Origin and History
The regiment was created on September 7, 1684 and took the name of the province of Périgord. Indeed, expecting a Coalition to soon form against France, Louis XIV raised 30 new regiments from September 1 to 30 for the defence of the various places of the realm. By raising one regiment a day, he avoided any problem of precedence among these new regiments. The regiment initially garrisoned places in Northern France.
In 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of the Alps. The same year, it contributed to the capture of Cahours, fought in the Battle of Staffarda and participated in the submission of Saluzzo, Barges and Susa. In 1691, it took part in the sieges of Villefranche, Montalban, Nice, Veillane, Carmagnola and Montmélian. In 1692, the regiment was transferred to Flanders where it participated in the capture of Namur, in the Battle of Steenkerque and in the bombardment of Charleroi. In 1693, it served on the Rhine. At the end of 1694, it returned to Piedmont and was placed in garrison in Pinerolo where it remained until 1696. In 1696, it took part in the siege of Valenza before being transferred to Catalonia. In 1697, it opened the trenches in front of Barcelona.
In December 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was sent to Italy. On 1 February 1701, the regiment, which initially counted a single battalion, was increased to two battalions. These two battalions served independently for most of the war. In 1701, the first battalion took part in the Battle of Chiari; in 1702, in the Battle of Luzzara and in the capture of Luzzara, Guastalla and Borgoforte; in 1704, in storming of the entrenchments of Stradella, in the combat of Castelnuovo de Bormia, in the capture of Nago, Arco, Asti and Villanova d’Asti, and in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the Battle of Cassano; and in 1706, in the siege and battle of Turin. In 1707, the first battalion was sent to Spain where it contributed to the capture of the city and castle of Lérida. In 1708, it took part in the engagement of Falcete, in the siege of Tortosa and in the capture of Ager. In 1710, the first battalion was sent to Dauphiné and returned to Spain before the end of the year to take part in the siege and capture of Girona. In 1711 and 1712, the first battalion campaigned once more in Dauphiné where it remained in the camp of Sault-d'Oulx.
Meanwhile, from 1701 to 1713, the second battalion assumed garrison duty in various places in Flanders and Alsace. In 1708, it took part in the unsuccessful defence of Lille. In 1713, the two battalions of the regiment were united for the first time. They took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.
In 1715, the second battalion was disbanded.
In 1719, the regiment was involved in the campaign against Spain, taking part in the sieges of San Sebastián, Fuenterrabía and Urgell.
In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment formed part of the three French regiments selected to sail to the relief of Danzig (present-day Gdańsk) under the command of Brigadier de la Mothe La Peyrouse. On his arrival off Dantzig La Mothe realised that he would have to break through 30,000 Russians to reach the place. Accordingly, he brought back his small fleet to Copenhagen. In 1734, the Comte de Plélo replaced La Mothe as commander and sailed from Copenhagen towards Dantzig, landing at Fahrwasser. On May 27, the regiment took part in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Dantzig. On June 22, the French corps capitulated with the honours of war but was transported to Livonia as prisoners of war. In October 1734, the survivors were finally sent back to France. On its return to France, the regiment was stationed in Cherbourg.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was initially stationed at Dunkelfingen. In 1743, it was at Deckendorf in 1743. From 1744 to 1748, it served in Italy. In 1745, it took part in the sieges of Serravalle and Tortona, in the combat of Rivaronna and in the submission of Alessandria, Valenza, Asti and Casale; and in 1746, in the battles of Piacenza and Rottofreddo where it was virtually annihilated. In 1747, the re-established regiment fought in the combat of Assietta. In December 1748, the regiment returned to France.
In 1753, the regiment took part in the training camp of Beaucaire.
On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted only one battalion.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 76th and was under the command of:
- from January 1, 1748: Corentin-Joseph Le Séneschal de Kercado, Marquis de Molac
- from December 1, 1762 to May 11, 1769: Louis-François, Marquis d'Esparbès de Lussan
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was at the camp of Calais.
In March 1757, the regiment marched to Stockheim to join the Army of the Lower Rhine. On May 5, the regiment was assigned to the blockade of Gueldre which capitulated on August 22. The regiment was then placed in garrison in Gueldre. It later joined other troops at Emden. In November, it finally joined the main army. At the end of the year, the regiment took up its winter quarters in the first line in the area of Bassum and Hoxter.
In April 1758, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed at Griethausen near Kleve. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's Army 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 in the centre of the first line. In June, it occupied Düsseldorf with Vastan Infanterie and Foix Infanterie. On August 5, the regiment formed part of Chevert's Corps and took part to the Combat of Mehr where it was brigaded with Brancas Infanterie. It charged three times, each time leaving a hundred men on the field. Its brigade being the last one to retire from the battlefield. In October, exhausted, the regiment returned to France.
From 1759, the regiment served on the coasts of France.
In 1762, the regiment was stationed in Brest. At the end of the year, it was affected to colonial service and sent to Marseille and Aix.
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had a white cross, their cantons were all yellow in the middle with the rest of each canton red, yellow, green and red by opposition. Ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1684 to 1775.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 7, pp. 114-123
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 - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23.