Don Jose de San Martin - Anna Schoellkopf

Don Jose de San Martin

Don Jose de San Martin was born February 25, 1778, in Yapeyu, Missiones, a province bordering on Paraguay, his father, Colonel Don Juan de San Martin, being of aristocratic family and Administrator of the province. The father was not a brilliant commander nor an unusually intelligent man, but at a time when honesty, justice and benevolence were esteemed in provincial government he appears to have won his people's respect. Early in life he married Dona Gregoria Matorras, a young lady of patrician birth, daughter of the conqueror of the bandit-ridden province of Chaco. In 1788 Colonel San Martin returned to Madrid and the boy Jose was entered at the age of eight in the Seminary of the Nobles. When Jose was twelve he left that school to enter the Regiment of Murcia, a step for which he was unprepared both on account of his age and the insufficiency of his studies. The colors of this regiment were blue and white, the same colors he was later to carry in triumph over half a continent. While still a youth he fought gallantly against the Moors in Africa and against the armies of the French in Aragon under General Ricardos, Spain's most famous tactician of the day. In the French campaign, during a twenty days' prolonged battle after the successful actions at Masden and Truffles, San Martin so distinguished himself that Ricardos made him a lieutenant.

In 1796 Spain, having become by a shuffle of the cards the ally of France, found herself at war with Great Britain. In August, 1798, San Martin was serving as Marine Officer of the French Republic on the frigate "Santa Dorotea" when, after desperate defense, it was captured by the English ship "Lion." The youthful officer, still under twenty, seized this opportunity of forced inactivity to study mathematics and drawing. In 1800 he was back with his old regiment in Portugal fighting the serio-comic "War of the Oranges." A little later something happened that was potently formative towards San Martin's maturer decisions. During the popular uprising against the French at Cadiz, the expression of the native resentment at Napoleon's brother Joseph being forced upon the Spanish as their King, Solano, the Spanish commander who had been appointed Captain-General of Andalusia and Governor of Cadiz by the French, torn in his mind as to which god to serve, finally took sides with the French. This so outraged the national spirit of the people that they demanded an attack on the French squadron lying in the harbor. En masse they rushed the Palace where San Martin, who was acting Officer of the Guards, had hastily withdrawn his men to protect Solano. His forces were not able to hold the door against the raging mob, but the slight delay had given Solano time to escape by the neighboring roofs. Shortly afterwards the Governor was discovered captured and brutally murdered. From this day it may be said San Martin conceived his detached contempt for popular passions and mob governments.

San Martin


In the great campaign of 1808 which accomplished the downfall of Napoleon's Imperial Eagle in Spain San Martin's regiment joined the division commanded by the Marquis of Coupigny. In recognition of bravery in a brilliant cavalry charge he was made captain, then after the Battle of Baylen he received his commission as Lieutenant Colonel, and upon the army's return to Madrid was given a gold medal for distinguished service. In 1810 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Coupigny and went through the bloody fight of Albuera (1811) where the French were defeated by an allied army under General Beresford, who five years before had capitulated to Liniers at Buenos Aires. That same year San Martin joined the Sagunto regiment and fought for the last time under a Spanish flag. The banner of this regiment was a sun with the scroll "dissipates clouds and removes obstacles." This symbol was to become that of the as yet unconceived flag of the Deathless Army of the Andes.

This young officer had in campaign and under fire proved himself courageous, resourceful, and a natural leader of men. Tactics and strategy he had learned under the best generals of Europe. He felt within himself the power to command. He had honorably discharged his debt to the mother country and he turned his thoughts towards South America where he had zealously watched the movement for independence. Feeling himself free of obligation to Spain, San Martin now awaited the day when he could return to his own country and give himself to the cause of liberation.

The confidant of San Martin's aspirations was Lord Macduff, afterwards Earl of Fife, a soldier by instinct who had enlisted and fought in Spanish insurrections as a volunteer for sheer love of fighting, and a true descendant of Shakespeare's "Damned be he who first cries 'Hold, enough.'" Macduff had been made a General of Spain for his services, and conceiving for the younger man a friendly sympathy which lasted through their lives, and admiring his gallant ambitions, he procured for San Martin through Sir Charles Stuart, the English diplomatic agent, a passport for London. Also letters of introduction and credit, which latter were never used.

There was founded in the year 1812 in Buenos Aires, with ramifications in Spain and England, a secret society which was destined to exercise a puissantly pervasive influence on South American nationalist movements. It was known as the Lautoro Lodge. Members were pledged to render mutual assistance in the exigencies of civil life and faithfully to uphold its decrees, the primary object of which was the independence of South America; "to recognize no government in South America as legitimate unless it was elected by the free and spontaneous will of the people."

Exaggerated stories have prevailed as to the influence of the Lodge, its actions, its sponsorings, and especially its executions and its crimes; in a word, it has been made the scapegoat for every nefarious by-product of revolution. It was rather, in truth, an engine of rebellion and of war against a common enemy, or of defense against internal sedition.

In London San Martin joined the Lautoro Lodge. It has been said of him, "he was an American by birth, a revolutionist by instinct, and a republican by conviction." Fate decreed that he was to make Miranda's dream a reality when "the Master's" bones lay rotting upon the muddy banks of the Mediterranean off Cadiz. Three other men who were to play brilliant roles in South American history joined the society at this time. They were Alvear, "San Martin's friend and confidant until the jealousy of the former estranged them"; Jose Miguel Carrera, the distinguished but misguided Chilean patriot, who died cursing San Martin; and a Naval Lieutenant, Matias Zapiola, afterwards his ablest officer. Bolivar, next to San Martin the most celebrated South American hero, had recently joined the society before sailing for Venezuela.

Immediately following their initiation, accompanied by various officers ready to offer their swords in the cause of independence, these young enthusiasts sailed on the "George Canning" for the River Plate. San Martin, besides being the poorest of the party, was considered the least important. He appeared to them stern, stiff-mannered, brusque and taciturn. His virtue lay in his reputation as a valorous fighter. They reached Buenos Aires on March 9, 1812. It proved a critical moment in the history of the revolution.

Causes of the War

The outstanding causes of the War of Independence in South America were the injustices which the Creoles  and Mestizos  felt Spain heaped upon them. Categorically they were: bad government, a strangulation of industries, and class legislation.

In the beginning of the Spanish regime Spanish America possessed twelve Audiencias, these subdivided into Gobiernos  or governments. Later the reforming King Charles III gave the country a new set of officials known as Intendentes. The heads of the government controlled finance, justice, the policies to be enforced and public welfare. Corruption was rampant. The French engineer, Freizer, visiting South America at the beginning of the eighteenth century, says that the public functionaries regarded their short time of office as a kind of jubilee.

South America


The policy of the Spanish crown was that colonial trade and emigration should remain the monopoly of the Spaniards. For the most part this trade was reserved to a single Spanish port, Sevilla.

The Journal of Captain Basil Hall, R.N., R.R.S., on the Coast of Chile, Peru, and Mexico in the Years 1820, 1821, 1822 says:

"The sole purpose for which the Americans existed was held to be that of collecting precious metals for the Spaniards; and if the wild horses and cattle which overran the country could have been trained to perform this office, the inhabitants might have been perfect. Unfortunately, however, for the system, the South Americans, finding that the Spaniards neither could nor would furnish them with an adequate supply of European products, invited the assistance of other nations. To this call the other nations were not slow to listen, and in process of time there was established one of the most extraordinary systems of organized smuggling which the world ever saw. This was known under the name of contraband or forced trade, and was carried on in armed vessels, well manned, and prepared to fight their way to the coast, and resist the coast blockades of Spain. This singular system of warlike commerce was conducted by Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, and latterly by North Americans. In this way goods to an immense value were distributed over South America, and . . . along with goods no small portion of knowledge found entrance, in spite of the increased exertions of the Inquisition. . . . Many foreigners, too, by means of bribes and other arts, succeeded in getting into the country, so that the progress of intelligence was encouraged, to the utter despair of the Spaniards, who knew no other method of governing the colonies but that of brute force."

For protection and commercial monopoly, especially the latter, there existed the famous system of fleets and galleons—merchant ships accompanied by war vessels. Twice a year Spain sent these to and from Portobello, Panama and Vera Cruz. Upon arrival of the fleet a six weeks' fair took place, and the profits of the middlemen were fantastic, averaging 40,000,000 pesos at a fair. Trade, in the hands of a privileged few, realized profits from one to three hundred per cent. Prices were kept high by systematically understocking the market.

The most vicious instance of Spain's commercial tyranny was the enforced dependence of Buenos Aires on Peru. The rich La Plata region was entirely neglected in favor of Peru with its precious metals. Lest the monopolistic system of fairs and trading fleets might suffer, all goods were sent to Panama, transshipped to Peru, and carried overland to their destination. Thus such merchandise sold in Buenos Aires for six times its original cost. When in 1620 Buenos Aires was allowed to export two small shiploads of local products there was such violent protest from Lima that a string of custom-houses was set up on all roads leading from Buenos Aires. Likewise all trade between the Philippines and Argentina was forbidden, a hardship to both countries.

Spanish trade suffered during the seventeenth century when such gallant buccaneers as Drake and Hawkins flourished. Being human and resenting the tyrannical restrictions imposed on their legitimate commerce, the colonists made these smugglers welcome at Buenos Aires, and so benefited by the advantages of their mutual barter that for a time a greater prosperity ensued than was known in the Spanish communities east of the Andes.

The mother country consistently discouraged, or forbade, the pursuit of any competing industry. The cultivation of grapes and wine-making were not allowed. The growth of olives was outlawed. As late as 1803 an order was given to uproot all grapevines in certain provinces of Peru because of the complaint of the wine-merchants of Cadiz. Sugar mills were forbidden and textile industries so taxed that they were automatically abandoned. Under the system of closed ports the cattle raisers' profits were so reduced that an ox brought one dollar, a sheep from three to four cents, and a mare ten cents.

It was also Spain's policy to discourage colonization. Permission to enter the country necessitated a royal grant dependent on proof that for two generations no member of the family had come under suspicion of the Inquisition. Under this astringent decree the total number of inhabitants during the colonial period never rose above three hundred thousand. The Creoles had no voice in affairs of state. Although the Spaniards represented the smallest percentage of the population, they held all the public offices of Church and State. Of the one hundred and eleven Viceroys, five hundred and eighty-eight Captain Generals, Governors and Intendentes only eighteen were Creoles. The Mestizos, next lower in social caste, were a mixed race of Spanish and native Indian blood. Since Spain had forbidden unmarried women to come out to the colonies there was the natural result of intermarriage between the colonists and the Indian women, and this half-breed race numerically far and away dominated the population. In the time of the Revolution these "Mestizos" furnished the rank and file of the liberating armies. The Argentine guacho, "with the fatalism of the Arab and the strength of the Cossack," was the ideal type for those cavalry regiments which won such glorious fame. The llaneros (men of the plains) were the most valiant of Columbia's soldiers. The rotos  (native farmers) of Chile won victories over the trained Spanish troops which had resisted Napoleon.

In the early years of the nineteenth century these races found a new name for themselves: they were "Americanos" and the new word was a symbol. They forgot petty differences and as Americanos they were bound together to resent the injustice, the tyrannical arrogance and cruelty of a government representing a vicious minority control by a few hundreds of Spanish overlords.

Ill feeling between Spaniard and Americanos steadily became more intense. The influence of the French Revolution had permeated these colonies notwithstanding interdictions on the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau. It needed only leaders now and leaders were coming! Of these both Miranda and Bolivar had been participators in the French Revolution. Miranda, "patriot, scholar, dreamer, revolutionist," had set sail from New York in 1809 with a few hundred men bound on an expedition to free Venezuela. He failed in his purpose, but Miranda's fiasco struck the first fire to the national spirit of South America.

One pauses to recall the notable irony of history: Spain was the first European country to recognize the independence of the United States, an act wherein she appears, as to her colonial system, to have sounded her own death knell.

In the meanwhile England had not been idle. Pitt's policy had been for the emancipation of these colonies, but after his death a different policy one of conquest was promulgated. In 1806 after the British had taken Cape Colony from the Dutch and were returning home by way of the River Plate, Sir Home Popham, as Commander of the Fleet, and General Beresford, commanding the troops, succeeded in seizing and occupying Buenos Aires. This success on the part of the British was achieved practically without resistance. Nevertheless, the advantage so easily gained was not to endure, for very shortly a brilliant French officer, Jacques de Liniers, leading the native militia of Buenos Aires, forced Beresford to surrender. The following year the British under General Whitelock captured Montevideo and afterwards attacked Buenos Aires. The assault failed and Whitelock was forced to retire, to be later recalled in disgrace. With this failure England again reversed her policy and made no further effort to conquer South America. The English military policy had failed, but out of the disaster to her arms she none the less commercially sucked her Biblical "small advantage," for her merchant ships had followed the fighting squadron and the markets of Buenos Aires were flooded with cheap English goods to the complete ruin of Spanish trade.

