Battle of Carabobo

The Battle of Carabobo, on 24 June 1821, was fought between independence fighters, led by Venezuelan General Simón Bolívar, and the Royalist forces, led by Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre. Bolívar's decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela and establishment of the Republic of Gran Colombia.

Battle of Carabobo
Part of the Venezuelan War of Independence

Detail of La Batalla de Carabobo by Martín Tovar y Tovar. Oil on canvas.
Date24 June 1821
Result Decisive Patriot victory

Flag of the Gran Colombia (1819-1820).svg Gran Colombia

Spain Spanish Monarchy
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Gran Colombia (1819-1820).svg Simón Bolívar Spain Miguel de la Torre
6,500-8,000 Total 4,000-5,000 Total
Casualties and losses
200 dead[1] 2,708 captured, wounded or dead.

Before the battle

There were several events that led to the Battle of Carabobo. Francisco de Miranda, famed patriot that tried to free many Latin American countries alongside Simón Bolívar, had taken control of Caracas from 1810 to 1812. The Spanish took back control and Miranda was handed to the royalists because Bolívar, in one of the most questionable decisions of his life, believed him to be traitor. Bolívar then fled from Venezuela, after which he organized the Admirable Campaign in 1813 and re-established the Second Republic of Venezuela.[2] Bolívar would lose Venezuela again in 1814 and he would re-establish the Venezuelan Republic one more time before uniting with the New Granada to form the Gran Colombia union. In 1820, an armistice was made between the Spanish, under General Pablo Morillo, and the Patriots, under Bolívar. During the years after he fled from Venezuela, Bolívar spent a lot of time regrouping his forces. He stationed his men on Lake Maracaibo, an area that was occupied by the loyalists. Bolívar had numerical superiority over the loyalists but it would still be a challenge.[3]

The battle

The Royalists occupied the road leading from Valencia to Puerto Cabello. As Bolívar's force of 6,500 or 8,000 (which included 340[4] or 350[5] men of the British Rangers battalion, the great majority of them of Anglophone origin[6] of the so-called "British Legions") approached the Royalist position, Bolívar divided his force and sent half on a flanking maneuver through rough terrain and dense foliage. Bolívar led the attack through the center while Gen. José Antonio Páez went around to the right flank. But before they could do it, the two Spanish field guns fired on the lines.[7]

Gen. Miguel de la Torre, commander of the Spanish, also split his force and sent half to deal with this flank attack. Hitting the Patriots, led by the Apure Braves Battalion, with musket fire, the Royalists initially held back the assault. Though the Venezuelan infantry failed in their attack and retreated, the men of the British battalion, commanded by Colonel Thomas Ilderton Ferrier and including many former members of the famed King's German Legion, fought hard and eventually succeeded in taking the hills. Though greatly outnumbered and low on supplies, the legion soldiers managed to maintain control of the tactically critical hills. By the battle's end, the legionary force had suffered 119 deaths, of which 11 were officers. Col. Ferrier was among the dead. Bolívar later praised the Legion troops and called them the "Saviors of my Fatherland", noting that they had distinguished themselves among other armies.[8]

As the Legion gained the top, the Apure Braves and 2 companies of the Tiralleurs Battalion (2nd Division) reinforced them, and pushed the enemy off, just as Pedro Camejo, lance in hand, was trying to rally the formations, only to be killed due to two shots to the chest from enemy gunfire, in front of General Páez. Páez, watching him in retreat, told him that he was a coward, to which, with his dying breath, Camejo responded: No, I am not! My general, I have to tell you goodbye, because now I am dead! The cavalry militia of royalist "Llanero" fled[9] from battlefield as the Patriot infantry fought hard, and the patriot cavalry led by Colonel Munoz eventually broke through the Royalist lines on the center, and marched towards the rear of de La Torre's force. The Spanish infantry formed squares and fought to the end under the attack of the Patriot cavalry, but one battalion retreated in the face of the enemy. The rout was so bad that only some 400 of one infantry regiment managed to reach safety at Puerto Cabello. With the main Royalist force in Venezuela crushed, independence was ensured. Subsequent battles included a key naval victory for the independence forces on 24 July 1823 at the Battle of Lake Maracaibo [10] and in November 1823 José Antonio Páez occupied Puerto Cabello, the last Royalist stronghold in Venezuela.

The victory was a hard won one for the independence forces. Both Ambrosio Plaza and Manuel Cedeno, commanders of the 2nd and 3rd Divisions, were killed in the battle by the enemy.


