Origin and History
The regiment was raised on September 12, 1684 and took the name of the Province of Tournaisis. Indeed, expecting a Coalition to soon form against France, Louis XIV raised 30 new regiments from September 1 to 30 for the defence of the various places of his realm. By raising one regiment a day, he avoided any problem of precedence among these new regiments. The regiment was given to the Marquis de Brouilly.
In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of the Alps. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of Staffarda; in 1693 in the defence of Casale; and in 1696, in the siege of Valenza. In 1697, it was transferred to the Army of Flanders and took part in the siege of Ath.
In 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was allocated to the Army of Italy. In 1701, it took part in the Battle of Chiari; in 1702, in the Battle of Luzzara, and in the capture of Reggio and Modena; in 1704, the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the capture of Verrua; in the siege of Chivasso and in the Battle of Cassano; in 1706, in the Battle of Calcinato, in in the siege of Turin and in the Battle of Castiglione; and in 1707, in the defence of Toulon. In 1708, the regiment served with the Army of Dauphiné. In 1709, it was transferred to the Army of Flanders and fought in the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1712, it took part in the Battle of Denain and in the sieges and recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain; and in 1713, in the sieges and capture of Landau and Freiburg.
In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment occupied Lorraine.
In 1742 and 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served on the coasts of Provence. In 1744, it was transferred to the Italian theatre of operation. On June 16, 1746, it took part in the Battle of Piacenza. In 1747, the regiment returned to France to defend Provence.
In January 1749, the regiment was sent to Corsica where it remained until 1753.
On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted only one battalion.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 81st and was under the command of:
- from June 6, 1750: Henri-Auguste Helloüin, Marquis de Courcy
- from February 20, 1761 to April 26, 1775: Félix-Saint-Cyr, Marquis de Gontaut-Saint-Geniez
The regiment was incorporated in Royal Italien Infanterie on April 26, 1775.
Service during the War
From 1755, the regiment served on the coasts of Normandie.
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 for the planned reconquest of Saxony. On September 27, it was detached to Hanau. At the end of the year, it took up its winter-quarters in Allendorf in Hessen.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in a fort near Kaiserswerth/Düsseldorf. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by an Allied Army under Ferdinand of Brunswick on May 31, the regiment did not join Clermont's Army at Rheinberg but was rather deployed at an unspecified location. 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 Harvé. 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 Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the second line.
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 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 support Touraine Brigade but was soon driven out of this defensive position by a charge of an Allied cavalry brigade.
In January 1760, the regiment took its winter-quarters, in the first line of the French army deployed on the Main and the Upper Rhine under the command of Victor François Duc de Broglie. By mid-March, the regiment was billeted in Neuwied, still in the first line. By May 23, it was assigned to garrison duty in various places of western Germany. On October 16, it was at the Battle of Clostercamp where it formed part of the reserve deployed south of Rheinberg.
At the beginning of February 1761, the regiment was attached to the Army of the Lower Rhine and was deployed in the area of Moers under Lieutenant-General de Roquepine.
In March 1762, the regiment was attached to the Army of the Upper Rhine. On June 24, the regiment was present at the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was deployed in the centre of the first line of the main body. By July 12, it was deployed at Landwerhagen under the command of Prince Xavier. In December, when the French armies evacuated western Germany, the regiment was directed on Landau.
The following description has been verified against Taccoli's book published in 1760.
|Coat||grey-white lined grey-white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
|Waistcoat||grey-white (red in 1761)|
N.B.: Taccoli's plate, published in 1760, already illustrates a red waistcoat with one row of small copper buttons and horizontal pockets with small copper buttons
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Colonel colour: white with a white cross.
Ordonnance colours: a white cross; each canton had a red field traversed by a yellow horizontal band. Ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1684 to 1775.
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. 225-228
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
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
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.