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Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
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 Durnford was he capable. 3

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:13 am

DB
Pullen's stand was higher up the saddle than Durnford's and separate and was trying to hold back the extreme tip of the left horn.  It is more likely that he rallied fleeing troops given his remark.
Some of the 30 or so redcoats with Durnford it is assumed came from the extreme right of Pope's right-hand section.  One of the Zulu accounts mentions some of them, as their numbers thinned, running across a space to Durnford's stand.  Others would have been IMI (who rode out with Gardner to assist) and others perhaps servants, cooks, clerks, etc., from the camp.  
The men found around Shepstone were NNC.  It is not known which coy they were from.  Logic and the known circumstances of the remaining NNC coys points to the likelihood of their being Murray's men as the only untapped and unlocated source of manpower.
Pascal
When one writes of Pulleine's leadership being conspicuous by its absence one is tempted to ask why.  First, no-one round him survived which would account for the absence.  Secondly there is also the real possibility that once Durnford had returned and made his presence felt, command reverted to him, and effectively, Pulleine became a field officer, in charge of his battalion but not the camp.  
Ebsworth
The AZWHS is incorrect.  The Instructions were not found on Durnford's body, that is supposition.  It also fails to reproduce the Instructions correctly and leaves a chunk out.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:21 am

Yes very good ,the personality of Durnford should be much stronger than that of the poor Pulleine
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:34 am

And that is why Isandhlwana is so popular and why this website exists...because in the absence of evidence, speculation can be endless. For those of you who wonder why I pay so much attention to primary sources, it is because every single source is relevant and every thing stated, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can have a bearing.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:11 am

Well, I like this site simply because I anglophyle, people blame myself enough, alas
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:44 pm

6pdr wrote:
Pascal MAHE wrote:
Fantasy defense for men for men as LC, Durnford and Pulleine...!

It's a fantasy defense because, as usual, it gives no credit to the Zulu. They would simply have climbed up the rear of Isandlwana and shot down into the laager/square. In other words, unless the British could hold the heights, or at a minimum deny them to the Zulu, the supposed advantage of having a hill behind the lines would have become a marked disadvantage. Who do you think was better equipped to climb that hill? The British who were outnumbered 25:1 or the Zulu who were light troops by nature. And don't think the Zulu didn't have plenty of firearms, because they did...as the Rocket Battery learned the hard way.

Square needs no protective flanking; the camp defenders shouls have marched 2 miles east of the hill on to the plain and formed square in the open. this possibly might have given them a fighting chance, but we are in fantasy hindsight land here.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:31 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Only 2% of Zulus with muskets they do not know how to use ...

That is nonsense. The Zulu did not have entire units trained in the use of firearms but they had plenty of weapons. Both at RD and Isandlwana there was no shortage of bullets flying back at the British. From a dominating height, the fire may not have been accurate but it would have been oppressive and demoralizing...sort of like arguing with you. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:47 pm

and who knows shooting downhill might have corrected the Zulu tendancy to fire high!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:56 pm

Hi Tasker

6pdrs wrote ,not me !

"Apart from the fantasy defense of a regimental square or a fortress of wagons backed up against the hill at the very outset of the battle "

Cheers

Pascal
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:05 pm

SergioD wrote:
and who knows shooting downhill might have corrected the Zulu tendancy to fire high!!

LOL. Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally. But the scariest thing about the accounts of the Rocket Battery is that "the volley" that took Russell down was loosed at ~600 yards, according to the survivors. Go figure! (If that's even close to the truth it means some of the Zulu were equipped with weapons far better than rusty Tower muskets and pot legs.)
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:14 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
The men found around Shepstone were NNC.

It may also be worth mentioning for those who haven't seen a map indicating where the bodies were found that they would have been completely out of touch with any other British unit at the moment they were slain. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that spot was all the way around the rear of Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:59 pm

And just this thing about the Zulus' small arms. Didn't John Dunn boast that there were 20,000 guns in Zululand in the run-up to the war?? Ian Knight suggests that 500 of these may have been "modern, good-quality breech-loaders", with as many as 2,500 being "recent percussion muskets" including the 1850s vintage Enfields.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:17 pm

6pdr
You are correct.
Ebsworth
Knight's figure was really a 'guesstimate' - one can't know a thing like that - but it's a reasonable guess. The weapons would of course have been divided between the various impis east, south, and centre and those Zulus still at home like the abaQulusi and Matshana's people.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:52 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
The weapons would of course have been divided between the various impis east, south, and centre and those Zulus still at home like the abaQulusi and Matshana's people.

