Languedoc Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Languedoc Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was created on March 20 1672 from companies of a Catalan regiment named "Mazarin" who later became Royal Roussillon Infanterie.

This regiment counted two battalions.

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 was initially part of the 3rd Division of the Army of Bavaria in 1742. In 1743, it was stationed in Lille. From 1744 to 1748, it took part in the campaigns in Flanders.

On March 10 1749, the regiment incorporated troops from the disbanded Aunis Infanterie.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 53rd and was commanded by:

  • since May 8 1748: Marquis de Morangies
  • from December 1 1762 to August 11 1764: Comte de Boeil

Service during the War

The two battalions of this regiment operated on different theatres of operation for most of the Seven Years' War. The 1st Battalion remained in Europe while the 2nd was sent to Canada.

1st Battalion

The first battalion remained in Europe throughout the war. By August 1 1757, the regiment was stationed on the Isle of Ré in Aunis Country.

2nd Battalion

In 1755, the second battalion (13 companies) embarked for Canada. The Lys (64), transporting four of these companies, was captured before reaching her destination. On September 8 of the same year, 2 companies of Languedoc Infanterie, under Dieskau, took part in the Combat of Lake George. Along with 2 companies from La Reine Infanterie, these 2 companies of Languedoc Infanterie were the first French regulars to participate in a battle in North America during the Seven Years' War. After this battle, British provincial troops maintained their position but stopped their progression on Fort Saint-Frédéric (present-day Crown Point, NY).

In May 1756, the 2nd Battalion was posted at Ticonderoga where it took part in the construction of Fort Carillon. On November 12, it left Carillon to take its winter-quarters in Laprairie.

By July 20 1757, a French force totaling 8,000 men (including the 2nd Battalion) was gathered at Carillon. On August 1, this force left Carillon with Montcalm and advanced upon Fort William Henry. The battalion then took part in the siege of Fort William Henry which lasted from August 5 to 9. After the capture and destruction of the fort, the French force reembarked on August 16 and returned to Carillon. On September 4, the battalion left Carillon and arrived at Saint-Jean on September 7 where it worked at the fortification of the place. On October 12, a piquet of the battalion was sent to Carillon to garrison the place during winter. On October 26, the battalion left Saint-Jean for its winter-quarters in Pointe-aux-Trembles.

In mid June 1758, the battalion left its quarters and moved towards Carillon. On June 30, the battalion was part of the detachment that Montcalm sent to the left bank of the channel connecting Lake Saint-Sacrement (present-day Lake George) to Lake Champlain. On July 6, it retreated to Carillon. On July 7, it worked at the entrenchment in front of the fort. On July 8, the battalion took part in the victorious Battle of Carillon where it was deployed at the extremity of the left wing under Bourlamaque. Between November 1 and 5, the entire French army quit Carillon to move to its winter-quarters, leaving detachments from various battalions to guard the fort.

On May 29 and 30 1759, the Chevalier de Lévis arrived at Québec with all 5 battalions of regulars (II./La Sarre, II./Royal Roussillon, II./Languedoc, II./Guyenne and II./Béarn) along with Milice du district de Montréal. While awaiting the arrival of the British fleet, the French army encamped on the right bank of the Saint-Charles River and fortified it to serve as a second line of defence if ever the British were able to land at Beauport. On June 26, the French army moved to its encampment at Beauport. The 5 battalions of regulars, forming a single brigade, held the centre. On September 13, the battalion took part in the Battle of Québec (aka Battle of the Plains of Abraham) where it was deployed in the centre. After the battle, the regiment followed the French army in its retreat towards Jacques-Cartier. In November, the battalion took its winter-quarters in the Government of Trois-Rivières.

By March 1760, 51 men of the battalion had been detached to Saint-Jean while 23 were unfit for duties. This left 361 men available for the expedition against Québec. The latter were supplemented by 462 men from the Milice du district de Trois-Rivières who were integrated into the battalion. In March, French spies reported that the British planned to capture the posts at Pointe-aux-Trembles (present-day Neuville) and Jacques-Cartier. Reinforcements were sent from the Government of Trois-Rivières along with 225 men from Languedoc Infanterie. However, the information obtained from the spies about the British plan proved to be wrong. The troops sent to the Governement of Trois-Rivières returned home while the detachment of Languedoc Infanterie cantoned at Pointe-aux-Trembles. From April 21 to 25, transport vessels gradually sailed from Montréal for Québec. Overall the battalions then counted 14 officers, 280 regulars, 285 militia and 11 non-combatants for a total of 594 men. On 28 April, the battalion took part in the victorious Battle of Sainte-Foy but the arrival of a British fleet forced the French army to retire progressively towards Montréal. On September 9, after the capitulation of Montréal, the battalion still counted 243 men and 23 officers. On September 14, as per the terms of the capitulation, the battalion was embarked aboard British transports who reached Québec on October 10 and 11 and then sailed for France where they arrived in December.

Reunited Regiment

After the return of the 2nd battalion to France in 1760, the regiment was reorganised by the regulation of February 1 1761 into only 12 companies of 20 fusiliers and one company of 40 grenadiers.

Uniform

Privates

"Continental Uniform"

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758
La Chesnaye in 1759 and Etat militaire 1761
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock black
Coat grey-white (laced blue in 1761)
Collar none (blue in 1759)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets wide horizontal pockets, each with 6 copper buttons grouped 3 by 3
Cuffs blue, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue with wide pockets and copper buttons (white laced blue in 1761)
Breeches grey-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.

"Canadian Uniform"

Initially, in 1755, the Ministry of the Navy supplied new uniforms to the troops sent as reinforcement to Canada. Accordingly, the 2nd Battalion was issued uniforms differing from its regulation uniform. In 1757, this battalion received uniforms more in accordance with its full regimental regulation. The Ministry of the Navy specifications for the Canadian uniform were as follows.

Uniform in 1755 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold (grey-white forage cap with blue facings)
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold
Neckstock black
Coat grey-white
Collar none
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets wide horizontal pockets, each with 6 copper buttons grouped 3 by 3
Cuffs blue, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a

Officers

n/a

Musicians

"Continental Uniform"

n/a

"Canadian Uniform"

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

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance colours: white cross; violet and feuilles mortes (reddish brown) opposed cantons. The ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1672 to 1791.

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

References

Bakshian, Aram Jr.: Soldiers of New France - French and Indian War, The Armchair General Vol. 1 No. 3, 1968

Chartrand, René: The French Soldier in Colonial America

Evrard, 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

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who 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

Parkman, Francis: Montcalm and Wolfe, Collier Books, New York: 1884, pp. 219

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Service Historique de l'armée de terre - Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

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