On August 2, 1845 the Argentina squad led by William Brown was captured by the Anglo-French squadron Admirals Lainé (Fr.) and Inglefield) (Brit). Ships "San Martin" and "25 de Mayo" captured by Frenchmen lowered the Argentina flag and hoisted their own, the "General Echagüe" the "Maipu" and "9 de Julio" taken by the English in which they hoisted their flag.

This unfortunate fact, where the English and French admirals stopped being gentlemen of the sea to simply become pirates, occurred during diplomatic negotiations off Montevideo carried out by representatives of Argentina, France and England Confederation and being the three fleets anchored a short distance and full discussions to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

On August 30, Giuseppe Garibaldi Italian mercenary in the service of Uruguay, England and France departed from Montevideo with a large fleet of 30 warships and 6 armed merchants, with 657 combat soldiers plus crew, with orders from the English and French admirals to occupy the Uruguay River and attack Gualeguaychú, Concordia and Salto

Part of these warships came from illegal seizure of the August 2, 1846 by the English fleet of the small Argentinean naval force commanded by the old Admiral Brown, which occurred during diplomatic negotiations off Montevideo carried out by representatives of the Confederation Argentina, France and England.

William Brown had been in command of the Argentinean fleet from 1812 to 1846, just 34 years of permanent combat with fleets of Portugal, Brazil, Spain, England and France.

Invasion force:

Commander: Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian mercenary.

Corvette "Constitution"

Brigantine "Pereyra"

30 warships and six armed merchant.

Crews: 2980 sailors and gunners.

Troop Infantry 657 combat soldiers (Italian + French + English).

The vessels "San Martin" and "May 25" captured by Frenchmen hauled down the  Argentinean flag and hoisted their own, the "General Echagüe" the "Maipu" and "9 de Julio"  taken by the English in which they hoisted its flag


The diplomats of Britain and France made hoist the oriental flag in the seized ships and formed a new squadron being put under the command of Garibaldi.


In the early years of the 1840s, Entre Rios had to face the invasion of the Unitary Army led by the Argentine General José María Paz and its allies: the correntinoFerré and the Uruguayan Fructuoso Rivera. The General Urquiza assumed the government of a province stalked by multiple hazards.

"No one has been placed in front of the province in more difficult circumstances. The bare command as flattered, I presents only their chances, "says accepting the government.

Eventually, he realizes that he can not exercise given their military activity. Provisionally, Vicente Zapata replace it, then his brother, Cipriano de Urquiza and from 1844-1846 Antonio Crespo.

The forces of Urquiza and Uruguayan Manuel Oribe, widely defeat Fructuoso Rivera in Arroyo Grande, near Concordia. The federal government is definitely stated in Entre Rios, which holds sensitive economic growth of which is no stranger Gualeguaychú.

Meanwhile the Confederation lived difficult moments. The internal war between unitary and federal sum in 1845, the Anglo-French blockade of the Argentinean Confederation following the refusal of Juan Manuel de Rosas allow free navigation of the Paraná and Uruguay Rivers to England and France. In addition, they demand the withdrawal of the ten thousand Argentine besieging Montevideo by land and lifting the naval blockade to this city was imposed the Admiral Guillermo Brown.

Juan Manuel de Rosas explains to foreign powers that the Confederation does not recognize the illegal government of Fructuoso Rivera displaced violently President Manuel Oribe (first Uruguayan president) and he will not rest until the legally elected leader return to power of the Uruguayan nation. Also argues that the Parana and Uruguay rivers are under the exclusive sovereignty of the Argentinean Confederation and only her responsibility whether or not to free navigation of its waters.

The Anglo-French claims are unconditionally supported by the Argentine Unitarians living in Montevideo and its allies, supporters of Rivera.

On August 2, 1845 the Argentinean squad led by Brown was captured by the Anglo-French squadron Admirals Lainé (Fr.) and Inglefield) (Brit). Ships "San Martin" and "May 25" captured by Frenchmen hauled down the  Argentinean flag and hoisted their own, the "General Echagiie" the "Maipu" and "9 de Julio" taken by the English in which they hoisted their flag.

