Coatepeque, Battle of

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Coatepeque, Battle of

Battle of Coatepeque (22-24 February 1863, near Santa Ana, El Salvador). At Coatepeque, Salvadoran forces under Gerardo Barrios and Liberal Nicaraguans under Máximo Jérez stopped the Guatemalan army of Rafael Carrera. Carrera invaded El Salvador in an effort to crush the Liberal government of Barrios. He occupied Santa Ana with little resistance on 21 February. Hoping to end the war quickly, the next day he marched his troops to Coatepeque without sufficient provision for food and water. Well-entrenched Salvadorans engaged the Guatemalans in a twelve-hour artillery duel on 23 February. On the following day Barrios's forces repulsed the hungry and thirsty Guatemalans. Heavy losses, however, prevented the Liberals from pursuing Carrera, who retreated into Guatemala with only moderate losses. Instead, joined by Honduran forces who entered the war as a consequence of the Liberal victory at Coatepeque, Barrios and Jérez marched into Nicaragua in an unsuccessful effort to take León.

Carrera launched a new, more cautious offensive in June 1863, leading to his capture of San Salvador in October, ending the war. Barrios escaped to La Unión and sailed to Costa Rica.

See alsoBarrios, Gerardo .


Federico Hernández De León, El libro de las efemérides, vol. 5 (1963), pp. 307-312.

Pedro Zamora Castellanos, Vida militar de Centro América, 2d. ed. (1967), vol. 2, pp. 193-206.

Additional Bibliography

Gudmundson, Lowell, and Héctor Lindo-Fuentes. Central America, 1821–1871: Liberalism before Liberal Reform. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995.

Leiva Vivas, Rafael. La unión centroamericana: Utopía, lir-ismo y desafío. Tegucigalpa: ENAG, Empresa Nacional Artes Gráficas, 2004.

Woodward, Ralph Lee. Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala, 1821–1871. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993.

Yashar, Deborah J. Demanding Democracy: Reform and Reaction in Costa Rica and Guatemala, 1870s–1950s. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.

                            Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.

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Coatepeque, Battle of

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