19th Century´s militar history in the Basque Country

Battles and acttions


"En Mendigorria".  (At Mendigorria) (Detail)After the death of Zumalacárregui and the first siege of Bilbao, the Liberals and Carlists fought their battles in Navarre under the orders of new leaders: González Moreno for the Carlists and Córdoba for the Liberals. The Battle of Mendigorria was fought by 24,000 Carlists (almost all of Don Carlos' troops) and 36,000 Liberals. There was no other battle like this in the Carlist wars. Moreno's troops were stationed on the outskirts of Mendigorria when Córdoba's men attacked along the roads to Larraga and Artajona. It was the 16th of July 1836.

"Plano de la Batalla de Mendigorria". (Plan of the Battle of Mendigorria. Drawn on 16 July 1835) (Detail)Don Carlos was in Mendigorria at the time. The Carlists could not flee as they had the river Arga behind them and only the Bridge of Larraga to retreat across.

The Liberals attacked with their left flank under the orders of Espartero. The central attack was led by Fernández de Córdoba. Although the Carlist defence was strong, the troops had to make a chaotic retreat.

"Acción de Mendigorria"  (The action at Mendigorria) (Detail)The escape of the heir to the throne and most of the Carlist troops was only possible thanks to the impeccable defence of the bridge by the Alava-born Carlist brigadier, Villarreal. However, the Carlists lost 1,500 men in the form of casualties and prisoners. The Liberals also lost 1,000 soldiers. Don Carlos To conclude, the Liberal army did not take advantage of the opportunity that this battle offered to destroy the Carlist army and capture.

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