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letin that the troops were not well in hand, and that, enraged at finding themselves fired upon by those from whom they expected a very different reception, they made several charges under the direction of their regimental chiefs, but without the sanction of their generals. I can hardly give a better account of the latter part of the combat than is contained in two short paragraphs of the insurgent general's order of the day, which has been copied in the government papers, and admitted by these to be a fair and true statement of what occurred. The bulletin is before me, and I translate the passages in question :
"The retreat of the two squadrons of the Principe cavalry (those which had charged the battery) was opportunely taken advantage of by the hostile squadrons of the Villaviciosa lancers, and of the Guardia Civil, who charged after them. This cavalry, however, was driven back, when in full career, by the 3d and 4th squadrons of the Principe, who routed them, cutting down a great part of them, and receiving into their ranks a large number of the soldiers of Villaviciosa, with their standard, and four officers, who reversed their lances, proclaiming themselves friends. In a second charge made by these same squadrons, the standard-bearer of Villaviciosa, and some soldiers of the same corps, who had joined us only because they considered themselves prisoners, went over again to the enemy.
"The bloody effect of the fire of the artillery, who, well assured that they would not be encountered by the same arm (of which we had none), had deliberately studied their range, and taken the breasts of our soldiers for their mark, caused the action to become hot, and the regiment of Farnesio again charged upon the guns, with great valour and determination. At the very mouth of the cannon its colonel was wounded and taken prisoner, and several officers and soldiers were struck down, our cries of Viva la Reina y la Constitucion being drowned in the roar of the enemy's pieces. Repeated charges of the same regiment, and of those of Bourbon, Santiago, and the School of Cavalry, must have convinced our opponents in the action of Vicálvaro, that the feelings which prompted those cries are to be extinguished in the hearts of our brave soldiers by death alone."
test had been conducted very differently, and a more judicious plan had been adopted than that of charging headlong up to the muzzles of artillery supported by squares of infantry. But this mistake had its origin, as I have already observed, in the expectation that the artillery would not fire. The insurgents were repulsed, not, however, without inflicting considerable loss upon their enemies. The garrison returned into Madrid in some haste and confusion, and near the gate a singular incident occurred. It was dark, and some lancers appeared on their flank-insurgents, according to some accounts-a part of their own cavalry, as it is reported by others. The exact truth will probably never be known. But a panic seized the infantry; some of the battalions were composed in great part of recruits; young soldiers, retiring hastily and in the dark after their first fight, are easily alarmed; the confusion that ensued was as great as that of a rout; the men fired at random killing and wounding their own friends, and a great number, especially of the battallion of engineers, were thus injured. The government papers passed this unlucky mistake almost sub silentio ; but the fact is certain, the troops returned into the town in disorder, and it was not until the next day that all the wounded were brought in.
Some prisoners had been taken from the insurgents, including three or four wounded officers, the chief of whom, Colonel Garrigó, was captured amongst the guns, where his horse fell, killed by grape-shot. The gallant manner in which Garrigó had led his men again and again to the charge, encountering each time a storm of bullets, had excited a strong interest in his fate, and measures were taken to move the queen's clemency on his behalf. Before the result of these were known, and when it was thought probable that at any hour he might be judged, condemned, and shot, I went to the ward of the military hospital where he lay under arrest, to see another officer of cavalry who had been wounded when with the insurgents. This officer had gone out of Madrid to see some friends who were with O'Donnell; he was in plain clothes and without arms, but, ven
The upshot of the action was this: The insurgents accepted battle when there was little to be gained by them in so doing, unless, indeed, the con
turing too far forward during the action, he got struck from his horse, and received, as he lay on the ground, a lance-thrust in the neck, of which, however, he complained less than of blows received from the lance-poles, when the men struck at him as they rode rapidly past. He had afterwards been taken prisoner by an officer, and brought into Madrid. In the next bed to him was Garrigó, a swarthy, soldierly-looking man of about fiftyfive; he had been hit in the leg, but not severely, by a grape-shot, and was sitting up in bed, fanning away the flies which entered in unpleasant numbers through the open windows. He looked gloomy, but firm. There were some other wounded officers in the ward, one of whom subsequently died after undergoing amputation of a leg, and a number of soldiers in an adjoining one. Amongst the insurgents, I heard there were as many killed as wounded; and many horses dead, the artillery having pointed their guns low. Grape and round shot, at fifty paces, the distance to which the cavalry were allowed to come before the gunners got the word, were quite as likely, perhaps, to kill as only to wound. An officer received two grape-shot in his face-one at each angle of the nostrils; another, Captain Letamendi, the English son of a Spanish father, who served during the civil war in the British Legion, was met by a round shot, which carried away the greater part of his head. But you will find nothing attractive in such details.
