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The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was staggering under the blows inflicted by the Piedmont. Francesco II of Bourbon, besieged in the fortress of Gaeta, tried one last desperate card to save his reign by issuing, on October 10, 1860, a public loan of five million ducats (of which here we have a rare document with the handwritten signature of the Bourbons Finance Minister Salvatore Carbonelli) to raise funds to support the troops’ supply. He was thus forced to issue government bonds to help him bear the attack of  Piedmont army. An effort that proved to be useless since, with the plebiscite of October 21 the same year, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was annexed to that of Sardinia, which became the Kingdom of Italy on March 17, 1861. The siege of Gaeta of 1860-1861 was, along with the Siege of Civitella, the last episode of the fighting between the army of the Two Sicilies and the Kingdom of Sardinia, after the exploit of the Mille and the invasion of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies by the latter.

It was one of the last great sieges conduced with the so-called scientific method. The besieging army used in fact modern rifled guns that meant the end of the fortifications built. Specifically Gaeta was surrounded, subjected to a naval blockade and heavily bombed by sea and by land, until its surrender. Federico II and his wife arrived in Gaeta on the morning of September 7, 1870. The King sent telegrams all over the Kingdom to inform the subjects that the government was resident there that day.

The meeting between Giuseppe Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II , or meeting of Teano , took place on October 26 , 1860 and is the story of the history of the Risorgimento with which ended the expedition of the Thousand . The King of Sardinia Vittorio Emanuele II had occupied the papal territories in the Marche and Umbria and was gone to meet Giuseppe Garibaldi , who had rejected the attempt to counter the Bourbon army in the battle of the Volturno and had completed the conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies , with the aim of preventing the shipment continued until the conquest of Rome , which would provoke the intervention of Napoleon III and put at risk the achievements made.

Francesco_IIMeanwhile, the same September 7 Garibaldi, ahead of the bulk of his army, traveling on a train that proceeded slowly from Torre Annunciata not to overwhelm the cheering crowds, could entering the city welcomed as a liberator. The Bourbon troops, still present in abundance and headquartered into castles, did not offer any resistance and surrendered shortly after. Meanwhile Vittorio Emanuele II decided it was time to intervene with his own army to annex Marche and Umbria, still in the hands of the Pope, by uniting the North and South of Italy. After the failure of the Bourbonic attempt to block Garibaldi’s attack during the clashes that took place between September 26 and October 2, 1860 near the river Volturno, in the so-called battle of Volturno, on October 9 in Ancona Vittorio Emanuele II placed himself at the head of the army, and on October 15 he crossed the border of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

The Piedmont army continued its descend entering Abruzzo, thus converging towards Campania, moving towards Gaeta meeting Garibaldi’s troops. On October 26 the meeting between Giuseppe Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II took place in Teano and from that moment the military initiative was completely in the hands of Savoy’s army. Formally, the Two Sicilies were annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia after the results of the annexation’s plebiscites. The decision of the immediate and unconditional annexation of the Two Sicilies to the Sardinia State was strongly supported by Count Cavour who, frightened by the prospect of a republican and democratic-popular statement in the territories conquered by Garibaldi, did everything so that the Expedition of Mille didn’t split towards the left solution.  Annexation meant vaccination against the revolutionary risk and “social disorder”, therefore they immediately tried to establish agreements with the representatives less compromised and, especially, they tried to reassure the old agrarian class, whose support was essential for the political control on the South.  The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies ceased to exist on March 20, 1861, after the end of the siege of Gaeta and the siege of Civitella, with the fall of the last Bourbon stronghold in Civitella del Tronto. The voucher today proposed  in the index was issued on folders with francs coupons which, in that historical juncture, was more solid to sale abroad. The loan required by Francesco II amounted to 5 million ducats, about 21 million francs. The catalogue value of the voucher is 300 euro. A lower sum due to the document’s rarity and the few pieces in circulation. The real value on the market today is expected to exceed one thousand euro. The revaluation potential for the coming years is definitely high. Analysts recommend buying it since we are talking about a strong buy, a term intended to stocks with high upside potential.

Gaeta assediata 1861
The Siege of Gaeta was the concluding event of the war between the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It started on November 5, 1860 and ended February 13, 1861, and took place in Gaeta, in today’s Southern Lazio (Italy).
Alberto PUPPO
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