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Title: The Journals of Major-Gen. C. G. Gordon, C.B., at Kartoum.
Author: Gordon, C. G.
Language: English
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                             THE JOURNALS


                    MAJOR-GEN. C. G. GORDON, C.B.,

                             _AT KARTOUM_.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GEN. C. G. GORDON, C.B.]

                             THE JOURNALS
                    MAJOR-GEN. C. G. GORDON, C.B.,
                              AT KARTOUM.

                   _PRINTED FROM THE ORIGINAL MSS._

                        INTRODUCTION AND NOTES


                            A. EGMONT HAKE,

                          BY GENERAL GORDON.

[Illustration: LOGO]




     _The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved._


THE work of editing these Journals is at an end; it only remains
now for me to thank one of my oldest and most valued friends, whose
assistance in every way I wish most thoroughly to acknowledge: this
is Mr. Godfrey Thrupp. When it became obvious that the public demand
for the work made its completion in so short a time impossible—as the
conscientious achievement of one man—he generously came forward. His
knowledge of the East and his deep interest in the subject made him an
invaluable colleague.


  _June 11, 1885._

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS.


  Editor’s Preface                                                   v

  Introduction by the Editor                                        ix

  General Gordon’s Position at Kartoum. By Sir Henry W.Gordon,
        K.C.B.                                                      lv

  The Mission of Colonel Sir Charles Wilson, R.E. By Sir Henry
        W. Gordon, K.C.B.                                          lxi

  Description of the Journal. By Sir Henry W. Gordon, K.C.B.      lxiv

  Position of the Steamers, Dec. 14, 1884                         lxvi

  Journal, Book   I.—Sept. 10 to Sept. 23, 1884                     3

  Journal, Book  II.—Sept. 23 to Sept. 30, 1884                    83

  Journal, Book III.—Oct. 1 to Oct. 12, 1884                      121

  Journal, Book  IV.—Oct. 12 to Oct. 20, 1884                     183

  Journal, Book   V.—Oct. 20 to Nov. 5, 1884                      213

  Journal, Book  VI.—Nov. 5 to Dec. 14, 1884                      279




  A.  Letter from Abdel Kader Ibrahim to General Gordon, and
      General Gordon’s reply                                       399

  A². Letters from Abderrahman en Najoomi and Abdullah en Noor
      to General Gordon, and his reply                             404

  B.  Letter from George Calamatino to General Gordon, and his
      reply                                                        409

  D.  Letter from the Ulema of Kartoum to the Mahdi                410

  E.  Letter from Faki Mustapha to Cassim el Moos                  420

  E¹. Upon the Slave Convention                                    425

  F. Memorandum upon the defeat of Hicks’s army                    426

  G. Letter from General Gordon to Ibrahim Abdel Kader             428

  K. Letter from Abdel Kader to General Gordon                     430

  L. Letters from Abderrahhman en Najoomi and Abdullah en Noor to
     General Gordon                                                432

  M. Letter from General Gordon to Sheikh Abderrahhman en Najoomi,
     with his reply                                                438

  N. Letters from Colonel Stewart and M. Herbin to General Gordon  442


  P. Letter from Abou Gugliz to General Gordon                     447

  Q. Letters from Fakirs, and from Faki Mustapha, to the
     Commandant of Omdurman Fort                                   447

  R. Two letters from Slatin Bey to General Gordon                 452

  S. Letter from Slatin Bey to the Austrian Consul                 455

  The Insurrection of the False Prophet, 1881-83                   456


  Q. Letters from Saleh Ibrahim of Galabat and Greek Consul at
     Adowa to General Gordon and Greek Consul at Kartoum           511

  R. Letter from Slatin Bey to General Gordon                      519

  T. Letter from the Mudir at Sennaar to General Gordon            520

  U. Letter from the Mahdi to General Gordon with two enclosures,
     with General Gordon’s answer; and letters from General Gordon
     to the Mudir of Dongola                                       522

  V. Manifesto of the Mahdi to the inhabitants of Kartoum          539

  X. Letter from Major Kitchener to General Gordon, enclosing one
     from Herr Roth, and a telegram                                546


   Y. Towfik’s Firman, and notice by General Gordon                550

  AB. Letter from Khalifa Abdullah Mahomed to General Gordon       553

  CD. Petition of the Ulema at Kartoum to the Khedive              556

  EF. Organisation of the Soudan under Zubair                      557


  “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
  I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
  The evil that men do lives after them;
  The good is oft interred with their bones.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
  To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
  They that have done this deed are honourable;
  What private griefs they had, alas! I know not,
  That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
  And will no doubt, with reasons answer you.

         *       *       *       *       *

                          But were I Brutus,
  And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
  Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
  In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
  The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.”

THESE grand lines force themselves upon me, though maybe their analogy
is incomplete. Mark Antony was a casuist, and pleaded the cause of
revenge; I am only earnest in the cause of justice. Yet I trust in
my pleading to enable Englishmen to realise how great and how sad
is the loss of Charles Gordon, not only to those who loved him, but
to the cause of suffering humanity. Gordon is dead. We cannot bring
him back to life. Yet from his death we may learn at least how fit
he was to teach us while he lived, how fit to hold his country’s
honour in his hand, how fit to judge of what was right and what was
wrong. His journals are his last words to the world as much as they
are instruction and information to his Government, and Englishmen who
value England’s honour may well read them with a heavy heart—with eyes
dimmed by tears. I say Gordon is dead, and we cannot bring him back
to life, but we can do much he would have done for us _had he been
allowed to live_. His journals tell us how we can best repair mischief
already done (and I understand his words to apply rather to the English
people than to the Government which represents them), and they tell us
what is best for the Soudan. In the interest of this unhappy land he
devoted much of his life; in its interest he died. Let us then compare
the opposite conditions under which the people existed during Gordon’s
presence and absence, and in doing this let us mark well what Gordon
said during his life, and what his journals say for him now that he is

       *       *       *       *       *

Gordon used to tell the story of how, when Said Pasha, Viceroy
of Egypt before Ismail, went up to the Soudan, so discouraged and
horrified was he at the misery of the people, that at Berber he threw
his guns into the river, declaring he would be no party to such
oppression. In this spirit Gordon went there as Governor of the Equator
in 1874, and in this spirit he expressed his views on the duties of
foreigners in the service of Oriental States. His ardent and unstudied
words are worthy of the deepest study. They breathe the kindliest
wisdom, the most prudent philanthropy; and it would be well if those
whose lot is thrown in barbarous lands would take them for a constant
guide. To accept government, only if by so doing you benefit the race
you rule; to lead, not drive the people to a higher civilisation;
to establish only such reforms as represent the spontaneous desire
of the mass; to abandon relations with your native land; to resist
other governments, and keep intact the sovereignty of the State whose
bread you eat; to represent the native when advising Ameer, Sultan
or Khedive, on any question which your own or any foreign government
may wish solved; and in this to have for prop and guide that which is
universally right throughout the world, that which is best for the
people of the State you serve.

Such were Gordon’s sentiments when he first entered upon his task;
well would it have been for Egypt, England, and the world, had his
successors taken them to heart and made them their ideal. In such a
case the peace, the happiness he brought to the Soudan might still have
been preserved.

Never perhaps in the histories of barbarous rule were the ideals of
justice and truth more needed than at this date (1874). Seven-eighths
of the population were slaves; the country swarmed with slave-hunters
and slave-dealers; and district governors, greedy for pelf, aided and
abetted them in their raids. So crushed were the remaining population
that they regarded all comers as their foes; so destitute that they
were ready and willing to exchange their own kin for cattle or for
grain. Their flocks and herds, like their kindred, had been robbed.
To sow they were afraid, for governors and slave-hunters never let
them reap; and if perchance they cultivated ground, it was a mere
patch hidden in some distant nook out of the enemy’s way. The maxims
of their rulers, prior to Gordon’s advent, had been that if the
natives—poor unenlightened blacks—did not act in the most civilised
fashion, then must they be punished; and when these rulers for their
own acts were brought to book, they cited the native custom of “plunder
no offence” in their own excuse. How the governors, in league with
dealers and hunters, had acted up to these precepts, was apparent
enough in the desolation which reigned around, for amid the jungle of
stunted trees and tall grasses not a soul was to be seen—all driven
away by the slavers in past years. With the Egyptian Government such
was the estimate of this waste, that it did service as a colony for
misdemeanants among Arab troops; and hundreds of these died from the
damp and the dulness of the scene. In other parts less than 100 men
dared not move from one station to another, in fear of the retaliating
tribes, and so far were these stations apart that it took six weeks to
communicate one with the other. In addition to this certain chieftains
who inhabited the borders of the great lakes were engaged in wars in
which the capture of slaves was the main motive.

Such, in brief, was the state of affairs between Kartoum and the
Lakes when Gordon made his journey thither; yet it afforded in no way
the only instance of oppression, anarchy or misrule in these lands.
In Kordofan and Darfour the slave-traffic was even more formidable
than here. In the latter province a war between the slave-dealers and
the Sultan’s troops was just concluded, and the two vast lands, with
Darfertit, had been made into a Homkumdircat, or Governor-General’s
district responsible to Cairo, and separated from the Soudan. But
Gordon’s work was for the present confined to laying down a chain of
posts between Gondokoro and the Lakes, and by this and other means
contributing to the welfare of the tribes and the confusion of the
slavers. To gain the confidence of the natives was his first care; and
to this end he ventured alone and unarmed into those isolated spots,
whither not less than a hundred men had dared to go. Then he showed
the people how they might sow their grain without fear, supplying them
with enough to live on until their wants were met; he also taught them
the use of money, and gave them task-work. It was infinitely little, he
said, among such a mass, but it was at any rate something, and might
perhaps enable him to solve the question whether the negroes would work
sufficiently to keep themselves if life and property were secured.
To give them this protection, he seized all convoys of slaves, and
ivory and cattle coming from the south, punished the slave-dealers, or
converted them into troops, for they were hard, active fellows, the
remnant of an ancient race; and designing and despotic governors he
despatched to Cairo or Kartoum. The slaves themselves, until he could
deliver them over to their kinsfolk, he kept, the cattle and the ivory
he confiscated, and with the proceeds swelled the Government treasury.

It would seem the fate of those who devote their lives to the cause of
humanity to be foiled instead of aided in their aim. In all his efforts
for the good of these blacks Gordon met with every form of interference
whence he might at least expect support. Ismail Pasha Yacoub, the
Governor-General of the Soudan, jealous of the new Governor of the
Equator and fearful of exposure from so conscientious a servant of the
State, put every obstacle in Gordon’s way; and the Khedive himself was
not always mindful of the many difficulties to be encountered. But
Gordon said, to blame the Khedive for his actions you must blame his
people, and blame their Creator; they act after their kind, and in the
fashion they were made. So that he took little heed of all this. He was
content to let it be widely known that the motto of his province would
henceforth be Hurryat (liberty); and this meant that no man should
interfere with another, that there should be an end to kidnapping
and all plunder, an end to despotic Pashas; and those who objected
were told that the motto included _their_ liberty to quit. Moreover,
he was of opinion that those who annexed the province needed as much
civilisation as those they attempted to civilise; and, whenever it was
necessary, in the interests of his people, he never hesitated to show
them that this was his view.

Still, though he succeeded in giving peace and happiness to the
people, in reforming the cruelties of Mudirs and Pashas, in settling
the disputes of warring chiefs, and in laying down the chain of posts
between Gondokoro and the Lakes: in making all these beneficent
reforms, his heart was ever burdened with the thought of how this new
and unaccustomed good would affect the people and their lands when,
as time went on, himself and his influence were removed, and his
successors, who understood his high intent as little as they understood
the people themselves, ruled in his stead. “I think, what right have
I to coax the natives to be quiet for them to fall into the hands of
rapacious Pashas? I think sometimes that through my influence I am
seducing the natives into a position where they will be a prey to my
Arab successor. They would never do for an Arab what they do for me. I
make friends with the tribes right and left.”

