Manuel Jesus Baquedano Gonzalez was a Chilean soldier and Chief of Government, who served as Commander-in-chief of the Army during the War of the Pacific. Manuel Baquedano was of Basque descent.
Manuel Baquedano was born in Santiago, the son of Fernando Baquedano and of Teresa Gonzalez de Labra y Ros. He studied at the school of clergyman Juan Romo and at the Instituto Nacional of Chile. During this time he became lifelong friends with Federico Errazuriz and Eusebio Lillo. Baquedano was only 15 years old and still at school when the War of the Confederation exploded. He then fled his house to join the troops leaving for the War. He participated in the Battle of Yungay in 1839, being promoted on the field to Lieutenant at the age of 16.
Manuel Baquedano returned to Chile and completed his military training. He was promoted to regular Lieutenant on January 23, 1845, and in January 1850, while holding the Adjutant in the Grenadiers, Baquedano was promoted to full Captain. During the Revolution of 1851 in April 1851, Manuel Baquedano's presence helped the Palace of La Moneda when he played a decisive role in the confrontation with the troops that rebelled, on the 20th day of that month, against the election of Manuel Montt as President. These rebels were commanded by Colonel Pedro Urriola who was supported by young liberals, among whom he counted his friend Eusebio Lillo. The revolution was followed by an armed navy revolt at Concepcion by troops controlled by Jose Maria de la Cruz. Baquedano was named adjutant of General Manuel Bulnes and participated alongside the government's forces in the battle of Loncomilla, in December 1851. There, he faced his father and brother Eleuterio Baquedano, finishing the battle he requested permission to visit his father, head of the enemy army's General Staff, wounded in battle.
Official Chilean Army Biography
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