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Title: The Emancipation of South America
Author: Mitre, Bartolomé
Language: English
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Libraries)



                                  THE

                     EMANCIPATION OF SOUTH AMERICA

                       “Serás lo que debes ser,
                        Y sinó, no serás nada.”
                                  SAN MARTIN.



                          THE EMANCIPATION OF
                             SOUTH AMERICA

                    _BEING A CONDENSED TRANSLATION_

                                  BY

                            WILLIAM PILLING

                                  OF

                       THE HISTORY OF SAN MARTIN

                                  BY

                      GENERAL DON BARTOLOMÉ MITRE

       FIRST CONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC

                               With Maps

                     LONDON: CHAPMAN & HALL, LTD.

                                 1893



TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE.


The title of this translation is the second title of the original
“History of San Martin.” This transposition of title is an index to the
relation which the translation bears to the original. This latter is
truly a biography of San Martin, whose life could not be understood
unless very full account were given of the events in which he took so
prominent a part, therefore the biography is also a history.

No man who plays a prominent part in the history of a revolution can
escape becoming involved in disputes with his contemporaries, and in
many intricate questions which are of interest only to a very small
number of their successors. These disputes and these questions greatly
affect the career of a man, but have small influence upon the history of
a Nation. Of such troubles San Martin had his full share, his biographer
has entered fully into them, and with much detail has given proofs of
the correctness of the view he takes of them. These details are, for the
most part, suppressed in the translation, and all matters concerning San
Martin himself are greatly curtailed, while prominence is given to the
events of the times in which the scene passes. The translation is thus
a history in which enter the biographies of the two principal
personages, San Martin and Bolívar.

This translation is intended only for the general mass of
English-speaking readers, to whom minute details are wearisome, and is
thus in every part a condensation of the copious accounts which are
given in the original of the stirring events described. The student of
history will not find in it that ample information which he requires, in
order fully to understand the subject in all its bearings; for him the
original provides a mine of historic wealth, enriched as it is with
notes and with a voluminous appendix.

WILLIAM PILLING.

LONDON, _March, 1893_.



CONTENTS.


 .....PAGE

 TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE.....vii

 PROLOGUE.....xxvii


 CHAPTER I.

 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

 The Argument of the Book--Synopsis of the South American
 Revolution--The Action of America upon Europe--The Colonization
 of Spanish America--The Colonization of North America--Colonial
 Policy in both Americas--The Emancipation of North America--The
 Affiliation of the Revolution of South America--The Moral Revolution
 of South America--The Precursor of the Emancipation of South
 America--The Races of South America; the Creole--The First Throes of
 Revolution--The Growth of the Revolution--Attempts at Monarchy in
 South America--Retrospection.....1


 CHAPTER II.

 SAN MARTIN IN EUROPE AND IN AMERICA.

 1778--1812.

 His Birth and Parentage--Leaves for Spain--His Career in the
 Spanish Army--Africa--France--St. Vincent--Portugal--Cadiz--Society
 of Lautaro--Argonilla--Baylen--Tudela--Albuera--Lord
 Macduff--London--Buenos Ayres--Outbreak of the Revolution--Experiments
 in Government--The Influence of San Martin--Personal Appearance and
 Character of San Martin.....31


 CHAPTER III.

 THE LAUTARO LODGE.

 1812--1813. PAGE

 The First Triumvirate--Political Parties--The Mounted
 Grenadiers--Military School--The Lautaro Lodge--Battle of
 Tucuman--Revolution of 8th October--The Second Triumvirate--Military
 Plans.....43


 CHAPTER IV.

 SAN LORENZO.

 1813--1814.

 Battle of the Cerrito--Meeting of the Constituent
 Assembly--Reforms--Spanish Depredations on the Fluvial Coasts--The
 Action of San Lorenzo--Battle of Salta--Influence of the
 Lodge--Disasters of Vilcapugio and Ayohuma--Argentine Generals--San
 Martin takes Command of the Army of the North--Appointment of the
 Supreme Director.....53


 CHAPTER V.

 UPPER PERU.

 1814.

 The Problem of the Argentine Revolution--The Geography and Ethnology
 of Upper Peru--Outbreak and Progress of the Revolution in Upper
 Peru--Cruelties of the Spaniards--Composition of the Royalist
 Army--Arenales--His campaign from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz--Battle of
 La Florida--Results of these Operations.....64


 CHAPTER VI.

 THE WAR IN THE NORTH.

 1814.

 The Army of Tucuman--Preparations of Pezuela--Plans of San Martin--The
 New Military School--Popular Movement in Salta--Martin Güemes--The
 Gauchos of Salta--Operations of the Royalists--The Fall of Monte
 Video--Retreat of Pezuela--San Martin’s Secret Plan--His Illness--Is
 appointed Governor of Cuyo.....72


 CHAPTER VII.

 THE CHILENO-ARGENTINE REVOLUTION.

 1810--1811.

 Chilian and Argentine Society compared--Martinez Rozas--Popular
 Excitement--Loss of Power by Governor Carrasco--The South of
 Chile--O’Higgins--Deposition of Carrasco--Establishment of a
 Junta--Resemblances of the Two Revolutions--Argentine-Chilian
 Alliance--Freedom of Commerce--Mutiny in Santiago--Installation
 of the First General Congress--Defeat of the Radicals--Rozas at
 Conception.....80


 CHAPTER VIII.

 PROGRESS AND FALL OF THE CHILIAN REVOLUTION.

 1811--1814.

 The Three Carreras--A New Junta--Dissolution of Congress--Armed
 Protest by Rozas--Valdivia--The First Newspaper--Death of Rozas--The
 Chilian Flag--Carrera again Dictator--Abascal--Pareja lands at
 Valdivia--Battle of San Carlos--Siege of Chillán--O’Higgins
 made General-in-Chief--Argentine Auxiliaries--Arrival of
 Gainza--Lastra named Supreme Director--Capture of Talca--Mackenna
 at Membrillar--Defence of Quecheraguas--Mediation of the British
 Commodore--Treaty of Lircay--The Carreras again in Power--Invasion of
 Osorio--Siege of Rancagua--Flight of O’Higgins and Carrera.....91


 CHAPTER IX.

 CUYO.

 1814--1815.

 The District of Cuyo--Policy of San Martin--Reception of Chilian
 Refugees--Trouble with Carrera--Fall of Alvear--Cuyo becomes an
 Independent State--Self-sacrifice of the People of Cuyo--Revenues of
 Cuyo--Characteristics of San Martin--Anecdotes of San Martin--Royalist
 Successes--The Banquet at Mendoza.....108


 CHAPTER X.

 THE SPY SYSTEM OF THE PATRIOTS.

 1815--1816.

 The Restoration of Spanish Domination in Chile--Cruelties of the
 Royalists--Nationalist Reaction--The Plans of Abascal--San Martin
 establishes Secret Agencies in Chile--His Spy System--Preparations
 of the Chilian Patriots--Marcó del Pont--Manuel Rodriguez--Brown
 and the Argentine Privateers--Loss of the _Uribe_--Capture of the
 _Consequencia_--Blockade of Callao--Attack on Guayaquil--Loss of the
 _Trinidad_--Return of the Squadron.....117


 CHAPTER XI.

 THE IDEA OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ANDES.

 1815--1816.

 Opposition to the Plans of San Martin--He receives Permission to
 assume the Offensive--Also Supplies of Guns and War Material--Collects
 the Grenadiers--Balcarce Provisional Director--The Lodge in
 Mendoza--Tomas Guido.....124


 CHAPTER XII.

 THE ARMY OF THE ANDES.

 1816--1817.

 Composition of the Army--Freeing the Slaves--Fray Beltran--The
 Arsenal--Powder Factory--Cloth Factory--Pueyrredón elected
 President--Declaration of Independence--Interview at
 Córdoba--Condarco--Maps of the Passes of the Andes--Concentration of
 the Army--The Function of the 17th January, 1817--The Flag of the Army
 of the Andes.....126


 CHAPTER XIII.

 THE PASSAGE OF THE ANDES.

 1817.

 The Southern Andes--Passes of the Andes--Stratagems of San
 Martin--The Pehuenche Indians--Preparations of Marcó--Preparations at
 Mendoza--Pueyrredón--Detachments flanking the Main Army--Instructions
 from Government--The Sierra of Chacabuco--Occupation of Coquimbo
 by Cabot--Capture of Copiapó--Capture of Talca--March of the
 Main Army--The Affair at Pichueta--Capture of Achupallas--Juan
 Lavalle--Capture of the Guardia Vieja--Putaendo--Defeat of
 Atero--Concentration of the Army at the Foot of Chacabuco--The
 Judgment of Posterity.....132


 CHAPTER XIV.

 CHACABUCO.

 1817.

 The Sierra of Chacabuco--Atero occupies Chacabuco--Maroto appointed
 to command the Royalist Army--Moonlight March of the Patriots--The
 Royalist Vanguard driven in--Advance of the Main Body--Repulse of
 O’Higgins--Soler takes the Position in Flank--Total Rout of the
 Royalists--Barañao--Occupation of Santiago--O’Higgins elected Supreme
 Director--Marcó taken Prisoner--San Bruno shot--Reception of the News
 in Buenos Ayres--San Martin returns to Buenos Ayres.....144


 CHAPTER XV.

 THE FIRST CAMPAIGN IN THE SOUTH OF CHILE.

 1817.

 The Mistakes committed by San Martin--Ordoñez--Las Heras marches to
 the South--Occupation of Concepcion--The Action of Gavilán--O’Higgins
 takes Command--Freyre captures the Forts of Arauco--Treaty with the
 Indians of Arauco--Operations against Talcahuano--French Officers--The
 Assault of the Morro--Las Heras is withdrawn from the captured
 Outwork.....151


 CHAPTER XVI.

 ARGENTINE-CHILENO ALLIANCE.

 1817.

 Origin and Results of this Alliance--San Martin in Buenos
 Ayres--Carrera’s Trip to North America--His Return and Arrest by
 Pueyrredón--The Mission of Condarco to London--Quintana Deputy
 Director--Coinage of Chilian Money--“The Legion of Merit”--Guido
 as Argentine Representative--Irizarri appointed Chilian Agent
 in Europe--Monarchical Ideas--Chilian Jealousy of Argentine
 Influence--The Conspiracy of the Carreras--Two of the Brothers
 imprisoned at Mendoza--Life of San Martin at Santiago--The
 “Tertulias”--Commodore Bowles takes a Secret Agent to Lima.....157


 CHAPTER XVII.

 CANCHA-RAYADA.

 1817--1818. PAGE

 The Political State of Chile--Pezuela appointed Viceroy of Peru--His
 Policy--Osorio lands at Talcahuano with Reinforcements--The
 Patriot Forces--Retreat of O’Higgins--March of Osorio on
 Santiago--Proclamation of Independence--Concentration of the
 Patriot Army--Affair on the Lontué--Retreat of Osorio--The Halt at
 Talca--The Night Attack at Cancha-rayada--Dispersion of the Patriot
 Army--O’Higgins wounded--Masterly Retreat of Las Heras--Panic in the
 Capital--Return of O’Higgins and San Martin--Reorganization of the
 Army--The Camp on the Plain of Maipó.....165


 CHAPTER XVIII.

 MAIPÓ.

 1818.

 Confusion of the Royalists after Cancha-rayada--They march on
 Santiago--The Plain of Maipó--Position of the Patriots--Desertion
 of General Brayer--Battle of Maipó--Results of the Battle--Osorio
 collects a Small Force at Talcahuano--Zapiola takes Command in the
 South--Osorio evacuates Talcahuano.....174


 CHAPTER XIX.

 AFTER MAIPÓ.

 1818.

 Execution at Mendoza of Don Luis and Don Juan José
 Carrera--Constitutional Reform in Chile--Tragic Fate of Dr.
 Rodriguez--The Secret Correspondence of Osorio--San Martin leaves
 for Buenos Ayres--His Arrangements with Pueyrredón--Monarchical
 Illusions--Bolívar--Spain.....181


 CHAPTER XX.

 THE FIRST NAVAL CAMPAIGN ON THE PACIFIC.

 1818.

 The Naval Resources of Chile--Ships purchased by Government--Affair
 of the _Esmeralda_--Blanco Encalada--Another Convoy from Spain--The
 Mutiny of the _Trinidad_--The Chilian Squadron leaves Valparaiso--The
 Capture of the _Maria Isabel_--Capture of Five Transports--The Return
 of the Squadron--Cochrane--The Two Wives.....186


 CHAPTER XXI.

 THE REPASSAGE OF THE ANDES.

 1818--1819.

 The Last Campaign in Chile--Another Conspiracy of
 Carrera’s--Proclamation to the Peruvian People--Correspondence with
 Bolívar--San Martin withdraws a Division to Mendoza--The Tragedy at
 San Luis--Definite Arrangements for the Expedition to Peru--Retirement
 of Pueyrredón.....194


 CHAPTER XXII.

 COCHRANE--CALLAO--VALDIVIA.

 1819--1820.

 The Character of Cochrane--He sails for Callao--The Spanish
 Squadron--The First Attack on Callao--Loss of a Fireship--Capture
 of the _Montezuma_--Return to Valparaiso--Manufacture of
 War Rockets--Second Attack on Callao--Inefficiency of the
 Rockets--Guise captures Pisco--Death of Colonel Charles--Capture
 of Transports at Guayaquil--Escape of the _Prueba_--Cochrane’s
 New Scheme--Valdivia--Capture of the _Potrillo_--Reinforcements
 at Talcahuano--Return to Valdivia--Capture of the Southern
 Forts--Evacuation of the Northern Forts--Wreck of the
 _Intrepido_--Surrender of the City--Repulse at Chiloe--Return.....200


 CHAPTER XXIII.

 THE DISOBEDIENCE OF SAN MARTIN.

 1819--1820.

 The Perplexities of San Martin--Popular Sentiment in Spain--The
 Expedition assembling at Cadiz--Discontent among the Troops--O’Donnell
 crushes the Conspiracy--San Martin summoned to Buenos Ayres--His
 Proposal to O’Higgins and Cochrane--The Gaucho Chieftains--San
 Martin again ordered to Buenos Ayres--The Plans of Government--The
 Duc de Luca--Uprising of the Argentine People--San Martin still
 hesitates--Mutiny of the Army of the North--San Martin sends in his
 Resignation--Critique on his Behaviour.....210


 CHAPTER XXIV.

 THE CONVENTION OF RANCAGUA.

 1820.

 The Spanish Revolution of 1820--Return of San Martin to Chile--Mutiny
 of the Detachment at San Juan--The Remnant of the Division crosses the
 Andes to Chile--Rout of Cepeda--The Reign of Anarchy in the United
 Provinces--The Convention of Officers at Rancagua--The Disobedience
 of San Martin endorsed by the Army--Cochrane aspires to the
 Command-in-Chief--San Martin appointed Generalissimo--The Presence of
 the Army of the Andes a Danger to Chile.....216


 CHAPTER XXV.

 PERU.

 1820.

 The Colonial Era in Peru--Lima--The Peruvian People--Viceroy
 Abascal--The Native Army--Pezuela--La Serna--Revolutionary
 Outbreaks--The Insurrection of Cuzco--Secret
 Societies--Correspondence with San Martin--Dissolution of the Native
 Army--Olañeta--Camba--Valdés--The Royalist Forces.....223


 CHAPTER XXVI.

 THE EXPEDITION TO PERU.

 1820.

 San Martin’s Address to the Argentine People--Composition of
 the Expedition--Sailing of the Expedition--Disembarkation at
 Pisco--Occupation of Pisco by Las Heras--Proclamation by San
 Martin--Pezuela proposes Peace--The Commissioners meet at
 Miraflores--Arrange an Armistice--The Terms proposed--Negotiations
 broken off--Expedition of Arenales to the Highlands--Re-embarkation of
 the Army.....230


 CHAPTER XXVII.

 THE OPENING OF THE CAMPAIGN.

 1820--1821.

 The Coming Campaigns--The Pageant at Callao--Expedition from
 Ancon--Guayaquil--Revolution of Guayaquil--The _Esmeralda_
 Frigate cut out by Cochrane--The Expedition lands at
 Huacho--Huara--Cavalry Skirmish at Chancay--The Numancia Battalion
 joins the Patriots--Discontent in Peru--The Independence of
 Trujillo--Torre-Tagle--Junction with Arenales--The Guerillas--The
 Provisional Regulation.....235


 CHAPTER XXVIII.

 THE FIRST CAMPAIGN IN THE HIGHLANDS.

 1820--1821.

 The Natural Division of Peru--The Highlands of Peru--The Flying Column
 under Arenales--Defeat of Quimper--The Invasion of the Highlands--The
 Battle of Pasco--Retreat of Aldao from Ica--Massacres of Indians by
 Ricafort--The Sack of Cangallo and Huancayo--Aldao establishes himself
 at Huancayo--Arenales rejoins San Martin.....245


 CHAPTER XXIX.

 THE ARMISTICE OF PUNCHAUCA.

 1821.

 Prospects of the Royalists--Spanish Councils of War--Deposition
 of Pezuela--Proposals of Peace--The Conference at Retes--State of
 the Two Armies--The Royal Commissioner--The Patriot Army moves to
 Ancon--Proclamation from King Ferdinand--Effect in Columbia--Effect
 in Mexico--Course of the Revolution in Mexico--Iturbide--The “Plan
 de Iguala”--Success of the Plan--Fate of Iturbide--The Conference
 of Punchauca--Armistice of Punchauca--Interview between San Martin
 and La Serna--Mistaken Policy of San Martin--The Conference
 renewed at Miraflores--Prolongation of the Armistice--Captain
 Basil Hall--Canterac moves to the Highlands--Return of the Patriot
 Army to Huacho--La Serna evacuates Lima--Occupation of Lima by the
 Patriots--Proclamation and Inactivity of San Martin.....249


 CHAPTER XXX.

 THE SECOND CAMPAIGN IN THE HIGHLANDS.

 1821.

 Aldao and his Indian Levies--Gamarra takes Command--Is driven out by
 Ricafort--Ricafort returns to Lima--Arenales marches from Huara--The
 Successes of Arenales cut short by the Armistice--Character of
 Arenales--His Expostulations against the Mistaken Policy of San Martin
 being unheeded he rejoins him at Lima--Repulse of La Serna by the
 Mountaineers of Jauja.....261


 CHAPTER XXXI.

 THE EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTH.

 1821.

 Conspiracy to capture Callao--Miller sent South with a small
 Force--Lands at Pisco--Insurrection at Cuzco--Cochrane applies
 to Chile for Aid--Ravages of Fever at Chincha--Cochrane sails
 for Arica--Capture of Arica--Evacuation of Tacna--Miller marches
 Inland--Capture of Mirave--Occupation of Moquegua--Miller retreats to
 Tacna and to Arica--Miller establishes himself at Ica--Loss of the
 _San Martin_.....265


 CHAPTER XXXII.

 PERU INDEPENDENT.

 1821.

 The Continental Campaign--Lack of National Spirit in Peru--Convention
 of Notables at Lima--Declaration of Independence--Capture of Ships
 by Cochrane at Callao--Attempted Surprise by Las Heras--Overtures
 of Cochrane to La Mar--San Martin appoints himself “Protector
 of Peru”--Decree against the Spaniards--Banishment of the
 Archbishop--Tragic Fate of José Miguel Carrera.....270


 CHAPTER XXXIII.

 THE PROTECTORATE OF PERU.

 1821--1822.

 The Captain of the Army of the Andes--Royalist Expedition for the
 Relief of Callao--The Defile of Espiritu Santo--Outburst of Enthusiasm
 in Lima--Manœuvres in Front of Lima--Retreat of Canterac--Feeble
 Pursuit of the Royalists--Capitulation of Callao--Reforms of
 San Martin--The Order of the Sun--Deterioration in the Spirit
 of the Army--Subsidy from the City of Lima--Conspiracy in the
 Army--Monarchical Ideas of San Martin--Monteagudo and the “Patriotic
 Society of Lima”--Mission of Garcia del Rio to Europe.....277


 CHAPTER XXXIV.

 SAN MARTIN AND COCHRANE.

 1821--1822.

 Mutual Invectives of Two Heroes--San Martin fails to fulfil
 his Promises to the Fleet--A Stormy Interview--Cochrane seizes
 Treasure--Cochrane pays his Men with Government Funds--And sails
 for Guayaquil--Surrender of Two Spanish Frigates to Peruvian
 Agents--Cochrane attempts to seize the _Venganza_--Returns to Callao
 and Captures the _Montezuma_--Returns to Chile and abandons the
 Pacific--The New Peruvian Navy.....287


 CHAPTER XXXV.

 THE DISASTER AT ICA.

 1821--1822.

 Royalist Headquarters established at Cuzco--Expedition under Loriga
 against Pasco--Defeat of Otero--Burning of Cangallo--San Martin
 sends a Contingent to the Assistance of Bolívar--And Summons the
 First Peruvian Congress--Torre-Tagle Deputy-Protector--Expedition
 to Ica--Rout of the Patriots by Canterac--Barbarous Treatment of
 Spaniards by Monteagudo.....292


 CHAPTER XXXVI.

 THE REVOLUTIONS IN QUITO AND VENEZUELA.

 1809--1812.

 The Northern Zone of South America--The First Outbreak
 at Quito--The Revolution at Caracas--Commencement of the
 Reaction--SIMON BOLÍVAR--His Appearance and Character--His
 Education--His First Visit to Europe--His Second Visit to
 Europe--His Life at Caracas--Reception of the Envoys by the British
 Government--Bolívar meets Miranda in London--Brings him back with
 him to Venezuela--Action of the Regency of Cadiz--The Patriot
 Junta sends an Army against Coro--Reception of Miranda--His Plan
 for a Constitution--First Congress of Venezuela--Declaration of
 Independence--Revolt of the Canarians--Revolt at Valencia--Capture
 of Valencia by Miranda--Adoption of a Federal Constitution--General
 Discontent--Carora sacked by Monteverde--The Royalists of
 Guayana--Destruction of the Patriot Flotilla--The Great
 Earthquake--San Carlos burned by Monteverde--Miranda is appointed
 Dictator--Successes of the Royalists--Monteverde is repulsed in
 an Attack on the Entrenched Camp at Victoria--Insurrection of the
 Slaves--Loss of Puerto-Cabello--Miranda treats for Peace--The
 Capitulation--Miranda is imprisoned by his Officers--Cruelties of
 Monteverde--Death of Miranda.....296


 CHAPTER XXXVII.

 THE REVOLUTIONS IN NEW GRANADA AND QUITO.

 1809--1813.

 Excitement in New Granada--Expedition against Quito--Reinstallation
 of the late Captain-General of Quito--Massacres by the
 Royalist Soldiery--Revolution at Cartagena--Outbreak on the
 Plains of Casanare--A Junta established at Pamplona--And at
 Socorro--Pacific Revolution at Bogotá--Establishment of a
 Junta--Social Anarchy--Proposals to summon a Congress--The State
 of Cundinamarca--Nariño appointed Dictator--Congress adopts the
 Federal System of Government and retires to Ibague--The Province
 of Cartagena declares itself an Independent State--Preparations
 of the Royalists--Torices named Dictator of Cartagena--Operations
 against Santa Marta--Arrival of a New Viceroy--The First Victory
 of the Patriots--Another Insurrection in Quito--Successes of
 Montufar and Macaulay--Treachery of the Pastusos--La Vendée of
 the Revolution--Installation of a Junta at Quito--Operations in
 the South--Quito declares itself an Independent State--Murder
 of Ruiz de Castillo--Victory of the Royalists at Mocha--Capture
 of Quito--Massacres at Popayán--The Policy of Nariño--The
 Congress at Leiva--Dr. Camilo Torres named President--Civil
 War--Arrival of another Viceroy--Cundinamarca and Antioquia
 declare themselves Independent States--Congress places Nariño
 in Command of the Army--Successes of Nariño--His Passage of the
 River Juanambú--Dispersion of his Army--He is sent in Irons to
 Spain--Operations of Bolívar against Santa Marta--Defeat of an
 Expedition from Cartagena--Bolívar conceives the Idea of Reconquering
 Venezuela--He crosses the Cordillera--His Memorial to the People of
 New Granada--President Torres adopts his Idea.....312


 CHAPTER XXXVIII.

 THE RECONQUEST OF VENEZUELA.

 1813.

 “Pacification” by Monteverde--The Signal for Revolt--Triste--The
 Expedition to the Mainland--Cruelties of Zuazola--Defeat of the
 Royalists at Maturin--The Island of Margarita--Arismendi--Siege
 of Cumaná--Cajigal retreats to Guayana--Mariño named Dictator
 of the Eastern Provinces--The Expedition of Briceño--Defeat of
 Correa by Castillo--Bolívar’s Commission from the Congress of
 Granada--Capture of Mérida and Trujillo--Bolívar fulminates a Decree
 of Extermination against all Royalists--Marti Defeated by Rivas--Rout
 of Izquierdo--Valencia and Caracas evacuated by Royalists--The Genius
 of Bolívar--His Triumphant Entry into Caracas--He proclaims Himself
 Dictator--Lays Siege to Puerto Cabello--The Reaction--Second Decree
 of Bolívar--Arrival of Reinforcements at Puerto Cabello--Death
 of Girardot--Victory of Las Trincheras--Honours to Bolívar at
 Caracas--The Order of the “Liberators”--Boves, Morales, and
 Yañez--They rouse the Llaneros--Campo-Elias--Defeat of Boves
 at Mosquitero--Massacre of Royalists at Calabozo--Repulse of
 Patriots at Barquisimeto--Battle of Araure--Effects of the Dual
 Dictatorship--Reappearance of Boves on the Scene--The Patriots are
 driven from the Plains--General Revulsion of Feeling.....324


 CHAPTER XXXIX.

 THE SECOND FALL OF VENEZUELA.

 1814.

 Bolívar discloses a New Phase of his Character--The Assembly of
 Caracas--His Treaty with Mariño--Defeat and Death of Yañez--Action
 at La Puerta--Repulse of Morales at Victoria--Successes of
 Rivas--The Massacres of Caracas and La Guayra--Preparations of
 Bolívar--His Defence of the Entrenchments of San Mateo--Heroism of
 Recaurte--Defence of Caracas by Rivas--Of Valencia by Urdaneta--Action
 at Boca Chica--Mariño defeated at San Carlos--First Battle at
 Carabobo--Rout of the Patriots at La Puerta--Capitulation of
 Valencia--D’Eluyar raises the Siege of Puerto-Cabello--Bolívar
 evacuates Caracas--Entrenches Himself at Aragua--Retreats to
 Barcelona--Capture of Aragua by Morales--Bolívar is accused of
 Treachery--Retires to Curaçoa--Repulse of Morales at Maturin--Massacre
 at Cumaná--Rout of the Patriots at Urica--Death of Boves--Capture
 of Maturin by Morales--Death of Rivas--The Last Patriot Army under
 Urdaneta seeks Refuge in New Granada.....343


 CHAPTER XL.

 THE DISSOLUTION OF NEW GRANADA.

 1815--1817.

 The Fall of Constitutional Government in Spain--Jealousy of Native
 Troops--Bolívar takes Command of the Army of New Granada--Capture of
 Bogotá--Fresh Honours to Bolívar--Bolívar makes War on Cartagena--And
 retires to Jamaica--His Memorials--Morillo arrives from Spain with a
 Powerful Squadron, and takes Command of the Royalists--Miyares secures
 the Isthmus of Panamá--Morillo’s Instructions--Reduction of the Island
 of Margarita--Loss of the _San Pedro_--Morillo occupies Caracas--And
 sails thence for Cartagena--Cartagena--The Siege of Cartagena--The
 Fortress and City are evacuated by the Patriots--Repulse of Calzada
 from the Plains of Casanare--Defeat of the Patriots at Balaga--Further
 Successes of Calzada--Madrid is defeated by Sámano in the South--Fresh
 Disturbances in Venezuela--Offers of Amnesty--Establishment
 of Military Rule at Bogotá--Executions--Morillo returns to
 Venezuela--Cruelties of Sámano--Death of La Pola--Sámano is appointed
 Viceroy by Morillo.....353


 CHAPTER XLI.

 THE THIRD WAR IN VENEZUELA.

 1815--1817.

 Position of Affairs in Venezuela--The Fresh Outbreak on the Island
 of Margarita--Paez--His First Action--Revulsion of Opinion among
 the Llaneros--The Army of the Apure--Successes of Cedeño--Attempt
 to assassinate Bolívar--Bolívar goes to Haití--The Expedition from
 Cayos--The Landing at Margarita--Bolívar is named Supreme Chief--The
 Expedition proceeds to Carúpano--Bolívar proceeds to Ocumare--Defeat
 of Bolívar by Morales--Bolívar’s Flight from Ocumare--Successes of
 MacGregor--The Army of the Centre--Bolívar returns to Haiti--Defeat of
 Lopez by MacGregor--Piar defeats Morales at Juncal--Paez lays Siege to
 San Fernando--The Spaniards evacuate the Island of Margarita--Bolívar
 leaves Haití with a Second Expedition--Piar marches on Guayana--Forces
 the Passage of the Cauca--Occupies the Missions of Coroní--Bolívar
 again defeated--And leaves for Guayana--Capture of Barcelona by
 the Royalists--The True Base of Operations--Advance of La Torre
 from New Granada--Is totally defeated by Paez--And descends the
 River to Angostura--Is again defeated by Piar at San Felix--Mariño
 summons a Congress--Morillo puts an End to the Farce--Brion forces
 his Way up the Orinoco--Flight of La Torre--Conspiracy of Piar and
 Mariño--Execution of Piar--Banishment of Mariño.....365


 CHAPTER XLII.

 THE REORGANIZATION OF VENEZUELA.

 1817--1819.

 The Expedition of Morillo and Canterac against the Island
 of Margarita--The Action at Matasiete--The Massacre at Juan
 Griego--Morillo returns to Caracas--Position of Patriots and of
 Royalists--The Civil Administration of Bolívar--Rout of Saraza
 at Hogaza--The Horse Marines--Bolívar surprises Morillo at
 Calabozo--Retreat of the Royalists to Sombrero--Defeat of Bolívar
 at La Puerta--Capture of San Fernando by Paez--Defeat of Paez at
 Cojedes--Defeat of Cedeño by Morales--And of Morales by Paez--Mariño
 takes Cumaná, and refuses Allegiance to the Liberator--Bolívar
 raises a New Army, and is reconciled to Mariño--Santander sent
 to Casanare--Bolívar’s Idea of a Constitution--The Congress
 of Angostura--Bolívar is named President of Venezuela--The
 Foreign Auxiliaries--Luis Mendez--Colonel Hippisley--Colonel
 Wilson--Campbell--Gilmour--General English--Colonel Elsom--General
 MacGregor--General Devereux--Colonel Montilla--Morillo opens the
 Campaign--Tactics of Paez--Morillo reoccupies San Fernando--The Affair
 of “Las Queseras del Medio”--Bolívar’s New Idea.....380


 CHAPTER XLIII.

 BOYACA--COLUMBIA--CARABOBO.

 1819--1822.

 Bolívar joins Santander--The Passage of the Cordillera--The
 Expedition halts in the Valley of Sagamoso--Skilful Manœuvres of
 Bolívar--He captures the City of Tunja--Battle of Boyacá--Bolívar
 occupies Bogotá--His Activity and the Honours paid Him--Founds the
 Republic of Columbia--Cruelty of Santander--Bolívar returns to
 Angostura--Changes during his Absence--Decrees of Congress--Bolívar
 named Provisional President of Columbia--Military Operations on
 the North Coast--Arrival of the Irish Legion at Margarita--Paez
 retakes San Fernando--The Armistice of Trujillo--Morillo returns to
 Spain--Revolution in Maracaibo--Operations of Montilla--Bolívar again
 takes the Field--Battle of Carabobo--Bolívar for the Second Time
 enters Caracas in Triumph--The Constituent Congress--Bolívar is named
 President--Capitulation of Cartagena--The Provinces of the Isthmus
 declare their Independence--Fall of Chagres and Portobello--Bolívar
 leaves for the South--Activity of Morales--He capitulates--Puerto
 Cabello is taken by Paez.....394


 CHAPTER XLIV.

 THE WAR IN QUITO.

 1821--1822.

 Operations in the South of Columbia--Sucre--He leads an Expedition to
 Guayaquil--His Victory at Yahuachí--His Defeat at Ambato--Arrival of
 Murgeón from Spain--Bolívar marches on Quito with a Fresh Army--Battle
 of Bomboná--He retreats to Patia--San Martin sends a Contingent to
 aid Sucre--Manœuvres of the Opposing Armies--The Cavalry Affair at
 Rio Bamba--Battle of Pichincha--Surrender of Quito--Capitulation of
 Garcia and of the Pastusos--Prætorianism--Bolívar enters Quito in
 Triumph.....406


 CHAPTER XLV.

 GUAYAQUIL.

 1822.

 The Meeting and Merging of Two Revolutions--The Protectorate of
 Guayaquil--Defeat of the Provincial Army at Ambato--Arrival of
 Sucre--The Revolt of Puerto-Viejo--Arrival of Salazar--La Mar takes
 Command of the Provincial Forces--The Question of Guayaquil.....414


 CHAPTER XLVI.

 THE INTERVIEW AT GUAYAQUIL.

 1822.

 The Influence of Individuals--The Illusions of San Martin--Bolívar
 becomes jealous of Argentine Influence--The Entry of Bolívar into
 Guayaquil--He annexes the Province to Columbia--The Arrival of San
 Martin--The Conference--The Banquet--The Ball--Departure of San
 Martin--Result of the Conference--Remarkable Letter from San Martin to
 Bolívar.....418


 CHAPTER XLVII.

 THE ABDICATION OF SAN MARTIN.

 1822.

 Disturbances in Lima--Banishment of Monteagudo--Return of San
 Martin--The First Congress of Peru--The Resignation of San
 Martin--Honours decreed to him by Congress--He leaves Peru--His
 Illness in Chile--He retires to Mendoza.....426


 CHAPTER XLVIII.

 THE FIRST NATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF PERU.

 1822--1823.

 The State of Peru--Appointment of a Junta--Bolívar offers
 Assistance, which is declined--The Plan of Campaign--The Army of
 the South--Dilatory Movements of Alvarado--The Advance of the
 Royalists--Battle of Torata--The Rout of Moquegua--Activity of
 Miller--Withdrawal of the Columbian Contingent--Arenales leaves
 Peru--Riva-Agüero named President--Preparations for a Fresh
 Campaign--English Loan--Despatch of a Peruvian Army to the South
 under Santa Cruz--Capture of Lima by Canterac--Sucre brings another
 Columbian Contingent to Peru--Bolívar is named Generalissimo--Canterac
 returns to the Highlands--Plans of Sucre--Manœuvres of Santa
 Cruz--He captures La Paz--Gamarra occupies Oruro--Retreat of
 Santa Cruz--Indecisive Action at Zepita--Dispersion of the
 Patriot Army--Orderly Retreat of Sucre--Appeals to San Martin
 for Help--Reconstruction of Congress--Arrival of Bolívar--His
 Reception--His Appearance--He is Master of Peru.....431


 CHAPTER XLIX.

 JUNIN--AYACUCHO.

 1823--1824.

 The Day-Dreams of Bolívar--Rivadavia--Treaty between Columbia and
 Buenos Ayres--Overtures from Spain to Buenos Ayres--The Mission of
 Alzaga to the West and North--Treatment of the Argentine Contingent
 by Peru--Mutiny of the Garrison of Callao--Hoisting the Flag of
 Spain--Falucho--Dissolution of the Army of the Andes--Monet occupies
 Lima and Callao--Treachery of Torre-Tagle--Ships burned by Guise in
 Harbour--Bolívar named Dictator--Execution of Argentine Officers by
 Monet--Illness of Bolívar--His Preparations--Olañeta rebels against
 the Viceroy--Bolívar marches on Jauja--Advance of Canterac--Cavalry
 Action at Junin--Rapid Retreat of Canterac--Bolívar returns to
 Lima--Movement against him in the Congress of Columbia--The
 Spanish Naval Squadron--Manœuvres of Sucre--Advance of Royalists
 from Cuzco--Sucre concentrates his Forces--The Royalists gain his
 Rear--Victory or Death--Victory of Ayacucho.....443


 CHAPTER L.

 APOGEE, DECLINE, AND FALL OF BOLIVAR.

 1824--1830.

 Results of the Victory of Ayacucho--The Twofold Nature of the
 Revolution--Assassination of Monteagudo--Bolívar summons a Congress
 at Panama--His Theatrical Proceedings--Upper Peru becomes an
 Independent State--Tendency of the Policy of Bolívar--He leaves
 Lima for Potosí--The Banquet at Arequipa--Bolívar meets Argentine
 Envoys at Potosí--His Proposals to them--Opinions of the Press
 of Buenos Ayres--He draws up a Constitution for Bolivia--Attempt
 to assassinate Bolívar at Lima--Adoption of a New Constitution
 by Peru--The Grand Confederation of the Andes--The Nature of the
 Proposed Monocracy--Revolution in Venezuela--Bolívar Returns to
 Columbia--Revolutions in Peru and Bolívia--The Convention of
 Ocaña--Bolívar is again named Dictator of New Granada--Conspiracy
 against him at Bogotá--He declares War against Peru--His Monarchical
 Proposals--Rebellion at Antioquia--Venezuela becomes an Independent
 State--The Constituent Congress at Bogotá--Bolívar resigns--Mosquera
 is elected President of New Granada--Pension assigned to
 Bolívar.....458


 EPILOGUE.

 The Verdict of Posterity--The Tragedy of Emancipation--San Martin goes
 to Europe--His Return to Buenos Ayres--Bolívar in Retirement--Anarchy
 in New Granada--Establishment of the Republic of Ecuador--Death of
 Bolívar--His Last Words--Life of San Martin in Exile--His Death--His
 Remains are brought back to Buenos Ayres--The Work of the Two
 Liberators compared--The Nature of True Greatness.....470


 TRANSLATOR’S APPENDIX.

 I.--The Spanish Colonial System.....477 II.--Personal Appearance
 of San Martin.....478 III.--The Rocket-Tubes at Callao.....478
 IV.--Description of a Suspension Bridge.....478 V.--The Ideas of San
 Martin.....479 VI.--A Venezuelan Picture presented to the City of New
 York.....480 VII.--The Battle of Carabobo.....481


 BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES.

 Alvarado--Arenales--Brown--Cochrane--Güemes--Las
 Heras--Lavalle--Miller--Necochea--O’Higgins--Paez.....484



PROLOGUE.


The object of this book is to give a biography of GENERAL JOSÉ DE SAN
MARTIN, combining therewith the history of the emancipation of South
America. It is a necessary complement to the HISTORY OF BELGRANO,
written thirty years ago. These two histories display the Argentine
Revolution in its two principal aspects; one relates the development of
a nation, the other the effect of this development upon the emancipation
of a continent.

This history is based, for the most part, upon documents hitherto
unpublished, some of which are truly posthumous revelations which throw
new light upon mysterious or little known events, or correct errors
resulting from defective information.

I believe I have consulted all the books, pamphlets, newspapers and
fly-sheets which have ever been printed concerning San Martin, and of
manuscripts I have a collection of at least 10,000 documents, bound in
73 thick volumes, which it is my purpose to deposit in the National
Library.

The most important of these sources of information has been the archive
of General San Martin himself, which was placed at my disposal by his
son-in-law, the late Don Mariano Balcarce. I have also consulted the
archives of this city from the year 1812 to the year 1824, without
which it would have been impossible to compile a complete history. The
archives of the Director Pueyrredón, which were given to me by his son,
have also been of great service to me, as also those of General
O’Higgins, Don Tomás Godoy Cruz, General Las Heras, and others. I have
also acquired much verbal information from conversations held with many
of the contemporaries of San Martin, and with some of his companions in
arms.

In addition to consulting all available maps and plans relating to the
campaigns of San Martin, I have inspected in person the routes followed
by the army of the Andes and have made sketches myself of the scene of
memorable events when plans were not forthcoming.

       *       *       *       *       *

This book will not be the historical monument which posterity will some
day consecrate to the immortal memory of San Martin, but those who do at
some future date erect it, will herein find abundant materials, stones
finished or but roughly cut, with which solidly to lay out the
foundations.

BARTOLOMÉ MITRE.

BUENOS AYRES, 1887.

     Here follows, on 25 pages, a list of unpublished manuscripts
     consulted in the compilation of this work, which manuscripts will
     be deposited in the National Library of Buenos Ayres.

WILLIAM PILLING.



THE EMANCIPATION OF SOUTH AMERICA.



CHAPTER I.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.


THE ARGUMENT OF THE BOOK.

Three great names stand forth conspicuous in the annals of America,
those of WASHINGTON, BOLÍVAR, SAN MARTIN. Of Washington, the great
leader of the Democracy of the North; of Bolívar and of San Martin, who
were the emancipators of the southern half of the continent. The story
of the life-work of the latter of these two is the Argument of this
book.

The scene of action passes on a vast theatre, a territory extending for
more than fifty degrees of latitude, from Cape Horn to the Tropic of
Cancer, and occupies twenty years of strife. The starting-point of this
history is the Argentine revolution; it follows the course of this
revolution as it spreads over the continent, and its object is to
explain the laws which governed the establishment of a family of new
Republics, and the fundamental principles from which they sprang.

This argument is dual and complex, for it treats both of political
revolution and of social evolution. It shows how the Argentine
revolution became a propaganda to the world outside, of the principles
upon which it was based, and how under these auspices independent and
sovereign nations sprang into existence, with forms and tendencies in
the same likeness and similitude. It shows the proclamation of a new
international law, which only permits of alliance against an enemy in
the name of a common destiny, and forbids conquests and annexations. It
shows also the failure of the attempt in Columbia to unite the
emancipated colonies artificially into a monocracy in opposition to
natural law and to the new idea of the rights of man inaugurated by the
Argentine revolution.

The two hegemonies, the Argentine and the Columbian, unite to set the
seal upon the emancipation of South America. San Martin and Bolívar
cross the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific by different
routes, giving liberty to enslaved peoples, founding new nations, and
meeting as together they enclose the colonial system in its last
entrenchments, they bring the two opposing systems face to face, the
shock resulting in the triumph of the superior principle.

Thus considered, the history of the emancipation of South America
presents a homogeneous character, with unity of action and with one
dominant idea, which in the midst of accidental deviations reveals the
existence of a law giving one accordant significance to facts
accomplished.

The study of the theatre of the war of independence shows that the scene
passes in two distinct revolutionary areas--one at the south,
comprehending the United Provinces of the River Plate, Chile, and Upper
Peru; the other, at the north, comprehending Venezuela, New Granada, and
Quito. The strife and the triumph proceed simultaneously in each area
until the two revolutions, like to two masses obeying a reciprocal
attraction, converge towards the centre. This plan, drawn up and carried
out by the two great Liberators, emancipates South America by the
combined military action of the revolted colonies, which action has at
once the ideal unity of a poem and the precision of a machine.

The unity of this action is clearly displayed in the general lines of
the life of San Martin, and gives to his historic figure an importance
far transcending both his deeds and his designs. He was born in an
obscure American town, which disappeared as he commenced to figure upon
the scene; thus America in its entirety became his country. He grew up
as a soldier in the Old World, fighting by sea and on land in company
with the first soldiers of the age, and so prepared himself for his
warlike mission, unwitting of his destiny. In the New World he commenced
his career by establishing tactics and discipline as his base of
operations, and from their combination produced his machine of war. He
consolidated the independence of the United Provinces of the River Plate
as the point from which he might start for the conquest of South
America. In command of the army of the North, his name is associated
with the revolution of Upper Peru; as he passed the Andes in prosecution
of his own plan, he became identified with the revolution of Chile, and
after consolidating the independence of this country he initiated the
first international alliance in America. He secured the command of the
Pacific, without which the independence of America was at that time
impossible, and gave liberty to Lower Peru. He then carried the
revolutionary standard of the allies to the foot of Pichincha, where he
met the liberator of Columbia. Under the equator, which divides the two
theatres of the war, he clasped hands with Bolívar. Thus ended his grand
campaign; at the apogee of his power he disappeared from the scene,
knowing that his mission was fulfilled, that his strength was exhausted,
and condemned himself to exile, faithful to the ruling maxim of his
life, _Serás lo que debes ser; y sinó, no serás nada_.[1]

From exile he looked upon the results of his life-work: the definitive
political organization of South America in accordance with geographical
divisions, the foundation of a new constellation of independent States
in obedience to natural laws as by him instinctively foreseen. He saw
without envy that Bolívar, with whom he shared the glory of the
redemption of a new world, wore the crown of the final triumph, though
he knew that both as a politician and as a soldier he was his superior.
Then the wild dream of Bolívar that he could found an empire of
dependent republics under the auspices of Columbia faded away, and gave
place to the Argentine plan of independent republics heralded by San
Martin.


SYNOPSIS OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

It has been said that posterity will look upon the emancipation of South
America as the most important political phenomenon of the nineteenth
century, both in itself and from the probable extent of its future
consequences. The immediate result was to bring into existence a new
group of independent nations, founded on democratic principles, in open
opposition to the right of conquest and to the dogmas of monarchy and
absolutism which yet prevailed in the Old World. These new nations were
organized on the principle of equality, and were emancipated from
privilege, and thus offered an entirely fresh field for experiment in
the development of the physical and moral faculties of man. This
movement thus constitutes one of the most drastic changes ever effected
in the condition of the human race.

The first throes of this revolution were felt at the two extremities and
in the centre of South America in the year 1809. In 1810 all the Spanish
American colonies rose up in rebellion as by one innate impulse, and
proclaimed the principle of self-government. Six years later all, save
one, of these insurrections were quelled.

The United Provinces of the River Plate alone maintained their position,
and after declaring their own independence they gave to the conquered
colonies the signal for the great and final struggle by making common
cause with them.

In 1817 the Argentine revolution drew up a plan for the emancipation of
the continent, took the offensive, crossed the Andes, and liberated
Chile; in union with Chile obtained command of the Pacific, liberated
Peru and carried her arms to the equator in aid of the revolution of
Columbia. This vigorous impulse was felt in the extreme north of this
southern continent, which in its turn defeated and expelled the
champions of the old system, went through a similar evolution, and
crossed the Andes to the point where the two forces united. The
Highlands of Peru became the scene of the final struggle. Then the
Spanish American colonies were free by their own strength, and from the
chaos sprang up a new world.

During the progress of these events, the United States of the North, the
pioneers of the Republican era, recognised the independence of the new
republics (1822), as “an expression of the simple truth,” and declared--

“The peoples of South America have a right to break the chains which
bind them to their mother country, to assume the rank of nations among
the sovereign nations of the world, and to establish institutions in
accordance with natural laws dictated by God himself.”

As a consequence of this recognition the United States, in the year
1823, promulgated the famous Monroe Doctrine which, in opposition to the
Bull of Alexander VI., established a new principle of international law
under the formula--“America for the Americans.”

Free England, who at first looked favourably upon the revolution, began,
in 1818, to lean towards Spain and the Holy Alliance, advocating an
arrangement on the basis of the “commercial freedom” of the colonies.
The diplomatists of Washington interfered in favour of their complete
emancipation, and Lafayette, in support of this idea, declared to the
Government of France:--

“Any opposition which may be made to the independence of the New World
may cause suffering but will not imperil the idea.”

Thus, much before the final triumph, the emancipation of the new
continent was accepted as an accomplished fact, and the attitude of the
United States supported by England turned the scales of diplomacy in its
favour in 1823. When at the Congress of Verona the party of reaction
proposed a contrary policy, Canning, Prime Minister of Great Britain,
wrote to Grenville those memorable words which re-echoed through two
hemispheres:--

“The battle has been fierce, but it is won. The nail is clenched;
Spanish America is free. _Novus sæclorum nascitur ordo!_”

The battle of Ayacucho was the response to these words, and Canning
could then exclaim:--

“I have called a new world into existence to redress the balance of the
old.”


THE ACTION OF AMERICA UPON EUROPE.

The land discovered by Christopher Columbus, which completed the
physical world, was destined to re-establish its general equilibrium at
the moment the base thereof was shaken.

Before the end of the fifteenth century Europe had lost its moral and
political equilibrium. After the invasion of the barbarians, which
imbued it with a new principle of life without destroying the germ of
decay left by the fall of the Roman Empire, its civilization was again
on the point of collapse. Not one homogeneous nation there existed, her
productive energy was exhausted, liberty was but a latent hope,
privilege was the dominant law, politics were founded on the principles
of Macchiavelli, all healthy evolution in the path of progress was
impossible. A fresh invasion from the East advanced under the standard
of the Crescent, and the despotism of Mussulman fanaticism was the last
hope of the people. Europe, shut in between the Danube and the Pillars
of Hercules, seemed lost; the discovery of a new world alone could save
her.

This discovery restored harmony to the discordant elements, gave new
life to Christianity, and saved the liberties of mankind. The
Reformation, which came immediately afterwards, engrafted upon the
consciences of men the germ of the democratic principles of the Bible,
which, transplanted to a new world, later on regenerated the effete
civilization brought from Europe, and spread it as a vital principle of
politics all the world over.

The popular belief that the fountain of eternal youth was to be found on
the new continent discovered by Columbus, was no vain imagination. The
decrepit civilization of the Old World drew fresh youth and strength
from the virgin soil of America, the genius of progress therein latent
developed rapidly in the genial air. The opening of this new and vast
field to human activity, was truly a renovation of social order in
accordance with natural law, and resulted in the organization of a
democracy based upon labour. To this end it was only necessary that the
European, leaving his old traditions behind him, should, on a vacant
continent, work out his own destiny under the guidance of healthy
instinct.


THE COLONIZATION OF SPANISH AMERICA.

In the repartition of the new continent the worst lot fell to the
southern half. Spain and Portugal carried their feudal absolutism to
their colonies, but they could not plant there their systems of
privilege, of aristocracy, or of social inequality. The good and the bad
seed alike were modified by cultivation in a new soil, the natural
product being democracy. The mode of colonization contributed to this
result. The most trustworthy annals of the Indies recognise the fact
that the conquest was achieved at the expense of the conquerors, without
any drafts on the royal treasury. Hence arose that spirit of
self-reliance which they bequeathed to their descendants. A rebel world
grew up under the auspices of absolutism. The colonial constitution,
which inculcated a personal despotism and excluded the idea of a common
country, contributed fatally to this result. Spanish America was looked
upon as the personal property of the Spanish monarch, in virtue of the
Bull of Alexander VI. Thus the colony did not form a part of the nation,
and was united to her only by allegiance to a common sovereign. When the
monarch disappeared, his power lapsed to his vassals; the logical and
legal result being the separation of the colonies from the mother
country.

The government of the colonies was entrusted to the Council of the
Indies, represented politically by a Viceroy, and in law by the
Audiencia, the bounds of whose authority were ill-defined. In municipal
affairs, the Cabildos, derived from the free communities of the mother
country, were nominally the representatives of the people. In them lay
the germs of democracy, as they possessed the right to call public
meetings for the settlement of their own affairs by vote, which right,
for long in abeyance, became an active power when supported by popular
force.

The great extent of the country, the want of moral cohesion, the
admixture of races, the general corruption of manners, the absence of an
ideal, the lack of political and industrial activity, and the profound
ignorance of the masses, all contributed to produce a state of
semi-barbarism by the side of a weakly civilization, and vitiated the
entire social organism. From this embryo was to spring a new republican
world, the product of the germs latent within it.


THE COLONIZATION OF NORTH AMERICA.

North America, more fortunate, was colonized by a nation which had
practical notions of liberty, and by a race better prepared for
self-government. The process commenced a century later. The colonists
easily adapted themselves to a climate similar to that of the mother
country, and founded there a new home to which they were bound by free
institutions. Originally the English colonies were looked upon as Crown
provinces, and were ruled by privileged companies, and by a Council
similar to that of the Indies, the monarch reserving to himself, as in
Spain, the supreme legislative authority and the right of appointment,
without giving any legislative rights. The colonists of Virginia, by
their own energy, soon acquired some political rights, which were
secured to them by royal charters. This example was followed by the
colonists of Maryland. Colonial assemblies absorbed the privileges of
the companies, and the royal charters formed later on the basis of
republican institutions.

After the planters of Virginia and Maryland came the PILGRIM FATHERS of
New England, who, flying from persecution in Europe, sought liberty of
conscience in the New World. Authors of the great revolution, they were
deeply imbued with the republican spirit, and with the democratic spirit
of Switzerland and of the Netherlands, in which latter country they had
seen their ideal of the ruler of a free people in the austere person of
William of Orange, the antetype of Washington. In accordance with these
ideas, they established at once a form of popular government hitherto
unknown, based upon just laws. Finally came the Quakers, who proclaimed
freedom of the intellect as an innate and inalienable right, and drew up
their constitution on the basis of democratic equality, absolute and
universal; in this anticipating the most advanced of the modern era.
Under William Penn they established the representative colony of
Pennsylvania, the nucleus and the type of the great republic of the
United States.

Such was the genesis of democratic liberty, destined to become
universal.


COLONIAL POLICY IN BOTH AMERICAS.

The commercial monopoly which Spain adopted as a system on the discovery
of America, had an influence quite as evil upon herself as upon her
colonies. The intention was that Spain should draw to herself the wealth
of the New World, by keeping in her own hands the exchange of European
manufactures for the products of America. Every industry which might
compete with those of the Peninsula was prohibited in America. At first
Seville, and afterwards Cadiz, was declared to be the only port from
which ships laden with merchandise could sail, or at which they could
land cargoes of colonial produce. All direct trade between the colonies
themselves was forbidden. The restrictive system was completed by
collecting all the merchant vessels into annual or biennial convoys
sailing in charge of ships of war to or from Portobello and Panama.
Merchandise so introduced, was carried across the isthmus and
distributed by way of the Pacific and by land to Potosi, where the
Southern and Atlantic Provinces could supply themselves at prices five
or six hundred per cent. over the original cost. Such a system could
only spring from a mind enfeebled by the possession of absolute power,
and could only be tolerated by a race of slaves.

Before one century had elapsed, the population of Spain was reduced by
one-half, her manufacturing industries were ruined, her mercantile
marine no longer existed, her trade was in the hands of foreign
smugglers, and the gold and silver of the New World went everywhere
except to Spain.[2] When Spain, taught by experience, sought to remedy
the evil, it was already too late, her colonies on the southern
continent were lost to her. Neither force nor love, nor a common
interest, bound the disinherited children to their parent; the
separation was complete, and the independence of the colonies a question
of time and of opportunity.

The colonial system of Spain was not an invention, it was an ancient
tradition, it was the economic theory of the epoch reduced to practice.
England followed the same system, committing even greater errors in the
establishment of privileged companies, such as the East India Company,
giving territories to them on a feudal basis, the monarch reserving
absolute authority over commercial relations.

In practice these errors furnished their own remedies. Tyrannical laws
fell into disuse from the resistance of colonies armed with municipal
rights. Thus the results sought by England were achieved without great
violence and with advantage both to the mother country and to her
colonies. The navigation laws of 1650--1666 gave supremacy to the
mercantile marine of England, and by shutting out foreign competition
from her markets, monopolised the trade with the colonies. This monopoly
in skilful hands, colonized North America and corrected to some extent
the errors of the system. In 1652, under Cromwell, freedom of commerce
was established between England and her colonies, the right being given
to the colonists to tax themselves by the votes of their representatives
and to regulate their own Customs duties. This was almost independence.
Even when their charters were mutilated or abrogated by the Stuarts,
this doctrine was respected by common consent. When England disregarded
it came the revolution.


THE EMANCIPATION OF NORTH AMERICA.

A special question of constitutional law concerning Customs duties, was
the immediate cause of the revolution in North America. The revolution
of South America arose from a question of fundamental principles.

The Stamp Tax imposed by England on her colonies was repealed on the
ground that it was an _internal_ tax, but Parliament sanctioned the
imposition of Customs duties on the ground that they were an _external_
tax, the produce of the colonies being subject to the will of the king.
The colonists protested and took a further step by declaring that the
_Mutiny Act_ had nothing to do with them, as it was sanctioned by a
Parliament in which they were not represented. They called out their
municipal militia, and so in 1774 commenced the great struggle for the
emancipation of America. During ten years their resistance had been kept
within the limits of the laws, but from this moment they took their
stand on the wide basis of natural and ideal right, independent of law
and of tradition.

The Declaration of Independence on the 4th July, 1776, was the
proclamation of an innate universal human right, of a new theory of
government independent of precedent, inspired by natural law, by
philosophy, and by political science. This declaration became, as has
been said,

“The profession of faith of all the liberals of the world.”

The echo of these theories was heard in France, and by her was
transmitted to the Latin nations of both hemispheres. The people
embraced them with enthusiasm. Up to that time two schools of politics
had divided the empire of free thought. The historical school, led by
Montesquieu, looked upon the constitution of England as the finished
work of experience and of human logic. The philosophical school, led by
Rousseau, denied the value of experience and thought to establish
liberty and the sovereignty of the people by seeking “the best form of
association for the defence and protection of each associate against the
force of all, so that each one should obey only himself and remain free
as before.” This second doctrine formulated in the constitution of the
United States, became a new principle in political science, and as such
met with general acceptance throughout the colonies of South America.

The most important feature of the revolution of North America is not the
achievement of her national independence, but her emancipation,
political, intellectual, and moral, in the name of human rights and in
constitutional form. From this moment, English constitutionalism ceased
to be a model, and the English constitution to be an ideal, even among
the English themselves, who have had to recognise their descendants and
political pupils as their masters.

The spirit of free England, anticipating the verdict of posterity,
justified insurrection in America. Statesmen and thinkers such as
Chatham and Burke, sympathised in the movement, declaring, “There is no
monopoly of principle,” but its effect upon France was still more
marked, being the outcome of the reasonings of her philosophers.

Thus it was that America reacted for the second time upon Europe with
most beneficial effect. On the third occasion the part of teacher is
played by South America.


THE AFFILIATION OF THE REVOLUTION OF SOUTH AMERICA.

Hardly was Peru conquered by the Spanish race, than it became the
theatre of civil war. The conquerors, headed by Gonzalo Pizarro,
rebelled against their king in the name of their rights as conquerors,
cut off the head of the king’s representative and burned the Royal
Standard. Hardly had one generation time to grow up in America, ere a
son of Hernan Cortez, in whose veins flowed the blood of the celebrated
Indian Doña Marina, conspired to give independence to Mexico in the name
of the same territorial rights invoked by Pizarro. The far off colony
of Paraguay was from the first a turbulent municipal republic. The
colonists deposed their royally appointed governors with shouts of
“Death to Tyrants,” elected rulers of their own, and did as they liked
for more than twenty-five years (1535-60). These and many other similar
facts, prove that the colonization of South America was imbued from the
commencement with the principle of individuality and with the instinct
of independence, which naturally resulted in emancipation and democracy.

These insurrections were outbursts of Castillian spirit, but early in
the eighteenth century, Creoles begin to call themselves with pride
Americans, and for the first time is heard in Potosi the cry of
_Liberty_. In 1711 the half-breeds proclaimed a mulatto King of
Venezuela. In 1733 the Creoles rose in arms and compelled the abrogation
of the commercial monopoly of the “Compania Guipuzcoana de Caracas.” In
1730 two thousand half-breeds at Cochabamba (Upper Peru), made armed
protest against the poll-tax, and acquired the right to elect Creoles as
officers of justice to the exclusion of Spaniards. In 1765 the Creoles
of Quito rose in armed insurrection against the imposition of direct
taxes. None of these outbreaks had as yet any definite political
character. The embryonic republic of Paraguay gave the first example of
a revolutionary movement based upon the sovereignty of the people.

José Antequera, by birth an American but educated in Spain, appeared on
the scene during a dispute between the governor of Paraguay and the
Cabildo of Asuncion. The people named him governor by acclamation. He
placed himself at their head, in opposition to the theocratic rule of
the Jesuits, who were ruining the country. He fought pitched battles
against the royal troops and was blessed as a saviour, but died on the
scaffold as a traitor to his king.

After his death, his pupil Fernando Mompox organized the popular party
under the name of the _Comuneros_, deposed another governor and
established a governing Junta, but was also overcome.

In 1781 the _Comuneros_ broke out in insurrection in New Granada, but
the movement was suppressed.

These were not events of great historical importance, but they show that
throughout the period of Spanish domination, the rule of the mother
country was irksome to the Spaniards themselves, and was hateful to all
Americans.


THE MORAL REVOLUTION OF SOUTH AMERICA.

There can be no revolution until the ideas of men become the conscience
of the mass, and until the passions of men become a public force,
because “it is man and not events which constitute the world.” The
revolution was accomplished in the man of South America before the end
of the eighteenth century; after that all his actions have one object
and one meaning. Emancipation was no longer an instinct, it became an
active passion.

Spain through jealousy of England joined France in aiding the rebels of
the North, and her recognition of the independence of the new republic
was virtually the abdication of her own authority over the South.
Aranda, one of the first statesmen of his time, advised his sovereign in
1783 to forestall the inevitable future by making one _infante_ King of
Mexico, one King of Peru, and one King of the Mainland, taking to
himself the rank of Emperor. The King of Spain shut his ears to these
counsels.

The revolution of 1789 proved that the ideas embodied in the Declaration
of Independence were of universal application. The monarchs of Europe
took the alarm and formed reactionary leagues. To South America these
ideas were conveyed by educated Creoles, who travelling in Europe
learned them from French writers. “The Rights of Man” was translated,
printed in secret, and circulated through New Granada by Antonio
Nariño. Charged with this as a crime, no proof could be brought against
him as no copy of the book could be found, tortures failing to extract
information from suspects. He was banished to Africa, his property
confiscated, and his original copy of the work was burnt by the public
executioner. From the men of culture the new ideas filtered to the
masses, transforming their minds by the creation of an ideal, which each
one interpreted in accordance with his own talents, interests, or
prejudices.


THE PRECURSOR OF THE EMANCIPATION OF SOUTH AMERICA.

During some years previously an ardent apostle of human liberty had
wandered about the world. He was a dreamer with confused ideas and
undisciplined attainments, a generous minded warrior, above all, a man
of strong will. A soldier of Washington, a comrade of Lafayette, a
general under Dumouriez,[3] a companion of Madame Roland in her prison,
a confidant of Pitt in his schemes of insurrection in the colonies of
Spanish America, distinguished by Catharine II. of Russia, whose favours
he put aside in deference to his austere mission, looked upon by
Napoleon as a lunatic with a spark of the sacred fire, FRANCISCO
MIRANDA, a native of Caracas, was the first to foresee the great
destinies of republican America, and the first to raise the banner of
freedom on the southern continent.

He it was who organised the revolutionary efforts of South Americans in
Europe; establishing an understanding with the Creoles of the colonies.
It was he who towards the close of the eighteenth century founded in
London the political society, the “Gran Reunion Americana,” to which
they were all affiliated. In this society were initiated in the
mysteries of future liberty, O’Higgins of Chile, Nariño of New Granada,
Montufar and Rocafuerte of Quito, Caro of Cuba, who represented the
patriots of Peru, Alvear, an Argentine, and others who later on became
illustrious. Here the two great liberators, BOLÍVAR and SAN MARTIN, took
an oath to work out the triumph of the cause of the emancipation of
South America.

This society was the type of the secret societies which, transplanted to
the theatre of action, impressed its seal upon the characters of those
who directed the revolution of South America. They inoculated it with
the true American idea, which, heedless of frontiers and disregarding
all obstacles, looked upon the enslaved colonies as one, with one
aspiration, with one love, and with one hatred of their common master.
This gave cohesion to the revolution in America, and ensured triumph by
the union of all forces to one common end. Here was the point of contact
of all Creoles, wherever they might work for independence and for
liberty. Here is the explanation of the identity of the original
movements in spite of the isolation of each colony.

Miranda sought to interest the whole world in the cause of independence;
chiefly he sought the help of England. Three times (1790--1801) he
obtained a promise of moral and material support from Pitt, with the
co-operation of the United States. European complications and the
hesitation of the cabinet at Washington, prevented the fulfilment of
these promises. In 1791 he published a letter to the Americans, in which
he attacked the colonial system of Spain, declaring that nature had
separated America from Spain by the interposition of the ocean, thus
emancipating her sons from the mother country, and that they--

“Were free by natural right received from the Creator; that the moment
had arrived for opening up a new era of prosperity; and with the aid of
Providence, to raise up in America a grand family of brothers united by
a common interest.”

Failing in his attempt to secure the help of England and the United
States, Miranda ventured upon the enterprise by himself. In the year
1806 he made two attempts to kindle the fire of revolution in his native
country. He landed on the mainland at Ocumare with two hundred men, and
at Vela de Coro with five hundred. None responded to his call, but the
cry was heard, and its echo resounded through two worlds.

England, on the death of Pitt, abandoning his projects for the
emancipation of the colonies of Spanish America, attempted to conquer
them for herself, and was twice defeated at Buenos Ayres in 1806 and
1807. Miranda was pleased at this defeat, and in 1808 wrote to
congratulate the Cabildo of Buenos Ayres. At the same time he wrote to
the Cabildo of Caracas, giving notice of the invasion of Spain by
Napoleon, advising them to take charge of the government and to send
deputies to London to arrange the future course of the New World. At the
same time he published in London a pamphlet written in English by an
Englishman, in which from the defeat of the English was drawn a lesson,
based upon the opinion of General Auchmuty, that the Creoles would only
make alliance with England on condition of their own independence.
Miranda translated this pamphlet into Spanish, and added a sketch of a
constitution for the new States proposed, the dominant idea of which was
a federal republic on a basis of independent Cabildos.

As the victory of Buenos Ayres made a great noise in the world, and more
especially in the hearts of Americans, this propaganda fell in with the
new sentiment of nationality, disclosed in the words of Don Cornelio
Saavedra in his address to the Patricios[4] of Buenos Ayres in 1807:
“Those born in the Indies, whose spirits are undaunted, are in no way
inferior to the Spaniards of Europe, and in valour give place to none.”


THE RACES OF SOUTH AMERICA.--THE CREOLE.

Five races, which for historic purposes may be looked upon as three
only, peopled the Southern Continent at the outbreak of the War of
Independence: the European Spaniards, the Spanish-American Creoles, and
the half-breeds; also the indigenous Indians, and the negroes from
Africa. The Spaniards formed a privileged class, and by reason of their
origin enjoyed both political and social pre-eminence. The Indians and
the negroes formed the servile class. The half-breeds, derived from a
mixture of three races, formed an intermediate class, and in some places
were in a large majority. The Creoles, direct descendants of Spaniards,
of pure blood, but modified in character by contact with the
half-breeds, were the true sons of the soil, and constituted the basis
of society. Generally the most numerous, they were always the civilising
force of the colony. They were the most energetic, the most intelligent
and imaginative; and with all their inherited vices and their want of
preparation for freedom, were the only ones animated by an innate
sentiment of patriotism.

Those born in South America thus formed a race apart, an oppressed race,
who saw in their ancestors and in their contemporaries not fathers and
brothers, but masters. The colonial system placed, to a certain extent,
all natives of the soil upon the same level, and drew a broad line of
distinction between the Spanish-American colonists and their mother
country. Spain, by reason of distance, yielded to her colonists greater
freedom and more municipal rights than she gave to her own sons in their
own land, but her absolute government could not bind her colonies to her
by the tie of nationality. Men of Spanish birth looked upon the
colonies as feudal territory, over which they, as beings of a superior
race, were the natural lords, and thought that if only a shoemaker
remained in Castile, this shoemaker had the right to govern all America.

The natural aspiration of slaves is for freedom, and that of oppressed
races who know their own strength is to assume their place in the human
family. In this double aspiration lay the germ of revolution in America.
In 1780 the indigenous race under Tupac-Amarú, a descendant of the
Incas, rose _en masse_ in Peru against their oppressors, but were
naturally defeated. They possessed no great social force, and did not
represent the cause of civilized America. The day of the Creoles had not
yet come, but they saw nothing to admire, to love, or to respect in
Spain. An absolute King, generally an imbecile, was the sole point of
contact between them. Their mother country was to them neither a country
nor a mother. The instinct of independence became a passion, even more
vehement in those who resided in Spain than in those who had never left
their own hearths. Thus it was that the leaders who did most for the
revolution came from Spain.

In the struggle each race took its own special part. The Creoles formed
the vanguard and directed the movements. The indigenous races formed the
first line in Mexico, but elsewhere they were only useful as
auxiliaries. In South America the half-breeds formed the rank and file
of the armies of the revolution. The Argentine _gaucho_, with the
fatalism of the Arab and the strength of the Cossack, gave the type to
the cavalry, renowned for the impetuosity of their charge from La Plata
to Chimborazo. The _llaneros_[5] of Venezuela, half-breeds for the most
part, formed the famous squadrons of Columbia, whose feats were
celebrated from the Orinoco to Potosi. The _rotos_[6] of Chile, mostly
of Indian blood, formed with Argentines in solid battalions, who
measured their strength with Spanish regiments, victors over the
soldiers of Napoleon in the Peninsula. The manumitted negroes gave their
contingent to the American infantry, showing the warlike qualities of
their race. In Upper Peru the indigenous races kept alive for ten years
the flames of insurrection when the patriot armies were defeated. The
_cholos_ of the Highlands of Peru espoused the cause of the king, and
were highly esteemed as infantry by the Spanish generals, more
especially on account of the extraordinary rapidity of their marches.

The Creole of South America is a sturdy off-shoot of that civilizing
Indo-European race to which is reserved the government of the world. It
is his mission to complete the democratization of the American continent
and to found a new order of things destined to live and progress. He has
impressed the peculiarities of his character upon the new nationalities.

When the revolution broke out in 1810, it was said that South America
would become English or French; when it triumphed, that the continent
would sink back into barbarism. By the will and the work of the Creole,
it became American, republican, and civilized.


THE FIRST THROES OF REVOLUTION.

The initial outbreaks of the year 1809, were in some parts of a more
radical character than were those of the following year, when the first
political formula of the rebellion was merely a demand for relative and
provisional independence, for a compromise between democracy and
monarchy upon the basis of autonomy.

The doctrine that on the disappearance of the monarch his sovereignty
reverted to his people, was for the first time boldly proclaimed in
Mexico. From this it was deduced that they had the right to appoint
governing Juntas for their own security, and owed no allegiance to those
established in Spain at the time of the French invasion. Hence arose
disputes between the Creoles and the Spaniards, and between the
Audiencia and the Viceroy, which at the end of 1809 changed the movement
into a conspiracy for independence.

In Quito the commotion assumed more definite forms. The colonial
authorities were overturned and a governing Junta was set up, which took
to itself the attributes of sovereignty and raised troops for its own
defence. They exhorted the peoples of America by a proclamation to
follow the example, announcing that “law has resumed its authority under
the equator,” and that “the rights of man were, by the disappearance of
despotism, no longer at the mercy of arbitrary power.” The authors of
this premature revolution were overcome and put to death in prison.

In Upper Peru, the city of Chuquisaca was the first to move. In May,
1809, the Creoles, at the instigation of the Audiencia, tumultuously
deposed the constituted authorities, and set up an independent
government. In July the city of La Paz followed the example. Under the
name of the _Junta Tuitiva_, an independent government composed
exclusively of Americans was established, which raised an army, and hung
on a gallows those who denied its authority. Both these revolts were
suppressed by the combined arms of the neighbouring Viceroyalties of
Peru and La Plata. The leaders of the insurrection of La Paz died either
on the field of battle or on the gallows. One of the latter before being
thrown off cried out:--“The fire which I have lighted shall never be
quenched.” Their heads and limbs were nailed to the posts which mark out
the public roads in that country, but before they had rotted away the
fire was again burning in Upper Peru.

By the quelling of these conspiracies it was thought that the danger was
averted, but as was said by the Viceroy of Peru fifty years before, on
the first revolt of the Comuneros of Paraguay, “it was but a covering up
of the fire with ashes.”


THE GROWTH OF THE REVOLUTION.

In the year 1810 the drama of revolution unfolded itself upon a vast
continental scene, with a unity of action which from the first attracted
the attention of the world. All the Spanish American colonies with the
exception of Lower Peru, arose in rebellion simultaneously, and
proclaimed one political doctrine. Some historians have thought that
this movement was the result of an external impulse, and that the
subsequent separation was as the falling of unripe fruit. Others, better
informed, look upon this separation as a necessity: “The union of Spain
with America, possible under an absolute _régime_, was incompatible with
representative government and with the political equality of the
citizens.” The truth is that the South American revolution was inspired
by an innate sentiment of patriotism, in obedience to conservative
instinct, and by its nature tended to independence.

The divorce of the colonies from the mother country took place at a
critical moment, when their union was hurtful to them both. If America
was not prepared for self-government, and if her attempts at
self-government almost exhausted the forces already weakened by the
struggle, what would then have been her condition had she remained under
the rule of unnatural laws which condemned her to a lingering death, a
prey to vices inoculated by an evil system?

It cannot be denied that without the invasion of Spain by Napoleon in
1808, and the consequent disappearance of the dynasty of Spain, the
revolution would have been delayed; but this does not imply that America
was not ripe for emancipation, the opportunity was nothing more than the
spark setting fire to the combustibles already prepared for burning.

The Provisional Government established in Spain anticipated the
complaints of the colonists, and recognised by its acts the justice of
their cause, fomenting their resistance as much by its concessions as by
its refusals. The Regency of Cadiz called upon Americans to join the
national Cortes, thus raising them to the rank of freemen, but at the
same time gave them only one deputy, chosen by itself, for each million
of inhabitants, while to the natives of the Peninsula, for the most part
under the yoke of the foreigner, it gave one deputy for each hundred
thousand. The essential difference lay in the divergence of their
political opinions. The Regency maintained “The American dominions are
an integral part of Spain,” from which it deduced the right of Spain to
rule America in the absence of the sovereign. Americans, as we have
already seen, maintained that the crown was the only link between them.
Take away this fundamental divergence of opinion, and the reason for the
revolution disappears, the insurrection loses its legality, and the
question becomes one of national representation, having no relation
either to independence or to autonomy.

The colonial authorities were deposed without resistance by the force of
public opinion, and new ones were instituted without any rupture of
relations with the mother country, though all foresaw the logical end of
the process. In answer to this moderate policy, the Regency refused to
the colonies that freedom of trade which it had proposed to give them,
avoided the mediation of England, and, without attempting to arrive
peacefully at an understanding, stigmatised the Americans as rebels and
declared war against them, punishing as high treason in them that which
the Spaniards themselves had done in Spain. It was then (1811) that
Venezuela declared herself independent, and gave herself a republican
constitution.

South America was ill-prepared for the struggle; she had neither
soldiers nor politicians, she had to improvise all she needed. Spain in
alliance with England and supported by the first nations of the world,
was mistress of the seas, her armies triumphant in Europe, were
stronger than before the French invasion, nevertheless South America
unaided accepted the challenge, and triumphed all alone.

The meeting of the Cortes and the promulgation of the Constitution of
1812, instead of reconciling the mother country with her colonies,
fanned the flames of insurrection, and by concessions encouraged the
spirit of independence. When in 1814 the King was restored, America was
still governed in his name, and the movement having been crushed in
Venezuela the revolution was placed in a false position. The refusal of
America to surrender without conditions to absolute power, was replied
to by the proclamation of a war of reconquest, and amicable arrangement
was no longer possible.

In 1820 despotism triumphed in Europe under the banners of absolute
kings allied against the liberties of the people, but in South America
the cause of independence, fostered by the example of the United States,
was successful. From this epoch the reaction of American thought is felt
in the Parliament of England, and influences even Spain herself, where
the armies collected to stamp out revolution in America, turn against
the absolute king and re-establish a constitutional _régime_. This is a
critical moment: upon the triumph or the defeat of revolution in South
America depend the destinies of two worlds.

Five years later on, victory crowned her efforts, America is republican,
independent, and free. From this moment the current of history, which
has for three centuries carried despotism from the East to the West, now
turns back; the action of the principles of American regeneration flows
from West to East and spreads over Europe until stopped by the barrier
of Islamism. Greece cries out for emancipation, and Europe instead of
joining to crush her aspirations, runs to help her. Portugal becomes
free by the example and influence of her American colonies, who send
back to her her absolute kings, transformed into constitutional rulers.
In France the revolution of 1789 revives in a compromise between
monarchy and a republic, its champions being a comrade of Washington and
an emigrant prince who had studied American democracy at close quarters.
Take away the South American revolution of the year ’10, suppose it to
be suppressed in 1820, or eliminate the final triumph of 1825, and the
republic of the United States remains the sole representative of
liberty; and the world, even with the help of free England, lies
grovelling under the sway of absolutism.


ATTEMPTS AT MONARCHY IN SOUTH AMERICA.

Had the idea of Aranda been adopted in 1783, it is probable that a
bastard monarchy would have been established in America, upon which time
would have impressed the seal of democracy. Had the King of Spain
removed his throne to America in 1808, as did he of Portugal, it is
possible that the course of the revolution might have been changed under
dynastic auspices, delaying the advent of the republic and perchance
accelerating constitutional stability. These two opportunities being
lost, the revolution could only develop in accordance with its own
nature and become essentially a republican movement.

The Pilgrim Fathers of New England and the Quakers of Pennsylvania
carried with them the seed of republicanism. The Cavaliers who colonized
Virginia became republicans by founding a new country of a distinct
type, which produced Washington. The Spanish colonists of South America
brought with them no such ideas but only germs of individualism, from
which time developed desires for independence and for equality. The
indigenous races knew nothing of any form of government except monarchy.
The Creoles were born republicans. The idea of establishing a monarchy
never sprang from a Creole brain, and when proposed was looked upon by
them only as a compromise or as an artificial expedient when it was not
folly. In 1808 the English constitution was the ideal of thinkers
trained in the school of Montesquieu. In 1810 the _social contract_ of
Rousseau was their gospel, and the revolution of that year assumed
spontaneously a popular form, producing municipal republics, whereby the
course of opinion became exclusively democratic.

When early reverses damped the republican hopes of Argentine leaders,
they looked to the establishment of a monarchy under the protection of
the Great Powers as a means of securing independence and constitutional
freedom. In 1814 it was proposed to crown an Infante of Spain King of La
Plata. In 1816 that same Congress which declared the independence of the
Argentine Provinces, embraced the idea of crowning a descendant of the
Incas at Cuzco, and uniting Peru and the River Plate under his rule, a
proposition quenched in ridicule. The same Congress, in 1819, after
swearing to and promulgating a republican constitution, sought in Europe
for a king, lowering their character in the eyes of the world, and
bringing accusations of treachery upon themselves from their own
countrymen.

This reaction took place precisely at the time when the perseverance of
the republicans had gained for them universal sympathy, when the United
States threw her shield over the infant peoples to protect them from the
attacks of the Holy Alliance, and when England, after declaring that she
would not recognise “the revolutionary governments of America,” became
convinced of her mistake. The agents of this policy were men such as
Rivadavia, who stands in America second alone to Washington as the
representative statesman of a free people; such as Belgrano, the type of
republican virtue; and such as San Martin, who, a republican at heart,
had no faith in democracy, yet founded republics which by natural law
became democracies. When San Martin ignored this law, his career as a
liberator came to an end. So also, later on, fell Bolívar in the
attempt to convert democracy into monocracy. The only American liberator
who in his folly crowned himself emperor--Iturbide in Mexico--died on
the scaffold, a presage of the sad end of another emperor, whose corpse
was sent back to Europe as a protest against the imposition of monarchy.

The Empire of Brazil is apparently a proof of the possibility of
establishing monarchy in America, but the contrary is the fact. Brazil
is a democratic empire, founded upon the principle of the sovereignty of
the people, without any privileged class or hereditary nobility, and has
nothing monarchical about it except the name.


RETROSPECTION.

When the war was over and the continent at peace, Bolívar exclaimed, “I
blush to say it, independence is the only good we have achieved at the
cost of all else.” Even at this price independence was solid gain, for
it was life. The continuance of the colonial system was death by
decomposition. Independence was, moreover, the establishment of the
democratic republic, a system under which all losses may be retrieved.
South America has no reason to complain of the task allotted to her in
working out the destiny of humanity.

In the first decade of this century the republic of the United States
was a sun without satellites. The apparition of a group of new nations
from the colonial nebula of the South, formed, for the first time in the
political world, a planetary system of republics governed by natural
laws. An entire continent, almost one half the globe, extending from
pole to pole and washed by the two greatest of the oceans, became
republican.

At that time there were but two republics in the world--in Europe,
Switzerland; in America, the United States. The influence of the latter
was not yet felt, but the new system of republics soon became a power of
the first rank.

The republics of South America were strong enough to conquer their
independence, but they lacked the elements of self-government. They had
passed at one bound from slavery to freedom, and it took them more than
one generation to eradicate evils produced by three centuries of
misgovernment. In the war they had expended not only their blood, their
treasure, and their vital energy, but also their intellectual strength.
Wealth came to them with independence, but the want of the elements of
self-government made them an easy prey to anarchy and despotism, from
which the conservative instinct at length saved them. Still they suffer
the evils of inexperience, but nothing is lost while republican
institutions, the great work of the revolution, are preserved.

No people so ill-prepared for the change could have done better. Even
the United States passed through a critical period of transition, which
imperilled their existence as an organised nation. The republics of
South America have suffered greatly from misgovernment, but the
instincts of the people have ever been superior to the incapacity of
their rulers. Had they continued subject to Spain, they would have died
of inanition; had the English invasion been successful, they might now
be colonies of England, such as Australia and Canada, and might possibly
be richer in material wealth than they are, but they would not be
independent nations, charged with the mission of creating new elements
of progress; they would but feebly reflect a far-off light. South
America would but exist as an appendage of Europe, and Europe would be
subject to the Holy Alliance of absolute kings.

If South America has not realised all the hopes awakened by the
revolution, still it cannot be said that she has faltered in her course.
She has resolved for herself the problem of life, educated herself in
the hard school of experience, and by sorrow has purged away her vices.
Giving the lie to sinister presage, which condemned her to absorption by
inferior races, the energetic Creole has assimilated them, giving them
freedom and dignity, or, when necessary, has suppressed them. With help
from the most superior races of the world, acclimatized upon her
hospitable shores, the reins of government have been secured to him. Her
regenerated population doubles itself in twenty or thirty years; before
the end of the next century South America will number four hundred
millions of freemen, North America five hundred millions, and all
America will be Republican and Democratic.

To these great results, following the example of Washington and equal to
Bolívar, will have contributed, with such talents as he possessed, the
founder of three republics, the emancipator of one-half of South
America, whose history will now be told.



CHAPTER II.

SAN MARTIN IN EUROPE AND IN AMERICA.

1778--1812.


Jose de San Martin was born on the 25th February, 1778, at the town of
Yapeyu in Misiones, and was the fourth son of Captain Don Juan de San
Martin who was at that time Lieutenant-Governor of the Department of
Yapeyu. When he was eight years old the family went to Spain, and he
became a pupil in the Seminary of Nobles at Madrid, where he remained
only two years, and learned little beyond the rudiments of mathematics
and something of drawing. Before he was twelve years old, he joined the
“Murcia” regiment as a cadet. The uniform of this regiment was white and
blue, the same colours the mature soldier afterwards carried in triumph
over half a continent.

His first campaign was in Africa, where he received his baptism of fire
in battle against the Moors. When in garrison at Oran in 1791, the city,
at that time besieged by the Moors, was destroyed by an earthquake. In
1793 he joined the army of Aragon, and served under Ricardos against the
republicans of France on their own territory. This experience was of
great value to him, as Ricardos was the best tactician among the Spanish
generals of that day. After two successful actions at Masden and
Truilles, Ricardos was forced to retire to the foot of the mountains,
where he maintained his position for twenty days against the constant
attacks of the enemy, and San Martin so distinguished himself that he
was promoted to the rank of sub-lieutenant.

In the following May, after the death of Ricardos, the “Murcia” formed
part of the garrison of Port Vendres, which, after beating off two
attacks of the French, was forced to retreat to Collioure and there
surrendered. San Martin gained another step by his conduct in these
affairs.

In 1795 the peace of Basilea freed the young lieutenant from his
_parole_. In the following year his father died, and the treaty of San
Ildefonso brought Spain as an ally of the French republic into collision
with Great Britain. On the 14th February, 1797, the “Murcia,” on board
the Spanish Mediterranean squadron, took part in the disastrous affair
off Cape Saint Vincent. On the 15th August, 1798, San Martin was marine
officer on the _Santa Dorotea_, when that ship was captured after a
desperate defence, by the English 64-gun ship _Lion_, and being thus for
the second time debarred from active service, he devoted his leisure to
the study of mathematics and drawing.

In the year 1800 at the head of a company of his old regiment, he took
part in the serio-comic war with Portugal known as the “War of the
Oranges,” and was present at the siege of Olivenza. After the Peace of
Amiens in 1802, his regiment was employed in the blockade of Gibraltar
and Ceuta, and in 1804 we find him in garrison at Cadiz, as second
captain of a light infantry regiment, where his conduct during a
pestilence was as honourable to him as had been his conduct in the
field.

By the Treaty of Fontainebleau, in 1807, France and Spain divided
Portugal and her colonies between them, and a column of 6,000 Spanish
troops under Solano invaded Portugal. The regiment to which San Martin
was attached, captured the town of Yelves, but took no further part in
the campaign.

The _émeute_ of the 2nd May at Madrid, gave the signal for an outbreak
of popular indignation, against the usurpations of Napoleon. The news
reached the army of Solano when on the march for Cadiz. Solano was at
first undecided what course to adopt, but his appointment as
Captain-General of Andalucia and Governor of Cadiz being confirmed by
the French, he on the 28th May issued a proclamation condemning the
insurrection. The people flocked in crowds to the palace, shouting for
an immediate attack upon the French squadron lying in the harbour; in
the confusion some shots were fired. San Martin, who was officer of the
guard, withdrew his troops into the house and closed the door. It was
blown in by a cannon-shot, but time had been gained for the escape of
Solano across the roof to a neighbouring house, where, however, he was
soon afterwards found and cruelly butchered.

This tragedy was never effaced from the memory of San Martin, and
without doubt greatly affected his policy on many subsequent occasions.
In spite of his love of liberty he ever after looked with horror upon
mobs, and upon governments who relied upon them. He considered that
intelligence supported by orderly strength should hold the government of
the world. Nevertheless his reason and his heart must have told him that
the cause of Spain was just, and that the executions on the Prado of
Madrid on the 2nd May were more barbarous and less justifiable than was
the murder of Solano.

About this time it is said that Miranda visited Cadiz in disguise, but
for this report we can find no foundation. He was the founder and
organiser of the secret societies to which South Americans throughout
Europe were already affiliated, but Spain was the last country in Europe
in which such societies were established. Cadiz being the one port open
to American trade, became naturally at this time the centre of the
revolutionary propaganda.

In the early years of the nineteenth century an association styled
“Sociedad de Lautaro,” or “Caballeros Racionales,” had ramifications all
over Spain, and was affiliated with the “Gran Reunion Americana”
established in London by Miranda. This society had in Cadiz alone in the
year 1808 more than forty members, some of them grandees of Spain. Those
of the first grade were pledged to work for the independence of America;
those of the second swore “to recognise no government in America as
legitimate unless it was elected by the free and spontaneous will of the
people, and to work for the foundation of the republican system.” Of
this society San Martin became a member. An American by birth, a
revolutionist by instinct, and a republican by conviction, he was,
perchance, without knowing it, an adept of Miranda, and was destined to
make the dream of the master a reality, when the bones of that master
lay rotting on the mud banks upon which his eye might at this time often
rest.

At the same time with San Martin three other members joined the lodge;
Alvear, who was his confidant till he became jealous of his fame; José
Miguel Carrera, who was to die cursing him; and, most modest of all, the
naval lieutenant Matias Zapiola, who was afterwards his right arm on
many a hard-fought field. San Martin was the least brilliant and the
poorest of them all; his comrades recognised the superiority of his
talents as a soldier, and said that he did the thinking for them all,
but in the great revolutionary drama that all foresaw they assigned to
him only the place of a stern warrior; Alvear and Carrera, the most
arrogant and the most ambitious, were to be the heroes.

The general rising in Spain found San Martin in his place as an officer
of light infantry under the command of Colonel Menacho. He was soon
promoted, and his regiment joined the second division of the army of
Andalucia, commanded by the Marquis of Coupigni. When the French under
Dupont crossed the Sierra Morena, he was placed in charge of the line of
the Guadalquivir. On the 28th June, 1808, he led a mixed column against
the advanced guard of the enemy, and charged a detachment of cavalry
with such impetuosity at the head of twenty-one hussars, that he killed
seventeen of the enemy, took four prisoners and all their horses, and
retired in triumph, in the face of very superior numbers. This action
was greatly applauded by the whole army, a badge of honour was given to
all who charged with him, and he was appointed captain in the Bourbon
regiment “on account of distinguished conduct in the action at
Argonilla.”

This small triumph was the precursor of one of the greatest victories of
the epoch. Before one month had elapsed, the imperial eagles of Napoleon
were beaten by an army of recruits inspired by patriotism, and Captain
San Martin was mentioned with distinction in the order of the day of the
battle of Baylen.

The road to Madrid being opened by this victory the army of Andalucia
entered the capital in triumph, and San Martin received, with his
commission as lieutenant-colonel, a gold medal for his conduct in the
battle.

He was afterwards present at the disaster of Tudela, and in the retreat
to Cadiz, and in 1810 was appointed aide-de-camp to the Marquis of
Coupigni. In 1811 he took part in the bloody battle of Albuera, where
the French were defeated by an allied army under General Beresford, the
same who five years previously had capitulated to Liniers at Buenos
Ayres. The same year he joined the Sagunto regiment, the escutcheon of
which was a sun with this motto “Hœ nubila tolunt obstantia
solvens”--dissipates clouds and removes obstacles. This was the last
Spanish standard under which San Martin fought, and its symbol was
identical with that of the flag of the as yet unthought of army of the
Andes.

The prophecy of the dying Pitt was realised. Napoleon had stirred up
against himself a national war and was irremediably lost. Spain allied
with Great Britain, in saving herself, saved Europe from his brutal
domination, and the American Creole having paid with usury his debt to
the mother country could now honourably leave her. San Martin had fought
under her flag for twenty years, he had seen the strategy of great
generals, had learned the tactics of every arm in the service; the pupil
was now a master able to give lessons. He turned his eyes to his own
country, and seeing her in difficulty resolved to return and consecrate
his life to her service.

The confidant of his projects and sentiments on this occasion was a
singular personage. Lord Macduff, afterwards Earl of Fife, was a Scotch
noble descended from that Shakespearean hero who slew Macbeth. He was in
Vienna when the Spanish insurrection broke out in 1808, he came over at
once and enlisted as a simple volunteer. As such he took part in most of
the great battles of the time, in one of which he was seriously wounded,
and was given the rank of a General of Spain for his services. Then it
was that San Martin and Macduff became acquainted; their generous
natures had a profound sympathy each for the other, their friendship was
enhanced by the dangers they shared, and continued so long as both
lived. By his help and by the interposition of Sir Charles Stuart, a
diplomatic agent in Spain, San Martin obtained a passport for London,
and received from his friend letters of introduction, and letters of
credit of which he made no use.

In London he met his comrades Alvear and Zapiola, and other South
Americans who were there at the time. All belonged to the secret society
founded in London by Miranda, in which Bolívar had just taken the oath,
before leaving for Venezuela in company with the illustrious master. San
Martin and his two comrades were initiated in the fifth and last grade,
and in January, 1812, embarked on the _George Canning_ for the River
Plate. On the 9th March they reached Buenos Ayres, accompanied by
various officers who came to offer their swords in the cause of
independence.

The moment was a critical one in the history of the American
revolution; the serious work was just commencing; the real struggle
between Patriots and Royalists was yet to come, and the discordance of
the various elements of society only now became apparent.

The Argentine revolution had provoked insurrection in Chile, both by
diplomacy and by example. Her first army of volunteers had marched to
Upper Peru with the object of striking the enemy in the centre of his
power; and in November, 1810, had won the first victory of the war at
Suipacha, but was eight months later defeated at Huaqui, and compelled
to retreat to Tucuman. Buenos Ayres had attempted to gain command of the
rivers by arming a small squadron, which was destroyed by the enemy in
the Paraná. A Portuguese army of four thousand men held the line of the
Uruguay. Paraguay had commenced a system of isolation, almost of
hostility.

The movement in Chile, at first successful, was in 1812 threatened by an
expedition from Peru, and the young Republic unfortunately put her trust
in José Miguel Carrera, who, with some attractive qualities, possessed
no solid talents, either military or political.

In this same month of March an earthquake destroyed the city of Caracas.
Reaction triumphed over Miranda in Venezuela; only in New Granada did
the revolutionary cause maintain a footing for some time longer. In 1815
all the insurrections in South America had been suppressed, save only
the Argentine revolution, which was never overpowered.

Meantime the viceroyalty of Peru, holding a central position, with a
strong army and the command of the sea, was the centre of reaction; and
the masses of the people not yet implicated in the revolution, began to
look unfavourably upon it, as their eyes were opened to the perils it
invoked and to the sacrifices it involved.

The Argentine revolution had as yet no fixed plan. In so rudimentary a
state of society the actual leaders had but little power to direct the
latent strength of the people, and even among themselves opinions were
divided, some believing that the centralisation of power in the city of
Buenos Ayres was the only means of ensuring the success of the
revolutionary movement, while to others decentralization seemed the one
necessary condition of national life. The revolution arose in the
cities; its legality was based upon municipal rights, and could not long
maintain its original form. It could only live by a wider popularity
based upon the sovereignty of the people at large. Fortunately the men
at this time at the helm were the most intelligent, energetic, and
foreseeing who ever acted together on this stage.

The first Executive Government, installed on the 25th May, 1810, was a
Junta, in imitation of those established in Spain to resist the
domination of the French. Modified a year later by the admission of
deputies from the provinces, it became a many-headed monster, useless
alike for debate and for administration. It was succeeded by a
Triumvirate under the name of “The Executive Government,” which, by the
aid of those men, saved the State from shipwreck.

Such was the situation of THE UNITED PROVINCES OF THE RIVER PLATE when
SAN MARTIN landed on Argentine soil.

Twenty-six years before, while yet a child, he had left his native land;
now he returned in the ripeness of manhood, tempered in the struggles of
life, tutored in the art of war, initiated in the mysteries of secret
societies formed for the propagation of the new ideas of liberty. The
new champion brought to the American cause tactics and discipline
applied both to politics and to war; and, in embryo, a vast plan for a
continental campaign which should embrace half a world and should result
in its independence.

It has been said that San Martin was not a man but a mission, and, in
truth, seldom has the influence of one man upon the destinies of
humanity been greater than was his. He was at once the arm and the head
of the Argentine hegemony; he combined the evolutions of armies with
those of nations, marking each evolution with some achievement either
political or military; obtained great results with the least possible
means, and without waste of strength; and showed how a people may be
redeemed without being oppressed. His character is even yet an
historical enigma.

The grandeur of those whose names attain immortality is measured not so
much by their deeds or by their talents as by the effect their memory
has upon the consciences of men, causing them to vibrate from one
generation to another in sympathy with an idea or with a passion. The
moral grandeur of San Martin consists in this: that nothing is known of
the secret ambitions of his life; that he was in everything
disinterested; that he confined himself strictly to his mission; and
that he died in silence, showing neither weakness, pride, nor bitterness
at seeing his work triumphant and his part in it forgotten.

San Martin was a man of stalwart frame; his face was the reflex of his
mind, a fiery spirit hidden under a studious reserve of manner, which at
times exploded. His head, which was of medium size, he carried very
erect. His thick black hair he always wore cut short; the straight high
forehead indicated the presence of a strong and healthy brain. The
darkness of his complexion was deepened by exposure; his large black
eyes were fringed by long lashes and overhung by heavy eyebrows, which
met when he frowned; these eyes were the characteristic feature of his
face, disclosing the intensity of his nature, but hiding his purpose.
His nose was long, aquiline, and prominent; mouth small, with firm red
lips; teeth strong and white. His chin and jaw showed strength of will
and the absence of animal passions. His voice was rough, his gestures
simple, and his whole person inspired at once respect and sympathy.[7]

San Martin gave verbal orders with great precision, and in ordinary
conversation was fond of a joke. He wrote laconically in a style of his
own, and was much given to reading French authors. Very reserved and of
warm affections, he was a great observer of men, studying how he might
best avail himself of such talents as they possessed. Haughty by nature,
unobtrusive both by temperament and by system, he forced upon himself a
stoical disregard of injuries. He was studiously moderate, and patient
in the elaboration of his plans. A slave to duty himself, he was
tolerant of human frailty in others, but could be severe when severity
was requisite. He was, as with truth and with posthumous justice he has
been styled by Vicuña Mackenna, “the greatest of the Creoles of the New
World.”

[Illustration: I.--MAP OF THE VICEROYALTY OF LA PLATA AND OF THE KINGDOM
OF CHILE, EXCLUDING UPPER PERU AND SOUTHERN PATAGONIA.]



CHAPTER III.

THE LAUTARO LODGE.

1812--1813.


The Provisional Junta, which was established at Buenos Ayres on the 25th
May, 1810, was a simple evolution of historic and municipal rights, and
was legalised by the election of deputies to it from the Cabildos. This
body was subsequently reconstructed, but this measure and the creation
of Provincial Juntas were retrograde movements, arising from a latent
tendency to decentralisation, in which lay the germ of the federal
system of a later day. The next step was the creation of a Triumvirate,
which, being a more centralised form of government, responded to the
immediate needs of the revolution, and was a necessity of the time.

In the Junta the conservative and revolutionary elements of society were
both represented, but the Triumvirate represented no party, and was
merely an anonymous Dictator. The revolution had as yet no defined
policy, and thus afforded no basis for the development of the democratic
idea.

A Legislative Assembly was convened, formed of deputies from the various
provinces, which drew up a constitution which virtually gave back the
executive power to the Cabildos. This Assembly was dissolved by the
Triumvirate, a measure greatly applauded by the public, but which
attacked the fundamental principle of government.

The Triumvirate then drew up and decreed a constitution of its own,
providing for the periodical election of the Executive by a mixed
assembly of notables and of representatives of different towns, who
should also act as a legislative council until the convention of a
National Congress.

These measures were far from satisfying the requirements of the
democratic party, who called for the immediate convocation of a National
Congress, which would give form and life to the Republic, though
government was still carried on in the name of the King. The Triumvirate
opposed the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, considering the time
for this had not yet come. Hence came about a fourth political
evolution, more dangerous and more important than any of the others.

San Martin returned to his native country a man unknown, but with a
certain repute as a brave soldier and a skilful tactician. His comrade,
Alvear, on the contrary, came of a family already well known in the
River Plate. Ambitious of glory and of power, and of a brilliant
imagination, he was a great contrast to San Martin, and assumed an
attitude of protection to him, recommending him to the Government of the
United Provinces as a good soldier.

Eight days after his arrival San Martin was confirmed in his rank as a
lieutenant-colonel, and was entrusted with the organization of a
squadron of cavalry, in which Alvear held the rank of major and Zapiola
that of captain. This was the origin of the famous regiment of mounted
grenadiers, which fought in all the battles of the War of Independence,
which gave to America nineteen generals and more than two hundred
officers, and of which, after shedding its blood and spreading its bones
across the continent from La Plata to Pichincha, a remnant returned
under the command of a trooper who in thirteen years had fought his way
up to the rank of colonel, and brought back their old standard with
them.

The experience of San Martin in Spain had taught him that success is not
possible in a long war without a solid military organization. He had
seen the Spanish armies, ever routed in spite of their heroism, when
remoulded under English discipline triumph over the first soldiers of
Europe. He knew that Spain, once free from war in the Peninsula, would
send her best troops and her best generals to America. Coolly he studied
the situation, and came to the conclusion that the war was but
commencing, that the armies of the revolution had no consistence, that
there was no plan of operations and no preparation for future
emergencies. He said nothing of this publicly, but quietly set to work
to found a new military school. Under his command the first squadron of
the mounted grenadiers became the school of a generation of heroes. He
did as Cromwell did in his day; he made one regiment the model for an
army. Under strict discipline, which did not repress individual energy,
he formed soldier and officer alike, one by one, instilling into them a
passion for duty and that cool courage which is the secret of success.

His first work was to instruct the officers, who under his guidance
became the monitors of the future school. To the companions of his
voyage he added men who had already seen service in the war, preferring
those who had risen from the ranks, but took none of higher rank than
lieutenant. To them he added cadets, chosen from respectable families of
the city of Buenos Ayres. He was their master both in tactics and in the
use of arms, and taught them both to study and to manœuvre with heads
erect. Their nerves he tried by nocturnal surprises, those who failed
being dismissed, as he wished “to have only lions in the regiment.”

