Battle of Boyacá

Last updated
Battle of Boyacá
Part of Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada, Colombian War of Independence
Batalla de Boyaca de Martin Tovar y Tovar.jpg
Painting of the Battle of Boyaca, which resulted in the independence of Colombia from Spain; by Martín Tovar y Tovar. Exhibited in the Federal Palace, Caracas, Venezuela.
DateAugust 7, 1819
Location
Result Decisive Republican victory
Belligerents

Flag of Miranda.svg Colombia
Flag of New Granada (1814-1816).svg Neogranadians

Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Spanish Monarchy
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Miranda.svg Simón Bolívar
Flag of New Granada (1814-1816).svg Francisco de Paula Santander
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg José María Barreiro
Strength
2850 [1] 2670 [1]
Casualties and losses
13 dead, 53 injured. [1] over 100 casualties, 150 injured and 1600 prisoners. [1]

The Battle of Boyacá (1819), was the decisive battle that ensured the success of Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada. The battle of Boyaca is considered the beginning of the independence of the North of South America, and is considered important because it led to the victories of the battle of Carabobo in Venezuela, Pichincha in Ecuador, and Junín and Ayacucho in Peru. [1]

Bolívars campaign to liberate New Granada

Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada of 1819-1820 was part of the Colombian and Venezuelan wars of independence and was one of the many military campaigns fought by Simón Bolívar. Bolívar's victory in New Granada secured the eventual independence of northern South America. It provided Bolívar with the economic and human resources to complete his victory over the Spanish in Venezuela and Colombia. Bolívar's attack on New Granada is considered one of the most daring in military history, compared by contemporaries and some historians to Napoleon's crossing of the Alps in 1800 and José San Martín's Crossing of the Andes in 1817.

South America A continent in the Western Hemisphere, and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.

Battle of Carabobo decisive battle of the Venezuelan War of Independence

The Battle of Carabobo, on 24 June 1821, was fought between independence fighters, led by Venezuelan General Simón Bolívar, and the Royalist forces, led by Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre. Bolívar's decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela and establishment of the Republic of Gran Colombia.

Contents

New Granada acquired its definitive independence from the Spanish Monarchy, although fighting with royalist forces would continue for years. [2] :232–235

Viceroyalty of New Granada Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire

The Viceroyalty of New Granada was the name given on 27 May 1717, to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire in northern South America, corresponding to modern Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The territory corresponding to Panama was incorporated later in 1739, and the provinces of Venezuela were separated from the Viceroyalty and assigned to the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777. In addition to these core areas, the territory of the Viceroyalty of New Granada included Guyana, southwestern Suriname, parts of northwestern Brazil, and northern Peru.

Ferdinand VII of Spain King of Spain

Ferdinand VII was twice King of Spain: in 1808 and again from 1813 to his death. He was known to his supporters as the Desired and to his detractors as the Felon King. After being overthrown by Napoleon in 1808 he linked his monarchy to counter-revolution and reactionary policies that produced a deep rift in Spain between his forces on the right and liberals on the left. Back in power in 1814, he reestablished the absolutist monarchy and rejected the liberal constitution of 1812. A revolt in 1820 led by Rafael de Riego forced him to restore the constitution thus beginning the Liberal Triennium: a three year period of liberal rule. In 1823 the Congress of Verona authorized a successful French intervention restoring him to absolute power for the second time. He suppressed the liberal press from 1814 to 1833 and jailed many of its editors and writers. Under his rule, Spain lost nearly all of its American possessions, and the country entered into civil war on his death.

Brigadier Generals Francisco de Paula Santander and José Antonio Anzoátegui led a combined republican army of Newgranadians to defeat in two hours a Royalist Newgranadian forces led by Spanish Colonels José María Barreiro and Francisco Jiménez.

Francisco de Paula Santander Colombian military and political leader

Francisco José de Paula Santander y Omaña, was a Colombian military and political leader during the 1810–1819 independence war of the United Provinces of New Granada. He was the acting President of Gran Colombia between 1819 and 1826, and later elected by Congress as the President of the Republic of New Granada between 1832 and 1837. Santander came to be known as "The Man of the Laws".

