1849 - McKillop, H. F. Reminiscences of Twelve Months' in New Zealand [Fac. ed. Capper, 1973] - CHAPTER IV. ARRIVAL AT WELLINGTON... p 167-235

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  1849 - McKillop, H. F. Reminiscences of Twelve Months' in New Zealand [Fac. ed. Capper, 1973] - CHAPTER IV. ARRIVAL AT WELLINGTON... p 167-235
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WITH our usual good luck we made a quick passage to Port Nicholson; not, however, without having had a slight introduction to the north-westers so prevalent in Cook's Straits, which, from subsequent experience, we found to be the greatest drawback to this in other respects most promising settlement.

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Soon after our arrival we received a playbill, which rather surprised us; having been given to understand at Auckland that this place was so inferior a settlement to the capital that theatricals seemed quite out of place. Curiosity, however, induced many of us to go and see what the place was like. We went accordingly, and found the house so full that it was with considerable difficulty we could get up to our perches--which we were told were the boxes. However, by dint of pulling from above and pushing from below, we managed to get into them. The ladder which had been placed for the accommodation of the audience mounting to these seats, had been broken before our arrival, by some of the audience during a slight disturbance. As soon as our eyes had become accustomed to the cloudy atmosphere, which was strongly impregnated with tobacco smoke, we discovered the stage and its recesses. The piece was just about to commence, the pit having come to an amicable

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understanding with each other, after considerable demonstrations of pulling the boxes down and annihilating the occupants.

The first actor who made his appearance was greeted with such a shout, and underwent such an impertinent cross-examination as to where he had procured his red striped pantaloons, how the moustache was stuck on, &c, that he could not proceed. This being highly irregular, the manager came on to request that order might be kept; unfortunately for himself, he was known to the colonists as a vocalist, and was accordingly called upon for a song in such an energetic manner, that, to save the stage from being upset, he sang "The Admiral;" and being in the costume of "Macbeth," it had on the whole a pleasing effect. He was loudly applauded for his good-nature, which, however, was further put to the test by the wilful hearers calling on their first friend of the red striped trowsers to favour them in a similar way: he, however, not being

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prepared to perform in this way, was hissed off the stage, and order was not restored until one of the actresses came on and sang at least half-a-dozen songs in succession, which were received with raptures of applause. The piece was then commenced, and went on smoothly for half-an-hour, when poor Macbeth happening to be left alone on the stage to get through some long soliloquy, the wayward audience, knowing him to be a dancing-master and excelling in the sailor's hornpipe, demanded it in a manner which would not bear a refusal. The fiddlers were accordingly ordered, in a very peremptory manner, to strike up; and poor Macbeth was obliged to start off. His long sword rather interfering with his steps, he laid it aside and went to work in capital style, which brought forth such shouts of delight and uproarious peals of laughter, accompanied by such stamping and screams and other symptoms of excessive approbation, that in a few minutes down came the boxes, the

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supports having been knocked away from beneath.

This brought the hornpipe to a finale, and with it the whole of the performance. We, who had shared the downfal of the boxes, were glad to get out into the fresh air, having luckily escaped with a few bruises. We found out the hotel, and put up there for the night, finding it far superior to anything we could have expected after what we had seen at Auckland. The billiard-room was full, and we witnessed some capital play on a first-rate table. The Wellingtonians may well pride themselves on the accommodation that this establishment affords, which, considering the short time the settlement had been formed, surpassed expectation. Next morning we sallied out to see the town. The situation is more picturesque than convenient, the steep thickly wooded heights rising so abruptly from the beach as to make it necessary in many places to cut terraces in the side of the

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hill to build upon. There are some good substantial brick buildings, the bricks being made on the spot. The principal mercantile houses are all on the beach. There are also numerous roomy stores and commodious shops, many of them having wooden wharfs attached, running out into ten or twelve feet water, allowing small vessels to come alongside and take in or discharge cargo. The town also boasts of a steam and a wind flour-mill, a strong gaol, a bank, four chapels of various sizes, belonging to different sects of Dissenters. The church is situated at the north-western end of the town, and is much smaller than many of the chapels. Near it are many of the principal residences, amongst which the one belonging to the New Zealand Company's principal agent, standing in a nice green lawn, with a pretty garden at the back, reminds one of an English villa. The Lieut.-Governor's house has also been built here, as well as a new barrack. There are rather too many

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public-houses for the size of the place, which were generally well filled, owing partly to the unfortunate disturbances having thrown so many people out of work, and driven in numbers of the out-settlers from their farms, for the protection the town afforded.

The Valley of the Hutt, about three miles from the town, is the only flat part about the harbour, and is a most fertile and desirable spot in every respect, but was unfortunately one of the many disputed lots purchased by the Company. At the time of our arrival the sparring between the settlers and natives had exasperated the former to such a degree that a general feeling of discontent was manifested by them; and not without good cause, for, whoever was to blame, it is quite certain that the unfortunate purchasers of the sections on the Hutt district were the sufferers.

I will here give copies of a few letters from gentlemen who had lately taken possession of

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their property in this neighbourhood, addressed to the Protector of Aborigines, and Police Magistrate; which may give an idea of the annoyances they were subjected to, after having as they thought got over the worst of their difficulties.

"Sir, --I beg to inform you, that upon my arrival at this place last night, I found that the old chief E. Kuri had come in the morning, with a number of natives, and begun falling the forest, with the intention of making a settlement within 200 yards of the house I am now building on section No. 31.

"E. Kuri and his party came again this morning. Upon remonstrating with him, he insists that he has never been paid for the land, and that he will not quit it without further payment. Under these aggravating circumstances, I trust you will see the absolute necessity of immediate measures being taken by the proper authorities, that a stop may be

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at once put to this outrageous violation of property and good faith. I may suggest that an interpreter, well acquainted with the language, should accompany whoever comes, so that, if possible, an amicable arrangement may be made by my paying the maories for any work they may do, or that E. Kuri himself be summoned to Wellington. I have made a similar communication to Mr. Murphy, not knowing precisely who is to take cognizance of the outrage.

"I have the honour, &c,
(Signed) "W. S."


