Origin and History
The regiment was raised on September 16 1652 to serve in the Army of Catalonia.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment was stationed at Gray in 1735.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served on the Moselle from 1742 to 1744. In 1746, it operated on the Sarre before being transferred to Provence in 1747. Finally, in 1748, it took part in the last campaign of Flanders.
In 1750, the regiment was stationed at Givet; in 1753, at Sarrelouis; in 1754, at Dôle; and in 1755, at Rocroi.
In 1756, the regiment counted two squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since February 1 1749 till March 1 1763: Marquis de Fumel
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was amalgamated with Bourbon-Busset Cavalerie to form a new regiment: Royal-Picardie Cavalerie.
Service during the War
At the outbreak of the war, in 1756, the regiment was stationed at Lure.
In 1757, the regiment was initially stationed at Longwy. It later joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées and took part in the invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' main corps. 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. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Goch on the Lower Rhine, in the fourth line of the French army.
From March 30 to April 4 1758, the regiment was with the Army of the Comte de Clermont in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the second line of the right wing. In April when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in Alpen. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the Allied 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 and was placed on the right wing of the second line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the right wing of the second line, under Sourches. 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 the Marquis de Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow up the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the right 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 the Marquis de Contades and was deployed in the first line of the cavalry left wing. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the cavalry centre under the command of the Duc de FitzJames. By August 15 during the French retreat, the regiment, who had suffered heavily at Minden, could field only a single squadron.
By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the fourth line of the French army between the Rhine and the Main on the left bank of the Rhine. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Klein-Gerau, in the fourth line of the French army. By May 23, the regiment was part of the first line of the cavalry left wing of Broglie's Army. On July 10, the regiment was probably attached to Prince Camille's Cavalry Corps who arrived too late to take part in the Combat of Corbach.
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 (red woolen braid with yellow chain link stitches)
- grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (red woolen braid with yellow chain link stitches)
- only 3 buttons on each cuff and on each pocket
Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757:
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- a black red and white aiguillette on the left shoulder
- a grey white shoulder strap on the left shoulder
- 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): green 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. 336-337
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.