CAPTURE OF KETEONETEA.
The correspondent of the Daily Soufliern Gross gives the following account of the attack on and capture of the rebel stronghold at Keteonetea: — Camp Ketemarae (the front), October 29. Just after arriving in camp here, after a most harassing march and a sharp engagement with the rebels at their pa at Keteonetea, I hasten to send you the particulars of oar march towards the rebels' position, and the success attending our efforts to cool down the rebellious spirit of the Hauhaus infesting the precincts of the bush in this portion of the district. Orders were issued last night for the field force, under command of Major Rocke, 18th Royal Irish, to march at two o'clock this morning ; so accordingly the force fell in at the time mentioned, and was composed of the following numbers, viz :— l4 officers, 15 sergeants, 258 rank and file, 18th R.1. ; 1 officer, 11 rank and file, Wauganni J Yeomanry Cavalry ; 1 officer, 17 rank and file, Patea Rangers; 3 officers, 73 rank and file, Native Contingent. Major Rocke, having had command of the above force, fell in at about two a.m. We started towards the bush, aud, after going about half-a-mile on the road, a drizzling rain set in, which rendered the ground very slippery. At about 4.30 a.m. we entered the bush on a very narrow track, after passing some places where look-out posts were fixed by the rebels, from which they could perceive the advance of troops towards their localities. Previous to entering the bush, and about daybreak, we came upon a fine drove of cattle convenient to a stockyard and paddock. 1 firmly believe that there were upwards of 100 head of cattle in the drove, and mauy a wish was given that they would be in our way on our return to camp, but which wishes were not realised. Previous to marching away, 30 sharpshooters went to the front belonging to the 18th. These men were to lead the whole division, and to act as sharpshooters ; and nobly they did their part when the trial came on. These men were followed by the Native Contingent ; then the Patea and Taranaki rangers ; and next followed the main body of the 18th, according to the foregoing numbers. Two men from the Maori Contingent aoted as guides, one of whom holds the rank of corporal, and a most daring intelligent fellow he is. He kept a check on the other native as to his safe guiding — he having come in lately from the rebels and surrendered. When we entered the close track in the bush every one kept strict silence, and when getting into the intricate part of the track word was senb to the rear to bring the Contingent to the front, as it was the Governor's wish that they should be there when the tug of war came on. However, when we got again on the move we marched along in single file — the sharpshooters of the. 18th being in front — followed by the Rangers and dismounted cavalry men next the Contingent ; and , then Captain Dawson's company 18fch Royal Irish. In a few miuutes we came upon a strong pa,, palisaded with huge timber, and very narrow for entrance. The 18th sharpshooters, under Ensign Pringle, rnshed to the palisading, with a cheer, followed by the Rangers and Wanganui Cavalry, i The Contingent having made way for Captain Dawson's company of the 18th, the whole dashed on over the palisading, when they were met by a severe volley from the rebels behind their ij^onghold, which was blockaded by huge trees. Wjh went the 18fch Royal Irish, with a cheer that 'none but Irishmen can give. Bang ! bang ! went the volleys, and away flew the rebels through their tracks and bush, while down came the rebel woodworks by the axemen of the 18fch. Rebel huts and whares were soon set fire to, while the rifle bullets were dealing terror to the Hauhaus as they flew through the bush in all directions, leaving the 11th Patea Rangers, and the few cavalry in occupation of the pa, now levelled and in flames. There were four of the enemy found killed, besides several who were wounded, and escaped, bleeding from their wounds, towards the bush. I regret to state that trooper P. Hanly, of the Wanganui Cavalry, received a dangerous wound in the left breast, the ball going out at the' back. Great fears are entertained of his recovery. He received a bullet after scaling the palisading with the sharpshooters of the 18th. The old, Hauhau that wounded Hanly was afterwards bayonetted by private Hennigan, of Captain' Dawson's Company, 18th, who turned the rebel's rifle aside with his bayonet, aqd then made him taste the value of the soldier's cold. s steel. When the rebels found that the 18th we're -in action they shouted out the same through the bush, saying " The Ma, the pakelm make the fight." ' When we had oleared the pa and dismembered
it of its fair proportions we were guided on towards another rebel village, which we entered through another track. After doing so and waiting for a little rest, the village was set fire, to. Not a human being oould be seen in it, and all the occupiers had fled into the thiok of the bush. The Maori Contingent acted very smartly and usefully, but when the tug of war came and the cheer for death and glory was^iven by the Royal Irish, they had to give way before them, and were completely out-distanced by the Irishmen, in the rush to dear the palisading and drive the rebels before them, which they did iv the most gallant manner. We came back to camp through the bush by a most harassing traok, up almost perpendicular hills — now tripped up by, supplejack, at other times pulled up by its aid — through swamps, gullies and wadiug rivers. We came upon several settlements in course of cultivation, and three villages, which we burned to the ground. j We counted finr dead bodies of rebels, besides a lot wounded, whose blood-tracks were traced. We have had one only of the Contingent wounded slightly, and private Hanly, mentioned herein, whose wound is of a dangerous nature.
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