From Lieutenant - General Commanding South Africa to the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for War.  
   Durban, February 9, 1879.

I HAVE the honour of forwarding certain documents which I was unable to attach to my letter of yesterday's date, sent by the " Anglian,' viz:-

(1). Copies of statement of Lieutenant-Colonel Crealock, Assistant Military Secretary.
(2). Copies of statement of Captain Allan Gardner, 14th Hussars ;
(3). Epitome of information given by natives to the Honorable W. Drummond and Mr. Longeast Head Quarter's Staff, which should be attached
to the documents connected with the Court of Enquiry ;
(4). A. copies of two letters received from Colonel Pearson; and B. Precis of my answer;
(5). Copies of reports by Colonel Wood and Lieutenant-Colonel Buller regarding the destruction of Makulusini (pronounced Bagulucini) Kraal, which was referred to in my dispatch as an enclosure also.
I have, &c.,

1. Statement of Lieutenant-Colonel J. North Crealock, Acting Military Secretary.

1. Soon after 2 A.M. on the 22nd January I received instructions from the Lieutenant-General to send a written order to Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E., commanding No. 2 Column, to the following effect (I copied it in my note-book which was afterwards lost): " Move up to Sandhlwana Camp at once with all your mounted men and Rocket Battery—take command of it. I am accompanying Colonel Glyn, who is moving off at once to attack Matyana and a Zulu force
said to be 12 or 14 miles off, and at present watched by Natal Police, Volunteers, and Natal Native Contingent. Colonel Glyn takes with him 2-24th Regiment, 4 guns R.A., and Mounted  Infantry."
2. I was. not present during the conversation between Major Clery, Staff Officer to Colonel Glyn, and the Lieutenant-General, but the evening before, about 8.30 P.M., on this officer asking the Lieutenant-General if the 1-24th " Were to reinforce Major Dartnell in the Magane Valley," he said " No."  The General received, I believe through Colonel Glyn, a subsequent representation which caused the fresh orders at 2 A.M. the 22nd, and the orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford.
3. Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E., was not under Colonel Glyn's command at this time; he had been moved from his original position before Middle Drift, with some 250 Mounted Natives, 200 of Sikalis footmen, the Rocket Battery, and one battalion of the 1st Regiment Natal Native Contingent to the Umsinga District, on the Lieutenant-General's seeing the ease with which the Natal frontier could be passed in that part of the Buffalo River. The Lieutenant-General's order was therefore sent to him by me, being the only Head Quarter Staff Officer (except the Aide-de-Camps) with him. These details formed part of No. 2 Column under his command.
4. I sent the orders to him by Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien, of 95th Foot, with directions to leave as soon as he could see his way. I expected him to find Colonel Durnford at the Bashee Valley; it was delivered and acted upon.
5. Although I was not aware at that time of the Lieutenant-General's grounds for ordering the troops from camp, yet it was evident to me that he wished to close up to the camp all outlying troops, and thus strengthen it. He would naturally also consider that the presence of an officer of Colonel Durnford's rank and corps would prove of value in the defence of a camp, if it should be attacked.
6. The Lieutenant-General had himself noticed mounted men in one direction (our left front) on the 21st. A patrol of the Mounted Infantry had found another small body of the enemy in our front, and Major Dartnell, we knew, had a strong force before him on our right front. It was evident to me that the Zulu forces were in our neighbourhood, and the General had decided, on the evening of the 21st, to make a reconnaissance to our left front.
7. It did not occur to me that the troops left in camp were insufficient for its defence. Six Companies British Infantry, 2 guns, 4 Companies Natal Contingent, 250 Mounted Natives, 200 Sikalis men, and details of Mounted Corps appeared to me—had I been asked—a proper force for the defence of the camp and its stores.
8. I subsequently heard Major Clery state that the had left precise instructions to Lieutenant-Lionel Pulleine "to defend the camp." Such instructions would, I consider, as a matter of course, be binding on Colonel Durnford on his assuming command of the camp.
9. The first intimation that reached me on the 22nd of there being a force of Zulus in the neighbourhood of the camp was between 9.30 and 10 A.M. We were then off-saddled on neck facing the Isipise range, distant some 2 miles from camp. During  the three previous hours we had been advancing with Colonel Glyn's Column against a Zulu force that fell back from hill to hill as we advanced, giving up without a shot most commanding positions. Major Clery at this time received a half sheet of foolscap with a message from Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine informing him (I think it ran) that a Zulu force had appeared on the hills on his left front. Our own attention was chiefly bent on he enemy's force retiring from the hills in our front, and a party being pursued by Lieutenant Colonel Russell three miles off. This letter was not addressed to me, and I did not note on it the time of receipt, but one I received from Colonel Russell soon after is noted by me (I think, for it is at Pietermaritzburg) as received at 10.20.
10. Lieutenant Milne, R.N., A.D.C., shortly after this descended a hill on our left, whence he had been on the look-out with a telescope. All the news he gave regarding the camp was that the cattle had been driven into camp. I believe this to have been nearly 11 A.M.
