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

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ADMIN

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PostSubject: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyMon Jan 05, 2009 9:53 pm

No. 4 Column of the British invasion force, under Colonel Evelyn Wood, was to occupy the attention of those Zulus dwelling on the flat-topped mountains rising out of the plains of north-west Zululand. The distance of these Zulus from the capital of Ulundi gave them a degree of independence from Cetshwayo’s rule, enabling the chiefs to withhold their warriors for local defence, rather than contributing to the main Zulu Army. Lord Chelmsford required these Zulus to be distracted so that they would not interfere with the operations of No. 3 Column during its advance to Isandlwana and onto Ulundi.

On 17 January 1879, Wood advanced his column north-eastwards, and a laager (a defensive wagon circle) was established at Tinta’s Kraal, 10 miles (16 km) south of a chain of flat-topped mountains on the 20th. These were Zunguin, Hlobane and Ityentika, connected by a nek, and running for 15 miles (24 km) in a north-easterly direction. While the camp was being fortified, scouts investigating the mountains were attacked from Zunguin by about 1,000 Zulus. At dawn the next day an attack was mounted on Zunguin, and the Zulus fled to Hlobane, where Wood observed some 4,000 Zulus drilling that afternoon. An attack on Hlobane began on the 24th, but was scrapped when Wood learnt of the disaster at Isandlwana. After falling back to Tinta’s Kraal, Wood decided to move his column north-westwards to Kambula hill, about 14 miles due west of Zunguin. Their arrival on the 31st was met with a message from Lord Chelmsford informing Wood that all orders were cancelled, he was now on his own with no expectation of reinforcements and that he must be prepared to face the whole Zulu Army.


Kambula
February 1879 passed with no major engagements, save for the mounted patrols sent out daily to raid the kraals of Zulus harassing No. 5 Column across the eastern Transvaal border. At Kambula, a hexagonal laager was formed with tightly locked together wagons, and a separate kraal for the cattle was constructed on the edge of the southern face of the ridge. Trenches and earth parapets surrounded both, and a stone-built redoubt was built on a rise just north of the kraal. A palisade blocked the hundred yards between the kraal and redoubt, while four 7-pounders were positioned between the redoubt and the laager to cover the northern approaches. Two more guns in the redoubt covered the north-east also. This month saw Wood receive much needed reinforcements in the form of Transvaal Rangers, mounted troops, a troop of German settlers and five companies of the 80th Regiment.

Wood had hoped to capitalise on the near-autonomy of the Zulus surrounding him, by trying to wean them from any allegiance they felt to Cetshwayo, centring hopes on one Uhamu, Cetshwayo’s half-brother who had always been friendly towards the British and at odds with the Zulu King. On 13 March, Uhamu entered the camp with some 700 of his people, requesting escorts to bring the rest of his people out of hiding. They were hiding in caves near the headwaters of the Black Umfolozi, 50 miles to the east and only 40 miles (60 km) from Ulundi. It would be considerably risky to escort large numbers to safety over this area, but Wood considered it worth it. An escort of 360 British mounted men, in addition to about 200 of Uhamu’s warriors were able to return to Kambula with around 900 further refugees. Shortly after this achievement, Wood received a request from Chelmsford to create a distraction to draw off some of the Zulu strength while he attempted to relieve Eshowe. Knowing that an impi was preparing to leave Ulundi and attack either Kambula or another British fort, Utrecht, Wood reckoned that by attacking Hlobane on 28 March he could drive cattle off the mountain, prompting the impi to attack him in his well-prepared position at Kambula.


Battle
Hlobane consisted of two plateaux, the lower and smaller of which rose to a height of about 850 feet (260 m) at the eastern end of the 4-mile-long nek connecting it to Zunguin to the south-west. At the eastern end of this lower plateau rose very steeply for another 200 feet (60 m) up a narrow, boulder-strewn way forming a series of giant steps, known as ‘Devil’s Pass’, to the higher plateau. On the top of this plateau were some 2,000 cattle and about 1,000 Zulu of the abaQulusi, many of whom had firearms. Wood’s plan for mounted troops led by Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Henry Buller to scale the eastern track to the higher plateau, supported by rocket artillery and friendly Zulus — once on top he was to drive off the cattle. A similarly composed force, under Major R. A. Russell, would occupy the lower plateau.

