Ayacucho, Battle of

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Ayacucho, Battle of

Battle of Ayacucho, the final battle of the Wars of Independence, which took place at the hacienda Ayacucho, near the city of Huamanga (later renamed Ayacucho), Peru, on 9 December 1824. Since Simón Bolívar had been notified by the Colombian government that he could no longer command a Peruvian army, he appointed the thirty-two-year-old Bolivian general Antonio José de Sucre to lead the liberation army. Although the royalists outnumbered their opponents by more than two to one, possessed superior artillery, and occupied the strategic heights overlooking the plains, Sucre was able to rally his forces with a desperate calvary charge that routed the enemy and captured the Spanish commander, General José de La Serna. The royalists suffered 1,400 dead and 700 wounded, while total casualties on the patriot side amounted to 900. That evening all royalist forces in the sierra surrendered, followed shortly thereafter by those in Lima. Although a diehard Spanish force managed to hold out in the fortress at Callao until January 1826, Spanish power in South America was ended after more than three centuries of Spanish rule.

See alsoWars of Independence, South America .


Timothy E. Anna, The Fall of Royal Government in Peru (1979).

Additional Bibliography

Fisher, John Robert. Bourbon Peru, 1750–1824. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003.

Mendizábal, Francisco Javier de. Guerra de la América del Sur, 1809–1824. Buenos Aires: Academia Nacional de la Historia, 1997.

                                   Peter F. KlarÉn