Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Murcia Azules Nuevos

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

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, on 11 May 1694, the Province of Murcia raised the “Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Murcia”. The tercio was also known as the “Azules Nuevos”. It consisted of:

  • staff
    • 1 maestre de campo
    • 1 sargento mayor (major)
    • 1 capellan mayor (major chaplain)
    • 2 adjutants
  • 15 companies, each of:
    • 1 captain (to the exception of one company placed directly under the command of the maestre de campo
    • 1 sergeant
    • 2 corporals
    • 6 musketeers
    • 57 arquebusiers and pikeman (67 in the colonel's company)

In 1694, during the Nine Years' War, the new tercio marched to Barcelona and took part in the Battle of Torroella. Afterwards, 10 companies entered into Gerona, and five companies in Palamós. Gerona surrendered and the 10 companies were allowed to leave under the condition that they would not serve for the rest of the campaign. In 1695, the five companies defending Palamós rejoined the rest of the tercio when the place surrendered on 10 July. Together, they then marched to Barcelona to join the garrison. In 1697, the tercio defended Barcelona which capitulated on 10 August.

In 1699, the tercio embarked at Cartagena to relieve Ceuta which was besieged by the Moors.

In 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Murcia”.

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

  • from 1694: Don Luis Fernando Daza
  • from 8 July 1700: Don Garcia Huidobro
  • from 1707; Marquis de Quintana
  • from 1707: Don Juan Antonio de Guzman
  • from 1708: Don Francisco Santiago Buscamante

On 20 April 1715, the disbanded “Regimiento de Coria” was incorporated in the regiment.

Service during the War

In 1701, the tercio was stationed in Ceuta on the coast of North Africa. On 24 January, it greatly distinguished itself in a sortie where captains Don Juan de Ordenal and Don Juan de la Fuente were wounded.

In 1702, the tercio was relieved by other units in Ceuta and sailed for Gibraltar. From there, it marched to Jeréz de la Frontera where it joined the army of the Captain-General Marquis de Villadarias who advanced to counter the Allied expedition against Cádiz.

In 1704, half of the tercio along with part of the Tercio de Jaen was sent to reinforce Gibraltar. In August, an Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar. While defending the place, the tercio lost 4 officers and 30 men. After the capitulation of the place (4 August), the detachment rejoined the tercio who was now in Extremadura where an army was assembling under the command of King Philip V for the planned invasion of Portugal. The tercio then took part in the siege of Portalegre. On 6 June at 1:00 p.m., a corporal of the grenadier company along with two soldiers and a drummer reconnoitred the outworks of the place. They signalled that the Portuguese were abandoning the outworks and immediately Spanish troops advanced forcing the defenders to take refuge within the walls. On 8 June, Portalegre surrendered. On 12 June, the grenadiers of the tercio made themselves master of Castelo de Vide. In July, the tercio took up quarters to rest. On 17 November, the king ordered to raise a second battalion for the tercio.

In 1705, the tercio garrisoned Badajoz and defended it until 2 October.

In June 1706, the tercio joined the army of the Maréchal de Berwick who advanced into Old Castile and cantoned near Madrid. The army then reached the camp of Atienza. The tercio was then allocated to the Castilla Brigade along with the tercios of Badajoz and Trujillo. The tercio then formed part of the vanguard of the corps of General Geoffreville who penetrated into Valencia. On 18 October, it stormed Orihuela and, on 21 October, it captured Elche. The tercio then took up its winter-quarters in the Province of Murcia.

In February 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Murcia”. In the Spring, the Franco-Spanish army assembled at Chinchilla. On 25 April, the regiment took part in the Battle of Almansa.

In June 1708, a pro-Habsburg corps (British troops, Aragonese insurgents and a large number of migueletes) under the command of the Count of Almenara laid siege to Segorve. The Captain-General of Valencia, Don Antonio del Valle, detached Major Don Juan Perez y Dosante at the head of the regiment towards Segorve. The grenadiers of the regiment drove the enemy out of the Convent of San Blas. The pro-Habsburg party then lifted the siege. When the Franco-Spanish army took up its winter-quarters, the regiment was posted at Mora de Ebro. It was soon ordered to reinforce the garrison of Tortosa. On 4 December, the Austrian General Strahemberg appeared in front of Tortosa with 5,000 men. An Imperialist detachment tried to make itself master of the Temple Gate but was driven back by the regiment assisted by II./Blaisois. Starhemberg retired during the night.

In 1709, the first battalion garrisoned Tortosa while a second battalion was finally raised and trained at the camp of Tarragona.

In 1710, the regiment left Tortosa and joined the army assembled in Catalonia. This army then retired to Aragon. On 27 July, the regiment took part in the engagement of Alguaira; on 15 August, in the clast at Peñalva; on 20 August, in the disastrous Battle of Saragossa. The army then retired in New Castile. On 9 December, the regiment took part in the Combat of Brihuega and, on 10 December, fought in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa, pursuing the Allies up to the Cinca.

On 12 January 1711, the regiment marched along the Ebro with Valdecañas' Division who advanced on the Castle of Miravete which surrendered, thus freeing the line of communication between Tortosa and Mequinenza. The regiment then returned to its quarters at Mora. The first battalion was later sent to reinforce the garrison of Tortosa. On 25 October, this garrison repulsed an attack led by the Austrian General Wetzel.

In 1713, the regiment set off from Tortosa and joined the force blockading Barcelona.

On the night of 15 to 16 July, the regiment opened the trenches in front of Barcelona. It continued to serve in the siege of the place until the final assault on 11 September.

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. 401-413