Greek War of Independence 1821 in Art 

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The Battle of the Lerna Mills was fought on June 24, 1825 in Lerna, Greece between the Egyptian forces of Ibrahim Pasha and Greek forces led by Captain Yannis Makriyannis, Demetrios Ypsilantis, Andreas Metaxas and Konstantinos Mavromichalis.[6] It was the first Greek success against Ibrahim and saved the city of Nafplion, seat of the government, from capture.

Before the conflict

After the Greek army (led by Theodoros Kolokotronis) fled to Karitena, Ibrahim's forces captured Tripolitsa, which was completely abandoned. Immediately afterwards, Ibrahim sent 5,000 soldiers to the plains of Argos in order to seize Nafplion. When Ibrahim's forces reached the Mills of Lerna on June 24, Captain Makrygiannis and Minister of War Metaxas organized a resistance force containing 350 Greek soldiers.[7] General Demetrios Ypsilantis, Konstantinos Mavromichalis, Panagiotis Rodios and several philhellenes (such as François Graillard and Heinrich Treiber) volunteered in the defense of the garrison.[8]

The position was weak and they were very few compared to Ibrahim's army. Thus many were eager to leave using their horses or by fish boats but Makriyannis made sure all horses and fish boats were gone in secret. This made everybody more resolute in defending the position and they started digging trenches. Admiral De Rigny watched from aboard the helplessness of the Greeks and advised Makriyannis against defending the position but Makriyannis ignored him by saying:

"They are many indeed but we few have decided to die and have God on our side... And when the few decide to die, most times win... And if we die today we will die for our country and our religion and this death is a good one". "Tres bien" replied De Rigny.[9]

The battle began at June 24th 1825. Protecting Lerna was vital since the mills contained large quantities of grain that supplied food to Nafplion. The mills of Lerna were surrounded by a stone wall that was flanked by a deep pond and a marsh. Moreover, the garrison was supported by two gunboats that were anchored a short distance (or "musket-shot distance") from the shore. Unfortunately, the Greeks did not repair a small break in the stone wall. As a result, a small contingent of Arabs exploited this weakness in the defensive structure and attempted to create an entrance by increasing the size of the break. When the Arabs forced themselves through the break, they were prevented from regrouping once they entered the courtyard. Thirteen Arabs were killed by a charge of Greeks and philhellenes led by Makrygiannis. Ultimately, the remaining Arabs in the overall contingent were forced to flee. The Greeks, afterwards, attempted to fill in the gap in the stone wall. Same time, 50 warriors under the command of Mitros Liakopoulos arrived at the battle to help the defenders.[10] Despite the constant reinforcements he received, Ibrahim was aware of the fact that the Greeks were prepared to staunchly defend the Lerna Mills and he eventually retreated to the plains of Argos. From there, Ibrahim took his army to Tripolitsa on June 29, 1825.[6] The Egyptian casualties, according to Sp. Trikoupis, reached 50 dead men.

As long as the Egyptian forces were repelled successfully, some French naval officers came ashore and congratulate Makriyannis. He was indeed that day the heart of the defenders in Myloi and he was eager to help wherever there was need. Thus he was shot in the right hand from musket fire but kept it secret until the end of the battle. He claims he was recognized by some of Ibrahim's shooters that remembered him from Neokastro.[11] He was taken to the French frigate of Admiral De Rigny to be treated afterwards.[12]
See also

List of battles


Finlay George, History of the Greek Revolution, volume II, page 78-79
Paparigopoulos, K, History of the Greek Nation (Greek edition), vol. 6, p.165
According to Makriyannis
According to Makriyannis
According to Spyridon Trikoupis
Finlay, pp. 78–79.
Paparigopoulos, K, History of the Greek Nation (Greek edition), vol. 6, p. 62
Finlay, p. 78-79
According to Makriyannis' Memoirs
According to Makriyannis
According to Makriyannis

According to Makriyannis


Finlay, George. History of the Greek Revolution. Blackwood and Sons, 1861 (Harvard University).
Phillips, Walter Alison. The War of Greek Independence, 1821 to 1833. Smith, Elder and Company, 1897 (University of Michigan).
Makriyannis, Memoirs, IX Archived 2 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Paparigopoulos, K, History of the Greek Nation (Greek edition), vol. 6, p. 164-165

Further reading

General Makriyannis, Ἀπομνημονεύματα (Memoirs), Athens: 1907 (preface by Yannis Vlahogiannis; in Greek).


