Actions of "la Primera Junta"
Three months after the creation of the Primera Junta, Manuel Belgrano was appointed Chief Commander of an army destined to gather support at Corrientes, Santa Fe, Paraguay and the Banda Oriental territories. A few days later his goal was made more specific: he must aim for Paraguay. The junta had been informed that the patriotic party was strong there, and a small army would suffice to take control. Trusting such information, Belgrano moved towards Paraguay with two possible goals—to guarantee loyalty for the junta in Paraguay or promote a new government that would stay on friendly terms with Buenos Aires.
Belgrano headed north with nearly 200 men, expecting to gather more soldiers on his way to the Paraná River. Soldiers from the Blandengues regiments of San Nicolás and Santa Fe did join him en route, and later the junta sent reinforcements of another 200 soldiers. The army was welcomed by most of the population they encountered along the way, receiving donations and new recruits in most villages. Finally the small army grew to nearly 950 men, consisting of infantry and cavalry, divided into four divisions with one piece of artillery each.