Origin and History
The regiment was raised on November 1 1661, at the birth of Louis de France, Louis XIV's son and Dauphin of France. On March 24 1668, after the conquest of Franche-Comté, the old Compagnies d'ordonnance were incorporated into the regiment.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Italy in 1734 and 1735. In 1736, it was stationed at Caen.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially stationed on the Meuse in 1741. In 1742 and 1743, it took part in the campaigns in Bohemia. In 1744, it was back at Suffelsheim. In 1745, it joined the French army operating in Italy. By 1746, it had retreated to Valence in Provence.
In 1749, the regiment was stationed at Issoire, in 1750 at Vesoul, in 1751 at Landrecies, in 1752 at Dôle, in 1754 at Colmar, and in 1755 on the Moselle.
The regiment counted 2 squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the Dauphin was the Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:
- since July 11 1753 until March 1 1763: Comte de Périgord
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons. The 2 additional squadrons came from Dauphin-Étranger Cavalerie who was incorporated into the Dauphin Cavalerie.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. 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 Klosterzeven, it followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. In this camp, the regiment was placed on the left wing of the first line. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army in the city of Hanover.
From March 30 to April 4 1758, after the retreat of the French army towards the Rhine, the regiment was with Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the first line of the right wing. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed at Sonsbeck near Xanten. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the army of Ferdinand of Brunswick 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. It was placed on the right wing 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 first line, under Fitzjames. 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 on the left wing of the first line. At the beginning of October, the regiment was attached to Chevert's Corps which was sent to reinforce Soubise's Army in Hesse. On October 10, it was at the Battle of Lutterberg where it formed part of Chevert's Corps who won the day by turning the Allied left flank.
By December 30 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Ergershaus.
To do: details on the 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|
|Neckstock||probably a black cravate|
|Coat||blue lined red (lined blue from 1761) with pewter buttons arranged 3 by 3 on both sides and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons|
|Greatcoat||blue lined red (lined blue from 1761)|
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.
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
- brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs
Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a blue coat heavily laced with braids at the King's livery alternating with silver braids.
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; fleurs de lys and dolphins embroidered in gold and silver in each corner.
This 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. 342-343
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
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
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.