24 June is celebrated as Battle of Carabobo Day. This day is also called "Army Day" in Venezuela.

Every year during the month of June; the 24th specifically, honors the most important battle of the Venezuelan War of Independence and the largest battle of that war that finally secured national independence after years of war against Spain. It is a national celebration that is televised and streamed on the Internet. It lasts all day with a military parade of the Venezuelan Army, showing to public all armaments, tanks, battalions, weapons, etc. of the ground forces, as the main highlight, during the midday hours.[11]

This military parade doesn’t have any sponsorship except by the government and the Army. It’s the largest military parade in the country after the celebration of the birth of General Simón Bolívar on 24 July 1783 (Navy Day) and the annual Independence Day parades of 5 July yearly.

Also held is a joint historical reenactment organized by the Carabobo State Government, the Ministry of Defense, the National Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Education on the very site of the battle in the morning, joined in by elementary and middle school students. The 2015 event was held for the first time on the Sunday nearest the anniversary, June 21.

See also


  1. ^ Implausible, even if given by Bolívar.
  2. ^ Kris E. Lane; Matthew Restall (2011). Wadsworth (ed.). The riddle of Latin America (Student ed.). Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 173–174. ISBN 0618153063.
  3. ^ "Battle of Carabobo". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  4. ^ Gonzalo Pulido Ramirez (2011). Estudio Histórico de la batalla de Carabobo (1821). Universidad Andrés Bello, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas. pp. 163–164.
  5. ^ Real Academia de la Historia. "Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia". CCIV: 42–43.
  6. ^ Flórez Alvarez (1921). Campaña libertadora de 1821. Bogotá, Colombia: Imprenta del E. M. G. p. 200.
  7. ^ "Battle of Carabobo". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  8. ^ Piero Gleijeses. "The Limits of Sympathy: The United States and the Independence of Spanish America". Cambridge University Press. JSTOR 156773. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ from 1,551 of theoric cavalry , only two squadrons of hussars fight as infantry. The rest of royalist cavalry, 1,372 Venezuelan Llaneros, flee from the battle
  10. ^ Albert H. Gerberich. "A Forgotten Episode of History: The Battle of Lake Maracaibo". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 52 (1): 82–83.
  11. ^ "Venezuela Battle of Carabobo Day". Archived from the original on 13 March 2014.

External links

Coordinates: 10°00′16″N 68°09′57″W / 10.0045°N 68.1657°W



was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1821st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 821st year of the 2nd millennium, the 21st year of the 19th century, and the 2nd year of the 1820s decade. As of the start of 1821, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Battle of Boyacá

The Battle of Boyacá (1819), was the decisive battle that ensured the success of Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada. The battle of Boyaca is considered the beginning of the independence of the North of South America, and is considered important because it led to the victories of the battle of Carabobo in Venezuela, Pichincha in Ecuador, and Junín and Ayacucho in Peru.New Granada acquired its definitive independence from the Spanish Monarchy, although fighting with royalist forces would continue for years.Brigadier Generals Francisco de Paula Santander and José Antonio Anzoátegui led a combined republican army of Newgranadians to defeat in two hours a Royalist Newgranadian forces led by Spanish Colonels José María Barreiro and Francisco Jiménez.

The battle occurred 150 km from Bogotá in the Andes Mountains, in a place known as Casa de Teja, close to a bridge over the Teatinos River and 3 roads heading to Samaca, Motavita and Tunja, an area which is now part of the Boyacá Department.

Battle of Carabobo (1814)

The 'First Battle of Carabobo' (1814) was a battle in the Venezuelan War of Independence, in which the forces of the Second Republic, commanded by Simón Bolívar, defeated the Spaniard forces under Field marshal Juan Manuel de Cajigal y Martínez.

Battle of Lake Maracaibo

The Battle of Lake Maracaibo also known as the "Naval Battle of the Lake" was fought on 24 July 1823 on Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo between fleets under the commands of Republican Admiral José Prudencio Padilla and royalist Captain Ángel Laborde.

The engagement was won by the Republican forces, and was the last battle of the Venezuelan War of Independence and the larger Spanish American wars of independence. The Republican ships were part of the armed forces of Gran Colombia led by Simón Bolívar.

The Battle of Carabobo of 1821 is usually seen in the historiography as the culminating battle for Venezuelan independence. However, some historians point out that if the Battle of Lake Maracaibo had been a victory for the Royalist forces, the Spanish Crown might have been able to establish a new front in Western Venezuela from which to attack the Republican forces stationed in Venezuela. As a result of the defeat, the Spanish did not send any reinforcing regiments to Venezuela, and finally accepted Venezuelan independence as a result of this second decisive Republican victory, although it did not formally recognise the new nation's independence for more than a decade afterward.

