The regiment de Poitou, 2 battalions

Origins of the regiment de Poitou

The Regiment de Poitou1 at first bore the name of its colonel. The Poitou regiment pretended to descend from a regiment levied in 1585 by Charles de Choiseul, who had a company of infantry from 1584. After the 1587 battle of Vimory this regiment was disbanded. In 1612 César de Choiseul re-established his family's regiment, but it was again disbanded in the same year. It was by commmission of 16 September 1616 that César de Choiseul Comte d'Hotel formed a regiment of 6 companies of 100 men each. This regiment was disbanded the same year and re-established on 3 February 1617. It was then again disbanded in 1618, but again reinstated on 26 February 1619. In 1620 and on 7 July 1621 the same happened. It was then reduced to the colonel's company on 1 November 1622 till it was fully re-established on 3 August 1624 under the name Plessis-Praslin.

The regiment de Poitou in the Franco-Dutch War

In 1672 the Plessis-Praslin regiment was part of the army that invaded the United Provinces. It started with the Siege of Arnhem, continued with the Siege of Gennep and was in the SIege of Grave. At the end of the campaign it was in Germany where it participated in the capture of Unna, Kamen, Altena and Bielefeld. In 1673-1674 it wintered in Philippsbourg. In June 1674 the regiment participated in the Battle of Sinzheim and in October it fought at Enzheim. On 5 January 1675 it fought at Tuckheim and it then wintered at Philippburg. In the following campaign it served in the siege of Dinant and covered that of Huy and Limbourg. Later in 1675 it fought at Consaarbrück and defended Trier. In 1676 it fought in the battle of Kokersberg. In 1677 the regiment participated in the sieges of Valenciennes, Saint Omer and Saint Ghislain. In 1678 it started with the sieges of Gent and Ieper and in October it besieged the castle of Lichtemberg. After the peace of Nijmegen the regiment went into garrison in Alsace and stayed there till 1688.

The regiment de Poitou in the Nine Years War

In 1688 the regiment started with the Siege of Philippsburg, Mannheim and Frankenthal. On 3 November 1688 Léonor de Montchevreuil Comte de Mornay was appointed colonel. In 1689 it was in the conquest of the Pfalz and wintered in Mainz and Bonn. It then participated in the defense of these places. Later in 1690 it was in Flanders at the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691 it started with the Siege of Mons. In 1692 the regiment it participated in the Siege of Namur, fought at Steenkerque and was in the bombardment of Charleroi. In 1693 the first battalion fought at Neerwinden and was in the siege of Charleroi while the second battalion did nothing special. In 1695 the Poitou regiment was in the bombardment of Brussel. It ended the war with the Siege of Ath.

Meanwhile the count of Plessis-Praslin had been the last to give his name to the regiment. When N. Duplessis-Guénégault Marquis de Biville became colonel in 1682 the regiment ceased to be a regiment Gentilhomme and was named Regiment de Poitou for the Poitou region, succeeding in this to a regiment that had been disbanded after the 1659 peace.

The regiment de Poitou in the War of the Spanish Succession

On 7 February 1701 Monsieur de Mornay sold the Poittou to Du Montal for 70,000 Livres2 (Susane has 1702 for the appointment). In 1701 the Poitou regiment marched into the Spanish Netherlands. On 21 March 1702 Louis Charles de Montsaulnin Marquis de Montal was appointed as colonel. It then participated in the affair of Nijmegen. In June it went to Strassburg and in September it fought at Friedlingen, where it lost Lieutenant-colonel de Chevannes who commanded the brigade it was in. In February 1703 the Poitou was in the Siege of Kehl and in April it was in the failed attack on the Lines of Stolhofen. It then crossed into Germany with Villars and 200 of its grenadiers were in the affair of Munderkirchen. The Poitou regiment then participated in the first Battle of Höchstädt. In 1704 it started with the conquest of Gemunden and was then in Marsin's army at Blenheim. After returning to Alsace it was on the Moselle in 1705 and 1706, when it went to Flanders.

In 1708 the regiment fought heavily at Oudenaarde and was in the main force during the Siege of Lille. In 1709 the Poitou regiment was in the Battle of Maplaquet. In 1710 the regiment remained near Valenciennes. In 1711 it was in the affair near Arleux and in June it went to reinforce the Alsace army. In 1712 it was in the Battle of Denain and the capture of Douai, Quesnoy and Bouchain. In 1713 the regiment was in the Siege of Landau and the siege of Freiburg. After the war the Marloup regiment was incorporated into the Poitou.

Flag of the regiment de Poitou


1) Histoire d l'ancienne infanterie française by Susane vol IV page 181 for the Poitou regiment.
2) Dangeau under 7 February 1701 states that De Mornay sold the Poitou regiment.