Cavalerie and Condé Cavalerie in Saint-Germain's corps. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Münzenberg and Ortemberg in Hessen.

By July 1758, the regiment had joined Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse.

In June 1759, at the beginning of the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the “Right Reserve” under the command of the Duc de Broglie who had taken position at Friedberg in Hesse.

By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the fourth line of the French army between the Rhine and the Main on the left bank of the Rhine. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Uffenheim, still in the fourth line. By May 23, the regiment was part of the right wing of the first line of Broglie's Army. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Hofbieber.

To do: campaign of 1761

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - Source: Ibrahim90
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 red 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 grey-white fastened with a small pewter button
Lapels red, each with 7 pewter buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a pewter button
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat grey-white lined red
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear soft black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with the regimental lace (2 rows of alternating black and yellow woollen squares)
Housings blue bordered with the regimental lace
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:

  • white rosette on the tricorne
  • coat, lapels, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental lace (2 rows of alternating black and yellow woollen squares)
  • grey-white waistcoat edged with the regimental lace
  • only 3 buttons on each pocket
  • only 2 buttons on each cuff

Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757 (more probably around 1748):

  • a tricorne with a white rosette
  • grey-white lapels and turnbacks
  • 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 shoulder strap
  • 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

no information available yet

Colours (in 1753)

no information available yet

References

The 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. 351-352

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 (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

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.