Chapter 5: Hearts of Fire
The PM Times
January 1, 1872
Rio De Janerio, Brazil- In the summer of 1871, a state funeral was held at the capital for both General Do Erval and General Caxias. Thousands attended the funeral including government officials, his majesty, Chief of Staff Sanchez, and the families of both generals. Caxias received two medals presented by Chief of Staff Sanchez to an emotional Esmeralda, the widow of the late Caxias. The medals were the Combat Cross First Class and the Army's War Medal for his courageous acts and his sacrifice for his country. Do Erval received the Combat Cross 2nd Class for his sacrifice in the Venezuelan/Colombian war that claimed thousands of lives including his own.
Army's War Medal
Combat Cross 1st Class
Combat Cross 2nd Class
A moving speech was given by Chief of Staff Sanchez that rallied the hearts of both officials and civilians alike:
We have lost two brave souls to our sorrowful war against the oppressive and degenerate Colombian and Venezuelan armies that fight for their corrupted governments. We have lost two sons of our beloved Brazil, but these sons of Brazil were also fathers...husbands...and comrades. Their bodies may be extinguished but they like Brazil will remain in our hearts and minds forever! Remember how our enemies disregarded Brazilian lives; remember the atrocities our enemies from all four cardinal directions have committed. But it is not only the bad we should remember but the good and the remarkable. Never before has a man conquered so many capitals...never before has a man defied the odds and brought victory to our beloved people. He earned the name the Conqueror of Capitals and he has earned a place in the history books along side Gengus Khan...Napoleon...and Alexander the Great. To us he is all three in one! To us he will never be forgotten! To us he will, like those who have fallen before him, be one of the unsung heroes of Brazil! People of Brazil rise and turn your sorrow into anger as our enemies cannot deter us, our enemies cannot divide us, for our destiny is sacred and our fate divine!
The speech ended with a roar of applause and the screams of "Courage and Strength!" which has become the motto of the Brazilian Armed Forces due to in part General Caxias. A five gun salute was given to both Do Erval and Caxias to conclude the state funeral. Meanwhile on the war front... on June 21st General Silva and Barros along with the Northern Army began its operation to strike back at Bolivia while the Southern Army marching out of Argentina under the command of General Melo began their objective of stopping any advance in the southern lands of Brazil. The Northern Army attacked Villa Bella on June 21st as our forces inflicted heavy casualties to the enemy with the battle concluding in victory on July 6th. On August 8th the Northern Army attacks Forte do Principe with the battle won three days later. On September 9th education was raised to its maximum while lowering the maintenance of our naval forces to Admiral Tamandare's approval. On September 10th the Northern Army attacks Exaltacion.
The battle is won on the 12th with minimal casualties. Meanwhile in the south, the Southern Army wins the battle of Villa Angela. On December 7th the Northern Army began its thrust for La Paz, two days later the Southern Army attacks Fuerte Esperanza.
The battle of Fuerte Esperanza would end in victory on the 16th. On December 27th La Paz was under siege as two Bolivian divisions dig in against the Northern Army with both sides suffering over 250 deaths a day.
Written by Terraferma
A victory in La Paz will seal the deal on Bolivia and I plan to make them...a modicom of what they are now.