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Origin and History
The regiment was created on June 11, 1644 for Henri II of Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Duc d'Enghien and took its winter-quarters on the borders of Champagne. In 1645, it served in Germany under the Duc d'Enghien, taking part in the siege of Rothemburg, in the Battle of Nordlingen and in the capture of Dunkespiel and Heilbronn. In 1646, it campaigned in Flanders, taking part in the capture of Courtrai, Berghes, Mardyck, Furnes and Dunkerque. On December 26, the Prince de Condé died and his son, Louis II de Bourbon (the famous “Grand Condé”) became proprietor of the regiment. In 1647, the regiment campaigned in Catalonia and took part in the unsuccessful siege of Lérida, in the capture of Ager and in the relief of Constantin. In 1648, it campaigned in Flanders where it took part in the siege of Ypres, in the Battle of Lens and in the siege of Furnes. In 1649, it participated in the siege of Condé. At the end of the year, the Prince de Condé having a quarrel with the Cardinal de Mazarin, the regiment left the army and entered into the town of Seurre in Bourgogne.
On January 20, 1650, during the troubles of the Fronde (1648-1653), the regiment was officially stricken off from the French Army, thus losing its seniority. It was besieged in Seurre, capitulated and was disbanded on April 21. Its remnants, along with those of Enghien Infanterie, rejoined the Vicomte de Turenne at Stenay, and took part in the Battle of Rhétel. On February 26, 1651, the regiment was re-established but soon disbanded again on 13 September. Now excluded from the French Army, the regiment served Spain under the Prince de Condé until the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659). As such, in 1652, it took part in the Combat of Bléneau, in the defence of Étampes, in the Battle of Saint-Denis, in the Combat of Faubourg Saint-Antoine and in the capture of Sainte-Ménehould. In 1653, the regiment defended Sainte-Ménehould. In 1654, it defended Clermont en Argonne and virtually disintegrated after the capitulation of the place. A kernel of faithful soldiers continued to serve under the Prince de Condé during the four following campaigns, taking part in the reliefs of Valenciennes and Cambrai.
On November 7, 1659, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees and the submission of the Prince de Condé, the regiment was finally reintegrated into the French Army and ranked according to this date, passing from its original rank (35th) to the 47th.
In 1667, at the beginning of the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment took part in the capture of Charleroi. In 1668, it campaigned in Franche-Comté before being reduced from 12 to 4 companies.
In 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment was increased to 16 companies. One of its companies took part in the defence of the Fort of Warth. In 1673, it garrisoned various places in Holland. In 1674, it took part in the Battle of Seneffe; in 1675, in the capture of Dinant, Huy and Limbourg; in 1676, in the reliefs of Haguenau and Saverne, and in the Combat of Kokersberg; in 1677, in the siege of Freiburg; in 1678, in the attack on the bridge of Seckingen and in the sieges of Kehl and Lichtenberg; and in 1679, in the Combat of Minden.
In 1684, the regiment served at the siege of Luxembourg.
On December 28, 1686, after the death of the “Grand Condé”, the regiment became the property of his son, Henri-Jules de Bourbon, Prince de Condé.
In 1688, at the beginning of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment took part in the siege of Philisbourg. In 1689, it campaigned in Flanders and took part in the Combat of Walcourt. In 1690, it fought in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, it was transferred to the Alps where it contributed to the conquest of the County of Nice. In 1692, it garrisoned Pinerolo and Susa. In 1694, it took part in the victorious Battle of the Marsaglia; and in 1696, in the siege of Valencia, before returning to Flanders where it served in 1697.
On February 1, 1701, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was increased to two battalions. It initially served in Upper Guelderland. In 1702, the first battalion fought in the Battle of Friedlingen while the second battalion garrisoned Ostend. In 1703, the first battalion took part in the siege of Kehl, in the attack on the Lines of Stollhofen, in the passage of the defiles of Hornberg, in the Bavarian expedition in Tyrol, in the capture of Kufstein, in the attack of Rotenberg and in the capture of Innsbruck, Kempten and Augsburg; the second battalion still garrisoned Ostend. In 1704, the depot of the regiment was formed into a third battalion; the second battalion took part in the siege of Villingen. On 13 August, the first and second battalions fought in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim. In 1705, the regiment served in Alsace; in 1706, it took part in the blockade of Fort-Louis, in the capture of Drusenheim, in the submission of Lauterbourg and Haguenau, and in the conquest of the Marquisat Island. In 1707, the regiment was transferred to Flanders. In 1708, it took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. In 1709, it was posted at Scherbach on the Lauter. A detachment of the regiment took part in the combat de Rumersheim. In 1710 and 1711, the regiment remained in the Lines of the Lauter and in Lauterbourg. In 1712, the regiment served in Alsace. In 1713, it took part in the sieges of Laudau and Freiburg.
On January 1, 1714, the regiment incorporated the remnants of the disbanded Montereau Infanterie.