The 24th July is a regional holiday of Zulia State in Venezuela, and as it is also the date of the birth of Simón Bolívar, is also marked as Navy Day in both Venezuela and Colombia.


Carabobo State (Spanish: Estado Carabobo, IPA: [esˈtaðo kaɾaˈβoβo]) is one of the 23 states of Venezuela, located in the north of the country, about two hours by car from Caracas. The capital city of this state is Valencia, which is also the country's main industrial center. The state's area is 4,369 km2 and as of the 2011 census, had a population of 2,245,744.

Carabobo State was the site of the Battle of Carabobo on 24 June 1821. This was a decisive win in the war of independence from Spain, and was led by Simón Bolívar.

Charles Eloi Demarquet

Charles Eloi Demarquet (June 13, 1796 – February 26, 1870) was one of the principal aides-de-camp of Simón Bolívar (the first name is sometimes given only as "Eloy" or "Eloi"). Originally a French officer, he fought for Napoleon, probably at Waterloo, and may have lost three fingers in that battle. He joined Bolivar early enough to have been one of the principal figures mentioned at the Battle of Carabobo. In Ecuador, he made friends with Jean-Baptiste Boussingault, who later became a famous chemist and left memoirs which describe both his time in South America in general and his relations with Demarquet in particular:

I had been very close to Demarquet (Eloi), whom I had known in Quito, where he was married. ... It was in Jamaica that he met Bolivar, after he [Bolivar] was obliged to leave, having been defeated at Cartagena by Morillo's troops. It was there that Bolivar recruited several French military men who were to follow him when he returned to Venezuela.

Demarquet became his first aide de camp, he fought all the wars of independence, starting in 1816 or 1817, he accompanied the Liberator in the Peru campaign...

Demarquet was an honest man in every sense of the word. In the course of his difficult and dangerous career, he suffered much in the milieu in which circumstances obliged him to live; he had an enchanting good humor, which did not exclude a great sensitivity.

(Note that "first aide de camp" here refers to rank, not chronology - chronologically, Ibarra and O'Leary were Bolivar's first aides-de-camp.)

From early on, he was promoted regularly until attaining the rank of Colonel (in 1829). By July 26, 1822, he was already close enough to Bolivar to be one of the few people present at the Guayaquil conference, when Bolivar and José de San Martín met. According to Lafond de Lurcy, he acted as Bolivar's secretary on that occasion.In 1823, he became engaged to Manuela Fernandez-Salvador and Gomez de la Torre, daughter of the prominent jurist José Fernández Salvador, married her then or soon after and settled in Quito. The bride's father was also a close associate of Bolívar.

During the repression of the uprising of Pasto (1823), he signed numerous orders on Bolivar's behalf. He appears to have been one of the principal agents working for support of Bolivar as a dictator, notably in 1826. When Bolivar's mistress Manuela Sáenz took a perilous journey from Quito to Bogota (12/1827-1/1828), he served as her escort. During the Colombian-Peruvian conflict over Guayaquil, he served as Bolivar's representative to the Peruvian government (1829). Bolivar subsequently recommended him for the Holland legation, but Bolivar's resignation and then death (1830) prevented further action on this.

Boussingualt: "Before the death of general Bolivar, he had already left service, did business in Quito, Lima, Choco, earned a good enough fortune and came to live in Paris, with his family...".

After Bolivar's death, Demarquet served General Florès (the first leader of the new nation of Ecuador) for some time before again retiring. He subsequently went into (or exclusively engaged in) business but also served Ecuador again in its conflicts with Florès.

He ended his days in Paris and died there on February 27, 1870. He is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Demarquet, though less known today than other of Bolivar's associates, was closely identified with him at the time and his character was praised as honest, faithful and dependable by a variety of sources, among them Bolivar, Florès, Boussingault, and Lafond de Lurcy.

Among his notable descendants are his own oldest son, Carlos, an Ecuadorian politician who served as Quito's cantonal leader (Jefe Politico) from 1886 to 1892, and the French historian and Academician Jean-Jacques Chevallier.