11. In the meantime information reached the General that the right of our force was smartly engaged with the enemy's left. Two companies of 2-24th and the 2nd Battalion of the Natal Native Contingent climbed the hill to our right, and, striking across the flat hill, joined the Volunteers who were still engaged. Colonel
Glyn accompanied them, having first ordered back the four guns and two Companies 2-24th to the wagon track, with instructions to join him near the Mangane Valley. He had also sent back instructions by Captain Alan Gardner, 14th Hussars, to Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine. I was not informed of their nature. I took the opportunity of ordering our own small camp to proceed and join us, as the General intended to move camp up to the Mangane Valley, as soon as arrangements could be made.
12. The 1st Battalion Natal Native Contingent had been ordered back to camp, and to skirmish through the ravines in case any Zulus were hanging about near the camp.
13. Not a sign of the enemy was now seen near us, and followed by the remaining two Companies 2-24th, we climbed the hill and followed the track taken by the others. Not a suspicion had crossed my mind that the camp was in any danger, neither did anything occur to make me think of such a thing until about 1.15, when Honourable Mr. Drummond said he fancied he had heard (and that natives were certain of it) two cannon shots. We were then moving back to choose a camp for the night, about 12 miles distant from Isandhlana. About 1.45 PM., however, a native appeared on a hill above us, gesticulating and calling. He reported that heavy firing had been going on round the camp. We galloped up to a high spot, whence we could see the camp, perhaps 10 or 11 miles distant. None of us could detect anything amiss; all looked quiet. This must have been 2 P.M.
14. The General, however, probably thought it would be well to ascertain what had happened himself, but not thinking anything was wrong, ordered Colonel Glyn to bivouac for the night where we stood; and taking with him some forty Mounted Volunteers proceeded to ride into camp.
15. Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil Russell, 12th Lancers, now joined us, and informed me that an officer of the Natal Native Contingent had come to him (about 12 noon, I think) when he was off-saddled, and asked where the General was, as he had instructions to tell him that heavy firing had been going on close to the camp. Our whereabouts was not exactly known, but the 2-24th Companies were still in sight, and Colonel Russell pointed them out, and said we were probably not far from them. This officer, however, did not come to us.
16. This information from Colonel Russell was immediately followed by a message from Commandant Brown, commanding the 1st Battalion Natal Native Contingent, which had been ordered back to camp at 9.30 A.M.—(the Battalion was halted a mile from us, and probably eight miles from camp)—to the effect that large bodies of Zulus were between him and the camp, and that his men could not advance without support. The General ordered an immediate advance of the Battalion, the Mounted Volunteers and Mounted Infantry supporting it.
17. I am not aware what messages had been sent from the camp and received by Colonel Glyn, or his Staff; but I know that neither the General nor myself had up to this time received any information but that I have mentioned.
18. At 3.15 the Lieutenant-General appeared to think that he would be able to brush through any parties of Zulus that might be in his road to the camp without any force further than that referred to, viz.:—1st Battalion Native Contingent and some 80 mounted white men.
19. At 4 P.M., however, the Native Battalion again halted, and I galloped on to order the advance to be resumed, when I met Commandant Lonsdale, who remarked to me as I accosted him, "The Zulus have the camp." "How do you know?" I asked, incredulously. " Because I have been into it," was his answer.
20. The truth was now known, and every one drew his own conclusions; mine were unluckily true, that hardly a man could have escaped. With such an enemy and with only foot soldiers it appeared to me very improbable that our force could have given up the camp until they were surrounded.
21. The General at once sent back Major Gossett, A.D.C., 54th Regiment, to order Colonel Glyn to advance at once with everyone with him. He must have been five or six miles off. It was now 4 P.M. We advanced another two miles, perhaps. The 1st Battalion, 2 Regiment, Natal Native Contingent, deployed in three ranks, the first being formed of the white men and those natives who had firearms, the Mounted Volunteers and Mounted Infantry on the flanks, with,
scouts to the front.
22. About a quarter to five we halted at a distance, I should think, of two miles from camp, but. two ridges lay between us and the camp, and with our glasses we could only observe those returning the way they had come. Colonel Russell went to the front to reconnoitre, and returned about 5.45 with a report that "All was as bad as it could be;" that the Zulus were holding the camp. He estimated the number at 7,000.
23. The troops with Colonel Glyn had pushed on with all possible speed, though the time seemed, long to us as we lay and watched the" sun sinking. At 6 P.M. they arrived, and, having been formed into fighting order, were addressed by the General. We then advanced to strike the camp and attack any one we found in our path back to Rorke's Drift.
24. I consider it but just to the Natal Native Contingent to state that it was my belief that evening, and is still the same, that the two Battalions would have gone through any enemy we met, even as our own British troops were prepared to do. I noticed no signs of wavering on their part up to sunset, when I ceased to be
able to observe them.
(Signed) J. N. CREALOCK,
Lieutenant-Colonel, A- Mil. Sec.


