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Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History
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 Durnfords retreat.

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:49 pm

I must say I warm to Durnford much more than I warm to Chelmsford. In particular I think the grit and perseverance he showed in 1873 was remarkable even though the result did not endear him to colonial society. In 1878/79 his greatest achievement, in my view, was to create the native contingents in a very short space of time. But again he was undermined by the quality of characters placed in subordinate roles. They were also chronically underarmed because of the fears of the colonial population. Given that the imperial forces were significantly under strength for the task in hand, i think this was crucial and Durnford recognised it. Had the NNC battalions performed as well as his own Native Horse the outcome may have been different.

Steve
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:28 pm

Hi,

It could be because they both had moustaches......

GAC was all of those things that you mention (and probably a good deal more) I'm not sure if it was Libby who interceded on his behalf, I know that Terry and Sheridan helped smooth the water between Grant and him.

It was not the first time that he left someone in the lurch, some officer and a patrol was abandoned earlier in his career (can't remember his name) but it caused a lot of ill feeling within the 7th and Benteen thought he was doing it again to LBH.

It didn't help that it was not a particularly unified command in the 7th (thanks to GAC's favouritism)

Strangely enough until a few years ago (at west Point) officer cadets are given a 'blind' wargame scenario, with the same objectives as GAC at LBH and they invariably devise a - plan similar to one used on the day.

I have read about the spikes in his ears (and also another mutilation - involving an arrow...which was concealed from Libby)

I don't think Benteens ammo would have helped much. I spose he went in with a proven plan (that worked before) but when something went wrong - 'Custers Luck' finally deserted him.....and he was unable to retrieve the situation....even if Benteen and Reno (if sober enough) would have rallied to him, I think they were still in trouble....

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:10 pm

Steve,

I think another 'fault' with the NNIC, was that fact that it was insisted that they were organised and drilled (to some degree) along European lines. They would have been better employed, fighting in an irregular tribal way, under their own leaders (OK maybe the 'battalion' or 'company' commanders would be European).

Somewhere I have the book 'Black Soldiers of the Queen' which is really good on the subject of the NNIC/NNMC.

Cheers

Sime
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:48 am

SRB1965
Sime , it was Major Joel Elliott who Custer as you say through under the bus , along with 10 - 15 Soldiers from memory , and again from memory was it the Sandy Creek Massacre or the Battle of Washita ? .
90th agree
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:51 am

90th wrote:
SRB1965
Sime ,  it was Major Joel Elliott who Custer as you say through under the bus , along with 10 - 15 Soldiers from memory ,  and again from memory was it the Sandy Creek Massacre or the Battle of Washita ? .
90th agree

Hi 90th, yeah that's right, it was Elliot.....now you mention it, I think it was after Washita.....I was trying to remember from a couple of documentaries' on TV, I watched a while ago.

Thanks a lot

Sime
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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am

Hi Sime
I was a Custer phile until the zulu war took over back in 2005 or so . I have quite a few books on the American West , but havent looked at one in 12 years I just remembered !!! , several I havent even read to be honest Shocked Shocked
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:34 am

Hi,

I find LBH fascinating probably for the same reason as Isandlwana - the fact that the evidence is sketchy (or almost non existant in the case of LBH) - except from the victors (who were largely ignored).

The Archaeological investigation & evidence (particularly the forensic side of it) from LBH is far superior (perhaps due to the nature of the soil) than Isandlwana.

I spose being a 'young' nation with lots of recent wars (on home territory) - AWI, ACW, Indian Wars etc they look after their battlefields better. Where as in the old world we have neither the living space nor real interest to maintain ours.

In the UK we have no defining point in our history (AWI, ACW, The Alamo - in case of Texas) - 1066 was so long ago and the ECW did not really change much (for most of the population).

Whilst I have your ear - do the Aussies make a big deal about Eureka Stockade or it largely forgotten - albeit nothing as major (or defining) as the American battles mentioned above.

Cheers

Sime
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:17 pm

Hi Sime
I doubt anyone out here in Australia under the age of 30 has even heard of the Eureka Stockade , it , was after all , only a relatively small affair compared to defining moments in history of many other nations . As important as it was to the Miner's of the time , it doesnt really have the air of a major confrontation .
90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:13 pm

Strange that - it was one of the display games, I used to put on at wargames conventions/show around the UK (about 20 years ago)....it used to be good fun....'Crimean War' British and the less flamboyant 'Wild West' figures for the miners....

Spose it was more of riot than a battle........

Thanks a lot

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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Hi Les
Last Nov when Ian and a few of us went to SA , we where fortunate enough to meet Graham Dominy who showed us the Rocket Trough they have in the Pietermaritzberg Museum , he also showed us the Original sketch done of The Bushmans River pass incident , we had a room to ourselves so we where able to touch and handle the Rocket Trough along with Rockets as well , it was a great morning . Unfortunately this Months trip has been cancelled.
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:26 pm

Hi

Just out of interest is the trough in PM Museum, one from Isandlwana and if not were the (3?) troughs from Isandlwana ever recovered/found or were they trashed by the Zulus?

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:44 am

Hi Sime
The Rocket trough in the PM Museum is from Fort Cherry on the Middle Drift , where Durnford was initially before he was ordered to move to RD . I'm not 100 % sure but I dont think the Rocket Troughs was recovered from Isandlwana , but I may be having a senior moment ! . Les is correct , at least a couple of Rockets were found post war , by , from memory , the Rev Johnson .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:17 pm

Coincidentl Ive been having a similar discussion of line with a forum member. Rockets were spread all over the battlefield. Davies comments on sending his men to collect boxes and then dumping them on the plain because they were to heavy.
There are 2 reports of mules running around with rocket panniers strapped on.
Then of course there is the only recorded case of a rocket t Isandlwana actually doing its job:

"“On a certain Sunday, just at the scanty congregation was gathering for worship in the school-church grass hut which also did duty as a store-room on occasions when there was anything to store, a huge rocket which had been dropped by the rocket-battery when that unit was cut to pieces by the Zulus in the battle of Isandhlwane, caught fire from some burning grass, and came with a swoop and a roar right into the little camp”.

With thanks to Ymob for the above.

There was also two rockets found by the proprietor of the hotel down on the Durnford Donga ( The first Hotel in the area) One was dug out of the donga and one was found on the plain and given to Ryder Haggard.

In the iSandlwana tourist centre there is a rocket reputably found at iSandlwana, and tht could easily be the one refered to by 90th as being found by Johnson.

Cheer

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