But, apart from these feelings, he was not satisfied; his success
in his own province had been complete, but, instead of meeting with
co-operation from the adjoining Soudan, he had encountered nothing
but interference from its then Governor-General, Ismail Pasha Yacoub,
to whose interests it was to let slavery go on. For this reason,
therefore, Gordon, after three years’ labour, resigned his post as
Governor of the Equator. But the step was taken in a wavering spirit;
and these are among his last words ere he left: “By retiring I do not
aid anything; by staying I keep my province safe from injustice and
cruelty in some degree. Why should I fear? Is man stronger than God?
Things have come to such a pass in these Mussulman countries that a
crisis must come about soon.”

These significant words, so terribly confirmed less then ten years
later, were uttered in September of 1876.

Gordon’s resignation soon led to his reinstatement on terms more
fitted to his views. In the new position he felt strongly that, great
as was the trust and the almost superhuman work expected of him, if
he did not entirely succeed at least he would not be hampered. He was
not only appointed Governor-General of the Soudan in Ismail Pasha
Yacoub’s stead; he was given authority such as none had previously
enjoyed—complete power, civil and military, with the life or death of
his subjects in his hand; and no man dare enter his dominions without
special leave. He had stipulated that this supreme command should
be independent of Cairo, for he knew the Egyptian authorities to be
in favour of the slave-trade. The undefined territory now his had
hitherto been subject to several governments—Arab, Egyptian, Turkish.
Henceforth Soudan was to mean the vast territory limited on the north
by Upper Egypt, on the south by the Lakes, on the east by Abyssinia and
the Red Sea, and on the west extending beyond Kordofan and the newly
acquired sultanate of Darfour—the whole roughly estimated at more than
1600 miles in length, and 700 miles in width. There were to be three
Vakeels or Sub-Governors: one for the original Soudan, another for
Darfour, and a third for the Red Sea, or Eastern Soudan.

The suppression of slavery, in which he had been so far successful
in his own province, and the improvement of communications, which he
had long declared to be the one means by which that traffic could
be effectually checked, were the two objects to which Gordon was to
specially direct his aim.

Remembering his recent experiences, he was fully prepared for the
condition of his new subjects. In his predecessor, Ismail Pasha Yacoub,
he had already recognised the quintessence of Egyptian cupidity and
Turkish misrule—the main cause of the people’s ruin. The experiences
of the first months of his administration only served to confirm his
worst fears; whithersoever he looked he saw an enlarged picture of
native misery and destitution, of alien cruelty and oppression he had
before witnessed. He saw that the Circassian Pashas, the Bashi-Bazouks,
the Arab soldiery, the slave-hunters, were by their acts fast goading
the people to revolt; that tribes which without their interference
would have been at peace were now at war; that towns which under
proper rule would have flourished were starving or besieged; and that
the land, otherwise fertile, was a waste. On every hand he found
caravans of packed slaves hungering and parching in the sun, far from
their homes and far from their goal, unless that goal were death;
deserts strewn with innumerable bones; armed bands of slave-hunters,
dogged by the vulture-like dealers, waiting and watching for further
prey; and over all these reigned the miscreant spirit of Zubair, the
slave-king, now ostensibly a prisoner at Cairo for past deeds, but
actually aiding and abetting this cruel war against man through his
son Suleiman, the chief of his deserted band. To remove Zubair’s
influence was as impossible of achievement as to cut off the demand
for slaves at Cairo, Constantinople, or Stamboul; but to break up
Suleiman and his band lay within Gordon’s grasp, and, as one of the
main causes of trouble, he made it his foremost aim. How he did this
by the simple power of his presence, and how Suleiman and his six
thousand, after signal submission, again broke out into open revolt so
soon as Gordon’s presence was required elsewhere, affords one of the
most striking examples of the personal influence he had acquired. Alone
and himself unarmed he had temporarily succeeded in disarming these
rebels; but, this failing in permanent use, he effectually quelled them
in battle; then, to show his people, his Government, and the world
how great a wrong this slavery was, he ordered the summary execution
of the ringleaders. “With the death of Zubair’s son,” he said, “there
is an end of the slave-trade.” Never had the Government such a chance
of preventing its renewal. He had disbanded the Bashi-Bazouks, he
had dismissed the peculating Mudirs and Pashas; and when he left the
country, after a three years’ reign, the people blessed him, and begged
him to return.

Had he been allowed to act according to the letter and the spirit of
the Firman he received, it is most probable that he would never this
second time have resigned; but the overthrow of Ismail at Cairo and
the dissolution of the Dual Control had with other changes brought
new law-makers for the Soudan. Ismail, though in many respects an
imprudent ruler, had at least the merit of believing in his English
Governor-General, and of supporting him whenever it lay in his power.
Gordon’s lonely ride into the slavers’ camp at Shaka had fired the
ex-Khedive’s imagination, and it was observed that, whenever the Court
Pashas attempted to criticise Gordon’s methods of rule, the Khedive
referred them to this deed. Moreover, he openly acknowledged him as
his superior, and fought his battles as those of one who was above the
murmur of men. Gordon has, indeed, himself recorded how the Khedive
sent him a congratulatory letter on the suppression of Suleiman,
adding that during the time of his rule the ex-Khedive supported him
through thick and thin against his own Pashas and his own people;
and certain it is that to the files of petitions sent to him against
Gordon he would never listen. But when Towfik was set up it was a
different affair. Never was he heard to mention Zubair’s name. As
for the slave-trade, it was equally ignored. Nay, worse than this,
the Cairo Pashas, powerless in Ismail’s time, had now full sway, and
it being in their interests that the slave-trade should revive, the
choice of Gordon’s successor was settled among themselves. It fell
to Réouf Pasha, a man whom Sir Samuel Baker had already exposed as a
murderer, and whom Gordon had in 1877 turned out of Harrat for acts of
oppression. The appointment, therefore, meant nothing more nor less
than a declaration in favour of the slavers; and it was because Gordon
feared this result that he had said six months before, viz., in April
1879, that “If the liberation of slaves takes place in 1884, and _if
the present system of government goes on, there cannot fail to be a
revolt of the whole country_.” And again he says in 1878, “There is no
doubt that if the Government of France and England pay more attention
to the Soudan and see that justice is done, the disruption of the
Soudan from Cairo is only a matter of time. This disruption, moreover,
will not end the troubles for the Soudanese, though their allies in
Lower Egypt will carry on their efforts in Cairo itself.”[1]

How prophetic these words have since proved to be it is needless to
say. In April 1880, just a year later, Gordon wrote, as he left for

 I have learned with equal pain and indignation that the Khedive
 and his subordinate officers have permitted the resuscitation of
 the slave-trade in Darfour and the other provinces of central and
 equatorial Africa, and that fresh parties of slave-hunters are forming
 at Obeyed in Kordofan, and that every order which I gave concerning
 the suppression of this abomination has been cancelled.

 The two missionaries—Wilson and Felkin—who have lately come down
 from Uganda, passed through these districts, and they tell me that the
 slave-hunters are all ready to start once more upon their detestable
 trade, and that there is a very strong feeling abroad that all the
 Europeans, including of course Gessi and the other officers who acted
 under me, are about to be turned out of the country. This report, even
 if it be untrue, will largely serve to lower the authority of the
 European officers, and to render their work more difficult.

 This news is very disheartening, especially when one realises the
 immense misery which will ensue to the remains of these poor tribes of
 helpless negroes.

The events which followed on these first examples of a wholesale
perversion of Gordon’s methods have proved over and over again the
value of his warning words; it is worthy of special remark that among
the causes of the great rebellion which ensued, as interpreted by
the English Government in their history and the insurrection of the
False Prophet,[2] not the religious fanaticism of the native tribes
has a foremost place, but the venality and oppression of by Egyptian
officials, the unjust manner of collecting the taxes, and, _above all,
the suppression of the slave-trade, which Gordon had repeatedly said
must lead to future troubles, unless accompanied by a proper system of

Thus the condition into which the Soudan drifted during Gordon’s
absence was due to deliberate neglect of the precautions he had urged.
Had the Egyptian Government watched and warded off the regeneration of
the slavers after Gordon dealt his final blow in Suleiman’s death; had
they set their face against the oppression and cupidity of their own
officials, the Soudan might still have been at peace, as Gordon left
it in 1879. But the new rulers were in favour of slavery, in favour
of oppression, in favour of _backsheesh_; and “a revolt of the whole
country” was their reward.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is needless to do more than briefly recall the events preceding
those related by Gordon himself in these Journals. Every one remembers
his going, and the triumph of his journey and reception in the Soudan;
the wide welcome which his first Proclamation received, and the
fortunes of the peace policy he at first endeavoured to pursue. Every
one remembers how, before he had been in Kartoum a week, he issued
a further Proclamation, warning the rebellious against forcing him
to severe measures. The Sheikhs and people were anxious to be loyal;
without Government protection they would be forced, in self-defence,
to join the Mahdi. This Colonel Stewart had discovered in his journey
up the White Nile. For this reason Zubair was asked for, the only man
of enough prestige to hold the country together. A Pasha among the
Shaggyeh irregulars, a tribe wavering between loyalty and revolt, and
blockaded at Halfyeh, outside the city,—to him were open sources of
information closed to the English Governor-General. Zubair would prove
stronger than the Mahdi, and the Mahdi must be “smashed up;” otherwise,
not only would peace and the evacuation of Kartoum be impossible,
but Egypt itself would be in danger. This state of affairs and the
measures necessary for a new departure being alike unacceptable to Her
Majesty’s Government, Gordon thereupon used, as he had every right to
do, the resources to his hand. His predictions as to what would result
if Zubair were not sent up were soon realised. The rebels gradually
gathered round the city, besieged its outlying suburbs, and cut the
communications. His suffering subjects, unable to hold out, were
either killed or, escaping, went over to the enemy. In some cases he
managed to drive the rebels from the trenches of Kartoum, and even to
relieve the beleagured villages, and return loaded with ammunition and
stores; in others, his army of defence, composed largely of Egyptians
and Bashi-Bazouks, encountered miserable defeat. These expeditions
were made in small steamers, armoured with boiler plates and carrying
mountain guns, with wooden mantlets of his own contriving. On one
occasion the rebels so harassed the city that Gordon resolved on a
sortie; but no sooner had the rebels retired to a place of safety
than five of his own commanders charged back on their men and aided
the rebels, who suddenly leaped from their hiding-place, driving the
affrighted army back to Kartoum. In this treacherous and cowardly
affair the loss on both sides was great; but the disgrace was the
besiegers’, and of it they showed their sense by crying out for justice
on the traitors. Two of them were tried and found guilty, and were
shot by the men they had outraged. Henceforth the city was exposed to
the attacks of the Mahdi’s troops; the streets, the Mission House, the
Palace were hourly shelled; citizens died as they passed from end to
end; but the Governor-General, always exposed as in old days, though
daily inspecting the lines or pacing the Palace roof, escaped unhurt.

Meantime the strength of the rebellion grew with every day; the Mahdi,
still at El Obeyed, had despatched his emissaries in all directions;
around Suakin, Berber, Shendy, Kassala, the rebels rapidly recruited
their ranks. The would-be loyal fell from sheer collapse; they were
unable to help themselves. All chance of relief was gone, and the rebel
leaders re-echoed in jeering tones the Governor-General’s reiterated
words, “The English are coming.” Then Berber, the main link between
Kartoum and Cairo, cried out for help, but like those at Tokar and
those at Sinkat, it cried out in vain. To do as he pleased was the
answer sent to its hitherto loyal Governor; and, to save his people
and himself, he joined the Mahdi’s hordes. In his triumph, the False
Prophet despatched two dervishes to Kartoum, to ask if Gordon would
himself become a follower of the Imam, the Expected One; but they were
told that no terms could be made while Kartoum held its ground.

