1890? - McDonnell, Thomas. General Chute's campaign on the West Coast. - General Chutes's Campaign on the West Coast, p 1-12

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  1890? - McDonnell, Thomas. General Chute's campaign on the West Coast. - General Chutes's Campaign on the West Coast, p 1-12
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IT was on Tuesday, 23rd November, 1865, that the s.s. "Stormbird', arrived at Wanganui with the Native Contingent from Opotiki, where they had been for upwards of three months, assisting to punish the murderers of the Rev. C. S. Volkner. Many hundreds of the good people of Wanganui lined the banks of the river as the "Stormbird" slowly steamed up to the township with the Contingent on board, who were firing volleys announcing their arrival to the tribes assembled at the native pa at Putiki. His Honour Dr. Featherston, accompanied by Dr., now Sir Walter Buller, Major Durie, Major Von Tempsky, Major Nixon, Hori Kingi te Anaua, and other venerable chiefs, came on board and welcomed us most warmly; and the natives assembled at Putiki danced a tremendous war-dance in our honour. After these greetings were over, the Contingent in a succession of speeches, recounting their warlike deeds, knocked into chaos everything that their ancestors had done before them. Their achievements, and the valorous deeds performed by them, related by their chiefs, astonished me; and I mentally exclaimed: What magnificent historians these fellows would make! (They would have knocked our own despatch writer into a cocked hat). The boastful tone so irritated an old chief that he sneeringly asked if they had eaten all the enemy killed by them. "No," was the reply. "I thought not," rejoined the toothless old warrior, "So what is the good of all you say you have done! You have by your own account killed brave men, and not retained any of their courage!"

The following day Dr. Featherston met the Wanganui tribes at Putiki, when the chiefs agreed to form a body of kupapa (native force), to act as a support to the Contingent, and Major-General Chute. After a day or two of rest, Dr. Featherston announced his intention to uncover the Moutoa Monument; and thousands of people assembled

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in the Market Square, where it had been erected, to commemorate the battle of Moutoa. The banner, worked and presented by Mrs. Logan and the ladies of Wanganui, was unfurled for the first time. His Honour, uncovering the monument, delivered an oration, in which he said:--

"This statue will act on the natives as the Victoria Cross on British troops; will, in fact, be to them a Victoria Cross. It will, I am convinced, stimulate the natives who are about to accompany the gallant forces, Imperial and Colonial, under General Chute, on an expedition against the treacherous, plundering, murdering tribes on the coast, to still greater deeds of valour--will make them determined not to return until the objects of the expedition have been fully accomplished--not to return until they are in a position to make a further appeal to Mrs. Logan and the ladies of Wanganui to inscribe upon the "flag of Moutoa" the names of other victories greater and more decisive in their result than those they have already won... And now, uncovering this statue, I, on behalf of the province, dedicate it to the memory of the brave men who fell on the 14th May, 1864, in defence of law and order, against fanaticism and barbarism." After several hearty cheers, the assembly dispersed. A banquet was given that evening to about one hundred and twenty natives and chiefs, at which Dr. Featherston and some of the leading settlers attended.

During the festivities inside Dunleavy's Hotel, 300 Maoris were feasted outside in the Market Place, close to the Monument. A booth which had been erected for the occasion was too small to accommodate the whole of the guests; but all was done outside to give them plenty to eat; and two barrels of beer were provided for those who chose to partake of it. The most perfect sobriety and good feeling prevailed, and the crowd dispersed to their homes at an early hour.