The diplomats of Britain and France made hoist the oriental flag in the seized vessels and formed a squad which put under the orders of the Italian adventurer Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Immediately, precautionary measures were adopted in ports and coasts of Entre Ríos.

The General Garzón, General in Chief of the Army Reserve, located in Arroyo Grande (Concordia) instructed to uphold the coastal ports, "especially Gualeguaychú, in which commander had little confidence"

Looting of Colonia del Sacramento and Attack on Martin Garcia Island:

On September 1 Garibaldi attacked the city of Colonia del Sacramento, the head of the looters, whom Buenos Aires newspapers nicknamed "the jackal of the Anglo Tigers" intimated to surrender the city, but the defender of the plaza. Sq Jaime Montoro resists, then bombarded and captured by assault, followed by a violent looting and killing civilians settlers.

"Young woman running terrified through the streets of Colonia del Sacramento, howling in terror with their clothes torn. Looters destroyed everything they could find. The sky seemed alive with the glare of the fires. "

Not even the church was saved from the outrages, since in her victory was celebrated with drunken orgies.

In Colonia they robbed, murdered, burned and even wronged Doña Ana Monterosso (of Italian descent), wife of the famous General Don Juan Antonio de Lavalleja.

The head of the Vandals (who was born in Nice but raised in Italy) laid the blame on as:

"Difficult to maintain the discipline that would prevent any abuse, and the English and French soldiers, despite the strict orders of the English and French  admirals, did not fail to engage with like theft in homes and on the streets. Ours (the Italians), returning, in part followed the same example even when our officers did their best to avoid it. The repression of the disorder difficult, considering the colonial town was plentiful provisions and spirits especially liquids increased appetites of virtuous looters"

Even supporters of Fructuoso Rivera considered the scandalous conduct of Garibaldi discredited them.

Five days later seized the defenseless Isla Martin Garcia, militarily evacuated by express order of Brigadier General Dan. Juan Manuel de Rosas.

Days later, the squadron of Italian, English and French mercenaries, with their overflowing sacks of gold and silver, weighed anchor and went into the Uruguay River to ravage their populations.

The British and French admirals were ordered him go into the Uruguay riverup stream,

Assault and Looting of Gualaguaychú:

On September 18 the squadron consisting of five ships and fourteen tails among barges and whalers, passed the mouth of the river and continued to Gualeguaychú going up the Uruguay River six more miles for anyone suspecting the impending attack. On the night of 19 to 20 surprised the two guards who guarded the mouth of Gualeguaychú in a lightweight ship. Turned out to be the delivery man of the city Bernardino Gomez Gualeguaychú neighbor and a merchant ship seaman, who served as pilot of Garibaldi to sail the unknown Gualeguaychúriver and reach the city port.

At dawn of 20th the invaders disembarked in SaladeroGianello, distant a league from the city and attacked the defenseless Gualeguaychú. Surprisingly they came to the house of Commander Sq. Eduardo Villagra and found him asleep. The major, national authorities and guards immediately fell into the hands of the enemy.

For two days, the fierce troops of Garibaldi, as well as some Italian, composed mostly of British and French soldiers were devoted to loot, rape and murder the village and the people of Gualeguaychú.

In the home of the family Haedo (corner Rivadavia and San Jose), tapped as Headquarters the invaders placed a cannon, threatening the Command and pointing towards the residence of the Commander Villagra (Rivadavia nearly Angel Elias) and fortified the points most important and overhanging the town.

According to Fray Mocho "Garibaldi ordered the execution of high-ranking officials, including the mayor, the administrator and the captain Benitez, however, commander Villagra and other citizens were taken hostage on board. Neighbors intervened quickly requesting the release of the prisoners. The Italian granted the request and immediately began the looting. Other traitors to their people were the police and the neighbor Mariano Robles Pedro Chamorro, who led the invaders to houses where there was more to steal. "

The residents of the quiet town lived two days of panic. They looted 31 shops and many family homes. The worst hit were the Spanish merchants, Sardinian, Portuguese and French. Garibaldi stole an estimated £ 30,000 in loot.

Why was attacked Gualeguaychú?

