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 Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January

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Julian Whybra




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Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptySun Sep 10, 2023 5:19 pm

Tig
I agree that it would be stupid for Scott with 4/5 men to return to a hill approached by thousands of Zulus.  
I also believe it would be stupid for them to go back to a hill approached by 300+ fleet of foot Zulus (i.e. your 6 amaviyo).
Yet they did so.
Ergo, Barker could not have seen that many.  He said he just saw some mounted men trying to surround their position; therefore it could not have been the 6 amaviyo which displaced him.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptySun Sep 10, 2023 5:50 pm

Julian, That is very poor, if not spurious logic, you assume that because Barker only saw mounted Zulus, there was not an amaviyo following. What are mounted troops for other than scouting, it is logical they would approach first, horsement are much easier to spot than dispersed infantry in any case, especially just after dawn, if you are being surrounded by superior forces it does not make much sense to hang around.

They went back with 4/5 men because armed with that many Martini Henry rifles they were not at risk from a small number of horsemen.

You also completely ignore Barker's comment that they saw Zulus on the hill they had just left, this time he makes no reference to horsemen inferring to me at least these were infantry he saw.

I think if you want to deny the possibility of an amaviyo on Qwabe you need a better logic than this.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptySun Sep 10, 2023 7:50 pm

Tig
Barker only mentions seeing 20 mounted Zulus.  These were the men that 'displaced' him.  From the vantage point you suggest he would have seen 300+ Zulu footmen (or their dust).  He doesn't mention them.
Yet, you are quite right, he does LATER affirm that there were Zulu footmen on the post he had earlier  vacated. Indeed, IF your theory is right, then they COULD have been from the 6 amaviyo.
However, all  this is by the by.  The whole argument is dependent on Barker being on Qwabe as you suggest.
And of course he wasn't.  It is known from Barker that he and Hawkins met the Rocket Battery and Nourse on their way back to camp from Scott's position.  It is Nourse who says that the two horsemen came "down to us from the hill" with a message for the camp from Scott and that if they (the RB) want "any fun" to come to the top of it, which they did with disastrous results (Natal Witness, 19.1.1929).
Davies stated unequivocally that Scott's position at the time was on the ridge of the plateau (Daily Telegraph 17.3.1879). It was from there that Barker/Hawkins were despatched back to camp.
Therefore Barker was not on Qwabe.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptySun Sep 10, 2023 8:38 pm

Julian,

Barker sees, I am quoting from F Allewell's book, p104 "a lot of mounted men in the distance" If you have another version of text to which you are referring please let me have the reference, we should at least be considering the same base information.

You move on to a different point, that Barker was not on Qwabe, OK let us look at the evidence you use to support that view.

The events you describe are a minimum of 4 hours after Barker first spotted Zulus, namely 15 minutes after sunrise. Whitelaw was sent to camp with a message (according to Barker around 8-00am the rocket battery were not moving until after Durnford left camp hours later.

There is no reason at all why Barker could not have met Nourse from a position on iThusi, we know he was with Scott and that he and Barker never returned to Qwabe due to the Zulu presence there.

There is no whit of logic therefore in your subsequent assertion that the events you describe prove Barker was not on Qwabe.
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aussie inkosi

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Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 12:25 am

If those Zulus Barker saw at first light where the same 6 amaviyo then they had to leave very very early, Barker saw them as the day dawned around 6am that means they had more than 10 miles to travel meaning they needed to leave like 3 in the morning remember this is done in the dark.  Those Zulus Barker sights first thing in the morning are from the main Zulu army remember then at around 730 am another large Zulu force is spotted this sighting arrives in camp just before 8am and Hayhow is sent with the 8:10am message to Chelmsford.  And remember the Zulu from the valley start hearing gunshots at around 8am those gunshots are coming from Mangeni that is the first time they know the British divided their army and not before.

Barker may have started his vidette duty on Qwabi but its not his vidette location at 10am that is for certain.  My guess is he stayed on Itusi all morning and the Zulu were conditioning the videttes to leave the positions continaully placing hundreds on the iNyoni escarpment this can be confirmed by Jabez testimony clearly placing Zulus in this area {  near the notch } at around 10am  just before Durnford first meets Puilene in his tent if the Zulu are on the notch then Barker is forced of, where is he ? at its base looking up then read Barkers passage moments before sighting a large Zulu army a short distance from his vidette location.

My guess is the 6 amaviyo heads towards iSephezi the location they were when they separated from the main army on the 21st and its these Russell sees on the morning of the 22nd. Matyana men are hiding in the heights and caves avoiding Dartnells force read Symons account.  By around 830am the main Zulu army knows the British are weakend at the camp and its clear that is why Barker sights this impi 600 yards from Itusi clevearly concealed only a short distance from camp.  Zulu intentions change once they know the British are divided hence the reason for large numbers of Zulus sighted from Mkwene { moving behind Isandlwana } just before Durnfords arrival at 10am read Higginson and 4 other officers are there to see it with 100 NNC.

Everything changes once the Zulu finds out where those gunshots are coming from between 8 and 830am and they were not warned before hand by anyone from Mangeni.  FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 9:21 am

Re Barker's 20 mounted Zulus
I am quoting from Barker's letter to his father dated 25.1.1879 in the Leicester Daily Post 22.3.1879:
"Saw some men go into a hut, whenabout 20 mounted Zulus skirmished up, trying to surround us."

Re Barker's not being on Qwabe
Compare Barker's description of the event (which appears in Stalker) with Mehlokazulu's in the Natal witness 2.10.1879:
"I called the Indunas and started off at a good pace (we were all mounted). when we arrived at the range of hills overlooking Isandula, we could see their vedettes quite close to us...The vedettes evidently saw us , for they commenced to move about..." you can read the rest yourself.

It can only be the Nyoni Hills that Mehlokazulu is describing. This, with Barker's account, is the only instance of mounted Zulus approaching the English vedettes. The two correspond, each describing the event from his own perspective. Barker was not on Qwabe. He was on Itusi.

Can you tell me whether you have one whit of evidence for your original suggestion that 6 amaviyo left the Mangeni area to return northwards to the main impi? All the British accounts from there suggest that they were being led or lured away from the real battle area (the word 'decoy' is frequently used). It would be strange for a sizeable group to do the opposite if that were the Zulus' intention, would it not?
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Tig Van Milcroft




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Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 9:30 am

Aussie, to keep things for the moment focused on the areas which coincide with my train of thought I will respond to your first paragraph.

1, "If those Zulus Barker saw at first light where the same 6 amaviyo then they had to leave very very early, Barker saw them as the day dawned around 6am that means they had more than 10 miles to travel."

The distance as the crow flies (ACF) from camp to Conical Hill (GH) is 1.5 miles, to iThusi 2.5 Miles, to Qwabe 4 miles, to Nyezi 6 miles. The last three all assume via the north end of Conical Hill. Barker states that he travelled six miles, he may have done so, he travelled more than 2.5 miles but probably less than six. We can agree that he probably spotted the Zulu horsemen around 6-15am.

According to Russell's map of his recon my supposed amaviyo bivvy was on the Phindo side of the Nondwene valley behind Silutshana. The distance from here to the Qwabe Nyeze ridge is six miles or seven to Qwabe (ACF). Both Barker and Zulus were mounted both would need to cover approximately the same distance for one to sight the other from an elevated position. Both need light to travel, both have a mission to complete, it is not unlikely that this coincidence would happen, the coincidence is almost inevitable given necessary timings, directions, and mission.

2, "Those Zulus Barker sights first thing in the morning are from the main Zulu army remember then at around 730 am another large Zulu force is spotted this sighting arrives in camp just before 8am and Hayhow is sent with the 8:10am message to Chelmsford.

The Zulus that were seen by Whitelaw on iThusi were those of Mehlokazulu advancing towards the ridgeline. The logic to this is as follows.

