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"Portuguese Volunteers at Castalla 1813" Topic

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ferg98101 Nov 2020 1:37 a.m. PST

Hello all,

Quick question – my OOB for Gen Murrays army at Castalla in 1813 makes reference to a unit in the 2nd Spanish Division under Roche labelled as "Portuguese Volunteers"

Does anyone know if these guys were uniformed? If so, in what style?



IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 5:12 a.m. PST

Roche's Spanish Division (not Portuguese) was clothed, paid, supplied and led by the British in similar manner to Whitiingham's Mallorca Division.

The division consisted of the Chinchilla line infantry, Alicante light infantry, Aragon Volunteer light infantry, Valencia 2nd battalion Cazadores, Fijo de Canaris line infantry and two batteries of 8 guns. For uniform details see Osprey MAA 334 Uniform Tables.

ferg98101 Nov 2020 5:37 a.m. PST

Thanks Iron Duke

I wonder who these chaps are then? No problem, I will find a suitably uniformed group of Spaniards and paint them accordingly



Whirlwind01 Nov 2020 6:33 a.m. PST

Which OOB is that from?

Prince of Essling01 Nov 2020 7:09 a.m. PST

Assuming we are talking about April 1813 there were 2 Portuguese batteries made up of 196 personnel from a mix of the 1st, 3rd & 4th regiments. They are the only Portuguese listed.

ferg98101 Nov 2020 8:36 a.m. PST

Evening all,

The OOB is just the one listed on Wikipedia, with the source given as – Smith 1998 and Gates 2002.

It isn't critical as i'm only loosely basing my force on Murrays – i'm intending to add some Royal Marines and Portuguese line as well.

I just didn't want masses and masses of British Line Infantry, as in most rule sets fighting the Brits gets old very quickly for the French players.



Whirlwind01 Nov 2020 8:50 a.m. PST


I checked Smith and Gates. Gates gives no specific details, Smith is based on Oman. Oman in his Volume 6 gives Roche's Division as the same as the Prince of Essling above. So it looks like an error in Smith, copied into Wikipedia.

Whirlwind01 Nov 2020 8:51 a.m. PST

I just didn't want masses and masses of British Line Infantry, as in most rule sets fighting the Brits gets old very quickly for the French players.

Doing this force is a good excuse to do Sicilians, Italian levies and the Calabrian Free Corps, as well as British.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 10:39 a.m. PST

The Prince of Essling is correct the Portuguese artillery was commanded by Captain Cox R.A. and consisted of six six pounder guns ref. Lipscombe, Wellington's Eastern Front, Appendix 1.

I must give credit to the Prince of Essling who has provided much help to me in understanding the construct of Murray's Anglo/Italian/Spanish and yes some Portuguese but patricularly Whittingham's Mallorca division.

This TMP link will provide helpful information TMP link

ferg98101 Nov 2020 10:58 a.m. PST

Whilst i've got access to the hive mind, what figures do you think will be suitable for the following units in 15/18mm scale? I've given my ideas below

Anglo Italian Levies – Prussian Line Infantry in British Uniforms
Calabrian Free Corps – Brunswick Avante Guard armed with muskets
Sicilian Estero – Spanish infantry in bell top shako.

Any other suggestions or corrections welcome – as are any references for flags that may have been carried by these units?



Whirlwind01 Nov 2020 11:22 a.m. PST

We did the flag of the Italian levies a little while ago: TMP link

Apparently by 1813 both the Calabrian Corps and the Italian levies would have been in plain British-style uniform in blue with stovepipe shako, without the jacket lace. Later war Spanish & Portuguese should work okay (or some Prussian 1813 Reserve Infantry), if they are in British-style equipment.

YankeeDoodle01 Nov 2020 1:18 p.m. PST

We can only speculate how the "Chinchilla line infantry" were dressed?

Prince of Essling01 Nov 2020 1:34 p.m. PST

Illustration and text in "Castalla 1812 y 1813" by Francisco Vela Santiago has Chinchilla dressed in British red jackets with six pairs of white lace bastions down the front, green collar, shoulder straps & cuffs, and turnbacks. Shoulder straps & collar edged white. Cuffs had white bastions. White tuffs at the edge of the shoulder straps. White lining; White buttons. White trousers.