José Antonio Anzoátegui Venezuelan soldier

José Antonio Anzoátegui y Hernández (1789–1819) was a Venezuelan Brigadier General in the Battle of Boyacá, helping to lead a republican army of Colombians and Venezuelans against Spanish royalist forces during the Venezuelan War of Independence. He is celebrated as a hero of independence, and the state of Anzoátegui was named for him.

The battle occurred 150 km from Bogotá in the Andes Mountains, in a place known as Casa de Teja, close to a bridge over the Teatinos River and 3 roads heading to Samaca, Motavita and Tunja, an area which is now part of the Boyacá Department.

Bogotá Capital of Colombia

Bogotá, officially Bogotá, Distrito Capital, abbreviated Bogotá, D.C., and formerly known as Santafé/Santa Fe de Bogotá between 1991 and 2000, is the capital and largest city of Colombia, administered as the Capital District, although often erroneously thought of as part of Cundinamarca. Bogotá is a territorial entity of the first order, with the same administrative status as the departments of Colombia. It is the political, economic, administrative and industrial center of the country.

Tunja Municipality of Colombia in Boyacá

Tunja is a city on the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes, in the region known as the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, 130 km northeast of Bogotá. In 2012 it had an estimated population of 181,407 inhabitants. It is the capital of Boyacá department and the Central Boyacá Province. Tunja is an important educational centre of well-known universities. In the time before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca, Tunja was called Hunza and was conquered by the Spanish conquistadors on August 20, 1537 upon zaque Quemuenchatocha and founded by the Spanish on August 6, 1539, exactly one year after the former southern capital Bacatá. The city hosts the most remaining Muisca architecture: Hunzahúa Well, Goranchacha Temple and Cojines del Zaque.

Boyacá Department Department of Colombia

Boyacá is one of the thirty-two departments of Colombia, and the remnant of Boyacá State, one of the original nine states of the "United States of Colombia".

Battle

1. Map of the Bolivar's campaign to liberate New Granada; 2. Battle of Boyaca's day; 3. Disposition of troops Battle of boyaca.svg
1. Map of the Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada; 2. Battle of Boyacá's day; 3. Disposition of troops

On August 7, 1819, after Bolívar secured a narrow victory at Vargas Swamp Battle, both armies headed towards Bogotá, which was lightly defended. The capture of the capital in the hands of the Patriot Army would effectively cut off the advance of the republican army and give the strategic initiative to its opponents. At 6:00 a.m., the Spanish forces (Newgranadians-Venezuelan loyalist soldiers) departed from Motavita towards Casa de Teja, a distance of only 25 km which the Spaniards completed in 7 hours 30 minutes, at an average pace of 18 minutes per kilometer. At 10:00 a.m. General Santander's forces departed from Tunja toward Casa de Piedra and the road to Bogota. The Patriot forces completed the 16 km in 4 hours (at an average pace of 15 minutes per kilometer). [ citation needed ]

Vargas Swamp Battle

Vargas Swamp Battle was a battle that occurred near Paipa, on July 25, 1819. A joint Venezuelan and New Granadan army commanded by Simón Bolívar was trying to prevent Spanish forces from arriving at Santafe de Bogotá, which was lightly defended, before they did. Bolívar's army successfully bested the royalist army in spite of the exhaustion of the troops after climbing the Páramo de Pisba, and crossing the swamp. This battle and the next victory over the Spanish by the Boyacá Bridge secured the independence of New Granada.

The Republican forces split in two: the vanguard reached Casa de Teja at 1:30 p.m., while the rearguard stopped a kilometer and a half behind to get some rest. Shortly before 2:00 p.m., Capitan Andres Ibarra and his forces spotted Casa de Teja and the vanguard of the Republican Army. The Spaniards spotted him too, and Coronel Sebastian Dias, chief of the vanguard of the Spanish army ordered to follow and engage what he believed was only a small observation force. They returned and General Santander ordered Lieutenant Coronel Paris to attack the Republican forces.

