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Encyclopedia > Battle of Pichincha
Battle of Pichincha
Part of the Wars of Independence of Latin America

Quito and the Pichincha volcano
Date: 24 May 1822
Location: Pichincha volcano
Result: Patriot Forces Victory
Combatants
Combined Patriot Forces Spain
Commanders
Antonio José de Sucre Melchor Aymerich
Strength
2,971 men 1,894 men
Casualties
200 killed
140 wounded
400 killed
190 wounded
1,260 prisoners

The Battle of Pichincha took place on 24 May 1822, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, 3,500 meters above sea-level, right next to the city of Quito, in modern Ecuador. Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (832x561, 154 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Pichincha Battle of Pichincha ... Map of Ecuador showing location of Quito. ... Pichincha is an active volcano in the country of Ecuador whose capital Quito wraps around its eastern slopes. ... May 24 is the 144th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (145th in leap years). ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Pichincha is an active volcano in the country of Ecuador whose capital Quito wraps around its eastern slopes. ... Antonio José de Sucre Antonio José de Sucre (February 3, 1795 - June 4, 1830) was a South American independence leader, and one of Simón Bolívars closest friends, generals and statesmen. ... May 24 is the 144th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (145th in leap years). ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Map of Ecuador showing location of Quito. ...


The encounter, fought in the context of the South American Wars of Independence, pitted a Patriot army under General Antonio José de Sucre against a Royalist army commanded by Field Marshall Melchor Aymerich. The defeat of the Royalist forces loyal to Spain brought about the liberation of Quito, and secured the independence of the provinces belonging to the Real Audiencia de Quito, also referred to as Presidencia de Quito, the Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which the Republic of Ecuador would eventually emerge. The South American Wars of Independence were fought in the 1810s and 1820s by colonies of Spain and Portugal that desired to break free from the nations that ruled them. ... Antonio José de Sucre Antonio José de Sucre (February 3, 1795 - June 4, 1830) was a South American independence leader, and one of Simón Bolívars closest friends, generals and statesmen. ...

Contents


Background

The military campaign for the independence of the Presidencia de Quito could be said to have begun on October 9, 1820, when the port-city of Guayaquil proclaimed its independence from Spanish rule after a quick and almost bloodless revolt against the local colonial garrison. The leaders of the movement, a combination of Venezuelan and Peruvian pro-independence officers from the colonial Army, along with local intellectuals and patriots, set up a governing council and raised a military force with the purpose of defending the city and carrying the independence movement to the other provinces in the country. October 9 is the 282nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (283rd in Leap years). ... 1820 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


By that time, the tide of the wars of independence in South America had turned decisively against Spain: Simón Bolívar's victory at the Battle of Boyacá (August 7, 1819) had sealed the independence of the former Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, while to the south, José de San Martín, having landed with his army on the Peruvian coast on September, 1820, was preparing the campaign for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Perú. South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Colombia, then known as New Granada, acquired its definitive independence from Spain at the Battle of Boyacá. Brigadier Generals Francisco de Paula Santander and José Antonio Anzoátegui led a combined republican army of Colombians and Venezuelans, complemented by a small British Legion made up of mostly Irish volunteers (including... August 7 is the 219th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (220th in leap years), with 146 days remaining. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... New Grenada was the name given to a group of colonial provinces in northern South America, corresponding mainly to modern Colombia. ... 1820 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru (in Spanish, Virreinato del Perú) contained most of Spanish-ruled South America until the creation of the separate viceroyalties of New Granada (now Colombia, Ecuador, Panamá and Venezuela, the last-named previously in the Viceroyalty of New Spain) in 1717 and Río...


