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Origin and History
The regiment was created on October 30, 1673 and raised by the Marquis d’Huxelles for the conquest of Franche-Comté. Until 1762, this gentleman's regiment would be known by the names of its successive colonels.
During the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment initially took part in the siege of Besançon. In 1675 and 1676, it garrisoned Brisach. In 1677, it was at the siege and capture of Freiburg. In 1678, it fought in the engagement of Seckingen and took part in the storming of Kehl and in the capture of the Castle of Lichtemberg. In 1679, it fought in the Battle of Minden.
In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment joined the Army of Roussillon and took part in the siege of Camprodon and in the capture of Ripoll and San Juan de las Abadezas. In 1690, it was sent to Italy where it contributed to the capture of Cahours, fought in the Battle of Staffarda and was present at the siege and capture of Susa. In 1691, it took part in the operations against the Waldensians, in the sieges of Villefranche, Montalban, Sant ‘Ospizio, Nice, Veillane and Carmagnola, and in the unsuccessful defence of Carmagnola. In 1692, the regiment was transferred to Catalonia where it participated in the blockade of Roses. In 1693, it returned to the Alps where it fought in the Battle of Marsaglia. In 1694, it was sent to Roussillon and Catalonia where it took part in the Battle of Torroella, in the storming of Palamos and in the capture of Girona, Ostalrich and Castelfollit. In 1695, it relieved the garrisons of Ostalrich and Palamos. In 1696, it fought in an engagement near Ostalrich. In 1697, it served in the siege of Barcelona.
By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted only one battalion but, on February 1, 1701, it was increased to two battalions. The first battalion was sent to the Rhine. In September, it left for Italy. In 1702, the first battalion campaigned in Italy where it was at the capture of Luzzara and Borgoforte. In 1703, the first battalion was attached to the corps which accompanied the Duc de Vendôme in his expedition in Tyrol. The same year, the second battalion took part in the sieges of Alt-Breisach and Landau. After the capture of the place, it set off for Italy where it rejoined the first battalion. In 1704, the regiment took part in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the sieges of Nice and Chivasso, and in the Battle of Cassano; and in 1706, in the unsuccessful siege of Turin, before retreating to France. In 1707, the regiment was sent to Spain where it took part in the Battle of Almansa, in the submission of Vinaros and Pampeluna and in the capture of Lleida. In 1708, it was employed in the siege of Tortosa. At the end of 1709, the regiment returned to France where it was redirected to Alsace. It then remained in the Lines of the Lauter or in Haguenau until 1713. In 1713, it took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.
In 1714, the second battalion was disbanded.
In 1719, the regiment, then stationed at Nantes, quenched an uprising in Bretagne. In 1727, it took part in the training camp of Saône.
In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to Italy where it contributed to the capture of Gera d’Adda, Pizzighetone and the Castle of Milan. In 1734, it took part in the sieges of Novara and Tortona, in the combat of Colorno, in the battles of Parma and Guastalla and in the capture of Mirandola; and in 1735, in the submission of Reggio, Reggiolo, Revere and Governolo. In 1736, it returned to France and was stationed in Lille.
In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in Westphalia. In 1742, it took part in the invasion of Bohemia. In 1743, from Straubing , it relieved III./Champagne Infanterie encircled in Deckendorf. It then retired to the Rhine. In 1744, it took part in the defence and recapture of Weissembourg, in the combat of Augenheim and in the siege of Freiburg. In 1745, it campaigned on the Rhine. In 1746, the regiment was transferred to Flanders where it took part in the sieges of Mons and Saint-Ghislain and in the Battle of Rocoux. The same year, it was increased to two battalions and was sent to Provence. In 1747, it took part in the passage of the Argens, in the capture of the Castle of Castellar, in the relief of Antibes, in the attacks on the entrenchments of Villefranche, Montalban and Nice and in the capture of Ventimiglia. In 1748, it served in the Alps. On November 15 of the same year, it was reduced to a single battalion.
