Tercio Provincial de Toledo Azules Viejos

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

Origin and History

The tercio was created on 24 April 1661, during the Portuguese Restoration War (1640–1668), in Madrid from soldiers recruited in the Province of Toledo. Its first commander was Don Diego Fernandez de Vera. It was immediately sent to the frontier of Portugal where it took part in the unsuccessful siege of Arronches. In 1662, it campaigned in the Province of Alentejo. In 1663, it took part in the siege and capture of Evora and in the battle of Ameixial; in 1665, in the siege of Vila Viçosa and in the battle of Montes Claros. In 1667, the tercio garrisoned Olivenza. By 3 September of the same year, it counted 143 officers, 65 reformados and 493 soldiers.

In 1669, the tercio joined the Army of Roussillon in Catalonia.

In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the tercio was brought back to full strength. In 1674, it took part in the siege of Bellegarde and in an engagement near Maurellás. In 1675, it retired to Gerona. In 1677, it fought in an engagement near Banyoles.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the tercio took part in the siege and capture of Camprodon; in 1694, in the Battle of Torroella and in the recapture of Hostalrich. The same year, the tercio was designated as the “Tercio de Azules Viejos”. In 1695, it participated in the unsuccessful siege of Palamós; and in 1697, in the defence of Barcelona which capitulated on 10 August and the tercio retired with the honours of war.

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

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

  • from 1695: Don Diego de Alarcon
  • from 7 May 1702: Don Melchor de Montes Vigil
  • from 12 June 1707: Count de Oñate
  • from 13 September 1707 to 17 December 1717: Count de Salvatierra

On 15 June 1714, the Regimiento de Limburgo was incorporated into the regiment. At the end of the war, on 20 April 1715, the disbanded regiment of the Marquis de Villasegura was also incorporated into the regiment.

Service during the War

In 1701, the tercio was stationed in the District of Catalonia. On 9 May, it embarked for Cádiz; however, the order was cancelled before its departure.

On 1 March 1702, the tercio sailed from Barcelona for Lombardy, contributing a company to the “Tercio Provincial Nuevo de Leon” (Amarillos Nuevos). The tercio was later sent to garrison Capua. It did not remain there very long, being soon ordered to return to Spain where it formed part of the garrison of Barcelona.

In 1704, the Prince of Darmstadt tried to make himself master of Barcelona, relying less on its own forces than on the clandestine machinations of the pro-Habsburg party in the city. However, the tercio remained loyal to the Bourbon and, on 2 June, the prince had to re-embark with a large number of Anglo-Dutch troops.

In 1705, the Prince of Darmstadt renewed his attempt to capture Barcelona which finally capitulated. On 19 October, the tercio embarked at Barcelona and was transported to Almeria where it remained until December. It then marched to Valencia , sending a detachment to Requena.

In 1706, the loyal city of Cuenca asked the king for some support. He sent the Maestre de Campo Don Melchor de Montes Vigil and officers of the tercio to train the local militia in the camp of San Francisco. On 10 July, the detachment of the tercio defending Requena had to surrender to General Peterborough. On 6 August, the British General Windham appeared in from of Cuenca with an Allied corps. On 10 August, Montes and his officers surrendered as prisoners of war and we conducted to Valencia.

On 28 February 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Toledo”. On 23 April, the regiment took part in the Battle of Almansa and then marched to the District of Valencia.

In 1708, the regiment served in the Army of Catalonia under the Duc d'Orléans. From 20 June, the regiment took part in the siege of Tortosa. After the submission of that place, it went to the Province of Extremadura where it was incorporated in a brigade posted on the right wing of the second line.

On 7 May 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of La Gudiña. On 9 June, a second battalion was added to the regiment.

In 1710, the regiment reinforced the troops of Castile. It surprised the fort of Carvajales and then went to the Point of Almaráz and encamped at Casatejada where it joined the King's Army. On 9 December, the regiment took part in the Combat of Brihuega and, on 10 December, in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa. It then took post in Old Castile.

In 1711, the regiment formed part of the division of General Don Antonio Montenegro which, on 14 June, reconquered Carvajales, capturing 200 prisoners. This division then rejoined the Army of Extremadura.

From 28 September to 17 October 1712, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Campo Maior. The regiment then took up its winter-quarters in Cáceres.

On 17 August 1713, the regiment was ordered to march from Cáceres to Valencia and, shortly afterwards, to Catalonia where it escorted the convoys destined to the troops blockading Barcelona.

In 1714, the regiment continued to escort convoys destined to the troops besieging Barcelona. It fought against the Migueletes at Oliana and Solsona until the capitulation of Barcelona.

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 1707-04-25 – Battle of Almansa, while the rank and file wore the new uniforms.

Privates

Uniform circa 1700 - Copyright: Richard Couture
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 blue 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 blue lining, blue cuffs and blue 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. IX, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 463-486

Acknowledgement

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