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Battle of Ayacucho
Part of Peruvian War of Independence
Battle of Ayacucho.jpg
The Battle of Ayacucho.
Date9 December 1824
LocationQuinua, Peru, Huamanga Province Location of the province Huamanga in Ayacucho.svg

Decisive Independentist Victory

  • Capitulation of the Royalist Army
  • End of Spanish rule in South America
Monarchy of Spain
  • Spain Spain
  • Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Viceroyalty of Perú
Commanders and leaders
Bandera de Angostura (20 de noviembre de 1817).svg Antonio José de Sucre
Flag of Peru (1822 - 1825).svg Agustín Gamarra
Spain Viceroy La Serna
Spain José de Canterac

United Liberation Army [5] Total: 5780[6]-8500[7] men

  • 4,500 soldiers from
    Gran Colombia
  • 1,200 soldiers from the
    Republic of Perú[8]

Flag cross burgundy lessercoat.PNG Royalist Army [9] Total: 6906-9310 men [10]

  • 500 Spanish soldiers
  • 495 Chiloé soldiers
  • the rest were Hispanic Americans and Native
    militia troops from the Viceroyalty of Peru [11][12]
Casualties and losses
979 2,100 killed or captured
3,500 prisoners

The Battle of Ayacucho (Spanish language: Batalla de Ayacucho , IPA: [baˈtaʎa ðe aʝaˈkutʃo]) was a decisive military encounter during the Peruvian War of Independence. It was the battle that secured the independence of Peru and ensured independence for the rest of South America. In Peru it is considered the end of the Spanish American wars of independence, although the campaign of Sucre continued through 1825 in Upper Perú and the siege of the fortresses Chiloé and Callao finally ended in 1826.

As of late 1824, Royalists still had control of most of the south of Peru as well as of Real Felipe Fort in the port of Callao. On December 9, 1824, the Battle of Ayacucho (Battle of La Quinua) took place at Pampa de La Quinua, a few kilometers away from Ayacucho, near the town of Quinua between Royalist and Independentist forces. Independentist forces were led by Antonio José de Sucre, Simón Bolívar's lieutenant. Viceroy José de la Serna was wounded, and after the battle second commander-in-chief José de Canterac signed the final capitulation of the Royalist army.

The modern Peruvian Army celebrates the anniversary of this battle.


In 1820 Spain began what would shortly become a political disaster. An expedition of 20,000 soldiers waiting to be sent to Río de la Plata to help the royalists of America revolted under the encouragement of General Rafael Riego. In the subsequent weeks the revolt spread and King Ferdinand VII was forced to restore the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812, which he had suppressed six years earlier. This event ended Spain's ability to send reinforcements to America, which in turn eventually forced the royalist armies of the viceroyalties of Peru and New Spain (today's Mexico), which had contained the Spanish American revolution so far, to deal with the patriot forces on their own. The royalists in each viceroyalty, however, took different paths.

In New Spain, royalists, after defeating the insurgents, proclaimed a negotiated separation from Liberal Spain through the Plan of Iguala, which they negotiated with the remaining patriots, and the Treaty of Córdoba, which they negotiated with the new head of government, Juan O'Donojú. In Peru Viceroy Joaquín de la Pezuela was discredited after a royalist expedition to Chile under Mariano Osorio was defeated and advances in Peru were made by José de San Martín. The viceroy was overthrown on January 29, 1821, in Aznapuquio in a coup by General José de la Serna, who proclaimed his adhesion to the restored Spanish Constitution.

The independentists started the new year with a promising victory. At Cerro de Pasco they defeated a Peruvian royalist army commanded by Viceroy La Serna. However, the royalists had received solid military training. Their first victory came against the independentist army commanded by Domingo Tristán and Agustín Gamarra in campaigns in the Ica Region. A year later, San Martin had withdrawn from the scene after the Interview of Guayaquil and royalist forces had smashed Rudecindo Alvarado's Liberating Expedition in campaigns in Torata and Moquegua. The year 1823 ended with the La Serna destroying another patriot army commanded by Andrés de Santa Cruz and Agustín Gamarra in yet another open campaign in Puno, which started with the Battle of Zepita and the resulted in the occupation of La Paz on August 8. After scattering Santa Cruz's isolated troops. La Serna recaptured Arequipa after beating Antonio José de Sucre's Gran Colombian force on October 10. Sucre decided to evacuate the Gran Colombian troops, setting sail on October 10, 1823, saving himself and his troops, although losing the best of his cavalry. Viceroy La Serna ended the campaign after reaching Oruro in Upper Peru.

