Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia

Free Company Of Volunteers Of Catalonia

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Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia

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The Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia (Spanish: Compañía Franca de Voluntarios de Cataluña, Catalan: Companyia Franca de Voluntaris de Catalunya) was a military company of the Spanish Army serving in the Spanish colonial empire.


The company was raised in Barcelona in 1767 for service in New Spain, as a part of an effort to improve the defenses of Spain's overseas empire, which in turn was part of the larger Bourbon Reforms of King Carlos III. Initially recruited from the 2nd Regiment of Light Infantry of Catalonia , the company was composed of four officers and one hundred enlisted men and was commanded by Captain Agustín Callis, a veteran of Spain's war's in Italy and Portugal.

Service in Sonora

The Catalonian Volunteers arrived in Guaymas, Sonora in May, 1768 as a part of an expedition of some 1200 Spanish soldiers and native allies assembled to quell a revolt by Pima and Seri Indians. After years of active campaigning, the Volunteers returned to Mexico City in April, 1771.

The Establishment of Alta California

In September, 1768, Lieutenant Pedro Fages and a detachment of 25 Volunteers were ordered south to San Blas, Nayarit to form a part of the expedition of Gaspar de Portolà to establish a Spanish foothold in Alta California. After 110 days at sea, the Volunteers arrived at San Diego Bay in April, 1769. By this time, over half the soldiers and most of the...
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