He also established a sort of vigilance committee among them, and in
extreme cases gave permission to fight duels. On the first Sunday in
each month he presided at a meeting of this committee. In an adjoining
room each officer wrote on a blank ticket an account of any misconduct
he had observed. These tickets were folded and dropped into the hat of
the Major, and were then inspected by himself. If among them was any
accusation, the accused was sent from the room while the matter was
discussed. A committee of inquiry was named and directed to report at a
special meeting, where each officer gave his opinion in writing, and a
secret ballot decided whether the accused should remain in the corps or
not. In the first case the president, in the name of the committee and
in their presence, gave a full apology to the accused; in the second, a
special committee was appointed to wait upon him and procure his
resignation, he being at the same time notified that if he continued to
wear the uniform he would be forcibly stripped of it by the first
officer he met.

This tribunal had a concise and severe code which classified
transgressions worthy of punishment, from the act of ducking the head in
danger to that of refusing to fight a duel, be it just or unjust; also
striking a woman, even if insulted by her; and included all sorts of
personal misconduct.

The troopers were all carefully selected, short men not being admitted.
He subjected them to strict discipline, and armed them with the long
sabre of Napoleon’s cuirassiers, telling them that with this weapon they
could split like a melon the head of any _Goth_[8] they met. In their
first skirmish they gave practical proof of the truth of this lesson.
Finally, he gave to each trooper a war-name, forbidding him to answer to
any other.

Other squadrons were formed on the model of this one till a regiment was
embodied, and Government sent San Martin his commission as colonel with
these words:--

“Government sends you a commission as colonel of the mounted grenadiers,
and hopes that by the continuance of your steadiness and zeal you may
present the country with a corps capable alone of securing the liberties
of your fellow-citizens.”

Meantime San Martin had married Doña Maria de los Remedios Escalada, a
beautiful girl of one of the first families of the city.

San Martin made no pretence of being a politician, but among friends he
spoke plainly his opinions:--

“Until now the United Provinces have fought for no one knows what,
without a flag, and without any avowed principles to explain the origin
and tendency of the insurrection. We must declare ourselves independent
if we wish to be known and respected.”

With these ideas he did not hesitate to join those who desired the
convocation of a Constituent Congress, but he saw the necessity of
establishing some powerful nucleus of political force which should bring
superior intelligence to influence popular movements, preparing among a
few that which should be the apparent will of all. This idea he, aided
by Alvear, carried into effect by the installation of the celebrated
secret society known as THE LAUTARO LODGE, which exercised so great and
so mysterious an influence upon the destinies of the revolution.

This Lodge was established in Buenos Ayres about the middle of the year
1812. Its members were of all political parties, but the majority were
of the party at that time dominant in the State. The society was
organised in various grades; in the first, neophytes were initiated
according to the ritual of the Masonic lodges which were introduced into
Buenos Ayres prior to the outbreak of the revolution; in the higher
grades they were initiated into the higher purposes of the society, and
behind these was hidden the central lodge (Logia Matriz), in which lay
the supreme power of the society.

The declared object of the Lodge was:--

“To work systematically for the independence and happiness of America,
proceeding with honour and justice.”

Thus membership was exclusively confined to men of American birth. By
its constitution, if any of the brotherhood was elected supreme ruler
of the State, he could take no important step without consulting the
Lodge; he could not appoint a diplomatic agent, general-in-chief,
governor of a province, judge of an upper court, high church dignitary,
nor general officers, and could not punish any member of the
brotherhood, by his own authority. It was a law of the Society that all
members should mutually assist each other in all the exigencies of civil
life; that at the risk of life they should uphold the decrees of the
Lodge; and should inform it of anything which could influence public
opinion, or affect the public security. To reveal the secret of the
existence of the Lodge “by word or by sign” was punishable by death by
such means “as might be found convenient.” This penalty, was, however,
only intended to have a moral effect. By an addition to the
constitution, it was arranged that when any brother of the _Logia
Matriz_ was named general of an army or governor of a province, he
should have power to establish an affiliated society, with a smaller
number of members.

The Society failed to secure the adhesion of the members of the then
Government, but most of the popular leaders joined the Lodge, and its
ramifications soon extended to all classes, the most notable adherent
being Dr. Don Bernardo Monteagudo, who had great influence among the
younger citizens.

Very exaggerated ideas have been held as to the influence of the Lautaro
Lodge. Events have been attributed to its action and it has been held
responsible for executions and crimes with which the Society had nothing
whatever to do. It has been made the scapegoat of all the mistakes and
errors of the epoch. The Lodge of Lautaro was not a machine of
government or of speculative propaganda, it was an engine of revolution,
of war against a common enemy, and of defence against internal dangers.
In this sense it greatly contributed to give tone and direction to the
revolution, concentrating the forces of government, giving unity and
regularity to political evolutions, and a vigorous impulse to military
operations. Under its auspices was created the first popular Assembly
which gave form to the sovereignty of the people; to it was due that
spirit of propaganda which characterized the Argentine revolution, and
the maintenance of the alliance with Chile, which gave independence to
half the continent; but there was danger in the secrecy of its debates,
and in the irresponsibility of its collective power, which was manifest
when it became a tool in the hands of personal ambition. The limited
sphere in which its influence was felt proves that the Argentine
revolution was impelled by forces of much greater power, and obeyed
general laws over which it had no control.

The Portuguese army, then holding the left bank of the Uruguay, had
agreed to retire within the frontier in pursuance of an armistice
arranged, on the 26th May, 1812, by the interposition of the English
minister, between the United Provinces and the Court of Rio Janeiro. The
Spanish flag yet floated on the walls of Monte Video, but the road was
now open and a strong patriot army was concentrated on the right bank of
the Uruguay.

In Buenos Ayres public spirit revived on the discovery of a vast
conspiracy of European Spaniards under Alzaga, which was to have broken
out on the 5th July, in concert with the forces in Monte Video and the
Spanish squadron in the roadstead, aided by the Portuguese army, which
had not yet retired. The Triumvirate punished the conspirators with
great severity, and the base of operations was solidly secured.

In the North the situation was less promising. The Royalist army, after
completing the subjugation of Upper Peru, advanced in triumph to the
heart of the United Provinces, and invaded the Province of Tucuman. The
relics of the Patriot army were in retreat, under command of Belgrano,
and it was only hoped that they might reach Cordoba in safety. At this
critical juncture Belgrano, disregarding the positive orders of
Government, turned on the enemy, who were double in number to his own
forces, and completely routed them on the 24th September, near to the
city of Tucuman, capturing flags and cannon, and thus saved the
Argentine revolution.

By the constitution drawn up by the Triumvirate, it was established that
one of their number should retire every six months. On the expiration of
the first six months, they convened another Assembly to elect one in
place of the outgoing Triumvir. This Assembly, repeating the errors of
the previous one, took upon itself the attributes of a representative
body. Government dissolved it as it had the former one, and called upon
Don Juan Martin Pueyrredon to fill the vacant chair; but the national
spirit was no longer confined within the limits of the municipality of
Buenos Ayres, and demanded the immediate convocation of a National
Congress, elected by the people. The Triumvirate proposed that a third
Assembly should devote itself to drawing up a plan for the election of
the Congress. This Assembly accordingly met on the 6th October, in the
midst of the excitement caused by the news of the victory of Tucuman,
and elected as Triumvir a nominee of the Executive. Public opinion saw
in this only a continuance of the provisional system and was greatly
incensed, both against the Triumvirate and against the Assembly.

Behind the popular movement was the Lautaro Lodge under the direction of
Monteagudo, who secured the concurrence of San Martin and his
grenadiers, as also that of Alvear. This movement was much more
carefully prepared than that of the 25th May, 1810, or than that of the
5th and 6th April, 1811. The leaders drew up a plan of operations,
defining the parts to be played by the people, by the corporations, and
by the troops. They chose beforehand the members of the future
Government, and even made a programme of the policy they should pursue.

At half-past eleven on the night of the 7th October the troops of the
garrison commenced to defile into the Plaza Victoria, and took up
positions in front of the Cabildo. The grenadiers, with sabres sheathed,
were headed by San Martin and Alvear; after them came Colonel Ortiz
Ocampo with the 2nd regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Pinto with the
cavalry. At daybreak on the 8th, the bell of the municipality was rung
and the people commenced to assemble. Soon three hundred persons, among
whom were the principal members of the religious orders, occupied the
galleries of the Chamber and presented to the Cabildo a petition with
more than three hundred signatures, asking--

“Under protection of the military for the suspension of the Assembly and
the deposition of the Triumvirate, so that the Cabildo, reassuming the
authority delegated to it by the people on the 22nd May, 1810, might
immediately create a new Executive encharged to convene a truly national
Assembly.”

The Cabildo acceded to everything, declaring by proclamation that the
Assembly when convened should have supreme power within limits defined
by the towns, in order to draw up a Constitution. They also appointed an
executive, consisting of Don Juan José Passo, Don Nicolas Rodriguez
Peña, and Don Antonio Alvarez Jonte, under the rules of the Provisional
Statute. All which was submitted to the people and approved of by
acclamation.

This revolution, which was municipal in its form, was essentially
national and democratic in its tendency. The principle of the
sovereignty of the people was recognised by calling a general Congress;
the old traditions, which gave supremacy to the capital, were set aside;
and the first bold step was taken in the path of independence.

The new Triumvirate lost no time in setting about their appointed task;
the Constituent Assembly was speedily convened, the victorious army of
Tucuman was strongly reinforced, and another army was despatched to
besiege Monte Video.

Thus in the space of seven months from the arrival of San Martin in
Buenos Ayres the aspect of affairs was completely changed. Government
was consolidated, its policy defined, public spirit was aroused, and the
revolution, with two armies, boldly displayed the flag of independence.
But the military situation was precarious, everything depended upon the
result of a battle.

Monte Video was a fortress of the second class, was defended by 335
guns, of which 175 were in battery, was garrisoned by more than 3,000
troops and by 2,000 militia, and was further protected by a squadron of
14 ships of war, mounting 210 guns, and by a flotilla, while the United
Provinces had not even a gunboat. Here was the centre of reaction and
the natural base for any expedition from the Peninsula, while the state
of relations with Brazil increased the danger from this quarter.

The Royalist army, beaten at Tucuman, had been strongly reinforced, and
lay entrenched at Salta, waiting the arrival of another army from Upper
Peru.

Government summoned a council of military chiefs--of whom San Martin was
one--and of influential citizens, to aid the Cabildo in devising
measures to meet these threatening dangers. It was decided that Monte
Video must be taken at any cost, and that Belgrano should be instructed
to drive the enemy from Salta, in order to open the road to the centre
of the Spanish power at Lima.



CHAPTER IV.

SAN LORENZO.

1813--1814.


On the 31st December, 1812, the vanguard of the army sent against Monte
Video, under the command of Colonel Rondeau, completely defeated a
strong sortie of the garrison and laid siege to the city.

On the 31st January, 1813, the general Constituent Assembly met in
Buenos Ayres. The majority were members of the Lautaro Lodge, so there
was no longer that anarchy of opinion which had neutralized the former
Assemblies. For the moment it fulfilled popular aspirations; the nominal
sovereignty of the King of Spain was eclipsed, his name disappeared for
ever from public documents, the escutcheons of Spain were torn down,
titles of nobility, the Inquisition, and judicial torture were
abolished. The effigy of former monarchs was substituted on coins by the
seal of the United Provinces--a sun with rays and a Phrygian cap, within
a wreath of laurel. The colours of the Spanish flag were replaced by the
blue and white of the Patriot cockade, and the last link with the mother
country was broken by declaring the supremacy of the National Courts of
Law. Everything was reformed, even to the prayers of the priests and the
songs of the people, who now in inspired verse saluted,

    “A new and glorious Nation,
     With a conquered lion at her feet.”[9]

So was inaugurated the sovereignty of the Argentine people; a formal
Declaration of Independence was now all that was wanting for the
establishment of a republic.

The armies in the field swore obedience to the Assembly and marched with
enthusiasm under the new flag upon the fortifications of Monte Video and
upon the entrenchments of Salta; only upon the water did the spirit of
revolution as yet make no progress. The maritime power of Spain seemed
invincible in America; her ships of war dominated the coasts from
California on the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico on the Atlantic. The
sailors of Monte Video dominated the River Plate and its affluents. One
day they bombarded Buenos Ayres, another they spread terror along the
banks of the Uruguay, and sacked defenceless towns on the Parana.
Batteries were thrown up on the banks in front of Rosario and at Punta
Gorda, which only diverted attack from these points to others more
defenceless.

In October, 1812, the towns of San Nicolas and San Pedro, on the western
bank of the Parana, were cannonaded and sacked. Then, with the object of
diverting the attention of the Patriots from the siege of Monte Video,
cutting off all communication by the rivers with the interior, and of
procuring supplies for the garrison of Monte Video, a flotilla was
organised under the command of a noted smuggler, Ruiz by name, on which
was shipped a detachment of infantry, led by a red-haired Biscayan,
named Zabala, a man of colossal stature and of approved valour.

The Government of Buenos Ayres, hearing of this expedition, ordered the
battery at Rosario to be dismantled and the guns to be sent higher up
the Parana, to Punta Gorda, where the garrison was strengthened. The
colonel of the mounted grenadiers also received orders to march with two
squadrons for the protection of the coast from Zarate to Santa Fé.

The Royalist expedition, under convoy of three small ships of war,
concentrated at the mouth of the Guazu, below the delta of the Parana,
about the middle of January, and were there delayed by a north wind, so
that when San Martin reached the coast they were only commencing the
ascent of the main river. Keeping his troops out of sight, San Martin,
disguised in the hat and poncho of a countryman, kept watch upon their
movements from the bank, by day and by night. On the 28th January they
passed San Nicolas, and on the 29th anchored above Rosario, without
having as yet made any attempt to land.

Escalada, commandant of Rosario, collected twenty-two men, carrying
muskets, and thirty horsemen, and with a small gun prepared to make what
resistance he could. At daybreak on the 30th the flotilla cast anchor
inside the island of San Lorenzo, which lies in the middle of the river
about seventeen miles to the north of Rosario. The western bank here
consists of high bluffs, affording no landing-places except where narrow
paths were cut through them to the water’s edge; in front of one of
these cuttings the flotilla anchored. Beyond the low trees which
bordered the edge of the bluff stood the lonely monastery of San Carlos,
a two-storey building with a belfry on the roof.

About a hundred men landed, but all the provisions they could obtain
from the peaceful friars were a few fowls and melons; all cattle had
been withdrawn from the coast. As the monastery bell struck half-past
seven, a cloud of dust was seen on the Rosario road. It was Escalada,
with his fifty men and his one small gun. The Spaniards retreated with
drums beating to their boats, and Escalada opened fire upon them from
the edge of the bluff, but was obliged to draw off as the guns of the
flotilla had much longer range than his one piece.

On the night of the 31st, a Paraguayan prisoner escaped from the
flotilla, swimming ashore on a bundle of sticks. From him the Patriots
learned that the whole force of the enemy did not exceed three hundred
and fifty men, that they were mounting two small guns, intending to land
next day in greater force for the purpose of searching the monastery for
treasure which they supposed to be there hidden, and that after securing
the treasure they intended to proceed up the river, passing the
batteries of Punta Gorda by night, if they could not destroy them, and
so cut off the trade with Paraguay.

Escalada sent out messengers with this news, one of whom met San Martin
and his grenadiers, who, following the windings of the river had been
left behind by the flotilla, which was favoured by a southerly breeze.
Fortunately the wind now chopped round to the north and delayed the
intended landing, so that when San Martin, by forced marches, reached
the post-house of San Lorenzo, three miles from the monastery, on the
night of the 2nd February, nothing had yet been done. At the post-house
he found fresh horses waiting for him, sent there by Escalada.

In front of the post-house stood an old carriage without horses. Two
troopers rode up to it, and asked:--

“Who is here?”

“A traveller,” answered a sleepy voice.

Another horseman rode up saying--

“Be careful; this is not an enemy, but an Englishman on his way to
Paraguay.”

The traveller put his head out of one of the windows of the coach, and
thinking he recognized the figure and voice, said:--

“Surely you are Colonel San Martin?”

“If so, you have a friend here, Mr. Robertson,” answered the other.

And so it was; this was the well-known traveller, William Parish
Robertson, who was destined to witness the memorable events of the next
day, and to record what he saw.

The two friends laughed together at their unexpected meeting in the
dark, and San Martin spoke of his project.

“The enemy has double the number of men that we have, but I doubt if
they get the better of us.”

“So say I,” replied the Englishman, offering his visitors wine to drink
to their success, and asking permission to go with them.

“Agreed,” answered San Martin, “but take care; it is no part of your
duty to fight. I will give you a horse, but if the day goes against us
you must run for it.”

Then, giving the order to mount, he put himself with his friend at the
head of the silent troopers, and soon after midnight reached the
monastery, which they entered by a gateway in the rear of the edifice.

All the cells were vacant: not a sound was to be heard in the cloisters.
The gate being shut the troopers dismounted in the large courtyard. The
Colonel enjoined silence upon them, and forbade them to light fires.

“It brought to mind,” says the English traveller, “the Greek host hidden
in the bowels of the wooden horse, so fatal to Troy.”

San Martin, with a night-glass, ascended the tower of the church, and
saw by their lanterns that the enemy was yet there. He then carefully
reconnoitered the country round him, and from information furnished by
Escalada formed his plans.

On the river face of the monastery a level plain, apt for cavalry
manœuvres, extended for three hundred and fifty yards to the edge of
the bluff. Two winding paths, one only of which was practicable for
infantry in formation, led to the beach below. He then withdrew his men
from the courtyard and formed them, holding their horses by the bridle,
behind the cloisters and outhouses, leaving Escalada and his volunteers
within the edifice. At dawn he again mounted the tower. At five o’clock,
as the shades of night melted away, boats laden with armed men, were
seen to leave the flotilla for the shore. At half-past five, two small
columns of infantry marched up the main path.

Then San Martin came down from his post of observation, and, meeting
Robertson at the foot of the stairs, said:--

“In two minutes more we shall be upon them, sword in hand.”

A few paces off his orderly held his charger ready, a fine
cream-coloured horse, fully caparisoned. In a moment he was in the
saddle. Drawing his curved sabre he galloped off to his grenadiers, who
were now to enter into action for the first time, and in a few words
exhorted them to remember his lessons, and, above all, not to fire a
shot, but to trust to their lances and sabres. He put himself at the
head of the second squadron and gave command of the first to Captain
José Bermudez, directing him to attack the flank and cut off the retreat
of the invaders, and added:--

“We will meet in the centre of the enemy’s columns; there I will give
you further orders.”

The enemy, about two hundred and fifty strong, had in the meantime
advanced some two hundred and odd yards. They came on quickly to the
sound of drums and fifes, and with a flag, in two parallel columns of
half companies, with two four-pound guns between the columns and a
little in advance. Then was heard for the first time the war clarion of
the mounted grenadiers.

From the right and from the left of the monastery the two squadrons
dashed forward at full gallop, sabre in hand. San Martin led the attack
on the left, Bermudez that on the right. San Martin being nearest was
the first to fall on the enemy. The fire of the two guns failed to check
the onset; the heads of the Spanish columns were thrown into disorder,
but, falling back, opened a heavy fire of musketry. San Martin with his
squadron encountered the column led by Zabala in person; his horse was
killed by the first volley, and a fierce hand-to-hand fight raged round
him as he lay upon the ground caught by the leg by his fallen steed, in
which he received a slight sabre cut in the face. A Spanish soldier ran
forward to bayonet him, but was run through the body with a lance by a
grenadier named Baigorria. Another trooper, named Juan Bautista Cabral,
sprang from the saddle and released his leader from the fallen horse,
and fell himself pierced by two mortal wounds, shouting:--

“I die content! We have beaten the enemy.”

Almost at the same moment, Cornet Bouchard killed the bearer of the
Spanish ensign and captured the flag.

The other column was also driven back by the charge of the squadron led
by Bermudez, and the Spaniards abandoning their guns, retreated to the
bluff, where they attempted to form square under protection of the guns
of the flotilla. Bermudez leading a second charge upon them was mortally
wounded by a cannon-shot, and Lieutenant Manuel Diaz Velez, carried away
by his enthusiasm, fell with his horse over the bluff, with a ball in
his forehead, and two bayonet wounds in his chest, but the Spaniards
were driven headlong to the beach, leaving behind them, besides their
flag, their guns and fifty muskets, forty dead and fourteen prisoners.
Many of those who escaped were wounded, one of these being Zabala, their
leader.

The grenadiers had fifteen killed and twenty-seven wounded, among whom
each of the United Provinces had at least one representative. Lieutenant
Diaz Velez, being taken prisoner, was carried on board the flotilla.

San Martin assisted by Robertson, generously furnished the flotilla with
fresh supplies for their wounded, and arranged for an exchange of
prisoners, giving up those he had captured for three previously taken by
the boats and for his wounded officer; but Velez died in the arms of his
comrades a few hours after. One of these released prisoners was a
Paraguayan named José Felix Bogado; he at once enlisted in the regiment,
and during thirteen years’ service with it, from San Lorenzo to
Ayacucho, won his way up to the rank of Colonel, and then returned to
Buenos Ayres, accompanied by seven of the original troopers of the
corps.

Still covered with the blood and dust of the fight, San Martin signed
the despatch announcing his victory, under the shade of an old pine-tree
which still stands in the garden of San Lorenzo.

The affair of San Lorenzo, though of little military importance, had a
most beneficial effect upon the Patriot cause. The safety of the towns
on the banks of the Parana and Uruguay was secured; communication with
Entre Rios, which was the base of the army besieging Monte Video, was
maintained; the expected supplies to this city were cut off; the trade
with Paraguay was preserved; and above all, a new general given to the
army and new vigour to the spirits of the men.

Three days afterwards, the discomfited flotilla descended the Parana,
laden with wounded instead of plunder, and carried the news to Monte
Video. At the same time San Martin returned to Buenos Ayres, and the
enthusiasm of his reception somewhat deadened the calumnies which
already began to embitter his life.

On the 20th February the Spanish army entrenched at Salta was completely
routed by General Belgrano; the third victory in less than three months.
The revolution of the 8th October and the influence of the Lautaro Lodge
were justified by these results.

When San Martin returned to Buenos Ayres, he found that political
parties, confined within the limits of the capital, weakened by local
animosities, and ultimately enclosed by the four walls of the Lodge, had
degenerated into circles ruled by personal influences, and like most of
the influential men of that day he became imbued with the belief that a
constitutional monarchy backed by Europe was the true solution of the
political problem. Neither he nor they saw that the sentiment of the
people was essentially republican.

Secret societies have been at times the only means of organization left
to an enslaved people, but they have never accompanied the development
of revolutionary ideas; as a general rule they have produced nothing
beyond abortive conspiracies; among a free people they are impotent.
Thus the continuance of the secret and irresponsible influence of the
Lautaro Lodge, could have no other effect than to weaken the power of
the General Assembly, its own creation.

Within the Lodge itself there soon arose two distinct parties, one
strove only for democratic independence, the other was a personal party
with Alvear at its head, which presently absorbed the whole society.

The dream of Alvear was military glory and a dictatorship. His friend
Carrera was at this time (May, 1813), both a dictator and a general in
his own country; he took him as his model, but was clear-sighted enough
to see that their circumstances were not identical.

In June, 1813, the army of the North a second time invaded Upper Peru
under the orders of Belgrano, but was badly beaten at Vilcapugio on the
1st October, and almost destroyed at Ayohuma on the 14th November. The
remnant retreated to its former position, and Belgrano requested to be
relieved of the command.

The United Provinces had not at this time any general conspicuous for
military genius. The laurels gained by Don Antonio Gonsalez Balcarce at
Suipacha were blighted at the Desaguadero. His brother, Don Martin
Balcarce, was in Chili in command of Argentine auxiliaries. The victory
of Don José Rondeau, in front of Monte Video, was the first and last of
his career; he lacked the qualities of a commander-in-chief. Belgrano
was wanting both in technical knowledge and in warlike instinct, but was
the best of them all. Of the generals of division, none had as yet shown
any capacity for separate command. The revolution which had been so far
opposed by mediocre generals and badly-organized troops, had now to
contend against skilful generals and well-disciplined troops.

Alvear applied for the command of the army of the North. San Martin, who
considered the expedition against Monte Video of more importance,
willingly gave place to him, but Alvear, ever vacillating and loth to
leave the field of politics, changed his mind and recommended San Martin
for the post. San Martin was anxious to free himself from the trammels
of party in order to gain freedom of action in the course he had marked
out for himself; he accordingly accepted the command of a reinforcement
for the army of the North, and received instructions to assume the
command-in-chief if he should deem it advisable.

This reinforcement consisted of the 7th battalion of infantry, 700
strong, two squadrons of the mounted grenadiers, and 100 artillerymen,
and reached Tucuman before the close of the year 1813. Soon after San
Martin and Belgrano met at Yatasto on the road to Salta, and swore
friendship to each other, an oath most faithfully kept by both.

These two celebrated men had never met before, but had for some time
corresponded. San Martin presented himself as a subordinate, but
Belgrano looked to him as a master in the art of war, and regarded him
as his successor. After some delay, due to the reluctance of San Martin
to supersede his friend, he at length assumed the command on receipt of
positive orders to that effect from Government, Belgrano remaining with
him in command of a regiment. Belgrano died in the belief that San
Martin was the tutelar genius of South America, and San Martin to the
end of his days honoured the memory of his illustrious friend as that of
one of the purest patriots of the New World.

On the 22nd January, 1814, the executive power was concentrated in one
person, who took the title of Supreme Director. Don Gervasio Antonio
Posadas was selected by the Lodge to fill this post, and was duly
elected by the General Assembly. No one was more surprised than himself
at this appointment, for which his only special recommendation was that
he was the uncle of Alvear, who for the present contented himself with
the command of the army of the capital, until such time as he could take
command of the army of Monte Video, and there achieve such military
glory as should entitle him to supreme power.

The first care of San Martin, on assuming command of the army of the
North, was to insist upon the regular payment of his men. There existed
in the army chest a sum of thirty-six thousand dollars, drawn from Upper
Peru, which Government had directed should be paid over to the General
Treasury. San Martin disobeyed the order and applied the money as he
wished, giving Government at the same time his reasons for so doing.
Government approved of his conduct as justified by necessity, for the
army was at the time in the last stage of destitution.



CHAPTER V

UPPER PERU.

1814.


The military policy of the United Provinces had three distinct ends:
first, to construct a new nation within the geographical limits of the
old Viceroyalty of the River Plate; second, to aid in the establishment
of other South American nations, who would be their natural allies; and
third, to carry their arms beyond their frontiers for the removal of
obstacles to their expansion. Hence the expeditions to Paraguay and
Monte Video, the aid given to the insurgents in Chile, and the war waged
with the Viceroyalty of Peru. The army of the North, as the embodiment
of this threefold policy, was styled “The Auxiliary Army of Peru,” and
its mission was to incorporate the Provinces of Upper Peru as a portion
of the old Viceroyalty, to capture Lima, the centre of Spanish power in
South America, and to bring Lower Peru into an alliance similar to that
already contracted with Chile.

For four years Upper Peru had been the battlefield of the Patriots and
Royalists; it was now completely in the power of the latter. The four
provinces known as Upper Peru are shut in by mountain ranges, and have
no fluvial communication with either ocean. Situate within the tropics,
their high tablelands and intervening valleys furnish at once examples
of perpetual winter and perpetual spring, and yield all the natural
products of the globe.

Upper Peru is divided by two spurs from the Andes into three districts.
The western range runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean from the desert of
Atacama--which is a high tableland--to the first valleys of Lower Peru
on the coast, cutting off an arid and thinly-peopled district. The
central plain, well peopled but inclement, is the natural road from the
Argentine Republic to Lower Peru, and was the theatre of operations
during the preceding campaigns. The eastern range, with lofty peaks
covered with perpetual snow, looks down upon a truly intertropical
paradise. At its foot extends to the west the smiling valley of Clisa,
where stands the city of Cochabamba, with easy access over the hills to
the central plateau, and to Chuquisaca by valleys on the south-east.
Behind Cochabamba and to the east of the range lies the Valle Grande,
which collects the mountain streams and delivers them to the Amazon.
More to the north-east lies Santa Cruz da la Sierra in the midst of a
vast grassy plain, which slopes gradually away to the confines of
Brazil, Paraguay, and the Argentine Chaco.

The social organization of Upper Peru was a continuation of the system
of the Incas, complicated by the antagonism of races. Europeans had
established themselves in six cities, whose former inhabitants, driven
out to the ice-covered hills or to the torrid valleys, worked as serfs
for their lords and masters as cultivators of the soil or as miners. The
lower class in these cities consisted of half-breeds, and formed the
greater part of the population. All the rest of the country was peopled
exclusively by two indigenous races, who paid a capitation tax, and had
no civil rights. The language of the conquerors was unintelligible to
the mass of the people.

In this country the first rebellion against the domination of Spain was
quenched in blood in 1809, but news of the revolution of Buenos Ayres in
1810 rekindled the smouldering embers. The movement was supported by
Argentine troops under Balcarce, who won the first victory of the war at
Suipacha, but was afterwards totally defeated on the Desaguadero. The
Patriots of Cochabamba being thus left alone, fought another battle by
themselves at Sipe-Sipe on the 13th August, 1811, but were defeated.
The repulse of the second invasion under Belgrano in 1813 was another
great disappointment to them, but still the spirit of the people was not
crushed. There was, however, no cohesion among them; they had the
courage to resist and to die on the field of battle or on the scaffold,
but they were unable to concert any plan of action; thus these
successive disasters greatly weakened the ties which bound them to the
Patriots of Buenos Ayres, but vain were the efforts of the Spaniards to
overcome the passive resistance of the people. Heads of rebels were
exposed along the public roads, the properties of such as had fled were
confiscated and sold, towns were sacked, military commissions terrorized
the country, prisoners taken in the last campaign were sold as slaves to
the owners of the vineyards and plantations of Peru, but still
insurrectionary movements constantly broke out; even the Indians, armed
with nothing more than clubs, slings, and arrows, braved death with the
utmost stoicism, certain that they would be avenged. The Spanish
general, unable either to retreat or to advance, established his
headquarters at Tupiza; and while a portion of his army kept open
communications in the rear, his vanguard advanced to Salta, constantly
harassed by the country people, who rose in arms on the retreat of the
Patriot army to Tucuman.

The army which had twice defeated the armies of the United Provinces was
almost entirely composed of natives of the Highlands of Lower Peru. They
were men inured to hardships and privations, untiring on the march,
faithful to their flag, obedient to their officers, and undaunted under
fire. They were half-breeds, who spoke the same language as the people
of the country in which they fought. The climate of this country was the
same as that of their own, and they were accustomed to the peculiar
requirements of mountain warfare. All this gave them great advantages
over the Argentine troops on that field of action, and the remembrance
of defeats disheartened the Patriot army.

Belgrano after the rout of Ayohuma had left Colonel Don JUAN ANTONIO
ALVAREZ DE ARENALES as governor of Cochabamba and commandant of the
Patriot forces in the rear of the enemy, and Colonel Don Ignacio Warnes
as governor of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, under the orders of Arenales.
Only men of their stamp could have undertaken the desperate enterprise
of keeping alive the flames of insurrection in the mountains of Upper
Peru after such disasters.

Arenales is one of the most extraordinary characters of the Argentine
revolution. Born in Spain and educated in Buenos Ayres, he embraced with
ardour the American cause, and took a prominent part in the insurrection
at Chuquisaca in 1809. Taken prisoner, he was sent to Peru, and remained
in the casemates of Callao till set at liberty by the Cortes of Cadiz in
1812. At the time of the battle of Tucuman he was in Salta, and there
headed a patriotic movement which was immediately quelled. Previous to
the battle of Salta he had joined the army of Belgrano, and accompanied
it to Upper Peru. To austere manners, tenacity of purpose, and untiring
activity he added the virtues of a good citizen, great talents as an
administrator, inflexible will, and a brain fertile in warlike
stratagems. His face never displayed any signs of either pleasure or
pain, and his stern look and voice joined to his lion-like head, marked
him as one born to command; but under all lay a warm heart, more anxious
to do right than to win glory.

Warnes was of English descent, but was born in Buenos Ayres, and in 1807
had distinguished himself in defence of his native city.

San Martin, on learning from Belgrano the character of Arenales, at once
opened communications with him, and on two occasions sent him arms and
ammunition, with officers, to aid him in his operations.

While Belgrano was in Upper Peru, Colonel Landivar, a Spaniard, was made
prisoner at Santa Cruz de la Sierra. This man had been one of the most
merciless agents of Goyeneche, and he was kept for trial by the
General, “not for having fought against our system, but for the murders,
robberies, burnings, violences, extortions, and other excesses
perpetrated by him in contravention of the laws of war.” It was proved
that he had executed fifty-four prisoners of war, whose heads and arms
had been cut off and nailed to posts on the public roads. The accused
alleged that he had only ordered the execution of thirty-three
individuals, and that in obedience to express orders from Goyeneche,
which he produced in evidence. The defence was ably conducted by an
officer of the Grenadiers, who pleaded that the prisoner having acted
only in obedience to the orders of his superior could not be looked upon
as other than a prisoner of war. The Court pronounced sentence of death,
which sentence was laid before San Martin on the 13th January, 1814, who
at once signed it without consulting Government.

This trial gives an idea of the mode in which war was waged in Upper
Peru. The cruelties of the Spaniards produced reprisals on the part of
the insurgents, which so filled the land with bloodshed that “the
inhabitants looked calmly upon these scenes; no one hesitated to risk
his own life, and all sought to shed the blood of those of the other
party.” Such was the war into which Arenales now entered as leader of
the fifth insurrection of Cochabamba.

The Royalist army being in possession of the central plateau the
position of Arenales at Cochabamba was untenable, but the road by the
Valle Grande was open to him; he could join Warnes at Santa Cruz de la
Sierra, and communicate with the Argentine Provinces by the Chaco, and
from Santa Cruz he could march over well-wooded plains to Chuquisaca.

On the 29th November he commenced his retreat with sixty musketeers,
four small guns, a few cavalry, and a crowd of countrymen armed with
clubs and slings, who covered his flanks and rear. In the valley of
Misque he attempted to make a stand, but was forced across the
Cordillera to the head waters of the eastern streams. Overtaken at
Chillán, he beat off his pursuers, and reached the Valle Grande, where
he recruited his forces, forming an infantry battalion of one hundred
and sixty-five men, and two squadrons of cavalry, and was joined by some
guerilla chiefs.

The insurrection spread, and Pezuela despatched Colonel Blanco with six
hundred men and three light guns, to subdue it. On his march Blanco met
with six heads nailed to posts, a gage of defiance from the guerillas
who swarmed in the adjacent valleys.

On the 4th February the two armies met. The Patriots had at first the
advantage, till a part of their raw troops were seized with panic; the
Royalists captured their guns and remained masters of the field. Blanco
shot his prisoners, and cut off the heads of three leaders, after which
he retreated to Chillán for reinforcements.

Arenales retreated to the frontier of Santa Cruz, taking his arms and
spare ammunition with him on mule-back. Reinforced by Warnes he halted
at Abapo on the Rio Grande, and in March had two hundred and four
infantry and four small guns. Warnes refused to recognise his authority,
and took up a position for himself at Horcas with a thousand men,
advancing his outposts to Herradura and Petacas, passes of the
Cordillera considered impregnable, as they were nothing more than
flights of stairs cut in the sides of the mountain.

At the same time the Indians of the Chaco along the banks of the river
Pilcomayo rose up in favour of the Patriots; guerilla chiefs aroused a
part of the Province of La Plata; and the towns in Blanco’s rear were
again in insurrection. Pezuela despatched Colonel Benavente with five
hundred men, against this new insurrection; but in spite of sundry
advantages gained by both columns, Benavente was so weakened that he was
soon reduced to inaction, and Blanco, whose troops suffered greatly from
fever, was forced to evacuate the Valle Grande early in April and to
retreat to Misque.

Arenales, while encamped at Tumina, received information that Blanco,
resuming the offensive, had forced the passes of Herradura and Petacas,
and had dispersed the division under Warnes. He at once marched towards
the scene of action, and met Warnes at the head of only three hundred
men. The latter, learning wisdom by his reverses, placed himself under
his orders. Blanco had in the meantime taken the city of Santa Cruz, and
was now coming in search of them with six hundred men, of whom one-half
were regular infantry.

On the 24th May the Royalists came in sight, and the Patriots retreated
by a narrow defile, leaving a small party to draw on the enemy. At dawn
on the 25th they reached the town of LA FLORIDA, on the river Piray.
Arenales took up a position on the right of this small river, in an open
space where the bank was about two yards high. Below, the river spread
out, while in front lay a wide plain. His flanks were protected by dense
brushwood; the town was behind him. He planted his guns on the open,
placed his cavalry in ambuscade on each flank, with Warnes in command on
the right and De la Riva on the left. At the foot of the bank he opened
a trench, concealed by sand and brushwood, where he stationed his
infantry, kneeling, and awaited the attack. His entire force numbered
about eight hundred men.

Just before noon the same day a dropping fire was heard in the woods in
front. It came from the outpost, who were retreating before the enemy.
Soon after that the Royalist column debouched from the wood, preceded by
skirmishers. Blanco drew up his men on the plain, with strong cavalry
reserves on the flanks, and opened fire with his four-pounders. Then, as
the infantry advanced firing, the Patriot guns opened upon them. When
the skirmishers entered the river, the entrenched infantry poured in a
volley, and, springing from their shelter, charged through the smoke
with such impetuosity that, aided by the cavalry on the left, they
completely routed the enemy, Colonel Blanco remaining dead upon the
field.

Arenales headed the pursuit in person with so little caution that he was
attacked by a group of fugitives, who left him for dead with fourteen
wounds, three of them in the face. His men rushed in and saved him,
carrying him on their shoulders back to the camp.

Two flags, two guns, two hundred muskets, one hundred killed, and
ninety-nine prisoners, were the trophies of this victory, while the
Patriots lost only one man killed and twenty-one wounded, including
their leader.

Such was the action of La Florida, which saved Santa Cruz de la Sierra
and compelled the retreat of the Royalist army from Salta. It gives the
name to one of the principal streets of Buenos Ayres. For it Arenales
was raised to the rank of general, and a badge of honour was decreed to
the troops engaged.

Arenales was no sooner well of his wounds than he marched with his
division and reoccupied the Valle Grande, routing a Royalist force of
two hundred men at Postrer Valle on the 4th July, but was on the 5th
August himself defeated at Sumapaita. Afterwards reinforced by Padilla
with a body of Indian slingers, he forced Benavente to retreat from
Tomina, and again reoccupied the Valle Grande.

Eighteen months he maintained this extraordinary war at a cost to the
enemy of 1,300 men in killed, wounded, and missing, entering Cochabamba
at last in triumph, and joining the Argentine army with 1,200 men.

Over the vast plains of La Plata the revolutionary spirit had spread
almost unopposed, but where mountain ranges marked out the limits of
Upper Peru the movement could only advance by force of arms. The map of
the old Viceroyalty did not coincide with that of the social revolution
of the United Provinces. Upper Peru had been the high road from Buenos
Ayres to Lima in time of peace; it now remained for San Martin to decide
whether the same road was strategically the proper road to Lima or not,
in time of war.



CHAPTER VI.

THE WAR IN THE NORTH.

1814.


The Army of the North when reinforced, barely numbered 2,000 men, mostly
recruits, among whom desertion was frequent. Disorganized, short of
officers, and badly clothed, it was quite incapable of making head
against the enemy. Jujui and Salta were held by the victorious
Spaniards, who threatened the whole of the northern frontier. San Martin
was more especially troubled by the lack of officers and the general
want of discipline in the troops.

Pezuela, the Spanish general who had defeated Belgrano at Vilcapugio and
Ayohuma, had established his headquarters at Tupiza on the frontier of
Upper Peru, and ordered a levy of two to three thousand men in the
Highlands of Lower Peru. He also formed two battalions out of
contingents from the nearer valleys of Chichas and Ciuti, raising his
army to about four thousand regulars. His vanguard under Ramirez, one
thousand five hundred to two thousand strong, with eight guns, occupied
Jujui, and his cavalry scoured the country as far as Salta. San Martin’s
outposts also reached almost to this city, and at this time the men of
the city and of the country round about, rose _en masse_ and formed a
sort of vanguard to the Army of the North.

San Martin had at that time no regular plan, he neither knew his own
resources nor the designs of the enemy, and confined his efforts to the
reorganization of the army. After consultation with Colonel Dorrego, who
commanded the advanced posts, he determined to confide these positions
to the district militia and to concentrate his regular forces in
Tucuman. In carrying out this plan he received most valuable assistance
from the devotion of the country people, who masked all his movements
and prevented the enemy from discovering anything either of his
intentions or of his strength.

His first step was the construction of an entrenched camp to the north
of the city, which put a stop to desertion, and he increased the number
of his troops by recruiting. Here he stood on the defensive and limited
his efforts to aiding the popular movements in Salta, Cochabamba, and
Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

In this entrenched camp, which is known to history as the citadel of
Tucuman, he established a school of instruction, holding up the mounted
grenadiers as a model for the rest of his force. Belgrano was a most
docile pupil, but Dorrego, though his talents were highly esteemed by
San Martin, was sent off to Santiago del Estero for insubordinate
conduct. Belgrano soon afterwards left the army, giving as his last
advice to his friends the maxim, “that war must be waged not with arms
alone but with the force of public opinion,” which maxim was at that
time exemplified by facts, for the Royalist armies held only the ground
on which they stood, and their movements were paralyzed by the popular
insurrections all around them.

In the Province of Salta the revolutionary movement was most pronounced.
The first popular manifestation in the city produced the organization of
the civic militia. In 1810 the urban guard was raised by the voluntary
enlistment of youths of respectable families. Then arose spontaneously
among the peasants of the campaña, a corps of cavalry, with the
instincts of the Cossacks, and the qualities of the Mamelukes, headed by
a chieftain who made his name famous for deeds of prowess.

MARTIN GÜEMES had first borne arms against the English in the reconquest
of Buenos Ayres in 1806 and in the memorable defence of 1807. He with
his men, formed the vanguard of the first Patriot army which invaded
Upper Peru. His horsemen penetrated as far as Potosi, and covered every
movement of the Patriots. At Suipacha he did good service. In 1811 he
escorted the prisoners of the campaign to Buenos Ayres, where he was
appointed to the general staff with the rank of captain. In 1813 he took
part in the second siege of Monte Video, and was absent from his native
province at the time of Belgrano’s expedition, but when San Martin took
command of the army he was at Santiago del Estero on his way back.

The insurrection of Salta in the face of the victorious enemy, was
carried out with equal deliberation and courage. The population
emigrated _en masse_, the peasants abandoned their huts and the towns
were left desolate. In the capital even the tongues were taken from the
church bells, lest the enemy should use them to celebrate their
victories. Two old friars alone remained in each convent to administer
the sacraments to the sick and aged who could not go away.

When the Royalist vanguard occupied the city of Salta a lieutenant,
named Ezenarro, was detached with thirty men to occupy a district
thirty-two miles to the south in the valley of Lerma. The first Sunday
after his arrival, one of the men of the place after morning mass,
said:--

“We must rise against this canalla.”

“With what arms?” asked another.

“With those we take from them,” said yet another.

A proprietor, named Luis Burela, put himself at their head, surprised
the guard, disarmed Ezenarro and his men, and sent them prisoners to
Tucuman. Then, with the arms they had captured, they marched to within
ten miles of Salta, where they were met by a company of Spanish troops,
whom they charged at once, and completely routed, taking most of the men
with their leader prisoners, and sending them also to Tucuman. Another
proprietor, named Pedro Zabala, followed the example of Burela, armed
his peons and some volunteers and took the field.

So began the resistance to the enemy, in which the whole people speedily
joined, so that Salta became a bulwark to the United Provinces
impregnable to Royalist arms, solely by the force of public opinion
roused to action.

The Province of Salta, which at that time formed a part of the
jurisdiction of Jujui, enters within the first spurs of the Andes which
branch from the second of the two ranges which enclose Upper Peru, and
has the same physical characteristics, plains, mountains, and an
intermediate tropical zone. Its possession was thus of great importance
to the invaders, as it was the gate to Argentine territory. The
occupation of Jujui opened the road to the plains and valleys of Salta,
but even the occupation of Salta itself did not secure their position.
The agricultural lands, from which alone supplies could be drawn, lay in
valleys to the south of the capital, and it was this part of the
Province the guerillas undertook to defend. The nature of the country
eminently adapted it to guerilla warfare. The inhabitants were a
hard-working race of men, strong, active, and inured to hardships,
individually brave, and with a natural instinct for the class of warfare
they waged. They were horsemen, accustomed to go either up or down hill
at full speed, whose ordinary equipment enabled them to gallop unharmed
through thorny brushwood. They were good marksmen, either from the
tree-tops or from horseback, or on foot from behind their horses if need
were. San Martin made no mistake when he entrusted to them the task of
keeping the Royalists at bay while he was engaged in the reorganization
of the regular army at Tucuman. He had seen in Spain what might be
accomplished by this class of irregular troops.

Pezuela, deceived by false despatches which San Martin caused to fall
into his hands, believed that these raw levies were the vanguard of the
Patriot army advancing on Salta, and in consequence lost much valuable
time waiting for reinforcements.

In March the Royalist vanguard advanced from Salta into the valley of
Lerma, in search of supplies, under the command of Colonel Saturnino
Castro, a native of Salta, who had the repute of being the first cavalry
officer of the Royalist army of Peru, and whose valour had decided the
day at Vilcapugio. The guerillas, who became known to history as the
GAUCHOS of Salta, greatly harassed the progress of the expedition,
swarming in the woods along the line of march, cutting off stragglers,
driving in small detachments, and firing upon the main body from any
convenient shelter.

On the 24th, videttes on the Guachipas River at the end of the valley,
descried fifty-six of the enemy, under Captain Fajardo, approaching
them. Captain Saravia collected thirty men armed with short muskets, and
a group of peasantry with clubs and pikes, charged upon them and
completely routed them, killing eleven including the captain, and making
twenty-seven prisoners, while he had only three men killed and one
wounded.

Meantime Güemes had entered the Sierra to the east of Salta, and on the
9th and 18th, two parties of his Gauchos surprised two detachments of
the enemy. On the 29th he came so close to the city that Castro sallied
out against him for about a league with eighty men, but was completely
routed, with the loss of half his force.

For this feat Güemes was named Commandant-General of the Vanguard, and
on the recommendation of San Martin, was raised to the rank of
Lieutenant-Colonel.

Güemes then occupied the approaches to the city and harassed the
garrison by daily attacks upon the suburbs. Being reinforced from Jujui,
the Royalists then organised two expeditions of 500 men each. One,
composed of a battalion of infantry and a squadron of light horse under
Colonel Alvarez, marched early in June into the valley of Lerma. At the
town of Sumalao, Alvarez found the vanguard of the Guachipas awaiting
him. The Patriot outposts were driven in, but the main body sheltered by
trees and broken ground, poured so heavy a fire upon him that he was
forced to return to the city, with many killed and wounded, and with the
loss of all the supplies he had seized.

The other column, also composed of infantry and cavalry, was under the
command of Colonel Marquiegui, who like Castro was a native of Salta,
and of great repute for skill and knowledge of the country. This column
marched to the east and was met by Güemes in person, who made so
stubborn a resistance that it was also forced back to the city, and the
siege was re-established.

Pezuela had drawn in his reserves and advanced to Jujui. Thence he sent
orders to Colonel Marquiegui to march with one hundred infantry and one
hundred and fifty horse, by the north-eastern frontiers of Tucuman and
Santiago del Estero, to the rear of the advanced guard of the Patriots
on the river Pasaje. Marquiegui carried out his instructions with great
skill, captured several forts, and learned from prisoners that the army
of San Martin consisted only of three thousand recruits, and that the
vanguard which gave them so much trouble, was nothing but a swarm of
undisciplined Gauchos; but he also learned that the object of the
campaign, which was the relief of Monte Video, was now impossible, that
city having already fallen.

When news of this expedition reached Tucuman, Güemes was immediately
reinforced by one hundred infantry and one hundred mounted grenadiers,
and Marquiegui retreated, marching one hundred leagues in a semicircle,
but was prevented from carrying off either horses or cattle.

This was the last attempt at invasion; five thousand men were not enough
to capture Tucuman, much less to conquer the country. Pezuela withdrew
his troops beyond the frontier, and sent off a strong detachment to
Cuzco to crush an insurrection which had broken out in that city.

The object of the Royalist invasion was, by a powerful diversion, to
compel the Argentine Government to withdraw their army from the Banda
Oriental for the protection of the northern provinces, but meantime that
government had armed and equipped a small naval force, which, under the
command of an Irishman named BROWN, had, on the 16th May, defeated and
almost destroyed the Spanish squadron stationed at Monte Video, which
city soon after surrendered to the Argentine army then besieging it
under the command of Alvear.

Before the conclusion of these events, the General of the Army of the
North had disappeared from the theatre of war. San Martin, after careful
study of the question, had clearly discerned that the road by Upper Peru
was not the true strategical line of the South American revolution. His
idea was to carry the war to the West, to pass the Andes, to occupy
Chile, to secure the dominion of the Pacific, and to attack Lower Peru
on the flank, continuing military operations to the North merely as a
subordinate detail of the main design.

This plan, the merits of which were not appreciated by his
contemporaries until it was crowned with victory, is looked upon by
posterity as not merely the most simple, but as the only possible plan
which could give the desired result. It was then held to be folly,
whilst in reality the folly lay in persevering in the attempt to reach
Lima with insufficient means and by an impracticable route. Knowing that
it would be looked upon as folly, San Martin kept his idea to himself,
as _his secret_, as he himself styled it in confidential intercourse,
waiting to disclose it for the day when he should hold in his hand the
thunderbolt which was to shatter the power of Spain in America. Three
months after taking command of the Army of the North, he wrote to his
friend, Don Nicolas Rodriguez Peña:--

“Don’t flatter yourself with thinking of what I can do here. I shall do
nothing, and nothing here pleases me. Our country can do nothing more
here than act on the defensive, for which war the brave Gauchos of
Salta suffice, if aided by two squadrons of regular troops. To think
otherwise is to throw men and money into an abyss. I have already told
you _my secret_. A small, well-disciplined army in Mendoza, to cross to
Chile and finish off the Goths there, aiding a government of trusty
friends to put an end to the anarchy which reigns. Allying our forces,
we shall then go by sea to Lima. This is our course, and no other.”

This idea, which was a secret in 1814, and which would, if divulged,
have caused its author to be looked upon as a lunatic, is the idea which
has given San Martin his place in the history of the world, and which
finally changed the destinies of South America.

With such plans in his head, San Martin could not rest content with the
command of the Army of the North. Further, his rival, Alvear, after
crowning himself with the laurels of victory at Monte Video, aspired
also to those of Peru. Doubtless, with his enterprising character and
sparks of genius, he would have broken the routine of the previous
campaigns, and San Martin was willing to yield his post to him, asking
for himself, as for a resting-place, the government of the obscure
province of Mendoza, by which he threw dust in the eyes, not only of the
enemies of America but also in those of his own friends, imitating the
tactics of William the Silent, to whose character his own bears some
analogy.

In addition he was, towards the end of April, attacked by an affection
of the lungs, which obliged him to leave Don Francisco Fernandez de la
Cruz in command of the army, and to retire, by the advice of his
physician, to the Sierra of Cordoba, in search of a drier climate.

On the 10th August, 1814, the ex-General of the Army of the North was
appointed Governor of Cuyo. From that moment he lived only for his idea.
Mendoza was the starting-point in the realization of his plans; it was
the soil whence sprang the legions which were to liberate America.



CHAPTER VII.

THE CHILENO-ARGENTINE REVOLUTION.

1810--1811.


In September, 1814, San Martin took charge of the Government of Cuyo.
The revolution in Chile had then lasted four years and was about to
succumb, a prey to intestine discords and to the arms of Peru. In order
to understand what followed we must first know what preceded the
appearance of San Martin upon the scene.

Never were two peoples more analogous and less alike than the peoples of
Chile and of the United Provinces. Both countries were situate at the
southern extremity of the new continent, under the same degrees of
latitude, but while one was shut up between the mountains and the sea,
the other spread over vast plains. The first was agricultural, the
second pastoral and commercial. Chile possessed a territorial
aristocracy, and a population of half-breeds, whose relations were
somewhat feudal in character. The Argentine people were by nature
democratic. Both people sprang from the same origin, and were in
temperament alike.

The colonization of Mexico and Peru was an imitation of the feudal
system of Europe; the labour of an enslaved race was utilized for the
production of the precious metals. The colonization of the River Plate
and of Chile was effected by the colonists themselves. Assimilating in
some degree the indigenous races, they conquered their territories from
a warlike people, and, in so doing, developed their own aptitude for
war, while they supplied themselves with the first necessaries of life
by their own labour.

While the colonists of the River Plate crossed immense deserts and
reached the Pacific by way of Upper Peru, the colonists of Chile crossed
the Andes from Arauco and established themselves to the east of the
Cordillera at Mendoza, opening for themselves a road to the Atlantic.
Thus the city of Mendoza, capital of the Argentine Province of Cuyo, was
a bond of union between the two countries.

During the colonial epoch Chile had vegetated in obscurity amid peace
and plenty, but the Provinces of the River Plate had lived in a state of
almost constant warfare with their neighbours the Portuguese, with the
English, and with the Indians, which gave them some knowledge of their
own strength, and inoculated them with new ideas. These ideas filtered
across the Cordillera to Chile, and there smouldered till, in the year
1810, the flames of revolution burst out in both countries almost
simultaneously.

The kingdom of Chile, as it was called, was colonized under the auspices
of Peru, but was, in 1778, separated from this Viceroyalty and placed
under the orders of a governor, who was at the same time President of
the Real Audiencia. These two authorities, with the Cabildos granted to
some cities, constituted the whole political, judicial, and municipal
system of the colony. The separation from Peru inspired the colonists
with instinctive ideas of independent autonomy, till the death of the
then governor, Muñoz Guzman, on the 10th February, 1808, plunged the
hitherto pacific colony into a fever of expectancy.

The Home Government followed no fixed system in the appointment of the
superior authorities in the colonies. Their nomination came from the
Crown direct; sometimes vacancies were provided for beforehand,
sometimes the colonists were empowered to make a provisional
appointment; but, latterly, that power was, as a rule, vested in the
Audiencia. In 1806 all this was changed by Royal decree, which enacted
that, in case of a vacancy, the military official of the highest rank
then in the colony should assume the vacant post. On the death of Muñoz
Guzman, the Audiencia of Chile raised its own President to the vacant
office. The officers stationed on the frontier of Araucania protested
against this appointment, and proclaimed Colonel Don Francisco Garcia
Carrasco Provisional Governor and Captain-General, and the Audiencia was
forced to yield.

The new Captain-General took with him to the capital, as his secretary
and councillor, a man who had for many years resided at Concepcion, who
had great influence in the south and was highly thought of throughout
the country. This was Dr. Don Juan Martinez de Rozas, an Argentine, born
in Mendoza, who was at that time forty-nine years of age. He was a
graduate of the University of Cordoba, and a fellow-student with Dr.
Castelli, through whom he afterwards entered into political relations
with Belgrano. In various official positions in Chile he had gained
experience of public affairs, and his wife was a daughter of one of the
principal families of the South. Of a passionate character, he was at
the same time prudent, was well read in the current literature of the
day, and was the leading spirit in a group of men who discussed among
themselves the future destinies of America.

The new Captain-General was a man of limited intelligence, violent in
his proceedings, and with no firmness of character. Thus he soon made
himself hated, and was despised by all. His one passion was
cock-fighting, his greatest pleasure was in listening to jokes, and his
affections were concentrated upon a domestic of African race, through
whose hands all favours were bestowed. The whole aim of Rozas was to
make him an instrument for social and political reform. To this end he
strove to raise the Cabildo of Santiago into a position analogous to
that of Buenos Ayres, and to use it as a counterpoise to that of the
Audiencia. The Governor, by his advice, added twelve new members to this
body, influential citizens, most of whom were men of advanced opinions.
The immediate result of this innovation was to inoculate this assembly
with revolutionary ideas.

Ferdinand VII. being now a prisoner of Napoleon, the Creoles thought
that the time had come to replace the colonial system by a government of
their own, but the Spaniards, who thought only of preserving their own
privileges, protested against the idea. The two parties soon came into
collision. The Governor cancelled the decree which added twelve members
to the Cabildo, and quarrelled first with the Audiencia and then with
Dr. Rozas.

The Spaniards strove to reconcile him with the Audiencia, and advised
him to fortify the hill of Santa Lucia which commands the city, and to
arm their partisans; but finding their counsels set at nought, they
denounced him to the Viceroy of Buenos Ayres as unfit for the post he
held. He, on his part, appealed for help both to the Viceroy of Buenos
Ayres and to him of Peru.

At the same time several leading Chilians, aided by young Argentines
resident at Santiago, opened communications with the popular leaders of
Buenos Ayres. Carrasco then tried what intimidation would do. On the
25th May, 1810, the same day on which the Viceroy of Buenos Ayres was
deposed by the people, he ordered the arrest of three of the principal
citizens of Santiago, as advocates of revolutionary ideas. The municipal
authorities protested, and convened an open Cabildo, which cited the
Governor before them. He thought at first of resistance, but 3,000 men
filled the Plaza. He could not depend upon the troops, and at the
request of the Audiencia he presented himself, amid the shouts of the
populace who clamoured for his deposition.

A new Procurator, elected by the Cabildo, the previous one being among
the prisoners, opened the case by declaring that it was the will of the
people that the prisoners should be set free, and that the Cabildo would
remain sitting till it was done. This was the first time that such a
thing as “the will of the people” had been heard of in Chile, and the
speech of the new tribune was loudly applauded.

Carrasco yielded, and decreed not only the liberation of the prisoners,
but also the dismissal from their posts of those who had aided in the
arbitrary measure. He also accepted the control of an Assessor, without
whose authorization his judicial acts should, in future, be invalid.
These decrees were endorsed by the Audiencia, which was a virtual
dismissal from office of the last Governor and Captain-General of Chile.

From that day the latent spirit of revolution gained ground, but the
efforts of the Patriots were as yet limited to theoretical discussions.
Their head-quarters were in Santiago, the warlike Province of Concepcion
was their base, and their teaching came from Buenos Ayres, “the Athens
of the New World,” as it is styled by a Chilian historian. The growth of
public opinion in Santiago, and the news constantly arriving from Spain,
more especially that of the battle of Ocaña, kept the interest alive.

The south of Chile, whose capital was Concepcion, virtually formed a
distinct country. The people called themselves “Penquistos,” to
distinguish themselves from their northern neighbours, who styled
themselves “Chilians.” Their troublesome neighbours, the Indians of
Araucania, had accustomed them to war; their pastoral and agricultural
pursuits made them strong and hardy. Their society included a class of
free peasantry, among whom the army of the frontier found recruits, and
from whom sprang the most distinguished leaders on both sides in the war
which followed. The man of most influence in this district in 1809 was
Dr. Rozas, who, after his quarrel with Carrasco, returned to Concepcion
and began openly to work for independence.

He advised that Chile, without renouncing her allegiance to her captive
sovereign, should provisionally appoint a National government, after the
example set by the Provinces of Spain, which idea he advocated in a
manuscript circular, for at that day there was no printing-press in
Chile.

Among the co-workers with Rozas was a wealthy proprietor of the South
named DON BERNARDO O’HIGGINS, son of the celebrated Viceroy of the same
name. Educated in Europe he spoke English, and was, by reason of his
Irish descent, partial to the institutions of England. A disciple and
confidant of Miranda he had been affiliated in his lodge, swearing as
did San Martin and Bolívar to work for the liberty of the New World.

Carrasco kept the prisoners in gaol in spite of his promise to the
Cabildo, and issued a decree establishing a special Junta to keep watch
over the advocates of the new ideas. The excitement in Santiago
increased, and eight hundred armed citizens demanded the institution of
a governing Junta, in imitation of that established in Buenos Ayres on
the 25th May. The Audiencia prevailed upon Carrasco to resign his power
into the hands of the Count de la Conquista, a Chilian noble, who was
eighty-five years of age. The Patriots were not satisfied, but as they
succeeded in surrounding the new Governor by councillors in whom they
could trust, they for a time acquiesced.

About the end of July an emissary from Belgrano and Castelli crossed the
Andes. The Patriots, stimulated by the news he brought, determined to
persist in their previous design, and induced the Count to convene an
open Cabildo on the 18th September. To ensure their triumph the Cabildo
called out the city militia, and the proprietors of Santiago filled the
suburbs with their armed tenantry. They were also joined by some
officers of the garrison. In spite of the protest of the Audiencia, the
Count laid down his baton of command, and the Cabildo appointed a
governing Junta of seven members, of whom Dr. Rozas was one, the Count
being named President.

The new Government was accepted by the whole country, but nothing was
changed until the arrival of Dr. Rozas, who on the 2nd November entered
the capital in triumph, between lines of troops, amid salvoes of
artillery, the clang of bells, music, and loud acclamations. All that
night the city was illuminated and fireworks blazed in his honour. Never
had Santiago witnessed such an ovation.

The Chilian revolution resembled that of Buenos Ayres, in that it was
Parliamentary and legal, initiated and carried out within the precincts
of the municipal forum; and that it triumphed by the force of opinion,
without violence, in the name of the public weal. Both followed the same
formula, the resumption of their own rights, without a rupture with the
mother country and protesting fidelity to the legitimate sovereign. The
first was an aristocratic revolution, the second was democratic and
radical; but, both were essentially American and obeyed the same
historic law. Thus from the beginning, the two nations were bound
together by fraternal ties and by a common cause.

The news of the installation of the Junta of Chile was received in
Buenos Ayres with transports of joy, and the thunder of their guns on
the 11th October, reverberated in the hearts of the Chilian people.
Buenos Ayres proposed at once an alliance offensive and defensive,
assuring the Chilians that England would recognise any constitution they
might give themselves, now that Spain had fallen. Rozas, in return,
presented a plan for a vast continental confederation, which idea found
an eager advocate in Alvarez Jonte, the Argentine envoy, who as a
practical exposition of it, asked Chile for an auxiliary force in aid of
the Argentine Government against the reactionary movement which had its
headquarters in Monte Video.

The Cabildo opposed the project, but Rozas had the majority of the Junta
with him, and in 1811 a decree was published for the despatch of an
auxiliary force of 500 men, and authorizing the Argentine envoy to
enlist 2,000 recruits. This sealed the alliance of the two countries and
united their destinies for good or evil. Of the promised contingent, 100
dragoons and 200 infantry reached Buenos Ayres on the 14th June, 1811,
and met with an enthusiastic reception.

The Patriot party soon became divided into two factions. The Radicals,
who aimed at independence, were headed by Rozas, and had in their front
line the Argentine residents. The death of the Count de la Conquista in
February, 1811, left Rozas at the head of affairs, but his power was
more apparent than real. Against him, at the head of the Moderate party,
was ranged the Cabildo, sustained by the Creole aristocracy, whose timid
temporising policy almost placed them in line with the party of
reaction. The Royalist, called the Goth or Saracen party, recognized the
leadership of the Audiencia, accused Rozas of personal ambition and even
of aspiring to the crown. Rozas had no such ambition and lacked even the
spontaneous courage of the man of action. Through all this opposition he
carried on his plan of reform, of which freedom of commerce was the most
important feature. This was proclaimed in February, 1811, with the
result that in a few months the revenue was doubled and was soon after
quadrupled. He also raised troops and summoned a general Congress of
Deputies from the Provinces, whose election was based upon the
limitations established by municipal precedent.

The 1st April was the day appointed for the elections. That same day a
part of the garrison of Santiago mutinied under Colonel Figueroa, who
was a friend of Rozas. At first the daring Royalist was successful, and
occupied the Plaza, placing himself under the orders of the Audiencia,
who however, declined all responsibility. Rozas, who alone of his
colleagues preserved his presence of mind, ordered the rest of the
troops to march against the mutineers. The two forces met in the Plaza
and opened fire on each other simultaneously, at close quarters. The
affair soon ended in favour of the Patriots, young Manuel Dorrego, of
Buenos Ayres, at that time a student of the University, particularly
distinguishing himself in the fight.

Figueroa took refuge in a convent, where he was captured by Rozas at the
head of a party of citizens, was tried that same night, sentenced to
death “as a traitor to his country and the government,” and was shot the
next morning at four o’clock. The bodies of five of the mutineers who
had been killed, were hung on a gallows in the Plaza on the afternoon of
the 1st, and next day proclamation was made that all who conspired
against the State would be similarly punished.

Immediately afterwards the Audiencia was dissolved, and with it
disappeared the last semblance of monarchical authority in Chile.

Meantime the elections passed off quietly in the rest of the country. In
the Centre the Creole oligarchy triumphed, the great proprietors being
elected by their tenants without opposition; but in the South and in
some of the northern districts, the Radicals were successful.

Following the example of Buenos Ayres, the Deputies were incorporated
with the executive, in spite of the just protest of the Cabildo, which
revenged itself by procuring the election of twelve deputies for the
capital in place of the six it ought to have had according to the
electoral census.

On the 6th May the interrupted election took place in Santiago. The
candidates of Rozas being defeated from this day his power waned.

Congress met on the 4th July. Out of forty members Rozas could only
count upon thirteen votes. On the same day the Junta resigned, and the
“High Congress” assumed the executive power. Rozas in an eloquent
speech gave a sketch of his policy, which he recommended for their
adoption, and was listened to with deep attention by the whole Assembly;
for the moment all the discordant opinions vibrated in harmony.

It is an interesting question whether this early establishment of the
Parliamentary system was of benefit or was an evil to Chile. The Chilian
historian, Vicuña Mackenna, considers it premature. He says, “the
dictatorship of a Cæsar rather than that of a Cicero” would have been
preferable for a people without constitutional education. Gervinus
thinks that it assured to Chile, later on, that tranquillity so wanting
in the other republics of South America. Lastarria, more philosophical
than either, observes that the establishment of the doctrine of the
sovereignty of the people, even under such restrictions as placed them
in the hands of a few only, was the true way to weaken colonial
prejudices and to arouse the idea of the dignity of man. The fact is
that it was the natural outcome of the feudal character of Chilian
society. In the Parliamentary drama the people played the part of the
Greek chorus, which repeated the words of the principal actor. Chile
soon remedied the error, copied from Buenos Ayres, of incorporating
Congress with the Executive, which shows the existence of a hidden force
neutralising the effect of an evil example.

The revolutions of Holland and the United States had shown the world
that a regulating Congress was compatible with a dictatorship; and even
in South America it was seen later on that no dictatorship, however
powerful, could disregard the will of the people from whom its authority
was derived. In Chile less than in any other colony was this possible;
nevertheless it is certain that Rozas convened this Congress in
obedience to a solemn promise exacted from him by O’Higgins as a
condition of his support.

The Moderate party, which had a large majority in Congress, knew not
what use to make of their power; they were without experience, without
plans, and had no fixed ideas; most of them desired only peace and
security for their properties. The minority had clearer views; they
aimed at raising their leader to the head of the State, and at
independence.

On the 27th July an English ship of war reached Valparaiso, whose
captain was commissioned by the Viceroy of Peru, with credentials from
the Regency of Spain, to receive the subsidy which Chile was expected to
contribute for the maintenance of the war in the Peninsula. One million
six hundred thousand dollars had been deposited in the treasury for this
purpose. The Moderates and the Royalists were for paying the amount at
once, but O’Higgins, speaking for the Liberals, said:--

“Although we are in a minority we shall know how to supply that defect
by our energy and our courage; we are sufficient to oppose effectually
the delivery of this money, of which our country threatened with
invasion has need.” This bold protest decided the question in the
negative.

The Liberals afterwards proposed the appointment of an Executive of
three; one for each of the three territorial divisions of the country,
the North, the South, and the Centre. The Moderates accepted the idea
but put off the election. The Liberals then attempted to intimidate
Congress by popular tumults, sadly compromising their leader by these
sinister manœuvres. Congress showed more firmness than could have
been expected from its composition, and the defeated minority seceded
from the Assembly. The majority then named three of their own party as
the Junta, and Rozas, looking upon his cause as lost, retired to
Concepcion, where he was received in triumph, and set up an opposition
Junta, the South recalling its members from Congress.

Congress then drew up a constitution, so unworkable that it only served
to show their utter lack of all political knowledge. It never came into
operation.



CHAPTER VIII.

PROGRESS AND FALL OF THE CHILIAN REVOLUTION.

1811--1814.


The disappearance of the Radical party in Congress, the reactionary
policy of the Conservatives, and the proceedings of Rozas at Concepcion,
had most evil effect upon the course of the revolution in Chile.
Liberalism became anarchy, and the Moderates became mixed up with the
Spanish party. At this juncture Don José Miguel Carrera returned to his
native land.

Carrera was a scion of one of the most distinguished families of Chile,
and was at that time twenty-seven years of age. He had fought in Spain
against the French, and brought with him a major’s commission, granted
by the Junta of Galicia, and the brilliant uniform of an hussar. He had
two brothers, officers in the army of Chile. The elder, Juan José, was a
man of herculean strength, but of feeble intellect, wanting in moral
courage, and full of envy of his more talented brother. The youngest and
most amiable of the three, was named Luis, and was at that time twenty
years of age. In danger he was always found in the front rank, and was
devoted to José Miguel. These three had a sister, Javiera, of great
beauty and of masculine strength of mind; she was skilful in intrigue
and ambitious, but was distinguished both by social and domestic
virtues; her intrepid spirit made her the Egeria of her brothers.

José Miguel was a man of action, and a thinker so far as his unruly
nature would permit; of vehement passions, and licentious life, a ready
writer and a brilliant speaker, of good presence and of attractive
manners, but with an overweening sense of his own importance. He was a
sort of an Alcibiades shorn of his great qualities.

Carrera presented himself publicly to Congress, dressed in his brilliant
uniform, offered his services and his sword, and then entered into
secret negotiations with the Liberal party, through the powerful family
of Larrain. With them he organized a popular demonstration by which the
Government was upset on the 4th September, a new Junta of five members
was appointed, six of the members of Congress for the capital were
dismissed as illegally elected, and three seats were declared vacant.

Congress had hesitated to grant the request of the Government of Buenos
Ayres for forty quintals of gunpowder from the factory in Chile; the new
Government sent off two hundred quintals. It reduced the taxes, reformed
some abuses in administration, encouraged industry, armed the militia,
and had the glory of making Chile the first nation in America to abolish
slavery.

The principal posts were monopolised by the Larrain family, greatly to
the disgust of Carrera. One of this family boasting that the
legislative, executive, and judicial presidencies were all held by them,
Carrera asked:--

“And who has the presidency of the bayonets?”

Dazzled by his popularity, he now only thought of how to overturn the
new Government, and even sought and obtained help from the Spanish party
to this end.

On the 15th November Juan José Carrera mutinied with his battalion and
seized the barracks of the artillery. Luis headed the artillerymen and
dragged the guns into the street, the roll of their wheels on the
pavement giving the signal for a fresh revolution. José Miguel put
himself at the head of the mutiny, and summoned the Executive and
Congress to meet and hear the petitions of the people. He was joined
only by the Spanish party, who shouted for the dissolution of the Junta
and of Congress. The next day an open Cabildo was convened, which named
a new Junta, composed of José Miguel Carrera, as representative of the
capital, Gaspar Marin for the North, and Rozas, or in his absence Don
Bernardo O’Higgins, for the South. This resolution was presented to
Congress by the military chiefs, and Congress, after some delay,
authorised the appointment of the new Junta.

On the 27th November, on pretext that he was in danger of assassination,
Carrera made several arrests. He himself took one of the prisoners to
the barracks, made him kneel before a crucifix, and by threatening him
with immediate execution, forced from him a declaration against the
others. The trial which followed proved the innocence of the accused.
Called to account by his colleagues and by Congress, he, on the 2nd
December, demanded the dissolution of the latter, occupied the
Legislative Palace with troops, and forced from the Assembly a decree to
that effect. Marin and O’Higgins protested and withdrew from the Junta.
Carrera replaced them by one of his own partisans and by a noted leader
of the Spanish party.

The two political parties, which represented the aristocracy and
democracy of Chile, disappeared, and the country fell under the
domination of a military oligarchy, which setting aside laws, juntas,
and congresses, depended only on the army for support. Juan José Carrera
was raised to the rank of brigadier-general, and his brothers were made
lieutenant-colonels, with special decorations for their services.

Public opinion was entirely against the Carreras, all eyes turned to the
South and to Rozas as the only man who could vindicate the law. Rozas
protested against the mutiny and offered his assistance to Congress, but
he was in an anomalous position. By leaving the capital and setting up
an opposition Junta at Concepcion, he had entered upon dangerous ground
and had sapped the base of his moral power; he had destroyed the
territorial unity of the revolution and had aroused provincial
jealousies. Thus Carrera, though destitute of political principle, and
seeking only his own aggrandisement, was the true representative of the
cause of national unity.

The Centre of Chile is divided from the South by the river Maule.
Carrera stationed an army on the north bank, while, through the
intervention of O’Higgins, he conferred with Rozas. On the 12th January,
1812, a convention was drawn up by three plenipotentiaries, which
recognised the South, Centre, and North as three distinct provinces,
each of which should name one member of an Executive, until a
Constituent Congress could be convened. Carrera was in no haste to
ratify this convention, till an army from the South advanced to the line
of the Maule. A collision was prevented by an interview on the 25th
April between the two leaders, who verbally agreed to the ratification
of the convention and the re-installation of Congress. This agreement
was hailed with joy throughout the country, and Carrera was received in
triumph on his return to Santiago.

It was not patriotism nor fear of the Penquistos, which induced Carrera
to restore the Congress he had dissolved; the Argentine Government,
appealed to by the Government of Concepcion, had offered their
mediation, but the most serious matter was that the province of Valdivia
had on the 12th March declared itself Royalist, and proclaimed Carrera
Captain-General of the kingdom, an appointment which he indignantly
rejected.

Valdivia occupied the extreme south of the country, had a seaport with
fortifications which were considered impregnable, and was supported by
the Archipelago of Chiloe, where the people were all Royalists and had a
Royalist garrison.

Early in 1812 the first printing-press was established in Chile, and on
the 13th February appeared the first newspaper, entitled _La Aurora de
Chile_, edited by Camilo Enriquez, a priest, assisted by an Argentine
named Vera y Pintado, and by Irrizarra of Guatemala. From the United
States, together with the printing-press, came Mr. Poinsett as consular
agent, who introduced a new element into the political opinions of the
country, democratic ideas, which new ideas found at first little
acceptance save in the army, where they were fostered by Carrera as a
counterpoise to the federal ideas which had gained strength during the
recent events.

On the night of the 9th July a revolutionary movement broke out in
Concepcion, headed by the partisans of Rozas, but secretly fomented by
the Spanish party, which dissolved the Provincial Junta. Rozas went to
Santiago, whence he was banished by Carrera to Mendoza, and died there
on the 3rd March, 1813.

Carrera was now without a rival, and the revolution gained in unity and
in strength. The various parties commenced to fuse together, with his
authority as a common centre, and the desire for independence became
more marked. When Consul Poinsett celebrated his national anniversary of
the 4th July, the flag of the stars and stripes was seen entwined with
an unknown tricoloured flag, bearing a lone star in one of its corners.
This unknown flag was the new flag of Chile. On the 16th July the
tricoloured cockade was worn by all the citizens of Santiago, and on the
30th September the new flag was formally recognised as the national
ensign. Nevertheless independence was not then declared, still
government was carried on in the name of Ferdinand VII., while the
Carreras went about the city at night in disguise, with groups of young
men, pulling down the escutcheons of the Creole aristocracy.

In order to test his popularity, Carrera then sent in his resignation,
which the Cabildo refused to accept. In consequence of a
misunderstanding with his brother, Juan José, who was still envious of
him, he repeated his resignation, but in conjunction with his brother
Luis, reserved the command of the army. His father, Don Ignacio, was
appointed to succeed him, and supported by Don Juan José adopted a
reactionary policy, which was opposed by José Miguel and Luis, at the
head of the troops.

The two brothers, assisted by two friends, then drew up a plan for a
constitution, which was presented to the Junta by one of their
adherents. This plan created a Senate of seven members, and contained
two clauses which provided that:--

“Ferdinand VII. was king on condition of accepting and swearing the
Constitution made by the people,” and “no decree emanating from
authority outside the territory shall have any effect, those who obey it
being punished as traitors to the State.”

These clauses were accepted by the Junta, but Don Ignacio Carrera, being
afraid to sign them, retired from the Government, and Don José Miguel
returned to office.

Carrera was again dictator, and opposition was silent in the face of a
new danger. A Royalist army had invaded Chilian territory and occupied
the South. He was now the champion of a noble cause; all the military
chiefs, even those who opposed his policy, obeyed him willingly; the
people saw in danger the justification of a strong government; the
military repute he had brought with him from Europe caused him to be
regarded as the first soldier of his country.

Abascal, Viceroy of Peru, was then more than seventy years old. By
firmness and prudence he had maintained peace in his Viceroyalty in the
midst of the commotions which stirred all Spanish America. More than
that, he had made Peru the centre of the Royalist reaction, had crushed
rebellion in Upper Peru, had made war on the Argentine provinces, had
sent an expedition to Quito, and had kept Chiloe under his orders. He
had watched the Chilian revolution from its commencement, waiting for a
favourable opportunity to attack it. Antonio Pareja, an experienced
soldier, was named Commandant-General of Valdivia and Chiloe, and early
in 1813 reached the island with five vessels, a number of officers,
fifty soldiers, and fifty thousand dollars.

He quickly organised the militia of the Archipelago, with the garrison
as a nucleus, and crossed to Valdivia with 1,400 men, where he
incorporated the garrison of that fortress, raising his force to over
2,000 men. These he arranged in three divisions, each with six guns, and
re-embarking, sailed northwards, keeping his destination secret. Three
days afterwards, on the 26th March, he landed in the bay of San Vicente,
taking the town of Talcahuano in the rear, and threatening Concepcion in
front. Talcahuano was taken by assault; the garrison of Concepcion
mutinied and gave up the city. Thus speedily he was master of the South,
and further strengthened his force by the garrisons of Arauco.

With 2,000 regulars, from 2,000 to 3,000 militia, and with twenty-five
guns, he opened the campaign early in April. At Chillán the country rose
in his favour, increasing his force to 6,000 men, with whom he occupied
the line of the river Nuble, which lies to the south of the Maule.

Carrera was equally active; he proclaimed himself General-in-chief with
full powers, declared war against the Viceroy of Peru, set up a gibbet
in the Plaza of Santiago, on which to hang all who should hold
communication with the enemy, and caused the imposition of a forced loan
of two hundred and sixty thousand dollars upon those hostile to the
revolution, which measures inspired general enthusiasm and confidence.

On the 1st April he established his headquarters to the north of the
Maule, with merely an escort, and gave orders for the concentration of
the army at Talca. His friend, Consul Poinsett, accompanied him as a
volunteer, and the same day he was joined by O’Higgins, who forgot his
resentment, an example followed by Mackenna, who was a talented
engineer. Calling in the militia of the South, who remained faithful, in
twenty days he was at the head of 10,000 men, from whom he organised an
army of 2,500 regulars, badly armed, and as many lancers of the militia,
with sixteen field-pieces.

The campaign opened with a piece of good fortune which greatly
encouraged the Patriots. It chanced that an officer sent with 500 men to
surprise the vanguard of the enemy at a pass on the Maule, misunderstood
his orders, and on the night of the 27th April fell in with the main
body of the Royalists, some five or six thousand strong. Not knowing who
they were, he attacked them and captured the whole of the artillery. At
dawn the enemy recovered from their panic, pursued him and recaptured
the guns and prisoners. The loss of the Patriots in killed and wounded
was four times that of the Royalists, but the moral effect was that of a
victory. The greater part of the irregular cavalry deserted from Pareja,
who nevertheless advanced to the Maule. The army was drawn up to force
the passage, when the men from Chiloe and Valdivia threw down their arms
and refused to go further; they cared nothing for the Royalist cause
beyond the Maule. Pareja, lying on a stretcher, stricken with a mortal
disease, ordered a retreat, on which the rest of the irregulars
dispersed, and he was left with little more than a thousand men.

Carrera knew nothing of what had occurred, and let fifteen days pass
before he made up his mind to cross the river. The Patriot vanguard
under Luis Carrera came up with Pareja on the 15th May, as he was about
to pass the Nuble. The Royalists halted, the dying general mounted on
horseback for the last time, and placed Captain Sanchez in command.
Sanchez at once occupied some rising ground, where he threw up an
entrenchment with his baggage, and formed his infantry in square, and
opened fire with twenty-seven guns upon the Patriots, checking their
advance. Carrera then took the command, and on the arrival of Don Juan
José with the second division, drew up his infantry in line with cavalry
on the flanks to surround the enemy. Don Juan José, without waiting for
orders, attacked the position and was driven back; the same fate befell
another battalion which followed his example. The guns were dismounted
at the first shot. The cavalry which had passed to the rear of the
enemy, were dispersed by artillery fire, and the infantry fell back in
disorder. The third division, under O’Higgins and Mackenna, then came up
and prevented the advance of the enemy, which would have turned the
repulse into a rout. Night put a stop to this strange affair, and
Carrera retreated in disorder to San Carlos.

Sanchez crossed the Nuble with all his artillery, without further
molestation, and retreated to Chillán, with a loss of six killed and
fifteen wounded.

This battle of San Carlos showed that Carrera was destitute of military
talent; but he had the strength of mind to reject the councils of his
disheartened officers, who advised him to withdraw the army beyond the
Maule, and for the first time drew up a definite plan of operations.
With one part of his army he occupied Concepcion and Talcahuano, cutting
off the retreat of the enemy by sea, and despatched O’Higgins with his
division to Arauco, securing the South, but in these manœuvres he
lost much time, and one detachment of 650 men left in reserve on the
Nuble, was captured by a Royalist force from Chillán.

Sanchez was an obscure soldier, born in Galicia, of no real genius, but
quick-sighted, of great tenacity, and devoted to the cause he served. At
Chillán he entrenched himself, aided by the people, who were all
Royalists, and by the preaching friars, who had there a convent, which
soon became a well-provisioned citadel.

When Carrera, against the advice of O’Higgins and Mackenna, determined
at the end of July to besiege Chillán, it was already winter, the season
of heavy rains. On the 3rd August, Mackenna established a battery of
six guns, at four hundred and fifty yards from the trenches. The
following morning Sanchez made a vigorous sally but was driven back. The
same afternoon he made another attack upon a reserve battery, under the
fire of his own redoubts, a ball from which blew up the ammunition of
the battery, causing great confusion. Carrera ordered the battery to be
abandoned, but his officers disobeyed him, and O’Higgins coming up to
the rescue, the enemy was again repulsed.

The losses were considerable on both sides, but the sufferings of the
besiegers were augmented by the inclemency of the weather. A convoy of
ammunition for Carrera was intercepted by Royalist guerillas, thirty
miles from the encampment, and delivered to Sanchez, whose supplies were
running short. On the 5th Sanchez made another attack upon the advanced
battery, which was bravely repelled by Luis Carrera. The Patriot general
then ordered an assault upon the town, which was beaten off by the
townspeople themselves. The spirit of the Patriot army was broken,
deaths and desertions greatly reduced their numbers. Carrera summoned
the garrison to surrender. Sanchez replied by proposing an armistice,
during which the Patriots should recross the Maule. A council of war was
called, and against the advice of Mackenna the siege was raised. On the
14th August the Patriot army encamped on the banks of the Itata, and
from this moment their cause declined.

Carrera again fell into the error of dividing his army. He posted one
division near the mouth of the Itata, under command of his brother Juan
José, to protect the line of the Maule, and O’Higgins was despatched
with a weak division to secure the frontier on the Bio-Bio. With the
rest of his forces he went to Concepcion, while his guerillas scoured
the country in every direction. This was just what suited Sanchez, who
could do nothing with a strong force in front of him. He had plenty of
irregulars who knew the country well, and split up his force into
flying columns to the north and south. The depredations of the Patriots
stirred up the resistance of the people, and various detachments were
cut up in detail. O’Higgins could not prevent the reconquest of the line
of the Bio-Bio and the occupation of Arauco, by which supplies were
drawn by the Royalists from Valdivia and Chiloe.

At the end of September Carrera was shut up in Concepcion, and the
Patriot army was blockaded in three separate divisions. He ordered their
concentration at Concepcion. Juan José Carrera reached the Membrillar
near to the junction of the Diguillin with the Itata early in October,
where he was forced to entrench himself. Carrera then marched to meet
O’Higgins, and joined him at the pass of “El Roble,” some ten miles to
the east of Membrillar. The united forces, about 1,000 strong, encamped
on ground badly chosen. Sanchez, joining the irregulars with a division
from Chillán, attacked them there on the night of the 19th October. In
the confusion Carrera jumped his horse into the river and went off to
join his brother, receiving a lance wound in his flight. His absence was
not noticed, but O’Higgins, after three hours’ firing, led a bayonet
charge upon the enemy, and drove them across the river. When Carrera
returned to the camp he saluted O’Higgins as “the saviour of the
division and of the country,” and in his official despatch spoke of him
as “the first of soldiers, capable of uniting in himself the glories of
Chile.” These words were his own abdication, his military star was
eclipsed.

After this affair Carrera again changed his plan. He left his brother
and O’Higgins at the confluence of the Diguillin and Itata, protected by
fieldworks, and returned to Concepcion. This destroyed his prestige in
the army and in public opinion; the Press gave the signal of general
discontent; even from the pulpit the disastrous influence of the three
Carreras was condemned.

When Carrera took command of the army his place as Dictator was for a
time filled by his brother Juan José; when he also took the field his
two colleagues resigned. The Corporations and the Senate then named a
new Junta of three, chosen from the Moderate party, two of whom were
enemies of Carrera. The new Junta were active in furnishing supplies
until the raising of the siege of Chillán and the revolt of the province
of Concepcion produced strained relations between them and Carrera.

The capital became excited by the adverse course of the war, and the
Liberals of 1811 clamoured for a change in the constitution. The Press
advocated the adoption of a more Republican system. On the 8th October a
meeting of the corporations, convened by the Junta, confirmed them in
power, but directed that the seat of Government should be removed to
Talca. Don José Ignacio Cienfuegos, a man of great influence in the
South and an enemy of Carrera, joined the Junta, and Larrain,
ex-President of the late Congress, and also an enemy of Carrera, was
left in charge of the affairs at Santiago. Government had organized in
the capital a new battalion officered by their own adherents, and had
asked for a supply of arms from Buenos Ayres. The 300 Chilian
auxiliaries came back from that city, and the Argentine Government, in
return for their services, had decreed that an Argentine auxiliary force
of equal number should march to the assistance of Chile. This column,
raised in the provinces of Cordoba and Mendoza, crossed the Andes under
the command of DON JUAN GREGORIO LAS HERAS, and were warmly welcomed.
Their first duty was to escort the Junta to Talca, where Colonel Don
Marcos Balcarce took command of the contingent.

The Junta, on receiving news of the affair at El Roble, resolved to
remove Carrera from the command, and first thought of replacing him by
Balcarce, but, yielding to national sentiment, decided to appoint
Colonel O’Higgins, whose tried valour and civic virtues gave him great
popularity, both in the army and throughout the country. This
appointment in February, 1814, had an evil effect upon the army, where
Carrera had still many partizans, splitting it into two parties. Carrera
left for the capital accompanied by his brother Luis, but on the road
they were taken prisoners by a party of Royalist irregulars under
Barañao, and carried off to Chillán.

The army of which O’Higgins took command consisted of about 2,500 men
dispersed in fractions, disheartened, and badly armed and equipped. On
the 31st January a reinforcement of Royalist troops landed at Arauco,
consisting of 800 men and six guns under Brigadier-General Gainza,
appointed by the Viceroy as successor to Pareja. Eight days later he
crossed the Bio-Bio and joined Sanchez at Chillán, without meeting an
insurgent on his march.

O’Higgins stationed one division of his army at Membrillar, while with
the rest he marched to the line of the Bio-Bio to intercept the supplies
of the enemy. This plan was as bad as those of Carrera. Mackenna, left
in command at Membrillar, had under his orders on the 14th February, 800
infantry, 100 dragoons, and sixteen guns. Soon after the country around
was occupied by the light troops of the enemy, so that he was obliged to
make sallies in force to procure supplies and forage. On one of these
occasions, when he had taken a considerable number of cattle his
rear-guard was attacked by a much stronger force, which was driven off
with heavy loss by Las Heras with 100 of the Argentine auxiliaries.

Meantime a Royalist detachment of 300 men had crossed the Maule, and on
the 4th March attacked the city of Talca, from which the Junta had
already withdrawn. The feeble garrison made a stout resistance under
Colonel Spano, a Spaniard who had joined the Patriots in 1809, but was
overpowered, Spano dying wrapped in the tricoloured flag he had so
bravely defended.

This blow spread consternation in Santiago. The people crowded to the
Plaza, and Irizarri proposed the appointment of a Dictator, following
the example of the Roman Republic in times of danger, and Colonel
Lastra, Governor of Valparaiso, was named Supreme Director. The new
Government in a few days organized a force of 1,500 men with six guns,
and placed in command a young man named DON MANUEL BLANCO ENCALADA, but
these raw troops were repulsed in an attack upon Talca, and were
afterwards completely routed at Cancha-Rayada on the 27th March.

The position of Mackenna at Membrillar became very difficult. The loss
of Talca cut his communications with the capital; he threw up more
entrenchments and remained steadily on the defensive. O’Higgins started
to his assistance on the 16th March, leaving weak garrisons in
Concepcion and Talcahuana. It was time; Gainza was already between them.
On the 19th O’Higgins drove in the Royalist vanguard at Quilo, and
Gainza, withdrawing the garrison from Chillán, fell next day upon
Mackenna, but was beaten off with the loss of eighty killed.

On the 23rd O’Higgins joined Mackenna, and next day moved off northwards
with 2,600 infantry, 600 cavalry, and twenty guns. Gainza, harassing his
rear, marched in the same direction; victory would lie with him who
could first cross the Maule. O’Higgins, by a skilful manœuvre,
captured a pass, and throwing up defences of brushwood in his rear, beat
off an attack, and crossed on the 4th April. Gainza crossed by a
different pass on the same day, and tried to stop the march of the
Patriot army at a pass on the Claro River. On the 7th O’Higgins forced
the pass, and the two armies faced each other between that river and the
Lontué. At Quecheraguas O’Higgins threw up entrenchments, and on the 8th
and 9th beat off attacks of the enemy, giving time for the arrival of
reinforcements from Santiago. Gainza then retreated to Talca, and the
garrisons of Concepcion and Talcahuano capitulated.

By this time the Anglo-Spanish armies had driven the French from Spain,
and the Government of Spain called upon the insurgent colonies to send
deputies to Cortes. In Mexico the Royalist arms were triumphant; the
rising star of Bolívar at Caracas was about to suffer eclipse; the
revolutions of Quito, Venezuela, and New Granada were crushed; Lima,
still the great centre of reaction, prepared yet another expedition for
the conquest of Chile; only in the united provinces of the River Plate
did the revolution still hold its ground. In these circumstances
Hillyar, commodore of the British squadron of the Pacific, offered his
mediation to the Viceroy of Peru for the pacification of Chile. His
offer was accepted, and he reached Santiago just after the successful
defence of Quecheraguas. Government appointed O’Higgins and Mackenna to
conduct the negotiation. It was accordingly arranged on the 3rd May that
Chile should return to the state of the year 1811, under the rule of a
provisional Junta subject to the Regency of Spain; that the Royalist
troops should withdraw from Chile within one month; that Chile should
send deputies to the Peninsula to settle all disputes, and should do
what she could to help the cause of Spain. This arrangement, which is
known as the Treaty of Lircay, was badly received in the Royalist camp,
and also by public opinion in Chile, and resulted in nothing more than a
truce.

It is a question whether these terms were agreed upon in good faith by
either party. So far as Gainza was concerned, they saved him from
certain defeat.

Don Francisco Antonio Pinto, diplomatic agent of Chile in London, was
instructed to repair to Madrid in representation of her interests, but
the Royalist troops were not withdrawn, and the Government remained in
the hands of Lastra as Supreme Director. Chile was resolved upon liberty
at any cost, and public opinion, which had forced on the treaty, was now
equally pronounced against it.

The alliance between Chile and the United Provinces was _de facto_ at an
end, and the Argentine auxiliaries were withdrawn from the army to
Santiago. On the 22nd July a mutiny in the barracks restored the
Carreras to power. They proclaimed themselves the saviours of the
country. By the Treaty of Lircay Don José Miguel and Don Luis were
excluded from the arrangement for a mutual exchange of prisoners; they
were to be sent by sea to Valparaiso, and thence banished into
honourable exile; but, escaping from their prison at Chillán, they had
reached the capital and raised this mutiny, in which style of work Don
José Miguel displayed more skill than he had done in the field against
the national enemy. A provisional Junta was named by the noisy shouts of
an open Cabildo, of which Carrera made himself president.

Had Carrera torn up the Treaty of Lircay, he would have had both reason
and patriotism on his side, but his first step was to confirm the clause
relating to freedom of commerce with Peru and to exhort the people to
preserve peace. As before, he had neither ideas nor courage, and in his
hands Congress, army, and revolution were all lost together. In spite of
the protests of Las Heras, the Argentine auxiliaries were ignominiously
expelled from the capital, on the pretext that it was their duty to
assist the Government when called upon. O’Higgins counselled them to
observe absolute neutrality in all civil disputes, following the example
of the Chilian auxiliaries in Buenos Ayres in the revolution of 1812,
and at the invitation of the Cabildo marched his army upon Santiago.
Carrera met him on the plains of Maipó, where, for the first time,
Chilian blood was shed by Chilians, and O’Higgins was defeated.

Meantime, the Viceroy of Peru had refused to ratify the treaty of peace,
had despatched a fresh expedition to Talcahuano, and General Osorio at
the head of 5,000 men was now marching on the capital. In this emergency
O’Higgins put himself and the remnants of his force under the orders of
Carrera, who speedily collected five or six thousand men, who might have
done something had they been well led, but neither he nor O’Higgins
showed any capacity for command. The latter, with 1,700 men, was cut off
from the main body and shut up in Rancagua, where he defended himself
with desperate valour for thirty-two hours against the whole army of the
Royalists, till, his ammunition being exhausted, he cut his way through
the enemy at the head of 300 men, and rejoined Carrera, who had
retreated to Santiago.

Here all was confusion; and the people having lost confidence in their
own leaders were ready to shout for the King. Las Heras, marching south
with the Argentine auxiliaries, met O’Higgins in full retreat towards
the Cordillera, and protected the rear until the fugitives from Santiago
were safe on Argentine soil.

Carrera busied himself only in trying to secure the public treasure,
which he packed on mules and carried off with him beyond Santa Rosa, but
he was overtaken and the treasure fell into the hands of his pursuers on
the slopes of Los Papeles on the 11th October. On the night of the 13th
he crossed the snow-line on the summit, bidding farewell to his country,
which he was never to see again.

So ended the first period of the revolution of Chile, which is styled
“the time of the old country.” The new country was yet to come.
Argentines and Chilians in alliance were yet to raise from the dust the
banners of Rancagua, and to bear them triumphant to the Equator.



CHAPTER IX.

CUYO.

1814--1815.


The district of Cuyo lies to the east of the Cordillera, between 31° and
35° south latitude, and extends eastward to the 66° of west longitude,
where the Andean formation dies away in the vast plain of the Argentine
Pampa. Here the snow waters flowing from the mountain ranges lose
themselves in lakes, or cut for themselves channels through the sandy
soil, forming a network of inland rivers, which flow on undeterminately
till they disappear. Peopled by colonists from East and West, this
region was the point of union between two separate peoples, in whose
alliance lay the destinies of all the Spanish colonies washed by the
Pacific.

Mendoza, San Juan, and San Luis, were grouped together to form the
Province of Cuyo, when San Martin was named Governor in 1814. Here he
found the materials he required for the great enterprise he had in view.
In 1810 the inhabitants of this province were barely 40,000 in number,
but they were a hard-working, thrifty race, easily amenable to
discipline. Traders from Mendoza and San Juan crossed the Andes to
Chile, and the Pampa to Buenos Ayres, with troops of carts drawn by
bullocks, or with troops of pack-mules, laden with wine, dried fruits,
and flour. The men of San Luis were graziers of cattle and of sheep,
famed for their skill as horsemen and as Indian fighters. Without
knowledge of the character of this people it is impossible to comprehend
how San Martin could in this one Province raise an invincible army
which, sustained by it alone for three years, liberated two republics
and spread the principles of the Argentine revolution over an entire
continent.

Determined to keep free from all personal obligations to the instruments
of his policy, San Martin refused to occupy the house allotted to him by
the Cabildo of Mendoza, gave up half his salary as Governor, and, in
1815, sent his wife back to Buenos Ayres in pursuance of the system of
rigid economy which he imposed upon himself and carried out ruthlessly
in every department of his administration. In January, 1815, he was
promoted by Government to the rank of General of Brigade, which
appointment he accepted only on the understanding that he should resign
it as soon as the State was secured from Spanish domination, and
steadily refused any further promotion. Some historians have seen in
this systematic self-abnegation, an imitation of the Cardinal who
hobbled on crutches to seize the keys of Saint Peter. Doubtless he had
his ambitions, but no such design appears in the course of his life,
which was consecrated to his own people to the complete sacrifice of all
personal interest.

According to him Chile was the citadel of America, and must be
reconquered at any cost. In Mendoza he met many of the fugitives who
crossed the Andes after the disaster of Rancagua, and speedily learned
from them that the collapse of the revolution was due to the incapacity
of Carrera, and to see in O’Higgins the man of the future. He and the
Mendocinos received these fugitives with open arms and with generous
hospitality; but Carrera, though an exile on foreign soil, arrogated to
himself a position as chief of an independent nation, and as such issued
decrees from the barracks where he and his suite were quartered.

San Martin asserted his authority with firmness and with great
prudence, but these Chilians introduced an element of disorder into the
Province. Conflicts were frequent between the police and the dispersed
soldiery, who refused obedience to any but their own officers, and
continued the internecine dispute which had resulted so fatally on the
plains of Maipó.

San Martin put a summary end to this disorder, by surrounding the
barracks where Carrera and his partisans were lodged, with the troops of
Las Heras and O’Higgins. Carrera was forced to retire to San Luis,
whence he afterwards proceeded to Buenos Ayres, and his adherents
dispersed. At the same time a commission of Chilians was appointed to
collect the remnant of the treasure brought from Santiago, which was
lodged in the coffers of the Province until such time as it might be
employed for the liberation of Chile. Thus was Carrera crushed by the
man of iron, and his insensate ambition no more troubled the destinies
of his native country. Nevertheless he was well received in Buenos Ayres
by Alvear, who about that time became Supreme Director of the United
Provinces. He and Carrera were kindred spirits. Together they had served
in Spain, and together they had dreamed dreams of power and dominion in
their own land; now jealousy of San Martin became a further tie between
them.

In January, 1815, San Martin, alleging the state of his health as a
reason, sent in his resignation to the Supreme Director, who at once
accepted it and named Don Gregorio Perdriel as his successor. Perdriel
proceeded at once to Mendoza, but the leading men of the city assembled
in open Cabildo and, supported by the mass of the people, refused to
accept this new Governor, and insisted upon the withdrawal of his
resignation by San Martin. Perdriel was recalled to Buenos Ayres, and
Alvear was himself deposed in April by a mutiny of the troops in the
capital. General Rondeau, who was at that time in command of the army of
Peru, was named by the Cabildo as his successor. Alvear in his fall
dragged with him the Assembly of the year 1813, and the Cabildo
instructed the new Government to call at once a National Congress
elected by universal suffrage. The men of Mendoza applauded the
deposition of Alvear, and declared that they would not, in future,
recognise any National authority save one based upon the will of the
entire people. In logical pursuance of which declaration they decreed
that the nomination of their Governor by the central power was null and
void, and by acclamation named San Martin as the Governor elected by
themselves. The Cabildos of San Luis and San Juan confirmed this
declaration and decree, so that the Province of Cuyo became for the time
an independent State, ruled by a Governor of its own selection.

The problem now before San Martin was one of extreme difficulty. From
this small society he proposed to raise an army and to replenish an
empty treasury without exhausting the sources of production and without
waste, by inoculating all with his own ideas, and so leading them, each
man in his own station, and according to his capacity, to work zealously
together for one end. He turned the whole Province of Cuyo into an
association of workers and fighters, whose co-operation should result in
the reconquest of Chile.

