Origin and History
The regiment was created on September 4, 1684 as “Hainaut Infanterie.” Indeed, expecting a Coalition to soon form against France, Louis XIV raised 30 new regiments from September 1 to 30 for the defence of the various places of the realm. By raising one regiment a day, he avoided any problem of precedence among these new regiments. The new regiment was given to Nicolas-Simon Arnaud, Marquis de Pomponne.
In 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment served in the Army of the Alps and fought in the Battle of Staffarda. In 1691, it took part in the conquest of the County of Nice and of Savoie. In 1693, the regiment served in Flanders and was at the siege of Charleroi. In 1695, it took part in the defence of Namur. It continued to serve in Flanders until 1697.
In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment took part in the Battle of Friedlingen; and in 1703, in the siege of Kehl. It was then transferred to the Cévennes where it fought against the Camisards until 1705 when it was transferred to the Alps and participated in the capture of Nice. In 1706, the regiment took part in the siege of Turin. From 1707 to 1709, it served in Spain. In 1710, the regiment joined the Army of Flanders. In 1712, it fought in the Battle of Denain.
From 1713 to 1718, the regiment took part in the dismantling of the fortifications of Dunkerque.
In 1727, the regiment took part in the training camp of the Meuse.
In 1733, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment occupied Lorraine. In 1734, it was at the siege of Philippsburg.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was attached to the Army of Flanders. In 1743, as part of the Army of the Rhine, it took part in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it returned to Flanders where it took part in the siege of Tournai, and in the Battle of Fontenoy. In 1746, it participated in the sieges of Bruxelles and Mons and in the Battle of Rocoux; in 1747, in the conquest of Dutch Flanders, in the Battle of Lauffeld and in the siege of Berg-op-Zoom; and in 1748, in the siege of Maastricht.
On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 73rd and was under the command of:
- from January 1, 1748 to November 25, 1762: Jean-Baptiste-François Colbert de Croissy, Marquis de Sablé
The regiment was disbanded on November 25, 1762. Its grenadiers and officers were incorporated into the Grenadiers de France while its sergeants, corporals, fusiliers and drummers were offered the opportunity to serve at Saint-Domingue in the colonies by joining the Boulonnais, Foix or Quercy regiments.
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment took part to the French expedition against Minorca. On April 20, it was sent ahead under the Prince de Beauvau to maintain communication with an advanced party of grenadiers.
By August 1, 1757, the regiment was garrisoning Toulon in Provence. It then served on the coasts of France until 1762.
On November 25, 1762, the regiment was disbanded.
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Colonel Colour: white with a white cross.
Ordonnance Colours: a white cross, the first and fourth cantons were blue with two aurore (light orange) vertical triangles pointing outwards and the second and third cantons aurore (light orange) with two blue vertical triangles pointing outwards.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 8, pp. 219-220
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a very interesting website which 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
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