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 Who gave this order at Isandlwana?

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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyMon Oct 24, 2022 9:48 pm

Who gave the order to dismount and fasten their horses? Lieut. Scott? Capt. Bradstreet? Col. Durnford?
Can’t really trace the source for the following annotation. Had to be from one of the survivors… '

“…the Volunteers and other mounted men were ordered to dismount and fasten their horses to the picket lines as soon as they got into camp.”
-Annotation to Mehlokazulu account, In Zululand

Trooper Barker doesn’t shed much light, seems more a spontaneous decision on his part.

“As I had procured ammunition on the former occasion when I had returned to camp I did not require more, but tied up my horse to the horse lines, next to another horse I had in camp, intending to change saddles later on, as the horse I had been riding had had a hard time of it, and I wished for a fresh horse, as I then thought that when the Zulus broke we should pursue them.”
-Trooper Barker, Natal Carbineers
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 6:04 am

Hi Michael

My guess it would have been Lieutenant Scott seeing he was the commanding officer present for the Natal Carbineers.  Barker mentions once arriving at camp they advanced and fired at the oncoming Left horn he mention 3 or 4 other Carbineers with him it was at this time he sees the guns heading towards the nek. Just a recent discovery I made it seems while most of the Carbinerrs would have fasten there horses situated behind the tent area of the mounted volunteers. Two for certain left before the guns arrived at the nek these two are MacLeroy who being shot at the donga 20 minutes earlier and Muirahead who was with him,  Barker and Tarbottom left via the nek after the Guns. Not long after that the right horn would have closed the trap and only those lucky to have horses would have had a slim chance of escaping
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 6:20 am

Also one other thing Durnford once he arrived in camp from the donga he would have had no time to order them to fasten there horses he was present with Essex only yards from the North facing firing line when it collapsed and then the guns would have started their journey to the nek while Barker was firing at the left horn, my guess Durnford would have arrived at his last stand within say 10 minutes of the guns crossing the nek
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 9:55 am

I'm wondering Mike could Alan have possibly issued the order?
He rides back out to Durnford to find out why they are retiring but before talking to him  spoke to  Captain Bradstreet.  He may have ordered Bradstreet to order his men to tie up their horses and try and hold the line.
Pure speculation but possible bearing in mind Alan's contact with Pulleine, rank and cavalry training.

Durnford has to be the other likely candidate for the order as Alan writes:-
"Captain Bradstreet told me that he had been ordered to do so by Colonel Durnford, who soon afterwards told me himself that he considered our position too extended and wished to collect all the troops together"

Also as an additional question to your thread Mike, how many actually did tie up their horses?
In his 9th of February letter Alan talks of the "few mounted men remaining" retreating up a small hill. This must be Mahlabamkhosi which, having climbed it, would be difficult on horse back and you wouldn't get many on the top.
However Alan says a few of them mangaged to escape by "riding down the hill on our right"
So some either ignored the order to tie up their horses or managed a rapid re mount after having done so.
Having looked at, researched and walked this area in detail, Alan is clearly, in my opinion, referring to the saddle that runs off to the south of Mahlabamkhosi which provides a way down onto the Fugitives Trail.
Kate
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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 4:57 pm

Aussie,

What makes you think Essex was over on the north-facing firing line? I see no evidence of this- in fact I think he was over on the right as we know those Companies were chewed up pretty thoroughly and Capt. Lonsdale's No. 9 Coy seems to be the last to break from the firing line. These all point to the encounter being on the right rather than the left. I do agree Lieut. Scott is a good possibility.

Kate,

Alan certainly is another candidate! I just wish we had more detailed statements from him. He had to be with Bradstreet on Black's Koppie as he refers to his attempt at a rally collapsing after their Capt. was killed.

"I then endeavoured to rally a few of the mounted men, who had retreated up a slight rise on our right, intending to make a dash through the enemy in front and regain the General’s force, but their captain and many more were killed, and I could not get them together."
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 5:03 pm

I don't think he was on Mahlabamkhosi Mike but to the south of it. Here there is a 'slight rise' gradually rising up to a saddle that then drops down to the Fugitives Trail.
The top of this saddle has a hump in it. Stand to the right of it and you can look back to the west side of the Nek. To the left side is a series of rocky terraces heading down to the trail.
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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 5:19 pm

Do you have any pics of that? I can see the terrain on Google Maps and it does seem to match the description given by Capt. Gardner.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyTue Oct 25, 2022 6:17 pm

Yes I have got picures somewhere.
Back in 2018 whilst researching Alan's escape route, I walked and timed the climb/descent as well as taking photographs along the way.
If you climb onto Mahlabamkhosi in an attempt to get to the saddle your way south is blocked by a large metal fence.
To gain access to the east side of the saddle you have to walk south past the farm through a break in the fence and then turn right which takes you up towards the saddle.
I will see if I can dig them out.
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyWed Oct 26, 2022 3:38 am

Michael
Essex decended from the Tahalane ridge and returned to camp, and he described the NNC panicking and fleeing, these NNC where between Younghusband and Cavaye Company's facing the Zulu Chest.  The Zulu poured into this gap, read Essex he even mentions they did not even had time to fix bayonets
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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: Who gave this order at Isandlwana?   Who gave this order at Isandlwana? EmptyWed Oct 26, 2022 3:57 am

There is NOTHING indicating these were NNC Companies on the left. In fact, Essex spoke to Lieut. Pope on the right at some point between descending the Tahelane Ridge and the collapse, the 2nd Battalion Lieut. excited at the effect of his men's musketry on the Zulus.
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