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The mode of provisioning the army was as follows: rations issued to the troops, during a campaign, consisted generally of meat alone; bread or spirits being very rarely served out, and then as a special favour. Occasionally Indian corn was given, which, when roasted in an earthen dish, makes an excellent substitute for bread, and it is a sort of food of which the Indians are particularly fond. When oxen were abundant, one bullock was given, for one day's rations, for every hundred men; and when, on the contrary, cattle were scarce, the same quantity was made to serve for two hundred men, which, in South America, is looked upon as short allowance. The inferior parts are not eaten, excepting in cases of extreme hunger; consequently the waste of meat is prodigious. The vicinity of an encampment presents a disgusting assemblage of bones, putrid flesh, and filth, unless great care be taken to have all burnt every day.
It sometimes happened that both royalists and patriots were reduced to feed upon the llama, but the flesh is coarse and almost tasteless. In a country abounding with the necessaries of life, a scarcity of provisions cannot occur, excepting through want of foresight, or proper management.
The soldiers roast, or rather toast, their meat, and often eat it without salt. Four or six club together, and cut from the same joint. In times of plenty they selected only the choice morsels, and threw the rest on one side. It was not an uncommon thing, at the commencement of the revolution, to kill oxen merely for the sake of their tongues.
In garrison or in cantonments each corps was victualled by its respective commanding officer, on account of which he was allowed to stop four dollars a month from the pay of each soldier, a sum always more than sufficient to defray the expenses of the messes. The surplus went into the regimental chest. An officer (generally a captain) was appointed by the colonel to superintend the purchasing of provisions. His accounts were audited by the major, and certified by the commanding officer, before they could be received as vouchers by the paymaster, who was always an officer of the regiment, elected by a plurality of votes of the officers, and who, with the colonel, was held responsible for any fraud or misapplication of the mess fund. Rice, vegetables, grasa (a sort of lard), with or without fresh meat, or charqui (jerked beef), boiled up together in a large copper kettle, make an excellent mess, and was what the troops principally lived upon when in Lima, or in cantonments at any place upon the coast of Peru. There was hardly any difference in the ingredients of the dish cooked for breakfast and that for dinner. The first meal was usually about 11 A. M., the latter at sunset. Each squad of twenty-five men received a kid-full, which was placed upon a high three-legged stool; the men formed a circle, and every other man alternately stepped forward to take a spoonful. Should any victuals be left, which was generally the case, it was mixed up with that to be prepared on the following day.
Some corps were well fed, and with attention to cleanliness; but the defect of the plan, in spite of many
salutary regulations, consisted in leaving it too much to the caprice of the commanding officer. If he was destitute of either zeal, honesty, or ability, great embezzlement took place by those connected with the expenditure of the monthly stoppages, and the poor soldier being the eventual sufferer for every act of negligence or injustice, naturally became dissatisfied, and desertion followed.
During a hard contested warfare, it was imperative to promote officers who had signalised themselves by bravery, and frequently to intrust those with important commands who were inefficient in many respects. It often occurred that those most distinguished for intrepidity were not competent to establish discipline; and, on the other hand, that the ablest parade officers were not the most useful in a campaign. Taking all these circumstances into consideration, together with the cruel mode of recruiting the army, and the disheartening reflection, that merit was not always the only path to command, it is not surprising that failures should frequently have occurred. It is rather a matter of astonishment that the military duties should have been so generally well performed; and that so high a degree of perfection should have been attained, by the South American armies, at the glorious close of a revolution which had proceeded under such innumerable disadvantages!
Mutiny at Callao.-Captain W. F. Martin, R. N.-Bolivar named dictator. The congress dissolved.- Cruelty of the royalists.Miller returns to Peru.-Passage.-Desperate bravery.-Captain Roberton.-Privateer Quintanilla.-Martelini.-The Congress in danger of shipwreck.-Arrives at Callao.-Position and force of the royalist and patriot forces.
THE arduous service, upon the unhealthy coast, in which General Miller had been engaged, again brought on a serious attack of ague and fever. This disease was rendered worse by the breaking out of an old wound in the thigh, which occasioned violent and unceasing pain; insomuch that he was eventually compelled to seek the restoration of health in cooler latitudes, and sailed from Callao on the 24th of January, in H. M. S. Tartar. The kind hospitality and cheerful manners of Captain Brown, the assiduous attentions of every officer on board, combined with the best care of a skilful surgeon, left very few remains of indisposition upon Miller's arrival at Valparaiso on the 22d of February.
Upon reaching Santiago he once more took up his abode at the house of his old and steadfast friend Mr. Richard Price, and received anew those kind offices which commenced on Miller's first arrival in Chile. Mr. Price had since allied himself to a handsome Chilena lady; and as something has been said of the unmarried beauty of that country, it would be
unjust to omit the mention of Mrs. Price as an example of all that is excellent in a wife, and affectionate in a mother. Miller had also the satisfaction to find that his early friends Doctor Cox and Mr. Barnard had been equally fortunate in their matrimonial connexions. The devotion to Hymen seemed to have been very general in this quarter, for many other Englishmen and Frenchmen had tied the indissoluble knot with the fair daughters of Chile.
The Peruvian government and General Bolivar availed themselves of the opportunity to urge, through Miller, the speedy co-operation of the Chileno forces which had been promised to be sent back to Peru, but which promise was evaded by the most provoking duplicity, and by the unworthy conduct of the then Chileno government. The lowering aspect of affairs in Peru next demands attention.
On the 7th of February, the troops stationed in the castles of Callao, headed by a mulatto serjeant, named Moyano, rose and imprisoned the governor, General Alvarado, and the officers of the garrison. The mutineers declared that they had no other object in view than to obtain their arrears of pay, and to be provided with a passage to their native countries, Chile and Buenos Ayres.
The Buenos Ayrean General Correa had an interview with the mutineers in the castles. The moderate proposals transmitted through the general were so equivocally received by the congress, and the efforts of Correa were so feebly seconded by the executive, that every attempt to adjust the matter failed. The payment of 50,000 dollars would have