Mr. Asboth to Mr. Seward.

No. 49.]

Sir: In connection with my report No. 47, dated 14th October last, I have the honor to inform you that the French war steamer Decidée returned on the 4th instant from Paraguay, with Mr. Laurent Cochelet, late French consul at Asuncion. Mr. Cochelet brought me two dispatches from our minister at Paraguay, addressed to your department, which I beg to forward herewith.

* * * * * * * * *

At the seat of war there prevailed, during the last fortnight, unusual activity. The several battles fought were of the most sanguinary nature, indicating, evidently, an increased hatred and revenge, leading to mutual extermination, which, if persisted in, must necessarily soon result, on the part of Paraguay, in those unmistakable signs of final exhaustion which become, in the natural course of events, the fate of the weaker part.

The Standard of to-day, in its review for Europe, gives, as far as I am able to judge, an impartially correct statement of these military events in Paraguay, as well as of the advices received from the disturbed interior Argentine provinces, which I beg to submit here in the following extracts, viz:


The military events of the fortnight are of a most stirring nature. Several sanguinary battles have been fought; the allies have advanced and are still advancing. The lines around Humaita are being slowly but steadily tightened, and the cause of Lopez each day becomes more desperate. The full details of all these engagements will be found in another column. The losses on both sides have been severe, but the allies have not only invariably held their ground, but have, after each encounter, advanced still further into the enemy’s country. “We await advices per next steamer of a powerful division at present traversing the enemy’s country. Possibly ere this the important town of Villa Rica, and even the capital itself, Asuncion, have been occupied by the allies. As it is known that all the male population of the unfortunate country is centred in Humaita and in the interior, the allies will have nothing to contend with save the natural character of the country. The occupation of Asuncion will, doubtless, have a great moral effect on the Paraguayan people, and, unless Lopez is much stronger than is generally supposed, will lead to a prompt conclusion of this prolonged campaign. The last fight at Tuyuti was probably the most sanguinary since the war began. The Paraguayans fell upon Porto Alegre’s encampment without the slightest warning. The surprise could hardly be more complete, and had the Paraguayan commander been able to restrain his men, the Brazilian position must have been inevitably lost; but the Paraguayans getting into the rear obtained possession of all the sutler’s stores, army contractor’s deposits, and the pillage was fearful. Porto Alegre, the Brazilian commander, who had been beaten back in the morning, with the eye of an experienced officer saw that the moment had arrived when he might strike the decisive blow and regain the day, and General Paranhos having come up with some reinforcements, they charged the enemy, who, completely disorganized by the pillage and plunder going on in the [Page 232] tents, could offer but a faint resistance. Paraguayans were cut down in the very tents which they had captured, and the day gained by the heroic Porto Alegre. Since this terrible fight we have received no new advices from Paraguay. Marshall Caxias has at last outflanked Humaita, and by holding Tayi, a commanding position on the river Tayi, cut off Lopez from Asuncion and the interior of Paraguay. On the same day that the terrible battle at Tuyuti took place, another sanguinary engagement occurred. The Paraguayans, landing from three steamers, attempted to take the place by storm, but they were repulsed with great loss and the steamers sunk.

Such constant fighting indicates that at last the campaign is drawing to a close, and from the position of the belligerents we feel justified in assuring our foreign readers that there is every probability peace will be restored in the Plate about the commencement of the new year.

Our advices from the Argentine provinces are a little more favorable; the rebels in Salt a have been again defeated, and their leader is said to be prisoner. The mooted invasion from Chili has proved destitute of the slightest authenticity, and there can be little doubt on the conclusion of the Paraguayan war the provinces will acquire a more favorable aspect. Santa Fé is probably the only one of the provinces which shows signs of progress and vitality. Rosario is fast becoming the great centre of Argentine trade. The streets are being well paved, and will shortly be lighted with gas, the agent of the new company being at present in England purchasing the pipes and other material. A new line of railway is projected and being surveyed from Rosario to the Esperanza colony. This road will be private property, built by Sr. Cabal. Several important sales of real estate have been made during the month, but mostly city property. The speculation in building sites has considerably fallen off of late since the general impression is that Rosario will not be the future capital of the republic, and should Dr. Adolfo Alsina, the governor of Buenos Ayres, be elected president, which is every way probable, Buenos Ayres will, doubtless, remain the capital of the republic. The provisional chambers were formally closed last week, the legal period of the session having elapsed, but the governor has reassembled the legislators to dispatch some railway and other schemes of much importance.


Corrientes, November 5.

Gentlemen: I left Itapiru on the 1st instant, in order to be in time for the mail. On the 29th a formal fight took place at Potrero Obello, situated on the coast of the river Paraguay, between Pilar and Humaita. Mena Barreto, at the head of five thousand men of all arms, attacked and put to rout a superior force of Paraguayans. The published Brazilian account of the enemy’s loss is seventy killed and thirty prisoners; the Brazilians own a loss of three hundred and two hors de combat. On the 2d instant a strong Brazilian force, under the same command, took possession of Tayi, routing ten battalions of the enemy protected by three steamers, which were sunk, their crews taken prisoners or drowned; one hundred and sixty are the reported numbers of the captives, and as many more killed or drowned. The allied statement of their loss is muy pocas. On the 3d a deplorable calamity befel the allies at Tuyuti. Early in the morning of that day a convoy was to have left the encampment for Tuyu-Cue, escorted by four battalions of Brazilian troops. The draught cattle were at hand, ready to be yoked; the escort was also prepared to move, waiting the order to march with the carts, when a great noise was heard in the encampment from numberless voices, such as gauchos are wont to make when driving a herd of cattle. Those who shouted were supposed to be conductors of a drove meant for the supply of the army, (this was in the gray of the morning;) the true character of the imagined drovers was not discovered until they had passed the lines and got within the intrenchments, when they were found to be many battalions of Paraguayan infantry and cavalry, who at once commenced a furious assault. The four battalions that were to have been the escort were the only troops ready at the moment to make resistance, which they stoutly but ineffectually did, with great slaughter. The enemy soon became master of the Tuyuti camp, (supposed to have a garrison of ten thousand men,) and doing a murderous work, killing without mercy, pillaging and firing everything that could burn. The sutlers’ shanties after being sacked, the Argentine parque, hospital, and commissariat, the large depot of Mr. Lanuz, (who has suffered severely,) the convoy of loaded carts—in fine, I have said, all that would burn were committed to the flames. The Paraguayans for a time did pretty much as they liked, owing to a general panic throughout the encampment. The fire and fight continued until 9 a. m., when the approach of a column, under the command of Osorio. made it advisable for the Paraguayans to retreat, which they did, carrying away, some accounts state, from two to twelve pieces of artillery; other reports make the number of guns carried off to be twenty-eight, as well as a number of prisoners. Mr. Vigari, the purser of the Pingo, was at the camp in three hours after the enemy retreated; he estimated the number, (made at a cursory view,) he said, to be one thousand five hundred. [Page 233] The road going from Tuyuti to Itapiru was filled with Brazilian soldiers, fugitives, who threw away their guns and knapsacks to facilitate their flight; they never halted in their race till they reached the shipping. Hundreds of these were subsequently collected and sent back to Tuyuti. What else might be expected from new recruits, slaves fresh from plantations, many of whom would as soon be shot at as to fire a musket themselves? The number of Paraguayans killed are much more than those of the allies, owing to their conduct while sacking, by getting helplessly drunk, thus made incapable in the retreat to keep pace with their comrades. When the panic was over, little mercy was shown to the inebriated assailants. Among the wounded officers brought here is Major Tobson, who had his arm badly shattered, which has since been amputated.

The routed sutlers from Tuyuti complain of the Brazilian soldiers making a final finish of such goods as the Paraguayans or the flames had spared. Bad stories are told of the Paraguayan legion in the allied service. At the time of the surprise they were posted at an advanced point; it is reported that, instead of giving notice of the enemy’s coming, most of them joined their countrymen. Some Correntino troops are also reported to have behaved in a like manner. Nothing more is said for the present of the cholera—a proof that it has passed away. There have been two arrivals of hay. A Brazilian transport with a contingent passed upward yesterday. The river is rapidly rising.

Yours, truly,


We refer our readers to our friend Sinbad’s version of the Tuyuti victory. With all the different accounts before us it is difficult to arrive at the truth in regard either to the object or result of the late vigorous attack of Paraguayans. But the prominent facts are that there are grave suspicions of treachery in the allied outposts; that Lopez’s attack meant more perhaps than a raid on the stores of the allies; but to the fact of the Paraguayans stumbling on the liquors they owe their own defeat. The Brazilian officers, particularly Paranhos, Mattos, and Andrade, appear to have behaved like heroes.

