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 With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.

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impi

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PostSubject: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:03 pm

Why was Isandlwana chosen as the location to set-up camp, when it was totally unsuitable to fortify. It was a hard rocky place, which in Chelmsford's own words would have taken to long to fortify. Would it not been have better to move to amore ideal location, before everything was un-packed and the camp set-out. Is there a place that could of afforded a better area to set-up camp. Just a thought. 
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Hi Impi

It was close to water, wood for fire, and had the room for the tents to be set up.
Also it was the closest site they could have camped at.
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:16 am

The area is actually quite well suited for a camp.
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90th

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PostSubject: With all the military experience , why was Isandlwana Chosen    Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:59 am

Hi Impi.
This has been well covered previously , not sure which thread its on . Suspect DB has virtually given you the reasons why Isandlwana was chosen .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:34 am

Chelmsford considered it as a highly defensible location.
His vision was to drop the tents ( the would entangle an attacking force) and form a defence line behind the tents, backs to the mountain.

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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:34 am

Chelmsford considered it as a highly defensible location.
His vision was to drop the tents ( the would entangle an attacking force) and form a defence line behind the tents, backs to the mountain.

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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:26 am

Major Clery. Selected Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:28 am

Didn't Chelsmford ride out a few days before and look at Isandlwana ?




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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:34 am

Yes he did, 15th January

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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:39 am

The Good Lord Chelmsford. Had more important issues on his mind other then choosing a camp site. Clery is just one of the many officers who let him down.
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PostSubject: With all the military experience , why was Isandlwana chosen ?.   Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:39 pm

Hi Ctsg / Springbok .
We have had this discussion I think earlier this year and if I remember correctly there was no concrete evidence as to who ACTUALLY picked the spot . Chelmesford and the staff all went looking for a place to camp not sure of the date , but it was I think a group decision . Fairly certain I checked Clery's letters to Archibald Alison and he doesnt say who was responsible for picking the camping spot , they were all in agreement that there was plenty of water and Timber and they were the two things that were most required .
CTSG.
You say Cford had more important issues than choosing a camp site , well that my friend is why most of these problems occured . If you read correspondance from some of the officers , they say that the Good Lord wanted to do everything himself and therefore didnt really have a handle on what was required , he wasnt a good delegator
and this has been proven . This also has been covered , and I'm certain I contributed to that / these threads , but you may need to pay the search box a visit . Very Happy Very Happy .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:55 pm

90th
It is a grey area. Chelmsford seems to have chosen the general site on the outride of the 15th. When the column came to move up Henry Francis Fynn suggested another site farther out on the plain, closer to Hamilton Browns Ridge. By that time Clery had allready begun to lay out the camp (Source HF Fynn) Hamilton Brown also confirms that he was told where to camp by Clery.

So who knows, like most things its all pretty mutch in the air.
Chelmsford decided on the area, Pretty much Clery decided on who went where.
What is significant that in his defence afterwards Chelmsford mentions his CHOICE was because it was a defensible place, backs to the mountain etc. That could be interpreted as he making the decision. But before CTSG jumps in let me add that it is conjecture.

Frankly I dont think the camp was in a bad position at all.

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90th

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PostSubject: With all the military experience , why was Isandlwana chosen ?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:02 pm

Hi Frank .
As I said in my post there is no hard evidence to prove conclusively who actually picked the site , but I know of accounts when people arrived at Isandlwana they say Clery was marking out the camp etc etc , but as we both know that doesnt prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he alone chose the site . Not having been on the ground there its difficult to make a decision but from what I've read there wasnt really anywhere else in that immediate area that would have been any better or at the very least equal to the original site ! , Agreed ? .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:14 pm

90th
AS I said the camp was pretty well sited really, water, wood, well drained. Its just the defence of it that was wrong. There are other areas further on that offer similar facilities but the camp was of a certain size where ever it was going to be situated. So I guess the outcome would not have been to much different if Pulleine was under orders to defend the camp and did so in that robotic fashion.

