Bourgogne Infanterie

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Origin and History

On March 1, 1668, after the first conquest of Franche-Comté, Louis XIV created the regiment of Bourgogne Infanterie. It consisted of 24 companies for a total of 2,000 men under the command of the Comte de Roussillon (former governor of Besançon for the king of Spain). Indeed, the regiment had been created for the noblemen of the recently conquered province who wanted to abandon their allegiance to Spain and to join the French Army. At its creation the regiment ranked 47th in the infantry of the French Army.

In 1669, after the death of the Comte de Roussillon, the regiment was given to the Marquis de Chamilly.

On March 6, 1672, Chamilly incorporated Saint-Léger Infanterie into his own regiment, thus inheriting the rank (46th) of this disbanded regiment and increasing his regiment to 33 companies.

In May 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment marched from Charleroi to Kayserwerth on the Rhine, then to Burich, Wesel, Groll and Deventer. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht and then garrisoned Grave. In 1674, the first battalion of the regiment distinguished itself at the defence of Grave where it was virtually annihilated. Meanwhile, the second battalion took part in the battles of Sintzheim and Ensheim. The two battalions then served in garrisons at Oudenarde (1st) and Charlemont (2nd). In August 1675, the second battalion marched to the relief of Trier. In 1676, the two battalions of the regiment took part in the siege of Condé and covered the siege of Bouchain. In 1677, the regiment participated in the sieges of Valenciennes and Cambrai, and in the Battle of Cassel; an in 1678, in the sieges of Ghent and Ypres. It then briefly garrisoned Mons before returning to Alsace.

In 1684, the regiment took part in the siege of Luxembourg.

From 1684 to 1689, the regiment was in garrison in Flanders.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment joined the Army of the Moselle and took part in the storming of the Castle of Kockheim. In 1690, the regiment was transferred to the Meuse and took part in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, it first campaigned on the Rhine before being transferred to Italy where it participated in the capture of Nice, Villefranche, Montalban, Sant'Ospizio, Veillane and Carmagnola, in the relief of Susa, and in the capture of the Castle of Montmélian. In 1692, it contributed to the defence of Pinerolo and Susa. In 1693, one battalion remained in the places while the other was sent on the Rhine. In 1694, one battalion campaigned on the Rhine with Normandie Infanterie. In 1695, the two battalions were reunited in Italy. In 1696, the regiment took part in the siege of Valencia before returning to France. In 1697, it served on the Meuse, covering the siege of Ath.

In December 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was sent to Provence. In 1701, it was selected to be sent to the Duchy of Milan and was present at the Combat of Carpi and fought in the Battle of Chiari. In 1702, it was in the Reserve during the Combat of Santa Vittoria and the Battle of Luzzara and later took part in the capture of Luzzara, Guastalla, Borgoforte and Governolo. In 1703, it participated in the expedition in South Tyrol and in the capture of Asti and Villanova d'Asti in the region of Monferrato. In 1704, the regiment took part in the storming of the entrenchments of Stradella, in the combat of Castelnuovo de Bormia, and in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the capture of Verrua, in the siege of Chivasso, in the Battle of Cassano and in the attack on the entrenchments of Gumbetto; in 1706, in the Battle of Calcinato, in the siege of Turin and in the Battle of Castiglione; in 1707, in the defence of Toulon and in the campaign in Dauphiné; and in 1708, in the attack on Cesana Torinese. In 1709, the regiment was transferred to the Army of Flanders where it was at the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1711, it took part in the attack on Arleux and in an action near Hordain; in 1712, in the Battle of Denain and in the sieges and recapture of Douai, Marchiennes, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain. In 1713, the regiment campaigned on the Rhine where it served in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

A regulation dated April 10, 1715, reduced the regiment to a single battalion.

At the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to the Rhine where it took part in the siege of Kehl. In 1734, it participated in the attack on the Lines of Ettlingen and in the siege of Philisbourg; and in 1735, in the Battle of Klausen.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment initially served on the Lower Rhine. In 1742, it was sent to Bohemia where it took part in the capture of Falkenau, Plan and Elnbogen, in the relief of Braunau and in the resupply of Egra. In 1743, it occupied Schmidmülh, Rieden and Enstorf, and took part in the defence of Egra where it surrendered as prisoners of war. Exchanged in 1744, the regiment returned to Alsace where it took part in the recapture of the Lines of the Lauter and in the attack on Suffelsheim before being transferred to Bavaria. In 1745, it fought at Pfaffenhofen. The same year, the regiment was increased to two battalions and sent to Flanders were it participated in the siege of Nieuport. In 1746, it was transferred to Provence. In 1747, it took part in the recapture of the Sainte-Marguetire Islands and Saint-Honorat Islands and in the relief of Vintimiglia and Genoa.

