Order of Battle in Portugal’s Liberal Wars

The orders of battle for various Portuguese forces during the Liberal War and the First Carlist War:

Portuguese Army

Details from Relatório do Ministro da Guerra, 1828-34:

Date Liberals
8 Jul 1832: Pampelido Landing 8,300 men comprising:

1 x battalion of officers *
1 x company of académicos ***
6 x infantry battalions
4 x Light Infantry (Caçadores) Battalions **
1 x Artillery Battalion
1 x Volunteer Battalion

Half of whom where untrained and without uniforms.

1 Jan 1833 12,668 men
1 Mar 1833 18,340 men
! Sep 1833 36,429 men
1 Jan 1834 50,596 men
1 Jun 1834 60,119 men comprising:

6 x Cavalry Regiments
17 x Infantry Regiments
5 x Light Infantry (Caçadores) Battalions
3 x Artillery Battalions
1 x company of académicos ***
1 x body of engineers
1 x battalion of craftsmen
1 x telegraphic unit
67 x mobile and fixed battalions
13 x other companies

Other countries provided 6,624 men 842 horses.

* A battalion comprising supernumerary officers (Do Livro Do Coronel Hugh Owen). Many of them were from the cavalry who had served in the peninsular war, but now fought as infantry in the ranks. It seems this unit was subsequently broken up amongst other units, presumably to replace officer casualties.

** Including Baron Antas’s 5th Light Infantry ( caçadores) Battalion (Portugal Dicionário Histórico: Antas).

*** Nuno Pereira (private communication) tells me the “Académicos” were volunteers from the University of Coimbra. They wore an all Black uniform similar to the 1830’s US infantry. They were converted to a Mountain Artillery company also armed with Congreves.

19 Jan 1833: During the Siege of Porto

Lovell (1835) was present during the siege of Porto and on 19 Jan 1833accompanied the commander-in-chief on a review of the defenders. He says (p. 183-4):

The regiments of cacadores in both armies were a credit to their nation : those in Don Pedro’s service were numbered 2d, 3d, 5th, 10th, and 12th. The Portuguese regiments of the line consisted of the 9th (then very weak), the 1 Oth, and the 1 8th ; besides which there were the volunteers of the queen, and several other battalions of volunteers, the fixos (troops who do not march), and the probiles (troops moveable to any part of the kingdom).

There were also some foreign corps. One German regiment (nominally Belgian) was well clothed, and had a martial appearance ; there were many old soldiers amongst them.

The field artillery was in excellent order, and well mounted, it consisted of twelve pieces ; there were two brigades of nine-pounders.

The cavalry in the centre was composed of about one hundred and sixty of Colonel Bacon’s lancers, and eighty of the 1 1 th regiment : this force was very small, but sufficient to be shut up in a closely invested place.

The British were drawn up in the left centre ; they were composed of troops some of whom were intended originally as marines, had served on board the fleet, and were called regiments of the queen. The Irish regiment was not then formed ; some Scotch were at Lordello under the command of Major Shaw, an officer of much experience. … They were mostly in rags and tatters ; some almost without breeches ; few with shoes and stockings ; some in uniform, others partly so : a few had chucos ; they were armed with muskets and bayonets without scabhards ; in short, they wanted all the necessary appointments and accoutrements for the field.

The Marshal then proceeded round to the left, where the French were drawn up. Some of them rivalled the British in rags, but they were in general more completely armed and clothed.

There were a few Italian riflemen dressed in green, with bright red facings. All I saw under arms did not amount to 5,000 men ; 1,500 more were down at Foz and Lordello, and 400 in the garrison of the Serra.

On p. 241 Lovell explains that the Mobiles and Fixos are effectively National Guard.


Details from the Regulations of 18 Jul 1834 as cited on

Viriatus Miniatures: Organização da Infantaria – 1834.

Viriatus Miniatures: Organização da Cavalaria – 1834

3 x Divisions

2 x Brigades

2 x Line Infantry Regiments *

1 x HQ of 30 men and 8 horses
2 x Battalions

6 x Fusilier Companies (Fuzileiros) of 80 men
1 x Grenadier Company (Granadeiros) of 80 men
1 x Light Company (Atiradores) of 80 men

1 x Light Division

2 x Light Brigades

2 x Light Infantry Regiments (Caçadores) **

1 x HQ of 30 men and 8 horses
2 x Light Battalions

4 x Companies of 88 men

3 x Cavalry Brigades

2 x Cavalry Regiments ***

1 x HQ of 18 men and 20 horses
4 x Squadrons of 148 men and 125 horses

?? What about artillery ??

* The 12 Line Infantry regiments were numbered one to 12

** The four Light Infantry Regiments were numbered one to four.

*** The six Cavalry Regiments were numbered one to six. Regiments 1-2 were Lancers and 3-6 were Light Cavalry (Caçadores a Cavalo) (Viriatus Miniatures: Os Uniformes de 1834 III: Regimentos de Cavalaria).

Portuguese Auxiliary Division in Spain, 1835-37

When Don Carlos arrived back in Spain in 1835 the Portuguese Liberals felt obligated to fulfil the obligations of the Quadruple Alliance, and return the favour to the Spanish Liberals for their help during the recent Liberal War in Portugal (Vieira, 2004). As a result a Portuguese Auxiliary Corps was sent to Spain to fight the Carlists (Viriatus Miniatures: Divisão Auxiliar a Espanha). This three brigade force contained 6,000 foot and 750 horse when it entered Spain in Nov 1835 (Cairns, 1994b; Viriatus Miniatures: Divisão Auxiliar a Espanha; Duncan, 1997, says they had 8,000 men). The force was recruited from the best regular units, although one unit, the “Caçadores do Porto”, was said to have been made up of adventurers of all nations left over from Portugal’s recent civil war. Included at least one regiment of well-equipped lancers. The first Portuguese forces to enter Spain had the title of Vanguard of the Auxiliary Corp, although they became the 3rd Brigade when the rest of the expedition arrived.

