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New Ross, battle of

New Ross, battle of, 1798. On 5 June 1798 some 30,000 rebels from Wexford (Ireland), led by Bagenal Harvey and Father Philip Roche, launched an attack on New Ross, where there was an important bridge over the river Barrow. The defence, numbering 1,500 men under General Henry Johnston, was disciplined and determined. Government artillery inflicted heavy casualties and, after desperate hand-to-hand fighting, the rebels were driven off. The king noted Johnston's exemplary conduct: Cornwallis wrote privately that Johnston, though a blockhead, was now considered ‘the saviour of the south’.

J. A. Cannon

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