Origin and History
The regiment was raised in 1624. It was incorporated in the regular French Army on April 29 1625 as a gentleman regiment. In 1657, it took the name of the Province of Touraine.
The regiment counted two battalions.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in the army of the Maréchal de Noailles from 1742 to 1744. From 1745 till the end of the war, it served in Flanders.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 18th and was under the command of:
- since February 1 1749: Duc de Montmorency
- from June 20 1761 to January 3 1770: Comte de Montmorency
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 the Swiss Wittmer Infanterie under M. de Waldner in the first 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 Condé Infanterie in Saint-Germain's Corps. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Eschwege in Hessen.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Bedburg and Berheim. 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, where it was placed in the centre of the second line, until June 12. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the second line under Saint-Germain whose division bore the brunt of the Allied attack when it tried to stop an outflanking manoeuvre. It defended the woods along the Niers River during three hours, repulsing three attacks before retiring in front of superior forces. 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 second line. At the beginning of October, the regiment was attached to Fitzjames' Corps which was sent to reinforce Soubise's Army in Hesse. On October 10, it was present at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed on the right wing of the second line. It was not involved into any serious fighting during this battle.
In June 1759, 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, on the right wing of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing under the command of the Chevalier de Nicolaï. It was sent forward to occupy a few houses and hedges situated in front of the French cavalry centre but was soon driven out of this defensive position by a charge of an Allied cavalry brigade. On August 15, during the French retreat, the regiment, who had suffered heavily at Minden and was now too weak to serve adequately, was sent to the rear at Marburg where it arrived on August 19.
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 June 17, the regiment was part of a small division, under M. de Leyde, who reached Düsseldorf, on its way to join Saint-Germain. On July 6, the regiment moved back from Freienohl to Arnsberg to rendez-vous with d'Auvet's Corps. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed on the extreme right wing of the first line, close to Warburg. At the end of the engagement, the regiment, along with La Tour-du-Pin Brigade, formed on the heights in front of the bridges to cover the retreat of the French army. On October 4, M. de Maupéou's Corps (including this regiment) left for the Lower Rhine. On October 13, the regiment arrived at Neuss with Castries. On October 17, after having been left behind during Castries' advance from Neuss to Clostercamp, the regiment finally made a junction with Castrie's main corps.
By February 9 1761, the regiment was attached to the Army of the Lower Rhine under M. de Muy. By June, this army had been placed under the command of the Prince de Soubise. On July 4, the regiment took part in an attack against Allied troops entrenched in the mill and Castle of Schafhausen, driving them back. On July 16, it fought in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry centre.
In March 1762, the regiment was attached to the Army of the Upper Rhine, serving once more under Soubise. On June 24, the regiment took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was deployed in the first line of the main body. By July 12, it was posted at Landwerhagen. In December, when the French army started to retire from Germany, the regiment was directed on Landau.
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.
|Coat||grey-white lined grey-white with pewter buttons down to the waist on the right side
|Waistcoat||blue with one row of small pewter buttons; horizontal pockets with small pewter buttons|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
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.
Colonel colour: white with a white cross.
Ordonnance colours: white cross with aurore (light orange), green, blue and red cantons. The ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1657 to 1791.
Warning: sources do not agree on the disposition of the colours among the various cantons.
Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website 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
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.