Henrichemont Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years' War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Henrichemont Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on March 1, 1674 by Victor-Maurice Comte de Broglie.

In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-1678), the regiment took part in the Battle of Seneffe. It was then transferred to the Rhine and fought in the Battle of Mulhouse. In 1675, it took part in the capture of Limbourg. In 1676, the regiment became the property of the House of Lévis.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment took part in the capture of Philippsburg, Mannheim and Frankenthal; in 1689, in the relief of Mainz; in 1690, in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the siege of Mons, in 1692, in the siege of Namur, in the Battle of Steenkerque and in the bombardment of Charleroi; and in 1693, in the sieges of Huy and Charleroi and in the Battle of Landen. In 1694 and 1695, it campaigned in Flanders; and in 1696 and 1697, on the Rhine.

In 1698, the regiment was at the camp of Coudun, near Compiègne.

In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment returned to Germany. In 1703, it took part in the siege of Kehl, in the attack of the Lines of Stollhofen and in the Battle of Höchstädt; and in 1704, in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim. In 1705, the regiment was sent to Flanders; in 1706, to Piedmont; in 1707, to the Rhine; in 1708, to Roussillon, taking part in the Siege of Tortosa. In 1710, the regiment returned to the region of Metz. In 1712, it was present at the Battle of Denain and at the recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain. In 1713, the regiment was allocated to the Army of Germany and contributed to the capture of Landau and Freiburg.

In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20), the regiment took part in the capture of Fuenterrabia, San Sebastian and Roses.

In 1735, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to Germany and took part in the sieges of Kehl and Philippsburg.

During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment initially took part in the invasion of Bohemia in 1742. In 1743, it was back to Thionville. In 1744, it was present at the sieges of Menin, Ypres and Furnes; in 1745, it took part in the Battle of Fontenoy and in the capture of Tournai, Termonde and Ath; and in 1746, in the Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, it was stationed on the coasts of Normandie. In 1748, it returned to Flanders and took part in the siege of Maastricht.

In 1749, the regiment was stationed at Saint-Maixent; in 1750, at Lille; and in 1751, at Guincamp;

In 1756, the regiment counted 2 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • from January 1, 1749: N. de Béthune-Sully, Prince d'Henrichemont
  • from 1759 to April 16, 1767: François Sauton, Marquis d'Escouloubre

When the French cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was amalgamated with Poly Saint-Thiébault Cavalerie to form the new Royal-Normandie Cavalerie. Effective incorporation took place only on March 31, 1763.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was initially stationed in Longwy. It then joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main corps. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was among the Royal-Pologne Brigade in the second line of cavalry of the left wing. It was ordered to support the Grenadiers de France who had advanced into the village of Hastenbeck. After the victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Hagen in Westphalia, in the fourth line of the French army.

In June 1759, during the offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades. It was deployed in the second line of the cavalry right wing. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry centre under the command of du Mesnil.

By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the fourth line of the French army between the Rhine and the Main on the left bank of the Rhine. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Odernheim am Glan, in the fourth line of the French army. By May 23 1760, it was part of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. On October 4, M. de Maupéou's Corps (including this regiment) left for the Lower Rhine. On October 13, the unit arrived at Neuss with Castries. On October 17, after having been left behind during Castries' advance from Neuss to Clostercamp, the regiment finally made a junction with Castrie's main corps.

By February 1761, the regiment was attached to the Army of the Lower Rhine. 150 men of the regiment were then allocated to de Muy's Corps which marched on Hachenburg to reinforce the Maréchal de Broglie. On July 16, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen. By the end of July, the entire regiment formed part of de Muy's Corps.

On June 24, 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal.

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761

completed when necessary as per Raspe
Headgear black tricorne (reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat) laced silver, with a black cockade on the left side fastened with a black silk strap and a small pewter button
Neck stock black cravate
Coat grey white lined red with 4 pewter buttons under the right lapel and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder straps regimental lace fastened with a small pewter button
Lapels red, each with 8 pewter buttons arranged 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 4 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a pewter button
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin with pewter buttons
Breeches buff leather
Greatcoat grey white lined red
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff leather
Waistbelt buff leather
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear soft black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with the regimental lace (woolen braid with red and white squares)
Housings blue bordered with the regimental lace (woolen braid with red and white squares)
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They were also supposed to wear a breastplate under their coat during battle but this regulation was not always followed.

Evolution of the uniform during the war

Throughout the war the French cavalry uniform seems to have evolved significantly. Our only primary source for the uniform at the start of the conflict is the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753. The first primary pictorial evidence comes from Raspe in 1761. Here we present various interpretations of the evolution of the uniform.

Raspe's illustration depicting the uniform towards the end of 1760 shows the following evolutions:

  • white rosette on the tricorne
  • coat, lapels, cuffs and turnbacks edged with the regimental braid (woollen braid consisting of 2 rows of red and white squares)
  • grey white waistcoat edged with the regimental braid
  • only 3 buttons on each pocket
  • only 2 buttons on each cuff

Lienhart and Humbert, a secondary source, show the following differences for the uniform of 1757 (more probably around 1748):

  • a tricorne with a white rosette
  • yellow buttons
  • only 3 buttons on each cuff
  • white turnbacks
  • red saddle cloth and housings bordered with a red braid

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • gold lace on the tricorne
  • no shoulder strap
  • no turnbacks
  • no lace on the coat and waistcoat
  • Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
  • brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs

Musicians

no information available yet

Standards (in 1753)

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field, embroidered and fringed in gold

  • obverse: centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”
  • reverse: centre device depicting the Blessed Virgin with the motto “Aide Dieu, au second Chrétien Levy”
Tentative Reconstruction
Regimental Standard - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

The article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 145-152
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 340

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Lienhart, docteur and René Humbert: Les uniformes des armées françaises”, Leipzig

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

Raspe, Gabriel Nicolas: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Nuremberg 1761

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

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