He commenced by the invocation of the war-spirit among them, organizing
their militia, and forming even the children into regiments, doing
military exercise and carrying their own flags. He invited foreign
residents to enlist, among whom the most forward were the English, who
raised at their own cost a free company of light infantry, having the
right to name their own officers. But the nucleus of his army he formed
of well-disciplined troops. This spirit he kept alive by exaggerated
reports of the strength of the enemy in Chile, and by alarms of an
imminent invasion. The people seconded his efforts by voluntary
contributions for the public service. They lent mules, horses, and
harness, whenever they were required, sure of receiving them back when
the need had passed over; cartmen and muleteers carried ammunition and
supplies, and the landowners pastured his troop-horses, free of charge,
seeking no other payment than general approbation. Punishment for minor
offences was inflicted in fines, which were paid into the public
treasury, the ordinary taxes were rigidly enforced. Cuyo bled money at
every pore for the redemption of South America.

To give to his exactions the character of legal contributions,
authorized by the will of the people, he used the Cabildos as his
agents, their authority, as a sort of Parliament, giving a moral support
to measures which were in reality arbitrary decrees; and he was well
supported by the Lieutenant-Governors of San Luis and San Juan, men of
inflexible will in everything relating to the public service.

In 1814, the general revenues of the Province, raised by customs duties
and municipal taxes, amounted to nearly 180,000 dollars. The reconquest
of Chile by the Spaniards, which put an end to the trans-Andine trade,
cut off two-thirds of this revenue, so that in 1815 it was insufficient
to meet current expenses. Voluntary subscriptions failed to supply the
deficiency; a forced loan was levied upon the Spanish residents. But
these were mere expedients. Export duties were imposed, a monthly war
contribution was established, the tithes and the fund for the redemption
of Indian captives, and the intestate estates of deceased Spaniards,
were sequestered; a general property tax was levied, and forced loans
from Spaniards and Portuguese were frequently exacted. Unpaid volunteers
were never wanting when assistance was required in preparing the outfit
of the army.

News was received that an expedition of 10,000 men had left Spain for
the River Plate under the command of Morillo. San Martin called for a
public subscription in aid of the general government. The ladies of
Mendoza, headed by his own wife, set a noble example by throwing their
jewels into the public chest. The fall of Monte Video diverted the
course of the expedition, but the funds collected remained in the
treasury.

Amid all the din of military preparation the material interests of the
Province were not neglected. Education was studiously fomented,
vaccination was introduced, much attention was bestowed upon the public
promenades and upon the system of irrigation, and the most rigid economy
was enforced in every branch of the administration. The people saw in
San Martin a father whom they loved, and a ruler whom they respected.
His manners contributed to his authority and to the popularity gained by
his deeds. His austere figure aptly symbolised the paternal despotism he
established, and gave him a certain mysterious prestige. Alone among
many friends, but without one confidant, nor even a councillor, he
looked after everything himself, with no more help than that of one
secretary and two clerks. His want of education has caused some
historians to decry his talents. It was the same with William of Orange
and with Washington. They shone not by their intellect, but by their
deeds and by their personal character. As Macaulay says of Cromwell, he
spoke folly and did great things. Or, as Pascal says, the heart has
reason of which reason knows nothing.

In San Martin the will was the dominant characteristic. He worked not by
inspiration but by calculation, searching carefully first for the thing
necessary to be done, and then doing it. It has been said of him that he
was not a person but a system. He wore almost constantly the plain
uniform of the mounted grenadiers, with the Argentine cockade on his
cocked hat. He was an early riser, and usually spent all the morning at
his desk. At mid-day he went to the kitchen, chose two plates of the
food prepared, and frequently ate it there standing, washing it down
with two glasses of wine. In the winter he would afterwards take a short
walk and smoke a cigarette of black tobacco; in summer he would sleep
for two hours on a skin stretched in the verandah. All the year round he
drank coffee which he prepared himself; then, after another spell at
his desk, would spend the afternoon inspecting the public offices. In
the evening his house was open to visitors, who were forbidden to talk
politics, but if invited to a game at chess found him a doughty
adversary. At ten o’clock he wished them good-night and, after a light
supper, retired to his couch. But if illness prevented him from sleeping
he would rise and repair to his desk.

The system of government followed by San Martin in Cuyo somewhat
resembled that of Sancho Panza in his island of Barrataria, or that of
the legendary King Zafadola, who visited his taxpayers in their houses,
asking them how they could expect him to govern if they did not pay the
taxes?

An officer presented a petition for extra rations, as his salary was not
enough to live on.

“All officers are in the same case,” was the answer.

A man of San Juan, who had been made prisoner by the Spaniards in Chile
and released on parole, claimed exemption from service in the army on
that account.

“The Governor takes that responsibility upon himself, you are at liberty
to attack the enemy. But if your hands are tied by a ridiculous
prejudice they shall be untied by a platoon.”

The wife of a sergeant asked pardon for some neglect of duty by her
husband.

“I have nothing to do with women, but with soldiers subject to military
discipline.”

A prisoner applied for his release in the name of the patron saint of
the army.

“He did enough for you in saving your life.”

A farmer being accused of speaking against “La Patria,” he annulled the
sentence on condition that the accused should send ten dozen pumpkins
for the supply of the troops.

To try the temper of his officers he got up a bull-fight and sent them
into the ring as “torreadores.” As he applauded their courage he turned
to O’Higgins, who was beside him, and said:--

“These lunatics are the men we want to smash up the Spaniards.”

One day he went to the powder factory in full uniform, booted and
spurred, and was refused admission by the sentry. He came back in a
linen suit with slippers on, and was admitted. After which he gave
orders that the sentry should be relieved, and with great formality
presented him with an ounce of gold.

One day an officer presented himself, asking for the citizen Don José de
San Martin, and being admitted, confessed to him that he had lost at
play regimental money which had been entrusted to him. San Martin opened
a cabinet, took out gold coins to the amount named, and gave them to
him, saying:--

“Pay this money into the regimental chest, and keep the secret; for if
General San Martin ever hears that you have told of it, he will have you
shot upon the spot.”

Two Franciscan friars who, according to him, had shown themselves
unfriendly to “political regeneration,” were forbidden by him to confess
or to preach, and were put under arrest in their convent until further
orders. He instructed the parish priests to preach of “the justice with
which America had adopted the system of liberty”; and seeing that they
failed to do so, he further warned them that severe measures would be
adopted if they neglected “so sacred a duty.”

Among his contemporaries there were, at that time, but few who estimated
him at his real value. He himself indulged in no illusions on the
matter, but stoically trusted to time and patience to give him his true
place among them. As he wrote to Godoy Cruz, concerning reports which
were in circulation: “You will say that I was vexed. Yes, my friend,
somewhat; but, after reflection, I followed the example of Diogenes, I
dived into a butt of philosophy. A public man must suffer anything in
order that the vessel may reach her port.”

At that time he suffered from chronic disease, and could only sleep for
a few minutes at once seated on a chair, and was compelled to take opium
to gain needful rest.

On the 29th November, 1815, the army under Rondeau was completely
defeated by Pezuela at Sipe-Sipe in Upper Peru. Morillo’s expedition was
triumphant in Columbia, and the Royalists sang _Te Deums_ both in Europe
and in America. In these days of despair San Martin invited his officers
to a banquet. Never did he appear in better spirits. When the dessert
was placed on the board he rose to his feet and in a loud voice proposed
a toast:--

“To the first shot fired beyond the Andes against the oppressors of
Chile.”

His words found echo in every heart. Confidence revived. From that
moment the passage of the Andes and the reconquest of Chile ceased to be
a vague idea, it became a plan of campaign which was to change the
aspect of the war.



CHAPTER X.

THE SPY SYSTEM OF THE PATRIOTS.

1815--1816.


The restoration of royalty in Chile was attended with such excesses as
might have been expected had some foreign power triumphed over the
country. A system of blood and fire was established for its
pacification, which had the natural result of reanimating the spirit of
resistance. The great majority of the people were tired of war, and
failed to see that revolutionary anarchy was any improvement on colonial
despotism; they were anxious only for peace, and welcomed their
conqueror as a liberator. A moderate policy might have consolidated
Spanish power in Chile for a considerable time, but these excesses
fanned into a blaze the embers of the old patriotic spirit, which was
buried under the ashes of Rancagua.

Osorio was by nature inclined to clemency, but the instructions of
Viceroy Abascal prohibited him from adopting any such course, and the
Spaniards who surrounded him urged upon him the necessity of the most
severe measures of repression. Yielding to these influences he became
the instrument of a pitiless persecution, the result of which was to
arouse the spirit of insurrection in every Chilian heart.

Forced loans and arbitrary contributions formed the sources of his
revenue, and so crushed all industry that soon even these sources dried
up, and supplies could only be obtained by confiscations. All the
civilizing reforms of the revolutionary epoch were abolished, and the
old monopolies were re-established. The most distinguished patriots were
exiled to the island of Juan Fernandez; all the native inhabitants were
classified as “suspects,” and many were murdered in the prisons by the
soldiery. A new spirit of patriotism was engendered by misery and
despair. Spaniards again became a privileged class, they occupied all
the public offices, they alone were allowed to carry arms, their
testimony only was received in the courts. Every native Chilian had to
be in his own house at nine o’clock at night, and could not travel even
the shortest distance without a permit. Fights between the soldiery and
the “rotos,” as the men of the labouring class are called, were of daily
occurrence. Many men of the Talavera regiment, which was particularly
obnoxious, were murdered by the populace. Even the Chilian troops, which
had done such good service under Sanchez and other leaders, were most
thanklessly treated. Commissions won by their officers on the field of
battle were not recognised, their pay was scanty, and the pensions of
their widows were not paid at all.

At the commencement of 1815 Osorio had 5,000 men, perfectly armed and
equipped, under his orders. His instructions were, as soon as he had
pacified the country, to cross the Andes with 3,000 men, and to act in
Cuyo and Cordoba in combination with Pezuela. Abascal had the converse
of the same idea, which was later on carried out by San Martin. Small
bodies of armed men had frequently crossed the Andes, but it is not the
number of the troops employed, nor the power of the peoples in conflict,
which constitutes the fame of such achievements, that fame lies in their
motives and results. In this lay the importance of the passage of the
Alps by Hannibal and by Napoleon; and the passage of the Andes by San
Martin and by Bolívar, are famous as parts of a great scheme for the
emancipation of a continent. Osorio was not the man for such an
enterprise, and his force was so weakened by detachments in aid of
Pezuela, that he never attempted it.

The disasters suffered by the Patriots in this year were not fruitless;
time was gained, in which San Martin perfected his preparations, and
this he lengthened by entering into a correspondence with Osorio,
proposing some arrangement for the prevention of further bloodshed. He
also took advantage of the correspondence so established to set on foot
an extensive system of spies and secret agents all over Chile, by whose
means he propagated false intelligence of such great military
preparations in Mendoza as filled Osorio with fears of an immediate
invasion, and had still more effect upon the feebler spirit of Marcó del
Pont, who relieved him of the command in December.

The secret agents, who rendered the greatest service to San Martin, he
found among the Chilian refugees in Mendoza. When the talents or social
position of any of these men inspired him with confidence, he put them
under arrest on some charge of treachery, from which he aided them to
escape and fly across the Andes, “from his tyranny.” Their alleged
sufferings disarmed the suspicions of the Spanish rulers of Chile to the
extent that some of them were actually employed by them to procure
information from the eastern side of the Andes. By their help San Martin
discovered that several Spaniards in Mendoza held secret communications
with Osorio. He arrested them, and by threats of immediate execution,
compelled them to show him all the letters they received, and to return
answers dictated by him. His principal care was to persuade the
Spaniards that the projected expedition would attack the south of Chile,
in order to induce them to relax their vigilance in the quarter which
was really menaced, and to concentrate their troops in positions where
they could be of no service.

His agents were incessantly occupied in furnishing him with details
concerning the number, armament, and positions of the Royalist forces,
and in stirring up the Chilian people to co-operate with the invading
army. Thus the whole country was soon on the watch for the moment when
their liberators would pass the Andes. The name of San Martin became so
popular, that his agents had no difficulty in obtaining all the help
they needed; horses were always to be had when they wanted them, and
they were warned in time of any danger which threatened them.

Chilian patriots, among whom the most active was Manuel Rodriguez, also
secretly organised bands of volunteers, who waited but the signal to
rise in arms. Some of them gave their lives for the cause on the
gallows. Marcó del Pont adopted the most severe measures of repression,
which only served to fan the flame of discontent.

In September, 1816, Rodriguez imprudently raised the flag of
insurrection in the south of Chile. His raw troops were speedily
dispersed, but San Martin made good use of his mistake by writing him an
angry despatch, telling him that he had ruined his plans by drawing the
Royalist forces to the south and causing them to occupy the passes by
which he had hoped to cross the Cordillera. This despatch he caused to
fall into the hands of Marcó del Pont, whose attention was thus again
diverted from the real point of danger.

At this time Brown, the gallant Irishman who had driven the Spanish
naval forces from the River Plate, and had been rewarded by the gift of
his flagship, the _Hercules_, again offered his ship and his services to
the Argentine Government. He was well supplied with guns, small arms,
and ammunition, and was granted letters of marque as a privateer. On the
15th October, 1815, he sailed from Buenos Ayres for the Pacific with
Captain Buchardo, a Frenchman, as his second in command. His squadron
consisted of four vessels--the _Hercules_ of 20 guns, commanded by
Michael Brown; the _Trinidad_ of 16 guns, commanded by Walter Chitty;
the _Halcon_, commanded by Buchardo, which three vessels were brigs;
and the armed quetch _Uribe_, named after its commander, a Chilian, who
had been a colleague of Carrera in the late revolution. The crews of the
two first were almost entirely English. The _Halcon_ had a mixed crew of
Chilians and Argentines, and her marines were commanded by Ramon Freyre.
The crew of the quetch were all Chilians, and she carried a black flag
as a sign of no quarter. It was stipulated that any prizes they might
make should be sold in Buenos Ayres, one-ninth the prize money to go to
Government, two-ninths to the Commodore, and the rest was to be divided
among the officers and crews.

San Martin took care to inform Marcó of this expedition by means of his
secret agents, and at the same time spread through Chile a rumour that
an army from 4,000 to 7,000 men was assembled in Mendoza for the passage
of the Andes. Marcó, terrified at the idea of being attacked both by
land and sea, issued the most injudicious orders to his subordinates,
scattered his forces, and applied to the Viceroy for naval support.

The _Hercules_ and the _Trinidad_, in the attempt to double Cape Horn,
were driven into the Straits of Magellan by a tempest, where they both
received serious injury from sunken rocks, but, being repaired, reached
the barren island of Mocha in the Southern Sea, where they were joined
by the _Halcon_. The quetch was wrecked, the captain and master being
drowned. Brown with his two ships, and Buchardo with his one, then
sailed by different courses to Callao, where they reunited to blockade
the port, and captured two large prizes, one of which, the
_Consequencia_, was armed and added to the squadron. On the 21st
January, 1816, they sailed boldly into the harbour, and forced the
Spanish ships to take refuge under the guns of the batteries.

On the night of the 22nd the gallant Commodore attacked the Royalist
flotilla with five armed boats, but was beaten off with a loss of thirty
killed and wounded. After maintaining the blockade for three weeks,
they sailed for Guayaquil. The fort at the entrance to this port was
taken by assault by Freyre with the crew of the _Halcon_, who effected a
landing under the fire of the guns of the squadron. The Commodore then
entered the port with the _Trinidad_, captured a schooner carrying
marines, and took the first battery with four brass guns, which were
transferred to the schooner. He then attacked another battery, but a
sudden squall drove the _Trinidad_ ashore, and he was forced to haul
down his flag to prevent the massacre of his men by the Spanish
infantry. He himself stripped off his clothes and sprang overboard
intending to swim to the schooner, but seeing that the Spaniards were
commencing to kill their prisoners, he climbed on board again, seized a
lighted match, ran down to the magazine, and threatened to blow up the
ship with all on board unless the laws of war were respected. This
daring action brought the Spaniards to their senses, the slaughter was
stopped, and Brown, with no other clothing than the Argentine flag which
he wrapped round him, was led a prisoner on shore.

Buchardo, with the rest of the squadron, attacked another battery in the
hope of rescuing his comrades, but was beaten off. One of the prisoners
taken on the _Consequencia_ off Callao was Mendiburo, the Governor of
this province, and the commandant of Guayaquil was so eager to get rid
of his enemies that he proposed an exchange of prisoners, which was at
once accepted. The three remaining vessels with the schooner then left
the port.

On the open sea the jealousy latent in the hearts of the two commanders
broke into an open flame. Each of these two adventurers considered that
the other deserved hanging at the yardarm; but in times of danger they
had most nobly supported each other. Now they agreed to separate,
dividing the plunder between them, and Buchardo returned with the
_Consequencia_ to Buenos Ayres. Brown sailed on to Santa Fé in New
Granada, but, finding that city occupied by Royalist troops, he
followed his late comrade to the Atlantic.

The Argentine Government had hoped great things from this expedition,
and had written to San Martin to hold himself ready to take advantage of
any movement it might occasion in Chile; but the astute general replied
that a naval force, to be of any effective aid to an invading general,
must consist of ships of war, not of privateers, and must be under his
orders. The result showed that it was but of slight service to the
cause, and was a waste of material which might have been much more
usefully employed.



CHAPTER XI.

THE IDEA OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ANDES.

1815--1816.


The plans of San Martin were not in accordance with the ideas which
prevailed in the military circles of the United Provinces. The many
disasters which had befallen Argentine armies in Upper Peru had failed
to show either the leaders of those armies or Government that the true
road to Lima did not lie through those mountain passes. He did not
obtrude his opinions upon any one, still his idea at times leaked out in
despatches, and after the fate of Alvear, met with a somewhat better
reception at headquarters. Carrera had made a proposal to Government for
a foolhardy attempt upon Coquimbo, which was rejected after a
consultation with San Martin, but his application for permission to
assume the offensive had also been refused. He then caused a report to
be circulated in Chile that he was about to march his army to the north,
to reinforce the routed forces of Rondeau, in the hope that Marcó might
be induced to cross the Andes and attack Mendoza, and by representing
this danger to Government, he succeeded in persuading them to send him
some light field guns and other war material, of which he was in need;
and also to grant him power to assume the offensive in spring. He also
prevailed upon them to unite the scattered squadrons of the mounted
grenadiers, and to place them under his orders, as the nucleus of a
cavalry brigade.

In March, 1816, a detachment of the grenadiers, under Aldao, made a
successful reconnaissance by the Uspallata Pass, of the Royalist
positions on the western slopes of the Andes, and brought back much
useful information; but true to his principle of concealing his plans,
San Martin reported to Government that the central passes were so well
defended that the only practical course was by those to the south of
Mendoza; and also that advanced field works were necessary about
Uspallata, in order to secure the Province of Cuyo as the base of
operations. This procured him a further much needed supply of guns.

In April General Balcarce, the hero of Suipacha, succeeded Alvarez as
Provisional Director, and San Martin was thenceforward much better
supported by the central power; military supplies were sent to him on a
much more liberal scale than under the previous administration.

The power of the Lautaro Lodge had fallen with Alvear, but the society
still existed, and San Martin now established a branch in Mendoza, in
which the principal leaders of the Chilian refugees, and many of the
foremost men of Cuyo, were affiliated.

At this time he received most efficient assistance from his friend Don
Tomas Guido, who had first met him in London, and who had afterwards in
Tucuman learned from him something of his ideas in regard to the conduct
of the war. Guido drew up a memorial and presented it to the Supreme
Director, in which he warmly supported the idea of attacking Peru by way
of Chile; and his aid became still more efficacious when the meeting of
the Congress of Tucuman, a few weeks later on, placed the administration
of affairs in new hands.



CHAPTER XII.

THE ARMY OF THE ANDES.

1816--1817.


The organization of the Army of the Andes is one of the most
extraordinary feats recorded in military history. It was a war machine,
composed of men filled with the spirit of the Argentine Revolution and
with a passion for things American, without which spirit and without
which passion it could never have achieved the task before it. Never was
the military automaton more thoroughly endued with human energy.

The auxiliary corps of Las Heras formed the nucleus of this army, to
which was soon added two companies of the 8th Regiment from Buenos
Ayres, with four field guns. In 1815 Colonel Zapiola joined it with two
squadrons of the Grenadiers. These corps were greatly strengthened by
volunteers, who joined them in Cuyo.

In 1816 the new Government appointed by the Congress of Tucuman,
constituted it formally as THE ARMY OF THE ANDES, under the command of
San Martin as Captain-General, with General Soler as chief of the Staff,
and further strengthened it with the 7th Regiment of Infantry from
Buenos Ayres, and additions to the 8th; Colonel Conde being placed in
command of the 8th, and Colonel Cramer, a Frenchman, who had served
under Napoleon, in command of the 7th. The 11th, under Las Heras, was
divided into two battalions, of which the second became the 1st Light
Infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Alvarado. A fifth squadron under
Necochea was added to the Grenadiers. Thus early in September the army
numbered 2,300 men with the flags, a force still insufficient for the
work, but recruiting went on briskly.

The question of giving freedom to all slaves who would enlist being
under discussion at Tucuman, San Martin spread the report in Cuyo that
the idea was to be carried out, and advised the Cabildos to prevail upon
the slaveowners to set their slaves free before the project became law.
There was much unwillingness to accede to this proposition, but at
length it was resolved to set two-thirds of the slaves free, the
manumission not to be effective until the army crossed the Andes. This
gave a further reinforcement of 710 men to the infantry. Before the end
of the year the army numbered 4,000 men, almost all of whom were
Argentines. The Chilian emigrants were organized into a reserve as the
nucleus for the future army of Chile. This reserve was placed under
command of O’Higgins, who received a commission as a General of the
United Provinces, but within it were many partizans of Carrera, upon
whom San Martin looked with suspicion.

This army was sustained by a combination of patriotic subscriptions,
gratuitous services, and of regular and arbitrary taxes. Some carried
arms, others gave money or labour, all the inhabitants of Cuyo
contributed in some way or another to the great work. For the furnishing
of arms, powder and equipments, special measures were adopted. San
Martin found the man he wanted for this work in a mendicant friar named
Luis Beltran. This Beltran was a native of Mendoza, and being in Chile
at the time of the revolution had joined the Patriots and served as an
artilleryman at the siege of Chillán. After Rancagua he returned on foot
to his own country, with a bag of tools of his own making on his
shoulders. Self-taught, he was at once a mathematician and a chemist, an
artilleryman and a maker of watches or of fireworks, a carpenter, an
architect, a blacksmith, a draughtsman, a cobbler, and a physician. In
addition he was of a robust constitution and of soldierly bearing. He
became one of the chaplains of the new army. San Martin soon discovered
his extraordinary talents, and entrusted him with the establishment of
an arsenal. Soon he had three hundred workmen under his orders, all of
whom were taught by himself. He cast cannon, shot, and shell, melting
down the church bells when other metal was not to be had; he made
limbers for the guns, saddles for the cavalry, knapsacks and shoes for
the infantry, and all other kinds of necessary equipment; forged
horseshoes and bayonets, repaired damaged muskets, and in his leisure
moments drew on the walls of his grimy workshop designs for carriages
specially adapted for the conveyance of war material over the steep
passes of the Andes. In 1816, he took off his friar’s frock, donned the
uniform of a lieutenant of artillery, with a monthly salary of 25
dollars, and became the Archimedes of the Army of the Andes.

In addition to this arsenal, San Martin established a laboratory of
saltpetre and a powder factory, in charge of his aide-de-camp Major
Condarco, using water power to work the machines. This factory produced
excellent gunpowder, sufficient for the supply of the army, at very
small cost. He also set up a manufactory of army cloth, which cloth was
dyed blue, and uniforms for the troops were made of it by the women of
Mendoza, free of charge. A military tribunal was created, and the
medical staff was organized under Dr. Paroissien, a naturalised
Englishman. The commissariat and treasury were also placed under the
strictest regulations. Everything was prepared for an offensive war, and
for distant operations.

In May, 1816, the scheme was almost upset by the persistence of the
Central Government in prosecuting the war in Upper Peru. San Martin had
taken great interest in the projected Congress of Tucuman since the idea
was first mooted, looking upon it as the last hope of the revolution.
Four deputies were sent from Cuyo, who were all friends of his, and who
took deep interest in his plan. One of them, Don Juan Martin Pueyrredon,
was elected President.

The majority of this Congress were in favour of the establishment of a
constitutional monarchy. San Martin and Belgrano, who commanded the
armies of Cuyo and the North, were the pillars of the State edifice,
and, though San Martin was in theory a Republican, they both shared in
this opinion, but both were equally convinced that the first step should
be a Declaration of Independence, in order to put an end to the present
anomalous position, in which they, still nominally subject to the King
of Spain, made war upon Spain under a flag of their own. Thus the
Declaration of Independence on the 9th July was welcomed by San Martin
as a master stroke of policy.

Don Juan Martin Pueyrredon, now President of the United Provinces, had
already so far adopted the military ideas of San Martin, that on the
16th June he had given orders for the despatch of men and arms to Cuyo,
but San Martin was not content with mere acquiescence in his plans, he
wanted the hearty approval and concurrence of the Chief of the State. He
accordingly left Mendoza for Cordoba on the 15th July, and there met the
President. The conference lasted three days and resulted in a complete
understanding between them.

Then as no maps existed of the passes of the Andes, he sent his
aide-de-camp Condarco, who was a skilful engineer, with a copy of the
Declaration of Independence to the Governor of Chile.

“But,” he said to him as he gave him his instructions, “your real errand
is to reconnoitre for me the roads by Los Patos and Uspallata. Without
making a note, you must bring back in your head a plan of them both. I
shall send you by Los Patos which is the longest road, and as they are
certain to send you back at once, if they don’t hang you, you will
return by Uspallata, which is the nearest way.”

As San Martin had anticipated, the copy of the declaration which
Condarco presented to Marcó del Pont, was burned by the public hangman
of Santiago, and the messenger was sent back at once with scant
courtesy, but in his receptive brain he brought with him plans of both
roads, which he drew out on paper at his leisure, and these plans so
obtained, became the chart of the first operations of the Army of the
Andes.

In the early spring, San Martin brought the various corps of his army
from their cantonments, and encamped them on an open plain about a
league to the north of Mendoza, where the recruits were thoroughly
drilled, and the whole force was taught to act in concert. Every hour of
the day had its allotted work, and in the evening the officers attended
classes for instruction in tactics. To complete its organization, a
printing press was added to the stores, from which bulletins of victory
were to issue to the world, teaching to the liberated people the
principles of the Argentine revolution, which the soldiery supported
with their bayonets.

On the 17th January, 1817, there was high holiday in the city of
Mendoza. The streets and plaza were decorated with flags and streamers.
The whole army marched in to salute the Virgen del Carmen as its patron
saint, and to receive a special army flag embroidered by the ladies of
the city. When the usual formalities were over, San Martin ascended a
platform in the great square with the flag in his hand, and waving it
over his head, said in a voice which could be heard by all:--

“Soldiers! This is the first independent flag which has been blessed in
America.”

One great shout of “Viva la Patria!” rose from the people and the troops
in answer.

Then he added--

“Soldiers! Swear to sustain it and to die in defence of it, as I swear
to do.”

“We swear!” was the answer from four thousand throats. A triple
discharge of musketry and twenty-five guns, then saluted this new flag,
the flag of redemption for one-half of South America, which passed the
Cordillera, waved in triumph along the Pacific Coast, floated over the
foundations of two new Republics, aided in the liberation of another,
and after sixty-four years, served as a funeral pall to the body of the
hero, who thus delivered it to the care of the immortal Army of the
Andes.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE PASSAGE OF THE ANDES.

1817.


“What spoils my sleep is not the strength of the enemy, but how to pass
those immense mountains,” said San Martin, as from Mendoza he gazed upon
the snow-clad summits of the Andes, which as a mighty barrier separate
the wide plains of the Argentine Pampa from the smiling valleys of
Chili, through twenty-two degrees of latitude, from the desert of
Atacama to Cape Horn.

These mountains at 33° south latitude divide into two parallel ranges,
one running southward along the borders of the Pacific Ocean, the other
forming the grand Cordillera upon which San Martin gazed from Mendoza.
The coast range is a succession of granite hills with rounded summits
and gentle slopes, like to the waves of a petrified sea. The great
Cordillera is in its centre composed of three or four ranges of conical
and sharply-defined peaks which rise one over the other to a height of
21,000 feet above the level of the sea, crowned with perpetual snow. At
its feet lie deep valleys, from which perpendicular precipices rise up
to the clouds, and the mighty condors wheeling in airy circles at that
dizzy height are the only living things to be seen. There are also lakes
fed by torrents of melted snow which, pouring down the mountain sides
into these valleys, find at times no exit, their path being closed by
immense heaps of débris hurled from the lofty summits by the force of
ice and water. These immense groups of mountains are traversed by
rugged defiles, and narrow paths, the result of volcanic action, wind
along the edges of precipices, while below roar the mountain streams
carrying great rocks along with them, tossing them about as though they
were straws. Here nature displays her giant strength as an artificer,
decking herself with no other ornaments than the cactus, mosses, and
thorny plants; everywhere are seen traces of the world in embryo, as it
emerged from chaos in the process of creation.

Between the Cordillera and the coast range stretches a great central
valley, cut across in places by spurs from the higher mountains, which
take an oblique line to the south till they lose themselves in the
ocean, or reappear as solitary islands or as clusters of islands, which
are the summits of mountains springing from the bed of the sea.

The great Cordillera can only be crossed at certain passes. Those which
have connection with our history are: in the centre, those of Uspallata
and Los Patos, in front of Mendoza and San Juan; to the north, those of
La Ramada and Come-Caballos, by which the Argentine province of La Rioja
communicates with Coquimbo and Copiapó; and to the south, that of the
Planchon, which gives access to the valley of Talca, and that of the
Portillo which leads to the plain of Maipó and to the capital of Chile.
These passes, from 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet above the level of the sea,
are covered with snow in winter, and are practicable only in the height
of summer. Until then they had been crossed only by small detachments of
soldiery, or by troops of mules, the paths being in many places so
narrow as only to give room for one mounted man at a time. The passage
of a numerous army with guns and baggage was held to be impossible and
had never been thought of till the feat was accomplished by San Martin.
Food and forage for men, mules, and horses had to be carried with them,
and it was necessary to reach the other side in force sufficient to
overcome a watchful enemy; to concentrate the different columns upon
his weak points; and to make all the preparations secretly, so that the
army might rush like a thunderbolt from the western slopes of the
mountains and do battle in the open plain.

San Martin, by his complex spy system, had deluded the enemy into the
belief that the invasion would come from the passes of the south; his
real intentions he had kept from friends and enemies alike. In
September, 1816, he invited the Pehuenche Indians, who occupied the
eastern slopes of the Andes commanding the entrances to the passes of
the Planchon and Portillo, to a conference at the fort of San Carlos to
the south of Mendoza. With the invitation he sent them many mules laden
with spirits and wine, with sweetmeats, cloth, and glass beads for the
women, horse gear and clothes for the men. In savage pomp they came; the
warriors, followed by their women, rode up to the fort on the day
appointed in full war costume, flourishing their long lances, and
commenced proceedings by a sham fight in the Indian fashion, dashing at
full speed round the fort, from whose walls a gun was fired every five
minutes and was answered by Indian yells. Then the chiefs entered the
fort and were told by San Martin that the Spaniards were foreigners who
intended to rob them of their lands, their cattle, their women, and
children; and that he desired to pass through their country with an
army, to go by the Planchon and Portillo Passes to the country the other
side of the mountains, there to destroy these Spaniards. The Indian
chiefs listened to his request and granted him the permission he
required, after which they, with their warriors, gave themselves up to
an orgy which lasted eight days.

On the sixth day San Martin returned to Mendoza satisfied that the
Indians, with their usual perfidy, would at once inform Marcó of his
project, and took care that their information was confirmed by the
agents of Marcó in Mendoza, who sent him despatches to the same purport,
dictated by San Martin. At the same time San Martin advised the
Government and his friend Guido that he had arranged with the Indians
for supplies of cattle and horses, and for help in his expedition,
without in any case giving a hint of his real intentions.

Marcó, harassed by the alarming news sent him by his supposed spies in
Mendoza, and annoyed by the guerillas under Martin Rodriguez, who
infested the country between the Maule and the Maipó, and sacked
villages even in the vicinity of the capital itself, adopted most
ill-conceived and contradictory measures. He fortified the ports and
organised a flotilla to act against an imaginary naval force, which his
spies in Cuyo informed him had already left Buenos Ayres. He cut
trenches in the pass of Uspallata; made a map of the southern provinces,
and a survey of the mouths of the passes in that district; strengthened
the guards at all the passes; after concentrating his troops, scattered
them again all over the country; and followed the example of San Martin
by holding a great conference with the Indians of Arauco.

The policy of San Martin was successful; the Captain-General of Chile
attempted to defend the whole of his frontier and had no idea where the
real attack was to come from. One only of his many councillors advised
him to concentrate the army on the capital, and there make ready for
whatever might happen. Instead of that, he increased the general
discontent by arbitrary exactions, till all classes of the people longed
for the appearance of San Martin and made ready to help him as best they
could. Small parties of troops were on several occasions attacked and
routed by armed bands of the peasantry, and the bandit Neyra made
himself famous by similar exploits.

In the encampment at Mendoza matters were far different; there
methodical activity and automatic obedience blended with intelligent
enthusiasm; there one far-seeing will reigned supreme. There everything
was known that Marcó either thought or did, each man worked diligently
at his appointed task, and all trusted blindly in their chief. The
forges blazed day and night, the arsenal turned out cartridges by the
hundred thousand. Fray Beltran made special carriages for the artillery,
adapted to the mountain passes, the guns themselves were to be carried
on the backs of mules; slings were prepared for carrying them over
dangerous places, and sleds of raw hide in which they might be hauled up
by men when the gradients were too steep for the mules.

The General-in-Chief, silent and reserved, thought for all, inspected
everything, and provided for every contingency. Large provision was made
of _charquicán_, a food much in vogue among the muleteers, composed of
beef dried in the sun, roasted, and ground to powder, then mixed with
fat and Chile pepper and pounded into small compass. A soldier could
carry enough of this in his knapsack to last him eight days. Mixed up
with hot water and maize meal ready roasted, it formed a soup at once
nutritious and appetising. San Luis alone furnished 2,000 arrobas, and
the total provision amounted to 3,500 arrobas (87,200 lbs.). The
soldiers made for themselves closed sandals of raw hide called
_tamangos_, which were lined with fragments of old clothes collected for
that purpose from all the province. Water-bottles were made from the
horns of the animals slaughtered in the encampment, and slings were made
for them out of the rough edges of the cloth from which their uniforms
were made. The sabres of the cavalry were carefully sharpened, but they
had only three trumpets till Government sent them two more. Thirty
thousand horseshoes were prepared, which was a great innovation, as the
Argentines were not accustomed to shoe their horses; without them the
hoofs of the cavalry horses would have been worn down in the transit
over the stony passes. Four cables, each 170 feet long, and two anchors
formed a portable bridge. Cuyo alone furnished 13,000 mules, but the
promises of Government to replenish the exhausted treasury were not
fulfilled. A rebellion had broken out in Cordoba which taxed the
resources of Pueyrredon to the utmost to repress; but he aided San
Martin in every way he possibly could, with clothes, saddles, tents, and
arms, and wrote him:--“Don’t ask me for anything more unless you wish to
hear that I have hung myself to a beam in the fort.” And also: “You may
well say that among us there has never been seen an army so well fitted
out; but neither has there been seen a Director who had equal confidence
in a general, and, it must be added, never a general who so well merited
that confidence as yourself. After all, my mind would be easier if you
had another thousand good soldiers with you.”

Everything was ready. The army consisted of 3,000 infantry in four
battalions, led by Alvarado, Cramer, Conde and Las Heras; five squadrons
of the mounted grenadiers, 700 sabres, led by Zapiola, Melian, Ramallo,
Escalada, and Necochea; and 250 artillery, with ten 6-pounders, two
howitzers, and nine 4-pounder mountain guns, under command of La Plaza.
Twelve hundred mounted militia from Cuyo accompanied the army, besides
muleteers and artisans.

The army was arranged in three divisions, each entirely independent of
the others. The vanguard under Soler, and the reserve under O’Higgins,
marched by the pass of Los Patos. Las Heras with the artillery marched
by that of Uspallata, which was the only one practicable for guns and
ammunition. All the food necessary for fifteen days they took with them,
also 600 bullocks for slaughter, and a special supply of onions and
garlic, very necessary at high levels both for man and beast.

As flankers to the main army, a detachment of militia and Chilian
emigrants left San Juan under Cabot, by the pass of La Ramada, marching
upon Coquimbo, and another left Rioja by the pass of Vinchina, marching
on Copiapó and Huasco. To the south another detachment, composed of
mounted infantry, grenadiers, and Chilians, marched under the Chilian
Captain Freyre, by the Planchon pass, in support of the Chilian
guerillas, and were aided by a party of thirty dragoons under Captain
Lemos, who went by the Portillo Pass.

Both the main body and the detachments had orders to debouch on Chilian
territory from the 6th to the 8th February, 1817. Each general of
division was given by San Martin himself a pen-and-ink plan of the route
he was to follow, with notes and written instructions. San Martin
himself went by the pass of Los Patos, but had arranged a system of
flag-signals by which Las Heras could communicate with him across the
intervening valleys.

His last instructions from Government were:--

“The consolidation of the independence of America from the Kings of
Spain and their successors, and the glory of the United Provinces of the
South, are the only motives of this campaign. This you will make public
in your proclamations, by your agents in the cities, and by all possible
means. The army must be impressed with this principle, and shall have no
thought of pillage, oppression, or of conquest, or that there is any
idea of holding the country of those we help.”

He was also authorized to raise a national army in Chile, which should
remain under his orders even when a new Government was established; was
prohibited from capitulating with the enemy under any circumstances; and
was charged to avoid any interference in party questions among the
Chilians. He was also authorized, after the re-establishment of the
municipality of Santiago, to preside over the free election of a
provisional president. He was instructed to use his influence to
postpone the election of a Congress until Chile was entirely free from
the enemy, and to persuade the Chilians to send deputies to the Congress
of the United Provinces, in order to establish a perpetual alliance
between the two countries.

As the leading files of the army entered the passes, San Martin, on the
24th January, 1817, wrote to Godoy Cruz:--

“This afternoon I leave to join the army. God grant me success in this
great enterprise.”

The plan of the campaign, as drawn up by San Martin on the 15th June,
1816, was to cross the Cordillera by the passes of Uspallata and Los
Patos, to re-unite his forces in the plain beyond, there to beat the
principal force of the enemy and to seize the capital.

The principal spur from the main range which cuts the central valley of
Chile is that which springs from the great peak of Aconcagua. From this
spur a smaller one branches off, which is called the Sierra of
Chacabuco, and runs parallel to the main spur, enclosing between them
the parallel valleys of Putaendo and Aconcagua, watered by two streams
bearing the same names, which ultimately unite to form the river
Aconcagua, which empties itself in the ocean beyond the coast range of
hills. The road by Uspallata passes to the south of the great peak and
through the valley of Aconcagua to the frontier town of Santa Rosa. The
road by Los Patos is much longer, and, passing to the north of
Aconcagua, leads by the valley of Putaendo to the narrow pass of
Achupallas, which lies to the west of Santa Rosa. Thus any force
stationed at this point would be placed between two fires by the
convergence of the two divisions, and if it retreated to the Sierra of
Chacabuco which lay to the south, would leave the plain of Chacabuco
available for the concentration of the army. Chacabuco was thus the
strategic point upon the occupation of which depended the issue of the
whole campaign.

Meantime Cabot had left San Juan on the 12th January, and on the 8th
February issued from the northern passes. The whole province of Coquimbo
rose in arms to welcome him. Captain Ceballos, detached by him, routed a
Royalist force of a hundred men on the plains of Salala, capturing two
small guns and forty prisoners. By the 12th Cabot was master of the
entire province. On the same day Davila, with the detachment from Rioja,
took the city of Copiapó. The whole of the north of Chile was in the
power of the invaders.

On that same 12th February Freyre, at the other extreme of the line of
operations, occupied the city of Talca, after a skirmish on the plains,
cutting all communication between the capital and the south. He
represented himself to be the vanguard of the main army, and was joined
at once by the Chilian guerillas and by Neyra.

It was only on the eve of departure that San Martin explained his plan
in its entirety to his generals. On the 18th January Las Heras marched
with a flying column by Uspallata, with instructions to entrench himself
at Chacabuco, but to retreat if attacked by superior forces. Two days in
his rear marched Beltran with the artillery. The main body marched on
the 19th by Los Patos; the vanguard was commanded by Soler, and one
day’s march in his rear came the reserve under O’Higgins. Groups of
pioneers preceded the columns, clearing the way for them. Soler had
instructions to debouch on the 8th February into the valley of Putaendo,
to seize the bridge which crosses the river Aconcagua in front of the
town of San Felipe, to occupy that position, thence to open
communications with Las Heras, and, if possible, to attack the enemy in
the rear at Santa Rosa.

All the troops were mounted on mules, and marched in single file along
the narrow paths, each twenty men being in care of a muleteer, the
length of each day’s march being decided by the facilities for grass and
water at the halting-places. Not only was the road itself by Los Patos
more difficult than that by Uspallata, but on account of the greater
elevation, and of its vicinity to the eternal snow of the higher peaks,
the cold was very much more intense; it freezes hard there every night,
even at midsummer, and the rarefaction of the air caused many of the men
to drop from the ranks.

Marcó had despatched 1,000 men under Colonel Atero to reconnoitre the
pass of Uspallata, and on the 24th January the advanced posts of Las
Heras were attacked by the enemy at Pichueta, on the eastern slope of
the Cordillera. A reinforcement under Major Martinez drove the
Royalists, after two hours’ fighting, across the summit. San Martin, on
hearing of this, at once despatched Major Arcos with 200 men to seize
the pass of Achupallas. On the 4th February Arcos found the guard there
strongly reinforced; he attacked at once, and the day was decided by
Lieutenant Juan Lavalle, of the mounted grenadiers, who here led the
first of those desperate charges of cavalry for which he was afterwards
so renowned.

At three in the morning of the 2nd February Las Heras crossed the summit
of the Cordillera, and on the 4th, at sundown, an advanced post of the
Royalists at Guardia Vieja was attacked by Major Martinez, and carried
at the point of the bayonet; after which Las Heras, in obedience to
express orders from San Martin, retired upon his reserve. On the 5th the
alarm was given in the valleys of Putaendo and Aconcagua by the
fugitives from Guardia Vieja and Achupallas, but Atero, deceived by the
countermarch of Las Heras into the idea that he was in full retreat,
left the pass of Uspallata open, and marched with 700 men to meet the
invaders at Achupallas. Thus, without further trouble, Las Heras
debouched on the 8th on to the plain and occupied Santa Rosa.

Soler, with the escort and two squadrons of grenadiers, had hurried on
to the assistance of the small force at Achupallas, and thence on the
6th descended into the valley of Putaendo with all his cavalry. Necochea
was then detached with 100 men of the escort against the town of San
Felipe. On the morning of the 7th he was met by Atero, and, by feigning
to retreat in the face of such superior numbers, induced the Royalist
leader to follow him up the valley with 300 horsemen, leaving his guns
and infantry in a strong position on high ground behind him. When he had
drawn him well away from his reserve, Necochea suddenly wheeled his men
into line and charged, breaking up the enemy completely, and driving
him back to the shelter of his guns, with a loss of 30 killed and 4
prisoners. Atero, after this repulse, retreated with all speed to San
Felipe, destroying the bridge over the Aconcagua river. The fugitives
reported that the enemy were tall men armed with very long swords, whose
charge no cavalry in Chile could resist. On the 8th the two divisions
encamped in the valley of Putaendo, and were welcomed with enthusiasm by
the inhabitants.

On the 9th the broken bridge was repaired by the sappers, and while the
whole army crossed, a squadron of grenadiers under Melian advanced to
the hill of Chacabuco, and were there met by advanced parties of the
column under Las Heras. Beltran had lost 6,000 mules out of 10,000, and
two-thirds of his horses, but he brought all his guns with him.

Thus the preliminary operations were crowned with success. A strategic
combination of movements over a frontage of 1,300 miles was completed in
every point on the day prefixed by the author of the plan. He had reason
to be proud of the exploit, but neither then or at any later date was he
ever known to boast of it. He had at that time much else to think of,
his cavalry horses were for the most part foundered by the passage of
the rugged defiles, and he had no time to lose if he was to fight a
decisive battle on the 15th as he had promised.

The judgment of posterity is unanimous in respect to the importance of
the passage of the Andes by San Martin, not alone as a great military
feat, but also for the influence it had upon the final result of the
struggle for emancipation. Spanish historians speak of it as the
turning-point of the contest between Spain and her colonies. In German
military schools it is cited as an example of the importance of
discipline in an army, and of the value of foresight and attention to
details on the part of a general.

The passage of the Andes by San Martin was a feat requiring greater
strategy and skill than the passages of the Alps by Hannibal and by
Napoleon; it was unequalled till Bolívar repeated the exploit on the
equator. If compared with the two former, it is seen to be a much
greater achievement than either of them from its effects upon the
destinies of the human race. In place of vengeance, greed, or of
ambition, San Martin was animated by the hope of giving liberty and
independence to a new world. The passage of the Andes by San Martin
resulted in Maipó; the passage of the Andes by Bolívar resulted in
Boyacá; two decisive victories which liberated entire peoples from the
slavery of foreign despotism; the passages of the Alps by Hannibal and
by Napoleon resulted only in the sterile victories of Trebia and of
Marengo.



CHAPTER XIV.

CHACABUCO.

1817.


From San Felipe, San Martin sent off a trusty spy to Santiago with
instructions to bring him back, on the third day, information of the
movements of the enemy. He then set himself to work to prepare for
battle, mounting his artillery and concentrating the different
divisions. On the 10th February all the army was united on the open
plain at the foot of the slope of Chacabuco.

On the 10th and 11th the engineers, protected by skirmishers,
reconnoitred the roads and passes leading across the Sierra. On the 11th
the spy returned, bringing answers to San Martin from his agents in the
capital, and copies of the secret orders of Marcó. The spy had visited
the barracks of the Royalist troops, and had counted those on the march
for Chacabuco. San Martin then summoned a council of war.

The Sierra of Chacabuco rises to a height of 4,300 feet above the level
of the sea. About three miles before reaching the summit, the main road
from Santa Rosa to Santiago divides into two paths. That to the left,
which is the shortest but also the steeper of the two, is still only a
bridle-path; the other is now the main road, but was at that time little
known. Both lead to the plain of Chacabuco, but the points at which they
descend from the heights are nearly two miles distant one from the
other. The left-hand path first reaches the lower ground near the head
of a valley about three miles long, down which it winds until it joins
the other path at the farmhouse of Chacabuco, which stands at the head
of the plain.

From the summit of the Sierra the whole country is seen spreading out as
a beautiful panorama. The plain at the foot, extending southwards some
seven miles in the direction of Santiago, is shut in by the hills of
Colina, through which there is a path. Behind lie the great masses of
the Cordillera, to the west the spur runs on till it joins the coast
range, as yet unseen.

San Martin informed his officers that he had determined to advance
without waiting for the rest of his artillery, and to fight the decisive
battle before the enemy had time to concentrate his forces. The army was
to march in two columns by the diverging paths, which columns should
debouch simultaneously upon the plain beyond, and attack the Royalist
position in front and on the flank. The column of the right was put
under command of Soler, and consisted of 2,100 men, with seven light
guns. That of the left, under command of O’Higgins, consisted of 1,500
men, with two guns. The latter was to engage the attention of the enemy
in front, without attacking the position, while Soler marched upon his
left flank and rear, when a general advance would decide the day.

Atero, after the skirmish in the valley of Putaendo, had retreated to
Chacabuco, and Marcó hurriedly sent reinforcements, offering the
soldiery a reward of twenty dollars for each one of the enemy killed,
and twelve for each prisoner; but, at the same time, he secretly sent
off his baggage to Valparaiso, and not until the 10th did he appoint a
commander for the army assembling at Chacabuco. He then selected Colonel
Maroto of the Talavera regiment, who reached the headquarters at the
farmhouse on the evening of the 11th. Maroto found under his orders
1,500 infantry, 500 cavalry, and five guns, a force far inferior in
numbers to that of the invaders, and depressed in spirit, but they were
the flower of the Spanish army. All that he had time to do that evening
was to strengthen an outpost which was stationed on the summit in a
position which commanded the eastern pass, purposing to occupy the
heights with his entire force on the following day.

At two in the morning of the 12th February, under a bright moon, the
Argentine army commenced their advance, the infantry leaving their
knapsacks behind them. Flanking parties from Soler’s division were the
first to meet the enemy, but had barely time to exchange a few shots
when the position was attacked by O’Higgins, who drove this advanced
guard before him over the summit. The Royalists retreated in good order
upon the main body, which had advanced three miles up the valley at dawn
of day.

Maroto, believing that the whole force of the Patriots was in pursuit of
his vanguard by the main road, withdrew his army across the valley,
which was intersected by a muddy stream, and took up a strong position
on the opposite slope, placing two of his guns so as to command the
mouth of the pass, and extending his line to a hill on his extreme left,
where he established a strong force of infantry, with the cavalry in the
rear.

Zapiola, with three squadrons of the grenadiers, harassed the retreat of
the Royalist vanguard, but could make no impression upon it, the ground
being unfavourable for cavalry, but he succeeded in preventing the enemy
from occupying two hills at the mouth of the pass, where they might have
seriously hindered the advance of O’Higgins; and advanced into the
valley till forced to retire by the fire of the two guns in position in
front.

At 11 A.M. O’Higgins debouched from the pass, and drew up his infantry
in line on the open ground under fire of the enemy. For an hour he
contented himself with returning their fire and beating off their
skirmishers, till, as he afterwards said himself, his blood was boiling
to be at them. In his excitement he forgot the positive orders of San
Martin to wait for Soler before attacking the enemy, and gave the word
to charge. His men advanced with alacrity, but were soon entangled in
the muddy stream, which they in vain attempted to cross under the fire
of the enemy, and finally retreated in disorder to the mouth of the
pass.

San Martin, sitting on his war-horse, saw from the heights above the
repulse of his lieutenant. At once he sent off his aide-de-camp Condarco
to hasten the march of Soler. This is the incident in his life which is
commemorated in the equestrian statue which now graces the Plaza San
Martin in Buenos Ayres.

He then galloped down the slope and joined O’Higgins. As he reached the
lower ground, he noticed an extraordinary movement in the ranks of the
enemy, and then descried the head of Soler’s column advancing rapidly on
his flank.

O’Higgins again advanced, while the grenadiers under Zapiola charged the
centre of the enemy, and sabred his artillerymen at their guns. The
position was carried by the bayonet, and the Royalist infantry formed
square on their centre. Colonel Alvarado, with the vanguard of the right
wing, at the same time captured the hill on the left flank of the
Royalists, while Necochea and Escalada charged the cavalry in the rear.
The victors then fell simultaneously upon the square, which was speedily
broken. Some of the fugitives made for the farmhouse in their rear, but
found their retreat cut off by Soler, and were forced to surrender at
discretion; others tried to escape by the valley, and there fell under
the sabres of the grenadiers.

The Royalists lost in this action 500 killed, 600 prisoners, all their
artillery, a standard, and two flags; while the loss of the Patriots was
12 killed and 120 wounded. But the moral effects of the victory were
still greater; the disaster of Chacabuco spread panic among the
adherents of the Royal cause all over Chile. Only three men were
undismayed--Barañao, Ordoñez, and Sanchez.

Barañao, on the march with his hussars to join the army, was met at the
entrance to the plain of Chacabuco by news of the disaster. He
countermarched to Santiago, and offered Marcó to take up an infantry
soldier behind each of his horsemen, and to fall upon the Patriot camp
by night; but Marcó thought of nothing but his own safety, and fled to
Valparaiso, leaving the capital in the hands of the populace.

On the 13th the Patriot army was in full march upon Santiago, Necochea,
with his squadron of grenadiers, being sent in advance to maintain order
in the city; where the next day the army entered amid the enthusiastic
plaudits of the inhabitants. As a Chilian historian says:

“San Martin, occupied in carrying out his vast plans, cared little for
these futile manifestations. He thought only of the resources for
carrying on the work which he had gained by the victory.”

On the 15th he issued a proclamation convoking an assembly of notables,
who should name three electors for each of the provinces of Santiago,
Concepcion, and Coquimbo, in order that they might appoint a chief for
the State.

The Assembly, to the number of one hundred, met under the presidency of
Don Francisco Ruiz Tagle, the provisional Governor, and declared that--

“They were unanimous in naming Don José de San Martin as Governor of
Chile with full powers.”

San Martin refused to accept the appointment, and summoned another
Assembly, to the number of two hundred and ten, which by acclamation
named General O’Higgins Supreme Director of the State, which was what
San Martin desired. The new Director appointed Don Miguel Zañartu his
Minister of the Interior, and Lieutenant-Colonel Zenteno, San Martin’s
secretary, Minister of War and Marine; and then issued a proclamation
to the people and addressed a note to the foreign Powers.

When Marcó left the capital, his troops at once dispersed. Some of them,
with Maroto at their head, reached Valparaiso, and at once embarked. The
rest were made prisoners, among them Marcó himself, who had not even
energy sufficient for a rapid flight. San Martin received the late
Governor-General with great affability.

“Give me that white hand,” said he, with bluff sarcasm; and, leading him
to an inner room, he conversed privately with him for two hours, and
then dismissed him.

San Bruno, who had murdered prisoners in the public jail, was also taken
prisoner, and, being sent at once for trial, was quickly sentenced, and
shot in the great square, which was an act of simple justice.

News of the victory of Chacabuco was received in Buenos Ayres on the
24th February. All day shouts of triumph echoed through the streets,
while cannon roared from the fort and from the ships of the squadron
anchored in the roadstead. The captured flags were hung out from the
balconies of the Cabildo, grouped round a portrait of the victorious
general. Medals were decreed to the soldiers who had fought under him,
and to himself a special badge of honour, while his daughter, Maria
Mercedes, received a life-pension of 600 dollars per annum, which her
father devoted to her education.

Government also sent San Martin his commission as Brigadier-General, the
highest military grade in the Argentine service. He, in accordance with
his previously expressed determination, declined the honour, but asked
for further supplies of men, arms, and money, to carry on the campaign,
and appointed himself General-in-Chief of the united Argentine and
Chilian armies.

After arranging with the Chilian authorities for the formation of a
naval squadron, and establishing in Santiago a Supreme Council of the
Lautaro Lodge, half Chilians and half Argentines, he announced his
intention of returning to Buenos Ayres to concert measures with
Government for the prosecution of the war.

The Cabildo of Santiago offered him ten thousand ounces of gold for the
expenses of his journey, which he declined to accept for himself, but
devoted it to the establishment of a public library in that city.

One month after the battle he passed by the scene of his late victory,
and saw there a mound of earth, under which lay the dead of the 12th
February of the Patriot army, most of them negroes from Cuyo, liberated
slaves. This mound was the first landmark of the War of Emancipation.



CHAPTER XV.

THE FIRST CAMPAIGN IN THE SOUTH OF CHILE.

1817.


After the victory of Chacabuco, San Martin made three mistakes, two of
mere detail, but one of importance, which had an evil influence upon his
later operations. The campaign which ought to have finished immediately
was thus prolonged, and he was compelled to fight four more battles to
accomplish the reconquest of Chile, retarding by three years the
prosecution of his great enterprise.

On the 12th February he remained encamped on the field of battle instead
of pursuing the enemy at least to the end of the plain of Chacabuco. The
following day, instead of marching upon the capital he ought to have
pursued the fugitives to Valparaiso. By this mistake 1,600 veteran
troops escaped to Peru, to act against him later on. But his great
mistake consisted in his neglect to secure the fruits of his victory by
an immediate campaign in the South. The military strength of Chile lay
in the South--the people were warlike, the royal cause had there many
partisans, and the country was full of strong military positions, in
especial the fortress of Valdivia, backed by the islands of Chiloe, a
sea-port by which reinforcements from Peru could be poured into the
country. Looking far ahead, the victor of Chacabuco overlooked that
which was close at hand.

Ordoñez was an officer of great talent, who up to that time had had no
opportunity of distinguishing himself. He and San Martin had fought side
by side against Napoleon. At the close of the war he was a colonel, and
with this rank he came to America in 1815 as Governor of Concepcion. He
was there still and now came forward as the most doughty opponent of his
old comrade. He had no regular troops with him; but ably seconded by
Sanchez, he summoned the militia, collected the soldiery dispersed to
the north of the Maule, garrisoned the frontier of Arauco, fortified the
Peninsula of Talcahuano, aided by the royal squadron, made large
provision of supplies, and scoured the country from the Bio-Bio to the
Maule with his light troops. For two months he was unmolested, and had
time to organize a division of 1,000 men, and to receive a reinforcement
from Lima of 1,600 regulars.

Freyre, after his success at Talca, had contented himself with
intercepting communications, and his force was weakened by Rodriguez,
who marched his guerillas to the North, while his instructions from San
Martin to collect horses and cattle for the main army were neglected. At
the same time several smaller parties of the Patriots were cut up by the
Royalists.

San Martin did not totally neglect the South. On the 18th February a
column of 1,000 men under Las Heras, left Santiago, and on the 4th March
crossed the Maule and joined Freyre at Diguillin, but he marched so
slowly that the enemy had plenty of time to prepare for him. O’Higgins,
who was left in supreme command by San Martin, was greatly irritated at
this delay, and in April marched himself to his assistance, with 800
men. But his progress was just as slow as that of Las Heras, who in the
meantime, after calling a council of his officers to attest the
meagreness of his equipment for such an expedition, marched resolutely
on Concepcion, encamping on the 4th April at a farmhouse near to that
city.

Ordoñez, who had been watching his movements, fell upon him at night
with 700 light troops, but was beaten off with the loss of two guns; and
the next day Las Heras occupied Concepcion.

Concepcion lies on the northern bank of the Bio-Bio, at the head of the
peninsula of Talcahuano, and about five miles distant from the fortified
town of the same name. Las Heras was thus in a critical position; he
dare not retreat, and his force was insufficient to attack Ordoñez in
his entrenchments. He built a small fort on the Gavilán Hill, to the
south-west of Concepcion, and waited for O’Higgins. On the 1st May four
Spanish vessels anchored in the Bay of Talcahuano, bringing the 1,600
fugitives from Chacabuco, who had been sent back from Peru to reinforce
the garrison, and Ordoñez thought himself strong enough to resume the
offensive. On the night of the 4th he sallied out with 700 men and four
guns to attack the left flank of the position held by Las Heras, while
Colonel Morgado, with 400 men and two guns attacked on the right, and a
small force in boats rowed up the Bio-Bio to menace the city from the
river. The action commenced at daybreak and was hotly contested for
three hours, until Freyre, who commanded on the right of the position,
having routed Morgado and captured his two guns, came to the assistance
of Las Heras, and Ordoñez was compelled to retreat, hotly pursued by the
grenadiers under Medina, who captured one of his guns. The flotilla was
beaten off by two companies of the 7th Regiment, which arrived during
the action. The loss of the Royalists in this smart affair was 192
killed and 80 prisoners. The Patriots had 6 killed and 62 wounded.

When all was over O’Higgins arrived upon the scene, and in his
satisfaction at the victory forgot all his displeasure. He took the
command, and at once commenced operations against Talcahuano. Ordoñez
having command of the sea and the Bio-Bio, had easy communication with
the ports of Arauco, which both furnished supplies and harassed the left
flank of the Patriots. Freyre, with a flying column of 300 men, was
detached to capture these forts. On the 12th May, Captain Cienfuegos,
with sixty men, crossed the Bio-Bio and took the fort of El Nacimiento,
after which two other forts nearer to Concepcion surrendered. The key of
this line was the fortress of Arauco, situate at its western extremity
on the sea-coast. Freyre incorporated the detachment under Cienfuegos,
and on the 26th May encamped on the River Carampague in the vicinity of
this fort. The garrison, to the number of 200 men, sallied out to
dispute the passage of the river. Freyre, with 50 grenadiers and 50
infantry mounted _en croupe_, crossed the river lower down, and fell
upon the Royalists with such impetuosity, while the rest of his force
attacked them in front, that he completely routed them, and the
following day captured the fort, with eleven guns and large stores of
ammunition, having lost eleven men drowned in the passage of the river,
and one man wounded.

A militia captain named Diaz rallied the dispersed soldiery, and adding
to them some 400 Indians, returned to the attack. Cienfuegos, who had
been left in command, met this new foe on the open, but was completely
beaten, and Arauco was reoccupied by the Royalists on the 3rd June, to
be retaken by Freyre on the 17th July. O’Higgins then made a treaty with
the Indians of Arauco, and so secured their neutrality.

Meantime an advanced post had been established in the vicinity of
Talcahuano, and frequent skirmishes took place with the garrison, in
which the Patriots had always the advantage. On the 22nd July the army
advanced within cannon shot of the line of forts which crossed the
peninsula, but was compelled by heavy rain to retire on the 24th.
Ordoñez kept his main force within the line of his entrenchments, but
officers of his raised bodies of guerillas in the rear of the Patriots,
cutting off supplies, while detachments in boats made frequent descents
on the coast line of Arauco, losing many men, but greatly harassing the
Patriots.

Talcahuano was by nature a strong position, but was made stronger still
by art. The garrison consisted of 1,700 men and seventy heavy guns were
mounted on the forts, while a frigate, a brig of war, and five gunboats
in the bay, and a boat with one heavy gun on the western side of the
peninsula, enfiladed the approach from the South. It was called by
O’Higgins the Chilian Gibraltar, and here it was that Ordoñez by
far-seeing prudence, held the united forces of Chile and the United
Provinces in check for three years.

During the winter O’Higgins had strengthened his army with several
battalions of Chilian recruits; in October he had nearly 4,000 men under
his immediate command, and was also joined by two French officers of
distinction. The first, General Brayer, came with a great military
reputation, gained in the wars of the French Republic and under
Napoleon; but his arrogance soon lost him the sympathy and confidence of
his new comrades. The other, Alberto D’Albe, Captain of Engineers, was
also a man of great experience, and being of a more modest character,
rendered great service to the American cause.

Heavy rains paralysed operations until spring was well advanced; but on
the 25th November, O’Higgins again moved forward to some high ground
within cannon shot of the line of entrenchments. The plan of attack was
drawn up by General Brayer. On the extreme left of the Royalist position
was an outwork called the Morro, against this the main attack was to be
directed, while the attention of the enemy was diverted by false attacks
on the rest of the line. O’Higgins and most of his officers were in
favour of an attack upon the other flank; but San Martin being
consulted, gave his opinion in favour of Brayer’s plan, which was
accordingly adopted. A desultory cannonade was maintained for several
days, when a north wind springing up, which prevented the Spanish
men-of-war from aiding in the defence of the line, the columns marched
to the attack in the early morning of the 6th December. The attack on
the Morro was led by Major Beauchef and Captain Videla, with a mixed
force of Chilians and Argentines. Mounting on the shoulders of their men
they scaled the outer wall, and tore down a portion of the stockade
behind, when such a heavy fire was poured upon them that Videla being
killed and Beauchef severely wounded, the column could advance no
farther, till Las Heras brought up the supports, when the position was
carried by the bayonet. At the same time a Spanish gunboat on the
Bio-Bio was captured by some boats led by an Englishman named Manning,
and an unauthorised attack by Conde on the centre was repulsed.

At daybreak Las Heras found to his dismay that the Morro was merely an
advanced work, and that he was still outside of the line of
entrenchments. Colonel Boedo fell in attempting to force his way beyond;
the guns of two forts on the heights, those of the frigate _Venganza_,
and those of some gunboats converged their fire upon the conquered
outwork, causing heavy losses; in spite of which Las Heras maintained
his position till O’Higgins sent him orders to retire, which he did in
good order, after spiking the guns he had captured, and carrying with
him his wounded and prisoners. The loss of the Patriots was 150 killed
and 280 wounded.

This disaster put an end for the time to all offensive operations, and
on the day of the assault another strong reinforcement of Royalist
troops embarked at Callao for Talcahuano.



CHAPTER XVI.

ARGENTINE-CHILENO ALLIANCE.

1817.


The alliance between Argentina and Chile, sealed with the blood of her
soldiers in the assault on Talcahuano, is the most important factor of
this epoch in the struggle for the emancipation of America, whether the
objects of the alliance be spoken of or whether its results be summed
up. This alliance, the first celebrated in the New World between
independent nations, was no artificial combination; it arose from the
natural tendencies, and from the reciprocal interests of two peoples,
and its effects were felt from Cape Horn to the Equator. Never did two
allied nations work more cordially together for one end, never were
greater deeds accomplished with such feeble resources. Without this
alliance the struggle for independence would either have failed or would
have been indefinitely retarded. It originated in the help given by each
country to the other in the first years of the struggle, from 1811 to
1814. The fall of Chile in the latter year only strengthened the bond;
it was then seen to be an absolute necessity to both. Chile alone could
not free herself from her oppressors, and Argentina without her had no
military road by which she could reach her enemy, while she herself lay
open to assault.

The Argentine Republic undertook the conquest of Chile for three
reasons: first, as a measure of self-defence; second, to secure the
dominion of the Pacific; as a means to the complete emancipation of
South America, which was the third reason for, and the final object of,
the undertaking. San Martin was the soul of the alliance, O’Higgins was
the connecting link, the Army of the Andes the muscle and sinew, and the
Lautaro Lodge the secret mechanism. It was to establish this alliance
that San Martin had so hurriedly left for Buenos Ayres after the victory
of Chacabuco.

San Martin recrossed the Andes without other company than his favourite
aide-de-camp O’Brien, and a guide. As he left Mendoza on the 19th March,
he received a letter from Pueyrredon, telling him that a war was
imminent with the Portuguese of the Banda Oriental, for which arms and
money would be required from Chile, and that in a few days he expected
five armed ships, which Carrera was bringing from North America, which
he would send on to Valparaiso and place at his orders.

The Portuguese had occupied the Banda Oriental in 1816, with the tacit
connivance of the Argentine Government, and Pueyrredon was at that time
striving to avoid a rupture by diplomacy. But a war with the Portuguese
formed no part of the plans of San Martin, who, at the end of March,
reached Buenos Ayres, and avoiding a triumphal entry, which was
preparing for him, went to business at once.

Fifteen days afterwards he commenced his return journey, having made
such arrangements as he could for the equipment and support of a naval
squadron on the Pacific, promising, as General-in-Chief, help from Chile
to the extent of 300,000 dollars.

Don José Miguel Carrera had in the year 1815 managed to raise 20,000
dollars among his personal friends in Buenos Ayres, and with this, had
gone off to the United States to raise a naval squadron for an
expedition to Chile. By lavish promises he had prevailed upon some
merchants in New York and Baltimore to sell him five ships, fully
equipped. In one of these, the corvette _Clifton_, he reached Buenos
Ayres on the 9th February, 1817. Pueyrredon not only refused to pay for
the ships, but also prohibited the further progress of the expedition,
knowing that the presence of the Carreras in Chile would be most
prejudicial to the cause of the alliance. A few days afterwards the brig
_Savage_ arrived from Baltimore, and Carrera formed a plan for escaping
with the two ships, but his intention being denounced to Pueyrredon by
one of the French adventurers who had come with him, he was arrested as
a conspirator, and confined in the Retiro Barracks, where San Martin
visited him on the 12th April. Carrera haughtily refused to shake hands
with him, and rejected his repeated offers to arrange matters for him
with Pueyrredon. They never met again.

San Martin and Pueyrredon both wrote to O’Higgins, proposing that Chile
should pension the three brothers Carrera, in recognition of their
former services. But O’Higgins considered that such a measure would
offer a reward to crime. Carrera soon afterwards escaped from prison and
fled to Monte Video; later on he became conspicuous in the ranks of the
enemies of Buenos Ayres.

On the 11th May San Martin was again in Chile, and was received in
triumph at the capital, the enthusiasm of the people being increased by
the news received the same day of the victory of Las Heras at Gavilán.

The same day he sent his friend and aide-de-camp, Alvarez Condarco, off,
by way of Buenos Ayres, to London, with money to purchase another ship
of war. Condarco had also another mission, which is enveloped in
mystery, and is pointed to as a stain on the reputation of San Martin
and O’Higgins. A certain sum was to be left in deposit in London for
their private account. The documents relating to this matter are written
in cypher, and have remained secret for more than sixty years. Only
three persons have read them, of whom two are dead, the third is the
author of this history.[10] The amount cannot have exceeded 29,500
dollars, a sum which San Martin had most certainly earned, while the
rigid exactness of all his dealings with public money placed in his
hands is unquestioned. He steadily refused all recompense for his
services; he did accept the hospitality of the city of Santiago when
there, but the yearly expenses of his establishment did not exceed 3,000
dollars.

In pursuance of the Alliance, the Government of Chile remitted 40,000
dollars to Buenos Ayres for the army of Upper Peru, and the Argentine
Government sent a thousand new muskets for the use of the Chilian army.
The maintenance of the Army of the Andes, and the filling up of death
vacancies, was assumed by Chile, and there was no further question on
either side of pecuniary responsibility.

When O’Higgins in April went to take command of the Army of the South,
he left Colonel Don Hilarion de la Quintana as his deputy at Santiago.
Quintana was an Argentine, a family connection and an aide-de-camp of
San Martin. Thus the supreme power in the State was made subject to
Argentine influence under the direction of the Lautaro Lodge. This
appointment wounded the national susceptibilities of the people, was
contrary to the policy adopted by the Argentine government, and provoked
open declarations that “Chile owed nothing to the Army of the Andes.”

To destroy this impression, government, on establishing a military
school, reserved twelve nominations of cadets for natives of the
Province of Cuyo, professing “eternal gratitude to the illustrious
peoples of the Rio de la Plata.”

But international gratitude is always a burden, and the Chilians saw in
it no reason for confiding the highest post in the State to a foreigner.

Such was the position of affairs when San Martin returned from Buenos
Ayres. Quintana and O’Higgins then both wished him to take charge of the
administration. He refused, and advised O’Higgins to appoint a Chilian
in place of Quintana.

One of the chief administrative acts of Quintana was to commence the
coinage of Chilian money, with an appropriate inscription indicative of
the establishment of Chile as a sovereign State. One thousand dollars of
this coinage were given to San Martin and Belgrano for distribution as
medals among the Argentine troops.

At this time Pueyrredon appointed Don Tomas Guido Argentine
representative in Chile, and his official reception at Santiago on the
17th May was one of the great events of the year. Quintana, as one
result of these renewed relations, sent Irizarri to Europe as the
diplomatic agent of Chile, with instructions to act in conjunction with
the diplomatic agent of the United Provinces, wherever he might be.
Rivadavia was at that time Argentine representative in Europe, and to
him were sent fresh powers and instructions to treat for the
establishment of an independent monarchy in America.

O’Higgins, from his headquarters at Concepcion, issued a decree creating
a “Legion of Merit,” in imitation of the Legion of Honour created by
Napoleon. This institution had an aristocratic tendency, as its members
enjoyed special privileges; it was, therefore, unpopular, and the
Argentine Government would permit no privileges to such Argentine
citizens as received the distinction. San Martin looked more favourably
upon it, as it responded to his idea of creating a special military
class independent of local influences.

One of the results of the restoration of Chile by Argentine arms was to
give preponderance to one of the parties into which the country was
divided. The Argentines, while recognizing the independence of the
country and establishing a national government, had imposed a dictator
upon the country, postponing indefinitely its constitutional
organization. The Government of O’Higgins had against it not only its
old adversaries, but also a large number of Chilians who were jealous of
foreign influence. They took Carrera as their chief, and National
Autonomy as their watchword, while they were animated only by personal
ambition.

Doña Javiera de Valdés, sister of the Carreras, resided at that time in
Buenos Ayres. At her house there were daily meetings of Chilian
emigrants who were hostile to O’Higgins. Among them a plot was hatched.
She herself was the life and soul of the conspiracy. It was decided that
several of the conspirators should cross the Andes to prepare their
friends in Chile for an outbreak, and should be followed by Don Luis and
by Don Juan José Carrera, who should keep quiet until joined by Don José
Miguel, who would go round Cape Horn from Monte Video, in the ship
_General Scott_, which he was expecting from New York. They thought they
had only to land in the country to be received with acclamation and
placed in charge of her destinies. All that they feared was the
Argentine army, which was to be expelled, O’Higgins was to be banished
from the country as a traitor, San Martin was to be tried by
court-martial as a criminal, and all who resisted them were to be put to
death. It was an absurd and criminal project which, if only partially
successful, would have ruined Chile for the second time.

The first party of the conspirators crossed the Andes in July. Luis
Carrera, disguised as a peon, was arrested at Mendoza for robbing the
mails. Juan José, travelling under a false name and accompanied by a
post-boy, was caught in a hailstorm during the night near San Luis; the
boy died, he was arrested on suspicion of murder, and afterwards sent on
to Mendoza and imprisoned with his brother. Luzuriaga, Governor of
Mendoza, sent full accounts of these occurrences to Santiago. Meantime
the other conspirators had arrived at a farmhouse belonging to the
Carrera family, and had been put under arrest as a measure of
precaution, in consequence of warnings from Buenos Ayres. These news
from Mendoza made it certain that some conspiracy was on foot. Numerous
arrests among the partisans of Carrera followed, the most notable among
the prisoners being Dr. Don Manuel Rodriguez. Some said that the
Government was the author of the conspiracy. The general excitement was
so great that Quintana could no longer maintain his position, and
eventually Don Luis de la Cruz, a native Chilian, chosen by the Lautaro
Lodge, was appointed Deputy Director.

San Martin, the guest of the Chilian people, residing in a palace, still
continued the simple, hard-working manner of life he had adopted in
Mendoza. He dined alone at 1 P.M., but at 4 P.M. a state dinner was
served at which Guido presided. At dessert he joined the company and
took coffee with them. In the evening his saloon was a favourite resort
of the best society of the city, the soirée being invariably opened by
singing the Argentine National Hymn, after which San Martin led off the
first minuet. These “tertulias” were celebrated in the society annals of
the day; and not a few of the Argentine officers fell captive to the
beauty and grace of the girls of Santiago, Las Heras and Guido among the
number.

San Martin had small sympathy for the Chilian people; their manners and
character did not please his austere mind, and he was not the sort of
man to make many friends. In his own country he had but three, Belgrano,
Pueyrredon, and Godoy Cruz; in Chile he had but one, O’Higgins. He also
suffered much at this time from neuralgia and rheumatism, and could only
sleep by an immoderate use of morphia. He thought that he could not
live much longer; those about him thought the same and sent notice of
their fears to Buenos Ayres, in consequence of which General Antonio
Gonzalez Balcarce, the hero of Suipacha, was sent to join him as his
second in command.

In spite of his forebodings San Martin did not falter in the prosecution
of his great enterprise, and taking advantage of his friendship with
Captain Bowles, Commodore of the British Pacific squadron, he sent,
under his care, a trusty agent to Lima with letters to the Viceroy
proposing an exchange of prisoners. This he was anxious to effect, not
only for the sake of the prisoners and their friends in both countries,
but also for the purpose of procuring an official recognition of Chile
as a belligerent power. But under these was a third purpose, to him of
more importance than either of the others. His messenger was a
confidential agent, who might thus have a pretext for meeting the
leaders of society in Lima, and opportunity for sounding them, and for
spreading among them the Argentine ideas of which he was the champion.



CHAPTER XVII.

CANCHA-RAYADA.

1817--1818.


The year 1817 had commenced with a victory and ended with a defeat, the
year 1818 was to commence with a defeat to be followed by a victory
which would decide the fate of Chile. From that moment all the forces of
the revolution in South America would converge from the extremities
towards the centre, shutting up the colonial power of Spain in its last
stronghold, Peru, where the two great liberators of the South and the
North, San Martin and Bolívar, would join hands.

In the epoch at which we have now arrived, Chile had as yet no definite
form, but possessed all the elements of a vigorous nationality,
patriotism, energy, and a pronounced tendency to independence; a
democracy yet in embryo, combined with an aristocracy at once
territorial and political. The instincts of the masses decided them for
the cause of independence, while their political organization assumed
the most elemental form, that of a people become an army, under the
direction of a class and under a military dictatorship to which all were
subject. The revolution and the leveling pressure of despotic rule, had
destroyed provincialism and the social inequalities which stood in the
way of national unity; common misfortunes and common efforts had created
public spirit. Independence thus became a fact, and the establishment of
a republic the necessary sequence. With the assent of all the
convocation of a Congress was still postponed, but the political
situation was compact. Yet there was some resistance to this system of
government: the educated classes accepted it only as a transient
necessity, and there were still some partisans of the royal cause in the
South. Among the rulers themselves there were still some who clung to
the fallen party of the Carreras; but for the presence of Argentine
bayonets and the influence of San Martin the intestine dispute would
have broken out afresh.

Viceroy Abascal, who had crushed the revolution in Upper Peru, in Quito,
and in Chile, had in 1815 been replaced by General Pezuela, and the army
of Upper Peru was put under the command of General La Serna. Pezuela
lacked the talents of his predecessor but he continued his policy.
Seeing Chile threatened by an invasion from Mendoza, he ordered La Serna
to effect a diversion by marching on Tucuman. But La Serna was held in
check by the Gauchos of Salta and Jujui under Martin Güemes, and the
successful passage of the Andes by San Martin forced upon him a
disastrous retreat.

Pezuela did not fully appreciate the importance of the victory of
Chacabuco, and contented himself with sending back the fugitives, in the
belief that the Royalist army was still able to hold the country
unaided. The defeat of Ordoñez at Gavilán opened his eyes to the danger,
and the arrival of reinforcements from Spain enabled him to fit out a
fourth expedition. While busied in these preparations, the British ship
of war _Amphion_, Captain Bowles, anchored at Callao, bringing Don
Domingo Torres as special envoy from San Martin. So far as its
ostensible object was concerned the mission was a complete failure, but
Torres succeeded in communicating with the Patriots of Peru, and took
back with him in January, 1818, full particulars of the expedition which
followed close upon his heels.

Three thousand four hundred well equipped men reached Talcahuano early
in January, in four ships mounting 234 guns. Most of these were veteran
troops, and were commanded by General Osorio, the conqueror of Chile in
1814, who was sent to supersede Ordoñez. His instructions were, after
driving the Patriot army to the north of the Maule, to re-embark his
entire force, land in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso, and march on the
capital. The plan was apparently a good one, but was drawn out in
ignorance of the strength of the Patriots. The losses in the army of the
Andes had all been made up, and the new Chilian army by this time almost
equalled it in number. The united army now consisted of 9,000 men, of
whom three-fourths were well drilled troops, while the total force
collected at Talcahuano did not much exceed 5,000 men with twelve guns.

The cannon which roared a welcome to the Spanish squadron at Talcahuano,
were heard by the Patriot army then in full retreat upon the capital.
Osorio saw at once that he had failed to surprise the enemy, and that
all chance of an easy landing in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso was at
an end. He despatched the squadron to blockade that port, and after
fifteen days spent in organizing his forces at Concepcion, he marched
for the North, stimulated to activity by Ordoñez. On the 12th February
his advanced posts on the Maule heard the salute fired by O’Higgins at
Talca, in celebration of the first anniversary of Chacabuco.

The rôles were now changed; the general of the Army of the Andes,
instead of choosing the place of invasion on a line of 1,300 miles of
Cordillera, had now to defend 1,300 miles of coast. He expected the
enemy to land near Valparaiso, and in December had written to O’Higgins
to make every preparation for a rapid retreat, leaving the country
behind him destitute of horses and supplies. O’Higgins commenced his
retreat on the 1st January, 1818, and on the 20th reached Talca,
accompanied by more than 50,000 people with their cattle and horses,
and there proclaimed triumphantly the Independence of the Chilian
Republic, which, in default of a Congress, had been decreed by a general
vote of the Chilian people on the 17th November previous.

At Santiago, Don Luis de la Cruz, Deputy Director, presided at a solemn
ceremony in the great square. Guido was the bearer of the standard of
the new Nation; beside it the President of the Municipality carried that
of the United Provinces. The Declaration of Independence being read, De
la Cruz was the first to swear to maintain it, he was followed by the
Bishop and by San Martin; then the people kneeling down, repeated the
oath, and commemorative medals were distributed among them.

Meantime San Martin had drawn the greater part of his troops from the
city and had established an encampment at Las Tablas near the coast, in
readiness to meet the enemy at any point, giving the command there to
Balcarce, and looking himself to the construction of bridges over the
rivers to the south of Santiago, to facilitate the concentration of the
different corps when requisite.

By the end of February he was no longer in doubt as to the intentions of
the enemy. O’Higgins was directed to evacuate Talca and retreat sixty
miles to the north. Early in March the concentration was complete, and
San Martin had under his command 4,500 infantry, 1,500 cavalry and
thirty-three guns.

On the 4th March, Osorio crossed the Maule and encamped at Talca. On the
14th the united army broke up from quarters and marched against him. The
same day the Royalist army left Talca, and Primo de Rivera, chief of the
staff, crossed the river Lontué with a strong detachment of infantry and
cavalry to reconnoitre the position and force of the Patriots, of which
Osorio as yet knew nothing, recrossing the river the same night. On the
15th, Freyre, supported by Brayer with the bulk of the cavalry and eight
guns, crossed the river with 200 light horse, advanced to Quecheraguas,
where the Royalist vanguard was quartered, and summoned Primo de Rivera
to surrender, but receiving no support from Brayer, who did not even
cross the river, he was forced to retire with the loss of seventeen men.
Rivera after this success retreated upon his reserves at Camarico.

On the 16th, the entire Patriot army crossed the Lontué and encamped at
Quecheraguas, while Osorio retired precipitately. San Martin, afraid
that he would repass the Maule, marched inland to cut him off. The two
armies marched on parallel lines at a distance of only seven miles one
from the other; both crossed the Lircay on the 19th. On the afternoon of
the same day, Osorio, whose rear was greatly harassed by the Patriot
cavalry under Balcarce, wheeled into line in an excellent position, his
right resting on the suburbs of Talca, his left on the Claro River, and
his front defended by a stretch of broken ground known as the
Cancha-Rayada, which he occupied with 500 horse. Balcarce, ignorant of
the nature of the ground, charged this advanced corps, and coming under
fire of the Royalist artillery, was compelled to retire in disorder.
O’Higgins, with twenty guns, forced back the enemy’s right wing into the
suburbs of Talca, but as darkness came on, decisive action had to be
postponed till next day.

In the twilight the Royalist generals, after gazing upon the Patriot
army from the church towers of Talca, held a council of war. Before them
was an enemy greatly superior in numbers, behind them flowed a deep and
rapid river. Osorio talked of continuing the retreat to Talcahuano, but
was overruled by Ordoñez, who said that the attempt could only result in
the total destruction of the army, and advised a night attack upon the
Patriot position. Most of the officers supported him, and Osorio retired
to a convent, leaving him in command. At 8 P.M., under a cloudy sky,
Ordoñez drew up his army in line of battle, with cavalry on the wings
and guns in the intervals between the different battalions. He himself
took charge of the centre, Primo de Rivera led the right wing and
Colonel Latorre the left; so, in deep silence, they marched across the
Cancha-Rayada, straight upon the watch-fires of the Patriot vanguard.

Meantime San Martin, warned by a spy of what was going forward in the
Royalist camp, and seeing that his troops were in the worst possible
position to resist a night attack, had marched several battalions and
the Chilian artillery from his front to a strong position on his extreme
right. The broken nature of the ground much retarded the manœuvre,
and the rest of the army had not moved at all when the cavalry outposts
gave warning of the approach of the enemy.

The right of the Royalist army, having the least distance to march, was
the first to come into action, and was received by O’Higgins with so
heavy a fire, whilst at the same time a detached company under Captain
Dehesa opened fire on their left, that for a moment the advance was
checked, till Ordoñez in person led them again to the charge. O’Higgins
had his horse killed under him and received a ball in the elbow. From
this moment all was confusion in the Patriot camp. The artillery was
abandoned and the grenadiers on the extreme left, roused from sleep by
the firing, fled in a panic. The cavalry of the right retired upon the
reserves, and were received by a volley of musketry under the belief
that they were Spaniards. Alvarado, with the 1st Light Infantry, passed
behind the Royalist line and joined the right wing, being also taken for
a Spanish corps and losing twenty-one men by the fire of his own friends
before the mistake was discovered. The 2nd Chilian infantry, under
command of an Italian officer, moved to the rear, and also reached the
right wing in safety.

Ordoñez pushed on to a hill in the rear, of the Patriot position, then
halted and opened fire in every direction. One of these chance shots
killed an aide-de-camp of San Martin at his side, and after some
fruitless efforts to restore order he was forced to repass the Lircay
with the fugitives, and was followed by O’Higgins with the remains of
his division and the reserve artillery. All seemed lost.

It was eleven o’clock, and the autumn moon shone down through the heavy
clouds upon the plain so lately occupied by an army. In the distance
were heard occasional shots and the gallop of Spanish horse in pursuit,
while the right wing in its secure position listened in silence,
receiving no orders and knowing nothing of what had happened. The
commander, Colonel Quintana, had gone off for orders and had not
returned. The officers held a council of war and put themselves under
command of Las Heras. He found himself with 3,500 men, but had no
ammunition for his guns and no cavalry. He placed his guns in front,
and, forming his infantry into one compact column, commenced his retreat
soon after midnight, pursued by a squadron of Royalist horse, which did
not dare to attack him. At daybreak he was sixteen miles from the field
of battle. He rested for an hour, and found that 500 men had deserted
during the night. At 10 A.M. he continued his march, and at five in the
afternoon reached Quecheraguas, where he remained till midnight, when he
crossed the Lontué, and, resuming his march next morning, reached
Chimbarongo at midday, where he received news that San Martin and
O’Higgins were at San Fernando with the 8th battalion, occupied in
collecting the dispersed cavalry.

San Martin came to meet him, and praised the soldiers for their steady
behaviour. He was by no means cast down, and directed Las Heras to
continue his march to Santiago. O’Higgins suffered much from his wound,
but was more determined than ever.

By the dispersion of Cancha-Rayada the Patriots lost 120 killed, 22
guns, and 4 flags, but the nucleus of the army was saved, and with it
the independence of America. The Royalists had more than 200 killed and
wounded, and had so many missing that they could not at once follow up
their victory.

News of the disaster reached Santiago on the afternoon of the 21st,
carried there by some of the principal officers, among them being
Brayer. According to them everything was lost, San Martin killed, and
O’Higgins mortally wounded. Consternation spread over the city, and
shouts of “Viva el Rey!” were heard occasionally in the streets. Some
talked of flying to Mendoza, or to the ships at Valparaiso. The
Royalists and some of the leading citizens opened communications with
the conqueror. One of them even had a horse shod with silver to present
to him on his arrival. No one slept that night in Santiago.

Government hastily resolved to erect a fort on the southern road, and to
send the public treasure to the North for safety, while they called in
outlying detachments of troops and summoned the National Guard. The next
day news was received that San Martin was at San Fernando.

Brayer, interrogated by the Deputy Director, affirmed that the country
could never recover from such a defeat, an opinion which was warmly
disputed by Guido. On the 23rd April a despatch was received from San
Martin announcing the safe retreat of Las Heras, and stating that he had
4,000 men under his orders. Still the panic was not allayed, and Dr.
Rodriguez, taking advantage of the circumstances, rode on horseback
through the streets, haranguing the people till he induced them to meet
in an open Cabildo and appoint him coadjutor to La Cruz. His fantastic
measures were of no real use, but they served the temporary purpose of
raising the spirits of the people till the real leaders arrived upon the
scene.

Early the next morning O’Higgins reached the city. He soon put an end to
disorder, purchased horses, and prepared supplies of ammunition. On the
25th he was joined by San Martin, who, worn out by fatigue and want of
sleep, yet found strength as he drew rein at the gate of his palace to
make the one speech of his life, in which he assured the excited people
that the cause of Chile would yet triumph, and promised them soon a day
of glory for America. On the same day a council of war was held in his
apartments, at which O’Higgins was present, when it was resolved to
establish a camp on the plain of Maipó about seven miles to the south of
the city, there to await the approach of the enemy. On the 28th Las
Heras joined the army with his division, and day and night were spent in
active preparation.

Public confidence revived, but San Martin trusted nothing to fortune, he
prepared for any contingency, gave secret orders for concentration on
Coquimbo in case of a second reverse, established stores of supplies on
the way there, and despatched Colonel de la Cruz to organize the
northern provinces. He also established guards at the entrances to the
passes of the Andes, and a park at Santa Rosa, so as to secure his
retreat to the east. Further, he stationed a strong corps of cavalry at
Rancagua, fifteen miles to the south of his camp.

Ten days after the dispersion the united army was reorganized and ready
for the fray. It consisted of five battalions of Chilian and four of
Argentine infantry, in all nearly 4,000 strong, two regiments of
Argentine and one of Chilian cavalry with 1,000 sabres and twenty-two
guns, in all more than 5,000 men.



CHAPTER XVIII.

MAIPO.

1818.


At daybreak on the 20th March the Royalist army, although triumphant,
was in utter confusion. Only one battalion, that of Arequipa, under
Rodil, had not dispersed. Osorio, leaving his convent, rode over the
field of battle, endeavouring to estimate the value of the victory he
had done nothing to win. The orderly retreat of Las Heras filled him
with apprehension, and his own cavalry was worn out. He crossed the
Lircay and advanced to Pangue, from whence he despatched Ordoñez with a
flying column in pursuit, and returned with the rest of his force to
Talca to reorganize. Ordoñez reached Quecheraguas the next day, when Las
Heras had already crossed the Lontué. On the 24th he was joined by
Osorio with the rest of the army.

The country was a desert; the roads were inundated by the waters from
the irrigating ditches which the Patriots had cut as they retreated; the
Royalist general could learn nothing of the position or condition of the
Patriot army. Marching blindly on, he reached San Fernando on the 28th,
and sent forward a detachment of 200 horse, which, being attacked and
dispersed by sixty grenadiers under Captain Cajaravilla on the 30th,
were the first to give him certain information that there still remained
an enemy in front of him.

On the 31st the Royal army, 5,500 strong, crossed the Cachapoal, and
advanced so cautiously that only on the afternoon of the 2nd April did
it encamp on the left bank of the Maipó. Leaving the main road, Osorio
crossed by a ford lower down, and encamped at Calera on the 3rd, moving
on in the afternoon to the farmhouse of Espejo, where he established his
headquarters, with the Patriot army close at hand. On the 4th he held a
council of war, and proposed to retire on Valparaiso. Ordoñez, Rivera,
and the principal officers opposed this idea, so it was resolved to
fight the next day.

The scene of the decisive battle of the 5th April, 1818, is a plain
bounded on the east by the river Mapocho, which divides the city of
Santiago, on the north by a range of hills which separates it from the
valley of Aconcagua, and on the south by the river Maipó,[11] which
gives it its name. The west of this plain consists of a series of downs,
with some low hills, covered with natural grasses and occasional clumps
of thorny trees. From Santiago there runs in this direction a stretch of
high land called the “Loma Blanca,” from the chalky nature of the soil.
On the crest of this Loma the Patriot army was encamped. In front of the
western extremity of this Loma rose another of triangular form, beyond
the south-western angle of which stood the farmhouse of Espejo,
communicating with the higher ground by a sloping road of about
twenty-five yards in width, shut in by vineyards and by the mud walls of
enclosures, and crossed at the foot by a ditch. This Loma was occupied
by the Royalist army. Between the two Lomas lay a stretch of low ground,
varying in width from 300 to 1,250 yards, which was shut in on the west
by a hillock which formed a sort of advanced work on the left of the
Royalist position.

The position held by the Patriot army commanded the three roads from the
capital to the passes of the Maipó, and the road to Valparaiso. For its
further security San Martin had entrenched the city, and garrisoned it
with 1,000 militia and one battalion of infantry, under command of
O’Higgins, whose wound precluded him from service in the field. The army
was in three divisions: the first, under Las Heras, on the right; the
second, under Alvarado, on the left; and a reserve in a second line,
under Quintana. Balcarce was in general command of the infantry, San
Martin keeping the cavalry and the reserve under his own orders. San
Martin issued the most precise orders for the regulation of the troops
in action, especially enjoining upon every corps, whether cavalry or
infantry, that they should never await a charge from the enemy, but
that, when fifty paces distant, they should rush forward with sabre or
bayonet.

During the whole day of the 4th April skirmishers of the Patriot army
were constantly engaged with the enemy advancing from the fords of the
Maipó. Early on the morning of the 5th San Martin, attended by O’Brien
and D’Albe, with a small escort, rode to the edge of the Loma to watch
for himself the movements of the foe. He feared that they would go far
to the west and secure the road to Valparaiso for retreat in case of a
reverse. As he saw them occupy the high ground in front of him with
their left only extending to the road, he exclaimed:--

“What brutes these Spaniards are! Osorio is a greater fool than I
thought him. I take the sun for witness that the day is ours.”

At that moment the sun shone forth over the snowy crests of the Andes
from a cloudless sky upon him.

At half-past ten the Patriot army advanced by the crest of the Loma from
its camping-ground. On the march, Marshal Brayer presented himself to
San Martin, asking permission to retire to the Baths of Colina.

“You have the same permission you took on the field of Talca,” replied
San Martin. “But as half an hour will decide the fate of Chile, as the
enemy is in sight, and the baths are thirteen leagues off, you may stay
if you can.”

The Marshal answered that he could not “because of an old wound in the
leg.”

“Señor General,” replied San Martin, “the lowest drummer in the united
army has more honour than you.” And, turning rein, he gave orders to
Balcarce to announce to the army that the general of twenty years of
warfare was cashiered for unworthy conduct.

On reaching the edge of the Loma, the army was drawn up in order of
battle, four heavy guns in the centre, the light pieces and the cavalry
on the wings, and the reserve two hundred yards in the rear.

The first movement of the Royalist general was to detach Primo de Rivera
with eight companies of infantry and four guns to occupy the detached
hill on his left, threatening the right of the Patriots, taking them in
flank if they crossed the low ground, and securing, as he thought, the
road to Valparaiso; Morgado, with some cavalry, keeping up the
connection with the main body. The crest of the Loma was occupied by the
infantry in two divisions with four guns each, the rest of the cavalry
being stationed on the extreme right. Both armies were in such excellent
positions that neither could attack except at a disadvantage.

San Martin, uncertain of the whereabouts of the enemy’s artillery, was
the first to open fire with his four heavy guns from the centre. The
reply gave him the information he required, and he at once ordered the
two divisions to attack the enemy. Las Heras advanced resolutely with
the 11th battalion, under the fire of the four guns on the hill, to
another hill to the right of Primo de Rivera, while the grenadiers,
under Escalada, Medina, and Zapiola, drove Morgado and his horsemen in
confusion from the field. Rivera was thus cut off from the main body. At
the same time the left wing crossed the hollow, ascended the slope in
front of them, and reached the high ground without seeing an enemy, but
were then vigorously charged by the bulk of the Royalist infantry, under
Ordoñez and Morla, and driven back with heavy loss; but the Royalists
pursuing them down the slope were in their turn forced to retire by a
withering fire from the Chilian guns, under Borgoño, which had remained
on the crest of the Loma Blanca.

San Martin now sent orders to the reserve to advance at once, in support
of the left wing, by an oblique movement across the low ground, so as to
fall upon the flank of the Spanish infantry. On his way Quintana was
joined by three battalions of those that had been driven back, and fell
with great impetuosity upon the Royalists, who, however, held their
ground most tenaciously. Meantime Freyre, with the Chilian cavalry, had
charged and put to flight the Royalist cavalry on the right, and now
came back upon the other flank of the Spanish infantry. Alvarado, having
rallied his broken division, came to the assistance of Quintana with
Borgoño and his eight guns.

Osorio, after sending orders to Rivera to withdraw from his advanced
position, fled, leaving Ordoñez in command, who at once commenced to
retreat in excellent order upon the farmhouse of Espejo.

At this moment O’Higgins, wounded as he was, appeared upon the field,
and, meeting San Martin, greeted him as the saviour of Chile; but it was
already five o’clock, and the battle was not yet won. Ordoñez, with
heavy loss, had made good his retreat to the farmhouse, where he made
the most active preparations for defence.

Las Heras, in pursuit of the left wing, was the first to arrive there,
but found several detached corps there before him. He immediately
ordered the occupation of the high grounds around it, which commanded
the position, but Balcarce coming up ordered an immediate attack by the
road. Colonel Thompson, with a battalion of Chilian light infantry, led
the assault, but was beaten back with grape and musketry, losing 250
killed, and all his officers wounded. Borgoño and Blanco Encalada from
the high ground then opened fire with seventeen guns, and soon drove the
enemy from his outer defences into the houses and vineyards. Then the
11th battalion, supported by pickets of the 7th and 8th, broke their way
through the mud walls and took the houses by assault. The carnage was
frightful till Las Heras succeeded in putting a stop to it.

Ordoñez and all his principal officers, with the exception of Rodil, who
escaped, gave up their swords to Las Heras, and the victory was
complete. This was the hardest fought battle in all the War of
Independence. The Royalists lost 1,000 killed, twelve guns, four flags,
and a great quantity of small arms, ammunition, and baggage captured;
and one general, four colonels, seven lieutenant-colonels, 150 officers,
and 2,200 men were made prisoners. The Patriots lost more than 1,000 men
killed and wounded, the greatest sufferers being the freed negroes of
Cuyo, of whom more than half remained upon the field.

Great tactical skill was displayed by San Martin in this battle. The
victory was achieved by the opportune attack of the reserve upon the
weakest flank of the enemy. Like Epaminondas, he won only two great
battles, and both by the oblique movement invented by the Greek general.
Its importance was only equalled by that of Boyacá and that of Ayacucho;
and without Maipó neither the one nor the other would have been fought.
Maipó crushed the spirit of the Spanish army in America, and that of all
adherents to the cause of royalty from Mexico to Peru. It had, further,
the singular merit of being won by a beaten army fifteen days after its
defeat.

The Arequipa battalion retreated in good order, under Rodil, but
dispersed after crossing the Maule. This battalion and the dispersed
cavalry were all who escaped from the field. San Martin had witnessed
the flight of Osorio, and sent O’Brien after him with a party of
cavalry. However, he escaped by the coast, leaving his carriage, with
all his correspondence, in the hands of his pursuer, and reached
Talcahuano on the 14th April with fourteen men. There he was joined by
600 more of the fugitives--all that remained of the victors of
Cancha-Rayada.

San Martin made small use of his victory. He at once despatched Freyre
in pursuit with a party of cavalry, but not until the guerillas began to
commit depredations did he send Zapiola with 250 grenadiers to maintain
order in the South. Osorio made use of this respite to strengthen
himself in Concepcion and Talcahuano, and, by calling in outlying
detachments, succeeded in collecting 1,200 men by the middle of May.

Pezuela, who fully appreciated the magnitude of the disaster, wrote to
the Viceroy of New Granada and Venezuela for reinforcements. Sámano sent
him the Numancia battalion, 1,200 strong, weakening himself at the time
that he was threatened by Bolívar; but Morillo could send him none from
Venezuela, and he confined his efforts to making preparations against
invasion, leaving Osorio unaided to sustain himself in Chile as he
could.

On the 21st May Osorio sent two detachments across the Nuble, one of
which surprised the town of Parrol. Zapiola sent off Captain Cajaravilla
with 200 horse to retake the town, which task he gallantly accomplished,
capturing 70 prisoners; while Lieutenant Rodriguez of the grenadiers cut
the other detachment to pieces at Quirihue. This put a stop to the
efforts of the Royalists for that time, and Zapiola, being reinforced,
determined to attack Chillán, where Colonel Lantaño was in command with
a garrison of 500 men. The expedition was confided to Cajaravilla, who
attempted to carry the place by assault, but was beaten off and
compelled to retire.

Osorio, fearing that he would be attacked in the spring by the whole
united army, resolved to evacuate Talcahuano, and to return to Peru.
Accordingly, on the 5th September, he left Colonel Sanchez in command of
the Chilian Royalists, and, after dismantling the fortifications, sailed
for Callao on the 8th with thirty-five heavy guns, a great quantity of
war material, and 700 Spanish troops--all that remained of the strong
reinforcement he had brought with him.



CHAPTER XIX.

AFTER MAIPO.

1818.