The Chiefs Matene, Pehi, and a large following of Hauhaus, came down from Tuhua, Mangareni-te-ao, and Pipiriki, nearly 300 strong, and camped at Tawhitinui above the Island of Moutoa. This island is a drift of shingle, about 280 yards long and 30 wide, in the centre of the Wanganui River just above the village of Hiruharama, at which place were a number of friendly natives, about 150; from this settlement people could wade to the island, as the water was only up to the knee: but on the other side it was deep and rapid: the surface of the island was broken and undulating. The Hauhaus, from where they had located themselves, could only reach the island in their canoes. Before daybreak on the 14th May, 1864, a party of friendly natives, headed by a chief named Henare Napi, posted themselves on the upper extremity of the island where the enemy were to land. It

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ought to be mentioned that the Hauhau Chiefs wished the loyal natives to let them pass down the river to attack the town of Wanganui; but the friendlies protested against this, and seized their guns and prepared to bar their passage. Matene and the Hauhaus landed on the island unmolested in their war canoes, formed up, and advanced singing their incantations of Hauhau. This was kept up for a considerable time, when the first shot was fired by one of the enemy, Hoani Winihere, a Pipiriki man. Kereti, a friendly chief, now charged the enemy with his men, and several vollies were exchanged, when Kereti fell shot dead; his band then retreated on the reserves, who in place of supporting them, retired in disorder to the lower end of the island, and the battle would have been won by the Hauhaus but for Haimona Hiroti, who declared he would go no further, and with twenty of his own tribe poured a volley into the enemy, who were charging down in a compact body. Every bullet seemed to tell; for the discharge opened a gap through their ranks. The rest of the friendlies rallied, and it now became a hand-to-hand fight; soon the Hauhaus broke and fled, rushing into the water where the river was deep. In the endeavour to gain the opposite bank many were shot in the water; and others were drowned. Matene, the head chief who had been wounded, was swimming away for his life, but Te Mooro, a friendly native, dashed into the water after him with his tomahawk, and killed him after repeated blows, just as he had gained the shore. Matene, who was related to Te Mooro, begged his life; but no heed was paid to his entreaties, so Matene said, "You will be served in time as you now serve me," and died. (Several years afterwards, curious to tell, Te Mooro was sitting on the ground in front of his house, when a halfwitted native, who had hitherto been considered perfectly harmless, stole behind him, and with a spade split his skull open, and killed him on the spot. When asked why he had done this he smiled vacantly, and said that he had been told to do so by an atua, a spirit.) Some fifty of the enemy were killed, and some scores were wounded. The friendly natives lost twelve killed, and had about thirty wounded. Lay-brother Euloge was also shot dead, bravely fighting in front of his flock. All the enemy's canoes fell into the victors' hands, and quantities of valuable mats and weapons, but the canoes alone were worth several hundreds of pounds to the Natives. Such was the Moutoa fight, in memory of which the monument was erected at a cost of about £1,200.

The result of this battle was undoubtedly very satisfactory, but it would have been better had the friendlies retreated to Wanganui and let the Hauhaus follow, there were but 300 of them, and they had determined to attack the town, which at the time had plenty of defenders, and the fanatics believed themselves to be bomb-proof. The plan they had laid down was simplicity itself--they had settled to land at

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Aramoho, a mile or so above the town, on the river bank, form up, and march straight to Victoria Avenue, the main street, when the whole town would fall into their hands, the inhabitants would become paralyzed and fall an easy prey, no bullets would have any effect on themselves, the banks and houses would be sacked, all Europeans were to be killed, &c. Now, as the town was well garrisoned at the time, if these fellows had been permitted to attack it as they intended, it is easy to see that not one of them would have escaped to tell the tale.

