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Pact of Zanjon
Cuba February 8, 1878
While Maximo Gomez and other chieftains allowed Martinez Campos to approach them, Maceo continued in battle and was severely set upon. From Barrancas he sent a special courier to his friend and doctor, Colonel Felix Figueredo, with a request for medications he urgently needed for the cure of the men he `held in high esteem and sorely needed.` In that battle, which took place the day before, `we swung our machetes he reported, adding that his men, caught between two forts, through lack of judgement unnecessarily received injuries because in a moment of enthusiasm they went too close to the fortifications.
The many machete and gunshot scars on Maceo`s body attested to his direct encounters with the enemy. In that period of Spanish troop concentration in Oriente, he received a nearly fatal wound. Recovery took three months. Attended by his wife and doctor, he was moved by his staff from one camp to another, deep in the woods, evading the Spaniards in constant search of the incapacitated leader.

Once recovered, he ignored the many machinations among his fellow rebels and continued confrontations with the Spanish forces through early February of 1878. In a valley named La Llanada del Mulato, he decisively defeated his adversaries. The prisoners he captured, most of them injured, he returned to the vanquished Spanish officer. In it Maceo noted the great quantity of blood spilled in pursuit of victory and stated that present high standards of human conduct and his own principles required that the wounded receive medical attention; since he was not able to give this care, he had chosen to return the captured men to their command. The Spanish officer, Brigadier J. F. Barges, thanked his adversary, expressed appreciation of the good sentiments and gave assurance of reciprocal consideration.

Martinez Campos kept himself well informed of the dissensions, rivalries and dissatisfactions among the rebel leaders, the military and civilian, while conducting an effective war against the active rebels. The intelligently conducted campaign culminated in the capitulation of the greater number of insurgent leaders who signed an agreement known as the Pact of Zanjon, February 8, 1878. The men who signed the agreement received moneys which were publicized as indemnities; among the recipients were Maximo Gomez and Vicente Garcia. Other privileges were extended, such as passage out of the country for the capitulators and their families.

The articles of the Pact established guarantees for the people of Cuba: concession to the Island of Cuba granting the same conditions, political, organic and administrative, that applied to the island of Puerto Rico; pardon for the men who had deserted the Spanish forces; `to forget the past` as it related to political misdeeds committed from 1868 to that date; freedom to the indentured Asiatics and slaves who had taken part in the rebel movement. There were also other commitments referring to the disposition and surrender of arms, etc.

By February 21 Maceo had to admit that he was informed on the cessation details and terms of the agreement. Maximo Gomez, wearied of fighting, exasperated by what he viewed as the revolutionaries inability to unify under him for the greater good of the cause, tired of their use of him as a useful outsider never allowed into the inner circle, explained in a letter to Maceo the circumstances of the pact and his reactions to his role in Cuban affairs.

by Magdalen M. Pando
Article ID 146
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