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Reeve, Henry M. (1850–1876)

Reeve, Henry M. (1850–1876)

Henry M. Reeve (b. 4 April 1850; d. 4 August 1876), cavalry commander in Cuba's Ten Years' War of independence. Cubans dubbed Reeve, the Brooklyn-born son of a preacher, "El Inglesito" because he was tall, blond, and, at first, spoke no Spanish. He came to Cuba in 1869 in an expedition commanded by the former Confederate general Thomas Jordan. Having been taken prisoner shortly after the landing, he soon found himself facing a Spanish firing squad. Having miraculously survived the experience, he joined the forces of the insurgent leader Ignacio Agramonte, who came to hold him in high esteem. Because of his bravery and prowess, Reeve rose rapidly through the ranks, and eventually succeeded Agramonte as chief of Camagüey (1874). When the Cubans began a march toward the west, invading the province of Las Villas, Reeve was appointed to spearhead the offensive. He had gone beyond Las Villas and reached the rich sugar region of Colón, in the neighboring province of Matanzas, when he was killed near Yaguarma, fighting against superior Spanish forces. By then he had participated in about 400 war actions, been wounded ten times, and had lost the use of one of his legs.

See alsoAgramonte y Loynaz, Ignacio; Ten Years' War.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The best biography of Reeve is Gilberto Toste Ballart, Reeve: El Inglesito (1978).

                                JosÉ M. HernÁndez

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