At dawn on 27 March the forces departed and, although hampered by a heavy thunderstorm and Zulus firing at targets presented by the light of lightning flashes, Buller’s mounted troops had reached the summit by 6 am of the following day. Native infantry then began herding cattle westwards. As Russell’s troops occupied the lower plateau, Wood, who was personally commanding the attack on the ground, encountered a group of the Border Horse who had become detached from Buller’s advance up the higher plateau. Wood ordered them to advance towards the firing on the upper plateau but the men, mostly English settlers from Transvaal, refused. Wood himself rode on with his small party, intending to take Buller’s track up to the summit, and was eventually followed by the Border Horse. Coming under fire from the caves, as Buller’s men had, Wood was again faced by refusal upon ordering the Border Horse to clear the way. Five of Wood’s escorts charged the caves themselves, resulting in the death of two officers — Wood’s staff officer, Captain R. Campbell, and his political agent Mr Lloyd. The group moved westwards to join Russell on the lower plateau.

On his way, at 10.30 am, Wood was riding along the southern flank of Hlobane and spotted five large columns of Zulus to the south-east. This was the main impi, which he was not expecting to arrive in the area for another day and were closing on the British fast, only 3 miles (4.8 km) away. The impi was already breaking up and Wood could see that they would effectively block Buller’s retreat from the upper plateau and then trap Russell also. Even if Wood withdrew both groups, a rapid retreat to Kambula would be required before the Zulus could reach it. Wood hurriedly sent a message to Russell, ordering him to move up to the nek, but with the advantage of high ground Russell had already seen the impi, an hour and a half before Wood, and warned Buller of their presence.

Buller realised the serious predicament of his force. Descent by his route up was impossible. The only option was to make for the lower plateau, where he’d be supported by Russell’s force. Russell had moved his troops off the lower plateau to Intyentika Nek, to support Buller’s descending troops. When Wood’s orders arrived, Russell and his officers believed that Wood wished for them to take up positions on another nek, 6 miles (10 km) westwards by Zunguin. Leaving a small amount of troops behind, Russell’s force departed that direction, leaving Buller alone at Hlobane.

Buller’s troops only had one route to the lower plateau, Devil’s Pass. The treacherous traverse was the cause of much confusion among his nervous troopers, and frenzied horses, causing inevitable casualties. This danger was heightened by the abaQulusi, who after they saw the approaching Zulu army, became more confident and daring in their attacks on the withdrawing troops. The British had to fight their way through the pass. Despite this serious situation, the British were able to get off the plateau and onto the plains, where Buller gave the immediate order to make for Kambula. The force was broken and disorganised, and with many horses lost the men were required to ride pillion to make it to Kambula, but they eventually all made it. The Zulu impi reached the plain whence the British had departed shortly after the departure. Wanting revenge, they followed the British for 12 miles (20 km), skirmishing on all sides.



The Battle of Hlobane had been a British defeat. Fifteen officers and 110 soldiers were killed, a further 8 wounded and 100 native soldiers died. The loss in horses gravely weakened Wood’s mounted capability. The Border Horse unit, trapped and unable to retreat to Kambula was wiped out, and the battalions of Zulu warriors helping the British had decamped. However, Wood was confident that the Zulu impi would now attack Kambula as he hoped, and he was confident of victory. The following day, at the Battle of Kambula, Wood did rout the Zulu army.

