Camp-followers

Non-combatants (such as servants, carriers, hostlers, suttlers, laundresses, and so on), who follow an army. We are told that in 1859 as many as 85,000 camp-followers were in attendance on 15,000 combatants in a Bengal army.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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