The Argentine colonists were naturally inspired with self-confidence, and justifiably, when it is remembered that they had wrested two victories from the superior and well-equipped British forces.

However, the final separation of the colonies from Spain was precipitated by the quarrel between Charles IV and his son. In 1808 Napoleon determined to bring Spain within the orbit of his Empire, taking advantage of this quarrel to force them to resign their royal rights, whereupon he placed his brother Joseph upon the Spanish throne.

The Spanish refused to accept him as their king, an attitude followed by the colonies. With the latter it proved a crisis. Many intelligent and influential Creoles contended that the suppression of the Bourbon dynasty automatically severed the bonds of allegiance between the colonies and the mother country, with the result that various provinces, while still protesting their loyalty to the imprisoned King, resolutely set about establishing provisional independent governments of their own, pending, as they professed, the restoration. Creoles of Miranda's type saw in this movement a God-sent opportunity for permanent independence. The Spanish officials viewed with hostility and apprehension these self-constituted local governments, and rightly, for this sympathetic revolt of the colonists against the French intruders at home became the final revolt against all Spanish authority. The rupture, though not yet complete, became merely a matter of time. It was not until 1822 that the Republics of South America were recognized by the United States. This famous message said:

"The people of South America have a right to break the chains which bind them to their mother country, to assume the rank of nations among the sovereign nations of the world, and to establish institutions in accordance with natural laws dictated by God himself."

As a consequence of this recognition the United States in the year 1823 promulgated the Monroe Doctrine which, in opposition to the Bull of Alexander VI, established a new principle of international law under the formula "America for Americans." England, who at first inclined favorably towards emancipation, began in 1818 to lean towards Spain and the Holy Affiance, advocating an arrangement on the basis of the "Commercial Freedom" of the colonies. The diplomatists of Washington interfered in favor of complete emancipation, and Lafayette, in support of the idea, declared to the Government of France: "Any opposition which may be made to the Independence of the New World may cause suffering but will not imperil the idea."

Accordingly, long before the cause of freedom was actually acknowledged by Spain, the emancipation of the continent was an accomplished fact. The attitude of the United States, supported by England, turned the scales of diplomacy in its favor in the year 1823. When at the Congress of Verona the party of reaction proposed a contrary policy, Canning, Prime Minister of Great Britain, wrote to Grenville those memorable words, the echo of which was heard through two hemispheres:

"The battle has been fierce, but it is won. The nail is clenched; South America is free. Novus Saeclorum nascitur ordo!"

The Battle of Ayacucho was the response to these words, and Canning could then exclaim:

"I have called a new world into existence to redress the balance of the old."

The Wars of Independence

The Wars of Independence in South America covered altogether a period of fifteen years (1809 to 1824). The causes of discontent which culminated in this struggle for liberty have been already loosely summarized. Although there was no final, climacteric, concerted action of the disaffected provinces in 1809 to fix this date, it was in this year that the determination to shake off Spain's oppression and be independent became definite. From this date there occurred a series of outbreaks of nationalism throughout the length of South America, attaining at times an encouraging degree of success, at others suffering signal defeat. In 1815 when Ferdinand VII was restored to his throne he endeavored to wage an exterminating war on these revolutions, and with some success.

The struggle between Spain and her colonies had been watched with absorbing interest by both Europe and North America. At its outbreak certain students of world politics prophesied that South America would become English or French, when the revolution triumphed they argued it would revert to barbarism.

That none of these prophecies, obtained, is due to the will and work of the Creoles en masse. But that the emancipation was hastened a decade by the genius of San Martin is nowhere denied.

San Martin was thirty-two years old when he returned to Argentina. Despite the severity, perhaps coldness, of his personality, he possessed the essential qualifications for leadership; force, self-confidence and authority, plus enthusiasm. To these were added a devotion to the cause he came to serve, which was sincere, as his eventual sacrifice and abnegation proved. In the end he withdrew and left the glory to others, showing that he believed the cause to be greater than himself.

San Martin came back to his native land, "tempered in the struggle of life, tutored in the arts of war," bringing not only a knowledge of tactics and military discipline, but he brought also a preconceived plan for a continental campaign which should embrace half a world and set its people free. It has been well said that "San Martin was not a man but a mission."

Historians seem to agree that the contradictions of his character leave him rather an enigma. His soul was impassioned for liberty, but his temperament was cold. He was intolerant and autocratic as a commander, but modest and yielding in political relations. He appears to have had no ambitions towards dictatorship; his one desire was to set the people free, the government he left to others.

Of his personal appearance this account is given: "He was of stalwart frame; his fine head he carried erect, his thick black hair, always cut short, was brushed back from a high, straight forehead; he had an olive skin, large dark eyes fringed by long black lashes. His eyes were the characteristic feature of his face, disclosing the latent intensity of his nature. His nose was aquiline; his chin and jaw showed strength of will and absence of animal passion; his whole bearing dignified and military. In Chile to this day one hears the expression a 'San Martin's look.' "He preferred to give verbal orders and did it with trained precision, but the records show that when he chose he could write tersely and well. An ability to judge the worth of men enabled him to make few mistakes in his aides. He had also the saving sense of humor which aided him in disregarding personal injuries and slights. If, with the qualities of his personality which do not seem sympathetic or attractive, San Martin had been self-seeking and ambitious, his story might still be brilliant but it would lack the elements of true greatness. San Martin was a born leader, a hero and a liberator, but the thing that makes him truly great as a man is his unexampled unselfish renouncement of the glory, the power, that might have been his when the cause was won.

In Buenos Aires San Martin was little known, but through the influence of his friend Major Alvear, who belonged to a distinguished and influential family, he was given a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the army. Within eight days of his arrival he was organizing a squadron of cavalry. Recognizing the necessity of a military school where the Argentine youths should receive technical knowledge, he immediately set about founding one. These first squadrons San Martin used as models for a generation, and Cromwell's motto, "Discipline but not repression," became his. The companions of his voyage home, fellow-members of the Lodge, he made officers, the cadets were chosen from the good families of Argentina. The latter were put to trying tests before they were accepted. "We shall have only lions in these regiments." In this school French methods of cavalry training were introduced. The first regiment of horse which was to become the famous "Mounted Grenadiers" (armed with the long saber of Napoleon's cuirassiers, "which could split like a melon the enemy's head"), fought gloriously in every battle of the wars of Independence, leaving their bones on a battle line which stretched from La Plata to Pichinacha (Ecuador). When after thirteen years of service a remnant of the original regiment returned, commanded by a colonel who had risen to that rank from a common trooper, they proudly bore the old battle-flag that they had christened in blood at San Lorenzo.

This deathless regiment gave to the Army of the United Provinces nineteen generals and over two thousand officers.

San Martin, without any predilection for statecraft or politics, had a convincing understanding of human nature which at once impressed the native leaders. They appreciated his acumen when he told them: "Until now you have fought for no one knows what. You have fought even without a flag! You have not avowed the principles which explain the origin, the necessity of the revolution. We must declare ourselves independent if we wish to be respected." Within seven months the government had been consolidated, its policy defined, and the national flag had been publicly flown. Moreover, the people, unanimously aroused, stood behind the Government. On the 31st of January, 1813, the General Constituent Assembly met in Buenos Aires and it was decreed that the sovereignty of the King of Spain be disavowed and his escutcheons disappear forever. Sentiment had finally crystallized into a Declaration of Independence. All titles of nobility, the Inquisition and judicial torture were abolished. Seals and the new coinage bore, instead of the heads of Spanish sovereigns, "a sun with its rays, surmounted by a Phrygian cap of liberty, encircled within a wreath of laurel." Spanish flags were replaced by those of Argentina. Reform extended to all things, even to the prayers of the priests and the psalms of the people.

Meanwhile, Spain with her fleet still dominated the coast from north to south, both on the Atlantic and the Pacific. One day her warships were bombarding Buenos Aires, the next they were terrorizing the towns along the banks of the River Uruguay. A counsel of war was held and San Martin urged an attack on the fortress of Montevideo. Montevideo was the center of reaction and was defended by three hundred and thirty-five guns, a garrison of three thousand men and fourteen warships, while the United Provinces had not a single gunboat. Undaunted by this fact and under the spell of San Martin's confidence the campaign began with the battle of San Lorenzo.

San Lorenzo is situated seventeen miles up the River Parana. The Spanish flotilla, operating in these waters, had anchored off the high bluffs, sending, in the early hours of dawn, a foraging party up a hidden trail to the lonely Monastery of San Carlos, breaking in upon the peaceful monks. Suddenly, they saw a cloud of dust and heard the thud of galloping horses; realizing instantly that it was the enemy, they fled for their boats, firing as they went.

Music Room


Escalada, a young captain of cavalry, had, with fifty picked men been detailed to locate the enemy. This he easily did, and further learned from a Paraguayan prisoner, who had, by swimming miles on a bundle of sticks, escaped from the flotilla, that the Spanish had only three hundred and fifty men all told, and that the plan was to loot and destroy the Monastery, then proceeding up river, they would close the Rosario road to trade with Paraguay. Escalada's report reached San Martin in time for him to arrive and give battle with his Grenadiers.

The story is told by William Parish Robertson, a renowned British traveler of the day. He says:

"In front of the post-house stood an old carriage without horses; two troopers rode up to it and asked, 'Who is here?'

"'A traveler,' answered a sleepy voice.

"Another horseman came up, saying sharply:

"'Be careful. This is not an enemy, but an Englishman on his way to Paraguay.'

"The traveler, amazed at the speaker's accurate knowledge, put his head hastily out of the window, and recognizing the figure and voice, said quickly:

"'Surely you are Colonel San Martin?'

"'If so, you have a friend, Mr. Robertson.'"

San Martin among other things said, "The enemy have double our number, but I doubt if they get the better of us."

"So say I," replied Robertson enthusiastically. He offered the soldiers wine and heartily drank their success.

"I was permitted to join the expedition," the narrative continues, "San Martin telling me,

"'I will give you a horse, but if the day goes against us you must run for it—you are not expected to fight.'"

About midnight San Martin and Robertson, at the head of the silent troops, reached the Monastery.

There was not a sound in the cloisters; the good friars had fled. The troopers, obeying orders, dismounted silently in the large courtyard.

"It brought to mind," says the English traveler, "the Greek host hidden in the bowels of the wooden horse, so fatal to Troy."

San Martin ascended the belfry; the dim lanterns of the enemy boats showed they were yet there. At dawn boats laden with armed men pulled off from the flotilla, and at half past five two columns of infantry marched up the path.

San Martin coming down from his post of observation said:

"In two minutes more we shall be upon them."

Outside his orderly held his horse, a splendid cream-colored charger, fully caparisoned. Drawing his curved saber he galloped off to his Grenadiers, directing Captain Jose Bermudez to attack the flank and cut off their retreat:

"We will meet in the centre of the enemy's columns, there I will give further orders."

"The enemy came on quickly to the sound of drums and fifes with two four-pound guns between their columns. Suddenly they were electrified by the clarion notes of the Grenadiers.

"Saber in hand, San Martin fell upon them on the left, Bermudez and his men on the right. San Martin was first to begin the fight. The fire of the two guns failed to check the onset; the Spanish column was thrown into disorder, fell back, but opened a heavy fire of musketry. San Martin with his battalion encountered the column led by Zabala, who commanded the flotilla. San Martin's horse was killed almost instantly, pinioning him to the ground as it fell. Round him raged a fierce hand-to-hand fight in which he received a slight wound on the face. A Spanish soldier suddenly sprang forward to bayonet him, but a quicker man ran the Spaniard through with his saber. This was a Grenadier called Baigorria. Another trooper, Juan Bautista Cabral, sprang from the saddle and released his leader from the fallen horse, but fell himself, pierced by two mortal wounds. With his last breath he shouted:

"'I die content! They are beaten.'"

"At the same moment Cornet Bouchard bayoneted the Spanish ensign-bearer and captured the flag.

"Bermudez, fighting recklessly, drove back the other column. The Spaniards, abandoning their guns, retreated to the bluff where they attempted to form a square under the protection of the guns of the flotilla. Bermudez, leading a second charge, was mortally wounded, but the Spaniards were driven headlong to the beach, leaving behind them their flag, their guns and fifty muskets, forty dead, and fourteen prisoners, Zabala, their commander, being badly wounded."

