He took office under Marshal Serrano during 1874, after the pronunciamiento of General Pavia had done away with the Cortes and the Federal Republic. He vainly attempted to crush the Carlists in 1874, and to check the Alphonsist military conspiracy that overthrew the government of Marshal Serrano at the end of December 1874.
In 1876 a vigorous campaign against the Carlists, in which the young king took part, resulted in the defeat of Don Carlos and his abandonment of the struggle.
The government sent him to the front, directly the Carlist War broke out, as commandant of the province of Biscay, where he severely defeated the Carlists in many encounters.
At times he showed qualities as a guerillero quite equal to those of the Carlists, like Zumalacarregui and Cabrera, by his daring marches and surprises.
Twice he obliged the Carlists to raise the siege of Bilbao before he was appointed commander-in-chief of the northern army on the r7th of September 1836, when the tide of war seemed to be setting in favour of the pretender in the Basque provinces and Navarre, though Don Carlos had lost his ablest lieutenant, the Basque Zumalacarregui.
In November 1836 he again forced the Carlists to raise the siege of Bilbao.
Spaniards of all shades, except Carlists and Ultramontanes, paid homage to his memory when he passed away at his Logrono residence on the 8th of January 1879.
He saw some service against the Carlists; was elected deputy to the Cortes of 1836; took part for Espartero, and then against him; was imprisoned in 1843; went into exile and returned; was governor of Barcelona in 1854, and minister of finance in 1855; had a large share in secularizing the Church lands; and after the revolution of 1868 was governor of Madrid.
Returned to Spain in 1873 as brigadier-general, and took an active part against the Carlists in the eastern provinces of the Peninsula in 1875 and 1876, for which he was raised to the rank of general of division.
Rise had not been fulfilled; the failure of the Carlists in Spain.
This force, though aided by considerable bodies of local militia and volunteers in the northern and western provinces, was insufficient to cope with the 60,000 Carlists in arms, and with the still formidable nucleus of cantonalists around Alcoy and Cartagena.
Louis Philippe was accused of secretly favouring the Carlists, and he positively refused to be a party to direct interference in Spain.