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On this day also, a party of insurgents from Vinegar-hill, proceeded to join those encamped at Carrigrew, whose numbers were greatly lessened by desertions for home. They were now however mustering pretty strongly all over the country, intending to assemble their collective force on the hill of Ballymenane ; bot while moving forward in a detached and disorderly manner, they were met by à force' fiom Gorey, under the command of lieutenant Elliot, consisting of parties of the Antrim and North Cork militia, above fifty yeomen infantry, and three troops of yeomen cavalry. These, by preserving their order, had great advantage in this unexpected rencounter, over the insurgents, who retreated with some loss and in disor. der ; leaving behind a great number of horses which were brought into Gorey, together with the plunder of many houses, which were burnt after despoiling; among the rest, that of Mr. Kenny, a tanner and shopkeeper, confidently asserted to be a loyal man : his character however did not protect him, for lie was shot in his own garden, and so fell a victim to the angry indiscriminating spirit of the times, like many other innocent persons. This is very strongly exemplified by a transaction mentioned by the Rev. Mr. Gordon as follows. “A small occurrence after the battle, of which a son of mine was a witness, may help to il. lustrate the state of the country at that time :-Two yeomen comming to a brake or clump of bushes, and observing a small motion as if some persons were hiding there, one of them fired into it, and the shot was answered by a most piteous and loud screech of a child. The other yeoman was then urged by his companion to fire; but he being a gentleman, and less ferocious, instead of firing, commanded the concealed persons to appear, when a poor woman and eight children almost naked, one of whom was severe. ly wounded, came trembling from the brake, where they had secreted themselves for safety.” Indeed the settled practice was to shoot all men that were met; and by this desperate systcn, the most inno
cent and peaceable were generally the most likely.to suffer.
From the inactivity of the insurgents encamped at Carrick.tyrne, occasioned in a great degree from their want of an ostensible commander, constant sallies were made out of Ross, and great havoc and devas. tation committed throughout the country. These occurrences produced a general meeting of the princi: pal in habitants on the 1st of June, wherein Mr. Harg vey was called on to act as commander in chief, and various other appointments and regulations took place for the maintenance and supply of the country. The day after Mr. Harvey took the command.in person at Care rick-byrne, where on his arrival, several fugitives ap. peared giving dreadful accounts of their sufferings from the yeomanry, and at the time several houses were on fire about Old Ross. The commander in chief, instantly ordered Mr. Thomas Cloney, with all the horsemen that could be collected, to proceed against the depredators, who fled on their approach, and were chased in full speed to Ross.
The people of the barony of Forth, having by this time sufficiently equiped themselves with pikes, joined the encampment now formed on the hill of Carrickbyrne, whither, it must be observed, the insurgents of the camp near Taghmon had shifted on the first of June. A small party from Wexford also denominated the Faith-corps, joined the encampment on Carrigrew.
The committee of general regulation appointed in Wexford, and already noticed, waited on Mr. Harvey, commander in chief of the insurgents, expressing their hopes that the service in the proiestant church, which had been hitherto interrupted, might be no longer discontinued ; as they wished to do all in their power to dissipate religious animosities, by inculcating the absurdity of fear on this account alone, and to undeceive the numbers of sudden converts who were applying to the catholic priests to be baptized, be. seeching in the most earnest manner to be thus re
ceived into the bosom of the catholic church, from an idea that it was then the only plan of safety : nay, so persevering were the generality in their piteous entreaties, that the catholic clergy found themselves very distressingly circumstanced; for should they refuse to comply with the wishes and earnest solicitations of such protestants as offered themselves in this way, they perceived that they would be subject to the most violent animadversions for any fatal accident that might befal any of them ; and on the other hand knowing that imagined necessity alone was the motive of apparent conversion, they must have considered it improper to accept their conformity without serious and solemn probation. On this occasion, however, the humanity of many superseded the dictates of duty so far as to induce them to risque the profanation of a sacrament for the preservation of lives, and to dispel the dreadful apprehensions from orangemen; the greatest assurance of not belonging to that combination being that of conversion to the catholic cominunion, which was considered 10 render any person inadmissible into an association which the majority of the people absolutely believed to be instituted for their destruction.
