FRENCH MILITARY UNITS IN NORTH AMERICA

Introduction

Which French units helped to establish la Nouvelle France?[1] Which units were at Québec in 1759, and which regiments lost to our ancestor Sir William Johnson in 1755?[2] Although the French lost to the British Major General Wolfe at Québec on 13 September 1759, the following data show that just 15 years later France provided both direct and indirect help to the fledgling Americans in their 1775 War of Independence. Additionally, the French regiments that provided at the coup de grâce in 1781 at Yorktown were of the best quality. Moreover, the French provided five war ships and critical supplies on 20 April 1781, plus 2,000 troops to aid the Spanish and the Spanish General Conde Bernardo de Galvez in their siege (and 8-10 May 1781 capture) of Pensacola from the British. Additionally, that Spanish action tied down 7,000 critical troops from the over-extended British and denied critical manpower to Cornwallis. Evidently, the French and Spanish had a grudge! As is implied by their unit deployments the French tied down thousands of British troops outside the critical American Revolutionary theatre.

I have not tracked the considerable naval movements of that time, but it was Admiral De Grasse’s successful deployment up the Chesapeake, which denied Cornwallis either reinforcements or an exit and led to his own and Britain’s defeat. Washington could only be re-supplied with some key materials, and regular French troops by sea and French naval support was fundamental to the Revolution's success. This long-distance collaboration was complicated by the extension of the war into the Caribbean as the French sought to distract the British navy. Historians have estimated the overall cost of the War to the Royal French budget at 1,500M livres (about 5B€) (L'économie de la Révolution Française by Florin Aftalion (Hachette, Paris 1987).

Many French regiments had up to four battalions during the period 1500-1900. I have shown key unit names for the period in which continuity was not a prime consideration. Sadly, there are several repeated unit names for different units, a few popular names were even in simultaneous use by different units. Army names are confusing.

I have chosen to use the geographical definition of North America, which includes the Caribbean and Central America. I have further broadened the foregoing definition to include South America, since the Europeans felt that America (China as Columbas first thought) was all one.

The French Army

 

la Régiment du Dauphin

 

A new attempt at building a French national infantry was made in 1531, when King Francis I founded the 6,000-man legions of Normandy, Languedoc, Champagne, and Picardy.[3] As with the Compagnies d'Ordonnance, only a cadre was permanently embodied, the rest mustering only occasionally in peace. Unit composition varied but was around 60% pike men, in burgonet, corselet and tassets, 10% halberdiers and 30% shot, in morions. Though of dubious value, they were maintained or revived until the Thirty Years War (1618), and two or three more being added. Bands of around 1,000 were sometimes detached for separate service.

French guns made perhaps the greatest early impression in Italy; Charles VIII's 36 bronze horse-drawn pieces were the first effective field artillery. By 1536 the French artillery train of some 40 pieces had over 100 gunners, conductors and craftsmen, 800 pioneers, 680 horses and a picked escort of four ensigns of foot. Guns were generally heavy—in the 1550s cannon, culverins or culverin bastard-calibres being standardized. Henri IV de Navarre established the regular army in 1597 from both Catholic and Protestant troops. The French regiments, starting with Les Vieux Picardy, Champagne and Navarre, and the Garde Francais, were made permanent, and new regiments such as Piedmont, Normandy and Lorraine added; 1,200 strong, one-third muskets, two-thirds pikes. By 1609, there were 20,000 French infantry, and 12,000 foreign, mainly Swiss.

The basis of the cavalry were 4,000 regular Gendarmes, half-armoured pistoliers, supported by sections of Carabins, and there was a 1,000 strong Cornette Blanche of noble volunteers, a company of 200 Guard Chevaulegers, and a unit of gentlemen, the Carabiniers du Roy who in 1622 became the famous company of Gray Musketeers A company of Black Musketeers was added in 1661—despite their name both were heavy cavalry, the colors being those of their horses. Under Richelieu, in the 1640s, the army was further overhauled and expanded, partly by the takeover of an army of 8,000 ex-Swedish troops previously led by Bernard of Saxe-Weimar (foreigners were worth three men: one more for France, one less for the enemy, and one Frenchman released for farm work!). Infantry began to operate in small battalions of 600 to 800, usually formed six deep, pikes (perhaps as few as one third) in the center (regiments could form half, one or two battalions).

Cavalry companies and cornets began to be grouped in regiments, but fought in squadrons of about 200. By 1660, there were 109 infantry regiments (30 foreign, mainly Scots and Swiss) and 30 cavalry regiments. Most cavalry were three-quarter or half-armoured pistoliers; there was at least one buff-coated dragoon regiment, and there were some irregular light cavalry or Croats. In 1690, the deposed English King James II transferred 20,000 Irish soldiers to France by the Treaty of Limerick. The Irish Brigade provided James II an army in exile. Three Irish infantry regiments (Mountcashel, O'Brien, Dillon) each had three battalions with eight companies. The Brigade Irlandaise was added in 1698.

