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“Disappointed by the defeat at Ballycannow, of taking post on Ballymanaan-hill on the first of June, and of advancing thence to Gorey on the second, the rebel army on Corrigruahill remained in that station till the fourth. Meantime the long and anxiously expected army under major-general Loftus arrived in Gorey. The sight of fifteen hundred fine troops, with five pieces of artillery, filled every loyal breast with confidence, insomuch that not a doubt was entertained of the immediate and total dispersion of the rebels. The plan was to march the army in two divisions, by two different roads, to the post of Corrigrua, and to attack the enemy with combined forces, in which attack they expected the co-operation of some other troops. But while this arrangement was made, on the fourth of June, by the army, the rebels were preparing to quit Corrigrua, and to march to Gorey; for by a letter from Gorey to a priest named Philip Roche, then in bed in the house of Richard Donovan, Esq. of Ballymore, at the foot of the abovementioned hill, information was received by the rebel chiefs, about one o'clock in the morning, of the intended motions of the army. The publicity of the adopted plan of operations, by which the disaffected in the town were enabled to give this information to the enemy, was probably occasioned by the imprudence of colonel Walpole, who claimed an independent and discretionary command. Intelligence of the plan of the rebels march was carried to the army with the most eager dispatch, by a respectable farmer called Thomas Dowling, who made application to several officers, all of whom despised his information, and some threatened him with imprisonment if he should not cease his nonsense. The army began its march in two divisions, according to the above plan, about the same time that the rebels began theirs in one body. The latter were met nearly mid-way between Gorey and Corrigrua by the division under colonel Walpolema gentleman much more fit for the place of a courtier than that of a military leader. As no scouts nor flanking parties were employed by this commander, he knew nothing of the approach of the enemy until he actually saw them, at the distance of a few yards, advancing on him in a place called Tubberneering. Walpole seems not to have been deficient in courage. The action
commenced in a confused manner. The rebels poured a tremenduous fire from the fields on both sides of the road, and he received a ball through the head in a few minutes. His troops fled in the utmost disorder, leaving their cannon, consisting of two six-pounders and a smaller piece, in the hands of the enemy. They were pursued as far as Gorey, in their flight through which, they were galled by a fire of guns from some of the houses, where some rebels had taken their station.
The unfortunate loyalists of Gorey, who a few minutes before had thought themselves perfectly secure, fled, as many as could escape, to Arklow with the routed army, leaving all their effects behind.
“ While Walpole’s division was engaged with the enemy, general Loftus, marching by a different road, that of Ballycannow, and hearing the noise of battle, detached seventy men, the grenadier company of the Antrim militia, across the fields to its assistance. This body was intercepted by the rebels, who were in pursuit of the routed army, and almost all killed or taken ; and as near forty men of Walpole's division were lost, the detriment on the whole amount was considerable. Meanwhile the gteneral, ignorant of the colonel's fate, and unable to bring his artillery across the fields, continued his march along the highway, and coming round by a long circuit to the field of battle, was at last made acquainted with the event. He then followed the march of the rebels towards Gorey, and coming within view of them, found them posted on Gorey-hill, a commanding eminence, at the foot of which the town is built. Convinced that he could neither attack them in their post with any prospect of success, nor pass by them into the town without great hazzard, he retreated to Carnew, and in his retreat was saluted with a fire of the artillery of the rebels from the top of the hill, whither they had, by strength of men, drawn the cannon taken from Walpole’s troops, beside some pieces brought from Wexford. Thinking Carnew an unsafe post, though the gentlemen of that neighbourhood thought, and still think, quite otherwise, as he was there at the head of twelve hundred effective men, he abandoned that part of the country to the rebels, and retreated nine miles farther, to the town of Tullow, in the county of Carlow."
from Walpolhad, by stry of the rebeln his ret
Had the insurgents followed up this signal advantage, and proceeded immediately to Arklow and Wicklow, those towns must inevitably have yielded to their victorious arms; and thus they would have opened a passage to the metropolis :-But instead of acting on this occasion with that celerity so necessary in their then posture of affairs, they lost five days in the plunder of Gorey and its vicinity, destroying at the same time the church, and the two elegant seats of Messrs Rams at Clonaltin and Ramsfort.
THE body of rebels under Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey, destined to attack Ross, who had encamped on Carrickbyrnehill, were in the meantime acquiring a great increase of numbers. They continued in their encampment four days, during which period.partics were dispatched throughout the adjacent country to bring in loyalists, who were tried by a court-martial. Several of these were executed on the first of June. Others were imprisoned in the house and barn of Mr. King of Scullabogue, under Carrickbyrne-hill.
On the fourth of June, Harvey moved to Corbet-hill, one mile from Ross, which he was determined to attack with his whole force on the following morning, leaving at Carrickbyrne a strong guard of three hundred men, under Father John Murphy. The rebel force amounted to about twenty thousand men. The garrison, consisting of about twelve hundred effective men, commanded by general Johnson, together with one hundred and fifty yeomen, continued under arms all night. About four in the morning, Bagenal Harvey, confident of success, but at the same time eager to save the effusion of blood, sent a Mr. Furlong with a flag of truce to summon the garrison to surrender. This gentleman was most imprudently shot; a practice, amongst many others equally laudable, too common with the military officers during the rebellion. This, of all their actions, however, was certainly the most culpable. Without entering into any discussion on the right or wrong principles by which
the leaders of rebellion were induced to take arms against the government, certainly there can be no impropriety in saying that persons sent with proposals from them ought to have been held sacred. Loyalists, who had the misfortune to be taken by the rebels, and compelled to accompany them, were detered from attempting to escape to any royal troops, which they might often have done, lest they should be mistaken for rebel messengers, and put to death before they could make themselves known. For the same reason such rebels as might be inclined to return to their allegiance were withheld from taking a step so salutary. Besides, might not a whole body of insurgents by communications of this kind have offered to lay down their arms? The rebels, also, treated in this manner, must have been rendered doubly ferocious, and considering themselves as devoted to destruction should they fail in their enterprise, be driven by desperation to retaliate with signal vengeance on the unhappy loyalists who were so unfortunate as to fall into their possession. On the person of Furlong was found the summons, which was couched as follows:
Summons to the Commander of the Garrison of Ross.
“ Sir --As a friend to humanity, I request you will surrender the town of Ross to the Wexford forces, now assembled against that town. Your resistance will but provoke rapine and plunder to the ruin of the most innocent. Flushed with victory, the Wexford forces, now innumerable and irresistable, will not be controled if they meet with resistance. To prevent, therefore, the total ruin of all property in the town, I urge you to a speedy surrender, which you will be forced to in a few hours, with loss and bloodshed, as you are surrounded on all sides. Your an." swer is required in four hours. Mr. Furlong carries this letter, and will bring the answer.
I am, Sir,
B. B. HARVEY, Camp at Corbet-hill, half). General, commandling &r. &c. past three o'clock, morning, June 5, 1798.