Bigorre Infanterie

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Origin and History

The regiment was created on September 9, 1684 as “Bigorre Infanterie.” Indeed, expecting a Coalition to soon form against France, Louis XIV raised 30 new regiments from September 1 to 30 for the defence of the various places of the realm. By raising one regiment a day, he avoided any problem of precedence among these new regiments. The new regiment was formed with companies contributed by Navarre Infanterie and given to Étienne-Gérard Pellot, Chevalier de Trévières.

In 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment served in the Army of the Alps and participated in the capture of Cahours and Susa and in the Battle of Staffarda. In 1691, it took part in the conquest of the County of Nice and of Savoie; in 1693, in the Battle of the Marsaglia; and in 1696 in the siege of Valenza. In 1697, it was transferred to the Army of the Moselle.

In 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was allocated to the Army of Italy. In 1701, it took part in the Battle of Chiari. In 1705, it was transferred to the Army of Spain and contributed to the submission of Andalusia. In 1707, it took part in the siege of Lérida. In 1709, it was transferred to the Army of Dauphiné. In 1710, it joined the Army of Flanders. In 1712, it took part in the sieges and capture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain.

In 1733, at the beginning of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was allocated to the Army of the Rhine. In 1734, it took part in the siege of Philisbourg where it remained in garrison after the capture of the place.

In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was allocated to the Army of the Rhine and took part in the Battle of Dettingen and in the combat of Rheinweiler. In 1744, it participated in the recapture of the Lines of the Lauter and in the siege of Freiburg; in 1745, in the capture of Kronenburg. In 1746, the regiment joined the Army of Flanders and fought in the Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, it took part in the defence of Provence, in the recapture of the Sainte-Marguerite Islands and in the conquest of Nice; and in 1748, in the defence of Genoa.

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted only one battalion.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 78th and was under the command of:

  • from February 1749 to November 25, 1762: René-Théophile de Meaupeou, Marquis de Sablonnières

The regiment was disbanded on November 25, 1762.

Service during the War

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Bretagne to defend the coasts against British incursions. By August 1, 1757, it was stationed at La Rochelle in the Aunis country.

In 1761, the regiment took part in the defence of Belle-Isle where it had assumed garrison duty.

On November 25, 1762, the regiment was disbanded.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
and Etat militaire 1761
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Neck stock black
Coat grey-white with slashed (???) sleeves
Collar none (blue in 1761)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs blue, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat grey-white (blue in 1761)
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

Officers

Cuffs were made of blue velvet.

Musicians

n/a

Colours

The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had a white cross with four opposed cantons. Each canton consisted of red, yellow and green horizontal bands. Ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1684 to 1763.

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

References

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 8, pp. 221-222

Other sources

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a very interesting 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

Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757, Service Historique de l'armée de terre

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.