The force under Lord Chelmsford's command was divided into four columns. These were composed partly of British soldiers, partly of Colonists, and partly of blacks. The first column, under Colonel Pearson, crossed the Lower Tugela; the second, under Lieutenant-
The crossing of the Buffalo River was effected without difficulty or resistance,
and ten days after the central column formed a camp at the foot of the hill Isandlwana
(the Little Hand). On the morning of the 22nd the Commander-
The Zulu plan of fighting, in this case so successful, is curious. The formation of their attacks represents the figure of a beast with horns, chest, and loins. While making a feint with one horn, the other, unperceived in long grass or bush, swoops round and closes in on the enemy. The chest then advances to attack. The loins are kept. at a distance, and simply join in pursuit.
The news of the disaster spread fast. Sir Bartle Frere, on the morning of the 24th,
was awakened by the arrival of two almost distraught and wholly unintelligible messengers.
Their report, when it could be at last comprehended, seemed too horrible for belief.
That they had escaped some terrible ordeal was evident; that they were members of
the company of naval volunteers that formed part of the General's army, their uniform
proclaimed. But of the General they could say nothing-
Meanwhile Lord Chelmsford had heard the horrible news. The camp had been seen in
the possession of the Zulus. Worn and weary with heavy marching in a baking sun,
he and his troops began to retreat. At nightfall thoroughly jaded, they returned
to a grim scene. All around lay the still silent dead-
Colonel Pearson's column, as we said, crossed the Lower Tugda near the sea, with the intention of joining the other columns at Ulundi. On the way thither he was attacked by a Zulu force at Inyesani. This force, though it more than doubled the strength of his own, he drove back with heavy loss, and marched to the Norwegian Mission station, Eshowe. On his arrival there on the 23rd of January, he learnt the awful news of the disaster, and instantly sent his cavalry back to Nat£, fortified his station, and waited there the arrival of reinforcements.
The third column, commanded by Colonel Evelyn Wood (consisting; of 1700 British soldiers,
50 farmers under Commandant Pieter Uys, and some 300 blacks, reached Kambula in safety,
and fortified a post there. Colonel Wood harassed the enemy by frequent sallies,
however, and on one occasion the attack on the Zlobane Mountain lost about ninety-
Lord Chelmsford, with a force of soldiers and sailors, marched in April from Natal to the relief of Colonel Pearson at Eshowe. He arrived there in safety, after having encountered and beaten back the Zulus at Ginginlovu: yet it was not until the 4th of July that the troops eventually reached Ulundi, where the final battle and victory took place.
But of this later.
|The Growth of the Transvaal|
|The Web Thickens|
|The Zulu War|
|Isandlwana, an hour by hour account|
|Affairs at Home|
|The First Anglo Boer War|
|Between the Wars|
|The Fate of SGT Elliot|
|The Siege of Pretoria|
|The Reform Movement|
|The Critical Moment|
|The Fate of the Raiders|