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Samuel White Baker

The amount of corn collected by the troops, now in the magazines, was only sufficient for two months' consumption at full rations.

There was a spirit of general disaffection among the officers and troops.

Although I had worked with them in every difficulty and led them invariably to success, there was a general dislike, not to me personally, but to the system of rigid discipline that I was determined at all hazards to enforce, and to the general object of the expedition.

The foregoing chapters will have afforded a sufficiently distinct view of the expedition to enable the public to form their own opinion of the position of the slave trade.

ON 6th November, 1871, Lieutenant Baker returned from Gondokoro with four noggurs, and the entire detachment of Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet. The news was as follows:-

After the departure of Major Abdullah, the natives had attacked the camp of Colonel Achmet, and had wounded him in the back with a barbed arrow, which had to be cut out. Another arrow had passed through the heart of his servant, killing him on the spot. Several soldiers had been wounded, but not seriously. The corn had been delivered from his station to the magazines at Gondokoro.

A few extracts from the valuable work of Dr. Schweinfurth will throw a light upon the spirit which animated the authorities, all of whom were incensed at my having presumed to understand the Khedive's orders literally respecting the suppression of the slave trade.

The moral result of the elephant hunt was very satisfactory, at the same time most unexpected.

Military critics will condemn my arrangements for an advance south.

My original plans had been well laid. A line of fortified posts was to have been established throughout the country at intervals of three days' march. This would have assured an open communication with Gondokoro.

Unfortunately, my force had been 350 men short of the number stipulated; and the 1,200 men that had once been reviewed at Gondokoro had been reduced to 500.

I determined upon a new plan. I knew the direction of Lobore, as I had been there during my former expedition; the distance could not exceed sixty miles.

If the soldiers could draw the carts, I might yet manage to advance, as I should be able to procure carriers on arrival at Lobore; provided always that the natives were as friendly as when I left them some years ago.

by Samuel White Baker

 

ON 6th March, 1872, we started from the bivouac at the base of the Shooa mountain at 6.10 A.M.

The troops were in excellent spirits, the air was fresh and cool in this elevated country, the horses had been well groomed, and the arms and accoutrements had been burnished on the previous afternoon, in order to make a good appearance before my old friends the natives of Fatiko and Shooa.

The bright scarlet uniforms and snow-white linen trousers of 212 men looked extremely gay upon the fresh green grass, which had lately sprung up throughout this beautiful park.

An interval of five years has elapsed since the termination of my engagement in the service of His Highness the Khedive of Egypt, "to suppress the slave-hunters of Central Africa, and to annex the countries constituting the Nile Basin, with the object of opening those savage regions to legitimate commerce and establishing a permanent government."

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