Mestre de Camp Général Dragons

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Mestre de Camp Général Dragons

Origin and History

The regiment was created on 25 March 1674 and was initially known as “Tessé Dragons” until 17 December 1684, when M. de Tessé managed to have the rank of “mestre de camp général des dragons” in his favour.

At its creation in 1674 during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment initially occupied Vic de Bigorre, Lourdes, Bagnères and Campan. The same year, it took part in the combats of Saint-Jean-de-Pagès and Morillas in Roussillon. In 1675 and 1677, it continued to serve on the frontier of the Pyrenees. In 1677, it was transferred to Germany where it took part in the capture of Freiburg. In 1678, it fought in the combats of Rheinfeld and Seckingen, and was at the capture of Kehl and Lichtenberg.

In 1679 and 1681, the regiment was at the camp of the Sarre. In 1681, it was sent to Piedmont to occupy Casale. In 1683, it was at the camp of the Saône; in 1684, at the siege of Luxembourg; in 1685, at the camp on the Kinzig; and in 1686, in Dauphiné.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was stationed in Palatinate. In 1691, it was transferred to the Army of Flanders and took part in the Combat of Leuze. It was then transferred to Italy, where it was at the capture of Villefranche and Nice, and at the attack against Veillane. In 1692, the regiment was back to the Rhine, where it would remain until the end of 1696. In 1697, it joined the Army of the Lys and took part in the siege of Ath.

In 1698, the regiment was at the camp of Compiègne.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive mestres de camp générals of the regiment were:

  • from 11 March 1696: Antoine de Gramont, Duc de Guiche
  • from 23 March 1703: Gabriel-Étienne-Louis Texier, Marquis d’Hautefeuille
  • from 5 July 1709 to June 1736: Louis Fouquet, Comte de Bellisle

Service during the War

In 1701, at the beginning of the war, the regiment formed part of the Army of Flanders.

On 11 June 1702, the regiment was present at the engagement of Nijmegen. At the end of August, it was at the cannonade of Hechtel, where it formed part of the rearguard.

In August 1703, the regiment was at the Siege of Alt-Breisach. It then took part in the Siege of Landau and, on 15 November, in the Combat of Speyerbach.

On 13 August 1704, the regiment fought in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim, where it was forced to surrender as prisoners of war while defending the village of Blenheim.

In 1705, the regiment was gradually re-established but was not fit for duty before the end of the year.

From 1706 to 1712, the regiment campaigned in Flanders.

In 1713, the regiment campaigned on the Rhine.

Uniform

no information found

Guidons

Regimental standards (gros de Tour linen swallow-tailed guidons) fringed in gold:

  • obverse: blue field sewn with golden fleurs de lys; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”
  • reverse: white field with a white scroll parallel to the pole carrying the motto “VICTORIA PINGET” embroidered in black
Mestre de Camp Général Dragons Regimental Guidon – Source: Jean-Louis Vial of Nec Pluribus Impar
Mestre de Camp Général Dragons Regimental Guidon – Source: Jean-Louis Vial of Nec Pluribus Impar

References

Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 1, Paris: Hetzel, 1874, pp. 299-306