Bussy-Lameth Cavalerie

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised on August 12 1694 in Franche-Comté.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Italy in 1734 and 1735.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Bavaria in 1742. In 1743, it was in Alsace; in 1744, at Fribourg. In 1746, it campaigned in Flanders.

In 1756, the regiment ranked 44th and counted two squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was successively commanded by:

  • since May 31 1752: Comte de Lameth
  • from February 20 1761 to December 1 1761: Chevalier de Ray

When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into the Cuirassiers du Roy. Effective incorporation took place only on April 30 1763 at Vesoul.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées and took part in the invasion of Hanover. From April 27 to June 17, it was part of the Reserve under the Prince de Soubise. On November 5, the regiment took part in the Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Penthièvre Cavalerie and Saluces Cavalerie in the Reserve under the Duc de Broglie. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Hamm, in the fourth line of the French army.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it was deployed in the first line of the cavalry centre posted behind the Wartberg under the command of the Comte de Beaupréau. In June, 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. On August 1, it took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of Broglie's Corps.

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, it was billeted in Erbach im Rheingau, in the fourth line of the French army. By May 23, the regiment was part of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. On July 10, the regiment was probably attached to Prince Camille's Cavalry Corps who arrived too late to take part in the Combat of Corbach. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Reichensaxen.

To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - 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 Rousselot
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
Neck stock 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 regimental lace fastened with a small pewter button
Lapels red, each with 8 pewter buttons arranged 2 by 2
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 with pewter buttons
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat grey white lined red
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 (violet woollen braid with an isabelle (coffee) stripe)
Housings blue bordered with the regimental lace (violet woollen braid with an isabelle (coffee) 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 rosette on the tricorne
  • coat, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (isabelle (coffee) woollen braid with violet chain link stitches)
  • grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (isabelle (coffee) woollen braid with violet chain link stitches)
  • only 2 buttons on each cuff
  • only 3 buttons on each pocket

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

  • a white cockade on the tricorne
  • yellow buttons
  • 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)

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): crimson 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”.

Bussy-Lameth Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert from an original plate by Gilbert Noury

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. 329

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.