Greek War of Independence (1821–1829)
Ottoman Greece

Armatoloi Proestoi Klephts Dionysius the Philosopher Daskalogiannis Panagiotis Benakis Konstantinos Kolokotronis Lambros Katsonis Cosmas of Aetolia Ali Pasha Maniots Phanariots Souliotes Gregory V of Constantinople


Orlov Revolt Souliote War (1803)

Greek Enlightenment

Athanasios Christopoulos Theoklitos Farmakidis Rigas Feraios Anthimos Gazis Theophilos Kairis Adamantios Korais Eugenios Voulgaris


Ellinoglosso Xenodocheio Filiki Eteria
Nikolaos Skoufas Athanasios Tsakalov Emmanuil Xanthos Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos Philomuse Society Society of the Phoenix


Adelphiki Didaskalia Asma Polemistirion Hellenic Nomarchy Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios Salpisma Polemistirion Thourios or Patriotic hymn

European intervention and
Greek involvement in
the Napoleonic Wars

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca Greek Plan of Catherine the Great Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars
Fall of the Republic of Venice Republican French rule in the Ionian Islands Septinsular Republic Greek Legion Imperial French rule in the Ionian Islands Albanian Regiment Adriatic campaign of 1807–1814 1st Regiment Greek Light Infantry United States of the Ionian Islands


Nationalism Eastern Orthodox Christianity Liberalism Constitutionalism


Patras Salona Navarino Livadeia 1st Acropolis Tripolitsa Arta Acrocorinth Nauplia 1st Messolonghi 2nd Messolonghi 3rd Messolonghi 2nd Acropolis


Kalamata Wallachian uprising Alamana Gravia Valtetsi Doliana Lalas Vasilika Dragashani Sculeni Vasilika Trench Peta Dervenakia Karpenisi Greek civil wars Sphacteria Maniaki Lerna Mills Mani Distomo Arachova Kamatero Phaleron Chios expedition Martino Koronisia Petra


Constantinople Thessaloniki Navarino Tripolitsa Naousa <a href="MassacreOfSamothrace.html">Samothrace</a> <a href="ChiosMassacre.html">Chios</a> Psara Kasos

Naval conflicts

Eresos Chios Nauplia Samos Andros Sphacteria Gerontas Souda Alexandria Volos Itea Navarino


Greek sloop Karteria Greek brig Aris

Greek regional councils and statutes

Messenian Senate Directorate of Achaea Peloponnesian Senate Senate of Western Continental Greece Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece Provisional Regime of Crete Military-Political System of Samos

Greek national assemblies

First (Epidaurus) (Executive of 1822) Second (Astros) Third (Troezen) Fourth (Argos) Fifth (Nafplion)

International Conferences,
Treaties and Protocols

Congress of Laibach Congress of Verona Protocol of St. Petersburg (1826) Treaty of London Conference of Poros London Protocol of 1828 London Protocol of 1829 Treaty of Adrianople London Protocol of 1830 London Conference Treaty of Constantinople


Greek expedition to Syria (1825) Russo-Turkish War (1828-29)


