The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 1, 1938.)
The Early Morning Battle
The Early Morning Battle.
“On the 23rd of January, 1861, the Royal Tigers and the two companies of the 12th Regiment which were with them in No. 1 Redoubt stood to their arms as usual an hour before daybreak. Some 300 yards in advance of us was a small earthwork, No. 2 Redoubt, garrisoned by one company, and some 300 yards more in advance again was a larger fort known as No. 3 Redoubt, which we had just finished under a continuous fire from the rifle pits. This advance work, consisting of three redoubts en echelon, was occupied by the 40th Regiment.
“We stood silent and shivering, for even at midsummer the hour before sunrise is chilly, and awaited the appearance of the sun and looked forward in another half-hour to turning in between the blankets for another hour's snooze.
“But see that flash of fire a hundred yards to the right of our redoubt, followed by the whizz of a bullet and the report of a musket. In a moment there is a semi-circle of fire on two sides of us. The fern is alive with Maoris, who have crept up unseen even by the sentries. Our men reply, and for a few moments there is a continuous roar of musketry, with apparently little result on either side, for the attackers are invisible. In a minute or two more the fire of the Maoris slackens and gradually ceases. A false attack to divert attention from more serious business.