François-Laurent Greder Infanterie
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Origin and History
This German regiment was raised on 2 February 1668 by Guillaume Egon, Landgrave of Fürstemberg. In 1670, this regiment came to France where, on 27 March, it was incorporated in the army as a foreign regiment. It consisted of twelve companies under the command of Comte Ferdinand de Fürstemberg, the landgrave’s brother.
In 1670, the regiment campaigned in Lorraine where it contributed to the capture of Épinal.
In 1672, in preparation for the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment was increased to 18 companies. The same year, it took part in the siege of Wesel and Emerich; in 1673, in the siege of Maastricht; in 1674, in the combat of Seneffe. In 1675, the regiment was transferred to Catalonia where it contributed to the capture of Figuières, Girona, Ampurias, Bellegarde and the Castle of La Chapelle. In 1677, it fought in the Battle of Espouilles. In 1678, it took part in the siege of Puigcerdà. After this siege the regiment incorporated the disbanded English Hamilton Infanterie (raised in 1671). It now counted 26 companies. In 1679, the regiment joined the Army of the Rhine and took part in the Battle of Minden.
In 1680, the regiment was reduced to 14 companies. In 1684, it was sent back to Catalonia where it took part in the crossing of the Ter and in the storming of Girona.
In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was organised in two battalions. It fought in the Battle of Walcourt. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the capture of Mons, in 1692, in the siege of Namur and in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen and in the siege of Charleroi; in 1695, in the bombardment of Bruxelles, in 1697, in the covering of the siege of Ath.
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:
- from 3 September 1686 until 16 July 1716: François-Laurent Greder
Service during the War
In 1701, the regiment served in Flanders in the Poitou Brigade. By July, the regiment was attached to the army of the Maréchal de Boufflers in the Spanish Netherlands. By 3 October, it was part of the corps of the Comte d’Artaignan and was posted in Sint-Gillis and Sint-Pauwels. The regiment took its winter-quarters in Bruges.
By 22 April 1702, the regiment was attached to the French Army posted in Upper Guelderland. On 11 June, the regiment took part in the affair of Nijmegen. In September, the regiment was part of the army under the Maréchal de Boufflers which was encamped at Beringen near Limbourg in the Low Countries. On 17 September, the regiment was attached to Tallard’s Corps who launched an offensive on the Lower Rhine. The regiment took its winter-quarters in Cambrai.
In February 1703, the regiment formed part of the reinforcements sent to Luxembourg. The two battalions of the regiment were then attached to the Army of the Rhine, under the command of the Duc de Bourgogne and Tallard. In August and September, it served at the Siege of Alt-Breisach. On 26 August, it drove back a sortie. On 3 September at 10:00 p.m., its two grenadier companies sprang from the lodgement established at the saliant angle of the covert way of the Vermandois Bastion and stormed the covert wart which was defended by only 25 men who took refuge in the place. The grenadiers then made themselves masters of two traverses of the place of arms and established a lodgement on the counterscarp. From the four officers of the second company, three were killed and the latter wounded. That night, the regiment also lost its two first captains and 35 grenadiers. In October and November, it took part in the Siege of Landau and then in the siege of Speyer. On 22 October, a sergeant of the regiment and 10 grenadiers were sent to reconnoitre a lunette built at the foot of the glacis. It was known that there were two mines in this lunette and the French commanders wanted to induce the enemy to prematurely blow these mines out. Accordingly, the sergeant had been ordered to enter into the lunette and to shout “Vive le roi!” before retiring. The stratagem was successful and, after the explosion, the regiment occupied the lunette: 400 defenders immediately attacked the regiment but they were driven back. In this affair, the regiment lost Grenadier Captain Desroches and 20 men of his company, all killed. On 4 November, during the assault on the demi-lune, the defenders blew out three mines in a sector where two companies of the regiment were posted; miraculously only two soldiers were killed. However, the regiment 77 men in this assault.
In 1704, the regiment followed the Maréchal de Tallard in Bavaria and took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim where it was posted to the left of Artois Infanterie in the village of Blenheim. These regiments were forced to capitulate. Overall, 29 captains and 33 lieutenants gave their swords but most of the soldiers managed to escape: approx. were taken prisoners.
In 1705, the regiment was stationed on the Moselle where it replenished its ranks.
In 1706, the regiment took part in the capture of Drusenheim, Lauterbourg and of the Marquisat Island. After the disaster of Ramillies in Flanders, the regiment was transferred to this theatre of operations
On 11 July 1708, the regiment was at the Battle of Oudenarde where it formed part of the Reserve. During the siege of Lille, it was attached to a corps under the Comte de La Mothe, charged of a diversionary attack in Western Flanders.
On 11 September 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet where it was brigaded with Gondrin Infanterie.
In 1710, the regiment garrisoned Cambrai.
In 1711, the regiment took part in the attack upon Arleux.
On 24 July 1712, the regiment fought in the Battle of Denain. In August and September, it took part in the Siege of Douai and, later the same year, in the sieges of Le Quesnoy and Bouchain. On 29 September, along with Piémont Infanterie, it contributed to the capture of two lunettes at Le Quesnoy, losing a captain in this assault.
In 1713, the regiment served on the Rhine, taking part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.
|Coat||turquin blue lined yellow with pewter buttons on the right side and 1 pewter button on each side in the small of the back
|Waistcoat||yellow with pewter buttons (white as per Lienhart & Humbert)|
|Breeches||yellow (white as per Lienhart & Humbert)|
|Stockings||red (white as per Funcken) fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap|
|Gaiters||none at the beginning of the war, white later|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Illustrating the uniform of the regiment circa 1720, Marbot depicts a turquin blue uniform with pewter buttons; no lapels; horizontal pockets, each with 3 buttons; red cuffs, each with 3 buttons; a turquin blue waistcoat with pewter buttons; and black breeches.
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Colonel Colour: white field; centre device consisting of a golden sun surmounted by a blue scroll bearing the motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” in gold and with a blue imperial globe and a golden cross beneath. The white field was semée with golden fleurs de lys.
Ordonnance Colours: white field with a blue frame in its centre. This frame contained three golden fleurs de lys surrounded by a laurel branch and a palm leaf and surmounted by a red and gold crown. The white field was decorated with red and green transversal bands.
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. 124-130, 139-140
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. 114
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.