Statement by Captain Alan Gardner, 14th Hussars. Camp, Rorke's  Drift, January 26, 1879.

I LEFT the force with the General about 10.30 A.M., and rode back to Isandlana Camp, with the order to Lieutenant-Colonel. Pulleine to send on the camp equipage and supplies of the  troops camping out, and to remain himself at his present camp, and entrench it. Between twelve and, one o'clock I reached Isandlana, and met Captain G: Shepstone, who told me he had been sent by Colonel Durnford for reinforcements ; that his (Colonel D's) troops were heavily engaged to the left of our camp, beyond the hill, and were being driven back. We proceeded together to Colonel Pulleine. I delivered him my order; but the enemy were now in sight at the top of the hill, on our left Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine sent out two companies about half-way up-the hill, and drew up the remainder, with the two guns in action, in line, on the extreme left of our camp, and facing towards the left, from which direction the enemy were advancing in great numbers. For a short time, perhaps fifteen minutes, the Zulus were checked, but soon commenced to throw forward their left, extending across the plain on our front. We had between 30 and 40 mounted men, and I asked permission to take them down in the plain, and check the enemy's turning movement. Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine told me to do so, and I accordingly galloped them to the front, and lined the spruit running across the front of our camp. The Basutos who were previously retiring, formed line with us and the enemy halted and commenced firing from behind cover. Leaving the mounted men who were under Captain Bradstreet, I returned to Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine who had previously told me to remain with him. Shortly afterwards, observing the mounted men retiring, I rode back to ascertain the cause. Captain Bradstreet told me he had been ordered to do so by Colonel Durnford, who soon afterwards told me himself that he considered our position too extended, and wished to collect all the troops together. But it was now too late. Large masses of the enemy were already in the camp and completely surrounded the men of the 24th Regiment. Numbers of these were also on the road to Rorke's Drift. The guns limbered up and attempted to retire to the left of that road, but were surrounded and overturned. The few mounted men remaining retreated up the small hill on the right rear of the camp, but were soon surrounded by the enemy advancing from the left and front. Many were killed. A few of us managed to escape by riding down the hill on the right, but many were shot riding along the narrow valley, and more drowned and shot in crossing the Buffalo. When I saw all was lost, I sent an order by a Basuto to the officer on Rorke's Drift, telling him to fortify and hold the house. I also sent a similar order to Helpmakaar.. We reached Helpmakaar about five P.M., and near a laager round the Commissariat Stores I endeavoured to obtain a messenger to go to Colonel E. Wood, as I feared the General's force would be cut off, and hoped he, Colonel Wood, might be in time to lend his assistance. No one would go, the Basutos saying they did not know the way. So on the return of the two companies who had started for Rorke's Drift, I decided on going myself, and riding all night reached Utrecht about four o'clock the next day. I then got a messenger to go to Colonel Wood and returned myself to Helpmakaar. On the road, learning that Colonel Glyn's head-quarters were at Rorke's Drift, I proceeded thither. I trust I may not be thought, presumptuous if I state my opinion, that had there been a regiment or even two squadrons of cavalry the disaster at Isandlana would not have occurred. The enemy's advance across our front which was requisite in order to turn our right was in extremely loose order, the ground was an open plain and could easily have been cleared by a determined charge. The enemy's shooting was so indifferent that our loss would .have been - very small. -The result moreover of a cavalry charge would have had a very different effect on the enemy's morale to the retreating fire of mounted skirmishers, and I feel confident we could have held our own till the return of the General's force.
Captain, 14th Hussars, Staff Officer, 3rd Column.

3. Information received from Umtegolalo, a Zulu well known to Mr. Longeast, Interpreter to the Lieutenant-General, found wounded at Rorke's
Drift on the 23rd January.
   Statement made by Natives regarding the Action of the 22nd January, at the Sandhlwana Hill.

