Osuna Dragoons

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created according to a royal decree issued on 1 April 1707 by the Duke of Osuna at his own expense for Colonel Diego Gonzalez. It recruited in Andalusia.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the owner of the regiment was:

  • since 1 April 1707: Duke of Osuna

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the commander of the regiment was:

  • from 1 April 1707 until at least 1713: Don Diego Gonzalez

On 10 February 1718, the regiment became “Numancia Dragones”.

Service during the War

In 1708, the regiment served with the Army of Extremadura who was facing the Portuguese Army. In November, it was at the sieges of Moura and Serpa. In front of Moura, 250 dragoons of the regiment routed a Portuguese cavalry regiment.

In 1709, the regiment was at the Army of Andalusia, still operating in Extremadura. By 18 April, it was posted on the extreme left of the first line. On 16 May, it took part in the Battle of La Gudiña where it was deployed on the left of the first line, brigaded with Pavia and Grafton regiments. The Portuguese cavalry was routed. The army then blockaded Olivença, the regiment was at the camp of Telena. On 24 June, its lieutenant-colonel, Don N. Groin took 100 dragoons and dressed them with uniforms captured from the enemy at La Gudiña. During the night, he prepared an ambush between Campo Maior and Elvas. On 25 June at 8:00 a.m., the dragoons advanced towards the enemy camp, reaching the back of the bivouac. They then attacked the camp, put the enemy to flight and pursued them to the Cancaon stream.

In 1710, the regiment joined the Army of Catalonia. On 13 May, it accompanied King Philip V from Alfarrás to Lérida. During the retreat towards Aragon, it was allocated to the force of General Don Manuel del Sello who encamped at Ibars to guard the passage of the Noguera. On 27 July, the regiment took part in the Battle of Almenar where it was deployed on the right wing and suffered heavy losses. When the army retired from Lérida, the regiment was assigned to the rearguard. While retiring from Candasnos to Peñalba, it was constantly assailed by the allied cavalry, distinguishing itself in an engagement on 13 August. On 20 August, it fought in the Battle of Saragossa. After the defeat, it escorted the king to Valladolid.

In 1711, the regiment returned to the Army of Extremadura. By 28 August, it was encamped on the banks of the Caya. The General Marquis de Bay vainly offered battle to a Portuguese army under the command of the Count de Mascarenas. The regiment was then employed to put the region to contribution.

In May 1712, the regiment took part in the advance on Badajoz In September, the army blockaded Elvas. From October 4, it took part in the siege of Elvas which was a failure. The army then marched on Campo Maior but, on 11 December, an armistice was signed between Spain and Portugal and the regiment took up its winter-quarters.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to the Army of Catalonia and fought against bands of Catalan migueletes.

At the beginning of 1714, several bands of Catalan migueletes assembling at Castellvi, the regiment set off from Tarragona. From 26 February, it took part in the siege of Castellvi who surrendered shortly afterwards. Combats against the Catalans continued between Palau an San Esteve, at San Quirce, Granollers, Castell-Tersol and San Feliu de Codina. When peace was signed, the regiment was still stationed in Catalonia.

Uniform

It seems that all Spanish and Italian dragoon regiments formed raised after 1702 wore, according to new royal decree of 1702, green uniforms and that all troopers, including grenadiers wore the mitre cap.

Privates

Uniform in 1707 - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore
Uniform Details in 1707
Headgear mitre cap with a yellow front flap edged green and a green cap with a yellow pompom
Neck stock white cravate
Coat green with pewter buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder straps a white aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs yellow, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat probably yellow with pewter buttons
Breeches yellow (probably buff leather during campaign)
Leather Equipment
Bandolier natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather worn above the coat (white for grenadiers)
Cartridge Box natural leather ventral cartridge box
Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
Footgear natural leather gaiters
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth yellow bordered in green
Housings yellow bordered in green with the silver monogram of Philip V
Blanket roll no information found


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

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.

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 white woolen epaulette
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick

Musicians

Drummers probably wore a “reversed colours” uniform: yellow coat with green distinctive.

Guidons

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. 453-462

Other sources

Dragonas Magazine

Acknowledgment

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

Michele Savasta Fiore for the research on the uniforms of this regiment.