Garibaldi and the Thousand

Garibaldi and the Thousand

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Garibaldi and the Thousand

Garibaldi and the Thousand

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Excerpt

The present volume, 'Garibaldi and the Thousand', with its sequel on the Liberation of Naples which I hope to complete ere long, will together tell the story of Garibaldi's part in the decisive events of 1859-60 which 'made Italy.' His part in 1859 was entirely subordinate, and I have not exaggerated it in the early pages of this volume; 1859 was the year of Cavour and Napoleon III. But 1860 was the year of Cavour and Garibaldi, and it is that which forms the main theme of my work.

Of the astonishing feats of 1860 I here relate the first part, when, landing with a thousand chosen men in plain clothes or in red shirts, armed with muskets fit for the scrap heap, the Liberator, with the aid of the Sicilian populace, took the capital of the island from 24,000 regular troops armed with rifles. The story of that month during which the title band was shut up in that strange island from the knowledge of the expectant world--the tale of those adventures which, though they are such stuff as schoolboys' dreams are made of, yet involved the whole fate of Italy-- has a charm which will, I hope, justify in the eyes of the reader the detail in which it is here told. The later part of the campaign, after the fall of Palermo and the arrival of the larger expeditions to join Garibaldi, though not less interesting, is, both politically and military, of a different and wider character, and will be better treated in a separate volume.

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