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 Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:31 pm

Can anyone tell me why was Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana. It is said he wanted to spare him men the awful sight that awaited them, did he forget that day follows night, so they would have still seen the ghastly sights that awaited them in the morning.
And why he did Chelmsford bother to go back at all? He could have quite easily waited the night out in a defensive position near Isandlwana. Not on it.
My last thought. Why go back to a place where you knew it was impossible to fortify. Chelmsford himself said it would take to long laager, and impossible to entrench.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:47 pm

Littlehand I think you have got mixed up.

Chelmsford column arrived at Isandlwana at night due to the distance. Chelmsford did not plan to arrive at night to spare his men for seeing the carnage.

However he did raise his troops before dawn to spare them the full horror of the scene. Nevertheless, many of the troops woke in the morning with the appearance of the slain injured, covered in the blood, entrails and brains of the dead.
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90th

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PostSubject: chelmsford"s return   Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:36 am

hi mlittlehand.

This is from zulu war journal by henry (CHARLIE) harford, edited by Daphne Child.
" By the time the scouts and reconnoitring parties who had been recalled, and other units, had assembled at the rendevous it was nearly 4pm, and before being formed up for the attack the Gen briefly addressesd the troops, telling them the camp had been TAKEN
and saying that he relied on us to re-take it, we then marched off to isandlwana. The column halted about a mile from camp and saw a large body of zulus disappearing over a hill to the right of it, looking like an enormous mass of ants or swarm of bees, so we halted a few minutes and sent a few shells into them. We saw every shell burst amongst them, but the mass was so dense that whatever gaps were caused, was instantly filled, so it was impossible to see what damage had been done, anyone who has handled a swarm of bees would see the simile.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:48 pm

Littlehand I think Chelmsford’s nightmare was that the Zulus would march into Natal. In the distance the British could see Rorke’s Drift burning. From that Chelmsford knew that the Zulus had crossed the Tugela.
And remember that saying (Where fools rush in) Chelmsford was in no position to fight. The ammunition supplies were left at Isandlwana. Chelmsford colour had limited supplies.
When the troops were making their way to Rorke’s Drift The following Morning, they met with the Zulus that had fought at Rorke’s Drift, even then nether side wanted to fight. Except one young Zulu of course, but he lost.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:05 pm

John wrote:
Except one young Zulu of course, but he lost.
Hi John

Can you elaborate on this please?

Many thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:16 pm

Hi Ciscokid well to the forum.

I believe John is talking about the young Zulu that rushed at Chelmsford Column as it was advancing towards Rorkes Drift and was shot. He was the only one to make the charge, as the others were too tired and hungry to continue the fight. But then again so were those in the British column.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:26 pm

Thank you very much for the reply.

Do you have any links to this info??
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:04 pm

Leave it with, It could be in one of Ian Knight's book. Hopefully someone might find it before me.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:15 am

I have seen this somewhere. Something about a young Zulu got all excited, and charged at the British but was shot, The other Zulu's just carried on walking away.
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PostSubject: lord chelmsford bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:34 am

hi all.
Had a quick look through books by Laband , Norris - newman , Gonzalez and Harfords journal
couldnt find anything on the lone zulu incident , seems like something that might be found
in F. E mery"s work dealing with letters from those involved . Like looking for a needle in a haystack :) .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:24 am

One story that was mentioned about the troops and the impi passing each other was that the Zulus thought Chelmsfords men were ghosts of the dead from the battlefield going back home.
Probably, like the story of the lone Zulu boy, and I suppose Ivor emmanuel singing, urban legend.

regards
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90th

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PostSubject: lord chelmsford bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:16 pm

hi springbok9.
I have read the story about the zulus thinking C"fords men were ghosts in a few books.
cheers 90th.
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:55 pm

Thanks all for the responses.