In 1749, the regiment returned to France.

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 43rd and was commanded by:

  • since May 26 1745: Marquis d'Hérouville
  • from November 30 1761 to June 5 1763: Comte de Bouzols

Service during the War

In 1755, the regiment was sent to garrison Rochefort. From there, it went to Brest. Then, its two battalions were sent to different theaters of operation for most of the Seven Years' War. The 1st Battalion remained in Europe while the 2nd was sent to Canada.

1st Battalion

By August 1 1757, the battalion was garrisoning Esparre in the Bordeaux country.

2nd Battalion

In 1755, the 2nd battalion (13 companies) embarked on the Dauphin Royal at Brest. On May 3, the fleet set sailed for the reinforcement of Canada. The battalion disembarked at Louisbourg where it served as garrison until the siege and capture of Louisbourg by a British army at the end of July 1758.

Reunited Regiment

When the 2nd battalion returned from Canada, a battalion remained in Rochefort while the other was cantoned on the Isle of Oléron.

In the summer and autumn of 1759, a few companies of the 1st battalion of the regiment were assigned to Thurot's Squadron which was blockaded in the harbour of Dunkerque by a British squadron under the command of Commodore William Boys. In October, Boys' Squadron was driven from his station by a gale. On October 15 at 5:00 p.m., Thurot seized the opportunity, slipped out through a thick fog and made to the northward. He then sailed for Ostend, then to Göteborg in Sweden, partly to procure stores, and partly, no doubt, to baffle pursuit or observation. There he remained for 19 days, going next to Bergen in Norway. On December 5, Thurot's flotilla quitted Bergen and proceeded to the British seas, by way of Streymoy in the Faroe Islands.

On January 25 1760, Thurot's flotilla reached the neighbourhood of the Irish coast. The weather confounded an intended descent near Londonderry, and scattered his flotilla. On February 15 (or 17), Thurot's flotilla put into Claigeann Bay, in the Island of Islay in Argyleshire to refresh. They boarded and plundered two small sloops lying at anchor in the small bay of the island. The French crews then landed on the island. On February 19, Thurot left Islay. On February 20, he anchored in Belfast Lough, opposite Kilroot Point. On February 21, the detachment of the regiment took part in the attack on CarrickFergus who soon capitulated. On February 25 at 8:00 p.m., Thurot re-embarked his troops. On February 27 at 10:00 p.m., Thurot finally sailed from Carrickfergus for France. On February 28 at 4:00 a.m., 3 British frigates got sight of Thurot's flotilla as it rounded Copeland Island and gave chase. At 6:00 a.m., they caught up. At 9:00 a.m., they engaged the three French frigates. The engagement lasted about 90 minutes before the French were forced to strike theirs colours. Captains Brazide and Garcin of the regiment were wounded during this engagement. The French prisoners were brought to Ramsey on the Isle of Man then to Belfast where they arrived on March 2. On May 10, they were freed and transported to France.

Uniform

Privates

"Continental Uniform"

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
La Chesnay in 1759 and Etat militaire 1761
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers of the French Infantry (Taccoli, whose work has been published in 1760, illustrates a grenadier with a bearskin)

Neckstock black
Coat grey-white lined grey-white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collar none (white in 1761)

The manuscript of 1757 as well as Taccoli illustrate a white collar)

Shoulder Straps white fastened with a copper button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets (3 copper buttons on each pocket)
Cuffs grey-white with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none (Taccoli, whose work has been published in 1760, illustrates grey-white turnback)
Waistcoat red with one row of small copper buttons; horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (white as per the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli) with a brass buckle
Waistbelt natural leather (white as per the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli) with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard brown


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

"Canadian Uniform"

Initially, in 1755, the Ministry of the Navy supplied new uniforms to the troops sent as reinforcement to Canada. Accordingly, the 2nd Battalion was issued uniforms differing from its regulation uniform. In 1757, this battalion received uniforms more in accordance with its full regimental regulation. The Ministry of the Navy specifications for the Canadian uniform of 1755 were as follows.

Uniform in 1755 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver
Neckstock black
Coat grey-white
Collar none
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets (3 pewter buttons on each pocket)
Cuffs grey-white with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a

Officers

n/a

Musicians

Both in the Continental and Canadian services:

The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection



Colours

The colonel flag was white with golden fleur de lys and a white Burgundy cross. The three ordonnance flags were white with golden fleur de lys and a red Burgundy cross.

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 6, pp. 77-89, 92

Other sources

Bakshian, Aram Jr.: Soldiers of New France - French and Indian War, The Armchair General Vol. 1 No. 3, 1968

Chartrand, René: The French Soldier in Colonial America

Manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I", Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (an interesting website who 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

Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar