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of the desperate service encountered by this armament in the prosecution of its leader's enterprise: during the space of a fortnight, attempts were made at all hours, and by every means, to reduce the Spaniards; but such was the advantage of their position, that these attempts invariably failed. At last the admiral, considering that the hostile frigates could not be subdued without risking the utter loss of the Patriot squadron, decided upon pursuing a different plan of operations. On the 7th of October, he accordingly weighed anchor, giving the signal to make for Arica. But of his ships so many proved dull sailers, that it became necessary to divide his force; and he left Captain Guise with a portion of it behind, with directions to' look in,' as he termed it, at Pisco. Three hundred and fifty out of the four hundred marines, were embarked on board the vessels entrusted to Captain Guise; and both Colonel Charles and Major Miller were of the number. Assoon as they arrived off the place, preparations were made to land; and on the 7th of November the landing was effected. But the garrison of Pisco was now ascertained to amount to nearly one thousand men, of which one hundred and sixty were cavalry, with four field-pieces; and it was found to be hazardous in the last degree, to pursue an undertaking, in which, had they sooner been acquainted with its true nature, there was little probability that they would have embarked. Against this, however, the recollection of their repulse before Callao served sufficiently to steel them ; and it was resolved to go on, at all hazards, with a business, in the success of which they hoped to obtain some recompense for past misfortunes. The little column pushed on in admirable order, till they came in sight of the Spanish corps, its infantry drawn up in the square, its artillery, supported by the cavalry, on a rising ground, which commanded the entrance of the town. There a short halt was made, that the leaders might arrange their plan, after which Colonel Charles, at the head of twenty-five men, filed to his right to reconnoitre ; whilst Major Miller, followed by the main body, pressed directly forward. A brisk fire, both of grape and musketry, speedily opened upon them, which did considerable execution; but the Patriots, without returning a shot, still advanced, till scarcely fifteen yards separated the hostile lines. Then the Spaniards, giving their last volley, broke and fled. But though the victory was thus won, and the loss of the enemy great, the Chilenians purchased it at a price which in their eyes was more than commensurate, for Colonel Charles was killed, whilst charging thrice his own numbers, and Miller fell, at the last fire, covered with wounds. His right arm was perforated, his left hand permanently disabled, and a third ball breaking one of his ribs, passed out at his back. In this condition he was carried back to the shipping, where but faint hopes were entertained of saving him, and he lay for many weeks incapable of all exertion, and in a state when his removal from one ship to another might have proved fatal. Whilst Miller was thus confined by his wounds, several services of minor importance were effected; but it was not till the month of February following, when he had again become fit for duty, that any exploit of peculiar hazard or eclat was attempted. Then, however, was that extraordinary feat performed, for which Lord Cochrane, as it appears from this narrative, has obtained, at least, his full meed of praise, but in which Major Miller must unquestionably be ranked, if not as the deviser, at all events, as the chief actor. We allude, at present, to the surprise and capture of the forts which command the harbour of Valdivia; and which, as well from their natural situation, as from the excellence of their entrenchments, have not inaptly been designated as the Gibraltar of South America. As the whole course of the Transatlantic war produced no deed more striking than this, we need not apologize to our readers for extracting, from the pages of the work before us, a tolerably full account of it. Lord Cochrane, after cruising about for some time, determined, in January, 1820, to return to Valparaiso, and to look in upon Valdivia by the way. He arrived off the latter place on the 2d of February, with the O'Higgins in a sinking state, the Montezuma schooner, and Intrepido brig, having Major Miller, with a party of marines, on board. When about thirty miles from land, the troops were removed into the lighter vessels, to one of which, the schooner, Lord Cochrane also shifted his flag; and the frigate, being left to beat off and on, her less formidable partners made what way they could for the port, in the hope of taking the Royalists by surprise. The harbour of Valdivia is situated in 39° 50' south latitude, and 73° 28'west longitude, and forms a capacious basin, girdled in by a deep and impenetrable forest, which advances to the water's edge. It is protected on the east by Fort Niebla, on the west by Amargos, completely commanding the entrance, which is only three-quarters of a mile across; and by forts Corral, Chorocomayo, San Carlos, El Yngles, Manzanera, on an island at the extremity, and El Piojo and Carbonero, which bend round it in a semicircle. These are so placed as not only to defend the approach, but to enfilade one another: they mounted, at this time one hundred and eighteen pieces of ordnance, eighteen and twentyfour pounders; and they were manned by no fewer than seven hundred and eighty regulars, and eight hundred and twenty-nine militia. Wherever they were not washed by the sea, the faces of these castles were covered by deep ditches and ramparts, with the solitary exception of El Yngles, which had merely a rampart faced with palisades. In addition to all this, it is necessary to state, that such is the nature of the country behind, that no communication by land can be held between one fort and another, except by a path along the beach; and even this, which admits but of one man abreast, was enfiladed at a point where it crosses a ravine between forts Chorocomayo and Corral, by three guns. Against this place Lord Cochrane determined to make an attempt; and he justified himself to Major Miller by observing, that 'they must succeed, because the Spaniards would hardly believe that they were in earnest, even after the attack began.'
