Chapter I: The Carlist War (1836-1840)
Spanish diplomatic relations on 1 Jan 1836. The country is currently ruled by Her Majesty the Queen Regent Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, who is a sister of Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies.
The Population and Politics of Spain as of 1 January 1836
The Caribbean, January 1836
The East Indies, January 1836
Spain had already been embroiled in the Carlist War for over two years by the time 1836 began. One of the first actions of 1836 was to detach the Royal Guard cavalry division from the Army of the North (Spanish: Ejército Cristino del Norte) encamped near Madrid and assign it to an independent corps, the presumption being that its speed would allow it to quickly engage the Carlists while reinforcements could march from Madrid to where-ever they were needed. The government, with the grudging support of the Cortes, raised tariffs and taxes “for the duration of the emergency”. The next day, several orders were issued- the first banned the export of military supplies (mainly small arms and preserved foods) until they had reached levels sufficient to create four new infantry divisions, while the second resulted in the importation of sulfur and cotton.
Spanish technology, January 1, 1836. Also titled: Hm, what should I research first?
Unfortunately, due to the state of communications at the time, the Mendizabal government in Madrid would not learn for months of the Moro rebellion in the Captaincy General of the Philippines.
All Spanish claims to the contrary, Mindanao, the second largest island in the archipelago, had never been brought completely under Spanish control. In fact, the authority of the Spanish governor-general was not widely recognized over the island outside of the cities of Zamboanga and Cagayan and an area of the coast between the two cities, while the Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao competed with the Spanish for influence on the island of Mindanao and several of the nearby islands.
It was believed by the Spanish colonial government of the time that the Sultanate of Maguindanao was responsible for inciting the rebellion, though unfortunately no records survive to verify or dispel this belief. Regardless, what is known is that Spain lost control of its territories on the island in mid-July 1836 after Muslim warriors took Zamboanga and Cagayan, with Muslim warriors entering the latter on July 13, 1836, the date usually reckoned as the end of Spanish authority on Mindanao.
Meanwhile, in early February 1836 there were rebellions in Puerto Rico and Havana, with almost two weeks passing between the first rebellion on Puerto Rico and the first rebellion near Havana. Some historians have speculated that there may have been some degree of collaboration between the rebel leaders, but records corroborating this hypothesis have yet to surface as of this writing. Regardless, there are records that these rebels supported the Carlist cause, but no record survives of how this was regarded in the Carlist encampments in Navarre and the Basque Country. Once the news of the Cuban and Puerto Rican rebellions reached Spain, an infantry division of the Royal Guard was ordered to Seville, where it finished boarding transports on May 8, 1836 with orders to restore the West Indies to Spanish rule. In the days following the Royal Guard's departure for the West Indies, the Spanish government lost control of Havana and Puerto Rico to the rebels on May 9 and May 13 respectively. On May 30 the Carlists attacked Valencia, and the Royal Guard cavalry took slightly over a month to ride to Valencia, engaging the Carlist forces near Valencia on July 4.
On June 24, the Royal Guard infantry division arrived in Camaguey, Cuba, but it was defeated by the rebels after five days of fighting.
Reinforcements for the cavalry of the Royal Guard arrived in Valencia on July 13, and the Carlists were defeated in the Battle of Valencia on August 2.
On September 22, Carlist forces attacked the Army of the North encamped near Madrid. The Carlists began occupying Leon on October 15. The Royal Guard cavalry division returned to Madrid on October 17, flanking the Carlist forces and causing them to surrender after the Battle of Madrid had been raging for a month.
On October 20, a revolt broke out in Manilla, the capital of the Phillipines. The Royal Guard infantry division attacked rebel forces in Cuba near Camaguey on November 25, the same day that the Royal Guard cavalry division launched an assault on the Carlists near Leon. While the Second Battle of Camaguey resulted in a defeat for the Royal Guard infantry after a month and three days of fighting, the Carlists were defeated near Leon on January 15, 1837. The Royal Guard infantry division was defeated by the rebels in early Februrary near Santiago de Cuba and retreated to transports offshore.
11 Feb 1837: Spanish forces under General Latre begin landings near Havana
On February 20, 1837, the first Filipino infantry division entered service. At the beginning of 1836 there had been no Spanish military forces in the Phillipines, but after the news reached Madrid of the rebellions in Mindanao orders and supplies were sent to Nueva Castilla (as the Spanish called Luzon, the largest island of the archipelago) and some 70,000 Filipino farmers recieved a crash course in drill, modern small arms, and Spanish.
On February 22, a decree by the Prime Minister of Spain Juan Álvarez Mendizabál came into effect confiscating land from monasteries and making it available for sale with the intent of helping the middle class and contributing to the national finances. Unfortunately, due to various factors, most of the land was instead purchased by wealthy landowners who already owned large amounts of land, while the government still received a nice windfall.
