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Battle of Mataquito

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Mataquito
Part of the Arauco War
DateApril 30, 1557
LocationVicinity near the foot of the Cerro Chiripilco northeast of the modern town of La Huerta in Hualañé on the north bank of the Mataquito River[1]
Result Spanish victory
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
Spanish Empire
Lautaro flag.svg
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
Francisco de Villagra
Lautaro flag.svg
120 Spanish soldiers[2] and a number of indios amigos[3] 700 Mapuche and 500 allied warriors,[4] from the provinces of "Itata, Nuble and Renoguelen"[5]
Casualties and losses
1 Spaniard, over half of the indios amigos 250 – 500 Mapuche[6]

The Battle of Mataquito was fought in the Arauco War on April 30, 1557, between the Spanish forces of the governor, Francisco de Villagra, and Mapuche headed by their toqui Lautaro. It was a dawn surprise attack on Lautaro's fortified camp between a wooded mountain and the shore of the Mataquito River.[7]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • The Arauco War | History #5


Hello, I’ll be talking about the Arauco war. This video will be split in 2 parts, Before the Arauco war and the actual Arauco war. I’ll start with Before the Arauco war. There was two side in the war. So I’ll start with the Mapuche people. The Mapuche people have been living in Araucania for a solid century or so. They’ve been very preserve and peaceful beside a few internal conflict of course just like most pre industrial society. As time progress the Mapuche people began expanding moving further and further away from each other hence becoming different tribes. Some stayed in the mountains, other moves down the valley and even more traveled into the forest. This happened from the 600 to 500 BC till the beginning of the Arauco war when some random colonial powerhouse landed in Araucania. Those colonial powerhouse are of course the Spaniard. The Spaniards were making history being part of The New World order and invading countries good job Spanish Empire here a candy. From the Spanish empire specialist of both exploring and fighting called Conquistador were the first to lead the The New World era having much more advance technology then all of the Americans countries at the time it was destiny that they conquer most of America. (I’m talking about the continent not the country for all you Americans.) Spaniards just finish the conquest of the Inca Empire and the Aztec Empire which made the Spaniard believes that the quote on quote “Indians” could be conqueror quickly and easily but as you’re going to find out 270 years isn’t particularly short is it. (Advertisement) Onto part 2, The actual Arauco war. The Arauco War began with the Battle of Reynogüelén which pitted the superior more advance tactically correct Spaniard against the Mapuche people (pause) which ended with a massacre of the Mapuche people at the hands of Gómez de Alvarado and his mens. With this the Spaniard continue with their conquest of Chile which created the Campaigns of Pedro de Valdivia. Pedro de Valdivia a conquistador start the 9 years campaign which purpose was to capture and secure the city of Santiago which was destroyed in 1541 by the Mapuche people. With the Spaniard securing the city, they began working on improving and transforming the city later on making it the biggest city in Chile as well as the capital. This takes us onto the Founding of Concepción, Imperial, and Valdivia which in short was an exhibition started again by the Spaniard in hope of reuniting the shore of the Bay of Concepción to the shore of the Bio Bio river. The exhibition prove to be a success and before long another exhibition this time only lead by Valdivia which established forts at Tucapel,Purén, Confines and Arauco. This again was a success but this time the Mapuches decided that they had enough and appointed Caupolicán as a military leader who was able to successfully capture the fort of Tucapel and successfully defended it as well from the first counter attack making this the first great Mapuche uprising. This would also be the last of Pedro de Valdivia as he was killed in the same battle. The Spaniard were beginning to take the Mapuche as a threat and began strengthening their forces along the two other forts. Following that, Villagra lead a devastating raid against the Mapuche settlement near the edge of Arachania causing havoc and creating famines and epidemic for the Mapuche. This in term cause and create more hostile Mapuche which later on join in the fight. Of course this raid wouldn’t have gone unnoticed as this inspired Lautaro who was second in command after Caupolican in the battle of Tucapel to start his own campaign. This Campaign started out promising with a great assault on Santiago forcing the Spanish force and many civilian to retreat but from then on the campaign began a downward spiral that would lead to the death of Lautaro in the Battle of Mataquito. For convenience sake and my sake, I’ll be skipping the campaign of Caupolicán and García Hurtado de Mendoza but to summarize Caupolican was killed and the Mapuche lost. However, the Mapuche began preparing for the second uprising as you’ll see soon. The Mapuche after the defeat was now united as one force began acting out their plans which began with a few assassination but leads to an all out war. The assassination came upon the new spaniard governor son which cause him to fled leaving his relative Pedro de Villagra in charge. The new governor first move was to bring all of his force out of Arauco giving the Mapuche more resources and maneuverability which would make a big difference later on. With this the Mapuche began putting their plan in effect by first surrounding Conception and cutting off any outside aid for the city creating a siege. Although the Mapuche were tip for an easy victory winter came early forcing a Mapuche retreat, ending the second great Mapuche rebellion and extending the war. Which now is just dragging on. Their was 30 years period of Spaniard domination and campaign before again you guessed it another Mapuche uprising but this was the chance for the Spaniard to end the Arauco war and they bottled it. The Spaniard now have lost their 11th governor in just over 60 years proving that their conquest of Chile was a failure but they keep trying. The Mapuche in the span of 6 years ransacked many Spaniard cities but ultimately returned back to Arauco in the end. For the next 50 years the Spaniard and Mapuche would have a sort of peace but this peace didn’t last and before long more war. Again, there was another Mapuche uprising this time only a major uprising not a great one and this time lead by Clentaru. This uprising only pushed back the Spaniard force and giving the Spaniard a reason to keep attacking Arauco. This then created the Campaigns of the Mestizo Alejo and Misqui which didn’t accomplish much for the Spaniard besides making peace with the Mapuche which lasted (pause) for 30 years. Once more, peace ended with another uprising for the Mapuche from 1723 to 1784. In 1793 the Spaniard finally made peace with the Mapuche people officially ending the war. Sorry if there wasn’t much information near the end of the war and also for the long video. As always Thank you Watching! And hopefully you enjoy this video!