Soon after our arrival in Wanganui I received a message one evening from General Chute that he wished to see me. On attending at his quarters the General told me he intended making a short decisive campaign of it, and that I had been sent for with the Contingent to form part of the force he was to command; replying to some questions about my natives, and the country we were about to enter, I gave him a short account of the proceedings that led to the capture of the Weraroa pa, of my visit to the Putahi stronghold, and of my narrow escape from being sacrificed; at which the General and Mr. Strickland, Commissary-General, who was present, were much interested, especially when I told him that I had taken notice of the surroundings of Te Putahi during my stay there, in case at some future time I might have again to operate against it. After replying to a few more questions, and promising at his request to give him all the information I could from time to time, I bade him and the Commissary-General (the late Sir Edward Strickland) good-night. The following day I paraded the Native Contingent at Putiki, when some of the Ngatihau portion of the corps openly stated that they would not go on the expedition unless they had a fortnight's leave, to recruit up the river. They had been instigated to this by certain malcontents. As I knew this troublesome and all but useless section, I determined to make an example of them the next day. I said nothing, but dismissed the parade, and ordered another for the next morning, to appear with all arms and accoutrements. In the meanwhile I selected from the Wanganuis some dozen or so young active fellows, and told them to be handy, with my brother William, when the morning parade met. The next day the Contingent paraded bag and baggage, and I gave the order to march to the Market Square, which was to be their camp till the General gave the word; but the troublesome section refused to move.

"You won't march?"


"Pile arms." This order was obeyed.

"Right-about turn."

This being done, I ordered the men I had previously arranged with to possess themselves of the rifles and accoutrements; the latter were quickly stripped from the mutineers, and the new men fell

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into the ranks, and marched off to the Market Place, pitched tents, and the difficulty was settled; and twenty-odd useless men were sent to the right-about face. Soon after these small details were settled, General Chute moved out to Camp Weraroa, and our orders came to join his force there the following day. Dr. Featherston was to accompany us. The Kupapas, under old Hori Kingi te Anaua, had already marched to Weraroa. At daybreak I fell in the men after breakfast; but on the word "march," they grounded arms. They now demanded their pay; they had not had any for three months, all the time they had been at Opotiki, and were quite without money to purchase tobacco, &c. I knew that this was true; and feeling anxious, I went and roused up His Honor Dr. Featherston; but he could give me no assistance, as it was a General Government matter. He declared that it was a monstrous shame about the pay; but that General Chute would be furious at the delay, "I hope he will," I rejoined, "but place the blame on the right men." At last, seeing nothing else for it, I went to the Bank of New South Wales, and drew out a hundred pounds of my own which I had saved; with this I returned to the Square, and placed it on the ground before the men. "This," I said, "is my own money, it is all I have. Take it, purchase the tobacco you want, and return in half-an-hour, and let us march to the Weraroa. Let it not be said you refused to join your chief and General Chute because Government had not sent you your pay." I then went to tell His Honor what I had done, and asked him, in case of accident to myself, to see that the money was refunded. This he promised, with many thanks to me, and said that the country would gratefully remember my action, &c., &c. 1 True to time, the Native Contingent re-assembled, and marched gaily off to the Weraroa, where we were joined by Von Tempsky and his rangers.

On the 2nd of January we crossed the Waitotara River, and marched for Okotuku Pa, the stronghold of the Ngarauru. We pitched our camp near the bush at the foot of the range, on the summit of which was the enemy's position and cultivations surrounded by forest. No signs had yet been seen of the enemy; but about 3 p.m. a party of Hauhaus, in fighting order, advanced from a few huts at the foot of the wooded hill, and opened fire on us. I was conversing with Dr. Featherston, when the volley rattled about our ears. The Contingent seized their arms, and led by the Doctor and myself, engaged them. They soon broke, and took the bush up the hill; but without a halt we pursued them on a broad track up to the top of the range, where we found ourselves on a level piece of ground shaped

