Grenadiers Royaux de Châtillon

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Grenadiers Royaux de Châtillon

Origin and History

A decree, dated September 15 1744, created a grenadier company within each French militia battalion. On April 10 1745, another decree ordered to detach all militia grenadier companies from their parent battalion and to group them in 11 regiments of Grenadiers Royaux. Each regiment consisted of a single battalion wearing its colonel's name. The 5th Regiment was placed under the command of colonel de Beauteville.

To create a new recruitment source for these new regiments, a decree of January 28 1746 created a new company of grenadiers in each militia battalion. These new grenadiers were designated as Grenadiers postiches.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756, militia battalions were assembled. The decree of December 5 1756 stipulated that the Grenadiers postiches had to be detached from their parent militia battalion (there were 107 such battalions) and incorporated into the 11 existing Grenadiers Royaux battalions, thus increasing the effective strength of each of these regiments from 1 to 2 battalions.

The 5th regiment now consisted of:

  • staff
    • 1 colonel
    • 1 lieutenant-colonel
    • 1 major
    • 2 aides-major
  • 2 battalions each consisting of 10 companies of Grenadiers Royaux or Grenadiers postiches
    • each company of Grenadiers Royaux consisted of:
      • 1 captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 2 sergeants
      • 3 corporals
      • 3 ansepessades
      • 1 drummer
      • 41 grenadiers
    • each company of Grenadiers postiches consisted of:
      • 1 captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 3 sergeants
      • 3 corporals
      • 3 ansepessades
      • 1 drummer
      • 51 grenadiers

N.B.: we have not found any information indicating whether the companies of Grenadiers postiches were intermingled with companies of Grenadiers Royaux within each battalion or if they rather formed two distinct battalions.

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

  • since March 1747: de Châtillon
  • from 1759: de Longaunay
  • from 1762 until December 10 1762: Hoffelize

All Grenadiers Royaux regiments were disbanded on December 10 1762.

Service during the War

From 1756 to 1760, the regiment was cantoned on the coasts of France.

In 1761, the regiment served under the command of the duc de Broglie. On July 16, as part of de Broglie's grenadier corps, the regiment fought at the battle of Vellinghausen, where the corps made up the left column and captured the castle of Nadel.

Uniform

All Grenadiers Royaux regiments had the same uniform, the sole distinction being the colour of the epaulette on the right shoulder which varied from one regiment to the other.

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757

completed where necessary with information from Pajol and Mouillard
Headgear
Musketeer none (all troopers were grenadiers)
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Neckstock black
Coat grey-white with pewter buttons of the right side and 1 pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar blue
Shoulder Straps aurore (light orange) epaulette with a white and aurore fringe on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets,each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs grey-white with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks grey-white when basques were turned back which was not always the case
Waistcoat grey-white with pewter buttons
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white for campaigning (black for parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box red or black leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


Armaments consisted of a musket with a bayonet and a double edged sabre.

All grenadiers wore a moustache.

Officers

The uniforms of officers were laced silver and they wore silver gorgets.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • sergeants: cuffs edged in silver or ornamented with 3 agréments
  • corporals:cuffs edged in white and ornamented with 3 white frogs
  • ansepessades: cuffs edged in white

Sergeants were armed with a spontoon.

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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


Colours

The regiment, probably because it consisted of converged companies of grenadiers, carried only ordonnance colours.

Ordonnance colours: blue field and blue border; white cross sown with golden fleurs de lys.

Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

N.B.: Some sources illustrate the arms of France in the centre of the white cross or a white border around the colour. However, the illustration in "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" simply depicts a blue border and a white cross sown with golden fleurs de lys.

References

This article contains text translated from the following book which is now in the public domain:

  • Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 68-69, 151-153

Other sources

Cookman, David, In Search Of The French Grenadiers During the Seven Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. IX No. 1

Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides

Mouillard, Lucien; Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris 1882

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.

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

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