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Origin and History
A tradition traces the origin of this regiment to the guards of the Duc d'Alençon, raised in 1576. These troops then became the garrison of Cambrai till 9 October 1595 when the town surrendered to a Spanish army. Balagny, then owner of this unit, raised a regiment incorporating the remnants of the garrison. On 6 May 1598, the regiment, to the exception of the colonel company, was disbanded.
In 1600, the regiment was re-raised for the expedition against Savoy but disbanded once more in 1603, to the exception of 2 companies.
In 1614, the new proprietor of the regiment, Charles de Rambures, re-established the regiment (2,000 men) and led it to Bretagne where it assisted the Gardes Françaises in the capture and demolition of the harbour of Blavet. In 1615, the regiment was reduced to 2 companies who took part in the siege of Creil-sur-Oise before being sent to Poitou. In 1616, increased to 10 companies, it was at the relief of Péronne. In 1617, it took part in the attack on Laon and in the siege of Rhétel. In 1618, it was reduced to 2 companies; in 1619, increased to 10 companies.
In 1620, at the beginning of the Huguenot rebellions (1620–1628), the regiment took part in the combat of Ponts de Cé; in 1621, in the siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély and in the capture of Bergerac where it then remained in garrison till the Peace of Montpellier (October 1622). In 1624, it left Bergerac and occupied Saint-Maixent. In 1625 and 1626, it served in Picardie. In 1627 and 1628, it took part in the siege of La Rochelle.
In 1629, during the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–31), the regiment joined the French Army of Piedmont and took part in the attack of the defile of Susa. By 24 May, it was back to Privas in France where it took part in the storming of the place. It also took part in the capture of Alais. In 1630, it was sent back to Piedmont where it took part in the siege of Exiles, in the combat of Veillane and in the siege of Saluzzo; wile a detachment was at the passage of the bridge of Carignan. In 1631, the regiment was transferred to Lorraine where he took part in the sieges of Vic, Moyenvic and Marsal.
In 1632, the regiment was sent to Languedoc to quench the rebellion of Monsieur whose forces were defeated at the Battle of Castelnaudary. The regiment was then recalled to Lorraine where it took part in the siege of Trier. In 1633, it was at the siege of Nancy; in 1634, at the sieges of Bitches and La Mothe, and at the relief of Heidelberg.
In 1635, at the beginning of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59), the regiment took part in the siege of Speyer, at the relief of Homburg, at the siege of Bingen and in the retreat from Mainz to Metz; in 1636, in the reliefs of Colmar, Kaysersberg and Haguenau, in the siege of Saverne; in 1637, in the sieges of Ivoy, Câtelet and Damvilliers; in 1638, in the siege of Câtelet; in 1639, in the siege of Thionville; in 1640, in the siege of Arras; in 1641, in the sieges of Aire, La Bassée and Bapaume; in 1642, in the Battle of Honnecourt; in 1643, in the Battle of Rocroi and in the sieges of Thionville and Sierk. In 1644, the regiment was transferred to Flanders and took part in the siege of Gravelines. In 1645, it took part in the passage of the Colme and in the sieges of Mardyk, Cassel, Béthune, Saint-Venant and Menin; in 1646, in the sieges of Courtrai and Dunkerque; in 1647, in the defence of Courtrai; in 1648, in the siege of Ypres and in the Battle of Lens; in 1649, in the siege of Cambrai and in the capture of Condé; in 1650, in the siege and battle of Rhétel; in 1651, in the passage of the Scheldt near Neuville. In 1652, the regiment was sent to Picardie where it occupied Ardres before being recalled to defend Paris. It then returned to Ardres. In 1653, the regiment tried to make itself master of Ardres under mysterious circumstances but the inhabitants resisted and the regiment lost 700 men out of 1,400. In 1655, the regiment took part in the defence of Saint-Quentin and in the siege of Condé; in 1656, in the siege of Valenciennes and in the capture of La Capelle; in 1657, in the siege of La Motte-aux-Bois, in the capture of Saint-Venant, in the relief of Ardres and in the capture of Watz, Bourbourg and Mardyk; in 1658, in the siege of Dunkerque, in the Battle of the Dunes and in the sieges of Berghes, Menin and Ypres. In 1659, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the regiment was reduced to 4 companies and took its quarters in the region of Rouen.
In 1663, the regiment took part in the expedition in Lorraine.
The fact that the regiment, Bourbonnais Infanterie and Auvergne Infanterie were all created during the same year gave rise to endless argumentations about their respective ranking. In 1666, Louis XIV had to edict a regulation stating that each regiment would alternate for the 7th, 8th and 9th ranks on a yearly basis.
In 1667, at the beginning of the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment was increased to 10 companies. It took part in the siege of Lille. In 1668, it was sent to Charleroi and took part in the capture of Genappe.
In 1671, the regiment was stationed in Dunkerque.