Cheers Kylie :lol: ( Still laughing )
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:05 pm

The responsibility was down to the column commander Glyn, but Isandlwana was selected by Major C.F. Clery. Glyn's staff officer.
What they all failed to realise was the left of the camp hid the Nqutu range which was impossible to see beyond.





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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:14 pm

Yes I agree, but already Chelmsford had usurped Glynns position and he, Glynn, had gone into sulking mode. So would Clery have taken over? Or born political survivor that the was would he have differed to Chelmsford for a nod in the right direction?

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PostSubject: With all the military experience , why was Isandlwana chosen ?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:50 am

Hi Saul David 1879.
Can you show me the primary source evidence that proves Clery picked the site ?. I've read his letters and fairly certain he doesnt say he alone picked the spot ! . Clery , as I wrote was setting up the area when others were arriving at Isandlwana - but I also posted it doesnt mean he ACTUALLY PICKED the site himself !.
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:40 am

90th
Fully agree! Ive intimated that Clery was far to junior to have done that. Chelmsford led the outride on the 15th and would have at least been involved in that decision, if nothing else a nod of agreement. Fynns objection to the site were directly with Chelmsford and it was he who over ruled Fynn so by implication there was a tacit approval. Does that make sense?

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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:08 am

This topic got me searching. Came across this. Don't think " Keith Smith" would say this unless he had researched it first.

"Although Lord C. later defended the camp site, he did not choose it. This was the responsibility of the column commander, Colonel Glyn, and the site was actually chosen by his Staff Officer Major C.F. Clery."

Anothet forum.
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:26 pm

Given that the 3rd column/Chelmsford really didn't think they were in much danger (complacency) water, firewood and convenience as DB14 mentioned, would have seemed more of a priority than fortifying
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:56 pm

Well they certainly paid the price for Water & Firewood Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:46 am

This from Mike Snook. Another excellent over-view as usual.

"
Quote :
The camp at Isandlwana as selected was perfectly defensible - but not with less than 10 coys of regular infantry - and that's where much of Ld C's culpability for the disaster lay. He took 6 out of 12 companies out on a wild goose chase, and thus left behind a force inadequate for the defence of such a testing piece of ground. In essence, with sufficient force levels it's good ground - with insufficient it rapidly becomes a nightmare.

With only 6 companies in defence and twelve amabutho in the assault, the site is quite indefensible with the camp laid out as it was (by Clery, but left uncorrected by his seniors) - that is to say for 'camping', not defence. The much postulated 'if only they had formed square' is in danger of becoming a historical red herring - they could not form square from the outset because that would involve sacrificing the camp - and defending the camp was Pulleine's mission (and Durnford's of course by extension, but let's not disappear down that particular rabbit hole). Forming square at a later point, when the mission of mere 'survival' had superseded that of defending the camp, as I have shown in HCMDB, was what Pulleine tried, but even with the brave attempt they made to coalesce as a battalion, it was not in the final analysis achievable.

For the camp and stores to survive and be defended by only six companies it would have had to have been laid out inside a wagon laager, that is to say without tents, although there would be an option to use some tents between a shelter trench and the wagon barricade But we know why this measure was not enacted - had to get on with the campaign before the flow of supplies along the LOC failed, 50 wagons need to back to RD on Wednesday morning, ground too stony for digging etc etc. But ulitmately all these factors, including division of forces, failure to fortify camp, the flawed belief that small detachments could operate independently in Zulu territory, etc etc all adds up to complacency. And complacency loses battles and wars, and losing battles and wars is the fault of general officers.....

