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A Biography of

General Enrique Loynaz del Castillo

Contributed by Larry Daley

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This is a brief biography of the life of Cuban General Enrique Loynaz del Castillo, who served under Antonio Maceo.


General Enrique Loynaz del Castillo took part  in "La Invasion," under the great cavalry general Antonio Maceo. "La Invasion" was a massive campaign that was part of the Cuban War of Independence.

Loynaz, was an educated man of action.  He participated actively in the preparations for the Cuban uprising of 1895.  Just before the last Cuban war of Independence of 1895-1898, he shot  a would-be assassin who was trying to kill the already-wounded Maceo in Costa Rica.

During the war Loynaz wrote the music and text of the Invasion's march theme, "El Hymno Invasor."  His unit saw combat in innumerable actions including Guaramanao, Lavado, la Reforma, Iguara, Casa de Tejas, Manacal, Boca de Toro, El Quirro, Mal Tiempo, La Colmena, Ingenio Antilla, Coliseo, Calimonte, Central Maria, Isabela, El Estante and many other places.

At Iguara on December 3, 1895, while his music played in battle for the first time, he and Calixto Enamorado, a son of General Garcia, were among the Cuban forces that while battling the Spanish. Unbeknowst to them, they were fightin against a young man called Winston Churchill who was with the Spanish forces as an observer.

At "Paso de Damas," ("Ford of the Women"), Loynaz had two horses killed under him.  Fighting in far western Cuba, he crossed the western Spanish Trocha line, and saw additional action at Santa Teresa, El Bejuco, Guinia, El Relampago. He returned from that campaign with only fifteen men left. Gathering forces in Central Cuba, he fought against the Spanish until victory was achieved.

In 1906 Loynaz del Castillo, then a member of the Cuban house of representatives, won decisive victories in the Veteranos and Patriotas rising while another of General Garcia's sons, Mambi Brigadier General Carlos Garcia Velez, one of the principals in that revolt, was caught in Havana before he could leave, was held in jail by Estrada Palma.  A hastily expanded and armed Rural Guard supported Estrada Palma.  The Estrada Palma forces were helpless, lost in the still heavily wooded island, and facing the strength of the still vigorous Mambi veterans.

General Enrique Loynaz del Castillo had decisively beaten General Alejandro Rodriguez of the Guardia Rural, then the only force that the Cuban government had, at Wajay.  This defeat forced the retreat of Estrada Palmas forces.  Estrada Palma was stopped from obtaining a constitutionally-prohibited second turn in office.  Fred Funston of the US Army negotiated a truce.

General Loynaz, survived until 1963. His eldest daughter Dulce Maria was a famous, and much honored, Cuban poet.

Website Bibliography
Article Bibliography:

Loynaz del Castillo, Enrique (interview) 1950 General Enrique Loynaz delCastillo. Bohemia 42(9) (February 26, 1950) pp.18, 250-251.

Loynaz del Castillo, Enrique. 1989, Memorias de la guerra. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales,

Calixto Garcia-I~niguez Enamorado (interview) 1950 General Calixto Garcia Enamorado. Bohemia 42(9) (February 26, 1950), pp.16, 251.

Loynaz del Castillo, Enrique. 1989, Memorias de la guerra. La Habana:Editorial de Ciencias Sociales,

Randolph S. Churchill 1966, Winston S. Churchill. Vol. I  Youth 1874-1900. Houghton Mifflin Company Bostaon. The Riverside Press Cambridge. pp. 264-270.

Myszkowski, Eugene. 1994. The Remington-Lee Rifle. Excalibur Publications. P.O. Box 36, Latham, NY  12110-0036 pp. 58-62, 89.

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