2nd Moncão Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War >> Armies >> Portuguese Army >> 2nd Moncão Infantry

Origin and History

Private in 1762 - Source: Detail from an anonymous work reproduced from the book 300 years of Military Uniforms... with the kind authorisation of Manuel Ribeiro Rodrigues

The regiment was raised in 1641 as the Terço of Entre Douro e Minho. In 1657, another Terço was created in the same province and the original one became known as the Terço Velho (old regiment).

By a decree dated November 24 1707, the unit was renamed "Regimento de Infantaria de Monção".

The regiment recruited in the villages of Viana, Ponte de Lima, Monção, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Arcos de Valdevez and Ponte da Barca, and in various towns of the district of Viana.

In 1762, the regiment was divided into two distinct regiments.

N.B.: Even though these two regiments were officially designated as 1st and 2nd Monção, some authors refer to them as the 1st and 2nd Minho, others as 1st and 2nd Viana. In fact "Minho" was the old name of the unit prior to 1707, while the nickname "Viana" was first introduced only in 1763 and it is not until 1792 that the regiment was officially renamed "Infantry Regiment Viana".

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • in 1762: Tenente-Coronel (lieutenant-colonel) Thomaz I.X. Botelho

On May 10 1763, the two units were reunited into a single regiment.

Service during the War

At the beginning of the campaign of 1762, the regiment was assigned to the corps operating in the region of Beira under the command of lieutenant-general Townshend.

Uniform

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.

Privates

Uniform of privates in 1762 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
Manuel A. Ribeiro Rodrigues
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a red cockade
Grenadier n/a
Neckstock white
Coat brown coat lined red
Collar red with 2 small pewter buttons on the right side and two narrow white buttonholes on the left side
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels red with pewter buttons and narrow white buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons and 3 narrow white buttonholes
Cuffs red with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat brown lined red; with 2 rows of pewter buttons, each pair of buttons being attached into a single narrow white buttonhole; horizontal pockets
Breeches brown with pewter buttons and pewter buckles
Gaiters white with small pewter buttons
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather with a pewter buckle
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard none
Shoes buckled leather shoes


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Officer in 1762 - Source: Detail from an anonymous work reproduced from the book 300 years of Military Uniforms...

The officers wore a uniform very similar to the one worn by privates with the following distinctions:

  • a gold laced tricorne with a silk red cockade
  • a duty gorget
  • a thin golden lace at the collar
  • red waiscoat edged with a golden braid with 2 rows of pewter buttons, each pair of buttons being attached into a single narrow white buttonhole; gold laced pockets
  • an officer stick of natural wood with a silver handle and red and silver tassel
  • a white leather waistbelt
  • a sword (golden hilt with a red tassel; black scabbard with golden locket and chape)


Musicians

Drummer in 1762 - Source: Detail from an anonymous work reproduced from the book 300 years of Military Uniforms...

The uniforms of the drummers were similar to those of the privates with the following differences:

  • white laced collar
  • white laced lapels
  • white laces on the seams, around the pockets and along the edges of the coat


Colours

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.

References

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

Acknowledgement

Manuel Ribeiro Rodrigues and Joseph O'Neill for the initial version of this article.