Born in the Argentine town of Yapeyú in 1778, the soldier José Francisco de San Martín played a prominent role in the fighting against Napoleonic forces due to his participation in the Battle of Bailén.
The “Father of the Country” – as he would later come to be known in Argentina – fought in the African campaign, and in various battles in southern Spain, notably in Gibraltar and Cadiz, until his promotion in 1808 to Captain of the Bourbon regiment.
He would later become Lieutenant Colonel for his participation in the battle of Bailén, also receiving the gold medal.
In 1812, San Martín left for Buenos Aires, where he was entrusted with the creation of the Regiment of Grenadiers on Horseback, which still bears his name today. Later he was entrusted with the command of the Army of the North, where he conceived his plan for South American emancipation.
Appointed governor of Cuyo, and based in the city of Mendoza, he launched his ambitious project, declaring the independence of Peru in 1821. Shortly after, he met Simón Bolívar in Guayaquil. Following a brief meeting he handed over his army to Bolívar, along with the goal of completing the liberation of Peru. San Martín partió hacia Europa, donde fallece el 17 de agosto de 1850.