I don't believe that there was a better camp site in touching distance of the one actually chosen - subject to adequate picketing and adequate force levels. The plain in front is seamed with deep dongas - very difficult to manoeuvre wagons around, and offers the enemy a variety of potentially dangerous night time avenues of approach. It is also more undulating that might at first glance appear and undulating often translates into poor fields of fire. If you had 24 hours to look for the right place, you might hit on a good spot. The irony of course is that they had a whole week to choose such a spot - if indeed it actually exists. In order for a position down on the plain to to be a tolerably good one, the same necessity for a wagon laager exists - and if they didn't form one at Isandlwana, then there is no reason to believe they would formed one any further into the plain - though it is fair to speculate that digging a shelter trench would have been a good deal easier at that location. But then there's the issue of overstretching...remember that it proved impossible to get the wagon convoy from RD (Zulu bank) to the saddle in a single day - necessitsating Black and half the 2nd Bn bivouacing around a body of wagons still stranded down at the Manzimyama when darkness fell on Monday evening. Thus the further one goes forward into the plain, the less likelihood there is of the wagon convoy being able to complete a shuttle run to RD in a single day - which unlike the advance on Mon 20 would have necessitated crossing the river to replenish from Dunne's storehouse (or what was about to become Dalton's storehouse when Dunne moved fwd). Indeed I would venture to suggest that had the shuttle run from the camp/saddle to RD gone ahead on the morning of the 22nd, that even from that location, and with the advantage of a downhill pull to begin with, not all fifty wagons would have got across the river by sunset...time and space...tricky business - but all utterly hypothetical!!"

As ever

Mike
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:30 am

[quote="Chelmsfordthescapegoat"]This from Mike Snook. Another excellent over-view as usual.

"[quote]The camp at Isandlwana as selected was perfectly defensible - but not with less than 10 coys of regular infantry - and that's where much of Ld C's culpability for the disaster lay. He took 6 out of 12 companies out on a wild goose chase, and thus left behind a force inadequate for the defence of such a testing piece of ground. In essence, with sufficient force levels it's good ground - with insufficient it rapidly becomes a nightmare.

Shocked
Is CTSG finally agreeing with the notion that Lord Chelmsford was culpable for the disaster of iSandlwana?
Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:54 am

It's certainly looking that way. Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: With all the military experience, why was Isandlwana chosen.    Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:24 pm

This is a bit of everything, but goes in to some detail regarding the problems with the camp., and Lord Chelmsford defends his actions..

Interesting bit regarding " Harness"


