Vérac Dragons

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

Origin and History

This regiment of dragoons was raised in Philippsburg by Charles de Fay, according to an order issued on 1 January 1675.

In 1676, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment took part in the defence of Philippsburg. After the capitulation of the place, it went to Brisach to form part of the garrison. It remained there until 1680.

In 1681, the regiment was at the camp of the Saône then went to Piedmont to occupy Casale. In 1682, it was at Orange. In 1684, it took part in the siege of Luxembourg. In 1685, it was at the camp of the Saône.

In 1688, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of the Rhine and participated in the siege and capture of of Philippsburg, and in the occupation of Mannheim and Frankenthal. In 1689, it took part in the defence of Mainz. In 1690, it was transferred to Piedmont where it took part in the capture of Cahours and Rivalto, in the Battle of Staffarde and in the capture of Susa. In 1691, it helped to drive the Waldensians out of the Saint-Martin, Prali and Perosa valleys, and participated in the capture of Villefranche, Montalban, Nice, Veillane, Carmagnole and Montmélian. In 1693, the regiment was recalled in Alsace and then served on the Rhine until 1697.

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

  • from 8 April 1696: César de Saint-Georges, Marquis de Vérac
  • from 1706: N. de Saint-Georges, Chevalier de Vérac
  • from 29 March 1710 to 1716: Anne-Claude-Philippe Comte de Caylus

Service during the War

On 9 July 1701, the regiment took part in the Combat of Carpi. On 1 September, it fought in the Battle of Chiari.

By March 1702, the regiment was posted in Castel-Nuovo di Bocca. By May, it formed part of the field army in Italy. On 15 August, it took part in the Battle of Luzzara.

In January 1703, the regiment was in its winter-quarters on the opposite bank of the Po from Mortare and Novare to the Sesia Valley. On 19 January, it took part in the Combat of Castelnuovo Bormida. In May, it was part of the army of the Duc de Vendôme in Northern Italy, and was deployed in the first line of the left wing.

By mid-February 1704, the regiment was posted in Vespolate near the Sesia River. In June, it was in the entrenchments at Trino. It then took part in the Siege of Vercelli. From August to September, it was at the Siege of Ivrea. From October, it took part in the long Siege of Verrua, which would last until April 1705. At the end of October 1704, the regiment numbered 202 mounted and 118 dismounted dragoons in three squadrons.

In May 1705, the regiment formed part of the Army of Lombardy. On 16 August, the regiment fought in the Battle of Cassano, where it was deployed in the first line of the left wing.

On 19 April 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Calcinato, where it was deployed in the first line of the right wing. In September, the regiment served at the Siege of Turin. On 8 September, it fought in the Battle of Castiglione, where it mestre de camp. The Marquis de Vérac was killed in action.

In 1707, after the evacuation of Italy, the regiment initially served in Guyenne. In July, it was recalled to the frontier with Piedmont and contributed to the relief of Toulon.

In 1708, the regiment served on the Rhine.

In 1709, the regiment served in Flanders. On 11 September, it was present at the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1711, the regiment formed part of the Army of Catalonia.

In 1713, the regiment served on the Rhine, where it took part in the siege of Freiburg.

Uniform

To do

Guidons

Blue guidons fringed and embroidered in gold, with the Royal sun and the motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”.

References

Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 3, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 68-74

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 432-433

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.