In 1703, the 380,000 infantrymen of the French Armies were organised in 285 regiments, of which 166 were disbanded between 1714 and 1715. Each regiment counted from one to four battalions each of c500-600 men. Each battalion was composed of 13 companies, one of grenadiers and twelve musketeers. the battalions fought together but could also be deployed in different brigades and even in different armies. The foreign regiments were: Walloons, German, Swiss, Irish, Italian and were organized on the French model. A major 1762 re-organisation reduced the number of infantry regiments to 87, plus the Grenadiers of France. A full-strength battalion was 685 soldiers and 35 officers, but companies never were complete because of recruitment, wounded, diseases, deserters or prisoners. A 1757 report indicated an average strength of 550 men in each battalion in campaign. There were several additional corps, which were not directly involved with North America. Louis XIV created La Gendarmerie de France as his elite 17,000-man cavalry in 1665. The Gendarmerie lasted through the Seven Years' War and then became a domestic police force. There were also many provincial regiments and independent infantry battalions - for city defence.

After their return in France in 1760, the regiments that had served in Canada had been so reduced by the war that they were reorganised. In 1761, the regiments La Reine, La Sarre, Royal Roussillon, Languedoc, Guyenne, and Béarn were all reduced to only 12 companies of 20 fusiliers and one company of 40 grenadiers.

Table Organisation

The following table displays French regiments of 1789, roughly the same period as that shown for the British and Spanish. In this list of French regiments I have added their mercenary foreign units; plus those earlier historical units which figure in Canadian history. Outline regimental lineages and histories are shown, with commanders. The units are organised alphabetically by 1789 Regimental name (ignoring minor grammar). I have truncated French unit names at 1791, when the first seniority-numbering convention was introduced. Their service is separated into Theatres or Wars by periods. Their dates are separated by commas and their battles are separated by semicolons within the same theatre or war. I have shown French Caribbean deployments because the British had to defend government their policy and were often deliberately distracted from some primary objective to reduce British strength at the key point.[4] (This was particularly so during the Seven Years' War and the later American Revolution.)

The French deployed army units into North America from 1665 and at least 40 French regiments fought in America and the Caribbean during the period of the American Revolution.[5] I have chosen to use the geographical definition of North America, which includes the Caribbean and Central America. I have further broadened the foregoing definition to include South America, since the Europeans felt that America was all one.[5] France had mobilised 220,000 men by 1778 and maintained approximately 16,000 men in America from then until after Yorktown. The French navy maintained 75,000 men and an average 65 ships of the line during the same period. In order to balance the British Navy effectives, France dragged Spain into the conflict. Spain's policy was to minimise the American English colonists' forces that could threaten her efforts to keep Louisiana, to recover Florida, and to enlarge further its possessions in North America.

There is much confusion about regimental names, because of reorganisations and naming after commanders. I am sure of errors as various people have made interpretations and translations over the years. Perhaps the general breadth of French commitment in North America can be read from this account and that which details the forts they built. I have abbreviated military terms in the table for: battalion (bn); company (coy); detachment (det); and regiment (regt).

Les Régiments Français de l'Armée de Terre Royale en Amerique de Nord

Unit Name

Service

Cavalry

Corps de Cavallerie

1759, Strength 200 Canadians

1759, Corps de Cavallerie, 1760, Disbanded.

Canada. 1759-1760, Québec.

Régiment de Dragons Belsunce

Commander: 1749, Armand Vicomte de Belsunce

1676, d'Audigeau Cavalerie, 1791, 5e Régiment de Cavalrie.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean.  1780, Garrisoned Grenada. American Revolution. 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish to help Capture Pensacola.

Régiment de Dragons Condé

1556, Cavalerie, 1635, Régiment d'Anguien-Cavalerie, Enghien 1635 ; Condé 1646, 1646, Régiment Conde-Cavalerie, 1776, Régiment Dragons, 1791, 2e Régiment de Dragons.

American Revolution. 9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean. 1779-1782, Garrisoned Antilles.

1ère Légion des Voluntaires Étrangers de Marine

1780, 600 infantry & 200 cavalry.

Caribbean. 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada; 17 April-17 May 1780, St Dominigue (Haiti) and Martinique fleet battles; 7 80 St Dominigue (Haiti). American Revolution. 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown (Hussars). Caribbean. 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe. 1779-1782, Garrisoned Antilles; 17 April 1780, Naval Battle and Failed invasion of Jamaica with Admiral Guichen.

2e Légion des Voluntaires Étrangers de Marine

Swiss troops

1758, 680 men, 1780, 600 infantry & 200 cavalry

Commander: Colonel Armand Louis de Gontaut duc de Lauzun

1755, Voluntaires Étrangers de Marine, 1778, Légion de Lauzun, 1779, Volontaires Étrangers de Lauzun Amalgamated with Volontaires Étrangers de Nassau, 1791, 6e Régiment des Hussards.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1749-1758, Garrisoned Fort Louisbourg; 8 June-27 July 1758, Siege Battle and Surrender of Fort Louisbourg. Carribean. 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada. American Revolution. 1781, Garrisoned White Plains; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 3-19 October 1781, Defeated British at Battle and Siege of Gloucester; ; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Artillery

Régiment d'artillerie d'Auxonne

Strength 2 batteries in America until 1781

Commander: 1782, Comte d'Abouville, 1791, Colonel Francois-Charles de Quiefdeville de Delmesnil

1693, Régiment Royal-Artillerie, 1765, Régiment d'artillerie d'Auxonne, 1791, 6ème Régiment d'Artillerie, 1794, 6ème Régiment d'Artillerie à Pied.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1756, Garrisoned Québec. American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Corps d'Artillerie des Colonies

1697, unofficial coy/det Québec, 1707, det Acadia, 1735, det Louisbourg, 1744, det Mobile, 1745, coy St Domingue (Haiti), 1747, coy Martinique, 1750, coy Canada, 1758, coy Louisbourg, 1759, coy Louisiana

1743, Compagnie Cannoniers-Bombardiers de Louisbourg, 1766, Disbanded.

