60 MEMOIR OF COLONEL TUPPER.
The decisive battle of Ayacucho having, with the solitary exception of the fortress of Callao, effected the liberation of the whole continent of Spanish Ame- rica, it was resolved to renew the attempt to drive the Spaniards from the islands of Chiloe, which form the natural keys of the Pacific when approached from Cape Horn. Another expedition in consequence, commanded again by the director in person, set sail from Valparaiso in November, 1825, and, after touch- ing at Valdivia, reached Chiloe in January, when barely two thousand men were disembarked. Major Tupper commanded the grenadier companies of Nos. 6 and 8, forming part of the advanced division, and was left by its commander, Colonel Aldunate, chiefly to his own direction. The enemy, in force consider- ably above three thousand men, including four hundred cavalry, occupied a strong entrenched position, his right flank resting upon the sea, his left guarded by impenetrable woods, his front palisaded and strength- ened by a deep and muddy rivulet, which offered but two passes, one near the wood defended by three hundred men, the other on the beach. On the 14th Colonel Aldunate, with six flank companies, took the beach, while Major Tupper, with his two companies, carried the pass near the wood in a few minutes, with little loss, by jumping over the palisade, when he escaped almost miraculously, as before his men could join him he was exposed to a tremendous discharge of musketry, which covered him with mud, and shot away one of his epaulettes. The royalists having been driven also from a second position, their cavalry attempted a charge, but were completely routed by the grenadier company of No. 8. The enemy now retreated to his last and strongest position