Battle of Avay
|Battle of Avay|
|Part of the Paraguayan War|
Battle of Avay, oil on canvas, Pedro Américo over the last few episodes of war with Paraguay, which occurred on December 11, 1868. (National Museum of Fine Arts Rio de Janeiro.)
|Commanders and leaders|
|18,000 – 26 guns||7,000 – 18 guns|
|Casualties and losses|
It was one of the battles fought during the conflict known as December, when it recorded a series of victories achieved by Caxias in that month, to move toward the south to take Piquissiri behind, namely: the battles of Itororó, Avai, Valentinas Lomas and Angostura.
On the night of December 10, 1868, 9,000 men of the Brazilian Army camped at Ipanema Porto, Paraguayan territory. At dawn, Caxias ordered to march toward the town of Villeta, Paraguayans, in equal numbers, standing at the bridge south of the creek Avai. After the victory, the Brazilian troops came to rest in Villeta, the river Paraguay.
During the melee, the Paraguayan forces fought tenaciously, but was surrounded by a flank movement and shattered. Only 100 Paraguayans, including Gen. Bernardino Caballero, managed to escape. The oral tradition refers to the Paraguayan participation of hundreds of women between the combatants.
It was necessary to take Angustura and Vileta and make the connection with the squadron to receive supplies. At dawn on 11 December, the Army continues its advance into the South
"The commander in chief, convinced of the importance of fighting the 6th, the resistance that the enemy had made the bridge decided not to lose the initiative to pursue vigorously its withdrawal. Having slept on the night of 6 to 7, on the battlefield, rose before daybreak to order provisions of march. " Would have to cross the stream Avai: but on that waterline, cleverly leveraging the advantages of the land, there was again General Caballero, with 7,000 men and 18 artillery pieces, repeating the device bridge Itororó.
"Interferes from this brief description that the Brazilian had first to descend the stream, then transpose it and finally climb the hill opposite to dislodge the enemy. These should be in an excellent position to repel the attackers or during the march approach, both in the loading phase " It is marked and quickly recognized the position of Caballero. Caxias decide without delay goes up to the attack, initiated by Osorio, in the center.
The Paraguayans - with their traditional bravery - resist. At the most difficult time, falls on the battlefield violent squall: floods up the land, growing the volume of the stream, water is the ammunition of the attacking force, and the Brazilians had to resort to the weapon.
Fight on every corner, with indescribable enthusiasm and bravery Homeric! A load, drops dead, the cold iron, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco de Lima e Silva, then Lt. Col. Pedro Antonio de Oliveira and Colonel Niederauer, the ground is littered with heroes.
Caxias, from his observatory on horseback, and near the front lines, accompanies all bids and command combat. He himself, in a moment, commands a personal violent intervention of the 2nd Corps on the right flank of the position. Osorio is wounded in the face by rifle bullet. José Luiz Mena Barreto is a battering ram, opening gaps.
Colonel House - ahead of his cavalry - seems a figure caption in entreveros consecutive surrounded by squadrons battle it out. When going through the marshal, with his horsemen restive, Caxias promotes: "- General, praise him for his brilliant loads! ..."
Andrade Neves and João Manuel Mena Barreto, running the final phase of the maneuver - each on one of the flanks of the position - arrive at the right time and desferem their fatal blows.
The resistance weakens and the position is raptured. The fight lasted five hours. Caxias reaches one by one their goals in a victorious march with his name glorious immortality heroes.
- Donato, Hernâni. Dicionário das Batalhas Brasileiras. São Paulo: Editora Ibrasa, 1987.