Mendoza Dragoons

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

Origin and History

Did you know that...
Miguel Pons de Mendoza y Salba was 3rd Marquis de Vilanard, 3rd Count of Robres, 12th Baron of Sarganén, Señor of various little villages , proprietor of houses in Perpignan (France) and Barcelona and of terrains around the latter.

In 1703, Miguel Pons de Mendoza y Salba had no military experience when he joined the cause of the Bourbon. He asked and obtained from Philip V the authorization to recruit a dragoon regiment which took his name. Consequently, Pons de Mendoza immediately got the rank of colonel, despite his absence of military experience. His decision to raise a regiment helped him to have a fast military career at the service of Philip V. In 1705, Pons de Mendoza was promoted to brigadier and had to cede his regiment to Don Francisco Picalquiés. The same year, he was appointed Governor of Morella. In November 1706, he was promoted to maréchal de camp. In March 1708, he became Governor of Teruel. In 1712, he was promoted to lieutenant-general. Thus, in nine years, he had passed from being a unknown Catalan noble to the rank of lieutenant-general.

In February 1715, Miguel Pons de Mendoza was appointed General Commander of Extremadura.

This regiment of dragoons was raised in Spain (Catalonia) in 1703 by Don Miguel Pons de Mendoza, a Catalan noble.

The colonel of the regiment was:

  • from 1703: Don Miguel Pons de Mendoza y Salbia, III Marquis de Vilanard
  • from 1705: Don Francisco Picalquiés
  • from 1710: José Grimau Corbera

From 1710 to 1718, the regiment was known as “Grimau” and was then renamed “Tarragona”, when all army units were renamed according to place names.

Service during the War

On 10 December 1710, the regiment took part in the Combat of Villaviciosa.

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1706 - 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 red front flap edged silver and a blue cap with an red pompom

Neck stock white
Coat blue with red lining; silver buttons
Collar none
Shoulder straps silver aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 silver buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 silver buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat probably red with silver buttons
Breeches blue
Leather Equipment
Bandolier natural leather
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 red bordered in silver
Housings red bordered in silver
Blanket roll no information found


Grenadier Uniform in 1706 - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore

Troopers were armed with a sword, two pistols and a musket.

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

no information found

Guidons

Tentative reconstruction of the guidons in 1706, using the coat of arms of the Picalquiés Family.

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

References

Andújar Castillo, Francisco: Nobleza catalana al servicio de Felipe V: la Compañía de Granaderos Reales p. 304

Acknowledgment

Michele Savasta Fiore for the initial version of this article.

Jörg Meier for additional info on the regiment.