   THE Zulu army had, on the day of the 21st January, been bivouacked between the Upindo and Babmango Hills, from which position a portion of them were able to see our mounted men, viz., the Natal Carabineers and the Mounted Police, on the Ndhlaza Kazi Hill, and were seen by them.
The army consisted of the Undi Corps, the Nokenke and Umcityu Regiments, and the Nkobamakosi and Inbonambi Regiments, who were severally about 3000, 7000, and 10,000 strong, being the picked troops of the Zulu army.
   During the night of the 21st January, they were ordered to move in small detached bodies to a position about a mile and a half to the east of the camp at Sandhlwana, on a stony table-land about 1000 yards distant from and within view of the spot visited by Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Glyn on the afternoon of the 21st January.
On arriving at this position, they were ordered to remain quiet, not showing themselves or lighting fires. Their formation was as follows:—The centre was occupied by the Undi Corps ; the right wing by the Nokenke and Umcityu ; and the left by the Inbonambi and the Nkobama Kosi Regiments.
   Their orders from the King were to attack Colonel Glyn and No. 3 Column, and to drive it back across the boundary river. They had, however, no intention whatever of making any attack on the 22nd January, owing to the state of the moon being  unfavourable from a superstitious point of view. The usual sprinkling of the warriors with medicine previous to an engagement had not taken place, nor had the war song been sung, or the religious ceremonies accompanying been performed. They were going to make their attack either during the night of the 22nd or at daylight on the 23rd, and, trusting in their number, felt quite secure of victory.
When, on the morning of the 22nd January the mounted Basutos, under the command of Colonel Durnford, R.E., discovered their position and fired at a portion of the Umcityu Regiment, that regiment immediately sprung up without orders, and charged. It was at once followed by the Nokenke, Inbonambi, and Nkobamakosi Regiments, the Undi Corps holding its ground.
   Up to this point in the day there had been no fighting. Early in the morning, soon after the departure of Colonel Glyn and the troops with him, a bod (probably a company of the Natal Native Contingent) had been ordered to scout on the left, but do riot seem to have come upon the enemy. About nine A.M. (approximately), Colonel Durnford arrived with 250 mounted men and 250 Native Infantry, who were at once divided into three bodies, one being sent to the left, east (who came into contact with the Umcityu Regiment), one to the left front, and one to the rear, along the wagon-road (which is supposed to have gone after the baggage wagons brought up by Colonel Durnford,R.E).
   At this period of the day the position of the troops was as follows. They were drawn up to the left of the Native Contingent Camp, with the guns facing the left. A message was now brought by a Natal Native Contingent officer, probably one of Colonel Durnford's mounted men, that the Zulus were advancing in great force, and firing was heard towards the left (the firing of the mounted Basutos against the Umcityu Regiment).
   It is stated by a wagon driver that a consultation now took place between Colonel Durnford and Colonel Pulleine, during which he imagined there was a difference of opinion, Colonel Pulleine ultimately, however, giving way to his superior officer.
A Company of the 1st Battalion 24th were then moved up to the neck between the Sandhlwana Hill and the position occupied by the Zulus, where they at once became engaged with the Umcityu Regiment whose advance they completely checked for the time. The distance of this neck is about a mile and a half from camp.
   Meanwhile the Zulus had advanced in the following order. The Umcityu Regiment formed the right Centre, and was engaged with one company 1st Battalion 24th Regiment, and about 200 of Colonel Durnford's natives; the left centre was composed of the Nokenke Regiment who were being shelled by the two guns as they advanced. Next to them on the left, came the Inbonambi Regiment with the Nkobamakosi Regiment outside of it) both making a turning movement and
threatening the front of the camp, while driving before them a body of Colonel Durnford's mounted men, supported by a patrol of Volunteers. The Undi Corps, on seeing that the other four regiments had commenced the attack, as above, inarched off to their right, and, without fighting, made for the north side of the Sandhlwana Hill, being concealed by it until, their turning movement being completed, they made their appearance to the west of the Sandhlwana at the spot were the wagon road crosses the neck. Meanwhile the Nkobaroakosi Regiment had become engaged on the left front of the camp with our infantry, and Buffered very severely, being repulsed three times, Until the arrival of the Inbonambi Regiment enabled them to push forward, along the south front of the camp and complete their turning movement. This produced an alteration in the position held by those defending the camp. Two companies of the 24th Regiment and all the mounted Europeans being sent to the extreme right of the camp, at the spot where the road cuts through it. The guns were moved to the right of the Native Contingent camp, having the nullah below them to their left lined by the Native Contingent; three companies of the 1st Battalion 24th Regiment remained on the left of the camp, supported on their left by the body of Mounted Basutos, who had been driven back by the Umcityu Regiment. The one company of the 1st Battalion 24th Regiment which had been thrown out to the neck, was now retiring, fighting.
    By this time the attack of the enemy extended along the whole front of the camp, a distance of not less than 800 yards, and along the whole left, a distance of about 600 yards, and although they were still held in check by our fire, they were advancing rapidly towards the gaps between the troops. Up to this point their advance had been steady, and made without noise, but now they began to double and to call to one another. The camp followers and the Native Contingent began to fly, making for the right, and in a few minutes more the troops were forced to retire upon the tents to avoid being cut off, as the Zulus had now burst through the gaps. So far, very few men had fallen on our side, the fire of the enemy being far from good, but as the men fell back the Zulus came with a rush, and in a very few minutes it became a hand to hand conflict. About this time also the Undi corps, made its appearance on the right rear of the camp, completely cutting off any retreat towards Rorke's Drift. Fortunately the Nkobamakosi, instead of attempting to completely surround the camp by making a junction with the Undi, followed the retreating natives, thus leaving a narrow passage open for escape, which was taken advantage of by such as were able to escape out of the camp. A few were met and killed by the Uudi, but that corps, believing that the camp was already plundered, decided to make the best of their way to Rorke's Drift, and plunder it, never dreaming that any opposition could be offered by the few men they knew to be there.
The loss of the Zulus must have been exceedingly heavy.  The Umcityu were frightfully cut up by the single company of the 1st Battalion 24th Regiment, which was sent out of camp, and never returned; the Nkobamakosi fell in heaps ; the hill down which the Nokenke came was covered with slain; and the loss of the Undi at Rorke's Drift cannot be less than 500; they killed all their own wounded who were unable to get away.
Much astonishment was expressed by the Zulus at the behaviour of our soldiers, firstly, regarding their death dealing powers considering their numbers; secondly, because they did not run away before the enormous numerical superiority of the enemy.
Head-quarter Staff.

