Personnel and Equipment


The leader of the expedition—five officers—six sailors or soldiers—six natives—two interpreters—a native attaché for the interpreters—a cook (Tagal or Chinese).

Total: six officers—six sailors—ten natives = in other words: twenty-two persons.

It would be useful to have a seventh sailor or quarter-master able to write or draw. The job of writing may easily take up much of the march.

The ordonnance must be chosen with care, to have a year in Cochinchine they must be sturdy and of good spirit.


                matelot1                               matelot2

The officers will have their personal weapons—the sailors their carbines—the natives their muskets.

Six revolvers will be taken, one hundred cartridges for each weapon, the capsules in perfect condition. The munitions will be shared between three or four crates.

The sailors will take with them: a pair of loose trousers—a woollen shirt—two white shirts—a pair of grey or blue trousers—two pairs of blue trousers with a knitted waistband—three sweaters—two pairs of leather shoes—two pairs of riding boots—a leather belt—a hat of felt or straw, with a brim—a work cap—a blanket—a mat—metal cutlery—a knife—thread, sewing needles, etc.—a bar of soap.

With the exception of the blanket, the mat and that which he carries on him, all of a man’s baggage will go in a single small crate or a small travel bag for a sailor.

The natives will have a uniform garment: a pair of short, blue cotton trousers—a belt—an Annamite hat—a mat.

There is a need to take other things also: a pharmacy—two handsaws—two planes—two tongs—two hammers—two hatchets—two wooden scissors—some gimlets—ten to twenty metres of fur—sounding lines—6 kg of large nails—20 kg of various spikes.

Grandiere: 462 – 465


cutlery             watch

Six rifles—six revolvers—powder, lead, cartridges—a dozen silver watches—a dozen silver-plated cutlery sets—thirty-six small spoons—a dozen large spoons—40 metres of small braid for caps—10 metres of second-officer stripes—various decorative ribbons—six dozen knives—six dozen pen knives—two dozen scissors—two cases of cognac—ten dozen wooden pipes—six dozen clay pipes—six umbrellas—children’s toys—felt hats—coloured pictures—soap—two dozen flagons of de Bully vinegar, or besides—four dozen mirrors—french paper, crayons—30 metres of red fabric—50 kg of brass wire—40 metres of material for flags (white, blue, red, yellow)—bracelets—pins, etc.

I think we had a sum of 2500-3000 francs, or more, all of which was essential for the purchase of gifts.

Grandiere: 468-469