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History - Cartagena de Indias - Morillo surrounds Cartagena

The Independence of Cartagena

Morillo surrounds Cartagena (1815)

Fernando VII had returned to his throne after the war against Napoleon had ended and didn't wait more to send to America the powerful military expedition commanded by Pablo Morillo, the Pacifier, who had the difficult mission of reconquering all the rebel provinces of the Spanish Crown.

Such expedition arrived to the coasts of Venezuela where it prepared to leave towards the Nuevo Reino de Granada, more specifically to Cartagena de Indias who had declared its absolute independence from Spain.

On August 20th of 1815 the first ships of Morillo's fleet arrived to the coasts of Cartagena and started to block and surround the city, the didn't dare take it by fire and blood upon recognizing it was well defended with men and bulwarks, walls and forts.

The patriots entrenched in the city as they could and waited resisting the long wait, but time would make them suffer the hunger and epidemics that would untie with the first deaths.

More than three months went by and on December 4th the situation became extreme with the death of 300 persons. The desperate patriots thought about solutions or ways of escape. García de Toledo proposed to radically blow up the city with Morillo and his troops in the city and everyone would be dead, winners and losers. But finally they agreed to abandon the place without surrender, escape and seek help from abroad, to then come back and recover what was lost.

So it was, a great evacuation was organized in all the available ships, but to later fall in the hands of the Spaniards, betrayed by the ships captains and die in strange lands. A few arrived to Haiti and got together with Bolivar to start the liberation of Venezuela.

This painful epic would earn Cartagena de Indias the honorable title of Heroic City.



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