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- The Eureka Stockade - 20/34 -

In the middle of the gully, I expostulated with Captain Thomas, he asked me whether I had been made a prisoner within the stockade. "No, sir," was my answer. He noticed my frankness, my anxiety and grief. After a few words more in explanation, he, giving me a gentle stroke with his sword, told me "If you really are an honest digger, I do not want you, sir; you may return to your tent."

Mr. Gordon--of the store of Gordon and M`Callum, on the left of the gully, near the stockade--who had been made prisoner, and was liberated in the same way, and at the same time as myself, was and is a living witness to the above.

On crossing the gully to return to my tent, an infernal trooper trotting on the road to Ballaarat, took a deliberate aim at me, and fired his Minie rifle pistol with such a tolerable precision, that the shot whizzed and actually struck the brim of my cabbage-tree hat, and blew it off my head. Mrs. Davis, who was outside her tent close by, is a living witness to the above.

At this juncture I was called by name from Doctor Carr, and Father Smyth, directed me by signs to come and help the wounded within the stockade.

Chapter LIX.

Quis Dabit Capiti Meo, Aquam Et Oculis Meis Fontem Lacrymarum Et Plorabo Die Ac Nocte!

I hastened, and what a horrible sight! Old acquaintances crippled with shots, the gore protruding from the bayonet wounds, their clothes and flesh burning all the while. Poor Thonen had his mouth literally choked with bullets; my neighbour and mate Teddy More, stretched on the ground, both his thighs shot, asked me for a drop of water. Peter Lalor, who had been concealed under a heap of slabs, was in the agony of death, a stream of blood from under the slabs, heavily forcing its way down hill.

The tears choke my eyes, I cannot write any further.

Americans! your Doctor Kenworthy was not there, as he should have been, according to Humffray's letter.

Catholics! Father Smyth was performing his sacred duty to the dying, in spite of the troopers who threatened his life, and forced him at last to desist.

Protestants! spare us in future with your sabbath cant. Not one of your ministers was there, helping the digger in the hour of need.

John Bull! you wilfully bend your neck to any burden for palaver and war to protect you in your universal shop-keeping, and maintain your sacred rights of property; but human life is to you as it was to Napoleon: for him, fodder for the cannon; for you, tools to make money. A dead man needs no further care, and human kind breeds fast enough everywhere after all,-- 'Cetera quando rursum scribam'.

On my reaching the stockade with a pannikin of water for Teddy, I was amazed at the apathy showed by the diggers, who now crowded from all directions round the dead and wounded. None would stir a finger.

All on a sudden a fresh swarm of troopers cleared the stockade of all moving things with the mere threat of their pistols.

All the diggers scampered away and entered all available tents, crouching within the chimneys or under stretchers. The valorous, who had given such a proof of their ardour in smothering with stones, bats, and broken bottles, the 12th Regiment on their orderly way from Melbourne on Tuesday, November 28, at the same identical spot on the Eureka, now allowed themselves to be chained by dozens, by a handful of hated traps, who, a few days before, had been kept at bay on the whole of the diggings, by the mere shouting of 'Joe!' A sad reflection, indeed; a very sad reflection.

Myself and a few neighbours now procured some stretchers, and at the direction of Doctor Carr, converted the London Hotel into an hospital, and took there the wounded.

Said Doctor Carr despatched me to fetch his box of surgical instruments from Dr. Glendinning's hospital on Pennyweight-hill, a distance of a full mile.

I hastened to return, with Dr. Glendinning himself, and I did my best to assist the helpless, and dress their wounds.

IMPORTANT--I must call the attention of my reader to the following fact:-- When I entered the stockade with Dr. Carr's surgical box, Mr. Binney, an old acquaintance since the times of Canadian Gully, took me warmly by the hand, and said, "Old fellow, I am glad to see you alive! everybody thinks (pointing to a dead digger among the heap) that's poor Great Works!"

The state of mind in which I was, gave me no time to take much notice of the circumstances, and must have answered, "Thank God, I am alive," and proceeded to my duty.

The identical Mr. Binney, of the firm of Binney and Gillot, now storekeepers on the Ballaarat township, is a living witness to the above statement.

Solicitor Lynn told me, 'in propria persona' in the Ballaarat prison, that he would take care to bring forward evidence of the above, as he had heard it himself, that such was the case; but I forgot to fee this Lynn, and so he left me to the chance of being 'lynched.'

Chapter LX.

The Southern Cross, In Digger's Gore Imbrued, Was Torn Away, And Left The Digger Mourning.

The following Letter, from the able pen of the spirited correspondent of the 'Geelong Advertiser' who most undoubtedly must be a digger--that is, one of ourselves, from among ourselves,--is here transcribed as a document confirming the truths of this book:-

THE EUREKA MASSACRE [From a Correspondent.] To the Editor of the 'Geelong Advertiser' and Intelligencer. Bakery-hill, December 3rd, 1854.