The Argentine and Correntino cavalry, under General Hornos, contributed nobly to the final retreat of the enemy, and Hornos was made brigadier on the spot by General Mitre. The loss in men to Lopez, if not amounting to two thousand five hundred as reported, must have been sufficiently severe in his present circumstances, and probably the main object of the attack was frustrated; which was to prepare a more serious attempt on Tuyu-Cue.

For further particulars, I beg respectfully to refer to my inclosed daily memoranda of political events on the river Plate, marked D.

The fate threatening at the present crisis the unfortunate country and people of Paraguay is certainly of the most melancholy nature. Paraguay would seem to be morally, politically, and materially on the verge of ruin and bereft of all hope of any friendly powers being able to save it from the horrors of the wildest anarchy.

In case Lopez should lose Asuncion, this capital would no doubt be destroyed by himself or by his orders, it being his determined policy to leave nothing but ruins in the hands of the allies. In such an emergency not only would all property in the capital be lost, but the lives of the inhabitants, especially of foreigners, would be seriously endangered— exposed as they would be either to the fury of the retreating Paraguayan bands of the interior, who consider all foreigners the enemies and invaders of their country, or to the bayonets of the Brazilian soldiers, who for the most part just emerging from slavery, if once in power, could hardly be restrained from robbery and butchery.

The interior of Paraguay would not, and, desolated as it must be, could not afford any support to Lopez after his prestige had gone with his defeat, neither would it be any safe shelter to the hated fugitive foreigners.

Under these circumstances the foreigners in Paraguay can look only to their respective governments for protection, and it would be very desirable that the war steamers of all the foreign powers represented here, in Buenos Ayres, should afford such protection to their distressed countrymen in that country.

[Page 234]

I had the honor respectfully to request in my report No. 29, under date June 17th, 1867, that a war steamer be temporarily placed at my disposal with reference to the present complications in Paraguay, and should this request be granted I should at the present emergency feel bound in duty to station it near the blockading squadron, with the view to join the first Brazilian ship of war up to Asuncion, and to give full protection to our minister and fellow-citizens there, as well as, in the interests of humanity, to any other foreigner whose life and property were jeopardized in the only too probable sway of anarchy.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


October 13.—The Tribuna of to-day says:

“The extracts from a correspondence of the Semanario we publish in another column show that in Lopez’s own ranks there is a prevalent conviction of the speedy termination of the war. Although this correspondent expects it will be brought about by a victory of our enemy’s arms, it is easy to perceive that these are only consolatory words, indicating the last flicker of the light that is going out.”

October 14.—According to the budget of the Argentine finance minister a sum of 1,000,000 hard dollars has been voted for public works, and $500,000 for contingent expenses.

A Brazilian steamer has arrived at Montevideo laden with arms and ammunition for the forces in Paraguay.

October 15.—The Diario, the official organ in Rio Janeiro, formally contradicts the statement that Colonal Fonseca was the bearer of the proposals of peace, consequent upon the attempted mediation of Mr. Gould, the British secretary of legation.

The Tribuna of to-day devotes several of its columns to the publication of documents connected with the proposed extension to Mendoza of the present Western railway, which now only reaches a place called Chirilcoy, about thirty leagues from Buenos Ayres, and eventually across the Cordillera of the Andes by the Planchon Pass to the Pacific coast. The idea of connecting the interior provinces to the littoral by means of a railway has been lately seriously entertained, but some people wish it to be a prolongation of the Central Argentine from Villanueva, whilst others are anxious that it should be a continuation of the Buenos Ayres Western railway. The Buenos Ayres provincial government, jealous of the influence and importance Rosario would acquire if the former project were carried out, are straining every nerve in support of the latter project, and are ready to subscribe a considerable part of the capital necessary for an undertaking that will connect this city by a direct line of railway with the interior provinces, and eventually with Chili.

October 16.—The Espigador, arrived yesterday, brought dates from the seat of war to the 11th instant. A partial encounter between the Brazilian vanguard and a body of Paraguayan cavalry took place on the 4th, in which the latter were repulsed. Cholera is making fearful ravages in both camps, and up to the 11th there had been among the Argentine forces three hundred cases of cholera, of which one hundred had proved fatal. General Dominguez, Colonel Artiz, and other officers, had fallen victims to the epidemic. The disease is likely to be aggravated by the reported refusal of Lopez to allow the dead bodies on the field of the late encounter to be buried, and to grant an armistice for that humane purpose. The following extracts from the Standard’s correspondent at the seat of war give fuller details of the last action, and also of the ravages of cholera:

“Itapiru, October 11, 1867.

“Gentlemen: On the 4th a partial fight took place between Arroyo Hondo and Hu maita. About six regiments of Paraguayan cavalry issued from their intrenchments evidently for the purpose of pasturing their horses, which are in a miserable condition. They were not, however, allowed to continue this peaceful operation.

“The Brazilian vanguard, under Rivas, divided in two bodies; one proceeded to attack them, whilst the other remained in ambush. The attacking party made a sham retreat, drawing out the Paraguayans, who closely followed the supposed flying enemy until they came beyond the troops in ambush. The latter sallying out completely routed [Page 235] them, and pursued them to the trenches of Humaita, killing six hundred and taking two hundred prisoners. The allied loss is officially stated to he one hundred killed and wounded. The customary cannonade was kept up in the direction of Carupaiti during the night with redoubled fury, the Paraguayans doubtless smarting from their recent defeat.

“October 9.—The cholera in a malignant form is making fearful havoc in Tuyuti; it entered first into the battalion of Pipo, (known as the foreign legion,) where it remained fixed for a few days, it then spread to the rest of the first corps d’armée with much virulence. Three days ago it commenced with great violence in the second corps, which had until then been exempt, causing very great loss in officers (among their numbers are Dominguez, Benites, and a long list of others) and men. In the first corps yesterday’s account says that it is somewhat diminishing, but continues gaining force in the second. The Brazilians also have it diffusely spreading on all sides. It is known to be making ravages in the Paraguayan camp; it is supposed that from thence the contagion was communicated to Tuyuti. Persons well qualified to judge are of an unanimous opinion that a few days or perhaps hours to come the pestilence will be doing its work of destruction here. What else might be expected from a miscellaneous population, composed of military, inmates of hospitals, boatmen, sutlers, peons, or dissolute women, the greater part of whom have always been accustomed to live among dirt, eating lean tired meat or any trash, drinking impure water, sleeping in damp places surrounded by puddles of mud, and yet feel no inconvenience from this method of living.”

The following Paraguayan version of the fall of Pilar seems sufficiently interesting to merit insertion:


“Camp of Paso Pucu, September 21, 1867.

“We understand that numbers of vessels are lying off the mouth of the river awaiting the arrangement of peace to bring their valuable cargoes; but the most important item on this head is that after Mr. Gould’s visit to the enemy the Marquis Caxais dispatched his chief of staff to Rio in the swiftest boat, the San Paulo, with instructions to proceed direct without touching at any port and return within twenty-two days. This gave rise to the report in Corrientes that the San Paulo was bearer of peace propositions, and that the war was terminated. As I do not know how far true this may be, I confine myself to the simple rumors current here since the arrival of the English gunboat Doterel, in search of Mr. Secretary Gould, then our guest. Without questioning the authenticity of these rumors, which probably emanate from the desires of the enemy and the kind offices of a disinterested friend, I may be permitted to express my private conviction that no peace can be arrived at before some great and decisive feat of arms has taken place; in other words, notwithstanding the sentiment of the belligerents and the good will of our mutual friends, ‘peace just now is very improbable,’ for our haughty enemy, not yet brought to a full sense of his impotency, will always be throwing some ambitious hints in the way, thus rendering the conditions quite unacceptable to a noble, patriotic people.

“The latest deserters to us report the enemy suffering frightfully from hunger. Our victorious legions have cut off the supplies, and so hard pushed are the Brazilians now that dried hides are sparingly distributed among them as rations. This stupid predicament it was which impelled them to make the most hopeless movement of the 19th. At daybreak on that auspicious day we observed a strong body of horse advance from San Solano toward the Arroyo Hondo. It was in reality nothing more than a foraging raid, an oft-repeated attempt to cut off our supplies. Not succeeding; they pushed on to Pilar, which they attacked the same evening, but were driven off with great slaughter, but if unable for us in arms they are our superiors in limbs, otherwise many more must have fallen in the retreat; as it was, the most our victors could lay hold of were the disregarded clothes, weapons, &c., &c.

“This slight action, in displaying the cowardice of the enemy and the certain triumph of determined valor, ought to have inspired our men against any odds. Unfortunately it had a different effect. The brave garrison, while regaling themselves after victory, made but little allowance for the pangs of hunger on the half-starved imperialists.