Canada. 1735-1758, Garrisoned Fort Louisbourg; 8 June-27 July 1758, Siege Battle and Surrender Fort Louisbourg; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham.

Régiment d'artillerie de Grenoble

1693, Régiment Royal-Artillerie, 1765, Régiment d'artillerie de Grenoble, 1791, 4ème Régiment d'Artillerie, 1794, 4ème Régiment d'Artillerie à Pied.

American Revolution. 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish Captured Pensacola; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British who Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown.

Régiment d'artillerie de Metz

Commander: 1781, Comte d'Abouville, 1791, Colonel Francois-Claude de Rison

1693, Régiment Royal-Artillerie, 1765, Regiment d'Artillerie de Metz, 1791, 2ème Régiment d'Artillerie, 1794, 2ème Régiment d'Artillerie à Pied.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British who Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown.

Engineers

Corps des Ingénieurs Militaires

Corps des Ingénieurs Militaires, Corps du Génie

American Revolution. 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British who Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Infantry

Régiment d'infanterie d'Agénois

1781, Strength 2 bns

Commanders: 1779, Baron de Cadignan, 1781, Comte d'Autichamp

1559, Régiment de Béarn, .1700, Régiment de Leuville, 1718, Régiment de Richelieu, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie d'Agénois, 1791, 16ème Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

America. 1762-1763, Garrison New Orléans. American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish Captured Pensacola; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown. Caribbean. 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe; 12 April 1782, Battle of the Saintes.

Régiment d'infanterie d'Angoumois

1684, Régiment d'infanterie d'Angoumois, 1791, 80ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

America. 1762-1763, Garrisoned New Orleans. Caribbean. 1763, Garrison St Dominigue (Haiti).

Régiment d'infanterie d'Armagnac

Commander: 1791, Colonel Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Joseph Florimund de Cappy

1569, Régiment des Gardes du Roi de Navarre, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie d'Armagnac, 1791, 6e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; Caribbean. c1779-1782, Garrison Antilles. 2 June 1781, Captured Tabago; 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe; 12 April 1782, Naval Battle of Les Saintes; Canada, 8-31 August 1782, Captured Forts Prince of Wales York Factory and Severn on Hudson's Bay.

Régiment d'infanterie d'Artois

1755, 556 men/bn

Commander: 1747-1762, Athanase Louis Marie de Loménie Comte de Brienne

1610, Régiment de Saint-Vallier, 1673, Régiment d'infanterie d'Artois, 1791, 48ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1755-1758, Garrisoned Fort Louisbourg; 8 June-27 July 1758, Siege Battle and Surrendered Fort Louisbourg.

Régiment d'infanterie d'Aunis

1610, Régiment de Castelbayard, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment de Lorraine, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie d'Aunis, 1791, 31ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada. 1751, Garrisoned (Ile Royale) Cape Breton Island NS.

Régiment d'infanterie Royal Auvergne

Strength 2 bns

1597, Régiment du Bourg de Lespinasse, 1776, Régiment de Gâtinais, 1783, Régiment d'infanterie Royal Auvergne, 1791, 18e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish Captured Pensacola; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British who Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America. Caribbean. 12 April 1782, Naval Battle of Les Saintes.

Régiment d'infanterie d'Auxerrois

1622, Les compagnies détachées de la Marine, 1626, Régiment Royal de la Marine, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie d'Auxerrois, 1791, 12e Régiment d'Infantrie de ligne.

Caribbean. 1778, Garrisoned Antilles. 7 September 1778 , Captured St Dominigue (Haiti); 28 December 1778, Surrender St Lucia; 24 February 1779, Captured St Martin; 19 June 1779, Captured St Vincent; 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada; American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean. 3 February 1781, Surrendered St Eustache; 28 November 1781, Captured St Eustache; Canada. 8-31 August 1782, Captured Forts Prince of Wales York Factory and Severn on Hudson's Bay.

Régiment d'infanterie de Barrois

1692, Régiment d'infanterie de Barrois, 1791, 91e Régiment d'Infantrie de ligne.

American Revolution. 3-19 October 1781, Defeated British at Battle and Siege of Gloucester; ;

Régiment d'infanterie de Beaujolais

1674, Milices du Languedoc, 1742, Régiment de Traisnel, 1749, Amalgamated with Régiment de Beaujolais, 1768, Régiment d'infanterie de Beaujolais, 1791, 74e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. 5 September 1781, Naval Battle of Chesapeake.

Régiment d'infanterie de Béarn

1755, 556 all ranks/bn, 1759, Defeated at Fort Niagara by Sir William Johnson

1755, 556 all ranks/bn

1559, Régiment la Tour du Pin, 1700, Régiment de Leuville, 1763, Régiment d'infanterie de Béarn, 1791, 15ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1755 Garrisoned Québec; 10-14 August 1756, Captured Fort Oswego; 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry; 8 July 1758, Defended Fort Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 25-27 August 1758, Surrendered Fort Frontenac; 3-24 July 1759, Defeated and Surrendered Fort Niagara; 31 July 1759, Battle of Montmorency Falls; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham; 28 April 1760, Captured Ste Foy; 28 April-17 May 1760, Failed Siege of Québec; 7 September 1760, Surrendered Montréal, Canada, and la Nouvelle France.[6]

Régiment d'infanterie de la Beauce

1673, Régiment d'Huxelles, 1718, Régiment de Saint-Simon, 1749, Amalgamated with Régiment de Beauce, 1763, Régiment d'infanterie de Beauce, 1791, 68ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1779-1782, Antilles as naval infantry.