The same day on which the despatch announcing the victory of Maipó
reached Mendoza, Don Luis and Don Juan José Carrera were shot in that
city. The suit against them had been carried on in a most irregular
manner, both in Mendoza and in Santiago. Don Luis was accused and
convicted of having violated a mail bag; Don Juan José was accused of
the murder of a boy, of which there was no proof. Both were indicted for
conspiracy against Chile in Argentine territory, and in Chile for high
treason. It was at once an international, criminal, and political case,
and was tried by two courts of different nationalities, and totally
independent of one another. The Argentine Government was by accident,
and San Martin indirectly mixed up in it. Questions of jurisdiction
arose, and the case was still pending when, in February, 1818, Don Luis
was discovered to be engaged in a conspiracy against the Government of
Cuyo.

After the disaster of Cancha-Rayada fugitives from Chile spread panic
through the province, and Luzuriaga, the Governor, asked permission to
send the accused to Buenos Ayres; he was apprehensive of what might
happen should another defeat bring upon him a flood of Chilian
emigrants, but the municipality called upon him in the name of the
people to finish the case at once. He then appointed three judges to try
the case, of whom one was Dr. Monteagudo, who was one of the fugitives
from Chile. On the 8th April at 3 P.M. both the accused were sentenced
to death; at 5 P.M. they were shot. They fell not so much in expiation
of crimes committed as in sacrifice to the necessities of the
Argentine-Chileno Alliance.

San Martin, writing of this affair, says:--

“After the action of Maipó, I used all my influence with the Government
of Chile in favour of the Carreras, and I procured a pardon for them,
but it was then too late.” O’Higgins had acceded to his request when
they were no longer dangerous.

Now that the victory of Maipó had secured the independence of Chile, the
latent spirit of opposition to the dictatorial government of O’Higgins
again broke out. The most moderate desired the establishment of a
constitutional régime; the more extreme deemed that the time had come
for a radical reform. Among these were the old adherents of the
Carreras, who from local patriotism were inimical to the
Argentine-Chileno Alliance, and to the influence of San Martin. Dr.
Rodriguez was one of them, and aspired to be their leader. During the
forty-eight hours of his rule, in the confusion which followed the
disaster of Cancha-Rayada, he had raised a squadron of horse, which he
styled the Hussars of Death, entirely composed of men disaffected to the
Government. He now declared that they would bring the rulers of the
people to order.

O’Higgins saw in this corps a focus of sedition, and ordered it to be
disbanded. Rodriguez protested but was compelled to submit. Rodriguez
was at once a guerilla chief and a demagogue; he was a lawyer who wore
the epaulets of a colonel. He was a true patriot, but had neither
judgment nor foresight, and infused his own disorderly spirit into the
agitation.

The municipality of the capital called upon the Director to convene an
open Cabildo. It met on the 17th April. Rodriguez called upon the
Assembly to declare itself a representative body until the convocation
of a Congress, and as such superior in authority to the actual rulers of
the State. The motion was carried. O’Higgins ordered the arrest of
Rodriguez, and the ferment subsided. O’Higgins then decreed the
appointment of seven principal citizens as a committee to draw up a
plan of a provisional constitution, which “should define the powers of
each authority and should establish on a solid basis the rights of
citizens.” A constitution was accordingly drawn up and promulgated.

Rodriguez was sent under arrest to the barracks of Alvarado’s battalion
under charge of a Spanish officer named Navarro, who was told by
Alvarado and Monteagudo that Government desired “the extermination of
Rodriguez,” for the sake of public tranquillity and the existence of the
army. On the 23rd May the battalion left Santiago for Quillota, where
Rodriguez was to be tried by court-martial as a disturber of public
order. On the march an officer presented Rodriguez with a cigarette on
which was written, “It would be well for you to fly.”[12] On the evening
of the 24th the party encamped on the banks of a stream. As night fell
Navarro, with a corporal and two men carrying carbines, walked with
Rodriguez into a gorge near by. Soon after a shot was fired. “Rodriguez
is dead,” said some officers in the encampment. Next morning his body
was found covered with stones and twigs; his escort said he had tried to
escape, and the affair was hushed up.

Of all the trophies of the victory of Maipó, San Martin had reserved
only one for himself; this was the portfolio containing the secret
correspondence of Osorio, which was found in his carriage when it was
captured by O’Brien. On the morning of Sunday, the 12th April, San
Martin, attended only by O’Brien, and taking the portfolio with him rode
out from Santiago some seven miles to a secluded spot called “El Salto.”
Procuring a chair from a house close by he seated himself under the
shade of a tree, opened the portfolio and read the contents carefully.
They were letters written by several of the leading citizens of Santiago
to Osorio after the affair of Cancha-Rayada, declarations of their
loyalty. Then asking for a small fire of sticks to be lighted in front
of him, he burned them one by one, the wind carrying away their ashes;
proofs of treachery which arose only from panic, were buried in
oblivion. No one but himself ever knew who were the writers of these
letters.

The next day he left for Buenos Ayres, on the same errand which had
caused his sudden journey after Chacabuco, to concert measures for an
expedition to Peru. On the 11th May, again avoiding a triumphal entry,
he quietly took up his residence in his own house in the Argentine
capital. Again the Argentine Government decreed him a commission as
Brigadier-General; again he declined all promotion, but Congress
insisted upon giving him a public vote of thanks, and a crowd of
Argentine poets celebrated his victory in verse.

San Martin spent the whole of June in consultation with the members of
the Lautaro Lodge, upon the means of fitting out a squadron for the
Pacific. In July it was resolved that 500,000 dollars should be raised
by a loan for that object, and soon afterwards Don Miguel Zañartu was
officially received in Buenos Ayres as the representative of Chile.

San Martin then returned to Mendoza and made two attempts to cross the
Cordillera, but was driven back by snowstorms, and remained there all
the winter, nothing loth, for he found himself much more at home among
the simple, bluff-spoken Cuyanos than in the more polished society of
Santiago.

About the end of July he received a letter from Pueyrredon telling him
not to draw upon the treasury as he had been authorized to do, for it
was found impossible to raise the projected loan. San Martin at once
sent in his resignation, which caused such consternation in official
circles that he was again authorized to draw for the full amount
specified. At that time there arrived in Mendoza various remittances of
coin from Chile to merchants in Buenos Ayres. San Martin seized this
money on the pretext that transit was not safe, which was quite true,
and gave the owners drafts on the national treasury in exchange.
Pueyrredon, with great difficulty managed to pay these drafts on
presentation, but he wrote to San Martin:--

“If you do that again, I am bankrupt, and we are lost.”

With these resources and other remittances which followed, San Martin
replenished the empty chest of the Army of the Andes with 200,000
dollars, and the situation was saved.

His spare time in Mendoza he filled up by making elaborate calculations
concerning the men, arms, and equipment necessary for his projected
expedition to Peru, while Pueyrredon and the diplomatic corps were as
fully occupied in the construction of a scheme which was to render the
expedition unnecessary. It was proposed that a conference of European
powers should nominate a sovereign who should unite all the Spanish
colonies south of the Equator under his sway. Of this monarchy San
Martin and his army was to be the right arm. Of all this San Martin was
fully informed, and to the scheme he made no opposition, but went on all
the same with his calculations, till he crossed the Andes in October,
and on the 29th of that month dismounted at the gate of his palace in
Santiago full of hope, for his last letter from Pueyrredon announced the
despatch of two vessels of war for service on the Pacific.

Bolívar, victorious in Venezuela and encouraged by the victory of Maipó,
was at this time preparing for another passage of the Andes.

Spain in eight years of warfare had sent sixteen expeditions to America,
with more than 40,000 veteran troops, had expended seventy-five millions
of dollars, and seemed in no way as yet inclined to relinquish the
attempt to subdue her rebellious colonies. She had yet 100,000 soldiers
and militia in America, and was preparing a fresh expedition of 20,000
men for despatch to the River Plate.

Thus while diplomatists amused themselves and the world with visionary
schemes for securing the independence of America, those more nearly
interested in the question thought only of settling it by fire and
sword.



CHAPTER XX.

THE FIRST NAVAL CAMPAIGN ON THE PACIFIC.

1818.


When San Martin in 1814 at Tucuman first made a sketch of his
continental campaign, he saw that the true road from Chile to Lima was
by sea. At that time both oceans, from California on the Pacific to the
Gulf of Mexico on the Atlantic, were dominated by the Spanish navy.
Chile had but a few fishing-boats among the islands of the South
Pacific, yet from the extent of her sea-line, from the number of her
ports, and by her geographical position, shut in on a narrow strip of
land between the Andes and the sea, Chile was eminently fitted to be a
great naval power. Travelling by land was so difficult, that the sea was
the natural road of communication between the different districts. In
the forests of Arauco the pine and the oak tree flourished luxuriantly,
her valleys produced hemp and flax in abundance. In the bowels of the
earth were stored up vast supplies of copper, iron, and coal. Chacabuco
and Maipó had secured the independence of Chile, but without a fleet
further progress was impossible.

After Chacabuco the Spanish flag was still kept flying on the forts of
Valparaiso. Deceived by this stratagem, the Spanish brig _Aguila_
entered the harbour and was captured. She was armed with 16 guns and
named the _Pueyrredon_, and an Irishman named Morris was put in command.
His first exploit was to sail to the island of Juan Fernandez to the
rescue of the Patriots there imprisoned by Marcó and by Osorio.

Some months afterwards the _Wyndham_ frigate of 44 guns anchored at
Valparaiso. She belonged to the East India Company, and at the
suggestion of Alvarez Condarco, then in London, had been sent there for
sale. Guido raised a loan among the merchants of Valparaiso, and gave
the guarantee of the Argentine Government for 50,000 dollars, so that
the Government of Chile, in spite of the exhausted state of the treasury
just before Maipó, purchased the ship for 180,000 dollars, and named her
the _Lautaro_. She shipped a crew of 100 sailors of various
nationalities, and 250 Chilians, soldiers, boatmen, and fishermen. The
marines were placed under the command of Captain MILLER, an Englishman,
and command of the ship was given to Captain O’Brien,[13] who had served
in the English navy, with Turner as lieutenant. All the officers were
either English or North Americans, except Miller; not one of them could
give orders in Spanish. “Nevertheless,” says Miller, in his Memoirs,
“ten hours after sailing she fought and fought well.”

The Spanish Pacific squadron at this time consisted of 17 ships,
mounting 331 guns. After the victory of Maipó, O’Higgins ordered his two
ships to put to sea in search of the Spanish ships which had been
blockading Valparaiso. They sailed on the afternoon of the 26th April.
At daybreak on the 27th the _Lautaro_ sighted the 44-gun frigate
_Esmeralda_ making for the port, followed at some miles distance by the
18-gun brig _Pezuela_. O’Brien hoisted the English flag and sailed
straight for her, till off her quarter and to windward, when he hauled
down the English flag, hoisted the Chilian, and ran into her, exchanging
a broadside. Followed by thirty or forty men, he then leaped on board,
driving the Spaniards from the upper deck, and hauling down her flag. A
shot from the lower deck killed him, and he fell, shouting, “Stick to
her, boys! The ship’s ours.”

But while the fighting went on the ships had separated. Turner, thinking
the enemy was captured, sent off a boat with eighteen men to assist, and
sailed off in the _Lautaro_ against the _Pezuela_, which hauled down her
flag without firing a shot. Meantime Coig, commander of the _Esmeralda_,
had rallied his men, recaptured the upper deck, drove the rest of the
assailants overboard, and on the return of the _Lautaro_ made off,
accompanied by the _Pezuela_, for Talcahuano, both of them being swifter
ships than the _Lautaro_. On their way back to port the Chilian vessels
captured a Spanish brig, whose value more than covered the cost of the
_Lautaro_.

Government then bought an American privateer mounting 20 guns, and named
her the _Chacabuco_. Soon afterwards an American brig mounting 16 guns
was purchased, and named the _Araucano_. In August the ship
_Cumberland_, purchased by Condarco in London, arrived, and was named
the _San Martin_.

Chile had thus rapidly acquired a small fleet of her own, and, looking
about for an admiral, she chose Don Manuel Blanco Encalada, a young
officer of artillery. Born in Buenos Ayres of a Chilian mother, Encalada
had adopted Chile as his country; he had held a separate command before
the disaster of Rancagua, was among the Patriot prisoners rescued by the
_Pueyrredon_ from the island of Juan Fernandez, was present at
Cancha-Rayada, and had distinguished himself at Maipó. He had previously
served in the Spanish navy as a junior officer, and was at this time
twenty-eight years of age.

On the 21st May a Spanish expedition of eleven transports, two of which
were armed vessels, under convoy of the 50-gun ship _Maria Isabel_,
sailed from Cadiz for the Pacific, carrying two battalions of the
regiment of Cantabria, 1,600 strong, a regiment of cavalry of 300
sabres, 180 artillerymen and pioneers, with 8,000 spare muskets. One of
the transports was in such bad condition that they were forced to leave
her at Teneriffe, and distribute her men among the other ships. Five
degrees north of the equator the convoy was dispersed by adverse winds.
On the 25th July the British brig _Lady Warren_ reached Buenos Ayres,
and reported having seen them about a month before. In consequence of
this information the Argentine Government sent off the brig _Lucy_,
flying the Chilian flag, and the brig _Intrepido_, flying the Argentine
flag, each carrying 18 guns, with orders to double Cape Horn and join
the Chilian squadron. At the same time word was sent to San Martin to
invite the Chilian Government to despatch all their squadron against the
expedition.

On the 26th August one of the transports named the _Trinidad_, with 180
soldiers on board, cast anchor at Ensenada, a port on the River Plate,
some forty miles to the south of Buenos Ayres. She had separated from
the convoy to the north of the equator, when the troops, headed by two
sergeants and a corporal, had mutinied, shot their officers, and had
compelled the master to sail for Buenos Ayres. The Argentine Government
thus came to know the signals and the point of reunion of the
expedition, which information they at once sent on to Chile.

Soon after this the 36-gun frigate _Horacio_, which had been purchased
in the United States by Aguirre, the Argentine commissioner, reached
Buenos Ayres, and announced that she was followed by the _Curacio_ of
the same armament.

On the 19th October the _San Martin_, Captain Wilkinson, the _Lautaro_,
Captain Wooster, the _Chacabuco_, Captain Diaz, and the _Araucano_,
Lieutenant Morris, sailed from Valparaiso. The squadron mounted 142
guns, and was manned by 1,100 men, most of whom were Chilians. The
officers were nearly all English or North Americans. As O’Higgins, who
had gone to the port to hurry on their departure, rode up the hill on
his return to Santiago, he looked upon the four ships spreading their
sails to a fresh sou’-wester, while the Chilian flag fluttered in the
breeze from their mast-heads, and exclaimed,--

“Four ships gave the western continent to Spain; these four will take it
from her.”

On losing sight of land, Blanco Encalada opened the sealed instructions
which had been given him, and found that he was ordered to the island of
Mocha to await the Spanish convoy. The native Chilians were for the most
part quite fresh to the service, but Miller, who sailed with the
squadron, writes of them:--

“The native marines and sailors showed their good qualities, both as
soldiers and sailors, by ready obedience; soon afterwards they showed
bravery also.”

A strong wind separated the _Chacabuco_ from her consorts, who cast
anchor on the 26th October at the Island of Santa Maria to await her,
while the _Araucano_ was sent back to reconnoitre the bay of Talcahuano,
about forty miles to the north.

As the ships flew the Spanish flag a boat came off bringing a letter
from the Admiral of the Spanish convoy to any transport that might touch
there. This letter confirmed information already received from a whaler
that the _Maria Isabel_ had been there five days before accompanied by
four transports, and had gone on to Talcahuano, while the rest of the
convoy with crews sick and out of provisions had been unable to double
Cape Horn.

Blanco Encalada sailed at once for Talcahuano. On the night of the 27th
he arrived there with two ships, and learned that the _Maria Isabel_ was
alone in the bay; the transports, after landing 800 men, had gone on to
Callao. On the morning of the 28th, with a fresh breeze, the two Chilian
ships entered the bay and saw the Spanish ship at anchor under the
batteries.

The _Maria Isabel_ fired a blank cartridge and hoisted her flag. The
_San Martin_ replied with another blank cartridge and hoisted the
English flag. When within musket shot both the Chilian ships hoisted
their own flag with loud cheers, which immediately produced a broadside
from the Spaniard. The _San Martin_ replied with another and cast anchor
within pistol-shot of the enemy, on which the Spaniard cut his cables
and ran aground. Part of the crew landed in boats while the rest kept up
a fire from the poop. The Chilian ships continued to fire till her flag
was hauled down, when two boats put off to her with fifty men under
Lieutenants Compton and Bélez, and took prisoners seventy men and five
officers of the Cantabria regiment.

Encalada then landed two companies of marines to dislodge the Royalist
troops on shore, who kept up a fire on the prize from behind walls on
the beach; but Sanchez coming up with a strong force from Concepcion,
compelled them to re-embark. In spite of the fire from shore every
effort was made to set the prize afloat, but without success on account
of the wind which blew from the sea.

During the following night preparations were made by both parties to
continue the struggle next day. Sanchez placed four guns in battery on
the beach, while Encalada swung the _Lautaro_ round by an anchor from
the poop, and brought her guns to bear on this battery and on the fort
of San Agustin, which commanded the entrance of the bay.

At daybreak on the 29th both sides opened fire within pistol-shot of
each other. About eleven o’clock a stiff breeze came up from the south,
a cable was passed from the _San Martin_ to the prize, the anchor was
weighed, the sails spread with great rapidity, and she was towed off
amid shouts of “Viva la Patria!” from the Chilians, mingled with loud
“hurrahs” from the English sailors. The Chilian squadron celebrated
their victory by a salute of twenty-one guns, and sailed out of the bay
in triumph with their prize, which they at once named the _O’Higgins_.

The four ships of the Chilian squadron met again at the island of Santa
Maria and were there joined by the Argentine brig _Intrepido_, Captain
Carter, and the _Galvarino_ under Captains Guise and Spry, who had both
served in the English navy. The squadron now consisted of nine vessels,
including the _O’Higgins_, with 234 guns.

One after another the rest of the transports fell into the hands of the
Patriots to the number of five, with 700 prisoners. Four only, with 800
men, had reached Callao. From that date Spain lost for ever the dominion
of the Pacific. The road for the expedition to Peru lay open.

Thirty-eight days after the four ships had sailed from Valparaiso,
thirteen vessels carrying the Chilian flag anchored in line in the bay,
amid the enthusiastic acclamations of the people.

On the 28th November, 1818, there anchored in the bay of Valparaiso a
ship bringing as passenger one of the first sailors of Great Britain,
who was yet to increase his fame by exploits in the New World. His name
was THOMAS ALEXANDER COCHRANE, a name made famous by extraordinary deeds
of derring-do. Born in Scotland of noble family, and lately a member of
the British Parliament, he had been conspicuous among the Radical
opposition, and was both hated and feared by the ruling party. Mixed up
in Stock Exchange transactions of a doubtful character, he was condemned
to a heavy fine and to exposure in the pillory, and was expelled from
the House of Commons. The people paid his fine by subscription,
Government remitted the degrading part of the sentence, and he was
re-elected by the county he had represented. But he had had enough and
more than enough of political life; he preferred exile and heroic
adventures, and accepted the offers which were made him by Condarco and
Alvarez Jonte, the agents of Chile and of San Martin in London. He
decided to devote his services to the cause of independence in South
America. Ere leaving his native country a farewell banquet was given to
him by his admirers, at which he boldly proclaimed his radical
principles in impassioned words, which give the key to his
character--extreme in everything, in heroism, in hatred, or in love. The
Chilian Vice-Admiral, in no way vainglorious of his recent triumph,
acknowledged at once the superiority of Cochrane. He resigned the
command of the squadron, and Cochrane was appointed Vice-Admiral in his
stead.

Blanco Encalada was married to one of the most beautiful women in Chile;
the wife of Cochrane, who came with him, was a most worthy type of
British beauty, and was idolized by her husband. These two young wives
became the stars of Chilian society on shore, whilst on the ocean the
two Admirals sustained in honour the star of the young Republic which
was emblazoned on the flag floating from the mast-heads of the fleet
which now dominated the Pacific.



CHAPTER XXI.

THE REPASSAGE OF THE ANDES.

1818--1819.


While in the years 1818 and 1819 the independence of Chile became firmly
established, and in the north of the continent the revolution crossed
the Andes and invaded New Granada, the prospects of the United Provinces
clouded over; civil war blazed on the coasts of La Plata, and public
opinion in Chile turned against the American policy of San Martin, while
a fresh expedition of 20,000 men was assembling at Cadiz, destined for
the River Plate.

In the South of Chile Chillán and Talcahuano were the strongholds of the
Royalists. Concepcion was the centre of the reaction, while Valdivia and
Chiloe gave them access to the sea. San Martin saw that no expedition to
Peru was possible while this enemy remained in his rear. In September,
1818, Zapiola was strongly reinforced and was instructed to commence
operations, but his force was still unequal to the task. In November
Balcarce was sent south with an army of 3,400 men and eight light
field-pieces. In order to avoid useless bloodshed, San Martin proposed
an arrangement to Sanchez for the evacuation of the territory. Sanchez
referred him to the Viceroy of Peru.

In December Freyre crossed the Nuble with the vanguard and occupied
Chillán, which was evacuated on his approach. In January Balcarce
arrived with the bulk of the army, but Sanchez had already retreated
from Concepcion and Talcahuano, and in spite of an active pursuit by
Escalada and Alvarado crossed the Bio-Bio with small loss, and shut
himself up in the fortress of Valdivia. This is spoken of as the last
campaign in Chile, but bands of Indians and banditti still for three
years infested the southern provinces.

José Miguel Carrera, still in Monte Video, fulminating vows of vengeance
against Pueyrredon, San Martin, and O’Higgins, there met some French
adventurers whom he succeeded in interesting in his cause. They went on
to Buenos Ayres, and, after many secret consultations at the house of
Doña Javiera, three of them left for Chile in November with a troop of
bullock carts. Pueyrredon received secret information that another
conspiracy was on foot, and sent a party after them to arrest them. One
of them, named Young, attempting to resist, was shot. The other two,
with some of their accomplices who had remained in Buenos Ayres, were
tried by court-martial on a charge of conspiracy to assassinate. Three
were acquitted, the other two, Robert and Lagresse, were shot on the
Plaza del Retiro on the 3rd April, 1819, protesting their innocence to
the last.

San Martin, on his return to Chile, found that the successes of the
Chilian fleet had greatly relaxed the eagerness of the Government for
the projected expedition. Now that they had command of the sea they were
safe from invasion, and the treasury was so exhausted that the pay of
his soldiers was very irregular. The people also murmured against a
Government which relied for support upon Argentine bayonets.
Nevertheless, he and O’Higgins both issued proclamations to the Peruvian
people, announcing an expedition for the purpose of giving liberty to
Peru: “So that they would become a nation with a Government established
by themselves, in accordance with their own customs, with their
situation, and with their inclinations.”

Further, the Chilian envoy Irizarri, passing through Buenos Ayres on his
way to England, there signed a treaty of alliance with the Argentine
Government:--“To put an end to Spanish domination in Peru by means of a
combined expedition.”

In June, 1818, Bolívar stretched out the right hand of fellowship to the
Argentine people by an official letter to the Government, and by a
proclamation to “the inhabitants of the River Plate,” in which he sets
forth his favourite policy of a union of all the peoples of South
America. Some months later on O’Higgins wrote to Bolívar, proposing to
him an alliance based upon the continental ideas of San Martin.

San Martin had written from Mendoza to the Government of Chile and to
Balcarce, informing them of his plans for the expedition to Peru, giving
three months for collecting the necessary supplies. When he reached
Santiago nothing had been done, and the revenues were mortgaged for
months to come. He then wrote to the Argentine Government, giving a most
miserable account of the financial state of Chile, and the consequent
inefficiency of the Army of the Andes, which he suggested should be
withdrawn from Chile as the projected expedition was for the time
impossible. He also wrote to the Government of Chile, expressing his
fears of the speedy dissolution of the united army, and proposed that a
part of it should be employed in desultory attacks on the coasts of
Peru, while he himself resigned the command.

On receiving no satisfactory reply, he concentrated the Army of the
Andes at the upper part of the valley of Aconcagua, crossed over himself
with a small detachment to Mendoza, and was soon after followed by a
division of 1,200 men, by which operation he brought pressure to bear on
the Chilian Government by leaving them to their own resources, while he
recruited his cavalry in their own country, and preserved Cuyo from
being drawn into the vortex of anarchy which at that time desolated the
United Provinces. In this internecine strife he took no part whatever,
but the presence of a portion of his army in Mendoza strengthened the
hands of Government and aided greatly in bringing about a truce.

The first news which San Martin heard on his arrival in Mendoza was an
account of a terrible tragedy which had just occurred in San Luis. This
city was the prison of the principal captives of Maipó and Chacabuco.
They were well treated by Dupuy, the Deputy-Governor, who had only a
picket of militia under his orders, and who trusted more to the wide
Pampa which surrounded them than to prison walls for their security. The
officers were not confined in the public prison, but lived in houses and
mixed freely with the people. They were so many that they thought they
would have no difficulty in overpowering the small garrison. A plan of
escape had been for months discussed among them, when, on the 1st
February, 1819, Dupuy, on account of the disturbed state of the country
round, issued an order that they were not to leave their houses after
sundown. Captain Carretero of the Burgos regiment was the head of the
conspirators. On the evening of the 7th he invited a number of his
comrades to breakfast with him the next morning, proposing to spend the
day killing vermin in his orchard. At six o’clock next morning twenty
officers met at his house; he led them into the orchard and gave them a
light breakfast of bread and cheese washed down with brandy; then,
drawing a poniard, he told them that in an hour they would all be free
or dead, and distributed ten knives among them, telling the rest to arm
themselves with sticks. Captain La Madrid was sent with ten men to seize
the barracks, Captain Salvador, with six, to capture the prison and set
the prisoners at liberty; while he went off to join Ordoñez, Primo de
Rivera, and Morla, who, with their orderlies, would make sure of the
Deputy-Governor.

The first party reached the barracks, disarmed the sentry, and
overpowered the guard. In an inner yard were a number of Gaucho rebels
under arrest, among them being one who afterwards acquired terrible
notoriety as a Gaucho chieftain--Juan Facundo Quiroga. Quiroga led his
fellow-prisoners to the assistance of the soldiers, and, armed only with
the broken shaft of a lance, fought so fiercely that all the assailants
except one were killed, and he was badly wounded.

The party sent against the prison on crossing the great square were met
by the officer in command of the militia, who was galloping about with
his sabre drawn, calling the people to arms. Armed men poured out of the
houses upon them; only one escaped, the rest being killed.

Meantime Carretero, Morgado, and Morla had gone to Dupuy’s house and
asked to see him. Being admitted, they set upon him, and after a short
struggle threw him down, when Ordoñez and Primo de Rivera entered with
their orderlies, bringing the sentry with them, after shutting the outer
door. But a militia captain and a doctor who were with Dupuy, had
escaped and gave the alarm. A number of the townspeople, headed by a
young officer named Pringles, surrounded the house with shouts of “Death
to the Goths.” Dupuy rushed to the door and opened it, the crowd poured
in. Ordoñez, Morla, Carretero, and Morgado were killed. Primo de Rivera,
finding a loaded carbine in an ante-room, shot himself through the head.

Of forty conspirators twenty-four were killed, the rest were tried by a
court-martial, of which Dr. Monteagudo was President. Eight were
acquitted, seven were shot, but young Ordoñez, a nephew of the General,
was spared, partly on account of his youth, and partly because he was
engaged to a young lady of the city, whose relatives interfered on his
behalf. He was afterwards set at liberty by San Martin, who also gave
Quiroga his freedom as a reward for his bravery, a favour which Quiroga
never forgot.

Marcó del Pont, ex-Governor of Chile, was also at that time a prisoner
in San Luis, but took no part in the conspiracy and was not molested.

The repassage of the Andes by a portion of the army had the effect San
Martin expected upon the Government of Chile. On his return from San
Luis to Mendoza he found despatches awaiting him from Guido, from
O’Higgins, and from the Lautaro Lodge, informing him that all were
convinced that the safety of the country depended upon the despatch of
the expedition to Peru. At the end of March Major Borgoño arrived as the
representative of the Lodge, fully authorised to arrange all the details
with him.

San Martin required an army of from 4,000 to 6,000 men, and a supply of
500,000 dols., of which he would provide 200,000 dols., furnished by the
Argentine Government. He also accepted the rank of Brigadier-General in
the Chilian army, which was again offered to him.

By return of post he received the ratification by the Lodge of the
arrangement made with Borgoño, and an order to proceed at once to Chile
to superintend the preparations.

It was in these circumstances, when he gave himself up entirely to the
great work of his life, that he separated from his wife for the last
time. She returned to Buenos Ayres never to see him again in this world.
When he again saw his native land she was dead, leaving him one only
daughter, who went with him into exile.

On the 19th June, 1819, Pueyrredon retired from public life into that
obscurity which is the fate of great men when their appointed task is
accomplished.



CHAPTER XXII.

COCHRANE--CALLAO--VALDIVIA.

1819--1820.


The new Admiral when hoisting his pennant on the _O’Higgins_ might,
after the manner of the old Dutch admirals, have nailed a broom to his
masthead; his commission was to sweep the Spanish fleet from the
Pacific.

This ideal hero was one of the first sailors of the first navy of the
world, and became indisputably the first in the naval annals of three
Nations of South America, yet he never was master of his own destiny, he
founded no school which should endue posterity with his spirit. With
great faculties, both moral and intellectual, he had no political
talent, there was no method in what he did. His exploits were performed
under many flags, and in both the Old and in the New World, but he made
no country his own. He left his native land with curses, he parted from
Chile, from Peru, from Brazil, and from Greece in anger, stigmatizing
them as ungrateful. He valued his deeds in gold as though they had been
merchandize. Yet, in the abstract he was a lover of liberty; he placed
his sword and his genius only at the service of some noble cause.

On the 14th January, 1819, he sailed from Valparaiso with four ships,
the _San Martin_, _O’Higgins_, _Lautaro_, and _Chacabuco_, leaving
Rear-Admiral Blanco Encalada to follow him. On the 10th February he was
off Callao.

The bay of Callao is one of the largest on the South Pacific. Near its
centre stands the city of Callao, on the shore at the foot of the coast
range of the Cordillera, three miles from the pass through it, which
gives access to the beautiful valley of Rimac, in which stands the city
of Lima. The port of Callao is a roadstead shut in by two islands. One
of them, named San Lorenzo, is seven miles in length, and shelters the
roadstead from all winds except those which blow from the west. Off its
southern point lies a smaller island called the Fronton. The open water
between the two islands is the main entrance to the inner bay, but
between the Fronton and the land there is a much narrower passage,
called the Boqueron, in which there are only five fathoms of water and
many rocks. To the north of the island of San Lorenzo lies a sandbank,
off the mouth of the river Rimac, which is called the Bocanegra.

The old walls of the city of Callao were destroyed by an earthquake in
1746. In their place three great circular castles were erected, crowned
with lofty towers. Between them stretched the batteries of the arsenal
and of San Joaquin, mounted with 165 heavy guns, which swept the whole
of the roadstead. Under their fire the Spanish squadron lay at anchor,
consisting of the _Esmeralda_ and _Venganza_, 44 gun frigates; the
corvette _Sebastiana_, of 36 guns; the brigs _Pezuela_, _Maipo_, and
_Potrillo_, each of 18 guns; the schooner _Montezuma_, of 7 guns; the
_Aranzazu_ of 5 guns; and twenty-six gunboats, besides six armed
merchant vessels.

The 28th February was the day fixed upon by Cochrane for the attack; the
same Day Pezuela had arranged for a review of the squadron and a sham
fight. At daybreak a thick fog covered the bay, and the Viceroy embarked
on the brig _Maipo_, the better to watch the manœuvres. At eleven
o’clock, as the fog commenced to lift, the sailors of the _Maipo_, then
near to the island of San Lorenzo, saw a fine ship flying the Spanish
flag skirting the sandbank of the Bocanegra. The Viceroy wished to speak
her, but the commander of the brig refused to go nearer as he would
lose the wind. Pezuela was thus saved from falling a prisoner to
Cochrane. The strange ship was the _O’Higgins_, which sailed on into the
bay and captured a gunboat, followed only by the _Lautaro_, the other
two ships being unable to enter the harbour for want of wind.

Favoured by the fog the two ships anchored within range of the
batteries, hoisted the Chilian flag, and opened fire, but at nightfall
slowly retired, with a few killed and wounded, and some damage to spars
and rigging.

The next day the two ships again approached and drove the gunboats under
shelter of the batteries, the Spaniards not daring to do more than
remain on the defensive when they heard who was in command.

Cochrane had hoped to take the enemy by surprise, but having failed to
do so he now tried to repeat his exploit of the Basque Roads, for which
purpose he took possession of the island of San Lorenzo, and set to work
to make two fire-ships. On the night of the 22nd March he engaged the
attention of the batteries with his four ships while one of his
fire-ships drifted down on to the Spanish squadron. But the fire-ship
ran aground and was struck by a shot from the batteries, when the wind
dying away he was forced to leave her to sink.

On the 24th he again attacked, and succeeded in capturing the schooner
_Montezuma_ and some merchant vessels and gunboats. The _O’Higgins_, at
some distance from her consorts, was becalmed in a fog, and the
Spaniards put off from shore in boats with the intention of boarding
her. Fortunately a light wind sprang up before they reached her, and
they were seen in time and beaten off.

Cochrane then retired to the neighbouring port of Huacho in search of
fresh water, and was there joined by Blanco Encalada with the
_Galvarino_ and the _Pueyrredon_. Leaving the Rear-Admiral with four
ships to blockade Callao, Cochrane sailed northwards, distributing
proclamations from O’Higgins and San Martin, and also one from himself,
among the people along the coast. At one place he landed and captured
some brass cannon; then returning to Callao he found that Blanco
Encalada had gone south in search of provisions, and seeing nothing more
was to be done at present, he followed him.

Cochrane had brought with him from England a mechanic who had worked
with Congreve at the Arsenal at Woolwich. He now set him at work to make
rockets, and made trial of them in the bay of Valparaiso, expressing
himself as perfectly satisfied with them. Government also furnished him
with a nine inch mortar which had been sent from Buenos Ayres, and a
28-gun frigate, purchased in the United States and named the
_Independencia_, was added to the squadron. A brigade of 400 marines was
also organized under the command of an English officer of experience
named Charles, with Major Miller as his second.

The _Pueyrredon_ the _Intrepido_, and the _Montezuma_, were sent
southward on a cruise in search of some Spanish ships which were
reported to be on the way from Europe, and, on the 12th September,
Cochrane and Blanco Encalada again sailed from Valparaiso with six ships
of war, and two of the transports which had been captured by Blanco
Encalada on his first cruise, and which were intended for fire-ships.

Cochrane had such faith in the terrible power of his new rockets that he
was confident of success, and wrote to O’Higgins that at eight o’clock
on the night of the 24th, the Spanish squadron at Callao would be in
flames.

On the 28th September he anchored off the island of San Lorenzo, and on
the 30th sent a challenge on shore to the enemy to come out and fight
ship to ship. The Spaniards, who had in the meantime greatly
strengthened their defences, by surrounding their ships with a boom, and
had prepared furnaces to heat shot, returned a laconic refusal.

This time the attack was to be made by four pontoon batteries, one
carrying the mortar, two carrying rocket-tubes, and the other the
ammunition. On the night of the 2nd October, Miller led the van in the
_Galvarino_, with the mortar in tow, the _Pueyrredon_ followed, towing
the ammunition. Then came the other two pontoons towed by the
_Araucano_, Captain Hind, and the _Independencia_, Captain Charles. All
the crews of the pontoons wore life belts.

The action was commenced by the mortar, which opened fire at less than
eight hundred yards distance from the boom, and sunk a gunboat. But
after throwing several shells into the batteries, the mortar bed broke
away from its bearings, and no more could be done. The distance was too
great for the rockets which fell harmlessly into the water, and under
the heavy fire from the batteries it was impossible to run closer in. A
red-hot shot struck the pontoon commanded by Hind, and caused an
explosion by which twelve men were badly burned. The _Galvarino_ was
struck several times, and Lieutenant Bayley was cut in two by a shot. At
dawn the pontoons were recalled. In a subsequent attack an attempt was
made to destroy the boom by a fire-ship, but the wind dying away, she
became a target for the enemy’s guns; she was already sinking when the
match was lighted by Lieutenant Morgall, and she blew up before reaching
the boom.

The rockets were found to be so inefficient, that Cochrane desisted for
the time from any further attempt.[14]

The day after the last attack, a large ship was seen making for the
port, which on sighting the Chilian squadron sheered off again. Cochrane
followed, but taking her for a whaler, he returned to his anchorage and
afterwards sailed to Arica. On his return he again saw the same ship,
which sent a boat on shore. This ship was the 50-gun frigate _Prueba_,
one of the vessels which had been reported to be on the way from Europe.
Three had left Spain in company bound for Callao, but one being found to
be unseaworthy, had put back on reaching the line, and the other had
foundered off Cape Horn.

Cochrane decided upon pursuing the _Prueba_, but as he had many sick he
first sent Blanco Encalada with them to Valparaiso in the _San Martin_
and _Independencia_, and despatched Captain Guise with the _Lautaro_,
the _Galvarino_, and a transport with 350 marines on board, to Pisco,
with orders to land there and procure a supply of fresh provisions. He
then with the other three ships sailed for Guayaquil, where he captured
two transports, each of which mounted twenty guns. From his prisoners he
learned that the _Prueba_ had been there, but after sending her guns on
shore to lighten her, had gone up the river, and was now at anchor in
shallow water under the protection of some shore batteries.

Soon after this he was rejoined by Guise, who had successfully
accomplished the task allotted to him, but with some loss. He had found
Pisco garrisoned by a force of 800 men, who were driven out by the
marines at the point of the bayonet after some hard fighting, in which
Colonel Charles was killed and Miller received three wounds. After
holding the town for four days, he re-embarked the marines and sailed
for Guayaquil.

Cochrane then sent the _Lautaro_ to Valparaiso in charge of the prizes,
and leaving the _Pueyrredon_ and the _Galvarino_ at the island of Puna,
which commands the Gulf of Guayaquil, to keep watch over the _Prueba_,
he sailed for the port of Santa, which lies to the north of Callao. Here
he was soon joined by other ships of the squadron, which he sent back to
Valparaiso, and sailed away south by himself in the _O’Higgins_. He was
sorely disappointed with the ill-success of his attempts on Callao, and
would not return to Valparaiso till he could return in triumph. He was
turning over in his mind a daring scheme, equal to any that he had so
far accomplished.

Pacing to and fro one day on his quarter-deck, as the good ship sailed
steadily on towards the colder regions of the South, he met Miller,
who, in spite of his wounds, had taken command of the marines on the
_O’Higgins_, and asked him--

“What would they say if with this one ship I took Valdivia?”

As Miller made no answer, he added--

“They would call me a lunatic.”

Lunatic or not, this was the exploit he had determined on attempting,
and he further explained himself.

“Operations which the enemy does not expect are almost certain to
succeed if well carried out. Victory is always an answer to a charge of
rashness.”

Valdivia from its fortifications and from its natural strength, was
looked upon as the Gibraltar of America. The bay of Valdivia is an
estuary into which the river Valdivia falls by two channels, forming an
island known as the Isla del Rey. This estuary, which runs nearly due
east and west, is about seven miles long, and its width at the mouth is
about three miles, gradually diminishing until the width is little more
than one mile, when the bay itself opens out in a magnificent sheet of
water. In the centre of this bay and in front of the western point of
the Isla del Rey stands a small island called the Mancera. On this bay
there are several landing-places, but only one port, the Corral, and the
coasts on both sides are fringed with steep or perpendicular rocks, and
covered with dense brushwood. The bay has thus two coasts, one to the
south the other to the north, which are separated by a wide space of
open water, by the river Valdivia, and by the Isla del Rey. The northern
part is inaccessible from the ocean, but at the western extremity of the
southern part there is a landing-place where ships were accustomed to
take in water.

At this time Valdivia was defended by nine forts and batteries,
distributed on both sides of the bay, and armed with 128 guns. Two of
these forts stood on the islands, and commanded both mouths of the
river. On the north the entrance to the bay was guarded by an
impregnable castle, called the Niebla, cut out of the solid rock, and by
a battery, called Fort Piojo. On the south were the English fort, which
commanded the watering-place, the fort of San Carlos, on a small
peninsula, and Fort Amargos, whose fire crossed that of the Niebla. The
entrance was further defended by the Chorocomayo redoubt and by the
Castle of the Corral. Both these forts were masked by a dense forest,
and the ground about them is so broken that their only communication by
land was by a narrow path winding among the rocks and through the
forest, and crossing a gulley which was commanded by the guns of both
forts. Valdivia was ordinarily garrisoned by 800 troops and by as many
militia, but at this time the militia were absent.

On the 18th January, 1820, the _O’Higgins_ sailed into the bay, flying
the Spanish flag. The Spaniards believed her to be the _Prueba_.
Cochrane signalled for a pilot, who was sent off to him with a guard of
honour, whom he made prisoners, and learned from them that the
_Potrillo_ was expected with money to pay the troops. He then proceeded
in his gig to inspect the entrance to the river, under fire of the
forts, for by this time his true character was discovered. Two days
afterwards he captured the _Potrillo_, which had 20,000 dollars on
board, but seeing that he had not men enough for an attack upon the
place, he then went off for Talcahuano in search of more.

On the 22nd the _O’Higgins_ reached Talcahuano, and was fortunate enough
to find there the _Intrepido_ and the _Montezuma_. Colonel Freyre, who
was then in command of the fortress, eagerly entered into Cochrane’s
plans, and gave him 250 men under command of Major Beauchef. With this
reinforcement he sailed again for Valdivia. On leaving the harbour the
_O’Higgins_ struck on a rock and commenced to make water rapidly, but
the leak was patched up, Cochrane infusing his own spirit into his men,
and declaring that she would float as far as Valdivia.

When out of sight of land he transhipped the marines from his flag-ship
to the other two vessels, and went on with them, flying the Spanish flag
till he arrived off the bay of Valdivia on the 3rd February, and
signalled to the English fort for a pilot. But his ruse was discovered
and the fort opened fire on him. Then, in spite of a heavy sea running,
he determined to effect a landing in two long boats and a gig in which
he went himself.

At the sound of the cannonade reinforcements had come up from the other
forts, so that the garrison now numbered 360 men, of whom a detachment
of 65 was thrown forward to protect the landing-place. At sundown Miller
landed with 75 marines and drove in this detachment. He was followed by
Beauchef with his 250 infantry, who pushed on up a narrow path and drew
on himself the fire of the garrison, while Sub-Lieutenant Vidal skirted
the wall of the fort, and finding a side entrance fired a volley in
their rear, which so alarmed the defenders that they fled in panic,
carrying with them the reserve who were drawn up on an open space
behind.

Beauchef vigorously pursued the fugitives from fort to fort along the
narrow path, till at daybreak the English fort, San Carlos, Amargos,
Chorocomayo, and Corral were all in the hands of the Patriots, who had
only nine men killed and 34 wounded. One hundred of the enemy escaped in
boats, as many more were killed, the rest were either prisoners or
dispersed.

At daybreak on the 4th the _Montezuma_ and _Intrepido_ sailed into the
bay under the fire of the northern forts. To dislodge the enemy from
these positions, 200 men were re-embarked, but the _Intrepido_ ran on a
sandbank off the Island of Mancera and sank; thus ended the career of
the only Argentine ship which figured in the celebrated Chilian squadron
of the Pacific.

Soon afterwards the _O’Higgins_ appeared, and the Spaniards, abandoning
the northern forts and the islands, fled to the city. The _O’Higgins_
was leaking so badly that she was run aground in the mud to keep her
from sinking. The next day the city was taken without resistance. Spain
lost her last base of operations in the south of Chile, and Chile was
now in possession of all her own territory except the islands of Chiloe.

Cochrane thought to finish his cruise by the capture of these islands,
but Colonel Quintanilla, who was in command, was better prepared than
was the garrison of Valdivia. A landing was effected on the 17th; a body
of infantry was driven back and a battery was captured, but Miller, who
led the assault on the principal fort, was again wounded, and the attack
was repulsed. But the dominion of the Pacific was secured, and Cochrane
returned in triumph. At Santiago he met San Martin, who, leaving Mendoza
on the 20th January, had again crossed the Andes in pursuit of his great
enterprise, and now found the road to Peru opened for him by the heroism
of the great Admiral.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE DISOBEDIENCE OF SAN MARTIN.

1819--1820.


Three great duties pressed upon San Martin when he withdrew a part of
his army to the east of the Andes. First, the prosecution of his plans
for the liberation of America; second, his duty as a soldier to support
the constituted authorities of his country in a time of civil war; and
third, his duty as an Argentine in view of the expected expedition from
Spain against the River Plate.

His opinion was in respect to the first, “that if the expedition to Peru
is not carried out, everything will go to the devil;” in regard to the
second, he had an invincible repugnance to mix himself up in internecine
strife; in regard to the third, he could fight against Spain just as
well on the West coast as on the East.

Thus, when he had procured through the Lodge authority from the central
government to proceed with his plans, he thought only of how to carry
them out, but fears of the expedition from Spain for some time yet
perturbed all his combinations.

The Court of Spain thought with this new expedition of 20,000 men
against Buenos Ayres to strike a mortal blow at the heart of the
revolution in South America; but matters had changed considerably since
the year 1815, when the last great expedition under Morillo, originally
intended for Buenos Ayres, had been diverted to Venezuela. The
insurrection had made great progress, and above all, Portugal was no
longer the ally of Spain, and had seized Monte Video, which was the
necessary base of any operations against Buenos Ayres. Further, the war
against the colonies was very unpopular in Spain, not only among the
people but in the army.

In spite of all this, the preparations were pushed forward. Six ships of
the line, thirteen frigates, three corvettes, ten brigs, three
schooners, twenty-nine gunboats, and forty transports, with from 18,000
to 20,000 troops, were under orders to rendezvous at Cadiz, under
command of the Count of Abisbal, better known to history as José
O’Donnell.

The Argentine Government had secret agents in Cadiz, who kept them well
informed of all that went on. These men reported great discontent among
the troops in cantonments on the island of Leon, and that there was a
conspiracy on foot to proclaim the Constitution of the year XII., in
which most of the superior officers were implicated.

General O’Donnell, aided by General Sarsfield, affected to join the
conspiracy in order to discover the plan of it, but when it was on the
eve of breaking out, issued a proclamation to the troops, calling upon
them to adhere to their allegiance, and promising them, among other
rewards for their loyalty, that they should not be sent to America. The
leaders of the conspiracy were without difficulty arrested, but the
projected expedition was thus prevented from sailing. In July, 1819,
yellow fever broke out in the army; but in spite of all this, Government
was still resolved to send off the expedition. The Count of Calderon was
put in command, and the Minister of Marine was instructed, in September,
to embark the troops at once.

In July of this same year 1819, General Rondeau was, by the influence of
the Lautaro Lodge, appointed Supreme Director of the United Provinces in
place of Pueyrredon. This was merely a change of names, the reins of
power remained as before in the hands of the oligarchy which had ruled
for so many years. One of the first acts of the new Government was to
send for San Martin to come to Buenos Ayres, to consult on the measures
to be adopted in view of the threatened expedition from Spain. San
Martin was himself full of apprehension, but without consulting his own
Government, he proposed to O’Higgins that the Chilian squadron, under
Cochrane, and in the pay of the Argentine Government, should sail to
meet the expedition on the Atlantic and destroy it in the open sea,
offering to pay at once 50,000 dollars towards the expenses.

This scheme would, he thought, have great attraction for the
enterprising spirit of the Admiral, but Cochrane, bent upon destroying
the Spanish fleet at Callao, would not listen to it until the business
in hand was accomplished, when there would, he said, be ample time yet
to meet the new fleet on the Atlantic and blow them to pieces with his
Congreve rockets.

In answer to a second letter from Rondeau in August, San Martin offered
to march with 4,000 men, of whom 3,000 would be cavalry, to drive the
Spaniards into the river, as he had done before at San Lorenzo; “with
sixteen squadrons and thirty light field pieces we can be sure of
victory.”

In October news was received in Buenos Ayres that O’Donnell had rebelled
against the Spanish Government, and had marched with the army of Cadiz
upon Madrid. This news was false, but it had the effect of causing
Rondeau to countermand the orders for the concentration of the army.

Meantime the truce between the central Government and the Gaucho
chieftains of the interior had come to an end. Ramirez from Entre Rios,
and Artigas from the Banda Oriental, had joined hands with Lopez of
Santa Fé, and war had again broken out on the northern frontier of
Buenos Ayres. For the third time Government looked to San Martin for
help, and ordered him to Buenos Ayres, with the division quartered at
Mendoza. Just at the same time he received advices from Chile that all
was ready for the proposed expedition to Peru. San Martin hesitated, but
wrote to Government that he was about to march to Buenos Ayres with
2,000 cavalry and eight guns, but should leave his infantry in Mendoza.
One battalion of infantry was quartered in San Juan, the grenadiers were
in San Luis, and his total force of regular troops in Cuyo was now
raised by recruiting to 2,200 men, besides which he had called out the
militia of San Luis to the number of 2,000 men.

The idea of Government was to concentrate the whole army in the Province
of Buenos Ayres to the number of 8,000 or 10,000 men, ready to act
either against the Spaniards or against the Gaucho hordes, but as the
latter numbered only 1,500, it was a most cowardly measure to abandon
the northern frontier, menaced by the Royalists of Upper Peru, and to
break the terms of the alliance with Chile, and could only have ended in
the isolation of Buenos Ayres from the rest of the provinces. The civil
war was a spontaneous effervescence of the people, and could not be
cured by the sabre. It arose not only from the semi-barbarous instincts
of the masses, but also from the discontent of the more educated classes
with a political system which was not in accordance with the principles
of the Revolution, and this discontent permeated the ranks of the army
itself.

Rondeau, in pursuance of his plan, took the field with the Army of
Buenos Ayres, and marched to the northern frontier of the Province,
against the Gaucho hordes, seeking a junction with the Army of the
North, coming from Cordoba. His army alone was superior in number to the
enemy. Why, then, did he send for another army from Cuyo?

The real object of this concentration was that Gomez, the Argentine
envoy in Paris, had entered into an arrangement with the French
Government to crown the Duke of Luca, a Prince of the House of Bourbon,
King of the United Provinces; France engaging on her part to divert the
projected expedition from the River Plate, and to secure the
acquiescence of Portugal and the evacuation of the Banda Oriental by
marrying the future king to a Brazilian Princess. Congress, setting at
naught the Republican constitution so lately sworn, and without any
attempt to consult the will of the people, sanctioned this arrangement
in secret session, and on the 12th November authorised their agent to
conclude the treaty. As the Spanish expedition would thus be set free to
act against Mexico, Venezuela, or New Granada, or to reinforce the
Government of Peru, this was an act of treachery to the programme of the
revolution and a desertion of the cause of America.

Rondeau was the last weak representative of the centralized system of
government, which had so far led the revolution; now the Argentine
people took the matter into their own hands, and by civil strife crushed
out the last remnant of the colonial system. Now was heard for the first
time among them the word FEDERATION. The people, groaning under a load
of taxation to supply revenues in the disposal of which they had no
voice, found the domination of Buenos Ayres equally oppressive with that
of Spain, and gave a new interpretation to the word liberty: they now
construed it to mean provincial independence.

At the close of the year 1819 the Army of the Andes was the only
Argentine representative of the American propaganda. Stationed on
foreign soil, it had escaped the contagion of party spirit, which had
infected all the other armies of the Republic, and was ready to follow
its great captain whithersoever he should choose to lead it.

Still San Martin hesitated. To obey Rondeau was to plunge into civil
strife, to the destruction of his great plan; his regard for discipline
impelled him to obey at any cost. He had already given orders to march,
when news reached him that the Province of Tucuman had declared itself
independent; that the army under Belgrano had mutinied and imprisoned
its general; and that there was a similar conspiracy on foot in Cordoba
among the officers of the army there, which had ramifications even in
Cuyo.

He was suffering severely at the time from rheumatism, and leaving
Alvarado in command of the division in Cuyo, he retired to the baths of
Cauquenes in Chile, after writing to Rondeau that in view of these
complications he had postponed the departure of the army until further
orders; but before that he had written to O’Higgins asking him to
collect mules in the valley of Aconcagua, in readiness for the day when
he should recross the Andes.

Neither Rondeau nor Congress seem to have had any idea of the true state
of affairs; they still thought that they could control public opinion by
force, and the answer to the despatch from San Martin was a fresh order
to him to march at once with all his army to Buenos Ayres. To this San
Martin replied by sending in his resignation for the third time.
Government refused to accept it, but gave him leave of absence until his
health was restored.

The conduct of San Martin at this time has been very severely
criticised, but there is no question that his 2,000 men would have been
of no real assistance to Government, which fell a victim to its own
errors and incapacity; and it is equally unquestionable that without him
the expedition to Peru would never have set out. Without his
co-operation the success of Bolívar in Columbia is highly problematical,
and it is certain that had the Royalists been able to send another
expedition from Upper Peru, they would have met no effective resistance
in the northern provinces of what is now the Argentine Republic.

San Martin took upon himself the “terrible responsibility” of this
disobedience, an act by which the accomplishment of the mission of
emancipation which the Argentine people had undertaken was finally
secured. Condemned by his contemporaries, he appeals to the judgment of
posterity.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE CONVENTION OF RANCAGUA.

1820


The army of Cadiz, decimated by yellow fever, was for sanitary reasons
dispersed. On the 1st January, 1820, Don Rafael del Riego, Colonel of
the regiment of Asturias, then in quarters at the village Cabezas de San
Juan, proclaimed in front of his regiment the constitution of the year
XII., opening an era of liberty for his own country, and putting an end
to an era of war in America. The revolution triumphed, the King was
forced to swear the constitution, and, by common accord between the
people and the government, a new policy was inaugurated in regard to the
insurgent colonies, one that sought to solve peacefully the question
which the appeal to arms had only made more complicated.

It was at this juncture that San Martin by his disobedience saved from
destruction in the vortex of civil war the one army which could secure
the emancipation of America. San Martin crossed the Andes carried in a
litter, but it was not in mineral baths that he sought the cure for his
rheumatism and neuralgia; that cure he sought and found in the active
prosecution of the plan which lay at his heart.

Immediately on his arrival in Chile, he proceeded to concert measures
with O’Higgins for the despatch of the expedition. He offered to bring
over from Mendoza 2,000 men and ten guns, but terrible news soon
reached him. The mutiny of the Army of the North had been followed two
days after by a similar mutiny in the 1st battalion light infantry of
his own army, then in quarters at San Juan.

San Martin thought he had secured Cuyo from the anarchy that prevailed
by the presence of his disciplined troops, but when distinguished
officers of his own army and of that of Belgrano headed mutineers and
joined hands with Gaucho chieftains, he saw that the elements of order
were dissolved. The Army of the North, under command of General Cruz,
was on the march to join Rondeau, when in the Province of Santa Fé it
made a truce with the Gaucho levies, styled “montoneras,” and retreated
to Cordoba, and there established a new system of military rule,
withdrawing itself both from the civil war and from the war of
emancipation.

The battalion quartered at San Juan was in reality a small _corps
d’armée_, having both artillery and cavalry attached to it. It numbered
900 men and was under the command of Colonel Sequeira, a gallant
officer, but a martinet who was greatly disliked by his men. At daybreak
on the 9th January the men, headed by their sergeants, silently left
their barracks, occupied the Plaza, and made a party of the civic guard
prisoners, killing the officer; while the Colonel and some of his
officers were left in the barracks under guard of a company. Some
disaffected officers then took command, shouting, “Viva la Federacion!”
and “Down with the tyrant!” but they had no plan of action, and soon
quarrelled amongst themselves, and the Colonel and the officers who were
with him were murdered. Alvarado marched against them from Mendoza, but
fearing to trust his own men went back again. San Martin sent offers of
pardon, which were rejected; the spirit of anarchy prevailed everywhere.
The Governor of Cuyo and his deputy both resigned. The mutinous
battalion soon after dispersed, and the Province of San Juan declared
itself an independent state. Alvarado then, in obedience to orders from
San Martin, joined him in Chile with 1,000 cavalry and two guns, leaving
Godoy Cruz as Governor of Mendoza.

On the 1st February, 1820, the Army of Buenos Ayres was totally defeated
at Cepeda by the Montonera horsemen. Congress was soon after dissolved,
and the nation split up into fragments, of which each one was a small
republic, and most of them fell under the rule of petty chieftains. From
this chaos was presently to rise up a new people, with well-defined
divisions and with one national spirit. For a time the Army of the Andes
obeyed no superior authority, but it still upheld the Argentine flag on
foreign soil, and followed the lead of its own General.

Such being the state of affairs, San Martin, on the 28th January, wrote
officially to O’Higgins, asking him if he could still dispose of 6,000
men for the expedition, but stating that 4,000 were absolutely
necessary. O’Higgins replied that he could promise 4,000 only, fully
equipped. San Martin agreed that they should march under the Chilian
flag, but stipulated that the Army of the Andes should carry its own, as
representing the United Provinces.

Thus San Martin took upon himself the “terrible responsibility” of
disposing of Argentine troops and military stores, without any authority
so to do from his own government. In order to relieve himself in some
measure of this responsibility, he convened a meeting of the officers of
the Army of the Andes, then in cantonments at Rancagua, under the
Presidency of Las Heras. He himself was not present, but a letter from
him was read, which showed that as the Government from which he derived
his commission no longer existed, the army was _de facto_ without a
General, and called upon them to appoint one, to whom he offered his
services in any capacity.

San Martin had requested them to vote without discussion, but Colonel
Martinez and several officers opposed this, on the ground that the
commission of General-in-Chief was granted for a specific purpose which
was not yet accomplished, and was therefore not cancelled by the fall of
the Government by which it had been conferred. In these terms a document
was drawn up and signed by all the officers.

Las Heras, in writing to San Martin an account of the result of the
meeting, expressed his great surprise that he should have given him such
a task, and said that many of his best friends felt themselves greatly
aggrieved at the proposition, as the commissions of all of them were
derived from the same authority as that of the General-in-Chief. Thus
the army endorsed the disobedience of their General, an act which under
any other leader would have had a most evil effect upon its discipline.

While the preparations of the Chilian Government went slowly forward a
new difficulty arose. Cochrane, proud of his recent triumph in Valdivia,
aspired to the command-in-chief of the expedition to Peru. Devoid as he
was of all political talent, a more unfit leader for such an enterprise
it would have been difficult to find. Peru was not to be conquered, it
was to be liberated; he thought only of conquest. He might have won a
battle, but he would never have founded a nation. His dream seems to
have been inspired by the examples of Drake and Anson, who made great
profit by gallant feats of arms; he purposed to enrich himself and his
sailors by plundering the coasts of Peru. San Martin was an American,
and thought only of his great purpose, nothing of its results to
himself. On the 6th May, 1820, San Martin was appointed by the Senate
and by the popular vote, Generalissimo of the expedition.

Still Cochrane insisted, and several times sent in his resignation.
Government was about to appoint Guise to the command of the fleet, as
Spry and many others of the English officers preferred him to Cochrane,
but this was prevented by the intervention of San Martin, and the proud
sailor at last submitted, though with a bad grace, after another
fruitless attempt to supplant San Martin by Freyre. The Chilian
Government was not to be led astray by national susceptibility, and knew
that no Chilian officer could compare with San Martin in military
capacity.

San Martin knew the importance of a thorough understanding between
himself and the Admiral, and went to visit him at Valparaiso, but in
spite of his friendly overtures there was never much cordiality between
them.

The presence of San Martin and his army was not only a great burden to
the Chilian treasury, but it was also a political peril, of which
Government was well aware. Party spirit was only kept in check by the
danger which menaced the country from Peru, and personal ambition would
impel party leaders to seek the aid of so powerful an auxiliary so long
as it was at hand. The Government of Chile in sending off the
expedition, thus performed a deed of heroism which was not only
conducive to their own security as a nation, and was worthy of the
gratitude of America, but was also one that saved the political
situation in their own country.

[Illustration: II.--MAP OF THE VICEROYALTY OF PERU, INCLUDING UPPER
PERU.]



CHAPTER XXV.

PERU.

1820.


Peru was the first of the American colonies in which, at the era of the
Conquest, the spirit of rebellion against the Mother Country broke out.
During the Colonial epoch the mixed races frequently rebelled against
their Spanish masters. At the end of the eighteenth century Tupac-Amarú,
who came of the old royal race of the Incas, made an attempt to restore
the kingdom of his forefathers. But these insurrections had no root in
the soil, they were but the convulsive efforts of a conquered race
reduced to slavery. When they were quelled the country remained at peace
for many long years. Peru, like to one of the tracts of perennial calm
upon the ocean, felt nothing of the currents which ebbed and flowed
around her; she was isolated from the world; the movements which
convulsed America in 1809 and 1810 were hardly felt there. The instinct
of nationality, which is the germ of independence, was not entirely
wanting; but there was no cohesion among the masses of the people, whose
inertness presented a dead weight against the progress of the
revolutionary idea.

Peru was at the Conquest truly an imperial colony, embracing all the
Spanish possessions in South America, from Cape Horn to the Equator. The
word Peru became synonymous with wealth. After the creation of the
Viceroyalties of New Granada and La Plata, that of Peru still stretched
over a vast area, extending 25 degrees south of the Equator, and from
the Pacific to the frontiers of Brazil, while its central position gave
it a paramount influence over all its neighbours.

Lima was the capital of this imperial colony. This city stands not far
from the sea, in a beautiful valley, at the foot of the Western
Cordillera, where rain never falls, and where the thunder is heard to
roll and the lightning is seen to flash but once in a century. A
transparent veil of clouds tempers the fiery rays of the sun, while the
moist southern breeze imparts a softness to the atmosphere which has its
reflex in the temperament of the people.

Lima rivalled Mexico in wealth, and was the seat of a viceregal court,
with its privileges, its pomps, and its enervating vices. It was also
surrounded with walls, and Callao, with its castles and batteries, was
but the port of the great city. She had also an official Church, a
corrupt clergy, and an inquisition, the only one which had burnt
heretics in America. Three-fifths of her population, like to that of
ancient Rome, was composed of slaves, freedmen, and tributary Indians,
with a passion for bullfights they had learnt from the Spaniards, and
for chicha,[15] which they inherited from the Incas. Her women were
celebrated for beauty and grace, and she was the natal city of the
patron saint of America, Santa Rosa de Lima, among whose relics are
shown the dice with which she played with her Divine spouse.

Situate in the tropic of Capricorn Peru has every climate known in the
world, ranging from the torrid zone at the sea level to the eternal snow
of her Cordillera. The Creoles of Peru were by nature intelligent, and
cultivated science and the arts. They had also a literature of their
own. The _Mercurio Peruano_, published in the eighteenth century, was
the first periodical printed in South America. The University of Lima
was as famous in America as that of Salamanca in Spain; the skill of her
physicians was renowned all over the continent. Peru was also the centre
of the Royalist reaction; for ten years she had held the revolution in
check. Thus it was when the emancipating armies from the north and from
the south closed in upon her in the year 1820. She was the Carthage of
San Martin.

At the outbreak of the revolution Peru proper had a population of about
a million and a half, and Upper Peru had nearly half a million. Of these
the indigenous races formed about half, mixed races a fifth, negro
slaves about fifty thousand, and Spaniards hardly a seventh, the
remainder being Creoles, the descendants of Europeans born in America.
The North and the South of Peru were two separate countries, which
looked with jealousy one on the other, even for many years after they
became one nation. The highlands of the interior and the lowlands of the
coast were also two entirely different regions. The inhabitants of the
lowlands were enervated by the climate, but the mixed races which
inhabited the hills were very athletic, and made excellent infantry.

Spaniards and Creoles dwelt in cities on the coast, or in fertile
valleys among the mountains. The indigenous races, who were serfs, were
almost entirely confined to the hills; the mixed races and free negroes
formed the working classes of the cities; the farms were cultivated by
African slaves. The Peruvians were thus a people who had no cohesion
among them, and were easily dominated by the powerful military clique
which ruled the colony, while their passive inertness was a formidable
barrier to the spread of revolutionary ideas among them.

In 1810 General Abascal was Viceroy of Peru; he was already old, but was
possessed of great talents, both political and military. He was one in
whom prudence was blended with decision and with perseverance. The
flames of insurrection blazed around him, but he showed a bold front to
the storm, and made Peru the citadel of the colonial power. If it had
been possible to conquer the revolution he would have conquered it; as
it was he greatly retarded its progress.

To counteract the contagion of the revolutionary spirit, he inspired the
Peruvians with a spirit of devoted loyalty to the mother country, and to
her exiled King. On the basis of the few Spanish troops he had with him,
he raised a native army, recruited in the Highlands and officered by
Peruvians. Their own generals led them to victory, till the struggle,
from being a revolt against the domination of Spain assumed the aspect
of a civil war, in which Americans fought against Americans in defence
of American ideas.

Thus Abascal quelled the rebellion in Quito, stemmed the tide of
Argentine invasion, and reconquered Chile. He was then reinforced by
troops from Spain, led by generals who had proved their skill in the War
of the Peninsula. The revolution was crushed wherever it had broken out,
save only in the United Provinces and in a part of Venezuela. In 1817
the passage of the Andes by San Martin put a stop to his success.
Chacabuco and Maipó turned the tide of victory against him, and the
Royalist reaction was shut up in the Highlands of Peru, where the
principle of loyalty to the flag of Spain had taken deep root in the
hearts of the people.

Meantime Abascal had retired from the scene, full of years and of glory,
and left Pezuela, the hero of Upper Peru, as Viceroy in his place. In
1816 General José de La Serna had arrived from Spain with
reinforcements, and with a commission as General-in-Chief of the armies
of Upper Peru. He was an experienced soldier, but was characterized by a
moderation which made him at times irresolute. In politics he professed
Liberal principles, and soon acquired a great ascendency over the army,
introducing a new influence which later on had very important effects.

Although Peru was the centre of the Royalist reaction, nevertheless the
American sentiment of independence was still latent within her, but the
want of cohesion among the various races which formed her people
rendered her helpless to work out her own destiny. All nations have
passed through these periods of impotence. Chile and New Granada, under
much better conditions, would never have redeemed themselves without
Argentine and Columbian intervention.

The revolutionary movements of the year 1809 found an echo in Lima, and
a young lawyer named Mateo Silva fell a victim to his patriotic ardour,
dying in the casemates of Callao, after six years of imprisonment. In
1810 another conspiracy was discovered, and was also crushed; but the
progress of Liberal opinion in Spain had its effect in Peru. From the
mother country came liberty of the press in 1811, and in 1812 the
establishment of Cabildos was decreed by the Regency of Spain, when
Peruvians for the first time made use of the right of election. But when
the Spanish Constitution fell in 1814, liberty of speech fell with it in
the capital of Peru.

In 1811, 1812, and 1813, various insurrectionary movements, fomented by
Argentine emissaries, broke out in Upper Peru, but were promptly crushed
with great severity. In 1814 a much more formidable insurrection broke
out in Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas, in which the clergy took
a prominent part. In August a Junta was formed under the auspices of the
Cabildos, General Pumacahua, a pure Indian, being named President, and
José Angulo Captain-General. The new Government erected two gibbets in
the principal square as a sign of their authority, devised a flag,
raised an army, cast small cannon, and despatched emissaries to enter
into alliance with the Argentine Provinces. Their first operations were
crowned with success. Arequipa fell into their hands, and an expedition
to the east captured the city of La Paz; but their hordes of half-naked
Indians, armed with pikes and slings, were totally routed in two
battles with great slaughter by troops from Lima, supported by militia.
General Ramirez, being detached from the army of operations in Salta
with 1,200 men and four guns, speedily retook La Paz and Arequipa, and
in March, 1815, marched against the insurgents under Pumacahua, 20,000
strong with thirty-seven guns, cut them to pieces, and put an end to the
insurrection. The head of Pumacahua was stuck on a post in the great
square of Cuzco. Angulo and other leaders were shot.

From that time the Patriots of Peru thought no more of achieving liberty
by their own efforts, but they continued their propaganda among the
people by means of secret societies, which had their head-quarters in
Lima. In 1817 these societies opened communication with San Martin, who
responded to their overtures by sending Torres on a special mission to
Lima, as is recorded in Chapter XVII. Torres in his secret interview
received very valuable information from the Patriot leaders concerning
the plans of the Viceroy and the forces at his disposal, and concerted
with them the means of regular communication. The subsequent appearance
of the Chilian squadron on the coast, and the proclamations of
O’Higgins, San Martin, and Cochrane, greatly raised their hopes, and
information furnished by them was of great service to the admiral in his
operations. He was accompanied by Alvarez Jonte, who acted as
intermediary between him and the Patriots of Peru, and was the bearer of
special instructions to them from San Martin, who directed them to make
no insurrectionary movement until he was in a position to support them,
when local outbreaks might be of service in distracting the attention of
the enemy.

San Martin also sent off to Peru three young officers of his, who were
Peruvians by birth, one of whom betrayed his trust, and caused the
arrest of several of the Patriots; but the other two fulfilled their
mission with great skill, so that even in the army the revolutionary
spirit made great progress. Colonel Gamarra, who was in command of
troops drawn from Upper Peru, was discovered to have secret
correspondence with Belgrano, but the Viceroy dared not prosecute him
from fear of arousing a mutiny among his men.

Pezuela was fully alive to the dangers of his position, and wrote
earnestly to Spain for support. At the same time he instructed his
successor in command of the Army of Upper Peru, to advance into
Argentine territory. La Serna was driven back by Martin Güemes and his
gauchos, but in this campaign saw such evidence of the superior quality
of his troops that he thought it necessary to take precautions against
possible disloyalty among them. He accordingly put an end to their
independent organization, and drafted them into his Spanish regiments, a
measure which was eventually productive of great evil to the Royalist
cause.

The American officers were all staunch Royalists, but the Spanish
officers were more or less infected with the new ideas. Thus, the
_morale_ of the Army of Upper Peru became greatly deteriorated. A part
of it was soon after withdrawn to Lower Peru to reinforce the army
there, in preparation for meeting the threatened invasion from Chile,
upon which La Serna, alleging that he held his commission direct from
the King, and had the right to dispose of his troops as he chose, threw
up his command. Olañeta, a Peruvian and an ardent Royalist, was
appointed to succeed him, and La Serna retired to Lima.

The Royalist army was at this time led by many distinguished officers,
among them being Camba, the historian, and Valdés, who was held by
Americans to be the most skilful and the most noble of all their
adversaries. The army which held Lima was more than 8,000 strong, that
of Upper Peru was more than 7,000. The total force, including detached
garrisons, consisted of 23,000 men, against whom San Martin matched
himself with 4,000 men in the last struggle for the independence of
America.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE EXPEDITION TO PERU.

1820.


From Valparaiso, on the 22nd July, 1820, when on the eve of sailing on
his daring enterprise, San Martin addressed a proclamation to his
fellow-countrymen in justification of his refusal to enter into their
civil discords, showing how the intervention of his army could only have
added to their miseries, prophesying that when tired of anarchy they
would seek refuge in oppression, and concluding:--

“Whatever be my lot in the campaign of Peru, I shall prove that ever
since I returned to my native land her independence has occupied my
every thought, and that I have never had other ambition than to merit
the hatred of the ungrateful and the esteem of the virtuous.”

Later on he wrote to the Cabildo of Buenos Ayres, announcing the
departure of the expedition, and declaring that:--

“From the moment a central authority is established the Army of the
Andes will hold itself subject to its orders.”

The expedition took the name of “The Liberating Army of Peru.” It
consisted of six battalions of infantry and two regiments of cavalry, in
all 4,430 officers and men, of which more than half belonged to the Army
of the Andes, with thirty-one guns, two howitzers, and two mortars, and
also spare arms and equipment for 15,000 men. General Las Heras was
chief of the staff, having with him Arenales and Luzuriaga; Guido also
went with his friend the general-in-chief as aide-de-camp, with the rank
of colonel.

The squadron consisted of eight ships-of-war, mounting 247 guns,
victualled for six months, and carrying 1,600 seamen and marines, of
whom 600 were foreigners, chiefly English; also of sixteen transports,
with four months’ provisions for the troops, and eleven gunboats. The
military chest contained 180,392 dollars in coin and in letters of
credit.

On the 20th August the expedition sailed from Valparaiso, Cochrane
leading the way in the _O’Higgins_, San Martin and his staff bringing up
the rear in the _San Martin_. The Chilian Congress had drawn up most
implicit instructions for San Martin for the regulation of his policy in
establishing an independent Government in Peru. O’Higgins had issued a
proclamation to the Peruvian people, telling them that the object of the
expedition was simply to liberate them from Spanish domination, and that
they should be perfectly free to adopt any form of government they
thought best; he knew also that in the face of a foe greatly superior in
strength no general could afford to tie himself down to one fixed line
of conduct; he therefore never delivered these instructions to San
Martin, but left him perfectly free to carry out his own plan as he
might deem it best. To Cochrane his instructions were very explicit,
absolute obedience in everything to the orders of the commander-in-chief.

San Martin had thought of landing in the south of Peru, and effecting a
junction with Belgrano; recent events rendered this impossible. His
object now was to avoid coming into contact with the Royalist forces and
to prevent their concentration, while he won over the people to act in
concert with him, and arranged a combined plan of action with Bolívar,
who was now master of New Granada. With these ends in view he effected
a landing at Pisco, after a pleasant voyage of eighteen days, with the
idea of drawing the attention of the enemy to the south and away from
the real base of his operations, which he purposed establishing in the
northernmost province of Trujillo. Cochrane tried in vain to persuade
him to land near to Callao and march at once upon Lima.

The beach of Pisco is a long stretch of sand, lying at the foot of the
Cordillera, about 160 miles south of Lima. In it the sea has cut out the
bay of Paracas, seven miles to the north of which stands the town of
Pisco, close to fertile valleys running up between spurs from the great
mountain range.

The first division, under Las Heras, disembarked in the bay on the 8th
September, and the same evening occupied the town without resistance. On
the 13th the whole army was on shore and encamped in the valley of
Chincha, while scouting parties scoured the country.

The Viceroy had scattered his forces all along the coast from Guayaquil
to Arica. A detachment of 500 infantry, 100 horse, and two guns, under
Colonel Quimper, was stationed at Pisco, but fled precipitately when the
squadron anchored in the bay.

On landing San Martin issued a proclamation to his army:--

“Remember that you are come, not to conquer but to liberate a people;
the Peruvians are our brothers.”

He denounced the most severe penalties on any found plundering or
maltreating the inhabitants, and also issued a proclamation to the
Peruvians, telling them that the new constitution established in Spain
had in no way changed her colonial system:--

“_The last Viceroy of Peru_ endeavours to maintain his decrepid
authority. I come to put an end to this epoch of sorrow and
humiliation.”

The invaders drew plentiful supplies from the surrounding country,
mounted their cavalry and recruited their infantry with 600 slaves,
giving freedom to all who would join their ranks.

Pezuela, very much against his will but in obedience to orders received
from the Home Government, was at this time preparing for the public
swearing of the new constitution, when, on the 11th September, he
received news of the landing at Pisco. He at once sent a squadron of
militia to reinforce Quimper, and stationed Colonel Camba with 2,000
horse on the high road from Lima to Pisco, and, in accordance with his
instructions, proposed peace to San Martin, on condition that Chile
should send representatives to the Spanish Cortes to arrange their
differences. Similar proposals he also sent off to the United Provinces.
By this measure he recognised Chile and the United Provinces as
belligerent powers, but without directly acknowledging their
independence.

San Martin appointed Guido and Garcia del Rio commissioners to treat
with those of the Viceroy, who were the Count Villar de Fuente and
Captain Capaz, late commander of the _Maria Isabel_. These commissioners
met at the town of Miraflores, seven miles from Lima, and at once
arranged an armistice.

The Chilian commissioners declined to accept the Spanish Constitution,
and rejected the proposal to send Chilian deputies to the Cortes, on
which the Royalist commissioners proposed that the invading army should
return to Chile, and that everything should remain in _statu quo_,
whilst Chilian representatives went to Spain and there arranged matters
with the Home Government. The others acceded to the proposition that
Chile should send representatives to Spain, but proposed that the army
should occupy the provinces of Potosí, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and La
Paz, considered to be the Argentine section of Upper Peru; that the
Spanish garrison of Chiloe should be included in the armistice; and that
in case Bolívar should conclude a similar armistice with Morillo, the
Viceroy of Peru should not reinforce the garrison of Quito.

Neither party would consent to any modification of the terms proposed by
them, so the conference came to an end on the 1st October. In a private
interview with the Viceroy the Chilian commissioners had insisted upon
the independence of Peru as a preliminary step to any arrangement, but
had expressed their willingness to accept a Prince of the Royal House of
Spain as monarch of Spanish America.

The Viceroy and his commissioners threw the blame of the rupture of the
negotiations upon San Martin, which accusation he answered in a
dignified address to the Peruvian people.

The armistice came to an end on the 5th October, and on the same day
Arenales left the encampment in the valley of Chincha, at the head of a
strong detachment of the Patriot army, for the Highlands, while San
Martin masked the movement by manœuvring with the rest of his army on
the road to Lima.

On the 24th October, San Martin issued a decree establishing the flag
and escutcheon of the new Republic of Peru, the flag white and scarlet,
the escutcheon a sun rising over mountains with a tranquil sea at their
feet. On the following day he re-embarked his army and sailed off for
the North, apparently leaving Arenales behind him, but in reality going
off to meet him.

Cochrane in his Memoirs severely criticises the disembarkation and delay
at Pisco, but Camba, who was better able to judge, speaks of this
measure as the first step in the destruction of the military power of
Peru. The same opinion was expressed by Pezuela in his report to
Government. Cochrane seems to have been anxious only to conquer the
country; the object of San Martin was to revolutionize it by winning the
confidence of the Peruvian people, and so securing their concurrence in
founding a republic of their own, which concurrence as yet only a
minority of them were prepared to give.



CHAPTER XXVII.

THE OPENING OF THE CAMPAIGN.

1820--1821.


The Generalissimo of the Liberating Army of Peru had two campaigns
before him--one military, of which he carried the plans in his own head;
the other political, the secret ramifications of which were in his own
hands. The first described a circle, one half of which was drawn along
the coast by the keels of Cochrane’s ships; the other half was drawn
through the Highlands of Peru by the feet of the flying column under
Arenales. These two halves separated at Pisco to reunite in the north,
enclosing Lima between them.

The second was more complicated. The idea was to raise into activity the
moral force of public opinion, stirring up a spirit of insurrection
among the Peruvian people, without the aid of which his military force
was inadequate to the task before it. From Pisco he flooded the country
with proclamations, and organized secret agencies in Lima and throughout
the interior.

On the 29th October the squadron sighted the island of San Lorenzo, and,
passing it, entered the Bay of Callao, sailing in regular order beyond
the range of the batteries, a glorious pageant. The ships of war came
first, with their crews at quarters and the guns run out. Then came the
long line of transports, their decks crowded with troops in all the
varied uniforms of the Liberating Army, including those of the division
left behind under Arenales. The walls of the city and the heights behind
were crowded with spectators. One of these spectators, who has described
the scene, says: “The Liberating expedition and the capital of Peru were
on mutual exhibition.”

A part of the squadron remained to blockade Callao, the rest, with the
transports, sailed on to the Bay of Ancon, twenty-two miles to the north
of Lima. Two hundred infantry and forty of the grenadiers, under Captain
Brandzen, landed, under command of Major Reyes, a Peruvian, with the
object of occupying the village of Chancay, and collecting horses and
provisions.

The Royalist army, encamped at Asnapuquio, six miles from Lima, sent
against them a column of 600 men, under Colonel Valdés, upon which Reyes
retired. Brandzen, who brought up the rear with his forty horsemen,
turned upon the enemy as they passed a narrow defile, and charged with
such impetuosity that he drove their cavalry back in confusion upon the
infantry, and gained time for Reyes to make good his retreat with all
the cattle he had collected.

Meantime two important events had occurred. Guayaquil had pronounced in
favour of the Revolution, and Cochrane had cut out the frigate
_Esmeralda_ from under the guns of Callac.

The province of Guayaquil, once a dependency of Peru, now formed part of
the Viceroyalty of New Granada, being attached to the district governed
by the Captain-General of Quito, but from the exigencies of the moment
was for a time again under the rule of the Viceroy of Peru. The port of
Guayaquil was the arsenal of Spain on the Pacific, and, Callao being
blockaded, was now the last refuge of the navy dispersed by Cochrane,
and was garrisoned by a strong battalion of Spanish infantry.

Quito had remained quiet since the outbreak of 1809, but the advance of
Bolívar on the north, the invasion of Peru by San Martin, and the
victories of Cochrane on the Pacific, aroused a dangerous excitement
among the people. On the 9th October a part of the garrison of Guayaquil
rose in arms, and was supported by the people. The Province joined the
movement, declared itself independent, appointed a Junta, and placed
itself under the protection of San Martin and Bolívar. Melchor Aymerich,
an experienced officer, was at this time Captain-General of Quito, and
had 5,000 men under his command, exclusive of the garrison of Guayaquil.

The active spirit of Cochrane found nothing more to do upon the ocean.
The Spanish fleet was reduced to three frigates, the _Prueba_, the
_Venganza_, and the _Esmeralda_. The two first, after bringing from the
southern ports a division of the army of Upper Peru, had taken refuge at
Guayaquil. Cochrane boldly determined to capture the other frigate by
cutting her and some smaller vessels out from under the fire of the 250
guns mounted on the batteries of Callao, a feat which would increase his
renown, and might induce San Martin to adopt more active operations
against Lima, for the Admiral had no sympathy for his dilatory
proceedings. He informed San Martin of his intention, and the
Generalissimo accepted the idea with enthusiasm.

Anchored near to the _Esmeralda_ were the corvette _Sebastiana_, two
brigs, two schooners, and three armed merchant vessels, within a
semicircular line of twenty gunboats, all shut in by a boom, through
which there was only one narrow entrance. Cochrane asked for volunteers.
The whole of his crews offered themselves. From them he selected 160
seamen and 80 marines. Three days he employed in preparing fourteen
boats, and in instructing the men. On the night of the 4th November the
flotilla assembled alongside the flag-ship, under lee of the island of
San Lorenzo, where they could not be seen from shore. On the 5th the
three other vessels of the blockading squadron were sent for a cruise
outside. The Spaniards, thinking the blockade was raised, celebrated the
occasion by a banquet on the _Esmeralda_. After sundown, amid complete
silence, an address from the Admiral was passed round the boats:--

“The moment of glory is approaching. I hope that the Chilians will fight
as they have been accustomed to do, and that the English will act as
they have ever done at home and abroad.”

Men and officers were all dressed in white, Cochrane himself wearing a
blue band round his arm. At half-past ten the fourteen boats pulled with
muffled oars silently away in two parallel lines, one led by Captain
Crosbie, the other by Captain Guise. Cochrane went himself in another
boat ahead of the rest. The British frigate _Hyperion_, and the United
States frigate _Macedonia_, lay at anchor outside the boom. As the boats
passed by the latter ship, her officers, in low voices, wished the crews
good luck; but an officer of the _Hyperion_, who shouted “Hurrah!” as he
saw them, was put under arrest, for Cochrane was not popular with the
commanders of British ships, whatever sympathies he might have among the
men. The last boat of the flotilla remained alongside the _Macedonia_,
and Cochrane, knowing nothing of the desertion, went on, followed by
only thirteen boats.

It was very dark when at midnight they reached the passage through the
boom. It was guarded by a gunboat. Cochrane, pistol in hand, sprang on
board, threatening instant death to any man who spoke. The crew
surrendered, and the boats rowed on unperceived straight for the
_Esmeralda_, where Captain Coig and his officers, after their banquet,
were playing cards in the cabin. Cochrane, leaping into the chains, was
the first on board, but was knocked back into the boat by the sentry on
the poop. In a moment he was up again, followed by his crew. The sentry
fired, but was immediately cut down.

“Up, my lads! she’s ours!” shouted Cochrane to the other boats, and then
hailed the tops, which were already occupied by men previously told off
for the purpose. The sails of the ship were at his orders, but the deck
was yet held by the Spanish marines, who had seized their arms on
hearing the shot fired by the sentry.

Cochrane, with the boats led by Crosbie, had boarded on the starboard
quarter; now Guise and his division boarded on the port side. The two
parties met on the quarter-deck, Guise and Cochrane shaking hands in the
enthusiasm of the moment. From the forecastle the marines opened fire
upon them. Cochrane was shot through the thigh. Seating himself on a
gun, he bound up the wound with his handkerchief, and ordered a charge
on the enemy. Twice the assailants were beaten back, and Guise was
wounded; but again he led on the boarders, and the crew of the
_Esmeralda_ were either forced overboard or driven below the hatches.

The alarm-gun roared from the castle of Real Felipe; a gunboat opened
fire on the frigate, by which Captain Coig was severely wounded, and one
Chilian and two English seamen were killed. The other ships beat to
quarters. Guise, who was now in command, saw the imprudence of
attempting any further captures. He ordered the cables to be cut, the
sails were set, and the _Esmeralda_ sailed away in the hands of her
captors. The ships and the shore batteries opened a heavy fire upon her.
Some of the shot passing over the _Hyperion_ and _Macedonia_, these
vessels hung out distinguishing lights. This contingency Cochrane had
foreseen. Immediately similar lights were displayed on the _Esmeralda_,
and at half-past two she anchored off the island of San Lorenzo. The
boats followed her with two gunboats in tow which they captured as she
sailed off.

The loss of the expedition was eleven killed and thirty wounded. The
Spaniards lost about 160 men killed or drowned, and 200 prisoners.

The Royalists on shore accused the neutral ships of complicity in this
shameful defeat, more especially the men of the _Macedonia_, whose
sympathy for the cause of South American Independence was well known.
Next day, when one of her boats was sent ashore as usual for
provisions, the crew was barbarously massacred by the infuriated
populace.

Cochrane sent a flag of truce on shore proposing an exchange of
prisoners, to which the Viceroy acceded. About 200 Chilians and
Argentines, who had languished for years in the casemates of Callao,
thus recovered their liberty.

The _Esmeralda_ was renamed the _Valdivia_, in honour of Cochrane’s
victory of the year before.

The moral effects of the capture of the _Esmeralda_ were very great, but
from a political point of view the revolution in Guayaquil was of yet
more importance. Still San Martin turned a deaf ear to the counsels of
Cochrane, who advised an immediate advance upon Lima, and on the 9th the
convoy weighed anchor at Ancon, and sailed to the port of Huacho, which
lies ninety miles to the north of Callao. On the 10th the disembarkation
commenced, and D’Albe, the French engineer, threw up three redoubts to
secure the place. He also improvised a mole to facilitate communication
with the squadron.

The army marched inland, and on the 17th encamped in the beautiful
valley of Huara, which is well watered, and abounds in trees, and was
reputed healthy; but fevers are endemical along the coast in the summer,
and dysentery in the autumn.

This valley is seven miles broad by fifty-two miles in length, and is
intersected by a river of the same name which flows from the Cordillera
to the sea. This river is fordable at several points, but offers many
strong positions for defence against superior forces, of which San
Martin took advantage, and established himself solidly on its bank,
ready to act either on the defensive or on the offensive, as occasion
might require. In his front stretched a sandy desert, while one of his
flanks rested on Huacho, and the other on the Sierra. In this position
he held Lima in check, cut off all communication between the northern
provinces and the capital, could either advance or retreat at his
pleasure, and was ready to effect a junction with Arenales when he
should make his appearance.

Pezuela occupied the entrenched camp at Asnapuquio with nearly 7,000
men. He had sent off a small division against Arenales, and now threw
out a vanguard of about 2,000 men to keep watch over the movements of
San Martin. With this vanguard was the battalion of Numancia, the men of
which were for the most part natives of Venezuela, and the officers were
all Americans. The emissaries of San Martin had been actively at work
with this battalion, and both officers and men now only waited for an
opportunity to join the army of the Patriots. San Martin determined to
give them this opportunity.

The cavalry being now well mounted, he detached Alvarado with 700 horse
against the enemy’s vanguard. Alvarado marched away along the coast on
the 24th November, sending Lieutenant Pringles in advance with eighteen
grenadiers, as escort to a messenger who carried a missive to inform the
disaffected regiment of the approach of the Patriot cavalry, and was
charged to concert measures with them for their evasion. Pringles had
strict orders not to fight on any account, but, after marching all
night, he found himself at daybreak on the 27th close to the entire
vanguard. In front was an advance party consisting of a squadron of
dragoons led by Valdés. Upon them he charged impetuously with his
eighteen men, but was beaten back. Finding his retreat cut off by
another squadron, he attempted to cut his way through it, but lost three
men killed and eleven wounded. Seeing escape was impossible, he then
plunged into the sea with such of his men as could follow him, but, when
Valdés galloped forward promising quarter, he surrendered.

The fifteen prisoners were paraded in triumph through the streets of
Lima, where the account of this skirmish excited great enthusiasm. They
were afterwards exchanged, and Pringles was tried by court-martial. He
was censured for disobedience to orders, but both he and his companions
received a badge of honour bearing the words, “Glory to the vanquished
in Chancay.”

The skirmish with Pringles disclosed to Valdés the proximity of the
Patriot cavalry, on which he retired from the coast into the valley of
Chancay, placing the Numancia battalion on guard in the pass. Alvarado
found his way into the valley by another pass; but his men and horses
were so fatigued by the rapid march that he was forced to withdraw to a
neighbouring farm in search of rest and forage. On the 1st December he
again came up with the enemy, who retreated through a rugged defile, the
Numancia battalion being left seven miles to the rear of the main body.
On the 3rd this battalion took advantage of its position to join the
Patriot column unmolested, a welcome contingent of 650 bayonets.

San Martin declared that “the battalion belongs to the army of Columbia,
but shall remain incorporated with the army of Peru till the close of
the war.” He showed his confidence in his new troops by confiding the
flag of the Liberating army to their care.

These events encouraged the spirit of insurrection throughout Peru,
which extended even into the ranks of the army. Hardly a day passed
without some desertions being reported. On the 8th December thirty-eight
officers and a cadet fled from Lima, and the leaders began to lose
confidence in each other. Some of the principal citizens of Lima
presented an address to the Viceroy, urging upon him the necessity of an
honourable capitulation with San Martin. He was generally blamed for the
untoward progress of the war, but was, in reality, powerless, his
authority being undermined by a conspiracy which existed in the army to
supplant him by La Serna.

On the 29th November San Martin drove the Royalists out of the populous
department of Huaylas, which lay in his rear. The people, to the number
of 70,000, swore the independence of Peru, immediately after which the
whole of the Northern Provinces pronounced spontaneously in favour of
the Revolution.

These were the producing provinces of Peru, and the chief source of the
wealth of the Viceroyalty. They were almost entirely included in the
Intendency of Trujillo, and had a mixed population of some 300,000
souls.

A Peruvian general, known as the Marquis of Torre-Tagle, was at that
time Governor of Trujillo, and had been in secret correspondence with
San Martin since he landed at Pisco. On the 24th December Torre-Tagle
convened an open Cabildo at Trujillo, when, after showing the
hopelessness of resistance to the superior force of San Martin, he
advised submission. The Royalists, headed by the Bishop, stoutly opposed
the proposition. He answered their arguments by shutting them up in
prison, and on the 29th raised the banner invented at Pisco, and, with
the mass of the people, swore to maintain the independence of Peru. In
memory of this event, Trujillo bears to this day the name of
“Departamento de la Libertad.”

Torre-Tagle then called upon the city of Piura to join the movement.
This city was garrisoned by a Royalist battalion, and the people were
unarmed; but the attitude of the Patriot leaders was so determined that
the soldiery disbanded. In this way the whole of the North of Peru, from
Chancay to Guayaquil, fell into the hands of the Patriots, and San
Martin secured a safe base of operations, from which he could draw
supplies and horses, and which gave him at once a reinforcement of 430
infantry and 200 cavalry.

On the 5th January, 1821, San Martin advanced with his whole army to
Retes, seeking a junction with Arenales. La Serna, who was now in
command of the Royalist army, with Canterac as chief of the staff,
immediately prepared to attack him in a most disadvantageous position,
but lost so many days in these preparations in consequence of the
inefficient state of the army, that the friends of San Martin in Lima
had time to advise him of his danger. Meantime he was joined by
Arenales, and at once retired to his former position in the valley of
Huara. The opportunity thus lost greatly increased the unpopularity of
the Viceroy with the army. The effects of the blockade of Callao by
Cochrane began now to be severely felt in Lima, and were greatly
aggravated by the operations of bands of guerillas which San Martin had
organized among the country-people. An Argentine from Salta named
Villar, who had been a prisoner in the casemates of Callao, was the
commander of these guerillas. They infested all the roads leading to the
capital, and frequently destroyed small detached parties of troops or
outposts of the Royalist army.

From Huara San Martin decreed a “Provisional Regulation,” by which the
territory occupied by the Patriots was divided into four departments,
each under a President, who had under him governors of districts, while
a Court of Appeal was established at Trujillo. This was the first
attempt at Constitutional administration in Peru, and prepared the way
for a National Government.

In three months San Martin had achieved success as great as the winning
of a pitched battle could have given him, a result which amply falsifies
the accusations of inactivity or timidity which have been brought
against him, for these successes were gained by an army of 4,000 men
opposed to one of 23,000.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE FIRST CAMPAIGN IN THE HIGHLANDS.

1820--1821.


Peru may be looked upon as a conglomeration of mountains, enclosed
within a sort of triangle, whose base on the third degree of south
latitude measures about eight hundred miles, from which it extends
southward for about fifteen hundred miles to the southern frontier of
Upper Peru on the eighteenth degree of south latitude, where the width
of the triangle is reduced to about sixty miles. This territory
comprises three zones; the coast zone, the highland zone, and the
mountain zone. Along the shores of the Pacific ocean lies a belt of
sand, never more than sixty miles in width, cut by twenty-three rivers,
which flow from the Highlands to the sea through fertile valleys,
separated by deserts of sand-hills, moved to and fro by the winds; on
which sand-hills there is no sign of vegetation, neither are there birds
in the air, nor reptiles on the earth; a far-stretching series of
deserts on which rain never falls. This is the region now in part
occupied by San Martin and his army.

On the east of this “Tierra Caliente” rises abruptly the western range
of the Andes; further still to the east stretches the huge line of the
true Cordillera. Between these ranges there lies in Upper Peru a vast
tableland, but in Lower Peru the intervening space is intersected by
numerous valleys and by the Andine lakes, which are sometimes as much as
16,000 feet above the level of the sea.

Under the Viceroys, Lower Peru was divided into eight “Intendencias”:
the most northern of these was that of Trujillo, which was also the
largest in extent, and by geographical position formed a distinct
country. Those of Lima and Arequipa extended along the coast, those of
Cuzco and Puno lay further inland to the South, bordering upon Upper
Peru; while in the centre lay the Intendencias of Huancavelica,
Huamanga, and Tarma. These three form the Highlands of Peru, and are
intersected in every direction by foaming torrents, passable only by
suspension bridges hanging from cables of raw hide.[16] The only roads
from the coast into this region pass by deep gorges through the coast
range of the Cordillera, and wind round the higher mountains along the
edge of precipices, ever ascending till they reach the tableland lying
between the range and the main Cordillera.

General Arenales had already distinguished himself in mountain warfare,
as is set forth in Chapter V., and was thus selected by San Martin at
Pisco to command the flying column, which was to make its way through
the Highlands and rejoin the main army in the North, which went by sea.
The chief object of this expedition was to spread the revolutionary
propaganda through the interior of the country, but it would also
distract the attention of the enemy, and possibly prevent the
concentration of his forces at Lima.

The column consisted of two battalions of infantry under Major Dehesa
and Colonel Aldunate; one squadron of cavalry under Major Lavalle, and
two guns. Colonel Rojas was chief of the staff. On the night of the 5th
October Arenales marched in a south-easterly direction upon Ica, where
Colonel Quimper was stationed with 800 men. At his approach two
companies of infantry passed over to him, and Quimper hastily retreated
along the coast. He was pursued by Rojas with 250 men, and overtaken at
the village of Nasca. The Patriot cavalry, led by Lavalle, charged at
once, and taking the Royalists by surprise, utterly routed them, with a
loss of 41 killed and 86 prisoners. On the following day, the 16th
October, Lieutenant Suarez, with thirty light horse, captured the
baggage, so that the first force detached from the army of Lima against
the expedition was totally destroyed.

The movements of Arenales were so well masked by the manœuvres of the
main army, that the Viceroy knew nothing of them until the 30th October,
and then allowed several days to pass before he sent off reinforcements
into the menaced district. Thus Arenales ascended the mountain passes
unopposed, and on the 31st October occupied the city of Huamanga, after
a march of 255 miles in ten days. Here he gave his troops some rest, but
sent out detachments under Lavalle and Rojas, who routed several parties
of the enemy very superior in number, and captured the city of Tarma, so
that by the 21st November he was in complete possession of the valley of
Jauja, which is watered by the Rio Grande.

After arming the militia and giving some political organization to the
liberated districts, he marched on Pasco, which O’Reilly had occupied
with a division of 1,000 men, sent from Lima. On the morning of the 6th
December, during a heavy fall of snow, he occupied a hill in front of
the town but separated from it by a small lake and by marshes. O’Reilly
on perceiving him, drew up his men in front of the town, but the Patriot
infantry-led by Aldunate and Dehesa, advanced resolutely under fire of
the artillery, and drove them back into the town at the point of the
bayonet, where they dispersed, while Lavalle, wading through the
marshes, charged the enemy’s cavalry and put them to flight.

The trophies of this smart action were 343 prisoners, including General
O’Reilly and Colonel Santa Cruz, a regimental flag, and two guns; but
the most important effect of the victory was to open the road for
communication with San Martin at Huara.

Arenales had left a strong rear-guard at Ica under two officers named
Bermudez and Aldao, who being attacked by very superior forces, were
compelled to follow the main body up the mountain passes to Huancayo,
and were much harassed on their way by hordes of Indian slingers.

Meantime the Spanish General, Ricafort, who was on the march from
Arequipa to Lima with a detachment of the reserve, heard of the doings
of Arenales and ascended from the coast into the Highlands, where he was
joined by a reinforcement from Cuzco, and having collected 1,300 men
marched upon Huamanga. Here he was met by a horde of Indians, who had
broken out in insurrection, and having got possession of some guns and a
few muskets, opened fire upon him from the high ground in front of their
city. He had no great difficulty in defeating them and gave no quarter.
The fugitives being joined by other parties of insurgents, then occupied
the village of Cangallo with about 4,000 men. Ricafort marched against
them with 400 infantry and 200 horse, and again routed them on the 2nd
December, killing a thousand of them without losing one man. The village
was sacked and burnt.

Ricafort then returned to Huamanga, and then learning that Bermudez and
Aldao had put themselves at the head of the insurgents of Huancayo,
marched against them with his whole force, dispersed the raw Indian
levies, captured the town and sacked it. Aldao, who with a small body of
horse, had greatly distinguished himself in this affair, retired to
Jauja, where, quarrelling with Bermudez, he put himself at the head of
the insurrection in conjunction with Otero, an Argentine, who had been
appointed Governor by the Patriots. Then learning that Arenales had
marched to the coast, he retreated to Reyes, but afterwards hearing that
Ricafort had withdrawn his force from the Highlands and gone to Lima, he
returned, re-occupied Huancayo, and raised an army of 5,000 Indians, to
which he gave some rough sort of military organization.

Arenales rejoined the main army on the 8th January, 1821, after a
triumphant march of 840 miles through the centre of the enemy’s
territory, with a hostile army on each side of him.



CHAPTER XXIX.

THE ARMISTICE OF PUNCHAUCA.

1821.


At the commencement of the year 1821 the Royalist cause appeared
completely lost in Peru. Pezuela, at a council of general officers,
declared, without reserve, “the impossibility of continuing the defence
of the country.”

This speaks highly for the political and military talents of San Martin,
who in four short months had achieved this result. That the Spanish
leaders, abandoned by the mother country, should raise up the fallen
standard of the King, and with resources drawn from the country itself
should maintain the struggle for yet another four years, speaks quite as
highly for their talents and energy.