Colonel Buller received the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous gallantry and leadership, as did Lieutenant Henry Lysons and Private Edmund Fowler for charging the caves that morning. Major William Knox Leet and Lieutenant Edward Browne were awarded the VC for going back to save the lives of wounded men at the descent of Devil’s Pass. Lieutenant D’Arcy of the Frontier Light Horse was recommended for the Victoria Cross but denied on the grounds of him being a colonial. This was later rectified
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 9:08 pm

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Lieutenant Colonel Redver Buller winning the Victoria Cross at Hlobane rescuing a fellow officer
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John

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun Jun 07, 2009 8:59 pm

Hlobane 22nd March 1879 - Mossops Leap, Trooper Mossop and Warrior by Jason Askew

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JCAWG

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PostSubject: Devils Pass   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyTue May 25, 2010 10:08 pm

Picture of the Devils Pass from 2009.
Been down and up it twice, very difficult terrain when taking your time and trying not to fall, cannot imagine doing it with a horse and under fire.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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90th

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PostSubject: hlobane mtn   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed May 26, 2010 2:47 am

hi JCAWG.
Having never been there and never ridden a horse I would think it near on impossible and then throw in the " Murdering Heathen "
( zulu dawn :) ) not my thoughts :) . I am amazed that so many got away . The true scale is there when you see those picking
their way down the pass , truly unbelievable any one survived .
cheers 90th.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed May 26, 2010 8:45 am

It is frequently ovelooked that erosion has taken a large proportion of the top soil off the devils pass, if the Abuqulisi could get their cattle up and down (not the most nimble of beast, and hardly the quickest as drivers on Zululand roads will agree), then a horse would have no difficulty, albeit not being attacked.
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90th

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PostSubject: hlobane mtn   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed May 26, 2010 10:08 am

hi Neil.
I seem to have read in one of Ian Knights books the same thing in regard to erosion , in other words it looks
far worse today as what would have been the case in March 79 . But still wouldnt have been fun dodging spears
and the like !.
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed May 26, 2010 10:59 am

Have to agree with Neil. Having visited, and climbed, the pass with a time span of 40 years, it has changed dramatically. My first visit in '68 I actually considered taking an scrambler up ther. Not a chance today.
Mind you an extra 40 years on the age could have something to do with that.

Regards
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed May 26, 2010 7:11 pm

JCAWG is a link to an old discussion. There are some good photo suppled by Ken Gillings the topic is worth a read.

http://1879zuluwar.forumotion.com/general-discussion-area-f6/hlobane-mountain-t1321.htm?highlight=battle+of+hlobane
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JCAWG

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PostSubject: Devils Pass   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySat May 29, 2010 10:35 am

Regarding soil erosion at the Devil's Pass - I asked Ian Knight, who took us over the mountain with the Holts Tour, for his opinion.
Here's his reply -
'That's a good point, and well worth consideration. But on balance I don't think it has changed much. It certainly hasn't changed noticeably since I first went there in 1985; I went then with a great local expert, SB Bourquin, who had gone there over decades (I know Ken Gillings sometimes posts on this site - I'd be interested to know if he agrees as he knew SB better than I did). We talked a lot about the battlefield as we walked over it, including changes that have occured to the site, but SB never said anything to suggest to me that the Devil's Pass had changed in his time. Certainly the mining has affected other aspects of the mountain - there are great splits on the summit where the rock has settled, and this has affected drainage - but I can't see that usage of the pass has changed much to introduce any new factors which might have eroded it in recent times. Certainly it wasn't used as a route by the mine staff - they put in a rough access track on the southern side of the mountain, pretty much where Buller went up, and there was no need for them to go up and down the Pass regularly. The only thing that's been up and down it since 1879 has been a few cattle and the odd tourist - not enough to strip it bare in my view of the topsoil. If it has changed significantly, it must have changed significantly between 1879 and 1985 - but remained pretty much the same ever since, which seems odd to me. The face of the pass has been exposed to the elements for aeons - my guess is any significant topsoil would have been washed away long ago, if there was much to start with. It's worth noting from Mossop's description that the Pass seemed just to be a jumble of boulders at the time, while Russell's party on the day got to the bottom but decided it was impossible to get horses up to the top - which suggests it wasn't so very different then, and certainly that there was no obvious easier path. As to cattle, well, I've certainly seen cattle tracks and dung on the face of the pass in my time - Nguni cattle are pretty hardy and used to going over rough terrain - and of course the abaQulusi would have been masters at driving them up and down.'
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySat May 29, 2010 2:47 pm

