Chacabuco, battle of, Feb. 12, 1817, fought between Chilean independence forces and Spanish troops. It took place just N of Santiago, Chile. José de San Martín, with Bernardo O'Higgins, assaulted and decisively defeated the Spanish forces, thus gaining entry into Santiago, where O'Higgins was then installed as supreme director of Chile. One year later, to the day, the independence of Chile was proclaimed. The battle climaxed a torturous three-week march across the Andes from Argentina, where San Martín had trained his army.
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