I note that the subject of Portuguese flags has already been raised on this forum, but it left one question unaswered. Kenton White asked if the colours would be split between the battalions if they operated separately (as at Bussaco), and I have recently read that each battalion carried only one colour - so the two per regiment already discussed.
At the risk of being tiresome could I ask if anyone has an answer to this question? Were both colours carried by the first battalion, or did the battalions have one colour each? If the latter, which carried which colour?
Thanks in anticipation.
Thank you to both Robert and Moises for kindly taking time to consider my question. Between you I think that you have answered that question - after all, if you two haven't heard of this scenario before it is unlikely that anyone else will have.
As to my source: I came across this while looking for information on Portuguese colours so that I could get my newly formed 28mm battalions correctly presented on the table top. I've been gaming for as long as I've been reading about/researching the Napoleonic wars, and it's about time that my Anglo German units were supplemented by a few battalions of 'Fighting Cocks'. What took me so long you might ask!
The source is an old website that produces lovely flags for Napoleonic wargamers;
It seems to be well researched, but unfortunately contains no references. I have emailed the originator/owner, but it is over 20 years old and perhaps he is no longer in a position to respond.
I have yet to obtain your book on the Fighting Cocks, though it is clearly time that I did so.
Thanks again to you both - time to finish the painting....
I searched Beresford's regulations for the Portuguese Infantry and I did not find any specific rule about the subject, but in the part related to the movements and formations of the regiment, it is stated that when a battalion is detached or 'working' per se, follows the same regulations as the regiment. It also stats that the two colours had to be posted in the center between the two battalions when the entire regiment deploy in line or in parade. When marching in column they where in the exact middle of the column. They where not carried by a specific battalion or carried each by each battalion.
Oddly, the regulations stats also that when the battalion was detached the flags (plural) had to be posted in the center of the battalion. It is a bit puzzling (or is a typo), because if one battalion was detached in battle (as at Bussaco) the other had to had a flag to be moved or engaged, as flags where important reference points particularly in the alignment of the regiment/battalion. My best guess is that when a entire battalion was detached one of the two regimental colours will go with it for pratical purposes.
Beware that I don't know any contemporaneous source that clearly supports this.
I am curious about where you have read that each battalion carried only one colour. If you can point me your source I will be grateful.
From "In the Words of Wellington's Fighting Cocks"
The Portuguese regiments carried two flags, of different patterns, with the colours and arms of the kingdom and the regiment’s designations. Those that participated in the Campaign of Roussillon and Catalonia were awarded with a battle honour and were authorized to use on their
flags the inscription ‘Ao Valor do Regimento…’48 followed by the regiment’s number. These were the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 13th, 18th, and 19th Regiments. Following the Battle of Vitoria, Beresford requested from the Prince Regent a mark of his favour to Stubbs’ and Power’s Brigades for their exceptional conduct in the battle. In consequence, in a decree of 13 November 1813 (but only published on 13 March 1814), the Prince awarded the infantry regiments of those brigades (the 9th, 11th, 12th, and 23rd Regiments), permission for them to use around the coat of arms on their flags the inscription Julgareis qual é mais excelente/Se ser do mundo rei, ou se de tal gente.49 These were lines from the epic poem Lusíadas, by the national poet Luís de Camões.
I could not find any information about whether the battalions each carried one or it was at the regiment.