Origin and History
The regiment could trace its origin to a band raised by the Duc d'Épernon in 1615. On July 7 1621, this band was formed into a regular regiment under the Baron de Castelbayard.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Germany between 1734 and 1736.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders. In 1743, it went to Dunkerque to join the expedition to Scotland. Between 1744 and 1748, it served in Flanders.
The regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 17th and was under the command of:
- since July 15 1755: Jean-Charles de Nettancourt, Marquis de Vaubécourt
- from December 1 1762 to January 3 1770: Comte de Jumilhac
When the French Army was reorganised on December 10 1762, the regiment was increased to 4 battalions by incorporating Lorraine Infanterie. The regiment then took the name of the Province of Aunis.
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was supposed to be part of a corps that should be used as an auxiliary of the Austrian Army.
In May 1757, a corps under Chevert left Neuss to join the Army of the Lower Rhine in Breda. This corps consisted of Vaubécourt Infanterie and Condé Infanterie and of Rochefoucauld-Langeac Cavalerie. At the end of June, the regiment was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main corps for the planned invasion of Hanover. On July 1, always under Chevert, a corps consisting of Picardie Infanterie (4 bns), Vaubécourt Infanterie (2 bns), Condé Infanterie (2 bns), one regiment of Grenadiers Royaux (2 bns), the Carabiniers and 20 guns left Bielefeld. On July 2, they arrived at Hervorden from where they set off for Hoya on July 8. A few days later, on July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the centre under the Marquis de Contades. After the victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. It then participated in the conquest of Hanover and in the capture of Minden and Hanover. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army at Osterode and Harzberg. On December 25, along with Aquitaine Infanterie and La Marine Infanterie, it forced the passage of the Aller at the bridge of Alten-Zell and occupied the town of Celle (Zell).
In April 1758, when Clermont redeployed the French army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Euskirchen. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It then remained in this camp until June 12 and was placed in the centre of the second line. On June 12, it took part in the engagement of Alpen near the Abbey of Kamp. 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 up the Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the second 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.
By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Sankt-Goar, still in the first line. By May 23, the regiment was part of the second line of Broglie, Victor François, Duc de|Broglie]]'s Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. On July 31, during the Battle of Warburg, the regiment was attached to the Corps of Maréchal-de-Camp de la Morlière posted at Welda, 6 km to the south of Warburg in support of de Muy. On October 4, M. de Maupéou's Corps (including this regiment) left for the Lower Rhine.
On July 16 1761, the regiment was at the Battle of Vellinghausen. On September 2, it took part in the attack on Osterode and the entrenchments of the Woods of Hartz. On September 25, it participated in the capture of the Castle of Schwartzfeld.
On September 21 1762, the regiment took part in the Combat of Amöneburg. At the end of this campaign, it returned to France.
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
N.B.: Surprisingly, in 1760, Taccoli illustrates a totally different uniform: black tricorne laced silver, pewter buttons, blue coat with blue cuffs, red lapels and red turnbacks, red waistcoat, blue breeches.
Furthermore, in 1761, Raspe's publication shows a dark burgundy uniform with red lapels and a red collar. Finally, in 1762, Raspe illustrates a white uniform with a black collar, black cuffs, black lapels; a scarlet red waistcoat and white breeches...
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 field with a white cross.
Ordonnance colours: a white cross with aurore (light orange) and green opposed cantons.
Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides
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
Recueil de toutes les Troupes qui forment les Armées françoises. Dessiné et illuminé d'après nature. À Nuremberg. chez Gabriel Nicol. Raspe
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.