Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 13 October 1652 by the Baron de Montclar on both sides of the Pyrenees. It was designated as "Montclar Catalan".

In 1653, the regiment joined the Army of Picardie and was at the capture of Vervins, Rethel and Mouzon. In 1654, it took part in the sieges of Stenay and Arras; in 1655, in the sieges of Landrecies, Condé and Saint-Ghislain; in 1656 in the operations around Valenciennes; in 1657, in the sieges of Montmédy, Saint-Venant, Ardres, and La Mothe,à; and in 1658, in the Battle of the Dunes.

On 18 April 1661, the regiment was disbanded with the exception of its mestre de camp company. On 7 December 1665, the regiment was re-established using this company as its kernel.

In 1667, the regiment took part in the submission of Flanders. On 10 January 1668, it was split into two distinct regiments: "Montclar Cavalerie" and Bartillat Cavalerie". On 1 April of the same year, Montclar was ordered to reorganise his own regiment as "Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie" with a strength of nine companies. However, on 24 May, all cavalry regiment were divided into independent companies. It is only on 4 February 1672, on the eve of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), that the regiment was re-established to full strength. The same year, it was sent to Holland. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht before being transferred to Brandenburg. In 1674, it was at the second conquest of Franche-Comté; it then joined Turenne in Germany and fought in the combats of Entzheim and Mulhouse. In 1675, it took part in the Battle of Turckheim. It then served on the frontier of Germany, taking part in the Battle of Kochersberg in 1677.

In 1681, the regiment was at the camp in Upper Alsace. It was then sent to Piedmont to take possession of Casale.

In 1684, the regiment was at the siege of Luxembourg. From 1685 to 1688, it was at the camp of the Saône.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was recalled to Germany and served in the sieges of Philippsburg, Mannheim and Frankenthal. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the siege of Mons and in the Combat of Leuze; in 1692, in the sieges of Namur and Charleroi and in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen; and in 1695, in the Combat of Boneff.

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

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted three squadrons.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the king was the nominal Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the successive Mestres de Camp Lieutenants commanding the regiment were:

  • from 29 August 1693: Jean-Baptiste-Gaston de Choiseul, Marquis de Praslin
  • from 29 January 1702: N. de Bullion, Marquis de Bonnelles
  • from 1706: N. de Chémereuil
  • from 22 September 1706 to March 1718: Jean-Baptiste-François de Joanne de La Carre, Comte de Saumery

Service during the War

In December 1700, the regiment was sent to Italy.

On 1 September 1701, the regiment took part in the Battle of Chiari, where it was deployed in Praslin's Brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing. It took up its winter-quarters in Cremona.

In March 1702, the regiment was posted in Lodi. On 15 August, it distinguished itself in the Battle of Luzzara, where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing.

By mid-May 1703, the regiment was attached to Vaudémont's Army and was at the main camp near San Benedetto, The regiment later took part in the attacks on Ostiglia and Mirandola. By 29 October, it numbered 112 mounted men, 133 dismounted.

In mid-February 1704, the regiment formed part of the French force posted on the Sesia and Agogna and was stationed in Vespolate. In June and July, it was at the Siege of Vercelli. From October to April 1705, it was at the Siege of Verrua.

In the night of 1 to 2 March 1705, a dismounted detachment of the regiment attacked the curtain wall of the bridge of Crescentino. On 6 November, the Marquis de Bonnelles, mestre de camp of the regiment, was wounded in an engagement near Asti.

In 1706, after the Battle of Turin, part of the regiment (including its mestre de camp) was taken prisoners near Piannezza as it escorted a convoy.

In 1707, the regiment was transferred to the Army of the Rhine. and took part in Villars's expeditions in Franconia and Swabia.

In 1708, the regiment was transferred to Flanders. On 11 July, it took part in the Battle of Oudenarde.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment was present at the Battle of Malplaquet.

On 24 July 1712, the regiment was present at the Battle of Denain.

In 1713, the regiment was sent to the Rhine and was at the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

Uniform

To do

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field fringed in gold and silver; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; surrounded with golden fleur de lys

N.B.: similar obverse and reverse

Tentative Reconstruction
Regimental Standard - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 86-94
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 330-331

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle