At the start of the First Carlist war the liberal army has structured as per the Royal Decree of 31 May 1828 (Alcalá, 2006).
The Cristinos had guards, regular, and paramilitary infantry. The regulars were divided into line and light. The paramilitary units comprised three types:
- Provincial Militia: Created in 1734. A part time militia recruited in each district from men aged between 20-40 years. They were nominally organized like the line, however, in 1824 the flank companies were converged to form the Provincial Regiments in the Royal Guard. By 1833 the Provincial guardsmen were full time soldiers.
- National Militia, also called the National Guard and Urban Militia (Urbanos): Created during the Peninsular War and closely affiliated with liberal ideas. They had been abolished by Fernando VII but were raised again at the beginning of the war.
- The volunteers. Called Peseteros because of their higher than normal pay and Los Negros because of the uniform most wore at the start of the war, i.e. Black.
Most of the material in the following table is from Aula Militar in their section Regimientos y Batallones de Infantería Siglos XVIII, XIX y XX: The List of Provincial Militia is for 1833 and from Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936).
At the death of Fernando VII in Sep 1833 there were 19 line infantry regiments, 7 light infantry regiments and 3 Swiss infantry regiments (Aula Militar). Cairns (1994b), in contrast, says there were 24 line infantry regiments but only lists 18 by name.] Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936) puts names to three other line infantry regiments: 22 Gerona, 24 Bailén, and 27 Reina Gobernadora, although I’m a bit suspicion as these are names of three of the light infantry regiments.
The number assigned to a unit on the regimental list changed over time. I’ve chosen to adopt the scheme from Aula Militar given for 1833. On 10 Feb 1833 the new Princesa regiment was inserted as the 4th Line Infantry Regiment, and displaced the existing units in the regimental list; up to that time Infante was the 4th Line Infantry Regiment. (Note, the regimental numbers in Cairns (1994b), which I had original adopted, date from 1829, and are attributed to Clonard – I’ll have to go through and check all the accounts and make sure they map to Aula Militar!!!!
|Royal Guard Infantry||Comment|
|Grenadiers of the Guard||4 Regiments|
|Provincial Grenadiers of the Guard||2 Regiments. Formed in 1824 when the flank companies of the Provincial Militia regiments were converged. By 1833 the Provincial guardsmen were full time soldiers.|
|Provincial Cazadores of the Guard||
2 Regiments. Formed in 1824 when the flank companies of the Provincial Militia regiments
were converged. By 1833 the Provincial guardsmen were full time soldiers.
Lovell (1835) states that the 1st Regiment of the Cazadores of the Guard were Andalusians.
|4 Princesa||Formed 10 Feb 1833 and inserted at #4. . Cairns (1994b) didn’t know the number.|
|5 Infante||#4 Prewar|
|6 Saboya||#5 Prewar|
|7 Africa||#6 Prewar|
|8 Zamora||#7 Prewar|
|9 Soria||#8 Prewar|
|10 Córdoba||#9 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #11 in 1829.|
|11 San Fernando||#10 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #10 in 1829.|
|12 Zaragoza||#11 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #14 in 1829.|
|13 Mallorca||#12 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #15 in 1829.|
|14 América||#13 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #17 in 1829.|
|15 Extremadura||#14 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #18 in 1829.|
|16 Castilla||#15 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #19 in 1829.|
|17 Borbón||#16 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #20 in 1829.|
|18 Almansa||#17 Prewar. Cairns (1994b) lists as #21 in 1829.|
|19 Fijo de Ceuta||Initially had no number. On 27 Jun 1834 assigned number #19 .|
|22 Gerona||Mentioned by Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936), but not on the Aula Militar list under Regimientos y Batallones de Infantería Siglos XVIII, XIX y XX.|
|24 Bailén||Mentioned by Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936), but not on the Aula Militar list under Regimientos y Batallones de Infantería Siglos XVIII, XIX y XX.|
|27 Reina Gobernadora||Mentioned by Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936), but not on the Aula Militar list under Regimientos y Batallones de Infantería Siglos XVIII, XIX y XX.|
|1 Cazadores del Rey|
|2 Volunarios de Aragón|
|3 Volutarios de Gerona|
|4 Volutarios de Valencia|
|5 Volutarios de Bailén||Cairns (1994b) lists as #6.|
|6 Volutarios de Navarra||Cairns (1994b) lists as #5.|
|7 Albuera||Aula Militar shows them as pre-existing the war, but says on 29 Nov 1835 they merged with Tiradores de Isabel II – a Catalonian battalion – and made a regiment. Cairns (1994b) lists as #8 and that they were formed in 1835. .|
|8 Cazadores de la Reina Gobernadora||Formed 3 Dec 1835. Cairns (1994b) lists as #7.|
|Guas del General 9 Cazadores de Luchana|| From 23 Sep 1837as Guías del General with one battalion. 2nd battalion raised 30 May 1838; renamed 21 Aug 1839 to Cazadores de Luchana.
Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936) gives this unit as #10 not #9.
|Union of Peninsular Light Infantry||Formed 16 Jan 1838 when 2nd Light Infantry Regiment of Catalonia was reorganized and provisionally renamed|
|Wimpffen||Disbanded 30 Jun 1835|
|Kaiser||Disbanded 30 Jun 1835|
|Zey||Disbanded 30 Jun 1835|
|Provincial Militia **||Comment|
|1 Jaén||Mentioned by Cairns (1994b).|
|8 Oviedo||Mentioned by Cairns (1994b).|
|14 Ciudad Rodrigo|
|27 Ronda||Mentioned by Alcalá (2006).|
|31 Alcázar de San Juan||Mentioned by Alcalá (2006).|
|35 Mondoñedo||Mentioned by Alcalá (2006).|
|37 Ciudad Real|
|40 Segovia||Mentioned by Cairns (1994b).|
|Regladas de Mallorca||Cairns (1994b) says there were 42 Provincial regiments and Alcalá (2006) says 43. Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936) lists 43 including the unnumbered Regladas de Mallorca.|
|Guadalajara||Cairns (1994b) mentions Guadalajara and that it was formed 1667. This unit is, however, problematic as it doesn’t appear in the list from Aula Militar: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936).|
The table below shows how the units were organised. Just as an example, the Royal Guard contained two regiments of Provincial Grenadiers, each of three battalions, each of eight companies of Grenadiers.
|Infantry Type||Number of Regiments||Number of Battalions / Regiment||Centre Companies / Battalion||
Flank Companies / Battalion
|Royal Guard (Guardia Real)|
|Provincial Grenadiers ***||2||3||8 Grenadiers||–||–|
|Provincial Cazadores ***||2||3||8 Cazadores||–||–|
|Line Infantry||24||3||6 Fusiliers||1 Grenadiers||1 Cazadores|
|Light Infantry||9||2 *||6 Cazadores||1 Carabineros||1 Tiradores|
|Marines||Not applicable||3 total||8 Marines||–||–|
|Paramilitary: Militia and Volunteers|
|Provincial Militia||42 or 43||1||6 Fusiliers||– ***||– ***|
|National Militia / National Guard / “Urbanos”||Not applicable||??||6-10 Fusiliers||–||–|
|Volunteers “Peseteros” “Los Negros” **||Not applicable||??||6 Fusiliers||1 Grenadiers||1 Cazadores|
* Unlike other other light regiments Reina Gobernadora had 3 battalions
** The most famous being the Biscayan Chapelgorris
*** As mentioned above, the Grenadiers and Cazadores in the provincial militia were merged into the Royal Guard in 1824.
Various other units were created during the First Carlist War (Aula Militar). Some at least were known as Francos Corps (cuerpos francos) or provisional; these were regulated by a Royal Order of 25 Mar 1835 and dissolved by the Royal Decree of 7 Dec 1840. Examples are:
- Guides of the General (Guías del General) formed in1837,
- In 1838 the 2nd Catalonian Light Infantry (Regimiento 2º de Cataluña de Infantería Ligera) was made a provisional unit with the name Union of Peninsular Light Infantry (Union de Infantería Ligera peninsular).
- Battalion of the General of the Reserve Corps of Andalusia (Batallón del General del Cuerpo de Reserva de Andalucía) created by Royal Order on 13 May 1838
At the start of the war the majority of cavalry units were armed with a sword and carbine (Cairns, 1994b). In 1835 all line and light regiments (including the Husares de la Princesa) converted to Lancers. The Tiradores company in each regiment, however, retained the carbine; so 1 in 8 had carbine not lance. The Guards regiments retained their original weapons, so only the Lanceros de la Guardia Real had were equipped with a lance – both pre and post 1835. In the Guards Regiments the Tiradores company were always armed with Carbine irrespective of the main weapon for the unit.
