; born in Cuba
in 1834; was educated at Madrid
; and became a colonel when twenty-nine years old. For a time he served in Morocco
, and returned to Spain
, with the rank of brigadier-general, in 1870, and took part in putting down the Carlist insurrection.
Later he declared against the republic and was imprisoned as a conspirator, but after requesting to serve in the Liberal army he was set free, and given the command of a division under Concha
He took part in the battles of Los Munecas and Galdames, and raised the siege of Bilbao
Returning to Madrid
he espoused the cause of Alfonso XII., and with Jovellar
succeeded in placing the royal heir on the throne.
He was next sent into the disturbed territory of Catalonia, which he pacified in less than a month.
In 1876 he
ended the civil war by defeating Don Carlos
at Peña de la Plata
, for which he
was appointed a captain-general.
In the following year he was ordered to Cuba
, to combat the insurrection, and brought about a cessation of hostilities by pledging the Cubans a more liberal government.
This pledge he made a strenuous effort to have kept when he became prime minister and minister of war, but the Cortes would not support him, and, feeling his honor violated thereby, he resigned his office (1879). In April, 1895, he was again sent to Cuba
, but was unable to accomplish any practical result, and was recalled in January, following.
In May, 1899, the Queen Regent
appointed him president of the Senate.
He died at Zarauz, Spain
, Sept. 23, 1900.
He was conceded to be the ablest and most humane of the Spanish
generals of his day, and his word, personally, had acceptance everywhere.
Till his death he considered the refusal of the Cortes to carry out the pledge he had given the Cubans in 1877 a stain upon his honor.