"LORD STRATHNAIRN rose, according to Notice, to call the attention of Her Majesty's Government to Lord Chelmsford's statement in the House of the evening of the 19th August, 1880, as compared with his despatch dated Pietermaritzburg, 27th January 1879, on the Isandlana disaster; and to ask Her Majesty's Government to place on the Table of the House further Papers on the question if they are in possession of information differing from the despatch quoted, together with a map (with proper scale of distances) of the ground on which the Headquarter Camp was pitched, and of the hills above and near it; and to submit certain mistakes in the operations in Zululand; and also to move for a Return of the ages and length of service of the soldiers and non-commissioned officers of the 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment. The noble and gallant Lord said, that in his Notice he called the attention of Her Majesty's Government to Lord Chelmsford's despatch, dated Pietermaritzburg, January 27, 1879, as compared with his speech of the 19th of last month, which elicited cheers from some of their Lordships. But in the despatch it was said of the 24th Regiment:— So long as they kept their faces to the Zulus the enemy could not drive them back, and they feel in heaps before the deadly fire poured into them. But when the Zulus got round the left flank of these brave men they appear to have 1026 lost their presence of mind, and to have retired hastily through the tents, when immediately the whole Zulu force surrounded them, they were overpowered by numbers, and the camp was lost. The plain English of this was that they misbehaved before the enemy. But in his speech the noble and gallant Lord (Lord Chelmsford), reciting the same events, said—"What could they do more than they did, and that was to die like gallant soldiers?"
§LORD CHELMSFORD observed, that the noble and gallant Lord was not reading his despatch, but some printed report; and if he was going to found any charge upon it he ought to quote from the actual words of the document.
§LORD STRATHNAIRN said, he must leave the noble and gallant Lord to reconcile those two opposite statements, and would only observe that they were not calculated to promote devotion or discipline among soldiers. He proceeded to submit to their Lordships what, in his humble opinion, were mistakes in the operations in Zululand, and which, he thought, were amply sufficient to account for Isandlana and other mishaps. First, the columns invading Zululand were too far distant from one another for mutual support and communication, especially in so difficult and unknown a country as Zululand. For instance, Sir Evelyn Wood's, the fourth column, was 35 miles distant from Colonel Glyn's headquarter No. 3 column, and, consequently, the fourth column acted independently. The result of this was that 20,000 Zulus were enabled to pass through the interval and post themselves, on the 21st of January, unobserved, under the crest of the height commanding the left front of the camp at Isandlana, and fell like an avalanche on the left flank of the camp next day, the fatal 22nd. Of course, if this dangerous ground had been properly reconnoitred, it was more than probable that that great calamity would never have occurred. Secondly, the position of the camp at Isandlana was commanded, as had been shown by an excellent authority, who had visited the spot. He said— I spent many hours in examining the position of the camp, and I emphatically repeat that the camp is dominated by hills to the right and loft (a little to the right and left) rear which were within pistol-shot. There was a glacis sloping away from the front towards the open plain; but 1027 what man in his senses could expect an enemy to advance over that when he could approach a flank under cover of a range of hills? Archibald Forbes, in his article in The Nineteenth Century, said something to this effect—"I challenge any soldier of experience to say whether any more inherently vicious position could have been chosen." He (Lord Strathnairn) certainly considered that any disinterested person who had sufficient military knowledge to entitle him to give an opinion at all must, after seeing the ground, entirely coincide with Mr. Forbes. Their Lordships had only to look at the map to be convinced of the justice of these views; and it was this hill-commanded camp which, by the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, was not to be left, but to be defended. If instead of that order he had previously directed that that camp, and all other camps in the line of operations, should be in safe positions to be fortified, either by intrenchments with obstacles or with waggon laagers, we should not have been the victims of surprises or defeats. Such as it was, the camp could only be defended from outside. Thirdly, reconnaissances should have been made of the position of the enemy above and round Isandlana to any extent. The Commander-in-Chief did reconnoitre the positions to the left front of the camp, but did not go far enough or thoroughly enough; for he stated that he saw a few Zulu horsemen, who could only have been an outpost or a patrol of the 20,000 men, and he should have done all he could to take these men or follow them, or, with a reconnaissance in force, to ascertain where their main body was. If he had done so, he would have ascertained the position of the 20,000 Zulus, and been enabled to counteract their dangerous flank manœuvre. He (Lord Strathnairn) had practical proof of the advantages of this reconnoitring in Syria and in India. Fourthly, the camp with all its contents should have been intrenched, as he had already said, with engineering obstacles to protect it, arrest the enemy's advance, and expose them to the scientific and deadly fire of the English artillery and infantry, Fifthly, the warning that the Zulus had shown themselves in force to the left front of the camp, given not only by the firing which was heard from the direction of the camp, but by messages re- 1028 ceived by the noble and gallant Lord and officers under him from the officer commanding the camp—