Garibaldi expresses in his memoirs: "The people of Gualeguaychú encouraged us to the conquest for being a true emporium of wealth, able to clothe our tattered soldiers and provide us with harnesses for horses and other necessary things. It was necessary to land on it. "

The merchants victims signed a protest specifying the items and the amounts of money that had been stolen from them.

One of the injured was Jose Benitez, founder and owner of the first bank with power to emissions, established in Entre Rios Gualeguaychú branch. He was also, dealer, owner and saladerista. The pirates garibaldinos stole him  five thousand pesos and his schooner "Young Emilia" which was in the harbor.

In the suburbs of the town were the farm of Don Francisco Lapalma (Lapalma the  Roof of, now Museo de la Ciudad), whose villa produced abundant fruits that Don Francisco use to manufacture or sent to Buenos Aires by river. That was no stranger to plunder.

Upon leaving that place, the invaders confronted with eight gauchos gathered by Ensign Jorge Neyra, right hand of the Commander Villagra. According to the report sent to General and Commander General GarzónGalán, Neyra says:

"On the morning of September 21 at sunrise, a party of people, about thirty men, had come out of Villa Gualeguaychú and advanced with eight soldiers, three of whom died and he escaped with five mates after the horse having been bowled. Presumably, he added, that the Commander Villagra has been the victim and the people turned to looting "..

After this meeting, the robbers returned to the house of Lapalma driving a seriously injured person, "his face split by a clever saber." they took a moment of rest and withdrew "killed and battered by the onrush of Neyrabrava and gauchos.

On the night of September 21, Garibaldi ordered a retreat because the Argentine were approaching forces of the Nogoyá Division under Commander Reinoso and Cavalry Squadron of Lieutenant Sq. Rosendo Fraga.

GualeguaychuHad no defense?

Statement of the Commander's Villagra note that the Villa was unprotected. Cavalry forces of the Department were under under the orders of the Lieutenant Jorge Neyra.

The force of Militias under the command of Commander, consisted of 48 men, who at that time were hauling cattle.

The Civic Company headed by the captain José Benítez; comprised 70 men but only had 60 rifles.

The Civic Reserve Company under orders from Mayor Don Luis Paulino Acosta with 90 men but no weapons.

The Command had only just ten cartridges packages reserved for Neyra had been left its committees.

The Civic Companies were not stationed at the time of the assault and no one suspected that the Department was threatened.

In his poem "Assault Gualeguaychú" Amalia Villagra Bustelo, a descendant of Colonel says Urquiza responsible for the helplessness of the villa:

"...Knowing that Garibaldi was devoted to loot Neyra he sent to take out all the armed men that were in Gualeguaychú. Urquiza had planned to take them to another place and left unprotected the small town knowing that water tour of the Uruguay, Garibaldi wandered with a set of boats, every defense was missing in the town ... "..

Finally, the commander Villagra was arrested and since there wasn't a "decent jail for some kind of arrested prison was given on his own house." Historian Benigno Teijeiro Martínez states that "these records are more than enough to confirm the negligence of the authorities in Gualeguaychu never forgotten by the General Urquiza". Villagra was removed from his post. Urquiza forgot his companion in arms, his loyalty, his character and sent a substitute.

In 1851, after the pronouncement against Rosas, Urquiza visited Gualeguaychú. Fray Mocho informs us that the Commander ...Villagra decided to greet their Chief who saw him said:

 "Huh? ...Villagra  not worth of my friendship a forgiven by Garibaldi"

  "Nor should this reception who like me, when your Excellency nursed, I was at war for the Fatherland!"

 And the old Colonel turned with alacrity on his heel and walked away with wrinkled brow.

 "Come here ... Come ... Tiger!" said the General, whom never displeased to find men who do not tremble in his presence.

 The old Colonel did not even deign to turn heads ...

  "Toro old, huh And I have to break him first, huh. I have to break him before bend him ..!".

Victims in the assault and looting of Gualeguaychu:

José Benítez (Portuguese) their warehouse for 5,000 pesos excluding the schooner "Young Emilia" they took.

Augustine Peyrelo (Sardinian) to its two trading houses, for 6,700 pesos.

