The Shirtless Liberators
A few days after his victory over Royalist forces in the
Battle of Boyacá, in what is now Colombia (August
7, 1819), Simon Bolivar, the liberator of much of South
America, entered Bogotá.
Having been given a tumultuous reception and numerous honors
by the city fathers, Bolivar decided to invite some of the leading citizens to
an elaborate banquet, as a way of thanking them. Naturally, he also invited many of his
officers to this reception. Among them
was an English volunteer who had attained the rank of colonel for his many
services to the Revolution.
When the colonel arrived, Bolivar took one look at him and
said, "My good and brave colonel, what a dirty shirt you have for this
grand dinner; what happened?"
The colonel replied that he was, "really very sorry,
but, to confess the truth, this is the only shirt I have!"
At that, Bolivar laughed, and sent for his valet. When his manservant arrived, Bolivar instructed
the fellow to give the colonel a shirt from the general's wardrobe.
The man hesitated.
Bolivar stared at his valet for a moment, and then asked,
"Why don't you do as I have instructed?"
The valet responded, rather sheepishly, "Your
Excellency has but two shirts -- one is on your back, and the other in the
Bolivar and the colonel burst out in laughter, and the
general remarked, "The Spanish retreated so quickly, colonel, that I had
to leave my baggage behind."
By Land or by Sea
To command successfully, whether on land or sea, is a
considerable achievement. But a handful
of men across the ages have done so on both
land and sea. For the most part,
these men gained distinction first as naval officers, and then in command of
land forces as well, but a few went the other way, and have been indicated by
|M. Vipsanius Agrippa (c. 63–12 BC)|| Rome|
|Robert Blake (1599-1657) *|| England |
|Samuel P. Carter (1819-1891)|| US|| Only US admiral to be a general too|
|Richard Deane (1610–1653) *|| England|
|Andrea Doria (1466-1560)|| Genoa|
|François Garnier (1839-1873)|| France|
|Miklós Horthy (1868-1957)|| Hungary|
|Jean Bernard Jauréguiberry (1815-1887)|| France|
|Patricio Lynch (1825-1886)|| Chile|
|Aleksandr V. Kolchak (1874-1920)|| Russia|
|George Monk (1608-1670) *|| England|
|Charles Napier (1786-1860) ||Britain|
|Gn. Pompeius + (106-48 BC)|| Rome|
|Edward Popham (1610-1651) *|| England|
|Pierre-Alexis Ronarc'h (1865-1940)|| France|
|William Sydney Smith (1764-1840)|| Britain ||Perhaps Napoleon's most determined foeman|
|+ Who liked to call himself, Gn. Pompeius Magnus -- Pompey the Great.|