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.
engage, setting up such loud shouts, that one would have believed them much more numerous than they were in reality.  Juan de Cabrera was slain at the very commencement of this part of the battle.  Sancho de Avilla, advanced boldly at the head of his company to attack the enemy, brandishing a two-handed sword, which he employed with so much strength and address that he soon broke through and defeated half of the company by which he was opposed.  But as the soldiers of Pizarro were more numerous in this part of the field than those who followed Avilla, he was surrounded on all sides, and he and most of his men slain.  Until the death of the viceroy was known, the battle was very bravely contested by his infantry; but as soon as the knowledge of that unfortunate event had spread through their ranks, they lost heart and relaxed in their efforts, and were soon entirely defeated with considerable slaughter.  At this time, the licentiate Carvajal observed Pedro de Puelles about to end the life of the unfortunate viceroy, already insensible and almost dead in consequence of the blow he had received from De Torres and a wound from a musquet ball:  Carvajal immediately dismounted and cut off his head, saying, “That his only object in joining the party of Gonzalo was to take vengeance for the death of his brother.”

When the victory was completely decided, Gonzalo Pizarro ordered a retreat to be sounded to recal his troops who were engaged in pursuit of the enemy.  In this battle, the royalists lost about two hundred men, while only seven were slain on the side of the victors.  Pizarro ordered the slain to be buried on the field of battle, and caused the bodies of the viceroy and Sancho de Avilla to be carried to Quito, where they were buried with much solemn pomp, attending himself at the funeral and in mourning[20].  He soon afterwards ordered ten or twelve of the principal royalists to be hanged, who had taken shelter in the churches of Quito, or had concealed themselves in other places.  The oydor Alvarez, Benalcazar governor of Popayan, and Don Alfonzo de Montemayor, were wounded and made prisoners in the battle.  Gonzalo intended to have ordered Don Alfonzo to be beheaded; but as he had many friends among the insurgents who interceded for his life, and who assured Gonzalo that he could not possibly recover from his wounds, he was spared.  Some time afterwards, Gomez de Alvarado sent notice to Benalcazar that it was intended to administer poison to these three prisoners in the dressings applied to their wounds or in their food; and accordingly he and Don Alfonzo took great precautions to avoid this treachery.  As the oydor Alvarez was lodged in the same house with his brother judge Cepeda, he had not in his power to use similar precautions, and died soon after; and every one believed that he was poisoned in some almond soup.

[Footnote 20:  This authentic circumstance by no means agrees with the assertion in the History of America, II. 376, that the head of the viceroy was affixed on the public gibbet in Quito.  From the text of Zarate, this battle appears to have been fought on the 16th January 1546.  In the History of America, it is dated on the 18th; but the difference is quite immaterial.—­E.]

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