Soldado de cuera

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Soldado de cuera
1: Leather jacket with seven layers
2: Saddle pommel and cantle
3: Carbine
4: Saddle bag
5: Lance
6: Pistols hanging on each side of the fender
7: Buckler
8: Boots and spurs
9: Wooden stirrups
10: Cartridge box
[1]

The soldado de cuera, leather-jacket, translated into English, as "leather coated soldier" was a type of soldier who served in the frontier garrisons of northern New Spain.[2] They were mounted and were an exclusive corps in the Spanish Empire. They took their name from the multi-layered deer-skin cloak he wore as protection against Indian arrows. They were armed with a short musket, a pair of pistols, a bow and arrows, a short sword, a lance, and a bull-hide shield (adarga). These frontier soldiers were recruited from among the mestizo population, Hispanicized Indians, and freed slaves. Most of the officers were Criollos, whereas very few of the enlisted men had this distinction. The soldados de cuera manned the presidios that stretched from Los Adeas, Louisiana, in the East, across Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, to the Pacific Coast of Alta California in the West.[3]

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Printed sources[edit]

Bueno, José María (2014), Las Guarniciones de los Presidios de Nueva España: Los Dragones Cuera, Madrid: Ministerio de Defensa.