"My dear Sir, --E. Kuri's tribe will not let me have an inch more of my section, and have driven off the men as soon as they began to work on the ten acres I had let them. As this is a direct violation of their agreement with you, I see no other remedy than to remove them from the land at once, unless

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E. Kuri, who went to Kaiwarawara this morning, can be brought to his senses. They have, in short, taken possession of the whole hundred acres, and will not allow me any more. I have written to Mr. Murphy, and I really hope something is to be done immediately. Another party have begun on the other side of the river, so that where all this will end Heaven knows! Pray excuse haste, as I send off a special messenger.

"Yours, &c,
(Signed) "W. S."

"My dear Sir, --Our negotiations and the influence of the authorities last Thursday have had no effect whatever. E. Kuri has been amusing us in order to gain time; for as soon as the weather cleared up, the whole of his people fell to work, and the forest is now ringing with their axes. Meantime a reinforcement of between 200 and 250 men have

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arrived at the pah, supposed from Porirua; they have taken possession of the sawyers' house, and fairly driven them away. This is another proof that conciliation, instead of lessening the evil, only makes it ten times worse: either they must be bribed off my land by the Company, or I am determined to bring this question to an issue, for I shall hold no commission of the peace where the law is all on one side. I cannot leave this place, for these rascals may come upon us: if they do, we shall resist by force of arms. Will you have the goodness to communicate this to Mr. Spain. I have no time to write to Mr. Murphy again, having done so before the enemy were reinforced.

"Yours very faithfully,
(Signed) "W. S."

"My dear Sir, --I know not what was said to E. Kuri by the authorities, but as the

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weather cleared up yesterday, I found, to my unspeakable vexation, that he and his people began their work of destruction precisely the same as if you and the other authorities had not been here. I trust that you will now take some decisive measures, or we had better evacuate the colony and the islands.

"Yours truly,
(Signed) "W. S."

"P.S. Pray send me a line by the constable, for my proceedings are put a stop to until I know what is to be done."

"Tuesday morning."

My dear Sir, --I have just time to let you know that a reinforcement to E. Kuri's tribe, of between two and three hundred men, have come from Porirua, and are working with them from one end of the land to the other. They are beating in all our advanced

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settlers, and everything argues hostility of a most dreaded nature.

"Yours faithfully,
(Signed) "W. S."

"Sir, --I beg to call your attention to a circumstance that occurred yesterday on my premises, of a very aggravating nature, to my great inconvenience, and hazard of losing stores lying in the yard. Missionary Davis came with several natives and pulled down my fence, and commenced building a maori-house in my yard; and last evening I pulled it down. This morning he came with several men, to my inconvenience, and commenced building again; and has the impudence to tell me that yourself and Mr. Halswell will bear him out in it. I wish to know, if you please, whether he is to be held harmless, and to commit these outrageous acts with impunity?"

I am, Sir, your most obedient,
(Signed) "H. M."

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"Sir, --I am extremely sorry I must call upon you for interference between the natives and my men, or I am sure a breach of the peace will be committed by the one or the other party. The conduct of the maories is too much to try the patience of any white man. They actually have split into fencing poles the very trees I had cut down by my men, to fence off what they call their ground; and they are now taking possession of my own clearings. I shall not have on my place even enough room which is escaped from the floods, to build a pigstye on; and this place, as a farm, is ruined. If you have no power to protect the first pilot in farming in this settlement, have the goodness to send a constable immediately to Wellington; and if you cannot effect any remedy, I shall be obliged to cease with my works, and consider this place as nothing further than my residence; and I trust that some party or other will indemnify me for the enormous

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outlay I have made, and the losses I shall have to meet.

"I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
(Signed) "Charles Van Aldsdorf."

Here we remained, waiting the arrival of Captain Grey and the rest of the force; on this event taking place, he, with his usual promptitude, set to work to ascertain the cause of dispute, as nearly as the conflicting statements of opposite and interested parties would permit: he also gave audience to a great many natives, from whom he endeavoured to learn what really was the bone of contention between themselves and the Europeans.

From what he could gather from them, it appeared that parts of the Valley of the Hutt, brought into cultivation by the settlers, had never been satisfactorily made over to the Company. Where the blame lay was not my object to find out; but that there had been lament-

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able blundering somewhere is beyond a doubt, and consequently a beautiful tract of productive land, just coming into cultivation, and beginning to repay the holders of it for their hard work, soon became the scene of desolation and murder; the unfortunate farmers, with few exceptions, being obliged to leave their farms and residences to the tender mercy of the exasperated natives, and seek for protection in Wellington. The arrival of the force brought things to a crisis, for soon after two murders were committed on the Hutt settlers, as a warning to the rest to withdraw-- at least those who held disputed ground. A detachment of troops was immediately marched out and stationed there for the protection of the neighbourhood, a large reward being offered for the apprehension of the murderers, and every inducement held out to persuade the natives to give them up. Fair means failing, we tried intimidation; and, to make a demonstration, the Calliope and Driver were sent

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round to Porirua, the Governor having been there previously, endeavouring to persuade the wily old chief Te Rauparaha to use his influence with Rangahiata--who was then affording protection to the murderers, as well as to other discontented and badly-disposed natives --to give up the two men supposed to be guilty of the crime, for trial.

Upon our arrival, Rangy, and those who had cause to fear, as well as those who had a natural aversion to us, left the coast and proceeded to a pah at the head of a creek, partly surrounded by a small river, marshy ground, and wood: the approach to it was most difficult, the river being too shallow to admit of anything but a light boat ascending it. We had no idea of the strength of this retreat, and every day's delay was taken advantage of by them to secure themselves against surprise. We disembarked the troops we had brought round, and left them on a flat point of land with their tents, which

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were in very bad condition, to encamp themselves, and to cut off the communication between Rangy and the natives on the coast, who were supplying him with provisions. The piece of ground on which they were encamped having been tabued, or made sacred, rendered it highly probable that they would be attacked before they had time to fortify themselves, which they did at first by digging a trench round their front, meeting the sea on either side, which protected their rear; but finding that twice the number of men which they could muster would not have filled it, that mode of fortification was abandoned, and a stockade contemplated.

The commanding officer of the troops applied for a boat and a party of seamen to cooperate in carrying out the Lieutenant-Governor's views, which were to cut off, if possible, any canoes endeavouring to get up with a supply of fish to the rebels, as well as to prevent any of their party from leaving their present abode.

