Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
under the heavy losses.
Then it was that Pretorius did a fine piece of tactics by suddenly dashing out of the laager with a strong party of mounted Boers, and galloping round the flank of the Zulus he brought a heavy fire to bear on the enemy from a new direction. Under this cross-fire the Zulus broke up and fled, the Boers pursuing and shooting all the time. Pretorius himself was at one time on the ground having a hand-to-hand fight with a Zulu.
The Zulus took refuge in the river, but this did not avail them, and the river that day gained its name as the Blood River. Dingaan’s kraal was destroyed, and he himself fled to the neighbouring country of the Swazis; but he had no friends anywhere, and the Swazis put him to death with horrid tortures. The date of the battle was December 16, 1838, and the anniversary is still kept up of “Dingaan’s Day.”
But that was not the last of the Zulus. Isandlwana
Forty years later, in 1879, they came into opposition with the British. They were a great danger both to the Boers in the Transvaal and to the British in Natal, Zululand being wedged in between the two countries. They had been threatening for some time, when we sent to their King, Cetewayo, and told him he must disband his army as it was a menace.
When Cetewayo refused, an expedition of British troops was sent into Zululand.
The force left its camp at Isandlwana Hill to go and attack the Zulu army, leaving one battalion – the 24th – behind to protect the waggons and baggage, but the enemy dodged round behind the mountain, and while the column was looking for it in one direction it had got round behind them and was attacking their camp in the rear.
The 24th bravely defended themselves, but though They were 800 men they had warriors against them, and in the end they were all killed, with the exception of a very few who got away. But they sold their lives dearly, since nearly 3000 dead Zulus were found on the ground next day.
The same afternoon about 4000 of the Zulus started off to raid Natal, and crossed the boundary, the Buffalo River, at Rorke’s Drift, where stood a small group of mission buildings which were used as a store for military provisions, and were guarded by 230 men of the 24th Regiment under Lieutenant Bromhead and Lieutenant Chard of the Royal Engineers.
The little garrison managed to intrench themselves and to hold off the enemy’s attack all that night, so that at dawn the Zulus cleared off back into their own country, defeated, and leaving some 300 dead behind them. For their gallantry the two officers, Chaplain Smith (who acted as ammunition carrier) and several others of the defence force were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Later on the British force again came into contact with the enemy at Kambula, where a column under Colonel (now Field-Marshal) Evelyn Wood, V.C., defeated them. And again at Ulundi, where the British received their charge in square and mowed them down with a heavy fire.
Then, as the remainder fell back to prepare another charge, the Cavalry, the 17th Lancers, or “Death or Glory Boys,” dashed out and drove the enemy headlong before their terrible spears; and that was the end of the war.
Cetewayo was made a prisoner, and the Zulus were divided up into eight tribes so that they could never again rise against us as one great nation.
It is well to Be Prepared, not merely for what is probable but for what is even possible. we found the value of this some ten years later-in 1888.