Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Cudequala

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CUDEQUALA (coo-da-kah'-lah), Araucanian warrior, b. in the Mariguena valley, Chili, about 1555; d. near Purén, 12 Dec., 1587. While very young he entered the Araucanian army as a private, although he was a nobleman, and gradually won promotion to the grade of general. The general-in-chief, Dayaucura, gave him command of a strong army to attack the city of Angol, which he did without success, but then marched to the city of Arauco, besieged and entered it. Afterward he intended to attack Fort Trinidad, this fortress commanding the passage from Biobio, but a body of Spanish troops under Francisco Hernandez came out and defeated Cudequala, who lost an arm and was otherwise severely wounded. This forced him to retire to the mountains. He was followed thither by the lieutenant-governor of Chili, who attempted an ambuscade, only to be discovered, defeated, and killed, with fifty of his men, 14 Nov., 1586. On the same day Cudequala was elected general-in-chief by acclamation. In the following year, 1587, Thomas Cavendish, who commanded a predatory expedition of three ships against the Spanish colonies, landed at Quintero, but Cudequala's warriors attacked the English and forced them to sail away, a number of their men having been killed. After some successful operations the Araucanian chief determined to take the city of Angol by surprise, for which he managed to have the Indian inhabitants prepared to set fire to the houses of the Spaniards at an appointed time during the night, while he would have his troops quietly approaching the gates of the place. This was done, and, while the flames consumed many buildings, the frightened inmates ran about the streets only to be horribly dealt with at the hands of the Araucanians. The governor of Angol hastily gathered some troops, and, after desperate fighting, Cudequala retreated at daybreak. But this did not discourage the Indian general, who soon besieged Purén and defeated a body of Spanish troops sent by the governor to re-enforce the place. Then he proposed to the besieged that they either surrender or enter his own service; but, as his proposals received no attention, Cudequala went near the rampart of the place, riding on a splendid horse taken by himself from the governor, and challenged the commander of the Spanish forces to come out and fight personally with him. The commander, García Ramon, immediately accepted the challenge, and on an appointed day the chiefs met in an open field, each being accompanied by a small number of officers and men. The encounter was very short, for the two opponents at once made a furious attack, riding at full gallop, and Cudequala fell, having been run through with the Spaniard's spear. Even when dying the Araucanian warrior would not admit defeat, and tried in vain to mount his horse again.