If anyone can find a link to this please let me know - I was under the impression that the uThulwana, iNdlondlo and uDloko were all 40 plus.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:43 pm

I'm sure its in one of the Zulu War books by Bancroft. I will have a look tomorrow. By the way welcome to the forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:07 am

Eventually found it
Lt Maxwell
Suddenly from the enemy on the ridge there sprang a young warrior to the front, who by his actions and speech was endeavouring to urgr the others to attack. Failing in which, he madly rushed down the hillside towards the centre of the column, and was shot dead at about 30 yards distance, not one having followed or even risen from their squatting position. In my opinion had we had sufficient ammunition we could have made great havoc amongst them in their tired and disorganised state.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:07 pm

Thank you very much.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:29 pm

Nice one Springbok. It was bothering me, as I had read it somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:50 pm

Springbok9. I echo Admin on that. Where did you find it.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:58 pm

John - what company produces the model in you avatar?

cheers
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:08 pm

Sorry Cisco. I have only just seen your question.

Here the link..

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:11 pm

Thanks for that John. I'm now the flying Zulu.

sas1
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:13 pm

No problem. I was thinking about having that one. But changed me mind. Looks Good. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:31 am

Hi John
It was tucked away in Ian Knights ' Isandlawana'. I was actually searching for references to the roll call of Chelmsfords Col at RD.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:58 pm

I understand that one of the reasons it took so long to bury some of the dead at Isandlwana i'm talking about those being the men of the 2nd Battalion, 24th 2nd Warwickshire regiment, it because the 2nd 24th wanted the honour of burying their own dead comrades. I take it this was sanctioned by Chelmsford and the 24th were allowed to bury their dead. Were any Soldiers of the 2nd 24th that fought at Rorke’s Drift permitted this honour bearing in-mind they fought their battle on the same day, as Isandlwana and many of them knew the ones that had died.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:22 pm

Hi 24th.

I think the men of the 2nd/ 24th who fought at Rorke's Drift, were long gone by the time the dead were buried. There wasn't much left of the regiment after Isandlwana, Members of B company were reallocated into different companies and sent to a range of different places. So to answer you question " No i don't think they did, but would have if they had the choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:57 pm

"Why did not Lord Chelmsford, immediately on his return, make a counter-attack on the enemy." First of all he had to wait for Colonel Glyn and the main body to come up to him. Meanwhile darkness had come on. When Glyn arrived he did advance with his troops formed up for action, and with the intention of re-taking the camp, which he had every reason to suppose was occupied by the enemy. The event proved they had abandoned it. Was not this a good reason for striking a blow? Let the facts of the case be well borne in mind. Lord Chelmsford knew that there was a large force in his rear; the force that had sacked the camp was supposed, and reasonably enough, to be on the right flank. In front were the bright watchfires of another force, and the blazing hospital at Rorke's Drift, which, together with Helpmakaar, there was every ground to believe had been captured and looted by the foe; in a word, his force was surrounded. The men had only fifty rounds of ammunition apiece; they had been twenty-four hours without food; they were physically exhausted by eighteen hours' continuous marching, and no less morally by the loss of their camp; their probabilities of escape were distant. How could a general lead troops in such a condition against a foe flushed and elated with spoil and recent victory?"
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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:38 am

Answer! he could not! thats why he got
the h..k out of there! and why, he never
commanded in the field again!  Salute 
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's troops were forced to bivouac amongst the dead at Isandlwana   Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:41 am

impi wrote:
"Why did not Lord Chelmsford, immediately on his return, make a counter-attack on the enemy." First of all he had to wait for Colonel Glyn and the main body to come up to him. Meanwhile darkness had come on. When Glyn arrived he did advance with his troops formed up for action, and with the intention of re-taking the camp, which he had every reason to suppose was occupied by the enemy. The event proved they had abandoned it. Was not this a good reason for striking a blow? Let the facts of the case be well borne in mind. Lord Chelmsford knew that there was a large force in his rear; the force that had sacked the camp was supposed, and reasonably enough, to be on the right flank. In front were the bright watchfires of another force, and the blazing hospital at Rorke's Drift, which, together with Helpmakaar, there was every ground to believe had been captured and looted by the foe; in a word, his force was surrounded. The men had only fifty rounds of ammunition apiece; they had been twenty-four hours without food; they were physically exhausted by eighteen hours' continuous marching, and no less morally by the loss of their camp; their probabilities of escape were distant. How could a general lead troops in such a condition against a foe flushed and elated with spoil and recent victory?"


I think there are some very valid points. What's more it makes sense!
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