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CHAPTER 4: The King's Soldiers

The Carignan (3 pages)

Gathering the Troops

Officer with the regimental colour of the régiment de Carignan-Salières

Officer with the regimental colour of the régiment de Carignan-Salières
(Click image to enlarge)

A few years after this merger, the Carignan-Salières Regiment had dwindled to eight companies, or 400 men, which was its strength when selected to serve in Canada. Since the king wished to send 1,000 men, 12 companies drawn from other regiments were incorporated into it: four from the Lallier Regiment, four from Chambellé, three from Poitou and one from Broglio. The arrival of these 600 men probably gave rise to the eighteenth-century tale according to which the Carignan-Salières Regiment had participated in 1664 in the campaign in Hungary against the Turks, together with Austrian and German troops. According to the tale, it performed "prodigies of valour in the war against the Turks." [42] Since the Carignan-Salières Regiment was not actually numbered among the five infantry regiments sent to Hungary in the French contingent, it seems likely that some of the soldiers that were transferred to it came from these regiments and were consequently veterans of this tough campaign.

The Carignan Regiment was one of the first in the French army to wear uniforms. Its soldiers were outfitted in brown and grey, with those who came to Canada carrying matchlock and flintlock muskets with bayonets, another novelty of the era. They left their pikes in France, since they were of little use against the Iroquois, but they all carried swords.

Additional Images (Click image to enlarge)

  • Soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières