Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FREITES, Pedro Maria, Venezuelan patriot, born in Barcelona in 1790; died in Caracas, 7 May 1817. His father was a Spanish colonel and governor of Barcelona, and Freites was also employed in the Spanish administration; but when, in 1811, the independence of Venezuela was declared, he joined the republican army. He took part in Bolivar's expedition to Venezuela, and commanded the infantry of Piar in the battle of Juncal, 27 September 1816, in which Morales's forces were annihilated. When Bolivar, in the beginning of 1817, resolved to evacuate Barcelona, he left there a battalion of 700 men under the command of Preites, who had been promoted to brigadier general. Freites's forces were not sufficient to defend the whole City, and he therefore occupied Casa Fuerte, an intrenched fort constructed out of the convent of St. Francis, where also many of the principal families of Barcelona took refuge. This was captured by the Spanish on 7 April after a desperate resistance, but. Preites made a desperate sally and had already nearly gained the neighboring woods, when he fell, and all his followers were overpowered and killed. Preites and the governor, Rivas, were spared and sent as prisoners to Caracas, where the captain general, Moxo, ordered their execution.
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