Chacabuco, battle of

Chacabuco, battle of,

Feb. 12, 1817, fought between Chilean independence forces and Spanish troops. It took place just N of Santiago, Chile. José de San MartínSan Martín, José de
, 1778–1850, South American revolutionist, b. Yapeyú, in present-day Argentina. After service with the Spanish army in Europe, he returned (1812) to join the revolution against Spain in his native country.
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, with Bernardo O'HigginsO'Higgins, Bernardo
, 1778–1842, South American revolutionary and ruler (1817–23) of Chile; illegitimate son of Ambrosio O'Higgins. He was chosen in 1813 to replace José Miguel Carrera as revolutionary leader.
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, assaulted and decisively defeated the Spanish forces, thus gaining entry into Santiago, where O'Higgins was then installed as supreme director of Chile. One year later, to the day, the independence of Chile was proclaimed. The battle climaxed a torturous three-week march across the Andes from Argentina, where San Martín had trained his army.