Chacon Cavalry

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

Origin and History

A unit of 120 cuirassiers was raised in the Duchy of Flanders on 16 March 1601.

In 1695, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), this unit was present at the siege of Namur where it formed the personal guard of the Teniente General de la Caballeria de Flandes (Lieutenant-General of the cavalry of Flanders).

According to an ordonnance issued on 3 March 1701, the 120 men of the company of the 1st Teniente General de la Caballeria de Flandes was formed into a regiment initially consisting of four companies of 35 men each. Four additional companies were later raised. The regiment was designated as “Regimiento Chacon y Orellana.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • since 17 March 1701: Gonzalo Chacon y Orellana (appointed to captain-general of the Coast of Granada in 1702)
  • from 1702: Alexandre, Prince de Croy (formerly colonel-commander of the regiment, killed in action on 15 November 1703 at the Combat of Speyerbach)
  • from 14 December 1703: Luis de Acosta y Quiroga (promoted to brigadier in 1706, died in 1745 at the age of almost 100 years after serving for 82 years)
  • from 15 April 1715: Ximen Perez de Zapata y Calatayud, Conde del Real y de Villamonte

In 1718, the regiment was renamed “Algarve”. It was disbanded in 1843.

Service during the War

In March 1701, when the unit was transformed in a line cavalry regiment, its staff consisted of:

  • Colonel Don Gonzalo Chacon y Orellana (commanding a company)
  • Lieutenant-General Chevalier de Bournonville (commanding a company)
  • Captain Don Pedro de Villamil
  • Captain Don Jacobo de Latour
  • Captain Chevalier de Valbeden
  • Captain Chevalier de Hartman
  • Captain Baron de Kerquen
  • Captain Don José de Munguia
  • Sergeant-Major: Don Bernabé Piñedo
  • Adjutant-Major Don Martin Esteff
  • Chaplain Don Adriano Vanden-Bok
  • Surgeon Monsieur de Tabier
  • 1 kettle-drummer
  • 1 ensign

In the Spring of 1701, 2 squadrons of the unit were stationed in the Spanish Netherlands.

By 18 April 1702, the regiment was part of the army of the Marquis de Bedmar. It was encamped between between Antwerp and Lierre. On 11 May, when Bedmar set off from Antwerp, the regiment was left behind at Antwerp under the command of M. de Ximenès. By 13 June, it was encamped near Aardenburg. In July, it was encamped between Antwerp and Lierre. In mid-September, the Maréchal de Boufflers recalled the regiment from Bedmar's Corps to rejoin his main army. As of 28 September, the regiment was stationed in Léau.

In February 1703, the regiment was chosen to be sent to Luxembourg but was finally replaced by Gaetano Cavalry. On 15 February, it was sent to Huningue. It later took part in the attack of the lines of the Allies in the Kinzig Valley. It then joined Villars' Army for the siege of Kehl which surrendered on 10 March. On 23 and 24 April, the regiment took part in an attack on the Lines of Stollhofen. From August to September, it took part in the siege and capture of Alt-Breisach. In October, it joined the army who had undertaken the siege of Landau. On 15 November, it took part in the Combat of Speyerbach where its colonel, Alexandre, Prince de Croy, was killed in action.

In 1704, the regiment campaigned in Bavaria. On 13 August, the regiment fought in the sanguinary Battle of Blenheim where it was almost annihilated (only 80 men were still fit for duty). Its remnants retired to Flanders.

In 1705, new recruits were equipped, armed and trained in Flanders.

On 23 May 1706, the regiment was at the Battle of Ramillies. The same year, it incorporated a few companies from the disbanded "Tercio de Caballería de Arschot."

In 1707, the regiment remained in its cantonments and saw no action.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment fought in the Battle of Oudenarde.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet where it was deployed on the extreme right.

In April 1710, the regiment was transferred from the Spanish Low Countries to Spain, marching through France. On 10 May, it reached the Spanish border and marched to Andalusia. The regiment was later allocated to the corps of Brigadier Don José Vallejo who, on 5 December, defeated three Portuguese squadrons at Ocaña. On 10 December, the regiment took part in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa.

In 1711, the regiment served in Aragon and Catalonia to cover the various sieges.

In 1712, the regiment served under the command of the General Vallejo.

In August 1713, the regiment joined the troops blockading Barcelona.

In 1714, the regiment took part, in the blockade, siege and capture of Barcelona which was finally stormed on 11 September.


The first uniform of the regiment was white with green distinctive.

In 1716, the distinctive colour of uniform was changed from green to red.


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


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


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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. 33-47

Other sources

Dragonas Magazine

Mogaburo López, Fernando: Caballibedia - Regimiento de Caballería Algarve

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.


Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article.