Du Roi Infanterie
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 Succession, 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 Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal 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 Army of the Lower Rhine. 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 in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. In this camp, the regiment was placed in the centre 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 Western 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.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the first line of the infantry centre of Broglie's Army. On July 10, the regiment was part of the left wing of Broglie's Grande Armée who came to the support of the vanguard around noon at 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 September 13 at daybreak, the regiment was part of M. de Stainville's Corps who was marching towards Frankenberg when it clashed with a retiring Allied corps between Rhadern and Münden/Ork. Both forces were separated by a wood and a small stream flowing into the Eder. Stainville reinforced his left with Bouillon Infanterie (2 bns) placed in the Castle of Lichtenfels. Combat began around 10:00 a.m. when M. de Scey at the head of Du Roi Brigade and M. de Melfort with the Légion Royale advanced. The Allies occupied positions on a steep hill. Nevertheless Auvergne Infanterie stormed these positions on the double. Fersen counter-charged the dragoons of the Légion Royale at the head of his cavalry but was made prisoner with some of his men. Then, the grenadiers and chasseurs of the brigades along with the dragoons of Légion Royale; du Roi, Auvergne, Bouillon and Royal-Pologne infantry brigades pursued the Allies up to the village of Neukirchen near Sachsenberg. Bülow was forced to abandon some guns to pass the defiles. In this action M. de Stainville took 400 prisoners and 8 pieces and considerable baggage. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Hanau.
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.
|Coat||grey-white lined blue with 9 copper buttons and 9 aurore (light orange) frogs grouped 3 by 3
|Waistcoat||blue lined red with 22 copper buttons and 22 aurore (light orange) frogs|
|Breeches||blue (surprisingly Taccoli illustrates white breeches)|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
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.
Colonel colour: white field with a white cross charged with 48 golden fleurs de lys.
Ordonnance colours: a white cross charged with 48 golden fleurs de lys; the first and fourth cantons were red and the second and third cantons green. The motto "Per decori virtu" appeared on the flags in 1753.
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.
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 (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
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.