Origin and History
The regiment was raised on February 3 1652.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Italy from 1733 to 1735.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders in 1742. In 1744, it was transferred to Provence and took post in the Comté de Nice. In 1745, it served on the Rhine. In 1746 and 1747, it campaigned in Flanders. In 1748, it was transferred to the Italian theatre of operation.
In 1755, the regiment was stationed at Aimeries.
In 1756, the regiment ranked 45th and counted two squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since January 26 1747: Duc de Crussol
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into Orléans Cavalerie. Effective incorporation took place only on March 21 1763 at Valenciennes.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was sent to reinforce the Army of the Lower Rhine who had proceeded to the invasion of Hanover. It joined the main body in Hessen in August. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Kirchain in Hessen.
At the beginning of June 1758, the regiment left its winter-quarters in the County of Hanau to reinforce the Army of the Comte de Clermont on the Lower Rhine. By June 12, it was still on its way. By June 23, it had joined Clermont's Army and took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the second line, under de Muy. In Mid August, after the retreat of Ferdinand of Brunswick to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the Army of the Lower Rhine now under the Marquis de Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the left wing of the second line.
In June 1759, during the offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of Contades and was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing. On August 1, it fought in the Battle of Minden where it formed part of the Royal Étranger Brigade placed in the second line of the cavalry centre under the command of du Mesnil.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the Reserve of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of M. d'Auvet. On July 10, the regiment might have been attached to Prince Camille's Cavalry Corps who arrived too late to take part in the Combat of Corbach. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the second line of the centre. By October 1, the regiment was part of d'Auvet's Division which was instructed to march towards Hachenburg. On October 10, the regiment reached the Erft and Neuss.
To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762
|Headgear||black tricorne (reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat) laced silver, with a black cockade on the left side fastened with a black silk strap and a small pewter button|
|Neck stock||black cravate|
|Coat||grey white lined red with 4 pewter buttons under the right lapel and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons|
|Greatcoat||grey white lined red|
Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They were also supposed to wear a breastplate under their coat during battle but this regulation was not always followed.
Evolution of the uniform during the war
Throughout the war the French cavalry uniform seems to have evolved significantly. Our only primary source for the uniform at the start of the conflict is the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753. The first primary pictorial evidence comes from Raspe in 1761. Here we present various interpretations of the evolution of the uniform.
Raspe's illustration depicting the uniform towards the end of 1760 shows the following evolutions:
- a white rosette on the tricorne
- coat, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (woollen braid with 2 rows of violet and white squares)
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- only 3 buttons on each pocket
- no shoulder strap
- grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (woollen braid with 2 rows of violet and white squares)
- grey white breeches
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757 (more probably depicting the uniform of 1748):
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- grey white lapels
- yellow buttons
- only 3 buttons on each cuff
- red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- no shoulder strap
- no turnbacks
- no lace on the coat and waistcoat
- Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
- brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs
no information available yet
Colours (in 1753)
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field embroidered and fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”.
The 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, p. 353
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Lienhart, Docteur and René Humbert: Les uniformes des armées françaises”, Leipzig
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1761
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.