Rohan Rochefort Infanterie

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Origin and History

This Walloon regiment was created on February 22, 1677 as Piettemont Wallon. The same year, it took part in the Battle of Cassel where its colonel was killed. On 1 November of the same year, it became the property of Ignace de Belvalet, Comte de Famechon. In 1678, it took part in the capture of Puigcerdà.

In 1688 and 1689, at the beginning of the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment served on the Bidassoa. In 1690, it took part in the expedition to Ireland. On July 1, it was present at the Battle of the Boyne, and later at the defence of Limerick. In 1691, it returned to France and was immediately sent to Italy. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of Marsaglia. In 1694, it was transferred to Spain where it took part in the Battle of Torroella, in the capture of Palamos, Girona, Ostalrich and Castelfollit. In 1695 and 1695, it served in Italy.

On February 11, 1697, the regiment became “Isenghien Infanterie”.

In 1701, at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment served in Flanders. In 1702, it took part in the affair of Nijmegen; in 1703, in the siege of Kehl, in the passage of the Black Forest, in the affair of Munderkirchen and in the Battle of Höchstädt; in 1704, in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim; in 1705, in the campaign in Brabant, in 1707, in the campaign in Flanders; and in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde. From 1709 to 1714, the regiment was part of the garrison of Valenciennes.

In 1717, the regiment received the same establishment as regular French regiments.

In 1733, at the beginning of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment took part in the siege of Kehl; in 1734, in the siege of Philipsburg; and in 1735, in the combat of Klausen.

In 1741, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in Westphalia. In 1742, it participated in the Bohemian campaign. On June 27, 1743, it took part in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it took part in the capture of Ypres, Menin and Furnes; in 1745, in the siege of Tournai, in the Battle of Fontenoy and in the capture of Oudenarde, Termonde and Ath; in 1746, in the siege of Namur and in the Battle of Rocoux; in 1747, in the conquest of the Dutch Flanders and in the Battle of Lauffeld; and in 1748, in the siege of Maastricht.

On March 10, 1749, the regiment incorporated the disbanded “Fleury Infanterie.”

The regiment counted two battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 64th and was under the command of:

  • from December 1, 1745: Charles-Armand-Jules, Prince de Rohan-Rochefort
  • from February 20, 1761 to December 10, 1762: Charles-Emmanuel, Chevalier de Saint-Mauris

In December 1762, when the French Army was reorganised, the regiment was incorporated into Poitou Infanterie.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment took part in the amphibious expedition against Minorca and in the siege and capture of Fort St. Philip.

In 1757, the regiment was sent to reinforce the Army of the Lower Rhine. It made its junction with the main body in Hessen in August. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army at Duderstadt.

In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the third line at Roermond. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by an Allied Army under Ferdinand of Brunswick on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It remained in this camp until June 12 and was placed in the centre of the second line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed in the centre of the first line under Guerchy. 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 Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the first line. At the beginning of October, the regiment was attached to Chevert's Corps which was sent to reinforce Soubise's Army in Hesse. On October 10, it was at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was part of Chevert's Corps which won the day by turning the Allied left flank.

On Tuesday January 2 1759, at about 5:00 a.m., Nassau Prince Louis Infanterie presented itself before the Sachsenhausen Gate of Frankfurt and was admitted as previously agreed. As soon as it had entered the town, the regiment ordered the town-guard to deposit arms and to admit 5 other regiments (Beauvoisis (2 bns), Rohan Montbazon (2 bns), Rohan Rochefort (2 bns), Bentheim (2 bns) and Royal Deux-Ponts (4 bns)). These regiments then seized the artillery on the walls and all the other gates, easily capturing the City of Frankfurt. This very important town remained under French control for the last four years of the war. By May 10, the regiment was part of the corps under the command of the Comte de Noailles who had taken position near Deutz on the right bank of the Rhine. In June, during the French offensive in western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades and was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre.

On July 31 1760, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was initially kept in reserve behind the centre. By October 1, the regiment was part of d'Auvet's Division which was instructed to march towards Hachenburg. On October 10, the regiment reached the Erft and Neuss. On October 16, it took part in the Battle of Clostercamp. At the end of October, the regiment, who had heavily suffered during the Combat of Clostercamp, was sent back to France.

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: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
and Etat militaire 1761

completed where necessary with information from the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli's plate
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 of the French Army, indeed Taccoli illustrates a grenadier of the regiment wearing a bearskin

Neck stock black
Coat grey-white lined white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collar none (red in 1761)
N.B.: the manuscript of 1757 illustrates a red collar as early as 1757, so does Taccoli in 1760)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none but the skirts could easily be turned back for action
Waistcoat red with 2 rows of small copper buttons (white in 1761 with red lapels decorated with small copper buttons and a single row of small copper buttons under the lapels); horizontal pockets with small copper buttons
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Footgear black leather shoes
Bayonet Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
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

n/a

Colours

Colonel Colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance Colours (from 1757): two black and two orange opposed cantons and a white cross.

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 8, pp. 208-209

Other sources

Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

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

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

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.