The National Battlefields Commission
Plains of Abraham
The land troops were made up of professional soldiers dispatched by France to fight against America. They were well-disciplined and well-trained. In 1759, in Québec, these forces included the second battalions of five infantry regiments from various French regions23. Each of these regiments had its own history and a characteristic uniform.
Origin: Paris Region
During the Seven Years' War, this regiment was involved in several face-offs including that of Fort Saint-Frédéric at Lake George in September 1755, in which General Dieskau was wounded. The Régiment de la Reine also took part in the capture of Fort Bull and Fort William Henry and, more gloriously, contributed to the French victory over the forces of General Abercromby at Carillon in 1758. It would seem that, contrary to popular belief, the Régiment de la Reine was not involved in the siege of Québec; it was sent instead to Carillon in May 1759 to guard against a potential British attack, then pulled out and sent to Île-aux-Noix in July of that same year. However, this regiment fought in the Battle of Sainte-Foy in 176024.
The uniform of the Régiment de la Reine is characterized by a greyish-white justaucorps with red turnback cuffs decorated with three buttons, and with eight buttons on the pockets. The soldiers wore a red25 jacket, while their breeches, the same colour as the justaucorps, were worn with white or grey socks and black metal buckle shoes. White gaiters covered the socks and breeches; they were buttoned vertically on the outside and could be fastened below the knee with a black leather thong. The tricorn was made of black felt and trimmed with a silver braid26.
The flag was green and black and was divided by a white cross featuring a series of gold "fleurs de lys," three of which were surrounded by 4 gold crowns.
Origin: Bordeaux Region
Upon coming to America on June 23, 1755, this regiment was sent to Fort Frontenac, then to Fort Niagara. In February 1756, some of the men took part in the capture of Fort Bull by cutting off communication between Lake George and Oswego27. The Régiment de Guyenne participated in several battles: Fort Oswego in August 1756 and the capture of Fort William Henry in 1757. It also fought at Carillon in 1758, and the men spent the winter stationed in this location. In March 1759, some were sent out to Fort Niagara, 30 more at Île-aux-Noix, and the rest to Québec to help defend the city. The regiment participated in the battle of Montmorency, of the Plains of Abraham on September 13 (Régiment de Guyenne soldiers were placed at the centre of the attack line), and in the Battle of Sainte-Foy28.
The Régiment de Guyenne uniform was similar to that of the Régiment de la Reine: a greyish-white justaucorps with red turnback cuffs, decorated with three buttons; a red jacket, breeches of the same colour as the justaucorps, and black metal buckle shoes. Unlike the Régiment de la Reine, the black tricorn was trimmed with gold braid29.
Origin: Berry Region
In the beginning, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Régiment de Berry were to be mobilized to India. However, the regiment's destination was changed when Montcalm and Vaudreuil requested reinforcements: it landed in New France at the end of July 1757. The two battalions were stationed in Québec. In 1758, the regiment was sent to Carillon and contributed to its history. At the end of August, the regiment, which at first comprised 908 soldiers, had been reduced to 723 as a result of the battles that proved fatal for many. The remaining troops were not sent back to Québec for the Battle of the Plains of Abraham because their services were still needed at Carillon. However, they joined in the Battle of Sainte-Foy30.
The uniform worn by soldiers of the Régiment de Berry was also greyish-white, with red turnback cuffs, but it had five buttons instead of three, like the de la Reine and Guyenne Regiments. The justaucorps also had double vertical pockets fastened with six buttons. The jacket was red, the breeches and stockings greyish-white, the shoes black with metal buckles and the gaiters white. As for the tricorn, it was made of black felt and trimmed with gold braid31.
Origin: Picardie Region
Having arrived in New France in 1755, the Régiment de Béarn was sent to Fort Frontenac in early July and, a year later, contributed to the Fort Oswego victory with the other regiments, the Militia and the Amerindians. After the British capitulated on August 14, a company was sent to Fort Bull and another to Fort William Henry. The next year, the entire unity headed for Fort Carillon and returned to Fort William Henry to join in the battle. In 1758, the Régiment de Béarn took part in the defence of Fort Carillon and, in 1759, was at the siege of Québec, except for the 35 soldiers mobilized at Fort Niagara. The regiment was also involved in the Battle of Sainte-Foy the following year32.
The uniform worn by soldiers of the Régiment de Béarn who served in New France featured a greyish-white justaucorps with blue turnback cuffs, decorated with three buttons and vertical six-button pockets. The jacket was blue while the breeches, the same colour as the justaucorps, were worn with white or grey stockings and black metal buckle shoes. White gaiters covered the stockings and the breeches, and were buttoned up vertically with a row of buttons placed on the outside; they were fastened below the knee with a black thong. The tricorn was made of black felt and trimmed with a silver braid33
Origin: Lorraine Region
The 2nd Battalion, Régiment La Sarre landed in Québec on June 3, 1756. It was involved in the capture of Fort Oswego in August of the same year, and escorted to Montreal the British soldiers taken prisoner in battle. In August 1757, several soldiers of this regiment participated in the Fort William Henry face-off. The regiment then backed up Montcalm's army at the battle of Carillon in 1758. Finally, the Régiment de La Sarre participated in the battles of Montmorency, the Plains of Abraham and Sainte-Foy34.
The Régiment de La Sarre uniform consisted of a greyish-white justaucorps with blue turnback cuffs (three buttons). The jacket was red while the breeches, the same colour as the justaucorps, were worn with white or grey stockings and black metal buckle shoes. It had white gaiters that reached below the knee and were fastened with a black leather thong. The tricorn was made of black felt and trimmed with gold braid35.
Origin: Perpignan, Roussillon and Catalogne Regions
The Régiment Royal-Roussillon, which came to New France in 1756, was at first stationed in Montreal, except for a detachment that was sent to Carillon. In 1757, the entire regiment was mobilized and headed for Fort William Henry. In 1758, the regiment also shared in the Carillon victory. It then marched towards Québec to defend the city, and participated in the battles of Montmorency, the Plains of Abraham and Sainte-Foy36.
The Régiment Royal-Roussillon uniform consisted of a greyish-white justaucorps with blue turnback cuffs (six buttons). The jacket was blue, the breeches greyish white, the stockings white and the shoes black with metal buckles. The tricorn was trimmed with gold braid37.
Origin: Languedoc Region
This regiment landed in Québec on June 19, 1755. The men headed immediately for Fort Saint-Frédéric and, under the command of General Dieskau, drove back the British at Lake George. Following this battle, the troops headed for Carillon where a fort had recently been erected. The regiment then moved southward, where it took part in the battle of Fort William Henry. On July 8, 1758, the 2nd Régiment de Languedoc Battalion fought at the battle of Carillon. In May 1759, it headed for Québec where it helped defend the city by participating in the battles of Montmorency, the Plains of Abraham and Sainte-Foy38.
The Régiment de Languedoc uniform consisted of a greyish-white justaucorps with blue turnback cuffs (three buttons). The jacket was blue, the breeches greyish-white, the stockings white and the shoes black with a metal buckle. The tricorn was trimmed with gold braid39.