1706-09-21 – Engagement of Albujón

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Battles and Encounters >> 1706-09-21 – Engagement of Albujón

Spanish victory

Introduction

At the beginning of the summer of 1706, the Allies had gradually isolated the Kingdom of Murcia from the north (Albacete and Almansa), the south (Cartagena) and the east (Orihuela), its only subsisting line of communication was with Andalusia, to the west.

On 11 July, King Philip V, worried for his Kingdom of Murcia, appointed Luis Antonio de Belluga y Moncada, who had been recently appointed bishop of Cartagena, as captain and viceroy of Murcia and Valencia with the task of dealing with this threat of an Allied invasion.

Belluga y Moncada mobilized the nobility and inflamed the neighbourhood to resist the advance of the Allies, arguing the legitimacy of Philip V. In August and September, Belluga used La Gazeta de Murcia to spread his pro-Bourbon propaganda. On 8 August, he pretended that the tears of an image of Our Lady of Sorrows that was in a house near Monteagudo, constituted an irrefutable proof of the malice of the supporters of Archduke Charles.

On 18 August, the Allies sent a delegation demanding the surrender of the city of Murcia, which received a sharp refusal from Bishop Belluga.

Between mid-August and the first days of September there were some skirmishes around Murcia.

Between 24 and 27 August, the Allies launched raids against mountain villages in Murcia and captured the towns of Beniel and Espinardo. Viceroy Belluga left Murcia for Lorca to bring back reinforcements from Andalusia. He left precise instructions to Brigadier Fernando de Arias y Ozores for the defence of Murcia.

On 4 September, the Allies made an unsuccessful attempt against the City of Murcia and were forced to retire to Orihuela.

Description of Events

On Tuesday, September 21 1706, a detachment of 400 horse under Commander Patricio Morán and 200 foot under Corporal José Hernández left Murcia. Hernández was very popular among soldiers for his conduct at the Combat of Murcia at the beginning of the month. This detachment intended to prevent the Allies from collecting wheat.

When the Spanish detachment arrived at the village of El Albujón, it found some 350 Allied horse and foot.

All the Allied horse retreated towards Cartagena when they realized that their opponents were more numerous. The Spanish cavalry then charged Allied infantry, which recoiled and entrenched in the houses and the village tower (an Andalusian tower which has now disappeared). The Spaniards attacked the defenders of the tower and forced them to retire, closely pursuing them.

Outcome

The failure of this second attempt of the Allies against the Kingdom of Murcia put an end to their enterprise against this province and allowed the Franco-Spanish to turn their attention to the recapture of Cartagena.

The Allies lost an entire unit of men on foot and 54 men were taken prisoners.

The prisoners were brought back to Murcia along with the goods that they had requisitioned in the village, five carts of cereal and a large number of cattle.

The Spanish suffered lower casualties than their adversaries but lost Corporal Hernández.

Order of Battle

Allied Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: ???

Summary: 350 horse and foot (including some British troops)

Spanish Order of Battle

Commander-in-chief: Commander Patricio Morán seconded by Corporal José Hernández

Summary: 400 horse and 200 foot

References

Wikipedia


Acknowledgements

Dinos Antoniadis for the initial version of this article