Born In February 25, 1778, Don Jose De San Martin was born in Yapeyu Argentina. A province of Corrientes. San Martin was born to Juan De San Martin and Gregoria Matorras. Juan De San Martin was a governor of Yapeyu at the time and a troubled professional soldier. Don Jose de San Martin was born of dark complexion. He became a target of social shame considering his dark complexion and light complexion of his parents. It was rumored that his father would often mistreat the indigenous people of Yapeyu, resulting in occasional revolts.
This brought fear to a young Don Jose De San Martin, often bringing fears and nightmares of attacks on his home. It was by the age of 7 when he was enrolled in the “Semenario De Noble” when he attended elementary school for 2 years. In 1784 Juan de Martin was reassigned to Malaga Spain. By the Age of 11, Don Jose De San Martin had enlisted himself in the Murica Regiment as a cadet, He requested to only be paid the minimum amount to afford his uniform and food. Like his father before him and his brothers, he began to take pride and courage in his every aspect of life.
Don Jose de San martin began to his military career in the Murica military, where he gained experience through his 8 to 10 battle experience. There he was sent to Africa to fight against Moroccan fighters. Afterwards he served in La Guarnicion de Oran in the city of Melilla. During this time, the city had undergone an earthquake that left Don Jose de San Martin and his military comrades in the ruin with hunger and insomnia. In Argon city, 1793, Don Jose De San Martin fought against French forces. It was there when he met General Ricardo.
Don Jose De San Martin served under his command, Ricardo was a known, influential, and among courageous military leaders. He would utilize tactics in the Pyrenees that often required challenges regarding the geographical features of the land. It was this time when he learned some of the most influential skills he would later utilize in his very own tactics. By the age of 19 Don Jose de San Martin had join the Spanish navy where he fought against British forces. In March of 1812, Don Jose San Martin was given the assignment of forming a make-shift army.
This force would be used to fight against the Spanish royalists in and around Peru. The royalists in Peru posed a threat to the opposition movement in Argentina and other South American countries. It was around this time that San Martin met his wife, Maria de los Remedios Escalada. Maria was member of an upper-class Argentine family of pure Spanish blood. Shortly after San Martin married his wife he became increasingly more involved with politics. Don Jose de San Martin always felt that he had a strong connection to the country of his birth.
In September, 1812, he was a founding member of the “Lautaro Lodge”, a secret revolutionary movement which was closely associated with the opposition to the government. There was another organization that worked with the “Lautaro Lodge”, the “First Triumvirate”, which was headed by Bernardino Rivadavia. Even though, the two groups were closely aligned they had two very different goals. Rivadavia was mainly interested in protecting the interests of Buenos Aires on a smaller scale. On February 3, 1813, Don Jose De San Martin got his first taste of battle since he had returned to South America.
A large royalist force made their way up the Parana River. Don Jose De San Martin and his forces held their ground and managed to defeat the advancing forces. Later that year the government transferred Don Jose De San Martin to the northern Providences of Argentina. The hope of the government was that his presence there would strengthen the opposition movement in the north of the country. However, Don Jose De San Martin’s efforts to strengthen opposition in the north were cut short to due his poor health. Although Don Jose De San Martin’s physical abilities were momentarily put on hold his mind was sharp as ever.
He used the time off to formulate a strategic plan against the royalists in Peru. It was during this time that he came up with one of the most outlandish military strategies of all time. Don Jose De San Martin knew that the best way to enter and ultimately attack Peru would be through the mountains of upper Peru. This trip across the Andes would be one of the most difficult tasks that any army in history would have to endure. Don Jose De San Martin also prepared an alternate plan that would come by sea and would culminate off the Peruvian coast. First he asked to be reassigned to the governor of Cuyo.
He was the sole founder of the Horse Grenaiders. It served as a school which produced some of the best cavalry officers in the history of South American warfare. All of the members of this school were well disciplined, well mannered, and were superior in training to any force before it. The significance of these soldiers would soon be realized when it came time for San Martin to begin assembling the force that would lead the march towards Peru. It was this group of men that would later be referred to as “The Army of the Andes. ” In January 1817, San Martin began his march across the Andes.
His army was made up of approximately 5000 men of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. San Martin organizational skills had to be precise in order for the mission to be successful. He had only brought enough food and supplies for a month. Shortly after the trip began the troops got their first taste of victory in the battle of Chacabuco. A few days after their victory San Martin and his men marched un-opposed into Santiago. The town hall met that day and would declare San Martin, Supreme Director. San Martin graciously refused the offer, in favor of his good friend General Bernardo O’Higgins.
Now with the United ArgentineChilean army constructed, San Martin’s plans are falling into place. However, on March 19, 1818 a Spanish army defeated San Martin’s forces in a night attack at the battle of Cancharrayada. In this struggle General O’Higgins is wounded. The United Argentine-Chilean army, “Ejercito Unido” as they were called, regrouped and defeat the Spanish forces at the battle of Maipu. That battle ended the Spanish efforts to dominate Chile. It was at this time in San Martin’s crusade that he had grown tired of using military force.
San Martin tried to negotiate with the royalists, and hoped that they would accept a peaceful settlement. San Martin’s proposal was short and concise. He proposed that Peru become a separate entity and have its own independent monarchy. Unfortunately, the negotiations were unsuccessful. The use of military force against Peru’s Spanish leaders was now inevitable. Instead of attacking Peru from the land, San Martin would use his previous plan of sea supremacy. The only problem with his plan was that he did not have an adequate navy. However, this was not something that was going to stop San Martin.
San Martin’s forces entered the capital of Lima in July, 1821. It was on this day that independence in Peru was proclaimed. On July 28, 1821 San Martin was declared “Protector of Peru. ” San Martin was offered a position of power just as he had been in Chile. Again San Martin refused the power and met with another man of great importance in South America at the time. In 1822, he met with Simon Bolivar in the city of Guayaquil. It has been said that they talked in private for nearly four hours, however, they could not reach an agreement on the form of government that they wanted to see come to power in Peru.
Both of the men had left with negative connotations. Shortly afterwards Don Jose De San martin would return to Peru where he was loved by some and despised by others. By 1822 he decided to leave to leave to Chile but had heard that his wife was ill and needed to return to Argentina. She died before he arrived. He finally decided to flee to France with his daughter, Mercedes. Afterwards, he was asked to return to South America to settle a dispute with Brazil and Argentina. However, upon arrival, he was rejected and settled in Montevideo where he spent the remainder of his life in a quiet manner until death of 1850.