1711 - The Siege

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Effectives

AUSTRIAN GARRISON OF CARDONA’S CASTLE

DURING 1711

CASTLE’S OFFICIALS

  • Castle’s Military Governor: Manuel Desvalls i de Vergós (Cardona’s governor since January of 1711, when he substituted Manuel de Solà, from Ahumada’s Regiment, who was governor since January of 1708). Out of war times, Desvalls lived in a rented house in St. Miquel Street, property of Rosa Salvat.
  • Political Governor of Cardona’s village and duchy: Pere Alba Marquès, in charge of sending to the front the young voluntaries there were in the paramilitary formation called Sometents.

IMPORTANT REGIMENT AND OFFICIAL S OF THE GARRISON

  • Shover’s Regiment (Austrian): General Frederik Shover, in Cardona since January of 1711. He also lived in a village’s house.
  • Delegation of Catalonia’s Regiment (Catalan): In January of 1711 they already were in the castle’s garrison. There were three officials to highlight: Pere Montaner Ramon i de Sacosta, Delegation of Catalonia’s Regiment colonel; Francesc Sans i de Miquel, lieutenant colonel in the battalion; and Reverter, lieutenant and leader of a section or a company.
  • Count of Taaff’s Regiment (Austrian): In February of 1711 they added to the castle’s garrison. The colonel Count of Taaff directed the regiment that carried his own name.
  • Faber’s Regiment (Neapolitan): Added to the castle’s garrison on December of 1710. It was led by Colonel Faber himself (Emmerich Franz von Faber).
  • Aragó’s Regiment (Aragonese): Since January of 1711 they were in the castle’s garrison, although they had already been there during 1708.
  • Grisons’ Regiment (Swiss): At least they were in the castle’s garrison since May of 1711. It was directed by colonel Conard von Planta.
  • Alcantarilla’s Regiment (Castilian).
  • Cardona’s Company of Reinforcement of the castle’s garrison (Catalan), led by Joan Pau Casals, quartermaster from whom we don’t know many details yet.

BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER OF 1711

- General Commander Count of Eck (came with an important German regiment).
- Governor of the castle: Manuel Desvalls.
- Governor of the village and duchy of Cardona: Pere Alba I Marquès.
- General Frederik Shover (with a great regiment in his hands).

Garrison: 1.868 soldiers

Composed by the regiments of Count of Eck (Germans), of Count of Taaff (Austrian, two battalions), Grisons (a battalion), of Faber (Neapolitans), of Aragon (Aragonese), of Shover (Germans), of Alcantarilla (Castilian), of the Delegation of Catalonia (Catalans, a battalion) and of Cardona’s Reinforcement Company.

In the middle of November, 150 grenadiers led by Count of Gehlen and escorted by other soldiers of Starhemberg’s regiment arrived. Since October, there was a part of Starhemberg’s regiment in the castle directed by the major sergeant of the regiment.

TOTAL NUMBER OF GARRISON IN THE CASTLE = 1.868 + 150 = 2.018 (-600 casualties after the first day).


AFTER THE SIEGE OF 1711

CASTLE’S OFFICIALS

  • Castle’s Military Governor: Manuel Desvalls i de Vergós
  • Political governor of Cardona’s village and duchy: Pere Alba i Marquès

IMPORTAT REGIMENTS AND OFFICIALS OF THE GARRISON

  • Lucini’s Regiment (Milanese): On February of 1712 was already in the castle’s garrison and stayed there until August of 1713
  • Delegation of Catalonia’s Regiment (Catalan): Until November of 1712 it was in the castle’s garrison. Francesc Sans i de Miquel was the Delegation of Catalonia’s colonel

*From June to December of 1712 Portugal’s ambassador was also there, Count of Azumar, Francisco de Melo. Also, in December of 1712 there were the Generals Camillsech and colonel Mestre. Many other troops used the castle as a shelter or as a resting station for short time periods because Cardona then became the most important defense square outside Barcelona.

BOURBON HARASSERS

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER OF 1711

  • General Lieutenant Count of Muret
  • Field’s Marshal Marquis Arpajou
  • Brigadier Count of Melun
  • Brigadier Count of Hercel
  • Brigadier Count of Sunderon
  • General Feliciano Bracamonte
  • Colonel Sanmartín (Regiment Trujillo)

From Prats de Rei, Vendôme sent to Cardona 20 men, to whom he added the regiments of the Crown of artillery, the Bombers, the dragons of Grimau i Abarca, 200 walking dragons, 12 grenadier companies, troops which, all gathered at the detachment of Marquis Arpajou, added up to a total of 3.000 men. Commanded by Count of Muret, they arrived in Cardona on November 12 of 1711.

