The Battle of Ponte Novu

 

Pascal Paoli à la bataille de Ponte Novu (1769)

 

The Battle of Ponte Novu took place on May 8 and 9 1769 between royal French forces under the Comte de Vaux, a seasoned professional soldier with an expert on mountain warfare on his staff, and the native Corsicans. It was the battle that effectively ended the fourteen year-old Corsican Republic and opened the way to annexation by France the following year.

The Corsican commander-in-chief, Pascal Paoli, was trying to raise troops in the vicinity but was not present in person. He trusted the defence to his second-in-command, Salicetti. His forces included a company of Corsican women under a female captain named Serpentini.

Ponte Novu is a Genovese bridge over the Golo River in north central Corsica in Castello-di-Rostino commune. The battle opened the route through the rugged mountains to the Corsican capital of Corte. The battle is important as it marked the end of the Corsican War and paved the way for the incorporation of Corsica into France.

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