Beauvoisis Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Beauvoisis Infanterie

Origin and History

Ensign of Beauvoisis Infanterie circa 1725 - Source: adapted from Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française

The regiment was created on 12 July 1667, for the the Comte de Jonzac, at the beginning of the War of Devolution (1667–68). The same year, it took part in the sieges of Tournai, Douai and Lille. In 1668, contributed to the submission of Franche-Comté. It was afterwards reduced to four companies.

In 1669, the four companies of the regiment formed part of the reinforcements sent to the Venetians at Candy (present-day Iraklion) in Crete where they distinguished themselves during the defence of the Sabionera Bastion at Chania against the Turks. These companies returned to France when the Venetians capitulated.

In 1671, on the eve of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment was increased to 16 companies. In 1672, it campaigned in Holland, taking part in all the sieges led by the king and entering into Grave which it garrisoned until 1674 when it fought in the Battle of Seneffe. In 1675, it took part in the capture of Huy; in 1676, in the defence of Maastricht. After that glorious defence, the regiment did not take part in the last campaigns of the war.

In 1678, the regiment evacuated Maastricht and went to Mons and then to Verdun.

In 1684, the regiment campaigned in Catalonia and took part in the passage of the Ter at Puente-Mayor, in the siege of Girona and in the investment of Cap de Quiers.

In 1685, the unit became a provincial regiment under the name of “Beauvoisis Infanterie”.

In 1688 at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment campaigned in Palatinate and assumed garrison duty in Mainz. In 1689, it took part in the defence of Mainz. In 1690 and 1691, it campaigned with the Army of Germany. In 1692, it was transferred to the Meuse, took part in the siege of Namur and was then sent to the Moselle. In 1693, the regiment fought in the Battle of Landen and took part in the siege of Charleroi. In 1694, it served on the Meuse. In 1695, it defended Namur. In 1696 and 1697, it campaigned on the Meuse.

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted one battalion but was soon (1 February 1701) increased to two battalions.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was commanded by:

  • from 1 May 1699: Jérôme-François Lécuyer , Comte de Muret
  • from 1705: N. de Révol
  • from 3 August 1707 until 25 November 1734: Pierre-Maximilien Pajot de Villeperot

Service during the War

On 1 February 1701, a second battalion was added to the regiment. In mid-February, the first battalion was part of a French force who occupied Luxembourg in the name of Philip V. By May, it had been transferred to the Rhine. At the beginning of July, it was at Neuf-Brisach. At the end of July, it was transferred to the Moselle. By 31 December, the second battalion had taken its winter-quarters in Toul.

As of January 1702, the second battalion was destined to garrison places in Flanders and had to contribute 300 men to the reinforcements sent to the Army of Italy. From April to July, the second battalion, as part of Bedmar's Army, was stationed in Damme. A the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Ypres. The same year, the first battalion was transferred to Naples which it occupied until 1704 in the name of Philip V.

By 4 May 1703, the second battalion was part of the field army in Flanders, under the command of Maréchal de Villeroy and Maréchal de Boufflers where it was deployed in Sparre's Brigade in the second line of the infantry centre. In mid-October, the second battalion was part of the Army of the Moselle.

In 1705, the regiment joined the Army of Italy, taking part in the last operations of the Siege of Verrua and, on 16 August, fighting in the Battle of Cassano.

In 1706, the regiment took part in the siege of Turin. On 7 June, it fought in the disastrous Battle of Turin and then returned to France, counting only 304 men.

In 1707, the remnants of the regiment took part in the defence of Toulon, occupying the entrenched camp of Messicy to the west of the city. After the retreat of the Allies, they were sent to garrison Susa. In September, they defended the place against the entire Allied army but, on 4 October, were forced to surrender as prisoners of war and were escorted to Turin. The few men of the regiment who had escaped capture continued to serve on the frontiers of Provence and Dauphiné.

In 1708, Captain Dubois of the regiment served as volunteer with the Army of Flanders in 1708. He distinguished himself by his audacity. The Duc de Bourgogne wanting to know what was going on in the City of Lille during the siege, Dubois went alone, traversing Allied outposts, swimming across seven canals and finally reaching the place. The Maréchal de Boufflers gave him all the necessary information and Dubois returned by the same ways to report to the Duc de Bourgogne.

In August 1708, the regiment who had been partly re-established took part in the attack on Césanne where it distinguished itself. It then continued to serve until 1712 on the frontiers of Provence and Dauphiné.

At the end of 1712, the two battalions of the regiment were transferred to Catalonia under the command of the Maréchal de Berwick to relieve Girona. When Berwick forced Starhemberg to raise the siege of Girona, Beauvoisis relieved the exhausted garrison.

In July 1713, the regiment entered into Ostalrich.

In 1714, the regiment took part in the siege of Barcelona. On 21 August, it was detached along with Bassigny Infanterie to chase away the parties of migueletes who intercepted convoys. On 22 August, the regiment caught up with them on the heights of Sémanat, dispersing the largest party. On 23 August, it annihilated the other parties.

In 1715, the regiment sailed from Barcelona under the command of M. d'Asfeld to submit the Island of Majorca. From the four French regiments who took part in this expedition, it was the only one who participated in combat. On 29 June, when the expeditionary force appeared in front of Palma, the garrison made a sortie which was vigorously driven back by the regiment. The place surrendered immediately after. When it returned from Majorca, the regiment was reduced to a single battalion.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1710 – Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Lemau de la Jaisse, Lienhart & Humbert, Funcken, Marbot
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a white or a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a white or a black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat white with pewter buttons on the right side and 1 pewter button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets vertical double pockets on each side (6 pewter buttons on each single pocket)
Cuffs white (red as per Marbot), each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red with pewter buttons
Breeches white (red as per Marbot)
Stockings red fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters none at the beginning of the war, white later
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Waistbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle


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

NCOs

n/a

Officers

n/a

Musicians

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: adapted from Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française

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

Please note that in the accompanying illustration, the drummer carries a drum at the arms of Navarre. The drum barrel should be royal blue decorated with golden fleurs de lys.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection


Colours

Colonel Colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance Colour: crimson and aurore (light orange) opposed cantons and a white cross. The ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1685 to 1791.

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf

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 6, pp. 44-53, 59-60

Other sources

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle, p. 55

Lemau de la Jaisse, P.: Abregé de la Carte Générale du Militaire de France, Paris, 1734, p. 113

Lienhart, Constant; Humbert, René: Les Uniformes de l'Armée Française de 1690 à 1894, Vol. III, Leipzig 1899 – 1902

Marbot, Alfred de and E. Dunoyer de Noirmont: ‎Les uniformes de l'armée française, T1 "1439 à 1789"‎

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