San Martin, assisted by Robertson, generously furnished the flotilla with fresh supplies for their wounded, and arranged for an exchange of prisoners. One of these released prisoners, a Paraguayan named Jose Felix Bogado, enlisted in the regiment, and during thirteen years' service with it—from San Lorenzo to Ayacucho—won his way up to the rank of Colonel, and returned to Buenos Aires with his deathless regiment, accompanied by seven of its original troopers.

Still covered with the blood and dust of the fight, San Martin, under the shade of an old pine tree which stands to this day in the garden of San Lorenzo, signed the despatch announcing the victory of San Lorenzo.

The battle was of little military importance, a sudden, sharp, brilliant cavalry charge, but it stimulated the cause of Independence, assured the safety of the towns on the banks of the Parana and Uruguay rivers, and made possible uninterrupted trade with Paraguay. Its real value was in giving fresh morale  to the troops, and in making the country aware that in San Martin they had at last found a general.

Returning to Buenos Aires San Martin received a flattering reception. But what concerned him much more was the discovery of bitter animosity and jealousy, which by undermining the confidence of the people in the government and destroying the prestige of their leaders, greatly weakened the cause. The city, too, he found was ruled by a vicious circle of personal intrigue. Politics, always confusing and obnoxious to him, had become doubly so.

In June, 1813, the Army of the North, commanded by General Belgrano, invaded Upper Peru a second time. Operations there had not only been unsuccessful but, worse, had ended in a debacle. Belgrano had in consequence asked to be relieved of his command.

The United Provinces were now without generals of a proper caliber. Belgrano, the best of them, lacked technical knowledge and military intuition, while the enemy possessed clever and experienced officers, and its rank and file were seasoned troops.

San Martin, the man of the hour, was deemed the officer best able to cope with the difficulties of an alarming situation.

"Alvear, dreaming of military glory, had applied for this command. San Martin characteristically gave way to him. Besides, he preferred going on with the operations of taking Montevideo which he felt was of vastly more strategic importance. At length Alvear, loath to leave the field of politics, after much vacillation, recommended San Martin for the post in the North."

San Martin, weary of the political intrigue about him, was relieved to join the Army.

Arriving at headquarters, he presented himself to Belgrano as a subordinate, but Belgrano, with splendid patriotism, realizing his own deficiency, insisted that the more capable man take command. Only upon orders to that effect from Buenos Aires, however, did San Martin assume the position as Commander-in-Chief. His first act as such was to pay the destitute troops with money intended for the treasury. This was done in direct opposition to the Government policy at Buenos Aires. Reluctantly recognizing the wisdom of his act no adverse criticism followed. San Martin found at once that he had no officers capable of executing a military plan, and also that the inhabitants of the territory, their customs, even the topography of the land were totally unknown to him, a knowledge he deemed absolutely indispensable in war. And the Royalists were advancing on the northern provinces with a victorious army of 5000 veterans! His intelligence provided for everything. He re-organized the army, subjecting it to modern tactics, "which up to then we did not know," says General Paz. He directed also the military operations of irregular war—defensive and offensive, such as had not yet been seen in America nor of which anything had been written.

Warfare in Peru

Peru with its mines and treasure had always been the cockpit of the armies. It was the stronghold of Royalty and its social organization remained "a perpetuation of the system of the Incas complicated by the antagonism of races." In 1809 its first rebellion had flared up, had flickered, had almost but never quite died. Twice Argentine armies had marched North to succor these rebellions and twice had met disaster. Always there had been a lack of money, of men, and a complete lack of morale. But the paramount reason for these defeats was the excellence of the Royalist troops, the backbone of which were the native half-breeds, immune to hardships, tireless on the march, and servilely obedient to their officers. They were immuned to the climate and brought up to mountain warfare.

Belgrano after the failure of his campaign had left at Cochabamba in command of the remnants of his Patriots' army Don Juan de Arenales. Arenales proved himself a genius at keeping alive the spirit of liberty in those evil times. He was a Spaniard, educated at Buenos Aires, and as a leader he had foresight and audacity combined with a rare simplicity and sense of justice. It was his custom to go about attended by only one orderly and one baggage-mule. On the march he carried his own provisions which consisted of cheese and dry beef. San Martin always called him "My pal" and treated him as a familiar.

Standard of Pizarro


In those days warfare in Peru was a relentless affair. A Spanish officer on trial before San Martin confessed to having put to death fifty-four prisoners of war, cutting off their heads and arms afterwards nailing them to posts along the road. Arenales had fought against tremendous odds, keeping his disorganized little army together for fourteen months with practically no pay, almost no officers, and shabbily clothed and equipped. Jujuy and Salta, important sections of this country, were in the hands of the Royalists. Such were the conditions when San Martin arrived and took over the command. At once he established an entrenched camp at Tucuman and initiated a course of military instruction. San Martin's name was beginning to be known and respected, and he caused the word to go forth that European methods of military training would be taught at this camp embracing French cavalry tactics, then the most famous in the world. He exhibited his "one-battle veterans," the Mounted Grenadiers, as a model squadron. It was a clever coup and the youth of the country rushed in to enlist. Almost spontaneously there sprang up a corps of cavalry who rode "with the fearlessness of Cossacks and the skill of Mamelukes." All they needed was discipline and esprit de corps  which was taught them by that inspired martinet and tactician, San Martin. They were captained by a native chieftain, Martin Guemes, whose name was to become famous throughout South America. These guachos  could go up or come down the mountain trails at full speed; they could gallop unscathed through thorny underbrush where there was no trail; and every man of them was a sharp-shooter. Such men San Martin knew he could trust to keep the Royalists at bay while he was getting the regular army in shape at Tucuman.

Meanwhile, Salta had been made a desolate waste; the gate to the Argentine from Peru, a strategic point, the Royalists seized and ravaged. The populace, anticipating the assault, had bravely deserted their homes, leaving nothing for the enemy. Even the church bells were taken; no bells should ring for a Royalist victory! Later Guemes and his fiery guachos  were to take a sweet revenge, but the time was not yet.

And this San Martin realized: that the Army of the United Provinces was attempting the impossible.

On measuring distances, estimating obstacles, determining the final objectives, and proving the temper of the war instruments in hand, he understood that while conditions and bases continued unchanged, the fight would be indefinitely prolonged. Actuated by this conviction he wrote confidentially to Rodriguez Pena on the 22nd of April, 1814: "Do not congratulate yourself in anticipation of what I may do here: I shall be able to do nothing, nor do I hope anything from it. Our country will not advance from this side of the North; there may be some defensive  fighting but nothing more; for this the brave guachos  of Salta with two battalions of seasoned veterans would be quite sufficient. To think of anything else is to insist on throwing money and men down a well.

"I have already told you in strict confidence my plan. My conviction remains unchanged. A small and well disciplined army in Mendoza, the passage over the Andes to Chile, and there finish with the Goths. This would stamp out the anarchy which reigns there. Then the Chilians in establishing a stable government would become a reliable friend. Allying our forces we would sail over the sea and take Lima. Until then the war will not be finished."

This conception in 1814, a zealously guarded secret, which had it been divulged would have made its author appear nothing short of mad, was the exact plan which has assigned to San Martin his place in the history of the world, and definitely changed the destiny of South America.

At length it was gradually borne in upon both Government and troops that five thousand men could never conquer Upper Peru. On the sea things were going better for Argentine. Michael Brown, an Irishman, with an improvised naval force, had on May 16th all but destroyed the Spanish squadron at Montevideo. That city, besieged by Alvear, had surrendered to the Argentine Army. But San Martin was not deceived by these superficial successes. He knew real victory in war was impossible without a solid military organization. He foresaw that Spain once free from European conflict would send against the colonies her best troops and officers. The war was just commencing. With a knowledge born of experience, he was all too plainly aware that the revolution had no consistence, no concrete plan of operations, and above all no preparation for future emergencies. "What profits it," he repeatedly asked, "to dislodge the Spaniards in isolated places only to have them reorganize anew and remain a menace?" Such had been the experience of the United Provinces in all the campaigns in Peru.

The attempts of the United Provinces at helping Peru to obtain its freedom necessitated the maintenance of an army separated from its base of supplies by a thousand miles of impassable roads. This alone constituted an unthinkable handicap. San Martin's idea was, and had always been, to carry the war to the West;  to pass the Andes, occupy Chile, and secure the dominion of the Pacific. Then to attack lower Peru on the flank, leaving always a friendly country upon which to rely. Knowing he would find scant sympathy in Buenos Aires, he had wisely kept his plans to himself.

Just then Alvear, fresh from his victory at Montevideo and wishing to follow it up, decided upon taking command of the Army of the North. Nothing could have pleased San Martin better. It offered him an opportunity for a much needed rest and sojourn in the dry air of the Cordoba Mountains in order to heal an infected lung. And as a post he asked for the very unpretentious one of the Governorship of Mendoza on the Chilean frontier.

With rare vision he reckoned on aid of another sort. Peru had two regenerating influences which he believed would further greatly the realization of his plans: one was the sentiment of liberty latent in the hearts of Peruvian patriots, the other was the Spanish liberalism brought over by the officers ultimately sent out from Spain. These forces gradually were undermining the power of absolutism and automatically preparing the ground for his ideas. They were not exactly harmonic forces, but they concurred opportunely.

Accordingly, San Martin retired from the field in 1814 and became the Governor of Cuyo. His friends and, better still, his enemies were both content. He had now leisure to work out his Great Plan. He needed an interval in which to dream dreams and see visions. It was during this period at Cuyo that he matured the design of the Campaign of the Deathless Army of the Andes.


The story of San Martin's achievement at Cuyo is one of the most romantic episodes in history. Against every sort of obstacle and discouragement he struggled with that determination which is impervious to discouragement. For every impossibility he found an expedient. It was less a kind of dogged resolution than a temperamental imperturbability which was deaf to denial. This period of his life is curiously characteristic of the man. He retired from a situation which his presence would have complicated, but he retired not in disgruntlement but because he was inspired with a vision of greater service. He accepted a provincial appointment and then gave away half of his pay to the cause. He eliminated himself quietly from an atmosphere of intrigue and used the time to devise a strategic scheme for which not one of his jealous confreres had the genius. He retired to regain his health, and he spent the time in the most supreme expenditure of the spirit. And he succeeded! He knew his capacity, and did not balk at the price of success which fortune dealt him.

It is necessary to understand the terrain and the kind of people the Cuyans were at this time in order to comprehend how in this one poor province there could have been raised an invincible army, sustained for three years by the province itself, which liberated two republics and spread the principles of Argentine freedom over an entire continent. The Cuyo district, on the Chilean frontier, is composed of the three provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis and it allows a certain amalgamation of the peoples of the East and West. Here the Andean formation slopes away into the vast plain of the Argentine Pampas, a fertile country where a network of rivers spreads through sandy soil. Cuyo in 1810 had some forty thousand inhabitants, a thrifty, tractable population. Mendoza, the capital of the province of that name, was a busy trading center. Merchants with their pack mules were constantly crossing the Andes with the products of Buenos Aires' industries, and returning with their caravans of wine, dried fruits and flour. San Juan was an agricultural district, and San Luis had its great ranches where cattle and horses and mules were bred. The frustration of the last Chilean rebellion by the Royalists had created fresh perils for Argentina on its Andean frontiers. This contingency offered no depression to San Martin; rather, it exactly served his purpose, for he was able to contend that the danger of invasion must be met by the organization of an army of defense. This was his first and immediately practical step towards his quietly formulated campaign.

In order to be free of criticism and unhampered by official obligation, in accepting the Governorship of Cuyo San Martin had declined the offer of the house provided him by the Cabildo, and also, as has been said, refused to accept more than half of the salary attached to the appointment. He donated of this sum of three hundred pesos a month "one half to the needs of the country so long as the wars with Spain shall last," the balance he divided between his wife and himself.



San Martin's conviction that the conquest of Chile was the imperative preparatory step towards the liberation of Peru met with no sympathy in official circles. All Peru was a sore subject; too much money had been poured into that hopeless cause, too many disasters had already befallen the Argentinian armies in that country. In vain were San Martin's enthusiasm, the logic of his contentions, the entire feasibility of the gigantic attempt, to his mind—providing the Government would support him in his huge proposed preparatory measures. However, there happened to be published at this time a book which effectually influenced public opinion and gradually turned the tide in San Martin's favor. This book, entitled Memoria, written by Tomas Guido, was published in 1816. It consisted partly of confidential and official reports on the subject of the projected Campaign of the Andes, and partly of a hearty plea for their support in light of the conclusions the author drew of their practical advisability. Guido was a popular figure in both Argentina and Chile and was regarded as a man of weight and authority. What had hitherto appeared to the public mind a fantastically impracticable thing now won an, at least, amiable complaisance. San Martin, as soon as he perceived an attitude of even half-hearted approval on the part of the Government, notwithstanding an empty treasury, a complete lack of guns and ammunition, and a mere handful of recruits who had no uniforms, set to work on his great plan in the most buoyant possible elation of spirits.

