Lorraine Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Lorraine Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was created on February 21 1684.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment occupied Lorraine in 1733. In 1734, it was at Philippsburg and in 1735 at Klausen.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders in 1742. In 1743, it was sent to Bavaria. From 1744 to 1745, it was stationed in Alsace. In 1746 and 1747, it served in Flanders where it took part in the battles of Rocoux (October 11 1746) and Lauffeld (July 2 1747).

The regiment initially counted two battalions but an ordonnance, dated November 10 1756, brought it up to three battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 69th and was under the command of:

  • since December 1 1745: Marquis de Caux
  • from 1759: Marquis d'Aubigny

Service during the War

An ordonnance, dated November 10 1756, stipulated that the second battalion of the regiment would be sent to India and instructed to increase the effective strength of the regiment to 1,080 men (excluding officers) organised as follows:

  • staff (including a commander and an aide-major for the second battalion)
  • 2 battalions of 540 men (excluding officers), each consisting of:
  • 8 companies of fusiliers, each of:
    • 3 officers
      • 1 captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 1 sub-lieutenant (carrying the colour if the company had one)
    • 60 men
      • 3 sergeants
      • 4 corporals
      • 4 anspessades (lance-corporals)
      • 48 fusiliers
      • 1 drummer
  • 1 company of grenadiers of:
    • 3 officers
      • 1 captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 1 sub-lieutenant
    • 60 men
      • 3 sergeants
      • 4 corporals
      • 4 anspessades (lance-corporals)
      • 48 grenadiers
      • 1 drummer

Furthermore, for service in India, the second battalion would be split into two distinct battalions (2nd and 3rd).

For the duration of the Seven Years' War, the 1st battalion remained in Europe. The 2nd and 3rd were sent to the East Indies in 1757.

First Battalion

The 1st battalion remained in Europe during the entire war.

By August 1 1757, the battalion was stationed on Belle-Isle in Bretagne.

Second and Third Battalions

On March 6 1757, the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the regiment left Brest on board a squadron under the command of Admiral d'Aché to reinforce the French posts in India. The fleet pursued by British men-of-war loitered on the voyage to Île de France (present-day Mauritius). It then took three months on his passage to the Coast of Coromandel in India.

On April 25 1758, d'Aché's squadron finally arrived before the British Fort St-David. The 2nd and 3rd battalions (a total of 983 men) then took part in the operations on the Coast of Coromandel. On April 30, these battalions were part of M. de Soupire's force who joined d'Estaing for the siege of Fort St. David until its capitulation on June 2. On December 9, the two battalions were at the Battle of Condore.

In 1759, they took part in the unsuccessful siege of Madras.

On January 22 1760, 400 men of the regiment took part in the Battle of Wandewash. On March 11, they were retiring towards the boundary hedge of Pondicherry when they were charged with spirit by the Madras European Regiment dragoons and thrown into considerable confusion, having several men sabred. From September to January 1761, they took part in the defence of Pondicherry.

In 1761, after the surrender of Pondicherry, the 2nd and 3rd battalions returned to France.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
and Etat militaire 1761

completed where necessary according to the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli's plate
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold (laced silver in 1761) with a black cockade (white cockade as per Taccoli)
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold (laced silver in 1761) with a black cockade
Neck stock black
Coat grey-white line grey-white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collar none (white in 1761)
N.B.: the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli both illustrate a grey-white collar
Shoulder Straps grey-white fastened with a small copper button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs grey-white, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none but the skirts of the coat could easily be turned back for action, thus exposing the lining
Waistcoat red with two rows of small copper buttons; horizontal pockets with small copper buttons
Breeches grey-white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Waistbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard black with a white metal tip
Scabbard black


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

Officers

n/a

Musicians

Drummer of Lorraine Infanterie - Source: Jean-Pierre Loriot

The drummers of the regiment wore the livery of the House of Lorraine: a chamois coat with chamois turnbacks and black cuffs; and chamois breeches. The coat was heavily decorated with yellow laces.

The drum barrel was decorated with alternating blue, black and chamois triangles; the rims were decorated with blue, black and chamois rectangles; white cords.

Colours

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance colours: green and linen grey cantons and a white cross. The ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1684 to 1762.

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

References

Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: 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

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Service Historique de l'armée de terre - Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757

Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

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