All hope of a peace, all hope of aid from his own Government or
country, being at an end, Gordon forthwith began to provision the
town, and to take such steps as would ensure a safe means of defence
and attack. Money was scarce, so a paper currency was established,
and three of the wealthier citizens were called upon to advance sums
on the Governor-General’s security. Their arrears were paid, the poor
were succoured, and rations issued. All possible precautions were taken
for the safety of the people. Mines were contrived, torpedoes laid,
and broken glass and wire entanglements arranged, and watchers posted
everywhere. The blacks quartered in the poorer district of the town
were made to serve, and all men ordered to bear arms; the staple food
of officers was biscuit, and dhoora was given the men. Having made all
his arrangements on land, he now turned his attention to the Nile; and,
as in the campaign against the Taipings, so in this desperate struggle
with the Arabs, he organized out of the wretched materials at hand a
fleet such as the rebels could not withstand. Thus he avenged defeat,
drew in stores and guns, and held the enemy at bay. So that for eleven
long months, spite of mutiny, cowardice and treachery within, and the
constant attacks from the enemy without, he held his own; and to spare,
out of the little navy he had built, a steamer for the conveyance of
his comrades, Stewart, Power, Herbin, and the Greeks. Moreover, when at
last the news of the English Expedition arrived, he was further able
to send down three other boats to Metemma for their use. It is at this
point, when vainly watching day and night for English help, that the
Journals begin. How his time was passed till we should come, how he
viewed our chances of success, and how he proposed to act if we at last
did arrive—this is a story which the Journals tell themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have endeavoured to show the conditions under which the people of
the Soudan existed during Gordon’s absence and during his presence.
The contrast is sufficient to enable the world to believe that if
any man were capable of restoring order to the country, that man was
Gordon. But when he left England for the Soudan as the Envoy of Her
Majesty’s Government, he had no authority to _act_, for his mission was
only to advise. He was to report to Her Majesty’s Government on the
military situation in the Soudan, and on the measures which it might
be deemed advisable to take for the security of the Egyptian garrisons
still holding positions in that country, and for the safety of the
European population in Kartoum; and, further, upon the manner in which
the safety and good administration of the Egyptian Government of the
ports on the sea coast could best be secured. So far then all _action_
lay in the hands of the Government to which Gordon was to make his
report: the administrators were to be Her Majesty’s Ministers and their
representative at Cairo, while Gordon was to be their informant, and
perhaps subsequently their agent, to carry out such measures as they
might think fit to adopt. With this arrangement in view, all who knew
Gordon’s character and antecedents felt that the only chance for the
Soudan lay in Her Majesty’s Government first accepting such suggestions
as he might append to his report, and, second, in their giving him
_carte blanche_ to carry out those suggestions in his own way. Little
heed was paid to the clause which said, “You will consider yourself
authorised and instructed to perform such other duties as the Egyptian
Government may desire to entrust to you,” for its possible value seemed
upset by the concluding sentence, “and as may be communicated to you by
Sir E. Baring.” Yet this clause, strangely enough, enabled Gordon to
hold a position over which even Her Majesty’s Government could have no
control, unless they openly declared the annexation of Egypt and the
Soudan. The Egyptian Government, that is the Khedive and his ministers,
elected again to appoint Gordon Governor-General of the Soudan; Gordon
elected to accept that appointment; and Her Majesty’s Government
elected to sanction the acceptance, in an official communication
forwarded to him through their representative, Sir E. Baring. From this
moment Gordon’s position was entirely altered. Her Majesty’s Government
and the Egyptian Government agreed that his mission was no longer to
be one of mere reporting. He was to “_evacuate the Soudan, and the
Egyptian Government had the fullest confidence in his judgment and
knowledge of the country, and of his comprehension of the general line
of policy to be pursued; and no effort was to be wanting on the part of
the Cairo authorities, whether English or Egyptian, to afford him all
the co-operation and support in their power_.”

When it became an established fact that General Gordon,
Governor-General of the Soudan, had been sent up to evacuate the
garrisons of the country, it also became an established fact that the
method of conducting that evacuation had passed out of the hands of
Her Majesty’s Government; and one may also say it had virtually passed
out of the hands of the Egyptian Government while Gordon held the
Firman of the Khedive. Therefore, as this Firman was never cancelled
from the day of Gordon’s departure from Cairo to the day of his death
at Kartoum, and as it said, amongst other things, “We do hereby
appoint you Governor-General of the Soudan, and we trust that you
will carry out our good intentions for the establishment of justice
and order, and that you will assure the peace and prosperity of the
people of Soudan by maintaining the security of the roads open, &c.,”
it is as unfair as it is illogical to talk about “_General Gordon
having exceeded the instructions conveyed to him by Her Majesty’s
Government_.” These instructions were neither more nor less than those
conveyed to him by the Khedive of Egypt, who actually delegated his
own power to his Governor-General. To exceed his instructions was an
impossibility; to fulfil or to disappoint all the hopes expressed in
them was a possibility dependent solely on the good or bad faith of the
Governments who employed him.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fact that Gordon held his commission in Her Majesty’s service
and the Governor-Generalship of the Soudan at the same time, in no
way compromised him with Her Majesty’s Government in regard to their
wishes as to how this or that should be done, or as to how this or that
should be left undone: yet he tried earnestly to identify himself with
their wishes as far as in doing so he could keep faith with the people
he was endeavouring to assist, and with whom he began to compromise
himself. That he was justified in so doing there should be no shadow
of doubt even in the minds of Mr. Gladstone’s ministry. The wishes of
the Khedive were accepted by Gordon as the wishes of Her Majesty’s
Government, and he had begun to act, _i.e._ to compromise himself with
the Soudanese and the beleaguered garrisons before he reached Kartoum.

These are the Khedive’s wishes as expressed in a letter to Gordon,
dated January 26th, 1884:—


 You are aware that the object of your arrival here and of your mission
 to the Soudan is to carry into execution the evacuation of those
 territories, and to withdraw our troops, civil officials, and such
 of the inhabitants, together with their belongings, as may wish to
 leave for Egypt. We trust that your Excellency will adopt the most
 effective measures for the accomplishment of your mission in this
 respect, and that, after completing the evacuation, you will take
 the necessary steps for establishing an organised Government in the
 different provinces of the Soudan, for the maintenance of order, and
 the cessation of all disasters and incitement to revolt.

 We have full confidence in your tried abilities and tact, and are
 convinced that you will accomplish your mission according to our

The Khedive could hardly have written this letter had he imagined
Lord Granville would telegraph three months later to Gordon, saying
that “undertaking military expeditions was beyond the scope of the
commission he held, and at variance with the pacific policy which was
the purpose of his mission to the Soudan.”

Effective measures for the accomplishment of General Gordon’s mission
included the possibility and great probability of serious fighting in
the interest of a pacific policy, and it is strange if Lord Granville
were unable to grasp that fact when he endorsed the Khedive’s Firman.

So far I have advanced only a few of the innumerable proofs of Gordon’s
authority to act as he thought fit; as to his capabilities and his
judgment it is unnecessary to speak. Of those who subsequently would
not accept his judgment, one, Mr. Gladstone, said, “It was our duty,
whatever we might feel, to beware of interfering with Gordon’s plans,
and before we adopted any scheme that should bear that aspect (_i.e._
the aspect of interference), to ask whether _in his judgment_ there
would or would not be such an interference.” The other, Sir Charles
Dilke, said, “He is better able to _form a judgment_ than anybody.
He will have, I make no doubt, every support he can need in the
prosecution of his mission.”

Personally I do not believe that a single Cabinet Minister doubted
Gordon’s authority to act as he thought fit, nor do I believe a single
Cabinet Minister doubted either his capabilities or his judgment. It
was only when the Government realised how strong that authority was;
how significantly Gordon proposed to wield it, and how he meant to call
upon his country to support him in what was right, irrespective of
party feeling and of prejudiced public opinion, that references were
made to “_General Gordon’s peculiar views_” and to “_his disobedience
of orders_.” I would let the latter remark pass as unworthy of further
comment, were it not for the fact that it has become a common phrase
among the working classes in the North of England, when they are either
speaking of or are spoken to about General Gordon. Now I sincerely
trust and believe that the Journals will be read eagerly by the working
classes; they cannot occupy their leisure time better than in reading
them, and, indeed, in learning much of them by heart. I would say then,
to these people, _Do not believe that General Gordon was disobedient to
his Government._ His Government permitted him to accept the Khedive’s
Firman, appointing him Governor-General of the Soudan, with full
powers, civil and military, and the Khedive desired him to “evacuate
the garrisons of the country, and to restore order;” and the way in
which this was to be done was left to the discretion of the man who
had to do it. I would also ask these people to note particularly that
the Khedive did not tell him to evacuate the garrisons of Kartoum and
leave the other garrisons in the lurch; did not tell him to sacrifice
everything rather than engage in military operations against the Mahdi;
did not tell him to identify his interests with those of the people and
then to get away as best he could, and to leave the people to their
fate. Had the Khedive told him to do this, he would never have accepted
the Governor-Generalship of the Soudan; and, when his own Government
suggested this method as a way out of difficulties, the substance of
his numerous replies was, “Our relative positions do not justify you in
giving me such orders. I can only accept them as your wishes; and the
duty I owe to myself, as a God-fearing and an honourable man, prevents
me being able to comply with them.”

When Gordon telegraphed to Sir E. Baring, “You must see that you
could not recall me nor could I possibly obey until the Cairo employés
get out from all the places. I have named men to different places,
thus involving them with the Mahdi; how could I look the world in the
face if I abandoned them and fled? As a gentleman could you advise
this course?” he really telegraphed a bitter rebuke to the English
Government; and when he added, “It may have been a mistake to send
me up, but, having been done, I have no option but to see evacuation
through,” he merely pointed out, what the Government already knew,
namely, that the position they had allowed him to accept was one over
which they had no legal control, unless they announced the annexation
of Egypt. I, therefore, again most emphatically repeat, that Gordon
in no instance disobeyed his Government, though he frequently had
to tell them how utterly unable he was to execute their wishes. The
Governor-General of the Soudan had definite orders from the Khedive,
whose servant he was, and these orders could not be capsized by the
English Government, unless the Khedive were deposed or Egypt were

I cannot conclude this portion of my subject in a better way than by
quoting what the Khedive said to Baron Malortie, after he had appointed
Gordon Governor-General of the Soudan. Speaking of his mission, he

 I could not give a better proof of my intention than by accepting
 Gordon as Governor-General with full powers to take whatever steps he
 may judge best for obtaining the end my Government and Her Majesty’s
 Government have in view. I could not do more than delegate to Gordon
 my own power and make him irresponsible arbiter of the situation.
 Whatever he does will be well done, whatever arrangements he will make
 are accepted in advance, whatever combination he may decide upon will
 be binding for us; and in thus placing unlimited trust in the Pasha’s
 judgment I have only made one condition: _that he should provide for
 the safely of the Europeans and the Egyptian civilian element_. He is
 now the supreme master, and my best wishes accompany him on a mission
 of such gravity and importance, for _my heart aches at the thought
 of the thousands of loyal adherents whom a false step may doom to
 destruction_. I have no doubt that Gordon Pasha will do his best to
 sacrifice as few as possible; and, should he succeed, with God’s help,
 in accomplishing the evacuation of Kartoum and the chief ports in
 the Eastern Soudan, he will be entitled to the everlasting gratitude
 of my people, who at present tremble that help may come too late.
 To tell you that he will succeed is more than I or any mortal could
 prognosticate, for there are tremendous odds against him. But let us
 hope for the best, and, as far as I and my Government are concerned,
 he shall find the most loyal and energetic support.[3]

