Steven’s Royalist Army for the South American Wars of Liberation

This is my Royalist army from my 1817-18 Chilean Project. Roland is working on the Patriots including the Argentines and Chileans. I’m painting the Royalists.

Broadly speaking two different Royalist armies fought in this campaign. The first was smashed at Battle of Chacabuco (12 Feb 1817) and the Royalist authorities sent another to challenge the Patriots. I’ve opted to build both armies for several reasons:

  1. They looked different. Obvious but had to be said.
  2. So I have a total force roughly equal to the total Patriot force.
  3. Which means I can do a campaign game.

I’ve given the infantry of the first army the old style double breasted blue jacket; this may or may not be accurate but I purchased the figure before I was aware they might have worn the latter white uniform. The infantry of the latter army wore white single breasted jackets.

I painted all the figures. Except where noted all figures are the 15mm range from Grenadier Productions. I use the Black Undercoat Method of painting and a basing style using Sand, Flat Earth paint, and Dry Brushing. Generic Spanish Flags are from War Flag however the flags of specific units were by Miguel Landeros and are available on the Yahoo Group: Liberators 1810-1830. Uniform guides were the books by John Fletcher of Grenadier Productions (Fletcher, 2005, 2006) in particular the illustrations by Prof. Julio Luqui Lagleyze and Cesar Puliafito that appear in Fletcher (2005, p. 28 – 36).

Generals

Brigadier General Mariano Osorio

Mariano Osorio commanded at the Battle of Rancagua (1 Oct 1814) when a Colonel and at the Battle of Maipo (5 Apr 1818) as a Brigadier General. The figures are from the specialist pack RS-006 Royalist General Osorio. John Fletcher characterises Osorio as “poor; coward, low initiative” hence the pose with the backward glance. I wasn’t too accurate with Osorio’s uniform – I gave him the red trousers of a Field Marshal (Mariscal de Campo) only because, well, they look better but also because the Alternative Battle of Chacabuco features Field Marshal Marco del Pont.

Osorio

Cowardly Osorio and his confused staff

Cavalry

Carabineros de Abascal

Supposedly two Squadrons fought in the 1817-18 campaign but I only did one because the numbers were low. The figures are PRNS-006 and PRNS-007 Cavalry in Braided Jackets w/sabers. Their light blue jackets would make them suitable for Princessa Hussars in the peninsular.

Abascal Carabineers

Abascal Carabineers
1 Squadron

Abascal Carabineers

Command – Front

Abascal Carabineers

Command – Back

Abascal Carabineers

Command – Side

Abascal Carabineers

Command – Side

Abascal Carabineers

Trooper – Front

Abascal Carabineers

Trooper – Back

Abascal Carabineers

Trooper – Side

Abascal Carabineers

Trooper – Side

Concordia Hussars

2 Squadrons of guys in red. The figures are PRNS-006 and PRNS-007 Cavalry in Braided Jackets w/sabers.

Concordia Hussars

Concordia Hussars
2 Squadrons

Concordia Hussars

Command – Front

Concordia Hussars

Command – Back

Concordia Hussars

Command – Side

Concordia Hussars

Command – Side

Concordia Hussars

Trooper – Front

Concordia Hussars

Trooper – Back

Concordia Hussars

Trooper – Side

Concordia Hussars

Trooper – Side

Frontier Dragoons

The figures are PRNS-004 and PRNS-005 Cavalry in Short Coats w/sabers. The figures lack lapels so I just painted them on regardless.