Régiment d'infanterie de Berry

1757, Strength 2 bns of 960 men total at Québec

1684, Régiment d'infanterie de Berry, 1749, Amalgamated with Régiment d'Agénois, 1762, Disbanded.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1757 Garrisoned Québec; 8 July 1758, Defended Fort Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 25-26 July 1759, Surrendered Fort Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 28 April 1760, Captured Ste Foy; 28 April-17 May 1760, Failed Siege of Québec; 16-27 August 1760, Battle and Retreat from Isle Aux Noix; 7 September 1760, Surrendered Montréal, Canada, and la Nouvelle France.

Régiment d'infanterie de Berwick

Irish troops

Commanders: 1716, Henry James, Duc de Fitzjames, 1729, Edouard FitzJames Comte de FitzJames, 1758, Charles de Fitzjames, Duc de FitzJames

1698, Régiment d'infanterie de Berwick, 1775, Amalgamated with Régiment de Clare, 1791, 88ème Régiment d'infanterie de ligne.

America.

Compagnie d'infanterie de Bouillé

1778, Compagnie d'infanterie de Bouillé, 1783, Disbanded.

Caribbean. 7 September 1778, Captured St Dominigue (Haiti); 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe.

Régiment d'infanterie de Bourbonnais

1781, Strength 2 battalions

Commander: Marquis de Laval de Montmorency

1584, Bandes de Montferrat, 1673, Régiment d'infanterie de Bourbonnais, 1791, 13e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. May-June 1780, Battle of Rhode Island; 16 March 1781, Naval Battle of Chesapeake; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Régiment d'infanterie de la Bourgogne

1755, 520 men

1667, Régiment d'infanterie de Bourgogne, 1791, 59ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1755-1758, Garrisoned Fort Louisbourg; 8 June-27 July 1758, Siege Battle and Surrendered Fort Louisbourg.

Régiment d'infanterie de Bresse

1616, Régiment d'Hostel, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment de Saint-Maurice, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie de Bresse, 1791, 26e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1780, Naval Battle.

Régiment d'infanterie de Brie

1656, Régiment Royal, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment de Cambis, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie de Brie, 1791, 24e Régiment d'Infantrie.

Caribbean. 1781, Antilles Naval Battle; 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe; 2 June 1781, Captured Tobago. American Revolution. 5 September 1781, Naval Battle of Chesapeake.

Régiment d'infanterie de Cambis

1676, Régiment de Vivonne, 1749, Régiment d'infanterie de Cambis, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment Royal.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1758, Garrisoned Fort Louisbourg; 8 June-27 July 1758, Siege Battle and Surrendered Fort Louisbourg.

Régiment d'infanterie de Cambrésis

Commander: Colonel le Baron de Montesquieu

1597, Régiment de Lesdiguières, 1775, Amalgamated with Régiment de Saintonge, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie de Cambrésis, 1791, 20e Régiment d'Infantrie de ligne.

Caribbean.  4 July 1779, Captured Grenada. American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish to Capture Pensacola.

Régiment d'infanterie Le Cap, Haiti


1766, Légion de St Domingue, 1774,
Régiment d'infanterie Le Cap, 1791, 106e Régiment d'Infantrie.

Caribbean. c1774, Garrisoned Haiti. American Revolution. 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish Captured Pensacola; 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean. 27 July 1782, Antilles Naval battle.

Régiment d'infanterie Carignan-Salièrs

1665, Strength 1,280 men in 20 coys some from other regiments as first army in Canada men had swords many had muskets 200 had rifles, 1665, New France population 3,200, 1669, Garrison of 212 men, 1671, reduced to 67 men plus local militia 446 men stayed

Commanders: 1659, Colonel Henri de Chastelard marquis de Salières, 1665, Lieutenant General Marquis Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy

1630, Régiment de Salièrs 1659, Amalgamated with Régiment de Carignan, 1665, Régiment d'infanterie Carignan-Salièrs, 1677, Régiment de Soissons, 1766, Régiment de Lorraine, 1791, 47e Régiment de Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1664-1665, Garrisoned Martinique; June 1665, Garrisoned Québec Trois Rivièrs and Montréal; August 1665, Built Forts Sorel Chambly Saint-Jean Ste-Thérèse Ste-Anne on Richelieu River; February 1666, Attacked Iroquois at Dutch Schenectady; September 1666, Attacked Iroquois at Lake George; 1666-1668, Garrisoned Canada.[7]

Régiment d'infanterie de Chambellé

1665, Detached Company with Régiment Carignan-Salièrs in New France.

Canada. 1665-1668, Garrisoned Québec with Carignan-Salièrs.

Régiment d'infanterie de Champagne

Commander: 1569, de Gohas, 1791, Colonel Jean-Anne de la Barthe de Giscard

1569, Compagnies de Gardes du Roi, 1585, Regiment d'infanterie de Champagne, 1791, 7e Régiment d'Infantrie.

