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Khartoum Campaign, 1898 by Bennet Burleigh

KHARTOUM CAMPAIGN

1898

OR THE

RE-CONQUEST OF THE SOUDAN

BY

BENNET BURLEIGH.

AUTHOR OF "SIRDAR AND KHALIFA."

WITH MAPS, PLANS OF BATTLE, AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS

SECOND IMPRESSION.

LONDON: CHAPMAN & HALL, LIMITED 1899

PREFACE.

By the overthrow of Mahdism, the great region of Central Africa has been opened to civilisation. From the date of the splendid victory of Omdurman, 2nd September 1898, may be reckoned the creation of a vast Soudan empire. At so early a stage, it is idle to speculate whether the country will be held as a British possession, or as a province of Egypt. "The land of the blacks," and their truculent Arab despoilers, has the intrinsic qualities that secure distinction. Given peace, it may be expected that the mixed negroid races of the Upper Nile will prove themselves as orderly and industrious as they are conspicuously brave. Whoever rules them wisely, will have the control of the best native tribes of the Dark Continent, the raw material of a mighty state. This, too, is foreshadowed; the dominant power in Central Northern Africa, if no farther afield, will have its capital in Khartoum, "Ethiopia will soon stretch out her hands unto God."

The recent events which have so altered the condition of affairs upon the Upper Nile, deserve more than ephemeral record. A campaign so full of inspiriting incident, a victory which has brought presage of a great and prosperous Soudan, merits re-telling. Through half a score of battles or more, from the beginning to the death of Mahdism, I have followed British and Egyptian troops into action against the dervishes. I knew General Hicks, and had the luck to miss accompanying his ill-fated expedition. In the present volume, "Khartoum Campaign," the narrative of the reconquest is completed, the history being carried to the occupation of Fashoda and Sobat, including the withdrawal of Major Marchand's French mission. I have made use of my telegrams and letters to the _Daily Telegraph_, London, and the full notes I made from day to day during the campaign. Besides, I have quoted in certain cases from official sources, and given extracts from verbal and written communications made to me by distinguished officers engaged in the operations.

For use of maps, sketches, and photographs, I am indebted to the proprietors of the _Daily Telegraph_, to Mr Ross of _Black and White_, Surgeon-General William Taylor, Colonel Frank Rhodes, Lieutenant E. D. Loch, Grenadier Guards, Mr Francis Gregson, Mr Munro of Dingwall, N.B., and others.

BENNET BURLEIGH.

LONDON, _December 1898_.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY--REVIEW OF THE FIELD, 1


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