Camprodon Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Camprodon Dragoons

Origin and History

This regiment of dragoons was created in Catalonia on 13 February 1703, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13) for José de Camprodon y San Dionisio, and raised on March 6. It was formed with Catalan and Aragonese Officers, all linked by some sort of family bond and initially counted 500 men, all of them Catalans to the exception of a few officers and sergeants contributed by other units. Its staff included a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, a major and an adjutant. It was organised in 10 companies (formed in 5 squadrons), each consisting of:

  • 1 captain (note: the colonel and the lieutenant-colonel both commanded their own company)
  • 1 lieutenant
  • 1 second lieutenant (alférez)
  • 1 sergeant
  • 1 drummer
  • 1 fifer
  • 47 dragoons

The regiment was first reviewed on 5 June 1703 in Barcelona and was officially named “Dragones de Camprodon”

The successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from March 6 1703: Don José de Camprodon y San Dionisio (passed to the service of Austria in 1707)
  • from 1707: Don Fellix Maria de Marimon Coberà (killed in action at the Combat of Villaviciosa on 10 December 1710)
  • from December 1710: Don Baltasar de Abarca
  • from 1712 to 1732: Don Bernardino de Marimon

On 10 February 1718, the regiment was renamed “Sagunto”.

Service during the War

On 16 July 1703, the regiment marched from Barcelona to Castile where it was stationed in Vallecas. It was then ordered to Zamora but, on its way, was redirected to Toledo to be reviewed by King Philip V. After the review, it resumed its march to Zamora.

In April 1704, the regiment joined the army assembling in Extremadura where it was allocated to the column under the command of Tserclaes de Tilly. It blockaded the place of Arronches and took part in the siege of Portalegre which was stormed on 8 June. The regiment forced its way into town through the Arrabal Gate. It was then transferred to the division of the Marquis of Aytona and contributed to the siege of Castelo de Vide which surrendered on 26 June. The regiment then marched to the camp of Nisa and later took up cantonments at Jeréz de los Caballeros.

In 1705, the regiment marched to the camp of Gibraltar and took part in the siege. During the siege, a dispute arose about the precedence of cavalry officers over dragoon officers. For this reason, the Marquis de Villadarias sent two dragoon regiments (including the present one) to the harbour of Santa Maria, intending to disband them. However, the king intervened and the regiments were rehabilitated. When the siege of Gibraltar was raised, the regiment went to Málaga and then marched towards to Catalonia. On its way, it stopped in the District of Valencia which had rebelled against Philip V. Meanwhile, Colonel Camprodon changed allegiance and offered his service to Archduke Charlesof Austria. However, his regiment remained faithful to the Bourbon king and went to Aragon where it occupied Alcañiz and the Castle of Morella. The regiment was then transferred to the corps of the Count de Torres posted at Moncada.

In 1706, the regiment marched to Valencia. On 12 January, it attacked Villareal. It then garrisoned Murviedro. On 14 January, it was besieged in Murviedro and relieved by Mahony Dragoons. However, the two dragoon regiments had to capitulate with the honours of war soon afterwards. In December, the regiment took up cantonments in Babastro in Aragon.

In 1707, the regiment was allocated to the corps of the Marquis de Saluzo who laid siege to Egea and captured it. The regiment then took part in an attack against the insurgents at Sádaba and in the relief of Verdun. The insurgents fortified themselves at Magallon, Mallen and Gallur, and threatened Borja. The regiment came to the relief of Borja and surprised the insurgents at Mallen. It was then ordered to march to Tarazona to receive recruits, horses and new uniforms (red with green distinctives). The regiment then relieved Borja once more. It later marched to the camp of Ballobar and took up its winter-quarters at Barbastro.

On 30 March 1708, the regiment set off from Barbastro to join the corps of the Comte d’Estain at Castellon de Farfaña. On 13 August, the regiment took part in a forage towards Pons, defeating the insurgents. It then escorted the family of the Marquis de Castellar to Balaguer. It took up its winter-quarters in Aragon where it received new uniforms (red with blue distinctive)

In 1709, the regiment campaigned under the command of General Don Miguel Pons de Mendoza. On 1 August, it surprised an allied camp defending the bridge of Montañana, killing some 400 men, taking 400 prisoners and capturing baggage and six standards.

