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to Lima with despatches, and the prisoners Lieutenant-Colonel Vidal and Captain Urdiminea, who both refused to accept unconditional liberty, assigning as a reason, that they dared not show their faces after having been taken under such singular circumstances. They even entertained apprehensions that the victors of Torata and Moquegua might suspect they had been bribed. The Protector arrived at Callao on the 12th of March, 1823.
Extract of a letter from Colonel Miller.-“ After wandering for ten weeks on the coast between Quilca and Palpa, I arrived in perfect safety at Callao on the 12th. I have recovered from the effects of cholera morbus; but being too weak to proceed to Lima, I gladly accepted the invitation of Captain Prescott to remain with him until I recovered strength. From this highly-gifted and kind commander down to the junior officer on board, I have been the object of that gratifying reception which makes me look upon the Aurora as my home afloat. The sight of her pendant gladdens my eyesight almost as much as would the vane upon Wingham church steeple. Even the ship's company welcomed me with looks that seemed to claim me as an old acquaintance. The fact is, there was enough of harlequinade, in my late scamperings, to tickle the fancies of all; and I believe I was considered less as a visiter than as one who, somehow or other, belonged to the frigate.”
“ The attentions from my countrymen are excessive. I have again taken up my quarters at the hospitable mansion of my excellent friend Mr. Begg. The conduct of the foreign merchants resident in
Lima is more than friendly. I can never forget the numberless personal kind offices I receive from the commanders and officers of the French and North American ships of war.
But the warm welcome of the military and of the inhabitants of the capital crowns all. One would think that I had returned victorious, instead of having been 'obliged to cut and run.”
Extract from the Lima Gazette, dated 15th March, 1823.—“On the 12th instant arrived in the port of Callao the colonel of the Peruvian Legion, Don Guillermo Miller, after having filled the enemy with terror on every occasion on which he had the good fortune to meet with him. This praiseworthy chief, who separated from the head-quarters with only a company of cazadores, has performed prodigies of valour and military skill. He advanced with only three soldiers and three peasants to the valley of Vitor, twelve leagues from Arequipa, where, after a most painful journey through high and broken ground, he completely overcame a party of the enemy, taking the Lieutenant-Colonel Vidal, who commanded it, and ten dragoons, prisoners. With his small force he passed through numerous places, without the hostile division, consisting of more than one thousand men, which was always in front of him, daring to attack him; on the contrary, it repeatedly retreated, dreading to be destroyed by our valiant troops. In the vicinity of Nasca, he pursued a party of fifty-six men, commanded by Colonel Olachea : with a very small number of soldiers he overtook him, and captured eighteen prisoners and a considerable quantity
of arms of every kind. The coward Olachea succeeded in escaping in company with the sub-delegate, Rivero, by means of their good horses, but all their baggage remained in our hands *. At last, being obliged to embark by a serious illness that attacked him, and the brig which attended his movements having lost her last anchor in the port of Acari, and the vessel as well as the boats being in very bad condition, he proceeded towards the port of Callao.
“ In this campaign he has not only manifested singular courage, but he has also given proofs of uncommon skill. He traversed the country in the midst of a numerous enemy, astonishing them by the celerity of his well-concerted movements. But the most admirable part of all this is, that during the whole time he was near them, he succeeded in concealing the number of his forces in such a manner that it was thought they amounted to two battalions. Without considering the actions which he bravely maintained, his march alone has been of great importance. An opportune movement is sometimes worth more than great triumphs. The glory which the retreat from Asia gave to Xenophon was as great as that which Themistocles acquired by the victory of Salamis.
“Not less worthy of eulogium is the conduct of this honourable and valorous chieftain towards the inhabitants of the places occupied by his troops. Not the least extortion was practised on them; and he succeeded in securing the love of all, by the rigorous discipline he maintained: thus consolidating more
* In the Gaceta de Lima, dated 18th March, Colonel Miller gives the merit of the affair with Olachea to Captain Valdivia exclusively.
and more the opinion in favour of independence, he has practically shown the difference between mercenary troops and free men.
The first, having no other motive than lucre, apply themselves solely to desolation and pillage. The second, who combat only for liberty, employ all their force and victories in favour of the people. The former conquer to destroy and oppress humanity; the latter to dispense their favours wherever they direct their steps."
Description of the desert coast of Peru.-Shipwreck and suffer
ings of the Granaderos à Caballo - Local traditions. The Junta Gubernativa deposed.--Riva-Aguero named president of the republic.—Position of the royalists.-Another expedition sails to the Puertos Intermedios.-Royalists advance upon Lima.- Patriots retire to Callao.-Canterac enters Lima.General Sucre invested with supreme command.-Riva-Aguero displaced.
Ás the operations which have been so minutely described were performed in a country little known, and very different from any part of Europe, it may not be out of place to give a sketch of its features, and of some of its peculiarities.
The coast of Peru consists of a line of sandy desert, five hundred leagues in length, the breadth varying from seven to above fifty miles, as the several branches of the Andes approach to, or recede from, the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Nothing can exceed its dreary, arid aspect, or equal the comfortless effect produced on the mind of the mariner when he first catches sight of this apparently dismal country. The desert's breadth presents great inequalities of surface, and has the appearance of having once formed a part of the bed of the adjoining ocean.
Were it not for the stupendous back ground, which gives to every other object a comparatively diminutive outline, the sand hills might sometimes be called mountains. The long line of desert is intersected by rivers and streams,