The anxious desires of His Excellency the Supreme Director are now fulfilled, and the sacrifices of the Chilian people are rewarded. The naval power of Spain in the Pacific has succumbed and is extinguished, the following vessels having surrendered to the unceasing efforts of the squadron of this Free State:—
Prueba, 50 guns; Esmeralda, 44; Venganza, 44; Resolution, 34; Sebastiana, 34; Pesuela, 18; Potrillo, 16; Prosperina 14; Arausasu; seventeen gun-boats; the armed ships Aguila and Begonia; the block ships at Callao; and many merchantmen.
It is highly gratifying to me, after labouring under such difficulties as were never before witnessed on board ships of war, to announce the arrival of the Chilian squadron in Valparaiso—its cradle; where, owing to its unceasing services in the cause of liberty and independence of Chili, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico, it forms an object of admiration and gratitude to the inhabitants of the New World.
By the inhabitants of Valparaiso our return was hailed with every manifestation of delight, almost every house in the place being decorated with the patriot flag, whilst other demonstrations of national joy showed the importance which the Chilian people attached to our services, in spite of the obstacles which they well knew had been opposed to them.
On the 4th of June, the following letters of thanks were forwarded to me:—
Ministry of Marine,
Santiago de Chili, June 4th, 1822.
Most Excellent Sir,
The arrival of your Excellency at Valparaiso with the squadron under your command, has given the greatest pleasure to his Excellency the Supreme Director. In those feelings of gratitude which the glory acquired by your Excellency during the late campaign has excited, you will find the proof of that high consideration which your heroic services so justly deserve.
Among those who have a distinguished claim are the chiefs and officers, who, faithful to their duty, have remained on board the vessels of war of this State, a list of whom your Excellency has honoured me by enclosing. These gentlemen will most assuredly receive the recompense so justly due to their praiseworthy constancy.
Be pleased to accept the assurance of my highest esteem.
JOAQUIM DE ECHEVERRIA.
His Excellency the Vice-Admiral
Commander-in-Chief of the Squadron,
the Right Honourable Lord Cochrane.
From the preceding letter it will be observed that my old opponent, Zenteno, was no longer at the head of the Department of Marine, but was appointed Governor of Valparaiso, where he exercised the office of Port-Admiral, a position in which, with all his former enmity, he contrived, notwithstanding the complete satisfaction of the Government with my services, to give me great annoyance.