Dauphin Infanterie

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Origin and History

The regiment was created by Louis XIV for his son the Dauphin de France on June 15, 1667. Initially the regiment ranked 45th.

During the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment served with the Army of Flanders and assumed garrison duty in Charleroi after the capture of this city. In 1668, the regiment campaigned in Franche-Comté and distinguished itself at the sieges of Besançon and Dôle. It was then charged to demolish the fortifications of Dôle which it evacuated on June 10 to go to Tournai.

In 1669 at Tournai, the remnants of the regiment of the Marquis de Linières was incorporated into Dauphin Infanterie who also inherited its rank (16th), just after Lyonnais Infanterie.

In 1670, the regiment campaigned in Lorraine under M. de Créqui, taking part in the sieges of Epinal, Chasté and Longwy. In 1671, it was increased to 70 companies; till then Louis XIV wanted that his son, even though he was still a child, had only a lieutenant-colonel. He changed his mind and created a charge of colonel-lieutenant for the regiment.

In 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment formed part of the Army of Holland and was at the siege of Orsoy, Rheinberg, Doësbourg and Nijmegen and at the affair of Bommel Island. The regiment was then transferred to Turenne's Army and took its winter-quarters on the Moselle. In January 1673, it took part in the expedition in the estates of the Elector of Brandenburg and was at the capture of Unna, Kamen and Soëst. After pushing the enemy back to the Elbe, it returned to its winter-quarters. In May, a detachment of the regiment took part in a combat near Bois-le-Duc against the garrison of Crèvecoeur, later making itself master of Crèvecoeur and razed it before retiring to Kayserswerth. From June the rest of the regiment took part in the siege of Maastricht where, on 24 June, it distinguished itself in the storming of the covert way of a defensive work, losing 37 officers and 224 men. The regiment then participated in the siege of Trier before taking its winter-quarters in Burgundy. In 1674, the regiment took part in the siege of Besançon and in the capture of Dôle where it distinguished itself so much that Louis XIV gave regiments to seven of its captain. After the conquest of Franche-Comté, the regiment was sent to Trier and then to Soissons where it took its winter-quarters. In 1675, it formed part of the Army of the Low Countries and covered the sieges of Dinant, Huy and Limbourg; taking its winter-quarters in Avesnes. However in November, it was sent to Brittany to quench troubles. In 1676, it returned to Flanders and took part in the siege of Condé, Bouchain and Aire, in the relief of Maastricht. Meanwhile in May 9 companies were besieged in Philisbourg during three months, capitulating only when all ammunition had been exhausted. In 1677, the regiment took part in the sieges of Valenciennes and Cambrai, and in the relief of Charleroi. It took its winter-quarters in Cassel. In 1678, it took part in the siege of Ghent. Increased to 3 battalions, it then participated in the capture of Ypres and in the Battle of Saint-Denis.

After the peace, the regiment was sent to Huy. On its return to France, a battalion was sent to Hesdin, the other to Montreuil. The Chantereine battalion, which had always been detached on the Rhine, remained in Freiburg.

In 1680, the regiment was in Lille where it was reviewed with, for the first time, with the Dauphin de France at its head. In 1681, the regiment was transferred from Valenciennes to Freiburg to work at the fortifications. In 1682, it worked at the fortifications of Longwy. In 1683, it was at the camp of Molsheim. In 1684, it formed part of the army who covered the siege of Luxembourg. In May 1685, it was called to Versailles for the instruction of the Dauphin and then went to Boulonnais.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment joined the army commanded by the Dauphin. Brigaded with Picardie Infanterie, it took part in the siege of Philisbourg and in the conquest of Palatinate. At the end of the campaign, the regiment entered into Mainz. In 1689, it was besieged in Mainz, losing 4 captains, 9 lieutenants or ensigns and 300 soldiers in its defence. After the capitulation, it was sent to Strasbourg to replenish its ranks. In 1690, the regiment joined the Army of Germany. In 1691, it was transferred to the Army of Flanders and took part in the siege of Mons where it stormed a work whose defenders were armed with forks and scythes. To perpetuate the memory of this brilliant action, Louis XIV decided that all sergeants of the grenadiers of the regiment would from then on be armed with forks instead of muskets. The regiment completed the campaign under the Maréchal de Luxembourg, assisting to the combat of Leuze. During winter, its third battalion was re-established in Tournai. In 1692, the regiment took part in the siege of Namur where it greatly distinguished itself, and in the Battle of Landen where it lost 3 officers and 126 men killed and 41 officers and 296 men wounded. The regiment then went to Douai to replenish its ranks. In December, it took part in the siege of the Castle of Créqui and in the capture of Furnes. In 1693, the regiment started the campaign with the Army of the King but was transferred to the frontiers of Germany in June. In 1694, it formed part of the Army of Flanders. In 1695, it took part in the defence of Namur and in the defence of Fort Guillaume. After the capitulation of Namur, the regiment was sent to Lorraine and stationed in Saint-Mihiel and Bar-le-Duc. In 1696, it campaigned on the Meuse. In 1697, it covered the siege of Ath.