On the political front, the last remnants of optimism among patriots faded away with accusations of treason against Peruvian presidents José de la Riva Agüero and José Bernardo de Tagle. Riva Agüero deported deputies of the Peruvian Congress and organized another congress in Trujillo. After being found guilty of high treason by the Peruvian Congress [13] he was banished to Chile. This act, in turn, was considered by Simón Bolívar as treasonous. Tagle, who had arranged that all armies under his command supported Bolívar against the royalist enemy, was now searched by Bolívar was looking to capture and execute him.[14] Tagle took shelter with the royalists in the fortress of Callao, which was under siege.

Nevertheless, by the end of 1823, the situation had started to become critical for those who defended the king's cause. In spite of the impressive military triumphs, Bolívar's request for reinforcements from Colombia made him a threat to the royalist army. Both sides prepared for the confrontation they knew was coming:

"Viceroy la Serna for his part, without direct communications with the Peninsula, with the most sad news of the state of the Metropolis [Spain] […] and reduced to its own and exclusive resources, but nobly trusting in his subordinates’ decision, union, loyalty and fortune, hurried the reorganization of his troops and prepared for the fight with the giant of Costafirme [Venezuela] that he saw coming soon. Another triumph for Spanish armies in that situation would make the Castilian flag wave again with unmatchable glory even to Ecuador; but another fate was already irrevocably written in the books of destiny.[15]

1824 Events

Buenos Aires Truce and Callao Revolt

Historian Rufino Blanco Fombona says that "Still in 1824 Bernardino Rivadavia makes a pact with Spanish, obstructing Ayacucho Campaign":[16] on July 4, 1823, Buenos Aires made a truce with Spanish commissionaires (Preliminary Peace Convention (1823)) that forced it to send negotiators to other South American governments so that it could had effect.[17] It was stipulated that hostilities would cease after 60 days after its ratification and would subsist over a year and half; meanwhile, a definitive peace and friendship would be negotiated. This was the reason for which they had a meeting in Salta Juan Gregorio de Las Heras city with brigadier Baldomero Espartero, obtaining no agreement. Among other measures taken by the viceroy for containing the imminent rebellion, on January 10, 1824 Casimiro Olañeta was ordered:

"I warn Your Excellency that you should not arrange any expedition in any direction over down provinces without my express order because, besides they are having a meeting in Salta trying to negotiate, General Las Heras on Government of Buenos Aires’ side and Brigadier Espartero on this superior Government's side (...)"[18]

Rivadavia believed that the project would establish peace and stopped authority's efforts of Salta over Upper Peru, refusing assistance and withdrawing advanced posts,[19] in detriment of the cause of Peru.

In that matter, the Irish historian, of military origin, Daniel Florencio O'Leary was of the opinion that with that that truce "Buenos Aires has implicitly withdrawn from the struggle",[20] and that "Buenos Aires Government pacts with the Spanish, on detriment of the American cause".[21]

On January 1, 1824, Bolívar fell terribly ill in Pativilca. At that time, Félix Álzaga, plenipotentiary minister of Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata arrived to Lima, in order to request Peru its adhesion to the truce, which was rejected by the Peruvian Congress. Nevertheless, since February 4, 1824 the quarters of Callao rioted, having the whole Argentinian infantry of the Libertor Expedition, together with some Chilean, Peruvians and Colombians: nearly 2000 men that in addition went over to the royalists [12], raising the Spanish pavilion and handing over the fortresses of Callao. The mounted grenadier regiment of the Andes also revolted in Lurin on February 14: two squadrons went over to the Callao to join the riot, but when they noticed that they had joined the royalists, a hundred of them with regiment bosses went to Lima to join. The unit was then reorganized by General Mariano Necochea. On the verge of such events,[22] the minister of Colombia, Joaquín Mosquera "fearing the ruin of our army" asked:«And what do you plan to do now?», and Bolívar, in a decided, answered:


—Simón Bolívar, Pativilca, 1824.

