Origin and History
The regiment was raised on March 13 1672.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Germany from 1733 to 1735.
In 1738, the regiment was stationed at Givet.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia in 1742. In 1744, it was at Weissemburg. From 1746 to 1748, it took part in the campaigns of Flanders.
In 1754, the regiment was stationed at Sarrelouis.
In 1756, the regiment counted 2 squadrons and ranked 52nd.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since March 6 1745: Marquis de Saluces
- from February 10 1759 to December 1 1761: Marquis de Seyssel
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into Mestre de camp Général Cavalerie. Effective amalgamation seems to have taken place only on April 4 1763.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées. From April 27 to June 17, it was part of the Reserve under the Prince de Soubise. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was among the cavalry of the right wing. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, it followed the main body, now led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed on the left wing of the first line. At a certain time during this period, it was transferred to the Army of Saxony under Soubise. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Penthièvre Cavalerie and Bussy-Lameth Cavalerie in the Reserve under the Duc de Broglie. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the fourth line of the French army.
By October 25 1759, now attached to d'Armentières's Corps, the regiment was at the main camp at Bochum.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. On July 10, the regiment might have been attached to Prince Camille's Cavalry Corps who arrived too late to take part in the Combat of Corbach. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Dornbach.
The regiment then returned to France where, on December 1 1761, it was disbanded and incorporated into Mestre de camp Général Cavalerie.
|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 grey-white (red in 1761) 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 with pewter buttons|
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
- no collar
- red turnbacks
- coat, lapels, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental lace (white woollen braid bordered with 2 red braids and decorated with red chain link stitches speckled black)
- 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
- grey-white lapels
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid
no information found
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)
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field with a black border, embroidered and fringed in gold;
- obverse: centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”
- reverse: centre device consisting of a lion surmounted by a scroll bearing the motto “Animo major quam viribus”
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. 322
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
Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.