       *       *       *       *       *

The points I have already dwelt upon are all-important for the correct
interpretation of what Gordon says in his Journals. There are now two
other questions, with which I must deal. The first of these is “To
what extent were H.M. Government morally bound to support Gordon?” The
answer is to be found in the conditions laid down in the Khedive’s
Firman, which H.M. Government endorsed. Mr. Gladstone admitted as
much in the House of Commons on Feb. 14th, when he said: “The direct
actions and direct functions in which General Gordon is immediately
connected with this Government are, I think, pretty much absorbed in
the greater duties of the large mission he has undertaken under the
immediate authority of the Egyptian Government, _with the full moral
and political responsibility of the British Government_.” Therefore we
owed the same kind of responsibility to Gordon as it owed to Egypt,
moral and political. Gordon shows in his Journals what brought about
our responsibility to Egypt. First, we were morally to blame for
General Hicks’s defeat, for had we prevented the Fellaheen conscripts
being dragged in chains from their homes, and sent up to recruit
Hicks’s army, Hicks would not have left Kartoum, and his troops would
not have been annihilated. Through this disaster we became morally
responsible for the extended influence of the Mahdi, who, previous to
crushing a huge army, had merely defeated small detachments of troops
far inferior to his own. It was the crushing of Hicks’s force which led
the Mahdi to put forth his agents in all parts of the Soudan, and thus
to convert a trumpery local rising into a wide-spreading rebellion. So
much for our responsibility from a moral point of view. Our political
responsibility began with the order to abandon the Soudan (which was
unnecessary interference on our part, inasmuch as the Soudan was
practically lost), and was followed up by our objection to the despatch
of Egyptian or Turkish troops, our sending Gordon, and our operations
for the relief of Tokar and Sinkat. Right through we forced the hand of
the Khedive. Why did we not go one step further and force him to cancel
the Firman by which he appointed Gordon Governor-General of the Soudan?
Had we done this, Gordon would have reverted to his original position
as reporter to Her Majesty’s Government, or he could have endeavoured
to leave Kartoum at once, as his responsibilities towards the people of
the Soudan would have ceased. Until we did this we were as responsible
to him, morally and politically, as we were to the Egyptian Government.
A little decision here might have spared to us Gordon, Colonel Stewart,
and Mr. Power; might have prevented the loss of thousands of other
lives; might have saved us millions of money.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am only endeavouring to place Gordon’s situation and action in a
fair light, and I cannot do this without pointing out how greatly
England has been to blame in not accepting a responsibility for
which she made herself liable. This brings me directly to the second
question, which deals with the reason why Gordon, with the promised
support of Egypt and England, failed not only to restore order to the
Soudan, but even to extricate the beleaguered garrisons. Volumes have
been already written on this subject, and there are probably volumes
yet to come, particularly those representing that Journal by Gordon
and Colonel Stewart, which was captured by a treacherous enemy, and
is now supposed to be in the hands of Mahomet Achmet, the Mahdi. I
will content myself then with an endeavour to supply what I feel is
the substance of the answer to be found, in this missing Journal, to
the question I have raised. _Gordon was constantly thwarted and never
supported_ is the summary of a whole which I will give in detail as
briefly as I can.

(1) Gordon wished to visit the Mahdi if he thought fit, but Sir E.
Baring gave him a positive order from Her Majesty’s Government that he
was on no account to do so. Of course, as I have already shown, Gordon,
in his position as Governor-General, need not have accepted this as an
order, but he was, as he always has been, most anxious to conform to
the wishes or desires expressed by Her Majesty’s Government, when those
wishes affected only a point of judgment, and not a point of duty or a
point of honour.

(2) Gordon proposed to go direct from Kartoum to the Bahr Gazelle and
Equatorial Provinces, but Her Majesty’s Government refused to sanction
his proceeding beyond Kartoum.

(3) Gordon desired 3000 Turkish troops, in British pay, to be sent to
Suakin, but Her Majesty’s Government, advised by Sir E. Baring, who
disapproved of the measure, declined to send these troops.

(4) Gordon, being convinced that some government was essential for
the safety of the Soudan, suggested the appointment of Zubair as his
successor, and gave the most cogent reasons why it was absolutely
necessary for the accomplishment of his mission that the appointment
should be made. He reiterated his request over and over again from
February to December. Her Majesty’s Government would not permit the
Khedive to make this appointment.

(5) Gordon requested that in the interests of England, Egypt, and the
Soudan, he should be provided with a Firman which recognised a moral
control and suzerainty over the Soudan. This was peremptorily refused.

(6) Gordon asked for Indian Moslem troops to be sent to Wady Halfa.
They were refused him.

(7) In March Gordon desired 100 British troops to be sent to Assouan
or to Wady Halfa. In making known this desire to Her Majesty’s
Government, Sir E. Baring said he would not risk sending so small a
body, and the principal medical officer said the climate would exercise
an injurious effect on the troops. These troops were not sent.

(8) Gordon, for the sake of everything and everybody concerned, showed
that the Mahdi’s power must be smashed. Her Majesty’s Government
declined to assist in, or even to countenance, the process.

(9) Gordon, in a series of eleven telegrams, explained his
difficulties, and said that if Her Majesty’s Government would not send
British troops to Wady Halfa, an adjutant to inspect Dongola, and
then open up the Berber-Suakin route by Indian Moslem troops, they
would probably have to decide between Zubair or the Mahdi, and he
concluded these telegrams by saying he would do his best to carry out
his instructions, _but felt convinced he would be caught in Kartoum_.
Sir Evelyn Baring, in his reply to these telegrams, recommended Gordon
_to reconsider the whole question carefully, and then to state in one
telegram what he recommended_!

(10) Gordon telegraphed: “_The combination of Zubair and myself is an
absolute necessity for success. To do any good we must be together, and
that without delay;_” and he supplemented this by another telegram,
saying: “_Believe me, I am right; and do not delay._” The combination
was not permitted.

(11) Sir Evelyn Baring telegraphed to Lord Granville that General
Gordon _had on several occasions_ pressed for 200 British troops to be
sent to Wady Halfa, but that he (Baring) did not think it desirable to
comply with the request.

(12) Gordon desired a British diversion at Berber, but Sir Evelyn
Baring replied that there was no intention to send an English force to

(13) Gordon, foiled on every point, telegraphed a graceful adieu to
Her Majesty’s Government. Then came the fall of Berber, upon which
Sir Evelyn Baring at once telegraphed to Lord Granville that it _had
now become of the utmost importance not only to open the road between
Suakin and Berber, but “to come to terms with the tribes between
Berber and Kartoum_”; and Lord Granville telegraphed to Sir E. Baring
that “_General Gordon had several times suggested a movement on Wady
Halfa, which might support him by threatening an advance on Dongola,
and, under the present circumstances at Berber, this might be found

After this, may we not well echo Gordon’s sentiments, “What a farce
if it did not deal with men’s lives”? If Gordon, instead of being
_thwarted_, had only been _not supported_, how different might have
been the result of his mission to the Soudan! Indeed, one may say how
different _would_ have been the result! for Gordon has practically
said this, and he was a competent and a reliable judge. If England and
Egypt had only said, “We will give you no help at all; do what you can
with the material you have about you, and do not refer to us until
you have succeeded, or until you have failed,” I confidently believe
Gordon would have at least relieved the beleaguered garrisons of the
Soudan, and would have sent down all who wished to leave the country.
His weakness was that of trustfulness—the besetting weakness of an
honourable man: it had stood him in good stead through his campaigns
in China, and through his previous operations in the Soudan; through
terrible sufferings which had often made him wish for death. Then he
trusted enemies, and they always enabled him to save life. Now he
trusted friends, and they only enabled him to die.

       *       *       *       *       *

  “The evil that men do lives after them,
   The good is oft interred with their bones.”

Gordon tells us plainly in his Journals how great is the evil done by
the policy of Her Majesty’s Government, and for how long that evil will
live when the Government is dead. Is it not possible to avert something
of what is about to happen? Her Majesty’s Government are, I believe,
beginning to realise how thoroughly correct Gordon was in his views,
and how mistaken they were in not following his advice at the time he
gave it. At all events after he was dead they expressed their intention
of doing much he recommended while he lived. They have been always very
late: too late to save Gordon’s life, and too late to save the lives of
many thousands. May they not be yet in time to prevent some of the evil
that must live after them? I think Gordon tells them in his Journals
they may, and I think he also tells them how. It is impossible to read
carefully what he says without feeling that he did not expect to live
long, and that he had a distinct presentiment he would die at Kartoum.
At all events there is a strong undercurrent of this presentiment all
through, and it even rises to the surface every now and then when
he appears to be taking a hopeful and almost a cheerful view of the
situation. At times it carries all before it, as for example when he
emphasises the possibility of the fall of Kartoum under the nose of the
expedition, and again in the words with which he concludes his sixth
and last volume; but then, on the other hand, it is often quite out
of sight, especially at such times as he is discussing his position
as Governor-General, and turning over in his mind the expediency of
appointing Lord Wolseley or Sir Evelyn Baring as his successor. But,
whether on the surface or deep down, I think it is always there, and
I feel sure that some of his numerous efforts at a solution of the
Soudan problem were intended as final instructions for Her Majesty’s
Government, to be read after his death or after the fall of Kartoum.
The days of prophecy are gone, and I do not at all wish to place Gordon
in the light of the ancient orthodox and professional seer, but in
considering his career one cannot avoid being struck by the remarkable
way in which the lost gift of prophecy has been replaced by the power
of combining knowledge with judgment. It would be well if Her Majesty’s
Government would bear this in mind, and lay down a distinct line of
policy and action with regard to the Soudan, which should be based
upon what Gordon recommends. The recall of the troops from the Soudan
may have been necessary to meet the exigencies of the moment, or it
may not; but it is a pity it did not precede Lord Wolseley’s letter to
Cassim el Mousse Pasha:—

 We mean to destroy the power of Mohammed Achmet at Kartoum, no matter
 how long it may take us to do so; you know Gordon Pasha’s countrymen
 _are not likely to turn back from any enterprise they have begun until
 it has been fully accomplished_. When that happy event takes place I
 hope to be able to establish you amongst your own people, and that you
 and all others will realise that the _English nation does not forget
 those who serve it faithfully_.[4]

       *       *       *       *       *

General Gordon’s Journals are sufficiently characteristic to enable
those who read them with care to know their author perfectly. The
first volume is alone a very complete introduction, in which each
succeeding page brings you to a closer intimacy. If a friendship is
not established before reaching the sixth, then all that is noble and
chivalrous in man can have no charm. Examples of his rare genius,
his nobility, his honesty and his marvellous energy are to be found
throughout, but, in pointing out a few characteristics, I will confine
myself to the first volume, as I propose to refer chiefly to special
points of military and political interest in the others.

In this first volume then we have an interesting instance of Gordon’s
nobility, when he declines to have anything to do with certain doubtful
proposals made by the apostate Europeans in the Mahdi’s camp, for he
declares “treachery never succeeds; and it is better to fail with clean
hands than to be mixed up with dubious acts and dubious men. Maybe it
is better to fall with honour than to gain the victory with dishonour,
and in this view the Ulemas are agreed, for they will have nought to do
with the proposals of treachery.”

The generosity of his feeling towards the enemy is shown when he says:
“I do not call our enemy rebels, for it is a vexed question whether we
are not rebels, seeing I hold the Firman restoring the Soudan to its
chiefs.” His consideration is apparent in his regret at not being more
considerate; and his tolerance in the desire to spare even the lives of

His views on hypocrisy are humorously expressed when he is speaking
of the Mahdi’s trick of bringing tears to his eyes by the use of
pepper under his finger-nails, and, as tears are considered a proof of
sincerity, he recommends the recipe to Cabinet Ministers who wish to
justify some job.