§LORD CHELMSFORD asked the noble and gallant Lord to quote his authority for that statement, for it was the first he had heard of it. If the noble and gallant Lord quoted his authority the House would know what reliance was to be placed on that information. It was perfectly new to him.
§LORD STRATHNAIRN said, he would not have made that statement to the House without authority. The noble and gallant Lord's own despatch stated that firing was heard, and that the noble and gallant Lord himself sent an aide-de-camp.
§LORD CHELMSFORD said, the noble and gallant Lord was entirely mistaken, as he did not say anything of the kind in his despatch.
§LORD STRATHNAIRN said, he was going to add that when this alarm had been heard, when messages had been received from the camp, and when the firing had been heard, the noble and gallant Lord should have caused the immediate return of the reconnaissance party to the camp, a distance of 9 or 10 miles, running two miles and walking one on the Prussian system of alarms. But, so far from that, a detachment with guns, under Colonel Harness, who had actually seen the combat and was marching to the camp, was ordered not to go there. He need hardly observe that under all the circumstances of the case which he had detailed, and which, he ventured to think, should certainly have occurred to the Commander-in-Chief, to leave the camp unintrenched, dominated by dangerous ground, and deprived of half its garrison, as seen by the watchful Zulus, was an invitation to the enemy to attack it. Sixthly, it would have been better not to have taken the lamented Colonel Durnford, so valuable an Engineer officer, from his special duties of superintending the fortifications of camps and of strongholds for ourselves. And it was only justice to that gallant officer's memory to represent that he had to cope with almost unexampled difficulties on taking over the defence of an indefensible camp against an enemy overwhelming in numbers, with remarkable military instinct, and holding positions insufficiently reconnoitred. The death of this gallant officer, 1029 with some brave soldiers of the 24th Regiment, rivalling their brothers in arms at Rorke's Drift, some brave Natal Volunteers, and Native levies, while holding the important neck of land which covered the retreat to Rorke's Drift, was a fitting close of a life of devotion to the Service. While he lamented the dead, he was happy to notice the distinction that had been won by many officers who had played conspicuous parts in the campaign, among the most prominent of whom might be mentioned Sir Evelyn Wood and Colonel Buller. It was eight or nine years ago that he (Lord Strathnairn) drew their Lordships' attention, in a long speech on military education, to the disadvantages of the British system of mechanical drill without an object—that was, without the elementary or higher rules of strategy; and he had since never failed, at the cost of their Lordships' patience and indulgence, to press it upon the House. He would not, however, detain their Lordships any longer on that occasion, particularly as the Commander-in-Chief was not present, but would at once move for a Return of the ages and length of service of the soldiers and non-commissioned officers of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 24th Regiment.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN said, he had no doubt that the noble and gallant Lord who introduced this matter was actuated with a desire to forward the interests of the Public Service; but a discussion upon such a subject in their Lordships' House was, he thought, very much to be deprecated. Whatever might be the merits or demerits of the way in which the campaign was conducted, the campaign was over, and that was not the place for recording a calm and safe judgment on the matter. The plan of the General commanding had formed the subject of a military Court of Inquiry; and an aimless discussion of this sort was not only unfair to the noble and gallant Lord (Lord Chelmsford), but was also calculated to create a mistaken impression out-of-doors.
§LORD VIVIAN observed, that the noble and gallant Lord (Lord Strathnairn) had not censured the noble and gallant Lord who had conducted the war in South Africa. The statement that had been made on another occasion had practically challenged the noble and gallant Lord to recur to the subject. He regretted, how- 1030 ever, the difference that had arisen between the two noble and gallant Lords.
THE EARL OF MORLEY said, he could not but think that the noble and gallant Lord (Lord Strathnairn), for whose military reputation he had great respect and admiration, had pursued an inconvenient and irregular course in again bringing this subject forward. The present Government, however, were not called upon to pronounce any opinion whatever on the matter. Eighteen months had elapsed since the events to which the Motion referred, and he looked upon the affair as entirely closed. The proper course for the noble and gallant Lord to have taken would have been to have brought the question before the House when the late Government, who had the whole circumstances within their knowledge, and who dealt with every circumstance as it arose, were in Office. Under the circumstances, Her Majesty's Government were not prepared, even if they had them, to produce any further Papers on the subject. They considered that the matter was entirely closed, and that there would be no advantage to the Public Service to produce Papers upon a vague Motion, directed to no practical and definite end. With regard to the Return asked for, such a Return was impossible, because the documents relating to the 24th Regiment were lost in the war. He regretted that the matter had been revived; and he deprecated any further discussion of a matter so technical, and which could not be adequately discussed in such an Assembly as this.
