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"5th Spanish Grenadiers Uniform at Castalla?" Topic

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IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2020 10:40 a.m. PST

The 5th Spanish Grenadiers were part of Whittingham's Spanish division at the Battle of Castalla 13 April 1813 as per Oman & Lipscombe's Atlas. I have the uniform details of the other Spanish battalions from Osprey MAA 334 Vol 3 of Spanish Uniforms. However, I can find no information on the 5th Grenadiers. I have also searched TMP but lots of information on early grenadiers and converged grenadiers but not this unit.

Does anyone have any information on this mysterious unit? Thanks in advance for your interest.

Prince of Essling22 Sep 2020 12:35 p.m. PST

No definite information having searched the various items at my disposal, so a hunch from Philip J Haytyhonthwaite's "The Napoleonic Source Book" – page 293 where he describes the uniforms of Whittingham's Division including the mention of Majorca Grenadiers, Murcia Grenadiers & Guadalajara Grenadiers.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2020 1:12 p.m. PST

That is is most useful Prince of Essling, thank you. Those three; Majorca Grenadiers, Murcia Grenadiers & Guadalajara Grenadiers are the names of three of the five Spanish Infantry battalions in Whittingham's division. The other two are 2nd Burgos and Cordova.

So it seems that at least three of the five regiments/battalions had their grenadier companies removed to form the 5th grenadiers. If that is correct, I wonder why it was called the Fifth Grenadiers?

BTW, I thought that I had all of Haythornthwaite's books but you have demonstrated that I do not. I must get this one.

Prince of Essling22 Sep 2020 10:33 p.m. PST

IronDuke956 – will keep digging & take another look at Sanudo's database as I didn't notice 5th Grenadiers. Am still trying to find an article in Spanish I saw a few years ago about the Mallorca military – just in case there was a reference to Whittingham's Division. Whittingham's letters just refer to 5th Grenadiers….

Prince of Essling23 Sep 2020 4:59 a.m. PST

Charles J Esdaile "The Duke of Wellington and the Command of the Spanish Army 1812 – 1814" Appendix 1 page 185 says 'The regiment listed in Whittingham's division as the Quinto de Granaderos is usually shown as the Fifth Grenadiers. In this instance, however, "quinto" almost certainly bears its alternative meaning of 'conscripts, the correct translation therefore being 'Conscript Grenadiers'.

That said a Spanish site shows them also named " Granaderos de Cuesta". Will keep hunting.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2020 8:54 a.m. PST

Prince of Essling – many thanks for your efforts. Still, 'Conscript Grenadiers' seems counterintuitive as you would think the best troops would be grenadiers.

Standing by as you 'keep hunting' and I will keep searching too. BTW, I bought the 'The Napoleonic Source Book' and await its delivery.

Prince of Essling23 Sep 2020 12:18 p.m. PST

I have now taken a closer look at Coronel Sanudo's " Base de Datos sobre las Unidades Militares en la Guerra de la Independencia Espanola" and thanks to Lipscombe having an entry "La Vieja Castilla" found an entry. Unfortunately the CD has started to play up as the info I exported has corrupted.

The initial formation of the Grenadiers was as 1st Division of Granaderos Provinciales de Castilla le Vieja (Milicia Provinciales) which went to Portugal in 1808, after various mishaps, it was reformed in March 1810 and seems to have become 5th Batallon de Granaderos.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

That is most unfortunate about your CD.

I rechecked all the unit tables in Osprey MAA 334 Vol 3 of Spanish Uniforms and found two possible suspects under Table 1 Line Infantry Regimental Uniforms. One is listed as "Granaderos (1801)" {I initially dismissed this unit as a line unit from Granada} and "Granaderos de Castilla (1811)."

So, based on the information in your second para it would appear that the "Granaderos de Castilla (1811)" is the forerunner of the 5th Grenadiers. Is that correct?

Prince of Essling24 Sep 2020 1:12 p.m. PST

Managed to recover CD – good clean & exported the data in a different format.

Granaderos de Castilla is a different unit. It was a line infantry unit. There was also a Castilla la Nueva Grenadier unit – 2ª DIVISION DE GRANADEROS, MILICIA PROVINCIAL of 2 BATALLONES A 4 COMPAÑIAS : 1º BATALLON COMPAÑIAS DE CUENCA , BADAJOZ, LOGROÑO,SORIA, PLASENCIA,CIUDAD REAL; 2º BATALLON COMPAÑIAS DE:LEON,LORCA,SEGOVIA,TRUJILLO,ALCAZAR, MURCIA',TOLEDO. I know there are more units listed here than companies – but that is what the database says….