Note Viriatus Miniatures: Diviso Auxiliar a Espanha refers to this force as both “Corpo do Exército Auxiliar a Espanha” and “Divisão Auxiliar a Espanha“, i.e. as both an Army Corps and a Division. Although larger than a division, that is the title most other sources use. .

Details below from Viriatus Miniatures: Divisão Auxiliar a Espanha.

Organisation from 26 Nov 1835 to 1 Feb 1836

Commander: After entry into Spain Baron de Santa Marta

1st Brigade

Commander: Initially Lt-Colonel Filipe Marceley Pereira (from 3rd Infantry Regiment), then upon entry into Spain the command passed to the Colonel José de Sousa Pimentel e Faria (from 9th Infantry Regiment ).

1st Battery of Mountain Artillery (Captain é Maria Pereira Velho Barreto)

1 x Detachment of the Battalion of Sappers

1st Battalion of 3rd Light Infantry (Caçadores) Regiment (Colonel Manuel Eleutério Malheiro)

1st Battalion of 3rd Infantry Regiment (Lt-Colonel Filipe Marceley Pereira)

2nd Brigade

Commander: Initially Baron de Santa Maria until the Corps entered Spain and de Santa Maria became C-in-C, then Colonel Manuel Jose Mendes (from 10th Infantry Regiment)

1 x Detachment of the Battalion of Sappers

1 x Battery of Horse Artillery (Captain Germano Da Cruz Alzina)

2 x Squadrons of 2nd Lancers (Captain D. Carlos de Mascarenhas)

1st Battalion of 1st Infantry Regiment (Lt-Colonel António Pimentel Maldonado)

1st Battalion of 10th Infantry Regiment (Colonel Manuel Jose Mendes)

3rd Brigade (The original Vanguard of the Auxiliary Corps)

Commander: Baron das Antas

1 x Detachment of the Battalion of Sappers

1st Battalion of 4th Light Infantry (Caçadores) Regiment (Lt-Colonel Jose Joaquin Gomes Fontoura)

1st Battalion of 9th Infantry Regiment (Major Luís Guedes de Morais)

1st Battalion of 6th Infantry Regiment (Lt-Colonel Jose Teixeira Mesquita)

2 x Squadrons of 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Colonel José Osório do Amaral Sarmento)

Organisation from 2 Feb 1836

In Feb 1836 the Portuguese were reorganised into two columns (Viriatus Miniatures: Divisão
Auxiliar a Espanha

1st Column (Brigadier General Baron Das Antas) – 3,000 men according to
Portugal Dicionário
Histórico: Antas

3rd Cavalry

4th Light Infantry (Caçadores)

3rd, 6th and 10th Line Infantry

2nd Column (Colonel José de Sousa Pimentel e Faria)

2nd Lancers

2nd Light Infantry (Caçadores)

1st and 9th Line Infantry

Brigada Auxiliar Portuguesa

The Brigada Auxiliar Portuguesa fought for the Spanish government in Catalonia (Nuno Pereira, private communication). It was nothing to do with the Portuguese Auxiliary Division. It contained:

Grenadiers of Oporto (Granaderos de Oporto). Made up of English, Portuguese and Spanish volunteers. recruited during the Portuguese Civil War. It was commanded by the English brigadier Dodgin until his death at the Battle of Grá (12 Jun 1837).

Portuguese Carlists

After losing the Liberal Wars the exiled Portuguese Absolutists wanted to continue the fight for what they believed in and supported by their leader, Don Miguel, joined Don Carlos forces (Vieira, 2004). This way, many Portuguese came from Portugal (where Absolutist guerrillas were still active), England, France and Italy to join the Carlist ranks. The Portuguese in the Carlist Army even formed a Company commanded by the captain António Teles Jordão. Besides many soldiers there were also several Portuguese officers loyal to D. Miguel in the Carlist Army.


Cairns, C. (1994b, November). A Savage and Romantic War: Spain 1833-1840. Part II: The Cristino forces. Wargames Illustrated, 86, 36-46.

Do Livro Do Coronel Hugh Owen [Portuguese]

Duncan, F. (1997). The English in Spain: The story of the War of Succession between 1834 and 1840 (Vols. 1-6). UK: Pallas Armata. (Original work published 1877.)

Livermore, H. V. (1966). A New History of Portugal. Cambridge University Press.

Lovell Badcock, B. (1835). Rough ( leaves from a journal kept in Spain and Portugal, during the years 1832, 1833, & 1834. London: R. Bentley. [On-line http://www.archive.org/details/roughleavesfromj00loverich]

Relatório do Ministro da Guerra, 1828-34 [Portuguese]

Vieira, J. (18 Jun 2004). Personal communication.

Viriatus Miniatures [Portuguese]

Thanks to Nuno Pereira for bringing this material to my attention. The relevant pages are:

Divisão Auxiliar a Espanha – 1835 – 1837 – 1ª Guerra Carlista

Organização da Infantaria – 1834

Organização da Cavalaria – 1834

Os Uniformes de 1834 III: Regimentos de

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