Monday, 8 November 2010

cornish ice cream and hot air

Cosenz and Medici landed their divisions in the night of the 21st of August, near Scilla, in the neighbourhood of which General Briganti had massed his Neapolitans, 7000 strong. On the 23rd, Briganti found himself attacked on the south and north—from Scilla by Cosenz, and from Reggio by Garibaldi.briganti
 His position was critical but not desperate had he been able to depend upon his men, who were more numerous than their combined opponents; but he saw at once that fighting was the  last thing they meant to do, and he had no choice but to surrender at discretion, almost without firing a shot.
Unfortunately, Garibaldi had no power to keep prisoners of war, even if he wished to do so. Who was to feed and guard them? Now, as subsequently, he bade the disbanded troops go where they listed, undertaking to send to Naples by sea as many as desired to go there.
 About a thousand accepted; the rest dispersed, forming the first nucleus of the semi-political and wholly dastardly brigandage which was later to become the scourge of Southern Italy.
death of briganti
 Their earliest exploit was the savage murder of General Briganti, whom they called a traitor, after the fashion of cowards. This happened at Mileto on the 25th of August, when Briganti was on his way to join General Ghio, who had concentrated 12,000 men on the town of Monteleone.monteleone
 Garibaldi, whose sound principle it was to dispose of his enemies one by one as they cropped up, prepared to attack Ghio with his whole available forces, but he was spared the trouble. He came, he saw, and he had no need of conquering, for the soldiers of that bad thing that had been Bourbon despotism in the Italian south vanished before his path more quickly than the mists of the morning before the sun.
No grounds that will bear scrutiny have ever been adduced for the reactionary explanation of the marvel: to wit, that the Neapolitan generals were bribed. By Cavour? The game would have been too risky. By 'English bank-notes,' that useful factor in European politics that has every pleasing quality except reality? It is not apparent how the corruptibility of the generals gives a better complexion to the matter, but the writers on the subject who are favourable to Francis II. seem to think that it does.
Panic-stricken these helpless Neapolitan officers may deserve to be called, but they  were not bought. And they had cause for panic with troops of whose untrustworthiness they held the clearest proofs, and with the country up in arms against them; for a few days after the taking of Reggio this was the case, and this was by far the greatest miracle operated by Garibaldi.
 The populations shook off their apathy, and not in Calabria only but in the Puglie, the Basilicata, the Abruzzi, there was a sudden awakening as from a too long sleep. When Garibaldi got to Monteleone he found that Ghio had evacuated the town.
disarming the bourbons at soveria
He pursued him to Soveria, where, on the 30th of August, the 12,000 men laid down their arms. A few days later, another officer, General Caldarelli, capitulated with 4000 men. Garibaldi's onward march was a perpetual fĂȘte; everywhere he was received with frantic demonstrations of delight.
Still there was one point between himself and the capital which might reasonably cause him some anxiety. There were 30,000 men massed near Salerno, in positions of immense natural strength, where they ought to have been able to stop the advance of an army twice the size of Garibaldi's.
Col. Sir Percy Wyndham
was born on the ship Arab in the English Channel on February 5, 1833, while his parents were en route to Calcutta, India. Capt. Charles Wyndham, his father, served in the British Fifth Light Cavalry. With that pedigree, the boy was destined to be a horse soldier. However, fifteen-year old Percy Wyndham entered the French navy instead, serving as a midshipman during the French Revolution of 1848. He then joined the Austrian army as a sub lieutenant and left eight years later as a first lieutenant in the Austrian Lancers. He resigned his commission on May 1, 1860 to join the Italian army of liberation being formed by the famed guerrilla leader Giuseppe Garibaldi, and received a battlefield promotion to major in the great battle of Milazzo, Sicily on July 20, 1860, where Garibaldi’s army defeated the Neapolitans, consolidating the guerrilla’s hold on the island. A grateful King Victor Emmanuel knighted the dashing cavalryman. With the conquest of Italy complete, the soldier of fortune went hunting for another opportunity, and found one in the United States in 1861.

La battaglia di Milazzo

Sir Percy offered his services to the Union with the coming of war in the spring of 1861. Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who quickly rose to command all of the Union armies, was familiar with Wyndham’s reputation as a fighter, and recommended him to be the colonel of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Although the governor of New Jersey issued the commission in February 1862, the men of the 1st New Jersey did not welcome the Englishman with open arms. A local newspaper wondered, “Have we no material in New Jersey out of which to manufacture competent colonels without resorting to foreigners to fill up the list?” However, when he instituted discipline, improved their food, got regular pay for his men, and moved their camp out of a swamp, the troopers changed their minds about their new commander.

Sir Percy made quite an impression. A Federal horseman recalled, “This officer was an Englishman, an alleged lord. But lord or son of a lord, his capacity as a cavalry officer was not great. He had been entrusted with one or two independent commands and was regarded as a dashing officer…He seemed bent on killing as many horses as possible, not to mention the men. The fact was the newspapers were in the habit of reporting that Colonel or General so-and-so had made a forced march of so many hours, and it is probable that ‘Sir Percy’ was in search of some more of that kind of cheap renown.”One Confederate trooper noticed that Sir Percy, who wore a spectacular mustache nearly two feet wide, was “a stalwart man…who strode along with the nonchalant air of one who had wooed Dame Fortune too long to be cast down by her frowns.” A Federal officer called Wyndham “a big bag of wind.” Another Northerner, remembering his first encounter with Wyndham, compared him to a bouquet of flowers, noting, “You poor little lillies, you! You haven’t the first the glorious magnificence of his beauty. He’s only been in Camp for two hours, and he now appears in his third suit of clothes!”During Jackson’s Valley Campaign of 1862, Wyndham impetuously led his regiment in a charge into Turner Ashby’s cavalry, and Wyndham was captured on June 6, 1862. He was paroled on August 17. When he returned to duty, he was assigned to command a brigade in Brig. Gen. George D. Bayard’s cavalry division.

Sharpshooter battalion

Many Bourbon troopsd took to the hills and fought a guerrilla war

 How this obstacle was removed is far more suggestive of a scene in a comic opera than of a page in history. Colonel Peard, 'Garibaldi's Englishman,' went in advance of the army to Eboli, where he was mistaken, as commonly happened, for his chief. He was past middle age; very tall, with a magnificent beard and a stern, dictatorial air, which answered admirably to the popular idea of what the conqueror of Sicily ought to be like, although there was no resemblance to the real person. his grave

 It happened that Eboli was a royalist town and beyond the pale of declared revolution—a placid and antiquated little city with a forgotten air, where life had been probably too easy for its inhabitants to wish for a change. But the  supposed arrival of the Terrible Man turned everything upside-down. Peard, with Commander Forbes, who was following the campaign as a non-combatant, rode up to the house of the old Syndic, who instantly became their devoted servant. Like wildfire spread the news—the whole population besieged the house, brass bands resounded, chinese lanterns were hung out; the Church, led by the bishop, hurried to the spot, the Law, headed by a judge, closely following, while the wives of the local officials appeared in perfectly new bonnets

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