Freedom Expedition of Perú
|Freedom Expedition of Peru|
The Chilean Squadron sails off for Peru
|Commanders and leaders|
| Bernardo O'Higgins
|First Chilean Navy Squadron||Unknown|
|Casualties and losses|
The Expedición Libertadora del Perú (Freedom Expedition of Peru) was organized in 1820 by the government of Chile, with elements belonging to the Liberating Army of the Andes and to recently restored Army of Chile, whose target was to free the Viceroyalty of Perú from Spanish rule. The expedition was the continuation of the plan of liberation that General Bernardo O'Higgins and General José de San Martín conceived for the Spanish colonies of South America. While the Chilean government headed by Bernardo O'Higgins played a pivotal role in organizing the expedition, the control of the Chilean Squadron was given to Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald and the control of the ground force relapsed into the Argentine General José de San Martín. The expedition managed to liberate parts of Peru.
In 1814 the General Captaincy of Chile was reconquered by the Spanish Crown, in the Disaster of Rancagua, putting term to the period named Patria Vieja (Old Homeland), in which the Chilean patriots had governed the destinations of the colony and conceived notable reforms to the colonial Spanish diet. Later to above mentioned event, the Chilean troops, along with the personeros of the government, fled to Mendoza, where they were got by the Governor of the Province of Cuyo General José de San Martín, the one who conceived in that moment a plan of liberation of the South American colonies of the Spanish Empire. This plan would consist of invading Chile with an army shaped by the remains of the Army of Chile, defeated in Rancagua, and Argentine troops. After the invasion and liberation of Chile, for the allied army, this one would embark for sea course to Peru to extinguish the Spanish presence in that region, since he supposed a big threat for the independence of other Latin Americans countries.
The emancipation of Perú was to have been a common enterprise by Chile and Argentina. Argentina, then a lose alliance of provinces, distracted by internal strife and another threat of invasion from Spain was unable to contribute for the expedition and ordered José de San Martín back to Argentina. San Martín choose to disobey (see Acta de Rancagua) and O'Higgins decided that Chile would assume the costs of the Freedom Expedition of Perú.(p39)
On 20 August 1820 the expedition sailed from Valparaíso for Paracas, near Pisco in Perú. The escort was provided by the squadron and comprised the flagship O'Higgins (under Captain Thomas Sackville Crosbie), frigate San Martín (Captain William Wilkinson), frigate Lautaro (Captain Martin Guise), the corvette Independencia (Captain Robert Forster), the brigs Galvarino (Captain John Tooker Spry), Araucano (Captain Thomas Carter), and Pueyrredón (Lieutenant William Prunier) and the schooner Moctezuma (Lieutenant George Young).(p98)
Every expeditionary ship got a painted number so that it could be identified at a distance. There are discrepancies between authors about the names and number and some names of the transports.
|Ship name||Shipnumber||tons||Other names||troops||personnel or cargo|
|Potrillo[Notes 1]||20||180||0||1400 boxes munition for infantry and artillery, 190 boxes munition for flamethrowerfor and 8 barrels powder|
|Emprendedora||12||325||Empresa||319||1280 boxes musket balls, 1500 boxes supplies of tools and repair shop|
|Golondrina||19||120||0||100 boxes munition, 190 boxes clothes, 460 sack kekse, 670 bunches jerked beef|
|Peruana||18||250||53||hospital, physicians and 200 boxes|
|Águila[Notes 1]||14||800||not Brigantine
|Mackenna||?||500||0||960 boxes with weapons, armors and leather goods for infantry and cavalry. 180 quintal iron pieces|
|Santa Rosa||13||240||Santa Rosa de Chacabuco
|Nancy||21||200||0||80 horses and fodder|
On the night of 5. November Cochrane, personally, and 240 volunteers wearing white with blue armbands captured the Spanish frigate Esmeralda (1791) within the port of Callao. She was renamed Valdivia and commissioned to the Chilean Navy.
- First Chilean Navy Squadron
- Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
- Higgins, James (editor). The Emancipation of Peru: British Eyewitness Accounts, 2014. Online at https://sites.google.com/site/jhemanperu
- See English translation of the Treaty in Edmund Burke, The Annual register, or, A view of the history, politics, and literature for the Year 1819, page 138
- Simon Collier, William F. Sater, A history of Chile, 1808-1994, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-56075-6
- Brian Vale, Cochrane in the Pacific, I.B. Tauris & Co ltd, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84511-446-6
- We use here the list of Gerardo Etcheverry Principales naves de guerra a vela hispanoamericanas., retrieved on 21. January 2011. The Hercules, Veloz and Zaragoza are not in the list.
- Carlos Lopez Urrutia, Historia de la Marina de Chile, Editorial Andrés Bello, 1969, url
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