Médoc Infanterie

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised on February 19, 1674 by the Marquis de Navailles.

In 1676, the regiment campaigned against the Spanish migueletes. In 1677, it took part in the Battle of Espouilles; in 1678, in the siege of Puygcerda and in the capture of the Castle of Baga.

In 1684, the regiment was at the siege of Luxembourg.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment participated in the siege of Philisbourg. In 1689, it took part in the glorious but unsuccessful defence of Mainz. In 1690, it was transferred to Savoie where it participated in the capture of Chambéry, Annecy, Rumilly, Susa. On 22 May 1691, the regiment took the name of the province of Médoc. The same year, it took part in the sieges of Carmagnola and Montmélian and in 1693, in the Battle of the Marsaglia. In 1694, it was posted on the coasts of Provence before being transported to Catalonia. In 1697, it took part in the siege of Barcelona.

On the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment counted only one battalion but, on 1 February 1701, it was increased to two battalions. The second battalion was raised in Cambrai. Until 1709, the two battalions operated independently in different theatres of operation:

  • First Battalion: in 1701, it was sent to Italy where it took part in the Battle of Chiari; in 1702, in the defence of Cremona, in the Battle of Luzzara and in the capture of Luzzara; in 1703, in the capture of the Savoyard Army at San Benedetto and in the affair of Montecuto; in 1704, in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the siege of Chivasso and in the Battle of Cassano; and in 1706, in the Battle of Calcinato, in the siege of Turin and in the Battle of Castiglione. However, the French disaster at Turin forced the battalion to take refuge in Cremona. Four of its companies under Lieutenant-Colonel de Brazilly were then blocked in Pizzighetone which they defended during three weeks before obtaining a honourable capitulation. In 1707, the battalion was back to France where it took part in the defence of Toulon. In 1708 and 1709, the battalion campaigned in Dauphinée before being transferred to the Rhine where it took part in the combat of Rumersheim. During winter, it was reunited with the second battalion.
  • Second Battalion: in 1701 and 1702, the battalion was in the Netherlands; in December 1703, it was transferred to Spain; in 1704, it took part in the attack on General Fagel’s camp and in the capture of Salvaterra, Segura, Idanha-Nueva, Portalegre; in 1705, the battalion was incorporated in La Couronne Infanterie but it was soon reallocated to Médoc Infanterie after lively protestations. In 1706, the battalion was at the siege of Barcelona. In 1707, it took part in the Battle of Almansa and in the sieges of Méquinenza and Lérida; in 1708, it took part in the siege of Tortosa. At the end of the year the battalion left Spain. In 1709, the battalion served in Dauphinée. During the winter it was reunited with the first battalion..
  • Reunited regiment: in 1710, it remained in the Lines of the Lauter; in 1713, it took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg. At the end of the campaign, it was sent to Spain. In 1714, it took part in the siege and storming of Barcelona. Shortly after the fall of Barcelona, the second battalion was disbanded.

From 1714, the regiment was stationed in Languedoc.

In 1733, at the beginning of the During the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to Italy where it took part in the sieges of Gera d’Adda and Pizzighetone. In 1734, it was at the capture of Cremona, Serravalle, Novara and Tortona, fought with distinction in the Battle of San Pietro and took part in the siege of Mirandola. In 1735, it was at the capture of Reggiolo and Revere. It returned to France in August 1736 and was placed in garrison in Barcelonette.

In 1737, the regiment was transferred to Montpellier, Lunel, Nîmes and Cette. In 1739, it was at Montlouis.

In 1741, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment initially served in the various places in the Cévennes. In 1742, it joined the Army of Bavaria and marched to the relief of Prague but was stopped at Plan. In 1743, after a rude winter, the regiment could field only 100 men. It received reinforcements and then took part in the defence of Eger where it surrendered as prisoners of war. In 1744, a second battalion was raised in Caen while the first was still in captivity. In 1745, the first battalion was exchanged and joined the second at Caen. In 1746, the regiment was sent to the Austrian Netherlands and took part in the siege of Namur and in the Battle of Rocoux, before being sent to the relief of Provence. In 1747, the regiment operated in the County of Nice. In 1748, it returned to Toulon. At the end of the year, its second battalion was disbanded.

On March 10, 1749, the regiment incorporated the disbanded Dauphiné Infanterie which formed its second battalion. The regiment was then posted at Strasbourg. In 1750, it was transferred to Neufbrisach and Huningue; in 1751, to Briançon; in 1752, to Toulon; in 1753, to the camp of Beaucaire and then Perpignan; and in 1754, to Tournon. From October 1755, it occupied various places in Languedoc.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 56th and was under the command of:

  • from August 25, 1749: Joseph de Ravignan, Marquis de Mesmes
  • from December 1, 1762 to May 17, 1773: Charles de Biotière, Marquis de Chassincourt de Tilly

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment mustered at Toulon for the preparation of the expedition against Minorca. In the night of June 27 to 28, during the Siege of Fort St. Philip, the regiment took part in the storming of the Queen Redoubt, the Kent Lunette and the outworks of Stragen and Argyle. In this assault, it lost Lieutenant Gérard and 18 grenadiers killed; and Captain de Vallin, his brother the Chevalier de Vallin, Captains de Montviel, de Bellecombe, Bérail, d'Oms and Lieutenant de Marvîlle wounded. The regiment garrisoned Minorca Island for the rest of the Seven Years' War.

On June 15, 1763, the regiment returned to Toulon.

Uniform

Privates

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 silver with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock black
Coat grey-white
Collar red
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red
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.

Officers

n/a

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

Colonel Colour: white with a white cross.

Ordonnance Colours: a white cross; red and feuilles mortes (reddish brown) cantons by opposition. The ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1691 to 1791.

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

References

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 6, pp. 399-414, 416

Other Sources

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

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé, an interesting websites which seems unfortunately to have 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

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar