Origin and History
The regiment was raised on July 8 1667. On February 18 1684, it became the property of Philippe d'Orléans, Duc de Chartres, later regent. In 1709, it received the name of “Clermont Cavalerie”. From January 5 1724, it ranked 24th.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1733.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders in 1741. On June 27 1743, it was at the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it was at Courtrai. On May 11 1745, the regiment took part in the Battle of Fontenoy. In 1746, it was at Antwerp. On July 2 1747, it took part in the Battle of Lauffeld. In 1748, it was at the capture of Maastricht.
After the war, the regiment was stationed at Rouen in 1749, Pont-à-Mousson in 1750, Stenay in 1752, Sarrelouis in 1753, and Stenay once more in 1755.
N.B.: the regiment was often referred to as “Clermont Prince” to distinguish it from the Clermont-Tonnerre Cavalerie.
The regiment counted 2 squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the Mestre de Camp was the Prince de Clermont while the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:
- since February 1 1749: Chevalier de Fumel
- from February 1759: Marquis de Fumel
- from December 5 1762 to August 15 1763: Comte de Poligny
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment ranked 28th.
Service during the War
In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the regiment was still stationed at Chaumont.
By August 1 1757, the regiment had joined the French army in Germany. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in the second line at Wunsdorf and Baringshausen.
In March 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in Western Germany led by Ferdinand of Brunswick, the regiment was part of the French garrison of Minden which was attacked by an Allied corps under General Kilmansegg. On March 15, the garrison of Minden surrendered without opposing any serious resistance. The regiment was later exchanged.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the left reserve of the first line of Duc de Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Saint-Germain. On July 10, the regiment probably took part in the Combat of Corbach.
To do: details of 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 grey white (red from 1761) 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 grey white (red from 1761)|
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 cockade on the tricorne
- coat, lapels and turnbacks edged with a crimson braid
- grey white waistcoat edged with a crimson braid and grey white breeches (maybe the dressed uniform)
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757:
- white cockade at the tricorne
- grey white lapels, cuffs and turnbacks
- 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housing bordered with a braid ornamented with white squares edged red
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
- obverse: centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” in gold
- reverse: a small golden sun shining on the countryside surmounted by a scroll bearing the motto “Spes Altera Mertis ” in gold
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. 357-358
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.