Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Here from a much previous Military Thoughts blog entry a story in somewhat abbreviated form that is worth repeating.
Don Alonso Diaz Ramirez de Guzman. Best swordsman in all of New Spain during the early part of the 17th century.
This saga of a soldier for Spain in the New World is most amazing.
Wounded many times in battles with the Indians of New Spain [those Spanish colonies in the new world were all referred to as New Spain].
Finally, a disabling wound caused Don Alonso to return to Spain, to be awarded special honors. A petition to the King of Spain is most revealing in telling the story of the many battles of Don Alonso:
"of the last 19 years . . . spent 15 in the service of Your Majesty in the wars of the kingdom of Chile and the Indians of Peru, having traveled to those parts . . . owing to . . . particular inclination to take up arms in defense of the Catholic faith and in the service of Your Majesty . . . under the command of the Field Master Don Diego Bravo de Sarabia, . . . withstood the discomforts of military service . . . in every battle . . . deeds earned. . . the right to carry Your Majesty's flag, serving as . . . Ensign of the infantry company of Captain Gonzalo Rodríguez . . . In that period, . . . distinguished . . . with great courage and valor, suffering wounds, particularly in the battle of Peru. The troops having been reorganized, . . . moved to the company of Captain Guillén de Casanova, governor of the castle of Arauco, and was chosen as a valiant and fine soldier to go out and do battle with the enemy."
Not only was Don Alonso a great soldier, but a great duelist also. In the eyes of some, Don Alonso was the greatest swordsman in all of New Spain. In a duel, Don Alonso could be counted on for a great display of swordsmanship.
Don Alonso Diaz Ramirez de Guzman however [and this is where it gets sticky] was NOT A MAN. Don Alonzo rather Catalina de Eranso A WOMAN posing as a man, and doing it successfully for at least twenty years and doing so under the harshest conditions possible.
DON ALONZO [CATALINA] IN THE AFTERMATH OF DISCOVERY [FOUND OUT TO BE A WOMAN] REQUESTING AND RECEIVING A PERSONAL SESSION WITH THE POPE, AS A CONSEQUENCE GIVEN SPECIAL DISPENSATION TO DRESS AS A MAN AND CONTINUE WITH HIS/HER MILITARY CAREER!
Hardly ever in any context are you going to find a stranger tale! Truth rather than fiction! Don Alonzo indeed makes most us quite small in comparison. They just don't make them like Don Alonzo anymore.