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The pay of a private soldier was four dollars per month; one half was stopped on account of rations. The net pay of a captain of artillery was sixty-five dollars per month. Mate was again served round at sunset, and supper followed for those who chose to partake of it.'
The corps of Buenos Ayres artillery consisted of ten sixpounders and one howitzer, to which were attached four companies, of olie hundred and twenty men each. Of these, the first company attended exclusively to the guns; the second was armed and accoutred as cavalry; and the third and fourth, carrying muskets, did the duty of infantry. All were, however, equally drilled to the horse artillery, cavalry, and infantry exercises; and all being mounted, equally skilful as horsemen, and equally accustomed to catch a young colt with the lasso, and afterwards break him in, no confusion arose out of the complexity in their arms.
Each gun was drawn by four horses, and each horse ridden by a gunner, there being no corps of drivers in the service; and a non-commissioned officer, with seven privates, all of them mounted, marched on its Ranks, front or rear. The carriage and limber differ but little from those used in England, except that a pole is substituted for shafts; but, in the harness, there is a marked dissimilarity. In South America, there are no such things in use as collars or traces: each horse is fastened to the gun-carriage by a thong of hide, one end of which is strapped to a ring at the end of the girth, high up, near the flap of the saddle; whilst the other end of the thong is strapped, in like manner, to another ring at the end of the pole; and the thongs of the leaders differ from those of the wheel horses in nothing, except that they are longer. The saddle girth, again, measuring about four inches in breadth, is made of strips of platted hide; so that every gunner, if he possess but a knife and a cow-skin, is capable not only of repairing, but fabricating his own harness. In like manner, the felloes of the wheels are protected from the influence of the sun, by bands of raw hide fastened round them; but as these necessarily render the engine clumsy in its movements, they are uniformly cut away previous to the commencement of an action. Such was the constitution and materiel of the Buenos Ayres artillery, to which upwards of six hundred horses were attached. When wanted, these were driven into a circle, where each man unerringly threw his lasso over the head of the animal to which he took a fancy. The saddles were then put on, the horses hooked to the carriage, and the regiment formed and in motion, within the space of twelve minutes. But it was not in limbering up, alone, that the Buenos Ayrean artillery possessed merits, of which we, in Europe, know nothing. Carrying along with it a drove of spare horses, and changing the jaded for the fresh animal at any moment;—this corps performed his country under any circumstances; and the example which he thus nobly set was soon followed by others. By-and-by San Martin and O'Higgins arrived, and many stragglers coming in and uniting themselves with the fresh levies, a new army of six thousand five hundred men was speedily embodied. With this force San Martin posted himself upon the Plains of Maypo, determined to risk a second battle in defence of Santiago.
The royalists followed up their first success with so little vigour, that it was not till the morning of the 5th of April that they appeared within six leagues of the city. Here they were met by the patriots, when a sanguinary contest ensued,— in which, though at first successful, the Spaniards received a total defeat. Two thousand royalists fell upon the spot; upwards of three thousand were made prisoners, and scarcely a hundred men,—among whom was the general-in-chief, Osorio, escaped by bye-roads to Talcahuano. In this affair, however, Captain Miller was not engaged, he having been previously detached with a company of infantry, to take possession of the Lautaro frigate, which the Buenos Ayrean government had just purchased; and in which he began his services, as an officer of marines, under the orders of a brave countryman, Captain O'Brien.
The Lautaro, an old East Indiaman, of eight hundred tons, was manned by one hundred foreigners, two hundred and fifty Chilenos, who had never before been afloat, and Miller's company of marines. It immediately put to sea, and in ten hours after, was engaged with the Spanish frigate, Esmeralda, in the bay of Valparaiso. Though the latter escaped, and the gallant commander of the Lautaro perished, this first naval essay on the part of the Chile government was not without its advantages; for it served, at once, to raise the blockade of Valparaiso, and it gave to the patriots a superiority in those seas, of which they failed not to make the most. Other ships were purchased and fitted out, and as it was known that part of a large force, organised at Cadiz, was destined to act against Chile, the squadron prepared to intercept the transports, in which it was represented to be conveyed.
In this squadron, Miller, now promoted to the rank of Major, re-embarked, as senior officer of the troops distributed throughout the ships. These were the San Martin, of fifty-six guns—the Lautaro, of twenty-four—the Chacabuco, of twenty—and Araunaco, of sixteen,—the whole under the guidance of Don Manuel Blanco Ciceron, lieutenant-colonel in the army, and commodore. The armament put to sea, at noon on the yth Oct., 1818, amidst the loudest cheers of an assembled multitude, and the roar of artillery on the forts. But in spite of this display of confidence, there were not wanting persons, whose fears obtained the mastery him at once as a man who set his life at a pin's value, and drew upon him the eves of his general at the very commencement of his career.
On the 15th of March General San Martin formed a junction with the columns of O'Higgins and Las Heras, at San Fernando; and the strength of the whole came up to seven thousand infantry, fifteen hundred cavalry, thirty-three guns, and two howitzers. On. the 18th, his advance fell in with the van of Osorio's column, and a smart affair ensued, in which the royalists were worsted; but no general action was fought, for Osorio, having discovered the strength of his adversary, fell back with precipitation upon Talca. A good deal of manoeuvring took place during this retrogression, and some skirmishing after the relative positions of the armies had been assumed; but the night of the 19th found San Martin in the plain, and his opponent securely bivouacked among vineyards and enclosures in front of the town.
