Ultonia Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army >> Ultonia Infantry

Origin and History

Grenadier of Regiment Ultonia in 1761 - Source: Conde de Clonard, Álbum de la Infantería española reproduced with the kind authorisation of the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda

This Irish regiment was initially supplied by France and entered into the Spanish service according to an ordonnance issued on 29 October 1709. It was formed of Irishmen exiled during the Nine Years' War (1688–97) and from Irish or British prisoners captured during the previous campaigns of the current war. The recruitment of its single battalion (13 companies of 50 men each) was completed in 1710 in Aragon. It was then named Mac-Auliff and counted 408 men.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1710, the regiment assembled in Zaragoza. It fought against the rebels in Aragon and took part in the blockade of Monzón in the Province of Huesca. On July 27, it fought in the Battle of Almenar. On August 11, it participated in the Combat of Peñalba. On August 20, it was at the defeat of Zaragoza and followed the army in its retreat towards Castile. Under the Duc de Vendôme, the regiment took part in the recapture of Toledo and Madrid. It then participated in the siege of Brihuega which surrendered on December 9. On December 10, the regiment fought in the victorious Combat of Villaviciosa which put an end to the struggle in Spain and confirmed the throne of Philip V. In 1711, the regiment was transferred to Catalonia where it made itself master of boats on the Ebro River and resupplied Gerona. It also took part in the Siege of Cardona. It was then sent to Aragon where it garrisoned at Teruel. In 1712, the regiment distinguished itself at an action near Benabarre in the Province of Huesca, where it routed a party of rebels and pursued them into the Rivagorza Valley. The regiment was later assigned to the garrison of Rosas and defended it against the last attacks of the Allies. It then returned to Teruel. In 1713, it campaigned in Catalonia under General Vallejo and fought against Catalan units of migueletes and somatenes irregulars, chasing them through Catalonia and defeating them at Prats de Llusanés. In 1714, it took part in the siege of Barcelona which surrendered on September 11. In 1715, it was allocated to Asfeld's Army, charged to reconquer Majorca. On June 17, it was at the attack of Alcudia; on June 29, at the capture of Palma. In 1716, the regiment returned to Barcelona.

According to a regulation issued on February 10 1718, the regiment was renamed “Fijo de Ultonia”. The same year, it took part in the expedition in Sicily and in the sieges of Messina and Milazzo. In 1719, it fought in the Battle of Francavilla. In 1720, it evacuated Sicily and returned to Spain where it garrisoned Valencia. In 1722, the regiment was transferred to the garrison of Zaragoza in Aragon.

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

In 1731, the regiment was cantoned around Barcelona. In 1732, it marched to Valencia where 9 companies embarked for North Africa to relieve Oran. In 1733, it defended Oran where it would remain until 1737 when it returned to Alicante in Spain.

On August 5 1738, the disbanded “Regimiento de Infanteria de Santiago” was incorporated into the present regiment as its second battalion.

In 1741, the regiment returned to Oran to form part of its garrison.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1745, the regiment was transferred from Oran to Italy where it took part in the siege and capture of Tortona. In 1746, it served in the region of Genoa. In 1748, it fought in the action of Borgonuovo near Chiavari. In 1749, it defended Genoa before re-embarking for Barcelona.

In 1755, the regiment was stationed in the District of Galicia where it garrisoned Ferrol, Coruña and Vigo.

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

  • no information available yet

The regiment was disbanded in 1818.

Service during the War

In 1760, the regiment was transferred from Galicia to Catalonia and entered into the place of Lérida.

In 1762, the regiment set off from Lérida for Old Castile. On April 17, it reached Zamora. Shortly afterwards, it was attached to the second brigade of the second line of the army destined to the invasion of Portugal. It passed the Douro River and took post at Ifanes in an attempt to cut the line of retreat of the Portuguese garrison of Miranda do Douro. But before it could lay siege to Ifanes, the powder magazine exploded and the present regiment along with Irlanda Infantry penetrated into the place through the breach opened by that explosion and occupied the citadel. On May 12, a detachment of the regiment occupied Bragança, evacuated by the Anglo-Portugueses. By September 6, the regiment was at Aldea Nova (more probably Aldea de Obispo near Salamanca) in Spain, attached to the division of General Mendoza who advanced towards the Tagus River and effected a junction with the rest of the army at Castelo Branco. Under the command of Brigadier Alejandro O'Reylly, the regiment defeated guerilleros who were harassing the lines of communications of the army. On September 28, it made a reconnaissance of the enemy positions at “Las Talladas”. The Portuguese finally abandoned these positions and, on October 16, the regiment returned to Castelo Branco. On November 14, it marched to the District of Extremadura where it took up its cantons at San Vincente to prepare for the siege of Elvas.

In 1763, the regiment marched to the District of Old Castile and took up cantons in towns along the Portuguese frontier.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Album de Taccoli of 1759
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced yellow with a black cockade fastened with a yellow button
Grenadier black bearskins probably with a red flame
Neckstock white
Coat red with yellow buttons on the right side
Collar none (blue as per the conde de Clonard)
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with yellow buttons
Cuffs blue with 2 yellow buttons
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat blue with yellow buttons
Breeches blue
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard brown


Armaments consisted of a musket, a bayonet and a sword (brass hilt).

Officers

The colonel, lieutenant-colonel, sargentos mayores and officers carried a spontoon and an officer stick. They used to hang this stick at the second button of the coat. The type of handle of the officer stick was different for each rank:

  • gold for the colonel
  • silver for the lieutenant-colonel
  • silver (but only one finger wide) for the Sargento Mayor and the captains
  • ivory for assistants, lieutenants and for the chaplain
  • wooden with a silver ring for sub-lieutenants

Sergeants carried a halberd instead of a spontoon. Furthemore, their officer stick had no handle.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

Since 1709, the coronela (colonel) and sencilla (battalion) colours of all Irish regiments were identical. At the beginning of the 1750's the coronela was altered and became slightly different for each regiment (with the name of the regiment written in the lower part of the colour). In most Spanish regiments the practice of writing the name of the regiment on the coronela seems to have been suppressed around 1759. However, the sencillass remained unchanged.

Coronela: White field with a red Burgundian cross; in the upper left corner, a medaillon carrying the arms of the regiment (blue field with a golden harp) surmounted by a golden crown; beneath the medaillon, a scroll with the motto "IN OMNEN TERRAM EXHIVIT SONUS EORUM".

Sencillas: Blue field; centre device consisting of a golden Irish harp.

N.B.: the field of the arms is often represented as blue which could simply be a faded green

Tentative reconstruction of the Coronela Colour common to all Irish regiments in the Spanish service - Source: Richard Couture based on information provided by Volker Scholz
Tentative reconstruction of a Sencilla Colour common to all Irish regiments in the Spanish service - Source: Richard Couture based on information provided by Volker Scholz

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. 351-373

Other sources

Album de Taccoli, 1759

Clonard, Conde de: Álbum de la Infantería española, 1861

Wild Geese Heritage Museum and Library

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 provided on colours.