Origin and History
The regiment was created on September 1, 1684 as “Flandre 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. The regiment was formed with the Iverny company of Picardie Infanterie and garrison companies. It was given to N. Le Sens, Marquis de Folleville.
In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was attached to the Army of Roussillon and participated in the capture of Campredon. In 1690, it was transferred to the Army of the Alps and took part in the Battle of Staffarda. In 1691, it took part in the conquest of Savoy and of the County of Nice. In 1693, it fought in the Battle of Marsaglia. From 1695 to 1697, it served with the Army of the Rhine.
In 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was sent to Italy. In 1701, it took part in the Battle of Chiari; in 1702, in the Battle of Luzzara; in 1703, in the expedition in South Tyrol; in 1704, in the sieges of Vercelli, Ivrea and Verrua; in 1705, in the capture of Verrua; and in 1706, in the Battle of Calcinato and in the unsuccessful siege of Turin. From 1707 to 1712, the regiment formed part of the Army of Dauphiné. In 1713, it joined the Army of the Rhine and took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.
In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the regiment formed part of the Army of the Pyrenees.
In 1733, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment joined the Army of Italy. In 1734, it took part in the Battle of Colorno, in the Battle of San Pietro where his colonel was killed, and in the Battle of Guastalla; and in 1735, in the capture of Revere, Reggio and Gonzague.
From 1739 to 1741, the regiment occupied the island of Corsica.
In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in the Alps. In 1744, it took part in the conquest of the County of Nice and in the Battle of Coni; in 1745, in the sieges of Acqui, Tortona, Pavia, Alessandria, Valenza and Asti; and in 1746, in the defence of Asti where it was captured (exchanged the same year). In 1747, it was at the second conquest of Nice and, until 1748, at the defence of Genua.
On March 15, 1749, the regiment incorporated the troopers of the disbanded Montcalm Infanterie. In 1753, it took part in the training camp of Gray.
On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 70th and was under the command of:
- from December 3, 1751 to December 10, 1762: Vital-Auguste de Grégori, Marquis de Nozières
When the French infantry was reorganised, on December 10, 1762, the regiment was disbanded and its troops incorporated in Touraine Infanterie.
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was sent to Corsica under the command of the Marquis de Castries to prevent a British invasion and to fight against the nationalist movement led by Paoli. It remained in this island until 1762.
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
The colonel flag was white with a white cross. Ordonnance flags had a white cross and four blue cantons each traversed by a horizontal yellow band. The ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1684 to 1762.
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 8, pp. 215-216
Duc de Castries: Le Maréchal de Castries (1727-1800), Flammarion, 1956
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a very interesting 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