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Origin and History
The regiment was raised on March 1 1674.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine from 1733 to 1735.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served with the army who invaded Bohemia. In 1743, after the retreat, it served in Alsace in 1743. In 1744, it was at Fribourg. From 1746 to 1748, it took part in the successive campaigns in Flanders, fighting at Rocoux (October 11, 1746) and Lauffeld (July 2, 1747) and taking part in the siege of Maastricht in 1748.
In 1754, the regiment was stationed at Sarrelouis.
In 1756, the regiment ranked 38th and counted two squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since December 1 1745 until December 1 1761: Comte de Bourbon-Busset
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was amalgamated with Fumel Cavalerie to form the new Royal-Picardie regiment.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main corps. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was among the cavalry of the right wing. After the victory, it encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, it followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed on the first line of the right wing. On November 5, the regiment was at the Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with La Reine Cavalerie and Fitz-James Cavalerie. This brigade was placed in the first line of the left wing. At the end of the year, the regiment took its winter quarters in Filsum in Ostfriese, in the fourth line of the French army.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Grevenbroich and Kaster. 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, remaining in this camp until June 12. It was placed on the right wing of the second 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 de Muy. 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 the Marquis de Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the left wing of the second line. At the beginning of October, the regiment was attached to Chevert's Corps which was sent to reinforce the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, it was at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was part of Chevert's Corps which won the day by turning the Allied left flank.
In 1759, the regiment was stationed on the French coasts.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the right wing of the first line of Broglie's Army. 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 October 1, the regiment was part of d'Auvet's Division which was instructed to march towards Hachenburg. On October 10, the regiment reached the Erft and Neuss. By December 30, it had taken its winter-quarters in Fulda.
To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762
|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 red 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|
|Greatcoat||grey white lined red|
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:
- a blue and yellow cockade on the tricorne
- coat, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (blue woollen braid with yellow chain link stitches)
- grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (blue woollen braid with yellow link stitches)
- only 3 buttons on each cuff and on each pocket
- grey white breeches
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757:
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- grey white shoulder strap
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid
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
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field embroidered and fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a golden scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”.
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. 337
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
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.