Battle of Campichuelo
|Battle of Campichuelo|
|Part of Paraguay campaign|
Military operations in Paraguay (in Spanish)
|United Provinces of South America||Royalist Paraguay|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Manuel Belgrano||Pablo Thompson|
|800 soldiers||500 soldiers|
The Battle of Campichuelo was a battle fought on 19 December 1810 between revolutionary forces led by Manuel Belgrano and Royalist troops on the right bank of the Paraná river, as part of the Paraguay campaign of the Argentine War of Independence. It ended with a victory for the forces of Belgrano.
The Primera Junta determined to send an expedition to Paraguay in response to the belief that there was great party supporting the Revolution, who were oppressed by the Governor, Bernardo de Velasco. On 24 September, they agreed to send General Manuel Belgrano, who by decree of 4 September, had been invested with the office of governor and captain general of the peoples of the Banda Oriental.
Because Royalist Paraguayans had removed all boats on the River Paraná along its borders, the forces under Belgrano's command had to build boats from leather, some canoes, and large wooden rafts suitable to carry sixty men and four cannon, as the crossing was expected to be opposed. The river was 1000 meters wide at the crossing point, and the current would carry them a league and a half downstream, at the site of the mountain El Campichuelo. The passage started at 2300 on the night of 18 December, when a force of twelve men surprised the enemy, taking two prisoners and some weapons. The main crossing took place from 0300 until 0600, on 19 December 1810, under the command of Maj. Gen Machain, forcing the enemy to abandon their position.
Belgrano was operating from the former capital mission Santa Maria de la Candelaria (Misiones Province today) and nearby sites located in the Argentine province of Corrientes. Belgrano led a small force: 800 men, half cavalry and infantry, with six small-caliber guns. They faced a 500-man Royalist force led by Pablo Thompson. Belgrano issued a proclamation between advocates for the cause of freedom of peoples and an invitation to join their ranks; upon their refusal he attacked and defeated the Paraguayan Royalist guard.