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THE BATTLE AT SUAKIM

A BRILLIANT ENGAGEMENT. BRAVERY OF THE BLACK TROOPS. By the arrival of the R.M.S Rome at Albany we (" Melbourne Atßus ") are In receipt of tne following from our London oorrespondent : — London, Deoember 21. Genera] Grenfell made bis attack on the dervish entrenchments ou'slde Suaktm la the early morning of Deoember 20. Tbe battle was exoellently planned and otrrlei out, and half an hour sufficed for the allied British, Egyptian, and Soudanese force to drive the enemy from their trenohes In headlong fl ght. On the preceding night the gunboat Starling and two other steamers prooeeded to Handoub to deal with the enemy's forces there, and prevent their junotioa with those at Suaklm. At half-past four In tbe mornlog, H M.S. Racer opened the engagement by shelling the enemy's entrenchments, while the sound of firing up the Coast showed that the Starling was similarly employed . AU the ships In Snaklm harbor, and also tbe forts, soon j took up tbe firing, and for an hour there j was a tremendous oannonade. Under I cover of tbe artillery fire, tbe troops prepared for the attaok, and the whole force marched ont from camp towards the enemy. On tbe left flank tbe Naval Brigade with some guns aooompanied the Infantry. The mounted force, consisting of twenty hussars Jand mounted Infantry, scooted In front, and protepted tbeflink and rear from a sodden rush by the dnr. vlsbes Having reached the point indicated by the General they halted nutll the artillery had done Its work. THB POST OF HONOB m the attack was given to the black troops who advanced In two lines, composed of battalions In double oompanles, while the British and Egyptian troops were held In reserve. The Soottlsh Borderers and the Irish regiment lined the trenches connecting the quarter forts, while the General and his staff took up a position on the left of the water fort. At five o'olook the fire Inoreased In Intensity, and as daylight began to break a great storm of shot and shell was poured upon the enemy's trenches, the mortars and cannon In the fort firing salvoes, which must have been very destructive, as the exaot ranee of the trenohes bad now been obtained. At half past seven o'clock the order was given for the advance, and after a terrific fire for a few minutes from the black regiments and white troops m our trenohes, the former rushed forward upon the left flank of the enemy's entrenchments. Tbe dervishes stood their ground bravely, but tho oharge of the blick troops was Irresistible. With wild shouts they rushed forward, sufiaring but slightly from the hasty fire the enemy opened upon tbem ss they advanced. The momo't they resorted the redoubt the battle was virtually won. The dervishes, spe»rs m hand, ran to meet them, and a good many of the Soudanese were more or less wounded by the spears, but their fire swept away the rebels/ before thoy could oome to olose quarters, aud the bayonets finished the fow wbo oajae up for a hand to hand fight. IN HALF AN DODB from the order being given for the advance the battle was at an end, and all the works thrown up with so muoh labour by the enemy were m our possession. The dervishes, driven from the works, fled to the bush, where large numhers of tbeir friends were lurking. The cavalry and mounted infantry at once started ,• m pursuit, dashing among the bushes and Cutting down those who tried to make a stand, while the guns of the forts and ships lent their shells far overhead into the bush beyond, sweeping it m every direction, and sending the dervishes flying at top speed towards Handoub and Hasneen. A body of tbeir mounted men made a gallant effort to cover the retreat by charging boldly at the twenty hussars. The latter gathered as the men neared them, and charged them m splendid style, riding through and over them, killing many, and driving the rest m headlong flight after their companions, This feat was not, however, unaccompanied by loss on our side, as four hussars were killed. Two of our trpopere' ewotds were broken clean off close to the hilts by tbe Arabs' swords. As soon as the fight was over our troops advanced to capture the position, and began to demolish the face looking towards | buakim, and construct a breastwork on the side faoing the bush, m case the enemy should rally and attempt after nightfall to regain possession of the entrenchments. The general opinion of those beßt qualified to judge is that the enemy's force amounted to about 3000 mon, of whom about half were m the entrenchments, and the remainder m reterye m the bush behind. TJIB BASH AND BAPIDITT with whloh the blaok troops rushed at the works and turned the enemy out gave the reserves no time to come up end take part In tba def enoe. Their ex,»ot loss Is not yet known, »,* so many fell In the bush from the fire of tbe artillery and Infantry, and the swords of the cavalry. It Is probably not far short of 600 men. Our loss wis not severe, the only Englishmen killed being the fqur hussars mentioned ahove. Several wero wounded, lnoludlng two officers attnehed to the Egyptian troops. The Soudanese lost two killed and about fifty wounded. Among the prisoners taken were Osman Dlgna'a nephew and twelve dervishes. Not surrendered, bowever, for all were disabled from either fight or flight by wound. Osmaln Nairn, the leader from Handoub, was wounded by the Egyptian cavalry In the last reconnaissance. Tbe prisoners all tell the same i story of privation and cruelty suffered from the Khalifa and Osman Dlgna. None of them wished to fight, bu,t all of them were forced tp go, wUh the added ' promise of loot m Suaklm and a further < reward. The trenohes were bare, no food, clothing, or money having been i found. The prisoners know nothing of ' the reported capture of Emm Pasha an, i I the Equatorial Provinpe, ' go^u § D (dw rifl s and animunttjQU were found In the brtppbei; ' •' i

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890208.2.12

Bibliographic details

THE BATTLE AT SUAKIM, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2058, 8 February 1889

Word Count
1,029

THE BATTLE AT SUAKIM Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2058, 8 February 1889

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