R. C. Mainwaring to the Hon. the Native Minister.
I proceeded at once to Pokeno on Monday after I received your orders. As no orderlies were expected to leave Drury, I proceeded alone, and shortly afterwards overtook Mr. Lloyd. We arrived at the Redoubt about 5 p.m., and having reported myself to Colonel Murray, was allowed to see the prisoners. They were divided into four different parties, strongly guarded. I got permission for some of them to exchange into different rooms, so as to be with their own people.
Being personally known to a great number of them, they were far less restrained with me than with the soldiers in the Redoubt.
I found that Matutaera was not in the engagement at all.
Ngatimaniapoto are gone up the country, and I fancy (though Tioriori did not say decisively) that they have had a quarrel with Ngatihaua, and will either go on their own responsibility to Taranaki or remain quiet up beyond Mokau. The soldiers took a very large quantity of ammunition and tomahawks. They say also that the natives themselves threw a great number of guns into the river when making their escape. Te Wharepu was mortally wounded, but escaped. I endeavoured page breakto ascertain what passed between Thompson and Mr. Gundry, but the latter gentleman being at Rangiriri, I did not succeed.
On the passage down the river the steamer ran on a sand-bank, one of the prisoners jumped overboard, but was fired at, and being hit in the leg was recaptured.
I am told that all the military were astonished at the strength and clever engineering of the post at Rangiriri, and the General complimented the natives on the brave manner in which they behaved. As no orderlies were leaving the Redoubt yesterday till late in the day, I started alone at 9 a.m., and overtook Archdeacon Maunsell on the road. That gentleman is in possession of some letters found at Rangiriri.
The prisoners were very anxious to be supplied with pens and paper. I told Mr. Spencer to ask Colonel Murray about it, though I told Tioriori I thought he had better wait until he got to town.
Wi Kumete is the man who acted as Custom House officer on the river. Tarahawaiki is the supposed murderer of Meredith and his son.
I have, &c.,