6-15 am Barker sights horsemen from the amaviyo. He signals by circling from Qwabe (visible to Scott at CH) then travels to Scott's position (2 miles) I think he would arrive around 7-00am, on conferring with Scott he returns with him in the direction of Qwabe, en route they observe zulus on Qwabe, shortly after Whitelaw coming towards them on their left flank, i.e. the direction of iThusi.

3, "Remember then at around 7-30 am another large Zulu force is spotted this sighting arrives in camp just before 8am and Hayhow is sent with the 8:10am message to Chelmsford."

If we allow 45 minutes for Barker to move form Qwabe to CH, he gets there around 7-00am, allow a further 30 mins to move back towards Qwabe, have second thoughts about that, and then confer with the now arriving Whitelaw with news from iThusi, get get with no great reservations regards tiing to 7-30am which coincides well with your advance across the plateau towards the ridgeline. Barker also refers to the sending of a message from Scott to camp at this time.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 9:34 am

Julian - As you can see from the above post I agree with you Mehlokazulu is describing the Nyoni Ridge.

As to my sussestion, I have never said I had any. What is did proffer was an explanation that better describes the events of the day. Instead as you seem to want to do assume no evidence is indeed evidence of absence.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 9:52 am

Tig
You seem by your post to be suggesting that Mehlokazulu's party of mounted Zulus was the group described by Whitelaw. but when Whitelaw described what he had seen to Scott he used the word "thousands" to describe their number (Barker's account in Stalker).

All the reports recorded in camp that morning refer to enemy sightings having been made on the plateau. Not one refers to anything having been seen to the east (let alone a sizeable group of 6 amaviyo). All the defence arrangements were made to deteran approach from the north. There was not one made as a sop to the east.

No evidence is just what it says on the label, I'm afraid. You are barking up the wrong tree (hill).
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 10:21 am

Julian, Mehlokazulu does not say that the vedettes (Whitelaw? Barker?) left their position only that they signalled. He also records inspanning in the camp what prompted this? It could not be reports of Mehlokazulu's movements.

The quote from Barker you gave earlier, does not really tally with the events Mehlokazulu describes.

He goes on to say that on his (immediate) return "I heard Ishingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngikazi regiments to assemble. When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and to advance in the direction of the English camp".

There are no timings given and none can be assumed, but it would be reasonable to suggest it was the report of movements after Mehlokazulu returned that initiated the reports of thousands, and perhaps the departure of Whitelaw if it was he on iThusi. Do you have evidence to the contrary?

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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 11:38 am

Tig
Mehlokazulu says that the vedettes signalled (which should have been done by circling their horses). Barker (in Stalker) says "we gave the usual signal".

The "inspanning" witnessed by Mehlokazulu can only have been coincidental. It was at the same time as Mehlokazulu's proximity to the vedettes and could not possibly be as a result of or related to any report from the vedette.

Even a cursory reading of Barker and Mehlokazulu's accounts will reveal that they tally significantly.

The suggestion that it was Zulu orders after Mehlokazulu's return that prompted Whitelaw's report of "thousands" will not work time-wise, and how on earth would Whitelaw know where Scott/Barker were such that he could intercept them halfway to Qwabe? Whereas, if Whitelaw coming back from his vedette on the Nyoni heights and Scott was at Itusi he would.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 12:34 pm

Julian,

Barker ""Saw some men go into a hut, whenabout 20 mounted Zulus skirmished up, trying to surround us."" Compare with "I called the Indunas and started off at a good pace (we were all mounted). when we arrived at the range of hills overlooking Isandula, we could see their vedettes quite close to us...The vedettes evidently saw us , for they commenced to move about..." On a hill like Qwabe (or a position along the Qwabe/Nyeze ridge) on iThusi this would be much more difficult. If as Frank Allewell suggests the vedettes were advanced to the north from iThusi summit this would be possible but the events would be seen by others as well. You also ignore the obvious fact that iThusi and Nyoni is at most a mile from Conical Hill (ACF). You say they tally significantly, yes to the extent of horsemen and vedettes, so what? There is much in the above descriptions that does not tally.

My timings are completely in accordance with those given by Barker, your timing of events does not, and relies for veracity upon the denial of the accuracy of Barker's timings and not knowing the difference between a mile and two.

As to the report of thousands, this seems only to be possible if Whitelaw came off iThusi after seeing "When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and to advance in the direction of the English camp", by 7-00am (ish).

This would be reasonable, let us say for example that Mehlokazulu went with his indunas at dawn to recce the ridgeline and camp with his horsemen, he was seen on the ridgeline and a vedette signalled, he did not approach the vedette, nor they him, he observed the camp and then reported to Ntsingswayo. Within the hour the movements commenced.

Barker by this time had seen his Zulu horsemen travelled the "2 miles" reported to Scott and moved back towards his hill (Qwabe in my view), at this time Whitelaw and others have observed mass movement on the plateau and report to Scott whose movements would be visible from one of the vedettes on the ridgeline (Whitelaw's).

Barker reports it thus, "We saw Zulus on the hill we had just left, and others advancing from the left flank where two other vedettes had been obliged to retire from".."this would be about 8-00am".

He goes on to say that Zulus were visible on "all hills to the left and front". It is worth considering what is meant by this the convention as I understand it was to reference direction to the line of the camp, roughly NE to SW the hill directly in front of the Camp is Qwabe those to the left front the Nyoni Ridgeline, into which I include iThusi.

For Mehlokazulu to have both moved Barker from iThusi and given time to report back and mobilised "thousands" to advance to the ridgeline to kick Whitelaw off Ithusi or Nyoni is hard to believe.

(Barker also quote Swift and Whitelaw as messengers to camp, but, I note Aussie's reference to Heyhoe.)

Timings and distances work with Barker on Qwabe, they do not if he was on the Nyoni ridge or iThusi. But if we cannot trust him on this why believe the rest?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 2:15 pm

Morning Tig
My two pence worth.
I think we can all agree that Barker was driven back to camp by Mehlokazulu.
The view of the camp from Qwabe is extremely limited compared to the view from the ridge. The 'Conical' hill and the difference in levels virtually hide the camp. It raises doubts as to why Mehlokazulu would actually chose that position.
Again a point to consider would be that if Barker went back, once the 'danger' had passed, why would he have taken up the position on the plateau instead of returning to Qwabe.

Cheers Mate
PS Sorry about the rugby last night, maybe you need a few more South Africans in the team, 4 just wasnt enough. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 2:40 pm

Tigg

Its good you mentioned Swift, lets go to Barker's testimony

"Shortly afterwards, numbers of Zulus being seen on all the hills to the left and front, Trooper Swift and another were sent back to report. The Zulus then remained on the hills, and about two hundreds of them 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 had disappeared, and on a farther hill, at about six hundred yards’ distance, we saw a large army sitting down. "

Trooper Barker is clearly describing here Zulus on the hills to the left and front he is not on Qwabe but at the base of the notch looking up its only from there you can see these Zulus to the left and front [ this being the iNyoni ridge and those in front are on the notch ] Barker is not on Qwabe or near Qwabe this clearly places him at the base of the notch looking up, the time hear is around 10:30am.

Twenty to thirty minutes before being around 10am Durnford arrives in camp lets go to  Jabez

"We started, and arrived at Isandhlwana without having seen any Zulus at all; but just as we reached the General’s tent, which was at the upper end of the camp, that being spread over a great deal of ground and not in any order, we saw a small body of Zulus on a ridge of hills to the right, and at the same time a sentry brought word to the Colonel that there were Zulus upon that ridge, and that they seemed to be running away. This, we now see, was a ruse on the part of the Zulus to get possession of the camp. The Colonel questioned the sentry as to the number of the enemy, and was told that they were about 400 strong".

See the time is recorded just before entering the tent, they see 400 Zulus to the right of camp. It would not surprise me this sentry is Swift coming from the right of camp the location the Natal Carbineers was patrolling.

