José María Córdova Muñoz, also known as the "Hero of Ayacucho", was a General of the Colombian army during the Independence War of Colombia, Perú, and Bolivia from Spain.
Córdova's military career began in 1814, when he joined the newly formed Engineer Corps in the province of Antioquia, which had just been established by Francisco José de Caldas in Medellín. Cordova's interest in the military and the revolutionary cause had been stoked by the Colombian declaration of independence, as well as Antioquia's own declaration of independence as the "Republic of Antioquia" or the "Free and Sovereign State of Antioquia." In 1815, Córdova then also enrolled in the revolutionary army and was sent to Tunja. There he was appointed second lieutenant and fought under the French Colonel Emanuel Roergas Serviez, who became his mentor. Córdova's battalion assisted in the victory of the battle of “Río Palo” and Cordova himself rose to the rank of Lieutenant, when he was only 16 years old.
Once the counter offensive by the Spanish troops began in 1815, Serviez was appointed as commander in chief of the Army, while Córdova continued to serve under him. In 1816, Serviez's forces, including Córdova's battalion, were defeated and forced to retreat to the Llanos Orientales. There, General Serviez was assassinated, presumably under orders from José Antonio Páez. Córdova himself was court martialed for desertion, but avoided execution, and was subsequently restored to his rank. He was then given a command post before Simón Bolívar's arrival to Venezuela in 1816. Córdova was then sent to the Guayana Region in 1817, and Bolivar later incorporated him in his senior staff.
In 1819, soon after the Battle of Boyacá, General Bolívar promoted Córdova to the rank of General and commissioned him to expel the Spanish forces from the province of Antioquia. The Spanish army of General Barreiro had been demolished at Boyacá, and Córdova’s mission was to prevent the regrouping of the Spanish forces in northern Colombia. Córdova embarked on his mission with 190 soldiers, arriving in Rionegro on August 25 and in Medellín on August 30.
Statistics for this Xoptio
Hero of Independence 50
% Played a minor role