Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Lee Infanterie
Origin and History
In May 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), a large number of Irish soldiers arrived in France with their dethroned King James II. On 18 June of the same year Louis XIV formed three regiments with them. The present regiment was immediately employed for the conquest of Savoy under M. de Sainte-Ruth, and distinguished itself in a combat fought between Conflans and Moustiers. In 1691, it was transferred to Roussillon where it participated in the siege of Urgell, in the capture of Valencia and Boy and in the relief of Pratz de Mollo. In 1692, the regiment was increased to three battalions and started the campaign in the Pyrenees before being transferred to Germany where it was brigaded with Picardie Infanterie. The same year, it took part in the capture of Heidelberg, Wingemberg, Oppenheim and Darmstadt. In 1694, the regiment became the property of André de Lee. In 1696, it served on the Meuse and in 1697, in Flanders where it took part in the siege of Ath.
In 1698, the regiment was reduced to two battalions.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was commanded by:
- from 28 July 1694: André de Lee
- from 26 October 1704 to 16 September 1733: N. de Lee
Service during the War
Note: it seems that only one battalion took part in the campaigns
In 1701, the regiment made the first campaign of the war in Flanders. From July, one of its battalion was stationed in Upper Guelderland.
In April 1702, the regiment was sent to Germany. By the end of the year, one of its battalion was quartered in Thionville.
In 1703, the regiment was brigaded with Champagne Infanterie. In February and March, it took part in the Siege of Kehl. It then participated in the attack on the Lines of Stolhofen and, on 1 May, in the attack against the entrenchments of Hornberg. On 31 July, it fought in the Combat of Munderkingen. On 20 September, it took part in the Battle of Höchstädt where its colonel was wounded. In November, it was at the capture of Kempten, Ulm and Augsburg. Villars had the greatest praise for the conduct of the regiment in all these affairs.
On 13 August 1704, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim where Lieutenant-Colonel George Baron de Colgrave was killed.
In 1705, the regiment formed part of the Army of the Moselle and participated in the relief of Fort-Louis and in the capture of Drusenheim, Lauterbourg and the Marquisat Island.
On 7 July 1706, the regiment was thrown into Lauterbourg along with Navarre Infanterie and Vermandois Infanterie. It remained there for the whole winter.
In 1707, the regiment accompanied Villars in all his expeditions in Swabia and Franconia.
At the beginning of 1708, the regiment was still serving on the Rhine. After the French defeat at Oudenarde, the regiment was sent to Flanders where it was encamped at Saulsoy during the siege of Lille.
On 11 September 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet where it was initially posted to the left of the Gardes Brigade but it was soon transferred to the left where it vainly tried to drive the Allies out of the Sart Wood.
In 1711, the regiment took part in the attack on Arleux.
On 24 July 1712, the regiment fought in the victorious Battle of Denain. It then took part in the Siege of Douai and in the recapture of Le Quesnoy and Bouchain.
In 1713, the regiment took part in the siege and recapture of Landau and in the siege and capture of Freiburg which surrendered on 1 November.
In 1714, the regiment was part of the 40 battalions sent to assist the Spanish army in the siege of Barcelona. On 11 September, it took part in the storming of Barcelona. The remnants of the regiment were then assembled in a single battalion.
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. 181-184
N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.