Gardes Lorraines

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in April 1644 in Piémont for the prince of Carignan. Its first feat of arms took place in August 1645 at Vigevano. It also participated to the action of Mora in October of the same year. In 1659, after the peace of the Pyrenees, the duke of Savoy gave this regiment to king Louis XIV of France. In the French service, the regiment was initially known as Carignan.

In May 1665, the Carignan regiment left for Canada where it served until 1671, warring against the Iroquois Confederacy in the Richelieu valley.

On July 18 1676, the regiment became the property of Louis de Savoie, comte de Soissons, nephew of the prince de Carignan and father of the famous prince Eugène de Savoie.

In December 1690, it took the name of the province of Perche and kept this name till 1744 when it was disbanded and amalgamated into the newly raised Gardes Lorraines Regiment (raised by the king of Poland on April 6 1740) as its first battalion. By this amalgamation, the new regiment inherited the rank of the former Perche Regiment. During peace time, the regiment was attached to the service of the king of Poland but during wartime, it was in the French service.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1744 the regiment served in the Alps and took its winter-quarters in Aix-en-Provence. In 1745, a battalion of the regiment took part in the capture of Montezemoto and then remained at Millesimo to protect the left flank of the French Army who had launched an offensive on the coasts of Provence and Genoa. At the beginning of 1746, the regiment was present at the Siege of the Fortress of Alexandria in Italy. On March 5, it quitted Alexandria to make a junction with Maillebois' Corps. On March 19, the regiment was at Pozzol-Formigaro and counted 952 men. On June 16, it suffered heavy losses (8 captains and 3 lieutenants wounded; 75 soldiers killed and 107 soldiers wounded) at the Battle of Piacenza. On August 10, the regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Rottofreno, suffering heavy casualties once more 1 officer killed, 12 wounded and 5 taken prisoners; 280 soldiers mising and 187 wounded). On August 23, the French Army crossed the Apennine Mountains near Voltaggio. By November 24, the regiment was in Grasse, counting only 361 men. From May 20 to 22 1747, the regiment left its winter-quarters in Montpellier and Nîmes to join a French force on the Var River on June 8. On September 20, an ordonnance prescribed the creation of a third battalion which was raised at Vienne on October 24. On November 6, exchanged prisoners arrived at Vienne to form the backbone of this new battalion. On March 1 1748, the three battalions of the regiment assembled at Vienne. On April 23, the two first battalions then marched to join the French army of Italy in June. Meanwhile, on June 4, the third battalion marched from Vienne towards Toulon where it arrived on June 22. At the end of the war, the third battalion was disbanded.

On January 2 1749, the regiment arrived at Lunéville where they acted as guards at the court of King Stanislas.

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 30th and was under the nominal command of:

  • since February 26 1746: Prince de Beauvau
  • from September 14 1760 to March 20 1774: Louis-Bruno de Boisgelin, Comte de Cucé

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:

  • since February 26 1746: Chevalier de Beauvau
  • from September 14 1760 to March 20 1774: Louis-Bruno de Boisgelin, Comte de Cucé

In 1763, the regiment returned to Lunéville and Metz.

On February 23 1766, after the death of Stanislas Leczinski King of Poland, the regiment took the name of the province of Lorraine.

Service during the War

On March 4 1757, four companies of Royal Roussillon Infanterie were sent to Lunéville to guard the King of Poland. They were replacing the detachment of Gardes Lorraines who joined the rest of the regiment at Metz in the army of the Lower Rhine. At the end of June, the regiment was encamped at Bielefeld with d'Estrées' main corps. 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 centre of the first line. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in the third line of the French Army in Hoya.

On January 10 1758 at 11:00 p.m., the Chevalier de Beauvau at the head of 400 men (including the 2 grenadier companies of his regiment) drove back a Hanoverian outpost in the village of Ritterhude, located at 2.5 km from it own quarters in Burgdamm. On January 16, the regiment took part in the occupation of Bremen. On January 24, it left Bremen and marched to Hoya. By February 1, the regiment could field 54 officers and 826 soldiers; meanwhile 3 staff officers, 81 officers (including 12 captains), 13 lieutenants and 20 soldeirs were on furlough; and 385 soldiers were at hospital. In February, during the winter offensive of Ferdinand of Brunswick, the regiment guarded the bridge on the Weser at Hoya asssisted by the grenadiers and 100 fusiliers of Bretagne Infanterie, and 100 men of Mestre de Camp Général Dragons. On February 23, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick launched an attack on Hoya. The Gardes Lorraines suffered heavy losses. By the end of February, the remnants of the regiment who had taken refuge in Nienburg and counted 6 captains, 2 captains in second, 2 aides-majors, 8 lieutenants, 7 sergeants, 102 men and 3 colours. On March 2, these troops entered into Minden which was soon attacked by an Allied Corps led by General Kilmansegg. On March 15, the garrison of Minden surrendered without opposing any serious resistance. However, the captured battalion was soon exchanged. In April, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the third line at Gooch. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's army on May 31, the regiment did not join Clermont's army at Rheinberg but was rather sent back to Thionville to replenish its ranks. By June 12, the regiment was at Saarburg and by June 14 at Sierck, reaching Thionville on June 15. On October 6, it arrived in Nancy. On October 7, a detachment assumed once more the guard of the King of Poland in Lunéville.

On March 18 1759, the regiment was sent to the coasts of Normandy. Once more, four companies of Royal Roussillon Infanterie replaced them as guards at Lunéville. The regiment assumed garrison duty at Le Havre. On July 4, along with the III./Corps Royal de l'Artillerie – de la Pelleterie, the regiment endured the bombardment of Le Havre by a British squadron,

From 1761 to 1763, the regiment served once more in Germany under the Prince de Soubise.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etat militaire 1758, 1760 and 1761,
La Chesnaye in 1759 and Abrégé du Dictionnaire Militaire 1759
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Neckstock black
Coat blue laced and lined white
Collar blue laced white
Shoulder Straps white aiguillette
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets (3 pewter buttons on each pocket) laced white
Cuffs blue with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
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

n/a

Musicians

Drummers of this regiment wore the livery of the duke de Lorraine and Bar, one of the titles of king Stanislas Leczinski since 1736. This livery consisted of a yellow field with a lace of a similar pattern to the King's livery. The lace itself was black bordered white with yellow patterns over the black background. The cuffs and turnbacks were black.

Colours

The colonel flag was white with a white cross. The ordonnance flags worn by the company of the colonel in second had a white cross with a royal crown in the centre and five eaglets on each branch, its 1st and 4th quarters were black and its 2nd and 3rd quarters yellow.

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

References

Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

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

Vial J. L.; Nec Pluribus Impar

V., General: L'infanterie lorraine sous Louis XV - I. - Régiment des Gardes Lorraines, in Les Carnets de la Sabretache, Vol. 2, 1894, pp. 40-48, 128-140, 193-202, 445-455, 575-590