A short painting guide for the Portuguese Liberal Wars.
A note about Portuguese colours:
- Dark Blue (azul ferrete) was the base uniform colour for the Line Infantry and Cavalry; it was a very dark-blue almost Prussian, and was the colour of Napoleonic Portuguese uniforms.
- The Caçadores used Nut Brown (Saragoa) instead.
- The Portuguese Red (Encarnado) literally translates to the colour of meat.
- The Yellow was sugar cane color.
- White grey (Alvadia) was a greyish off-white and was described as a dirty white in the 17th Century,
1834 Uniform guide
This is the uniform of the regulations of 18 Oct 1834, i.e. after the Liberal Wars had ended. There are significant similarities, and significant differences, from the Napoleonic uniform. The same colours are used, although particular collar, cuff and facings may differ. The shape of the Shako (Barretina) had evolved considerably, and following international fashions flat forage caps had been introduced.
Note: Apparently during the Liberal Wars the two sides used an enormous variety of uniforms, with little standardisation.
|Czapka Style hat – lancers only||Black lower; red upper. Blue and Yellow stripes on ribbon between upper and lower portions. Blue and white rosette. Black plume. Yellow/Gold metal and braid.|
|Shako (Barretina) and Officer’s Bicorne||
Black with blue and white rosette, gold metal, gold braiding. The plume, if worn, in the
Grenadiers: Red (Encarnado)
If covered in oil skin: Black
|Forage Cap|| Line Infantry and Cavalrymen: Dark Blue (azul ferrete) with band in the regimental collar colour. Regimental number in yellow metal. Cavalry had a roundel in regimental colours. Caçadores: Nut Brown (Saragoça) with black band. Regimental number in yellow metal.
Light Cavalry Officers: Dark Blue (azul ferrete) with a yellow band and roundel.
Officer’s caps had a black visor.
|Great coat||Line Infantry: White Grey (Alvadia) Caçadores: Black|
|Frock coat (officers only)||Line Infantry: Dark Blue (azul ferrete), black lining, with collars and cuffs in regimental colours. Cavalry: Dark Blue (azul ferrete) including collars and cuffs.|
|Coatee / Jacket||Line Infantry and Cavalry: Dark Blue (azul ferrete) with collars, cuffs, piping and facings in regimental colours. Caçadores: Nut Brown (Saragoça) with black front|
|Epaulettes coats and jackets||
Line Infantry and Cavalry Officers: Gold/yellow
Grenadiers: Red (Encarnado)
Caçadores: Black with a yellow metal half moon
|Jacket/coat Buttons||Yellow metal|
|Trousers||White Grey (Alvadia) Some uniforms had a Light blue-grey (Azul acinzentado) trousers or a dark blue (judging from the pictures), but White Grey was probably used in the field.|
|Shoulder & waist belts||Line Infantry: White Caçadores: Black|
|Officers sword||Line Infantry: Sword with Gilt hilt and black scabbard Caçadores: Iron hilt and scabbard.|
|Officers Sash||Red (Encarnado)|
|Officers Gloves (if worn)||White|
|Bayonet & Scabbard||Black with brass fittings|
|Gun Barrel||Bright metal|
|Strap for musket||Probably white|
|Lance (lancers only)||Natural bamboo with a blue over white pennant.|
Collars, cuffs and facings were in regimental colours:
|Line Infantry Regiment||Collar||Cuffs||Tabs on the sleeve cuffs *||Lining and Piping|
|1||Red (Encarnado)||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||Red (Encarnado)||White|
|2||Crimson||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||Crimson||White|
|3||White||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White||White|
|4||Sky Blue||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||Sky Blue||White|
|5||Orange||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||Orange||White|
|6||Yellow||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||Yellow||White|
|7||Red (Encarnado)||Red (Encarnado)||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White|
|8||Crimson||Crimson||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White|
|9||White||White||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White|
|10||Sky Blue||Sky Blue||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White|
|11||Orange||Orange||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White|
|12||Yellow||Yellow||Dark Blue (azul ferrete)||White|
|Light Infantry Regiment||Collar||Cuffs||Tabs on the sleeve cuffs *||Lining and Piping|
|1||Red (Encarnado)||Black||Red (Encarnado)||Black|
|4||Sky Blue||Black||Sky Blue||Black|
|Lancer Regiment||Collar||Cuff||Tabs on the sleeve cuffs *||Lining and Piping|
|1||Red (Encarnado)||Red (Encarnado)||N/A||Red (Encarnado)|
|Light Cavalry (Caçadores a Cavalo) Regiment||Collar||Cuff||Tabs on the sleeve cuffs *||Lining and Piping|
|4||Sky Blue||Sky Blue||N/A||Sky Blue|
* The tabs on the sleeves were called Carcelas in Portuguese and Sardinetas in Spanish.
I’ve included a selection of the pictures from the Viriatus Miniatures site and the Lisbon Military Museum. Browse through the Viriatus pages for more pictures and much more detail on the types of uniforms:
- Viriatus Miniatures: Os Uniformes de 1834 (the Line Infantry)
- Viriatus Miniatures: Os Uniformes de 1834 II: Regimentos de Infantaria Ligeira Ou Caçadores
- Viriatus Miniatures: Os Uniformes de 1834 III: Regimentos de Cavalaria
1834 Officer in walking out uniform. Notice the frock coat. He is wearing the peaked forage cap, but could also wear a bicorne.
Indicative, but not exact, for the Belgian Corps. The Belgians in Portugal wore brown. This figure is from Kannik (1968).
And just for the record, the names used for various types of uniform (thanks to Nuno Pereira for explaining them to me):
|Uniforme, farda or fardamento||All equate to uniform|
|Grande Uniforme||“Big Uniform” i.e. parade dress|
|Pequeno Uniforme||“Little Uniform” i.e. walking dress|
|Serviço de Quartel||“Quarter Service” i.e. working uniform; for every day cleaning, etc of the barracks.|
|Serviço de Polícia||“Police Service” i.e. guard duty uniform|
|Uniforme de campanha||Campaign Dress|
Cairns, C. (1994b, November). A Savage and Romantic War: Spain 1833-1840. Part II: The Cristino forces. Wargames Illustrated, 86, 36-46.
Kannik, P. (1968). Military Uniforms in Colour. London: Blandford.
Lisbon Military Museum
Nuno Pereira kindly sent through some postcards from the Lisbon Military Museum.
Viriatus Miniatures [Portuguese].
Thanks to Nuno Pereira for bringing this material to my attention. Check out the links under “Guerras liberais e constitucionais – Século XIX: Plano de uniformes de 1834” on the uniforms page http://www.viriatus.com/uniformes.asp. The relevant sub-pages are:
- Os Uniformes de 1834 (the Line Infantry)
- Os Uniformes de 1834 II: Regimentos de Infantaria Ligeira Ou Caçadores (Light Infantry)
- Os Uniformes de 1834 III: Regimentos de Cavalaria (Cavalry)
2 thoughts on “Painting Guide for Portugal’s Liberal Wars”
Assuming these uniforms were worn by units on both sides, how did they tell each other apart during the confusion of battle? I would think it got pretty dicey…
Yes, a major risk of all civil wars – at least at the start.