“With the morning the enemy returned to the charge, and quickly wrested victory from the disordered ranks of the defenders. They were not destinecf to enjoy long the fruits of victory. Commander Saturnino Garcia, coming up in the Birabebe, opened fire on the enemy, and compelled them to evacuate the town. At first the Brazilians manifested a decided disinclination to stir until the valiant Garcia landed, at the head of fifty marines, and charged the hostile masses then engaged pillaging. The gunboat meantime kept up a brisk fire, one shell bursting into the Brazilian general’s coach. At sight of this the streets became suddenly cleared of the marauders, except such as had already fallen victims to their valor; but the real difficulty was to root them out [Page 236] of the houses, where they had stowed themselves in every hole and corner, to escape the fall of their comrades below.

“Lieutenant Galon has behaved well, and merits the decorations with which our Marshal President has been pleased to requite him. To his determination and valor the country owes this glorious victory, the inhabitants their property, and the enemy a memorable defeat. While I write, the enemy are scouring the country some leagues off. I would not give them much for their chance of getting anything in those sterile wastes; and after all the loss of men, horses, and honor, they will return as hungry as they came.

“Marshal Lopez’s plan has been supremely strategic, for, by surrounding the enemy with our trenches, there is no way left for him but to march through boundless deserts, or, by remaining as he is, to be decimated by our guns or disease. Such is the history of the whole campaign, and with the failure of the exploring expedition we may hope the allied commanders will change the tactics, and by trying their fortune in our trenches give us an opportunity of creating in our country’s history another day like that of Curupaity.”

October 17.—The mail from Rosario yesterday brought news that the alarm about cholera has led to sanitary regulations, special committees having been named and every precautionary measure possible adopted.

In Montevideo, also, urgent steps have been taken by the municipal board to protect the city against the possible approach of cholera. In Buenos Ayres alone nothing has been done, and the press clamors loudly for all vessels coming from the seat of war to be placed in quarantine.

October 18.—The provincial senate of Buenos Ayres has passed the bill for the Mendoza railway, in prolongation of the Buenos Ayres western railway. By this bill it is proposed to raise the funds necessary for this great undertaking by the emission of six per cent. provincal bonds at seventy-five. The bill goes now before the deputies, where it is rumored the measure is likely to meet with some opposition.

The Standard of to-day says:

“The steady arrival of Brazilian transports in Montevideo, with reinforcements for the army, shows that the Rio cabinet is straining every nerve to carry on the war with redoubled vigor. Within the last four days four transports have arrived.”

October 19.—There is no further news from the seat of war, but the Standard has the following relative to a new difficulty which the Paraguayans have to contend against, viz: want of salt:

“Our own advices from Paraguay are of a character which inspires a conviction in the immediate termination of war. The great want in Paraguay is salt. Some of the English doctors in Paraguay have now a splendid opportunity of gathering the most interesting data in this respect. Salt seems to be as necessary to life as air; disease and sickness defeat all skill, owing to the primary want of salt. Extraordinary diseases are said to exist in Paraguay, owing to the want of salt.”

From the time that the national government withdrew its subsidy from the Nacion Argentina, which at once began a series of attacks on the private life of Vice-President Paz, a fierce polemic has been raging between that paper and the Tribuna. On this subject the Standard makes the following remarks:

“The wars of the roses were nothing in comparison to the tremendous battle between the Tribuna and Nacion. Few of our readep take any interest in such intensely political subjects; in fact, none but a native would understand them. The gist of the question is to make out Don Marcos Paz the head rebel in the republic. The Nacion has each day powerful articles and fiery leaders, impeaching the vice-president. The Tribuna takes up cudgels for the government and replies. Each day the attack and rejoinder are becoming more and more acrimonious. The Americans have a very apt expression for such matters—‘fighting for spoils.’ The only possible result for such a polemic is the disclosure of much scandal which, for many reasons, it is desirable to avoid.”

The same paper publishes in its to-day’s number the following relative to the rebel movements in Salta:


Salta, September 15.

“The traitors, Varela and Elizondo, are sacking the country in all directions. Nothing escapes the lawless marauders. Everything portable is swept off to the Chilian markets, and such as cannot be conveniently moved are destroyed on the spot. We live in a perfect chaos; but what else can be expected, when the place is entirely in the hands of banditti? The inhabitants are powerless, and the government takes no steps to prevent the depredations; so that Varela, with a dozen men, may at any moment take the capital, and then God help the unfortunate citizens, the most resolute of whom have long since learned the utter futility of attempting any resistance.

“About the middle of August we heard of the arrival of Varela, and the government [Page 237] at once dispatched a force under Don Pepe Frias to confront him. This gentleman spoke in such a pompous manner of whipping the rebels, even did they muster double their actual strength, that our authorities were content to trust all to his honor, without taking any measures for possible emergencies. On the 31st ultimo we received intelligence that a party of three hundred montonears, under Elizondo, had routed a corps of seven hundred, led by the redoubtable Frias. The disgrace of the defeat was heightened by the shameful nature of the fight. On the approach of the enemy Frias displayed the most cowardly indecision, neither forming to receive or attack; the men were impatient to meet the foe, but Frias assured them ’twas no use, as odds were too heavy against them, and that their only chance lay in flight. Some add that he was bribed to this. Certain it is that he returned to this city without his corps, and endeavored to raise another; but as we had already lost seven hundred men, with a large quantity of arms and ammunition, the authorities did not like to trust themselves again to Mr. Frias; so seizing all the fighting materials they could lay their hands on, they enrolled all the men, about four hundred in number, and marched off for Tucuman— governor, ministers, (with their families and treasurer,) and all, leaving only women and children in the town. In this way we awaited for their return with Tucumanos, but they are not forthcoming, and there is nothing for it but that the women and infirm left shall perch themselves on the house-tops, and assail the rebels when they come, with broken bottles, stones, boiling water and oil.”

October 20.—In noticing the attacks made upon Dr. Rawson, minister of the interior, by the press of Buenos Ayres, which, while criticising his public acts, have outstepped the limits of fair discussion by imputing to him interested motives, the Standard of to-day says:

“Although we make it our general rule to abstain as much as possible from taking any part in local politics, we cannot avoid noticing with sincere regret the very unbecoming manner in which the leading organs of the Liberal press here treat our distinguished minister, Dr. Rawson. We must emphatically deprecate the disparaging insinuations touching the private motives of a gentleman who is not only devoting his time and energies to the service of his country, but whose character has ever enjoyed a spotless reputation. Dr. Rawson’s chief fault in the eyes of his countrymen is his pedigree, and this alone would entitle him to a prior claim on our support; but, independently from this, we can assure him that whilst we are ever fearless in denouncing abuses, we also pride ourselves in being foremost in doing justice where justice is due, and that in the name of our country we shall ever be too glad to bear our testimony to his liberal and enlightened policy, which entitles him to the rank of one of the most distinguished and disinterested of Argentine statesmen.”

October 21.—The Cisne and Rosa steamers, from Corrientes, have been placed under sanitary surveillance for three days, and only the mails brought by them, after being duly fumigated, have been allowed to be landed.

October 22.—The news from the seat of war is of no great importance. Cholera had diminished in the Argentine camp, but was still prevalent among the Brazilians.

The national government has ordered the formation of two lazarettos, with their proper staff of medical attendants, &c.: one in the island of Martin Garcia, and the other at the Tigre, the terminus of the northern railway on one of the channels of the Parana River.

The documents connected with the resignation of General Martinez of the post of minister of war are published to-day. It appears that the general addressed a letter to the vice-president from Rosario, dated 24th of September, shortly after his liberation from the hands of the rebels in Cordova, tendering his resignation, which was not attended to. On his arrival in Buenos Ayres he addressed a second note to the vice-president, under date of the 9th instant, insisting upon his previously announced determination to resign. The vice-president, after having ineffectually endeavored to induce him to alter his mind, was obliged to accept the general’s resignation. In the note which Minister Rawson addresses, under date of the 19th instant, to General Martinez, informing him that his resignation has been accepted, he expresses the lively regret of the vice-president at the loss of his services, for which he tenders to the general the best thanks of government.

Señor Don José Maria Moreno, the present under-secretary for the war department, who has been acting minister during General Martinez’s protracted absence, has been offered the vacant portfolio, which he, however, is said to have peremptorily refused.

October 23.—The steamer Wasiman has arrived in Montevideo, having on board a locomotive engine and other railway materials, destined for a railway which the Brazilians are about to construct between Tuyuti and Tuyu-Cué, in Paraguay.

October 24.—The Provender arrived yesterday from Corrientes; brings no news of interest from the seat of war, save that the cholera appears to be greatly on the decline. It was rumored that an important movement was about to be made by the allies on Tayi, an important position on the river Paraguay, above Humaita.

