Los Zaragozas celebration at Sanare, Lara
28th December 1826 Next morning continued and met near
Sanare an Officer commissioned by the Commandant and
Municipality of Araure to offer the submission of their
Province. Having heard that I entered Barquisimeto with 1500
men. I thought it as well to go on to Araure and accordingly
having first sent on a spy to see if there were any troops, I
crossed a beautiful plain country and after twenty leagues
ride entered Araure at sunrise with Major Escalona and two
officers whom I had brought with me. The Commandant Escalon,
brother of the Major, was the most perverse and intriguing
agent in Venezuela, but fearing the invasion had made this
ruse to gain merit in the eyes of the victorious party under
the impression that I had a formidable division under my
orders at Sanare; but the other brother finding that the
operation of Barquisimeto had been a coup-de-main now
regretted exceedingly having invited me, nevertheless as they
were detested by the people, I could immediately perceive, I
called a public meeting or Cabildo, where I dictated an act
similar to that of Barquisimeto which every inhabitant signed.
I now understood that the
Commandant was getting together a body of horse about 3
leagues distant to surprise and take me, but owing to the
enthusiasm of the inhabitants, the Militia would not assist
Cala with the Division which had
invaded Varinas was now on his retreat having heard of my
march from Trujillo and fearing to have his communications cut
off and was expected to pass through Araure within two days,
so that as my Force could not be in Sanare for three or four
days yet I resolved on leaving Aurare, first making the
inhabitants abandon the Town and conceal their horses and
cattle so that Cala might not receive any assistance there. I
also deposed Mr. Commandant and sent him off. I before had
remitted Pina and Cistiaga to Maracaybo.
29th Travelled all night,
passed through and after 22 leagues arrived
30th at 7 0' clock in the
morning at Yaritagua, where I learned that General Paez's
brother, Commandant of the City of Felippe had got 800 men
under arms and threatened this place where the troops were
Militia only. I sent for two Companies to Barquisimeto and
dispatched 3 or 4 secret agents to revolutionize San Felipe.
This day returned to Barquisimento,
8 leagues. The whole of this country is thickly populated.
Wherever there can be water procured for irrigation there are
beautiful plantations and farms and in the parts the ground is
covered with the Cardon tree, a species of immense thistle
that breeds the cochineal.
31st Received news of the
Infantry from Carora and Quibor having presented themselves in
Focuyo where everything went on swimmingly. Ordered two
squadrons and all the flank companies up.
Jan. lst,1827 In
Barquisimeto. This was the third city founded in Venezuela,
Caro having been the first and afterwards Focuyo, it still
retains vestiges of its former opulence as it was levelled to
the ground by the earthquake of the year 1812. The houses at
present are only one storey high on that account.
This day we received the account
of San Felipe having declared itself under General Bolivar's
protection and also the brother of General Paez whom they
remitted prisoner. I sent off a column of 600 Infantry to
march with what men they could collect in San Felipe and
Yaritagua against the borough town of Nirgua, which they were
to take in case of resistance and open communication with
Puerto Caballo where General Bolivar would arrive in a day or
two. After doing this the Division was to seize the Pass of
Forito only 6 leagues from Valencia where Paez had his
headquarters. As the ground here is very mountainous they were
to defend this pass, which could not be turned, whilst I
either dispersed or defeated Cala's Division and would then
march on San Carlos and crossing from Finaco would form a
junction in Forito having a secure retreat either on San
Felipe or Puerto Caballo and with all calculating on a force
from 2,000 to 2,500 disposable men, in opposition to which
Paez had only about 2000 men in Valencia. Besides which my
closeness on him would encourage desertion as his troops were
beginning to demoralize.
Until now my servant had not even
come up with me and I had been from the 25th of last month
without any help taken away from Paez his Prime and
Confidential Minister, the cities of Fucuyo, Carora,
Barquisimeto, San Felipe, and Araure, the borough towns of
Quibor, Yaritagua and Candare and Nirgua, beside ten smaller
towns, upwards of 3,000 stand of arms, 57 barrels of
gunpowder, 7 guns, 8 squadrons of local cavalry, all without
ten shots and withal a foreigner and perfectly unacquainted
with the country or any of its inhabitants.