First Campaigns in the Real Audiencia de Quito (1820-1821)

Main article: Ecuadorian War of Independence

There were three military attempts to liberate the territory of the Real Audiencia. The first campaign was carried out by the new independent government of Guayaquil, which raised an army with local recruits -perhaps 1,800 men-strong- and in November of 1820, sent it towards the central highlands, with the purpose of encouraging other cities to join the independentist cause. After some initial successes, which included the declaration of independence of Cuenca, on November 3, 1820, the Patriots suffered a costly defeat at the hands of the Royalist army at the Battle of Huachi (November 22, 1820), near Ambato, forcing the Patriots to retreat back to the coastal lowlands. Combatants Patriot Armies Spain Commanders Antonio José de Sucre Melchor Aymerich Strength Casualties {{{notes}}} The Ecuadorian War of Independence was fought from 1820 to 1822 between several South American patriot armies and Spain over control of the lands of the Presidencia de Quito, a Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which... List of cities called Cuenca: Cuenca, Ecuador Joara, la Florida, Native American settlement renamed Cuenca by Spanish Cuenca, Spain, the capital of Cuenca province. ... November 3 is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 58 days remaining. ... 1820 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... San Juan de Ambato is a city in the centre of Ecuador near the Ambato River. ...


By February, 1821, Guayaquil began to receive reinforcements, weapons and supplies, sent by Simón Bolívar, President of the fledgling Republic of Colombia. In May of that year, Brigadier General Antonio José de Sucre, Commander in Chief of the Southern Division of the Colombian Army and Bolívar most trusted military subordinate, came to Guayaquil. He was to take overall command of the new Patriot army, and begin operations aimed at the liberation of Quito and the entire territory of the Real Audiencia de Quito. Bolívar's ultimate political goal was the incorporation of all the provinces of the Real Audiencia into Colombia, including Guayaquil, still undecided whether to join Perú or Colombia, and with a strong current of opinion towards setting up its own Republic. Time was of the essence, as it was vital to force the issue before General José de San Martín, still fighting in Perú, could come up to bring forward any Peruvian claims to the important port-city. Sucre's advance up the Andes began in July, 1821. As had happened in the first campaign, after some initial successes, Sucre was defeated by the Spanish colonial army on September 12, 1821, ironically at the same place of the previous battle, (Second Battle of Huachi). This second campaign came to an end with the signing of an Armistice between the Patriots and the Spanish on November 19, 1821. Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (July 24, 1783 – December 17, 1830) was a South American revolutionary leader. ... Antonio José de Sucre Antonio José de Sucre (February 3, 1795 - June 4, 1830) was a South American independence leader, and one of Simón Bolívars closest friends, generals and statesmen. ... José Francisco de San Martín (25 February 1778 – 17 August 1850) was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the successful struggle for independence from Spain of the southern nations of South America. ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... A white flag is traditionally used to represent a truce. ... November 19 is the 323rd day of the year (324th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...


The Final Campaign of Quito (1822)

Planning

Back in Guayaquil, General Sucre concluded that the best course of action for the next campaign would be to drop any further attempt of a direct advance to Quito by way of Guaranda, in favor of an indirect approach, marching first to the southern highlands and Cuenca before wheeling north and advancing up the inter-Andean "corridor" towards Quito. This plan had several advantages. Retaking Cuenca would cut all communications between Quito and Lima, and would allow Sucre to wait for the reinforcements that in the meantime San Martín had promised would come from Perú. Also, a more progressive and slow advance from the lowlands up the Andes into the southern highlands would allow for a gradual adaptation of the troops to the physiological effects of the altitude. Moreover, it the only way to avoid another direct clash in unfavorable conditions with the Royalist forces coming down from Quito.


The Campaign

The Advance on Quito.

By the beginning of January, 1822, Sucre opened the new campaign. His army consisted now of approximately 1,700 men, including veterans from the previous campaigns as well as raw recruits. There were men from the lowlands of the Province of Guayaquil volunteers that had come down from the highlands, -both contingents soon to be organized in the Yaguachi Battalion-, Colombians sent by Bolívar, a number of Spanish-born officers and men that had changed sides, a full battalion of British volunteers (the Albión), and even small numbers of Irish and Frenchmen. On January 18, 1822, the Patriot army marched on Machala, in the southern lowlands. On February 9, 1822, having crossed the Andes, Sucre entered the town of Saraguro, where he was joined by the 1,200 men of the Peruvian Division, the contingent previously promised by San Martín. This force was comprised mostly of Peruvians recruits, with Argentinian and Chilean officers. Facing a multinational force numbering around 3,000 men, the 900-strong Royalist cavalry detachment covering Cuenca withdraw to the north, being pursued at a distance by Patriot cavalry. Cuenca was thus retaken by Sucre on February 21, 1822, without a shot being fired. Image File history File links Sucre's_Campaign. ... Image File history File links Sucre's_Campaign. ... Machala is a city in south-west Ecuador, capital of the El Oro Province. ... February 21 is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


