Object #1015947 from MS-Papers-0032-0635
3 pages written 24 Jun 1863 by Sir George Stoddart Whitmore to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 digitised items).
103 letters written from Hawke's Bay and London, 1862-1869 & undated. Includes letter to Miss McLean written from Wellington by T F? Whitmore, undated; sketch map of area from just north of the Mohaka River south to Whitmore's run (undated). Piece-level inventory of letters accessioned pre-1969.
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
H. M. S. Eclipse
My dear McLean.
I have a few minutes to write to you and avail myself of the opportunity. I told you yesterday that I had cast my lot for the 24 hours with the General as an expedition was afoot. Accordingly we marched all night and reached Tataramaika at 5 a.m. halted and got ready. The Armstrong guns were sent on cunningly so that the enemy knew nothing of it and indeed I doubt whether the whole movement was not so well arranged that it may be called a surprise. The Govr. on board the "Eclipse" weighed from New Plymouth at 4 A. M. and at dawn was off the coast.
The Enemy had entrenched himself about a mile from Tutara Stockade beyond the ravine and held many lines of rifle pits and well selected positions in considerable Force.
At 6.30 the General hoisted the red flag and the Armstrong guns which were by that time in position about half a mile up the Gully or ravine, at its edge, began to play upon the earthworks to cover Col.Warre's advance across the ravine still higher up - The "Eclipse" opened with heavy shells on the same points and as soon as the 57th
(250 about) were across the General descended to the beach crossed the ravine at its mouth and ascended the opposite bank. The Maoris did not wait any longer but fled inland and down the coast. Some however took up their stand in their Redoubt or principal entrenchment. In skirmishing with Warre and from the beautiful artillery fire they had already suffered losses and the Avenger in the shape of Col.Warre pursued those who fled down the coast. Col. Logan assailed the Redoubt which we reached just as the men rushed it and directly after 3 Armstrong shells had pierced the parapet.
This finished the affair - 22 bodies were brought in to be recognized - One is said to be that of Tamati Oneone others are doubtful, the rest are not yet identified. One soldier was killed 2 were mortally two severely and 3 slightly wounded -
The whole affair was most satisfactory. But for the Govr. forbidding me to go I would proceed tonight to Auckland and so on to Napier. As it is I will hope to return by the 17th.
The above details being authentic and as I can vouch for all I say you may repeat it with confidence.
The General returned the same night to New Plymouth.
Goodbye old fellow. I think all our plans are approved and I hope we shall get 100 Otago digger Defence Force.
G. S. Whitmore
Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 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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