Object #1000544 from MS-Papers-0032-0663

5 pages written 11 Aug 1869 by Captain Henry William Young in Ngaruawahia to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Yar - XY, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0663 (27 digitised items). Correspondents:Col C C Yarborough, Tunbridge Wells, 1875 (1 letter); George Young, Napier, undated (1 letter); H W Young, Wellington, 1868 & undated (14 letters); H W Young, Ngaruawahia, 1869 to Sir George Bowen (1 letter); Mary Young, Remuera, 1864 (1 letter); T Young, Wellington, 1871-1872 (2 letters); W Young, Wellington, 1867 (1 letter); William Young, Remuera, 1856-1876 (5 letters).Includes an anonymous letter from `XY' requesting of a photograph of McLean (undated letter). The return address is c/- Mrs I J Fletcher, Christchurch. Transcript included.

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

COPY. (PRIVATE) Ngaruwahia

11th. August 1869

My dear Mr. McLean,

I arrived here on the 7th. August, as I have reported, and found that Colonel Moule was at Hamilton. I communicated by telegraph, and he replied desiring me to join him on the following morning, which I did, and stayed that night with him.

On my way up, I observed that all the Redoubts were in ruins, until I came to Rangiriri on the Waikato, repaired and held by Capt. Te Wheoro.

The Redoubt here is wretched - could not be held for 10 minutes, being swept by the hills beyond the Waipa. I have, as a temporary measure, and until the new work is completed, thought it right to repair, and make it tenable.

At Hamilton, I went over the three Redoubts there with Colonel Moule. They are built, as the Col. told me, after the designs in my little book. They are in capital order, and have ample accommodation within them - no less than 13 huts in the three.

On the morning following (9th.) I returned with Col. Moule, to this place; and with him, selected a site for the new work.

I ascended, and examined the range of hills you mentioned to me. Their are, however, a great distance from the township, and are too narrow for the erection of a work. But the great objection to this site is that the two rivers run in such deep channels that it is impossible, I assure you, for one work to command both rivers. This being so, it was a question which bank the work should be on. The Horotiu bank would be best from a military point of view, as being less commanded by the hills beyond the Waipa. But on this side the allotments are all sold. The only Government piece left - that on which the Hospital stands - is contracted and unsuited to a work such as is contemplated. So we had no choice but the bank of the Waipa. We both approved of the site selected, and the disadvantage of the hills which command the flat shall be neutralized in laying out the work. I propose to construct a square bastioned fort, with a brick tower in the centre, as a keep. The fort can be held by 100 men, and will be quite untenable by an enemy, whilst the keep (which can be held by a dozen men) is retained. I have found good brick clay, strangely enough, within 30 yards of the proposed site, and there are some brick-makers and brick-layers in the Detachment of the Militia quartered here. So there is no difficulty, except the line, which will have to be brought up the river. I propose so to construct the keep that it shall be convenient quarters for a small Detachment of Constabulary; and while a dozen men hold that, the whole work is safe.

The plans and sections, I am preparing; and shall send by an early opportunity. But I think it right to set the men at work first. In a few days I shall have the plans ready, and will transmit them then.

Col. Moule's energy has inspired all the settlers with great confidence in him, and they are remaining, for the most part, on their farms. the state of alarm having abated considerably.

I shall, of course, write from time to time, and especially after going round the posts, as Colonel Moule wishes me to, with him.

Believe me, dear Mr. McLean
Yours very truly (Signed)
H.W. Young.
To:- Donald McLean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Yar - XY, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0663 (27 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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