Saintonge Infanterie

From Project WSS
Jump to navigationJump to search

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

Origin and History

Ensign of Saintonge Infanterie circa 1715 - Source: adapted from Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française

The regiment was created on September 8 1684 in the Low Countries from companies originating from Navarre Infanterie. Indeed, expecting a Coalition to soon form against France, Louis XIV raised 30 new regiments from September 1 to 30 for the defence of the various places of the realm. By raising one regiment a day, he avoided any problem of precedence among these new regiments.

On February 1 1701, the regiment was increased from one to two battalions.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment assumed garrison duty in Landau. On 5 May 1689, nine companies, charged to build a redoubt opposite the mouth of the Neckar on the Rhine, were attacked by a party of Imperialists that they drove back. In 1690, the regiment initially campaigned on the Moselle before being transferred to the Low Countries where it fought in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, it took part in the siege of Mons before returning to the Moselle. In 1692, it contributed four companies for the creation of III./Picardie Infanterie. The same year and in 1693, the regiment campaigned on the Rhine. In 1694, it was transferred to the Alps. In 1697, it returned to Flanders where it took part in the siege of Ath.

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted two battalions.

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

  • from 8 September 1684: François-Germain Le Camus, Marquis de Bligny (promoted to brigadier on 3 January 1696 and to maréchal-de-camp on 10 February 1704, retired in the autumn of 1710)
  • from 10 February 1705 to 1 February 1719: Anne-Bretagne, Marquis de Lannion (colonel of his own regiment since 23 July 1702 until his transfer to the present regiment, promoted to brigadier on 29 March 1710, to maréchal-de-camp on 1 February 1719 and to lieutenant-general on 1 August 1734; mortally wounded at the Battle of Guastalla in 1734, he died on 28 December of the same year).

In 1715, the second battalion of the regiment was disbanded.

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment was sent to the Spanish Netherlands where it occupied the City of Antwerp.

In 1702, the regiment was transferred to Alsace where it served under the Maréchal de Catinat. In September, its first battalion was brigaded with Champagne Infanterie with which it attacked the bridge at Huningue, took part in the capture of Neuenburg and, on 14 October, fought in the Battle of Friedlingen. For its part, its second battalion arrived in Landau on 9 June and took part in the defence of Landau.

In 1703, the entire regiment was brigaded with Champagne Infanterie. Their brigade took part in the siege of Kehl. Afterwards, its first battalion marched to towards Bavaria with Villars's vanguard. It took part in the attack of the Lines of Stolhoffen, in the capture of Gegembach, Biberach and Husen and in the storming of the entrenchments of the Hornberg Valley. On 30 September, this battalion fought in the Battle of Höchstädt. It then took part in the capture of Ulm and Augsburg. For its part, the second battalion remained on the Rhine with Tallard, contributing to the capture of Breisach, the capture of Landau and, on 15 November, the victory of Speyerbach.

In 1704, the regiment initially garrisoned Ulm in Bavaria. On 13 August, its first battalion took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim where, along with Champagne Infanterie, it defended the village of Oberglau. During the ensuing retreat, the regiment was posted at the rearguard. It then formed part of the garrison of Breisach, contributing to repulse the attempt of Prince Eugène de Savoie against the place.

In 1705, the regiment remained in garrison in Breisach.

In 1706, under the command of Villars, the regiment took part in the relief of Fort Louis, in the storming of the entrenchments of Drusenheim, Lauterburg, Haguenau and Île du Marquisat. After the French defeat at Ramillies in May, the regiment was sent as reinforcement to Flanders where it remained until 1708.

In 1708, the regiment was initially transferred to the Rhine before being recalled to Flanders after the defeat of Oudenarde in July. It joined the Army of the Duc de Bourgogne at the camp of Saulsoy.

In 1709, the regiment was brigaded with Du Roi Infanterie. On 11 September, this brigade took part in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet. It was deployed on the left in Sart Woods. When the fog lifted, the Allies engaged combat with a salvo from their mortars. Villars, seeing the Allies master of the Sart Woods and forming in the plain, gathered the brigades Du Roi, La Reine and Perche, and, interdicting to fire, marched himself to the enemy at the head of this force. Villars was soon wounded at a knee but despite the deadly fire of the British infantry his three brigades resumed their advance, driving the British back to the woods at the point of the bayonet and contained them there. Despite this success, fault committed in the centre of the line transformed this potential victory into a defeat. The regiment was then sent to Douai.

In 1710, the regiment took part, under the command of the Comte d'Albergotti, in the defence of Douai, notably during the assault of 24 June. After the capitulation of Douai, the regiment returned to the Rhine.

In 1713, the regiment took part in the recapture of Landau where it then assumed garrison duty.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1710 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Lemau de la Jaisse, Marbot, Susane, Funcken
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a white cockade (black cockade as per Funcken)
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a white cockade (black cockade as per Funcken)
Neck stock white
Coat grey-white with blue lining; copper buttons on the right side and 1 copper button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps grey-white fastened with a small copper button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs blue, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue with copper buttons
Breeches blue
Stockings white fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters none at the beginning of the war, white later
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Waistbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

NCOs

no information found yet

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates but made of finer cloth.

Musicians

To the exception of Lyonnais Infanterie, the musicians of all provincial regiments wore the king's livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: adapted from Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française

The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Please note that in the accompanying illustration, the drummer carries a drum at the arms of Navarre. The drum barrel should be royal blue decorated with golden fleurs de lys.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection


Colours

Colonel Colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance Colour: a white cross; each canton consisted of four opposed triangles (yellow, blue, green, red). Ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1684 to 1791.

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Gilbert Noury
Ordonnance Colour - Copyright: Gilbert Noury


References

Arvers, Paul and Charles Frédéric Brecht: Historique du 82e régiment d'infanterie de ligne et du 7e régiment d'infanterie légère, 1684-1876, Paris: Lahure, 1876

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. 122

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

Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856

Acknowledgement

Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article and Jean-Louis Vial for additional info on its successive colonels