Cairns (1994b) gives the official composition of the Cristino cavalry regiments. Obviously formations in the field would usually have less troops available. :
|Type of Unit||Number of Regiments||Squadrons / Regiment||Companies / Squadron||Regiment size||Squadron Size||Company Size|
The Cristino regiments were (Cairns, 1994b):
|Cuirassiers (Coraceros)||Armed with sword, except Tiradores company with carbines.|
|Horse Grenadiers (Granaderos a Caballo)||Armed with sword, except Tiradores company with carbines.|
|Lancers (Lanceros)||Armed with lance, except Tiradores company with carbines.|
|Cazadores||Armed with carbine.|
|Line Cavalry (Caballería de Linea)||Comment|
|Light Cavalry (Caballería Ligera)||Comment|
|8 Lusitania||Formed from three volunteer cavalry units in 1839.|
|Princess Hussars (Hsares de la Princesa)||Alcalá (2006) lists the Princess Hussars as a line regiment, but this is inconsistent with the role of a Hussar unit.|
Squadron = Escuadrón
Types of Cristino artillery regiments:
- Field – traditional foot guns, with the gunners walking
- Horse (a caballo) – true horse artillery with gunners being mounted on horses. The Royal Guard horse artillery battery was termed volante which I haven’t found a good translation for; Babel Fish Translation comes up with “Steering Wheel”.
- Mounted (montado) – considered horse artillery in Spain, but the gunners rode on limbers rather than horses
- Mountain guns (Artillería a lomo) – literally “artillery on mules” but meaning mule-pack mountain guns.
The Cristino field artillery expanded from three to five regiments during the war but the composition remained the same (Cairns, 1994b).
3-5 x Field Artillery Regiment
2 x Field Artillery Battalion
3 x Field Artillery Company (also called Batteries)
1 x Train Company
At the start of the war the horse artillery had six companies (Cairns, 1994b). In 1835 this was increased to twelve batteries, organised in three brigades (Cairns, 1994b). A fourth brigade was formed in 1840. The post 1835 organisation was:
1 x Horse Artillery (a caballo) Brigade
4 x Horse Artillery Battery
2-3 x Mounted Artillery (montado) Brigade
4 x Mounted Artillery Battery
Mule-pack mountain (artillería a lomo) batteries were raised in 1833, but it appears to have taken some time to equip and train the batteries (Cairns, 1994b). By 1838 there were six companies, each of eight howitzers, attached to the Northern Army, with other guns in other theatres. By 1839 the standard mountain piece was a short re-chambered 5” howitzer. The Government also purchased Congreve rockets that were often easier to move across mountains than were guns.
The Guard artillery expanded from three to four batteries in 1835, one horse artillery (a caballo or volante), the others mounted (montado) (Cairns, 1994b). Each Guard battery should have had four guns, but the actual size of batteries depended on the number of guns and crew at hand.
Standard pieces included 24, 16, 12 (long and short), 8 (long and short), and 4-pounder guns, a 4-pounder mountain gun, 9” and 7” howitzers, looking more like guns than the stubby Gribeauval howitzers (Cairns, 1994b).
Horse harness, boxed limbers, and single-trail gun carriages were all in the British style (Cairns, 1994b).
There were fixed garrison gunners, however, the siege train seems to have been formed and manned as and when needed (Cairns, 1994b).
Brigades and Divisions
There were no standardised organisation for brigades or divisions (Cairns, 1994b). Battalions of a regiment were sometimes fought together, but equally as likely were split up and operated separately. Guards were sometimes brigaded together, but could be mixed with line and provincial units. Similarly cavalry and infantry were sometimes brigaded together, for example, the highly rated El Ramillete division included all three battalions of the Cordoba line infantry regiment, two battalions of Africa, and two squadrons of the 1st Line Cavalry, and one squadron from 6th Light Cavalry . National Militia were included in field armies but this was not considered good practice.
In particular their section Regimientos y Batallones de Infantería Siglos XVIII, XIX y XX:
Cairns, C. (1994b, November). A Savage and Romantic War: Spain 1833-1840. Part II: The Cristino forces. Wargames Illustrated, 86, 36-46.
Clonard, Teniente Coronel Conde De (1855). Historia orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería españolas, desde la creación del Ejército permanente hasta el día, Volume VI. Madrid.
Cited by Aula Militar and Cairns (1994b).
Del Rey, E. V. (1879). Reseña orgánica de la Infantería Española desde la
promulgación de las vigentes Ordenanzas hasta nuestros días, Volume I. Madrid.
Cited by Aula Militar.
Gómez Ruiz, M., and Alonso Juanola, V. (2001). El Ejército de los Borbones, Volume V-2. Madrid
Cited by Aula Militar.
Gómez Ruiz, M., and Alonso Juanola, V. (2004). El Ejército de los Borbones, Volume VI. Madrid.
Cited by Aula Militar.
Lovell Badcock, B. (1835). Rough ( leaves from a journal kept in Spain and Portugal, during the years 1832, 1833, & 1834. London: R. Bentley. [On-line http://www.archive.org/details/roughleavesfromj00loverich]
Mendoza, Alfonso Bullón De. (1974). La primera guerra carlista. Madrid.