Origin and History
The regiment was initially raised by Henri II of Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Duc d'Enghien, on June 11 1644. During the Fronde, it was disbanded twice due to the role of the Prince de Condé in this rebellion. The regiment was reintegrated into the French Army after the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659 and the submission of the Prince de Condé. However, it lost its former rank.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served in Italy from 1733 to 1735. In 1736, it was at Collioure.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Alsace in 1743. In 1744, it was at Augenheim and Freiburg. It then served in Bavaria in 1745. In 1746, the regiment was sent to the defence of Provence.
The regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 38th and was under the command of:
- since August 22 1743: Marquis de Langeron
- from May 7 1758 till January 3 1770: Comte de Latour-Landry
Service during the War
In May 1757, a corps under Chevert left Neuss to join the Army of the Lower Rhine at Breda for the planned invasion of Hanover. This corps consisted of Vaubécourt Infanterie, Condé Infanterie and Rochefoucauld-Langeac Cavalerie. At the end of June, the regiment was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' Main Corps. On July 1, again under Chevert, a corps consisting of Picardie Infanterie (4 bns), Vaubécourt Infanterie (2 bns), Condé Infanterie (2 bns), one regiment of Grenadiers Royaux (2 bns), the Carabiniers and 20 guns left Bielefeld. On July 2, they arrived at Hervorden from where they left for Hoya on July 8. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the centre under the Marquis de Contades. After this victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. It then took part in the conquest of Hanover with the Maréchal de Richelieu. In October, the regiment was part of the reinforcements sent to the Prince de Soubise. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Touraine Infanterie in Saint-Germain's Corps. After the defeat, it returned to the Army of Hanover. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army at Schladen and Wiehdela.
In January 1758, the regiment took part in the surprise attack on Halbertstadt and in the attack on Quedlinburg. In February, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in West Germany, it retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the second line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Wachtendonk. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's Army on May 31, it did not join Clermont's Army at Rheinberg but was rather deployed at an unspecified location. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the first line under Lorges. 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 under Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the first line.
By May 10 1759, the regiment was part of the corps under the command of the Comte de Noailles who had taken position near Deutz on the right bank of the Rhine. In June, during the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army, under the command of the Marquis de Contades, and 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 at the extreme left of the first line of the infantry left wing under the command of Guerchy. For most of the day, it sustained the attacks of Hanoverian regiments but was saved by the intervention of the Saxon troops. The decimated regiment was sent to garrison Kassel.
By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army along the Rhine and the Main from its mouth. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Bingen, in the third 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. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Witzenhausen.
In March 1761, the regiment was besieged in Kassel. In September, it took part in the Siege of Meppen.
|Coat||grey-white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
|Waistcoat||red with one row of copper buttons|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Drummers wore the livery of the House of Bourbon Condé: chamois yellow laced and lined red. The arms on the drums had an azure field with three golden fleurs de lys couped by a small red baston (de France au bâton péri en bande de gueules).
Colonel colour: white field with a white cross
Ordonnance colours (from 1740 to 1780): red and ventre de biche opposed cantons and a white cross
For the larger part of its existence (from 1659 to 1740 and 1780 to 1791), this regiment carried a different Ordonnance colour: blue and ventre de biche opposed cantons and a white cross
Anon.: Manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I", Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
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
Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760
Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.