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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864

Preliminary Skirmish

Preliminary Skirmish.

The young men began to get weary of idleness and it was proposed to make an attack on the camp—a sort of feeler. Accordingly small detachments from the various defensive points collected, and a mild attack was made on the camp. A gun, accidentally discharged, wounded one of their number, which was considered an evil portent, and when the troops advanced in large numbers, opening fire from 12-pounder Armstrongs, the enemy retired, two soldiers only being wounded. A verbal message was sent to Te Papa, saying that as their position inland was evidently too far off for the troops to march, the natives proposed to take up a position nearer Te Papa. The above skirmish had occurred on April 2nd., and the next day the enemy was observed energetically entrenching on Pukehinahina Ridge (a narrow neck where swamps from the Waimapu and Waikareao branches of the harbour were about 300 yards apart). The missionaries had built a deep ditch and high bank across, on which a gate was placed; hence the name of Gate Pa.