'The schooner and the brig,' says our author, 'having hoisted Spanish colours, anchored on the 3d of February, at three p. M., under the guns of the fort of El Yngles, opposite the caleta, or landingplace, and between the two. When hailed from the shore, Captain Basques, a Spaniard by birth, who had embarked at Talcahuano as a volunteer, was directed to answer that they had sailed from Cadiz with the S. Elmo, of seventy-four guns, from whose convoy, he added, they had parted, in a gale of wind, off Cape Horn, and requested a pilot might be sent off. At this time, the swell was so great as to render an immediate disembarkation impracticable, as the launches would have drifted under the fort. Lord Cochrane's object, therefore, was to wait until the evening, when the wind would have abated, and the swell subsided. The Spaniards, who had already begun to entertain suspicions, ordered the vessels to send a boat ashore ; to which it was answered, they had lost them in the severe gales they had encountered. This, however, did not satisfy the garrison, which immediately fired alarm guns, and expresses were despatched to the governor at Valdivia. The garrisons of all the southern forts united at Fort Yngles. Fifty or sixty men were posted on the rampart commanding the approach from the caleta; the rest, about three hundred, formed on a small esplanade in the rear of the fort.'Whilst this was passing, the vessels remained unmolested; but, at four o'clock, one of the launches, which had been carefully concealed from the view of those on shore, by being kept close under the off-side of the vessel, unfortunately drifted astern. Before it could be hauled out of sight again, it was perceived by the garrison, which, having no longer any doubts as to the hostile nature of the visit, immediately opened a fire upon the vessels, and sent a party of seventy-five men o'efend the landing-place. This detachment was accurately counted by tl ose on board, as it proceeded one by one, along the narrow and difficult path to the caleta. The first shots fired from the fort having passed through the sides of the brig, and killed two men, the troop* wi re ordered up from below, to land without further delay. But the two launches, which constituted the only means of disembarkation,
appeared very inadequate to the effectual performance of such an attempt. Major Miller, with forty-four marines, pushed off in the first launch. After overcoming the difficulties of the heavy swell, an accumulation of sea-weed, in comparatively smooth water, loaded the oars at every stroke, and impeded the progress of the assailants, who now began to suffer from the effects of a brisk fire from the party stationed at the landing-place. Amongst others, the coxswain was wounded, upon which Major Miller took the helm. He seated himself on a spare oar, but, finding the seat inconvenient, he had the oar removed, by which he somewhat lowered his position. He had scarcely done so, when a ball passed through his hat, and grazed the crown of his head. He ordered a few of his party to fire, and soon after jumped ashore with his marines, dislodged the Royalists at the inlet, and made good his footing. So soon as the landing was perceived to have been effected, the party, in the second launch, pushed off from the brig; and, in less than an hour, three hundred and fifty Patriot soldiers were disembarked. Shortly after sunset, they advanced, in single files, along the rocky track, leading to Fort El Yngles, rendered slippery by the spray of the surf, which dashed, with deafening noise, upon the shore. This noise was rather favourable than otherwise to the adventurous party. The Royalist detachment, after being driven from the landing place, retreated along this path, and entered Fort Yngles by a ladder, which was drawn up, and, consequently, the Patriots found nobody on the outside to oppose their approach. The men advanced gallantly to the attack, but, from the nature of the track, in very extended order. The leading files were soldiers whose courage had been before proved, and who, enjoying amongst their comrades a degree of deference and respect, claimed the foremost post in danger. They advanced with firm but.