This first-hand account of the Taranaki Land Wars provides a colonial officer’s recount of the conflict from 1860 to the end of his army career, when he was transferred to the Chatham Islands for seven years.
Gascoyne has included an appendix relating the pursuit of the Maori chief Te Kooti
through the Ureweras.
Excerpt: “I had just ridden into camp with pack-horses laden with provisions, and, dismounting, went to report myself to Major Biggs, who was speaking to a group of officers and men of the assembled volunteers and natives. I heard him say, “I will pay £30 to anyone who will carry a dispatch for me to Wairoa,” and, turning to the natives, he repeated the offer in Maori. No one seemed willing to go, as a messenger would run the gauntlet of Te Kooti’s men hunting for horses and wild pigs along the track, so I said, “I
will take your dispatch, Major, if you will lend me a fresh horse, and of course I don’t want a money reward.” Biggs looked round and said, “You can have my horse,” and added in a lower voice, “I did not like to ask you to do this, as you have been pretty hard at it already.” ”
182 pages, A5 format, illustrated