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 Events Anglo-Zulu War of 1879

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PostSubject: Events Anglo-Zulu War of 1879   Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:47 pm

"There is no dispute of the centrality of our location for exploring these sites. All seven Battlefields are within each. There are also several other important sites related to the War which may be visited en route to the Battlefields.

Ultimatum Tree and Fort Pearson. The place on the Tugela River where the Ultimatum, which precipitated the Zulu war, was delivered by the British to the Zulu's and where the British crossing point into Zululand in the south was situated. The tree has died but the fortifications of Fort Pearson are probably the best preserved of any relating to the Zulu War

The Battle of Nyezane (22 January 1879) was the opening battle of the war fought between Col. Pearson's No 1 or Right Flank Column in the south. It was a relatively easy victory for the British who were outnumbered only 2 to 1.

The Battle of Isandlwana (22 January 1879) here Lord Chelmsfords No 3 or Centre Column, invading Zululand from the west, was to encounter the full fury of the main Zulu army. The consequence was that the British suffered their worst defeat ever in the history of their Colonial warfare: the casualties amounted to 907 white soldiers and 471 of the 800 black soldiers fighting on the side of the British, a total of 1329 men. The victory for the Zulus, no doubt their greatest ever, was not achieved without severe losses: it is estimated that between 1500 and 3000 Zulu's perished during the battle.
Fugitive's Drift (22nd January 1879). Is the sight where most of the British fleeing from the Battle of Isandlwana were to cross the flooded Buffalo River. The most famous incidence is the saving of the Queens Colour of the 1/24th regiment by Lt Melville and then the mutual courage of Lt's Melville and Coghill in trying to assist each other, these two officers being the first to be awarded the VC posthumously - 28 years after the event.

The Battle of Rorke's Drift (22/23 January 1879) was a gallant defense by a small garrison force of 152 British soldiers, part of the Centre Column, against seemingly overwhelming odds of between 3000 and 4000 Zulus. The British were to award 11 Victoria crosses to defenders, the most ever in a single action in the history of the British Army.

Siege of Eshowe (February/March 1879). Col Pearson fortified the kwaMondi Mission at Eshowe after the news of Isnadlwana reached him. The Zulus getting annoyed by his apparent impertinence tightened their grip on Eshowe so that Lord Chelmsford eventually had to organise a relief column to extricate Pearson.

Ntombi drift (12 march 1879). Here the Swazi renegade chief Mbilini ambushed a supply column, under command of Capt. Moriarty, heading for Khambula to replenish Col Sir Evelyn Woods No 4 of left Flank Column. With half the wagons over the Ntombi River, if flooded forcing the British to spend several days there. The laager was poorly fortified and was ambushed at dawn. The British lost 73 officers and other ranks while the Zulu casualties were negligible.

The battle of Hlobane (28 March 1879) was where the British force of the No 4 Column under Col. Sir Evelyn Wood was touted by the Zulus in a spectacular running Battle which lasted the entire day in which 93 British were killed. There are three main focal points on this Battlefield, namely the graves of Campbell and Lloyd (killed while storming a rebel stronghold), Ntyenka Nek (where the troops of Cmdt Weatherly and Captain Barton were driven of the cliffs by the Zulu's) and the Devil's Pass (where Sir Redvers Buller was to be awarded the Victoria Cross). This Battlefield is a close second to Isandlwana in terms of atmosphere - and, once on the mountain, the time clock seems to turn back easily to 1879.

The Battle of Khambula (29 March 1879) is considered by most commentators on the Zulu war to be the turning point of the War. The Zulus, in incredibly courageous but suicidal frontal assaults on woods strongly fortified position suffered an estimated 2500 casualties wile the British lost relatively few: only 3 officers and 25 other ranks. The Battlefield remains relatively unspoiled.

The Battle of Ginginhlovu (4 April 1879). Lord Chelmsford relief column encountered the last of the organised resistance of the Zulu coastal detachments before relieving Eshowe. The Zulu's attacked Chelmsford's laagered position and are easily repulsed after sustaining about 500 casualties.

Prince Imperial Memorial (1 June 1879). Here Louis Napoleon IV and two troopers, Abel and Rogers, were killed in an ambush by a party of about 40 Zulus. It was to be the best publicised event in Britain in 1879! The site stands in a grove of trees and has an atmosphere different to other sites although this is fast diminishing as settlements are starting to close in on the site.

Battle of Ulundi (4 July 1879) was the final Battle of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Today the development and settlement resulting from the establishment of the town of Ulundi on the plains surrounding the battlefield detract form the site."

Source: Babanango Valley
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