When Badajoz was besieged by the French in 1811, Colonel Menacho, who
was San Martin’s first chief, was in command of the garrison. He died,
and in a council of war then held, one officer only voted for holding
out. The city surrendered. The following year the Regency, with the
approval of the Cortes, declared that in such a case, “if one officer
voted for resistance, even though he was a subaltern, the garrison
should not capitulate, and the said officer should take the command.”
The leaders of the Spanish forces in Peru maintained that this decision
gave them the right to refuse to surrender. The Liberal ideas brought by
late reinforcements from Spain, while they weakened political authority,
strengthened the power of the military element.

The ill-concerted measures adopted by the Viceroy to meet invasion, the
timid prosecution of the war, and the successes of the Patriots,
deepened the antagonism of the different parties into which the Royalist
camp was divided. The idea of treachery on the part of the Viceroy
became general; it was believed that he contemplated a shameful
capitulation. Before adopting extreme measures, the Liberal leaders,
headed by La Serna and Valdés, prevailed upon Pezuela to create a “Junta
of War,” which worked like a fifth wheel in a coach; and the inactivity
of the Viceroy on the occasion when San Martin advanced to Retes,
precipitated matters. It was resolved to depose him.

On the night of 28th January, 1821, La Serna withdrew from the
encampment at Asnapuquio. The next day Canterac and Valdés paraded the
army, and the officers being convened to a council of war, summoned the
Viceroy to lay down the supreme command in four hours, “as the only
means of preventing disturbances and preserving Peru to Spain.” Pezuela
resigned, and the power fell into the hands of the Spanish
Constitutionalists, who were thus forced, in defence of the rights of
the mother country, to fight in the cause of an absolute King, against
their own principles as upheld by the Patriots of America.

The first act of La Serna, now Viceroy, was to invite San Martin to send
Commissioners to a conference, for the purpose of putting an end to the
disputes between Spaniards and Americans. San Martin joyfully acceded,
and named Guido and Alvarado representatives of the Patriot cause. La
Serna on his side appointed Colonels Valdés and Loriga.

The Commissioners met at a farm-house near Retes, when the Spanish
officers presented a modification of the proposals of Miraflores, on the
basis of the acceptance of the Spanish Constitution. The others declined
to negotiate on any other basis than the recognition of the independence
of Peru.

Alvarado then asked Loriga to walk out with him, leaving the other two
to discuss the question. The Spanish officer accepted the invitation,
and during their promenade informed Alvarado that they thought of
abandoning Lima and retiring to the more healthy Highlands, where, with
abundant supplies at command, they could easily beat off any attack of
the Patriots. This information was the only immediate result of the
conference, but it gave rise to further negotiations, on the basis of
the establishment of an independent monarchy in Peru.

The change of Viceroys in no way improved the position of the Royalists;
on the contrary, fresh disasters befell the army of Lima, and the new
general fell into the same errors as his predecessor. The scarcity of
provisions became worse in the city, and yellow fever broke out in the
army, while the arrival of a royal commissioner from Spain prevented La
Serna from taking any decided step.

The condition of the Patriot army at Huara was not much better. It also
suffered greatly from fever, so that barely a thousand men were fit for
service. San Martin himself fell ill, but his guerillas cut off supplies
from Lima, and expeditions along the coast or into the Highlands kept
the enemy in continual alarm.

On the 25th March the envoy from the new Government of Spain, a naval
officer named Abreu, arrived at Huara, where he was well received. Four
days he remained there, holding long conversations with San Martin, for
whom he conceived a great admiration. At his instigation La Serna
attempted to negotiate privately with San Martin, but San Martin replied
that he would listen to nothing which was not proposed officially, and
about the same time sent a column of his sickly troops, commanded by
Miller, to act under Cochrane’s orders against Callao, and another under
Arenales into the Highlands. Then leaving a strong rear-guard in charge
of the hospitals and park at Huara, he embarked the rest of his troops
in transports, and dropped down the coast to Ancon, whence his cavalry,
aided by guerillas, scoured the country, and shut up the Royalists
within a small triangle formed by the encampment at Asnapuquio, Lima,
and Callao, and there awaited the opening of a formal negotiation.

After the Liberal movement in Spain in 1820 the revolusionists of South
America were no longer spoken of as rebels or insurgents, but were
recognized by the Home Government as belligerents, and were now invited
by King Ferdinand, by a proclamation, to treat for peace with their
brethren of the old country, “as their equals,” but they were offered
only the Constitution of 1812, which they had already rejected by
declaring themselves independent, and were threatened with forcible
compulsion in case of refusal. This olive-branch of peace, wafted across
the seas, only supplied fresh fuel to the flames of war.

Envoys from Spain bearing this message of peace had reached the northern
part of the continent in December, 1820, during an armistice between
Bolívar and Morillo. They had persuaded Bolívar to send Columbian
commissioners to Spain, but in April, 1821, before anything could be
known as to their prospects of success, hostilities recommenced, and
there were no further attempts at negotiation.

To Mexico also the same message was sent, a message apparently one of
peace and conciliation, which, when looked into, was seen to mean
submission or war, and to which, in Mexico as elsewhere, answer was
given in one formula, independence or war.

When in 1820 the revolution broke out in Spain the revolution in Mexico
was crushed. General Vicente Guerrero, with a handful of men, alone
upheld the flag of insurrection in the rough country to the south. In
Mexico the movement was chiefly the work of the indigenous element of
the population, and assumed the character of a rising of the proletariat
against the superior classes, thus arousing a spirit of resistance in
the country itself, which powerfully aided the efforts of the Royalist
troops for its suppression. But amid this discord of opinions a
sentiment for independence was latent in the hearts of all, so that the
defeat of the insurrection combined with the Liberal movement in Spain
to bring about a pacific evolution.

The proclamation of a Liberal _régime_ in the mother country produced in
Mexico a split among the various parties who had upheld the colonial
system. While Spaniards became Absolutists or Constitutionalists, the
natives became Republicans or Monarchists. Apodaca was at that time
Viceroy. He put himself at the head of a reaction, and is said to have
been incited thereto by the King, who, fearful of the fate of Louis
XVI., proposed withdrawing from Europe to Mexico, there to reign with
absolute power, free from the trammels of a Constitution. This reaction
could not triumph without the aid of the native Monarchists.

Among the Creoles who had served in the Royalist ranks, and had
distinguished himself by cruelties to his own countrymen, was a man
named Agustin Iturbide, then thirty-seven years of age. Unscrupulous in
the pursuit of wealth, of life either dissolute or ascetic as best
served his interests, and with some natural talent, he was possessed by
a secret ambition, in which race-patriotism had a place. His sleep was
broken by envious dreams of the laurels gained by Bolívar and San
Martin, and though lacking the great qualities of either of them, he
aspired to be the liberator of Central America. This was the man
selected by Apodaca to aid his plan of reaction, by leading the natives
to support his policy. He appointed him Commandant-General of the South,
and sent him with a division of native troops to stamp out the embers of
insurrection kept alive by Guerrero. Iturbide soon came to an
understanding with Guerrero and threw off the mask.

On the 24th February, 1820, in the town of Iguala, one hundred and
twenty-seven miles from the city of Mexico, Iturbide published a
document known to history as the “Plan of Iguala.” In it he proclaimed
the independence of Mexico, and at the same time hoisted a flag symbolic
of the new revolution, a tri-colour, white, red, and green; white
signifying religious purity, red signifying friendship with Spain, and
green signifying the hope of emancipation. The plan was in three parts,
from which it took the name of the plan of the “three guarantees,” a
name which was also applied to the army which upheld it. The first part
stipulated the establishment of the Catholic religion to the exclusion
of every other; the second part declared Mexico an independent state,
under a monarchical government tempered by a constitution; the third
part stipulated the union of Americans and Europeans. King Ferdinand was
recognized as Emperor of Mexico, if he would come and swear to the
constitution, and after him his brothers in natural succession; in
default of whom, Congress should name a prince of one of the royal
houses of Europe. Further, the equality of all the races--indigenous,
African, and European--was proclaimed, without other distinction between
them than that given by individual merit or virtue.

The leaders of the insurrection, with Guerrero, abjuring for the moment
their Republican principles, placed themselves under the orders of
Iturbide for the sake of national independence. The Creoles who had
opposed the revolution gave in their adhesion to the new “Plan.” The
clergy adopted it in hatred of the reforms of the Spanish Liberals; the
Spanish Absolutists in hatred of the Constitution; and the
Constitutionalists for the sake of peace. The whole country pronounced
in favour of the “Plan of Iguala.” The Royalists, conquered without
fighting, held only the capital, the port of Vera Cruz, and the fortress
of San Juan de Ulua. In July, 1821, Iturbide was acclaimed Liberator of
the country.

By this means a solution was found for the dilemma--submission, or
independence and war. The bond with the mother country was untied but
was not broken. Thus was it understood by O’Donoju, the successor to
Apodaca, who subscribed to the “Plan of Iguala” by treaty, in August,
1821.

In Brazil, about this time, took place an evolution similar to the plan
proposed by Iturbide, while in Columbia the armistice was broken, and in
Peru negotiations, based on ideas similar to those enunciated in the
“Plan of Iguala,” came to an end.

We have nothing more to do with the history of Mexico. Suffice it that
the Spanish Government rejected the treaty signed by O’Donoju; that
Mexico was lost for ever to Spain; that Iturbide seated himself on the
vacant throne and was crowned Emperor, only to be deposed soon
afterwards and banished. On attempting to recover his dignity he was
shot.

The negotiations initiated confidentially by the Viceroy in Peru were
more formally carried forward by an official invitation from him. La
Serna appointed Don Manuel de Llano y Najera and Don Mariano Galdiano,
both of whom were Americans, as colleagues to Abreu. San Martin
appointed Guido, Garcia del Rio, and José Ignacio de la Rosa, formerly
Governor of San Juan, to represent the Patriots. The farm-house of
Punchauca, fifteen miles from Lima, was made the meeting place of the
Commissioners. Neither party made any preliminary stipulation, both
professed to be anxious for peace and union.

The Royalist Commissioners were instructed to propose the acceptance of
the Spanish Constitution, with some concessions in detail, in accordance
with the spirit of the proclamation of King Ferdinand. Those of the
Patriots were instructed by San Martin to reject the Spanish
Constitution as a bond of union, and to insist upon the recognition of
the independence of Chile, of the Provinces of the River Plate, and of
Peru, without consenting to any armistice, except on this basis. In case
it were proposed that the Patriots should send Commissioners to Spain
to treat of this matter, they were to demand, as a preliminary, the
evacuation of Lima, and were to refuse to enter into any treaty for the
conduct of the war, which had been spoken of, as it had up to then been
carried on in accordance with the law of Nations.

The Royalist Commissioners opened the discussion by presenting a note,
on the 4th May, 1821, stating that in regard to the suggestion made by
San Martin at Miraflores, that independence should be secured by the
establishment of a monarchy with a sovereign from the royal house of
Spain, they had no power to make any such arrangement, and recommended
the adoption of the Spanish Constitution since it was a proof of the
liberal sentiments of the Spanish Government and of their desire for
reconciliation. Further, they proposed an armistice, while commissioners
were sent by both parties to Spain, as had been done by Bolívar in
Columbia. To this the Patriot Commissioners replied, on the day
following, that no negotiations could be entertained except on the basis
of the recognition of independence, but in view of the inability of the
Spanish Commanders to make this recognition, they were willing to
consent to a suspension of arms, with some guarantee, and that they
hoped no further mention would be made of the Spanish Constitution, the
very name being obnoxious to the liberties of the New World.

To this no answer was given, but an armistice of sixteen months was
proposed by the Royalist Commissioners. Then the Patriots demanded that
the fortifications of Callao should be handed over to them intact, as a
guarantee, to be delivered up if hostilities should again break out, and
their note concluded as follows:--

“If Don José de San Martin be determined to achieve the independence of
America by arms or by negotiation, he is no less desirous of uniting
this part of the New World to the mother country by those bonds of
friendship and commerce which would redound to the prosperity of both.”

To the surprise of the Patriot Commissioners themselves, the Viceroy
acceded to the terms of the proposed armistice, only stipulating that he
should withdraw twelve heavy guns from Callao. It then became easy to
arrange the terms of a provisional armistice of twenty days, during
which it was stipulated that La Serna and San Martin, accompanied by
their respective commissioners, should meet on the 23rd May.

Neither party seems to have acted in good faith on this occasion. La
Serna had written, on the 7th April, to his generals in the Highlands,
that he did not believe that the negotiation would lead to any result,
and instructed them to occupy advantageous positions which they might
hold during a possible suspension of hostilities. San Martin afterwards
declared, in a confidential letter to O’Higgins, that the division of
Arenales required a rest after passing through the Highlands, and that
he himself had twelve hundred sick. He knew very well that arrogant
Spain would never admit a recognition of independence which was forced
upon her.

On the 2nd June, the interview between San Martin and La Serna took
place at Punchauca. The two leaders met very cordially, with expressions
of mutual esteem. San Martin proposed the appointment of a regency for
the independent government of Peru, until the arrival of a prince of the
Royal House of Spain; the said regency to consist of La Serna as
President, with two colleagues, one named by the Royalists, the other by
the Patriots, and offered to go himself to Spain as a commissioner to
arrange matters with the Home Government.

Abreu expressed himself warmly in favour of the proposition, and the
Viceroy appeared willing to accept it, but desired to consult the
various corporations of the Viceroyalty before concluding so important
an arrangement, and promised an answer in two days. They then discussed,
informally, the mode in which the troops of both armies should unite in
the public square of Lima to solemnise the declaration of the
independence of Peru. To the interview succeeded a banquet, at which the
most friendly toasts were exchanged.

In all this the policy of San Martin was fundamentally wrong. He had no
authority to make any such proposition. It was not in accordance with
the principles for which he fought, and the applause with which it was
received by the Monarchists of the Holy Alliance, implies its
condemnation by the Republicans of America.

La Serna was more clear-sighted. Instead of consulting the corporations
he consulted his officers, who, without absolutely rejecting the
proposition, declined to accept it immediately, as it was in direct
contravention of their orders, which forbade them to treat on the basis
of colonial independence. On this, La Serna sent Valdés and Camba to
arrange, if possible, with San Martin for a suspension of hostilities,
until he had time to consult the Home Government. On the refusal of San
Martin to listen to this proposal the commissioners again met at
Miraflores, and, as neither party was ready to resume hostilities, the
armistice was prolonged for twelve days, and San Martin consented to
relax the blockade of Lima so as to permit the entrance of supplies
sufficient for the daily wants of the citizens, “as he did not make war
upon the people.” This measure greatly increased the power of the
partisans of the Patriot cause in the capital, and they prevailed upon
the Cabildo to make a representation to the Viceroy in favour of peace,
to which representation he paid no attention, and it produced great
irritation in the army.

At this time San Martin received a visit from Captain Basil Hall, of the
British navy, who, in his Journal, has given a very graphic account of
the policy of the great General.[17]

During the rest of the armistice the Commissioners kept up appearances
by still continuing to meet, while both parties actively prepared for
the resumption of hostilities. La Serna detached Canterac with the most
healthy of his troops, to occupy Huancavelica, thus to be ready to meet
the advance of Arenales into the Highlands. San Martin returned with all
his army to Huacho.

On the 4th July, the armistice having run out, La Serna publicly
announced his determination to abandon Lima, and delegated the supreme
authority to the Marquis of Montemira. He left a garrison of 2,000 men
in the fortifications of Callao, 1,000 sick in the hospitals, and, on
the morning of the 6th, marched off with barely 2,000 men, by the valley
of Cañete.

The city was panic struck. The leading Spaniards fled with their
families to Callao. The women rushed to the monasteries. San Martin
hastened to reassure the people by a letter to the Archbishop, and,
faithful to his declared policy, made no attempt to occupy the city. A
deputation of the inhabitants waited upon him, asking his protection:
whereupon he ordered the guerillas, of whom they were most afraid, to
retire from the neighbourhood, and surrounded the city with a cordon of
regular troops, placing them under the orders of the civil governor.
Still the citizens could not believe that he was acting in good faith
till an order from the Governor to a regiment of cavalry, which had
encamped a mile and a half from the city, to retire to a greater
distance, was at once obeyed, when confidence was restored, and, at the
invitation of the authorities, at sundown on the 9th, a division of the
army entered the city amid the shouts of the populace.

The next day, after sundown, San Martin, accompanied only by an
aide-de-camp, rode quietly through the streets of the city to the palace
of the Viceroys, where the citizens thronged to give him welcome, and
the members of the Cabildo, hurriedly convened, presented him with an
address. He soon wearied of their enthusiastic protestations of regard,
and, remounting his horse at half past ten, he rode out to the village
of Mirones, half-way to Callao, where he had established the
headquarters of his army, as a preliminary step to laying siege to the
fortress.

On the 11th he issued various proclamations to the citizens, and the
royal arms were torn down from over the doors of the public offices, the
escutcheon of Peru being put in their place, with the inscription _Lima
Independiente_.

San Martin also issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of the
liberated departments, calling them to arms, and promising, with their
assistance, to finish the campaign in forty days. But he took no active
measures in furtherance of this project. Apparently he attached too much
importance to the possession of Lima, for, with the exception of
Trujillo, the country had as yet made no effort to second him, and
remained passively watching the course of events.

The Viceroy, with his dispirited army, was allowed to retreat almost
unmolested, though his loss by desertion was very great. Canterac was
already securely established in the Highlands. San Martin here repeated
the mistake he was guilty of after Chacabuco. Again he showed want of
energy in following up a victory. He attached too much importance to the
success which had so far attended his political combinations.



CHAPTER XXX.

THE SECOND CAMPAIGN IN THE HIGHLANDS.

1821.


When Arenales rejoined the main army at Huara, and Ricafort descended by
the mountain passes to Lima, Aldao and his Indian hordes were left in
possession of the greater part of the Highlands, opposed only by a
division under Carratala, who held Huancavelica and Huamanga. Aldao had
given his Indians some sort of organization, styling the cavalry “The
Mounted Grenadiers of Peru,” and the infantry, “The Loyalists of Peru,”
under which names they figured as the two first Peruvian regiments on
the muster roll of the liberating army. San Martin had small faith in
such troops, nevertheless, as a step towards forming a native army, he
appointed Colonel Gamarra, a Peruvian, Commandant-General of the
Highlands, and in February sent him, with a number of officers of all
ranks, to take the command.

About the same time Ricafort returned to Huancavelica, and one of the
first measures of La Serna after he became Viceroy, was to send Valdés
with 1,200 men to support him. The united forces of the Royalists
numbered 2,500 men, but on advancing against Aldao, they found that the
suspension bridges over the Rio Grande had been cut by the Indians.
Nevertheless they found a place at which they could ford the stream and
easily put to flight the raw levies opposed to them.

Before they could reach Gamarra, he had retreated from Jauja and Pasco
with 600 of Aldao’s men, by the pass of Oyuna, where his men dispersed.
Carratala remained watching the pass, while Valdés and Ricafort returned
by Canta to Lima; but were so harassed on the march by Vidal’s
guerillas, that an entire company of light infantry were taken
prisoners, and Ricafort, badly wounded, was carried into Lima on a
stretcher.

It was then that Arenales marched from Huara on his second expedition to
the Highlands. The purpose of this expedition was to hasten the
evacuation of Lima and to occupy such positions as would prevent the
Royalists from re-establishing themselves in the Highlands; then to open
communications at Ica with another expedition, which was sent along the
coast southwards under Miller. For the first of these purposes the
guerillas, guarding the passes from Lima, were instructed to obey all
orders received from Arenales. In case of disaster, Arenales was
instructed to retire on the reserve stationed at Huaylas.

The division of Arenales consisted of 2,200 men, the column under Miller
of 600, thus San Martin was left with about 3,000 sick and convalescent
in front of the Royalist Army of 7,000.

The troops sent with Arenales, worn out by the endemic fevers of the
coast, were more like spectres than men, so that the first movements of
the expedition were very slow. The Cordillera was crossed by the Oyon
Pass on the 6th May. The heights were covered with snow and the cold was
intense. Aldao with the remnants of his division led the van. Pasco was
occupied on the 11th, and Carratala retired precipitately. Tarma and
Jauja were taken on the 20th and 23rd, and Carratala continuing to
retreat, the valley of Huancayo lay open to the Patriots on the 25th.

Arenales now prepared for a vigorous attack upon Carratala, when advice
reached him of the signing of the armistice of Punchauca, which put a
stop to operations for the present, retired to Jauja and employed
himself in reorganizing his force, now swelled by recruiting to over
4,000 men.

Arenales was a peculiar character. Austere and subtile, his military
ideas were as conspicuous for foresight as for audacity, while his every
act was inspired by a sense of justice and duty. He was very strict with
his subordinates, who both feared and respected him. He went about
attended only by an orderly, had only one spare charger and one baggage
mule. He himself saddled and unsaddled his horse, and shod him himself
also. He mended his own boots and uniform, and was so careless of dress
that San Martin at times had his valise replenished for him, unknown to
him. On the march he carried his own provisions in his saddle-bags--a
cheese and a piece of cold beef. San Martin styled him “Mi compañero,”
and was more familiar with him than with any one else. He responded by
exact obedience to orders, but did not scruple to criticise them
whenever he thought proper.

From Jauja Arenales wrote San Martin, earnestly impressing upon him the
advisability of transferring his whole force to the Highlands, leaving
Lima to be watched by the fleet, but at the conclusion of the armistice
he resumed operations by marching against Canterac, who had passed the
Cordillera, when, on the 12th July, he received a despatch from San
Martin, ordering him to retire on Pasco or on Lima, if menaced by the
enemy.

Arenales saw clearly that this movement would entail the destruction of
his division; he had heard of the evacuation of Lima, but knew nothing
of the movements of La Serna. In his perplexity he called a council of
war, at which it was decided to retire to Huancayo.

This movement was the salvation of Canterac, who had lost so heavily on
the march from Lima, that he reached Huancavelica with only 1,500
starving men. La Serna, marching on Jauja, found the passes occupied by
the mountaineers, who rolled great rocks down the mountain slopes upon
his troops, so that, after heavy loss, he was forced to retreat, after
throwing several guns into the river. Then following the route
previously taken by Canterac, he joined him on the 4th August, the
united force numbering barely 4,000 men, of whom many were sick.

At Huancayo Arenales found that Vidal and his guerillas had withdrawn to
Lima, on which he continued his retreat to Jauja. Thence he wrote again
to San Martin, showing him how the occupation of Lima would be as
disastrous to the Patriot as it had been to the Royalist army, but in
obedience to orders continued his retreat, losing hundreds of his new
recruits by desertion.

Again he wrote to San Martin, proposing a new plan of campaign, which
would compensate for the loss of the Highlands. The answer he received
was an order to continue his retreat to Lima.

The division entered the capital in triumph on the day set apart for the
celebration of the Independence of Peru, which by these mistaken
measures was virtually postponed for another four years.



CHAPTER XXXI.

THE EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTH.

1821.


Cochrane, having failed to persuade San Martin to undertake active
operations against Lima, and not content with the rôle imposed upon him
of simply blockading Callao, set his fertile brain to work to devise
some means of capturing these fortifications.

San Martin entered heartily into his plans, and by means of his secret
agents opened communications with some of the subordinate officers of
the fortress, and placed Miller with 550 men under the orders of the
Admiral.

Nails, made in Lima for the purpose, were distributed among the
conspirators, who were to spike the guns when an attack was made on the
northern forts; a part of the garrison was bought over, and false keys
were made to open the gates; but the Viceroy, who seemed to be quite as
well served by his spies as San Martin was by his, took measures to
circumvent these plans, so nothing was attempted.

Cochrane then proposed, with a small force of infantry moved rapidly by
sea from place to place, to wear out the Royalist army by continual
marchings to and fro; and San Martin at last resolved to send an
expedition to the South, to co-operate with the movements of Arenales in
the Highlands. Six hundred picked infantry and eighty horse under
Miller, were placed at the disposal of Cochrane for this purpose.

On the 22nd March Miller and his troops landed at Pisco, and took
possession of the town of Chincha, under protection of the guns of the
_San Martin_, _O’Higgins_, and _Valdivia_, an attack on an advanced
party by Colonel Loriga being beaten off by Captain Videla.

On the same day an insurrectionary movement took place in Cuzco, headed
by Colonel Lavin, an Argentine, formerly an ardent Royalist, but at this
time under arrest in that city on account of an abortive conspiracy at
Arequipa. The insurrection was put down, all the insurgents, including
Lavin, being killed.

Leaving Miller at Chincha, the Admiral then sailed off to Cerro Azul,
but being unable to effect a landing on account of the heavy sea, he
wrote to San Martin again, advising an attack on Lima, and later on
asked for a further reinforcement of infantry for an attack on Cerro
Azul, which was the key to the provinces of the south. San Martin could
spare no more men, whereupon he wrote to O’Higgins, asking for a
contingent which would enable Miller to penetrate into Upper Peru. San
Martin also wrote in support of this suggestion, but the Chilian
Government replied that they could do no more, which was the simple
truth. Meantime the Spaniards at Pisco and their adherents suffered
heavily from forced contributions, to the great discredit of the
expedition.

The Viceroy, on hearing of the landing at Pisco, despatched a division,
under Camba, to watch the movements of the Patriots. Inland from Pisco
lay two beautiful valleys, the Chincha Alta and the Chincha Baja. Camba
encamped in the first of these valleys, while Miller moved up from the
town and encamped in the second. For a month the two parties sat
watching, each the other, nothing doing, then an enemy more to be feared
than either came down on both of them, the endemic fever of the coast,
the tertian ague. Both those beautiful valleys became hospitals, where
officers and men alike lay prostrate. Cochrane’s idea of wearing out the
Royalist army by fruitless marchings to and fro was by no means easy of
accomplishment, yet still he persevered. On the 22nd April the
expedition was re-embarked, Miller being carried on board, while most of
his men were barely able to hold their muskets.

Cochrane then sailed away for Arica, where there was a six-gun battery
and a garrison of 300 men. After a fruitless cannonade, 250 men were
landed higher up the coast in two divisions, one of which, led by
Miller, marched on the city of Tacna; while Major Soler of the
grenadiers marched with the other upon Arica, which is the port of
Tacna. Arica was evacuated by the enemy on his approach, and Soler,
starting in pursuit, captured a string of mules on the road to Lima,
which were laden with 120,000 dollars in specie. Effects to the value of
300,000 dollars, the property of Spaniards resident in Lima, were also
confiscated in the town and shipped on board the _San Martin_.

Miller was received with enthusiasm at Tacna, and was joined by many
volunteers. The garrisons of both the city and the port passed over to
him, and were embodied in a new battalion styled “The Loyalists of
Peru.” Cochrane presented the new corps with a flag, a golden sun on a
blue ground.

One of the volunteers was a Peruvian named Landa, a man of gigantic
stature, and well acquainted with the country, who had served in the
ranks of the Royalists. To the service which he subsequently rendered to
the Patriots much of the success of the expedition may be attributed.
Another of the volunteers was Colonel Portocarrero, also a Peruvian, who
was one of the secret agents of San Martin.

Miller had now 900 men under his orders, of whom 400 were drilled
troops, and determined to enter upon a formal campaign. Rumour had
greatly exaggerated the number of his forces, and all the country about
was in a ferment.

General Ramirez, who was stationed at Puno, directed several detached
corps to concentrate on the river Ilo, under Colonel Santos la Hera, to
resist the invasion. Miller, who was kept well informed by Portocarrero
and Landa, started to prevent this concentration of the Royalists. He
reached the river Samba on the 20th May, and at midnight, after a forced
march of eighteen hours across a desert, reached the Ilo, opposite to
the village of Mirave, where La Hera was encamped. An advanced picket
gave the alarm, but two Englishmen, named Hill and Hunn, with twenty
men, forded the river, and drew off the attention of the enemy, while
Miller and the bulk of his force crossed unmolested in the darkness. At
daybreak Miller attacked the village, and carried it after a sharp
struggle, in which young Welsh, Cochrane’s physician, who accompanied
the expedition as a volunteer, was killed.

Hardly had the last fugitives of La Hera’s party disappeared when
Colonel Rivero came in sight, with another detachment from Puno, mounted
on mules. A few rockets put them to flight.

The same afternoon Miller started in pursuit, and on the 24th reached
the city of Moquegua, where Portocarrero was Deputy Governor, who at
once passed over to him. The remains of La Hera’s force had been
overtaken and made prisoners by Soler, and on the 26th Miller overtook
Rivero, and either killed or made prisoners nearly all his party. In
fifteen days from landing Miller with his small force had put more then
a thousand of the enemy hors de combat, and Cochrane wrote to San
Martin, telling him that in eight days more they would have Arequipa.

La Hera, having met in his flight with other parties on the march to
join him, now turned upon Miller and tried to cut off his retreat, but
Miller reached Tacna in safety, and was there met by the news of the
armistice of Punchauca.

During the suspension of hostilities Miller employed his time in
drilling his raw troops, while Ramirez collected 2,000 men to oppose
him; Cochrane returned to Callao, leaving only three small transports at
Arica, which very soon followed him.

Miller, left to himself, was at the expiration of the armistice
compelled to retreat to Arica, where he seized four merchant vessels and
embarked with those of his partisans who were most seriously
compromised, leaving his sick to the care of La Hera, who, grateful for
kindness shown by Miller to his prisoners, gave them every possible
attention. A great contrast to the general procedure of the Royalist
leaders.

Miller, now raised to the rank of colonel, sailed from Arica on the 22nd
July, and, being unable by reason of the heavy sea to land near Islay
for an attempt on Arequipa, turned north and landed at Pisco. After
destroying a Royalist force under Santalla, he established himself at
Ica and assumed command of the district.

As a diversion this expedition was more successful than could have been
expected from the small force employed, thanks to the brilliant
qualities displayed by Miller in separate command. Greater results might
have been achieved by the employment of a larger force, but without
reinforcements from Chile, that could only have been accomplished at the
expense of more important objects.

This campaign concluded with a disaster. The _San Martin_, already laden
with booty, had, in defiance of the armistice, seized a cargo of wheat
at Mollendo, and went to the bottom when discharging at Chorillos; a
fate ominous of that which was soon to overtake her great namesake.



CHAPTER XXXII.

PERU INDEPENDENT.

1821.


On the 6th July, 1821, the Patriots entered Lima; on the 24th June was
fought the battle of Carabobo, the Waterloo of the Royalists of
Columbia. San Martin’s plan of a continental campaign was on the point
of realization; he from the south, and Bolívar from the north, converged
to a common centre. The only troops which now upheld the standard of the
King, were those which still held the Highlands of Peru, the province of
Quito, and one isolated fortress, soon about to surrender. On the ocean,
only three vessels, the remnant of the naval power of Spain, crushed by
Cochrane on the Pacific, wandered to and fro like phantom ships. The
definitive triumph was but a question of time. Never before was plan on
so vast a scale carried out with such mathematical precision--a plan,
nevertheless, sketched out in accordance with the designs of inevitable
fate.

As was said by the first captain of the age and as was recorded by an
American thinker, “All the great captains who have undertaken great
emprises have carried them out in conformity with the rules of art,
adapting the force employed to the obstacle to be overcome, knowing that
events are not the work of chance, but obey those laws which rule the
destinies of men.”

When the two liberators of South America violated these laws, one
straying from the path, the other blinded by ambition, both fell; one
deliberately, as he found himself wanting in strength to complete his
mission; the other cast down by the irresistible forces which he had
arrayed against himself.

The emancipation of America was no longer in question, the independence
of Peru was assured, whatever might be the errors of men or the
vicissitudes of the struggle. But this, though clear to the superior
minds which presided over the scene, was not perceived by those more
immediately concerned. This was more especially the case in Peru, where
the idea of the revolution had as yet taken no deep root; that spirit of
nationality which would secure the triumph at any cost was not yet
aroused. San Martin sought to awaken this spirit by a solemn declaration
of independence.

The position of San Martin was complex; before America he stood as a
liberator, he was the arbiter of the destinies of Peru; he was a general
of two republics who had confided their armies to his care; and as a
great leader he was responsible to his conscience. As he entered the
“City of the Kings” in triumph he was at the apogee of his glory, but as
Rothschild the banker said, it requires ten times more skill and
prudence to keep a fortune than to make one.

San Martin wrote to O’Higgins:--

“At last, by patience, we have compelled the enemy to abandon the
capital of the Pizarros; at last our labours are crowned by seeing the
independence of America secure--Peru is free--I now see before me the
end of my public life, and watch how I can leave this heavy charge in
safe hands, so that I may retire into some quiet corner and live as a
man should live.”

His public declarations were also grave and moderate, but the
exaggerated importance he gave to the possession of Lima, led him to
abandon the Highlands, where lay the decision of the question, and
showed that, to some extent, his judgment was warped by success.

At the time of the occupation of Lima, San Martin published in his camp
a bulletin written by Monteagudo, which is a declaration of political
principles, and gives a reason for the policy which he pursued. Treating
of the war as almost at an end, he offers a restricted liberty for the
establishment of order, but makes no profession of political faith,
national independence being the only point which is definitely
established.

On the 14th July, San Martin convened a meeting of the principal
citizens of Lima, nominated by the Cabildo. At this meeting the
following resolution was carried:--

“The general will is decided for the independence of Peru of Spanish
domination, or of that of any other foreign power.”

Which declaration was sanctioned by the applause of the people.

On the 28th July the independence of Peru was solemnly proclaimed with
imposing ceremony in the great square of Lima, San Martin displaying the
new flag of Peru, amid the roar of cannon and the acclamations of the
people who, as the procession passed through the main streets of the
city, showered flowers and perfumes upon it. Cochrane, who looked on
from a balcony of the viceregal palace, was singled out for a special
ovation by the populace. Medals commemorative of the occasion were
afterwards distributed among the people.

San Martin sent back to Chile the flags captured at Rancagua, and to
Buenos Ayres five flags and two Spanish standards, as trophies of the
victories of the united army.

While these pompous ceremonies went on, the siege of Callao was
vigorously prosecuted by Las Heras, who repulsed several sorties of the
garrison, but as he had no siege train, he could not venture an assault.
Cochrane offered to land guns from the fleet, but as the garrison had
only provisions for two months, more reliance was placed on a strict
blockade.

The garrison seeing their situation desperate, resolved to scuttle
their ships, and commenced by the corvette _San Sebastiano_, on which
Cochrane wrote again to San Martin urging an immediate assault; then
perceiving a gap in the boom which surrounded the remaining ships, he on
the night of the 24th July, sent eight boats under Captain Crosbie, who
cut out from under the batteries the 34-gun corvette _Resolucion_, two
smaller vessels and sundry boats, without any loss on his part.

On the 14th August Las Heras made an attempt to capture the fortress by
surprise. He had noticed that the gates of the Castle Real Felipe were
frequently left open, and the drawbridges lowered. The distance from his
line to the walls was about 3,000 yards, which cavalry could cross at a
gallop in ten or twelve minutes. A body of horse supported by infantry
made a sudden rush from Bella Vista, the centre of his line, but in
spite of their speed, the enemy perceived them in time to raise the
bridge leading to the inner fortifications. The cavalry galloped through
the streets of the town, sabred stragglers and made several prisoners,
among the latter being the wounded general Ricafort.

On the same day, Cochrane made overtures to the governor, La Mar, very
unworthy of his high renown. He had an idea that silver bullion to the
value of thirty millions of dollars was stored up in Callao, besides
much other property belonging to the wealthy Spaniards of Lima. He
proposed that La Mar should surrender the fortress to him and give him
up one-third the treasure, engaging in return to furnish ships in which
he, and any he chose to take with him, might escape with the rest of the
treasure.

Cochrane states in his Memoirs, that he required the money to pay his
crews, and denies that he had any ulterior object, but he himself
acknowledges that if he had gained possession of the forts, he would
have forced San Martin to keep his promise to leave the Peruvians free
to choose their own government.

The logical sequence of the Declaration of Independence, was the
establishment of a National Government in Peru, but it was of prime
necessity that the new government should not only govern but should
carry on the war. There was great difficulty in organizing any such
government, as there was no social nucleus round which the heterogeneous
population might gather, and Peru had not one citizen who possessed
either prestige or moral authority. A deputation from the Cabildo of
Lima waited upon San Martin, praying him to take the reins of government
into his own hands. He answered somewhat enigmatically, that
circumstances had already given him the supreme power, and he should
keep it so long as he considered it necessary for the public welfare.
The Lautaro Lodge, in which the majority were officers of the united
army, then addressed him to the same effect, declaring that the public
safety required him to place himself at the head of an administration.

On the 3rd August, 1821, he issued a decree, whereby he gave himself the
title of “Protector of Peru,” uniting in his own person the supreme
administrative authority, both military and political. No one in the
world, except Cromwell, had ever taken upon himself this title with this
authority. America alarmed, thought he had done so from ambition, and
saw in him a future despot, but she thought wrong; a dictatorship was
necessary, and in taking it he ensured the speedy loss of all his power.

The Protector named Dr. Unanue, a Peruvian of great reputed wisdom but
of no experience, his Minister of Finance; Garcia del Rio, Minister of
Foreign Affairs; and Monteagudo, Minister of War and Marine. Riva Aguero
was named President of the department of Lima, and Las Heras took
command of the army.

La Serna, on receiving official notification of this step, wrote to San
Martin, telling him with some irony that he thought the title of
Liberator suited him better than that of Protector, and that the people
who had so spontaneously sworn to uphold the independence of Peru,
would just as readily swear to uphold the new Spanish constitution.
O’Higgins enthusiastically approved of it, seeing in it the only means
of carrying the great work they had both at heart to a successful
termination.

The first official act of the Protector was to issue a decree against
the Spaniards, drawn up by Monteagudo, and showing evidence of his
intemperate spirit, but it was also in accordance with the calculating
spirit of San Martin.

On leaving Valparaiso, San Martin had published a proclamation to “The
Spanish Europeans resident in Peru,” declaring that he wished to behave
generously to them, providing they made no opposition to the
independence of the country. During the negotiations at Miraflores and
Punchauca, he had endeavoured to propitiate the Spanish civilians, but
when hostilities had again broken out and he was master of Lima, the
splenetic behaviour of the Spanish residents, made him resolve to crush
them.

He now declared that the persons and properties of all Spaniards who
would live in peace and swear the independence of the country, should be
respected; that those who would not trust to this promise, should ask
for passports and should leave the country with their movable goods; but
that those who submitted to the Government and secretly worked against
it, would be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of the law, and their
estates confiscated; and wound up by saying:--

“I know what passes in the most secret corner of your houses. Tremble,
if you abuse my indulgence. Let this be the last time that I have to
remind you that your destiny is irrevocable and you must submit to it.”

Public safety in no way justified such rigour, which was a violation of
promises given. But there was more in this decree than excessive
severity and intemperance of language, it formed part of a financial
plan. War is war, and the independence of South America was in great
part paid for by Spanish fortunes, wrested from their owners by forced
loans and by confiscations. It was now the turn of the Spaniards of Peru
to contribute their share. San Martin had made use of this system in
Mendoza, he had recommended it in Chile. Sentimental characters do not
lead great causes to victory in the struggle of life. All the same, the
measure was unjustifiable in the absence of any overt act on the part of
the Spaniards.

One result of this new system of persecution, was the banishment of the
Archbishop of Lima, a man of eminent piety and eighty years of age, who,
though a Royalist, had aided San Martin in quieting the city on his
arrival; he had authorized with his presence the municipal council which
had declared the country independent; he had assisted at the _Te Deum_
which celebrated the declaration. Most of the Peruvian clergy were
ardent Patriots, but not so the high dignitaries of the church. San
Martin took advantage of a mere pretext to send him his passport and an
order to leave the country in twenty-four hours.

On the 4th September, 1821, when San Martin was, as Protector of Peru,
in the apogee of his power, his old enemy José Miguel Carrera, died
cursing him in Mendoza. Associated with Artigas, Ramirez, Bustos, and
others of the Gaucho chieftains of the Argentine Provinces, Carrera had
distinguished himself among them for rancorous hatred of Buenos Ayres.
Unfortunate in all his enterprises, he was at length captured, and shot
as a bandit, upon the same bench where his brothers had perished before
him.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE PROTECTORATE OF PERU.

1821--1822.


Peru was independent, but she had not achieved independence for herself;
neither did she know how to organize a Government when she had one of
her own; for everything she was indebted to outside help--principally to
San Martin, who was now Protector of Peru, but whose power depended upon
the help of Peru, and upon the support of the two armies he had brought
with him. But in Peru the national spirit which he had awakened had a
latent tendency to turn against him as a stranger, and in the armies the
spirit of discipline was relaxed in direct consequence of that act of
disobedience of his own which had placed him at their head. The bond of
union which still gave strength to these discordant elements was the
Lautaro Lodge, over which his influence was still supreme.

As Arenales had foreseen, Lima became the Capua of the liberating army;
everything appeared to be left to the slow action of time. The military
officers murmured and conspired, while Cochrane strove in every way he
could to preserve the fleet from the enervation which was Peruvianising
the army.

Far otherwise passed their time the Royalist leaders in the Highlands.
Masters of a healthy country abounding in resources, a reaction had set
in in their favour, when the people found themselves deserted and
bethought them of the sacrifices they had made. In fifty days La Serna
was ready to assume the offensive. At Callao there was great provision
of arms much needed in the Highlands; the garrison, if left alone, must
soon succumb to hunger. A carefully selected division of 2,500 infantry
and 900 horse, with seven guns, was put under command of Canterac, with
Valdés as chief of the staff, and sent to the relief of the beleaguered
stronghold, while La Serna remained with the rest of the army at Jauja.

Canterac marched on the 25th August, crossed the Cordillera, and
descended by the pass of San Mateo towards Lima without meeting a single
foe. At Santiago de Tuna, fifty miles from the capital, he divided his
force into two columns, with orders to concentrate at Cienaguilla,
eighteen miles to the south of Lima. Loriga, with the left column and
nearly all the cavalry, went by the defile of Espiritu Santo, cutting to
pieces a small Patriot force on his way.

The main column, under Canterac himself, kept straight on for the valley
of Rimac, to give the Patriots the idea that he was marching straight on
the capital; but during the following night he turned off to the left,
seeking the other road by Espiritu Santo. The way was across the slopes
of the mountains, over an unknown country where there was no water, and
which was so cut up by abrupt descents that horsemen and infantry alike
lost their footing and fell over precipices. The unpopularity of the
Spaniards was so great that they could not find one guide in all the
transit. On the 4th September they reached a barren stretch of sand over
which, dying of thirst under a tropical sun, they plodded wearily along;
two companies could have destroyed them all. The soldiers threw
themselves on the ground utterly prostrate; immediate promotion was
offered to the first who should find water; not a man stirred. Yet they
were little more than a mile from the river Lurin. At last Canterac
himself found water; and those who were strong enough to move filled
flasks and carried the precious liquid to their dying comrades, only
just in time to save the life of Valdés, who commanded the rear-guard.
On the 5th they rejoined Loriga’s column at Cienaguilla.

San Martin was in the theatre when news of this invasion reached him on
the 4th September. From his box he called the people to arms; the new
national hymn was sung by the officers present, the audience joining in
the chorus, and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed.

San Martin was ill-prepared to meet such an emergency, and was equally
ill-informed. On the 5th he knew nothing of the concentration of the
enemy in the valley of Lurin, and announced that 200 or 300 men were
descending by the pass of San Mateo; but he calmly made such
arrangements as he could. The unarmed militia flocked to their barracks,
the walls were manned by volunteers, the gates were entrusted to the
civic guard. These precautions sufficed to keep Canterac from attacking
the city; his chief object was Callao.

The united army was superior in number to the invaders, but was of very
inferior quality. It consisted of 5,830 men, of whom 2,095 paraded under
the Argentine standard, 1,595 under the Chilian, the rest were
Peruvians. San Martin drew up his forces a mile and a half to the south
of the city, on the banks of the river Surco an affluent of the Rimac,
which was crossed by three bridges. The position was a very strong one,
and commanded the roads to the south and east of Lima. The cavalry was
stationed on the right flank, and skirmishers were thrown out on the
roads in front.

Canterac did not dare to attack him, but drew up his army on the 9th in
three parallel columns--cavalry, infantry, and baggage--with a squadron
of cavalry in the rear, and marched by his left flank to the plain of
San Borja, flanking the position occupied by the Patriots. San Martin
drew back his right wing and took up a fresh position; then, as the
enemy remained quiet, he moved further to the right, in his turn
outflanking the enemy. Canterac then took up a fresh position, at right
angles to the former and facing towards the city. During the night San
Martin again moved forward his right wing. The next day Canterac retired
under the guns of Callao, and San Martin, rubbing his hands, exclaimed
to Las Heras:--

“They are lost! They have not food for fifteen days!”

Soon after this Cochrane rode up. Las Heras asked him to persuade the
General to attack at once, which Cochrane attempted. San Martin answered
him curtly:--

“My measures are taken.”

By-and-by, as San Martin was listening to the report of a countryman,
Cochrane ordered the man away, saying:--

“The General has no time to listen to follies.”

San Martin frowned, and, turning rein, rode off to his quarters.
Cochrane followed him and again urged him to attack, offering to lead
the cavalry himself. The answer of the Protector was:--

“I only am responsible for the welfare of Peru.”

San Martin and Cochrane never met again.

The Patriot army then advanced half way on the main road from Lima to
Callao, and a field battery was thrown up at La Legua, mounting six guns
and two howitzers.

The only way for the Royalists to save Callao was to supply the garrison
with provisions, which were only to be obtained by taking Lima, or by
occupying the suburbs, neither of which was possible. Canterac could
only retreat, leaving Callao to its fate. The joy of the garrison on
welcoming the reinforcement was short-lived, they were only so many more
mouths to feed. Canterac had instructions from the Viceroy in this case
to destroy the fortifications and bring away the garrison, with as much
of the armament as he could carry off, but La Mar refused to abandon the
Spanish families which had taken refuge with him. Some English merchants
offered to supply provisions by water for 100,000 dols. in cash, and an
order for 400,000 dols. on the Treasury of Arequipa. The Treasury was
almost empty, but the amount was made up by the private resources of the
refugees, and by the officers and men of Canterac’s division, who
contributed the pay they had received.

Instead of being able to bring away arms, Canterac found it necessary to
leave behind five out of the seven light guns he had brought with him.
The situation of the Royalists was very critical; in two days eight
officers and 200 men had deserted, the rest were eating their horses.
Three days more of this, and even retreat would be impossible.

On the 16th, at four o’clock in the afternoon, the division marched from
Callao on the main road to Lima. Canterac, with some light troops and
his two guns, made a feint against the battery of La Legua to hide his
real intention, while the bulk of his force moved to the left, crossed
the Rimac, and turned north, Canterac, with his detachment, covering the
retreat under the fire of a Chilian brig-of-war, which caused some loss.

Protected by the darkness, Canterac marched all night along the coast,
and next day occupied the valley of Carabaillo, nine miles to the north
of Lima, from which a road passes through the Cordillera to Jauja. Here
he halted to rest and feed his weary troops.

San Martin, in spite of the eagerness of his army, had watched the
retreat in silence, and only on the 17th despatched Las Heras with a
strong force in pursuit. But the inactivity of San Martin seems to have
been communicated to Las Heras; he showed little of his wonted energy,
and on the 19th gave up the pursuit to Miller, with a detachment of 700
infantry, 125 horse, and 500 guerillas.

Meantime the Royalist division was falling to pieces--hundreds of the
men and even some officers deserted. Miller was not dilatory in his
movements, but erred on the side of rashness; he outmarched the enemy,
trying to cut off his retreat, and was on two occasions dislodged with
heavy loss from positions he had taken up. After that he contented
himself with attacks on the rear-guard, and followed right through the
Cordillera, where, on the 27th, he found in a hut, abandoned by his
comrades, the body of Colonel Sanchez, the hero of San Carlos and
Chillán.

On the 1st March Canterac reached Jauja; he had lost one-third of his
force, but had sustained his reputation as a gallant soldier and an able
tactician.

San Martin, after the retreat of Canterac, summoned La Mar to surrender,
offering honourable terms of capitulation, to which, after some delay,
La Mar acceded. The troops were permitted to march out with their arms
and standards, the Spaniards being allowed to retire to Arequipa, while
the militia dispersed to their homes. Three months were given to the
officers and the civil employés in which to find the means of leaving
the country if they did not choose to remain.

On the 21st September the Peruvian flag was hoisted on the castles of
Callao. La Mar, who as a Peruvian sympathised with the Patriot cause,
resigned his rank and honours into the hands of the Viceroy and retired
into private life.

San Martin thus won another victory without risking his army. As a
Peruvian historian says:--“He overcame a powerful army by the simple
force of public opinion and by skilful tactics.” The strongest fortress
in South America was now in his power, with several hundred guns of all
calibres, thousands of muskets, and great stores of ammunition. He was
now free to turn his arms to the north for the liberation of Quito in
answer to a request from Bolívar, and could then return with
reinforcements to put an end to the war. But the rôle of Fabius is one
not generally appreciated; prudence is often mistaken for timidity; the
general who prefers the shield to the sword offends the pride of his
soldiers. San Martin gained by his policy great fame as a tactician, but
he lowered his renown as a resolute soldier.

In the first six months of the Protectorate of San Martin the
foundations were laid of the administrative organization and the
political constitution of Peru. One of his first measures was to create
a national army. Under the name of the “Peruvian Legion” he organized a
division, recruited among the natives, composed of a regiment of
infantry under Miller, one of cavalry under Brandzen, and a company of
artillery with four guns. He reorganized the finances and reformed the
commercial system. He abolished the personal service of the indigenous
races, the poll-tax, and other oppressive customs. He manumitted all
slaves who would join the army, and declared free all who might in
future be born of slave parents. Corporal punishment was forbidden in
the public schools; a national library was founded; the press was set
free from all unnecessary restrictions; torture and excessive
punishments were abolished. All which reforms and many others were
carried out in pursuance of ideas brought by Monteagudo from the River
Plate.

San Martin also issued a decree defining his own powers, and recognised
such debts of the late authorities as had not been contracted for war
purposes; but he did not draw up any plan for the political organization
of the country, leaving that question for future solution.

The Peruvian nobility were left with their titles and escutcheons; San
Martin looked upon them as a social influence of which good use might be
made. He also instituted a new order, the “Order of the Sun,” in
imitation of the “Legion of Honour,” instituted by Napoleon, as had
previously been done in Chile by the institution of “The Legion of
Merit”; and also a special decoration for women who distinguished
themselves by services in the Patriot cause, a gold medal with a
suitable inscription, which, however, was distributed with more
gallantry than discretion, and gave rise to much scandal, some of which
has not even yet died out. All this was in preparation for the
establishment of that monarchy, the idea of which was still in the air.

San Martin also decreed to himself an annual salary of 30,000 dols., of
which he spent the greater part in presents and in public displays; but
even so, this brought much adverse criticism upon him, and contributed
to give currency to a report then commonly circulated about him, that he
entertained the inane project of crowning himself King. The people in
their ballads sang of him as their future Emperor, and it became a habit
among the officers of the army to speak of him as “King Joseph.”

Up to that time the American spirit of independence and the love of
glory had sufficed to bind together the units of the army; the alloy of
gold had not yet destroyed the temper of their swords. Badly fed, badly
dressed, with only half their pay when they had any, suffering from all
sorts of privation and disease, they had never received any pecuniary
reward for their services. The Government of Chile had promised to give
the victors of Maipó the land on which they had achieved that crowning
triumph, but the promise was never fulfilled. The municipality of Lima
now gave to San Martin 500,000 dols., arising from the sale of the
properties of Spanish residents which had been confiscated, for
distribution among his principal officers, and offered to the rest who
should continue in the service grants of land in the provinces yet to be
conquered. San Martin distributed the half million dollars among twenty
officers--25,000 dols. to each one--which was in those days a fortune;
but this, instead of binding them to his cause, produced resentments and
jealousies, as is ever the case when self-interest enters into the
relations between man and man, of which he was soon to have sad proof.

In October he received information that a conspiracy to depose him
existed among the higher officers of the army. He summoned them to a
secret council and disclosed the matter to them, but received very
unsatisfactory replies.

That such a conspiracy existed appears certain, but it was not yet
mature, and the inquiry was sufficient to dissipate it. Colonel Heres,
of the Numancia battalion, was removed from his command, with many
thanks for his distinguished services, and retired to Columbia, his
native land. Las Heras and several other officers resigned their
commands, and Alvarado, who appears to have been also one of the
conspirators, was named General-in-Chief. San Martin had thus the sad
certainty that although the disaffection had not spread among the junior
officers, nor among the rank and file, the sympathies of the army were
no longer with him as they had been at Rancagua.

The chief cause of the general discontent was his advocacy of
monarchical principles; he sacrificed his own principles in favour of
what he considered the most practicable system. In his own words:--

“The evils which afflict the new States of America arise not from the
people, but from the Constitutions under which they live. These
Constitutions should harmonise with their instruction, education, and
habits of life. They should not have the best laws, but those most
suited to their character, maintaining the barriers which separate the
different classes of society, so that the most intelligent class may
preserve its natural preponderance.”

His ideal of legislation was based upon the precepts of Solon, an
oligarchy of intelligence counterbalanced by a Conservative plutocracy.
He forgot that in his own country he had seen safety only in the
establishment of a sovereign Congress, and that the advocacy of
monarchical ideas had there only fanned the flames of anarchy; that he
himself had been forced to disobey when he was called upon to support a
monarch elected by a secret committee; he forgot that he himself had
founded a republic in Chile, and had sketched out a republican
constitution for Peru, and that, with the exception of Mexico, every one
of these new States had adopted the Democratic Republican system as a
necessity of the age.

San Martin also failed to see that he must work in harmony with Bolívar,
who had just established the Republic of Columbia, and with the great
Democratic Republic of the United States. He also failed to see that it
was in sympathy with these views that England had withdrawn from the
Holy Alliance, and looked upon the republican form of government as the
_sine quâ non_ of independence in America. He was led astray by his
Minister, Monteagudo, who was just as blind as himself to the inevitable
tendency of the age.

In order to educate public opinion Monteagudo had established in Lima a
literary society, styled “The Patriotic Society of Lima,” for the
discussion of political questions, in which he openly advocated the
establishment of a monarchy.

The Protectorate of San Martin was based upon the express condition
“that he should give place to the government which the Peruvian people
should select”; but before he had held office five months he and his
Council decided to send a mission to Europe to negotiate an alliance
with Great Britain, and to accept a prince of the reigning family as a
Constitutional monarch. In case this proposition was rejected, they were
then to make a similar proposal to the Government of Russia; and that
failing, then to any European prince; last of all, to the Prince of
Luca, the imaginary sovereign of the River Plate.

This mission was confided to Garcia del Rio, who proceeded to Europe
accompanied by Dr. Paroissiens; but better instructed by subsequent
events, Garcia took no step in prosecution of the ostensible object of
his journey, contenting himself with a general advocacy in the European
press of the cause of the Patriots in America.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

SAN MARTIN AND COCHRANE.

1821--1822.


History seeks in vain to blot from her pages the invectives hurled at
each other by the two heroes of the liberating expedition to Peru. They
themselves have perpetuated them in documents, in which each appeals to
the judgment of the world.

Cochrane has insulted and calumniated San Martin by calling him a
sanguinary tyrant, an incompetent general, a hypocrite, a thief, a
drunkard, &c., &c.

San Martin, through his ministers, accused Cochrane of depredations akin
to piracy, and of being an embezzler of public property, who made
traffic with the naval force placed under his command.

The Admiral, who thought nothing great but his own deeds and his own
hatred, extreme in everything, who had spoken of his own country as a
degraded nation, ruled by a parliament of scoundrels, looked upon the
South American revolution as a commercial transaction, carried on by a
set of intriguing, cowardly rascals.

San Martin, more prudent, returned him insult for insult by other hands,
but he did not descend to calumny, and when the angry moment had passed,
troubled himself no more about him.

The antecedents of this quarrel we have already sketched. Though seeking
to make common cause with him, San Martin never confided in Cochrane,
had a very low idea of his merits as a leader of troops on land, and
found reason to repent of such trust as he did place in him on such
service. This the Admiral attributed to jealousy.

In the squadron itself there was a party inimical to Cochrane. Guise and
Spry drew up a protest against the new name given to the _Esmeralda_,
and were tried by court-martial for breach of discipline, but San
Martin, who saw in Guise a future admiral, took him under his
protection, and made Spry one of his aides-de-camp.

In the inscription on the medals struck in celebration of the
Declaration of Independence, no mention was made of the fleet. At this
Cochrane took umbrage and would accept no excuse. From this time he
became very pressing in his demands for the arrears of pay due to his
crews, speaking clearly of the danger of a mutiny. These arrears dated
from before the sailing of the expedition; the foreigners were only kept
on board by an express promise from San Martin to pay everything and a
year’s pay as bounty, when he took Lima. He also decreed a donation of
50,000 dollars to the captors of the _Esmeralda_. Neither of these
promises were fulfilled.

On the 4th August, 1821, Cochrane went himself to the palace to urge
these claims, and alleges that San Martin refused any money except as
part of the purchase money of the ships which should be sold to Peru.
This is denied by Monteagudo and Garcia del Rio, who were present. It
was then that he was informed by San Martin himself that he had assumed
the title of Protector of Peru, upon which Cochrane, now looking upon
himself as the representative of Chile, reiterated his claims. San
Martin acknowledged his responsibility for the year’s pay he had
promised as bounty, and for the 50,000 dollars promised to the captors
of the _Esmeralda_, but denied that he was in any way responsible for
the pay of crews in the service of Chile, and told Cochrane he might
take his ships and go where he pleased, but regretting his hasty words,
he then stretched out his hand to the Admiral, asking him to forget
what had passed.

“I will forget when I can,” replied Cochrane.

The Admiral seems also to have regretted his haste, for on returning on
board he wrote to San Martin a letter in English, full of profuse
compliments, to which San Martin replied in similar terms, but neither
of them touched at all upon the question between them. The
correspondence continued, but no money was paid, and Cochrane wrote to
O’Higgins that he could not answer for the loyalty of his crews, who
were in want of common necessaries, and hinted his fears that they would
seize the ships and turn pirates.

When Cochrane returned on board, after the refusal of San Martin to
attack Canterac (see last chapter), he found his men on the verge of
mutiny. On the approach of Canterac, San Martin had, as a measure of
precaution, sent the coin and bullion from the mint and treasury on
board a ship at anchor at Ancon, and had given permission to private
individuals to embark their valuables on the transports, or on board of
neutral vessels. When Cochrane heard of this, he seized the whole of
this treasure, under pretext that they were contraband shipments, but
gave receipts for the packages. He received a peremptory order to return
them to their owners, but wrote to San Martin that he could not obey the
order, as he had no other means of preventing a mutiny, than by paying
his men with whatever money he could lay hands on.

If the blockade were raised Callao could not be captured, so San Martin
was forced to temporise, and insisted only on the restitution of private
property, to which Cochrane acceded.

When Callao surrendered, the Peruvian Government ordered Cochrane to
give up the rest of the treasure to an official of the War Office.
Cochrane regretted that his duty to Chile obliged him to prevent by any
means in his power insubordination and rebellion in the Chilian fleet.
San Martin then gave way, and Cochrane distributed one year’s pay to
all his crews, but kept the rest of the money for the general use of the
squadron. After this, many of the seamen deserted to spend their money
on shore, which occasioned so much disorder, that San Martin ordered
Cochrane to return to Chile and report to his own government.

Cochrane denied the right of the Protector of Peru to give any such
order, but some days after weighed anchor and left the harbour.

San Martin then wrote to O’Higgins, proposing to declare Cochrane an
outlaw, but O’Higgins was too clear-sighted to commit any such folly,
and acknowledged that they themselves were much to blame for what had
occurred. Besides which Cochrane’s conduct gave great satisfaction to
the Chilian people, and he himself had sent a despatch to the Chilian
Government, informing them that he was sailing to Guayaquil to careen
the _O’Higgins_, and to look for the two Spanish frigates _Prueba_ and
_Venganza_.

Cochrane was incapable of treachery to the cause he had adopted, he was
the same hero as before, with all his defects and all his great
qualities. His intention on leaving Callao was to complete his great
work, by driving the last vestiges of Spanish domination from the
Pacific. He sent the _Lautaro_ and the _Galvarino_ back to Chile, and
with the rest of his ships reached Guayaquil on the 18th October, where
he spent six weeks in repairing them.

On the 3rd December he sailed again, looking into every bay and inlet
along the coast as far as California for his prey. The two frigates had
been employed on transport service, by various Spanish authorities on
the Pacific coast, and on the 4th December had left Panama for
Guayaquil, where they capitulated to Salazar and La Mar, who were there
at the time as representatives of Peru.

The _Prueba_ was sent off by them to Callao to give herself up to the
Peruvian Government, but the _Venganza_ remained at Guayaquil to make
some necessary repairs, and she was still there when Cochrane returned
on the 3rd March. The Admiral sent an armed boat to seize her and hoist
the Chilian flag; the people manned the batteries and threatened to sink
her; upon which he consented to leave her with them, until the question
of ownership was decided by the governments of Chile and Peru.

Cochrane then sailed South, and touching at one of the northern ports of
Peru, was refused either provisions or water by the authorities, who had
special orders to that effect from the Protector. In great dudgeon he
went on to Callao, where the appearance of his ships caused great alarm.
The _Prueba_, now the _Protector_, under command of Captain Guise, was
manned by troops from shore, and anchored under the batteries.

Cochrane sent an angry missive to the Minister of Marine, complaining of
the treatment he had met with, and again demanded payment of the debts
owing to him. The Minister went off to see him, invited him ashore and
offered him the command of an expedition against the Philippine Islands.
Cochrane was not to be appeased by words. A few days after that, the
schooner _Montezuma_ sailed close past him without saluting. He
threatened to fire on her and compelled her to cast anchor, then
boarding her he hauled down the Peruvian flag and hoisted the Chilian.
It seemed as though the quarrel would culminate in actual fighting, till
on the 10th May Cochrane sailed for Valparaiso, where he was welcomed in
triumph, and his conduct received official approbation.

Soon after, Cochrane left for ever the shores of the Pacific, whose
waves will murmur the record of his glorious deeds to the end of time.

Having now one ship of war, the Peruvian Government commenced to
organize a navy, which they placed under the command of Blanco
Encalada.



CHAPTER XXXV.

THE DISASTER AT ICA.

1821--1822.


After the return of the expedition from Callao, La Serna removed his
head-quarters to Cuzco, leaving the bulk of the army behind him in the
valley of Jauja, under Canterac. He strengthened the garrisons of Puno,
Arequipa, and Tacna, and entrusted the defence of the southern coast to
the army of Upper Peru.

Canterac detached two light columns under Loriga against Pasco, where
the insurrection had still a footing under Otero, who had 200 regulars
with him and 5,000 Indians. On the approach of Loriga, Otero marched out
to attack him, and fell upon him suddenly, in the early morning of the
7th December, at the village of El Cerro, where the Royalists had halted
to collect supplies. In the confusion a part of the ammunition blew up,
and the troops in the darkness were seized with panic, but Loriga
succeeded in rallying them, occupied the church and some neighbouring
houses, and waited for daylight, when he in his turn attacked the
Patriots, and completely routed them, killing 700 Indians.

In Upper Peru, Lanza, the guerilla chief, maintained himself in the
mountains between Cochabamba and La Paz.

In Potosí a mutiny broke out among the troops, which was quelled by
General Maroto.

The Indians of Cangallo and Huamanga again rose in arms; but the former
town was burned by Carratala, and the Viceroy issued a decree forbidding
any attempt to rebuild it. The Government of Peru erected a monument to
the memory of the unfortunate town, and Buenos Ayres named one of her
principal streets Cangallo, as a lasting record of this barbarous deed.

But these transitory events had no effect upon the war itself, the
Cordillera formed a barrier between the opposing forces which neither of
them could pass. The Royalists still outnumbered the Patriots, two to
one, but the territory occupied by them, extending from Pasco to the
Argentine frontier, was so enormous, that they were nowhere strong.

Bolívar was on the march against Quito; success would enable him to
assist San Martin to crush the Royalist forces in Peru, but no cordial
alliance was possible with Bolívar until all these new nations had
agreed upon one common form of government, and the unsettled state of
Guayaquil, which was claimed as a province by both Columbia and Peru,
threatened to produce discord between them.

San Martin rose to the emergency. He sent a contingent of 1,500 men from
Peru to assist Bolívar in his operations against Quito, and so secured
his success. Then, setting on one side his monarchical ideas, he, on the
27th December, 1821, issued a decree summoning a Congress:--

“To establish a definitive form of government, and to give to the
country the constitution best adapted to it.”

He at the same time appointed the Marquis of Torre-Tagle
Deputy-Protector, while he himself went off to Guayaquil in the hope of
obtaining an interview with Bolívar.

Not daring to leave La Serna unmolested while he arranged with the
Liberator of the North the plans for united and decisive action, he
despatched General Tristan and Colonel Gamarra, both Peruvians, with
2,000 men, to occupy the valley of Ica, and spread a false report that
Arenales was about to return with another expedition to the Highlands.
La Serna was too well informed to trouble himself about reports, and
knew well the quality of the two Patriots now in command at Ica.

Early in April Canterac, with 2,000 men and three guns, marched from
Jauja, and Valdés with 500 from Arequipa. The Patriot army evacuated Ica
at their approach, but their retreat by night was intercepted, they were
thrown into disorder and cut to pieces. The Royalists made more than
1,000 prisoners, including fifty officers, took four guns and two flags,
and returned in triumph, after shooting one in every five of the
officers of the Numancia battalion, whom they had made prisoners.

Tristan and Gamarra were tried by court-martial, and shown to be utterly
incompetent for such a command; but the chief blame of the disaster fell
upon San Martin himself, who had appointed them.

This defeat was in some measure compensated the following month by the
fall of Quito, which terminated the war in the North, and San Martin not
having been able to effect his proposed interview with Bolívar, who did
not come to Guayaquil when expected, when he returned to Lima left the
civil administration in the hands of Torre-Tagle, and devoted his
attention exclusively to the army. He issued a proclamation in which he
promised the Peruvian people that the war should be concluded in the
year 1822, then current, and on the 4th July signed a provisional treaty
with Columbia.

At the same time he applied for help to the Government of Chile, and to
the governors of the various Argentine Provinces, bordering the eastern
slopes of the Andes, now _de facto_ independent States, an endeavour to
unite all Spanish America in one grand effort to crush the Royalist
cause in its last stronghold, the Highlands of Peru.

Still harping on the ideas he had disclosed at Punchauca and
Miraflores, he also wrote to La Serna, proposing a cessation of
hostilities, on the basis of the recognition of the independence of
Peru. To this the Viceroy returned a curt answer, “That however
beneficial independence might be to Peru, it could only be hoped for or
established by decree of the nation (Spain).”

San Martin also wrote to the same effect to Bolívar, but found that
their ideas did not at all coincide. And wrote to O’Higgins proposing a
naval expedition to the coasts of Spain.

Torre-Tagle was but the nominal head of the civil Administration, the
real ruler was his Minister, Monteagudo, an inveterate enemy of all
Spaniards, who thought the true way to victory was to make the struggle
one of race. On the 31st December he issued a decree, that all Spaniards
who had not been naturalised should leave the country; in January, that
they should also forfeit half their property; and in February, that the
infraction of these decrees should entail banishment and confiscation.
After the disaster of Ica still more barbarous decrees were issued, and
a commission was appointed to enforce them.

Two great forces from the South and from the North were about to join
hands in the great work in which they were both engaged. We have
sketched the progress of the revolution from the banks of La Plata,
across the Cordillera, and by the Pacific to Peru; it is now time to
turn our attention to its progress from the Spanish Main through New
Granada and Columbia to the frontiers of Peru at Quito.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE REVOLUTIONS IN QUITO AND VENEZUELA.

1809--1812.


Spanish America on the Southern Continent, is divided geographically and
socially into two great systems, which are nevertheless analogous,
having the same origin and the same language. Simultaneously they felt
the same impulse, simultaneously arose in both sections the spirit of
independence. In each section one man took the lead, devoting his life
to the cause which was at once his own and that of his race; yet were
these two men of character wholly different. The one, cool and
calculating, was devoid of personal ambition; the other, whose dreams
were of glory and of power, was its slave. Yet in each glowed the
passion for emancipation, and each in his own way accomplished the task
before him. The one, San Martin, gave liberty to the South, the other,
Bolívar, gave liberty to the North. They joined, and the social
equilibrium was established.

The northern zone of the Continent extends about twenty degrees north of
the Equator, from the frontiers of Peru to Panama and the Carribean sea.
In 1810 this zone comprehended the Viceroyalty of New Granada, the
Captain-Generalcy of Venezuela, and the Presidency of Quito; three
political divisions marked out by geographical lines, and peopled by
several heterogeneous races. At that date New Granada had 1,400,000
inhabitants, Venezuela 900,000, and Quito 600,000. Of these, 1,234,000
were

[Illustration: III.--MAP OF THE VICEROYALTY OF NEW GRANADA, INCLUDING
VENEZUELA AND QUITO.]

white, Europeans and Creoles, 913,000 were of indigenous races, 615,000
of mixed races, and 138,000 were negro slaves. Santa Fé de Bogotá was
the capital of New Granada, Caracas was the capital of Venezuela. The
City of Quito, situate high above the level of the sea, had been the
centre of pre-Columbian civilization; during the colonial epoch it was
at times attached to the Viceroyalty of New Granada, at times to that of
Peru. The district of which this city was the capital has been styled
the Thibet of the New World.

The two parallel ranges of the Andes, which form the valley of Chile,
unite to the north of Argentine territory, but again separate in Peru,
and running northward enclose Quito and the valley of Popayán, which
forms the extreme south of New Granada. They then again diverge, this
time into three branches, one of which forms the isthmus of Panama,
while the others extend to the north-east as far as the Gulf of Mexico,
wide valleys interposing between each range.

To the east of the most easterly of these ranges lies a vast plain,
drained by the great river Orinoco and its tributaries. Situate under
the tropic of Cancer summer and winter are there unknown, but the season
from March to September is one of constant rain. During the intervening
months, the rivers leave their beds and convert the vast plain into as
vast a sea. When the waters retire, the plains are covered with
luxuriant pasturage, giving sustenance to millions of cattle and horses,
which are herded by a semi-civilized race of horsemen, known as the
“llaneros” of Columbia, a race similar to the “gauchos” of the Argentine
pampa. The llaneros live in lonely huts, and pass their days in the
saddle. Inured to fatigue and danger, they are sober and abstemious,
dress in the most simple manner, are dexterous in the use of the lance,
and are splendid swimmers. Endowed with such qualities, and led by men
of their own race, their deeds eclipse those of the most renowned heroes
of antiquity.

The Columbian revolution broke out separately, in each of the three
great sections. The first outbreak took place at Quito in August, 1809,
almost simultaneously with similar movements in Mexico and in Upper
Peru. The Captain-General, Ruiz de Castillo, was deposed, and a Junta
was appointed. The movement was crushed by the combined forces of New
Granada and Peru, and the leaders were put to death in prison in August,
1810. They were the first martyrs in the cause of independence in South
America.

These outbreaks, simultaneous but unconnected, proceeded from identical
causes; these causes not being removed, the consequent effects were
naturally reproduced, and found echo all over the Continent.

On the 25th May, 1810, the star of liberty arose in Buenos Ayres, but
previous to that date, on the 19th April of the same year, the
municipality of Caracas, joined by deputies from the people, deposed
Emparán, the Captain-General, denied the authority of the Regency of
Cadiz, and appointed a Junta to rule over the “United Provinces of
Venezuela,” in the name of the King. The leader of this movement was a
canon of the church, named Madariaga, by birth a Chilian, and a member
of the Secret Society established by Miranda, whom he had met in London.
His associates were Roscio and Ponte, men of noble character, whose
political knowledge was more theoretical than practical. Most of the
Provinces answered the call of the capital by deposing their governors
and appointing Juntas.

The Central Junta issued a Manifesto to the other colonies of Spanish
America, inviting them to form a continental league, for mutual
protection. No such league was formed, but the example was everywhere
followed. The first act of the Junta was to summon a Congress, elected
by the people, into whose hands they proposed to surrender their
provisional authority.

The northern provinces of Maracaibo and Coro had not deposed their
governors, Generals Miyares and Ceballos. These two officers denounced
the movement, and commenced to raise troops to oppose it. The Junta took
precautionary measures so as to be prepared against any attack, and
meantime sent envoys to the United States and to England; looking to the
latter power for protection in the event of an invasion of Venezuela by
the French. Don Luis Mendez, Don Andrés Bello, and Don SIMON BOLÍVAR, a
colonel of militia, were selected for this mission.

Bolívar was at that time twenty-seven years of age. There was nothing
heroic in his appearance; he was short in stature, thin and
narrow-chested, but his rugged, irregular features, gave a look of
energy to his sallow countenance. His hair was black and curly; his high
narrow forehead was deeply seamed with horizontal lines; he had thick,
sensual lips, and beautiful teeth; his large black eyes were sunk deep
in their orbits, and sparkled with an unsteady light, indicative of his
character. He looked like one possessed by a latent fire, a man of
feverish activity, combined with duplicity and arrogance; his profile
was that of a deep thinker. Altogether his aspect was that of a man of
great ideas, but of small judgment; his deeds do not belie that
impression.

At the age of three years he was left an orphan, heir to a rich
patrimony, with hundreds of slaves. His tutor was a philosopher of the
school of the Cynics; the ideas he learned from him were so extravagant
as to verge on lunacy, but he carried them with him throughout his life,
and they moulded his career. From him he learned to dream of an ideal
form of government, neither monarchical nor republican, in which all
offices should be held for life. This tutor was named Simon Rodriguez,
and was born in Caracas, the natural son of a priest.

Before he was seventeen years of age, Bolívar went to Europe; he was in
Paris when Bonaparte was named First Consul, and professed enthusiastic
admiration for his character. In Europe he married a daughter of the
noble Venezuelan family of Del Toro, and then returned to Caracas. In
the third year after his marriage, he lost his wife, and made a second
voyage to Europe, where he again met his tutor. In his company he
visited the scenes made immortal by Rousseau, whose “Nouvelle Heloïse”
was his favourite book, and saw Napoleon crowned King of Italy at Milan.
They went on to Rome, and from Mount Aventine looked over the ruins of
the great city of the Cæsars. In a moment of enthusiasm the Acolyte
seized the hands of his master, and swore to liberate his native land.

Six more years passed, and the revolution broke out in Venezuela,
without any open help from him. He was then leading the life of a feudal
lord, in wealth and in luxury, produced by the toil of slaves; yet
though he took no open part in this revolution, he had done something to
prepare it. He was on intimate terms with the Captain-General and had
betrayed his secrets to the conspirators.

Soon after their arrival in London, the three envoys obtained a private
audience with the Marquis of Wellesley, who was at that time Minister of
Foreign Affairs. Bolívar, who talked French fluently, was the spokesman.
Forgetting his _rôle_ as a diplomatist, he made a speech in which he
spoke harshly of Spain, and of his desire and of his hopes for the
absolute independence of Venezuela; and most indiscreetly presented, not
only the credentials of the envoys, but their instructions also.

The British Minister listened coldly, and glancing his eye over the
papers, replied that the ideas he had heard expressed were in open
contradiction to the documents. These credentials were conferred by a
Junta ruling in the name of King Ferdinand, and the object of the
mission was stated to be an arrangement with the Regency of Cadiz in
order to prevent a rupture. Bolívar had read neither the credentials nor
the instructions. As they retired, he candidly confessed his negligence
to his companions, and agreed that the instructions showed both
foresight and wisdom.

This is a true sample of Bolívar’s character, both as a politician and
as a soldier; ever pre-occupied by some idea of his own, he took no
thought of the obstacles in his way, and gave no heed to the opinions of
others; he blindly pursued his own dreams and his own designs. Victor or
vanquished he always persevered, reading with “his mind’s eye,” as he
said himself, no other documents than those written on his brain by his
master Simon Rodriguez. His ruling idea at this moment was independence,
and he went straight for it.

In spite of this diplomatic slip, the British Government answered the
envoys according to the tenor of their instructions, and replied that
they could not interfere in any question concerning the government of
any country which recognised the King of Spain as its sovereign, but
they offered their mediation for the reconciliation of the Colonies of
Spain with the mother country. They had previously forwarded
instructions to the governors of the British West Indies to protect the
new governments in South America against French aggression. They now
issued fresh circulars to the same effect, more especially recommending
them to cultivate amicable relations with these new governments, whether
or no they recognised the authority of the Regency of Cadiz.

This was satisfactory, but the result was owing to British policy, not
to the skill of the envoys.

In London Bolívar became acquainted with General Miranda, and being
initiated as a member of his Secret Society, renewed the oath he had
made on the sacred hill of Rome, to work for the independence and
liberty of South America. Contact with the ardent spirit of the Apostle
of emancipation blew into a flame the embers lighted by the teachings of
Rodriguez; again Bolívar forgot his instructions, which forbade him to
have anything to do with the plans of Miranda. He thought that his
presence would give fresh impulse to the idea of independence, and
invited him to accompany the envoys on their return. Miranda accepted
the invitation, and they landed at Caracas in December.

When news of the revolution in Venezuela reached Cadiz, the Regency
proclaimed the leaders of the movement rebels, and, declining the
mediation of Great Britain, declared war against them, and ordered a
blockade of the coast. Cortabarria, a member of the Council of the
Indies, was charged with the task of subduing them, and Miyares was
appointed captain-general in place of Emparán. In the Spanish West India
Islands preparation was made to sustain the decrees of the Regency by
force. Thus the first link in the chain which bound the colonies of the
Spanish Main to the mother country was broken.

The Central Junta of Caracas responded by raising an army of 2,500 men;
placed the Marquis Del Toro in command, and sent him against Coro, the
head-quarters of the Royalist reaction. On the 28th November the army
attacked the town, but was beaten off. Its retreat was intercepted by a
division of 800 men, but it forced its way on and reached Caracas with
heavy loss, harassed on the way by a hostile population.

When Miranda again landed on American soil he was sixty years of age.
The people received him with ovations; Government appointed him
lieutenant-general of their army; youthful citizens looked to him as the
oracle of their future destinies; the soldiery regarded him as the
herald of victory; yet at first his influence was not felt in public
affairs.

Grave, taciturn, and dogmatic, with unflinching opinions formed in
solitude, Miranda discussed nothing, though he sought to make
proselytes. Government appointed him, with Roscio and Ustariz,
republicans of the North American school, to draw up a plan for a
Constitution on the basis of the federation of the Provinces. The old
dreamer, who mixed up classic traditions with modern theories, sought
to combine them with the worn-out institutions of the colonial epoch.
According to his plan, the administration should be entrusted to two
Incas (Roman consuls), appointed for ten years; the rest of the plan was
modelled on the municipal institutions of the colonies. He was far
behind the day in which he lived. To propagate his doctrines, and to
foment the spirit of independence, he with Bolívar organized a political
club on the model of that of the Girondins, of which he had been a
conspicuous member.

The first Congress of Venezuela was convened on the 2nd March, 1811;
thirty deputies from various Provinces were present, Miranda was one of
them. This Congress appointed an Executive Junta of three members,
created a High Court of Justice in place of the Audiencia; and named
Roscio, Ustariz, and Tobar commissioners to draw up a Constitution. The
question of independence was then discussed. Miranda, who was the
leading advocate of an immediate declaration, carried the measure, by a
majority, on the 5th July. The same day the flag raised by Miranda in
1806, stripes of yellow, blue, and red, was adopted as the national
ensign of Venezuela. Thus Venezuela was the first independent republic
in South America.

Many of the inhabitants of Caracas were natives of the Canary Islands.
Among them the agents of Cortabarria found the leaders for a reactionary
movement, which broke out on the 11th July. The insurgents were quickly
surrounded by the populace, aided by a part of the garrison, and
compelled to surrender. The greater part of those taken in arms were
banished, but the leaders were put to death and their heads were exposed
on the public roads; sad presage of the war of extermination which was
to deluge the soil of Venezuela with blood.

On the same day a more formidable outbreak took place at Valencia. The
inhabitants armed, as they said, in the cause of religion, and
entrenched the city. An army corps under Del Toro marched against them,
but was beaten off, on which Miranda was placed in command. A strong
outwork was carried by assault, but the army was again repulsed in an
attack on the great square. Bolívar and Del Toro were both present in
this affair.

Miranda, after receiving a reinforcement, again attacked the city.
Proceeding more cautiously, he gradually shut up the Royalists in the
great square, where want of water soon compelled them to surrender at
discretion. This short campaign cost the Patriots 800 men in killed
alone, but Miranda did not sully his victory by bloodshed, and Congress
released all the prisoners, an act of clemency which was severely
blamed, in view of the severity with which the Canarians of Caracas had
been treated.

The debate on the Constitution produced a lengthy discussion in
Congress. A plan drawn up by Ustariz, which was an adaptation of the
Constitution of the United States, was adopted almost unanimously, but
Miranda voted against it, alleging that a Federal Constitution was not
suited to the country.

Valencia was declared the capital of the new Republic.

Congress being in want of funds, had issued a paper currency for the
payment of their employés of all classes; its rapid depreciation in
value brought about a state of misery and discontent which enervated the
spirit of the revolution.

Cortabarria recruited 1,000 men in Puerto Rico and sent them, under
Cajigal, to reinforce the Royalists of the Western Provinces, where the
reaction gained ground every day.

Popular leaders rose up on every side in defence of the cause of Spain;
their successes served to display the strength of the country itself,
and to prepare weapons for the revolution when its principles were
understood and adopted by the people.

In February, 1812, a small detachment of 230 men, under a naval officer
named Monteverde, marched from Coro, raised all the country as far as
Barquisimeto, and at Carora defeated a Patriot force of 700 men. The
town of Carora was sacked, and many Patriots were shot without trial.

In the east of Venezuela, Spanish Guayana had declared against the
revolution. Colonel Moreno marched with 1,400 men to rescue the Province
from the Royalists, and being joined by various scattered detachments of
the Patriots, collected a flotilla of twenty-eight gunboats on the
Orinoco, and threatened the town of Angostura, which stands on the
northern bank near to the mouth of that river.

On the 25th March, 1812, the Royalists, with nine schooners and eight
gunboats, attacked the Patriot flotilla in the bay of Lorondo, and after
two days’ fighting completely destroyed it. Moreno retreated, and
eventually fled, while the remnant of his force capitulated at the town
of Maturin.

On the 26th March, 1812, in the afternoon of a calm day, a great roar
was heard under the hills of Mérida. The ground commenced to rock to and
fro in violent oscillations. In less than a minute the cities of Mérida,
Barquisimeto, San Felipe, La Guayra, and Caracas were nothing more than
heaps of ruins, under which 20,000 people lay entombed. In the capital
almost all the garrison perished. At Barquisimeto the greater part of a
division of 1,000 men which was on the march to arrest the progress of
Monteverde, with a large amount of military stores, were buried. Under
these ruins the first Republic of Venezuela found a grave.

This earthquake was felt only in territory occupied by the
revolutionists; the Provinces of Coro, Maracaibo, and Guayana, which
were faithful to the King, suffered nothing. The clergy, who were for
the most part Royalists, made use of the fact, pointing to it as a
chastisement of Heaven upon impious men and upon rebels. Fear entered
into the hearts of the people, and dismay into those of the Patriots.

Monteverde dug seven guns and much war material from beneath the ruins
of Barquisimeto, armed the people, and raised his force to 1,000 men. At
San José a division of 1,300 raw recruits sallied out to meet him; one
squadron passed over to him, the rest were cut to pieces. The prisoners
were butchered, and the neighbouring town of San Carlos was sacked and
burned. The cities of Mérida and Trujillo declared for the King. The
common people, and deserters from the Patriot armies, flocked to
Monteverde; he marched upon Valencia. Forty-five days after his
departure from Coro he entered the Federal capital in triumph.

Affairs were now in so critical a state that Miranda was appointed
Dictator. He established his head-quarters at Victoria, between Valencia
and Caracas, and advanced with 4,000 men against the former city. During
a skirmish between outposts an entire company passed over to the
Royalists, and Miranda retreated to a position which he strengthened
with field-works. The hero of Valmy and Jemappes, whose name is
inscribed on the Triumphal Arch at the Barrière d’Etoile, seems to have
disappeared under the cloak of the Dictator, and the irresolute General
of Maestrich and Nerwinde reappeared on a new scene.

Colonel Antoñanzas, detached by Monteverde to the plains of Caracas,
took the town of Calabozo by assault, and put the garrison to the sword.
Then being joined by a Spaniard named TOMAS BOVES, he attacked San Juan
de los Morros, where not only the fighting men, but the old men, women,
and children, were butchered.

The Province of Barinas declared for the King, and Monteverde, being now
secure in his rear, twice attacked Miranda in his entrenchments, but was
each time repulsed with heavy loss. Having received reinforcements from
Coro, he made a third attack, and was again repulsed, but, undismayed,
he made a flank movement and turned the position of the Patriots,
whereupon Miranda, though with a force greatly superior in number to his
adversary, set fire to his stores, and retired precipitately, on the
night of the 17th June, to Victoria. Monteverde, at the head of a small
detachment, again attacked him in his new position, and caused great
confusion in the encampment, but was eventually beaten off.

The Royalist leader had now more than 3,000 men under his orders, and,
being joined by Antoñanzas, made a general attack on the entrenchments
thrown up by Miranda at Victoria on the 29th June, but was repulsed with
heavy loss after expending all his ammunition.

Miranda made no attempt to pursue him, and in a council of war it was
decided to retreat to Valencia. A Spaniard prevailed upon Monteverde to
disregard the decision of the council, and to remain where he was for
three days. These three days were the last of this revolution.

On the 24th June a general insurrection of the slaves broke out in the
valleys to the south-east of Caracas. Miranda had decreed liberty to all
slaves who would join the Patriot armies. Their Spanish owners preferred
to arm them themselves to fight against the Patriots. The negroes
committed all manner of excesses, attacked several towns, maltreated the
white inhabitants, and came so near to Caracas that Miranda was
compelled to detach troops against them.

Bolívar had been placed in command of the city of Puerto Cabello. During
a temporary absence of his, the Spanish prisoners, who were numerous,
gained over the garrison of the citadel, and took possession of it.
Bolívar attempted to retake it with the troops quartered in the city;
his advance posts went over to the enemy. On the 4th July Monteverde
approached; Bolívar sent out 200 men against him. They were beaten, and
only seven men with one officer returned. On this the rest of his troops
disbanded, and, with seven officers, he fled by sea to La Guayra. When
Miranda heard of this he exclaimed, “Venezuela is stricken to the
heart.”

The Royalists had now the whole of the west and the plains; they
dominated both banks of the Orinoco and the sea coast; the Patriots
held barely a third of the territory of Venezuela. The army still
numbered 5,000 men, mostly recruits, but the general had no confidence
in them, nor had his subordinates any longer faith in him. Every one
accused Miranda of having caused the miseries they suffered: some called
him a traitor. In despair he summoned a council, and by their advice
opened negotiations with the enemy.

In order to be in a better position to treat, Miranda made an attack
upon the enemy’s lines, and routed several detached parties of the
Royalist troops, after which he proposed a suspension of hostilities.
The proposition was accepted by Monteverde, on condition that the
Royalist troops should be permitted to advance on Caracas.

Miranda then made further proposals, and authorised his commissioners to
sign a capitulation, which should guarantee the freedom and properties
of the insurgents. Some of his officers protested against this, and
advised him to risk everything on the chance of a battle, but in reality
all wished for peace, and he knew it. A capitulation, though a defeat,
would do more for Venezuela than would a passing victory; public opinion
had veered round and was master of the situation. It was necessary that
Venezuela should suffer the yoke of the victorious reaction, in order
that she might know what it meant, and might gather up her forces for
the decisive struggle.

The capitulation was agreed to by Monteverde, and by the commissioners
appointed by Miranda, on the basis of the complete submission of the
Patriots and a general amnesty. Miranda, after some hesitation, acceded
to these terms, and withdrew to Caracas. The troops either joined the
Royalist forces or dispersed.

On the 30th July Monteverde entered Caracas in triumph, while Miranda,
with Bolívar and several of his principal officers, trusting not at all
to the capitulation, left for La Guayra, intending to fly by sea. The
captain of an English ship had offered a passage to Miranda, and urged
him to embark at once. Bolívar and the others prevented him from going
on board, saying that he required rest. They dined together, and after
Miranda had retired, twelve officers formed themselves into a sort of
secret tribunal, and decided that he, as the author of the capitulation,
ought to share the fate of the rest. Bolívar accused him of receiving
bribes from the Spaniards, and voted for his death as a traitor to the
cause of independence, but it was resolved to detain him. Before dawn
Bolívar went to his room, removed his sword and pistols, and then awoke
him. He was made prisoner by his own friends and shut up in the castle
of San Carlos.

Monteverde paid no attention whatever to the terms of the capitulation.
The prisons were filled with citizens; Bolívar hid himself, but all
except two of the other members of the secret tribunal were among the
prisoners. Many died in the dungeons, and the Canarians had their
revenge in the open plunder of all who had taken part against them.

Miranda was sent to Puerto Cabello and loaded with chains. From his
dungeon he addressed a memorial to the Supreme Court, demanding, in the
name of the new Spanish Constitution, the liberty of his comrades as
guaranteed by the capitulation, but he asked nothing for himself. His
protest was unheeded, and he, being sent to Spain, languished for three
years in a dungeon at Cadiz, where he died miserably on the 14th July,
1816, and was buried in the mud banks, over which the waters of the
Mediterranean ebb and flow, in front of that city.

Bolívar, after remaining for some days in hiding, was presented by a
Spanish friend of his to Monteverde, who gave him a passport “in
recompense for his service to the King in the imprisonment of Miranda.”



CHAPTER XXXVII.

THE REVOLUTIONS IN NEW GRANADA AND QUITO.

1809--1813.


The events in Spain in the year 1808 produced great excitement in New
Granada, which was increased in the following year by receipt of advices
of the revolution in Quito, mentioned in the last chapter. On the 9th
September, 1809, Amar, the Viceroy, summoned an assembly of the
Corporations and of leading citizens of the capital, and sought counsel
from them. Men of American birth, who were members of this assembly, not
only spoke in favour of the Junta of Quito, but asked for the
establishment of a similar government at Santa Fé de Bogotá. Spaniards
advised the immediate dissolution of the revolutionary government. Amar
followed the counsel of the latter, and sent a column of 300 men to
dissolve the Junta; at the same time the Viceroy of Peru sent 800 men on
the same errand.

The Junta of Quito had already raised three battalions of infantry, and
sent two companies with three guns against the detachment from New
Granada, but these troops, while on the march, were completely routed by
the inhabitants of the Province of Pasto on the 16th October. The
revolutionists, dismayed at this disaster, on receiving promise of an
amnesty, replaced Castillo, the late captain-general, in command.

When the two expeditions reached Quito the amnesty was set aside. The
leaders of the revolution were arrested, some were sentenced to death,
others to penal servitude. The indignant populace attacked and captured
one of the barracks, but were promptly driven out again by the soldiery
and dispersed. The soldiers then proceeded to the public gaol, where the
prisoners were confined, and killed twenty-five of them; after which
they spread about the streets, and killed eighty citizens, among the
victims being three women and three children. The butchery was only
stopped by the intercession of the Bishop.

Castillo, horrified at these excesses, hastily convened an assembly of
the civil and ecclesiastical authorities and of leading citizens. With
their concurrence he proclaimed a general pardon, and sent the Peruvian
troops, who had taken the lead in the massacres, back to Lima.

Word of these atrocities reached New Granada at the same time that news
arrived of the revolution in Venezuela, and produced an immediate
effervescence throughout the country.

In New Granada, according to one of their own writers, “all the races of
the world had come together to mingle their blood, their traditions,
their strength, and their character, and united in the work of
civilization.”

Two-thirds of the population were white, residing mostly in the towns
and cities, hence the revolution took here a civic form, and was greatly
hampered by local jealousies and by divergencies of opinion among the
leaders.

The first revolutionary movement occurred at Cartagena, where the
people, headed by their Cabildo, demanded a Junta. With the intervention
of an agent of the Regency of Cadiz, then in the city, a Junta of three
was appointed, of whom the actual governor was one; but as he openly
showed his dissatisfaction with this arrangement, he was banished to
Havana on the 11th June, 1810.

To the east of the most easterly range of the Cordillera lie the wide
plains of Casanare; here two youths raised the standard of insurrection.
They were joined by some small groups of the country people, which were
dispersed by troops sent against them by the Viceroy. The leaders were
put to death, and their heads were sent to the capital.

On the 4th July a Junta was set up by the Cabildo of Pamplona.

At Socorro two companies of the line and some militia were quartered. In
a moment of false alarm they fired upon an assemblage of the people.
Eight thousand citizens arose in arms and besieged them in their
barracks. A Junta was formed of eight deputies elected by the people,
and the government was placed in their hands.

At Bogotá everything was ripe for a revolution. Several attempts had
been made without result, but the news from Venezuela and from the
provinces, and above all the expectation of the speedy arrival of
commissioners from the Regency of Cadiz, decided the Patriots to make
another attempt, which was precipitated by an incident. On the 20th July
a Spaniard spoke contemptuously of Americans; the people rushed
tumultuously to the great square, demanding an open Cabildo and a Junta.
They were supported by the municipal authorities. The Viceroy declined
to accede to their wish. The bells of the churches were rung, and six or
seven thousand armed men assembled in front of the public offices. The
Viceroy had a thousand troops. A conflict seemed imminent, when at last
he gave way, and sanctioned the summoning of a special Cabildo.

At six o’clock the same evening the Cabildo met. The debate was stormy,
Dr. Camilo Torres taking the lead. The Patriots demanded a Junta, the
Spaniards sought to gain time by resisting the proposition. One of the
popular orators declared that any man who left his place before a Junta
was appointed, was a traitor to his country. The speech was applauded by
the people outside. A Junta was named, with the Viceroy, who was very
popular, as President, and was installed in office at three in the
morning of the 21st July.

The Junta drew up a constitution, on the basis of a federal union of the
various provinces. The sovereignty of King Ferdinand was recognised, and
also the authority of the Regency of Cadiz, so long as it should exist.
This was a compromise on all sides, and the Junta being overawed by the
popular leaders, had no real power. Later on the Viceroy was deposed,
and the Junta was instructed to govern in the name of the King in
complete independence of any other authority in Spain. Two days
afterwards Montufar and Villavicencio arrived as commissioners from
Spain, but were powerless to do more than accept what was already done.
Montufar, who was entrusted with a special mission to Quito, continued
his journey to that city, where we shall presently find him at the head
of the revolutionists.

Anarchy and reaction were not slow to follow on these hasty steps. Local
jealousies, which had been kept in check by the colonial system;
divergence of opinion between the leaders of the movement; the
antagonistic interests of Americans and Spaniards, and the instincts of
the masses who grouped themselves on geographical lines, all combined to
bring on complications in which the strength of the country was wasted
without any good result.

The Junta sent a circular to the provinces inviting them to send
deputies to a Congress. Nearly every province followed the example of
the capital by appointing a Junta, but some of them refused to send
deputies to a Congress, preferring to consider themselves independent
republics.

Cartagena refused to acknowledge in any way the authority of the Junta
of the capital, and invited the other provinces to send deputies to a
Congress in that city. One province only acceded to this proposition,
but it sufficed to prevent the assemblage of the Congress at Bogotá, and
postponed the formation of a central government, which was the urgent
necessity of the moment.

The revolutionary leaders in the capital then tried a new plan. They
formed the Province of Santa Fé, of which Bogotá was the chief city,
into a monarchical republic, which they called “The State of
Cundinamarca,” its ancient name, with a legislature of two chambers, and
Dr. Lozano was named President during the captivity of the King.

Lozano, after several fruitless attempts to bring about a general
understanding, succeeded at last in assembling a Congress, but the want
of a central government had produced such anarchy that the people,
inflamed by the writings of Don Antonio Nariño, who advocated a
centralized government, deposed Lozano, and on the 19th September, 1811,
appointed Nariño Dictator.

Congress continued the debate on the Constitution, and adopted the
federal system by a majority, but had no power to establish it, and
withdrew from the capital, where it was overawed by the popular leaders,
to the small town of Ibague, in the Province of Mariquita.

On the 11th November, 1811, the Province of Cartagena declared itself an
independent State, and the Eastern Provinces endeavoured to join the
Confederation of Venezuela.

Meantime the Royalists made no attempt to oppose the revolution in the
great centres of population, but secured all the country to the south of
the Province of Santa Fé, and established their base of operations at
Quito, with Guayaquil as their port on the Pacific. To the north they
held the Provinces of the Isthmus of Panama, with the fortress of
Portobello, and also the city and Province of Santa Marta on the western
bank of the Magdalena, and the Province of Rio Hacha, also on the
Magdalena, but further inland. The insurgent Province of Cartagena,
lying on the coast, was thus isolated from the other provinces which had
declared for the revolution.

The Royalists established a second base of operations at Santa Marta,
where they raised an army of 1,500 men, besides militia, and were
reinforced by a battalion of Spanish troops from Cuba, while three
Spanish ships-of-war guarded the coast, and either sunk or captured a
Patriot flotilla sent against them from Cartagena in March, 1812.

Dr. Torices, a young man, twenty-four years of age, being named Dictator
by the Constituent Convention of Cartagena, fitted out another flotilla,
which he placed under the command of a French adventurer named Labatut,
and sent it against the Royalists, who had crossed the Magdalena.
Labatut drove them from the lower part of the river, and then returned
and captured the city of Santa Marta in January, 1813.

At this time Don José Domingo Perez, who had been appointed Viceroy of
New Granada by the Regency of Cadiz, reached Portobello, but his
authority was not recognised by the insurgent provinces.

On the outbreak of the revolution Colonel Tacon was Governor of Popayán.
By his energy he prevented the installation of a Junta in that city, but
the Patriots set one up in the small town of Cali. The Governor sent
troops against them. Santa Fé sent 300 men, under Colonel Baraya, to
their assistance, on which basis they raised an army of 1100 men, mostly
Indians, armed with lances. Tacon led another army, 1500 strong, against
them, but was attacked and defeated by Baraya on the 28th March, 1811.
This was the first victory gained by the Patriots of New Granada, and
Tacon was forced to retire to the valley of Pasto, where he stood at bay
in the passes leading to Quito, while Popayán fell into the hands of the
revolutionists.

Meantime a fresh insurrection had taken place at Quito, and Tacon, after
raising the Royalist population of the valleys, marched upon that city
with 600 men. The new Government sent against him Don Pedro Montufar,
the envoy from the Regency of Cadiz, and Tacon, being deserted by the
greater part of his men, retreated to the coast, where he received help
from Guayaquil, but was again defeated and withdrew to Peru.

Montufar easily dispersed the Royalist levies in the valley of Pasto,
and returned to Quito, but the Royalists soon re-assembled, and, incited
by the priests, attacked the city of Popayán, but were beaten off, and
were totally dispersed on the night following by a sortie of the
garrison, which was headed by a young North American named Macaulay. A
portion of them, aided by fresh levies, captured the city of Pasto
before Macaulay could reach the place, but he prevailed upon them to
give up their prisoners, and then marched away by night to join a column
advancing from Quito. Being again attacked by these men of the valleys,
he arranged a truce with them, which they made use of to surprise his
camp, killing 200 men and making 400 prisoners, he himself being among
these latter, with Caicedo, the late commandant of Pasto.

These valleys of Pasto and Patia were the Vendée of the revolution of
New Granada, and the reaction was now there triumphant.

Don Pedro Montufar, in the capacity of commissioner from the Regency of
Cadiz, had reached Bogotá after the pacific triumph of the revolution in
that city. He had acceded to the new state of affairs, and had
afterwards gone on to Quito, where he was received with enthusiasm.
Under his auspices a Junta was there installed on the 19th September,
1810, under the presidency of Ruiz de Castillo, the late
captain-general, but the authority of this Junta was not recognised by
the Southern Provinces, where Peruvian influence was supreme. The Junta
then raised an army of 2,000 men, which it placed under the command of
Montufar, with orders to reduce these provinces to submission.

At the same time Molina, who had been appointed by the Viceroy of Peru
captain-general of Quito in place of Ruiz de Castillo, reached
Guayaquil, where he raised an army for the defence of these provinces.
Neither Molina nor Montufar had much confidence in their troops, and
confined their operations to desultory skirmishes, until, on the 11th
December, the citizens of Quito deposed Ruiz de Castillo from his post
as President of the Junta, summoned a Congress, and declared Quito to be
an independent State. Ruiz retired to a convent, from which he was
dragged by a mob and brutally murdered.

In the following year Marshal Montes arrived from Peru to take command
of the Royalist forces, and on the 2nd September, 1812, defeated the
Patriots at Mocha, giving no quarter. Montufar raised a new army, and
took up a position on some precipices which covered the road to the
capital, but Montes, marching for nine days by a circuitous route over
the rugged slopes of Chimborazo, gained his rear and obliged him to
retreat.

