Interactive Scene – Captain Moonlite

Wantabadgery Map

Instructions: Move mouse over coloured pin icons in the below Wantabadgery Map to read information.


In October 1879, after a series of run-ins with the law, a failed career change and the inability to find work in Victoria, Andrew George Scott [Captain Moonlite], his closest friend James Nesbitt, and 4 young men headed to NSW – specifically to the Wantabadgery region where they hoped to find work.

At Wantabadgery Station, their hopes were crushed. The despair and humiliation of being denied food and shelter led Scott on a path of destruction, which soon spiralled out of control.   Moonlite and his gang armed themselves and held the occupants captive for two days. , When the police eventually arrived, a brief exchange of gunfire convinced them to withdraw and await reinforcements. Moonlite and his gang took advantage of their absence and made their way to nearby McGlede’s Farm. Before they could leave, a party of police from Wagga and Gundagai arrived.

A fresh and violent gun battle began, eventually resulting in the death of two bushrangers:  James Nesbitt (22) and Augustus ‘Gus’ Wernicke (15). Senior Constable Edward Webb-Bowen was mortally wounded from a bullet to his neck, and died 6 days later. Moonlite, and his three surviving gang members, surrendered and were taken into custody.  At their subsequent trial they were convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  Scott (aka Moonlite, 35) and Thomas Rogan (22) were hanged on January 20th 1880.  Colleagues Thomas Williams (19) and Graham Bennett (20) had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment – it is alleged that this was primarily based on their respective ages.

Explore the interactive scene below by rolling your mouse over the coloured icons for information.

Interactive Scene – The Killing of Constable Webb Bowen