From correspondence found in the archives of Valdivia, it was clear that Quintanilla, the Governor of Chiloe, had serious apprehensions of a revolt at San Carlos, so that, in place of returning to Valparaiso, I resolved to see what could be effected there. The loss of the Intrepido was a serious drawback to our means of transporting troops, and the flag-ship would no longer float; as, however, we had possession of the Dolores, it was resolved to crowd into her and the Montezuma all the troops that could be spared, leaving Major Beauchef the whole of those brought from Conception.
Meanwhile, I despatched a piragua to Valparaiso with the intelligence of our success; the unexpected news, as was afterwards learned, creating such an amount of popular enthusiasm as had never before been witnessed in Chili. The most amusing part of the affair was, that by the time my despatches announcing our victory reached Vaparaiso, the other ships of the squadron had also arrived, when Captain Guise and his officers had attributed our rocket failure at Callao to my want of skill in their use; the inference desired, being my want of capability to command a squadron. Not a word of blame was then attributed to poor Goldsack, who had superintended their manufacture, as indeed none was deserved, though the blame afterwards attributed to him ended as before stated in his ruin.
To this alleged want of professional skill on my part, Zenteno had drawn up an elaborate accusation against me of disobedience to orders, in not having returned, according to my instructions; the whole clique felicitating themselves on my dismissal with disgrace. Even the people did not know what judgment to form, as all materials for forming an opinion were kept from them, whilst every pretence tending to my discredit was carefully made known. On news of the victory, all this was immediately hushed up—the ministers, to retrieve their own credit, joined in the popular enthusiasm, which it would have been unavailing to thwart—and poor Goldsack was overwhelmed with reproach for the failure of his rockets, though the whole blame rested with the Government in having employed Spanish prisoners as his workmen.
DEPARTURE FOR CHILOE—PREPARATIONS OF THE ENEMY—CAPTURE OF FORT CORONA—FAILURE AT FORT AGUY, AND SUBSEQUENT RETREAT—RETURN TO VALDIVIA—CAPTURE OF OSORIO—RETURN TO VALPARAISO—ENTHUSIASTIC RECEPTION—CHAGRIN OF THE MINISTRY—IMPORTANCE OF CONQUEST OF VALDIVIA IN A POLITICAL POINT OF VIEW—PROMOTION OF OFFICERS UNDER ARREST—EMPLOYMENT OF INDIANS BY THE SPANIARDS—CAREER OF BENAVIDES—MUTINOUS SPIRIT OF THE SEAMEN IN CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR CAPTURES BEING APPROPRIATED BY GOVERNMENT—RESIGNATION OF MY COMMISSION—REFUSAL THEREOF—RENEWED OFFER OF AN ESTATE—THIS AGAIN DECLINED—SEAMEN OBTAIN THEIR WAGES—PRIVATE PURCHASE OF AN ESTATE—GOVERNMENT GIVES NOTICE OF TAKING IT—APPOINTMENT OF FLAG CAPTAIN AGAINST MY WISHES—ANNOYANCE GIVEN TO ME BY MINISTER OF MARINE—RENEWED RESIGNATION OF THE COMMAND—OFFICERS OF THE SQUADRON RESIGN IN A BODY—GOVERNMENT BEGS OF ME TO RETAIN THE COMMAND—MY CONSENT—GENERAL SAN MARTIN—THE SENATE—ZENTENO—CORRUPTION OF PARTIES IN THE ADMINISTRATION.