Battle of La Victoria (1814)

The battle of La Victoria took place during the Venezuelan War of Independence when Royalist forces under José Tomás Boves tried to take the city of La Victoria, held by General José Félix Ribas.

Battle of La Victoria
Part of the Venezuelan War of Independence

Monument to the Youth, in commemoration of the battle of La Victoria.
Date12 February 1814
Location10°13′40″N 67°20′01″W / 10.22778°N 67.33361°W / 10.22778; -67.33361
Result Republican victory
borde United Provinces of Venezuela Spain Spanish Empire
Commanders and leaders
José Félix Ribas
Vicente Campo Elías
Luis María Rivas-Dávila  
Mariano Montilla
José Tomás Boves
Francisco Tomás Morales

Total: 1,500[1][2]

  • 220 cavalry[1]
  • 120 soldiers of Dragoon Squadron[1]
  • 85 seminarians[1]
  • 5 artillery[1]

Total: 2,500[1]–4,000[2]

Battle edit

The battle was fought on 12 February 1814. Given the shortage of regular troops, Ribas had to arm a thousand students from colleges and seminaries in the city and other neighboring towns, including 85 students of the Seminary of Santa Rosa de Lima, Caracas.[3] Before going into battle, General Ribas addressed the youths who accompanied him, ending with these words:

Soldiers: What we have desired will be held today: behold Boves. Five times larger is the army he brings to fight us, but it seems to me still insufficient to dispute our victory. You defend the lives of your children, the honor of your wives, the soil of your homeland from the fury of tyrants; show them your omnipotence. On this day that will be memorable, we cannot even choose between winning or dying: it is necessary to win! Long live the Republic ![4]

The battle began at seven in the morning and lasted all day on the streets of the city. Republican troops built an impressive resistance to withstand the Royalist troops, led at that time by Francisco Tomás Morales. By late afternoon, victory had not yet gone to either side. While the fighting raged, the Patriots received a reinforcement of 220 infantry under Vicente Campo Elías, from San Mateo, that effectively broke the siege.
Hours later, Morales and his men withdrew through the mountains towards Pao de Zárate, pursued by the Republican cavalry. As a result of this Battle, the Royalist attempt to cut communications between Caracas and Valencia had failed.[citation needed]

Bolivar, informed about the victory of Ribas, granted him the title of "Defeater of Tyrants".[citation needed]

On 12 February 1947, the Constituent Assembly decreed that Venezuela would celebrate each anniversary of the battle as Youth Day, in honor of the young people who achieved this important victory. In Victoria's main square there is a sculptural group made by Eloy Palacios, erected in 1895, representing Ribas showing a youth how to use a rifle.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Pérez Vila, Manuel. Batalla de La Victoria. Historia para nosotros.
  2. ^ a b c d Julián Fuentes-Figueroa Rodríguez (2003). La Segunda República de Venezuela (1812–1814). Caracas: Ediciones de la Presidencia de la República, pp. 122. ISBN 978-9-80030-330-6.

    Boves no pudo dirigir la Batalla de La Victoria por encontrarse en Villa de Cura, postrado en cama, a raíz de haber sido herido en la Primera Batalla de la Puerta (3 de febrero del año 1814). El ejército patriota republicano contaba sólo 1,500 hombres, incluyendo el Batallón La Guaira que comandaba el señor coronel Ramón Ayala. Los efectivos realistas sumaban 4.000 hombres, a saber: 2,200 lanceros y 1,800 fusileros.

  3. ^ Donís Ríos, Manuel Alberto (2009). "Sotanas con fusiles y lanzas en mano". Revista El Desafío de la Historia. 1. 2: 69.
  4. ^ Eduardo Blanco. Venezuela Heroica. Ed. Monte Ávila. Pág. 48-49.
  5. ^ Día de la Juventud – Efemérides