The Prince’s Dragoons was the regiment that protected the Guanajuato area during the viceregal era. However, it wasn’t officially constituted until the year 1762. Prior to this it was essentially a citizens’ militia that had assumed responsibility for policing the area.
Then, the order was given to form an army unit in each important population center in New Spain, and platoons of the Prince’s Dragoons sprung up to provide protection and security services in many towns around the Bajío, including San Miguel el Grande, Guanajuato, Silao, Valle de Santiago, Yuriria and Celaya.
Recruitment boards were set up to find men who fit the bill, and the Bajío area eventually boasted 23 companies of cavalry and 8 of infantry consisting of some 617 local men trained by Spanish officers.
Later, thanks to Guanajuato’s prosperity and the excellent training and response capacity of the Dragoons, they became involved in the independence movement, often playing a key strategic role, either for the rebels or the Spanish loyalists, as was the case in the fight for the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, when they fought for city commander Juan Antonio de Riaño.