The Patriots then fortified the city of Quito, and declared they would
hold out to the last extremity, but it was taken by assault on the 3rd
November. Montufar retired northwards with the remnant of his force, but
was pursued by Colonel Sámano, who beat him twice and captured all his
guns. Sámano following out his instructions, shot all superior officers
who fell into his hands, and, going on to Pasto where the prisoners of
Popayán were confined, he shot one in every five of the officers and one
in every ten of the soldiers, the victims being chosen by lot. Caicedo
and Macaulay were among them. Thus was crushed the second revolution in
Quito.

While the reaction closed in upon New Granada, the interior of the
country was a prey to anarchy. Federalism struggled against
centralization, Cundinamarca against the provinces, Nariño against
Congress, till all was chaos.

Nariño pursued his policy of centralization by sending troops into the
districts around the capital and annexing them to what he called “the
legal province.” Congress protested from its retreat at Ibague. Baraya,
with the district of Tunja, pronounced in favour of Congress, and
defeated a force sent by Nariño to reduce the Province of Socorro.
Nariño was forced to come to terms, and resigned, but was reinstated by
the citizens of the capital, who, on the 11th September, again
proclaimed him Dictator, with absolute powers.

Congress, with eleven deputies who represented seven provinces, met soon
after at Leiva and named Dr. Torres President. Torres, who was an enemy
of Nariño’s, soon found a pretext for an open rupture with him. Civil
war broke out; Baraya, in command of the Federal troops, defeated Nariño
and laid siege to Bogotá, but was repulsed and totally defeated in an
ill-planned attack upon the city.

At this time Marshal Montalvo, a Cuban by birth, arrived as Viceroy in
place of Perez. Patriotism, enervated by civil strife, revived. On the
16th July, 1813, Cundinamarca declared itself an independent State, and
the Province of Antioquia followed the example. Nariño came to an
arrangement with Congress, and offered troops to reinforce the army
which was sent against the Royalists now advancing from the south.

General Sámano had occupied the city of Popayán with 2,000 men, and now
menaced the Province of Antioquia. Congress placed the Federal army
under the command of Nariño, giving him the rank of lieutenant-general.
Nariño then abdicated the dictatorship and marched against the enemy.
His first operations were successful; he defeated the main body under
Sámano, occupied Popayán on the 31st December, and on the 13th January,
1813, again defeated the Royalist army, which fled to Pasto, but he made
no attempt to follow up his victories. General Aymerich, who then
replaced Sámano in command, was allowed two months in which to
reorganize his scattered forces. Then Nariño again advanced with 1,400
men, and made his way through the guerillas, who swarmed in the valley
of Patia, to the Juanambu river, where he found that the fords were
defended by batteries. He forced a passage by one ford, but was driven
back by Aymerich, who afterwards retreated.

This river Juanambu is an impetuous torrent, rushing westward between
precipitous cliffs from the slopes of the eastern Cordillera. The few
fords are only occasionally passable, and the river is generally crossed
by means of baskets or troughs of raw hide slung upon cables stretched
from bank to bank, which are called “taravitas.” The Patriot army was
delayed twenty days in crossing by means of taravitas established by
themselves, and then advancing again encountered the enemy strongly
posted on the hills of Chacabamba.

The position was carried, with heavy loss, after four hours of desperate
fighting. Again the Royalist army retreated, but the country people rose
_en masse_ in defence of their homes and drove back the Patriot
vanguard, which was led by Nariño in person. Fugitives from this
skirmish reported that he was taken prisoner; the main body was seized
with panic, spiked their guns, and fled precipitately; only 900 reached
Popayán. Nariño, returning with thirteen men to his encampment, found
himself without an army. Deserted by his men he wandered alone for some
days on the mountains, living on such wild fruits as he could find, then
giving himself up he was sent in irons to Spain.

Bolívar, after leaving Caracas, resided for some time at Curaçoa, and
then offered his services to the independent Government of Cartagena. He
was appointed military commandant of the district of Barrancas, on the
Upper Magdalena, and resolved to make a campaign of his own against the
Royalists of Santa Marta, who obstructed the navigation of the river.
Here the future Liberator first showed his genius for enterprise.

At the head of a small party of militia, he attacked the fortified town
of Teneriffe, drove out the garrison, capturing their guns and boats,
and then took the town of Mompox. Labatut, who commanded the Patriot
flotilla acting against Santa Marta, complained of this to the Dictator
as an intrusion upon his sphere of operations; but Torices reinforced
Bolívar with some regular troops and fifteen armed boats, with which he
ascended the river, and after sundry successful skirmishes entered the
city of Ocaña in triumph in January, 1813.

In March, Labatut was driven from Santa Marta, and the coast line was
occupied by the Royalists. Torices himself then led an expedition
against them by sea, but was defeated with the loss of his artillery on
the 13th May, Colonel Chatillon, who commanded the infantry, being
killed.

The Royalists, being reinforced from Venezuela, then collected an army
of 2,600 men in the Province of Barinas, under command of a naval
officer named Tiscar, sent Colonel Correa with 1,000 men against
Pamplona, and 700 men by another route to co-operate with him.

Colonel Castillo Rada, an officer of New Granada, who was raising troops
in the Province of Pamplona, applied to Bolívar for help. Bolívar then
conceived the daring plan of attempting the reconquest of Venezuela, and
wrote to Torices and to Dr. Torres, showing them the advisability of
carrying the war into the enemy’s territory. Without waiting for an
answer from either of them, he marched with 400 men by a stony pass
across the mountain range in front of Ocaña, drove in the outposts of
the enemy, and, spreading the report that he was followed by a large
army, crossed the river Zulia in one canoe, and on the 28th February
fell upon Correa. After four hours’ sharp firing, the fight was decided
by a furious charge with the bayonet; the Royalists were totally
defeated, with the loss of all their artillery, and Bolívar was soon
after joined by Castillo Rada with the troops he had raised in Pamplona.

Bolívar’s idea of reconquering Venezuela was looked upon as folly, just
as San Martin’s idea of reconquering Chile was when he first broached
it. Happily, Bolívar also found a Pueyrredon to believe in him. He had
published a memorial which produced a profound sensation in New Granada.
In it he disclosed for the first time his peculiar ideas on the
organization of a Republican Government, and on the proper mode of
conducting the war. Explaining the causes of the fall of the Republic of
Venezuela, he said:--

“Our rulers did not consult codes which would teach them the practical
science of government, but those drawn up by dreamers who built
republics in the air on the basis of the perfectability of human nature.
We had philosophers as leaders, philanthropy for legislation, arguments
instead of tactics, and sophists for soldiers.”

He also denounced the federal form of government as contrary to the
interests of young societies in face of a foreign war, and the folly of
placing trust in raw levies in place of devoting all their energy to the
organization of regular troops, and wound up by insisting that the
safety of New Granada lay in the reconquest of Venezuela.

President Torres read this memorial with great attention, and though it
clashed with his ideas as a federal, he saw that it was the work of a
deep thinker who was also a man of action, and the language used
appealed both to his reason and to his heart. The successes achieved by
Bolívar in his first daring attempt decided him. He resolved upon the
reconquest of Venezuela.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

THE RECONQUEST OF VENEZUELA.

1813.


By the surrender of Miranda Monteverde was left unopposed in Venezuela,
and was made Captain-General, with the title of “Pacificator.” He
commenced his work of pacification by deeds from which the warmest
partisans of Spain now turn away their eyes in horror. He violated the
capitulation by imprisoning so many citizens that the gaols could not
hold them; many died of hunger and suffocation in filthy dungeons. In
the provinces his reign of terror assumed forms still more barbarous;
the whole country seemed given up to hordes of banditti.

Colonel Cervéris, pro-consul of Cumaná, acted with such inhumanity as
even disgusted the hard hearts of his superiors, who replaced him by
Antoñanzas, and the Audiencia complained of his misconduct to the Home
Government. All this was but the prelude to a war of extermination,
which was provoked by the Royalists by murders, by mutilations and by
torture.

The people, cowed in spirit by their sufferings, by their political
calamities, and by the natural catastrophes which had befallen them,
were only too anxious for rest on any terms under the domination of the
colonial system. Clemency would have kept them peaceful, but the reign
of terror drove superstitious fears from their minds, and changed
weakness into strength. They fled from their persecutors into the woods
and mountains; the leaders emigrated. Misery and despair created a
desire for vengeance in the breasts of the most timid.

A handful of exiles gave the signal from a rock in the Antilles, and the
whole of the eastern part of the territory rose in rebellion.

Famous in the history of the New World is the gulf called “Triste,”
discovered by Columbus on his third voyage, when he, without knowing it,
landed for the first time on the Continent of which he was in search. At
its mouth, between the eastern extremity of the Peninsula of Paria and
the island of Trinidad, there lies a smaller island called Chacachacare;
on it the fugitives from Cumaná took refuge. Though only forty-five in
number, they resolved to renew the war and to raise the country against
the Spaniards. A gallant youth of good family, from the island of
Margarita, Santiago Mariño by name, put himself at their head. Manuel
Piar, a handsome mulatto, two brothers, José Francisco and Bernardo
Bermudez, and the engineer Ascue, formed his staff. With no other arms
than six muskets and some pistols, they landed on the coast on the 13th
March, 1813, surprised a guard, captured twenty-three muskets, and
marched resolutely on the fortified town of Güiria. The garrison, who
were all natives, joined them; on the 16th March they had 200 well-armed
men.

With seventy-five men Bernardo Bermudez took the town of Maturin, where
there was a deposit of military stores; his brother fortified Irapa on
the Gulf, and Mariño made this place his head-quarters.

Cervéris had a small flotilla on the Gulf and 400 men, but did not dare
to act on the offensive until, being reinforced by a Basque named
Zuazola with 300 men, he sent him to retake Maturin. Zuazola easily
overcame a small Patriot force which opposed his march, slaughtered them
without mercy, and sent boxes full of human ears to Cumaná as trophies
of his victory. He then tried to induce those of the country people who
had fled to the woods to return to their homes, by giving them
assurances of safety, but all who presented themselves were either
killed or mutilated, men, women and children. Some were flayed alive,
some were tied two and two together by the shoulders and thrown into a
lake.

Colonel Fernandez de la Hoz, governor of Barcelona, having joined
Zuazola, they attacked Maturin with 1,500 men. In the absence of
Bermudez, Piar was in command, and had 500 men with him. By a sudden
attack upon them with his cavalry, he threw the Royalists into such
disorder that they were forced to retreat. In April they again advanced
and were this time completely routed.

Monteverde, who had looked upon the invasion as the escapade of a wild
boy, now became alarmed and marched on Maturin with 2,000 men, but his
troops were thrown into disorder by the heavy fire of cannon and
musketry which was poured upon them from the town, and a charge of
cavalry led by Piar completed the rout. Monteverde escaped with
difficulty, leaving 400 dead upon the field, and lost all his guns and
baggage. Marshal Cajigal, who was now placed in command of the district,
remained strictly on the defensive at Barcelona, while the Patriots
threatened Cumaná.

The island of Margarita lies in the Carribean Sea, off the mouth of the
Gulf of Cariaco, on which the city of Cumaná is situate, and is about
thirty-five miles from the mainland. It is divided by a range of
mountains which run down the centre from east to west; the north and
south coasts are thus completely separate, the only communication
between them being by a narrow defile, easy of defence. Asuncion, the
capital, lies inland on the south side, and is dominated by the fortress
of Santa Rosa, but has a port on the coast, which is defended by the
castle of Pampatar. The north side of the island is known as the
district of Juan Griego, and has a good port on the Carribean Sea, which
is defended by a blockhouse. The possession of Margarita was of great
importance to both parties, not only by reason of its situation, but
also because the inhabitants, being mostly sailors and fishermen, would
be of great assistance in naval operations along the coast.

At that time Colonel Pascual Martinez, a petty tyrant of the Cervéris
type, was governor of Margarita. The Audiencia reproved him for his
conduct, and ordered certain prisoners on the mainland who had been
accused by him, to be set at liberty. Furious at this, he declared that
if any one of these men set foot on the island he would shoot him. Among
the prisoners so set at liberty was a man of mixed race, who from being
a fisherman had risen to be one of the largest proprietors on the
island. This man, Juan Bauptista Arismendi by name, was a sort of
chieftain among his fellows, a rude hero of the people, a man of
vehement passions combined with innate sagacity, and of an adventurous
spirit. On the fall of Miranda he was accused of treason and hid
himself. Governor Martinez seized his wife and children and threatened
to shoot them if they did not disclose his hiding-place. Arismendi gave
himself up, his property was confiscated, his family reduced to poverty,
and he himself was sent as a prisoner to La Guayra. He swore vengeance.

Being released, he returned to the island and was thrown into a dungeon.
The populace rose _en masse_. Martinez shut himself up with a garrison
in the castle of Pampatar, but was forced to surrender; Arismendi was
made governor and kept his vow of vengeance. Martinez and twenty-nine
Spaniards who were with him were shot.

Arismendi immediately opened communications with Mariño, offering to
assist him in any way in his power. Mariño, who was now besieging
Cumaná, asked for a flotilla to blockade the place. Arismendi sent him
three armed schooners and eleven boats under an Italian named Bianchi,
with a supply of arms and ammunition for the Patriot forces. Cumaná was
thus speedily invested both by land and sea.

Cumaná was well fortified and was defended by a garrison of 800 men with
forty guns, under command of Governor Antoñanzas. The Patriots dared not
attempt an assault, but their blockade soon reduced the city to
extremities. Antoñanzas, taking advantage of the careless watch kept by
the Patriot flotilla, shipped a portion of his force on some small
craft, and sailed away, as he said, in search of help, leaving the
fortress in charge of a subordinate officer. This officer, seeing his
position hopeless, entered into arrangements for a capitulation, but
while the negotiation was in progress, spiked his guns, embarked the
remainder of the garrison in such boats as they could lay hold of, and
followed Antoñanzas, who had not succeeded in escaping from the Gulf.
After rejoining him a fresh breeze sprang up, and the fugitives again
set sail in eight small vessels, but were attacked by Bianchi as they
left the Gulf. Only three vessels escaped, on one of which was
Antoñanzas, who soon after died of a wound received in the action.

The city was occupied by the Patriots, and twenty-five prisoners of
distinction were shot, at the instigation of José Bermudez.

Mariño then marched against Cervéris, who retreated, after shooting
Bernardo Bermudez, who was lying in a hospital dangerously wounded.

Piar, with a strong column, occupied Barcelona, which was evacuated on
his approach by Cajigal, who retired to Guayana. When he reached the
Orinoco, a man named José Tomas Boves, who had served under Antoñanzas
and Zuazola, and a Canarian named Morales, asked to be left behind, in
order that they might raise the Llaneros against the Patriots. Cajigal
gave them permission to make the attempt, and also left with them one
hundred men and some supplies. This small force became the nucleus of a
powerful army, which was destined to crush the Republic of Venezuela for
the second time.

José Bermudez, with another column, captured several towns on the coast
of the Gulf of Paria, and furious at the death of his brother, killed
every Royalist who fell into his hands.

In eight months all the eastern part of Venezuela was thus reconquered
by the Patriots, who named Mariño Dictator of the Provinces of Cumaná
and Barcelona, and of the island of Margarita, with Piar as his second
in command, at the same time that Bolívar entered Caracas in triumph and
was acclaimed Dictator of the West after one of the most extraordinary
campaigns of the epoch, which in some respects resembles the first
campaign of Buonaparte in Italy.

While Bolívar, after his victory over Correa, was awaiting due
authorization from the Government of New Granada to proceed with his
scheme of reconquest, a young lawyer named Briceño, who had been a
member of the Congress of Caracas, maddened at the excesses of
Monteverde, presented to him a plan he had published in Cartagena, which
he with others had sworn to carry out. His design was to make a general
massacre of “the cursed race of European Spaniards and of the
Canarians.”

Bolívar and Castillo Rada, who shared the command with him, assented to
it with the proviso “those found with arms in their hands.”

Briceño started off on his campaign of murder with one hundred and forty
sworn assassins, and a few days after sent back two heads as a trophy, a
present which excited the horror of the two commanders. Briceño was soon
after defeated and made prisoner by a very superior force, and was shot
at Barinas, which execution was afterwards used by Bolívar as a pretext
for cruel reprisals.

The Government of New Granada adopted the idea of Bolívar; the Republic
of Venezuela should be restored under its auspices, and the federal form
of government should be re-established under the previous authorities.
The invading army was to be a liberating army only, and should take no
part in the internal affairs of the sister republic, which should be
called upon to pay the expenses of the expedition. Bolívar accepted
these conditions, and swore to carry them out faithfully.

His first step was to detach Castillo Rada with 800 men against Correa.
Castillo defeated the Royalist army in a sharply contested action,
and drove it back to Trujillo, but then withdrew his forces and
resigned his command through jealousy of Bolívar, thinking that his
fellow-countrymen would prefer him as a leader to a Venezuelan. But
Torres did not hesitate, he chose Bolívar to command the Granadian
contingent, conferred the rank of brigadier upon him, and ordered him at
once to drive the Royalists out of the Provinces of Mérida and Trujillo,
after which he was to await instructions, which would be conveyed to him
by commissioners from Congress, who would accompany him in all his
future operations as those of the Convention accompanied the armies of
Revolutionary France.

Bolívar had barely 600 men, while he was opposed by 6,000, who were so
posted that wherever he attacked them they were always two to one. The
first invasion of Bolívar along the western slopes of the eastern range
of the Cordillera which crosses the territory of Venezuela, was a series
of flashes of lightning which ended in a thunderbolt. On the 30th May he
took Mérida unopposed. The city raised a battalion of 500 infantry and a
squadron of cavalry to reinforce his army. His vanguard, under Girardot,
then occupied Trujillo, and a strong detachment under D’Eluyar forced
Correa to take refuge in Maracaibo.

The garrison of Trujillo retreated to Carache, a town devoted to the
Royalist cause, but were driven out by Girardot, who shot all the
Spaniards who were taken prisoners, and the town was declared “infamous”
by Bolívar in a proclamation. In fifty days there was not an enemy left
in either province.

From this time Bolívar assumed a new attitude, as the independent
representative of the Republic of Venezuela, and became a sort of
Dictator. In contravention of the express orders of the Government of
New Granada, he on the 15th June fulminated in a proclamation an order
for the extermination of all Royalists, which he established by decree
on the 6th September as a fundamental law of Venezuela. The atrocities
committed by Monteverde and his myrmidons produced their natural
effect.

“Every Spaniard who does not conspire against tyranny in favour of the
just cause, in the most active and efficacious manner, shall be held to
be an enemy, shall be punished as a traitor, and shall be put to death.”

A new system of dates was also adopted by him:--“Third year of
Independence and first of the War to the Death.”

This decree of extermination has found many apologists; with the
exception of some Spaniards no one has condemned it as an act of
personal atrocity. Only two men have utterly censured it. One of them,
an historian of Venezuela named Gonzalez, says:--

“It created thousands of enemies to the Republic in the interior, and
alienated exterior sympathy. It was the fury of a storm, a stain upon
our history.”

The other who condemned it was Bolívar himself, who in his last days
spoke of it as a “delirium.”

This struggle did not assume a ferocious character until the indigenous
races took part in it. The Spanish leaders, Miyares, Ceballos and
Cajigal, always acted with humanity and repressed the excesses of their
subordinates, as also did Cortabarria, the agent of the Regency. Nothing
that the Royalists had yet done could in any way justify this decree as
a measure of retaliation.

At Trujillo Bolívar received orders from the Government of New Granada
to proceed no further. As his ambition was to encircle his brow with the
civic crown as liberator of his native land, to pause was to endanger
the advantage he had already gained. From the east came echoes of the
success achieved by Mariño and his comrades, but he aspired to be the
man who should rescue the ruins of Caracas, the city of his birth, from
the enemy. They might forestall him. On his own responsibility he went
on.

Tiscar, the Spanish general, who occupied Barinas with 1,300 men, had
done nothing to prevent the capture of Mérida and Trujillo, but at last
determined to cut off the retreat of the invaders, and detached Colonel
Marti with 700 men for that purpose. Bolívar at once crossed the
mountains in his front with a strong vanguard, after detaching Rivas and
Urdaneta with 500 men, by a more southerly route, in the same direction.
On the 1st July Rivas found himself confronted by the entire column
under Marti in a very strong position, from which he drove the Royalists
to another stronger still, where he on the next day completely defeated
them after five hours fighting, capturing a gun and 400 prisoners, all
the Spaniards among whom were at once shot.

Tiscar retreated on the approach of Bolívar, who occupied Barinas on the
6th July, taking 13 guns and a large quantity of military stores, while
Tiscar was so actively pursued by Girardot, that his men dispersed, and
he fled to Guayana.

At Barinas, Bolívar raised some new battalions and several squadrons of
cavalry, and separated this increased force into three divisions under
Urdaneta, Girardot, and Rivas, which he dispersed in such a manner as
must have ensured defeat in the face of an active enemy, but his
manœuvres, imprudent as they were, resulted in the most brilliant
success. Rivas, with 600 men, totally defeated 1,000 Royalists under
Colonel Oberto on the 22nd July, and then recrossing the mountains for
the third time in one month, rejoined Bolívar and Girardot.

Bolívar, who had now 1,500 men, marched rapidly against Colonel
Izquierdo, who was encamped on the plain of Taguanes. Izquierdo, who had
only 1,000 men, retreated in close column on Valencia, hotly pursued by
the Patriots. After six hours marching, the Patriot cavalry headed the
column, which was at once charged by the infantry and totally destroyed,
Izquierdo himself falling mortally wounded.

Monteverde on hearing of the fall of Barinas, had gone to Valencia, but
seemed perfectly bewildered by the rapid movements of Bolívar, and did
nothing to assist his scattered divisions. Tardily, he left Valencia
with some infantry and cavalry to support Izquierdo, but was met by the
news of his defeat, and fled to Puerto Cabello, while Bolívar entered
Valencia unopposed, capturing thirty heavy guns and large quantities of
military stores.

The garrison of Caracas, composed of civic guards and volunteers, for
the most part dispersed, and General Fierro, who was in command, made
overtures to Bolívar for a capitulation. Bolívar granted honourable
terms, guaranteeing the lives and properties of the inhabitants, on
condition that all the Province, including the fortress of Puerto
Cabello, was given up. Fierro, without waiting to make a formal
surrender, fled to La Guayra and escaped, but Monteverde refused to
ratify the capitulation.

If Bolívar with his usual activity, had marched on Puerto Cabello, he
must have captured it, as the fortifications were dismantled. Instead of
this, he vaingloriously marched to receive the ovation which awaited him
in Caracas, and gave Monteverde twenty days in which to prepare for
defence.

In this campaign, Bolívar showed that though he had had no military
education, he possessed the talents of a great revolutionary leader, and
the inspiration of genius. At one step he gained a place among the
celebrated captains of his time; he drew out his plans quickly and
executed them with daring resolution, while he lost no time in securing
the fruits of his victories. With 600 men, in ninety days, he had fought
six battles, defeated and dispersed 4,500 men, captured fifty guns and
three deposits of war material, had re-conquered the whole of western
Venezuela from the Cordillera to the sea, and had restored the Republic.
Never with such small means was so much accomplished, over so vast an
extent of country, in so short a time.

Bolívar entered Caracas in triumph on the 6th August; the bells rang,
the cannon roared, and the people shouted in applause of their
liberator; his path was strewed with flowers, blessings were showered
upon his head. Beautiful girls, belonging to the principal families of
the city, dressed in white and wearing the national colours, led his
horse by the bridle and crowned him with laurels. The prison doors were
opened and the captive Patriots set free, and he did not sully his
triumph by one act of vengeance, in spite of his terrible decree of
extermination which had been ruthlessly carried out on every field of
battle.

Two days later he announced the re-establishment of the Republic, but he
did not restore the federal system, to which he was opposed on
principle, and which was not consistent with the public safety. He
proclaimed himself Dictator with the title of “Liberator,” and in this
he showed both foresight and patriotism; the restoration of the old
system would have certainly entailed anarchy and defeat.

There were thus two Dictators in Venezuela, Mariño in the East, Bolívar
in the West. Mariño sent commissioners to Bolívar to treat concerning
the form of government which should be adopted. Bolívar hesitated, he
saw the necessity of establishing a firm central authority, and
meanwhile Mariño, who had by this time a powerful army, did nothing
against the common enemy.

On the 25th August Bolívar laid siege to Puerto Cabello. His Granadian
troops stormed the outer defences and drove the garrison into the
castle. Then batteries were erected on the coast, which beat off three
Spanish brigs of war whose fire had raked the lines of the besiegers. On
the night of the 31st an assault was made, but the only result of it was
that Zuazola, who commanded an outwork, was made prisoner. Bolívar
offered to exchange him for one of his own officers who had been
captured. Monteverde refused, whereupon Zuazola was hanged on a gallows
in front of the walls.

The Royalists were defeated, but they were not conquered; they soon
recovered from their stupor, and reports of reactionary movements came
from all sides. Then on the 6th September the Dictator fulminated
another decree, his last thunderbolt in this war to the death, which
produced one of the most dreadful hecatombs of which history bears
record. He declared that all Americans who should even be suspected of
being Royalists were traitors to their country. This extreme and
ill-advised measure greatly contributed to the defeat of Bolívar in the
campaign now commencing. Such is the logic of Destiny!

On the 16th September the frigate _Venganza_ arrived at Puerto Cabello
from Spain, accompanied by an armed schooner and six transports, with
the Granada regiment, 1,200 strong, under command of Colonel Salomón.
Bolívar raised the siege and retired to Valencia.

Monteverde, encouraged by the retreat of the Patriots and by the
reinforcement he had received, took the field on the 26th September with
1,600 men. But he had no fixed plan and committed the grave mistake of
dividing his force. He himself took up a position on the road to
Valencia at a place called Las Trincheras, and detached 500 men by
another road to the heights of Barbula. Bolívar remained quiet for four
days, unable to divine his intentions, and then sent Girardot and
D’Eluyar with the Granadian troops against the enemy at Barbula, while a
column under Urdaneta went in support. On the 30th September the
Royalists were driven from this strong position, but Girardot fell, shot
through the head in the moment of victory. His troops, in revenge, asked
permission to attack the main body at Las Trincheras by themselves.
Bolívar acceded to their request but supported them with 1,000 of his
own troops. Monteverde was driven out of the entrenchments he had thrown
up, with heavy loss, on the 3rd October. He himself being wounded
returned to Puerto Cabello, leaving Salomón in command till he should
recover, and the Patriots under D’Eluyar again laid siege to this
fortress.

Bolívar, eager for fresh ovations, decreed sumptuous funeral honours to
the memory of Girardot, to whose valour both New Granada and Venezuela
owed their greatest victories. The citizens wore mourning for a month;
his heart was taken out and carried to Caracas to be deposited in the
Cathedral, his body was sent to Antioquia, his native province, and his
pay was secured to his posterity. Bolívar himself accompanied the
funeral procession to Caracas.

On the 14th October, the day of the obsequies, twenty of the civic
functionaries of the capital assembled and decreed that Bolívar should
be appointed Captain-General of the armies of Venezuela with the title
of “Liberator,” which he had already bestowed upon himself, and that the
inscription “Bolívar, Liberator of Venezuela” should be inscribed over
the gateways of all the public offices. Posterity has confirmed this
title to him, but its acceptance at that time, when the reaction was
gaining ground every day, was a symptom of inordinate personal vanity.

In return for this compliment Bolívar instituted the military order of
“The Liberators”; a star with seven rays, symbolical of the seven
provinces of the Republic, given as a decoration to those who should
merit it by deeds of arms, and which carried with it certain privileges.
This order was more democratic than those instituted by O’Higgins and
San Martin in Chile and Peru, as it was for lifetime only, and was less
aristocratic than the order of Cincinnatus created by Washington.

The time which Bolívar wasted in theatrical displays the Royalists made
good use of for their own purposes. Boves was a Spaniard by birth, whose
real name was Rodriguez. In his youth he was condemned to eight years
penal servitude at Puerto Cabello for piracy, but was released chiefly
through the intervention of a man whose name he then adopted in
gratitude. He joined the revolution when it first broke out, but being
looked upon as disaffected he was thrown into prison at Calabozo till
that town was retaken by Antoñanzas, when he joined the Royalists and
took part in the butchery at San Juan de los Morros. Morales, his
companion and second in command, had served as a volunteer with the
Royalists at Barcelona, and was made a sub-lieutenant of artillery by
Monteverde. These two men were both endowed with the warlike instinct,
were both distinguished by indefatigable activity and by an iron will;
they were just the sort of men to act as leaders of semi-barbarous
troops. But Boves, with all his ignorance and brutality, had something
of moral elevation about him: he fought for a cause, not for rapine.
Morales took an actual pleasure in cruel deeds, and was of insatiable
rapacity. These two men were the first to discover the latent strength
of the people, which the revolution later on assimilated to itself. Up
to this time the revolutionary movement had been confined to the cities
and towns; Bolívar with all his perspicacity never suspected that the
main strength of the country lay on the plains around them.

When these two men were left on the north bank of the Orinoco by Cajigal
they adopted Bolívar’s plan of rousing the country by proclamations.
They called the Llaneros to arms, offering them bloodshed and booty in
the cause of the King, with pain of death to all who disregarded the
summons. Each man presented himself on horseback with a lance; in each
district a squadron was formed which took its name. Boves taught them
the secret of victory, which was to have no fear of death, to go
straight on and never look behind. In a very short time they had 2,500
men embodied, an army of horsemen such as had never yet been seen in
America.

Colonel José Yañez, a Canarian, was a man of the same stamp as Boves and
Morales, but of greater military skill. After the dispersion of the
column by Tiscar, he had retreated to San Fernando on the Apure River,
and with some help from Guayana, had there organized an infantry corps
of 500 men, which he named the “Numancia” battalion. He also raised two
regiments of Llanero cavalry, each 500 strong. With this force he
invaded Barinas in September, before the waters had retired from the
plains.

Boves opened his campaign by surprising a column of 1,000 men which had
been sent against him, near Calabozo, on the 20th September. The cavalry
passed over to him, the infantry he routed. He murdered all his
prisoners, and then took and sacked the small town of Cura.

Now there appeared upon the scene another singular character, of the
iron temperament of Boves, with all his ferocity and courage, who raised
a barrier to his impetuous onslaught. Nothing was known of him except
that he was a Spaniard who had come to America very young, and had
married an American wife. When Bolívar opened his campaign of
emancipation, this man had headed the rising at Mérida; then, leaving
wife and children, he raised a battalion and devoted himself body and
soul to the cause of independence. Throughout the campaign he
distinguished himself by his indomitable valour and by his cruelty to
prisoners, to whom he gave no quarter. The cause of his hatred to his
fellow countrymen is unknown. He was accustomed to say:--

“When the Spaniards are all killed then I will cut my own throat, so
that there shall not be one left.”

The name of this man was Vicente Campo Elias. At Las Trincheras he was
raised to the rank of lieutenant-colonel for conspicuous bravery. This
was the man to send against Boves.

He marched from Valencia with 1,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry. Boves
with 2,500 horse, and Morales with 500 infantry, waited for him at a
place called Mosquitero, at the entrance to the plains. On the 14th
October the armies met. Boves charged the left wing of the Patriots with
his usual impetuosity, and carried all before him, but Campo Elias,
caring nothing for this, rushed upon the main body of the Royalists, and
routed them completely in fifteen minutes. Morales escaped badly
wounded, but nearly the whole of his infantry were butchered, and the
Llanero horse were cut to pieces. Boves and Morales fled with twenty men
beyond the Apure, and the state of the plains rendered pursuit
impossible.

Campo Elias contented himself by retaking the town of Calabozo, and
killing every man in the place for having given assistance to Boves.
Unarmed Venezuelans were butchered by Venezuelan troops at Calabozo in
the name of Liberty on the same day on which Bolívar was greeted in
Caracas as the Liberator. This cruel deed decided the Llaneros. Seeing
that there was no mercy for them, they abandoned their homes and looked
to Boves for their revenge. The decree of extermination began to bear
fruit.

Ceballos, who commanded at Coro, on hearing that reinforcements had
reached Puerto Cabello, drew up a plan for the concerted action of the
scattered bands of Royalists. With such men as he could collect, he
sallied forth, and after routing two detachments of Patriots took
Barquisimeto, where he was attacked by Bolívar and Urdaneta. Bolívar
captured the town with a handful of horse, but his main body was totally
routed by the Spanish infantry led by Ceballos, who, after his victory,
crossed the Cordillera, and at Araure, in the valley of Caracas,
effected a junction with the column under Yañez. Salomón, instead of
joining him, marched with 1,000 men to the heights of Vigirima, to the
west of the city of Caracas, and there entrenched himself.

Bolívar was then at Valencia with the Granadian contingent. He collected
what other troops he could; Rivas brought up the garrison of Caracas,
with a battalion of 500 students from the University. After two days’
fighting, Salomón was on the 25th October driven back to Puerto Cabello
with the loss of four guns. Bolívar then turned his attention to
Ceballos, and by drawing 1,500 men from the force under Campo Elias, he
had by the 1st December collected a force of 3,000 men. Ceballos had
3,500 men and ten guns, posted in a strong position on the slopes of the
mountains, at the town of Araure. Here Bolívar attacked him on the 4th
December. One Patriot battalion advancing incautiously was cut to
pieces, but Bolívar, nothing daunted, brought up the rest of his
troops, and ordered a charge with the bayonet, which was his favourite
manœuvre. He was no tactician; he hurled his men in masses upon the
enemy, and trusted to their valour. Yañez attempted to take the
attacking column on the flank with his cavalry, but was himself taken in
flank by the Patriot cavalry, and utterly routed. Ceballos, after a
stubborn resistance, was completely defeated, losing 500 killed, 400
prisoners, and all his guns. He fled to Guayana, 800 of his infantry
escaped in the same direction, and Yañez fled to the Apure with 200 men.
This was the first pitched battle won by Bolívar.

After the rout of Barquisimeto, Bolívar had formed the fugitives into a
battalion, which, in punishment of their cowardice, he called the
“Nameless Battalion,” telling them that they should have no flag till
they did something to merit one. This corps greatly distinguished itself
at the battle of Araure. Bolívar now presented it with the flag of the
Numancia battalion, which had been captured in the fight, and renamed it
“The Victor of Araure.”

Salomón had again taken the field with 1,300 men, but on hearing of the
defeat of Araure, he again retired to Coro, harassed on his way by
detached parties of the Patriots, and losing two guns and more than half
his men.

Bolívar then marched to assist D’Eluyar in the siege of Puerto Cabello.
The moment was propitious; the Spanish ships of war had left for the
Havana, and Piar, with the flotilla from Cumaná, had established a
blockade, cutting off the garrison from all supplies. Monteverde had
been dismissed in disgrace from his command; Ceballos, who had been
appointed to succeed him, was a fugitive in Guayana, where also was
Cajigal, who had been appointed by the Home Government Captain-General
of Venezuela, and had as yet done nothing. Still the garrison, which was
only 600 strong, held out.

Meantime the dual dictatorship brought forth its natural fruit. The
victories of the West were sterile without the concurrence of the army
of the East. Mariño refused to combine operations with Bolívar until he
was recognised as the supreme ruler of the territory he possessed. The
Liberator modestly entreated him to march upon the plains, where Boves
and Yañez were recruiting. Far from doing this, though such action was
necessary to his own security, he even recalled his flotilla from Puerto
Cabello, but Piar listened to the appeals of Bolívar, and continued the
blockade. The result was that Bolívar, being unable to attend to the
siege of Puerto Cabello and to the war upon the plains at the same time,
Boves and Yañez were speedily in a position to assume the offensive.
Boves, more especially, with that wonderful energy which hesitated at no
means, however terrible they might be, to the end before him, again took
the field, two months after his defeat by Campo Elias.

On the 1st November he summoned all able-bodied men to join him,
proclaimed war to the knife against the Patriots, decreed that their
goods should be distributed among his troops, and, finally, liberated
all slaves who would enlist under the banners of the King. The Llaneros,
irritated by the massacre of Calabozo, and eager for plunder, flocked in
masses to his standard. From Guayana came 100 infantry and one gun. By
the middle of December he had 3,000 cavalry, the blades of whose lances
were forged from the spikes torn from the railings of windows.

With this horde he descended to the lower plains. On the 14th December
he routed a division of 1,000 men at San Marcos, and occupied Calabozo,
slaughtering without mercy, and enriching his troops with booty. He then
overran the whole plain lying between the windward coast range and the
Gulf of Paria. For further operations he needed infantry, and set to
work to make some. At the same time Yañez, with some help from Guayana,
organized a force of 2,000 men on the Apure, and captured the city of
Barinas, while Cajigal and Ceballos raised another army on the leeward
coast.

Bolívar was reduced to Caracas and the neighbouring valleys, with a
feeble reserve in Valencia, and was constantly harassed by Royalist
guerillas. Urdaneta, who had marched on Coro, was forced to return to
his assistance.

Mariño, with 3,500 men distributed along the coasts of Barcelona and
Cumaná, and in the adjacent valleys, did nothing. All the rest of
Venezuela was occupied by Royalists; the country people were everywhere
in favour of the reaction, and the Patriots were forced to seek refuge
in the cities. The Patriot armies were entirely without guides, no one
would give them any information. Despatches to the various commanders
could only be forwarded from head-quarters under strong escort. At times
only four men out of an escort reached their destination. Public opinion
had returned to the state in which it was left by the earthquake of
1812.

Columbian historians attribute this revulsion of feeling to Bolívar’s
decree of extermination, and to the excesses authorized by him. Bolívar
was to fall as Miranda had fallen before him, but from different causes.
Ever the logic of Destiny!



CHAPTER XXXIX.

THE SECOND FALL OF VENEZUELA.

1814.


A Dictatorship was a necessity of the time, but the powers of a Dictator
to be efficient must be united in one person. Bolívar shared his power
with Mariño, the alleged rights of both rested upon force only. To put
an end to this anomaly Bolívar determined upon an appeal to public
opinion. It was impossible to summon a Congress, he therefore convened
an Assembly composed of the civil corporations and of the heads of
families of the city of Caracas.

Now was disclosed another phase of his complex character; never in any
public man were seen greater contradictions between word and deed. A
prey to insatiable ambition he was eager for uncontrolled power, but
repudiated it in theory. In South America he was the inventor of the
system of resignations, which has had great vogue since his time. He had
supreme power in his hands, and resigned it, protesting that he would
never again accept it, but took it back on conditions imposed by
himself. Throughout his career, he ever invoked the high authority of
Congresses as the representatives of public opinion; sometimes he gave
way to them, more frequently he imposed his will upon them; but he
always sought their sanction for his acts, and so compelled them to
share responsibility with him.

To the Assembly he now convened at Caracas, to which by a convenient
fiction he attributed representative authority, he gave an account of
his administration, and into its hands he abdicated the power he had
bestowed upon himself, only to receive it back again intact. He made
three speeches; in the first he abdicated the Dictatorship, and
pronounced a warm eulogium upon his own deeds; in the second, he gave a
biographical sketch of his own life, and showed from it that it was
impossible for him to continue in the exercise of unlimited power; in
the third, he again accepted the Dictatorship, which was bestowed upon
him without conditions by the acclamations of the Assembly.

His next step was to endeavour to secure the co-operation of Mariño, by
recognising his authority in the eastern provinces, and in January,
1814, a treaty was signed between them. But it was too late now, their
union merely prolonged the struggle.

Yañez was advancing with 1,000 men by the eastern slopes of the
Cordillera. Urdaneta crossed the range, and on the 2nd February met him
with 700 men at Ospino. Yañez led a charge of the Llanero horse upon the
Patriot infantry, but was killed, and his troops dispersed. His body was
cut into fragments, which were sent as trophies to the scenes of his
atrocities. Calzada, who took the command, in revenge burned the town of
Ospino and then retreated.

Campo Elias was detached with 1,500 men against Boves and his hordes of
Llanero horse. He marched to the town of Cura, where it was arranged
that he should be joined by Mariño, but Mariño never came. Boves
detached Rosete with 1,200 men to Ocumare, a town lying to the west of
Caracas, which was feebly defended, and the inhabitants, men, women, and
children, were all butchered; even those who had taken refuge in the
church found there no safety.

On the 3rd February Campo Elias and Boves met at La Puerta. The Patriots
were crushed by overwhelming numbers, and all the infantry perished, but
Boves was badly wounded. Campo Elias, with the remains of his force,
retreated to the narrow pass of Cabrera in front of Valencia, where he
threw up entrenchments.

Morales, who now took command of the Royalists, advanced with 1,000
horse and 300 infantry by the valley of Aragua to Victoria, which city
he attacked on the 10th February. Here Rivas was in command of the
Patriots, but had hard work to hold the position against the superior
numbers of the Royalists, till Campo Elias suddenly appeared at the head
of 220 horse, and Morales was beaten off with the loss of all his
artillery, and retired to Cura.

Rivas then marched with 800 men upon the town of Charavaye, then
occupied by the column under Rosete, and cut the Royalists to pieces,
giving no quarter. He then re-took Ocumare, and finding the streets
strewn with dead bodies, swore an oath of vengeance, in which oath he
was joined by Arismendi, who held the command at Caracas in his absence.
This vow was most fearfully fulfilled.

Arismendi finding the prisons of La Guayra full of Spaniards, wrote to
Bolívar who was at Valencia, asking instructions, and stating that their
presence was a danger to the capital. The answer was an order for the
immediate execution of all of them, except such as had taken out letters
of naturalization.

“The Secretary of the Liberator is a fool,” said Arismendi, “he has put
with the _exception_ instead of _including_.”

Then with a refinement of cruelty, he set the prisoners to work to erect
a great funeral pile on which their bodies should be burned. When the
pile was ready the massacre commenced, the prisoners were brought in
groups from the dungeons; to the sound of the trumpet the soldiers fell
upon them with bayonet, axe, and poniard, and cast their quivering
bodies into the flames. Very little powder was burned on the eight days
during which the slaughter lasted. Eight hundred and sixty-six victims
perished, among them being many who had saved the lives of Patriots at
the risk of their own.

These horrible massacres were the natural fruit of Bolívar’s decree of
extermination. They utterly failed to accomplish their purpose, that of
stamping out the spirit of reaction, and only served as a pretext for
the perpetration of equally brutal atrocities by the Royalists.

Bolívar, who had only 1,500 infantry and 600 cavalry, could not advance
into the open country against Boves, who had at least four times that
number of resolute horsemen, but the capital was safe against an assault
by such troops. He fortified Valencia and armed a flotilla on the lake,
strengthened the pass at Cabrera, occupied Victoria, and threw up
field-works at San Mateo, where he established his head-quarters, while
he waited for Mariño. The position was well chosen; on the heights which
surrounded it stood a country-house which was his own property, to the
east of which lay one of the most valuable of his patrimonial estates.
But in place of Mariño, Boves, whose wound was by this time healed,
appeared in his front on the 25th February, at the head of 2,000 light
infantry and 5,000 horse.

Morales was completely routed in an attack on his right flank, and Boves
himself was repulsed in an attack on the centre, but captured some
outworks on the right. Bolívar sent a reinforcement under Villapol and
Campo Elias. Both these leaders were killed, but the son of the former,
Captain Villapol, restored the day, drove the Royalists from the
positions they had captured, and though badly wounded, held his ground
till nightfall. Boves, who was again severely wounded, was carried off
the field by his men, and Morales resumed the command.

In this desperate fighting the Royalists had exhausted their ammunition,
and were for fifteen days compelled to remain inactive, till on the 11th
March Morales again attacked the entrenchments, but was again repulsed.
On the 17th Boves again took command, and was on the 20th beaten off in
a third attack.

The Patriot magazine was established in the country-house to the rear
of the position. On the 25th March Boves detached a column of infantry
to make its way by the heights beyond the Patriot lines, to capture this
magazine, while he himself led a general attack in front. The magazine
was in charge of a young officer, a native of New Granada, named
Ricaurte, who had only fifteen men with him. When this young officer saw
the infantry column rushing down upon him from the heights, he knew that
it was hopeless to attempt to defend the house. He sent off his men, and
remaining alone he waited till the enemy burst in upon him with shouts
of triumph, when he fired the magazine, and he himself and the greater
part of the Royalist column were blown into the air together.

When Bolívar saw the flight of the small garrison, he thought that all
was lost. He dismounted from his horse and ran into the ranks, calling
to his soldiers that he would die with them, but the Royalists were so
terrified by the sudden destruction of their column of infantry, that
they desisted from the attack and withdrew, leaving 800 dead and wounded
behind them.

While attacking the lines of San Mateo, Boves had detached a strong
column under Rosete to make an attempt upon the capital. Rivas was ill
in bed, and 800 of the youth of the city sallied out under Arismendi to
meet the enemy on the open plain, but were cut to pieces on the 11th
March. Bolívar sent 300 picked troops under Colonel Montilla to the
assistance of the garrison. With this reinforcement Rivas managed to
organize a column of 900 men, and leading them out in person, lying on a
stretcher, he totally defeated Rosete on the 20th March at Ocumare, and
the capital was saved.

Cajigal, the new Captain-General, had established his head-quarters at
Coro, and had formed a column of 1,000 men from the remnants of various
shattered battalions. These troops he placed under command of Ceballos,
who drove Urdaneta before him out of Barquisimeto. Urdaneta then
endeavoured to hold San Carlos, but was driven thence by Calzada, and
took refuge in Valencia, where the war material of the Patriots was
stored. Here he received orders from Bolívar to resist to the last
extremity, and to send 200 men to aid D’Eluyar in the siege of Puerto
Cabello. Urdaneta obeyed orders, but was left with only 280 muskets to
make head as he could against the united forces of Ceballos and Calzada,
who now attacked Valencia with 3,000 men. The Royalists had no
artillery, but by dint of numbers they drove the Patriots from the
outworks, and cut off the supply of water from the garrison. Urdaneta
called a council of his officers, when it was agreed that if the inner
line of defence was forced, the garrison should retire to the artillery
barracks and blow the place up. The example of Ricaurte had enflamed
their hearts.

Boves for some time made no further attempt on the lines of San Mateo,
and the dispirited Llaneros began to desert, but the situation of
Bolívar was desperate. His only chance lay in the speedy arrival of
Mariño, who was at last advancing by forced marches from the East, and
was sweeping the plains in the rear of the Royalists. Then Boves after
one more desperate assault upon the lines, which was repulsed, retreated
to La Puerta, to stop the advance of Mariño from the plains. But Mariño
succeeded in turning this position and established himself at the Boca
Chica. Here he was attacked by Boves on the 31st March, but forced him
to retreat with a loss of 500 killed, and occupied the city of Victoria.

Ceballos then, fearing an attack on his rear by the united forces of
Bolívar and Mariño, raised the siege of Valencia and retired to San
Carlos, to await reinforcements which Boves was collecting on the
plains. Here he was attacked by Mariño on the 17th April. Mariño was so
destitute of military capacity that the troops under his immediate
command dispersed at the first volley, but Urdaneta rallied the infantry
and retired to Valencia.

Cajigal then brought up a strong reinforcement and took command of the
Royalists. Bolívar, after being joined by Rivas with 800 men from
Caracas, advanced against him. After some manœuvring the armies met
on the plain of Carabobo, and Bolívar won a complete victory. The
Royalists lost 300 killed and all their guns and flags, while the
Patriots had only 12 killed and 40 wounded.

Bolívar was victorious over the Spanish generals, but the strength of
the people was against him. The indefatigable Boves had received large
supplies of arms and ammunition from Guayana, and again rushed upon him
from the plains with about 7,000 men, of whom more than 2,000 were
infantry. Bolívar, instead of massing his troops to make head against
this new danger, detached Mariño against Boves with only 2,300 men,
while he sent Urdaneta with 700 men off westward, and another division
of 1,100 in pursuit of Cajigal and Ceballos. But this latter corps
joined Mariño, who then in complete ignorance of the superior strength
of the Royalist leader, determined to wait for Boves at La Puerta, in a
most unfavourable position. Bolívar joined him too late to remedy the
evil. The Patriots were overwhelmed by a desperate charge of the Llanero
horse on the 14th June, and were slaughtered without mercy; at least
1,200 were left dead upon the field; Boves himself reported that 2,800
were killed.

Bolívar fled to Caracas, but instead of making some attempt to reunite
his shattered forces, maintained the siege of Puerto Cabello and
instructed the garrison of Valencia to hold out to the last extremity. A
small detachment of 250 men defending the pass of Cabrera was
overwhelmed, every man was killed, and Valencia was forced to capitulate
to Boves, who, in spite of his oath to spare the lives of the garrison,
butchered them all, and many of the inhabitants of the town also.
D’Eluyar being isolated, spiked his guns and embarked his troops on the
flotilla. Urdaneta was left alone in the West; Bolívar evacuated Caracas
and withdrew to the East, carrying with him all the jewels and specie he
could find in the churches, and embarrassed by the multitude of
fugitives who fled with him. He reached Aragua with 2,000 men and at
once commenced to throw up entrenchments. Mariño sent him 1,000 men
under Bermudez from Cumaná, and some supplies of war material.

On the 18th August, the position at Aragua was attacked by Morales with
a horde of 8,000 negroes, mulattos, and Indians. The Patriots defended
themselves with the resolution of despair, but after two hours fighting,
in which entire battalions had perished, Bolívar retreated with a part
of his force on Barcelona. Bermudez still held the position for two
hours longer, and then fled to Maturin with the remnant of his cavalry.
The butchery which followed was frightful, more than 3,000 were killed
in cold blood, even the townsfolk who sought refuge in the church had
their throats cut in the sacred edifice. The loss of the Royalists was
nearly 2,000 in killed and wounded.

Bolívar, Mariño, Rivas, Piar and D’Eluyar met at Cumaná, and resolved to
concentrate the resistance at Güiria, a position easily defended, while
the flotilla kept open their communications by sea. Bolívar had shipped
the treasure brought by him from Caracas on board of these vessels.
Bianchi, who was still in command, determined to seize it. Bolívar and
Mariño hearing of his intention, embarked with him as he sailed for the
island of Margarita. He gave two vessels up to them with all the jewels
and two-thirds of the specie, retaining the rest as payment for the
prizes he had made, upon which the two Dictators returned to the
mainland.

On the 3rd September they landed at Carúpano, where they found that they
had been proscribed as traitors who had deserted their comrades, while
Rivas and Piar had taken the command. Piar had the intention of treating
Bolívar as he had treated Miranda, but Rivas set him at liberty and
arrested Mariño. At this juncture Bianchi returned, and by threats saved
them both. Bolívar gave up the treasure to Rivas and retired to Curaçoa,
leaving behind him an address to the people in which he disdainfully
left his justification to the future:--

“I swear to you that this title (Liberator), which your gratitude
bestowed upon me when I broke your chains, shall not be in vain. I swear
to you that Liberator or dead, I shall ever merit the honour you have
done me; no human power can turn me from my course.”

When he had gone, Rivas took the supreme command, but the genius of
Bolívar was wanting. On the 26th August Cumaná pronounced for the
Royalists. Bermudez, entrenched at Maturin, was attacked by Morales with
a greatly superior force, but sallying out, utterly routed him, killing
2,000 of his men. He was then joined by Rivas; between them they
assembled nearly 5,000 men. Piar, disregarding the orders of Rivas to
join him, marched on Cumaná, which he retook and collected 2,000 men,
but was then attacked by Boves and totally defeated.

Boves then retook Cumaná, and put every man to death who fell into his
hands. It is said that more than a thousand victims perished in this
massacre. Cumaná was left a desert. Boves was then joined by Morales,
who had reorganized his army, and together they marched on Maturin at
the head of 7,000 men. The Patriots sallied out to meet them under the
command of Rivas and Bermudez.

With very inferior numbers they met the Royalist army at Urica to the
west of Maturin, on the 5th December. Boves drew up his men in two lines
and awaited their onslaught. An impetuous charge of the Patriot cavalry
broke the right wing of the Royalists, and Boves, ever foremost in a
_melée_, was killed by a lance thrust. Morales, with the left and the
reserve, restored the combat and gained a complete victory. No quarter
was given and the last army of the Republic was destroyed.

Morales was by acclamation named General-in-Chief of the “Windward
Army,” which was the name which had been given to this Royalist force by
its late commander, and lost no time in marching upon Maturin, which
city was well fortified and had a good supply of artillery, but the
garrison, only 600 in number, was but poorly armed. After an obstinate
defence which caused severe losses to the Royalist army, this last
bulwark of the Patriots was captured on the 11th December. Bermudez
escaped with 200 men, but Rivas flying alone, was overtaken and killed,
and his head, covered with the Phrygian cap of Liberty, was exposed in
an iron cage on the road from Caracas to La Guayra. According to
contemporary writers more than 3,000 victims were slaughtered by Morales
after his victory. The peace of the tomb reigned in Venezuela.

Three popular leaders still kept up the flames of insurrection at the
head waters of the Orinoco and its tributaries: Zaraza, Monagas, and
Cedeño, who afterwards became celebrated as Guerilleros. In the West all
was quiet after the rout of La Puerta. The column under Urdaneta, so
imprudently detached by Bolívar after Carabobo, was cut off when Boves
occupied Valencia. Urdaneta retreated with 1,000 men, and being hotly
pressed by Calzada, crossed the frontier into New Granada. He then
detached 200 infantry and some cavalry officers to defend the Province
of Casanare. This small detachment became the nucleus of the famous Army
of the Apure, which changed the destinies of Venezuela, by leading the
people to embrace the cause of the revolution. Among these cavalry
officers was one named JOSE ANTONIO PAEZ, a man till then unknown, who
was soon to become the Achilles of Venezuela, and was to eclipse by his
deeds the fabulous prowess of the heroes of Homer.

There now only remained one spot of Venezuelan territory over which
still floated the flag of the Republic, the island of Margarita, where
Arismendi and Bermudez with some few followers had found asylum.



CHAPTER XL.

THE DISSOLUTION OF NEW GRANADA.

1815--1817.


The second fall of the Republic of Venezuela was coincident in point of
time with the fall of constitutional government in the mother country,
and the absolute King of Spain and of the Indies, after subjugating his
vassals in the Peninsula, turned his attention to subduing by force of
arms his insurgent colonists beyond the seas.

Up to that time, with the exception of New Granada and Venezuela, none
of the colonies of Spanish America had declared themselves independent,
or had adopted the republican form of government. They made war on those
who upheld the Royal standard, but they were governed by rulers of their
own choosing in the name of the captive King. Thus, naturally, Venezuela
and New Granada were the first of these colonies to receive attention.

In the year 1813 these two colonies had been united by the Spanish
authorities under one nominal government, Marshal Montalvo being
appointed Viceroy. The Peninsular troops had made but a poor show in the
war in Venezuela; the two restorations had been achieved by native
troops under the command of Monteverde, Boves, and Morales, who looked
with contempt upon the Spanish generals as they condemned their
excesses, and who refused all obedience to the colonial authorities.
Thus Montalvo looked upon the preponderance of the native element as a
source of danger, and as a dishonour to the cause of royalty, and had
applied to the Home Government for reinforcements. New Granada was now
to be the theatre of war, and thither went Bolívar, either to take part
in it or to seek help for another reconquest of Venezuela.

He presented himself to the Congress assembled at Tunja. Camilo Torres,
the President, thanked him for his distinguished services, saying that
Venezuela was not lost so long as Bolívar lived. He was at once put in
command of a corps of 1,800 men, of which Urdaneta’s column formed a
part, and was sent to reduce Cundinamarca, which still held aloof from
the Federal Government. In view of the danger which now threatened the
Republic, Congress had appointed a Supreme Junta, whose authority was
recognised by all the provinces except Cartagena and Cundinamarca. Santa
Fé de Bogotá was the arsenal of the Republic, the subjugation of
Cundinamarca was therefore necessary.

Bolívar prosecuted his campaign with his usual activity. At his approach
all the towns of Cundinamarca declared in favour of Congress; Bogotá,
the capital, where Alvarez, who had been left in command by his nephew,
Nariño, when he marched for the South, had entrenched himself, alone
offered any resistance. Bolívar laid siege to the city, and by a series
of vigorous assaults shut up the garrison in the principal square, and
cut off their supply of water. Alvarez was forced to capitulate.

Congress then changed the seat of government to Bogotá; the Republic had
at last possession of its own capital, and the Government was greatly
strengthened. Bolívar was named Captain-General of the Confederation,
his title of Liberator was recognised, and another was bestowed upon
him, that of “Illustrious Pacificator.” Of course Bolívar made a speech
on this occasion, and prophesied that the Army of New Granada would
break the chains of all the oppressed peoples of South America.

The new plan of Bolívar was to advance by the coast to Coro. Government
gave him three battalions of infantry and a squadron of cavalry, in all
2,000 men, with orders to seek supplies of arms and ammunition at
Cartagena. Colonel Castillo, who was Governor of this Province, prompted
by his old jealousy of Bolívar, and listening to the counsels of Mariño
and Montillo, who had taken refuge at Cartagena, refused these supplies.
Bolívar established his head-quarters at the beautiful city of Mompox
and remained inactive, passing his time in feasts and parades, and in
intrigues against the local government, till his money was spent and he
had lost half his troops by sickness and desertion.

Then, with only one gun, he laid siege to Cartagena, the strongest
fortress in South America, till a powerful Spanish expedition landed on
the coast and brought him to his senses. On the 8th May, 1815, he handed
over the relics of his army to Castillo, and took leave of his men in a
sentimental address, in which he expressed his sorrow at not being able
to share in the triumphs which awaited them. He then withdrew to
Jamaica, but ere he went fired a parting shot, declaring:--

“Cartagena prefers her own destruction to the duty of obedience to the
Federal Government.”

A shot which recoiled upon himself, for he also had preferred his own
destruction to obedience, and had inoculated the Granadian Republic with
a new germ of dissolution.

In Jamaica he published a memorial in his own defence, which rather
strengthens the case against him. Soon after that, under the signature
of “A South American,” he published another memorial upon the Revolution
in South America, and upon the future organization of the new republics,
which is a refutation of the chimerical plan of a Continental monocracy
which he attempted to establish later on. In this memorial he advocated
the absolute independence of each separate colony, “but New Granada
shall unite with Venezuela, and this nation shall be called Columbia.” A
prophetic vision!

The reinforcements applied for by Montalvo reached Cumaná early in
April. One ship-of-the-line, three frigates, and twenty-one smaller
ships of war came in convoy of a fleet of sixty transports, carrying
10,600 men and a siege train. This was the greatest effort which had as
yet been made by the mother country to crush the insurrection in South
America, and it was the last. The troops were selected from regiments
which had fought against the armies of Napoleon, and had been educated
in the school of Wellington. They were under the command of Marshal
Morillo, the best of all the Spanish generals of that time. Originally a
sergeant of marines, he had won his way by distinguished valour to his
present high position. He had seen hard service among the Spanish
guerillas, and had learned the art of war in the Anglo-Spanish armies.
He was no great military genius, but he had respectable talents and was
a good fighter. He was popular among the soldiery, but was a strict
disciplinarian, and tenacious in his enterprises. He was cruel by
system, not from inclination, but was also of a suspicious and
passionate temperament. He knew nothing of the country he was sent to
pacify, and his instructions gave him no information of any value, being
drawn up in complete ignorance of the actual state of South America, and
were instinct with contempt for the Creole inhabitants, a contempt in
which he also shared.

This expedition was originally intended for the River Plate, but on the
fall of Monte Video its destination was changed. At the same time, as
Panamá was considered to be the key to the continent, another expedition
of 2,500 men was sent, under command of General Miyares, to Vera Cruz
for the purpose of securing the Isthmus.

Morillo was instructed to overrun the mainland from Guayana to Darien,
first of all reducing the island of Margarita. He was then to take
Cartagena, subdue New Granada, and to re-establish order in Venezuela.
All this was thought so easy that he was further instructed to send his
spare troops to Peru and Mexico. Vast as was this plan, Morillo
accomplished it in the time given him for the purpose. In the course of
the year 1815 all the insurgent colonies of Spain were reduced to
submission, with the exception of the Provinces of the River Plate.

The rest of the instructions were drawn up in terms of benevolence
towards the Americans. The atrocities committed under the Royal flag
were severely censured, and the troops who had taken part in them were
directed to be withdrawn from the theatre of action, but ample power was
given to Morillo to deviate from these instructions when he thought it
necessary, and he had also permission to suppress the tribunals of
justice. Thus everything was left to his discretion.

The first man with whom Morillo spoke in the New World was Morales, who
was now master of the east of Venezuela, and had fitted out a flotilla
for an attack upon the island of Margarita. Early in April the
expedition was sighted from the coast of Cumaná; Morales sailed out to
meet it with three brigs, manned by a division of infantry, to place
himself at the orders of the general. Camba, the historian, who was
present, says that his European soldiers gazed in astonishment upon the
decks of these three small vessels as they sailed through the Spanish
fleet. They were crowded with dark-skinned men wearing round straw hats,
a waistcloth, with a cartridge-box buckled over it, and, in general, no
other raiment. If these were the victors what must the vanquished be
like! An unfortunate first impression to receive, which gave them a
false idea of the work before them. “Venezuela and Caracas were lost
after the arrival of first-class troops, who were well commanded.”

In accordance with his instructions, Morillo went on to the island of
Margarita with all his army, reinforced by three thousand of Morales’
troops, shipped on the flotilla. The Patriot cruisers had captured one
of the vessels of the convoy, so that the strength of the expedition was
known. Bermudez proposed to resist to the last extremity, but finding no
support fled to Cartagena. Arismendi gave himself up, and was kindly
received by Morillo, who seated him at his own table, apparently
forgetting his massacre of eight hundred Spaniards. On the 9th April,
1815, the island was occupied without resistance. Morillo issued a
proclamation offering an amnesty to all insurgents who would give
themselves up, and kept his word; but fifteen men who gave themselves up
to Morales were slaughtered.

The first success and the first disaster of the expedition came
together. The ship-of-the-line _San Pedro_, the most powerful vessel of
the squadron, caught fire and was a total loss, the military chest and a
great quantity of warlike stores being burned with her.

The generous behaviour of Morillo at Margarita procured him a favourable
reception at Caracas, where he arrived on the 11th May, but his first
act was to levy a forced loan to replace the treasure lost on the _San
Pedro_. He then proceeded to confiscate the properties of all who had
taken part in the Revolution, and of those who were absent or who were
suspected, the amount so taken being estimated at fifteen millions of
dollars. General Moxó, a man of cruel and rapacious character, was made
Governor of Venezuela; the Audiencia and all the civil tribunals were
suppressed, and were replaced by councils of war. A military despotism
was established.

Morillo had now 16,000 men under his command, including the native
troops. He sent a battalion of light infantry to Puerto Rico, a division
of 1,700 men to Peru, 3,000 men were told off as the garrison of
Venezuela, and Calzada’s division, in Barinas, was reinforced by
European troops. Then with 5,000 Europeans and 3,500 native troops under
Morales, embarked in fifty-six ships, he sailed on the 12th July for the
leeward coast to commence operations against New Granada.

The employment of native troops was in accordance with his instructions,
but the measure produced discontent in his ranks. These troops were
despised by the Spaniards, and had no wish to leave their native
country. More than a thousand of the Llaneros deserted rather than
embark. The way in which they were treated aroused in them the native
instinct for independence, of which they soon became the most doughty
champions.

Morillo landed at Santa Marta, intent upon the capture of Cartagena. The
garrison was weak, was short of arms and of provisions, and was cut off
from help either by sea or by land, but was nevertheless resolute to
resist to the last extremity. The ground was cleared for three leagues
round, outlying posts were called in, a flotilla was armed for the
defence of the bay, sixty guns were added to the eighty-four already
mounted on the batteries, martial law was proclaimed, and all men
capable of bearing arms were compelled to serve. The garrison was thus
increased to 3,600 men, of whom 1,300 were regular troops. The command
was at first given to Castillo, but he was soon after replaced by
Bermudez, and Montilla was named Major-General.

Cartagena was then the strongest fortress in America. It was captured by
the French in 1697, but when the English, under Admiral Vernon, attacked
it in the year 1741 they were beaten off, although they had 9,000
soldiers in addition to a powerful fleet. It was built upon a promontory
running into the sea, and is so separated from the mainland by marshes
that it may be considered an island--a sort of military Venice. The city
proper is situate to the north-west of this promontory, and to the west
of it lies a suburb called Getzemani, which communicates with the city
by a fortified bridge thrown across a deep canal, and is closed at each
end by a stockade. Getzemani is also joined to the mainland by another
bridge of similar construction. The fortress, the city, and the suburb,
were all enclosed on the land side by high walls and bastions. To the
east, beyond the swamps, and about half a mile from the walls, stood a
castle on a hill, called San Lázaro, whose fire swept all the city, but
was itself under the fire of a fortified hill, called La Popa, which
commanded all the approaches. The most accessible part of the city was
the bay, which runs from north to south, and is nearly a mile in length.
This bay is shut in from the Gulf of Mexico by two islands, which leave
only two practicable entrances--the Boca Grande, by which Admiral Vernon
penetrated, and which was afterwards closed by orders from Spain, and
the Boca Chica, which was defended by two castles on the island and by
batteries on the coast. The flotilla consisted of a corvette, seven
schooners, and some gunboats, aided in shallow water by a sort of armed
rafts called “bongos.”

Morillo detached Morales, with his division, across the Magdalena, to
blockade the city by land while he blockaded it by sea, his idea being
to starve out the garrison.

The heavy rains of the season and frequent tempests made the work of the
siege very arduous to the Royalists, filling their hospitals with sick.
On the 25th October the city was bombarded, with no other effect than to
kill a few women and children. Several assaults were made upon various
outworks, which were repulsed, but in November the larger island was
captured by Morales. Two batteries were placed upon it and upon the
adjacent shore, the fire from which swept the bay and prevented fishing,
thus destroying one great resource of the city, where hunger soon proved
more formidable than shot and shell. Fevers broke out, rats and hides
were eaten by the starving garrison, sentinels were found dead at their
posts when parties were sent to relieve them, but no one talked of
surrender. At last it was determined to drive from the city two thousand
useless mouths, old men, women, and children. It was a procession of
spectres; only one-third of them reached the advanced posts of the
besiegers, the rest sank down and perished on the way. The survivors
were kindly received by the Spaniards, but Morillo wrote to the Patriot
leaders that if they did not surrender in three days he would drive the
fugitives back into the city. On that day, the 4th December, three
hundred persons died of hunger in the streets; it was impossible to hold
out longer, but still they would not surrender.

On the night of the 5th the guns on the hill of La Popa, and on the
castle of San Lazaro, were spiked. At dawn on the day following, a
remnant of two thousand men embarked on the flotilla, crossed the bay
under the fire of the Royalist batteries, took on board the garrisons of
the batteries at the Boca Chica, and on the 7th put to sea in a storm
which dispersed the blockading squadron.

Morillo entered the city on the 6th December, and found it a hospital of
dying men, and a cemetery of dead bodies, which lay all about the
streets; the very air was poison. The siege had lasted one hundred and
eight days. It was calculated that six thousand had died in the city of
hunger and disease, besides those who were killed in the various
attacks. The loss of the besiegers was nearly three thousand five
hundred men.

The victory was stained by an act of barbarism. Morales, who had
occupied the batteries at the Boca Chica, on their evacuation by the
Patriots, offered an amnesty to all fugitives who would present
themselves. Four hundred old men, women, and children, and some
fishermen who had hidden in the brushwood covering the island, presented
themselves. The throats of every one of them were cut on the seashore by
his orders. Morillo was more humane, but Castillo, who had hidden
himself, was put to death by his command, and his body was exposed on a
gibbet. The same fate was meted out to six of the principal citizens,
among them being Garcia Toledo, who had headed the revolution in 1810.
At the same time the Inquisition was re-established.

Calzada, advancing from Barinas to aid in the subjugation of New
Granada, attempted first to clear the plains of Casanare of the Patriot
light horse, but being beaten by them on the 1st October, he crossed the
Cordillera with 1,800 infantry and 500 cavalry, routed various detached
parties of Patriots who came in his way, and totally defeated their main
body at Balaga on the 25th November. He then occupied Pamplona, where he
found the streets strewn with the corpses of Spaniards, who had been
barbarously murdered by the Patriots when they evacuated that city.

Congress now again made Torres President, with dictatorial powers, and
appointed Torices Vice-President. Torres raised an army of 2,500
recruits, with which he forced Calzada, who was advancing on the
capital, to retreat to Ocaña. But Calzada, after receiving some
reinforcements, turned upon him and completely routed him on the 22nd
February. The three Provinces of Pamplona, Socorro, and Antioquia were
then occupied by the Royalists, and the capital lay defenceless. Torres
resigned, and a physician named Madrid was appointed in his place. He
called for volunteers; only six men offered themselves.

Cundinamarca, which had been forced into the Union, had remained
disaffected, and now became openly Royalist. The rest of the country was
worn out, and was only eager for peace. Congress authorised Madrid to
negotiate with Morillo, and dissolved itself. The new President retired
to the South with the remnant of the army, and joined the division of
Popayán under Mejia, who then marched against a Royalist force under
Sámano, which was advancing from Quito, and was totally defeated.

Morillo left a strong garrison at Cartagena and divided the rest of his
diminished force into four light columns for the complete subjugation of
the country. Bogotá fell without a shot being fired, but while he was at
Ocaña with the reserve, news reached him that Venezuela was again in
commotion, that a fresh insurrection had broken out in the island of
Margarita, and that the emigrants, headed by Bolívar, were preparing an
expedition to rekindle the flames of revolution on the mainland.
Seriously alarmed, he sent Morales with a division back to Venezuela to
secure his base of operations.

Morillo now, for the first time, appreciated the magnitude of the
enterprise he had undertaken, and, with rare perspicuity, foresaw its
fatal termination. He wrote to the Home Government that, in spite of his
success, he could not without reinforcements bring the Llaneros into
subjection, and that it was necessary to establish a military
government, and so crush rebellion by the use of the same means which
had been employed at the time of the conquest. He then published an
amnesty to all officers of the revolutionary armies, from captain
downwards, who would lay down their arms, but he put to death all
superior officers who fell into his hands, quartering their bodies and
exposing their heads in cages.

General La Torre, who commanded at Bogotá, published a similar amnesty
to civil officials, for which step he was severely censured by Morillo,
and in May, 1816, the prisons of the capital were full.

Morillo then went there himself, avoiding a public reception and
entering the city by night. La Torre and Calzada were again censured for
receiving presents from rebels; the first was, as a punishment, sent off
to the plains, and the second to Cúcuta. The amnesty was then annulled,
and severe decrees were published against all who should either write or
speak on forbidden subjects.

On the 30th May, which was the birthday of the King, the women of the
city presented themselves, imploring mercy for their fathers, sons, and
husbands. Morillo received them roughly and sent them off with insults.
The prisons being insufficient to accommodate the multitude of
prisoners, some were confined in the convents. He searched the city
archives for pretexts to increase their number, and a military tribunal
was established to try them.

Villavicencio, Montufar, Lozano, Camilo Torres, and Torices were
executed, being shot in the back as traitors, and their bodies were hung
on gibbets. Baraya and Mejia shared the same fate. Caldas, the
philosopher, whose scientific labours had won him world-wide fame, was
sentenced to death, and when Morillo was entreated to spare the life of
so illustrious a man, he answered savagely:--

“Spain has no need of sages.”

One hundred and twenty-five victims perished on the scaffold, of whom a
fifth part were graduates of the University. The properties of all
victims were confiscated; their families were reduced to misery; the
entire male population was classified as convicts, and gangs of them
were forced to work on the public roads. Truly the system adopted by the
Spaniards at the conquest was now re-established in America in the cause
of Spanish absolutism, and for a King who was spoken of by his own
mother as “tiger heart and mule head.”

Bloodshed and absolute power clouded the mental faculties of Morillo; he
dreamed of destroying the Argentine Republic, and of then returning in
triumph to Mexico to repeat there the cruelties of Cortes, but the
course of events in Venezuela soon opened his eyes. He left a garrison
of 3,800 men at Bogotá, Venezuelans and Pastusos, and with 4,000 Spanish
troops crossed the Cordillera in November, 1816, taking some prisoners
with him to shoot on the frontier line. This march convinced him, for
the second time, of his impotence to prosecute his enterprise; by his
own confession, he could neither pass the rivers nor procure supplies
without the help of the Llaneros who went with him.

General Sámano remained in command at Bogotá. His first act was to erect
a gallows in the great square, in front of the windows of his palace,
and to set up four execution-posts (banquillos) on the public promenade.
One of his first victims was a beautiful young woman, convicted of
sending information to the Patriot guerillas on the plains of Casanare.
She was shot in the back, with seven men implicated in the same affair.
She died encouraging her companions to meet their fate like men, and
prophesying that her death would soon be revenged. Under the name of La
Pola her memory is still preserved in the songs of her native land.

Morillo, finding Sámano so apt a pupil in his school of terrorism, made
him Viceroy in place of Montalvo, whose more humane nature shrank from
the perpetration of such cruelties.



CHAPTER XLI.

THE THIRD WAR IN VENEZUELA.

1815--1817.


In none of the colonies of Spanish America was the struggle for
emancipation so stubborn, so heroic, and so tragical, as in Venezuela.
In the North of the Continent she was the nucleus of the revolution,
gave it both its military power and its political basis, and supplied to
it the genius of Bolívar. Twice conquered, she yet arose a third time
against her oppressors.

After the rout of Urica, and the catastrophe of Maturin, the remnants of
the Republican army of the East were dispersed as guerillas along the
banks and about the head-waters of the Orinoco, and on the plains of
Barcelona, while the insurrection was still unquelled on the plains of
Casanare. A fresh signal for a general revolt was given by the island of
Margarita immediately after the departure of Morillo on his expedition
against New Granada. The Royalist governor, Colonel Urreistieta, to
assert his authority, ordered the arrest of Arismendi. Fifteen hundred
of the islanders rose in arms. The governor ordered the troops to give
no quarter to the insurgents, gave them permission to pillage as they
chose, and burned two towns in accordance with instructions received
from General Moxó. The insurgents accepted the challenge of war to the
knife. Arismendi put himself at their head, and took possession of the
northern half of the island, captured by assault the fort at the Villa
del Norte, and put to death the whole of the garrison, who numbered 200
men. Then on the 15th November, 1815, he laid siege to the capital and
shut up the governor in the castle of Santa Rosa. His army numbered
4,300 infantry and 200 cavalry, badly armed, but all resolute men.

On the plains of Casanare the scattered groups of guerillas were
organized by Paez into an army. José Antonio Paez was a native of
Barinas, and was at this time twenty-six years old. He had served
bravely throughout the campaign of the reconquest, but had never
attracted special notice; now he was to show his great talents as a
leader. He was a genuine Creole, of Caucasian race, with some mixture of
native blood; a man of herculean strength, a breaker-in of wild horses,
and an untiring swimmer. Skilful in the use of lance and sword, in
moments of danger he was ever in the front rank, and had great influence
over his men, both by his personal and by his moral qualities. They were
accustomed to call him “Uncle” when addressing him. If any soldier
committed a crime or showed unwillingness to obey orders it was his
custom to challenge him to single combat. Whether the challenge were
accepted or not he was always the victor, either physically or morally.
After the excitement of a battle his nervous system would frequently
give way, and he would fall to the ground, apparently lifeless. His
plans were always carefully thought out and rapidly executed. He at this
time knew neither how to read nor write, and was in no sense a
politician, but was of a kindly, generous nature, and of very superior
intelligence. In times of peace he was easily led, but in times of
danger he led every one. His usual dress was a blouse of blue cloth,
with a cloak thrown over his shoulders; a slouched hat, the front rim
turned up and decorated with the cockade of Venezuela; and the gaiters
of a Llanero. He wore a Toledo sword, and invariably carried a long
lance.

Paez was serving as a simple captain with a small corps of Patriots
which held the town of Guadalito, when news was brought of the approach
of the Spanish governor of Barinas, with 1,100 horse and 300 infantry.
The officer in command proposed to retreat. Paez requested permission
to remain with one squadron to defend the town. Most of the other
officers present approved of the proposition, on which the commander
said angrily,

“Then let Paez command you, and those who choose may follow me to
Casanare.”

Paez, left with 500 men, marched out to meet the enemy, whom he found on
the 16th February, 1816, near to the sources of the Apure. Paez,
advancing alone to reconnoitre the position, had his horse killed under
him by a musket-ball. It was near nightfall; some advised him to wait
for daylight.

“It is as dark for them as it is for us,” said Paez, and shouted to his
men, “Comrades, they have killed my horse. If you will not revenge his
death I will revenge him alone, and will die in the enemy’s ranks.”

The men shouted back that they would go wherever he would lead them. He
formed them in two lines and led them on under a heavy fire. Such was
the fury of the charge that two-thirds of the Royalist cavalry were
driven in confusion from the field. As he led an attack upon their
second line his horse was wounded, and burst the girths of the saddle
with his plunges. The attack was beaten off. Springing on to the first
horse he could catch, Paez rallied his men and again charged at full
speed upon the rest of the Royalist cavalry, and bore them down in the
rush. While the Patriots pursued the broken cavalry the Spanish infantry
retreated through the woods. Four hundred killed and two hundred
prisoners were the trophies of the day. Paez treated his prisoners so
well that they all voluntarily took service with him.

This brilliant affair attracted the attention of the Llaneros, who were
weary of the brutal rule of Boves and Morales, and won them over to the
cause of independence.

Paez became at once the first general of cavalry in America. He was the
bond of union between the Llaneros and the Patriots. He was proclaimed
the chieftain of the plains, and from the recruits who poured in to join
his standard he organized the famous Army of the Apure. On taking
command he told his men that he would do his best to merit the
confidence they had placed in him, but exhorted them above all to put
faith in Divine Providence. In September, 1816, he invaded the Province
of Barinas.

While the Army of the Apure was thus gathering itself together, the
parties of guerillas, scattered along the banks of the Upper Orinoco,
and on the eastern plains, also collected, forming divisions of as many
as 1,500 men, under Monagas, Saraza and Cedeño. The Governor of Guayana
sent a strong column against Cedeño, which was completely routed by him
on the 8th March, 1816. A second expedition of 1,500 men, sent in boats
up the Orinoco, had no better fortune, and was forced to retire to
Angostura, the capital of Guayana.

While Bolívar, in exile at Kingston, Jamaica, was turning over in his
mind many plans for renewing the War of Independence, he had a narrow
escape from assassination. A slave of his who had followed his fortunes
went one night into his room when all was dark, and seeing a man asleep
in his hammock, gave him two stabs with a poniard, killing him on the
spot. The dead man was found to be a poor emigrant named Amestoy, who,
knowing that Bolívar would not sleep at home that night, occupied his
room. The slave was caught, and confessed that it was his intention to
kill Bolívar, but said not a word about accomplices. He was hung, but it
was generally believed that an emissary of General Moxó had paid him to
do the deed.

From Jamaica Bolívar crossed to the island of Santo Domingo, hearing on
his way of the fall of Cartagena, where, too late, he had been offered
the command. The famous mulatto, Alexander Petión, was at that time
President of Haiti. He was an ardent partisan of the emancipation of
Spanish America, and not only supplied Bolívar with arms for another
expedition, but opened a credit for him for the necessary expenses with
the house of a wealthy English merchant named Robert Sutherland. Bolívar
also met here a Dutch shipbuilder named Luis Brion, who, becoming
deeply interested both in him and in his designs, placed seven armed
schooners at his orders, with 3,500 muskets, and offered his life and
fortune in the same cause.

Bolívar commenced his preparations early in 1816, at the port of Cayos
de San Luis, which has given its name to this famous expedition. There
the refugees from Cartagena, and many officers from New Granada and
Venezuela had collected. Among them were Piar, Mariño, Bermudez,
Montilla, Soublette, the English Colonel MacGregor, who had served with
Miranda, Doucoudray-Holstein, and Francisco Zea. There was anarchy among
them; many of them refused to recognise the authority of Bolívar. Petión
interposed his influence, and Brion declared that he would entrust his
ships and armament to no one but to the Liberator. He was at length
accepted as leader of the expedition, from which Montilla, who had
challenged Bolívar, and Bermudez, who had led the opposition, were
excluded.

Brion, with the title of Admiral of Venezuela, took command of the
squadron, which sailed from Cayos on the 16th March, 1816. The
expedition consisted of 300 men, whom Bolívar afterwards compared to the
300 Spartans of Leonidas, as he compared his reconquest of Venezuela to
the redemption of Jerusalem by the Crusaders. They reached the island of
Margarita early in May, finding there the Spanish brig _Intrepido_ and
the schooner _Rita_, which Brion boarded and captured, after a desperate
resistance in which three-fourths of their crews were killed. The
expedition then disembarked at the port of Juan Griego, the Royalists
concentrating their forces at Pampatar and Porlamar.

Bolívar and Arismendi then conjointly convened a meeting of the officers
of the Patriot army, and of the principal inhabitants, in the church at
La Villa del Norte, in order to name the supreme ruler of the Republic
they were about to restore. In accordance with his custom, Bolívar
immediately renounced all pretensions to so important a post, which, as
he had already arranged the matter with Arismendi, was merely one way of
securing his own appointment. On the 7th May he was named “Supreme
Chief,” with power to do whatever he might find necessary for the
salvation of the country. Mariño was named second in command.

On the 8th May Bolívar published a proclamation to the people of
Venezuela, announcing that the National Congress would be reinstalled,
and authorising the free towns to elect deputies, who should have the
same sovereign powers as in the former epoch.

The expedition, reinforced by four ships from the island, then went on
to Carupano, on the coast of Paria, capturing two armed vessels of the
enemy and the fort, which was abandoned by the garrison. Here Bolívar
established his head-quarters on the 1st June.

Rumour had greatly exaggerated the strength of the force he brought with
him, but Bolívar made small use of the stupor into which the Royalists
were thrown. He detached Piar to Maturin and Mariño to Güiria, but
remained himself at Carupano, issuing pompous bulletins, in which he
renounced his former system of a war of extermination, as a mistake.
Also, in fulfilment of a promise to Petión, he published a decree giving
liberty to all slaves, and called the people to arms, but no one joined
him. He then convened an assembly of the townsfolk, who at his
suggestion decreed the centralization of the powers of government. The
federal system was abolished in Venezuela.

But a month of precious time was thus lost. Twenty days after the
disembarkation, his advanced posts were driven in, and he was besieged
by a division of 1,300 men, while a Spanish squadron threatened his
communications by sea. Mariño sent him a strong reinforcement, but Brion
refused to risk his ships in an unequal fight with the Spanish squadron.
Meantime the guerilla leaders of the East proclaimed him
general-in-chief, and desired his presence.

Rejecting the advice of Piar to occupy Guayana as a base of operations,
he re-embarked his small force, and again landed on the 5th July at
Ocumare, between Caracas and Puerto Cabello. This step can only be
explained by his anxiety to rescue his native city from the Royalists, a
preoccupation which was to cost him the loss of three campaigns. Again
rejecting the advice of his officers, who wished to effect a junction
with the guerillas and so form an army, he detached Soublette with the
bulk of his men to occupy the pass of Cabrera, and a smaller force along
the coast in search of recruits, while he landed a printing press and
issued more bulletins, and Brion went off on a cruise leaving him one
armed brig and two small schooners.

On the same day on which Bolívar landed at Ocumare, Morales reached
Valencia, with the division detached by Morillo after the surrender of
Cartagena. In the face of such a superior force, Soublette was compelled
to retire to a strong position on the heights of Ocumare. Bolívar went
to his assistance with 150 recruits, but the combined force was
completely routed by Morales on the 13th July.

MacGregor was then sent off with a detachment southwards to Choroni,
while Soublette protected the retreat of Bolívar with the artillery to
Ocumare, where he intended to re-embark. While engaged at night in this
operation, he received word that the enemy were entering the town. It
was a false alarm, Soublette still held his ground, but his men were
panic-struck, and Bolívar, without inquiring into the truth of the
report, abandoned his sick and wounded, and fled on board the brig where
his stores of war material were already in safety. He sailed at once and
reached the island of Bonaire on the 16th July. Here he was joined by
Brion, and sailed with him for Choroni, where he learned that Soublette
and MacGregor had marched inland and had taken refuge in the valleys of
Aragua. Returning to Bonaire he there met Bermudez, and with him sailed
off to join Mariño at Güiria.

Soublette and MacGregor had joined forces at Choroni, the latter taking
the command. Two days he waited for news of Bolívar and then marched off
for the plains with 600 infantry and 30 horse. Dispersing a Royalist
detachment which attempted to bar the passage of the hills, he occupied
Victoria and routed another detachment under Rosete. On the 1st August
he was met by a squadron of Saraza’s guerillas, who were in search of
him, and on the 2nd August routed another division of 1,200 Royalists at
Quebrada-Honda. The next day he was joined by Saraza and Monagas with
their divisions of guerillas, and was master of the plains of Barcelona,
while Cedeño held his ground on the Upper Orinoco. So was formed the
army which was afterwards known as “the Army of the Centre,” which, in
conjunction with that of the Apure, decided the destinies of Venezuela.
Of this army MacGregor was recognised as general-in-chief.

At Güiria Bolívar met with but a sorry reception, the troops of Mariño
refused to obey him, and the island of Margarita declined to recognise
his authority. Bermudez charged him with cowardice for deserting his
soldiers when in danger. Amid threats and jeers he was forced to
re-embark and returned to Haití, where he was coldly received by Petión.
The people were incensed against him and had lost all faith in him.
Nevertheless, Bolívar was the man not only for the revolution in
Columbia, but for the emancipation of South America. None so well as he
could rise superior to adverse fortune, none had such power as he over
the petty chieftains, none but he could organize the discordant elements
of the revolution into the strength of a warlike nation. Spite of his
ignorance of military tactics and of his puerile vanity, he was the
genius of the revolution in the North of the Continent. The sacred fire
of liberty and of patriotism burned within him and inspired him. As he
himself said, he would yet merit the title of Liberator. History owes to
him this justice as she turns this disgraceful page.

After the departure of Bolívar, Mariño was named general of the army at
Güiria, with Bermudez as his second in command, but his authority did
not extend beyond the peninsula of Paria.

After occupying the plains of Barcelona, MacGregor marched upon the
city. A Royalist force, which, under the command of Colonel Lopez,
occupied the town of Aragua, sallied out to meet him. The action was
hotly contested, but was decided by desperate charges of the Llanero
horse led by Saraza and Monagas, and by a bayonet charge led by
MacGregor in person. The Royalists lost 500 killed, 300 prisoners, and
one gun.

Barcelona was evacuated by the Royalists on the 12th September, after
they had murdered many of the townsfolk and plundered many of the
houses, but MacGregor was now threatened by Morales, who had advanced to
Aragua with 3,000 men. He sent to Arismendi, Mariño, and Piar for
assistance. Piar, who was then besieging Cumaná, came at once with all
his troops and took the command. On the 27th September the two armies
met at the Playon del Juncal, near to Barcelona. MacGregor, supported by
the fire of Piar’s artillery, led a bayonet charge which decided the
day. The Royalists were totally routed, with a loss of 300 killed and
400 prisoners. After this victory MacGregor, worn out with fatigue and
unwilling to brook the domineering ways of Piar, withdrew to Margarita.

Paez, by skilful manœuvres, forced his old opponent, Colonel Lopez,
to retreat to the line of the Apure in October. The town of San Fernando
on this river was the key of the plains; he resolved to seize it, but
had no boats in which to cross the river. The Royalists had a flotilla
of four “flecheras”[18] and seven long-boats, manned by 400 men. An
officer named Peña had committed some fault. Paez ordered him as a
punishment to get himself killed by the enemy. He crossed the river in a
canoe with eight men, at midday, and threw the Royalist camp into
confusion. In the skirmishes which followed, Colonel Lopez was killed
and the Patriots seized seven boats. Paez then crossed the river, and in
December laid siege to San Fernando. There he received news that La
Torre and Morillo were on the march from New Granada to the plains
watered by the Arauca and Apure.

Mariño and Bermudez were engaged in the siege of Cumaná, aided by the
flotilla from Margarita. The Spanish garrison was about to evacuate the
city, when the Royalist force on the island abandoned it and came to
their assistance. The Patriots were forced to raise the siege.

At the close of the year 1816 the Patriot armies had gained many
advantages, but they felt the need of a head to give cohesion to their
efforts. With the army of the centre were many of the partisans of
Bolívar. Backed by Arismendi they induced the army to demand his recall.
Assisted by Petión and by Brion he organized another expedition, sailed
from Haití on the 21st December, and reached Barcelona at the same time
as Arismendi, who brought a strong reinforcement from the island of
Margarita.

But the Army of the Centre was no longer there. Piar had seen from the
beginning that descents on the coasts and incursions on to the plains
would lead to no satisfactory result, that the Orinoco was the true line
of action, and that Guayana was the true base of operations. Bolívar,
without any plan, had hovered round Caracas like a moth round a candle,
and had burned his wings. Even Cedeño, the rude guerilla, had seen more
clearly, as was shown by his success on the Upper Orinoco. Morillo
himself had seen the same thing, and ere leaving New Granada had written
to the Home Government, impressing upon them the importance of
preserving the line of the Orinoco. Piar, after the victory of Juncal,
found himself in command of an army, and at once proceeded to carry out
his idea, thus saving the Patriot cause by forcing Bolívar to give up
his pursuit of a phantom at Caracas. He left a small garrison at
Barcelona, left the guerillas to defend the plains, and marched for
Guayana.

The Royalists had a powerful flotilla on the Orinoco, and had fortified
Angostura, which was the capital of Guayana. Piar cut down trees in the
woods and made small boats, captured two boats from the enemy, and
forced the passage of the Cauca in front of the Royalist camp. The
guerillas, under Cedeño, swam the river on horseback, fighting with the
crews of the Royalist gunboats as they passed, and on reaching the
opposite shore charged upon the encampment, driving out the enemy before
them.

Piar then marched upon Angostura, but was repulsed in every attempt to
take the city by assault. Desisting for a time, he passed behind the
city to the mission station at Coroní, where supplies were plentiful.
One of his officers cut the throats of twenty-two friars who were given
into his custody, and received no reprimand for his barbarity. In fact
this cruel deed greatly increased the popularity of the Patriots in the
country round about, as these friars were hated by their Indian
neophytes.

At Coroní Piar established a regular administration, which was of great
service to the Patriot cause, as the armies were by it afterwards
regularly supplied with cattle and corn. By these successes Piar
acquired great fame, which for a time eclipsed even that of Bolívar
himself.

All the Patriot leaders had now done something except Bolívar, but when
he assumed the command for the second time he was another man: more
grave and more thoughtful than he had been. But he was not yet a true
soldier; he still took audacity for inspiration, and launched forth on
enterprises without first of all adapting the means to the end desired.
Immediately on landing at Barcelona he issued a proclamation that he was
about to liberate the Province of Caracas, and in twenty hours set forth
on his expedition with a force of 600 men. A Royalist detachment lay in
his way in an entrenched position on the river Unare. Without any
reconnaissance Bolívar rushed at it. Forty horse fell upon his rear,
threw his attacking column into confusion and totally destroyed it.

The Liberator was lost again. He was now in a worse plight than when he
fled from Carúpano. He wrote to Piar and Cedeño to abandon their attempt
on Guayana, and to Paez, Monagas, and Saraza that they should come to
the protection of Barcelona. All this was utter folly, for Morillo, with
4,000 men, already covered the approach to Caracas, and La Torre, with
Calzada, occupied the higher plains. Meantime he fortified himself in
Barcelona, and mustered 600 more recruits. He turned the Franciscan
convent into a regular citadel and sent for Mariño. Mariño, forgetting
his jealousy, marched from Cumaná and joined him with 1,200 men. Bolívar
then left 700 men in Barcelona, and naming Aragua as the point of
concentration for the scattered forces of the Patriots, he went off to
Guayana to persuade Piar to join him in an invasion of Caracas.

On the 7th April, 1817, Barcelona was attacked and taken by the
Royalists, who cut the throats of the whole of the garrison, and in
addition killed 300 old men, women, and sick. Mariño retreated to the
peninsula of Paria and again declared himself independent, while
Bermudez and other leaders got together 500 men and awaited orders from
Bolívar on the plains.

The Liberator, attended by fifteen officers, met Piar near Angostura and
found that he was already in possession of all the open country. The
behaviour of the negro general was noble and patriotic. He showed no
jealousy of his superior, who had come to seize the laurels which he had
won in spite of him, and set to work to show him that Guayana must be
the base of a successful campaign. The veil fell from the eyes of
Bolívar; for the first time he saw before him the true theatre of the
war. Leaving Monagas to hold the plains of Barcelona with his guerillas,
he summoned Bermudez, Arismendi, and Saraza to join him, and the
revolution was saved, thanks to Piar.

The Royalists held the coastline from Coro to Cumaná with the army of
Caracas, 5,000 strong. The divisions of La Torre and Calzada, 4,000
picked troops, with 1,500 Llanero horse, had concentrated at Guadalito
on the Apure, and in January had forced Paez to raise the siege of San
Fernando. Paez sent a small force against them to draw them on. La
Torre, who had no idea of his force, fell into the trap, and advanced
with all his army on to a wide plain covered with dry reeds. Here the
fugitives were joined by the main body, and facing about, charged
furiously upon the Royalist cavalry, dispersed them completely, and then
by repeated charges forced the infantry to form square. Then Paez, with
fifty men whom he had detailed for the purpose, set fire to the reeds
all round them. Fortunately for them they found a marsh, into which they
plunged, with the mud up to their waists, until the fire burned itself
out, when they hurriedly retreated, leaving Paez in possession of the
whole country round.

This famous deed of arms confirmed the authority of Paez over the
Llaneros, and put him into a position to overrun the Province of
Barinas. He concluded his glorious campaign by placing himself
voluntarily at the orders of Bolívar, on condition that he might still
protect the province he had conquered. Morillo, who was well aware of
the importance of the Province of Guayana, detached La Torre with a
strong force to drive out the Patriots, while he marched with 3,000 men
to reduce the island of Margarita.

La Torre embarked his force at San Fernando and descended the Apure and
the Orinoco to Angostura, without meeting any resistance, and
manœuvred to draw Piar from the Missions of Coroní, hoping then to
capture them by crossing the river at Angostura. But Piar divined his
intentions, and leaving a reserve of horses on the right bank, he
marched by the left bank to the vicinity of Angostura, then, after
nightfall, leaving his camp-fires burning, he rapidly countermarched to
his former position.

La Torre crossed the river as he had proposed, but was met by Piar at
San Felix on the 11th April, 1817. The Spanish infantry, advancing in
three columns with cavalry on the flanks, were received by volleys of
musketry and showers of arrows. The Patriots, among whom were 1,200
Indians from the Missions, armed with bows and pikes, then charged, and
a furious hand to hand fight ensued, in which the Spaniards were totally
routed. La Torre escaped with seventeen men, but all the rest of his
Spanish troops were killed. Piar spared the lives of all the Creoles
among the Royalists who would join his ranks.

Bolívar, on his return from an expedition to the plains, where he had a
narrow escape from falling in with Morillo, then on the march for
Margarita, found himself at the head of a respectable army. All the
Patriot leaders now recognised his authority except Mariño, who summoned
a Congress at Cariaco, of which Zea and Admiral Brion were members. This
Congress appointed an executive Junta, of which Bolívar was named one,
and gave Mariño the title of general-in-chief.

Morillo soon put an end to this farce; he overran the peninsula of
Paria, sank the Patriot flotilla, and dispersed Mariño’s army, shooting
all prisoners taken. Those who escaped, headed by Urdaneta and Colonel
SUCRE, a name soon to become famous, went to join Bolívar in Guayana,
while Mariño, with a few followers, fled to Maturin.

Until the Patriots had the dominion of the Orinoco their tenure of
Guayana was insecure. Bolívar armed and organized a flotilla of
flecheras, but what was more to the purpose, Brion again came to assist
him with five brigs, some schooners and more flecheras from Margarita.
These vessels were commanded by a mulatto named Diaz.

One part of the Royalist flotilla was engaged in the defence of
Angostura and Guayana Vieja, which still held out; the other guarded the
mouth of the Orinoco under the protection of the forts. Diaz being sent
by Brion to explore the position of this latter detachment, was attacked
by sixteen Royalist flecheras, and lost two of his boats. With three
flecheras which remained to him, he then attacked the Royalists,
recovered his two boats, captured two of theirs, sank five, and
compelled the rest to retreat in confusion. Brion then entered the river
under full sail.

At the approach of Brion, La Torre evacuated Angostura and was soon
afterwards obliged by hunger to abandon Guayana Vieja, the last position
held by the Royalists in Guayana. The remnant of his army, which now
numbered only 600 men, he embarked on 32 vessels and gained the open sea
in safety.

Piar, though he had recognized the authority of Bolívar, was in his
heart disaffected and entered into a conspiracy with Mariño to restrict
his authority by the appointment of a Junta of War; he also gained over
Arismendi to his views. Bolívar prudently quelled this attempt at
sedition by counsels and threats conveyed privately to the conspirators.
Piar, in alarm, asked leave to withdraw from the army on pretext of
illness, and retired to Upata, where he continued his intrigues till
Bolívar wrote a friendly letter to him asking him to desist. He then
fled to Maturin and concerted with Mariño a plan of independent action.

The position of Bolívar was now one of great danger; the troops of the
army of Guayana were for the most part men of colour, Piar was very
popular with them, and was accused of an intention to produce among them
a mutiny of race. Bolívar gave orders to Cedeño to arrest Piar. The
negro chieftain made no resistance, and was brought to Angostura for
trial by a court-martial, under the presidency of Brion. He was
sentenced to death for disobedience, sedition, and desertion.

Bolívar confirmed the sentence and he was shot in the great square of
Angostura on the 16th October, 1817, dying as bravely as he had lived.
If not an act of justice, this execution was warranted by necessity. It
was the only means of preventing a civil war, which would have ended in
the destruction of the army.

Mariño was still in arms at Cumaná with 400 men. Bolívar sent Bermudez
with his corps to arrest him. Bermudez being an old friend of Mariño’s,
procured his banishment. Bolívar was now rid of opposition, but still
his power was far from being well consolidated.



CHAPTER XLII.

THE REORGANIZATION OF VENEZUELA.

1817--1819.


The Home Government, on hearing of the third insurrection on the island
of Margarita, sent a reinforcement of 2,800 men under the command of
General Canterac. Morillo on his way to that island with his 3,000 men
met Canterac at Barcelona, and, embarking his troops in twenty vessels,
sailed with him for Margarita.

Brion had left the island with his flotilla for the Orinoco. Arismendi
was also absent, and General Gomez, who had been left in command, had
but 1,100 infantry badly equipped, 200 cavalry, and some few
artillerymen.

On the 15th July the troops effected a landing under the protection of
the guns of the squadron. Canterac had thought that the mere sight of
his fresh troops would suffice to disperse the insurgents, but his
division suffered a heavy loss ere they could make good their footing on
the island.

Morillo’s first step was to publish a proclamation, in which he offered
pardon to all insurgents who would lay down their arms, but threatened
all who should resist with extermination. Gomez rejected the offer of
pardon and made every preparation for a stubborn resistance,
strengthening the fortified positions, and piling up heaps of stones on
the heights for want of better ammunition.

The castles of Porlamar and Pampatar were evacuated by the Patriots
after a slight resistance, but they spiked the guns and concentrated
their forces in the city of Asuncion. Morillo marched inland to cut them
off from the north of the island, and was met on the 31st July by a body
of 500 Patriots who had entrenched themselves on very broken ground,
covered with brushwood, at a place called Matasiete. It took Morillo
eight hours of hard fighting to drive them from this position, but his
losses were so heavy that he was forced to return the next day to
Pampatar. He then occupied the town of San Juan, which is situate in a
break in the range of hills which divides the island, and so cut off the
communications of the main body of the Patriots with the port of Juan
Griego, where their flotilla was stationed. On the 8th August the fort
which protected the town was taken by assault after a desperate
resistance. The garrison of this fort only consisted originally of 200
men, the survivors of whom fled to a lake near by, and refusing to
surrender were massacred, Morillo killing eighteen of them with his own
hand. The scene of this butchery is known to this day as “The Lake of
the Martyrs.”

Had Morillo persevered there is no doubt that he would have conquered
the whole island, but adverse intelligence recalled him to the mainland.
After losing 1,000 men he re-embarked the rest, and on the 20th August,
1817, established his head-quarters at Caracas.

