27th. November 1868
Edward L. Green
Sec. to G.G. Agt.
I have the honour to inform you that the latest news from the front is that both sides are keeping their positions.
This morning a small party of the enemy, well-mounted, surprised our Transport Corps, and the Escort left in charge of provisions, ammunition, etc. at Pah Tutahi, and succeeded in carrying off 8 kegs of ammunition; no loss on either side. The Europeans behaved well, and retired in good order to Pakemono. The boldness of this movement assures me the enemy is very short of ammunition, and will compel our Contingent at the front to keep a sharper look-out on the enemy. I beg to point out to you the peculiar adverse circumstances under which I am labouring; with a large force composed almost entirely of Maoris, it is next to impossible to get any orders carried out to the letter. For example, in this slight turn of affairs in favour of the enemy. If the Guard and escort provided from the Redoubt, by
me, had been at their post, this misfortune could not have happened. But instead of this, the Contingent at the front, compel every man they can influence to stay with them to take part in the fight; and this duty is far more popular than escort duty.
You will see by this, I have great need of Europeans - say 50 at least - to garrison this post, and more to help out as an Escort. I believe I could find horses, but have no saddles, etc. The duty would not last long, and the men would require tents. The post they surprised is only 9 miles from this, and about 30 from the front, and must have been made by men from the front in the night. Our necessity is Europeans. The last few Armed Constabulary sent here were about to be sent up this morning. I would call to the notice of the Defence Office that they were sent up here without revolvers, or side-arms, and no expense pouches, in fact half-armed; and nearly half of them never fired a shot in their lives. They do for garrison here, but it would be unfair to any Officer to have them to depend on in the field, till thoroughly trained, which takes time.
All well at the front, and daily expecting to hear of Ngatiporou arriving. My communication with the front is jeopardised by this movement of the enemy;
and I have not a man to spare from this place.
I have sent down Mr. Towgood, who will explain the situation fully.
I have no doubt of success, in spite of this slight loss. I despatch the steamer at once, and shall feel most anxious for her arrival with a force.
I have the honour to be
Your most obedient servant
Chas. Westrup, Capt.
Com. of Col. Troops
Medical stores wanted, lint, etc.