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Can anyone confirm if the term 'troops' in Napoleonic era was only applied to cavalry or if it could be used for any type of army force?
I've found this in an etymology dictionary, which doesn't really answer my question:
1630s, “soldier in a cavalry troop,” agent noun from troop. Extended to "mounted policeman" (1858, in Australian) then to "state policeman" (U.S.) by 1911.troop (n.) <a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=troop" title="Look up troop at Dictionary.com"><img title="Look up troop at Dictionary.com" src="http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/graphics/dictionary.gif" width="16" height="16" /></a>1540s, "body of soldiers," from M.Fr. troupe, from O.Fr. trope "band of people, company, troop" (13c.), probably from Frank. *throp "assembly, gathering of people" (cf. O.E. ðorp, O.N. thorp "village," see thorp). OED derives the French word from L. troppus "flock," which is of unknown origin but may be from the Germanic source. The verb is attested from 1560s, "to assemble;" meaning "to march" is recorded from 1590s; that of "to go in great numbers, to flock" is from c.1600.
In my 400-odd-page 'Waterloo Companion' the word 'troops' seems to be used referring to any type of force, but a colleague insists that this is modern usage and it would be incorrect in a historical context. I don't suppose anyone can point me in the direction an answer.....?
I do, of course and as usual, apologise for this.