Frontier Dragoons

Frontier Dragoons
2 Squadrons

Frontier Dragoons

Command – Front

Frontier Dragoons

Command – Back

Frontier Dragoons

Command – Side

Frontier Dragoons

Command – Side

Frontier Dragoons

Trooper – Front

Frontier Dragoons

Trooper – Back

Frontier Dragoons

Trooper – Side

Frontier Dragoons

Trooper – Side

Arequipa Dragoons

1 Squadron. Use Carabineros de Abascal

Chillan Dragoons

1 Squadron

Lanceros del Rey

1 Squadron

Infantry

Chiloe Battalion

This was the first unit I painted for my 1817-18 Chilean Project. Fletcher (2005, p. 40) has them in a blue jacket and blue trousers. I opted for white trousers as:

  • I understand white trousers were summer issue. At least this was true in Peninsular Spain.
  • This is backed up by the fact that Fletcher (2005) shows the Conception Regiment, which had a very similar uniform to Chiloe, with either blue trousers (p. 40) or with white (p. 30).
  • Similarly, the alternative uniform given for the Chillan Regiment in 1817 by Fletcher (2006, Alternative Battle of Chacabuco) also has white trousers. As does Valdivia.

The figures are Fantassin / War Modelling EN-17 Spanish Infantry with French Style Shako and Fantassin / War Modelling EN-22a Spanish Infantry Command (shako). Why? Because the figures have lapels and turnbacks.

royalist_chiloe.jpg (496297 bytes)

Chiloe Battalion

Talavera Regiment

Next on the painting blocks was Talavera. Once again the figures are Fantassin / War Modelling EN-17 Spanish Infantry with French Style Shako and Fantassin / War Modelling EN-22a Spanish Infantry Command (shako).

royalist_talavera.jpg (500345 bytes)

Talavera Regiment

There is some controversy on the Yahoo Group: Liberators 1810-1830 about the uniform worn by the Talavera Regiment in 1817 at Chacabuco. The options are:

1. Blue jacket and trousers. Green collar and cuffs. Buff lapels. Red turn backs. Given in

  • illustration from Santiago military museum following the description by Nicanor Molinar (provided by Miguel Landero)
  • Fletcher (2005, p. 40). 1817-18.
  • Fletcher (2006). Alternative Battle of Rancagua 1814. (but with Green turn backs not red)

2. Green jacket and trousers. Red collar, cuffs, lapels, and turn backs. Possibly only for Cazadores. Given in:

  • Fletcher (2005, p. 40) as “Alternative” uniform. 1817-18
  • Luqui & Manzano (1998, p. 138-9). Officer and corporal of the Cazadores. 1815-19
  • Fletcher (2006). Alternative Battle of Chacabuco. 1817. (but with white trousers not blue; probably the summer/winter thing).
  • In addition the Cazadore Battalion in Peru wears a similar Green uniform. This is given in:
    • Green Colonel on Los Realistas p 186
    • Green Colonel on Fletcher (2005, p 19)

3. White uniform with green collar and cuffs

  • based on quote from Manuel Pueyrredon who was a Grenadier officer in Talavera when they fought at Chacabuco (Pueyrredon, 1947, p. 169, cited by César Puliafito on Liberators 1810-1830 Yahoo Discussion Forum) “El regimiento de Talavera peleó heroicamente; se subió a un cerrito en forma de pan de azcar, y allí quedó la mayor parte. La vista de ese cuerpo tendido parecía (permítaseme la expresión) una majada de ovejas; su traje era todo blanco , desde la funda del morrión hasta los botines…”
    or
    “The regiment of Talavera fought heroically; it climbed a hill in the form of sugar bread, and there it was most. The sight of this body lying seemed (permit me the expression) a sheepfold of ewes; its suit was all white, from the cover of the helmet (sic) to the boots.”
  • This would make Talavera look exactly like the Burgos Regiment in 1818 – see Fletcher (2005, p. 30)

I’ve opted for the Blue jacket with green collar and cuffs and red turnbacks (i.e. like the figure from Santiago military museum), i.e. Option 1. I did, however, combine this white trousers for summer. The main reason is that I already had the figures with the double breasted jacket which would be blue not white. See Chiloe for the reason I opted for white trousers.

I discounted the Green uniform because evidence suggests this was a dress uniform.

But in truth I find the evidence for the white uniform fairly compelling. If I hadn’t already got the figures I might have gone for this option. It would have had the nice effect of giving basically all the Royalist infantry the white uniform.