The Spanish vanguard crossed a strategic bridge over the Teatinos River and took attack positions there. Meanwhile, the full force of the Patriot army under Santander had reached Casa de Piedra. The Spanish rearguard was still several kilometers behind, so General Anzoátegui ordered to block the way between the vanguard and the rearguard of the Spanish forces. The rearguard, outnumbered, retreated to a small hill close to Casa de Piedra.

Simón Bolívar's forces arrived from Paipa, after the Vargas Swamp battle. He ordered a flank attack on the Spanish rearguard: battalions Barcelona and Bravos de Paez were to attack on the right side while the Legion Britanica and Rifles Battalion attacked on the left. The enemy assumed battle positions: in the center were three artillery pieces surrounded by royal battalions 12 and 22, and on the wings, cavalry units. Arthur Sandes commander of Rifles Battalion charges the royalist artillery. Outnumbered, the Spanish rear guard began to retreat without any clear direction. Therefore, Bolívar ordered lancers units to attack the center of the Republican infantry, while a full cavalry squadron ran away from the battle via the road towards Samaca. Bareiro attempted to break the blockage of the Patriot forces and rendezvous with the Spanish vanguard but heavy enemy fire forced him and his forces to surrender.

Arthur Sandes

Arthur Sandes was the commanding officer of the Rifle Battalion of the British Legions in the Spanish American wars of independence. Sandes came to Venezuela to join the Regiment of Rifles led by Colonel Frederick Campbell taking part in the "expedition of the Five Colonels" but Rifles never reached his destination. In the following years Sandes fought in various battles in Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Meanwhile, one kilometer and a half behind Casa de Piedra, the Patriot vanguard managed to ford the river and was approaching the rear of the Republican vanguard force. Once it reached them, the vanguard forces engaged in battle, while the rearguard attempted to cross the river by force, using bayonets. The Spanish forces fled, leaving on the bridge their leader, Coronel Juan Taira. As the assembly of enemy prisoners began, the battle was over shortly after 4:00 p.m.

At least 1,600 troops and several of the Spanish commanders, including Barreiro himself, were captured at the end of the battle. New Granada's liberation was assured by this victory, which left the road to Bogotá and the city itself practically undefended, as the survivors headed towards other locations. After the battle, Santander and Anzoátegui were promoted to Divisional General. On the orders of Santander, Colonel Barreiro and 38 more were executed in Bogotá on October 11, 1819, because of the Decree of War to the Death.

The bridge in question, el Puente de Boyacá, is no longer in use but it has been maintained as a symbol of the Independence of South America.

Historical consequences and legacy

The Boyaca Bridge Puente Boyaca Nov 09 2005.jpg
The Boyaca Bridge

Viceroy Juan de Samano was informed of the defeat and managed to escape, which brought to an end the reign of the Spanish Empire in northern Latin America. In commemoration of this battle, August 7 is a national holiday in Colombia. On this date every 4 years the elected President of Colombia is proclaimed in the Casa de Nariño.

Bogotá starts the usual celebrations one day in advance in commemoration of the foundation of the city, on August 6, 1538.

Related Research Articles

José Antonio Páez President of Venezuela

José Antonio Páez Herrera, commonly known as José Antonio Páez, was a Venezuelan leader who fought against the Spanish Crown for Simón Bolívar during the Venezuelan War of Independence. He later led Venezuela's independence from Gran Colombia.

Military career of Simón Bolívar

The military and political career of Simón Bolívar,, which included both formal service in the armies of various revolutionary regimes and actions organized by himself or in collaboration with other exiled patriot leaders during the years from 1811 to 1830, was an important element in the success of the independence wars in South America. Given the unstable political climate during these years, Bolívar and other patriot leaders, such as Santiago Mariño, Manuel Piar, José Francisco Bermúdez and Francisco de Paula Santander often had to go into exile in the Caribbean or nearby areas of Spanish America that at the moment were controlled by those favoring independence, and from there, carry on the struggle. These wars resulted in the creation of several South American states out of the former Spanish colonies, the currently existing Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and the now defunct Gran Colombia.

