Dauphin Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years' War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Dauphin Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on November 1, 1661, at the birth of Louis de France, Louis XIV's son and Dauphin de France (hereditary prince of France). On 24 March 1668, after the conquest of Franche-Comté, the old Compagnies d'ordonnance were incorporated into the regiment at La Bassée.

On May 14, 1668, the regiment was reduced to a single company, but was soon re-established to six companies in April 1669.

In 1672, at the beginning of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78). the regiment was present at the capture of Orsoy, Rheinberg and Duisburg. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht; in 1664, in the Battle of Seneffe; in 1675, in the reduction of Dinant, Huy and Limbourg; in 1676, in the sieges of Condé, Bouchain and Aire and in the relief of Maastricht; in 1677, in the capture of Valenciennes and Cambrai; and in 1678, in the capture of Ghent and Ypres, and in the Battle of Saint-Denis.

In 1680, the regiment was at the camp of Artois; and in 1681 and 1682, at the camp of the Sarre. In 1684, it covered the siege of Luxembourg.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment took part in the siege of Philippsburg; in 1689, in the relief of Mainz; in 1690, in the campaign on the Rhine; in 1691, in the siege of Mons; and in 1692, in the sieges of Mons and Charleroi, and in the Battle of Steenkerque. From 1693 to 1697, it served in Germany.

In 1701, at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was initially sent to the Army of the Rhine but was soon transferred to Northern Italy where it took part in the Battle of Chiari. In 1702, it participated in the defence of Cremona, in the Battle of Luzzara and in the siege of Guastalla; in 1703, in the engagement of the Mirandola; in 1704, in the covering of the sieges of Vercelli and Verrua; and in 1706, in the battles of Calcinato and Turin. In 1707, the regiment campaigned in Swabia and Franconia. In 1708, the regiment took part in Battle of Oudenarde; in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet; in 1711, in the night attack on Hompesch's Corps. In 1712, the regiment served in the Lines of the Lauter where it remained till the end of the year. In 1713, it took part in the siege of Landau.

In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20), the regiment assisted to the sieges of Fuenterrabia, San Sebastian and Roses.

In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment served in Italy. In 1734, it was at the battles of Colorno, San Pietro and Guastalla. In 1735, it contributed to the capture of Gonzague, Reggiolo, Revere and Governolo. In 1736, it returned to France and took its quarters at Caen.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was initially stationed on the Meuse. In 1742 and 1743, it took part in the campaigns in Bohemia. In 1744, it was back at Suffelsheim. In 1745, it joined the French army operating in Italy and took part in the sieges of Acqui, Tortona, Novara, Piacenza, Pavia, Alessandria, Valencia and Casale and fought in the battles of Piacenza and Rottofreddo. By 1746, it had retreated to Valence in Provence.

In 1749, the regiment was stationed at Issoire, in 1750 at Vesoul, in 1751 at Landau, in 1752 at Dôle, in 1754 at Colmar, and in 1755 on the Moselle.

The regiment counted 2 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the Dauphin was the Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:

  • from July 11, 1753 until March 1, 1763: Gabriel-Marie de Talleyrand, Comte de Périgord

When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1, 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons. The 2 additional squadrons came from Dauphin-Étranger Cavalerie which was incorporated into the Dauphin Cavalerie.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was initially quartered in Lille. It then joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was among the cavalry of the right wing. After the victory, it encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. After the Convention of Klosterzeven, it followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. In this camp, the regiment was placed on the left wing of the first line. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army in the city of Hanover.

From March 30 to April 4, 1758, after the retreat of the French army towards the Rhine, the regiment was with Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the first line of the right wing. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed at Sonsbeck near Xanten. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the army of Ferdinand of Brunswick on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It remained in this camp until June 12. It was placed on the right wing of the first line. 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 Fitzjames. 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 now under Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the left wing of the first line. At the beginning of October, the regiment was attached to Chevert's Corps which was sent to reinforce Soubise's Army in Hesse. On October 10, it was at the Battle of Lutterberg where it formed part of Chevert's Corps who won the day by turning the Allied left flank.

By December 30, 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Ergershaus.

By March 1762, the regiment formed part of the Army of the Upper Rhine. On June 24, the regiment was present at the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. By mid-July, it was posted near Deiderode. On November 20, when Louis XV issued his instructions regarding the French armies serving in Germany, specifying which units should return to France right away and which should stay in Germany till the final evacuation, the regiment was among the units which would remain in Germany. It was posted on the Meuse.

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 – Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761
completed when necessary as per Funcken and Mouillard
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
Neckstock probably a black cravate
Coat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761) with pewter buttons arranged 3 by 3 on both sides and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder straps white epaulets (as per Mouillard)
Lapels none (red in 1761)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red (blue from 1761)
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black soft boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with an aurore (light orange) braid flecked with blue
Housings blue bordered with an aurore (light orange) braid flecked with blue
Blanket roll n/a


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.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
  • brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs

Musicians

King's Livery - Source: PMPdeL

Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a blue coat heavily laced with braids at the King's livery alternating with silver braids.

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; fleurs de lys and dolphins embroidered in gold and silver in each corner


Tentative Reconstruction
Regimental Standard - Copyright: Kronoskaf


References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 164-170
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 342-343

Other sources

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

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

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

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

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.