Fatal collision at Ballaarat [Eureka Rebellion, 4 December 1854]

[Editor: A report on the Eureka Rebellion. Published in The Argus, 4 December 1854.]

By express.

Fatal collision at Ballaarat.

Monday, 3 a.m.

At the above hour a gentleman arrived at this office who had ridden through express, leaving Ballaarat at half-past one yesterday. He brings us the following disastrous report:

(From our own correspondent.)

At four a.m. this morning (Sunday) the troopers advanced on the right of the Warraneep Gulley, and another division on the left of the Eureka line, encompassing the camp of the diggers. A shout was raised, and after a sharp firing of about twenty minutes the troopers called to the soldiers, who were advancing, that it was all over.

The camp of the diggers was constructed of piles of slabs collected from the neighboring holes.

I enclose the official return, as known at 9 a.m. To-morrow you shall have the real truth. I do not believe but that the loss of the military, to say nothing of the wounded, is considerably more than acknowledged.

Ballaarat, December 3rd, 1854. — Sir, — I have the honor to inform you that the casualties on the part of the military, are, 1 private of 19th regiment killed, two privates of 40th killed.

Captain Wise, 40th, is dangerously wounded; Lieutenant Paul, 12th, seriously wounded. Several privates of 40th and 19th more or less wounded. No official return has yet been made, but the correspondent of the Argus can have it tomorrow, by applying at the Camp.

One hundred and twenty-five prisoners made, but the casualties on the part of the insurgents are not known.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
Robt. Rede,
Resident Commissioner.

In the case of Captain Wise, amputation is considered necessary, he having received two wounds in the leg. This is but the beginning of the end. The reporter of the Ballaarat Times has been taken, and his life was with difficulty saved from the hands of the infuriated soldiers. A colored man, recognised by a soldier, would have been shot at the Camp had it not been for the officers. Nearly all the ringleaders are taken.

Fifteen are lying dead in the Eureka Camp. Sixteen are dangerously wounded.

A German has received five different wounds.

The Eureka Camp, as well as the stores and tents in the neighborhood, have been burnt to the ground, and considerable loss of property has ensued thereby.

A former reporter for the M. M. Herald, a Mr. Haslam, was shot in the shoulder by the troopers.

The London Hotel is the chief repository for the dead and wounded. The troopers swept the diggings, and are making several captures now at the moment of writing.

The most harrowing and heartrending scenes amongst the women and children I have witnessed through this dreadful morning. Many innocent persons have suffered, and many are prisoners who were there at the time of the skirmish, but took no active part.

10 a.m. Several waggons containing wounded and confiscated property have passed on their way to the Camp. At present every one is as if stunned, and but few are to be seen about.

The flag of the diggers, “The Southern Cross,” as well as the “Union Jack,” which they had to hoist underneath, were captured by the foot police.

Had the diggers fired longer the loss to the military would have been immense, and they, as it was, acted with a precision and regularity admired even by the officers of the military.

Report says that only a small division of the diggers were attacked this morning, merely a guard of relief enough to protect the “Eureka camp.” Of the rest, some were off duty, but the majority were in the bush, and guarding the roads to Melbourne and Geelong.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Monday 4 December 1854, page 5

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