Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/285

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of old Spaniards and Creoles. This outrage united the Creoles for mutual defence, and for a time the most ruthless barbarities were committed on both sides.

Don Miguel defeated the Spaniards and Creoles, and proclaimed the independence September 16, 1810, which independence is celebrated throughout all Mexico every year with great pomba and enthusiasm.

The success of the revolution and the declaration of independence caused such an enthusiasm among the insurgents that the most fearful and terrible retribution was taken upon their oppressors, and for a time it appeared that the entire Spaniard and other European blood would be forced from the Mexican dominions.

Had the insurgents been properly commanded, there is no doubt but that they might have swept every European from Mexico.

The Church party (who, by-the-by, are never satisfied) at this time opposed the Don Miguel insurgent party, and the Archbishop of Mexico excommunicated them from the church in a body.

Thus the insurgent cause was considerably weakened, and the lack of the necessary materials of war rendered it comparatively easy for the regular and Creole forces to overthrow the insurgents. But it was not gained so easily. A terrible war of caste was waged with savage ferocity on both sides. General Calleja met the insurgents and defeated them at Guanxuta, where he ordered General Augustine Iturbide to put fourteen thousand men, women and children to the sword; for which barbarity he was created Mariscolde Campo for distinguished services, decorated with the cross of the Order of Charles III. and appointed to the vice-royalty of Mexico.

Thus Hidalgo, who was a good man, a popular leader, but a poor soldier, was defeated, and, through the treachery of one of his generals, Bustamento, was captured July 11, 1811, and shot July 27, 1811, at Chihuahua.