This clearly is describing the iNyoni ridge all the way to the notch was occupied by Zulus the time here is clearly 10am on Durnfords arrival. Then read the second part of Barkers testimony Zulus retire funny is it.  It was a retiring move that prompts Durnford to leave the camp,  What happens when Barker follows these retiring Zulus he sights this Zulu army he even gives us the location 600 yards from the first hill being Itusi.  THE ZULU ARE BAITING THE BRITISH OUT OF CAMP INTO THIS ZULU ARMY BARKER DISCOVERS.  AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS DURNFORD FALLS FOR THE ZULU DECEPTION.

The Zulus did a lot of retiring in this short hour, for a purpose !!!!  read Lieutenant Davies the time hear is just before they arrive in the camp

Colonel Durnford ordered Lieutenant Vause with No. 3 Troop, Sikali’s Horse, numbering 50 men, and Captain Stafford with 120 Sikali’s Infantry, to return by the road we had come, and escort our wagons, which were about 4 miles behind, remarking that he had heard the enemy were lurking about. Colonel Durnford then returned into Camp. Some of the Carbineers came to us, and during the conversation they remarked that there had been a lot of Zulus on the ridge, on the left front of the Camp, but they (the Zulus) had disappeared when they saw us come in. This was told us by a Carbineer named “Bullock,” I believe that was his name; did not know him to speak to myself.

Now you see Zulu to the left of the camp and what are they doing RETIRING it is all for a purpose, they kept on retiring until they got the response they wanted.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 4:16 pm

Aussie,

I agree that Scott & Barker was not on Qwabe when he met Whitelaw, they had started towards Qwabe from Scott's position north of CH under approximately the notch as you say. That does notmean that he had not come from Qwabe.

As to where they were "shortly afterwards" (i.e. after "he (Whitelaw) had returned from camp") is another question entirely, it was most probably in my mind, Scott's outpost north of CH.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 4:31 pm

Aussie
Quote:
Trooper Barker is clearly describing here Zulus on the hills to the left and front he is not on Qwabe but at the base of the notch looking up its only from there you can see these Zulus to the left and front [ this being the iNyoni ridge and those in front are on the notch ] Barker is not on Qwabe or near Qwabe this clearly places him at the base of the notch looking up, the time hear is around 10:30am.
Inky if Barker was at the base of the Notch the only thing he would have seen would have been the edge of the escarpemant.

Quote

"THE ZULU ARE BAITING THE BRITISH OUT OF CAMP INTO THIS ZULU ARMY BARKER DISCOVERS. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS DURNFORD FALLS FOR THE ZULU DECEPTION.

And yet not a single zulu source mentions this tactic

Cheers Mate
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 5:10 pm

A small point:
The camp cannot be seen from Qwabe. That being so, Mehlokazulu cannot have been on it to report seeing inspanning in camp. The camp would only be visible from the heights.

Generally, on your whole argument:
You are of course perfectly entitled to write and believe whatever you wish. But if you want to persuade others to your way of thinking then it has to present a thorough-going, effective, evidence-based argument.
So far, you have presented no evidence, hard or soft, to support the initial assertion that the 6 amaviyo left the Mangeni area, proceeded northwards towards the Ngwebeni, interacted in any provable way with British forces, and linked up with the main impi at or near the Ngewebeni.
Taking one unprovable, debatable event and around it constructing a story which will fit the rest of your suggested narrative is not tenable historical argument nor is it good history.
Asking me for evidence to disprove baseless constructs is untenable historical practice. How can one provide evidence to prove something did NOT happen?
It is up to you to prove, at EVERY stage, that what you assert happened.

Lastly, when asked for advice by undergrads. on how to present valid historical argument the following would be suggested. The argument:
1. must be specific, clear, and concise. The argument cannot be so broad that it is virtually impossible to make without resorting to conjecture. It must form the basis of what is being proven, so it must be precise and tightly focused, otherwise, it cannot be managed with clarity.
2. needs to be provable, meaning that it cannot be simply a vague statement that has no means to be tested and verified. There must be a logical way to connect and support the argument being made, it must be evidence-based such that it is relevant, supportive, and credible, and can be used to prove sufficiently all stages of the argument’s development.
3. must be arguable, meaning that the idea being presented is tenable and defensible and not simply a matter of opinion. It must address the complexities and different perspectives of an issue. Simply stating an observation or providing a description is not an argument, as it needs to present an objective that can be argued effectively to a satisfactory conclusion or solution.

I write this purely as a template against which the efficacy of your argument IN ITS ENTIRETY (my capitals) can be gauged.


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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 5:11 pm

Frank, As they say a good big 'un will beat a good little 'un. It was a hard game, and a terrible draw.

As to this other little altercation in Zululand, as we agreed "you can be 100% right or 100% wrong" it is so.

As it happens I do not agree that Mehlokazulu definitively displaced Barker.

I do though agree with your analysis, conditional upon there not being a possibility of another group of horsemen displacing him.

It was reading your book that got me to this point. The "What if" question, Mehlokazulu is not the only documented force of Zulu horsemen, Matyana was also mounted, there were probably others. To draw a conclusion based upon Mehlokazulu being the only mounted group of Zulus around that day to displace Barker, actual position not ducumented, is not definitive nor proof.

The doubt in my mind was reinforced looking towards Qwabe from the camp lines, Qwabe is front and centre, the vedettes were positioned "to the direct front and left of the camp from three to five miles away", Barker was posted to a hill "to the extreme front". I cannot reconcile this description nor distance with contemporary nomenclature and iThusi.

That led to the question where were horsemen likely to be, the most obvious missing piece of Zulu movement is the actions down in Mangene over 21st and 22nd Jan. In earlier posts I have sought to get clarity and other views of these events. One thing above all stands out in capital letters is the discrepancy betwen the Colonial accounts Stalker, Browne, Holt, and surprisingly Noggs, with the Imperial account.

When Kate posted a map of Russell's ride on 22nd with the annotation, (which I can't seem to lay hands on at the moment) the location of the resting place for a zulu bivvy was identified to me. It is only six miles from here to Qwabe, the Qwabe valley ridge is on the direct route to Ngwebene itself nine miles as the crow flies.

I take your point that observation can be made from iThusi over Qwabe, but to do so you compromise any escape route and signalling to CH is impossible. Even so the bulk of the Qwabe Nyeze ridge provides much dead ground which is undulating and provides concealment for those wanting or needing it. Qwabe is a missing link. Emphasis has been placed on the mapped Vedettes but these were based on Mansel's locations, not necessarily where they were on the day, Pulleine as I recall was advised to send them further out.

When Aussie posted the Uguku quote that was just another puzzle piece which fitted to a pattern, and at the same time removed a missing space in the jigsaw of these dispositions i.e. where did the amaviyo go to, and why? Coincidence it may be but they start to stack up.

The other incongruence is the attitude to Barker's timings, he seems to me one of the most reliable sources, (who knows?) his timings unlike many others are precise, your postulation goes precise, but wrong, my postulation goes precise and correct.

Of course as Julian has pointed out these is no evidence that there were Zulu horsemen on Qwabe, just as there is no evidence that anybody was anywhere for most of that day, it is interpolation and analysis of a series of points that gets to the best explanation (or curve). Unless of course qwabe is where Barker was, nobody has proved he could not have been there and nobody has proved where he was, and that is what he saw, i.e. another (documented) group of horsemen. If Julian will forgive me putting words into his mouth, my postulation is based upon invention of "facts" to fit a theory, but I am not, I do not state this happened but I do postulate that if it did then many other pieces fit better into the puzzle.

Which brings us back to where we started Frank, you can be 100% right or 100% wrong.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 5:33 pm

Julian,

I have never said Mehlokazulu was on Qwabe. If you actually read my posts you must know this is so.

As to the rest, of your note I understand your need to retain the orthodoxy and discipline of academia. I agree with your sentiments.

Your postulations offor want of better words "provable events" are limited by the documented information available to you. You make a prison of thought bounded by the information surviving, much of which is probably not an accurate reflection of events, and sometimes downright misleading or untruths.

