The Maine regiment, 2 battalions

Origins of the regiment de Turenne

According to tradition the Turenne regiment had its roots in a Lorraine regiment raised in 1604 by de Lémont. It's supposed that this regiment held Sedan for Henry IV from 1606 to 1610 and that afterwards it was maintained by the Duc de Bouillon. After the 1622-1624 siege of Montauban a lot of Protestant lords made their peace with the king. In return the Duc de Bouillon got the right to raise a regiment for his younger brother the Vicomte de Turenne. The appointment was dated to 17 January 1625 and most probably saw to this regiment. On 26 May 1626 this regiment was disbanded, but on 27 March 1630 it was re-established. Later that year it went to Piedmonte, where it participated in the Siege of Casale. In 1628 it returned to Lorraine where it remained inactive till 1633.

The Maine regiment in the Franco-Dutch war

In the Franco-Dutch war the Turenne regiment participated in the conquest of Maaseik, Burich, Rees, Saint Trond, Tongeren, Orsoy, Arnhem, Schenkenschans, Nijmegen, Doesburg, Crèvecoeur and the Bommelerwaard. It also participated in the Siege of Zutphen under the Duc d'Orleans and garrisoned Naarden. In 1673 the Turenne regiment was on the German front and wintered in Frankfurt. During the 1674 siege of Besançon the regiment was on the frontier between Alsace and Franche-Comté. Later that year the Turenne regiment had a detachment at the Battle of Sintzheim. It was also at Ladembourg, Enzheim and in the Battle of Muhlhausen. On 5 January 1675 it was in the Battle of Turckheim and afterwards wintered at Verdun. On 27 July 1675 the Turenne regiment was in camp at Salzbach when its colonel was killed.

By order of 14 August 1675 the regiment was then given to Louis August de Bourbon Duc du Maine, the most favored bastard of Louis XIV. This made not only that the regiment was henceforward known as Regiment du Maine, but it also changed its colors. Because of the age of the Duc du Maine Roger Brulart de Sillery Marquis de Puysieux was appointed as Colonel-Lieutenant on the same day. After the camp of Salzbach the regiment was at the Defense of the Rhine bridges, the combat of Altenheim, lifting the siege of Haguenau and that of Saverne. In 1676 the regiment du Maine participated in the siege of Condé and in covering those of Bouchain and Aire. In March 1677 it started with the sieges of Valenciennes and Cambrai. Later it went to Saint Omer and was in the Battle of Cassel.

In 1678 the regiment du Maine started with the sieges of Gent and Ieper. Next came the Battle of Saint Denis and the Maine ended the campaign on the Rhine. On 19 December 1679 Henri d'Harcourt Marquis de Thury was appointed as colonel-lieutenant. Not much is then known of the regiment till it participated in the 1684 Siege of Luxembourg.

The Maine regiment in the Nine Years War

In the Nine Years War the Maine regiment started with the conquest of Philippsburg, Frankenthal and Mainz. At the of 1689 it was in garrison at Mainz and was then employed in the famous defense of that place. During this siege colonel-lieutenant de Thury was severely wounded. In 1690 the Thury regiment went to Flanders and fought at Fleurus. In 1691 the regiment started with the Siege of Mons and continued at the Moselle. In 1692 it returned to Flanders it was in the Siege of Namur and the Battle of Steenkerque. In 1693 it again started in Flanders, but on 12 June ot quitted Namur to go to Germany. In 1694 the regiment was in the combat of Tongres and in the Bombardment of Brussel. In 1696 and 1697 the regiment was again on the Meuse. After the peace it was in the 1698 camp of Compiègne. On 30 December 1698 the Fusilier regiment of Ximénès was incorporated into the regiment. On 1 March 1700 N. Marquis de Séguiran became colonel-lieutenant of the regiment.

The regiment Maine in the War of the Spanish Succession

In the War of the Spanish Succession the Maine regiment started by occupying some places in the Spanish Netherlands in 1701. In 1702 it was in the Nijmegen affair. In 1703 the regiment du Maine was in the Battle of Ekeren. Here the regiment had 30 officers killed and amongst those was its colonel-lieutenant Marquis de Séguiran. He was succeeded by François Arnauld de Courville on 15 July 1703. At the end of 1703 the Maine went to Spain with Berwick, arriving at Vittoria on 2 February 1704.

The 1704 campaign was directed against Portugal and there the Maine was in the conquest and sieges of Salvaterra, Segurra, Ponhagarzia, Ucepedo, Cebreros, Idanhanova, Mousanto, Castelbranco, Portalègre, Castel de Vide, Montalvan and Marvan. In 1705 it was in the failed siege of Gibraltar under Tessé. Later that year it went to Barcelona. In January 1706 it was sent to the border between Valencia and Catalonia in order to prevent infiltration by Miquelets. It then fought near the castle of Caniz and then returned to the Siege of Barcelona.

After the siege of Barcelona had failed the Maine regiment was again sent to fight against Portugal and was present in the 29 August battle on the Taag. Thereafter it went to the kingdom of Valencia. On 18 October it arrived before Elche, near Alicante and contributed to taking that place. The 1706 campaign was ended with the Siege of Cartagena. On 24 April 1707 Colonel-lieutenant de Courville took Ajora castle with a picked force of 100 men. During the capitulation some soldiers however started to plunder and the garrison took up arms again and mortally wounded De Courville, who died on 9 May.

On 10 May 1707 the regiment was in the Battle of Almansa under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel de Belrieux. It's said that the régiment du Maine was took a principal part in winning this battle for the Bourbon cause. After the battle its lieutenant-colonel Alexandre de Dammartin Marquis de Belrieux first became a brigadier on 17 May 1707 and later became its colonel-lieutenant on 15 June 1707. After this battle the regiment first went to the Siege of Lérida and in December it contributed to the conquest of Morella.

In 1708 the regiment was in the Siege of Tortosa. In the night of 9-10 July the two grenadier companies and the first battalion attacked the covered road and established themselves there. In July 1709 the Maine was recalled to France in order to guard the Dauphiné. In 1710 it turned to Flanders and in 1711 it was in the attack of Arleux. In 1712 it distinguished itself at Denain and in the sieges of Douai, Quesnoy and Bouchain.

In 1713 the Maine regiment was in the last siege of Landau, the battle for the works near Freiburg and finally the SIege of Freiburg. On 15 November the regiment d'Aunay and d'Epinay were incorporated into the regiment. On 5 January 1715 the regiment of the Marquis de Valence was incorporated. In 1718 the Marquis de Valence became colonel-lieutenant.

Flag of the regiment Maine

Notes

1) Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française volume IV, page 405 for most of this article about the Maine regiment.