Reina Cavalry

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

Origin and History

The regiment originated from the Guardia Real de Caballeria created in 1697 for King Charles II. On 11 January 1703, Philip V, the new king of Spain, disbanded this regiment, incorporating its 22 companies into the newly raised “La Reina” cavalry regiment. On 24 April of the same year, “La Reina” was itself split into two distinct regiments: “La Reina” and Real des Asturias, each counting 11 companies. These two regiments obtained precedence over all other line cavalry regiments.

The colonel of “La Reina” raised a twelfth company at his own expense and subdivided his regiment in three squadrons.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the queen was the owner of the regiment. However, effective command was assumed by successive colonels:

  • from 1703: Colon de Portugal y de la Cueva, Duke de Veragua
  • from the beginning of 1704: Íñigo de la Cruz Manrique de Lara y Ramírez de Arellano, Marquis de Aguilar
  • from May 1704: Mercurio Fernández Pacheco y Acuña, Count de San Esteban de Gormaz y de Castaneda
  • from April 1706: Vittorio Amadeo Ferrero-Fieschi, Marquis de Crevecoeur
  • in 1711: Marquis de Fuen-Buena
  • from at least 1715 to 26 September 1725: Don José Moscoso

Service during the War

On 22 May 1703, the new regiment was reviewed for the first time in Getafe. It then encamped in the Garden of Cassani until 16 August, when the king led it to Navalcarnero. On 14 September, when the king visited Toledo, the regiment escorted him. In November, the regiment marched to Talavera and then joined the Army of Extremadura and took up cantonment along the frontier with Portugal.

In 1704, the regiment took part in the campaign in Portugal. On 8 May, it contributed to the capture of Salvatierra. It was then allocated to the division of General Joffeville and marched against the Portuguese force of the Marquis Das Minas. On 11 June, the regiment fought in the Combat of Monsanto. It later took part in the capture of the fortified village of Orejas de Mulo.

In 1705, the regiment was allocated to the division of General Ronquillo and manoeuvred in the Province of Alentejo. On 8 June, it came to the relief of the garrison of Monsanto which was attacked by the Anglo-Portuguese corps of the Marquis Das Minas. Along with Milan Cavalry and Edimburgo (unidentified unit), it contained the enemy during the retreat of the Spanish troops. In October, it was part of the relief force who managed to enter in the besieged place of Badajoz on 14 October at the point of the sword.

In 1706, the regiment was incorporated in a cavalry division under the Maréchal de Berwick, charged to cover Madrid. It fought valiantly in the combat of Brozas. It then took part in the campaign of Atienza where it was deployed on the right of the second line. During this campaign, Archduke Charles was driven out of Castile.

In 1707, the regiment left its winter-quarters and joined the army encamped at Almansa. On 25 April, it fought in the Battle of Almansa, cutting the Anglo-Portuguese communication on the road to Alcaudete, and keeping the division of the Count de Donna in check from 10:00 p.m. until its surrender the following morning. It then advanced on Valencia, routing 600 horse near Chiva. On 8 May, it entered in the capital and continued its way to San Mateo where it charged and defeated 3 squadrons. On 16 May, it made itself master of San Mateo where it captured nine pieces. In the first days of June, it advanced to the banks of the Ebro and stormed Ulldecona. It ended the campaign with the reconquest of Lérida under the command of the Duc d'Orléans.

In 1708, the regiment served with the Army of Catalonia and took part in the siege of Tortosa. On 10 June the garrison executed a general sortie to support its foragers. The regiment under General Joffeville drove it back. The regiment was then transferred to the force under the Duc d'Orléans encamped at Agramunt. On 13 August, the regiment was part of a detachment sent from Agramunt to reconnoitre the movements of the enemy on Bellpuig. It was then sent to the camp of Castell de Farfaña. On 4 October, after the capitulation of Tortosa, the regiment returned to Valencia with the corps of General Don Francisco Caetano.

In 1709, the regiment was stationed in the District of Valencia.

In 1710, the regiment returned to Catalonia to take part in the campaign of Ibars. The Allies received reinforcements and drove the Spaniards back on Lérida. On 27 July, the regiment took part in the Battle of Almenar. When retiring from Peñalba, a Spanish division was attacked by the Allied cavalry and the regiment intervened and threw back the Allies. On 20 August, the regiment took part in the Battle of Saragossa where it was deployed on the right of the second line. It initially routed the Allied cavalry but soon fell in disorder and suffered heavy losses. The remnants of the regiment retreated to Castile. The regiment replenished its ranks in Extremadura. The army then advanced to the banks of the Tagus, drove Archduke Charles out of Toledo. On 10 December, the regiment took part in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa. After the victory, it pursued the Allies up to the Cinca, driving them out of Aragon.

In 1711, the regiment entered into Catalonia with the army and formed part of the garrison of Lérida. In October, the regiment came out of Lérida and surprised a convoy arriving from Termens, killing 80 men and taking 1 colonel, 2 lieutenant-colonels and capturing the entire convoy. In this action, the colonel of the regiment, the Marquis de Fuen-Buena was wounded.

In 1712, the regiment was employed in Catalonia and in Lérida.

In 1713, the regiment fought against the Catalan insurgents and then took part in the blockade of Barcelona.

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

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1703- Source: Copyright Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced white, with a red and white cockade fastened with a silver clip and a pewter button
Neck stock white
Coat red with pewter buttons on the right side and white laced buttonholes on both sides
Collar none
Shoulder straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with white laced buttonholes and pewter buttons (we assume the presence of 4 buttons in our plate)
Cuffs dark blue, each with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white laced buttonholes
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat probably dark blue with pewter buttons
Breeches white
Leather Equipment
Bandolier natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather worn above the coat
Cartridge Box natural leather ventral cartridge box
Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red edged with a wide white braid
Housings red edged with a wide white braid
Blanket roll red and blue


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pistol 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. 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

Trumpeters wore a “reversed colours” uniform: blue coat with red distinctive.

Standards

The standards of the regiment were made of crimson velvet with silver embroideries and bordered with silver fringes. The centre devices consisted of the Royal Coat of Arms on one side and of the Coat of Arms of Savoy (a white cross on a red field) on the other with the motto Solvit formidine terras.

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. 7-16

Other sources

Caballipedia - Regimiento de Caballería Reina

Dragonas Magazine

Acknowledgment

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