Santiago de Chile: Litografia de Pedro Cadot, Huerfanos 25, 3 de Agosto de 1879. Large folio broadside, lithographed entirely in gold. Bold headline "Cazadores del Desierto" followed by the arms of the Republic, flanked by military ensigns, and text in single and double column, the whole framed by an ornamental border. Signed in lithograph script at the bottom attesting to the document's authenticity. (A few tiny holes at folds not affecting text, o/w entirely sound and in fine attractive condition.). Item #99243
An apparently unrecorded broadside marking the beginning of the "War of the Pacific," or the so-called "Nitrate War," waged by Chile against Bolivia and Peru when in February 1879 Bolivia attempted to tax and then size Chile's valuable nitrate operations situated on the Bolivian coast, near the port of Antofagasta. Chile issued a formal declaration on April 4, 1879, which triggered the entry of Peru based on a mutual assistance pact with Bolivia. Chile prevailed on all fronts: at the conclusion of the war in 1883/84, Chile had gained control of the entire Bolivian coast, invaded Lima, and occupied two other Peruvian cities. The peace settlement, such as it was, left a wake of territorial dispute and diplomatic tension that lasted well into the 20th century.
This official broadside lithographed in gold, commemorates the sending of one of Chile's elite units, the "Cazadores del Desierto" or the Desert Light Infantry, into battle. The ceremonies, which took place on Aug. 3, 1879, consisted of a mass and the blessing of the troops, followed by a parade. After passing in review to an audience made up of the city's dignitaries from both church and state and distinguished patrons, all of whom are named in the text, the troops were administrated a solemn oath "de defender con honor, hasta derramar si fuera necesario, la ultima gota de su sangre, la bandera que lleva en su centro las armas de la Republica i el lema santo DIOS I PATRIA. (to defend with honor…to the last drop of your blood, the flag that bears at its center the arms of the Republic…, i.e. the ensign that appears here is the striking vignette at the top). Nor found in OCLC, KVK, LOC online.