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BAY OF ISLANDS.

In our last number we gave a brief outline of the insurrection of the Natives at the Bay of Islands, of which, intelligence had been brought here by the Government brig Victoria, on Friday, the 14th instant. On Sunday morning H. M. S. Hazard, the United States Corvette St. Louis, and the English whaler Matilda, arrived from the Bay of Islands, conveying hither all the inhabitants of the destroyed town of Kororarika, with such little property that some had been fortunate to save. The unfortunate result may be ascribed to the absence of a Commander of the whole forces ; one with sufficient martial authority over the Naval and Military, as well as possessing the confidence of the civilians. It is quite clear that the Natives took the inhabitants by surprise and evinced most determined bravery, as well as humanity towards the settlors. They are, it is said, as much astonished as the Europeans at the sequel, the numbers of the two attacking divisions being about 900. The Europeans, inclusive of sailors and soldiers, lost about 12 killed, and 20 wounded. Of the Natives, more than 30 were killed in the action, and above 70 wounded, most of them dangerously. Great praise is due to many individuals for their bravery and exertions ; and to Mr. Polack in particular, for the surrender of his house and premises for the use and protection of the settlers, their families, and their property. We are happy to hear that Captain Robertson of H. M. S. Hazard, is going on favorably ; two balls have been extracted, and it is hoped that very soon, another, lodged in a more dangerous part, may undergo similar operation. He is in excellent spirits, and we fervently trust that this gallant young officer znay soon be restored to the service, the honor and character of which he has so nobly maintained. On Saturday last, at the meeting of the Legislative Council, the Governor postponed the regular business of the day, and then communicated the information he had received relative to the circumstances, of which we have given report in our proceedings of the Legislative Council. On Monday the Magistrates held a meeting, for the purpose of taking into consideration the most proper steps to be adopted in the present emergency. There were present : J. J. Symonds, Thomas Beckham, John Watson, Esqrs., Police Magistrates. Theophilus Heale, Jer. Nagle, P. D. Hogg, J, Scott, R. A. Fitzgerald, H. Thompson, F. Whitaker, and Wm, Spain, Esqrs., Justices of the Peace. Tho following Resolutions were passed : — . 1. That in consequence of the recent events at the Bay of Islands, and from information received, they consider it necessary, that all the inhabitants between the ages of 18 and 60 years be sworn in as Special Constables, organised and drilled. ." 2. That a Committee of the followingMagistrates be formed foy the purpose of taking the necessary steps for organizing, forming companies, appointing stations for the civic guard ; viz. : Thomas Beckham, J. J. Symonds, J, Scott, F. Whitaker, T. Heale, and H. Thompson, Esqrs. ; and that three shall form a quorum. His Excellency the Governor having approved of these Resolutions, the Magistrates, on Tuesday, proceeded to swear in the inhabitant's as Special Constables, and they have been divided into three cow-