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like a kite, at the broad end of which stood a palisaded pa. This we rushed before the defenders manned their pits, several Hauhaus were shot, and the pa was ours. We burnt some of the whares, cut down the Niu flagstaff, on the top of which was the image of a cock, a representative of the one who crowed before Peter, this we presented to the Doctor, and then we returned to the camp and reported our victory to the General. The next day the force marched to destroy the cultivations and finish the destruction of the pa. The Contingent led the way until we reached the plateau, when we halted till the main column's arrival with the General. The first words he said when he arrived on the top were, "Well McDonnell, are there many niggers about?" "If there are any, they are at the further end where the pa is," I replied, for I had noticed the evening before, some scores of small stacks of firewood standing on the kumara fields, which had disappeared. It turned out that they had been collected and packed between the outer and inner palisadings of the pa. The Contingent now went into the bush on our right to get round to its rear, while Major Gudgeon, my brother, and Winiata, went straight for the pa, thinking no one was in it. My attention was drawn to them by the General, who asked, what the devil they were doing. "Going to take it, it seems, if there is anyone there." The words had scarcely left my lips, when from one end to the other along the whole line, poured forth a tremendous volley from the pa, cutting into us, wounding several, and knocking a button off the General's tunic. I concluded that the three who had started for thepahad been riddled with balls, for as the smoke cleared away they could not be seen; but strangely enough, at the instant before the volley was fired, they all stumbled into a large kumara pit and so escaped. The General now ordered a charge, and forward sprung the troops; another volley was fired from the pa as they advanced at the double, several men went down, but before the Hauhaus could re-load the place was entered, and several of its inmates were bayoneted. Von Tempsky went in pursuit with his Rangers, following the enemy for some distance, killing some five or six. The pa was now completely destroyed, with the cultivations, and the force returned to camp highly elated with its victory.

At daylight the next morning the General struck camp and marched for Te Putahi Pa, held by the Pakakohi. About an hour after I followed with fifty of the Contingent, leaving the rest under Hori Kingi to follow. On arriving at the ground opposite the Putahi, I found that the General had camped there. Now between here and the enemy's positions was a deep valley. The opposite hill, on top of which was the pa, was densely wooded, the road up to it, which I had gone over several months before, when I went to treat for the surrender of the Weraroa, was ten feet wide, very rough, and full of deep water-holes, that the rains had worn out from between the huge roots of the

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forest trees--natural rifle pits. On the right of this road, here and there, were steep wooded rises, while on the left in many places were precipices that overhung the Whenuakura River, some hundreds of feet below. On the summit of the hill was a clear space of many acres, the ground was level, but broken, and covered with grass and fern. In the centre of this clearing stood the pa; from where the General had had his camp it was level with the opposite side, so we could see the Hauhau war flag waving its defiance on the Niu pole, round which I had been forced to circle when I paid my visit there. I knew the ground well, and its approaches, and that fifty good men placed on this road at corners, and taking advantage of the holes described, could cause an immense loss of life to any who approached. As I came into camp I saw that the men were about to fall in. The General and Dr. Featherston called me to them, and the former said, "Now McDonnell, are your men up?" "Part of them are, and the others will be up soon. "Well, then," said the General, "we can't wait for them, we must attack that pa at once, so come along." "Are you going to attack that pa at once, sir," I asked, "and up by yon track from the valley?" "Yes, at once; let the men fall in," ordered the General. "Are you ready with your men, sir?" "No," I replied. "Then we will go without you in five minutes." I went back to where the natives I had brought with me were busily putting up my tent, and got my carbine and pouch. Ordering them to remain where they were, I returned; but in passing Capt. Vivian's tent he called to me to have some breakfast. I went, and he and Colonel Trevor were discussing a cold fowl, and ham. I knew Vivian very well. "Eat away, old fellow," I said; "it's the last breakfast you'll get; the General is going at that pa like a bulldog, straight up the track." I took a leg of the fowl, and went on straight up to the General and Dr. Featherston. "I have, General," I said, "ordered the few men I have to remain; but as I know the track I am ready to lead the way up. At the same time, as you made me promise in Wanganui to speak plainly if I saw occasion, I do so now. You will lose numbers of your men up that road, which is fortified; and if you succeed in getting to the top you will find few in the pa, but from the bush you will be fired upon. I have been there before, as I told you." The General looked vexed, but asked me into his marquee. "What is it you want, McDonnell?" "To defer your attack till 2 a.m. to-morrow; meanwhile I will scout away round, avoiding the track, and come on to the level on to one side of the pa, where you will be successful. On your return by the road, you will be the best judge if I am right in what I tell you."