Chian Committee Odysseas Androutsos Anagnostaras Markos Botsaris Laskarina Bouboulina Constantin Denis Bourbaki Hatzimichalis Dalianis Kanellos Deligiannis Athanasios Diakos Germanos III of Old Patras Dimitrios Kallergis Athanasios Kanakaris Constantine Kanaris Ioannis Kapodistrias Stamatios Kapsas Panagiotis Karatzas Georgios Karaiskakis Nikolaos Kasomoulis Ioannis Kolettis Theodoros Kolokotronis Georgios Kountouriotis Antonios Kriezis Nikolaos Kriezotis Kyprianos of Cyprus Georgios Lassanis Lykourgos Logothetis Andreas Londos Yannis Makriyannis Manto Mavrogenous Alexandros Mavrokordatos Petrobey Mavromichalis Andreas Metaxas Andreas Miaoulis Theodoros Negris Nikitaras Antonis Oikonomou Ioannis Orlandos Papaflessas Dimitrios Papanikolis Emmanouel Pappas Christoforos Perraivos Nikolaos Petimezas Panagiotis Rodios Georgios Sachtouris Georgios Sisinis Iakovos Tombazis Anastasios Tsamados Meletis Vasileiou Demetrios Ypsilantis


António Figueira d'Almeida Michail Komninos Afentoulief Joseph Balestra Lord Byron François-René de Chateaubriand Richard Church Giuseppe Chiappe Lord Cochrane Vincenzo Gallina Charles Fabvier Thomas Gordon Frank Abney Hastings Carl von Heideck Vasos Mavrovouniotis Johann Jakob Meyer
Ellinika Chronika Karl Normann Maxime Raybaud Giuseppe Rosaroll Santorre di Santa Rosa Friedrich Thiersch Auguste Hilarion Touret German Legion [el] Serbs Olivier Voutier

Moldavia and Wallachia
(Danubian Principalities)

Alexander Ypsilantis Sacred Band Nikolaos Ypsilantis Alexandros Kantakouzinos Georgios Kantakouzinos Athanasios Agrafiotis Giorgakis Olympios Yiannis Pharmakis Dimitrie Macedonski Tudor Vladimirescu Konstantinos Xenokratis Anastasios Manakis Stamatios Kleanthis

Ottoman Empire, Algeria, and Egypt

Sultan Mahmud II Hurshid Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha Ismael Gibraltar Omer Vrioni Kara Mehmet Mahmud Dramali Pasha Koca Hüsrev Mehmed Pasha Reşid Mehmed Pasha Yussuf Pasha Ibrahim Pasha Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi

Britain, France and Russia

George Canning Stratford Canning Edward Codrington Henri de Rigny Lodewijk van Heiden Alexander I of Russia Nicholas I of Russia

Financial aid

London Philhellenic Committee Ludwig I of Bavaria Jean-Gabriel Eynard Lazaros Kountouriotis Ioannis Papafis Georgios Stavros Ioannis Varvakis Rothschild & Co

Morea expedition

Nicolas Joseph Maison Antoine Simon Durrieu Antoine Virgile Schneider Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély Camille Alphonse Trézel


Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent Léon-Jean-Joseph Dubois Pierre Peytier Stamatis Voulgaris Guillaume-Abel Blouet Gabriel Bibron Prosper Baccuet Eugène Emmanuel Amaury Duval Pierre-Narcisse Guérin Charles Lenormant Edgar Quinet


Dimitrios Ainian Fotis Chrysanthopoulos Ioannis Filimon George Finlay Ambrosios Frantzis Konstantinos Metaxas Panoutsos Notaras Panagiotis Papatsonis Anastasios Polyzoidis Georgios Tertsetis Spyridon Trikoupis


Eugène Delacroix Louis Dupré Peter von Hess Victor Hugo François Pouqueville Alexander Pushkin Karl Krazeisen Andreas Kalvos Dionysios Solomos Theodoros Vryzakis Hellas The Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi Le siège de Corinthe The Massacre at Chios The Free Besieged Hymn to Liberty The Archipelago on Fire Loukis Laras The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos


25 March (Independence Day) Hymn to Liberty Eleftheria i thanatos Pedion tou Areos Propylaea (Munich) Garden of Heroes (Missolonghi) Royal Phalanx Evzones (Presidential Guard)

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