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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May 1, 1935)

An Anxious Hour

An Anxious Hour.

The condition of the Taranaki men was very serious, for their ammunition was almost done, and it was believed that the Maoris would rush the place when night fell. Firing now was restricted to the best shots; and Ensign Messenger, at Stapp's request, went round and saw that each man had a cartridge for the expected rush. They would then have to depend on their bayonets.

All at once, as night was drawing over the scene the sound of heavy firing and loud cheering was heard from Kaipopo hill. The Maoris ceased to press in on the settlers and retreated hurriedly up the slopes to their palisaded pa.

The order to leave the position was given by Captain Stapp—the most experienced officer in the force, who had been requested by Captain Brown to take charge early in the day's work. Bearing their dead and wounded the Volunteers and Militia retreated on Omata stockade and thence marched back to the town, reaching there after midnight. Atkinson's men formed the rearguard, with the eight soldiers of the 65th who had remained with the settlers.