This post marks the conclusion of work on the Great Paraguayan War collection for this year. There are still a few more units to complete, such as the Brazilian Zouaves, a couple more Brazilian and Argentine guns sets, some Paraguayan fortress guns and the Paraguayan generals. But most of these have not been released yet, so I will wait to complete them in one hit.
This week’s offering, Battalion Florida, was founded in 1825 as the Libertados Orientales from freed slaves in the town of Florida during a rebellion against Brazil. A year later the unit was incorporated into the army of the United Provinces (Argentina) as the 3rd Cazadores and a further fours years later the unit transferred back to Uruguayan service as the 1st Cazadores where it continued to fight in the various Platine conflicts of the first half of the century. Renamed the Batallión de Infanteria de Linea in 1831 and fought at the Battle of Arroyo in the First Uruguayan Civil War in 1842. A year later some troops were selected to form the 2nd Batallión de Infanteria de Linea. The battalion continued to fight in the ongoing civil conflicts that plagued Uruguay throughout the 1840s, 50s and 60s. It was renamed Florida in 1865 by President Flores in recognition of the support during his rise to power, although by this time recruitment was broader than just Florida region and the battalion was made up of gauchos and men of mixed race from across the country. Throughout its extensive service the unit had established a formidable fighting reputation, which it further enhanced during the Paraguayan War.
Florida is the third and final Uruguayan battalion I will do for this collection. I have done the battalion in it’s full dress uniform with Colonel Palleja (below) front and centre urging it forward.
A fourth battalion, Independencia, also served in the war along with three small units of cavalry and a battery to form the Uruguayan Division, but I have not been able to find any information the uniforms of these units so for now they are off the cards.
To command the division are three mounted Uruguayan officers.