|Battle of Mataquito|
|Part of the Arauco War|
|Commanders and leaders|
|120 Spanish soldiers and a number of indios amigos||700 Mapuche and 500 allied warriors, from the provinces of "Itata, Nuble and Renoguelen"|
|Casualties and losses|
|1 Spaniard, over half of the indios amigos||250 – 500 Mapuche|
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.The battle is notable for ending Mapuche pretensions to expulse the Spanish from Santiago, while also avenging the death of former governor Pedro de Valdivia who had been killed by Lautaro's warriors four years earlier.
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 Panigualgobringing it to 10,000 men. 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 in a place called Mataquito.
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,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.
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.In the beginning of the battle they killed Lautaro, coming out of the doorway of his ruca . When the Spaniards shouted Lautaro was dead, the allied warriors from Itata, Ñuble, and Renoguelen fled any way they could, 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 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.
Lautaro was a young Mapuche toqui known for leading the indigenous resistance against Spanish conquest in Chile and developing the tactics that would continue to be employed by the Mapuche during the long-running Arauco War. Lautaro was captured by Spanish forces in his early youth, and he spent his teenage years as a personal servant of chief conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, but escaped in 1551. Back among his people he was declared toqui and led Mapuche warriors into a series of victories against the Spanish, culminating in the Battle of Tucapel in December 1553, where Pedro de Valdivia was killed. The outbreak of a typhus plague, a drought and a famine prevented the Mapuche from taking further actions to expel the Spanish in 1554 and 1555. Between 1556 and 1557, a small group of Mapuche commanded by Lautaro attempted to reach Santiago to liberate the whole of Central Chile from Spanish rule. Lautaro's attempts ended in 1557 when he was killed in an ambush by the Spanish.
Colocolo was a Mapuche leader in the early period of the Arauco War. He was a major figure in Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga's epic poem La Araucana, about the early Arauco War. In the poem he was the one that proposed the contest between the rival candidates for Toqui that resulted in the choice of Caupolicán. As a historical figure there are some few contemporary details about him. Stories of his life were written long after his lifetime and display many points of dubious historical accuracy.
Caupolicán was a toqui or war leader of the Mapuche people, who led the resistance of his people against the Spanish Conquistadors who invaded the territory of today's Chile during the sixteenth century. His rule as Toqui lasted roughly from 1553-1558 AD
The Arauco War was a long-running conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people, mostly fought in the Araucanía. The conflict begun at first as a reaction to the Spanish conquest attempt establishing cities and forcing Mapuches into servitude. It subsequently evolved over time into phases of low intensity warfare, drawn-out sieges, slave-hunting expeditions, pillaging raids, punitive expeditions, and renewed Spanish attempts to secure lost territories. Abduction of women and war rape was common on both sides.
Toqui is a title conferred by the Mapuche on those chosen as leaders during times of war. The toqui is chosen in an assembly or parliament (coyag) of the chieftains (loncos) of various clans (Rehues) or confederation of clans (Aillarehues), allied during the war at hand. The toqui commanded strict obedience of all the warriors and their loncos during the war, would organize them into units and appoint leaders over them. This command would continue until the toqui was killed, abdicated (Cayancaru), was deposed in another parliament, or upon completion of the war for which he was chosen.
Francisco de Villagra Velázquez was a Spanish conquistador, and three times governor of Chile.
The Battle of Tucapel is the name given to a battle fought between Spanish conquistador forces led by Pedro de Valdivia and Mapuche (Araucanian) Indians under Lautaro that took place at Tucapel, Chile on December 25, 1553. This battle happened in the context of the first stage of the Arauco War, named the "offensive war" within a larger uprising by Araucanians against the Spanish conquest of Chile. It was a defeat for the Spaniards, resulting in the capture and eventual death of Valdivia.
Battle of Peteroa was a battle in the Arauco War in 1556, in a plain beside a river in the Mataquito River valley, called Peteroa. The battle was between the Spanish forces of Pedro de Villagra, and Mapuche headed by their toqui Lautaro.
Battle of Marihueñu was one of the early decisive battles of the Arauco War between the Mapuche leader Lautaro and the Spanish general Francisco de Villagra on 23 February 1554.
The battle of Andalien, fought in early February 1550, was a night battle between 20,000 Mapuche under the command of their Toqui Ainavillo and Pedro de Valdivia's army of 200 Spanish soldiers and cavalry with a large number of yanakuna, including 300 Mapochoes auxiliaries under their leader Michimalonco.
The Battle of Penco, on March 12, 1550 was a battle between 60,000 Mapuche under the command of their toqui Ainavillo with his Araucan and Tucapel allies and Pedro de Valdivia's 200 Spaniards on horse and afoot with many yanakuna including 300 Mapochoes auxiliaries under their leader Michimalonco, defending their newly raised fort at Penco. It was part of a war.
Peteroa is a small town west southwest of the town of Sagrada Familia, Chile.
Juan Godíñez Conquistador Juan Godínez, was born in the city of Úbeda, Spain. He came to the Americas in 1532. After coming to Peru, he campaigned with Diego de Almagro in Chile. He later served in Peru in the subjugation of Manco Inca, and in the expeditions of the captains Pedro de Candia and Diego de Rojas. Afterward, he returned to Chile in 1540 with Pedro de Valdivia serving in the wars of the Conquest of Chile until the arrival of García Hurtado de Mendoza.
The Battle of Millarapue that occurred November 30, 1557 was intended by the Toqui Caupolicán as a Mapuche ambush of the Spanish army of García Hurtado de Mendoza that resulted in a Spanish victory when the ambush failed.
Illangulién, Quiromanite, Queupulien or Antiguenu, was the Mapuche toqui elected to replace Lemucaguin or Caupolicán the younger in 1559 following the Battle of Quiapo to his death in battle in the Battle of Angol in 1564.
The Battle of Lagunillas was a battle in the Arauco War on November 8, 1557, between the army of García Hurtado de Mendoza and the Mapuche army near some shallow lakes a league south of the Bio-Bio River.
Battle of Quiapo in the Arauco War was the final battle in the campaign of García Hurtado de Mendoza against the Mapuche under the toqui known as Lemucaguin or Caupolicán the younger. It was fought in Quiapo, Arauco Province, Chile on December 13, 1558.
During the Siege of Concepcion of the Arauco War, 20,000 warriors of the army of the Mapuche laid siege to the Spanish garrison and civil population in the fortress of Concepcion, Chile.
'Loble, also known as Lig-lemu or Lillemu,(d. ca. 1565) was the Mapuche vice-toqui of the Moluche north of the Bio-Bio River who led the second Mapuche revolt during the Arauco War.
Juan Jufré de Loayza y Montesa (1516–1578) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the 1541 expedition of Pedro de Valdivia to Chile. He was the first alcalde of Santiago, Chile and held the position of governor of the Argentine province of Cuyo. He founded the city of San Juan de la Frontera and re-founded the city of Mendoza.
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.