Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 245 pages of information about Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil,.

This triumphant retreat of the Spanish force with its large amount of treasure was a disaster which, after the Limenos had risen against the tyranny of San Martin and forcibly expelled him from their city, entailed the shedding of torrents of blood in Peru, for the Spaniards were thus enabled to reorganize a force which would have subjected the country to its ancient oppressors, had not the army of Colombia stepped in to resist a common enemy.  Even Chili trembled for her liberties, and, after I had left the Pacific, begged me to return and check disasters with which she was incompetent to grapple.

Had not the Protector prevented the Spanish Commandant, La Mar, from accepting my offer of permitting him to retire with two-thirds of the enormous treasure deposited in the fort, Chili would, at the lowest computation, have received ten millions of dollars, whilst the Spaniards would have retired with twenty millions.  Surely this would have been better than to permit them—­as General San Martin did—­to retire unmolested with the whole.

Foiled in this attempt to relieve the necessities of the squadron, whilst the Protector’s Government pertinaciously refused to supply them, it was impossible to keep the men from mutiny; even the officers—­won over by Guise and Spry, who paid midnightly visits to the ships for the purpose—­began to desert to the Protectoral Government.

The following letter, addressed to Monteagudo, will shew the state of the matter as regarded the squadron:—­

   Most Excellent Sir,

I have written you an official letter to-day, by which you will perceive that the consequences which I have long predicted will have so far come to pass, as to render the removal of the large ships of the squadron indispensable.  If by a total neglect of all I tell the Protectoral Government through you, things happen prejudicial to the service, the Protector and yourself will at least do me the justice to feel that I have done my duty; the base, interested, and servile, for the promotion of their selfish views, may clamour, but I regard them not.

   I would send you the original reports of the provisions and state
   of the ships issued by the captains, but I must hold these for my
   public justification, should such be necessary.

What is the meaning of all this, Monteagudo?  Are these people so base as to be determined to force the squadron to mutiny?  And are there others so blind as not to foresee the consequences?  Ask Sir Thomas Hardy, and the British captains, or any other officers, what will be the result of such monstrous measures.

   Believe me, with a heavy heart,

   Yours, &c.

   COCHRANE.

CHAPTER VIII.

PROLONGED DESTITUTION OF SQUADRON—­THE MEN MUTINY IN A BODY—­THE SEAMEN’S LETTERS—­SAN MARTIN SENDS AWAY THE PUBLIC TREASURE—­MY SEIZURE OF IT—­PRIVATE PROPERTY RESTORED—­SAN MARTIN’S ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ME—­THE SQUADRON PAID WAGES—­ATTEMPT ON THE OFFICERS’ FIDELITY—­I AM ASKED TO DESERT FROM CHILI—­ORDERED TO QUIT ON REFUSAL—­MONTEAGUDO’S LETTER—­MY REPLY—­JUSTIFICATION OF SEIZING THE TREASURE—­NO OTHER COURSE POSSIBLE.

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Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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