You believe that Mehlokazulu is the only mounted group of Zulus around and you build a theory around that, but ask yourself is that really likely?

If you want to produce a narrative based upon what you know and can prove, then a threadbare understanding at best is possible.

I do not want to persuade anybody to agree with me, that is not the purpose of my posts, I want to know why I should not believe what I am thinking? You have not done so.







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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 5:41 pm

As I wrote, you are of course perfectly entitled to write and believe (and not believe) whatever you wish.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 6:24 pm

I'm always up for a challenge. You say you want to know why you should not believe what you are thinking.
Let's assume that you are correct i.e. that there was a vedette on Qwabe and that it was ultimately ousted by 6 amaviyo returning from the south.
It would have been reported back to camp by the vedettes concerned as well as by the vedettes on Itusi and stationed between the two dongas in front of the camp.

Questions: Why was no defensive action or scouting action taken either at the time to establish the nature of the Zulu presence there or later on when the threat to the camp from the north became real? Surely the camp would have wondered if there was to be a threat from the east too? Surely the fact that there was no reaction is indicative that nothing had in fact occurred on Qwabe?
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 6:35 pm

Julian,

Me too!

I will answer your questions (I have to go out shortly for a hospital visit) but also ask you one to consider.

You clearly believe that it was Mehlokazulu that displaced Barker, to prove that you have to place both Barker and Mehlokazulu in time and space.

For me to prove my point I only have to prove where Barker was. His account documents the rest, he documents by description his location.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 11, 2023 10:33 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Aussie
Quote:
Trooper Barker is clearly describing here Zulus on the hills to the left and front he is not on Qwabe but at the base of the notch looking up its only from there you can see these Zulus to the left and front [ this being the iNyoni ridge and those in front are on the notch ] Barker is not on Qwabe or near Qwabe this clearly places him at the base of the notch looking up, the time hear is around 10:30am.
Inky if Barker was at the base of the Notch the only thing he would have seen would have been the edge of the escarpemant.

Quote

"THE ZULU ARE BAITING THE BRITISH OUT OF CAMP INTO THIS ZULU ARMY BARKER DISCOVERS.  AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS DURNFORD FALLS FOR THE ZULU DECEPTION.

And yet not a single zulu source mentions this tactic

Cheers Mate

Yes your correct Frank the Zulu were at the edge of the escarpment, I gave you Jabez and Lieutenant Davies testimony as well, and you know were they where standing when they gave their testimony. The Zulu where on the edge of the escarpment, they needed to be there to be seen and also seen to be retired, that was the purpose of the deception to give Durnford the reason to go after them and Durnford did go after them.

Frank I gave you 4 British sources, the Zulu actions speak for them selves. I only quoted you a hand full of sources there is more to be found.
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90th

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PostSubject: Lt Walsh and the Siphezi patrol 21st Jan    Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 5:40 am

Hi Inks
As you know we always seem to agree to disagree regarding some of your thoughts , one for me is the Decoy theory , Sorry I just don't buy it , how did they know for one moment what the British Command was going to do ? , and as Frank mentioned I can't find a single Zulu Source stating that the decoy tactic was put into practice !? . I'm fairly certain that someone outspoken as Mehlokazulu certainly would've enjoyed throwing that back into the British Faces ! , and he didn't even throw it at them when he could've made it up post battle ! , let alone mention it if it were true . Mehlokazulu from memory is on record as saying all the Indunas were sitting in a group having a meeting deciding what course of action to take as they were discovered .One of the plans discussed also from memory was that they would send a delegation down to the British camp ! , Sorry but I don't see a decoy in practice or in theory .
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 7:39 am

Julian,

Ok let me break that down.

"Let's assume that you are correct i.e. that there was a vedette on Qwabe and that it was ultimately ousted by 6 amaviyo returning from the south."

The vedette on Qwabe is descibed by Barker on a " hill to the extreme front". (From camp). It is not my assertion that Barker was moved off, it is his, i.e. that he was moved off by horsemen.

My postulation is that this was the advance scout of the amaviyo moving north. I agree there is no evidence for this but how else would you explain Zulus in this location, other than by identifying them as Mehlokazulu's mounted men. We both agree he was on the plateau ridge.

You go on to assert, that the force on Qwabe (assuming there was one) would have been reported to camp. It may be so, it certainly was reported to Scott. The message that reached camp well who knows? There certainly were some, at least two, possibly more, as to their contents there is nothing but a vacuum. But it is also necessary to consider that Whitelaw was reporting thousands from the ridge, but the force that Barker reported was only a small force of horsemen. (Though I should add that your recent post regards Barker's letter infers either dismounted horsement or infantry e.g. "men entering a hut"). So it I were writing a report I would focus on the thousands within 2 miles of the camp rather than the horsemen five miles away. It is also to that threat, and that direction, I would prepare a defence against.

I would ask that you look again at my timings for Barker and Scott's movements.

My response to "or scouting action taken either at the time to establish the nature of the Zulu presence there" is that there was action, Scott and Barker attempted to return to Qwabe until they observed more "Zulus appearing on the hill we had just left" and Whitelaw arrived with more significant news.

To "Surely the fact that there was no reaction is indicative that nothing had in fact occurred on Qwabe?" I cannot agree, when faced with a large known threat and a much smaller threat focus is on the greater not the lesser, a reserve is kept available should that change. The horsemen on Qwabe were no threat to the camp, thousands on the ridge undoubtably were.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 9:57 am

90th wrote:
Hi Inks
As you know we always seem to agree to disagree regarding some of your thoughts , one for me is the Decoy theory , Sorry I just don't buy it , how did they know for one moment what the British Command was going to do ? , and as Frank mentioned I can't find a single Zulu Source stating that the decoy tactic was put into practice !? . I'm fairly certain that someone outspoken as  Mehlokazulu certainly would've enjoyed throwing that back into the British Faces ! , and he didn't even throw it at them when he could've made it up post battle ! , let alone mention it if it were true . Mehlokazulu from memory is on record as saying all the Indunas were sitting in a group having a meeting deciding what course of action to take as they were discovered .One of the plans discussed also from memory was that they would send a delegation down to the British camp ! , Sorry but I don't see a decoy in practice or in theory .
90th Very Happy



Gary and Frank

Even if I give you a Zulu source you will not believe but here it is

Gary you mentioned Mehlokazulu so this is from him stating where the discovery took place and the circumstances behind it.

“ 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”

He clearly states here the discovery took place at the Nqutu hills, he even states they being Raw and Roberts did not see the main army but when
"The Zulu army arose on hearing the firing" .this is why there was an action around Mkwene before the Chest arrived because the Zulu Chest had more ground to cover.

Here is another Zulu source being Uguku from either the uMcityu or umCijo regiment if you read his testimony he describes the first action.

"It was our intention to have rested for a day in the valley, where we arrived the night before the battle, but hearing on the morning of the battle the firing of the English advanced guard, who were engaged with Matyana’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 English camp. We then found that the Ngobamakosi were not engaged, but were quietly encamped lower down the valley."   See he even mentions here they moved to the Nqutu hills

Both Zulu sources states the Discovery took place under the Nqutu hills.  Even Lord Chelmsford states the discovery took place there.

"“ Full particulars, as far as can be obtained , have been sent in my dispatch, which will reach you by next mail.  It would seem that the troops from the camp were enticed away from the camp, as the action occurred about a mile and a quarter outside it”.

Lord Chelmsford said they were enticed out I use stronger language { Lure }, So tell me is the  Ngwebini  Valley one and a quarter miles out from the camp.

