or: The Phantom Crown.

Uniforms of the Mexican Adventure: Michael Provost

Mexican Adventure: Uniforms: Michael Provost

Michael Provost is a Belgian author and illustrator, best known for his French-Language graphic novels: "Mission au Pays des Collines" and "Tacambaro" which chronicle the adventures of Remi Tambour, a young drummer in the Belgian Grenadiers. 'Tacambaro" is set in the Mexican Adventure, and Remi is in the fore of the action. Please contact Michael for more information.

These illustrations are from Michael's Blog, and appear here with Michael's generous permission.

I cleaned up the scans a bit and resized them to fit my page.. Any errors in translation are mine and mine alone.

He has also sent illustrations of the Belgian Legian at Tacambro, and the Foreign Legion at Camerone.

The Belgian Legion

1. Grenadier in full dress.
2. Voltigeur in attack order. Battle of Tacambaro, 11 April 1865.
3. Drummer, 1865 - 1866.

4. Grenadier, Mounted Company
5. Grenadier. By 1866 the Belgian troops would have resembled the majority of European troops. This shows the extent that supply shortcomings were made up from French stores.
6. Cantinère.

Officers, Oudenaarde 1864

Infantry, Oudenaarde 1864

Musicians, Oudenaarde 1864

Mounted Troops, Monterey 1866

Officers, Tacambro 1865

Infantry, Tacambro 1865

San Luis Posati 1866

Venado 1866

Troops 1864-1865 he

1. Grenadier on duty at the barracks of Maegdendaele in Oudenaarde. Wearing a greatcoat, he is armed with a gun provided by the Ministry of War, pending the arrival of the Enfield rifle.

2. His hat covered in white canvas, it was in this uniform that the Volunteers left Oudenaarde in the rain, with the first contingent, Friday, October 14, 1864.

3. Grenadier in regulation uniform (center). The felt hat was similar to that worn by the carabinieri of the Belgian army. The volunteer tunic was cut in a royal blue cloth. Frogging and trim differed for different branches: red for grenadiers, green for voltigeurs, white for musicians and canteen. Gray blue pants were piped in distinctive color. Yellow leather leggings, canvas spats. The volunteer is armed with the Enfield rifle cal.13 mm, a quality weapon for the time.

4. Voltigeurs on the road from Vera Cruz to Mexico (bottom left). The hat was deemed cumbersome on the march, he was required to wear the police cap and a handkerchief as a neck guard. Soon the volunteers adopted the kepi, made mainly from the fabric of worn-out coats.

5. It was in this uniform that the Voltigeurs controlled the Tijdgadt fight April 11, 1865 at Tacambaro. The Belgians had adopted the musette used by the French, and which proved very convenient, especially limiting the wearing of bulky knapsack on expeditions.

Troops 1865-1867

1. Grenadier - Morelia 1865. He wears a local sombrero. The leggings have been abandoned by this point.

2. Sergeant of the soldiers - Morelia 1865 (top right). The French shops were enlisted to provide for the replacement of several worn effects. The volunteers would be provided with gray linen pants cut "en Zouave".

3. By 1866, the look of the Belgian volunteer would be similar to that of all European infantry units engaged in Mexico except the Zouaves. This uniformity revealed the considerable effort that the French stores had provided to equip the other bodies whose supplies had proved insufficient (center).

3. Cantinier (bottom left).

4. Sergeant mounted troops. Following the battle of Marin, the Belgians could be mounted two companies. The riders were equipped by the French. Because of the shortage of swords, volunteers used their rifle and bayonet as a lance. He is armed with a rifle of Minie type and a French saber-bayonet "yatagan" . He wears the medal of the French medal for the Mexican campaign..

1. Cantinière, Full Dress 1864 - 1865. His tunic is adorned with seven frogs.

2. Bugler wearing a police cap 1864 - 1865 (Top right).

3. Bandmaster. He had the rank of warrant officer. His belt plate was a lyre (Centre).

4. Cantinière 1865 - 1866. She wears a painted wooden keg with Mexican colors (Bottom left).

5. Drummer in 1865 - 1866. The neck guard rolled turban was common. The cases were identical to the model used in the Belgian army. The circles were painted in the Mexican colors, arranged in wolf teeth.


1. Adjutant Major (Chazal). Unlike the other officers he wore sleeves of braided silver and not gold.

2. Colonel in full uniform (Van der Smissen).

3. Major in full dress and hood. Frogging, lace and gold buttons.

4. Lieutenant in street clothes or campaign (Van der Straten). The frogs were black silk. Black olives replace gold buttons.

5. Battalion doctor.

Officers on campaign.