§LORD CHELMSFORD regretted that the noble and gallant Lord (Lord Strathnairn) had not given any authority for the statements he had made regarding his (Lord Chelmsford's) conduct when in command of the South African Forces. The speech of the noble and gallant Lord had taken him completely by surprise; because he could not discover by the Notice of Motion that the noble and gallant Lord intended to reopen the questions that had so very recently been discussed by the House. When on a previous occasion he had endeavoured to give a full, true, and clear account of the Isandlana disaster, his narrative had been based, not upon information exclusively possessed by himself, but upon the evidence of eyewitnesses, whoso statements had since been published in the newspapers. His 1031 account had been taken from evidence published in The Times of March 17 and 22; and he now challenged the noble and gallant Lord to say whether all the details of his speech were not borne out by that evidence. The noble and gallant Lord had quoted authorities to whose words the House would probably not attach very great importance. The noble and gallant Lord had referred to the statement in an article by Mr. Archibald Forbes in The Nineteenth Century. But to show how fallacious some of the statements were, he need only point out the inaccuracy of the story related in reference to Colonel Harness. Colonel Harness had himself referred to the incident in an article in Frazer's Magazine, and had given quite a different account; and, as a matter of fact, the statement that he was in a position to afford relief to the camp was quite incorrect. He (Lord Chelmsford) was on his way to the camp—it must have been between 3 and half-past, the whole affair being over at 1 o'clock—when he saw Colonel Harness about 500 yards from him, moving off in the direction of the camp, being then 10 miles distant from Isandlana. Major Cosset, his aide-de-camp, asked him if he should go and stop the battery, and he said—"Yes; he could not understand why they were moving." And yet in the public prints there had been an accusation that Major, now Lieutenant Colonel, Gosset, prevented valuable reinforcements going on to the camp, and was almost accountable for the disaster. There was not a particle of truth in the story. Another important statement made by the noble and gallant Lord had reference to the number of messages which he asserted he had received from the camp on the day in question. In point of fact, he only received one message from the camp in the course of that day, which was that mentioned in his despatch, which had been sent to him at 8 o'clock in the morning, and which was received by him at 9.30, which merely gave the information that a body of the enemy had been noticed in a north-westerly direction. From half-past 9 o'clock until he reached the camp on his return not a single message, if any were despatched, had reached him. His statement on this point was fully corroborated by Lieutenant Colonel Croalock, his 1032 Military Secretary, in his letter recently sent to a London newspaper, in which he gave a distinct denial to the story that several messages had been received. The noble and gallant Lord, in referring to his despatch, had declared that he had reflected upon the gallantry of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 24th Regiment by stating that they had run away from the enemy. He had made no such reflection upon that gallant body of men. He wrote that despatch immediately after arriving in Pietermaritzburg, five days after the disaster. In it he stated that— One company went off to the extreme left and has never heard of since, and the other five, I understand, engaged the enemy about a mile to the left front of the camp, and made there a most stubborn and gallant resistance. So anxious was he that the Government at home should receive a true and faithful account of what had occurred that he wrote the whole of the despatch with his own hand; but he must confess that, on calm consideration, he should have altered the the paragraph in it to which the noble and gallant Lord had referred, because it was, perhaps, capable of an interpretation which he had no idea would be placed upon it, and which he did not intend should be placed upon it. He much regretted that it had given pain in some quarters. He never intended that the smallest impression should be left on the minds of anyone that he reflected on the conduct of the 24th Regiment. The paragraph said— When, however, the Zulus got round the left flank of these brave men, they appear to have lost their presence of mind, and returned hastily to the tents, that had never been struck. He would not have used the term "brave men" had he intended to have reflected upon their courage. What he had in his mind at the time he wrote that paragraph was that the men of the 24th Regiment, finding that the Zulus had worked round their flank, and that it was hopeless to remain where they were, had retired hastily with the view of taking up the stronger position which they should never have left. In his opinion, under the circumstances, it would have been better for them to have remained where they were, and to have fought it out on the spot without attempting to retire. They had been fighting an enemy outside their camp, 1033 and it was hopeless for the poor fellows to expect to get back.
§LORD STRATHNAIRN asked if the men retired by the orders of their officers?
