The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
Text Publishing, $45 hb, 556 pp, 9781922147370
As the smoke cleared over the ruins of the Eureka Stockade on 5 December 1854, a male diarist observed that a woman was among those ‘mercilessly butchered’ by troopers and police. According to her descendants, Catherine Smith was another casualty, shot by soldiers and dead three weeks later. In the 1880s a female correspondent to the Ballarat Star also claimed to have been among the wounded. This woman was not one of the twenty-seven-odd civilians killed; nor was she among the unknown number who later died from their injuries. Yet still soldiers shot at her as she fled, and she was lucky to escape alive.