The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864
Up to this time, the Ngaiterangi, as a tribe, had committed no overt acts against the Queen's sovereignty, beyond permitting intermittent parties of young hot-bloods to join their kinsmen and hereditary allies then fighting against the Pakeha at Waikato, and though in general sympathy with the Maori King movement, yet were living in perfect amity with the missionaries and Europeans in their midst. But it was rumoured that a force of fourteen or fifteen hundred well armed rebels from the East Cape districts, projected breaking through the loyal Arawa territory to join the Waikato insurgents. This may have been one of the factors that induced Governor Grey and his responsible Ministers to take strong measures. Accordingly on January 21st, 1864, three men-o-war were seen entering the Whanganui channel at Tauranga Heads, and shortly afterwards dropped anchor off Maketu Mound, now known as “The Man-o-war Anchorage.” A force of seven hundred men under Colonel (afterwards Brigadier-General) Carey was landed at Te Papa in two small colonial vessels, the “Corio,” 115 tons, and the P.S. “Sandfly,” and immediately entrenched at the place known as “The Camp,” the natives in large numbers looking on with friendly curiosity and wonderment.
Shortly afterwards H.M.S. “Miranda,” with the 68th Durham Light Infantry, under Colonel Meurant, and the 43rd under Colonel Booth, arrived, and directed by Colonel Mould, R.E., built and gar- page 10 risoned the Durham and Monmouth redoubts respectively, each being defended by 12 and 6 pounder Armstrong field pieces.
Then the Flying Column of 500 men, consisting of drafts from the 12th., 14th., 50th., 65th., and 70th., under Major Ryan, arrived, also the medical ambulance transport, and all other necessary services.