panies ; but as it is contemplated to pass a Bill for embodying Militia, more regular concerted operations in such respect, will soon be put into practice. The Russell arrived from the Bay of Islands on Thursday, which place she left on Monday morning. By her it is reported that nine more Europeans have been murdered by the natives, since tho conflict at ' Kororarika, but there are some doubts of the authenticity of this rumour to the extent stated. The Lady Leigh, schooner, arrived from Sydney yesterday morning, and brings the gratifying 1 intelligence that 11. M. S. North J Star was to leave Sydney about the 10th instant, with Three hundred Troops. Wo would earnestly impress on the minds of all the urgent prudence of being circumspect and forbearing towards tho natives. The most trifling incident — and quite unintentional — may lead to most serious consequences. For other most important reasons, would wo urge avoidance of the least tendency to affront, or injustice, even in jest. — How useful and auxiliary the natives are in the supply of food to the settlers here, is well known, and now that the population of Auckland has received such increase from all quarters, they are still more, dependent on them, and it cannot be denied that very much is in the power of the natives in this respect, exclusive of any hostile intentions. Of all the evils of civil war, famine is the most appalling and most destructive. However, there is an important circumstance, to which we would call the attention of Government, which is, that on Thursday night there were some hundreds of natives, comparatively strangers, in the town of Auckland and neighbourhood, some of whom had arms concealed. It is obvious the town might be fired in various places in the dead of night, as there are here many evil disposed Europeans as well as natives. There should be a VFalcarongo issued immediately, ordering all natives j out of the town beyond a certain distance | before sunset, and there should be night patroles or picquets on the hills close around the town. Since the above was written, we have been favored with the Dispatches regarding the attack on Kororarika by the Natives, which, we publish as affording more detailed information on that disastrous affair : — H. M. S. Hazard, March 15, 1845. Sir, — I have the honour to report that between the hours of 4 and 5 o'clock on the morning of the 11th instant, Capt. Robertson of H. M. S. Hazard, with about 45 seamen and mariners', proceeded from j their quarters on shore, for the night, at Kororarika, Bay of Islands, to a hill on the right of the road leading to Matavia Bay, commanding the town, for the purpose of throwing up an entrenchment ; the morning was thick and hazy. On their departnre I proceeded to the Barracks to turn out the detachment, by way of precaution, not having at the same time auy reason to suspect a movement on the part of the natives towards the town. Captain Robertson had arrived on the hill, when they were attached fay about 200 natives. The detachment, having slept armed and accoutred, arms loaded, formed immediately in front of the Barracks, when Mr. Mowbroy and Mr. Spain, R. N., came to me, and begged of me not to fire on the party in front, which I was about to do, as they had been cut off from their party, and then knew not which, the seamen or the natives, were nearest to us. I then immediately commenced firing in extended order on parties of natives who made their appearance, scattered on the hill to the left of the barracks towards Onoro beach, and checked their advance on the barracks ; we were also fired upon from the rising ground behind the barracks. On looking round, I was first aware that the natives had possession of the block-house on Flag -staff hill. At the time I received a message from Lient. Morgan, R N., informing me that a party of natives were at the church, at the back of the town ; I advanced in extended order to dislodge them, firing in our way upon natives who appeared amongst the houses in our front. I then learnt, I forget from whom, that the seamen had nearly expended their ammunition, and turned back towards the beach to join them, when they appeared at some distance from the beach, as on their way to the stockade (Mr. Polack's house), advancing towards us, having effectually driven back the natives, who I observed retiring down the road to Matavia Bay, I then moved on to the lower blockhouse, which, commands the stockade, which the seamen soon took possession of, and in which were the town's people and women and children ; I found Ensign Campbell and his party in the block-house, checking the advance of tne body of natives who were in possession of Flagstaff hill and the gullies between the upper and lower block-houses ; I did not enter the block-house then or afterwards ; I remained outside on a platform in front, wheie the seamen from the Hazard were working two ship guns, assisted by — Hector, Esq., and two of the town's people (old soldiers I believe) ; my party commenced firing, there was loom for no more on the platform, they fired from the sloping ground on each side of the block-house ] towards the rear of the building, also on the natives on the adjoining hill behind Mr. Beckham's house, this hill is deeply covered with brushwood, a very sharp fire was kept up by the natives, and was well and effectually returned by us, this continued all the morning— two or three of the seamen joined us ; a party of my detachment also assisted Mr. Campbell in the block-house, as many as had room, the remainder were in the stockade with the seamen and town's people, commanded by Lieut. Phillpotts, R.N. After a considerable time, I went down to the stockade to get some ammunition for the ship-guns, and loft Ensign Campbell in charge. The natives