1. Colonel (Van der Smissen). His boots are equipped with Mexican spurs. He is armed with a Le Mat revolver. Le Mat in French manufacturing percussion (1861-1863). The Belgian army had no revolver before 1878. The swords were two models of 1850 - 53.

2. Captain of mounted troops.

3. Captain. He wears an Austrian-style cap.

4. Major. He wears a naval-styled jacket and the Bonnet de Police. He is armed with a Lafauche 1858 revolver, made in Liège. In Mexico, the officers were unable to replace worn-out uniforms. Several wore civilian jackets with added sleeve braid.

5. Captain. He is armed with a Colt Dragoon. On campaign, the officers wore the wide red woolen scarf or flannel, that protected the lower abdomen against dysentery, and hip belt fatigue.

The Austrian Legion

Infantry Cavalry

1. Gunner wearing Bonnet de Police
2. Jäger.
3. Jäger coat and forage cap.

4. Emperor Maximilian's Hungarian Hussar regiment in full dress.
5. Emperor Maximilian's Hungarian Hussar regiment in undress order
6. Uhlan in full dress.

The Contra-Guerillas (1861 - 1867)

1. Original uniform of the Contra-Guerilla commissioned by Charles de Stoecklin, Vera Cruz - 1863.
2. Brigadier of the first squadron of the French Contra-Guerrillas.
3. Hiorseman, 1st Squadron (back).

4. NCO of the second squadron of the Contra-Guerrillas.
5. Horseman of the second squadron of the Contra-Guerrillas.
6. Sous-Officer of the Contra-Guerrilla Artillery.

Commanders of the Contra-Guerrillas Contra-Guerillas and Auxiliary Troops

1. Lieutenant Colonel Gaston Gallifet (1866 - 1867).
2. Colonel Charles-Louis Dupin, (1863 - 1866).
3. Captain Aloys Michel Ney, (1865).

4. Fusilier, Foreign legion, at Camarone.
5. Infantryman of the Contra-Guerrillas.
6. Egyptian infantry battalion.

The French

Cavalry Navy

1. Imperial Guard Horse Artilleryman.
2. Chasseur d'Afrique,
3. Brigadier, 5th Hussars.

4. Fusilier-Marin
5. Marine Infantry.
6. Marine infantry.

Auxiliary Troops Foreign Legion

1. Volunteer Martinique.
2. Egyptian infantry battalion.
3. Mexican auxiliary in the Torrid Zone.

4. Fusilier Corporal.
5. Legionnaire at Camaróne.
6. Grenadier.

Zouaves and Tirailleurs Algeriens Line Infantry and Chasseurs

1. Zouave wearing hood.
2. Zouave, 1er Regiment.
3. Tirailleur Algerien, 3me Regiment.

4. Chasseur, 7me Battalion.
5. Voltigeur Bugler.
6. Fusilier, 81er Ligne.

The Mexican Imperial Army

1. Palatine Guard undress order.
2. Palatine Guard full dress.
3. Palatine Guard battle dress.

The Palatine Guard, 50 strong, was primarily responsible for the care of the sovereign and the castle of Chapultepec. It was placed under the command of Count Bombelles.

4. Infantry, 18th Line battalion.
5. Line Infantry (1863-1865).
6. Cazadore, 3rd Battalion (1867).

From 1863, the French mostly equipped the Imperial Army. The result is a curious combination of Franco-Mexican style.

1. Trooper, Présidiales Companies.
2. Trooper, Imperial Cavalry (from Vanson).
3. Trooper, Imperial Cavalry.

4. NCO of the Imperial artillery.
5. Soldier of the Imperial Gendarmerie, undress or field uniform.
6. Municipal Guard, Mexico City.

1. Cazadore, 8th Cavalry Corps (1866).
2. Trooper, Empress' Lancers (1867).
3. Horsenman, Rurale Guards of Queretaro (1867).

4. Line Infantry (1866 - 1867).
5. Battallion of Cazadores (1866 - 1867).
6. Trooper, "Red Hussars" (1867).

Mexican Republican Army

1. National Guard of the State of Michoacan, Morelia Battalion (1863)
2. National (1856 - 1860) Guard infantryman in regulation uniform of 1853 amended in 1856.
3. National Guard undress. 1856 regulations specified the use of a white canvas uniform. This uniform was the most common in the Republican army.

4. Trooper, Rurales.
5. Irregular Cavalryman.
6. Trooper, Regular Cavalry.

1. Plateados.
2. Republican guerrilla.
3. Republican guerrilla wearing sarape.

4. Infantryman, State Militia (1863 - 1867)
5. Republican soldier. (1866 - 1867)
6. Infantry, Battalion of Supremos Podores.

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Occasionally updated by Tim Peterson