Origins of the Champagne regiment
Je suis du régiment de Champagne
The Champagne regiment seems to have its roots in some companies that had been part of the Bandes de Piémont. In the 1550's some of these remained in Metz and the Bishoprics after they had been conquered by François I. These then fought in the wars of religion and in the battle of Dormans in 1575. In 1580 the unit served in the siege of La Fere under Henri II. In 1595 the Champagne regiment was present at the siege of the castle of Beaune and the siege of Dijon. After that a long list of battles and sieges followed, but we'll pick that up in the Guerre d'Hollande.
The Champagne regiment in the 1672 war against the United Provinces
In May 1672 the Champagne regiment joined the army of the Prince de Condé near Liège. It then participated in the sieges of Wesel and Emmerich, and after crossing the Rhine it was involved in the siege of Nijmegen, where it conquered the covered road. At the end of the 1672 campaign the regiment was involved in the expedition to Bodegraven, where a lot of atrocities were commited. In 1673 the regiment was in Germany where it fought near Würzburg. In 1674 the regiment fought at Entzheim. In 1675 the regiment was in the battle of Türckheim. It then fought a series of other engagements in Germany which was closed with the 1679 battle of Minden. After the peace the regiment was ordered to work on the canals in the Languedoc.
The Champagne regiment in the Nine Years War
In the Nine Years War the first battalion started at the sieges of Phillipsburg and Mannheim. The second battalion took Kaiserslautern and a lot of other places and wintered in Mainz. In 1689 the regiment fought at Walcourt, where it lost Colonel le Bailli de Colbert. In 1690 the regiment was in the Battle of Fleurus where it lost Colonel Comte de Sceaux, who was succeeded by his brother the Marquis de Blainville. In March-April 1691 the Champagne regiment participated in the siege of Mons1. It then wintered at Dinant where it formed a third battalion. In 1692 the Champagne regiment was on the extreme right near Namur2 and participated in the Battle of Steenkerque. For the rest of the war it did not see much action except that it was part of the force that covered the siege of Ath in 1697.
The Champagne regiment in the War of the Spanish Succession
During the war of the Spanish Succession the Champagne started by occupying Limbourg in 1701. Early in 1702 Blainville was promoted and the Marquis de Seignelay was appointed colonel on 5 April. Later the Champagne was in the Army of the Upper Rhine under Catinat. On 11 October it participated in the conquest of Neubourg and on the 14th it was in the Battle of Friedlingen. The regiment then wintered in Strassbourg. In February 1703 the regiment was in the Siege of Kehl. It then participated in the failed attack on the Lines of Stollhofen. After that it marched to Germany in Villars' army and fought in the first Battle of Höchstädt. In December it then participated in the Siege of Augsburg and after that it wintered in Ulm.
In the Battle of Blenheim the regiment belonged to Marsin's part of the army and was near Oberklauw. The regiment did not fight at all, but suffered a lot from artillery fire. It also lost its old Colonel the Marquis de Blainville, who was mortally wounded. It then played its part in the retreat of Marsin's army and wintered in Strassbourg. In 1705 the regiment only did a small reconnaisance across the border. In 1706 the regiment took part in offensive actions on the Upper Rhine and wintered in Weissembourg. In 1707 it participated in the successful attack on the Lines of Stollhofen. It then took Pforzheim and Schorndorff and participated in the Battle of the Lorch valley.
After the Battle of Oudenaarde the regiment was ordered to Flanders where it garrisoned Mons. After the loss of Lille the regiment retired to Cambrai. In 1709 the Champagne fought at Malplaquet where it lost half its strength in killed and wounded. In 1712 the regiment participated in the Battle of Denain where its Colonel the Chevalier de Tessé was heavily wounded. After that it was in the sieges of Marchiennes and Douai. In 1713 the regiment went to the Rhine where it participated in the Siege of Freiburg. After the peace the regiments of La Londe, Du Roure and De Bugey were incorporated in the Champagne regiment.
|1) See the map of the siege of Mons present in the DIGAM HStAM WHK7/72.|
|2) See Bataile formée par les François contre les Alliées devant Namur en Brabande le 24 Juillet 1692.|