Carabobo, Battle of

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Carabobo, Battle of

Battle of Carabobo, the last major military engagement of the War of Independence in Venezuela, named after the savanna southwest of Valencia on which it took place. On the morning of 24 June 1821 the patriots, under the command of Simón Bolívar, faced royalist troops under the leadership of General Miguel de la Torre. The latter had taken command of the Spanish forces after the departure of General Pablo Morillo the previous year. Bolívar's forces consisted of the Colombian troops that had marched with him over the Andes. These troops were joined at Carabobo by the llaneros ("plainsmen") of José Antonio Páez. The patriot force of approximately six thousand outnumbered the royalists by perhaps a thousand. The battle lasted less than an hour, with light casualties on both sides. Losses were reportedly heaviest on the patriot side, with approximately two hundred killed and wounded, including nearly all of the British legion. Half of the royalist force was captured, the rest fleeing to the fort at Puerto Cabello. The patriots also gained important munitions, including artillery pieces and a large amount of ammunition.

The battle was important as a symbol of the strength of the patriot forces fighting on their territory, and their victory in effect freed Venezuela and New Granada from the Spanish. Bolívar entered Caracas less than a week later. In addition, with patriots now in charge of northern South America, Bolívar was able to focus his efforts on the south. In 1821 the Liberator organized a government at Cúcuta on the border of New Granada and Venezuela, marking the beginning of the construction of the Venezuelan nation.

See alsoCúcuta, Congress of .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lino Duarte Level, Cuadros de historia militar y civil de Venezuela (1917).

Daniel Florencio O'Leary, Bolívar and the War of Independence (1970).

John V. Lombardi, Venezuela: The Search for Order, the Dream of Progress (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Bencomo Barrios, Héctor. Los héroes de Carabobo. Caracas: Ediciones de la Presidencia de la República, 2004.

Thibaud, Clément. Repúblicas en armas: Los ejércitos bolivarianos en la guerra de Independencia en Colombia y Venezuela. Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 2003.

                                                 Gary Miller

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Carabobo, Battle of

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