Milazzo – December 12, 2014. An arduous battle. A great victory. So you could sum up the laborious affair that was successfully concluded with the naming of a street in Milazzo to General Ferdinand Beneventano del Bosco.
In July 20, 1860, he covered the rank of Colonel of the army of the Two Sicilies and was stationed in Milazzo with his troops. He was one of the few officers who did not put on sale their loyalty to the King, but he fought valiantly and with honor, though unsuccessfully, to repel the advance of Garibaldi.
Though almost 154 years have elapsed in Milazzo the conflict seems to be still open, for this reason the process leading to the dedication of the street to Ferdinado Beneventano was full of obstacles and not without pitfalls and difficulties of all kinds. As creator and supporter of the project, I had to lead a true cultural battle, often degenerated into a guerrilla warfare, made up of many harsh and intense combats with those who, in the wake of the mystification of the Risorgimento, are still deployed in defense of the fableof the blond haired hero come to make the island free.
To participate to the dedication ceremony of the street to General Ferdinand Beneventano del Bosco has been a sorce fo deep pride and ineffable satisfaction, a sort of great and unique moral revenge, as this is the way that leads to the Castle of Milazzo, the same way that Colonel descended walking between the Garibaldini’s mockeries on July 26, 1860, having been treated the surrender of the fort to which Clary didn’t want to sendr reinforcements from Messina.
At the event that took place on 12 December in the presence of civil and military authorities, were present the direct descendants of the intrepid officer, Baron Hector Beneventano del Bosco and Baron Pietro Beneventano del Bosco, who had been the guest of honor at the Historical Conference “Conversing with Beneventano del Bosco”, held on the initiative and care of myself last year in the Old Cathedral of the Castle.
Among the guests of honor could not miss the Sicilian Delegation of the Sacred Constantinian Order of St. George, in the person of Noble Knight Vicar delegate Antonio di Janni, Knight Gr. Cr. Grace, who also represented the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies. Father Mario Savarese, Ecclesiastical Grace Knight blessed the dedicatory plaque,surrounded by the Constantinian Knights Salvatore Italiano, Giovanni Bonanno coordinator of Messina and its province, Joseph Matranga, Franz Riccobono, Manlio Corselli, Lady Carmela Munda and numerous Benemerenti.
The ambitious project just released by the Costantinian Representative of Milazzo fits well, in fact, among the numerous initiatives of the Delegation of Sicily, which is known for its great dedication to the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies, and which is a milestone in the path of recovery identity of the duo Sicilian, trampled and scorned for over a century and a half because of the Risorgimento’s mystifications.
Giving to the Mayor a valuable commemorative medal of the Order, the Noble Dr. Antonio di Janni congratulated the City Council, which, by resolution of the dedication, “intended to perform an act of justice and historical truth” as stated by the First Citizen.
Deep emotion and gratitude were the sentiments expressed by the Baron Peter Beneventano del Bosco, who thanked the First citizen, Prof. Italian and theVicar Delegate of the Constantinian Order for “the wonderful work of development and promotion of our history, and our heritage, for an initiative of great importance in the process of pacification post-unification. ”
In support of the resolution with which the Mayor of Mr. Milazzo. Lawyer Carmelo Pino titled the street, it was required to the Knight Salvatore Italiano to draft a brief biography of Benevento, including the reasons in support of the decision.
The text, which was read during the dedication ceremony, is as follows: “General Ferdinand Beneventano del Bosco (Palermo, March 3, 1813 – Naples, January 8, 1881). Born in Palermo by a Sicilian noble family originally from Syracuse, still adolescence moved to Naples, where he entered the Military College of Nunziatella. There he met Stefano Zirilli from Milazzo who became his dear friend and with whom he had to tress deal in 1860, during the siege of the fort of Milazzo by Garibaldi.
After the graduation from the military school Benevento entered the army with the rank of second lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards. Immediately proved to have all the qualities necessary for a good military and in 1848 he was promoted to the rank of Captain, he distinguished by his value during the campaign of Sicily that year, and during the siege of Messina, when he was also wounded.
His skills and zeal efforts in fulfilling the duty allowed him to be decorated by Ferdinand II with the gold medal of the first class and awarded with the honors of St. Ferdinand and of St. George.
His attachment to the army was genuine and generous and brought him to have great respect for each military, so much so that in 1857 he called for the abolition of corporal punishment for soldiers.
In 1857 he was temporarily transferred to Sicily, and the following year, with the promotion to major, he was assigned to the command of the 9th battalion, stationed in Monreale. Here on April 6, 1860 he rejected the first attacks of the insurgents, on April 12 he resisted a new assault and successfully counterattacked near Carini.
After the landing of Garibaldi and the first defeat of the Bourbon at Calatafimi, Benevento was at the forefront together with the Swiss Colonel Von Mechel attacking the vanguard that pointed to Palermo, where on May 30 he attempted an assault against the first barricades in the city already occupied, but was immediately dampened by the news of the truce requested by Lanza to Garibaldi.
On June 10, Benevento was promoted to colonel, and soon after embarked with his soldiers to Messina, where in mid-July the general Clary send him to guard the fort of Milazzo with three battalions. On July 20, he gave battle to Medici in the Milazzo plain and, after a brave resistance, he was forced to withdraw in the fort, where he asked in vain reinforcements to Clary. On the 23 an officer arrived from Naples to negotiated the surrender of the fort with the partisans.
Benevento wen out from Milazzo taunted and insulted his enemies and with his troops he embarked to Naples. Here he got his third promotion in a few months, achieving the rank of Brigadier General. His commitment, fully shared by the Sovereign Francis II, was to avoid unnecessary bloodshed battles with unproductive results and ensure that the population defenceless had not to endure unjust suffering because of the ongoing military maneuvers. He convinced Francis II of the futility to head the army and led him not to resist the partisans advancing, until the decision to retire in Gaeta.
In the last fortress of the Bourbon Benevento led a strenuous but unsuccessful defense, until the surrender to the troops of Cialdini. After the capitulation he followed his king in exile in Rome, refusing to join the army of Savoy with the same degree.
Ferdinand Beneventano del Bosco is still remembered in Milazzo for being the Commander of the Bourbon garrison stationed at the Castle of Milazzo during the events of July 20, 1860.
Studies in the purest bibliographic tradition describe him as skilful and upright official, who, while fulfilling faithfully to his office to deal with the advance of Garibaldi, he had the highest regard for the City of Milazzo and for his people, he avoided any action that could damage or cause civilian victims, and also demonstrated gentleness and magnanimity towards the same revolutionary committees present in the city. He distinguished himself for his heroic conduct in combat, for the loyalty to his sovereign and the high sense of justice and duty, that animated all his actions.
His attitude is still clear example of high ideals: service to the country, respect for the community, passion for the profession, his intellectual honesty, upright soul and the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. ”
After the ceremony the Mayor accompanied the attendees to visit the fortress of Milazzo.