The name of the Touraine Regiment comes from the city of Tours, the capitol of the ancient French province of Touraine, in the west central part of France.
The Touraine Regiment was created in 1625, The regiment was at the siege of LaRochelle, and also at Minden in 1759, where the father of the Marquis de Lafayette was killed.
Sailing from the West Indies on the ships of Admiral DeGrasse, the regiment was brigaded on the left of the French line at Yorktown, between the Gatinois and Agenois regiments, under Major General the Marquis de Saint Simon. The three regiments built a strong battery equipped with fourteen or more of the canons and mortars that they brought with them from Santo Domingo.
These three regiments faced the British right on the high bluff along the York River, where the British Fusiliers Fort was located, across a swampy stream. This battery, supported by the Touraine Regiment, sometimes called the Touraine Battery, fired on and destroyed several warships and transports in the River below.
On the night of October 14-15, 1781, the Touraine Regiment participated in the diversionary attack on the British right that drew British forces away from the French assault on Redoubt No. 9 and the American assault on Redoubt No. 10 on the British left.
Balch has written that the Touraine Regiment was commanded by the Baron de Saint Simon, brother of General Saint Simon. Desjardins, writing in “Les Combattants,” has written that the Vicomte de Poudeux (born 1748) was colonel of the regiment from April 13, 1780.
Flag description: White Greek cross. 1st canton, aurora (orange); 2nd canton, blue; 3rd canton, green; 4th canton, red.
At the end of 1624, the Protestant stronghold of La Rochelle sent an expedition to besiege Port Louis in Brittany. No troops were stationed in Brittany at this time. King Louis XIII sent Marshal Bassompierre, who urged Baron du Plessis-Joigny, governor of Port Louis, to create an infantry regiment.
The Protestant expedition on Port-Louis was cancelled before the arrival of the newly raised regiment, but it victoriously took part to the siege of the rebellious city between 1627 and 1628.
In May 1636, the regiment received the name of Touraine and its regimental flags. During the Fronde, the colonels took advantage of the weakening of royal authority, and did away with the provincial title of their regiments.
Subsequently, the Touraine regiment appeared as the Régiment d’Amboise, de Kercado or de Chambellay according to the name of its colonel.
Franco-Spanish War, 1635–1659
During the Franco-Spanish War, the Régiment de Touraine participated in the Italian campaign, where it successfully attacked Spanish possessions in Northern Italy, including Ceva, Pianezza, and Mondovì, and took part to the siege of Turin.
Franco-Dutch War and War of the Reunions
After Turenne’s death, the regiment participated to the siege of Valenciennes (1676-1677), the Battle of Cassel (1677), and the Siege of Luxembourg (1684).
War of the Austrian Succession
The regiment was present at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745, and the sieges of Tournai, Termonde, and Ath. In 1746 it fought at the battle of Rocoux and the siege of Namur. In 1747 it was at the battle of Lauffeld, and participated at the siege of Bergen op Zoom. It was at the siege of Maastricht in 1748.
Seven Years’ War
In 1757, Touraine fought at battle of Hastenbeck. It was at the battle of Krefeld in 1758. The regiment was present at the battle of Minden in 1759, and the siege of Mǚnster. It fought at Warburg in 1760, covering the retreat of the army.
American revolutionary war
The regiment, commanded by Vicomte de Poudeux, was among forces under Saint Simon brought from the West Indies to Yorktown.
The Régiment de Touraine fought at Yorktown, St Christophe, and Les Saintes.
French Revolutionary Wars
In 1791, the provincial names of the French regiments were abolished, and a regimental number was assigned to each of them. The Régiment de Touraine became the 33rd line infantry regiment.
Uniform of a fusilier of the Régiment de Touraine in 1720
Uniform of a fusilier of the Régiment de Touraine in 1779.
Jean Thurel, in 1788, the “oldest soldier of Europe” in his uniform of fusilier of the Touraine Regiment with his three veteran medals and his Légion d’Honneur (added to the painting in 1804), painting by Antoine Vestier.