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Corrigrua, as a signal for his associates to assemble, which was answered by another fire on an eminence contiguous to his own house at Boulavogue. This rising was cominunicated to the garrison at Enniscorthy by a female named Piper, the daughter of a widow whose house the insurgents had assaulted, and from which she had escaped by leaping out at a window, and flying to Enniscorthy on horseback. The house was situated at a place called Tincurry, about four miles from Enniscorthy. The insurgents wounded the widow, broke the arm of one of her daughters, who was with child, and slew her nephew, a young man named Candy. .
Murphy, having burned some protestant houses, proceeded to a place called the Harrow; where he engaged and defeated a party of the Camolin yeomen infantry, commanded by lieutenant Bookey, who was slain in the commencement of the action while advancing before his men to harangue the insurgents. This beginning of hostilities, and the success by which it was attended, brought great numbers to join the rebels, so that on the succeeding morning, Whitsunday, [May 27.] two very considerable bodies had collected, one on the hill of Oulárt, about eleven miles to the south of Wexford; the other on Kil. thomas hill, an inferior ridge of Slyeeve Bwee mountain, about nine miles westward of Gorey. These body of insurgents were mixed multitudes of persons of both sexes and all ages. Against the rebels assembled at Oulart, commanded by father John Murphy in person, was detached, under the command of lieu. tenant-colonel Foote, one hundred and ten chosen men of the North Cork militia. On the advance of the king's troops, a party descended from the southern side of the hill, apparently with intention to have engaged them. These were broken and dispersed at the first onset, and fled with precipitation to the northern side of the hill, whither they were pursued with so little apprehension of resistance, that no rank or order was observed. On reaching the northern summit, they were informed that a considerable body of cavalry had that morning been observed approaching the hill, in the direction whither they were flying, and that their intention was either to intercept them in their retreat, or to co-operate with the infantry in a joint attack. As they were yet so unskilled in military affairs as to regard an
attack from cavalry the most formidable that could be made upon them, and as Father Murphy exclaimed they must either conquer or inevitably perish, they turned again upon iheir pursuers, who had by this time, breathless with running, nearly gained the top. Only about three hundred of the rebels, however, ventured to make this desperate attack, which was so sudden and impetuous, that the whole of the troops, except the lieutenant-colonel, a serjeant, and three privates, were killed almost in an instant, including one major, one captain, two lieutenants, and one ensign.
The body of cavalry; for fear of whom the insurgents were driven to this desperate exertion of courage, had that morning early left Gorey with intention to attack them; but after they had proceeded about thirteen miles, the number and position of the enemy was such as to induce them to retreat, which they accomplished after killing some unarmed stragglers and several old men whom they found in the houses. They were ignorant that the North Cork militia had that morning marched to attack the same body.
Against the rebels assembled at Kilthomas hill, consisting of between two and three thousand armed men, besides women, children, &c. a body about three hundred yeomen, infantry and cavalry, marched, and were more successful than their brethren at Oulart. The infantry of this little army, flanked at a considerable distance on the left by the cavalry, advanced up the hill against the rebels, who were posted on the summit, with the utmost intrepidity; and the insurgents were so panic-struck by a few discharges of musketry, that they fled, and were pursued with the loss of about a hundred and fifty men. The victors also, in the course of seven miles march, burned two catholic chapels, and about a hundred cabins and farm-houses.
Meantime the victorious body of Oulart, under father Murphy, elated with their success, marched and took possession of Camolin, a town six miles westward of Gorey, whither its loyal inhabitants had fled for 'refuge. The whole country presented the most rueful aspect of civil warfarehouses in flames, part fired by the rebels, and part by the military; while the frighted inhabitants were flying in all quarters ; the protestants to the towns, the Romanists to the hills, or to join the rebel parties of their persuasion. From Camolin, the rebels advanced to Ferns, two miles further, from whence the loyalists had Aed to Enniscorthy, six miles to the south. On the same morning the garrison of Carnew, nine miles from Gorey, consisting of three yeomanry corps, in all about two hundred men, attacked a large body of rebels who were preparing to assault that town, and compelled them to fly to Ferns, with the loss of nine killed and two taken prisoners.
Father Murphy found himself now in such strength that he determined, on Monday the twenty-eighth, the day after his victory, at Oulart, to hazard an attack on the town of Enniscorthy, which was garrisoned by about three hundred men; as by the following return:
Morth Cork militia.