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I was accordingly sent in command of a light eight-oared boat and crew, having also a small whale-boat, manned by the Wellington police, also under my orders. My instructions were, to endeavour to get possession of the persons of the murderers, and also to capture their canoes, which would prevent their getting away without taking regularly to the bush--in this neighbourhood almost impassable from the dense woods and the steepness of the hills; at the same time, to avoid, if possible, commencing hostilities. With these instructions from the military commandant, and with orders from my own captain to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the navigation of the creek, at the head of which the enemy were supposed to be located, as well as to find out the exact spot and nature of their retreat, and to report to him my opinion as to the possibility of surprising the place by taking a force from the camp in boats at night, I was left

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behind when the ship returned to Wellington, not exactly knowing how we were to avoid coming to blows if we endeavoured to cut off their supply of provisions, or to make any of them prisoners: however, the day after the ship left, we took one of their canoes coming down for provisions, the natives taking to the bush and leaving us an empty prize. Soon after this, being anxious to find out their exact whereabouts, we started at about three o'clock in the morning, in a light four-oared boat belonging to some of the military officers, several of whom volunteered to make a crew for her. We accordingly pulled up with muffled oars, accompanied by my own boats, all of us being well armed in case of accidents. We managed to reach the head of the creek, a distance of about three miles, just before daylight, luckily without sticking in the mud, or being discovered by any of the scouts, who were always watching

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our movements from a little hill commanding a view of the camp.

Leaving the two larger boats at the entrance of the small river which ran out from the wood, we proceeded in the little gig, guided by the smoke; but, unfortunately, we got the boat aground: I was obliged to get out and wade, to look for the deepest water. After some little delay we succeeded in getting into the proper channel, and pulled up till we saw the stakes of the pah just over us, on the bank of the river, which was very steep and high, and the river itself not broad enough to allow of the boats being turned round; this we had luckily foreseen, and had taken the precaution of going up stern first. I ascended the bank, and soon found myself looking through the palings of the pah, which were trumpery defences. There was an old woman washing potatoes inside, and a nasty little cur with her, who discovered me and commenced barking. The old woman looked up and caught sight of

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me, and set up a howl that would have awakened the seven sleepers, calling out "Pakeha!" (stranger) and rushing off to one of the huts to tell her tale. I rushed off the other way, to tell my comrades of the alarm I had created; and meeting the artillery officer, who was ascending the bank, I rolled over him in my haste, and nearly knocked him into the river. I had no time to apologise, but jumped into the boat, knowing that the natives would be in pursuit of us in a minute.

As soon as I had made my companions understand what had happened, we pulled for our lives, and had hardly advanced a boat's length before we heard a musketry-fire between us and the party we had left at the entrance of the river. We "gave way" manfully, and soon discovered that a party of natives on the beach, a few hundred yards from the mouth of the small river, were keeping up a brisk fire on the other two boats, which were, however, at too great a distance for it to take effect.

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Upon discovering us they immediately ran over, and endeavoured to intercept us; but, as luck would have it, their progress was impeded by their having to cross several deep creeks, otherwise we must have fallen into their hands. Just as they discovered us, a brisk fire was opened upon us by our friends from the pah, who had lost no time in the pursuit. The two boats which we had left outside now pulled in to our assistance-endeavouring to draw the attention of the maories to themselves, without, however, firing a single shot in return. The natives, luckily for us, fired very hurriedly, and our pulling fast caused them to make very bad shots; notwithstanding which, many passed quite close enough to our heads to encourage our efforts to get out of reach of this nest of hornets. I was steering the boat, and kept my eye anxiously on the party, who were wading across the last creek, about twenty yards from the entrance of our channel, when unfortu-

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nately the boat ran on the sand and stuck fast.

We all immediately jumped into the water, and carrying her bodily over the sandbank on which she had grounded, quickly got her afloat. Taking to the boat again, we pulled across a rather disagreeable fire, the musket-balls making a noise like the drawing, of corks in every direction round about us. The other two boats, seeing we had got through the worst of our difficulties, pulled away; and none of us returned the fire, having been ordered not to commence hostilities. As we approached the camp we met the troops marching out, the commanding officer thinking that the natives would follow us down: the latter, however, gave up the chace about a mile from where they met us. We reached our quarters in safety, having made the discovery that Rangy would not allow us to trespass on his retreat with impunity. The next day, a report having reached Wellington

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that we had been attacked in the camp, the superintendent and officer commanding the troops in the Southern district came out to ascertain what had really happened; and upon hearing my account, they regretted exceedingly that this decidedly unfriendly disposition should have been evinced, as it was not their policy to come to blows with Rangy and his party.

A day or two after this the camp at the Hutt was attacked, this district being a bone of contention. The rebels commenced by plundering the settlers here and at the Wais-vetu river: two of them were taken prisoners, and tried by special commission. One of them, Kumate, was found guilty, and sentenced to ten years' transportation, but subsequently pardoned; after which, in a few days, a man of the name of Gillespie and his son were murdered by the rebels, showing that the leniency shown Kumate had been thrown away. Martial law was now proclaimed in the Southern district; and when-

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ever we ventured now to approach within musket-shot of any straggling parties of Rangy's maories, we always found them on the alert; and I was frequently harassed whilst reconnoitring their position in my light boat, and twice had to retreat, upon their showing out in large numbers in their war canoes; my eight men being no match for two or three such boat-loads, each canoe containing about fifty men, mostly armed with double-barrelled guns. However, having found out that the water was deep enough to admit of a much larger boat being employed on this service, I suggested to Captain Stanley the necessity of having one which would enable us to meet the rebels on something like an equality.

A ship's long-boat was accordingly purchased, and converted into a gun-boat by the carpenters of the Calliope mounting a 12-pound carronade; which was brought round by the ship, and I was installed in my new command, Captain Stanley lending me a brass gun,

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which he had purchased for his own boat. With these two pieces of ordnance, and the addition of six more blue-jackets, we were anxious to have another meeting with our cannibal enemies. After taking some little time to make the necessary arrangements which the boat required, we again ascended the creek. Having seen the natives through a glass in rather large numbers assembled on a point of land about a mile and a half from the camp, I thought it a good opportunity of trying if round shot and canister would compensate for the disparity in our numbers. The artillery officer kindly allowed two of his gunners to accompany me on this occasion, and I found them most serviceable.

As we approached the point of land where I had observed the natives, it appeared to be quite deserted, not a living creature stirring; but knowing how well they lie in ambush, I pulled close in and raked the bushes with a discharge of canister. The

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effect was like magic; upwards of a hundred tatooed faces were to be seen in a second in great confusion (for them), not having expected that our shot would have penetrated their cover. They, however, were not long recovering their usual coolness, and we soon found that they did not mean to allow us to have all the fighting on our side--every surrounding bush giving forth its fire; but they, finding the canister was too penetrating for the bush to afford them any shelter, showed boldly out, rushing into the water up to their waists, and keeping up an incessant and well-directed fire, nearly every shot striking the boat--many passing through, although she was coppered nearly up to the gunwale.

I had taken the precaution of lashing the men's beds up in their hammocks and fastening them round the boat, making a bullet-proof breastwork, which afforded great protection to the crew. The water was very shallow, and we had approached so near the point that

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they made an attempt to board us, fancying we were aground. At this time, finding that I could not bring the caronade to bear so as to keep them all at bay, I directed the brass gun against a party who were making an attempt to board us on the quarter. Unfortunately the gun burst, knocking me down, blinding me for the minute, and also cutting my head with the lock, which, however, was all the harm it did. I soon washed the powder out of my eyes, and found that the artillerymen, under the direction of my coxswain, had checked the advance of the enemy with the other gun.

The maories had become so confident of their superiority, from their having formerly caused us to retreat, that they still persevered; but a few of the cautious ones took shelter behind the rocks. They must have sustained considerable loss by this time; and Rangahiata was urging them to make another attempt to board us, he himself standing foremost and

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uttering yells of defiance. I now took my double-barrelled gun, and used it with some effect, keeping up a smart fire of canister at the same time, which caused them at length to retreat; which they did in very good order, taking their killed and wounded with them, and inviting us to follow them into the bush, using every provoking and insulting gesture and speech calculated to cause us to do so. I knew too well, however, the advantage of my position afloat, and contented myself with driving them into the bush, and then sending a few 12-pound shot after them, which brought down some young trees about their ears, but had not the desired effect of bringing them out to the attack again. We now took to our oars (which had been tossed up, one end resting in a socket at the bottom of the boat, to be out of the way of the working of the gun, and had been riddled by musket-balls), and pulled away, not having any of the crew wounded--which in New Zealand warfare

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gives a decided victory. On our return we met the small boats manned by the police coming up to render us assistance, as some of the officers had seen, us from a hill in the neighbourhood of the camp, and fancied we had sustained a considerable loss, from the fact of our having kept out of sight under the shelter of the hammocks, and not using our muskets.

We soon reached the camp, and received the congratulations of our friends. They had observed an extraordinary explosion, and wondered, when informed what it was, that so little damage had been done by it. I was minus my eyebrows and eyelashes, and my head was rather painful, but with this exception it had done no harm. A few days after this, two settlers coming down the coast, one from Auckland and the other from Wanganui (Mr. Dighton), fell in with a large body of natives, on their way to join Rauparaha by his own invitation; after which they were all to cooperate with Rangahiata in making an attack

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on our camp. On learning which, they left them at night, and made the best of their way to Wellington, where they informed Captain Grey of old Rauparaha's treachery: his Excellency immediately embarked a force in H. M. ship Driver, consisting of a detachment of the 58th and 99th regiments, and as many of the Calliope's crew as could be spared from the ship, and started at once to intercept the body of natives coming from Wanganui. They proceeded to Wakanae, thinking that the rebels would be in that neighbourhood; and his Excellency wished to secure the assistance of the chief, William King, the principal one of this place, in preventing a junction taking place between the party and the other rebels. King promised to prevent their passing along the beach, but refused to attack them in the bush. Here the Governor was fully convinced himself of the treachery of his pretended ally, the wily old Rauparaha, as well as several other chiefs of his tribe. He came

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down in the Driver, anchoring off the pah at night, having previously passed it before dark as if going to Wellington; thus preventing any suspicion of his real intentions, which were to make prisoners of these traitors. I was sent for soon after we arrived, and had an interview with the Governor, who informed me of old Rauparaha's treachery, and his wish to have him and three others taken prisoners, if possible by surprise; and knowing that I was acquainted with their persons and locality, he asked me if I would undertake the capture of the "Old Serpent" myself, allowing me to choose my own time and method of doing it; Major Durie, the inspector of police, being selected to take the others.

Accordingly it was arranged that we were to leave the ship before daylight the next morning, and land quietly on the rocks some little distance from the pah in which our treacherous allies lived; taking a mixed force of blue-jackets and soldiers, amounting to 200

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men, to support us in case of the natives rising before we had effected our object. It was the Governor's particular desire that we should not lay our hands on these men until we had told them they were prisoners for treason, but on no account to let old Rauparaha escape.

I took Mr. Dighton with me to act as interpreter, and four of our own men unarmed, giving them directions to seize upon the old chief as soon as he was made aware of the charge preferred against him, and to hurry him down to the boat before he could rouse his people--the principal object being to secure him. We landed at break of day; and while they were forming the troops on the beach, I with my small party ran on, as it was then light, fearing that conscious guilt might sharpen their ears and frustrate our plans. When we reached the pah not a soul was stirring, but our heavy steps soon brought some of the sleepers to the doors of their huts, knowing we were not of the bare-

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footed tribe. We could not wait to give any explanation, but pushed on to the hut which contained the object of our search, whose quick ears had detected strange footsteps; never having liked me, he did not look at all easy on perceiving who the intruder was, although his wife shewed no alarm, and received me with her usual salutation. Upon informing him that he was my prisoner, he immediately threw himself (being in a sitting posture) back into the hut, and seized a tomahawk, with which he made a blow at his wife's head, thinking she had betrayed him. I warded the blow with my pistol, and seized him by the throat; my four men, immediately rushing in on him, securing him by his arms and legs, started off as fast as his violent struggles would allow of, which, for a man of his age (upwards of 70), were almost superhuman. He roared most lustily, "Ngatitoa! Ngatitoa!" (the name of his tribe) endeavouring to bring them to the rescue; and in a few seconds

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every man was on his legs, and came rushing over to see what was the matter with their chief; but the troops and the blue-jackets coming up at the same time, and surrounding the pah, prevented any attempt at a rescue, as he was already in the boat. His last effort to free himself was fastening with his teeth on to my coxswain's shoulder, who bore this piece of cannibalism unflinchingly. I sent Mr. Dighton off to the ship with him, there not being much chance of his escaping from the boat, particularly as he was informed that he would be shot if he attempted to escape. I then returned to the pah to search for arms and ammunition, and also to see if the other prisoners had been secured. The interior of the pah presented a woful spectacle, the women all howling in chorus with the pigs and children; the two latter being much knocked about in the search for arms.

