Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics


 

 

 

Notes

 


Flags of the Defenders of Zaragoza during the 2nd French Siege (21 December 1808 to 21 February 1809): The Murcians

By Luis Sorando Muzás

Note: To see a larger picture, click on the image.

During the defense of Zaragoza, the Murcians provide 6554 men and 134 horses:

Rgto. 1º de Voluntarios de Murcia (1st Murcian Volunteers Regiment): It had 2 flags, that today are,[59] and were apparently captured when the Arrabal Suburb were taken on 18 February. Both are white. The coronela has a red cross of Burgundy with the Royal Coat-of-Arms in the center, and surrounded by the band of Carlos III.  In each corner there is an oval shield  topped with a royal crown and surrounded by green laurels.  Each shield has a different design: LOS MUr/CIANs. POR/ LA RELIGIon./ PATª. Y Fº./ VII.;  the image of the Virgin of Fuen Santa;  PRIMER/ REGº. YNFª/ VOLUNTs./ D MURCª.;  and a lion breaking an eagle.  On its other side, which is not visible today because of the restoration, it seems that it was a similar design, but without the central shield.  We know about two of the four corner shields: one was blue  with 7 open crowns and another had the words MURCs./ A/ VENCER.

The sencilla has the red cross of Burgundy, with shields of designs similar to those of the coronela, but with the following differences: a lion breaking an eagle, the Virgin of Fuen Santa, the LOS MUr/CIANs. POR/ LA RELIGIon./ PATª. Y Fº./ VII, and a divided shield of Castile and Leon, at the top and botoom of the intersection of these two shields was a  blue lily.  The reverse was similar, and we know that in one corner was a blue shield with 7 crowns and in another was a shield with the words PRIMER/ REGº. YNFª/ VOLUNTs./ D MURCª.

1st Murcian Volunteers Regiment
1st Murcian Volunteers Regiment
Coronela of the 1st Murcian Volunteers Regiment
(Located in Paris)
Sencilla of the 1st Murcian Volunteers Regiment
(Located in Paris)

 

Rgtos. 2º de Voluntarios de Murcia (2nd Murcian Volunteers Regiment): Their two flags had to be similar to those of the 1st, but changing the number of the regiment in its corner shields,[60] and although we do not know for sure, because its flags were not captured by the French.

Rgto. 3º de Voluntarios de Murcia (3rd Murcian Volunteers Regiment):  It had two flags, similar  to those of 1st, and they did not fall into the hands of the French.

Rgto. 5º de Voluntarios de Murcia (5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment):  It had 2 flags[61] and both were, taken either in the capitulation or perhaps 3 days before when the Arrabal Suburb fell.  They were returned in1823, and are in the Museum of the Army (nº 21235 and 21028).

Both were slightly different from those of the other Murcian Volunteer  Regiments.  They were made when the regiment was already in Aragón.  In the opposite corners of the flag were shields with the coat-of-arms of Murcia and the bars of Aragón.

The flags are white with the red cross of Burgundy and at its ends were oval shields with the coat-of-arms of Murcia and the bars of Aragón, topped  by a ducal crown and surrounded by palm and laurel leaves.  In the center of the reserve side of the coronela, are the Royal Coat-of-Arms, surrounded by the necklace of the Toisón and the band of Carlos III.

 

5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment
5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment
5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment
Obverse of the Coronela of the 5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment
(Located in Paris)
Reverse of the Coronela of the 5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment
(Located in Paris)
Sencilla of the 5th Murcian Volunteers Regiment
(Located in Paris)

 

 <span lang=ES-TRAD><b>Volunteers of Saint Peter's Mountains Battalion
Flag of the Volunteers of Saint Peter's Mountains Battalion
(Located in Madrid)

Bon. de Voluntarios de las Peñas de San Pedro (The Volunteers of Saint Peter's Mountains Battalion): The standard bearer appears in its strength reports for the first time on 7 December.[62]  Its flag was taken either on 21 February 1809, at the capitulation, or  possibly 3 days before, when the Arrabal Suburb fell. It was returned in 1823 and today is conserved in the Museum of the Army (nº 21199).

The flag is white with the red cross of Burgundy. In its center is a phoenix in its center, topped with the Royal Crown and with a blue ribbon in its mouth with the motto POR FERNANDO VII.  In each corner there are shields place scrolls and topped with a ducal crown.  Two of the shields have the coat-of-arms of  las Peñas de San Pedro, which is a tower on waves, and the other two with the bars of Aragón. In 1909, González Simancas, erroneously attributed this flag   to the Volunteers of Alicante.

Bon. 1º de Voluntarios Tiradores de Murcia (1st Murcian Volunteer Tiradores Battalion): Its flag was blessed on the afternoon of 18 July 1808 by the Bishop of the Diocese of Murcia, D. Joseph Ximenez.  Its standard bearer was D. Joseph Plate and he fell to the French on either the 18th or   21st of February 1809. The flag was given back to Spain in 1823 and today it is in the Museum of the Army (nº 21290).

The flag is white with the red cross of Burgundy, with the great shield of Murcia in the center of the obverse and the Royal Coat-of-Arms on the reverse. Both sides have the band of Carlos III.  At the end of the cross of Burgundy are circular shields topped with the Royal crown and surrounded by green laurel leafs. Each shield is different: DESEOS/CONSAGª/ Ds. A LA RELIGIn./ PATª. Y Fº/ VII;  MUR/CIANOS/ A LA VICT/ ORIA; PRIMER/ BATn. VOLs./ TIRADORs./ D MURCª.; and LA/ JUNTA/ DE/ MURCIA.

1st Murcian Volunteer Tiradores Battalion
1st Murcian Volunteer Tiradores Battalion
Obverse of the 1st Murcian Volunteer Tiradores Battalion
(Located in Madrid)
Reverse of the 1st Murcian Volunteers Tiradores Regiment
(Located in Madrid)

 

Bon. 2º de Tiradores Voluntarios de Murcia (2nd Murcian Volunteer Tiradores Battalion): Everything seems to indicate that the surviving members of this unit who took part in the defense of  Zaragoza, lacked a flag.

Bon. de Tiradores de Floridablanca (Tiradores of Floridablanca Battalion): This unit was too small to have a flag.

Escuadrón de Caballería Cazadores de Fuensanta (The Fuensanta Cazadores Cavalry Squadron): It had a standard.[63] (perhaps a guidon with two swallowtails), that according to its original design " it will have on one side the image of  Holy Virgin of Fuensanta, and on the other, the shield of  the city (of Murcia)".[64]

 

 

Notes

[59] Several years ago, I thought that they were captured at Tudela.

[60] From 24 July1808 the standardbearers were Pablo Palao and Narciso Bernal Quiros.AP. Caja 6, leg. 5-2-7.

[61] On 12 January and 5 February 1809, the standardbearers were: Mariano and Manuel Ximenez. Josef Pérez AP. Caj.6, legajo 5-2-7 .

[62] Josef Pérez was sick. AP. Caja 6, legajo 5-2-1.

[63] The standardbearer in October 1808 was Manuel Márquez, and later it was Antonio García, who was sick on 13 February 1809. AP.Caja 5, legajo 4-5-1.

[64] "Collection of Proclamations and Papers ....." 1808. Cádiz. Imprenta de la Viuda de D. Manuel Comas. Amiably facilitated by my good friend Jose Luis Meigé, of Málaga.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2002

 

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