Fumel Cavalerie

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on September 16, 1652 by the Duc de Candale to serve in the Army of Catalonia.

In 1654, the regiment was present at the capture of Villafranca, Roses and Puigcerdà. In 1655, it served in Picardie. In 1656, it returned to Catalonia and continued to serve on the frontier of the Pyrenees until the end of the war. On July 20, 1660, the regiment was reduced to a single company.

On December 7, 1665, the regiment was re-established to four companies to serve with the Army of Roussillon. In 1668, it was sent to Franche-Comté. On May 24, 1668, it was once more reduced to a single company.

On August 9, 1671, the regiment was re-established to full strength. In 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), it served in the Low Countries. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht, in 1674, in the conquest of Franche-Comté. The same year, it was ceded to the Marquis de Biran (later known as Maréchal de Roquelaure) and was transferred to Germany where it took part in the combats of Landenburg, Sinsheim and Entzheim. In 1675, it participated in the battles of Türkheim and Altenheim; in 1676, in the affair of Kokersberg; in 1677, in the siege of Freiburg; and in 1678, in the capture of Rheinfeld, Kehl, Lichtemberg and in the combat of Kinzig.

In 1679, the regiment was disbanded and its mestre-de-camp company was incorporated into Royal-Piémont Cavalerie.

On October 20, 1683, M. de Roquelaure was authorised to re-establish the regiment under the name of "Armagnac Cavalerie". Its mestre-de-camp company was removed from Royal-Piémont Cavalerie and formed the kernel of the new regiment. On January 15, 1684, the regiment was officially incorporated in the army under the name of "Roquelaure Cavalerie".

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment at the camp of the Saône. In 1689, it campaigned in Germany. In 1690, it was transferred to Flanders where it fought in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, it took part in the Battle of Leuze; in 1692, in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen. In 1694, the regiment was transferred to the Rhine where it served until the end of the war.

In 1699, the regiment was at the camp near Landau.

In 1701, at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was posted on the Rhine, but was soon transferred to the Moselle. In January 1702, it embarked at Toulon for Genoa and then marched to the Duchy of Milan to join the army of the Duc de Vendôme. In 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Calcinato. In 1707, it returned to France and was sent to Flanders. In 1708, it took part in the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1713, in the siege of Landau.

In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment, then known as "Peyre" took part in the siege of Kehl; and in 1735, in the Battle of Clausen. It was then quartered in Gray.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment, then known as "Vintimille", was initially stationed in Flanders. In 1743, it joined the Army of the Rhine and fought in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it was allocated to the Army of the Moselle and took part in the combat of Saverne. In 1746, the regiment was at the camp of the Sarre River to pin down the enemy during the siege of Mons. It then joined the Army of Flanders and took part in the sieges of Charleroi and Namur and in the Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, it was transferred to Provence. In 1748, it returned to Flanders and took part in the siege of Maastricht.

In 1749, the regiment was ceded to Joseph, Marquis de Fumel. In 1750, it was stationed at Givet and then Neufchâteau; in 1753, at Sarrelouis; in 1754, at Dôle and Marnay; and in 1755, at Rocroi.

In 1756, the regiment counted two squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • from February 1, 1749 to March 1, 1763: Joseph, 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 and Faverney

In 1757, the regiment was initially stationed at Longwy. It later joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées at Neuss 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.

In February 1761, the regiment was quartered in the region of Liège. It was then attached to de Muy's Corps, which was sent as reinforcement to the Duc de Broglie. At the beginning of June, it had rejoined the Army of the Lower Rhine. On July 16, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen. On October 9, it fought in an engagement near Halle.

On June 24, 1762, the regiment was present at the Battle of Wilhelmsthal, where it covered the retreat of the army.

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1758 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761

completed when necessary as per Raspe
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
Collar none
Shoulder straps regimental lace with a small pewter button
Lapels red, each with 8 pewter buttons arranged 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a pewter button
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat grey white lined red
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff leather
Waistbelt buff leather
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear soft black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with the regimental lace (yellow woolen braid with a red stripe)
Housings blue bordered with the regimental lace (yellow woolen braid with a red stripe)
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.

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

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

Musicians

no information available yet

Standards (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”.

Fumel Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Copyright Kronoskaf

References

The 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. 123-129
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 336-337

Other sources

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.