Yes, we certainly can't assume there was anything near 20,000 at Isandlwana but if just 5% of the Zulu had firearms they would have as many guns as the British forces, albeit of lesser quality in every dimension. The 2% number Pascal uses might be breech loaders alone, but all of these are the broadest of estimates. One thing is well known. Dunn, in large part, owned his status in Cetshwayo's kingdom to his felicity at acquiring firearms...and he'd been doing it for a long time. The Zulu had even started creating their own powder and ammunition. Again, you wouldn't have that impression from watching films like ZULU, but it's part and parcel of the battle.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:08 pm

I think this discussion has run its course. It's no longer a discussion, its now back biting.
As always, if anyone as something to add that is in-line with this discussion, send me a PM.

Topic Locked!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:35 pm

Thank you Admin. hopefully this may put it, and keep it back on topic..


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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Again, it's saying what some think today...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:43 pm

Even then , the word was, Pulleines orders were bound to Durnford when he took command.

And it's correct, Durnford should have defended the camp, but he thought otherwise.

The last part of the artical, how true!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Durnford arrived to late to take any further defensive measures and left too soon to have had control of the selection of defensive positions but was a very convenient scapegoat and should be inordinate an amount of blame.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:20 pm

Durnford is not capable Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:25 pm

Wasn't !! You mean.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:15 pm

it was incompetent, it was known for a long time in the colony Salute
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:25 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:54 am

Ok John ,Mr. Henderson is capable...
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:12 am

John
Henderson was writing to his father. He was not writing for posterity or officialdom. He had to explain why he had fled the field. He also had to explain why he wasn't dead. He had to explain to his sister why he wasn't dead and her husband was. What one writes under such circumstances is coloured in the extreme. Try reading it in a different light.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:30 am

Hi Julian

Mr.Henderson was very capable, very smart and very lucky.

Those who survived have they apologized to the families of those killed ?

Cheers

Pascal
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:46 am

Quote :
John
Henderson was writing to his father. He was not writing for posterity or officialdom. He had to explain why he had fled the field. He also had to explain why he wasn't dead. He had to explain to his sister why he wasn't dead and her husband was. What one writes under such circumstances is coloured in the extreme. Try reading it in a different light.

He would have more reason to lie to he officials, rather than his familey. I should image they were happy he live and not died unnecessarily on the Battlefield. Whatever he says about Durnford is what he saw that day. We are going back to the, if anything is shown the puts Durnford in a bad light, it's dismissed. Curling wrote letters to his familey, but there not dismissed.

The fact that Henderson wrote the letters, is good enough, no matter to whom they were written.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:17 am

Dave
Not necessarily. Henderson could be pretty sure that the letters to his father would never be seen by anyone else (in his lifetime). I have mixed feelings about the passage about D in the letter - yes, he could be referring to what he saw, but on the other hand, there could be deep (psychological) reasons why he might not. It is interesting that no other survivor refers to D in this way (and there were plenty around D who survived - Davies, Molife, NMP/NC troopers) in private or official letters.
The analogy with Curling's letters is not a good one since he doesn't state anything particularly controversial, but you are right, Henderson cannot be dismissed but one needs to treat his comments with care.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:21 pm

Quote :
Not necessarily. Henderson could be pretty sure that the letters to his father would never be seen by anyone else (in his lifetime).

Speculation. Letters to his familey, you don't lie to familey.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:30 pm

Yeah his letters, it was not for beings published during his lifetime ...Mr Henderson was not crazy !
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:22 am

CTSG
No, it's not speculation and yes, you do lie to family, to save face, to explain your own behaviour in a difficult situation, to cover your actions. You do it precisely because they are family - they mean the most to you and you want them to think the best of you. All survivors suffer from guilt. Read some psychology.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:52 am

Hello Julian

Besides, those who preferrent not talk, under the pretext that they are traumatized, which is not the case ... As the ancients of the war in Algeria 1954-1962...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:09 am

Pascal
Yes that's true.
CTSG
I am sure that at times you say and write a lot of things you don't really mean, like Henderson perhaps, but please note that I did say that I cannot discount Henderson's words, I am wary of them, but they cannot be completely discounted.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:19 am

Quote :
No, it's not speculation and yes, you do lie to family, to save face

We have obvisouly had a different up-bringing. And accusing Henderson of lying is outrageous!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:38 am

Hi
Of course some of them would have lied to their families. Like Julian said, either to "save face", to boast, to exaggerate, to lie. The list goes on. It's normal human being behaviour, for some.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:42 am

Before accusing someone of lying, have the evidence to back it up. It's known as slander.

