Milices frontalières

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Milices frontalières

Origin and History

Some regions on the frontier had their own organisation for militia. This was the case for:

  • the Milice du Boulonnais: three battalions (only two were ready for service). They were disbanded on February 28, 1761. Each battalion consisted of:
    • 12 fusilier companies, each of:
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 34 fusiliers
    • 1 grenadier company of
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 39 grenadiers
  • the Milice du Roussillon: disbanded on February 15, 1761
    • Perpignan Regiment, consisting of two battalions, each of 10 companies of:
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 44 fusiliers
    • three other battalions in various places, totalling 34 companies, each of:
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 34 fusiliers
    • one company in the Castle of Salces, of:
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 44 fusiliers
  • the Milice du Béarn: disbanded on March 4, 1761. It consisted of one battalion of:
    • 12 fusilier companies, each of:
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 34 fusiliers
    • 1 grenadier company of
      • 2 officers
      • 5 NCOs
      • 1 drummer
      • 39 grenadiers
  • the Milice du Briançonnais: three battalions which were not called to arms
  • the Milice de Gramont, Basse-Navarre, Soule et Labour: two battalions totalling 25 companies, each of:
    • 2 officers
    • 5 NCOs
    • 1 drummer
    • 44 fusiliers
  • the Milice du Pays Messin (Metz)

Service during the War

No mention of these militias has been found yet in the relations of the various campaigns of the Seven Years’ War.

Uniform

We have not yet found any mention of the uniforms of these militias. The following section assumed that these uniforms were similar to those of the Milices provinciales.

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
the ordonnance of November 25 1746
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Neckstock black
Coat grey-white with pewter buttons of the right side and 1 pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar blue collar
Shoulder Straps no information found
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets,each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs grey-white with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks grey-white when basques were turned back which was not always the case
Waistcoat white with pewter buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters white for campaigning (black for parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box red or black leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


Armaments consisted of a musket and a sword.

Officers

The uniforms of officers were laced silver and they wore silver gorgets.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • sergeants: cuffs edged in silver or ornamented with 3 agréments
  • corporals: cuffs edged in white and ornamented with 3 white frogs
  • ansepessades: cuffs edged in white

Sergeants were armed with a spontoon.

Musicians

The drummers of the militia battalions wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: Maison de la Découverte des Plaines d'Abraham


Colours

These militia battalions probably carried two colours, like the Milices provinciales did since 1749: a white colonel colour and an ordonnance colour.

Colonel colour: white field carrying the white cross

Ordonnance colour: no information found yet

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf


References

This article contains text translated from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin, 1903, Appendix 1