What truly surprises me we have all believed for the last 50 or more years the Discovery took place at the Ngwebini  Valley  but not once has anyone put forward any eyewitness evidence. Read all the books from Donald Morris to the most recent books not one has given us anything concrete and we all swallow it. There is not one book in the last 50 years that went in any detail to try to explain this army Trooper Barker discovers it was totally overlooked.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 10:26 am

Inky
Your theory of an 'enticement' should then have a follow up as to what the zulu should have been doing as a follow. Possibly preparing a reception for the troops 'enticed'. But in your quotes above, and many others the impi was sitting down chilling and enjoying the sun when discovered.
Surely not the actions of an army expecting and wanting an engagment they had worked so hard to set up?
I personally dont believe the Ngwebini theory either but the distances to the discovery area are varied from many differing sources.

Cheers
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 11:18 am

Frank

Off course they were sitting down you dont expect them to dance do you,

Here is Hamer testimony he mentions them "quite as mice"

Very soon after the
mounted native horse had arrived they were sent out to some hills on the left of the camp.
Captain George Shepstone in command. I went along with him, and after going some little
way, we tried to capture some cattle. They disappeared over a ridge, and on coming up we
saw the Zulus, like ants in front of us, in perfect order as quiet as mice and stretched across in
an even line.

Barker witnessed the Discovery from near Itusi here is what he saw

. "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, who immediately advanced us (the videttes having all retired to where Lieut. Scott was stationed) against some Zulus who were coming on slowly. Heavy firing was then heard on our left"

He heard the first shots coming from his extreme left, notice he says, " and masses of the Zulus on all the hills." these masses where unseen by the Basutos before the discovery because they did not have line of sight and Barkers next words then are " Firing was then heard for the first time, as although we had been within two hundred yards of the Zulus,"   Barker even states the Zulus where only 200yards from him.

Frank these are the Zulus that wipe out the Rocket Battery long before around 20 minutes before the arrival of the inGabamokhosi.

Who is South Africia playing in there next Rugby World Cup ?, We in Melbourne love our Aussie Rules
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 1:04 pm

Tig
Thank you for posting despite the hospital visit (I hope it’s nothing serious and you’re well).  The thread is getting confused now so I’ll be as clear as possible in my responses.  

Your first post at 5.35 yesterday:

Yes, I do believe Mehlokazulu’s party of horsemen displaced Barker’s vedette (but on the plateau, not on Qwabe).  The coincidences are too many.  Zulu horsemen are not like hen’s teeth but on that morning such advanced patrols are likely to have been minimal and if we are to believe Ntshinwayo’s words as related by Mehlokazulu then he was sent on a specific mission which sounds unique for the early  morning.

For you to prove your point you do NOT only have to prove where Barker was.  You have to prove that 6 amaviyo left the Mangeni area and proceeded north with the intention of rejoining the main impi.

Your second post of 6.39 today:

You postulate that horsemen near Qwabe must be an advance guard of the 6 amaviyo and ask how else I would explain Zulu horsemen at that location.  I would answer that if such a situation arose near Qwabe (and I don’t believe it did) then the horsemen would logically have come from the left horn who were checking the terrain it would have to take when it attacked the camp.  It would have been resting near where the Ngwebeni ‘debouches’ from the heights on to the plain.  There is nowhere else the horsemen could have come from.

Scott certainly did report back to camp, as you say.  Any report would have been explicit.  Had he been on the plain near Qwabe he would certainly have reported both Whitelaw’s info AND the fact that there was an unknown number of Zulus on Qwabe (he saw the hill occupied, remember?) to the east of the camp.  The fact that Pulleine only reacted to a threat from the north indicates that there could not have been a threat from the east, ergo no Scott or Barker stationed there.

I suggested that if your scenario re Qwabe was accurate then there would have been scouting action at the time to establish the nature of the Zulu presence there.  Scott and Barker re-approaching Qwabe is pre-eventum and irrelevant to my suggestion.  I am talking about strong scouting action emanating from the camp (i.e. Pulleine) not 4 men on horseback who could say nothing much.

You refer to Pulleine being faced with a ‘larger known threat’ and a ‘much smaller threat’.  This is inaccurate.  Had he received information from your proposed Scott site he would have been faced with a larger known threat and and a threat of unknown proportions.  That was not something he could choose between – he could not afford to leave his flank entirely open in case the unnown threat materialized into something larger.  Again, the fact that he did not, simply indicates that there was no threat from that direction and there had been no presence on or near Qwabe as you propose.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Wed Sep 13, 2023 7:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 1:04 pm

Aussie / 90th

I agree that once Mehlokazulu had seen, and been seen by, the vedettes he would have proceeded with Ntshingwayo’s mission. The exigencies of his instructions demanded he coninue to the plateau’s edge to report on what was happening in the camp. He would have avoided vedettes in doing so. His own account clearly states that this happened.
As to the notion of ‘decoy’ there is really no evidence for this. And, as has been said, the Zulus could not have predicted what Chelmsford would do early in the morning on the 22nd. It would, I propose, have been more likely that the Zulus would think Chelmsford would have withdrawn Dartnell and his over-extended column to form a compact mass in the presence of the enemy.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 1:36 pm

Inky
Course I expected them to be dancing, its what Zulu do when their waiting to thrash the english. After all they had gone to all this trouble to decoy the pom's into trap they had to have some sort of plan to welcome them so seeing they werent armed to the teeth waiting in feverish optinism they had to be doing something. But definitly not sitting down chilling, hardly part of the plan. Very Happy

Cheers MAte
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 3:30 pm

Frank
Trooper Collier NMP letter to his father 31.4.1879: "As the Zulus charged home, we distinctly heard the sound of Morris bells..."
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 3:32 pm

Ah yes the infamous Morris
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 12, 2023 6:11 pm

Julian,

Thanks for the good wishes, I am fine, my wife is in hospital after recent surgery she is on the mend but it can take some time.

To address the various points one by one.

1, Yes, I do believe Mehlokazulu’s party of horsemen displaced Barker’s vedette (but on the plateau, not on Qwabe). etc.

Mehlokazulus instructions were not disimilar to those of each Vedette i.e. observe and report and do not engage.

You refer to coincidences? What vedettes from each side sight each other? I would expect that.

Barker (whose report I attach with much veracity and accuracy) as you quote from his letter is skirmished towards by horsemen, some dismounted (or infantry).

We are agreed Mehlokazulu was on the plateau edge, Barker says his position was on a hill to the "extreme front" six miles ride from camp. Therefore, if taken at his word he was not where Mehlokazulu was."The coincidences are too many." Scrub that as one.

"Zulu horsemen are not like hen’s teeth but on that morning such advanced patrols are likely to have been minimal"

So do you agree Mehlokazulu's force was not definitively the sole Zulu force of horsement? Your logical proof depends upon it being so, as does the logic of all timings and locations following.

Barker could have had, as I believe he did, a "coincidence" with another force of mounted Zulus. Barker's description of his location, Mehlokazulu's of his, are on my reading different locations; therefore Barker himself is describing another force of Zulus whose actions he reports. Mehlokazulu does not report that the vedette left its position, only that they signalled.

2, "For you to prove your point you do NOT only to prove where Barker was."....

I have made two points, first that Barker was on Qwabe not the plateau ridgline or iThusi at 6-15am on the 22nd. This I believe Barker proves by his testimony, it is exactly what he records "a hill to the "extreme front"..six miles ride from camp, Qwabe fits this description.

My postulation is that the horsemen he records were those associated with the amaviyo from Matyana's group, which we know when combined had horsemen. There is no proof and there probably never will be as to wherever the horsemen came from, you give a reasonable possible alternative, it does not matter a whit, the fact is that if Barker was on Qwabe, he records horsemen, therefore, they were there. Just not Mehlokazulu's lot.

3, "You postulate that horsemen near Qwabe must be an advance guard of the 6 amaviyo and ask how else I would explain Zulu horsemen at that location." see above.

4 "Scott certainly did report back to camp..", as you say, more than once. You say any report would be explicit, I say maybe, maybe not, there is no evidence, I though agree any report would have been short to the point and giving the observations. it was at 8-00am that the report about large numbers of Zulus approaching camp from the NE, presumably from Scott, (almost three hours after Barker had been turned out of his position by 20 Zulus).