The following correspondence, translated from the Republica, contains some interesting information relative to the Brazilian iron-clads:

[Page 238]


“On the 9th I started from Tuyu-Cué”, and on the morning of the 10th I arrived at Tuyuti; from there I went to the Paso de la Patria, and embarked at 1 o’clock in the afternoon for the island of Avisto. Then I put myself on board a small steamer which took me to the Princess de Joinville, bearing the flag of Commodore Elisario de Santos, who had the politeness to place at my disposal a steam launch, which carried me to the Chaco by the river Quio. At the expiration of one hour I found myself landed at the port of Quio, where Admiral Joaquin José Ignacio has established a depot of provisions and munitions of war. From the port of Quio I rode to Elisario, on the Paraguay. The distance between these ports is about six miles. At Elisario is stationed the second division of iron-clads, under the command of Commodore Albin. Thence to Humaita the distance is about one league. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon I went in the steam tender Lindoya to the Colombo, which is stationed between the first and second divisions of the fleet. At 4.30 we anchored alongside of the Brazil, which I boarded to pay my respects to the admiral.

“Admiral Ignacio appears to me to be about sixty years of age. He is of low stature, and has all the rough but frank characteristics of an old salt. The admiral did all in his power to facilitate the object of my mission, which was to make a nearer examination of the fortress, whose name is now so famous. The first division of iron-clads is anchored about three hundred yards from the London battery, which is the first that presents itself after rounding the elbow of the river. The iron-clad Bahia is stationed about two hundred and thirty yards from the same battery, which is rectangular in shape, and has eight casemated embrasures on each side. The Bahia is under the enemy’s fire. The Lynch battery crosses its fire with the sixteen guns of the London battery in the first bend of the channel. The water being low, a sand bank is visible in the middle of the river in front of the batteries, and we can discover three recently made roads leading to the river from behind the Lynch battery. Any vessel attempting to force a passage would have to sail within ten yards of the Paraguayan batteries, receiving on the beam the fire of the eight guns of the London battery parallel to the river, whilst ahead she would be exposed to the fire of the Lynch and three other batteries to the north, and to the horizontal fire of the London battery from astern; and not only that, for if she touched the chain laid obliquely across the river she would swing on to the bank with the current, and remain a helpless target for the enemy’s artillery. The channel of Humaita is now so low that all the pilots are agreed that the iron-clad Brazil from the breadth of beam would be unable to maneuver or obey her helm with sufficient rapidity to get through a pass not more at this moment than forty rods wide. The channel is not only obstructed by sunken ships, but to the naked eye there is distinctly visible a whole line of torpedoes. The squadron is daily employed, it is true, in fishing them up, but this does not much diminish the danger. Your readers may have often asked, why do they not cut the chain? A few words will convince them of the impossibility of doing so at a spot upon which the seven batteries of Humaita converge, and watched, moreover, by a guard on the Chaco. The Chaco is swampy, and the whole extent of its banks, with the exception of the place where the guard is stationed, is protected by the guns of Humaita. To attempt to capture the guard and cut the chains with boats’ crews, under the fire of the batteries, is simply an impossibility. The vessels in the vanguard have fired at the obstruction with cannon, but as it contains no wood-work the balls glance off and harmlessly bury themselves in the river or the mud banks.

“For a long time past men competent in the art of war, and distinguished naval men of all nations, have been of opinion that the fortress of Humaita was impregnable. It is thus unjust to accuse the Brazilian iron-clad squadron of failing in its duties, for, on the contrary, it is little less than rash to expose the Bahia within pistol-shot, as she now is, of the enemy’s fortress.

“As for the effects of the bombardment from the squadron, it is known positively that it has caused considerable injury and losses to the enemy. On the 12th instant the squadron bombarded Humaita, and the division abreast of Curuzu directed its fires on the headquarters at Paso Pucu, where, upon the same day, there happened to be on a visit Messrs. De Couverville and De Libertad.


The annexed extract, translated from the Comercio del Parana, an Entre Riano newspaper, leads one to believe that the allies cannot boast much of their reputed victories over the Paraguayans:

“I am quite certain you have all heard of the grand victories we have obtained in the last few days. Oh, what victories! Precisely like all the rest we have obtained upon the present, costing as dear as that of the 24th September, and the taking of Pilar, the former of which cost the Brazilians some twenty-five hundred men, and the latter not much less. A friend who writes to me from Tuyuti says: ‘I was present at that [Page 239] massacre, for I can call it nothing else. The engagement was brought about by the Paraguayans endeavoring to rescue forty-four prisoners taken at Pilar. A regiment of allied cavalry in attacking the enemy fell into a puntano or swamp, their ammunition got wet, and the whole of them remained at the mercy of the foe.’

“In Tuyuti there exists the most frightful misery among the Brazilians, who are, as you may probably have heard, the best cared for. I do not exaggerate in telling you that not only are they reduced to begging from the shopkeepers in the camp, but from the passers by. It seems that our respectable allies, the gentry of the Chaco, are reappearing on the scene. Three days ago I met a party of them, Guaieurus. It consisted of a lieutenant, armed with a saber, two sergeants, with muskets, and five rank and file, with long knives. I had the curiosity to ask the chief where he was going, and with indescribable coolness, he answered, ‘to Humaita.’ Great hopes we must have of reducing the fortress with such contingents.

“Notwithstanding the unfavorable result of the first negotiations for peace, there are many who believe that the negotiations will be resumed.”

The Standard to day gives the accompanying item of news from the seat of war. The scarcity of meat, both in the allied and Paraguayan camp, seems to be a fact beyond doubt:

“By a private letter from the army we learn that, owing to the prevalence of cholera, coffee and caña are now given to the Brazilian soldiers. The meat is so poor that officers and men, for the most part, live on biscuits, rice, and farina. The Brazilian hospitals are well cared for, and upon a splendid footing. The allied strength in Tuyuti is twelve thousand Brazilians and two thousand Argentines, including the Paraguayan legion.”

October 25.—The last news received from the provinces respecting Juan Saa is of a less alarming character. It appears that this celebrated rebel leader has found no support and little sympathy in Bolivia, and well-informed parties give the assurance that the Argentine republic has nothing to fear from Bolivia.

General Paunero, who applied some time ago and obtained leave from the government to absent himself from his command, and come to Buenos Ayres on account of a family affliction, but would not avail himself of it until affairs in the interior Were in a more settled state, is now preparing to return, and it is rumored that he is likely to be appointed to the vacant post of minister of war.

The following extract from the Standard, giving the number of vessels aground in the Parana River, proves the difficulties in navigating its waters:

“Vessels aground in the Parana—17th.—A Brazilian gunboat, with some troops on board, was aground some fifteen leagues below Corrientes, cargo trimmed to port to assist to get her off.

“18th. There are a great many vessels aground below Goya. American bark T. C. Cushing, Captain Rogers, laden with horses, is aground below Yaquarite, on the left bank of the river.

“19th. The British bark Quickstep and British brig Adelaide were at anchor at La Paz, having no water to pass the shallows.

“20th. An Italian gunboat under sail was passed, just above Rosario, proceding down the river.

21st. British brig Albion, of Liverpool, was at the Boca Guarzu, bound for Liverpool; British three-masted schooner, E. Shun, was at anchor on the bar below Martin Garcia.

There are about thirty sailing vessels aground or at anchor waiting for water between La Paz and Goya.”

October 26.—The question of the future presidency of the Argentine Republic is every day more and more engaging the attention of the public. The local papers both in this city and in the rest of the confederation devote a great deal of their space to this important subject. The Tribuna, which is undoubtedly the most influential organ of the River Plata press, has boldly proclaimed Señor Sarmiento as its candidate, whilst the Nacion Argentina attacks this candidate without openly proposing any other, although it is well known that it is determined to support Señor Elizalde’s pretensions. The press of Entre Rios, as was to have been expected, is unaninous in writing in favor of General Urquiza, as the fittest candidate for the presidency. Besides these there are other names that have been mentioned as likely to be brought forward as competitors for the highest magistracy in the republic, such as Señor Alsina, governor of Buenos Ayres, Señor Velez Sarsfield, Dr. Rawson, General Taboada, and others. Of these, however, only the first is believed to have any chance of success. Indeed, it has been asserted and very currently repeated that the Tribunals only using the name of Señor Sarmiento as a mask, and that its candidate in reality is Governor Alsina. Nothing, however, has appeared that could substantiate this assertion. On the contrary, the Tribuna evinces every day more zeal in defending Señor Sarmiento’s cause. In its number of yesterday, it published a letter addressed to its editor by Colonel Mansilla from the allied camp, a translation of which is given below. Colonel Mansilla, although a nephew of the celebrated dictator Rosas, is an influential member of the liberal party, and has succeeded in establishing for himself [Page 240] a high reputation, not only as a brave soldier and good officer, but also as an accomplished writer. His advocating, therefore, so warmly Señor Sarmiento’s nomination cannot fail to have considerable weight; and the statement he moreover makes that Sarmiento is the favorable candidate in the army, if true, is of considerable significance. Colonel Mansilla’s letter to the editor of the Tribuna is as follows:

“Camp Tuyu-Cué, October 20, 1867.

