Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

and think that that man, in the the whole of this time they had midst of all that wretchedness and had to contend against the great semi-starvation, was contemplating heat of a Nubian summer ; but the conquest of Egypt, and then the frontier officers were seasoned of the world, is a fact which makes men, and stood the heat as well such large demands on one's im- as the native soldiers. Serra had agination that one has to put it been the scene of an act of great aside. The recollection that other personal bravery on the part of great movents in this world an English officer, which it is a have begun from germs as insig- pleasure to record. It will well nificant, does not in the least explain the kind of warfare they reconcile one to the idea.

were engaged in. Bimbashi Judge, On the 17th July the Sirdar of the 13th battalion, had been returned towards Assuân, while ordered to land at Serra village on the following day the troops with fifty men, as a strong party from Cairo began to arrive at of dervishes threatened an attack Toski and occupied the village. there. He landed his men, and Toski is 25 miles from Bellâna; taking twelve of them with him, he between the two lies the famous proceeded on foot to the western temple of Abu Simbel. On the side of the village, to see if there 25th Makîn-el-Nur and Ali-Wad. was any sign of the enemy. SudSaâd arrived at Bellâna, and denly a number of the enemy's pitched their camp, a little to cavalry appeared from behind the the south of Wad-el-Najůmi's. sand-hills. The men with him They had marched 45 miles in precipitately fell back and left thirty hours, and had therefore him alone. Calling on them to come without many provisions, stand, he fell back slowly. There though they were well supplied were seven dervish horsemen alwith transport. They brought together. Instead of charging some 500 armed men with them. down on him in a body and desOn the 28th July Wad-el-Najûmi patching him, they tried to delibermarched northwards, and pitched ately surround him. This enabled his camp opposite Abu Simbel (10 bim to use his revolver and disable miles).

three of them as they closed around Between the 2d July, the day him. By this time the fourth man, of Argin, and the 28th July, an emir, was on him. Judge, when Wad-el-Najûmi left Bellâna, finding that his sword had no Wodehouse's flying column had effect on the thick, padded coat been engaged 'in patrolling the and turban of the emir, and river by night and day, in pre- being a very tall and powerful venting the enemy from making man himself, as a last desperate any lodgment on the Nile, and resort seized the man by the in holding Bellâna village, pre- collar, tore him from his horse, pared at any moment to meet and ran his sword through him. an attack such as had been de- Just then all his men came up livered at Argin. Bellâna village and despatched the remainder of is in every way a counterpart of the enemy. The twelve men, who Argin, except that the sand-hills had suddenly lost their presence are considerably higher. At Faras of mind and deserted him, on their fort they had engaged the enemy, return to their regiment went up and compelled him to retire after to their commanding officer and a three day's occupation. During reported the matter. This was

crease.

the most distinguished encounter As far as Bellâna there had not of the campaign; but during the been many deaths among the campwhole of the time the dervishes followers of Najûmi, as there was were kept off the Nile, officers plenty of food in the camp, and and men had again and again they had always been able to personal encounters such as one water freely. During the long is accustomed to read of in ancient halt at Bellâna, however, food bewarfare, but seldom gets an oppor- came very scarce, though water tunity of witnessing in modern was plentiful. At the Bellâpa times. To prove how dangerous camp there were a few instances of it was to show any clemency to cannibalism, but from Bellâna onthe Arabs from among the enemy, wards there was a considerable inthe following incident which oc

The fighting men had curred at Bellâna will afford a food distributed to them for them good example. An English officer there was enough ; but the campof the mounted corps, returning followers had to exist as best they from a reconnaissance, saw under could. Most of those who died at a rock an Arab and two women : Bellâna inside the camp were approaching them alone, without buried, but Najûmi had now no any weapon in his hand, the officer transport for the wounded, so that called on the Arab to surrender. when he marched northwards he The Arab acquiescing, the officer left the wounded in rude tents approached within three yards of made of palm branches. The the party and told the man to drive road followed by Najůmi leaves his spears into the ground. The the camp at Bellâna by a long Arab at once sprang to his feet steep incline in heavy sand till the and made a thrust at the officer crest of the hills is reached. From with his spear; the latter with here, straight on to Toski, the road difficulty evaded the blow by is easily followed by the numbers wheeling his horse round, while of the corpses which are strewn the spear grazed his saddle. over the desert: here a child of Thereupon another English officer five or six years of age-one wonrode up and shot the Arab. The ders how he managed to come so next incident shows how ill. far from his home away in the founded was the reproach cast south; there two or three emacion the Egyptian army of un- ated women ; beyond them due severity towards the enemy. powerful soldier badly wounded This same officer, who had jeopard- in some previous encounter. In ised his life in going out of his many cases the corpses had been way to save one of the enemy, partially devoured to provide food two or three days afterwards met for the camp-followers. It is easy another Arab moving away from to distinguish the ravages comNajů mi's camp with his wife: he mitted by the few savage animals again rode up and called on the which inhabit the deserts from

to surrender, It is satis- those of human beings. At Abu factory to be able to state that Simbel camp Najûmi buried all on this occasion the Arab, in the armour he had brought with response to the officer's demand him from Khartoum, and which to surrender, handed his spears, had been carried so far to enable five in number, to his wife, and the dervishes to enter Cairo in told her to give them to the officer, triumph in a befitting manner. which she did.