I found that Major Durie had been equally successful with myself in capturing his portion

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of the traitors. Upon searching closely, we found several barrels of gunpowder, and upwards of a hundred stand of arms of various descriptions, although they had stoutly denied, being in the possession of any when asked to assist us against Rangy.

We took the arms and ammunition down to the boats, and whilst doing so we heard that a large party of Rangy's maories were coming down to assist Rauparaha, intelligence having reached them that an attack had been made on him. I immediately pulled up in the gunboat towards the head of the harbour, to intercept them. As soon as they discovered us they retreated in great haste; we chased them as far as the depth of water would permit; and knocking up the pebbles about their heels with our round shot until they reached their pah, then fired five or six shots into the place, which only had the effect of producing a straggling fire of musketry, at far too great a range to do any execution, which they soon

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found out, and ceased to throw away any more powder.

Having silenced them, I returned to the camp, where I got leave from my captain to go to Wellington for a few days, embarking on board the Driver for a passage, where I received the thanks of the Lieut.-Governor for my morning's work. We started that evening, having the prisoners secured in the workshop attached to the engine-room, just over the boilers. In the night, whilst we were steaming, there was a great noise in the prisoners' room--such screams and shouting that we expected to find them murdering each other. Having opened the hatch to ascertain the cause, we found the place full of steam, and the prisoners in a dreadful state of alarm, imagining that this vapour-bath was an ingenious contrivance for their destruction. It was caused by a leak in one of the boilers. They were very thankful when relieved from their moist quarters. We arrived at Wellington

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the next morning, and took the prisoners on board the Calliope, where they were to remain until the Governor had made up his mind what was to be done with them.

Here we learned all that had been taking place at the Hutt (the other military post) for the last three months, and also that there had been an extensive landslip at Taupo, some distance inland, that had overwhelmed a large number of natives living in a pah at the foot of the hill, which in falling killed about sixty people. This was the second shock of a similar description which had been felt since our arrival. The news from the Hutt was anything but cheering. The detachment of the 58th at the camp had been attacked by the rebel natives, who had surprised them by crawling up close to the sentries; moving a portion of furze bush in front so as to conceal their persons, and doing it so cautiously that the stratagem was not discovered until a dog belonging to one of the soldiers gave notice

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of it by flying at the advancing bushes. The natives immediately rushed into the camp, firing a volley through the tent where the guard lay, killing seven soldiers, and wounding several others. Immediately after the first discharge, the poor little bugler of the party, who was quite a boy, endeavoured to sound the alarm, but was tomahawked by the natives, who carried off his bugle as a trophy. The officer of the guard, who was sleeping in a barn close by, rushed into the melee, followed by his servant; and collecting the few men who were left of his small party, drove the rebels back into the bush--not, however, until they had succeeded in making sad havoc; and as they retreated they were heard making discordant sounds on the bugle which they had taken from the brave little fellow, who had only parted with it with his life.

The next day our friendly natives at Port Nicholson were armed with muskets and supplied with ammunition, and a portion of

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them sent to reinforce the camp at the Hutt; the militia were also called out, and a corps of volunteers formed, for the protection of the town of Wellington. In spite of all these precautions, however, the rebels managed to murder another of the Hutt settlers, and escape unpunished. The day following this last murder, a detachment of troops, under the command of Captain Reid, of the 99th regiment, marched out to reconnoitre the neighbourhood in which it had taken place, and getting into the forest, came across a large party of natives lying in ambush; the first intimation of their presence being a well-directed volley of musketry, wounding Lieut. Herbert of the 58th, and four soldiers (one of whom subsequently died). The troops were immediately ordered to cover themselves behind the trees and return the lire, which however they could not do with any effect, the stumps and fallen trees affording such

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shelter to the natives, who had had time to choose their positions, and were scattered about on all sides of the small party, who were ultimately obliged to retreat; unfortunately leaving poor Herbert in the wood, who, although badly wounded, being shot through the shoulder, managed to get up into a tree unperceived by his savage opponents; in which unenviable position he remained for a considerable time, crawling back to the camp under cover of night, at which time the natives seldom or never stir out.

A party of the Hutt militia had a skirmish with the natives on the same day, driving the rebels into the bush with some loss; and nothing had been seen of them in this neighbourhood since old Rauparaha's capture. Captain McDonough, who commanded the militia, volunteered to march across the bush by a native path with his men, accompanied by a small party of friendly natives, to Rangy's

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pah, attacking it in the rear, the force at Porirua making a simultaneous attack from the other side.

