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born in, or accustomed to, the sultry temperature of Truxillo, Guayaquil, Panama, or Cartagena. The difficulty of respiration, called in some places la puna, and in others el soroche, experienced in those parts of the Andes which most abound in metals, was so great at times, that, whilst on the march, whole battalions would sink down as if by magic, and it would have been inflicting death to have attempted to oblige them to proceed until they had rested and recovered themselves. In many cases life was solely preserved by opening the temporal artery. This sudden difficulty of respiration is supposed to be caused by occasional exhalations of metaliferous vapour, which, being inhaled, causes a strong feeling of suffocation.
The little care taken of the horses having proved, on previons occasions, a severe drawback upon the successes of the patriots, the Dictator determined to remedy the evil, and, accordingly, previous to the breaking up from cantonments, issued strong orders, making commanding officers of cavalry regiments responsible for the slightest inattention, and enforced those orders by the dismissal or suspension of several chiefs for neglect of duty or want of zeal. Such examples produced a salutary effect, and Bolivar established a branch of discipline before unobserved in the patriot service.
Each horseman was armed with a sword, a lance, and sometimes with a carbine, or a brace of pistols; but such was the scarcity of iron, that most of their fire-arms had been converted into nails and horseshoes in the course of the campaign. The horses were shod on all fours (not commonly done in South
America), and were kept well clothed in blankets, during the nights passed in the Cordillera, by which means they effected the passage without serious loss. In fact, they were found scarcely inferior to the horses of the Spanish cavalry, which had been, for more than a year, fed upon the lucern and Indian corn in the rich valley of Xauxa, with all the care bestowed upon the best horses in England. Most of them were of the Chileno breed, and had been taken by the royalists in the victories they had gained; few were worth less than a hundred and fifty Spanish dollars each in Peru, and many were more valuable. A great number of horses are annually sent from Chile to Peru.
The patriot cavalry was composed of perhaps the best horsemen in the world. The gauchos of the Pampas, the guasos of Chile, and the llaneros of Colombia are all accustomed to ride from early childhood; and such is their habitual command over their horses, and such their dexterity, that a description of their equestrian feats would not meet with ready belief. The gaucho who could not pick up a dollar from the ground at full gallop would be considered an indifferent horseman. The way they do this, is to stick one spur into the padding of the saddle, and throw themselves (rather forward) down on the opposite side; after having picked up the dollar, they recover their seat with the grace and agility of a rope-dancer. They often guide their horses without using the reins, and if one should fall, even when at full speed, such is the position of the rider, that he comes down on his feet, and seldom sustains the slightest injury. The Peruvians on the coast, and on the mountain
plain, are scarcely less skilful. It is surprising to see them gallop down steep rugged hills with as much nonchalance and apparent ease as if they were cantering upon a race-course.. The llaneros, born in the plains of Colombia, are perhaps not less skilful in the management of the horse, but they are not such graceful riders as the gauchos of Buenos Ayres or the guasos of Chile. The llanero seldom holds himself erect; indeed he considers it the height of perfection, in riding, to sit on one side, or in a lolling attitude.
The manner in which the liberating army was provisioned in the campaign of 1824 was this: about six thousand head of horned cattle, collected from Caxamarca and adjoining provinces, followed the army at the distance of two or three days' march, in charge of a commissary, who supplied the division whenever provisions could not be procured where they halted.
The cattle required for an army during a campaign was generally taken from large grazing estates, according to the means of each. Receipts were given to the proprietors, but, during the war, they were very irregularly paid, if at all. Very little ceremony was observed in taking cattle found upon estates which had been abandoned by the owners, who emigrated with the royalists to serve in a civil or military capacity. It frequently occurred that wealthy patriots came forward with one or two hundred head of cattle as a donation; so that, in general, the difficulty of procuring provisions was not great in proportion to other obstacles.
Position of the royalist forces.-The patriots reviewed.-Proclamation. Scenery near Pasco.-Affair of Junin.—Death of Lieutenant-Colonel Sowersby--of Major Lisarraga.—Retreat of Canterac.-Advance of the patriots.-General Bolivar quits the army. Reconnoitring parties.-The viceroy advances.— Colonel Althaus taken prisoner.-Patriots fall back.-Valley of Pomacochas.
MISLED by the facility with which they conquered at Ica, Torata, Moquegua, and on the Desaguadero, the royalist chiefs erroneously attributed their successes solely to consummate skill on their own part; and, undervaluing the capabilities of the liberating army, they not only neglected assembling the whole of their disposable forces in the north, but unwisely detached the troops under Valdez to Potosi, to act against Olañeta; whose hostility to the viceroy became every day more rancorous. Canterac considered himself quite adequate to repel every attack from the patriots; nor indeed was this opinion formed upon slight grounds. His army was efficient in every respect. It was in the highest state of discipline, and went through every evolution with admirable accuracy. Its equipments were superior and complete; the artillery and cavalry particularly well appointed: and the whole of the troops were paid with the greatest regularity.
It appears inexplicable how Canterac could remain
inactive in his cantonments of Xauxa, whilst the patriot commissaries, protected only by the montoneros, were spread over an immense extent of country, and constantly employed in collecting provisions, forage, and fuel. Why Canterac did not prevent the formation of these depôts on the eastern side of the Andes, and why he afterwards allowed the patriot army to pass unmolested through the horrible defiles of the mountains, is not easily accounted for, unless it be ascribed to self-confidence, and a wrong estimate of the strength of his enemy. In the opinion of the royalists, Bolivar was far inferior in military skill to San Martin. The advanced post of the Spaniards was at Cacas, a village three leagues from Reyes.
On the 2d of August, Bolivar reviewed his forces, nine thousand strong, on the plain between Rancas and Pasco. The troops were well appointed, and made a really brilliant appearance. The following energetic address, from the Liberator, was read to each corps at the same moment, and produced indescribable enthusiasm.
"You are about to finish the greatest undertaking Heaven has confided to men-that of saving an entire world from slavery.
"Soldiers!-The enemies you have to overthrow boast of fourteen years of triumphs; they are therefore worthy to measure their swords with ours, which have glittered in a thousand combats.
"Soldiers!-Peru and America expect from you Peace, the daughter of Victory. Even liberal Europe