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Agustn Arturo Prat Chacone (April 3, 1848, near Ninhue, Chile) was a Chilean lawyer and navy officer, who died on May 21, 1879, Iquique, Peru), and a Chilean lawyer and navy officer.
During the Pacific War, he was killed in the Battle of Iquique. Prat had served in numerous naval campaigns, including those at Papudo (1865) and Abtao (1866).
Following his death, his name became a rallying cry for Chilean forces, and Arturo Prat has since been dubbed a national hero. In Chile, Prat's name is on numerous plazas (squares), streets, buildings, and other buildings.
Capitan Prat (2007) introduced his name to Chile by four of Chile's top warships, including a Brooklyn-class cruiser from 1983 to 2006, a British County-class destroyer from 1983 to 2006, and most recently a Dutch Jacob van Heemskerck-class frigate.
His namesake Nader, Arturo Prat Station, and the Chilean Naval Academy, Escuela Naval Arturo Prat are named after him.
On the 10,000 peso bank note, his portrait appears.
Arturo Prat University was founded in 1984, with its main campus in Iquique, where his heroic deed took place.
Arturo Prat, the eldest of five brothers (Ricardo, Rodolfo, Attala Rosa, and Escilda Aurelia), the son of Agustn Prat del Barril and Rosario Chacón Barrios, was born in San Agustn de Puce, Chile, 1848. Prat is a word of Catalan origin (not to be confused with the English word 'Pratt'). He joined the Naval Academy on August 28, 1858, at the age of ten years, as a result of one of the scholarships established by President Manuel Montt, another son of Catalan immigrants, he entered the Naval Academy. There were two scholarships per province: one for Arauco went to Prat, the other went to Luis Uribe. Both youths were influenced by Don Jacinto Chacón, the author of Arturo and Uribe's uncle, resulting in the two youths considering each other as brothers.
The academy was directed by Frenchman Juan Julio Feillet and was backed by Anatolio Desmadryl, a Frenchman. Young Arturo and his friend Luis were among the so-called "heroes" who included Carlos Condell, Juan José Latorre, and Jorge Montt lvarez.
He started a nautical apprenticeship in 1859, his second year as a cadet, which was a requirement for second-year students. His first voyage of training was completed in Independence's steamer Independence, with sail and rigging procedures, which were followed by instruction in seamanship and artillery.
Prat boarded Esmeralda in January 1860, for the first time. His naval apprenticeship continued: embarkation and disembarkation, combat simulation, etc. He left the Naval Academy in July 1861 as "primera antigüedad" (the most notable in the field). He was given the rank of "midshipman" without examination.
Prat identifies himself in an incident involving Infernal, a French ship carrying explosive items during this period. When in Valparaiso, October 1, 1861, it caught fire. Boats from Esmeralda, which was nearby, rescued the wreck, one of which was steered by Prat, who would battle for two hours against the fire.
Arturo Prat completed the theoretical and practical exam on July 21, 1864, transforming from "midshipman without exam" to "examined midshipman" in a short period of time. The Chilean attitude toward the occupation of the Peruvian Chincha Islands by a Spanish squadron in the first year of the war against Spain was exacerbated by the Chilean attitude toward the colonization of the Peruvian Chincha Islands by a Spanish squadron. Prat and his classmates will be a blaze of fire as a result of the conflict.
Juan Williams Rebolledo, the Argentine steamer Matas Cousio's rescue and the capture of the Spanish schooner Covadonga, was the one who was commanding Esmeralda at the time. On December 26, the naval battle of Papudo occurred and quickly went the way of the Chilean force, which was mighty in firepower and was able to capture the ship. Covadonga's capture resulted in the promotion of one grade of all sailors involved in the war, effectively converting Prat into an ensign (equivalent to a second lieutenant in the army).
The Spanish fleet, seeking to recover their losses at Papudo, launched another clash with the allied navies (Peru and Ecuador were added to Chile's side) that culminated in the inconclusive Battle of Abtao, 1866. Only between Covadonga and the Spanish ships Villa de Madrid and Blanca, as the other allied ships were unmanned due to a lack of fuel and the rocky estuary. Prat appeared on Covadonga, the ship that fought the Spanish bombardment. There were no casualties on the allied side, but the Spanish suffered two deaths.
Prat completed a number of sea voyages after the war, including voyages to the Juan Fernández Islands, Easter Island (under Policarpo Toro's command), Magallanes, and Peru, among others. During his second trip back in 1868, he was responsible for bringing assistance to those affected by the year's earthquake, and he later returned Bernardo O'Higgins' remains to those who were not impacted by the earthquake, according to Manuel Blanco Encalada.
