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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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aussie inkosi



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PostSubject: The start of TMFHT   The start of TMFHT EmptyFri Apr 10, 2020 12:27 pm

I have started this topic with the idea it may help those be interested in knowing the circumstances of the discovery of the Zulu army for the battle of Isandlwana

So we first need to determine from persons who were there on that day that anyone placed a location of the discovery and if we read all the history books they say the discovery took place at the Ngbwene valley the same location were the Zulu army bivouac the night of the 21st.  We have only one eye witness who gives us the location of the discovery never mind the history books lets go to the eye witnesses So lets go to Mehlokazulu .“ The Zulu regiments were all lying in the valley, I have mentioned { the Ngewbeni valley },  but the Umciityu made their appearance under the Nqutu range, .and were seen by the mounted men of the English forces , who made for the Umcityu , not seeing the main body of the army.  They fired, and all at once the main body of the Zulu army arose in every direction , on hearing the firing.  The attention of the English mounted troops was drawn to the few men who had exposed themselves under the range,  and before these mounted men knew where they were the main body of the Zulus got up and swarmed in every direction”  So from Mehlokazulu himself he states that part of the army was discovered under the Nqutu ridge he also say’s mounted men {this being the Basutos troops commanded by Lieutenant Raw and Roberts} .  So what was the purpose of them moving there in the first place , lets go to  Uguku of the uMcijo regiment “ But having on the morning of the battle heard firing of the English advance guard  who had engaged Matshana’s men and it being reported that the Ngobamakosi were engaged, we went up from the valley to the top of the Ngqutu, which was between us and the camp, we then found that the Ngobamakosi were not engaged but were quietely encamped lower down the valley”.  So the reason for them moving up was they thought the Ngobamakosi was engaged this in its self tells us that the Ngobamokosi is also out of the Ngewbeni valley.
From this point on I will include a timeline to help, confirmed by eye witnesses

9:30 – 9:45am This confirms Ugukus regiment arrives under the Nqutu ridge  Lieut Higginson gave us the following statement  “ Lieutenant Adendorf of my company  [ No 6 ] was sent out to the 2nd Battalion outlying picquet to bring in a report from Captain Barry in charge of the picquet, he came back very soon and made his report, and shortly afterwards I was sent out and Serjeant- Major Williams, 1st battalion came with me.  We found Captain Barry and Lieutenant Vereker  watching some Zulus about half a mile from them in the plain before stated, we also saw large bodies of natives on the hills to the left front of the 2nd Battalion Natal Native contingent.  I remained there about half an hour watching the Zulus and then returned  on my going  to make my report to  Lieutenant Colonel Pulleine, he referred me to Lieutenant Colonel Durnford who had come into camp while I was out with the picquet ”.    So how can we conclude the time when Lieutenant Higginson and Serjeant Major Williams left for Mkwene he clearly says that when he left camp Colonel Durnford did not arrive and that he arrived when he was on Mkwene confirming large bodies of natives on the hills infront of Mkwene most sources confirm Durnfords arrival at around 10 – 10:30am I tend to believe the early time of 10am so a safe time of Higginson leaving to Mkwene at around 9:45 is about right give or take 10 minutes. I place his return to camp at around 10:30am and as soon as he arrives Colonel Durford orders him to place a look out on top of Isandlwana and then shortly after that this comes in “ He [ a scout ] returned very soon and brought word that the Natives were retiring.  I rode up to Coloniel Durnford and told him what the man said, he replied, “ Ah! Is that so, well then we will follow them up” this report is confirmed by Higginson himself

10:50am This time is confirmed by Private J. Trainer as the time Colonel Durnford gives his orders to Lieutenants Raw and Roberts to follow up the Zulus that were orderd to Mkwene via the spur also by James Brickhill one of Lord Chelmsford interpreters “ At about 11am  a party of them [ Lieutenants Raw and Roberts ] were sent back  by the way they came round Isandlwana and from round there the Northernmost point of the Nqutu to check the enemy’s recent advance in that direction”.  So around 10 minutes later Raw and Roberts leave which will prompt the discovery.

While all this is happening we can confirm from Privates Grant and Johnson that the Rocket Battery arrives in camp at around 11am remains for around 15 minutes then leave this time being around 11:15am.

