Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie

Origin and History

Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie after the reorganisation of 1761 - Source: Raspe 1762 from User:Zahn's collection

The regiment was raised on October 13 1652 on both sides of the Pyrenees. In 1667, it took part in the campaign of Flanders. On April 1 1668, the regiment took the name of “Roussillon”.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1733 and 1735.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Westphalia in 1741 and took part in the invasion of Bohemia in 1742. In 1743, it was stationed in the Bishopric of Salzburg. In 1744, it was at Donchery. From 1745 to 1748, it took part in the campaigns in Flanders.

In 1751, the regiment was stationed at Dôle and in 1754 at Landrecies.

The regiment counted 2 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 9th among the line cavalry. The king was the nominal Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:

  • since May 1748: Comte de Lauraguais
  • from August 3 1758 to December 24 1764: Marquis de Montmirail

When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons, each of them consisting of 4 companies of 40 troopers, for a total of 640 troopers. The 2 additional squadrons came from Balincourt Cavalerie which was incorporated into Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main body. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was among the cavalry of the right wing. After the victory, it encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. After the Convention of Closterzeven, it followed the main body, now led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed on the left wing of the first line. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army in the town of Hannover.

In February 1758, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was on the left wing of the second line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. In April when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in Ossroy (present-day Orsoyerberg). 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. It was placed on the right wing of the second line. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the right wing of the second line, under Sourches. During this battle, the brigade was one of the few who took an active part in the fighting to cover the retreat of Saint-Germain's Division. 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 now 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 second line.

On July 10 1760, the regiment might have been attached to Prince Camille's Cavalry Corps who arrived too late to take part in the Combat of Corbach.

On July 16 1761, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen.

To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761
completed when necessary as per Funcken and Mouillard
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 blue lined red (lined blue from 1761) with 11 pewter buttons and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder straps red epaulets
Lapels none (red, each with 8 pewter buttons in 1761)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red (blue from 1761)
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin fastened with hooks and eyes and edged with the same lace as the saddle-cloth (not illustrated in our plate)
Breeches kid (goat leather)
Greatcoat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black soft boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth
Saddlecloth lace - Source: PMPdeL
blue bordered with a red braid (an aurore (light orange) braid decorated with a blue zigzag from 1761 as illustrated)
Housings blue bordered with a red braid (an aurore (light orange) braid decorated with a blue zigzag from 1761)
Blanket roll n/a


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.

NCOs

no information found

Officers

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

Musicians

King's Livery - Source: PMPdeL

Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a blue coat heavily laced with braids at the king's livery alternating with silver braids.

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue 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”; surrounded with golden fleur de lys

N.B.: similar obverse and reverse

Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Source: PMPdeL


References

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. 330-331

Other sources

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

Raspe, Gabriel Nicolaus: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg, 1762

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

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.