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VOL. I. ^^\%^0(DiD . 



(late Mozley), 

(^All rights reserved.") 








Pbeface ... ... ... ... ... ... ix 

HiSTOBlOAL InTBODUCTION ... ... ... ... XV 

Preliminaby ... ... ... ... ... ... 1 


I. Mt Parents ... ... ... ... 7 

II. Eably Years ... ... ... ... 10 

III. First Voyages ... ... ... ... 14 

IV. Other Voyages ... ... ... ... 17 

V. Eossetti ... ... ... ... ... 22 

VI. BuCCANEERrtTG ... ... ... ... 24 

VII. The Plains op Uruguay ... ... ... 30 

Vni. A Home in the Wilderness ... ... ... 33 

IX, The Fight with the Gunboats ... ... 37 

X. LuiGi Oarniglia ... ... ... ... 41 

XI. Captivity ... ... ... ... 43 

XII. Freedom ... ... ... ... ... 48 

XIII. More Buccaneering ... ... ... 53 

XIV. Fourteen against a Hundred and Fifty ... 59 
XV. The Santa Caterina Expedition ... ... 65 

XVI. Shipwreck ... ... ... ... ... 68 

XVII. Assault on the Laguna Santa Caterina ... 74 

XVm. In Love 77 

XIX. Buccaneering ... ... ... ... 80 

XX. Retreat ... ... ... ... ... 85 

XXI. Fire and Sword ... ... ... ... 88 

XXII. Campaigning Ashore — Victory and Defeat ... 92 

XXIII. Eeturn to Lages ... ... ... ... 100 

XXIV. Lages — The Battle at the Foot of the Sebba 103 
XXV. An Infantby Action ... ... ... 108 

a 2 


XXVI. The Northern Expedition 

XXVII. "Winter, and Preparation op Canoes 

XXVIII. The Disastrous Retreat across the Serra ... 

XXIX. AIontevideo 

XXX. I command the [Montevideo Squadron — Fihht- 
iNG IN THE Rivers 

XXXI. The Two Days' Ficht -with Brown ... 

XXXII. The Retreat on Corrientes, and Battle of 
THE Arroyo Giiaxde 

XXXIII. Preparations for Resistance 

XXXIV. Beginning of the Siege oe ^Montevideo 
XXXV. First Achievements of the Italian Legion 

XXXVI. The Fleet, and its Achievements 

XXXVII. Brilliant Fighting of the Italian Legion 

XXXVIII. The Expedition of the Salto 

XXXIX. The Matrero ... 

XL. Jaguary 

XLI. Expedition to Gualeguayciiu — IIervidero — 

XLII. Arrival at Salto — Victory' of the Tapeby ... 

XLIII. Arrival of Urquiza 

XLIV. Besieged in Salto by Lamos axd Vergara 

XLV. San Antonio 

XLVI. Revolutions in ^Montevideo and Corrientes— 

Fight at the Dayman 

XLVn. Some of the Dead and Wounded of the Legion 

XLVIII. Return to ^Iontevideo ... 

I. Voyage to Italy 
n. At Milan 

III. CoMO — Sesto Cai.ende — Casteli.i.tto 

IV. Return to Lombardy- 
V. The Tedium of Inaction 

VI. In the Papal State — Arrival in Rome ... 
VII. Proclamation of the Republic, and March on 
















VIII. The Defence of Rome ... 

IX. Eeteeat ... 

X. Exile ... 

XI. Eetuen to Political Life ... 

XII. In Centbal Italy 








I. The Sicilian Campaign, May, 1860 ... ... 143 

II. The Fifth of May, 1860 ... ... ... 153 

III. From Quakto to Mabsala ... ... ... 155 

IV. Calatafimi, May 15, 1860 — ... ... 163 

V. Calatafimi to Palermo ••• ... ... 171 

VI. ROSALINO PiLO AND COBBAO ... ... ... 174 

VII. Calatafimi to Palermo (continued) ... ... 176 

VIII. The Attack on Palermo, May 27, 1860 ... 181 

IX. MiLAzzo ... ... ... ... ... 192 

X. The Fight at Milazzo ... ... ... 197 

XL In the Strait of Messina ... ... ... 204 

XII. On the Mainland of Naples ... ... 208 

XIII. The Attack on Eeggio ... ... ... 210 

XIV. Entry into Naples, September 7, 1860 ... 215 
XV. Preliminaries of the Battle of the Voltorno, 

October 1, 1860 ... ... ... ... 222 

XVI. Battle of the Volturno ... ... ... 225 

XVIL Bronzetti at Castel Morone, Octobee 1, 1860 ... 2.S6 

XVIII. Battle of Casebta Vecchia, October 2, 1860 238 


I. The Aspeomonte Campaign, 1862 
II. The Campaign in the Tyrol 

III. Vaeiocs Engagements ... 

IV. Fight at Bezzecca, Joly 21 






Agro Romano ... 

... 283 


Fbom Sabdinia to the Mainland ... 



The Attack on Montebotondo ... 

... 297 


Mentana, November 3, 1867 




The French Campaign ... 

... 316 


Fights at Tiantenay and Adtun 



Januabt 21-23, 1871 ... 

... 342 


Retreat— Bobdbaux—Capbera, 1871 



... 361 




Garibaldi's ancestry, real and imaginary — Certificates of the 
birth and marriage of his grandparents — His father and 
mother — Anecdotes of his childhood — Young Italy — Joseph 
Borel — Cleombroto — Captain, sailor, bandit — Death-sen- 
tence — First exile ... ... ... ... ... 1 



Letters from Garibaldi to Cuneo during their mutual exile in 
South America — Anita's marriage-lines — The Italian Legion 
— Death of his daughter Rosita — Offer of service to the Papal 
Nuncio — His answer — Anita precedes her husband to Italy 
— Letter from Anita ... ... ... ... ... 39 



Garibaldi in Lombardy — Mazzini and Medici — The siege of 

Rome— Letters of Garibaldi to Mazzini— The fall of Rome 73 





Garibaldi's abnegation — The world's rejected gnest — Two visits 
to England— Withdrawal from the republican party—" For 
Italy under any flag " — Letters to Cuneo ... ... Ill 


"Air arme!"— Garibaldi and Cavour — First to cross the Ticino, 
last to lay down arms — Victor Emmanuel, Graribaldi, and 
Cavour at the peace of Villafranca — " Hands to the centre, 
eyes to the south!" — Diamond cuts diamond — Vogliamo 
ritalia una — Garibaldi recalled from the Eubicon — Mazzini, 
Bosalino Pilo, Crispi organize insurrection in Sicily — Notes 167 


" VIVA LA tXlia, e gabibabdi amictj ! " 

Mazzini, Rosalino Pilo, Crispi, Bertani prepare the revolution 
in Sicily — The sale of Nice — Original letters and documents 
anent the expedition of the Thousand — Cavour's opposition 
— King's " let be " — Departure — Landing at Marsala — The 
British fleet — Letters of Garibaldi — Annexationists, separa- 
tists, unitarians — The Orange Gulf — Entry into Naples — 
Garibaldi and the English — His gift of land for an English 
church — Battle of the Voltumo — Victory along all the line 
— The king takes possession — Garibaldi sent to the rear — 

, Abdication — Adieu — " To meet again at Rome " — Notes ... 250 


Last visit to England's "good admiral" — Fatal dualism — 
Cavour's letters to the king and Farini — Reaping the whirl- 
wind — Parliamentary duel — Cavour proposes, Fanti disposes 
— The southern army humiliated and dispersed — Garibaldi's 



V. Aqeo Romano ... 

VI. Feom Sardinia to the Mainland 

VII, The Attack on Montebotondo ... 

VIII. Mentana, November 3, 1867 




I. The French Campaign ... 
II. Fights at Lantenay and Autun 

III. January 21-23, 1871 

IV. Retreat — Bordeaux — Capbera, 1871 




Garibaldi's ancestry, real and imaginary — Certificates of the 
birth and marriage of his grandparents — His father and 
mother — Anecdotes of his childhood — Young Italy — Joseph 
Borel — Cleombroto — Captain, sailor, bandit — Death-sen- 
tence — First exile 



Letters from Garibaldi to Cuneo during their mutual exile in 
South America — Anita's marriage-lines— The Italian Legion 
— Death of his daughter Rosita — OflPer of service to the Papal 
Nuncio — His answer — Anita precedes her husband to Italy 
— Letter from Anita ... 




Garibaldi in Lombardy — Mazzini and Medici — The siege of 
Rome— Letters of Garibaldi to Mazzini— The fall of Rome 






Garibaldi's abnegation — The world's rejected guest — Two visits 
to England — Withdrawal from the republican party — " For 
Italy under any flag " — Letters to Cuneo ... ... Ill 


"Air arme!"— Garibaldi and Cavour — First to cross the Ticino, 
last to lay down arms — Victor Emmanuel, Graribaldi, and 
Cavour at the peace of Villafranca — " Hands to the centre, 
eyes to the south!" — Diamond cuts diamond — ^Vogliamo 
ritalia una — Garibaldi recalled from the Eubicon — Mazzini, 
Bosalino Pilo, Crispi organize insurrection in Sicily — Notes 167 




Mazzini, Bosalino Pilo, Crispi, Bertani prepare the revolution 
in Sicily — The sale of Nice — Original letters and documents 
anent the expedition of the Thousand — Cavour's opposition 
— King's " let be " — Departure — Landing at Marsala — The 
British fleet — Letters of Garibaldi — Annexationists, separa- 
tists, unitarians — The Orange Gulf — Entry into Naples — 
Garibaldi and the English — His gift of land for an English 
church — Battle of the Voltumo — Victory along all the line 
— The king takes possession — Garibaldi sent to the rear — 

[ Abdication — Adieu — " To meet again at Borne " — Notes ... 250 


Last visit to England's " good admiral " — Fatal dualism — 
Cavour's letters to the king and Farini — Beaping the whirl- 
wind — Parliamentary duel — Cavour proposes, Fanti disposes 
— The southern army humiliated and dispersed — Garibaldi's 



project for national armament rejected — Formal reconciliation 
between Cavour and Garibaldi — Remarkable letter of Gari- 
baldi to Cavour — " Troppo tardi " — Cavour's death — Notes 337 


Eome or death vergus " Borne never " — Conflicting wills — Who 
endures wins — Garibaldi's special mission — Royal recom- 
pense for service overtrue — Aspromonte — To England and 
back — Garibaldi's toast to his friend and teacher, Mazzini — 
The campaign of 1866 — Exodus from the Tyrol — The Roman 
crusade — Mentana the cradle and grave of the temporal 
power — Notes ... ... ... ... ... 362 


To Rome at last — ^Mazzini a prisoner in Gaeta — Garibaldi block- 
aded at Caprera — Garibaldi for France against the world — 
The French campaign — The three days of Dijon — The 
colours of the 61st — Garibaldi's resignation — His refusal to 
" go home by way of Nice" — Victor Hugo's noble defence 
of " the only general who had not been defeated " — Man- 
teuffel's opinion of Garibaldi's military genius — Michelet for 
Garibaldi and Italy — Notes ... ... ... ... 394 


Mazzini's last work for Italy — War of words — Mazzini's death, 
March 10, 1872 — Garibaldi for the republic by evolution, not 
revolution — Garibaldi on the English and Italian navy — "Be 
strong on the seas" — Private life and relations — Marriage, 
divorce, third marriage — The nation's gift reluctantly ac- 
cepted — Last visit to Naples and Palermo — Death on June 2, 
1882 — Garibaldi's will — Orders for fire-burial disobeyed — 
His grave at Caprera — The grave of his mother and Anita's 
ashes at Nice ... ... ... ... ... 427 


While Italy awaits the philosophical historian of her 
political evolutions and revolutions — annals, chronicles, 
memoirs, biographies and autobiographies, series of 
letters, diplomatic papers and correspondence, revo- 
lutionary documents have been, during the last twenty- 
five years, published in rapid succession, and thus a 
vast material is being stored for future "architects of 
history." Nor is the stock by any means exhausted ; 
the key to many unravelled mysteries being more or 
less jealously guarded in the recOTd offices of the state, 
while the " key of keys " reposes in the sanctum sanc- 
torum of royal archives. Contemporary writers of 
events in which they have been actors or interested 
spectators, with the strictest intention to be veracious, 
rarely succeed in telling the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, seeing that each narrator 
surveys facts from his own point of view; nor does 
an honest desire to be impartial ensure impartiality, 
since the writer's individual beliefs and opinions must 
necessarily influence his deductions and bias his judg- 
ments. But, all such weaknesses and defects taken 

VOL. I. h 


into account, the value of these contributions remains 
intact. Carlo Cattaneo, to one who sought to dissuade 
him in 1860 from certain publications relating to 1848, 
made answer, " The generations pass ; men's minds take 
new directions, and the facts of experience become 
as lanterns hung out in abandoned streets." 

Many readers, we think, will concur in this sentence, 
and to these the " Autobiography of Garibaldi " will be 
interesting and acceptable. Strictly speaking, what Gari- 
baldi calls " My Memoirs " are recollections of such por- 
tions of his eventful life as he chose to give to the public. 
They were chiefly written at two distinct periods, the 
first portion in 1850, after the fall of Kome and the 
death of his beloved Anita. In 1872, he corrected and 
modified this first portion, and wrote the remainder at 
('aprera (merely adding at Civita Vecchia in 1876 the 
Appendix, Custoza), without books or documents or any 
assistance save from his own memory. Naturally, he 
lias fallen into sundry errors of dates and facts. He 
has also deliberately passed over entire periods of his 
life, thus omitting some particulars very interesting to 
the English reader as well as to his own countrymen. 
He, moreover, withdrew certain manuscripts which he 
at first destined for publication, containing some graphic 
accounts of events and some severe strictures on promi- 
nent men which he wrote from time to time, because, from 
his later point of view, " the least said, soonest mended." 
We possess an autograph letter of his, enjoining on 
one who possessed his full confidence to recover and 
restore to himself a manuscript written entirely in his 


own hand and destined in 1869 for the press, but which 
in 1871 he resolved should not be published. Again, 
in one of his letters to Alberto Mario, who had requested 
to be allowed, in his life of Garibaldi, to publish some 
facts which the General himself had related concerning 
the king, he answers, " I wish that nothing confidential 
between the king and myself should be published;" and 
in his Memoirs he publishes nothing. 

But he does not use the same reticence in speaking of 
Mazzini, whom from time to time he still recognized as 
" master ; " while at others (purposely misled by men 
whose sole aim and mission was to keep these great 
and good patriots divided), he misjudged and censured 
him with an asperity foreign to his own nature. Had 
he, when he wrote, possessed the sixteen volumes of 
Mazzini's writings, with the historical documents in- 
serted by Aurelio Saf& in his clear, able, impartial 
preface to each, — he would, we think, have cancelled 
numerous assertions of whose truth he had been assured, 
but which subsequent evidence and concomitant wit- 
nesses disprove. Again, had he possessed — as, thanks to 
Luigi Chiala, we now do — the six volumes containing 
over eighteen hundred letters of the great Piedmontese 
statesman, with numerous documents and invaluable 
historical prefaces, the criticisms, censures, and re- 
proaches which he addresses chiefly to Cavour would 
probably have been distributed in juster proportions 
among many who come off scot free. 

The Memoirs end with the episode of the Franco- 
Prussian war. Of his work for the " redemption " of the 


Roman Campagna, for the Tiber, his polemics con- 
cerning communism, socialism, internationalism, etc., 
his second marriage and life at Caprera, Garibaldi says 
nothing, whereas his biographers and the newspapers 
have treated of all these matters with more or less 

Hence, requested by the proprietors and publishers of 
the English edition to write a preface to their translation, 
I have with their permission substituted a Supplement. ' 
The reader thus will have put before him all that the 
General left for publication. This Autobiography of 
Giuseppe Garibaldi constitutes this all ; and as in Italy 
the question has been raised whether such really is the 
case, it may be well to set all doubts at rest. The ques- 
tion may be put in good faith, as many of the questioners 
have seen and read — some even possess — other manu- 
script writings of Garibaldi which are from time to time 
given to the public, fairly and often wisely — none, how- 
ever, venturing to add " with the author's permission," 
as the proprietor of this Autobiography legitimately can 
and does. The original manuscript of these Memoirs is 
written by Garibaldi himself on ordinary-sized letter- 
paper, each page numbered, entirely in his own hand ; 
the first part clear and bold, the last shaky and irregular 
as the fatal arthritis crippled his fingers. As he gave 
the manuscript to his "best-beloved" Menotti, so Menotti 
placed it for safe keeping in the hands of Adrian Lemmi, 
whose name in Italy is a synonym for patriotism and 
integrity. Menotti and Adrian would rather "have cut 
ofif their right hand " than have offended the dead father 


and friend by adding, suppressing, or altering a syllable, 
or even consenting to a literary supervision of the text. 
Why Garibaldi enjoined that simply this and nothing 
more should be given to the world was best known to 
himself. Enough that he did so, and that his injunc- 
tions, in this instance at least, have been obeyed. 

The Supplement will appear in the third volume, con- 
taining such additional matter as may complete the 
personal narration of the " hero of both worlds," of the 
patriot " without fear and without reproach. " 


Now that the ItaKans have achieved their independ- 
ence, have accomplished the herculean task of fusing, 
welding, pounding ten kingdoms into One Italy, 
European nations hail her as their last-born sister, 
strive to stand first in her affections, highest in her 
esteem, wondering in secret at that deathless life of 
hers which has defied their united efibrts to extinguish 
it ; which, each time they have wrapped her in her 
shroud and thrust her into the sepulchre, has left it 
empty, wringing from them the awestricken cry, " Lo, 
she has arisen ! " 

Arisen, rearisen, are the right terms for this seeming 
miracle. To say reborn would imply preceding death, 
whereas wJiat was death for other nations was only 
sleep for Italy. Our Swinburne and her Carducci, with 
the poet's faculty of precise, concise expression, render 
the wondrous story in the same short simple phrase. 
Swinburne, summing up the life-work of the two great 
Genoese, Columbus and Mazzini, says — 

" One found a world new-bom from virgin sea ; 
And one/ound Italy." 

Carducci writes, "He of the Gracchus' heart and 


Dante's thought saw the third Italy." * To assert that 
Mazzini or Garibaldi or Victor Emmanuel "created" 
Italy by their separate or united genius, prowess, and 
ambition would presuppose her non-existence; would 
assign to one man or to three men the merit of an 
entire people of heroes and of martyrs, of thinkers and 
of doers — a people which had never ceased to be, but 
which, owing to intrinsic and extrinsic reasons, had 
refrained from merging their separate existences in one 
collective whole. 

The vital, exhaustless, all-absorbing, all-assimilating 
people which, in the Roman republic, organized society 
and evolved a grand system of government ; which, 
during the republican and imperial period, subdued 
and permeated Europe with their institutions and 
their laws ; which, in the Middle Ages, when black 
night brooded over half the world, developed the 
germ of Roman into Italian municipalities, with free con- 
stitutions imbued with the republican spirit of Rome, 
reaching a height of opulence, prosperity, grandeur, and 
glory rarely attained, never surpassed by the nations 


" Qual da gli aridi scogli erma su'l mare 
Genova sta, marmoreo gigante, 
Tal, surto in bassi di, su'l fluttuante 
Secolo, ei grande, austero, immoto appare. 
Da quelli scogli, onde Colombo infante 
Nuovi pe'l mar vedea mondi spuntare, 
Egli vide nel ciel crepuscolare 
Co'l cuor di Gracco ed il pensier di Dante 
La terza Italia. . . ." 

(Giosu^ Carducci.) 


who from those free republics learned the lessons of 
municipal self-government whence such liberty as 
Europe now possesses is mainly derived ; which, at the 
bidding of their " divinest " in the full tide of freedom, 
created Italian literature as they had created Italian 
art, and, when on themselves slavery's night descended, 
uncurtained the golden dawn of the renascence on con- 
science-awakening Europe ; which, disdaining half-truths 
and moral fictions, recoiling from their unchaste, impious 
murderers, stepped backwards into pagan times, thence, 
leaping over the heads of the Eeformers into the realms 
of science, alighted at the fountain-head of modern 
reason and research ; that people — which evoked from 
its own Saturnian soil and sun and sea the secrets of 
the universe, the science of humanity, which gave its 
all so lavishly to every nation on the earth — forbore or 
attempted too partially or too late to solve the problem 
of its own individual nationality. This in virtue of a 
fundamental idea underlying and informing the many 
and multiform phases of its successive centuries of 

The world-wide, universal sway of the Roman 
Empire, which grew with the growth of the peoples — 
Etruscan, Sabine, Latin, Eoman — outgrew and over- 
grew themselves. The prayer which Eomulus, according 
to the legend, while ploughing the clods to outline 
the walls of the city, put up to Jupiter and Mars — 
" May the duration of this city be eternal ; may its 
sway be all-ruling ; may the sun ever rise and set on 
its dominion" — was until the sixteenth century the 


prayer of every thoughtful, patriotic Italian. Even 
when they hated an emperor most they loved the 
empire best, and this infatuation, this absorption in 
one fixed idea, lasted and prevailed, until, shattered 
but not annihilated, crushed but not extinguished, 
action was for three centuries divorced from thought, 
and political from intellectual liberty. 

The transfer of the seat of empire to Byzantium, 
the subsequent division into East and West, the 
consequent rise and growth of the papacy as a tem- 
poral power — due to the absence of the emperors, to 
their real or pretended donations, — the farce of corona- 
tion of emperors by popes, the fiction of investitures 
by emperors of popes with temporal sovereignty — are 
facts brought forward by many in extenuation, as a 
justification of Italy's apparent annihilation, and three 
centuries of slavery. But all these things were the 
effects of the preponderating idea of empire. That 
myth, that illusion, delusion, and perpetual curse she 
preferred to the possible, nay, most easy formation of 
her own national, independent unity. Only one Italy 
for Eome to rule ? No world-wide sway for the Eternal 
City ? Such a desire never entered the heart of man, 
at any rate, till Petrarch's time, and the facts are there 
to prove the affirmation. 

When, in the fifth century, the Visigoths founded 
monarchy in Spain, and the basis of monarchy was laid 
by Clodovic in France, and the Heptarchy was instituted 
in England, a brave, wise man made himself master of 
all Italy, recovered Sicily from the Vandals, and was 


welcomed in Eome as liberator. He rendered strict 
justice, protecting letters and the learned, preserving 
the monuments of Eoman and Grecian art, retaining 
many of the ancient magistracies, respecting the 
senate, choosing ministers and counsellors from its midst. 
This Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, was popular, 
was esteemed and obeyed, as long as he stood before 
the Italians and Eomans in the character of general 
and vice-regent of the emperors (Zeno and Anastatius). 
He united the whole of Italy, published in Eome a code 
of laws, a model of equity for " barbarians " and Eomans, 
left the Jews their own laws and judges, protected alike 
Arians and Catholics. "A great splendour long un- 
unknown," writes Balbo, " shone over Italy, the seat 
and centre of his vast and flourishing kingdom." The 
emperors grew jealous, and instigated the Italians 
against him. Theodoric, suspecting conspiracy, stained 
his great name and fair fame by his barbarous cruelties 
to Boethius, the " Eoman senator," and to Summacus. 
After his death, Italy fell a prey to Belisarius and the 
eunuch Narses, generals of the great emperor Justinian. 
Had the Italians but supported the Goths in their 
struggle against the treacherous "liberating" Greeks, 
that struggle would have been brief and the "barba- 
rians " absorbed and assimilated, and the civilized Latins 
would naturally have acquired the ascendency in the 
independent and united nation. But this policy would 
have involved rebellion against the empire. 

Still more apparent is this ruling passion of Eomans 
and Italians under the sway of the Longobards (568- 


773), "who," writes Macchiavelli, "after two hundred 
and thirty years of Italian existence, retained nothing of 
foreigners but the name." Luitprand, the best and 
greatest of the Longobard kings, reformed and amelio- 
rated the laws of his predecessors, Rotari and Grimaldo. 
He set himself to expel the Greeks from the Peninsula ; 
made peace with the Venetians, who had chosen their 
first duke, Paoluccio Anafesto ; entered into alliance 
with Gregory II. against the emperor, and restored to 
that pope the portion of "the patrimony " of which he 
had deprived him. A propitious moment that, for in 
customs, religion, language, laws, and even dress, there 
was but little difference between the invaders and the 
invaded races. But the " great " Gregory III., who had 
fomented the religious warfare against Leo the icono- 
clast, intent upon broadening and widening the founda- 
tions of papal supremacy — fearful lest these humane, 
generous, docile Teutons should found with the Italians 
a free, strong, and united nation — instigated them 
against Luitprand, and gave shelter to the rebel Duke 
of Spoleto in Rome. Resolved on destroying the 
dominion of the Longobards, he summoned a new 
barbarian, Charles Martel, into Italy, imploring him 
" to succour the Church of God in her great tribulation ; 
to come to the assistance of Christ's poor, seeing that 
the little left to them is destroyed by the fire and sword 
of the Lombard kings." Finally, he urges on " this most 
Christian son " to compel " those kings to return to their 
own country." Gregory III,, Leo the iconoclast, and 
Charles Martel all died in the same year (741). Luit- 


prand made peace with Pope Zacharia, and until the 
death of this great king no Frank set foot in Italy. 
But his very generosity to the popes was fatal to the 
Longobard dominion and to the chances of Italian 
unity. Pope Stephen summoned Pepin, son of Charles, 
who warred successfully against Astolph, Luitprand's 
successor, compelling him to abandon the cities of the 
ex-archate and the Eoman duchy — Eavenna, Kimini, 
Pesaro, Cesena, Urbino, Gubbio, Nami — which he 
handed over to St. Peter and the Eoman Church, " and 
to the pontiffs in perpetuity," say the partisans of the 
temporal power, Balbo included, adding that, after 
Pepin's return to France, his deputy, Fulrade, abbot of 
Dionigi, with the deputies of Astolph, went from city 
to city, collected the keys, and, with the written title- 
deeds of the donation, deposited them in the confessional 
of S. Pietro. What is not fiction, but certainty, is that 
Pepin's son Charles beguiled, betrayed, and defeated 
Desiderius, that last of Longobard kings — last of twelve 
Italian-born kings to whom the iron crown had been 
transmitted in direct descent from Alboino, which 
crown he claimed for himself. Pope Leo, trading on 
the imperial tendencies of the Italians, foreseeing the 
fall awaiting the Greek empire, deeming that a race of 
emperors created by the popes would become valiant 
champions of the papacy, actually placed on the head 
of Charles the imperial crown. Out of gratitude for this 
act, justified neither by tradition of primitive Church, 
nor by apostolic precedent, nor by the consent of the 
Western nations, Charles invested the pope with 


temporal power. Leo III. created the Frank new 
emperor of the West; Charlemagne invented a pope- 
king ; and the Romans, seeing that a Eoman pope had 
crowned an emperor in Eome, indulging in their dream 
of empire, never for a moment guessed that they had 
sacrificed the substance for the shadow — a Eoman 
Italy based on a popular constitution for a visionary 
imperial sceptre which they were destined nevermore 
to wield. When, after 114 years, Charlemagne's empire 
fell to pieces, and France herself was split into frag- 
ments, and the Germans elected their own kings, and 
Berengarius, Marquis of Friuli (descended on the female 
side from Ludovico il Bonario), became king of Italy, 
there was again the opportunity for the formation of an 
Italian nation. But the popes were growing steadily 
and lustily ; Venice, with her mysterious genius, was 
rejoicing in her islet freedom, driving down the piles of 
independence into her lagunes, looking askance on 
emperors and popes. Amalfi, too, was turning the face 
of her sturdy populations seawards. So Berengarius, 
left to his own devices, prostrated himself before the 
ambitious German Arnolph, thus affording the German 
electors at future times a pretext for claiming imperial 
rights for the chief of their choice. True, Guide, Duke 
of Spoleto, in 891, was crowned with the crown of iron 
and proclaimed emperor in Eome, and once more the 
Italians exultingly fancied themselves masters of the 
world, till Pope Formoso (896) crowned the German 
Arnolph emperor. In 951, Otto reduces Italy to a 
fief of Germany — is made king of Italy, " crowned 


emperor in Eome " (962), deposes Pope John XII., sub- 
stituting a layman, Leo (963). Crescentius, consul, frees 
Rome from popes and emperors. The ancient orders of 
the republic are established, liberty and independence 
proclaimed. But the people care little for all this ; 
(Iregory and Otto prevail, Crescentius is decapitated^ 
and his corpse flung from the battlements of St. Angelo. 
During the next few years numerous popes and anti- 
popes scramble for the patrimony of St. Peter's. In 
1002, the Italian Ardoino, Marquis of Ivrea, is crowned 
king at Pavia ; but Henry II., King of Germany, deposes 
him, and gets himself crowned king at Pavia, and, of 
.course, "emperor in Rome;" the war of independ- 
ence degenerates into civil war, Saracens invade Sicily 
and the Neapolitan provinces and the coasts of Tuscany. 
The crown of Italy is adjudged to Conrad the Salic, 
elected King of Germany in the diet of Magonza. The 
Milanese and Pavians refuse him ; Pope Giovanni 
crowns him "emperor in Rome." Conrad besieges 
Milan; the Milanese for the first time mount their 
sacred carroccio, and a little later institute their 
glorious commune — a magic word meaning brotherhood 
and community of all classes ; symbol of glory, great- 
ness, and liberty for many an Italian city and republic, 
but not for one Italy, one commonwealth for all 

Conrad dying (1039), his son Henry III. comes to 
Rome, and is crowned by Pope Clement ; and in a 
council expressly summoned, the Romans adjudge to 
the emperors the right of electing the popes. Clement 


dyiug (in 1047), while Greeks and Saracens contend 
for mastery in Sicily, six popes and two anti-popes 
follow each other in quick succession. Henry IV. suc- 
ceeds to the imperial crown (1056). Now appears upon 
the scene Hildebrand the monk, who for twenty years 
before his pontificate was the real helmsman of St. 
Peter's bark. He had advised Pope Leo IX. to supple- 
ment his German election by re-election at Eome. Later 
he succeeded in annulling the election by the Eomans 
— who vowed they would have no more foreign popes — 
of Benedict (a Roman), substituting Nicholas II. of 
Burgundy. By Hildebrand's advice, this pope took from 
the clergy and the people the right of electing popes, 
declared that the sanction of the emperor was revocable 
at the pope's will, and sought to substitute monarchical 
for the republican institutions of the Church. All this 
paved the way for the " mission " of Hildebrand — for the 
subjugation of empire and peoples to Holy Mother 

In Hildebrand, as Gregory VII., that type of Italian 
intellect and Italian iron will ; in Matilda, \h&gran donna 
d' Italia, as Dante calls her, symbolizing in her the love of 
Holy Mother Church; — we have a fresh proof of the utter 
absence of the sentiment of Italian nationality. Those 
two united were powerful for all and aught they willed ; 
could bring and brought the emperor, after three days' 
fasting in sackcloth and drifting snow without the citadel, 
to the pope's feet in Canossa. Matilda, who owned 
such enormous possessions in Italy, Gregory, who 
ruled over the consciences of the Italians, and for a 


time over their hearts, might have welded the nation 
into one ; reformed and renewed the Church, trusting to 
its spiritual authority to subdue the world. But their 
only idea was ecclesiastical dominion and temporal 
power. The Italians, always sceptically indifferent in 
religious matters, impervious to the papal excommuni- 
cations, which struck such terror into the Germans, — 
when these deserted their emperor, were ready from the 
first to espouse his cause. Had Henry chosen to laugh 
at Gregory, and leave him shut up in Canossa, to which 
he had fled as to an asylum, he need never have inflicted 
that ineffaceable stain on " Caesar's " brow. As it was, 
when he took heart later and knocked at the gates of 
Kome, the Eomans opened those gates, when, barbarian 
as he was, he summoned Normans and Saracens to 
sack and ravage and set fire to the city. Hildebrand, 
regarded as the cause of all the wrong, was compelled 
to fly to Salerno, where he died, abandoned and execrated 
by all save Matilda, who, true to her idol and her 
idea, fought for his successors and left her possessions in 
Italy to Holy Mother Church.* That Hildebrand had 

* This bequest cannot be disputed, as are, with reason, the pre- 
tended donations of Constantine and Pepin and Charlemagne. All 
the emperors who gave or confirmed former gifts to the popes, 
renewed imperial rights salva nostra potestate et nostrorum poste- 
rum. Countess Matilda was the last scion of the lords of Canossa. 
Sigifredo, Azzo, Tedaldo, and Boniface, who added the duchy of 
Tuscany to his father's fiefs of Reggio, Modena, Ferrara, Brescia, and 
married Beatrice, daughter of Frederick, Duke of Lorraine, were all 
devoted adherents of the empire. Matilda was the only child of 
this couple, and, after the death of her father — murdered by his 
vassals — her mother, Beatrice, married Godfrey, Duke of Lorraine, 

VOL. I. 



aimed a vital blow at the empire, however, cannot be 
denied, though what with the anti-pope Guibert 
(Clement II.) and Henry's imprisonment by his own 
son, and miserable ending in 1106, the victories of 
both resembled those of Pyrrhus. The first crusade, 
initiated by Urban IL, but in reality conceived by 
Hildebrand ; the liberation of Jerusalem just as he died 
and Pope Paschal succeeded, turned the thoughts of the 
great ones of the earth into a new channel, and while 
they were crusading in the Holy Land, the Italians 
strengthened and enlarged the communal element, and 
in the principal cities of Lombardy and of Tuscany formu- 
lated their constitutions during the twelfth century. 
But the phantom of empire pursued them still. They, 
from the first waged war upon the feudal barons, 
razed their castles, forced them to come and live 

her own cousin, who was confirmed in all the fiefs held by her former 
husband, by the emperor, Henry IV. Matilda married her step- 
father's son, Godfrey the Hunchback, who, just at the time her 
mother Beatrice died, was killed at Antwerp, 1076. This daughter 
of imperial vassals was an intense, fanatical partisan of the papacy, 
not of one, but of all popes, four of whom she supported and survived. 
Hildebrand was her spiritual adviser ; his ambitions were hers, his 
cause " the cause of God." Quite natural, therefore, that she should, 
at his instigation, leave all her worldly goods to the Church during 
Gregory's reign, and that she should ratify her donation before 
her death in 1115. And if she had only given or left her Tuscan 
domains held in allodial {all-lood) tenure, the emperors could not 
have interfered with any show of right; but it seems that she 
included some of the lands which her ancestors had held as vassals 
of the empire, and which, as she left no heirs, reverted as lapsed 
fiefs to the empire. Hence all the quarrels and even wars that 
ensued from this famous gift, which crop up at all periods of Italian 
history, till imperial right was abandoned altogether. 



within the cities ; but it never occurred to them to 
demolish the emperor's castle, or to refuse allegiance 
to the empire, still less to proclaim themselves the 
rightful heirs of the Eoman populus — the "sovereign 
people " of Italy. Each city for itself ; each com- 
mune for its own liberties, rights and privileges. Eome 
wars against Tivoli ; Milan, Cremona, Como against 
Pavia ; Padua against Verona, Modena, and Bologna ; 
Lucca against Florence ; and when they cannot settle 
their quarrels between themselves, they call in the 
" natural " umpire, the emperor. With one glorious 
exception, by the way — Venice, who waged deadly 
war against Pisa and Genoa, but on her own account. 
Neither vassal of empire nor serf of Church was she — 
neither Guelph nor Ghibelline ; purely, simply Venetian. 
But, this exception made, we find no others ; hence 
the canker in the very germ of those most glorious 

And even when Frederick Barbarossa, profiting by 
their discord, set himself to annihilate them all, and 
they decided to make common cause against him, never 
in their hour of direst anguish or supremest triumph did 
they forego their allegiance to the empire, or deny the 
authority of Caesar. Foremost of Italian glories is the 
league of Pontida against the pretensions of Barbarossa, 
who, after holding a general council at Eoncaglia, and 
receiving the homage of the consuls, besieged Milan, 
VerceUi, and Turin, crossed the Po and burned Asti, 
sacking and burning Tortona and the minor cities, was 
crowned king at Pavia (1155), then went on to Eome, 


where Pope Adrian IV awaited him for the destruction 
of Arnold of Brescia and the Eoman senate. Arnold 
burnt, his ashes thrown into the Tiber, the conlirmation 
of the senate's privileges haughtily refused, Adrian, 
whose bridle-reins he held, crowned him "emperor in- 
Eome." Eeturning, for pastime Frederick burnt Spoleto, 
and, after a visit to Germany, he descended again into 
Lombardy, again devastating Brescia and starving Milan. 
He convoked anew the Italian Diet, summoning bishops, 
princes, judges, consuls, and the jurists of the University 
of Bologna, " to define the imperial rights and property." 
The servile Bishop of Milan made answer, " The imperial 
will is law ; " the jurists of Bologna affirmed that the 
duchies, marquisates, counties, consulates, the mints, the 
duties, the ports, the mills, the fisheries were imperial 
property. The emperor abolished the consuls elected by 
the people, and instituted podestas of royal nomination. 
Milan and Cremona expel the podestd ; Frederick besieges 
Cremona, Milan, Brescia, hangs the prisoners, and covers 
his war-engines with the children taken as hostages. 
" Blessed are those who die for their country," cry the 
citizens of Cremona, who fire on their own children and 
repel the barbarians ; but in 1160 Cremona is destroyed, 
Milan burnt and razed to the ground. This caused the 
bitter cup to overflow. Verona, Vicenza, Padua, and 
Treviso swear vengeance. In the monastery of Pontida, 
deputies from Cremona, Bergamo, Mantua, Brescia, 
Ferrara, the envoys of the league of Verona, swear to 
die rather than submit to such iniquitous tyranny. A 
league of defence and offence is formed, one for all and 


all for each ; but the fatal clause is added, Saving always 
fealty to the empire. The confederates rebuild Milan, 
compel Lodi to join the league, seize the fortress of 
Trezzo, garrisoned by imperial troops. Frederick shut 
up in Pavia — Venice, Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Treviso, 
Ferrara, Brescia, Bergamo, Cremona, Lodi, Piacenza, 
Parma, Mantua, Modena, Bologna, swear concord, bind 
themselves to war against any man who should offend 
or harm any one of the other cities; against any 
emperor who should attempt to exact more or respect 
less than was exacted and respected by the last two 
Henrys.* The fortress of Alexandria meanwhile had 
been built and garrisoned with 15,000 soldiers, the 
league shared even by Venice, so chary of interference in 
Italian affairs, sanctioned by Pope Alexander, in whose 
honour the new fortress was named. On May 29, 1176, 
the great struggle was fought out at Legnano. The 
armed people, ringing the tocsin, guarding their sacred car, 
symbol and sign of freedom and of right, led on by " the 
company of death," charged the barbaric hosts, destroying 

* The formula of the popular oath, sacramenta populorum, for 
1170 is given by Muratori : "In the name of the Lord, amen. I 
swear on the holy Gospels that neither in my own person nor by 
deputy will I make truce or peace or treaty with Frederick Emperor, 
nor with his son, nor with his wife, nor with any person in his name. 

" In good faith, and by the employment of all means in my power, 
I will try to liinder any army, great or small, coming from beyond 
the Alps, from Germany, or from any other land belonging to the 
Emperor, from entering Italy ; or if any such army should pene- 
trate, I will wage fierce warfare against the Emperor and against all 
his party until said army shall have abandoned Italy, and I will 
make my son take this same oath as soon as he shall have attained 
the age of fourteen." 


and routing the imperial army, trampling Csesar's banner 
in the dust. Barbarossa himself was mourned for dead 
by his soldiers, had to fly for dear life to Pavia, and 
by the Val di Susa escape from Italy in disguise. 

Italy fought to victory, as ever when her people sound 
the tocsin ; but at Venice, where the pope came to arbi- 
trate, the empire virtually triumphed. A truce of six 
years, during which Cremona, Asti, Alba, Genoa were 
seduced from the league, and Alexandria prostituted 
herself and was rebaptized Cesarea, ended in the peace 
of Constance (1183). The cities were allowed to pre- 
serve their liberties, privileges, and jurisdiction ; but the 
supreme sovereignty was reserved to the emperor, who 
deigned, in the preamble to the treaty, to receive in the 
fulness of his pardon the rebellious, victorious cities.* 

To the confederates, who had sworn to cast from off 
their shoulders the German yoke,t it did not seem that 
they were abjuring or violating the popular oath, when 
they agreed that all the " confederate cities should aid 
the emperor in preserving the rights which were his in 
Lombardy, that all citizens between fifteen and seventy 
years of age should take the oath of fealty to the empire, 
and that said oath should be renewed every ten years." | 

Without seeking further examples of this fixed idea of 
empire, the solemn consecration that idea received from 

* " Civitates ac personas ... in plenitudinem gratise suae reci- 
piet" (Muratori). 

t " Theutonicorum jugum de collo excutiamus " (Chronicles of 
Milan, 1170). 

X Venice, proud of her independence, would not sign the treaty ; 
but some of her cities on terra firma played their part of vassals. 


Italy's "divinest" should never be forgotten, Dante 
is rightly styled the father of Italian unity, in that he 
w£is the " first philosopher of the Italian people ; in that 
he, commanding the cessation of regional dialects and 
schools — Sicilian, Puglian, Bolognese, or Florentine — 
announced an Italian poetry and literature and was 
himself the herald of her glory." Dante appeared on 
the confines of the Middle Ages, when the political force 
of the feudal empire was declining. The final over- 
throw of the House of Hohenstaufen did not put an 
end to the distracting quarrels between imperialists and 
papists — Ghibellines and Guelphs. From the death of 
Conrad IV. (1254) to the election of Eudolph of Haps- 
burg during the interregnum of the empire, the 
electors divided their votes between Alfonse of Castile 
and Eichard, Earl of Cornwall (1257). The German 
princes showed reluctance rather than eagerness to 
claim the imperial rights which had proved fatal to so 
many, and when Eudolph accepted the imperial crown 
he declared to the German Diet that he would not go to 
Eome, that Italy had consumed too many Germans — 
" King I am, and emperor," quoth he, " and I can serve 
the republic quite as well as if I were crowned in Eome." 
This Eudolph renounced formally and by oath all 
sovereignty in Eome — all pretensions to the territories 
claimed by the Church, the exarchate of Eavenna, the 
gifts of Matilda. The pope lost no time in compelling 
the prefects of Eome to take the oath of allegiance to 
himself. But the power of the popes was nevertheless 
declining. Nicholas III., the Eoman Orsini, actually 


proposed to Rudolph to divide Italy between them. 
Boniface VIII. affected the airs and livery of empire ; 
but despotic monarchies had risen on the shoulders of 
both Church and empire, and Philip the Fair, the 
king so hated by Dante, removed the seat of the papacy 
to Avignon. What a chance for Italy, if only the idea 
had dawned on her to belong to herself! But how 
pretend this, when Dante himself conceived the regene- 
ration of the human race in the reconstitution of the 
God-created Eoman empire, in the dominion of one 
universal monarchy? "God Himself created the Eoman 
empire and recognized it, inasmuch as He assumed 
human flesh, thus subjecting Himself in birth to the 
census of Octavius, — in death to the judgment of 
Pontius Pilate. As the empire signifies the dominion 
of the Eoman people over the earth, so the majesty of 
the Eoman people is personified in the emperor, to what- 
soever country he may belong. The garden of the earth 
is Italy, not Germany, whence the Eoman emperor must 
extend his sceptre over all monarchies and over all 
peoples, thus transforming the world into a Christian 
republic, of which all states are members, the kingdom 
of France even as the smallest Italian commune. The 
authority of the empire coming direct from God, the 
Church cannot pretend supremacy or the power to confer 
authority, seeing that she had no part in the creation of 
the empire, which existed ages before her birth. The 
choice of the emperor's person is itself directed by God. 
The electors are but instruments in His hands. The 
emperor, thus independent of the pope in his authority 


extended over the earth, is subordinate in one particular. 

The earthly felicity bestowed by the emperor is a prelude 

to eternal happiness, to which the pontiff is the guide." * 

The quarrel of this good hater, this Latin Christian 

* See Carducci's essay on the " Work of Dante " (Zanichelli, 
Bologna, 1888), first given to the public in the form of a lecture, as 
an explanation of his refusal to accept the professorship of the 
Dante exegesis which the Government proposed in 1886 in the 
University of Rome. This supreme poet and most robust prose- 
writer and critic of new Italy, rejoicing in the great Ghibelline's 
abhorrence of the temporal power of the papacy, could not make 
a pagan out of this believer in Christ "whose kingdom was not of 
this earth." Neither does he admit that "in Dante's monarchial 
maxims exists a commencement of the unification of Italy, save in 
as far as this was comprised in the unity of Christendom." Dante 
is " the supreme poet, the grand man, because he had a great con- 
science. No other poet in the world (this also is thy glory, my 
country ! Italy ! ) had the heroic conscience of Dante." One 
of Carducci's sonnets defines his feelings for the imperial Catholic 
GhibeUine ; his worship of the poet. In plain prose it runs thus : — 

" Dante, how is it — vows and voice I raise 
In worship as o'er thy proud face I bend ? 
That sunset leaves me and dawn finds me stUl 
Wrapt in thy verse that wore thy frame so wan ? 

" Yet for me Luoia prays not ; nor Matilda fair 
For me prepares the health-restoring bath ; 
Beatrix with her sacred love, for me 
In vain ascends to God, from star in star. 

" I hate thy Holy Empire, and would fain 
With sword have severed crown from head 
Of thy good Frederick in Olona's vale ! 

" A ruin sad are Church and empire now. 
O'er both thy song soars echoing in high heaven ; 
Jove dies : the poet's hymn endures ! " 

The summing up of Dante's political ideas deduced by Carducci 
from Dante's prose works — literally and boldly, as becomes the poet- 
patriot and the reverent student of the " Master." 


Dante, with the papacy was founded less on its utter 
profligacy and general infamy, for which he severely 
castigates the Church, than on the fact of its " usurping 
the primacy over the civil powers of the emperors, its 
personification of the Guelphic principle contrary to 
universal monarchy, of its ecclesiastical disobedience 
to the laws of the empire, hindering thus the exercise 
of its legitimate authority, setting a bad example by its 
growing covetousness of the good things on Caesar's 
earth." Dante shows himself the staunch opponent of 
the temporal power of the papacy, and always reproaches 
the emperors for their gifts and weaknesses towards the 
Church. But this anti-papal sentiment cannot be con- 
strued into a desire to see Italy only Italy, one, in- 
dependent, and united in a monarchy or a republic, with 
her seat of government in Eome. The man of thought 
and action that he was, he instigated and applauded 
Henry of Luxemburg, that poor weed of an emperor, to 
cross the Kubicon and assert his imperial rights, " which 
are neither bounded by Italy, nor by Europe — which 
ought hardly to be limited by the waves of the ocean." 
Henry goes to Rome to be crowned, though the pope is 
at Avignon, and dies mysteriously. With the death of 
this Henry VII. Dante feels that the last chance for 
the redemption of the world is extinguished, even so 
his own personal hopes. Not outraged by a Guelphic 
pardon* will Dante return to Florence ; " only if a way 

* In 1316, the Florentines offered free pardon and return to the 
exiles, on the condition that they should pay a certain sum, and, 
with the ignominious mitera on their heads, walk Avith contrite air 
two and two behind the car of the mint ; then into the Church of 


be found that shall not attaint his honour or fame, will 
he walk that way with no lagging step." Otherwise 
never more will he set foot in Florence, the beloved and 
longed-for with all an exile's passionately despairing 
desire. Never was that path of fame and honour found, 
and never would the poet be crowned, since it could not 
be in Florence. So he died uncrowned, seeing ever clearly 
into the " mirror of the sun and stars," and speculating, 
till Bice called him home, on all the mysteries of life 
in the present, of death in the future. Italians, then, if 
they cannot with truth affirm that Dante bid them create 
Italy one, independent, and free, and content themselves 
with that and that alone — may "glory, rejoicing sincerely 
and securely that Dante is their niaster, their guide, 
and their father, inasmuch as he preserved the Koman 
tradition for the renovation of Italy; that he, witness 
and judge of centuries, the purest and most tremendous 
judge and witness of the bad government of Church 
and Churchmen, affirmed the necessity of annihilating 
the temporal power." * 

A quarter of a century after Dante's death, Petrarch, 
the " father of Italian unity and first poet of the renas- 
cence," the enemy of the Middle Ages and of all foreign 
invaders who should prevent the Latin people from 
constituting itself within its natural frontiers, around 
its centre Eome, actually dreamed that he might in 
his lifetime see the realized vision of Italian states at 

St. Giovanni, and there make their offerings to the saint in expiation 
of their "crimes." This is the offer so indignantly refused by Dante. 
* Carducci's " Work of Dante." 


peace among themselves, united in republican Rome. 
Yet even he in his declining years, grieving and dis- 
heartened at the failure of Cola di Eienzo,* appealed 
to the emperor Charles IV,, and urged the pontiff to 
return from Avignon to Eome. 

In the sixteenth century, when the Italians, having 
retempered their souls in the classic discipline of Greece 
and Eome, and obeying Dante and following in Petrarch's 
steps, had created their literature and renovated their 
genius, Charles V^ an emperor great enough for Dante, 
instigated by a fratricidal pope, crushed, after ten months 
of heroic resistance, the last breath of liberty in Florence, 
and for three centuries Italy's body lay prostrate in the 
" entwined embrace of popes and kings." 

* " When I recall," he writes to Cola di Eienzo in 1347, " the 
serious and holy discourse which thou heldest yesterday in the porch 
of that old church, it seems to me that I listened to a sacred oracle, 
to a god not to a man. So divinely didst thou deplore the present 
state, nay the decline and the ruin of the republic ; so profoimdly 
didst thou probe with the finger of thy eloquence our wounds, that 
my heart glowed during thy speech ; but now when the sound of 
those words of thine re-echoes in my ears, the sorrow of my soul 
increases, its grief rises to my eyes — now that it thinks, that it 
remembers, that it foresees, my heart dissolves itself in tears, — not 
feminine, but virile tears ; those of a man, who, given the occasion, 
wUl dare some worthy deed in as much as hes in his power for the 
defence of justice. And if in the past I was often with thee in 
thought, since that day I have been with thee far oftener. At 
times I despair, at times I hope, and, hovering between hope and 
fear, I cry within myself, ' Oh that it were possible ! Oh, if it should 
happen in my days ! Oh, if I were permitted to share such a grand 
enterprise, such immense glory ! ' And, turning to the crucifix, I 
exclaim, with saddened voice and eyes bathed with tears, ' Jesus, 
good and too long-suffering, why is this ? Arise ! Why sleep on ? 
See the things we sufier and from whom ! See what Thy enemies 
do under the cover of Thy Name ! ' " 


Her body only, be it remembered. The history of her 
religious, even as of her intellectual, renascence has 
yet to be written.* Suffice it to remember that when 
the concordat between Charles and Clement, the Spanish 
Inquisition, the Society of Loyola and the Tridentine 
Council, hurled their thunderbolts, built their pyres, 
and sharpened the daggers of their hired assassins, no 
nation under heaven produced so many and such 
genius-gifted men as Italy, who preferred death to 
recantation, martyrdom to death in life. Before the 
" starry Galileo with his woes " lived proving and after 
torture died asserting that the "earth did move," 
Giordano Bruno, standing on the new foundations of 
the universe discovered by Copernicus, saw a new 
heaven and a new earth in which the physical and I 
human world would be rehabilitated by the discoveries 
of science, the investigations of reason, and the mind 
of man soar up on the wings of nature and of conscience 
to blend the finite in the infinite, humanity in divinity. 
" I doubt me but that you are more frightened in pro- 
nouncing my sentence than I in listening to it," said 
Bruno to his executioners as, putting aside the crucifix 
thrust upon him, he walked calmly towards the burning 
stake. And in this he spoke prophetic truth, for not 

* Studies, monographs, whole volumes have been written in 
England, France, Germany (see Geiger's review, " Vierteljahrscrift 
fiir Kultur und Litteratur der Renaissance"), and the thoughtful 
portion of Italy's political regenerators have devoted their attention 
espeoially to the task. " Write the history of the Quattrocento," 
were the last words of Alberto Mario, on what all but he himself 
knew to be his death-bed, to Carducci. Should he fulfil his friend's 
behest, we shall have a history indeed. 


King Humbert on the Quirinal, the " king elect " of one 
Italy, free and independent, is more dreaded by the un- 
kinged pope in the Vatican, than the spectre of Gior- 
dano Bruno haunting the Field of Flowers. From the 
breach of Porta Pia was hurled the thunderbolt that 
for ever felled the temporal power ; from the field where 
Bruno's monument will soon arise* already floats the 
banner on which is inscribed, " Free thought and secular 
schools." t 

* The erection of this monument is but a question of time ; the 
money is subscribed by Italians of all provinces, and the life-size 
figure of Bruno is already modelled by the great sculptor and 
patriot, Hector Ferrari. All that is now wanting is the sanction of 
the Roman municipality, from which body at the last elections the 
Romans eliminated the champions of Papa Pecci, substituting Italian 
lovers of an Italian Rome. Once the few metres of ground, municipal 
property, conceded,^ the monument of the monk of Nola will arise 
on the spot where he suffered martyrdom. Thence, his daring brow 
and piercing eyes gleaming from his monkish cowl, he may watch the 
jubilees of the nineteenth century, compare to-day's motley crew with 
the jubilant pilgrims who gloated over his death-agony on February 1 7, 
1600. He may watch also the 20th of September processions, lower- 
ing their colours as they pass him; and, hearing the cry of 
" Viva Giordano Bruno ! " mingle (as it now invariably does in 
Rome) with the "Viva I'ltalia!" "Viva Mazzini!" "Viva Gari- 
baldi ! " " Viva the king elect ! " may answer with that jovial, 
whimsical laugh of his, " Evviva, my brave disciples, my well-beloved 
sous ; you are convinced now that the universe has no walls at all 
save the immaginata drconferenza which surrounds the imaginary 
prisoner in the Vatican?" 

t In the manifesto of the " veterans " of the Italian revolutionary 
campaigns for the celebration of the eighteenth anniversary of the 
entry by the breach of Porta Pia occurred the following phrase : — 
" These eighteen years of Italian life have not yet convinced the 

* The Roman municipality has just made the grant, and sanctioned 
the erection of the monument, December, 1888. 


N'ot ours, however, the delightful task of tracing the 
inner history, the flight of Italian thought throughout 
the three centuries that transpired between the corona- 
tion of Charles V. (1530), the last emperor crowned in 
Italy, to the consecration and coronation of the first 
Napoleon (1804) in Paris ; but simply to show the 
dynastical or geographical fragments into which it 
pleased Europe to divide the " Imperial Garden " of the 
earth. No idea of consulting the populations ever 
crossed the mind of revolutionary England any more 
than of despotic France. As the treaty of Cdteau 
Camhresis handed Italy over to the ignominy of Spanish 
rule, whose worst feature was the stigma it cast on 
labour, on work, which in that land of workers had 

pope that neither the invocations of harmless thunderbolts nor the 
mobs of fanatic pilgrims have power to shake the national edifice 
defended by a people of thirty millions. But can we flatter ourselves 
that we have reduced this implacable enemy of oure to impotence 
for harm ? Masters of every insidious art, it is into the communal 
administrations and schools that they introduce their missionaries — 
to suflfocate, in the first, all aspirations or attempts to reform mediaeval 
absurdities ; in the second, to stifle in our sons the germs of love of 
country (here speaks Fra Paolo Sarpi : ' Never has a Jesuit college 
sent forth a son obedient to his father, devoted to his country, loyal 
to his prince. The aim of the Jesuits is to destroy natural afiection, 
respect for parents, reverence for rulers ; their partisans seek only 
to substitute ecclesiastical interests for the interests of the family, 
the country, the state '). 