Morillo now adopted a more humane policy. He published a general
amnesty, abolished the military tribunals, and re-established the
Audiencia and the Civil Courts. The aspect of the war had changed
greatly in his absence. Paez had invaded Barinas, taken the capital of
that province, and had routed a strong Royalist division at San Carlos,
sacking the town and shooting all his European prisoners. But the plains
were now covered with water, so nothing could be done against him.
Bolívar had possession of the line of the Orinoco. Saraza’s guerillas,
strengthened by an infantry corps, protected the right flank of Paez.
Monagas occupied the plains of Barcelona, and the Province of Cumaná was
held by Bermudez. Canterac was sent off to Peru with his sorely
diminished division. The garrison of Caracas and the division of La
Torre held the line of the coast. Aldama, with another division, covered
the line of the Lower Apure and protected San Fernando, and Calzada,
with a light cavalry division, disputed with Paez the possession of the
Province of Barinas. The peninsula of Paria, and the cities of Cumaná
and Barcelona were held by 800 men, and the rest of the Royalist forces
were distributed in various forts along the coast. Neither party had any
plan of operations, both were waiting to see what the other would do.

Bolívar was at this time the one conspicuous figure in America. He
received a despatch from the Director of the United Provinces of La
Plata congratulating him upon his success, and prophesying the speedy
union of their arms in the same cause. Bolívar replied by an address to
the Argentine people:--

“The Republic of Venezuela, though plunged in mourning, offers you
brotherhood. When, covered with laurels, she has crushed the tyrants who
profane her soil, then she will invite your concurrence, that our emblem
be the UNION of South America.”

As steps towards constitutional government by the installation of a
Congress Bolívar established a High Court of Justice, and on the 30th
October presided at the opening of a Council of State to which he
entrusted the management of civil affairs in his absence, hoping to
strengthen his authority by “the first of all forces, public opinion.”

Bolívar then ascended the Orinoco with 1,500 well equipped troops, and
crossed to the left bank, at about a hundred miles from Angostura. His
intention was to join Saraza, who had 2,500 men, and with his aid to
crush Morillo and retake Caracas. At the same time he wrote to Paez to
co-operate in the scheme by advancing from Barinas. But on the 2nd
December Saraza allowed himself to be surprised and completely routed by
La Torre at Hogaza. The Patriots suffered a loss of 1,200 killed with
three guns and all their flags, while the Royalists had only 200 killed
and wounded, among the latter being La Torre himself.

Bolívar was forced to recross the Orinoco and return to Angostura. Then
with some reinforcements he again ascended the river to join Paez, who,
on the advance of Morillo and La Torre had prudently retired to
Calabozo. The two commanders having united their forces marched with
2,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry on San Fernando.

On reaching the river Apure, Bolívar looked in vain for the boats which
Paez had promised to provide, while on the opposite side were a number
of canoes under guard of a Royalist gunboat and three armed flecheras.
Bolívar was dressed in a green spencer with red facings and three rows
of buttons; on his head was a dragoon’s helmet, which had been sent him
as a sample; he wore Llanero gaiters, and carried in his hand a short
lance with a black pennon adorned with a skull and cross bones, under
which might be read the inscription “Liberty or Death.”

“Where are your boats?” asked Bolívar of Paez.

“There they are,” said Paez, pointing to the enemy’s boats.

“How shall we take them?”

“With cavalry,” answered Paez.

“And where are these horse marines?” asked Bolívar.

Paez turned to his guard of honour, and picking out fifty men under
Colonel Aramendi, he put himself at their head, shouting:--

“Into the water, boys! Follow your Uncle!”

Then putting spurs to his horse he plunged into the river, followed by
his men lance in hand, and yelling to frighten off the alligators which
swarmed around them.

The armed boats opened fire upon them, but without effect; the terrified
crews jumped overboard, and fourteen boats were captured.

“If I had not seen it, I never would have believed it possible!” said
Bolívar.

Bolívar simply established a blockade of San Fernando, and marched
without loss of time against Morillo, who had assembled 1,600 infantry
and 300 horsemen near to Calabozo. His movements were so rapid that
Morillo was taken by surprise on the morning of the 10th February, 1818,
and was himself involved in the rout of his cavalry, and borne from the
field by the fugitives. One company of light infantry covered the
retreat, and perished to the last man. Morillo shut himself up in
Calabozo, which was defended by four redoubts, while Bolívar withdrew to
rest his men.

Morillo, without cavalry and without supplies, saw that resistance was
hopeless; he buried his guns, and on the night of the 14th February
marched off towards Sombrero on the river Guarico, taking his sick and
wounded with him. At midday, on the 15th, he was overtaken by Bolívar
with his cavalry. The horsemen could make no impression on the solid
columns of the Spanish infantry, but they delayed their march and so
gave time for the Patriot infantry to come up. During the night which
followed Morillo continued his retreat, and the next day reached the
wooded country about Sombrero. Here he took up a strong position on the
river Guarico, where he repulsed several attacks of the Patriot
infantry, and after nightfall, by a forced march, reached the valleys of
Aragua.

Bolívar, still with Caracas on the brain, retired to Calabozo, where he
had a stormy conference with Paez. The Llanero chieftain insisted that
to attempt an offensive campaign while the fortress of San Fernando was
still held by the Royalists was to lose the command of the plains.
Bolívar let Paez depart with his division, but marched himself with
1,000 raw infantry and 1,200 horse for the valleys of Aragua, where he
greatly increased his force by recruits. At Victoria he established a
reserve under Urdaneta, and detached his cavalry and 200 infantry to
occupy the pass at Cabrera. Morillo, who had concentrated his forces at
Valencia, surprised Saraza at Cabrera, routed Monagas at Maracay on the
road to Caracas, and advanced upon Victoria. Bolívar was compelled to
make a hasty retreat.

He halted at La Puerta, for him a most ominous position, and was there
attacked on the morning of the 16th March by the Royalist vanguard under
Morales. He succeeded in repulsing this attack, but Morillo, in person,
led up the main body, and though himself wounded, very quickly drove the
Patriots from the field, with the loss of 400 killed and 600 wounded.

Bolívar lost in this battle even his private papers, and seemed to have
lost his head also. He exposed himself in the most reckless manner
wherever the fight was hottest, seeming to court death as some expiation
of the errors he had committed. Fortunately for him, on the 6th March
Paez had captured San Fernando, with twenty guns, eighteen armed
vessels, and seventy-three flecheras, and now came to his assistance; as
did also Cedeño with his guerillas.

La Torre, who had taken command of the Royalists, found another army in
front of him when he advanced to Calabozo. He retreated to the heights
of Ortiz on the river Poga, which command the entrance to the valleys.
Here he was attacked by Bolívar and Paez with 800 infantry and 2,000
horse. The strength of his position enabled him to repulse several
assaults, after which he prudently retreated to Cura, and later on to
San Carlos.

Bolívar then detached Paez against San Carlos, and marched with the bulk
of his force further to the West, always aiming at Caracas. Paez was met
at Cojedes by La Torre with a very superior force. Carried away by his
impetuosity, he charged at the head of one squadron, and bore down all
before him, but found on his return to the field that his army had
disappeared. Overwhelmed by numbers the infantry had been cut to pieces,
the cavalry had fled. Paez returned to San Fernando with less than half
the force with which he had commenced the campaign.

Still worse fortune befell Bolívar. He abandoned the plains and advanced
into a country swarming with detached parties of Royalists. He, with his
staff, were attacked at night as they slept in hammocks in a wood. He
threw off his green spencer and brass helmet and escaped on foot, but
wandered about all alone till next day, when he fell in with his
dispersed troops, flying from their encampment where they had been
surprised, and ultimately rejoined Paez at San Fernando.

Bolívar, downcast and sick but not disheartened, immediately set to work
to raise fresh troops, and sent Cedeño with 1,300 men to re-occupy the
plains of Calabozo. Cedeño was cut to pieces by Morales, who then
advanced towards the Apure, but was there totally routed by Paez on the
28th May, 1818. Then came on the rainy season, and both parties were
forced to remain in quarters. The Patriot army no longer existed, all
the infantry had disappeared, the arms were ruined and the ammunition
was exhausted. The Liberator had lost both his credit as a general and
his civil authority. All threw upon him the blame for the ill-success of
the Patriot arms, and time, which has enhanced his glory, confirms in
this instance the judgment of his contemporaries. But there was yet the
nucleus of an army on the Apure, and Guayana was still secure.

The position of the Royalists was not much better. Morillo had 12,000
men scattered about in detachments, but he had neither money, arms, nor
supplies. As he himself reported to the Viceroy of Peru:--

“Twelve pitched battles, in which the best officers and troops of the
enemy have fallen, have not lowered their pride or lessened the vigour
of their attacks upon us.”

The Spanish squadron lay idle at Puerto Cabello, while Argentine and
Venezuelan privateers scoured the Carribean Sea with the ports of
Margarita as their head-quarters.

In the East the Patriot arms had been equally unfortunate. Mariño,
recalled by his partisans and supported by Gomez, Governor of Margarita,
had again established himself at Cumaná and openly renounced all
allegiance to the Liberator. Bermudez, who remained faithful, was routed
and driven across the Orinoco with the loss of his artillery. Monagas
was isolated on the plains of Barcelona.

Bolívar returned to Angostura, leaving Paez in command of the Army of
the Apure, and with indomitable energy set to work to create a new army.
He raised recruits in the Missions of Coroni, re-organized the divisions
of Saraza and Monagas, while Bermudez recruited his forces in Guayana.
Brion brought him 5,000 muskets and a large supply of military stores
from the West India Islands. He also effected a reconciliation with
Mariño and made him general of the Army of Cumaná. The Army of the
Apure, at the instigation of Colonel Wilson, an Englishman who had
joined it with a contingent of volunteers, proclaimed Paez
general-in-chief. This appointment was confirmed by the Llaneros, who
adored him, but Paez, taking no notice of this, assisted the Liberator
in every way he could.

Bolívar then sent General Santander, with 1,200 muskets and a group of
officers, to raise a new army in the Province of Casanare, from the
parties of Patriots scattered on the plains, with orders to threaten the
frontier of New Granada, which step had very important results.

Santander was a native of New Granada, he had served through all the
campaigns of the revolution, and was a well-educated man of great
intelligence.

Bolívar also issued a prophetic proclamation to the people of New
Granada:--

“The day of America has come. No human power can stay the course of
Nature guided by Providence. Before the sun has again run his annual
course altars to Liberty will arise throughout your land.”

Bolívar’s next step was to re-ascend the Orinoco with twenty vessels and
some infantry to reinforce the Army of the Apure. He had a friendly
interview with Paez, and leaving him in command, returned to Angostura
to attend to the claims of civil government.

The country was not satisfied with the arbitrary government of one man,
and demanded some sort of popular representation. Bolívar calmly
reviewed the situation and acquiesced. He re-organized the Council of
State, which had fallen to pieces in his absence, and charged it with
the convention of a Constituent Congress. An electoral scheme was drawn
up on the basis of joining Venezuela and New Granada in one Republic,
and on the 22nd October, 1818, Bolívar published this plan in a
proclamation, in which as usual he renounced all claim to the supreme
power, but contradicted himself by saying:--“The first day of peace will
be the last of my authority.”

The world was beginning now to turn its eyes to the great movement in
Spanish America. The figure of Bolívar stood forth prominently. San
Martin had fought and won the Battle of Maipó, and was preparing for the
conquest of Peru. O’Higgins wrote from Chile to Bolívar, recognising him
as a champion in the cause of America:--

“The cause which Chile defends is the same in which Buenos Ayres, New
Granada, Mexico, and Venezuela are engaged; it is that of the whole
Continent of America.”

Spain solicited the intervention of the European Powers to bring about a
reconciliation. Bolívar replied by a solemn declaration:--

“That the Republic of Venezuela, by right Divine and human, is
emancipated from the Spanish nation; that she neither had solicited nor
would admit, the mediation of the Great Powers; that she would only
treat with Spain as with an equal; and that the people of Venezuela, in
defence of their sovereign rights, were resolved to bury themselves
under its ruins, if Spain, Europe, and all the world were to unite to
keep them under Spanish domination.”

On the 15th February, 1819, the second Congress of Venezuela was
solemnly installed at Angostura. Into its hands the Dictator resigned
his absolute power, and in a speech disclosed for the first time his
plan of constitutional organization, the union of Venezuela and New
Granada in one nation. He spoke in favour of democratic government, and
against the system of federation, as organically weak. At the same time
he showed that no Democracy had ever had the stability of Monarchies and
Aristocracies, and held up the constitution of England as a model, at
once Republican and Conservative. He proposed an hereditary Senate as
the base of the constitutional edifice. In regard to the executive, the
idea of a life President, which he had learned from his master, Simon
Rodriguez, was in his head, but he dared not as yet propose it, it would
not have met with any support:--

“The executive power in a Republic must be strong, for all conspire
against it. In a Monarchy the power should rest in the legislature, for
all conspire in favour of the monarch.”

On the 10th February, 1819, Congress unanimously elected him President,
and from that day he always respected the liberty and opinions of that
body; although he still remained _de facto_ Dictator, he appealed to
them in every emergency. When he abandoned Congress he fell.

Congress established a life Senate in place of the hereditary Senate
proposed by Bolívar, and adopted a centralized form of government; fixed
the presidential term at four years, the President being eligible for
re-election once but not oftener; and arranged the other public offices
on the republican system. This constitution had yet to be submitted to
the vote of the people; this was at present impossible, and it never was
actually adopted, the framework alone being established.

By decree, unlimited powers were granted to the President in all
provinces which were the theatre of war, and it was also decreed that
the Vice-President should have no authority over the armies. This was in
fact the creation of a military dictatorship.

Bolívar delegated his power to Don Francisco Antonio Zea, with the title
of Vice-President. Zea being a native of New Granada, this appointment
formed a link between the sister colonies. Bolívar then took the field,
followed by a battalion of 500 English, under command of Colonel Elsom,
which had been raised in England in the preceding year.

Often have we made mention of European officers and men in the Patriot
armies, more especially of Englishmen. Venezuela, spite of the virile
strength of her men, and of their heroic efforts during eight years of
struggle against the disciplined armies of Spain, was the only Republic
of South America to seek the help of foreign volunteers, and which had
in her pay entire corps of foreign soldiers commanded by their own
officers. Bolívar was something of a cosmopolitan, and had none of the
prejudices of his fellow-countrymen against foreigners. More a soldier
by instinct than by education, he knew that results are only to be
obtained by method and discipline. He saw how San Martin, with an army
well organized and well led, had triumphed over the best of the Spanish
troops, and understood that he himself needed a more solid nucleus for
his armies than the light horsemen of the plains, and a better
disciplined infantry, to ensure success. Taught by his late disasters,
which were the result both of his own imprudence and of the lack of
cohesion in his troops, he was convinced that without a properly
disciplined army any advantage he might gain would be ephemeral, and
that if he did eventually triumph, he would stand as a conqueror over
ruins. Learning these lessons, he grew from a mere warrior to be a great
captain; without the science and mathematical precision of San Martin,
but with greater boldness and with a heavier crop of laurels.

In 1815 endeavours had been made to raise an auxiliary corps of Irish,
but it was only in 1817 that a system of enlisting volunteers was
instituted in England, through the agency of Don Luis Lopez Mendez, who
was at that time the representative of Venezuela in London. Without this
assistance and efficient co-operation, Bolívar averred that he would
have accomplished nothing in the famous campaign of 1819, for which he
was now preparing.

The soldiers received a bounty of $80 on enlisting, were paid two
shillings a day and rations, and were to receive at the conclusion of
the war $500 and an allotment of land.

In the year 1817, various English and German officers made contracts
with Mendez to take to Venezuela organized corps of artillery, lancers,
hussars, and rifles. The first expedition to leave England consisted of
120 hussars and lancers, under Colonel Hippisley. Their brilliant
uniforms gave them more the appearance of a theatrical troupe than a
body of soldiers going on active service; nevertheless they became the
basis of a corps of regular cavalry.

Colonel Wilson and Colonel Skeenen organized another corps of cavalry,
but Skeenen with 300 men suffered shipwreck on the coast of France.
Campbell took out the nucleus of a battalion of riflemen, which
afterwards did good service in Columbia; and a subaltern named Gilmour,
with the title of Colonel, and with 90 men, formed the basis of a
brigade of artillery.

Such enlistments were contrary to law in England, but in 1818 and in
1819 the number of volunteers increased considerably. General English,
who had gone through the Peninsular War with Wellington, contracted for
a division of 1,200 English, which about this time reached the Island of
Margarita, and subsequently became the celebrated Carabobo battalion.
The 500 men under Colonel Elsom, who accompanied Bolívar to the Apure,
were at first called the “British Legion,” but were afterwards named the
“Albion” battalion. Colonel Elsom had also brought out 300 Germans under
Colonel Uzlar, who had been enlisted at Brussels, which corps was landed
at Margarita.

General MacGregor, of whom we already know something, brought a foreign
legion of 800 men. Besides smaller contingents, General Devereux, who
had initiated the idea, brought an Irish legion, in which a son of the
great Irish Tribune, O’Connell, was an officer.

On hearing of the arrival of General English and others at Margarita,
Bolívar sent Urdaneta there to organize them. Urdaneta found 1,200
English and 300 Germans. These troops were destined for operations on
the coast of Cumaná and Caracas, but were at this time almost in open
mutiny against their officers. They were brought to order by the
exertions of Colonel Montilla, who had become reconciled to Bolívar. He
was the last of Bolívar’s enemies to become reconciled, and from this
time to the end stood faithfully by him. Montilla had served in Spain,
and had travelled much in Europe; he spoke the languages of these
foreigners and understood their customs. He was also energetic and was
possessed of some military skill. These acquirements gave him
considerable influence over the auxiliaries, which he turned to good
account.

On the 30th January, 1819, Morillo paraded 6,500 men, in seven
battalions and sixteen squadrons, all perfectly equipped, and opened the
campaign by advancing on San Fernando. Paez burned that city on his
approach, and retired south of the Arauca with 4,000 men, among whom was
a squadron of English dragoons. The Royalists dragged canoes with them
across the plains, and on the 4th February forced the passage of the
river.

Paez then changed his tactics: he sent his infantry to the rear, and
remained himself facing the enemy, with 1,500 men well mounted. Morillo
saw small parties of the enemy, who hovered on his flanks and rear, but
who fled from him over the vast plain whenever they were attacked. He
detached Morales with 3,000 men to reconnoitre and to drive in cattle.
On the 14th February one of his squadrons was so occupied when Paez
suddenly rushed upon it with 1,200 men, chased the fugitives to the
encampment, charged the reserve, and then retired at full speed. After
nightfall he again appeared in the rear. Morillo wearied out his troops
in ineffectual pursuit, till after nine days of marchings to and fro
upon the immense plain, he retreated to the Apure. He then threw up
fresh entrenchments at San Fernando, and making that place his
head-quarters, detached divisions to occupy Barinas, Calabozo, and
Sombrero. At this juncture Bolívar arrived, and at once assumed the
offensive, but had the worst of it in two small affairs, and prudently
withdrew beyond the Arauco.

Again Morillo advanced. On the 3rd April Paez, with 150 picked horsemen,
swam the river and galloped towards the camp. Eight hundred of the
Royalist cavalry, with two small guns, sallied out to meet him. He
slowly retreated, drawing them on to a place called “Las Queseras del
Medio,” where a battalion of infantry lay in ambush by the river. Then
splitting his men into groups of twenty, he charged the enemy on all
sides, forcing them under the fire of the infantry, and recrossed the
river with two killed and a few wounded, leaving the plain strewn with
the dead of the enemy.[19] Morillo again retreated, and the rains put an
end to further operations.

Bolívar, ever impatient of inactivity, heard at this time that Santander
had raised 1,200 infantry and 600 horse in Casanare, and had driven back
a Royalist army of 2,300 men under Colonel Barreiro, who had marched
against him from New Granada. This gave him an idea; he resolved to
cross the Cordillera and save Venezuela by reconquering New Granada. He
summoned a council of war, and the idea was received with enthusiasm by
his officers. It was decided that Paez, with a part of the army, should
attract the attention of Morillo and of the Army of New Granada upon the
plains of Barinas; that Urdaneta and Montilla should embark the
auxiliaries on the vessels of Brion’s squadron, and should make a
descent on the coasts of Caracas, menacing the rear of the Royalist
army; while he with the rest of the Army of the Apure, and with the
forces of Santander, should cross the Cordillera, and capture the
capital of New Granada.

This was the greatest stroke of strategy that had emanated from the
fertile genius of Bolívar. It changed the whole aspect of affairs, and
had a similar effect to the passage of the Andes by San Martin.



CHAPTER XLIII.

BOYACA--COLUMBIA--CARABOBO.

1819--1822.


In order to join Santander in Casanare Bolívar had to cross an immense
plain, covered at this season with water, and had to swim seven deep
rivers, taking his war material with him. Then lay before him the most
difficult part of his enterprise, the passage of the snow-covered
Cordillera in the depth of winter. All this he accomplished.

He joined Santander at the foot of the Andes, at the sources of the
river Casanare, on the 11th June, 1819. His army now comprised four
battalions of infantry, one of which, the “Albion,” was composed
entirely of English, two squadrons of lancers, and one of carabineers,
with a regiment called the “Guides of Apure,” part of which was English
also. Two thousand five hundred men, well armed, but nearly naked.

Santander led the van with the Casanare division, and entered the
mountain defiles by a road which leads to the centre of the Province of
Tunja. This point was held by Colonel Barreiro with 2,000 infantry and
400 horse, with advanced posts on the Cordillera. A reserve of 1,000 men
was stationed at Bogotá; at Cartagena, and in the valley of Cauca were
other detachments, and there was still another Royalist army at Quito.
Bolívar, who had fewer men, trusted much to the effect of surprise, and
counted upon the support of the inhabitants.

As the invading army left the plains for the mountains the scene
changed. The snowy peaks of the eastern range of the Cordillera appeared
in the distance, while instead of the peaceful lake through which they
had waded they were met by great masses of water tumbling from the
heights. The roads ran along the edges of precipices, and were bordered
by gigantic trees, upon whose tops rested the clouds, which dissolved
themselves in incessant rain. After four days’ march the horses were
foundered; an entire squadron of Llaneros deserted on finding themselves
on foot. The torrents were crossed on narrow trembling bridges, formed
of trunks of trees, or by means of the aerial “taravitas.” Where they
were fordable the current was so strong that the infantry had to pass
two by two, with their arms thrown round each others shoulders, and woe
to him who lost his footing, he lost his life too. Bolívar frequently
passed and repassed these torrents on horseback, carrying behind him the
sick and weakly, or the women who accompanied his men.

The temperature was moist and warm; life was supportable by the aid of a
little firewood; but as they ascended the mountain the scene changed
again. Immense rocks piled one upon another, and hills of snow, bounded
the view on every side; below lay the clouds, veiling the depths of the
abyss; an ice-cold wind cut through the stoutest clothing. At these
heights no other noise is heard than that of the roaring torrents left
behind, and the scream of the condor circling round the snowy peaks
above. Vegetation disappears, only lichens are to be seen clinging to
the rocks, and a tall plant bearing plumes instead of leaves, and
crowned with yellow flowers, like to a funeral torch. To make the scene
more dreary yet, the path was marked out by crosses erected in memory of
travellers who had perished by the way.

On entering this glacial region the provisions gave out, the cattle they
had brought with them as their chief resource could go no further. They
reached the summit by the Paya pass, where a battalion could hold an
entire army in check. It was held by an outpost of 300 men, who were
dislodged by the vanguard under Santander without much difficulty.

Now the men began to murmur, and Bolívar called a council of war, to
which he showed that still greater difficulties yet lay before them, and
asked if they would persevere or not. All were of opinion that they
should go on, a decision which infused fresh spirit into the weary
troops.

In this passage more than a hundred men died of cold, fifty of whom were
English; no horse had survived. It was necessary to leave the spare
arms, and even some of those that were carried by the soldiers. It was a
mere skeleton of an army which reached the beautiful valley of Sagamoso,
in the heart of the Province of Tunja, on the 6th July, 1819. From this
point Bolívar sent back assistance to the stragglers left behind,
collected horses, detached parties to scour the country around, and
communicated with some few guerillas who still roamed about. The enemy,
knowing nothing of his numbers, took up strong positions, and remained
on the defensive.

But Bolívar could not remain long inactive. Barreiro occupied a position
which commanded the main road to Bogotá; it was necessary to attack him
before he could receive reinforcements from that city or from Morillo.
No sooner had he his army once more in hand than by a skilful flank
movement Bolívar established himself on Barreiro’s rear, in a country
abounding in resources. The Royalists were forced to evacuate their
entrenchments, and a hard fought but indecisive action took place in the
swamps of Vargas on the 25th July, after which Bolívar recrossed the
Sagamoso river, and forced Barreiro to again change his position. Then,
deceiving him by a retreat in the daytime, he rapidly countermarched by
night, and on the 5th August captured the city of Tunja, where he found
good store of arms and war material, and placed himself between
Barreiro’s force and the army of Bogotá.

Barreiro, finding his communications cut, marched resolutely on the
capital; but it was too late. Bolívar had command of all the roads, and
seeing that the Royalists were advancing by the shortest route, which
crosses the small river Boyacá by a bridge, he posted his army on the
right bank and waited for them.

The battle of the 7th August commenced upon the bridge itself, where the
Spanish skirmishers were driven back. Barreiro then formed his infantry
in columns, with cavalry on the flanks, throwing out a battalion of
light infantry on the right, whose fire might enfilade the attacking
column of the Patriots. The Patriot centre and right wing drove in an
advanced party of Royalist infantry, and crossing a shallow stream threw
themselves upon the left flank of the Royalist army, while the left wing
and the cavalry attacked in front. The Royalist cavalry fled, the
infantry retreated to a fresh position, but on a second attack threw
down their arms. The vanguard, under Santander, accounted for all who
were not with the main body.

The victory was complete. Anzuátegui, who led the infantry of the right
and centre, and Rondon, who led the final charge of the Llanero horse,
were the heroes of the day. The English auxiliaries were seen for the
first time under fire, and showed that British solidity for which they
were always famous. The trophies of the victory were 1,600 prisoners,
including Barreiro himself, and 37 officers, 100 killed, and all the
artillery and small arms.

Boyacá is, after Maipó, the great battle of South America. It gave the
preponderance to the Patriot arms in the North of the Continent, as
Maipó had done in the South. It gave New Granada to the Patriots, and
isolated Morillo in Venezuela.

Bogotá was panic-stricken. Sámano fled with 200 men to Cartagena,
abandoning the archives and nearly a million dollars in the treasury.
The rest of the garrison retreated under Colonel Calzada to the North.
Bolívar, with a small escort, entered the capital in triumph on the 10th
August, amid the shouts and blessings of the populace. This victory was
not stained with blood. Bolívar was no longer the man of 1813 and 1814.
He shot one only of the prisoners he took, the man who had headed the
mutiny at Puerto Cabello in 1812. By incessant activity, he soon became
master of the whole country, which responded with enthusiasm to his
call. He raised new battalions and organized a fresh army to make head
against Morillo.

Where Bolívar triumphed there could be no lack of honours. Washington
and San Martin avoided ostentatious demonstrations of gratitude, but
Bolívar delighted in them. The municipality of Bogotá gave him a cross
of honour, a triumphal entry, and a crown of laurel. A picture of
Liberty supported by Bolívar was set up in the council chamber, and it
was decreed that the anniversary of the great battle should be
celebrated for ever. The crown of laurel sat well upon his head, upon
that of Washington it would have been a caricature.

But, great as was Bolívar’s vanity, there was room also in his head for
great ideas. Making use of the ample powers conferred upon him by the
Congress of Venezuela he founded the Republic of Columbia, which was the
dream of his life, and named Santander Vice-President of New Granada.

During a temporary absence of Bolívar, Santander shot the thirty-eight
Royalist officers who were taken prisoners at Boyacá, with Barreiro at
their head, and finished off the hecatomb with a countryman who had
protested against it on seeing the blood-stained benches. Santander
justified his cruelty by saying that it was done in retaliation of
similar barbarities committed by Barreiro; but some said it was done in
revenge for the death of his mother, occasioned by the privations she
had suffered while hiding herself from the persecutions of Sámano.

Bolívar returned to Angostura on the 11th December, and found that
affairs had greatly changed there during his absence. Zea had been
deposed by a revolution, and Arismendi was now Vice-President. Mariño
was General-in-Chief, and he himself was branded as a deserter for
having undertaken the reconquest of New Granada without authority from
Congress. The news of Boyacá had fallen as a thunderbolt among the
disaffected, and his return quelled them utterly. He acted with great
magnanimity, pardoned everything, resumed his authority, and announced
to Congress the union of Venezuela and New Granada, calling upon it to
give legal consistency to an accomplished fact.

Congress, enlarged by the addition of five New Granadian deputies from
the Province of Casanare, decreed the establishment of the REPUBLIC OF
COLUMBIA, in three great departments: Venezuela, Quito, and
Cundinamarca, each ruled by a Vice-President. A new city, which should
be called Bolívar, was to be the capital. The tri-coloured flag raised
by Miranda in 1806 was to be the flag of the new nation. A Constituent
Congress was convened, to assemble at Cúcuta on the frontier of
Venezuela. Bolívar was named provisional President of Columbia,
Santander Vice-President of Cundinamarca, and Roscio Vice-President of
Venezuela. The day of the installation of the Republic was fixed for the
25th December.

This great political business being settled, war again called for the
attention of the Liberator. The Spanish armies in the north and west of
Venezuela, and in Quito and Cartagena, amounted altogether to nearly
20,000 men, and reinforcements were expected from Spain. The new
Republic was still beset by dangers, while the strength of the country
was well-nigh exhausted.

Urdaneta and Montilla had been unfortunate in their expedition. Urdaneta
captured Barcelona on the 17th July, but being there attacked by very
superior forces was compelled to re-embark his men and retire to Paria,
where with some reinforcements he made an attack on Cumaná on the 5th
August, but was beaten off and withdrew to Maturín, with a greatly
diminished force. MacGregor took Portobello on the 10th April, but was
soon after driven out again with heavy loss. On the 5th October he took
Rio Hacha, but the conduct of his troops was so bad that the citizens
rose in arms against them, and forced him to re-embark. Happily at this
time the first division of the Irish Legion, 1,200 strong, reached the
island of Margarita. Bolívar placed them under the command of Montilla,
with orders to threaten Cartagena and co-operate with the Army of New
Granada on the Lower Magdalena, while the Army of the Apure advanced
from the plains of Caracas upon the capital.

Paez had invaded Barinas with cavalry, but was soon forced to retire,
after which Diaz captured ten armed flecheras on the Apure river, and on
the 30th September the Patriots retook San Fernando, which gave them
complete command of the Orinoco.

Morillo, thunderstruck by the invasion of New Granada, remained inactive
at Calabozo, and simply detached La Torre with 1,000 men to the valley
of Cúcuta, whence he was driven back by the division under Soublette,
which crossed the hills against him from Pamplona.

Soublette then joined Paez on the plains in his advance upon Caracas.
Bolívar reinforced them with two battalions of infantry, one of which
was English, and sent a strong column of Venezuelan troops, under
Colonel Valdez, to the south of New Granada, in order to act against
Quito. Morillo, uncertain what to do, confined his attention to securing
his base of operations in the western provinces of Venezuela.

Happily for America, and for Spain also, the reinforcements expected
from Europe never arrived. They could but have prolonged the struggle.
The revolution of 1820 prevented them from leaving the mother country.
The new policy of Spain was felt as much in the north as in the south of
the Continent. At the same time that San Martin broke up the armistice
of Miraflores, Bolívar signed one with Morillo at Trujillo. When
negotiations for peace recommenced as Punchauca, hostilities were
renewed in Venezuela.

The armistice signed by Bolívar and Morillo on the 25th November, 1820,
was of great service to the Patriots, giving them much-needed breathing
time, in which the country recovered somewhat from the exhaustion
produced by the long continuance of the struggle, and the institutions
of the new Republic became to some degree consolidated. Now that the
establishment of constitutional government in Spain gave hopes of a
possible reconciliation, commissioners were sent to the mother country
to treat for peace, and Morillo, despairing of ultimate success,
resigned his command and returned to Europe, leaving La Torre as
General-in-Chief of the Royalist armies.

The armistice was badly observed by both parties, more especially so by
the Patriots. While it was still in force, and while the commissioners
from Columbia were at Madrid, on the 28th January, 1821, the Province of
Maracaibo declared itself independent, and made overtures for a union
with the Republic of Columbia. La Torre declared that he should look
upon the occupation of this province by the Patriots as an act of
hostility. Bolívar acknowledged that such would be the case, but stated
that the Revolution itself was an accomplished fact, and as such he had
a right to support it. The armistice was accordingly declared to be at
an end on the 28th April, 1821.

During this interval of repose the Patriot armies had been considerably
strengthened. While the armistice still lasted Montilla had taken Rio
Hacha and Santa Marta, and was now besieging Cartagena with 3,000 men.
Bolívar had 5,000 men at Barinas, and Paez was in his rear with 4,000
more. Bermudez with 2,000 men threatened Caracas from the East; the army
of New Granada held the valley of the Magdalena. La Torre had 9,000 men
besides the garrisons of the towns on the coast, but his communications
were interrupted by the revolution in Maracaibo.

Bermudez after retaking Caracas and meeting with varied fortune in
desultory skirmishes, was compelled to retire, but his operations were
of great effect in occupying the attention of a considerable portion of
the Royalist army. Bolívar established his head-quarters at San Carlos,
where he was joined by Urdaneta’s division and part of the cavalry of
the Army of the Apure, and then marched with 6,000 men in search of the
enemy. La Torre had 5,000 men under his immediate orders, including a
strong body of cavalry commanded by Morales, but, uncertain of Bolívar’s
intentions, he detached two battalions of infantry and one squadron of
cavalry to reinforce a Royalist division which was stationed at
Barquisimeto, thus materially weakening his force on the eve of a
decisive action. The rest of his army he drew up on the wide plain of
Carabobo, at the foot of the passes leading through the Cordillera.

Bolívar, after surprising the principal pass, on the 23rd June, occupied
the heights looking down upon the plain. He could only descend at the
risk of having his troops cut up in detail before they could deploy on
open ground. As Bolívar hesitated, a guide told him of another road
which would lead him to the flank of the enemy. The next morning he
detached Paez, with 1,500 horse, the Apure battalion, and the British
legion, to attack the right flank of the Royalists, while he with the
bulk of the army remained on the heights ready to descend by the main
pass when the coast was clear.

The exit from the smaller pass was through a belt of woods and across a
stream, commanded by a hillock which was occupied by a detachment of
Royalists. The Apure battalion was in front, led by Paez in person. La
Torre, with three battalions and under cover of a heavy fire of
artillery, attacked this battalion as it left the pass, and threw it
into disorder, but the British legion, led by Colonel Ferrier, came
quickly to its assistance, deployed in line, and with the front rank
kneeling poured in so heavy a fire that the advance of the Royalists was
checked. The Apure rallied, and the cavalry charged on the right flank.
Ferrier, having burned all his cartridges, led on his men with the
bayonet and drove the enemy before him, while the Llanero horse rode
them down, and their ranks were disordered by the flight of their own
cavalry. One battalion stubbornly kept its formation, and repulsed every
charge made upon it during a retreat of twenty miles until it rejoined
the rest of the routed army, which took refuge in Puerto Cabello.[20]

This battle, the complement of that of Boyacá, which has been called the
Columbian Waterloo, secured for ever the independence of Venezuela and
New Granada, as Maipó and the expedition to Peru had secured that of the
South; the three battles combining to prepare the definitive triumph of
the emancipation of South America.

Bolívar entered Caracas for the second time in triumph; no one could now
deny him the glory of being the Liberator of his country. His retention
of the supreme power, both civil and military, was more than ever a
necessity. This was exactly the moment he chose for another resignation;
but there was a reason for it.

The Constituent Congress was convened at Cúcuta on the 6th May. It was
composed entirely of civilians, of whom the greater number were lawyers,
and was radically republican, opposed both to the abuses of military
rule and to the anti-democratic theories of the Liberator. His
resignation was thus at once a protest against accusations made against
him, and an indirect way of influencing public opinion.

Congress took no notice of his resignation, but quietly debated and
enacted the Constitution of Columbia. It decided that the President
should hold office for four years and should not be eligible for
re-election; that the General-in-Chief of the army should, while on
active service, have no political power, which was equivalent to the
abolition of the military dictatorship; and that the Constitution should
not be reformed for ten years. It only adopted the ideas of Bolívar in
one respect, which was in the establishment of a centralized system of
government. His plans of a life presidency and of an hereditary Senate,
as also the life Senate decreed by the Congress of Angostura, were
rejected. Bogotá was declared the capital of the Republic; Bolívar, “as
he feared,” was named President, and Santander Vice-President.

Bolívar repeated his resignation, but added that he would yield if
Congress persisted. Congress did persist, upon which he made an eloquent
speech, in which he said:--

“A man, such as I am, is a dangerous citizen under a popular government.
I wish to be a simple citizen in order to be free, and that all may be
so likewise.”

The Dictator of Columbia, reduced in theory to the position of a
Constitutional President, showed on this occasion, as on all others,
that though ambitious he was not a despot, and had no wish to be. He
swore the Constitution and proclaimed it, and devoting himself to his
military duties left the administration in the hands of the
Vice-President, but on the 9th October, 1821, he procured the passage of
a law by Congress which gave him absolute power over the army, and
empowered him to organize, as he pleased, the Provinces he might
liberate until he saw fit to place them under the Constitution of the
Republic.

On the 1st October, 1821, Cartagena capitulated to Montilla after a
siege of fourteen months. The Provinces of Panama and Veraguas, situate
on the Isthmus, immediately declared themselves independent, and
announced their intention of joining the Republic of Columbia. On the
28th November the fortresses of Chagres and Portobello fell into the
hands of the Patriots. In Venezuela the Spaniards, with 5,000 men, now
held only Cumaná and Puerto Cabello on the Windward Coast. In order to
round off the territory of Columbia it was now only necessary to
subjugate Quito. Thither converged the victorious armies of Bolívar from
the North, and those of San Martin from the South. San Martin was
already in possession of one half of Peru, and had one foot on
Guayaquil.

On the 1st August, 1822, Bolívar left Cúcuta for the South. Before going
he divided Venezuela into three military departments under Mariño, Paez,
and Bermudez, placing them under the superior orders of Soublette. On
the 16th October Cumaná surrendered to Bermudez. Puerto Cabello was
still held by a Royalist garrison of 4,000 men under Morales, who, at
this time, succeeded La Torre in command. Morales displayed such
activity and energy as for a time changed the aspect of the war. With
1,200 men he went by sea to Maracaibo, took that city on the 7th
September, and on the 12th November routed a division of 1,000 men under
Montilla. Then he overran the Province of Santa Marta, and on the 3rd
December occupied the Province of Coro. But in January, 1823, Santa
Marta was retaken by Montilla, and Coro by Soublette. Colonel Padilla
with a Patriot flotilla, which had greatly aided in the capture of
Cartagena, entered Lake Maracaibo under the fire of the forts, and on
the 24th July totally defeated the Spanish squadron which was there
stationed. On the 3rd August Morales capitulated.

Puerto Cabello was taken by assault by Paez on the 7th and 8th November,
1823, and the war in this part of the Continent was at an end.



CHAPTER XLIV.

THE WAR IN QUITO.

1821--1822.


After the battle of Boyacá, the defeated Royalists had retreated to the
Highland Provinces of Pasto and Patia, in the south of Columbia, and
were there strongly reinforced by Aymerich, Captain-General of Quito.
General Valdez was sent against them, with three battalions of infantry,
one of which was the Albion. On the 6th June, 1820, Valdez was attacked
by 1,100 infantry under Calzada at the town of Pitayo to the north-west
of Popayán. His vanguard was driven in, but the Albion re-established
the fight, and decided the day by an impetuous charge with the bayonet;
the Royalists retreated to Patia.

Valdez being reinforced, then occupied the city of Popayán with an army
of 2,300 men, which was soon reduced to 1,000 by sickness and desertion.
Then in January, 1821, in obedience to positive orders from Bolívar, he
marched into the Province of Pasto. The Patianos, as was their custom,
gave him free passage, but closed in upon his rear, cutting his
communications with Popayán. He marched upon the city of Pasto,
surrounded by enemies. Colonel Garcia who had succeeded Calzada in
command, waited for him with 850 men in the pass of Jenay, and on the
2nd February, completely defeated him. The Albion battalion suffered
very heavily in this action, and it was only the armistice of Trujillo
which saved Valdez from total destruction.

On the resumption of hostilities, General Torres, who had succeeded
Valdez in command, was forced by Garcia to shut himself up in Popayán.
He afterwards marched with 1800 men upon Pasto, but suffered such heavy
losses by sickness and desertion, that he was compelled to retreat, and
in August he abandoned Popayán.

The Royalists of Patia and Pasto, aided from Quito, might have prolonged
the war indefinitely but that the operations of San Martin and Cochrane
threw their base open to attack, and the revolution of Guayaquil cut off
all communication between Quito and the Pacific. Bolívar saw this, and
as Quito was not included in the armistice of Trujillo, determined to
attack from the South as well as from the North, and at the same time
open for himself a road to the Pacific. Looking about for an officer to
whom he could entrust the undertaking, he chose General Sucre, who was
at that time Minister of War of the Republic of Columbia.

Sucre was a native of Cumaná, had received a scientific education, and
had served from his early youth in all the campaigns of the revolution
of Venezuela, under Miranda, Piar, and Bolívar. Bolívar said of him:--

“Sucre has the best organized head in all Columbia.”

San Martin, who never met him, wrote of him in after years, that he was
one of the most noteworthy men produced by the Republic of Columbia, and
of greater military skill than even Bolívar himself.

The mission confided to Sucre was both political and military. He was to
aid the new State of Guayaquil against the Royalists, and was to induce
her to join the Republic of Columbia. At Popayán he collected a thousand
of the dispersed troops, and reached Guayaquil by sea in May, 1821. He
found that the majority of the people were in favour of union with Peru,
and that they had already suffered defeat in their first brush with the
Royalists.

At this juncture the flotilla and a battalion of native troops revolted
in the name of the King. Sucre put down the movement, and thus became
master of the situation, and commander-in-chief of all the forces.

At the head of a combined army, Sucre then marched against the
Royalists, who under Aymerich were descending the mountain slopes from
Quito, in two separate columns. One of these columns he totally defeated
at Yahuachí on the 19th August, and compelled the other, which was led
by Aymerich himself, to return to Quito with heavy loss. He then
ascended the slopes of Chimborazo and occupied the plateau of Ambato,
but was here attacked by Colonel Gonzalez with very superior forces, and
was completely defeated, with a loss of 300 killed and 640 prisoners. He
himself was wounded, and returned to his former position with a remnant
of his force. Here he was fortunately reinforced by a battalion of 500
Columbian infantry, and as Aymerich did not follow up the victory, held
his ground, till on the 20th November he arranged an armistice of ninety
days.

At this time the Royalists, whose total force of regular troops amounted
to 3,000 men, in the Provinces of Cuenca, Quito, and Pasto, received a
reinforcement of 800 men, under General Murgeón, who had been appointed
Viceroy of New Granada on the death of Sámano. Murgeón had arrived from
Europe at Puerto Cabello with a smaller force, which being increased by
La Torre, he led across the Isthmus to Panamá, whence he went by sea to
Atacames, and from there marched for sixty miles through a dense forest
and then over the Cordillera to Quito, where he arrived on the 24th
December, 1821, and took the command.

When New Granada was secure, Bolívar wrote to O’Higgins that:--“The Army
of Columbia was about to march on Quito with orders to co-operate with
the Argentine-Chileno Army in their operations against Lima,” but after
that, affairs in the North distracted his attention. After the fall of
Cartagena, he wrote to San Martin, proposing to take 4,000 men across
the isthmus, and by sea to Peru, to aid him in crushing the Royalists in
the centre of their power, leaving them in their positions on the
equatorial Andes till afterwards. But the defeat suffered by Sucre, and
the arrival of Murgeón, determined him first of all to prosecute the war
in the south of Columbia.

Under the name of the “Columbian Guard,” Bolívar had organized an army,
with which he incorporated at Popayán the remnants of the division of
General Torres, raising his total force to about 3,000 men. During his
march through a hostile country, he was compelled to leave 1,000 sick in
the hospitals, and with the rest reached the frontiers of Quito on the
24th March, 1822. Avoiding a conflict with the Pastusos, which had so
often proved fatal to the Patriot arms, he turned to the right and tried
to find a pass over the River Guáitara, a mountain torrent whose course
lies at the bottom of an almost impassable abyss. Finding one suspension
bridge cut, he marched to the left in search of another, and on the 7th
April came upon the Royalist army under Garcia, strongly posted between
the river and the volcano of Pasto. It was already past noon, but
Bolívar seeing that to retreat was impossible, attacked the enemy at
once. He drew up his army on the plain of Bomboná, and sent a column
against the left wing of the enemy, where the ground presented fewer
difficulties than on their right and centre. This column being repulsed,
then attacked the centre of the position and was almost annihilated in
the attempt to force its way through an abatis which covered this part
of the Royalist line. Meantime another column, directed against the
right wing of the Royalists, had detached a battalion of light infantry,
which climbed the face of the mountain and secured a commanding position
on the flank of the enemy, on which Bolívar made another attack upon the
centre with a battalion drawn from the reserve. This attack was also
repulsed, but when night came on the Royalists hurriedly retreated,
abandoning their artillery. The Patriots were left masters of the field,
but it was a Phyrric victory, they had lost 600 men in killed and
wounded, while the loss of the Royalists was not over 250.

Bolívar remained for eight days encamped on the plateau of Bomboná, and
then retreated, leaving 300 sick and wounded behind him. During the
retreat his losses were very heavy, but at Patia he received
reinforcements from Popayán. The climate and the people were both
against him; two months he remained inactive, uncertain what to do, when
news reached him that Sucre, aided by a contingent of Argentine-Peruvian
troops, sent to his assistance by San Martin, had taken Quito. The
moment had arrived in which the two revolutions of the North and of the
South of the Continent joined hands on the Equator, in accordance with
the plan of San Martin.

On the eve of setting out on his first expedition against Quito, Sucre
had written to San Martin asking for his co-operation. After his defeat
at Ambato, he wrote again, this time to the Peruvian Minister of War,
showing the danger which threatened Guayaquil. From Columbia he received
a reinforcement of 500 men, but this was quite insufficient to enable
him to take the field. Again he wrote to the Protector of Peru, and San
Martin now resolved to give him efficient help.

General Arenales, who was president of the department of Trujillo, had a
division stationed on the Peruvian frontier of Quito. San Martin sent
him orders to march with it to the assistance of Sucre. Arenales was
ill, and declined the command, which was then bestowed upon Colonel
Santa Cruz, and by a convention the Republic of Columbia undertook to
pay the troops, and to supply the places of all who might fall in war.
The auxiliary division consisted of about 1,200 men, among them being
one squadron of the mounted grenadiers, under command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Juan Lavalle.

Sucre left Guayaquil with such troops as he had, and joined the
auxiliaries in the Province of Cuenca in February, 1822, forming an army
of 2,000 men, and in March went in search of the enemy. While on the
march Colonel Santa Cruz received a despatch from the Government of Peru
directing him to withdraw from the army at once with his contingent,
which strange order arose from the misunderstanding concerning
Guayaquil. Santa Cruz showed the despatch to Sucre, who forbade him to
act upon it, telling him that he was no longer under the orders of the
Protector. Fortunately the officers of the contingent upheld the
authority of Sucre, whose firmness on this occasion prevented a great
disaster, and a few days later a despatch was received from San Martin
himself cancelling the order.

The situation of the Royalists was now very difficult. The Army of
Quito, though numbering 2,000 good soldiers, was isolated, and might
defend the mountain passes, but was powerless to take the offensive. The
affair at Bomboná had greatly depressed the spirits of the Pastusos.
Murgeón had died of despair on seeing the untoward course of events, and
Aymerich was again in command.

Aymerich detached Colonel Lopez with 1,500 men to protect the western
passes. Lopez stationed himself at Rio Bamba, but was out-manœuvred
by Sucre, who entered the valley at the foot of Chimborazo. In
accordance with his instructions, Lopez avoided an action, and slowly
retreated from one impregnable position to another, till on the 21st
April, 1822, Sucre managed to gain his rear by an undefended pass. The
Royalists retreated to another position behind the town of Rio Bamba. As
they were marching, Lavalle took advantage of a faulty manœuvre, and
with ninety-six grenadiers charged the whole of their cavalry, 420 in
number, and drove them in confusion upon the positions held by their
infantry. Then retreating at full trot, he was joined by thirty
Columbian dragoons. The Royalist horse having rallied, came down upon
him at full gallop, upon which he wheeled round, charged them again, and
completely routed them, with a loss of 52 killed and 40 wounded. One
Argentine and one Columbian were killed and twenty were wounded, and the
Royalist horse were of no further use in that campaign.

The infantry continued their retreat to the inaccessible position of
Jalupano. Then Sucre, by a flank march of four days over the
snow-covered heights of Cotopaxi, gained the valley of Chilló, 14 miles
from Quito, but found the enemy again in an inaccessible position
between him and the city. On the night of the 23rd May, during heavy
rain, the Patriot army defiled by a narrow road, covered with loose
stones, over the slopes of the volcano of Pichincha, and at eight
o’clock the next morning reached the heights overlooking the city of
Quito, where the steep mountain side below them was covered by a forest
of trees and brushwood.

Before the whole army had reached this position the Royalists had
ascended the mountain side, and rushed out of the forest upon the 2nd
battalion of Peru, which led the van. Colonel Olazabal, who was in
command, stubbornly held his ground till his ammunition was exhausted.
The position was held by one battalion after another, as it came up, so
long as any cartridges were left, but the reserve ammunition was far in
the rear, and the Royalists gained ground. A Columbian regiment charged
with the bayonet and recovered the position. Then the Royalists
advancing under shelter of the trees, endeavoured to turn the left flank
of the Patriots, but were in their turn taken in flank by three
companies of the Albion battalion and driven back in confusion. Colonel
Cordova then brought up his regiment of Columbian infantry, and, with
the aid of the Albion, drove the Royalists down the steep mountain side
in utter rout. On such ground the cavalry on neither side could come
into action, but the Royalist horse, drawn up as a reserve in the
suburbs of the city, was attacked later on by the Patriot cavalry and
dispersed.

Sucre then summoned the city to surrender. Next day, the 25th May, 1822,
Aymerich capitulated. The Royalists lost 160 officers and 1,100 men
taken prisoners, 400 killed and 190 wounded, 14 guns, and all their
flags. The Patriots had 200 killed, of whom half belonged to the
auxiliaries from Peru, and 140 wounded.

The victory of Pichincha was the seal of the continental alliance, and
concluded the war in the North. Garcia, with his isolated force,
capitulated to Bolívar, but the indomitable Pastusos refused to lay down
their arms till Garcia appealed to Padilla, Bishop of Popayán, who had
hitherto, both by his preaching and by his example, encouraged them in
their fanatic loyalty to the King of Spain. Thanks to Bishop Padilla, a
capitulation was agreed upon, by which these brave mountaineers were
secured in possession of all their local laws and customs.

The Liberator entered Pasto in triumph, and thence, on the 8th June,
addressed a bulletin to the Columbian people:--

“From the banks of the Orinoco to the Andes of Peru the liberating army,
marching from one triumph to another, has covered with its protecting
arms the whole of Columbia. Share with me the ocean of joy which bathes
my heart, and raise in your own hearts altars to this army which has
conquered for you glory, peace, and liberty.”

The deification of the armies of Columbia inaugurated prætorianism in
South America, which was soon to press heavily upon the independent
States, and was to bring the career of Bolívar to an end. The soldiery
began to look upon the people they had freed as upon men whom they had
conquered. The victors of Pichincha declared that Quito was annexed to
Columbia. The municipality protested, and were banished from the city.
Nevertheless, Bolívar on his arrival was received with enthusiasm. On
the 16th June he made a triumphal entry, and was presented with a laurel
wreath of gold, the third he had received in commemoration of his
victories.

The two Liberators of the North and of the South were now about to meet
on the dividing line of their several campaigns. Their triumphant armies
converged upon Peru. History presents no other example of so vast a
military combination, carried out with steady perseverance for twelve
long years, ending in the concentration of the forces of an entire
continent upon one strategical point, which concentration gave the final
victory.



CHAPTER XLV.

GUAYAQUIL.

1822.


Up to this time the struggle for emancipation, both in the South and in
the North of the Continent had been the result of the instinctive desire
for independence which was common to all the people of Spanish America,
but towards the conclusion of this struggle, the peculiar idiosyncracy
of each separate people began to show itself in action, and the ideas
and personal interests of different leaders came into collision.
Nevertheless the fundamental principles of the Revolution remained
unchanged. The movement was essentially Republican, based on local
autonomy. The monarchical ideas of San Martin, and the dreams of Bolívar
of a continental union, left not a trace behind. The popular movements
of the North and of the South of the Continent, joined hands at Quito;
the diverse principles of the two great leaders came into conflict at
Guayaquil.

When the Province of Guayaquil declared herself independent, she placed
herself under the protection of the troops of San Martin and Bolívar,
and became an apple of discord between the two leaders. Both accepted
the Protectorate, San Martin with the idea of annexing the Province to
Peru, Bolívar with the intention of annexing it to Columbia. In
November, 1820, San Martin sent Guido and Luzuriaga to negotiate a
treaty of alliance, which should place the province under his control;
when they arrived the situation had changed. Guayaquil had sent 1,500
men against Quito, under the command of Luis Urdaneta, an officer from
Venezuela. Urdaneta easily overran the Province of Cuenca, but on
advancing towards the capital was met on the plateau of Ambato by
Colonel Gonzalez, with 600 regular troops, and was completely defeated,
on the 20th November. An Argentine officer named Garcia rallied the
dispersed troops and led them back against the enemy, but was also
routed on the 3rd January, 1821. Garcia was taken prisoner, and being
put to death, his head was exposed in an iron cage at one of the
entrances of the capital.

The city of Guayaquil was thrown into consternation at this disaster,
but the commissioners were well received, and Luzuriaga being placed in
command of the remaining troops, checked the advance of the enemy, until
the rainy season covered the low grounds with water and put an end to
military operations; after which the commissioners returned to Peru,
without having made any definite arrangement.

The division of Sucre, sent by Bolívar, arrived in May, 1821, and for a
time the influence of Columbia prevailed, but the defeat of Sucre and
the retreat of Bolívar from Pasto, turned the eyes of the people again
to San Martin, who had by this time taken the city of Lima. It was then
that San Martin decided to take a part in the war in Quito, and sent the
contingent which did such good service at Pichincha.

On the 16th December, 1821, the district of Puerto Viejo declared itself
a part of Columbia, and was supported by the Columbian officers. The
Junta of Guayaquil pronounced this an act of rebellion, and resolved on
measures of repression. Civil war appeared imminent, when Sucre
interposed, and by calming the zeal of his subordinates, restored
tranquillity.

On the 30th November, 1821, Salazar had arrived as Peruvian Minister,
with instructions from the Protector to adopt a waiting policy, which,
in the face of a resolute opposition, was to ensure defeat. The Junta,
which, as also the majority of the people, was in favour of annexation
to Peru, complained to Salazar of the overbearing conduct of the
Columbian troops, on which La Mar was sent from Peru to take command of
the provincial forces.

Bolívar, who was resolved to include in the new Republic of Columbia the
whole of the late Viceroyalty of New Granada, now sent Don Joaquin
Mosquera to Peru as Minister of Columbia, to arrange the question of
limits, and on the eve of marching against Quito, sent a note to the
Junta, saying that “the Government of Guayaquil knows that it cannot
remain an independent State; that Columbia cannot give up any of her
legitimate rights; and that there was no human power which could deprive
her of a hand’s breadth of her territory.”

The Province of Guayaquil had been at various times a dependency of the
Viceroyalty of Peru, but on the formation of the Viceroyalty of New
Granada it became definitely an integral part of Quito, which was a
dependency of the new Viceroyalty. During the disturbances of 1809 and
1810, Abascal, Viceroy of Peru, had for military purposes taken charge
of the province, as he had done of the outlying districts of Upper Peru,
which belonged to the Viceroyalty of the River Plate. But this
arrangement came to an end in 1819, by a decree from the Court of
Madrid. Without Guayaquil Quito was cut off from all communication with
the Pacific.

The Junta of Guayaquil appealed to San Martin, who replied that if they
boldly declared Guayaquil an independent State he would assist them by
force if necessary, but that he would make no complaint if they chose to
join the Republic of Columbia. At the same time he wrote to Bolívar,
asking him to let the people decide for themselves.

The attitude adopted by Bolívar was one of defiance; that adopted by San
Martin, if more correct, was not based either on good policy or on good
military tactics. Bolívar could not recede without consenting to the
mutilation of Columbia, a republic of his own creation. The direct
intervention of San Martin endangered an open rupture between them,
which would upset the plans of both.

Under these sinister auspices took place the interview previously
arranged between San Martin and Bolívar, at Guayaquil, which had been
postponed in consequence of the exigencies of the war.



CHAPTER XLVI.

THE INTERVIEW AT GUAYAQUIL.

1822.


Once only do astronomers record the meeting of two comets at the point
of intersection of their eccentric orbits. Almost as rare in the records
of mankind is the meeting of two men who have made the history there
recorded.

After Washington, San Martin and Bolívar are the only two men of the New
World whose names figure in the catalogue of the heroes of humanity at
large. They were greater as liberators than as men of thought, but the
influence of the deeds accomplished by them yet lives and works in their
posterity.

Events are the logical sequence of causes which have preceded them,
nevertheless they are moulded by the influence of individuals. If
Columbus had never lived, America would at some later date have been
discovered by some one else. If Cromwell had never lived the Revolution
would have occurred in England all the same, but without him it would
not have triumphed. The emancipation of the British colonies of North
America must in any case have produced a great Republic, but it was
Washington who impressed upon the democracy the seal of his moral
greatness. The French Revolution was the natural outcome of what had
preceded it, but had it been directed by others than those who did
direct it the result might have been better. The insurrection in South
America was a spontaneous movement, resulting from historical
antecedents and from the circumstances of the time, but the triumph
would have been delayed, and the losses in the struggle would have been
greater, but for the genius of San Martin and Bolívar, who directed the
discordant elements to one definite end.

San Martin acted more from calculation than from inspiration, Bolívar
more from instinct than from method, yet both were necessary, each in
his own place. While they went with the current they were mere agents,
but they laid hold of the forces that were in action, condensed them,
and impelled them to act on one general plan by them devised, which was
unseen by the masses. And they worked in concert, the idea of San Martin
being carried to a successful ending by Bolívar. Neither could alone
have achieved the emancipation of the Continent.

Now these two men were to meet for the first time, under the fiery arch
of the Equator, with the ocean on one hand, on the other the giant range
of the Andes. The world listens intently and hears nothing of what they
say. One quietly disappears, saying words which have no meaning in them;
the other as quietly takes his place. For twenty years all is mystery;
then the veil is partially drawn aside, and it is seen that there is no
mystery, that nothing had happened save what everyone knew was certain
to befall. Only now that the masks have fallen we can read in the
character of each one of them the motives which made the one relentless
in his purpose and forced abdication on the other.

San Martin sent an auxiliary force to aid in the war in Quito without
making conditions of any kind, and expected to receive help in Peru on
the same terms, but after Pichincha, Bolívar was master of the
situation, and could dictate his own terms. San Martin indulged the
illusion that he was still one of the arbiters of South America, that
Bolívar would share with him his political and his military power, and
that in conference they would arrange together the destinies of the
nations by them emancipated. Without other plan, he sought that
interview with the Liberator which was to decide his own destiny and was
to paralyze his career.

Guayaquil was the only province of the late Viceroyalty of New Granada
which was not yet absorbed in the new Republic of Columbia. With this
acquisition her territory would stretch from the Atlantic to the
Pacific, and Bolívar would lay his powerful hand upon Peru, “the last
battlefield of America” as San Martin expressed it. Bolívar was now
arbiter of the destinies of South America, and could not tolerate
opposition from San Martin. His policy, a union of personal ambition
with grand designs of emancipation, now began to show itself.

At Quito he saw for the first time the troops of San Martin, and could
compare them with his own. He marked their soldierly bearing and strict
discipline, more especially he noted the Argentine mounted grenadiers,
and saw that, compared with them, his own Llaneros, brave as had been
their deeds, were but an undisciplined mob of horsemen. From that time
there arose in his heart that jealousy of Argentine influence which was
presently to mould his policy.

At a banquet given in his honour at Quito he exclaimed in his
enthusiasm:--

“The day is not far distant when I will carry the flag of Columbia
triumphant to Argentina.”

Five Argentine officers were present, and Juan Lavalle, rising to his
feet, proposed a toast:--

“To the independence of America, and of the Argentine Republic.”

There were no more toasts.

On the 11th July Bolívar entered Guayaquil, under triumphal arches
inscribed with his name. The gunboats on the river hauled down the white
and blue flag of Guayaquil and hoisted the tri-colour of Columbia.

“What, so soon!” he exclaimed, thinking this was a signal for the
incorporation of the Province. But when the boats had fired a salute up
again went the white and blue flag, and was hailed by a unanimous shout
of, “Viva Guayaquil independiente!”

He replaced his cocked hat, which he had till then carried in his hand,
and the procession went on, but the incident excited much comment in the
city, and especially in the Peruvian legation.

The intentions of Bolívar were no secret; he had brought 1,500 men with
him, who occupied the city. Within twenty-four hours of his triumphal
entry a deputation of his partisans waited upon the municipality and
asked them to proclaim the Province a part of the Republic of Columbia.
They refused, alleging that the decision of the question lay with the
representatives of the people, who were then in Assembly. The
application was repeated, and was again refused.

On the 13th July an appeal was made to Bolívar himself. Bolívar sent his
secretary to the Junta and an aide-de-camp to the Assembly, to announce
to them that in consequence of the anarchy which prevailed he had
assumed the supreme power, and had annexed the Province to Columbia. The
Junta resigned and fled on board the Peruvian squadron, then lying at
anchor in the harbour. San Martin had sent this squadron in support of
his own partisans, thinking that Bolívar was yet in Quito, but the
Liberator had been too quick for him.

On the 25th July San Martin himself arrived in the schooner _Macedonia_.
Bolívar sent off two of his aides-de-camp to salute him, and to offer
him hospitality “on Columbian soil.” The next day he disembarked amid
files of silent soldiery and crowds of enthusiastic people. Bolívar,
dressed in full uniform and surrounded by his staff, awaited him at a
house which had been prepared for him. The two heroes met, and embraced
for the first and last time, at the foot of the staircase, and turning,
entered the house arm-in-arm. In the salon the Liberator presented his
generals; then the authorities of the city came to bid him welcome. A
deputation of ladies presented an address to him; then a beautiful girl
of eighteen years of age placed a laurel wreath of gold upon his head.
San Martin, little accustomed to such theatrical ceremonies, flushed and
took the crown from his head, but said that he would keep it for the
sake of the patriotic sentiment that inspired the gift, and for the sake
of those who bestowed it, in memory of these happy days.

The two representatives of the Revolution being left alone, walked up
and down the salon together, but what they said to each other could not
be heard by those in the ante-room. Bolívar appeared to be agitated, San
Martin was calm and self-possessed. They shut the door and talked
together for more than an hour and a half. Bolívar then retired,
impenetrable, and grave as a sphinx. San Martin accompanied him to the
foot of the staircase, and they took a friendly leave of each other.
Later on the Protector paid a visit to the Liberator, one of mere
ceremony, which lasted only half an hour.

The next day, the 27th, San Martin sent his baggage on board the
schooner, saying that he should sail after attending the great ball
given in his honour, and at one P.M. went again to call on the
Liberator, remaining closeted with him for four hours.

At five P.M. they sat down together to a splendid banquet. When the time
for toasts arrived, Bolívar stood up and proposed one:--

“To the two greatest men of South America--General San Martin and
myself.”

San Martin then proposed another:--

“To the speedy conclusion of the war; _to the organization of the
different Republics of the Continent_; and to the health of the
Liberator of Columbia;” words that indicated the thoughts which occupied
his mind.

They then passed to the ball-room, where Bolívar gave himself up with
juvenile ardour to the delights of the waltz, of which he was
passionately fond. The rude behaviour of the Columbian officers, who
were roughly reproved by Bolívar, gave a grotesque aspect to the scene.
San Martin looked coldly on, evidently pre-occupied with thoughts of a
much more serious nature. At one A.M. he called his aide-de-camp, Guido,
to him, and said:--

“Let us go; I cannot stand this riot.”

Bolívar had already taken leave of him; a chamberlain showed them out by
a private door, and accompanied them to the landing place. An hour
afterwards the _Macedonia_ was under way.

The next day San Martin rose early and was silent and pre-occupied.
After breakfast, as he was walking the deck, he exclaimed:--

“The Liberator has been too quick for us.”

On reaching Callao he commissioned General Cruz to write to O’Higgins:--

“The Liberator is not the man we took him to be;” words which are a
compendium of the results of the interview. Of what passed between them
no account was published, but at that time there were only two questions
which could be discussed between them: the conclusion of the war, and
the political organization of the new States.

What occurred at the famous conference at Tilsit is as well known as
though all the world had been there to listen; the interview at
Guayaquil is still more easy to reproduce, illuminated as the subject is
by later disclosures from the pen of San Martin himself.

The unsteady glance and ill-concealed vanity of Bolívar produced
repulsion in San Martin, who read his character at once, but Bolívar,
full of himself, failed to penetrate the calm exterior of San Martin; he
learned nothing of his ideas, and looked upon him as one who owed his
victories to fortune more than to genius.

Bolívar had in his head a confused plan for the consolidation of
America, in which everything was to hinge upon his own personality. San
Martin, who had no personal ambition, said of him:--

“His feats of arms entitle him to be considered the most extraordinary
character that South America has produced; of a constancy to which
difficulties only add strength.” But he had none of the frankness of a
soldier, and disclosed nothing of these plans to San Martin; there was,
therefore, nothing to discuss between them--on that point they could
treat only of facts already accomplished.

San Martin expatiated upon the importance of bringing the war to an end.
Three or four thousand Columbian troops, placed at his orders, would
enable him to finish it in three months. Bolívar offered him only three
battalions, and the war lasted for yet another three years. San Martin
then offered to serve under him, if he would only take a sufficient
force with him. Bolívar declined the offer, alleging that he could not
leave Columbian territory without special authority from Congress. San
Martin then saw that the Liberator would not make common cause with him,
that one or the other must give way, and it is probable that he then
formed the resolution of retiring from the scene.

The organization of the new States was the only other subject on which
they could exchange opinions. Doubtless San Martin set forth his reasons
for believing that in the establishment of independent monarchies lay
the solution of the question, the people not being yet so educated in
the principles of self-government as to be capable of sustaining the
common responsibility of democratic rule, and Bolívar would scout the
idea, showing that monarchy was a European, not an American institution;
his own power, as the head of a republic, was greater than that of any
constitutional king. Deep in his mind lay the teachings of his old
master, Simon Rodriguez, who had taught him that the bestowal of all
offices for life was the means whereby stability could be given to
democracy. The result of this talk was seen in the toast which San
Martin proposed at the subsequent banquet:--

                 “To the REPUBLICS of South America.”

Was there more than this? Likely enough. The reserve which both
maintained on the subject for so many years is an indication that such
was the case. San Martin foresaw the failure of his scheme, and silence
became a patriotic duty, lest he should place arms in the hands of the
enemy. Bolívar, recognising the moral superiority of his rival, felt
abashed in the presence of such abnegation, and cared not to speak of
that which could only throw a slur upon his own fame.

On the return of San Martin to Peru, he announced publicly his
satisfaction with the result of the interview, the conclusion of a South
American alliance, and the speedy arrival of a reinforcement of three
battalions of Columbian troops. But immediately afterwards he wrote to
Bolívar, setting forth the great numerical superiority of the Royalist
forces, and showing that much more efficient help was needed to put an
end to the war. He concluded with these remarkable words:--

“My decision is irrevocable. I have convened the first Congress of Peru;
the day after its installation I shall leave for Chile, convinced that
my presence is the only obstacle which keeps you from coming to Peru
with your army.

“For me it would have been the height of happiness to have concluded the
War of Independence under the orders of a General to whom America owes
her liberty. Destiny has decreed otherwise, and I must resign myself to
it.”

This letter explains one of the principal causes of his retirement from
public life, and may be considered as his political testament. He yields
his self-imposed task into the hands of a more fortunate rival,
congratulating him upon the glory of finishing the great work.

By the bearer of this letter he also sent Bolívar a fowling-piece, a
brace of pistols, and a war-horse to carry him on his next campaign,
with this special note:--

“Receive, General, this remembrance from the first of your admirers,
with the expression of my sincere desire that you may have the glory of
finishing the war for the independence of South America.”

History records not in her pages an act of self-abnegation executed with
more conscientiousness and with greater modesty.



CHAPTER XLVII.

THE ABDICATION OF SAN MARTIN.

1822.


During the absence of San Martin at Guayaquil an event had occurred at
Lima which must have confirmed him in his intention of retiring from
public life. The people had risen against the Government, and though the
movement was not directed against him, it showed him the instability of
his power. Before his departure the Council of State had consulted him
as to what they should do in case of the death or incapacity of his
delegate, Torre-Tagle. San Martin left with them a sealed paper, in
which he appointed General Alvarado to that post in case it became
vacant.

On the 25th July fifty citizens of Lima, at the instigation of
Riva-Agüero, presented a petition to Torre-Tagle, asking him to dismiss
his minister Monteagudo, whose tyrannical procedures and private
immoralities had disgusted everyone. At the same time they addressed a
note to the municipality, asking them for support in delivering the city
and the country at large from “the oppression and despotism under which
they suffered”; and one of their number was sent to notify the
Government that in case this petition was not complied with they would
convene an open Cabildo.

Riva-Agüero, who was president of the municipality, acceded to their
request, and demanded the immediate imprisonment of the obnoxious
minister. Government replied that they would take the matter into
consideration next day.

At half past ten at night the people assembled in crowds at the gates of
the municipal building and round the government house, calling loudly
for the deposition of the minister. Monteagudo resigned. The
municipality demanded his imprisonment, which was decreed, and
Monteagudo remained under arrest in his own house.

Meantime the army remained quietly in barracks, Alvarado not choosing to
interfere, although he wrote to the municipality that if the disorders
continued he might be compelled to take steps to restore tranquillity.
But the popular excitement day by day increased. As one of their own
leaders said, “The peace-loving Peruvians appeared to have changed into
raging lions.” National sentiment was aroused against the foreigners who
ruled them, republican sentiment against the monarchical proposals of
the Government. Fly-sheets of the most seditious tendency circulated
from hand to hand.

On the 29th the municipality again met and demanded the banishment of
Monteagudo. He was banished.

On the 20th August San Martin returned, and was received with enthusiasm
by the people. Riva-Agüero and the principal leaders presented
themselves and assured him of their adhesion, but he was not deceived.
He saw that they were tired of his rule, that the army was no longer
devoted to him, that he had erred in the choice of his deputy, and of
his ministers, and that he himself was no longer necessary, and might
even become an obstacle to the complete independence of the country. He
could only re-establish his authority by means of repression, which were
repugnant to him; he preferred to leave the Peruvians to work out their
destiny for themselves. Then it was that he wrote the memorable letter
to Bolívar, of which mention was made in the last chapter.

Also he wrote to O’Higgins, alleging bad health as the cause of his
retirement:--

“I am tired of hearing them call me tyrant, that I wish to make myself
King, Emperor, the Devil. On the other hand, my health is broken, this
climate is killing me. My youth was sacrificed to the service of Spain,
my manhood to my own country. I think I have now the right to dispose of
my old age.”

Twenty-five years later the publication of his letter to Bolívar
disclosed the true motive of his retirement. He sacrificed himself from
duty, and from necessity, and kept silence.

But he did not purpose to leave Peru defenceless. He set to work with
the greatest activity to place the army on the best possible footing. At
the end of August he had more than 11,000 men under arms, and expected
1,000 men from Chile to join in an expedition against the intermediate
ports, and drew up a plan for the next campaign, which would probably
have been decisive if he had led the troops himself.

On the 20th September, 1822, the first Constituent Congress of Peru was
installed with great pomp. San Martin, in its presence, took off the
bi-coloured sash he wore as the emblem of his authority, made a short
speech, laid six folded sheets of paper upon the table, and retired amid
the plaudits of the Assembly. The first sheet being opened was found to
be a renunciation of all future command.

Congress passed a vote of thanks “to the first soldier of Liberty,” and
named him generalissimo of the land and naval forces of the Republic,
with a pension of 12,000 dollars a-year.

San Martin accepted the title and the pension, but refused to serve,
giving good reasons therefor:--

“My presence in Peru after the powers I have wielded would be
inconsistent with the dignity of Congress, and with my own. I have kept
the promise I made to Peru, but if some day her liberty be in danger I
shall glory in joining as a citizen in her defence.”

Congress then voted him the title of “Founder of the Liberty of Peru,”
with the right to wear the sash he had laid down, and with the rank of
Captain-General; decreed to him the same pension as Washington had
enjoyed; that a statue should be erected to him with inscriptions
commemorative of his services; that a bust of him should be placed in
the National Library he had established; and that he should receive all
the honours due to one of the actual executive.

Up to this time San Martin had said no word to anyone of his intention
to leave the country, but that same evening at his country-house he told
Guido, who had gone there with him. Guido expostulated with him, and
tried all means to dissuade him from his intention, till at last he told
him in confidence his real reasons for going:---

“There is not room in Peru for both Bolívar and myself. He will shrink
from nothing to come to Peru; it may not be in my power to avoid a
conflict if I am here. Let him come, so that America may triumph. It
shall not be San Martin who will give a day of delight to the enemy.”

It was ten o’clock; his orderly announced that all was ready; the
General embraced his faithful friend, mounted on horseback, and rode
away through the darkness. Next morning Guido found a letter of farewell
from him lying at the head of his bed, and Alvarado received another,
but San Martin had embarked that same night on the brig _Belgrano_, and
had left Peru for ever.

All that he took with him were 120 doubloons, the standard of Pizarro,
and the golden bell of the Inquisition of Lima. In Chile he had the farm
which had been given him, and a small sum of money left with a friend,
most of which was lost. The Government of Peru, hearing of his poverty,
sent him 2,000 dollars, with which, after an illness of two months in
Chile, he crossed to Mendoza early in 1823, and while living there as a
farmer, heard of the banishment of O’Higgins, and of the death of his
own wife.

The reasons for his sudden departure were for long a mystery to all,
except to Bolívar and to Guido. Some looked upon it as an act of
self-abnegation, some as one of desertion. Time has solved the problem.
The step was taken after mature reflection, and was the result of deep
insight into his own character, into those of the men about him, and
into surrounding circumstances. Bolívar was master of the situation, he
recognised this fact, and left the field open for him to put the seal to
their joint labours in his own way.

On the night of his departure he issued a farewell address to the
Peruvian people, in which no mention was made of these facts. He gave no
sufficient reason for so leaving them, and this caused much obloquy to
be thrown upon his name. But he did so wittingly, for the disclosure of
the true character of Bolívar would have predisposed the Peruvians
against him, and his aid was necessary to their complete deliverance.

The public life of San Martin ends here, but the remains of the army
which he had organized for the liberation of Chile, continued its
glorious career in Peru until the emancipation of South America was
accomplished.



CHAPTER XLVIII.

THE FIRST NATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF PERU.

1822--1823.


One of the heaviest charges brought by his contemporaries against San
Martin, and which history has repeated, is the precipitate manner of his
retirement from Peru. He left his army under the command of a General
without prestige; he left the country in the hands of a Government which
had no authority; and he made no provision for an efficient Government.
If he had delayed his departure until he had arranged all this it is
probable that he would never have gone at all. The fact is that he left
everything in a state of complete disorganization. It was more than an
abdication, he abandoned the country.

Congress instead of appointing at once an efficient executive appointed
a governing Junta of three of its own members, two of whom were
foreigners. General La Mar, a native of Quito, was President; his
colleagues were Don Felipe Alvarado, a brother of the Argentine General,
and Don Manuel Salazar y Baquijano, Count of Vista Florida, a citizen of
Lima, and a leader of society. The selection pleased nobody. The popular
party, headed by Riva-Agüero, commenced to conspire. The new Government
had no support, save in Congress itself. Abandoned by the Protector, the
only hope of Peru was now in the Liberator.

Bolívar no sooner saw the coast clear than he wrote to the new
Government offering them a reinforcement of 4,000 men, and promising,
if these were not sufficient, six or eight thousand more. Bolívar had
not seen that San Martin was eager to open the way for him; San Martin
had failed to see that by rousing the national spirit of the Peruvians
he had shut them off from help. Government suspected the intentions of
Bolívar, and coldly declined his proffered assistance. The answer was
long in coming, and Bolívar in alarm wrote to General Castillo, the
commander of the Columbian contingent, not to incur any risk of defeat,
but rather to retire on Columbia, and afterwards notified these
instructions to the Government of Peru.

Jealousy of foreign influence then induced Congress to decree that all
vacancies in the civil, military, and naval services should be filled by
Peruvians alone, and then set to work to debate what constitution they
should give to the country.

The nation was named “The Peruvian Republic;” the constitution was drawn
up on the basis of popular sovereignty, and a special clause was
inserted providing that executive offices should be neither for life nor
hereditary, which was directed against Bolívar.

The plan drawn up by San Martin for the ensuing campaign depended upon
the efficient co-operation of two armies; one acting in the South under
Alvarado, the other in the Centre under Arenales.

The whole line of the main Cordillera was held by the Royalists, but the
Patriots commanding the sea had the choice of the point of attack. The
bulk of the Royalists, under Canterac, occupied the Centre of their line
from Jauja to Huancayo. Arequipa was weakly garrisoned. La Serna had his
head-quarters at Cuzco with a reserve at Puno. Olañeto was at Potosí,
and Valdés was fully occupied in Upper Peru by Lanza the guerilla
chieftain. Consequently, a simultaneous attack from the South and Centre
would place the main army between two fires. This plan was adopted by
Government.

The Army of the South, consisting of 1,700 Argentines, 1,200 Chilians,
and about 1,600 Peruvians, with ten light field pieces, embarked on
transports at Callao in September. Alvarado wished to take the Columbian
contingent also, but Castillo refused to go. The expedition did not sail
till October, and was fifty-seven days on the voyage; a most
unfavourable commencement which presaged a catastrophe.

On the 3rd December the convoy reached Arica, but Alvarado sent one
battalion to Iquiqui, which landed there on the 7th. Miller, with a very
small force, had performed wonders in the previous campaign in this
district, but Alvarado remained three weeks at Arica without doing
anything. He consulted Miller, who told him anything was right if it was
only done quickly. He then detached Miller with 120 men further north to
make a diversion, and occupied Tacna with a strong vanguard under
General Martinez. These long delays had given the Royalists time to
concentrate their forces, and the indefatigable Valdés, with a flying
column of 800 men, descended the hills, crossed the sandy plain, and on
the 1st January, 1823, encamped in a fertile valley about twelve miles
from the city. The Patriots were so superior in number that his position
was one of great peril; nevertheless he put on a bold front, and while
Martinez was wasting time in an attempt to surround him, he succeeded in
effecting his retreat during the night and the following day to the foot
of the hills at Moquegua.

On the 13th January Alvarado occupied the valley of Locumba, but again
by dilatory movements lost his chance of overwhelming a small force of
Royalists which had been detached by Valdés to watch him. Valdés, who
was expecting Canterac with a strong force, allowed Alvarado to occupy
the city of Moquegua on the 18th without resistance, but then prepared
to dispute his further progress.

Beyond Moquegua the ground rises in abrupt steps which give great
facilities for defence. The Royalist skirmishers covered the heights,
and detached parties lay in ambush in the hollows. One by one they were
driven from these positions, but at Torata Valdés drew up his force in
line of battle. On the afternoon of the 19th the two armies faced each
other, and the Patriots advanced to the attack. A Spanish battalion in
skirmishing order covered the centre, and at the same moment the heights
beyond were occupied by an advanced party of Canterac’s division, whose
shouts of “Viva el Rey!” re-echoed from the mountain sides. Canterac
strengthened his right flank and beat back a vigorous attack of the left
wing of the Patriots, upon which the whole Royalist line advanced and
drove the Patriot infantry, who had exhausted their ammunition, before
them in utter rout with great slaughter. The Patriots lost about 500 men
killed and wounded, the Royalists about half that number. The Peruvian
legion, which was now for the first time under fire, distinguished
itself by its steady behaviour.

The routed battalions rallied under the fire of their artillery, but
during the following night the whole army retreated, and encamped next
day at Moquegua, seventeen miles from the field of battle. The
ammunition was nearly exhausted. Alvarado summoned a council of war, but
the advice of his officers was so discordant, that before he had formed
any resolution the enemy was again in his front on the 21st.

Alvarado then took up a strong position, with his left resting upon the
suburbs of the city, and his line extending along the ridge of a steep
declivity, broken in the centre by a road which was swept by the fire of
his artillery. His right rested upon a bare hill. Valdés, with two
battalions and two squadrons of horse, seized this hill and turned the
right flank of the Patriots, while the rest of the Royalist cavalry
menaced the left, and Canterac led the main body against the ridge.
Alvarado wheeled back his right wing, and for a short time the Patriots
held their ground with great determination, but were at length driven
from the position and totally routed with a loss of 700 in killed and
wounded, and 1,000 prisoners. The mounted grenadiers, led by Lavalle,
made two desperate charges to cover the retreat, but were in their turn
overwhelmed by the Royalist horse.

About 1,000 men reached Ilo with General Martinez, and embarking there,
returned to Lima. Alvarado went to Iquiqui in search of the detachment
he had left there, and on the 14th February landed a small party on
shore, which was all either captured or destroyed by Olañeta, who had
occupied the city. Alvarado then invited Olañeta to a conference
concerning the prisoners, and found this general to be so disaffected to
the Viceroy and his adherents, whom he styled “traitorous Liberals,”
that he declared his intention of separating from them and confining
himself to the defence of Upper Peru for the King.

Miller, with his 120 men, accomplished more than all the rest of the
army; he alarmed all the South, and kept the whole reserve under
Caratala in check.

Meantime Arenales lost much time in endeavouring to persuade General
Castillo to incorporate his auxiliaries with the army he was organizing
for the attack on the centre of the Royalists. Castillo refused to join
at first, on the plea that success was doubtful, and then demanded that
a Peruvian should be appointed to command the allied army. His demand
being refused, he then asked permission to retire altogether from the
country. Government, anxious to free itself from so arrogant an ally,
furnished transports, and the Columbian contingent left Peru for
Guayaquil, taking with it the Numancia battalion, 600 strong, which
Bolívar had claimed, as being a Columbian corps. This Columbian
contingent had cost Peru 190,000 dollars and had been of no service
whatever.

Nevertheless Arenales, who hoped to make up by speed for paucity of
numbers, had organized a column of 2,000 men, when Martinez arrived with
a remnant of the Army of the South. The news brought by him produced
great irritation, but by no means disheartened the people, who were
confident of ultimate success. Their anger was turned against
Government; the army encamped at Miraflores was almost in open revolt.
Arenales was asked to put himself at the head of the movement, but this
stout soldier would have none of it, and giving up the command to Santa
Cruz left Peru for ever.

The leaders of the army headed by General Martinez, on the 26th
February, 1823, presented an address to Congress, asking that
Riva-Agüero might be placed at the head of the Executive. The city
militia supported them. Congress yielded, and on the 27th Riva-Agüero
was named President of the Republic, and afterwards Grand Marshal of the
armies, although he was simply a colonel of militia and had never been
under fire.

Riva-Agüero was a true representative of the people, and his popularity
was enhanced by his activity and by the skill shown in the first
measures he adopted. He reorganized the army, making Santa Cruz
general-in-chief, and Martinez general of the division of the Andes and
Chile. He reopened relations with Chile, and wrote to Bolívar accepting
the help which Congress had refused. Bolívar made a treaty with him, in
which he promised 6,000 men, who were to be equipped and paid by Peru.
Chile promised a further contingent of from 2,000 to 2,500 men, and
1,500 muskets in addition. San Martin in Mendoza pushed on the
organization of an Argentine division, which was to operate on the
frontiers of Salta, under the orders of Urdininea. At the same time news
was received that the Peruvian commissioners, in London, had abandoned
their monarchical schemes, and had effected a loan of _one million two
hundred thousand pounds sterling_, which was ratified by Congress.

Before two months had passed Peru had an army of 5,000 men ready for the
field, in addition to the Argentine and Chilian auxiliaries, who were
2,500 more. Riva-Agüero determined upon another expedition to the
intermediate ports, directed against Arequipa and Puno, while another
army, composed of troops of the four Allied Nations, should advance by
Jauja upon the centre, a repetition of the previous plan. Bolívar
approved of the plan when his opinion was asked, and promised his 6,000
men. Chile again promised a fresh contingent, which should be sent to
the south of Peru, and offered to supply horses for the expedition. The
Royalists, ignorant of these preparations, made ready on their part for
an attack upon Lima.

Five thousand Peruvian troops left Callao in May for the South under
General Santa Cruz, with Colonel Gamarra as chief of the staff. For the
first time Peru had an army of her own, commanded by Peruvian generals.
Before leaving, Santa Cruz presented himself to Congress and swore to
return triumphant or to die. He did neither the one thing nor the other.

Santa Cruz showed more activity than Alvarado had done. On the 17th June
the convoy reached Arica. On that same day Canterac, with an army of
9,000 men, rushed down from the Highlands and captured Lima. The
expedition was thus isolated, but the move was a false one on the part
of the Royalists.

Bolívar did not share in the general confidence, he was more clear
sighted than most others, as is seen in a notable letter which he wrote
at this time to General Sucre. He had concentrated his forces at
Guayaquil, and on hearing of the disasters of Torata and Moquegua,
before signing the treaty of which we have already made mention, he at
once sent off an expedition of 3,000 men under Sucre, with instructions
to gain possession of the fortresses of Callao at any cost. Sucre, whom
he called “his right arm,” was also named minister plenipotentiary to
Peru, and was sent to prepare the way for the accomplishment of the
secret designs of the Liberator, who saw that Peru would soon be in a
condition to welcome him as her saviour.

The occupation of Lima by the Royalists was a mistake, it gave them no
military advantage while Callao and the ocean were held by the Patriots.
The Government fled to Callao, and the army collected under shelter of
the guns of that fortress. Sucre was made general-in-chief. Congress
dispersed; some of the members went over to the enemy; but a minority,
who were hostile to Riva-Agüero, kept together, and sent for Bolívar on
the 19th June, 1823, giving him the title of Generalissimo and ample
powers for the salvation of the country. Riva-Agüero retained the title
of President, but was sent out of the way to Trujillo.

Bolívar accepted the invitation, saying that “for a long time his heart
had yearned towards Peru.” Pending his arrival Sucre exercised his
powers as his representative; the secret wish of Bolívar was
accomplished, he was master of Peru.

The Viceroy soon perceived the mistake he had made, and recalled his
army from Lima. On the 16th July Canterac evacuated the city, and
returned to the Highlands unmolested. On the 20th Sucre sailed
southwards with 3,000 Columbians and Chilians and a squadron of Peruvian
cavalry, leaving an army of Peruvians, Argentines, and Columbians at
Lima with orders to occupy Jauja and secure the line of the Apurimac.
His intention was to combine the movements of the three armies, with
Arequipa as the base of his operations, and to advance on Cuzco with
8,000 or 12,000 men, but when he reached the south coast Santa Cruz was
already far inland. He then landed at Quilca and marched on Arequipa;
but the same day Santa Cruz had fought a battle of doubtful result on
the borders of Lake Titicaca.

Santa Cruz had changed the plan. Instead of keeping his army together he
had divided it into two columns, directed against Upper Peru. With the
first he landed near Ilo, and advanced to Moquegua, while the second,
under command of Gamarra, landed at Arica, and occupied Tacna. Here he
remained till the middle of July, awaiting the Chilian contingent; but
as it did not come he, on the 13th July, ascended the Cordillera,
crossed the Desaguadero by the bridge of the Inca without opposition,
and on the 8th August occupied the city of La Paz. Gamarra at the same
time marched by the Tacora road, crossed the Desaguadero lower down, and
occupied the city of Oruro, which is about 170 miles from La Paz.

Olañeta, who was retreating towards Potosí with 1,500 men, was almost
surprised by Gamarra, of whose movements he knew nothing, and withdrew
to the South. Gamarra was then joined by Lanza, the Guerilla chieftain,
with 600 men, and learned that Urdininea, with the Argentine division,
was advancing from Salta; but he lost the opportunity of destroying
Olañeta, which was part of the plan of Santa Cruz, by remaining inactive
at Oruro.

Santa Cruz, hearing that La Serna was concentrating his scattered
divisions at Puno, then turned back to cover the line of the
Desaguadero, and stationed himself on the left bank at the bridge of the
Inca. Valdés advanced against him with 2,000 men, but finding the bridge
was defended by artillery, he withdrew to the town of Zepita. Santa Cruz
crossed the bridge and went after him, and overtook him in a strong
position between the mountains and the lake of Titicaca. By a feigned
retreat he drew Valdés into the plain, where two Peruvian squadrons cut
the Royalist horse to pieces, but the attack upon the infantry was less
successful, and night put a stop to the action. Both sides claimed the
victory, but Valdés retreated, and soon after Santa Cruz returned to his
position on the Desaguadero. This was the first and last battle of the
expedition.

La Serna joined Valdés at Zepita, and crossed the Desaguadero with 4,500
men. Santa Cruz retreated before him, and on the 8th September joined
Gamarra to the south of Oruro. He then manœuvred to prevent a
junction between La Serna and Olañeta, who was returning from Potosí
with 2,500 men, but La Serna by a flank march over the heights succeeded
in effecting the junction on the 14th September. Santa Cruz thought
himself lost, and without attempting to bring on an action in which the
chances would have been in his favour, retreated precipitately. The
retreat soon became a flight, arms and baggage were thrown away, and he
recrossed the Desaguadero utterly routed, without fighting and without
even seeing an enemy. He left a company of infantry with two guns to
defend the bridge, who capitulated to the Royalist vanguard at the
first summons. Barely 1,000 men reached the coast, and the Chilian
contingent, which just then arrived, returned at once to their own
country.

Sucre, seeking to affect a junction with Santa Cruz, had shown in the
prosecution of his arduous task both the prudence and the ability of a
master in the art of war. At Arequipa he heard of the fight at Zepita,
and marched on Puno supposing that Santa Cruz was still holding his
ground at the bridge of the Inca, but was met by the intelligence of the
total dispersion of the Patriot army, and of the concentration of the
Royalists. Placing himself so as to cover the flight of the fugitives,
he steadily retreated and re-embarked at Quilca.

Before the result of the first expedition to the intermediate ports was
known, two of the admirers of San Martin had written to him in his
retirement at Mendoza, telling him that “the hand of San Martin alone
can crown his work and give liberty to Peru.” Even Riva-Agüero wrote to
him, beseeching him to return to public life. After the disasters of
Torata and Moquegua, the eyes of all Peruvians were turned to their late
Protector, and a multitude of letters to the same effect reached him in
his solitude. The new Government of Chile wrote to him that posterity
would forget his immense services unless he completed his work. After
the failure of the second expedition a council of Peruvian officers,
headed by General Porto Carrero and Admiral Guise, with the
authorization of Riva-Agüero, passed a resolution that all Peruvians of
every class called upon their Protector to fly to their assistance, now
that their country was in danger. Guido wrote to him that all Patriots
looked to him for help. Riva-Agüero, who had quarrelled with Congress,
and was opposed to the alliance with Columbia, offered him the supreme
power, by a special messenger. But San Martin had no faith in
Riva-Agüero, and wrote to him to re-establish the authority of Congress,
and on his refusal, rejected his offers with disdain.

Riva-Agüero, in his semi-exile at Trujillo, had dissolved Congress, and
on the 19th July had convened a Senate of his own selection, but he had
no support in public opinion. On the 6th July thirteen members of the
late Congress met at Lima, called up some substitutes, formed themselves
into a sovereign Congress, appointed Torre-Tagle chief of the Executive,
and on the 8th August declared Riva-Agüero an outlaw. He replied by
declaring them traitors and their decrees null and void. He then
collected an army of some sort, proposed an armistice to the Spaniards
and offered to dismiss the auxiliaries. But the auxiliaries refused to
recognise his authority, and the Columbian troops called upon him to lay
down the command.

Then came Bolívar. The castles of Callao thundered him a welcome; Lima
decked herself in flags in his honour. He landed in Peru on the 1st
September; no American ever received so enthusiastic a reception.
Congress made an appearance of consulting him, but in reality only
awaited his orders. As at Caracas, at Angostura, in New Granada, and at
Cúcuta, he renounced all claim to civil power, placing only his sword at
their disposal. Congress paid no attention to these empty phrases,
invested him as Liberator with supreme authority, both military and
civil, and voted him an annual salary of 50,000 dollars, which, with his
usual disinterestedness, he declined to touch.

At a banquet which followed, the name of San Martin was not mentioned
among the many toasts proposed. Whereupon Bolívar rising to his feet
proposed one himself:--

“To the good genius of America, which brought General San Martin with
his liberating army from the banks of La Plata to the shores of Peru;
and to General O’Higgins who had sent him on from Chile.”

Then as the banquet drew to an end, he proposed another:--

“That the peoples of America may never raise a throne upon their soil.”

At night as he entered the theatre, the whole audience rose to their
feet. He occupied the official box with the President, under a drapery
of the festooned flags of Peru and Columbia.

Procter, an English traveller who was present on this occasion, thus
describes him:--

“He is very thin, but his whole person shows great activity. His
features are well formed, but are worn by fatigue and anxiety. The fire
of his black eyes draws attention at once. Never did the exterior give a
more exact idea of the man himself. Egoism, determination, activity,
intrigue, and a persevering spirit, are clearly expressed in his
bearing, and in each movement of his body.”

Bolívar’s first care was to put an end to the dispute with Riva-Agüero,
but finding all friendly overtures unsuccessful, he resolved upon using
force. The country seemed on the verge of a civil war, when his own
troops mutinied against the ex-President. He disappeared from public
life, and the danger was averted.

Bolívar remained absolute master of Peru. He thought that all America
was now his.



CHAPTER XLIX.

JUNIN--AYACUCHO.

1823--1824.


The day-dreams of men often mould the course of their lives. The
day-dream of Bolívar was the unification of South America. It was in
pursuance of this dream that he created a great military power, and
carried his arms in triumph over half the Continent. His first step was
the creation of Columbia. Then he dreamed of a South American
Confederation, ruled by an international assembly, after the manner of
the Achaian League of ancient Greece; and, at last, of a monocracy under
the protection of Columbian bayonets. Then the dream became delirium.

In the treaties with Chile and Peru, forming an alliance offensive and
defensive, it was stipulated by Bolívar:--

“That an Assembly should be convened of the American States, composed of
plenipotentiaries, with the object of establishing on a solid basis
intimate relations between each and all of them, which may serve as a
council when great questions arise, as a point of contact in common
danger, as an interpreter of treaties in case of a misunderstanding, and
as an arbitrator and conciliator in disputes and difficulties.”

On the field of diplomacy the Liberator of Columbia came for the first
time in contact with Don Bernardino Rivadavia, the highest
personification of the Liberalism of South America. One was at the head
of four great States, the other was the constitutional minister of a
province. Bolívar aspired to the laurel crown of an American Cæsar,
Rivadavia to that of a pacific liberator.

Rivadavia was at this time the soul of the Provinces of La Plata, which
were separated by political shipwreck. The Argentine Republic, exhausted
by her great struggle for the independence of America, and prostrated by
civil conflict, took no more part in the continental war, but her
soldiers still fought for her in far-off lands; her integral parts, in
spite of separation, had still cohesion and sought reunion. A centre of
attraction was wanting to this constellation of fourteen wandering
stars--Buenos Ayres provided that centre. Rivadavia welded this province
into a State, which became the organic cell of national life. On the
small theatre of a province, the representative system of a republic was
seen for the first time at work in South America. These institutions,
which were then a novelty in the world, except in the United States and
partially in England, showed to the peoples of South America what the
republican system was; from Buenos Ayres they spread over the entire
Continent.

The Argentine Republic was then threatened with the war which broke out
two years later. The new Empire of Brazil had occupied by force the
Banda Oriental, which was one of the United Provinces; the Government of
Buenos Ayres, inspired by Rivadavia, faced the question with all its
consequences. In these circumstances, in January, 1823, Don Joaquin
Mosquera arrived in Buenos Ayres as minister plenipotentiary of
Columbia. Rivadavia was provisionally in charge of the Government. He
rejected at once the idea of a Congress with power to decide
international disputes. The treaty was reduced to a defensive alliance,
in support of their independence from Spanish or from any other foreign
domination. As Rivadavia explained to the Legislature:--

“The treaty proposed by Columbia did not fulfil the requisite
conditions, since it only recognised the existence of governments and
not their legitimacy.”

The idea of Rivadavia was to complete the triumph of the revolution by
a peaceful understanding with the mother country, in which all the late
colonies should unite.

When King Ferdinand, in 1820, sent a royal commission to the River Plate
with the object of “putting an end to differences existing between
members of the same family,” the Government of Buenos Ayres replied that
it could listen to no proposition which was not based upon the
recognition of independence, which declaration served as a precedent.

The treaty with Columbia was signed on the 8th March, 1823, was ratified
by the Government of Columbia on the 10th June, 1824, and by the
Argentine Congress on the 7th June, 1825.

Almost simultaneously with Mosquera, there arrived in Buenos Ayres two
new commissioners from the King of Spain. The Spanish Cortes,
re-installed at Cadiz in 1820, was composed of Liberals, who saw that
these ancient colonies could not be subjected by force, and attempted to
settle the question by negotiation. These commissioners brought no
proper credentials, but were simply appointed by the King, under Liberal
pressure, to listen to proposals, and to arrange provisional treaties of
commerce. Their real object was to divide the different republics which
were at war with Spain. Buenos Ayres was looked upon as the centre of
the revolutionary spirit; the commissioners were instructed to recognise
the independence of the United Provinces, and so to separate them from
Peru and Columbia.

Rivadavia drew up a resolution which was sanctioned at once by the
Legislature:--

“Government shall negotiate no treaties of neutrality, of peace, nor of
commerce with Spain, until after the cessation of war in all the new
States of the American Continent, and not until after the recognition of
their independence.”

On this basis an arrangement was drawn up, in which a suspension of
hostilities for eighteen months was stipulated, during which time the
Province of Buenos Ayres should negotiate the acquiescence of the other
American governments.

Meantime commercial relations were re-established with Spain, contraband
of war being excepted. But it was an illusion on the part of Rivadavia
to hope that the question with Spain could be settled by any other mode
than by arms.

There was yet a further stipulation. As France had voted 20 millions of
dollars in aid of the restoration of absolutism in Spain, in agreement
with the Holy Alliance, from which England was already separated, the
Government of Buenos Ayres was authorized to negotiate for an equal sum
among the States of America “to uphold the representative system in
Spain.” Don Felix Alzaga was, with this object, appointed
plenipotentiary to the Governments of Chile, Peru, and Columbia. At the
same time General Las Heras was sent as a commissioner to the Royalist
authorities in Peru, to arrange an armistice with them, in conjunction
with General Arenales, who was at that time in command on the northern
frontier.

Buenos Ayres, in spite of the dangers which surrounded her, thus
performed her duty to her sister States, boldly confronting the alliance
of the absolute kings, and thereby gained the goodwill of England; but
the convention was rejected in Chile through the intervention of the
Columbian minister. Alzaga then went on to Peru and presented it to both
Presidents, to Torre-Tagle and to Riva-Agüero. The first made use of it
to open a traitorous correspondence with the Royalists, the other used
it as a plea for arranging an armistice of his own, and for sending back
the Columbian auxiliaries; but, strange to say, it was accepted by
Bolívar as a way out of his difficulties, he merely stipulating that it
should, first of all, be ratified by the Spaniards. His object was to
gain time for the arrival of reinforcements from Columbia.

At the beginning of 1824 the situation of the Patriots in Peru was very
precarious. The Royalists had 18,000 men, flushed with recent victories;
the Patriots had only half that number. At this juncture an event
happened which had for a time most disastrous effects upon the fortunes
of Peru. Just as the Spaniards were making a last effort to regain the
dominion of the Pacific the Patriots lost the fortress of Callao, while,
almost simultaneously, President Torre-Tagle passed over to the
Royalists, taking with him a part of the national forces, and the
Spaniards re-occupied Lima.