At this point one may regard the series of ensuing events as Fate, or as the expression of that sort of genius which can make everything serve a purpose, can fuse the casual and incidental into something providential and divinely opportune, and can wrest success from the most baffling impediment. The way San Martin aroused the people to contribute money to finance his scheme, the tact with which he cajoled the disaffected or enhanced the ardor of adherents, his perspicuity of judgment in choosing his staff or in detaching from the situation those whose loyalty he mistrusted, his ingenuity in creating supplies of guns and ammunition, and rations for man and beast, "where nothing was before,"—it has the glamour of romance.

Almost at once there came to him a band of Chilean soldiers, fleeing their country after inglorious defeat. They were under the leadership of Carrera and O'Higgins. San Martin gave hospitable welcome to these dispirited refugees, who were presently joined by other bands of fleeing compatriots, and formed them all into companies along with the Cuyan volunteers who presented themselves for enlistment in daily growing numbers. "Carrera, actually an exile in a foreign country, arrogated to himself the prerogatives of a commander-in-chief and threatened to become a nuisance. This delicate situation San Martin settled diplomatically by bringing about his retirement to Buenos Aires. Here Carrera was cordially received by Alvear, now Supreme Director of the United Provinces, and they were for a time mutually sympathetic, for, besides their jealousy of San Martin, they thought each might be useful to the other." In the case of O'Higgins San Martin instinctively recognized a man of integrity and capacity, and attached him to his service by securing for him a commission as General in the army of the United Provinces, and placed him in charge of the Chilean refugee troops. Another addition to San Martin's entourage was Don Juan Gregores Las Heras who brought with him a much needed battalion. Before the expiration of the year 1816 the Argentine Government formally recognized the variously assembled troops as the Army of the Andes with San Martin as Commander and Soler as Chief-of-Staff. The army was maintained partly by the voluntary subscriptions of patriots and partly by a petty tax which was levied for the purpose. Every inhabitant of Cuyo was expected to contribute something either in money or kind.

A mendicant friar, Luis Beltran, a native of Mendoza, who had served as an artilleryman in the Chilean army, had just returned to his native country, coming forlornly on foot with a bag of tools of his own making on his shoulder. A blacksmith and cobbler by trade, he was also a self-taught mathematician, draftsman, architect, and chemist and physician as well! Deciding that the man was something of a genius, San Martin intrusted him with the establishing of an arsenal. From this crude and improvised affair flowed a stream of cannon, shot and shell. The good friar made cannons from the metal of church bells when other sources failed. His versatility was inexhaustible. He made limbers for guns, saddles for the cavalry, knapsacks and shoes for the infantry. He forged horseshoes and bayonets; he repaired damaged muskets; and he designed wagons and carts especially adapted for carrying war material over the rough and narrow trails and passes of the Andes. In 1816 this amazing and multipotent friar assumed the uniform of a Lieutenant of Artillery and was awarded the sum of twenty-five pesos a month.

This incredible Luis Beltran is only a single example of how San Martin discovered capacity at every hand and knew how to utilize it; it reads like the Swiss Family Robinson! He discovered that a Major Condarco knew chemistry; accordingly Major Condarco conducted a laboratory where gun-powder and saltpeter were turned out. A Dr. Paroissen, a naturalized English physician, was found and under him an efficient medical staff was trained and a system of tents and wagons for the wounded was organized. And last, but far from the least, the women of the province were fired to emulation, and they wove all the cloth for the uniforms, dyed it blue, and made the thousands of uniforms. For the purpose of some of these activities San Martin had contrived the use of water power.



The Army of the Andes after two years of planning and preparation consisted of three thousand infantry, twelve hundred militia, one thousand cavalry, and a comparatively small but well equipped artillery. For the transportation of the ammunition train and the commissariat across the mountains an army of nine thousand mules was assembled.

At a critical moment for San Martin, jealous counter-influences operating at Buenos Aires, his position was rendered triumphant by his being unanimously elected Governor by the people of the province. He had forced them to do his will and his popularity instead of being impaired had grown with his exactions. He had now raised an army to war strength, but the difficult task of replenishing the empty treasury without exhausting the country had yet to be accomplished. To this end he inspired each man in his own station to work towards the great achievement. The whole province was divided into two classes: the workers and the fighters: with one sole ambition, the conquest of Chile. Even children were formed into military service and carrying their own flags. The people lent mules, horses and harness, knowing they would receive them back when the emergency was over. Land owners pastured army horses free of charge. Foreign residents were invited to enlist, and the English colony raised and equipped a troop of light infantry at its own expense.

The Cuyans sweat money at every pore to redeem South America. The ladies of Mendoza, following the example of San Martin's wife, gave their jewels to replenish the public chest. But, however occupied with these feverish enterprises towards preparation, San Martin did not neglect the welfare of the province. Under his brief administration educational reforms were introduced and the benefits of vaccination were taught to the communities. Irrigation systems were begun. He was not only a general, he was a wise governor. He was accessible in matters of counsel or complaint, but he cultivated no confidants and there was a mysterious aloofness about him. His habits were austerely simple. He always wore the plain uniform of the Mounted Grenadiers, his only insignia the cockade on the familiar cocked hat, but he carried himself with military pride. He rose early and spent the first part of the day at his desk. At noon he ate a simple meal, drinking with it two glasses of native wine, followed by coffee which he invariably made himself. In winter after lunch he took a short walk, smoking steadily a cigarette of black tobacco. In summer after the midday meal he slept for an hour stretched on a favorite sheepskin on the cool veranda. Another hour was spent at his desk, and the rest of the afternoon was given to the various duties of the camp.

The account books in the General Archives show with what economy he lived himself and what reductions he inaugurated in administrative departments during these two years of his incumbency. In 1815 he sent his wife back to Buenos Aires in further pursuance of this policy of retrenchment. In January of the same year he was made a Brigadier-General. It was the last promotion he ever accepted.

In the evening his house was open to visitors but they were forbidden to talk politics. Sometimes he played chess, a game at which he excelled. At ten o'clock he said "good-night" and after a light supper retired.

Many are the stories told about him at this time, showing the varied angles of his mind.

The wife of a sergeant asked a pardon for some neglect of duty by her husband.

"I have nothing to do with the women, only with soldiers subject to military discipline."

A prisoner, having narrowly escaped death, applied for his release in the name of the patron saint of the army.

"He did enough for you in saving your life."

A farmer, being accused of speaking against "La Patria," had his sentence annulled on condition that he should send ten dozen pumpkins for the supply of the troops.

With regard to the hundreds of reports circulated about him he wrote one day to a friend.

"You will say that I was vexed. Yes, my friend, somewhat; but, after reflection, I followed the example of Diogenes, I dived into a butt of philosophy. A public man must suffer anything in order that the vessel may reach her port."

Great service was rendered the cause by certain Chilean refugees acting as spies; studying the territory, promoting insurrections, deceiving the enemy, and discovering their projects. It was called the guerra de zapa, and its object was to lift the national Chilean spirit and undermine the Royalist power. For this secret service he chose men and women of acknowledged position and intelligence who also possessed other special qualifications. These "spys" he had arrested and charged with treason. In due time they "escaped" and fled to Chile "far from San Martin's tyranny." The Spanish rulers were so entirely deceived that often these same "ex-prisoners" were employed in the Spanish Secret Service. In this way San Martin not infrequently learned the complete plans and preparations of the enemy. He was particularly good at this game, and played as he wished with the royalists, to the degree of having been served by the great General Osorio, himself, as well as by President Marco.

About this time Michael Brown, the gallant Irishman, who had driven Spain's Naval forces across the Plate, again offered his services with his flagship the Herculese  and other craft to the Argentine Government. They were duly accepted and San Martin was advised to plan his operations with a view to cooperation with this fleet.

In October Brown sailed for the Western coast with his squadron, consisting of five ships, each carrying fifteen to twenty cannons.

In the fighting which took place there were no spectacular victories, luck favoring first one side and then the other. But at Guayaquil a squall drove his boat the "Trinidad" ashore, and Brown was forced to haul down the flag to prevent the massacre of his men by the Spanish infantry. He himself threw off his clothes and jumped overboard to swim to a nearby schooner, but realizing that the Spanish were killing their prisoners, he sprang back on board, and snatching a light, ran to the magazine and told them that unless the laws of war were respected he would blow up the ship and all on board. The Spaniards knew he would do what he said. The slaughter was stopped, and Brown, naked save for the Argentine flag wound around him, was taken ashore a prisoner. Later in an exchange of prisoners he was allowed to rejoin his squadron. The Argentine Government had anticipated much from the cooperation of army and ships, and had ordered San Martin to take advantage of the fleet's assistance. San Martin replied respectfully, "A naval force to be effective, must consist of ships of war, not of privateers, and must be under the commanding General's orders."

The Passage of the Andes

In November, 1815, the Royalist star was in ascendancy throughout the country and despair filled every patriot's heart. The Argentine army under Rondeau had been practically annihilated at Sipe-Sipe in upper Peru. Consternation reigned. The Royalists celebrated their victory as a definite one. It was then that San Martin, seeing the road to Lima about to be closed forever, rose to his greatest heights.

At the moment when all things seemed darkest San Martin invited his officers to a banquet. Towards the end of the dinner he arose, and as one inspired he said in a voice vibrating with emotion:

"To the first shot fired across the Andes against the oppressors of Chile!" His confidence and magnetism rekindled the fire of enthusiasm. The passage of the Andes and the reconquest of Chile ceased to be a vague dream of the future, it crystallized into a brilliant plan of an impending campaign.

In Mendoza the forces blazed day and night, cartridges were turned out by the hundred thousand, and the good friar Beltran was fashioning special carriages for the artillery necessary on the passes.

The guns were to be carried on the back of mules, except where the grades were too steep for them to pass, then sledges of rawhide were contrived to haul them up by man-power.

San Martin, silent and reserved, provided for every contingency. Stores of charquicain, a food composed of beef dried in the sun, roasted, ground to powder, and then mixed with fat and Chilean pepper, was prepared in quantities. The soldiers carried an eight-day ration of this food in their knapsacks. Mixed with hot water and ground meal, it makes a nutritious and appetizing meal.

The soldiers made for themselves closed sandals of rawhide called tamangos. These were lined with fragments of old clothes collected from all the provinces. Horns of animals were used as water-bottles, slings to carry them were made from the rough edges of the uniform material. The cavalry sabers were razor-like. Thirty thousand horseshoes were prepared, a great innovation, as the Argentines did not shoe their horses, but the stony passes necessitated this. Cuyo alone furnished 13,000 mules; four cables each 170 feet long, and two anchors formed a portable bridge. But the promises of the government to replenish the exhausted treasury were not fulfilled. This splendid and imperishable army had only three trumpets till the government sent them two more. It was owing largely to the fact that the Argentine was at that time governed by Pueyrredon, a man with brains and vision, that San Martin's dream became a reality.



Don Juan San Martin de Pueyrredon was born in Buenos Aires. He was not thirty years of age when an English army invaded that city. Young and wealthy, he was the first to refuse the oath of submission to the invaders. Gathering the populace, he aroused them to rebellion, an act which the government appeared afraid of. In the wars that followed his heart and soul were ever in the service of the patriots. After having held various offices which he always administered with courage and intelligence, he was in 1817 made Governor General.

Pueyrredon aided San Martin in every way within his power—clothes, saddles, tents and arms. But he wrote him: "Don't ask for anything more unless you wish to hear that I have hung myself to a beam in the fort. You say that we have never had an army so well equipped, but neither has there been a Director who has so great a confidence in a General, and I may add, never a General who so well merited that confidence. But my mind would be easier if you had another thousand soldiers with you."

That no detail should be lacking to prevent the enemy knowing his real movements San Martin resorted to the ruse of inviting, in September, 1816, the Pehenches Indians, who occupied the eastern slopes of the Andes commanding the entrances of the passes of Planchon and Portillo, to a conference at the fort of San Carlos, south of Mendoza. With the invitations he sent mules, laden with wine, meal, cloth, horse-gear, glass beads for the women and clothes for the men.

