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Battle of Jenipapo
Part of the Brazilian War of Independence
Batalha do Jenipapo.JPG
Battle of Jenipapo.
DateMarch 13, 1823
LocationNear the river Jenipapo in Piauí, Brazil
Result Portuguese victory
 Empire of Brazil Flag United Kingdom Portugal Brazil Algarves.svg Kingdom of Portugal
Commanders and leaders
Leonardo Castelo Branco João José da Cunha Fidié
2,000 militia
2 cannons
1,600 soldiers
11 cannons
Casualties and losses
200 dead
542 prisioners
116 dead
60 wounded

The Battle of Jenipapo was fought near the river Jenipapo in the then province of Piauí, on 13 March 1823, between the Brazilian Army and the Portuguese Army during the Brazilian War of Independence.

The Battle of Jenipapo occurred on the banks of the creek of the same name on March 13, 1823, which was decisive for the independence of Brazil and consolidation of the national territory. Consisted in the fight Piauí, Ceará and Maranhão against the troops of Major John Fidié José da Cunha, who was the commander of the Portuguese troops, charged with keeping the north of the former Portuguese colony loyal to the Crown. It is noteworthy that the Brazilians fought with simple tools, not with weapons of war, had no experience, i.e., knowing the condition of struggle, they departed for combat. They lost the battle, but made ​​the troop divert your destination. If the Major continued to march Oeiras, then capital, may not find strength and fulfill its goal. It was one of the sharpest and bloodiest battles fought in the war of independence of Brazil. Painting depicting the Battle of Jenipapo, which is available in the museum at the monument in Campo Maior Unfortunately the date is forgotten, not in the history books and few know of the incident, even in Piauí, where the battle occurred. But, after a few moves by politicians, historians and the public, the date was added to the flag of Piaui and is ongoing deployment of the Battle of Jenipapo study in the discipline of history. During the celebrations and reflections on the 13th of March the city of Campo Maior takes delivery of Merit Medal Heroes Jenipapo and (a) Governor (a) of Piauí, the Order of Merit of the Piaui Renaissance, during which uses the same track government.

The Battle

The population of Campo Maior, to learn that Fidié came from Parnaíba bound to Oeiras and would there be mobilized in order to prevent him from continuing journey.

On the night of March 12, the men of the city and surrounding areas were regimented. Everyone wanted to fight to rid the Piauí Portuguese rule. Women encouraged their husbands, relatives and friends, packed up what they could have sold their jewelry, all were committed to unite in one ideal: to fight. The dawn on March 13, 1823 heralded a clear day with few clouds and very hot. It was a year in which drought punished the Northeast.

The command signal, all men gathered in front of the Church of St. Anthony. The combatants Piauí and Ceará were not wearing uniforms. Outside the city, to meet Fidié, there was a performance with the band music in which there was a military parade. The mass of fighters who would fight for Brazil left elated to the drums. Without even predict the steps they took with them the flame of freedom burning in the chest. The certainty of death did not take the spirits of those who would die for his country. About two thousand men marched into battle. The weapons they used were old swords, spears, axes, knives and sickles, sticks and stones and some rifles used.

Without any experience in wars, piauienses reached the shores of Rio Jenipapo, where they intended to prevent the passage of Fidié. As the creek was almost dry, most patriots hid himself in the very bed of the stream, while the other part is hidden in the thickets of scrub drain near the ravine. And they were waiting for the Portuguese army, which, of course, had to pass that way. Where were you could see when the Portuguese were close to the scene of the fight because the terrain was quite flat, with vast plains, open without shelter algum.O minded people to become independent was entrenched and knew that ahead of them was a road was divided into two, one for right and one left. Only they were in doubt which of the paths coming Fidié. Shortly after eight o'clock, Captain Rodrigues Chaves sent a patrol to probe where the battle would be fought.

Fidié to arrive at the place where the road was divided decided to send one half of the army on one side and half on the other side. He was one of the halves with the left and the cavalry was on the right. The independent, not knowing that the division Fidié had done in his contingent were right by the road meeting with the Portuguese cavalry, being surprised. They advanced bravely against cavalry. The Portuguese were dismayed with the courage and bravery of Piaui, where they ended up retreating. At this time the piauienses chased the Portuguese inland road.

The combatants Piaui, hearing the shooting, found that the confrontation had begun. Came out of the trenches in which used as a defensive position and were precitadamente the road right behind the enemy, only the Portuguese troops were no longer there. Fidié to learn of the incident crossed the river Jenipapo the left road, hastily built a barricade, distributed heavy weapons, organized the shooters position battlefront (online) in the trenches where they were before the Piaui and hoped they return there. Before the piauienses were in a favorable position now everything is reversed.

When piauienses saw the adverse situation only found an alternative, attacking Fidié the same time and in all directions along the banks of the river. In the first moment of the fight were many casualties on the part of Piaui. Dozens of bodies fell by the bullets of the Portuguese army. The few who managed to cross the line of fire gave their last breath to the mouth of the cannon, with great boldness not fearing anything against life but for country representation in tremendous love for the same. With this demonstration of love for the motherland and bravery that piauienses had meant that the Portuguese stay scared, because they have never seen such audacity anywhere in the world.

Successive attacks as a result of Piauí had many dead on the floor. The musketry and cannon fire of the Portuguese swept the battlefield from one side to the other. Those who could pass by blocking fire could grapple with the Portuguese. At noon, the piauienses were tired and not sure that would win the Portuguese, this time no longer fought over crawled to the encounter with death. At two o'clock in the afternoon, after five hours of fighting, the liberators withdrew in disorder, leaving 542 prisoners, 200 killed and wounded, Fidié that whose losses were estimated at 116 dead and 60 wounded, parked on the farm Tombador the about one kilometer from Campo Maior. Fidié and his army fell tired. The sun scorching and fear of Valour piauienses not allow the Portuguese troops should pursue them, even though they had already defeated them. The Ceará Captain Nereus at the time of withdrawal led most of the baggage of the Portuguese, consisting of food, water, some weapons and even a small treasure Fidié brought the plunder they had done in the city of Parnaíba.

Fidié spent two days in the city of Campo Maior burying their dead. On March 16, 1823, left the city going to the Tin.

Fidié months later was arrested in Caxias, Maranhão, there Oeiras taken to where it was sent to Rio de Janeiro. River he was sent back to Portugal, where he was received with military honors for services to the Portuguese Crown. Among the titles received the Commander of the Order of Avis, the oldest military decoration Portuguese founded by Afonso Henriques in 1162. Just received this commendation the soldier who showed extreme courage, boldness and courage. In the place where there was the Battle Monument was erected in memory of the one who died there piauienses the independence of our country. Situated on the left bank of the river is actually an attractive tourist spot and is also a part of the collection used by war fighters. These pieces belonged to the former Museum of the leather that has been transferred there.

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