Conty Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Conty Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was created on October 4, 1692 and took the name of the Province of Barrois. It was among the twelve infantry regiments created on the same date, designated by the name of various provinces of France. The regiment was formed with one battalion (La Robinière) of Champagne Infanterie

In 1693, during the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of the Alps and fought in the Battle of Marsaglia. In 1695, it was transferred from the frontier of Italy to Catalonia. In 1696, it took part in the relief of Palamos; and in 1697, in the siege of Barcelona.

On 1 February 1701, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment, which initially counted a single battalion, was increased to two battalions and attached to the Army of Flanders. In 1702, it took part in the affair of Nijmegen; in 1703, in the courageous defence of Huy where it was taken prisoners of war but soon exchanged and sent to Spain. In 1704, it campaigned in Portugal, taking part in the siege of Castelo Branco and in the capture of Salvatierra, Segura, Ponha-Grazzia, Ucepedo, Cebreros, Idanha-a-Nova, Portalegre, Castelo de Vide and Montalvão. In 1705, it participated in the unsuccessful siege of Gibraltar and in the relief of Badajoz; in 1706, in the siege of Barcelona and in the capture of Cartagena; in 1707, in the Battle of Almansa and in the siege of Lérida; and in 1708, in the siege of Tortosa. In July 1709, it was recalled to Roussillon. In 1710, it campaigned in Dauphiné. In 1711, it was sent to Flanders where it took part in the Combat of Arleux. In 1712, it was at the recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain.

On November 14, 1713, the regiment was given to Louis-Armand de Bourbon, Prince de Conty and took the name of “Conty Infanterie”. In 1714, it was reduced to a single battalion.

In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20), the regiment campaigned in the Pyrenees, taking part in the sieges of Fuentarrabía, San Sebastian and Urgell.

In 1727, the regiment took part in the training camp on the Sambre.

In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was attached to the Army of Germany and served at the siege of Kehl. In 1734, it took part in the attack of the Lines of Ettlingen, in the siege of Philisbourg and in the battle of Klausen.

On December 16, 1735, the regiment was increased to two battalions.

In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was deployed on the Neckar. In 1744, it was sent to the Alps where it took part in the passage of the valley of Château-Dauphin and in the attacks on the entrenchments of Pont and Pierrelongue, in the capture of Château-Dauphin and Démont, in the sieges of Tortona, Asti and Coni, and in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo. In 1745, it was taken as prisoners of war at Asti. In 1746, it was exchanged. In 1747, it campaigned in Languedoc. In 1748, it was at the camp of Sospello.

In 1755, the regiment took part in the camp of the Sambre.

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

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 97th and was under the nominal command of Louis-François de Bourbon, Prince the Conty. However, in the field, it was commanded by successive colonels-lieutenants:

  • from July 19, 1744: Louis-Hector de Sérilly, Marquis de Sailly
  • from December 7, 1759 to April 26, 1764: Louis des Acres, Comte de Laigle

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was selected to take part in the planned invasion of Hanover. On March 26, it passed by Bruxelles on its way to join the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées at Stockheim. On April 24, attached to the vanguard led by the Prince de Beauvau, it occupied Münster. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' main corps. During the march towards Hameln, the regiment was charged to escort part of the artillery and the mobile hospital. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it formed part of the right wing under d'Armentières. On August 16, the regiment was among the force sent by the Duc de Richelieu to occupy the Duchy of Brunswick who had submitted to the French domination. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in the second line of the French Army in the town of Hannover.

In February 1758, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched a winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the first 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 stationed at Apeltorn and Marienbaum near Xanten. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's army on May 31, the regiment did not join Clermont's Army at Rheinberg but was rather deployed at an unspecified location. On August 5, its two grenadier companies were detached from Cologne to form part of Chavigny's advanced guard and participated in the Combat of Mehr where they were engaged in the fighting inside the village. In September, the regiment returned to France.

From 1759, the regiment served on the coasts of France until the end of the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes Militaires 1758,
and Etat militaire 1761
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock black
Coat grey-white
Collar none (blue in 1761)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs red open (???) cuffs (manche ouverte), each with 3 pewter buttons

blue cuffs in 1761

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

n/a

Musicians

Drummers wore a buff coat lined blue; blue cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced (as per the work of Beneton in 1739) with the white and blue (or entirely blue) braid of the House of Conty.

Colours

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance colours: a white cross with red and isabelle (coffee) opposed cantons. The ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1713 to 1776.

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 7, pp. 230-237

Other sources

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

Service historique de l'armée de terre, Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23