In 1733, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment served in Italy, taking part in the capture of Gera d'Adda, Pizzighetone and the Castle of Milan. In 1734, it contributed to the capture of Tortona and Novarra, fought in the Battle of San Pietro, and took part in the submission of Modena and in the sanguinary Battle of Guastalla. In 1735, it was at the sieges of Reggiolo and Gonzague.
In 1736, the regiment returned to France where it was stationed at Collioure.
In 1741 and 1742, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in Flanders. In 1743, it was transferred to Alsace and fought in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it took part in the recapture of Weissembourg, in the combats of Augenheim and Reichewaux and in the siege of Freiburg. In 1745, it served in Bavaria, taking part in the combat of Pfaffenhofen. In 1746, it was sent to the defence of Provence. In 1747, it distinguished itself in the attack on the entrenchments of the Col d'Assiette.
On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 38th and was under the command of:
- from August 22, 1743: Charles-Claude-Andrault de Maulévrier, Marquis de Langeron
- from May 7, 1758 to January 3, 1770: Charles-René, Comte Maillé de La Tour-Landry
Service during the War
In May 1757, a corps under Chevert left Neuss to join the Army of the Lower Rhine at Breda for the planned invasion of Hanover. This corps consisted of Vaubécourt Infanterie, Condé Infanterie and Rochefoucauld-Langeac Cavalerie. At the end of June, the regiment was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' main corps. On July 1, again under Chevert, a corps consisting of Picardie Infanterie (4 bns), Vaubécourt Infanterie (2 bns), Condé Infanterie (2 bns), one regiment of Grenadiers Royaux (2 bns), the Carabiniers and 20 guns left Bielefeld. On July 2, they arrived at Hervorden from where they left for Hoya on July 8. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the centre under the Marquis de Contades. After this victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. It then took part in the conquest of Hanover with the Maréchal de Richelieu. In October, the regiment was part of the reinforcements sent to the Prince de Soubise. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Touraine Infanterie in Saint-Germain's Corps. After the defeat, it returned to the Army of Hanover. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army at Schladen and Wiehdela.
In January 1758, the regiment took part in the surprise attack on Halbertstadt and in the attack on Quedlinburg. In February, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in West Germany, it retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. 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 placed in the second line at Wachtendonk. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's Army on May 31, it did not join Clermont's Army at Rheinberg but was rather deployed at an unspecified location. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the first line under Lorges. 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 Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the first line.
By May 10, 1759, the regiment was part of the corps under the command of the Comte de Noailles who had taken position near Deutz on the right bank of the Rhine. In June, 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 of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed at the extreme left of the first line of the infantry left wing under the command of Guerchy. For most of the day, it sustained the attacks of Hanoverian regiments but was saved by the intervention of the Saxon troops. In this battle, the regiment lost Captain de Mézières and Lieutenants Chartron and Larmandrie, killed; the Colonel-Lieutenant Comte de Maillé, Lieutenant-Colonel de Laborde, Captains du Broca, de Vilson, Daix, Saint-Montan, La Devèze, Ronchaux, de Vesins, du Bouzet, de Lincé and four lieutenants, wounded. The decimated regiment was sent to garrison Kassel.
By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army along the Rhine and the Main from its mouth. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Bingen, in the third line of the French army. By May 23, the regiment was part of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Witzenhausen.
At the beginning of February 1761, the regiment was posted in the neighbourhood of Kassel. In March, it took part in the defence of Kassel. On March 7, it distinguished itself in a sortie where Captain de Salgues was severely wounded. By mid-April, the regiment was part of Gantès's Corps which was posted in the region of Friedberg, Butzbach and Assenheim. In June, the regiment was transferred to the Army of the Lower Rhine under Soubise. At the opening of the campaign, the regiment joined the Corps de Réserve under the command of the Prince de Condé. On July 16, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen, where it formed part of La Reine Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre. From September 30 to October 3, the regiment took part in the Siege of Meppen. In November, it was in the district of Meurs, Ürdingen, Linn, Krefeld and Rheinberg.
In March 1762, the regiment was allocated to the Army of the Lower Rhine unde the Prince de Condé. By mid-April, the regiment was part of the Corps de Réserve. On August 25, the regiment took part in the Engagement of Grüningen, where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry centre. In December, when the French army evacuated Germany, the regiment was directed on Valenciennes and was later placed in garrison in the town of Condé.
In May 1763, the regiment was transferred to Givet.
|Coat||grey-white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
|Waistcoat||red with one row of copper buttons|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Drummers wore the livery of the House of Bourbon Condé: chamois yellow laced and lined red. The arms on the drums had an azure field with three golden fleurs de lys couped by a small red baston (de France au bâton péri en bande de gueules).
Colonel colour: white field with a white cross
Ordonnance colours (from 1740 to 1780): red and ventre de biche opposed cantons and a white cross
For the larger part of its existence (from 1659 to 1740 and 1780 to 1791), this regiment carried a different Ordonnance colour: blue and ventre de biche opposed cantons 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. 1-19
Anon.: Manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I", Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
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.