" Let us, then, assail with the arms of civilization, to whose 
final triumph the inevitable law of progress spurs us, the last 
refuge of the enemy ; let all our energies be directed to make our 
communes and our schools essentially Italian. On this eighteenth 
anniversary of our entry into Rome, we raise on the breach of 
Porta Pia the banner of seculak schools. ' Viva Rome, capital 
of Italy!'" 


hitherto been deemed so noble and so ennobling, so the 
treaty of Utrecht turned it over chiefly to "humble, 
modest Austria," until she, showing the cloven foot, was 
left with but the duchy of Mantua and a portion of 
the duchy of Milan. The remainder of this duchy was 
added to the possessions of that sturdy, stalwart, yet 
most subtle race of warriors and princes, who from lords 
of Maurienne had become dukes of Savoy, kings of 
Sicily, later instead of Sardinia ; who, with their backs set 
firmly against their native Alps, looked neither north nor 
southwards, but watched the turbulent Po rushing west- 
wards to the Adriatic, comparing the fertile provinces 
on its upper shores to "an artichoke to be eaten leaf 
by leaf." And as "he has who wills" and "who so 
chooses may," every change made by Europe in Italian 
territorial arrangements gave a leaf and yet another leaf 
to the kings of Sardinia to suck. And tliis was the 
only good thing that can be said of the self- constituted 
partitioners of Italy, when she was, by the last treaty 
of Aix la Cliapelle, divided into twelve portions ; Spanish 
Bourbons were made masters of Naples and Sicily, with 
the sole proviso that the Italian should never be added 
to the Spanish crown, Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla 
were given to the younger branch of the same race. 

Truth, however, compels one to say that Charles III., 
submitting to the counsels of Tanucci, ruled well for 
twenty-five years, even as Leopold and Ferdinand of 
Lorraine under the guidance of Fossombroni in Tuscany 
Benedict XIV. (Lambertini of Bologna), the best pope 
of the eighteenth century, set himself to reform the 


barbarous legislation of the papal states, and though 
Clement XIII., the Venetian Eezzonico (1758), effected 
a reaction, he had by so doing rendered inevitable the 
expulsion of the Jesuits by Clement XIV. (Ganganelli), • 
who gave them a chance of reformation, and only 
proceeded to extremes when the haughty Eicci made 
answer, "Sunt ut sunt aut non sint."^ It is said that 
they avenged themselves by poisoning him, a perfectly 
justifiable act in their own eyes then, as ever; the 
end justifies the means, being the corner-stone of their 
creed, the foundation of their moral law. Austria in her \ 
microscopic state was an improvement on the petty 
tyrants Visconti, Sforza, and the Scaligieri. Piedmont 
was steadily arming, building roads, opening schools. 
The republicans of Genoa, who on December 5, 1746, 
had UteraUy stoned out of the city the insolent 
Austrian soldiers of the " good " Maria Teresa, stained 
their fair fame and name by summoning foreigners from 
France to subdue the Corsicans, who, to the harsh rule 
of the Ligurians, preferred their own independence ; but, 
• like the cat in the fable, France annexed the island to 
her own dominions (1768), just in time for Napoleon 
Bonaparte to be born a French citizen, August 15, 1769. 
Venice, in the eleventh century of her existence, found 
it hard in her declining years to hold her own against 
the Turks ; to the last she kept an unflinching front 
turned against ecclesiastical encroachments, but dis- 
gusting her provinces in terra firma by her harsh 
oligarchical rule, found herself abandoned in her death- 
agony, which was so near at hand. The intellectual 

VOL. I. d 


. * 

and scientific activity is sufficiently proved by the large 
number of books published in the eighteenth century 
in Italy. In 1791, about the time that the guillotine 
was invented in France, Galvani discovered galvanism, 
and Volta published his memoir on the electric pile 
jflst as the troops of the French Directory invaded 
Savoy and Nice. Little doubt have we that Italy 
would have worked out her own salvation earlier and 
with less of suffering had she been left to her own 
devices. The Americans had sealed independence with 
their blood at Lexington in 1775, constituted their 
thirteen colonies into the United States in 1776, 
formulated their constitution in 1787, proclaimed the 
rights of man to freedom and equality, yet still the 
world persists in attributing the rise of modern liberty, 
progress, and of democratic principles to France! Certain 
it is that Italy was the victim ; that her blood and her 
treasure were poured out lavishly and ungrudgingly ; 
and that, when all was over and done, the nations 
of Europe (even England not excepted) just re-enacted 
the comedy of the past, and, disregarding pledges and 
promises, and the passionate pleadings of her popula- 
tions, who for the first time in history asked to be 
allowed to regulate their own destinies, again parted 
her garments among foreigners and their minions. 

A chronological survey of Italy during the French 
Eevolution and Napoleon's reign, and her territorial 
condition created by the treaty of Vienna, suffices to 
show what was the political and moral condition of the 
country when the apostle of her unity and the factors 


»— — 

of her independence struck upon the secret of her past 
misery and of her future greatness. 

While it would be puerile to deny that the French 
Eevolution quickened the torpid members of disunited 
Italy — that in the ranks of the Italian army, the 
soldiers of the Cisalpine republic, of the Italian 
kingdom, learned to love their comrades of danger and 
of glory and to worship their tricolour, first sign and 
symbol of a common country, it is quite a mistake 
to believe that the first entrance of French arms into 
Italy was hailed with any of that enthusiasm which 
so many writers of French history choose to paint 
(1792-1796). The army of Victor Emmanuel fought 
gallantly for four years after the soldiers of the Directory, 
swarming into Savoy and Nice, took possession of the 
provinces, to punish the King of Sardinia for preferring 
the alliance of Austria to that of the newly fledged 
republic. The Venetians pledged themselves to a strict 
neutrality. The Lombards looked askance at this fresh 
inroad of foreigners ; not that they liked the Austrian 
rule, they simply disliked all invaders. When the young 
Napoleon crossed the Alps (1796), divided the Pied- 
montese from the Austrian armies, defeated both, crossed 
the Po and Adda, entered Milan, crossed the Oglio, 
invested Mantua, sped through the duchy of Modena, 
Bologna, and Tuscany, compelling the Grand Duke of 
Tuscany, the Duke of Este, and the pope to come to 
terms, — the attitude of the populations was that of won- 
der unmixed with any sort of enthusiasm. The inso- 
lence of the French, which had roused the Sicilians to 


their Vespers, exasperated the people of northern Italy, 
and to the cry of " Death to the Jacobins ! " they rushed 
on the French soldiery at Binasco, Pavia, in the Genoese 
Kiviera, at Polcevere, Lugo, and even in Bologna. 

When the " conquering hero " routed Wurmser at 
Lonato (August 3 and 5), and Castiglione defeated 
Alvinzi at Arcole, again at Eivoli, and compelled the 
pope, by the treaty of Tolentino (February 19, 1797), to 
cede Bologna, Ferrara, all the legations, and pay thirty 
millions to France ; when he challenged Austria's last 
champion the Archduke Charles, and cut the Austrian 
troops to pieces at the Tagliamento and at Isonzo 
(March 16-19) ; — it was the uprising of the Venetian 
populations on his flank, it was " the Easter of Verona " 
kept on the anniversary of the Sicilian Vespers (April 
17, 1797) when old men and women and children flung 
themselves on the invaders, massacring the troops 
even in the hospitals, — that made Bonaparte offer an 
armistice to Austria (April 18), promise her Venice and 
the Venetian territories, by secret treaty, even as he 
promised to Venice alliance, assistance, and protection, 
and recognition of her independence. 

By the treaty of Campo Formio, Austria took posses- 
sion of Venice (January 19, 1798). The Cisalpine re- 
public, extending from the Ticino to the Adige, from the 
Adda to the Eubicon, was after all but a department of 
the French republic, with a French constitution and 
directory, a French army of occupation for which the 
Italians paid eighteen millions. The papal government 
abolished (February 10), the pope sent prisoner to 


Florence, thence to France, where he died, the Eoman 
republic was restored in name; churches, libraries, 
palaces, museums, and archives despoiled of their 
treasures to enrich the capital of the liberating army. 
Naples (where to the intelligent, indulgent Charles III., 
the besotted Ferdinand and the infamous queen Caroline 
with Acton had succeeded) was divided into two factions 
— the intelligent classes, who loathed the ignominy of 
their rule ; the lazzaroni, who — caressed and cajoled — 
adored it. When the first French corps under Cham- 
pionnet entered the Abruzzi, the King of Naples was 
in the Eoman States, calling on the Eomans " to assist 
liim in restoring the authority of their sovereign the 
pope." The Italian peasants astonished the French by 
their onslaught in the defiles of the Abruzzi. The whole 
population of peasants rose in arms ; they retook the 
fortress from the French, broke up the bridges, seized 
the guns of the invaders. Had the king put himself 
at the head of his army and the volunteers, the French 
could not have prevailed. Instead of this, rifling the 
banks and treasury of twenty millions of ducats, jewels, 
and antiquities (all conveyed by the wife of the British 
ambassador — Lady Hamilton — on board a vessel of the 
British squadron), he with his family fled to Sicily, 
Admiral Nelson carrying them in his flag-ship to 
Palermo (December 26). Even then the French had to 
" conquer " Naples (January 23, 1799), and when their 
army entered, three thousand corpses of its defenders 
were lying in the streets, their own loss most severe- 
On the following day, the Parthenopian republic was 


proclaimed, amidst the rejoicings of all the intelligent 
classes in city and in province. Its life was short, its 
death-agony long. Championnet recalled — Cardinal 
Euffo, the king's viceroy, soon rallied an army of peasants, 
brigands, and lazzaroni, reinforced by English, Sicilians, 
Turks, and Eussians. The cardinal, after a formal 
capitulation signed by Captain Foote, commanding the 
British ileet in the bay, also by the commanders of the 
Eussian and Turkish troops, agreed that the Directory, 
with the republican garrisons in the castles of Uovo, 
Nuovo, and St. Elmo, should leave them with the honours 
of war to embark for Toulon, or remain free in their 
own countries; the same terms were granted to all 
the prisoners taken during the war. On July 24, 
Nelson returned from Palermo with the British fleet. 
Eefusing to ratify the capitulation, he published an 
ordinance declaring all the partisans of the republic 
guilty of treason — the chief offenders to be punished 
by death ; the lesser ones by imprisonment, exile ; all 
by confiscation. Vainly Eufifo protested that the king's 
Vicar-General alone had the right to treat. His protests 
were set aside, even as those of the indignant captain 
Foote. The noble admiral Caracciolo was summoned 
before a court-martial convened on board the British 
flag-ship, instantly condemned, refused the one favour 
he asked, of being shot. He was instead hung from 
the yard-arm of his own ship, Nelson looking on from 
his. Despite the heavily shotted shroud, the body 
floated to the surface and under the window of the 
king's cabin. Not less than 4000 Neapolitans were 


immolated in the city and the provinces. The Queen 
of Naples saw the desire of her heart fulfilled; not 
a person of more than ordinary intelligence survived 
the general massacre, while the inhuman cruelties per- 
petrated upon the more than 30,000 prisoners defy 
description and surpass belief. The annals of the 
Spanish Inquisition record no bloodier page. Saddest of 
all sad memories is, that England's banner floated over 
the murderers of these noble, guiltless victims. The 
names of these first martyrs of Italian liberty will never 
be all known ; too many nations and accomplices were 
interested to hide their shame. But even a glance at the 
names of a few of the recorded martyrs * makes one pause 

* G. Fortunate, member of the Italian parliament, has made out 
a list of ninety-nine citizens legally murdered between June 29, 
1799, and September 11, 1800. June 29, 1799 : Admkal Francesco 
Caracciolo, whose fall is thus recorded in Nelson's diary : "A sUght 
breeze ; a cloudy sky. Sentenced, condemned, and hung Francesco 
Caracciolo." July 7 : Antonio TramagUa, jurist ; Domenico Perla, 
merchant; Giuseppe Cotitta, hbrarian of the royal library. July 13: 
Giuseppe Belloni, priest ; Niccolo Carlomagno, advocate. July 26 : 
Andrea Vitaliani, watchmaker. August 3 : Gaetano Russo, infantry 
colonel. August 14 : Oronzio Massa, duke of Galugnano. August 20 
GiuHano Colonna, prince of Aliano ; Gennaro Serra, duke of Cassano 
Michele Natale, bishop of Vico Equense ; Vincenzo Lupo, advocate 
Niccola Pacifico, professor of botany; Domenico Piatti, banker 
Antonio Piatti; Eleonora Fonseca, Pimental directress of the Monitor 
oftheRepuhlic — " Forsan et hcec olim meminissejuvdbit,^'' were her last 
words in life. August 29 : Michele Marino, wine merchant; Antonio 
D'Avella, oil merchant; Niccola Fasulo, advocate ; Gaetano de Marco, 
military instructor; Niccol6 Fiani, cavalrj'^ captain — his body was 
flung to the Lazzaroni, who fried and ate his liver, shouting, " Who 
will buy the liver of a Jacobin ? " September 4 : Ettore Carafa, 
count of Ruvo, who to the insults of his judge made answer, "If we 
were both free men, you would change your tone ; my chains give 



in wondering admiration that, when the flower of 
intellect, of rank, of learning, and of moral courage had 

you courage." September 24 : Gabriele Manthone, general of 
artillery ; Giuseppe Si^yes, vice-consul of France. September 30 : 
Ferdinando Pignatelli, prince of Strongoli ; Mario Pignatelli, his 
brother ; Niccola de Meo, priest ; Prosdocimo Rotondo, advocate ; 
Francesco Antonio Astore, advocate. October 1 : Ercole d'Agnese, 
professor of literature ; Filippo de Marini, marquis of Genzano. 
October 8 : Domenico Antonio Pagano, advocate. October 10 : 
Pasquale Matera, general of infantry. October 14 : Felice Mastran- 
gelo, physician ; Niccola Palomba, priest ; Antonio Tocco, captain ; 
Pasquale Assisi, lieutenant. October 22 : Giuseppe Riario Sforza, 
marquis of Corleto; Francesco Antonio Grimaldi, general of infantry; 
Onofrio de Colaci, marquis of Guisaco ; Gaetano Morgera, priest ; 
Giovanni Varanese, lieutenant ; Luigi Bozzaotra, notary. October 
23 : Francesco Federici, marquis of Pietrastornina, general of 
cavalry. October 27 : Vincenzo Troisi, priest and university pro- 
fessor. October 29 : Francesco Mario Pagano, jurist, university 
professor ; Domenico Leone Cirillo, physician, university professor — 
when asked his profession, he answered, "Physician during the 
kingdom ; representant of the people under the Republic ; " and to 
the judge, Speciale, "In your presence, coward, I am a hero " — 
Ignazio Ciaja, man of letters ; Giorgio Pigliacelli, advocate. October 
31 : Severo Caputo, professor of theology ; Ignazio Falconieri, priest ; 
Colombo Andreassi ; Raffaele lossa. November 9 : Gian Leonardo 
Palombo, advocate. November 11 : Pasquale Baffi, professor in the 
university of Greek and literature, hbrarian of the Academy. 
November 13 : Giuseppe Guardati Benedictine, monk of Monte- 
cassino, professor of the university. November 19 : Niccola Mag- 
ilano, advocate ; Niccola Maria Rossi, professor of the university ; 
Vincenzo Russo, advocate — he cried, " Viva the republic ! I am 

glad to die for liber " The hangman strangled " liberty " in his 

throat. November 23 : Antonio Ruggi, jurist ; Melchiorre Maffei, 
merchant. November 28 : Giuseppe Albanese, jurist ; Domenico 
Bisceglia, advocate ; Gregorio Mattel, magistrate ; Luigi Rossi, 
advocate ; Clino Roselli, engineer, professor in the military academy; 
Francesco Bagno, physician and professor; Vincenzo de FiUppis, 
professor of mathematics ; Giuseppe Logoteta, advocate. December 
3 : Niccola Neri, physician ; Gregorio Mancini, advocate ; Pietro 



been annihilated, a Neapolitan people should survive 
to do and dare after the holy alliance triumphed, and 
when despotism held high carnival in Italy. One feels 
tempted to ask, had the enemies of the French Kevolu- 
tion in England been able to exterminate in a single 
English county "only" ninety flowers of English chivalry, 
military and naval officers, ministers of religion, pro- 
fessors of the universities, lawyers, physicians, and 
students, with more than 3000 of the rank and file — at 
the close of the eighteenth century — where would our 
vaunted liberty have found itself in the nineteenth ? 

It is no part of our task to follow the career of the 
mighty genius who, if citizen of France, was son of 
Italy, and who, inheriting her fixed idea of empire, 

Nicoletti, lieutenant. December 7 : Raffaele Doria, naval officer ; 
Ferdinando Ruggi, naval officer; Francesco Conforti, priest, pro- 
fessor of history in the university ; Vincenzio d'Ischia, lieutenant ; 
Antonio Sardelli. December 12 : Leopoldo de Renzis, baron of 
Montanaro, colonel ; Niccola Fiorentino, advocate, professor of 
mathematics ; Michele Granata, professor in the military academy. 
December 14 : Carlo Mauri, marquis of Polvica ; Carlo Romeo, 
captain. January 3, 1800 : Giacomo Antonio Gualzetti, poet ; 
Marcello Cusebio Scotti, priest, professor of philosophy in the uni- 
versity; Niccola Ricciardi; Giuseppe Cammarota. January 18: 
Michelangelo Ciccone, priest; Niccola Mazzola, notary. January 21 : 
Eleuterio Ruggiero, colonel. February 1 : Gaspare Pucci, medical 
student ; Cristoforo Grossi, medical student. February 8 : Andrea 
Mazzitelli, Luigi de la Grenalais, RafiFaele Montemayor, Giambat- 
tista de Simone, naval captains, who, under the admiral Caracciolo 
had fought to expel the English from Procida. They claimed to be 
beheaded, but were hung instead. Grenalais shouted to the crowd, 
" I see many of our friends ; avenge us ! " March 6 : Carlo Mus- 
cari, advocate. March 18 : Gennaro Felice Arcucci, physician. 
September 11 : Luisa Molines Sanfelice, kept more than a year in 
prison, then hung after the birth of her child. 


wrecked his own destinies and failed to make her one. 
The Italians, under the Cisalpine and Parthenopian re- 
publics, under the kingdom of Italy with Eugene for 
viceroy, under Murat in Naples, and without a pope in 
Rome, learned to esteem themselves, to glory in their own 
glories, to loathe the Bourbon, despise the papacy, and to 
regard with burlesque contempt the always-conquered, 
ever-humiliated Austrians. The war-bulletins of the 
Italian army formed their daily food. How they exulted 
that " Napoleon was surrounded by his Italian guard 
at the battle of Ulma," when with them "he entered 
Vienna ; " that " at the battle of Austerlitz, the Italians 
(artillerymen) covered themselves with glory," " defeated 
the Austrian archduke at Caldiero," drove the Russians 
from Dalmatia. Then, on the field of Wagram, Napo- 
leon said to his Italian legions, " My braves, you have 
covered yourselves with glory ; " and again from Spain, 
" The Italian militia are covered with glory ; " and when, 
with Palombini, from 20,000 Spaniards under Blake, 
they took two colours and twelve guns, Suchet, raraavis, 
wrote to Napoleon, " The success of this day is especially 
due to Italian soldiers," and the emperor exclaimed, 
" The Italians will one day be the first soldiers in 
Europe ! " Truly they may be pardoned if people and 
poets believed that glory and liberty were synonymous.* 

* Carlo Porta, the impersonification of Milanese satire and con- 
tempt of the Austrians, long before Beranger sang the glories of 
Napoleon in his petit chapeau and his redingote gris, ends a long 
toast in Milanese dialect — 

" Ah refiadi ! . . , I'S vegnuu 
Finalment el bollettin ; 


During the retreat from Moscow, 17,000 Italians under 

Pino eight times sustained the attack of 60,000 

Eussians. Del Fante, with the royal guard, ever in the 

van, protected the passage of the rivers for Napoleon ; 

then, Smolensko passed — ordering "stand still till death," 

was killed with all his men. Arrived at the fatal 

Beresina, the Italians built a bridge for Eugene to cross. 

The Eussians arriving, Ciavaldini spiked the guns, so I Y^ 

that if " they could not fight for, they should not be used ' ^ 

against, the emperor!" Had Napoleon then appeared 

in Lombardy, headed the new army which rallied round 

the mutilated veterans of the old ; had he but listened 

to that great Milanese and true Italian, Duca Melzi, 

renouncing France and empire ; — he might have saved 

himself and seen his son crowned King of Italy in Eome. 

But Napoleon " sinned against the ideas of the age," 

and the Italians failed to seize their opportunity. When * 

he was compelled to abdicate, Lombards, Piedmontese, 

Sicilians, Neapolitans, Tuscans, Genoese, and Eomans 

Finalment el s'fe movuu 
Quell' omett del cappellin. 

Moeuves lu, liberann nun 
Da quij tdder marcaditt, 
L'S rah propi staa tutt'un : 
Oh che omon ! I'ho semper ditt. 

Alia barba di pattan 
E de quij che ten de lor, 
Sbraggem donch coi tazz in man : 
Viva el nost imperator ! " 

For the poet, as for all Italy, " the little man in the little hat " 
had but to stir his finger and all would be free from the " car' 
Todisch" the pattan (contemptuous phrases for the Austrians), 
hence all drink and shout, " Long hve our emperor ! " 


had but to confederate their forces and to hold their 
own. This idea never occurred to them, and once more 
Europe settled their destinies according to the separate 
interests of the powers who had coalesced against 
Napoleon. By the treaty of Vienna (1815), the King 
of Sardinia was restored to all his former possessions, 
to which was added the republic of Liguria, despite 
the promises made by Lord Bentinck that its independ- 
ence should be preserved. The entire kingdom of 
Venetian-Lombardy was handed over to the Austrians ; 
the duchies of Modena, Eeggio, with Massa and 
Carrara, given to Austrian princes ; Parma, Piacenza, 
and Guastalla to Napoleon's queen, Maria Luisa, 
because she was an Austrian princess; the grand- 
duchy of Tuscany to Ferdinand III. of Austria ; 
the duchy of Lucca to a Bourbon. Eome and the 
Roman states were restored to the new pope, Pius VII. ; 
Sicily was united to Naples under the Bourbons, and 
later deprived of her constitution, despite the promised 
protection of England ; the Canton Ticino, though 
strictly Italian, annexed to the Swiss Confederation ; 
the little republic of St. Marino left intact, even as 
the principality of Monaco. England retained Malta; 
Corsica was left to France. 

Italy, so Metternich and Europe fondly hoped, was 
reduced to a geographical expression. Unjust, brutal, 
and treacherous as was that partition, at least it taught 
the Italians that "who would be free himself must 
strike the blow." It united them into one common hatred 
of Austria and Austrian satellites. By substituting 


papal, Austrian, and Bourbon despotism for the free 
institutions, codes, and-H Onstitutions of the Napoleonic 
era, it taught them the difference between rule and 
misrule. Hence the demand of the Neapolitans during 
their first revolution (1820) was for a constitution ; that 
of the Piedmontese and Lombards (1821) for a consti- 
tution and war against Austria. The Bourbon swore 
and foreswore, and the Austrians "restored order" in 
Naples. The Piedmontese, who had not concerted their 
movement until Naples was crushed — after the abdi- 
cation of Victor Emmanuel I., the granting of the con- 
stitution by the regent Charles Albert, and its abrogation 
by the new king Charles Felix — saw the Austrians 
enter Piedmont, while the leaders of the revolution 
went out into exile. 

But those revolutions and those failures were the 
beginning of the end. The will to be independent of 
all foreigners, the thirst for freedom, was universal ; the 
very name of empire or of emperor was rendered 
ridiculous, reduced to a parody — in the person of 
Ferdinand of Austria. But one illu sion remained — in 
the liberating virtues of France a nd the French ; this 
had to be dispelled by bitter experience, and for it 
substituted the new idea of one Italy for the Italians, 
a nation united, independent, free, governed by a 
president or by ;i kiii^- chosen by the sovereign people. 

The apostle of this idea, to which for fifty years ,^ , /. 
victims and martyrs were sacrificed by thousands, was ' ^*^ 
Joseph Mazzini ; its champion, Joseph Garibaldi. By 
the genius of the former, the prowess of the latter, the 


abnegation, the constancy, the tenacity, the iron will 
of both, all the populations of Italy were subjugated by 
that idea : philosophers demonstrated it, poets sung it, 
LH</h-^'\^ pious Christian pmsts proclaimed it, statesmen found it 
^2ittf^^*-*^onfronting their negotiations, baffling their half- 
measures. The "King of the Alps," compelled to 
abandon the artichoke theory, to look southwards as 
well as east and westwards, was forced to accept the 
" principle and its consequences," to realize that but 
two alternatives lay before him — to resist by brute force, 
to delay by treachery the " triumph 'of the idea," and 
so disappear, crownless and sceptreless, into chaos with 
his perjured peers ; or boldly to merit and bravely to 
combat for the Italian crown, to receive it from the 
hands of a free people in empu'eless Italian Rome ! 
Finally he made his choice and had his reward, and 
this marvellous unity of thought and action, this 
sacrifice of all secondary objects, of all personal 
sympathies or individual prejudices for one or other 
/ form of government, taught the powers who invented 
the Treaty of Vienna that there could be no peace in 
V I Europe until that monument of their terror, treachery, 
\f and injustice should be torn to shreds, the great 
/\ principle of nationality recognized, the people of Italy 
left to shape their own destinies, to live their own 
life without let or hindrance or interference in their 
Alp-bound, sea-girt home. 


Lendinaka, October, 1888. 








Julij 3, 1872. 

MiXE has been a stormy life, wherein good and evil 
have been mixed, as, I suppose, they have been in the 
lives of most men. I can conscientiously say that I 
have always sought to act rightly, both in fulfilling my 
own personal duty and in seeking the good of others. 
Any wrong I may have done has most certainly been, 
unintentional. I have ever been the sworn foe of 
tyranny and falsehood, being firmly persuaded that 
these are the source of all human misery and 
corruption. For myself, I am a republican, such 
being the political system that most recommends itself 
to honest men — a natural system, desired by the 
majority, and, consequently, not forced on the people 
by violence and corruption. Still, I am neither 
exclusive nor intolerant, apd feel no desire to impose 
my republicanism on others — on the English, for 
example, if they are cojitent with the government of 

VOL. I. B 



Queen Victoria. The fact that they are content with 
it goes to prove that, by whatever name it may be 
called, it is in reality a republic. I am a republican, 
but am every day more and more convinced of the 
necessity for an honest dictatorship, created for a 
limited term, to rule those nations which, like France, 
Spain, and Italy, are victims to the most pernicious 

All I have related in my memoirs may serve as 
material for history. Of most of the facts recorded I 
was myself an eye-witness. To the dead, who fell on 
the battle-fields of freedom, I have been liberal of 
praise — less so to the living, especially my own 
relations. When moved to righteous anger by wrong 
done to me, I have endeavoured to control my feelings 
before speaking of the offence and the offender. 

In all my waitings I have waged open war against 
priestly influence, which I have always believed to 
be the prop of every vice, despotism, and corruption 
to be found on this earth. 

The priest is possessed by a lying spirit — the liar 
is a thief, the thief a murderer, and an endless series 
of infamous corollaries might be deduced from the 
same starting-point. 

Many people, I myself among the number, believe 
education to be the cure for the priestly leprosy that 
afflicts the world. But is it not the educated, privileged 
class by which the world is governed, that keeps it 
what it is ? 

" Liberty for all ! " is the universal cry ; and the 


principle is recognized even among the best-governed 
nations. But does this imply liberty for thieves, 
murderers, mosquitoes, vipers, and priests ? As for this 
last-named black brood, this pestilent scum of humanity, 
this caryatid of thrones, still reeking with the stench of 
human burnt-offerings, where tyranny still reigns ; it 
takes its place among the slaves, and is reckoned among 
their famished herd. But in free countries it pretends 
to freedom — will accept nothing else — no protection, no 
subsidy outside the law. The reptile, forsooth, is satis- 
fied to be free ! There is no lack of fools and bigots 
in the world ; and of scoundrels whose interest it is to 
maintain the imbecility and superstition of the masses, 
there is always abundance. 

I shall be accused of pessimism, but let those who 
have the patience to read, forgive me. To-day I 
complete my sixty-fifth year ; and, though for the 
greater part of my life a believer in the improvement 
of the race, I have been embittered by the sight of so 
much evil and corruption in this self-styled age of 

As I cannot boast of a good memory, I may perhaps 
have forgotten to record some dear and meritorious 

Of the surgeons who shared the hardships of my 
various campaigns, from Montevideo to Dijon, I will 
name the following. 

Odicini, surgeon to the Montevideo Legion, rendered 
great help to our fellow-citizens and fellow-soldiers, 
through his uncommon professional skill. 


Eipari, my very dear friend, was with me — and cured 
me of a wound — at Eome in 1849. As surgeon-in- 
chief to the expedition of the Thousand, he performed 
his difficult and noble task with characteristic ability 
and patriotism. 

At Aspromonte I owed the preservation of my right 
foot — perhaps of my life — to the care and kindness of 
Drs. Eipari, Basile, and Albanese. 

Bertani was 'surgeon-in-chief to the forces com- 
manded by me in 1859 and 1866. His singular merits, 
whether as an officer or a surgeon, no one will, I think, 
dispute. In 1867 also he distinguished himself in the 
ill-fated battle of Mentana. 

The very eminent professors Partridge, Nelaton, and 
Pigorofif showed, by the generous interest they took in 
my dangerous situation, that true merit and true 
science are of no nationality. To my dear friends Drs. 
Prandina, Cipriani, Eiboli, as well as to Dr. Pastore, 
I likewise owe a debt of gratitude. In France, Dr. 
Eiboli, surgeon-in-chief to the army of the Vosges, 
though suffering from a serious and obstinate illness, 
did not fail to render most valuable services. 

In estimating the individual merit of each of my 
companions, I make no pretensions to infallibility ; if 
I have been guilty of any error, I repeat, it was unin- 

Wliether the society of to-day is in a healthy state, I 
leave to the judgment of men of sense (July 4, 1872). 
Hardly yet has the poisoned air of the battle-field 
been cleared by the hurricane, and already plans of 


vengeance are being discussed. The nations are visited 
with calamities of every kind — famine, flood, cholera — 
what matter ? all are arming to the teeth ; all are 

The priest ! — Ah ! he is indeed the veritable scourge 
of God. In Italy he holds a cowardly government in 
the most degrading humiliation, and renews his strength 
in the corruption and misery of the people. In France 
he urges that unhappy nation to war. In Spain, worse 
still, he stirs up the people to civil strife, and, placing 
himself at the head of bands of fanatics, sows destruction 
on every side. 

Lovers of peace, right, and justice, we are yet forced 
to agree with the saying of an American general : 
La guerra es la verdadera vida del homhre — " War is the 
true life of man." 




I MUST not begin the story of my life without some 
reference to the worthy parents whose character and 
affection so greatly influenced, not only my mental 
growth, but also my physical development. 

My father, a sailor's son, and himself a sailor fVom 
his earliest years, was certainly not furnished with the 
stores of information common in our day to men of 
his class. In his youth he had served on board my 
grandfather's ships, and, later on, had commanded ships 
of his own. He had experienced many vicissitudes of 
fortune, and I have often heard him say that he might 
have left us better provided for. Be that as it may, I 
am most grateful for the inheritance he bequeathed me, 
for I know that he spared no pains or expense to give 
me an education, even when, owing to business reverses, 
the upbringing of his sons became a heavy tax on his 
honest earnings. That the education thus provided for 
me was not more complete — gymnastics, fencing, and 
other bodily exercises, in particular, beii^g on^itted— r 


was not so much my father's fault as that of the times 
in which he lived, — times when, thanks to our tonsured 
pedagogues, the endeavour was to make young men 
priests and lawyers, rather than good citizens fitted for 
serving their unhappy country in any useful employ- 

Moreover, so strong was his paternal aSection that he 
could not bear the idea of his sons betaking themselves 
to warlike pursuits. TMs timidity on the part of my 
dear father is perhaps the only thing with which I have 
to reproach him ; but the result was that, fearful of 
exposing me too young to the risks and hardships of 
the sea, he kept me at home, contrary to my own 
inclination, till I was about fifteen. 

This, I think, was unwise ; for to this day I am con- 
vinced that a saUor should begin his career as early as 
he can — if possible, before the age of eight. The Genoese 
and the English, who are the greatest masters of this 
craft, bear me out in this opinion. To compel lads 
intended for a seafaring life to study at Turin or Paris, 
and only to send them on board ship when they are 
over twenty, is, to my mind, the worst system that can 
be conceived. It would surely be better for them to 
carry on their studies on board, learning, at the same 
time, the practical part of navigation. 

Of my mother, I say with pride that she might have 
been a model to all mothers, and I can say no more. 
I shall always regret that it was not in my power to 
cheer the last days of that good mother, whose life had 
so often been disquieted by my adventurous career. 


Her tenderness for me was perhaps excessive, but to 
her love, to her angelic sweetness of character, do I 
not owe the little good to be found in me ? to her pity 
for others, to her kind and loving spirit, to her gentle 
compassion for the wretched and the sorrowful, may I 
not trace the origin of that love of my country, which, 
inadequate though it be, has gained me the sympathy 
and affection of my worthy but unfortunate fellow- 
citizens ? 

Though far from being superstitious, yet repeatedly 
at the most critical moments of my stormy life — as 
when I escaped ud scathed from the wild Atlantic 
breakers, or from the leaden hail of the battle-field — it 
has seemed to me that I beheld my loving mother, on 
bended knees before the Infinite, a suppliant for the 
life of her son. And, though I had no great belief in 
the efficacy of her prayers, I was touched by them, and 
felt myself, if not happier, at least less miserable than 




I WAS born at Nice, on July 4, 1807, in a house on 
the sea-shore, near the head of Porto Olimpio. Like 
most other children, I spent the period of infancy 
in frivolous pursuits — sometimes gay, sometimes in 
tears. I was fonder of play than of study ; nor did I 
profit so much as I ought by the care and expense 
incurred by my dear parents in my behalf. My child- 
hood offers nothing remarkable ; but the following 
incidents, in themselves of little consequence, at least 
show that I was tender-hearted. 

One day I picked up a grasshopper, and brought it 
into the house. The leg of the poor insect got broken 
in my hands, whereat I was so much distressed that I 
shut myself into my room and wept for hours. 

Another time, when I accompanied a cousin on a 
shooting-expedition into the district of the Var, we 
halted on the edge of a deep ditch used for steeping 
hemp, where a poor woman was washing clothes. How 
it happened I do not know, but slie fell head-foremost 
into the water, and was in danger of drowning. Though 
small for my age, and encumbered with my game-bag, 


I jumped in after her, and succeeded in pulling her out. 
In after-years I have never shrunk from helping any 
fellow-creature in danger, even at the risk of my own 

In accordance with a pernicious custom, which I 
believe to be the chief cause of the moral and physical 
inferiority of the Italian race, my earliest instructors 
were two priests. Of the third, Signor Arena, from 
whom I learnt Italian, writing, and mathematics, I still 
preserve an affectionate remembrance. 

Had I had more sense, or could I have foreseen my 
future relations with the English, I should have en- 
deavoured to gain a more accurate acquaintance with 
their language, which I could have obtained from my 
second master. Father Giaume, a priest singularly free 
from prejudice, and at home in Byron's glorious tongue. 

I have always regretted my carelessness in this 
respect — a regret renewed by every circumstance of my 
life which has brought me into contact with English 

To my third instructor, Signor Arena, a layman, I 
owe whatever knowledge I possess. I shall always 
remember him with gratitude — above all, for having 
taught me to understand and appreciate my own tongue, 
and initiated me into the history of Eome. 

The absence of serious instruction in the affairs and 
history of our own country is a very common defect in 
Italy ; but particularly so at Nice, a border city, and 
often, unhappily, under French rule. In this my 
native city, up to the present date (1849) but few 


have even known themselves to be Italians. The 
large influx of French inhabitants; the local dialect, 
which strongly resembles the Provenjal; and the 
neglect of the people by our rulers, whose sole object 
seems to have been to plunder them, and lead away 
their sons as soldiers ; — all conspired to engender in the 
Nizzards a feeling of absolute indifference towards their 
country, and, in the end, to facilitate the severance, by 
the priests and Bonaparte in 1860, of that beautiful 
branch from the parent tree. 

It is partly, then, to those early readings in history 
and partly to the exhortations of my elder brother 
Angelo — who, writing from America, used to urge on 
me the study of our own most beautiful of languages — 
that I am indebted for what little I know on these 

I will close this first period of my life with the 
recital of an event which was, so to speak, a fore- 
shadowing of future adventures. 

Tired of school, and impatient of being always fixed 
to one place, I one day proposed to some companions 
of my own age to run away to Genoa. We had no 
definite plan, but started with a vague idea of seeking 
our fortunes. We seized a boat, put on board some 
provisions and fishing-tackle, and started eastward. 
We had already arrived off Monaco, when a coastguard 
vessel, sent after us by my dear father, overtook and 
brought us back in deep mortification. An abbe had 
betrayed our flight. Strange coincidence ! an abbe, 
an embryo priest, was perhaps the means of saving me 


from ruin, and I am ungrateful enough to persecute 
those poor priests ! All the same, a priest is an 
impostor, and I am devoted to the sacred worship of 

Cesare Parodi and Eaffaelle Deandreis were two of 
my companions in this escapade ; the names of the 
others I have forgotten. 

Here I am glad to recall to memory the youth of 
Nice, active, strong, and courageous — magnificent 
material for all social and military purposes, but, 
unhappily, led into wrong courses, first by the priest, 
and then by the depravity imported from abroad, 
which has made the beautiful Cymele of the Eomans 
the cosmopolitan seat of every kind of corruption. 




To youth, eager to launch forth in the unknown future, 
how beautiful do all things appear ! How lovely wert 
thou, l)ark, whereon for the first time I was to 
plough the Mediterranean waters, bound for the Black 
Sea! Thy ample sides, thy tapering masts, thy 
spacious deck — nay, thy very figure-head, with its 
curved outline, will remain for ever engraved on my 
memory. With what a graceful roll her San Eemo 
crew, true types of our hardy Ligurians, moved 
about ! With what delight I sought the forecastle, to 
listen to their ballads and their harmonious choruses! 
Their songs, all of love, soothed or excited me with 
emotions which for me had as yet no meaning, ^h, 
that they had sung to me of my country — of Italy, of 
oppression, of slavery ! But who was there to teach 
them to be Italian patriots, champions of the dignity . 
of manhood ? Who was there to tell us young fellows 
that in Italy we had a country to avenge and to 
redeem ? Who indeed ? The priests, our sole instruc- 
tors ? Like the Jews, we had grown up without a 
country — money was the only end or aim pointed out 
for our pursuit. ^ 


Meanwhile* my mother, overwhelmed with grief, was 
preparing my outfit for my first voyage to Odessa with 
the brigantiue Costanza, Captain Angelo Pesante,* of 
San Eemo — the best skipper I ever knew. 

If our navy ever becomes what it ought to be 
Captain Pesante should certainly command one of our 
first men-of-war; no ship could be in better hands. 
Tliere is nothing needed for any class of vessel, from a 
cock-boat to a ninety-one-gun frigate, that he would 
not contrive and construct, if it would enable her to do 
honour to Italy. 

And here I must remark that, in case of a naval war, 
^ • our coimtry ought to make great use of her excellent 
mercantile marine, which is a nursery, not only of 
brave sailors, but also of gallant officers, capable of 
doing their duty, whether in war or peace. 
■ ,. ^ My first trip was to Odessa, but as such voyages 
have since become very common, I shall not waste 
time in describing it. My second trip was to Eome, 
in c^pany with my father, on board his own felucca, 
the Santa Beparata. 

Eome, that should have revealed herself to me as the 
capital of the world, is to-day only the capital of 
the most odious of sects ; — the world's capital, by virtue 
of the endless and sublime ruins wherewith are linked 
the memories of all that is greatest in the past, become 
the capital of a sect who once indeed were followers 
of the Just One, the Deliverer of slaves and Founder of 

* Dead several years ago, but alive when I began to write these 
memoirs. « 


the equality which He ennobled ; blessed during count- 
less generations by priests who were the apostles of 
popular rights, but who now have sunk to be the very 
scourge of that Italy which, seven and seventy times, 
they have sold to the stranger. 

No ! the Eome I beheld with the eyes of my youth- 
ful imagination was the Eome of the future* — the Rome 
that, shipwrecked, dying, banished to the furthest 
depths of the American forests, I have never despaired 
of: the regenerating idea of a great nation, the domi- 
nant thought and inspiration of my whole life. 

It was then that she grew to be dearer to me than 
anything else on earth. I worshipped, with all the 
fervour of a lover, not only the haughty bulwarks of 
her secular greatness,' but the merest fragment of her 
ruins.. This love I hid away as a sacred treasure 
in the depth of my heart, only revealing it when I 
could boldly raise aloft the object of my worship. It 
was a passion which, so far from diminishing, 
strengthened with distance and exile. IMany and 
many a time I consoled myself with the thought of 
beholding her once more. For me, in a word, Rome 
is Italy, and I see no Italy possible save in the com- 
pact or federative union of her scattered members. For 
me Rome is the symbol of our United Italy, whatever 
form you may please to give it. And the most accursed 
work of the Papacy has been the keeping it in a state 
of moral and material disunion. t 

• Written in 1849. 

t Such have always been my ideas, as recorded in 1849, and 
copied to-day, in 1871. 

( 17 ) 




Aftee making several other trips with my father, I 
sailed for Cagliari, with Giuseppe Gervino, captain of 
the brigantine Enea. 

During the voyage I witnessed a terrible shipwreck, 
the recollection of which will never -be effaced from 
my memory. On our return from Cagliari, we had 
reached the headland of Noli, accompanied by several 
vessels, among which was a Catalan felucca. For some 
days a gale had been threatening from the south- 
west, and the sea was very high. At last the wind 
burst upon us with such fury as to oblige us to heave-to 
off Vado, it being dangerous to enter the Gulf of Genoa 
in- so violent a storm. 

The felucca at first behaved admirably, and stood 
the sea so well that our most experienced sailors 
declared they would rather be aboard her than our 
own ship. But a pitiful sight was soon to be presented 
to us by her luckless crew. A fearful wave broke over 
our ship and threw her on her beam -ends. For a 
moment we could distinguish some of her sailors 
standing upon the side that still floated, stretching 

VOL. I. c 


out their hands to us as though for help. Suddenly 
they vanished, swept away in the breaking of a second 
and still more terrible wave. The catastrophe took place 
to windward of us, and it was impossible to succour the 
shipwrecked men. The vessels which followed us were 
likewise unable to render any assistance, the storm being 
too violent, and the sea too high. "We heard afterwards 
that nine members of one family had perished. The 
tears which this spectacle brought to the eyes of the 
more sensitive among us were soon dried by the thought 
of our own danger. 

From Vado we proceeded to Genoa, and thence home 
to Nice. I now engaged in a series of voyages to the 
Levant and elsewhere, in vessels belonging to the firm 
of Gioan. I also sailed to Gibraltar and the Canaries in 
the Coromandel, owned by Signor Giacomo Galleano, and 
commanded by his nephew, Captain Giuseppe, of the 
same surname, of whom I shall always retain a pleasant 

After this trip I returned to the Levantine voyages, 
in one of which, having sailed in the brigantine Cortese, 
Captain Carlo Semeria, to Constantinople, I was detained 
in that city by illness. The vessel sailed, and, my 
malady being unexpectedly prolonged, I found myself 
in great straits. I have never allowed myself to be 
dismayed by any circumstances of distress or danger, 
and have always had the good fortune to meet with 
people kind-hearted enough to interest themselves in 
my fate. Among these I shall never forget Signora 
Luigia Sauvaigo, one of those women who have so often 


forced me to confess that, whatever men may think of 
themselves, woman is the most perfect of God's creatures. 
A mother, and a model for mothers, her first thought 
and care was for the happiness of her excellent husband 
and her charming family, to whom she devoted herself 
with incomparable tenderness. 

The war which had broken out between Russia and 
the Porte led to my stay at Constantinople being still 
further prolonged. It was on this occasion that I made 
my first essay in teaching, having been recommended 
by Signor Diego, Doctor of Medicine, to the Signora 
Timoni, a widow lady in want of a tutor for her boys. 
I took advantage of the interval of quiet I enjoyed in 
her house to study a little Greek, which, as well as the 
Latin acquired in my schooldays, I afterwards forgot. 

I recommenced my sea-life by embarking under 
captain Antonio Casabona, on the brigantine Nostra 
Signora delle Grazie, in which vessel, after my return 
from Constantinople, I obtained my first command as 
Captain on a voyage to Port Mahon and Gibraltar. 

I need not dwell on my remaining voyages to the 
Levant, as nothing worth noting took place in them. 

A passionate lover of my country from childhood up, 
and burning with indignation against lier oppressors, 
I was earnestly desirous of being initiated into the 
secret plots for her redemption. With this object in 
view, I sought everywhere for books and other writings 
relating to Italian liberty, and to the men whose lives 
were consecrated thereto. On a voyage to Taganrog I 
fell in with a young Genoese, who was the first to inform 


me of the progress of our cause. Columbus can hardly 
have experienced so much satisfaction at the discovery 
of a new world, as did I on finding a man who was 
actually concerned in the redemption of our country. 

I threw myself body and soul into what I had so 
long felt to be my true element ; and on the 5th of 
January, 1834, 1 left the Porta della Lanterna at Genoa, 
disguised as a peasant, an outcast from my country. 
This was the beginning of my public career. A few 
days later, I had the pleasure of seeing my name for 
the first time in a newspaper. It appeared in a decree 
condemning me to death, reported in the Marseilles 
Peuple Souverain. After remaining idle at Marseilles 
#^' for some weeks, I shipped as mate on board the French 
merchant brigantine L' Union, Captain Franpois Gazan. 
One evening, when I happened to be in the cabin, 
dressed in my best for going ashore,* the captain and 
I heard a splash in the water, and, rushing on deck, 
found that a man was drowning under the vessel's stern, 
between the ship and the breakwater. I sprang over- 
board, and by great good luck succeeded in saving the 
Frenchman, in full view of a large and enthusiastic 
crowd. He proved to be a lad of fourteen, named 
Joseph Eambaud, and I was rewarded by the grateful 
tears of his mother and the blessings of his whole 
family. Some years before, in the roadstead of Smyrna, 
I had been similarly fortunate in rescuing my early 
friend and companion, Claudio Terese. 

* At that time no lights were allowed on board ship at night in 
Marseilles harbour. 


I made one more voyage in the Union to the Black 
Sea, and one to Tunis, with a frigate built at Marseilles 
for the Bey. I then sailed from Marseilles to Eio 
Janeiro in the Nantes brigantine Nautonier, Captain 

During my last stay at Marseilles — whither I had 
returned from Tunis on board a Tunisian sloop of war — 
the cholera was raging in the town, and causing fearful 
havoc, I gave in my name as a member of one of the 
volunteer ambulance corps, and during the short time I 
remained, spent part of every night in watching cholera 




Arrived at Eio de Janeiro, I was no long time in 
finding friends, Rossetti, whom I had never seen, 
though I should have recognized him easily in any 
crowd, through the mutual attraction of good-will and 
sympathy, met me at Largo do Passo. Though it was 
our first meeting, we felt like old acquaintances ; we 
looked into each other's eyes, smiled, and were brothers 
for life — not to be parted save by death. 

May not this subtle sympathy be one of the many 
emanations of that infinite Intelligence which, we may 
believe, pervades space and animates the worlds, and 
the insects, like ourselves, which swarm on their surface ? 
Why deprive myself of the delightful thought that I 
may yet hold communion with a mother's love, restored 
to the infinite source whence it sprang, or with the 
affection of my dearest Rossetti ? I have elsewhere 
described the charm of that most beautiful and lovable 
soul. Perhaps I shall die without the satisfaction of 
raising, on the soil of South America, a stone to mark 
the spot where rest the bones of the noblest among the 
lovers of our unhappy country. The burial-ground of 


Viamao* is, I suppose, the last resting-place of the 
gallant Ligurian, who fell in a night attack by the 
imperial troops on the village, at which, by mere 
accident, he happened to be present. 

After four months passed in inactivity, Eossetti and I 
engaged in commercial speculation — a career for which 
neither of us was in any way qualified. 

During the war at this time waged against the Bra- 
zilian empire by the EepubHc of Eio Grande, President 
Bento Gonpales and his staff were taken prisoners ; and 
among the rest Zambeccari, son of the famous aeronaut 
of Bologna, who was acting as secretary to the President, 
and also as commander-in-chief of the republican army. 
Through him Eossetti obtained Ifetters of marque from 
the Eepublic, and w^e fitted out a diminutive vessel, the 
Mazzini, under the very eyes of the authorities, in the 
harbour of Eio Janeiro. 

* A village a few miles outside Porto Alegre, in the province of 
Rio Grande do Snl — called Settembrina by the republicans, in 
honour of a victory gained in September, 




Here, then, was I launched on the ocean, in this tiny 
bark, a buccaneer with twelve companions. Defying an 
empire, we were the first to unfurl, on those southern 
shores, the republican flag of Eio Grande. Falling in 
with a coasting-schooner, laden with coffee, off the Ilha 
Grande, we boarded her, and as, for want of a pilot, 
we could not navigate both ships, we scuttled the 

Eossetti was with me, but all my companions were 
not like him, either in looks or manners. Some of them, 
indeed, not satisfied with the effect of their naturally 
forbidding countenances, put on an appearance of 
ferocity, in order to terrify our harmless enemies. I, of 
course, used all my efforts to restrain them, and, as far 
as possible, to tranquillize the fears of our prisoners. 
When I boarded the schooner, a Brazilian passenger 
came to me, beseeching me to spare his life, and offered 
me a casket containing three valuable diamonds. These 
I refused, and at the same time gave orders that the 
private property of passengers and crew should be left 
untouched. This was my invariable practice in similar 


circumstances, and my orders were never disobeyed, my 
subordinates being, no doubt, well aware that in such 
matters I was not to be trifled with. 

We got rid of the crew and passengers north of 
Itapekoroia Point, giving them the launch of their vessel, 
the liuisa, and allowing them to take away with them, 
in addition to their own personal luggage, whatever 
provisions they wanted. 

We now sailed southward, and a few days later 
reached the port of Maldonado, where we were much 
encouraged by the friendly reception given us by the 
authorities and the populace. Maldonado, standing on 
the north shore of the La Plata estuary, is important 
from its situation, and has a fairly good harbour. We 
found there a French whaler, outward bound, and passed 
a few festive days ashore, after the manner of buccaneers. 

Eossetti leaving us for Montevideo, to settle our 
affairs there, I remained behind with* the schooner for 
about a week, after which our horizon began to darken. 
Things might, indeed, have ended tragically for us, had 
the Jefe politico of Maldonado been less friendly, or 
I less fortimate. I was warned by this official not only 
that (contrary to what I had been told) the Eio Grande 
flag was not recognized, but that strict orders had been 
issued for the arrest of myself and the vessel. This 
obliged me to put to sea in a north-easterly gale, and 
steer my course up the La Plata River, hardly knowing 
whither I was going, and with barely time to send word 
to an acquaintance that I meant to make for the point 
of Jesus Maria, in the barrancas (cliffs) of San Gregorio, 


north of Montevideo, where I would await the result of 
Eossetti's conference with our friends in the capital. 

We arrived at Jesus Maria, after a difficult run, 
narrowly escaping shipwreck off the point of Piedras 
Negras, through one of those unforeseen circumstances 
on which many lives often depend. At Maldonado, 
threatened with arrest, and mistrusting the good-will 
even of the Jefe, I had remained on shore to make 
certain final arrangements, but had sent orders on board 
to have the arms got ready, which was immediately 
done. It so happened, however, that on being brought 
from the hold, where they had been stowed, the arms 
were placed, so as to be handy, in a cabin close to the 
binnacle. In the hurry of our departure, it never 
occun-ed to any one that the proximity of the arms 
might affect the compass. 

Luckily, I had that night little inclination for sleep, 
and, the wind having freshened to a gale, I kept to 
leeward of the helmsman — that is, on the right side of 
the ship — observing, with a practised eye, the line of 
coast between Maldonado and Montevideo, — an exceed- 
ingly dangerous one, by reason of the reefs that ran out 
from each of its headlands. It was the first watch, 
and a dark and stormy night. Still, to an eye accus- 
tomed to look for land through the darkness, there was 
no difficulty in perceiving the coast — all the less that 
it seemed to come constantly nearer, notwithstanding 
my orders to the helmsman to steer a course which 
should carry us clear of it. 

" Luff two points — two points more ! " and already T 


think I had luffed over eight points, yet, in spite of 
all I could do, we drew nearer and nearer to the coast. 
About midnight the look-out forward sang out, " Land ! " 
It was not land, but something else. In a few minutes 
we found ourselves in the midst of the breakers, the 
jagged rocks showing their black heads above the water, 
and no possibility of escaping them. The danger was 
extreme and inevitable. There was nothing for it but 
to go boldly on into the midst of the reefs, and try 
to find a passage through. Happily, I did not lose 
my presence of mind, but sprang into the fore-rigging, 
and bawled out my orders with a voice like a trumpet, 
directing the vessel's course towards the points which 
seemed to me least dangerous. 

The sea washed completely over our poor vessel, and 
broke on her deck with as much fury as on the rocks. 
A new sight to me was a great shoal of sharks, which, 
regardless of the tempest, surrounded the ship on all 
sides, and played about like so many children in a 
meadow, though their black snouts, of the same colour 
as the surrounding rocks, and a certain threatening 
aspect even in their sport, were little calculated to 
reassure us. Who knows whether the idea of a succu- 
lent meal at our expense was present in those ugly 
black heads ? Be that as it may, the thought of our 
danger overpowered every other consideration; and it 
was truly by an extraordinary chance that we got out 
of that rocky labyrinth, without once touching. The 
slightest contact with any one of the reefs would have 
sent our storm-driven vessel to shivers. 


We reached, as I have said, the point of Jesus Maria, 
about forty miles from Montevideo, up the La Plata 
Kiver. It was only on the day of our arrival that I 
discovered the fact of the arms having been removed 
from the hold, and placed in such dangerous proximity 
to the compass. 

Here, as might have been expected, no new tidings 
awaited us. Eossetti, threatened by the Governor of 
Montevideo, in order to escape arrest, was obliged to go 
into hiding, and consequently could do nothing in our 
behalf. We were short of provisions, we had no boat 
to land in, and yet twelve hungry men must be fed. 
Descrying a house about four miles inland, I resolved 
to land on a table, and run all risks to bring supplies 
on board. The pampero, the prevailing wind of the coast, 
was blowing at the time right on the shore, so as to 
make landing very difficult, even for the smallest boats. 
We moored with two anchors as near shore as we could 
— in fact, at a distance which at any other time would 
have been imprudent, but which was absolutely neces- 
sary to enable me to gain the beach on a small table, 
buoyed up with a cask at either end. 

Here, then, was I, with one sailor, Maurizio Gari- 
baldi, launched on a cabin-table and a couple of casks, 
with our clothes tied like a trophy to a spar set upright 
on this new-fangled ship, which revolved rather than 
sailed among the breakers of that inhospitable coast. 

The La Plata Eiver skirts, on its left bank, the state 
of Montevideo, called also Banda Oriental (or Uruguay), 
which beautiful district being composed of hills more 


or less high, the current has eaten away the sides, form- 
ing a long stretch of cliffs of a nearly uniform and 
sometimes considerable elevation ; this same important 
river washes, on its right bank, the state of Buenos 
Ayres, where it continues to accumulate the alluvial 
deposit which, in the course of centuries, has formed 
the vast plain of the Pampas. 

We landed safely, and drew up our shattered bark on 
the beach ; and then, leaving Maurizio to repair it, I 
took my way alone towards the house I had discovered. 





The sight which met my eyes for the first time, when 
I reached the top of the barrancas, is reaUy worth 
recording. The vast undulating plains of Uruguay 
present a landscape entirely new to a European, and 
more particularly to an Italian, accustomed from child- 
hood to a country where every inch of ground is 
covered with houses, hedges, or other labour of man's 
hands. Here there is nothing of the kind ; the 
Creoles keep the surface of the country exactly as it 
was left by the natives whom the Spaniards exter- 

The plains are covered with short grass, except along 
the course of the arroyos (streamlets) or in the canadaSyj 
overgrown with maciega (a tall, reed-like grass). The 
banks of the river and the sides of the arroyos are 
covered with fine woods, often containing timber of a 
tolerable size. These lands, so favoured by nature, 
are inhabited chiefly by horses and cattle, antelopes 

* I have seen the last surviving family of the Charruas, the 
aboriginal inhabitants, begging for scraps of meat in our encamp- 

t Canada, a depression between two hillocks. 


and ostriches.* Man, here a veritable centaur, rarely 
visits them, and only to announce the presence of a 
master to his numerous savage subjects. Not seldom 
the warlike stallion, followed by his drove of mares, 
or the bull, accompanied by his court, rushes up as he 
passes by, and, by vigorous and unequivocal signs, 
shows his contempt for man's pretensions. 

