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Chap, they were galled by a fire from the outposts of the UyJ garrison, and demanded the removal of this annoyance. To dislodge the out-posts, five hundred men were assigned to a brave young man, named Kelly, who quickly performed this service, but was utterly unable to restrain his irregular band. These, followed by a multitude in defiance of orders, fierce and ungovernable, many of them intoxicated, rushed headlong forward, forced back the cavalry with slaughter on the foot, seized the artillery, and drove the troops posted in that quarter to the bridge, and the opposite side of the river. From a full persuasion of a decided victory in favour of the assailants, some officers fled, without stopping, twelve miles, to Waterford, with this alarming intelligence. But, as if plunder were their only objeci, these victorious rebels pursued no farther their advantage, while the royal troops, posted in other parts, maintained their stations, unassailed by the columns destined to attack their quarters. These columns had not been completely formed when a premature onset was made by the third; and, by the premature flight of some of their leaders afterwards, with unaccountable timidity, they were totally deranged and ineffective. While in Waterford, the fugitives of the royal army announced the undoubted conquest of Ross by the rebels, in Wexford the fugitives of the latter asserted, before it happened, the total defeat of their forces by the garrison. I
The The advantage offered was with ardour seized by Chap.
general Johnson, who to rally the discomfited. troops, made the utmost exertions, aided with equal ardour by two townsmen of Ross, Devereux a catholic, and Mac-Cormick a protestant, who had formerly been in military service. The latter, rushing from post to post, conspicuous with a brazen helmet and lofty stature, might strike with the semblance of the Grecian Ajax, a man of classic reading. Led back from the bridge, the troops of Johnson assailed and drove the confused rabble from the town, the outskirts of which were now in flames. Tumultuous distraction prevailed in the rebel host, regardless of commands or plans; and exertions arose only from individual spirit, which prompted men to volunteer for the fight, and to stimulate others by exhortation. By a column thus formed, the combat was renewed, and the royal troops twice driven from their ground: but the latter were a third time rallied; and the insurgents, dispirited by the mishap of Kelly, who was disabled by a wound, left to their .opponents, by a final retreat, an indubitable victory.
In this irregularly fought battle, which ended at two o'clock in the afternoon, and had, with the intervention of long pauses, a duration of ten hours, the loss of the garrison, whose number was twelve hundred, has been supposed by some to have been greater than it appeared in the official Account, where it was stated at two hundred and
c H a P. thirty in killed, wounded, and missing, of whom C_y!U ninety were found dead on the scene of aShon. To ascertain the loss of the adverse party is impossible. Their force on Corbet-hill is supposed to have consisted of twenty thousand men, mostly unprovided with instruments of war, even serviceable pikes. Of these not more than half, or perhaps a fourth, descended, to the combat. Doubtless the slaughter was prodigious, as they repeatedly withstood, with undaunted resolution, the discharges of musketry and cannon; and probably not less than a thousand, perhaps fifteen hundred, fell: but I fear, as is asserted, that not a few, inhabitants of the town and refugees from the country, neither engaged in battle, nor bearing arms, were numbered with the dead; since the soldiers treated as enemies alike all whom they found without military uniform. From a foresight of this, all the protestant loyalists, unfurnished with military dress, had been commanded to surrender their arms and quit the town. Those who, by disobedience to this order, avoided the danger of being massacred by the rebels abroad, took post in some houses, and poured such a fire on the insurgents, that one of the lanes was almost filled with dead bodies. Mas^cre of As by cowards on both sides had false reports june a, been propagated of a total defeat sustained by their own party; so men of this description on both sides were eager to massacre defenceless people in cold blood. The guard-house in Ross had been
filled filled with prisoners, among whom were many loyal- Chapist refugees, confined through mistake and malice. \^^-L> The whole would have been massacred by the runaway soldiers, if they had not been prevented by the undaunted spirit, and dignified reproof, of one Cullimer, a quaker. Unfortunately the runaway rebels had more leisure than the soldiery of this description to perpetrate a deed of horror. In the dwelling-house and barn of Mr. King of Scullabogue, at the foot of Carrickburn mountain, a number of loyalists of both sexes, among whom were at least seven catholics, were confined, collected from the neighbouring country as hostages for the safety of such rebels as should become prisoners to the royalists. Urging that the bearer of their flag of truce had been shot, that the prisoners of their party had been massacred at Dunlavin and Carnew by the royal troops, and that a similar scene was now a6ted in Ross, a body of fugitives from the battle forced the guard, shot thirty-seven confined in the dwelling-house, and, setting fire to the barn, caused all who were within it to perish in the flames. The number of the burned, stated by some at a hundred and eightyfour, is reduced by others to eighty. The prime actor in this tragedy is said to have hitherto remained unaccused and unsuspected, while some have been hanged for the deed, who were at too great a distance to take any part in its instigation or execution.
Chap. Struck with horror at such atrocity, and disgusted
by the insolent insubordination of his troops, Harvey oflhe resigned his command, and retired to Wexford. rebels. JVom their post on Carrickburn, v> hich they had reoccupied on the sixth of June, these troops, after a rest of two days, removed to Slyeeve Keelter, a hill which rises over the united streams of the Nore and Barrow, below Ross, probably with design to intercept the navigation between this town, Duncannon, and Wafcerford. They failed in their engagements with gun-boats, but captured some small vessels, in one of which was a packet. Here by a tumultuous election, they chose for chief general Philip Roche, the priest, who had returned from Gorey, after his vi6lory at Clough; a man of great stature and boisterous manners, not ill adapted to govern by influence the disorderly bands among whom he acted. Remaining three days only in this station, Roche took post on the hill of Lacken, within two miles of Ross, where his army formed a less irregular encampment than usual, many tents being erected for the lodgement of the officers. Except a fruitless attempt of a detachment sent to Borris to procure arms and ammunition, the insurgents, lay here inr active, regaling themselves on the liquors and cattle procured from the neighbouring parts; and so negligent of their safety, that, in any night, after the two first, they might have been easily surprised and routed by a detachment from the adjacent garrison.