The warriors, followed by their women, came in full war costumes, and began furiously riding their horses around the fort, giving Indian yells. San Martin confided in the chiefs that the Spaniards intended to rob them of their goods, land, cattle, women and children, and he asked their permission to go by their country with his army and through their pass to destroy the Spaniards on the other side. The chiefs listened gravely and granted his request, after which the whole tribe gave themselves up to an eight-day orgy.

San Martin returned to Mendoza, knowing that, true to form, they would inform the Spaniards of his project. Even his closest friends believed he had arranged with the Indians for supplies of cattle and horses to aid his expedition. The ruse of San Martin was successful. The Captain General of Chile attempted to defend the entire frontier, unable to decide where to expect the real attack.

Andes passage


San Martin's real difficulties were approaching. It was necessary to transport his entire army, baggage and equipment, over passes so narrow as to give only room for one mounted man at a time. The two passes available were: Uspallata and Los Patos, each over 12,000 feet high, snow-covered in winter and passable only in the mid-summer.

"The great Cordillera is composed of sharp conical peaks rising to a height of 21,000 feet, crowned with perpetual snow. Condors wheeling in airy circles at dizzy heights are the only living things seen. Below roar the mountain streams, carrying great rocks, tossing them about as they would toss straws. Here only stunted cacti, mosses and thorny plants exist. The world is seen as it emerged from chaos in the process of creation." It was vitally necessary to reach the other side in a force sufficient to overcome a watchful enemy, or perish ingloriously, and what was even more difficult, as Guido puts it: "To concentrate the different columns upon the enemy's weak points. If we can gain the plain, victory is assured. Otherwise we are lost, and the devil will take everything."

One of the manifold obstacles to this great coup was that no maps existed of the passes of the Andes. General San Martin sent to the Governor of Chile his aide-de-camp Condarco, a skillful engineer, as the bearer of a copy of the Declaration of Independence. But in giving him his instructions he said, "Your real errand is to reconnoiter the roads by the Los Patos and Uspallata passes. Without making a note you must bring back in your head a perfect plan of them both. I shall send you by Los Patos which is the longest road, and as they are certain to send you back at once (if they don't hang you), you will return by Uspallata, which is the nearest way."

The copy of the Declaration which Condarco presented to Marco del Pent was burned by the public hangman of Santiago and the messenger sent back with scant courtesy, but in his receptive brain were the plans of both roads which he put on paper at his leisure. These became the charts of the first operations of the Army of the Andes.

Early in the Spring San Martin brought the various corps of his army from their canton-mots, and encamped them on an open plain a league to the north of Mendoza. There the recruits were thoroughly drilled, and the whole force taught to act in concert. Every hour of the day had its allotted work, and in the evening the officers attended classes for instruction in tactics. To complete its organization a printing-press was added to the stores. It would teach the liberated people the principles of the Argentine revolution. On the 17th of January, 1817, there was high holiday in Mendoza. The streets and plaza were decorated with flags and banners. The whole army marched out to salute the Virgin del Carmen, its patron saint, and to receive a special army flag embroidered by the ladies of the city.

The formalities over, San Martin ascended the platform, the flag of his Grenadiers in his hand. He threw it out, the breeze caught it, and it waved above his head. In a ringing voice, audible to all, he said: "Soldiers, this is the first independent flag of South America. Swear to sustain it, to die to defend it as I do." "We swear," came spontaneously from four thousand throats. Sixty-four years later it served as a funeral pall to the hero who had given it into the care of the immortal Army of the Andes.

Each general of division was given by San Martin himself, the night before they marched, a pen and ink plan of the route he was to follow, with minute written instructions.

San Martin went by Los Patos but had arranged a system of flag signals by which Las Heras could communicate with him across the intervening valleys. His last instructions from the government were:

"The consolidation of the independence of America from the Kings of Spain and the glory of the United Provinces of the South, are the sole motives of this campaign. This you will make public in your proclamation by your agents in the cities, and by all possible means. The army must be impressed with this principle. We shall have no thought of pillage, oppression, or of conquest, or that there is any idea of holding the country of those we help."

The plan of campaign was to cross the Cordillera by the passes of Uspallata and Los Patos, to reunite his forces on the plain beyond, there to beat the principal force of the enemy and to seize the capital. Groups of workmen and sappers cleared the way ahead of the columns, and the liberators walked along the narrow paths between abysses and granite walls to the uniform step of the mules, climbing one height after another. Behind them the artillery and the rest advanced with indescribable difficulty. The horses to be used in battle were led unmounted, their backs covered with sheep-skins.

When one of the divisions ascended one of the high peaks of the mountain a horrible hail-storm burst forth, detaining their march under a temperature of six degrees centigrade. On starting the march once more the brass band of the battalions played the Argentine National Anthem. The soldiers with rare good spirits said: "The Cordillera is indignant at seeing itself for the first time trodden on by the warriors." The march was so well planned and conducted, that this was the greatest mishap they had to undergo. Thanks to the onions and garlic given each soldier neither the intense cold nor the rarefaction of the atmosphere, which produces puna sickness, caused much suffering.

The division of Las Heras traversed 337 kilometers before arriving at Santa Rosa, and those of the vanguard and reserve outlined in their march to San Antonio de Putaendo a curve of 545 kilometers. Should General Las Heras and Soler arrive the same day in the valleys of Aconcagua and Putaendo, success was certain. "The thing is assured if we get a footing on the plain," San Martin said to Guido. To keep secret the point of attack was absolutely vital. One military incident nearly compromised the result of the entire campaign, in spite of the fact that everything had been minutely thought out. By chance at the same time that Las Heras started out, the Royalist, Colonel Alero, had sent a detachment by way of Supallata to study the territory. They met and fought with Las Heras' vanguard, and, being defeated, the dispersed Royalists carried news of the invasion to a column of 1,000 men under Marco.

This unforeseen accident might have changed the whole aspect of the campaign. The enemy could occupy one of the other of the narrow passes before the bulk of the Argentine army could rout them, and with one battalion upset their scheduled march. It was a question of hours. If the patriots did not appear in the valley and reunite on the day fixed, the enemy would come in force, concentrating their efforts on the points occupied, and all calculations would be spoiled. General San Martin receiving the news of what had happened modified his plans on the spot and ordered the army to continue its march, and the Chief Engineer Arcos, to advance double-quick with 200 men to occupy and strengthen the gorge of Achupallas, fighting any enemy they might encounter. This would give time for the columns to arrive at the plain.

"It was a strategic combination of movements over a frontage of 1300 kilometers and the operation being executed rapidly and efficiently was completely successful. This victory definitely assured the execution of the strategical plan of San Martin, and the day fixed by him in Mendoza, the 8th of February, the Army of the Andes reunited in the long wished for valley of the Cordillera."

The transit of these mountains was a triumph. Moving the army and their provisions for nearly a month, with armaments, munitions, etc., over a road of one hundred leagues of sharp peaks, gorges, passes and deep precipices was more than a victory. It was a prodigy unique in military history. San Martin had reason to be proud of this exploit, but with his accustomed modesty he was never heard to boast of it.

San Martin learned through his spies the movements and number of the enemy, even obtaining a copy of the secret orders of the Spanish General Marco. With this knowledge in hand he at once gave battle at Chacabuco.

Sitting on his horse he witnessed the fight from the heights above. This is the incident in his life which is commemorated in the equestrian statue in the Plaza San Martin in Buenos Aires.

The Royalists in this battle paid heavily in men, guns and flags, while the patriots' loss was comparatively insignificant. But the moral effects of the victory were still greater; the disaster of Chacabuco spread panic among the adherents of the Royal cause throughout Chile.

Two days later the Army of the Andes entered Santiago amid the enthusiastic plaudits of the inhabitants. The Assembly met under the presidency of Don Francisco Ruiz Tagle, the provisional Governor, and declared that: "They were unanimous in naming Don Jose de San Martin Governor of Chile with full powers."

San Martin refused, and then the Assembly, by proclamation, named General O'Higgins Governor, which was what San Martin desired.

The Decisive Battle of Naipo

Certain historians maintain that San Martin at this point made a grave mistake, one which retarded by three years his splendid achievement, in not following up his victory at Chacabuco by wiping out the great Royalist military strength concentrated in the south of Chile with Concepcion as headquarters. There the people were warlike and for the most part loyal to Spain. San Martin himself says he could not afford to launch his army on the south without knowing Captain Freyre's operation. This Chilean officer and a body of men had been detailed for service in the south, and especially was he unwilling to begin action there on a vast scale without a stabilized government in Chile. But neither did San Martin altogether neglect Southern Chile, and in his operations there he encountered strong opposition in an officer of talent, Ordonez, a soldier who had won his colonelcy fighting with San Martin against Napoleon. In 1815 he had been sent to America as the Spanish Governor of Concepcion.

To meet San Martin, Ordonez organized the militia, got together the dispersed soldiers, and fortified Talkahuano. Unmolested for months, he was able to organize a division of three thousand men, half of whom were regulars. Talkahuano, naturally a strong position, was splendidly fortified with seventy heavy guns advantageously placed on the forts. Gunboats and a man-of-war protected its approaches. This fortress greatly aided Ordonez, the Spanish Commander in Chief, to hold in check the united forces of Chile, and the United Provinces for three years.

At Talkahuano in 1814 the first Alliance ever made in the New World between independent nations was sealed with the blood of the allied soldiers. The effects were felt from Cape Horn to the Equator. Without it the struggle for independence would have failed, or, at least been indefinitely retarded.

The battle of Cancha Rayada, March, 1818, proved a debacle for the Argentine troops. They lost heavily in men, guns and flags. It was a bloody and terrible fight. A veteran, favorably mentioned by Napoleon, recounted that for the first time in his life he felt fear. Only Las Heras with outstanding generalship preserved the nucleus of the army, and in doing so saved for years the independence of South America.

News of the terrible disaster reached Santiago on the 21st of March. Rumor had it that everything was lost, San Martin killed and O'Higgins mortally wounded. In the streets shouts of "Viva el Rey" were heard. A Royalist sympathizer even had a horse shod with silver shoes in readiness to present it to the Royalist conqueror. On the 23rd a dispatch from San Martin announced the safe retreat of Las Heras with four thousand men. But this by no means allayed the panic.

The next morning O'Higgins reached the city. He put an end to disorder, purchased horses and prepared supplies and ammunition. On the 25th of April San Martin himself arrived. He was exhausted by fatigue and lack of sleep, but he found strength as he drew reins at the door of the palace to make the one speech of his life. He assured the excited people that the cause of Chile would, still triumph and promised them a day of glory for America. Later he held a counsel of war, and it was unanimously decided to establish a camp on the plains of Maipo, seven miles south of Santiago, and there to await the enemy. Confidence revived and life again became normal. San Martin, working night and day prepared for the next battle. Ten days later his army was in readiness, but the Royalists' army, although "victorious," was in confusion, the country deserted, while the roads were inundated with water from the irrigation ditches cut by the patriots as they retired. The Royalists' General Osorio at a counsel of war, advised retirement to Valparaiso, but his generals strongly opposed the idea. It was decided that they should attack the next day. The decisive battle of Maipo was fought on the 5th of April, 1818.

Before the battle San Martin issued the most precise orders to all the troops. Each man was a general and knew the plan of attack. Both cavalry and infantry were to await the enemy's charge; when the opposing line was fifty paces distant they were to rush them with saber and bayonet. Uncertain as to the position of the enemy's artillery, General San Martin opened fire, the reply gave him the needed information. It was a furious encounter, the hardest fought in the War of the Independence. The Royalists lost twelve guns, four flags, a great quantity of small arms, ammunition and baggage, beside one general, four colonels, seven lieutenant-colonels, 150 under-officers and 2,200 privates. The Patriots lost more than 1,000 men and General O'Higgins was among the wounded. In this epoch-making battle all historians agree that San Martin displayed great tactical skill. The victory was won by the opportune attack of his reserves upon the weaker flank of the enemy. Its importance was only equaled by that of Boyaca and Ayacucho. Without Maipo neither one nor the other would have been fought. Maipo crushed the spirit of the Spanish Army in America, from Mexico to Peru. It had, further, the singular merit of being won by a beaten army fifteen days after its defeat.

Of the trophies of Maipo San Martin reserved for himself only the portfolio containing the secret correspondence of Osorio. This O'Brien (San Martin's favorite aide) found in his captured carriage. Under the shade of a tree in a secluded spot General San Martin read its contents—for the most part letters from well-known Chilean leaders to Osorio after the debacle of Cancha Rayada. They proved to be declarations of their undying loyalty to Spain. San Martin burned them on the spot.

He generously chose to consider them as a sort of negative treachery born of panic and best buried in oblivion. No one but himself ever knew definitely the names of those spineless, pitiable creatures.

