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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864

Sham Attack Launched

Sham Attack Launched.

On the afternoon of the 28th., General Cameron, having completed all arrangements, a sham attack was launched at the enemy's position, and continued till dark, from which no casualties to either side resulted. But the Waimapu contingent, conceiving the attack to be real, rushed to join their countrymen, thus enabling Colonel Greer, with about 700 men of the 68th Regiment, to leave camp at 9 p.m., guided by a young settler, Mr William Purvis, and travelling along the mudflats unobserved, they took up a position several yards in the enemy's rear, completely cutting off their retreat inland. It was raining heavily, and throughout the night the 68th could hear the enemy talking in their trenches. About midnight, the General became anxious at receiving no report from Colonel Greer, so despatched Deputy Assistant-Quartermaster-General, Colonel Gamble, with a detachment of sixty blue-jackets from H.M.S. “Curacoa,” under Lieutenant Charles Hotham (now Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hotham), to ascertain the position. Colonel Gamble, finding the 68th stationed in their proper position, posted the naval detachment on the enemy's extreme right, where they performed excellent service in preventing reinforcements coming in from the east or those in the pa making their escape during the attack next day. Colonel Gamble returned alone at dawn, reporting all well, much to the General's satisfaction.