You seem to ignore the fact that the plateau edge is perilously close to camp and Qwabe is six miles away. Pulleine had no mounted troops to recon with, and an order to defend the camp. Pulleines lack of action mirrors his response to Durnford's request for troops. No. (Let them come on to my rifles.)  Yet, this you use as "proof" that Barker was not on Qwabe and call it logic, I think not.

5, You refer to Pulleine being faced with a ‘larger known threat’ and a ‘much smaller threat’.. . This is inaccurate... I refer to my answer above.

You have still to prove where Barker was at 6-15am 22/1879?"
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90th

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PostSubject: Lt Walsh and the Siphezi patrol 21st Jan    Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyWed Sep 13, 2023 5:34 am

Sorry Inky
Unless I missed it.... I see no-one on the Zulu side stating they laid a trap to lure the British out , Chelmsford saying so is basically an attempt to cover his own backside ! , nothing more , nothing less , if the Public , or anyone for that matter believed Chelmsford that he thought they were lured out of the camp... surely you can see that would indeed go along way to exonerating him !? , plus it doesn't make the Army look as bad if it was suggested they were lured out ! , Sorry can't have that for a moment , the Zulu tactics throughout the war just don't have that ' look ' about them !. Was more Good Luck than Good Management . Let's not forget that everyone says they were sitting quietly in the valley , if the Zulu were attempting to lure the British to them , I'm sure there would've been some preparation , not sitting on their backsides in the valley doing nothing which has been stated several times .
90th .
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyWed Sep 13, 2023 9:32 am

Tig
There various general points in your post to respond to.
You wrote that you attach much veracity and accuracy to Barker’s [Stalker] report. I don’t. I do attach veracity and accuracy to his 1879 letter to his father written the day after the battle.

You wrote that we are agreed Mehlokazulu was on the plateau edge, Barker says his position was on a hill to the "extreme front" six miles ride from camp.
Yes but they were not at those places at the same time.

You wrote that, if taken at his word, he was not where Mehlokazulu was.
Of course he wasn’t. While it is true that Mehlokazulu was eventually on the plateau’s edge, this took place some while after he saw and was seen by vedettes. To reach the edge Mehlokazulu would first have had to wend his way across the plateau from the position where he had encountered the vedettes in the distance. The two events took place at different times and different locations.

You wrote that I agree Mehlokazulu's force was not definitively the sole Zulu force of horsemen. Of course, how can anyone say anything different? That said, it is likely that Ntshingwayo only gave out such a special mission once in that early morning and to a trusted lieutenant at that.

You wrote that Barker could have been describing another force of Zulus whose actions he reports. He could, it is true, but there is no evidence that there was such another mounted force.

You wrote that Mehlokazulu does not report that the vedette left its position, only that they signalled. No he didn’t but I don’t suppose he hung about to watch; he had a mission to complete after all. The next thing he relates is getting to the plateau’s edge and watching the camp.

You wrote “the fact is that if Barker was on Qwabe.” But there is no ‘fact’ about it. There is just your opinion.

You wrote that I seem to ignore the fact that the plateau edge is perilously close to camp and Qwabe is six miles away. But the two are not connected. Mehlokazulu did NOT see Barker’s vedette at the plateau’s edge but higher up on the Nyoni ridge.

Pulleine’s reaction was to sound the first alarm and get his men on to the parade ground, facing north.

I have a feeling that this discussion is going nowhere. I am basing my arguments on Royston’s map of where vedettes were situated and known positions of Zulu regiments and trying to relate accounts to given facts. You are surmising a movement of Zulus from the Mangeni northwards and looking for something which might support the idea. In my opinion, the event you have chosen is on shaky ground. In your opinion, I am not prepared to consider the unevidenced. We will not agree and perhaps it’s simply better to leave it at that until such time as new evidence emerges when it can be taken further.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyWed Sep 13, 2023 11:29 am

Julian,

To respond to your points.  

“You wrote that you attach much veracity and accuracy to Barker’s [Stalker] report. I don’t. I do attach veracity and accuracy to his 1879 letter to his father written the day after the battle.”

You are aware I am commenting on the Barker report quoted in Stalker and Frank Allewell. If you wish to bring new (to me) information, please present it.  

“You wrote that we are agreed Mehlokazulu was on the plateau edge, Barker says his position was on a hill to the "extreme front" six miles ride from camp.

Yes, that inference, the quote is "overlooking" not necessarily the same, but they were not at those places at the same time.”

We agree, I maintain Barker was on Qwabe at 6-15am as he states in his report.  

“You wrote that, if taken at his word, he was not where Mehlokazulu was.”

We agree.

“Of course he wasn’t. While it is true that Mehlokazulu was eventually on the plateau’s edge, this took place some while after he saw and was seen by vedettes. To reach the edge Mehlokazulu would first have had to wend his way across the plateau from the position where he had encountered the vedettes in the distance. The two events took place at different times and different locations.”

Your description is in direct contradiction to Mehlokazulu’s account viz. “When we arrived at the range of hills overlooking Isandlwana. We could see their Vedettes quite close to us, and could also see the position of the English camp. The Vedettes evidently saw us because they commenced to move about, and soon after there seemed to be a bustle in the camp as is some were inspanning the waggons and others getting up oxen.

You are wrong to state that Mehlokazulu was in two different places firstly seeing and moving the Vedettes and secondly to overlook the camp, since he goes on to say “We immediately went back and reported”

You should also consider time, @6-15am is it likely there was much inspanning of oxen and a bustle in the camp? Since this is the time of Barker’s sighting, or do you disagree upon this point as well.

“You wrote that I agree Mehlokazulu's force was not definitively the sole Zulu force of horsemen. Of course, how can anyone say anything different? That said, it is likely that Ntshingwayo only gave out such a special mission once in that early morning and to a trusted lieutenant at that.”

We agree, but, as to Ntshingswayo’s motive or trusting nature that is your assertion only, perhaps like Matyana, according to uGuku, he was sent on a special mission to keep him out of the way. Irrelevant here I think.  

“You wrote that Barker could have been describing another force of Zulus whose actions he reports. He could, it is true, but there is no evidence that there was such another mounted force.”  

There really are “none so blind as will not see” The evidence is Barker’s he saw Zulu horsemen at 6-15am on Qwabe. So prove he was not there, his description of the location puts him there, no other position fits that description. If you do I will capitulate, if you cannot you must re-assess your position.

Your evidence seems to me to be based upon a supposed coincidence of surviving documentation, Mehlokazulu, spots Barker and vice verse, I say “no they did not.”  

“You wrote that Mehlokazulu does not report that the vedette left its position, only that they signalled. No he didn’t but I don’t suppose he hung about to watch; he had a mission to complete after all. The next thing he relates is getting to the plateau’s edge and watching the camp.”

I answered this above it is not a factual statement, let alone a rebuttal of mine.

You wrote “the fact is that if Barker was on Qwabe.” But there is no ‘fact’ about it. There is just your opinion.  

I agree, my opinion based upon my observation of the site and Barker’s own description of it. What do expect documented co-ordinates? You have offered not a whit of evidence to say where you think Barker was or where Mehlokazulu was. So, I say you are entitled to your opinion but until you offer evidence it is no better (and I think incorrect) than my own. Prove me wrong in that please! I am here to learn.  

I am quite prepared to go into the details of why Barker’s timings and distances are as they say “on the money”, but this is probably not the place, for now, to do so.  

You wrote that I seem to ignore the fact that the plateau edge is perilously close to camp and Qwabe is six miles away. But the two are not connected. Mehlokazulu did NOT see Barker’s vedette at the plateau’s edge but higher up on the Nyoni ridge.

“And where would that be then”? Was he ever at the edge, where is your evidence of that? He only says he was on the range of hills overlooking the camp” The point is once there (his observation position) he did not move onwards he returned to report.

