Lusitania Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years' War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army >> Lusitania Dragoons

Origin and History

The regiment was created according to a royal decree issued on December 18, 1709, authorising the Count de Pezuela to raise a dragoon regiment of three squadrons, each of four companies.

During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), from its creation in December 1709 to 1712, the regiment assumed garrison duty in the District of Extremadura. In 1712, it took part in the campaign in Portugal, in the unsuccessful sieges of Elvas and Campo Maior. In 1713, it was transferred to Aragon and fought against bands of Catalan insurgents. In 1714, it continued to fight against the insurgents. After the capture of Barcelona, it formed part of the garrison of the city.

In 1717, half the regiment was sent to Sardinia where it contributed to the capture of Cagliari. In 1718, the entire regiment was reunited at Cagliari and embarked for Sicily where it took part in the siege of Messina and in the siege and Battle of Milazzo. On February 10, 1718, the regiment became “Lusitania Dragones”. In 1719, it fought in the Battle of Francavilla and was at the relief of the Castle of Mola. In 1720, the regiment returned to Spain but was almost immediately sent to the relief of Ceuta on the coast of North Africa and was then posted near Gibraltar.

In 1727, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Gibraltar.

In 1732, the regiment was once more sent to North Africa for the reconquest of Oran.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment marched across France to join the Franco-Spanish army assembling in Provence. In 1742, this army entered into Savoy. The regiment contributed to the capture of the Castle of Aspremont. In 1743, it took part in the attack on the lines of Château-Dauphin; in 1744, in the recapture of the Castle of Aspremont, in the occupation of Nice, in the attack on the lines of Monte-Albano and in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo where it was almost totally annihilated. In 1746, the reconstituted regiment fought in the Battle of Piacenza and in the Battle of Rottofreddo. In 1747, it returned to Spain.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • no information available yet

Service during the War

In 1762, the regiment was selected to participate in the planned invasion of Portugal. It joined the army at Zamora in Old Castile. It was allocated to the first brigade of the left wing of the first line which took up cantons in Ledesma. Two companies of the regiment were detached to San Félix de los Gallegos. On June 6, a squadron posted at Alameda joined Maceda’s Division. The rest of the regiment penetrated into Portugal and was present at the capture of Miranda (May 9), Bragança (May 17), Chavez (May 22), Castel-Rodrigo (June 8), Salvatierra (July 9) and Almeida (August 25). On August 31, the regiment took up cantons in Arroyo del Puerco. On October 14, it received orders to take post in Villar del Rey. On December 18, it was sent to Extremadura to assume garrison duty.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Album de Taccoli of 1759
Headgear black tricorne laced silver with a red cockade fastened with a white button
Neck stock white
Coat yellow with white buttons and white buttonholes
Collar none
Shoulder straps white aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 rows of 3 white buttons
Cuffs black, each with 3 white buttons and 3 white buttonholes
Turnbacks yellow
Waistcoat yellow laced white with white buttons and white buttonholes
Breeches yellow
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt none
Waistbelt none
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard n/a
Footgear black shoes
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth yellow laced with a wide white braid decorated with a thin yellow braid
Housings yellow laced with a wide white braid decorated with a thin yellow braid
Blanket roll n/a


Clonard mentions that the uniform of this regiment wore three skulls and crossbones as a special distinctive on the cuffs of the coat in memory of its almost complete annihilation in the sanguinary Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo on September 30, 1744. For the same reason, it was nicknamed “Dragones de la Muerte.” In 1760, this special distinctive was replaced by three embroidered white triangles (silver for officers).

Officers

no information available yet

Musicians

Musicians wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers.

Guidons

The guidons were made of damask, fringed and embroidered with silver. The cords and tassels were mixed of crimson and silver.

Obverse: crimson field, the border embroidered with a vegetal pattern; centre device consisting of the Royal Spanish Arms surrounded by the necklace of the Order of the Golden Fleece and trophies; corner device consisting of a fleur-de-lys (rear corners only); all embroideries of silver.

Reverse: crimson field, the border embroidered with a vegetal pattern; centre device consisting of the regimental emblem, Archangel Saint-Michel fighting Lucifer, besides the disk two wings, encircled by a large scroll with the mottos "QUIS UT DEUSOD ESO ESPERO" and "LUSITANIA TESSERA OMNIS ARMATURA FORTIUM"; a green hill with a silver base beneath the centre device; corner device consisting of a fleur-de-lys (rear corners only); all embroideries (excluding the hill) were made of silver.

NOTE: The devices on both sides were turned 90° to the staff.

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. XVI, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 3-18

Other sources

Album de Taccoli, 1759

Regimiento "Numancia", 9º de Caballería

Sorando Muzás, Luis: Trofeos de las Campañas de Italia ( 1717 – 1748)

Acknowledgment

Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.

Volker Scholz for the information on the guidons.