The only document related to this regiment to have reached us is a file kept in the Archives of Vincennes containing the list of its officers in 1705. We have combined this information with the brief description given by Susane in an attempt to bring back some soul to this long forgotten regiment.
Origin and History
The Walloon regiment was created on 22 February 1677 as Piettemont Wallon. The same year, it took part in the Battle of Cassel where its colonel was killed. On 1 November of the same year, it became the property of Ignace de Belvalet, Comte de Famechon. In 1678, it took part in the capture of Puigcerdà.
In 1688 and 1689, at the beginning of the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment served on the Bidassoa. In 1690, it took part in the expedition to Ireland. On 1 July, it was present at the Battle of the Boyne, and later at the defence of Limerick. In 1691, it returned to France and was immediately sent to Italy. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of Marsaglia. In 1694, it was transferred to Spain where it took part in the Battle of Torroella, in the capture of Palamos, Girona, Ostalrich and Castelfollit. In 1695 and 1695, it served in Italy.
On 11 February 1697, the regiment became “Isenghien Infanterie”.
By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted a single battalion.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was commanded by:
- from 11 February 1697 until 1717: Louis de Gand-Vilain de Mérode, Prince d'Isenghien
Service during the War
In 1701, the regiment served in Flanders. By 19 March, it occupied Roermond in Upper-Guelderland where it remained for the rest of the year.
In 1702, the regiment began the campaign in Upper-Guelderland. On 11 June, it was at the affair of Nijmegen. At the end of June, it was transferred to Alsace. In December, it took its winter-quarters in Metz.
In 1703, the regiment campaigned on the Rhine, taking part in the siege of Kehl, in the passage of the Black Forest under Villars, in the affair of Munderkirchen and, on 30 September, in the Battle of Höchstädt.
In 1704, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim.
In 1705, the regiment campaigned in Brabant under the Comte d'Artaignan. From the document kept at Vincennes we know that, in that year, the regiment counted:
- 34 officers, including:
- Colonel: Louis de Gand-Vilain de Mérode, Prince d'Isenghien (born in Lille, he had served in the Mousquetaires du Roi, future Maréchal de France, more than 9 years of service)
- Lieutenant-Colonel: de Latorre (aged 47, born in the country of Liège, serving in the regiment since its creation)
- Major: de Vigancourt (aged 44, born in Hainaut, 29 years of service)
- Aide-Major: de Neufville (aged 33, born in Courtrai, 17 years of service)
- Colonelle Company under the Prince d'Isenghien, it counted only 1 officer, Ensign Sieur d'Oyé (aged 22, born in Saint-Omer, 5 years of service) which suggests that the company did not count too many men
- Lieutenant-Colonel Company under de Latorre assisted by Lieutenant Cayembourg (aged 24, born in Douai, joined the regiment in January 1705)
- Grenadier Company under Captain de Bousys (aged 45, born in Brabant) assisted by Lieutenant Phlippart (aged 36, born in Namur, 16 years of service) and Sub-Lieutenant Roberty (aged 36, born in the country of Liège, 18 years of service)
- 4th Company under Captain de Buron (aged 44, born in the country of Liège, serving in the regiment since its creation) assisted by Lieutenant Raynault (aged 65, born in Bruges, had enlisted at the age of 17 and served with the Gardes Suisses then with Stuppa Suisse, serving in the regiment initially as sub-lieutenant since its creation, 48 years of service) and by Sub-Lieutenant Cothel-Dessart (aged 21, born in Le Quesnoy, 11 months of service)
- 5th Company under Captain du Liez (aged 34, born in Artois, joined the army in 1689) assisted by Lieutenant Becquet (aged 33, born in Nieuport, joined the army in 1689) and by Sub-Lieutenant Duplessis (aged 55, born near Lille, 28 years of service)
- 6th Company under Captain de Cuinghien (aged 40, born in Arras, 23 years of service) assisted by Lieutenant Laplante (aged 51, born in Venice, formerly with Corse-Italien Infanterie, 33 years of service) and by Sub-Lieutenant Raucourt (aged 18, born near Arras, 8 months of service)
- 7th Company under Captain de Herchyes (aged 33, born in Saint-Omer,) assisted by Lieutenant de Silva (aged 25, joined the regiment as cadet at the age of 7) and by Sub-Lieutenant de Rousse (aged 34, born in Provence, joined the regiment as private in 1695, promoted to sub-lieutenant in 1704)
- 8th Company under Captain de Cerfontaine (aged 37, born in the Country of Liège) assisted by Lieutenant Degrave (aged 40, born in Flanders, 18 years of service) and by Sub-Lieutenant d'Arras (aged 21, born in Valenciennes, 29 months of service)
- 10th Company under Captain de Drouvain (aged 26, born near Douai, more than 6 years of service) assisted by Lieutenant Dessart (aged 22, born near Le Quesnoy, 31 months of service) and by Sub-Lieutenant Despy (aged 24, born in Artois, 29 months of service)
- 11th Company under Captain de Bousy la Pierre (aged 18, born in Hainaut, his fortune had allowed him to buy a company) assisted by Lieutenant Vannengelen (aged 51, born In Leyden in Holland, serving in the regiment since its creation, 29 years of service) and by Sub-Lieutenant Despy (aged 55, born in Artois, serving in the regiment since its creation, 29 years of service)
- 12th Company under Captain de Becket (aged 34, born in Bruges,16 years of service) assisted by Lieutenant de Staury (aged 22, born in Charleville, 9 years of service)
Besides disparities in ages and social conditions, we cab see a certain homogeneity in recruitment amply justifying the denomination of “Walloon” for the regiment. Privates probably followed the same pattern of regional recruitment.
In 1707, the regiment served in Flanders.
On 11 July 1708, the regiment fought in the Battle of Oudenarde. It then assumed garrison duty in Valenciennes.
From 1709 to 1714, the regiment was part of the garrison of Valenciennes.
|Coat||grey-white with red lining; copper buttons on the right side and 1 copper button on each side in the small of the back
|Waistcoat||red with copper buttons (Marbot illustrates a grey-white waistcoat)|
|Stockings||red 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.
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Officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates but made of finer cloth.
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Colonel Colour: white field with a white cross.
Ordonnance Colour: a white cross; red cantons, each carrying a dark green diamond.
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 8, pp. 208-209
Brenne, Jules: Un régiment du nord: Isenghien-Wallon (1697-1717), in Revue du Nord 1968, Vol. 50 no. 198
Lemau de la Jaisse, P.: Abregé de la Carte Générale du Militaire de France, Paris, 1734, p. 119
Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891
Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article