Du Roi Infanterie

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Contents

Origin and History

This regiment was raised on January 2 1663. It was considered as the 6th of the Petits Vieux regiments.

In 1719, the regiment was stationed in Marly. Louis XV first saw this regiment during a general exercise in the Plain of Sablons.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment operated in Italy.

During the War of the Austrian Sucession, the regiment was first assigned to the Bohemian theatre of operation from 1741 to 1743. It ended the war in Flanders.

The regiment counted four battalions and had prévôté (provostship).

The King was the colonel of the regiment. However, the colonel-lieutenant was the real commander. During the Seven Years's War, the regiment ranked 12th and the colonel-lieutenant of the regiment was:

  • since May 26 1745: Claude Louis François de Régnier, Comte de Guerchy

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was at the camp of Saint-Valéry.

In 1757, the regiment joined the Lower Rhine Army commanded by d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. On May 18, it arrived at Büderich to work at the entrenchment of the bridgehead. In June, it was encamped at Bielefeld with d'Estrées' Main Corps. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the left wing under the Duc de Broglie. It advanced against the Hanoverian right. After the victory, it encamped from July 31 to August 2 at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Lower Rhine Army. Later on, it participated in the conquest of Hanover. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, it followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt from September 28 to November 5. In this camp, the regiment was placed in the center of the first line. It later took part in the expedition against Celle. The defeat of the Franco-Imperial army at Rossbach in November caused the general retreat of all French corps behind the Rhine. At the end of the year, the regiment took its winter-quarters in Kassel in Hessen.

In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in Neuss. 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 remained in this camp until June 12 and was placed in the centre of the first line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed in the centre of the first line under Guerchy. After this defeat, it retired on Königsdorf. 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 the Marquis de 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.

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, on the left wing 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 left wing under the command of Guerchy.

On July 10 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Corbach. A few days later, it was among the corps who forced the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick to retire from Sachsenhausen. On July 31, it arrived too late to take part in the Battle of Warburg.

On July 16 1761, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen.

In 1762, the regiment, along with Bourbonnais Infanterie, successfully defended Melsüngen which was repeatedly attacked by the Allies.

In 1763, the regiment was stationed at Besançon.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758
and Etats militaires 1761
completed where necessary as per illustrations in Taccoli's book and in the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757"
Headgear
Musketeerblack tricorne laced gold with a black cockade (white cockade as per Taccoli)
Grenadierblack tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers of the French Infantry

Neckstockblack
Coatgrey-white lined blue with 9 copper buttons and 9 aurore (light orange) frogs grouped 3 by 3
Collarnone
Shoulder Strapsgrey-white fastened with a copper button (left shoulder only)
Lapelsnone
Pocketshorizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons and 3 aurore (light orange) frogs
Cuffsblue, each with 3 copper buttons and 3 aurore (light orange) frogs
Turnbacksnone
Waistcoatblue lined red with 22 copper buttons and 22 aurore (light orange) frogs
Breechesblue (surprisingly Taccoli illustrates white breeches)
Gaiterswhite
Leather Equipment
Crossbeltnatural leather
Waistbeltnatural leather
Cartridge Boxnatural leather
Bayonet Scabbardn/a
Scabbardn/a


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

Officers

n/a

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
Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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


Colors

The colonel colour was white with a white cross charged with 48 golden fleurs de lys.

The ordonnance colours had a white cross charged with 48 golden fleurs de lys. Their first and fourth quarters were red and the second and third quarters green. The motto "Per decori virtu" appeared on the flags in 1753.

Colonel Flag - Source: Kronoskaf
Colonel Flag - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Flag - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Flag - Source: Kronoskaf

N.B.: the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757" illustrates an ordonnance colour with a white cross charged with golden fleurs de lys and the motto "Per decori virtu". All four quarters are royal blue. This might be a new colour pattern issued in 1757.

References

Chesnaye des Bois (de la), Aubert; Etrennes militaires, Paris, 1756, 1758, 1759

Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides

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

Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé

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

Yahoo Lace Wars Group Message No. 16080, 19571

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

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