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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

January 20th, 1839 - The Battle of Yungay

Conflict: War of the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation

Combatants: Chileans/North Peruvians vs. Bolivians/Peruvians

Location: Peru

Outcome: Chilean/North Peruvian victory

Andres de Santa Cruz, a former Peruvian revolutionary, became the president of Bolivia in 1829. In 1835, with the cooperation of the Peruvian president, Santa Cruz created the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation bringing the two countries together. Chile, Argentina, and many Peruvians opposed this union.

Batalla de Yungay by an unknown artist

In November of 1836, fearful of the potential power of the Confederation, Chile declared war. On January 20th of 1839, the army of Chileans and North Peruvians under the command of Manuel Bulnes met the forces of Santa Cruz near Yungay. The army of Bulnes won a decisive victory over the Peruvian-Bolivian forces. Santa Cruz fled to Ecuador after the defeat and the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation was broken by the defeat.

Battle of Yungay by an unknown artist (Cropped)

Points of Interest:

  • Andres de Santa Cruz later served as ambassador in Europe and lost a run for Bolivian president. He died in France.

  • Manuel Bulnes would later serve as the President of Chile for ten years (1841-1851).

Andres de Santa Cruz c. 1835 by Manuel Ugalde
Manuel Bulnes by Raymond Monvoisin



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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