Tercio de Ceuta

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

Origin and History

The place of Ceuta, located in the old Province of Tingitana, was conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese in 1415. A treaty signed between Spain and Portugal in 1668, Ceuta was ceded to Spain. The garrison, which consisted of only two companies known as “Banderas Vieja y Nueva”, was immediately increased to 6 companies with troops recruited in Andalusia. By the end of the XVIIth century, this garrison counted 18 companies.

Since 1694, Muslim armies were continually blockading or besieging the place of Ceuta.

On 1 August 1703, King Philip V ordered to organise these 18 companies into a regular tercio that would be known as the “Tercio de Ceuta”.

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

  • from 1 August 1703: Don Pedro de Guevara Vasconcelos
  • from 17??: Don Pedro Jimenez
  • from 17??: Don Isidro Vicente Ferrer

On 16 May 1715, the tercio was renamed “Regimiento de Dotacion Fija”.

Service during the War

On 18 May 1703, the garrison companies took part in a sortie. Captain Don Luis de Mendoza y Ribeiro with 10 men distinguished themselves during this sortie. On 30 August, the tercio captured an artillery piece before retiring in the defensive works.

In 1704, part of the tercio served with the navy while the rest continued to defend Ceuta.

In 1705, the tercio conquered the ground where the counterguard of Santiago would be erected.

On 7 November 1706, the tercio took part in the attack on Negron Creek where Captain Don Manuel Mora and Don José Correa were taken prisoners by the Moors and brought back to Tétouan.

On 20 November 1708, the tercio drove back an attack of the Muslim besiegers.

On 26 December 1709, the Moors attacked again and were totally defeated

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. XI, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 169-184