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…
Spry was now a captain-of-frigate and there was only one post atthis level ofseniority which was vacant and, indeed, had been for over a year – that of captain of the O’Higgins and therefore Flag Captain to Cochrane himself. The Minister ofMarine – probably knowing nothing of Cochrane’s antipathy to Spry and anxious to get on with the invasion – innocently thought he could kill two birds with one stone by moving him into it. But Cochrane was furious, seeing itaspartof thegreat Zenteno inspired conspiracy against him. IntheNarrative ofServices, he disingenuously writes ‘I had nothing against Captain Spry personally … but had great doubts as to the reason for the appointment… perhaps to prevent me doing anything beyond keep the Spanish in check. In fact, when Spry boarded the flagship to take up his post, he was astonished when Cochrane publicly denounced him for being a spy like Alvarez Jonte.
Once again, the government, anxious to get on with the invasion preparations, bowed to ochrane’s wishes and agreed to replace Spry with one of his followers, CommanderThomas Sackville Crosbie – even though he had to be specially promoted to captain in order to fill the post. читать полностью…
Cochrane decided tostay, and agreed with Guise tolet bygones be bygones. Indeed, Guise was further mollified by being promoted to the rank of captain-of-navío. But the atmosphere immediately deteriorated once again when Cochrane’s entourage excluded Lautaro from a prize money distribution made to the rest of the squadron on 25 July!
Rumours that their chief had offered his resignation had, however, been received with dismay by many officers, and his followers quickly rallied insupport. Although they presumably assumed that there was a nobler reason for the threat than annoyance at the government’s refusal to courtmartial Guise, on 18 and 19 July, five serving captains and 15 lieutenants signed petitions pledging support and threatening to resign in sympathy with their commander in-chief. They even put their commissions in his hands to surrender with his own. This was gratifying for Cochrane, although he could not have failed to notice that four captains and eight lieutenants had not added their names. читать полностью…
Matters came to a head on 11 July 1820, when Cochrane had Guise arrested and demanded a court martial. He was charged with ‘endeavouringin … various acts of disobedience … to set at defiance and bring into contempt the authority of hissuperior officer,the commander-inhief’. The papers relating to the case, however, reveal little of substance. What is clearis that Cochrane’s entourage had been watching Guise for months in order to accumulate complaints against him. These were then assembled into a dozen charges, the most serious being – that ‘on a certain date’ he had failed to report the arrest and release of an American brig; thathe had been negligent in discharging alieutenant; that he had allowed an officer ashore without reporting it;thathe had been slow in sending boats to a vessel in difficulties; that he had allowed his crew to be paid before that of the O’Higgins; and that he had detained aship although ‘Lautaro did not have the guard’. And with Guise under arrest, Cochrane’s men were able to search the frigate’s books for mistakes. This led to two more charges –failing to report deficiencies in carpenters’ stores, and ‘falsifying’, that is, miscalculating crew numbers.
Whatever it thought of the charges, the Chilean Government was not prepared to be distracted from its preparations for the invasion of Peru. They had better things to do than become sidetracked by thecourt martial ofan experienced and able captain. They therefore refused Cochrane’s request and restored Guise to command. Cochrane again threatened to resign. But the Chileans had no intention of losing their greatest maritime asset either, and urged the Vice Admiral to remain. Zenteno wrote:
At a moment when the services of the State are of the highest importance and the personal services of Your Lordship indispensable, the Supreme Director with the profoundest sentiments of regret has received your resignation which, should it be admitted, would involve the future operations of the army of liberty in the New World in certain ruin, and ultimately replace in Chile, your adopted home, the tyranny which Your
HE the Supreme Director com mands me to inform Your Lordship that should you persist in resigning command of the squadron which has been honoured by bearing your flag – the cause of terror and dismay to our enemies and to the Glory of all true Americans – it would be a day of universal mourning in the New World.
Neither Spry’s lowly background nor his equally lowly stature seemed to have endeared him to the inner circle of the aristocrat LordCochrane. Reflecting their view, Maria Graham (who never met him), described him as an adventurer and ‘a low minded man’.17 Unfortunately, the republican atmosphere of Chile had made Spry free with his views, and his private conversations had been reported back. At the time, Lord Cochrane had shrugged offthe allegations that Spry and Worster had criticised his use of his title, and that they had ‘caballed’ over ‘two commodores’ – but the seed of suspicion had been planted and Spry had been identified as one of those who were ‘against’ him. The reputations of both Guise and Spry were subsequently damned inthememoirs of Cochrane and his partisans and the animosity was soon extended to cover all the officers who served under them in Lautaro and Galvarino.
It is difficult to read the details of Cochrane’s campaign against Guise, Spry, Worster, Alvarez Jonte and other
subordinates without a feeling of unease and sympathy for them. читать полностью…