The march through the bush was gallantly undertaken and carried out; and had it not been for the Calliope's encountering one of the Cook's Straits north-westers, we should undoubtedly have put an end to the war in this part of the colony, by destroying or capturing the greater portion of those who were defying the Government. We never had such another opportunity, Rangy having gained experience from this narrow escape. We had embarked a detachment of the 65th and 58th regiments, and sailed for Porirua the day that M'Donough marched from the Hutt; and after beating about for twenty-four hours in Cook's Straits, and making every effort to get to windward against a strong gale from the north-west, we were obliged to bear up for Port Underwood, having his Excellency Captain Grey on board, who, know-

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ing that the militia would probably reach Rangy's pah the next morning, was most anxious to get to Porirua to support them in their attack. The Driver was at this time at Wellington, having something the matter with her boilers; and the Governor, in hopes of still being able to reach his intended destination in time to prevent the escape of the rebels, or, far worse, the defeat of the gallant little band of militia, requested Captain Stanley to return to Wellington, trusting that some temporary repair might enable the Driver to perform this short trip upon such an emergency. We were, however, doomed to be unfortunate, for on putting to sea again, the wind failed us altogether; thus frustrating the only chance we had of carrying out the original object of this expedition. We got a fair wind when too late, and reached Porirua in safety, where we learned that Rangahiata had deserted his pah, the militia having found it abandoned. They had, however, taken one

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prisoner, a chief of some note, who was straggling from his party. The rebels had taken to the thickly wooded country, almost inaccessible to Europeans, and had proceeded in the direction to meet the other body of rebels, who were coming down to their assistance. We now occupied the pah abandoned by the enemy, and found that the report made by myself and the Hon. Lieutenant Yelverton, R. A., of this place being commanded by a hill, which was accessible to us with light artillery, and situated within 500 yards of the pah, was quite correct; and that the notion we had formed some weeks before, in our nocturnal reconnoitring expeditions, of the feasibility of surprising them by a night attack, might have been successfully carried out.

It now became necessary to learn the real feelings of Rauparaha's tribe, as they were too near our camp if unfriendly disposed. Puaha, the principal chief in the absence of those who were prisoners on board the Cal-

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liope, was summoned, and questioned on this subject. He promised his support to our cause. His people were accordingly armed and attached to our force, the Governor having determined to follow the retreating rebels into the bush, which we did the day after our landing; the first day's march bringing our advanced guard so close to the enemy that they left their fires with their potatoes boiling in their hasty retreat, evidently never having expected that we should follow them.

The friendly natives were all supplied with blue serge frocks, with V.R. in large white letters on the breasts and backs, to prevent our men from mistaking them for the enemy. We had frequently to cut away the underwood with tomahawks to allow of our passing. The travelling was very bad, even the natives slipping down in passing along the sides of some of the rivers, the wet weather making it worse than usual. Our path lay through the most dense wood it has ever been

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my fate to tread, being frequently crossed by small rivers, and fallen trees of such a size as to make it necessary to change the direction of the road to avoid them. It was as much as the men could do to carry one day's provisions with their arms and ammunition. The militia had advanced with some of the natives the day before we joined them, and we found that they had received no rations, and expected that we had brought them up the necessary supplies; they were, however, doomed to pass another hungry day, as no natives could be procured to bring up the provisions, and the road being too narrow and too bad to admit of any animal, however surefooted, being used for this purpose, even if we had had them, which was not the case. We encamped the first night of our arrival in a hollow at the foot of a terrifically steep hill, on the summit of which the enemy were supposed to be located, our native scouts having reported such to be the case.

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The ground was dreadfully wet, but by lighting fires and erecting huts, which we smoke-dried, we managed to pass the night more comfortably than could have been expected, considering that it was the depth of winter, miserably cold, and pouring with rain; our long walk also having made us quite equal to eat a good supper, had we been fortunate enough to have been provided with any. However, as it was, I marched out with a small party of sailors to take my post, an outlying picquet, having been previously refreshed with a small glass of spirits given me by one of the officers of the 65th, who was lucky enough to be provided with a bottle: and I must say I never felt more grateful for Dutch courage than on this occasion. We planted our sentries behind the trees right round our position, fearing that we might be surprised by the enemy before daylight, our post not being by any means a favourable one.

I was not allowed to light a fire at my

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picquet, for fear of attracting the attention of our sharp-sighted foes, who would soon have picked off some of us if we had been discovered. The whole force was under arms an hour before daylight, and our friendly natives again went out to ascertain if the enemy were still in the neighbourhood. Mr. Servantes accompanied them; and having reached the ridge of hills on which they had been seen the night before, he was astonished to see about a dozen of the enemy start up as it were from the ground, between his party and the camp, with their guns in their hands, many of them pointing at him. A conversation now commenced between the natives on either side. Rangahiata was himself one of the party, and, luckily for Servantes, the natives whom he had accompanied were all part of this tribe; Puaha, the chief, being a near relation of Rangy's, besides being a chief much respected by his people generally.

Rangy advised him to retreat, and to take the soldiers with him, as they would do no good

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by following them; he expressed his regret at a portion of his own tribe being in arms against him, and begged them to return to their pah or join him. Puaha, however, told him that he had already suffered from the misconduct of that portion of the tribe who were now with Rangy, and begged him to give up the murderers, which would at once put an end to the proceedings. This, however, was declined, and the interview ended by the two chiefs rubbing noses (which they do instead of shaking hands), Rangy expressing his regret at being at variance with his children.

The party were now allowed to return to us at once: the only information which they had gained was that the rebels were on the hill; as to whether they had a pah or not was still unknown. Our two friendly tribes now assembled for a war dance, previous to setting out to attack the enemy; for although it was the wish of the officer commanding to keep his movements as quiet as possible, he could

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not persuade our dark-skinned allies to dispense with this noisy and usual practice, although it gave good notice of our intentions to all within hearing. Several of us joined in this exhibition, much to the delight of our maori friends, who immediately advanced up the hill, dividing themselves into two parties, each under the command of their own chief, acting, however, under the orders of a European interpreter, who was, in fact, the captain of the party. After climbing the hill with great difficulty, but without molestation, although the men were necessarily much exposed, we began to think that they did not mean to dispute our further progress; we advanced a long way without seeing any sign of them. Our native allies, however, proceeded very cautiously after we reached the summit of the hill, crawling on their stomachs, and peering into every bush in the most searching manner, evidently expecting an ambuscade.

We advanced in this tedious mode for seve-

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ral hundred yards, until they discovered a breastwork thrown across the very top of the hill at the narrowest part, composed of several large trees which had been felled and thrown across; with a small clearing in front, which prevented our approaching unseen.

