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French school of horsemanship. Who would have expected to meet in these wilds, and in the midst of untameable Arabs, a representative of the petite ecurie of Versailles, without his equal in the world! But the Colonel was not content to be the best horseman in the army, he was universally esteemed for his courage; and from the spot where we stood we could see Ain Tesemsil, the plateau of Serrssous, upon which General Changarnier had ordered a razzia, which was executed by the Colonel with equal audacity and success. On the 1st of July, 1842, just as General Changarnier was establishing himself in bivouac, his scouts informed him, that from the summit of the heights, an immense crowd of Arab emigrants could be seen flying towards the south. The General proceeded to reconnoitre, and on his return, sent out Colonel Kerte and his two hundred and twenty chasseurs, his only cavalry, to fall upon these people. In case of a repulse, he was supported by the Zouaves. Horsemen, camels, women, children, and herds, formed a multitude extending over nearly three leagues of country, and protected by upwards of fifteen hundred horse. The slightest hesitation on the part of Colonel Kerte would have been fatal; relying, therefore, on the terror invariably inspired among tho Arabs by the mounted chasseurs, he boldly charged across the line of emigrants, cutting off a large square, which he drove back upon the column. The shots exchanged were numerous, and many of our men were left on the field, but at last making a rampart of the camels, bearing palanquins used according to the custom of the south to carry the women and children of the families of distinction, the chasseurs succeeded in bringing back to the camp two thousand camels, eighty head of cattle, an immense booty, and a great number of prisoners.
While we were being told the history of this razzia, or rather coup de main, justly renowned throughout the province of Algiers, we arrived at the new station. Teniet-el-Had, the Sunday Gorge, so called from a market held by the Arabs on that day, had been only two months in the occupation of our troops. No buildings had yet been erected, and a simple ditch and mound protected the soldiers encamped beneath the tents of the military administration; but the air was wholesome, and the spirits of the soldiers excellent, so there were but few sick in the hospital. Through the attention of the General, who had two days before despatched a courier with an
order to that effect, our columns found, on their arrival, a supply of new bread baked in ovens, which are built in a few hours, with clay and branches of trees. Our halt was not prolonged beyond the time necessary for taking rations, making up the supply of ammunition, and consigning the captured flocks to the administration.* The General was anxious to lose no time in returning to the mountains. Accordingly, on the 25th, all these duties having been performed, we again took the road to Ouar Senis. The lesson which had been given to a portion of the tribes had taken effect upon the remainder; for a great number came forward to offer their submission, and we should have received the submission of the whole, had not the failure of our provisions compelled us to return, on the 7th of June, to Milianah. We remained here only a few days, and on the 15th the column set out again to complete the task they had commenced.
* The amusing operation of counting takes place thus : Two ranks of soldiers form two sides of a triangle. At the apex the two last men hold up a ramrod, and the sheep driven into this gorge, are compelled to leap over it. At each leap one of the men counts them, and thus the number delivered is easily ascertained.
SUBMISSIONS were coming in from all sides. The General now visited in a friendly character, and accompanied by the chiefs of the tribes, the same territory in which, scarcely a year before, when all these tribes rushed upon a thousand men in the frightful gorges of the Oued Foddha, it had required all his courageous skill, and the devotedness of his soldiers, to escape the greatest peril in which a column had ever stood in Africa. Chance led us to the scene of this terrible conflict, with a portion of the troops who had fought during those two days, and we shall give here, instead of the monotonous description of our pacific march, the reminiscences of the battle of the Oued Foddha, which we collected on the scene of action itself.
Within four days' march from Milianah, in the midst of the valley of the Cheliff, the ruins of an ancient Roman fortification are still extant, to record the power of the ancient conquerors of the country. At the foot of these walls, not far from a broad expanse of stubble and dried grass, a number of delightful gardens, filled with orange, pomegranate, and a variety of other fruit trees, and watered by limpid springs, seem to invite a halt, while the long vine branches spreading from tree to tree, and interlacing with their foliage, form a vaulted shelter, offering its cool shade to the weary traveller. It was in this spot that General Changarnier's column, composed of four thousand two hundred infantry, three hundred regular cavalry, and four hundred Arab horsemon, was reposing after its numerous marches beneath a burning sun, in the month of September, 1842, at the same time protecting by its presence the newly surrendered tribes, and granting aman to those who flocked in large numbers to seek it. The troops had been some time at El Arour, * when a letter from our agha in the south reached the camp. Threatened by Abd-el-Kader, Ahmeur ben-Ferrah sought the assistance of General Changarnier, entreating him to make all haste to join him, if he would not soon hear of the ruin and massacre of the tribes to whom France