Ruchel01 Nov 2020 1:53 p.m. PST

"Chinchilla" was a provincial militia regiment, not a line infantry regiment.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 2:01 p.m. PST

>>there were 2 Portuguese batteries made up of 196 personnel

Those are an incredibly strong number of troops for only two batteries. Even the French wouldn't reach such at the best of times. Even more incredible for a 'third world' downbeat nation like Portugal became.

This must include the train etc. Looking at a horse count would help clarify this. And/ or totally supported Brit financed units..

Prince of Essling01 Nov 2020 2:24 p.m. PST

@SHaT1984 – could well be – unfortunately there is no breakdown of any of the nationalities artillery into the personnel manning the guns/howitzers and the supporting. train.

@Ruchel, Chinchilla certainly started as provincial militia, but according to J J Sanudo's database produced for the Ministerio de Defensa it became a line regiment on 1 July 1810

Ruchel02 Nov 2020 12:01 p.m. PST

According to the book "Los Uniformes del Estado Militar de Espana de 1815", by A. Manzano Lahoz and L. Gravalos Gonzalez, the Regulations of 1810 (July 1st) established that some provincial militia regiments, Chinchilla amongst them, obtained the status of line infantry due to their remarkable bravery. But that new status was ephemeral and disappeared in 1814. In fact, it was not included in the official army organization of 1815 (this organization, which included all units and their uniforms, was designed using data from 1813 and 1814). Chinchilla was included in the list of provincial militia regiments, as in 1808.

In spite of the ephemeral new reward mentioned in the 1810 Regulations, I have not found Chinchilla regiment mentioned as a line infantry regiment in any official army organization (Estado Militar). It was always included in the list of provincial militia regiments. It was occasionally mentioned as "Chinchilla regiment" in some provisional lists and orders of battle.

Prince of Essling02 Nov 2020 12:33 p.m. PST

@Ruchel, interesting.

"El Ejercito de Los Borbones Part V Reinadao de Fernado VII 1808-1833 Volumen 1 La Guerra de la Independencia 1808-14" by M Gomez Ruiz & V. Alonso Juanola – published by Ministerio de Defensa, Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar published December 1999 page 101 has Chinchilla firmly listed amongst the line infantry regiments.

Volumen 2, page 5 has Chinchilla amongst the list "Antiguos Regimientos Provinciales declarados de linea por el Reglamento del 1 de junio de 1810".

Coronel de Infanteria J J Sanudo's "Base de datos sobre las Unidades Militares en la Guerra de la Independencia Espanola" has Chinchilla on 2 March 1815 becoming 3º BATALLON DEL REGIMIENTO DE INFANTERIA DE LINEA REINA Nº 3. This is confirmed on page 14 of Volumen 2.

Ruchel02 Nov 2020 1:58 p.m. PST

It is confusing because the official document about organization and uniforms is "Estado Militar de Espana de 1815" and it included Chinchilla as a provincial militia regiment, according to "Reglamento de 2 de marzo de 2015" (Regulations of 2 March 1815).

Also, Real Orden de 26 de octubre de 1814 (Royal Decree 26 October 1814) disbanded those militia regiments which were previously (1810) transformed into line regiments, and reestablished all provincial militia regiments, including, obviously, Chinchilla. So, Chinchilla is not included in the list of line regiments. In fact, it appeared in the list of provincial militia regiments.

Michael Hopper03 Nov 2020 2:28 p.m. PST

Gentlefolk, I typically abstain from participating in the threads but want to offer a suggestion regarding Chinchilla. Specific to the book "Ocaña, 1809", by Santiago, p. 84 states: La 1ª División de Lacy se deshace. El Regimiento de Sevilla queda en cuadro y el de España es destruido. El Provincial de Chinchilla preso entero y su coronel muerto. El de Córdoba pierde a su coronel don Francisco Carvajal. El resto se desbanda.

The point is that according to Santiago the Chinchilla militia battalion (regiment) was captured in its entirety at Ocaña on November 19, 1809. Spanish sources may turn a regiment into a line regiment but that does not mean it performed any better, especially if Santiago's information is accurate and the entire "unit" was captured just months earlier. It may be a line regiment in the latter part of the Peninsular War but I would recommend studying its performance in subsequent actions, once rebuilt, before determining how to represent such in a game.



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