Caribbean. 19 June 1779, Captured St Vincent; 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada; American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean. 12 April 1782, Naval Battle of Les Saintes;1801-1804, Garrison St Dominigue (Haiti).

Corps de Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint Domingue

Colonial regiment

1779, Corps de Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint Domingue, 1783, Disbanded.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean. 1 December 1779-1783, Garrisoned Fort Royale in Grenada.

Les Companies Franches de la Marine[8]

1622, Strength Cardinal Richelieu created the French navy, with ship and port protection by 80 independent coys of 100 men intended for New France, Louisiana, Antilles, 1674, army New France with residual Carignan-Salièrs, 1787, mixed French & Canadian officers, 1688, Strength 35 coys deployoyed to Canada, 1689, coys reduced to 28 - variable after, 1757, Strength 40 coys of 65 men, 1757, Strength formed ad hoc 500-man bn for Montcalm, 1760, Strength formed 2nd bn

Commanders: 1687, Lieutenant Louis Pastour de Costabelle in Newfoundland, 1789, Colonel le Comte de Gestas

1622, Les compagnies détachées de la Marine, 1626, Régiment de la Marine, 1690, Les Companies Franches de la Marine, c1745 formed into three regiments: 106e Régiment d'Infantrie, 109e Régiment d'Infantrie, 111e Régiment d'Infantrie, 1791, 11ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1674, Garrisoned Martinique & Guyana.  Canada. 1683-1700, Garrisoned Québec and attacked Iroquois; 1685, Garrisoned Acadia (NB); 1687, Garrisoned Placentia (Nfld); 1710, Failed defence of Acadia; 1713, Garrisoned Isle Royale (Cape Breton NS); 1686, Captured HBC James Bay posts; 1690, Siege of Québec; 1704-1769, Garrisoned Louisiana; 1715-1735, Attacked Natchez Indians; 1719, Defeated Spanish & Captured Pensacola; 1739-1740 Defeated Chickasaw Indians; May 1744, Captured Fort Canso; 6 May-17 June 1745 Surrendered Fort Louisbourg to Sir Peter Warren and Sir William Pepperrall; 1751, Garrisoned Québec Detroit Montréal Trois-Riviers Niagara Michilimackinac and Forts Frontenac Chambly St Frederic Beausejour; 1752, Defeated Chickasaw Indians; July 1754, Battle of Fort Necessity. Canada Seven Year's War. 9 July 1755, Defeated General Braddock's 44th & 48th Regts at Battle of Monongahela; 10-14 August 1756, Captured Fort Oswego, 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry;[9] 1758, Defeated at Isle Royale; 25-27 August 1758, Siege and Surrendered Fort Frontenac; 25 November 1758, Surrendered Fort Duquesne; 6-8 July 1758, Defended Ticonderoga; 3-24 July 1759, Defeated at Fort Niagara by Sir William Johnson; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham; 28 April 1760, Battle of St Foy; 1762, Garrisoned Newfoundland. Caribbean, 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada; 7 September 1778, Captured St Dominigue (Haiti). American Revolution. 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish Captured Pensacola; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Régiment d'infanterie Royale-Comtois

1674, Régiment de Listenois,1685, Régiment d'infanterie Royal-Comtois, 1749, Amalgamated with Régiment de Bassigny, 1791, 73e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 24 February 1779, Captured St Martin; 3 February 1781, Surrendered St Eustache; 26 November 1781, Captured St Eustache; 2 June 1781, Captured Tobago; 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe.

Régiment d'infanterie de Condé

1620, Régiment de Vieuxpont, 1644, Régiment d'infanterie de Condé, 1791, 55e Régiment d'Infantrie.

Caribbean. c1780, Naval Battle.

Régiment d'infanterie du Dauphin

1667, Régiment d'infanterie du Dauphin, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment de Guyenne, 1791, 29ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1779-1782, Antilles.

Régiment d'infanterie Royal Deux-Ponts

Strength 2 bns of German Zweibruckeners

Commander: 1780, Comte Christian de Forbach de Deux-Ponts, 1791, Colonel Adam Phillipe Jarreck Compt de Custine

1757, Régiment d'infanterie Royal Deux-Ponts, 1791, 99e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Régiment de Dillon

Irish troops

Commanders: 1653-1664, Major General Honourable John Dillon, 1688, Colonel Theobald Dillon Viscount Dillon, 1734, Colonel Honourable Henry Dillon Viscount Dillon, 1747, Colonel Honourable Arthur Dillon Comte Dillon, 1780, Colonel Theobald Dillon Comte Dillon

1653, Shrewsbury-Dillon's Regiment, 1690, Amalgamated with Butler's and Fielding's Regiments, 1690, Régiment de Dillon, 1762, Amalgamated with Régiment de Lally, 1775, Amalgamated with Régiment de Bulkeley, 1791, 87e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1775, Garrison Grenada; 28 December 1778, Surrender St Lucia; 2-5 July 1779, Captured Fort Royale Grenada; 1780-1781, Garrison St Dominigue (Haiti); 17 April 1780, Naval Battle and Failed invasion of Jamaica with Admiral Guichen; 3 February 1781, Surrendered St Eustache; 2 June 1781, Captured Tobago. American Revolution. 9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah; 3-19 October 1781, Defeated British at Battle and Siege of Gloucester; ; Caribbean. 26 November 1781, Captured St Eustache; 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe; 1781, Garrison St Dominigue (Haiti).

