Battle of the Lines of Elvas

Battle Of The Lines Of Elvas

Military Conflict
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Battle of the Lines of Elvas

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Description:
The Battle of the Lines of Elvas (), was fought on 14 January 1659, in Elvas, between Spain and Portugal.

History

In 1658 a Spanish army commanded by D. Luis de Haro, was camped in the frontier of the River Caia, with 14,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry and several pieces of artillery. The preparation of the siege of the Portuguese city of Elvas took several days, and Portugal expecting the attack had several days to prepare the defence. De Haro distributed his troops in trenches, giving orders to kill everyone that approached the city. The only way the situation could turn in favour of the Portuguese was a hypothetical arrival of a true army. Queen-Mother Luisa de Guzman decided to call for António Luís de Meneses, Count of Cantanhede, and gave him the command of all Portuguese troops in Alentejo. She also transferred to the same theatre of operations Sancho Manoel de Vilhena, who assumed the post of "Field-Master". The Spaniards initially bombarded the city, causing panic and huge casualties among the civil population while the black death was causing 300 deaths a day.

Confronted with this situation, the Count of Cantanhede, although having extremely poor logistical conditions, managed to gather an army in Estremoz. He organized recruitments in Viseu and in the Madeira islands and united the garrisons of Borba, Juromenha, Campo Maior, Vila Viçosa, Monforte and Arronches. The army had 8,000 infantry, 2,500 cavalry and seven cannons. The Portuguese plan was to...
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