1853 - Collinson, T. B. Remarks on the Military Operations in New Zealand - PART I. INTRODUCTION, p 7-8

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  1853 - Collinson, T. B. Remarks on the Military Operations in New Zealand - PART I. INTRODUCTION, p 7-8
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[Introduction starts at Page 7.]

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THIS paper is intended to be a short connected account of all the military operations that have occurred in New Zealand from the commencement of the colony. It is brought under the notice of the officers of the corps, in order that in the case of any future disturbances in that colony, they may have an opportunity of referring to the peculiar difficulties and wants which have occurred in previous wars, they being such as are likely to occur in all wars of regular troops against savages.

It is a compilation from some of the many books that have been published about New Zealand, and from some private sources, and from three years' personal experience, from 1846 to 1850.

A short description of the colony is prefixed, which is partly necessary for the clear understanding of the various operations. It is longer than necessary for that object alone; but it is hoped that it will serve as a general description of the colony, to which officers can refer for some general ideas about it when they are called upon to serve there.

It is also hoped that it may possibly assist officers desiring to compile such general descriptions of other places, as several papers in the corps' volumes have assisted the compiler of this. Such short descriptions of all our colonies would form a very useful addition to the corps' book. And officers of engineers have got more opportunities than any other people of collecting such information.

It is with great diffidence that I presume to make any criticisms upon the performances of officers so much my seniors in rank, age, and service; there are no doubt local circumstances with which they alone are acquainted, which would explain such few things as seem to the reader of the accounts to be mistakes. I am aware also of the difference between considering these things quietly in England, and enacting them in New Zealand. And I hope it will be found (or if it is not I hope it will be understood), that it is my desire, not to comment upon what might have been done at the time, but rather to bring forward the great wants and deficiencies that were felt in the various campaigns, with the hope that they may be observed and remedied by those in power before another disturbance breaks out, when it will be too late.

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List of the books, &c., from which this paper has been compiled.

Parliamentary Blue Books, 1845-51, which I have been allowed to examine in the Colonial Office.

Official dispatches and papers from New Zealand in the Office of the Inspector General of Fortifications, which the I. G. F. has been kind enough to allow me to examine for this compilation.

Mr. Martin's British Colonies. Edition 1853.

Mr. Wakefield's Adventures and Handbook of New Zealand. 1845-48.

Bishop Selwyn's Journal--Annals of the Colonial Church--1844-48.

Power's Sketches in New Zealand. 1850.

Fox's Six Colonies of New Zealand. 1851.

The local papers of New Zealand. 1845-51.

Col. Despard's Narrative, North Campaign. U. S. Mag., 1846-7.

Terry's New Zealand, 1842.

Lieutenant Balneavis, 58th Regiment, has also given me very great assistance, both with his private journal (he served in all the campaigns from 1845 to 1848), and other documents that he has collected from the 58th Regiment and from other sources in New Zealand.

I have also been very much assisted by other officers of the 58th, and by Captain Henderson, R. A., who served there in 1846-7-8, and by Lieutenant Servantes (late of the 6th Regiment), who served in New Zealand in 1846-7-8, as interpreter to the forces.

The list of harbours has been examined by W. Evans, Esq., R. N., master and assistant-surveyor of H. M. S. " Acheron, " during her surveys in New Zealand: he has had the kindness to correct it and add several notes to it. If, therefore, any benefit or instruction is derived from* this paper, thanks must be given to these gentlemen who have so materially assisted in its compilation.

The General Map of New Zealand is the latest edition of that published by Arrowsmith, corrected from the purveys of Captain Stokes, R. N., in H. M. S. "Acheron," during 1848-9, '50, '51. He surveyed all the principal harbours and a great part of the coast line. The large plans of the Bay of Islands, Wellington,, and Wanganui, are from the New Zealand Company's maps and the colonial maps, which I was allowed to copy and make use of for the office of the I. G. F. during the time I was employed in New Zealand.

T. B. COLLINSON, Capt. R. E.

January 1, 1853.

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