The day following the battle he left for Buenos Aires, hoping there to hasten measures for the expedition to Peru. On the 11th of May, avoiding a triumphal entry, he quietly went to his own house. It was upon this visit that he again declined a commission as Brigadier-General decreed him by the Government. Congress insisted, however, upon giving him a vote of thanks, and Argentine poets celebrated his victory in verse. All of which was little to his taste.

The month of June he spent in consultation with the heads of the Government, arranging ways and means of fitting out a Pacific squadron. Concerning this he wrote to O'Higgins:

"We must not stop at what we have already achieved; it is necessary to take our arms to the heart of Peru. To do this we must arrive at terms, and prepare minutely the details of the enterprise. The first thing to be done is to move the army with surety. This cannot be done without a naval force able to dominate the Pacific. I consider five warships sufficient, but nothing less. These to be well equipped with modern artillery. But money is lacking. Therefore, ascertain if you can obtain from Chile the sum of three hundred thousand dollars. We have gauged that amount sufficient for armaments and crew.

"The expedition must be ready in Chilean ports not later than October or November. There is no time to lose. In case this project proves unfeasible, something else must be managed. I shall never expose the army to annihilation by the two or three warships that Lima might send to prevent our landing, for that is the worst thing the Royalists feel, can happen to them."

To dominate the Pacific by a squadron raised by the two States in order to advance on Peru, with an Allied Argentine and Chilean army, raised and maintained by the two countries, was the main point of the alliance which Argentina and Chile signed, San Martin being the brain and the arm on both sides of the Andes empowered to weigh the dangers and difficulties that continually cropped up, either for or against the alliance.

The Argentine Congress ended by authorizing that 500,000 pesos should be raised for the furtherance of the Pacific squadron. San Martin then set out for Chile. From Mendoza two attempts were made to cross the Cordillera, but snowstorms prevented. He remained in Mendoza all winter, happier in reality among the simple bluff-spoken Cuyanos than in the more polished, empty society of Santiago.

In July he received an amazing letter from Pueyrredon. It said: "Do not draw upon the treasury. The promised sum of 500,000 pesos cannot be raised even if the prisons were filled with capitalists." San Martin, crushed by this news, wrote back: "I pray you accept my resignation as Commander-in-Chief." Consternation in official circles prevailed at this act. The Argentine Government fulfilled its promise.

Andes was replenished with 200,000 pesos, and the situation was saved. During this enforced stay at Mendoza San Martin had spent every waking hour in making the most minute and elaborate calculations concerning the men, arms and equipment necessary for the Peruvian expedition. In Buenos Aires Pueyrredon and the diplomatic corps were occupied in the construction of a scheme which was to render the expedition unnecessary. It was promised by them that a conference of European powers should nominate a sovereign who should unite all the Spanish colonies south of the Equator under his sway. Of this monarchy San Martin and his army were to be the right arm. San Martin was fully informed of all this, and to it made no opposition. But knowing much of human nature and of European conditions, went on with his own calculations.

Spain in eight years of warfare had sent sixteen expeditions to South America with more than 40,000 veteran troops, had expended seventy-five millions of pesos, and seemed by no means inclined to relinquish the attempt to subdue her rebellious colonies. She had yet 100,000 soldiers and militia in America, and was preparing a fresh expedition of 20,000 to dispatch to the River Plate. Thus while diplomatists amused themselves and the world with visionary schemes for securing the independence of America, the practical San Martin realized that the problem must be settled by blood and sword.

On October the 29th, filled with enthusiasm, he dismounted at the gate of his palace in Santiago. Pueyrredon had dispatched two vessels of war for service in the Pacific, and his treasury was not empty. Soon after his return to Chile he found, however, that the successes of the Chilean fleet had greatly relaxed the eagerness of the Government for the projected expedition. Safe from invasion, and having command of the sea, the pay of her soldiers had become very irregular. The people, too, had begun to register their disapproval of a government which relied for support upon Argentine bayonets. Nevertheless, San Martin and O'Higgins, undaunted by this, issued new proclamations to the Peruvian people announcing the early expedition for the purpose of liberating Peru. They said: "We go that you may become a nation with a government established by yourselves in accordance with your own customs, situations and inclinations."

He now had an army of six thousand drilled soldiers and a supply of five hundred thousand pesos, two hundred thousand of which had been furnished by the Argentine Government. Influenced by the incontestable fact of its insecurity under impending conditions. Chile came to see that permanent security depended upon the liberation of Peru. San Martin was once again offered by Chile the rank of Brigadier-General. This time it was graciously accepted. He organized the Chilean Army, imitating that of the Andes, and with both he formed the United Army. Though animated by the same spirit and the same ideals, each army carried its national flag. But the concentration of command was in San Martin, and to the war machine he studiedly gave the character of a liberating, not a conquering army.

It was at this time that he separated for the last time from his beloved wife. She returned to Buenos Aires never to see him again. When he again saw his native country she was dead, leaving him an only daughter who was to become one of the most devoted of daughters, the sole joy of an empty old age, his only solace in the days they spent together in exile.


The liberation of Peru must be accomplished by way of the sea. The thousand miles of intervening desert were impassable for an army. To O'Higgins belongs the credit of creating a navy which defied Spain. His nondescript fleet consisted of two old East Indian men, a British corvette, several Spanish warships whose crews had mutinied, together with a number of brigs. This curious fleet was officered by Englishmen for the most part, but manned by Chileans. As O'Higgins rode up the hill, returning to Santiago from a visit to his navy, he paused and, looking down at the fluttering sails and the towering masts of the three re-christened Spanish warships, exclaimed:

"It was three ships that gave the Western World to Spain; please God, these three will take it from her." That this squadron was able to wrest from Spain the control of the Pacific, and serve as convoy to San Martin's army, was due to the genius of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald, frequently regarded as the greatest naval commander since Nelson. He arrived at Valparaiso November 28, 1818. Born of noble Scotch family, as a member of Parliament he had led the Radical Opposition, and was both hated and feared by the party in power. Entangled in a doubtful Stock Exchange transaction, he was condemned to pay a heavy fine, was sent to the pillory, and expelled from the House of Commons. The people paid his fine by subscription, Government remitted his pillory sentence, and he was reelected by his constituents. Disgusted with political life, he sought adventure. Condarco, San Martin's agent in London, and Alvarez Jonte, the agent of Chile, made him an offer to fight for the cause of independence in South America, and he at once accepted. He became a brilliant force in the fight and he is honored today as one of South America's liberators.



As soon as Cochrane arrived at Valparaiso he was given charge of the fleet—the Chilean Vice-Admiral, Escalada, recognizing his superiority—and begged him to take the supreme command. Cochrane wished to attack the Spaniards at once. But the Spanish admiral, hearing of his arrival, withdrew cannily into the fortified harbor of Callao and refused the encounter. Cochrane, thirsting for the fray, paced the deck of his flag-ship by the hour. One day he suddenly addressed his officers: "What would they say if with this one ship I took Valdavia?" As no one offered an answer, he continued: "They would say I am a lunatic! Lunatic or not, that is what I am going to do."

Valdavia was the most strongly fortified of all the Pacific ports. Nine fortresses, with batteries of 128 guns, stood on either side of the bay, which was naturally fortified by steep cliffs, so that Valdavia was reckoned practically impregnable. The garrison normally numbered 800 troops, but at the time Cochrane made his reckless attack the militia happened to have been withdrawn. On the 18th of January, 1820, the "O'Higgins," Cochrane's flag-ship and so named for his famous fellow-liberator, sailed into Valdavia's harbor, flying the Spanish flag. This ruse worked to perfection. The Spanish commander of the garrison, believing her to be the Spanish Prueba, immediately sent off a guard of honor when Cochrane signaled for a pilot. The guard were promptly made prisoners, and being threatened with the customary torture of the period, divulged the agreeable news that the garrison were expecting a Royalist warship, the "Portillo," with moneys for the Spanish troops. Two days later Cochrane captured the "Portillo" with her 20,000 pesos, but realizing that it would be folly to attempt Valdavia without the rest of his fleet, he returned to Talcahuano for reinforcements. There he found two of his best ships, the Intrepido  and the "Montezuma" and the Commander of the fort assigned him 250 men. They started again for Valdavia, but leaving the harbor the "O'Higgins" struck a rock and began to leak. Cochrane could not brook delay and lay by only long enough for a little hasty patching up. He always declared that "Victory is the justification of the folly of a reckless venture." Certainly he was justified this time, for his audacity and courage, backed by a native genius for sea-fighting and naval tactics, were rewarded by a glorious and incomparably important victory. Valdavia was taken. The "Intrepido" was sunk, the "O'Higgins" leaked so badly that she had to be run aground, but Cochrane was able to return to Valparaiso in triumph, and Spain had lost her last base of operations in the South.

Chile now possessed all the Spanish territory except the Island of Chiloe and the dominion of the Pacific was assured. It was just at this moment of triumph and success that the first great crisis in San Martin's career occurred. He was called upon to make a great decision; and he decided that the whole cause of independence was a duty greater than technical loyalty to his native country. For at this moment when everything conspired to the consummation of his campaign in Peru the Buenos Aires Government summoned him home! The Governmental heads were terrified by a report that Spain had assembled an overwhelming fleet at Cadiz, and was prepared to put a final end to the South American rebellion. Just when Cochrane's splendid victory opened the way to Peru, he was ordered to sacrifice the fruits of this coup for reasons which he bitterly suspected were grounded in petty jealousy rather than in actual fear of Spain's avenging Armada. He was to be proved right in his suspicions, for, whatever the size of Spain's preparations, her fleet never set sail. There was a mutiny before the ships left Cadiz and the project came to naught. San Martin had begged for time before he made his decision. He was torn between loyalty and his desire to go on with his campaign to free Peru. The situation so troubled him that it aggravated the condition of exhaustion and nerves his labors and responsibilities had induced, and he was a very sick man. As soon as the news came that Spain had been obliged to relinquish her hopes of a great final, annihilating expedition, San Martin asked the Buenos Aires ministers if he might proceed with his Peruvian campaign. It then became clear that it was political intrigue, for the permission was refused and San Martin was again ordered to return. Accordingly, regretting the enforced contumacy, he declined to obey; in act, if not in word, severing his allegiance to the Argentine Government. He was deeply affected; he knew the stings of ingratitude; but his whole heart was in the great cause he had come home to serve. He was giving his life to free South America from Spain. He had saved Argentina, Chile was free; the way was now open to Peru. He felt he was right and renounced his commission, never again was he in the service of the Argentine Government. It was as a Brigadier-General of Chile that he made the campaign of Peru. Some historians have been cruelly censorious of what they have stigmatized as "San Martin's great act of disobedience." None of them can question the sincerity and simplicity of the motives which compelled him to place himself in this contumacious attitude towards his native land.

The die was cast. San Martin went on! His strategical plan was practically one of two half-circles: Cochrane with the fleet was to blockade the coast in a long half-circle, while he was to stretch out the army in another half-circle around Lima. And it was to be a waiting policy. It was stratagem as well as strategy. He had discussed his reasons with his officers, and his course of action, or perhaps inaction, was predicated GA an intuitive knowledge of the Peruvian psychology. He knew that he had not sufficient forces to wage an aggressive campaign. The Spanish Generalissimo had a well-equipped and seasoned army of over 20,000 men; in Lima alone there were 9,000 troops. Peru was the stronghold of the Royalists and they held the people with a firm hand. It was San Martin's intention to put off a decisive encounter as long as possible. His policy was to be one of propaganda. He and his army were to enter Peru and to spread themselves out in widely separated camps at a safe distance from Lima and the Royalist camps. Then the inhabitants of the country districts were to be taught the moral force of San Martin's watchword: "We are here not to conquer but to liberate." He had perfect faith that, given time, the minds of the people would respond to this idealistic proclamation and that he would have a moral reinforcement of public sentiment which, in the end, would count vastly more than number of troops. And he knew that all the time, in secret underground channels, the subtle Lautoro Lodge was at work. His last speech to the army when they were embarking was: "Remember always that you are going to liberate a people, not to conquer them. Remember that the Peruvians are our brothers." He emphasized that the severest penalties would be inflicted for any acts of plunder or maltreatment in the districts in which they were to encamp. For a time it was to be a policy of patient propaganda and a waiting game.

He felt he could win the populace to his side, and profit by their cooperation when the time came to fight. Also he hoped eventually that a combined plan of action with Bolivar, now master of New Grenade, could be arranged.

