Acosta Ñu, Battle of

views updated

Acosta Ñu, Battle of

Battle of Acosta Ñu, one of the final engagements of the War of the Triple Alliance, fought on 16 August 1869. In the hill country some 45 miles east of Asunción, the retreating Paraguayan army of Francisco Solano López left behind a rear-guard force of some 4,500 teenage boys, women, and old men, having ordered them to slow the advance of 20,000 Brazilian troops under the conde d'Eu. Purportedly wearing false beards in order to frighten their opponents, the boys put up a stiff and bloody resistance, but were overwhelmed by enemy cavalry. The battle, which Brazilian historians call "Campo Grande," has taken on the character of a national epic in Paraguay. Its immediate consequences, however, were minimal, as the Brazilians were soon able to resume their pursuit of López, who was eventually killed by Brazilian forces in March 1870.

See alsoCampo Grande; López, Francisco Solano; War of the Triple Alliance.


Charles Kolinski, Independence or Death! The Story of the Paraguayan War (1965).

Leandro Aponte B., Hombres, armas y batallas (1971).

Additional Bibliography

Bethell, Leslie. The Paraguayan War (1864–1870). London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1996.

Leuchars, Chris. To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Marco, Miguel Angel de. La Guerra del Paraguay. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1995.

Whigham, Thomas. The Paraguayan War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

                                    Thomas L. Whigham