After the Treaty of Ryswick, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Valenciennes. In 1698, it was at the camp of Compiègne. On 30 December, it incorporated Bellisle Infanterie, raised in 1695. In 1699, the regiment was at Tournai; in 1700, at Givet.

In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment occupied Malines. In 1702, it took part in the Combat of Nijmegen. In 1703, it was transferred to Alsace and participated in the siege of Kehl, in the attack of the Lines of Stolhoffen, in the occupation of the Kinzig Valley, in the storming of the entrenchments of the Hornberg, in the Combat of Munderkirchen, in the Battle of Höchstädt, and in the sieges of Ulm and Augsburg. In 1704, it took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim; in 1705, in the passage of the Lines of Wissembourg and in the siege of Nice. In 1706, the regiment formed part of the Army of Piedmont and took part in the siege and battle of Turin where two of its battalions were encircled and forced to surrender as prisoners of war. In 1708, the remaining battalion campaigned in Flanders where it was at the Battle of Oudenarde. From 1709 to 1712, the regiment remained in the Lines of Wissembourg. In 1712, the reorganised 3 battalions formed part of the Army of Flanders. Two battalions thrown into Le Quesnoy where invested in June by General Fagel and taken prisoners. Directed to Holland, most men managed to escape on the way. By the end of the campaign, the regiment, almost at full strength, was on the Rhine. In 1713, it took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

After the peace, on January 14, 1714, the regiment incorporated Paysac Infanterie and, on January 21, Bouhyer Infanterie.

Until 1733, the regiment assumed garrison duty.

In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to Italy where it was at the siege if Pizzighetone and Gera d’Adda. In 1734, it took part in the sieges of Novarra and Tortona, in the affairs of the Castle of Colorno, in the Battle of San Pietro, in the capture of Modena, in an engagement near Gardella and in the Battle of Guastalla; and in 1735, in the capture of Gonzague, Reggiolo and Revere.

In 1736, the regiment returned to France where it was stationed at Valence and Montélimart, and later in Languedoc.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment covered the frontier of Flanders. In 1743, it was at the Battle of Dettingen but was not engaged. In 1744, it took part in the sieges of Menin and Ypres. The same year it was increased to three battalions. In 1745, it was at the investment of Tournai and fought in the Battle of Fontenoy. It then participated in the sieges of Oudenarde and Termonde. In 1746, it participated in the siege and capture of Bruxelles and in the Battle of Rocoux; in 1747, in the siege and capture of Berg-op-Zoom (a fourth battalion was created the same year); and in 1748, in the siege of Maastricht.

In 1749, the third and fourth battalion were disbanded. The two remaining battalions went to Dunkerque. From 1750 to 1755, it garrisoned Mézières, Charleville and Sédan.

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship). When the French army was reorganised in December 1762, the regiment was increased to 4 battalions by incorporating Guyenne Infanterie.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 16th. The Colonel of the regiment was the Dauphin. However, the effective commander was the colonel-lieutenant:

  • from September 11, 1755: Charles-Marc-Jean-Françcois-Régis, Marquis de Boufflers
  • from May 11, 1762 to January 3, 1770: Denis-Auguste de Beauvoir de Grimoard, Marquis de Roure

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was at the camp of La Hougue.

In March 1757, the regiment left Toul to join the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées at Wesel for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, the regiment was encamped at Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main corps. On August 26, the regiment and the La Marine Brigade advanced against Rethem forcing the Hanoverian troops to abandon the place. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, the regiment followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt, in Prussian territory, from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed in the centre of the second line. On December 25, it was at the passage of the Aller. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army at Münden.

