The fight had been desperate on both sides, but the guerillas were badly worsted, and driven away as far as the jaded condition of our horses would permit us to pursue them. In their flight the spoils, which had been taken from the captured train, were left behind, strewn in every direction.
Montbrun pursued the Guerillas with some squadrons of horse, but they turned resolutely upon the French, and not till overwhelmed by numbers did they show any disposition to retreat. The French, however, now threw forward their whole cavalry, and driving back the English horse, succeeded in turning the right of the Seventh Division. The battle by this time was general.
At the same time, having learned that the garrison, which was commanded by Trivulzio, was composed of only a few regular troops, and a large force of guerillas, he gave notice that such combatants were not entitled to quarter, and that if captured they would be all put to the sword. The reply to this threat was not evacuation but defiance.
He therefore set off with his reduced company upon the following morning, Jose insisting upon accompanying him, and reached Arica a week later, reporting his arrival at the military headquarters there, where he was complimented upon the success with which he had carried out his little campaign against the guerillas, and where he received his promotion to the rank of major, as had been promised him by Admiral Riveros in the event of his bringing the expedition to a satisfactory conclusion.
"But as for fighting loyalist guerillas are not quite the bravest of the brave, yet I don't think we three are quite a match for fifty of them, and we are not likely to meet fewer, if we meet any. But let us adventure by all means. Our horses are fresh, and we can either return to the sierra or spend the night on the llanos, as may be most expedient."
Other generals, furious at the savage nature of the warfare, and the incessant toil and loss entailed upon their troops, allowed the latter to do as they pleased, and burning houses and dead bodies marked their course. Then the peasantry, now turned guerillas, retaliated as savagely, giving no quarter, sacrificing all prisoners, and putting the wounded to death, sometimes with torture.
The affair of Scottsborough, in the military district of northern Alabama, where a sheriff arrested and attempted to bring to trial for murder Union soldiers who had served against the guerillas in that part of the country, an attempt which was frustrated only by the prompt interference of the district commander, has become generally known through the newspapers.
Aurelie was really the daughter of the intrepid Colonel Schiltz, a leader of those bold Alsacian guerillas who came near saving the Emperor in the campaign of France. He died at Metz, robbed, pillaged, ruined. In 1814 Napoleon put the little Josephine Schiltz, then about nine years old, at Saint-Denis.
These sharp-shooters in our front did perfectly legitimate work, and were entitled to all credit for their courage and skill. It was different with the guerillas in our rear. Quite a number of these had been posted in trees at the time of the San Juan fight. They were using, not Mausers, but Remingtons, which shot smokeless powder and a brass-coated bullet.
Which they shorely does; it's an outfit of Greaser guerillas, an' we-alls ain't nothin' more or less than captives. "'The ornery an' ongrateful part is that the Princess sends one of her own peonies scoutin' 'round in the hills to bring in this band of cattle-eaters onto us.