2nd Marched to Sanare. The
two companies of Paez and Company from Quibor, having arrived
and ordered to continue at midnight as I had received
information of Cala' s Division having arrived at Ospinos and
expected to arrive at Araure the day after.
3rd To Araure 10 leagues.
Found my little column rather in a funk, being only 200 strong
and that of Cala's was stated to have 1500 veteran troops.
4th Crossed the River
Facarigua and reconnoitred the town of Purificacion where I
was chased by a party of Dragoons.
5th The Paya's and another
squadron came up this day, also 200 Militia. This day I
received accounts (not officially) of General Bolivar's having
pardoned Paez and his abettors also an order from his
Secretary to suspend hostilities, provided the other party
remained in status quo. I immediately sent off an Officer to
Cala to inform him of this and recommended him to remain where
he was, as I would not permit him to pass without an express
order from General Bolivar. I invited him to an interview in
the Savannah of Choro.
7th Marched with Colonel
Urslar to see Cala and was much surprised to meet his Division
in full march at about 2 leagues distance. On my remonstrating
with him for this breach of orders, I could perceive that he
despised my force as being inferior so on his refusing to halt
I darted off and in less than an hour had my line formed in
the plain in a tolerably good position, he being within two
musket shots, I immediately threw out skirmishers and advanced
a squadron of Cavalry to turn and carry off his Park, cattle
and baggage as I saw he had only about 80 ill-mounted cavalry
left. He now saw what he had bought himself to and very wisely
knocked under and capitulated on the spot with only condition
of waiting General Bolivar's order concerning him.
8th Remained in Araure this
day. General Urdanita arrived and having received despatches
from General Bolivar, permitted Cala to proceed to Valencia
with two companies, the remainder of his division having been
sent in different directions.
9th Returned this evening
to Aurare with the Column. Here we received letters and
despatches from General Bolivar who had given a decree in
Puerto Cabello indulting Paez, and those concerned in the
Revolution. His motives for doing this were originated in the
difficulty of securing the person of Paez, who could make
himself formidable by retiring to the plains and carrying on a
desultory warfare also be raising the black population, which
would only end in the ruin of the country. Not withstanding we
were not at all contented with these measures as in fact we
would have taken Paez himself had the decree been a week
later. As it was, I being recalled, dismissed all my
volunteers and prepared to march on the morrow.
10th To San Carlos, 18
leagues. Cross the forest of Altar, pass the towns of
Caramacate and Santa Rosa. The City of San Carlos has suffered
greatly by the revolution and is situated in a splendidly
fertile grazing country, on the banks of a river which takes
its name, navigable very close to the City and falls into the
Portugesa and Apure which join the Orinoco.
11th In San Carlos.
12th To Finaquillo, a town,
pass through the borough town of Finaco, over a fine arable
country well stocked with cattle 20 leagues.
13th To Valencia, through
Carabobo and Focuyito, beautiful country covered with cattle
and conucos or farms. Passed three English Settlers farms on
the Carabobo. This city (Valencia) is situated about a mile
distant from the famous lake of that name in a fertile plain,
with a healthy appearance and salubrious climate.
14th In Valencia.
15th To Victoria, passing
through the borough towns ,of Mocundo, Guacara and Maracay,
besides several small towns, all situated the fertile and
beautiful valley of Aragua. 21 leagues. Victoria is a handsome
16th January 1827 To
Caracas, 23 leagues. Pass the town and mountain of Cocuisas
(the estate of General Bolivar), San Mateo lies behind
Victoria), the town of San Pedro and the great descent to Las
Juntas from whence the road skirts off along a noble valley
called San Francisco in which is situated the City of Caracas,
birth-place of Bolivar.
The General was at dinner when I
entered and in Paez's and Carabana's presence got up from the
table and embraced me. This was satisfactory but all the
reward I got for my commission which ended here with my
a great many towns not mentioned in this journal we not having
halted in them. The leagues are of 6666 Toises.