On the 20th of August the expedition was begun. Cochrane's squadron of eighteen ships and sixteen transports carried the army which consisted, of four thousand troops. Of these, one thousand eight hundred belonged to the Army of Chile and the remainder to the Army of the Andes. After a peaceful voyage of eighteen days a landing was made at Pisco and the troops disembarked. This point, at the foot of the Cordillera, was 160 miles south of Lima. Las Heras with his division went first and occupied the town without resistance. By the 13th of September the entire army had advanced and established a camp at Chinca, from which place reconnoitring parties were sent forward to spy the land and to disalarm the country. On the 17th another camp was stationed at Huara, where, with an almost unfordable river in front of him, a sandy desert on its further side, his outmost flank touching Huaco, and the Sierra at his back, San Martin was in a position to hold the enemy at bay. Definitely he had cut off all communication between the capital and the Northern provinces, and was able, at will, to join forces with Arenales, who was at the other end of the semicircle.

Pezuela, the Viceroy, was preparing to read to the people, in accordance with royal instructions, the new Decree in which Spain proclaimed a grant to Peru of the new liberal Constitution when he heard that San Martin had landed at Pisco. More disquieting still he learned that the fleet, with the now famous Cochrane in command, had drawn a semicircle along the coast, with ships guarding the garrisons San Martin had established at strategical points. Pezuela took counsel with himself, and sent emissaries under a flag of truce to make proposals of peace to San Martin. Pezuela's conditions were an armistice while Chile and the United Provinces should send representatives to Spain to arrange a definite peace under the terms of the new liberal Constitution. San Martin was de-lighted with the proposal, so far as it tacitly acknowledged Chile and the United Provinces as belligerent powers, even if it did not recognize their independence. He, therefore, acceded to the sending of representatives and commissioned Guido and Carcia del Rio to treat with Count Villar de Fuente and Captain Capaz, who were appointed as envoys by the Viceroy. The four convened at Miraflores and arranged an armistice. But the Chileans declined to accept the Spanish Constitution, and rejected the proposal to send deputies to the Court of Madrid. The conference was fruitless, for which Pezuela blamed San Martin. The armistice ended October 5th.

San Martin now was ready for the next step. He sent Arenales from Chinca to the Highlands in the North, and to mark the movement he advanced his camp and maneuvered his troops on the road to Lima. And here again one finds him manifesting his shrewd knowledge of popular temperament and his sense of the dramatic moment. Acting on his conviction that nothing so thrillingly inspires patriotism as one's own flag, he designed and decreed a national flag and escutcheon for the Republic of Peru. The flag was white and scarlet, the escutcheon a sun rising over mountains with a tranquil sea at the foot. These emblems were valiantly born by his troops as they marched. Of course, there were encounters of a more or less desperate nature between the Chilean and Royalist detachments throughout these months, and a steady guerrilla warfare was kept up. But there was never a great battle. San Martin's methods of propaganda were having more and more results and proving the acumen of his plan. Frequently when opposing detachments met the Royalist troops laid down their arms and declared themselves Patriots. Disaffection to the Spanish captains and defiance of the local village authorities by the natives was rapidly increasing. Cochrane, in the meantime, had been successful with the fleet. He had blockaded Callao, cutting off Lima's supplies by the water as San Martin had cut them off from the rear. Besides he had a fine fight after his own heart, capturing the best of the Spanish ships, the "Esmeralda," cutting her out from under the very guns of the great fortress of Callao and sailing her out under her own canvas. These disasters on water were having their effects on the Peruvians, they were fast losing all confidence and respect for the Government. The 'Viceroy began to regard his own position as one of peril.

Events were speedily culminating. A Peruvian general, the Marquis of Torre-Tagle, was the Governor of Truillo. He had long been secretly an ardent Patriot. On December 24th he convened a Cabildo  at Trujillo, and declaring the hopelessness of further resistance, advocated submission. The local Royalists, headed by the Bishop, stoutly opposed the proposition. The Governor answered by throwing them into prison, and on that day, under the new flag of the Republic, the people swore to maintain the Independence of Peru. In memory of this act Trujillo bears to this day the honored name of "Departamento de la Libertad." Torre-Tagle then invited the nearby city of Piura to join the movement. This city was garrisoned by a strong Royalist battalion, but such was the determination and fervor of the people that the soldiery disbanded. Spontaneously all the North of Peru from Chancay to Guayaquil flamed up with Patriot fire and declared itself for Independence.

In three months San Martin had achieved a success greater than any victory of arms could have given him! The time had come to strike. He inaugurated the first attempt at a self-determined government in Peru by establishing a sort of "Provisional Regulation" administration by dividing the Province into four Departments, each under a President who, in turn, delegated his power to a District Governor. A provisional Court of Appeal was established also at Trujillo. On July 6th, San Martin, acting with the first men of the country, proclaimed the Independence of Peru!

Peru was declared independent, but it was not yet the will of all the people. The Royalists were not ready to give up the sinecures and privileges of their royal appointments, nor was the Royalist Army disbanded. San Martin was for a brief hour the idol of the people. Then they forgot. The Peruvians did not know how to organize a government nor to make laws nor enforce them. San Martin was always a good deal of a martinet, and it is not improbable that he laid a heavy hand on them in his desire to establish the same firm discipline in the new Republic that he enforced in his armies. Not only did he find the people unmanageable and irresponsible at the very time they ought to have been most serious and self-controlled under their newly acclaimed autonomy, but he also had trouble with his own soldiers who, after so many years of fighting and danger, now found themselves enjoying a respite which they interpreted, unhappily, as a synonym for unhampered license and wanton self-indulgence. San Martin was obliged to assume the duties less of a wise father than a sort of superior policeman. Problems of governing had never interested him. He was willing to give his life to win a country's freedom, but he then wished to leave the governing to the freed. Even the forms of government did not interest him; being himself a dictator in his armies, he conceived some form of rigid dictatorship the best way to govern a people, and to his death he believed that a limited monarchy was the best thing for the peoples of South America uneducated as they were to a republican form of government. He proclaimed republics but he believed in rulers. So during this first period, which is known as the "Protectorate," he was confronted with unwieldy problems.

San Martin


Chief among these were the inevitable Royalist uprisings. One of the most important was that led by Canterac from the Highlands in an attempt to succor the starving fortress and town of Callao. The march was made over arid mountains so cut up by high and sheer descents that horses and infantry alike lost their footing and fell below.

At other times they were obliged to cross trackless desert in which the men, dying of thirst, threw themselves prostrated on the sands. Instant promotion was promised to the first man who should find water, but not a soldier stirred. Canterac himself found water just in time to save them. The attempt was unsuccessful, less because of the manner in which San Martin met the situation, because his own troops were disorganized and practically mutinied, than because the Royalists had no morale  and were not loyal even to themselves. However, San Martin was always a just man and a confirmed idealist, and he set faithfully, during those trying first six months, to work to lay the foundations of an administrative organization and to draft a constitution which should give the new state political and economic rights. He inducted many liberal reforms. He manumitted all slaves who would join the army. Corporal punishment was forbidden in the schools; a national library was founded; the press was given free speech, etc. He did not like the job but he did his best. It was only for a short time, for he was destined to experience the ingratitude of republics, the contemptible smallness of spirit which can reside in even so very great a man as Bolivar; and San Martin was to die in exile, forgotten and almost unknown.

Bolivar, the Ingratitude of Republics,
and the End

From this point the story of San Martin is sad reading. Not sad because he ceased to be a fine person, for the essential greatness of his spirit was to be shown as supremely as his greatness as a military genius had been proved. He who had been so brilliant, so vital and magnetic was to end his days as a tragic figure. The poignant twist to the story makes magnificent drama, but ah, the pity of it!

It begins with his meeting with Bolivar and his Great Renunciation. Bolivar's name is far better known to the world than San Martin's. Both have their place as great liberators. Up to the time of the fateful meeting San Martin had regarded Bolivar as one who was as passionately striving for the cause of freedom and independence as he was himself. In spirit an alter ego. Bolivar had triumphantly led the rebellions in what was now Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela. In 1819, against his protest, he had been elected President of the Venezuelan Republic. Now he was eager to undertake the liberating of the only countries remaining in the power of Spain, those now known as Equador and Upper Peru. To this cause the hearts of both heroes equally yearned. It was at Guayaquil in June, 1822, that this meeting took place. Just what happened has never become known. The one who had just reason to tell it never broke his silence. Neither rancor nor contumely nor the pangs of a gnawing poverty were potent enough to unseal San Martin's lips. He was magnificently dumb. It is the touch which makes his character symmetrical. He was at every crisis in his life unselfthinking. Entbehren sollst Du, sollst entbehren, said Goethe, and San Martin stupendously renounced in the great moments of his career and gave the scene to another.



It is assumed that he went to Guayaquil to ask Bolivar to lend him enough troops to end the war in Peru. Bolivar was working in Upper Peru, just as San Martin had been at the South. It needed only a little more effort to set Peru's house in order. What more natural than that San Martin should take Bolivar's willingness to cooperate for granted? And especially natural for San Martin to expect, having always not merely shared with others but consistently stepped aside. San Martin, as his life showed, was a single-minded, single-hearted patriot. Always the cause was the one thing he saw, and such a thing as jealousy where a cause was at stake he could not conceive. Whatever actually happened in this historic meeting, San Martin came away blankly, implacably taciturn.

An account of his reception by Bolivar, whether authentic or not, is given. San Martin arrived at Guayaquil on the "Macedonia" July 25th. Bolivar sent two aide-de-camps to meet him. A reception, he was told, was prepared for the next day. The next day, accordingly, San Martin went to Bolivar's house, and found the Colombian liberator dressed in full uniform, surrounded by his entire staff, waiting to give him formal reception. The two men met and entered the house arm in arm. In the salon the Liberator presented General San Martin to the gathering of city authorities assembled in his honor. A deputation of ladies presented an address. A beautiful young girl placed on his forehead a laurel wreath of gold. San Martin, wholly unaccustomed to such theatricalities, flushed, took the wreath from his head, saying: "I shall keep it for the sake of the patriotic sentiment that inspired the gift, and for the sake of those who bestowed it." Then the two heroes were left alone. Just what occurred nobody knows. Later there was a banquet at which suitable toasts were mutually proposed and drunk. That night weary, disappointed and disillusioned San Martin returned to Lima to find everything in confusion. There were plots and counter-plots and sedition was rife. He was given an enthusiastic welcome, but when the excitement had subsided, he perceived that the authorities, whatever side they were on, were tired of him and his rule. It was made plain that they regarded him as an Argentinian and not one of themselves. Even the army seemed disaffected. In a word, he realized that he was now regarded as unnecessary; he had done his special job, let him now retire. He himself went deeper: he felt that he was actually an obstacle, and he wanted no conflict with Bolivar. He preferred to leave the Peruvians to work out their own destiny. Thoroughly and thoughtfully he considered the question, weighing carefully the result before making his decision. Having done so, he sent a memorable letter to Bolivar. Also he wrote to O'Higgins, saying:

"I am tired of hearing them call me a tyrant, that I wish to make myself King, Emperor, the Devil. My health is broken, the climate is killing me. My youth was sacrificed to the service of Spain, my manhood to my own country. I feel I have now the right to dispose of my old age."

Twenty-five years later the true motive of his retirement was known through the publication of his letter to Bolivar.

He sacrificed himself for duty, from necessity, and kept silent.

But he did not leave Peru defenseless. With tireless energy he built up the army and at the end of August there were 11,000 men under arms. Among these were the men comprising the Army of the Andes commanded by General Alvares.

Another 1,000 men from Chile were to join them. His plan of attack which he drew up for the future campaign would have been decisive had he himself led the troops.

On the 20th of September, 1822, with great pomp the first Constituent Congress of Peru was installed. San Martin in its presence took off the bi-colored sash he wore as the emblem of his authority, saying:

"While I take off the insignia which distinguishes the Supreme Chief of Peru, I only comply with my duty and with the wishes of my heart. If the Peruvians feel they owe me any gratitude, it is the exercise of the power which the force of circumstances has made me obtain. Today, while I happily resign my command, I pray that the Supreme Being will give the judgment, light, and skill needed by the country to insure the happiness and welfare of its people. From this moment the Supreme Congress is installed and the country reassumes power over all its parts."

Then he laid six folded sheets of paper upon the table, and retired amid the plaudits of the Assembly. The first sheet being opened was found to be renunciation of all future command.

Congress passed a vote of thanks "to the first soldier of Liberty" and named him Generalissimo of the land and naval forces of the Republic, with a pension of 12,000 dollars a year; that being the same amount the United States had given Washington. Congress authorized that a column with commemorative inscription should be erected, also that a bust of the General should be placed in the National Library founded by him.