During March and April, the Royalists continued to march northwards, successfully avoiding battle with the Patriot cavalry. Nevertheless, on April 21, 1822, a ferocious cavalry encounter did take place at Tapi, near Riobamba. At the end of the day the Royalists abandoned the field, while the main body of Sucre's army proceeded to take Riobamba, staying there until the 28 before renewing the advance to the north. The Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) is an API, which enables PCs running Microsoft Windows to use telephone services. ... Riobamba is a city in Ecuador, capital of the Chimborazo Province. ...


The Final Approach to Quito

By May 2, 1822, Sucre's main force had reached the city of Latacunga, 90 km south of Quito. There he proceeded to refit his troops and fill up the ranks with new volunteers from the nearby towns, waiting for the arrival of reinforcements, mainly the Alto MagdalenaBatallion (Colombian), and new intelligence on the whereabouts of the Royalist army. Aymerich had meanwhile set up strongpoints and artillery positions on the main mountain passes leading to the Quito basin. Sucre, bent on avoiding a frontal clash on unfavorable terrain, decided to advance along the flanks of the Royalist positions, marching along the slopes of the Cotopaxi volcano in order to reach the Chillos valley, on the rear of the Royalist blocking positions. By May 14, the Royalist Army, sensing Sucre's intentions, began to fall back, reaching Quito on the 16th. Two days later, and after a most difficult march, Sucre's main body occupied Sangolquí. Latacunga (in local parlance Tacunga) is a plateau town of Ecuador, capital of the Cotopaxi Province, 46 m. ... Cotopaxi is a volcano located about 50 km south of Quito, Ecuador. ... Sangolquí is the seat of the Rumiñahui canton in the province of Pichincha in northern Ecuador. ...


Climbing up the Pichincha

On the night of 23-24 May, 1822, the Patriot Army, 2,971 men-strong, began to climb up the slopes of the Pichincha. On the vanguard were the 200 Colombians of the Alto Magdalena, followed by Sucre´s main body. Bringing up the rear were the Englishmen of the Albión, protecting the ammunitions train. In spite of the strenuous efforts made by the troops, the advance up the slopes of the volcano was slower than anticipated, as the light rain that fell during the night turned the trails leading up the mountain into quagmires. By dawn, to Sucre's dismay, the army had not been able to make much progress, finding itself literally halfway along the mountain, 3,500 meters above sea-level, and in full view of the Royalist sentries down in Quito. At 8 o'clock, anxious about the slow progress of the Albión, and with his troops exhausted and struck with altitude sickness, Sucre ordered a stop, ordering his commanders to hide their battalions as best they could. He sent part of the Cazadores del Paya Battalion (Peruvians) forward in a reconnaissance role, to be followed by the Trujillo, another Peruvian Battalion. One and a half-hours later, much to their surprise, the men of the Paya were suddenly struck by a well-aimed musket volley. The battle had started.


Battle, 3,500 meters above sea-level

Unknown to Sucre, when dawn came, the sentries posted around Quito had indeed got sight of the Patriot troops marching up the volcano. Aymerich, aware now of the young General's intention to flank him by going up the Pichincha, ordered his army -1,894 men- to ascend the mountain at once, intent on facing Sucre then and there.


Having made contact in the most unlikely of places, both commanders had no choice but to throw their troops piecemeal into the battle. There was little room to maneouvre on the steep slopes of the Pichincha, amid deep gullies and dense undergrowth. The men from the Paya, recovering from the initial shock, took positions under withering fire, waiting for the Trujillo to come up. A startled Sucre, hoping only that the Spaniards would be even more exhausted than his own troops, began by sending up the Yaguachi Battalion (Ecuadorians). The Colombians of the Alto Magdalena tried to make a flanking move, but to no avail, as the broken terrain made it impossible. Soon, the Paya, Trujillo and Yaguachi, suffering heavy losses and lacking enough ammunition, began to fall back.