The Site of El Callao extended the war until 1826, and immediately resulted in the occupation of Lima Canterac, and it is said that, on May 1824, with a military action against Bolívar "they would have given the final blow to independence in this part of America".[23]

Olañeta's Rebellion

Surprisingly, at the start of year 1824, the entire royalist army of Upper Peru (today's Bolivia) revolted, led by Pedro Antonio Olañeta a royalist against the viceroy of Peru (a liberal), after receiving news that the Constitutional Government had fallen in Spain. Indeed, the monarch Ferdinand VII of Spain and his absolutists followers recovered the government, supported by 132,000 French soldiers from the Holy Alliance army, which would occupy Spain until 1830. Rafael del Riego was hanged on November 7, 1823, and the people of the liberal movement were executed, cast out, or exiled from Spain. On October 1, 1823, the monarch decreed the abolition of everything approved during the last three years of constitutional government, which annulled the designation of La Serna as viceroy of Peru. The scope of the purge over the constitutionals of Vice-royalty Peru seemed infallible.

Last Viceroy of Perú, José de la Serna e Hinojosa, Count of the Andes.

Olañeta ordered the attack of the Upper Peruvian royalists against the constitutionals of Peruvian viceroyalty.[24] La Serna changed his plans of going down to the coast to fight Bolívar and sent Jerónimo Valdés with a force of 5,000 veterans to cross the River Desaguadero, which took place on January 22, 1824, in order to drive them to Potosí against his former subordinate "because there are indications of a meditated treason, joining the dissidents of Buenos Aires". Memorias para la historia de las armas españolas en el Perú ("Memories for the history of the Spanish armies in Peru") by peninsular official Andrés García Camba (1846) detail the overturning that the incidents in Upper Peru produced in defensive plans of the viceroy. After a long campaign in the battles of Tarabuquillo, Sala, Cotagaita, and finally La Lava on August 17, 1824, both royalists forces of Viceroyalty Peru (liberals) and of the provinces of Upper Peru (absolutists) were mutually decimated.

Bolivar, having news of Olañeta, took advantage of the dismantling of the royalist defensive system so that he "moved the whole month of May to Jauja", and faced José de Canterac isolated in Junín on August 6 of 1824. And so, a non-stop persecution started with the consequent desertion of 2700 royalists, which immediately went over to the independentists lines. Finally, October 7 of 1824, having his troops right in front of the doors of Cuzco, Bolívar gave general Sucre the command of the new battle front, which followed the course of the Apuríma River, and he withdraw to Lima in order to take from the capital more loans to keep the war going in Peru, and to receive a Colombian division of 4000 men given up by Páez which would arrive after Ayacucho.[25]

Ayacucho campaign

Grand Marshal of Ayacucho, Antonio José de Sucre.

The defeat of the expeditionary force of Canterac, forced La Serna to bring Jerónimo Valdés from Potosí, who came on a forced march with his soldiers. The royalist generals gathered, and in spite of the signs of sincere adhesion to Cusco, the viceroy rejected a direct assault because of the lack of instruction of his army, enlarged by the massive return of peasants a few weeks earlier. On the contrary, he intended to cut Sucre's rearguard through march and countermarch maneuvers, which happen since Cusco to the encounter in Ayacucho, along the Andean range. Thereby, the royalists planned a quick strike which they made on December 3 in battle of Corpahuaico or Matará, where they caused the liberator army more than 500 casualties and the loss of a large part of ammunition and artillery, having lost only 30 men. However, Sucre and his adjutant managed to keep the troops organized and prevented the viceroy from exploiting this local success. Although having suffered important losses of men and material, Sucre kept the United Army in an ordered retreat, and always situated in secure positions of difficult access, like Quinoa field.

