I’m in the process of building the armies the Oriamendi Campaign. This involves both the British Auxiliary Legion and the French Foreign Legion, plus a good cross section of Spanish troops. My armies are based on the Orders of Battle for the Oriamendi Campaign. Initially they cover all the troops mentioned for the Battle of Oriamendi (Hernani), plus some significant extras from supporting forces … like the Cristino Guard Division and the French Foreign Legion.
The Carlist Wars in Spain were the last major European civil wars in which pretenders fought to establish their claim to a throne. In 1833-40, 1846, and 1872-76 the Carlists – followers of Don Carlos and his descendants – rallied to the cry of “God, Country, and King” and fought for the cause of Spanish tradition against the liberalism, and later the republicanism, of the Spanish governments of the day. Although now little known outside Spain or Portugal, in their time these wars were international in flavour. The other European nations looked on with considerable interest, and forces from Portugal, Spain, Britain, and France were involved.
Orders of Battle at the start of the Oriamendi Offensive 1837
A description of the campaign is in the timeline. There is a separate Order of Battle for the battle itself whereas the orders of battle for the whole campaign are below.
Order of Battle at Oriamendi 16 March 1837
The orders of battle for the actual battle are below. A description of the Oriamendi campaign is in the timeline of the First Carlist War. There is a separate Order of Battle for the Oriamendi Offensive.
French Foreign Legion: Order of Battle during the First Carlist War
In 1830 the French both invaded Algeria and disbanded the seven regiments of Swiss and Germans in the French Army (Windrow, 1981) . To feed the former action and get the disgruntled ex-soldiers off the streets they created the ‘Foreign Legion’ for service outside continental France (9 Mar 1831). The battalions were organised in the same way as the French Line Infantry with eight companies of 112 men . Initially there were no flank companies, but in Apr 1832 the battalions were each permitted to convert two of their fusilier companies into elite units, one of Grenadiers and one of Light Infantry (Voltigeurs). The Legion entered combat on 27 Apr 1832. They received their first flag in Jun 1832.
Cristino Order of Battle during the First Carlist War
At the start of the First Carlist war the liberal army has structured as per the Royal Decree of 31 May 1828 (Alcalá, 2006).
Order of Battle for the British Auxiliary Legion in the First Carlist War
In May 1835 the Spanish government asked the British for permission to raise a force of 10,000 volunteers for service against Don Carlos in the First Carlist War (Spiers, 1983). The British agreed, seeing this as a better alternative to direct intervention, although they did also provide regulars in support. The British Auxiliary Legion was sanctioned in Jun 1835 with the first detachments arriving in Spain on 10 Jul. The initial full strength of 7,800 was on the ground by the end of Oct. Of the first contingent 3,200 were English, 2,800 were Irish and 1,800 Scots. Most were civilians with no military experience, including the officers. The men enlisted in the Spanish army, but under British conditions of service.
Carlist Order of Battle during the First Carlist War
The different “armies” of the Carlists were organised in different ways.