Initial composition:
1st battalion uniform described as new white coat; 2nd battalion as mediano (?medium) white coat.

Captured in Portugal & freed towards end of September 1808.
In November actions around Barcelona.
1810 reformed as "Columna da Granaderos Provinciales de Castilla le Vieja".
1810 & 1811 – still mentions of 2 battalions.
30 June 1811 says 1 battalion defending Tarragona and 1/3 battalion (250 men) in Mallorca with Whittingham as 5º Batallon de Granaderos. Start of August 5º is up to a full battalion.
July battalion comprised 1 company cazadores & 5 companies of grenadiers.
August 1813 described as a Regiment though in 1814 again described as a battalion.

In 1815 became the 1st battalion of the Line infantry regiment No 5 Don Carlos.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2020 6:34 p.m. PST

Prince of Essling that is impressive research that confirms your original thoughts on the 5th Grenadiers. Well done!

Are you able to translate the March 1812 uniform description into English?

Prince of Essling25 Sep 2020 2:49 a.m. PST

From Bueno's "Uniformes Espanoles de la Guerra de Indepensdencia"


Figure 1 Granaderos de Mallorca
Figure 2 Cazadores de Mallorca
Figure 3 Campaign uniform for an ordinary company
Above based on reconstructions from notes "The Diary of Lieutenant Wollocombe" of the Royal Artillery.

Prince of Essling25 Sep 2020 5:21 a.m. PST

Will add appropriate extract from the diary and translation when I get back home.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 9:05 a.m. PST

I found a plate by the Fosten brothers from an article in the December 1976 issue of 'Military Modelling' titled Line Infantry of the Spanish National Army 1812-14. The plate is titled "Grenadier of the Spanish Line Infantry, 1812-14".

The article contains much detail in one page on the dress of line regiments. The source is "Historica organica de los armas de infanteria y caballeria Espagnole desde le creation del ejerato permanente hasta el dias" by Clonard. It does not help me with the 5th Grenadiers but informative nonetheless.

Re the plates above; the grenadier does not have wing rolls with a fringe that was charaterisitc of Spanish grenadiers in the 1812-15 period.

I look forward to what you uncover.

Prince of Essling25 Sep 2020 11:39 a.m. PST

The diary says – my markings [?]:

"Majorca grenadiers: blue jackets, sky blue facings [?lapels], buff cape [?collar] & cap [?cuff], red feather, blue cloth pantaloons, buff leather accoutrements.
Murcia grenadiers: blue jacket, yellow facings, cuff and cape, sky blue pantaloons, black leather accoutrements.
2nd Rgt of Majorca: blue jacket, red cuff and cape, (not my marking as the diary does have ?) blue leather accoutrements, blue pantaloons.
Cazadores of Majorca: uniform same as 95th Regiment.
Battalion of light companies: same as their respective regiments above mentioned with the addition of two companies of Cordova who have blue jackets, crimson facings, buff cape and cuff.
Grenadier companies of Guadalajara: blue jackets with buff cape and cuff, buff accoutrements.
Almansa Hussars: as 10th Regiment of British Hussars/
Olivenza: Yellow jackets, red cuff and cape, helmet like British light dragoons, red feather.
Artillery: blue jackets and red facings and cuff and cape, the same cap as the infantry, red feather.
Artificers: blue jackets, red cuff and cape, red feather, leather apron.

Approximate translation of the database entry on the uniform:
Short jacket and turquoise blue trousers, celestial lapel, suede collar and back, white button and eyelets on lapel and ??. Helmet [?shako] with cords, scarlet feather and brass shield with a crowned lion badge, white straps, musket, bayonet and sabre.

Found this interesting & useful site in Spanish

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 6:46 p.m. PST

I read through all of your reports several times and I still do not have a clear idea of how the 5th grenadiers was composed and uniformed at the battle of Castalla in April of 1813.

Your note "July battalion comprised 1 company cazadores & 5 companies of grenadiers." is the closest in terms of organization. However, we don't know from what unit these five grenadier companies came from. However, it is a strong coincidence that there are exactly five line regiment battalions brigaded with the grenadiers. I speculate that the five grenadier companies likely came from those same five line battalions. I am unsure about the cazadores but likely they are from Mallorca. What do you think?

