Chevau-légers du Dauphin

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Chevau-légers du Dauphin

Origin and History

This company was created on January 28 1663 with 300 officers from disbanded units.

For the organisation of this company, please refer to Gendarmerie de France Organisation. At war, it was the senior company of the eighth squadron of the Gendarmerie de France, paired with the Chevau-légers d'Orléans.

Until 1763 the headquarters of the Gendarmerie de France were at Châlons-sur-Marne while the company was quartered in Nivernais and Limagne. Louis XV assigned the company to Lunéville to guard his father-in-law Stanislas Leczinski, duc of Lorraine and of Bar.

During the Seven Years' War, the company was under the nominal command of the dauphin while a captain-lieutenant assumed effective command:

  • since May 17 1749: comte de Thiard
  • from April 19 1760: comte de Flavigny
  • from January 11 1762 to March 1763: marquis de Torcy

The company was disbanded in March 1763 and incorporated into the Gendarmes du Dauphin on June 5 of the same year.

Service during the War

In 1757, the eight squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France, including this company, were sent to reinforce the Lower Rhine Army. They joined the main body in Hessen in August. At the end of the year, they took their winter quarters in the county of Hanau in Hessen.

By July 1758, all Gendarmerie squadrons had joined Soubise's army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. On October 10, the Gendarmerie was present at the battle of Lutterberg where it was placed on the left wing of the first line. It was not involved into any serious fighting during this battle.

In 1759, the Gendarmerie de France took part to the battle of Minden where it repeatedly charge the British and Hanoverian infantry, being repulsed each time and suffering heavy losses.

In 1761, the company took the field with the army of Soubise. It was present at the battle of Vellinghausen on July 16 but was not engaged.

In 1762, the company formed part of Condé's Lower Rhine army. It was present at the action of Nauheim on August 30 but was not engaged.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1759 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: PMPdeL
Uniform Details as per
the Etrennes Militaires of 1758 and Etat Militaire of 1761
Headgear black tricorne laced silver, with a black cockade
Neckstock black cravate
Coat scarlet lined scarlet, bordered with a silver braid, with silver buttons and silver buttonholes, and a silver braid on each sleeve
Collar scarlet laced silver
Shoulder straps blue laced silver fastened with a silver button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets laced silver with 3 silver buttons and 3 silver buttonholes
Cuffs scarlet cuffs en botte laced silver with 3 silver buttons
Turnbacks none
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff laced silver
Breeches scarlet (probably buff at war)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff bandoleer laced silver (carrying the blue distinctive colour of the company since 1730)
Waistbelt blue laced silver
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth scarlet laced silver
Housings scarlet laced silver with a crown and 2 dolphins side by side embroidered in silver
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a sabre (silver handle and blue cord), a pair of pistols and a rifle.

The horses of the troopers were of various colours. A blue rosette was knotted at their mane and tail.

Officers

No information available yet.

Musicians

No information yet on the uniforms worn by trumpets and kettle-drummers.

The musicians were mounted on grey horses.

Colours

Chevau-légers du Dauphin Standard – Source: Gilbert Noury

The standard was identical to the standard of the Gendarmes du Dauphin. It was made of silk and had a white field heavily decorated with silver and gold embroideries, fringed in gold and silver and bearing a central scene depicting 3 dolphins playing around a ship navigating a stormy sea with the motto “Sunt pericula ludus”.

Note: some authors mention that the reverse of this standard was sown with golden fleurs de lys. However, the standards of all companies of the Gendarmerie de France had identical obverse and reverse.

References

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, pp. 18-19

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F., Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Menguy, Patrice, Les Sujets du Bien Aimé

Mouillard, Lucien; Les Régiments sous Louis XV; Paris 1882

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006