Juan Iriarte, to their warehouse on 1,210 items and 975 pesos in cash.

Juan Martinez Sousa (Portuguese), burglary in effects and money, 1,600 pesos. Antonio Peirano (Sardinian), effects of his shop for $ 2,600; brought before Garibaldi; demanded repayment but answered that this was a bad he could not remedy.

José GarcíaSobral (Spanish), looting of their business and stealing money he had in his trunk, for $ 1,710.

Domingo  Elizate (French Basque), plunder his house at gunpoint for $ 346.

Andrés Chichizola (Sardinian) looting of their business and intimation at gunpoint to hand over cash, total money $ 1035.

By looting their businesses and intimation at gunpoint follows:

Juan Lucero (Argentina), Juan B. Solusse (French), John Costa (Sardinian), Juan Echevarria (French), Pedro Alcahenest (French), Juan Guenon (French), Juan Isaldi (French), Juan Archaine (French) Pedro Valls (French), Juan Jaureguiberri (French), Juan Iturralde (French), and brother Lorenzo Aguerre (French), Bautista Doyhenard (French), Juan Arambago (French), Samuel Icart (French), Jerome Gomez (Argentina) Leopoldo Espinosa (Argentine), Prudencio Gomez (Argentina), Juan Mendez Casariego (Argentine).

Total 31 business houses looted in a population of 4,000 inhabitants.

In his memoirs recalled the Italian Pirate "The people of Gualeguaychú  encouraged us to the conquest for being a true emporium of wealth, able to clothe our tattered soldiers and provide us with harnesses. We made the people of Gualeguaychú many fine horses, the necessary clothing and some money which was partitioned between our poor soldiers and sailors who had so long misery and deprivation. "

The leader of the robbers, whom the newspapers of Buenos Aires apostrofaban "the jackal of the the Anglo-Saxon Tigers", tried this forms a very credible apology.

Attack on Paysandu Concordia and Salto:

The village of had been sacked Gualeguaychú even in details, its stripped and raped villagers therefore Garibaldi, fleeing the Argentine forces of the Nogoyá Division under Commander Reinoso and Cavalry Squadron of Lieutenant Sq. Rosendo Fraga, sailed upstream the Uruguay river towards Fray Bentos, Concordia, Paysandu and Salto.

In his first new attempt to plunder, attacked the town of Paysandu, on the east coast, where he suffered a severe defeat against Argentina General Antonio Diaz and his brave troops.

Faced with this defeat Garibaldi, continued sailing towards Concordia (northern Entre Rios)where in September 29 was rejected again, in this case by the Argentine General Garzón, who said that their ships were at water level, almost sinking, by weight of the plundered goods.

Given this new defeat Garibaldi continued sailing toward the defenseless population of Salto which could occupy quickly. Some imprudent consider won a resounding victory, just because his saddlebags filled with the spoils of plunder.

Departing from Salto, continued his sailing upstream trying to reach the province of Corrientes, where he defeated Colonel Sq. Manuel Lavalleja which blocked his way north, but could not make contact with the forces unitary of Corrientes.

On the impossibility of reaching the correntinos Unitarians, Garibaldi decided to return to Montevideo and is again besieged the coast of Salto by the forces of Colonel Don. It Servando Gomez, there was a battle between two forces - the Italians celebrated as victory itself, and before long, and their predators Garibaldi returned to Montevideo.

In his battle reports the general Sq. Eugenio Garzón which marched from Buenos Aires to combat it wrote:

"The savage Squadron Pirate Garibaldi went from Fray Bentos but has made an assault on Entre Rios territory in which committed the barbaric attack to plunder a defenseless people, who offered no resistance ..."

So great was the clatter of the shameful actions of Garibaldi the Baron of Mareuil, charge d'affaires of France, asked our Foreign Minister Felipe Arana, conditions to treat the peace agreement that was reached successfully even ephemerally as it approached the Combat of the  Vuelta de Obligado of that the actions of that filibuster had produced its preliminaries.

Again the Anglo French invading coalition would try to sweep away the sovereignty of the Argentinean Confederation.