On February 10, 1749, the regiment incorporated the disbanded Beauce Infanterie which formed its second battalion.
In 1754, the regiment took part in the training camp of Gray; and in 1755, in the training camp of Valence. It was then sent to Provence.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 54th and was under the command of:
- from January 2, 1745: César Marie Marquis de Talaru-Chalmazel
- from January 15, 1758: Louis-Guy-Marie d'Aumont Duc de Mazarin
- from December 1, 1762 to April 13, 1780: Jean-Frédéric, Chevalier de la Tour du Pin La Charce
When the French army was reorganised in December 1762, the regiment took the name of the Province of Beauce.
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was sent to Toulon and took part in the amphibious expedition against Minorca and in the siege and capture of Fort St. Philip de Mahon where Captains Belon and Dejon, and Grenadier Lieutenant Hubert were wounded during the assault.
The regiment remained at Mahon until March 1757. It then returned to France and was immediately sent to Landau and then to Hesse where it arrived in August. It was cantoned at Eschweig on the Weser to guard the communications between the Army of Saxony and the Army of the Lower Rhine. After the Battle of Rossbach, the regiment covered the retreat of Soubise's Army. It then advanced into Hanover and, on December 10, was at Celle (Zell) on the Upper-Aller where it took its winter-quarters.
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. On March 2, the name of the regiment was changed to "D'Aumont-Mazarin". 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 stationed in Rheinberg. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's Army on May 31, Clermont assembled his army at Rheinberg on June 2. The regiment 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 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 under Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the second line. On October 18, the first battalion of the regiment saved the cavalry of the Duc de Chevreuse and allowed them to retire.
In June 1759, during the French offensive in western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades and was deployed in the first line, on the right wing of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing under the command of the Chevalier de Nicolaï. It was sent forward to occupy a few houses and hedges located in front of the French cavalry centre but was soon driven out of this defensive position by a charge of an Allied cavalry brigade. In this disastrous battle, the regiment lost Captains de Courcelles and Lieutenants de Cureil, Descombes, de Salos and Nogarède killed; and Lieutenant-Colonel Guyn de La Roche, Captains Damas, de Marillac, de Commarques, Saint-Ours, de Seilhac, Pierreclave, Lottin de Montjoie, La Valette, de Carrière, Pélissier, Besson, Pichard, de Bord and 10 lieutenants wounded. On August 15, during the French retreat, the regiment, which had suffered heavily at Minden and was now too weak to serve adequately, was sent to the rear at Marburg where it arrived on August 19. It later retired on Cassel.
By May 23, 1760, the regiment was part of the left reserve of the first line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Lieutenant-General Comte de Saint-Germain. On July 10, the regiment fought in the Combat of Corbach where it formed part of the two leading brigades of Saint-Germain which force marched to take part in the engagement. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the first line of the left wing.
In 1761, the regiment was sent back to the coasts of Flanders.
In 1762, the first battalion formed part of the French corps sent to reinforce the Spanish Army for the planned invasion of Portugal. In August, it took part in the siege of Almeida. At the end of the year, when the French Army was reorganised, the regiment, now named Beauce Infanterie, was assigned to harbour and colonies service.
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||red with one row of small copper buttons and yellow button loops; horizontal pockets with small copper buttons|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Golden button loops on the waistcoat.
Drummers and oboeists wore the colonel's livery: Talaru until 1758 then Mazarin.
The Talaru livery is unknown however, the arms on the drums were as follows: left part yellow, right part blue with a diagonal red baston (upper left to lower right).
From 1758, the arms on the drums were those of House Mazarin: blue field, red horizontal band (in the foreground) at mid height decorated with 3 gold stars, vertical gold consular fasces (in the background) tied up with silver bonds.
In 1762, when the regiment became a provincial regiment, drummers adopted the Royal livery.
Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.
Ordonnance colours: two yellow cantons, one red and one violet and a white cross.
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 6, pp. 372-383
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 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
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.