NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
July 31st. 1868
Fraser just arrived, Rain over, floods abating, march to-morrow, 6 days' provisions sent on, and 4 days' carried by men. Last overland despatches have miscarried. I repeat, --- on the 20th. Biggs' force under Westrup, Biggs being away, was defeated after an action of seven hours, and retreated leaving their dead (2) but bringing their wounded (7). They lost camp, horses, food, everything. Action took place 20 miles from the Coast. Enemy in much greater force than was believed from 150 to 200 being armed with Enfields or double guns. Turanga natives behaved treacherously, and are believed to be still meditating further treachery. Known now that murders were committed by ex-prisoners under Koti before came here. I met Westrup's force and held ground, but his men disbanded, since have collected again to some extent, now 42 strong. I have no Europeans till Fraser joins, except 30 from Napier and Turanga, men who I have got out with great difficulty. Believe Militia Act necessary, owing to state of district, Friendly Natives being very treacherous, Biggs
Major, etc., Enemy at first held ground he had won, now believed to be trying to escape by Opoiti near Wairoa, Weather has suspended our operations, but have employed time in making tracks to bring up supplies. The country where we must operate is as bad as any in N.Z. and necessary to get up supplies lest want of them oblige me to retire. Have arranged all this satisfactorily, and not expensively. I shall report again when anything to say. Want money. Drew on Withers £20.
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Telegrams, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0026 (151 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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