CHAPTER XV. FINAL RESULTS OF THE EXPEDITION ON THE WEST COAST
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FINAL RESULTS OF THE EXPEDITION ON THE WEST COAST
IMMEDIATELY after I left Keteonatea for Wellington, Colonel Whitmore attacked the natives at Te Ngaire, which was surrounded by an almost impregnable swamp; he succeeded in getting his force through it, and surprising the enemy in the early morning, and, I was informed, would undoubtedly have captured the great warrior, Titokowaru, had it not been for the action of some of the Wanganui natives (our allies), who ran into our native camp declaring that the occupants of Te Ngaire were friendly people, and before this was discovered to be a ruse, Titokowaru and his followers escaped, and fled far inland
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of Taranaki to the upper Waitara. This was very unfortunate, and the only explanation I can give of our friendly natives behaving then in such an extraordinary manner is, that some of them were nearly related to Titokowaru's men.
Colonel Whitmore marched his force at the back of Mount Egmont to Waitara, but saw nothing of the enemy, and from Waitara embarked his force for Auckland, en route for the east coast, where operations under his command were afterwards carried on against Te Kooti.
The effect of this expedition on the west coast was very good. Titokowaru's force, by being followed up so energetically and never allowed any rest, was so broken up that they dispersed, and fled up the different rivers as they retired up the coast. It was, however, later on found necessary to send Major Noake (who succeeded me in the command of the Wanganui district) with an expedition to search the different rivers, whither these natives had fled. This work he successfully carried out, taking a
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good many prisoners, thus finally ending the war on the west coast. This district now contains some of the richest pastoral farms in New Zealand, the country being thickly populated, held in comparatively small holdings, and having prosperous and thriving townships situated in various parts of the coast.
In this little work, my readers will notice I have mentioned the names of very few officers, my reason being that I have only written what has come under my personal observation. There are many officers and men who did most heroic actions, but I could only give them from hearsay.
My chief object in writing this, is to show the great difficulty my respected and revered General, the late Sir Duncan A. Cameron, had to contend against, in the unwarrantable interference by the late Sir George Grey, which caused the whole army to be blamed for that of which they were perfectly innocent. Had General Cameron been allowed to carry out the war
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in the manner he had instructed his officers to do, as is clearly shown in his letter to me, a copy of which is given in the early pages of this hook, the result would have been very different.
It was just the same with the late Major-General Sir Trevor Chute, with whom I had the pleasure and privilege of being on most intimate terms, and who told me of the great interference, and the difficulties he had to contend against, with Sir George Grey as Governor.
As the facts I have mentioned in this hook, the truth of which I can vouch for, have never before been published, their publication now will be a small addendum to the history of New Zealand, my adopted country, and will, I hope, be appreciated.
There is no doubt that one of the results of the war now going on in South Africa against the Boers, will be necessary reforms in various departments of the army; and it is to be hoped that the same opportunity will be taken to make a General commanding an army in the field in time of war,
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absolutely independent, as regards bis military operations, of the Governor of the country in which he may he serving, and thus prevent such disastrous consequences as have occurred in New Zealand and other countries.
Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.
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