Another book of memories, In the service of the Republic of Peru, from general Guillermo Miller, offers the point of view of the independentists. Besides Bolívar's and Sucre's talents, the United Army drew from an important part of the century's military experience: the Rifles battalion of the army of Colombia was composed of European mercenary troops, which were mostly British volunteers. This unit was substantially damaged in Corpahuico. Among its ranks, there were also veterans from the Spanish Independence, the North American (American Revolution|War of Independence), and from the Spanish American Wars; there were even cases like the Anglo-German Major Carlos Sowersby, veteran from the Battle of Borodino against Napoleón Bonaparte in Russia in 1812.

The royalists had consumed their resources in a war of movement without achieving a decisive victory against the liberator army. Because of the extremely harsh conditions of a campaign in the Andean range, both armies felt the effects of disease and desertion, which affected the independentists as well as the armies lacking in military training and the armies made up of enemy prisoners. The royalist chiefs had positioned themselves in the heights of Condorcunca (which means condor's neck in Quechua). This was a good defensive position but one which they couldn’t hold for long given that they had food supplies for less than five days, which would mean the dispersion of the army and certain defeat upon the pending arrival of Colombian reinforcements. The army was compelled to make a desperate decision: the Battle of Ayacucho was about to begin.

Battle disposition

There is a debate regarding the numbers of fighters, but it must be taken into account that both armies started with similar forces (8500 independents vs, 9310 royalists) that were diminished during the next weeks until the very day of the battle (5780 independentists vs. 6906 royalists) because of the reasons explained so far.

Battle of Ayacucho

United Liberation Army

Before the battle's beginning, general Sucre harangued his troops:

"Soldiers, South America's destiny depends on today's efforts; another day of glory will crown your admirable perseverance. Soldiers, Long live the Liberator! Long live Bolívar, the Savior of Peru!."

Antonio José de Sucre

Our line formed an angle; the right, composed by the battalions of Bogotá, Boltijeros, Pichincha and Caracas, of the first division of Colombia, under command of senior general Córdova. The left, by the battalions 1.° 2.° 3.° and the Peruvian legion, with the hussars of Junin, under senior general La Mar. On the center, the grenadiers and hussars of Colombia, with general Miller; and in reserve the Rifles, Vencedor and Bargas Battalions, of the first division of Colombia, under command of senior general Lara.

Parte de la batalla de Ayacucho[26]

Marshal Sucre doesn’t mention in this part the Mounted Grenadiers of Río de la Plata. General Miller in his Memoirs of General Miller: in the service of the republic of Peru offers the full composition of the armies under Sucre:

Córdova Division (on the right): Bogotá, Caracas, Voltigeur Regiment, Pichincha.

Miller Cavalry(in the centre): Junin Hussars, Colombia Grenadiers, Colombian Hussars, Buenos Ayres Grenadiers cavalry regiments.
La Mar Division (on the left): Peruvian Legion, N° 1, 2, N° 3 infantry battalions.
Lara Division (in reserve): Vargas, Vencedores, Rifle Regiment.[27]

Miller's assertion regarding that the Junín Hussars were in his division[28] contradicts what Sucre says in the part.

Royalist Army of Perú

Royal Army

  • Commander: Viceroy José de la Serna
  • Cavalry Commander – brigadier Valentín Ferraz
  • Chief of the High Command – lieutenant general José de Canterac
  • Vanguard Division - general Jerónimo Valdés (2.006 men)
  • First Division - general Juan Antonio Monet (2.000 men)
  • Second Division - general Alejandro González Villalobos (1.700 men)
  • Reserve Division - general José Carratalá (1.200 men)

The Spanish quickly moved their troops down, getting to the gaps to our left the battalions Cantabria, Centro, Castro, 1° Imperial and two Hussar squadrons with a six pieces battery, strengthing too much the attack on that zone. On the center, formed the battalions Burgos, Infante, Victoria, Guias and 2° of the first Regiment, supporting the left of these ones with the three squadrons of the Union, San Carlos, the four of the Guards Grenadiers and the five pieces of artillery already situated; and over the heights to our left the battalions 1 and 2 of Gerona, 2° Imperial, 1° of the first Regiment, Fernandinos, and the squadron of Viceroy's Alaberderos Grenadiers.[26]