On September 9, Prat was promoted to lieutenant. As an instructor, he returned to Naval School. He served as the Second Commander of Esmeralda from 1871 to present-day roles (teacher, subdirector, and internal director), and he was assigned to teach courses such as Naval Order, Law, Naval Tactics, and Cosmography. In addition, he was in charge of docking the corvette for four years (1871–1874) in the port of Mejillones. In 1873 and Capitán de Corbeta Efectivo, he was crowned Graduate Corvette Captain (equivalent to lieutenant commander) and Capitán de Corbeta Efectivo in 1874. He was a dedicated teacher who stood up to the fact that there are no funds to provide quality education. He converted textbooks from French to Spanish.
Prat was in a strange situation about this time. When Prat was on sick leave, Esmeralda was in Valparaiso on May 24, 1875. Lieutenant Constantino Bannen was left in charge of the ship's commander, Luis Alfredo Lynch, so the ship's commander was also on leave, so Lieutenant Constantino Bannen was left in charge. Valdivia started a storm in the bay and Valdivia broke its cables and went straight towards Esmeralda, which then hit Maipo. Esmeralda's demise seemed to be unavoidable. When Prat and Lynch returned, they were able to board the ship by sea, but the waves prevented them from boarding. Lynch and Prat swam to the ship to climb a rope. Prat fought frantically with a rope tied from his waist to the mast to perform rescue operations that included the vessel's bow against the beach and securing it with rigging. Luis Alfredo Lynch remembered Prat's "unflappable patience in the face of danger."
Esmeralda's repairs took long and difficult, and it cost 100,000 pesos. Lynch was required to face allegations of misdereliction of service, but the election was held by a tie. Arturo Prat was always loyal to his superior during the trial, helping him whenever he could.
The Chilean government closed the Naval School in May 1876, only three years before the War of the Pacific, finding that Chile no longer needed naval officers.
Prat, who left Condell in charge of Esmeralda, was disembarked and named as a helper with the Maritime Government of Valparaso, despite his law studies. It was December 1876, he had already been a decorated general, but it was only after the war began that he returned to the ship.
Pedro Chacón used to throw parties in his portside house every or twice a week. Prat visited often, as did Concepción Chacón's sister-in-law, Carmela Carvajal. The couple met and fell in love during those happy get-togethers, a lifetime of passions.
Their attraction was obvious, but Prat was worried when others mentioned it. In addition to his timidity, he was dreadful for the marriage because he was unable to announce it because he had no funds to fund it.
When he learned that he would be promoted to Corvette Captain, he decided to request Carmela's hand in 1873. Prat's only love letter that has survived is dated shortly after:
The wedding bells rang out over San Agustn de Valparaso church on May 5th, 1873. On her way to the altar, the radiant 22-year-old bride was escorted on her way to the altar. Her parents died when she was a child, and her siblings raised her, and she had become closely associated with the Chacón family, through whom she was in contact with them. She was adopted by the Chacón as a member of the family. She was tall, slender, and stunning, with a large forehead due to his baldness, thick beard, and steady steps. José Francisco Salas, the minister, blessed them at 10:30 a.m. They were married. They were married for six years together, and their relationship as spouses was built on a passion that did not fade during their marriage. Prat treated his wife as a partner, giving her full control of the family budget, and on the other hand, he helped with some household chores: "I'm sure I'm exhausted from being next to you and sharing, albeit a little";The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Quillota and in the Cauquenes' hot springs. Prat returned to Valpara'so to re-enact his navy duties. He didn't see his wife again until October. Carmela was already pregnant with their first child by that time.
Prat wrote of his daughter's birth:
The baby had inherited a very poor foundation and sickly built like Prat's older brothers who died young. "Keep using homeopathy for my little girl and tell me when she is well," Arturo tells Carmela. He has, without doubt, aspire that the treatment that (he hoped) solved his child's distress would work the same wonders in little Carmela. However, it didn't work, the child's life was extinguishing more and more every day, to the helpless parents' despair, who put all their energies into their prayers.
Carmelita's problem was a hernia resulting from a poorly cut umbilical cord, in addition to several other illnesses (diarrhea, fever, etc.)
Adding to Prat's agony, he had to be transferred to the capital of the country on the Abtao, a steamer that should have arrived but didn't. The boat arrived on Sunday, December 13th, and he wrote to his mother, "Later will I see my little boy, who I hope is perfectly healthy." But the girl had died one week before on December 5th. A devastating letter from his wife arrived at dusk: "My beloved Arturo, our beloved little angel, is still poorly; I feel my heart is weak and you are not here to hold me." If it were possible for you to come, that would be my only comfort. Don't worry about my health; think of your ill Carmela." The steamboat will not leave before the 18th, adding to Prat's annoyance.
All his hopes were dashed during his travel, though he was given a condolence letter in an intermediate port supervised by Juan José Latorre. "My daughter Carmela de la Concepción died at the age of 5 on December 5th, a letter from Arturo to Carmela. This is the letter that is supposed to be delivered to me. The sadness it reveals should have made me sad, but hope is so sweet.