SUMMARY FOR Europe & Australia PER S. S. LORD ASHLEY. FROM 6TH NOVEMBER, TO 7TH DECEMBER, 1860.
Independent Office, . Wellington, IthDec, 1860. Since ©ur' last' Summary we have received news from Taranaki of the most decisive engagement thafr has yet taken place with the Natives, far superior to the Waireka; but, like that engagement, rendered" comparatively of litte benefit through not being followed up. The~Btarming of the pa at Mahoetahi took . place on the 6th November, the Expedition consisting of about 600 men, under the command of General Pratt. The scene of the engagement is close to Waitara, and was the spot at "Which Colonel Gold halted when the gallant Major Nelson waa contending with such fearful odds a* Puketakauere. The position was deemed important and a movenient had been lately made to erect a blockhouse ; but on the intention being temporarily abandoned, the Waikato reinforcements of Wi Kingi took possession and converted the eld pa there into a strong defence. The storming party consisted of a detachment of the 65 th headed by Captain Turner, who on the Natives showing an intention to retreat from the fire opened upon them, were ordered by the General to fix bayonets and charge. A few cheering words accompanied the order—" now my boys, fix bayonets, and if you never charge another pa you will charge this," to which Captain Turner added, as he advanced to the front " now my boys, follow me." The pa was not taken without a sharp struggle ; but the natives were at last completely routed with great slaughter, the killed alone being about .60; our loss being 4killed and 14 wounded — two of the killed were youths belonging to the Volunteers ; Frank Brown, the son of the Rev. Mr. Brown, (the attempt to Succour whose family and neighbours occasioned the battle of Waireka ;) and William Edgecombe, beloning to a family long resident in the province.
The gallantry of the troops and volunteers when allowed to act, has been by this battle amply vindicated. Wi Kingi's own people, it should be observed suffer nothing from this en- : gage'ment, the defeated natives number- ' ing about 150 belonged to the Waikatos, of whom a contingent of some 200 had recently arrived, while several hundreds more were preparing to follow. The writers of the subjoined letter which had been previously sent to General Pratt, were both killed. Pukekohe, Nov. lst, 1860. To Mr. Parris: Friend, — I have heard your word — come to fight me, that is very good ; come inland, aud let us meet each other. Fish fight at sea — come inland and stand on our feet : make haste make haste, don't prolong it. That is all I have to say to you — make haste. From Wetini Taiporutu, From Porokuru, From all the other (Jhiefs of Ngatihaua and Waikato. It was anxiously hoped that the success would have been acted upon, and Wi Kingis stronghold near Waitara become the next point of attack; but in consequence of the alarm felt at Auckland lest the great body of the Waikatos should make a descent on that City, 400 troops were withdrawn from Taranaki, which has induced the General to declare that he can make no aggressive movement until tho arrival of reinforcements. The 14th has perhaps amved at Auckland from England by this time, when tho 65 th will return to Taranaki, it being the intention to garrison the quiet provinces with the newly arrived troops. Wellington we are happy to say is to have 300 immediately. Capt. Turner is now in Wellington having received a gunshot wound in the cheek. The wound discharges freely but the ball which has sunk towards the neck has not yet, we regret to say, been extracted. The General Assembly was prorogued and dissolved, as we anticipated, on the sth November. The Stafford ministry for several weeks had confessedly existed only on sufferance, and a vote of want of confidence would have been moved, had they not declared their intention of remaining in office, under any circumstances, until fresh elections had taken place all over the Country. These elections are now being proceeded with. We have re-published an account of a public meeting which took place in Wellington on the 23rd November, called by the late members for the City. During their absence the more violent of their political opponents had succeeded in passing a Memorial to the Governnr, censuring their conduct. Two of the leading men of the opposing or radical party, Messrs. Hunter and Stokes, endeavoured, but unsuccessfully, to get a postponement of the meeting alluded to, until the return of the members gave them the opportunity of defending themselves. This conduct, although it was only manly and in accordance with an honest English maxim which forbids the condemnation of men unheard, so offended Mr. Wakefield and the more violent portion of his followers, that they turned round and excluded Messrs. Hunter and Stokes from their confidence in local politics, and behaved towards them as the Wakefields proverbially do— | abandoning their best friends on the first ground of expediency. At the meeting of the 23rd November, Dr. Featherston acknowledged the obligations he was under to these two gentlemen, and as their approval of Dr. Featherston and the other members conduct on the war question was the real ground on which they were at issue with the radical party, they have since used their influence for the return of the old members to the General Assembly — the election in reference to which takes place on Tuesday next. The mention of these circumstances will give additional interest to the speech of Dr. Featherston, which occupies so large a portion of our columns. It will be observed that the meeting on being divided, recorded its " perfect satisfaction " with the conduct of the late members. The Wairarapa has also declared its satisfaction with its member's (Mr. Carter's) conduct ; and the Hutt would have come to a decision had not a severe domestic calamity prevented one of the members, Mr. Renall from attending an adjourned meeting, which was again adjourned until tonight. The Country districts are satisfied with their member (Mr. Brandon) but have had no meetings because of the interference they occasion to agricultural operations. Wanganui is awaiting the return of Mr. Fox, who intended to remain at Auckland for a few weeks after the close of the Session. This Province is now engaged in a general election. At present the only opposition is in the City, where Messrs. Featherston, Rhodes, and Waring Taylor are opposed by Messrs. Wakefield, Bowler, and Park. It is hoped that the whole of the -members throughout the Province will be of similar politics, ,so that Wellington may have sufficient power in the ensuing Assembly to present respectable claims to a seat in the new ministry, which it is confidently an- ! ticipated will be formed so soon as the Assembly meets in April or May. All
the former members are up for their previous constituencies. The Provincial Council after battling for three years with the Superintendent and resisting all his appeals to resign or memorialise the Governor for a dissolution — both of which he set them the example by doing himself — have at last agreed to send up a petition to the Governor praying for a dissolution — so that we may expect provincial elections in the course of February next. The native excitement seems to have suddenly passed away from this province, but it is in reality only just what it has been for two or three month's past ; the public mind being otherwise engaged than in fabricating rumours. A speech delivered by Mr. Wakefield the other 1 evening, has caused a sensasation among the natives ; it was of a very violent tone and couched in the same spirit as his address to the electors. 1 Sheep-shearing is now in full opera- . tion, and a favourable clip is expected. I We have had a showery summer so far, j and we trust that this year the wool will be got up with greater care. Our Commercial prospects are not so flattering as we could wish, and the continued stagnation of public works causes much depression. The arrival of troops L and the result of the elections will, we believe, tend very much to restore activity to the town.
Permanent link to this item
SUMMARY FOR Europe & Australia PER S. S. LORD ASHLEY. FROM 6TH NOVEMBER, TO 7TH DECEMBER, 1860., Wellington Independent, Volume XV, Issue 1478, 7 December 1860
SUMMARY FOR Europe & Australia PER S. S. LORD ASHLEY. FROM 6TH NOVEMBER, TO 7TH DECEMBER, 1860. Wellington Independent, Volume XV, Issue 1478, 7 December 1860
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.