In 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), 20 companies of the regiment garrisoned Tongres while the 12 others were attached to the Army of the Rhine. At the end of the campaign, the entire regiment was quartered in Bombelles. In 1673, it was part of Condé's Army who covered the siege of Maastricht. In 1674, the regiment served in Flanders where it took part in the Battle of Seneffe (11 August). It was then sent to Metz where it joined Turenne's Army. The second battalion reinforced the defenders of Haguenau. The regiment was then quartered in Schlestadt and Colmar and fought in the combat of Mulhausen (29 December). In 1675, it took part in the attack on Neuburg, in the construction of a bridge on the Rhine at Altenheim and in the combat of Altenheim (1 August). In 1676, the regiment continued to serve in Alsace under the Maréchal de Luxembourg and took part in a combat near Basel. In 1678, the regiment took part in the siege of Freiburg. In 1678, it was transferred to the Army of Flanders and took part in the sieges of Ghent and Ypres, and in the combat of Saint-Denis (14 August).
In 1680, the regiment was stationed at Toul.
In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment was stationed at Tournai when it received orders to join the army besieging Philippsburg. It then occupied Heilbronn on the Neckar. In 1689, it dismantled the fortifications of Heilbronn and fortified itself in Pforzheim. The same year, it stormed Neuburg/Entz. In 1690, the regiment took part in the attack of Waldkirch (18 August). In 1691, it was transferred to Piedmont where it took part in the sieges of the Castle of Veillane and Carmagnola. In 1692, it served in Piedmont again. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of the Marsaglia; in 1696, in the siege of Valencia. In 1697, the regiment was transferred on the Moselle. After the Treaty of Ryswick, it was sent to Briançon.
By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted two battalions.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, this gentleman's regiment was commanded by:
- since 27 April 1700 till 15 March 1718: Louis-Thomas du Bois de Fiennes, Marquis de Leuville
Service during the War
In 1701, the regiment was instructed to march from Briançon to Toulon where it embarked for Italy to prevent the Imperialist invasion of Northern Italy. On 18 June, Catinat sent M. de Saint-Fremont and M. de Cambout to Carpi with 4 dragoon rgts and Leuville Infanterie. On 21 June, Catinat recalled Leuville Infanterie. On 1 September, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Chiari where it was deployed in Vaudrey's Brigade on the right wing of the first line of infantry. In November, it went to Cremona and, from there, to Mantua where it was the most senior regiment of the garrison. It sustained the blockade of the Imperial army and made several sorties.
In 1702, Captain Boutteville of the regiment was sent by Tessé against a nearby large magazine of forage assembled by the Imperialists which he burned. When the blockade of Mantua was lifted, the regiment remained there as garrison. By mid-July, it was attached to the army of the Prince de Vaudémont, the Spanish governor of Milan. On 15 August, a detachment of volunteers of the regiment took part in the Battle of Luzzara.
In 1703, the regiment left Mantua and joined the army of the Maréchal de Vendôme. It took part in the capture of Bersello, Nago and Orgo and in the bombardment of Trento. It took its winter-quarters in the Montferrat.
In 1704, the regiment took part in the sieges of Vercelli and Ivrea and started the siege of Verua.
In the Spring of 1705, the regiment was still part of the army besieging Verua. On 1 March, it distinguished itself in an attack of the defences of the place. At the end of April, the regiment joined the army of the Grand Prieur de Vendôme (not to be confused with the maréchal of the same name). It took part in an engagement at Moscolino and, on 16 August, assisted at the Battle of Cassano. It then participated in the attack of the Imperialist lines between Castel-Leone and Gombetto and entered into Mantua.
In April 1706, the regiment was charged to guard the passages of the Adige. After the Battle of Calcinato (19 April), it rejoined the Franco-Spanish army encamped at Goito. In September, it was sent to Alessandria, threatened by the Imperialists, but arrived too late to prevent its capture. The regiment then took refuge in Chivasso which was soon invested and besieged by Prince Eugène. After a siege of eight days, the regiment capitulated with the honours of war and was escorted to the frontier from where it marched to Chambéry. It now counted only 400 men fit for duty.
In 1707, the regiment was charges to guard the passes of the Alps.
In 1708, now re-established to its full strength, the regiment was sent to the Army of the Rhine where it was the most senior regiment. It was posted in the Lines of the Lauter part in Wissembourg, part in Lauterbourg where it remained till 1712.
On 16 August 1712, the regiment took part in the defence of the Lines of the Lauter.
In 1713, the regiment was part of Villars' Army who covered the Siege of Landau. On 20 September, the regiment took part in the attack of the entrenchments of Freiburg where its grenadiers, led by Captain Nisas, distinguished themselves. It then participated in the siege and capture of Freiburg.
|Coat||grey-white stitched blue with yellow buttons on the right side and 1 yellow button on each side in the small of the back
|Waistcoat||grey-white stitched blue with yellow buttons|
|Stockings||white 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.
Funcken illustrates the uniform circa 1720 with the following differences:
- balck cockade at the tricorne
- grey-white collar edged red
- red waistcoat with white laced buttonholes
Susane illustrates the uniform circa 1720 with the following differences:
- black neck stock
- red collar
Since the regiment belonged to a gentleman, its musicians probably wore a uniform at the livery of the House of Leuville.
The arms of Leuville are available in Wikipedia]
Colonel Colour: white field with a white cross.
Ordonnance Colour: a white cross with yellow and violet opposed cantons. These ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1700 to 1762.
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 3, pp. 335-363, 381
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. 105
Marbot, Alfred de and E. Dunoyer de Noirmont: Les uniformes de l'armée française, T1 "1439 à 1789"
Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891