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  • On the morning of December 6, 1868, Marshal of the Brazilian Army, Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Marquis of Caxias, moved with 16,999 infantryment, 926 cavalrymen and 742 artilleryment, to take Villeta, a Paraguayan city, as a plan to make further attacks on the Paraguayan Army rear. Nevertheless, Paraguayan president and commander-in-chief of the army Francisco Solano López was aware of the landing the Allies had made in the rear of his army. Taking advantage of the Allies' slow march, he sent Colonel Bernardino Caballero and 5,000 men with 12 guns, to stop the enemy at a narrow passage over a stream called Ytororó. Caballero deployed his troops so that Caxias would have to cross the only passage at disposal under heavy fire. The battle started by late morning and was characterized by attacks and counterattacks for control of the bridge. By nightfall, after a fierce fight, the bridge was taken by Brazilian volunteer battalions led personally by Marshal Caxias shouting "Follow me, those of you who are Brazilians", and the Allies could advance towards Villeta.