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The Army of the Andes ( ) was a military force mustered by José de San Martín in his campaign to free Chilemarker from the Spanish Empire. In 1817 it crossed the Andes Mountains from its Argentinemarker staging point of Cuyo in Mendoza Province, succeeding in its objective by dislodging the Spanish from the country.

The exact number of the army varies between different sources; some have put the number as low as 3500, while others have it being as high as 6000 men. The army consisted of mainly Argentines and survivors of the then defeated Chilean Army, and included some 1200 auxiliaries to help in provisioning and supply as well as a complement of artillery. The Congress of Tucumán endorsed San Martín's proposal to form an army to fight the royalists in Chile, and between August, 1814, and February, 1817, San Martín trained his troops to prepare them for their ordeal.. While the army was made up of a less than experienced military force, San Martín intended to lead, with regular discipline and equipment, a proper army and not a "motley crew" into battle.

For the crossing of the mountains, the Army was divided into two main columns, the first, commanded by Bernardo O'Higgins, taking the Los Patos Passmarker and the second, commanded by Juan Gregorio de las Heras, taking the Uspallata Passmarker, which at its highest reaches some twelve thousand feet above sea level. Because this second pass was more negotiable, the artillery was taken in the second column.

These two divisions were the main body of the Army, but there were smaller detachments sent to the north and south as flanking wings. The smaller division to the north was composed of some 130 infantry as well as a group of Chilean expatriates, and was under the command of Juan Manuel Cabot. To the south was a group under the command of the Chilean Ramón Freire Serrano.

After their 25 day journey across the Andes, the Army of the Andes successfully met royalist forces in the Battle of Chacabuco.

See also


  1. Crow, 1980, ‚ÄúThe Epic of Latin America‚ÄĚ, p. 466
  2. Crow, 1980, ‚ÄúThe Epic of Latin America‚ÄĚ, p. 465.
  3. Robertson, 1922, ‚ÄúHistory of the Latin-American Nations‚ÄĚ, p. 183.
  4. Chasteen, 2008, ‚ÄúAmericanos: Latin America‚Äôs Struggle for Independence‚ÄĚ, pp. 124
  5. Scheina, 2003, ‚ÄĚLatin America‚Äôs Wars: The Age of the Caudillo, 1791-1899‚ÄĚ, p. 58.


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