Nino Bixio

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Nino Bixio c.1862.

Nino Bixio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈnino ˈbiksjo] or, in Ligurian, [ˈbiːʒo] (the Butcher of Bronte); October 2, 1821 – December 16, 1873) was a Genoan soldier and politician, who fought to form a unified Italy.

Life and career[edit]

He was born Gerolamo Bixio in Genoa. While still a boy, Bixio was compelled by his parents to embrace a career in the navy of the Kingdom of Sardinia. After numerous adventures in various places of the world, he returned to Italy in 1846, joining the Giovine Italia. On 4 November 1847, he made himself conspicuous at Genoa by seizing the bridle of Charles Albert's horse and crying, "Pass the Ticino, Sire, and we are all with you." [1]

He fought through the campaign of 1848, became captain under Giuseppe Garibaldi at Rome in 1849, taking prisoners an entire French battalion, and gaining the gold medal for military valour. In 1859 he commanded a Hunters of the Alps battalion, fought in the Battle of Varese, and gained the Military Cross of Savoy. [1]

One of the organizers of Garibaldi's expedition of the Thousand (1860) against the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, he turned the day in favor of the Thousand at the Battle of Calatafimi.[1]

Meanwhile, the Sicilian peasants had hoped for - and did not get from Garibaldi - reforms from the restrictive conditions imposed by noble landowners. This hope had been reinforced by Garibaldi's decree of 2 June 1860 that land would be re-distributed. The southerners revolted in several localities. At the little village of Bronte, Sicily in Catania province, on August 4, 1860, Bixio bloodily repressed one of these revolts with two battalions of Redshirts, massacring more than a dozen, peasants and nobles alike, and putting the torch to the town theater and municipal archives.[1] Bixio had nothing but contempt for the Sicilians, writing to his wife: "What a place! You might call it a real pigsty! In short this is a country that we should destroy or at least depopulate, and send them to Africa to get them civilized." Bixio ordered a kangaroo court and had five Bronteans summarily shot, all of which earned him the sobriquet "the Butcher of Bronte".

By August 21 of the year Bixio and the Garibaldines entered in Reggio Calabria, in the Neapolitan mainland. He took part in the Battle of the Volturno, where his leg was broken.[1]

Elected deputy in 1861, he endeavored to reconcile Cavour and Garibaldi. In 1866, at the head of the seventh division, he covered the Italian retreat from the Battle of Custoza, ignoring the Austrian summons to surrender. Appointed senator in February 1870, he was in the following September given command of a division during the movement against Rome, took Civitavecchia, and on 20 September 1870, he participated in the capture of Rome, which completed the unification of Italy.[1]

On 16 December 1873, he died of cholera at Aceh Bay in Sumatra en route for Batavia (modern day Jakarta), where he was slated to take command of a commercial expedition.[1]


[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ Source: Corriere della Sera Italian Newspaper, quote by Nino Bixio "In questo Paese i nemici o gli avversari si uccidono, ma non basta uccidere il nemico, bisogna straziarlo, bruciarlo vivo a fuoco lento... è un Paese che bisognerebbe distruggere o almeno spopolare e mandarli in Africa a farsi civili] «In questo Paese i nemici o gli avversari si uccidono, ma non basta uccidere il nemico, bisogna straziarlo, bruciarlo vivo a fuoco lento... è un Paese che bisognerebbe distruggere o almeno spopolare e mandarli in Africa a farsi civili" This is the English translation : "In the south it is not enough to kill the enemies, we need to cause them pain and agony, burn them alive in a slow flame, it is a place that needs to be destroyed or at the very least be depopulated, send them to Africa so they can become civilized"

[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Source: Corriere della Sera Italian Newspaper, quote by Nino Bixio "In questo Paese i nemici o gli avversari si uccidono, ma non basta uccidere il nemico, bisogna straziarlo, bruciarlo vivo a fuoco lento... è un Paese che bisognerebbe distruggere o almeno spopolare e mandarli in Africa a farsi civili] «In questo Paese i nemici o gli avversari si uccidono, ma non basta uccidere il nemico, bisogna straziarlo, bruciarlo vivo a fuoco lento... è un Paese che bisognerebbe distruggere o almeno spopolare e mandarli in Africa a farsi civili" This is the English translation : "In the south it is not enough to kill the enemies, we need to cause them pain and agony, burn them alive in a slow flame, it is a place that needs to be destroyed or at the very least be depopulated, send them to Africa so they can become civilized"