Puaha's natives now commenced fortifying themselves, barely within musket-shot; and nothing would induce them or the Port Nicholson natives to join in a proposed assault. Here we remained for about an hour--our maories crawling about in the thick underwood, trying to get a shot at any straggler who might show himself. Mr. Page, of the 58th, discovering one of them prowling about, aimed at him, but the rifle missed fire: the cap making sufficient noise to alarm him he soon returned the intended compliment and fired at his adversary, without, however, doing any harm. The first shot once fired, we had not to wait long for a commencement of the morning's work. The maories on our side kept per-

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petually firing on the pah, from which a brisk return was made; our people getting excited, commenced shooting away right and left amongst the trees, not half of them having seen a moving creature to fire at. At this time we had two or three men wounded in front, belonging to the road party employed as pioneers, under the command of Lieutenant Elliott of the 99th, who were cutting down trees and clearing away the bush, to enable us to get a better sight of the rebels, as well as to allow of the men moving two or three abreast, instead of crawling along in single file.

We saw a number of the enemy jumping over some felled trees and running to the right; on our giving notice of which, several volleys were fired in that direction--rather prematurely, as I do not think any of them had time to get round when the firing commenced. It was proposed to make a rush at the place, as the maories were seen leaping over the fence, which clearly proved it was not a very formidable fortifi-

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cation. The bugles sounded the advance, and a demonstration was made, which ended in a retreat. Our position was a bad one, the enemy having the advantage of the rising ground, and the open space in front giving them a clear view of all our movements.

We sheltered ourselves behind the trees as we best could, and carried on an irregular fire for some hours, our people throwing away several thousand rounds of ball-cartridge. The rebels were more successful, and picked off several of our men. Poor Blackburn, the acting brigade-major, was the first who fell; he received his death-wound from a maori who was concealed in a tree: he turned round to speak to me about the sailors being so much exposed, when he was shot; one of my own men was shot in the breast almost at the same time. I assisted to carry him to where the doctors were performing their sad office: I cannot call it the rear, as it was almost as much exposed as any other part of our position. Here I learnt

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that poor Blackburn was quite dead, never having spoken a word since he received his wound.

He was a gallant young officer, and had been in every skirmish which had taken place between the natives and the troops in the north; he was universally beloved by his brother officers, as well as by us of the sister service, who had frequent opportunities of cultivating his acquaintance, having roughed it with him both on shore and afloat--upon such occasions every one appears in his true colours. I heard several gallant fellows, grenadiers of the 99th, who were the foremost in this day's work, expressing their sorrow at his loss, and their desire to be revenged on the enemy; and although it was but a poor satisfaction, still they appeared pleased when the man who had shot him was picked off by an artillery-man, and was seen to fall from his elevated position.

It required a great deal of moral courage on the part of the commanding officer to refuse the

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repeated requests to allow the men to attempt to carry the place by assault: however, he would not accede to this, being in total ignorance as to the strength of it, and not thinking the object worth the sacrifice of life which must have necessarily attended such a proceeding. Rangy's maories, upon seeing two or three wounded men on our side being removed, treated us to a short war-dance, which was of course meant to frighten us, as well as to inspire their own party. I expected that they would make a sortie, our advance not being very strong, and within forty or fifty yards of them. We soon after this found it prudent to retreat a few yards, for the shelter afforded by a large tree felled by the pioneers who were hard at work throwing up a little breastwork, as it was probable we should spend the night in this position. Finding that we could not dislodge the enemy without the assistance of artillery, the blue-jackets were ordered to assemble and march back to the boats, and return to Porirua for two small mortars, which

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were to be carried up, with a few rounds of shell.

We started just before dark, and not with a very pleasant prospect before us, being both tired and disheartened with our day's work. We met the Governor coming up as we left the camp, and soon after Dr. Ross, the assistant-surgeon of the Calliope, who had marched up alone, with his blanket and ease of instruments on his back. From him we learnt that several soldiers, who had fallen lame on their way up, were lying about in the wood, and, unless some assistance were rendered them, would have to remain there all night. We heard the firing on the hill for an hour after we had left it, and feared that the rebels must have been driven from their temporary pah, and would probably retreat the same way that we were going. Darkness soon overtook us, which would have rendered it quite impossible to distinguish friends from foes, had we met any of the latter. We could

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not even see the blade of a sword held close to the face. We travelled in single file, having a maori in front to show us the path. The men were cautioned, when they found themselves off the track (which they would soon discover, as the mud was nowhere so bad out of it), to stop immediately, and call out "Halt;" we should otherwise soon have separated, it being quite impossible to follow each other regularly over such ground. At length the repeated shouts of "Halt," in all directions, made it most tedious, especially as we kept halting on our faces every now and then, through the assistance of some stump or bush, and not unfrequently in the river, which not being deep enough to break the fall, made it very dangerous. We travelled in this way for about an hour, until those in front getting quite tired at the continued halts, and fearing we should have to remain all night in this wood, pushed on, leaving every one to make the best of his own way; of which I for one

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was very glad, having had several tumbles over my leading file, or the man before me, whom I soon passed on learning the last order; and, with the exception of coming in contact with a tree or two, which made my nose bleed, I soon reached the clear space about a mile from the beach, where our optics were again called into requisition.

We mustered our party on reaching the boats, and found there were many absentees; but leaving one boat for the stragglers, we pushed on and reached the camp, half famished and caked with mud, where I discovered I had had a musket-ball through my cap. The other boat soon followed us, having brought all the party except the drummer of marines, who had not turned up when they left the place of embarkation. Having refreshed ourselves with a good meal and four hours' sleep, we again started for the camp, taking with us the two small mortars, every man carrying three shells and a fifteen-pound bag

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of powder; our men taking it turn and turn about with the artillery-men to carry the heavy parts of the apparatus; the officers themselves each having a bag of powder to carry, and frequently a musket or two belonging to the men. We were obliged to make frequent halts, and had the greatest difficulty in ascending some of the steep and slippery hills, the men not unfrequently coming down with their loads, which rolling to the bottom of the hill, gave us the extra work of taking them up a second time. We had a few shot-boxes of shells, some of which went to pieces from the repeated tumbles; and we had to divide them amongst us, carrying them in the bosoms of our blue frocks. Thus loaded we reached the camp, where we were greeted with three hearty cheers from the combined forces, our little iron friends making us a very welcome reinforcement. The artillery-men immediately set to work planting the mortars, and making such other preparations as were

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necessary, whilst we joined in the skirmishing which was still going on. I was anxious to see the effect of the shell, and crawled on through the bush as near the enemy's stockade as possible, and had not to wait long before I heard the report of the first mortar: the shell pitched rather short, of which I immediately gave notice, after which they fell very well, most of them going into what we supposed to be the centre of the pah. Several of the natives were driven from their ambush, and retreated in great haste; I got a shot at one or two of them, but after the first six or seven shells I did not see a soul move. We however continued shelling the place for several hours, the result of which will be seen in the following Dispatch from Major Last to the Governor: --

"Porirua, 10th August, 1846."

