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Lieutenant John Chard: What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Seven officers including surgeon, commissaries and so on; Adendorff now I suppose; wounded and sick 36, fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies. Not much of an army for you.
 
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 The Devil’s Pass at Hlobane

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lfmcgee4




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Join date : 2022-01-11
Location : Pittsburgh, PA USA

The Devil’s Pass at Hlobane Empty
PostSubject: The Devil’s Pass at Hlobane   The Devil’s Pass at Hlobane EmptyMon Sep 26, 2022 3:12 am

Does anyone know of any written defense, official or unofficial, that John Cecil Russell made of his actions at the Battle of Hlobane?
Lee
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: The Devil’s Pass at Hlobane   The Devil’s Pass at Hlobane EmptyMon Sep 26, 2022 11:51 am

I seem to remember seeing something at the NAM which I may have copied from Russell. I will see if I can dig it out.
Unfortunatly Lee he was pretty much hung out to dry and shuffled off to the remount department.
Because of Wood's influence and Buller's own condemnation no one would stand by him and risk their own careers when such powerful men were gunning for him. Buller's letter dated the 15.4.79 written at Kambula doesn't leave much to the imagination.
The fact that he was only doing what he was oredered to do doesn't matter when scape goats are sought.
Russell was already on shakey ground before he arrived at number 4 column with Wood complaining about the amount of time it took him to get there and when you arrive under a cloud it is very difficult to shake that off.
Even the report by Trooper Harry Peterson at Kambula that appeared in the Natal Witness see p 230 of Rifle and Spear with the Zulu does not seem to have had any impact.
There are bad, incompetent officers in the army but I don't believe Russell was one of them. After all he was only doing what he was ordered to do at Hlobane and Buller's chastisment after Kambula doesn't tke into account the fact that Russell had seen the effects of what the Zulus were capable off, Buller hadn't.
Worth thinking about.
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