Amazons in Action.
A New York Tribune special cable from Paris says a firm of Rouen has received from a traveller, who is actually at Kotonan, a letter, under date of the sth March, containing the following particulars about the attack by the Dahomians :— During the last few days there had been about fifteen sharpshooters wounded. Something was expected, but gradually •the watchfulness had become rather weak. The consequence was that the sentinels were fast asleep at half-past five m the morning when the Dahomians advanced m snakelike glidings. They surprised the sentinels, and cut off their heads. In the same manner the watchman of the battery was butchered. The artillery quartermaster endeavoured to defend himself, bub an amazon, a fine girl of sixteen, stabbed him with a poinard and cut his throat. The same fate happened to a brigadier, and also to a non-commissioned officer of artillery. Meanwhile the alarm had been given. The Senegalese riflemen arrived on the run and swept off the first ranks of the Dahomians. The bold young amazon was caught, thrown to the ground, and her neck cut. At the same moment Governor Boyatt signalled to the gun boat at anchor just off the battlefield. Immediately a hailstorm of bombs and Hotchkiss balls rained over the Dahomians and caused them to take flight to the underbrush, leaving from 500 to 600 of their people on the ground. The Amazons still constitute the best part oi the Dahomian army. This corps of about 2500 women is mainly recruited from yonng girls of the best families of Dahomey, designed by the caprice of the king for military service. They live m barracks like regular soldiers and are sworn to perpetual virginity. Nevertheless one-third of the amazon corps is composed of immoral women, whose lives have been spared on condition of their enlistment, and of quarrelsome wives, complained of by their husbands to the King, who is only too glad to make use of their fighting humor by incorporating all these female demons into his army. , One company of the amazon regiment bears the name of " Razor Virgins," because they are armed with razors sft. long, which are temble weapons m African fights, and are used m time of peace to decapitate men sentenced to death by the Dahomian King, who also uses his amassons as public executioners. Another company is named ' The Big Muskets," each woman soldier being accompanied by a slave, who carries a heavy flintlock. The " Sure to Kill " company is formed of the best sharpshooters. There are also "carbineers" and "bayonet " companies. The " arrow-bearers "■ is composed of girls too young yeb for actual lighting, but who are employed as reconnoitring parties and m the ambulance corps.
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Amazons in Action., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2488, 11 August 1890
Amazons in Action. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2488, 11 August 1890
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