Sir, --At daylight on the morning of the 5th instant, I proceeded in the boats of her Majesty's ships Calliope and Driver up the

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harbour of Porirua, landed about a mile and a half distant, and pressed forward into the Horikiva valley, five or six miles over a road almost impassable for troops; crossing numerous streams and rivulets, passing various encampments that the enemy had recently left, evidently retreating in the greatest confusion; leaving behind them the bugle taken from the troops in the attack which was so gallantly repulsed by the detachment of the 58th regiment in the Valley of the Hutt, on the 16th of May last, which had been retained by the rebels as a trophy, and was recovered by the militia. About half-past two o'clock P.M. we came up with our native allies, and a party of militia under the command of Captain M'Donough, who were lying at the foot of a precipitous hill covered with wood, near the summit of which I learnt the enemy were supposed to be posted. The troops then commenced hutting themselves for the night. On the following morning I gave orders for

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the advance, directing the native allies to proceed on to cover it.

"The first division, consisting of seven officers and 127 men of the force, made up of seamen, soldiers, militia, and armed police, was under the command of Major Arney, 58th regiment.

"The second division, of five officers and 117 men of similar detail, was under the command of Captain Armstrong, 99th regiment. At about nine o'clock A.M. we ascended the hill, preceded by an officer and a party of men with tools to cut away the wood, to facilitate our getting up. After ascending with great difficulty about a mile, we suddenly discovered that the enemy had established himself in a stockade on the spur of a hill, which was not only excessively steep and precipitous upon each side, but so narrow in places that only a few men could proceed abreast.

"The stockade that was visible appeared

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very strong, composed of heavy logs of timber placed horizontally one over another, with loopholes to fire through. Some of the enemy having appeared in front, a heavy fire was opened on both sides: they made repeated attempts to turn our left flank, but were driven back with great loss to their position.

"I regret to state, that in the action our loss was severe, having two killed and nine wounded, as will be seen by the annexed return. I particularly lament the loss of a most promising young officer, Ensign Blackburn, 99th regiment, who was acting-brigade-major, and who evinced the greatest zeal and gallantry on the occasion. The firing lasted till dark, when, finding my position unfavourable to occupy at night, I left two officers and 120 men to assist our native allies to watch the enemy, and again took up the post I had left in the morning. The enemy admitted to have lost five killed and two wounded; among

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the number, one chief named Te Oro, and Tapuke, the murderer of Richard Rush at the Hutt.

On the 8th instant, having been reinforced by a Captain, Subaltern, and eleven of the Royal Artillery with two small mortars, under the direction of Captain Henderson of that corps, I again advanced towards the position, although I found great obstacles in using shells, from the loftiness of the trees, which interrupted our view of the enemy: we, however, succeeded in throwing a number into the stockade, and so continued to harass them throughout the day. The enemy kept up a fire upon us during the whole time. His position having been thus felt, and ascertained to be defended by strong entrenchments thrown across the steep and narrow ridge of lofty and densely wooded hills, the rebels being in retreat, there was every reason to believe that their intention was to pour a few destructive volleys into our men as they advanced, crowded as they must have been in so narrow a space

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along the steep ridge, and then to fly into the woods in the rear; thus abandoning without loss a position which, from the want of supplies, it was impossible for them to retain for more than a few days. It did not appear expedient to incur so large a sacrifice of life to attain a post useless in itself, and which must soon have been ours without any loss. Moreover, the destruction of so many of her Majesty's troops, without any equivalent proportion on the partof Rangahiata, might have produced a bad impression on the country in general, and have destroyed the effect of our previous successes. Taking into consideration also the want of facilities for provisioning so large a force, I at last accepted the offers made by the friendly chiefs, to permit them to remain on the ground, and locate themselves in temporary pahs, whilst they cleared the scrub and erected round the enemy a palisade after the maori system of warfare, so as to cut off his means of obtaining either water or provisions, and thus

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either capture him or force him to fly from his position. In addition to the before-mentioned obstacles opposed to me, the rear of my position was subjected to constant floods: I therefore deemed it right to make arrangements for withdrawing my forces from the Horikiva valley to the pah of Pauhatauni and Porirua point, leaving the native allies to carry out their own plans, and reserving the troops for further operations when required. Your Excellency having seen our position, and being well aware of all the difficulties and impediments, as well as hardships, to which the force under my command have been subjected, I need not dwell further in describing them. I cannot close this report without expressing my particular obligations to Major Arney, 58th regiment, my second in command, for the advice and assistance he at all times rendered me. To Captain Armstrong, 99th regiment, commanding the second division; Captain Henderson, commanding Royal artillery; Lieut. Elliott, 99th regiment, acting

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engineer; and to Ensign Servantes, 96th regiment, interpreter to the forces, my best thanks are due.

"I must thank Captain Stanley, of her Majesty's ship Calliope, for his assistance in forwarding the operations. I also received the best aid from the officers and seamen of her Majesty's ships Calliope and Driver. Lieutenants Sharpe and Connolly, and all under their command, deserve the highest praise. The wounded received the best attention from Dr. Galbraith and the other medical officers under his direction. I have every reason to be satisfied with the exertions of the Commissariat Department; and I must not omit to mention the meritorious conduct of Captain M'Donough and the militia under his command, as well as that of all the officers, noncommissioned officers, seamen, soldiers, and police force employed on this occasion.

"It further affords me satisfaction to speak of the great service the native allies of Port

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Nicholson rendered me, as well as the friendly portion of the Ngatitoa tribe, who joined us; and beg to thank the chiefs of the several parties for the zeal and exertion of themselves and followers.

"I have the honour to be, &c,
(Signed) "EDWARD LAST,
"Major 99th Regt., commanding the Troops, Southern Division.
"His Excellency Governor Grey, &c"

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