The hero of Gamboa
Bernardo González del Valle will pass into history for his nickname that corresponded to the village in Ourense where he was born on the 23rd of March, 1771. His father, Ignacio González, had also served in the army as Captain of the Ourense regiment.
In 1791, we find "Cachamuíña" as sub-lieutenant of the Provincial Militias after which he became enlisted into the regiment whose base was in Ferrol. His first war mission was against the English, as part of the Bidasoa army in the Basque Country, where many heroic actions promoted him to the rank of lieutenant.
Upon his return to Ferrol, he outshone in the battle held at the town against the English in 1800, an action which ascended him to the rank of Captain.
At the beginning of the Independence War, he participated in the Rioseco battle and later ones at Valmaseda and Espinosa de los Monteros, after which he retired in León with his company of Grenadiers. Years later he contacted the Marquis of La Romana, who entrusted him to raise an uprising of the natives from Ourense and gave him command over the guerrillas. He, together with other dispersed grenadiers who joined his ranks, played a lead role in actions at Ourense and at Deza, prior to arriving to the siege of Vigo, where he outshone the most.
Bernardo got injured while trying to axe down Gamboa gate and was later appointed as Governor of Vigo after the French were expelled. He performed his duties very well.
In October, 1809, he was appointed by the Marquis of La Romana as Governor of the city of Tui and of its province. He was restless by nature and did not stop and established the Ribeiro Legion, of which he was the Commander with the rank of Colonel.
Just like in other cases, the State did not treat Cachamuíña in a fair manner, and he had to witness how other protagonists of the Reconquest were bestowed upon with privileges and honours. Tired of such disgrace, he filed for retirement in 1811 as a disabled war veteran. He was granted the same and awarded a remuneration of 1800 reales as monthly pension towards his manifold merits. But he did not receive the payments. It was not until 17 years later that he finally began to receive some payments after innumerable requests for payments.
In 1829, we find him collecting tithe for the Bishop of Lugo, after which he retired to the house where he was born after receiving unjust treatment. Bernardo González del Valle died on the 6th of September, 1848. The citizens of Vigo will however always remember "Cachamuíña".