Battle of Acosta Ñu

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Battle of Acosta Ñu
Part of the Paraguayan War
Batalha de Campo Grande - 1871.jpg
Battle of Campo Grande, by Pedro Américo.
Date August 16, 1869
Location Eusebio Ayala, Paraguay
Result Allied victory

 Empire of Brazil


Commanders and leaders
Bernardino Caballero Count d'Eu
3,646, 12 cannon[1]:103 1st and 2nd Corps[1]:103
Casualties and losses
  • 2,000 killed
  • 1,500 wounded and captured[1]:104
  • 182 killed
  • 420 wounded[1]:104
Child soldiers of the Paraguayan Army

The Battle of Acosta Ñu or Campo Grande was a battle during the Paraguayan War, where, on August 16, 1869, between the Triple Alliance and Paraguay. The Paraguayans used many boys in the fighting, wearing false beards and carrying old weapons.[1]:104


In the middle of 1869, the Paraguayan Army was on the run and Asunción was under allied occupation. Francisco Solano López, the Paraguayan president, refused to surrender and fled, vowing to keep fighting to the end. The Brazilian commander Duque de Caxias suggested that the war was militarily over, but Dom Pedro II, the Brazilian Emperor, refused to stop the campaign until López surrendered. Caxias resigned and was replaced by the Emperor's son-in-law, Luís Filipe Gastão de Orléans, Count d'Eu.

Count d'Eu and the main Allied troops advanced and took Caacupé on August 15, though López had already fled to Caraguatay. In an attempt to block the Paraguayan Army from retreating to Caraguatay, the Conde d'Eu sent the 2nd Corps via Barrero Grande, while the 1st Corps pursued López.[1]:103


The Allied troops met the rearguard of the Paraguayan forces at Acosta Ñu on August 16. The battle started at 0800. Acosta Ñu (which means "Acosta's Field", "Acosta" being a Last Name) is a vast plain of roughly 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi), ideal for the Brazilian cavalry. The initial charge was led by the Allied 1st Corps infantry, supported by artillery. As the Paraguayans retreated across the Yagari River, the 4th Cavalry Brigade made a right flanking movement. Meanwhile, the 2nd Corps reached the Paraguayan rear, which left them no means to retreat.[1]:104


The battle of Acosta Ñu/Campo Grande is depicted in the famous painting Batalha de Campo Grande by Pedro Américo, and in the book Recordações de Guerra e de Viagem by famous Brazilian writer Visconde de Taunay, who took part in the battle.

In Paraguay, Children's Day is celebrated on August 16. It is a national holiday to commemorate the memory of the children who lost their lives in the Battle of Acosta Ñu/Campo Grande.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hooker, T.D., 2008, The Paraguayan War, Nottingham: Foundry Books, ISBN 1901543153