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The “Thousand” (actual number ranging between 1,089 and 1,500) were the initial group of volunteers that sailed from Quarto, near Genoa, with Giuseppe Garibaldi on 6 May 1860 and landed at Marsala, Sicily, five days later, starting the campaign that in ten months would lead to the fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the unification of Italy. By the end of that campaign, Garibaldi’s volunteer army had grown to 50,000 men (30,000 joined them from Sicily and southern Italy, another 20,000 sailed from northern Italy after the original thousand).
Of the “thousand” original volunteers, 437 came from Lombardy (including 179 from the province of Bergamo), 160 from Liguria, 150 from Veneto, 82 from Tuscany, 51 from Sardinia, 42 from Sicily, 39 from Emilia-Romagna, 29 from Piedmont, 29 from Lazio, 21 from Friuli, 21 from Calabria, 17 from Campania, 12 from Abruzzo, 11 from the Marche, 10 from Trentino, five from Umbria, four from Apulia, three from Nice, one from Basilicata, one from Savoy, one from South Tyrol. There were a few foreign volunteers as well, including Swiss and Hungarians. The youngest volunteer was Giuseppe Marchetti, ten years old (the youngest casualty would be the 13-years-old Adolfo Biffi); the oldest was Tommaso Parodi, 69 years old, who had already fought with Garibaldi in South America and then in the First Italian War of Independence in 1848. The only female member of the expedition was Rosalia Montmasson, a native of Savoy and wife of Francesco Crispi, who would become Prime Minister of Italy from 1887 to 1891 and from 1893 to 1896. Ninety of the “thousand” died during the 1860-1861 campaign.
The last survivor of the “Thousand” was Giovanni Battista Egisto Sivelli, from Genoa: less than seventeen years old at the time of Garibaldi’s expedition, he would die in 1934, at age ninety.