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: ;!. KILLS, AUGUST 14, 1799. .. 318,
On receipt of your first letter, it was my determi nation to state, for your publication, the particulars of the engagement you so much desired, from the journal I kept. They will be found perfectly accurate, and are as follow
'In the month of May, 1798, Captain Molloy, of the Upper Kells infantry, held the arduous situation of commanding-officer at Kells, in the county of Meath. On the 24th he received the following letter by express from Navan.
Tholsel of Navan, May 24, 1798, 5 o'clock,
SIR A PRIVATE soldier of Captain George's yeomenry, came here about an hour since, and gave us the following account." That an escort conveying baggage to Dublin, were met on the road leading to Dublin and near Dunboyne, by a body of insurgents-that an attack commenced between them, in which the mili. tary were worsted, and every man of the escort killed." It is generally apprehended that the insurgents are on their march to this town, having planted the tree of liberty at Dunshaughlin ; it is therefore requested that you will be pleased to send immediately such a detachment as you can spare here, to assist and protect us. We are, Sir, with much respect, your most obedient servants.
JOHN PRES TON, Captain,
On receipt of the above, the yeomen-cavalry and infantry immediately marched off to Navan. There being no appearance of disturbance at that time in the neighbourhood, Capt. Molloy thought it prudent im. mediately to return to Kells, where there was no protection for the inhabitants, and also a depot of ammunition in the town, which particularly demanded his attentions the force in Navan was very inconsiderable, consisting only of the Nayan troop. A council of war was called, wherein it was determined that the Kells cavalry, with a detachment of the Navan troop, should go forwards toward Dunshaugblin, and reconnoitre the country. On the 25th, the following express ar. rived from Navan at Kells.
NAVAN, MAY 25, 1798. Sir, PREPARE your yeomenry immediately, as an insurrection has appeared from Dublin to Dunshaughlin, and numbers have been murdered. Communicate this to all the other officers.
THOMAS BARRY, Lieut. CAPTAIN MOLLOY, KELLS,
This evening two of the Kells cavalry came in exe press, and brought an account of their seeing the rebel army near Dunshaughlin, on the Dublin side, in great force. Capt. Molloy ordered the men who came express, to return to their corps, and keep up the communication with Kells, and at the same time sent express to Captain Tatto, of the Bally-jamesduff yeomen-infantry, who arrived in Kells at two. o'clock, the morning of the 26th, with his corps.
PRECISELY at three o'clock the same morning, the Upper Kells infantry marched off their parade, resolved to conquer or die-they passed early over Ta
ra. Near Killeen they overtook a party of the Reay fencibles, on their route to Dublin, commanded by Captain Scobie, and also the Upper Kells Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Rothwell, with other corps of yeomen-cavalry—this body arrived at Dunshaughlin about eight o'clock in the forenoon. The countryseemed alive witly rebels-individuals running from one point to another, but so cautiously, and at such a distance, that they could not be intercepted-at that time it was not known where the main body of the rebels were. Two days preceding this, they entered the town of Dunshaughlin in great force ; and in the house of the Rev. Mr. Nelson, murdered him, his brother-in-law Mr. Pentland, and a gardner, who was a protestant. They also made a prisoner of Mr. Kellet, of the King's-arms ; Mr. Ambrose Sharmen, attorney, with others ; one of whom they also murdered (Mr. Fletcher)—the remainder escaped.
The yeomen's spirits were this day differently affected-at one time elated, hoping to be led on to action-at another depressed ; as Capt. Scobie determined not to look for the rebels, but should he meet them on his route would attack them, but not otherwise his orders were to proceed directly for Dublin. For which purpose, he did actually move out of Dunshaughlin, and Captain Molloy resolving not to remain in an enemy's country with so small a body as his corps, determined to return to Kells that day; and had returned out of Dunshaughlin a quarter of a mile for that purpose, but being followed by a friend, was advised not to proceed, as there was a report that the rebels were then encamped on Tara-hill in great force, which'induced Captain Molloy to form the resolution of overtaking the Reay fencibles, and accompanying them to Dublin; but as the yeomen had advanced to the upper end of Dunshaughlin, they had the happiness to see the Reay fencibles returning, with whom they marched and took the field without the town, where the whole regiment remained on their arms till three o'clock that evening ; when
an officer, who proved to be Captain Blanch of the above regiment, on his return froin Dublin, entered the field, with orders it was said to fight the rebels where they could be come up with. On his appearance, the men gave three cheers, and were highly animated : they were ordered refreshment, of which the yeomen equally partook. Three companies of the Reay regiment only, and captain Molloy's yeomen corps, not amounting to more than one hundred and ninety infantry, with one piece of artillery, were ordered on this expedition, with six troops of yeomen-cavalry: these troops were placed equally on the right and left of the infantry, in which order they marched from Dunshaughlin to Tara, about five miles.
BEFORE they arrived at Mr. Lynch's house of Tara, they perceived the rebel videts, both horse and foot, who immediately wheeled off to their main body, when they perceived the army advancing. On arriving at the large fort at Mr. Lynch's, the army got in full view of the rebel camp on the hill of Tara ; the fields around appeared black with rebels. On perceiving the army, they instantly got into motion -their chiefs mounted, and in about ten minutes formed their line, which was extended very far, and very deep, with three pair of green colours. ; · The rebels availed themselves of a most excellent position,—the church-yard of Tara, surrounded by a wall, which commanded the Dublin road. At this period, that spirited officer, Capt. Blanch, called the yeomen infantry officers to him, and informed them he had no orders to give, except to lead on their divisions with courage to the action.
BATTLE OF TARA.
AND Now, commenced an engagenient, as eventful for the county of Meath as ever took place therein, and perhaps for the kingdom at large ; for had the rebels succeeded, their numbers would from partial
advantages, have increased, and in the end, very many would have fallen victinis to those sanguinary tribes. But the divine disposer of all human events conducted'our army to, and secured us victory in this battle. It is our part to return him our continued thanks for the fate of that day.
The rebels, upon the approach of the infantry, put their hats* on their pikes, the entire length of their Jine, and gave three cheers. A person now advanced from their line towards the army (who seemed to assume the command), made a very pompous salute, and returned back with great precipitation-he was dressed in white, was a deserter from the Kildare milizia, but imposed himself on many of the rebels for a Frenchman, which gave the deluded wretches great spirits.
It was half past six o'clock when the action commenced immediately some of the army lay dead from the fire of the rebels. The six-pounder was on the right, from which there were many discharges, but impeded by obstacles between the road and church-yard ; to obtain the church-yard was the grand object--the little LOYAL PARTY advanced, regardless of danger, notwithstanding the frantic impetuosity and number of rebels who attempted to turn them on each flank, and incessantly came down in strong parties, from the church-yard, to the muzzles' of their pieces, pike in hand ; but they. instantly experienced the result of their temerity, with the loss of their lives--not one of the royalists flinched, though his brother in arms and dearest friend fell by his side.
* From concurring accounts it appears, that the rebel plan was uniformly adhered to-viz. to annoy the royal troops by driving among them such cattle, 50, as they could collect-by endeavouring to dismuy them by means of their shouts, and their hats placed on their pikes ;also, when engaged, by exertions to seize the cannon but what stratagem, what force could have succeeded in such a cause ?