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Jose de San Martin His Journey across the Andes Born in Yapeyu in the Argentine province of Corrientes on February 25 1778 Jose de San Martin was the first and only son of Don Juan de San Martin and Dona Gregoria Matorras At the age of thirty-nine he became the second greatest leader of the South American wars He realized that the revolutions of independence would never be won as long as the Spanish remained entrenched in Peru In 1786 he moved to Spain with his family where he studied in the Noble Seminary of Madrid In 1789 he initiated his military career in the regiment of Murcia There he served the army of Spain during the wars against the French and in 1808 he fought in the battle of Baylen against Napoleons army He then decided to attack the royalists by surprise By the end of 1816 San Martin had organized a war of economy in the city of Mendoza which allowed him to be far enough away from the troubled government of Buenos Aires to concentrate on the task at hand In getting ready for this attack he wrung shirts and ponchos from the poor jewelry from the rich cornets from old soldiers and horses from land estates He made his own gunpowder as well as the uniforms for his troops He sent spies into Chile and spread rumors to fool the Spanish into believing something other than his true plan He then received 2000 swords and sabers from the president of Argentina He prepared for the long haul by taking along masons a baker many lanterns water wagons a wheat wagon and a carriage full of maps With 5423 men mules horses 18 pieces of artillery and provisions his journey began At dawn on February 13th San Martin swooped down on the Spanish forces for the decisive battle of Chacabuco Following this battle 200
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