Boulonnais Infanterie

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to navigationJump to search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Boulonnais Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was created on September 5, 1684. Indeed, expecting a Coalition to form soon 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 problems of precedence among these new regiments.

The regiment assumed garrison duty until 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), when he was sent to Germany. In 1693, it was transferred to Piedmont and fought in the Battle of Marsaglia. In 1694, it campaigned in the Alps. In 1695, it returned to the Rhine. In 1696, it served on the Meuse. In 1697, it took part in the siege of Ath.

In 1698, the regiment integrated the men of the disbanded Villefort Infanterie.

On the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment initially counted a single battalion but, on February 1, 1701, it was increased to two battalions. It occupied Bruges in the Spanish Netherlands in the name of Philip V. In 1702, the regiment took part in the Combat of Nijmegen. Afterwards, its second battalion was sent to Alsace where it garrisoned Belfort and Landskrone. The first battalion remained in Flanders. In 1703, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ekeren. Its first battalion was then transferred to the Corps of the Moselle. For its part, the second battalion escorted a convoy of 2,000 ammunition carts and took part in the Siege of Alt-Breisach. When the place capitulated, the entire formed part of the garrison. In 1704, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim where most of the first battalion was captured while the second battalion managed to escape. In 1705, the second battalion campaigned on the Moselle. In 1706, the regiment was re-established at two battalions and was initially stationed on the Rhine. In May, it was transferred to Flanders. In 1708, the regiment was part of the troops destined to the expedition against Scotland. After the cancellation of this expedition, it joined the Army of Flanders and fought in the Battle of Oudenarde. During the siege of Lille, it formed part of a corps who conducted a diversion in Maritime Flanders. It then fought in the engagements of Wijnendale and Leffinghe. In 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1710, it initially formed part of the garrison of Aire; in May, it was at the camp of Cambrai; and in October, was transferred to Saint-Omer. In 1712, the regiment took part in the Battle of Denain, and in the sieges and recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain. In 1713, it took part in the siege and capture of Landau, in the attack of Vaubonne's lines, and in the siege of Freiburg.

In 1715, the regiment was placed in garrison at Toul and reduced to a single battalion.

In 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment served on the Rhine and took part in the siege of Kehl. In 1734, it took part in the attack on the Lines of Ettlingen and in the capture of Philisbourg; and in 1735, in the Combat of Klausen.

In 1742, during the [[War of the Austrian Succession[[ (1740-48), the regiment was sent to Bavaria and participated in the relief of Hauss. In 1743, it was part of the reinforcements sent to Maréchal Seckendorf but was forced to retire to the Rhine. In 1744, it took part in the Combat of Saverne. In the engagement of Augenheim and in the capture of Freiburg. In 1745, it served with the Army of the Rhine. In 1746, it was transferred to Flanders where it participated in the sieges of Mons and Saint-Ghislain and in the Battle of Rocoux. Afterwards, it was sent to the relief of the province of Provence. On November 11, it was increased to two battalions. In 1747, it fought in the Battle of Assietta where its colonel, the Marquis de Ruffey, was wounded.

On November 15, 1748, the regiment was reduced to a single battalion. A second battalion would later be raised in April 1762.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 74th and was under the command of:

  • from November 11, 1751: Nicolas-François-Jules, Comte de la Tour d'Auvergne
  • from December 21, 1761 to December 25, 1766: Jean-Antoine, Vicomte de Béon

Service during the War

By August 1, 1757, the regiment was stationed in the towns of Châteaulin, Le Faou, Crozon and Camaret in Bretagne.

In 1758, the regiment garrisoned Saint-Malo along with Brie Infanterie. On September 10, during the second British expedition against the coasts of France, it joined the French force assembling at Lamballe to attack the retiring British army. On September 11, the regiment took part, under the Comte de la Tour d'Auvergne, in the combat of Saint-Cast where it initiated the first assault against the British force raiding the coasts. In this combat, the regiment suffered heavy losses and its colonel was severely wounded.

In 1761, the regiment was sent to Saint-Domingue (Haiti). On April 30, 1762, the regiment was increased to two battalions by integrating various detachments of other units serving in the colonies. It returned to France only in 1764.



Uniform in 1758 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
and Etat militaire 1761
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black (white as per Taccoli) cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neckstock black
Coat white lined blue with coppers buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collar none (blue in 1761)

Taccoli illustrates a blue collar as soon as 1757)

Shoulder Straps white fastened with a copper button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets in the shape of an escutcheon (6 copper buttons on each pocket)

N.B.: in 1761 there were 3 copper buttons on each side and 2 copper buttons at the bottom of each pocket

Cuffs blue with 4 copper buttons
Turnbacks none (Taccoli illustrates white turnbacks in 1757 which suggest that the coat would have been lined white instead of blue)
Waistcoat blue with one row of small copper buttons; horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather with a brass buckle (white as per Taccoli)
Waistbelt natural leather with a brass buckle (white as per Taccoli)
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Scabbard n/a

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






Colonel Colour: white with a white cross.

Ordonnance Colours: a white cross and four green cantons. Each canton was traversed by a two adjacent diagonal bands: violet and isabelle (coffee). The ordonnance colours remained unchanged from 1684 to 1791.

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf


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. 91-97

Other sources

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website which has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Mouillard, Lucien: Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris: 1882

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

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757, Service Historique de l'armée de terre

Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

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