On to Khartoum. 1 -i|1898-09-07|Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph and General Weekly Reporter for the Counties of Pembroke Cardigan Carmarthen Glamorgan and the Rest of South Wales - Welsh Newspapers Online
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Haverfordwest Board ofI Guardians.

South Wales Colliery Dispute.;

On to Khartoum. 1 -i

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On to Khartoum. BRILLIANT BRITISH VICTORY. OMDURMAN CAPTURED. GREAT LOSSES OF THE ENEMY. After thirteen years the death of General Gordon has been avenged, and a glorious victory has been achieved by the British force. Our army of 2o,000 men on Friday encountered 35,000 Dervishes led by the Khalifa. A determined battle was fought, with the result that the Dervishes were routed, leaving 6,000 killled and wounded our losses amounting to about 250, including two British officers: Lieut. R. Greenfell (cousin of Sir Francis Green- fell), of the 12th Lancers, and Capt. Caldicott of the 1st Royal Warwickshire. The Marquis of Landsdowne (secretary for War) and Viscount Wolseley have each sent their congratulations to the Sirdar and his army for their gallant work. Everywhere the victory has been received with intense enthusiasm, and unstinted praises have come from the continent and abroad. The Sirdar's message was:- We received their bold and determined attack in position, and after an hour's fighting, during which they endeavoured to envelop both our flanks, we drove them off, and at 8.30 a.m. I began to advance towards Omdur- man, but had not gone far before I was again heavily attacked on the right. This necessitated a change of front, and the Dervishes were driven off with heavy loss, and their army, which was under the personal command of the Khalifa, was completely dispersed by noon. The force watered at Khar Skambat, and at two p.m. again advanced on Omdurman, which was occupied with slight resistance during the afternoon. The Khalifa, who had re-entered the town after the battle, fled as we got in, and is now being pursued by cavalry and gunboats. Neufeld and some 150 prisoners have been released and are with us. Omdurman is an enormous plaee, and the entire force is now encamped on the desert to the west of the town. AN ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE. j THRILLING INCIDEENTS I The special correspondent of the Central News wires —The Dervishes seemed to be gathered in clans, and each clan or regiment was gathered round a banner. The number of banners alone proved that the strength of the enemy was considerable. Horsemen and footmen came from the west and the south-west, moving towards the hill upon which the scouting Lancers were gazing eagerly upon the brave array. Between the Lancers and the moving enemy was a flat, open plain. They halted when they caught sight of the Lancers on the north and the Egyptian cavalry on the north-west, both equi-distant. Then they formed into regular lines, throwing out skirmishers, with second and reserve lines, in pretty fashion. At this moment the stirring sound of heavy artillery fire broke the stillness of the air. Looking towards the river, we could see a gallant procession of our gunboats steaming slowly against the current, and engaging the Dervish riverside forts, as they calmly passed along. We could hear the boom of the howitzers and the sharp, unceasing rattle of the Maxims and quick- firers. The Dervish batteries replied, but, as it seemed, feebly. Their forts were knocked to pieces about their heads, right down to Tuti Island and back. Many shells fell into the city, and several, either by accident or design, struck the Mahdi's tomb, and speedily spoilt its beauty. All this time the Dervish infantry were steadily and regularly getting into battle array, about the strength of a British battalion around each big standard. Simultaneously the Dervishes cavalry scouts pushed forward towards the Lancers, who at the word of Colonel Martin retired behind the rising ground already referred to. There they dismounted, and waited the enemy's horsemen. Some of the latter, more ven- turesome than the majority, came under our fire, and a number of them bit the dust. This proved the signal for a general fall back by the mounted enemy. A pic- turesque chase by a squadron of the Lancers followed, which did not cease until Martin's men had got out to within two miles of the main body of the Dervish army. Then it was time for our troops to retire, which they did Then it was time for our troops to retire ?igh inoon, an d in workmanlike fashion. It was now high moon, and the entire army of the Khalifa began to move forward, with the Khalifa and his holy standard in its midst. It was late at night before the gunboats returned from their victorious foray. After a rest, our men set to work on the zariba again, and generally improving the defences of the camp, on the assumption that the Khalifa would strike during the night, and that it would be a fight to the death. The sight of the Dervishes Army in full battle array had been an imposing one. It was only surpassed by the spectacle of our own magnificent army standing to arms, in long lines two deep, quietly and hopefully awaiting the enemy's onslaught. The Sirdar's Army passed the night uuder arms, and few men slept. Yet, there were no alarms, despite the fact that the Dervishes were expected to be upon us before the dawn, but the sun had not long risen when the Dervishes were reported by our scouts to be on the move again, and soon we could hear their war drums. It soon became clear to the Sirdar that the Khalifa had left a considerable force in reserve. The force which was majestically moving to give us battle fairly and squarely numbered to trained eyes 30,000 men, horses, and foot. Its front was extended over nearly five miles of country at first, before it began a well-considered effort to crumple up our flanks. As the Dervishes advanced our cavalry retired, and by half-past five there was clear ground between the opposing hosts. At six o'clock the Khalifa delivered his attack, and the battle which followed will be known as that of Egaiga, after the place where we had encamped. For awhile the enemy demonstrated that the Dervish as a fighting man had not deteriorated. From the entire front of the Anglo-Egyptian line a withering fire from field guns was kept up. Machine guns and rifles were poured upon the Dervish horse and foot, but their courage did not flinch. Over and over again, charging superbly, they endeav- oured to get at close quarters, but in vain. Our fire was murderous and precise. For nearly two hours the battle raged hotly. At eight o'clock the enemy wavered and turned, retreating sullenly and reluctantly. While this main fight had been in progress another body of Dervishes, about 8,000 in number, had been harassing the Egyptian cavalry and the camel corps, who had been posted on the hills, and our men had enough to do to hold their own. Three miles to the west of these another Dervish force, advancing from Omdurman after the first fight was over, were reinforced from the retiring main body, and the combined force made a gallant and most desperate attack upon our rear brigade. The plan was well conceived. That rear brigade was our weakest point, and the enemy knew it. The attack was delivered in true Dervish fashion. They charged repeatedly with splendid courage and determination, and more than once nearly got home, but the Soudanese never wavered or flinched, and Macdonald's and Lewis's brigades, coming up in support, the Dervishes were at length driven in headlong retreat back upon Omdurman, and far beyond. I LATEST FROM KHARTOUM. I I SURRENDER OF THE KHALIFA'S ARMY. I The following telegram has been received from the Sirdar Saturday Evening The remnant of the Khalifa's force has surrendered, and I have now a very large number of prisoners on my hands. The cavalry and gunboats are still in pursuit of the Khalifa and his chiefs, who have with them only about 140 fighting men, and are apparently making for Kor- dofan. The left bank of the White Nile is so difficult of approach, owing to the banks being overflown and thick bush, that the gunboats cannot effect a landing, and therefore I can only rely upon the cavalry to effect his capture. I visited Khartoum to-day. The town is a complete ruin, but the lower portions of the principal houses are still standing. The people were naturally deliahted to see us. So far as I see at present Khartoum is the best position. The town of Omdurman is very extensive, and the stench unbearable. I therefore moved the troops down to Khor Shambat, where we are now in good camp by the river. All the British wounded go down the river with this telegram. They are all doing very well. There are no cases which cause grave anxiety. All the European prisoners, including Sister Teresa Gricolini, Joseph Ragnotti, and a number of Greeks, have been released, and are well.

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