5th Division: Major-General Bassecourt
1st Real Marina (Royal Marines), 1st Battalion
1st Real Marina (Royal Marines), 2nd Battalion
Africa Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion
Reina Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion
Murcia Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Murcia Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion
Provincial de Siguenza (Militia)
I know the Murcia region in Southern Spain very well, situated on the Costa Calida or 'Warm Coast', famous as a fruit growing area and with the cities of Murcia and Cartagena, the latter founded by the Carthaginians and a major Spanish naval base.
It would seem the Murcians were enthusiastic opponents of Napoleon, raising at least five battalions of volunteer infantry, one light infantry unit and the the three regular battalions. Several of the volunteer battalions took part in the determined siege of Saragossa.
The Murcia Regiment were first raised in 1694 and were the nineteenth regiment of line infantry, having two battalions present at Talavera.
In May 1808 at the commencement of the war the Murcia Regiment was listed with three battalions but with just over the list strength for one battalion, having 833* officers and men.
*Source - Seccion de Historia Militar, Estados de la Organizacion y Fuerza de los Ejércitos Españoles Beligerantes en la Peninsula, durante la Guerre de España contra Bonaparte, 1822, Barcelona.
However a second source shows a different picture with two full strength battalions in Portugal and the third battalion mustering in the Gibraltar Camp.
Spnaish Army of Andalusia - 20th May l808
3/Guardias Wallonas (30/800)
Valencia Infantry Regiment (1/2)(7/318)
Corona Infantry Regiment (39/675)
1/3/Africa Infantry Regiment (36/455)
Barbastro Light Infantry Regiment (1/2)(6/246)
Campo Mayor Infantry Regiment 33/1034
3/Murcia Infantry Regiment (10/121)
1/Murcia Infantry Regiment (23/781)
2/Murcia Infantry Regiment (22/700)
Source - Clerc, Capitulation de Baylen, Causes et Consequences, Paris, 1903
|Sencilla for the Murcia Regiment|
Battle of Bailén
Spanish Forces at Baylen - 17th July l808
Commanding General: Lieutenant General Francixco Xavier Castaños
Chief of Staff: Major-General T. Moreno
Artillery Commander: Mariscal de campo Marques de Medina
Engineer Commander: Colonel Bernardino de Loza
Reserve Division: Lieutenant General Manual de Lapeña
Provincial Grenadiers (912)
2/Africa Infantry Regiment (525)
Burgos Infantry Regiment (2,089)
Det/Reding #2 (Swiss) Infantry Regiment (243)
Zaragosa Infantry Battalion (8922)
3/Murcia Infantry Regiment (420)
Provinciales de Siguenza Infantry Regiment (502)
Naval Grenadier Company (50)
Pavia Dragoon Regiment (541 men & 408 horses)
Jerez Lancer Regiment (70)
Artillery (12 guns)(502)
Sappers (1 co)(100)
Following the victory at Bailen, elements of the regiment returned to Murcia to act as garrison troops in the province.
The regiment is then shown forming two battalions in La Pena's 4th Division, part of General Castanos' Spanish Army of the Centre that moved up to the River Ebro in the October and November.
Army of the Center, Commanding General: General Castanos
4th Division: General La Pena (7,500)
Africa Infantry Regiment (2)
Burgos Infantry Regiment (2)
Saragosa Infantry Regiment (1)
Murica Infantry Regiment (2)
Provincial Grenadiers of Andalusia (2) (militia)
Signenza Militia Infantry Regiment (1)
Navas de Tolosa Infantry Regiment (1)(new levee)
Baylen Infantry Regiment (1)(new levee)
5th de Sevilla (1) (new levee)
Source Oman (battalions)
With Spanish forces beaten and pursued by the French Grande Armee under Emperor Napoleon, the Army of the Centre found itself regrouped around Cuenca under a new commander by January 1809, and the regiment was in a much reduced strength of under one full battalion now in the Vanguard Division.
It would have the misfortune to be part of General Venegas' army that was given a hard lesson in manoeuvre by Marshal Victor at Ucles that same month.
Battle of Uclés (1809)
Spanish Army of the Centre - Battle of Ucles, 13th January 1809
Commanding Officer: D. Francisco Javier Venegas
Reales Guardias Walones (22/425)
Campo Mayor Infantry Regiment (l6/465)
Granaderos provinciales (29/220)
Murcia Infantry Regiment (49/652)
Provincial de Toro (12/239)
Irlanda Infantry Regiment (9/377) (270 at battle)
Voluntarios de Carmons (40/456)
Burgos Infantry Regiment (17/5l9)
Gerona Infantry Regiment (17/499)
Chincilla Infantry Regiment (12/354)
Jaen Infantry Regiment (16/342)
Cantabria Infantry Regiment (20/315)
Africa Infantry Regiment (43/771)
Ordenes militaires Infantry Regiment (42/848)(500 in battle)
Barbastro Light Infantry Regiment (11/221)
4th Seville Infantry Regiment (20/224)
Cuenca Infantry Regiment (12/626)
Los Tiradores de Cadiz (17/407) (240 in battle)
Reina Cavalry Regiment (24/323)
Principe Cavalry Regiment (5/155)
Borbon Cavalry Regiment (15/223)
Espan~a Cavalry Regiment (29/351)
Santiago Cavalry Regiment (21/107)
Tejas Cavalry Regiment (15/153)
Pavia Cavalry Regiment (32/527)
Lusitania Cavalry Regiment (12/177)
Castilla Cavalry Regiment (5/138)
Source - Gomez de Arteche Y Moro, La Guerra de la Independencia, Madrid, 1883
On the 4th April the regiment along with the other units that would make up Bassecourt's 5th Division at Talavera were transferred from the Army of the Centre to the Army of Estremadura and with a much increased strength of over 1,200 men between its two battalions.
Forces Passed to the Army of Estramadura from the Army of the
Center by order of the Supreme Central Junta.
Division: Mariscal de campo de Echevarri
l/Reyna Infantry Regiment (1)(795)
l/Africa Infantry Regiment (1)(838)
lst Real Marina Infantry Regiment (2)(615)
1/2/Murcia Infantry Regiment (2)(1,229)
2/Cazadores de Barbastro (1)(851)
Cazadores Voluntarios de Valencia y Albuquerque (l)(831)
Provincial de Siguenza (1)(1,081)
My 2/Murcia are composed of figures from the AB range supplied by Fighting 15's and the Sencilla is my conversion using flags created by MS Foy over at the Prometheus in Aspic blog and which I have posted here for others to use. Simply download the image and size accordingly.
So with five battalions down and two to go, the completion of Bassecourt's division gets closer as does the date of the first game in June of the Talavera 208 Project. I don't know about you but I'm getting quite excited by the prospect, and from the comments received I know some of you are also looking forward to seeing the first game up and running.
If you care to click the link on the banner at the top of the post for the Talavera 208 project you will see that the 'Just Giving' page is showing a good total for Combat Stress and the great work they do. Thank you to everyone who has made a contribution so far and the kind comments received. If you are enjoying the outputs from this project so far then please show your support by making a contribution.
Sources referred to in this post:
Spanish Army of the Napoleonic Wars (1) 1793-1808 - Rene Chartrand & Bill Younghusband
Next up more from Portsmouth and the Historic Dockyard and the 3rd battalion Murcia Regiment.