Everything now semed to depend on the Albión, bringing up the much needed reserve ammunition, but whose exact whereabouts were unknown. Would the English arrive on time? As time went by, the Royalists seemed to gain the upper hand. The Trujillo was forced to fall back, while the Piura Battalion (Peruvians), fled before making contact with the enemy. In desperation, the part of the Paya held in reserve was ordered to make a bayonet charge. Both sides suffered heavy losses but the situation was somehow stabilized for the Patriots.


Nevertheless, Melchor Aymerich had an ace up his sleeve, so to speak. During the march up the Pichincha, he had detached his crack Aragón Batallion from his main force, ordering it to make it for the top of the volcano, so as to fall upon the rear of the Patriots and break their lines with an attack on their rear when the time came. The Aragón -a veteran Spaniard unit that had seen plenty of action both during the Peninsular War and in South America- was now on top of the Patriots. As luck would have it, just as it was about to charge down onto the faltering Patriot line, it was stopped dead on its tracks by the Albión, which made a surprise entry into the battle. As it was, the Albión had actually advanced to a position higher than the Spaniards. Soon, the Magdalena joined in the fight, and the Aragón, after suffering heavy losses, was put out of action. The Colombians from the Magdalena then went up to the line to replace the Paya, and charged upon the Royalist line, which was finally broken. The Peninsular War (1808–1814) (known as War of Independence in Spain, as French Invasions in Portugal, as Guerre dEspagne in France and as Frenchs War in Catalonia) was a major conflict during the Napoleonic Wars, fought on the Iberian Peninsula by Spanish, Portuguese, and the British forces...


At midday, Aymerich ordered the retreat. The Royalist army, now disorganized and exhausted, retreated down the Pichincha, towards Quito. Although some units descended to Quito in disarray, harassed by the Magdalena charging after them, others retreated in orderly fashion. The Colombians reached the outer limits of Quito, but did not go any further, acting on orders from their commanding officer who prudently decided against letting his soldiers enter the city. Thus, the Battle of Pichincha had ended. From the moment of first contact to the order of retreat, it had lasted no more than three hours.


Sucre's After-Action Report

General Antonio José de Sucre, Commander In Chief, División del Sur
General Antonio José de Sucre, Commander In Chief, División del Sur

The day after the battle, May 25, Sucre wrote down his report of the action: "The events at Pichincha have brought about the occupation of this city [Quito] as well as its forts on the afternoon of the 25, the possession and peace of the entire Department, and the taking of 1,100 prisoners, 160 officers, 14 artillery pieces, 1,700 rifles...Four hundred enemy soldiers and two hundred of our own lie dead on the field of battle; we have also counted 190 Spanish wounded, and 140 of our own...[A]mong the later are Captains Cabal, Castro, and Alzuro; Lieutenants Calderón and Ramírez, and Second Lieutenants Borrero and Arango...I make a special mention of Lieutenant Calderón's conduct, who having suffered four wounds in succession, refused to leave the field. He will probably die, but I am sure the Government of the Republic will compensate his family for the services rendered by this heroic officer." Antonio José de Sucre, Public domain engraving, after http://www. ... Antonio José de Sucre, Public domain engraving, after http://www. ...


Thus was born the legend of Cuencan-born Abdón Calderón Garaycoa, who along with Sucre came to symbolize the memory of Pichincha for the new Ecuadorian nation.


Aftermath

While in the general context of the Wars of Independence, the Battle of Pichincha stands as a minor clash, both in terms of its duration and the number of troops involved, its results were to be anything but insignificant. On May 25, 1822, Sucre entered with his army in the city of Quito, where he accepted the surrender of all the Spanish forces then based in what the Colombian government called the "Department of Quito", considered by that Government as an integral part of the Republic of Colombia since its creation on December 17, 1819. May 25 is the 145th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (146th in leap years). ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Previously, when Sucre had recaptured Cuenca, on February 21, 1822, he had obtained from its local Council a decree by which it proclaimed the integration of the city and its province into the Republic of Colombia.


Now, the surrender of Quito, which put and end to the Royalist resistance in the northern province of Pasto, allowed Bolívar to finally come down to Quito, which he entered on June 16, 1822. Amid the general enthusiasm of the population, the former Province of Quito was oficially incorporated into the Republic of Colombia. Pasto is the capital of the department of Nariño, located in southwest Colombia. ...