The combat of Vicálvaro, insignificant in its material results, had little effect upon the morale of either party. The government troops were assured by the gazette that they had achieved a glorious victory, of which they themselves were not very sure, especially when they saw the numerous carts of wounded that came into the town, and remembered their own disorderly return from the field and final panic. The insurgents, conscious that they had fought gallantly, and lost no ground, although they had failed in their chief object, which was to capture the artillery, were well satisfied with themselves, and in no way disheartened by the event. It was clear that the insurgent generals must not
reckon on the support of the garrison of Madrid, and they consequently changed their plans, retiring to Aranjuez, a pleasant spot, eight leagues from Madrid, with abundant shade, water, and forage, where for two or three days they gave their men and horses rest, organised their staff and commissariat, and took other measures necessary for the welfare of the division. There they received several reinforcements, both of infantry and cavalry, and were joined by a number of civilians from Madrid, many of them belonging to the better classes. These received caps, muskets, and belts, and were formed into a battalion called the Cazadores di Madrid.
Meanwhile, the capital anxiously awaited news from the provinces, where insurrections were expected to occur. Madrid itself continued perfectly tranquil, although occasional rumours of an intended popular rising alarmed the government. The excitement of the first three days subsided into a strong interest. There was great eagerness for news from the insurgents, and much difficulty in learning anything authentic, especially when once they had left Aranjuez. Save the government and its hangers-on and personal adherents, all Madrid was for the insurrection, and heartily wished it well. The recent compulsory advance of half a year's taxes, extorted from the people by a notoriously corrupt and grasping government, had greatly incensed the Madrileños, who did not scruple openly to express their good wishes for Generals O'Donnell and Dulce, the most prominent personages of the day and of the movement. Although the insurrection deprived Madrid of two things which it can ill do without, bull-fights and strawberries, not a murmur was heard on this account. Aranjuez is the strawberry garden of Madrid, and from it daily comes an abundant supply of that fruit, particularly grateful in this hot climate. I suppose that the insurgents, who had been for three days roasting in the shadeless desert that surrounds this capital, needed refreshment, and eat up all the strawberries, or else that the want of a railway-that to Aranjuez being partly in the hands of the
government, and partly in those of O'Donnell, and cut in the middle precluded their being sent. As for bull-fights, it was no time for them when man-fights were going on; and moreover, the gates of Madrid were for several days shut-besides which, some of the bull-fighters are said to have joined the insurgents. The dramatic season being at an end, and all the theatres closed, Madrid has now for sole amusement the insurrection, which every day seems taking farther from its walls, but which not impossibly may break out again within them. If a decided advantage were gained by O'Donnell's division, or if news came that Saragossa or some other large town had pronounced against the government, there would very likely be a rising in this capital. I am assured that attempts are now making to work upon the troops of the garrison, and if only a few companies could be won over and relied upon, the government might speedily be upset. There are in Madrid plenty of ex-national guards, and of men who have served in the army, who would quickly produce their hidden arms and rush out into the streets, with cries of "Down with the ministry." It is matter of considerable doubt whether these would be coupled with vivas for the Queen. As for the Queen-mother, I am convinced that her life would be in danger in the event of such an outbreak. She is deeply detested here; the more so as she is known to support the present government with all the influence she possesses over her daughter. A Madrid revolutionary mob is dangerous, vindictive, and bloody-minded. In proof of this many incidents recur to my memory, and doubtless will to yours amongst others, the fate of Quesada, whose son is now military governor here, and who was almost torn to pieces at the country house in the environs, whither he had fled for shelter. His murderers returned to Madrid, singing the dreaded Tragala! and drank in the public cafés bowls of coffee stirred with his severed fingers. The revolutionary spirit is calmer now, but it may again revive upon occasion. No person in Spain, not even Sartorius himself, who certainly sufficiently hated, is so much under
public ban as Maria Christina. She doubtless knows it: her conscience can hardly be easy, and her fears are probably roused; for her approaching departure for France is much spoken of, and likely to take place.
