Hall was equally impressed by thelogic behind San Martin’s intention to liberate Peru rather than conquer it and by his patience in waiting for the collapse of Spanish power. His plans, wrote Hall, ‘certainly appeared to many people tobe very judicious atthe time as they were uniformly followed by the success which he anticipated; and Iam freeto confess that … his measures atthis juncture, seemed tome to be marked with sagacity, prudence and foresight.
Captain Basil Hall summarisedthe situation exactly when, in his memoirs, he praised Cochrane’s ‘renown, hismatchless intrepidity and his inexhaustible resources inwar’ and continued, ‘under his hand all things prospered and the confined naval resources of the country were turned to the greatest account with adexterity and professional skill which astonished everyone. читать полностью…
Cochrane’s first act on arriving in Valparaiso was to go on board theRising Star. The object ofconsiderable curiosity, the steamer had reached the port at last on 27 April, under the command of a Captain Scott and carrying his brother, Major William Cochrane and hislong-time secretary, William Jackson. For Cochrane, the successful arrival of the first vessel capable of steam power seen in the Pacific was a historic event and a vindication of his faith in mechanical devices. Also on board were a number of smaller steam engines that Cochrane hoped to sell and see installed in other suitable vessels. On 9 and 10 June, the Rising Star’smachinery was put through itspaces with
Chilean officials on board. Cochrane was delighted with its performance and informed Echeverria that the vessel had ‘lived up to his most sanguine expectations.
Cochrane’s next task was less agreeable. Itwas togo ashore and confront his business agent, William Hoseason. It was not a happy meeting. Hoseason had been inefficient in handling his financial affairs and Cochrane soon found that his lack of discretion had made them the talk of the town. читать полностью…
Unaware ofallthis,Cochrane continued toscour the coast for his prey. On 19 December, his ships reached the Bay ofFonseca, passed between the low grey volcanoes that flanked the entrance, and dropped anchor among the green islands and gleaming white beaches within. There, with the fires of half a dozen distant volcanoes sending lazy smoke into the cloudless sky by day and illuminating the darkness by night, Cochrane’s men made repairs to the pumps, then hacked their way through the tropical vegetation to the nearest supply of fresh water. A week later they were on the move again, searching the Bay of Tehuantepec, once famous as the haunt of buccaneers and pirates, then heading west forMexico.
When the citizens of Valparaiso woke on the morning of 2 June 1822 and looked out to sea, there were two new ships rolling at their anchors in the rain-swept waters of the bay. During the night theO’Higgins andValdivia had returned. The news that Cochrane was back spread like wildfire. The town was soon festooned with flags and the streets filled with excited crowds eager to welcome Lord Cochrane and his men after their triumphs in the liberation of Peru. The Chilean Government was no less enthusiastic and whole heartedly joined inthe celebrations. Zenteno had been moved to become Governor of Valparaiso so it was Joaquin de Echeverria, hissuccessor as Minister of Marine, who issued the message of welcome. It began:
The arrival of Your Excellency in the city of Valparaiso with the squadron under your command has given the greatest ofpleasure tothe Supreme Director; and in those feelings of gratitude which the glory you have acquired in the late protracted campaign has excited you will find the proof of that high consideration which your heroic services sojustly deserve.
They reached Acapulco on 28January 1822, tofind thebrigAraucano waiting offtheport. Simpson was rowed across to the flagship to make his report. His visit to the town had not been a success. Entering the bay cautiously under American colours on 27 December, he had been lured ashore by friendly emissaries and arrested, while Araucano had been made toanchor harmlessly under theguns ofFort San Diego.
Even with the help of General Wavell and Colonel O’Reilly who had already arrived in the San Antonio, it had taken Simpson a week to convince the authorities of his bona fides as a Chilean officer and to secure the release of the brig. The Acapulco authorities claimed that they had mistaken Simpson and his ship for a well-known pirate, but Simpson himself had noticed that he had only been released following the safe departure of two heavily loaded merchant ships fromthe port – one Spanish, the other American. Perhaps, knowing the enthusiasm of Cochrane’s ships for prize-taking, Simpson had been detained to prevent any such incident. On the other hand, he offered an even more sinister explanation – that Wavell and O’Reilly, peeved by the altercation in Guayaquil, had warned the local authorities against Cochrane and denounced his cruise as being unauthorised and piratical. читать полностью…
San Martin did not have long towait. Spanish rule continued to crumble and,on 6 July 1821, Viceroy de la Serna and his men carried out their plan to abandon Lima and regroup in the mountains of Upper Peru – what is now Bolivia – to the southeast. When the troops marched out they left the capital apprehensive and deserted, many of the population having fled to take refuge in the Castles of Callao, which still held out, while the rest waited apprehensively with boarded up shops and windows for the orgy of pillage and looting they thought would follow. But nothing happened. San Martin surrounded the capital with his Army of Liberation but did not advance. His forbearance paid off. The local authorities regained their confidence, people returnedto their homes and a police force was established to keep order. Captain Hall’s offer of marines fromConwayto help was politely declined.