On March 20, the 1st Filipino Infantry entered Manilla. Fighting broke out near Valencia on April 7, and after 12 days of fighting the Carlists were defeated. On April 24 the Carlists assaulted Pampalona and on April 27 the Carlists attacked Madrid again. On May 5 Manilla was once more brought back under Spanish control. The Royal Guard cavalry arrived in Pampalona on May 25 and two days later the Carlist assault on Madrid was repulsed after a month of fighting.
On June 5 the 1st Filipino Infantry Division arrived in Leyte, but they were defeated by rebels on July 8.
The infantry of the Royal Guard arrived in Camaguey on July 11. On July 16, the Carlist assault on Pamplona was repulsed.
The Ministry of War began distributing documents on July 23 recommending various measures to increase morale, and thus combat effectiveness, of Spanish soldiers. This would be noted as greatly aiding Liberal forces in their defeat of the Carlist rebels. Over the course of August and September fighting in the Phillipines resulted in the 1st Filipino Infantry Division scattering after they had been surrounded by enemy forces. Serrano managed to escape the scene of his defeat and reported to the governor-general in the highlands of Luzon, who had been responsible for ordering him into what ended up being a rebel trap that caused the surrender of several thousand Filipino soldiers and a few hundred Spanish officers. The Battle of Leyte would later be considered the worst defeat of Liberal Spanish forces in the Carlist War and the concurrent Phillipine Rebellion.
Map of the Philippines. The yellow area represents the approximate area of the Sultanate of Maguindanao, while the purple area represents the approximate area ruled by the Sultanate of Sulu. Significant towns are marked.
In September, the Carlists attempted assaults on Camaguey and Valencia but were soundly defeated by Liberal forces, with the third battle of Camaguey and the days after resulting in.the last stand of the Cuban rebels. On October 15 Camaguey and central Cuba returned to Spanish government control.
Little of consequence occurred during November and early December 1837. December 11 saw the first distribution of a short paper commissioned by the Ministry of War regarding steps to take to improve strategic mobility and organization of troops in a battle. This had the immediate effects of enabling Spanish troops to cover more ground in a shorter time frame, as well as increasing supply consumption. On December 26, 1837, the 2nd Filipino Infantry Division finished training and was ordered under Serrano to return Manilla to Spanish control.
Spanish-led Filipino infantry begin to march towards Manila
In mid-February 1838 the last vestiges of rebel control were eliminated from Manila and Cuba. The Royal Guard infantry division that had defeated the rebellion in Cuba was loaded onto transports and launched an assault on Puerto Rico, with the Battle of San Juan (April 28 to May 1, 1838) resulting in a government victory over the rebels. The Carlists launched another assault on Madrid on April 27, but were defeated after nearly a month of sporadic fighting.
In the Phillipines, rebels were defeated near Manila on May 16, while back in Spain the 1st Division of Dragoons finished training on May 22.
Over the course of June 1838, the 2nd Filipino Infantry Division secured the southern areas of Luzon and the island of Leyte, returning them to Spanish government control, but it was found that insufficient shipping was available to allow for an assault on Mindanao, so a flotilla of transport ships escorted by the 40-gun frigate Santa Sabina was dispatched to the Philippines, finally arriving in early October.
In early August Puerto Rico returned to government control and the Royal Guard infantry division was moved to Havana. August saw Carlist assaults on Leon and Seville, though they were finally defeated after soldiers of the Army of the North and the Royal Guard cavalry arrived on the scene.
In early November the 2nd Filipino Infantry Division under Serrano launched an assault on Mindanao. The numerical and organizational superiority of the Spanish-led Filipino troops over the Moro irregulars was telling, with the Spanish only taking three days (November 3-6 1838) to defeat the Moro insurgents. Serrano considered marching on the Sultanate of Maguindanao, but he was dissuaded from this course of action by the governor-general, who was concerned about the possibility of causing other Moro uprisings on the island by attacking a Muslim state. Ultimately, the authority of the governor-general became recognized over the majority of the island, with the exception of Maguindanao. In mid-December 1838 the 2nd Filipino Infantry Division was redeployed to Manila, the administrative capital of the Spanish East Indies.
On January 7, 1839 the Convention of Vergara brought an end to the Carlist War, resulting in a Liberal victory. The remainder of 1839 was, for the most part, spent recovering from the war. The Royal Guard infantry were brought back to Spain from Cuba in April and on July 5 the French government indicated that it would guarantee the independence of Spain. On November 2 the campaigns for the next election of the legislature began.
The final event of any significance of 1839 was the development, in late November 1839, of muzzle-loaded percussion-action rifles. Work to convert existing flintlocks in service began immediately, with the Royal Guard infantry being some of the first troops to be issued the new rifles.
For some reason, not all of the screenshots I took were working when I tried to open them in GIMP. Also, now that I've finally posted this much, I suppose this means I should play farther in the game so I can write the next update.
Next update: I will attempt to summarize what was going on in places that weren't Spain, the Spanish West Indies, or the Spanish East Indies during the 1836-1840 time period.