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 Durnfords retreat.

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rusteze

rusteze


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Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Aug 21, 2017 6:49 pm

I must say I warm to Durnford much more than I warm to Chelmsford. In particular I think the grit and perseverance he showed in 1873 was remarkable even though the result did not endear him to colonial society. In 1878/79 his greatest achievement, in my view, was to create the native contingents in a very short space of time. But again he was undermined by the quality of characters placed in subordinate roles. They were also chronically underarmed because of the fears of the colonial population. Given that the imperial forces were significantly under strength for the task in hand, i think this was crucial and Durnford recognised it. Had the NNC battalions performed as well as his own Native Horse the outcome may have been different.

Steve
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xhosa2000

xhosa2000


Posts : 1186
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Aug 21, 2017 6:50 pm

However, on the 22nd January 1879, it could be argued by some (and not necessarily by me) that his military career was far from remarkable and it got worse as the day wore on....

Sime.. Hmmm... Can't see myself arguing against that statement, except to say that even on that
fateful day AWD sold himself dearly and certainly bought time for other's. he organised and carried out
a splendid text book withdrawal and duly organised one of the largest ' last stand's '.

I really find it hard, and i must confess a bit irritated by the continual comparison to GAC. Anthony was
a kind compassionate and even sensitive soul.. and i think Custer was the complete opposite, a vain
glorious pompous nutjob who found genocide to his liking, a complete anathema to all around him,
not afraid to disobey any direct order until in the end he was slapped down, his wife Libby i believe
intervened with Sheridan to restore to him a command. at the battle of the greasy grass he threw
his column commanders under the bus, leaving Reno in the lurch and Benteen off on his famous scout
to the left. needless to say the ammunition he was so desperate for... never arrived. and he was
killed, the squaws are said to have put awl's through his ears in order that he could hear better in
the afterlife. this is just my opinion, there are ( i know ) people on here who are really into Custer.and
will no doubt tell me if i have any facts wrong. thanks for your reply. xhosa
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SRB1965

SRB1965


Posts : 896
Join date : 2017-05-13
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Location : Uttoxeter - the last place God made and he couldn't be bothered to finish it.....

Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Aug 21, 2017 7:28 pm

Hi,

It could be because they both had moustaches......

GAC was all of those things that you mention (and probably a good deal more) I'm not sure if it was Libby who interceded on his behalf, I know that Terry and Sheridan helped smooth the water between Grant and him.

It was not the first time that he left someone in the lurch, some officer and a patrol was abandoned earlier in his career (can't remember his name) but it caused a lot of ill feeling within the 7th and Benteen thought he was doing it again to LBH.

It didn't help that it was not a particularly unified command in the 7th (thanks to GAC's favouritism)

Strangely enough until a few years ago (at west Point) officer cadets are given a 'blind' wargame scenario, with the same objectives as GAC at LBH and they invariably devise a - plan similar to one used on the day.

I have read about the spikes in his ears (and also another mutilation - involving an arrow...which was concealed from Libby)

I don't think Benteens ammo would have helped much. I spose he went in with a proven plan (that worked before) but when something went wrong - 'Custers Luck' finally deserted him.....and he was unable to retrieve the situation....even if Benteen and Reno (if sober enough) would have rallied to him, I think they were still in trouble....

Cheers

Sime
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SRB1965

SRB1965


Posts : 896
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Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Aug 21, 2017 8:10 pm

Steve,

I think another 'fault' with the NNIC, was that fact that it was insisted that they were organised and drilled (to some degree) along European lines. They would have been better employed, fighting in an irregular tribal way, under their own leaders (OK maybe the 'battalion' or 'company' commanders would be European).

Somewhere I have the book 'Black Soldiers of the Queen' which is really good on the subject of the NNIC/NNMC.

Cheers

Sime
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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyTue Aug 22, 2017 5:48 am

SRB1965
Sime , it was Major Joel Elliott who Custer as you say through under the bus , along with 10 - 15 Soldiers from memory , and again from memory was it the Sandy Creek Massacre or the Battle of Washita ? .
90th agree
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SRB1965

SRB1965


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Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyTue Aug 22, 2017 8:51 am

90th wrote:
SRB1965
Sime ,  it was Major Joel Elliott who Custer as you say through under the bus , along with 10 - 15 Soldiers from memory ,  and again from memory was it the Sandy Creek Massacre or the Battle of Washita ? .
90th agree

Hi 90th, yeah that's right, it was Elliot.....now you mention it, I think it was after Washita.....I was trying to remember from a couple of documentaries' on TV, I watched a while ago.