His severity is evident in his remarks on diplomatists, whom he
considers most unsatisfactory men to have anything to do with in
their official capacity; and his irritability peeps out when he says:
“Egerton must have considered I was a complete idiot to have needed
permission to contract with tribes to escort down the refugees. I hope
he will get promoted, and will not be blamed for overstraining his

His religious earnestness is everywhere apparent, and he delights in
endeavours to interpret Scriptural passages, especially such as are
more or less paradoxical.

As example of his humility I select the passage where he says: “If we
will be with our Master we must be like Him, who from His birth to
His death may be said to have been utterly miserable as far as things
in this world are concerned. Yet I kick at the least obstacle to my
will.” His desire to help every one is to be seen on almost every page,
and his forethought, energy and judgment are also everywhere. His
notions of chivalry do not permit him to countenance the distribution
of honours to men who only do what he considers to be their duty, and
he does not approve of the Victoria Cross being given in cases of
_noblesse oblige_.

His determination often prompts him to speak very plainly: “If you
remove me from being Governor-General, then all responsibility is off
me; but if you keep me as Governor-General then I will, _at the cost
of my commission_ in Her Majesty’s service, see all refugees out of
this country.” His satire is generally severe, but there is nearly
always a cheerful or a good-natured ring in it. The following is a fair

 I am sure I should like that fellow Egerton; there is a big-hearted
 jocularity about his communications, and I should think the cares of
 life sat easily on him. He wishes to know exactly, “day, hour, and
 minute,” that I expect to be in difficulties as to provisions and

 Now I really think if Egerton was to turn over the “archives”
 (a delicious word) of his office, he would see we had been in
 difficulties for provisions for some months. It is as a man on the
 bank, having seen his friend in river already bobbed down two or three
 times, hails, “I say, old fellow, let us know when we are to throw
 you the life-buoy; I know you have bobbed down two or three times,
 but it is a pity to throw you the life-buoy until you really are _in
 extremis_, and I want to know _exactly_, for I am a man brought up
 in a school of exactitude, though I did _forget_ (?) to date my June
 telegram about _that Bedouin escort contract_.”

He is a strict disciplinarian, and never hesitates to rebuke laxness
in others. “If Abdel Kader is at Kassala,”[5] he says, “what on earth
are our people about not to tell me! for of course I could help him. We
seem to have lost our heads in the Intelligence Department, though it
costs enough money.”

His bluntness and honesty are often combined with subtle humour, and
an excellent notion of all three may be gathered from the last words in
this volume of the Journals:—

 As for “_evacuation_” it is one thing; as for “_ratting out_” it is
 another. I am quite of advice as to No. 1 (as we have not the decision
 to keep the country), but I will be no party to No. 2 (this “rat”
 business), 1st, because it is _dishonourable_; 2nd, because it is not
 _possible_ (which will have more weight); therefore, if it is going
 to be No. 2, _the troops had better not come beyond Berber till the
 question of what will be done is settled_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The interest of the second volume is great from a military point of
view, but its value is somewhat lessened by the fact that Gordon’s
instructions and suggestions were based on the assumption that the
relieving force would reach him some two months earlier than it did.
During those two months the conditions around Kartoum materially
changed, and with these altering conditions Gordon had to reconsider
many of the manœuvres he at first suggested. The political interest
chiefly consists in the strong recommendation that the country
should be given to the Turks, or that Zubair should be established
as Governor-General at Kartoum, and that the Equator should be given
to himself. “I will (D.V.) keep it,” he says, “from Zubair;” that is
to say, he will guard the country against all slave-hunters. In this
volume Gordon declines the imputation that the Expeditionary Force
has come for him, and shows how, to save our national honour, it has
come to extricate the garrisons of the Soudan. Of the troubles these
garrisons were causing him we get a fair notion, but his complaints
seem to be only a safety-valve for his humour. He knows the men about
him are treacherous and liars, but he almost seeks excuse for them when
he says: “Man is essentially a treacherous animal; and although the
Psalmist said in _his haste_ ‘all men are liars,’ I think he might have
said the same at his leisure.” This volume concludes with a new effort
to solve the Soudan problem by suggesting the Khedive should replace
him at once by appointing Abdel Kader Governor-General.

       *       *       *       *       *

This solution is fully discussed in the opening of Vol. III. It is not
one in which Gordon will participate, but it may prevent his being
antagonistic to the relieving force. Unless he is deposed nothing will
induce him to leave the Soudan until he can extricate the garrisons.
In removing him from the Governor-Generalship and in replacing him by
Abdel Kader, the Government would be utilising a man whom they could
mould to their own shape. Of course this solution was, as Gordon says,
in some degree “a trap,” but it recommended itself as the only way out
of the difficulty, if the Government decided to abandon the garrisons.

The only creditable solution, Gordon still affirms, is to be found in
handing the country over to the Turks with a subsidy or a sum down;
and he supplements his argument by a programme showing how by this
action Her Majesty’s troops could leave the Soudan with honour before
January 1885. “I think this would read well in history,” he says. “Her
Majesty’s Government, having accepted duties in Egypt, and consequently
in the Soudan, sent up a force to restore tranquillity, which having
been done, Her Majesty’s Government handed over the government of the
Soudan to the Sultan.” The necessity for this solution is the result,
in Gordon’s opinion, of the indecisions of Her Majesty’s Government,
and he enumerates with great care the causes which have hampered his
action and thus required the despatch of a relieving force. This volume
is perhaps more cheerful in its tone than any of the others. The
presentiment that the expedition will be too late to prevent disaster
is rarely evident, and the advance of the Mahdi promises to decide,
at all events, the fate of those who are shut up in Kartoum. “A month
will see him defeated or victorious, as God may will it,” and with this
philosophical consolation Gordon ceases to discuss the future of the
Soudan, and begins an interesting detailed account of the offensive and
defensive manœuvres which are taking place in and around Kartoum.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the fourth volume—the shortest of all—Gordon continues his
narrative of events, and shows how numerous and how wearisome are the
internal troubles with which he has to contend at Kartoum. Treachery
is silently at work, while indolence, selfishness, and dishonesty make
those who are not treacherous almost useless. He is the referee of
every petty dispute, as much as he is chief justice, administrator,
and commander-in-chief. The people demand his decision on every point,
political or personal, and wish to leave it to him to do or not to do,
irrespective of his knowing anything of the merits of the case they
bring before him. His counsellers say: “Do what you think right, you
will do better than we;” and his reflection is, “I, poor devil, do not
know where to turn.” Then in sorrow he exclaims, “Oh, our Government,
our Government! What has it not to answer for? Not to _me_, but to
these poor people. I declare if I thought the town wished the Mahdi
I would give it up: so much do I respect free will.” It is doubtless
these internal troubles which lead him to say: “It is of course on the
cards that Kartoum is taken under the nose of the Expeditionary Force,
which will be just _too late_.”

       *       *       *       *       *

In Vol. V., which begins on the first day of the Arab New Year, the
arrival of the Mahdi at Omdurman is reported. The treachery referred
to in the previous volume had led General Gordon to make numerous
arrests—a necessity he deplored; but these arrests in all probability
saved the fall of Kartoum on October 21st, for the Mahdi had evidently
speculated on either a rising in the town on that day, or on the gates
being opened to him by some of those who were then imprisoned. On this
day Gordon also received the news of the treaty concluded between King
John of Abyssinia and Admiral Sir William Hewitt, and his anger at the
injustice of such a treaty is as apparent as is the bitterness of his
satire: throughout the whole volume, indeed, he cannot get away from
this subject, and, though the frequent effort to dismiss it in disgust
from his mind is evident, he continually reverts to it. He considers it
discreditable, and does not hesitate to say so. Moreover, he contends
that by the Treaty of Paris, and also by that of Berlin, the integrity
of the Ottoman Dominion is guaranteed by the Powers, and that it is
therefore a farce to say Egypt ceded Kassala.

His views on the whole policy of Her Majesty’s Government are summed up
in an imaginary scene in the House of Lords. “The noble Marquis asked
what the policy of Her Majesty’s Government was? It was as if he asked
the policy of a log floating down stream—_it was going to sea_, as any
one with an ounce of brains could see. Well, that was the policy of it,
only it was a decided policy, and a straightforward one to drift along
and take advantage of every circumstance. His lordship deprecated the
frequent questioning on subjects which his lordship had said he knew
nothing about, and, further, did not care to know anything about.”

Fielding, had he been alive, would have envied Gordon the completeness
of this humorous satire. The results of the policy, as far as it has
gone, he shows to have been the loss of some 80,000 lives and the
effectual restoration of the slave-trade and of slave-hunting: “a
miserable end to diplomacy when it would have been so easy in 1880 to
have settled the Soudan with decency and quiet, giving up Kordofan,
Darfur, the Bahr Gazelle, and the Equator.”

       *       *       *       *       *

In the latter part of Vol. V., but especially in the early part of
Vol. VI., Gordon fully realises the _Abbas_ catastrophe. He knows
Stewart and Power are dead. There is no expression of personal regret,
though he is “sorry for their friends.” He loved them both, and he
pays the highest tribute he can to their merits; but he is sure that
in their present they are happier than in their past. Moreover, he had
done his best, for every precaution human foresight could conceive he
had taken; having done this, the rest was in the hands of God, and
the disaster was “ordained.” But these views do not prevent him from
courting all inquiry; and he even holds a court-martial on himself. His
verdict is, that if the _Abbas_ was attacked and overpowered, _he is
to blame_; but that if she was captured by treachery, or if she struck
a rock, _he is not to blame_. In the one case he should have foreseen
the chance, and prevented her going; in the others he could foresee
nothing. It was out of his power to avert treachery; and the _Abbas_
drew under two feet of water, and was accompanied by two sailing boats.

He explains with care and clearness why Stewart and Power left him;
they went of their free will, not by his order; for he would not “put
them in any danger in which he was not himself.” If they went they did
him a service, for they could telegraph his views; if they stayed, they
could not help him. They could go in honour, for they had promised the
people nothing; he could not go in honour, for he had promised them
himself. If Gordon were alive, and thought any one could misinterpret
what he says, and thus cast a slur on the memory of either Stewart or
Power, he would be greatly pained. His love and admiration for them
both was evident; and he knew that, had it been their duty to remain,
they would have stayed to die with him at Kartoum. “If Zubair had been
sent in March, when I asked for him, we would not have lost Berber, and
would never have wanted an expedition;” and, if Berber had not fallen,
Stewart and Power would have been alive. Zubair had been his almost
first request, and he never ceases to regret that one who had devoted
his life to the Soudan should not have been allowed to comprehend its
requirements better than those who sat in Downing Street.

Within a week of beginning this volume of his Journal, Gordon expected
the town of Kartoum to fall; the recovery of an enormous quantity of
stolen biscuit enabled him to hold his own for more than another month.
During this time a notion of his troubles may be gathered from what
he says up to December 14th; his real suffering must for ever remain
unknown. That it depended upon the suffering of others we may feel
assured; he never knew what it was to feel for himself. He felt for his
country; he felt for all he tried to help, and if he was among such as
were killed first, his dying thought would have been, “What is to be
the future of all I leave behind?”

       *       *       *       *       *

In his Journals—his last words—those familiar with his character and
life will see Charles Gordon true to himself to the very end. They
will see in him the same ardent passion for justice and for truth; the
same scorn for wrong-doing and deceit; the same gentle pity for the
sufferings of all, and the same mercy and forgiveness for his foes: and
with all this is combined the perfection of humility, and the sense of
imperfection. There is no impatience, save with those who wronged his
honour and the poor people for whom he died; there is no unrest, for he
neared that “life of action” for which he had long yearned; there is no
sorrow, no dark doubt, for Charles Gordon was with his God.



Only a very few words on my part are necessary in laying these Journals
before the public.

