Page images
PDF
EPUB

ceiving a mortal wound in the shoulder from the major's pistol ; of which he expired in great agony on the third of June.

Several papers found in lord Edward's possession at the time of his arrest, betrayed the nature and extent of the intended insurrection; and contained a plan for the capture of Dublin. In his lodgings at Mr. Murphy's were also found a green uniform, turned up with black, and a curious cap of the same materials, in which he meant to have been drest when he headed the insurrection; together with the official seal* of the Irish union.

One of these papers, found in lord Edward's writing box, the plan for defeating the king's troops at the intended attack of the insurgents upon Dublin, contains observations so judicious, and appears so well adapted to answer the purpose for which it was intended, that we have given it to our readers en

[ocr errors]

tire.

COPY OF A PAPER FOUND IN THE WRITING-Box OF LORD

EDWARD FITZGERALD.

[ocr errors]

6 If ever any unfortunate cause should put our city, with the other parts of the country, into the possession of a cruel and tyrannical enemy, whose government, by repeated oppressions, might drive us into the last stage of desperate resistance, our conduct then should be regulated in a manner best calculated for obtaining victory.

The following thoughts are humbly offered for the inspection of

every real Irishman. “It is supposed that the enemy have a well-appointed and disciplined standing army.“

“ In such a case, every man ought to consider how that army could be attacked or repelled, and what advantage their

* We have not been able to procure a description of this seal.. The following is that of the secretaries of the united society of Dublin :-A harp; at the top, “ I am new strung ;" at the bottom, I will be heard;" and on the exergue, “ Society of United Irishmen of Dublin."

discipline and numbers might give them in a populous city, acting in concert with the adjoining counties.

“ It is well known, that an officer of any skill in his profession, would be very cautious of bringing the best-disciplined troops into a large city in a state of insurrection, for the following reasons :

* His troops, by the breadth of the streets, are obliged to have a very narrow front; and however numerous, only three men deep can come into action, which in the widest of our streets, cannot be more than sixty men, as a space must be left on each side or flank for the men who discharge to retreat to the rear, that their places may be occupied by the next in succession who are loaded; so, though there are a thousand men in a street, not more than sixty can act at one time ; and should they be attacked by an irregular body armed with pikes, or such bold weapons, if the sixty men in front were defeated, the whole body, however numerous, are unable to assist, and immediately become a small mob in uniform, from the inferiority of number in comparison to the people, and easily disposed of,

« Another inconvenience might destroy the order of this army. Perhaps at the same moment, they may be dreadfully galled from the house tops, by showers of bricks, coping-stones, &c. which may be at hand; without imitating the women of Paris, who carried the stones of the unpaved streets to the windows and tops of the houses in their aprons.

“ Another disadvantage on the part of the soldiers would be, as they are regulated by the word of command, or stroke of the drum, they must be left to their individual discretion, as such communications must be drowned in the noise and clamour of a popular tumult.

“ In the next place, that part of the populace who could not get into the engagement, would be employed in unpaving the streets, so as to impede the movements of horse or artillery; and in the avenues where the army were likely to pass, numbers would be engaged in forming barriers of hogsheads, carts, cars, counters, doors, &c. the forcing of which barriers by the army would be disputed, while like ones were forming at every twenty or thirty yards, or any convenient distances situation might require. Should such precautions be well observed, the progress

Y

of an army through one street, or over one bridge, would be very tedious, and attended with great loss, if it would not be destroyed; at the same time the neighbouring counties might rise in a mass, and dispose of the troops scattered in their vicinity, and prevent a junction or a passage of any army intended for the city; they would tear up the roads and barricade every convenient distance with trees, timber, implements of husbandry, &c. at the same time lining the hedges, walls, ditches, and houses, with men armed with muskets, who would keep up a well-directed fire.

“However well exercised standing armies are supposed to be, by frequent reviews and sham battles, they are never prepared for broken roads, or enclosed fields, in a country like ours, covered with innumerable and continued intersections of ditches and hedges, every one of which are an advantage to an irregular body, and may with advantage be disputed against an army, as so many fortifications and entrenchments.

- The people in the city would have an advantage, by being armed with pikes or such weapons ; the first attack, if possible, should be made by men whose pikes were nine or ten feet long, by that means they could act in ranks deeper than the soldiery, whose arms are much shorter; then, the deep files of the pikemen, by being weightier, must easily break the thin order of the army. :

“ The charge of the pikemen should be made in a smart trot, on the flank or extremity of every rank; there should be intrepid men placed to keep the fronts even, that at closing every point should tell together; they should have at the same time, two or three like bodies at convenient distances in the rear, who would be brought up, if wanting, to support the front, which would give confidence to their brothers in action, as it would tend to discourage the enemy; at the same time, there should be in the rear of each division some men of spirit, to keep the ranks as close as possible. • “ The apparent strength of the army should not intimidate, as closing on it makes its powder and ball useless; all its superiority is in fighting at a distance; all its skill ceases, and all its action must be suspended, when it once is within reach of the pike.

“ The reason of writing and printing this is, to remind the people of discussing military subjects.”

Three papers found in the possession of Lord Edward Fitz

gerald, when arrested.

No. I. ,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

« T. Keathy, Enverness fencibles
Salt, Londonderry · · ·
Naas, Armagh - - -

Green horse
Connel - - ..
Clane, Armagh . . .
Narragh Rabn. Ks. county M.)

[Longford

6th dragoons

(Louth Ñ.') Kilkea, Do. Do. Do. Kilculen, r9th dragoons

| Tyrone M. C

Suffolk . ?

LOrange Yeo. Carbery, Inverness fencibles Ophilia sundrs. - - .

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

50 chains of 6 foot long, with 50 padlocks. 1000 spike nails, 4, 6, 8 inches. 200 round staples. 20 cramp irons, in this form. 50 large sledges.

50 small ones. 50 hammers. 50 groove irons. 100 hatchets. 300 shovels and spades, or as many as can be procured. 150 hooks for scaling ladders, the catching point to have a hackle

face.

No. III.

“ Suppose R. force divided into three columns. The left of the Kildare line to assemble at Clonclurry, or between it and Clonard-bridge; a detachment to be sent to Clonard-bridge as soon as possible; that body to advance by Kilcock, Maynooth, Leixlip, and Chapelizod, towards Dublin.”

On the nineteenth and twenty-first of May several other persons were arrested; among whom were Henry and John Sheares, lawyers of great abilities and eminence. These brothers are, with every appearance of reason, supposed to have been raised to the fatal dignity of directors. They were betrayed by captain Armstrong, of the King's County militia, who had procured an introduction to them, and who, passing with them for an United Irishman, regularly conveyed to the lord lieutenant such information as he could procure. In the house of Henry Sheares, at the time of his arrest, was found, in the handwriting of John, the following manifesto, intended to have been published after the city should have been taken; and which breathes a sanguinary spirit, certainly not the real disposition of these gentlemen, but which may have been consistent with their ideas of good policy, to-strike a terror into those loyalists who might be disposed to oppose them:

“ Irishmen, your country is free, and you are about to be 46. avenged. That vile government, which has so long and so 6 cruelly oppressed you, is no more. Some of its most attro“ cious monsters have already paid the forfeit of their lives, 6 and the rest are in our hands. The national flag, the sacred « green, is at this moment flying over the ruins of despotism; « and that capital, which a few hours past had witnessed the 66 debauchery, the plots, and the crimes of your tyrants, is now

« PreviousContinue »