November 17: 1.600 men to attack the village, divided in three fronts (12 grenadier companies + 300 dragons).

December 21 the French had at Camp de l’Escorial 12 grenadiers companies and 4 battalions.

According to Starhemberg, on November 17 the Bourbons were 6.000 infants and some cavalry (initially they would have been 1.500 and about 3.000 horses, a much feared war “weapon” back in that time).

In his war diary, Starhemberg said that on November 28 the Bourbons received in Cardona the cavalry regiment Picalqués, with 1.500 more soldiers ridding their horses, with more ammunition and provisions (which would not be sufficient although).

3.000 + 3.000 of squad + 1.500 Bracamonte’s
horses + 1.500 of Picalqués’s regiment = 9.000 men

Beside these reinforcements, the same Starhemberg’s diary suggests that at half December some reinforcements from Extremadura, coming through Balaguer, were about to arrive. That makes us think of a squad that ranges in between 9.000 and 11.000 effectives.

GLOBAL: 9.000 to 11.000 men (-2.500 casualties)

AUSTRIAN AND DEFENDERS

DECEMBER 1711

  • General Count of Traun (issuer of Starhemberg’s orders)
  • General Lieutenant Baron of Batée (highest responsible of the siege’s release)
  • Colonel Edward Stanhope (British): two grenadier companies of Osnabruch’s and Gefchvvind’s regiments, 200 grenadiers of other regiments and 150 infants.
  • General Monthese (Dutch)
  • General Count of Hamilton (British-Scottish)
  • Colonel Baron Spee (Palatine)
  • Cavalry, Casanova’s voluntaries
  • Count of Gehlen, colonel and commandant of Starhemberg’s Regiment: minimum, 200 grenadiers
  • Lieutenant Colonel of Gefchvvind’s Regiment: 400 Riflemen
  • Colonel Schonberg: 400 infants and a Gefchvvind’s battalion
  • Colonel Rohr: 400 infants and an Osnabruch’s battalion
  • Colonel Beaufort of Vaubon’s Regiment: 500 walking dragons
  • General Rafel Nebot: 400 riflemen and 100 riders
  • Lieutenant Colonel of Schönberg’s Regiment: 300 infants and 150 musketeers
  • General Lescharaine
  • Antoni Desvalls i de Vergós, commander of the Catalan Militias (Manuel Desvalls’ brother
  • Joan Vila I Ferrer, Colonel of Riflemen
  • Segimon Torres, colonel of Riflemen
  • Manuel Moliner I Rau, colonel of Riflemen

GLOBAL: The Austrian-side sent to Cardona about 4.300 men, in a recount which we
don’t certainly know if the 500 men of Nebot are counted.

CASUALTIES

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER OF 1711

In total, we estimate that during the siege there were about 2.500 Bourbon casualties (although the Bourbon only recognize 1.400), 600 Austrian and 700 of the castle (600 on the first day) in between dead, injured, prisoners and deserters.

We estimate the Bourbons lost 1.400 men just in the combat fought on December 21. They were mainly of the Crown’s Regiment and of Trujillo’s Regiment. Among the dead there was brigadier Count of Melun; Monsieur Bonnet, commander of the second battalion of the Crown’s Regiment; Monsieur of Autry, major sergeant of that same regiment.
In their withdrawal, the Bourbons left 14 beat cannons, 4 campaign cannons and 4 mortar cannons.

Among the Austrian-sided injured of the castle’s garrison, the ordeal recalls the regiments of Count of Taaff, Grisons, Starhemberg and Delegation, which were transferred in January of 1712.

* It is fine to know that it is difficult to know in detail the number of soldiers that constituted all the regiments, since many of these regiments were fragmented, with different battalions of each regiment (an entire regiment can have up to 3.000 soldiers).

AUSTRIAN-SIDED

Austrians
English
Germans
Dutch
Italians
Catalans
Portuguese
Swiss (grisons)
Hungarian
(hussars, although Hungry was part
of the Austrian Empire at the time)
Castilians (and Aragonese)

BOURBON-SIDED

French
Spanish
Irish