Hi JCAWG.
Quote :
"I asked Ian Knight, who took us over the mountain with the Holts Tour"
What year was that. And did you manage to take any photo's.
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySat May 29, 2010 10:31 pm

Good evening. Just back from the bush, so there haven't been any comments from me for a while.
When I first visited Hlobane in 1966, the Devil's Pass looked the same as it does today. There has been little if any erosion due to the pristine vegetation on the western edge of the plateau and on the pass itself. Veld fires have continuously burnt off old grass and enabled the new veld to grow. As you know, the Pass is a mass of rocks as well, which has helped to bind the soil.
There is very little running water on the summit any more because Hlobane is virtually hollow due to intensive coal mining inside the mountain itself. Several large cracks have appeared on the surface and parts of the summit became quite dangerous several years ago. The Kongolwane stream hardly flows any longer, with most of the water disappearing underground.
Severe erosion has occurred on the south-eastern slope of Hlobane, where the mine built a track to the summit. Very little consideration was taken with regard to drainage, with the result that until recently, the track could only be negotiated in a 4x4 with low range. An attempt has recently been made to rehabilitate the road, but I'm afraid that when the spring rains arrive from about September, the roads will probably be washed away again. When I took some people to Hlobane a month ago, we could actually drive up to the summit without engaging 4 wheel drive - which in actually took the fun out of it!
Regards, Ken
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rai



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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 7:24 am

Hi Everyone,
Very interested to read Ken's post, I remember one of my own visits, can't remember which year but it was the year Natal had very bad rains and floods, thankfully we had just missed this, by days,
After reaching the summit of Hlobane by the 4x4 track we left our vechicle to walk over to the Devils pass. I was surpised to find some large deep pools of water laying on the surface, one being easily 5o x 50 feet, at the time i didnt think much about it just avoided them by walking around, however later i thought well this is what the summit must have been like in 1879, we know the zulus use to graze cattle on the summit so they would also need a water source, and in E R P Woodgate's diary there is a picture of a waterfull from the summit, meaning you can't have a waterfull without water being present. It gave me a much better interpretion and impression of how it might of looked in 1879. I also remember a quote by someone of water lying on the surface in 1879.
Finally I went up and down the Devils Pass on all fours, maybe five if you count my bottom, i still cannot believe how they got horses down there? it was hard enough getting yourself down yet alone leading a horse?
Rai
Keynshamlighthorse
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 8:17 am

Quite correct regarding water in 1879. The summit of Hlobane is like a catchment area, hence the Kongolwane stream, which tumbles down from the summit on the southern side of the mountain. The abaQulusis' cattle had plenty of water available. As mentioned, that stream has all but dried up but begins flowing where there are heavy rains. The water quickly recedes down in to the fissures on the summit. I'll e-mail admin a photo of the waterfall that you have referred to.
Regards, Ken
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 9:41 am

Hi Ken good to see you back safe and well.

Rai
Quote :
("I still cannot believe how they got horses down there?")

I Believe Mossop thought the same thing, he left his horse, only to be told to go back and get it. I would image it would have been a lot harder going back up. Did he get his horse?
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90th

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PostSubject: battle of hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 10:10 am

hi Dave .
He got his horse and the horse carried him back to Khambula , I have posted this poignent article about Mossop and
his horse elsewhere on the forum . But cant tell you where and when .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: battle of hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 10:19 am

Hi Dave.
The posted article is in the " General Discussion Area , under the subject of Hlobane Mountain .
posted Wed 11/ 11/09 at 12.24 am .
cheers 90th.
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 4:25 pm

I have sent Admin a photo of 'Chops' Mossop's route of descent, taken on the 28th March 1993.
Ken
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 10:05 pm

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Here is a photo of the route taken by Mossop when he and Warrior descended Hlobane, after he had been ordered by Lt Col Redvers Buller to return to the summit and find Warrior. The photo was taken in 1993.

