The Saintonge Regiment was one of the four regiments sent to America in 1780 under the command of Lieutenant General, le Comte de Rochambeau. Its colonel from 1780 to 1782 was le Comte de Custine, a distinguished officer who was later killed on the guillotine during the French Revolution. Le Vicomte de Rochambeau, son of Comte de Rochambeau, became colonel of the regiment on November 11, 1782. Until the, he had been lieutenant colonel of the Bourbonnais Regiment.
The history of the Saintonge Regiment began in 1684, or earlier, as it was formed from the Navarre Regiment of 1563. It was named after that ancient French province , near the Bay of Biscay, north of Bordeaux, from which Champlain and the Sieur de Monts set sail for on their American explorations. Some of the best Huguenot families later settled in New England. In 1775, the regiment was enlarged when the Cambrésis Regiment was absorbed into the Saintonge Regiment.
The Saintonge Regiment sailed to America with Rochambeau in 1780, and did not participate in the storming of Stony Point in 1779, as some historians have stated. One of its officers, le Marquis de Fleury, did participate in the storming of Stony Point. He was the first of Wayne’s force to enter the fort, and carried the British colors with his own hand, for which he was awarded a medal by the U.S. Congress.
DeFleury entered the French army in 1768 when he was 19 years old. He served in the Corsican campaign, obtained a leave of absence with the French rank of captain of engineers in 1776, and joined the American army as a volunteer. He was at Brandywine and Germantown. As engineer in chief at Fort Mifflin, on Mud Island below Philadelphia, he remained at his post for the entire six week siege, although other defenders were several times relieved. He was severely wounded on the last day of the siege.
He was appointed lieutenant colonel by Congress in 1777, and fought at Monmouth in 1778. From 1770 to 1782. De Fleury served under Rochambeau as a major in the Saintonge Regiment. For his bravery at Yorktown, he was made a Chevalier of Saint Louis. Later, he became a field Marshal in the French Army.
At Yorktown, the Saintonge Regiment was brigaded with the Soisonnais Regiment in the center of the French line, under Major General le Viscomte de Viomenil.
Flag description: White Greek cross. Each of the four cantons is divided by diagonals into four triangles, colored blue, yellow, green, and red. Davis says that the sequence of these colors does not seem to be determined, and the flag is therefore differently colored in different books. The colored plates of Desjardins show the following arrangement (beginning in each canton with the upper triangle, then the left, then the right, and finally the lower triangle), first canton, yellow, red, blue, green; second canton, green, red, blue, yellow; third canton, red, green, yellow, blue; fourth canton, green, red, yellow, blue.
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Rég de Saintonge 1684.png
Country Kingdom of France
Allegiance Ancien Régime
Size 2 battalions
Engagements Siege of Yorktown
commanders Adam Phillipe Jarreck, the Count de Custine
American Revolutionary War
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis.jpg
Continental Army → Commander-in-Chief → Regional departments → Units (1775, 1776, 1777–1784) → Manual Continental Navy Continental Marines State forces → List of militia units → List of state navies → Maritime units
List of British units
List of French units
List of battles Military leadership vte
The Saintonge Regiment, also known as the 85e Regiment of the Line, was raised in the year 1684 in the province of Saintonge, France. From 1763 to 1768 the regiment served in the West indies and French Guiana. In 1780 the regiment was sent with Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau to help the United States during the American Revolutionary War. The regiment took part in the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. In 1782 the regiment returned to the West Indies and then back to France in 1783. Following the French Revolution the regiment became the 82e Regiment of Infantry.
Uniform of a grenadier of the Régiment de Saintonge during the American Revolution.
The Regiment de Saintonge. Accessed August, 2015.