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the action, resolved on a retreat, which he would accordingly have put in practice, had not the colonel, when addressed on that subject, made the following noble reply: “ We cannot hope “ for victory otherwise than by preserving our ranks; if we “ break all is lost; and from the spirit which I have seen dis. “played at this awful crisis by the Durham regiment, I can 6 never bear the idea of its giving ground.” Shortly after the retreat of the rebels commenced, the body of father Murphy being found, lord Mountñorris ordered the head to be struck off, and the trunk to be thrown into a burning house, exclaiming, “ Let his body go where his soul is!” It is an unequivocal proof that ferocity was not confined to the rebels, but displayed itself indiscriminately in the acts of them and the loyalists, that after the head of Murphy was struck off, several of the Ancient British fencibles cut open his body and took out, his heart. Afterwards, while the body lay roasting on a burning beam of timber, these very men received the dripping fat and greased their boots with it! Captain Holmes, of the Durham regiment, was not ashamed to avow in the presence of several most respectable persons, that he had been concerned in this most scandalous act of brutality, and that he had assisted to break open the breast with an axe and to cut out the heart ! At the time when father Murphy's body was found, the following journal, supposed to have been written by one Bulger, who attended father Murphy of Boulavogue, as aid-de-camp, was also discovered :
Father John Murphy's journal; found by captain Hugh Moore.
Saturday night, May 26, at 6 A. M. 1798. “ Began the republic of Ireland in Boulavogue, in the county of Wexford, barony of Gorey and parish of Kilcormuck, commanded by the reverend doctor Murphy, parish priest of the said parish, in the aforesaid parish, when all the protestants of that parish were disarmed, and amongst the aforesaid, a bigot, named Thomas Bookey, who lost his life by his rashness.
“ From thence came to Oulart, a country village adjoining, when the republic attacked a minister's house for arms, and
was denied of, laid siege immediately to it, and killed him and all his forces; the same day burned his house and all the orangemen's houses in that and all the adjoining parishes in that part of the country.
« The same day a part of the army, to the amount of one hundred and four of infantry and two troops of cavalry, attacked the republic on Oulart-hill, when the military were repulsed with the loss of one hundred and twelve men, and the republic four killed ; and then went to a hill called Corrigrua, where the republic encamped that night, and from thence went to a town called Camolin, which was taken without resistance, and the same day took another town and the state of a bishop.* At three in the afternoon, the same day, they laid siege to Enniscorthy, when they were opposed by an army of seven hundred men, then they were forced to set both ends of the town on fire, and then took the town in the space of one hour, and then encamped on a hill near the town, called Vinegar-hill, where they remained that night. ,
pen, dated this 26th day of
« Orange men are men that formed alliance to kill and destroy all the catholics of this kingdom.
« GARET LACEY." « 28th. At three in the afternoon, which was Whitsun-Monday, they marched towards Wexford, and encamped on a hill that night called the Mountain.”
* It alludes to the seat of the bishop of Ferns.
VINEGAR-Hill, the scene of so much slaughter, had been in the possession of the rebels above three weeks, during which time the loyalists of Enniscorthy and the surrounding country had been in a state of almost indescribable horror. They were every where seized; a few were butchered on the spot where they happened to fall into the hands of the rebels; but the greater number were carried to the camp on the hill; where upwards of four hundred received sentence by court-martial, and were either shot or destroyed by pikes. Some, after having been apparently killed, recovered strength sufficient to endeavour to escape; but these for the most part fell again into the hands of the rebels, and received the completion of their sufferings. The wonderful preservation of one man, however, Charles Davis, of Enniscorthy, glazier, appears to be particularly worthy of notice. This man, when the town was taken by the insurgents, justly apprehensive that no mercy would be shewn him as a loyalist, had concealed himself in a privy, where he remained some days without any other food than the body of a cock, which had accidentally perched on the seat. Impelled by the cravings of nature, however, when his provisions were exhausted, and disgusted with his loathsome abode, ne at length ventured from his place of concealment, and endeavoured to escape. He was seized near the town, convey
a to Vinegar-hill, and received the sentence of a court-martial. Being led out to suffer death pursuant to his sentence, he was
shot through the body and also through one of the arms. As these wounds were not deemed sufficient to extinguish life, he received several severe thrusts from a pike on the head, without injuring the brain; and was then thrown into a hole upon his back, and covered over with earth and stones. Thus consigned to an untimely grave, the unfortunate man remained twelve hours in a state of insensibility, during which period his dog, a faithful animal that never left him, had scraped the cos vering off his face, and licked it clean from the filth and blood.' Superstition-baleful superstition, which, maddened by fanaticism, conjointly with political animosity, had caused so many ruthless scenes of bloodshed and desolation in this unhappy country, was the means of saving this man's existence. He returned to life, his mind disordered -by his sufferings, and dreaming that he was about to be murdered by pikemen, pronouncing emphatically the name of father Roche, by whose means he hoped to obtain a protection. Accidentally overheard by some catholics to pronounce that sacred name, they believed him to have been revivified by the particular favour of heaven, that by being made a catholic by Roche, his soul might be saved from those eternal pains which they believed he would otherwise be condemned to endure. Thus impressed, they had him conveyed to a house and treated with such kindness and humanity, that he rapidly recovered, and at length apparently regained his perfect health. This instance of astonishing strength of constitution was by no means singular during the course of the rebellion. The surprising recoveries of many of the Irish peasantry, and the difficulty that was almost invariably found of putting an end to the being even of very old men, may be worthy of an inquiry no less curious than interesting.
At length, however, lieutenant-general Lake, commander in chief of the royal forces, made dispositions to expel the rebels from this hill (as we have already mentioned) which was so strongly fortified that the insurgents considered it impregnable. The troops destined to attack it amounted in all to upwards of thirteen thousand effective men, together with a formidable · train of artillery, and were arranged in columns under several
generals, with orders to attack the hill on all points at once, so as to prevent the escape of the rebels: a plan of attack which,
if it had been completely executed, would in all probability have been attended either with the complete surrendry of the enemy, or with such a slaughter as to have effectually disabled them from again taking the field. But this well-concerted" attack was unfortunately frustrated by the delay of general Needham, who arrived not at his post till after the engagement, a circumstance which, together with several others of a like nature, and his late arrival to the breakfast devoured by the Durham officers,* procured him the appellation of the late general Needhan. Except that commanded by this general, the different columns were at their respective posts when the attack commenced, at seven in the morning of the twenty-first of June, with a brisk discharge of cannon and mortars, which was kept up, together with that of the small arms for an hour and a half. When the firing commenced, the position of the right column was on a rising ground at the west end of Enniscorthy, having Vinegar-hill on the east. This column, covered by the fire of its own six-pounder, penetrated into the town, and vigorously attacked the insurgents posted there, who had advantageously placed themselves in the streets and houses. A party of the troops having advanced with one field-piece opposite to the court-house, were there overpowered by a numerous body of pikemen, who rushed from the building, and took possession of the gun. This gun, however, was shortly after re-taken by another division of the king's troops, with considerable slaughter of the enemy. The rebels at length abandoned the town, retreating to Vinegar-hill, the summit of which, however, had been cleared by the central column, which had formed on a rising ground on the north side, where the rebels had reared a breast work, before they could reach it, and their friends finding they could no longer keep possession, had retreated to another position on the east side, called the Lower hill. Having displayed the royal banners on the top of the wind-mill, in place of the standard of rebellion, the kings troops turned thirteen pieces of cannon, which had been abondoned, against the enemy. By the fire of these, and the resolution of the light brigade, they were thrown into confusion, when the cavalry
:: * See p. 239.