La Reine Cavalerie
Origin and History
The regiment was raised on July 4 1643, after the death of Louis XIII, under the name of “Reine Mère” by the Regent Anne d'Autriche. Its 12 original companies came from Maugiron, Fruges, Saillant, Bailleul, Saint-Hérem, Lenoncourt, Vancellas, Baradat, Maugiron fils, Saint-Martin, Polignac, and Boury.
On January 20 1666, the regiment was renamed “La Reine”.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1734.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the campaigns in Bohemia from 1742 to 1744. In 1745, it was in Swabia. From 1746 to 1748, it served in Flanders.
In 1749, the regiment was stationed in Rennes, in 1750 in Hesdin, in 1751 in Saint-Maixent, in 1752 at Strasbourg, in 1753 at Orléans, in 1754 in Châteaudun, and in 1755 in Douai.
The regiment counted 2 squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the queen was the Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:
- since March 6 1743: Comte de Gallifet
- from February 10 1759 to March 13 1771: Marquis de Tourny
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons. The 2 additional squadrons came from Saint-Aldegonde Cavalerie who was incorporated into La Reine Cavalerie.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was initially stationed at Limoges. By August 1, it had joined the French army in Germany. On November 5, it was at the Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with the Bourbon-Busset Cavalerie and Fitz-James Cavalerie. This brigade was placed in the first line of the left wing. At the end of the year, the regiment took its winter-quarters in Kempen on the Lower Rhine, in the fourth line of the French army.
In April 1758, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Issum and Kerken. 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, where it was placed on the right wing of the first line, until June 12. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the right wing of the first line, under Armentières. 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 under Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allies. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the right wing of the first line.
At the end of May 1759, when the French Army of the Rhine launched its offensive in Western Germany, the regiment remained on the Rhine as part of the corps of the Marquis d'Armentières.
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 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the second line of the centre. It was later stationed at Saint-Mihiel.
To do: details on the 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||probably a black cravate|
|Coat||red lined royal blue (lined red in 1761) with 11 pewter buttons and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons|
|Breeches||kid (goat leather)|
|Greatcoat||red lined royal blue (lined red in 1761)|
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 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
Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a black tricorne laced silver, and a red coat heavily laced with braids at the queen's livery (blue braids decorated with interlaced white cords of a pattern similar to that of the king's Livery).
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field fringed in gold and silver; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; sown with golden fleur de lys; 4 queen Marie's crowned monogram embroidered in gold and silver (1 on each side of the centre device)
This 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, pp. 341-342
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
Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757, Service Historique de l'armée de terre
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.