Army of the Andes

Army of the Andes

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

When it set out for Chile, the Army was composed of some 4000 soldiers, mainly Argentine and the remainings of the then defeated Chilean Army, with 1200 auxiliaries to help in provisioning and supply. In addition, it had a complement of artillery.

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 Pass and the second, commanded by Juan Gregorio de las Heras, taking the Uspallata Pass. 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 ex-patriots, and was under the command of Juan Manuel Cabot. To the south was a group under the command of the Chilean Ramón Freire Serrano.

ee also

*Crossing of the Andes
*Chilean Independence

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