The war in the north–Attack of Humaita–Official dispatch.
To his Excellency Baron de Herval:
I have the extreme pleasure of informing your excellency that at 5 a. m. this morning I commanded an attack, with part of the troops which had been brought up from Tuyucue, against a fort of the enemy’s called Establecimiento, which is a little beyond Laureles, and a place of the greatest importance to Lopez for maintaining communications and faciliting the supply of cattle.[Page 268]
The fort was surrounded by two deep ditches and formidable earthworks, on which were placed at convenient points fifteen light field-pieces. The garrison was about one thousand six hundred strong.
Against this formidable battery our men advanced openly, and the bravery of the attack well merited the success with which it was eventually crowned. After a stubborn resistance the garrison were overpowered, and retreated disorderly across the adjacent bogs, pursued by our victorious battalions.
The enemy’s loss is from five hundred to six hundred killed, and leaving in our possession, besides the fifteen mounted guns mentioned above, a large quantity of arms and ammunition held in reserve. On our side there were about six hundred hors de combat, including killed and wounded.
Your excellency will please not fail to forward at once as many carts as you can secure, even at the expense of commercial interests. These measures are of the utmost importance, so that the wounded and prisoners should not remain long exposed here.
This evening I purpose sending to San Solano the two brigades which suffered most in the attack, the remainder staying to occupy the position.
I purpose leaving immediately for Tuyi, to confer with the Captain del Mar y Guerra, Delfin Carlos de Carvallo, whom, as I have just been informed by Field-Marshal Vic-torino, forced the passage of Humaita at daybreak to-day with the monitors and ironclads. My object in conferring with the gallant admiral is to plan our subsequent movements, following up our present successes.
Congratulating your excellency on these glorious events, I have the honor to remain,