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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

The Capture of Kaitaki

The Capture of Kaitaki.

This was looked upon for some time as likely to result it great loss of life, being considered a formidable stronghold, situated as it was on a high hill, with saps and rifle pits from base to top. Colonel (now General Warre, K.C.B.), made arrangements for its capture, and took out all the available force, and the event was looked upon as one of the most important of the whole war. He duly arranged his forces, fired a few shot and shell at it, then ordered the force to retire to their respective quarters. This was the signal for no end of abuse from the papers. They lashed out a terrible heap of abuse, and called him a second Colonel Gould. The Colonel read it all and smiled, and said to himself—

"Blow off all your gas. We have our own way of doing these things."

Not long after, he made his arrangements again—arrangements which were done very quietly, and left every one, nearly, puzzled to know what was in the wind. Captain Corbett's company of military settlers were sent off one day, accompanied by Lieutenant C. M. Clark, now Major-general page 71 who was adjutant of the "Die Hards." They took a course round to the back of Kaitaki, and when, from a certain signal from the front, down they came upon the heights of Kaitaki, the attention of the enemy was, as a matter of course, all centred on the front. Judge their extreme surprise when attacked from the rear. They soon fled, leaving this company, which was soon reinforced from the front, masters of the position. There was not a man lost on our side.

"Now, said the gallant Colonel, "we have it."

This gave command of a large extent of what had hitherto been very troublesome country. These rangers ran along to a place called Ahu-Ahu. Of this place more anon.

There was plenty of good solid hard work to be done, not only the ordinary military duties, but road-making, &c. Expeditions were now and then undertaken, involving a considerable amount of travelling. Such outings were seldom crowned with that success which their promoters wished.

Operations having been started in the Waikato, there were very few troops, beyond the "Die Hards," militia, and volunteers, left to look after the welfare of the province of Taranaki.