So have I seen, in my unhappy country, an Austrian 
riding roughshod over the multitude. But how dif- 
ferent the attitude of the downtrodden slaves, who, 
fearful to offend, scarcely dare to lift their eyes from 
the ground ! God grant that the descendants of Calvi 
and Manara may never come to such degradation as 

What a handsome fellow is the stallion of the 
Pampas ! His lips have never winced at the iron bit, 
and his glossy back, never crossed by a rider, shines 
like a diamond in the sun. His flowing, uncombed 
mane floats over his flanks when, assembling in his 
pride the scattered mares, or flying from human pursuit, 
he outruns the wind. His unshod hoofs, unpolluted 
by the stable, are white and polished as ivory ; and his 
silky tail, an ample defence against insect attacks, 
streams behind him in the wind of the Pampas. He 
is a true sultan of the desert. 

Who can conceive the feelings awakened in the 

heart of a buccaneer of twenty-five by his first sight of 

that untamed nature ? To-day — December 20, 1871 — 

bending with stiffened limbs over the fire, I recall with 

* The American ostrich, rhea, or nandu {Rhea Americana). 


emotion those scenes of the past, when life seemed to 
smile on me, in the presence of the most magnificent 
spectacle I ever beheld. I for my part am old and 
worn. Where are those splendid horses ? Where are 
the bulls, the antelopes, the ostriches, which beautified 
and enlivened those pleasant hills ? Their descendants, 
no doubt, still roam over those fertile pastures, and will 
do so, till steam and iron come to increase the riches of 
the soil, but destroy those marvellous scenes of nature. 

The horse and bull, unaccustomed to the sight of men 
on foot, are lost in astonishment on seeing them for the 
first time, stare at them in dumb amazement, and then, 
as though despising the wretched bipeds, who would 
pass themselves ofiP as lords of the world, attack them 
in sport; though, were they to take things seriously, 
and measure out strict justice, they would make short 
work with their oppressor, goring or trampling him to 
death. The horse gambols, threatens, but never attacks ; 
the bull is less to be trusted ; the antelope and ostrich 
fly at sight of man with the swiftness of the racer, 
stopping short on the nearest height, and looking round 
to see whether they are pursued. 

At that time, the district I speak of had remained out- 
side the area of the war, and therefore abounded in 
animals of every kind. 

( 33 ) 



After a four miles' walk through the scenes just 
described, I reached the house descried from the ship. 
Here I was to meet with a delightful surprise. I was 
welcomed in the most hospitable manner by a young and 
graceful woman — not, perhaps, a Eaphaelesque beauty, 
but good-looking and well-educated, and, moreover, a 
poetess. So remarkable a combination of attractions in 
this wilderness, so far from the civilization of cities, 
made me think that I was dreaming. 

She told me that she was the wife of the capataz 
{overseer) of the estancia, wliich lay at a distance of 
several miles, the house she inhabited being only an 
outpost. She did the honours with a graceful courtesy 
which I shall remember all my life, offering me the 
jiational mate, and such a roast as is found nowhere but 
in those countries where flesh is the sole food When 
I was rested and refreshed, she talked to me of Dante, 
Petrarch, and the rest of our great poets, insisted on my 
accepting as a souvenir the poems of Quintana, and, 
finally, told me her history. She belonged to a wealthy 
Montevidean family, who had been forced by business 

VOL. I, j> 


reverses to retire into the country. Here she had met 
her husband, with whom she lived in such content and 
happiness that, with her romantic turn, nothing could 
have induced her to exchange her position for the 
brUliant life of the capital. On my asking for a bullock 
to provision our vessel, she assured me that her husband 
would be glad to oblige me, but that I must await hi& 

It was now too late to have the beast brought to the 
shore that evening. Some time passed before the 
Imsband arrived. My knowledge of Spanish being at 
that time limited, I spoke little, and had leisure to 
meditate on the vicissitudes of existence. There are 
events in our lives which one never forgets. To meet in 
that desert — married to a man who was, perhaps, half 
a savage — a pretty, well-bred young woman, highly 
cultivated, and a poetess to boot! In early manhood, 
one gladly finds poetry everywhere, and some of my 
readers may suspect this chapter of my narrative to be 
rather a creation of fancy than a true tale. 

After presenting me with Quintana's poems, which 
served us for some time as ^ subject of conversation, my 
charming hostess offered to recite me some of her own 
compositions, and I confess I admked them immensely^ 
It may be asked, " How could you admire them Avhen 
you knew nothing of poetry and next to nothing of 
Spanish ? " I admit that I am no judge of poetry, yet 
it seems to me that even a deaf man may be touched by 
its beauties. Again, the Spanish tongue is so nearly akin 
to oiu- own, that I had no great difficulty in under- 


standing it, even on my first arrival in a country where 
it was spoken. 

Thus the time passed agreeably enough in the society 
of the amiable lady of the house, till the arrival of her 
husband— a person of a rugged but not unpleasinf^ 
countenance, who promptly agreed to slaughter a 
bullock for me next morning on the shore. At daM'n 
I bade adieu to the muse of the Pampas, and returned 
to the coast, where Maurizio was awaiting me in some 
anxiety, since, knowing that part of the country betteir 
than I did, he was aware that jaguars — animals certainly 
less easy to deal with than either wild horses or wild 
cattle — abounded in the neighbourhood. It w^as not 
long before the capataz appeared with a lassoed bullock,, 
which he killed, skinned, and quartered in an incredibly 
short space of time — so great is the dexterity of his 
countrymen in these sanguinary exercises. Now, how- 
ever, came the question as to how the meat was to be 
conveyed from the shore to the ship — a distance of at 
least a mile through the heavy surf which broke on the' 
coast, and afforded anything but a reassuring spectacle 
to those by whom the attempt had to be made^ 
Maurizio and I set to work to lash the two empty 
barrels to the ends of our cargo-boat, and fasten the 
(quarters of beef to the improvised mast, so as to be 
clear of the waves, while each of us was supplied with 
a pole for rowing and punting. The crew, stripped 
almost to the skin, had hardly pushed off when they 
found themselves up to the waist in water. Neverthe- 
less we put to sea, highly delighted with our new 


raetliod of navigation, and proud of the danger incurred 
in sight of the American, who cheered us from the 
shore, and of our shipmates, whose prayers perhaps 
were more directed to the safety of the beef than of the 
boatmen. For a time all went fairly well ; but on 
reaching the outermost and heaviest breakers we were 
repeatedly submerged, and, what was worse, driven 
back towards tlie shore. When, by great efforts, 
we had succeeded in getting through the surf, we met 
•outside a new and for us insuperable difficulty, in the 
strong current of the river, which, flowing in a channel 
of about four fathoms deep, carried us far to the south- 
east of the Liiisa. The only remedy was for the 
schooner to set sail and follow in our track, till near 
enough to throw us a rope. At last we were safe, 
togetlier with all the beef, which our famished com- 
panions at once fell upon with hearty good-will. Next 
day, as we were passing a palandra (a small river 
vessel), it occurred to me that, if we could buy the 
launch we saw on her deck, we might find it useful. 
Accordingly we set all sail, and, overhauling the 
palandra, found her crew very willing to part with 
the coveted launch for a sum of thirty escudos. We 
remained all day in sight of the point of Jesus ]\Iaria, 
waiting in vain for news from Montevideo. 

( 37 ) 



Next day, while anchored a little to the south of the 
point above named, we sighted two gunboats coming 
from Montevideo. We took them for friendly vessels ; 
but, as they did not show a red flag — the signal wc 
liad agreed upon — I thought it advisable to get under 
way. Our vessel was then hove-to, with all sail set, 
so that we were ready for any emergency. 

These precautions were not needless, as the larger of 
the two gunboats, on board of which only two persons 
were visible, after approaching to witliin a stone's throw, 
summoned us, in the name of tlie Government of 
Uruguay, to surrender ; while at the same moment al)Out 
thirty well-armed men showed themselves on her deck. 
I had scarcely time to order our yards to be trimmed, 
when we were raked by a volley of musketry. We 
too now had recourse to our weapons, which I had 
previously caused to be brought out of the magazine, 
and placed, ready loaded, on the top of the fore-hatch. 
The order was given to fire, and an obstinate engage- 
ment ensued. 

The gunboat liad attacked us on our starboard 


quarter, and some of the enemy were preparing to 
board. But a few shots and a few strokes of our 
cutlasses sent them back into their own ship or into 
tlie sea. 

All this passed in a few minutes, and, as our men 
were little skilled in warfare, there was necessarily 
much confusion. Consequently, my orders to trim the 
yards were not carried out, for, while many of the crew 
liad hastened, at the word of command, to haul on tlie 
port braces, none had remembered to ease away those 
to starboard, so that all this hauling was in vain. 
Fiorentino, a seaman from the island of Maddalena, and 
one of the best of our Italian hands, sprang forward 
from the helm, where he was stationed, to repair this 
mistake, but immediately fell dead, with a bullet 
throng] 1 his head. I had been standing near him, 
firing at the enemy, and instantly seized the helm. As 
I did so, I M'as. struck in the neck by a bullet, and 
♦Iropped senseless on the deck. After this the fight, 
which lasted about an hour, was mainly carried on 
by the boatswain, Luigi Carniglia, the pilot, Pasquale 
Lodola, and the ordinary seanien, Giovanni Lamberti 
iind Maurizio Garibaldi. The Italians — all but one — 
fought stoutly; the foreigners and freed blacks — of 
whom there were five — hid themselves in the hold. 

For half an hour I lay like a corpse on the deck, and 

even after I had recovered consciousness I remained 

iiicapable of speech or motion, so that I was thought t(j 

be dead. 

. The enemy, finding our fire too hot for him, presently 


retired, and, not being disposed for further fighting on 
that part of the coast, sailed away up the Plata to refit 
and obtain supplies. 

Our position was now very critical. I was the only 
man on board who knew anything of geography, and, 
badly wounded as I was, and without power of motion, 
I was carried to the chart, that I might cast my dying- 
eyes over it and indicate some port to which the men 
could direct their course. Observing the town of 
Santa Fe, on the river Parana, printed on the chart in 
capital letters, I pointed to it. 

Xone of us, except Maurizio, had ever been, up the 
Parana, and he only once. To confess the truth, our 
crew> with the exception of the Italians, were in a state 
of great alarm. For as the Government of Montevideo 
which alone was believed to be friendly to the Eio 
Grande Eepublic, had refused to recognize us, we 
might at any moment be dealt with as pirates. My 
own wretched plight, and the sight of Fiorentino's 
corpse, together with the fear Just now referred to, of 
being everywhere taken for pirates, produced a terror 
which showed itself in the looks of the crew, who, in 
fact, deserted on the first opportunity that offered. ITo 
boat or bird appeared on the horizon but was believed 
by these cowards to be an enemy sent to pursue them. 

Fiorentino's body was committed to the deep — the 
seaman's ordinary place of burial — with the ceremonies 
usual on such occasion, that is to say, with a farewell 
salute fired by his shipmates. For my own part, I 
must confess that this kind of burial was little to my 


liking ; but as I could not interfere with the rites paid 

to my comrade, and as in all probability I Mas soon 

to meet with a similar fate, I contented myself with 

calling my attached friend Luigi to me, that I might 

secure his help in case of need. In making my short 

but solemn appeal, I recited to my friend those beautiful 

lines of Ugo Foscolo — 

" Un sasso 
Che distingua le mie dall' infinite ossa, 
Che in terra e in mar semina morte ! " 

Luigi promised, with tears in his eyes, not to bury 
me at sea. Who knows whether, had the occasion 
arisen, he would have been able to keep his promise ; 
or whether my corpse would have tilled the hungry 
maw of some shark or alligator of the great La Plata 
Eiver ? Then indeed I should never again have beheld 
Italy, the idol of my whole existence, nor ever have 
fought for her. On the other hand, I should never have 
seen her relapse into shame and slavery. 

Wlio could have foretold that, before the year was 
ended, I should have seen my good, gallant, warm- 
hearted Luigi washed away by the surf, and should 
seek in vain for his body, that I might bury it in a 
foreign land, and with a stone mark the spot to the 
passer-by ? Poor Luigi ! During the whole voyage to 
Gualeguay he nursed me like a mother, and in my 
misery his friendly face and kindly care were my 
only comfort. 

( 41 ) 



I WISH to speak of Luigi. And why not ? Because lie' 
was a plebeian, horn one of the multitude who work 
for all? Because he was not one of the upper class,, 
who, as a rule, work for none and devour for many — 
of whom alone History cares to speak, not troubling 
herself about the common herd, whence, after all^ 
sprang Columbus, Volta, Linngeus, and Franklin ? 
Had not Luigi Carniglia a lofty soul — loft}' enough to 
maintain everywhere the honour of the Italian name,, 
to defy every danger for the sake of doing right, tO' 
watch over and care for me in misfortune, as if I had 
been his own child ? Wlien, helpless and weak with 
illness, on the point of being deserted by all, I lay 
raving in mortal delirium, Luigi sat beside me with 
untiring, gentlest patience. O Luigi, thy bones^ 
scattered through the abysses of ocean, deserved a 
monument where the grateful outla^^• might one day 
have repaid thee with a tear — on the sacred soil of Italy ! 
Luigi Carniglia was from Deiva, a little village oi^ 
the Eiviera, east of Genoa. He had received no literary 
instruction, in a country where the government and the- 


priests keep seventeen millions in ignorance of tlieir 
letters ; but he made up for tlie want of learning by 
superior intelligence. Though devoid of the .nautical 
knowledge necessary for a pilot, he steered the Luisa to 
Gualeguay, where lie had never been, with tlie skill and 
^success of a veteran. In the fight with the gunboats, it 
was chiefly OM'ing to him that we escaped. Armed with 
a blunderbuss, and standing in the post of greatest 
danger, he struck terror into our assailants. Robust 
and tall of stature, he combined great activity with 
extraordinary bodily strength, so that one might, with- 
out fear of exaggeration, have exclaimed, on seeing him, 
". That man is a match for ten ! " Most agreeable in 
tlie ordinary intercourse of life, he had the gift ot 
making himself beloved by every one with whom he 
'Caine in contact. One more martyr to Freedom — one 
of tlie many Italians destined to serve her everywhere 
•save in their own unhappy land ' 

( 43 ) 



It is strange tliat, in all my long military career, I 
.should never have been taken prisoner, although so 
often in positions of extreme danger. In our present 
circumstances, since our insurgent flag of the Rio 
Grande do Sul had not been recognized, we were sure 
to be made prisoners, in whatever place we landed. 
On arriving at Gualeguay, in the province of Entre Eios, 
we received much help from Captain Luca Tartabull, 
of the schooner Finto resect, of Buenos Ayres, and his 
passengers, all native,^ or inhabitants of the same place. 
Falling in with this vessel off the mouth of the Ibicuy, 
a small tributary of the river Gualeguay, Luigi was 
sent on board to ask for some provisions. The captain, 
who was also bound for Gualeguay, generously offered 
to accompany us thither, and, moreover, recommended 
Hie to. the governor of the province, Don Pascarel 
Echague ; who, though himself obliged to leave th© 
town, was kind enough to send me his own surgeon, 
Don Ramon del Area, a young Argentine, who at once 
extracted the ball remaining in my neck, and effected 
&> complete cure. 


I spent the six months of my stay in Gualeguay at 
the house of Don Jacinto Andreiis, and met with the 
greatest kindness and courtesy from that excellent man 
and his family. But I was not free I In spite of the 
good-will of Echague, and all the friendly interest shown 
l)y the people, I was not allowed to take my departure 
until the point had been submitted to the decision of 
the Dictator of Buenos Ayres, on whom the Governor of 
Entre-Eios was dependent. But it was not the habit 
of the dictator to decide anything. 

Wlien my wound healed, I began to take exercise, 
and was permitted to make excursions on horseback to- 
a distance of ten or twelve miles. Besides my board,, 
which I owed to the generosity of Don Jacinto, I was- 
allowed B,peso per day — a great sum for those countries, 
where slender incomes are the rule. But all this did 
not compensate for the liberty I had been deprived of. 
I had been given to understand by certain persons — 
whether insidiously or in good faith — that my disappear- 
ance would not be altogether displeasing to the govern- 
ment; and I incautiously resolved to escape, thinking- 
the execution of this plan less difficult, and the conse- 
quences less momentous, than afterwards proved to be 
the case, and believing, as I have said, that I should not 
be considered guilty of a very great crime. The 
commandant of Gualeguay was a certain Millan. He 
had treated me rather well than otherwise — this line of 
behaviour having been imposed on him by the provincial 
government — and had hitherto really given me no cause 
of complaint, though he did not show much interest 


in me. Being resolved, therefore, to depart, I made 
my preparations accordingly. One stormy evening, I 
set out for the honse of a good old man, whom I was 
in the habit of visiting at his residence, about three 
miles out of town. I explained my plan to him, and 
commissioned him to find me a guide who would supply 
horses and go with me as far as the Ibicuy, where I 
■hoped, without being recognized, to find a vessel to take 
•me across to Buenos Ayres or Montevideo. 

Having found a guide and horses, I set off across 
country, so as to escape notice. We had fifty-foiir miles 
to ride, which we did by night, and nearly all of it at 
a gallop. At daybreak we were in sight of the Ibicuy 
— that is, of the esfancia of the same name, lying about 
half a mile off. My guide then told me to wait for him 
in the wood where we were, while he went to make 
inquiries at the house. Accordingly, he started alone, 
and I remained behind, well content to give my limbs, 
which had suffered considerably from all this galloping, 
a little rest ; for, being a sailor, I was no great horseman. 
I dismounted, and tied my horse's bridle to one of the 
acacia trees, of which these woods are entirely composed, 
though they are so open that horsemen can freely pass 
under and through them. I waited a long time, 
.stretched on the ground, till at last, seeing that my 
guide did not appear, I walked to the edge of the wood 
and endeavoured to catcli sight of him, when I heard 
behind me the trampling of hoofs, and looking round, 
.perceived a troop of horsemen charging me with drawn 
sabres. They were already between my horse and me, 


so that any attempt at flight, and still more at resistance, 
was out of the question. They bound my hands behind 
me, and, having placed me on a wretched horse, tied 
my feet together under it ; and in this manner I wa» 
brought back to Oualeguay, where far worse treatment 
awaited me. I shudder whenever I recall this, the worst 
experience of my life. 

Being brought before Millau, who awaited us at the 
door of the prison, he asked me who had furnished me 
with the means of escape. Finding that I would tell 
him nothing, he fell to beating me most cruelly with a 
M'hip which he held in his hand ; and when I persisted 
in my refusals, he had me hung up by my hands to a 
rope, passed over one of the beams of the prison. Two 
hours of tliis torture did that scoundrel make me suffer 
— me who had devoted my whole life to the relief 
of sufferers, to war against despots and priests, the 
patrons and administrators of torture ! 

My body burned like a furnace, and the stomach 
dried up the water which a soldier was constantly pour- 
ing down my throat, as though it had been a red-hot 
iron. It was agony that cannot be described. When 
they loosed me, I had ceased to complain — I had fallen 
into a dead swoon. In this state they put me in irons. 
I had ridden over fifty-four miles of swamp, where the 
mosquitoes, at that time of year, are intolerable. WitU 
bound hands and feet, I had been compelled to endure 
helplessly, first, their attacks, and afterwards the tortures 
inflicted by Millan. I had indeed suffered sorely, aud 
now I was in irons, by the side of a murderer. 


Aiidreus, my benefactor, was in prison ; all tli& 
inhabitants of the village were panic-struck ; and had 
it not been for the generous devotion of a woman, I 
must have died. The Seiiora Aleman, an angel of virtue 
and goodness, undaunted by the prevailing fear, came 
to the succour of the tortured captive. Thanks to this- 
generous benefactress, I wanted for notliing during my 
imprisonment. A few days later I was taken to 
Bajada, the capital of the province, where I remained 
two months in prison. After this, the governor told me^ 
that I might go where I pleased. 

Although my principles differ from those of Echague, 
and I was fighting for another cause — that of freedom, 
and the Republic of Montevideo; whereas he was a 
lieutenant of the despot of Buenos Ayres, wdio was doing, 
his best to destroy them — in spite of all this, I say, 1 
must acknowledge the many obligations I owe him, and 
wish I could this day prove to him my gratitude for 
all, but more especially for my liberty, which, but for 
him, I might not have recovered for an indefinite period. 




From Bajada I took passage in a Genoese brigantiue, 
commanded by Captain Ventura — a man far superior 
to the common run of our seafaring countrymen, in 
most of whom, thanks to their Israelitish education, 
a mean self-interest is the mainspring of character. 
The self-interest I speak of is altogether different from 
that indispensable economy, the basis of honest living 
in every station, which makes the citizen, adapting 
himself to his circumstances, balance his expendi- 
ture with his income, and being able to sj)end, say 
ten, spend only eight; thus keeping a reserve fund, 
which not only makes him independent of others, but 
procures him the one incomparable pleasure of doing 
j^ood. Luxury, depraved appetites, and an inability to 
adapt one's self to his position and to a sober and 
lal)orious life, are the undoubted origin of that host of 
worthless sluggards who congregate at the feet of power 
and convert it into a nursery of rascality, a hotbed of 
spies and ill-doers of every kind. 

Captain Ventura, who treated me with a chivalrous 


generosity, took me as far as Guassu, at the junction of 
the Parana and La Plata, where I embarked for Monte- 
video on a palandra, also commanded by a Genoese, 
Pasquale Carbone, who likewise treated me with the 
greatest kindness. Neither good nor bad fortune ever 
comes singly, and as things were just then, it seemed 
as though the former were to be my uninterrupted lot. 

At Montevideo I found many friends, among them 
Eossetti, Cuneo, and Castellini, the first-named just 
returned from a voyage to Piio Grande, where he had 
been favourably received by all the citizens of that 
ardent republic. At Montevideo, however, I was still 
proscribed, on account of the affair with the gunboats, 
and forced to remain in hiding at the house of my friend 
Pesente, where I stayed a month. 

My state of seclusion was cheered by the visits of 
many Italian acquaintances, who in those times of 
prosperity for Montevideo — as always in time of peace — 
showed a courtesy and hospitality worthy of all praise. 
The war, especially the final siege, embittered the lives 
of these kind people, and greatly straitened their means. 

Accompanied by Eossetti, I left for the Eio Grande 
after a month at Montevideo, and greatly enjoyed this 
my first long journey on horseback. We reached Pira- 
tinim, where I was well received by the provisional 
Government of Eio Grande, established in this village 
as being a central point, and out of reach of imperialist 
raids. Nevertheless, the Government had already been 
obliged to pack the archives in waggons and follow the 
republican army to the field, sharing with the soldiers 

VuL. I. E 


the hardships and dangers of battle. This was the 
course followed by the Eepublican Government of the 
United States, when their capital, Philadelphia, was 
threatened by the English army ; and similar sacrifices 
must always be made by a nation that prefers hardship, 
privation, and peril to the degradation of becoming 
subject to a foreign power. 

Almeida, the minister of finance, simply but very 
gracefully offered me his hospitality. Bento Gonzales, 
President of the Eepublic, and commander-in-chief of 
the army, had marched at the head of a cavalry brigade 
to oppose the Brazilian general, Silva Tavares, who had 
passed the canal of San Gonpales, and was occupying 
the eastern part of the province. 

Piratinim, the seat at that time of the Eepublican 
Government, is only a small village, but pleasing from 
its Alpine situation. It is the capital of the depart- 
ment of the same name, and surrounded by a warlike 
population devotedly attached to the Eepublic. Finding 
nothing to do at Piratinim, I asked to be attached to 
the column of operation on the San Gonpales, and my 
request was granted. 

Having been presented to Bento Gonfales and very 
well received, I passed some time in the company of that 
extraordinary man, who, though nature had certainly 
endowed him with her choicest gifts, was almost con_ 
stantly thwarted by fortune — greatly to the advantage 
of the Brazilian empire. 

Bento Gonpales had been the true ideal of a brilliant 
and generous warrior, and was so still, though nearly 

•'^v FREEDOM. 51 

sixty years old, when I made his acquaintance. Tall 
and slightly made, he rode a spirited horse with the 
grace and dexterity of the youngest of his compatriots, 
who, as is well known, are reckoned among the best 
horsemen in the world. Of great personal bravery, he 
had repeatedly been victorious in single combat. His 
disposition was equally generous and modest, and I do 
not believe it was with any idea of personal aggrandize- 
ment that he incited Eio Grande to shake off the yoke 
of the empire. He was as temperate as any son of that 
valiant nation, subsisting, when on active service, on 
the same rations as the common soldier. Though this 
was the first time we had met, he shared with me his 
frugal repast, with as much good-fellowship as if I had 
been his equal, and lifelong friend. 

Thus gifted by nature, Bento was the idol of his 
fellow-citizens ; and yet he was almost invariably un- 
successful in battle — a circumstance which has always 
inclined me to think that chance counts for a great deal 
in the issues of war. One quality, indeed, was wanting 
in the gallant republican — that stubborn endurance in 
action, the lack of which I consider a very grave defect. 
Before giving battle, a general ought to think matters 
well over ; but, once engaged, he should never despair of 
victory till he has tried his utmost efforts and brought 
his very last reserves into action. 

I followed Bento as far as the Canudos (the cross- 
ing of the San Gon9ales Canal, which unites the lagoons 
of Patos and Merim), which had been passed by Silva 
Tavares, in escaping from the first brigade of the re- 


publican army, who were in close pursuit. Being 
unable to reach the enemy, the brigade retreated, and I 
returned to Piratinim in the President's suite. About 
the same time we received the news of the great repub- 
lican victory at Eio Pardo. 

( 53 ) 



T HAD orders to see to the arminj? of two gunboats, then 
in the Camacuan — a stream flowing into the Laguna dos 
Patos — and prepared to start from that place with some 
comrades who had accompanied me from Montevideo. 
Rossetti remained at Montevideo, busy editing the 
journal Povo [TJie People) — and certainly no man 
could be better qualified for managing a republican 

Arriving at Bento Gonzales' estancia on the Camacuan 
River, I found the gunboats, and armed them. One of 
them, the Bejmblicano, was to be commanded by the 
American, John Grigg, whom I found on the spot, 
he having assisted in the construction of the vessels. I 
myself took command of the larger vessel, the Bio 

We began by cruising about the lagoon and seizing a 
good-sized bark with a rich cargo, which we unloaded on 
the western shore, near Camacuan, setting fire to her, 
after removing everything capable of being turned to 
account in our slender arsenal. This first capture was a 
considerable acquisition to our small navy. The crews» 


who till then had been very badly off, now received a 
liberal share of the spoil, while some attention was 
likewise given to their clothing. 

The imperialists, who had hitherto despised us, now 
began to feel that we had a certain importance on the 
lagoon, and employed their numerous men-of-war in 
pursuing us. The life we were compelled to lead while 
fighting in this fashion was full of activity as well as of 
danger, from the greater number of the enemy, and their 
superiority in all warlike appliances. For all that, it 
was a glorious life, and exactly suited to my natural 
inclination for adventure. We were not confined to the 
sea, as, having seven horses on board, and being able to 
get as many more as we wanted, in a country where they 
are always extremely abundant, we were, when occasion 
required, transformed, not perhaps into a brilliant cavalr}- 
force, but still into one by no means to be despised. 

On the shores of the lagoon were certain estancias 
which had, in the vicissitudes of war, been abandoned 
by their proprietors, where we found cattle of every 
description, l^oth for slaughter and for riding. Besides 
this, nearly all these establishments had rossas (culti- 
vated lands), with abundance of vegetables — maize, 
beans, and sweet potatoes ; and frequently oranges, which 
in that region are excellent. 

My followers were a truly cosmopolitan crew, made 
up of all colours and nations. Those of them who were 
natives of America were mostly freed negroes or mulat- 
toes ; and these, on the whole, were the best and most 
trusty. Among the Europeans, I had seven Italians, all 


of them men to be reckoned on in an emergency, 
including Luigi and Edoardo Matru, my friend from 
boyhood. The rest of the crew belonged to that class of 
seafaring adventurers known on the Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts of America as freres de la cote — a class which, 
in former times supplied the pirates and buccaneers 
with crews, and has, even in our own day, furnished its 
contingent to the slave trade. In my inexperience 
of human nature — with its innate perversity, even in 
educated men, and still more in the ignorant — I 
treated my crew with perhaps excessive kindness. 
Undisciplined as they were, however, they certainly did 
not lack courage ; moreover, they obeyed me implicitly, 
and gave me little cause to be harsh with them. This 
satisfied me ; and I must confess that I have always had 
the same experience when in command of men of that 
stamp. Camacuan, where we had our little arsenal, was 
the base of operations of the republican fleet. The 
estates extending along the greater part of the river, and 
covering an immense acreage, were the residences of 
several influential families, among them those of Bento 
Gonpales and his brothers. 

This vast stretch of fine pasture-land was grazed over 
by immense herds of cattle, untouched by the war, being 
out of reach of the contending armies. The arable land, 
also, produced crops of every kind in abundance. Be it 
observed that in no part of the world can you find more 
frank and cordial hospitality than in the province of 
Rio Grande. But more especially in those houses, 
where, to a naturally benevolent character, the head of 


the family added sympathy with our opinions, we 
received a truly affectionate welcome. 

The estancias where we stopped most frequently, on 
account of their proximity to the lagoon, their convenience 
in other respects, and the reception that always awaited 
us, were those of Donna Antonia and Donna Anna, 
both sisters of Bento Gongales. Donna Antonia's house 
stood at the mouth of the Camacuan ; her sister's at that 
of the Arroyo Grande. I do not know whether my age 
influenced my imagination and predisposed me, being 
young and inexperienced, to embellish everything; I 
can, at any rate, assure the reader that no period of my 
life recurs more pleasantly to my recollection than that 
passed in the delightful society of these ladies and their 
families. Donna Anna's house, in particular, was a 
perfect paradise to us. This, lady, though advanced in 
years, retained singularly fascinating manners. She had 
staying with her the family of Don Paulo Ferreira, who 
had been forced by the war to remove from Pilotas, on 
the banks of the San Gonzales. Three young ladies, 
each more charming than the other, adorned that happy 
spot, and one of them, Manuela, reigned lady paramount 
of my heart. I never ceased to love her, though hope- 
lessly, for she was betrothed to the President's son. It 
was an ideal beauty I adored in that angelic form ; 
there was nothing profane in my love. On the occasion 
of a skirmish, when it was reported that I had been 
killed, I discovered that I was not altogether indifferent 
to her, which was enough to console me for the im- 
possibility of her ever being mine. For the rest, the 


people of Eio Grande, and especially the ladies, are 
endowed with a high type of personal beauty. Even 
the coloured slaves we saw in those numerous estab- 
lishments were not bad-looking. As may easily be 
imagined, we held high festival every time a contrary 
wind, a squall, or an expedition of any kind carried us 
in the direction of the Arroyo Grande. It was with 
heartfelt pleasure that we descried the group of tall 
tirivd palms which marked the entrance to the stream, 
and saluted them with noisy cheers. And when it fell 
to our lot to transport our hostesses to Camacuan, to 
visit Donna Antonia, and her charming company, then 
there was a hurrying to and fro, a busying one's self in 
attentions to the fair travellers, an eager rivalry in the 
display of devotion, respect, and veneration. 

Between the Arroyo Grande and Camacuan lay 
several sand-banks called puntal, which, starting from 
the western shore, extended at right angles to the same 
across the lagoon, reaching with their eastern extremity 
nearly to the opposite bank, from which they were 
separated by the channel called Dos Barcos. If we had 
been obliged to round these points in the transit from 
the Arroyo Grande to Camacuan, the journey would 
have been a rather long one ; but as, with a little trouble, 
it was possible to cross the banks — that is to say, by the 
crew jumping overboard and pushing the vessel with 
the whole force of their shoulders — this expedient was 
almost always adopted, especially when we were honoured 
by the presence of the ladies. Whatever the direction 
of the wind, our launches were run boldly on the bank, 


and the order " Al agua, patos!" (" Ducks to the water ! ") 
was scarcely given, when my shipmates were at their 
posts in the water, and I with them. 

Under such circumstances the order was always 
jubilantly obeyed ; and cheerfully enough even on 
other occasions. Sometimes the same manoeuvre be- 
came necessary when we were pursued by the enemy — 
whose force was always superior to our own — or over- 
taken by a tempest. Nay, sometimes we were forced 
to pass a whole night in the water, at a distance from 
the shore, with no protection against the waves dashing 
in from the sea ; or, in the rainy season, against the 
colder waters of the sky. At such times there was real 
suffering to face. "We required all the ardent courage of 
youth to carry us through without giving in. 

( 59 ) 



After our seizure of the schooner, no imperial merchant 
vessels set sail except under convoy, so that it was now 
a difficult matter to plunder them. The operations of 
our gunboats were therefore limited to cruising on the 
lake, without much success, pursued by the imperialists 
both afloat and ashore. 

A sudden attack made on us by Colonel Francisco de 
Abreus nearly put an end to our vessels and their 
voyages together. We were at the mouth of the 
Camacuan, with our gunboats beached in front of the 
galpon de charquenda (storehouse of a meat-curing 
establishment), which was at that time used for the 
stowage of yerba mate, the tea of South America. This 
building belonged to Donna Antonia, the president's 
sister. No meat was being cured at present, on account 
of the war, and the building was half filled with tea ; 
and, as it was very spacious, we used it as our arsenal, 
and beached the gunboats for repairs between it and the 

The establishment, though business was suspended, 
preserved all the appearance of its former importance. 


Its smiths and carpenters were still on the premises. The 
country, covered with underwood and forest, afforded 
charcoal in abundance ; nor was there any want of steel 
or iron, suitable to meet the requirements of our diminu- 
tive ships. If anything further was needed for our 
arsenal, one of us set off at a gallop, to call at the 
friendly estancias, more or less remote, some of which 
were well provided with all kinds of stores, to which we 
were made welcome. 

With courage, good-will, and perseverance, no enter- 
prise is impossible ; and here I must do justice to my 
comrade, John Grigg, who before my arrival had faced 
so many obstacles and overcome so many difficulties, in 
superintending the construction of the two gunboats. 
He was young, of unblemished character, tried courage, 
and infinite patience and perseverance. Belonging to a 
family in easy circumstances, he had generously devoted 
his life to the cause of the Eepublic. When a letter 
came from his relatives in the United States, asking him 
to return home, and announcing that he had succeeded 
to an enormous fortune, he had already met with a 
glorious death in the service of an unfortunate but 
gallant and generous nation. 

We had, as I said, beached the gunboats, and were 
working industriously at repairs. Part of the crew 
were busy with the sails and rigging ; others had gone to 
gather wood to make charcoal. All were occupied, those 
not actually at work being on guard or out exploring. 
Francisco de Abreus, commonly called Moringue, had 
on various occasions shown a desire to surprise us, and, 


indeed, had attempted to do so, — unsuccessfully, it is true, 
but not without causing us some alarm, for he was a 
bold and adventurous man, well acquainted with the 
Camacuan, which was his native district. This time 
he did surprise us in a way that was really masterly. 

All night we had been patrolling the country both on 
horse and foot, the rest of the men being assembled in 
the galpon, with arms loaded and ready. As the morn- 
ing was foggy, no one moved till it had completely 
cleared, when careful reconnaissances were made in all 
directions outside the camp. About 9 a.m., as nothing 
had been discovered, the scouts returned, and the men 
were sent to their respective posts, the greater number 
of them to cut wood, for which purpose they were 
obliged to go some distance into the forest. At that 
time I had about fifty men for the two gunboats ; but 
on this particular day, from one cause or another, only a 
very small number had remained near the vessels. 

I was seated near the fire, at which the breakfast was 
being got ready, drinking some mate handed me by the 
cook, who was the only man left near me. Our kitchen 
was in the open air, about forty yards from the galpon 
door. All of a sudden, and, as it seemed, at my very 
ear, I heard the drums beat the charge, and saw a crowd 
of imperialist horsemen ride up and close round me 
from behind. I started up and rushed at full speed to 
the entrance of the galpon, which I reached barely in 
time, for already my poncho was pierced by an enemy's 

It was fortunate that, having been on the alert all 


night, we had our rifles loaded and leaning against the 
wall inside the building, where I had no sooner got than 
I opened fire and brought down several of the enemy. 
At first I was alone ; but Ignazio Eilbao, a Biscayan, 

and Lorenzo N , a Genoese, both brave officers, were 

at my side in a moment ; then Edoardo Matru, Natale, 
Eaffaelle and Procopio — both freed slaves, one a mulatto, 
the other a negro — and a mulatto boatswain called 
Francisco. I wish I could recall the names of all the 
gallant fellows, fourteen in number, who fought for 
several hours against 150 enemies, killing and wound- 
ing so many that at last we got rid of them altogether. 
Among our assailants were eighty Austrian infantry, 
who usually accompanied Moringue on similar expedi- 
tions, and were excellent soldiers, both on foot and on 
horseback. On their arrival, they had dismounted and 
surrounded the house, taking advantage of the cover 
afforded by the inequalities of the ground, and a few 
shrubs and small huts wMch stood near the principal 
building. This manoBuvre of theirs was our salvation ; 
for, although they kept up a terrible fire^ against us — 
that is, against the main door — it is invariably the case 
in surprises that the least hesitation entails almost 
certain failure. If the enemy, instead of taking position, 
had advanced at once and resolutely attacked the galpon, 
all would have been over with us, our small number 
being quite incapable of resisting so many, and the side 
doors of the galpon (which we had always left open for 
fear the enemy should imagine we were afraid) wide 
enough for a loaded waggon to pass through. 


In vain they advanced in crowds against the entire 
circuit of the walls, and even clambered on the roof, 
throwing down blazing faggots and pieces of the rafters 
on our heads. Thence they were dislodged by musket- 
shots and lance-thrusts through the loopholes we had 
made in the walls, many being killed and wounded. 
To make our numbers seem larger, we shouted aloud 
the republican hymn of Eio Grande (" War, war ! 
fire, fire! against the barbarous tyrants, and also 
against the patricians who are not republicans ! "), while 
two of our strongest men stood, lance in hand, at each 
doorway, the steel projecting outside, which damped 
the enemy's eagerness for the charge. About 3 p.m. 
they retreated, with many wounded, among them the 
general with ' a broken arm ; and leaving six corpses 
close to the galpon, and others at various distances. 
Meanwhile, eight of our fourteen were wounded, and 
Eossetti, Luigi, and the rest of our band, being either 
absent or destitute of arms, could lend us no assist- 
ance. Indeed, some, to their bitter mortification, 
were forced to swim the river, closely pursued by the 
enemy, while others took to the woods. One, caught 
alone and unarmed, was killed on the spot. 
■ The brilliant result of this fight against overwhelming 
odds gave increased confidence both to our men and to 
the inhabitants of the coast, who had long been exposed 
to the raids of that bold and crafty leader. Moringue 
was unquestionably the best of the imperialist generals, 
excelling especially in night attacks, wherein he showed 
both a perfect knowledge of the country and people, 


and an unfailinjr shrewdness and intrepidity. Himself 
a Eio Grande man, he did great injury to the cause of 
the Republic, and it was in a great measure to him that 
the empire owed the submission of that province. 

Meanwhile, we were celebrating our victory, well 
pleased at our escape from so violent a storm. Twelve 
miles away, at Donna Antonia's estancia, a young girl 
asked eagerly for news of me — a circumstance it made 
me very happy to hear of. Yes ! loveliest daughter of 
Eio Grande, I was happy to have been, even so far, an 
object of thy solicitude. Thou wast destined to become 
the wife of another man. For me Fate was reserving 
another Brazilian maiden, who was all the world to 
me — whom I mourn to-day, and shall mourn all my 
life. She too knew me in misfortune, and loved me, 
perhaps, rather for my misfortunes than for my deserts. 
It was adversity that consecrated her mine for ever. 

( 65 ) 



After the incident above recorded, little or nothing of 
importance happened in the Laguna dos Patos. We 
began to build two new gunboats, getting the necessary 
materials from the remains of our prizes, and receiving 
help from the neighbouring inhabitants, who were 
always friendly and well-disposed. Wlien our new 
vessels were completed and armed, we were summoned 
to Itapua, to co-operate with the army then besieging 
Porto Alegre, the capital of the province. But for 
want of artillery the army could do nothing, and we 
likewise were compelled to remain inactive all the time 
we were in that neighbourhood. An expedition being 
proposed into the province of Santa Caterina, I was 
called upon to take part, accompanying General 
Canabarro, who was to take command. The two 
smaller gunboats remained in the lagoon under the 
orders of ZefBrino d'Utra; and I, with the other two, 
accompanied Canabarro's division — he to operate by 
land, and I by sea. I had Grigg with me, as well as 
a chosen band of our comrades. 

The Laguna dos Patos is 135 miles long, and, on an 

VOL. I. F 


average, between fifteen and twenty broad. On the 
right bank of the channel which leads from the eastern 
end of the lagoon to the sea stands Eio Grande do Sul, 
a fortress quite as important as the capital On the 
other side is Eio Grande do Norte, also a fortified town. 
Both of them, as well as Porte Alegre, were at the time 
in the hands of the imperialists, who thus commanded 
the only outlet of the lagoon. It was consequently 
impossible for us to pass out to sea, and we were, 
therefore, obliged to transport our vessels on wheeled 
carts, constructed for the purpose. It may be seen 
from this that the largest were of very trifling size. 

On the north-eastern side of the lagoon there is a 
deep bay called Capibari, so called from a small stream 
flowing into it, which in its turn takes its name from 
the capyhara, a kind of amphibious wild hog very 
common in these regions. This spot, was chosen for 
beaching the gunboats and hoisting them on wheels, 
which operation was, in fact, carried out on the right 
bank of the stream. 

A resident in that part of tlie province, named De 
Abreu, had prepared eight wheels of great solidity, 
each pair being connected by an axle of a strength 
proportioned to the weight of the boats. Having got 
together about two hundred draught-oxen, we brought 
the gunboats close to the shore, and put the wheels 
under them in the water, at a due distance from one 
another with regard to the weight they had to carry. 
The axles were then slipped under the vessels in such 
a manner as not to interfere with the free action of the 


wheels, and, the oxen being attached with strong traces, 
the republican ships gradually emerged from the water 
and were seen sailing over the plain. Having then 
been adjusted with more ease and exactness than had 
before been possible, they travelled in this fashion, 
without obstruction, for fifty-four miles— presenting 
a curious spectacle to the few inhabitants of the country 
— to the shores of Lake Taramanday, where they were 
hauled down, equipped, and got ready for sailing. 

Lake Taramanday, formed by the streams draining 
the eastern slope of the wooded Serra do Espinasso,* 
discharges its waters into the Atlantic by an opening 
so shallow as to have, even at high tide, no more than 
four feet of water. Add to this that, off that alluvial 
coast, inhospitable as the Sahara itself, the sea is 
continually agitated by the perpetual breezes of the 
torrid zone, and the roar of the tremendous surf is 
heard by the inhabitants many miles inland, sounding 
like distant thunder, while the sight is dazzled by 
clouds of wind-blown spray and sand. 

* The " backbone " of Brazil — running parallel to the east coast, 
and covered with one of the finest and most extensive forests in the 




We were now ready to start, and only waited for the 
flood-tide. It was four o'clock in the afternoon before 
we got under way. Had it not been for our previous 
practice in launching through breakers, I do not know 
how we could have got our barks afloat; for, though 
we had chosen the exact time of high tide, the depth 
of water was barely sufiicient. Before nightfall, how- 
ever, our efforts were crowned with complete success, 
and we cast anchor in the Atlantic, outside the heavy- 
surf, at a distance of about six hundred yards from 
land. It should be borne in mind that no vessel of 
any kind had ever got out of Taramanday before. 

About 8 p.m. we set sail, with a light breeze from 
the south, which gradually increased to a gale; and 
by 3 p m. on the following day we had been wrecked 
near the mouth of the River Areringua, sixteen of our 
crew drowned, and the Eio Pardo, which I commanded, 
shattered to pieces in the raging Atlantic surf. 

On leaving Taramanday, the wind, continuing to 
blow from the south, gradually strengthened, and 
menaced danger. Besides her crew of thirty hands, 
the Rio Pardo had on board a 12-pounder swivel, and 


a large quantity of provisions and other stores. These 
I had shipped, not knowing what straits we might be 
put to in the hostile country where we were about to 
land. The vessel was consequently out of trim, and 
was sometimes so overmastered by the sea that for a 
while we were submerged, and it was several minutes 
before we could get clear of the waves. The perilous 
situation of the little craft, which threatened at any 
moment to capsize and go down, made us determine 
to approach the coast at all hazards, and run her 
ashore. But the wind and sea, continually increasing 
in fury, gave us no time to choose our ground. A 
terrible wave broke over us. I happened, at the 
moment, to be at the fore-masthead, looking out for a 
place where we might take the ground with less danger. 
The ship heeled over to starboard, and I was thus 
flung off to some distance in that direction. I re- 
member well that, though in a position of great danger, 
I had no apprehension of death. I knew that many 
of my companions, unaccustomed to the sea, were 
below, prostrated with sea-sickness. The thought was 
agony. I got together as many oars and other floating 
objects as I could, brought them close to the ship, and 
recommended each man to take one to keep him afloat 
and assist him in gaining the shore. The first man I 
fell in with was Edoardo Matru, my companion from 
boyhood, to whom I pushed a hatch, telling him not 
to let it go on any account. He had been clinging to 
a stay on the submerged side of the ship, by seizing 
which I was able to climb once more on board. 


Luigi Carniglia, the brave boatswain, who was at 
the helm when the disaster took place, had remained 
holding on to the deck about the port quarter — that is, 
the side which was uppermost. Unfortunately, the 
thick jacket of heavy woollen stuff which he had on, 
so clung to him, being soaked with water, that it was 
impossible for him to take it off, all his efforts being 
needed to save himself from being washed away. He 
signalled to me, and I hastened at once to my friend's 
assistance. , With a little white-handled clasp-knife, 
which I got out of my trousers-pocket, I began with 
all my strength to cut the velvet collar. I had 
accomplished this, and was making another effort to 
undo the stitches or tear the garment down the back, 
when a crested wave broke over us with a tremendous 
crash, shattering the vessel to pieces, and sweeping 
away all who still clung to her. I was shot to the 
bottom of the sea like a projectile, and when I came 
up again, stunned by the blow and choked by the 
waves, my unfortunate friend had disappeared for ever. 

My activity during this catastrophe may seem 
strange to landsmen; a sailor, however, will see 
nothing extraordinary in it, bearing in mind that, in 
a storm, three heavy waves are generally followed by 
a moment of calm ; and it was during this interval 
that I was able to help my companions. 

When I rose to the surface, I saw some of my 
scattered companions doing their best to gain the 
shore, and to save myself I had to follow their 
example. A swimmer from my earliest childhood, I 


was the first to reach land. As soon as my feet touched 
ground, I turned back to learn the fate of the others, 
and saw Edoardo not far off. He had relinquished 
his hold of the hatch, or rather it had been torn 
from his grasp by the violence of the sea. He was 
swimming, indeed, but the efforts he made showed 
the extreme exhaustion to which he was reduced. I 
loved Edoardo like a brother, and his desperate con- 
dition distressed me beyond measure. It seems to 
me that in those days, I was more sensitive and 
generous than I am now. Hearts grow cold and callous 
with years and troubles. I sprang towards my friend 
to push him a spar, which had helped to save me. 
Already I had almost reached him, and, urged on by 
the greatness of the stake, I should have saved him — 
what a joy it would have been ! too great ! — if it had 
not been for a wave that covered us both. A moment 
later I floated to the surface, and, not seeing him, called 
him — called again desperately, but in vain. My early 
friend was swallowed up in the abysses of that ocean 
which he had not shrunk from crossing in order to be 
with me, and to serve the cause of a nation. One more 
martyr to Italian liberty, without a stone to mark liis 
resting-place beneath the sands of the New World. 

The bodies of sixteen of my shipmates shared the 
same fate. EnguKed by the sea, they were swept by 
the currents to a distance of thirty miles northward, 
and there buried in the sands of the coast. I was the 
only Italian surviving ; the other six had all perished 
— Luigi Carniglia, Edoardo Matru, Luigi Staderini, 


Giovanni D , and two others whose names I do 

not remember, all strong and brave young fellows. 
The survivors, fourteen in number, had all landed, one 
by one. In vain I looked among them for an Italian 
face; aU were gone. I felt absolutely alone in the 
world, and was quite beside myself; the life I had 
made such efforts to save seemed a wortliless thing 
after all. Many mere landsmen, quite unable to swim, 
had escaped. Explain it who can ! Besides my Italian 
comrades, I had lost others who were very dear : two 
freed slaves, a mulatto and a negro, Kaffaelle and Pro- 
copio, brave and faithful hearts both of them. 

A cask of brandy being washed ashore at the same 
time with us, I thought this a piece of great good 
fortune, and said to Manuel Kodriguez, a Catalan 
officer, " Let us contrive to open it, and keep up our 
strength and that of our friends who are just landing." 
We set to work to force out the bung, but while trying 
to do this we grew so benumbed with cold that, had we 
not luckily taken to running, we should certainly have 
dropped where we stood, overpowered with fatigue and 

As our clothes were wet through, and the wind was 
biting, this was natural enough. We ran and ran 
mechanically, southward along the coast, encouraging 
each other to keep on. A ridge of sandhills that 
skirted the beach protected us a Httle from the violence 
of the wind. On the inner side of this ridge was the 
Areringua, an unimportant stream with a northerly 
course, parallel to the shore for a short distance, till it 


turned and flowed into the sea. We followed the right 
bank of this stream for about four miles, till we came 
to an inhabited house, where we met with a most 
hospitable reception. This house stood just within that 
immense and majestic forest which covers the mountains 
of Southern Brazil, and is certainly one of the largest in 
the world. It was a cabin erected within a small clear- 
ing, and inhabited by father, mother, and child. All 
around rose magnificent trees, the growth of centuries, 
and in one corner of the clearing was an orchard of 
oranges and lemons, the finest I ever saw, the fruit 
being perfectly marvellous. A pleasing surprise for 
shipwrecked mariners ! 





The second of our cruisers, the Seival (commanded by 
Grigg), was more fortunate. Though not much larger, 
she was better built than the Rio Grande, and thus able 
to weather the violence of the storm, and reach her des- 
tination in safety. Fortunately for us, that part of the 
province of Santa Caterina where we had been wrecked 
had risen against the empire on receiving tidings of the 
approach of the republican forces, so that we not only 
found friends, but were regularly feted, and supplied 
if not with all we needed, yet at least with all that 
the generous inhabitants could offer. "We at once 
procured the means of transport to join General 
Canabarro's vanguard, which, under the command of 
Colonel Teixeira, was advancing by forced marches on 
the town of Laguna (situated on the shore of the 
Laguna Santa Caterina), in hopes of surprising it. 

In fact, the little town did not stand a long siege ; 
the garrison of about four hundred men retreated north- 
ward, and three small men-of-war were surrendered 
after a slight resistance. I took up my post, with my 
shipwrecked comrades, on board the topsail schooner 
Jtajpai-ica, of seven guns. 


During the first few days of our occupation, fortune 
so smiled upon the republicans that it seemed as 
though she designed to overwhelm us with kindness. 
The imperialists, neither aware of nor believing in so 
sudden an invasion, but informed that such an expedi- 
tion was intended, showed great energy in sending 
arms, ammunition, and men to Laguna, all of which, 
arriving after us, consequently fell into our hands. 

The townsmen of Caterina welcomed us as brothers 
and deliverers — a character which, unfortunately, it 
was not in our power to keep up during the whole of 
our stay among them. 

General Canabarro established his head-quarters in 
the town of Laguna, to which the republicans had 
given the name of Villa Juliana, having conquered it 
in the month of July. I say advisedly conquered, 
since our behaviour in those regions, where we ought 
to have acted as brothers, was indeed that of conquerors. 
Immediately after our entry, a provincial republican 
government was set up, a priest of much influence 
among the people being the first president. Eossetti, 
with the title of Secretary of State, was really the 
mainspring of the government ; and for such a position 
Eossetti was just the man. 

Everything was going on admirably. Colonel Teixeira 
— a brave officer — having, with his gallant advance 
column, pursued the fiying enemy till he had shut 
them up in the provincial capital, had proceeded to 
make himself master of the greater part of its outlying 
villages and territory. In every place our men were 


received with open arms, and we enrolled numbers of 
imperialist deserters, wlio passed at once into the 
service of the Eepublic. No end of fine projects were 
devised by General Canabarro, a brave and honest 
republican soldier, a little rough, but kind-hearted — 
noticeably so in those troublous times. It was a 
favourite saying of his that a hydra should rise from 
the lagoon to devour the empire ; and perhaps it would 
have proved true, had our fortunate expedition been set 
about with more judgment and better arrangements. 
But our haughty bearing towards the good people of 
Caterina — our friends at first, and afterwards our bitter 
enemies — the insufficiency of the means employed in 
so important an expedition, and perhaps some jealousy 
and ill-will towards our general on the part of those 
who should have done their best to co-operate with and 
support him, led to our losing the fruits of a most 
brilliant campaign, which might have brought about 
the fall of an empire and the triumph of the republican 
principle over the whole American continent. 

( 77 ) 



General Canabarro having decided that I was to leave 
the lagoon with three armed cruisers, and attack the 
imperial forces on the coast of Brazil, I prepared for 
the work by collecting all materials necessary for the 
equipment of my vessels. 

At this time took place one of the supreme events of 
my life. 

I had never thought of marriage, believing myself 
entirely unsuited to such a life on account of my 
independent spirit and love of adventure. To have 
a wife and children seemed to me entirely forbidden 
to a man absolutely devoted to a principle — a principle 
which, however excellent, would not allow me, while 
fighting for it with aU the ardour of which I felt myself 
capable, to enjoy the quiet and stability necessary for 
the father of a family. Destiny decided otherwise. 
The loss of Luigi, Edoardo, and others of my country- 
men, had left me utterly isolated ; I felt quite alone in 
the world. Of all the friends who had made those 
desolate regions like home to me, not one was left, 
I was not intimate with any of my new companions ; 


indeed, I scarcely knew them. 1 have always felt the 
need of a friend in my life ; but among these I could 
find none. Moreover, the change in my position had 
come about in a manner so unexpected and so horrible, 
that it was long before I could recover from the blow. 
Rossetti, the only man who could have filled the void 
in my heart, was far away, busied in getting the 
machinery of the new state into working order; I 
could not, therefore, have the enjoyment of his society. 
In short, I needed a human heart to love me, one that 
I could keep always near me. I felt that unless I 
found one immediately, life would become intolerable. 
Young as I was, I had enough knowledge of human 
nature to be well aware how difficult it is to find a real 
friend. ... A woman ! Yes, I have always believed 
women to be the most perfect of God's creatures ; and, 
whatever men may say, I think it is infinitely easier to 
find a loving heart among them than among us. 

Walking up and down the quarter-deck of the Itajpa- 
rica, wrapped in my own gloomy thoughts, I came, after 
trying every species of argument, to the conclusion that 
I would look out for a woman, so as to escape from a 
position of intolerable weariness and discomfort. 

By chance I cast my eyes towards the houses on the 
Barra — a tolerably liigh hill on the soutli side of the en- 
trance to the lagoon, where a few simple and picturesque 
dwellings were visible. Outside one of these, by means 
of the telescope I usually carried with me when on deck, 
I espied a young woman, and forthwith gave orders for 
the boat to be got out, as I wished to go ashore, I 

IN LOVE. 79 

landed, and, making for the houses where I expected to 
find the object of my excursion, I had just given up all 
hope of seeing her agaia, when I met an inhabitant of 
the place, whose acquaintance I had made soon after 
our arrival. 

He invited me to take coffee in his house ; we entered, 
and the first person who met my eyes was the damsel 
who had attracted me ashore. It was Anita, the 
mother of my children, who shared my life for better, 
for worse — the wife whose courage I have so often felt 
the loss of. We both remained enraptured and silent, 
gazing on one another like two people who meet not 
for the first time, and seek in each other's faces some- 
thing which makes it easier to recall the forgotten past. 
At last I greeted her by saying, " Thou oughtest to be 
mine ! " I could speak but little Portuguese, and 
uttered the bold words in Italian. Yet my insolence 
was magnetic. I had formed a tie, pronounced a decree, 
which death alone could annul. I had come upon a 
forbidden treasure, but yet a treasure of great price. 