4B. Precis of instructions contained in Lord Chelmsford's letters to Colonel Pearson.

Durban, February 6, 1879.
Yours of 1st received. Trust that the news that you are to be attacked and also Glyn may be true.
Having been attacked, and the enemy repulsed a decision as to your future movements absolutely necessary.
If you can reduce your garrison to one-half, it, will give you a strong moveable column at Lower Tugela.
Should wish to see Naval Brigade garrisoning forts at Lower Tugela. Yourself and staff ought, to be there also.
After a successful action, would be your best chance of withdrawing a portion of your garrison, otherwise a risk.
Endeavour to arrange for the holding an entrenchment requiring a lesser garrison.
Your best field officers should remain in command.
Bring back only what baggage, &c., is absolutely essential. The sick and wounded should come in empty wagons.
I trust that any attack made on our posts may be simultaneous. We are ready for it.
400 men 88th Regiment, expected to-day; 200 remain here, 200 go to Stanger, thus releasingninety-nine companies for Lower Tugela.

No news from Wood since 24th January.
No raids have, as yet, been made into Natal, but I expect one shortly.
Do all you can to hold out as long as possible with whole or part of your force, but let us know when the time-has nearly arrived to fall back on account of want of supplies.
Native Contingent have disbanded themselves.

Durban, February 8, 1879.
Contents of your letter, dated 6th February, received by telegraph.
My belief is, your garrison should be at once reduced to the minimum which you consider is necessary for its defence; this will give us more time for throwing in supplies.
There will not be a force at Lower Tugela for six weeks at least, sufficient to ensure a convoy to Ekowe, and unwise to attempt it, but if you withdraw surplus garrison, you will have troops enough for a very efficient flying column at that place.
Add 100 or 200 to the 400 you suggest for garrison, but cut down your defences to meet reduced garrison.
Your own presence is absolutely essential at Lower Tugela.
Mine is required all over Natal.
A Head Commander required to look after every post of your command.
Latest news, Zulus will not knock their heads against our posts, but will raid into Natal. All more necessary for a moveable force at Lower Tugela. Other columns are too weak for me to decrease them to increase yours, and each must hold on as best they can until reinforcements arrive, thus you must read my instructions.
Details I leave to you, only let us know when you propose to fall back.
A large force stated to be near Zuguin. " It will not do to face too great odds, but you might, perhaps, manage to reach Umanidusi" (where be every available man from Lower Tugela should sent), without your move being discovered. Each man should carry 100 rounds, two days' food.
Bring no wheeled carriage. Line of march to be most compact, and no delay on the march if a few shots are fired at you. The garrison left at Ekowe must be on the alert, as it will be imagined you have deserted the post altogether.
Lieut.-Col., Asst. Mil. Sec.
A second copy to be sent twenty-four hours after the first. Reported on 9th February that neither of these had passed through the lines.
Colonel Wood's Column, Camp Kambulu Hill, February 1, 1879.
   I HAVE the honour to report that in accordance with orders I started with the force named in the margin* at four A.M. this morning for Makulisini Krall, at seven o'clock we off saddled for breakfast under the north side of Zingin Hill, starting again at 8.20 we shortly after hit the so called wagon road from Potter's Store to the Makulisini. It is a very bad one, we found the country practicable for all arms up to a point about due north of the centre of Inhlobarm Interior, after that it was very difficult, and neither guns nor wagons could have traversed it, we saw a few Kafirs and cattle in the Inhlobarm.
   When within four miles of this neck, from which I was told we should see the kraal, I increased our pace to a fast canter, we left thirty men in this neck and scrambled down the hillside into the basin in the centre of which the place is situated and then galloped up to it at 12.30 P.M.
   The Kafirs in it fled in all directions, we took 270 head of cattle and entirely destroyed the kraal, which contained about 250 huts. About 6 Kafirs were killed. We had, I am happy to say, no casualty.
  The Makulisini is about 30 miles east of this, it is in a basin entirely surrounded with precipitous hills which would be very difficult to take if held by any force. I do not think guns could be got there without men handling them.
Throughout the day I received the greatest assistance from Mr. Pict Uys, indeed without his men I don't think we should ever have got to the place. As far as I could see I think that most of the Kafirs that were in this Inhlobarm have left it and gone to the south-east.
I have, &c.,
Lieut.-Col., F.L. Horse.

