Boulonnais Infanterie

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created on September 5 1684. Indeed, expecting a Coalition to form soon against France, Louis XIV raised 30 new regiments from September 1 to 30 for the defence of the various places of the realm. By raising one regiment a day, he avoided problems of precedence among these new regiments.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine from 1733 to 1735.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Bavaria in 1742. In 1744, it was at Fribourg. At the beginning of 1747, it served in Flanders but was soon transferred to the Alps and, on July 19, took part in the battle of Assietta where its colonel, the Marquis de Ruffey, was killed.

At the beginning of the Seven years War, the regiment counted only one battalion. A second battalion was raised in April 1762.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 74th and was under the command of:

  • since November 11 1751: Comte de la Tour d'Auvergne
  • from December 21 1761 to December 25 1766: Vicomte de Béon

Service during the War

By August 1 1757, the regiment was stationed in the towns of Châteaulin, Le Faou, Crozon et Camaret in Bretagne.

In 1758, the regiment garrisoned Saint-Malo along with Brie Infanterie. On September 10, during the second British expedition against the coasts of France, it joined the French force assembling at Lamballe to attack the retiring British army. On September 11, the regiment took part, under the Comte de la Tour d'Auvergne, in the combat of Saint-Cast where it initiated the first assault against the British force raiding the coasts.

In 1761, the regiment was sent to Saint-Domingue (Haiti). It returned to France only in 1764.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
and Etat militaire 1761
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black (white as per Taccoli) cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neckstock black
Coat white lined blue with coppers buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collar none (blue in 1761)

Taccoli illustrates a blue collar as soon as 1757)

Shoulder Straps white fastened with a copper button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets in the shape of an escutcheon (6 copper buttons on each pocket)

N.B.: in 1761 there were 3 copper buttons on each side and 2 copper buttons at the bottom of each pocket

Cuffs blue with 4 copper buttons
Turnbacks none (Taccoli illustrates white turnbacks in 1757 which suggest that the coat would have been lined white instead of blue)
Waistcoat blue with one row of small copper buttons; horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather with a brass buckle (white as per Taccoli)
Waistbelt natural leather with a brass buckle (white as per Taccoli)
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard black with white metal fittings
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

n/a

Colours

The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had a white cross and four green cantons. Each canton was traversed by a two adjacent diagonal bands: violet and isabelle (coffee). The ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1684 to 1791.

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

References

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

Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757, Service Historique de l'armée de terre

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

Yahoo SYW Group Message No. 2304

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