December 5th. 1868
My dear Sir,
I make a point of sending you a few lines this morning, because I am afraid that in the bustle now going on here, nobody else will find any time to write.
The news of yesterday was very satisfactory. The estimate given of the Hauhau loss is 58 in all, viz:- 24 last week, 30 on Wednesday last, and four on Thursday. The only casualities I hear of, on our side, are two white men, one wounded through the head severely and dangerously, and the other in the arm. This, of course, is in addition to the casualities previously reported.
The Heretaunga, Ngati-kahungunu came back yesterday, as far as Patutahi. Meanwhile the Ngatiporou with the Kahungunu from Wairoa and Nukutaurua, the Ngatitahupo, and a few Hauites went in pursuit, at a place called Ngatapa, about 3 miles from Te Karetu, and came upon Kooti with his main body, where they are now. This place is the site of an ancient Pah, on a hill with precipitous sides, and only accessible from one point. - at least, so it is described to me. Our people have also recovered a little ammunition
somewhere - about 5 kegs, I believe.
Mr. Richmond had arranged yesterday to send the ''Ahuriri'' to meet the ''Ladybird'' and ''Sturt'', with orders to Whitmore to take his force to the Wairoa, and make a rapid movement upon the upper Wairoa country, from that side. Before the ''Ahuriri'' had gone, the ''Sturt'' had arrived with Frazer's men and horses and Whitmore. Richmond was up the country, i.e. at Patutahi; but Whitmore got a horse, and rode off to see him, being evidently most anxious to step in here and be in at the death, at all events. I had no opportunity of talking to Richmond, so I wrote a letter and left it for him at Bradley's, in which I said that if Whitmore should be placed in command over the Ngatiporou, I feared they would immediately give up and go home. This morning I guessed that Whitmore was staying, because I saw the men being landed from the ''Ladybird.'' On coming over here to the iron store, I found the Col. just getting ready to start. He says that the natives have sent him a special request that he would go and join them immediately. I told him what I had said to Richmond, and he said that he got a letter from Hotene, in which Hotene offered to give him assistance in putting down the Hauhaus; and as for Ngatikahungunu, he had sent a letter to Henare Tomoana yesterday,
to say that he was going round to Puketapu to ask him to join him; in answer to which Henare said that it was of no use to go to Puketapu; but that Whitmore had better join them here at once, in an immediate attack upon the Hauhaus. So now they are off. I have had no opportunity, as yet, of communicating with Ngatiporou, but I think I shall send a letter to Hotene presently.
The ''Ladybird'' will be off presently, I believe, so I will conclude at once.
Yours very truly
D. McLean Esq.