Kambula Hill, 10 P.M.,
LT.-COL. CREALOCK. February 1, 1879.
ON this, as on all occasions, Lieutenant-Colonel Buller, C.B., has done excellent service, and I  am greatly indebted to him and to Mr. Pict Uys.
The Bagalusini Kraal has been till now a rallying point for the most determined opponents of the British Government, and its destruction will have a good effect on all friendly or neutral natives, while the Zulus will see the spirit of the High Commissioner's message is fully carried out, for though this, a barrack, is destroyed, no dwelling places of the inhabitants have been wilfully damaged by the Troops of No. 4 Column.


Ekowe, February 2, 1879, Sunday.
   YOUR letter of 27th January reached me this morning, also telegram of 30th, apparently to some one at Lower Drift, asking what ammunition I have got, and detailing position of Nos. 3 and 4 Column , also your telegram to me of 28th, informing me of "Boadicea" men joining my column, asking what you can do for me, and telling me Wood has beaten 5,000 Zulus ; also telegram of 23rd, detailing poor Durnford's defeat, and the losses sustained. It is all most sad ; and no doubt the arms and ammunition taken will be used against us. The above is the plan of the entrenchment here. Of course it is not nearly finished, but it is a formidable place even now, and we work hard at it all day. I sent you a letter yesterday, describing our situation. As last night was rainy, I hope it will reach you all right. The messengers who brought yours came by the road we followed, and did not see any one, but no doubt they were all in the bush, as we believe there are numbers of Zulus between us and the Tugela. If you could send up the two companies Buffs now at Lower Drift, and the three companies 99th, also at Drift, as well as the Stanger and Durban companies, we should be strong enough here, as I should then form an entrenched camp outside. But the difficulty would be to keep up the supplies, as convoys would be most likely molested, very likely in the neighbourhood of the Amatakula and Inyazane, where it is thick and bushy. This will be a difficult problem to solve, but now that we are here it would be a fatal mistake, in my opinion, to abandon the post, which, as I have already said, will be required as a forepost when you are ready to advance again. Indeed, if we retired to the Tugela, we should most likely have all the Zulu army at our back, and be obliged either to destroy all our ammunition and stores before we left Ekowe, or abandon them on the march if attacked, as in all probability we should be by overwhelming numbers.
   We have 1,365 Europeans here all told, and about 100 Natives, including pioneers, but exclusive of leaders and drivers, the number of whom I don't quite know. We have in round numbers 1,200 rifles and 332 rounds of ammunition for that number, also 127,000 rounds Gatling, 37 Naval Rockets, 24-pounders (shot; not shell rockets), 46 Rockets, (shell) for 7-pounders, also for 7-pounders 200 Shrapnel, 254 common shell, 20 double shell, and 33 case. It in almost impossible to get an accurate return of food, but I think we must have over three weeks' supply, the cattle, however, may be swept away at any moment, as of course they have to be kept in the wagon laager outside. I am keeping a small reserve in the ditches, where we stable the horses also, although commanded, the ground is perfectly open round here, except one or two small patches of wood, which would give cover, but which are being cut down as fast as we can do it. The brushwood, however, is all destroyed, the road to Ekowe from the Tugela is a mere beaten track, and. at this season of the year very bad in places, especially this side of the Inyazane, which is often very steep, narrow, and sloping towards the valley (where cut on the side of a hill) thus rendering a wagon liable to upset. The latter defect we remedied en route, but as there is no stone in the country I am afraid it will never be possible to do more than for each convoy to repair the road for itself. There is nothing to repair it with except logs and brushwood, which of course won't stand the traffic of a large number of wagons. I know of no place between this and the Lower Drift where a depot could be advantageously formed, nor even fortified posts. The camping ground on the left bank of the Umsindusi is, however, nice and open, but it is commanded at one point toward the Amatikulu. Our camping ground at the Inyoni was on a knoll, but it is only nine miles from the Tugela. You ask if a Zulu can climb over our parapets here without assistance ? I fear he can in some places, but we are working hard at deepening the ditches. We want medicines, and I have written to Tarrant about them, as I have told you what food and ammunition we have got, you will be able to judge of what we can do. I find it quite impossible to get information. Cur Kafirs won't do spy. They are afraid of being taken.
 Thanks for your good wishes. Has there been any raid made on Natal ?
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
(Signed) C. K. PEARSON.

