The Spanish terms below are from a cavalry tactics manual, Reglamento para el ejercicio y maniobras de la Caballeria, Tomo I (Filadelfia [Philadelphia]: Se espende en México, en la Libreria de Galvan, Portal de Agustinos, 1836). The manual was originally published in Spain in 1824 but was reprinted in 1836 specifically for the Mexican market:
Anilla: scabbard ring Atacador: head of a ramrod Caja: gun stock Caña: shaft of a ramrod Cantonera: butt plate (heel plate) of a firearm Casco: helmet Cazoleta: fire pan of a flintlock Cimera: crest of a cavalry helmet Cola de Caballo: horse tail: specifically, as used to adorn certain cavalry helmets Crucetta: Iron crosspiece on the spearhead of a lance Culata: butt of a gun stock Empuñadura: Saber or sword hilt Gorra Cilíndrica de piel de oso: Cylindrical bearskin caps, as used by light cavalry Guarnicion: Saber or sword guard Moharra: Spearhead of a lance Pié de Gato: flintlock hammer Recámara: gun breech Regatón: Ferrule or base of a lance Suela: sole leather, specifically as used on line cavalry and dragoon helmets Tirantes: scabbard slings Trompetilla: opening in a gun stock for housing the ramrod
Post by Kevin Young on Mar 16, 2009 20:48:45 GMT -5
Mexican federal government, Decree no. 419, Sept. 1, 1824 (quote:) "Arreglo de la tropa de caballería del ejército. Article 5 (quote): "La plana mayor de cada regimiento, en todos tiempos, constará de un coronel, un teniente coronel mayor, dos comandantes de escuadron, un primer ayudante capitan, dos ayudantes segundos, tenientes, un capellan, un cirujano, un mariscal, dos mancebos, un talabartero, un armero, un clarin mayor, un cabo, y ocho gastadores." [emphasis added]
If you have it, then sorry I brought i up, but would you like to see the 1834 Reglamento on the la plana mayor?
"ocho gastadores" would be right; in European armies the pioneers/sapeurs did not form a separate unit as such. Instead one or sometimes two men per company were permanently assigned as such and as the document quoted says, when the battalion was formed up in formal marching order they were included in the "tete de column" (excuse my poor French) along with the musicians and the colour party - they could sometimes serve as the escort for the colours depending on regimental policy
So anyway, with Mexican battalions mustering six fusilier and two preference conmpanies that's where we get the ocho gastadores - one from each company
Post by Kevin Young on Mar 17, 2009 7:35:49 GMT -5
This looks like something that may have been inacted during one of the power struggles, but it seems close: The first section deals with make up of the battalion (eight companies including the granaderos and cazadores) and the second section with the structure of a company (there seems to be nothing new there) . There third section deals with the playa mayor del batalion.
Agusto 12 de 1824 Reglamento provisional para el regimen y govierno del battalion de Defesores de la constitution que va a formaise en esta capital
3. La plana mayor del batalion se compondra de un coronel, un teniente coronel, un primer ayudante, dos segudos ayudantes, dos sub ayudantes, un capillan, un ciujano, un armero, un tambor mayor, un cabo de tambores y pifanos, un cabo y ocho gastadores y doce musicos.
This is out of Recopilcion de Leves.
Now, here is some reality. From the Battalion Permenente Morelos, October 1835 monthly returns found in the Bexar Archives:
As I said in my previous post, the gastadores didn't really belong to battalion HQ but were seconded to it from the individual companies.
The likeliest explanation for what was happening in the Morelos Battallon is not that the gastadores were dropping fast, but that as experienced soldiers they were being reclaimed by their parent companies to replace NCO casualties and then not replaced simply because the companies were themselves too depleted to be able to spare men to hang around looking decorative at battalion HQ
STUART In battle men are apt to lose their self possession, and do very absurd things.
The term zapadore, for the singular of a Mexican army sapper, is a term that gets tossed around a lot by scholars who should know better. It is not an actual word in the Spanish language. It's zapador (singular), zapadores (plural).
Post by Allen Wiener on Jun 12, 2012 8:08:39 GMT -5
I've never been quite clear on what zapadores (sappers) did. If they were engineers, were their functions similar to those of more modern wars, who build bridges and did other construction, often on the fly? At the Alamo, was their assignment to break through blocked windows and doorways to open access to the fort?
“I knew, even as a boy, that to love this world one must keep one’s distance” -- Bishop Daisy - "King of Hearts"
Zapadores were combat-engineer troops (e.g., clear obstacles, build bridges, dig trenches and earthworks, etc.) who also functioned as elite infantry. There may be some documentary basis for their breaking through doors, windows, and such in the assault of the Alamo, but that also may be supposition. Gastadores, pioneers assigned in small numbers to various units, also could have handled such chores.
Allen: The leather apron and the axe are traditional dress items in the French Foriegn Legion for combat engineers. I would think it would be a pretty good bet that is what was intended in the 2004 film. I have absolutely no idea if that portrayal is accurate or not.
Last Edit: Jun 13, 2012 11:42:01 GMT -5 by Chuck T
The Army is always the same. The sun and the moon change, but the Army knows no seasons -- Captain Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon"[br][br]...an army ought to shoot 'possible' before it lets the band play to loud----James Warner Bellah from "Spanish Man's Grave
Allen, Stuart discussed this somewhere on this site. As I remember it the depiction in the 2004 movie was of the "squad" of sappers that each infantry battalion had and not members of the separate engineer battalion.
Some folks learn by reading, some folks learn by seeing, and some folks just got to pee on the electric fence.