Thanks a lot

Sime
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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyTue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am

Hi Sime
I was a Custer phile until the zulu war took over back in 2005 or so . I have quite a few books on the American West , but havent looked at one in 12 years I just remembered !!! , several I havent even read to be honest Shocked Shocked
90th
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SRB1965

SRB1965


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyTue Aug 22, 2017 11:34 am

Hi,

I find LBH fascinating probably for the same reason as Isandlwana - the fact that the evidence is sketchy (or almost non existant in the case of LBH) - except from the victors (who were largely ignored).

The Archaeological investigation & evidence (particularly the forensic side of it) from LBH is far superior (perhaps due to the nature of the soil) than Isandlwana.

I spose being a 'young' nation with lots of recent wars (on home territory) - AWI, ACW, Indian Wars etc they look after their battlefields better. Where as in the old world we have neither the living space nor real interest to maintain ours.

In the UK we have no defining point in our history (AWI, ACW, The Alamo - in case of Texas) - 1066 was so long ago and the ECW did not really change much (for most of the population).

Whilst I have your ear - do the Aussies make a big deal about Eureka Stockade or it largely forgotten - albeit nothing as major (or defining) as the American battles mentioned above.

Cheers

Sime
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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyTue Aug 22, 2017 2:17 pm

Hi Sime
I doubt anyone out here in Australia under the age of 30 has even heard of the Eureka Stockade , it , was after all , only a relatively small affair compared to defining moments in history of many other nations . As important as it was to the Miner's of the time , it doesnt really have the air of a major confrontation .
90th Salute
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SRB1965

SRB1965


Posts : 896
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyTue Aug 22, 2017 4:13 pm

Strange that - it was one of the display games, I used to put on at wargames conventions/show around the UK (about 20 years ago)....it used to be good fun....'Crimean War' British and the less flamboyant 'Wild West' figures for the miners....

Spose it was more of riot than a battle........

Thanks a lot

Sime
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xhosa2000

xhosa2000


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyThu Aug 31, 2017 1:25 pm

Durnford's reputation as a maverick, reckless commander as we know can
be traced back to BRP... but even then all was not as it seemed.. IK. sent
me this booklet a couple of years ago i guess.. it show's the preliminary
sketch of his famous painting of the BRP incident.. the author makes the
case that the Shepstone's suppressed the truth and pressured the artist to
produce a ' sanitised ' version. thus the first scape goating of Durnford.

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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyThu Aug 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Hi Les
Last Nov when Ian and a few of us went to SA , we where fortunate enough to meet Graham Dominy who showed us the Rocket Trough they have in the Pietermaritzberg Museum , he also showed us the Original sketch done of The Bushmans River pass incident , we had a room to ourselves so we where able to touch and handle the Rocket Trough along with Rockets as well , it was a great morning . Unfortunately this Months trip has been cancelled.
90th Very Happy
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xhosa2000

xhosa2000


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyThu Aug 31, 2017 6:18 pm

Hiya mate, i would have loved to have got my hand's on that rocket trough as
well as a live rocket, there's a few on my street i would like to see running for
their lives. Joker soz about your trip i'm guessing it was a numbers thing, but
that's more pennies for sag's innit. Wink xhosa
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SRB1965

SRB1965


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyThu Aug 31, 2017 6:26 pm

Hi

Just out of interest is the trough in PM Museum, one from Isandlwana and if not were the (3?) troughs from Isandlwana ever recovered/found or were they trashed by the Zulus?

Cheers

Sime
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xhosa2000

xhosa2000


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyThu Aug 31, 2017 7:11 pm

Hi Sime, i'm sure the 90th will tell you, but from memory i seem to recall
the rev Charles Johnson clearing away a rocket when he was settling his
church at Isandhlwana. xhosa
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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyFri Sep 01, 2017 10:44 am

Hi Sime
The Rocket trough in the PM Museum is from Fort Cherry on the Middle Drift , where Durnford was initially before he was ordered to move to RD . I'm not 100 % sure but I dont think the Rocket Troughs was recovered from Isandlwana , but I may be having a senior moment ! . Les is correct , at least a couple of Rockets were found post war , by , from memory , the Rev Johnson .
90th
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyFri Sep 01, 2017 2:17 pm

Coincidentl Ive been having a similar discussion of line with a forum member. Rockets were spread all over the battlefield. Davies comments on sending his men to collect boxes and then dumping them on the plain because they were to heavy.
There are 2 reports of mules running around with rocket panniers strapped on.
Then of course there is the only recorded case of a rocket t Isandlwana actually doing its job:

"“On a certain Sunday, just at the scanty congregation was gathering for worship in the school-church grass hut which also did duty as a store-room on occasions when there was anything to store, a huge rocket which had been dropped by the rocket-battery when that unit was cut to pieces by the Zulus in the battle of Isandhlwane, caught fire from some burning grass, and came with a swoop and a roar right into the little camp”.

