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"Spanish and Mexican California - Soldados de Cuera" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2020 10:33 p.m. PST

"The origin of presidial troops in New Spain goes back to the sixteenth century. A line of fortified outposts called presidios was constructed north of Mexico City by 1570 to contain raids by the Chichimeca Indians. Two centuries later the line of presidios or forts moved into what is now the American Southwest and extended from Texas to California.

Soldados de Cuera manning frontier presidios were a unique branch of the Spanish colonial armed forces, distinct from Spain's regular soldiers. They were distinguished from Spanish regulars not only in having been born and reared in the frontier provinces and thus adapted to harsh conditions but also in having their own regulations. Reglamentos of both 1729 and 1772 were distinct from those ordenanzas governing the regular army. Presidial soldiers were more heavily armed and equipped than the regular army. In addition to standard weapons of Spanish regulars (musket, pistols, and saber), soldados de cuera carried a lance, a shield, and a heavy coat of leather armor. The reglamento of 1729 specified that each presidial trooper was to have six horses and one mule at his disposal. The ordinary Spanish dragoon only had two horses available to him…"

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