Battle of Rancagua

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Battle of Rancagua
Part of the Chilean War of Independence
Bernardo O'Higgins' charge by Pedro Subercaseaux
Date October 1–2, 1814
Location Rancagua, Chile

Decisive Royalist Victory

  • Chilean Patria Vieja is defeated
  • Spanish regain control of Chile
Flag of Chile (1812-1814).svg Chilean patriots Spain Royalists
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Chile (1812-1814).svg Bernardo O'Higgins
Flag of Chile (1812-1814).svg Juan Jose Carrera
Spain Mariano Osorio
6 cannons
18 cannons
Casualties and losses
600 killed, 400 wounded, 888 captured 111 killed, 113 wounded
The Battle of Rancagua

The Battle of Rancagua, also known as the Disaster of Rancagua, occurred in October 1814 when the Spanish under Mariano Osorio defeated rebel Chilean forces, putting an end to the independent Chilean Patria Vieja, beginning the Reconquista period of Spanish rule.


When Spain heard about the Patriot revolt in Chile, they sent an army of Spanish soldiers and royalists to defeat the rebellion. When O'Higgins heard about the besieged army in Rancagua, he went with his army of 1,000 patriots, to reinforce Juan Carrera's army in Rancagua. Outnumbered and with barely enough supplies, O'Higgins did not retreat and sealed the destiny of his army.

The Battle

The battle began on the morning of 1 October, when the Spanish attacked. The Spanish surrounded the town, trapping the entire Chilean army. The fighting was fierce, with the patriots driving back the Talavera regiment three times. Fighting continued on until the evening, when Osorio pulled back his army, suffering heavy casualties. O'Higgins knew the battle was lost, with his army being low on ammunition and supplies. He was promised reinforcements from Santiago, but they never came. Fighting continued on the next day, until O'Higgins ordered his men to fight their way out as best as they could and disperse in the countryside, to avoid a Spanish retribution. O'Higgins managed to make his way past the royal troops and retreat to the capital, where his opponents entered without resistance a few days later. This led to the harsh reconquista rule of Chile.


After Rancagua fell, the Spanish quickly captured Santiago a few days later defeating the rebellion.