Rosellon Cavalry

From Project WSS
Jump to navigationJump to search

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created from various cuirassier companies serving in the County of Rosellon on 11 March 1640 and assembled on 15 June of the same year.

On 2 May 1659, the unit was reorganised as a tercio and designated as “Tercio de Cabaleria del Rosellon”.

In 1662, during the Portuguese Restoration War, the tercio joined the Army of Extremadura and took part in the campaign in Portugal, in the siege and capture of Juromenha and in the occupation of Veyros, Monforte and Crato. At the end of the year, it was transferred to Catalonia. In 1663, the tercio was sent back to Portugal where it took part in the siege of Evora and in the Battle of Ameixial before retiring to Extremadura. In 1664, it entered into Portugal once more, taking part in the capture of Cabeza-da-Vide and Arronches. In 1665, it fought in the Battle of Montes Claros. In 1666, it campaigned in Portugal. In 1667, it contributed to the defence of Albuquerque. In 1668, it retired to Extremadura and was later transferred to Catalonia.

In 1674, when Spain got involved in the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the tercio took part in the siege of Bellegarde and in the Battle of Maureillas. In 1676, it was sent to Navarre. In 1678, it was at the unsuccessful defence of Puigcerdà.

In 1684, the tercio took part in the defence of Gerona.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the tercio was transferred from Andalusia to Catalonia. In 1691, it took part in the relief of Barcelona. In 1692, it fought in the engagement of the Pass of Portell. In 1693, it took part in the defence of Fontmajor; in 1694, in the Battle of Torroella and in the unsuccessful defence of Hostalrich; in 1695, in the blockade of Hostalrich and in the engagement of the Pass of Formich; in 1696, in the sieges of Palamós and Castellfollit; and in 1697, in the unsuccessful defence of Barcelona.

In 1699, the tercio was sent to the Military District of Andalusia.

From 1703, the regiment was named “Rosellon Viejo” to distinguish it from the newly raised “Rosellon Nuevo”.

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

  • since 1704: Nicolas de la Rochela
  • from 23 March 1704: Don Luis Fernandez de Cordoba
  • from 17??: Don Baltasar de Moscoso
  • in 1713: Don Diego de Villaplana

On 10 February 1718, the regiment was renamed "Borbón."

Service during the War

In 1701, the tercio was posted in the harbour of Santa Maria.

In 1702, when the Allies proceeded to the Siege of Cádiz, the tercio joined the forces of the Captain-General Marquis de Villadarias who forced the Allies to re-embark.

In 1703, the regiment contributed one company (the company of Captain Don Francisco Eguarás) to the creation of Santiago Cavalry (raised on June 15 1703) and six others to the the newly raised Rosellon Nuevo Cavalry (raised on April 16 1703). The former regiment was renamed “Rosellon Viejo” to distinguish it from the new one.

In 1704, the regiment was allocated to the army assembling for a campaign in Portugal. On 28 March, when the regiment was reviewed in Badajoz, it counted 9 companies of 35 soldiers each. After its return from Portugal, it was cantoned in Extremadura.

In March 1705, the regiment was barracked in the region of Ciudad-Rodrigo to oppose the Portuguese army threatening Castile. It took position on the banks of the Agueda in front of the enemy and retired after a cannonade. It was then allocated to the corps of Brigadier Don Baltasar de Moscoso who conducted rearguard actions against the Portuguese. In April, when the regiment was reviewed in Valladolid, it counted 12 companies of 30 soldiers each. Later, a detachment surprised the suburbs of Aldea and Villaviciosa where it took 500 foot and 100 horse prisoners. On October 2, the regiment made a sortie from Badajoz to effect a junction with the relief army of the Maréchal de Tessé.

In 1706, the regiment was stationed at Alcolea del Conde. It was charged to burn all fruits in the countryside of Elvas. In March, when the Allies advanced in the direction of Badajoz, the regiment marched to Membrio and Salorino near Alcántara. Shortly afterwards, it marched to Brozas and then to Badajoz and the vicinities of Madrid. In the camp of Atienza, it was allocated to the left wing of the first line, in the first cavalry brigade under Brigadier Endricourt. The regiment was later transferred to the detachment of the General Count de las Torres who drove the troops of Archduke Charles of Austria out of the District of Valencia.

In 1707, the regiment joined the Army of Castile where it formed part of the third cavalry brigade of the first line under Brigadier Don Rodrigo de Venegas y Córdova. On 25 April 1707, the regiment fought bravely in the Battle of Almansa, contributing to the victory and pursuing the Allies. The campaign ended with the siege of Lérida.

In 1708, the regiment joined the Army of Catalonia where it was posted on the right wing of the second line. The regiment took part in the siege of Tortosa. On 17 June, it drove back a sortie of the garrison. On 28 June, it repulsed another sortie, pursuing the garrison to the covert way. It was then sent to the camp of Agramunt. A detachment was charged to observe the march of the Allies at Belpuig.

In 1710, the regiment took part in the expedition against Ivars d'Urgell until the king undertook the retreat on Lerida. On 27 July, the regiment fought in the Battle of Almenar. On 13 August, it crossed the Cinca. On 15 August, it faced 28 Allied squadrons near Peñalva and routed them, capturing seven standards and a pair of kettle-drums. On 20 August, the regiment fought in the Battle of Saragossa and retired to Castile.

Note: some sources mention that, on 12 December 1710, the regiment took part in the Combat of Villaviciosa.

In 1711, the regiment joined the Army of Aragon where it was posted on the left wing of the second line.

In 1714, the regiment took part in the blockade, siege and capture of Barcelona.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1705- Source: Copyright Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow, with a red cockade fastened with a golden clip and a brass button
Neck stock white
Coat blue with brass buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder straps no information found
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with brass buttons (we assume that there were 3 buttons in our illustration)
Cuffs red with brass buttons (we assume that there were 3 buttons in our illustration)
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red with brass buttons
Breeches red
Leather Equipment
Bandolier brown leather
Waistbelt brown leather worn above the coat
Cartridge Box brown leather ventral cartridge box
Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
Footgear brown leather boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue edged with a wide red braid
Housings blue edged with a wide red braid
Blanket roll dark 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

no information found yet

Standards

no information found yet

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. XIV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 367-380

Other sources

Dragonas Magazine

Mogaburo López, Fernando: Caballibedia - Regimiento de Caballería Borbón

Acknowledgement

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