“You are aware, ever since I was in Buenos Ayres, that my candidate for the future presidency of the republic is the same as the Tribunals—Sarmiento. For the honor and glory of our country the man whom I pointed out as the ideal candidate, when we talked over the subject, is becoming every day more a possible, a real candidate. I, who do not insult you by harboring the supposition that you advocate this candidate insincerely, and who, in my sphere, and within the compass of my limited resources, am working for it and anxious for its success by means analogous to the end and to the principles it symbolizes, am happy to inform you that our candidate can rely upon the support and sympathy of many of our most notable officers in the army, who are all individually ready to work for him.

“By and by, I will write to you more at length on this subject. In the meantime, I am anxious that this letter should be published.

“Yours, truly,


October 27.—A fraud involving the loss to government of the rather large sum of seven millions of paper dollars ($280,000) has been discovered in the custom-house here. The authors appear to have been one or two employés, of the custom-house in league with several clerks of different commercial houses of high standing and respectability in this city. The matter is under judicial investigation, but the guilty parties are said to have escaped before their evil doings were discovered.

The news brought by the last mail from the interior provinces shows that tranquility is far from having been restored. The Tribuna publishes a letter dated Santiago, 15th instant, announcing that official intelligence had just been received of the rebel chief Varela, having attacked the town of Salta and taken it after a short resistance. Although General Navarro hurried up with a respectable force and obliged the rebels to abandon the city only a few hours afterwards, Yarela and his men committed unheard-of excesses in the few hours they remained in Salta, murdering and pillaging its inhabitants and carrying off an enormous booty.

Just before the mail steamer left Rosario news arrived that Governor Luque of Cordova had resigned his post.

The Banda Oriental seems also to be on the eve of new troubles. The papers report that a certain Colonel Aparicio, one of the principal leaders of the Blanco party, has crossed from Entre Rios to the left margin of the Uruguay, somewhere between Paysanda and Salta, accompanied by a few followers, with the avowed intention of raising the standard of revolt against General Flores’s government. It is also reported that General Urquiza and the Entre Rios government have endeavored to frustrate Colonel Aparicio’s expedition, and given timely warning of it to the authorities of Paysanda.

October 28.—The news of Colonel Aparicio’s intended invasion of the Banda Oriental, communicated from here by telegraph to Montevideo, has caused there considerable excitement. It is, however, believed that the move is an isolated attempt, which, if discountenanced by General Urquiza, will be easily put down.

October 29.—The regular steamer from Corrientes, due yesterday, did not arrive, and there is in consequence a dearth of news to-day.

The Standard has the following in regard to Colonel Aparicio:

“Yesterday we heard that Aparicio is one of the greatest Blanco Caudillos of the day. He it was who, when Flores entered Montevideo in 1865, made a great raid into Rio Grande, carried off prisoners of war, and liberated slaves by the hundred. Respecting his pedigree there is much obscurity; at an humble mud rancho on the wayside in the Florida district, it appears, he first saw light. He has figured in most of the unhappy broils of his country. Profound political observers regard him as the creature, the tool, of others, who, now that the elections are appreaching, find it convenient to have him running about the country. What truth there may be in this version it is difficult to say; but the calling out of the national guards is inevitable, as is also the result of the elections under such circumstances.”

October 30.—The Espigador steamer from Corrientes arrived yesterday, and brought the news of some partial fighting in Paraguay, in which the allies, as usual, according to their own account, have obtained another success. The following is the Standard’s version, which agrees with what is given by the other papers:


“The following telegram was received from the Tigre yesterday, at 3.15 p. m.: On the morning of the 21st instant a Brazilian ambuscade, composed of three divisions of [Page 241] cavalry, on the right of the line of the allies, surprised eight hundred Paraguayans, taking two hundred prisoners and killing three hundred. The Brazilians lost seventy to eighty, rank and file, and one cornet killed and one captain wounded.

“On the same morning, on the left of the line, an Argentine ambuscade, composed of two divisions of cavalry, were hotly engaged with the enemy; and at the moment when victory was still doubtful, Colonel Videla arrived with a squadron of the 3d regiment of cavalry, which charged furiously, completely defeating the Paraguayans, who left eighty dead on the field. The Argentine loss was sixteen rank and file and three officers wounded and one officer killed. At the last moment it was reported that a picket of one hundred men, with its commander, had passed over to the Argentine camp.”

The Tribuna of to-day publishes a long letter of Señor Hector S. Varela, co-proprietor of that paper, from Paris, giving an account of a brilliant speech made by him at the peace congress, held at Geneva, in defense of republican institutions, and more particularly of the United States and the republics of South America, which had been virulently attacked by a M. Dupasquier.

From Cordova the news of Governor Luque’s resignation is confirmed. It appears that when he sent it in to the legislature the latter showed some disinclination to accept it, and Governor Luque then informed that body that he had delegated the governorship into the hands of a Señor Peña, an extreme liberal, until his successor should be duly elected.

October 31.—With reference to the last news from the seat of war, the following letter of the Standard’s correspondent contains some interesting details:


“Corrientes, October 25, 1867.

“Gentlemen: All I can communicate with certainty respecting the last battle is that the Paraguayans sought the combat and got worsted, leaving four hundred killed or badly hurt, and two hundred prisoners. The allied loss is reported to have been very insignificant. Other versions state the loss on either side to be nearly equal. Caxias was to have marched from Tuyu-Cué on the 24th to take a position at Tayi. It is not known here if he has effected the desired purpose. If he can accomplish it, and maintain himself at that point, the reduction of Humaita must soon follow. The cholera is on the decline at the different encampments; still it is far from being extinct. Every precaution is being taken to prevent the further spread of the plague. The sale of all conserves, no matter if of flesh, fruit, or fish, is strictly prohibited. Due attention is given to cleanliness, while all care is bestowed on those that are convalescent; four and five patacones are paid for fowls for the sick. At Itapiru measures are in progress to remove the garbage. Here no preventive steps will be thought of until the plague is widely disseminated, when ‘sauve qui pent’ will be the watchword—people flying in all directions to escape perdition. Till now the authorities and denizens in general are indifferent as to what may come—Brazilian gold absorbing every other consideration. An extensive conflagration of hay has been going on at Isla de Itapiru for the past three days; many hundreds of bales, said to be the property of Mr. Dufour, have been consumed. It is supposed to have been purposely set on fire, which is probable, as the flames, when first discovered, were seen to issue from different parts of the pile. The loss is a serious one, as much of the provender was in a sound condition. Holders of the article here, since the fire, have advanced their prices.

“Yesterday the steamer Paysander passed upwards, with a brig in tow; both vessels were loaded with horses. Other remittances of horses are daily arriving at Paso de la Patria from all parts of this province, as well as Entre Rios, notwithstanding the prohibitory decree. Most of the animals are stolen ones. However, few questions are asked as to how the sellers became possessed of the horses. The brute, as soon as sold, has its ear clipped, which at once determines the ownership in an indisputable manner. It is to be hoped the allies will bestir themselves and bring the wretched war to a conclusion, now that they have a good supply of sound horses, in all respects fit for the campaign, while those of the enemy are known to be utterly unfit for service. The Sisters of Mercy have arrived, and proceeded to their destination. Here has been a large sale of every description of goods; the value of the amount sold was 55,000 pata-cones. Many of the articles sold would have brought more in Buenos Ayres.

“I remain yours, truly,


Colonel Aparicio, whose invasion of the Banda Oriental has been already alluded to, appears to have retraced his steps and crossed over again to Entre Rios territory. He has been subsequently arrested at Concordia by the gefe politico of that department, Don Justo Carmen Urquiza.

November 1.—The following, relative to proceedings in the Santa Fé legislature, is an extract from the Standard’s Rosario correspondent:

“The legislature of Santa Fé will meet again for the dispatch of business on Friday [Page 242] next. Dr. Quintana intends presenting a project of a minute, to be addressed to the national government, praying them to conclude the war by arranging a peace with Paraguay. I have no doubt but that it will pass with a large majority. The communication commences with this strong language:

“‘As no voice has been raised within the precincts of the national assembly, (to urge for peace,) it falls upon the people to do it, to the shame of those who have not fulfilled their duty.’”