Pulleine’s reaction was to sound the first alarm and get his men on to the parade ground, facing north.

We agree, so what, that is where the infantry were likely to come from according to the reports.

“I have a feeling that this discussion is going nowhere. I am basing my arguments on Royston’s map of where vedettes were situated and known positions of Zulu regiments and trying to relate accounts to given facts.”

The actual Vedette positions on the day are simply not known. Any map is only as good as the cartographer and his data.  

“You are surmising a movement of Zulus from the Mangeni northwards and looking for something which might support the idea. In my opinion, the event you have chosen is on shaky ground. In your opinion, I am not prepared to consider the unevidenced. We will not agree and perhaps it’s simply better to leave it at that until such time as new evidence emerges when it can be taken further.”

You misunderstand me, I take Barker, in Stalker/Allewell, at his word, the rest flows from there. I postulate on a Zulu movement North, to explain what Zulus may have been there for him to see, the presence of the Zulu in that position, I.e. on Qwabe are proved by his account, he says he sees them there, where or why they are there is immaterial, he saw them and took action as a result, that is all.

By all means withdraw for this discussion and regard me as mad crank, that is your perogative. Before doing so you really should go back to the base assumptions of your case, (you have not made them known to me) to re-assess them, for I think they are wanting.  

My argument is simple I believe the eye witness record, (yes I know that is often problematical) but I also have a strong affinity for Occam’s razor, perhaps you should look at this through that lens.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyWed Sep 13, 2023 1:25 pm

Tig
Under no circumstances do I regard you as a mad crank. Please do not imagine so for one minute.
Nevertheless I still feel that the discussion cannot result in a solution to your satisfaction.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyWed Sep 13, 2023 3:21 pm

Julian,


This is a forum not a dialogue, I would invite others to tear holes in my argument or to provide reasons why Barker could not be on Qwabe at 6-15am on 22nd January 1879.

I have made a case, and provided such proofs as are available to me, and have responded to every point you make, despite some being factually inaccurate. Nowhere have you provided a logical rebuttal based upon evidence, and nowhere despite many of my requests for you to do so have you offered any proofs as to your own case, which it seems to me to depend upon "coincidence", never a reliable ally.

I am far from dissatisfied, you have reinforced my view, in my view, the paucity of your rebuttals. I have though learnt a lot from this, and I must say also your publications, for which I thank you.

I think you, as a professional historian, are to a degree imprisoned by the facts that you know and verify, you can never know all and seldom enough, it is upon interpretation of those we have, we differ.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyThu Sep 14, 2023 8:53 am

Tig
Ive just been chatting to some friends in Ulundi about the Funeral tomorrow and during the conversation asked about the prevalence of horses and the attitudes towards them back in 1879.
Initially they prevailing thought was that it was very rare for horses to be a part of the zulu life style. But after a bit of a round table discussion and the name of Dabulamanzi cropped up as being a very adept rider, other thoughts started coming around about the Sihayo village owning a number. I suggested Mehlokazulu was one such owner and that fell in with the Sihayo family details. Other than that no real agreement was reached about other clans using mounts.
I outlined the way that thoughts were going about Qwabe /Barker and the consensus was that there would have been no purpose served of a scouting group, mounted or not, using the valley as a route to collect data on the camp, because of the interupted views unless those scouts got towards the Nkengeni ridge. From Qwabe hill the mass of the camp towards the north would have been hidden although the souther reaches, 1/24th area would have visibility. A further point was brought up about early morning haze again spoiling a clear view.
So all in all a bit pointless when an excelent view could be had from the Nyoni ridge.
A lot of this of course is relative to your suggested party being sent from the Nkwelini to spy. If however you are suggesting that these 6 companies of men joining up with the main impi were conducting a seperate mission on their way to Nkwelini I would have to ask why?
Barkers statement can be interpreted in quite a number of ways, his estimates of distance are pretty exact in that camp to Qwabe is around 6 miles and camp to Amatutshane around 2.5. But instructions had been left in the camp when Chelmsford rode out to 'draw in' the Piquets and Vedets and a 6 mile distance is quite significant.
A key issue for me is that in his ride back to see Scott he mentions seeing zulu advancing from the left flank, having chased of Whitelaw from his position. This has to intimate that Whitelaw was on the plain, somewhere between Qwabe and Amatutshane and that large numbers of zulu were on the plain. Its the only way Barker could have seen them, he had no view up onto the plateau. The position he intimates he witnessed the zulus on the left flank seen as he and Scott were riding back to, theoretically, Qwabe.
That doesnt work for me it just doesnt fit in with Whitelaws statement.
Not really intended to tear holes Tig, just prod a couple of points.

Cheers

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Tig Van Milcroft




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Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyThu Sep 14, 2023 10:45 am

Frank,

Tearing holes in hypotheses is the whole point of a forum is it not, it is also a great way to share information ideas.

As always good questions. It was your book that raised my what if question? What if Barker's description of his position and his timings were correct? Where does that take you? Why is it not the default reading?

Why be on Qwabe? Primarily because that is where he says he is, timings, distance, and description all match extremely well. The question you must have put is the reverse of the one I asked, which resulted in the conclusion that can be put as "I do not believe his description, timings, nor distance" I do not intend to put words into your mouth I am trying to summarise what I understand to be your viewpoint, correct this please if that is wrong. (I often look down the other end of the imaginary telescope, as it were, to better understand the perspective of the problem).

Secondary considerations, when you look out over iThusi you have to be atop it, the bulk of iThusi prevents good vision over Qwabe if you place Barker as you do, you have convinced me that this was the best vedette location. The focus of attention of the along the high ground on the plateau would likely have been to the North and North East, you seem to concur in where you place Whitelaw (I'll come back to that). In the early morning with the sun rising to the east visibility in any case is dodgy, closer is almost always better (hence binoculars, useless in haze though). You know the country there as well as anybody, that ground beyond Qwabe to the East and South East is very undulating and Qwabe ridge itself creates dead ground. Qwabe is also a missing tooth in the crescent of outposts and vedettes, there is no vedette position covering the east and ESE. Chelmsford is effectively covering SSE to Camp.

Those are the reasons why I put Barker on Qwabe, simply put because he said he was there.

My postulation as to the amaviyo was stimulated by Aussies reference to it on the thread. Like you I ask why were horsemen there. Unlike you I do not believe that there not being a "reason" for them to be there means they were not there, there is much we do not and will never "know". If Barker was on Qwabe there were horsemen there viz. those he saw.

We know that Matyana was mounted and others with him, so we can add his clan to the ones you quote, nobody has yet explained where Russell's impi bivvy occupents went, not surprising there is no evidence, but they must have gone somewhere. I infer they went north (albeit with no evidence) because they had news for Ntingswayo regarding the standoff with Dartnell at Magogo. If they were they were not scouting they were returning to the army from which they were detached, to report events. If they went North towards Ngwebeni they probably made for the Qwabe/Nyeze ridge, if they spotted Barker on the ridgeline they would probably have made to cut him off. Coming from Silutshana direction a rider on Qwabe or the ridgeline would have been visible to the Zulus before they were themselves visible in th early dawn light.

You state "A key issue for me is that in his ride back to see Scott he mentions seeing zulu advancing from the left flank, having chased of Whitelaw from his position." I read this as Scott and Barker riding back to Qwabe from Conical Hill. If you place Whitelaw where you place Barker in your book Whitelaw would be coming towards them from the iThusi direction as would Zulus shortly thereafter.

I have stated earlier in this thread that your analysis is fine, but, is dependent upon the base assumption that it is Mehlokazulu that displaces Barker. Since you use that logic to place Barker on the Plateau, then criticise his timings. (Your book p41 "This can only be Nyoni" it also logically if indirectly places Whitelaw's vedette). This is conditional logic, i.e. the horsemen Mehlokazulu sees MUST be Barker, please also note he speaks of them in the plural, there is nowhere on the Nyoni ridge that is 2 miles form Conical Hill.