In 1710, the regiment received orders to Catalonia. On 13 June, it reconnoitred the vicinities of Agramunt where the Allies had a camp. On 29 June, it was detached from the camp of Ibars to reinforce the French corps of General Chover who occupied the Rivagorza. This corps made a junction with the column of General Baron Huart and together they marched on Naval. The Allies retired to the bridge of Medianos. On 18 July, as it was evacuating Aragon and retiring towards Monzon, when it was attacked by 34 Austrian and British squadrons. It retired orderly towards Almudebar, Huesca and Bolea. It then attacked insurgents and brought back prisoners to Huesca. On 10 August, the regiment joined the main army at Zueca. On 20 August, the regiment took part in the Battle of Saragossa where it was posted on the right wing of the first line. After the defeat, the regiment retired to Gumiel de Mercado. It then went to the camp of Almáraz and was detached to Talavera de la Reina. On 10 December, it fought in the decisive Combat of Villaviciosa where Colonel Don Félix de Marimon was killed. The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Alcañiz

In 1711, the regiment was detached under the command of General Marquis de Arpajou in the mountains of Aragon and Catalonia. In August, this force captured the Castle of Arenys, taking the Austrian General Schower prisoner. The regiment then joined the army assembling in the camp of Lérida. On 20 August, Arpajou’s division marched on Benasque which surrendered in the first days of September. On 13 November, as part of Arpajou’s column, the regiment reinforced the troops who had undertaken the siege of Cardona. On 17 November, it took part in the storming of the town of Cardona but the castle still resisted. On 20 December, the Spaniards raised the siege of Cardona where Colonel Abarca had been taken prisoner. The regiment marched to Aragon and took up its winter-quarters in Olite where it received recruits.

In 1712, the regiment joined the Army of Catalonia and forced the enemy to raise the blockade of Arenys. It took up its winter-quarters in Alcoy in the District of Valencia.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to Amposta where it was reduced to eight companies of 35 men each. It was used to the insurgents of Nebot and Dalmau.

From 15 May, the regiment took part in the siege of Barcelona. On 11 September, it fought in the general assault where 200 of its dragoons dismounted and attacked Fort Santa Eulalia under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Don Diego de Pellicer.

Uniform

Troopers

At its creation in 1703, the regiment received a yellow uniform with emerald green cuffs; emerald green waistcoat, breeches and dragoon cap; white cape.

As per Clonard, uniform was changed to red with emerald green distinctive in 1707 and to red with blue distinctives in 1708 (green distinctives were reintroduced in 1717 and the yellow uniform in 1718).

Uniform in 1707 - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore
Uniform Details in 1706
Headgear Troopers: black tricorne laced white with a red cockade fastened with a silver button

Grenadiers: dragoon mitre cap with a green front flap edged white and a red cap with an green pompom

Neck stock white
Coat red with green lining; silver buttons
Collar none
Shoulder straps two fringed green ribbons on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 silver buttons
Cuffs green, each with 3 silver buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat no information found
Breeches red
Leather Equipment
Bandolier natural leather (white for grenadiers)
Waistbelt natural leather worn above the coat (white for grenadiers)
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard natural leather with a white metal tip
Footgear black leather gaiters fastened with straps
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth green bordered in red
Housings green bordered in red with the golden monogram of Philip V
Blanket roll no information found


Grenadier Uniform in 1706 - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore

Soldiers were armed with a fusil and a plug-bayonet with a wooden handle, a sabre, two pistols; and equipped with a powder flask, a bandoleer or a holster; a yellow suede shoulder strap with hooks to secure the fusil.

Officers

Uniforms of officers differed from those of privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Their waistcoat, saddle cloth and housings were edged with a wide golden braid. They always wore a tricorne notwithstanding the headgear worn by soldiers.

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • colonel: a baton with a gold knob
  • lieutenant-colonel: a baton with a silver knob
  • sargento mayor: a baton with a silver topped knob
  • captain: silver or golden epaulettes (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on both shoulders
  • lieutenant: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the right shoulder
  • cornet: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the left shoulder

NCOs

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • sergeant : baton without knob and halberd
  • mariscal de logis (quartermaster): small woolen epaulette (red or of the distinctive colour of the regiment)
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick

Musicians

At its creation in 1703, the musicians of the regiment (drummers and fifers) received emerald green uniforms with yellow cuffs; yellow waistcoat, breeches and dragoon cap. Seams on the coat were decorated with a silken braid. A red Cross of Burgundy decorated the front and the back of the coat.

Guidons

Tentative reconstruction of the guidons in 1704, using the coat of arms of the Camprodon family.

Colonela Guidon - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore using a template contributed by Gilbert Noury
Ordonnance Guidon - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore using a template contributed by Gilbert Noury

References

This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 400-415

Acknowledgements

Michele Savasta Fiore for the research on the history, uniform and guidons of the regiment