On New Year’s Day, 1884, General Gordon arrived at Brussels from the
Holy Land, and at once commenced his arrangements with His Majesty the
King of the Belgians to proceed to the Congo.

After visiting England once or twice, he left this country for Belgium
and the Congo on the morning of the 16th January.

On the 17th January he was recalled by telegram. He reached London
on the morning of the 18th, and was on his road to Kartoum upon that

At this time, he felt quite confident of success, his instructions
being that, by restoring the ancient families, whose territories had
been seized by the Egyptian authorities, to their former power, he
would be able to extricate the Egyptian garrisons and civil _employés_
with their families, and remove them to Lower Egypt without difficulty.

During the voyage, however, from Brindisi to Port Said he prepared
a Report, or Memorandum, dated 22nd January, in which, reviewing
these instructions, he drew attention to some of the difficulties
and complications which were likely to arise in carrying out the
policy of Her Majesty’s Government, and asked for their support and
consideration in case of his being unable to fulfil their expectations
with exactness; and Colonel Stewart, in his separate observations of
the same date, pointed out that, in view of eventualities for which it
would be impossible to provide, the wisest course was “to rely on the
discretion of General Gordon and his knowledge of the country.”

General Gordon, it will be seen, accepted—and disclaimed the right
to express any opinion of his own upon it—the policy of leaving the
Soudan. It appeared to him then that to reconquer that country and
restore it to the Egyptian Government without securities for a just and
honest administration would be iniquitous; that, on the other hand, to
secure that object would involve an expenditure of time and money which
could not be afforded, and consequently he then came to the conclusion
that the Soudan might properly be restored to independence, and left to

It will be seen, however, that he did not, after his return to the
Soudan, remain long of that opinion. His heart warmed at once to the
people whom he had faithfully governed, and whose affections he found,
or at all events believed, were constant to him.

It is necessary here to explain that General Gordon had not intended to
go to Cairo, but to proceed _viâ_ Suakin and Berber. On the invitation,
however, of Sir Evelyn Baring, he went to Cairo and accepted at the
hands of the Khedive a firman appointing him Governor-General of the
Soudan, without which he could have exercised no control over the
Egyptian authorities employed in that province.

It was no part of General Gordon’s character to form a definite opinion
from imperfectly known facts, and to adhere obstinately to that
opinion, notwithstanding the evidence of altered circumstances and new

We need not therefore be surprised to find that, on arrival at Abu
Hamed, on the 8th February, finding the state of the country to be less
disorganised than he had supposed, and adverting to the confusion which
must ensue if all traces of the Khedive’s Government were suddenly
effaced, he made the suggestion that a sort of suzerainty should be
kept up, and that the chief officers of the Soudan should continue to
be appointed by the Khedive, a complete and abrupt separation being
thus postponed, although the control to be retained would be more
nominal than real.

This feeling in General Gordon’s mind grew rapidly stronger as time
went on. When he reached Berber he saw still more clearly the position
he was in, and became impressed with the impossibility of carrying out
his mission with credit, unless he was able to secure to the provinces
of the Soudan some sort of government in the place of the one it was
intended to withdraw.

Accordingly, upon the day of his arrival at Kartoum (the 18th
February), General Gordon, after pointing out to the Government the
difficulties that surrounded him, inasmuch as the garrisons and
_employés_ were to be removed, when all form of government would
disappear, urged in the strongest terms he could employ that power
should be placed in the hands of a single man, and that the man to be
chosen should be Zubair Pasha.

Now it may be remarked that although Zubair was one of the most noted
slave-hunters that had ever existed, yet his ability and influence
could not be surpassed, while even the Khedive could not lay claim
to any such proud descent—Zubair being a direct descendant of the

This recommendation was rejected by the Government although renewed
over and over again in a most persistent manner by General Gordon,
backed up by Sir Evelyn Baring, who, on the 9th March, says: “I believe
that Zubair Pasha may be made a bulwark against the approach of the
Mahdi. Of course there is a certain risk that he will constitute a
danger to Egypt, but this risk is, I think, a small one; and it is
in any case preferable to incur it rather than to face the certain
disadvantages of withdrawing without making any provision for the
future government of the country, which would thus be sure to fall
under the power of the Mahdi.”

I must admit that, up to the end of July, I was of opinion that if
Zubair had been sent up General Gordon’s life would have been in
danger. On the other hand, I am aware that a Cabinet Minister of high
position was, from the first, in favour of sending Zubair up, and so
indeed was Lord Wolseley.

At the beginning of August, General Gordon, having again begged that
Zubair might be sent to Kartoum, I used my endeavours to secure the
attainment of that object, but without success. It was now apparent
that General Gordon could not in honour leave until some form of future
government had been determined upon.

Zubair’s appointment having been disallowed, the only alternative
seemed to be the Turks, and the suggestion was made that they should
occupy the Soudan. Anything, in fact, to secure the country against
anarchy and its reversion to barbarism.

In must be borne in mind General Gordon did not ask that an expedition
should be sent; on the contrary, he deprecated sending any, unless for
the purpose of saving the garrisons and of establishing some form of

The proposed movement of two squadrons of cavalry from Suakin to Berber
is outside the question. It was to save Berber they were applied
for, not for the relief of Kartoum. General Gordon’s message was,
“Send troops (200) to Berber, or you will lose it!” It is fair to Sir
Evelyn Baring, to add that on the 24th March he said, “Under present
circumstances I think an effort should be made to help General Gordon
from Suakin, if it is at all a possible operation.”

If General Gordon had known how much in unison Sir Evelyn Baring’s
advice had been with his own, and what support he had received at Sir
Evelyn’s hands, he would have been eager, had his life been spared, to
acknowledge that co-operation.

Before concluding, I must say a few words with respect to the severe
comments which occur in places throughout the Diaries, upon the meagre
information he received from the Intelligence Department,[6] in
connection with which the names of Major Chermside and Major Kitchener
are mentioned. Now, with regard to the former of these officers, he was
at Suakin, and therefore does not come into the question. With respect,
however, to Major Kitchener, I am persuaded that he did all in his
power to get messengers into Kartoum, for just in the same way General
Gordon fancied he got them out, and yet how few succeeded in reaching
their destination. In the same way too as General Gordon fancied
his messengers had reached, so did Mr. Egerton fancy his had been
successful, for at the end of July he hinted that General Gordon could
have sent messengers out, in the same way as others had got in, and yet
at that date only one had done so. It is due to Major Kitchener to say
that from the time he went to Dongola he certainly kept us acquainted
with the position of affairs at Kartoum in a manner most reliable, and
deserving of much credit.

With these prefatory remarks I leave my brother’s Journals to speak
for themselves. He shows, to my mind, with the utmost clearness the
position in which he was placed, and reiterates over and over again
that nothing will induce him to leave Kartoum until he has secured
the safety of all those who have stood by him. He says, “I will end
these egotistical remarks by saying that no persuasion will induce me
to change my views; and that, as to force, it is out of the question,
for I have the people with me, at any rate, of the towns which hold
out; therefore, if Her Majesty’s forces are not prepared to relieve
the whole of the garrisons, the General should consider whether it is
worth coming up. In his place, if not so prepared, I would not do so.
I do not dictate; but I say, what every gentleman in Her Majesty’s
army would agree to, that it would be mean to leave men, who (though
they may not come up to our ideas as heroes) have stuck to me, though
a Christian dog in their eyes, through great difficulties, and thus
force them to surrender to those who have not conquered them, and to do
that at the bidding of a foreign Power to save one’s own skin. Why, the
black sluts would stone me if they thought I meditated such action.”

Up to the 14th December General Gordon could have got away at any time,
had he been so inclined; in fact, he says, “As for myself, I could
make good my retreat at any moment I wished.” After that date we know
nothing. No doubt Omdurman fell at once, and in all probability the
Island of Tuti followed soon after. General Gordon must then have seen
that no relief could reach him, provisions were rapidly running out,
treachery, as he well knew, was at work, and the end came.

He writes to his sister on the 14th December: “God rules all; and as
God will rule to His glory and our welfare, His will be done. I am
quite happy, and, like Lawrence, have tried to do my duty.”

In conclusion, I will add in General Gordon’s own words, “It is, of
course, on the cards that Kartoum is taken under the nose of the
Expeditionary Force, which will be just too late. The Expeditionary
Force will perhaps think it necessary to retake it; but that will be no
use, and will cause loss of life uselessly on both sides. It had far
better quietly return with its tail between its legs; for, once Kartoum
is taken, the sun will have set and the people will not care much for
the satellites. If Kartoum falls, then go quietly back to Cairo, for
you will only lose men and spend money uselessly in carrying on the



Very severe criticisms have been made upon the manner in which Sir
Charles Wilson carried out the duties that had been entrusted to him,
with regard to communicating with General Gordon at Kartoum.

The charges made against him may be with advantage restricted to two:—

First—The delay in not proceeding to Kartoum at the latest on the
morning of the 22nd; and

Second—In not having pushed on to Kartoum itself in order to ascertain
General Gordon’s fate beyond a doubt.

Sir Charles Wilson left England in order to assume the position of Head
of the Intelligence Department, and also with the tacit understanding
that he was to be specially employed in order to open direct
communication with General Gordon.

Having this special object in view, Sir Charles Wilson accompanied Sir
Herbert Stewart’s force towards the Nile; and, when that gallant and
highly-distinguished officer was wounded on the 19th January, he found
himself in command.

Now this force, which did not equal a British battalion upon its war
strength, was hampered with a number of wounded officers and men,
some of whom were with it, while others—the bulk—were in a zereba
constructed at some distance in its rear.

Sir Charles Wilson, however, advanced to the Nile, where he bivouacked
for the night; and on the morning of the 20th he returned to the
zereba, and brought back with him to Gubat the wounded who had been
left behind.

Early in the morning of the 21st, General Gordon’s steamers appeared,
and landed their soldiers, who took part in the operations of that day.

Reports now reached Sir Charles Wilson that, exclusive of the Arabs
in Metemma, large numbers were advancing from the North and from the
South. It therefore became imperatively necessary for him to secure the
safety of those who were under his orders before he could proceed upon
his mission.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 22nd, he made a reconnaissance
towards the North, and, finding no enemy, he turned his attention to
the South.

The whole of the 23rd was occupied in making arrangements for the
proper protection of his force, and he could not have left before the
morning of the 24th.

It may here be observed, in confirmation of the report of the Arabs
advancing from the south, that Sir Charles Wilson, on his road to
Kartoum, saw a body of men at a place on the left bank of the Nile,
about twelve miles south of Gubat.

It is really beyond the question to consider what General Gordon’s
position at this time was at Kartoum. When General Gordon sent down his
last journal, on the 14th December, he stated he could not hold out for
more than ten days, and he was in daily expectation that the Fort at
Omdurman would fall; while even then, with that Fort in his possession,
he considered it would be very hazardous for any steamer to attempt to
come up to Kartoum. On the 28th November he says: “I hope the officer
in command will clear Halfeyeh before he pushes on to this, for he may
get a shell from the works at Omdurman (not the Fort) into one of his
steamers. I do not like to risk sending the _Bordeen_ steamer down to
give the warning. If the steamers do come up, and have not the sense to
stop at Halfeyeh, I shall endeavour to warn them. The danger is at the
Ras or nose, on the junction of the Blue and White Niles. The proper
thing to do would be to clear Halfeyeh camp of the Arabs before coming
on here. You could then communicate with Kartoum by land, and avoid
running the gauntlet of Arab guns in penny steamboats.”

Now if General Gordon so expressed himself on the 28th November, two
months before Sir Charles Wilson got to Kartoum, and when the fort
at Omdurman and the island of Tuti were both in the General’s hands,
what must have been the state of affairs when both those positions had
fallen and were in the possession of the Arabs?

