Vargas Swamp Battle
History of Colombia
Independence of Colombia
1819 in Colombia
History of Colombia Forum
Vargas Swamp Battle was an armed conflict that occurred near Paipa, on July 25, 1819. The joint Venezuelan and Neogranadan army commanded by Simon Bolivar was trying to prevent the Spanish forces from arriving at Santafe de Bogota, which was lightly defended, before they did. Bolivar's army successfully bested the royalist army in spite of the exhaustion of the troops after climbing the Paramo de Pisba, and crossing the swamp. This battle and the next victory over the Spanish by the Boyaca Bridge secured the independence of Colombia.
During the action the left flank of the Patriot army was outflanked and withdrew in disorder. The British Legions played a decisive role in recovering the situation when their commander James Rooke led the 2nd Rifles in a bayonet charge against the Spanish defenses on the hills, gaining the position at great cost. A cavalry attack by the Venezuelan Lancers then decided the outcome of the battle, turning defeat into victory.
The battle is commemorated in the Vargas Swamp Lancers memorial.
Bolivar's campaign to liberate New Granada
Military career of Simon Bolivar
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