New governors have been elected in the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan, in the first a Señor Villanueva, and in the second a Señor Zaralla. They both belong to the liberal party and enjoy a good reputation.

A lieutenant colonel and a major of the late Confederate States service are reported by the papers to have arrived here from the headquarters of the allied army in Paraguay, recommended to the national government by President Mitre, to whom they have proposed to raise a foreign legion, composed, if possible, of North Americans and Englishmen, for service in Paraguay. The name of the first of them is McTuor.

November 2.—On account of yesterday being a closed holiday, no papers appeared this morning, and there is no news.

November 3.—The Tribuna publishes a translation in Spanish of a note which I addressed to Don Luis Varela, brother of its proprietors, Don Hector and Don Mariano Varela, congratulating him upon the remarkable oratorical triumph of his brother Hector at the peace congress of Geneva, in its session of 11th September last, in defense of assailed progress and civilization under republican institutions in this hemisphere.

The news from Montevideo is not very satisfactory. General Flores, eldest son of Colonel Fortunato Flores, whose brutal behavior obliged his father to send him to Europe about three or four months ago, has just returned to Montevideo from Paris, to the great disgust of his fellow-citizens in general. It is reported that in consequence of this, Señor Flangini will resign the portfolio of foreign affairs, and his successor is likely to be Señor Bustamente. With reference to this the Standard of to-day says:

“Things in Montevideo look rather stormy again; the government has notified General Suarez that for the present he must remain in the city and abandon his proposed excursion to the camp. This is doubtless on account of some information received respecting the squashed-up invasion on the Uruguay; but even in the city affairs are in an unsettled state. Minister Flangini has sent in his resignation, also many of the officers of the liberated battalion; all this is said to be owing to the premature return from Paris of Fortunato Flores, the son of the governor. It is thought that Señor Bustamente will succeed Flangini; his promotion will be a loss to Montevideo, since he has made an excellent chief of police, and it will be difficult to get any one so well qualified to fill this important post.”

November 4.—A great public open air meeting took place yesterday, in one of the principal squares of this city, in accordance with a printed invitation, as a public manifestation in honor of Señor Hector Varela, for his great success at Geneva. The meeting was well attended, several speeches were made, and funds collected to present an album and a gold medal to Señor Varela.

The French gunboat Decidee arrived yesterday from Corrientes, having on board M. Cochelet, late French consul in Asuncion. She has also brought dispatches for this legation from the United States legation in Paraguay.

November 5.—A telegram from Montevideo announces the arrival there of the Marcelo Diaz, a Brazilian transport, direct from the seat of war, with news that on the 29th ultimo an action took place between the Paraguayans and Porto Alegre’s forces at Tuyuti, which resulted in the latter occupying three of the enemy’s trenches on the right flank; the loss on both sides is reported to have been considerable.

The published correspondence from the seat of war reaches only to the 27th, up to which date the only news of importance was the assurance that cholera had completely disappeared.

A file of Paraguayan papers to the 5th of last month has come to hand. If any credit is to be attached to the statements of the Semanario, it would appear that the most patriotic and indomitable spirit of resistance pervades all classes of Paraguayans, who are animated by unbounded confidence in their ruler, and in the ultimate triumph of the Paraguayan arms in this sanguinary war of independence. These papers teem with accounts of public meetings held by the Paraguayan ladies, and eloquent speeches made by them for the purpose of raising contributions of jewelry and other objects towards the expenses of the war.

They also contain some interesting data on the commerce between Paraguay and Bolivia, which seems to be so much on the increase, that the latter republic has appointed a consul general in Asuncion.

November 6.—General Mitre’s official report to Vice-President Paez of the action of the 29th ultimo is published in to-day’s papers. This action, which had been erroneously reported to have taken place at Tuyuti, happened near a place to the north of Humaita, called the “Potrero Ovella.” This Protrero Ovella is the converging point of all the roads that lead from the interior to Humaita, a position strong by nature, [Page 243] and rendered more so by the fortifications raised by Lopez to protect it. It could only be approached by a narrow causeway, along which the Brazilians, under the immediate orders of General Mena Barreto, charged with the bayonet, and. after suffering considerable losses, succeeded in carrying the position. Marquis de Caxias’s official report to General Mitre of this action is herewith appended:


[Official dispatch from the Marquis de Caxias to General Mitre.]

“Headquarters Tuyu-Cué, “November 1, 1867.

“I have to inform you that, according to information received from Brigadier J. M. M. Barneto, charged by me with the operation already known to your excellency, he marched, on the morning of the 29th ultimo, at the head of a force composed of the 1st, 2d, 7th, 8th, and 9th battalions of infantry of the line, and 23d and 24th of volunteers, four pieces of artillery, fifty-four sappers, and first and second divisions of cavalry, arriving at the bridge of the Arroyo Hondo, when he left one of the cavalry divisions to guard that position and the rear of the expeditionary force. Continuing his march and approaching the Potrero Ovella, he received information from the vanguard that a line of skirmishers was in sight, supposed to be the vanguard of a superior force. He then ordered his own skirmishers to advance, protected by the 1st and 3d regiments of cavalry, he following with the bulk of the column.

“He might have advanced about half a league, when Colonel Manuel de Oliviera Bueno, who was engaged in watching the movements of the enemy, sent word that he was in possession of a pass leading to a redoubt, which, after the action, he found to be defended by two deep ditches, and in the flank covered by marshes, and in front by a narrow and deep lake. He then ordered the before-mentioned brigadier to advance with two pieces of artillery, protected by two columns of cavalry in echelon, supported by a battalion of infantry, masked by a line of skirmishers, which kept up a fire with those of the enemy. He sent two battalions to the right and left of the pass, and two others in the direction of the redoubt, followed by the cavalry and artillery in the rear. The column thus proceeded in the form of a half-moon, and were soon engaged in a bloody contest, resulting in the retreat of the enemy not only from their first lines already described, but from the others, equally well protected by extensive and deep swamps. The lines were carried successively by our troops at the point of the bayonet. I have much pleasure in saying that General Mena Barreto reports that officers and men alike distinguished themselves.

“The enemy then endeavored to retreat within the fortifications of Humaita, but were pursued and completely cut to pieces by our cavalry. We have buried eighty Paraguayan corpses, and have taken fifty-six prisoners, besides a quantity of ammunition and arms. Our loss in killed and wounded amounts to three hundred and seventy men.

“According to my instructions, General Mena Barreto marched yesterday at 5.30 in. the morning, with a strong force and two pieces of artillery, to reconnoiter the barranca of Tayi. He halted there at 7.30, sending forward a picquet of carbineers to explore it. It was discovered that there were no intrenchments.

“Our two guns then fired upon a steamer in the river Paraguay. She replied with two shots that did not reach the barranca, and then steamed away towards Humaita. We made two prisoners, one of them a sergeant, who formed part of the guard at Tayi, which had fled, leaving a few lances and fortification tools in our possession.

“At 11.30 Brigadier Mena Barreto returned to the Potrero Ovella, leaving a regiment of cavalry at Tayi.

“Afterwards I received news that the before-mentioned steamer had returned, accompanied by another. They commenced to bombard Tayi, and succeeded in burning some carts I had placed there to imitate pieces of artillery. They fired also at the brushwood on the banks of the river, thinking naturally we had infantry concealed there. A third steamer was seen, but she passed up the river. One of their steamers and an armed raft remained all the day in the port of Tayi.

“From what we have hitherto ascertained, there exists a road by the coast of the river Paraguay to Humaita. The Potrero Ovella is, we find, about three leagues in extent, and composed of woods, lakes, and marshes, all of which we have explored. There is roaming within it a number of scattered cattle, which we shall collect on the first opportunity.

“The town of Pilar was explored, and it was found that there exists neither garrison nor fortification of any kind. The few people who were there on our arrival had embarked in rafts, and remained in the center of the river.

“Congratulating your excellency on this new triumph over the enemy, I have only to communicate that orders have been given to the general in command of the expeditionary force to retain the present positions until further instructions.”

[Page 244]

The Tribune of to-day, in its telegraphic news from Montevideo, says:

“It is beyond doubt that Flangini will shortly withdraw from the Foreign Office. Señor Bustamente is to be named prime minister, and will also discharge ad interim the duties of foreign minister, until the return from Europe of Señor Hector Varela, who is to succeed Flangini.”

November 7.—The Standard publishes to-day my note to Señor Don Luis Varela, alluded to under date of the 3d of this month; it is herewith appended:


“Legation of the United States of America, Buenos Ayres, November 1, 1867.

