Antiqua Print Gallery The Passage of the Tonelero
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The Passage of the Tonelero

The Passage of the Tonelero was a battle fought near near the precipice of Acevedo, in the right edge of the Paraná River, Argentina, on 17 December 1851, between the Argentine Army commanded by Lucio Norberto Mansilla and Brazilian warships led by John Pascoe Grenfell.
In 17 December 1851, the Brazilian fleet commanded by Grenfell was near the precipice of Acevedo in the river Paraná, so to pass through the the Tonelero. There were eight Brazilian warships: four steam corvettes, Dom Pedro, Dom Pedro II, Dom Pedro and Recife, that towed two sailing corvettes, Dona Francisca and União, plus a brig, Calíope. In Grenfell’s flagship, Dom Afonso, was also on board Brigadier General Marques de Sousa and the Argentines Colonel Wenceslao Paunero, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bartolomé Mitre and Lieutenant-Colonel Domingo Sarmiento. The ships brought half of the men that composed the 1st Division of Imperial Infantry and would have to return after that to lead the other half that was waiting in Colonia del Sacramento.
To oppose the passage, there were 16 cannons and 2,000 soldiers commanded by Lucio Norberto Mansilla, son-in-law of Rosas. For one hour the Argentines launched more than 450 cannon shots in the direction of the Brazilian ships that were making the passage, causing little damage, but killing four sailors and wounding other five. The warships counterattacked, without causing great damage to the Argentine forces, killing eight soldiers and wounding twenty. The squadron disembarked the troops in Diamante and part of the ships returned to bring the other battalions that stayed behind in Sacramento. Mansilla believed that the Brazilian division was going to disembark where his troops were located. He fled along with his men, leaving all the artillery and other equipment in their disordered withdrawal.

(Source Wikipedia)