Object #1026174 from MS-Papers-0032-0482
12 pages written 28 Nov 1868 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 digitised items).
72 letters written from Wallingford, Wellington & Napier, 1866-1868Includes piece-level inventory.
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
Nov. 28th. 1868.
My dear McLean,
Your welcome letter of yesterday bringing the news of the engagement between our friendlies and the enemy reached me tonight by the Policeman and truly glad am I indeed to hear of even such a measure of success as our allies have met with. One breathes more freely not to hear of a defeat which is what we have been so accustomed to of late. As you say this is really the first approach to a success since Omaranui. How much you must regret the obstinacy of old Lambert. It appears as if the presence of Ngatiporou was alone required to have finished the business. Judging from the accounts before me I should say, that unless the Wairoa contingent arrived, the enemy would probably get away, as it seems our force from Poverty Bay side was not strong enough to crush him. They may fight him and inflict more loss on him but I doubt very much if they unaided will succeed in smashing him. This makes the want of the Wajroa force the more to be regretted and it must be especially galling to you to feel that had your plans been carried out the success wd. in all probability have been complete. However we should be, and I am, most truly thankful to hear of the measure of success we have had and most sincerely do I hope that the Wairoa contingent did get upin time to stop the getting away of the enemy.
The next news from Poverty Bay will be of great importance and most anxiously shall I look for it. Te Kootis death is not certain apparently; should it be correct the effect will be very good and do much to check the feeling that was growing among the Natives, that he and Titokowaru were to be great men among the Maori people.
I am pleased to hear Carlyon is working so well. It is certain that our Militia as at present organized is in the country districts a complete farce. The Officers know nothing of their duty and cannot teach the men anything. The muster for drill is without any result at all except to waste the time of the people who in districts like this have to travel long distances to attend the parage. I see the whole Militia of the Province is called out on the 5th. Decr. and afterwards once a week. This is quite right for all places where men can be got together. But in districts like this - like the Coast and the Rua Tanewha it is a great hardship without being of any service. In this District plenty of men came their 8, 10 and more miles to drill - this means that they come one day and go back the next and as a general rule the drill entails a drunk with the out-station men and so altogether is a nice business. There are places in the Country district where the Militia can meet and do meet without loss or undue trouble,
but these are all centres of population. At all these places the men themselves want the meeting to take place - Waipawa - Hampden - Clive - Havelock - Meanee and perhaps Waipukerau are all ventres where a decent force can be got together by taking the men residing within 3 miles that is all right I think they ought to meet at a time like the present. But really in the cases of the other districts the Militia presses unfairly and does no good. Could you not make an alteration to this effect so as to include the centres of population only and leave the out-districts alone or have them come once a month. Please see to this and do what is right in it. I do not think there is any chance of unfairness being attributed to selecting the centres of population. The common sense of the thing is evident and the people in the centres desire it themselves. If the Gazette notices were amended so that the parades of the Militia at the large centres was made weekly until further notice and the more sparsley peopled and scattered districts monthly you wd. meet the difficulty. The places to except wd. be the following districts -
Rua Tanewha - excepting Hampden
The coast district - Waimarama, Pourerere etc.
Let these people all meet once a month. The people
within 3 miles of Clive, Havelock, Hampden, Waipawa, Kaikora, Waipukerau, Meanee and Puketapu once a week, this wd. take in all but the scattered portion of the country. The news from Wanganui seems as bad as ever and I fear is likely to be so. The Govt. have got McDonnell I see to make an attempt to get the friendlies together again. What an insane policy they adopt. They get these people together, hold them for a week or so and then quarrel with them. This has occurred twice within the last few weeks - I fully agree with your Ministers shew day by day their incapacity to deal with the difficulties of the Country. It is sad to think that they must continue in power for some time yet. I see even men like Carleton are admitting now, that the Country is not with the Govt. We shall have no disolution if that be the case, but even in the present House Ministers could never stand after what has taken place. You are right in the view you take of our position. We can do not good by showing our teeth just now, and it is the interest of our district not to do so. But I confess I am eager for the day of reckoning. I see as clearly aye a great deal more so than I did at Wellington, that the course we made up our minds to take was the only one open to us to save our district. If you had not sacrificed your feelings, as no doubt you did, I should like to know where our district wd. be now. We shd. have had that little ass Whitmore in command
of the district and its ruin wd. have been complete. The scene at Wanganui wd. have been going on here without a doubt and most likely - half the force now fighting for us at Turanga wd. have been agst. us. I have just heard that after your letter was despatched that you recd. some bad news from Turanga. The policeman says that they had just heard by Telegraph at Waipukerau that the enemy had intercepted and captured 8 kegs of ammunition on their way to our allies. I trust this may not be correct. Much will depend upon whether or not Ngatiporou reached the scene of the fighting - if they get there in time I believe all will go well.
With my most sincere wishes that your plans may be crowned with success believe me always,
Yours very sincerely,
J. D. Ormond.
I need not repeat that I am always ready to come down if any necessity arises.
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 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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