Montmorin Infanterie

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Origin and History

This regiment originated from the region of Liège and its two first colonels were from this city. It is said that before arriving in France, it formed the guard of the Prince-Bishop of Liège.

The regiment was taken in the French service on October 26 1629, at the same time as many other regiments from Liège. It was then commanded by the Baron de Mesle.

In 1630, during the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–31), the regiment was sent to the Alps and took part in the combat de Veillane before taking its winter-quarters in Lorraine. At the beginning of 1631, it was disbanded.

On 19 August 1633, the regiment was recalled to France. It then counted 12 enseignes and was under the command of the Colonel La Bloquerie. It then took part in the conquest of Lorraine and in the siege of Nancy before being sent to Haguenau. In 1634, it took part in the capture of the Castle of Wildenstein and of Philisbourg.

In 1635, at the beginning of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59), the regiment took part in the siege of Spires. In 1636, the regiment was attached to the Army of Champagne. In 1637, it operated on the Meuse where it took part in the capture of the Castle of Dinau, between Stenay and Mouzon. It then garrisoned Damvilliers. In 1638, it took part in the surprise attack on Montcantin and in the siege of Câtelet; in 1639, in the defence of Câteau-Cambrésis; in 1641, in the siege of Aire; in 1642, in the Battle of Honnecourt and in the defence of La Bassée; in 1643, in the Battle of Rocroi and in the siege of Thionville; in 1644, in the capture of several small places in Luxembourg, in the relief of the Army of Germany, in the Battle of Freiburg and in the capture of Philisbourg; in 1645, in the Battle of Nördlingen; in 1646 as part of the Army of Flanders, in the capture of Courtrai and in the siege of Antwerp; in 1647, in various skirmishes in the region of Antwerp; and in 1648, in the Battle of Lens.

At the end of 1648, at the outbreak of the Fronde (1648-1653), the regiment was recalled to the region of Paris where it took its winter-quarters. In 1649, it was sent to Bayonne where it assumed garrison duties during the troubles. In 1652, it was part of a small corps operating in Saintonge, Angoumois and Bordelais. It distinguished itself in the siege of Saintes. In 1653, it was sent to Roussillon and took part in the siege of Castillon.

In 1654, the regiment returned to Bayonne where it remained till 1657.

In 1657, the regiment was sent to Italy where it was at the siege of Mortare.

In 1659, it returned to France where it was reduced to only 4 companies

In 1664, the regiment was part of the corps sent by Louis XIV to Emperor Leopold I and it took part in the Battle of St. Gotthard.

In 1665, the regiment, which was back in Champagne, was sent to the support of the Dutch Republic against the Bishop of Münster and took part in the siege of Lochem.

In 1666, the regiment was at a camp near Amiens.

In 1667, at the outbreak of the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment took part in the conquest of Flanders, contributing in the capture of Tournai, Douai and Lille. It then marched to Metz and Luxembourg.

In 1668, the regiment took part in the conquest of Franche-Comté; in 1670, in the conquest of Lorraine and in the sieges of Épinal, Chasté and Longwy.

In 1672, at the beginning of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment took part in the sieges of Maseyck, Saint-Trond, Tongres, Burich, Rees, Arnhem and Skenke, and in the capture of the fort of Nijmegen, Crèvecoeur and Bommel Island. At the end of the year, it followed Turenne who was marching against the Brandenburgers. In 1673, the regiment contributed to the capture of Unna, Kamen, Altena, Zoëster and Bilfelden before taking its quarters in Bourgogne. In 1674, it took part in the siege of Besançon and then marched towards Rousillon. In 1675, it embarked at Toulon for Messina which it occupied. In September, it was sent to Agosta. In 1678, it returned to France and took its quarters in Dauphiné.

In 1681, the regiment was part of a detachment sent to occupy the Citadel of Casale.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment took part in the sieges of Philisbourg, Mannheim, Spires, Worms, Oppenheim and Trier; in 1689, in the combat of Walcourt in Flanders; in 1690, in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the siege of Mons, in the bombardment of Liège and in the combat of Leuze; in 1692, in the capture of Namur and in the bombardment of Charleroi; in 1693, in the combat of Tongres, in the siege of Huy, in the Battle of Landen and in the capture of Charleroi. In 1694, it garrisoned Namur. In 1695, it fought on the Lys and took part in the bombardment of Bruxelles. In 1697, it served on the Meuse.

In 1698, the regiment went to the Compiègne. On 30 December of the same year, the Fusiliers de La Croix were incorporated into the regiment.

In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13)m the regiment was sent to Gelderland and occupied Venlo. In 1702, it was sent to Strasbourg, then to Neuf-Brisach before fighting in the Battle of Friedlingen. In 1703, it took part in the Siege of Kehl]], in the attack on the entrenchments of Stolhoffen, in the affairs of the Hornberg Valley and of Munderkirchen, in the Battle of Höchstädt]] and in the capture of Kempten and Augsburg; in 1704, and in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim before retreating to the Rhine and assuming garrison duty at Colmar. In 1706, the regiment took part in the capture of Fort-Louis, Drusenheim, Marquisat Island and Lauterburg. In 1707, it campaigned in Swabia and Franconia and took part in the attack of the entrenchments in the Gorges of Lorch. In 1708, it participated in the unsuccessful defence of Lille; in 1709, in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet; in 1711, in the Combat of Arleux; in 1712, in the Battle of Denain, in the siege and capture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain. In 1713, the regiment was transferred to the Rhine where it took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine from 1733 to 1735.

During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment initially served in Westphalia in 1741. In 1742, it was at Halteren. In 1743 and 1745, it served in Germany and then in Flanders from 1746 to 1748.

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 22nd and was under the command of:

  • Since December 1 1745: Jean Baptiste Calixte, marquis de Montmorin de Saint-Herem
  • From December 1 1762 to November 30 1764: comte de Crenolle

On December 10 1762, the regiment took the name of the province of Isle de France.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was sent to Toulon. In October of the same year, the regiment sailed from Antibes and, on November 1, landed at Calvi in Corsica. It was part of an expeditionary force under the Marquis de Castrie sent to take the relief of the troops of the Genoese Republic in this island. This force also included II./Flandres Infanterie as well as I./Boccard Infanterie. Two additional French corps landed at San Fiorenzo and Ajaccio. The Genoeses had taken profit of a civil war the previous year to re-establish their rule on Corsica. However, they asked France for its support when things got out of control.

The regiment remained in Corsica for two years.

In February 1759, the French force of occupation gave back to the Genoeses the towns that they were occupying for them since 1756 and returned to France.

Until May 1761, the regiment was assigned to the protection of the coasts of Provence. It was then sent to Aunis.

In the spring of 1762, the regiment was part of the French army of 10,000 men that Louis XV sent to the king of Spain to assist him in the planned invasion of Portugal. The regiment took part in the Siege of Almeida and returned to France the same year.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758
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

Neckstock black
Coat grey-white
Collar none in 1758 (red in 1761)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets vertical double pockets on each side (6 copper buttons arranged two by two on each single pocket)
Cuffs red with 4 copper 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 wore the unknown livery of the House of Montmorin. The drums wore the arms of the House of Montmorin.

Colours

The colonel flag was white with a white cross. The ordonnance flags had a white cross with green and violet opposed quarters.

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 5, pp. 33-46, 51-52

Other sources

Duc de Castries: Le Maréchal de Castries (1727-1800), Flammarion, 1956

Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a very interesting site 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

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

Vial J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar