A presidial soldier instructs a mission Indian in the proper use of an escopeta.

Weapons and Equipment
of the Presidial Soldier

Shown at the left, Spanish presidial soldiers under Indian attack carried the arms and equipment specified in the Royal Regulations of 1772.

For offense the soldiers carried a lance, a sword, two pistols, and a carbine.

The leather jacket, or cuera, and the leather shield, or adarga, were used to protect the soldiers against Indian arrows.

Traditionally, the Presidial soldiers were split into two categories: the traditional soldado de cuera and their mounted counterparts, the troopa ligera (lit."light troops"). The troopa ligera, as the name implies, traveled light and rode without the cuera

For obvious and practical reasons, the Flying Companies were not soldados de cuerra; but were mobile companies, able to cover vast areas behind the presidial line. They in fact, supported the operation of the local presidial company as in the case of Alamo de Parras who supported the Bejar Presidio. 

The cuera continued as part of the uniform through the early 1800's. Though one example of artwork from that period depicts a Californian presidial soldier wearing a cuera, they are not seen in Texas after that time.