1869 - McDonnell, Thomas. An Explanation of the Principal Causes which led to the Present War on the West Coast of New Zealand. - Appendix, p 46-48

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  1869 - McDonnell, Thomas. An Explanation of the Principal Causes which led to the Present War on the West Coast of New Zealand. - Appendix, p 46-48
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Head Quarters, Queen's Redoubt,

October 20th, 1863.

SIR--I am directed by the Lieut.-General commanding, to request you will have the goodness to convey to Messrs. Von Tempskey and McDonnell, of the force under your command, his thanks for their exertions and zeal on the occasion of their recent hazardous visits to the neighbourhood of the enemy's position at Paparata, and his best thanks for the information they have given.

I have, &c.,

(Signed) L. J. GAMBLE,

Lieut.-Colonel, D.Q.M. General.

Lieut.-Colonel Nixon,

Commanding Moveable Column, Papakura.

Camp Papakura, 21st October, 1863.

SIR--I have great pleasure in forwarding a letter from the Deputy Quarter-Master General of the Forces, conveying the thanks of the Lieutenant-General Commanding, for the services recently rendered by yourself and Ensign Von Tempskey, in your reconnoissance of the enemy's position near Paparata. In transmitting the approval of the Lieutenant-General Commanding, I cannot refrain from expressing my own admiration at the courage and skill with which you carried out the duty for which you volunteered.

I have, &c.,


Lieut.-Colonel Commanding Moveable Column.


In front of Wereroa Pa,

21st July, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR--I hear from Captain Ross that you have another pa, on your side to take, to enable you to do this we shall make a sham attack on the main pa of Weraroa from this side to-morrow morning, at daylight, and seize a position ourselves; I wish you continued success. McDonnell has acted splendidly.

Yours truly,


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EXTRACT from Sir G. GREY'S Despatch to the SECRETARY of STATE for the Colonies.

Major Rookes informed me that the conduct of Captain McDonnell is especially deserving of notice, for distinguished gallantry and energy. * * * *


Captain McDonnell, who commanded this force deserves the greatest credit for the very able manner in which he has performed this important duty. * * *

Colonial Defence Office,

Wellington, 13th November, 1865.


The perseverance and courage displayed by Major McDonnell and the whole of the force under his command, during their march through a difficult country, for three days without rest, and almost without provisions, more than justify the confidence which the colony feels in both its European and Native Force, and I have to request you will convey to Major McDonnell, the officers and men, Europeans and Natives, who were engaged in this Expedition, the thanks of the Government for their services. * * *

And again, in the same letter--

The skill with which Major McDonnell carried out Major Stapp's instructions, and the self-reliance he showed in prosecuting his march, when on arriving at the Heads of Ohiwa, he found that the native chief who had reported he had surrounded Kereopa, had left without leaving any message, are deserving of the highest praise, and adds another to the many acts of daring and gallantry this officer has performed in the service of the colony during the present war. * * *

(Signed) T. M. HAULTAIN.

[EXTRACT.] Colonial Defence Office,

Wellington, 23rd February, 1866.

SIR--By direction of the Hon. the Defence Minister I have the honor to inform you that in recognition of your valuable services during the late engagements, under Major-General Chute, his Excellency the Governor has been pleased to promote you to be full Major in the New Zealand Militia, from the 8th January.

I have, &c.,


Major McDonnell.

[EXTRACT.] Colonial Defence Office,

Wellington, 10th October, 1866.

I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 4th instant, informing me of your attack on the rebel position at Pungarehu, which you surprised on the

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morning of the 2nd instant, inflicting heavy loss on the enemy, and destroying their fortification, with a quantity of arms and ammunition.

Whilst regretting the loss of several brave men, the Government have received with much satisfaction, your report of the gallantry and good conduct of those who were engaged, and this I have to request you will communicate both to the Europeans and to the Native Contingent, and particularly to those whom you have named in your letter.

At the same time I wish to recognise the enterprise and ability you have displayed in planning and successfully carrying out a very difficult operation. * * *

(Signed) T. M. HAULTAIN.

EXTRACT from letter relating to the attack of Tirotiro Moana.

Colonial Defence Office,

Wellington, 1st November, 1866.

* * * In this as on former occasions, the Government fully recognise the intrepidity and perseverance shewed by the officers and men (Europeans and Native Contingent) engaged in the expedition, and your own skill and bravery in leading them through a difficult and almost unknown country.

I have, &c.,

(Signed by order) T. HOLT.

Major McDonnell.

[EXTRACT.] Colonial Defence Office,

Wellington, 26th July, 1867.

* * * You have by your promptitude, courage, and good judgment, obtained important results with very limited means, and I have to convey the thanks of the Government to you, Captain Cummin, and to the officers and men who so zealously supported you. * * *

I have, &c.,


Major McDonnell.

There are many other testimonials I have, which I need not publish, I simply publish these few to show that I would, had the means been placed at my disposal, and had I been unfettered and left alone, have brought native affairs in the Patea district, to a proper and peaceful issue.


Printed by Walter Taylor, 'Times' Office, Wanganui, New Zealand.

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