|Conflicts|| Argentine War of Independence |
War Great War
|Birth|| 1780 |
|Death|| April 26 , 1863 |
City of Buenos Aires , Argentina
Thomas Craig was born in Ireland in 1780 , the son of Nicolás Craig and Honor Byrne. [ 1 ] According to some sources, after being shipwrecked at the beginning of the 19th century on the Patagonian coast, he was captured by the Indians and handed over to the authorities of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata , after which he settled in the city of Buenos Aires and He enlisted in the Creole militias when the first English invasion of the Río de la Plata occurred in 1806 . [ 2 ]
According to other authors, [ 3 ] he joined the British expedition with the rank of 1st sergeant and, after the surrender of Guillermo Carr Beresford , he was one of the prisoners who deserted avoiding his reincorporation to the British army to remain in the country. Mason, in 1807 he joined the Star of the South Lodge .
After the May Revolution of 1810 , Thomas Craig, also known by the nickname "corners Break", joined the party of emancipation and enlisted in the Army of the North to the command of Colonel Francisco Ortiz de Ocampo as Sergeant 1st added to the body of Artillery. In 1811 he served under Colonel Pinto and on December 1 of this last year he joined the Húsares del Perú regiment as an artillery sergeant . When the Army of the North was reorganized in 1812 by General Manuel Belgrano, he remained assigned to the patriot artillery, and under the command of Eustoquio Díaz Vélez he fought in the battles of Tucumán, Salta , Vilcapugio and Ayohuma . In this last action he was injured, for which he had to return to Buenos Aires. On October 22, 1813, he was promoted to lieutenant in the Cordoba militias.
On his return to the Río de la Plata he encountered the crisis that would go down in history as the Anarchy of the Year XX, so he briefly settled in the Banda Oriental , where he was Commissioner and Justice of the Peace, but returned to Buenos Aires before the Portuguese-Brazilian occupation. At the outbreak of the Brazilian War, he joined the Argentine Navy , under the command of Guillermo Brown .
When the War of Paraná broke out in 1841 , within the framework of the Great War and named for its development in the Río de la Plata and the Río Paraná , Guillermo Brown was summoned by Juan Manuel de Rosas to command the Argentine Navy again and fight the a squad under the command of his former subordinate John Halstead Coe had been raised by Fructuoso Rivera after overthrowing the Uruguayan President Manuel Oribe .
On February 7, 1841, the schooner brig General Aguiar ( Enrique Sinclair suffered a mutiny on board and deserted the eastern squadron at Colonia del Sacramento at a time when its commander was ashore. Craig was appointed as his new commander receiving from Brown Instructions for enlistment After completing her new task, the Aguiar was incorporated into the squadron as the schooner Libertad , mounting 4 guns of 8 and 1 gun of 12.
When the 400 t Kremlim frigate , with Boston registration, was acquired in Buenos Aires in March 1841 , Tomás Craig was appointed as its first commander with instructions to urgently enlist it for combat, for which he ceded command of Liberty to Lieutenant José María Cordero . In April Craig took over command of the frigate anchored in Los Pozos, now called May 25 . Craig had his original artillery withdrawn and 18 20-pound carronades mounted on the main deck (nine per side) from the Cacique brig , 4 long 20-pounder guns and 2 16-pounder on the mezzanine and 2 iron gonads from a 9 lbs. (26 guns).
By early May the ship was ready to depart. On May 11, the Argentine flag was affirmed and in July it sailed under the command of Captain Joaquín Hidalgo, joining the Naval Campaign of 1841 (Great War) .
After the combat of May 24, 1841 , while the riverist squad was recovering from the combat, the schooner Palmar (3 guns, Guillermo Mason ) accompanied by a patacho, left the port of Montevideo and joined the Argentine squad.
Renamed July 9 , she was placed under Craig's command with instructions for his enlistment. After completing it in the Riachuelo, mounting 1 gonad of 18 rotating and 4 cannons of 8 (two per side), he intervened in the pursuit of the schooner Luisa during the blockade of Montevideo, after which it was delivered to its new commander, Captain Guillermo Bathurst. .
In November 1841 he requested and obtained discharge from the service, but shortly afterwards he was reinstated and appointed by Brown as commander of the Republican 40-ton brig with which he set sail from Interior Beacons on July 28, 1842, joining the flagship General Belgrano in the pursuit of the river fleet, now under the command of José Garibaldi .
He returned to Buenos Aires in October 1842 and in December he went with General Echagüe to the Uruguay River on a cruise of little consequence that ended in March 1843 . Destined to blockade the city of Montevideo , in May he returned to Buenos Aires, where he made repairs and modified his artillery.
In July, it briefly rejoined the blockade to operate on Maldonado in August. In October he returned to the blockade, remaining in that position until the end of the year.
Between January and June 1844 it remained affected by the blockade. After escorting Brown to Buenos Aires in search of reinforcements, he returned to the blockade. On September 29, 1844, he was involved in the so-called " USS Congress Incident ", an unjustified aggression by the United States fleet in the Río de la Plata against the Argentine squad.
