Lastic de Saint-Jal Cavalerie
Origin and History
The regiment was raised on December 7 1665, from the Thury Free Company. Disbanded in 1668, to the exception of its Mestre de camp company, the regiment was re-established in 1671.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment distinguished itself under the Comte de Ruffey and later under the Comte de Marcillac.
At the beginning of the War of the Polish Succession, in 1733, the regiment initially served on the Rhine. In 1734, the Comte de Vogüe bought the regiment who was transferred to the Italian theatre of operation.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in the successive campaigns in Flanders from 1742 to 1745. In 1744, the Comte de Vogüe sold it to the Comte de Lastic de Saint Jal. In 1747, it served in Provence.
In 1756, the regiment ranked 40th and counted two squadrons.
In 1759, the ownership of the regiment returned to the House of Vogüe.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was successively commanded by:
- since 1744: François, Comte de Lastic Saint-Jal
- from May 1759 to December 1 1761: Charles, Marquis de Vogüé
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was incorporated into Royal Cavalerie. However, effective incorporation took place only on April 19 1763 at Guise.
Service during the War
Somewhere between August 23 and September 6 1757, the regiment joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach. On September 27, it was brigaded with Fitz-James Cavalerie under M. de Saint-Jal in the second line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Bezons Cavalerie and Condé Cavalerie in Saint-Germain's Corps. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the area of Büdingen 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. 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 the retreat of the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the Army of the Lower Rhine 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 right 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 was part of Chevert's Corps which won the day by turning the Allied left flank. At the end of the year, the promotion of M. de Lastic Comte de Saint-Jal obliged him to abandon his charge of mestre-de-camp. The charge of his former cavalry regiment was sold to Charles, Marquis de Vogüé, lieutenant-general who bought it for his son Cerice François Melchior de Vogüé called the comte de Vogüé. The marquis also bought a company of the same regiment for his second son Florimont called the Chevalier de Vogüé.
At the beginning of April 1759, the Comte de Vogüé and the Chevalier de Vogüé joined the army in Germany. They soon saw fire at the Battle of Bergen fought on April 13. Vogüé Cavalerie formed part of the second line of cavalry of the centre deployed back to the Warterberg and commanded by the Comte de Beaupréau. It didn't suffered too much with only one man wounded and one horse killed. After this battle, the Marquis de Contades, who planned to invade Westphalia, recalled some regiments, among which Vogüé Cavalerie, from the army corps of the Duc de Broglie reducing it to a simple reserve corps. Vogüé cavalry was brigaded with Colonel Général, Descars Cavalerie|Descars]], and Dauphin-Étranger on the left wing, under the command of Lieutenant-General Charles, Marquis de Vogüé. In June, during the offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of Contades. 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. Cerice de Vogüé, its mestre-de-camp, was seriously wounded and captured by the Allies. The regiment suffered terribly with 3 officers dead or prisoners, six others wounded. After the battle, the regiment had only 120 horses remaining compared to 280 horses at the opening of the campaign. On August 15, during the French retreat, the regiment, who was now too weak to serve adequately, was sent to the rear at Marburg where it arrived on August 19. This cavalry regiment along with Colonel Général, Mestre de camp Général, Condé, Marcieux and Talleyrand, who had all terribly suffered at Minden, were then sent back to France.
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 and black cockade on the tricorne
- coat, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (red woollen braid with dark green chain link stitches)
- grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid (red woollen braid with green 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 (most probably depicting the uniform before the reform of 1741):
- a white cockade on the tricorne
- grey white lapels and shoulder strap
- 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:
- gold laced tricorne
- 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
The liveries of the Houses of Lastic de Saint Jal and Vogüe are unknown.
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): crimson field embroidered and fringed in gold
- obverse: centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a golden scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” in black letters
- reverse: centre device consisting of a scene depicting a golden rooster with a raised leg standing on an earth mound covered with flowers and surrounded by a blue stream; the frame of the central cartridge was ochre and sky blue; above the central scene, a golden scroll laced and fringed gold wearing the motto "Vigi lans et Audax"
One of these standards was captured in 1759 (probably at Minden). It can still be seen at the Badisches Landesmuseum of Karlsruhe.
This article is mostly derived from an original article published by Jean-Louis Vial on his website Nec Pluribus Impar. Mr. Vial has kindly authorised us to translate and reproduce his article.
The article also 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. 325
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.