Coetquen Infanterie

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

Origin and History

This regiment originated from the region of Liège and its two first colonels were from this city. It is said that before arriving in France, it formed the guard of the Prince-Bishop of Liège.

The regiment was taken in the French service on 26 October 1629, at the same time as many other regiments from Liège. It was then commanded by the Baron de Mesle.

In 1630, during the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–31), the regiment was sent to the Alps and took part in the combat de Veillane before taking its winter-quarters in Lorraine. At the beginning of 1631, it was disbanded.

On 19 August 1633, the regiment was recalled to France. It then counted 12 enseignes and was under the command of the Colonel La Bloquerie. It then took part in the conquest of Lorraine and in the siege of Nancy before being sent to Haguenau. In 1634, it took part in the capture of the Castle of Wildenstein and of Philisbourg.

In 1635, at the beginning of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59), the regiment took part in the siege of Spires. In 1636, the regiment was attached to the Army of Champagne. In 1637, it operated on the Meuse where it took part in the capture of the Castle of Dinau, between Stenay and Mouzon. It then garrisoned Damvilliers. In 1638, it took part in the surprise attack on Montcantin and in the siege of Câtelet; in 1639, in the defence of Câteau-Cambrésis; in 1641, in the siege of Aire; in 1642, in the Battle of Honnecourt and in the defence of La Bassée; in 1643, in the Battle of Rocroi and in the siege of Thionville; in 1644, in the capture of several small places in Luxembourg, in the relief of the Army of Germany, in the Battle of Freiburg and in the capture of Philisbourg; in 1645, in the Battle of Nördlingen; in 1646 as part of the Army of Flanders, in the capture of Courtrai and in the siege of Antwerp; in 1647, in various skirmishes in the region of Antwerp; and in 1648, in the Battle of Lens.

At the end of 1648, at the outbreak of the Fronde (1648-1653), the regiment was recalled to the region of Paris where it took its winter-quarters. In 1649, it was sent to Bayonne where it assumed garrison duties during the troubles. In 1652, it was part of a small corps operating in Saintonge, Angoumois and Bordelais. It distinguished itself in the siege of Saintes. In 1653, it was sent to Roussillon and took part in the siege of Castillon.

In 1654, the regiment returned to Bayonne where it remained till 1657.

In 1657, the regiment was sent to Italy where it was at the siege of Mortare.

In 1659, it returned to France where it was reduced to only 4 companies

In 1664, the regiment was part of the corps sent by Louis XIV to Emperor Leopold I and it took part in the Battle of St. Gotthard.

In 1665, the regiment, which was back in Champagne, was sent to the support of the Dutch Republic against the Bishop of Münster and took part in the siege of Lochem.

In 1666, the regiment was at a camp near Amiens.

In 1667, at the outbreak of the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment took part in the conquest of Flanders, contributing in the capture of Tournai, Douai and Lille. It then marched to Metz and Luxembourg.

In 1668, the regiment took part in the conquest of Franche-Comté; in 1670, in the conquest of Lorraine and in the sieges of Épinal, Chasté and Longwy.

In 1672, at the beginning of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment took part in the sieges of Maseyck, Saint-Trond, Tongres, Burich, Rees, Arnhem and Skenke, and in the capture of the fort of Nijmegen, Crèvecoeur and Bommel Island. At the end of the year, it followed Turenne who was marching against the Brandenburgers. In 1673, the regiment contributed to the capture of Unna, Kamen, Altena, Zoëster and Bilfelden before taking its quarters in Bourgogne. In 1674, it took part in the siege of Besançon and then marched towards Rousillon. In 1675, it embarked at Toulon for Messina which it occupied. In September, it was sent to Agosta. In 1678, it returned to France and took its quarters in Dauphiné.

In 1681, the regiment was part of a detachment sent to occupy the Citadel of Casale.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment took part in the sieges of Philisbourg, Mannheim, Spires, Worms, Oppenheim and Trier; in 1689, in the combat of Walcourt in Flanders; in 1690, in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the siege of Mons, in the bombardment of Liège and in the combat of Leuze; in 1692, in the capture of Namur and in the bombardment of Charleroi; in 1693, in the combat of Tongres, in the siege of Huy, in the Battle of Landen and in the capture of Charleroi. In 1694, it garrisoned Namur. In 1695, it fought on the Lys and took part in the bombardment of Bruxelles. In 1697, it served on the Meuse.