“My Dear Sir: It affords me great pleasure to congratulate you upon the signal success which your distinguished brother, Señor Don Hector F. Varela, has achieved in his masterly speech, delivered in the most worthy and eloquent manner at the peace congress, in Geneva, during its session of the 11th September ultimo, in defense of assailed progress and civilization under republican institutions in this hemisphere. This manly and noble defense will live as a lasting monument of respect and sincere gratitude in the hearts of all the American people north and south.

“I am, with sincere regard, your obedient servant,


“Señor Don Luis Varela, Buenos Ayres.

The last mail from Paraguay has brought the intelligence of the death of President Lopez’s eldest son, killed in a late cavalry engagement.

Certain of the native local papers having given currency to some absurd information about President Lopez, said to have been communicated by the French consul, the Standard of this morning makes the following remarks:

“Respecting the assertions ascribed to the French consul, some have foundation. The imprisonment and ill treatment of Mr. Capdevila is, for instance, too true, and the general complexion of the gossip from Humaita may be more or less well painted; but the absurd history of the caged tigers, to which Lopez, like a second Caligula, flings his human victims to be devoured, is an abominable falsehood. And the circumstance that M. Cochelet was lodged in a part of the fortress of Humaita exposed to the fire of the allies, is easily explained by the fact that there is no part of that fortress which is thus not exposed. It is a pity that our colleagues should go out of their way to publish silly exaggerations, as the state of affairs in the interior of Humaita is doubtless quite bad enough, and we are all pretty well disposed to believe that the resources of the ruler of Paraguay are well nigh exhausted. Let the allies push on their reinforcements and be above calumny. Marshal Caxias is at least better employed, and we find on the 29th of October General Mena Barreto, under his orders, took possession of a very important position, which may lead to final results.”

November 8.—The Standard of to-day has the following leader on the position of the allies:


“Never since the commencement of the Paraguayan war has the campaign possessed so much interest for the general reader as at present; the allies, profiting by dearly bought experience, are at last adopting tactics which must result in either hemming in the Paraguay army at Humaita or forcing the enemy to attack on disadvantageous terms. It is much to be regretted that we have no book or guide at our command to describe the country in the neighborhood of the present operations, but as far as we can judge from the hasty sketches in the Semanario, the allies are entering localities every way dangerous to an invader. At Tayi, a commanding position on the Paraguayan river, just a stretch above Humaita, there is an immense isleta or jungle, in the vicinity of which already a sanguinary battle has been fought; according to the Paraguayan version, the Brazilians were driven back here on the 3d with great loss, while the allies claim a great victory on the occasion. The subsequent operations, however, remove all doubt as to this fight, for we find, on the 27th, a regular hand-to-hand fight at a point midway, called Potrero Ovello. This potrero occupies a very commanding position a little out of Humaita and on the road to Asuncion; here were posted the abastecedores of the army, and since the move of Caxias to Tuyu-Cué, Lopez has had hundreds of his soldiers digging trenches and strengthening the position. Up to the 3d ultimo, Caxias, it appears, knew nothing of this place, but the fights at the isleta taught him the topography of the ground, and on the 27th ultimo a powerful division was dispatched to take the place by storm. The brave cossacks of Rio Grande, under General Andrade Neves, and seven battalions of infantry, under Salustiano, marched in single file through a tortuous path from the allied encampment. The road passes through a glen, where a handful of Paraguayans, if well posted, might have held the [Page 245] pass and checked the invaders; but the Brazilians encountered no opposition until they came face to face with the enemy at the Potrero. The enemy seemed to trust more to the strength of their position and their bravery than to numbers. Two hundred and fifty Paraguayans held the place undismayed at the splendid charge of the Brazilians; there was nothing for it but the bayonet;. the fire of. the enemy was steady, well directed and concentrated; but the Brazilians with equal heroism charged up to the very ditches at double-quick step. The Rio Grande cavalry won new laurels, and dashing up to the very trenches of the Paraguayans, saberd the gunners. The Paraguayans never flinched an inch until they saw the Brazilians at their flank; they then retreated in good order to Humaita, the nature of the country being such as to impede pursuit.

“Important as is this position in a strategic point, it costs the Brazilians dearly, and those who know the difficulties attending the attack of an intrenched position will not read with surprise that the Brazilians had over five hundred hors de combat, whilst the enemy did not lose a tenth of that number. A very sad episode occurred during the fight. Colonel Olivier a, who but the day previously had been promoted, was shot dead by a subaltern officer, owing to some high words passing between them. The position once gained by the Brazilians was occupied, and the Marquis Caxias, in person, inspected the place, and ordered the cavalry to hover about Tayi, whilst the artillery mounted some brass pieces to command the river. The Paraguayan guard at Tayi only numbered a sergeant and a few men. From the willful weakness of the place it is thought that Lopez wishes to get the Brazilians in this dangerous spot, but lines of the allies are so extended that if Lopez adopts the first Napoleon’s tactics the allies will find out their error. The allies at present stretch over an immense extent of country, and the only feature in their favor is that the enemy may be said to be without cavalry. During the last month the allies have invariably attacked with success, and a summary of the various engagements shows great advantages gained by the allies and heavy losses by the enemy. This has led to a complete change of tactics on the part of the allies; large divisions are at present penetrating the country, and very possibly ere long we shall hear of the crossing the Tebicuari and the occupation of Villa Rica. Porto Alegre has been ordered to move to the right, and thus, in fact, form the rear-guard near Tuyu-Cué; the evident object of this move is to strengthen the allied line which shuts Lopez in the peninsula, but all these movements and tactics can only have one result; a terrible and sanguinary battle has to be fought, Ten thousand desperate Paraguayans have to force their way into the country; the allies under no circumstances can avoid this, and the sooner it comes to pass the better for friend and foe; the base of operations will evidently be the Villa Pilar, when Porto Alegre evacuates that most useless of all positions, the fens of Tuyuti.”

The telegraph wires from the Tigre announce the arrival of the Uruguay steamer with dates from the allied camp to the 3d instant. Great fighting has been going on. On the 2d the Paraguayans made an attempt by land and water to retake the positions of Potrero Ovella and Tayi to the north of Humaita, but were repulsed with great loss on both sides, whilst the next morning before dawn they surprised the allies in their rear at Tuyuti, and very nearly succeeded in taking possession of Porto Alegre’s whole encampment; here, too, they were eventually repulsed, but although they suffered great losses they contrived to inflict even greater losses on the allies, and carried off several pieces of artillery, after setting fire to the Argentine sutler’s camp.

To-day’s Standard has the following leader, implying a covert threat to Lopez, which I have reason to believe has been inspired in an official quarter:


“If President Lopez has ever speculated on the chances of intervention in his favor from abroad, or of domestic changes in the states now hostilizing him, he must by this time be thoroughly undeceived. It is in the highest degree improbable that his position will be altered by any occurrence extraneous to the natural course of the campaign. We may take it for granted that he must rest the issue of the contest on his own military resources. What may be the strength of these it is difficult for us to form any reliable estimate; but the latest reports, after careful sifting of ex parte statements, present unmistakable signs of that gradual exhaustion so long predicted.

“On the other hand, it may be doubted whether, since the war commenced, the bonds of the triple alliance have been more firmly knit than at this moment. The primary stipulation of the treaty of alliance, that Lopez shall abdicate his power, runs more chance than ever of being exacted to the letter. The Brazilian empire, it is certain, will shrink before no sacrifice of men or money to attain that object.

“As far, then, as we can judge from appearances, Lopez is either obstinately fencing with his fate, or he is the dupe of parties personally interested in the continuance of the war. Neither of these alternatives is very creditable to his sagacity.

“We may say safely that we have never been the political advocates of General Lopez. We have always considered his system of government as an anachronism, and, [Page 246] even more, as an impossibility, confronted as it must be by the steady advance of European ideas in these regions. But, in common with many of our fellow-countrymen, we have sometimes closed our eyes to his political acts, and have chosen to contemplate him only in the light of a ruler who, on the margin of a desert, and surrounded by an indigenous population, has made great efforts to foment industry and introduce the mechanical arts. In fostering these he has employed the revenue of the country with an uprightness which defeats calumny, and has patronized and well treated the English and other foreigners who have aided him in the attempt.

“What sympathy we may still entertain towards General Lopez we cannot better expend than in cautioning him against information which, for mercenary ends, may be given him to disguise the real truth of his position. If his position is such as it is now commonly represented, he may be sure that his enemies are not sanguinary, and that they will be only too glad to give him the opportunity to escape, if he chooses to accept it. Impartial spectators of the events now in progress would advise him to do so with all convenient speed.

“But it is possible that other counselors of President Marshal Lopez may ridicule this officious advice, as well as the views which seem to prevail as to the position of a potentate who, far from being in the straits we speak of, is secure, they would tell us, in the assurance of ultimate triumph. In that case, we have even greater reason for now adverting to a question of more serious import to us than mere speculation as to the result of a contest in which we are neutral.

