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Expedition of General Santa Cruz.-Lands at Arica.—Marches to Upper Peru.-Royalists abandon Lima.-General Sucre embarks for Chala.-Enters Arequipa.-Affair of Zepita.Disasters of the patriots.-Their re-embarkation.-General Miller retreats by land to Lima.-The viceroy makes a new disposition of his forces.
It has been stated that the expedition under Santa Cruz united off Iquique on the 15th of June, 1823. The general caused a detachment of four hundred men to sail to Arica, to surprise two troops of royalist cavalry stationed in the valley of Asápa, a league inland. The patriot commanding officer, Colonel Elespuru, acted with such promptitude and boldness that, in the night of the 16th, he succeeded in making the whole royalist party prisoners; two hundred and thirty-nine horses and two hundred and twenty-three mules also fell into his hands.
On the 17th, Santa Cruz himself arrived at Arica, and on the following day all the troops were on shore. Some cavalry immediately took possession of Tacna. Colonel Pardo de Zela sailed with two companies to Quilca, to cause a diversion, by preventing the garrison of Arequipa from annoying the left flank of Santa Cruz on his march to the interior. The general, with commendable activity, lost not a moment in advancing to Moquegua, where he made the necessary
dispositions to carry into effect his plan of operations.
Having formed his army into two divisions, one of which was placed under the orders of General Gamarra, second in command, the general-in-chief marched from Torata with the first, on the 23rd of July, by the Cordillera of Iscuchaca, towards the Desaguadero. Gamarra set out on the same day from Tacna, with the second division, towards Oruro, by the route of Tacora and San Andres de Machaca. These long marches were effected without any other sufferings than those arising from the severity of the cold, and the nature of the route over mountainous deserts. Santa Cruz obtained possession of the bridge of the Inca, across the Desaguadero, on the 29th of July, and occupied the city of La Paz on the 7th of August. The small garrison retired, abandoning all their military stores. The division of Gamarra arrived at Calamarca on the 10th of August, where his advance drove back General Olañeta, who, with fifteen hundred men, was marching from Potosi, unapprised of the movements of the patriots. Gamarra contented himself with proceeding to Oruro, where he found several pieces of artillery, and a quantity of military stores, and Olañeta was permitted to escape to Potosi.
Previous to Gamarra's entering Oruro, he was joined by the active guerrilla leader Colonel Lanza, with six hundred men, who had maintained himself six years with admirable constancy against every effort of the Spaniards to expel him from the valleys east of La Paz.
To the unceasing exertions and decision of Santa Cruz the promising prospects before him must be attributed. To use his own expression, "Fortune preceded his steps." Indeed, she favoured him on every side. Activity, boldness, and enterprise are generally favoured by Fortune; whilst she abandons sloth, timidity, and indecision. Colonel Urdiminea, with a thousand men, was a few leagues north of Jujuy, ready to make a diversion upon Potosi; and Arenales, who had a few months before left Peru, and now become governor of Salta, was making every effort to move forward with a body of gauchos for the same purpose. Three squadrons of the royalists had been defeated at Pisco by the Peruvian montoneros, assisted by a detachment of granaderos à caballo, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Bogado. In short, every thing seemed to concur in crowning Santa Cruz's undertaking with success. But it is now necessary to return to the royalist army under Canterac, which we left investing Callao.
That general having learnt the rapid progress of Santa Cruz in Upper Peru, and that his army, instead of consisting of a few hundreds, actually amounted to several thousand efficient troops, despatched, on the 30th of June, General Valdez, with the battalions Gerona, Centro, Cantabria, four hundred cavalry, and two field-pieces, to co-operate with the viceroy, Carratalà, and Olañeta.
General Sucre being unfettered by the recent political changes, exerted himself to send from Callao three thousand men to act against Cuzco or Arequipa, or to co-operate with Santa Cruz, as circumstances might
The cavalry and artillery with General Miller sailed from Callao, on the 4th of July: the remainder of the troops followed with Generals Lara, Alvarado, and Pinto. The place of disembarkation was Chala.
Canterac finding he could effect nothing decisive against the castles of Callao, and perceiving that Sucre had sent transports with the troops to the south, evacuated Lima on the 17th of July, and marched for Huancavelica. General Martinez, with the remains of the army of the Andes, was directed to follow him up; but Canterac retired unmolested.
The capital being once more in the hands of the patriots, and Sucre determining to place himself at the head of the expedition which had sailed for Chala, delegated his powers to the Marquess of Torre Tagle, and sailed on the 20th of July. The congress, previous to its proceeding to Truxillo, had directed that Santa Cruz should obey the orders of Sucre.
The royalists, flushed with their former successes, had latterly conducted themselves with great arrogance, and Canterac assumed a tone which even the
viceroy himself had never adopted. Insurgents," "rebels," "traitors," were the epithets used when alluding to the patriots; and scurrilous public papers teemed with sanguinary threats. On the preceding 23rd of March, General Canterac, being then at Huancayo, had addressed an official communication to the republican government at Lima, intimating that for the future he should be under the necessity of carrying into execution the decree of his most catholic majesty, which peremptorily ordered that no quarter should be given to foreigners in the service of the insurgents! Strange to say, the then president, Riva-Aguero, took no notice of this threat in his spiritless reply of the 15th of April: but he permitted some foreign officers to insert an article in the Lima Gazette of the 1st of May, announcing their willingness to accede to the terms of future hostilities as proposed by Canterac, and promising to treat with reciprocity any subjects of his most catholic majesty whom the chances of war might place within their power, not excepting even Canterac himself. following translation of a letter written by Canterac, whilst investing Callao, to Rodil, the governor of Lima, and of a decree issued by the viceroy, will show the line of policy by which the royalists were guided at that time.
My esteemed Rodil,-It is not advisable that the decrees published at Lima should be current in Europe, as will necessarily be the case if the first printed copies are circulated; and for this reason Camba goes to see how he can fill up the first number. I therefore repeat, that in public papers we must not