Battle of New Ross (1643)
|Battle of New Ross|
|Part of the Irish Confederate Wars|
|Irish Confederate army||English troops|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Thomas Preston||James Butler, Earl of Ormonde & Lord Lisle|
|c. 6500||c. 3000|
|Casualties and losses|
In the battle, James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde defeated Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara, and an Irish Confederate army north of the town of New Ross in the nearby townland of Ballinvegga, County Wexford. Ormonde hoped to link up with the Cork based forces of Inchiquin and so marched from Dublin via Carlow to besiege the Confederate garrison at New Ross. The fighting at New Ross was fierce, the defenders inflicting substantial casualties on the besiegers. Having had to lift the siege, Ormonde attempted to return to Dublin via the northwest Blackstairs Mountains, where he was intercepted by Preston. Ormonde's force seems to have been vastly outnumbered by Preston's Confederate soldiers (Ormonde claimed they were over 10,000 strong) but Ormonde had six cannon. Following some confused fighting (largely due to the rough terrain) the Confederates withdrew. After the battle, Ormonde observed the devastation inflicted by his artillery:
what Godlie men and horses lay there all torn, and their gutts lying on the ground, armes cast away and strewed over the fields.
By contrast, as few as ten of Ormonde's soldiers lost their lives in the fighting.
Marching north, Ormonde led his weary soldiers to rest near Borris in County Carlow. In the middle of the night two Irish men slipped into the camp and managed to ride off with a cart full of weapons and ammunition. Early the next morning Ormond and Lisle were shocked to find that the army had been largely deprived of its arms as a result of the raid.
- Carte, T, "Life of James Duke of Ormonde" (1736), vol 1, p405
- Carte, T, op. cit.
- Meehan, Confederation of Kilkenny, pg 296
- Meehan, C. P. (1882). Confederation of Kilkenny.
- Philip McKeiver, A New History of Cromwell's Irish Campaign, Manchester 2007, pages 129,130-134,153,182,183