Returning to Sir Charles Wilson’s progress with his detachment of
only twenty men, when he got to the point of danger, as pointed out
by General Gordon, he found himself under a cross fire of artillery
and musketry from all points of the compass, including Kartoum itself.
Under such circumstances he had no alternative but to retire, since,
had he continued his journey, he could never have secured his retreat.

Consequently I cannot but express my feeling that on neither head of
charge does any blame attach to Sir Charles Wilson.



 [Lieut.-Colonel Stewart kept a complete journal of events that
 occurred at Kartoum from the 1st March to the 9th September, upon the
 night of which day he left.]

General Gordon, who had assisted in great measure in the preparation of
this Journal, describes it as a perfect gem.

It was in duplicate, and was captured when Colonel Stewart was
murdered; and, according to Slatin Bey’s account (who at the time was
with the Mahdi), is now in his (the Mahdi’s) possession.

General Gordon’s Diaries are in six parts.

The First is from the 10th of September to the 23rd of September, and
contains 78 pages.

The Second is from the 23rd of September to the 30th of September, and
contains 41 pages.

The Third is from the 1st to the 12th of October, and contains 85 pages.

The Fourth is from the 12th to the 20th of October, and contains 32

The Fifth is from the 20th of October to the 5th of November, and
contains 93 pages.

The Sixth is from the 5th of November to the 14th of December, and
contains 104 pages.

The First, Second, Third, and Fourth Diaries are addressed to
Lieut.-Colonel Stewart, C.M.G., or the Chief of the Staff. The Fifth is
addressed to the Chief of the Staff of the Expeditionary Force for the
relief of the garrison, and the Sixth is addressed in the same way.

The First and Second Diaries were sent on the 30th of September by
steamer for Berber _viâ_ Shendy.

The Third was sent by the steamer _Towfikia_ on the 12th of October to

The Fourth was sent to Shendy in a steamer on the 21st of October.

The Fifth left in the steamer _Bordeen_ on the 5th of November for

And the Sixth also left in the steamer _Bordeen_ on the 15th of

Each Diary has the same remarks—sometimes repeated three times, on the
outside of the Journal, to the effect that “it should be pruned down
prior to publication.”

The Journals or Diaries were handed over to Sir Charles Wilson on the
22nd of January, at Metemma, by the officer commanding General Gordon’s

The Journals were, in my opinion, properly considered by the Government
as official documents (see letter accompanying the last Journal), and
were handed over to me with the remark that, “So far as Her Majesty’s
Government had a desire in the matter, it was for the publication of
the whole Diary; but they did not wish to interfere with my discretion.”

The note at the end of the first Journal evidently implies that when
the Government have done with the Journals, then Miss Gordon is to have

The publication being, therefore, in my hands, I have arranged with
Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. for their issue in a very nearly
entire state, only some six or seven pages being omitted, which
contain, in my opinion, no matter of public interest; while, with
regard to names, those who are well acquainted with the affairs of
Egypt can fill up the blanks without difficulty.

It is to be hoped that strenuous endeavours may be made in order to
obtain Colonel Stewart’s Journal, together with those of General Gordon
from the 15th of December to the day upon which Kartoum fell, as well
as that of the Doctor promised to the _Times_.

The Cairo telegrams alluded to in the Diaries have not been handed over
to me.



DECEMBER 14, 1884.

  _Abbas_                Lost with Col. Stewart.
  _Bordeen_              Metemma, took down Journal VI.
  _Chabeen_              In dock, Kartoum.
  _Fascher_              Captured at Berber by Arabs.
  _Husseinyeh_           Sunk off Omdurman.
  _Ismailia_             At Kartoum.
  _Mahomet Ali_          Captured up Blue Nile by Arabs.
  _Mansowrah_            Metemma or Shendy.
  _Monsuhania_           Captured at Berber by Arabs.
  _Saphia_               Metemma or Shendy.
  _Talataween_              Ditto  ditto.
  _Towfikia_                Ditto  ditto.
  _Zubair_               Kartoum.

  Lost                                   5
  At Kartoum                             3—1 in dock.
  At Metemma waiting for Lord Wolseley   5


_On outside wrapper (a glass-cloth):_

No secrets as far as I am concerned.




  Chief of the Staff, LORD WOLSELEY, G.C.B.
  Soudan Expeditionary Force.

       *       *       *       *       *


From 10th Sept. to 23rd Sept., 1884.

       *       *       *       *       *

_On Cover at back:_


From the 10th to 23rd September, 1884.

 N.B.—This Journal will want _pruning out_ if thought necessary to




  drawn from rough sketches
  made by the late

  _Population of Kartoum, 40,000_
  _A.A., Armed Boats (Santals)_
  _B.B., Breastworks._

  _E. Weller, lith._

  _London; Kegan Paul, Trench & Co._


 _Vide_ note as to pruning down on outside.—C. G. G.

_September 10._—Colonel Stewart, MM. Power and Herbin, left during the
night for Dongola, _viâ_ Berber.

Spy came in from south front, and one from Halfeyeh reports Arabs will
not attack, but will continue the blockade.

Sent off two sets of telegrams by a spy, who will go to Shendy.

Yesterday, when the messenger went out to deliver my answer to the
Arabs, in response to Mahdi’s letter, though he had a white flag, they
fired on him, and tried to capture him. They use the white flag, and
find it respected by us, and that we let their men go back. They chain
any men we send to them.

It is wonderful how the people of the town, who have every possible
facility to leave the city, cling to it, and how, indeed, there are
hundreds who flock in, though it is an open secret we have neither
money nor food.[7] Somehow this makes me feel confident in the future,
for it is seldom that an impulse such as this acts on each member of a
disintegrated mass without there being some reason for it, which those
who act have no idea of, but which is a sort of instinct. Truly I do
not think one could inflict a greater punishment on an inhabitant of
Kartoum than to force him to go to the Arabs.

Halfeyeh reports that Faki Mustapha, who was in command of the
Arabs on the west or left bank of the White Nile, wishes to join the
Government. He is informed we are glad of it, but wish him to remain
quiet, and to take no active part till he sees how the scales of the
balance go; if we rise, then he can act, if we fall he is not to
compromise himself; but what we ask him is to send up our spies, which
he can do without risk.[8] The same advice was given to the people of
Shendy, who wished to issue out and attack Berber.

The runaways of Tuti[9] wish to come back, which is allowed.

The “matches” used for the mines are all finished, and we are obliged
to go back to powder hose, and unite the mines in families of ten.

Rows on rows of wire entanglement are being placed around the lines.
General Gordon’s horse was captured by the Arabs in the defeat of El
foun; the other staff horse got a cut on the head, but is now all right.

The Mahdi is still at Rahad.[10] The answer to his letter (_vide_
Colonel Stewart’s journal) was sent open, so that the Arab leaders
could read its contents.

With respect to letters written to the Mahdi and to the Arab chiefs,
commenting on the apostacy of Europeans, they may, and are, no doubt,
hard, but it is not a small thing for a European, for fear of death,
to deny our faith; it was not so in old times, and it should not be
regarded as if it was taking off one coat, and putting on another.
If the Christian faith is a myth, then let men throw it off, but it
is mean and dishonourable to do so merely to save one’s life if one
believes it is the true faith. What can be more strong than these
words, “He who denies Me on earth I will deny in heaven.” The old
martyrs regarded men as their enemies, who tried to prevent them
avowing their faith. In the time of Queens Mary and Elizabeth, what
men we had, and then it was for less than here, for it was mainly the
question of the Mass, while here it is the question of the denial of
our Lord and of his passion. It is perhaps as well to omit this, if
this journal is published, for no man has a right to judge another.
Politically and morally, however, it is better for us not to have
anything to do with the apostate Europeans in the Arab camp. Treachery
never succeeds, and, however matters may end, it is better to fall with
clean hands, than to be mixed up with dubious acts and dubious men.
Maybe it is better for us to fall with honour, than to gain the victory
with dishonour, and in this view the Ulemas of the town are agreed;
they will have nought to do with the proposals of treachery.

No doubt the letters to the Arabs will make the Arab chiefs work on
the Europeans with them, to take an active part against us, by saying
to those Europeans, “You are cast out;” but the Arabs will never trust
them really, so they can do little against us.


We had a regular gaol delivery to-day, letting out some fifty, and are
sending to the Arabs about nine prisoners whom it is not advisable
to keep in the town. A donkey quietly grazing near the north fort,
exploded one of the mines there (an iron alembic which belonged to the
time of Mahomet Ali, and had been used for the reduction of gold; it
held some 10 lbs. of powder); the donkey, angry and surprised, walked
off unhurt! These alembics are of this shape, braced by iron straps
together. It is extraordinary that after a good deal of rain, and
three months’ exposure, the domestic matchbox should have retained its

The school here is most interesting, as the scholars get a certain
ration. It is always full, viz., two hundred. Each boy has a wooden
board, on which his lesson is written, and on visiting it the object of
each boy is to be called out to read his lesson, which they do with a
swaying motion of body, and in a sing-song way, like the Jews do at the
wailing place at Jerusalem and in their synagogues, from which we may
infer this was the ancient way of worship, for the lessons are always
from the Koran. Little black doves with no pretension to any nose, and
not more than two feet high, push forward to say the first ten letters
of the alphabet, which is all they know.

We have completed the census (_vide_ Colonel Stewart’s Journal),[11]
and have 34,000 people in the town.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 11._—Stewart’s steamers, which had been delayed at
Halfeyeh[12] owing to some machinery accident, left last night for
Berber.[13] Spy reports that one of captured steamers at Berber is
disabled by the Arabs.

When Cuzzi[14] came to the lines yesterday, the officer Hassan Bey
made him walk over on his knees in order to pass into lines, pointing
out to him that the lines were thickly spread with fearful mines. Cuzzi
asked what one would do when the Nile fell, and was told that these
new mines would be put down as the river fell. Hassan Bey put Cuzzi
into a hut, and questioned him as to the whereabouts of the Mahdi. He
said first he was at Duem,[15] and when pressed he agreed the Mahdi
was in Kordofan, and had not moved. He said the Mahdi had not more
than two regiments; that he had lost heavily in fighting the mountain
tribes of Nubia, and had not much ammunition left; that Waled a Goun
had some 200 regulars with him, 10 mountain guns, and 2 Krupps, but
only 5 boxes of mountain gun ammunition, and 3 boxes of Krupp, and 5
boxes of Remington. (The Arabs captured at our defeat at El foun 75,000
rounds, so that will help them.) Waled a Goun wanted to go to Giraffe,
where Abou Gugliz was defeated, but Abou Gugliz said it would never do.
Cuzzi looked pretty miserable. Outside the lines were three Arabs and
Zarada (a Greek); they waited for Cuzzi. Soon after Cuzzi had left for
the Arab camp, two dervishes came in with the Mahdi’s letter (_vide_
Colonel Stewart’s Journal), and a dervish dress from the Mahdi to me.
They were given the letters I had received for Slatin for Cairo, and my
answer to the Arabs; also the horse head-stall which Abou Gugliz had
lost, at which they were amused, and went off to the Arab camp. I sent
out my letter in answer to the Mahdi (_vide_ Colonel Stewart’s Journal)
with a slave, upon whom they fired. _Talataween_ and _Bordeen_ left for
Sennaar this morning to bring down dhoora.[16] Letter written to the
Sheikh el Obeyed[17] proposing “we should mutually remain quiet, &c.,
&c., with relation to one another, as we are rendering the country a

Jer. xvii. 5. “Cursed (_thus saith the Lord_) is the man that
trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth
from the Lord;” therefore _cursed is he of the Lord_, who hopes by any
arrangement of forces, or by exterior help, to be relieved from the
position we are in. Jer. xvii. 7. “Blessed (thus saith the Lord) is
he that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is,” therefore
blessed is he “of the Lord” who makes all his arrangements of forces,
without any reliance on such arrangements, or on any exterior help, but
trusts in the Lord.[18] How impossible for man alone to accept these
views, for with what heart can he make his arrangements if he does not
trust in their success! Curious verses, Ezekiel xxix. 10-14,[19] as to
Egypt being waste for forty years from the Tower of Syene (Assouan) to
frontier of Ethiopia; it is certainly the Soudan which is meant, and it
is in a fair way of being a desert.

