Comte de La Marche Infanterie
Origin and History
The regiment was created on September 17 1684 and took the name of the Province of Nivernais. Indeed, expecting a coalition to soon form 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 any problem of precedence among these new regiments.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Italy in 1733.
From 1739 to 1741, the regiment was stationed in Corsica.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders in 1742. In 1743, it was transferred to the Lower Rhine. It was then sent back to Flanders where it served in 1744 and 1745. It was finally transferred to Genoa where it was stationed in 1747 and 1748.
On February 9 1753, the regiment was renamed “Comte de La Marche”. In 1759, it changed its name again to “La Marche-Prince”.
The regiment counted one battalion.
N.B.: not to be confused with the La Marche Regiment.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 86th and was under the command of:
- since February 9 1753: Louis-François-Joseph de Bourbon-Conti, Comte de La Marche
- from February 20 1761 to 1774: Marquis de Chamborant
Service during the War
From 1756, the regiment was assigned to the guard of the coasts of Bretagne.
By August 1 1757, the regiment was stationed at Auray in Bretagne.
In June 1759, during the French offensive in West Germany, the regiment was part of the main army, under the command of the Marquis de Contades, where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing under the command of the Chevalier de Nicolaï. It was sent forward to support Touraine Brigade but was soon driven out of its defensive position by a charge of an Allied cavalry brigade.
|Waistcoat||grey-white with copper buttons (blue with pewter buttons in 1759)|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
N.B.: We did not find the Etat militaire for this regiment in 1759 and 1760 but Taccoli's work, published in 1760, illustrates the new uniform described in the Etat militaire of 1761. This suggests that the new uniform was in fact introduced in 1759 when the regiment changed its name from “Comte de La Marche” to “La Marche-Prince”.
The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had a white cross and each canton consisted of three horizontal bands: blue, feuille morte (reddish brown) and isabelle (coffee).
Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé
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
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.