Site hosted by Build your free website today!

La Compagnie Franche de la Marine de Muy du Détroit


Les Compagnies Franches de la Marine (Independent Companies of the Navy), otherwise known as Troups de la Marine or Troups de Colonie served at Detroit (1701-1760) though out the French regime. The Ministry of the Marine was responsible for France's colonies. Three Marine companies consisting of 150 soldiers first arrived in Canada at Quebec City in 1683. The Marines were organized as a permanent force in 1690 to serve in the colonies. They were independent companies, not regimented and not under a colonel, as were the Army regiments.


The first Marine compagnies consisted of a Capitaine, a Lieutenant, an Enseigne, 2 Sergents, 2 Caporals, 2 Anspessades, 1 to 3 Musicians (1 or 2 Drummers and rarely a Fifer) and the Fusiliers (the number of soldiers per compagnie varied between 29 and 65 men depending on the time period). After 1742 a second ensign, Enseigne au Second, (the first ensign became an Enseigne en Pied) and up to 3 Cadets were added.  In Canada, the officers were recruited from the local nobility and the rank and file mainly came from the France and some even came from other European countries. The Marines were usually rotated, normally only if they so chose, from post to post. A post with a one-compagnie strength might have men belonging to many different compagnies. Small posts might have but a few soldiers.


The French Marine issue dress c. 1756 consisted of blue wool breeches and sleeved vest with brass buttons, blue stockings, a cotton or linen shirt, buckled shoes, white canvas full gaitors, a white cloth neck stock, a tri-corne hat with gold lace trim and black cockade, and a off-white coat with blue trim and brass buttons. Musicians had red small clothes and their coat was blue trimmed red, covered with the Kings livery lace. The standard Marine musket, with a bayonet and sword carried in a belt frog, belly cartridge box and a brass trimmed powder flask completed the issued arms.


The modern Compagnie franche de la Marine de Muy du Détroit (otherwise know as the Detroit Marines) takes its name form Jacques-Pierre, sieur de Daneau de Muy (1695-1758). He was born at Boucherville (Quebec). He was an Ensign in Louisiana (1710) and an Ensign in Canada (1728).  He was commander at Fort St. Joseph in the 1730's, became a Lieutenant 1741. Was stationed at Fort St. Frederic 1745-1746 and commander at Prairie de la Madeleine and Lac de Deux-Montagnes in 1747. Became a Captain 1748 and was commander at Ft. Chambly (1752-1754). Awarded the Order of St. Louis in 1754 and was commander at Detroit c. 1754-1758.


Historically marine officers enjoyed good camaraderie with the rank and file, and les Sauvages. The Detroit area of influence included several nations of les Sauvages that had interacted for three generations, to where there were good relations between all members of the community. La compagnie today enjoys the same successful demeanor.