May 27th 1798, Battle Of Oulart Hill – Irish Revolutionaries

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May 27th 1798, Battle Of Oulart Hill

May 27th 1798, Battle Of Oulart Hill

The 1798 rebellion had spread to Wexford on May 26th, vengeful yeomanry patrols roamed, burning and killing indiscriminately while the rebels roused the countryside and made several raids on manors and other houses holding arms, killing more loyalists and yeomen.

News of the skirmish and raids had by now reached Wexford town, on the morning of May 27th, the bulk of its garrison, 110 of the North Cork militia under Colonel Foote, was ordered north to crush the nascent rebellion.

They were joined en route by some 16 yeomen cavalry under Colonel Le Hunt. However, these yeomanries were of doubtful loyalty, many (including their sergeant) having joined the rebels that morning.

The rebels now numbering roughly 4,000 people were gathered at Oulart Hill, the crown forces reached them at 2 pm on May 27th, they rashly advanced and pursued the rebels to the summit.

The rebel leaders mistakenly believed a large body of yeoman cavalry was waiting to intercept their flight, so their forces desperately turned to face their enemy and "killed the whole detachment in an instant", leaving only the commanding officer, Colonel Foote, and four other survivors to escape to their base at Wexford town.

Following the rebel victory, almost all of North Wexford joined the rebellion. Crown forces and loyalist civilians ceded control of the countryside, withdrawing to towns such as Enniscorthy, Gorey and Wexford.

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