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THE BATTLE OF TOSKI

The b 'Btla between Sir F. W. Grenfell's forceß and tl c dervishes under N'Jumi toolc p'aoe on 3rd August, end resulted m tho cample' e overthrow of the fanal ! 08 after seven hours' stubborn fighting. From the tcoount lelegrdbljec" by the correspondent o_ the ''Daily Chronio'e " (Loudon) wbich was the only paper represented isftbe battle, it appo.ri that Sir _\ W, Oroenfel' 'apian of action was most tfl.otive, as he entirely «ueflfidid Iq h|i d«!*ra o< 4nw|o| thf

enemy on by the feigned retreat of a portion of bis force until the who.c of it oonld attack the enemy with effeot. He began by leading out from Todu m tbe early morning the 20th l-ua^a-*, the Oemsl Corps, the Egyptian Cavalry, and the Mounted Infantry, with the doubla purpose of reconnoitring nnd drawing tho enemy from his peailion, about six miles off, into more open country. They found the dervishes involved m the oonfaairn of striking thoir camp, and those who h-d •lready started opined a vigorous bm Ineffectual fire. Thin the formidable .pearmen moved out against Oolonel Grenfed's small reconnoitring force. He, seeing the enemy ready to fkht, and baviug already sent orders to Eks for hla whole force to move up m readluesa ior a general engagement, moved off towsrds tho north. The enemy followed m hot pursuit, wasting 9, good deal of ammunition at Impracticable ranges. The cavalry moved slowly, and several . times the enemy's spearmen nearly got within etr;k ng distance. Toe firing at times was becoming quite brisk, but Oolonel Grenfell avoiding any actoal contaot with the enemy, moved adroitly from one ridge to another, luring the uosußpectlng dervishts surely to their doom. North-west tf Toski the desert rises, and upon the high ground thus afforded, Colonel Gran-ell's two infantry brigades and a mnle battery took np a commandiaß position, the enemy, who numbered about 3000 effectives, ultimately forming on ground almost as advantageous and almost facing our fortress. Our infantry now hurried Wodel N' Jumi's northward msreb, and the cava'ry being well on his flank nothing was left for him to do but to fight.

The battle itself began with an infantry fire, that of the oomblned English and Egyptian troops telling very strongly, but that "of the dervishes hardly at all The spearmen then made several oharges. all of which were repulsed with slaughter. Very g%llantly the brave fellows came on brandishing their spears and shouting defiance at the foe. Their charge was reckless to the point of madness, for our men, black and white alike, remained steady as rocks, maintaining a pitiless, well-directed fire, against which trained British infantry could not have stood for J long; but the reckless or mad attempt was made again and again, and always with the same result. On the tight, how* ever, where Wadel N'Jnmi was himself, a more determined attack was made, but strengthened by the cavalry the Egyptian troops were victorious on this side also, though only after several hand-to hand encounters. The oharges of ta© enemy failing at all paints, Oolonel Gre.fell ordered a general advanoe of the Soudanese regiment, who dashed forward with a joyous yelL The dervishes waved their standards, shouted defiant war cries, and rushed to meet the advanolng troops. The first meeting was brief acd beret. Several biaoki ware speared, more perhaps than the dervishes who fell beneath tbe btyonet. One of the first to fall was a tall ehtef who proved to be Abdul Halem, tbe leeond ln command of the enemy, and for a while there was a ter.ifio hand-to-hand fight around his body, but the dervishes were overmatched even m their favor be method of warfare, and retreated npon and beyond the position whence tbey oame. It was a retreat, not afl gbt. although the oavalry rode on into and among the dervLhes, and did terribie exeoutlon. Frequently the gallant Arabs tnrned at bay and hacked the hones' legs and riders' bodies, regardless of sabre cuts and bayonet thrnits. Driven from their first position tbe enemy took np fresh ground, bnt onr infantry after a short breathing space, fired volley after volley, and agai. oharged, Again the dervishes rushed to meet them, and again there was fierce fighting, followed by a retreat. Then our meo drove the enemy ont of their last position, and the fight was nearly over. The final dervish oharge was superb, but was met by each a fire from our rifles and artillery tbat the spearmen never half covered the ground, and from thiß moment the enemy seemed to lose heart. Tueir fighting grew feebler, onr artillery gave them bo time to rest and reform, and finally the dervishes turned and fled. Our cavalry pursued them mercilessly, compelling the fugitives to seek shelter m the desert. Not a few refused the dreadful altera a tive, and, turning sometimes m groups and sometimes singly, stood and fought *he horsemen until they were out down, declining equally to give or accept quarter. It was but a wretched remnant which sought eafety m flight. One thousand five hundred dervishes were killed on tbe wide battlefield, aod a few were taken prisoners. Many others ware wounded. Wadel N'Juml, the dervish leader, fought while there waa any life In bim, and finally fell pierced by a rifle bullet. Abdul Halem and all tbe prinolpal emirs died at their {>.6ti like men, only one surviving. Our oss was not eerlous. Seventeen men were killed, one being a private of tbe Hussars and the rest Egyptians, and 131 were wonnded, Including several British c ffioars.

After lEßtlng for. a day Oolonel Grenfell advanoed with tbe Infantry and occupied Barren; He found the oountry per'eotly quiet, and free f com dervishes. In Wadel IH 'Jurat's oamp an immense quantity of treaionable correspondence was found implicating a large number of residents of Oalro and other towns m Egypt proper, Including aome highly plaoed offiolals and otberi of good soolal standing. Highly compromising documents from some wellknown people were also fonnd on tbe bodlea of the dead sheiks. These prove what had long been suipeoted tbat tbe Hahdlhas numerous inflaentlal sympathisers, and even adherents, m Lower BteTPt) who are prepaied to openly espouse his cause at an opportune moment, Full particulars have been sent to Cairo, and many arrests will probably follow.

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THE BATTLE OF TOSKI Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2231, 20 September 1889

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