Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Extremadura

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Extremadura

Origin and History

As per a royal decree dated 20 January 1694, each province of Spain had to raise a provincial tercio of 1,000 men to reinforce the army. Accordingly, the Province of Extremadura raised the “Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Extremadura” under the command of Don Juan Fernandez Pedroche. It consisted of:

  • staff
    • 1 maestre de campo
    • 1 sargento mayor (major)
    • 1 capellan mayor (major chaplain)
    • 2 adjutants
    • 1 furriel mayor (major quartermaster)
    • 1 tambour mayor
    • 1 captain of campaign
    • 1 surgeon
  • 15 companies, each of:
    • 1 captain (to the exception of one company placed directly under the command of the maestre de campo
    • 1 page
    • 1 sergeant
    • 1 standard bearer
    • 1 drummer
    • soldiers

From 1694 to 1687, the tercio assumed garrison duty in Badajoz.

On 28 February 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Extremadura”.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the tercio was under the command of:

  • from 20 January 1694: Don Juan Fernandez Pedroche
  • from 11 December 1710 to 1715: Don José Vazquez de la Cuadra

The regiment was disbanded on 20 April 1715.

Service during the War

In 1704, the tercio joined the army assembling in Extremadura under the command of King Philip V for the planned invasion of Portugal. The tercio took part in the siege of Castelo Branco which surrendered on 23 May. On 27 May, it fought in the attack of the entrenchments of the Allies near Sárcedas where a Dutch division was routed and two Dutch battalions taken prisoners. On 8 June, it was at the capture of Portalegre; on 26 June, at the capture of Castelo de Vide.

At the beginning of June 1705, the tercio formed part of a detachment of the the Army of Portugal who took position on the Agueda River to interdict its crossing by the Allies. The latter then advanced on Badajoz, intending to lay siege to the place. The tercio was transferred from the lines of the Agueda to join the main army, arriving on 1 October. On 14 October, the Allies abandoned the siege of Badajoz and took up their winter-quarters.

In 1706, the Maréchal de Berwick detached the tercio to make itself master of Ros-Marinhos. On 5 January, led by its lieutenant-colonel Don José Vasquez de la Cuadra, it escalated the walls of the place. In this action, Major Don Marcos Santos and Captain Don Juan de Landaeta distinguished themselves. The latter was promoted to major of the “Regimiento de Guipúzcoa”. On 18 March, the tercio rejoined the Maréchal de Berwick who had advanced on Badajoz. The Allies were deployed between Badajoz and Alcántara with their right at Elvas. After reconnoitring Berwick's positions, the Allies laid siege to Alcántara. In April, the tercio was at the camp of Borcos with the main army. On 16 April, Alcántara surrendered. Berwick was then recalled to Castile with most of his troops. However, the tercio remained on the Portuguese frontier under the command of the Marquis de Bay. In June, Bay entered into Portugal and had some successes at Arronches and Jorumenha. He then advanced on Elvas which he bombarded before retiring to Spain. On 15 December, the tercio joined a force under Do José Armendariz who surprised and captured Alcántara where the tercio remained as garrison.

On 28 February 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Extremadura”. At the end of April, the regiment joined the Army of Extremadura who took position between the Tagus and the Sierra de Gata, to cut the line of retreat of the Allies after their defeat at Almansa. The regiment took part in the blockade of Olivenza but was forced to retire to Badajoz.

On 7 May 1708, the regiment marched to Evora while the Allies concentrated their forces under the walls of Olivenza. On 9 July, it returned to its quarters. At the beginning of October, it joined the army who advanced on Villagoim to try to relieve Jeréz de los Caballeros, besieged by the Portuguese. It remained in this position till the end of the year.

For the campaign of 1709, the regiment was brigaded under Don Baltasar del Prado in the second line of the army. On 19 April, the army encamped near Evora while the Portuguese were at Elvas. On 7 May, the Portuguese passed the Caya River and offered battle. The regiment took part in the victorious Battle of La Gudiña, The regiment then march to assist in the siege of Olivenza. However, the Marquis de Bay had not enough siege material to undertake this enterprise and just blockaded the place while the Portuguese entrenched at Telena on the banks of the Guadiana. On 8 July, a second battalion was added to the regiment.

In 1710, the regiment rejoined the King's Army who had retired to Plasencia in Old Castile after its defeat at Saragossa (20 August), at. On 15 October, the king advanced towards the Tagus and took position at Casatejada. On 10 December, the regiment took part in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa where its colonel, Don Juan Fernandez Pedroche, was killed in action. The army then pursued the Allies up to Saragossa.

In 1711, the regiment was posted in the Province of Extremadura under the command of the General Marquis de Navamorquende.

At the beginning of May 1712, the regiment participated in a reconnaissance towards Elvas. It later advanced on Campomayor and was present at the bombardment who preceded the siege. By 4 October, the trenches had almost reached the walls of Campomayor. On 17 October, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful assault. The army then retired to the camp of La Gudinña. On 12 December an armistice was concluded with Portugal.

In 1713, the regiment remained in the Province of Extremadura until the conclusion of a peace treaty.

Uniform

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Privates

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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.

In the infantry, officers wore a silver or gold gorget and a spontoon.

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: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • lieutenant: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • sub-lieutenant: baton with a horn band and a silver ring

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

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Colours

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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. X, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 212-224