Régiment d'infanterie d'Enghien

1706, Régiment d'infanterie d'Enghien, 1791, 93e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1780-1781, Garrison St Dominigue (Haiti); 17 April 1780, Naval Battle and Failed invasion of Jamaica with Admiral Guichen.

Régiment d'infanterie de Foix

1684, Régiment d'infanterie de Foix, 1791, 83e Régiment d'Infantrie.

Caribbean. 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada. American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. 12 April 1782, Naval Battle of Les Saintes.

Régiment d'infanterie de la Guadaloupe

c1779, Régiment d'infanterie de la Guadaloupe, 1791, 109e Régiment d'Infantrie.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah.

Régiment d'infanterie de Guyenne

1755, 556 all ranks/bn, 1759, Defeated at Fort Niagara by Sir William Johnson

Commanders: 1757, Major General Marquis de Montcalm, 1759, Colonel Fontbonne

1610, Régiment de Vaubécourt, 1763, Régiment d'infanterie de Guyenne, 1791, 21ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1755, Garrisoned Québec & Fort Frontenac; 10-14 August 1756, Captured Fort Oswego; 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry; 8 July 1758, Defended Fort Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 3-24 July 1759, Defeated and Surrendered Fort Niagara; 31 July 1759, Battle of Montmorency Falls; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham; 28 April 1760, Captured Ste Foy; 28 April-17 May 1760, Failed Siege of Québec; 16-27 August 1760, Battle and Retreat from Isle Aux Noix; 7 September 1760, Surrendered Montréal, Canada, and la Nouvelle France.

Régiment d'infanterie de Hainaut

1651, Régiment de Vendôme, 1763, Régiment d'infanterie de Hainaut, 1791, 50e Régiment d'Infantrie de ligne.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Battle of Savannah. Caribbean. 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada; 12-14 February 1782, Captured St Christophe.

Régiment d'infanterie Suisse de Karrer

Swiss and German colonial navy troops

1719, army regiment, 1721, transferred to navy

1719, Régiment d'infanterie Suisse de Karrer, 1752, Régiment d'infanterie Suisse de Hallwyl, 1763, Disbanded.

Caribbean. 1719-1721, Garrisoned St Dominigue (Haiti) and Martinique; Canada. 1722-1745, Garrison Fort Louisbourg; May 1744, Captured Fort Canso; 1745, Siege and Surrendered Fort Louisbourg to Sir Peter Warren and Sir William Pepperrall; 1747-1749, Garrisoned Québec; America. 1731-1764, Garrisoned New Orleans and Mobile. Caribbean. 1752-1763, Garrisoned St Dominigue (Haiti) and Martinique.

Régiment de Lallier

1665, Detached Company with Régiment Carignan-Salièrs in New France.

Canada. 1665-1668, Garrisoned Québec with Carignan-Salièrs.

Régiment d'infanterie de Languedoc

1755, Defeated at Lake George by Sir William Johnson

Commanders: 1755, Major General Baron von Dieskau, Major General Marquis de Montcalm, 1759, Lieutenant Colonel Privat

1655, Régiment Catalan-Mazarin, 1672, Régiment de d'infanterie Languedoc, 1791, 67ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1755 Garrisoned Québec; 8 September 1755, Defeated at Battle of Lake George; 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry; 8 July 1758, Battle of Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 31 July 1759, Battle of Montmorency Falls; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham; 28 April 1760, Captured Ste. Foy; 7 September 1760, Surrendered Montréal, Canada, and la Nouvelle France. Caribbean. 1779-1782, Antilles.

Régiment d'infanterie de Lorraine

Commander: 1740, Colonel Stanislas Leszczinski

c1477, Légion de Lorrain, 1630, Régiment Catholique Lorrain, c1734, Régiment Royal Lorraine, 1744, Amalgamated with Régiment du Perche, c1760-1766, Régiment d'infanterie de Lorraine, 1791, 47ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1779-1782, Antilles.

Régiment d'infanterie du Maine

1616, Régiment de Villeroy, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment de Nice, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie du Maine, 1791, 28e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 2 June 1781, Captured Tobago. American Revolution. 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Régiment d'infanterie de la Marine

1635, Régiment Cardinal-Duc, 1636, Régiment d'infanterie de La Marine, 1791, 11ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada. 22 June 1762, Captured St John's Newfoundland.

Régiment d'infanterie de la Martinique

Régiment d'infanterie de la Martinique, 1791, 109e Régiment d'Infantrie de ligne.

Caribbean. 7 September 1778, Captured St Dominigue (Haiti); 19 June 1779, Captured St Vincent; 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada. American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. Caribbean. 17 April 1780, Naval Battle and Failed invasion of Jamaica with Admiral Guichen.

Milice du Canada

All men 16-60 years for local defence

1669, Milice du Canada, 1760, Disbanded.

Canada. 1669-1760, Québec.

Regiment d'infanterie de Normandie

1616, Bandes de Normandie, 1776, Regiment d'infanterie de Normandie, 1791, 9e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1791, St Dominigue (Haiti).