In February 1758, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army and took post at Hanau. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the third line at Roermond. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's army on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It then remained in this camp until June 12 and was placed in the centre of the second line. By July, the regiment had been transferred to Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. It was used to protect the lines of communication with the Rhine. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters at Friedberg.

In the spring of 1759, the regiment took part in the siege of Münster. On April 13, the regiment was at the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of reserve of the left wing deployed in regimental columns behind the Warthberg. In this battle, it lost 200 men, including Captains de Chaponnay, de Gray, Montullé, Connezac and 3 lieutenants killed. In June, at the beginning of the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the “Right Reserve” under the command of the Duc de Broglie who had taken position at Friedberg in Hesse. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of Broglie's corps. It lost 150 men, including Captain de Panis and Lieutenant de Longeville wounded.

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 Babenhausen and Dieburg, 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. On May 29, a party of Ruesch Black Hussars appeared near Fulda and M. d'Apchon, who occupied Johannisberg, retired. The hussars engaged a grenadier company of Dauphin Infanterie, who was still in town, and captured it before retiring. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Fulda.

In the spring of 1761, the regiment took post at Hersfeld. On July 16, it took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen. It distinguished itself in this battle when, along with Du Roi Infanterie , it came to the rescue of the Deux-Ponts Brigade who had made itself master of the village de Vellinghausen, but had been driven back. They fought stubbornly during the entire day and ceded only when they were alone on the battle field. In this battle, the regiment lost almost all his grenadiers and chasseurs. Captain La Clos was killed in action. In October, the regiment returned to France to replenish its ranks and garrisoned Dunkerque.

In 1762, the regiment was sent back to Germany where it was attached to the Reserve under the Prince de Condé. It was at the combat of Ham. Its grenadiers and chasseurs took part in an expedition against Osnabrück.

At the end of the war, the regiment returned to Dunkerque in France.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758
and Etats militaires of 1758 and 1761

completed where necessary as per Taccoli, the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock black
Coat white with 14 copper buttons on the right side
Collar blue with 1 small copper button on the right side (Raspe illustrates 2 buttons on the left side, the right side being hidden)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets double vertical pockets (9 copper buttons arranged in patte d'oie on each single pocket)
Cuffs blue, each with 9 small copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue with 36 small copper buttons (18 in single row on the waistcoat and 9 small copper buttons on each horizontal pockets)

N.B.: Raspe's illustrations suggest vertical pockets

Breeches white (blue as per Raspe in 1762)
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

Officers

Exceptionally, sergeants of the grenadier companies of this regiment carried a fork rather than a halberd. Louis XIV had authorized this distinction to commemorate the storming of a defensive work by the grenadiers of Dauphin Infanterie on April 2 1691, during the siege of Mons. Indeed, the Austrians defending this work were armed with forks and scythes.

Musicians

The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection


N.B.: it seems that in an earlier period (end of the XVIIth century) drummers of the regiment wore the Dauphin's livery: blue laced aurore (light orange) but during the XVIIIth century they adopted the Royal livery.

Colors

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross (the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757 depicts a white cross charged with the same arms and motto as the ordonnance).

Ordonnance colours: the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 describes them with a white cross wearing the arms of the Dauphin in its centre with his motto: "Res praestant, non verba fidem". Each quarter of the ordonnance flags was ondé (horizontal waved stripes) in red, blue and yellow and bordered in white and yellow. Contemporary illustrations give three different interpretations of the disposition of these stripes in each quarter:

  1. an illustration of 1748 depicts 3 repetitions of red, blue and yellow horizontal waved stripes for a total of 9 stripes per quarter
  2. an illustration of 1755 depicts a total of 3 horizontal waved stripes: 1 red, 1 blue and 1 yellow, this same illustration does not show the arms of the Dauphin on the white cross
  3. the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" depicts a very different colour in 1757, this is the colour we have chosen to illustrate in our own plate
Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 4, pp. 258-287

Other sources

Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I"; Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Anon.: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Gabriel Nicolas Raspe, Nuremberg 1761

Anon.: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Gabriel Nicolas Raspe, Nuremberg 1762

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Montandre: État militaire de France pour l'année 1758, Paris 1758, p. 132

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

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

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.