The Touraine regiment, 2 battalions

Origins of the regiment de Touraine

Touraine was commanded by:
Timoléon de Congressans Baron du Plessis-Joigny29Apr.1625
Philippe de la Peëse Baron de Saintte-OffangeOct.1632
Isaac Frézeau Marquis de la Frézelière19July1635
Antoine de Neuilly d'AmboiseJuly1639
Charles Jules de Neuilly d'AmboiseDec.1650
N. le Sénechal Comte de Kercado1653
François Sidrac de Chambellay01July1654
N. Marquis de MontaigutMay1667
N. Frézeau Marquis de la Frézelière1673
N. Frézeau Chevalier de la FrézelièreAug.1675
François Frézeau Marquis de la Frézelière24April1677
Jean de Bonnac Marquis d'Usson23Sep.1680
N. Comte d'Igny30Jan.1691
Jean-B.-F. Desmarets Comte de Maillebois28Feb.1703
Charles-F. de Montmorency Duc de Luxembourg15March1718

In January 1625 the inhabitants of La Rochelle sent an expedition to besiege Port Blavet in Brittany. The royal general sent to see to its defense passed Angers and pressed its governor Timoléon de Congressans Baron de Plessis-Joigny to create an infantry regiment. The nucleus of this regiment was his own garrison company and to this 9 new companies were added.

The Regiment de Touraine therefore counted its rank as of 17 January 1625, even though its colonel got his official commission only on 29 April 1625. The regiment was then dismissed on 26 May 1626 and re-established on 28 July 1627.

In May 1636 the regiment got the drapeau blanc and at the time it also took the name Regiment de Touraine. During the Fronde a lot of colonels profited from the weakening of royal authority and did away with the provincial title of their regiments.

Therefore the regiment appeared as Amboise in 1652 and in 1653 it was called Kercado and in 1654 Chambellay. In 1669 it went to Crete as Regiment de Montégut. It returned the same year and went into garrison in French Flanders and Picardy.

The regiment de Touraine in the Franco-Dutch War

The regiment de Touraine was still in garrison in the first year of the Franco-Dutch war. In 1673 the regiment was given to the N. Frézeau Marquis de la Frézelière and was again named Touraine. This de la Frézelière was the son of a Lieutenant-General of artillery, and so the Touraine regiment was next to the Fusiliers for most of this war. This was the case in the 1674 Flanders campaign. In May 1675 it was in the Charleville camp. Next it went to Turenne's army and ordered to guard the bridges on the Rhine. In August 1675 N. Frézeau Chevalier de la Frézelière became colonel. On 11 January 1676 one of its battalions participated in the attack on Zweibrücken and was then left in garrison there. In 1677 the regiment participated in the siege of Valenciennes.

In April 1677 the regiment was in the siege of Saint Omer and stayed there during the battle of Cassel. On 18 April its colonel the chevalier de la Frézelière was killed during this siege and replaced by his father François Frézeau marquis de la Frézelière on 24 April 1677. On 23 September 1680 Jean de Bonnac marquis d'Usson became colonel. In 1684 the Touraine regiment participated in the siege of Luxembourg.

The Touraine regiment in the Nine Years War

In the Nine Years War the Touraine regiment started with the siege of Philippsburg and the conquest of Mannheim and Frankenthal. It wintered in Mézières and Charleville. In 1689 it started in the campaign against the Pfalz. It then fought at Walcourt and returned to the Pfalz. On 30 January 1691 N. Comte d'Igny became colonel. It then started on the Moselle and distinguished itself in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1692 the Touraine regiment was employed with the artillery during the siege of Mons.

In 1692 the Touraine was employed to guard the coastal batteries in Normandy. In 1693 the Touraine went to Piedmonte and fought in the first line at the Battle of Marsiglia.

In 1694 it went to the Spanish front and fought in the battle on the Ter and in the conquests of Gerona, Palamos, Ostalrich and Castelfollit. In 1695 the regiment was in the defense of Palamos and Ostalrich and distinguished itself in lifting the siege of Castelfollit, where it was placed in garrison till mid 1696. It was then sent to Italy to participate in the siege of Valense. In 1697 it returned to Catalonia and participated in the Siege of Barcelona.

The regiment de Touraine in the War of the Spanish Succession

At the start of the War of the Spanish Succession the Touraine regiment had two battalions and participated in the 1701 occupation of the Spanish Netherlands. In 1702 it was part of Boufflers' army during the Nijmegen affair. In 1703 it went to the German front. On 25 February it participated in lifting the siege of Trarbach castle. On 28 February 1703 Jean Baptiste François Desmarets comte de Maillebois became colonel of the regiment. It participated in the defense of Bonn. Later in 1703 it served in the siege of Breisach, the siege of Landau and the Battle on the Speyerbach.

After the capitulation of Landau the Touraine regiment went to Italy. Here it started 1704 with the siege of Suza and campaigned in the Alps and wintered at Pignerol. At the start of 1705 it took Castello and then served in the Siege of Villefranche and the operations to subdue Nice. In May 1705 its two grenadier companies were escorting a convoi and withstood an attack by 600 Vaudois. Later in 1705 it served at the Siege of Chivasso and in the Battle of Cassano.

In April 1706 the regiment fought in the Battle of Calcinato. The Touraine then went to the Siege of Turin. After this had failed it retreated to France. In 1707 the Touraine participated in the operations to lift the Siege of Toulon. In 1708 it started on the Upper Rhine, but after Oudenaarde it was sent to Flanders in July. Here it went to Lille and was besieged. In the 11 September sorty its lieutenant-colonel La Cassagne-Maurin was heavily wounded. In 1709 the Touraine fought at Malplaquet. In 1710 it defended Douai. In 1712 it garrisoned Maubeuge during the Battle of Denain and later participated in retaking Douai, Quesnoi and Bouchain.

In 1713 the Touraine regiment was on the German front and partitipated in the Siege of Freiburg. In 1714 the regiments Montsorreau, Sebebville and Belleisle were incorporated into the regiment.

Flag of the regiment de Touraine


1) Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française volume IV, page 331 for most of this article about the Touraine regiment.