One more piece to the puzzle remained, Guayaquil, still undecided about its future. The presence of Bolívar and the victorious Colombian army in the city finally forced the hands of the Guayaquilenians, whose governing council proclaimed the Province of Guayaquil as part of Colombia on July 13, 1822. July 13 is the 194th day (195th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 171 days remaining. ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Eight years later, in 1830, the three southern Departments of Colombia, Quito (now renamed Ecuador), Guayaquil and Cuenca, would secede from that country to constitute a new nation, which took the name of Republic of Ecuador. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Order of battle

PATRIOT ARMY

Supreme Commander:
Brigadier General Antonio José de Sucre, Colombian Army
Commander in Chief, 'División Unidad al Sur de la República'
  • División de Colombia (Colombian Division): General José Mires
    • Albión Battalion (British, Irish): Lt Col Mackintosh
    • Cazadores del Paya Battalion (Peruvians): Lt Col Leal
    • Alto Magdalena Battalion (Colombians): Col Córdova
    • Yaguachi Battalion (Ecuadorians): Col Ortega
    • Dragones del Sur (Peruvians, Argentinians): Lt Col Rasch
  • División del Perú (Peruvian Division): Colonel Andrés de Santa Cruz
    • Trujillo Battalion (Peruvians): Col Olazábal
    • Piura Battalion (Peruvians): Col Villa
    • Granaderos a Caballo de los Andes, 1st Squadron (Argentinians, Chileans): Col Lavalle
    • Cazadores Montados, 1er Escuadrón (Argentinians, Chileans): Lt Col Arenales
    • Compañía de Artillería: Capt Klinger

ROYALIST ARMY

Supreme Commander:
Field-Marshall Melchor Aymerich, Spanish Army
Capitán General, Kingdom of Santa Fé
  • 1st Aragón Battalion (Spanish): Col Valdez
  • Tiradores del Cádiz Battalion: Col de Albal
  • Cazadores Ligeros de Constitución: Col Toscano
  • Dragones de la Reina Isabel, 1st Squadron: Col Moles
  • Dragones de Granada, 1st Squadron: Col Vizcarra
  • Dragones de la Guardia Presidencial, 1st Squadron: Lt Col Mercadillo
  • Húsares de Fernando Séptimo, 1st Squadron: Col Allimeda
  • Compañía de Artillería: Col Ovalle

References

  • Salvat Editores (Eds.), Historia del Ecuador, Vol. 5. Salvat Editores, Quito, 1980. ISBN 84-345-4065-7.
  • Enrique Ayala Mora (Ed.), Nueva Historia del Ecuador, Vol. 6. Corporación Editora Nacional, Quito, 1983/1989. ISBN 9978-84-008-7.

See also

Combatants Patriot Armies Spain Commanders Antonio José de Sucre Melchor Aymerich Strength Casualties {{{notes}}} The Ecuadorian War of Independence was fought from 1820 to 1822 between several South American patriot armies and Spain over control of the lands of the Presidencia de Quito, a Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which... Antonio José de Sucre Antonio José de Sucre (February 3, 1795 - June 4, 1830) was a South American independence leader, and one of Simón Bolívars closest friends, generals and statesmen. ... Bolívars War refers to a series of independence wars in South America from 1811 to 1825 led by the famous South American nationalist and general Simón Bolívar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Pichincha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2198 words)
The Battle of Pichincha took place on 24 May 1822, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, 3,500 meters above sea-level, right next to the city of Quito, in modern Ecuador.
Thus was born the legend of Cuencan-born Abdón Calderón Garaycoa, who along with Sucre came to symbolize the memory of Pichincha for the new Ecuadorian nation.
While in the general context of the Wars of Independence, the Battle of Pichincha stands as a minor clash, both in terms of its duration and the number of troops involved, its results were to be anything but insignificant.
Quito, Ecuador (298 words)
Located in a valley on the western slopes of Pichincha[?], an active volcano in the Andes mountains, its elevation of around 2850 meters (9300 feet) above sea level makes it one of the world's highest capital cities.
The Panecillo is a hill about halfway down the Quito valley, on which has been built a madonna, standing on top of a globe and stepping on a snake, which of course is classic madonna iconography.
On May 24, 1822 Simón Bolívar won the Battle of Pichincha[?] securing the independence of Quito.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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