soon after ceased firing, nor was it afterwards renewed, it had lasted for some hours. Immediately after the first attack on Captain Robertsons party, in the morning, the natives on that side of the town retired in a body from the town towards TUatavia Bay, carrying off their dead and wounded. The body of natives who had surprised and taken the block-house on Flag-staff hill, were the assailants of the lower block-house, held by the military ; the stockade (Mr. Polack's house) was at no time attacked or threatened, the lower block-house commanded it, and prevented such an attempt. A party of 7 or Sof the town's people from the stockade skirmished with the natives on the hill to the left of the block-house ; with the ex* ception of this, the force in the stockade was not engaged during the day since the attack in which Capt. Robertson was wounded at day-break. Immediately on my arrival at the stockade to obtain ammunition, I suggested to Capt. Robertson the urgent necessity of sending the women and children on board the ships in the harbour, seeing Mr. Polack's house and cellars were crowded with them, shortly after they got on board, the Magazine, which was in the same house, blew up ; the building was completely destroyed, none of the soldiers or seamen were injured ; Lieut. Morgan, R. N,, received a slight wound in the face from a splinter ; whether the explosion occurred by accident, or was the work of an incendiary, remains unknown. A council was held on board H. M. S. Hazard, when it was agreed to evacuate the town, which was done, the town's people embarking first ; the party of military in the block -house, were the last to embark. During the embarkation, the Natives surrounded the heights commanding the town, but without making any movement, occasionally a random shot was fired ; during the evening a few of the town's people, who were I believe, most popular with the Natives, were employed in bringing off portions of their property. In the afternoon of the following day, the Natives burnt the town, with the exception of the Churches and the houses of the Missionaries ; information was received that they intended attacking H.M.S. Hazard during the night ; every preparation was accordingly made by Lieut. Philpotts, commanding ; the attack was not made. Next day the Hazard sailed for Auckland, in company with the United States corvette, St. Louis, the whale ship Matilda, and the Dolphin, schooner, having on board the inhabitants of the town. Killed of the 96th Regt., at the block house, Flag-staff hill, 4 privates, viz. : — Private Miller, ! Giddens, Jackson, and Juson. I Wounded. — Private Durop, at the lower block. I house, dangerously ; private Welton, in the town, severely; private Gutludge, severely; private Scott, severely ; private Morris, severely. The conduct of the soldiers of the Regt. throughout the affair, was in every respect praiseworthy, and honoiable to themselves and the Regiment. It is with feelings of deep regret I have to report that the gallant Commander of H. M. S. Hazard, fell in the first attack, severely wounded. The sergeant of Marines, a private, and four seamen, were killed. 1 Mr. Tapper, the signal-man, was severely woun» ded, fighting bravely. I would here notice the very gallant conduct of — Hector, Esq., and the two old soldiers beforementioned, in assisting in working the guna in front of the lower block-house, yet but little execution was done by them, in consequence of the Natives being so scattered, and lying concealed in the brushwood. • Mr. Hector's two boys also behaved most gallantly in bringing up ammunition fr jm the stockade during the heaviest fire. I have ths honor to enclose a statement of the duties of the detachment on the 10th inst. ; also Ensign Campbells statement of the loss of the block house on Flag-staff hill. I have the honor to be. Sir, Your obedient humble servant, E. Barclay, Lieut. Col. Hulm, Lieut. 96th Regt., i Commanding Troops, Commanding Detachment. New Zealand; 1 am of opinion that had the lower block house, occupied by the Military, not been erected, the stockade in which the women and children had sought protection, must have been evacuated, as it was perfectly commanded by the hill on which the block-house stood ; the houses to the left would also have afforded protection to the Natives in attacking it. Great credit is due to — Watson, Esq., J. P., who first suggested the erection of the lower blockhouse, and superintended the execution of it. The body of Natives who occupied the chain of hills on which the Flag-staff, and upper block-house stood, ! might have made a general rush, had they been so inclined, on the stockade, but, were prevented from so doing, by our having possession of the blockhouse. E. Barclay, Lieut. 96th Regt. Auckland, New Zealand, 16th March, 1845. Sir,— -I have the honor to state, for your information, that on the morning of the 11th instant, at Kororarika, Bay of Islands, I proceeded about 4 o'clock in the morning wilh a party of five men from the block-house where I was stationed, armed and carrying spades to dig a trench on the heights over Oneroa beach. We had just commenced digging when we heard firing at Matavia Bay, we immediately returned, and I remained with 8 or 9 men on the hill, overlooking the town, about 200 yardr distance from the block-house at the Flag-staff, the remainder of them had got their arms, and were putting on their belts on the outside of the ditch facing the town, when suddenly I heard an alarm, and some one called out that the natives were in the palisades, and that there was no one in the block-house. (I would here remark that the doorway is enclosed with palisades.) I immediately turned round and aaw a number of natives rushing into the palisades and ditches and opening fire on us, I then immedi* ately opened on them, and before a second round could be fired, anoiher party of natives advanced by theTapika road, with the intention of cutting us off from the lower block-house ; I then was obliged, seeing a large body of natives in front and another close to my rear, to retire to the lower block-house, which I immediately occupied, and checked the further advance of the natives ; four of my men were killed in the upper block-house, and one wounded in retiring.

I remained at the lower block-bouse till Mr. p fl , lack's house was blown up, and the general retreat to the shipping took place. I have the honor to be, sir, Your most obedient servant, J. Campbell, Ensign, 96th Rrf The Officer Commanding Troops, Auckland.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DSC18450322.2.6.1

Bibliographic details

Daily Southern Cross, Daily Southern Cross, Volume 2, Issue 101, 22 March 1845

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2,679

BAY OF ISLANDS. Daily Southern Cross, Volume 2, Issue 101, 22 March 1845

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