San Martin accepted the title and the pension, but refused the command, saying very wisely:

"My presence in Peru after the powers I have wielded would be inconsistent with the dignity of Congress, and my own. I have kept the promise made to Peru. If some day her liberty be in danger I shall glory in joining as a citizen in the defense."

Up to this time San Martin had said no word of his intention to leave the country, but that evening he told Guido. His friend expostulated, begged, and implored in an effort to dissuade him from his intention. At last San Martin in confidence told him the real reasons which had actuated his resignation.

"There is not room in Peru for both Bolivar and myself. He will stop at nothing to come to Peru. It may not be in my power to avoid a conflict if I am here. Let him come so that America may triumph. It shall not be San Martin who will give a day of delight to the enemy."

At ten o'clock his orderly announced that all was ready and the General embraced his faithful friend, and rode away through the darkness. Next morning Guido found a letter at the head of his bed telling him the intimate things he could not say. General Alvarez received another. San Martin, sailing on the brig "Belgrano," had left Peru forever.

To Bolivar he wrote, reminding him of the great numerical superiority of the Royalist forces, and the necessity of sufficient help to end the war. He concluded with these remarkable words:

"I have convened the first Congress of Peru; the day after its installation I shall leave Chile knowing that my presence is the only obstacle which prevents your coming with your army to Peru. My decision is irrevocable.

"For me it would have been the height of happiness to have concluded the war of Independence under the order of a General to whom America owes Liberty. Destiny has decreed otherwise. I resign myself to it."

With that letter he also sent Bolivar a fowling piece, a brace of pistols and a war horse to carry him on his next campaign. Another paragraph of the letter said: "Receive, General, this remembrance from the first of your admirers, with the expression of my sincere desire that you may achieve the glory of concluding the war for Independence of South America." Bolivar recognized the moral superiority of his rival, felt abashed in the presence of such abnegation, yet through the years could not speak, for the truth would have thrown a slur upon his own fame.

History does not record an act of self-abnegation executed with greater modesty. All that San Martin took with him were 120 doubloons, the standard of Pizarro, and the golden bell of the Inquisition of Lima.

San Martin addressed his words of farewell to the Peruvians. This address remains alone for its style and as an index of his character:

"I have been present at the Declaration of the Independence of the States of Chile and Peru. I have in my possession the banner brought by Pizarro to enslave the Empire of the Incas. I am no more a public man. Ten years of revolution and war have been recompensed with usury.

"I have complied with the promises I made to the people for whom I have fought; I have made the independence and I leave to the will of the people the choice of its government.

"The presence of a successful soldier (no matter how disinterested) is dangerous to the States that have just been constituted. On the other hand I am, I confess, weary of hearing that I want to be King. Notwithstanding this I will always be ready to make the last sacrifice for the independence of the country, but as a private subject and nothing more.

"As regards my public conduct, my contemporaries (as it happens in all things) will be of dissenting opinions. Their descendants will be fair judges.

"Peruvians, I leave established your national representation. I confide it to your trust. Then you will sing in triumph; otherwise anarchy will devour you."

He arrived in Chile ill, vomiting blood, only to be saluted with an explosion of hatred from the country he had liberated. He had hoped to live for a while in that country upon a sum of money he had given to a friend for safe-keeping, and upon the proceeds he expected to receive from the sale of his farm. But the farm in the end was not sold and the money his friend had lost in gambling. He found cruel ingratitude on all sides. Confined to his room by illness, he spent sixty days in the hospitable house of a friend near Santiago. Scarcely was he convalescent when an old friend, overcome by misfortune, asked him "for the gift of a house."

With the rest of the world he thought San Martin was a millionaire. Apropos of this sorrowful affair San Martin wrote with trembling hand and a breaking heart to O'Higgins:

"I am living here on the charity of a friend. It is indeed singular, this thing which is happening to me, doubtless it will happen some day to you, my friend. They are convinced that we have robbed hand over fist. Ah! if they only knew. If they only knew the truth."

The government of Peru hearing of his sad state sent him a thousand pesos of what they rightly owed him in salary.



San Martin had put Peru on a war footing and invited Bolivar to proceed South and complete the liberation of Spanish America. Bolivar eagerly accepted the invitation, and on September 1, 1823, landed at Callao with his army of Colombian veterans. The Congress proclaimed him Director, and he at once set out to crush the remainder of Spanish power in America. His army consisted of 9,000 men, and he had the able assistance of General Sucre and General Miller, the latter a brilliant English officer, who since the battle of Cancha Rayada had been one of San Martin's most valued officers. On August 5, 1824, at the plains of Junin the Spaniards under General Canterac were all but annihilated by the brilliant cavalry charge of General Miller. Three months later the battle of Ayacucho was fought. It has been styled the Yorktown of South America. La Serna and Cantarco, both prisoners, signed a capitulation for the entire army, including 23,000 Royalist troops in Peru. In 1825 Upper Peru was formally declared independent and given the name of Bolivia in honor of the Liberator. As such it was formally recognized by both Peru and Buenos Aires.

Even before the battle of Ayacucho the independence of Colombia, the United Provinces of La Plata, Chile and Mexico had been recognized by the United States. Similar action was taken by Great Britain in 1825 and 1826.



Mitre eloquently says:

"After Washington, San Martin and Bolivar figure in the list of the New World as heroes of humanity at large. They were greater as liberators than as men of thought, but their achievements live.

"If Columbus had never lived America would at some later date have been discovered. If Cromwell had never existed there would have been revolution in England, but without him it would not have triumphed. The British colonies of North America must have produced a great Republic, but it was Washington who impressed upon the democracy the seal of his moral greatness. The French Revolution was the natural outcome of what had preceded it, but directed by others the result might have been better.

"The insurrection of South America was a spontaneous movement, resulting from historical antecedents and from the conditions of the time, but the triumph would have been delayed, and the losses greater but for the genius of San Martin and Bolivar directing it to a definite end.

"San Martin acted rather by calculation than from inspiration, Bolivar more from instinct than from method, yet both were necessary. They laid hold of the forces in action and condensed them into one general plan. To a certain point they worked in concert, San Martin's great idea being carried to a successful ending by Bolivar."

With the money which Peru had sent San Martin, he set out for Mendoza, at which place he lived for some months the obscure life of a farmer. Later in the same year he returned to Buenos Aires where he found he was not deemed worthy any longer to belong to the Argentine army. He was counted a deserter of his flag! Home he had none, his wife had died, and he only had in the whole world a little daughter to comfort him.

When his health was a little restored, San Martin took his daughter and left South America. He roamed through England and Scotland, and the city of Banf in Scotland bestowed on him a citizenship, presented through Lord Macduff. The same courtesy was accorded him in Canterbury, by recommendation of General Miller, who had been one of his most gallant officers in South America. He then visited Italy and Holland, finally settling in Brussels, choosing it because of its cheapness. His daughter he placed in a pension, contenting himself with only one room and dire necessities of life. He never permitted himself the luxury of taking a public vehicle, although he lived on the outskirts of the town.

At the end of five years, having exhausted his finances, and longing to return home, he decided to sail for his country. By a strange coincidence he reached its shores on the 12th of February, 1829, the anniversary of the battle of San Lorenzo and Chacabuco. While his ship was yet anchored in the roadstead, he was greeted with this contemptuous denunciation in the city press: "General San Martin returns to his native country after five years' absence, but only after knowing that peace has been concluded with the Emperor of Brazil."

His answer had been given two thousand years before by the mouth of Scipio, when insulted by his fellow countrymen on the anniversary of one of his great battles.

"On such a day as this I saved Rome."

San Martin did not repeat these words, he returned in silence into exile. His reply was given from the tomb many years later:

"I desire that my heart may rest in Buenos Aires."

On leaving the country he had sold his property, a small house, the gift from the nation. This and 5,000 pesos donated for its upkeep, was all the Argentine Republic ever gave him, with the one exception of the pension of $50 a month given his daughter in recompense for his services. The sale of the house brought very little. In 1830 and 1831 he was reluctantly obliged to write to his friends in America, saying:

"I am persuaded you will do your utmost to send me help as soon as possible, for my situation, notwithstanding the greatest economy, is getting day by day more embarrassing."

Waiting for this help three years passed. In 1833 he and his daughter were attacked by cholera. They were at that time living in the country, having only a servant to attend them. San Martin believed destiny had decreed that he should die in a charity hospital. At this crisis the Spanish banker Agara, an old comrade with whom he had fought in Spain, gallantly came to his rescue. This succor without question saved his life.

House in Paris


Some time after O'Higgins sent him 3,000 pesos. With this he was able to pay the debts incurred during his long illness. The small residue enabled him to buy his daughter's bridal garments. She was about to marry Marano Balcarce, the son of one of his old companions, General Balcarce, who was now Argentine minister to France.

Toward the end of his life the pendulum began its inevitable swing. Peru, which had so long forgotten him, eventually sent him 12,000 pesos, money owed for services. Even at his death that country still owed him 1,064 pesos, a sum finally paid to his descendants. Chile, that had for twenty years erased his name from the pages of her history, in 1842 incorporated him once more into her army, giving him the salary of a general on active service.

Only Argentina offered him nothing.

His death began with a cataract. When his doctor forbade him to read, which was his great passion, "his whole soul was enveloped in sadness." He went to Boulogne to breathe the sea air, hoping it would benefit him. On the 13th of August, 1850, as he was standing on the beach gazing with dim eyes over the Channel, he felt the first mortal symptom. He pressed his hand to his heart, and with a feeble smile said to his faithful daughter: "C' est 'l orage qui'meme au port."  On the 17th of the same month he died in her arms, at the age of seventy-two years and six months.



One of his old friends and countrymen has written of his death this minute account:

"Today I must send you the saddest news that can be given to the Republics of South America, the death of General San Martin. On the night of the 17th I started for Boulogne to pay him a visit. The next day we heard the news of his death, which had taken place the same day we had left Paris. Dr. Mariano Balcarce, the husband of the General's noble daughter, told us, his heart rent with sorrow and his eyes filled with tears, the details of the General's last moments.

"On the 17th he got up with sufficient strength to go to his daughter's room, where he asked that the newspaper should be read to him (his eye-sight did not permit him to read them for himself). Nothing in his outward appearance or manner showed the end to be so near.

"The doctor had urged him vainly to have as a nurse a sister of charity to spare his daughter the long and tiring watches, and also that he might have more comfort. He often went without things really needed in order to spare his daughter, who so dearly loved her father that she practically never left his side, and had so tenderly soothed his long and painful illness.

"Dr. Balcarce went out that morning feeling convinced that the patient was better, and even spoke to his friend, Sr. Rosales, about a voyage he hoped the General might make when he felt stronger. But his friend, with clearer vision, felt this was a vain illusion, born of hope, and that San Martin had not long to live.

"A little after two in the afternoon the General was attacked by severe pains. Doctor Jordan and his children were convinced this would pass as so many other seizures had, but a short time after, with a convulsive movement, he asked Balcarce in broken words to take his daughter away; a moment later he died peacefully.

"On the morning of the 18th I had the painful satisfaction of seeing the inanimate remains of this man whose life is written in the most brilliant pages of American History. His face even in death showed those pronounced features that bespoke his character. It remained as it always had been, dignified and determined.

"A crucifix was laid on his deathbed. Two Sisters of Charity prayed for the soul that had held his body.

"I went down to the room below, dominated by sadness and those religious sentiments that surge in the heart of the most unbelieving at the sight of death. A clock in a black case which had marked the time with a doleful sound had stopped that night at three o'clock, the hour at which San Martin had died. A singular coincidence! His watch had stopped, also, during the last hour of his splendid life."

As Doctor Mitre puts it: "Seldom has the influence of one man had more decisive effect on the destinies of a people. The greatness of those who attain to immortality is not measured by their talents, but by the effect exercised by their memory upon the conscience of humanity, making it vibrate from generation to generation with a passion or with an idea. Of such was San Martin, whose influence still lives, not by reason of any genius he possessed, but by reason of his character.

"San Martin conceived great plans, political and military, which appeared at first to be folly, but when believed in became facts. He organized disciplined armies, and infused into them his own spirit. He founded republics, not for his own aggrandizement, but that men might live in freedom. He made himself powerful, only that by this power he might accomplish his destined task; he abdicated and went into exile, not from egoism or from cowardice, but in homage to his own principles and for the sake of his cause. He is the first captain in the New World, the only one who has given lessons in modern strategy on a new theater of war. With all his intellectual deficiencies and his political errors the Revolution of South America has produced no other who was his equal.

San Martin


Faithful to the maxims of his life, he was that which he ought to be, and rather than be that which he ought not to be he preferred to be nothing. For this his name shall be immortal."

(from Felix Frias.)