- noiseless step, and, while those who next followed cheered with cries of "Adelante" (forward), others, still farther behind, raised clamorous shouts of "Viva la Patria," and many of them fired in the air. The path led to the salient angle of the fort, which, on one side, was washed by the sea, and, on the other side, flanked by the forest, the boughs and branches of which overhang a considerable space of the rampart. Favoured by the darkness of the night, and by the intermingling roar of artillery and musketry, by the lashing of the surge, and by the clamour of the garrison itself, a few men, under the gallant Ensign Vedal, crept under the inland flank of the fort; and, whilst the fire of the garrison was solely directed towards the noisy Patriots in the rear, those in advance contrived, without being heard or perceived, to tear up some loosened pallisades, with which they constructed a rude scaling-ladder, one end of which they placed against the rampart, and the other upon a mound of earth which favoured the design. By the assistance of this ladder, Ensign Vedal and his party mounted the rampart, got unperceived into the fort, and formed under cover of the branches of the trees which overhung that flank. The fifty or sixty men who composed the garrison, were occupied in firing upon those of the assailants, still approaching in single files. A volley from Vol. xxxvm. No. Lxxvi. 2 H Vedal's Vedal's party, which had thus taken the Spaniards in flank, followed by a rush, and accompanied by the terrific Indian yell, which was echoed by the reverberating valleys around, produced terror and immediate flight. The panic was communicated to the column of three hundred men, formed on an arena behind the fort, and the whole body, with the exception of those who were bayoneted, made the best of their way along the path that led to the other forts, but which, in their confusion, they did not attempt to occupy or defend. Upon arriving at the gorge of a ravine, between Fort Chorocomayo and the Castle of Corral, about one hundred men escaped in boats that were lying there, and rowed to Valdivia. The remainder, about two hundred men, neglecting the three guns on the height, which, if properly defended, would have effectually checked the advance of the pursuers, retreated into the Corral. This castle, however, was almost immediately stormed by the victorious Patriots, who, favoured by a part of the rampart which had crumbled down, and partly filled up the ditch, rushed forward, and thus obtained possession of all the western side of the harbour. The Royalists could retreat no farther, for there the land communication ended. One hundred Spaniards were bayoneted; and about the same number, exclusive of officers, were made prisoners. Such was the rapidity with which the Patriots followed up their success, that the Royalists had not time to destroy their military stores, or even to spike a gun. Day-light of the 4th found the Independents in possession of the five forts—El Yngles, San Carlos, Amargos, Chorocomayo, and Corral.'
The fall of these forts was speedily followed by the reduction of Valdivia itself; after which, Lord Cochrane, leaving a detachment to preserve his conquests, set sail for the Island of Chiloe. But his efforts, in this quarter, were not attended with success. On the contrary, the inhabitants, excited by their priests, gave the invaders so warm a reception, that the latter were compelled to take to their boats, and the fleet returned, carrying Major Miller, severely wounded, to Valparaiso. From this date, up to the middle of August following, little occurred, either in the capital or elsewhere, worthy of notice. The operations of the Independents, cramped by the want of money, extended no further than to desultory inroads here and there, whjch were met by corresponding movements on the part of the royalists ;—and Lord Cochrane, already at variance, not only with the native chiefs, but with his countryman, Captain Guise, seems to have lost, for a season, his characteristic activity. But though the case was so, great projects were in view; and great exertions were made by General San Martin to realize them. That indefatigable officer, having completed the liberation of Chile, strained every nerve to bestow a similar favour upon Peru; and he had, at length, the happiness to see before him something like a