The Argentine contingent was very discontented; the Peruvians were
jealous of them and treated them as foreigners, tolerated only on
account of their services. They were badly clothed and fed, their pay
was both irregular and insufficient; the Government by whose authority
they had become an army no longer existed; the general to whom they owed
their existence had deserted them. In March, 1823, they had applied for
protection to the Government of Buenos Ayres, and had been adopted by
the Province, then the only representative of the nation.

Bolívar commenced to prepare for offensive operations by concentrating
his forces at Pativilca, about 140 miles to the north of Lima, and
withdrawing most of the Columbian garrison from Callao, supplied their
place with the Rio de la Plata regiment and the 11th battalion of the
Andes, putting the whole garrison under command of General Alvarado.

On the night of the 4th February, 1824, the rank and file of the
garrison mutinied under two Argentine sergeants, named Moyano and Oliva,
and imprisoned their officers. Their first demands were for 100,000
dollars as arrears of pay, and that they should be sent back to their
own country. While Government hesitated to accede to these terms the
spirit of insubordination gained strength among the soldiery, their own
leaders could not prevent excesses. Among other Spanish prisoners in the
dungeons, was a Colonel Casariego, whom Oliva had known in Chile; the
two sergeants took counsel with him, and by his advice released the
Spanish prisoners and put their own officers in the dungeons. He then
persuaded them that their situation was desperate, and that their only
chance of safety lay in embracing the Royalist cause and hoisting the
Spanish flag. The troops were reorganized and placed under Spanish
officers. Moyano was made a colonel and Oliva a lieutenant-colonel, all
sergeants and corporals were promoted, and a messenger was sent to
Canterac placing the fortress at his disposal.

On the 7th February the flag of Spain was raised on one of the towers. A
negro soldier of the Rio de la Plata regiment, a native of Buenos Ayres,
known by the nickname of “Falucho,” refused to mount guard over the flag
against which he had so often fought. He broke his musket against the
flag-staff, and was shot, shouting--“Viva Buenos Ayres!”

The mounted grenadiers who were encamped in the valley of Cañete,
mutinied also, and marched to join their comrades at Callao on the 14th
February, but when they saw the Spanish flag flying over the walls they
released their officers. One hundred and twenty of them returned to
their allegiance, and represented their country in the liberating armies
to the end of the war. Thus by mutiny and by treachery was dissolved the
celebrated Army of the Andes.

As soon as Canterac heard of the mutiny at Callao, he sent a strong
division under Monet from the Highlands, which joined the division of
Rodil in the valley of Ica and marched on Lima. Torre-Tagle, who with
his Minister of War, was in secret correspondence with the Royalists,
joined them with some Peruvian troops, and issued a proclamation against
Bolívar.

The Royalists were now masters of the Highlands, and of all the centre
and south of Peru, and aimed at the dominion of the sea as well. A part
of the Peruvian squadron was stationed at Callao. Admiral Guise with the
_Protector_ frigate and four armed boats, entered the port under the
fire of the forts, boarded the frigate _Guayas_, formerly _Venganza_,
and burned her, as also the _Santa Rosa_, and some merchant vessels, on
the 25th February. The brig of war _Balcarce_ was the only vessel
saved, but the Royalists were expecting two Spanish frigates.

Bolívar issued terrible decrees for the evacuation of Lima, which were
not obeyed, but on the 10th February Congress appointed him Dictator.

Monet occupied Lima without resistance, but did not remain there. He
left Rodil in command at Callao, and returned to the Highlands, taking
the officers of the former garrison with him as prisoners.

These officers, 160 in number, were forced to march on foot up the
mountain passes to Jauja. On the third night, as they were passing
through a narrow defile, two of them, by preconcerted arrangement,
slipped into a ditch where they could not be seen, the two who were next
them concealing their retreat so that the evasion was not discovered
till they reached the next halt. Monet ordered two of the prisoners to
be shot in place of those who had escaped. They were all drawn up in
line by General Camba, and told to draw lots, which were presented to
them in a helmet. Several lots had been drawn blank, when two officers
stepped forward saying that they were the men who had concealed the
escape of the fugitives. With one exception all the other officers
called for the drawing to go on, but Camba decided that these two should
pay the forfeit of their lives, and they were shot.

One of them, Domingo Millan, was a native of Tucuman, and of middle age.
He drew out from the lining of his uniform coat the medals of Tucuman
and Salta, pinned them on his breast, and died shouting, “Viva la
Patria!” The other, Manuel Prudon, was a native of Buenos Ayres, and
only twenty-four years of age. He died with the calmness of a martyr,
shouting, “Viva Buenos Ayres!”

Bolívar had fallen dangerously ill at his head-quarters at Pativilca;
for six days he lay unconscious. When he was yet in the first stage of
convalescence, news reached him of the mutiny of Callao, and of the
treason of Torre-Tagle. Mosquera went to visit him, and found him seated
in a rocking-chair in the orchard, his head tied up in a white
handkerchief. He was deadly pale, and his voice was hollow with
weakness.

“What do you think of doing now?” asked Mosquera.

“Of triumphing,” replied he, undauntedly. Misfortune only seemed to
strengthen his spirit.

He retreated with 7,000 men to Trujillo, made the Southern Provinces of
Columbia his base of operations, and wrote to Vice-President Santander
asking for reinforcements:

“The interests of all America are at stake; nothing must be trusted to
probabilities, still less to chance or fortune.”

On the 11th May, 1824, Congress authorised a levy of 50,000 men, and
3,000 men were sent to join him at once. Before the enemy suspected that
he was about to move, he had concentrated his army at the foot of the
northern Cordillera, in three divisions of infantry, under Cordoba,
Lara, and La Mar, and one of cavalry, under Necochea. Sucre was chief of
the staff.

At this time Olañeta, who was in Upper Peru with 4,000 men, refused any
longer to obey the orders of the Viceroy. He had heard from Buenos Ayres
that, by the help of France, Ferdinand had abolished the Constitution of
1820, and was once more an absolute king. La Serna sent Valdés against
him, and some severe fighting took place between them, in which Valdés
had the advantage, when he was recalled by the Viceroy.

Bolívar took advantage of the absence of Valdés to commence operations,
and marched on Jauja by the road which had twice led Arenales to
victory, covering his advance by a cloud of Peruvian guerillas, under
whose protection Sucre marked out the daily route of the army, and
provided supplies. Bolívar ascended the range at its highest point in
the direction of Pasco, hoping to surprise the enemy, and on the 2nd
August passed 9,000 men in review about twenty-five miles from that
city, on which occasion he was accompanied by O’Higgins and by
Monteagudo, who had returned from exile. On the 4th Miller, who had
been detached with a party of cavalry, brought word that Canterac was
advancing from Jauja with all his army.

To the south of Pasco, at the head-waters of the Rio Grande, commences
the great lake of Reyes, which lies between the two ranges of the
Cordillera, and occupies all the low ground as far as the entrance of
the valley of Jauja. On its eastern bank there runs a level road, on the
western bank is another which leads to Junin, and is much rougher. At
the southern extremity of the lake lies the plain of Junin, broken by
numerous hillocks, and cut up by streams and marshes filled by the
overflow from the lake.

On the 1st August Canterac had advanced with his cavalry along the
eastern road to reconnoitre, and learned to his surprise that Bolívar
was already on the other side of the lake. He retreated rapidly, and
rejoined his infantry on the 5th August. On the 6th, at two o’clock in
the afternoon, he found himself face to face with the Patriot army on
the plain of Junin. Their infantry held the heights beyond, while their
cavalry appeared about to charge him. Bolívar had marched along the
eastern slopes of the western range, halting only in strong positions,
showing a cautiousness which was not usual with him. On seeing the
Royalist army, he sent Necochea in front with 900 horse. The ground was
so contracted by a hill on one side and by a marsh on the other, that at
five o’clock Necochea had only two squadrons of Columbian horse on the
plain, when he was attacked by the whole of the Royalist cavalry, 1,300
strong, led by Canterac in person.

The Columbian lancers received the charge with great steadiness, but
were driven back upon their supports, who were still entangled in the
defile. The Royalist horse, greatly disordered by their rapid advance,
entered the defile with the fugitives. Necochea, pierced by seven lance
wounds, was trampled under foot and made prisoner. Colonel Suarez, with
the first squadron of Peruvian hussars, had drawn his men into an angle
of the marsh, and, letting the rout pass by, charged the pursuers in the
rear. The fugitives were rallied by Miller, who led them again to the
charge, and drove the Royalists from the field. In forty-five minutes
the whole affair was over, and not a shot was fired. The Royalists lost
250 killed by lance and sabre; the Patriots lost 150 between killed and
wounded, and rescued Necochea. The fugitives took shelter under the fire
of their infantry, which at once retreated.

Such was the celebrated action of Junin, which broke the prestige of the
Royalist army, and prepared the way for the final triumph. Bolívar, who
had seen the rout of the first squadrons, thought he had lost his
cavalry, and returned to the infantry, who were a league behind. He only
learned the defeat of the enemy from a pencil note sent him by Miller
after sundown. The hussars who did such good service were afterwards
styled the Hussars of Junin, in reward for their gallant behaviour.

Canterac, who was greatly disheartened by this disaster, which was
chiefly the result of his own precipitate conduct in charging without a
reserve over ground of which he knew nothing, evacuated the valley of
Jauja, and retreated so rapidly that in two days he was more than a
hundred miles from the scene of the action, and his infantry was quite
worn out; but he did not stop until he had crossed the Apurimac, more
than five hundred miles from Junin, and lost between 2,000 and 3,000 men
by desertion on the way. La Serna sent him a reinforcement of 1,500 men,
and recalled Valdés to Cuzco. Canterac had fled from his own shadow, for
he was not pursued.

Bolívar rested for three days on the field of battle, took ten days to
occupy the valley of Jauja, and remained nearly a month at Huamanga. In
September he crossed the river Pampas, an affluent of the Apurimac, and
threatened Cuzco from the sources of that river, his right flank being
covered by a spur from the Cordillera, but did not consider himself
strong enough to attempt anything more now that the rainy season was at
hand. He also learned that a loan, projected by San Martin, had been
successfully launched in London, and that a million dollars were
expected immediately. Leaving Sucre in command, he returned to Lima in
October.

Before leaving he received notice that on the 28th July the Congress of
Columbia had abrogated the law conferring extraordinary powers upon him,
which he might no longer exercise now that he was in a foreign country.
This was the first sign of Parliamentary resistance to his autocratic
tendencies. The Liberals now formed a powerful party in Congress under
the leadership of Vice-President Santander, who thought more of the
interests of New Granada than of those of the Republic at large.

Bolívar received the blow with dignity, comprehending that he had
brought it upon himself by taking charge of the government of a foreign
state, and notified Sucre that he would only interfere in military
operations as President of Peru. Sucre, who was not ambitious, and was
devoted to Bolívar, advised him to pay no attention to the new law, and
declared that he himself would have no direct communication with the
Government of Columbia, looking to Bolívar alone for orders. Both kept
their promises, Bolívar leaving complete liberty of action to Sucre, who
followed his instructions except in the conduct of military operations,
in which he knew that his talents were superior to those of the
Liberator.

Bolívar again established his head-quarters at Pativilca, but found
matters much changed for the worse. The arrival of the Spanish
ship-of-the-line _Asia_ and of the 20-gun brig _Aquiles_ had given the
naval preponderance to the Royalists. These ships were joined by a
corvette and a brig from Chiloe, and there was one brig already at
Callao, which Guise had failed to capture. After an exchange of shots
with the Spaniards, Guise, with the Peruvian squadron, was forced to
seek shelter at Guayaquil.

A detachment of the Patriot army had been defeated near Lima; Chile
remained inactive; but Bolívar, still undaunted, collected such forces
as he could assemble at Pativilca, and urgently requested a further
reinforcement of 6,000 men from Columbia in aid of Sucre, whose position
was very precarious.

Bolívar also returned to his old project of an American Congress,
summoning it to meet on the 7th December at Panama, as the most central
point for all the world, and addressed circulars to that effect to the
Governments of Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, Buenos Ayres, Chile, Brazil,
and later on to the United States.

While occupied in these dreams, he heard that the Royalists had advanced
from Cuzco, manœuvring to cut off the retreat of Sucre; then there
was silence. Eight days afterwards the fate of America was decided at
Ayacucho.

Upon one point only Bolívar and Sucre were not agreed. Bolívar had left
instructions with Sucre to keep his army together at all risks; but he,
thinking his position a dangerous one, spread his troops over the whole
district, and advanced himself, with a light division, as far as Mamará
on the road to Cuzco, and from there sent Miller on with the grenadiers
to reconnoitre. When Bolívar heard of these manœuvres he wrote to
Sucre impressing upon him his maxim that--

“Union is strength. You expose yourself to the loss of a battle for the
sake of occupying some more leagues of territory. The liberty of Peru
will not be won by occupying land, but by a victory upon it.”

Sucre replied, saying that he would obey orders; but had only just sent
off the letter when he received advice from Miller that the enemy was
advancing in mass, and only twenty-five miles distant. His army was
spread over an extent of ninety miles; before he could concentrate the
Royalists were in his rear. As he retreated he received a further
despatch from Bolívar authorising him to fight if he thought it
necessary.

Sucre had under-estimated the strength of the Royalists. By calling in
the outlying divisions La Serna had, on the 24th October, assembled
10,000 men, in three divisions of infantry under Canterac, Valdés, and
Monet, and one of cavalry, which he commanded himself, with ten guns.
Sucre had only 7,000 men and two guns.

La Serna manœuvred to cut off Sucre from his base, moving in a
semicircle of which the Patriots held the centre. Sucre was thus enabled
to concentrate his forces, and choose for himself the field of battle.
He retreated on Huamanga, but on the 24th November, at the river Pampas,
he found that the enemy by forced marches was there before him. The
river lay between them. Three days were spent in manœuvres, after
which Sucre crossed the river, but on the 2nd December found the heights
of Matará in his front already occupied by the Royalists. Wheeling
rapidly to his right, he passed by a gorge towards the valley of
Acrocos, but his rearguard under Lara was overtaken in the pass by
Valdés. One Columbian battalion was cut to pieces, and two more were
dispersed with the loss of a gun on the 3rd December; but the further
advance of the Royalists was checked by the main body stationed on the
heights beyond. The two armies encamped for the night with the gorge
between them.

The next day Sucre gained the valley of Acrocos and offered battle. But
La Serna, anxious to cut him off from Jauja, marched round the left
flank of the Patriots and again gained their rear, cutting all the
bridges and closing the defiles to prevent their retreat. The people of
the valleys rose in favour of the Royalists. A Patriot column, advancing
from Jauja to join Sucre, was driven back; his sick were killed in the
hospitals; and he had lost 600 men in the retreat. For him it was now
victory or death.

He drew up his army in the valley of Ayacucho, his flanks resting on the
mountain ranges to the east and to the west, while the Royalists
occupied the heights in front. Cordoba commanded on the right, Miller in
the centre, and La Mar on the left, and a reserve of three battalions
was commanded by Lara.

On the morning of Thursday, the 9th December, 1824, the sun rose
gloriously over the peaks of the eastern Cordillera. Sucre galloped from
end to end of his line, telling his men that on their valour that day
hung the destinies of South America. At nine in the morning the
Royalists descended from the heights to the attack. At ten o’clock they
debouched upon the plain, and the left and centre advanced in mass, led
by the Viceroy himself. The Royalist right, under Valdés, was the first
to engage, and drove in the Patriot skirmishers; but the Peruvian
infantry stood firm, and a battalion of Columbians was sent to aid them.

Sucre then ordered Cordoba to charge with the right wing, supported by
Miller’s cavalry. The young general, who was only twenty-five years of
age, advanced rapidly in two parallel columns, and threw himself with
great impetuosity upon the Royalist centre. Eight squadrons of Royalist
cavalry who charged him were driven back by the Columbian horse under
Silva. Monet, whose division had not yet been engaged, came to the
assistance of the left centre, but was attacked by the reserve under
Lara, and driven back in confusion. Three more squadrons were then
thrown forward, and were exterminated by the Columbian lancers. La Serna
strove in vain to rally his disordered soldiery; he was borne from his
horse with six wounds, and made prisoner, with more than 1,000 of his
men.

Meantime Valdés had turned the left flank of the Patriots, and the
Peruvian division, under La Mar, began to give way, when the Columbian
battalion came to their assistance, followed by the Peruvian hussars and
the Argentine grenadiers, led by Miller, who charged with such fury that
the Royalist infantry were thrown into confusion, and all the guns were
captured.

It was one o’clock, Valdés in despair, sat down on a rock, waiting for
death; but his officers forced him away, back to the heights, where many
of the Royalist generals were already assembled, with such troops as
they could collect. Canterac took the command, and capitulated with
Sucre. The war of independence was at an end, emancipation was secured.
In the words of a poet:

    “We passed one thousand years
     In one hour at Ayacucho.”

Ayacucho is known in America as the Battle of the Generals. Fourteen
Spanish generals, with all their subordinate officers, gave up their
swords this day. The Royalists lost 1,400 killed and 700 wounded; the
Patriots 300 killed and 600 wounded. One-fourth of all who entered into
action were placed _hors-de-combat_.

Ayacucho crowned the joint work of San Martin and Bolívar. The victories
of Chacabuco and Maipó were united to those of Boyacá and Carabobo, with
the golden link forged at Ayacucho by the genius of Sucre.



CHAPTER L.

APOGEE, DECLINE, AND FALL OF BOLIVAR.

1824--1830.


The victory of Ayacucho put an end to the War of Independence in South
America. All the Royalist forces in Lower Peru capitulated, with the
exception of those under command of Rodil, who with a garrison of 2,200
men, held Callao for a year longer. Besieged by land and blockaded by
sea, he surrendered in January, 1826, “after the garrison had eaten all
the horses, cats, and dogs in the place.”[21]

In Upper Peru the cities of Cuzco, Arequipa, and Puno opened their gates
to the victor, who crossed the Desaguadero, and was received in triumph
at La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, and Chuquisaca. The Royalist army under
Olañeta was dissolved by a mutiny, in which that General was killed, and
Sucre, after overrunning the country, convened an Assembly to decide
upon its future policy.

The Spanish squadron abandoned the coasts of Peru and dispersed in the
Pacific. The island of Chiloe was the last position held by the
Spaniards, but soon shared the fate of Callao. The poet of the century,
perched in imagination on the summit of Chimborazo, cast his eyes over
the New World and saw not one enslaved people.

Bolívar was now at the apogee of his glorious career, his name was
famous throughout the world, South America acclaimed him as her
Liberator. The exaggerated honours which were paid to him were but
clouds of impure incense which could not obscure his real heroism, and
which a breath of common sense would have dispersed. He had the power to
solve the political problem in a manner which would have made him the
equal of Washington, but it was not in his nature so to do. He lacked
the moral strength to keep a cool head at the height to which he had
attained. As was the case with San Martin, the apogee of his career
marked the commencement of his decline.

One of the most noteworthy phenomena of the revolution in South America
is the contrast between the qualities of the leaders and the instincts
of the masses of the people. Emancipation came in the process of natural
evolution, organized and directed by popular leaders, who had only one
principle in common with those they led, the instinct of independence.
They devoted their attention to mechanical facts, and for the most part
knew nothing of the hidden forces of the movement they professed to
guide.

The revolution in South America was twofold in its action, internal and
external. One force was directed against the common enemy, the other
against the elementary organism of the peoples themselves. The spirit of
South America was genuinely democratic, so could not be other than
republican. The first development was into anarchy, from which was to
arise a new national life. To check this anarchy monarchical projects
were hatched in the United Provinces, which resulted in their
dissolution. The idea of establishing a monarchy in Peru destroyed the
moral power of San Martin. The empire of Mexico furnished proof enough
of the error of this plan. The prolonged dictatorship of O’Higgins in
Chile brought him to the ground. The oligarchical theories of Bolívar,
which tended to monocracy, were rejected by Congresses of Republicans,
and brought about his fall. The Liberators, with all their power and all
their glory, could not turn the revolution from its natural sphere of
action; the day they ceased to go with it they were cast aside as
obstacles to the march of progress.

When the independence of America was secured at Ayacucho, the mission
of Bolívar as a Liberator came to an end. His duty, his honour, and even
his interest, called upon him to retire from Peru, leaving the redeemed
peoples to work out their own destinies. Monteagudo was the only one to
give him such advice. On the night of the 28th January, 1825, Monteagudo
was assassinated in a lonely street in Lima. His death is a mystery; by
some it is attributed to political enmity, by some to private revenge.
Bolívar in person conducted the enquiry into the matter, and kept the
secret to himself.

Among the papers left by Monteagudo was found an essay upon the
necessity of a general federation of the Spanish-speaking peoples of
South America, based upon the plan of the Congress of Panama. An
alliance of the republics of the New World was proposed, as a
counterpoise to the Holy Alliance of the sovereigns of Europe. Suspicion
was thrown upon the designs of the new empire of Brazil; Chile and the
Argentine Republic were accused of lukewarmness in the common cause; and
it was suggested that an appeal for help should be addressed to Great
Britain and to the United States.

Bolívar adopted the idea as a development of his own plan, and again
summoned a Congress at Panama, in the hope of organizing it himself. The
United States accepted the invitation to send representatives, on
condition of being permitted to remain neutral; England also, but only
in order to have witnesses of her own to what went on; Brazil as a mere
form; and the Argentine Republic and Chile, with reservations. Deputies
from Peru, Mexico, Columbia, and Guatemala were the only ones who
attended the Congress. When this shadowy Congress escaped from his
influence Bolívar compared it to “that fool of a Greek, who, standing on
a rock, pretended to guide the ships sailing round him.”

His next step was, for the fourth time, to send in his resignation as
President of Columbia. Congress declined to receive it with unanimity,
but in silence. At the same time he sent two commissioners to
Vice-President Santander to announce his intention of “proceeding to
Argentine territory to establish the independence of South America by
assisting the Patriots.” Santander replied by reminding him that
Congress had only authorised him to carry on war outside the territory
of Columbia “for the security of the Republic of Peru.”

His third theatrical step was to resign the dictatorship of Peru, and to
accept it again for reasons directly contrary to those on which he had
based his resignation, and with the farcical condition that “the odious
word dictatorship” should be no longer used. Congress also voted him a
million of dollars as a reward for his services, which he refused for
himself, but accepted in the name of various charities, to which they
were never applied.[22] The servility of the Congress of Peru was
repugnant even to Bolívar, and was censured by his Columbian partisans.

The general Assembly of the Provinces of Upper Peru, convened by Sucre,
went even further than Congress had done. They declared Bolívar to be
“the first-born son of the New World, the saviour of the people,” and on
the 19th July, 1825, placed themselves under the protection of his sword
and of his wisdom. They declared themselves independent of Lower Peru,
called their country the “Republic of Bolívar,” and placed the supreme
executive power in his hands so long as he should reside among them,
Sucre acting as his delegate in his absence. This Assembly then
dissolved, and on the 6th October a Constituent Assembly was convened,
which applied to Bolívar for a Constitution, and for a garrison of 2,000
Columbian troops.

In July Bolívar offered to help the Chilians to drive the Spaniards from
the island of Chiloe. They declined other help than a subsidy, which did
not meet his views, as his design was to bring them under his sway by
the help of Columbian troops. From the Congress of Columbia he had
procured authority to take the Peruvian fleet and army to Columbia,
under pretext of defending it from a French invasion, and so brought
upon himself an accusation that he wished to oppress her with foreign
bayonets. His policy tended to the establishment of a Prætorian Empire,
an uncrowned monarchy supported by a standing army.

Leaving Lower Peru under the rule of a Council he then went to Upper
Peru. His journey from Lima to Potosí was one triumphal march. The
cities presented him with golden keys, and with war-horses equipped with
golden harness. At Arequipa General Alvarado gave a rural banquet in his
honour, at which the Argentine “Asado” was the principal dish. There was
abundance of claret to wash down the roast beef, but he asked for
champagne, in which he indulged to an extent not usual with him. A toast
was given to the unification of South America, on which he remarked that
he would soon tread Argentine soil. Colonel Dehesa, also excited by
wine, told him:--

“My countrymen do not welcome Dictators to their territory.”

Bolívar sprang upon the table in a fury, and crushing glasses and plates
under the heels of his boots, shouted--

“Thus will I trample upon the Argentine Republic.”

An ebullition of temper roused by the opposition of the press of Buenos
Ayres to his anti-democratic plans.

At Potosí he was met by General Alvear and Dr. Diaz Velez, envoys sent
by the Argentine Government to congratulate him on his successes. He
thanked them but refused to treat further with them, alleging as an
excuse the absence of his Minister of Foreign Affairs. Afterwards, on
learning that the Brazilians had occupied two provinces of Upper Peru,
he managed to dispense with the aid of this official.

When at Arequipa, he had offered General Alvarado to send 6,000 men to
aid the Argentines in the war with which they were threatened by Brazil.
Alvarado had declined the offer. This incident now gave a plausible
pretext for his interference in the question. On the 18th and 19th
October he held private conferences with the Argentine envoys, which
greatly enlightened them as to his extravagant ideas. Among other
proposals he asked permission to cross Argentine territory with a
Columbian army to overturn the despotism of Dr. Francia in Paraguay,
which could not be granted, as all Argentine governments had steadily
followed a policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other
nations.

He met them again at Chuquisaca, but the interview had no definite
result, and the occupation of the Province of Tarija, which was formerly
one of the United Provinces, by Columbian troops, nearly produced an
open rupture.

Rivadavia, who was about that time elected President of the United
Provinces, looked upon Bolívar and his army as a danger, but the idea of
his armed intervention in Argentine affairs was welcomed by the
Opposition press of Buenos Ayres. They echoed his words that:--

“The Argentine Republic could not triumph alone over the Emperor of
Brazil, and could not even organize itself without the help of the
genius of America.”

But the Liberal press commenced to analyze the tendencies of the
proposed Monocracy, and their words found echo in the public opinion of
Bolivia, Peru, and Columbia. Chile was the first state to join the
United Provinces in open opposition to his views.

Bolívar then returned to Lima, and on the 25th May, 1826, sent to Upper
Peru a draft of a constitution for the REPUBLIC OF BOLIVIA.

All the works of Bolívar, both political and military, are so impressed
with his own character that it has been necessary to invent special
words to express them. His system of warfare was a _mélange_ of the
warlike propensities of the indigenous races with European discipline.
With little knowledge of tactics, and with less strategy, he gained his
victories by audacity, by impetuosity in attack, and by unfailing
constancy in defeat, somewhat after the style of Charles XII. His power
was symbolized by a new title, involving a permanent Dictatorship; he
called himself the LIBERATOR. His policy was neither democratic, nor
aristocratic, nor autocratic; the historian has had to invent a word to
describe it, MONOCRATIC. For the new Republic formed in Upper Peru he
invented a new name, derived from his own, BOLIVIA.

The constitution drawn up by him for the new State is an amalgam of
ancient traditions with modern practice. It has something of the Greek
Republic, something of Roman Cæsarism, something of the English
Monarchy, something of the consular constitution of Napoleon. The base
of the system is a President, nominated for life, with power to name his
successor, and elected by a representative assembly, appointed by an
electoral body. The legislative power was shared by three chambers, one
of which exercised a species of censorship over the other two, like to
that of the Council of the Areopagos of Athens.

With some slight modifications, this constitution was adopted by the
Constituent Assembly, and Sucre was elected President, but with power
subordinate to that of the Liberator when he was there.

But Bolivia was too small a sphere of action for Bolívar. For the
realisation of his plan it was now necessary to impose the same
constitution upon Peru and Columbia, binding the three States together
by one supreme authority, vested in his own person as the Liberator.

When the Congress of Peru re-assembled there appeared in it a new
national party, opposed to the Dictatorship and to the continued
presence of Columbian troops. Government then found that the elections
were irregular, and fifty-two of the deputies asked for their own
dissolution. At the same time the discovery of a conspiracy against the
Dictator sent some victims into banishment, and brought others to the
scaffold.

While preparations were being made for a new election, Bolívar
threatened to leave Peru to its fate. With the most abject servility all
classes besought him not to desert them; one high dignitary actually
asked him to set his foot on his neck that he might have the honour of
bearing the weight of the greatest man of the age. Still he remained
obdurate, until a deputation of ladies waited upon him, to whom he
gracefully yielded, and so brought the farce to an end.

The Electoral College of Lima met on the 6th August, and within a hedge
of Columbian bayonets voted with unanimity the abrogation of the
Constitution of 1823, and the adoption of the Bolivian Constitution. The
example was followed by the Provincial Colleges, the new Constitution
became law, and Bolívar was acclaimed perpetual President. Of course he
declined the honour, but accepted it as soon as it was offered to him a
second time.

Now for Columbia. But meantime his idea had achieved a further
development, “The Grand Confederation of the Andes.” Bolivia was to
remain as one unit, Peru was to be divided into two, and Columbia into
four States, each one with a President for life, satellites to the
central power of the Liberator. Sucre pronounced in favour of the new
plan, Santander accepted it, and the Columbian leaders offered it the
support of their swords. On this basis a treaty was signed between
Bolivia and Peru, giving the two nations one Federal Congress, to which
each should send nine deputies; but a special clause was added, that at
the death of the Liberator each Republic should be at liberty to
withdraw from the union.

“My funeral will then be as sanguinary as that of Alexander,” said
Bolívar.

Much must be forgiven to Bolívar for the good by him accomplished. He
did not wish to be a tyrant, but he did not understand that a people
cannot be at once half free and half enslaved. His plan of a Monocracy
was a reaction against the Revolution and against the independence of
the new Republics; it was a return to another colonial system, even
worse than the one which had been destroyed. The paternal government of
a distant and hereditary monarch was a less evil than would be a
government dependent upon the life of one man. A crown had been offered
to Bolívar, he had rejected the idea with scorn, but he now demanded a
power greater than that of any king.

Engaged in these dreams Bolívar had led for two years in Lima the
voluptuous life of an Eastern prince, when evil news reached him from
his native country, which he had apparently quite forgotten. The
Venezuelans, with Paez at their head, had risen against the general
Government, and had demanded federal autonomy. In New Granada the
Liberal press vigorously attacked the principle of Monocracy. In
September, 1826, he went to Guayaquil and resumed his absolute powers as
President of the Republic of Columbia. From there he went on to Bogotá,
and was met by a deputation of the people and of the authorities, who
assured him “that he could count upon their obedience under the
Constitution and under the laws which he had sworn to respect and
uphold.” He answered angrily that he expected a welcome and not advice.

After that he went on to Venezuela, where he made terms with Paez, and
agreed to a reform of the Constitution of Cúcuta, which in 1821 he had
sworn should remain unchanged for ten years. But public opinion no
longer supported him; the Liberal press of Bogotá, under the influence
of Santander, fiercely attacked his policy.

On the 6th February, 1827, he again sent in his resignation. His example
was followed by Santander. Congress declined to accept either
resignation, but Bolívar’s was declined by 56 votes against 24, while
Santander’s was declined by 70 against 4. Both retained their offices,
but from this time he and Santander became the heads of two antagonistic
parties.

While affairs were in this state in Columbia, the people of Peru and
Bolivia, aided by the garrisons of Columbian troops, deposed their life
Presidents. Sucre made some attempt to re-establish his power, but being
attacked by a Peruvian army under Gamarra, he withdrew from Bolivia in
October, 1827, taking the Columbian troops with him. The news of these
events was received with rejoicing at Bogotá; Santander pronounced his
approval of the conduct of the troops. All were tired of Bolívar.

Columbia had been an efficient war machine in the hands of Bolívar by
which the independence of South America was secured, but was an
anachronism as a nation. The interests of the different sections were
antagonistic, and the military organization given to the country only
strengthened the germs of disorder. Venezuela and New Granada were
geographically marked out as independent nations. Quito from historical
antecedents aspired to autonomy. Had Bolívar abstained from his dreams
of conquest, and devoted his energies to the consolidation of his own
country, he might perhaps have organized it into one nation under a
federal form of government, but that was not a task suited to his
genius. When his own bayonets turned against him he went so far as to
despair of the Republican system altogether, and sought the protection
of a foreign King for the last fragment of his shattered Monocracy.

On the 9th April, 1828, he assembled a Convention at Ocaña for the
reform of the Constitution of 1821. The partisans of Santander were in a
majority, and the Convention was dissolved on the 10th June by the
desertion of the partisans of Bolívar.

On the 13th June a popular Junta assembled at Bogotá, at which General
Cordoba proposed the re-establishment of the Dictatorship in the person
of Bolívar. Bolívar accepted the office, and suppressed that of
Vice-President. Military rule became dominant, those who opposed the
measure were banished as disturbers of public order, the study of
political economy was prohibited in the Universities, and liberty of the
press was suspended, but Bolívar promised to convene another Constituent
Congress a year from that time. According to Gervinus, the Liberator now
tore off the mask and showed the vulgar ambition which lay beneath, yet
he was not a tyrant, he was simply a despot driving he knew not whither.

The young men talked of the dagger of Brutus, but an attempt to
assassinate him failed, and the principal conspirators died on the
gibbet. Santander, who had joined the conspiracy but had opposed the
assassination, was sent into exile.

The Columbian troops which had mutinied in Peru brought civil war to
Guayaquil. Rebellion broke out in the Province of Pasto. Bolívar
declared war against Peru. Peru sent a fleet and an army and captured
Guayaquil.[23] Their army was defeated by Sucre, but Bolívar, after
losing 3,000 men in the marshes in an attempt to retake the city, made
peace.

Bolívar had appealed in vain to the Ministers of the United States and
of Great Britain to interfere for the prevention of anarchy. He now
proposed to Colonel Campbell, the British chargé d’affaires, to appoint
a Prince of some one of the reigning families of Europe King of
Columbia. Many of the chief dignitaries of Bogotá accepted this idea,
and came to an understanding on the point with Messrs Campbell and
Bresson, the diplomatic agents of Great Britain and France, but Bolívar,
three months after he knew of this, suddenly told them in September,
1829, that the idea could not be carried out, and that it was necessary
to separate Venezuela from Columbia.

The idea of a monarchy found no acceptance with the people. On the 14th
September a rebellion, headed by General Cordoba, broke out at
Antioquia, but was crushed, and Cordoba was brutally murdered. At the
end of this year, Venezuela declared herself an independent Republic,
under the Presidency of General Paez, and pronounced sentence of
perpetual exile against Bolívar.

On the 30th January, 1830, Bolívar convened at Bogotá the Constituent
Congress he had promised, and concluded his message:--

“I blush to say that independence is the only good thing we have gained
by the sacrifice of all else.”

He then retired to his country-house at Fucha; nevertheless a party,
strong both in Congress and among the people, desired his re-election,
and he for some time expected it, but seeing that the bulk even of his
old friends opposed it, he on the 27th April sent in a formal
resignation, couched in very simple terms, which was accepted.

Don Joaquin Mosquera, leader of the Liberal party, was elected
President, but Congress decreed that Bolívar “was the first and best
citizen of Columbia,” and assigned him a pension of 30,000 dollars a
year, for his great wealth had all disappeared.



EPILOGUE.


Posterity has pronounced judgment upon the two liberators of South
America, upon SAN MARTIN and upon BOLÍVAR.

They were both great men, the greatest after Washington that America has
produced. Both fulfilled their mission. The one gave the first signal
for a continental war, the other carried it to a glorious termination.
Without San Martin at the South and Bolívar at the North it is
impossible to conceive how the forces of the revolution could have
worked together towards one end; neither is it possible to conceive how
one could have completed his task without the other. Nevertheless, as
politicians both went astray; neither reached the level of the public
opinion of their day, and both failed to comprehend the instincts of the
masses they led. They were military leaders only, and knew not how to
direct the organic evolution of the peoples.

Time, which dissipates false and enhances true glory, has thrown much
light upon matters which during their lifetime seemed obscure. Their
outlines are now seen clearly against the horizon of history; they stand
forth as symbols of the epoch which gave birth to a new republican
world, the greatest political phenomenon of the nineteenth century.

The Argentine Republic and Chile, led by San Martin, were victorious in
the South, and carried their arms from sea to sea, and from the
temperate zone to the equator. There the entire forces of the
revolution of South America joined hands; there the two liberators
embraced, and separated for ever.

Columbia, led by Bolívar, gave victory to the revolution in the North;
secured the independence of Peru and Bolivia, and guaranteed that of the
other Republics of the Southern Continent. San Martin yielded the
completion of the task to Bolívar, and by his abdication gave a high
example of civic virtue. Bolívar crowned the work; the triumph belongs
to both. Their fate was equal, both died in exile.

The fate of the emancipators of South America is tragical. The first
revolutionists of La Paz and of Quito died on the scaffold. Miranda, the
apostle of liberty, betrayed by his own people to his enemies, died
alone and naked in a dungeon. Moreno, the priest of the Argentine
revolution, and the teacher of the democratic idea, died at sea and
found a grave in the ocean. Hidalgo, the first popular leader of Mexico,
was executed as a criminal. Belgrano, the first champion of Argentine
independence, who saved the revolution at Tucuman and Salta, died
obscurely, while civil war raged round him. O’Higgins, the hero of
Chile, died in exile, as Carrera his rival had done before him.
Iturbide, the real liberator of Mexico, fell a victim to his own
ambition. Montufar, the leader of the revolution in Quito, and his
comrade Villavicencio, promoter of that of Cartagena, were strangled.
The first Presidents of New Granada, Lozano and Torres, fell sacrifices
to the restoration of colonial terrorism. Piar, who found the true base
for the insurrection in Columbia, was shot by Bolívar, to whom he had
shown the way to victory. Rivadavia, the civil genius of South America,
who gave form to her representative institutions, died in exile. Sucre,
the conqueror of Ayacucho, was murdered by his own men on a lonely road.
Bolívar and San Martin died in banishment.

San Martin when he saw that his life’s work was accomplished, left
Mendoza for Buenos Ayres, where he was received with indifference and
contempt. Neither country wife, nor home, was left to him, there was
not even a place in the Argentine Army for the man who had led the
armies of three Republics to victory. At the close of the year 1823 he
took his orphan daughter in his arms and retired into exile. In Europe
he found himself penniless. Five years later he returned to Buenos
Ayres, seeking to end his days in his native country; the war with
Brazil had just concluded.

On the 12th February, 1829, the anniversary of his triumphs at San
Lorenzo and at Chacabuco, the ship which carried him anchored in the
roadstead, and he was greeted with this contemptuous denunciation in the
city press:--

“General San Martin has returned to his native country after five years’
absence, but after knowing that peace was concluded with the Emperor of
Brazil.”

His answer had been given two thousand years before, by the mouth of
Scipio, when he was insulted by his fellow countrymen on the anniversary
of one of his great battles:--

“On such a day as this I saved Rome.”

San Martin did not repeat this answer, he returned in silence into
exile. His reply was given from the tomb many years later:--

“I desire that my heart may rest in Buenos Ayres.”

Bolívar, after his last resignation was accepted, retired to the
neighbourhood of Cartagena, and there heard of the death of Sucre, who
had written to him two years previously, that unless they withdrew in
time they would lose their heads. He was dying, but still indulged
ambitious designs. He had prophesied anarchy and it came. He looked on
complacently, and even encouraged it, but was greatly mortified by a
notification from his friend Mosquera, that Venezuela demanded his
banishment as a condition of peace.

“No, no, I will not go dishonoured,” he exclaimed.

His partisans said that he alone could restore quietude, and they seemed
right. Part of Venezuela and New Granada rose in arms to demand the
re-establishment of his dictatorship. Quito and Guayaquil separated
from Columbia, and in May, 1830, formed themselves into an independent
State, under the name of THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR.

At Bogotá the Government of Mosquera was upset, and civil war broke out.
The friends of Bolívar, triumphant in the capital under Urdaneta, called
upon him to put himself at their head, and to re-establish the Union of
Columbia. He was weak enough to accept the invitation. Death saved him
from the disgrace of becoming a leader in an internecine war between
States to which he had given independence.

His sickness increasing, he retired to Santa Marta to breathe the fresh
sea air. At the Quinta of San Pedro, seven miles from that city, he
breathed his last. Seated in an arm-chair to receive extreme unction,
his last words addressed to the Columbian people, which had been written
down to his dictation, were read over to him:--

“My wishes are for the happiness of my country. If my death weaken the
divisions, and help to consolidate union, I shall go to the tomb
content.”

He added in a hoarse voice:--

“Yes, to the tomb, to which I am sent by my fellow-citizens, but I
forgive them. Oh! that I could take with me the consolation of knowing
that they will keep united.”

These were the last sensible words that he was heard to speak. Delirium
supervened, and he died on the 17th December, 1831, at the age of
forty-seven years four months and twenty-three days.

In October, 1832, San Martin, then resident in France, was attacked by
cholera. He was living in great poverty on the proceeds of the sale of
the house given him by the Argentine Congress after the victory of
Maipó. He thought he was to die in a hospital. The Spanish banker
Aguada, who had been a comrade of his in the Peninsular War, came to his
assistance, saved his life, and relieved his distress. He gave him the
small country-house of Grand Bourg, on the banks of the Seine, close to
that old elm which, according to tradition, was planted by the soldiers
of Henry IV., when besieging Paris. There, surrounded by trees and
flowers which he tended himself, he passed many quiet years, complaining
sometimes of the ingratitude of men, deploring the sad state of the
peoples for whom he had done so much, but never despairing of their
destiny. Once only did his old enthusiasm blaze out. He thought the
independence and honour of his country were threatened by France and
England in the questions of 1845--1849, and came from his seclusion to
show that America could not be conquered by Europe. Subsequently, in his
will, he left his sword to the Argentine Dictator:--

“As a proof of the satisfaction with which I, as an Argentine, have seen
the firmness of General Rozas in defending the honour of the Republic
against the unjust pretensions of the foreigners who sought her
humiliation.”

As the end approached, his eyes were obscured by cataract. Reading,
which was with him a passion, was forbidden him. He went to Boulogne to
breathe the sea air, as Bolívar had done. On the 13th August, 1850, as
he was standing on the beach, gazing with dim eyes over the Channel, he
felt the first mortal symptom. He pressed his hand to his heart, and
with a feeble smile said to his faithful daughter:--“C’est l’orage qui
mene au port.” On the 17th of the same month he died in her arms, at the
age of seventy-two years and six months.

Chile and the Argentine Republic have raised statues to him. Peru owes
him one, which she has decreed. The Argentine people, now united and
consolidated as he desired, brought back his mortal remains to his own
country, and in May, 1880, laid them to rest in the Cathedral of Buenos
Ayres, as those of the greatest man among them.

In San Martin and Bolívar were combined, in unequal proportions, the two
elements which make history: the active element which produces immediate
effect in deeds, and the passive element from which springs the future.
The effect of their combination marks the present and influences
posterity. The political work of Bolívar died with him; that of San
Martin lives after him; South America has organized itself as
foreshadowed by his genius, within the geographical lines he drew out
with his sword.

The Argentine Republic instructed her General:--

“That no idea of oppression or conquest carried her arms beyond her
territory; that the independence of the United Provinces was the purpose
of the campaign.”

Thus, when Chile was free, alliance was made with her on the basis of
their mutual independence. Nations were emancipated and left to work out
their destinies themselves. This was the work of San Martin as a
liberator, and has produced an international equilibrium in South
America, to which Europe has not yet attained.

A very different plan was followed by Bolívar. Under his leadership
frontiers disappeared; Venezuela, New Granada, and Quito, became one
giant nation, powerful for war, but intrinsically weak from lack of
geographical and social cohesion. Bolívar freed Peru from Spain, only to
make her a parasite of Columbia, and of Upper Peru he made a feudal
territory dependent upon himself. He tried to establish a monocratic
empire in opposition to natural laws and to the tendencies of the
Revolution; to bring back the colonial system in defiance of the
democratic instincts of the people.

In Bolivia the two systems met face to face. The Argentine Republic,
true to her principles, yielded her historic rights over that territory
and recognised the independence of Upper Peru, but she barred the
further progress of Bolívar, who sought to impose his own system on
Paraguay. The ephemeral structure of the monocracy fell to pieces by its
own weight, and the whole of the Continent became definitely organized
on the geographical system represented by San Martin.

The glory of Bolívar is imperishable, and his action as a liberator was
more decisive in his day, but none of his designs or of his ideals
survived him. The work of San Martin remains an enduring monument to his
memory.

The chief characteristic of San Martin was his disinterestedness. He
struggles, destroys, and rebuilds as he can; he commands, obeys,
abdicates, and condemns himself to eternal silence and eternal exile.
Seldom has the influence of one man had more decisive effect on the
destinies of a people. The greatness of those who attain to immortality
is not measured by their talents, but by the effect exercised by their
memory upon the conscience of humanity, making it vibrate from
generation to generation with a passion or with an idea. Of such was San
Martin, whose influence still lives, not by reason of any genius he
possessed, but by reason of his character.

San Martin conceived great plans, political and military, which appeared
at first to be folly, but when believed in became facts. He organized
disciplined armies, and infused into them his own spirit. He founded
republics, not for his own aggrandisement, but that men might live in
freedom. He made himself powerful, only that by this power he might
accomplish his destined task; he abdicated and went into exile, not from
egoism or from cowardice, but in homage to his own principles and for
the sake of his cause. He is the first captain in the New World, the
only one who has given lessons in modern strategy on a new theatre of
war. With all his intellectual deficiencies and his political errors the
Revolution of South America has produced no other who was his equal.

Faithful to the maxims of his life, HE WAS THAT WHICH HE OUGHT TO BE,
and rather than be that which he ought not to be he preferred TO BE
NOTHING. For this his name shall be immortal.



TRANSLATOR’S APPENDIX.


I.

“The sole purpose for which the Americans existed was held to be that of
collecting together the precious metals for the Spaniards; and if the
wild horses and cattle which overrun the country could have been trained
to perform this office the inhabitants might have been altogether
dispensed with, and the colonial system would then have been perfect.
Unfortunately, however, for that system, the South Americans ... finding
that the Spaniards neither could nor would furnish them with an adequate
supply of European products, invited the assistance of other nations. To
this call the other nations were not slow to listen, and in process of
time there was established one of the most extraordinary systems of
organized smuggling which the world ever saw. This was known under the
name of the contraband or forced trade, and was carried on in armed
vessels, well manned, and prepared to fight their way to the coast, and
to resist the coast blockades of Spain. This singular system of warlike
commerce was conducted by the Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, and
latterly by the North Americans. In this way goods to an immense value
were distributed over South America, and ... along with the goods no
small portion of knowledge found entrance, in spite of the increased
exertions of the Inquisition.... Many foreigners, too, by means of
bribes and other arts, succeeded in getting into the country, so that
the progress of intelligence was encouraged, to the utter despair of the
Spaniards, who knew no other method of governing the colonies but that
of brute force.”--From the _Journal of Captain Basil Hall, R.N., F.R.S.,
on the Coasts of Chile, Peru, and Mexico, in the years 1820, 1821,
1822_.


II.

Captain Basil Hall, who paid a visit to San Martin, in the month of
June, 1821, on board the schooner _Montezuma_, then at anchor in the
Callao Roads, thus describes his personal appearance:--

“General San Martin is a tall, erect, well-proportioned, handsome man,
with a large aquiline nose, thick black hair and immense bushy whiskers,
extending from ear to ear under the chin; his complexion is deep olive,
and his eye, which is large, prominent, and piercing, jet black; his
whole appearance being highly military. He is thoroughly well bred, and
unaffectedly simple in his manners; exceedingly cordial and engaging,
and possessed evidently of great kindliness of disposition; in short, I
have never seen any person the enchantment of whose address was more
irresistible.”


III.

“It has been stated that the filling of the tubes was, from motives of
parsimony, entrusted to Spanish prisoners, who, as was found on
examination, had embraced every opportunity of inserting handfuls of
sand, sawdust, and even manure at intervals in the tubes, thus impeding
the progress of combustion; whilst in the majority of instances they had
so thoroughly mixed the neutralizing matter with the ingredients
supplied, that the charge would not ignite at all, the result being
complete failure in the object of the expedition.”--_Autobiography of a
Seaman_, by Lord Dundonald.


IV.

“ ... This bridge is curious from its simplicity, and from the close
resemblance it bears to the iron bridges of suspension recently
introduced into England, to which, in principle, it is precisely
similar. It consists of a narrow roadway of planks, laid crosswise, with
their ends resting on straight ropes, suspended by means of short lines
to a set of thicker ropes drawn across the stream from bank to bank.
These strong sustaining cords are six in number, three at each side of
the bridge, and hang in flat curves, one above another, the short
vertical lines supporting the roadway being so disposed as to distribute
the weight equally. The main or suspending ropes are firmly secured to
the angles of the rock on one side at the height of thirty feet from the
stream; but the opposite bank being low, it has been found necessary to
correct the consequent inclination in some degree, by carrying the ropes
over a high wooden framework, and attaching them afterwards to trees and
to posts driven into the bank. The clear span from the frame or pier on
one side to the face of the rock on the other is one hundred and
twenty-three feet. The materials being very elastic the bridge waved up
and down with our weight, and vibrated from side to side in so alarming
a manner that, at the recommendation of the guide, we dismounted and
drove our horses, one by one, before us; but it must be owned, neither
man nor horse appeared much at ease during the passage.”--_Journal of
Captain Basil Hall._


V.

“ ... How far his professions were sincere, or, if sincere, his plans
were wise, it is now very difficult to say. They certainly appeared to
many people very judicious at the time, and they were uniformly followed
by the success which he anticipated.

“ ... On the 25th June I had an interview with General San Martin, on
board a little schooner anchored in Callao Roads.... There was little at
first sight in his appearance to engage attention; but when he rose up
and began to speak, his great superiority over every other person I had
seen in South America was sufficiently apparent. He received us in a
very homely style, on the deck of his vessel, dressed in a surtout coat
and a large fur cap, seated at a table made of a few loose planks laid
along the top of two empty casks.

“ ... Several persons came on board privately from Lima, to discuss the
state of affairs, upon which occasion his views and feelings were
distinctly stated: and I saw nothing in his conduct afterwards to cast a
doubt upon the sincerity with which he then spoke. The contest in Peru,
he said, was not of an ordinary description; not a war of conquest and
glory, but entirely of opinion; it was a war of new and liberal
principles against prejudice, bigotry, and tyranny. People ask why I
don’t march to Lima at once; so I might, and instantly would, were it
suitable to my views, which it is not. I do not want military renown; I
have no ambition to be the conqueror of Peru; I want solely to liberate
the country from oppression. Of what use would Lima be to me, if the
inhabitants were hostile in political sentiment? How could the cause of
independence be advanced by my holding Lima, or even the whole country,
in military possession? Far different are my views. I wish to have all
men thinking with me, and do not choose to advance a step beyond the
march of public opinion.

“ ... I have been gaining, day by day, fresh allies in the hearts of the
people, the only certain allies in such a war.

“ ... Public opinion is an engine newly introduced into this country;
the Spaniards, who are utterly incapable of directing it, have
prohibited its use; but they shall now experience its strength and
importance.

“ ... When all was quiet in the capital I went to Callao, and hearing
that San Martin was in the Roads, waited on him on board his yacht. I
found him possessed of correct information as to all that was passing;
but he seemed in no hurry to enter the city, and appeared, above all
things, anxious to avoid any appearance of acting the part of a
conqueror. ‘For the last ten years,’ said he, ‘I have been unremittingly
employed against the Spaniards, or rather, in favour of this country,
for I am not against any one who is not hostile to the cause of
independence. All I wish is that this country should be managed by
itself, and by itself alone. As to the manner in which it is to be
governed that belongs not at all to me. I propose simply to give the
people the means of declaring themselves independent, and of
establishing a suitable form of government; after which I shall consider
I have done enough, and leave them.’”--_Journal of Captain Basil Hall._


VI.

In January, 1891, a number of Venezuelans presented the city of New York
with a painting commemorative of this deed of arms, in token of their
gratitude for honours paid to the memory of their hero, who died an
exile in that city.

This painting is thus described in the _Tribune_:--

“The canvas is 9½ by 15½ feet in size, and was brought to this country
mounted and handsomely framed. It represents the famous cavalry
manœuvre of General Paez at the battle of Queseras del Medio. In this
battle General Paez took 119 men, about half his force, and started to
meet the Spanish cavalry. As the latter advanced Paez turned his men in
full retreat toward a thicket where he had concealed the rest of his
force. At the ambuscade Paez suddenly turned and charged the Spaniards,
who fled in terror. The artist has pictured the scene at this moment.
The general is mounted on a superb horse, which he has pulled sharply
back on its haunches as he gives the order, ‘Vuelvan cara!’ (face
about). On one side are his troopers, rough-looking fellows, carrying
long-handled spears; their clothing, saddles, trappings, and equipments
are all characteristic of their country. In the distance the Spanish
cavalry are seen charging, in ignorance of the trap into which they are
about to fall. The Venezuelan artist, Michelena, who received his
education in Paris, has found abundant room for vivid colouring in the
tropical landscape and sky, and the gaudy garments of his figures.”


VII.

The following account of the battle of Carabobo was written by an
officer of the British legion, and was published in _All the Year
Round_.

“We halted at dusk on the 23rd at the foot of the ridge. The rain fell
in torrents all night, and reminded us of the night before Waterloo.
Next morning the sky was cloudless when we stood to arms, and presently
Bolívar sent us the order to advance. We were moving to get round the
enemy’s right flank, where his guns and infantry were partly hidden by
trees and broken ground. Bolívar, after reconnoitring, ordered us to
attack by a deep ravine between the Spanish infantry and artillery. The
enemy’s guns opened fire and our men began to fall. Meantime the Bravos
de Apure had advanced within pistol-shot of the Spaniards, and received
such a murderous volley from 3,000 muskets that they broke and fled back
in disorder upon us.

“It was a critical moment, but we managed to keep our ground till the
fugitives had got through our ranks back into the ravine, and then our
grenadier company, gallantly led by Captain Minchin, formed up and
poured in their fire upon the Spaniards, who were only a few paces from
them. Checked by this volley, the enemy fell back a little, while our
men, pressing eagerly on, formed and delivered their fire, company after
company.

“Receding before our fire and the long line of British bayonets, the
Spaniards fell back to the position from which they had rushed in
pursuit of the Apure Bravos. But from thence they kept up a tremendous
fire upon us, which we returned as rapidly as we could. As they
outnumbered us in the ratio of four to one, and were strongly posted and
supported by guns, we waited for reinforcements before storming their
position. Not a man, however, came to help us, and after an hour passed
in this manner our ammunition failed. It then really seemed to be all
over with us. We tried as best we could to make signals of our distress;
the men kept springing their ramrods, and Colonel Thomas Ferrier, our
commanding officer, apprized General Paez of our situation, and called
on him to get up a supply of cartridges. It came at last, but by this
many of our officers and men had fallen, and among them Colonel Ferrier.
You may imagine we were not long in breaking open the ammunition boxes;
the men numbered off anew, and after delivering a couple of volleys we
prepared to charge. At this moment our cavalry, passing as before by our
right flank, charged, with General Paez at their head. They went on very
gallantly, but soon came galloping back, and passed again to our rear,
without having done any execution on the enemy, while they had
themselves suffered considerably.

“Why Bolívar at this time, and indeed during the period since our first
advance, sent us no support I have never been able to guess. Whatever
the motive, it is certain that the second and third divisions of the
army quietly looked on while we were being slaughtered, and made no
attempt to help us. The curses of our men were loud and deep, but seeing
that they must not expect any help they made up their minds to carry the
enemy’s position or perish. Out of nine hundred men we had not above six
hundred left. Captain Scott, who succeeded Colonel Ferrier, had fallen,
and had bequeathed the command to Captain Minchin; and the colours of
the regiment had seven times changed hands, and had been literally cut
to ribands, and dyed with the blood of the gallant fellows who carried
them. But, in spite of all this, the word was passed to charge with the
bayonet, and on we went, keeping our line as steadily as on a parade
day, and with a loud “hurrah” we were upon them. I must do the Spaniards
the justice to say that they met us gallantly, and the struggle was for
a brief time fierce, and the event doubtful. But the bayonet in the
hands of British soldiers, more especially such a forlorn hope as we
were, is irresistible. The Spaniards, five to one as they were, began to
give ground, and at last broke and fled.

“Then it was, and not till then, that two companies of the Tiradores
came up to our help, and our cavalry, hitherto of little use, fiercely
pursued the retreating enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *

“The remains of the corps passed before the Liberator with trailed arms
at double quick, and received with a cheer, but without halting, his
words, ‘Salvadores de mi Patria!’”



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES.


ALVARADO was in the year 1827 banished from Peru in consequence of the
jealousy of the Peruvians of their Argentine allies. In 1829 he was for
a month Governor of Mendoza, but was driven out by Aldao. In 1831 he was
for a short time Governor of Salta, and again in 1855. He died in that
city in the year 1872.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARENALES.--This stout old soldier was from 1824 to 1827 Governor of
Salta, where the remnants of the Royalist army of Olañeta surrendered to
him in 1825. He died in Bolivia in the year 1831.

       *       *       *       *       *

BROWN.--William Brown was born at Foxford, Co. Mayo, Ireland, in the
year 1777, and made his first appearance in the River Plate as master of
a trading brig which was wrecked at Ensenada. He afterwards established
the first regular sailing packet between Buenos Ayres and Monte Video,
but two years later adopted a career more in accordance with his daring
genius. In 1814 he took command of the first naval squadron fitted out
by the Government of Buenos Ayres. His first exploit was the capture of
the island of Martin Garcia, after which he attacked and defeated the
Spanish fleet stationed at Monte Video; and his subsequent blockade of
that port compelled the garrison to surrender to General Alvear, who was
then besieging the city. After his cruise in the Pacific, recounted in
Chapter X., he went to the West Indies, where his ship was seized and
confiscated by the British naval authorities, on the plea that he was a
pirate. After a vain attempt to procure redress in England he returned
to Buenos Ayres, where he lived quietly, till in January, 1826, he again
took command of the Argentine squadron, and drove off the Brazilian
fleet, which was blockading Buenos Ayres. During this and the following
year he fought several desperate actions against greatly superior
forces, and invariably came off with honour. In 1842 he was in command
of the Argentine squadron, which totally destroyed the Uruguayan
flotilla at Costa Brava, which was led by Garibaldi, and afterwards
blockaded the port of Monte Video, till in August, 1845, his ships were
confiscated by the British and French naval squadrons, without any
declaration of war.

After that he lived in retirement at his country-house in the suburbs of
the city of Buenos Ayres, till the 3rd May, 1857, when he died,
surrounded by his family, and was buried at the cemetery of the
Recoleta, where a fine monument to his memory was afterwards erected by
his widow.

       *       *       *       *       *

COCHRANE, the eldest son of the ninth Earl of Dundonald, was born at
Annesfield, Lanarkshire, on the 14th December, 1775. After leaving Chile
he entered the service of Brazil, and again distinguished himself by
deeds of daring, which were as ill-requited as were his exploits on the
Pacific. In 1825 he returned to England, where he found his popularity
had grown during his absence, but soon after joined in the struggle for
the independence of Greece, when for the first time in his career he
found no opportunity of distinguishing himself.

At the accession of William IV., he received tardy and imperfect
reparation for the injustice from which he had suffered. His rank in the
British Navy was restored to him, and in 1831 he succeeded his father in
the Earldom of Dundonald. In 1841 he became Vice-Admiral of the Blue.
During the Crimean War he presented to Government a plan for the total
destruction of the Russian fleet, which was not accepted. He died at
Kensington on the 30th October, 1860, and was buried in Westminster
Abbey.

       *       *       *       *       *

GÜEMES was Governor of Salta from May, 1815, to May, 1820. In the former
year he made himself master of the city and Province of Jujui also, and
refused to recognise the authority of the National Government, and even
went so far as to harass the march of the Army of the North, which was
then retreating from Upper Peru, under command of General Rondeau. But
the citizens of Jujui refused to obey him, and he was outlawed by
Rondeau, who seized the city of Salta, but came to a peaceable
understanding with him in the following year.

In 1821 he led an expedition from Salta against Tucuman, in conjunction
with another expedition from Jujui, but was defeated. On his return he
found the citizens of Salta in insurrection against him, but their army
passed over to him, and he easily re-established his authority. In June
of that year the city of Salta was captured by a party of Royalists
under Valdés. After nightfall he rode with a small escort into the
principal square, not knowing what had occurred, and was received by a
volley. He was severely wounded, but kept his seat in the saddle, and
returned to his encampment, where he died ten days afterwards.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAS HERAS was in April, 1824, elected Governor of the Province of Buenos
Ayres, in succession to Don Martin Rodriguez, under whose beneficent
rule the country had made great progress. Las Heras followed in the
steps of his predecessor, but was in March, 1826, deposed by the
National Constituent Congress, which assumed the powers of a sovereign
congress, and decreed the federalization of the province. Las Heras
refused to listen to those of his friends who wished him to resist this
unconstitutional proceeding, and retired into private life. He died in
Chile in the year 1866, in the eighty-sixth year of his age.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAVALLE, after the conclusion of the War of Independence, returned to
Buenos Ayres, and commanded a division in the Argentine army, which was
sent against Brazil in the year 1826. At Ituzaingo he again displayed
the same reckless daring for which he was distinguished in Chile and in
Peru. In November, 1828, he returned to Buenos Ayres, after the
conclusion of the war, in command of the first division of the army, and
encamped to the north of the city. On the 1st December he headed a
revolt by which Don Manuel Dorrego, who was then Governor, was deposed,
and was named Provisional Governor in his stead. On the 9th of the same
month he completely defeated the Government forces at Navarro, and on
the 13th ordered the summary execution of Dorrego, who had been taken
prisoner the day previous. On the 26th April in the following year he
was attacked at the Puente Marquez by greatly superior forces under
Rozas and Lopez, but maintained the unequal fight till sundown. He
eventually came to terms with Rozas, and retired to Monte Video. Some
years afterwards he joined the Argentine refugees in that city in a
conspiracy against the Dictatorship of Rozas, and in 1840 headed an
expedition into Argentine territory, where, after several defeats, he
was on the 9th October, 1841, killed by a scouting party of Government
troops near to the Bolivian frontier.

       *       *       *       *       *

MILLER was born at Wingham, Kent, in the year 1796. For four years he
served in the Royal Artillery, under Wellington, in Spain. In the year
1817 he went out to Buenos Ayres with the intention of engaging in
commercial pursuits, but was diverted from that intention by an English
lady then resident in that city, who said to him, “Were I a young man I
would never abandon the profession of arms for one of mere
money-making.” He was presented to Don Juan Martin Pueyrredon, who gave
him a letter of introduction to General San Martin, who gave him a
commission in the artillery under Colonel Plaza, with whom he was
present at the disaster of Cancha-Rayada.

In 1826 Miller returned to England, and met with a very flattering
reception. In 1844, and again in 1851, he represented the British
Government in the Sandwich Islands. In the latter year he returned to
Peru, where he enjoyed the title of Grand Marshal of Ayacucho, and died
on board H.M.S. _Naiad_ at Callao on the 31st October, 1861, and was
buried in the English cemetery. Before his burial two bullets were
extracted from his body, which showed the marks of twenty-two wounds.

       *       *       *       *       *

NECOCHEA was banished from Peru in 1826, at the same time as Alvarado
and other Argentine officers, but afterwards returned to Lima, and died
at Miraflores near to that city in the year 1849. He also was a Marshal
in the Peruvian army.

       *       *       *       *       *

O’HIGGINS never returned to Chile after his banishment, and died at Lima
on the 24th October, 1842, in the seventy-third year of his age. In the
year 1869 his remains were taken back to his native country, and in 1872
an equestrian statue of him was erected in the great square of Santiago.

       *       *       *       *       *

PAEZ.--In the year 1831 Paez was elected first Constitutional President
of the Independent Republic of Venezuela, and remained in office for
four years. In 1838 he was again elected President, and was presented
by Congress with a sword of honour. He also in the same year received
another sword of honour from William IV., King of Great Britain and
Ireland. In 1842 he brought back the remains of Bolívar from New
Granada, and buried them with great pomp at Caracas, the natal city of
the Liberator. In 1843 he again retired into private life, but in 1850
took part in a revolutionary movement, brought on by the
mal-administration of President Monagas, in consequence of which he was
banished from the country, and retired to the city of New York, where he
died in the year 1874. His remains were some years afterwards taken back
to his native country, and re-interred with the honours due to his
illustrious services.



INDEX.


Abascal, 96, 117, 118, 166, 225, 226, 416

Action of America upon Europe, 25

---- the Revolution, 459

Affiliation of the Revolution of South America, 13

Aldao, 125, 247, 248, 261, 262

Alvarez Jonte, 86, 192, 228

Alvear, 34, 36, 44, 47, 50, 61, 62, 78, 79, 110, 462

Alvarado, 127, 137, 147, 170, 176, 178, 183, 195, 215, 217, 218,
   241, 242, 250, 251, 285,
   426, 427, 429, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 447, 462

Arenales, 67, 69, 234, 241, 243, 246, 247, 248, 251, 261, 262,
   263, 276, 410, 432, 435, 446, 485

Arismendi, 327, 345, 352, 357, 365, 369, 373, 374, 376, 380, 398

Armistice of Punchauca, 256

---- Trujillo, 400

Army of the Andes, 125, 136, 448

---- Apure, 368, 400

---- Centre, 372, 374

Arrival of Morillo’s Expedition at Cumaná, 356

Assassination of Rodriguez, 183

---- Monteagudo, 460

Atero, 140, 141

Aymerich, 237, 320, 406, 408, 411, 412


Balcarce, A. G., 61, 125, 164

---- Marcos, 61, 102, 169, 177, 194

Barañao, 103, 148

Baraya, 317, 319, 363

Barreiro, 393, 394, 396, 397, 398

Battle of Ambato, 408, 415

---- Aragua, 373

---- Araure, 340

---- Ayacucho, 456

---- Ayohuma, 61

---- Balaga, 361

---- Barbula, 335

---- Boca-Chica, 348

---- Bomboná, 409

---- Boyacà, 397

---- Calabozo, 384

---- Carabobo, 348, 402

---- Cepeda, 218

---- Chacabuco, 147

---- Cojedes, 385

---- El Cerrito, 53

---- El Gavilán, 153

---- El Roble, 101

---- Guadalito, 367, 377

---- Hogaza, 382

---- Huamanga, 248

---- Jenay, 406

---- Junin, 451

---- La Florida, 70

---- La Puerta, 344, 349, 385

---- Las Trincheras, 335

---- Las Queseras del Medio, 393

---- Maipó, 106, 177, 178, 179

---- Matasiete, 381

---- Mocha, 319

---- Moquegua, 434

---- Mosquitero, 338

---- Ocumare, 347, 371

---- Ospino, 344

Battle of Pasco, 247

---- Quebrada-Honda, 372

---- Pichincha, 412

---- Pitayo, 406

---- Playon del Juncal, 373

---- Salta, 60

---- San Carlos, 98

---- San Felix, 377

---- San Lorenzo, 58

---- San Marcos, 341

---- Suipacha, 37

---- Torata, 434

---- Tucuman, 50

---- Unare, 375

---- Urica, 351

---- Vargas, 396

---- Vilcapugio, 61

---- Yahuachí, 408

---- Zepita, 439

Beauchef, 156, 207, 208

Belgrano, 49, 52, 60, 61, 62, 73, 129, 163, 214, 471

Beltrán, 127, 140, 142

Bermudez, José F., 325, 328, 349, 350, 351, 352, 357,
   359, 369, 372, 374, 376, 379, 381,
   386, 387, 401, 404

---- Bernardo, 325, 328

Blanco-Encalada, 104, 178, 188, 190, 191, 193, 200, 202, 203, 291

Bogado, 59

Bolívar, 118, 143, 164, 180, 185, 196, 231, 233, 236, 252, 270, 282, 285,
   293, 294, 295

---- His person, parentage, and education, 301;
  his marriage, return, and second trip to Europe, 301;
  his mission to London, 302;
  his character, 303;
  meets Miranda, 303;
  returns with him to Caracas, 304;
  is present at the capture of Valencia, 306;
  is placed in command at Puerto-Cabello, 309;
  is deserted by his troops and flies, 309;
  at La Guayra he with others imprisons Miranda, 311;
  he is allowed to leave the country, 311;
  retires to Curaçoa, 321;
  is appointed to a command by Cartagena, 321;
  commences to show his genius, 321;
  conceives the idea of reconquering Venezuela, 322;
  crosses the mountains and wins his first victory, 322;
  publishes a memorial, 322;
  Government accepts his idea, 329;
  makes him a brigadier-general, 330;
  he publishes a decree of extermination against Spaniards, 330;
  and defeats the Royalists in several engagements, 332;
  synopsis of his campaign, 333;
  he enters Caracas in triumph, 333;
  and gives himself the title of “Liberator,” 334;
  he lays siege to Puerto-Cabello, 334;
  fulminates another decree against American Royalists, 334;
  defeats the Royalists at Las Trincheras, 335;
  institutes the military order of “The Liberators,” 336;
  is defeated at Barquisimeto, 339;
  concentrates his troops and defeats Ceballos at Araure, 340;
  he marches to Puerto-Cabello, 340;
  is compelled to retire on Valencia, 342;
  he convenes an Assembly at Caracas, 343;
  resigns his Dictatorship but is reappointed, 344;
  makes a treaty with Mariño, 344;
  entrenches himself at San Mateo, 346;
  and repulses several attacks, 346;
  defeats Cajigal at Carabobo, 348;
  but is himself defeated by Boves at La Puerta, 349;
  and retreats to Aragua, 349;
  but is driven out by Morales and retires on Barcelona, 350;
  embarks at Güiria to protect treasure, and returns to
   find himself proscribed as a traitor,
   on which he gives up the treasure and retires to Curaçoa, 350;
  he returns to New Granada, 354;
  is put in command of a force sent against Cundinamarca,
   takes Bogotá, and is
   named Captain-General, 354;
  lays siege to Cartagena, 355;
  he retires to Jamaica, 355;
  publishes a memorial, 355;
  narrowly escapes assassination, 368;
  goes to Santo Domingo, 368;
  organizes an expedition at Cayos de San Luis and sails
   for the mainland, 369;
  is named “Supreme Chief” at Margarita, 370;
  addresses a proclamation to the people of Venezuela, 370;
  decrees liberty to slaves, 370;
  from Carúpano sails to Ocumare, 371;
  is defeated by Morales and flies to Bonaire, 371;
  and from Güiria returns to Haiti, 372;
  is recalled to Barcelona, 374;
  is defeated at Unare, 375;
  goes to Guayana, 376;
  is appointed to a Junta, 378;
  he organises a flotilla, 378;
  discovers a conspiracy against him and shoots Piar, 379;
  sends an address to the Argentine people, 382;
  goes up the Orinoco, 382;
  drives Morillo before him from Calabozo, 384;
  and marches to Aragua, 384;
  is defeated by Morillo at La Puerta, 385;
  receives reinforcements and drives La Torre to San Carlos, 385;
  his men are dispersed in a night attack, 385;
  returns to Angostura, 387;
  sends Santander to occupy Casanare, 387;
  prepares for the convention of a Congress, 388;
  and declines the intervention of the Great Powers, 388;
  is elected President of Venezuela, 389;
  he recruits auxiliary troops in Europe, 390;
  and resolves to reconquer New Granada, 393;
  he joins Santander in Casanare, 394;
  and crosses the Andes, 395;
  encamps at Sagamoso, 396;
  fights an indecisive action at Vargas, 396;
  and wins a complete victory at Boyacá, 397;
  he enters Bogotá in triumph, 397;
  and returns to Angostura, 398;
  Congress decrees the establishment of the Republic of Columbia, 399;
  Bolívar is named provisional President, 399;
  he arranges an armistice with Morillo, 400;
  reopens the campaign and wins a decisive victory at Carabobo, 402;
  he enters Caracas in triumph, 403;
  and is named President of Columbia, 403;
  he sends Sucre to Guayaquil, 407;
  proposes to aid San Martin, 408;
  Marches on Quito, 409;
  wins the battle of Bomboná, 409;
  and retreats to Patia, 409;
  enters Quito in triumph, 413;
  and goes on to Guayaquil, 420;
  annexes that province to Columbia, 421;
  he receives San Martin as an honoured guest, 421;
  his conference with San Martin, 422;
  he offers to assist Peru, 431, 436;
  sends Sucre to Peru with 3,000 men, 437;
  enters Lima in triumph, 441;
  Proctor’s description of him, 442;
  his projects, 443;
  concentrates his forces at Pativilca, 447;
  is appointed Dictator, 449;
  he retreats to Trujillo, 450;
  marches on Jauja, 450;
  his cavalry routs the Royalist horse at Junin, 451;
  he returns to Lima and the Congress of Columbia abrogates
   his extraordinary powers, 453;
  he again collects troops at Pativilca, 454;
  summons an American Congress, 454, 460;
  his resignation is declined, 461;
  tendency of his policy, 462;
  his triumphal march to Potosí, 462;
  he confers with Argentine envoys, 463;
  founds the Republic of Bolivia, 463;
  character of his work, 463;
  Conspiracy against him at Lima, 464;
  is appointed perpetual President, 465;
  draws up a plan for a “Grand confederation of the Andes,” 465;
  he returns to Bogotá, 466;
  summons a Convention at Ocaña, 467;
  becomes a military Dictator and narrowly escapes assassination, 467;
  declares war against Peru, 468;
  he resigns office, 469;
  his life in
retirement, 472;
  his death, 473;
  his remains are brought back to Caracas and buried there with
   great pomp by Paez in 1842, 488

Borgoño, 178, 199

Boves, 308, 328, 336, 337, 338, 341, 344, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 353

Bowles, Captain, 164, 166

Brandzen, 235

Brayer, 155, 168, 172, 176

Brown, 78, 120, 121, 122, 484

Brion, 369, 370, 372, 374, 378, 380, 387, 393

Buchardo, 121, 122


Cabot, 137, 139

Cajigal, 306, 326, 328, 331, 337, 340, 341, 347, 348, 349

Callao, description of, 201

---- first attack on, 201

---- second attack on, 204

Caldas the philosopher, 363

Calzada, 344, 347, 348, 352, 358, 361, 362, 363, 376, 377, 382, 397, 406

Camba, 229, 233, 234, 258, 266

Campbell, 391

Campo-Elias, 338, 344, 345, 346

Cancha-rayada, 104, 170

Cangallo burned, 248, 293

Canning, 6

Canterac, 243, 250, 258, 260, 263, 264, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282,
   289, 292, 294, 380, 382, 432, 433, 434, 437, 448, 451, 452, 455, 457

Capture of the _Esmeralda_, 237

---- _Intrepido_ and _Rita_, 369

---- _Maria Isabel_, 191

---- _Resolucion_, 273

---- Barcelona, 376, 399

---- Barinas, 332, 341, 381

---- Bogotá, 354

---- Calabozo, 339, 341

---- Caracas, 333, 401

---- Chagres and Portobelo, 404

---- Chiloe, 458

---- Coro, 405

---- Cumaná, 328, 351, 404

---- Guayaquil, 468

Capture of Lima, 437

---- Maracaibo, 405

---- Maturin, 325, 352

---- Mérida, 330

---- Pamplona, 361

---- Popayán, 406

---- Puerto-Cabello, 405

---- San Carlos, 347

---- San Fernando, 385, 400

---- Santa Marta, 405

---- Trujillo, 330

---- Valdivia, 208

---- Valencia, 306, 308, 332, 349

---- Victoria, 372

Carrera, José Miguel, 34, 61, 91, 92, 93, 97, 98, 99,
   100, 101, 102, 103, 106, 107, 109, 110, 124, 158, 195, 276

---- Juan, José, 91, 92, 93, 99, 100, 101, 102, 162, 181

---- Luis, 91, 92, 93, 98, 100, 103, 106, 162, 181

---- Doña Javiera, 91, 162, 195

---- Ignacio, 96

Castillo-Rada, 322, 329, 355, 359, 361

Ceballos, 331, 339, 340, 341, 347, 348, 349

Cedeño, 352, 368, 374, 375, 376, 379, 385, 386

Chacabuco, description of Plain of, 144, 145

Character of Arenales, 263

---- Paez, 366

---- Sucre, 407

Charles, Colonel, killed at Pisco, 205

Chillán, 97, 99, 101, 103

Chiloe, 97, 98, 101, 151, 209, 458

Chincha, fever at, 266

Civil war in Chile, 106

---- New Granada, 320, 355

Cochrane, 192, 193, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 206,
   207, 208, 209, 212, 219, 231, 232, 234,
   236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 251, 265, 266, 267, 269, 270, 272, 273,
   277, 280, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 485

Cochrane attempts a private treaty with La Mar, 273

Colonial Policy, 10

Colonisation of Spanish America, 7

---- North America, 9

---- Chile, 80

Concepcion, 97, 100, 101, 104, 194

Condarco, 128, 129, 130, 159, 188, 192

Conde, 126, 137, 156

Confiscations of Spanish property, 266, 267, 276, 295

Conference at Chuquisaca, 463

---- Guayaquil, 422, 424

---- Miraflores, 233, 258

---- Potosí, 462

---- Punchauca, 255, 256, 257

---- Retes, 250, 251

Congress at Angostura, 388

---- Bogotá, 315, 468

---- Caracas, 305

---- Cariaco, 378

---- Cúcuta, 403

---- Ibague, 316

---- Lima, 428, 441

---- Santiago, 88

---- Tucuman, 128

Congreve rockets made in Valparaiso, 203, 478

Conspiracy of the Carreras, 159, 162

---- to betray Callao, 265

Constitution of 1812, 25

Convention of Rancagua, 218

Cordillera of the Andes, 132

Córdoba, 412, 450, 455, 456, 467, 468

Cost of the war to Spain, 185

Cramer, 126, 137

Creole, the, of South America, 21

Cruelties of the Royalists, 324, 325, 338, 344, 349, 350,
   351, 352, 361, 363, 376, 381

---- the Patriots, 327, 328, 330, 339, 345, 361, 375, 381, 398


D’Albe, 155, 176, 240

Declaration of Independence at Bogotá, 316

Declaration of Independence at Caracas, 305

---- Cartagena, 316

---- Guayaquil, 237

---- Lima, 272

---- Maracaibo, 401

---- Panama, 404

---- Santiago, 168

---- Tucuman, 129

---- Veraguas, 404

---- by Ecuador, 473

---- Venezuela, 468

D’Eluyar, 330, 335, 340, 349, 350

Description of Callao, 201

---- Cartagena, 359

---- Chacabuco, 144, 145

---- “Flecheras,” 373

---- Island of Margarita, 326

---- Peru, 223, 245

---- Royalist levies by Camba, 357

---- “Taravitas,” 321

---- the Northern Zone, 296, 299

---- the Plain of Maipó, 175

---- Upper Peru, 65

---- Valdivia, 206

Dehesa, 170, 246, 247, 462

Devereux, 391

Disaster at Ica, 294

Dispersion of Cancha-rayada, 170

---- El Desaguadero, 439

Dorrego, 73, 88


Earthquake, the great, of 1812, 37, 307

Effect of the Revolution, 28

Elections, first in Perú, 227

Emancipation of North America, 11

English, 391

Escalada, 137, 147, 177, 195

Europe, state of, in fifteenth century, 6

Evacuation of Margarita, 374

---- Talcahuano, 180

Execution of Carrera, Juan José, 181

---- Luis 181

Execution of Carrera, José Miguel, 276

---- Patriot prisoners, 449

---- Royalist prisoners, 398

---- La Pola, 364

---- Piar, 397

---- San Bruno, 149

---- Torres, &c., 363

---- Two conspirators in Buenos Ayres, 195

Expedition from Cayos, 369

---- Haiti, 374

---- Triste, 325

---- of Canterac, 380

---- Morillo, 356

Exploits of the Chilian Squadron, 188, 190, 192


Falucho, death of, 448

Fate of the Emancipators of South America, 471

Ferrier, 402

Flag of Army of the Andes, 130

---- Chile, 95

---- Columbia, 399

---- Mexico, 254

---- Peru, 234

---- Venezuela, 305

Flecheras, Description of, 373

Flotilla, Patriot, destroyed at Lorondo, 307

Foreign Auxiliaries in Venezuela, 390, 391

Formation of the Chilian Navy, 186, 187

Freyre, Ramon, 121, 122, 137, 140, 152, 153, 154, 168, 178,
   180, 194, 207, 219


Gainza, 103, 104, 105

Gamarra, 229, 261, 262, 294, 437, 438, 439, 466

Garcia del Rio, 255, 274, 286, 288

Gauchos, the, of Salta, 75

Gilmour, 391

Girardot, 330, 332, 335

Godoy Cruz, 138, 163, 218

Guayaquil, 236, 294, 317, 318, 404, 407, 410, 414, 416

Güemes, Martin, 74, 76, 166, 229, 485

Guido, 125, 161, 172, 199, 250, 255, 414, 429

Guise, 191, 205, 219, 238, 239, 288, 291, 440, 448, 453, 468


Hall, Captain Basil, 258

Heroism of Ricaurte, 347

Hillyar, 105

Hippesley, 391

Horse Marines, 383


Institution of “The Legion of Merit,” by O’Higgins, 161

Institution of “The Order of the Sun,” by San Martin, 283

Institution of “The Order of the Liberators,” by Bolívar, 336

Instructions given to Morillo, 356

International Law, A New, 2

Interview between San Martin and La Serna, 257

Interview between San Martin and Bolívar, 422

Invasion of Spain by Napoleon, 23

Irizarri, 103, 161, 196

Iturbide, 253, 254, 255


Jujui, 75


Lautaro Lodge, _see_ “Sociedad.”

_La Aurora de Chile_, newspaper, 95

Lafayette, 6

La Mar, 273, 280, 282, 416, 431, 450, 455, 456

Lanza, 267, 292, 432, 439

La Pola, death of, 364

Las Heras, 102, 103, 106, 107, 110, 124, 137, 140, 141,
   142, 152, 153, 155, 156, 171, 173, 174,
   176, 177, 179, 218, 219, 232, 273, 274, 281, 285, 446, 486

La Serna, 166, 226, 229, 242, 243, 250, 251, 255, 257, 258,
   259, 261, 263, 274, 278, 292, 293, 295, 432, 439, 450, 452, 455

La Torre, 363, 374, 376, 377, 378, 379, 382, 383, 385, 400,
   401, 402, 405, 408

Lavalle, Juan, 141, 246, 247, 410, 411, 420, 434, 486

Liberal ideas, effect of, on the Royalist armies, 229, 249

Liberating army of Peru, 230

Lima, the Capua of the liberating army, 277

Lircay, treaty of, 105

Llaneros, the, 299, 337, 339, 341, 348, 358, 362, 364, 367, 373, 377, 387

Loriga, 250, 251, 278, 292

Loss of the _Intrepido_, 208

---- _San Martin_, 269

---- _San Pedro_, 358

Lozano, 316, 363, 471

Luzuriaga, 163, 414, 415


Macaulay, 318

Macduff, Lord, 36

MacGregor, 369, 372, 373, 391, 399

Mackenna, 97, 99, 100, 103, 104, 105

Manning, 156

March of Canterac across a desert, 278

Marcó del Pont, 119, 130, 134, 135, 140, 145, 148, 149, 198

Mariño, 325, 327, 331, 334, 341, 342, 343, 344, 346, 348,
   349, 350, 351, 355, 369, 370, 372, 373, 374, 376, 378, 379, 386, 398, 404

Maroto, 145, 146, 149, 292

Martinez, Enrique, 141, 218, 433, 435, 436

Massacre of a boat’s crew, 240

---- at Calabozo, 308, 339

---- Juan Griego, 381

---- La Guayra, 345

---- Ocumare, 344

---- Pasto, 319

---- Quito, 313

---- San José, 308

---- San Juan de los Morros, 308

Medina, 153, 177

Melian, 137, 142

Mendoza, 109

Mendez, Luis, 301, 390, 391

_Mercurio Peruano_, newspaper, 224

Mexico, 21, 105, 252, 253, 254, 300

Miller, 187, 190, 203, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209,
   251, 262, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 281,
   431, 435, 450, 452, 454, 455, 456, 487

Miranda, early life of, 16;
  he establishes a secret society in London, 17;
  his first attempt at revolution, 18;
  he meets Bolívar in London, 303;
  and returns with him to Caracas, 304;
  his cordial reception, 304;
  is appointed to draw up a constitution, 304;
  he organises a political club, 305;
  he is sent against Valencia, 305;
  which he captures, 306;
  he is named Dictator, 308;
  he marches on Valencia and entrenches himself, 308;
  he retreats to Victoria, 309;
  repels several attacks on his position, 309;
  the slaves rise against the Patriots, 309;
  the Patriots lose faith in him, 310;
  he capitulates and withdraws to La Guayra, 310;
  he is made prisoner by his officers, 311;
  and is sent to Spain, where he dies in a dungeon, 311, 471

Mission of Alzaga from Buenos Ayres, 446

Monagas, 352, 368, 372, 373, 375, 381, 384, 386, 387

Monarchy, attempts at, in South America, 26, 185, 213, 234, 257, 286, 468

Montalvo, 320, 353, 355, 364

Monteagudo, 48, 50, 181, 183, 198, 272,
   274, 275, 283, 286, 288, 295, 426, 427, 450, 460

Monteverde, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 325, 326, 332, 334, 335, 337, 353

Monte Video, 52, 54, 60, 78, 86

Montilla, 347, 355, 359, 369, 392, 393, 399, 400, 401, 405

Montufar, 315, 317, 318, 363, 471

Morales, 328, 336, 337, 338, 345, 346, 350, 351,
   352, 353, 357, 358, 360, 361, 362, 372, 373, 386, 392, 402, 405

Moral Revolution of South America, 15

Morgado, 153, 177, 198

Morillo, 112, 116, 180, 233, 252, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362,
363, 364, 365, 374, 376, 377, 378, 380, 381, 382, 383,
   384, 392, 393, 396, 397, 400

Morla, 177, 197, 198

Mosquera, 416, 444, 445, 469, 472, 473

Mounted Grenadiers, the, 44, 54, 124, 420, 448

Murdering Expedition of Briceño, 329

Murder of Castillo de Ruiz, 319

---- General Solano, 33

---- Córdoba, 468

Murgeón, 408, 409, 411

Mutiny at Callao, 447

---- San Juan, 217


Nariño, 15, 316, 319, 320, 321

Naval-capacities of Chile, 186

Necochea, 127, 137, 141, 147, 148, 450, 451, 487

New Granada, characteristics of, 313


O’Brien, 158, 176, 179, 183

---- Captain, 187

Occupation of Lima, 259

O’Connell, 391

O’Donohu, 255

O’Higgins, 83, 89, 93, 97, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105,
  106, 107, 109, 110, 127, 137, 140, 145, 146, 147, 148, 152,
   153, 154, 155, 159, 161, 162, 167, 168, 169, 170,
   171, 172, 173, 176, 178, 181, 190, 195, 196, 199,
   218, 289, 290, 295, 388, 429, 450, 471, 487

Olañeta, 229, 432, 435, 439, 450, 458

Ordoñez, 148, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 167, 169,
  170, 175, 177, 178, 179, 197, 198

O’Reilly, 247

Osorio, 106, 117, 118, 167, 168, 169, 174, 175, 176, 178, 179, 180, 183


Paez, 352, 366, 367, 373, 374, 376, 377, 381, 382, 383,
   384, 385, 387, 392, 393, 400, 401, 402, 404, 405, 466, 468, 487

Pareja, 96, 98

Parliamentary system established in Chile, 88

Parroissien, 128, 286

Passage of the Andes by San Martin, 140, 141

---- Bolívar, 395, 396

Peru, description of, 223, 224, 225, 245

Peruvian Infantry, the, 66

Petión, 368, 369, 370, 372

Pezuela, 69, 73, 75, 77, 116, 118, 166, 180, 201, 226, 229,
   233, 234, 241, 249, 250

Piar, 325, 326, 328, 329, 350, 351, 369, 370, 371, 373, 374,
   375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 471

Pitt, his sympathy with America, 17

Plan of Iguala, the, 254, 255

Plan, the, of Emancipation, 2

Poinsett, 95, 97

Posadas, 62

Prætorianism, advent of, 413

Preparations in Spain for a last expedition, 211

Primo de Rivera, 168, 169, 170, 175, 177, 197, 198

Pringles, 198, 241, 242

Proclamations, 230, 231, 232, 234, 260, 330, 370, 380, 387, 388, 413

Proctor’s description of Bolívar, 442

Pueyrredón, 129, 137, 158, 159, 161, 163, 185, 199

Pumacahua, 227, 228

Public Library endowed by San Martin at Santiago, 150


Quimper, 232, 233, 246

Quintana, 160, 161, 163, 171, 178

Quiroga, 198

Quito, 22, 233, 236, 270, 293, 300, 312, 313, 317, 318,
   319, 400, 404, 407, 408, 410, 411, 412, 413, 467


Races, the, of South America, 19

Rancagua, 106, 218

Reaction at Bogotá, 362

---- Coro and Maracaibo, 300, 304, 306

---- Guayana, 307

Recognition of new Republics by United States, 5

Representative system, the first, established in
   South America at Buenos Ayres, 444

Repulse at Angostura, 375

---- Chiloe, 209

---- Coro, 304

---- Guarico, 384

---- Ortiz, 385

---- San Carlos, 348

---- San Mateo, 347

---- Valencia, 306

---- Victoria, 308

Revolt of the Canarians at Caracas, 305

Revolt at Valencia, 305

Revolt on Island of Margarita, 327, 365

Revolution, first throes of, in South America, 21

---- of 1812, Buenos Ayres, 51

---- of 1820, in Spain, 216

---- at Bogotá, 314

---- Caracas, 300

---- Cartagena, 313

---- Casanare, 313

---- Guayaquil, 236

---- Maracaibo, 401

---- Pamplona, 314

---- Santiago, 83

---- Socorro, 314

---- Trujillo, 243

Ricafort, 248, 261, 262, 273

Riva-Agüero, 274, 426, 427, 431, 436, 437, 440, 441, 442, 446

Rivadavia, 161, 443, 444, 445, 446, 463, 471

Rivas, 332, 339, 345, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352

Robertson, William Parish, 56

Rodil, 174, 179, 448, 449, 458

Rodriguez, Manuel, 120, 135, 152, 163, 172, 182, 183

---- Simon, tutor of Bolívar, 301, 302, 424

Rondeau, 53, 61, 110, 116, 211, 212, 213, 214, 217

Royalist Armies, strength of, 229

Royal Commission from Spain, 445

Rozas, Juan Martinez de, 82, 86, 87, 90, 93, 95

Ruiz de Castillo, 300, 313, 318, 319


Salta, Province of, 75

Sámano, 180, 319, 320, 364, 397, 398, 408

Sanchez, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 148, 152, 180, 191, 194, 282

San Juan, 109

San Luis, 109

San Martin, his birth and parentage, 31;
  he joins the Spanish army, 32;
  his campaigns against the French, 35;
  he returns to Buenos Ayres, 36;
  his personal appearance, 39;
  he organizes the mounted grenadiers, 44;
  he founds the Lautaro Lodge, 47;
  he joins in the revolution of 1812, 51;
  he fights the action of San Lorenzo, 58;
  and takes command of the Army of the North, 62;
  he entrenches a camp at Tucuman, 73;
  he draws up a secret plan of campaign, 79;
  he is appointed Governor of Cuyo, 79;
  reaches Mendoza, 109;
  is elected Governor by the Cabildos, 111;
  he establishes spies in Chile, 119;
  and organises the Army of the Andes, 125;
  he treats with the Indians, 134;
  the equipment of the army, 136;
  he marches from Mendoza, 139;
  encamps in the valley of Putaendo, 142;
  wins the battle of Chacabuco, 147;
  and occupies Santiago, 148;
  he endows a public library and returns to Buenos Ayres, 150;
  arranges for a fleet on the Pacific and for an alliance with Chile, 158;
  he marches against Osorio, 168;
  his army is dispersed at Cancha-rayada, 170;
  he reorganizes the army at Maipó, 173;
  and wins a complete victory, 177, 178, 179;
  he again visits Buenos Ayres, 184;
  he plans an expedition to Periu, 196;
  and withdraws a part of his army from Chile, 196;
  disregards the orders of Government, 214, 215;
  and returns to Chile, 216;
  he convenes a meeting of officers at Rancagua, 218;
  is appointed generalissimo of the united army, 219;
  on the eve of sailing he issues a proclamation to his
  fellow-countrymen, 230;
  the instructions given him by the Chilian Government, 231;
  his plan of campaign, 231;
  he lands at Pisco, 232;
  treats with the Viceroy, 233;
  he establishes by decree the flag and escutcheon of
  the Republic of Peru, 234;
  re-embarks, leaving Arenales behind him, 234;
  his plans, political and military, 234;
  he sails past Callao, 235;
  lands a detachment at Ancon, 235;
  and sails for Huacho, 240;
  lands and encamps in the valley of Huara, 240;
  the “Numancia” battalion deserts to him, 242;
  he is joined by the northern provinces, 243;
  he advances to Retes, 243;
  is joined by Arenales, and retires, 244;
  he publishes a “Provisional Regulation,” 244;
  is invited to a conference by La Serna, 250;
  he arranges an armistice, 257;
  and meets the Viceroy, 257;
  he enters Lima, 259;
  recalls Arenales from the Highlands, 264;
  he sends Cochrane and Miller to the south, 266;
  his position, 271;
  he convenes a meeting of citizens, 272;
  and adopts the title “Protector of Peru,” 274;
  he issues rigorous decrees against the Spaniards, 275;
  the Royalists attempt to relieve Callao, 278;
  he sees Cochrane for the last time, 280;
  he declines to attack Canterac, 280;
  he organises a Peruvian army, 283;
  institutes the “Order of the Sun,” 283;
  the municipality of Lima gives a subsidy to the officers of the army, 284;
  he discovers a conspiracy against him, 284;
  his ideas of legislation, 285;
  his dispute with Cochrane, 287;
  he summons a Congress, 293;
  sends another expedition to Ica, 293;
  attempts to treat with the Viceroy, 295;
  he sends a contingent to assist Sucre, 410;
  sails to Guayaquil, 421;
  he meets Bolívar, 421;
  his conference with him, 422;
  he returns to Peru, 423;
  his opinion of Bolívar, 423;
  his letter to Bolívar, 425;
  his letter to O’Higgins, 427;
  he draws up a plan for a new campaign, and opens
   the first Congress of Peru, 428;
  his abdication, 428;
  leaves Peru for ever, 429;
  and retires to Mendoza, 429;
  he organizes an auxiliary force, 436;
  he is besought to return to Peru, 440;
  returns to Buenos Ayres, 471;
  goes to Europe, 472;
  returns to be insulted, and goes back, 472;
  is assisted by Aguada, 473;
  he bequeaths his sword to Rozas, 474;
  his death, 474;
  his remains are brought back to Buenos Ayres, 474

San Martin, Maria Mercedes de, 149, 199, 472, 474

Santa Cruz, 410, 436, 437, 438, 439, 440

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 65

Santander, 387, 393, 394, 398, 450, 453, 461, 466, 468

Saraza, 352, 368, 372, 373, 376, 381, 382, 384, 387

Sequence of causes, the, 418

Ships burned at Callao by Guise, 448

Siege of Callao, 272, 273, 280, 282, 458

---- Cartagena, 360, 361, 401, 404

---- Chillán, 100

---- Cumaná, 374

---- Puerto-Cabello, 334, 335, 340, 348, 349

---- Rancagua, 107

---- San Fernando, 374, 377

---- Talcahuano, 155, 156

---- Valencia, 348

Skeenen, 391

Skirmish at Achupallas, 141

---- Carora, 306

---- Chancay, 236, 241

---- Guachipas, 76

---- Guardia-Vieja, 141

---- Mirave, 268

---- Rio Bamba, 411

---- San Fernando, 374

---- San José, 308

---- Wasca, 246

Sociedad de Lautaro, 33, 47, 50, 60, 125, 149, 160, 163, 184, 199, 211

Soler, 124, 137, 140, 141, 145, 146, 147

Soublette, 369, 372, 400

Spano, Colonel, death of, 103

Spry, 191, 219, 288

Successes of Nariño, 320

Sucre, 378, 407, 408, 410, 411, 415, 437, 438, 440, 450,
   453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 461, 464, 465, 466, 468, 471, 472

Surrender of the _Prueba_ and _Venganza_, 290

---- Valencia, 305

Sutherland, Robert, 368


Talca, 97, 103, 104, 152, 167, 168, 169

Talcahuano, 97, 104, 106, 152, 154, 155, 167, 179, 194

“Taravitas,” 321

Thompson, 178

Torices, 317, 321, 322, 362, 363

Torres, Camilo, 314, 320, 322, 323, 330, 354, 361, 363, 471

Torre-Tagle, 243, 293, 294, 295, 426, 441, 446, 447, 448

Tragedy of San Luis, 197, 198

Treaty between Columbia and the Argentine Congress, 445

Tristan, 293, 294


University of Lima, 225

Upper Peru, 22, 61, 62, 65, 227, 300

Urdaneta, 332, 335, 342, 344, 347, 348, 349, 352,
   354, 378, 391, 393, 399, 401, 473

Uzlar, 391


Valdés, 229, 235, 241, 250, 258, 261, 262, 278, 279,
   294, 432, 433, 434, 439, 450, 452, 455, 456

Valdivia, 97, 98, 101, 151, 195, 206, 207, 208

Venezuela, 24, 299


Warnes, 67, 69

Wellesley, Marquis of, 302

Wilson, 387, 391


Yañez, 337, 339, 340, 341, 344


Zapiola, 34, 36, 44, 127, 137, 146, 147, 177, 180, 194

Zea, 369, 378, 389, 398

Zuazola, 325, 334

                  *       *       *       *       *

                               THE END.

     PRINTED BY J. S. VIRTUE AND CO., LIMITED, CITY ROAD, LONDON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

FOOTNOTES:

 [1] “Thou shalt be that which thou oughtest to be; if not, thou shalt
 be nothing.”

 [2] See Appendix I.

 [3] Miranda served with great distinction in the campaigns of Valmy
 and Jemappes, and commanded the right wing of the Republican army at
 the disastrous affair of Neerwinden. He was afterwards imprisoned by
 the Directory on suspicion of being implicated in the defection of
 Dumouriez, whose treachery he had denounced, but escaped and fled to
 England.--TR.

 [4] A native regiment which had taken a prominent part in the repulse
 of the English.--TR.

 [5] Men of the plains, from _llano_ = a plain.

 [6] Countrymen.

 [7] See Appendix II.

 [8] A term of opprobrium given at that time to Spaniards.--TR.

 [9] A quotation from “Old Mortales!” the Argentine national hymn.

 [10] It appears that Condarco, when in London, purchased the ship
 _Cumberland_, mounting sixty guns, for 160,000 dols., giving an order
 for that amount on the Government of Chile, and paying as a deposit
 25,000 dols., which sum, being returned to him on payment of his
 draft, he placed in the hands of someone in whom he had confidence,
 on account of O’Higgins and San Martin. His confidence was misplaced,
 his English friend lost the money in gambling on the Stock Exchange,
 and San Martin found himself penniless when he landed in England in
 1824.--TR.

 [11] This word _Maipó_ is commonly spelt in Buenos Ayres _Maipú_,
 which is the Pehuenche way of pronouncing it.

 [12] Huya que le conviene.

 [13] No relation to O’Brien the aide-de-camp.

 [14] See Appendix III.

 [15] An intoxicating drink made from maize.

 [16] For a description of a similar bridge in Chile, see Appendix IV.

 [17] See Appendix V.

 [18] A “flechera” is a flat-bottomed boat, capable of carrying one
 or two guns, and is very swift. Managed by Venezuelan boatmen, they
 rendered great service in this war.

 [19] See Appendix VI.

 [20] See Appendix VII.

 [21] “The English in South America.” By M. G. Mulhall.

 [22] The amount thus voted was, after his death, paid to the heirs of
 Bolívar.

 [23] Admiral Guise, who commanded the Peruvian fleet, was killed in
 the attack.--TR.

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

an Independant State=> an Independent State {pg xi}

Bolvíar’s idea of reconquering=> Bolívar’s idea of reconquering {pg 322}

innoculating all with his own ideas=> inoculating all with his own ideas
{pg 111}

one of the vesssls=> one of the vessels {pg 204}

same rough sort=> some rough sort {pg 248}

but as e had no=> but as he had no {pg 272}

adopted the idea of Bolivar=> adopted the idea of Bolívar {pg 329}

Bolivar=> Bolívar {pg 369}

Viva Guayquil=> Viva Guayaquil {pg 421}

the other side the lake=> the other side of the lake {pg 451}

Bolivar=> Bolívar {x 8}





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