Talavera Battalion, Peninsular, NR 4
Batallon De Talavera, Peninsular Nº 4
by Francisco José Díaz Díaz
Click here for information on the unit's uniform


This Battalion had six companies and one Staff detachment. 936 men.

Losses: The six companies that fought during the battle of San Juan Heights suffered 33 % casualties. 38 men were taken prisoners.

Location of service: Santiago de Cuba.

Actions: San Juan Heights, Cuba.

Unit History:

Before the Second Cuban Insurrection, this Battalion did not exist. When the Second Insurrection broke out, the Spanish Minister of War, General Azcarraga, ordered that each of the seven Military Districts create one battalion. By the Royal Order of Campaign, on March 1, 1895, these seven Battalions were officially created. Later, two new battalions were added. These battalions did not belong to any existing regiment but could be organized into regiments if it was necessary.

The Talavera Battalion was named for a Spanish City in Province of Toledo, Spain. The city gained fame during the Napoleonic invasion of Spain (1808-1814) since it was where the anglo-spanish allied army won the Battle of Talavera defeating the French troops (1809)

The Talavera battalion consisted of:

One Staff Detachment: 1 Lieutenant Colonel, 2  comandantes (comparable to a major in the US Army), 3 captains, 1 alferez (comparable to a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army) for carring the flag, 1 medical Doctor (officer), 1 army chaplain (officer), 1 sergeant, 1 cornet corporal, 1 gunsmith.

6 companies: Each company had 1 captain, 3 lieutenant, 1 alferez (comparable to a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army), 4 sergeants, 8 corporals, 3 cornets, 4 soldiers of 1st class (veterans) and 130 soldiers of 2nd class. The number of men in the unit totalled 936.

The unit was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel D. Justiniano García Delgado and was equipped with 7 mm Mauser Rifles, model 1893. The officers were equipped with Lefaucheux revolvers ,model 1863, and spanish infantry sabres, model 1887.

When this Battalion arrived in Cuba, it was sent to Santiago de Cuba and added to 2nd brigade (General Vara del Rey), Santiago Division (2nd Division under command of General Linares).

When the American troops of Shafter's Fifth Corps disembarked at Daiquiri and Siboney, the Spanish Minister of War ordered the formation of the 4th Army Corp with two Divisions - the Santiago and the Manzanillo Divisions. The corps commander was General Linares. The Santiago Division was placed under the command of General Toral and Manzanillo Division was under accidental command of Colonel Escario.

This Battalion fought at the famed Battle of  San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898


Garcia, Antonio Carrasco, En guerra con los Estados Unidos. Cuba 1898. ( In war against United States. Cuba 1898) Madrid: Editorial Almena S.L, 1998.

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