Origin and History
The regiment was raised on December 10 1673.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served in Italy in 1733. From 1734 to 1735, it was stationed on the Rhine. In 1736, it was at Moulins.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia in 1741. In 1742, it was in Prague. In 1743, after the retreat, it was stationed on the Rhine. In 1744, it served in Swabia; in 1746 in Dauphiné; and in 1747, at Valence.
In 1752, the regiment was stationed at Gray.
By 1756, the regiment ranked 45th and counted two squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since January 31 1749: Comte de Fleury
- from February 20 1761 to 1763: Comte de Toulouse-Lautrec
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into Condé Cavalerie. Effective incorporation took place only in 1763 at Lille.
Service during the War
By August 1 1757, the regiment had joined the French army in Germany. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Braunschweig, in the first line.
From March 30 to April 4 1758, after the retreat of the French army towards the Rhine, the regiment was with the army of the Comte de Clermont in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the second line of the right wing.
By October 25 1759, now attached to d'Armentières' corps, the regiment was at the main camp at Bochum.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the right reserve of the first line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Prince Xavier. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Hahn.
To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762
|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|
|Neck stock||black cravate|
|Coat||grey white lined grey white (lined red from 1761) with 4 pewter buttons under the right lapel and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons|
|Greatcoat||grey white (lined red from 1761)|
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 primary source for the uniform at the start of the conflict is the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753. The first primary pictorial evidence comes from Raspe in 1761. Here we present various interpretations of the evolution of the uniform.
Raspe's illustration depicting the uniform towards the end of 1760 shows the following evolutions:
- a white rosette on the tricorne
- no collar
- coat, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (woollen braid with 2 rows of red and blue squares)
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- only 3 buttons on each pocket
- grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (woollen braid with 2 rows of red and blue squares)
- grey white breeches
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757 (more probably depicting the uniform of 1748):
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- no shoulder strap
- no turnbacks
- no lace on the coat and waistcoat
- Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
- brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs
no information available yet
Standards (in 1753)
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field embroidered and fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”.
The 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. 355-356
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Lienhart, Docteur and René Humbert: Les uniformes des armées françaises”, Leipzig
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1761
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Service Historique de l'armée de terre, Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.