Signed by all the Captains.
The preceding statement of the captains is a faithful statement of the case as regarded the injustice done to the squadron, which had throughout supported itself, even to the repairs and equipment of the ships. As to the ruin which the captains predict, it was no doubt intended by the envoys of San Martin and their creatures in the Chilian Ministry, as the effect would have been to have driven the men to desertion, when the ships would have been turned over to Peru, and manned with fresh crews. Fortunately for Chili, this consummation was prevented by an occurrence as strange as unexpected by her short-sighted rulers, though long before predicted by myself.
NEGOCIATIONS WITH BOLIVAR—EXILE OF MONTEAGUDO—COMPLAINTS OF THE LIMENOS—EXTRAVAGANCE OF THE GOVERNMENT—EXCULPATION OF SAN MARTIN—EFFECTS OF POPULAR DISSENSION—DISAGREEMENT OF BOLIVAR AND SAN MARTIN—VOTE OF PERUVIAN CONGRESS—EXTRAORDINARY NEGLECT OF THE CHILIAN SQUADRON—SAN MARTIN’S ARRIVAL AT VALPARAISO— I DEMAND HIS TRIAL—COUNTENANCE OF THE SUPREME DIRECTOR— SQUADRON AT LENGTH PAID WAGES—REVOLT OF CONCEPTION—GENERAL FREIRE APPRISES ME OF IT—FREIRE ASKS FOR MY SUPPORT—HIS LETTER NOT REPLIED TO—SAN MARTIN’S INFLUENCE.
Mention has been made in a previous chapter of the all but total destruction of a division of the liberating army by General Canterac, and of the bombastic proclamations issued on that occasion by San Martin, to the effect that they were “only dispersed, not beaten,” &c. The Protector was however ill at ease, and entered into a correspondence with Bolivar, with a view to procure the assistance of Columbian troops against the Spaniards, who, following up their success, were making demonstrations of attacking the patriot forces in Lima. To this request was added another soliciting an interview with Bolivar at Guayaquil. A similar despatch was sent to Santiago, asking, in the most urgent terms, for aid from the Chilian Government.
The whole affair—as narrated at the time, for personally I had nothing to do with it—was somewhat curious. San Martin’s designs on Guayaquil having got wind, Bolivar marched the Columbian troops across the Cordillera, successfully invaded Quito, and was hastening towards Guayaquil, with a view of being beforehand with San Martin, of whose intentions upon that province he was aware. After the above-mentioned defeat of the Peruvian army by Canterac, San Martin had been compelled to withdraw his forces