Origin and History
This gentleman's regiment was raised on March 3 1672 by Gas de l'Hommeau.
The regiment took part in the War of the Polish Succession, initially occupying Lorraine in 1733. Then, in 1734 and 1735, it served on the Rhine. In 1737, it was at Pontivy.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially campaigned in Bohemia in 1741. Then, in 1742, it served on the Rhine. From 1744 to 1748, it campaigned in Flanders.
In 1755, the regiment was stationed on the Sambre.
In 1756, the regiment ranked 33rd and counted two squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the colonel of the regiment was:
- since February 1 1749 to December 1 1761: Comte de Chabrillan
When the French cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into Royal-Cravate Cavalerie. Effective incorporation took place at Mézières.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was sent to reinforce the Army of the Lower Rhine. It joined the main body in Hesse in August. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army at Marienhagen near Alfeld.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed at Xanten. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by an Allied army under 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 and 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, now 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. At the beginning of October, the regiment was attached to Chevert's corps which was sent to reinforce the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, it was at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was part of Chevert's Corps who won the day by turning the Allied left flank.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Rambach.
To do: more details for the campaigns from 1761 to 1762
|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
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons|
|Greatcoat||grey white lined red|
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:
- source not yet available
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757:
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- grey white lapels and cuffs
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red breeches
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a white braid
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
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”
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. 330
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)
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.