FEBRUARY 6, 1550


Fought at night, the battle pitted 20,000 Mapuche under the command of their toqui, Ainavillo, against Pedro de Valdiva’s’s 200 Spaniards and 300 Mapochoes under Michimalanco.  Reaching the Bio-Bio River in Chile, in January 1550, Valvida began clashes with the Mapuche.  Turning to the sea, Valvida camped by a lake near the Andalién River.  On the second night of the encampment, the Mapuche, in three divisions, attacked hoping for surprise.  However, the Spanish were alerted by sentries.  The lake forced the Mapuche to attack on only one front and pressed closely together by the lake and river.  The attack was repulsed after a desperate three-hour battle.  Valdivia’s cavalry was not able to break into the dense Mapuche formation.  Dismounted, the Spaniards and Mapochoes killed about three hundred Mapuche and wounded many more.   The Mapochoes killed many others in pursuit into the woodlands.  Eventually Valvida continued on to at the Bay of Concepción.

Source:  “Battle of Andalien,” Revolvy, https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Battle%20of%20Andalien&item_type=topic
Illustration:  Gerónimo de Bibar (17th Century), circa 1755.  Public Domain.  

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