We need to bring in a new eye witness who during this time gives us two statements Trooper Barker from the Natal Carabineers who was a vidette duty on Itusi  threat “ Shortly afterwards numbers of Zulus being seen on the hills to the left and front, Trooper Swift and another were sent back to report.  The Zulus remained on the hills and about two hundred advanced to within three hundred yards of us , but on our advancing they retired out of sight and a few of us went up to this hill where the Zulus have disappeared , and on a further hill at about six hundred yards distance we saw a large army sitting down.  We returned to Lieut Scott who was about three miles from camp and reported what we have seen  Hawkins and I where then sent back to camp to report a large army to the left front of the camp”.  “ On our way back we noticed Zulus advancing slowly ,and when about a mile and a half from the camp  we met the Rocket Battery, who enquired  the enemy’s whereabouts. We advised the officer to proceed to Lieut Scott was stationed , but he asked if he could get up the hill.  We informed him that the Zulus were advancing towards that hill and most probably would be seen on it within half an hour.  The officer decided to proceed up this hill and the battery was , half an hour later cut up to a man , just as they arrived”. This clearly gives us the alarming news that a large Zulu army is only around 800 meters from Itusi this is in fact the same Zulus Raw and Roberts were sent up to follow up and there not returning to the Ngbweni valley but hidden behind a hill.

So in the above statement it tells us that the army was sighted due 200 zulus being on the near by hills this is in fact a screening force a brilliant move from the Zulus so what is a screening force ,  so lets go to Wikipedia to define what a screening is “ Screening is a defensive tactic in which a picket or outposts are used to hide the nature and strength of a military force; provide early warning of enemy approach” so all these Zulus on the hills are screening a large army behind it Trooper Barker confirms this with his actions and discovery.
So in Trooper Barkers first statement in mentions his movements directly after the discovery lets sum them up

He reports his find to Lieutenant Scott on Amatushane then

Lieutenant Scott orders him to report his find to camp, So there is a belief  when Barker meets up with the rocket battery and if you clearly read it it says the following Hawkins and I where then sent back to camp to report a large army to the left front of the camp”.  “ On our way back we noticed Zulus advancing slowly ,and when about a mile and a half from the camp  we met the Rocket Battery, who enquired  the enemy’s whereabouts. It clearly says he made his report to camp then on there way back {back to Itusi} they connect another reason I have concluded the meeting with the Rocket battery took place after trooper Barker makes his report to HQ is that within 30 minutes it was cut up, it would of taken far more than 30 minutes for him to cover the following distance  ride from the meeting point to HQ then to Itusi or very close to Itusi where Barker confirms his sighting of Raw and Roberts troops and hears the first gun shots then rides to Amatushane to report to Scott then moves forward to a donga where he sights the destruction of the Rocket Battery.

Reports his find of a large Zulu army to camp then returns to his Vidette position

But on his way back he meets up with the rocket battery and Barker first warns him not to go up there and to go to Lieutenant Scott who is on Amatushane.
After connecting with the rocket battery trooper Barker heads for his vidette position where he makes his second statement “ As Hawkins and I were returning to the vidette outpost we noticed the mounted Basutos to the extreme left of the camp in skirmishing order and masses of the Zulus on all the hills.  Firing was then heard for the first time, as although we had been within two hundred yards of the Zulus , we had strict orders not to fire the first shot, and no shot up to then had been fired on either side, we reported ourselves to our officer”

This clearly places trooper Barker very close to Itusi  he also mentions Zulus are only within 200yards from him and Zulus are on all the hills these are the hills on the other side of the Nqutu ridge infact these are the screening force still screening the army behind the hill, he notices the Basutos to his extreme left then he hears the first gun shots these first shots are in fact Raw and Roberts troops making the discovery and the first shots of the battle . Raw and Roberts have infact discovered part of the Zulu army the same part Trooper Barker reported to camp less than an hour before.
After hearing these first shots and that the Zulus are only within 200yards of him he leaves this location and reports himself to Lieutenant Scott on Amatushane at this time the rocket battery is approaching the left side of the notch were a Carbineer notifies them of a short cut, while all this is happening   the first action  around Mkwene is taking place and these same Zulus on the hills Barkers witnesses minutes before are moving up to the very location were the rocket battery is about to fall.

After doing a great deal of research this is what I have concluded concerning the location of the Zulu army at the battle of Isandlwana, others I am certain have a different opinion which is fine, so lets discuss how possible the above version happen
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