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A.D. who were suffering greatly from want of water, 1883.
having been led into an ambush in the forest of Shekan by their treacherous guides, were cut to pieces. Thus the Mahdî became master of the
Sûdân. 1884. In February Baker Pâshâ set out with about 3,800
men to relieve Sinkat, but his motley troops were defeated at Tôkar, and about 2,400 of them slain, and thousands of rifles and much ammunition fell into the hands of the Dervishes. In January of this year Charles George Gordon (born January 28, 1833, murdered at Khartûm a little before sunrise on Monday, January 26, 1885) was sent to Khartûm to arrange for the evacuation of the Sûdân; he left Cairo on January 26 and arrived there on February 18, On February 28, General Graham defeated the Dervishes at At-Teb, and nearly 1,000 of them were slain. On March 13 he defeated Osman Dikna's * army at Tamâi and killed about 2,500 of his men; Osmân's camp was burnt, and several hundred thousand of the cartridges which had been taken from Baker Pâshâ were destroyed. On the 27th, Tamanib was occupied by Graham and then burnt. About the middle of April the Mahdi began to besiege Gordon in Kharțâm, and preparations for a relief expedition were begun in England in August : this expedition was placed (August 26) under Sir Garnet Wolseley, who decided to attempt to reach Kharțâm by ascending the Nile. This route made it necessary to travel 1,700 miles against the stream,
and six cataracts, and other natural barriers, made * .l., “Osman of the beard”; he is the son of a Turkish merchani and slave dealer who settled in the Eastern Sûdân early in the XIXth century.
the progress extremely slow ; General Sir F. Stephenson, the highest authority on the subject, advised the route viâ Sawâķin and Berber, and by it troops could have entered Kharțûm some months before Gordon was murdered. On the other hand it has been urged that, as the town of Berber surrendered on May 26, the main reason for an advance along the Sawâkin-Berber road was taken away (Sudan Campaign, Pt. I, p. 25). The expedition consisted of 7,000 men, and all of them had reached Wâdî Halfa by the end of November. On December 2, the troops at Donķola set out for Kôrti, which was reached by Sir Herbert Stewart on the 13th of the same month. Here it was decided to send a part of the force to Kharțûm across the desert, via Matammah, and a part by way of the river. On December 30, Sir Herbert Stewart set out with about 1,100 officers and men, and on January 2 he seized the Gakdul Wells, 95 miles from Kôrti ; after one day he returned with the greater part of his force to Kôrti (January 5) to fetch further supplies, having left 400 men at Gakdůl to build forts and to guard the wells. On the 8th, he again set out for Gakdûl, and on the 16th he reached a spot about four miles from the wells of Abû Klea,* and 23 miles from Matammah ; next day the famous battle of Abû Klea was fought, and 1,500 British soldiers defeated 11,000 Dervishes. The Dervishes succeeded in breaking the British square, but every one of them who got in was killed, and 1,100 of their dead were counted near it ;
* More correctly Abu Tliḥ
their number of wounded was admitted by them to have been very large. On the 18th General Stewart moved on towards Matammah and, after a march which lasted all day and all night, again fought the Dervishes on the 19th, and killed or wounded Soo; in this fight, however, he received the wound of which he died. On the 20th Abû Kru, or Gubat, was occupied by the British : on the 21st Sir Charles Wilson attempted to take Matammah, but the force at his command was insufficient for the purpose. On the 22nd the British soldiers began to build two forts at Abù Kru; on the 23rd Sir C. Wilson began to make the steamers ready to go to Kharțûm ; and on the 24th he set out with two steamers and twenty men. Four days later he came to Tûtî Island and found that Kharțùm was in the hands of the Mahdi, whereupon he ordered his vessels to turn and run down the river with all speed; when they were out of the reach of the enemy's fire, Sir C. Wilson stopped them and sent out messengers to learn what had happened, and it was found that Kharțûm had fallen on Sunday the 25th of January, and that Gordon had been murdered a little before sunrise on the 26th. His head was cut off and taken to the Mabdi, but his body was left in the garden for a whole day, and thousands of Dervishes came and plunged their spears into it; later the head was thrown into a well. On February 13 the British troops, including those which had marched with General Buller to Gubat, retreated to Abû Klea, and a fortnight later they set out for Kórti, which they reached on March 1. The portion of the British troops which attempted to reach Kharțûm by river left Kôrti on Decem
ber 28, 1884, and reached Berti on February 1,
* See Parliamentary l'aper, C-4325, 1885.
A D. July the last of the British troops of Lord 1885. Wolseley's expedition left Donķola ; by the end of
September nearly the whole country as far north as Wâdi Halfa was in the hands of the Mahdi, and it was seen that, unless checked, the Dervishes would invade Egypt. General Sir F. Stephenson and General Sir Francis Grenfell attacked them at Kôshah and Ginnis on December 30, and about 1,000 of the Khalîfa’s troops were killed and
wounded. 1886. Towards the close of this year Osmân Diķna with
drew from Sawâkin to Omdurmân, partly because the Irabs about Sawakin had defeated his troops and occupied Tamâi, and partly because he hoped for much benefit from the Khalifa's attack on
Egypt. 1887. In June, Osman Dikna returned to Sawâkin with
about 2,000 Bakkâra Dervishes, but failed to move the people of the country; in the following month he returned to Omdurmân, but hearing that the Egyptian garrison at Sawâkin had been reduced, he returned
with 5,000 men and determined to capture the city. 1888. On January 17, Colonel (now Lord) Kitchener, at
the head of some friendly Arabs, attacked and captured the Dervish camp, but eventually the Dervishes re-formed and turned the Egyptian victory into a defeat. On December 20, General Grenfell, with: reinforcements, attacked Osman Dikna's troops and killed and wounded 500 of
them. 1889. In April Wad an-Nagumi had advanced as far
north as Hafir with about 5,000 men, and another 1,000 were at Sarras, only about 33 miles south of Wâdi Halfa. On July 1, Colonel Wodehouse, with about 2,000 Egyptian soldiers, defeated the Der