Tuesday, 17th April /60
My Dear Mac,
The Airedale has just arrived from Wellington, and starts immediately for Auckland, so I have no great time to write you a long letter as to our on-goings, which however are peaceable enough; and our best informed are of opinion that there is not a Maori of unfriendly nature within ten miles of us on either hand. The Tyne from Wanganui came in last night with oats for the commissariat; and brings very favorable news, of which no doubt you will have ample intelligence. The people of Waitotara are quiet and are going on with their land sales, as if nothing else affected their attention -- so far, well, and Willy Watt, who is here, is of opinion that their loyalty need not be doubted.
Colonel Gold showed me a rather long letter on the subject of our war by an anonymous writer, who, however, I am pretty sure is Reimenschneider. It is somewhat, a little too much of the alarmist character for my idiosynchrasy, yet avers, also, much truth, and I am glad the colonel also thinks so. The writer seems to
think it highly probable that our troops will be caught in a trap by the Pa building system the enemy is now busying himself with, and there may be truth in the surmise -- therefor I would only molest their erections when they came in the way, and not make direct objects of attack of them. My tactics would be keep them constantly under alarm and on the move, destroy their every cultivation and reduce their energies by bad food, and starvation even, if practicable. But you are one of les amis des noirs, that is to say the blackman's friend, and so indeed am I, but only when he behaves himself and on no account otherwise.
ols. Gold and Murray have been most shamefully used 1st by two fools of our volunteers or militia writing one sided stories next by the Nelson paper copying and commenting thereon, and 3rd by the Nelson Provincial asses voting thanks and unnoticing the gallant services of a party of the 65th who without committing a blunder, or getting into a mess they could not get out of, as our militia, or rather fancying they could not, and yet on simple trial found they could -- who did, i.e. the 65th, as much in the matters of wounding and killing as the best of them. Nor are they only blamed for this, and
for coming home, as they went out, without the militia, but forsooth because Col.Gold was not fool enough to change his defensive tactics to the offensive by sending out his troops next morning to pursue, and vainly, the savages to Warea; for as he forsaw and as they did they would not have stopt for a repetition of the dressing of the previous day, and no rational man could have expected they would.
But I have not a moment to say more than adios Cavallero
The favor of an answer is requested.
Call spirits from the vasty deep
But will they come - Shak.