If guilt there was, it was mine alone. And there 
was guilt. Two hearts were joined in an infinite love ; 
but an innocent existence was shattered. She is dead ; 
I am wretched ; and he is avenged — yes, avenged ! On 
the day when, vainly hoping to bring her back to life, 
I clasped the hand of a corpse, with bitter tears of 
despair, then I knew the evil I had wrought. I sinned 
greatly, but I sinned alone. 




The three gunboats destined to cruise on the Atlantic 
were the Bio Pardo (a new vessel which had received 
the name of the wrecked one), commanded by me, the 
Cassapara, under Grigg — both topsail schooners — and 
the Seival* a gunboat brought over on wheels from 
the Laguna dos Patos, and commanded by the Italian, 
Lorenzo. The entrance to the lagoon of Santa Caterina 
was blockaded by imperial men-of-war. We got out by 
night, unperceived, and steered northward. Off Santos 
we met with an imperial corvette, which pursued us in 
vain for two days. The Brazilian vessels were certainly 
not so well of&cered as in the Paraguay campaign. In- 
deed, if they had had a capable commander, the poor little 
republican boats would have been knocked to pieces in 
a few hours ; for we had in all only three small guns, 
one to each boat, two nine-pounders, and one twelve- 
pounder ; while the corvette had twenty large guns in 
a covered battery, and was a regular man-of-war. On 
the first day, we threatened to board her ; and, after a 
great deal of cannonading, she stood away leaving us in 

* These three vessels were named after republican victories. 


possession of the sea, Next day, when we kept closer 
to shore, a heavy squall from the south put an end to 
the semblance of a combat, which, being carried on at 
no great distance, in a heavy sea, ended with no result 
either way. 

After this we touched at the Ilha do Abrigo, where 
we took two brigantines laden with rice. Pursuing our 
course, we made other prizes, among them a brigantine 
already plundered by Grigg, who had put a few of his 
men on board as a prize crew. These had been attacked 
by the Brazilian crew, and put in irons, to be carried 
prisoners to the enemy's head-quarters. It was a stroke 
of good luck for our friends thus to fall in our way. 

We returned to the lagoon after a week's absence. 
I had a presentiment that we should fare badly in those 
parts, as, even before our departure, the people of Cate- 
^ rina had shown us no good- will, and it was known that 
a strong body of imperial troops was advancing from the 
north, under the command of General Andrea, famous 
for the pacification of the Para, and the atrocious 
system of repression practised by him in that province. 
On our return to the lagoon, we met with an armed Bra- 
zilian pataclio off Santa Caterina. We had only the Bio 
Pardo and the Seival, the Cassapara having separated 
from us on a dark night several days before. We were 
sailing towards the Laguna di Santa Caterina, with a 
strong breeze astern, when the patacho was sighted ahead 
of us, apparently cruising eastward from the island of 
the same name. We made out that she was sailing as 
close as she could to the wind, which was off her port 
VOL. I. a 


quarter. She carried seven guns, and was built for a 
man-of-war. The Bio Parch, with only one nine- 
pounder amidships, was a small merchant schooner, 
without any of the necessary warlike equipments. 
However, we had to put a good face on the matter, and, 
liaving signalled to the prizes, three in number, to make 
for Imbituba, the Rio Pardo got within musket-shot of 
the pataclio, luffed to port, and opened fire on the 
<3nemy. The ^pataclw replied gallantly, though the fight 
could have little or no result, as the sea was running 
very high — so much so that we mostly had our star- 
board gunwale under water, and the utmost damage 
they could do was to make a few holes in our sails. 
The result of the fight was our loss of two prizes, one of 
which ran ashore, and the other — her commander 
having lost his presence of mind — struck her colours. 
One prize only was saved — that commanded by a 
gallant Biscayan ofiicer, Ignazio Bilbao ; she anchored 
in the port of Imbituba, occupied by our forces. The 
little Seival, whose one gun had got dismounted during 
the action, took the same course, so that I also was 
forced to make for Imbituba, with a north-easterly wind, 
which during the night veered round to south. With 
such a wind, it was impossible to enter the lagoon, and 
in any case the imperial men-of-war stationed off the 
island of Santa Caterina, warned by the Andurinha (the 
vessel with which we had been engaged), would have 
attacked us. "We had, therefore, to prepare for combat. 
The dismounted gun of the Seival was placed on a 
promontory forming the eastern side of the bay of 


Imbituba, where we threw up an earthwork. This work 
was completed during the night, and at daybreak three 
imperial vessels were discovered bearing down on us. 
The Bio Pardo was run close in shore at the . head of 
the bay, and a very unequal combat began, the imperial 
forces being beyond comparison the stronger. The 
■enemy, favoured by the sMght wind blowing out of the 
bay, kept all sail set, with short braces, and cannonaded 
us furiously, being able to direct their fire — which was 
all concentrated on my poor solitary vessel, the Bio 
Pardo — at any angle they pleased. The fight was 
carried on, nevertheless, with the greatest resolution on 
our part, and at close quarters, a musketry fire soon 
being opened on both sides. Our losses certainly were 
in inverse ratio to our strength. Our deck was already 
covered mth dead and wounded ; the Bio Pardo' s sides 
riddled with shot, and her rigging quite destroyed. We 
had resolved to fight to the last — a resolve which was 
strengthened by the sight of the Brazilian Amazon, 
Anita, who not only refused to leave the vessel, but bore 
a glorious part in the conflict. While we fought thus 
resolutely, we received no slight assistance from the 
skilful and effective fire which the gallant Manuel 
Eodriguez kept up from our gun on the shore. 

The enemy were most persistent in attacking the 
Bio Pardo, and several times approached so near that I 
quite expected them to board us. We were prepared 
for anything but surrender. At last, after several hours' 
obstinate fighting, to our great surprise the enemy 
retired. We afterwards heard that the reason of this 


retreat was the loss of the commander of the Belle 
Americaine, one of their largest vessels. We spent the 
rest of the day in burying our dead, and repairing the 
worst of the injuries sustained by the Rio Pardo. Next 
day the enemy kept at a distance from us, preparing for 
a new fight. We waited till night, and then, protected 
by the darkness, weighed anchor for Laguna, the south 
wind having fallen to a calm. 

With nightfall we had silently shipped the cannon 
which had been on shore, and by the time the enemy 
perceived our departure, were already some distance off. 
It was only on the morning of the following day that 
they overtook and fired some shots at us, which all 

We entered the lagoon of Santa Caterina, to be received 
with the greatest joy by our friends, who were at a loss 
to understand how we had been able to escape from a 
force so superior to our own. 

( 85 ) 



Business of a different and very serious kind was 
awaiting us at Laguna. The enemy's advance with a 
strong land force, and the overbearing manner in which 
we had treated the people of Santa Caterina, incited 
certain of the inhabitants of the adjacent country to 
rise against the Eepublie, and among others those of 
the village of Imiriu at the south-western corner of the 
lake. General Canabarro entrusted me with the odious 
task of reducing this district, and ravaging it as a punish- 
ment. I was obliged to obey orders, but, even under 
a republican government, passive obedience goes very 
much against the grain. The garrison and inhabi- 
tants having made preparations for defending the lake- 
shore, I landed three miles to the east of the town, and 
attacked it suddenly from the mountains — that is, in the 
rear. Having defeated and put to flight the garrison, the 
place remained in our hands. I hope — as assuredly every 
man would who had not forgotten his manhood — that I 
may never have to sack another town. The fullest 
narrative of such misdeeds can give but a very im- 
perfect notion of their hideous foulness and wickedness. 
I never, before or after, passed a day of such remorse. 


and such disgust with my species. The loathing and 
fatigue experienced on that miserable day in attempting 
to restrain, at least, violence to the persons of the 
citizens, were unspeakable. It was only by free use of 
the sabre, and at tlie risk of my own life, that I suc- 
ceeded at all. As to property of every description, 
it was impossible to avoid the most frightful disorders. 
Neither my authority as commander, nor the exertions 
of myself and the few officers not carried away by the 
mad Ivist of plunder, were of any avail. AVe caused a 
rumour to be spread that the enemy was returning to 
the attack in greater numbers than before, but to 
no purpose ; though if he really had appeared, he 
must have effected a terrible slaughter of our men, 
coming upon them by surprise while they were dis- 
banded and drunken, Nor was the rumour without 
foundation, since the enemy's forces were \dsible on 
the heights, though tliey did not venture to attack us. 
Nothing availed to stop the plundering ; and, most 
unhappily, the town, though small, was the magazine 
whence most of the inhabitants of the neighbouring 
hills drew their supplies, and consequently well provided 
with storef of every kind, especially spirituous liquors, 
so that the intoxication was general. Be it noted that 
I did not know the men who had landed with me ; for 
the most part they were a raw levy, utterly undis- 
ciplined. If fifty imperialists had attacked us under the 
circumstances, it would most assuredly have been all 
up with us. 

At last, by dint of threats and blows, and even cutting 


down a few of the most insubordinate, I succeeded in 
getting those unchained wild beasts on board again. 
We also shipped some provisions, and a few casks of 
brandy for the division, and returned to Laguna. 

The following incident may serve to show the class 
of men I had to deal with on this expedition. A 
German sergeant, much looked up to by the soldiers, 
had been killed at Imiriu. I gave orders for his burial ; 
but, as the soldiers had other matters to attend to, they 
insisted on bringing the corpse on board, alleging that 
the gallant fellow deserved an honourable funeral at 
Laguna. After we started, I was walking up and down 
the deck, when I noticed a light in the hold, where the 
greater part of our men were lodged during the voyage. 
Looking down the hatchway, I saw the corpse of the 
sergeant, a tall, stout man, stretched out in the midst of 
a crowd, whose countenances, flushed with wine, were 
anything but pleasant to contemplate. The brutal faces, 
seen by the light of tallow candles stuck in bottles 
placed on the breast of the corpse, seemed those of 
demons playing at dice for souls. As such I remember 
them, the plunderers of Imiriu, gambling away their 
Jjooty across their comrade's dead body. 

Meanwhile our van, under Colonel Teixeira was 
retreating before a strong force of the enemy, which 
advanced rapidly from the north. We began to trans- 
port the baggage of the division to the right bank of the 
Barra, and had soon to turn our thoughts to the trans- 
jjort of the troops themselves. 




On the day of our retreat, when our whole division, 
with a large quantity of stores, was being conveyed to 
the right bank, I had my full share of work ; for, 
though our men were not very numerous, the greater 
part of them were cavalry, and tlie stretch of water 
to be crossed was very wide and full of currents. 
I worked from early morning till about noon, using 
as many boats as I could get to ferry them all across. 
I then ascended a height near the entrance of the 
lagoon, to watch the enemy's ships, which, crowded 
with troops, w^ere advancing in conjunction with the 
land force. 

Before ascending the hill, I sent word to the general 
that the enemy was preparing to force the entrance of 
the Barra — being certain that such was his intention, 
from what I had observed of the movements of his 
fleet while I was conducting the passage of our troops. 
From the top of the hill I was able to assure myself 
that this was indeed the case. The enemy's ships were 
twenty-two in number — vessels of no great draught, 
but suited to the depth of water in the entrance of the 


lagoon. I therefore immediately repeated my warning 
to Canabarro, there being, in fact, no time to lose. But 
— whether it was due to indecision on the part of the 
General, or whether the men really stood in absolute need 
of food and rest — no one arrived to take part in the 
defence of the Barra ; though, if our infantry had been 
properly posted, they must have made havoc among the 
•enemy. So far from this being done, the only resistance 
offered came from the battery on the eastern point, 
<iommanded by the brave Captain Esposto, which, 
however, tlirough the bad state of the guns, and want 
of practice on the part of the gunners, did very little 
damage. Similar difficulties were experienced on board 
the three small republican vessels commanded by 
myself. These had been short-handed from the first, 
and on that day many — and those the picked men of the 
crew — were engaged in transporting the remnant of the 
division. Others remained mutinously on shore, not 
choosing to expose themselves to the risk of hard 
fighting at heavy odds. I descended the hill, and was 
soon at my post on board the Rio Pardo. When I 
arrived, my Anita had already, with her wonted fearless- 
ness, levelled and fired the first cannon, while her words 
reanimated the flagging spirits of the crew. 

The figlit was short, but decisive. We did not lose 
a large number of men, having so few on board ; but of 
the officers on the three vessels, I was the only one 
left alive. The enemy's whole squadron entered the 
lagoon, keeping up an incessant and vigorous fire with 
firtillery and small arms. The wind and tide being 


in their favour redoubled their speed; and they sus-* 
tained very little injury, and cast anchor within gun- 
shot, continuing to bombard us with pieces of heavier 
calibre than our o'wn. 

I asked General Cauabarro for men to continue the' 
combat ;. but the only answer I got was an order to 
set fire to the vessels, and retire on shore with the crews* 
I had sent Anita with this message, charging her not 
to return to the ship ; but she would not send the 
answer — she came back with it herself. Indeed, it was 
entirely owing to her admirable coolness that I was 
able to save any of the ammunition. 

The order to set fire to our little fleet, as it had 
to be carried out without assistance, and as the enemy 
continued to rake us with their guns, was not of easy 
execution. A painful sight it was to watch the fire 
devouring the bodies of my comrades. It was impossible 
to give them any funeral honours, or, indeed, any other 
kind of burial than this. Passing from one of our ships 
to another, in order to fire them, I found the decks 
turned into a shambles. The commander of the 
Itaparica, Juan Enrique, a native of the Laguna district, 
lay among other corpses, pierced through the chest by 
a grapeshot. Captain John Grigg, of the Cassaparar 
had been struck by a grapeshot in such a manner, and 
at such short range, as to carry away the whole lower 
part of his body, leaving only the upper. His fair 
complexion had not changed, and, as he was left leaning 
against the bulwarks on the opposite side of the ship 
to where he had been standing when struck, I saw. 


looking from below, only the uninjured head and 
shoulders, and at first sight took him to be still alive. 

In a few minutes the ashes of our brave comrade were 
beneath the waves, and the vessels which had filled the 
empire with alarm, and which, according to General 
Canabarro's prophecy, were one day to have destroyed 
it, no longer existed. Mght was already falling when 
I assembled the remnant of my band, and marched in 
the rear of the division, retreating on Eio Grande by 
the same road which, a few months before, we had 
trodden, heralded by victory, and our hearts beating, 
high with hope. 




Among the many vicissitudes of my stormy life, I have 
not wanted happy moments ; and such, paradoxical 
though it appears, was the one when, at the head of 
a few men, the survivors of many battles, who had 
honestly earned the name of heroes, I rode along with 
the woman of my heart beside me, throwing myself 
into a career which, even more than the sea, had an 
immense attraction for me. What mattered it to me 
that I had no clothes except those I stood up in ? or 
that I served a poor Eepublic which could pay not one 
penny ? I had a sword and carbine, which I carried 
before me across the saddle. Anita was my treasure, 
and no less zealous than myself for the sacred cause of 
nations, and for a life of adventure. She looked upon 
battles as a pleasure, and the hardships of camp-life as 
a pastime; so that, however things might turn out, 
the future smiled on us, and the vast American deserts 
wliich unrolled themselves before our gaze seemed all 
the more delightful and beautiful for their wildness. 
Besides all this, I could feel that I had honestly done 


my duty in the various perils which I had been called 
to share, and had earned the respect of the warlike sons 
of Eio Grande. 

We retreated, then, as far as Las Torres, on the 
boundary of the two provinces, where we pitched our 
camp. The enemy, content with occupying the lagoon, 
did not attempt to follow us. Acunha's division, however, 
which had come from the province of Sao Paulo, to 
cut off our retreat, was advancing over the forest-covered 
mountains, by way of Cima da Serra, a department in 
the mountains belonging to the province of Eio Grande. 
The inhabitants of the Serra, overpowered by a superior 
force, asked for help from General Canabarro, who 
arranged to send to their aid an expedition under 
Colonel Teixeira, of which we formed part. Having 
effected a junction with the Serraos, under Colonel 
Aranha, we completely defeated Acunha's division at 
Santa Vittoria. The imperial general was killed while 
crossing the river Pelotas, and the greater part of his 
troops taken prisoners. This victory re-established 
the authority of the Eepublic in the three departments 
of Lages, Vaccaria, and Cima da Serra. A few days 
after we entered Lages in triumph (January, 1840). 

Meanwhile, the invasion had revived the hopes of the 
imperial party in the province of Missiones ; and the 
imperial colonel Mello had increased his cavalry corps 
there to about five hundred. General Bento Manuel, 
who had been intended to oppose him, had contented 
himself with sending Lieut.- Colonel Portinhos, who, 
not having sufficient forces, did nothing but watch 


Mello's movements. The latter turned towards Sao 
Paulo, where, in our position and with our forces, we 
could not only have opposed his passage, but have 
utterly routed him. But fate would not have it so. 
<^olonel Teixeira, uncertain whether the enemy would 
■come by way of Yaccaria, or by another road, that of 
Coritibanos, divided his force into two portions, send- 
ing Colonel Aranlia with the greater part of the 
Serra cavalry into Vaccaria, and himself marching 
towards Coritibanos with the infantry and part of 
the cavalry, the latter corps being chiefly made up of 
the prisoners taken at Santa Vittoria. This last hap- 
pened to be just the point for which the enemy was 

The division of our forces was a fatal mistake ; our 
recent victory, the daring spirit of our leader, and the 
republicans in general, and the information we had 
received about the enemy (depreciatmg both their 
numbers and their morale), made us unduly confident in 
our own strength. A three days' march brought us to 
■Coritibanos, where w^e encamped at a certain distance 
from the pass of Maromba, whence we expected the enemy 
to arrive. Sentinels were posted at the pass, and at 
other parts which it was necessary to guard. Towards 
midnight the outposts at the pass were attacked by the 
enemy with so much fury that they scarcely had time 
to fall back, exchanging a few shots. From that moment 
till daybreak, we remained with all forces ready for 
action. We had not long to wait for the appearance 
of the enemy, who, having passed the river with all 


Ms meu, had drawn them up in fighting order, not 
far from us. Any man but Teixeira, seeing the odds 
against us, would have immediately sent word to 
Aranha to hasten back to us, and have contrived in the 
mean time to delay the enemy till we had effected a 
junction. But the gallant republican was afraid that 
our foes would escape us, and that we should lose the 
-chance of a battle. We attacked them, regardless of 
their superior position. Mello, taking advantage of the 
uneven nature of the ground, had formed his line 
of battle on a high hill, having in front a deep valley 
overgrown with tliick bushes. He had also hidden on 
his flanks some detachments of cavalry, which we could 
not see. Teixeira ordered us to attack with a detach- 
ment of infantry in skirmishing order, taking advantage 
of the obstacles in the valley. We attacked, and the 
enemy made a feint of retreating ; but our column, 
while pursuing them, after crossing the valley, was 
charged in flank by a troop protected by the enemy's 
right, and driven back in disorder upon the main 

body. In this encounter we lost jManuel N , one 

of our bravest officers, and very higlily esteemed by 
our chief 

Our column, having been reinforced, marched for- 
ward again with more resolution; and this time the 
enemy fell back and began to retreat, leaving one man 
dead on the field. The wounded on either side were 
few, not many men of either force having taken part in 
the fight. Meanwhile, the enemy was retreating hastily, 
and we pursued without stopping. 


Both cavalry columns — our vanguard and the enemy's 
rear-guard — kept up an incessant skirmishing, over a 
space of about nine miles. "VVe were obliged to leave 
our infantry far behind, as, in spite of every effort, they 
could not keep up with the horses. Of this circum- 
stance the enemy took full advantage — if, indeed, they 
had not purposely contrived it. 

When our van had reached the liighest point of the 
pass of Maromba, its commander, IMajor Jacinto, sent 
word to the colonel that the imperialists were passing 
the ford, and that their ganaclo * and cahalladas f were 
akeady on the other side, an indication that they 
were still in retreat. The brave Teixeira did not 
hesitate a moment, but ordered the cavalry detachments 
to set off at a trot, so as to charge the enemy from the 
height of the pass, and disperse them ; at the same time 
he directed me to make every effort to follow with the 
infantry. The astute Mello had been manoeuvring to 
deceive us. Having marched his detachments hastily 
forward, in order to get them out of our sight, and reached 
the neighbourhood of the river Coritibano, he did, it is 
true, send his horses and cattle over to the other side ; 
but, at the same time, he drew up his troops on our 
left, behind some hills which entirely hid them from 
view. Having taken these measures, and left a detach- 

* A herd of cattle driven along for the supply of the army, who 
carry no baggage-train. 

t The drove of spare horses, indispensable in those countries 
-where the greater part of the force consists of cavalry ; — every 
soldier being obliged to have two spare horses, besides the one he 
is riding. 


ment to protect his column of sharpshooters, as soon 
as he perceived our infantry in the distance, he retreated 
to the cover of the high hills on our left ; and, dashing 
out suddenly with a diversion to the left, attacked our 
cavalry in flank, and completely scattered each detach- 
ment in succession. The detachment acting as a 
support to our column, whose horsemen were driving 
the retreating imperialists before them at the lance's 
point, was the first to perceive the error, but, not 
having even time to turn aside, met with the same fate 
as all the rest. The same thing happened to all, in 
spite of the courage and determination of Teixeira and 
other brave Eio Grande ofiicers ; and in a short time 
our cavalry presented the disgraceful spectacle of a 
panic-stricken flock of sheep. 

I had not liked our leaving the infantry so far 
behind, knowing our cavalry to be composed of such 
very untrustworthy elements, many of them prisoners 
taken at Santa Vittoria. For this reason I hurried on 
my men as fast as I could, so as to get them up in 
time for the battle, but in vain. From a height which 
I reached, I saw the slaughter of our troops, and knew 
that it was too late to decide the victory, though not to 
prevent the total destruction of our forces. 

I called a dozen of the most active and intrepid of 
my sailors, who broke into a run at the sound of my 
voice, as though they were not already tired out with 
a long forced march. I posted them on a spot which 
not only commanded a good view, but was difficult of 
access on account of rocks and bushes, and therefore 

VOL. I. H 


a strong position for infantry. From this position we 
began to make head against the enemy, and show them 
that their victory was not complete, after all. 

At this juncture the colonel fell back with some of 
his staff, after having with indomitable courage made 
every effort to arrest the course of the fugitives. The 
infantry, under Major Peixotto, who commanded under 
my orders, came up with us in the same position ; 
and the defence became obstinate and exceedingly 
destructive to the enemy. We lost many foot-soldiers, 
who, remaining behind, were involved in the flying 
cavalry, and nearly all killed. Meanwhile, as seventy- 
three of us were now assembled in a strong position, 
we fought at a certain advantage, the enemy having no 
infantry, and being unaccustomed to oppose that force. 
Notwithstanding this advantage, our position was 
isolated, and we found it necessary to seek a safer one, 
whence we could secure an unmolested retreat, without 
giving the enemy time to collect their forces, or our 
own men to lose heart. 

A capon (an isolated clump of trees and underwood) 
was in sight about a mile distant, and towards this we 
directed our retreat. The enemy endeavoured to throw 
us into confusion on the march, and kept charging us 
en echelon whenever the ground allowed it. Under 
these circumstances, it was greatly in our favour that 
our of&cers were armed with carbines; and our men, 
all being veterans, were able to stand against the shock 
of the enemy's charges, and repulse them with cool 
daring. In this manner we succeeded in gaining the 


shelter of the capon, where the enemy no longer 
molested us. Having penetrated some distance into 
the wood, we selected a clear space of ground, and all 
together, with our arms ready to hand, sat down to 
rest, and await the night. The enemy, from without, 
challenged us several times to surrender ; but we made 
no reply to these demonstrations. 




At nightfall we made some preparations for leaving. 
The greatest difficulty was the transport of the wounded, 
one of whom was Major Peixotto, who had received a 
ball in the foot. About 10 p.m., having accommodated 
them as well as we could, we began the march, skirting 
the capon, which we left on our right, and endeavouring 
to reach the edge of "the forest. This forest, perhaps 
the largest in the world, extends through thirty-four 
degrees of latitude, from the alluvial flats of the La 
Plata to those of the Amazon, covering the crests of the 
Serra do Espinasso (the backbone of Brazil). I -do 
not know its longitudinal extent, which is probably 
enormous. The three departments of Cuna da Serra, 
Vaccaria, and Lages, are, so to speak, clearings in the 
midst of this forest. 

Coritibanos, in the department of Lages and the pro- 
vince of Santa Caterina — so called from the inhabitants, 
who migrated from Coritiba, in the province of Sao 
Paulo — is the scene of my narrative. As I said, we 
skirted the capon in order to approach the above- 
described forest, and made for Lages, so as to rejoin 


Aranha's corps, unhappily separated from us. Our 
issuing from the capon was the signal for one of those 
incidents which seem to show that man is the sport of 
circumstance, and shows the power of panic even over 
the bravest of men. We were marching in silence, and, 
as was natural, quite ready to fight should the enemy 
appear. A horse, which had probably lost its rider 
during the day, and was seen with saddle, bridle, and 
bit still on, trying with difficulty to graze, was startled 
by some slight noise we made, and took to flight. A 
voice was heard, saying, " The enemy ! " and all at once 
those very seventy-three who for several hours had 
been resisting a force of five hundred, were seen to 
rush into the thickest of the underwood, and in such 
a manner that, though we wasted many hours in 
trying to collect them, it was impossible to get them 
all together again, and several were lost. Nevertheless, 
having assembled as best we could, we resumed our 
ftiarch, and at break of day had reached the longed-for 
forest, and were skirting it in the direction of Lages. 
When the enemy sought us on the following day, we 
were already out of their reach. 

The day of the battle had been one of terrible fatigue, 
privations, and hardships ; but the excitement of fight- 
ing overpowered every other idea. But in the forest, 
where meat, our usual food, was not to be had, and 
where we could get no other, matters became serious. 
We remained four days without anything to eat save 
the roots of plants. Nor can one describe the fatigue 
undergone in making our way where no track existed. 


and where nature, rank and productive beyond all 
conception, rears under the colossal pines of the 
immense forest the gigantic taquara (bamboo). The 
decayed stalks and leaves of this plant, piled up among 
the trees, form an impassable soft mass, capable of 
swallowing up and burying any one who should 
incautiously set foot on it. 

Many of our men lost heart, and some deserted. At 
last it became necessary to call them together, and 
seriously impress upon them that it was better they 
should frankly state their wishes, and that every man 
who did not care to follow us was perfectly free to 
leave. This measure had the desired effect ; from that 
time forward there were no more desertions, and the 
men became more hopeful of our ultimate escape. 
On the fifth day from that of the combat we reached 
the entrance to the piccada, or path cut through the 
forest and leading to Lages, where we came across a 
house, and satisfied our hunger by killing two bullocks. 
In this house we made two prisoners belonging to the 
force which had defeated us, and then set out for Lages, 
where we arrived on a rainy day. 

( 103 ) 



The town of Lages, which had feted us on our victorious 
arrival, had, at the news of our Coritibanos disaster, 
changed its colours, and some of the most resolute 
citizens had already established the imperial form of 
government. These last fled at our approach, and as 
the greater number were tradesmen, and the richest in 
the town, they left us their warehouses well stocked 
with all the comforts of life. This enabled us to 
improve our condition by supplying ourselves abun- 
"dantly with all necessaries. Meanwhile, Teixeira sent 
orders to Aranha to rejoin the main body ; and at the 
same time, we received notice of the coming of Lieut.- 
Colonel Portinho, who with his column had been sent 
by General Bento Manuel* to pursue that very 
force of Mello's which we had unfortunately met in 

I have served the cause of nations in America, and 
proved my sincerity in so doing by the consistent way 
in which I have everywhere fought against despotism. 

* This general afterwards betrayed the Republic, and went over to 
the imperialists. 


An admirer of the republican form of government, 
wliich suits my idiosyncrasy, I have ever, for the same 
reason, been the opponent of the contrary system. 
Tracing all human ills back to their source, the selfish- 
ness of our unhappy nature, I have always been 
inclined rather to pity than to hate my fellow-men. 
This day (1850), at a distance from the stage where the 
scenes I am describing were enacted, I can relate them 
calmly, and have a right to be considered impartial. I 
wish, therefore, to assert that these gallant sons of the 
Continent * were fearlessness itself, and that our occu- 
pation of Lages — an occupation which we kept up for 
several days, ready to hold the place against a victorious 
enemy of ten times our numbers, and divided from us 
only by the river Canoas (which we could not defend, 
our auxiliary troops being at a distance) — was a stroke 
of supreme audacity. 

Many days passed before the arrival of Aranha and 
Portinho, during aU which time the imperialists were 
kept at bay by a mere handful of men. Scarcely had 
our reinforcements arrived, when we marched resolutely 
on the enemy, who would not accept battle, but retreated 
when we came close to them, falKng back on the 
province of Sao Paulo, whence they expected consider- 
able reinforcements, both infantry and cavalry. 

Here we became aware of the usual weak point of 
republican armies, namely, the unwillingness of the 

* A name given, probably by the discoverers, to the large and 
fine province of Rio Grande do Sul, there being another province 
of the same name in the north of Brazil. 


soldiers to remain in the field when no immediate fight 
was in question — a defect which made itself felt in 
Washington's army, as it always must where men do 
not see the value of the true discipline of soldiers of 
freedom ; — a discipline which must arise from individual 
conviction of duty, and is very different from the com- 
pulsory discipline of the soldier of despotism. In this 
last case, the soldier is either forcibly taken from his 
home and obliged to perform, at the caprice of a tyrant, 
any atrocious deed that may be required of him ; or he 
is a hireling, sold, body and soul, to any one who pays 
him, and disposed by natural inclination to commit 
actions a wolf would be ashamed of. The citizen 
soldier of a free nation joins the colours whenever he is 
summoned to them, because his country is threatened 
by powerful enemies. He willingly gives his life in 
defence of that country and his dear ones, and never 
leaves the national army till the danger is past, and he 
is ■ dismissed by his leaders. The republican army of 
Eio Grande was composed, for the most part, of brave 
citizen soldiers, who, however, did not intend to remain 
under arms. When, in their judgment, the danger to 
their country was over, and the season no longer suitable 
for fighting, they left the ranks without waiting for 
orders from the authorities. This failing of theirs 
almost proved our ruin on one occasion, when a more 
enterprising enemy could have profited by this insubor- 
dination and our weakness to crush us altogether. 

The Serraos, people of the surrounding mountains, 
were the first to leave the ranks, taking with them not 


only their own horses, but also those belonging to the 
division. Portinho's men, from the province of Missiones, 
followed their example ; and before long our force was 
in this way so far diminished that we were obliged to 
evacuate Lages, and fall back on the province of Rio 
Grande, fearing the approach of the enemy, whom we 
should have been too weak to resist. The small rem- 
nant of our force, in want of necessaries, and particu- 
larly of clothing — for, in the mountainous country where 
we were, the cold was beginning to get intolerable — 
became more and more demoralized ; and the men 
loudly demanded the right of returning to their homes, 
in the level and sunny part of the province. 

The province of Rio Grande is divided into two parts — 
the lower, bounded on the east by the Atlantic, and on 
the west and north-west by the Serra do Espinasso, 
is an almost tropical region, of mild temperature ; 
coffee, sugar, and oranges flourish on its fertile soil, and 
it has, moreover, the advantages of an unlimited supply 
of cattle, and a fine population, as well skilled in 
horsemanship as the inhabitants of the La Plata 
provinces. The high region of the Serra, with a much 
lower temperature, possesses all the fruits belonging to 
colder climates — apples, pears, peaches, and others — and 
is crowned by the southern extremity of the vast forest 
already mentioned, whose gigantic pines strike the eye 
like rows of temple-columns. 

Colonel Teixeira, obliged to yield to the importunities 
of his men, ordered me to descend the Serra with what 
was left of the infantry and marines, and rejoin the 


army, while he prepared to follow with the cavalry. 
This descent was a difi&cult one, owing to the roughness 
of the road, and the obstinate hostility of the inhabitants, 
who were bitter enemies to the republicans. It is a 
strange but true fact, that peasants as a class, who 
should be more than any other in favour of a free 
government, always detest and oppose it. 

We descended by the piccada (forest track) of Peluffo, 
being about sixty in number. We had to face some 
terrible ambuscades, but got past by incredible good 
fortune ; thanks to the determination of the men under 
my command, and the fact that our enemies were but 
little skilled in warfare. 

As the path we were passing over was very narrow, 
and cut through the thickest of the jungle, the 
imperial troops, natives to the country, and therefore 
well acquainted with the ground, chose the roughest 
places for ambuscades, and rushed out furiously upon 
us with tremendous yells, while a dropping fire of 
musketry was kept up at us from the most tangled 
thickets. Yet the coolness of our bearing struck such 
terror into these mountaineers, that we lost only one 
horse, and a few of our men were very slightly 
wounded. We reached head-quarters at Malacara, 
twelve miles from Porto Alegre, where President Bento 
Gonpales, at that time commander-in-chief, was 




The republican army ^vas preparing to march when 
we came up with it. The imperialists, after losing 
the battle of Eio Pardo, had revictualled at Porto 
Alegre, and, leaving that place by order of old General 
Giorgio, had taken up their position on the banks of 
the river Cahb, protected by theix ships of war, with a 
large number of cannon ; and, reinforced by a strong 
body of infantry, only waited to be joined by General 
Calderon, who, coming from Eio Grande, had got together 
some tolerable cavalry in the country. 

The empire, with all the means of corruption at its 
disposal, did not want for adherents in the province of 
Rio Grande — a district where, as in La Plata, one may 
say that the men are born on horseback, and where the 
very spirit of the cavalier makes them warlike. But 
not all cavaliers are capable of resisting decorations, 
gewgaws, and, above all, the omnipotent metal. 

The same failing noticed above — the disinclination 
of the republic's to act in concert except in the 
actual presence of the enemy — facilitated such measures 
on the part of the latter ; and by the time General 
Netto, who commanded the republican forces in the 


plains, had got together sufficient men to beat Calderon, 
the latter had already joined the main army on the 
Cahb, with a large number of horses, of which the 
imperialists stood in great need. General Giorgio, there- 
fore, threatened the besiegers of the capital with a vastly 
superior force, and obliged them to raise the siege. 

To enable us to offer battle to the imperial army, it 
was indispensable that the President should join Netto's 
division, and this junction, successfully carried out, re- 
flects great honour on the military capacity of Bento 
Gonzales. To a European army hampered with baggage, 
this manoeuvre would have been simply impossible. 

We marched with the army from Malacara — taking 
the direction of the German colony of St. Leopold — 
passed by night within two miles of the enemy, and 
after two days' and two nights' continual marching, 
almost without eating, reached the neighbourhood 
of Taquary, where we fell in with Netto, who was 
coming to meet us. I said — almost without eating; 
and the fact is, that as soon as the imperialists heard 
of our being in motion, they made forced marches to 
give us battle, and, in spite of being far more heavily 
weighted then we were (having both artillery and 
baggage), came up with us several times while we 
were resting from our long marches, and occupied in 
roasting the beef, which was our only food. More 
than once they obliged us to take our roasts * on our 

* The roast beef {agado) which is the principal food of South 
American soldiers, is spitted on a green branch, so as to be more 
easDy picked up and carried on one's back. 


backs and make a hasty start, in order to reach our 
destination in safety. 

At Pinheirinho, six miles from Taquary, we halted, 
and prepared for battle. The republican army, con- 
sisting of 5000 cavalry and 1000 infantry, occupied 
the heights of Pinheirinho, a moderately high hill half 
covered with pines — the infantry in the centre, com- 
manded by old General Crescenzio, the right wing under 
Netto, and the left under Canabarro. Both wings 
were composed of cavalry alone, and tliat, without 
exaggeration, the best in the world, although the men 
were farrapos* Our infantry, consisting entirely, with 
the exception of the officers, of men of colour, was also 
excellent; and all were eager to fight. Colonel Joan 
Antonio, with a cavalry corps, formed the reserve. 

The enemy had 4000 infantry, 8000 cavalry, and 
several pieces of artillery, and had taken position on 
the further side of a small torrent-bed which divided 
the two armies. Their aspect was by no means 
contemptible. The best troops of the empire were 
there, and under old General Giorgio, who was con- 
sidered its most capable officer. 

The imperial general had up to that point marched 
on boldly, and had already made all arrangements 
for an attack according to rule. He had sent across 
the dry bed of the torrent two battalions of infantry, 
who thereupon immediately formed in square. Two 

* The name of farrapos (" ragamuffins ") was given by the 
imperialists to the repubhcans, who returned the compliment by 
the epithet oi caramuru (" men of fire," in the native dialect). 


guns, advantageously placed on the other side, were 
thundering at our cavalry columns and their supports. 
Already the brave men of the first cavalry brigade, 
under the orders of Colonel Netto, had unsheathed 
their sabres, and were only waiting for the charge to 
be sounded, to fling themselves on the two battalions 
tliat had crossed. These warlike sons of the Continent, 
who with Netto had never been defeated, had all the 
confidence given by a succession of previous victories. 

Our infantry, with colours unfurled, echeloned in 
divisions on the highest part of the hill, and covered 
by its ridge, was raging with impatience for the 
fight. Already Canabarro's terrible lancers, all freed 
slaves, and all horse-breakers by profession, had made 
a forward movement, and thrown into confusion 
the right flank of the enemy, who was thus obliged 
to form front on the right, in great disorder. The 
courageous freedmen, proud of their task, drew up 
in more solid order, and seemed a perfect forest 
of lances. This incomparable corps was composed 
of negro slaves liberated by the Eepublic, chosen 
from among the best horse-breakers of the province, 
and officered by white men. These true champions 
of freedom, if any men ever deserved that name, had 
never been known to turn their backs on the enemy. 
Their lances, beyond the ordinary length, their coal- 
black faces, their sturdy limbs, hardened by constant 
and vigorous exercise, and their perfect discipline, 
struck terror into the foe. 

Already the encouraging voice of the commander- 


in-chief had passed along the ranks. "To-day each 
one of us will have to fight for four," had been the 
laconic words of that hero, endowed with all the 
qualifications of a great general, except luck. Our 
hearts felt the throb of battle, and the confidence of 
victory. Never did I see a fairer day, or a more 
magnificent sight.* Posted in the centre of our infantry, 
on the highest point, I had a good view of both armies. 

The fields below us, covered with a short and scattered 
growth of herbage, opposed no obstacle to the eye, and 
we could perceive even the slightest movement on the 
part of the enemy. There, beneath my feet, in a few 
minutes, would be decided the fate of Brazil, the larger 
portion of the American Continent ! the destiny of a 
nation decided ! These bodies of men, so compact, so 
flourishing, so brilliant, will in a few moments be broken 
up, scattered, thrown into horrible confusion, and breath- 
ing the lust of destruction. In a short time, blood, broken 
limbs, the corpses of so many splendid young fellows — 
will disfigure the beautiful and virgin plains. And yet 
we were panting with eagerness for the signal of battle. 
But in vain ; the field of slaughter was not there. 

The imperial general, intimidated by the behaviour 
of the republicans, and the strong position we occupied, 
hesitated in the attack at first planned, withdrew his 
two battalions ; and from the offensive, which he had 
hitherto assumed, passed to the defensive. 

* What a confession for a disciple of the peace-loving Beccaria ! 
But what can one say ? I have met, in the course of my career, 
with Austrians, priests, and despots ! 


General Calderon had been killed in a reconnaissance, 
which, perhaps, partly accounted for Giorgio's irresolu- 
tion. It was the opinion of many that, as he did not 
attack us, we ought to Tiave attacked him. But I 
doubt whether this would have been well. Attacked 
in our superior position on Pinheirinho, we had a fair 
chance of victory; but had we quitted our ground in 
order to harass the enemy, we should have had to cross 
the bed of the torrent, which, though dry, was very 
rough walking ; besides which, the enemy considerably 
outnumbered us, and had artillery, while we were with- 
out a single piece. In short, we did not fight, and the 
armies remained all day in sight of each other, with 
some slight skirmishing. 

One of the disadvantages of excessively strong 
positions attaches also to fortified towns, which create a 
tendency to repose and inaction ; when much advantage 
might be derived from a resolution to fight. One 
might adduce an infinite number of examples in 
support of this assertion, and the opinion of our Italian 
masters in the art of war (1872) is greatly to be deplored. 
It is the wish of these gentlemen to sow the peninsula 
with fortresses, because they are afraid to arm two 
millions of citizens and send the priests to reclaim the 
Pontine Marshes. 

Food was growing scarce in our camp, and the 
infantry especially were famishing. Still more unen- 
durable were the sufferings occasioned by thirst, as 
there was no water in the position we occupied. But 
these people were born to a life of privation, and not a 

VOL. I. I 


complaint was heard, except of our not fighting. My 
fellow-citizens! on the day — distant, alas! as yet — when 
you shall all be united, and as temperate' as the men of 
Uruguay, the stranger will no longer tread your soil or 
desecrate your homes. Italy will again have taken her 
place among the first nations of the world. 

In the night old General Giorgio disappeared, and 
the next morning we could nowhere perceive the enemy, 
and remained ignorant of their new position till 10 a.m., 
on account of the] fog. About that hour, at last, we 
discovered them strongly posted at Taquary. 

I am certain that the enemy's cunning stratagem 
caused profound mortification to the noble-hearted 
republican general. But there was no help for it ; 
he had lost a splendid opportunity of ruining the 
empire, and probably assuring the triumph of his 

A short time after, we received information that the 
enemy's cavalry was passing the river Taquary, under 
cover of the imperial vessels. The enemy were there- 
fore retreating, and it was necessary for us to attack 
them in the rear wliile crossing. In this our general 
did not hesitate, and we marched resolutely to battle. 
The enemy's cavalry had indeed crossed the river, 
assisted in the passage by several imperial ships ; but 
the infantry had remained on the left bank in a strong 
position, protected by the men-of-war, and by an exceed- 
ingly thick wood of tall trees. Our second infantry 
brigade, composed of the second and third battalions, was 
destined to begin the attack. They charged with all 


possible courage ; but the enemy far outnumbered them ; 
and our brave soldiers, after performing prodigies of 
valour, were obliged to retreat, supported by the first 
brigade, composed of the first brigade of marines 
and the artillery without their cannon. The infantry 
engagement in the wood, where the rattle of small- 
arms and the crash of broken boughs, amid clouds 
of smoke, seemed like an infernal tempest, was 
indeed a tremendous one. The loss in killed and 
wounded was not less than 500 on both sides. The 
corpses of the gallant republicans were found even 
on the river-bank, whither they had rushed on to 
bayonet the enemy; but, unfortunately, all this valour 
was without result and valueless, since — the second 
brigade being overpowered by heavy odds and forced 
to retreat — the fight had to be suspended. When 
night came on, the enemy was able to effect his pas- 
sage to the right bank of the Taquary without let or 

With all Bento Gon pales' brilliant qualities, many 
noted a want of resolution — the origin of the dis- 
astrous ill-success of his operations — and would have 
judged it better if, a disproportionately weak infantry 
brigade being once engaged in face of so numerous 
an enemy (at least six to one), he had completed the 
attack by sending up the first brigade, and all the 
cavalry we had, armed with carbines. My judgment is 
the same. When an attack is preparing, it should be 
thoroughly well considered ; but once it is decided on, 
every disposable force should be employed, even to the 


last reserves. Of course, this does not apply to a recon- 
naissance — that is, an attack on the enemy for the 
purpose of forcing him to betray his numbers and the 
strength of his position ; — when one feigns to employ 
one's whole force, but, after accomplishing the object, 
returns to one's own lines. This is all that is needed 
in a simple reconnaissance; but one ought always to be 
ready to repulse a real attack on the part of the enemy. 
A general attack in the case under consideration might, 
in truth, have gained us a brilliant victory, if we had 
forced the enemy from his ground and driven him into 
the river. The fact of our pursuing him into his retreat 
certainly threw his troops into a panic, and had we 
attacked with our whole force, there would have been 
some probability of success. Our commander did not 
think it well to stake the entire infantry of the republic 
on the issue of a general combat. No doubt he re- 
pented not having given battle the day before, when his 
soldiers, out in the open plain, would have performed 
miracles. The fact is that this fight was a real dis- 
aster to us, losing as we did about half our gallant 
infantry, whom it was impossible to replace. The loss 
of five hundred cavalry was of no consequence to the 

The enemy remained on the right bank of the 
Taquary, and therefore in possession of almost the 
whole country. We proceeded on our march to Porto 
Alegre, in order to resume the siege. 

The condition of the Kepublic was now somewhat less 
hopeful than before. We returned to St. Leopold, whence 


we proceeded to Settembrina,* and thence to our old 
camp at Malacara. Thence, in a few days, the encamp- 
ment was transferred to Bellavista, a position nearer the 
Laguna dos Patos, and north-east of Malacara. At the 
same time General Bento Gongales conceived the plan 
of another operation, which, if successful, might result 
in* a considerable improvement in the state of our 

* A village near Porto Alegre, so named by the republicans in 
honour of the month in which the Eepublic was proclaimed. It 
had formerly been called Viamao (= See the hand), because it com- 
mands a view of the five rivers which form the Rio Grande.. 




The imperialists, to get men for their expeditions into 
the open country, had somewhat weakened the garrisons 
of their fortified places, and among them that of San 
Jose do Norte. This place, on the northern bank of 
the channel leading from the Laguna dos Patos into the 
sea, was one of the keys to the lagoon ; and its possession 
determined the whole aspect of affairs. The principal 
advantage to be derived therefrom was an abundance of 
victuals of all kinds, arms, and ammunition. Our men, 
at present in a wretched condition, could then be 
clothed and supplied with all necessaries. Besides, not 
only was the town of importance as commanding the 
entrance to tlie lagoon — the only harbour in the 
province — but the atalaya, the signal-mast which indi- 
cated to ships the depth of water in the Barra, was also 
in its neighbourhood. 

Unfortunately, this expedition had the same fate as 
the one to the Taquary. The enterprise was carried out 
almost to the very end, with the greatest prudence and 
discretion, and then the fruit of it entirely lost by a 
little hesitation. An uninterrupted march of eight days. 


at not less than twenty-five miles a day, brought us 
unexpectedly to the trenches of the town. It was one 
of those winter nights when a shelter and a little fire 
are the greatest imaginable boon ; and the poor soldiers 
of freedom, ragged and hungry, with their limbs stiff 
with cold, exposed to the tempestuous downpour of a 
heavy rain which had accompanied our whole march, 
were advancing, silent and fearless, against the sentinel- 
guarded ramparts. The horses had been left a little 
way off, guarded by a squad of cavalry ; and each man, 
^vrapping his miserable rags round him, prepared for 
the attack, which was to take place at the first challenge 
of the sentinels. The warriors of the Eepublic carried 
those walls as well as the first soldiers in the world 
could have done. A few shots from the besieged, a 
little resistance on the walls — and our men, climbing on 
each other's shoulders, were inside the town, though a 
little further resistance was made by the four forts com- 
manding the trench. At 1 a.m. the attack began, and 
at 2 we were masters of the trench and of three forts, 
with comparatively slight losses, and without having 
fired a shot. As we held three forts out of four, and the 
whole interior of the town, it seemed impossible that we 
could be dislodged. And yet even this time we were 
to get the worst of it. The star of the Eepublic was set- 
ting, and fortune had turned against our leader. Find- 
ing themselves inside the town, our soldiers, hungry and 
in rags, thought they had nothing further to do but 
eat well, drink better, clothe themselves, and plunder. 
The greater part therefore dispersed, with the intention 


of sacking the place. Meanwhile the imperialists, re- 
covering from their surprise, massed themselves in a 
strong quarter, and stood on the defensive to the number 
of several thousand. We attacked them, and they re- 
pulsed us. Our men, when vranted to renew the attack, 
could not be found, or else^ drunk and loaded with 
booty, refused to risk their lives again, now that 
they had become rich. Some of them had damaged 
their muskets by using them to batter in the doors of 
the houses and shops they wished to plunder; others 
had lost their flints. The enemy, for their part, lost no 
time ; and several men-of-war in the harbour took up a 
position which enabled their guns to rake the streets we 
occupied, the place being built on the very edge of the 

From Rio Grande do Sul, a few miles off on the other 
shore, they sent reinforcements of troops ; and the only 
fort we had neglected to seize was occupied by the 
enemy. The fort called the Imperial, the^ largest of the 
four, which had been attacked and taken by us in the 
night, and which occupied a commanding position in 
the centre of the line of trenches, so that its possession 
was a point of the highest importance — was rendered 
useless by a terrible gunpowder explosion, which killed 
and wounded many of our men. It was not yet light 
when the catastrophe took place, and I shall never 
forget- having seen those who occupied the fort flung 
into the air like glow-worms, their clothes having 
caught fire, and dashed to the ground horribly mutilated. 

In short, the most glorious of triumphs was changed 


towards noon into a shameful retreat, almost a flight. 
The few gallant fellows who had kept up the fight to 
the last were weeping with rage and vexation. Our 
loss was, in comparison, enormous ; from that day our 
superb corps of black infantry became a skeleton 

The small number of cavalry accompanying the 
expedition served to cover our retreat. The division 
marched to its quarters at Bellavista, and I remained 
with what was left of the marines, at San Simon, an 
estate on the shore of the lagoon. The naval force was 
reduced by this time to about forty, officers and men 




In the southern hemisphere, as is well known, winter 
falls in the months when we in the northern have 
summer. This was said by the inhabitants to be a 
severe winter, and seemed all the more so to us, who 
were unprovided with warmer clothing — a want it was 
quite impossible to supply. The object of our remain- 
ing at San Simon was to engage some canoes, and open 
communications with the other side of the lake. But 
during several months which we passed there, no canoes 
appeared, so that this intention was not carried out. 
In place of boats, therefore, we turned our attention to 
horses, finding in that place large numbers of colts, 
abandoned for months past by their owners, who be- 
longed to the imperial party. These colts served to 
turn my sailors into horsemen ; and some of the latter 
even became horse-breakers, of a sort. 

San Simon is a fine and extensive estate, though at 
that time destroyed and deserted. It was formerly, I 
believe, the property of a count of the same name ; but 
either he or his heirs had been banished, on account of 
opinions opposed to the republican way of thinking then 


dominant. The proprietors being absent, and indeed, 
in any case, our enemies — we signified our temporary 
ownership by making use of the cattle for our food — for 
we had no other — and breaking colts for our amusement. 

At that time (September 16, 1840), my Anita had 
her first child, Menotti, whose existence might truly 
be said to be a miracle, considering the privations and 
hardships undergone by Ms mother for some months 
past ; not to mention her having been present at several 
battles, and sustained a serious fall from her horse, which 
inflicted a bruise on the infant's head. Anita's confine- 
ment took place in the house of an inhabitant of the 
district named Costa, near the small village of Mus- 
tarda, and she received all imaginable care from this 
kind and noble-hearted family, I shall be grateful to 
these good people as long as I live. It was well for 
my poor wife that she was able to find shelter in this 
house, for the distress suffered by our army had then 
reached its height ; and I had not the means to get so 
much as a single handkerchief for her or the infant. 

I resolved, in order to get a few clothes for my dear 
ones, to make a journey to Settembrina, where I had 
some friends, especially the excellent Blingini, who I 
knew would help us.* 

Accordingly I set out across the flooded plains of that 
part of the province (which is altogether alluvial), where 
I had to ride for days together with the water up to 
my saddle-girths. In the Eossa Velha (old cultivated 

* The Republic was not in the habit of paying its soldiers, 
though, indeed, it was served none the worse for that. 


ground) I met Captain Massimo of the negro lancers, 
who welcomed me like a true and generous comrade. 
He had been sent, with a detachment of his men, to 
guard the reserve horses on those excellent pasture- 
grounds. I reached Eossa Velha in the evening, with a 
heavy rain, passed the night there, and set off again at 
daybreak the next morning, though the storm had 
increased — contrary to the advice of the good captain, 
who wished me to stop and wait for better weather. 
My errand was too pressing to be deferred, so I ventured 
anew into the inundated plains. When I had ridden 
some miles, I heard shots in the direction of the place 
I had quitted. I had my suspicions ; but as it was, I 
could do nothing but ride on. I arrived at Settembrina, 
bought a few little things in the way of clothes, and set 
out again for San Simjon. On reaching Eossa Velha, I 
heard the cause of the shots, ' and the sad fate wliich 
had overtaken Captain Massimo and his brave freed- 
men immediately after my departure from the house. 
Moringue, the same wlio surprised me at Camacuan, had 
surprised Massimo, and, after a desperate defence on the 
part of that gallant officer and his lancers, had succeeded 
in killing nearly all of them. 

The best horses liad been put on board ship, and 
sent to Porto Alegre, and the inferior ones all killed. The 
enemy had executed this -enterprise with ships of war 
and infantry, then, after re-embarking and landing 
a second time, the infantry had, along with the cavalry, 
marched by land towards Eio Grande del Norte, dis- 
persing all the small republican forces scattered over 


that territory, or throwing them into a state of panic. 
Among these were my poor sailors, who had to abandon 
their position and seek refuge in the forest, the enemy 
being too many for them. My poor Anita, too, was 
obliged to fly and face the inclemency of the weather, 
with her twelve-days' old infant in front of her saddle. 

Being unable to find my family or followers on my 
return to San Simon, I was obliged to track them to the 
edge of the forest, where they were still encamped when 
I found them, having no accurate information of the 
enemy's movements. We returned to San Simon, re- 
mained there for some time, and afterwards shifted our 
quarters to the left bank of the river Capivari, formed 
by the outflow of the various lakes scattered over the 
northern part of the province of Eio Grande, between 
the Atlantic coast and the eastern slope of the Serra do 
Espinasso. It takes its name from the Capybara, a 
kind of wild hog very common in the rivers of South 

From the Capivari and the Sangrador* do Abreu, 
where we had obtained and fitted out two canoes, we 
made several voyages to the western side of the Laguna 
dos Patos, taking passengers and letters. 

* Sangrador, a canal draining a marsh. 




Meanwhile the position of the republican army was 
growing worse and worse, our wants increasing every day 
with the difficulty of supplying them. The two actions 
at Taquary and Norte had so thinned the ranks of our 
infantry, that the battalions had become mere skeletons. 
Excessive distress had generated discontent, which 
caused many desertions. The people, as is always the 
case in long wars, grew wearied and indifferent, with 
the alternate passing and repassing of troops, and the 
exactions of both friends and foes. 

In this state of things, the imperialists made proposals 
for peace, which, although advantageous, considering the 
present circumstances of the republicans, were scornfully 
rejected by the nobler part of the army. This refusal, 
however, increased the discontent of those who, being 
thoroughly tired of the war, were more inclined to com- 
promise. At last it was decided to raise the siege of the 
capital, and retreat. 

Canabarro's division, of which the naval force formed 
part, was to begin the movement, and clear the passes of 
the Serra occupied by General Labattue, a Frenchman 


in the service of the empire. Bento Gonpales and the 
rest of the army were to follow, forming the rear-guard. 

At this time our Eossetti died — an irreparable loss ! 
He had remained behind with the republican garrison 
of Settembrina, who were to be the last to march ; they 
were surprised by the famous Moringue, now the 
incubus of the republicans, and the gallant Italian fell, 
fighting bravely, in the struggle. When called upon to 
surrender, as he lay on the ground — having fallen 
wounded from his horse — he replied by sword-strokes, 
selling dearly a life that Italy could ill spare. 

There is not a corner of the earth but the bones of 
some noble Italian are whitening there. And Italy for- 
gets them ! She is busy buying islands to form convict 
settlements ; * she is fawning on foreign powers, in order 
to recover her lost territories by their help, and, " girt 
with a sword not her own," applauding the rulers who 
sell her ; she is coquetting with the sacerdotal idea — 
supplicating it on her knees to keep her sons in ignor- 
ance and brutality, and calls the infamous act " guaran- 
tees ; " and she forgets those who made her name glorious 
in the New "World ! And in every country of the world 
she will feel the want of them, on the day when she 
desires to rise and use as a stepping-stone the corpses 
of the birds of prey who devour her. 

