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arrived as a diplomatic agent from the government of Colombia.
Santa Cruz having, by extraordinary exertions and activity, completed his preparations for the projected expedition, the troops destined for that service embarked at Callao, and sailed between the 14th and 25th of May. This liberating army of the south consisted of
Eight field-pieces, Lieutenant-Colonel Morla. Amounting in all to rather more than five thousand Peruvians. The convoy, after an unusually short passage, rendezvoused off Iquique on the 15th of June, 1823.
Although it had been currently rumoured, for some time, that the royalists assembled in the valley of Xauxa were positively to march upon Lima, and although these reports were confirmed by information which the government received through trustworthy
*Killed (1827) at his native place, Maldonado, a part of the Banda Oriental, in an affair with the Brazilians.
agents, yet it could scarcely be believed that Canterac would commit the error of descending to the capital whilst the important provinces of the south, left almost unprotected, were threatened by the expedition under Santa Cruz. But the truth is, Canterac, still conceiving it impossible for the patriots to have embarked more than a few hundred recruits at Callao, and that merely to divert his attention from Lima, determined not to deviate from his plan of marching upon that capital, many residents of which, attached to the Spanish cause, had involuntarily contributed to deceive him by false accounts. Indeed so well and expeditiously had the embarkation of the troops under Santa Cruz been conducted, that few Limeños knew what corps, or how many men, had proceeded to the south. Canterac broke up from his cantonments on the 2d of June, and traversed the Andes.
Notwithstanding this movement had been foreseen, yet upon its being carried into execution, the greatest consternation and alarm prevailed at Lima. The government and members of congress who had protested that they would defend the city, or be buried in its ruins, now only thought how to escape the impending danger.
A council of war, composed of general officers, at which Riva-Aguero presided, was held at the palace. Sucre, the Colombian envoy, was elected commanderin-chief of the forces, and it was determined that, on account of disparity of numbers, Lima should be abandoned. Miller was sent with a squadron of cavalry and some montoneros to reconnoitre the royalists. He returned on the third day.
On the 18th of June, Canterac entered Lima with nine battalions, nine squadrons, and fourteen pieces of artillery; in all nine thousand men, well equipped, well disciplined, and extremely fine troops.
Sucre retired under the protection of the guns of Callao. His force consisted of about three thousand Colombians, one thousand Buenos Ayreans (the remnant of the army of the Andes), and one thousand militia of Peru. Colonel Lavalle, with the regiment of Granaderos à Caballo, was ordered to Chancay. He was accompanied by many emigrants and some guerrilla parties.
Riva-Aguero retired with the congress to Callao, now closely invested, and where the deputies continued their sittings, in a small church. After much boisterous discussion, Sucre was named supreme military chief, with powers little short of a dictatorship, a step imperiously demanded by the critical situation of the patriots.
On the 20th of June, Canterac made a reconnoissance of the fortress, forming the whole of his troops in line within range of the castles. Whilst the light troops on both sides were briskly skirmishing, Miller, who was reconnoitring, was called to by a Spanish officer, Colonel Ameller, whom he had often seen at the outposts of the royalist army: after passing the usual salutations, he said, "Your friend Loriga is close at hand:" he called to him, and Loriga immediately galloped down. The two friends, who had both become generals since their last meeting, held a conversation for a quarter of an hour, in advance of the respective outposts, which continued their fire,
as did the artillerymen in the castles, without molesting them. Loriga, on taking leave, laughingly inquired after his friend Sanchez of No. 4 of Chile.
Two companies of the battalion Voltigeros displayed great valour and discipline during the skirmishing. They were opposed in extended files and within pistol-shot to two battalions of royalists. A little before sunset, Canterac retired to his former position at Mirones, halfway between Callao and Lima.
It often occurred that members of the same family fought on different sides, and they frequently saluted or upbraided each other during a temporary cessation of firing. On the present occasion, Captain Negreiros, of the independent service, approached the royalist line, and placing himself behind a mud wall, called out to the Spaniards, "Where is old Negreiros, one of your rascally lieutenant-colonels? Tell him that his son Manuel is here, and that if I lay hold of him, I shall be happy to hang him up to the first tree, as a worthless Saracen." A volley from a Spanish piquet was the reply, and Negreiros, being rather nearer to them than he expected, crawled away. The father had before saluted the son in a similar manner, for they never came within hail without exchanging torrents of abuse. The father afterwards became prisoner of war, and was treated by the son with the greatest kindness. Indeed, notwithstanding his hatred of the royalists, he always devoted a part of his pay to the maintenance of his mother and sister, who were zealous adherents to the king.
Callao was crowded with emigrant merchants and
families, and, notwithstanding the enemy's being so near, the time was spent very gaily. The amiable and accomplished lady of Commodore Stewart, of the United States ship Franklin, gave pleasant evening parties on board ship.
On the 22d of June, congress divested Riva-Aguero of his authority, and decreed that a passport should be furnished to enable him to retire from the territory of the republic. He was permitted, however, by Sucre, to go to Truxillo, whither the members of congress were ordered to repair. Sucre was therefore left in undisturbed command.
This officer, who has since performed so conspicuous a part in the termination of the war of independence, was born in 1793, at Cumaná in Venezuela. His stature is rather below the middle size. His countenance, though not handsome, is vivacious, and his manners are refined and pleasing. He was educated at Caracas, and entered the army in 1811, and served with credit under the orders of the celebrated Miranda. He afterwards became favourably known for activity, intelligence, and valour, under the brave Piar. From 1814 to 1817 Sucre served in the staff of the Colombian army, and displayed the zeal and talent which characterize him. Sucre was afterwards appointed to the command of a division sent to assist the province of Guayaquil. He met with a severe check at Huachi, but succeeded in obtaining an armistice, which was in effect a victory. It enabled the Peruvian division, under Santa Cruz, to form a junction, and, both united, achieved the decisive victory of Pinchincha.