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CORDOVA, Jose Maria, South American soldier, born in Cajamarca, Peru. 14 January, 1786; died near the stone City, 18 October, 1846. He was the son of wealthy parents, who sent him to Spain for his military studies, and, after finishing them, he entered the Spanish army and fought against the French when they invaded the peninsula. But, on hearing of the revolutionary movement in Peru, he deserted his colors, although he was a captain of cavalry, and fled to his own country. There he took service under the insurgent General Rondeau, and was with him in many battles fought in upper Peru (now Bolivia). He was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1813, and given command of the guerillas, with which, in 1814, he continually molested the Spanish General Pezuela, forcing him to retreat to Suipacha ; but Pezuela afterward routed both Rondeau and Cordova, then commanding a division, at Viluma, near Cuzco, on 15 November, 1815. Then Cordova offered his services to General San Martin, who was preparing an expedition to Chili, and, having distinguished himself at the battle of Chacabuco, Chili, was appointed colonel in the Chilian army, and as such fought at Cancha Rayada and Maipo in 1818. On 14 January, 1819, he embarked in one of the Chilian vessels commanded by Lord Cochrane, took an important part in several unsuccessful attacks upon Callao, returned to Chili, afterward accompanied San Martin when he landed at Pisco, 8 September, 1820, was awarded the rank of brigadier-general, and finally entered Lima with San Martin, 12 July, 1821. The constituent congress of Peru appointed Cordova general of division, and elected him a member of the triumvirate intrusted with the government of the country, and subsequently was defeated, 18 June, 1823, by Canterac, the Spanish general that entered Lima; then Cordova joined General Sucre, with whom he entered Arequipa, 30 August, and on 5 August, 1824, took part in the defeat of the royalists at Junin, when he commanded the centre of the army under Bolivar. At the battle of Ayacucho, 9 December, 1824, Cordova decided the victory for the revolutionary forces by defeating the three portions of the royalist army in succession, and taking prisoners Viceroy Laserna and General Moret, even after the division under Sucre, the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary troops, had been routed by the Spaniards. That was the end of the Spanish-American war of independence. In December, 1827, the Peruvian people elected General Cordova vice-president and he acted as such for six years, afterward retiring to his farm at Cajamarca, where he died.
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