A curious circumstance, however, occurred in Wexford at this time, which eventually produced a great mumber of conditional baptisms.-A young lady who on first application failed of persuading a catholic priest to confer on her the farour of baptism, had.the diligence and address afterwards to discover that the protestant minister who had undertaken to perform that ceremony in her insaney, had only filliped or sprinkled the water at her wiih his finger, and so it was within the limits of probabilily, that a drop might not have reached her head so as to form an ablution. Being very ingenious and persevering in her arguments so as to appear capable of puzzling the nicest casuist. she at last made out her own a doubtful case, and was accordingly quieted by conditional baptism. When the particulars of this transaction got abroad, the so
licitations to the catholic clergy for the boon of conditional baptism became considerably more frequent, the applicants quoting this recent precedent, and adducing the hearsay evidence, and far fetched recolection of grand-mothers, grand-aunts, and othergrave and venerated relatives, with a long train of minute circumstances, to prove a similarity of cases, and claiming on this account an equal consideration. The epithets of craw-thumpers, opprobriously applied to catholics for contritely striking their breasts at their devotions, was never more strongly exemplified than by these converts. Catholics strike their breasts gently on certain occasions, and with the right hand alone, but protestants who attended at mass in these times generally continued to strike themselves vehemently with both hands almost during the whole ser. vice. I had the good fortune to prevent all such as consulted me on the occasion as to the expedience of conforming, by persuading them to avoid the disgrace of such a mockery; and I had the satisfaction afterwards to hear those applauded who did not appear to change their religion, while those who turned with the times were reprobated, some as hypocrites and others as cowards. And in good truth, what favourable opinion could be entertained of such as did not continue faithful even to their God according to the dictates of their conscience.
THE military stationed at Gorey made constant sallies, in the course of which through the country they plundered and burned many houses, and shot several stragglers, who happened to fall in their way, This provoked the insurgents to vie with their opponents in this mode of warfare, and retaliation has on this, as well as on 'every other occasion, produced many woeful scenes. Enormities in fact were committed on both sides, which, among their many lamentable consequences, tended to exasperate the party-animosities already too powerfully destructive of the peace and happiness of the country. At this time reinforcements were every day crowding into
Gorey. On the 3d of June, general Loftus 'arrived there with fifteen hundred men under his command,"; as did also colonel Walpole from Carnew, whence! he had several tiines gone out to reconnoitre the camp at Carrigrew. - A determination was formed to attack this on the 4th, with the force then in Ġorey, 'with which the troops froin Carnew 'and Newtown-barry were to co-operate, so as to engage the insurgents on all sides, and from these 'aitarrgements, and considering the forte that was to act against them, little doubt was entertained of their total and speedy defeat. The army from Gorey marched out at the appointed time, and forined into two divisions. The one 'under general Loftus, took " route towards Ballycanew, while the other, commanded by colonel Walpole, proceeded by the Camolin road directly to commence the concerted-attack on Carrigrew. The insurgents had, however, quitted 'this post, and were in full niarch towards 'Gorey, when they suddenly and unawares fell in with this military body under Colonel Walpole, at a place called Tubbernéering. The meeting was equally unexpected on both sides, and this circumstance, no less true than extraordinary, neither party having any scouts, produced an instantaneous and confused action, in which colonel Walpole was killed in a few minutes after its commence. ment, and his troops immediately gave way and fed in the utmost precipitation and disorder, learing the victors in possession of three pieces of cannon, two six-pounders, and another of inferior size. The fate of this action was so quickly decided, as to allow general Loftus not the smallest opportunity of affording the troops under colonel Walpole any assistance. The loss of the military in killed was, taken altogether, considerable, besides capt. M‘Manus, lieutenant Hogy, and ensign Barry, of the Antrim militia, with many privates taken prisoners. The rest in the greatest possible haste being pursued by the insurgents, reached Gorey, which they as quickly passed through; but would, in revenge, have put the prison