|Battle of Ayohuma|
|Part of Bolivian War of Independence |
Argentine War of Independence
Old map of the battle
|Commanders and leaders|
| 3400 soldiers|
| 3500 soldiers|
|Casualties and losses|
| 200 dead|
| 42 dead|
The Battle of Ayohuma ("dead man's head" in Quechua)was an action fought on 14 November 1813, during the second Upper Peru Campaign of the Argentine War of Independence. The republican forces of the Army of the North, led by General Manuel Belgrano were defeated by the royalists, commanded by Joaquín de la Pezuela.
Upper Peru is a denomination for the land that was governed by the Real Audiencia of Charcas. The denomination originated in Buenos Aires towards the end of the 18th century after the Audiencia of Charcas was transferred from the Viceroyalty of Peru to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776. It comprised the governorships of Potosí, La Paz, Cochabamba, Chiquitos, Moxos and Charcas.
The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown. On July 9, 1816, an assembly met in San Miguel de Tucumán, declared full independence with provisions for a national constitution.
The Army of the North, contemporaneously called Army of Peru, was one of the armies deployed by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in the Spanish American wars of independence. Its objective was freeing the Argentine Northwest and the Upper Peru from the royalist troops of the Spanish Empire. It was headed by Hipólito Vieytes (1810), Juan José Castelli (1810–1811), Juan Martín de Pueyrredón (1811–1812), Manuel Belgrano (1812–1814), José de San Martín (1814), José Rondeau (1814–1816), Manuel Belgrano (1816–1819) and Francisco Fernández de la Cruz (1819-1820).
After the rout of Vilcapugio, Belgrano established his headquarters at Macha. There he reorganized his army, obtaining help from Francisco Ocampo (then President of Charcas), and from the provinces of Upper Peru (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and Chayanta). At the end of October 1813, the republican army included around 3,400 men, of which barely 1,000 were veterans. An important fraction of the republican army, under the command of General Díaz Vélez had remained isolated at Potosí after Vilcapugio, but was able to reunite with Belgrano after a small action at Tambo Nuevo relieved them from the pressure of the royalist army.
The Battle of Vilcapugio was an action fought on October 1, 1813 during the second Campaign of Upper Peru in the Argentine War of Independence, where the republican forces led by General Manuel Belgrano were defeated by a royalist army, led by Joaquin de la Pezuela.
Santiago de Macha or Macha is a Bolivian locality in the department of Potosí, Chayanta Province, Colquechaca Municipality, Macha Canton. Macha had a population of 1,850 in 2001 and the canton was inhabited by 8,769 people. Most of the young adults works abroad, and the marketplace of the village opens only on Sunday. The main economic activity of Macha is subsistence agriculture.
Cochabamba is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and the fourth largest city in Bolivia, with a population of 630,587 according to the 2012 Bolivian census. Its name is from a compound of the Quechua words qucha "lake" and pampa, "open plain." Residents of the city and the surrounding areas are commonly referred to as cochalas or, more formally, cochabambinos.
Despite their recent victory, Pezuela's troops were short of horses and supplies. They had sought refuge on the Condo-Condo heights, where, being surrounded by hostile populations and still recovering from the casualties suffered at Vilcapugio, they could not readily take the offensive against the Army of the North. However, on 29 October, they left their camp in Condo-Condo in order to attack the republicans before they could obtain further reinforcements. On 12 November, they arrived at Toquirí, a hill dominating the small plain of Ayohuma, half a league from the village of the same name.
In the meantime, just two leagues away from Toquirí, on 8 November, Belgrano had discussed his plans with his officials. The majority of them wanted to withdraw to Potosí, but the general convinced his officers to fight. That same night the army left Macha, reaching Ayohuma on the morning of the next day.
The armies that were about to face each other exhibited a significant disproportion. While the republican cavalry outnumbered the royalists' two-to-one, Pezuela had twice as much infantry and 18 pieces of artillery, against only eight carried by Belgrano's troops.
Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, horseman, dragoon, or trooper. The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which later evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title.