In 1698, the regiment went to the Compiègne. On 30 December of the same year, the Fusiliers de La Croix were incorporated into the regiment.

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted two battalions.

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

  • since 20 November 1696: Malo-Auguste, Marquis de Coetquen
  • from 23 February 1709: Jean-Baptiste-César de Costentin, Marquis de Tourville
  • from 30 July 1712 till 20 February 1734: Henri-Louis de Choiseul, Marquis de Meuse

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment was sent to Gelderland and occupied Venlo.

At the beginning of 1702, the regiment was sent to Strasbourg. By March 10, it was at Neuf-Brisach. By 3 June, it was part of the Army of the Rhine, in the first line of the infantry centre. In September it marched from this city to follow Villars at Huningue. On 14 October, it took part in the Battle of Friedlingen.

In February 1703, the regiment took part in the Siege of Kehl and later in the attack on the entrenchments of Stolhoffen. It then marched to Bavaria where it took part in the affairs of the Hornberg Valley and of Munderkirchen. On 30 September, it fought in the Battle of Höchstädt. It completed this glorious campaign with the capture of Kempten and Augsburg.

In 1704, the regiment served under the command of Marsin. On 13 August, it behaved courageously in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim. In a letter that Marsin wrote to Minister Chamillard after this defeat, he mentioned, speaking of the regiment:

“It is perfectly good and has made his duty with distinction at Hochstedt” (Blenheim).

Back on the Rhine, the regiment assumed garrison duty at Colmar.

In 1705, the regiment served on the Moselle under Villars.

In 1706, the regiment took part in the capture of Fort-Louis, Drusenheim, Marquisat Island and Lauterburg.

In 1707, the regiment campaigned in Swabia and Franconia. From 20 to 22 June, it took part in the attack of General Janus' entrenchments in the Gorges of Lorch.

In 1708, the regiment was sent to Flanders as reinforcement for the defeated Army of Flanders. It was thrown into Lille where it contributed to the defence of the place by the Maréchal de Bouffîers. On 22 August, Prince Eugène opened the trench. The same day, the 2 grenadier companies of the regiment were posted in a chapel from where they harassed the besiegers. On 24 August, Eugène sent 300 grenadiers, supported by a few battalions to dislodge them. The French grenadiers opposed a fierce resistance and their two captains: La Jonchère and Fayolle, were killed along with 50 of their men. All others were taken prisoners. In this action, the Allies lost 200 men killed and 300 wounded, including a major of the Palatine Contingent. The regiment distinguished itself in several other sorties. On 5 October, it lieutenant-colonel was severely wounding while defending the covert way.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment (now known as Tourville), took part in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1711, the regiment fought in the Combat of Arleux.

On 24 July 1712, the regiment took part in the Battle of Denain where its colonel, the only son of the famous Admiral Tourville, was killed. M. de Choiseul-Meuse replaced him at the head of the regiment. The unit then completed the campaign by the siege and capture of Douai, and the capture of Le Quesnoy and Bouchain.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to the Rhine where it took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1710 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Lemau de la Jaisse, Rousselot, Funcken, Lienhart & Humbert
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a white or black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a white or black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat grey with white lining; copper buttons on the right side and 1 copper button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps grey fastened with a small copper button
Lapels none
Pockets double vertical pockets, each with 6 copper buttons arranged 2-2-2
Cuffs red, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat yellow with copper buttons
Breeches grey
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.

Other interpretations

Marbot illustrates a similar uniform but with a red waistcoat and red breeches.

NCOs

no information found yet

Officers

no information found yet

Musicians

no information found yet

Colours

Colonel Colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance Colour: a white cross with two violet and two green opposed cantons.

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 5, pp. 33-46

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. 108

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"‎

Rousselot, Lucien: Infanterie française (1720-1736) (II)

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