Santiago Viejo Cavalry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 15 June 1703 in the Kingdom of Galicia from independent companies as per a royal decree issued on 15 May 1703: three independent companies under Captain Don Juan de Tovar y Castilla, Captain Count de Maceda and Captain Count de Fesiñanes; two companies under Captain Don Juan Bautista Sanchez and Captain Don Bartolomé Becerra came from Badajoz; one company under Captain Don Pedro de la Gasca came from Valladolid; one company under Captain José Manuel Centeno raised in Ciudad Rodrigo; two companies raised at their own expense by Captain Don Alonso Correa and Captain Don Antonio Jacinto Saavedra; and Rosellon Cavalry contributed one company (Captain Don Francisco Eguarás) to the creation of the new regiment.

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

  • since 15 June 1703: Juan de Tovar y Castilla
  • from 25 April 1704: Pedro Manso de Zuñiga (promoted to brigadier on 7 September 1704)
  • from 29 June 1706: Diego Mauricio de Loaysa y Vero
  • from 1709: Feliciano Bracamonte (promoted to maréchal de camp on 1 November 1710)
  • from 1 November 1710 to 1718: Gines de Hermosa y Espejo

Service during the War

At the end of December 1703, the regiment set off from Galicia to join the Army of Extremadura, taking up cantonments in Ciudad Rodrigo.

In 1704, Don Juan de Tovar y Castilla exchanged his regiment with Don Pedro Manso de Zuñiga, who previously commanded Manso Cavalry in the Kingdom of Naples. The regiment was then stationed in Sevilla under the command of Don Ignacio de Villacis. In October, the regiment joined the Spanish army who came to the relief of Ciudad Rodrigo.

In 1705, the regiment took part in the relief of Badajoz.

In 1706, the regiment was attached to the Army of Extremadura commanded by the Duke of Berwick. The regiment covered the retreat from Brozas. When the Allies tried to occupy the camp of Bazagona, it advanced with the first division who advanced against them and forced them to abandon their design. It then marched to the camp of Ciempozuelos and took the direction of Extremadura. It later joined the army assembling at Atienza in New Castile where it was posted on the left of the first line. It was attached to a column of cavalry sent to lift the blockade of Salamanca. The regiment then took position at Zamora. At the end of October, it entered in Portugal, advanced to Miranda, plundered a few villages and set eight villages afire, before returning to Zamora with several prisoners, 100 cows and two carts of sugar.

At the beginning of 1707, the regiment was subdivided in several detachments posted. At the end of March, part of the regiment was sent from Zamora to reinforce Alcañices threatened by the Portuguese army. When the enemy retired on Ciudad Rodrigo, the regiment returned to Zamora. In June, the regiment marched in the direction of Ciudad Rodrigo, engaging an Allied force sent forward to stop them, wounding Lieutenant-General Juan Dantes de Acuna and driving the enemy back to the place. The regiment was reviewed on 15 September. It then took part in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo which was stormed on 4 October.

In 1708, the regiment patrolled the frontiers of Castile and Extremadura.

On 7 May 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of La Gudiña where it fought against the Portuguese San Juan Dragoons and captured a few pieces of artillery. In June, it participated in the blockade of Olivenza where it was posted on the left of the first line. It was then sent to cover the Brozas and Cáceres. In July, it was sent in quarters at Alcántara from where it participated in several incursions in Portugal under the command of General Montenegro.

In 1710, it accompanied the Maréchal-de-Camp Don Juan Antonio Montenegro in his expedition in Portugal against several villages around Bastahon and Braganza. The regiment then returned to Old Castile. On 11 March, it accompanied the army in its invasion of Portugal, putting 15 villages to contribution and bringing back 3,000 cattle heads. When the king assembled his army at Plasencia, the regiment marched to the banks of the Tagus, occupied Villacastin. In October, it advanced to Torrelaguna to observe the enemy. On 30 November, it entered in Madrid. It then escorted supply convoy from Segovia to Madrid. On 7 December, it caught up with the Allied rearguard. On 8 December, during the Combat of Brihuega, it took an entire German regiment prisoners. On 10 December, it fought in the decisive Combat of Villaviciosa, where it captured 12 standards. It then pursued the remnants of the Allied army. On 11 December, it took 200 prisoners in Hita and continued its advance up to the Cinca. It was then attached to the column under Don Feliciano Bracamonte which harassed the Allies until their arrival at Saragossa. It later served in various locations in Aragon and Catalonia.

In 1711, the regiment was attached to the Army of Aragon where it was posted on the left of the second line. In August, the regiment was transferred to Prats del Rey where it took part in the siege until the surrender of the place on 25 December.

In 1713, the regiment fought against partisans in Catalonia, defeating Nebot on two occasions. It then took part in the blockade of Barcelona.

In 1714, after the surrender of Barcelona, one squadron of the regiment advanced on Villanueva de Sitxes where it was surprised by 4,000 insurgents under the Marquis de Poal. Together with the garrison, this squadron defended the place for eleven days until the arrival of reinforcements.

Uniform

Very little is known about the uniform of this regiment to the exception that the uniform was white with blue as its distinctive colour. We don't know the metal colour of the regiment.

Privates

Uniform in 1703- Source: Copyright Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow or white, with a red cockade fastened with a golden or silver clip and a brass or a pewter button
Neck stock white
Coat white with brass or pewter buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder straps no information found
Lapels none
Pockets no information found, we assume horizontal pockets, each with 3 buttons
Cuffs blue, each with an unknown number of buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat probably blue
Breeches probably blue
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 natural leather boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth probably blue edged with a wide white or yellow braid
Housings probably blue edged with a wide white or yellow braid
Blanket roll no information found


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, p. 379
    • vol. XV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 144-155

Other sources

Caballipedia - Regimiento de Caballería Santiago

Dragonas Magazine

Acknowledgement

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