Artillery is a class of heavy military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls, and fortifications during sieges, and led to heavy, fairly immobile siege engines. As technology improved, lighter, more mobile field artillery cannons developed for battlefield use. This development continues today; modern self-propelled artillery vehicles are highly mobile weapons of great versatility providing the large share of an army's total firepower.
At dawn of 14 November the royalists began their descent from their high position and by mid-morning they had deployed the bulk of their forces on the plain. Belgrano's troops were meanwhile attending Mass, even if aware of the enemy movements. An hour later, Pezuela had completed their maneuver, outflanking the republicans on their right. In the opinion of Lieutenant Gregorio Aráoz de Lamadrid, one of Belgrano's best officers, this move proved decisive for the outcome of the battle.Then, Pezuela's artillery opened fire, blasting holes in the republicans ranks. In a hail of enemy fire, Belgrano ordered the advance of his infantry and cavalry toward the enemy right flank, but they could not overcame Pezuela's entrenchments. To make matters worse, the republicans' lighter guns were no match for the royalist ones. Belgrano was forced to retreat. By a trumpet call and waving the United Provinces flag on the top of a hill, he managed to gather some 500 men, leaving around 200 dead, 200 injured, 500 prisoners and almost all his artillery on the battlefield.
Mass is a term used to describe the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church and Anglican churches, as well as some Lutheran churches, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox and Old Catholic churches.
Comandante General Gregorio Aráoz de Lamadrid was an Argentine military officer and, briefly, governor of several provinces like Córdoba, Mendoza and his native province of Tucumán.
Among the dead was the commander of the Batallón de Castas ("Castes' Battalion"), Colonel José Superí, who was killed by the royalist artillery. His battalion was made of soldiers of African and mulatto descent. José María Paz, an officer who would later play a key role in the Argentine Civil Wars, had to rescue his brother, Captain Julián Paz, when the latter's horse was killed by gunfire while crossing a stream.Three mulatto auxiliary women, María Remedios del Valle and her two daughters, became famous for their efforts to provide water to the troops and assist wounded soldiers on the battlefield in spite of the heavy royalist bombardment, and they are since remembered as the Niñas de Ayohuma ("Maidens of Ayohuma") in Argentina.
Mulatto is a term used to refer to people born of one white parent and one black parent, or from two mulatto parents. Although historically considered a factual, fair term of racial classification, in modern day, it is generally considered to be derogatory or offensive.
The Argentine Civil Wars were a series of civil wars that took place in Argentina from 1814 to 1880. These conflicts were separate from the Argentine War of Independence (1810–1820), though they first arose during this period.
An auxiliary force is an organized group supplementing but not directly incorporated in a regular military or police entity. It may comprise either civilian volunteers undertaking support functions or additional personnel directly performing military or police duties, usually on a part-time basis.
Belgrano's 500 survivors retreated to Potosí, but the city had to be quickly evacuated on 18 November due to the approaching royalists. Belgrano moved back to Tucumán, where on 30 January 1814, he resigned the command of the Northern Army to General San Martín. He would later write about the tactical superiority of the Spaniard officers as compared to his limited knowledge of warfare.
Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano y González, usually referred to as Manuel Belgrano, was an Argentine economist, lawyer, politician, and military leader. He took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina. He is regarded as one of the main Libertadores of the country.
Martín Miguel de Güemes was a military leader and popular caudillo who defended northwestern Argentina from the Spanish during the Argentine War of Independence.
Joaquín de la Pezuela y Sánchez, 1st Marquess of Viluma, OIC, LCSF, LH (1761–1830) was a Spanish military officer and viceroy of Peru during the War of Independence.
The Battle of Sipe-Sipe was a major battle in the South American wars of independence in which the United Provinces of Río de la Plata were decisively defeated by Spanish royalist forces in Upper Peru. The battle took place on November 29, 1815, and resulted in the loss of Upper Peru for Buenos Aires. The area was reannexed by the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.
Juan Pío de Tristán y Moscoso was a Peruvian general and politician who served as the second President of South Peru from October 12, 1838 to February 23, 1839. He was nominally the last viceroy of Peru, serving in that capacity from December 1824 to January 23, 1826, but not exercising power.