We may as well say, all those that escaped lied to save face.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:50 am

24th #1 post
No I doubt that we've had a different upbringing but neither of us has been in a battle from which we had to escape by a hair's breadth leaving behind family members, close friends and men for whom we were responsible. Psychology has a role to play here.
Note that at no time have I accused Henderson of lying. I have repeatedly stated that I cannot discount Henderson's words, I am wary of them, but they cannot be completely discounted. Durnford would undoubtedly have been in a state of heightened emotion and great excitement. Any observation of him at a particular moment, especially when he realized the battle was lost and he had to make the best of it, would assuredly have seen him in a highly agitated frame of mind. Henderson's remark has to be set against others' observations of him at the same time.
#2 post
Do not attribute to me remarks I have not made. I have not accused anyone of lying. And by the way it's not slander - he's been dead for ninety years.
When you write "we may as well say, all those that escaped lied to save face", that is not so. All will have have suffered from psychological trauma; not all will have lied, bent the truth, or tried to cover themselves by blaming others. It all depends on whether they shirked a duty or responsibility or feel they have something to reproach themselves for. Survival is an individual effort and the responses to it are individual. Read some psychology.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:56 am

Brickhill summed it up, there was panic everywhere, Durnford would not have been exempt from this. he would have been effected by fear as was everyone else.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:10 am

24th
Yes, he would. But he would also have had the added burden of command - knowing that everyone was looking AT him for any sign of wavering or weakness and everyone was looking TO him for moral support, courage, and an example. It must have produced some quite extraordinary facial distortions and emotions in the man. Ditto Pulleine, ditto every coy and troop commander, ditto Henderson.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:11 am

Hi
Lying is an everyday occurence. Every national newspaper has been sued for this. The Met police have been sued for this. British rail have been sued for this, etc, etc. I could be here all day!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:15 am

24 th and Runner 2, due to Julian

I know several veterans of the wars of Ancient French decolonization and I guarantee you that they do not want to talk about it often has nothing to do with the horrors they committed or witnessed ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:20 am

Correct Pascal. But they do tell their families. There was little out no help for combat stress disorder in those days. Look at what Curling stated at the court of equiry compaired to what he wrote to his parents. He was ridiculed by other officers would we're not at the battle of Isandkwana for not keeping a shift upper lip as was expected of all officers. He thought it best not to say nothing to the authorities of the day.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:26 am

He was ridiculed by other officers Would we're not at the Battle of Isandkwana

But those who dare criticize ness of this kind, as they sometimes have never had a uniform on the back would be better to close ...
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:42 am

Dave
But, there is no general rule. Some men don't tell their families - my father, uncles and grandfather would hardly ever or never talk about specifics in WW1 and 2 - and certainly never anything they did not want to remember. It does come down to the individual and becomes very difficult to graft on to a historical narrative.
Curling, as you say, had two different audiences in his letters, one official who wanted to hear about the big picture and the other a parent to whom he could confide some details. Neither stopped him having a nervous breakdown.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:32 pm

And by reading his letters you can see why he had a nervous breakdown.. Curling had no reason to lie, and his nervous breakdown proves that.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:57 pm

I thourght it was proved that there was no evidnce he had a nervous break down ?



Cheers
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:02 pm

Pete, (Admin).

It appears that my original post seems to have caused some problems for a few of the other members.

I thought it best to make it clear that I have no desire to cause any friction between any of the other members, so therefor I have deleted the post.


Last edited by Mr M. Cooper on Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Seems to have caused problems.)
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:05 pm

CTSG

I'm sure it was in the Curling letters Greaves stated that Curling did not have a break down.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:23 pm

There are those who live events who know a fraction of what was happening and they can tell what they want after ...

History is written by the victors in the first, then it is rewritten by the survivors and as everyone knows:

The story is a series of lies upon which all agree is have ...

The greatest military historian of all time is F.Lot because he strived his whole life with a lot of success demolish the work of other military historians ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:33 pm

The term 'nervous breakdown' was first coined in 1870 but not in a medical journal. It was in an article in a magazine about the trials of 'modern living'. I don't know when it first entered the standard 'mental health' vocabulary. Any doctors or psychologists out there?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue May 14, 2013 8:02 pm

What some thought back then!!

The Timarn Herald. THURSDAY. MAY 22, 1879.

