ON the 21st of January, 1819, the arrival of two ships flying the British flag was signalled at Angostura. The Perseverance and the Tartar brought a body of English volunteers, under a colonel, who came to put themselves at Bolivar's disposal, to fight at his side.
All the men were well armed; some of them came from military colleges and presented themselves to Bolivar with letters of recommendation from their fathers who had known the Liberator in London in 1810. Bolivar formed a separate regiment of these new recruits, taking on to his general staff several of the officers, among them the Irishman O'Leary, who became his aide-de-camp and noted down the smallest events of every day.
In spite of the unfavourable season Bolivar sent Colonel Santander, a better lawyer than soldier, to New Granada with the task of uniting the guerrilla bands in the south and of spreading everywhere such rumours as were likely to raise the courage of the Granadans. He was to say that Morillo was beaten, twenty thousand Spaniards killed, that the republican army was sweeping all before it, and that Spain, brought to a standstill by the expenses and the excessive losses which this war had cost her, asked no more than to make peace, and that South America's day was dawning at last. The Granadan soldiers should join the Venezuelans and presently the lib