2nd Porto Infantry
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Origin and History
The regiment was raised on March 20 1659 as the Terço da Câmara do Porto.
In September 1762, the regiment was subdivided into two distinct units.
During the Seven Years' War, the 2st regiment was under the command of:
- Coronel (colonel) Jorge Francisco Machado de Mendonça
After the war with Spain, on May 10 1763, the first of the two regiments of 1762 took back its original name of “Porto” while the second was supposed to be transformed into a regiment of artillery. However, on September 12 1763, the project was abandoned and this second regiment became known as the “2nd Regiment of Porto”.
Service during the War
At the beginning of the campaign of 1762, the regiment was attached to the corps operating in the region of Beira under the command of lieutenant-general Townshend.
Traditionally, since about 1660, the Portuguese infantry wore dark blue uniforms. During the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) almost all infantry units wore alvadia (light gray uniforms). These new uniforms were introduced for economic reasons, this type of fabric being much cheaper.
It is now believed that, from 1750, there was a progressive abandon of alvadia uniforms and a return to more traditional Portuguese uniforms. However, it seems that most of the changeover took part sometime after 1759 since, till this date, cloth orders indicated white as the most common colour.
At the outbreak of the war in 1762, there was neither enough uniforms nor cloth for recruits in military warehouses, so it was necessary to use all cloth available. Besides, as there was no central warehouse, every colonel was responsible for the ordering of uniforms. Therefore the fabric was bought from contractors who would cut and turned it into uniforms "more or less" along the official lines.
It must also be noted that the use of gaiters was introduced into the Portuguese infantry only in 1762.
|Coat||medium blue lined red with one white button on each side in the small of the back
|Waistcoat||red with 1 row of white buttons; horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons and 3 narrow white buttonholes|
|Breeches||red with pewter buttons and buckles|
|Gaiters||white with pewter buttons|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet.
The officers wore a uniform very similar to the one worn by privates with the following distinctions:
- a silver laced tricorne with a dark blue and red cockade fastened with a small pewter button
- a duty gorget
- no collar
- lapels with narrow silver buttonholes
- red waistcoat lined red and edged silver; 2 rows of pewter buttons, each pair of buttons joined by a very narrow white buttonholes; silver edged pockets with 2 pewter buttons and 2 narrow white buttonholes
- crimson sash
- red breeches (an illustration shows dark blue breeches) with pewter buttons and buckles
- white belting
- an officer stick of natural wood with a silver handle with a silver cord and tassel
- a sword (golden hilt with a silver cord and dark blue and red tassel; black scabbard with golden locket and chape)
- a spontoon
The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following differences:
- white laced seams, collar, cuffs, pockets, coat edges and lapels
- slit red cuffs, each with a laced blue flap with 3 small pewter buttons
- red waistcoat edged white, pockets edged white
N.B.: the white braid used for laces was stitched blue
The drum barrel was light brown with red rims and black cords. Its bandolier was made of natural leather with a white metal buckle.
The exact pattern of the Portuguese colonel colours during the Seven Years' War is unknown.
The ordonnance colours were chosen by the colonel of the regiment. For the moment, we have found no source depicting specific colours for this regiment.
Please refer to our article on the Portuguese Line Infantry Colours for more information.
Amaral, Manuel, O Exértico Português em finais do Antiguo Regime
Kirby, Mike, The Portuguese Army - Seven Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal, Vol. XII No. 3
Moskowich, Emilio; Portuguese Army in SYW, 1st ed., March 2006
Ribeiro Rodrigues, Manuel A.; 300 Anos de Uniformes Militares do Exército de Portugal 1660-1960, Exército Portugués and Sociedade Historica da Independéncia de Portugal, 1998
Manuel Ribeiro Rodrigues, Joseph O'Neill and Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.