Capts. Subs. Sergs. Drunts. R. & F. Capt. Snowe's company, 1
3. 2 Capt. De Courcy's do. O
1 2 2
North Cork-Captain Snowe, lieutenant Bowen, ensign Harman.
Enniscorthy infantry_Captain Pounden, lieutenants Drury and Hunt.
Scarawalsh infantry_Captain Cornock, lieutenants Carden and Rudd.
Lieutenant Spring on half-pay, and formerly lieutenant of the sixty-third regiment, joined the troops a volunteer.
The rebels, amounting to about seven thousand, eight hun. dred of whom were armed with muskets, appeared before the town about one o'clock in the afternoon. Enniscorthy, situate on both sides of the river Slaney, over which there is a stone bridge, is a market, a post, and a borough town. The markethouse, court-house, and principal streets are on the south side. On the north are two suburbs called Templeshannon and Drumgoold, which extend close to Vinegar Hill, a mountain about twelve miles from the town of Wexford, sixteen from Ross, eighteen from Gorey, eight from Tahmon, six from Ferns, and ten from Newton-Barry. The river being navigable with the tide, it was a place of considerable trade, and contained between four and five thousand inhabitants. As intelligence had been received at nine o'clock that the enemy was advancing against the town, the garrison had their different positions and rallying posts immediately assigned them by captain Snowe, as commanding officer. The North-Cork were stationed on the bridge; the Enniscorthy cavalry in the street leading to it from the town; and the Enniscorthy and Scarawalsh infantry at the Duffreygate-hill on the Carlow road. A considerable guard was also posted at the market-house, where the arms and ammunition were lodged; and another guard over some suspicious persons confined in the castle. As the rebels approached towards the Duffrey-gate, in a strong column of about a mile in length, where many avenues led into the town, captains Cornock and Pounden led their yeomen forward, in a line about four hundred yards from the gate; on which the enemy halted about the same distance from them, and parties filed off about a half a mile to the right and left of the main body, with design to outflank the yeomen. After this movement, they advanced a few paces, drove a multitude of cattle and horses against the troops, and gave a general volley from right to left; so effective that captain Cornock, and lieutenants Hunt and Pounden, were wounded, the two latter mortally; and several privates killed and wounded. The yeomen returned the fire with considerable effect; but the rebels continued to advance, firing at the same time with such precision, that lieutenant Hunt, who had served during great part of the American war, astonished at their steadiness and celerity, declared that
patchened it pels come
he had never before experienced so heavy and well directed a fire. As the rebels continued to extend their wings, the yeomen deemed it prudent to retire near to the town, where they dispatched a message to captain Snowe, who defended the bridge, to require him to hasten to their assistance. That gendleman immediately marched to their aid with the North Cork militia; but understanding that the rebels were moving towards the bridge, he retreated to his former station in order to defend it: ordering the cavalry to cover his rear, a large body of the enemy having advanced to his last position. These captain Richards accordingly charged and dispersed, but had nine of his corps killed and three wounded, and sixteen horses killed.
Captain Snowe arrived at the bridge in time to prevent the antos . enemy from crossing. .
Meantime the troops at the Duffrey-gate, finding they must quickly be surrounded by the long extended wings of the enemy, if they continued to hold their position, divided themselves into small parties; and occupying the different avenues leading into the town, defended them for some time with the greatest spirit and resolution; though the streets in which they fought had been fired by some of the disaffected inhabitants, in order to annoy them. These brave men, however, were at length compelled to retreat to the market-house, where they again made a stand. The rebels now attempted to ford the river in many places, but were galled from the bridge, which had become the station of defence. So fluctuating was the success of the day, during several hours, that many of the inhabitants, in order to avoid the fury of the prevailing party, had alternately displayed the orange and the green ribbon. At length the rebels, fording the river both above and below the bridge, some of them up to the middle, others to the neck in water, entered the eastern part of the town and fired it; when the garrison retreated in great disorder towards Wexford, fourteen miles distant, having expended the whole of their ammunition, though they had repeatedly filled their pouches from the militia magazine. An instance of intrepidity displayed by a yeoman, we deem not unworthy of notice: a spent ball having lodged in his neck, he had it extracted by the assistance of an officer; and calmly charging his įpiece with it, returned it to the enemy.