The retreat, undertaken in the winter, over the pre- 
cipitous mountain-paths, amid almost unceasing rain, 
was the hardest and most terrible that I ever saw. We 
drove along with us, for all provision, a few haltered 
* From England, for instance. 



cows, as there were no animals on the steep tracks 
we had to pass — rendered still more difficult by the 
rains. The numerous rivers of the Serra, running high 
in flood, rolled over men, arms, and baggage. We 
marched in the rain without food ; in the rain we 
encamped. In the interval between one torrent and 
the next, those whose turn it was to remain in the 
neighbourhood of those unlucky cows had meat; the 
rest went without. The poor infantry * especially 
suffered terribly, being in want even of horseflesh, 
which the cavalry were in the habit of using when they 
had no other. 

There were scenes to make one shudder. Many 
women, as is the custom in that country, accompanied 
the army, and, indeed made themselves extremely 
useful, being employed to look after the spare mounts, 
which they did on horseback, being thoroughly accus- 
tomed to this exercise. With the women there w^ere, 
naturally, children of all ages. Of the younger ones, 
not many got out of the forest alive. Some few were 
picked up and carried by the riders of the horses we 
contrived to save; but many mothers, as well as 
children, remained behind, dead or dying with hunger, 
hardship, and cold. 

There are_ forests in the lower part of the province 
where the climate is almost tropical; and here we 
could find wild fruits in abundance which are edible 

* In these countries where flesh is the sole food, and is procured 
on horseback by means of the lasso, it can be understood that in 
times of scarcity the cavalry often have abundance, while the 
infantry suffer from hunger. 


and nourishing, such as the guava, the arassd, and 
others ; but in the forests of the high Serra, into wliich 
we had penetrated, there were no such fruits to be 
found, and scarcely could we get taquara leaves — a 
poor kind of fodder for animals and insufficient to save 
the lives of the two mules carrying my poor baggage ; 
for now that I had a wife and child, I had been 
obliged to provide myself with a tent and some other 

■ Anita was in constant terror at the thought of losing 
our Menotti — and indeed it was a miracle that we saved 
liim. In the steepest parts of the track, and when cross- 
ing the torrents, I carried him — then three months 
old — slung from my neck by a handkerchief, trying to 
keep him warm against my breast and with my breath. 
Of a dozen beasts, my own property, which I had 
l>rought with me into the forest, some for riding, and 
others to carry baggage, I had only two horses and two 
mules left; the rest had foundered, and been left behind. 

The guides, to complete our misfortunes, had mis- 
taken the track, and this was one of the causes which 
made it a matter of difficulty for us to cross that 
terrible forest de las Antas. (Anta is a wild animal 
which, I was told, resembles an ass. It is quite harm- 
less ; its flesh is exquisite, and its liide serves for many 
purposes. I have seen the hide, never the animal 

As we went on and on, never finding the end of the 
path, I remained in the forest with the two mules,, 
which were now quite w^orn out, and sent Anita on 

VOL. I. K 


with my assistant and the child; so that, riding our two 
remaining horses in turn, she might make an attempt 
to get out into the open country, and there find some 
food for herself and the infant. These two horses, and 
her o\vn high-hearted courage, were the means of saving 
what was dearest to me on earth. She got to the end 
of the pkcacla, and found some of my soldiers round a 
fire — a thing we had not been able to obtain, on account 
of the rain which had continued to fall in torrents, and 
the poor condition to which we were reduced. 

My comrades, who had succeeded in drying some 
rags, took the child — a favourite with them all — 
wrapped him up, warmed and revived him, when the 
poor mother almost despaired of the tender little life. 
"With the kindest care, the good fellows then tried to 
find some food to restore the strength of my dear wife 
and her first-born. 

I laboured in vain to save the mules. Eemaining 
with the poor exhausted beasts, I cut as much sedge 
and young bamboo as I could to feed them, but it was 
no use ; I was obliged to leave them, and try to get out 
of the forest myself, on foot, and nearly famished as I 

Nine days after we had entered it, the rear of the 
division was only just outside the viccada, and very few 
•of the officers' horses had been saved. General Labat- 
tue, wlio had preceded us in his flight, had left some 
•guns in the same forest dc las Antas, which we could not 
bring on for lack of means of transport ; and they have 
remained buried in that howling -wilderness ever since. 


The storms seemed to have their home in this forest, 
for as soon as we had emerged from it on the plains of 
the table-land, in the department of Cima da Serra, we 
had beautiful weather, and found cattle in abundance ; 
so as to forget, in some measure, our past hardships. 

"We then entered the department of Vaccaria, where 
we remained some days, to wait for Bento Gon9ales' 
division, which arrived, scattered and in great disorder. 
The indefatigable Moringue, hearing that this corps was 
retreating, had followed in its rear, harassing its march 
in every way, with the assistance of the mountaineers, 
always obstinately hostile to the republican cause. All 
tliis gave Labattue time to effect his retreat and his 
junction with the main body of the imperial army. He 
arrived, however, almost alone, on account of the 
desertions caused by forced marches and the same 
privations and hardships as we had suffered. Besides 
this, a strange accident happened to the French general, 
which I will relate, on account of its extraordinary 
character. Having, on his march, to cross the two 
forests known under the names of Matto Portuguez and 
Matto Castellano, he found in that neighbourhood 
several tribes of savage Indians called Bugrcs, the most 
ferocious natives known in Brazil. These, hearing of 
the passage of the imperial troops, attacked them from 
various ambuscades in the bush, with great slaughter; 
at the same time giving Canabarro to understand that 
they were friendly to the republicans. Indeed, they 
occasioned us no trouble during our march through their 
forests. We saw, however, their fogas — deep pits care- 


fully covered over with earth, into which the incautious 
traveller falls, and is then, in this helpless condition, 
attacked by the savages. For us none of these holes 
were covered, and the formidable stockades of loga 
raised alongside the path, whence they usually aim darts 
and arrows at the passers-by, were deserted. 

About this time a woman, who in her youth had 
been carried off by the Indians from a house in Vaccaria,. 
took advantage of our being in the neighbourhood to 
escape. She was, poor thing, in a truly deplorable 
condition when we met with her outside the forest. 

As we had no enemies either to fly from or pursue in 
those mountain regions, we took our marches slowly ;. 
being almost totally destitute of horses, and obliged^ 
as we went along, to break some of the stray colts 
we found about the country. Almost the entire corps 
of negro lancers, now marching on foot, had to be 
remounted on these colts. It used to be a fine sight to- 
see, as we did almost every day, a number of those 
young and stalwart blacks (all of whom were j)rofessional 
horse-breakers) spring on the back of their wild steeds 
and scour over the upland, the brute at first making 
every effort to get rid of his burden, and fling it away 
into the air ; the man, admirable in his dexterity, 
strength, and courage, holding on with the grip of a 
vice, striking, spurring, and at last overpowering the 
proud son of the desert, who at length, conscious of the 
superiority of his rider, flies off like an arrow, and 
covers in a few moments an immense extent of ground, 
to return with the same swiftness, breathless and reeking. 


In that part of America, the colt is brought in from the 
field, lassoed, saddled, bridled, and, without other 
preparation, mounted by the breaker in the open plain. 
The exercise usually takes place several times a week, 
and in a few days the horse can be bitted. Even the 
most restive, in this way, turn out capital horses in the 
course of a few months ; but it is difficult to have 
tliem well broken in by soldiers on the march, when 
they cannot have the conveniences, the care, and, above 
all, the rest necessary for proper training. 

After passing Matto Portuguez and Matto Castellano, 
we descended into the province of Missiones, shaping 
our course for Cruz Alta, the chief town of that province, 
a well-built little city, beautifully situated on a table- 
land. The whole of this part of Eio Grande, indeed, 
has very fine scenery. From Cruz Alta we marched to 
San Gabriel, where we established our head-quarters, 
and constructed temporary barracks for the accommoda- 
tion of the army. I too erected myself a hut, in which 
I lived for some time with my family. 

I had now passed six years of my life in hardship 
and privation, severed from all the associations of my 
youth, and from my parents, of whose fate — owing 
to the isolation in which I had been living, and the 
impossibility of getting news, at a distance from any 
seaport — I was absolutely ignorant. This naturally 
made me desirous of getting back to some place where 
I might be able to hear from home. My affection for 
my parents, though perhaps overpowered for a time by 
the excitement of my life of adventure, was still alive 


and strong in my heart. Besides, I Mas obliged to 
provide myself Avitli many tilings Avhich I had not 
hitherto felt to be necessary, but wliich, now that I had 
a wife and child, had become indispensable. I therefore 
decided on asking permission from the President to 
remove for a time to Montevideo. He not only granted 
my request, but authorized me to collect a small herd 
of cattle in order to pay my expenses. 

( 135 ) 



Behold me, then, a trwp'piere, that is, a cattle-d^■o^"el^ 
In an estancia called Corral de Pedras, with the 
authorization of the minister of finance, I succeeded 
in getting together with incredible exertions, in the 
space of twenty days, about nine hundred beasts, which, 
with still greater labour, I was to drive to Montevideo. 
Here, however, I arrived, not with the bullocks them-' 
selves, but with about three hundred hides. I had met 
with insuperable obstacles on the road, especially the 
.Piio Negro in flood, where I nearly lost my entire capital. 
The river, my inexperience in the business, and the 
rascality of some men I had hired to help me, conspired 
to prevent my getting more than five hundred head 
across the Eio Negro ; and these were afterwards so 
exhausted by the long march, the scarcity of fodder, 
and the difficulty of passing the rivers, that they were 
pronounced incapable of reaching Montevideo. We 
therefore made up our minds to slaugliter them, take 
away the hides, and leave the flesh to the carrion crows, 
which seemed the only means of saving any part of 
them. It may be remarked that whenever one of these 


poor beasts was worn out, I was obliged to sell it, 
receiving, as a great favour, the sum of half a dollar. 
At last, after some fifty days of indescribable discomfort, 
cold, and vexation, I reached Montevideo, with the few 
hides which were all that remained of my nine hundred 
bullocks, and which brought me in a few hundred 
dollars, scarcely enough to furnish scanty clotliing for 
myself and two comrades. 

I put up at Montevideo, in the house of my friend 
Napoleone Castellini — to whose kindness, and that of 
his wife, I am much indebted — where I passed some 
time. My means were exhausted, and I had a family 
to keep ; it was therefore necessary to secure the 
independent maintenance of three persons. The bread 
of charity has always seemed bitter to me; and yet, 
how often in my life of vicissitudes have I needed a 
friend ! And I have always been fortunate enough to 
find one. 

In the mean time, I entered upon two occupations, 
not very lucrative, indeed, but enough to supply us witli 
bread — those of shipbroker and teacher of mathematics 
in the excellent school of Signer Paolo Semidei.* This 
kind of life lasted till I began to serve in the oriental 
or Montevideo squadron. 

The Eio Grande question was proceeding towards 
settlement, and Anzani, whom 1 had left in charge of 
the small force I had commanded for that Eepublic, on 

* I recall Avith afifection and gratitude the generous kindness of 
(liovanni Battista Cuneo, my unalterable and lifelong friend, and 
of the brothers Antonino and Giovanni Risso. 


retiring from active service, wrote me that there was 
nothing further to be done in that part of the country. 
The Eepublic of Monte\ddeo soon offered me the 
command of the corvette Constitucion, of eighteen guns, 
which I promptly accepted. The oriental squadron was 
•commanded by Colonel Cohe, an American, and that of 
Buenos Ayres by an Englishman, General Brown. 

Some naval actions had taken place, with results of 
no great moment. About the same time, the ministry 
of war had been entrusted by the Eepublic to a 
.certain Vidal, a man of baleful and despicable memory. 
One of his first ill-advised ideas was to get rid of the 
trouble of the naval force, which, he said, was both 
useless and burdensome to the state. This force had 
cost the Eepublic enormous sums ; without it, Monte- 
video could never have freed itself from the sway of 
Buenos Ayres — and, worse still, of Eosas, the tyrant of 
that republic ; and properly developed, as at that time 
it might very well liave been, and efficiently directed, it 
might have established a marked pre-eminence in the 
La Plata. Instead of this, the navy of Montevideo 
was entirely annihilated, through the perverse imbecility 
of this minister, the ships being sold at shameful 
prices, and their timbers broken up. To complete the 
work of destruction, I was sent on an expedition the 
result of which could only be the loss of the vessels 
under my command. 





With the corvette Constitucion of eighteen guns, the 
brigantine Fereira with two eighteen-pounder s^vivels, 
and the transport-schooner Procida, I was Ijoimd for 
the allied province of Corrientes, to help in its warlike 
operations against the forces of Eosas, the tyrant of 
Buenos Ayres. We had also the object — or the pretext 
— of taking supplies to that province. I will give a 
short explanation of the new war in which I was 
preparing to take part. 

The Eepublic of Uruguay was, like the greater 
number of the South American republics, in that state 
of civil war which, long-continued and almost chronic 
as it is, forms the greatest hindrance to the progress of 
which that splendid country— certainly second to no 
part of the world in natural resources — is susceptible. 
These internal discords were at tliis time caused by the 
rival claims to the office of president of the two generals, 
Fruttuoso Eibera and Manuel Ourives. 

Eibera, at first more fortunate than his rival, succeeded, 
after several victories, in banishing Ourives, and seizing 
upon the power wielded by him. The defeated candidate 


took refuge in Buenos Ayres, where Eosas -welcomed 
him and other emigrants from Uruguay, and employed 
them against his own enemies, then under the command 
of General Lavalle. These enemies were called Unionists> 
while Eosas' party took the name of Federals. Lavalle 
ha^•ing been defeated, the ferocioiis ex-president of 
Montevideo set about recovering his lost power ; and 
this entirely met the views of Eosas, who aimed at the 
final destruction of his mortal enemies, the Unionists 
— their last retreat being Montevideo — and also at 
humbling the power of a neighbouring and rival re- 
public which disputed with Buenos Ayres the supremacy 
of the vast river, launching into her midst the most 
obstinate and formidable elements of a tremendous civil 
war. ' 

When I left Montevideo, and entered the river, the 
Uruguayan army was at San Jose, and that of Ourives 
at Bajada, the capital of the province of Entre-Eios» 
■ Both were preparing for a decisive battle. 

The army of Corrientes was making arrangements to 
unite with that of Uruguay, and I had to ascend the 
Parana to reach the former province, passing over 
a space of more than 600 miles, between two hostile 
shores, where I could not land except on islands and inr 
uninhabited spots. Leaving Montevideo with the three 
vessels above mentioned, I sustained a first engagement 
with the batteries on the island of Martin-Garcia, which 
commands the river towards the confluence of the 
Uruguay with the Parana. This island is of a consider- 
able height, and we were forced to pass close to it, as the 


more distant channels would not admit large vessels. 
We got past, with some loss in killed and wounded.* 

Three miles above Martin-Garcia, the Constihicion ran, 
•on a sand-bank, and, unluckily, with the tide falling ; so 
that it cost us immense exertions to set her afloat again. 
Thanks, however, to the great determination and energy- 
shown by officers and men alike, our flotilla was not 
lost this time. 

While we were occupied in shifting all heavy articles 
into the Procida, the enemy's squadron of seven ships 
;appeared on the other side of the island, bearing down 
.on us at full sail, and with a favourable wind. The 
Constihicion was tlu'ee feet deep in the sand, and the 
largest of her guns were piled up on board the little 
Procida. It was really a terriljle situation for me. 
The Procida completely useless, the Constitucion worse 
than useless, I had nothing left but the brigantine 
Pcrcira, whose brave commander was beside me, with 
the greater part of his crew, helping us in our task. 
Meanwhile, andd the cheers of the troops on the island, 
the enemy came on, presenting a splendid sight, and 
confident of victory, with some heavily armed vessels ; 
while we had but one fit for action, and that a small 
"One. I did not give myself up to despair — I have 
never done so in my life — but I leave it to the dis- 
cernment of others to form an idea of my state of 
mind. It was not a question of life only — that just 
rthen mattered little to me — but it was scarcely possible 

' In this action I lost an Italian officer of great bravery — Pocaroba 
•of Genoa, who had his head carried ofiF by a cannon-ball. 


for us to die honourably, even with the excuse of 
unforeseen and fatal circumstances, since in our position 
it was impossible to fight. But fortune once more 
laid her powerful and protecting hand on my destiny ;. 
notliing was required but a turn of her wheel. The ' 
enemy's flagship, the Belgrano, ran aground close to the 
island, about two cannon-shots off, and we were saved. 
This disaster to the enemy increased our alacrity; in 
a few hours the Constitucion was afloat, and her guns, 
and ammunition replaced on board her. 

It is a popular saying that good as well as bad 
fortune ne^'er comes singly, and this was once more 
proved true in our case. A thick fog, which came on 
as if by enchantment, covered everything, and favoured 
us greatly by hiding our course from the enemy. This 
was of the greatest advantage to us, as, when the enemy 
had succeeded in floating the Belgrano, they began, nob 
knowing the direction we had taken, to pursue us up the 
"Uruguay, which we had not entered; and so lost many 
days before finding out our real destination. In the 
mean time, concealed by the fog and favoured by the 
wind, we had turned up the Parana. I was conscious 
of the importance of the enterprise, certainly one of 
the most arduous of my life. The joy of escaping from 
an imminent danger, and the pleasure wliich I felt 
in realizing the greatness of the undertaking, were 
embittered for me that day by the panic terror and 
obstinacy of the guides, who up to that moment had 
thought they were going up the Uruguay, of which the 
left bank at least was held by our party, while both 


l)anks of the Parana were absolutely in the power of 
formidable enemies — Ourives on the left bank, and Eosas 
on the right. All the guides declared that they did not 
know the Parana ; and indeed, to deceive the enemy 
I had sought for and procured men from Uruguay. 
Prom that instant forward, they declined all responsi- 
bility whatever. 

I cared little about the responsibility ; I wanted a 
guide, and at last, by means of many careful inquiries, 
I found out that one of them had some knowledge of 
the river, but was keeping it back through fear. My 
sabre soon removed all obstacles, and we had a guide. 

The favourable wind brought us in the night to the 
neighbourhood of San Xicolas, the first Argentine 
settlement on the right bank of the river. There were 
some merchant vessels there ; we needed transports and 
pilots — a night excursion with our sliip's boats soon 
procured us both. "VVe were obliged, by our critical 
position, to use a certain amount of force. One Antonio, 
an Austrian, who had for some time navigated the 
Parana, fell into our hands with the rest of the prisoners, 
and rendered us some important services on the voyage. 

Proceeding towards the upper river, we met vdt\i 
no obstacles as far as Bajada, the capital of the province 
of Entre Kios, where Ourives was stationed with his 
army. Landing, as we did on various occasions during 
this journey, to procure fresh beef, we were opposed by 
the inhabitants and the cavalry guarding the shore, 
and some slight skirmishing took j)lace, with alternate 
advantafie and loss. In one of these fights I lost an 


Italian officer, Vallerga, of Loano, a splendidly brave 
young fellow of great intellectual promise, among 
other things a profound mathematician. I missed him 
terribly. One more cross erected over the bones of a 
son of our most unhappy land ! He died in a just 
pause, it is true, but, like so many others, he had hoped 
one day to give his life for his own country. 

At Bajada, where Ourives had his head-quarters, we 
found formidable preparations for receiving us. Here 
we risked a battle, which at first promised more 
important results; but the favourable wind, and the 
distance we w^ere able to leave between ourselves and 
the enemy's batteries, in passing, allowed us to escape 
once more from dangers which might have been 
serious. There was a brisk fire kept up on both sides, 
but the losses were insignificant. 

At Las Conchas, a few miles above Bajada, we landed 
by night, and, in the teeth of a fierce resistance on the 
enemy's part, carried off fourteen bullocks. Our men 
fought on this occasion with distinguished valour, 
Vallerga, whom I liave already mentioned, and a horse- 
breaker named Battaglia signalizing themselves beyond 
all the others. 

The enemy's artillery followed the river-bank, and, 
profiting by the contrary wind and the narrowness of 
the stream, cannonaded us whenever they could do so 
with advantage ; and also, when possible, galled us with 
musketry-fire. At Cerrito, a strong position on the 
left bank of the Parana, the enemy established a battery 
of six cannon. The wind was favourable, but slight. 


and just at that point, on account of the windings of the 
river, it blew right in our faces, so that we were obliged 
to resort to kedging for the space of about two miles, 
taking forward small anchors, with long hawsers attached 
to them, and hauling at the latter, while the drums 
sounded the charge. Thus we proceeded at slow speed, 
as the opposing current was strong in narrow places. 
Fortunately, the enemy's battery was too high and too 
near, so that their fire passed over our heads. 

Tliis fight was a brilliant one. The greater number 
of our men were stationed at the hawsers and in the 
boats, the rest at the guns and muskets. We fought 
and worked away with the greatest cheerfulness — battles 
had become a game for my gallant comrades. 

It should be remembered that our adversaries belonged 
to an army elated -with recent victory, and therefore 
full of proud confidence — the same army which shortly 
afterwards completely defeated ours — together with that 
of Corrientes, which had joined us — at Arroyo Grande. 

Every obstacle was overcome, mtli slight loss, and 
that only from the enemy's muskets, as the heavy guns 
fired over our heads, scarcely damaging the rigging. 
After having silenced the enemy's fire and dismounted 
some of his guns, we passed on ; and soon found our- 
sehes, with all our vessels, out of danger, and with 
plenty of sailing-room. Several Corrientes and Para- 
guayan merchant vessels, which had placed themselves 
under the protection of the battery, fell into our hands 
with little trouble on our part. These acquisitions 
furnished us with victuals and stores of all kinds. 

( 145 ) 



We proceeded thence on our arduous voyage up the 
river. The enemy grew tired of obstructing our passage, 
and, after grounding several times with one or other of 
our vessels — generally the Constitucion — we reached 
Cavallo-Guatia, where we joined the Corrientes flotilla, 
consisting of two gunboats and an armed palandra. 
These vessels supplied us with fresh provisions, so that 
our condition in this respect was somewhat improved. 
We had skilled and trustworthy pilots, and a reinforce- 
ment which, though ,small, was very useful, especially 
as regards the morale of the men. 

Having in this way reached the Costa Brava, we 
were obliged to stop there, on account of the shallowness 
of the river, there being only about three feet more 
water than the draught of the Constitucion. This draw- 
back began to cause me grave misgivings as to the issue 
of the expedition. 

I knew well enough that the enemy would use his 
utmost endeavours to frustrate our bold, not to say rash, 
attempt ; for had we reached Corrientes, we could have 
done him immense injury by acquiring a hold on a 
river like the Upper Parana, in an intermediate position 

VOL. I. L 


between Paraguay and the internal provinces of the 
Argentine Eepublic. The river might also have become 
the head-quarters of bands of pirates, who would harass 
and virtually destroy his commerce. 

In this extremity no efforts were neglected for our 
destruction — rendered an easy matter by the lowness of 
the river, which, according to the assertion of the guides, 
was such as had not been seen for fifty years, a state- 
ment confirmed by Perre, governor of Corrientes, him- 
self. As it was impossible to go on, I decided on putting 
the flotilla in the best state of defence, day by day 
expecting the appearance of Admiral Brown, whose 
mistake could not last very long. 

From the left bank of the Parana, below the sand- 
bank which impeded our further progress, and in a bend 
of the stream where there was a sufficient depth of water 
close to the bank, I drew out a line of ships beginning 
with a merchant yacht, on which I had four cannon 
placed. The Pereira was in the middle, and the Consti- 
tucion on the right, the line being thus at right angles to 
the direction of the river, and raking it with the port bat- 
tery of the corvette, which mounted more and heavier guns 
than the others. We thus opposed as large a force as pos- 
sible to the enemy, who was expected to come up the river. 

This arrangement cost us much labour on account of 
the current, which, although slight at the point we had 
chosen, did not fail to call into requisition our chains, 
anchors, and cables for mooring the vessels, especially 
the Constitucion, which had eighteen feet draught. We 
had not yet finished our work, when the enemy hove in 
sight, with seven vessels. Their force was far superior 


to ours, and moreover, from its position, able to receive 
reinforcements and supplies at pleasure. We were not 
only at a distance from Corrientes, the only country that 
could help us, but almost certain of receiving no assist- 
ance, as the facts will show. Yet we had, even with 
the certainty of defeat, to fight at least for the honour 
of our arms. And fight we did. 

The enemy, under the command of General Brown 
(reputed the first naval officer in South America, and 
justly so, having commanded the Buenos Ay res squadron 
ever since the revolt against the Spanish dominion), pro- 
ceeded against us, full of confidence in their own powers 
— I think it was June 15, 1842. The wind, though on 
that day favourable to the enemy, was slight ; and they 
were obliged to resort to kedging, in order to get the 
vessel along, following the left bank of the river, as 
the right was too shallow to be practicable for large 
vessels. As we commanded the left bank, on which our 
left flank rested, part of the crews and of the marines 
not needed on board were disembarked, in order to dis- 
pute the enemy's path inch by inch. Our land forces 
fought gallantly, and greatly retarded the enemy's pro- 
gress ; but the latter having landed 500 infantry on the 
same bank, our men were forced by superior numbers to 
fall back under the protection of the flotilla. Major Pedro 
Eodriguez, who commanded our landing-party, fought 
that day with all imaginable ' skill and bravery. He 
posted the pickets towards evening on the shore, and 
thus we remained all night, both sides preparing for the 
fight on the following day. 


Before sunrise on the 16th, the enemy opened fire on 
us with all the forces they had been able to bring up to 
the front during the night. I could have wished them 
to come nearer, since only our centre guns were of long 
range, and capable of damaging them ; the rest — ^the 
greater number, indeed — were small pieces, which could 
do them no harm at the distance they maintained, and 
therefore remained inactive. The old English admiral 
was well aware of the range of our artillery, and its 
marked inferiority compared with his own ; and there- 
fore, sacrificing the brilliant spectacle of a storm of 
grapeshot and a hand-to-hand encounter, he consulted 
the safety of his men by taking advantage of the longer 
range of his guns, and remained at a distance, which did 
not suit us at all. 

We fought without interruption till after nightfall, 
and with the greatest obstinacy on both sides. The 
first victim on board the Constitucion was again an 
Italian officer of great bravery — Giuseppe Borzone, a 
most promising young man ; and as the battle that 
instant grew fiercer, 1 could not attend to his burial. 

The losses on both sides were great — so much so that 
our ships had become mere hulks. The corvette, though 
we never ceased caulking the shot-holes, was leaking to 
such an extent that the water could with difficulty be 
kept under by incessant pumping, at which the whole 
crew took turns. The commander of the Pereira had 
been killed in a daring attack by land on the enemy's 
vessels. I lost in him the best and bravest of comrades. 

The dead were many, the wounded still more ; and 


the rest of the crew, though worn out, could not get any 
rest, on account of the water rising in the hold. Yet we 
still had powder and shot on board, and were bound to 
fight on — not for victory, not for safety, but for honour. 

Honour ! I feel inclined to laugh, a bitter laugh of 
scorn, when I think of a soldier's honour ! The 
honour of Bourbons, Spaniards, Austrians, French ! the 
honour of the murderer, who assaults the defenceless 
traveller on the high-road ! the honour which makes 
us slaughter our fellow-countrymen, our political co- 
religionists ; — while a monster on the throne, a sceptred 
scoundrel, enjoys the sight, laughing in his sleeve, 
amid the lurid revelry of Naples, Vienna, Madrid, or 

We at least might truly be said to fight for honour, 
and for an honour which did not clash with the dictates 
of conscience; since we fought to defend a nation 
against two tyrants — for honour's sake, six hundred 
miles from Montevideo, with enemies on all sides, after 
weeks of hunger, weariness, and hardship, and with all 
but certain destruction before us ! 

And all this time Vidal, Prime Minister of the 
Kepublic, was heaping up doubloons — to spend in driving 
about in a carriage, and otherwise making a figure in 
the first capitals of Europe. And the people ? Created, 
seemingly, to be food for such as these: Malatesti, 
Baglioni, emperors, kings, to rule over them ; priests and 
doctrinaires to deceive them ! Honour, liberty, justice, 
laws ! Here they are ! This is the world ! What is 
the advantage to the people, to those who toil, and die 


of hunger ? What is the advantage to those who throw 
away their lives — to the countless noble Italians driven 
into strange lands by the misfortunes of their country ? 
Columbus in chains ; Castelli beheaded in the Plaza at 
Buenos Ayres ; Borso di Carminati shot in Spain ! 
What men ! what services rendered ! And how repaid ? 
By the foreign sympathies just now manifested in 
Eome, when nations, who owe to her their escape from 
barbarism, joined together to thrust her back into the 
degradation from which she was struggling to raise 
herself. O Kome! mother! great teacher and 
lady of nations ! Yet they trembled at the shaking of 
thy locks, and had to resort tO' fraud, to division sown in 
thy ranks, to shameless espionage, before they could 
debase thee ! And therefore Italy is still great, and on 
the day when a fearless word of redemption reaches the 
ear of her sons, the vultures tearing at her heart will 
vanish away. 

During the night of the 16th all the men were busy 
making cartridges, as we had consumed our whole stock ; 
in cutting up chains to supply the missing bullets ; and 
in pumping out the water, which still continued to rise. 
Manuel Eodriguez, the same Catalan officer who had 
escaped with me from the wreck of the Eio Pardo on the 
coast of Santa Caterina, with a handful of the best men, 
equipped a few merchant vessels as fire-ships with all 
the combustibles procurable. When these were ready, 
about midnight, they were towed in the direction of the 
enemy. This expedient could not fail to harass them 
all night long, but did not have the result I expected : 


the principal cause of our want of success being the 
extreme fatigue of our men. 

Among the contretemps of that disastrous night, the 
one that affected me most was the desertion of the Cor- 
rientes squadron. Villegas, its commander, like so many 
other braggarts,' recognized by me as such in times of 
peace and revelry, was so unnerved at the approach of 
danger as to resolve on the most degrading and 
ignominious of crimes — that of deserting in presence of 
the enemy. He could be of little use to me in a fight 
at long range, as his guns were too small ; but he might 
have given great assistance in fighting at close quarters, 
had we boarded any of the enemy's vessels, or had they 
boarded us, his crew being composed of young and 
spirited men. Besides, as he himself knew the river 
well, and had good pilots on board, he was very 
serviceable to me; and, lastly, would have been in- 
valuable after the catastrophe, to save the wounded, and 
make the retreat less disastrous. 

From the beginning of the fight I had seen that 
Villegas was alarmed, and had for this reason ordered 
him to take up his position behind our line, so as to be 
sheltered from the enemy's projectiles, and given into 
his charge the merchant vessel which was to serve as 
hospital. Towards evening he sent me word that he 
was changing his position, giving some reason which I 
forget. As I required his co-operation during the night 
in the launching of the fireships, I sent for him, and 
was thunderstruck on hearing that he was nowhere to 
be found. I would not believe him capable of such 


treachery, and went myself in a small boat to ascertain 
the fact Not finding him, I advanced some miles 
towards Corrientes, but in vain; the cbward had escaped 
and betrayed us. I returned, overwhelmed with grief 
and anxiety. 

My anxiety was fully justified, as the majority of our 
light vessels had perished during the fight, and I was 
reckoning on the Corrientes ships for the inevitable 
retreat, to save our many wounded and transport the 
provisions necessary for all of us ; as we were still at a 
great distance from the inhabited frontier of Corrientes. 
My last hopes vanished in this wretched failure of our 
allies. Desertion in the hour of danger is the most 
heinous of all crimes. 

Daybreak was not far oft' when I returned on board. 
We had to fight ; and all the men I saw around me were 
utterly worn out with fatigue. I heard no sound but 
the heart-rending moans of our unhappy wounded, not 
yet removed to the hospital, which was already full. I 
sounded the reveille, called the men together, and, stand- 
ing on a pump, addressed to them a few words of 
comfort and encouragement. My words were not in 
vain ; I found in the hearts of my wearied companions 
enough resolution to raise my own spirits, and convince 
me that at least they were willing to save our honour. 
With one voice those gallant fellows shouted our battle- 
cry, and every one was at his post. 

It was not yet quite light when the battle began 
again ; but though on the preceding day the advantage 
had seemed to be on our side, on the second it was 


evident beyond possibility of mistake that we were 
getting the worst of it. Our new cartridges were of 
inferior powder ; the balls of the right calibre had come 
to an end, and their places were supplied with smaller 
ones, whose size prevented accuracy of aim, especially 
in our long-range eighteen-pounders, placed in the centre 
of the Constitucions battery, and in the two swivels on 
board the Pereira, which had done so much execution 
the day before. We had, indeed, cut up some chain-cables 
during the night, to serve as projectiles ; but even 
these, which might have been of service at close quarters, 
were useless at long range. The enemy perceived that 
our shots were growing less frequent, and being, more- 
over, informed of our situation by numerous deserters, 
who took advantage of our contact with the shore, grew 
bolder and bolder; and, influenced by the same con- 
siderations, brought all their ships into line, which 
they had been hindered by our fire from doing on the 
previous day. Their condition was improving, moment by 
moment, as ours grew worse. At last we were obliged to 
think of retreat — but not for the ships, which could not 
be moved from the spot, as there was scarcely a whole 
timber about them, and the rigging was nearly all in 
pieces, not to mention the want of water in the river. 
The Pereira was subjected to a momentary investiga- 
tion, in order to learn whether she could be put under 
sail, but we found her totally unfit. Only the Procida 
could be saved, with part of the wounded, and some 
ammunition. We therefore had to confine ourselves to 
saving the remnant of the crew, and firing the flotilla. 


To this end, I ordered the rest of the wounded to be 
removed into the boats that were left, along with all the 
small arms, ammunition, and provisions that could be 
got on board. Meanwhile, the fight went on more 
feebly than before on one side, and with much more 
spirit on the other ; while at the same time we prepared 
to burn the ships. 

Here I must relate a distressing episode, caused by 
excess in spirituous liquors. The crews commanded by 
me included men of all nationalities. The foreigners 
were for the most part sailors, and nearly all deserters 
from men-of-war — who, I must confess, were the least 
rascally. As to the Americans, nearly every man of 
them had been turned out of the land army for some 
crime — usually for murder ; so that they were as easy 
to rule as wild horses, and required all the rigorous 
discipline of a man-of-war to keep them in order. Only 
on the day of battle were this motley crew at all subject 
to discipline ; and then indeed they fought like lions. 
Now, in order to set fire the more effectually to the 
vessels, we had collected piles of combustibles in the 
hold of each, and emptied over them the brandy-casks 
which had formed part of our stores. Unfortunately, 
these men, accustomed to scanty rations of spirits, find- 
ing themselves in presence of such unheard-of abundance, 
got so drunk as to be quite incapable of moving. 

It was a most painful position to be placed in — to 
find one's self confronted by the urgent necessity of 
leaving brave and unfortunate men a prey to the 
flames. I did my utmost, entreating those of their 


comrades who were a little more sober not to desert 
them; and myself, up to the last moment, seizing as 
many as I could, and carrying them on my back into 
safety. Unhappily, however, several were blown up with 
the fragments of the ship. 

In certain battles, I have been disgusted by seeing 
even officers in a state of intoxication. Probably they 
wished to give themselves courage. If such degradation 
is sickening in any man, however low his rank, in an 
officer it is truly disgraceful. 

All being ready, we set fire to the vessels, and I left 
them, in company with the few men who had remained 
with me to the last. The enemy, of course, per- 
ceived that we had disembarked, and were retreating; 
and all their infantry, to the number of about 500, at 
once marched in pursuit of tis. We were quite willing 
to fight, but a battle just now would have been on most 
unequal terms, what with our numerical inferiority, the 
better training of the enemy's infantry, and, lastly, the 
state of our weapons and men. Another great dis- 
advantage was the fact that our line of retreat was 
crossed at a short distance by an important tributary of 
the Parana. We were only saved by the explosion of 
the powder-magazines of the flotilla, which took place 
in an imposing and terrible manner ; so that the enemy, 
struck -wdth consternation, desisted from pursuit. 

The explosion of the ships was a surprising spectacle. 
On the spot where they had been, the surface of the river 
remained, smooth as a mirror ; while on both banks of 
the wide stream the fragments fell with an awful crash. 




We passed the river Espinilla in the night, and en- 
camped on its right bank. We took three days getting 
to Esquina, the first village of Corrientes, marching 
with difficulty among islands and swamps, and reduced 
to a scanty daily ration of one small biscuit. On reach- 
ing Esquina, our condition was somewhat improved ; 
we were able to place our wounded under cover, had 
meat in abundance ; and found unlimited hospitality 
among the kindly people of the country. 

During several months, which we passed in the 
province of Corrientes, nothing of interest happened. 
The provincial government projected the arming of a 
small flotilla, but nothing came of it, except that I was 
forced to waste a great deal of time. I then received 
orders from the Montevideo government to march to- 
wards San Francisco, in Uruguay, and place myself and 
my forces under the orders of General Eibera, stationed 
with his army in that neighbourhood. We therefore 
crossed the Corrientes territory from Santa Lucia to 
the pass of Higos above the Uruguay, and, traversing 


the pass, descended to San Francisco partly by river 
and partly by land. At Salto I had the pleasure of 
meeting Anzani, who had at that time turned trader, — 
or rather clerk to Bini of Brescia, established for some 
time in that country. On arriving at San Francisco, 
I found some of our men-of-war there, and took command 
of them. 

General Eibera, President of the Eepublic of Monte- 
video, had passed with our whole army into Entre-Eios, 
where he was to unite with the Corrientes army, and 
then attack that of Ourives. On December 6, 1842, 
took place the famous battle of Arroyo Grande, in 
which our side succumbed : — three nations fighting for 
their sacred rights against a tyrant. I shall not com- 
ment on the causes of this disaster; they were too 
many and would take too long to enumerate in detail. 
It is certain, however, that the discords fomented by 
the ambition and selfishness of a few aspirants to power 
caused immense misfortunes to whole nations, ex- 
posing them defenceless to the exterminating force of 
a pitiless conqueror. Later on, the same thing as was 
then happening in the La Plata provinces took place in 
Italy, through the operation of the same forces broken 
loose from hell. I made but a short stay at San 
Francisco, where I found General Aguiar, who had re- 
mained there on account of his health. I soon received 
orders from him to repair with all my disposable forces 
to the pass of Vissillac. I was to be joined by a few 
hundred soldiers called aguerridos, under the command 
of Colonel Guerra, who were to co-operate with us. 


Arrived at Vissillac with the ships, I found there a few 
remnants of the army — that is to say, of the materiel, 
but not a single man. I sent scouts to search the 
country ; nothing ! It was the fatal 6th of December — 
all, to a man, had been summoned to the battle which 
was being decided eighteen miles away on the banks of 
the Arroyo Grande. 

There is something in our natures above and beyond 
the region of intellect, which cannot be defined or 
explained, but certainly exists ; and its effects, however 
confused, are a presentiment — whatever sense may be 
attached to the term — which brings either satisfaction 
or bitterness to the heart. Perhaps that infinitesimal 
spark, emanating from the Infinite, which has its abode 
in this wretched outward husk, but is immortal as the 
Infinite itself, is capable of a consciousness beyond 
the reach of sight or sense. We could perceive nothing 
whatever on those arid plains, yet that day there was 
a look of grim, desolate solemnity about them — deso- 
late as the hearts of those who lay wounded and dying 
on the battle-field, trodden underfoot by the insolent 
soldier, or the hoofs of the conqueror's charger, — 
his rider rejoicing the while in the sufferings, torture, 
and death of the vanquished. And we call these scenes 
of slaughter — glory, heroism, victory ; and for such are 
Te Deums chanted in our cathedrals by tonsured 
hirelings ! 

Very few indeed escaped with their lives from that 
terrible fight, and the presentiment of disaster felt by us 
was in nowise exaggerated. 


Finding no one to give us news of the army, and no 
orders from the commander-in-chief (which General 
Aguiar had given me to understand I should receive), 
we resolved to land the whole force, with the exception 
of a small reserve to be left in the ships, and march in 
search of the enemy. A small corps, coming entire into 
the neighbourhood of a routed army, may — as I have 
more than once experienced — be of the greatest service. 
It may not be possible to change the defeat into a 
victory, but one can always save part of the materiel, 
and some of the men, wounded or not, who without 
help would certainly fall into the hands of the enemy. 
Often, too, it is very probable that the enemy's troops — 
themselves, though victorious, necessarily somewhat dis- 
ordered after a battle — will halt on seeing a small corps 
advancing firmly and in good order, and leave the 
conquered an easier and less fatiguing retreat. 

Such certainly was the result which followed the 
conduct of the volunteers in the campaign of 1866, at 
the battle of Custozza. Forming, as they did, the extreme 
left of the Italian army, and being entrusted with the 
defence of Lake Garda, the volunteers, who, in small 
bodies, occupied the western shore of the lake, pushed 
forward on the retreat of the army after the battle, 
towards Lonato and Eivertella ; and by this movement 
facilitated the saving of the ammunition-waggons, and 
also of some of the wounded and stragglers. 

I remark, in passing, that, following my favourite Eio 
Grande system, I never made a land-march without a 
cavalry contingent, chosen from among my amphibious 


soldiers of fortune. Some of them were capital horse- 
men, expelled from the army for irregular conduct, 
perhaps for crimes ; but however that may be, they 
usually fought splendidly; and, of course, were punished 
when they deserved it. 

Although we found no men at that place, we met 
with some horses which had been left behind, and with 
these my free-lances soon succeeded in making up a 
sufficient mount for the intelligence department — an 
operation rendered very easy by the abundance of horses 
in those regions. 

We were ready for the march, and indeed in motion, 
when we were recalled to San Francisco by an order 
from General Aguiar. We should certainly have fallen 
victims had the enemy found us on the open plains 
of Entre Eios ; for, since our army had that day been 
completely dispersed, we should, instead of meeting with 
it, have encountered all but inevitable destruction. We 
therefore re-embarked without knowing why, or obtaining 
any news of what had happened. 

Having reached San Francisco, I received a note from 
Colonel Esteves, beginning with the ominous words, 
" Our army has suffered a reverse." General Aguiar 
had marched along the left bank of the Uruguay to 
pick up stragglers. I was requested to remain at San 
Francisco, to protect the supplies left there. 

In the period which elapsed between the battle of the 
Arroyo Grande and the beginning of the siege of Monte- 
video took place that confusion, that taking up, rejec- 
tion, and resuming of plans, which is usual in a similar 


conjuncture — that is, after a great defeat. The catas- 
trophe to our army was a real one — almost amounting 
to utter annihilation, since, for a long time, nothing like 
a corps could be collected out of its remnants. 

When it is remembered that the Montevideo army 
was going to attack the strongest body of troops ever 
seen in South America, elated by many recent victories, 
and to attack it in so disadvantageous a position as to 
have the great river Uruguay in their own rear, one 
can understand how the remnants of our army were 
dispersed or made prisoners. 

There was also much panic on our side, much irreso- 
lution, and many individual desertions, — as must of 
necessity be the case in a war where both parties speak 
the same language, and the head-quarters on both sides 
are in the same country. The nation, however, re- 
sponded with firmness and heroism to the brave men 
whose energetic voices called it to the rescue, proclaim- 
ing the country in danger, and summoning every one to 

In a short time we had a new army, neither so strong 
nor so well-disciplined as the first; but at least far 
fuller of dash and enthusiasm, more penetrated by the 
feeling of the sacred cause of duty which demanded 
their service. It was no longer the fortunes of one man 
which stimulated these multitudes to face the chances 
of battle — that man's star had set in the last conflict, 
and no subsequent efforts could make it rise again — 
but the cause of the nation, before which all hatred, 
aU personal feelings, all petty dissensions, were silent. 

VOL. I. M 


The Eepublic was threatened with foreign invasion. 
Every citizen hastened to range himself, with horse and 
weapons, under the banner of defence. The danger 
increased with the approach of Rosas' formidable army, 
commanded by his terrible lieutenant Ourives ; and as 
it rose, the zeal and patriotic devotion of that noble 
nation rose likewise. No one said a word about com- 
promise, or negotiation with the invader ; and from 
this fact may be inferred the unshaken firmness and 
heroic sacrifice, of which the nation was capable, which 
sustained a nine years' siege in its own capital, and 
conquered in the end. 

I blush to think of what we have done in Italy since 
the battle of Novara. And yet all Italy was imited in 
the desire to shake off the stranger's yoke — she was 
panting to fight, and I know our people to be full}' 
capable of stubborn endurance and enthusiastic energy. 
But the cause ? Oh, the causes of our misfortunes are 
so many ! And how many, too, are the traitors of 
deepest dye, but masked in countless disguises, nourished 
by our own beautiful and most unhappy land ! 

( 163 ) 



In the mean time, I received orders to sink the largest 
ships of our flotilla in the deepest part of the river, in 
the track of the enemy's fleet, should it ascend the 
Uruguay. Before I had done this, however, the order 
was countermanded, and I was directed to bum them 
instead. Here I was, then, obliged to destroy a third 
fleet. At least, in the first two cases we had been able 
to fight as our duty demanded ! Again becoming a land • 
force, we remained a few days longer at San Francisco, so 
as to allow of the remaining supplies of the army being 
withdrawn to Montevideo ; after which, we too marched 
on the capital, in the neighbourhood of which were to 
be assembled all the republican forces gradually being 

Little or nothing of importance occurred on our 
march, except the sagacity exhibited by General Pacheco, 
then a colonel at Mercedes. This illustrious Uru- 
guayan began in those perilous circumstances to give 
proof of a distinct superiority in courage, energy, and 
capacity. He was, beyond doubt, the principal champion 
of his country in the gigantic struggle sustained by 


Montevideo against foreign invasion — a struggle which 
will serve to future generations as a specimen of the 
spirit of nations who will not submit to an aggressor, 
however strong. 

I am proud of having shared with that gallant people 
several years of their immortal defence. Montevideo 
in those days presented a surprising spectacle. Ourives 
was victorious, and ruthlessly advancing at the head of 
an army which had passed like a tempest, like a thunder- 
bolt, over the Argentine provinces disaffected towards 
Rosas' government. The supplications of priests, wives, 
and mothers would have been of no avail to soften the 
Montevidean Coriolanus. The idea of chastising the 
insolent city which had driven him away to proclaim 
a hated rival in his place, and had watched his flight 
with derision, was to the fierce conqueror of Lavalle* 
the most delightful that could be imagined. Such utter 
destruction had fallen on the Montevidean army as has, 
perhaps, seldom been the lot of any, and only small 
and vridely scattered bodies of troops were now to be 
found in the territory of the Republic. The flotilla was 
annihilated, arms and provisions exceedingly scarce, 
the treasury empty — as may well be imagined, with 
men like Vidal intent on nothing but amassing gold 
pieces, the most portable form of wealth, in case of 
meditated flight. And that thief was prime minister ! 

Yet we must defend ourselves — such was the unani- 
mous wish of that glorious nation. There were many 

* One of the bravest of the Argentine generals, and the bitter 
enemy of Rosas. 


devoted adherents of Eibera, M'ho could not possibly 
escape with their lives, if Ourives, Eibera's antagonist, 
effected his entrance — who, therefore, found defence 
absolutely necessary for their own safety ; yet these, 
fettered, for the most part, to the official manger, were 
helpless and irresolute. But to the nation, the real 
people, Ourives was not the opponent of Eibera, but the 
paid leader of a foreign army, the instrument of a 
tyrant whose weapons were invasion, slavery, and death. 
And the people rushed to the defence, fully conscious of 
their sacred rights. In a short time several cavalry 
corps were formed in the country ; and an army almost 
wholly composed of infantry was being organized at 
Montevideo, that Palladium of Uruguayan liberty, 
under the auspices of the often-victorious General Paz 
certainly one of the best and most honest chiefs of 
South America. 

. General Paz, removed from the command by official 
envy and imbecility, responded to the call of his 
country's danger, appeared at the head of the forces in 
the capital, and organized, with fresh recruits, and the 
slaves just emancipated by the Republic, that army 
which for seven years has been the bulwark of his 
country's liberties, and which still (1849) fearlessly 
holds its ground against the most formidable host 
those regions have ever seen. 

Many illustrious chiefs, hitherto forgotten, or in- 
different to wars where individual interests predomi- 
nated, appeared in the ranks of the defenders, and 
increased their enthusiasm and trustworthiness. A 


line of fortifications was traced round the city, on the 
land side of the isthmus, at which the whole population 
worked with so much zeal as to complete it before the 
enemy's arrival. 

Manufactories of arms and ammunition, cannon- 
foundries, workshops for the making of clothes and all 
necessaries for the soldiers — all these were improvised 
as if by miracle. The cannon which, since the time 
of the Spaniards, had been considered useless, and 
placed in the streets to form a kind of balustrade 
along the edges of the pavements, were taken up and 
mounted for the defence. The arrival of General 
Pacheco from Mercedes, and his appointment as 
minister of war, gave the finishing touch to the 

I was appointed to organize a new fleet, as not even 
the slightest traces of the former one remained — thanks 
to the traitorous minister alluded to above. A few 
small merchant vessels were hired, which we armed 
as well as we could, being enabled by a fortunate 
incident to pursue this undertaking with some success. 
The Oscar, a Buenos Ayres brigantine, cruising about 
the coast by night, ran aground off the point of the 
Cerro (a mountain about six miles west of Montevideo, 
jutting out into the river, and so forming the western 
sides of the harbour) ; and, in spite of many efforts to 
get her afloat, the enemy were obliged to abandon her 
— a circumstance of which we did not fail to take 
advantage. At first they attempted to prevent our 
approaching the wreck, and sent the topsail-schooner 


Palmar to bombard us ; but, seeing the slight result 
of their shots, and our obstinacy in recovering the spoil 
from the rocks, they left us free to finish our work. 

Among the many articles saved from the Oscar were 
five cannon — exceedingly valuable to us, as they served 
to arm three small vessels, the first of the new flotilla, 
which were immediately used to cover the left ex- 
tremity of the line of forts. The wreck of the Oscar 
seemed to me a good omen for the arduous defence 
now .preparing, and was a new stimulus to the general 




On February 16, 1843, when we had only just completed 
the fortifications of the city, and mounted a few guns 
thereon, the vanguard of the Buenos Ayres army ap- 
peared on the adjoining heights. General Eibera, at 
the head of the cavalry force, which was too weak to 
oppose the enemy, had found his way past the latter, 
and, taking to the open country, turned their left flank, 
and harassed their rear. Such a manoeuvre easily 
succeeds in a country where every man is an accom- 
plished horseman, and where, meat being the only food 
on campaign, the cumbersome baggage-trains indispen- 
sable in European wars are needless. Eibera, moreover, 
though not a great general in regular battle, was a 
master of the stratagems peculiar to guerilla warfare ; 
and this step, dexterously carried out, enabled him to 
give great annoyance to the enemy. 

General Paz remained in command of the forces in 
the capital. These were numerous in comparison with 
the extent of walls to be defended ; but considering 
that they were all raw recruits, and by no means all 
model warriors — that is, penetrated with true patriotism 


— no one can do otherwise than admire the sagacity, 
courage, and determination of the illustrious commander, 
who, having organized and disciplined this force, 
sustained with it the first and most dangerous conflicts 
of the siege. In spite of the generous enthusiasm of 
the people, there were plenty of malcontents, cowards, 
and traitors. Vidal, the prime minister, had robbed 
the treasury and absconded. One Antuna, colonel of a 
corps and chief of the police, had gone over to the 
enemy, with many other officials and employes. One 
of those corps called "Los Aguerridos," which were 
composed of foreigners in the pay of the Eepublic, had 
not only deserted, almost wholesale, in several instal- 
ments, but, one night when occupying the outposts, 
seriously endangered the city's safety by its treason. 

Such actions were the natural consequences of the 
conduct of certain individuals, who, believing everything 
■ to be lost, quitted the ranks of the defenders under one 
pretext or another, and went over to the enemy. Our 
affairs were in a desperate state from the first ; and I 
could never understand why Ourives, who was kept 
minutely informed of all by his adherents within the 
city, did not take advantage of this disorder, and the 
insufficiency of our fortifications, to make a vigorous 
attack on the place. He confined himself to reconnais- 
sances and sham attacks by night, which served only to 
exercise the inexperienced Montevidean soldiers. 

Meanwhile, the foreign legions were being armed and 
organized ; and, whatever view may be taken of the 
motives which dictated the arming of the French and 


Italian legions, it cannot be denied that the first call 
to arms was the effect of a generous impulse to defend 
against invasion the hospitable land which had offered 
them an asylum. It is indeed true that, later on, cer- 
tain individuals introduced themselves into these troops 
from motives of self-interest; but, be that as it may, 
the arming and organization of these corps, if not decisive 
of victory, served at least to guarantee the safety of the 

The French, more numerous than ourselves, and with 
a better military reputation, had in a short time about 
2600 men under arms. The Italians assembled to the 
number of about five hundred, few enough compared 
with the total of our compatriots settled in the country, 
yet more than I had ever hoped for, considering our 
daily habits and the nature of our education. Their 
numbers afterwards increased, but never exceeded seven 

General Paz, taking advantage of this increase in his 
force, established an exterior line, at the distance of a 
cannon-shot from the walls. From that time forward 
there was a regularly organized system of defence, and 
the enemy was no longer able to approach the city. 
Being in charge of the fleet — the work of organizing 
which was still going on — I proposed as commander of 
the legion a certain Angelo Mancini, of infamous 
memory, who was accepted by the Government. 

( m ) 



The legion performed its first service in a sortie, and, as 
indeed one could not expect much from men quite 
unused to fighting, made no great figure ; and the Mon- 
tevideans derisively expressed their doubts of Italian 
valour. I was consumed with shame, and felt the 
necessity for silencing the laughers. 

On another occasion, it fell to the lot of the legion to 
take part in an expedition to the Cerro, in which I was 
to accompany them. This expedition was under the 
command of General Bauza, a good soldier, though very 
old. "We remained in sight of the enemy, marching and 
countermarching without any result. It was, perhaps, 
prudent not to attack an enemy who, if not more numerous 
than ourselves, were certainly better skilled in warfare ; 
but I was impatient to try my countrymen, and was urging 
on the old general, though in vain, when fortune sent 
us General Pacheco (then minister of war) from Monte- 
video. I was encouraged by the arrival of a man 
whom I knew to be both brave and enterprising, and, 
approaching him with the confidence and familiarity he 
always permitted me, I asked his leave to dislodge the 



enemy from behind a parapet commanding a ditch on 
the side nearest us, which afforded them a strong and 
secure position. The minister not only acceded to my 
request, but ordered General Bauza to support the 
movement of the Italian legion. I had the legion 
drawn up in column, by sections, under cover of a group 
of half-ruined houses. Two companies deployed in 
column to the front, and, after having recalled to their 
memories the glorious past of our country, I gave orders 
to attack the enemy's left wing. Accustomed to treat 
us with contempt, they awaited us without moving from 
their position, and received us with a terrible fusillade. 

But the Italian legion had sworn to conquer that 
day, and kept their oath. In vain did many of our men 
fall wounded; we went on unflinchingly, till,. when we 
came within bayonet-thrust of the enemy, the latter 
took to flight, and were pursued by us for some distance. 
Our centre and left wing were also victorious, so that 
forty-two prisoners remained in our hands. This achieve- 
ment, though slight in itself, was of the gi'eatest value 
in raising our army's morale, and lowering that of the 
enemy ; and from that day forward, the Italian legion 
followed its glorious career, to the general admiration. 

That day was the precursor of a thousand gallant 
deeds performed by our countrymen, never again de- 
feated ! On the same spot, near the Cerro, the Italian 
legion, with a detachment of cavalry and a small 
number of native infantry, gained a few months later, 
on March 28 — I do not remember the year — a splendid 
victory, in which a notorious general, Nuiiez, lost his 


life. On the day following our first small advantage, 
the legion was drawn up on the Plaza della Matriz, the 
principal square of Montevideo, in sight of a whole 
nation, hailed by universal acclamation, and receiving 
the praise and congratulations of the minister of war, 
whose eloquent words had found an echo among the 
multitudes. I have never heard words more touching, or 
better calculated to awaken a nation's best enthusiasm. 

With the Italian legion had fought on that day, for 
the first time in his life, and with great distinction, that 
same Giacomo Minuto — commonly called Brusco — who, 
as cavalry captain at Eome in '49, was wounded by a 
bullet in the chest, and died through tearing off his 
bandages when he heard that Bonaparte's troops had 
entered the city. 

Major Pedro Rodriguez, an ofBcer in the marine 
infantry, also fought gallantly. 

