Quite a few casuties.
"MR. W. E. FORSTER I hope, Sir, I may be allowed to anticipate the usual order of the Questions, and ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he can satisfy the anxiety of the House by giving us the actual official information received by the Government to-day from the Cape?
SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH The telegram has already been published in the Press this afternoon by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary of State for War; but probably the House will desire me to read it. I have also a telegram addressed to myself from Government House, Capo Town, giving information on other points. I will read it first, as it is the shorter one. It is dated Cape Town, April 7th, 1879— No news from High Commissioner's camp since last mail. Postmaster at Pietermaritzburg telegraphed to Under Colonial Secretary, Cape Town, 4th April: High Commissioner and Staff 30 miles beyond Newcastle, on road to Standerton, 31st March; all well. Lord Chelmsford has successfully relieved Ekowe, and brought away garrison safely. Relieving force under Lord Chelmsford left Fort Tenedos 29th March. Attacked by enemy, about 12,000 strong, at Gingihlovo, 2nd April; completely defeated them. General continued march to Ekowe with part of column; reached it 3rd April. I understand particulars of engagement have been telegraphed by Sir Henry Bulwer. That telegram I will read shortly— Colonel Hopton, Fort Tenedos, telegraphs to me, 6th April—General and Staff all well. Pearson and Ekowe garrison now encamped 15 miles hence, and will come here to-morrow. Transport Clyde wrecked off Dyer's Island and sunk; all on board safe and unhurt; troops taken on board Her Majesty's ship Tamar; proceed to Durban to-day; all other Infantry re-inforcements landed at Durban; also 17th Lancers by England. Loss of Puller's men at Hlobane less than newspapers reported. Telegram from Maritzburg, 3 p.m. to-day, states: General, Commodore, and Staff arrived at Fort Pearson noon to-day. Then there is a telegram from the Colonial Secretary, Cape Town, to myself, dated 7th April 1879— The Lieutenant Governor of Natal, Sir Henry Bulwer, desires me to communicate the following message, which he has received from Colonel Hopton, at Fort Pearson, Tugela River:—'I am directed by Lord Chelmsford to send the following communication:—The re- 834 lieving column under Lord Chelmsford formed laager near Gingihlovo on the afternoon of the 1st April. Very heavy rain throughout evening and night. At 6 a.m. on the 2nd, Zulus attacked laager, on each side in succession—two distinct forces employed. Enemy advanced in most courageous manner, but never got within 20 yards of shelter trench. At 7.30 a.m. the attack was repulsed, and the enemy retired precipitately, followed for some miles by mounted Infantry and Natives under Barrow and Barton, and Nettleton's regiment of Natal contingent. Sabres of the mounted Infantry did great execution. The fight was witnessed from Ekowe, and Colonel Pearson, flashing signals, congratulated General on success. Casualties—Lieutenant Johnson, Privates J. Smith and Lawrence, 99th, Private R. Marshall, 91st, and Private J. J. Pratt, 60th Rifles, killed. Colonel Northey, 60th Rifles, and Dr. Longfield, of Her Majesty's ship Tenedos, dangerously wounded. Major Barrow, of the 19th Hussars, and Captain Hinxman, 57th, slightly wounded. Twenty soldiers and sailors wounded; one Native killed, and 10 wounded. There were 471 bodies of Zulus counted within 1,000 yards of the laager. The long grass and bushes helped their approach and assisted their retreat. Total loss must have been double. Portions of 11 regiments are known to have taken part—viz., Ngoxamonosi, Uvemmsityu, Unambonambu, Zulwana, Nokenka, Nodwena, and others. Prisoners state that 195 companies were engaged, which, at 60 men each, would give 11,000. Dabulmanzu, mounted, led the final attack. Somapo was in chief command. Lord Chelmsford intends to abandon Ekowe, both roads being very difficult of approach. He will establish a permanent post on the coast road. Gingihlovo laager will be reduced to permit its being held by a garrison. The General goes to Ekowe to-morrow with three regiments and carts. Prisoners state that messengers arrived yesterday with news of Colonel Wood's victory on the 29th. Since the foregoing message was received, further intelligence has arrived from the Natal Government that Lord Chelmsford has relieved Colonel Pearson at Ekowe, and has returned with the whole garrison to his camp.
MR. W. E. FORSTER May I ask, in regard to the news which has appeared in the different newspapers as to the battle at Luneberg with Colonel Wood's division, and which leaves some doubt, as to whether it is a new attack, or whether it is a more detailed account of the attack of which we have already heard?
COLONEL STANLEY I have not compared the telegram in the newspapers with the official account; but I am inclined to think, and I have reason to believe, that it refers to the attack of which we have already heard.
COLONEL STANLEY said: With the permission of the House, I would wish 835 to supplement the statement of my right hon. Friend (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach). I was under the impression that the telegram I received was the same as that sent to the Colonial Office; but I find this is not so. I have received this morning from Colonel Bellairs, the Deputy Adjutant General at Durban, the following telegram:— Intelligence of important victories gained by Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Wood having reached me, have taken it upon myself to arrange for mail to leave Cape Town one day earlier, and to call specially at St. Vincent, enabling you to receive the news earlier than viâ Madeira. Colonel Wood's despatches state that on the 29th Inhlobani successfully attacked. Some thousand cattle taken by mounted Corps and Natives; but Zulus, 20,000 strong, coming up, we suffered considerable losses, and cattle were re-taken. Weatherley's corps cut up and all killed, with the exception of Captain Denison and a few men; also three fives Frontier Horse, under Captain Barton, Coldstream Guards, only seven escaping. Eleven officers and 80 men are returned killed, including Captains Campbell and Barton, Coldstream Guards; Lieutenant Williams, 58th; Colonel Weatherley, Captain Rice Hamilton, Lieutenants Von Steiten, Cronlys, Pool, and Weatherley; and Messrs. Piet Uys and Lloyd, of Colonial Corps. Colonel Wood's horse killed under him on 29th. The Zulu Army, the regiment of which had come from Ulundi, attacked Kambulama camp. Action commenced 1.30 p.m.; lasted four hours; enemy driven off, and pursued by mounted troops seven miles. Their loss very heavy, 500 bodies lying close into camp; 300 fire-arms, including several Martini-Henry rifles, picked up. Enemy advanced close up, some even penetrating into cattle laager. Our casualties, 80 killed, two wounded. Lieutenants Nicolson, R.A., and Bright, 90th, killed; Major Hackett and Lieutenant Smith, 90th, dangerously wounded; Captains Gardner, 14th Hussars, Cox and Persse, 13th Foot, slightly wounded. Natives nearly all deserted. Unymana, King's Minister, and chief commander, did not come under fire. The remainder of the telegram is what my right hon. Friend has read."
Source: HANSARD 1803–2005