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years of age in the yeoman cavalry, who had by his remonstrances restrained his associates from violence with respect to the fair sex. In the action of this day, which will be long re. membered in Gorey under the title of Bloody Friday, only three of the yeomen infantry were killed, and none of the cavalry. The rebels having accomplished their purpose of revenge, their only motive for deviating from their course to visit Gorey, resumed, after a short repast, their march to the Wicklow mountains.”
After the signal advantages gained by the king's troops, and the expulsion of the rebels from Wexford and Enniscorthy, those of the latter who remained in arms, were compelled to make mountains and other devious recesses their only. places of abode. These seem now to have confined themselves merely to attempts to prolong the war, till the arrival of a French force to their assistance, by eluding the vigilance of the royal troops by rapid movements from one strong position to another.
THE rebel columns which evacuated Wexford, on the twenty-second of June formed a junction in the mountains between the counties of Wexford and Kilkenny, where they continued and 'spread desolation for some time, burning the houses of protestants, and murdering such of the occupiers as fell into their hands. The first achievment they endeavoured to perform, was an attempt to destroy Hacketstown, in which they succeeded, though not without considerable loss. The rebels, made an attack upon this town on the twenty-fifth of May; but were defeated by the yeomen and a party of militia.
The column of rebels under the command of general Perry, father Kearns, Garret Byrne, and William Byrne of Ballymanus, marched to Hacketstown early in the morning of the twenty-fifth of June. The garrison of that town consisted of fifty of the Antrim militia, lieutenant Gardiner; fifty of the Talbotstown cavalry, captain Hume'; twenty-four Shilelah cavalry, lieutenants Bradwell and Taylor; forty-six Hacketstown infantry, captain Hardy; and thirty Coolatin infantry, captain Chamney. This little army marched a short distance out of town, at six o'clock in the morning of the twenty-fifth of
June, to meet the rebels, who were upwards of four thousand strong. Before they had advanced far, they perceived the enemy, who immediately began to file off on each side of the road, for the purpose of surrounding them. In consequence of this maneuvre, the cavalry were obliged to retreat by the Clonmore road, and could not return to assist in defending the town. In this retreat captain Hardy and four men were killed. The infantry were also obliged to retreat, and one hundred and twenty of them took post in the barrack, and the remainder defended the front.
A clergyman of the name of Magee, and nine protestants, took their station in a house which commanded the principal street, determined to defend it to the last extremity. Mr. Magee's family, all the protestant women of the town, and even the wife of the rebel general Byrne, took refuge in this house; the lower part of which was barricaded, four men placed in the rear to prevent it from being fired, and five in the front, partly for its defence, and partly to cover the adjoining barrack, which being a thatched building, could not be defended by the troops inside. .
Soon after this, the town was completely surrounded by an immense body of pikemen, who immediately fired it in many different places, while upwards of a thousand men poured upon it a heavy fire of musketry. In two hours, the whole of the town was in flames, except the barrack and two other houses; one of which contained the brave little ' garrison already mentioned. The rebels finding they could not succeed in destroying the barrack, without possession of Mr. Magee's house which flanked the back part of it, they relinquished the former, and approached the latter in great force. With colours flying, and sounding their bugle horns, they pushed carts before them on which were placed feather-beds, to cover the attack, and seemed determined to conquer or die; but in spite of all their efforts they were obliged to abandon it, leaving behind them twenty-eight men killed. Behind the house, next day, were found fifty dead bodies of pikemen, and thirty more covered with clay. It would not have been possible for that gallant handful of men to have defended themselves for want
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of ammunition, had it not been for the assistance of a wounded officer, who sat behind a pier between two windows making cartridges; while his wife to the imminent danger of her life continued to distribute refreshments to the besieged during their fatiguing and dangerous service; and when their stock of balls was exhausted, she melted pewter plates, and with her own hands cast them into bullets, which her husband made up into", cartridges..
The engagement continued till near four o'clock in the afternoon, when the rebels drew off their force in a regular manner, taking with them several cart loads of killed and wounded ; though many of them were thrown into the burning houses and consumed, so that upon the whole not less than two hundred of them must have been destroyed.
From the total want of shelter, as well as ammunition and provision, and being apprehensive of a fresh attack, the army resolved to retreat to Tullow the same evening, having only eleven men killed and fifteen wounded. The rebels returned in the night and burnt the barracks and stores, and destroyed the houses belonging to the loyalists for some miles round.
As that column of rebels still continued to infest the country near Gorey, a detachment of the Tinnahely cavalry, under the command of captain Gowen, was sent to reconnoitre towards Monyseed. He saw the rebels near that town, in great force, having received considerable reinforcements after their flight from Vinegar-hill. Captain Gowen immediately sent an express to general Needham, who ordered out colonel Puelston, of the Ancient Britons, with detachments of that regiment,' the fourth and fifth dragoons, the Gorey, Wingfield, and Ballaghkeen cavalry. As the patrole advanced, they were informed that the rebels were near Ballyellis, and that they were in great want of ammunition. The colonel then said he would put them all to the sword, and making all speed, he perceived them coming along the side of Kilcaven-hill. When the rebels saw the cavalry advancing in so rapid and incautious, a manner, they immediately left the road and lay down under cover of the hedges, leaving all their horses, baggage-carts and wounded,
which they brought from the battle of Hacketstown, in the road. Here they lay till the cavalry came up in full speed, on which the rebels opened a most tremendous fire of musķetry on them; and being securely sheltered, the cavalry could do no execution, and were obliged to gallop, stooping under cover of the hedges; and not being cautious enough to avoid the carts in the road, rode against some of them and were overthrown: those behind pressing forward, and being also obliged to stoop, could not see them in time to stop, therefore tumbled one over another, horse over horse, whilst some of the horses feet got entangled in the carts, so that the road was strewed with men and horses plunging and tumbling about. The rebels, taking advantage of this confusion, rushed on them, piked and shot twenty-five of the Ancient Britons, eleven of the fifth dragoons, six Gorey cavalry, two Ballaghkeene cavalry, and two loyalists who went out with the patrole, and wounded many others. The remainder escaped and passed on through Carnew, took another rout and arrived safely at Gorey. During this transaction, the Wingfield dismounted cavalry and infantry, under captain Gowen, came up with the rebels, and being dressed in coloured clothes, they thought they were part of their own forces. The yeomanry seeing their opportunity, attacked them with great spirit, killed a number of them, and made their retreat without the loss of a man.
The rebels having acquired a strength of arms and ammunition by the defeat of the cavalry, and knowing that Carnew was only garrisoned by about fifty yeomen, resolved on attacking it; but the yeomanry being informed of their intentions, took post in a malt-house, and repulsed them with great slaughter. The rebels then retired to Ballyellis, and in their retreat plundered and destroyed a new house, the property of Sir John Jervis White.
They then repaired to Kilcaven, whence, after a short stay, they proceeded to Ballyraheen-hill. In their march they killed twelve loyalists, and burned several houses.
They were pursued by detachments of the Wingfield and Shillelah cavalry, the Tinahely infantry, the Coolatin and the