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 Letter from Private John Morgans. 15115, 2-24th Regiment

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PostSubject: Letter from Private John Morgans. 15115, 2-24th Regiment   Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:10 pm

From Private John Morgans, No, 15115, 2-24th Regiment, to his brother.

I am very sorry to tell you that on the 22nd of January 1879 I had a narrow escape of my life, also the regiment. We went out early that morning, before daybreak, to attack the Zulus; we went about sixteen miles from camp and, whilst we were away the Zulus came around the hill and about 7000 of them attacked the camp while we were away looking for them, and they killed about 100 of ours and five companies of the 1-24th Regiment, about 400 men altogether. So when we were coming back to camp, on half way the general came to meet us and he made us to sit down while he was speaking to us. He told us that our camp was attacked by the Zulus and that our men fought like warriors in the camp trying to save it but the Zulus were too strong. Also, he told us that we must gain our camp back before morning, so we started away on time, the big guns (cannons) in the centre. The 24th was formed in line with fixed bayonets. The big guns fired about twelve shells and we fired a volley and, after we had done that, we charged in double march up to the old camping ground. It was dark at the time and we heard the enemy retiring. The first thing I came across when I came to the ground was four dead bodies with their inside out and when we came a little closer to the spot, the tents were burnt and torn to pieces, and when we formed a piquet, I found a dead man and when I looked about it was a friend of mine, old P.Q. as I used to call him. There was about sixteen of my draft killed. So we had to retire back across the river (Buffalo River) and back to Natal colony; we went in about forty miles to Zululand and had to retire back to Natal colony .... There is about 16,000 Zulus waiting for us the other side of the river. So I hope I won't die out in this country but reach my old home. Give the news to my relations near.
So I leave you now and hope that all are well. Don't vex about me if I die like a soldier.

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Letter from Private John Morgans. 15115, 2-24th Regiment
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