last moon

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The life of Giuseppe Garibaldi- 8th Part






Garibaldi is divided between land and sea operations, he reconstructs a flotilla to the head of which he succeeded, in April 1842, to prevent vessels from Brown to occupy the Isla de Ratas, in the Bay of Montevideo.

In April 1843, he returned to Montevideo.  Garibaldi will organize and lead a group of volunteers called the Legión Italiana (Italian Legion), which is at the service of the Government of Montevideo, the Gobierno de la Defensa (Government of Defence). They are all inexperienced men, in need  to be trained, paled in the initial fighting.  They are more experienced at the Combate of Tres Cruces (Three Crosses of battle), November 17, 1843, near Montevideo.


Much of the defenders are foreigners, mainly French (2500 men) and Italian (500 to 700 men), in 6500 only 800 are Uruguayan defenders.


The Italian legion, like Garibaldi, wear the red shirt, garment originally designed for slaughterhouse workers in Argentina. This red shirt is an essential element of Garibaldi's myth, but many of them, nevertheless, wear the gauchos' hat and the poncho of the pampas.


He links with the Masonic lodges earned him, in 1844, being admitted at "Friends of the Country", which depends on the Grand Orient of France.


To defend the interests of their nationals, the French and the English are asking Argentines to withdraw and when they refused, they block the port Buceo and seized the Argentine fleet. Brown returns to civilian life. Relations between the three nations harden, allowing Montevideo, with the support of its allies, to loosen the stranglehold of the blockade.

In April 1845, Garibaldi embarked on a new fleet of twenty ships and 900 men, the Allies landed to occupy and plunder Colonia del Sacramento with the participation of French and British fleets.

On February 8, 1846, in the territory of Salto, near the San Antonio River, a tributary of the Rio Uruguay, Garibaldi and his Italian Legion  fight against superior forces of the Confederacy, which they inflict heavy losses and are able to withdraw after losing about a third of their workforce. The implications of this are an  immense victory he obtained the status of heroes, his fame became international and the Italian press says his feat. He gives up fame and money, the land that promised Bento Gonçalvo him, to see yet is that the waiting beyond the ocean,  leaves certain and known for unknown, safety for the adventure, to ease the hardships!


In leaving America on the boat Esperance Garibaldi is seized by a spiritual fever, longing for Italy, he knows still dominated by foreigners and shared, as we have already described. It makes me rethink the immortal words that Dante  told to Ulysses in Canto 23 of the Inferno:

"0 my companions, who have arrived in the seas of the West, having braved so many dangers, and who have, like me, only a short time to survive!  Do not refuse, walking against the run of the sun, the noble satisfaction of seeing people of the deprived hemisphere; consider your human essence: you were not born to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge! "

...to be continued...

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