That afternoon the Contingent had a skirmish with the Hauhaus in the valley; and while keeping them busy and amused in this way, I found where we could get round through the bush. Long before day-

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light the attacking force marched down the hill, and up the ridges. It was a very rough way, no track of any kind. At length we began to climb the last rise, almost a precipice; indeed the men had to hoist themselves up by roots and trees. It was now broad daylight, and the sun was well up before we reached the edge of the open. Through the light scrub and koromiko, I pointed out the pa to our General, who instantly gave his orders, and the whole force burst, as one man, into the open. The troops went straight for the pa, Von Tempsky's rangers slid round to the left, where the road came up through the bush, while the Contingent raced past the rear of the pa to the right, to the ground beyond, to intercept any who might fly. The pa was captured in five minutes; but the main road had been occupied by some hundred Hauhaus, who thought we would come that way. Hearing the firing they rushed up to help their friends, but meeting a volley from the rangers, they turned, and fell in with us. It was soon over; but, though their loss was heavy, we had several men killed and wounded; and I received a severe bullet wound above the ankle. My brother had a very curious escape. A Hauhau had just shot a corporal of the 50th Regiment dead, firing off both barrels of his gun at him. My brother had just discharged the Enfield he had. When they commenced to load, some thirty feet separated them. My brother capped his rifle before loading it; the Hauhau slid his two cartridges down first, and began to cap just as my brother sent his ramrod down his rifle; without waiting to withdraw the ramrod he fired, ramrod and all, holding the rifle at the hip, and the Hauhau fell dead, the whole passing through his body. The force now returned to camp by the bush road, and I was conveyed along in a litter. On arriving in camp the General came to see me, with Dr. Featherston and the surgeons, when he acknowledged to all present that had he marched as he had at first intended he must have lost scores of his men, and with no possibility of good results; and thanked me for the information that had led to the success of the day.

My friends now made preparations for my return to Wanganui, with the other wounded; but as it was considered advisable that I should proceed with the force, I did so, at the special request of the General and Dr. Featherston. So I went on to Patea in an ambulance, and from there to where Hawera is now, near to the once famous settlement of Taiporohenui. Dr. now Sir Walter Buller, hearing of my being wounded, rode up from Wanganui, and offered his services to lead the Contingent. There being, however, no authority for accepting his generous offer, and as the General wished to conclude as quickly as possible the work he had to do, it was gratefully declined, so after encouraging the tribe of Ngatiapa, with whom he had great influence, he returned to Wanganui.

Otapawa stronghold was now attacked and captured after severe

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fighting; many Natives were killed; and our loss was serious, including the brave Colonel Hazard of the 57th Regiment. One day's rest, and a force consisting of Europeans and Natives marched for Keteonetea; here some desperate fighting took place, and a messenger was sent to me for more Natives to help, so Dr. Featherston, myself, and Hori Kingi rode off accompanied with what men we could muster. We struck off on an inland track, a path that Kawana Paipai had taken with fifty of his men, in hot pursuit of a retreating party of Ngatiruanui, relatives of his own. As we followed on his tracks we came upon several of the enemy who had been killed. Some of them had been treated with great indignity, their legs had been tied up to trees, others had biscuits in their mouths, and pipes, &c., &c. The Doctor was horrified, but Hori Kingi smiled and said, "Paipai, I see, has been amusing himself with his relatives." It appeared that the news of the expedition, before it had started, had reached the Ngatiruanui, also that Paipai was coming too, so a messenger was sent to him that he should eat dirt and walk on his head if he dared to come. "They will make me eat dirt and walk on my head?" said the old warrior--"wait till I get hold of them!" On return to camp the Doctor took him severely to task for his unfeeling conduct, and threatened to return and not accompany the force unless this mode of treating the dead was put an end to. "Look here Petatone," said old Paipai, "don't you interfere in family matters. I came here to kill my relations to please you, and the Queen, and the General, and McDonnell. I am the best judge as to the treatment of my relations after they are dead, to teach the others not to send impertinent messages to me their chief in future. They knew I was coming to fight for the Queen, and I sent them word to clear out. I don't mind them fighting against the Queen, but they have fought against me, their chief, so I treated them with contempt after I had killed them for their impudence. Naku ano aku whanaunga!! My relations are my own, and when those who have escaped see the bodies they will say 'This is Paipai's hand, truly he must be angry with us.' Shame will then cause them to hang their heads, and they will then say 'Kaati,' it is enough. My relations are mine, Doctor; I am responsible, not you. Hurrah for the Queen!" The Doctor smoked very vigorously for a while in silence, and Paipai took his leave. "Brutes," at length ejaculated the Doctor after he had gone. "I don't know that," said I. Some twelve or fourteen villages had been burnt, and two pas taken, and the defeat of the Ngatiruanui tribes was completed.

