Object #1017095 from MS-Papers-0032-0022

6 pages written 27 Nov 1868 by William Leonard Williams in Poverty Bay to Sir Donald McLean

From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0022 (82 digitised items). Comprises correspondence, memoranda and reports from December 1868, relating to the military campaign against Te Kooti.Includes letters from Maori such as Rapata Wahawaha regarding ammunitions

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. Poverty Bay

November 27th. 1868

My dear Sir,

In compliance with your wish, I will endeavour to keep you as well supplied with information as I can.

There was not any particular news from the front this morning; but I have, just this minute, (11.30 a.m.) heard a report that a party of Hauhaus have made an attack upon our depot at Patutahi. I will go at once and ascertain, before finishing my letter, whether this is true.

12.30. The report seems to be quite correct, but I have not been able yet to get all particulars. There seems little doubt that the vagabonds have got a good quantity of ammunition; but I hope that they may not be able to get it up to their own position. A great deal will depend upon the coolness with which our people at the front may act. I do not understand why there was not more of a guard at the depot. There cannot, I imagine, be a large body of Hau Haus in this sortie. It seems to me that it is a desperate move on their part to supply themselves with what they most need; and certainly it has been very cleverly executed so far; and if they succeed in getting back with the ammunition to their own body, the position of affairs will be very gravely altered. I am under the impression that there was a good guard at Patutahi, besides the escort which has been going to and fro with the drays. It is the old fault of over-confidence, and insufficient precaution; but perhaps I am hasty in forming my conclusions about it. One thing, however, seems clear, viz:- that we want more men here, if they can be had. Capt. Westrup seems to think that we are more likely to get help from Ngatiporou if the request goes direct from you.

We shall, perhaps, know more about the actual state of things by and bye.

I hope Ngatiporou are well on their way by this time. Capt. Westrup tells me that he sent word to them to come by the old Reinga track, and follow up the course of the Hangaroa, until they come upon the track which the Hauhaus have cut from Puketapu, which is a direction that I think the Ngatiporou will understand clearly, and is perhaps about the best that can be given them, to ensure their coming up speedily to the scene of action.

Capt. Westrup is also, I understand, going to send you a sketch map of the district, which will give you a tolerably correct idea of the position.

I remain, etc. (Signed)
W.L. Williams.

P.S. I find I was right in my impression that there was a guard left at Patutahi, and that the guard had gone to the front. There are no men to spare here; and this makes the difficulty more serious. The fact is, that with a force of Maoris, they must and will have their own way, and will not attend to instructions. Many of the escort men have been kept at the front. where they have been calling out continually for more men, and have themselves overlooked the necessity of the guard remaining at their post. The only way to provide ahainst this seems to be to have, by some means or other, a force of Europeans available for something more than the defence of Turanganui, which is all that the present force can do. Is it not possible for something to be done in this way?

W.L. W.
To:- D. McLean Esq.

Part of:
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0022 (82 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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