Origin and History
The regiment was created on January 23 1676 by Louis Victor de Rochechouart, Duc de Vivonne. It was raised in the town of Messina in Sicily, part from a battalion of La Marine Infanterie, part from Sicilian recruits. The regiment often changed its name: Vivonne, Thiange, de Mortemart, de Laval, de Tonnay Charente. From 1676 to 1749, the regiment belongs to the Maison de Rochechouart. The family counts four colonels of the regiment.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment was stationed in Kehl in 1733, then at Ettlingen in 1734.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served on the Rhine until 1743. From 1745 to 1748, it took part in the various campaigns in Flanders.
The regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 62nd. It was under the command of:
- since February 1 1749 until December 21 1762: Jacques David, Marquis de Cambis d'Orsan
On December 21 1762, when the French army was reorganised, the regiment was disbanded and incorporated into Royal Infanterie.
Service during the War
In 1756, the first battalion of the regiment took part in the amphibious expedition against Minorca and in the capture of Fort St. Philip. Meanwhile, the second battalion remained in Provence to protect the coasts against any British enterprise.
By August 1 1757, the regiment was garrisoning Béziers and Narbonne in Languedoc.
In 1758, the 2nd battalion was part of the reinforcements sent from Brest to Louisbourg aboard du Chaffault's Squadron. It arrived at Louisbourg on May 31. A few days later, a British army landed nearby and undertook the siege of Louisbourg. The battalion was captured at the capitulation of the fortress at the end of July. It was brought back to Tavistock, West Devon, Great Britain.
In March 1759, the second battalion was exchanged and returned to France. In the summer and autumn, a few companies 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, Göteborg and later Bergen.
To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762
|Coat||grey-white with alternating copper and pewter buttons down to the waist on the right side
|Waistcoat||red with alternating copper and pewter buttons; horizontal pockets, each with 2 pewter buttons and 1 copper button|
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 four white cantons, each with three red waved lines, and a white cross.
N.B.: the manuscript of 1757 illustrates a totally different ordonnance flag with a white cross and alternating red and green cantons
Bakshian, Aram Jr., Soldiers of New France - French and Indian War, The Armchair General Vol. 1 No. 3, 1968
Bunel, Arnaud, Vexillologie française
Manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I", Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé
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
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.