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
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.