Lally Infanterie

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Origin and History

Lally Infanterie Private serving in India - Source: Edmond Lajoux, Le Lys, l’Ancre et la Croix - Les régiments qui construisirent l’empire d’outre-mer 1665-1786 from the collection of Dr Marco Pagan

This Irish regiment was raised on October 1 1744.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Flanders in 1745 and 1748.

The regiment counted 2 battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 109th and was under the command of:

The regiment was disbanded in 1762.

Service during the War

On July 15 1756, an ordonnance established that the regiment should count 525 men in 13 companies: 12 companies of fusiliers (each of 40 men) and 1 company of grenadiers of 45 men. A new ordonnance, dated November 10, stipulated that the regiment would be sent to India and instructed to increase its effective strength to 1,080 men (excluding officers) organised as follows:

  • staff (including a commander and an aide-major for the second battalion)
  • 2 battalions of 540 men (excluding officers), each consisting of:
  • 8 companies of fusiliers, each of:
    • 4 officers
      • 1 captain
      • 1 second captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 1 second lieutenant (carrying the colour if the company had one)
    • 60 men
      • 3 sergeants
      • 5 corporals
      • 5 anspessades (lance-corporals)
      • 46 fusiliers
      • 1 drummer
  • 1 company of grenadiers of:
    • 4 officers
      • 1 captain
      • 1 second captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 1 second lieutenant
    • 60 men
      • 3 sergeants
      • 5 corporals
      • 5 anspessades (lance-corporals)
      • 46 grenadiers
      • 1 drummer

N.B.: even though the entire regiment was supposed to be sent to India, sources describing the campaigns in India mention only the second battalion.

On March 6 1757, the 2nd battalion of the regiment left Brest on board a squadron under the command of Admiral d'Aché to reinforce the French posts in India. The fleet pursued by British men-of-war loitered on the voyage to Mauritius. It then took three months on his passage to yhe Coast of Coromandel.

On April 25 1758, the fleet transporting the 2nd battalion finally arrived before the British Fort St-David. The 2nd battalion took part in the operations on the Coast of Coromandel and in the Siege of Fort St. David until its capitulation on June 2. From December 1758 to February 1759, this battalion took part in the unsuccessful Siege of Madras.

In 1759, the 2nd battalion took part in the operations on the Coast of Coromandel. At the beginning of August, it was in garrison at Chittapett (present-day Chetpet). It broke into open mutiny and marched out of the fort with the avowed intention of joining the British. Their officers followed them, and by promises to discharge the arrears of their pay, now several months overdue, succeeded in conciliating most of them; but 60 men persisted in their resolution and deliberately carried it out.

On January 22 1760, the battalion took part in the Battle of Wandewash. Throughout the year it was involved in the operations on the Coast of Coromandel and took part in the defence of Pondicherry (present-day Puducherry). On September 4, during the blockade of Pondicherry by a British amphibious force, Lally made an attack on the British camp which was repulsed after one redoubt had been taken by the French, 1 gun captured, 2 other spiked and a British officer and 3 men had been taken prisoners. Lally Infanterie was particularly distinguished in this occasion, losing 8 sergeants and 25 privates killed.

On January 15 1761, when Pondicherry surrendered, the regiment became prisoners of war.

Uniform

The following description has been verified against the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" and Taccoli's book published in 1760.

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes Militaires 1756 and 1758, Etat Militaire 1758, 1760 and 1761, and Abrégé du Dictionnaire Militaire 1759

completed when necessary as per an illustration in "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère", année 1757, tome I and Taccoli's plate
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold (with a white cockade as per Taccoli)
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold
Neck stock black
Coat red lined white with 12 copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs green, each with 3 copper buttons and 3 yellow laced buttonholes (both the 1757 manuscript and Taccoli do not show laced buttonholes)
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat green with 2 rows (both the 1757 manuscript and Taccoli illustrate a single row of button) of 12 plain copper buttons and yellow buttonholes
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Waistbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
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

Officers wore a uniform similar to those of the privates with gold buttonholes on the cuffs.

Musicians

Drummers wore uniforms similar to those of the privates but with yellow laces on the cuffs and arms of the coat.

Colours

As per the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, the colours of the regiment were as follows:

Colonel colour: white field; centre device consisting of a golden Irish harp surmounted by a golden crown with the motto In Hoc Signo Vinces; 1 gold crown in each corner.
Ordonnance colours: red and light green opposed cantons; centre device consisting of a golden Irish harp surmounted by a golden crown with the motto In Hoc Signo Vinces; 1 gold crown in each canton.
Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Ordonnance Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

Anonymous: "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I

Évrard. P.: Praetiriti Fides

Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

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

Louis XV: Ordonnance du roi concernant le Corps de Troupes que Sa Majesté destine à faire passer aux Indes Orientales - Du 10 novembre 1756

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 209-210

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

Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

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