The American assault against Florida began once more with a tentative probing attack near Mayo on the 18th. Trying to calculate Spanish strength, the attack was only a brief assault which withdrew after an hour and suffered quite heavy casualties. The Spanish had improved greatly during the winter break with General Toledo training and bringing the new troops up to scratch. Defences had been greatly improved and the South American reinforcements had more than doubled the Federacion presence in Florida. The Spanish Navy had also been sent to reinforce Florida, preventing any great threat against the Spanish from the sea.
After the assault withdrew, the American Command concluded that the strategy of an assault from all sides was the best plan. Striking at different intervals at different locations, the idea was that the defenders would be run ragged and eventually overcome. The order was given, and the American forces resumed their assault on Mayo on the 21st along with two other major assaults on Spanish positions. Throughout February, the Spanish positions in the area were attacked and bombarded with impunity. It was with great difficulty that the Spanish forces managed to hold on throughout the month, the greater amount of American troops and equipment taking its toll.
The month also saw the sudden death of President Dewitt Clinton of the New England Republic. Although he had planned to finally step down from power before the 1829 election, Clinton still threw himself into his work which only aggravated his health. He was found dead in the Presidential Office after working through the night. Clinton was succeeded by Harold Garston, the Vice-President who oversaw the mourning period for Clinton.
The campaign in Florida finally saw a breakthrough when American forces outside Mayo finally managed to overcome the Spanish defences outside the village. The defences were broken on the 12th and were followed by American forces poring into the area. The battle of Mayo then took place on the 15th as Spanish reinforcements and the American Army clashed ten miles outside Mayo. The Spanish troops were the cream of the crop, especially reserved for moments like this and were eager for a fight. The American troops were good, but exhausted after over three days of constant marching and fighting and their morale was sapped somewhat.
The battle began at 12:21 PM as Toledo ordered an artillery bombardment on the American right flank and an infantry advance on the centre, keeping both the infantry on the right and left prepared for the worst. In response, the Americans attempted to outflank the attacking Spaniards by bringing both their right and left and crushing the attacking Spaniard attackers. This was just what Toledo had wanted and he sent his cavalry to attack the exposed infantry, succeeding in routing them back. The American cavalry counter attacked and managed to hold off the Spanish long enough for the infantry to regroup and hold.
One advantage the Americans did have was artillery, which was used with impunity. The constant bombardments on Spanish lines took their toll and Toledo himself lost two horses from artillery attack. With the Spanish unable to launch a meaningful attack without being mauled by the artillery and the Americans unable to attack due to their earlier decimation by the Spanish cavalry, the battle progressed into a bloody stalemate. After six hours, Toledo ordered a withdrawal to stop the killing and await further reinforcements. The Americans, exhausted and unable to hold their positions due to casualties, also withdrew, not knowing if Spanish reinforcements were on their way or not.
The Battle had the result of finally pushing the War to its end as Washington heard of the news and Jackson immediately called for a cease-fire, stating that the American troops had won a decisive victory at Mayo. The Spanish gratefully agreed and diplomats were sent from Havana to hammer out a Treaty. The reason why Jackson had called for a cease-fire so suddenly was because of domestic politics. Although the Congress Party were deeply unpopular, they still had seats in the Houses and were doing everything in their power to make Jackson’s life a political nightmare. Calls for impeachment were constant but had been largely deflected for the time being. With the Battle of Mayo ending in what could be termed (By stretching the term somewhat) as a victory for the Americans, Jackson could at least now paint the War as having been a victory of sorts while also ending the biggest source of criticism against himself.
With a Treaty being drawn between America and Spain, General Toledo began drafting what was to be a hugely influential military document concerning the progress of the War itself and how a political organisation like the Imperial Federacion needed to rethink its way of fighting. The Toledo recommendations were to be given to the Imperial Parliament upon his return to Madrid in June.
The Treaty of St. Augustine was signed between the Spanish Imperial Federacion and America on the 23rd, ending the Florida War. The clauses of the Treaty were as follows:
1: The Government of Spain was to cede Western Florida to the US.
2: All slaves that had escaped to Florida were to be returned to their owners upon capture.
3: No indemnities were to be paid by either side.
4: America was to respect Spanish influence in Florida Central and Southern America.
The Treaty was largely seen as being something of a draw by the neutral observer. Spain had managed to keep the bulk of its Florida possessions while America resolved the slavery issue and gained some new territory. Jackson played it up as a victory for as much as possible, being mindful of the election coming up in November. The Imperial Federacion breathed a sigh of relief, the trial was over and they could concentrate on the future, particularly the Toledo Report.
General Carlos de Toledo arrived in Madrid to a heroes welcome as he travelled to the meeting of the Imperial Federacion Parliament. The presentation of the report lasted for well over three hours as Toledo continually emphasised his points. The very basics of the report boiled down to the following:
1: The Armies of all nations of the Federacion should follow a Universal code. They should all wear the same uniform, have the same equipment, undergo the same training and follow the same command structure.
2: The quality of troops and officers needed to be vastly improved. An academy for warfare, much like the one instituted in Britain was recommended to be sponsored by the Spanish Government.
3: A semi permanent-force, under direct control of the Military of the Federacion was to be created to deal with hot spots of conflict.
Aside from the third point, the recommendations were agreed upon. The costs were to be incredible but the threat of another War was to be enough to push the measure through. Toledo himself was placed in charge of centralising and organising the Armies of the Federacion Nations. It would be a struggle to last his entire career but it would be an eventually fruitful one as the Military eventually became the most efficient organisation in the Federacion.
The 17th August saw the premiere of Beethoven’s Tenth Symphony in E Flat Major at the Royal Opera House. Such was the build up to the Symphony that even Prince William and his wife attended as representatives of the Royal Family. The Symphony consisted of three distinct movements with the final movement being a Choral one, taking fifty-two minutes in total for its completion. The first movement was a light and airy piece, symbolic of the traditional innocence of the Green and Pleasant Land. The second movement took on a much darker tone, showing how the threats of the time, such as tyranny, the ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ and hatred was threatening this traditional innocence. The final movement was the Choral piece, an extended adaptation of Blake’s poem And Those Feet in Ancient Time showing the hope that these threats would be overcome and Britain would become even greater.
The Symphony was greeted with rapturous applause from the audience, even Prince William joined in for the initial applause but not the six rounds that followed it. Beethoven, feeble and utterly deaf, took great pleasure in the applause from the audience, believing that his work had been accepted by all classes of Britain. The Symphony would be the most divisive of Beethoven’s work for critics. While it was and still is, agreed that the Tenth Symphony is inferior in terms of complexity and scope to the Ninth, the work did gain a much larger appreciation in Britain than the Continent and other countries. The third movement was eventually adopted as Britain’s unofficial National Anthem for sporting and social events.
On the 3rd September, Ludwig Van Beethoven died in his apartments in London. His doctors had managed to keep him alive from his various illnesses but it eventually became too much. Legend has it that Beethoven died with his fist clenching to Heaven, crying out “Not now! Not yet!” He had a funeral which saw many Liberals and common people attend, Beethoven having gained some notoriety during his time in London for his views. He was interred at St. Botolph Aldersgate Cemetery in London, a mausoleum erected where he lied.
The American election took place and ended with a clear victory for Andrew Jackson. The opponents proposed by the Congress Party were shouted down as being traitors and the National Party had failed to gain any real measure of support outside their core voters. With a second mandate from the people, Jackson focused on rebuilding the Republican-Democrat Party while also scaling down the military to save on the budget. Newly acquired land in Florida and the West had opened up new possibilities for compensation for retired soldiers that Jackson was determined to make use of.