Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Regiment raised

Mataró, 13th November 1713

News about Montblanc's crushing defeat would still last one or two days to arrive in Mataró town, where General Basset had been commissioned to go. His mission consisted of persuading the local Council in allowing him to set a conscription board up in town. Having into consideration General Basset's own affinity to the Busca popular party currently ruling the town, the Catalan Headquarters had believed him the best choice for such a delicate issue.

He actually succeded in fact --but not without really hard negotiations. As devote of the cause as they might be, Mataró authorities were nevertheless fully aware of the eventual financial and social loss their town would risk if committing so a high proportion of their capable men and boys in a Regular Infantry Regiment --up to one thousand men were required, and this represented close to 1/6th of Mataró's total population... Too heavy a burden for such a dynamic proto-industrial town as it was.

An agreement was finally met, consisting of a limited service duration of 1 year. Eventual prolongations should be negociated again, and these would by no means affect individual contracts --only the existance of the Regiment as a whole. By such, every enlisted man would be entirely free to extend his own contract or not, with no regard about those eventual negotiations result.

Once settled the terms, a conscription board was installed at Main Square and up to three companies were filled up in no more than 24 hours. No doubt that the exceptional charisma and popularity of General Basset greatly contributed to such success.

As most of the recruitable men were already members of the 2-battalions sized Local Militia, the Municipality decided to re-size it to 1 single battalion. For both economy and urgence reasons, it was agreed that the newly formed IR 16 - City of Mataró would use as own the disbanded militia Battalion Flag, as well as those very same uniforms already used by the enlisted men when belonging to it. No time was left to manufacture an ordnance Colonel Flag, so that a simple Saint George flag was assigned that honour instead.

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