Leatherjacket Soldiers

White, Tekla N.
January 1996
Missions of San Francisco Bay Area;1996, p42
Some Spanish soldiers in North America were called leatherjackets. These soldiers got the name from their jackets, which were made of seven layers of cowhide or deerskin. Underneath the jackets, the soldiers' uniforms were cloth, with buckskin coverings for their legs. In Alta California, most leatherjackets lived at the region's four major presidios, located at San Diego, Monterey, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. The presidios covered about 600 square feet and had 12 to 15 foot high walls of brick and earth.


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