For me and applying Occam's razor, Barker being on Qwabe is a more reasonable explanation, but I do not claim it as proof.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyThu Sep 14, 2023 12:20 pm

Hi Tig
Without getting to involved in the wider picture let me restrict answers to a couple of salient points.
I would agree, see above, the Qwabe is 6 miles from camp, I would also comment that the distance back to Scott was around 3.5 miles not the 2 Barker speaks of so there is a certain doubt over his abilities to judge distance.
In terms of his timings his 4 oclock was pretty close to dawn breaking and a 6 mile ride was quite extensive. These however are minor points that do add up to disprove his veracity.
There is sufficient testimony to prove the bad blood that existed between Ntshingwayo and Matyana to the extent he, Matshana, was deliberatly given false information as to where the impi was heading. There is however no source that puts him with the main impi hence it would rule out his men riding down the Qwabe. So any mounted party, of 20 I believe, would have come from the main body. Would Ntshingwayo really need to send out more than one scouting party?
The view east from the point I place Barker gives an exceptional view of the plain except for the south east where itusi itself blocks a portion. That Area is well covered by the vedette on the souther side of the camp so there is no reason to disobey the orders of keeping the 'guards' in close. All areas are covered from the posts indicated.
The argument becomes a Shrodinger's Cat scenario really.

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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyThu Sep 14, 2023 1:19 pm

Frank,

We agree all depends on what you believe, 100%. There is no proof, it depends upon what you read into the documents. These are two hypothesis only, neither are proofs. It is not possible to use one hypothesis to disprove another, to do so one must first be proved. I do not believe that the Mehlokazulu "coincidence" has in any way been proved.

To respond to the salient points though.

Google earth tells me it is 4 miles to the highest point of Qwabe as the crow flies from camp lines. Barker places Vedette positions from three to five miles out. He is commenting specifically on "Carbineers". You know that country well so it is no surprise that he says he rode "quite six miles", even today Qwabe is trouble to get to. Google earth also tells me the distance from Qwabe summit to Conical hill is just a little over 2 miles. We cannot assume either that the signalling position from which he left the hill was the same locaiton as the point at which he spotted the Zulus. It is likely I agree that it was more than two miles ride to Scott's position, though this does not disprove his estimation of the distance to Scott. It simply delays his meeting with Scott, there are no other dependencies, he left the hill rode his "about two miles" back to Scott, conversed then started to return and on his way was intercepted by Whitelaw with his news from the direction of his left flank. As to dawn and "quite extensive", the previous night Walsh and Davey returned to camp from over 10 miles away with no reported difficulty.

I have never made the case that Matyana was on Qwabe, he was down in Mengene, it is uGuku's Undendwe i postulate being with the amaviyo, if Matyana had a horse so did he (If he was a person, nobody has commented one wy or the other but he is a reference that needs to be chased down). But as I have repeatedly said this is all irrelevant to the point if Barker says he saw horsemen he did, you accept this point since you base your hypothesis on the same observation (If not the position the observation was made).

As to "guards" Vedettes are not guards, though you can viably make that case for outposts e.g. Barry's. As we know Chelmsford left no orders, he left it to others to make what little effort thay did to defend the camp, there were also no entrenchments an "order" ignored by all and sundry. I recall somewhere another advice to throw vedettes out, Mansel from memory was for pushing them out further. Such was the overconfidence in the command at that time, an overconfidence I do not think was shared by the Colonials, I would put my money on a Carbineer force with latitude placing Vedettes wherever they thought necessary, on this day there were no HQ staff around to look over their shoulder.  

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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptySat Sep 16, 2023 6:37 am

90th wrote:
Sorry Inky
Unless I missed it.... I see no-one on the Zulu side stating they laid a trap to lure the British out , Chelmsford saying so is basically an attempt  to cover his own backside ! , nothing more , nothing less , if the Public , or anyone for that matter believed Chelmsford that he thought they were lured out of the camp... surely you can see that would indeed go along way to exonerating him !? , plus it doesn't make the Army look as bad if it was suggested they were lured out ! , Sorry can't have that for a moment , the Zulu tactics throughout the war just don't have that ' look ' about them !. Was more Good Luck than Good Management . Let's not forget that everyone says they were sitting quietly in the valley , if the Zulu were attempting to lure the British to them ,  I'm sure there would've been some preparation , not sitting on their backsides in the valley doing nothing which has been stated several times .  
90th .


Gary I gave you a Zulu source that states that the discovery took place under the Nqutu hills, what can not be denied is that a message from Mkwene reached Durnford stating the Zulu's are retiring of Which Durnford responded by sending out a good NUMBER OF MEN,  these are

E Company 80 men to the Tahalane Ridge
Lieutenants Raw and Roberts Troops of 100 men
The Rocket Battery with escorts over 100 men
Durnford led out another 100 men

then after leaving the Camp the first shots were heard. Do you honestly believe they came from the Valley when Barker clearly states they came from his extreme left. It can not be clearer the problem is even with evidence you will not believe.

Gary you said lastly the following
" if the Zulu were attempting to lure the British to them ,  I'm sure there would've been some preparation , not sitting on their backsides in the valley doing nothing which has been stated several times"

Yes the Zulu started the preparations once they reached the Nqutu hills around 930am that is when those on Mkwene, four officers and 100NNC notice 5,000 Zulu being the right horn moving behind Isandlwana further evidence you have chosen not to believe. then around 10:30 Durnford responds to the Zulu retiring move.

I have given you four different eyewitnesses stating they saw the Zulu retire from the edge of the iNyoni ridge between the hours of 930and 1030am, what do you think they were retiring for "because they needed the exercise".

YOU HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO BELIEVE THE EVIDENCE.

     .
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptySat Sep 16, 2023 8:30 am

Inki as I said to Tig earlier, its how you read the evidence. There exists the probability that with differing interpretations comes different results.
Gary is correct, there were no preparations to receive an advancing British force, the impi was sitting down quietly, theres to much evidence that contradicts you. If there was a deliberate attempt to entice the Brits then why on earth were the zulu unprepared and suprised on the 'discovery. Its not a question you have responded to.

Cheers

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90th

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PostSubject: Lt Walsh and the Siphezi patrol 21st Jan    Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyMon Sep 18, 2023 4:08 am

Hi Frank & Inky
Yes Mate , no evidence whatsoever to back up Inky's claim... they were not even going to fight that day ! .
INKY
I choose not to believe ' WHAT YOU CALL EVIDENCE OF A DECOY ' of course some Zulu's were moving around ..they were '' OBSERVING '' nothing more , nothing less , they had no idea what the British would do , don't forget the Zulu's were having a meeting to decide what to do next !! , it's in many sources , they even thought about sending a delegation to the camp ! , I'm with Frank , there would've been much activity if they were setting a trap , don't forget many Zulu's stated they weren't going to attack that day !? , they attacked once they were found by Raw etc once they had no choice , even at that stage some of the Induna's attempted to stop the Zulu's from reacting (It's in the sources ! ) , Also WHERE'S THE PROOF IN ZULU ACCOUNTS !!?? , you won't find proof because there's NONE ! , also I told you why the British said they were lured out , it was to cover their own backsides , nothing more nothing less , think about it ... doesn't look as bad on LC and the others if the force was lured out the camp , makes Durnford look bad , and he becomes the Scapegoat ... think about it ! loll .
90th Salute
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 19, 2023 1:23 pm

Yes the Zulu were moving around in the  thousands, the very reason your in error is because you and the historians ignore eyewitness testimony.  You have chosen to ignore it.

"you won't find proof because there's NONE"  =    You have chosen to ignore the proof !!!!!
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi patrol of the 21st January   Lieut. Walsh and the Siphezi  patrol of the 21st January - Page 5 EmptyTue Sep 19, 2023 1:32 pm

By the way Gary you want proof where is your Proof the discovery took place in the Ngwebini Valley

PLEASE PROVIDE IT.
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