Great victory of the Allies–Storming of Fort “Establecimiento.”
At dawn on the morning of the 19th the whole allied line advanced and simulated an attack on the enemy’s lines at Tuyuti, Tuyu-Cue, and even facing Tayi. The outposts of the Paraguayans returned the fire, but for some time the divisions did not come up. A little after daybreak an immense rocket, seen all along the lines, shot into the heavens, the signal that the monitors had passed the Humaita fortress, and heavy guns from the north proved that the iron-clads were shelling Humaita from the north, while the rest of the squadron kept booming from their old position.
Suddenly the shrill Brazilian trumpets were heard to echo in the woods, and a picked force, the finest the Brazilian army could boast of, about sixteen or seventeen thousand strong, emerged from the encampment, headed by Marshal Caxias. The men marched in close column, and, when approaching the trenches, came under a tremendous fire; but the Brazilian legions pushed on, nothing daunted, and never halted until they came upon the bristling bayonets of the heroic garrison. The Paraguayans fought with their wonted heroism, but nothing could withstand the charge of the Brazilians; they leaped the ditches, and in an instant poured in on all sides on the strongest fort outside of Humaita.
As might be expected, the carnage was terrific, for before the serried columns of the Brazilians got to the trenches fully five hundred men lay stretched on the plain. The Paraguayan officer in command, a young man named Gill, finding it impossible to hold out, drew off his men in good order, and got into Humaita; but the place is even more important than Curupaiti; it is the key to Humaita. The guns were not spiked, and are now in the hands of the Brazilians. The position is, however, very exposed for the allies, and difficult for Caxias to retain over twenty-four hours, unless Humaita falls, The adjoining fort, Laureles, it was thought, would surrender, being cut off from Humaita by the allies.