Joaquín Vara de Rey y Rubio
General Vara de Rey was born in Ibiza in the Balearic
Islands in 1840. He graduated as a second lieutenant from the Colegio
general, ascending to the rank of first lieutenant in 1862. He fought
against uprisings in Cartagena and Valencia and against the Carlists.
He requested a transfer to the Philippines in
1884 where he remained until 1890 having served as Captain General of
the Philippines and governor of the Mariana Islands.
Upon his return to Spain, he became commander of the garrison
at Avila until April 1895 when he volunteered for service in Cuba.
He was the military commander of Bayamo and commanded the regiment that
fought in the battle of Loma de Gato where José Maceo, brother
of Antonio, was slain and for which he was made brigadier general. Thanks
to the courage of Vara de Rey and the 500 men under his command, U.S.
troops were unable to take El Caney, despite the fact that they outnumbered
the Spanish ten to one. Brigadier General Henry Lawton finally took the
town when Vara de Rey was killed while being carried off the field with
wounds in both legs.
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