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Origin and History
This gentleman's regiment was raised on December 7 1665.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine from 1733 to 1735.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially took part in the invasion of Bohemia in 1741 and 1742. On June 27 1743, it fought at the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it was at Courtrai. From 1745 to 1748, the regiment served in the campaigns of Flanders.
In 1756, the regiment ranked 36th and counted two squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the colonels of the regiment were:
- since December 1 1745: Comte de Grammont
- from February 10 1759 to December 1 1761: Marquis de Balincourt
When the French cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie. However, effective incorporation took place only on March 26 1763 at Cambrai.
Service during the War
Somewhere between August 23 and September 6 1757, the regiment joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach. On September 27, it was brigaded with Montcalm Cavalerie under M. de Grammont in the second line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial army. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Montcalm Cavalerie and Poly Saint-Thiébault Cavalerie in Saint-Germain's Corps. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the area of Schlitz in Hessen.
At the beginning of June 1758, the regiment left its winter-quarters in the County of Hanau to reinforce the army of the Comte de Clermont on the Lower Rhine. By June 12, it was still on its way. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the first line, under Fitzjames. In Mid August, after the retreat of the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the Army of the Lower Rhine now 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 on the left wing of the first line.
On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the cavalry centre deployed behind the Wartberg under the command of the Comte de Beaupréau. In June, during the offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of Contades and was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry centre under the command of du Mesnil.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the Reserve of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of M. d'Auvet. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the second line of the centre. On October 3, Ségur's Corps (including this regiment) was dispatched towards Hachenburg and Cologne. On October 13, the unit arrived at Neuss with Castries. On October 16, it took part in the Battle of Clostercamp where it was deployed in the second line of the left wing.
To do: campaigns in 1761 and 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|
|Coat||grey white lined red 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|
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 black and red cockade on the tricorne
- coat, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (isabelle (coffee) braid with dark green chain link stitches)
- grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (isabelle (coffee) braid with dark green chain link stitches)
- only 3 buttons on each cuff and on each pocket
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757 (most probably depicting the uniform before the reform of 1750):
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- grey white lapels
- a red and green aiguillette on the left shoulder
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a redbraid
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- 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
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): yellow 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”
This 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. 331
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
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
Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757, Service Historique de l'armée de terre
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.