Battle of Pichincha

Battle of Pichincha
Part of Ecuadorian War of Independence
Pichincha desde Itchimbia.jpg
Quito and the Pichincha volcano
Date24 May 1822
Locationslopes of Pichincha near the current-day "La Cima de La Libertad" in La Libertad, Quito
ResultIndependent Forces Victory
Belligerents
Flag of the Gran Colombia.svg Gran Colombia
Flag of Guayaquil.svg Free Province of Guayaquil
Flag of Peru (1821-1822).svg República del Perú
Bandera Argentina.png Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata

Flag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svg Spain

Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Gran Colombia.svg Antonio José de SucreFlag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svg Melchor Aymerich
Strength
2,971 men1,894 men
Casualties and losses
200 killed
140 wounded
400 killed
190 wounded
1,260 prisoners

The Battle of Pichincha took place on 24 May 1822, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, 3,500 meters above sea-level, right next to the city of Quito, in modern Ecuador.

The encounter, fought in the context of the Spanish American wars of independence, pitted a Patriot army under General Antonio José de Sucre against a Royalist army commanded by Field Marshal Melchor Aymerich. The defeat of the Royalist forces loyal to Spain brought about the liberation of Quito, and secured the independence of the provinces belonging to the Real Audiencia de Quito, or Presidencia de Quito, the Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which the Republic of Ecuador would eventually emerge.

Background

The military campaign for the independence of the Presidencia de Quito could be said to have begun on October 9, 1820, when the port-city of Guayaquil proclaimed its independence from Spanish rule after a quick and almost bloodless revolt against the local colonial garrison. The leaders of the movement, a combination of Venezuelan and Peruvian pro-independence officers from the colonial army, along with local intellectuals and patriots, set up a governing council and raised a military force with the purpose of defending the city and carrying the independence movement to the other provinces in the country.

By that time, the tide of the wars of independence in South America had turned decisively against Spain: Simón Bolívar's victory at the Battle of Boyacá (August 7, 1819) had sealed the independence of the former Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, while to the south, José de San Martín, having landed with his army on the Peruvian coast in September 1820, was preparing the campaign for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Perú.