With thanks to Ymob for the above.

There was also two rockets found by the proprietor of the hotel down on the Durnford Donga ( The first Hotel in the area) One was dug out of the donga and one was found on the plain and given to Ryder Haggard.

In the iSandlwana tourist centre there is a rocket reputably found at iSandlwana, and tht could easily be the one refered to by 90th as being found by Johnson.

Cheer

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xhosa2000

xhosa2000


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyFri Sep 01, 2017 7:43 pm

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Tellgryn




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Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 2:06 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
However, on the 22nd January 1879, it could be argued by some (and not necessarily by me) that his military career was far from remarkable and it got worse as the day wore on....

Sime.. Hmmm...  Can't see myself arguing against that statement, except to say that even on that
fateful day AWD sold himself dearly and certainly bought time for other's. he organised and carried out
a splendid text book withdrawal and duly organised one of the largest ' last stand's '.

I really find it hard, and i must confess a bit irritated by the continual comparison to GAC. Anthony was
a kind compassionate and even sensitive soul.. and i think Custer was the complete opposite, a vain
glorious pompous nutjob who found genocide to his liking, a complete anathema to all around him,
not afraid to disobey any direct order until in the end he was slapped down, his wife Libby i believe
intervened with Sheridan to restore to him a command. at the battle of the greasy grass he threw
his column commanders under the bus, leaving Reno in the lurch and Benteen off on his famous scout
to the left. needless to say the ammunition he was so desperate for... never arrived.  and he was
killed, the squaws are said to have put awl's through his ears in order that he could hear better in
the afterlife. this is just my opinion, there are ( i know ) people on here who are really into Custer.and
will no doubt tell me if i have any facts wrong. thanks for your reply. xhosa        

xhosa you are correct, Custer is nothing like Durnford. Custer was a glory hound, covered up many things done wrong by him and his brother Tom. Durnford is a far better person, kind and compassionate as you posted. Durnford gave his life trying to help others, Custer send others in harm's way to get a tactical edge like Reno at the Little Big Horn and in the two cases he promised support and ran off. That is the reason when people compare the two as the same, it appears they know nothing of Custer. I have studied the Civil War since the mid 1960's and the Louisiana troops in the Army of Northern Viriginia since the mid 70's, those troops had a run in with Custer at Appomattox, Custer is a buffer. He lost some artillery to the Louisiana troops just before the surrender and while the truce was on for the surrender he dashed across the field of battle and demanded his artillery back. He was refused by the Louisiana commander, this goes to Custer's buffing nature, which came from his card playing. I can go into long stories of Custer and card playing.

The Little Big Horn battle has much in common with Isandlwana, but also has much that is not common. Benteen scout to no where is due to Benteen is in the lead that day, by sending him off it puts the Custer circle in the lead. Else wise Custer would have been with the Benteen group at last stand hill.

Durnford is being judged by many with 20/20 hindsight and most are totally wrong.

Drunford is much wronged man in these books we have on our selves.

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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 3:02 pm

Tellgryn
I have to tell you that your response to Xhosa five years on, is too late as he is no longer with us.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 3:04 pm

Tellgryn
Xhosa / John Benson/ Les Knight died a few weeks ago so will not be responding Im afraid. However i do know that you have my book and would hope that you would agree that I have treated Anthony Durnford with respect.

Frank
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 3:09 pm

And I think that Durnford has been dealt a poor hand by historians...
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 3:29 pm

Something I wrote at the conclusion of my article on Durnford published nearly thirty years ago:

…In death he is as much an enigma, as in life he was a conundrum.  Like his close friend Charles Gordon, he received a martyr's death, facing enemies with whom he had a marked affinity.  Many have spoken since Isandlwana both in praise and to the detriment of Durnford.  I will not sit in judgement of Anthony William Durnford.  However close to where he died is the memorial to the Natal Carbineers who perished that day, and if I may misquote it - neither praise nor blame add to his epitaph.

JY
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Durnfords retreat. - Page 6 EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 3:31 pm

Well-spoken John.
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