Second Battle of Cancha Rayada

Second Battle of Cancha Rayada
Part of the Chilean War of Independence and the Argentine War of Independence
Mapa loc Maule.svg
DateMarch 16, 1818
ResultRoyalist victory
Chile Chile
United Provinces
Spain Spanish Monarchy
Commanders and leaders
José de San Martín
Chile Bernardo O'Higgins  (WIA)
Spain Mariano Osorio
Spain José Ordóñez
Casualties and losses
150 killed
300 injured
2,000 dispersed
c. 200 killed
and captured

The Second Battle of Cancha Rayada (March 16, 1818), (also known as the Surprise of Cancha Rayada) was fought in Chile between South American patriots and Spanish royalists, during the South American wars of independence. The result was a defeat for the rebels, who took their revenge at the Battle of Maipú.


In March 1818, the royalist forces concentrated and fortified in Talca with around five thousand men under Brigadier Mariano Osorio, while the independentist forces of around seven thousand men formed by the United Army were taking positions at the Cancha Rayada plains, about seven kilometers away. Argentine general José de San Martín, fearing an attack on his flank, ordered a change of position of the troops.[1]

Knowing their disadvantage in number and cavalry, the Spanish General Osorio was not eager to engage in battle either, remaining content with fortifying Talca. However, after a suggestion from Colonel José Ordóñez a confrontation was decided upon, under Ordoñez' command.