A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 05 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 641 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels.
they gallantly attacked the sixth body which they likewise overthrew, and in like manner the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth.  Having now fought seven hours without intermission, both the Spanish men and horses began to fail from long fatigue, and were unable to charge with the same vigour as in the beginning of the action, yet they exerted their utmost efforts not to shew any appearance of failure to the Indians.  Yet the Indians could clearly perceive a material relaxation in the exertions of their enemies, to whom they did not allow a moment of repose, but plied them as at first with new and fresh battalions.”

“At length, seeing there was likely to be no end of this new way of fighting, as there were still eight or nine battalions of the enemy in view, and it being now drawing towards evening, Valdivia determined upon making a retreat before his men and horses should be entirely worn out and disabled by incessant action.  He accordingly gave orders to his men to retreat, that they might reach a narrow pass about a league and a half from the field of battle, where they would be secure against attack, as in that place two Spaniards on foot were able to keep off the whole army of the Araucanians.  He accordingly issued orders to his soldiers to retreat to that narrow defile, passing the word from rank to rank, with directions to turn and make head occasionally against the enemy.  At this time Valdivia was attended by an Araucanian, youth named Lautaro, the son of an ulmen, who had been bred up in his family from a boy, and baptized by the name of Philip.  Knowing both languages, and being more biassed by affection to his country than love to God or fidelity to his master, on hearing the orders given to retreat, he called out to the Araucanians not to be satisfied with the retreat of the Spaniards, but immediately to take possession of the narrow pass, by which they would ensure the entire destruction of their enemies.  To encourage his countrymen by his example as well as his words, Lautaro took up a lance from the ground, with which he joined the foremost rank of the Araucanians, and assisted them to fight against his former master.”

“When the Araucanian captain observed the Spaniards preparing to retire, he immediately followed the advice of Lautaro, and ordered two fresh battalions of his troops to hasten in good order to occupy the narrow pass, and to use their utmost efforts to defend it till the rest of the army could get up to their assistance.  With the remainder of his troops he pressed on against the retreating Spaniards, still plying them as from the first with fresh bodies of his men, and not allowing a moments respite to the enemy.  On coming to the entrance of the narrow pass, where they expected to have been in safety, the Spaniards found it already occupied by the enemy, and began to despair of being able to escape.  At this time, perceiving that both the Spanish men and horses were completely tired, the Araucanians broke in among them, fifteen or twenty of them seizing upon one horse, some catching him by the legs, others by the tail, and others by the mane; while others knocked down both men and horses with their great war-clubs, killing them with the greatest rage and fury.”

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 05 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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