Valdefuentes Cavalry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Valdefuentes Cavalry

Origin and History

In April 1701, the Governor of the Duchy of Milan, the Prince de Vaudémont, reorganised the cavalry of this principality. On 20 April 1701, a review of the four cavalry regiments born from this reorganisation took place:

  1. “Regimiento del general de la caballeria” or Marquis de Balbases
  2. “Regimiento del Teniente General de la Caballeria del Estado Prince de Trivulzio”
  3. “Regimiento de caballeria napolitana” or Valdefuentes (the subject of the present article)
  4. “Regimiento de la caballeria extrajera del estado de Milan”

The 8 companies of the regiment “Caballeria Napolitana del Comissario General Tomasso Carracciolo” formed the kernel of the new regiment.

In 1705, the regiment was completed with 4 additional companies to bring it to a strength of 12 companies of 25 troopers each.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from 20 April 1701: Marquis de Valdefuentes (appointed inspector of the cavalry of the State of Milan in 1704)
  • from 5 May 1705 to 1707: Feliciano Bracamonte (in 1709, he would become colonel of Santiago Viejo Cavalry)

The regiment was disbanded in 1707, part of his troopers were evacuated to Spain, where they were integrated into Molfetta Cavalry.

Service during the War

On 31 October 1701, an Imperial detachment (1,000 foot and 1,000 horse) under the Prince de Commercy passed the Adda near Cassano and, around 10:00 p.m., attacked the Spanish camp by surprise. Valdefuentes Cavalry and Monroy Dragoons lost 300 men killed, 55 taken prisoners, 11 standards, a pair of kettle drums and 400 horses. The Duc de Sesto, who commanded on the Adda, had several Spanish cavalry regiments and 1 Spanish battalion at Cassano. Instead of bringing support to his compatriots, he ordered his units to abandon their positions and to take refuge behind the canal of the Canonica. He then retreated towards Milan, spreading panic in the neighbourhood.

On 5 November 1703, the regiment formed part of a small corps under the Comte d'Estaing who took position at Mortara and Novara to cover Milan. By the end of the month, the regiment was posted at Mortara and Gheme.

By mid-February 1704, the regiment was part of the Franco-Spanish corps posted on the Franco-Spanish Army on the Sesia and Agogna, more precisely it was posted between between Castello d'Agogna and Nicorvo.

In 1707, after the conquest of the Duchy of Milan by the Austrians, the regiment went to Spain. On 6 August, it was reviewed at Pamplona and considered to be in poor condition. It was then disbanded and incorporated in Milan Cavalry.

Uniform

Very little is known about the uniform of this regiment to the exception that the uniform was grey with blue as its distinctive colour. We don't know the metal colour of the regiment.

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. They always wore a tricorne notwithstanding the headgear worn by soldiers.

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: silver or golden epaulettes (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on both shoulders
  • lieutenant: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the right shoulder
  • cornet: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the left shoulder

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 woolen epaulette (red or of the distinctive colour of the regiment)
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick

Standards

no information found yet

References

Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XIV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 444-445

Dragonas Magazine

Caballipedia - Regimiento de Caballería Valdefuentes

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgement

Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article.