§LORD CHELMSFORD said, that it was so stated in the evidence. They were ordered back to take up a final position under the hill, which they ought never to have left, and they endeavoured to do so. That was the reason they turned their backs to the enemy; not that they ran, or attempted to run. In self-defence, he was compelled to refer in detail to the six mistakes which it was alleged by the noble and gallant Lord had led to the disaster at Isandlana. In the first place, he denied that the invading columns were too far apart to render each other mutual support. A reference to the map would show that the position taken up by the columns, having regard to the long frontier line, was the only one that could be properly adopted. With reference to the position of the camp, he defied the noble and gallant Lord to show that the account he had given of its position was inaccurate in any particular. The map which had been placed in the Library of the House, and which accurately described the ground near Isandlana, corroborated that account. With regard to the charge that the ground occupied by the enemy on the day in question had not been sufficiently reconnoitred previously, as a matter of fact, it had been carefully reconnoitred on the day before without the Zulus being discovered. Lieutenant Browne, 24th Regiment, and a party of mounted Infantry, went out by his (Lord Chelmsford's) orders in the direction from which the Zulus advanced, and he must have passed close to the spot where they bivouacked that night. He saw, however, no traces of a large force, simply because they were not there till after dark that evening. On the morning of the attack the vedette was placed, as usual, three miles in advance; and he gave notice of the approach of the enemy long before the actual attack was made, and which, therefore, could not be characterized as a surprise. The enemy did not advance from the direction of the mountains to the north of Isandlana; but from the eastward two of their columns, however, moved along the top of these mountains and came down upon the camp that way. In reference to 1034 the statement that the camp should have been intrenched, he had already stated that the ground in the neighbourhood of the camp was so rocky that it was absolutely impossible to make even shelter-trenches round the tents. When the party subsequently came to bury the poor men who had fallen in the battle, they found it almost impossible to dig a shallow grave, owing to the small amount of earth. Nor were there any trees with which to make abattis. The troops had, in fact, to carry their fuel with them. With regard to the assertion that on receiving the message that the camp was attacked, he should at once have returned with his force to its assistance, he had already explained that, by some extraordinary fatality, he never received such a message, if it had ever been sent. All he could say, standing before their Lordships, who, he believed, would give him credit for telling the truth faithfully, was, that neither he nor any of his staff received more than the one to which he had referred at half-past 9 in the morning; and the fact that he immediately sent a messenger back to Colonel Pulleine was a refutation of the charge brought against him. The sixth mistake alleged was that it would have been better if he had allowed Colonel Durnford to continue to discharge his special duties of superintending the fortification of the camp. In reply to this, he could only say that the fact of his sending for Colonel Durnford was evidence that he wished to have him close at hand in order that his advice might be available on engineering questions. Furthermore, he was much indebted to Colonel Durnford for the organization of the force of mounted Natives, which was entirely due to the personal influence which the gallant officer had with the Native Tribes. As far as the formation of the columns of invasion was concerned, the question was a purely technical one, which could not be satisfactorily discussed in their Lordships' House. To justify the strategy which he had adopted, it would be necessary to have a large map; and he would, in fact, have to give a lecture. He would only say that in his view a division of the force into three bodies was absolutely necessary, and was not too much to cover a line of close upon 300 miles. He would, however, be perfectly prepared to discuss the point with 1035 anybody who was interested in the subject. He looked back to the campaign with mixed feelings—regret at the loss of the gallant men who fell, and for that sad day of Isandlana, but with pride at what had been accomplished. When the nature of the country in which the troops were operating—the fact that, for military purposes, it may be said to have been a terra incognita—and the numerous difficulties of supply and transport which had to be overcome, were taken into consideration, the six months from January 11 to July 5 could not, he contended, be considered but a short time for the campaign to be brought to a close, and would contrast very favourably with the duration of former Kaffir Wars. He could not but think it unreasonable to say that undue delay had arisen in consequence of the steps which he thought it necessary to take in order to secure the completeness of the expedition. In conclusion, he thanked their Lordships for their attention, but regretted that he should have been called upon to make this explanation.
§LORD STRATHNAIRN said, he was very much surprised that the Under Secretary of State for War should have persistently refused to give any further Returns relative to the short-service system; and it appeared to him that there was a complete union between the Government and the Front Opposition Benches in their resolve not to inquire into the effect of that system, and not to produce the Report of Lord Airey's Commission, which everyone knew was a complete exposure of it. He denied that the noble and gallant Lord had said a word of refutation of the charge he had brought, and the fact remained that 20,000 Zulus were allowed to lie in ambush so near the camp and to assault it as they had done. Whatever might be said, there were not the necessary precautions taken to protect a camp in which most of our stores were."

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