Croquis de la batalla de Ayacucho.[29]
A. Royalists positions in the night from 8 to 9
B. Preparatory maneuver for the royalist attack
C. March of battalions under colonel Rubín de Celis
D. Maneuver and attack of Monet division
E. Attack of Valdés’ vanguard over the house occupied by the independentists
F. Charge of royalist cavalry
M. and dispersion of Gerona battalions by the royalist reserve
K. Battalion Ferdinand VII, last royalist reserve

The mechanism organized by Canterac foresaw that the Vanguard division surrounded, alone, the enemy gathering, crossing Pampas river in order to secure the units to the left of Sucre. While the rest of the royalist army descended frontally from the hill Condorcunca, abandoning his defensive positions and charging against the main body of the enemy, which he expected to find disorganized, there was stay in reserve the battalions Gerona and Ferdinand VII disposed in second line to be sent wherever they were required.

Sucre immediately realized the risky maneuver, which became clear as the royalists found themselves in a slope, without chances of covering their movements. Córdova Division, supported by Miller's Cavalry, stroked directly the disorganized bulk of royalist troops that were incapable of forming for battle and descended in lines from the mountains; it was right before starting this attack that general José María Córdova pronounced his famous phrase "Division, armas a discreción, de frente, paso de vencedores" (Division, arms at ease, on the pace of the victorious, Forward!) Colonel Joaquín Rubín de Celis, who commanded the first royalist regiment had to protect the artillery emplacement, which was still loaded in its mules, moved forward carelessly into the plain where his unit was smashed and he himself was killed during the attack of Córdova's division, whose effective fire on the lines formations pushed the scattered shooters of Villalobos’.

Seeing the misfortune suffered by his left flank, general Monet, without waiting for his cavalry to form in the plain, crossed the ravine and he led his division against Córdova's, managing to form in battle two of his battalions but, suddenly attacked by the independents division, he was surrounded before the rest of his troops could also form in battle; during these events Monet was hurt and three of his chiefs killed; the scattered armies of his side dragged in retreat the masses of militia. The royalist cavalry under Ferraz charged upon the enemy squadrons that pursued Monet's left but that. supported by the heavy fire of his infantry, caused a huge deal of casualties over Ferraz's horsemen, whose survivors were forced to rashly leave the battlefield.

On the other end of the line, the Second Division of José de La Mar plus the Third Division of Jacinto Lara stopped together the assault made by the veterans of Valdés’ vanguard who had launched themselves to take a lonely house occupied by some independentist companies, which, although swapped at first, were soon reinforced and went back to the attack, eventually helped by the victorious Córdova's division. Viceroy La Serna and the other officers tried to reestablish the battle and reorganize the scattered men who ran and general Canterac himself led the reserve division over the plain; however, Gerona battalions were not the same that won in the battles of Torata and Moquegua, because during Olañeta's rebellion they had lost almost all their veterans and even their former commander Cayetano Ameller; this troop, composed by recruits forced to fight scattered before facing the enemy, and the Ferdinand VII battalion followed, after a feeble resistance. At one o’clock the viceroy had been hurt and made prisoner along with a great number of his officers and even though Valdés’ division was still fighting to the right of his front, the battle was a victory for independentists. Casualties told by Sucre were 370 killed and 609 wounded, the royalists had about 1800 dead and 700 wounded.

With the remnants of his division, Valdés managed to retreat to the heights of his rearguard where he joined 200 riders that had gathered around general Canterac and some dispersed soldiers from royalist divisions whose fleeing demoralized men even shot and kill their own officers who intended to regroup them. With the main body of the royal army destroyed and the viceroy himself in the hands of his enemies, royalists leaders surrendered.

Capitulation of Ayacucho

Award patch given to officers who took part of the Peruvian Campaign in 1823-24.

Surrender at Ayacucho (Daniel Hernández).

