French Volontaires Étrangers, 1756–1759

French Volontaires Étrangers, 1756–1759

Raised in 1756 by Colonel Christian Fischer as a three-battalion foreign regiment, and converted to light infantry in January 1759 under the new name of Volontaires Étrangers de Vignolles. A detachment of 170 men of the 2nd battalion served during the siege of Louisburg in Canada in 1758 and was captured by the British. Some prisoners are said to have joined the 60th Royal American Regiment, the remainder were sent to prisoner of war camps in Britain, later to be exchanged, and transferred to the French West Indies.

Uniform

White coat, waistcoat, coat lining, and breeches, horizontal pockets, green collar and cuffs, white metal buttons, tricorne with white lace. Lt.-General Montcalm, commander in chief of the French army in Canada, described the uniform of the 2nd battalion of the Volontaires Étrangers in his war diary, but he mentions a green waistcoat.

Commanding Officer

  • Lieutenant-Col. Commandant, M. Tirant
  • Lieutenant-Col. Commandant, M. d’Anthonay
  • Lieutenant-Col. Commandant, M. de la Prade
  • Lieutenant-Col. Commandant, M. Glocker

Campaign History

  • Deployed with the French Army of the Rhine
  • Combat de Saint-Cast (1st battalion), 11. Sept. 1758
  • Defence of Louisburg (2nd battalion), June/July 1758

Lineage

  • Volontaires Étrangers de Vignolles, 27. January 1759
  • Volontaires d’Austrasie, 22. November 1759
  • Incorporated into the Légion du Hainaut, December 1762

Bibliography

  • Kroll, Ingo: Gefechtskalender der Alliierten Armee 1757–1762 (2013)
  • Montendre-Longchamps: État militaire de France, pour l’Année 1758 (Paris 1758)

Frequently Asked Questions

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French Light Troops