Since O'Donnell's division left the neighbourhood of Madrid, we have heard comparatively little concerning him. We know his route; also that his strength has somewhat increased, that his troops are well-disciplined and confident of success, and that he is at this date in Andalusia. Where he may be, and what may have occurred by the time you receive this letter, it is of course impossible to foretell; but, although ministerial bulletins daily scatter his men to the winds, representing them as deserting, weary, exterminated, and, if possible, even in worse plight, the truth is that they are in as good order, and as ready for service, as if they held themselves subject to the government of the Queen. Every possible means have been taken by the authorities to throw discredit upon the insurgents and upon their leaders, by representing them as robbers and oppressors, paying for nothing, ill-treating the people, and exacting forced contributions at the bayonet's point. "To lie like a bulletin," is an old saying, but it would be at least as apt to say. -"like the Madrid Gazette or the Heraldo newspaper." I can well imagine how difficult it must be in other countries to get at the truth about Spanish affairs, when I see the systematic efforts made to suppress it here. Letters are seized by wholesale in their passage through the post-office, some newspapers are suppressed, and others are permitted to publish no news but those they copy from the government journals, which are for the most part ingeniously embellished to suit the purpose of the ministers; whilst sometimes they are pure fabrications. One of the great occupations of the official papers, for the first few days after the insurrection broke out, was to blacken the character of its leaders. Dulce, especially-who, in common with the other generals engaged in the outbreak, had been stripped by royal decree of all rank, titles, and honours was the object of abuse which bordered upon billingsgate.
The virtuous Heraldo daily came out with fierce philippics upon the "rebel and traitor," who had deserted his Queen because he deemed that she had deserted the country and broken her oath, and who, by so doing, had exchanged large emoluments, bigh rank, and one of the best positions his profession affords in Spain, for the uncertain fate of an insurgent leaderperhaps, in the end, for a short shrift and a firing party. The men of the Heraldo could not understand this; they felt that they were incapable of such conduct; in their heart of hearts they must have thought Dulce more remarkable as a fool than as a rebel, but in their paper they contented themselves with abusing him as the latter. Inexpert with the pen, Dulce nevertheless took it up to reply. On the 1st of July, the day after the drawn fight of Vicálvaro, and in a village close to the scene of action, he wrote a letter, whose faulty style and soldierly abruptness are the best evidence of its being his own unassisted production. As a characteristic production, and in justice to its writer, who will doubtless be blamed by many in foreign countries, where the facts of the case and the extent of the sacrifices he has made are imperfectly known and appreciated, I give you a translation of the letter. It is addressed to the editors of the Heraldo, and runs as follows:
for I have them in abundance. No desire of revenge of any kind has moved me, for I cherish neither dislike nor resentment against the persons composing the present government, and much less against the Queen. The cause of my insurrection is entirely the memory that I have of the oath taken by the King of Castile when he ascends the throne. He swears upon the Holy Scriptures to observe and enforce the law of the State-' and if I should not do So2 I desire not to be obeyed.'
"My conviction is, that the Queen has violated her oath, and, in this case, I prefer being guilty of leze-majesty to being guilty of leze-nation.
"I well know that the sentiments I have expressed will not convince you, because they must be felt and not explained. For my justification I appeal to the inexorable tribunal of posterity, and to the secret police of the consciences of yourselves in the first place, of the Queen herself, and of this unhappy country.
A copy of this document is already on the road, and will be published, as you will see, in foreign countries. I also send it to other Madrid newspapers, although I believe that a miserable fear will prevent their publishing it.
"That you may never be able to deny that I have sent you this letter, I have had formal registry made of it, and it perhaps will one day be published. I trust then that you will be sufficiently generous and gentlemanly* to insert it in your periodical, by doing which you will highly oblige me. (Signed) EL GENERAL DULCE.
"Vallecas, 1st July 1854.
