Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.
Sir: In dispatch No. 3, dated June 18, 1868, it was related that at a conference of the diplomatic and consular corps, held the day previous, committees were appointed to endeavor to arrange an interview between General Bruzual, acting President, and General Monagas, chief of the insurgent forces, then threatening Caracas.
The efforts of these committees were successful. An interview took place on the 19th instant at San Souci, the country house of the consul-general of Hamburgh, about three miles east of this city.
Each chieftain was accompanied by a few followers and two confidential advisers. They discussed together nearly the whole day, but were unable to arrive at any agreement; so the affair was left to the arbitrament of battle. On the 20th and 21st instant preparations for immediate hostilities were everywhere visible, and at an early hour on the morning of the 22d the fighting began; the forces of government being estimated at two thousand three hundred men, those of the revolution at three thousand three hundred, all told.
On the 22d battle was given by the government troops at Chacao, a small village just east of Caracas, to the advancing enemy. The government forces were totally routed and fell back, in great disorder, to a strong position within the city lines, the square of the Candelaria, which was fortified with cannon.
On the 23d instant the fighting continued within the city with similar results, the government forces being steadily driven back from stronghold to stronghold, firing from behind fortified windows and barricades, which, in every case, were taken by the determined assaults of the enemy, who, regardless of the deadly fire poured upon them, advanced to victory with irresistible valor.
On the evening of the 24th nothing remained to the government forces, still commanded by General Bruzual, but the government square and the buildings facing on it, comprising, besides private edifices, the government mansion, the cathedral, and the archiepiscopal palace. All of [Page 946] these were fortified and defended. The whole of the night of the 24th the battle raged fiercely for the possession of these buildings, which were finally taken by the revolutionary forces, in every case by approaching them through the houses in their immediate rear. Before five o’clock, on the morning of the 25th, all was quiet. General Bruzual took refuge in the house of the chargé d’affaires of France, and escaped, in a few hours, to La Guayra. General Colina, one of his chief officers, was taken, wounded, into the British legation. General Aristiquieta, with the remnants of Bruzual’s forces, fled to the barracks of La Trinidad, a strong position on high ground, on the northern edge of the city. Being surrounded he surrendered with his men, without firing a shot, on the afternoon of the 25th. The inhabitants of the city, who had remained shut up in their houses during the three days of the siege, came forth gladly on the morning of the 25th, and welcomed the conquering heroes who had delivered them from the unjust and tyrannical rule of the Bruzual government, and among whom were many of their relatives and dearest friends.
Since their entrance yesterday morning, the revolutionary forces have behaved in the most exemplary manner, and are working as hard as possible at burying the dead, removing barricades, cleaning the streets, and restoring the city to its normal appearance.
The inhabitants are busy nursing the wounded in the hospitals and private dwellings. Everything is being done to alleviate their condition. The killed and wounded of both armies are estimated at a total of over one thousand; of these the revolution lost probably three out of every four, owing to their men being exposed in taking the barricades and fortified positions of their opponents.
The city is now under the military rule of General José Tadeo Mona-gas, commander-in-chief of the revolutionary forces.
It is expected that in a day or two a provisional government will be declared, of which, if it occur, I will have the honor to inform you in due course.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.