From that day until Anzani joined the legion, I was 
seldom at a distance from the corps, though nearly 
always occupied on board ship. Anzani happened to be 
about that time at Buenos Ayres, whence, on receiving 
my invitation, he repaired to Montevideo. He was an 
immense acquisition to the Italian legion, especially as 
regards instruction and discipline. He was a veteran 
warrior, having been through the Greek and Spanish 
wars ; and I never knew a braver, cooler, or better- 
informed of&cer. He was, I repeat, a treasure ; and I, 
not being a good organizer, was very fortunate in having 
such a friend and comrade at my side. Anzani was, 
moreover, free from selfish ambition and incorruptibly 


honest ; and I felt certain that, with him at the head of 
the legion, all would go well, and I should be free to 
devote myself to the fleet. 

Anzani was much thwarted by Mancini and Danus — 
the one titular colonel, the other major, and both of 
them worthless scoundrels, as was subsequently proved. 
These two could not brook the superior merit of Anzani, 
who, in spite of numberless petty annoyances from his 
two subordinates, soon, with his abundant military 
and administrative experience, placed the corps on as 
regular and systematic a footing as circumstances 

( 175 ) 



The fleet under my orders, though in itself of slight 
importance, was of some use in the defence of the town. 
It was posted at the left extremity of a line drawn 
across the isthmus which connects the peninsula on 
which Montevideo is situated with the mainland. The 
ships, drawn up at right angles to this line, not only 
completely protected it, but also menaced the enemy's 
right flank, in case of attack on the part of the latter. 
They also formed a link between the important position 
of the Cerro and "Liberty Island," called also the 
Island of the Eapids, and, above all, facilitated and 
actually took part in the attacks continually being 
made on the enemy's extreme right, which was 
blockading the Cerro. The enemy had already cast 
his eye on Liberty Island with a view to seizing it. 
As the Buenos Ayres squadron, under General Brown, 
was preparing to do this, it was resolved by our 
Government to anticipate their occupation, and I was 
entrusted with the duty of transporting thither two 
eighteen-pounders and a company of national guards. 
This operation took place by night. By about 10 p.m. 


all were landed in the island, and I was returning, with 
the launch, which had served to transport the guns, in 

One of those events then took place which, when 
conceived hy the imagination of romancers, must be 
a real satisfaction to their authors. Liberty Island, 
only a short cannon-shot from the shore of the Cerro, 
is distant about three miles from Montevideo. The 
wind was blowing from the south, which in that part 
causes an agitation of the water proportioned to the 
force of the wind, especially in crossing from the island 
to the breakwater of the city. I was on board a boat 
lately bought by Government — one of those launches 
belonging to merchant vessels, which, with their great 
breadth of beam,' are principally used in weighing 
anchor, — accompanied by the sailors necessary for the 
operation just effected, and having in tow the same 
long-boat on which we had brought the guns to the 
island. Between the heavy sea from the south and the 
almost cubical shape of the long-boat, which, having 
nothing heavy on board, rode very high on the water, 
we progressed slowly, and with much leeway towards 
the interior of the bay, on the north. All at once we 
perceived some men-of-war on our lee, to the north- 
west, so near that the sentinel called out to us from 
the bows of one of them, " Who goes there ? " 
" Silence ! " I said to the men ; it was beyond all doubt 
the enemy's squadron. Speaking in a low voice, I 
urged them to redouble their speed, and make as little 
noise as possible with the oars ; but, after the warning 


given by the sentinel, I fully expected a hail of bullets. 
Instead of which, we escaped as if by miracle, passing 
almost under the bowsprit of a vessel which I recognized 
as the Belgrano, and were able, without further moles- 
tation, to continue our voyage to Montevideo. 

The cause of our safety was, that at that very time 
the enemy's boats, laden with troops, had been sent to 
attack Liberty Island. The enemy's silence, then, was 
explained. The order had been issued because they 
wished to surprise the island; while, for the same 
reason, they did not send their boats to seize us, as they 
might easily have done. 

But what a stroke of luck for us ! We landed in 
safety at the breakwater, where we heard the beginning 
of a tremendous fusillade from the island, at that 
moment being attacked. I immediately informed the 
Government of what had occurred, and went on board, 
to prepare our little vessels for departure to relieve the 
island, should there be still time to do so. 

Our men in the island numbered about sixty, ill- 
armed and ill-provided with ammunition. At dawn 
I set sail from Montevideo, with only two out of the 
three ships we had; the third was not yet fitted with 
her guns. With two small vessels, each armed with 
a twelve-pounder carronade, taken from the wreck of 
the Oscar, we took up our position between the Cerro 
and the island, sailing with the wind ; and, in order to 
put an end to the uncertainty whether the island was 
in our hands or the enemy's, I was obliged to send the 
officer Clavelli in a yawl to reconnoitre. He returned 

VOL. I. N 


with the joyful news that the island was ours, and that 
the enemy's night-attack had been repulsed. Our brave 
nationals, though novices in arms, had fought like 
heroes, and not only driven back the enemy, but 
inflicted serious injury on them ; and the corpses of 
Kosas' soldiers were seen for several days after, floating 
on the waters of the harbour. 

I immediately landed the ammunition for the two 
eighteen-pounders, and an officer with several gunners 
to handle them. It was meanwhile growing lighter, 
and scarcely had we finished the above operation, when 
the enemy opened fire, and the island gave a quick 
response. We got the weather-gage of the enemy's 
squadron, and poured in a broadside with our two small 
guns. The combat, however, was extremely unequal, 
our opponents having two schooners and two brigan tines, 
among which was one armed with sixteen heavy guns. 
The guns of the island, capable of doing more damage 
than ours, had no platform — only, by good fortune, 
an old half-ruined parapet. They were very poorly 
provided with accessories, having been mounted in 
haste, and, worse than all, had very little ammunition. 
Although the sea was not very heavy, our shots from 
on board were rendered uncertain by the rolling of our 
small craft. At last, the officer Eafiaele, an Italian, 
whom I had sent to direct the fire of the two guns on the 
island, having exhausted his ammunition, lay down with 
his gunners and the nationals behind the little ruined 
parapet, on which the enemy were concentrating all 
their fire. 


The firing from the island having ceased, and that 
which we kept up from the vessels being of little con- 
sequence, the enemy began to put their ships about, 
running inshore ; and the Palmar sent a grapeshot from 
a long-range gun, which wounded several men on my 
deck, among others my mate Francisco, a brave mulatto, 
who was mortally injured. 

Once more does fortune come to our aid! C!ommodore 
Purvis, then commanding the British station at Monte- 
video, sent, or came himself, in a yawl, with one of those 
flags which quell the tempest — the flag of England. He 
interposed, putting an end to the conflict as though he 
had touched the combatants with a magic wand. It was 
the height of good fortune for me and for the Eepublic. 

From that moment negotiations began; the enemy's 
squadron left the port, and the island never again fell 
into the hands of a foreign power. 

What a splendid way of employing force ! What 
conduct compared with that of certain miserable 
Powers, who by a mere sign might have stopped, 
and might still stop, the shedding of rivers of blood ! 
With the lifting of a finger they might restore fallen 
nations, and restrain the madness of oppression in the 
powerful. Whatever Commodore Purvis's other reasons 
may have been, it is undeniable that this honest and 
generous Englishman was actuated by a chivalrous 
sympathy with a brave but unfortunate people. 

From that moment the Montevideans knew that they 
had in the English commodore not only a friend, but a 


The alSair of Liberty Island, the fortunate issue of 
wliich, although no efforts had been spared in its defence, 
was due rather to luck than to our own merit, added 
fame and importance to the arms of the Eepublic, in spite 
of the insignificance of the action. In this way — that i?, 
by means of small but successful undertakings — a cause, 
by many believed to be already lost, was gradually 
retrieved ; which clearly proves that despair is never 
allowable, either in war or in politics, especially where 
the cause of justice is the one at stake. The patriotic 
and excellent administration of the Government, with 
Pacheco at the head of it ; the conduct of the war, in the 
hands of the upright and high-minded General Paz ; 
the fearless and resolute bearing of the people, now freed 
from the presence of the few cowards and traitors who 
had disgraced them, the arming of the foreign legions ; — 
everytliing, in short, take it for all in all, presaged a 
fortunate issue. 

( 1^1 ) 



The Italian legion, whose first beginning had excited 
the ridicule of some, particularly of the French (long 
accustomed, through our own discords, to despise us), 
attained to such fame as awakened the envy of the best 
troops. Never yet defeated, it had shared the most 
(lifficult enterprises and the most arduous combats. 

At Tres Cruces, when the intrepid Colonel Neira, 
through his excessive gallantry, had fallen within the 
enemy's lines, the legion — that day under his orders 
in the van — sustained a truly Homeric hand-to-hand 
struggle, driving the Ourivistas from their strongest 
positions, till the body of their leader was recovered. 

The losses of the legion on that day were considerable, 
in proportion to the smallness of its numbers, — but also 
proportionately glorious. That success, which was so 
fearful a drain on its ranks, effected a still gi-eater 
increase ; for it attracted large numbers of new recruits, 
soldiers of a day, who fought like veterans. Such is the 
J talian soldier — such are the sons of the despised nation, 
when, once removed from the corrupting influence of 


priests and cowardly rulers, they are stimulated by the 
love of what is beautiful and noble. 

The passage of the Bajada (April 25) was also a 
skirmish of some importance. An army corps, under 
the orders of the same General Paz, had left Monte- 
video, and, passing the enemy's right wing, skirted the 
shore to the north of the bay, as far as the Pantanoso, 
a small muddy stream about t\vo cannon-shots from 
the Cerro. They were to join our forces stationed in 
that fortress, and strike a blow — if possible, a decisive 
one — at the enemy's forces thus enticed from their 
strong position at Cerrito, Ourives' head-quarters — or 
at least to surprise two battalions, posted on the banks 
of the marshy stream already mentioned. 

This enterprise, wliich was to accomplish so much, 
had little or no result, because, as often happens in com- 
plicated operations, the different diAdsions employed 
failed to act in concert. We were engaged, during the 
passage of the Pantanoso, in an obstinate combat. Of 
the three divisions wliich comprised our corps of 7000 
men, the rearguard was so beset by the enemy, who 
grew more confident as they recovered from their first 
surprise — in addition to the difficulty of crossing the 
river — as only to escape by great efforts and with the 
loss of many lives. I commanded the central division, 
which was already on the right bank of the Pantanoso, 
the name of which was no exaggeration, as there was in 
the bed of the stream a quagmire (jpantano) which 
swallowed up men and horses, and had to be passed on 
scattered and uneven stepping-stones. The general 


ordered me to recross the stream to help those in 
danger, and of course I had to obey, though much 
against my judgment, as I was certain to lose many 
men, and it was scarcely possible to accomplish the 
business satisfactorily. Our rearguard fought gallantly, 
but the enemy had surrounded them in ever-increasing 
numbers, and were already occupying a strong position 
in their rear — that is, on their line of retreat — within a 
salting-house (saladero). Besides which, our men found 
that their ammunition was exhausted. The van of the 
Italian legion was about to enter the saladero, when 
the head of a Buenos Ayres column had already entered 
it from the opposite direction, and ap'peared on the side 
nearest us. Here began a desperate hand-to-hand fight 
with the bayonet, in which at last Italian valour 
triumphed. By this time the ground was covered with 
corpses, and among the losses on our side we had to 
mourn the death of a gallant Ligurian, Captain Molinari. 
But our comrades of the rearguard were safe, and the 
balance of the fight re-established in our favour. Other 
corps came to our support, and the retreat was carried 
out with admirable success. After the battle. General 
Paz grasped my hand and said, " To-day I have seen 
that the Italians are really brave ! " 

The French legion, which ought to have carried out a 
simultaneous operation on the lines of the city, met with 
a reverse on the same day ; and thus we were enabled 
worthily to reply to the derisive speeches of these 
neighbours of ours. 

The 28th of March also was a day of great glory for 


the republican arms and the Italian legion. On that 
day the enterprise was directed by General Pacheco. 
The enemy was besieging the Cerro under General 
Nuiiez, one of the most famous leaders of the country, 
but a man who had at the beginning of the siege 
disgracefully deserted our ranks for those of Buenos 
Ayres. They were very active in that direction, and 
had several times even reached the ramparts of the 
fortress, threatening to cut off communication between 
it and the city, and destroying, by means of musket- 
shots, the light-house erected on the upper part of the 

General Pacheco ordered several corps to be transferred 
to the Cerro, our legion being one of them. The move- 
ment took place at night, and with the dawn .we of the 
legion were concealed in an old powder-magazine, sur- 
rounded by ruined buildings, about a mile to the north of 
the fortress. These buildings, though in ruins, still had 
some walls standing, and were large enough to contain, 
at a pinch, the whole of our force. The skirmishing 
began from the Cerro, after which the battle gradually 
grew fiercer. General Nunez, by nature impetuous, 
pushed boldly forward, till he gained possession of a 
strong post called Quadrado, a short cannon-shot from 
the old powder-magazine. Already we counted among 
our wounded two of the best of our leaders, Colonels 
Tajes and Estivao, when, as the signal for leaving our 
position did not appear from the top of the Cerro,* and 

* The fortress stands at a great height, on the top of that sugar- 


the affair was growing serious, we were summoned to 
rescue Colonel Caceres, in charge of the fighting force. 
I shall always be proud of having belonged to that 
handful of brave men called the Italian legion of Monte- 
\ddeo, who, whenever I saw them, were on the road to 
victory. But indeed on that day our Italians made a 
fine display of coolness and valour. They excited the 
admiration of the haughty Americans, who justly claim 
a reputation for exceptional bravery. 

The problem was to attack the enemy when posted on 
a height, and doubly sheltered by a ditch and a parapet. 
The ground we had to traverse in marching to the attack 
afforded no cover of any kind, so that .the enterprise was 
a hazardous one. But the legion would that day have 
faced the devil himself The men remembered that on 
the very ground they had won their diploma of valour. 
The blessings of a grateful people, the applause of 
Montevidean beauties, were still ringing in their ears. 
They marched on the enemy without firing a single 
shot, and without halting, till they had driven him into 
the Pantanoso, three miles from the battle-field. Nuiiez 
was killed, and many prisoners taken. Our comrades 
of the Uruguayan corps also fought with great bravery, 
and if the above-mentioned movement could have been 
retarded a little, so as to allow our right wing, under 
the brave Colonel Diaz, to advance and occupy the 

loaf seen by the Portuguese cabin-boy from the mast-head of the 
vessel which discovered the country. Through his exclamation, 
" Monte vide eu ! " ("I have seen a mountain! ") it gave its name to 
the future city. 


ground between the stream and the enemy, not one of 
the latter's infantry could have escaped. 

This feat of arms does great honour to the military 
genius of General Pacheco, forcing, as he did, the 
enemy's extreme right to remain on the defensive, at a 
distance from the Cerro, and on the further side of the 

( 187 ) 



Innumerable were the actions performed by the Italian 
legion during the first years of the siege, heavy were 
their losses in dead and wounded, but not a single 
encounter resulted in dishonour to those brave fellows — 
a band Italy may well be proud of. 

We too, in the first disastrous period, had our 
traitors — that Mancini of whom I have already made 

mention, one Danus, one Giovanni N , and a few 

poor wretches led away by them, deserted to the enemy. 
It was an untoward incident, but one soon forgotten in 
the glory won shortly after by the gallant legion. 

General Eibera was defeated at India Muerta, but 
this event caused no change in the zeal with which the 
defence of the capital was carried on. The leaders of 
the army, kept in practice by continual %hting with 
the besiegers, had acquired a moral superiority which 
increased every day. Then came the Anglo-French inter- 
vention, and now everything betokened a favourable 
ending to the war. 

Every country in the world will always be better off 
without foreign intervention. May this be, in the 


future, the lot of our poor Italy, so often a victim to 
this misfortune. In Montevideo, the conditions were 
somewhat different, this capital being a true cosmo- 
politan emporium, where foreigners of every nation are 
at least equal in number to the natives, while foreign 
interests are nearly always stronger than native ones. 
If Italy, diplomatically speaking, had been of any 
account in the Eio de la Plata, she ought to have taken 
part in the Anglo-French intervention, the resident 
Italians being quite equal in number to the subjects of 
those governments which took part in the treaty. But 
in 1842, when the siege began, the representative of the 
Italian Government at Montevideo was very little 
thought of, and only one small man-of-war showed the 
Italian flag on that roadstead. 

An expedition into Uruguay was one of the projects 
arranged between the Government of the Republic and 
the admirals of the two allied nations, and with the 
conduct of this expedition I was entrusted. Various 
additions had for some time past been made to our fleet 
— some were hired vessels, like the first ; others were 
the confiscated property of enemies of the Republic ; and 
others seized from the Buenos Ayreans, who used to 
send their merchant vessels into the Buceo — a harbour 
close to Ourives' head-quarters — and to other ports 
occupied by their army. 

Through the acquisition of these ships, and two others 
confiscated by the English and French, and placed at 
the disposal of the Montevidean Government, the expe- 
tlition into Uruguay consisted of some fifteen vessels, 


the largest of which was the Cagancha, a brigantine of 
sixteen guns, while some of the smaller ones were only- 

The troops to be landed were the Italian legion, about 
two hundred national guards under Colonel BattUe, now 
(1872) general, and President of the Eepublic, with a 
cavalry force of about a hundred men, and artillery, 
consisting in all of two four-pounders and six horses. 

Towards the end of 1845, this expedition left Mon- 
tevideo for Uruguay, to begin a glorious campaign, 
full of brilliant deeds, though unproductive as regards 
the ultimate welfare of the unfortunate and generous 
Oriental * nation. 

We reached Colonia, a town situated on a lofty 
promontory on the left bank of the Plata, where the 
Anglo-French squadrons were waiting for our arrival to 
storm the position. The undertaking was not difficult, 
under cover of overwhelming fires from the ships of 
three squadrons. I landed with my legionaries, followed 
by the nationals. The enemy offered no resistance 
within the walls, but when we had left them, we found 
him disposed to fight us. The allies having landed after 
us, I asked the admirals to support us while I was 
attempting to drive the enemy from the ground ; and 
accordingly, a force of both nations landed for the 
purpose. But when we were engaged in the open 

* It should be remembered that the Republic of Montevideo is 
called in full "Republica Oriental del Uruguay," being on the 
eastern bank of that river, whence the title "Oriental" often 
applied to the people. 


plain, and had obtained some advantage, in spite of 
the superior strength of the enemy, the allies — for what 
reason I know not — retired within the walls, and obliged 
us to do the same, being unable to continue the fight 
unsupported. Before our landing, when the Buenos 
Ayreans, overawed by the naval force, determined on 
abandoning the town, they obliged the inhabitants to 
evacuate it, and then attempted to set it on fire ; so that 
many houses presented the dreary spectacle of a confla- 
gration ; while, in order to make the fire take effect more 
quickly, they had broken up the furniture, and dashed 
to pieces everything they could lay hands on. 

When we landed — that is, the legion and Battlle's 
nationals — we had immediately followed the retreating 
enemy, and the allies, landing afterwards, occupied the 
empty town, sending, as we have seen, part of their 
troops to support us. 

Now, between the confusion of the fire and that of 
the ruins, it was difficult to keep up such discipline as 
to prevent all plundering ; and the French and English 
soldiers, in spite of strict orders from the admirals, did 
not fail to make use at their pleasure of the things left 
in the houses and about the streets. Our men, on their 
return, partly followed their example, in spite of all 
that the officers could do to restrain them. The repres- 
sion of disorder was not easy, seeing that Colonia was 
a place well supplied with every kind of provisions, more 
especially with spirituous liquors, which inflamed the 
unlawful inclinations of the plunderers. 

For the matter of that, however, our men took 


nothing worth mentioning, but provisions and some 
mattresses, which they carried into the church they were 
quartered in, to sleep on ; and these were, of course, left 
behind when we started, a few days later. However, 
if the allies had not set the example, such excesses on 
the part of our men would have been avoided. 

I have been somewhat prolix as to the details of this 
event, describing it with scrupulous truthfulness, in 
order to refute certain descriptions written by a chauvin, 
M. Page, at that time commander of the French brigan- 
tine Ducouadic, a man called by his countrymen a 
creature of Guizot, and sent out by that minister of 
Louis Philippe in the capacity of a secret agent. 

In describing the occurrences which took place at 
Colonia, this diplomatic spy has no words bad enough 
for the brigands Italiens ; and the result of his Gallic 
sympathies was seen when we landed to take the 
initiative in the operations. I had to place my own 
men under cover, not from the enemy's fire — for the 
enemy fled at our approach without pulling trigger — 
but from that of the Ducouadic, which, as her battery 
was broadside on to us, shelled us in a way which was 
perfectly scandalous. Some of the men received severe 
contusions from splinters and fragments of masonry 
sent us by the shots of this friendly power. 

I recollect that, among other titles, he has honoured 
us in his extravagant narrative with that of Condottieri — 
a word used by that gentleman to depreciate better men 
than himself. 




We had been obliged to take part in the capture of 
Colonia, but our real commission was to pass on and 
re-establish the authority of the Eepublic on the left 
bank of the Uruguay. The island of Martin- Garcia, 
where, with a small expedition, I anticipated Anzani, 
surrendered without resistance. In this island we pro- 
cured some cattle and a few horses. 

Here we met with a certain Vivorigna, one of the 
party in our favour, and the first matrero who joined 

A word about this class of adventurers, whose gallant 
services were of such assistance to us on this difficult 
and glorious expedition. The matrero is the true type 
of the independent man. Why should he remain in 
the midst of a corrupt society, dependent on a priest 
who deceives him, and a tyrant who revels in luxury 
on the fruit of his toil, when he might live on the 
boundless virgin plains of a new world, free as the 
eagle and the lion, resting his head when he is weary 
in the lap of the wife of his heart, or flying on his wild 


courser over the vast Pampas, in search of daily food 
for himself and his dear one ? * 

The matrero recognizes no government; but what 
does the happiness of the much-governed Europeans 
amount to? Enough ill-fated experiments have been 
and are being made in this matter to render the 
question a very difficult one. The matrero is inde- 
pendent, and rules over that immense expanse of 
country with the same authority as a government. He 
levies neither tax nor tribute, and does not take from 
the poor man his only hope, his son, in order to turn 
him into a paid cut-throat. He asks from the inhabi- 
tants, as a free gift, what is necessary to support his 
wandering existence — the matrero's necessities are 
limited indeed — and repays the giver by his work 
on horseback, most valuable in those countries. A , 
good horse is the matrero's first requirement ; his arms 
are usually carbine, pistol, sabre, and the inseparable 
knife, with which he kills and eats liis dinner. 

It must be remembered that the bullock provides 
him with all the furnishing of his saddle — the mancador, 
to tether his horse when grazing ; the mancas, to 
accustom it to remain in one place without straying; 
the bolas, to catch the caguar (wild horse) at his greatest 
speed, and overthrow him by entangling his legs. If 
not the most useful, the bolas are the most terrible 

* To one of these men of the plains, m South America, the 
piece of roast beef chosen and cooked by himself is the most 
natural and savoury of foods. I have seen them smile compas- 
sionately on seeing me eat partridges. 

VOL. I. 


weapon of the gaucho. With the bolas he strikes the 
caguar, as just mentioned ; the ostrich, the bird which 
does not fly, but in running rivals the horse in swift- 
ness; and man, when, after the battle, he flies before 
the enemy who has vanquished him. Woe to the 
fugitive mounted on a poor or a tired horse ; if pursued 
by the holeador, he will, while unable to free himself, 
feel his faithful companion give way under him and 
fall — unless, indeed, by letting his poncho trail behind 
him, he can dexterously catch the bolas, and thus keep 
his horse's hind-legs free. 

It is a surprising spectacle for us Europeans to see a 
cavalry force flying before the victorious enemy. The 
bolas of the pursuing troop, being all thrown at once, 
rise into the air like a cloud, and the fugitives are 
entangled, ridden down, and slaughtered by the fore- 
most horsemen, who, while doing so, do not even check 
their headlong course after the rest. 

The lasso — not the least useful auxiliary of the 
gaucho or the matrero (the two words are almost synony- 
mous, though the former is not like the latter, invariably 
independent of what is called a government ; often, after 
all, nothing but the amalgamation of a few of the most 
powerful) — the lasso, which always hangs at the horse's 
right shoulder in a way which seems careless, but is the 
result of perfect calculation, serves the South American 
as an instrument for procuring his food, and gaining his 
livelihood in the rare cases when he finds himself forced 
to work for his living. Flesh, generally beef, is the 
matrero's only food. 


Considering all those articles for the construction and 
continued use of which the knife is indispensable, we 
can form an idea of the importance assumed, in the 
eyes of the matrero, by this weapon, with which he 
shows wonderful dexterity, in slashing the face or 
cutting the throat of an enemy. He will never refuse 
to share his agado with you ; but you ought to have 
a knife of your own, so as not to run the risk of being 
refused the loan of his, which he values beyond 
everything else, and would, if lost, have great difficulty 
in replacing, being, as he is, at a distance from any 
town. The matrero, we have said, is the same as the 
" gaucho de las Pampas," the monarch of the cuchilla 
(hills) of the Eio Grande, only more lawless and 
independent. He will obey when the government falls 
in with his own notions and sympathies ; if not, the 
plains and the forest are his abode, and the sky his roof 
at most times. He sometimes, indeed, constructs huts 
in the forest, but it is seldom that he appears in 
inhabited places, and never without a sufficient reason — 
usually furnished by his mistress. The matrero has a 
mistress, and is generally adored by her ; she shares his 
hardships and dangers with a courage equal to his own. 
What a wonderful being is woman ! A creature of 
higher perfection than man, she is also more daring and 
chivalrous of temper than he ; but the servile education 
to which she is condemned prevents this from being 
observed as frequently as would otherwise be the case. 

Yivorigna, then, who was found in Martin-Garcia by 
Colonel Anzani, was the "first matrero who joined us 


though certainly not the best. On the banks of the 
Canal del Inferno, between Martin-Garcia and the main- 
land, he had lain in wait for a boat, and forced the 
boatman, by holding a pistol to his head, to ferry him 
over to the island, where he came to present himself 
to me. 

Many other matreros subsequently made their appear- 
ance, and, as I have already said, were of immense 
service to us. But the man whom I should like to 
adorn with a more creditable title, and who united to 
the daring courage of the matrero the chivalry and 
coolness of the stainless gentleman, was Captain Juan 
de la Cruz Ledesma, whom I shall often have to 
mention in the course of my account of the Salto 
expedition. Juan de la Cruz, with his black hair, his 
eagle eyes and noble bearing, had also the bravest and 
tenderest of hearts. 

He was a fearless and true-hearted comrade to me 
through all the Uruguay campaign, which I consider 
the most brilliant one of my life. I shall never forget 
either him or Jose INIundell, the son of a Scotchman, 
who had passed his life from infancy among those 
daring and independent sons of untamed nature. 
Mundell had not so much of the outward appearance 
of a matrero as Juan de la Cruz ; but, though of a 
different type — that of the countrymen of Wallace — he 
was as brave and better educated. 

Colonel BattUe (now President of the Republic) had 
remained with his nationals to garrison Colonia. He 
was a man equal to any undertaking, however arduous, 


and had been my comrade since the beginning of the 
siege. And I parted from this brave and kind-hearted 
officer with real regret. 

Having planted the Uruguayan standard at Martin- 
Garcia, and left some men there, the expedition con- 
tinned its voyage up to the river. Anzani led the van 
with some of our smaller ships, and seized several 
merchant vessels under the enemy's flag. In this 
manner, we reached Jaguary, where the Eio Negro 
joins the Uruguay. 




The Eio Negro, at the point where it flows into the 
Uruguay, forms several islands of considerable extent, 
usually consisting of wood and pasture-land. In the 
winter, when the rivers rise after the rains, these 
islands are almost entirely flooded, so that very few 
animals can remain there, and the greater part even of 
these swim over to the mainland, where they find the 
richest of pasture. Nevertheless, we foundjin the islands 
enough cattle to keep us supplied with meat, and also 
some wild mares and foals. The greatest advantage to 
us, however, was the fact that we could land the horses 
we had with us, and let them recover from the discomforts 
of shipboard. 

Besides these islands to the eastward, washed on the 
south by the Eio Negro, and on the north by the 
Uruguay, there is the Eincon de las Gallinas (Hens* 
Corner), a splendid and fertile piece of ground, united 
to the mainland by an isthmus. This peninsula 
abounded in animals of every kind, not excepting 
horses ; and was, therefore, a favourite station of the 


One of my first cares was to land some of the troops 
and establish myself on the shore of the Eincon, 
whence I sent out Yivorigna and his comrade Miranda 
as mounted scouts. They were not long in returning, 
bringing with them several matreros of the neighbour- 
hood. These new acquisitions were followed by others, 
and from that time forward we were able to begin 
organizing a cavalry force, which progressed visibly. 

The cavalry secured us abundance of meat, and the 
same night we undertook an operation against a party 
of the enemy, which turned out perfectly successful. 

The enterprise was entrusted to a Lieutenant Gallegos, 
who had left Montevideo with us — an of&cer whose 
brilliant valour was marred, unfortunately, by a blood- 
thirsty disposition. He surprised a detachment of the 
enemy, numbering about twenty, and brought back six 
prisoners (of whom some were wounded), killing nearly 
all the rest. The affair gained us some excellent horses, 
a most important item in our situation. 

The enemy's system of imprisoning the inhabitants 
of the coast in their houses, in order to cut off 
communication with us, caused a large number of those 
unfortunate people to join us. We offered them the 
largest island as a home, sending over a good number of 
cattle and several flocks of sheep as provision for them. 

The increase of the expedition in numbers and im- 
portance was greatly due to the fact that Juan de la 
Cruz had joined us. He and Mundell deserved the 
title of Prince of the Matreros ; and the way in which 
we discovered him is quite worthy of record. 


The matreros of the Eincon informed me that Juan de 
la Cruz, at the head of several parties of his men, had 
some days before defeated other parties of the enemy, 
but, overpowered by numbers, had been obliged to 
disband his followers and take to the woods alone. 
After this, he left his horse, and wandered in a light 
canoe among the least-known islands of the Uruguay, 
the object of the greatest vigilance on the part of the 
enemy, who — especially after the battle of India Muerta, 
when we no longer had any cavalry on the plains — used 
every effort to persecute the matreros, who would have 
none of their government. In such straits was our friend 
when it was suggested to me to send in search of him. 
I therefore sent Commandant Soldana, an old friend of 
Juan de la Cruz, with some matreros in a small boat 
we had, with orders to find his liiding-place and bring 
liim to us. They were successful. After a few days' 
delay, they came upon Juan de la Cruz in an island, 
up a tree, at the foot of which his canoe was hidden in 
tlie bushes, the islet being just then in a flooded state. 
He was quite ready to take to the bush again, had the 
searchers been enemies ; for from his post he could 
discover them at a sufficient distance to allow him to 
get away in safety. Our young Italians should take to 
heart this lesson as to the life they may be called upon 
to lead, if they really want to save our country. The 
fact, though disagreeable, is incontestable, that national 
independence and liberty must be won by dint of hard- 
ships, sacrifices, and courage. 

Juan de la Cruz was a valuable addition to our force. 


When once he had joined, we had with us all the 
matreros of the district, forming an excellent cavalry 
force — an indispensable condition of success in those 
countries which, by their very nature, are so well suited 
to horsemen. 




The island of Biscaino, the principal one of the Jaguary 
group, soon became a colony peopled by families flying 
from Buenos Ayrean barbarity, and by some of the 
poorer inhabitants of the capital, driven by want to 
follow in our tracks, where they were certain of finding 
meat, if nothing more. To this island we sent over large 
supplies of cattle, besides leaving some horses, with an 
officer in charge. 

Proceeding up the river, the expedition anchored at 
a point in front of Fray Bentos, but on the opposite 
side, in the province of Entre-Eios. Below, about eight 
miles from Fray Bentos, but still in the same part of 
Entre-Rios, is the mouth of the river Gualeguaychu, 
a tributary of the Uruguay. The town of the same 
name is about six miles up the stream. 

The province of Entre-Eios was hostile, and contained 
excellent horses, of which we stood greatly in need. 
Besides, the town of Gualeguaychu had the additional 
attraction of being a rich emporium, capable of clothing 
our whole ragged regiment, and providing us with 


saddlery and all other necessaries. We therefore resolved 
to touch there. 

"We had expressly gone about six miles higher up 
the river, to avoid arousing suspicion. During the 
night our brave legionaries, with the cavalry and a 
few horses, embarked on board our small ships and 
boats, and we made om* way down with all speed to our 

There was a family settled at the mouth of the river, 
where it was known that there were also several merchant 
vessels and an armed whaleboat. It was needful to 
take all these by surprise — which we did. 

We were so fortunate in this enterprise that, by one 
surprise after another, we reached the house of the 
commandant of Gualeguaychu, Colonel Villagra, who 
was found asleep in bed. All the authorities and the 
national guards fell into our hands as prisoners. We 
garrisoned the strongest points, established advanced 
outposts at a certain distance along every road by which 
the enemy might make his appearance, and then pro- 
ceeded to collect horses, and to requisition from the 
place all articles of pressing necessity. We procured at 
Gualeguaychu a large number of good horses, the 
material necessary for clothing all the men, saddlery for 
the cavalry, and some money, which was distributed 
among our poor soldiers and sailors, so long exposed to 
want and privation. The prisoners were all released at 
our departure — a piece of generosity which the fierce 
followers of Eosas, had they been the conquerors, would 
not have imitated. One cavalry detachment forming 


part of the garrison, which had been absent from the 
town at the time of our entrance, returned during our 
occupation. They were seen by our sentinels ; and a 
few of our horsemen — already better mounted and 
equipped — being sent to meet them, an encounter took 
place in which the enemy were put to flight. This first 
small engagement — a brilliant bit of fighting — greatly 
cheered the hearts of our men, and excited their passion 
for adventure, the more so as it took place in the 
presence of all. Only one of our men was wounded, 
but very severely. 

In the peninsula at the mouth of the Gualeguaychu, 
between that river and the Uruguay, was the residence 
of the family mentioned above. This peninsula suited 
us admirably for completing operations undisturbed ; 
as among these warlike people a cavalry force of 
surprising courage and activity can be raised in a very 
short time, among the inhabitants themselves. Our 
infantry embarked in the small vessels we had brought 
with us ; the cavalry, riding on the good horses we had 
seized, led the rest ; and we met again in the peninsula. 

The work of shipping and disembarking horses was 
not new to us, and in a few days all were landed — some 
on the island of Biscaino, the rest on other islands in 
the upper part of the river, to serve for future operations. 

We went on into the interior, and as far as Paysandu 
little or nothing took place worth mentioning. At that 
town, where there was a considerable garrison, the enemy 
had constructed several batteries, and sunk a large 
number of boats at various points of the channel to 


obstruct our passage. All these obstacles were overcome, 
a few balls, which struck our vessels, and some wounds 
received on board, being the sole effect of a heavy 
cannonading which we kept up against these batteries. 

I ought to mention two officers, one English, the other 
French, who, commanding two small ships of war of 
their respective nations, accompanied us, greatly to our 
advantage, through almost the whole of that expedition. 
Dench was the name of the English officer, who re- 
mained with us but a short time. The Frenchman was 
Hippolyte Morier, in command of the goelette V Eclair. 
This latter remained with us all the time that our enter- 
prise lasted. He was an officer of great merit, and we 
became much attached to him. 

We reached El Hervidero, formerly a fine estate, but 
then deserted, though still abounding in cattle, and 
therefore able to supply us during the whole' time of 
our stay. This point on the left bank of the Uruguay 
is called El Hervidero, from the Spanish hervir, " to boil." 
In fact, when the river is low, it seems like a boiliucr 
caldron on account of the whirlpools caused by a 
number of rocks under water, which, always lashed by 
an exceedingly swift current, make the passage of that 
spot very dangerous. 

A spacious house, with an azotea, or terraced roof, 
rises on the eminence commanding the left bank of the 
river. Bound it a number of raddchos (huts roofed with 
straw) attest the multitude of servants kept by the owner 
of the famous estancia in quieter times. 

The ganado manso, or herd of tame cattle, were still 


wandering round the houses, in search of the exiled 
inhabitants, and with them a majada, or flock of sheep, 
amounting to nearly forty thousand. These sheep, not 
having been shorn, trailed their fleeces along the ground 
and, when they moved over the hills, looked like waves 
of the sea. The number of cattle, including the wild 
ones (the ganado chucro, or alzado), cannot have been 
much less. Add to these, innumerable mares and foals, 
mostly wild, and other kinds of quadrupeds — hogs, 
asses, deer, etc. — and you will have an idea of those 
vast estates called estancias, where many families might 
live at ease — without a soul to inhabit them. All this 
is the result of the intestine wars from which this 
beautiful and unfortunate country is condemned to 

El Hervidero was also, in flourishing i\mj&s,di saladero — - 
that is, an establishment for salting down meat, hundreds 
of animals being slaughtered every day. Can it be 
that the misfortunes undergone by these nations are 2k 
retribution for the sufferings indicted by them on the 
lower animals ? I believe that death is simply a trans- 
mutation of matter, to which one must submit peaceably 
— or rather, with which one should try to grow familiar. 
But sufferings inflicted by one creature on another ! I 
truly believe that, if retribution exists in nature, it 
should fall upon the ministers of torture — of every 
suffering inflicted on dumb brutes. 

The buildings intended for all the different operations 
carried on in this vast establishment were stUl standing, 
so that it resembled a village with its feudal castle 


rather than a private country house. The expedition 
halted at El Hervidero, took possession of the houses, 
and threw up some temporary fortifications. The depth 
of the river was not sufficient to allow of our proceed- 
ing with the larger vessels. 

Anzani, with the Italian legion — about two hundred 
infantry — took up his quarters on the estate, in military 
occupation, as I have already said. These measures of 
precaution were well timed, and enabled us to repulse 
an unexpected attack, arranged between the hostile 
forces of Entre-Eios under General Garzon, and those of 
Uruguay under Colonel Lavalleja. This action took 
place during my absence from the Hervidero, an absence 
which 1 will proceed to explain. 

Among other things, Juan de le Cruz had under- 
taken to send word, through some of his men, to all 
matreros to be found in the vast plain on the left bank 
of the Uruguay, and especially those of the Queguay, . 
who were very numerous. A certain Magallanes, and 
one Jose Dominguez, both subordinate chiefs, were 
among the most celebrated ; but all willingly obeyed 
their principal leader, Jose Mundell, who has already 
been mentioned. Mundell was a Briton by birth, 
but, having come to the country as a child, he had 
quite identified himself with the people and their habits 
of life. He had managed one of the best estancias in 
the neighbourhood, and was one of those few privileged 
men who seem born to rule without violence over every 
one who comes near them. Without any particularly 
striking physical characteristics, he was supple and 


strong, and, as a frank and generous horseman, had 
gained the hearts of all — especially of the matreros, 
to whom he showed kindness in all their difficulties, 
while moderating their excessively adventurous and 
sometimes even sanguinary spirit. Mundell, though he 
had passed the greater part of his life in the desert, had, 
without other object in view than the gratification of 
his inclinations, cultivated his mind, and acquired by 
study no contemptible amount of knowledge. He had 
never mixed himself up with politics, so long as these 
centred merely in individual rivalries, impatience of 
authority, or personal ambition; but when, led by 
Ourives, foreigners invaded Uruguayan territory, Mun- 
dell considered indifference criminal, and immediately 
joined the ranks of the defenders of that country whose 
hospitality he had enjoyed from his childhood. 

With the reputation he had acquired among his 
gallant neighbours, he soon mustered several hundred 
men ; and, at the time I am speaking of, he caused 
information to be conveyed to me that he would follow 
me with these. The brave lads sent by Juan de la Cruz 
to Mundell had reached Hervidero with this message, and 
I immediately, in accordance with Mundell' s wish, re- 
solved on a personal interview with him in the Arroyo 
Malo, about thirty miles below the Salto. The Hervi- 
dero was attacked during the first night of my absence. 
As the firing could be heard from Arroyo Malo, I was 
naturally very anxious, though full of confidence in the 
courage and capacity of Anzani, whom I had left in sole 


The attack on the Hervidero had been planned and 
arranged in such a manner that, had the execution 
corresponded to the conception, it might have been 
fatal to us. Garzon, whose forces amounted to at least 
2000 men, the greater number infantry, was to approach 
on the right bank of the Uruguay, while Lavalleja was 
to attack the Hervidero on the left bank with 500 men. 
Two fireships constructed in the luy, a small stream 
above our position, had at the same time been impelled 
towards the squadron to prevent it from giving any 
assistance to the land force. Anzani's courage and 
coolness, and the fiery valour of my two hundred, 
rendered all the enemy's efforts and stratagems useless. 
Garzon obtained no result from the file-firing of his 
infantry, as he was too far off, and his side of the river 
was exposed to the guns of our ships, which kept up 
a heavy fire. The fireships, left to the current, passed 
at a distance from our vessels, or were destroyed by 
the cannon. Lavalleja vainly urged on his men against 
our legionaries, who, entrenched within the buildings, 
terrified the enemy by their proud and silent bearing. 
Anzani had ordered them not to fire a single shot till 
the enemy should be quite near, and this measure had 
the desired result; for, thinking that our men had 
evacuated the houses, they came close up, when, a 
general discharge saluting them on all sides, they 
immediately took to flight, and showed no inclination 
to return to the attack. 

Having made arrangements with Mundell regarding 
his entry into Salto, when occupied by us, I returned 

VOL. I. p 


to El Hervidero. At this time I received news from 
Uruguay that Colonel Baez was preparing to join me 
with a number of men, while the enemy's only man-of- 
war, stationed in the luy, deserted to us, with part of 
her crew. Everything, therefore, seemed to smile on 
our enterprise. 

( 2]1 ) 



After the battle of Arroyo Grande, the province of 
Corrientes had again fallen under the sway of Eosas ; 
but the admirable resistance offered by Montevideo, 
and some other favourable circumstances, roused it to 
claim its independence once more. 

The brothers Madariaga, the principal originators of 
that glorious revolution, liad summoned General Pae 
from Montevideo, and placed him in command of the 
army. The good old general had, through his own 
reputation and capacity, brought about an offensive 
and defensive alliance with Paraguay, which had 
furnished a respectable contingent to the Corrientes 
army. Matters, therefore, promised well in this direc- 
tion, and not the least among the objects which the 
expedition had in view was that of opening communi- 
cation with these interior provinces, and collecting 
together in the department of Salto the Uraguayan 
emigrants scattered through Corrientes and Brazil. 

I therefore sent a whale-boat from El Hervidero, 
with a message to General Paz. But her crew being 
discovered and pursued by the enemy, were forced to 


— « 

abandon her and take refuge in the woods. Three 
times the attempt had to be repeated, till a brave 
Italian officer, Giacomo Casella, taking advantage of a 
strong rise in the river, succeeded in overcoming all 
obstacles and reacliing the province of Corrientes. The 
same rise brought me with the flotilla to Salto, which 
town was garrisoned by the same Lavalleja who had 
attacked El Hervidero, and a force of about three 
hundred men, horse and foot. For some days he had 
been busy getting the city evacuated by the inhabi- 
tants, whom he placed with his own force in a fortified 
camp on the left bank of the Tapeby, at a distance of 
about twenty-one miles from the Salto.* We therefore 
occupied the city without resistance, and contrived to 
throw up some works there, which, as we shall see, were 
of great use to us. 

Having occupied this point, we were in consequence 
besieged on the land side; all the plain of Uruguay 
being in the power of the enemy. One of our principal 
disadvantages was, of course, the want of provisions, as 
all the cattle had been withdrawn into the interior. 
"We did not, however, long remain in this situation. 
Mundell, having raised about 150 men, attacked one 
of the enemy's generals who was annoying him, and 
then joined us at Salto. After this we began to make 
sorties and drive off the cattle we needed. With the 
cavalry of Mundell and Juan de la Cruz, we were quite 

* The Spaniards call a cataract salio. There are several in the 
neighbourhood of this town, from El Hervidero to the Salto Grande 
on the upper river. 


able to hold the country, and at last to seek Lavalleja 
in his own camp. Some deserters having given me 
exact particulars of his position and forces, I determined 
upon attacking him. One evening, having got together 
two hundred cavalry and a hundred of our legionaries, 
we started from Salto at nightfall, intending to surprise 
the enemy before morning. Our guides, the deserters 
already mentioned, though they knew the country well, 
led us astray, as there was no beaten track in the 
direction we had taken ; and day overtook us at a 
distance of three miles from the camp we were in 
search of. It was, perhaps, imprudent to attack an 
enemy at least as strong as ourselves, who was, more- 
over, entrenched in his camp, and might at any moment 
receive some reinforcements he had sent for. A retreat, 
however, would not only have been disgraceful, but 
would have discredited Italian valour in the eyes of 
the new troops I was leading, who had formed a high 
idea of it. In truth, I was little troubled by any 
thoughts of retreat, and resolved to attack, without 
checking our onward movement, so as to get all the 
advantage we could from a surprise. 

Having reached the top of an eminence, an outpost 
of the enemy's retiring at our approach, I discovered 
the camp, and acquainted myself fully with its position. 
I saw several knots of cavalry concentrating themselves 
from various directions upon it. They had been sent 
separately, during the night, to different points, to 
reconnoitre us — the general having heard rumours of 
our approach, in spite of all our precautions. Several 


herds of horses and bullocks — the first highly important 
as remounts for the cavalry, the second as the only 
food-supply to be had on the plains — were also being 
driven towards the camp. 

I immediately ordered Mundell, who led the van, to 
detach half of his cavalry to prevent, or at least delay, 
this concentration. The enemy, perceiving this move- 
ment on our part, imitated it, so as to protect the rest 
of their force. 

Mundell had executed his manoeuvre with great 
bravery, himself supporting, with the rest of his force, 
those sent to the front, and had charged and dispersed 
several detachments of the enemy ; but, in the heat 
of battle, not remembering the great distance which 
separated him from our infantry, he advanced too far, 
and found himself and his force surrounded by the 
whole of the enemy's cavalry, who, recovered from the 
first shock of surprise, were now almost within lance- 
thrust of them, and threatened to cut them off from 
our main body. The distance was great, but our 
infantry, young men luckily, were advancing at the 

I had a full view of the whole, as the plain was quite 
open, and we were coming downhill. At first, wishing 
to mass our small force, so as to execute a decisive 
coup de main, I hastened the march of the infantry, 
yet kept the entire force of Juan de la Cruz, who was 
marching in the rear, as a reserve. However, seeing 
that Mundell's situation would not admit of delay, I 
left the infantry behind, in charge of the gallant 


Marrocchetti, and hurried on the cavalry reserves en 
echelon. The first echelon, commanded by Lieutenant 
Gallegos, dashed bravely in and somewhat re-established 
the balance of the cavalry conflict. When Juan de la 
Cruz charged, the enemy retired, falling back on their 
camp, and drawing up their forces behind the line of 
infantry, under cover of a barricade of waggons. 

I had ordered the last echelons of our cavalry to 
charge in a body, without breaking their order, so that, 
covered by them, Mundell's matreros who, had fought 
gallantly, were able to form again in a moment. We 
then marched for the enemy's camp in regular battle^ 
array — infantry in the centre, massed in sections, and 
under orders not to fire a shot ; Mundell on the right, 
and Juan de la Cruz on the left, with some reserve 
detachments of cavalry following in the rear. 

The enemy's cavalry, as I said, had, after the first 
encounter, re-formed behind the infantry, the latter 
being in its turn covered by a line of waggons ; but the 
fearless aspect of our men, their compact and silent 
advance, so intimidated Lavalleja's troops that they 
offered but slight resistance. In another moment it 
was no longer a battle, but a rout, and the enemy were 
flying in disorder towards the crossing of the river 

At that crossing, some of the bravest, after having 
passed, wished to turn and make head against us. 
They might have done this, as the ford was a difficult 
one — and, indeed, they stopped our cavalry — but at the 
word of command, " Cartridge-pouches to your necks, 


and forward ! " the legionaries rushed into the water 
like so many demons, and there was no further resistance. 

I have never been able to explain to myself why 
Colonel Lavalleja had established his camp on the 
left bank of the Tapeby, instead of the right, where 
he cotdd certainly have offered a far more effectual 
resistance, especially if he had constructed some flying 
works at the ford itself 

The left bank was nearest to Salto, and probably it 
did not enter into the calculations of the brave old 
colonel that a few sailors and raw soldiers could march 
twenty miles in a night, and come up in time to fight 
him. Or else, aware of the approach of Urquiza's 
victorious army, he did not suppose we could think of 
leaving Salto. The fact remains, that, in time of war, 
precautions are usually more or less neglected. 

The triumph was complete, the whole of the infantry, 
some two hundred in number, and a few of the cavalry, 
remaining in our hands, as well as all the families of 
Salto, dragged from their hearths by Lavalleja ; thirty- 
four carts filled with all kinds of provisions, also 
brought from the town ; and, lastly, a large number of 
horses — a most welcome acquisition to us. 

The rarest and most important article among the 
spoils was a bronze six-pounder cannon, cast at 
Florence during the Middle Ages by a certain Cenni. 
It had probably come into the country with the first 
Spaniards, at the time of the discovery of the La Plata, 
or with the Portuguese, and was the same gun which 
had fired on us at El Hervidero, and, having been 


dismounted during the fighting of that night, was under 
repair at the camp. 

Our return to Salto was a triumphal march. We 
received the blessings of the people restored to their 
own homes, and this victory acquired our small corps 
a well-deserved reputation as a complete army capable 
of holding the country. 




The operation on the Tapeby had been executed with 
the greatest promptitude. After the fight, having 
collected together, as far as possible, all horses, arms, 
and other necessaries, we were once more ready for the 
march to Salto — in which our activity stood us in 
good stead. 

As I have already mentioned, Lavalleja was awaiting 
reinforcements; and these were no other than the 
victorious army of General Urquiza, who was returning 
from the rout of Eibera's forces at India Muerta, and 
marching towards Corrientes, to fight the army of 
that state. Vergara, who commanded his vanguard, 
appeared in sight of Salto the day after our return 
thither, and drove off some of our stray horses from the 
pastures of the neighbourhood. 

Foreseeing the tempest which awaited us, we made 
every effort to resist it. A battery, the plan of which 
was traced by Anzani, rose as if by magic in the centre 
of the city; soldiers and citizens working at it with 
a will. The houses adapted for defence were fortified, 
and all the men, soldiers, sailors, and horsemen. 


stationed along the line, ready for battle. We landed 
some ship-cannon, which were got into position on 
carriages in the battery. At the same time, moreover, 
Colonel Baez arrived at Salto with about sixty horses. 

Urquiza was not long in appearing with his army, 
horse, foot, and artillery, and very confident of victory. 
He had assured his friends that he would cross the 
Uruguay at Salto with the help of our captured fleet, 
but his prophetic powers were this time at fault. The 
enemy's attack was simultaneous with the appearance 
of his main body. There is on the eastern side of 
Salto, about a musket-shot from the first houses, a hill 
overlooking the whole town which we had not fortified 
on account of the small force at our disposal, and 
because it would have extended our line of defence too 
far ; so that, rather than guard it weakly, we preferred 
to abandon it altogether, and concentrate all our forces 
in the battery, and the nearest houses to right and 
left of it. As might have been expected, Urquiza took 
up his position on this hill, where he placed six pieces 
of ordnance ; and while urging his infantry at the 
charging pace against our right, poured a heavy fire into 
us from these guns. About the same time we had suc- 
ceeded in fixing two pieces on our battery, but had 
neither platform nor parapet, and the guns, in firing, 
buried themselves in the not yet consolidated ground. 

Our right was really our most vulnerable point, the 
enemy's approach to it being protected by a depression 
in the ground ; and, in fact, the impetuous and sudden 
appearance of his forces in considerable numbers so 


startled our right wing, that, quitting the azoteas, they 
fled towards the river, of course with the intention of 
taking refuge on board the ships. They did not, how- 
ever, succeed, all our small vessels being moored at a 
distance — a preventive measure which proved quite 

I remained on the battery, within which, when I 
arranged the men, I had kept one company of the legion 
in reserve. I immediately ordered half of this company, 
under the brave Lieutenant Zaccarello, to charge the 
inrushing enemy. The second half charged after the 
first, and so well was this carried out, that the enemy 
in their turn precipitately fled. 

The company I speak of was commanded by Captain 
Carone, and numbered scarcely fifty men, the two 
detachments being under the orders of Eamorino and 
Zaccarello, both brave officers and excellent soldiers. 
Our success on the right wing deterred the enemy from 
trying to attack us, and the fight was confined to 
artillery practice. In this last kind of fighting — though, 
for want of time, we had been obliged to let the enemy 
catch us unprepared — we did not fail to make a pretty 
good figure. 

I had caused the ship-cannon to be landed, under the 
supervision of those gallant naval ofiicers, Antonio 
Suzini and Cogliolo Leggiero, both from the island of 
Maddalena, and a third, Jose Maria; so that the enemy's 
artillery, though superior in numbers and position, was 
much damaged, and forced to retire every now and then 
behind the hill. 


The losses on both sides were not very serious, as 
there was no general assault all along the line. We 
lost, however, the greater part of our cattle, which were 
in a corral (enclosure), and, being wild, rushed out like 
a tempest and scattered over the plain, as soon as the 
enemy opened the gate. 

For three days Urquiza continued his efforts, and 
found us each day better prepared, as, even at night, we 
lost not a moment in completing the works at the 
battery, raising barricades, and repairing the damage 
done during the day. 

We placed five guns in the battery, and completed 
the platform, the parapet, and the powder-magazine. 
At last, seeing that he made no progress by attacking 
and bombarding us, Urquiza adopted the blockade 
system, and enclosed us hermetically on the land side. 
But even then he was still disappointed, for we 
remained masters of the river, and could in this way 
receive the necessary supplies. 

During the siege we did not remain idle, but, being 
obliged to provide ourselves with hay for the animals, 
had some skirmishing with the enemy every day. After- 
wards, as they had been obliged, in order to restrain our 
excursions, to form a circle of outposts round us, we 
took advantage of the negligence with which these 
were guarded, to attack them unawares, and all but 
successfully. At last, after eighteen days' siege, tired 
out, or perhaps called by urgent affairs to another part 
of Uruguay, Urquiza left us, and crossed the river above 
Salto — but not in our vessels, as he had promised. 






The two cavalry divisions of Lamos and Vergara 
remained, with about 700 men, to invest us. From that 
time forward the enemy could only keep us besieged 
from a great distance, so that we were able to make 
some sorties, sometimes bringing in cattle, and sometimes 
colts, which enabled us to restore our cavalry to their 
normal standard — a large number of our horses having 
perished through the scarcity suffered in the siege. It 
must be remembered that the horses of this country are 
generally grass-fed only, very few being kept on corn. 

In these days took place a brilliant operation of a 
kind quite new to us Europeans. Garzon's army 
corps, stationed at Concordia, opposite Salto, had 
marched to join Urquiza, in order to throw itself, under 
the command of the latter, on Corrientes. A cavalry 
corps of observation remained at Corrientes, whose 
sentinels could be seen from Salto, as well as their 
troop of spare horses, which were driven down every 
day to the river-bank, where the pasture was better — 
not to mention the gi'eater ease in watering them — and 
withdrawn inland at night. 


Colonel Baez proposed to me to seize on this cabal- 
lada. One day, a score of picked horsemen were 
chosen, armed with sabres only, and a company of 
the legion distributed among the vessels, with orders to 
be ready at any moment to take to the boats. It was 
about noon, when the sun is hottest, and the enemy's 
sentinels, with their lances stuck upright in the ground, 
and their ponchos arranged as a kind of tent, were 
dozing or playing at cards in the shade. The river, at 
the point where we proposed crossing, is about five hun- 
dred yards wide, and very deep, with a strong current. 
The signal agreed upon was given, the horsemen left 
their shelter under the bushes on the bank, and plunged 
into the water with their horses, not saddled, but only 
bridled. The men of the legion, who had dropped 
into the boats one by one (on the side nearest to us, so 
as not to be perceived by the enemy), set off rowing at 
full speed. By the time the enemy's sentinels were 
aware of the movement, the shots of our active swim- 
mers were already whistling about their ears, and the 
amphibious centaurs, reaching the bank, were pursuing 
them uphill. The gallant American cavalry is the 
only one in the world capable of such operations. Both 
men and horses being excellent swimmers, and accus- 
tomed to the passage of large rivers, they can traverse 
the greatest distances with ease, generally holding the 
horse's mane with one hand and swimming with the 
other, while towing arms and baggage behind them in 
the carona, or square of raw hide laid under the saddle, 
which, with the four corners tied together, forms a small 


vessel quite capable of holding a man's weapons and 
clothing. This is called a pelota, and is fastened to the 
horse's tail when swimming. 

