Guerrilla Warfare

The main rebel army had marshalled under William Alymer in the north of the county. Rather than face a pitched battle, Aylmer harried the government forces and hid amongst the bogs. They had in fact risen two days late and almost immediately retired to the bog at Timahoe disheartened by the failure of the country in general to rise. In hope of such a rising they had delayed but finally felt compelled to join the rebellion.

If the rebels harrassed the troops they were likewise harried by the military, though at this type of warfare they proved to have the upper hand. The military appeared more like a young dog in a rabbit warren, here and there, flying from spot to spot and catching little or nothing. Griffith complained that the government could not even offer protection to their own soldiers if they go half a mile out of their garrisons. Despite this the rebels became utterly dispirited, and perfectly ready to disband if they could obtain a pardon. Certainly this was true by July when they surrendered, the last United force in the field.

Even by early June the volatile position of the United army had clearly an unsettling effect. While many surrendered to the military in the hope of protections, others were press-ganged into service. The main lines of communication through Naas, Kildare and Monasterevin were by now under military control, while Colonel Campbell still maintained control in the south around Athy, Narraghmore, Castledermot and Ballitore. But while Dundas was highly pleased and expected, in the course of one week to report the county in a state of quietness, the northern army remained a very real physical threat.

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