Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Segovia Blancos

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

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 Segovia raised the “Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Segovia” under the command of Don Francisco de Luna y Cárcamo. It was also known as the “Tercio de los Blancos”. 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 mayar
    • 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

In 1694, the tercio marched to Gibraltar where it embarked to reinforce Ceuta on the coast of North Africa, which was besieged by the Moors. It defended this place until 1697 when it received orders to return to Spain and to join the Army of Catalonia. It was canoned near Barcelona.

In 1699, the tercio marched from Catalonia to the coast of Granada.

On 28 February 1707, the two battalions of the unit became two distinct regiments: the first battalion became the “Regimiento de Segovia”; the second, the “Regimiento de Toro” (see our article on the Regimiento de Toro for the history of this new unit).

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

  • from 1694: Don Francisco de Luna y Cárcamo
  • from 1705: Don Pedro de Castro y Neyra (former commander of the second escuadron of the Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Segovia, he is also mentioned as commander of the entire unit from 1698-1706)
  • from 15 April 1708: Marquis de Torremayor

The regiment was disbanded in 1715 and its soldiers distributed in other regiments..

Service during the War

In 1701, the tercio was sent to defend Málaga because an Anglo-Dutch fleet threatened the Mediterranean coast.

In 1702, the tercio embarked aboard the fleet who sailed from Cádiz for Italy on 1 March. The tercio landed at Naples and was sent to garrison the town of Pescara. While stationed in Pescara, the men of its second escuadron were incorporated into the first, the officers of the second, led by Major Castro y Neyra, embarked aboard the frigates Santa Rosa and Hermione and returned to Cádiz to raise a new escuadron. On 9 October, Castro y Neyra arrived at Cádiz. He was immediately with his officers to Toro in Old Castile to raise a second escuadron.

By the beginning of December 1703, the second escuadron was considered fit for service.

In the Spring of 1704, the second escuadron of the tercio joined the army assembling in Extremadura under the command of King Philip V for the planned invasion of Portugal. The escuadron took part in the siege of Castelo Branco which surrendered on 23 May. On 28 May, it fought in the attack of the entrenchments of the Allies near Sárceda where a Dutch division was routed and two Dutch battalions taken prisoners. On 28 October 1704, the old tercios were reorganised as regiments. The present tercio was then split into two distinct units.

In 1705, the unit stationed in Spain and commanded by Castro y Neyra was assigned to the defence of Alcántara. However, it had to make many detachments to protect the region. On 3 May, the Allies attacked Alcántara. Castro resisted until 9 May when he capitulated, obtaining the honours of war for the garrison. Meanwhile, the other unit stationed at Pescara in Italy was besieged by an Imperialist force. To the exception of its colonel, this unit joined the Habsburg when Pescara capitulated. Don Pedro de Castro y Neyra, who commanded the part of the unit stationed in Spain, was then promoted colonel of the regiment.

For the campaign of 1706, Castro's unit joined the Army of Extremadura who laid siege to Elvas. In the first days of June, a battery of mortars opened against Elvas. Meanwhile, Castro had sent officers to Galicia to raise a second battalion. On 3 July, this second battalion was added to Castro's regiment (the regiments of Bajeles and Armada contributed a few companies to the new battalion). During this time, the first battalion fought in actions at Arronches and Jorumenha. The entire regiment was then ordered to march to the Province of Valencia, threatened by pro-Habsburg insurgents. In October, it took part in the siege of Elche.

On 28 February 1707, the two battalions of the unit became two distinct regiments: the first battalion became the “Regimiento de Segovia” (the object of the present article); the second, the “Regimiento de Toro” (see our article on the Regimiento de Toro for the history of this new unit). The old regiment then joined the Lieutenant-General Marquis de Bay for the siege of Ciudad-Rodrigo. On 4 October, it took part in the general attack and was the first to plant its colours on the walls of Ciudad-Rodrigo.

In 1708, the regiment was posted on the frontier between Portugal and Castile. It launched a few raids into Portugal and maintained the garrisons of Serpa and Moura in continual alert.

In 1709, the regiment was transferred to Andalusia to raise a second battalion. It then marched to the Province of Extremadura.

In 1710, the regiment formed part of a corps counting 12 battalions for a total of 7,000 men sent to the camp of Salamanca. From there, it advanced into New Castile and laid siege to Brihuega. On 9 December, led by its colonel, the Marquis de Torremayor, the regiment took part in the assault of Brihuega and planted its colours on the parapet. The colonel was wounded during this sanguinary combat. On 10 December, the regiment fought in the decisive Batlle of Villaviciosa. The regiment then returned to Extremadura.

In 1711, the regiment was part of the army of the Marquis de Bay who, on 25 April, encircled Evora and ravaged the Alentejo, razing the camps of Elvas and Campomayor. The regiment was at the bombardment of Elvas and at the sack of Borba. On 15 June, it rejoined the main army who retreated. The regiment was posted on the Caya.

In September 1712, the regiment accompanied the army in its advance on Campomayor. On 28 September, it opened the trench in front of this place. But during the peace negotiations, it retired to Plasencia.

In 1713m the regiment was transferred from Extremadura to the Province of Valencia. It then joined the Army of Catalonia and took part in the blockade of Barcelona.

In 1714, the regiment remained in Catalonia and fought the migueletes in the mountains.

Uniform

On 30 December 1706, an Ordenanza de Infantería was published. It stipulated that all regular line infantry uniforms would now be white with the colour of the former uniform becoming the distinctive colour used for cuffs and waistcoat. On 28 February 1707, a royal decree reinforced this ordenanza. The new uniform were made in France, so it is very likely that some regiments had not received their new uniforms for the campaign of 1707. In fact, it seems that the officers and musicians of some regiment were still wearing the old uniform in 1707 at the Battle of Almansa, while the rank and file wore the new uniforms.

Privates

Uniform circa 1700 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Picouet
Headgear
Musketeer black felt cocked hat laced white with a red cockade or broad brimmed hat turned up on one side or another
Grenadier no information found
Neckstock white
Coat white with red lining and with tin buttons on the right side and 1 tin button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 tin buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 tin buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red with tin buttons
Breeches red
Stockings red fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters no information found
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard black
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle


Rank and file were armed with a sword, a bayonet and a musket

According to the Ordenanza de Infantería, from around 1707, the uniform of the regiment would be quite different with a white coat with white lining, white cuffs, white breeches and white stockings.

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

no information found yet

Colours

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. X, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 199-211

Acknowledgement

Joseph O’Neill for the information on the new uniforms issued in 1707.