Salis Jeune Infanterie

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

Origin and History

This Swiss regiment of 12 companies was raised on 1 January 1690 across the 13 Swiss Cantons. It was initially designated as “Jeune-Salis” to distinguish it from another regiment whose proprietor was also named Salis.

By October 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment had already joined troops cantonned in Flanders. In 1691, it took part in the siege of Mons; in 1692, in the siege of Namur; and in 1693, in the Battle of Landen, in the sieges of Huy and Charleroi and in the relief of Saint-Malo. In 1694 and 1695, the regiment served on the coasts of Normandie. In 1696, it rejoined the Army of Flanders. In 1697, its four battalions were employed in the siege of Ath

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted 3 battalions.

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

  • from 1 January 1690: Jean-Baptiste Chevalier de Salis
  • from 23 January 1702 to 28 May 1715: Jean-Rodolphe May (promoted to brigadier on 18 April 1706)

Service during the War

In 1702, regiment served in Waasland and contributed to the capture of Uetz and Kykuyt.

Note: Susane mentions that, 30 June 1703, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ekeren but it is not listed in the order of battle...

In 1704, the regiment was sent to Tirlemont and was later at the camp of Neerhespen destined to the protection of the Lines of Brabant. The two first battalions soon returned to Waasland, which had been invaded by the Allies, and contributed to drive them back and to the capture of the redoubt of Spar. Meanwhile, its third battalion, which had been thrown into Limbourg, was taken as prisoners of war,

In 1705, the regiment took part in the siege of Homburg and participated in the capture of the fortified chapel of the Louvain Gate. It later took part in the capture of Louvain. It was then placed in garrison in Namur.

In 1706, the regiment left Namur to march to the relief of Fort-Louis on the Rhine. The day following the liberation of the place, it set off for Flanders. On 23 May, it fought in the Battle of Ramillies. A few piquets left behind to guard Termonde were captured by the Allies.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. It then defended Ghent against the Allies and took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Bruxelles

On 11 September 1709, the regiment fought in the Battle of Malplaquet where, along with Brendlé Infanterie, it faced two Swiss regiments (May Infantry and Sturler Infantry) in the Dutch service. The French brigade charged furiously the Dutch brigade, drove it back against the entrenchments, followed it within, and planted its colours on the parapet. However, it received orders to evacuate the entrenchments and to retreat. It retired slowly. Captain André de Salis-Samade lost his life during this retreat.

In 1710, the regiment continued to serve in Flanders.

In 1711, the regiment took part in the attack on Arleux. Detachments of the regiment also took part in the defence of Bouchain.

On 24 July 1712, the regiment fought in the Battle of Denain where it formed the head of a column of attack. It penetrated among the firsts into the entrenchments of the Count of Albemarle, pursued the Allies up to the bridge and hurled them into the Scheldt. In this battle, Captain Louis May was killed. The regiment then contributed to the recapture of Marchiennes , Douai and Le Quesnoy.

In 1713 and 1714, the regiment saw no action.


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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 7, pp. 161-165