It was now that the General contemplated marching through the bush round Mount Egmont; but tremendous opposition was offered to this. Nevertheless Dr. Featherston and I worked hard, and at last the Native Chiefs consented, but I had my suspicions that all was not straight. The Chiefs had said yes, to the Doctor, and he had gone to

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tell the General it was all right. So the force was to march at 3 a.m., next day. Dr. Featherston slept in my tent, but had his meals with the General. During his absence at dinner, Winiata Tonihi came quietly to my tent, where I was lying helpless and ill from my wound, and said, "One word: the Natives won't march to-morrow; so be prepared." This confirmed my suspicions. I sent for the Doctor, but he did not come till after ten, when I told him the news. We sent for the senior Native officer, who was really one of the prime movers of this. As usual he said that the men would not obey him. I desired him to retire. The Doctor was very angry. "I have," he said, "told General Chute that at last all was settled, every obstacle overcome, and now he will be furious. He can't go without Natives and guides through a trackless forest." At last I thought I saw a way out of the difficulty. I said, "I'll send my brother for old Hori Kingi, and you must ask him to go with you for old friendship's sake. You must press this your own way, and I will interpret. He will consent, and tell the Natives, who of course will muster a sufficiently strong party to go with him." Hori came to the tent, and I began, "The Doctor wishes to speak to you, as he is off to-morrow morning with the army round the mountain." Dr. Featherston then made a short straightforward speech to the effect that, understanding at the eleventh hour that the Natives had decided from the first not to go, he had sent for Hori to request he would accompany him in the morning with the troops. Hori was deeply moved, but said "I am lame. Behold my foot." "My ankle is severely sprained," said the Doctor, "yet I went with your Natives a day or two since wherever they went. It is very painful now, but I start to-morrow, and you, Hori, will accompany me. It shall never be said that the whole of the Wanganuis were frightened of a few runaways of the Ngatiruanui whom we have beaten. You and I must prevent this evil thing." The blood rose to the old chief's brow, and his whole face changed. "If," said he, "all Europeans had acted like you, like chiefs, we had not now been at war. You have been our father. Hori te Anaua speaks now: I will go with you and the Queen to-morrow; but will not return to my tribe. You both shall hear me tell them this. Listen to my words," and he rose and stood at the tent-opening. It was a bright clear night, and the Contingent tents showed out clear and distinct, and not a rustle was heard, as the old warrior spoke. "0 Wanganui! Wanganui! Farewell. The tribe, farewell! The past, farewell! Farewell forever! Listen to me now, it is a last word. Hearken unto me, I, Hori te Anaua, leave with my father Dr. Featherston, and the Queen to-morrow. Farewell to you, 0 tribe, farewell! I have spoken, it is enough."

As Hori Kingi spoke, low murmurs came from the tents. I could feel that his words were awakening a thrilling response, and then a deep wailing cry arose from the women. Hori re-entered the tent,

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and grasping each of us by the hand, said in a low voice, "They are my children: some of them will come with their father."