Régiment d'infanterie d'Orléans

1642, Régiment de Mazarin-Italien, .1660, Régiment d'infanterie d'Orléans 1791, 44e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Canada. 1665-1668, Garrisoned Québec with Carignan-Salièrs. American Revolution. 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish to Capture Pensacola.

Régiment d'infanterie de Penthiéve

1684, Régiment de Toulouse, 1737, Régiment d'infanterie de Penthièvre, 1791, 78ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada. 1762, Garrisoned Newfoundland.

Régiment d'infanterie de Poitou

1616, Régiment d'Hostel, 1682, Régiment de Poitou, 1763, Amalgamated with Régiment de Saint-Maurice, 1776, Régiment d'infanterie de Poitou, 1791, 25e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Canada. 1665-1668, Garrisoned Québec with Carignan-Salièrs. American Revolution. 20 April-9 May 1781, Siege and allied with Spanish to Capture Pensacola. Caribbean. 1779-1782, Garrisoned Antilles;17 April 1780, Naval Battle and Failed invasion of Jamaica with Admiral Guichen.

Régiment d'infanterie de Port au Prince

1776, Légion de St Domingue, 1791, 110e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah.

Regiment d'infanterie de Provence

Commanders: 1791, Colonels Charles-Guillaume Vial d'Alain, Francois-Hubert de Thiballier

1569, Régiment de Brissac, 1785, Regiment d'infanterie de Provence, 1791, 4e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1791, Captured St Dominigue (Haiti).

Régiment d'infanterie de la Reine

1755, 556 all ranks, 1755, Defeated at Lake George by Sir William Johnson

Commander: 1754, Major General Baron von Dieskau

1634, Régiment de Royons, 1661, Régiment d'infanterie de La Reine, 1791, 41e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War. 1755 Garrisoned Québec; 8 September 1755, Defeated at Battle of Lake George; 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry; 8 July 1758, Defended Fort Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 25-26 July 1759, Surrendered Fort Carillon/Ticonderoga; 31 July 1759, Battle of Montmorency Falls; 28 April 1760, Captured Ste Foy; 28 April-17 May 1760, Failed Siege of Québec; 16-27 August 1760, Battle and Retreated from Isle Aux Noix; 7 September 1760, Surrendered at Montréal.

Régiment d'infanterie Royal-Roussillon

1756, 556 all ranks/bn, 1759, Defeated at Fort Niagara by Sir William Johnson

Commanders: 1758, Major General le Marqui de Montcalm, 1759, Colonel Louis-Bernard de Cléron Comte d'Haussonville

1657, Régiment Catalan-Mazarin, 1667, Régiment d'infanterie Royal-Roussillon, 1791, 54e Régiment d'Infantrie de ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War, Canada, 1756, Garrisoned Québec; 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry; 8 July 1758, Defended Fort Carillon/Ticonderoga; 3-24 July 1759, Defeated and Surrendered Fort Niagara; 31 July 1759, Battle of Montmorency Falls; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham; 28 April 1760, Battle of Ste Foy; 7 September 1760, Surrendered Montréal, Canada, and la Nouvelle France. 1761, Returned to France.

Régiment d'infanterie de Saintonge

Strength 2 bns

Commander: Adam Phillipe Jarreck Comte de Custine

1684, Régiment d'infanterie de Saintonge, 1775, Amalgamated with Cambresis Régiment, 1779, 85e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne, 1791, 82e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 1763-1768, Garrison Cayenne Caribbean; American Revolution. May 1780, Battle of Philadelphia; May-June 1780, Battle of Rhode Island; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America. Caribbean. 1782-1783, Garrison Antilles.

Régiment d'infanterie de la Sarre

1756, 556 all ranks/bn, 1759, Defeated at Fort Niagara by Sir William Johnson

Commander: Colonel Senezergues

1651, Régiment de La Ferté Sennecterre, 1685, Régiment d'infanterie de La Sarre, 1791, 51e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Canada Seven Year's War, 1756, Garrisoned Québec; 10-14 August 1756, Captured Fort Oswego; 4-9 August 1757, Captured Fort William Henry; 8 July 1758, Defended Fort Carillon/ Ticonderoga; 25-27 August 1758, Surrendered Fort Frontenac; 3-24 July 1759, Defeated and Surrendered Fort Niagara; 31 July 1759, Battle of Montmorency Falls; 13 September 1759, Battle for Québec on Plains of Abraham; 28 April 1760, Captured Ste Foy; 28 April-17 May 1760, Failed Siege of Québec; 7 September 1760, Surrendered Montréal, Canada, and la Nouvelle France. Caribbean. 1779-1782, Garrison St Dominigue (Haiti); 17 April 1780, Naval Battle and Failed invasion of Jamaica with Admiral Guichen. American Revolution, 1775-1781. 19 October 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America.

Régiment d'infanterie de Soissonnais

Commanders: 1781, Comte de Saint Maisme, 2i/c Vicomte de Noailles

c1780, Strength 2 bns

1578, Bandes du Perche, 1630, Régiment de Grancey, 1763, Régiment d'infanterie de Soissonnais, 1791, 40e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. May 1780, Battle of Rhode Island; 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; June 1783, Battle of Hampton.

Régiment d'infanterie de Touraine

Commander: 1781, Vicomte de Poudeux

1625, Régiment du Plessis Joigny, 1657, Régiment d'infanterie de Touraine, 1762, Amalgamated with Régiment de Flandre, 1791, 33e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

American Revolution. 28 September-19 October 1781, Defeated British Surrendered at Battle and Siege of Yorktown; 1781-1782, Garrisoned America. Caribbean. 12-14 February 1782, Battle of St Christophe; 12 April 1782, Naval Battle of Les Saintes.