By a strange irony of fate, he

man

buried these trophies almost in the had a very brilliant record to show shadow of the temple which was for the time that the frontier had constructed by an ancient Egyptian been in his guardianship. He had king to commemorate a victoryover met at Argin the very ablest of the such another foe as himself. On dervish generals, in command of the 31st July, Wad -el - Najû mi 3500 men ; he had left him at Toski marched from Abu Simbel to his with only 2000. He himself had camp at Toski (a distance of 10 lost but 20 killed and 70 wounded miles). The camp was well chosen ; out of the 2000 men under his it was the last one occupied by him. own command. His plan of cam

On the 1st of August, Wode paign had been fully, justified. house's flying column left Bellana At Toski were collected together and took up its position in Toski all the staff-officers of the Egyptian village, where the troops from Cairo army except those at Suakim. had already arrived. From this The following troops took part day Wodehouse lost his individu- in the engagement of the 3d ality, and commanded one of the August, under the command of brigades in the Sirdar's force. He General Grenfell :

The first division under Hunter Bey,

consisting of the old flying column Infantry Brigade - viz., the 9th, 10th, and 13th under Wodehouse battalions, Pasha,

The second division, consisting of the

1st, 2d, and 11th battalions,

1500

[ocr errors]

1500

3000

400

The 20th Hussars under Col. Irwin, )
Cavalry Brigade
under Kitchener Egyptian cavalry under Bimbashi
Pasha,

Beech,

| Camel corps under Bimbashi Dunning, Artillery under | Horse battery, and first and second Rundle Bey, { field batteries,

250

[blocks in formation]

Wingate Bey was Intelligence Bey and Bimbashis Cotton and officer to the force.

Jackson, had marched across the The only change which had desert from Kosseir to Kena. taken place in the flying column It is not so easy to decide what since the day of Argin was that was exactly the strength of the Lloyd Bey had taken command of enemy. The number who crossed his regiment, the 9th Sudanese the frontier had occupied at the battalion ; while Lewis Bey, who 1st camp at Argin roughly 110,000 had commanded at Argin, had been square yards of ground, at the 2d made commandant of Halfa. The camp at Argin 90,000 square yards, 2d infantry division consisted of and at Serra 90,000 square yards. new troops, which had just arrived. At Bellâna Wad-el-Najůmi's oriThe 1st battalion under Coles Bey ginal camp covered 75,000 square and Bimbashi Frith, and the 2d yards, and Makin-el-Nur's continbattalion under Shakspeare Bey gent 5000 square yards. The camp and Bimbashi Martyr, had come at Abu Simbel covered 50,000 from Cairo; while the 11th Suda- square yards, and the Toski camp nese battalion, under Macdonald 50,000 square yards. Allowing 10 square yards for each person, high mass of granite hills which the numbers of the enemy at the separated him from the Sirdar's different camps were as follows:- camp on the Nile. The distance

between the two camps was about South Argin.

11,000

five miles on the straight. The North Argin

9,000 Serra

9,000 granite hills died away gradually Bellapa

7500

as one advanced towards the northUnder Makin-el-Nur 500

east of the dervish position, or to Together

8,000 the northwest of that of the Abu Simbel

5,000

Egyptian troops, so that following Toski

5,000

a curve there was a road across The differences between these a level plain about seven miles in numbers agree fairly well with the length between the two positions. numbers of deserters and those of This plain stretched away illimitthe killed and wounded. About ably to the east and west, dotted 3000 deserters surrendered them- here and there with conical hills selves before Toski, and about and sandy mounds. It was bound3000 afterwards. The balances ed on the north, at a distance represent the losses from deaths of about five miles from either and desertions towards the south. camp, by another great mass of The numbers in the previous list granite hills traversed by a rocky contain the fighting men as well gorge running in a westerly direcas the camp-followers. About tion. Between these two masses 3500 fighting men crossed the of granite hills was fought the batfrontier under Wad -el - Najûmi, tle of Toski; while the line of and 500 under Makîn-el-Nur and retreat of the dervish forces was Ali-Wad-Saâd, making a total of due west through the gorge, to4000 men. Of these, 1000 were wards the Nile, which makes a long killed at Argin or died of wounds sweep round Abu Simbel. It was a in the camp, and about 500 were place of bad omen for the dervish killed in the thirty days' fighting leader. The temple of Abu Simbel, between Argin and Toski. The as already noted, commemorates a deserters who fled southwards brilliant victory of the Great Thothand who surrendered themselves mes over a joint army of Arabs and were very numerous, to which the blacks such as Wad - el - Najůmi steady diminution in the sizes of himself was commanding. On the camps testifies; and as every every wall of the temple the giant large body of deserters was always figure of the king is represented accompanied by a certain propor- again and again as seizing by the tion of fighting men, the number hair of their heads a number of of the fighting men who deserted pigmy enemies, half of whom have cannot have been less than 500. distinctly Arab features and half If these numbers are added to- of them Negro faces. These he is gether, it will be found that Na- on the eve of executing. Owing jůmi had with him 2000 men on probably to the death of the king the morning of the engagement occurring before the temple was at Toski. Îndependent witnesses completed, some of the chambers who had every opportunity of are unfinished. The present Govknowing the number of the enemy ernment might complete these in put them down at 2000.

memory of the successful issue of Wad-el-Najůmi's camp at Toski the Nile campaign of 1889. lay in the desert to the west of a At dawn on the morning of the

[merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »