John H. W. Pettit letters to his family in England, illustrated with sketches by the writer, 1852-1868 - Page 329

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Messenger, and Shawe, Lieutenants Gibson, Hobbs, Clarke, Ensigns Dudgeon and Morphy ; Quartermaster Barnes: 328 of the 65th regiment, under Captain Strange, Lieutenants Bailie, Urquhart, Whitbread, White and Talbot, Ensigns Pagan and Butler, Quartermaster Withers, Assistant Surgeon Neill ; Staff Assistant Surgeon Grace, Acting Assistant Surgeon Murray ; 26 of the Naval Brigade, under Commodore Seymour, Lieutenant Battiscombe, Midshipman Wadlow, and Assistant Surgeon Edwardes ;82 of the Militia and Volunteers, under Captain and Adjutant Stapp, Captain Richmond, Lieutenants Hirst, Webster, Hammerton, Jones, McKeller, and Ensign Standish ; 14 of the Mounted Escort in command of Captain Des Voeux;150 of the Natives Corps, in charge of Messrs. Parris, Good, Carrington and Wills. It should be stated that many of our friendly allies held back for some time this morning in consequence of the rebel Hoera having been consigned to durance vile, but the whole were eventually prevaded on to stick to their colours, and they overtook the expedition on the road. Total rank and file, 1043, exclusive of bullock drivers and servants. The Light Company of the 65th gave three farewell cheers before leaving for their late commander ) Major-General Gold). One 68 pounder gun, and three 24 pounder howitzers, and 50 carts laden with ammunition and camp equipage and baggage accompanied the expedition and Wonga Wonga with extra ammunition, left during the afternoon to communicate with the forces on the land. It is thought there may be some fighting ; the Ngatiruanui are reported to have come up to reinforce the Kaihihi rebels, and Wi Tako with men from Wellington, Otaki, Rangitikei, etc., too have joined.  Wi Tako was at Pungariere, about ten miles beyond Warea last week. He has been preparing for this for some time, having sold all his property at Wellington. Firing was heard in the forest this morning in rear of the Hun, and as the garrison has been much weakened by the departure of the military to the south, every precaution has been made against at attack. Persons residing outside the lines are to sleep in town ; no troops are to go outside the lines ;and inlying piquets are again told off to be under arms during the night, and to parade at four o'clock in the morning until further orders.
"Wednesday, 10th. - One of Mr. Rundle's lads, riding out to Waiwakaiho, this morning, was advised by the friendly natives at the Henui not to go on, as a war party, with Wi Kingi at their head, were at Waiwakaiho. It appears however, that there is no ground for alarm.
"Thursday, 11th. - The Tasmanian Maid came up today, and reports all quiet at Waitara. H.M.S. Cordelia, from Manukau, arrived today from Auckland. The papers state that the Waikatos have determined upon making another raid upon us. We may therefore shortly hear of the arrival of 400 or 500 Waikato revels at Waitara. H.M.S. Iris and Fawn are preparing for sea (says the New Zealander)on particular service. 4 p.m.Two of the mounted escort have just arrived from Kaihihi with despatches and report that the troops are hotly engaged with the rebels;the former have taken up a position at two hundred yards. Five of our force are wounded, including Captain Pasley, R.E. in leg: Sergeant Howitt, R.E., is wounded in groin ; the rest slightly wounded. J Batten, militia, slightly wounded. 6 p.m. - The Wonga Wonga has just arrived from Kaihihi. A crowd of people assembled on the beach when the boat landed. She does ot bring any later intelligence than that brought by the mounted escort. A correspondent writes : - " 11th October, 1860. Time will not allow of my entering into details, consequently you must be content with a rapid sketch of events. On Tuesday evening we reached Baly's farm, or what was formerly known as Fort Strange, where we camped. The next morning with beautiful weather, we marched as far as our present headquarters, which are situated about half a mile in the rear of the first, or bush pah, on the north side of Kaihihi. On this day (Wednesday) after the tens had been pitched and entrenchments thrown up, a reconnoitring party was sent out, and many shots exchanged with the enemy, No casualties on our side : the enemy's unknown." A party of engineers, with fatigue parties, from the various corps, with covering parties, went out to approach by entrenched lines and traverses, and form a platform for the heavy gun :the position chosen for which will command the other two pahs in the neighbourhood ; the smaller guns within two hundred yards of the pahs. Much firing on the field of battle. The casualties on our side are reported to be five - Captain Pasley, severely in thigh : Sergeant Howitt, R.E. dangerously, one bugler, 65th : one seargeant, 10th ;the others I cannot now learn. We hear that the 8-inch gun and two 24-pound howitzers had opened fire at a distance of 200 yards, and that the shot from the former was doing great damage to the pah.
