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“you must need refreshment after such glorious fatigue.” They both commenced chatting together in the midst of the bullets flying about on all sides. Immediately afterwards, Colonel Cavaignac was summoned away, one of his officers—Captain Magagnoz—who had received a shot a few paces off, had sent for him ; it was to commend his mother and sister to his care, and to place his cross of the legion of honour in his hands, thus mingling the sentiment of military honour with the tenderest emotions of his heart.
The portal of this fatal gorge was at last opened; the ground suddenly widened, and the mountains with which the column was surrounded, appeared like a level plain in comparison with the perpendicular rocks by which we had just passed. The Kabyles still followed us, but a brilliant charge of the entire cavalry, put an end to this obstinate conflict, which had extended over two days. In the evening we were quietly established at the Souk-el-Sebt (the Saturday market) of the Beni-Chaïbs. That day's dead were now buried, and a Roman sepulchre hidden beneath some roselaurels, became the tomb of M. de Nantes, an officer of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, whose body had been carried since the previous evening, lashed to his horse's back. The Roman monument failed to save his remains from mutilation. A few months afterwards, passing over the same ground, we found that his tomb had been profaned.
On the 21st, General Changarnier commanded a permanent halt; the care required by the wounded made it a duty to grant some repose to the troops. Moreover, after these two days' inveterate fighting with this small column, sixty leagues from Milianah, surrounded with enemies, he meditated one of those bold strokes which would strike terror in the population, and insure the success of the expedition. During the night, a battalion of infantry composed of Chasseurs d’Orleans, of Zouaves, and of the 26th Regiment of the line, set out under Commander Forey, with instructions to support the cavalry who were about to attempt a razzia. The General had received intelligence from his spies, disclosing the place where the flocks and women of all those who had fought against us were assembled. His orders were given immediately; success justified his boldness, and eight hundred prisoners, together with twelve thousand head of cattle, brought into camp, filled it with joy and abund
The conflict was terminated, the little body of French troops had broken down every obstacle and by throwing a passage through those“ Ravines of Death,” as the Arabs call them, had nobly sustained its ancient renown. Seldom had African soldiers been exposed to severer trials; seldom had any soldiers shown more courage and cool determination. On the 22nd, the victorious troops broke up the bivouac without fear of molestation. The march was fatiguing. Beneath a fiery sun, on went the long train of wounded men, some of them carried by the soldiers themselves; then came the flocks, and lastly the prisoners; as in the triumphal processions of old, the conquered followed the chariots of the conquerors. In this order the column advanced through fifty leagues of country amidst the astonished population, who could scarcely believe that a handful of Frenchmen had crossed the mountains amidst the bullets of the Kabyles, overthrowing their enemies, and punishing those who had ventured to attack them. This was to be accounted for by the fact that soldiers, officers, and general, all had nobly staked their lives on success; the chief had known how to command, the soldiers how to understand and obey. From that time forth, the memory of this struggle conferred on all engaged in it a glorious renown, and he at once claims respect who can say “I was at Oued Foddha!""
By the month of July, 1843, eight months after all these struggles, the General had received thc definite submission of the Kabyle tribes of Ouar Senis. He returned to Milianah to commence a general inspection, and there all these brave troops, with faces bronzed by the sun, marched past before him, still covered with the dust of the road, but still presenting a fine, imposing, and proud appearance.
The war in the province had now been brought to a close ; from Teniet-el-Had and Milianah, from the Desert to Algiers, "there was nothing”—to use the Arab expression—“but peace and good.” Abd-el-Kader could no longer write: _“You possess nothing in Africa but the ground on which your soldiers actually stand.” Everywhere our authority was recognised by the tribes, and tranquillity seemed about to settle over the country. Unforeseen circumstances at this time, compelled the General to ask for his recall to France. I well remember how the Arab chiefs on our way from Milianah to Algiers, came forward to greet him, and there was one in particular, a caïd of the Hadjoutes, in whom I recognised an old acquaint
We talked of the numerous razzias, the coups de main, night after night, by which his tribe had been reduced to submission.
66 His name is a
with us,” said he, speaking of the General, “ "signifies the overthrow of pride, the conqueror of enemies ; * and he has earned it." He then pointed to the long line of mountains skirting the province of Mitidja from Chenouan down to the sea. “When a storm comes," he continued, “the lightning runs in a second along that chain of mountains, diving into all its recesses. It was thus with his glance when he wished to find us out. Directly he had seen us the bullet reaches not its aim sooner than did he.” And the old Arab was right. The distinguishing characteristic of General Changarnier in war, rapid and accurate judgment, and indomitable energy; he has the true qualities of a commander. In the presence of any danger, his courage increases; all who approach him, then become inoculated with his vigour of mind, and success no longer appears doubtful. He first showed what he was at Constantine, and from that time forth the General has never for a single day derogated from the high reputation which he then so gloriously earned. If ever the reader should find
* The Arabs called General Changarnier the Changarli, the Changarlo. Changar is an Arabic root, signifying to conquer, to overthrow. Ma changarch alina. “Do not overthrow, crush me.”