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 9:26 p.m. PST

Not my subject, but Alfons Canovas Miniaturas Militares massive site is bound to have something, if you can search/ find in Spanish, I can't~



Prince of Essling25 Sep 2020 11:02 p.m. PST

@IronDuke596, I would concur with your conclusion. Interesting rereading Whittingham's letters – Division had 3,000 experienced troops, to which were added 2,000 recruits (?conscripts)…

@SHaT1984, I know Alfons site well. The above picture is on there, but I don't recollect seeing anything specific on Castalla.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2020 8:21 a.m. PST

@Prince of Essling, I am re-reading the most informative blog on the Mallorca Division (Whittingham's Spanish division in eastern Spain).

I will shortly read Whittingham's letters etc as you suggest.

Again thank you so much for your assistance.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2020 2:05 p.m. PST

>>SHaT1984, I know Alfons site well.

Aplogies I should have seen that from other topic- Veuillez accepter mes excuses!
d cup

Prince of Essling28 Sep 2020 8:35 a.m. PST

@IronDuke596, Will try to have a look at Clonard's "Historia organica de las armas de infantaria y cabaellaria"

Prince of Essling28 Sep 2020 12:40 p.m. PST

Clonard's Volume 6 page 261 deals with the reorganisation of the Army in 181o – rough translation/paraphrasing:

"Under this regulation, the veteran infantry consisted of eight battalions of grenadiers, formed from the four provincial grenadier divisions: one hundred and twenty-one line regiments, equally formed from those that existed, which, like those of provincial militias, retained their denominations with the addition of the second regiment when there was an infantry regiment that had the same name, thirty-two battalions of light infantry regiments, and of the Swiss corps that was considered suitable to maintain.

The battalions of grenadiers, should take precedence over all the other bodies of the infantry, and in the order according to their founding, placing the last created with respect to their predecessors, with the regiments of militias considered as newly created line."

The Grenadier battalions nominal strength was (5 companies of grenadiers & 1 of cazadores):

1 Commander
1 Sargent Major
2 Adjutants (Lieutenants)
1 Ensign (Sub Lieutenant)
1 Chaplain
1 Surgeon
1 Armourer
1 Drum major

Each company had:
1 Captain
2 Lieutenants
1 Sub lieutenant
1 First Sergeant
3 Second Sergeants
3 Drummers
6 First Corporals
6 second Corporals
111 Grenadiers or Cazadores

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2020 9:51 a.m. PST

That is very useful information. Interesting that the battalion included a company of Cazadores.

On the Divison Mallorquina site it states in brackets beside the 5th Grenadiers ( "Grenadiers of Cuesta" ). I read through the various iterations of the Mallorquina site looking for the break down of the 5th battalion, specifically where the companies came from. I am sure that I read the composition before but I can't find it now.

Nonetheless, I am going to use Lt Woolcombes's uniform description for now; "2nd = Majorca Grenadiers: blue jacket, sky blue facings [lapels], buff cape [collar] and cap [probably meaning cuff] , red feather, blue cloth pantaloons, buff leather accoutrements;"
except that I think the collar and cuffs were yellow as per the schematic beside the entry for the 5th Grenadiers.

Thanks again for all your help.

P.S. I am in the process of identifying all the units and their numbers in Whittingham's division at Castalla. The aforementioned site gives an OOB for July of 1812 but not for the battle itself. So far its is Oman for a primary source.

Prince of Essling29 Sep 2020 1:13 p.m. PST

@IronDuke596 – they were called "Grenadiers of Cuesta" because the commander at one stage was a Cuesta.

I must admit that the more I read, the more I am inclining to thinking that they were a stand alone unit and not drawn from the other units in the Division….

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2020 4:53 p.m. PST

@Prince of Essling, yes after checking the site again the 5th Grenadiers was commanded by a Colonel Juan de Dios Cuesta.

I am tending to agree with your hunch that the 5th Grenadiers was a stand alone unit not composed of the other divisional battalion's grenadier companies.

Other than Division Mallorquina site and Oman have you any information on the Whittingham's division's OOB at Castalla?

Prince of Essling30 Sep 2020 1:58 a.m. PST

This may well have the OOB answer


As you see it is in Spanish

Google translate has:
If there is a charismatic year within the framework of the Spanish War of Independence, it is 1812, the year of the Arapiles, the year that seemed to mark the end of the Napoleonic empire in Spain. But within the euphoria created by such impressive victory and its most immediate consequences: lifting the siege of Cadiz and withdrawing the French from Andalusia, there were also its shadows and hardships. And among them was the first battle of Castalla, just one day before that of the Arapiles.

On July 21, the Spanish army of General José O'Donnell, confident and confident in his numerical superiority, was brutally defeated in the dens of Castalla, near Alicante, by the troops of Marshal Suchet. It would cost him the post and a court-martial that would be resolved at the end of the war, in 1814, keeping him out of command ever since. A year later, on April 13, 1813, it would take an army of circumstances composed of English, Portuguese, Sicilian and Spanish troops to change the course of the war in the Spanish Levant. With King Joseph already on his way to his destination in Vitoria, the second battle of Castalla marked the beginning of the end of the French in Valencia, who were forced to abandon it hastily after its brilliant conquest a year earlier. Suchet, the only marshal to win his cane in Spain, would no longer have the initiative and was only able to delay as long as possible the imperial debacle in Aragon and Catalonia, abandoned to his fate by King Joseph and by the emperor.



1812 Reorganization and deployments.
Attack plan.

The battle.
Spanish withdrawal and court-martial.

King Joseph between Madrid and Valencia.
Allies against
Suchet The Allied presence and its burden to the Alicantine population.
The reorganization of the Spanish army

General situation.
Shares of Yecla, Villena and Biar.
The battle.
Direct consequences.





Prince of Essling30 Sep 2020 8:43 a.m. PST

I have a copy on order….

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2020 9:20 a.m. PST

I await your assessment of this book with eager anticipation.

I have been waiting for the arrival of this book for over a month and a half in the hope that it would have some detail on Castalla:

Prince of Essling30 Sep 2020 10:54 a.m. PST

It certainly should – the Spanish volume which hopefully should arrive tomorrow should also have more info on uniforms.

In the meantime I am combing through my full set of downloaded copies of "Revista Historia Militar".

Prince of Essling02 Oct 2020 5:52 a.m. PST

Now turned up (1 day late as was routed from Madrid).

Division Mallorquina: Mariscal de Campo Samuel Ford Whittingham
1st de Cordoba (line infantry – Coronel Julian Romero) 1 battalion 1,059 men
1st de Guadalajara (line infantry – 1 company of Grenadiers & 1 Cazadores) 340 men
2nd de Burgos (line infantry – Coronel Rafael Casteras) 1 battalion 850 men
2nd de Murcia (line infantry – Coronel Pablo Casaus) 1 battalion 1,058 men
Cazadores de Mallorca (light infantry – Coronel Patricio Campbell) 1 battalion 568 men
Granaderos del General (5th battalion – Teniente Coronel Francisco Ochoa) 1 battalion 600 men

4th Division of 2nd Spanish Army – Mariscal de Campo Felipe Keating Roche
Chinchilla (line inf – Teniente CoronelPedro Juan Cervera) 1 battalion 1,056 men
Ligero de Voluntarios de Alicante (light inf – Commandante Tadeo Aldea) 1 battalion 1,021 men
1st Ligero de Voluntarios de Aragon (light inf – Coronel Torres) 1 battalion 971 men
Ligero de Voluntarios de Valencia (2nd battalion? – "Cazadores" Coronel Pedro de Caballos) 1 battalion 1,001 men
Fijo de Canarias (Coronel Demetrio O'Daly) 1 battalion 862 men

Cazadores de Olivenza (Coronel Vicente Algarra) 2 squadrons 250 men
Dragones de Almansa (Teniente Coronel Vicente Conway) 2 squadrons 250 men

3 Spanish batteries (4 pieces with Whittingham & 8 with Roche) 8 cannons & 4 howitzers.

If you would like a scan of the plate showing the Spanish uniforms ping an e-mail to prinzessling at gmail dot com

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2020 6:27 a.m. PST

Thank you for taking the time to post the OOB for the Spanish divisions. The numbers are most useful.

Interesting difference between Oman and Lipscombe versus the Spanish "Castalla" re the Mallorcan regiment. They have it as the 2nd Mallorca rather than Spanish publication's Cazadores de Mallorca. I thought the Oman omission strange as the Mallorquina web site devoted much attention to the Cazdores de Mallorca and their importance to the efficacy of the Mallorcan division.

Also interesting is that Oman (Vol 6, p 748) has the two Spanish cavalry regiments as detached to Whittingham's division but Lipscombe has them part of the allied cavalry brigade in the area around Castalla to counter Boussart's cavalry brigade, which makes sense.

I will send you an email shortly for the plate.

Prince of Essling02 Oct 2020 7:32 a.m. PST

E-mail now received – will send reply plus the plate later.

The Spanish cavalry regiments appear to have been originally with Whittingham when the Division left Mallorca but were then detached at some point later …….

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