“There are still Englishmen in the employ of General Lopez; and were we not averse to parallels, that might be thoughtlessly drawn between him and another distant potentate with whom Great Britain is now about to cast up accounts, we would say there are still certain Englishmen forcibly detained in captivity by General Lopez. But we prefer to consider them as foreigners, who from choice of interest have entered his service, and who have hitherto faithfully served him. From the nature of their callings, civil rather than military, we can yet hope that, propria motu, he will be inclined to accept their resignation, although he may have lately refused that boon to a direct demand in their behalf.

“President Marshal Lopez must be aware that, as far as Europe is concerned, his future reputation is bound up in the safety and honorable treatment of foreign residents in Paraguay, and we can scarcely believe the too commonly expressed opinion that Lopez, now brought to bay, is callous to praise or censure, present or posthumous; and that the safety of the foreigners in his clutches has no other guarantee but the immediate personal ends, the caprices of a barbarian.

“On the contrary, we see in his diplomatic notes that he makes some sacrifice, even of veracity, to give a plausible coloring to his acts, when they are to be judged in distant countries, or where, in his own almost pathetic words, “his voice cannot reach.” We know, also, that he spends large sums for no other purpose than to enable his agents in London or Paris to represent his proceedings favorably to the civilized world. We may, therefore, reasonably conclude that, as it has been remarked of the rest of us, he is neither so great a philosopher as to be above censure, nor so great a beast as to be beneath it.

“And, moreover, when he reflects on the responsibility of holding in his hands the lives of a few innocent foreigners, he will probably hesitate before he permits any will ful injury to them, either in the hour of his triumph or of his fall. In the former case, he would risk the fruits of his success by incurring the vindictive and instant chastisement which we can positively assure him powerful European nations are preparing to inflict; and in the latter case, whilst permitted to live, he would be branded as a monster, or would subject his memory uselessly and gratuitously to the execration not only of his immediate enemies but of the world in general.”

With reference to the new British minister near this government the Standard says:

“Mr. William Lowther, whose appointment as minister plenipotentiary to the Argentine Republic has been announced by the telegram from Montevideo, is the youngest son of Colonel, the honorable Henry Cecil Lowther, (M. P. for Westmoreland,) brother to the Earl of Lonsdale. Mr. Lowther was born in 1821, and married, in 1853, Charlotte, youngest and only surviving daughter of Lord Wensleydale, by whom he has a large family. He is one of the oldest secretaries of embassy in our diplomatic service.”

November 9.—The papers to-day publish full details and official reports of the late fighting in Paraguay. The battle of Tuyuti, viewed in any light, is a bloody and ugly business, and shows the danger the allies incur in having their line stretched too far to be safe from attacks such as the one they suffered at Tuyuti on the 3d instant. In the action of Tayi there seems to be no question that the Paraguayans were worsted. They landed in three steamers, attacked and got repulsed completely, and of the three steamers one was sunk by the Brazilian artillery, the other burnt, and the third entirely disabled. The following detailed account of the Tuyuti business, as well as Marquis de Caxias’ official report of the affair at Tayi, are from to-day’s Standard:

[Page 247]


“Tuyuti, November 4, 1867.

“At daybreak (4½ a. m.) yesterday morning the Paraguayans made a fearful onslaught on our position. The sutlers and camp followers suffered heavily at the hands of the cowardly enemy, who plundered and murdered all before them. From one of the runaway merchants I gleaned the following, which I hasten to communicate, knowing your anxiety to have a full and true account of the engagement.

“Scarcely had the sun peeped above the horizon, dispelling the dark shades of night and lighting up the neighboring woods and valleys with its million rays, when we were startled by the ring of musketry on our right; presently the war clang increased, and it became evident that the Johnson battery, held by the Correntino division, was being assailed. The rapid discharge of two heavy guns, followed by a deadly silence, too plainly proclaimed the issue of the fight, at least so I felt, knowing that the few Correntinos left there could never hold out against any formidable attacking column. My conviction was shared by the Brazilian generals, who hurried forward their men on the first sound of alarm. While all around was bustle and excitement General Porto Alegre, with becoming serenity, scanned from a slight eminence in front the whole line, adopting instantaneously the most energetic means of defense.

“The enemy must have numbered 8,000 bayonets, for the most infantry. They advanced in loose file, quick pace, but good order, and extended over our entire front line. The column approached in two divisions, the first of which fell deliberately on our right as if to carry all before them, while the second or reserve, from a little to the rear, practiced a series of harassing assaults on the Brazilian left. The combat deepens around our ramparts, of which the enemy boldly endeavored to possess themselves; the Brazilian reserves dispute their own hand to hand with the assailants, whose numbers at length prevail over valor and discipline; the Paraguayan banner waves triumphantly over the heaps of slain as the Brazilians fall back on Porto Alegre’s headquarters; here they concentrated and awaited the advance of their comrades.

“This slight incident was the turning point of the whole day, and this early repulse it was which threw the final victory into the hands of the allies.

“For while the enemy, unable permanently to occupy the position, were actually impeded in their retreat by the trenches they had so dearly won, our retrograde movement, without entailing disorder, had so contracted our line of defense that we were enabled, with a small force, to hold at bay the fiercest assaults of the enemy until our reserves came up, which quickly changed the fortune of the day. Nothing but the stern determination of our veterans could withstand the hairbrained daring of the enemy; and as each column advanced large gaps were opened in their massive lines by our own incomparable gunners. We had now time to load and take deliberate aim with our field-pieces, for, as the Paraguayans were unprovided with artillery, they could not get at us except with the bayonet, no easy matter either, behind stone walls. It may be Lopez had calculated on capturing our guns and ammunition, and in this he was not out, for two fine rifled pieces were left behind by the Brazilians; but in future the gallant marshal would do well to instruct his braves in the use of “spiked cannon;” he would doubtless find it of great service in concluding a campaign with men who “never give up the ship.” I am more inclined to believe, however, that the marshy and wooded nature of the country through which they marched would not permit of a long carriage train, otherwise it was a grievous error, and entirely blasted the fruit which, with a little judgment, might have ripened under the dazzling rays of their early success.

“In this critical moment the rapacity of our savage enemy proved our best friend. During one of those occasional lulls, whilst the enemy were organizing a fresh attack and we preparing to receive them, dense volumes of thick black smoke, commingled with flames, were wafted by on the morning breeze; overcome by the suffocating vapor, we stood motionless on our arms until aroused by the commotion among the camp followers. It was indeed a life and death struggle for these defenseless wretches; all who could not fly were butchered as they stood, their goods robbed, and houses burned. When Porto Alegre saw this, he charged at the head of a picked corps, driving back the enemy with dreadful carnage. From this dates the enemy’s repulse, which, as the day wore on, was followed by increased disorder.

“General Hornos coming up with the San Martin 3d of the line and Correntino divisions, charged home on the broken masses, retaking the lost trenches and compelling the pursued to leave behind all their booty except two light guns, which, despite the noble efforts of the allied horse, were carried off to Lopez, the scanty trophies of that bloody day.

“The enemy’s loss must have been fearfully heavy; more than two thousand of their dead were buried by the victor. The trenches, streets, and even the huts of the little village are filled with slain, so as to render it impracticable to pass on horseback. Our own loss may be laid down at seven to eight hundred, including many Argentine and [Page 248] Brazilian officers. The valiant Porto Alegre had two horses shot under him, and was finally disabled by a wound in the left arm. Major Castilla led the Paraguayan charge, and was killed by Alegre whilst tearing down the Brazilian flag from the battlements in front of the imperial commander’s tent.”

[Second dispatch.]

“Headquarters, Tuyu Cué, November 2 1867.

“I hasten to inform you that, in accordance with my instructions, Brigadier J. M. M. Barreto attacked Tayi with the infantry under his orders.

“Disposed in parallel lines, supported by three columns of attack, one on the right, one in the center, and one on the left, they charged with the bayonet with the greatest intrepidity, and advanced up to the intrenchments which the enemy had raised with incredible celerity, and not only did our troops take these, but they completely defeated two battalions of infantry, eight hundred strong, without firing a shot, killing five hundred and taking sixty prisoners. Many of the enemy in escaping threw themselves from the banks of the river into the water.

“Our 4-pounders fired with such certainty at the three steamers in front of Tayi, (and which no doubt had conveyed thither the forces engaged,) that one of them was sunk, another burned, and the third moved off with her paddle-wheels damaged.

“It is satisfactory to me to be able to transmit such favorable intelligence, and the more so that Brigadier Barreto informs me our loss did not exceed thirty men in killed and wounded.