A shrill voice was now heard addressing the tribe, Chief after Chief of the plotters succeeded the one now speaking, all in opposition, but a roar from the Contingent echoed through the Camp. The plotters' names were mixed with English oaths of a very unmistakeable character. "We have been told, Hori," they shouted out, "that you did not wish us to go; but find we have been deceived by those officers of ours." And though it wanted now an hour of the time to parade, tents were struck, baggage packed, and over eighty of the flower of the Contingent, with cries of "To Taranaki! to Taranaki!" formed up on parade, ready to march.

The General now looked in to wish me good-bye. Little then he knew of the night's work we had gone through. One of the principal plotters now sneaked forward to tell the Doctor and me how pleased he felt that at last the Natives had consented to go, and how superhuman his struggles had been for this end, and then asked for a glass of rum, as he was exhausted. I jumped up, regardless for the moment of my painful wound, and kicked the rascally hypocrite out of the tent. The force fell in and marched away on their uncertain journey through a pathless forest.

The first day the advance-guard fell in with a small party of Hauhaus, and shot several of them; the rest fled in all directions. After several days' privations from scarcity of food, some horses were shot and served out to the troops, who all behaved admirably. At length, after a tedious journey, or scramble, the General reached Taranaki without the loss of a single man. Here he was most warmly welcomed by the authorities, and the men were feasted to their hearts' content. After recruiting here for a few days, the General began his march back to Wanganui by the coast, to punish certain tribes living in the neighbourhood of Warea.

The small army severely chastised the Hauhaus at Waikoukou, the leader of them being the Chief Tohu, since celebrated from his alliance with Te Whiti. Two days after this the force reached Waingongoro, and from there the General and Staff returned to Wanganui, and on to Wellington, where he was banqueted, and publicly thanked by His Excellency Sir George Grey, for the distinguished service he had rendered the Colony. Her Majesty conferred on him the honour of K.C.B., and never was that decoration better deserved than by this brave man.

As I was prevented by my wound from accompanying the force round the mountain, I went to Waingongoro with the Natives who had remained. While here I accompanied Colonel Butler, with two Companies of the 57th, and the Natives, and destroyed Pungarehu and Ahipaipa. On our return a few days afterwards, Kawana Hunia

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of Ngatiapa obtained permission to go out foraging near the bush, with about 150 Natives. On his return he informed me had fallen in with some Hauhaus, and had killed three men. This I reported to Colonel Butler, but some of the officers did not believe Hunia's statement. The next morning he again got leave to go out. My tent had been pitched for me in a sunny spot, from whence I had a good view of the plains and distant bush, and on the afternoon of the second day the Natives had gone with Hunia, I heard them coming home singing a war-song; and looking out, saw them advancing in procession, dancing and shouting, a noted brave leading some ten paces in front, holding a long sapling, which had been stripped of its leaves, except at the top where they were tied together in a bunch. He continued to advance until within a few feet of the opening of my tent, when the rest formed up in a half circle. The sapling was then lowered until the bunch of leaves lay in my lap as I sat upright on my bed, and with loud cries I was requested to untie it. I did so, and to my disgust found two ears of a man. "Who now says we told untruths?" screamed the Natives, and then one fellow darted forward. "Give those to the officers for their breakfast," he yelled. Then another shouted with his tongue inches out of his mouth, "Cook them for their lunch;" another proposed that they should dine off them. When I could make myself heard I told them I was ashamed of their conduct, and ordered them to take the ears away and bury them, or else I would inform Colonel Butler. They took them away, but nailed them to a cabbage tree, and a young colt who was tethered to it nibbled them off, and chewed them up. Now, will it be believed, certain people spread a report that I had shot a Native, and in revenge for having been wounded at the Putahi I cut off his ears and nailed them to the door of my hut! But I did not hear of this till several years after, when I read it in a book on New Zealand. And this is how History is manufactured!


1   Many months after, thanks to the exertions of Major Gudgeon, I got most of this money back in driblets; but some £30 was lost. But the less said about the gratitude of the country, for relieving it of a difficulty in an hour of need, the better.

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