"Friday, 12th October. The Cordelia steamed down to Kaihihi this morning, at five a.m. and returned at ten. She did not communicate with the shore, but reports that the troops were in action, and that a pah appeared to be in flames. H.M.C.S. Victoria, from Wellington, arrived this morning with Colonel Wyatt, who assumed the command of the 65th vice Major-General Gold, and the L.C.R.N. steamer Lord Worsley, with the mails for England, from Nelson. The Victoria ledt at three p.m. for Kaihihi, with Colonel Wyatt, and the Cordelia at the same time for Manukau, with Major-General Gold. The return of the Victoria, or the Wonga Wonga, which left the ammunition and provision this morning is anxiously looked for.
"The master of the mail steamer, Lord Worsley, which brought the latest news to Sydney (as above reprinted) reports "That on the 12th October, at 7.30a.m. he spoke H.M.S.S. Cordelia lying to off Kaihihi ;saw the British camp on shore, the troops working up to a pah in skirmishing order.
At 9.50 a.m. arrived at New Plymouth During the day the news came in of the capture of three pahs without the loss of a man- the loss on the side of the Maories being unknown. General Pratt is going to follow them to Waira, seventeen miles south of New Plymouth. He has sent for ten days provisions. Further news came in that the Waikato tribes from 800 to 1000 strong, are on their way to Waitara as a fighting ground, and has sent a messenger to tribes south of New Plymouth the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki to meet them at the Waitara, as the advance guard will be up in a week. 
"The New Zealander states that Colonel Brown had received a private letter from the Duke of Newcastle, to the effect that his Grace had sent a telegram to India, directing them to have troops in readiness, but that these troops would be dispatched till the receipt of the next mail, when the Home Government would judge from the urgency of the case whether to send them or not."
NEW SOUTH WALES. -The diggings at Kiandra are not nearly so popular as they were, and from recent unfavourable accounts received from them it would appear the the public have somewhere lost faith in them. I is reported that copper has been discovered in the neighbourhood of Kiandra. Some samples of blue carbonate mingled with sulphate having been brought into Sydney. Mr. A Black is in treaty with the New South Wales government for the introduction of Salmon ova into the Australian waters. The Snow River is deemed to be the best river for the purpose. There is a ministerial crisis in Sydney. It is likely that the ministry will resign from the rejection of some of their measures, in which case it is probable that there will be a dissolution of the house.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA. - The great topic if interest here is the exploration of Mr. Stuart, who, it is said, has recently crossed the continent two-thirds of the distance between Adelaide and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Mr. Stuart has since started on a second expedition part of the expense of which will be borne by the Government. Mr. Stuart was entertained at a breakfast at which the Governor was present, previous to his departure. The Northern Railway has been opened to Kapunda, about 30 miles for Adelaide, and has been in working operation for some time. The Volunteer movement has been as successful in South Australia as it has been in Victoria. A grand review took place about the middle of last month, at which the volunteers turned out in good style, and were complimented on their soldierly appearance. The Parliament is sitting, but there is nothing of interest to note with respect to it.
TASMANIA. - The news from this colony is not at all important, Telegraphic communication with Victoria has been interrupted for some time and it is found that the cable between King's Island and the Tasmanian coast will have to be replaced by another before communication can be restored. A proposition is to be made to the Victoria Government to join in the expense of getting a new cable from home.
Mr. Brooke has been playing a round of favourite characters at the Royal and a number of Shakespeare revivals, including "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Measure for Measure" will shortly be produced. The Princess's has been devoted to burlesque and melodrama, and a company of Chinese ortia are at the Prince of Wales. The performance at the latter is quite Mai generis, and is thus described by a Melbourne paper. "On our first visit we were informed by an intelligent Chinaman in the audience, a comedy setting forth a highly diverting series of incidents in connection with the fortunes of the Tong dynasty was exhibited. At first glance, the interior of the theatre looked like a real bit of Nankin or Pekin transplanted into the heart of Melbourne. The stage, scenery, actors, orchestra, audience, all were Chinese of the purest water. The scenery was never changed from the beginning to the close. It represented the interior of an apartment in (we suppose) a palace. 
Ranged at the back were the musicians. A cracked 
violin, a bagpipe apparently Scotch-Chinese, cymbals, a drum a sort of 'bones' and one or two other indescribable instruments constituted the orchestra. The music was continuously played throughout, -never intermitted for a moment, no matter who was speaking and certainly never was there a more barbarous dissonance heard by mortal English ears.  "Marrow-bones and cleaver" would be ravishing melody by comparison. A low monotonous kind of chant, horribly discordant, formed the general run of the musical entertainment, but it swelled every now and then to a regular tempest of dissonance. The dialogue was kept up in an alternation between a low chant following the instruments and spoken prose. The pantomimic action was incessant and excessive. There seemed to be inexhaustible vivacity in every one of the performers. They were of all characters, from kings and queens down to private soldiers and the court fool. Bit the dresses were truly gorgeous, resplendent, and certainly very costly. They would put an extinguisher on the finest theatrical outfits of our English "stars". In the article of costume, John Chinaman on the stage is really unrivalled. For the rest, there was a prodigious deal of rapid talking, of dumb show, or running about without any very definite object, and some first rate tumbling. The whole thing is worth visiting, not for editiention,

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