In early 1557, following the defeat and retreat of Lautaro after the Battle of Peteroa, Francisco de Villagra felt strong enough to gather a strong force of soldiers and march south to aid the remaining cities against the Mapuche besetting them. Discovering that the city of Santiago was now relatively unprotected, Lautaro evaded the army of Villagra, letting them pass to the south. He soon marched again toward Santiago gathering a new army of 6,000 men joined by allies under Panigualgo[8] bringing it to 10,000 men.[9] However once the army reached the banks of the Mataquito River, Lautaro's treatment of the local Indians in a manner similar to that of the Spaniards had created many enemies, and after a quarrel with his ally over this mistreatment, most of the allies and many of the Mapuche refused to follow him. He moved over a league up river from Lora and established himself in a fortified camp[10] in a place called Mataquito.[11]

Villagra became aware that the location of the camp had been betrayed by local Indians previously abused by Lautaro. Villagra sent word to Juan Godíñez near Santiago to meet him as he hurriedly returned from the south with seventy men. The Spanish forces met at a location in the province of Gualemo three leagues from Lautaro's camp,[12] without Lautaro being warned by the local Indians. The unified force of Francisco de Villagra and Juan Godíñez came to 120 men, with 57 horsemen (including Pedro Mariño de Lobera), five arcabuzeros and more than four hundred yanakuna, made a surprise night march over the hills of Caune, to the one overlooking Lautaro's camp, on the shore of the Mataquito River. Villagra sent a body of Spanish infantry (including Alonso López de la Eaigada) with arquebus or swords and shields into the carrizal under Gabriel de Villagra.[10][13]