"Don José Canterac, Lieutenant general of the Royal Armies of HM the King, responsible commander of the Superior command of Peru due to the imprisonment and injurement in today's battle of the great lord Viceroy don José de La Serna, having heard that senior generals and chiefs that gathered after the Spanish army, filling in every sense all that has been demanded their reputation in the bloody day of Ayacucho and in the whole war in Peru, have had to give up the battlefield to the independent troops; and having to conciliate at the same time these forces remnants’ honour, and the decrease of this country's misforunes, I believed it convenient to propose and adjust with senior division general of the Republic of Colombia, Antonio José de Sucre, chief commander of the Peruvian United Army of Liberation".

That's the treaty signed by the royalist major Canterac, and general Sucre at the end of the Ayacucho battle, on December 9, 1824. Its main consequences were:

  • The royalist army under command of viceroy La Serna refused to keep on the fight.
  • The staying of the last royalist soldiers in the Callao fortresses.
  • The Peru Republic should have paid the economic and politic debt to the countries that gave military contributions to its independence.

Bolívar summoned from Lima the Panama Congress, on December 7, for the unión of the new independent countries. The project was only ratified by Great Colombia. Four years later, due to personal ambitions of many of its generals and the absence of a united visión that foresaw South America as a single nation, Great Colombia would end up splitting in the countries that exist today in the South American continent, frustrating the dream of union hoped by The Liberator of America.

Conspiratorial theories about the Battle of Ayacucho

The capitulation has been called by Spanish historian Juan Carlos Losada as "Ayacucho betrayal" and in his piece of work Batallas Decisivas de la Historia de España (Decisive Battles in the History of Spain) (Ed. Aguilar, 2004), he states that the result of the battle was already pactated. The historian points out Juan Antonio Monet as responsible of the agreement: "the main characters kept a deep silence pact and, therefore, we can only speculate, although with little risk of being wrong" (Page 254). A capitulation without battle would have been undoubtedly judged as treason. Spanish leader, of liberal ideas, and accused of belonging to masonry just like other independentist leaders, didn’t share king Ferdinand VII's ideas all the time, a monarch considered tyrannical, besides absolutism supporter. On the contrary, Spanish commander Andrés García Camba tells in his memories how Spanish officials, latter known as "ayacuchos", were unjustly accused upon their arrival to Spain: "misters, with that thing we had a Masonic defeat" they were told in an accusatory manner, -"That thing was lost, my general, in the way battles are lost", the battle veterans.

Upper Peru after the Battle of Ayacucho and the birth of Bolivia

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Palacio de Congresos, Bolivia.

After the victory at Ayacucho, following precise orders from Bolívar, general Sucre entered Upper Peru (today's Bolivia) territory on February 25, 1825. Besides having orders of installing an immediately independent administration, his role was limited to giving an appearance of legality to the process that Upper Peruvians themselves had started already. Royalist general Pedro Antonio Olañeta stayed in Potosí, where he received by January the "Union" Inf. Battalion coming from Puno under the command of colonel José María Valdez. Olañeta then summoned a War Council, which agreed to continue the resistance in the name of Ferdinand VII. Next, Olañeta distributed his troops between Cotagaita fortress with the "Chichas" Btn. in charge of colonel Medinacelli, while Valdez was sent to Chuquisaca with the "Union" Btn. and Olañeta himself marched toward Vitichi, with 60,000 pieces of gold from the Coin House in Potosí.

However, in Cochabamba the First Battalion "Ferdinand VII", led by colonel José Martínez, rioted, followed by the Second Battalion "Ferdinand VII" in Vallegrande, removing brigadier Francisco Aguilera on February 12. Royalist colonel José Manuel Mercado occupied Santa Cruz de la Sierra on February 14, as Chayanta stayed in the hands of lieutenant colonel Pedro Arraya, with squadrons "Santa Victoria" (Holy Victory) and "Dragones Americanos" (American Dragoons), and in Chuquisaca the battalion "Dragones de la Frontera"(Frontier Dragoons) under colonel Francisco López claimed victory for the independentists on February 22. At this point, the majority of royalist troops of Upper Peru refused to continue fighting against the powerful army of Sucre. Colonel Medinacelli with 300 soldiers also revolted against Olañeta, and on April 2 of 1825 they faced each other in the Battle of Tumusla, which ended with the death of Olañeta. A few days later, on April 7, general José María Valdez surrendered in Chequelte to general Urdininea, putting an end to the war in Upper Peru.

