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Origin and History
The regiment was created on November 14 1691 for Philippe d'Orléans, Duc de Chartres and son-in-law of King Louis XIV; who would later become regent of the kingdom of France. It initially consisted of a single battalion of 13 companies.
In 1692, during the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment took part in the siege of Namur and in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen and in the siege of Charleroi. In 1694 and 1695, it campaigned in Flanders. In 1696 and 1697, it served in the Army of the Meuse.
On 1 February 1701, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment, which initially counted a single battalion, was increased to two battalions. In May, it occupied Namur for Philip V, the new king of Spain. In 1702, the regiment took part in the Battle of Friedlingen; in 1703, in the siege of Kehl, in the attack of the Lines of Stollhofen, in the combats of Hornberg and Munderkingen, in the Battle of Höchstädt, and in the siege and capture of Augsburg; in 1704, in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim; in 1705, in the relief of Fort-Louis and in the capture of Drusenheim, Lauterbourg and the Marquisat Island; in 1706, in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde; in 1709, in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet; in 1711, in the attack on Arleux; and in 1713, in the capture of Landau and Freiburg.
In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20), the regiment joined the Army of the Pyrenees and took part in the siege of Fuenterrabía, San Sebastián, Castel Ciudad and Urgell.
After the death of the regent in 1723, the Duc de Bourbon transferred the regiment to the Marquis d'Etampes on January 5, 1724. The regiment was then designated as “Etampes”, a name that it would retain until February 22, 1737 when it was renamed “Chartres Infanterie”.
In 1727, the regiment took part in the camp of the Sambre.
In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to Italy where it distinguished itself at the siege of the Castle of Milan. In 1734, it took part in the combat of Colorno and in the battles of San Pietro and Guastalla; and in 1735, in the sieges of Reggio, Revere and Gonzague.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was deployed on the border of Flanders. In 1743, it was transferred to the Rhine where it fought in the Battle of Dettingen, suffering very heavy losses. In 1744, it returned to Flanders and participated in the sieges of Menin, Ypres and Furnes. In 1745, it took part in the siege of Tournai and in the capture of Termonde, Oudenarde and Ath; in 1746, in covering the siege of Bruxelles and in the Battle of Rocoux; in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld and in the siege of Bergen op Zoom; and in 1748, in the siege of Maastricht.
On its return to France, in 1749, the regiment was put in garrison in Orléans.
On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 96th and was under the command of:
- from May 4, 1753: Colonel-Lieutenant Gilbert de Chauvigny, Comte de Blot
- from May 14, 1758 to June 5, 1763: Colonel-Lieutenant Louis-Henri, Vicomte de la Tour du Pin La Charce
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was sent to the camp of Honfleur.
In March 1757, the regiment marched to Liège. It then joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées at Stockheim for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' main corps. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the centre under 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. 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 in the centre of the first line. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French Army at Northeim.
In February 1758, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French Army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the second 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 placed in the second line at Kerken. 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, 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. This division tried to stop the Allied outflanking manoeuvre and bore the brunt of the fighting, preventing for almost 3 hours the crossing of the ditch and repulsing three successive Allied attacks. After sustaining heavy casualties, it finally retired from the wood. 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 placed on the right wing of the second line. However, it was not involved into any serious fighting during this battle.
From 1759 to 1762, the regiment was exclusively employed to guard various places.
In May 1763, the regiment was transferred from Douai to Aire and Béthune.
|Waistcoat||grey-white (red in 1761)|
N.B.: Taccoli, in his work published in 1760, illustrates a red waistcoat with a single row of copper buttons and horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had a white cross and four red cantons, each with a blue outer border. Ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1691 to 1791.
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 7, pp. 218-225
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.