Médoc Infanterie

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 19 February 1674 by the Marquis de Navailles.

In 1676, the regiment campaigned against the Spanish migueletes. In 1677, it took part in the Battle of Espouilles; in 1678, in the siege of Puygcerda and in the capture of the Castle of Baga.

In 1684, the regiment was at the siege of Luxembourg.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment participated in the siege of Philisbourg. In 1689, it took part in the glorious but unsuccessful defence of Mainz. In 1690, it was transferred to Savoie where it participated in the capture of Chambéry, Annecy, Rumilly, Susa. On 22 May 1691, the regiment took the name of the province of Médoc. The same year, it took part in the sieges of Carmagnola and Montmélian and in 1693, in the Battle of the Marsaglia. In 1694, it was posted on the coasts of Provence before being transported to Catalonia. In 1697, it took part in the siege of Barcelona.

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted only one battalion but, on 1 February 1701, it was increased to two battalions. The second battalion was raised in Cambrai.

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

  • from 23 May 1691: Isaac Charles de La Rochefoucaud, Comte de Montendre (promoted to brigadier in January 1702, obtained the charge of colonel-lieutenant of Royal Vaisseaux Infanterie on 1 March 1702 for his valiant conduct at Cremona, killed at the head of his regiment at the Battle of Luzzara on 15 August 1702)
  • from 1 March 1702: Jérôme Comte de Chamillart (brother of the War Secretary, he initially served at sea as captain, but had to interrupt his naval career because he was constantly suffering from sea-sickness)
  • from 11 January 1705 to 25 January 1729: Nicolas-Gabriel Gilbert des Voisins, Marquis de Villènes

In 1714, the second battalion was disbanded.

Service during the War

First Battalion

In 1701, the battalion was sent to Italy where it served under the Maréchal de Catinat. On 1 September, it took part in the Battle of Chiari where it was brigaded with Auvergne Infanterie and suffered heavily from the fire of the Imperial artillery, losing Captain d’Argelos. The battalion took up it winter-quarters in Cremona.

On 1 February 1702, the battalion took part in the defence of Cremona when the Imperials tried to take the place by surprise. In this action, it lost Captain Pelot and Major de Rochepiquet, killed; and Colonel Montendre and Captains de Brazilly and de Trets, wounded. On 15 August, the battalion was at Battle of Luzzara and, a few days later, at the capture of Luzzara where its new colonel, M. de Chamillart, was wounded.

In July 1703, the battalion was posted at Desenzano on Lake Garda during Vendôme, Louis Joseph, Duc de|Vendôme]]’s expedition in Tyrol. On 29 September, the battalion was at San Benedetto when Vendôme informed Savoyard troops that they were now prisoners of war because of the treason of their sovereign. In November, it was at the camp of Castelnuovo. On 20 November, it repulsed an Imperial corps which tried to take the post of Montecuto, killing 150 men and routing the rest. In this affair, Major de Brazilly was wounded.

In 1704, the battalion took part in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua. Lieutenant de Montigny was killed in front of Vercelli and Captain de Villeneuve, in front of Verrua.

In 1705, the battalion distinguished itself at the siege of Chivasso, On 16 August, it fought in the Battle of Cassano where it lost Captains Saint-Martin and Danneau. It took up its winter-quarters in Mantua.

On 19 April 1706, the battalion took part in the Battle of Calcinato alongside Auvergne Infanterie. It then served for a time at the siege of Turin before being transferred to the corps under the command of the Comte de Médavy. On 8 September, it took part in the victorious Battle of Castiglione. However, the French disaster at Turin forced the battalion to take refuge in Cremona. Four of its companies under Lieutenant-Colonel de Brazilly were then blocked in Pizzighetone which they defended during three weeks before obtaining a honourable capitulation.

In 1707, the battalion was back to France where it took part in the defence of Toulon.

In 1708 and 1709, the battalion campaigned in Dauphinée before being transferred to the Rhine where it distinguished itself on 26 August at the combat of Rumersheim. It took up its winter-quarters in Schlestadt where it was reunited with the second battalion..

Second Battalion

In 1701 and 1702, the battalion was in the Netherlands.

In December 1703, the battalion was transferred to Spain.

In February 1704, the battalion arrived at Vittoria and was immediately redirected towards the frontier with Portugal. On 26 May, it took part in the attack on General Fagel’s camp. It then contributed to the capture of Salvaterra, Segura, Idanha-Nueva, Portalegre and other Portuguese places.

On 25 April 1705, the battalion was incorporated in La Couronne Infanterie but it was soon reallocated to Médoc Infanterie after lively protestations.

In 1706, the battalion served at the siege of Barcelona where it lost Captain Grandnom and Lieutenant Lair.

On 25 April 1707, the battalion was at the Battle of Almansa where Captain Despannay and Aide-Major de Villers were wounded. It then took part in the siege of Méquinenza where Captain de Montesquiou was wounded, and in the siege of Lérida where it remained as garrison.

In 1708, the battalion joined the Army of Catalonia and took part in the siege of Tortosa. At the end of the year the battalion left Spain.

In 1709, the battalion served in Dauphinée. It took up its winter-quarters in Schlestadt where it was reunited with the first battalion..

Reunited Battalions

In 1710, the regiment remained in the Lines of the Lauter, at Weissembourg and its vicinity.

In 1713, the regiment took part in the siege of Landau. On 17 July, it distinguished itself, repulsing a sortie with Navarre Infanterie. In this siege, it lost Captain de Piosin, killed; and Captains de Giscaro , de Montesquiou , de Brieu and de Trets, wounded. The regiment also contributed to the siege of Freiburg. At the end of the campaign, the regiment was sent to Spain.

In 1714, the regiment took part in the siege of Barcelona. On 12 September, it participated in the general assault. With La Marine Infanterie, it was part of the left. The grenadiers advanced into the breach of the Levant Bastion, climbed it and charged the inner entrenchments. In this terrible assault, the regiment lost Captain Taillac and Lieutenants Verdun and Mortemer, killed; and Captains Giscaro, Desplagnes and Bompar, and Lieutenant-Colonel de Claverie, wounded. Shortly after the fall of Barcelona, the second battalion was disbanded.

Uniform

To do

Colours

To do

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 6, pp. 399-407

Acknowledgements

Jean-Louis Vial for the information on the military careers of some of the colonels of the regiment.