The Captain Henry Hind sidestepped the subject, writing that he was ‘no party man’,17 and Miller, on the brink of going off on campaign, told Paroissien darkly that he had much to say but would only do so verbally.18 It was only later when, describing events at thetime, he hinted at his real
feelings when he wrote, ‘the squadron was divided and agitated by the conflicting parties of Cochrane and Guise. читать полностью…
The 1819 campaign against Peru had been uncomplicated in administrative terms. The squadron had operated away from Valparaiso for only short periods before returning for pay and supplies, and had regularly sent enemy prizes and captured property back toChile for condemnation and sale. The campaign that began in August 1820 was different. This time the squadron remained off the Peruvian coast for 22 months. It was operating far from its base, and Peru was in too much turmoil for money and supplies to be easily available. Three supply ships arrived from Chile inDecember 1820and another inFebruary 1821, but after that Cochrane was forced tofend for himself, relying on what hecould capture to provide the money, equipment and supplies he needed. The problem he faced in maintaining the squadron’s materiel and morale was very real.
On 2September, itwas reported that Spanish General José Canterac was advancing from the mountains atthe head of a force of 10,000 men. San Martin was taken by surprise but seemed determined to do battle, deploying troops and militia in defence of Lima and summoningreinforcements from Cochrane’s ships. Canterac’s army marched into sight on 7 September and formed up facing the patriots. The standoff
lasted for three days, with neither side making any aggressive move. Cochrane and the General Las Heras could be seen haranguing San Martin and urging him to attack. But the Protector was adamant and did nothing. The two forces were evenly balanced in numbers and San Martin, knowing fullwell that asingle reverse would nullify allthe gains he had made so far, was not prepared to gamble.
Basil Hall understood his position, writing, ‘the slightest military reverse at that moment must at once have turned the tide; the Spaniards would have taken Lima; and the independence of the country might have been indefinitely retarded. Lord Cochrane on the other hand was filled with contempt at the Protector’s caution.
Making one of the hasty and misguided assumptions that were a feature of hiswhole life,Cochrane convinced himself that the unambitious and apolitical San Martin had planned a tyranny from the beginning and had an insatiable thirst for power. читать полностью…
Captain General had sworn that he would only enter Lima as a liberator and not as a conqueror, and six days later the invitation came. On 12July, San Martin rode into the Peruvian capital to be embarrassed by public rejoicing and obsequious gratitude. A week later, Lord Cochrane visited the capital to join in the festivities where – according to his own account and those of his partisans – he was hailed as the real hero of the hour.
When Cochrane returned to Callao from Arica on 8 July, he had gone immediately onthe offensive.Whatever was happening in Lima, Callao still held out. His first act was to countermand an agreement that Commodore Forster had made inhisabsence that the British merchantmen Lord Lyndoch and Saint Patrick should beallowed toleave in ballast.15 His second, was toattack theport three days later, destroying the Sebastiana. читать полностью…
On land, San Martin’s campaign against the royalists in Peru followed itsslow and relentless course. With little hope of help from Spain, and unable to bring the liberating army to action, the royalists began to bicker among themselves. For political reasons, Viceroy Pezuela was deter-
mined to hold Lima. His generals objected, arguing that the defence of a static positionprevented them from concentrating their forces and going in search of the enemy. At the end of January, Pezuelawas overthrown in a palace revolution and replaced as Viceroy by the army commander, General José de la Serna. Then in May, Manuel Abreu, the Peace Commissioner sent by the government, arrived at last from Madrid. De la Serna, in spite of his better judgement, was forced to ask for a 20-day armistice and even approached Captain Spencer of the Owen Glendower to ask if the British would act as guarantor of any agreement with San Martin.
The frigate was at that moment loading gold and bullion worth some $1,500,000, for Andromache had been given permission to carry remittances from British merchants in Peru back toEngland. In view of thenotoriously extravagant lifestyle of Captain Shirreff and his wife, the £3000 he received for carrying this ‘freight’ would come in handy.
Andromache sailed for England on 10 April 1821. Happily, Kitty and the children were to have company on the voyage, for also on board was the former Vice Reine of Peru, Dona Angela de la Pezuela, who was returning to Europe with servants, baggage and – on the authority of Thomas Collings – the silver viceregal chamber pot. читать полностью…