Part of the horsemen remained on the look-out on 
the hill, while the others were collecting the scattered 
horses and leading or driving them to the bank. On 
being pushed into the stream, at the place called the 
porto, where they were usually watered, the greater 
number swam across, while a few, the most reluctant or 
those considered most valuable, were tied to the boats 
and so dragged over. Meanwhile the legion exchanged 
a few shots with the enemy, who, though assembled in 
increasing numbers, were not numerous enough to ven- 
ture upon a charge, and kept at a respectful distance, in 
consideration of a few broadsides from the flotilla. To 
be brief, in a few hours we had a hundred and odd 
good horses, without the loss or even the wounding of a 
single man. 

This occurrence was remarkable on account of its 
novel character, and because it took place in full view 
of the town of Salto. Moreover, the horses of Entre 
Eios are universally esteemed, and with good reason. 
Our success in acquiring these naturally made us 
desirous of trying the strength of our besiegers a little. 
Vergara's division was pressing us closely, so we sent 
some men who knew the country to make observations, 
and were by them informed of the position he occupied. 

By day it would have been impossible to surprise 
him, so that we had to attack him by night. I had 
given the command of our cavalry to Colonel Baez. 


Anzani commanded the infantry ; and thus we marched 
out of Salto at nightfall, and made for the enemy's 
camp, about eight miles off. In spite of the care and 
silence with which our march was conducted, we were 
heard by the enemy's outposts, so that Vergara had 
time to mount and commence a retreat. We, how- 
ever, attacked without delay, though with our cavalry 
alone, the infantry being unable, in spite of all their 
efforts, to come up with us in time to join in the 

The enemy fought obstinately, but at the opportunely 
given command, " Advance, infantry ! " they yielded 
their ground, and at last broke and fled ; such was the 
prestige acquired by this small but gallant infantry 
-corps. We pursued for some miles, but, owing to the 
darkness, our triumph was of little advantage to us. 
We made a few prisoners, and captured some horses; 
there were very few killed or wounded on either side. 

By daylight the ground would scarcely have been 
known for a battle-field ; we had been fighting on the 
march, and only a few detachments could be perceived 
in the distance. Colonel Baez remained with the 
cavalry to continue the pursuit and collect a herd of 
cattle, while we returned to Salto. 

VOL. I, 




About the beginning of the year 1846, we received 
news that General Medina — appointed by Government, 
in the absence of Eibera, to the chief command of 
all the troops on the plains — was to join us at Salto, 
with some Uruguayan emigrants, who had been staying 
in Brazil and Corrientes after the disaster of India 
Muerta. Vergara's defeat had, it is true, given us a 
certain advantage, but not the results we might have 
hoped for, had we been able to surprise him. Lamos, who 
was busy breaking colts at no great distance, hastened 
up at the news of his colleague's misfortune, and helped 
him to collect his scattered troops. Both generals then 
formed a camp a few miles from Salto, and recommenced 
a siege, the operations whereof chiefly consisted in 
driving off our cattle — which, with their numerous 
cavahy force, they found an easy task. 

When General Medina had been appointed com- 
mander-in-chief, it became necessary to protect his 
entry into Salto. Colonel Baez, as I have already 
said, had assumed the command of our cavalry, and, mth 
his skill and experience in that branch of the service^ 


thoroughly reorganized it. Through his energy, the 
number of horses was greatly increased, and the city 
and garrison supplied with cattle. Mundell and Juan 
de la Cruz were under his orders, and had, at the time 
I refer to, both been detailed to break and bring in 
fresh horses. Colonel Baez, being better known to the 
general than the rest of us, was in direct communi- 
cation with him; from Baez, therefore, I learnt that 
Medina, with his little troop, was to appear in sight of 
Salto on February 8 ; and it was arranged that I 
should escort him with the infantry. 

At dawn, on February 8, 1846, we left Salto for the 
small stream of San Antonio, on the left bank of which 
we were to await General Medina and his suite. 
Anzani — fortunately, as it turned out — was somewhat 
indisposed, and had to remain in the town. The 
enemy, following their usual custom when we marched 
out in this direction, sent a few groups of cavalry to 
show themselves on the hills to the right. These 
approached one after another, as if to see whether we 
were driving in cattle, and disturb us if such proved 
to be the case. Against these scouts Colonel Baez sent 
off a detachment of mounted sharpshooters, and for 
some hours we kept up a skirmishing fire against the 
enemy's column. 

The infantry had halted and massed themselves near 

' a stream, on an eminence called the " Tapera de Don 

Venancio," where were the ruined buildings of an 

estancia, or a saladero. I had left the infantry, and was 

looking on at the skirmishers. Accustomed to this 


kind of warfare, in wliich the skill, courage, and activity 
of the American soldier are most brilliantly displayed, 
we found this quite an agreeable diversion. But so 
artful was the enemy's strategy, that, wishing to hide 
the approach of their main swarm behind this play of 
skirmishers, they advanced in a feeble and careless 
fashion, the better to deceive us, and give time for the 
formidable forces marching up from the rear to approach. 
The ground in the whole department of Salto is more 
or less undulating, which is also the character of the 
plains of San Antonio, so that the imposing force which 
was marching against us was able to approach -within 
a short distance, behind the curtain formed by the 
cavalry of Lamos and Vergara. While, having reached 
the position above described, I was casting my eye on 
the other bank of the San Antonio, I perceived, to my 
consternation, on tlie top of the first hill facing us — 
where up to that moment we had seen but a few 
horsemen — a forest of lances, serried squadrons of 
cavalry with colours flying, and a di\'ision of mounted 
infantry double the number of ours, who, having ridden 
up to within two rifle-shots of us, alighted, drew up in 
battle-array, and, sounding the charge on the drums, 
marched forward to attack us with the bayonet. Baez 
was confounded, and said to me, ""VVe must retreat." 
Seeing the impossibility of such a measure, I replied, 
" There is no time for that ; we must fight." Then to 
the legion, in order to destroy or mitigate the impres- 
sion which would be made on their minds by the 
appearance of so formidable an enemy, I added, "We 


will fight '"' — a welcome word to those gallant Italians. 
" We are accustomed to defeating cavalry ; to-day we 
shall have a little infantry as well." 

We might fly, get ourselves killed to the last man, 
l^ut not retreat. A six miles' retreat with the bayonets 
of 300 of the enemy's infantry at their backs is im* 
possible for 180 foot-soldiers, especially when sur- 
rounded, besides, by between 900 and 1200 of the best 
horsemen in the world. The word retreat, in such a 
dilemma, is reprehensible and cowardly. We had ta 
fight, and we fought like men who preferred an 
honourable death to disgrace. 

On the tapera where we stood, some upright posts, 
once part of the walls of an old wooden building, still 
remained. A man was stationed at every post ; and the 
rest of the legion, in three small divisions, drawn up in 
column behind the building, and covered by the brick 
walls of its northern side, which formed a space capable 
of containing about thirty men, and entirely protected' 
the front of our small column. ' 

On the right of the infantry, Baez was stationed withe 
the cavalry — those armed with carbines dismounting, 
and the lancers remaining on horseback. We had about' 
100 cavalry, and 186 of the legion. The enemy had 900- 
horse — some said 1200 — and 300 foot. There was only" 
one way of escape for us — to rout the enemy's infantry. 
Of this I was persuaded, and to this we bent all our 
efforts. If that infantry, instead of charging in line, 
with an extended front, had charged in column, with 
a line of sharpshooters in front, but without firing a 


shot themselves, I think their attack woukl have been 
irresistible. We should have fought hand to hand ; no 
quarter was to be hoped for from such an enemy, but, 
once mixed up together, the enormous mass of cavalry 
coming up from their rear would have trampled us 
under the liorses' hoofs. The plains of San Antonio 
would to-day have been white with Italian bones, and 
our country would have mourned the loss of a handful 
of her bravest sons, not one escaping to tell the tale. 
Instead of this, the enemy's infantry advanced briskly, 
beating the charge, in a single line ; and never fired till 
they were within a few yards of us, when they halted 
and gave us a volley. This proved our safety. The 
legion had orders to wait till the enemy were quite 
close, and they did so. Our volley was decisive. Many 
of our men, it is true, fell before the enemy's fire ; but 
few of our shots were lost. And when the gallant 
Marrocchetti, who commanded the three reserve divisions, 
came out from under shelter, his men charged Vergara's 
already decimated infantry in mass. They turned and 
took to their heels, bayoneted by our men. 

Among us, too, there was a moment of hesitation and 
disorder, at the sight of so numerous an enemy. We 
had with us some negroes, prisoners from the Tapeby, 
and perhaps a few others who, believing defence to 
be impossible, looked round in vain for a way of escape. 
But those gallant fellows who flung themselves like 
lions on the enemy — never shall I forget that glorious 
sight ! 

From the moment when I fixed my whole attention 


on the enemy's infantry, I had no longer seen or noticed 
Colonel Baez and our cavalry. They had fled ! This 
circumstance, too, had discomposed the weaker ones not 
a little. Five or six horsemen had remained with us, 
whom I placed under the charge of the brave Jose Maria. 

The enemy's infantry being defeated, I encouraged 
myself with hopes of safety. We took advantage of the 
moment of quiet left us by the consternation of the 
enemy, to draw up our ranks again in some order. 
They had just reckoned on annihilating us to a man, 
and found themselves greatly disappointed. 

On the bodies of those who had fallen, especially at 
the time when they had halted to fire,' we found an 
abundant supply of cartridges. Many guns better than 
our own, left by the dead or dying, served to arm those 
officers and men who were without such weapons. 
Unsuccessful in the first attempt, the enemy several 
times repeated his charges — dismounted many of his 
dragoons, and assailed us again and again with these, 
with the scanty remnants of his infantry, and with 
cavalry evolutions which made the earth shake, and 
Tised every effort to throw us into disorder. But this 
was not possible; our men were filled with the 
sacred duty of fighting for the honour of their name, 
and had convinced themselves that with courage and 
coolness one can fight without reckoning the enemy's 
numbers. Each time I saw the enemy about to charge 
us, I kept some chosen men of the legion ready, with 
the few horsemen who remained to us, and ordered 
them to charge. The enemy several times tried to 


send a white flag, and open a parley — of course, to try 
whether we were disposed to surrender. I then chose 
our best marksmen, and ordered them to fire till they 
had put the messenger to flight. 

We went on in this manner till about 9 p.m., the 
battle having begun at noon. "We stood in the midst of 
a barricade of corpses. About nine o'clock we prepared 
for retreat. Our wounded were more than those who 
had remained uninjm'ed, and included nearly all the 
officers — Marrocchetti, Casana, Sacchi, Eamorino, Rodi, 
Beruti, Zaccarello, Amero, and others. Carone and 
Traverso alone escaped. 

It was a difficult and painful task to remove the 
wounded. We placed some of them on the riderless 
horses, while those who could drag themselves along on 
foot were supported by their comrades. These having 
been provided for, the remainder were arranged in four 
divisions ; and as they took their places in rank, they 
were ordered to charge, so as to be less exposed to the 
continuous fire of the enemy. A few hints as to their 
mode of action, and we began the retreat. 

It was a fine piece of work, too, the retreat of that 
handful of men, in serried ranks, through a swarming 
crowd of the best horsemen in the world. Their orders 
were, not to fire a single shot, except at close quarters, 
till they had reached the edge of the tliickets which 
cover the bank of the Uruguay. I had also ordered the 
wounded to be conveyed in the van, certain that the 
enemy would charge our rearguard and flanks. But 
how to keep the poor sufferers in rank ? They fell 


into disorder, and some of the stragglers — one or two, 
I think — perished. The remainder, a considerable 
number, were saved. 

The little column — as I remember with pride — 
behaved admirably. They fixed bayonets at starting, 
and in closed ranks, as they had set out, they arrived at 
their destination. In vain the enemy made every 
possible effort to throw us into confusion, charging at 
all points with their whole force; in vain did the 
lancers ride up to assail our men in the ranks — we only 
replied with bayonet-thrusts, and marched on, still more 
compactly than before. 

We sometimes halted and faced about when toO' 
closely pressed by the enemy, who were easily repulsed 
by a few shots. When we had reached the edge of the 
wood, we could at our leisure pour volleys into them,, 
and drive them to a distance. 

Thirst had been one of our greatest sufferings through 
the day, especially for the wounded. When we reached 
the river-bank, it may be imagined with what eagerness 
we rushed to the water. Some of us drank, while the 
rest kept the enemy at bay. The brilliant success of 
our first retrograde movement resulted in our being less 
molested afterwards. We formed a chain of riflemen to- 
cover our left flank, which was constantly threatened by 
the enemy till we reached the town of Salto, and thus 
skirted the river-bank. When the enemy charged — 
which they did incessantly, disappointed as they were 
at seeing their prey escaping them — we halted, and our- 
men, now quite recovered, and elated with their recent. 


success, cried out to them in Spanish, "Why don't 
you come on ? " and jeered at them while putting them 
to flight with musket-shots. 

Anzani was awaiting us at the entrance of the city, 
.and, moved almost to tears, was ready to embrace us 
all. This brave and modest warrior had never despaired 
— as he himself assured me — though the fight had been so 
furious, and the number of the enemy so out of propor- 
tion to our own. He had assembled within the citadel 
the brave men remaining, mostly convalescents, and had 
repKed to all intimations of surrender as Pietro Micca 
did at the siege of Turin ; and, like Pietro Micca, he 
would have blown up the whole world first. 

During the conflict, the enemy, confident in the 
strength of their forces, had summoned both us and 
Anzani in Salto to surrender. I have already men- 
tioned the reply they received from us on the field. 
But still more significant was Anzani's reply, match in 

Any man weaker than he was, hearing not only the 
summons of the enemy, but the assurances of Baez 
himself and his men that all was lost outside the 
town, and^ that they had seen me fall (which was true, 
though it was only my horse that was killed), — any 
other man, I say, would certainly have surrendered. 

But Anzani did not despair. And I point out this 
fact — I would fain cry it aloud — to those of my fellow- 
citizens who have sometimes despaired of the redemp- 
tion of Italy. 

It is true, there are few Anzanis in the world ; but 


the man who despairs is a coward. And we have given 
full proof that we refuse to despair of the complete 
redemption of our country, in spite of the traitors 
always ready to sell it, and the boastful neighbours so 
well accustomed to buy it. 

Anzani, by his heroic act, had saved everything, and, 
thanks to him, we were able to re-enter Salto in triumph. 
About midnight we entered the city. Not one, either 
of the garrison or the people, was asleep at that hour ; 
and the generous inhabitants crowded to claim the 
wounded, succour them, and take them into their houses, 
where they received every care and kindness. 

Poor people ! who have suffered so much in the 
various vicissitudes of war; I shall always remember 
them with a deep sense of gratitude. 

We had some serious losses in this affair, and the 
enemy suffered still more severely. General Servando 
Gomez, supreme commander of the Buenos Ayres forces, 
who had in so masterly a manner surprised and almost 
annihilated us, disappeared on the 9th, drawing off his 
shattered division towards Paysandu, whence he had 
started. He carried off a great number of wounded, and 
left the plain of San Antonio covered with corpses. 

The whole of the 9th was spent in finding accommoda- 
tion for and attending to the wounded, both our own 
and the enemy's who had been left behind. Two Frencli 
surgeons were of the greatest assistance to us in this 
humane work — the medical officer of the Eclair, a 
young man as skilful as he was energetic, whose name I 
•do not remember ; and Deroseaux, another capable young 


fellow of the same nationality, who had been for some 
time attached to the legion, and had fought at San 
Antonio like a true soldier. Both of these lent their 
aid most effectually ; but more welcome than anything 
else to our poor sufferers was the tender nursing of the 
gentle Salteynas. The following days were employed in 
collecting and burying the dead. 

As the fight had been of an extraordinary character,, 
it seemed to me that the burial of the dead ought to be 
peculiarly solemn. I remembered the tumuli I had 
seen long ago on Eastern battle-fields ; and on the hill 
wliich overlooks Salto — which had more than once been 
the scene of glorious fights — we dug a trench for all the 
corpses indiscriminately. Then a basketful of earth 
apiece covered the remains alike of friend and foe ; and 
we raised the tumulus, which may be seen to this day,, 
topped by a cross, on which can be read the following 
words : — " Italian Legion — Uruguay Marines and 
Cavalry." And on the other side, " February 8, 1846." 

The names of the brave men who fell or were 
wounded in the glorious struggle, are recorded in the 
journal of the legion kept by Anzani. 

General Medina was able to enter Salto unhindered,, 
with his suite, and maintained himself in command 
there till the date of the revolution brought about by 
the Biberistas at Montevideo. During the whole of this- 
interval nothing of importance happened. 

( 237 ) 

Chapter xlvi. 


The revolution at Montevideo in favour of Eibera 
gave a tremendous shock to the affairs of the Eepublic. 
The war ceased to be a national one, and turned into a 
petty contest of factions presided over by one man or 
other — generally quite destitute of merit, for no man 
of real worth would, for the sake of his personal interest, 
drag his country into a long and murderous civil war. 
About the same time took place in Corrientes the 
revolution instigated by the brothers Madariaga against 
the aged and upright General Paz. 

These young chiefs, who had rendered themselves 
illustrious by surprising acts of heroism, delivering 
their country more than once from the hateful dominion 
of Eosas, now, out of jealousy and ambition, lowered 
themselves to take part in the basest of conspiracies, 
and ruined the cause of their country. 

General Paz was obliged to abandon the Corrientes 
army, and retire into Brazil. The Paraguayans recalled 
their forces after the departure of the general, whom 
they trusted ; the Madariagas, left to their own resources. 


were completely defeated by TJrquiza, when Corrientes 
again fell under the power of the ferocious Dictator of 
Buenos Ayres. 

The affairs of Montevideo were progressing no better. 
Ribera, restored to jDower by his partisans, got rid of 
all who did not belong to his faction. The greater part 
of those who had entered upon the noble conflict with 
so much valour and disinterested patriotism, went into 
banishment; others, driven from the posts they had 
honourably filled, had their places supplied by incapable 
bigots. After losing two armies, he found in Monte- 
video, the city of miracles, the materials for a third, 
which he transferred to Las Vaccas, on the left bank of 
the Uruguay. The Montevidean soldiers were accus- 
tomed to victory, as they proved in their first encounters 
with the enemy on the plains. At Mercedes, in 
particular, they performed prodigies of valour. But the 
evil genius which had already enticed Ribera to the 
Arroyo Grande, and to India Muerta, led him to 
Paysandu, where, after gaining a victory, he had his 
army entirely dispersed. At Maldonado he embarked 
again, to go into exile on Brazilian territory. I know 
not whether to call him more unfortunate or guilty. 

When the government of Montevideo fell into the 
hands of Eibera, I regretted the fact, foreseeing trouble. 
Old General Medina, appointed commander-in-chief 
during Eibera's absence by the Government, not only 
bowed to events, but, the better to get into favour with 
the new master, plotted against my unfortunate person — 
perhaps because of the achievements, such as they were. 


accomplished by us, the favourites of fortune — and 
arranged, in our own camp, a revolution against lo& 
gringos (the Italians), with the intention of destroying 
us to a man. But in this he was disappointed. 

Italians and Uruguayans — I say it, and am proud to 
say it — Loth loved me, and I might, without fearing 
any man, have set myself up as dictator, in opposition 
to the new and illegal power ; but I held the cause of 
that noble and generous, though unfortunate, nation too 
sacred to distress it with further internal discords. At 
Montevideo, after Kibera's ascendency, the squares had 
been stained with blood. At Salto, they had some idea 
of playing the same farce ; but it did not succeed. I 
contented myself, by way of reprisals, with assuming 
the command of the forces as before. 

At this time took place the splendid fight against the 
divisions * of Lamos and Vergara, who continually 
harassed us at a distance. On May 20, 1846, we sur- 
prised them, as usual by a night-march, on the banks 
of the Dayman, a tributary of the Uruguay, They had 
recovered after the affair at San Antonio — ^when they 
had fought under the orders of Servando Gomez — had 
received reinforcements of horses and men, and re- 
occupied their former position in the neighbourhood of 
Salto, changing their encampments, but always keeping 
about a day's march distant from us, on account of the 
infantry, which alone inspired them with fear, our 
cavalry being few and badly mounted, 

* These divisions are far inferior to European ones in number,. 
?ind generally composed of cavalry alone. 


The enemy did not fail to molest us as often as they 
•could, especially, when we rode out to collect cattle, by 
driving the latter as far away as possible. A certain 
Major Dominguez, sent by General ]\Iedina to get 
together a herd of cattle, had been completely beaten, 
losing all his horses and some of his men, and being 
forced to save the rest by taking to the woods which 
lined the left bank of the river. I had the position of 
the enemy's camp observed, and on the night of the 
19th, we marched out to fight them, with about 300 
horse, and about 100 of the legion, the sacred battalion 
— poor fellows ! they had been sadly decimated ! My 
object was to surprise the enemy's camp at dawn, 
in which, this time, we succeeded perfectly. My hagu- 
cano (guide) was one Captain PaiQo, a native Indian, 
one of that unliappy race which was the dominant one 
in the New World before the invasion of European 
freebooters. These people still possess a peculiar and 
special knowledge of their native plains. Having 
placed our infantry on horseback, we marched all night, 
and by dawn, having done over twenty miles, arrived 
in sight of the enemy's camp-fires on the right bank of 
the Dayman. The infantry dismounted, and resolutely 
attacked in column, without firing a shot. 

The victory was easy, and Vergara's men, whose 
camp we had attacked, were driven into the river, 
leaving behind arms, horses, and a few prisoners. The 
triumph, however, was far from being complete — as I 
perceived when the day broke. 

Lamos' camp was separated from that of Vergara by 


a small stream running into the Dayman ; and the 
general, hearing the attack on Vergara's camp, had 
formed his men, and posted himself on a hiU which 
overlooked the position. Vergara, with the greater 
part of his men, had been able to cross the stream and 
join Lamos. They were brave veteran soldiers, well 
accustomed to the ever- varying fortunes of war. 

After having collected all the serviceable horses from 
the abandoned camps, we pursued the enemy, but in 
vain. The greater part of our cavalry were riding 
rodomons, or freshly tamed horses ; the enemy, besides 
being more numerous, were better mounted. I was 
therefore unwilling to risk my raw cavalry without the 
support of the superb soldiers of the legion. 

We had, then, to desist from uselessly running after 
the enemy, and to confine ourselves to the advantages 
already gained, retracing our steps to Salto. Fortune, 
however, had not ceased to favour us that day. We 
were marching towards Salto in the following order : — 
one squadron of cavalry in detachments in the van ; 
the infantry, in four divisions, in column in the centre ; 
the rest of the cavalry in the same order in the rear. 
The vanguard was commanded by Colonel Centurion, 
the centre by Major Carone, and the rearguard by 
Colonel Garcia. 

Two strong cavalry columns, commanded by Major 
Carvallo and N. Fausto, covered our right flank, which 
was the one exposed to the enemy. The cdballada and 
the horses belonging to the infantry were marching on 
the left. The enemy, having re-formed as I have 

VOL. I. R 


already mentioned, and reconcentrated all their detach- 
ments (numerous enough to surround us at a great 
distance), amounted to about 500 horse. Having recon- 
noitred OUT force, they marched along on our right flank 
at a short distance, keeping a direction parallel to our 
own. Judging by their action, they seemed to have the 
intention of avenging the insult received in the night. 

I had entrusted the command of the cavalry to 
Colonel Callisto Centurion, whose courage was beyond 
reproach. The infantry was commanded by our Carone, 
whom I had recommended to keep them together-at any 
cost. I told him always to maintain unbroken ranks 
while fighting, and never to wheel about, but only 
execute flank-movements, with a " right — left " or " front 
— rear ; " while the infantry was to serve not only as a 
point d'a'ppui to Centurion, but as a shelter behind 
which to form again in any emergency. The enemy 
grew bolder as their forces increased with the arrival 
of the different detachments. 

"We were marching over pleasant hills, about two 
miles from the banks of the Dayman. The grass, of 
a most viAdd green, was only just appearing above the 
surface of the ground, which undulated like the ocean 
in all its peaceful majesty when undisturbed by storms. 
Not a single shrub or tree offered an obstacle over all 
that splendid plain. It would have been a pleasant 
scene for a picnic, which would have suited better 
with the spot than the slaughter that took place on it 
that day. 

We had reached the edge of a stream, where the 


maciega (dry grass) was of the height of a man ; but I 
did not wish to cross, as we should have had to throw 
our small column into disorder by passing in single 
file; besides which, the hill on the right covered the 
enemy's main body, so that we could see nothing 
on the summit but their line of voltigeurs. Justly 
apprehending an attack on this point, I ordered a halt, 
and instructed Majors Carvallo and Fausto,. both brave 
officers, to charge the enemy's line, drive it back over 
the hill, and inform me of the arrangement of their 
army. In fact, having reached the crest of the hill, 
they stopped, and I was informed, by a staff-officer at 
full gallop, that the enemy were wheeling to the left, 
and advancing on us at a trot, and in order of battle. 
There was no time to lose. Our cavalry detachments 
on the wings wheeled to the right, and were immediately 
reinforced by our reconcentrated line. The infantry 
did the same on the left flank, and we marched on the 
enemy in good order. When our line of battle presented 
itself on the top of the eminence, the enemy's line 
appeared marching towards us, about a pistol-shot off. 

Here I must acknowledge that I saw the enemy 
execute a movement from the centre to the wings, 
of which I believe American cavalry alone to be 
capable, and which shows with what proved warriors 
we had to deal. In order to avoid the shock of contact 
with our dreaded infantry, they opened in the centre, 
and, wheeling their detachments to right and left — thus 
describing a semicircle — fell upon our two wings at 
fuQ gallop, and would have entirely destroyed them 


had not our own detachments wheeled and charged 

As soon as I had discovered the enemy, I ordered 
a front charge, so as not to lose the impetus gained by 
our downward movement ; but the result of the tactics 
above described was that the first shock was of cavalry 
alone, and, as might have been expected, sustained by 
the worst of our force, inferior both in numbers and 
the quality of their horses. 

Our infantry was for a time isolated and inactive, 
but remaining in the centre of the conflict, now firm 
and compact as a field fort, now rushing into the 
thickest of the fray, it was often of service in allowing 
our dispersed horsemen — who, though their order was 
broken by the enemy, fought like lions, and then 
formed again behind us — to regain their order under its 

A small cavalry reserve, which we had left to guard 
the caballada, was also, by concentrating itself on the 
infantry, of great use for the reorganizing of our broken 
detachments. Several cavalry charges took place with 
varying success on both sides. It was a continual 
oscillation of ranks, now compact and now broken. 
I do not know which side showed most valour. The 
enemy's cavalry, superior both in number and in 
the quality of their horses to our own, drove back 
the latter on the infantry, and often measured their 
lances with our bayonets; and ours, thereupon, re- 
organized by the support of the foot, repulsed them to 
a distance, after a hand-to-hand fight. 


Our young Italians — how glorious they were that 
day ! — compact as a rampart, yet most active, hastened 
up wherever their help was needed — of course, always 
in the thickest of the fight, always putting to flight 
the pursuers of their mounted comrades. Their shots, 
few, but measured and certain, diminished the enemy's 
numbers and threw them into confusion. 

At last, from the continual succession of charges, the 
enemy's army lost all order, and was only a shapeless 
mass. Our men, on the other hand, supported by the 
infantry, could always regain their ranks. The conflict 
had in this way lasted about half an hour, when our 
men, no longer charged by an ordered force, re-formed 
in several compact bodies and hurled themselves in 
a decisive charge. The enemy wavered, broke, and 
began to fly. A cloud of bolas then soared through the 
air, and formed a curious spectacle — if slaughter under 
any form can be the object of curiosity. 

I count the American cavalry-soldier second to none 
in any kind of fighting. After a victory, I do not think 
there is his equal for pursuing and capturing a flying 
enemy. A true centaur, no obstacle on the plain can 
arrest his course. A tree will not allow him to pass 
upright — he bends down along the horse's back and 
disappears from view, the two outlines being con- 
founded together. If the obstacle is a river, the South 
American dashes in, holding his weapon between his 
teeth, and strikes the enemy even in the midst of 
the waters. Besides the bolas, they have the terrible 
knife — their lifelong companion, never parted from — 


which they handle with unique and perhaps excessive 
dexterity. Woe to the enemy whose horse is wearied 
out or entangled in the bolas ; he cannot escape the 
knife of his pursuer. To spring from his horse, cut 
the throat of a fallen man, and mount again to join 
his comrades — all this is the work of a few minutes. 
Their habit of living on flesh only, and slaughtering 
cattle every day, is probably the reason why they find 
homicide so easy. 

Such customs among a courageous people sometimes 
give rise, even after a victory, to conflicts which make 
one positively shudder. I do not exaggerate. One of 
these fights was engaged in not far from where I stood, 
between an enemy whose horse had been killed, and 
our men. The former, when he was unhorsed, con- 
tinued to fight the man who had done it, on foot, and 
was handling him very severely, when another of the 
victors came up, then another; at last the gallant 
fellow was fighting six men at once, and on one knee, 
being wounded in the thigh. I arrived late, but in 
time to save the brave fellow's life. 

The triumph was complete, and, the enemy's troops 
being entirely routed, we pursued them for several 
miles. The immediate result of this victory was 
not what it ought to have been, on account of the 
inferiority of our horses, which allowed many of the 
enemy to escape. Nevertheless, during the whole time 
we remained at Salto, we had the satisfaction of seeing 
this fine department clear of the enemy. 

] have been somewhat diffuse in narrating the a£fair 


of May 20, because this was really a fine and hon- 
ourable action, fought on a splendid field clear of every 
obstacle, in a climate and under a sky which recalled 
our own beautiful country, so that every evolution, 
every movement, could be plainly seen; and against 
an enemy of tried strength, and superior in numbers 
and in the quality of his horses — the principal item 
in that kind of warfare which consists of a series of 
duels on horseback, fought with equal valour on both 

Our cavalry, considering the inferiority above men- 
tioned, performed miracles that day. As for the infantry, 
I will repeat the verdict of Major Carvallo, who fought 
beside us at San Antonio and at the Dayman, like the 
hero he was, and in each battle received a bullet in the 
face, two finger's-breadths under the eye, in the promi- 
nent part of the cheek, one on the right, the other on 
the left side of the face, in a perfectly symmetrical 
position. Though wounded at the beginning of the 
fight, he would not quit the field. When it was over, 
he asked me for permission to ride to Salto, to get his 
wound attended to. Passing under the battery of the 
town, he was asked how the day had ended, and replied 
— he could scarcely speak— " The Italian infantry is 
steadier than your battery ! " I should wish this to 
remain impressed on the minds of our young Italians, 
who may yet unhappily find themselves called upon to 
measure their strength against our boastful neighbours, 
since — whatever may be the reason, and I think, what- 
ever other conjectures may be formed, that it is the 


fault of our mlers and priests — we are very far from 
possessing the moral and material requisites necessary 
for due resistance to a powerful invader. I have heard 
our lads cry, *' Cavalry ! cavalry ! " and — ^it is a shame- 
ful thing to say — throw down their arms and fly, 
often before an imaginary danger. Cavalry ! but the 
Italians at San Antonio and the Dayman laughed at 
the first cavalry in the world, at a time when they 
were armed only with wretched flint-lock guns. What 
might they not do to-day, with improved weapons ? 

We are,, as regards cavalry, inferior to all the 
neighbouring nations who are accustomed to trample 
our rights underfoot, and who might again gratify 
their overbearing instincts at our expense. Without 
depreciating cavalry, which is most useful in certain 
contigencies of war, we ought to accustom our young 
men to it, and familiarize them with the idea that 
infantry ought never to fear cavalry. 

Let us suppose a company of a hundred men — such as 
we had at the Dayman — ranged in a compact mass, and 
occupying a square of ten metres. However numer- 
ous the enemy's cavalry may be, this square cannot 
be charged on any one side by more than five horsemen 
in line, while it can open fire with two ranks, that 
is, twenty soldiers, at once. It follows that, unless 
the infantry lose their heads, the five or ten charging 
cavalry will never get near enough — considering the 
recent improvements in the weapons of the infantry — 
for swords and bayonets to be brought in contact. 

( 249 ) 



I HAVE already remarked that in the Journal of the 
Montevideo Italian Legion, kept by Anzani, are 
recorded the names of the dead and wounded, and 
those who distinguished themselves in any of the 
engagements in which the legion took part. Neverthe- 
less, I do not think it superfluous to name a few of 
those gallant companions-in-arms whom I can remember. 

Dead in various battles of the Italian legion on the 
plains of Uriiguay : 

Badano, a Genoese sergeant, the handsomest and 
bravest soldier of the legion. No one gained greater 
distinction in the various engagements, especially that 
at San Antonio. On our return to Montevideo, he 
asked leave to go back for a time to Salto, and found 
himself present at an attack on that city made by 
Ourives' general, Servando Gomez. Badano was not 
the man to remain idle when there was fighting going 
on. Having fought like the man he was, he fell, selling 

his life dearly. Santo N , a Piedmontese corporal, 

as brave as Badano. In the beginning of the fight at 
San Antonio, he was hit by three balls, and had both 


legs broken, besides a disfiguring wound in the face. I 
helped him to a horse, in the retreat, and left him with 
a soldier; but he never reached Salto. His corpse 
was found next day in the Uruguay. Alessandro, a 
Venetian, a good soldier and sailor, killed .at San 
Antonio. Rebella, a Genoese, a brave soldier, killed at 
San Antonio. Azzalino, a Genoese, a brave sergeant, 
died at Salto, in consequence of wounds received at San 
Antonio. Beruti, a Genoese sergeant, died at Salto 
from wounds received at San Antonio. Luigi Vicenti, 
a Genoese (all were brave), died at Salto of wounds 
received at San Antonio. Antonio, called Trentuno, a 
Genoese who, having fought at San Antonio, and 
received some wounds from which he recovered, was 
killed by a bullet outside the walls of Montevideo. 
Tortarello, a Genoese trumpeter, was by my side at 
San Antonio, and on May 20, at the Dayman, Battles 
were a joy to him. Having received a wound in his 
right arm (which afterwards necessitated amputation), 
lie passed the trumpet to his left hand, and continued 
to sound the charge. He also died at Montevideo. 

Severely wounded : 

Vittorio Eichieri, of Mce, sergeant — a tremendous 
bullet-wound in the knee, which obliged him to have 
liis leg amputated, and one less severe in the hand. 
His cure was promoted by his imperturbable courage. 
CoUegari, sergeant, of Bergamo — the most extraordinary 
wound I ever saw. His wonderful stoicism, no doubt, 
had a great influence on his almost miraculous recovery. 
Giuseppe Marrocchetti, captain, wounded by a bullet in 


the thigh, at the beginning of the battle of San Antonio. 
Casana, a Genoese captain, same as the preceding. 
Sacchi, of Pavia, first lieutenant, wounded by a bullet 
at the beginning of the fight at San Antonio. Eamorino, 
a Piedmontese, second lieutenant, wounded by a bullet 
at San Antonio. Eodi, a Piedmontese, second lieutenant, 
wounded by a bullet in the head at San Antonio. 
Amero, called Graffigno, of Castiglione d' Asti, second lieu- 
tenant, wounded by a bullet at San Antonio. Zaccarello, 
the younger brother, a Genoese, wounded by a bullet 
at San Antonio. Giovanni Battista Beruti, a Genoese 
captain, same as the preceding. ISTatale Paggi, a Genoese 
officer, wounded by a bullet in a fight on the river 
Uruguay. Pateta, a Genoese, bullet and sword wound 
at San Antonio. Gismondi, Genoese, sword and lance 
wounds at San Antonio. Ferrandiii, Genoese, a lad of 
fourteen, shot through the chest under the walls of 
Montevideo. Juancito Otero Gallega, served as staff- 
officer at San Antonio ; died a hero's death in a naval 
action in the Eio de La Plata. 

Jose Maria Villega commanded the small number of 
cavalry remaining to us, after Baez''s flight from San 
Antonio, and fought most gallantly. 

I should have held it a sacred duty to remember the 
names of all the valiant Italians who made our country 
so illustrious in those far-off regions, and by whose 
means the Italian who lands to-day in this, one of the 
most important parts of the New World, finds himself 
considered almost a fellow-citizen by honest men, and 
respected by those accustomed to see an enemy in every 


foreigner. In the Journal of the Italian Legion, kept 
by Anzani, which, unfortunately, I cannot now find, 
the names and deeds of those gallant fellows are cer- 
tainly recorded. I have forced my poor memory to 
recall some ; but the greater number are irrecoverably 
gone from me. 

( 253 ) 



After the fight of May 20, 1846, at the Dayman, 
nothing further of importance occurred in our Uruguay 

I had orders from the Government to return to 
Montevideo, with the flotilla and the detachment of the 
Italian legion. Some of our smaller craft were left 
behind at Salto, which remained under the orders of 
Commandant Artigas, a brave officer who had dis- 
tinguished himself in the affair of the 20th of May. 
A few days after my departure, Colonel Blanco arrived 
at Salto, and took command there by order of General 

Owing to the mistakes made in Corrientes and at 
Montevideo, the affairs of Eosas were flourishing, while 
those of the nations of La Plata had fallen back into 
the most wretched condition. Corrientes saw her army 
annihilated by Urquiza. in a single battle; and that 
unfortunate people, after having been plunged into a 
sea of blood, now languished under the most execrable 

Eibera, not profiting by the lessons of misfortune, 


was ending as he had begun — removing from office the 
men who had honourably performed the duties of the 
same, and substituting for them his own creatures ; 
destroying the materials for an army of operation, which 
the courage and firm purpose of the citizens had created 
and maintained with incomparable heroism. He ended 
by sacrificing the relics of this army, and at last went 
into banishment, followed by universal execration. 

May such an end come — as come it will without fail — 
to every man who thinks nations only created to satisfy 
the passion for luxury, riches, and power, which sway 
that lowest class of men called monarchs, and certain 
presidents of republics still worse than they. The 
French and English, wearied out by our misfortunes, 
and rendered distrustful by so deplorable a course of 
conduct, were inclined to give us up entirely — especially 
the latter, the French being withheld by a sense of 
responsibility for the safety of their numerous com- 
patriots, rather than by interest in a failing cause. Our 
posts in the interior were one by one falling into the 
power of the enemy. Salto, so gloriously won and held 
by us, succumbed to the attacks of Servando Gomez ; the 
brave veteran. Colonel Blanco, perishing in its defence, 
along with many others — among them that Lieutenant 
Gallegos already mentioned by me as brave, but cruel 
and bloodthirsty, who was, therefore, massacred as soon 
as he fell into the enemy's hands. The defence was 
confined to Montevideo itself, the last remaining bul- 
wark of the liberties of Uruguay. At Montevideo, all 
those men, drawn to each other by six years of hardships. 


dangers, glory, and adventures, gathered themselves 
together once more, and set to work undauntedly to 
rebuild an edifice which the wickedness of man had 
razed almost to the ground. Colonel Villagram, the 
gallant veteran of forty years' wars, renewing his youth 
in battle; Diaz and Tajes, gallant chiefs basely 
banished by Kibera, because they served not him, but 
their country; and many other young leading men, 
deprived of their posts by the same tyrant, resumed 
them in the full consciousness of a just cause, bringing 
back with them resolution and mutual faith into the 
ranks of the defenders. 

Uruguayans, French, and Italians now began, under 
the strong stimulus of public need, to march with 
the same alacrity as formerly, to the defence of their 
common country — the hospitable city which had so 
generously given us an asylum being considered as 
such by us. In short, no one uttered another despon- 
dent word. The siege of Montevideo, when its details 
are better known, will not be counted the least note- 
worthy among the noble defences sustained by nations 
fighting for their independence, with courage, constancy, 
and sacrifices of every kind. It will prove the power of 
a nation which refuses to bow the knee before the arro- 
gance of a tyrant ; whatever may be its fate, that nation 
deserves the applause and admiration of the world. 

The period between our return from Uruguay and our 
departure for Central Italy is one of slight distinction. 
The Italian legion, justly esteemed for its glorious 
achievements, had resumed its accustomed outpost 

256 AUTOBiooRAPnr of Giuseppe garibaldi. 

duty, alternately with the other corps in the capital. 
Anzani marched with it, and, although no important 
action took place, the legion never failed in any 
encounter to be worthy of its fame. 

I turned my attention rather to the navy, putting 
some of the vessels which needed it most, under repairs, 
and cruising with the schooner Maipu in the La Plata 
Eiver. During this time I was called to the honour of 
commanding the army of the Republic. Nothing of 
importance occurred during my command, which I 
afterwards handed over to the brave old veteran Villa- 

Meanwhile, the influence of the French was declining 
day by day. They were no longer willing to use war- 
like methods for obtaining the solution of the problem, 
but confined themselves to diplomacy, which excited 
the derision of Eosas. Various negotiators had suc- 
ceeded in obtaining from the dictator nothing but 
insignificant armistices, the only effect of which was to 
consume the scanty supplies collected with such diffi- 
culty in the besieged city. With this change of policy, 
France had also changed her agents. For the ambas- 
sadors Deffaudis and Ouseley, for Admirals Laine and 
Inglefield — well worthy of sustaining a generous and 
popular policy — had been substituted men given to 
compromise, and to a policy whose only aim was to be 
rid of the business at any cost. 

The Uruguayan Government, helpless for want of 
resources, was obliged to submit to the dictates of the 
mediating Powers. 


A deplorable situation ! Unhappy are the people who 
look to foreigners for their well-being. And every 
time we meet with a fresh exemplification of this dis- 
tressing truth, our thoughts turn back sadly to our poor 

At that time — the beginning of 1848, I think — we 
heard the news of the recent pontifical reforms, while it 
had already for some time been evident, from all the 
correspondence which reached La' Plata, that Italian 
intolerance of foreign dominion had reached its height. 

The idea of returning to our own country and giving^ 
our strength for her redemption had long made our 
hearts beat high. It was indeed painful to leave the 
land of our asylum, our adopted country, our brothers- 
in-arms ; but the Montevidean question had become a 
purely diplomatic one, and nothing was left to us save 
weariness and annoyance, if not worse — as might well 
be imagined, since we had to deal with that French 
Government which was always hostile to our nationality. 

Such being the state of affairs, we decided to gather 
together a handful of our bravest, find the means of 
transport, and set saQ for Italy. 

VOL. I. 



There were sixty-three of us left the banks of the La 
Plata to fight out the war of redemption on Italian 
soU. We had heard many reports of revolutionary 
movements in the Peninsula, but had decided — even 
should these prove to be untme — to try our fortune, 
and attempt to promote such movements by landing on 
the wooded coast of Tuscany, or elsewhere where our 
presence might be most acceptable and opportune. We 
embarked on board the brigantine Speranza, wliich we 
had chartered with our own savings, aided by tlie 
generous patriotism of some of our countrymen, among 
whom were distinguished G. Battista Capurro, Gianello 
Dellazoppa, Massera, G. Avegno, and, above all, our 
excellent Stefano Antonini, who was responsible for the 
greater part of the hire and the provisions necessary 
for the voyage. 

We were marching towards the fulfilment of the 
longing, the passion, of our whole life; we were hastening 
to dedicate the weapons gloriously wielded in the ser- 


vice of the oppressed of other countries to our own 
beloved land. That thought more than compensated 
for the dangers, hardships, sufferings of a whole life of 
tribulation. Our hearts throbbed high with lofty hopes 
and enthusiasm.' If the right hand, hardened in the 
battles of far-off lands, has been strong in defence of 
others, what will it not be for Italy ? 

Before us opened the Eden of our imagination. Had 
it not been marred by the remembrance of all we 
left behind us, our happiness would have been quite 
complete. Behind us remained the people of our 
affection — for indeed the Uruguayans are a very lov- 
able nation. "We had so long shared their few joys and 
their many griefs, and now were leaving them, not 
conquered, not cast down from their sublime courage, 
but a prey to the worst evil ever conceived by the 
human mind — to French diplomacy. 

We left our comrades in arms before the last battle 
was fought. It was hard, even considering the reasons 
that made it necessary. The people who had welcomed 
us with such enthusiasm, who had such quiet con- 
fidence in the courage of our soldiers, took every oppor- 
tunity of showing their affection and gratitude. The 
land, too, which we loved as if it had been our own, 
contained the bones of so many of our Italian comrades 
who had given their lives for it. 

Our departure took place April 15, 1848. Leaving 
the port of Montevideo with a favouring breeze, although 
the weather was threatening, we were towards evening 
about half-way between the Maldonado coast and the 


Isla de Lobos. On tlie morning of the following day 
we coidd only just distinguish the peaks of the Sierra 
de las Animas ; and after a time these disappeared from 
view, leaving to our sight only the vast level of the 
Atlantic, and to our hearts the fairest and sublimest. 
of hopes — the deliverance of our country. 

Sixty-three of us, all young, all used to the battle- 
field. Anzani, whose health had been terribly weak- 
ened in the sacred contest for the cause of nations, was 
wasting away in the agonies of consumption. Sacchi 
had been severely wounded in the knee, and Ms leg was 
in a frightful state ; but faith and the brotherly care of 
his comrades brought him safe, though not cured, to the 
Italian shore. Anzani landed in Italy only to find a 
grave beside his parents. 

Our voyage was short and prosperous. The hours 
not employed in navigating the vessel were spent for 
the most part in profitable occupations. The unlettered 
were taught by those better instructed; nor did we neg- 
lect gymnastic exercises. A patriotic hymn, composed 
and set to music by our friend CocceUi, was our evening 
prayer. We sang it every night, standing in a group on 
the deck of the Speranza. Led by CocceUi, the sixty 
voices joined in and repeated the chorus with the 
greatest enthusiasm. 

Thus we crossed the ocean, in uncertainty as to the 
fortunes of Italy, knowing only of the reforms promised 
by Pius IX. We had agreed to land in Tuscany, where 
we were to disembark quite irrespective of the political 
situation, prepared alike to meet friends or foes. 


However, circumstances modified our plan and shaped 
our course for Nice. Anzani was growing worse day by 
day; the few provisions we had suitable to his state 
were exhausted, and we were obliged to approach the 
coast in order to procure fresh supplies, which we did 
at Santa Pola, on the coast of Spain. Captain Gazzolo, 
commanding the Speranza, went ashore, and quickly 
returned on board with news to turn the heads of men 
far less enthusiastic than ourselves. Palermo, Milan, 
Venice, and a hundred sister cities had brought about 
the momentous revolution. The Piedmontese army 
was pursuing the scattered remnants of the Austrian ; 
and all Italy, replying as one man to the call to arms, 
was sending her contingents of brave men to the holy 

The effect produced on all of us by this news may 
be better imagined than described. Tliere was a rush- 
ing on deck, embracing one another, raving, weeping for 
very joy. Anzani sprang to his feet, excitement over- 
powering his terrible state of weakness. Sacchi abso- 
lutely insisted on being taken from his berth and carried 
on deck. 

" Make all sail ! " was the general cry ; and indeed, if 
this order had not been executed at once, confusion 
would have been the result. In a flash the anchor was 
weighed and the brigantine under sail. The wind 
seemed to second our desires, our impatience. In a 
few days we had passed the coasts of Spain and France, 
and arrived in sight of Italy, our promised land ! no 
longer exiles, no longer forced to fight for the privilege 


of landing on our native shores. For tliis purpose, 
having abandoned our first design of landing in Tuscany, 
we chose Nice,* the first Italian port we came to, where 
we landed about June 23, 1848. 

Through all the troubles of my past life, I had con- 
stantly hoped for better days. Here at Nice I found a 
combination of happiness, as great as is ever accorded to 
mortal man. Too much happiness, indeed. I had almost 
a foreboding of misfortunes not very far distant. 

My Anita and my children, who had left America 
some months earlier, were there with my aged mother, 
whom I loved almost to idolatry, and had not seen for 
fourteen years. Dear relatives and valued friends of 
my youth greeted me, rejoicing to see me again, and at 
so auspicious a time. 

My good fellow-citizens, excited by the noble hopes 
which shone brightly on the horizon of Italy's future, 
were proud of the little I had done in the New World. 
Certainly my position was an enviable one. I am 
deeply touched, remembering those sweet emotions 
which were to end so quickly and so painfully. "We 
had not yet reached the entrance of the harbour, when 
I saw my dear wife in a boat, unable to contain herself 
for joy. Crowds of people were seen on all sides, 
hastening to welcome back the little band, who, 
scorning distance and danger, had crossed the ocean to 
offer their lives to their country. 

My good and gallant comrades ! How many of you 

* Nice, which the great men of to-day have sold Hke a rag to the 
foreigner — a rag which did not even belong to their miserable outfit ! 


were to die in your native land, in bitter despair of her 
redemption! How grand they were in their loyal 
goodness, their young valour, their great deeds achieved, 
those comrades of mine! They proved themselves 
worthy of their mission on their country's battle-fields, 
where their bones are whitening to-day — perhaps un- 
buried, and without a stone to remind this new genera- 
tion, whom they have delivered from a foreign yoke, 
of such valour and such sacrifices ! 

On the spot where Montaldi, Eamorino, Peralta, 
Minuto, Carbone fell with their brothers in glory, the 
priest has raised a monument to the hirelings of 
Bonaparte who fled before them, and afterwards, over- 
powering them by mere numbers, butchered them amid 
the blessings of those who had betrayed Italy. 

At Mce we were to have awaited some quarantine for- 
malities, etc., but all delay was obviated by the voice of 
the people, then fully conscious of their own power. To 
give an idea of the state of our finances, it is enough 
to say that we had not enough to pay the pilot, one 
Cerasco, who took us into the harbour. 

Once our brigantine was anchored, and the landing 
of Anzani and Sacchi provided for, our men all rushed 
ashore, panting to set foot on Italian ground. I 
hastened to embrace my children, and her whom I had 
so grieved by my adventurous life. Poor mother! 
My dearest wish was certainly that of cheering and 
comforting her last days ; her most ardent desire was 
naturally that of seeing me at peace beside her. But 
how could one hope for a time of quiet, or enjoy 


the blessing of consoling her failing and painful old 
age, in this country of priests and robbers ? 

The few days passed at Nice were an unbroken 
holiday ; but they were fighting on the Mincio, and idle- 
ness was a crime while our brothers were engaged in 
conflict with the foreigner. 

We started for Genoa, where the good people were no 
less desirous of giving us a friendly welcome. A 
steamer was sent from this city to hasten our arrival ; 
but, not finding us at Mce, sought us in vain along the 
Ligurian coast. We had been driven towards Corsica 
by the current and a slight contrary wind. We 
arrived at last, and with us some young Mzzards, 
who, with the enthusiasm belonging to their age, and 
at that time pervading, like a vital flame, the whole 
population of the Peninsula, had insisted on accompany- 
ing us. 

The people of Genoa welcomed us in a tumult of joy 
and affection; the authorities, with the coldness of a 
conscience ill at ease. It was the prelude to that series 
of insincere temporizings which accompanied us in our 
country, wherever we met with those devotees of com- 
promise and moderate ideas, who were drawTi into 
liberal measures rather from fear of the people than 
from faith in them and zeal for human improvement. 

Anzani, whom I had left with my mother, had pre- 
ceded us to Genoa — urged on by the impatience of his 
own fiery spirit — embarking on board the steamer, in 
spite of the weakness and exhaustion to wliich his 
mortal illness had reduced him. 


Here begins the ostracism to wliich the friends of 
Mazzini subjected me in 1848, and which lasts to this 
<lay (1872) more obstinately than ever. Their motive 
or pretext was, no doubt, my wishing to march with my 
comrades to the battle-field — at that time on the Mincio 
and in Tyrol — and this because it was a royal army 
that was fighting the Austrians. Be it noted that the 
chiefs of that same party who in 1848 tormented poor 
dying Anzani to use his influence with me, are at this 
<lay the most faithful adherents of the monarchy. 

When I heard my dearly loved comrade in many a 
glorious fight entreat me "not to desert the people's 
■cause," I confess that I felt it bitterly — no less than 
when asked in recent days to " declare myself openly 
n republican." In a few days, that truly great Italian 
— for whom all Italy should by rights have mourned — 
died in the house of our friend Gaetano Gallino. Had 
we been fortunate enough to have him at the head of 
our army, the Peninsula would certainly have been 
cleared of all foreign rulers long ago. I never knew a 
more capable and honourable man, or a soldier of loftier 
character, than Anzani. His body was quietly carried 
through Liguria and Lombardy, to be buried in the 
;grave of his fathers, at Alzate, his native place. 




Our purpose on leaving America had been to save Italy 
and fight against her enemies, whatever might be the 
political leanings of our leaders in the war of emanci- 
pation. The majority of our fellow-citizens manifested 
the same wish, and I was to lead our small contingent 
to join the rest of those already fighting in the sacred 
war. These were at that time under the leadership of 
Carlo Alberto ; and I repaired to his head-quarters at 
Eoverbella, to offer, with no feelings of bitterness, 
myself and comrades to the service of the man who in 
1834 had condemned me to death. 

In the interviews I had with him, I perceived a 
certain dif&dence in welcoming me, and deplored the 
destiny of our poor country, committed to the hesita- 
tions and uncertainties of such a man. I would have 
served Italy under that king's orders with the same 
fervour as if the country had been a republic, and would 
have persuaded the young men ^who trusted me ta 
follow on the same path of self-denial. To unite Italy, 
and save her from the pestilence of foreign dominion, 
was my aim — as I believe it to have been most men's. 

AT MILAN. 267 

at that period. Italy would not have repaid her 
deliverers with ingratitude. I will not open the grave of 
that dead man, to pronounce on his conduct. I leave 
it to history to judge him, and will only say that, called 
by his position, by circumstances, and by the voice of 
the majority of Italians, to the leadership in the war of 
redemption, he did not respond to the trust reposed in 
him, and not only showed himself incapable of making 
use of the enormous resources at his disposal, but 
proved the principal cause of our ruin. 

My comrades had to march from Genoa to Milan,, 
owing to an unfortunate impression generally prevalent, 
and no doubt due to those who maintained the useless- 
ness and pernicious influence of volunteer corps ; while 
I was hastening from the former city to Eoverbella, from 
Roverbella to Turin, and thence to Milan, without 
obtaining permission to serve my country in any 

Casati, a member of the Provisional Government of 
Lombardy, was the only one who thought he could 
make use of our help, which he did by attaching us to 
the Lombard army. My vagabond journeyings, there- 
fore, ended with my establishment at Milan, where the 
Provisional Government entrusted me with the organi- 
zation of various fragmentary bodies, to include my 
few comrades from America. Things would have gone 
pretty well had it not been for the sinister influence of 
a member of the cabinet, one Sobrero, whose crooked 
ways and unaccountable methods of proceeding disgust 
me even now. 


The members of the Provisional Government, placed 
by circumstances in that position, were, I think, honest 
men, though their avowed political opinions were con- 
trary to my own ; but certainly they lacked experience, 
and were not fitted to cope with those times of urgent 
need and imminent political convulsions. Sobrero took 
advantage of their weakness, and managed them at his 
will — so that, completely under his domination, these 
^'ood, inexperienced men were unconsciously marcliing 
on their ruin. A fever which I had caught on my 
journey to Eoverbella, and the conferences with Sobrero 
(among whose aversions was the red shirt, which, he 
said, offered too conspicuous a mark to the bullets of the 
enemy), made my stay in the beautiful and patriotic 
city of the Five Days well-nigh intolerable; and I 
breathed freely once more, on the joyful day when I left 
the Lombard capital for Bergamo, followed by a hand- 
ful of badly clothed and half-armed men. This time, 
too, I was sent to organize — a task in nowise fitted to 
my natural capacity and scanty knowledge of military 

It should be remarked that the men entrusted to me 
had nearly all been rejected by or discharged from the 
volunteer corps carrying on the war in the Tyrol, and 
were demoralized by a long stay in the capital. 

