These were “irregular” Spanish Colonial Forces used in many New World Spanish Territories. Without a “standing Army” in “New Spain”, many of these “rough shod” Soldiers were actually compared to Militias. Often, they performed the role of The Spanish Army – without any formal assistance. Mostly mounted, Soldado De Cuera carried Spanish Cavalry weapons (Saber and Pistol). Many likened the Lasso, Lance and the many Native American weapons at their disposal. Some Central American Cueras used small Buckler-type shield, muskets and even bow and arrow to accomplish their military mission. Their goal was to protect Settlers and Colonials from Native attacks. Later, when Spain set out on it's “California Conquests”, many of the supporting Units left by the Regular Spanish Army – were the Soldado De Cuera's. They continued in style well into Mexico's Independence from Spain as a “Colonial Force”. It was a detachment of Mexican Cuera that “defeated” US Army General Stephen Kearney at The Battle of San Pasqual (1846) (San Diego, California). After the 1840's however The Cueras stopped being used (in lieu of establishing standing Armies with proper Reserve Forces).