The Battle of Salta took place on February 20, 1813 on the plains of Castañares, north of the present-day Argentina city of Salta, during the Argentine War of Independence. The Army of the North, under the command of general Manuel Belgrano, defeated for the second time the royalist troops of general Pío de Tristán, after their victory in the previous September at the Battle of Tucumán. The unconditional surrender of the royalist troops ensured Argentine control over most of the northern territories of the former Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
The Battle of Tucumán was a battle fought on 24 and 25 September 1812 near the Argentine city of San Miguel de Tucumán, during the Argentine War of Independence. The Army of the North, commanded by General Manuel Belgrano, defeated the royalist troops commanded by General Pío de Tristán, who had a two-to-one advantage in numbers, halting the royalist advance on Argentina's northwest. Together with the Battle of Salta, on 20 February 1813, the victory at Tucumán allowed the Argentine troops to reaffirm the borders under their control.
José Ignacio Warnes y García de Zúñiga was an Argentine soldier who fought in the Argentine War of Independence. Son of the mayor of the city of Buenos Aires Manuel Antonio Warnes y Durango and Ana Jacoba García de Zúñiga y Lizola. His sister Manuela married José Joaquín Prieto, president of Chile.
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The Battle of Pequereque was a clash which took place on 19 June 1813, during the second Upper Peru campaign of the Argentine War of Independence, between scouting forces of the United Provinces Army of the North and the royalist Army of Peru. The republican cavalry of the Army of the North, led by Colonel Cornelio Zelaya, prevailed over the royalists, under the command of Colonel Pedro Olañeta.
The Action of Tambo Nuevo, also known as Hazaña de los Tres Sargentos was a successful cavalry raid carried out between 23 and 25 October 1813, during the second Upper Peru campaign of the Argentine War of Independence, by a small detachment of Dragones of the Army of the North. The targets were the headquarters of royalist Colonel Saturnino Castro at Yocalla, and later a forward outpost on Tambo Nuevo.
The Battle of la Tablada de Tolomosa was fought on 15 April 1817 near the town of Tarija in today's southern Bolivia between the royalist forces under colonel Mateo Ramírez and republican local forces under Eustaquio Méndez allied with the Army of the North under Gregorio Aráoz de Lamadrid.
The flag of Macha is the name given to a pair of flags of Argentina found at a chapel in the hamlet of Titiri, near the village of Macha, north of Potosí, Bolivia. They are considered to be the first physical flags created by Manuel Belgrano, who in November 1813 hid the standards to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. They were discovered in 1885. Bolivia kept one of those flags at Sucre; the other was given to Argentina in 1896 and is currently kept at the National Historical Museum. Tucumán Province has used it as provincial flag since 2010. The flag preserved in Argentina is a triband of blue, white and blue bands, like the modern flag of Argentina, but the one kept in Bolivia is a triband of white, blue and white.
The Yatasto relay was the handover of the command of the Army of the North by Manuel Belgrano to José de San Martín, in January 1814, during the Argentine War of Independence. It is named after the Yatasto relay, a horse relay at the modern Salta Province, but modern historians consider it could have taken place elsewhere.
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The Battle of Rodeo del Medio, fought in Mendoza Province, Argentina on 24 September 1841, was a battle between the Federalist army of Ángel Pacheco and the Unitarian army of Gregorio Aráoz de Lamadrid during the Argentine Civil Wars. It gave victory to the Federalists that would last for a decade.
María Remedios del Valle also known as the "Madre de la Patria" was an Afro-Argentine camp follower turned soldier who participated in the Argentine War of Independence. Wounded in battle, captured, imprisoned and escaped, she lost her entire family during the war. When the war ended, she returned to Buenos Aires and eventually turned to begging. Discovered by one of the generals under whom she had fought, she was approved for a pension which was paid over the last decade of her life. Largely forgotten until the turn of the 21st century, when Argentine historians began including the contributions of black Argentines, she is now widely recognized for her contributions to the independence of the nation. The Argentine legislature declared 8 November as the National Day of Afro-Argentines and African Culture in 2013.