Régiment d'infanterie de Viennois


1610, Régiment de Vaubécourt, 1776, Régiment
d'infanterie de Viennois, 1791, 22e Régiment d'Infantrie de Ligne.

Caribbean. 7 September 1778, Captured St Dominigue (Haiti); 4 July 1779, Captured Grenada; 2 June 1781, Captured Tabago; 12-14 February 1782, Battle of St Christophe. St Dominigue (Haiti) 78 ; Grenade 80 ; 81 ; St Christophe 82 American Revolution.

Régiment d'infanterie de Vintimille

1634, Régiment Suédois de Gassion, 1661, Régiment de Clérembaut, 1759, Régiment de Montrevel, 1788, Régiment d'infanterie de Vintimille, 1791, 49ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

Canada. 1762, Garrisoned Newfoundland.

Régiment de Walsh

Irish troops

Commander: 1770, Antoine Joseph Phillipe, Comte de Walsh de Serrant

1662, Irish Foot Guards, 1718, Régiment de Rooth, 1786, Régiment de Walsh, 1791, 92e Régiment d'Infantrie.

American Revolution. 23 September-9 October 1779, Failed Siege of Savannah. La Grenade 79 Savannah. Caribbean. 1781, Naval Battle; 2 June 1781, Captured Tobago; 26 November 1781, Captured St Eustache.

ENDNOTES

1                For background see http://www.geocities.com/ao1617/TercioUK.html. See René Chartrand, The French Soldier in Colonial America, for service details. For regiments in the Seven Years' War see http://www.warof1812.ca/charts/7warchtf.htm, the Seven Years' War Website.  For French aid in the American Revolution, see also xenophongroup.com/mcjoynt/regmts.htm, Régiments français de la Guerre d'Amérique [French Regiments in the American War (for Independence),

2                For a complete list of French regiments c1650-1810 see http://www.drapeaux.org/Accueil.htm, http://tmg110.tripod.com/france1.htm, http://lareine.homestead.com/history.html, http://www.patriotresource.com/battles/yorktown/page5.html, http://guyrenaud.free.fr/thematiques_am%E9rique.htm. http://vial.jean.free.fr/new_npi/revues_npi/2_1998/npi_298/2_binf_org_.htm, http://vial.jean.free.fr/new_npi/archives/arch_fran.htm, French Infantry Regiments and the Colonels who Led Them: 1791 to 1815, http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/organization/c_frenchinf10.html, http://mylak.free.fr/nouv_denomination_regiment.html, and http://perso.wanadoo.fr/gbfwss/Site%20WSS/Infanterie%20accueil.htm. See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08132b.htm, and http://www.doyle.com.au/wild_geese.htm for Irish, Dillon and Walsh notes.

3                For an overview of French (and other European) armies see http://www.regiments.org/regiments/europe/ie-regts/690dillonh.htm. For later data post-1791, see http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/organization/c_frenchinf.html. For general deployoyments see http://www.memorial-genweb.org/~lafayette-genweb/liste2.php. Canadian Government web site, Regiments and Units Serving in Canada 1755-1871, and http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/022-909.001.02-e.html, http//www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/en/page_538.asp?flash=1. See also http://www.geocities.com/ao1617/Others.html for army general background organisation.

4                Amongst other battle and deployoyment sources see http://cf.geocities.com/miliciensetreguliers/roussillon.html, http://www.laferriere.us/Carrigan%20Salieres%20Regiment.htm, http://tdm.vo.qc.ca/histoire/hist002.htm, http://www.xenophongroup.com/mcjoynt/assess01.htm, http://www.historia.presse.fr/data/thematique/99/9904001.html, http://www.magweb.com/sample/amr/ed82loui.htm, http://www.littletownmart.com/fdh/pensacola-war.htm, http://www.fort-ticonderoga.org/history/bibliographies/1759Campaign.htm.

5                BOLTON'S HISTORIC MOMENTS DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, http://www.boltonnews.org/zhistoricmoments.html.

6                New France, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_France. In c1712, la Nouvelle France included: Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Louisiana. By surrendering la Nouvelle France the French gave up title to all of North America. Actually, they hedged their bets and in 1764 transferred ownership of Louisiana to Spain. Like the French the Spanish weren't impressed with Louisiana and they returned Louisiana secretly to the French Napoleon in 1800: he sold it to the United States in 1803. France kept the islands of St Pierre and Miquelon near Newfoundland, and several Caribbean sugar islands, plus French Guyana in South America. When Louis XV heard the bad news of his lost colonies, he was consoled by Voltaire who said "...what have we lost - a few acres of snow?". {"...quelques arpents de neige?") The British were refused when they offered to trade Canada for the valuable French sugar Island of Guadeloupe.

7                René Chartrand, The French Soldier in Colonial America, pp. 8-9. Although 1668 is taken as the regiment's departure from Canada, Chartrand notes .'four companies left behind'. and that six new companies arrived in 1670.

8                Troupes De Marine, at http://www.troupesdemarine.org/traditions/histoire/index.htm.

9                Fort William Henry was built by Sir William Johnson and colonial volunteers in 1755.

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