The foundation of Bolivia

Through a decree it was determined that the new state in Upper Peru would carry the name of República Bolívar, in honor of the liberator, who was designated as "Father of the Republic and Supreme Chief of State". Bolívar thanked them for these honors, but declined the presidency of the Republic, a duty he gave instead to Ayacucho's Marshall Antonio José de Sucre. After some time, the subject of the name of the Young nation arose again, and a Potosian deputy named Manuel Martín Cruz offered a solution, suggesting that in the same manner which from Romulus comes Rome, from Bolívar ought to come Bolivia.

"If from Romulo, Rome; from Bolívar, Bolivia".

By the time Bolívar got the news, he felt flattered by the young nation, but until then he hadn’t accepted willingly Upper Peru's because he was worried about its future, due to Bolivia's location in the very center of South America; this, according to Bolivar, would create a nation that would face many future wars, which curiously did happen. Bolivar wished that Bolivia would become part of another nation, preferably Peru (given the fact that it had been part of Viceroyalty del Perú for centuries), or Argentina (since during the last decades of colonial domain it had been part of Viceroyalty del Río de la Plata), but what deeply convinced him otherwise was the attitude of the people. On August 18, upon his arrival to La Paz, there was a manifestation of popular rejoicing. The same scene repeated when the Liberator arrived to Oruro, then to Potosí and finally to Chuquisaca. Such a fervent demonstration by the people touched Bolívar, who called the new nation his "Predilect Daughter", and was called by the peoples of the new republic their "Favorite Son".

Bolivian Declaration of Independence

Bolivian Independence Act at Casa de la Libertad, Sucre.

After being summoned once again the Deliberant Assembly in Chuquisaca by Marshall Sucre, on July 8 of 1825, and then concluded, it was determined the complete independence of Upper Peru under the republican form. Finally, the Assembly president José Mariano Serrano, together with a commission, wrote down the "Independence Act of the Upper Peruvian Departments" which carries the date of August 6, 1825, in honor of the Battle of Junín won by Bolivar. Independence was declared by 7 representatives from Charcas, 14 from Potosí, 12 from La Paz, 13 from Cochabamba and 2 from Santa Cruz. The act of Independence, wrote by the president of the Congress, Serrano, states in its expositive part:

"The world knows that the land of Upper Peru has been, in the American continent, the altar where the free people shed the first blood, and the land where the last of the tyrants’ tombs finally lays. Today, the Upper Peruvian departments protest in the face of the whole Earth its irrevocable resolution to be governed by themselves."

Bolívar's acknowledgement of Sucre

National Heroes Memorial at Paseo Los Próceres, (Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1825, Bolívar had published Su resumen sucinto de la vida del general Sucre, the only work of its kind by Bolívar. In it, he spared no praise to the crowning achievement of his faithful lieutenant:

"The Battle of Ayacucho is the Summit of American glory, and General Sucre's work. Its disposition has been perfect, and its fulfillment divine. Upcoming generations expect victory of Ayacucho so they can bless it and stare at it sitting in the throne of freedom, dictating Americans the wielding of their rights, and the sacred empire of nature."

"You are called upon the greatest destinies, and I foresee that you are the rival of my Glory" (Bolivar, Letter to Sucre, Nazca, April 26, 1825).

"Then the Congress of Colombia made Sucre Chief General of the Colombian Army and its Commanding General, and the Congress of Peru gave him the Degree and Military Rank of Great Marshal of Ayacucho due to his actions."


