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Sack of Puerto Principe
Sack of Puerto Principe
Conflict: Buccaneering
Date: 1668
Place: present-day Camaguey, Cuba
Outcome: English victory
Combatants

Flag of England England

Flag of New Spain Spain

Commanders

Flag of England Henry Morgan

Flag of New Spain Francisco Oregon y Gascon

Strength

12 ships
700 soldiers

Spanish garrison

Casualties

unknown

unknown

The Sack of Puerto Principe occurred in 1668 when the English buccaneer Henry Morgan, commanding a fleet of 12 ships and 700 soldiers, captured and sacked the Spanish town of Puerto Principe (now Camaguey) in Cuba. Morgan had been granted a license to attack and seize Spanish vessels by the English governor of Jamaica, Thomas Modyford, after diplomatic relations between England and Spain worsened in 1667. Modyford promoted Morgan to admiral and sent him to attack Cuba when rumors circulated that Spain was planning to retake Jamaica, and Morgan left Jamaica with 10 ships and 500 men, who would be joined by 2 more ships and 200 men from Tortuga on the way to Cuba. Morgan's letter of marque only permitted him to attack Spanish shipping, not land settlements, and his attack was therefore illegal piracy. Rather than attack the heavily-guarded city of Havana, he decided to attack Puerto Principe (Camaguey), sacking the city after defeating its Spanish defenders. Morgan reported to Modyford that he had found seventy men pressed to go against Jamaica, and that considerable forces from Veracruz and Campeche in Mexico were supposed to meet up with other forces from Portobello and Cartagena at Santiago de Cuba for an attack on the island, justifying his attack.

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