"Now that we have received authentic information, official and private, of the recent disaster which overtook the British troops at Isandula, a clear opinion can be formed of the causes which mainly led to it. When the utterly unforeseen and unhappy news was first telegraphed, a portion of the Press, English and colonial, took a hasty and one-sided view, and incontinently blamed Lord Chelmsford for bringing about the catastrophe. With a certain class of writers, ignorant of military matters, and supremely ignorant of the duties and responsibilities of a commander-in-chief wielding forces m the field, it was but natural, perhaps, for them to endeavor to fix blame on the general commanding, apparently forgetful that, however acute, prudent, and far-seeing the chief of an army may be, his orders are liable to be set at naught, and his best measures frustrated by disobedience on the part of his lieutenants. It is very clear from the papers before us, that Lord Chelmsford gave very positive orders that " the camp was to be defended." Unhappily the camp was not defended m the manner as it was intended it should have been by the General, and hence the terrible defeat and frightful loss of English soldiers and their native allies. It is a very sorry task indeed to impute blame on brave men, and on men who gave their lives m atonement for the blunder of misinterpreting probably the orders of their chief. But whilst rendering the fullest meed of praise for gallant and heroic conduct on the part of those slain at Isitndula, it must be admitted, m all fairness, that the sore straits Colonel Durnfovd and his command were brought to were owing chiefly to disobedience of orders. Let us look into the facts of the sad story. On the morning of the disastrous fight, Lord Chelmsford left Isandula with a strong reconnoitring force, for the purpose of feeling the country m advance leading to a noted stronghold of Cetawayo. On his departure he left strict injunctions with Colonel Pulleyne, then m command of the camp, "to defend the camp." Shortly after the departure of the General reinforcements arrived, m command of Colonel Durnford, R.E., who as senior to Colonel Pulleyne, took full direction of affairs, and, as a matter of course, was bound, as much as Colonel Pulleyne was bound, to carry out the orders of his General. But, unhappily, Colonel Durnford thought otherwise, and instead of using his thirteen hundred men as a compact force, with, each component part acting harmoniously, and with effect, together, that officer elected too meet the enemy with a portion of this scant array, some miles distant from the place he was ordered to hold. This, then, was the cardinal blunder ; and the more strange that such a j blunder should be perpetrated by an officer who, from special training, would have been supposed to know full well how to defend a camp against the attacks of foes whose strength lies largely m numbers. "To defend the camp " meant, m military parlance, to throw up entrenchments, thereby adding enormously to the defensive power of the tiny garrison. But nothing of the sort was done. Not an attempt of shelter of any kind was attempted, the wagons even were not packed, and our men, out m the open, m front of the tents, and facing the hordes of Zulus swooping m thousands down upon them, were literally overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers. The generalship and pluck of the enemy were remarkable. The first was shown m their order of battle. On each flank of the Zulu army projected two enormous wings, the main body somewhat held back, and as the wings gained ground on either flank of the British, they gradually drew together till at last, meeting, they formed — excepting at one place where the ground was greatly broken — a complete barrier round the camp and its defenders. As soon as the circle was all but finished, the main body rushed forward, and the fighting, though fierce, was brief indeed. Man to. man and twenty to one, the struggle was soon over. A few, a very few, escaped, but those who succeeded m cutting their way through, the living hedge of men found, many of them, death m the swollen waters of the Buffalo River. Before the Zulus made their final rush, they lost frightfully, our rifles telling with terrible effect on their dense masses. Whole ranks bit the dust, but an eye-witness says not a falter was seen, men supplying the places of their dead or wounded comrades unhesitatingly. It may be said that time did not allow of any useful work of defence being thrown up, but anyone conversant with such matters, and who knows the rapidity with which a comparatively slight shelter trench is constructed, and its after value, cannot fail to regret that something of the sort was not attempted at Isandula, — the more especially as the affair at Rorke's Drift, which took place the same afternoon as the slaughter at Isandula, conclusively showed the enormous advantage of the flimsiest defences against an attacking force. An hour or so previous to the three thousand Ziluß appearing before the two huts, our " position" at the Drift, they were without a vestige of protection around them; but the energy of two young Englishmen, Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead, supplemented by a few score of military hands, did much m the way of fortification — Heaven save the mark ! — by piling up mealie bags as an outer line, and biscuit boxes some two feet high as an inner line, of defence. To man this improvised fort were one hundred and thirty-one men, many of them natives. At about four o'clock the Zulus commenced their attack, and throughout the entire night till four o'clock the next morning their assaults were incessant and well sustained, but all to no purpose, each time being beaten off with great slaughter. Thus was one hut defended, the other, used as a hospital, was fired and had to be vacated, but its blazing roof did good service, showing our men the whereabouts of the enemy.
We may draw the comparison between Isandula and Rorke's Drift still further, and state that numerically the garrison at the latter place was actually more outnumbered, man for man, than was the camp-guard at Isandula. Tet Isandula was the scene of a massacre : Rorke's Drift of a bold and gallant defence. At the one place precaution was set aside : at the other ready wit and cool judgment built up a defence which three thousand Zulus, flushed with their Isandula success, could not break down. Rorke's Drift teaches a lesson of the value of the most impromptu of fortifications : Isandula shows how a misinterpretation of orders or their wilful disobedience may bring about a terrible disaster."
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