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"French Royalist Cavalry. 1815" Topic

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Edwulf18 Jun 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

I read a reference to the Duke of Berry (duck de berri) being in command of 2 squadrons of Royalist French cavalry composed of French troops who had not gone over to Bonerparte it included ex cuirrasier, dragoons and some former imperial guards.

Does anyone know what they wore and were they were based?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 7:00 a.m. PST

You mean during the Hundred Days obviously.

The answers are surely Ghent and whatever they turned up in.

Before the Second "Restauration" (commes les Francias dites, je pense, parce que je parle le Francais tres formidable, n'est pas?)

Yeah, the First Restoration created wonderfully turned out useless units of privileged aristos…but what uniforms! As Household troops. Most line, even Garde units otherwise just swapped cockades and emblems.

Post 1815 it all changed. Maison du Roi, Gendarmes du Roi, Mousequetaires…….largely dropped.

But during the Hundred Days interregnum, poor old Louis was largely abandoned and any faithful troops were totally rejected by the Allies as of any use.

There is a whole book to be written on the subject…no one has ever tried it that I know of. Uniforms yes, not the experience of dodging Gen Buonaparte's return and instead pledging allegiance to a King who has abandoned his throne and country.

Edwulf18 Jun 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

Yes. I HAD edited my post to include 1815. But I guess I cocked that up like I did trying to post it in the first place.

I knew there were some units that stuck with the bourbons. But I assumed they were with him and I'd never seen them included in an allied order of battle before.

So I was wondering what they looked like. And if they got up to anything.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 9:01 a.m. PST

They definitely were not used at any stage. Wellington was quite determined about that and they were based in his area of influence, rather than Blucher's (Ghent with Louis XVIII).

Again, very unlikely indeed that reuniforming into Royalist Household troops would have been possible/even entertained. Remember, they would have departed from France as Line Royalist troops…ie Napoleonic Imperial uniforms, but with white Royalist Cockades and anything with an imperial eagle swapped for Fleur de Lis. Return of Gen Buonaparte created a problem for the units that then defected to him. "Now where did we put those…etc?"

Lilian18 Jun 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

the Duke of Berry (Duc de Berry, english language not having the exclusivity of names of people and provinces ending by "y") had with him in Alost more than 2 squadrons, around 800 to 2000 men mainly from Military Household of which around 600 still horsed Gardes du Corps of the blue house, Mousquetaires and Chevau-légers of the red house…few Grenadiers à cheval
there were also Swiss joined by others French royalists as a contingent of volunteers from Paris Law School

in june it was ordered to raise 2 regiments
a Chasseurs à cheval Régiment, 492 men into only 2 squadrons, maybe it is this one in particular, the Royal Chasseurs, same traditional uniform of the chasseurs à cheval
and a 1194 men infantry regiment, Régiment de la Couronne (crown) same traditional uniform of the light infantry

Le Breton18 Jun 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

Mr. Deadhead,

"tres formidable" indeed – even though many French would insist on "très"

For myself, although a natural born American citizen, I spent a good part of childhood on the coast of Brittany (hence the moniker) and part of my young adulthood in francophone Africa. I *think* I am fluent. But when French people from the main parts of the métropole hear my Senegal-Brooklyn-Breton accent, they tend to remember all their gradeschool English very quickly. I wonder why ….

"plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 12:08 p.m. PST

Great responses. M. Le Breton…I do not5 know how to find a grave accent over the e on my PC's Microsoft Word..but I will bet it is there.

Lilian. Now you seem to know more about this period than most.

How I wish you would tell us more. I find this a fascinating period. A "side issue" of the "Hundred Days" that is never addressed.

Marcel180918 Jun 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

lilian is absolutely correct, most royalist troops were stationed in and around Aalst (Alost) where they made themselves very unpopular with the local population and authorities. Also some issues over who was actually in command. They did not see any action. Sources, I don't have them handy here, most I remember from a guide tour at an exhibition about Aalst in the 1815-1830 period, two years ago. I would also like to see some good material with an overview of their uniforms.

Brechtel19818 Jun 2017 2:16 p.m. PST

There are a three excellent references for this subject.

-Ma Vie Militaire by Commandant de Lauthonnye which can be found in Carnet de la Sabretache, Series 2, X, Paris 1902, 195.

-Les Memoires du General de Saint Chamans, Carnet de la Sabretache, III, Paris 1895, 568.

-La Vie Militaire Sous la Restauration by Gaspard Richard de Soutrait, Carnet de la Sabretache, 3d Series, VI, Paris 1923, 461.

Most, if not all, of the royalist troops that accompanied Louis as he ran for Belgium were militarily worthless.

Le Breton18 Jun 2017 5:06 p.m. PST

Hide and seek much?

If you just copy/paste the Colonel Elting's bibliogrpahy, you also copy his typos and other errors.
I'm not sure how relevant these to the original question, but they are interesting and if someone wants to actually find and read them ….

For the first one, de Lauthonnye, it starts in the 1910 Sabretache, page 320
It finishes in 1911, from page 193
And re-printed, edited with notes, etc. but not free

For the de Saint-Chamans, 1895 is the right year, but it starts on page 543
But the Sabretache had something like late 19th century pre-pub "blurbs" : the actual memoirs were published the next year in full (this one is free)

For the Richard de Soultrait, 1923 is the right year, but it starts on page 406

Edwulf18 Jun 2017 5:46 p.m. PST

What did they do to Bleeped text off the locals?

Actual crimes or just swaggering arrogance? Or was just because they were hiding with their king while Belgian soldiers were fighting?

Brechtel19818 Jun 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

I'm not sure how relevant these to the original question, but they are interesting and if someone wants to actually find and read them …

I have the volumes in my library-have had them for years.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 3:18 a.m. PST


For uniforms. I was once able to get the book for free on line, but right now the link is defunct. Google the book title though and most images are there


Ah, found it again but Black and white images only at end of the book;


Le Breton19 Jun 2017 3:23 a.m. PST

Mr. Deadhead,

Here is the text : link
The images are black and white here, one needs your link to th image search to get the color views.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 3:27 a.m. PST

Cheers, you beat me to it by 4 minutes!

many thanks.

It is a wonderful book

Edwulf19 Jun 2017 5:30 a.m. PST

Wow. What splendid chaps.

Next to useless they might be but a couple of squadrons might get thrown into the dice grinder anyway.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 8:29 a.m. PST

Le Breton, you clearly know your way around this subject. I have often tried to find Vol 2….. many images, but is the text anywhere to download? I suspect not as I can find the book itself, for sale!

Edwulf. The folk in Paris totally agreed with you, at the First Restoration. The uniforms were ultramodern ie latest fashions and extremely smart…….

A parade of these chaps must have been magnificent. On the ridge with Wellington, useless, he predicted. I think they would have led the way for the Duke of Cumberland's Hussars…towards Brussels

Marcel180919 Jun 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

Edwulf, "Swaggering arrogance" sums it up quite nicely I believe, they seemed to behave as if they owned the place.

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