The King's Soldiers

The Dispatch Of Royal Troops

The West Indies First Priority

For the first time in French military history, troops were detached from the royal army to serve overseas. In 1664, 200 soldiers were sent to the West Indies, accompanying Marquis Prouville de Tracy, who had been appointed lieutenant-general of all the French Americas and who was bound eventually for Guyana and Martinique. These soldiers, the first of the contingent dispatched to the colonies, belonged to four infantry companies drawn from the Lignières, Chambellé, Poitou and Orléans regiments. During the next year, 1665, four other companies left the motherland, this time headed for Madagascar and the islands of the Indian Ocean.