At dawn Villagra made his surprise attack on the camp. The infantry burst into the fortress while Juan Godíñez and Villagra led the charge of the cavalry down the hill against the fortress with their Indian allies in advance.[14] In the beginning of the battle they killed Lautaro, coming out of the doorway of his ruca.[10] When the Spaniards shouted Lautaro was dead, the allied warriors from Itata, Ñuble and Renoguelen fled any way they could,[15] leaving only Lautaro's Mapuche fighting a six-hour battle, putting up a stubborn resistance despite the death of their leader. At the end of the battle Lautaro and from 250 to 500 Mapuche[14] were killed while the Spaniards lost Juan de Villagra and over half of their yanacona killed or wounded along with many of the Spaniards' horses. Lautaro's head was then taken and displayed in the main plaza of Santiago.


  1. ^ Mataquito was one of the two encomiendas of Juan Jufré on the banks of the Mataquito River. I—Probanza de los méritos y senidos del general Juan Jufré en el descubrimiento y población de las provincias de Chile. (Archivo de Indias, Patronato, 1-5-32/16), pg. 5-216.
  2. ^ Lobera,Historia de Chile, Chapter LV
  3. ^ Lobera, Crónica del Reino de Chile, Chapter LV; Rosales, Historia de Chile, Cap. X, Juan Gudiñez had two hundred and fifty Indian friends
  4. ^ Jerónimo de Vivar, Capítulo CXXIX
  5. ^ Lobera, Crónica, Capítulo LV
  6. ^ Lobera, Historia de Chile Cap. XXII, no losses mentioned; Alonso Lopez de Larraigada, 500 killed; Vivar, Crónica Capítulo CXXIX, Lautaro another captain and 250 warriors killed; Marmolejo Historia, Cap. XXII "more than three hundred Indians died in this assault with many others wounded or surrendered": Roslaes, Cap. X "six hundred Indians, with many wounded who went to die to their land"
  7. ^ The location of this battle is uncertain and the location of the Mataquito camp has been confused with Lautaro's 1556 Peteroa fortress. According to Vivar, Crónica, CXXIX, the 1557 battle was fought at a location three leagues from the province of Gualemo where Francisco de Villagra with seventy men met Juan Godíñez prior to their night march on the Mataquito camp. A soldier in this campaign and the battle, under Juan Godíñez, Alonso Lopez de la Raigada, refers to Lautaro's 1556 fortress as "Peteroa" and the camp where Lautaro was killed as "Mataquito" and also refers to "Peteroa" and "Mataquito" as separate places (Medina, Colección de documentos inéditos, Información de senidos de Alonso López de la Eaigada). Lobera does not give a place name to the location of the 1556 fortress. He does call the place of the 1557 battle he took part in as being at the "lugar de Mataquito"; Capítulo LV. Marmolejo gives no place names to the location. A place along the north shore of the Mataquito River near the foot of the Cerro Chiripilco northeast of the town of La Huerta in Hualañé is believed to be the location of this camp and a monument was put up commemorating it.
  8. ^ Diego de Rosales, Historia de Chile, Cap. X, calls him Chillican
  9. ^ Lobera, Cap. LV
  10. ^ a b c Rosales, Historia General, Cap. X.
  11. ^ Lobera, Chapter LV
  12. ^ Vivar, Crónica, CXXIX
  13. ^ Colección de documentos inéditos para la historia de Chile, Vols. 6–7, IV. Información de senidos de Alonso López de la Eaigada, vecino de la ciudad de Santiago de Chile.
  14. ^ a b See note 5
  15. ^ Lobera, Chap. LV


Of these sources Pedro Mariño de Lobera and Alonso López de la Eaigada participated in the battle. While Jerónimo de Vivar and Alonso de Góngora Marmolejo were both living in Chile at the time, Vivar was in Santiago compiling his history, Marmolejo was in the south. Diego de Rosales wrote about one hundred years after the battle, Vicente Carvallo y Goyeneche over two hundred years later.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 August 2018, at 12:59
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