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 Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:57 pm

Is there any accounts of a ammunition train coming to grief along the fugitive trail, while trying to escape from Isandlwana. ?
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PostSubject: amminition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana    Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:34 pm

I don't ever remember coming across something like that . I know Col Bray 2/4 th Regt buried Ammunition on a march when he thought they may be attacked , it was never found again ! .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:45 pm

Will post text later referring to ammo train.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:20 pm

"I pictured to myself what long odds were against a lot of men riding for their lives over such ground, all crowding upon each other, and the savage enemy behind rushing in among them with unearthly yells, driving the maddened horses into the dongas and stabbing their riders—and many seemed to have come to grief here, judging from the traces. At the bottom of one of these fissures lay the fragments of an ammunition train, which had evidently taken a regular ' header,' the shattered skeletons of four horses or mules in a heap together, and thinly covered over with stones those of the two unfortunates who presumably were with the team. Among twisted-up ends of old straps and harness, ammunition boxes splintered and broken were strewn. I found the rope handle of one of these intact, and very hard I had to saw at it before I could get it off. Pretty good this, after three years of exposure to weather. On all sides were traces and remains of the flight."

Mitford.
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90th

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PostSubject: amminition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana    Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:32 pm

Hhaahha I've read Mitford's book ' Through The Zulu Country ' at least twice ! , I didn't remember seeing that ! LOL .
90th Shocked
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:40 pm

Sounds convincing too. Why did he saw of a rope handle though?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:58 pm

Perhaps he wanted a piece of History?

I don't think Mitford was the kind of chap to make things up, there would be no point, after all he was just visiting the Battlefields. But interesting to know that a ammo wagon attempted to get away. The question is. Did it contain ammunition, or was that discharged back at the camp. A few remnants were found of boxes were found.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:07 pm

Didn't Surgeon Shepherd try and get way in a waggon.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:11 pm

Not sure it was a wagon - just pack horses perhaps? Might have been colonial. Can't see a wagon getting down there- does he say how far down the trail?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:19 am

rusteze wrote:
Not sure it was a wagon - just pack horses perhaps? Might have been colonial. Can't see a wagon getting down there- does he say how far down the trail?

Steve

Here the first part of the entry.

"One morning I started from Isandhlwana to explore the line of retreat to ' Fugitives' Drift,' as it is now called, accompanied by one of the mission clergy, who had kindly offered to act as guide. Eiding over the camp ground we crossed the waggon road on the ' neck,' and struck into the narrow path running along the base of ' Black's Kopje' down into the ravine. Heaps of debris lay about—bones and skulls of oxen, belt buckles, sardine tins, shrivelled-up boots, the nails falling out of the rotting soles, odds and ends of clothing, old brushes—in fact, rubbish of all sorts ; while every ten or twenty yards we would come upon sadder traces of the flight in the shape of Httle heaps of stones, through the interstices of which could be seen the bones of some unfortunate buried underneath. The track is smooth enough for three or four hundred yards, and then the trouble begins ; as we get among the thorns the ground is seamed with deep dongas yawning suddenly before us, rendering riding anything but safe. Now we are on the brink of one of these chasms ; then the track suddenly diverging, takes us along a narrow razor-hke ridge with a fall of some fifteen or twenty feet on either side."

Then it goes on to what I have already posted
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:34 am

So about a quarter of a mile down the trail, must have been pack horses surely.
Steve
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PostSubject: Ammnition train -Isandlwana   Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:57 am

Hi Rusteze
What is confusing everybody here is possibly the use of the word "train".
There were no ammo trains, per se, at Isandlwana.
However, pack mules were used extensively by the Colonials,  eg NMP and  NC to deliver ammo to the firing lines.
Trooper Clarke, NMP documents  finding two dead pack mules, still fitted with harnesse and panniers, all still loaded with ammunition,  on their backs. The mules had been assegaied to death. Clarke found the  dead mules on the Fugitives trail during the first visit back to the battlefield with  Maj Black.
It is thought that these two pack mules were those seen running around the battlefield in the heat of the battle.
Excerpts from  Clarke's  diary detailing this account have already been posted, verbatum, a while back on this forum.

regards

barry
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90th

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PostSubject: Ammunition Train attempting to escape at Isandlwana    Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:29 am

The Ambulance wagon was from memory caught on the Fugitives Drift side of the Nek / saddle ? . Barry is correct there were no
'' trains '' in the sense of the word , just pack animals etc etc , as for the rope , all the Ammo boxes had rope on the ends , so they could be carried by two people , one person couldnt carry it ! Salute
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:07 am

Wonder why they was so far down the trail?
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:41 am

Yes I understand about rope handles on ammo boxes, but a strange thing to take as a souvenir when there must have been much more evocative things to pick up.

Steve
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PostSubject: amminition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana    Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:26 am

Yes Steve that's true , there would've been any number of items he could've picked up .
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana.   Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:45 am

Or perhaps he made some use of it. Don't suppose anyone would know how long the rope would be once removed from the ammo box.
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PostSubject: Ammunition train attempting to escape from Isandlwana    Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:03 pm

The rope isn't very long , its basically a loop . I just had a look at mine and about 12'' or so I'd say .
90th
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