Pedro Lagos Marchant was a Chilean infantry commander. He is best remembered for commanding the assault and capture of the city of Arica during the War of the Pacific.
He was born in Chillan in 1832 to Manuel Lagos y de la Jara and Rosario Marchant. The family moved to the countryside after the 1835 earthquake destroyed the city. Pedro was the first-born of 15 brothers of very poor background, and he started his studies at the first school opened in rebuilt Chillan. Soon afterwards, he continued them at the school founded by the Spaniard, Jose Martinez. In 1846, at the age of 14, he joined the Military School, where he obtained the rank of 1st Corporal on February 1847. He married his cousin Juana Marchant Lagos, and had a single daughter, Isabel.
In March 1849, he enlisted in the Chilean Army with the rank of 2nd Sergeant. He was assigned to the Chacabuco battalion, which rebelled against the government on 29 April 1851 under the command of Colonel Pedro Urriola. He did not become involved in the rebellion as the event surprised him in Valparaiso; much to the contrary, he embraced the pro-government cause, which won him a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. In March 1852, he was promoted to Adjutant Major and, by 1854, he was Captain, serving with the garrisons of Chillan and Concepcion until 1857. During the Revolution of 1859, he supported the government of Manuel Bulnes and participated soon in the siege of Talca and, in the North, in the Battle of Los Loros. These actions won him the promotion to the rank of Sergeant Major.
Icarito - Grandes Biografias de la Historia de Chile
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