Originally they were called "carabins" or "argoulets" and tied to light-horses companies. Louis XIII officially created the dragoons unit in 1635.
During the seven years war a part of the dragoon regiments ensured the safety of coasts while the other regiments participated in the German campaigns where they well distinguished them especially in the "petite guerre".
Commonly there were placed on the wings of the army positions, in advanced positions or to cover the progression of the headquarter. During battles, by their rapidity to go where they were needed they served as a reserve infantry corps.
At the beginning of the seven years war there existed sixteen dragoon regiments with a theoretical strength of 10240 men excluding the officers.
Since the ordonnance of 1755 all dragoon companies were mounted, but along the campaigns, especially for affected regiments in Germany, the lack of horses and the interest for mixed troops, dragoons on foot companies reappeared then.
On horseback, dragoon made the service of cavalry and on foot that of infantry, but during horse reviews instead of carried sword in hand as the cavalry they hold their rifle, likewise on foot exercise they had a arm presentation and an arm handling completely different that of infantry.
By the ordonnances of 18 August 1755 and 1st June 1756 each regiment of dragoons was organized in 4 squadrons of 4 companies and each company of 40 mounted dragoons. The total strength of a regiment was 704 men excluding the regimental staff.
The regimental staff consisted of a colonel without company, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 1 assistant-major, 1 assistant-major in 2nd and 1 chaplain. The officer that ordered a dragoons regiment was usually called colonel as in the infantry and not mestre-de-camp as in the cavalry, dragoons were at that time considered as mounted infantry, that explained their drummers which would be replaced by trumpets in 1778.
Each company consisted of 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 cornette, 1 sergeant (marechal-des-logis), 2 corporals, 4 carabineers, 1 quarter-master (fourrier), 32 dragoons and 1 drummer and 1 supplementary cornet from January 1757.
The ordonnance on 5 January 1757 established a cornet in each dragoon companies except in the colonel company of the Colonel General dragoons and the mestre de camp company ( mestre de camp = colonel ) of the Mestre de Camp General dragoons that were already provided. The cornet was selected by King.There was only one flag by squadron which was called in French "guidon", the cornet that were in the company with the flag carried it. The day of a battle the cornet and its "guidon" were placed in the middle of the first rank of the squadron.
Finally, the cornet of the Colonel General regiment had rank of last lieutenant.
French dragoon regiments during the Seven Years War
1- COLONEL GÉNÉRAL DRAGONS
2 - MESTRE DE CAMP GENERAL DRAGONS
3 - ROYAL DRAGONS
4 - DU ROY DRAGONS
5 - LA REINE DRAGONS
6 - DAUPHIN DRAGONS
7 - ORLÉANS DRAGONS
8 - BAUFFREMONT DRAGONS
9 - AUBIGNE DRAGONS 1745-1761 - CHOISEUL DRAGONS 1761-1763
10 - CARAMAN DRAGONS 1745-1761 - AUTICHAMP DRAGONS 1761-1770
11 - LA FERRONNAYS DRAGONS 1749-1762 - ROHAN-CHABOT DRAGONS 1762-1770
12 - HARCOURT DRAGONS 1728-1758 - FLAMARENS DRAGONS 1758-1762
13 - APCHON DRAGONS 1748-1761 - NICOLAI DRAGONS 1761-1763
14 - THIANGES DRAGONS 1749-1761 - CHAPT DRAGONS 1761-1764
15 - MARBOEUF DRAGONS 1753-1761 - CHABRILLAN DRAGONS 1761-1763
16- LANGUEDOC DRAGONS 1676-1787
17- SCHOMBERG DRAGONS 1762-1791