Origin and History
The regiment was raised on March 15 1749 with troops contributed by the 16 most senior regiments of cavalry.
In 1755, the regiment was stationed in Aimeries-sur-Sambre.
In 1756, the regiment ranked 68th and counted two squadron.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since March 15 1749: Louis Joseph de Saint Véran, Marquis de Montcalm who ceded the regiment to his son before his departure for Canada
- from March 11 1756 to December 1 1761: Gilbert de Saint Véran de Montcalm
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the first squadron of the regiment was incorporated into Colonel Général Cavalerie while the second squadron was disbanded. However, effective incorporation seems to have taken place only on April 1 1763.
Service during the War
Somewhere between August 23 and September 6 1757, the regiment joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach. On September 27, it was brigaded with Grammont Cavalerie under M. de Grammont in the second line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Grammont Cavalerie and Poly Saint-Thiébault Cavalerie in Saint-Germain's Corps. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Immenhausen in Hessen.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in the area between Cologne and Neuss. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick on May 31 for its campaign on the west bank of the Rhine, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It remained in this camp until June 12, taking position on the right wing of the first line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the right wing of the second line, under Sourches. In Mid August, after Ferdinand's retreat to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the Army of the Lower Rhine now under the Marquis de Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the right wing of the second line.
On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the cavalry centre deployed behind the Wartberg under the command of the Comte de Beaupréau. In June, at the beginning of the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the “Right Reserve” under the command of the Duc de Broglie who had taken position at Friedberg in Hesse.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the left reserve of the first line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Saint-Germain. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the first line of the centre. The brigade to which it belonged was the only one who withstood the initial charge of the British cavalry, even breaking the 1st King's Dragoon Guards. However, the French brigade in its turn was driven back by the Royal Horse Guards. By October 1, the regiment was at Düsseldorf, deprived of their horses infected with glanders; Castries sent them to Koblenz.
To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762
|Headgear||black tricorne (reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat) laced silver, with a black cockade on the left side fastened with a black silk strap and a small pewter button|
|Neck stock||black cravate|
|Coat||grey-white lined red with 4 pewter buttons under the right lapel and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin|
|Greatcoat||grey-white lined red|
Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They were also supposed to wear a breastplate under their coat during battle but this regulation was not always followed.
Evolution of the uniform during the war
Throughout the war the French cavalry uniform seems to have evolved significantly. Our only primary source for the uniform at the start of the conflict is the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753. The first primary pictorial evidence comes from Raspe in 1761. Here we present various interpretations of the evolution of the uniform.
Raspe's illustration depicting the uniform towards the end of 1760 shows the following evolutions:
- white rosette on the tricorne
- coat, lapels, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental lace (2 rows of alternating red and yellow woollen squares)
- grey-white waistcoat edged with the regimental lace
- only 3 buttons on each pocket
- only 2 buttons on each cuff
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757 (more probably around 1748):
- a tricorne with a white rosette
- brass buttons instead of pewter buttons
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- no shoulder strap
- no turnbacks
- no lace on the coat and waistcoat
- Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
- brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs
no information available yet
Standards (in 1753)
no information available yet
The article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 321
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Lienhart, Docteur and René Humbert: Les uniformes des armées françaises”, Leipzig
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1761
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.