Conception Regiment

Blue jacket and white trousers (Fletcher, 2005, p. 30). Aside from the black straps the unit looks like Chiloe. I highlighted the black straps with a dark grey to make them stand out from the surrounding “black” shadow of the Black Undercoat method. Another unit using figures from Fantassin / War Modelling EN-17 Spanish Infantry with French Style Shako and Fantassin / War Modelling EN-22a Spanish Infantry Command (shako).

Conception Battalion

Conception Regiment

Conception Regiment

Command – Front

Conception Regiment

Command – Back

Conception Regiment

Command – Side

Conception Regiment

Command – Side

Conception Regiment

Fusilier – Front

Conception Regiment

Fusilier – Back

Conception Regiment

Fusilier – Side

Conception Regiment

Fusilier – Side

Conception Regiment

Grenadier – Front

Conception Regiment

Grenadier – Back

Conception Regiment

Grenadier – Side

Conception Regiment

Grenadier – Side

Conception Regiment

Cazadore – Front

Conception Regiment

Cazadore – Back

Conception Regiment

Cazadore – Side

Conception Regiment

Cazadore – Side

Los Angeles Regiment (Chillan Regiment)

Fletcher (2005, p. 40; 2006, Alternative Battle of Chacabuco) gives white single breasted jacket and blue trousers.

Arequipa Regiment

White uniform. A significant proportion of the rank and file were black.

Burgos Regiment

White uniform.

Infante Don Carlos Regiment

White uniform.

Zapadores

Shako and blue uniform. 1 company

Grenadier Battalion

The Royalist Granadero and Cazadore battalions were composites built from the flank companies of the 4 battalions in the army: Burgos, Arequipa, Infante and Concepcion. Just need a command stand

Cazadore Battalion

The Royalist Granadero and Cazadore battalions were composites built from the flank companies of the 4 battalions in the army: Burgos, Arequipa, Infante and Concepcion. Just need a command stand

Artillery

I’ve painted the eight stands necessary for Chacabuco. All of them have a 4 pounder guns and two crew. The figures are RNS-009 Royalist Artillery Crew and PRNS-012 4lbr Field Gun (Long Barrel) (2 guns). I’ve also painted two 8 pounder guns and two howitzers, all with 3 crew each.

Royalist Artillery 4lb

Royalist Artillery, 4 pounders
This is only four of the eight stands I’ve painted.

References

Fletcher, J. (2005). Liberators! Volume 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.

Fletcher, J. (2006). Liberators! Supplement 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.

Liberators 1810-1830 Yahoo Discussion Forum

Luqui Lagleyze, J. M., and Manzano Lahoz, A. (1998). «Los Realistas» (1810-1826): Virreinatos del Perú y del Rio de la Plata, y Capitanía General de Chile [Hombres en Uniforme No 5]. Quiron Ediciones. [Spanish]

Pueyrredon, M. (1947). Memorias inéditas del coronel Manuel Pueyrredon. Buenos Aires: Editoril kraft.

4 comments to Steven’s Royalist Army for the South American Wars of Liberation

  • Richard Crawford

    Do you have anything on Royalist units in Mexico and Texas 1810-1813?

  • Richard Crawford

    Do you have a source for the Spanish Extremadura Rgiment. circa 1813, mainly uniforms and equipment? Thanks.

    • Steven Thomas

      Richard, unfortunately I have very little. Figure 8 in Los Realistas is a soldier of the Extremadura Regiment in 1818. Blue uniform with red collar and cuffs. His jacket appears to have no tails, so no turn backs. But he also appears to be carrrying another coat or jacket on his backpack which may have tails. White straps. Black cartridge box. Wooden water canteen. Shako with white oil skin. Black shoes.

      This uniform is pretty standard for the Royalists so there is a good chance the unit wore the same outfit earlier.

      Source: Luqui-Lagleyze, J. M., and Manzano-Lahoz, A. (1998). «Los Realistas» (1810-1826): Virreinatos del Perú y del Rio de la Plata, y Capitanía General de Chile [Hombres en Uniforme No 5]. Quiron Ediciones. [Spanish]

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