Venezuelan War of Independence Venezuelan section of the Spanish American war of independence

The Venezuelan War of Independence (1810–1823) was one of the Spanish American wars of independence of the early nineteenth century, when independence movements in Latin America fought against rule by the Spanish Empire, emboldened by Spain's troubles in the Napoleonic Wars.

Antonio Nariño Colombian politician

Antonio Amador José de Nariño Bernardo del Casal was a Colombian ideological precursor of the independence movement in New Granada as well as one of its early political and military leaders.

Rafael Urdaneta Venezuelan General

Rafael José Urdaneta y Farías was a Venezuelan General and hero of the Spanish American wars of independence. He served as President of Gran Colombia from 1830 until 1831. He was an ardent supporter of Simón Bolívar and one of his most trusted and loyal allies. Urdaneta served as the Minister of Defence whilst Simón Bolívar was President of Gran Colombia.

Battle of Ayacucho 1824 battle of the Peruvian War of Independence

The Battle of Ayacucho was a decisive military encounter during the Peruvian War of Independence. It was the battle that secured the independence of Peru and ensured independence for the rest of South America. In Peru it is considered the end of the Spanish American wars of independence, although the campaign of the victor Antonio José de Sucre, continued through 1825 in Upper Peru and the siege of the fortresses Chiloé and Callao finally ended in 1826.

José María Córdova Colombian general

José María Córdova Muñoz, also known as the "Hero of Ayacucho", was a General of the Colombian army during the Latin American War of independence from Spain.

Puente de Boyacá national monument of Colombia

Puente de Boyacá is a small bridge located at the Bogota-Tunja highway, 110 km east of Bogotá and 14 km west from Tunja in a valley, crossing Teatinos river. Numerous monuments have been erected in the surroundings to commemorate the historic battle of August 7, 1819 known as the Battle of Boyacá which granted independence to New Granada.

Antonio Ricaurte Colombian revolutionary

Antonio Ricaurte was a patriot of the Independence of Colombia and Venezuela and captain of Bolívar's army. He is remembered as the martyr of the Battle of San Mateo, where, in a heroic action, he blasted an enemy stronghold by immolating himself.

Domingo Caycedo President of Colombia

Domingo de Caycedo y Sanz de Santamaría was a Colombian statesman who served as Vice-president of Gran Colombia and the Republic of New Granada, and due to the absence of the presidents, he himself served as President a total of eleven times, making him the person to have served more times as President of Colombia. He is also credited for creating the Republic of New Granada after the division of Venezuela and Ecuador.

Ambrosio de La Plaza y Obelmejia was a military figure involved in the Venezuelan War of Independence. Born in Caracas, he joined the army at the age of 19. He fought under Francisco de Miranda and later served under Simón Bolívar. Involved in operations against royalist forces entrenched in Bogotá in 1814, he later fled with Bolívar to Jamaica and Haiti.

The 5th Division is a Colombian National Army division based in the city of Bogotá consisting of five brigades the 1st Brigade based in Tunja, the 6th Brigade based in Ibagué, the 8th Brigade based in Neiva, the 9th Brigade based in Neiva and the 13th Brigade based in Bogotá and also the biggest Brigade in the Colombian Army.

Battle of Matasiete

The Battle of Matasiete was a battle in the Venezuelan War of Independence that took place on 31 July 1817 near the city of La Asunción on Isla Margarita in Venezuela. It was fought between pro-independence Republican revolutionaries led by Francisco Esteban Gómez and Spanish Royalist forces under the command of Pablo Morillo. The outcome was a Spanish defeat.

The 'First Battle of Carabobo' (1814) was a battle in the Venezuelan War of Independence, in which the forces of the Second Republic, commanded by Simón Bolívar, defeated the Spaniard forces under Field marshal Juan Manuel de Cajigal y Martínez.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "La Batalla de Boyacá" (in Spanish). colombiaaprende.edu.co. Archived from the original on 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  2. Arana, M., 2013, Bolivar, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN   9781439110195

Coordinates: 5°27′00″N73°25′45″W / 5.45000°N 73.42917°W / 5.45000; -73.42917