While the war against Peru was still in its opening phase the twenty platinean states and two territories elected their governors for the next six years. While the elections were held without interference in all states and the Matto Grosso territory the Governor of the Esperanza territory couldn't be elected due to Peruvian troops seizing parts of the territory. Instead the current governor was affirmed by a meeting of delegates in Puerto Hearth.
The election went the way like it was predicted by many politicians and journalists in the previous weeks. The more rural and inland states all voted for the candidates of the conservative Partido Federal while the more industrialized states on the eastern seabord and along the great rivers elected the candidates of the Union Liberal. The liberals also won the states of Santiago, La Paz and Cochabamba due to their promise to create more equal living conditions for the minorities.
The Governmental Elections would have gone by barely noticed if it weren't for the fact, that the new Governors appointed new senators according to their political opinion. And thus the vast liberal majority in Senate, on which the two Prime Ministers could always count on, vanished overnight and the conservatives took over control of the Senate by six seats.
The liberal majority in both houses was gone and only time would tell how this would effect politics in the still young nation.
Despite the state of war between Platinea and Peru imigrants were seeking shelter and fortune in the kingdom at the La Plata River. And more and more entrepreneurs took the chance to earn a lot of money organizing emigration to certain areas, encouraged by the Agricultural Colonies Act. And in June, two weeks after the Governmental Elections, several thousand imigrants heading from the port of Hamburg settled down in three agricultural colonies in the state of Santiago del Esterro. In this heavily wooded area they were ordered to reclaim land from the forests around their settlements
Migrants from southern germany on the tween deck of a german clipper ship heading to Platinea.
The Army of the Andes, commanded by General Urquiza, reached Puerto Maldonado on July 15th and began occupying the surrounding area. While no additional peruvian forces were reported in the northern theatre the 3rd peruvian Corps, still believed to be a fake by Urquiza, was sighted by Mitré's scouts near the city of Puno, marching towards Arica.
On 26th of August, after more than two months, Urquiza finally managed to occupy the area around Puerto Maldonado. But there was no time to celebrate the capture of the peruvian city as the scouts report two divisions, the peruvian 7th & 8th Corps, in Atalaya which were heading for Puerto Maldonado. Completely baffled that the peruvians fielded two more divisions and commited them for offensive measures General Urquiza ordered his man to dig in on the edge of the forest outside the town. As two days later another scout reports another division, 6th Peruvian Corps, marching towards Maldonado the efforts two fortify their positions was doubled.
Next bad news came on September 6th, another peruvian division, was reported in Cuzco, on the left flank of Urquizas position closing the last gap in the peruvian line.
On September 14th the 7th and 8th Corps finally arrives at Puerto Maldonado and begin their attack on the Army of the Andes. Despite the fact, that Urquiza commanded three divisions he had only roughly 15,000 men under his command, while the two Peruvian division were at full strength. Six days later the situation worsens as the 6th Corps arrives and enforces the attackers. Urquizas forces were now outnumbered two to one and the platinean casualties rose tremendously while the peruvian losses were low. The future didn't look very bright for Urquizas men but the General was willing to hold the conquered city against the peruvian assault.
Soldiers from the Army of the Andes in their makeshift fortifications, ditches and trenches, during a lull.
While the Chief of Army was fighting in a remote wooden region the Chief of Navy Admiral Thorne arrived with the Royal Platinean Navy in peruvian waters. He was welcomed by the peruvian frigates Limena and Monteagudo which engaged the platinean fleet in Pisagua bay. The two frigates were no match for the overwhelming force. The Limena was sunk on September 21st while the Monteagudo reached heavily damaged Arica harbour which she probably wouldn't leave till the end of the war.
This famous picture of the Battle of Pasagua shows the the sinking of the peruvian frigate Limena on the far right and the heavily damaged peruvian frigate Monteagudo in the moment when she loses her main mast (second from right). On the left are shown the platinean frigates Archilleus, Ajax, Hercules and Hector (from left to right) turning in order to pursue the fleeing Monteagudo.
At the end of September the situation stalemated. Bot sides defended their positions, spreading their troops all across the border, leaving not a single gap for a fast move or a breakthrough. The only engagement which still was undecided was fought in the thick forests of Puerto Maldonado were both sides had concentrated three divisions lead by their respective surpreme commanders to determine the fate of the northern theater of war. While the platinean troops fought for their very lifes rumours made it to General Urquiza that his adversary Dioniso was awaiting further reinforcements through the 5th Corps in the near future. Due to these circumstances General Mitré once again pleaded the Chief of Army to launch a counter offensive along the entire southern front from Urquiza's left (southern) flank to the pacific, in order to threaten the peruvian operations in the north. Mitré predicted that his forces could throw back the enemy, shorten their own lines and directly threaten General Dionisio's right flank thus forcing him to retreat and redeploy his forces. But Urquiza once again denied his permission and Mitré was condemned to sit still in La Paz.
This map shows the stiffend situation along the Platinean-Peruvian border at the end of September 1856. The Battle of Puerto Maldonado is still raging.
While autumn slowly died into winter several businessmen developed the idea of organized market structures. These ideas worked like a drop of oil in a creaky and squeaky gearwheel. The platinean economy run smoothier than ever, the idea of organized market structures was seen as a milestone on the way into an industrialized society.