Guerreras y Centauros

Guerreras y Centauros is a historical Venezuelan telenovela produced and broadcast by Tves and Fundación Villa del Cine.Ana Karina Casanova and Damián Genovese will star as the main protagonists, accompanied by Víctor Cámara and Jessica Grau. The telenovela will be set in the 19th century against the background of the Battle of Carabobo.The telenovela was filmed in the Venezuelan state of Aragua.Tves premiered Guerreras y Centauros on February 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

June 24

June 24 is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 190 days remain until the end of the year.

Miguel de la Torre

Miguel de la Torre y Pando, conde de Torrepando (13 December 1786, in Bernales – 1843, in Madrid) was a Spanish General, Governor and Captain General, who served in Spain, Venezuela, Colombia and Puerto Rico during the Spanish American wars of independence and after.

At the age of fourteen he joined the Spanish Army as a soldier during the War of the Second Coalition and quickly distinguished himself and four years later he joined the Guardia de Corps. He fought well during the Spanish War of Independence, reaching the level of colonel by 1814. The following year he was assigned to the military expedition to South America led by Pablo Morillo, and participated in the Spanish reconquest of New Granada.

Promoted to brigadier after New Granada was subdued, La Torre led a royalist army into the Colombian and Venezuelan llanos. There he unsuccessfully defended Angostura against Manuel Piar in April 1817, and led the loyalist forces down the Orinoco River as they fought their way to the Atlantic Ocean. For the next three years he continued to serve in the Spanish army of Venezuela. During this period he married a Criolla, María de la Concepción Vegas y Rodríguez del Toro, a member of the powerful Rodríguez del Toro family and cousin once removed to Bolívar's late wife, Maria Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alayza, and fourth cousin to Bolívar himself.

After the restoration of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 in 1820, the government appointed him governor (jefe político superior) and captain-general of Venezuela, a post he held until 1822. He participated in the negotiations between Bolívar and Morillo and the later meeting in Santa Ana, where the two signed a six-month truce and a treaty regularizing the rules of engagement. After Morillo resigned and left Venezuela at the end of 1820, La Torre became the head of the royalist army, in addition to his other duties. As such he oversaw the loss suffered by royalist forces at the Battle of Carabobo on 24 June 1821, which effectively ended Spanish control of Venezuela. The following year he was replaced in his offices by Francisco Tomás Morales.


Nevado (1813? – 1821) was a Mucuchies dog that was given to Simón Bolívar by the local people of Mucuchíes, Mérida, in the Venezuelan Andes. It was given as a kind of present shortly after the Battle of Niquitao during his triumphal Admirable Campaign from New Granada (today Colombia) to Caracas in 1813. Bolivar's army was approaching a farm when the independence fighters were stopped in their tracks by a giant, barking guard dog. Weapons drawn, the rebels were about to kill the dog when Bolivar, marveling at its beauty and bravery, ordered them to back down. Nevado always ran beside Bolívar’s horse, no matter if he traveled through cities or battlefields. Nevado died in the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1821. When Bolívar received news that Nevado was badly injured, he rushed to the dog, but he came too late.

Several monuments to Nevado stand at the entrance of Mucuchíes town.

Order of Battle for the Battle of Carabobo (1821)

This is the Order of Battle for the Battle of Carabobo in 1821 during the Venezuelan War of Independence.

Palacio Federal Legislativo

The Palacio Federal Legislativo (English: Federal Legislative Palace), also known as the Capitolio, is a historic building in Caracas, Venezuela which houses both the National Assembly and the National Constitutional Assembly. Located southeast of the Plaza Bolívar, it was built in 1872 by President Antonio Guzmán Blanco to a design by the architect Luciano Urdaneta Vargas. The Salón Elíptico, opened in 1877, is topped by a golden dome.

Pedro Camejo

Pedro Camejo, better known as Negro Primero, or 'The First Black' (San Juan de Payara, Venezuela, 1790 – Campo Carabobo, Venezuela, June 24, 1821) was a Venezuelan soldier who at first fought with the royal army, only to later go over to the rebel army during the Venezuelan War of Independence, reaching the rank of lieutenant.

The nickname of Negro Primero was inspired by his bravery and skill in handling spears, and because he was always in the first line of attack on the battlefield. It is also attributed to his having been the only black officer in the army of Simon Bolívar.

Plaza Bolívar (Valencia)

The Plaza Bolivar is a square in Valencia, Venezuela. It occupies a central site, and is used for public meetings. Its origin was in the colonial period, when the city was laid out on a grid plan.(see note1)

The square was renamed after Simón Bolívar in the 19th century.