  1. Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata: un escuadrón del Regimiento de Granaderos a Caballo de Buenos Aires (mencionado también como Granaderos montados de los Andes), fue mandado reorganizar por Bolívar con los jinetes que amotinados en Lurín apresando a sus jefes, no se unieron a los sublevados del Callao. (Memorias del general O'Leary, pág. 139. S.B. O'Leary, 1883.) (Spanish)
  2. República de Chile: no hubo unidades chilenas en Ayacucho, pero sí jefes y soldados, la mayoría de los 300 reclutas que llegaron de Chile al puerto de Santa en diciembre de 1823 al mando del coronel Pedro Santiago Aldunate para completar las formaciones chilenas y fueron incorporados a la caballería colombiana y al Batallón Vargas por intercambio por reclutas peruanos, se dispersaron en la batalla de Corpahuaico, reuniéndose con el Ejército de Sucre luego de la batalla de Ayacucho. Los que sí estuvieron en la batalla, lo hicieron formando parte de los batallones colombianos y peruanos. (Los Peruanos y su Independencia, pág. 95. José Augusto De Izcue. BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008. ISBN 0-559-43532-0, ISBN 978-0-559-43532-4) (Spanish)
  3. "At Ayacucho, the remains of the regiment were part of the Patriot order of battle but remained in the reserve and did not take part on the fighting." Arthur Sandes
  4. Hughes pg. 349
  5. Complete name in spanish: "Ejército Unido peruano colombiano Libertador del Perú" [1] [2] [3]
  6. 5780 men on the battle. Historia extensa de Colombia. Luis Martínez Delgado, Academia Colombiana de Historia.[4]. The Sucre's army start the campaign of Ayacucho with 13.000 independentist soldiers claim Viceroy la Serna:Ocho años de la Serna en el Perú (De la "Venganza" a la "Ernestine".Alberto Wagner de Reyna.[5]
  7. 8.500 men at start campaign over the Apurimac river
  8. Freedom territories mainly antique northern provinces of Perú, see map File:LocationNorthPeru.png
  9. in spanish:Ejército Real del Perú
  10. 9310 men at start campaign over Apurímac river. El Perú Republicano y los fundamentos de su emancipación. Jorge Basadre.[6]
  11. Los incas borbónicos: la elite indígena cuzqueña en vísperas de Tupac Amaru [7][8]
  12. Occupied territories mainly antique southern provinces of Perú, see map File:LocationSouthPeru.png
  13. El congreso constituyente del Perú, decreto declarando reo de alta traición a José de la Riva Aguero, 8 de agosto de 1823
  14. Manifiesto del Presidente del Perú, Gran Mariscal José Bernardo Tagle, 6 de mayo de 1824
  15. García Camba, Andrés. Memorias para la historia de las armas españolas en el Perú 1809-1825. (Volume II. Madrid, Benito Hortelano, 1846), 98.
  16. Biblioteca Ayacucho. Rufino Blanco-Fombona
  17. [9]
  18. La guerra de la independencia en el alto Perú. Pág. 161. Escrito por Emilio A. Bidondo. Publicado por Círculo Militar, 1979
  19. [10]
  20. Memorias del general O'Leary. Pág. 235. Escrito por Daniel Florencio O'Leary. Publicado en 1883.
  21. resaltado como un subtítulo en el Libro Junin y Ayacucho. General O'Leary
  22. [11]
  23. Ocho años de la Serna en el Perú (De la "Venganza" a la "Ernestine")
  24. Jaime E. Rodríguez O. The Independence of Spanish America (1998), 231. ISBN 0521626730
  25. Bolívar
  26. 26.0 26.1 [Parte de la batalla de Ayacucho, Antonio José de Sucre]
  27. Memoirs of General Miller: in the service of the republic of Peru. Escrito por John Miller. Publicado por Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1829. Pág. 194–195
  28. Los Peruanos y su Independencia. pp. 88. Author: Jose Augusto de Izcue. Editor: BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008. ISBN 0-559-43533-9, ISBN 978-0-559-43533-1
  29. Mariano Torrente "Historia de la revolución hispano-americana", Volumen 3, pág. 490

See also


  • Hughes, Ben. Conquer or Die!: British Volunteers in Bolivar's War of Extermination 1817-21. Osprey Publishing 2010 ISBN 1849081832
  • El Perú Republicano y los fundamentos de su emancipación.Jorge Basadre.
  • Historia extensa de Colombia. Luis Martínez Delgado, Academia Colombiana de Historia.

External links

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