The Batallon De Cazadores "La Patria" Nº 25

(Light Infantry Battalion "La Patria" Nr. 25)

By Francisco Jose Diaz Diaz


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GENERAL:

This unit served in Puerto Rico during the Spanish American War, being garrisoned in Ponce. During Spanish American War, the Spanish light infantry was organized into battalions of "Cazadores". The unit's name, "Patria,"  is the Spanish name for "Fatherland."
 

UNIT SIZE:

This Battalion had one Staff detachment and six companies. The battalion had 20 officers and 326 men during peacetime; In war, battalion increased to 39 officers and 1001 men.

Losses: During Combat of Coamo (Puerto Rico) the unit had 6 men killed and 6 men wounded.

Location of service: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Actions: Actions at Ponce and Coamo
 

UNIT HISTORY:

Battalion "Cazadores de la Patria nr 25" was created in 1806, in the Spanish Viceroyship of Rio de la Plata (today, known as Argentina). Originally it was known as "Voluntarios de la Patria del Río de la Plata". The unit was under the command of Comandante (Major) Felipe Sentenach. At the beginning of its history, it was a volunteer unit of Spanish Colonists

Over time, the name of the unit changed. In 1813 the designation was changed to "Batallón Veterano de la Patria." In this same year, the unit was transferred back to Spain as part of regular army. The designation was changed again in 1869 to "Batallón de Tiradores de la Patria." The battalion was transferred to Cuba. In 1893 the unit's designation was again  changed to "Batallón de Cazadores de la Patria nr 25." Again, in this same year, the unit was transferred to Puerto Rico.

When this Battalion arrived at Puerto Rico was garrisoned in Ponce. During the Spanish American War, when the American Army forces, under command of Mayor General James Harrison Wilson, disembarked on Guánica, battalion Cazadores de la Patria nr 25 was still at Ponce, near Guánica. The Spanish garrison was ordered to defend Coamo. Two companies of this battalion, under command of Major Rafael Martínez Illescas, was entrenched in Coamo. The Spanish positions were attacked by the 14th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. During the action, the Spanish commander was killed. Spanish losses in the action were 2 officers, 1 corporal, 1 cornet, and 2 infantrymen killed. An additional sergeant, 5 infantrymen were wounded.

This battalion included:

Staff Detachment: 1 Lieutenant Colonel, 2 comandantes (major in US Army), 2 captains, 1 alferez (2nd lieutenant in US Army) for carrying the regimental flag, 2 medical doctors (officers), 1 chaplain (officer), 1 sergeant, 1 cornet corporal and 1 gunsmith

6 companies, with each company having 1 captain, 3 lieutenants, 1
alferez (2nd lieutenant in US Army), 5 sergeants, 8 corporals, 4 cornets,
4 soldiers of 1st class (veterans) and 139 soldiers of 2nd class.
This Battalion was dissolved in 1898.

Other Actions:

The unit was involved in many other actions, including the following:

War against England (1765-1771): Battle of Puebla de los Angeles (1766)

War against England during American Revolution (1777-1783):  reconquest of Minorica (Balearic Islands) in 1781 and Gibraltar Siege in 1782.

War against France during French Revolution (1793-1795):  Actions of Hendaya, San Juan de Luz, Pignon Castle, Monte Mendale, Alcobeta-Alta

War against Portugal (1801): Siege of Campo Mayor

War against England (1797-1802): Defence of Santa Cruz de Tenerife against Admiral Nelson's Fleet in 1797 and defence of Cadiz in 1800

Spanish Independence War against Napoleon (1808-1814) Battles of Vich, Bruch and Alcañiz, defences of Zaragoza, Tarragona and Mequinenza, actions of Castalla, Villena, Yecla and Borrotita, sieges of Morella, Denia and Barcelona.

Independence Wars of Hispanic America (1814-1826): Conquest  and defence of Montevideo (Uruguay)

First Carlist War (1833-1841): Battle of Percamps, actions of Hostal de Bisbe, Forsanet, San Cayetano, Ermita de Organyá, Bañolas, Manresa, Ripoll, San Quirce de Basora, Hostal de Boix and Manlleu.

War against Morocco (1859-1860): Battles of Samsa and Tetuan

3th Carlist War (1872-1876) Actions of Ridaura, Sellera, San Pedro de Osor, Virgen de Coll, San Babur, Puigcerdá, Vich, Barcelona and Bañolas.

Cuban Independence War (1895-1898) Actions of Barajuana, Protero de la Hanilla, El Corradillo, Lomas de Macanal and Sancti-Spiritus.

African Campaing (1921-1924) Actions of Ain-Gorra, Feddan Yebel, Zania de Sidi Isef and Mexerah.

Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Guipuzcoa, Navarra, Santander, Guadalajara, Toledo, Teruel and Lérida fronts


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