Some buildings in the vicinity, such as the Cathedral date from the colonial period, but the square is noted for a monumental column celebrating Venezuela´s independence. Inaugurated in 1889, the column commemorates Bolívar and the battle of Carabobo (1821).

Rafael Urdaneta

Rafael José Urdaneta y Farías (October 24, 1788 – August 23, 1845) was a Venezuelan General and hero of the Spanish American wars of independence. He served as President of Gran Colombia from 1830 until 1831. He was an ardent supporter of Simón Bolívar and one of his most trusted and loyal allies. Urdaneta served as the Minister of Defence whilst Simón Bolívar was President of Gran Colombia.

Simón Bolívar

Simón José Antonio de la Santisima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios Ponte y Blanco (Spanish: [siˈmon boˈliβaɾ] (listen); English: BOL-iv-ər; 24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830), generally known as Simón Bolívar and also colloquially as El Libertador, or the Liberator, was a Venezuelan military and political leader who led the secession of what are currently the states of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama from the Spanish Empire.

Bolívar was born into a wealthy, aristocratic Criollo family and, as was common for the heirs of upper-class families in his day, was sent to be educated abroad at a young age, arriving in Spain when he was 16 and later moving to France. While in Europe, he was introduced to the ideas of the Enlightenment, which later motivated him to overthrow the reigning Spanish in colonial South America. Taking advantage of the disorder in Spain prompted by the Peninsular War, Bolívar began his campaign for independence in 1808. The campaign for the independence of New Granada was consolidated with the victory at the Battle of Boyacá on 7 August 1819. Later he established an organized national congress within three years. Despite a number of hindrances, including the arrival of an unprecedentedly large Spanish expeditionary force, the revolutionaries eventually prevailed, culminating in the patriot victory at the Battle of Carabobo in 1821, which effectively made Venezuela an independent country.

Following this triumph over the Spanish monarchy, Bolívar participated in the foundation of the first union of independent nations in Latin America, Gran Colombia, of which he was president from 1819 to 1830. Through further military campaigns, he ousted Spanish rulers from Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, the last of which was named after him. He was simultaneously president of Gran Colombia (present-day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador), Peru, and Bolivia, but soon after his second-in-command, Antonio José de Sucre, was appointed president of Bolivia. Bolívar aimed at a strong and united Spanish America able to cope not only with the threats emanating from Spain and the European Holy Alliance but also with the emerging power of the United States. At the peak of his power, Bolívar ruled over a vast territory from the Argentine border to the Caribbean Sea.

Bolívar fought 472 battles of which 79 were important ones, and during his campaigns rode on horseback 123,000 kilometers, which is 10 times more than Hannibal, three times more than Napoleon, and twice as much as Alexander the Great. Bolívar is viewed as a national icon in much of modern South America, and is considered one of the great heroes of the Hispanic independence movements of the early 19th century, along with José de San Martín, Francisco de Miranda and others. Towards the end of his life, Bolívar despaired of the situation in his native region, with the famous quote "all who served the revolution have plowed the sea". In an address to the Constituent Congress of the Republic of Colombia, Bolívar stated "Fellow citizens! I blush to say this: Independence is the only benefit we have acquired, to the detriment of all the rest."

Valencia, Carabobo

Valencia (Spanish pronunciation: [baˈlen[θ]ia]) is the capital city of Carabobo State, and the third largest city in Venezuela.

The city is an economic hub that contains Venezuela's top industries and manufacturing companies. The population of Valencia and the nearby metropolitan area reached 1,827,165 in 2010, and it is expected to grow dramatically in the years to come. It is also the largest city in the Valencia-Maracay metropolitan region, which with a population of about 4.5 million is the country's second largest after that of Caracas. Caracas lies some 172 kilometres (107 miles) away to the east.

Venezuela Heroica

Venezuela Heroica: Cuadros históricos is a Venezuelan novel. It was written by Eduardo Blanco and published in 1881, with an expanded second edition in 1883. It is Blanco's main work, and presents a classic romantic view of history as an epic. Venezuela heroica is structured in five vignettes that depict the main battles and heroes of the Venezuelan War of Independence. It was from General José Antonio Páez himself that Blanco heard the stories of the Battle of Carabobo, during an encounter with Marshal Juan Crisóstomo Falcón to end the Federal War (1859–1863) near the site of the battle. Páez was so moved from his memories of youth, the anecdote goes, that he could not stop telling his aide (Blanco) the details of the battle. It was Falcón who then told Blanco "you are listening to the Iliad from the very lips of Achilles".

Gran Colombia Gran Colombian independence
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