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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. 188.4. 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 Osmân 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 Mahdî began to besiege Gordon in Khartûm, 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 Khartûm 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 * 1.6., “Osman of the beard”; he is the son of a Turkish merchan: and slave dealer who settled in the Eastern Sûdîn 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 Gakdůl 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 Gakdul 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 Tlih acacia trees.
a place atounding in ... و ابو طلح
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 Abû 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 Khartûm 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 Kharļùm 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 Mahdî, 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 Kôrti, which they reached on March 1. The portion of the British troops which attempted lo reach Kharțùm by river left Körti on Decem
ber 28, 1884, and reached Berti on February 1, 1885, and on the oth was fought the battle of Kirbikan, in which General Earle was shot dead. On the 17th the house, palm trees, and waterwheels of Sulêmân Wâd şamr, who murdered Colonel Stewart, were destroyed, and on the 24th, orders having been received to withdraw, the river column made ready to return to Kôrti, which was reached on the 8th of March. When it was seen that Lord Wolseley's expedition had failed to bring Gordon from Kharțùm, it was decided by the British Government to break the power of Osmân Diķna, and with this object in view the Sawâkin Expedition was planned. On February 17, 1885, the British Government made a contract with Messrs. Lucas and Aird* to construct a railway of 4 feet 8. inches gauge from Sawâkin to Berber. On the 20th General Graham was placed in command of the Sawâkin Field Force, which consisted of about 10,500 officers and men. On March 20 General Graham fought an action at Hashîn, and two days later a fierce fight took place at Tofrik, between Sawâkin and Tamai. General McNeill was attacked by about 3,000 Dervishes, of whom 1,000 were killed, but the British loss was, relatively, considerable. In May the British Government recalled Graham's expedition, and abandoned the making of the railway to Berber, and thus Osmân Diķna was again able to boast ibat he had driven the English out of the country (Royle, Egyptian Campaigns, p. 436). On June 22, the death of the Mahdi occurred; he was succeeded by 'Abd-Allah, better known as the “Khalifa." In
See Parliamentary l'aper, C-4325, 1885.
AD. 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 Osman Dikna 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 Omdurman, 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 Osmán Dikna's troops and killed and wounded 500 of
them. 1889. In April Wad an-Nagùmi 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 Halsa. On July 1, Colonel Wodehouse, with about 2,000 Egyptian soldiers, defeated the Der