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"Loyal Lusitanian Legion Cavalry" Topic

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769 hits since 15 Mar 2017
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Guthroth15 Mar 2017 1:11 p.m. PST

According to this article on the Napoleon Series, the LLL were supposed to have a cavalry element.


The article says they never formed, but does anyone have any more information ?


Mike Target15 Mar 2017 1:52 p.m. PST

According to the Narrative of their campaigns there were some dragoons raised, but I gather very few in number. Possibly just enough to act as runners.

The only times I recall a mounted element in action is when the officers from the infantry battalions are all mounted together.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 2:08 p.m. PST

The LLL had infantry, "some" cavalry and a battery of four guns and two howitzers. The cavalry certainly existed and had green coats and white facings. (I generally figure a Tarleton helmet, but that's a guess.) See Mayne and Lillie, A NARRATIVE OF CAMPAIGNS OF THE LOYAL LUSITANIAN LEGION which specifically names officers of the "legion light horse" or "Lusitanian dragoons" killed and wounded, which is pretty good evidence they were organized and did fight,and they're mentioned at Los Banos. There's a biography of Sir Robert Wilson (A VERY SLIPPERY FELLOW?) which provides further details, but I can't lay my hands on it just now.

My guess is that the cavalry were dismounted and made cacadores when the LLL was disbanded, though it's possible the ones with horses were dispersed among the Portuguese dragoon regiments.

Le Breton15 Mar 2017 2:15 p.m. PST

"[The Legion] was to have three chasseur (or light infantry) battalions of ten companies each, totaling 2,300 men, and a company of artillery with four light field guns and two howitzers. The Legion was commanded by Sir RObert Wilson; a few officers were British, but most were Portuguese. Part of one battalion was raised from Portuguese in Britain, but the rest of the unit was recruited at Porto and Coimbra in Portugal during the late autumn of 1808. A corps of light cavalry of three squadrons was also added to the LEgion's establishment at Porto, but in fact only a few despatch riders were enlisted."
Osprey – The Portuguese Army of the Napoleonic Wars (2) by René Chartrand, page 3

The Legion's field commander, Colonel William Mayne, noted the light field pieces were 6-pounders. The uniform coats were to be green for the infantry, green faced white at the collars and cuffs for the cavalry and faced black for the artillery. The Legion's "dragoons" amount to some officers and 14 men by mid-1809.
See "A Narrative of the Campaigns of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion Under Brigadier General Rob. Wilson" (1812), pages 34 and 270

In mid-1809, it appears that 50 troopers of the 11th Almeida Regiment of the Portuguese cavalry were attached to the Legion.
See "A History of the Campaigns of the British Forces in Spain and Portugal" (1813)
Volume 4, page 273

I would suppose the same as Mr. Piepenbrink, Tarleton hemets for the Legion dragoons. It is only a guess.

Guthroth15 Mar 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

Yes. I must read that Campaign Narrative. I just skimmed through it and he mentions them

In one enterprize, Sir Robert, accompanied
by the British officers and some Legion dragoons,
gallopped into the French outpost at the village
of Labobada,

So some Legion Dragoons are justified if the game can accommodate a single squadron.

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