Jose Ignacio Zenteno
Jose Ignacio Zenteno del Pozo y Silva , was a Chilean soldier, politician and hero of the Chilean War of Independence.
Zenteno was born in Santiago, the son of Antonio Zenteno y Bustamante and of Victoria del Pozo y Silva. He completed his studies at the Colegio Carolino, and took part in the movement for independence from the very beginning. In 1814, he became the secretary of Supreme Director Francisco de la Lastra, and was forced after the defeat of Rancagua, together with other patriots, to emigrate to Mendoza, Argentina, where, soon after his arrival, he was appointed secretary of the treasury of that province. There he befriended General Jose de San Martin, of whom became one of his principal assessors.
He formed part of the liberating army of Chile, and made the campaigns of 1817 and 1818, taking part in the battles of Cancha Rayada and Maipu. He was named Governor of Valparaiso and when General Bernardo O'Higgins was elected Supreme Director, he appointed Zenteno as Secretary of War and Navy where he distinguished himself by his activity. The government entrusted him with the formation of a naval force, and he laid the foundation of the Chilean Navy which, under Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane, obtained such glorious results. He created the first course of ship-ensigns. In 1822, after retiring from the ministry of war, he was appointed political and military governor of Valparaiso, and promoted to brigadier.
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