The situation of the royalists, notwithstanding their formidable position, was now extremely critical, for San Martin had shown them, by the style of his manoeuvring, that he was not to be treated with contempt; and the river Maule, difficult at all parts to ford, cut off their further retreat. General Osorio sank under the perils of his situation, but General Ordonez, second in com mand, supported by Colonel Beza, resolved to attempt something for their own and others' deliverance. They accordingly moved, at the head of two or three regiments, from their bivouack, about midnight, and falling unexpectedly upon the Buenos Ayreans, at a moment when some battalions and the artillery happened to be in the act of changing their guard, caused a general confusion, from which the patriots never recovered. The latter were routed with the loss of all their guns, two only excepted, which Captain Miller, by his steadiness and determination, succeeded in preserving; and San Martin was compelled to retreat, first upon San Fernando, and afterwards upon Santiago.
In the city of Santiago the greatest confusion prevailed, as soon as the defeat of the hberating army became known. General Osorio had been noted, in that place, for his extreme cruelty, of which a ruffian called Sambruno was the chief instrument; and the return of these persons no sooner became anticipated than alarm and dismay took possession of the inhabitants generally. Even the supreme delegado, Don Luiz Cruz, was affected by the universal panic, and permitted men, women, and children, to flee to the mountains, as if affairs had become absolutely desperate. One man alone, Kodriguez, retained his presence of mind. He put a stop to the emigration, provided quarters for the fugitives, raised recruits, aud took a public and solemn oath not to abandon before his enemy, on the day before, a lively interest was excited in his favour among the Spanish officers. Two of these— Colonels Loriga and Cabanos, warmly remonstrated with Sanchez on the cruelty of his proceedings; and throwing out certain hints, which he could not fail to understand, they succeeded, at last, in obtaining his release. Miller was set at liberty; he was led to the beach by Colonel Loriga, and a romantic friendship arose between these individuals, which lasted throughout the remainder of the war, and continues to this day. In the meanwhile the Chileans, by dint of continued exertions, had succeeded in making themselves masters of the Spanish frigate, and the whole squadron, as soon as Major Miller was received on board, again put to sea. Though exposed to many dangers through the unskilfulness of the crews, this armament completely succeeded in the object which it was intended to serve, capturing, one after another, the entire Spanish convoy of which it was in pursuit; and it returned on the 7th of November to Valparaiso, increased by the amount of its prizes to no fewer than thirteen sail. In these were embarked upwards of two thousand troops, whose junction with the corps of Sanchez, had it been effected, must have given a decided superiority to the royalist cause; indeed it is not going too far to assert that, but for the good fortune which attended the efforts of Commodore Blanco, the progress of the revolution in Chile must have been, at least for a time, arrested. Whilst Miller and his comrades were enjoying, at Valparaiso, the honours and attentions to which their services entitled them, Lord Cochrane arrived in that city, to take upon himself the chief command of the naval forces of Chile. He was received with the distinction due to his rank, and the deference justified by his professional reputation; and a round of balls and other amusements, private as well as public, caused several weeks to pass merrily away. But the circumstances of the times were not such as to authorise a neglect of other matters, and in the midst of so much gaiety, warlike preparations were rapidly proceeding. These were in due time completed; and on the 14th of January, 1819, Lord Cochrane put to sea with four sail of armed vessels, the largest of which mounted fifty, and the smallest twenty guns, with the design of destroying the enemy's shipping at Callao, blockading his principal seaports, and inducing the Peruvians to cooperate with an expedition which it was intended to embark at Valparaiso, for the purpose of liberating Peru. On arriving off the bay of Callao, Lord Cochrane, whom Major Miller accompanied in his former office as commandant of the troops, found two Spanish frigates, the Esmeralda and Venganza, moored under the guns of the castle. These he made an attempt
to carry, bearing down in his own ship, the O'Higgins, disguised as the United States frigate Macedonian, upon the Esmeralda, and causing the Lautaro, Captain Guise, to act against the Venganza; but the wind unfortunately failing, both vessels were compelled to anchor—Lord Cochrane, at the distance of a thousand yards from his opponent, and Captain Guise no nearer. A heavy but not very destructive cannonade ensued, in which the castle and batteries on shore took part, till Captain Guise being severely wounded, and the O'Higgins cut a good deal in her running rigging, the Independent squadron withdrew. Nothing daunted, however, by this repulse, Lord Cochrane fell upon other plans for the attainment of his end. He caused rockets to be constructed, and fire-vessels organized, with which repeated attempts were made to destroy the enemy's ships, but all his efforts proved fruitless. The Spaniards rested secure under shelter of their works, and the Chilenian admiral was compelled to return to Valparaiso. During the course of these operations, Major Miller met with an accident, from the effects of which it was a long time before he recovered. A cask of gunpowder, near which he was standing, exploded, and he was so dreadfully scorched, that the nails dropped from his hands; and for many days he was fed, through a sort of plaster mask, put on to save him from utter blindness. He was delirious for some time; and six weeks elapsed ere his strength was sufficiently reinstated to permit his quitting the cabin even to walk the deck. The squadron remained in Valparaiso during three months; the whole of which were spent in manufacturing rockets, and making other preparations for a fresh attack upon the shipping at Callao; and on the 12th of September, 1819, the undermentioned vessels of war again set sail:—
In these were embarked four hundred soldiers, of whom the chief command was taken by Lieutenant-colonel Charles; and Major Miller, now recovered from his hurts, accompanied them as second. It is not possible within our present limits to give any detail . . of