Glossary of Terms for the Carlist Wars

Glossary of terms for the First of the Carlist Wars.


Rope soled sandals. Common campaign footwear.


“Algerines”. Name used by the Spaniards for members of the French Foreign Legion because of their previous station.

Artillería a caballo

“Artillery on horse”. True horse artillery with both gunners and drivers mounted.

Artillería a lomo

Pule-pack mountain guns.

Artillería montado

Artillery with gunners riding on limbers.

Artillera volante

Although I don’t know for sure, this is likely to be foot artillery, with gunners walking.

Batallons de Linea

“Line Battalions”.

Caballería Ligera

“Light Cavalry”

Caballería de Linea

“Line Cavalry”


“Carabiniers”. A term used for the one of the flank companies of light infantry regiments, and for a special para-military unit of Government gendarmes and customs officers whose duties included fighting smugglers.


Name given to the followers of Carlos V (the pretender). Carlist aims were to uphold the Monarchy and the Church.


Light skirmishers. Centre companies of light infantry regiments, and the light flank company of line infantry regiments.

Compaias de preferencia

“Preferred companies”, that is, flank companies. Granaderos and Cazadores in the infantry line, and Carabineros and Tiradores in the light infantry. Guards, marines and the national militia didn’t have flank companies.


Supporters of Maria Cristina, fourth wife of Ferdinand VII. Basically the government. This term may not have been used at the time.





en guerilla

“in skirmish order”.

en batalla

“in close order”.


“Squadron. Standard tactical unit for cavalry.


“??”. Cristino term for the Carlists.


“Fusiliers”. Centre company infantry of line regiments.



Guardia National

“National Guard”. Title of the Urbanos from 1835.

Guardia Real

“Royal Guard”. The guard was divided into palace bodyguards and the fighting arm – the Guardia Real Exterior. The later was a miniature army complete in all arms and manned by chosen personnel.


Alternative name for Cristinos, from the name of the infanta Isabel II.


“Liberals”. Although this term was used for the Cristinos as a whole, it also referred to a specific section of the Cristino party. The aim of the Liberales was to resist royal absolutism and what they saw as the obscurantist power of the Church over all aspects of Spanish life. Few were real republicans; they tended to be stronger in the cities than in the countryside, and were particularly well-represented in the regular army, and, above all, in the National Militia.

Los Negros

“The Blacks”. A nickname given to Cristino volunteers because of their black or rifle-green uniform. Later applied to all Cristinos.


“Moderates”. Part of the Cristino party. Personal supporters of Cristina and Isabel.


“Peseta men”. Name for Cristino volunteers because of their daily pay – a lot more than the regulars were paid.


“Royalists”. Carlist term for themselves.


Bars on uniform cuffs.


Flank company of light infantry regiments, and skirmishers in cavalry regiments.


A national militia of men between 18 and 50 who had a certain level of wealth. Reformed by decree on 16 Feb 1834 to fight the Carlists. Renamed Guardia National in 1835.


“Volunteer”. For the Carlists this meant a private. Cristino used distinct volunteer formations – also called “Peseteros” and “Los Negros”.

Give’em Cold Steel! – ¡Dadles el frio acero!

Nuno Pereira asked the First Carlist War discussion forum…

Can one of you Spanish lads help me with the best military orders for the rules I’m
working on? How do these Shakespearean terms

Press Them, Lads! / Keep’em Busy, Boys! (Skirmish) = ?

Steady On = Batir?

Give’em Cold Steel! = ?

Hold Your Ground! / Not a Step Back! = ?

Regroup = Reingreso?

Also, is there a name for “Hard-Riding” cavalry officers such as D. Diego de Léon? Or should I
go for “Primera Lanza” as an Officer Characteristic?



Antonio Rico responded with:

The correct Spanish translation for your English sentences are:

Press Them, Lads!- ¡Presionadles, muchachos!
Keep’em Busy, Boys! – ¡Mantenedles ocupados, chicos!
Steady On – Tranquilo
Give’em Cold Steel! – ¡Dadles el frio acero!
Hold Your Ground! – ¡Mantened la posicion!
Not a Step Back! – ¡Ni un paso atras!
Regroup – Reagruparse

There is not an specific name for “hard riding” cavalry officers, in some cases they are called

“Primera Lanza del Reino” is a nickname and means “first lancer of the kingdom” it was used as a
way to homour Diego de Len as a very
bold horse officer.


Javi Gomez responded …

Well done Antonio, I was waiting for your answer. I agree with all but one, in my
opinion “¡Dadles el frío acero!” sounds very literal, I would prefer something like “¡A la
bayoneta!” or “¡Calen bayonetas!”. On the other hand I like “Primera Lanza” to designate
brave/bold cavalry officers.

Hope to see you soon, my Russians claim revenge!

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