The captain of the USS Congress Philip Falkerson Voorhees considering that the rifle fire received by a ship from his country from another of the eastern flag, the San Cala . It represented a Confederate attack on a ship from its country, it captured the San Cala and when the Argentine schooner 9 de Julio ( Eduardo Brown ) passed within cannon shot of the USS Bainbridge, it was in turn stopped and boarded, while Congress boarded by one of its bows to the frigate May 25 .
Seeing that the Republican Voorhees was approaching, he left May 25 for the moment and went over the little brig, capturing it. After verifying what happened, Voorhees returned the ships, but refused to redress the flag, so the Argentine fleet kept its flags lowered in protest. Finally the superior of Voorhees solved the interdict and retired to Voorhees, that was put on trial.
Between October and December 15, Craig stayed with the Republican in a careening dam in Ensenada de Barragán . In January 1845 he joined the Paraná River squadron for what turned out to be one of the few ships that escaped the so-called theft of the squadron perpretrated by the British and French naval forces on August 2 in Montevideo.
The Republican then integrated the defense line of Paraná in the Vuelta de Obligado . Craig had an active participation in the construction of the line of 24 barges linked by chains that crossed the Paraná River with an extension of approximately 800 meters in width. The barges or lanchones were dismantled and anchored to the river bed, attached to the mainland by an anchor that was located on a promontory in front of one of the four installed batteries and, at the other end, the Republican brig .
Craig participated on November 20 in the battle of the Vuelta de Obligado responding with Anglo - French fire until after noon, already out of ammunition, with serious damage and in the presence of the enemy, he blew up the Republican to avoid capture, passing with the survivors to the mainland joining the Manuelita coastal battery , located on the north promontory under the command of Juan Bautista Thorne .
In a later report, the head of the Patricios regiment, Colonel Ramón Rodríguez, would attest that Craig "was found in the combat of Obligado in command of the Republican brig-schooner, which after the ammunition had ended, having blown it up according to the orders he had received from the General, he crossed the Paraná in boats (because the Republican's position was on the opposite side) and came to the batteries, in which the combat continued under the command of Colonel Francisco Crespo , on whose side he remained until the end of that. Everything that I know from having witnessed it . "
In the same aforementioned service certification file, Colonel Antonio Toll states that Craig acted at his orders in 1841 "having entrusted him with delicate commissions, which he carried out with the greatest zeal and activity, never having been daunted in the face of the enemy, having performed always with the greatest courage and serenity " .
Craig continued to serve in the Argentine Navy and in 1849 he assumed command of the schooner Santa Clara with which he carried out patrol tasks on the Río de la Plata until the pronouncement of Urquiza in 1851 . Craig remained loyal to Rosas and in 1852 , shortly before the Battle of Caseros , he took charge of the Maipú schooner and after quickly enlisting it, it was stationed at the mouth of the Paraná River.
After the fall of Rosas he was separated from command but after the Revolution of September 11, 1852, he was reinstated and in November 1852 he resumed command of the Maipú , joining the expedition of General Juan Madariaga against the province of Entre Ríos . In 1853 he was promoted to sergeant major of the Buenos Aires squad but on December 1, 1857 , at the age of 77, he requested and obtained his pass to the disabled corps.
Tomás Craig died at an advanced age in Buenos Aires on April 26 , 1863 . He had married in first nuptials with the Argentine Encarnación Luján and on August 8, 1849 he married in second nuptials with the Irish Jane Donovan, daughter of Daniel Donovan and Mary Crowley, with whom he had two children: Francisca and Guillermo Francisco del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Craig (1852-1936), who had the captain Antonio Toll as godfather of baptism , took part in the fight against the Jordanian rebellions , in the expeditions to the [[Río Negro (Argentina) and in the Conquest of the Argentine Chaco , in the revolution of 1880 and in the revolution of the ParkHe served in the General Staff of the Army and was head of the military prison in the capital, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Argentine Army .
A street in the Caballito neighborhood of the city of Buenos Aires bears his name, as do others in the Buenos Aires municipalities of Almirante Brown , Merlo , General Rodríguez and Malvinas Argentinas .
Notes and references
- Tomás Craig and Antonia Sern, following Yaben.
- Thomás Murray, The Irish in Argentina , cited by Eduardo.A. Coghlan, Los irlandeses en la Argentina. His performance and offspring .
- Yaben, Jacinto R., Argentine and South American Biographies .
- Teodoro Caillet-Bois , Argentine Naval History , 1944, Imprenta López, Buenos Aires
- Vicente Osvaldo Cutolo , New Argentine Biographical Dictionary (1750-1930) , Editorial Elche, 1968.
- Yaben, Jacinto R. , Argentine and South American Biographies , 1938
- Carranza, Ángel Justiniano , "Naval Campaigns of the Argentine Republic", Guillermo Kraft Ltda. Workshops, Buenos Aires, 2nd edition, 1962.
- Arguindeguy, Pablo E. CL, and Rodríguez, Horacio CL; "Ships of the Argentine Navy 1810-1852 their commands and operations", Buenos Aires, Browniano National Institute, 1999.
- Eduardo A. Coghlan, The Irish in Argentina. His performance and descendants , Abraxas, Buenos Aires, 1987
- Setembrino E. Pereda, Garibaldi in Uruguay , Volume 1, El Siglo Ilustrado Printing, 1914
- Saldías, Adolfo, History of the Argentine Confederation , 1968, Buenos Aires, Eudeba.