Our sojourn at Bergamo was short. While we were 
preparing for a defence, and using all possible means of 
calling the brave population to arms — agents being sent 
to mountains and valleys, to assemble the stalwart 
inhabitants, principally through our indefatigable 

AT MILAN. 26{> 

friends Davide and Camozzi, whose influence in the 
district was paramount, and whose unwearied efforts 
were entirely nullified by our hasty departure — a 
peremptory order recalled us to Milan, to rejoin our 
army — then in retreat before the Austrians — and to 
take part in the great battle which was imminent in 
tlie neighbourhood of that city. 

Whether under good or evil auspices, they were at 
last thinking of fighting, and no time was lost about it. 
Several remnants of Piedmontese battalions, and some 
others then being formed under the direction of the 
gallant Gabriele Camozzi (with two small and well- 
handled guns acquired with his private means) ,^ 
together with the small column raised under the name 
of the Italian legion, and led by the Montevidea 
veterans — 3000 men in all, were marching eagerly 
forward to help in deciding their country's fate. At 
Merate, we left all baggage and knapsacks behind, in 
order to get on faster. Near Monza, we received orders 
to manoeuvre on the enemy's right flank, and were 
already preparing to do so, by sending scouts on horse- 
back to ascertain their movements and position. But 
when we reached Monza, we found that the news of the 
capitulation and armistice had arrived at the same time, 
and the streets were soon blocked by streams of fugitives. 

Only a short time before, I had seen the Piedmontese 
army on the Mincio, and my heart had throbbed with a 
proud confidence at the sight of those fine young fellows, 
all impatient to meet the enemy, I had passed some 
days among ofiicers of this army already accustomed to 


the fatigues of campaigning, who showed the joyousness 
of the warrior sighing for battle. Truly, I would joy- 
fully have yielded up my life, fighting beside these 
brave men, if a conflict had taken place with tlie 
enemies of Italy ! To-day this army was said to be 
routed without a defeat — dying with hunger in fertile 
Lombardy ; Piedmont and Liguria in their rear, and no 
ammunition ! Turin, Milan, Alessandria, Genoa, still 
intact, and a whole nation ready and willing to make 
any sacrifice that might be asked of it ; Italy, torn to 
pieces by contending powers, was falKng back into 
slavery ; and no man appeared able to unite her scattered 
fragments, and lead a strong nation against the enemy 
and the traitor. That army, undivided and properly 
commanded, would have been enough to face any num- 
ber of enemies and traitors. Armistice, capitulation, 
flight — these were tidings which fell upon us, one after 
the other, like thunderbolts, and with them panic and 
demoralization among the citizens, in the ranks, and 
everywhere. Certain cowards, who were, unhappily, to 
be found among my men, left their guns on the square 
at Monza, and began to fly in all directions. Those who 
remained true, furious and scandalized at so great a 
disgrace, pointed their muskets at them; but, fortunately, 
the officers and I were able to prevent the massacre, 
and keep our force in some degree together. Some of the 
fugitives were punished, others degraded and expelled. 
Such a state of tilings decided me to take my departure 
from this scene of disaster, and make my way to Como, 
with the intention of holding out in that mountainous 

AT MTLAN. 271 

country, and, awaiting the issue of events, determined to 
carry on a guerilla warfare, if nothing else could be 

Between Monza and Como I met Mazzini * with his 
banner, "Dio e Popolo." He joined us on the march, and 
accompanied us as far as Como, whence he proceeded 
into Switzerland, wiiile I was making my arrangements 
for holding the mountain fastnesses of that district. 
Many of his actual or supposed adherents, who were 
with him, followed him across the frontier. This 
naturally served as an inducement to others to leave 
lis, so that our ranks were somewhat thinned. 

At Milan, I had been guilty of the mistake — which 
Mazzini never forgave me — of suggesting to him that it 
was not well to keep back a number of young men from 
joining us by the promise of proclaiming the Eepublic 
if they would wait, while army and volunteers were 
fighting the Austrians. 

Arrived in Como, we found less disorder, though not 
less consternation, at the fatal events which had taken 
place at Milan, and the disaster which had befallen the 

* To-day he is dead (March 28, 1872). I am not accustomed 
to bear malice against individuals, especially after their deaths. 
Writing, however, of what is matter of history, I find it my duty to 
describe impartially the various circumstances in which he acted 
wrongly towards me. 




At Como we were well received by the kindly inhabi- 
tants, who had already shown us much sympathy ; 
having, from the time of our first arrival at Milan, 
expressed the wish that we had been destined for Coma 
rather than any other place, to organize our army. 

The municipal authorities also received us well, 
and supplied us with all they could provide, especially 
clothes, of which my men stood in great need. 

As for putting the town into a state of defence, and 
holding it against the Austrians, this did not meet their 
views ; and, in fact, Como would require strong outside 
works and a numerous garrison to defend it against a 
powerful enemy. It is low, being built on the lake- 
shore, and overlooked by many heights. On the second 
day after we reached Como, General Zucchi arrived in 
a carriage, on his way to Switzerland. When the in- 
habitants heard of his arrival, and liis intention of 
leaving Italy, they were inflamed with indignation, 
rushed in a body to the inn where he had put up, and 
announced their intention of dragging him out and 
ill-using him. Warned in time, I hastened to the spot. 


and succeeded in pacifying the people, by reminding them 
of the general's advanced age and former distinctions. 

On the evening of the same day we evacuated Como, 
and, after a short march, encamped west of the town, on 
the road to San Fermo. At Como, many of our men 
deserted, crossing the frontier into Switzerland ; many 
others, I think, only refrained out of shame, in the 
presence of the brave and enthusiastically patriotic 
people, and waited till they were outside the walls of 
the town before leaving the ranks of those who were 
preparing to defend the last strip of Italian territory 
with their lives. 

During the first night's bivouac the desertions were 
numerous, piles of abandoned muskets being seen at 
daybreak in the camp. With pain, but from a sense of 
duty, so that my fellow-citizens may learn from the 
example of the past not lightly to give up their beau- 
tiful country again to the insatiable foreigner, I relate 
our disgraces as they happened. For truth's sake, how- 
ever, I must say that my soldiers, especially one battalion 
from Vicenza, were for the most part clothed only in 
linen, and had no cloaks — in spite of the generosity of 
the Comasclii, who did what they could for us. The 
royal commissariat officers at Milan, who had found the 
red shirt too conspicuous a mark for the enemy, had, 
nevertheless, not troubled themselves to furnish us 
with cloaks — a neglect from which my volimteers 
suffered over and over again. The nearness of the 
Swiss frontier, moreover, increased the men's inclination 
to desert; perhaps it was no wonder if the majority 

VOL. I. T 


found it pleasanter to relate their glorious deeds in the 
inns and cafes of Lugano, than to stay and endure the 
hardships and dangers of the camp. 

For a few days we wandered through those mountains, 
picking up the arms of our deserters, and piling them on 
** requisitioned " carts, which accompanied our march. 
But this excessive encumbrance increased every day, 
and we were more like a caravan of Bedouins than a 
body of men ready to fight for their country. I there- 
fore determined to leave Lombardy for the present, and 
pass into Piedmont. We marched to Varese, and thence 
to Sesto Calende, where we passed the Ticino, having 
already a corps of Austrians on our track. 

At Castelletto, on the right bank of the Ticino, I 
planned a halt, and consulted the authorities of that 
small but friendly town as to whether they would assist 
in the defence, in case we were attacked there by the 

All the municipal authorities and the people willingly 
assented, and we set to work upon some temporary 
fortifications, on a site which, being easily defensible, 
"would have enabled us to offer an effectual resistance. 
The morale of the men was also improved. Captain 
Eamorino, sent to the opposite bank of the river, where 
the enemy had appeared, put one of their advanced 
outposts to flight, wounded some men, and brought 
back as a trophy to the camp a few lances and cavalry 

We spent some days at Castelletto. The enemy gave 
me notice of the suspension of arms, which I caused 


my men to observe, though I refused to agree to a 
proposed exchange of visits between the camps. 

The Salasco armistice was conchided, and filled us 
all with indignation at its degrading conditions. The 
slavery of poor Lombardy was sealed ; and we, who 
had come to defend her, who had been hailed as the 
champions of tliat unhappy people, had not even 
unsheathed our sabres for her. It was enough to make 
a man die of shame 




A PROCLAMATION repudiating the infamous treaty wa» 
immediately issued, and our one thought was that of 
returning to Lombard soil, to fight against its oppressors 
in any way we could. At the news of the armistice,. 
Daverio came to us from Lugano, sent by Mazzini, with 
promises of assistance in men and money, to make the 
attempt over again — which was like butter to our bread. 

There were two steamers on Lago Maggiore, running 
with cargo and passengers between Italy and Switzer- 
land. Our first idea was naturally to get possession of 
these, for transport across the lake. They put in 
periodically at Arona, the nearest point to us. We 
reached it in one night's march, and seized one of the 
steamers ; the other, arriving during the following da}', 
met with a like fate. A proportionate number of boats 
were loaded with horses, stores, and part of the infantry ; 
the two small cannon were placed on board the 
steamers. The municipality of Arona supplied us on 
demand with funds and provisions, and we steered for 
Luino, towing all the loaded boats behind the steamers.. 

Our progress along the western shore of this mag- 


nificent lake was a touching sight. A large number 
of Lombard families, emigrants from their own homes, 
had fixed their abode on this picturesque shore, one 
of the loveliest in the world. Knowing our inten- 
tions, they saluted us everywhere with waving of flags 
and handkerchiefs, and joyful " Ev vivas." Everywhere 
we could see our beautiful countrywomen leaning 
from the balconies of the houses, with their charming 
faces so animated by enthusiasm, that it seemed as 
though they would fly to welcome the brave men who 
did not despair of snatching their homes from the 
foreigner. We responded to the cheers of our loved 
compatriots, with a proud consciousness of their 
applause and our own determination. 

Crossing the lake, we reached Luino, where we 
landed, about 800 in number, taking with us a few 
horses, and leaving the two guns on board the steamers, 
which were commanded by Tommaso Eisso. Next day, 
while we were getting ready to start from the Beccaccia 
inn at Luino, to dash into the district of Varese, I 
heard that an Austrian column was advancing on us 
by the high-road from the south. Our column having 
already started along a path which forms a short cut to 
Varese, I made those in the rear turn back at once, and 
ordered one company of the rearguard to take up their 
position once more at the inn and in its surrounding 
buildings, so as to prevent the enemy from occupying 
them. But it was already too late ; the Austrians, 
having reached that point in force, seized it, repulsing 
our small body with ease. Our column, divided into 


three corps, and shut in by the narrow path, wliich 
had high rocks on either side, was unable to deploy 
or assume any other than a flank formation; but, 
returning to the inn, we found more space, and could 
draw up the second and third corps in column by 
sections. I looked upon the inn as the key to the 
position, and therefore the objective point of the battle- 
field — which we had to gain, or abandon the ground 
with the appearance of a defeat. 

The Beccaccia was a strong building, with several 
enclosures, and surrounded by a number of hedges and 
wood-piles, all of which were in the hands of the enemy, 
and had to be retaken. It was therefore necessary 
resolutely to charge the position ; and the third corps 
attacked en eclielaii, but was repulsed, in spite of the 
efforts of Major Marrocchetti, its commander. 

The second corps, consisting of the Pavia Bersaglieri, 
commanded by Major Angelo Pegurini, had orders to 
charge ; while Captain Coccelli, climbing with his 
company over a wall on our left, appeared on the 
enemy's right flank. 

The Pavesi charged wth the coolness of old soldiers ; 
it was their first fight, and, though several of them fell, 
they got far enough to bayonet the Austrians, who, 
struck with consternation by such valour, and by the 
appearance of Coccelli on their left, turned and fled 

With fifty cavalry to pursue them, few or none of 
those enemies of Italy would have escaped. The few 
horsemen I had — among them the officers Bueno and 


Giacomo Minuto, both of conspicuous bravery — were 
employed as scouts and vedettes. 

Some Austrians were killed, and thirty-seven re- 
mained prisoners, among them a surgeon.* 

The result of this victory was to leave us masters 
of the Varese district, which we traversed in every 
direction without opposition. Tlie inhabitants roused 
themselves somewhat from their dejection, and we 
entered Varese amid the enthusiastic acclamations of 
those good people. On this occasion I was conscious 
of the revival of a hope I had cherished for many 
years — that of inducing our countrymen to enter upon 
a kind of unsystematic guerilla warfare, wliich, in the 
absence of a regular army, might be the prelude of 
our country's emancipation, by promoting the general 
arming of the nation, in case the latter was firmly and 
honestly resolved to free itself I therefore detached 
Captain Medici's company (composed of picked young 
men), and several others, with directions to act inde- 
pendently of each other. 

But the success of the campaign was to terminate at 
Luino. The capitulation of Milan, the retreat of the 
Piedmontese army, and the abandonment of the Lombard 
territory by the numerous volunteer corps of Durando, 
Griffini, and others, had discouraged the populace. 
There was, indeed, a gleam of enthusiasm on our re- 

* Here I owe a word of praise to that excellent lady, Signora 
liaura Mantegazza. The firing was not j'et over, when this noble 
woman crossed the lake in a boat, and, taking away all the wounded, 
without distinction of friend or foe, received and cared for them in 
her house. She has earned the blessings of every one. 


appearance, and again after our success at Luino. But 
despondency once more gained ground when they saw 
our small numbers, and heard of the frequent deser- 
tions from our force — desertions encouraged by those 
very men who had promised us reinforcements and 
subsidies from Lugano. 

Medici, after having done his best, and fought bravely 
against heavy odds, had been obliged to pass into 
Switzerland ; the rest of the detachments are not worth 
mentioning. Meanwhile the Austrians increased their 
numbers in every direction, and were not ashamed to 
send imposing forces against a mere handful of Italian 

We remained a short time in the town of Varese, and 
several days in the neighbourhood, making all haste, so 
as to avoid encoiintering the enemy, whose numbers, 
superior to begin with, were increased from day to day. 
Near Sesto Calende, we were joined by a Neapolitan 
captain, of the Durando column, with some men, and 
two hea\y guns, which, under other circumstances, would 
have been invalualjle to us, but at present were only an 
encumbrance, as we could not attempt to measure our 
strength with so numerous an enemy in the open field. 

I sent the captain back towards the Ticino with the 
guns, while the soldiers — few, but brave men — re- 
mained with us. We had to move and change our 
position almost every night, in order to deceive the 
enemy, who — through a misfortune incident to Italy, 
especially in those times — always found plenty of 
traitors ready to act as spies for them, while we, even 


"by spending handfuls of gold, could with difficulty get 
accurate information about the enemy. Here I had 
my first experience of the indifference of the peasants 
to the national cause, whether because they are the 
creatures and the prey of the priest, or because they 
are generally hostile to their own landlords. Most of 
these had been forced to emigrate by the foreign invasion, 
thus leaving their tenants to grow rich at their expense. 

No more halts were made after this, except to let the 
men rest, and collect sufficient provisions. In this way 
we passed some time, awaiting the enemy by day in a 
strong position, where they did not venture to attack 
us ; and, when they tried to surround us with increasing 
numbers, marching by night to other similar positions, 
where, as a rule, the same process was repeated. 

In these movements, which certainly required no 
slight knowledge of the country, our Daverio, like 
another Anzani, was of immense service to me. A 
native of the district, enthusiastically beloved by all 
classes, of indomitable courage and resolution, he found 
matters easy, and did his best to make them so for 
•others. Even in outward appearance Daverio bore a 
strong resemblance to my matchless comrade of Monte- 
video, though differing from him in the possession of an 
iron constitution. 

The people were terrified by the imposing appearance 
of the numerous Austrian corps, and not a single 
inhabitant of any class joined us. It was only with 
the greatest difficulty we could get guides. I had 
lioped that young refugees would hasten from Switzer- 


land to join us, and that we should be furnished with 
supplies by those who had the means ; not only did no- 
one move to swell our ranks, but from the very same 
place rumours reached us of high enterprises preparing 
at Mazzini's head-quarters, which caused desertions, 
among cur soldiers, and consequent despondency among 
the few who remained. 

Near Ternate, we were so hemmed in between hostile 
columns that it became very difficult to escape — indeed, 
it would have been impossible on level ground ; but the 
mountainous nature of the country favoured us again, 
or we should certainly have been lost. 

Here again Daverio, with some guides he had found, 
was of the greatest service to us. 

We marched resolutely on that column of the enemy 
wliich seemed to us the nearest. It was separated from 
us by a deep valley. The head of our column, ha\'ing 
reached the bottom, wheeled to the left, while the 
enemy thought they were being attacked in the other 
direction ; and — rather hastily, it must be confessed — we 
made for Morazzone, leaving the Austrians several miles 
behind us. On the way we collected all the bread that 
could be found in the neighbouring villages, and had it 
carried after the column in baskets on the backs of 

Eeaching Morazzone about 5 p.m., we drew up our 
men in the main street — which was so narrow that they 
had to stand sideways — and distributed sufficient rations, 
and pay, with orders not to leave the ranks or lay down 
their muskets. 


The distribution being over, we had already made 
arrangements for marching, and I was taking a piece of 
bread and a glass of wine on the same bench whence 
the rations had been served out, when some of my 
officers, who had had some soup made, came to invite 
me to join their mess. 

We were close to Porta Varese, on the ground-floor of 
a house, when suddenly cries were heard without, in the 
direction of that gate. The Austrians had entered^ 
mixing with our guards, who, through hunger or weari- 
ness, had allowed themselves to be surprised. I do not 
know, to this hour, to whose treachery or carelessness it 
was due ; but there was most certainly, if not treachery,- 
culpable negligence on the part of those who should have' 
been on the look-out. In any case, the enemy were 
within the town, and not fifty paces from the place 
where I was, with the handful of officers who had 
invited me. 

Night was falling, and I leave it to be imagined what 
confusion arose among our men, who were raw recruits, 
inferior both in courage and discipline. To seize my 
sabre and rush out to the rescue, accompanied by the 
few gallant officers who were with me at the tune, was 
the work of an instant. Among these were Daverio, 
Fabrizi, Bueno, Cogliolo, and one Giusti, a young 
Milanese staff-officer, who received his death-wound 
in the skirmish — a young fellow of matchless valour,, 
whose memory I commend to my countrymen. 

The fugitives stopped on hearing our \oices, andi 
turned on their pursuers, rushing together in a liand- 


to-hand struggle. There were some moments of con- 
fusion, during which the tide of battle turned more 
than once; but at last Italian valour carried the day, 
and the enemy were driven out of Morazzone. We 
took measures of defence by barricading the ap- 
proaches to the village, and occupying a few houses 
on its outskirts, which seemed well adapted for offensive 

I must not forget to mention a Polish captain, who, 
with a few of his countrymen, had joined us, and per- 
formed prodigies of valour. I regret that I cannot 
remember the names of these brave comrades, who so 
brilliantly sustained their country's reputation for 

The Austrians, driven out of Morazzone, were mean- 
while carrying on the atrocious practices usual with 
them — particularly in Italy, the land of expiation and 
martyrdom ; that is, they set fire mercilessly to all the 
houses round the village, at the same time pouring a 
heavy cannonade into it. The fire communicated itself 
from one house to another with frightfal noise and 
swiftness, while the musketry-fire on both sides added 
to the confusion. 

The Austrians, once repulsed, did not try to attack us 
again. It was impossible for us to attack them in their 
position ; on the contrary, everything considered, nothing 
€lse remained for us but to risk attempting a retreat. 
We were certain of being surrounded by an overpowering 
force in the morning, as the enemy, already numerous, 
kept receiving reinforcements. We were few in numbers. 


and the morale of our men not liigli;* and, over- 
powered by the conjflagration gradually gaming the upper 
hand in the village, we were driven to extremities, like 
the salamander, and had nothing left us but a retreat, 
which we effected about 11 p.m. 

Having ranged the men in order, attended as best we 
could to the wounded, and placed some of them on 
horseback, we began to defile out of one of the lane& 
which was not watched by the enemy, and had already 
been barricaded by us. No guides were to be found,, 
and we had to take with us a priest, who naturally 
accompanied us with the greatest reluctance. That 
race of vampires only remains in Italy to act as go- 
betweens to the foreigner. This priest, consigned to two 
of our men, who made him walk between them, was of 
little use to us, and contrived to make his escape, in 
spite of all possible vigilance, a short distance from the 

The night was dark, and the only light we had wa& 
from the burning houses. The march began in good 
order, and continued thus for a time. We kept asking, 
and had the word passed along, "whether the rear of 
the column was coming up." Sometimes we heard the 
reply, "It is coming all right." Once, however, the 
answer came, " It has not come up ; " and in spite of a 
long halt, and of my sending all the staff still near 

* One of the great inconveniences of such a war, in a country 
little used to it, as Lombardy was in those days, was the great 
number of enemies seen by the inhabitants in every direction, which 
terrified our young soldiers. 


me — among them Aroldi and Cogliolo — and returning 
myself almost to Morazzone, it was impossible for me 
-to get the men together again. "We who remained were 
about seventy. 

This occurrence caused me much regret — more espe- 
cially as our poor wounded were among those separated 
from us — Coccelli; a brave Polish soldier; Demaestri, 
who afterwards liad his right arm amputated; and 
others, whose names I do not remember. 

Demaestri's loss of his arm did not prevent him from 
fighting, like the brave man he had always been, in the 
defence of Rome, at Palestrina and at Yelletri, and 
being one of the last to lay down his arms in the noble 
strife for Italy, at San Marino, whence ha\'ing been 
dismissed, he was arrested by the Austrians and flogged 
in the most atrocious way. It may well be asked 
whether such treatment was ever meted out by us to 
our Austrian prisoners, and Italians may well remem- 
ber the shame and wrong inflicted on us by the pesti- 
lence from which our beautiful peninsula has so long 
suffered, and which still defiles its frontier. 

After some delay, it became necessary for us to pro- 
ceed, and get away during the night from the enemy's 
main body. In that wearisome night-march, over 
almost impassable paths, more than half the remaining 
men were separated from us, and we gained the Swiss 
frontier on the following evening, with only about 
thirty. Broken up into small groups, all the rest had 
got over into Switzerland. 

( 287 ) 



I CONTINUED to suffer from attacks of the fever caught 
at "Eoverbella ; and, having been thus tormented during 
the wliole campaign, I was quite exhausted when I 
reached Switzerland. 

However, I did not despair of being able to make 
some fresh attempt on Lombardy. There were many 
young Italians in Switzerland, who, after a taste of 
exile, were desirous of resuming the campaign at any 
cost. The Swiss Government was certainly not dis- 
posed to endanger its relations with Austria by favouring 
the Italian insurrection. The Italian population of the 
Canton of Ticino, however, naturally sympathized with 
us, and we were able to hope for subsidies from private 
individuals in this part of Switzerland, where the 
majority of the refugees liad collected. I had been 
forced to take to my bed at Lugano, where a federal 
colonel told me that, if we were disposed to try our 
luck again, he — not as belonging to the Swiss Govern- 
ment, but as Luini (his own name) — would, along with 
Jiis friends, favour and help us in every possible way, 
I communicated this proposal to Medici, then the 


most influential man on Mazzini's staff; and Medici 
answered me, " We shall do better." 

Medici's reply, which I understood to be inspired 
from above, convinced me that my presence at Lugano 
was quite useless ; and from Switzerland I went with 
three companions to France, in order to reach Mce, 
where I hoped to recover, in my own home, from my 
continued attacks of fever. 

I reached Nice, and spent some days there with my 
family, trying to get cured. Being, however, ill in 
mind rather than in body, the quiet of my own house 
did not suit me, and I went on to Genoa, where the 
general impatience of our country's humiliation found 
a louder voice ; and thus I completed my cure. 

The march of events in Italy, though not yet 
threatening ruin to our cause, still inspired well-founded 
misgivings. Lombardy had again fallen under the 
power of the tyrant. The Piedmontese army, which 
had undertaken her defence, had vanished. It was not 
destroyed, but its own leaders were convinced of its 
powerlessness. That army, with its glorious traditions, 
and composed, as it was, of first-rate material, was 
under the influence of an incubus — an inexplicable but 
distressing and terrible fatality. Whoever was account- 
able, the genius of fraud, of unjust gain, of malice, of 
our misfortunes, presided over its destiny and hampered 
its action. The Piemontese army had lost no battles, 
but — who knows why ? — had retired before a defeated 
enemy, under the pretext of guarding itself against the 
plots of the zealots multiplying in Italy. Naturally, 


the coldness and duplicity of princes chilled the 
enthusiasm of the soldiers, and paralyzed their arms in 

Supported, as it was, by the whole nation, this army 
would have performed miracles in the hands of a man 
strong enough to tread fear and hesitation underfoot 
and march straight to the goal ; instead of which it was 
reduced to a nonentity. The army, then, retired from 
Lombardy, disbanded, not defeated ; and the naval 
squadron, still less defeated, from the Adriatic. The 
people who, without help from any one, had so heroi^ 
cally shaken off the infamous yoke, were now lying at 
the mercy of their barbarous ruler! the same people 
who, when alone, had in five memorable days driven 
the veteran mercenaries of Austria before them like 
sheep ! 

In the duchies, which were still held by our army, 
reaction was fermenting; as also in Tuscany, ruled 
over by a dictator whom history will judge. In both 
countries the peasants were arming — as they always 
will against free governments, encouraged as they are 
by priests, spies, and partisans of the foreigner. In 
the Eoman states, Rossi and Zucchi were called to 
the direction of politics and of the army, with the idea 
of masking behind those old-established reputations 
the retrograde projects which already prevailed. 

The people, after having looked upon the dawn of 
their deliverance, were infuriated on discovering how 
they had been cheated. At Bologna, on the immortal 
8th of August, the first body of Austrian troops — called 

VOL. I. u 


in by the priests — was received with volleys of musketry, 
and driven in confusion to the other side of the Po. 
The people of Naples, also, were making noble efforts to 
get rid of their executioner, but were less fortunate. 
Sicily, who had showed herself, as it were, the rampart 
and bulwark of Italian liberty, was now, after heroic 
efforts, wavering in her choice of political institutions, 
for want of a man able to direct her destiny. Italy, 
in short, full as she was of enthusiasm and all the 
elements of action, capable not merely of resisting 
the enemy, but of actually attacking him on his own 
ground, was rendered prostrate and inert through the 
imbecility and perfidy of her rulers, kings, doctors, and 

While I was at Genoa, Paolo Fabrizi arrived, and 
invited me, in behalf of the Sicilian Government, to 
pass over to that island. I willingly consented, and 
with seventy-two of my old and new comrades — the 
majority experienced officers — embarked on board a 
French steamer bound on that voyage. We touched 
at Livorno. I had not intended to land; but, our 
arrival coming to the knowledge of the generous and 
enthusiastic inhabitants, I was forced to change my 

We landed. I yielded — perhaps I ought not to have 
done so — to the solicitations of these people, who, in 
their frantic excitement, thought that we were, perhaps, 
departing too far from the principal scene of action. 
They promised me that a strong column should be 
formed in Tuscany, with which, increased on the way 


by volunteers, we might march by land on the kingdom 
of Naples, and thus co-operate more effectually with 
Sicily in the cause of Italian freedom. I agreed to these 
proposals, but soon perceived my mistake. Telegrams 
despatched to Florence, concerning the movements 
specified, received only evasive answers. The wish 
expressed by the Livornese was not openly opposed, 
because the Government was afraid of them ; but one 
who understood anything of the matter could easily 
gather that their intentions were not looked on with 
favour at head-quarters. But whether this was so or 
not, we determined to stay ; and the steamer left. 

Our stay at Livorno was brief. We received a few 
guns, obtained rather through the good-will of the 
popular leader, Petracchi, and our other friends, than 
through that of the Government. The increase in our 
numbers was slight. We were told to march to 
Florence, where more would be done. 

Arrived at Florence, we found matters, if anything, 
worse than before j a splendid welcome from the people, 
indifference on the part of the Government, who left us 
hungry, so that I was obliged to put some friends under 
contribution to feed the men. The duke was in the 
Tuscan capital, but the chief management of affairs was 
said to be in Guerrazzi's hands. I am writing history, 
and hope that I do not offend that great Italian by 
speaking the truth. 

Montanelli (deservedly hailed by public opinion) I 
found just what I had imagined — upright, frank, and 
modest, with a heart set on the good of Italy, and the 


fervid spirit of a martyr ; but the antagonism of others 
neutralized every good determination on his part, and 
for this reason the good and brave hero of Curtatone 
could be of little use to us during the short time he 
remained in power. 

From Florence, where I thought our stay both useless 
and wearisome, I proposed to pass on into Eomagna, 
where it was hoped we should do better, and whence, in 
the last resort, it would be easier to reach Venice by 
way of Eavenna. However, new and harder troubles 
awaited us in the Apennines. 

On the road, where the Tuscan Government was to 
have given us the necessary assistance, we had nothing 
but what we obtained by the benevolence of the 
inhabitants, who were willing indeed, but not able to 
supply all our wants. A letter from the Government 
above mentioned to a syndic on the frontier, limited 
the supplies, and ordered the importunate adventurers 
to vacate the country. 

In this condition we reached Filigari, where we 
found that the Pontifical Government prohibited our 
crossing the frontier. At least, the priests were con- 
sistent — they did not keep up a pretence of friendship. 

Zucchi — the same man we had saved at Como, now 
minister of war — hastened from Eome to get these 
orders executed; while from Bologna marched a corps 
of papal Swiss with two guns, to oppose our entrance 
into the state. 

Meanwhile the weather was growing worse among 
the mountains, and the snow was knee-deep on the 


roads. It was November. Truly, it was worth while 
to come from South America in order to fight the 
snows of the Apennines ! The Italian Governments I 
had had the honour of serving, and whose territories 
I had passed through, were not even able to afford 
a cloak apiece to my poor brave comrades. It was 
cruel to see those gallant young fellows, in that bitter 
weather, among the mountains, clad for the most part 
in linen, some in rags, and without needful food, in 
their own native country, where all the thieves and 
scoundrels of the world have enough and to spare. 

We collected all the money possessed by the greater 
number of the officers, to form a common purse ; and, 
with the help of the worthy landlord of the inn at 
Filigari, we got through some days wretchedly enough. 

MeanwhUe the papal Swiss were taking up a military 
position on the other side of the frontier, and preparing 
to resist any attempt at crossing on our part, but 
evidently ashamed of the disgraceful action of their 
imbecUe Government. 

Our position at Filigari was not tenable many days ; 
and there was no way of changing it except by turning 
back into Tuscany. I had read the communication 
of the Tuscan Government, in which the syndic was 
recommended to get rid of us as quickly as possible ; 
and I saw that it was necessary either to submit to the 
humiliation or to commence hostilities. If we wished 
to pass into Koman territory, we had to fight those who 
were ready to oppose our progress. In such disgraceful 
perplexity were we kept by the Governments from 


which the Italians were hoping for their liberation. 
Yet we had crossed the Atlantic, poor indeed — for 
had we not refused riches ? * — but with the sole object 
of devoting our lives to Italy; free from every con- 
sideration of self-interest, ready to sacrifice to our 
country even our personal politics, and to serve, 
in order to serve her, even those whose infamous 
antecedents did not deserve our confidence. 

The names of Guerrazzi and of Pius were then held 
in reverence in our hearts ; yet there in the snow, 
deprived of necessary food, in cruel suffering, they 
kept that band of young veterans, who were soon to 
leave their bones scattered over the unhappy land, 
dying in defence of Eome against the foreigner, and in 
death despairing of her redemption. 

The people of Bologna, hearing of uS) were filled with 
indignation at these disgraceful proceedings. Bologna 
is a city whose indignation is no empty boast, as the 
Austrians have ere now discovered ta their cost. The 
Papal Government was struck with consternation ; and 
I obtained permission to proceed thither, in order to 
confer with General Latour, who commanded the Swiss 
forces in the papal service. And to General Latour, 
while he stood on the balcony of his palace, the 
Bolognese cried out, "Either our brothers come here, 
or you come down from that balcony ! " 

I arrived at Bologna amid the acclamations of 
those noble citizens, whose ardour I was compelled 

* We had not accepted the lands offered us by the President of 
the Montevidean Republic. 


to restrain, because, forsooth, they were determined 
to get rid of foreigners and reactionaries. While 
arranging with Latour for our passage through Romagna 
to Eavenna, where we were to embark for Venice, I 
recommended him to make haste and lend his aid to 
a Mantuan company which had left Genoa with the 
intention of joining us. 

In an interview with Zucchi, I had also obtained 
leave to recruit Eomagnole volunteers, in order to 
increase our force. In fact, some of them started, 
under the command of a Captain Bazzani, of Modena, 
to join us at Ravenna. 

Under these circumstances, I met for the first time 
at Bologna the gallant Angelo Masina, a man to win 
one's love and admiration at first sight. Masina, after 
the retreat of the Roman division from Lombardy, 
where he had fought bravely, had remained in the 
neighbourhood of Bologna ; and was now at the head 
of those Bolognese citizens who had so heroically freed 
their city from the Austrians on the past 8th of August, 
restraining their wrath excited by the vile treachery of 
priests and renegades. 

At the same time, finding another outlet for his 
impetuous activity, he was collecting horses and men — 
partly at his own expense — and organizing a company 
of lancers, which might have excited the envy of any 
force in the world, as well for the bravery of the men 
as for their handsome appearance and becoming uniform. 
His personal prestige was immense, and he could excite 
or restrain the people at his will. Certainly he and 


Padre Gavazzi had, by their great influence over the 
Bolognese, contributed to our liberation from Filigari. 
Masina, at this time, also intended to start for Venice, 
partly because he was weary of inactivity, partly at the 
instigation of the Axistrian and priestly party. At 
Comacchio lie was preparing for his voyage. 

Meanwhile, with about 150 men, I reached Ravenna, 
where I was joined by Bazzani with fifty recruits. At 
Ravenna, fresh altercations with a priestly government 
awaited us. The agreement with Zucchi at Bologna 
had been to wait at Ravenna for the arrival of the 
Mantuans, and then embark together for Venice ; but 
the hesitation and fear excited by my little band, ill- 
armed and worse clad as they were, was such as to 
inspire the priests with an ardent desire to get rid of us 
as quickly as possible. 

Latour, after some evasions, signified to me that I 
was to embark immediately. I replied that I would 
not do so till all the men I was waiting for had arrived. 
Threats were uttered on the part of the Papal Govern- 
ment, and, as the Ravennati, like the Bolognese, are 
people who care little indeed for threats, they courage- 
ously prepared arms and ammunition, in order to take 
our side in case of violence. 

" Mutual fear governs the world," a friend of mine 
used very sensibly to say. However that may be, the 
people who show least fear usually get the best treat- 
ment. This was the case at Ravenna, and the over- 
bearing swaggerers, with their sabres and cannon and 
thousands of veteran soldiers, never ventured to measure 


their strength against that of a few poor and almost 
unartned patriots. Masina was similarly situated at 
Comacchio. The papal party wished to force him to 
embark at once ; and he, in order to do so at his leisure, 
and arrange his march to agree with ours, resisted all 
intimations of violence, supported by the populace and 
their leader, the gallant Nino Bonnet ; and put himself 
in a respectable state of defence. Thus, at Comacchio 
too, "just justice " * triumphed. 

" Help yourself, and God will help you." To-day I 
am quite lavish of proverbs ; I hope my future readers 
will pardon me. Here, in the course of my duty as a 
historian, I must call attention to one of those men 
to whom monuments are raised by monarchical and 
sacerdotal Italy. Things were in tMs train, when a 
Eoman dagger changed the aspect of our destiny. From 
being proscribed wanderers, we acquired the rights of 
citizenship, and found an asylum open to us on the 

As a follower of Beccaria, I am opposed to capital 
punishment, and therefore I blame the dagger of 
Brutus ; the gallows, which, instead of showing us the 
figure of the dwarf minister of Louis Philippe, who so 
well deserves it, presents the corpse of a humble son 
of Paris, who only strove to gain his rights ; and, lastly, 
the terrible stake, which by itself alone proves the 
priesthood to be an emanation from hell. Be that as it 

* An expression which we shall have to add to the vocabulary 
required in this age of rascality, along with the " Repubhcan 
Republic " of France. 


may, Harmodios, Pelopidas, and Brutus, the men who 
freed their country from tyrants, have not been painted 
by ancient history in colours so dark as those in which 
our modern devourers of nations would like to exhibit 
any man who has touched the ribs of a Duke of Parma 
or a Neapolitan Bourbon. 

Our affairs, then, were, as already described, in a 
deplorable condition ; and a Eoman dagger made us 
worthy no longer of proscription, but of belonging to 
the Eoman army. 

I, The ancient metropolis of the world, worthy once 
more of her former glory, freed herself on that day from 
the most formidable satellite of tyranny, and bathed 
the marble steps of the Capitol with his blood. A 
young Eoman had recovered the steel of Marcus Brutus. 

The consternation occasioned by Eossi's * death anni- 
hilated our persecutors for the time being, and not a 
word more was heard on the subject of our depai^ture. 
Eome and Italy did not obtain the desired political con- 
dition on the death of the pope's minister ; but the 
state of Eome was, at any rate, somewlaat ameliorated, 
from the point of view of Italian liberty, whereof the 
papacy, stripped of its mask of reform, was and 
always will be the mortal enemy. As for us — objects 
of mortal hatred to the Eoman court, whether through 
the fears of Eossi's survivors, or not, I do not know — 

* A son of Rossi's, who has served under me in Lombardy, is a 
brave and distinguished officer. His father may have been a genius, 
as some say, but, genius or no genius, an honest man's duty is to 
serve the cause of his own country, which the papacy at that time 


we began to find life tolerable within the bounds of the 

That dagger-stroke announced to all advocates of 
compromise with foreign powers that the people knew 
them, and would not return to the slavery to which 
they sought, by falsehood and treachery, to entice them 




Eossi's death gave the rulers of Eome to understand 
that the rights and wishes of the nation were no longer 
to be disregarded with impunity. Less unpopular men 
were called to the ministry, and our continued presence 
in Eoman territory was not objected to. The dread, 
however, in which we were held, did not pass away, and, 
though we were annexed to the Eoman army, great 
tardiness was shown in fixing our destination and 
providing our pay, and especially our supplies — begin- 
ning with the coats, which would be indispensable in 
the depth of the now approaching winter. 

The long-expected Mantuans had arrived at Eavenna ; 
Masina had joined us with his fine though scanty 
cavalry ; and together we formed a force of about four 
hundred men, not completely armed, and the greater 
part of them not dressed in uniform, and, in fact, 
scarcely clothed at all. 

The municipality of Eavenna, which had been main- 
taining us, gave me to understand that it would be 
better for them to share this burden with other towns. 
To this end, they suggested that we should shift our 


quarters to several places in turn. This was done, and 
after a stay of about twenty days we parted from that 
generous and sympathetic population. 

During my short stay in Eavenna, I witnessed a 
singular and very consolatory circumstance, which I 
had not met with in any one of our cities wliich I had 
previously passed through. I saw in the ancient capital 
of the Exarchate,- a cordial understanding between the 
different classes of citizens, which truly delighted me. 

Perfect concord between the various classes in a city 
—unhappily so rare in Italy — is, when extended to the 
whole nation, the pivot on wliich her independence 
turns, the phcenix of her liberty, the want of which, I 
doubt not, is the origin of our misfortunes and degrada- 
tion. This phoenix seems to me, happily for these 
citizens, to have built her nest beside the mausoleum 
of Dante, under the segis of the greatest of our great 
ones. Here I did not find a "popular," an "Italian," 
a " national," party ; one association here, and another 
there, each having its own particular niche, its own 
staff of officials — each striving to get the first place, and 
avoid an understanding with the rest. No ; here was 
only one party, composed of all the citizens — only one 
way of thinking, common to noble and plebeian, rich 
and poor. All were intent upon the deliverance of their 
country from the stranger, without for the present 
troubling themselves with the question of the form 
their government was to take — a question which might 
at that time have complicated the situation, and dis- 
tracted the general attention from the main point. 


I have, by experience, found the Eavennati to be 
people of few words, but prompt action ; and the 
following incident, which was related to me in their 
city, seems quite credible. A spy appeared at Eavenna 
in open daylight ; he was shot down in the midst of the 
crowd, and the slayer retired quietly, and made no haste 
to escape, knowing well that no second spy was likely 
to be found. The execrated corpse remained as a warn- 
ing to the multitude. 

We left Eavenna, and passed some time in various 
towns of Eomagna, welcomed by the people, and pro- 
vided for by the municipalities. At Cesena, leaving my 
men, I went to Eome to obtain an interview with the 
minister of war, so as, if possible, to systematize our 
vagabond and troublesome mode of existence. 

I then heard of the Pope's flight ; and arranged with 
the minister Campello that the Italian legion (the 
name given to the corps commanded by me both in 
America and in Italy) should form a part of the Eoman 
army, and to this end be provided with the necessary 
supplies, and marched towards Eome, to complete its 
numbers and perfect its organization. I therefore 
wrote to Major Marrocchetti, whom I had left in com- 
mand of the corps, to proceed to Eome, while I marched 
to meet him. 

A painful incident had taken place in the ranks during 
my absence — the death of Tommaso Eisso, a loss which 
we felt terribly, all the more so that it was caused by 
discord between two brave Italians, and brought about 
by a comrade's hand. In a dispute, Eisso had struck 


Ramorino with a whip, an act which rendered a duel 
inevitable. I should certainly have expelled from the 
legion the officer who would take a blow from any one ; 
and Ramorino was not the man to put up with an 
insult like the one he had received. Knowing what 
had passed, I treated them both with coldness, but had 
a presentiment of misfortune. I would have given my 
» life-blood to wash out the disgrace incurred by my brave 
comrade, but it could not be done. When I left Cesena 
for Rome, Risso — towards whom I had, contrary to my 
custom, been very distant — came up to the carriage, and 
pressed my hand ; his was cold to the touch as the hand 
of a corpse. The presentiment of my friend's death did 
not leave me during the whole journey, and the news, 
when it reached me, pained but did not surprise me. 
They had fought outside the walls of Cesena, and 
Ramorino had killed Risso. 

Tommaso Risso had a peculiarly winning character — 
"unajiera natural^ an Italian woman who loved him once 
said of him. In his youth, he had followed the sea ; but, 
on arriving in the Rio de La Plata, he landed at Monte- 
video, went up country, and found occupation on one of 
the large estates called estancias, which are entirely 
given up to grazing, and where all the work is done on 
horseback. He had completely fallen in with the 
usages of the country, and, being of a strong and active 
physique, could break in a colt as well as any gaucho, 
and fight any of the natives, knife in hand, like the best 
of them ; and his name was always uttered with respect 
among the stalwart sons of the pampas. In the wars 


continually going on between the nations of La Plata, 
Eisso had fought in the ranks of the Montevideans ; and, 
promoted for his bravery, served gallantly in the Italian 
legion. In one of the many battles in which he was 
present, he received a wound in the neck which would 
have killed a rhinoceros, but from which he recovered 
as if by miracle. In consequence of other wounds, 
however, his arms were almost paralyzed. 

Tommaso had little or no book-learning, but he 
supplied its place by a natural intelligence which 
made him capable of executing any task. He had 
commanded the steamers on Lago Maggiore, and had 
acquitted himself surprisingly weU of this difficult 
duty. Jealously careful of Italian honour, he would 
have fought the devil, had the latter sought to fasten 
a stain on it. He possessed all the qualities which 
make the popular leader — strong, good-natured, gener- 
ous, he found his element in the multitudes, and was 
capable of calming them when excited, or stirring them 
up on occasion, and rousing them into heroism with 
his gestures and the manly sound of his voice. 

Eisso's death was a source of great grief to his 
comrades. He bitterly regretted being unable to shed 
his blood on the battle-field for the Italy he idolized. 
Let Cesena keep the remains of the gallant champion 
of our country's liberty, and let his fellow-citizens 
sometimes remember him with the esteem and affection 
he deserves. 

Eeaching Foligno, I found the legion there, but at 
the same time received orders from Government to 


march with it to the port of Fermo, in order to guard 
a point menaced by no one. This proved to me that 
the distrust of the new Government, and their wish 
to keep us at a distance from Eome, had not passed 

My representations that the men were destitute of 
the warm cloaks absolutely necessary for recrossing 
the snow-covered Apennines were entirely disregarded, 
and we had to turn back, pass the Colfiorito a second 
time, and repair to Fermo. Of course, I understood the 
intention of the Government ; they had no motive for 
sending us thither other than a wish to remove us from 
the capital, where they dreaded the contact of men sup- 
posed to be essentially revolutionary, with the Eoman 
people, just then in the mood to exercise their rights. 
I was confirmed in this opinion by the minister of war's 
injunction not to let the legion exceed the number of 
five hundred. 

In Eome, the same spirit which had ruled Milan and 
was yet ruling Florence was still prevalent. Italy 
was supposed to be in need, not of fighters, but of 
orators and composition-mongers, to whom might be 
applied Alfieri's words concerning the aristocracy, " Or 
superbi, or umili, infami sempre." Despotism had for 
a time yielded up the reins of public affairs to the 
talkers, whose business it was to fool the people and 
put them off their guard — all but certain that these 
popinjays would facilitate the tremendous reaction 
preparing through the whole of the Peninsula. We 
crossed the Apennines, then, for the third time; my 

VOL. I. X 


poor comrades still unprotected from the weather, 
though it was the depth of winter — the month of 
December, 1848. Among the troubles which bowed us 
t down in our own country, the calumnies of the clerical 
\ party, whose poisonous influence, secret and de adly 
' in its workings as that of the rattlesnake, had been pro- 
pagated among the ignorant populace, depicting us in 
the most horrible colours, were not the least trying. 
According to these dealers in the black art, we were 
capable of every species of violence — scoundrels with- 
out the shadow of discipline, and respecting neither 
the property nor the families of the inhabitants, who 
dreaded our approach as if we had been wolves or 

This impression, however, was always changed at 
the sight of the manly, well-conducted young fellows 
who accompanied me — nearly all belonging to the 
cultivated classes of the towns ; for it was a notorious 
fact, that, in all the volunteer corps I had the honour 
of commanding in Italy, the peasant element was, 
thanks to the machinations of the reverend minist ers 
of falsehood, conspicuous by its absence. My soldiers 
nearly all belonged to distinguished families in the 
different Italian provinces. It is true that at all times 
there were some few worthless ones to be found among 
my volunteers, who had either fraudulently intruded 
themselves on us, or been sent among us by the police 
and the priests, in order to instigate disorder and crime, 
and thus discredit the corps. But these scarcely ever 
stayed long, soon escaping from the punishment which 


did not fail to overtake them, and exposed by the real 
volunteers, ever jealous for the honour of the legion. 

During our transit from Eomagna into Umbria, we 
had heard that the people of Macerata, fearing our 
passage through their town, had signified that they 
would shut their gates on us; but on our return — 
that is, on our march to Porto di Fermo — ^being better 
informed, and repenting of their unjust resolution, they 
sent me word that they wished for a visit from us, 
in order to prove that their conduct on the first occasion 
had originated in a mistake. 

The weather was most inclement during our passage 
over the Apennines, and my men suffered greatly ; but 
the welcome we received at Macerata compensated for 
all. The Maceratesi not only welcomed us like brothers, 
but entreated us to remain in their city till new arrange- 
ments were made by the Government; and, as the latter 
had no object in sending us to Porto di Fermo except 
that of removing us from the capital, there seemed no 
reason, now that we had the Apennines between us 
and Eome, why we should make any difficulty about 
remaining at Macerata. 

Here we were forced to think of clothing the men ; 
and, thanks to the good-will of the inhabitants and the 
assistance of the ministry, succeeded in accomplishing 
the greater part of this task. About the same time, the 
election of deputies to the Constituent Assembly took 
place, and our soldiers were called upon to vote. 

Deputies to the Constituent Assembly ! It was a 
striking sight, that of the sons of Eome again called to 


the Comitia, after so many centuries of slavery and 
prostration under the shameful yoke of the empire, or 
the still worse one of the papal theocracy. Without 
tumult, without passions — unless patriotism and zeal for 
freedom are to be called by that name — without bribery, 
without prefects or police-agents to intimidate the 
voters, the sacred function of the plebiscite was per- 
formed ; and in the whole state there was not a single 
instance of a mercenary vote, or a citizen selling him- 
self to the patronage of the powerful. 

The descendants of the great people showed the dis- 
cernment of their forefathers in the choice of their 
representatives, and elected men who would have been 
an honour to their kind in any part of the world — men 
of courage not inferior to that of the ancient Senate, or 
the modern assemblies of Helvetia and the country of 
Washington. But the hatred, the jealousy, the fears of 
the modern rabble of potentates and priests were not 
asleep ; terrified at the reappearance of the Republic, 
they at once banded themselves together to extirpate 
its germs, while yet tender and incapable of serious 

Hope on, Italy ! and in the time of distress into 
which tyrants from without and robbers from within 
have plunged thee, do not lose confidence ! They are 
not all dead, the young heroes who fought for thee on 
the barricades of Brescia, Milan, Casale ; at the bridge 
over the Mincio ; on the ramparts of Venice, Bologna, 
Ancona, Palermo; in the streets of Naples, Messina, 
Livorno ; there, on the Janiculum ; and in the Forum of 


the ancient capital of the world. They are scattered 
over the surface of the globe in both hemispheres^ 
their hearts athirst with a matchless love for thee and 
desire for thy redemption, a love which the cold specu- 
lators and traffickers in thy limbs and thy blood cannot 
understand, nor will, till the day when the stains with 
wliich they have defiled thee are all washed away! 
Never lose heart. That generation, grown grey under 
the burning sun of battles, will appear in the van of thy 
new generation now growing up in hatred of the priest 
and imder the guns of the foreigner, strengthened b^ 
the recollection of such outrages, and stimulated by the 
desire of avenging their sufferings in exile and in prison. 

The Italian is not attracted by the fair climate of a 
foreign land, or the charms of the daughters of strangers * 
nor can he permanently transplant himself into another 
country, like the sons of the north. He vegetates on. 
strange soil, he paces it, gloomy and thoughtful, ever 
tortured by the longing to see once more his own fair 
land and fight for her deliverance. 

None knows, Italy ! how long may last the degra- 
dation in which thou art plunged ; but all know full 
well that the solemn hour of resurrection cannot be 
far off. 





We remained at Macerata throughout the month of 
January, and then left for Eieti, with orders to garrison 
that town. The legion marched thither by way of the 
pass of Colfiorito, and I, with three companions, by way 
of Ascoli and the valley of the Tronto, in order to pass 
the Neapolitan frontier and make some observations 
beyond it. We crossed the Apennines by the rugged 
heights of Monte Sibilla, meeting with severe snow- 
storms, in consequence of which I suffered from 
rheumatic pains, which detracted greatly from the 
picturesqueness of the journey. We were well received 
by the stalwart mountaineers, feted everywhere, and 
enthusiastically escorted on our way. The precipices 
resounded with their cheers for Italian liberty ; and 
yet a few days later that brave and energetic people, 
corrupted and instigated by the priests, rose against 
the Roman Republic, wielding arms furnished for the 
purpose by those black traitors. 

I reached Rieti, and completed the supply of clothes 
for the legion, but it was impossible to obtain a sufficient 
number of muskets ; and, as I saw that all further 


requests would be useless, I resolved to have lances 
made, so as to furnisli the unarmed with weapons. 

At Eieti, we were joined by Daverio, Ugo Bassi, and 
several good soldiers — among them the two brothers 
Molina and Euggiero, who afterwards so distinguished 
themselves as officers in the various fights in which 
the legion took part. 

The corps continued to increase, while it was being 
organized as well as circumstances permitted ; but the 
Eoman ministry did not want soldiers, and, as they 
had formerly limited the number of the legion to 
500, so they now intimated to me that I was not to 
let it exceed 1000 ; so that, having already a few more 
than the prescribed number, I was obliged to cut down 
the wretched pay supplied — including that of the 
officers — to maintain them all. Yet not one complaint 
was heard in the ranks of my brave comrades. 

We made use of the time afforded by our stay at 
Eieti to drill the legion ; and also took measures for 
defending the frontier against the attacks of the 
Bourbon, who was already unmasked, and in open 
reaction against Italian liberty. 

Being elected a deputy by the people of Macerata, I 
was summoned to Eome to form part of the Constituent 
Assembly ; and on February 8, 1849, I had the good 
fortune to be one of the first to proclaim, almost 
unanimously at 11 p.m., that KepubHc of glorious 
memory, so soon to be crushed by Jesuitry allied — as 
always — with the autocracy of Europe. 

It was the 8th of February, 1849, and as I was so 


prostrated with rheumatism as to be unable to walk, I 
had to be carried on the shoulders of my staff-officer 
Bueno into the halls of the Eoman Assembly. On 
February 8, 1846, almost at the same hour, on the 
battle-field of San Antonio, not a few of the wounded 
of our gallant legion had been carried on my shoulders, 
and placed on horseback, to accomplish the difficult 
but glorious retreat to Salto. 

Now I was present at the new birth of the giant of 
republics — the Eoman ; on the stage of the greatest 
events the world has ever seen — in the city of cities. 
What hopes ! what a future ! Then they were no 
dreams, those fancies, those presages which, a tumul- 
tuous crowd, had occupied my mind from my child- 
hood up, exciting my eighteen-years imagination, 
when for the first time I roamed among the splendid 
ruins of the Eternal City. They were no dreams, 
those hopes of my country's resurrection, which made 
my heart throb in the thick of the American forests, 
and amid the ocean-storms — ^which guided me to the 
fulfilment of my duty towards suffering and oppressed 

Here, in the same hall which used to witness the 
assemblies of the ancient tribunes of Eome's greatness, 
were we assembled — perhaps not unworthy of our fore- 
fathers, if only we had been presided over by the same 
genius that they were fortunate enough to recognize 
and to acclaim as greatest. And the prophetic voice 
of the Eepublic rang out in the august precincts as it 


did on the day when kings were driven thence for ever. 
To-morrow the Eepublic, proclaimed from the Capitol, 
will be hailed in the Forum by a people who have 
suffered for centuries, but have never forgotten that 
they are descended from the greatest of Peoples. 

Meanwhile, the boastful chauvins beyond the Alps 
had been assuring the world that Italians do not fight, 
that they are not worthy of freedom ; and were marching, 
under the guidance of the priest, to the destruction of 
the Eoman Eepublic. The thought of a united Italy 
terrified Autocratic and Jesuitical Europe, especially our 
western neighbours, whose doctrinaires proclaimed the 
French supremacy on the Mediterranean incontestable 
and perfectly legitimate, not considering how many 
important nations there are who have more right to it 
than they. 

Through our own unhappy divisions, they have power 
to take us from our families, and ruin our property, 
with the hypocrisy of the Jesuit to whom they have 
allied themselves; but they cannot take from us the 
right of flinging their sophisms in their face, and 
making them at least confess that they are afraid of 
seeing us take up again the fasces, the ancient insignia 
of power. To-day, like ourselves, they are the vassals 
of that parody on an emperor who governs them, who 
has imposed himself on all our tyrants, and whose 
shameful dominion will be finally overthrown in the 
dust by the sword of eternal justice. 

From Eome, I returned to Eieti, after the proclama- 


tion of the Republic, and about the end of March I had 
orders to proceed with the legion to Anagni. In April, 
we heard that the French were at Civita Vecchia, and, 
after their occupation of that seaport town — which 
might have been successfully defended but for treachery 
on their side and imbecility on ours — it became known 
that they intended to march on Rome. 

About the same time General Avezzana had arrived 
in the capital, and entered on the of&ce of minister of 
war. I did not know him personally, but from in- 
formation received as to his character and military 
career in Spain and America, I had conceived a high 
degree of esteem for him ; so that his accession to the 
head of that department filled me with hopes, destined 
not to be disappointed. The first proof I had of this 
was the sending of fifty new muskets ; for up to that 
moment we had not been able, in spite of repeated 
requests, to obtain a single one. 

It was not long before we received orders to march 
on Rome, then threatened by the soldiers of Bonaparte. 
Needless to say that we marched willingly to defend 
that city of great memories. The legion consisted of 
about 1200 men; when we left Genoa we had been 

It is true that we had marched over a large extent 
of country, but, considering that we had been rejected 
by every government, calumniated as only priests can 
calumniate, deprived of the commonest necessaries of 
JLife, and nearly all the time without arms, all cir- 


cumstances tending to disgust volunteers and hinder 
their enrolment, we might well be satisfied with the 
number we had attained. We reached Eome, and 
took up our quarters in the deserted convent of San 
Silvestro. ^ \ 






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