Photo and text By Ken Gillings.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySun May 30, 2010 10:12 pm

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A photo of the Kongolwane Waterfall on the southern slopes of Hlobane. It is visible on the escarpment above Campbell’s & Lloyd’s grave.
Photo By Ken Gillings.
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PostSubject: hlobane mtn   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyMon May 31, 2010 12:49 am

hi ken / admin.
thanks for posting the photos , much appreciated . Idea
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jun 03, 2010 9:15 pm

Would it have not been possible to make a stand at Hlobane. The terrain as we know was very rocky. Would the terrain not have been in the British favour? It would have been difficult for any attacking force under heavy fire to make any headway. And as they were armed mostly Shields and spears it would have made a good defensive position.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jun 03, 2010 9:30 pm

hi,

I dont think they could have made and effective stand for a few reasons,
one of them been the odds were stacked against them arounf 650 British soldiers and around 25,000 Zulu Warriors.
And another reason could have been the Zulus suprised the British, and were found only 3 miles away which the zulus could cover in about (I think 15 mins).

I agree they probably could have made a better decision, but knowing what happed at Isandlwana, would they really want to hang around and suffer the same fate the Zulus could quite easily give them again?

I think Buller and Russel just wanted to get away without losing too many men, knowing they had no chance of making an effective stand.

hope this helps

thanks joe
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PostSubject: battle of hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyFri Jun 04, 2010 3:33 am

hi Dave.
I cant see how they could have made a defensive position at Hlobane , they may have been able to Re- grroup
and make some sort of stand , but , it would have been massacred in very short time. They didnt have the Luxury
of any wagons as you cant get them up the mtn , no reserve supply of ammo , no supplies and more than likely
limited access to water , also the top of the mountain is fairly barren with no cover whatsoever , and they wouldnt
have carried many rounds of Ammo . Sheer weight of numbers would have lead to another Isandlwana type defeat.
In a very short space of time .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptySat Jun 05, 2010 12:31 pm

For Littlehand and others,
We did the Holts Tour in 2009 and 2010 (it was that good we had to do it twice!!)
I took plenty of photographs and i could try and post some online but if you wanted to send me your address through email, i could burn off a disc with all 86 from 2009 and 146 from this year!!
In 2009 it was a scorching hot day and walking from the bottom, along the plateau, down Devils Pass and back (12miles) was tiring. In 2010 we started in similar conditions but on the way back got caught in a huge thunder storm and got soaked. But it was really worth it. I always had trouble understanding the logistics and positioning at Hlobane, who went up which route, which way did they get down etc, but after walking up Hlobane, it all becomes clear.
I will leave the question about soil errosion to the real experts but i will put my part into the debate about the battle itself:
When you are at the top and in the middle of the plateau, it is very difficult to get your bearings, you can't see much of the surrounding hills and mountains. There are very few reference points such as Zungweni to help orientate yourself. There is nothing at the top, except a few trees, some cattle and lots of rocks, so making a stand would be pointless without cover.
I can imagine that half the reason the battle went so wrong was the shear confusion at the top. Orders and directions with no reference points, the enemy coming from all directions, dust from horse and foot, not being sure whether movement on the horizon was friend or foe. It must have been awful to try and figure out which way you were facing,which way you had come and most importantly which way was the quickest way off!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyTue Jun 22, 2010 12:28 pm

If possible could someone tell me what time did the Zulu’s attacked Wood’s Column? And at what time did it end.

At 10.30 am, Wood was riding along the southern flank of Hlobane and spotted five large columns of Zulus to the southeast. 3 miles (4.8 km) away. I’m trying to work out, how long it took for the Zulu’s to engaged the British, the amount of time spend in combat, and the time it took Woods to complete his retreat to safety.

Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 8:33 pm

Posted on behalf of Johann.

I was up on Hlobane Mountain yesterday with Paul Naish, who will be bringing a group of members of the International Gilt of Battlefield Tour Guides to this part of the world in October 2010.