"Since you have allowed the publication in your periodical of an article referring to me personally, and to my conduct, and as I consider that an insult is not a reason, I trust you will be pleased to publish my protest against the whole of your accusation, by doing which you will fulfil your duty as public writers.
"I do not wish to prejudge the issue of our enterprise; whatever that may be it will not surprise me, or make me repent what I have done. That I may not be disappointed, the worst that I expect is to die in the field of battle or in the Campo de Guardias (the place of military executions at Madrid). Whatever occurs, I shall have acted according to my
I need hardly say that the Heraldo has not published this letter, of which numerous copies have been distributed in Madrid by friends of its writer, and by persons who believe that, as he himself says, he has "acted according to his conscience (dado una satis
"I seek neither places nor honours,
* Caballeros is the word used. It is hardly to be translated in an English word.
"The original is to be found duly stamped in the register of this corporation, where it has been inserted against the will of the individuals composing it, who are exempt from all blame."
faccion à mi conciencia), and who admire his disinterestedness-the rarest quality amongst public men in Spain. It is not easy to foretell the result of this insurrection, which has now lasted for fifteen days without any decisive or even important event. The country, taken by surprise, and ignorant of the objects of the outbreak -which it suspected to have been made merely to bring about a change of men, but not of system-looked on at first with apathy. O'Donnell's greatest error was the first proclamation he issued, which, in many words, said nothing and held out no prospect of advantage to the people. Another has just appeared, short, pithy, explicit, and calculated to satisfy the liberal party. It promises the Spanish nation the benefits of the representative system, for which it has shed so much of its blood and made so many sacrifices, as yet without result.
"It is time," it continues, "to say what we propose doing on the day of victory. We desire the preservation of the throne, but without the camarilla that dishonours it; the rigorous enforcement of the fundamental laws, improving them, especially those of elections and of the press; a diminution of taxation, founded on strict economy; respect to seniority and merit in the civil and military services. We desire to relieve the towns from the centralising system that consumes them, giving them the local independence necessary to preserve and increase their own interests; and, as a guarantee of all these things, we desire the NATIONAL MILITIA, and will plant it on a solid basis. Such are our intentions, which we frankly express, but without imposing them upon the nation. The juntas of government that are to be constituted in the free provinces, the general Cortes that are soon to be assembled, the nation itself, in short, shall fix the definitive bases of the liberal regeneration to which we aspire. We devote our swords to the national will, and sheathe them only when it is fulfilled."
This proclamation is dated from Manzanaris, the 7th July, and is signed by O'Donnell. You will observe that no mention is made in it of the Queen. It is monarchical, because it desires 'preserve the throne;" but it by no
means pledges those who publish it to retain Isabella II. The promise to arm the national guard is the most important that it contains, since that is the only guarantee the Liberals can have for the fulfilment of the other pledges. It may possibly induce the Progresistas, who hitherto have scarcely stirred in the business, to take active measures. Meanwhile we hear of risings and armed bands in various parts of the country, and persons familiar with Spanish revolutions, and who have witnessed many of them, notice signs of fermentation, which prove the insurrectionary spirit to be spreading-a bubble here and there on water, indicating that it will presently boil. When O'Donnell's proclamation gets spread abroad, and its purport known, it is quite possible that large towns or districts may declare for the insurgents. In Spain, however, it is most difficult to speculate on coming events, for it is the land of the unforeseen-le pays de l'imprévu - and I shall not attempt to play the prophet, for, if I did, perhaps, before my letter reached you, the electric telegraph would have proved me a false one. Moreover, I have no time to add much more, for I well know that you, Ebony, will grumble, if this letter does not reach you somewhere about the twentieth of the month. Moreover, the horses of Maga's foreign-service messenger neigh with impatience, and the escort which is to accompany him on the first stage of his journey is already formed up. For the roads are far from safe just now, thanks to the concentration of the gendarmes, (who usually keep excellent order upon them), to do duty in the capital, or pursue the insurgents. We hear of various bands appearing-north, south, and east-some calling themselves Carlists, others Republicans, but in either case probably not pleasant to meet on the road; and besides those there are smaller parties who do not aspire to a political character, and are abroad simply for their own behoof and advantage, and, I need not say, for the disadvantage of the travellers they may chance to encounter. As for sending letters of the nature and importance of this one by the ordinary channel of Her Catho