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Prosperous Rebels Attack Clane

Clane was occupied by a company of the Armagh militia (who had left Prosperous only two days earlier) and some yeomanry cavalry. Early on the morning of the 24th, a large body of armed rebels stole into the street. The night sentinel had just enough time to, beat to arms. Many of the soldiers were at single billets in the village and were attacked as they left the houses where they had been quartered. Several of them were killed or wounded before they could join their comrades. The guards, however, with great gallantry held the rebels in check until their comrades hastily turned out. A few well-directed volleys routed the rebels and they were driven with considerable loss from the town, but deeming pursuit somewhat foolish, the soldiers returned and secured the village.

Word of the failure of the Clane United Irishmen to secure the village reached Prosperous. At approximately five in the morning, the rebels made a second attempt on Clane, this time they were supported by a column of pikemen and musketeers and a party from Prosperous mounted on the horses and furnished with the arms of the Ancient Britons who they had killed in Prosperous earlier.

The rebels on this occasion did not have the element of surprise on their side, but still they launched a charge on the line. This time the soldiers were ready and waiting. A rolling volley from the soldier’s line brought down half the rebels and dispersed the rest. They soldiers formed a gallop after the rebel column, but as they were not strong enough to attack such a large group and thinking it dishonourable to retreat, the captain, Griffiths, in concurrence with the militia officers, resolved to take post on an elevated spot near the Commons where they could not be surrounded or outflanked and there they waited for the rebels. The rebels advanced but fired high on them without effect, as the elevation was too great.

“Our troops, having returned fire killed and wounded a considerable number of them, on which they fled in great dismay and were charged by Captain Griffith and his sixteen yeomen who cut down many of those whose heads were ornamented with the helmets of the Ancient Britons and the hats of the Cork regiment." (Prosperous lads).

A disorderly flight succeeded, the rebels totally disbanding and throwing away their own ruder weapon, the pike, with the fire-arms and sabres they had captured that morning in Prosperous” - W. H. MAXWELL, Esq

Captain Griffith pursued the rebels towards Prosperous, but believed it too much of a risk to engage them. The rebels fled back into Prosperous, while Griffith retreated to the garrison town of Naas.

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