Send this letter to the General, by special mounted messenger if possible, to Durban, first telegraphing the pith of it to him. Send the enclosed small piece of paper to Dr. Tarrant. Tell Major Graves the following officers and non-commissioned officers Natal Native Contingent are here : —Captain Sherving'on ; Lieutenants Orwin and Webb ; Interpreter Grieg; Sergeants Swann, Behrends, Sherrer ; Corporals Adams, Whiffler, Schulter, Schmidt, Meyer, Crossman, Phillipe, Fayard, Westphall, also twenty-six natives. Send us news whenever you can. Dark nights and rainy weather is the time.
Yours sincerely,
(Signed) C, K. PEARSON.
The position generally is weak, being slightly commanded on three sides by hills within musketry range, but the whole of the front has been traversed by wagons, cornsacks, &c. The water (very good) is under the fire of the fort within  150 yards, and efforts (which show good results) are being made to obtain water by sinking on the site itself, the troops bivouac at the alarm posts shown.

Ekowe, February 6, J 879.
   I RECEIVED yesterday morning your letter of the 2nd instant and a Telegram from the Deputy-Adjutant-General of the 4th. In the latter I am reminded of the inadvisability of reinforcements being sent to me as they would only help eat our food. When I wrote upon this subject I was not quite clear as to the immediate future course of this column. I now quite recognize our position and I quite see, too, the mistake which would be made by reinforcing us.
   We are now very strongly intrenched. Good thick parapets, ditches no where less than seven feet deep and ten feet wide. In places they are both deeper and wider, the ditches are partly flanked as well, either by flanks, stockades, caponnieres or cuttings in the parapet. Enfilade and reverse fire have been well considered and traverses have been constructed to protect us from both. The batteries are masked and spare sand bags provided to protect the gunners from fire upon any point from which the gun is not actually firing.
   Trous-de-loups are being made on the glacis, and a zig-zag will be made to the watering-place about 60 yards from the fort, to ensure the safety of the watering party. We have three entrances, a main entrance over a drawbridge, over which carts or unloaded wagons can pass ; this is drawn back at night; a small foot bridge to the watering place which is topped up on the alarm sounding, and a trestle bridge, also a foot bridge, which is dismantled at retreat. Near the main entrance is a sally port leading into the ditch where at night we have some earth closets, as, of course the day latrines are some distance from the fort. In a hollow below this face are two cattle laagers built of wagons chained and reined together. The circular one holds the slaughter cattle, and the other most of the trek oxen. These are protected by an L shaped work, nevertheless, the cattle are a constant source of anxiety to me, as they might be taken away during a dark night if the Zulus should be enterprising, at least so it seems to me. I trust I may be wrong
   We are better off for food than I thought we were, and, if our cattle are left to us, we shall be able to get along for over three weeks from this day, and, with many essentials for some time longer. Heygate has sent a pretty accurate return to the Commissary General, which he must have received, as it went with my letter which you have acknowledged.
   Our resources in the way of ammunition you also know. As regards dividing our entrenchments, so as to defend our stores efficiently in the event of the garrison being reduced, I am afraid it could not well be done without very, materially altering everything. Every building is now within the fort, and was preserved in the belief that all your columns were to have been fed from. this line, and that, consequently, stores on a large scale would be required, also a fair sized garrison. I mean some three hundred or four hundred men, for, of course,  it was not then contemplated that the garrison would have to deal with any large bodies of Zulus.
   As it is, it is highly probable, I suppose, that Cetywayo may make a supreme effort to drive us out and bring the bulk of his army this way. I trust he may do so and he will find it a very hard nut to crack indeed. We have got all the distances measured and this afternoon a table of ranges will be issued to the troops. If we have time the distances will all be cut on the hills which slope our way, and the cuttings filled in with white clay, which we get out of the ditches, so as to make the figures visible.
   As regards our immediate future, I am of opinion, and I trust you will forgive me giving it frankly that, a convoy of wagons not exceeding 20 in number and all with good spans of 20 oxen, and none with larger loads than 4000 lbs. should be sent us, as soon as you can get an escort together, equal to a battalion of 600 or 700.