Friday you know all about; I will pass that over, and give you a faint outline of what passed under my own eyes. During Saturday, there was a great deal of gloom among the most orderly, who complained much of the parade of soldiery, and the same cause excited a great deal of exasperation in the minds of more enthusiastic persons, who declared that all parties ought to show themselves, and declare whether they were for or against the diggers. Then came a notice from the Camp, that all lights were to be extinguished after eight o'clock, within half-a-mile from the Camp. At this time it was reported that there were two thousand organised men at the Eureka barricade. I was sitting in my tent, and several neighbours dropped in to talk over affairs, and we sat down to tea, when a musket was heard to go off, and the bullet whizzed close by us; I doused the light, and we crept out on our hands and knees, and looked about. Between the Camp and the barricade there was a fire we had not seen before, and occasionally lights appeared to be hoisted, like signals, which attracted the attention of a good many, some of whom said that they saw other lights like return signals. It grew late. TO-MORROW, I FEAR ME, WILL PROVE A DAY OF SORROW, IF THE AFFAIR BE NOT SETTLED BEFORE THEN. I and R---- lay down in our clothes, according to our practice for a week past; and worn out with perpetual alarms, excitement, and fatigue, fell fast asleep. I didn't wake up till six o'clock on Sunday morning. The first thing that I saw was a number of diggers enclosed in a sort of hollow square, many of them were wounded, the blood dripping from them as they walked; some were walking lame, pricked on by the bayonets of the soldiers bringing up the rear. The soldiers were much excited, and the troopers madly so, flourishing their swords, and shouting out--"We have waked up Joe!" and others replied, "And sent Joe to sleep again!" The diggers' Standard was carried by in triumph to the Camp, waved about in the air, then pitched from one to another, thrown down and trampled on. The scene was awful--twos and threes gathered together, and all felt stupefied. I went with R---- to the barricade, the tents all around were in a blaze; I was about to go inside, when a cry was raised that the troopers were coming again. They did come with carts to take away the bodies, I counted fifteen dead, one G----, a fine well-educated man, and a great favourite. [Here, I think, the Correspondent alluded to me. My friends, nick-named me--Carbonari Great works. ]--I recognised two others, but the spectacle was so ghastly that I feel a loathing at the remembrance. They all lay in a small space with their faces upwards, looking like lead, several of them were still heaving, and at every rise of their breasts, the blood spouted out of their wounds, or just bubbled out and trickled away. One man, a stout-chested fine fellow, apparently about forty years old, lay with a pike beside him: e had three contusions in the head, three strokes across the brow, a bayonet wound in the throat under the ear, and other wounds in the body--I counted fifteen wounds in that single carcase. Some were bringing handkerchiefs, others bed furniture, and matting to cover up the faces of the dead. O God! sir, it was a sight for a sabbath morn that, I humbly implore Heaven, may never be seen again. Poor women crying for absent husbands, and children frightened into quietness. I, sir, write disinterestedly, and I hope my feelings arose from a true principle; but when I looked at that scene, my soul revolted at such means being so cruelly used by a government to sustain the law. A little terrier sat on the, breast of the man I spoke of, and kept up a continuous howl: it was removed, but always returned to the same spot; and when his master's body was huddled, with the other corpses, into the cart, the little dog jumped in after him, and lying again on his dead master's breast, began howling again.----was dead there also, and----, who escaped, had said, that when he offered his sword, he was shot in the side by a trooper, as he was lying on the ground wounded. He expired almost immediately. Another was lying dead just inside the barricade, where he seemed to have crawled. Some of the bodies might have been removed-- I counted fifteen. A poor woman and her children were standing outside a tent; she said that the troopers had surrounded the tent and pierced it with their swords. She, her husband, and children, were ordered out by the troopers, and were inspected in their night-clothes outside, whilst the troopers searched the tent. Mr. Haslam was roused from sleep by a volley of bullets fired through his tent; he rushed out, and was shot down by a trooper, and handcuffed. He lay there for two hours bleeding from a wound in his breast, until his friends sent for a black-smith, who forced off the handcuffs with a hammer and cold chisel. When I last heard of Mr. Haslam, a surgeon was attending him, and probing for the ball. R----, from Canada, [Captain Ross, of Toronto, once my mate] escaped the carnage; but is dead since, from the wounds. R---- has effected his escape. [ Johnny Robertson, who had a striking resemblance to me, not so much in size as in complexion and colour of the beard especially: Poor Johnny was shot down dead on the stockade; and was the identical body which Mr. Binney mistook for me. Hence the belief by many, that I was dead.]

The Eureka Stockade - 20/34

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