(2) The top of Hlobane Mountain recently burned looking almost like a lunar landscape. Had Wood and Buller done proper reconnaissance, they would've known how difficult the plateau could be scouted on horseback.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]0-;.
Photo's by Johann


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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 12, 2010 9:46 am

During my visit to Hlobane I noticed a stone wall stretching right across the plataeu of Hlobane mountain. I was wondering whether this is a post war farming excercise or whether there are any records of it having been there during the battle. I am not referring to the walls at Devil's pass or on the other access points.
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PostSubject: hlobane    The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 12, 2010 10:50 am

hi Johann.
I cant recall reading about a fence across Hlobane during the battle . If it was there , you would think they would
have used it for cover or as a rallying point to cover the withdrawl , and therefore it would have been mentioned
as an important part of the action .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 12, 2010 9:41 pm

I think Ken Gillings or Neil would be able to explain this. Its new to me. It doesn't look man made. I have read quite a few books on this Battle, but never come acorss the mention of a stone wall, certainly not why been used by the troops.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 19, 2010 7:54 pm

The wall in question divides the summit into grazing camps and was evidently erected there long after the battle.

The only stone wall that exists today (on the summit) that was in situ during the time of the Battle is the one across the Devil's Pass. It was constructed by the abaQulusi to prevent their cattle from straying down the pass onto Tendeka (the so-called 'Lower Plateau') and, of course, added to the difficulties of Lt Col Buller's force when they converged on the pass.

The abaQulusi 'kraals' along the southern side of Hlobane are still clearly visible - especially after a veld fire. I'll post a couple of photos in due course.

Regards,

Ken
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 19, 2010 8:07 pm

Ken. Thanks for that must admit, I have been looking for the answer since it was posted.
Quote :
The abaQulusi 'kraals'
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 19, 2010 9:14 pm

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abaQulusi cattle walls, top of Devil's Pass.

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Cattle walls on south slope of Hlobane.

Photo’s Supplied By Ken. Gillings
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Aug 19, 2010 9:53 pm

Ken. Could to see you on the forum. Excellent photo's and of course answers the original question.
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PostSubject: hlobane    The Battle of Hlobane EmptyFri Aug 20, 2010 5:36 am

Hi all,
Thanks to Ken and Pete for sharing and posting the hlobane photo's .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 5:29 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jul 21, 2011 1:27 pm

Is it true that either Buller or Wood took some ponies back up top the top of devils passage (Some time after the action) and release them to see how they would fair getting down under their own steam.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jul 21, 2011 3:51 pm

Dave. Never heard of this. But trying to get my head around as to why it would be done. What point was he trying to prove.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jul 21, 2011 7:15 pm

Dave. Can't find anything on this. I would say it was unlikely.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jul 21, 2011 7:20 pm

Quote :
Is it true that either Buller or Wood took some ponies back :
lol!:
Dave. What would be the point. I wonder if they worn uniforms as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jul 21, 2011 8:25 pm

Thanks for your replies. Did find it a bit odd. It was on another website but didn't give to much detail.

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Jul 21, 2011 8:35 pm

Took some searching. But here you go.

Dave. Colonel Wood gives the following description of this path clambering down the " Devil's Staircase " that led to the lower plateau,

" In May, 1880, when on the mountain, I turned the ponies loose and drove them down, allowing them time to pick their way. Nevertheless, one only got down without a fall, and though none were hurt, some rolled for thirty or forty yards on losing their foothold, as, after jumping from the higher crags, they landed on the narrow ledges of rock."

"Buller got into touch with Russell, somewhere apparently about 8 a.m. The latter had got as far as the lower plateau of Inhlobana at 7. Viewing the path just described from below he decided that it was totally impracticable for horsemen, and consequently made no attempt to take his party by it to the upper plateau. Being unable to see what was occurring on that part of the mountain"


Source:" The Mountain of Valour," Pearson's Magazine, 1896." "LIFE OF GENERAL THE RIGHT HON. SIR REDVERS BULLER V.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G."
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyThu Feb 23, 2012 10:12 am

A new perspective.

http://natalia.org.za/Files/27/Natalia%20v27%20article%20p42-68%20C.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle of Hlobane   The Battle of Hlobane EmptyWed Sep 18, 2013 10:24 pm

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