Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)



Captain G. A. Preece, who served on Colonel Whitmore's staff in the pursuit of Titokowaru on the West Coast, 1869, gives some additional details of operations in February of that year. After the rebels had been driven across the Waitotara River, reconaissances were made to discover the refuge-place of Titokowaru. The most venturesome of these scouting expeditions was that made by Sergeant Maling and Tom Adamson, of the Corps of Guides, who went out by themselves and sent two days, travelling barefooted, searching the bush for signs of the enemy. On their return they reported to Colonel Whitmore that they had located the enemy, who were making towards Whenuakura. For this enterprise the two scouts were complimented by the Colonel. The whole force then moved out to Moumahaki, and got on the Hauhaus’ trail. Heavy rain came on and flooded the Moumahaki flats in the bush, and as conditions for forest operations continued unfavourable Whitmore fell back on Weraroa, Waitotara. When at last the force went forward again it was found that the camp-ground at Moumahaki had been 6 feet under water. This was a very trying time for the Colonel Commanding and for the whole force.

Captain Preece mentions that when the force abandoned the camp at Moumahaki he was sent out with a small party to take a sick man to Wairoa (now the Town of Waverley), where he handed him over to Captain Hawes, in charge of the settlers’ redoubt. This man was William Lingard, who had been awarded the New Zealand Cross for his gallantry at Tauranga-ika [see account under heading “The New Zealand Cross,” in Appendices.]

Finding the Moumahaki bush region in such a state through the floods, Colonel Whitmore decided to move the force northward by the open country and make for the Patea, as Titokowaru was making for the upper part of that district. He had considerable difficulties to surmount; the road had to be made for his transport drays. On the morning of the 12th March he arrived at Patea, and after consulting with Lieut.-Colonel St. John, who was in command of the post, speedy operations against Titokowaru were ordered. The engagement at Otautu (13 March, 1869) followed.