Salis de Mayenfeld Infanterie

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Origin and History

This Swiss regiment was created on June 1, 1734 at Belfort with troops raised in the Canton of Graubünden (Grisons). For this reason, it was also known as "Salis-Grisons". A company owned by the Baron de Travers in Affry Infanterie became the colonel company of the new regiment. This corps has always exclusively consisted of troops raised in the Grisons.

In 1735, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35, the regiment served at Metz from where it detached a few piquets which took part in the operations of the Army of the Moselle.

In 1736, the regiment was placed in garrison at Lille and Douai. In 1737, it was sent to Berghes.

In 1741, at the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was initially stationed at Strasbourg. In June 1743, it was charged to guard the bridge on the Rhine at Turckheim. It was then sent to the Alps where it defended the entrenchments of Pierre-Longue and EEmbrun. In 1745, it was stationed at Barcelonnette; in 1746 at Montdauphin; in 1747 in Provence and one of its three battalions was involved in the defence of Genoa. In 1748, the regiment encamped near Vintimiglia.

In February 1749, the three battalions of the regiment, to the exception of a detachment posted in Corsica, were assembled at Vienne. In 1751, this detachment rejoined the regiment at Vienne. The regiment was later transferred to Auvergne and, after a brief sojourn there, was sent to Douai. In 1754, it took part in the training camp of Aimeries sur Sambre.

The regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 102nd and was under the command of:

  • from December 6, 1744: Charles-Ulysse de Salis-Mayenfeld
  • from April 12, 1762: Antoine de Salis-Marschlins

Service during the War

In March 1757, the regiment marched by Bruxelles to Stockheim where the Army of Germany was assembling. On April 3, one battalion of the regiment was assigned to the Corps of six battalions blockading the Duchy of Gueldre, it occupied Stralen and Walbeck. From April 27 to June 17, the regiment was part of the reserve under the Prince de Soubise. On July 26, at the Battle of Hastenbeck, the regiment formed a brigade with Reding Infanterie. This brigade was part of the reserve of the right wing. It covered the edge of the woods to support the attack of the Champagne Brigade on a strong redoubt at the outskirt of a forest. In this battle, Captain Salutz was wounded. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven on September 8, the regiment followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussian territory from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed in the centre of the second line. On October 7, it was transferred to the Army of Saxony led by Soubise. On November 5, under the Comte de Lorges, it took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was placed in the second line of the centre. In this battle, it lost Captain Castelberg and Ensign Schouhe. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army at Bad Münder and Hessisch Oldendorf.

At the end of January 1758, the regiment was assigned to the army that Louis XV planned to send to Bohemia for joint operations with the Austrian Army. In March, during the Allied winter offensive in Western Germany led by Ferdinand of Brunswick, the regiment was part of the French garrison of Minden which was attacked by an Allied corps led by General Kilmansegg. On March 15, the garrison of Minden surrendered without opposing any serious resistance. The regiment was later exchanged. By July, it had joined Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse.

On October 16, 1760, the regiment arrived in Neuss to reinforce Castries' Corps. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Giessen.

On July 16, 1761, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen.

On June 24, 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it formed part of the right vanguard under the command of M. de Castries.

In 1763, the regiment was successively placed in garrison in Montmédy, Bitche and Sédan.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren
Uniform Details as per
Etat militaire 1758, 1760 and 1761, Abrégé du dictionnaire militaire 1759 and Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère 1757

completed where necessary with information from C. Pajol's book and L. Mouillard's uniform plates
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock probably black
Coat red lined blue with 12 white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the right side and 12 blue trimmed buttonholes on the left side
Collar blue
Shoulder Straps blue fastened with a white button (as per Mouillard)
Lapels none
Pockets double vertical pockets, each single pocket had 4 white buttons and 4 blue buttonholes
Cuffs blue, each with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat red with two rows of 12 white buttons grouped 2 by 2
Breeches red
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


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

Officers

n/a

Musicians

n/a

Colours

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance colours:

  • under Salis de Mayenfeld: white cross; each canton consisted of 7 flames: green, yellow, red, white, red, yellow, green.
  • under Salis-Marschlins: white cross with a white scroll in the horizontal branch carrying the motto "Primce Virtutes Premium"; each canton consisted of 7 flames: green, yellow, red, white, red, yellow, green.
Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Salis de Mayenfeld Ordonnance Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Salis-Marschlins Ordonnance Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

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. 311-319

Other sources

Bunel, Arnaud: Vexillologie militaire européenne - Régiment de Vigier (Suisse) (a website which has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website which 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, p. 202

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

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar