Dauphin-Étranger Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years' War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Dauphin-Étranger Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on March 12 1674 from companies disbanded in 1668 after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

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

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially operated in Bavaria in 1742. In 1743, it was in Alsace, in 1744 at Saverne and in 1745 on the Rhine. From 1746 to 1748, it campaigned in Flanders.

The regiment counted 2 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the Mestre de Camp of the regiment was:

  • since August 9 1742: Marquis de Soyecourt
  • from February 10 1759 to December 1 1761: Marquis de Vibraye

When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was disbanded and incorporated into Dauphin Cavalerie.

Service during the War

By August 1 1757, the regiment was with the French Army of the Weser in Germany. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Brilon in Westphalia, in the fourth line of the French army.

At the end of May 1759, when the French Army of the Rhine launched its offensive in Western Germany, the regiment remained on the Rhine as part of the corps of the Marquis d'Armentières.

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, the regiment was billeted in Heddesheim, still in the fourth line. By May 23, it was part of the right reserve of the first line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Prince Xavier. By September 19, the regiment was attached to Prince Xavier's Corps, forming part of the first line of his right column.

To do: details on the campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761
completed when necessary as per Funcken and Mouillard
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
Neckstock probably a black cravate
Coat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761) with 4 pewter buttons under the lapel and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder straps blue epaulets edged white with a white aiguillette (as per Funcken and Pajol)
Lapels red, each with 7 pewter buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red (blue from 1761)
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin fastened with hooks and eyes
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black soft boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth
Saddlecloth lace - Source: PMPdeL
blue bordered with an aurore (light orange) decorated with white and aurore rhombuses
Housings blue bordered with an aurore (light orange) decorated with white and aurore rhombuses
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 source for the uniform at the start of the conflict is the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753. The first pictorial evidence comes from Raspe in 1761. Here we present various interpretations of the evolution of the uniform.

Lienhart and Humbert show the following differences for the uniform in 1757:

  • white cockade on the tricorne
  • blue shoulder strap
  • 3 buttons on each cuff
  • blue saddle cloth bordered with a blue braid

Raspe's illustration depicting the uniform towards the end of 1760 shows the following evolutions:

  • a white and blue cockade on the tricorne
  • each lapel edged with the regimental lace
  • cuffs with 3 pewter buttons
  • coat lined blue, and consequently blue turnbacks, edged with the regimental lace
  • blue shoulder strap
  • turnbacks attached with a small pewter button
  • blue waistcoat edged with the regimental lace and blue breeches (maybe the “dressed uniform”)

N.B.: the regiment lace differs from our illustration, it is made of an aurore braid ornamented red blue and white "lizards"

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
  • brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs

Musicians

King's Livery - Source: PMPdeL

Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a blue coat heavily laced with braids at the king's livery alternating with silver braids.

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field fringed and embroidered in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; sown with fleur de lys

Dauphin-Étranger Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Source: PMPdeL


References

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. 343

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

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

Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.