ⓘ Regiment de Metz
The Regiment de Metz was an artillery regiment of the French Ancien Regime army formed in 1725 and saw service through many of the major campaigns during the era. Elements of the regiment would then see service during the American Revolutionary War until it was disbanded in 1792. The regiment was then reformed as the 2nd Regiment of Artillery and its successor continued serving until 1999 when it was disbanded.
1. Early History
In 1720, the Bataillon de Certemont was formed in Vienne and immediately moved to Strasbourg, and in 1725 took part in the Great Review by Princess Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja Leszczynska who was about to be married to the king of France, Louis XV. The regiment then saw service during the War of the Polish Succession where it was attached to the Armee dAllemagne including the Siege of Philippsburg, where the regiment was assigned to the Brigade dArtillerie.
2. War of the Austrian Succession
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was part of the Armee du Rhin from 1741 to 1743 and served throughout Germany. In 1744, the regiment joined the Army of Flanders which was formed that year, and took part with it in the Siege of Veurne and capture of Kortrijk. In 1745, it took part in the famed Battle of Fontenoy, and continued on to the Siege of Tournai, Siege of Dendermonde, Siege of Oudenaarde, and Siege of Ath.
In 1746, the campaign in Flanders continued, and the battalion saw further service at the Siege of Namur and Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, the regiment contributed detachments and companies during the Conquest of Dutch Flanders, the Battle of Lauffeld, the Siege of Bergen op Zoom, and in 1748 took part in the Siege of Maastricht. At the end of that year, the commanding officers François-Raymond de Roonly, Vicomte de Richecourt died of fatigue after the war and was succeeded by N. de Fransure de Villiers.
3.1. Seven Years War Invasion of Hanover
By 1756, the battalion was re-titled as the Batallion de La Motte and was garrisoned in La Fere when the Seven Years War broke out.
In 1757, the battalion joined the Army of the Lower Rhine, Armee du Inferieur Rhin commanded by Marechal Louis Charles Cesar Le Tellier, Comte dEstrees for the upcoming Invasion of Hanover. On 17 May, the battalion arrived in Wesel and the end of June, the battalion was in camp in Bielefeld with the main corps. On 26 July the battalion took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck. On 8 September, after the Convention of Klosterzeven, the battalion left with the army, now commanded by Marechal Louis François Armand du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, which took up camp near Halberstadt near Prussian territoriy from 28 September to 5 November. Towards the end of the year, the battalion took winter-quarters in the first line in Wolfenbuttel.
3.2. Seven Years War Rhine Campaign
In April 1758, when Marechal Louis de Bourbon-Conde, Comte de Clermont-en-Argonne re-deployed his army, the battalion along with the Cosme and Menouville artillery battalions garrisoned the fortified the briagde head at Budingenopposire of Wesel. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by the army of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel on 31 May, the battalion was relieved towards Rheinberg where it join Clermonts army on June 2nd. The battalion remained in this camp forming part of the reserve until June 12th. On 23 June, the battalion took part in the Battle of Krefeld, serving under the Marquis de la Valliere. In mid-August, after Ferdinands retreat from the rhine, the battalion accompanied the Armee du Inferiur Rhin under command of Louis Georges Erasme, Marquis de Contades when it re-crossed the Rhine and during the Wesphalian Offensive. On 20 August, the battalion was emcamped in Wesel and later took part in the Siege of Munster.
3.3. Seven Years War Western Germany
Towards the end of May 1759, the Armee du Inferiur Rhin launched another offesnvie in Western Germany, but the battalion remained on the Rhine as part of the Marquis dArmentieress corps. On 19 October, the battalion was part of the force sent by Contades to reinforce dArmentieres in the Lower Rhine.
On 10 July 1760, the battalion took part in the Battle of Corbach, on 31 July at the Battle of Warburg, and 16 October at the Battle of Kloster Kampen. In 1761, the battalion distinguished itself during the defence of Kassel, and finally on 16 July fought at the Battle of Villinghausen.
After the end of the Seven Years War, the battalion was garrisoned in Metz, and shortly after re-named as the Regiment de Metz, and received a distinctive regimental colour which was the same design as the Corps de Royal Artillerie. Following the end of the Seven Years War, the Bord de Les Munitions Board of Ordnannce addressed a serious problem within the artillery, which was the use of artillery and the system by which it was equipped and performed. The first senior officer to notice this problem was, the later well known, Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval who had studied Prussian artillery just before the last war, and now was ready to implement his new system of artillery.
5. American Revolutionary War
In August 1766, the regiment passed garrison duty to the Regiment dAuxonne, and moved to La Fere. In September 1775, the regiment moved to Douai, and in 1777 the 2nd battalion moved to Saint-Malo where it embarked for Antilles. The 1st battalion was sent to La Rochelle and in 1779 moved to Saint-Jean-dAngely.
The 2nd battalion took part in the Siege of Savannah from 16 September–18 October 1779, and retreated from the area to join the army of Nathanael Greene, which it remained with until it moved to Yorktown.
In April 1780, two companies of the 1st battalion embarked for a tour of America, where it would remain until 1781. The 2nd battalion in-turn joined the Expedition Particuliere, lead by General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, while the two companies of the 1st battalion remained stationed in Saint-Domingue and throughout the different isles of French Antilles. During their time in the West Indies, the regiment provided 40 gunners for the Hudson Bay expedition.
When the armies grouped in Yorktown, the siege started almost immediately, where a company of the Regiment de Grenoble joined the battalion. The regiment was grouped with the 2nd battalion of the Regiment dAuxonne during the siege under the command of their colonel which doubled as the commanding officer of artillery.
6. French Revolution
When peace was declared, the regiment moved back to France, and garrisoned Metz before moving to Strasbourg, and the entire regiment grouped together again in 1784. In October 1786, the regiment was split between Besançon and Auxonne, where it was still based when the revolution broke out. In 1791, the regiment was renamed as the 2eme Regiment dArtillerie, thus ending the Ancien Regime tradition.
7. Commanding Officers
Commanding officers of the regiment during:
- 1777 - 1779 Jean-Baptiste Berlin de Presle
- 1791 - 1792 François-Claude de Rison
- 1769 - 1777 Charles-François Valentin de la Roche-Valentin
- 1748 - 1751 N. de Fransure de Villiers
- 1720 - 1728 Charles du Plesier de Certemont
- 1759 - 1761 Louis-Henri Ballard dInvilliers
- 1761 - 1765 Arnould de Loyaute
- 1765 - 1769 Gedeon, le Duchat dOuderne
- 1728 - 1743 Joseph-Bonaventure Villiain de Breande
- 1751 - 1759 Henri Charles de La Motte-Taffard
- 1779 - 1782 Jean-Claude Jeaquim de Faultrier de Corvol
- 1743 - 1748 François-Raymond de Roonly, Vicomte de Richecourt
- 1785 - 1791 Bernard de Riverieulx de Jarlay
- 1792: Jacques-Henri-François Lefebvre de Ladonchamp
- 1782 - 1785 François-Marie dAboville
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