Origin and History
The regiment was created on November 15 1674 from the militia of Languedoc by the Maréchal de Schomberg. It remained a gentleman regiment until 1762.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Italy from 1733 to 1735. In 1736, it was stationed at Montlouis.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially stationed in Lille in 1742, then in Dunkerque in 1743. From 1744 to 1746, it took part in the various campaigns in Flanders. In 1747, it was transferred to Provence.
On March 10 1749, the regiment incorporated companies of the disbanded Beaujolais Infanterie.
The regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 60th and was under the command of:
- since August 9 1742: Marquis de Traisnel
- from March 4 1757: Comte de Brancas
- from July 22 1758: Comte de Durfort
- from February 20 1761 to January 10 1765: Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Lamballe
In December 1762, when the French Army was reorganised, the regiment ceased to be a gentleman regiment and took the name of the Province of Beaujolais.
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was garrisoning Toulon. In May, it was sent to reinforce the French army who had laid siege to Fort St. Philip during the French expedition against Minorca. It distinguished itself during the final assault where four of its officers were wounded.
In 1757, the regiment returned to France. In February of the same year, it changed owner, becoming "Brancas Infanterie". It was then ordered to join the Army of the Lower Rhine preparing for the invasion of Hanover. It reached Hessen in August where it joined the army. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, it followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt, in Prussian territory, from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed in the centre of the first line. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army in Hameln.
In February 1758, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in western Germany, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the first line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed at the Fort of Zons on the Rhine near Neuss. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's Army 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 first line. 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. The regiment suffered heavily, losing Major Horric de Loygerie, Aide-Major du Verne, Captains Soulignac, La Blessière, Fabre, Chevalier Fabre, Danoux, Mérinville and Lieutenant Margouet. In July, the regiment changed owner again and became known as "Durfort Infanterie". On August 5, the regiment formed part of Chevert's Corps and took part in the Combat of Mehr where it distinguished itself, its brigade being the last one to retire from the battlefield. 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 up the Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it formed part of the Picardie Brigade on the infantry right wing of the first line.
At the end of May 1759, when the French Army of the Rhine launched its offensive in western Germany, the regiment remained on the Rhine as part of the corps of the Marquis d'Armentières. In October, it bravely defended Münster. On October 15, it sallied with its artillery and bombarded the enemy in its camp at Roxen, forcing them to evacuate the camp. On October 16, it sallied once more, burnt the camp of Dybourg, capturing weapons and horses, and came back to Münster with 200 prisoners, one gun and the colour of Marsschalck Infantry. In December, the regiment was blockaded in Giessen with other units. On December 22, Captain de Cerval, its commander, along with the Volontaires du Dauphiné, (altogether a force of 500 men) sallied and attacked the village of Klein-Linnes. Emerging suddenly into the village, they captured a redoubt, surprised and routed the Hanoverian Behr Infantry and a squadron of dragoons, killing 50 men, wounding 80 and bringing back 22 prisoners.
By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army along the Rhine and the Main from its mouth. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Hanau, still in the third line. By May 23, the regiment was part of the first line of the infantry centre of Broglie's Army. On July 10, the regiment was part of the left wing of Broglie's Grande Armée who came to the support of the vanguard around noon at the Combat of Corbach. It also went to the relief of the besieged Fortress of Wesel, entering into the place on October 15. On October 28, the regiment attacked the enemy in Schoerneck, capturing the place. After the relief of Wesel, it retired at Göttingen. On November 28, it took part in an operation against Hebdemunden. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Almerode on the Gelster.
In February 1761, the regiment was sold to the Comte de Lastic. On March 27, the regiment, now known as Lastic, sallied from Göttingen and, along with Belzunce Infanterie, attacked General Colignon near Northeim, killing 60 men, capturing two guns, 8 officers and 200 soldiers, and forcing Colignon to abandon the position. Meanwhile, a few companies took part in the siege of Cassel. It completed the campaign by a raid in Hanover.
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 copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
|Waistcoat||grey-white with two rows of small copper buttons (only one row as per Taccoli)|
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: white cross; 2 white cantons; 1 red and 1 green cantons.
The ordonnance colours of this regiment are sometimes represented with 2 white cantons and 2 green and red gironed cantons. We have retained a simpler pattern illustrated in the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" kept at the Musée de l'armée in Paris.
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 who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
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
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.