Imagens das páginas
[ocr errors]

important for the revolution to have time enough to spread into other parts of the province, and so he merely fought Calleja to cover his further retreat. The rebel leader soon gathered his forces at Celaya, while Allende, his colleague, posted himself at Guanajuato. Here the latter was attacked by Calleja and routed, and the royal forces made bloody work in the town.1 Hidalgo, moving to Valladolid, reorganized his army, and then, proceeding to Guadalajara, he set up a form of government, with Ignacio Lopez Rayon as Secretary-general. At this time the insurgents held completely the provinces of Nueva Galicia, Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosi, a belt of country stretching from sea to sea in the latitude of Tampico.

[graphic][merged small]

Calleja had so far failed to surround Hidalgo, and in January, 1811, the signs were not very propitious for the royalists. Another royalist general, Cruz, was now striving to join Calleja, and Hidalgo, to prevent it, sent Colonel Mier to confront him ; but Cruz defeated his opponent in an engagement near Zamora. At this juncture, and when the royalists had recaptured Guanajuato, Hidalgo moved out from Guadalajara with his entire force, which was large enough, consisting of 60,000 foot, 20,000 horse, and 100 cannon; but it was poorly armed, and without effective discipline; while Calleja commanded a well-equipped and well organized force, but in extent it only counted 3,000 foot, with as many horse, and ten guns. At the bridge of Calderon, ten or eleven leagues from the city, Hidalgo prepared to stand. Here Calleja attacked him, leading the centre himself, 1 There is a plan in Alaman, ii. 45.

2 Portrait in Alaman, ii. 297. After a likeness in Alaman's Méjico, vol. ii.

while General Flon had command on the right, and on the left was the royal cavalry led by Empáran. The attack on both flanks failed, but aided by the firing of an ammunition-wagon, the flames of which caught the dried grass and drove in the face of Hidalgo's men, Calleja thrust his centre violently into the opposing lines, and the battle was won. It was as a victor that Calleja entered Guadalajara on the 21st of January, 1811.

Hidalgo fled with his broken army, and soon resigned the command to Allende. This general had scarcely four or five thousand men left when he reached Saltillo, where he joined Jimenes.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The disheartenment of defeat was spreading through the country. Town after town was heard from as yielding to the victors. The leaders, counselling together at Saltillo, resolved to escape to the United States ; but as they were marching, — about 2,000 in all, with twenty-four guns and a money-chest, — they fell into an ambush planned in the interest of a counter-revolution by one Elizondo, and, with nothing more than a show of resistance, the party was captured, one and all. The judgment of death upon Hidalgo, Allende, and Jimenes soon followed.1

The main force of the insurgents had thus disappeared, but a small body still remained in arms under the lead of José Maria Morelos. He was a

1 Bancroft, Mexico, iv. ch. 11; bibliography, of all, after the later revolution, were removed p. 287. Allende and Jimenes were shot in May, in 1823 from Chihuahua to the Cathedral in and Hidalgo, after having been degraded from Mexico. his priestly office, was shot in July. The bones

* From Torrente's Hist. de la Rev. Hispano-Americana (Madrid, 1829), i. 152. Cf. Alaman's Hist. de Méjico, vol. ii.

[ocr errors]

man of little intellectual training, but possessed of a vigilant turn for affairs, while his commanding eye and energetic spirit gave him a considerable power over his followers. So, with dependence on Morelos, the revolutionary spirit was still active enough in certain regions to keep Calleja in the field. In February, 1812, Morelos made a stand at Cuautla (Guautla), where he repelled the royalist attacks so vigorously that Calleja settled down at last for the protracted work of a siege. Disease was weakening the forces both within and without, but famine was added to the perils of the besieged camp, so that Morelos in May resolved to extricate himself by bursting upon a single point of the circumvallating lines. He succeeded,



JOSÉ MARIA MORELOS.* but not with any organized force, for his men scattered in the act. The victory of Calleja was a doubtful one, and he stained his arms by the devastation which he permitted in the town after the rebels had escaped.

By August (1812) Morelos had gathered about 3,600 men at Tehuacan, where he continued to threaten some of the lines of communication with the capital, and sought to pursue a guerrilla warfare. In October he captured Orizaba, and in November he was before Oajaca with 5,000 men, and speedily entered the place. Thence, in April, 1813, he advanced upon Acapulco, and though he took the town, the capture occupied so much time that Calleja, who had become viceroy, was enabled, after having subdued all opposition elsewhere, to turn upon the rebellious southern province.? 1 Alaman (ii. 495) gives a plan.

royalists and rebels in 1813, with the marches of ? Alaman (vol. iii.) gives a map showing the Morelos. parts of the country held respectively by the

After a print in Alaman's Méjico, iv. 329.

A congress of revolutionists in this region had already entrusted high powers to Morelos, and it proclaimed independence on November 6, 1813.

Morelos, with all the force he could muster, appeared in November before Valladolid, the capital of Michoacan. Thence, hearing that the royalists under Llano and Iturbide were marching to attack him, he detached Ramon Rayon to intercept them; but the plan failed, and Morelos received

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

the onset of the royalists while he was pressing his attack upon the city. The insurgents were routed and the city was saved, and while Morelos was retreating he barely escaped capture at the hands of Iturbide and his cavalry. In January, 1814, Morelos made a final stand at Puruaran, but Iturbide still drove him. Disaster followed upon disaster, till finally Morelos was deposed by his own congress. This body had adherents enough to

* After a print in Alaman's Méjico, iji. 327.

make it necessary for Calleja to appeal to the home government for a reinforcement of 8,000 troops. Ramon Rayon with a small force still held out at Cóporo Hill, near Zitácuaro, and Llano and Iturbide had dashed against his works in vain.

Morelos, meanwhile, commanding an escort which was protecting the migratory congress, was intercepted and captured by a force of royalists, and, after the forms of a trial, he was executed December 22, 1815.

[graphic][merged small]

The campaign of 1816 was sustained by the insurgents against a force of 80,000 men which Calleja had collected, and these were mainly directed against a few thousands which kept the field under Manuel Miel y Teran. . Neither side had much success, and the war was simply tedious. At last, in August, a new viceroy, Juan Riaz de Apodaca, succeeded to Calleja, and uniting a more humane policy with vigor in disposing his forces, the leading rebel officers, Teran and Osorno, surrendered in January, 1817, and Ramon Rayon likewise succumbed a little later.

A certain quixotic interest is lent to the closing months of the revolution by the adventurous exploits of Espoz y Mina. He had fitted out a small expedition in the United States, which, landing on the Gulf coast, for

After a print in Alaman's Méjico, iv. 347.

« AnteriorContinuar »