407

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CHILE.

407

[Puelclies, in order to satisfy that valiant tribe, who
amount to the fourth part of the population of the
state. Nor have the Araucanians ever Jiad cause
to repent of this selection. During the last war,
one of these mountaineers, Leviantu, lieutenant
general of Curignancu, harassed the Spaniards
greatly, and gave their troops constant employ
ment. The army is at present composed of infan
try and of horse. It originally consisted entirely
of the former : but in their first battles witli the
Spaniards, perceiving the great advantages which
their enemies derived from their cavalry, they
soon began to discipline themselves in the same
manner. Their first care was to procure a good
breed of horses, which in a short time became so
numerous, that in the year 1568, seventeen years
after their first opposing the Spanish arms, they
were able to furnish several squadrons ; and in the
year 1585, the cavalry was first regularly organized
by the Toqui Cadegtiala. The infantry, which they
call narrwntuUnco, is divided into regiments and
companies : each regiment consists of one thou
sand men, and contains ten companies of one hun
dred. The cavalry is divided in like manner,
but the number of liorse is not always the same.
They have all their particular standards, but each
bears a star, which is the national device. The
soldiers are not clothed in uniform, according to
the European custom, but all wear beneath their
usual dress cuirasses of leather, hardened by a pe
culiar mode of dressing ; their shields and helmets
are .also m.ade of the saiiie materi.al.

9. Their army and mode of mailing war . — The
cavalry is .armed with swords and lances; the in
fantry Avith pikes or clubs pointed with iron.
They formerly employed boAvs and slings, in the
use of Avhich they AA'ere very dexterous ; but since
the arrival of the Spaniards, they have almost en
tirely relinquished them ; experience having taught
them to avoid the destructive eft'ect of their mus
ketry, by immediately closing in, and fighting
hand to hand Avith the enemy. The art of njak
ing gunpoAvder is as yet unknoAvn to this Avarlike
people. Either they regard it but little, or, Avhat
is more probable, those Spaniards Avith Avhom they
have sometimes traded Avould not, if they Averc
themselves acquainted Avith it, communicate to
them the composition. It is, however, believed
tlmt they made use at first of the greatest exertions
to obtain the knowledge of this secret, so important
in the present system of warfare. The discovery
of poAvder is Avell ascertained to have been owing
more to accident than to the efforts of human in
genuity, although some pretend that it Avas knoAvn

in China long before the period that it was disco
coA'ered in Europe. The inhabitants of the coun
try relate the following anecdote respecting gun
powder, Avhich, however fabulous and absurd it
may appe.ar, is generally credited. The Arau
canians, on first seeing Negroes Avith the Spaniards,
imagined th.at tliey prepared from them the pow
der Avhich tliey used. Soon after, having taken
one of those unfortunate men, tliey first covered
liim with stripes from head to foot, and afterw ards
Inirned him to a coal, in order, by reducing it to
pow'der, to obtain the so much Avislied-for secret ;
but were soon convinced of the fallacy of their
chemical principles. In their various encounters
Avith the Spaniards, they occasionally took from
them powder and muskets, which, in the subse
quent battles, they employed Avith as much skill
as if they had been for a long time accustomed to
them; but as soon as the powder Avas expended,
they were forced to resume their former arras.
The Dutcli, Avhen they took the city of Valdivia,
attempted to form an alliance Avith them, and pro
mised to supply them Avith powder and cannon ;
but as they distrusted all Europeans, they Avould
not listen to their proposal. Before setting out on
his expedition, the general assigns three days for
consultation, in order to consider aneAv the plans
of the campaign, and to adopt the best expedients.
Upon this occasion every one has the liberty of
offering his opinion, if he deems it conducive to
the public Avelfare. In the mean time the general
consults in secret with the officers of his staff upon
the plans Avhich he has formed, and the means of
remedying sinister events. After tiiis the army
commences its march to the sound of drums, be
ing alvAays preceded by several advanced parties,
in order to prevent a surprise. The infantry, as
Aveil as cavalry, jrroceed on horseback ; but on
coming to action, they immediately dismount, and
form themselves into their respective comp.anies.
Each soldier is obliged to bring from home not
only his arms, but his supply of provisions, ac
cording to the custom of the Romans. As all are
liable to military service, so no one in particular is
obliged to contribute to the support of the army.
The provision consists in a small sack of parched
meal for each, which, diluted with Av.ater, fur
nishes sufficient food for them until they are enabled
to live at free quarters upon the enemy. The
Araucanian troops are extremely vigilant; they
adopt at night the most prudent measures, by en
camping in secure and advantageous positions.
On these occasions centinels are placed upon all
sides ; and in presence of the enemy tliey re-]

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