    The wagons to contain nothing but food for men and a little more ammunition, especially for guns and rockets, which we want and would not be much good to the Zulus if it fell into their hands. The escort would not require tents, and could carry two days' provisions on their persons, which would gave something. I would ask to have the two Companies Buffs, now at the Lower Drift, sent up, and with the return wagons I would send back the three companies and Head quarters 99th, half the company Royal Engineers, the Native Pioneers, the odds and ends of Volunteers, Native Contingent, and drivers and leaders still here. In fact the latter have signified their intention to bolt, the first opportunity. If the escort reported the road pretty clear, I would also suggest sending back the sick and wounded, who are fit to travel, and some of the trek oxen which I should be very glad to get rid of. The drivers and leaders could take charge of them. I most respectfully hope you will remember that I am only giving my opinion. I am ready to reduce the garrison to any limits you may choose to order, and to take my chance with the remainder, but having pretty well studied our position, I hope from every point of view, I do not think (unless we see no chance of being attacked by a very large body of the enemy) that it would be prudent just yet to reduce the garrison beyond the limits I have suggested.
   In making the above suggestions, I have studied to reduce the number of mouths, and to retain, at the same time, all the fighting men I could. It will be better too, to keep units, i.e., battalions together. The Natal Pioneers will be useful in repairing roads between this and the Tugela and the half company Royal Engineers will be necessary, should any intermediate station be fixed upon as a fortified post. I know of no place as I have already told you. The Inyone dries up in winter generally, and what water remains is brackish. Perhaps our camping ground on the left bank of the Umsindusi might do. The water is beautiful, but it is commanded, as I think I also told you, from the high ground towards the Amatakula, only in that direction, however, so perhaps the Engineers might manage to defilade it. The locality as regards the distance between Ekowe and the Tugela would be a very convenient one, I am speaking of places on the road, but I remember none adjacent to it. A few hundred men could cut down the bush along the road for several hundred yards on either side between the Inyone and Umsindusi, but I do not know whether it would not be too big a job to attempt to do so about the Amatakula and Inyazuue. It would be a grand thing if it could be done. I think any escort coming up will have to look about them very carefully nearly every where between the Umsindusi and the high ground on this side of the Inyazune. On some places the bush is pretty thick ; a few mounted scouts with the convoy would be of great use.
   As regards the composition of a column, I have come to the conclusion that, although mounted men, if the horses could be fed in this country, would be of immense value, yet, considering that all their forage has to be carried, their utility is much lessened by the fact of the column being materially increased in length by the additional transport.
   The Native Contingent, too are of little or no use, unless all the men have firearms; when, perhaps, they would be as dangerous to friends as foes ; and the officers and non - commissioned officers can speak Kaffir.
   In the 2nd Regiment, scarcely one could do so, and I could never get anything done I wanted. The men were always grumbling at doing fatigue work, notwithstanding that they saw the soldiers working alongside them, and said they were enlisted to fight, and not to work. Yet, when they had the chance, they did not do over well.
   We should be very glad of a newspaper or two giving an account of No. 3 Column. About what number of Zulus did poor Durnford's party kill before they were overpowered and slaughtered ?  Did the two guns fall into the hands of the Zulus ? Did the plucky company of the 2nd Battalion 24th at Rorke's Drift (I suppose it was guarding the Depot) beat off the 2,500 Zulus whom they fought for twelve hours ? How very foolish of poor Durnford's detachment to scatter about so far from the camps. Has any raid been made on Natal ? The men here are very savage at the thoughts of so many of their wounded comrades being butchered, for, of course, as all were found dead, the wounded must have been murdered.
    We are all still in very good health, and the work will not be so hard now I hope, as all the heavy work of the entrenchments is completed. 37 on the sick report to-day, two of the Buffs rather bad with the diarrhoea, one of them, Oakley, the married man whose name I sent the other day, is not so well, he had only fever then. Wounded doing very well. We had some rain last night and the night before a very heavy thunderstorm. To-day it has been exceedingly hot. I am going to send this letter off to-night. The messengers say the road is thoroughly watched, but I cannot hear of any large force of Zulus being between us and the Tugela.
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
(Signed) C. K. PEARSON.
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