A Dervish came in with a letter from Abdel Kader, the Sheikh on the
White Nile, which, with answer, is annexed;[20] he also brought a
letter from the messengers who brought in the Mahdi’s letter on 9th
September (_vide_ Col. Stewart’s journal). They said they had not
received my answer, which it will be remembered was sent out by a
slave, whom they fired upon. This man also brought in a letter from a
Greek, Calamatino,[21] who begs to come in and tell me important news
for all Europe. His letter and my answer are annexed.

It will be noticed that Cuzzi adds “he is going to Berber to-day,” so
he may meet with Stewart. They might have gone down together had they
mutually have known of one another’s departure.

A soldier captured at Obeyed came in, and reports that his comrades
would come in _en masse_ if we would let them come at night. Abou
Gugliz denies that the head-stall I sent to him is his.

I put down our defeat on the Dem or headquarters of Sheikh el Obeyed
to two things—1. A lot of Kartoum pedlars went out to loot, and they
broke the square. 2. Mahomet Ali Pasha captured a lad of twelve or
fourteen years of age, and the little chap spoke out boldly, and said
he believed Mahomet Achmet was the Mahdi, and that we were dogs. He was
shot! Before I heard of our defeat I heard of this, and I thought “THAT
will not pass unavenged.” There was an old belief among old Christians
that every event which happens on earth is caused by some action being
taken in heaven; the action in heaven being the cause of the event on
earth, _vide_ Revelations, when at the opening of seals the trumpet
sounds, &c., &c., all events exercised in heaven are followed by
events on earth. This being the case, how futile are our efforts to
turn things out of their course. Vials are poured out on earth whence
events happen. To me, it seems little what those events may be, but
that the great object of our lives is how we bear those events in our
individuality. If we trust in the flesh, thus saith the Lord, we are
cursed; if we trust in Him we are blessed. I cannot think that there
are any promises for answers to prayer made for temporal things; the
promises are to hear prayer, and to give strength to bear with quiet
what may be the Will of God. A vial is poured on earth; events happen;
one is furious with the British Government for these events; but if we
were logical, we should be furious with the pourer out of the vial, and
that we shrink from being, for He is the Almighty who pours out the

This afternoon another mine blew up at Tuti; the victim was another
donkey, who, however, did not get off so well as his colleague of the
North Fort, for he lost his hind quarters, and was killed.—R.I.P.

We cannot help thinking something has happened in Europe of a startling
nature, and which is known to the Arabs in an indistinct way, for they
evidently look on the game as theirs, and that without fighting, of
which they show no sign. Abou Gugliz (in remonstrating with Waled a
Goun, who wished to descend the river) told him “that his forts were
better than any at Cairo, but that the soldiers came over them, like
afreets;”[22] so says the Dervish who came in to-day.

We decided to-night to send out a letter to Arabs, saying that though
we will not admit any European into the place we will permit an
interview, with any European they may wish to send to a flag placed in
front of lines, with the Greek Consul and Greek Doctor.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 12._—It is most dispiriting to be in the position I am,
if it was not good for me, when I think that, _when I left_, I could
say, “no man could lift his hand or foot in the land of the Soudan”[23]
without me (Gen. xli. 44)[24] and now we cannot calculate on our
existence over twenty-four hours. The people are all against us, and
what a power they have; they need not fight, but have merely to refuse
to sell us their grain. The stomach governs the world, and it was the
stomach (a despised organ) which caused our misery from the beginning.
It is wonderful that the ventral tube of man governs the world, in
small and great things.

One of Seyd Mahomet Osman’s family, come in from Shendy, reports Osman
Digma, as writing to Berber, reporting the arrival of the English at
Suakin, their purchase of camels, and advance. The Arab chief of Berber
assembled his subordinates and told them this, also of the advance
of the troops from Debbeh commanded by English (Wood’s force) and
recommended them to collect their men. The two captured steamers at
Berber are on opposite sides of river.

Sent out letter to the Arabs to-day, saying I would let the Greek
Consul come out and meet the Greek who had written to me; the Arabs,
this time, did not fire on the flag of truce.

Church parade of Arabs on south front, but very far off.

The man from Shendy reports that all the right bank of the Nile is
quiet. We have sent out an escort to try and capture Cuzzi, who is on
his way to Berber.

It certainly is a curious exemplification of how very lightly religions
sit on men, and to note the fearful apostacy of both Mussulmans and
Christians, when their lives or property are menaced. There is scarcely
one great family of the Soudan, families who can trace their pedigree
for five hundred years, who have not accepted Mahomet Achmet as Mahdi,
to save their property, though they laugh at the idea afterwards. I
am using this argument with them, in saying, “You ask me to become a
Mussulman to save my life, and you yourself acknowledge Mahomet Achmet
as the Mahdi, to save your lives; why, if we go on this principle, we
will be adopting every religion whose adherents threaten our existence,
for you know and own, when you are safe, that Mahomet Achmet is _not_
the Mahdi.”[25]

One of our captured soldiers from Obeyed came in from Waled a Goun,
and four others with a woman came in from Faki Mustapha (two of the
last were men slaves of the unfortunate Hassan Pasha Ibrahim, who was
executed); they report food scarce in the Arab camp, and that many are
striving to run away, owing to the way they are bullied.

Ulemas are writing letters to Arab chiefs, protesting against their
acts, as being contrary to Muslim religion.

The Greeks and other prisoners in Obeyed, &c., complain bitterly of
their privations and ill-treatment by the Arabs, in the letters they
sent in here to other Greeks.

I was awakened this morning by a woman crying out, “My son has been
murdered, and I demand justice.” Her little _only_ boy had, it appears,
been in one of the Arab water-wheels, which are moved by oxen, and a
man had pushed him off; his skull was partially fractured, but he had
been in hospital for some days, and we hoped for his recovery, when
inflammation set in, and he died. He was a nice little bright-eyed,
chocolate-coloured child of eight years old—the mother is a widow.
One is drawn towards the children of this country, both browns and
blacks—the former are of a perfect bronze colour.

The browns and blacks bear their wounds without a murmur; the poor
fellaheen soldiers yell upon the slightest touch to their wounds.

One of the Arab chiefs came to the Shoboloha defile, and tried to
raise the people to occupy the passage; the people refused, and the
Arab chief went off.

There is a negro soldier in hospital with a cut on the nose from a
sword; the cut has entered the nostrils, giving him four openings
instead of two—it is on the bridge of the nose (if a negro nose can be
said to have a bridge), and the man’s cheeks are untouched.


One man received a wound in the chest; he lived eleven days, and died.
The doctor found a bullet lodged in the centre of his heart, in wall of
ventricle. The doctor has this heart in spirits. It was a ball weighing
the same as our Martini-Henri bullet.

The negro soldiers are wonderfully clean, while the fellaheen and
Turkish lot are just the reverse; the former have the gloss of a
well-cleaned and polished boot, such as the little London shoeblack
loves to turn out for a penny.

A Greek came in from the Arabs to-night; I sent the Greek Consul to see
him on the lines, where he will stop for the night.

I saw the Ulemas[26] to-day, and lamented to them the degeneracy of the
_Faith_, when Christians become Mussulmans to save their lives, and
Mussulmans become the followers of the False Prophet, to save their
property. They are going to preach against this, but I fear much that
when it is a question between Allah and their goats, &c., they will be
inclined to look after their goats, as a rule. I am afraid we are much
the same, and would prefer 50,000 men at our backs, than any Scripture
promises; it is only when we are pushed into a corner, and cannot get
the 50,000 men, that we turn to the promises—at least, that is so to a
great extent with me. There is no doubt that success makes men hard on
their fellows, while misfortune makes them soft. (One has only to study
the demeanour of a Cabinet Minister, or a Colonel while in office, or
out of office, to be convinced of this truth.)

I do not believe that fanaticism exists as it used to do in the world,
judging from what I have seen, in this so-called fanatic land. It is
far more a question of property, and is more like communism under the
flag of religion, which seems to excite and to give colour to acts
which men would otherwise condemn.[27]

I am sure it is unknown to the generality of our missionaries in
Muslim countries, that in the Koran no imputation of sin is made on our
Lord, neither is it hinted that He had need of pardon, and, further,
no Muslim can deny that the Father of our Lord was God (_vide_ Chapter
III. of Koran, “the Family of Touran”), and that He was incarnated
by a miracle. Our bishops content themselves with its being a false
religion, but it is a false religion professed by millions on millions
of our fellow creatures. The Muslims do not say Mahomet was without
sin, the Koran often acknowledges that he erred, but no Muslim will
say “_Jesus sinned_.” As far as self-sacrifice of the body, they are
far above Roman Catholics, and consequently above Protestants. It is
positive trouble when one calls one’s servant to be continually told he
is at his prayers, and one cannot think that this is an excuse, for it
can be no pleasure to be in a constrained position for a considerable
time, unless one had some faith in those prayers. The God of the
Muslims is _our_ God. And they do not believe that Mahomet exercises
any mediatorial office for them. They believe they will stand and fall
by their own deeds: in fact they are as much under the law as the Jews.

During our blockade, we have often discussed the question of being
frightened, which, in the world’s view, a man should never be. For my
part I am always frightened, and very much so. I fear the future of
all engagements.[28] It is not the fear of death, that is past, thank
God; but I fear defeat, and its consequences. I do not believe a bit
in the calm, unmoved man. I think it is only that he does not show
it outwardly. Thence I conclude no commander of forces ought to live
closely in relation with his subordinates, who watch him like lynxes,
for there is no contagion equal to that of fear. I have been rendered
furious, when, from anxiety, I could not eat, I would find those at
same table were in like manner affected.

The Greek Consul came back from seeing the Greek, who brought a
letter[29] from Waled a Goun, asking me to surrender. I answered as
per margin,[30] saying I did not see it. The Greek’s object was to get
us to surrender. He says: Lupton,[31] of Bahr Gazelle has come down to
Shaka, with his men to surrender, and that Emin Bey of the Equator is
said to be also captured. The Greek says, “Cuzzi left yesterday for
Berber. Slatin Bey[32] was in Kordofan. The Mahdi was on his way here.”
According to the Greek Consul, this man came in to get money for the
Greek prisoners, and for little else. I have left the Greek Consul to
do what he likes with regard to this.

There was an earthquake, lasting some seconds, at 9 P.M. to-night; like
the other ones, it was from south to north.

When one thinks of the enormous loss of life which has taken place in
the Soudan since 1880, and the general upset of all government, one
cannot help feeling vicious against Sir Auckland Colvin, Sir Edward
Malet, and Sir Charles Dilke, for it is on account of those three men,
whose advice was taken by Her Majesty’s Government, that all these
sorrows are due. They went in for the bondholders, and treated as
chimerical any who thought differently from them ... by letting Sir
Auckland Colvin and Sir Edward Malet stay in Egypt when he went there,
got let into their ways. Time has shown the result of their policy,
and we shall hear of them no more. In a minor degree the _Times_
correspondent at Cairo and Alexandria is a sinner, for he backed them.
We are an honest nation, but our diplomatists are conies, and not
_officially_ honest.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 13._—Sent out notifications to all the authorities in Egypt
and the Soudan to search Cuzzi closely, for I think he is an emissary
of the Mahdi; this can be done under pretence of customs. I am inclined
to think that Cuzzi betrayed Berber to the Arabs, for how else can the
different treatment he received from the Mahdi from all other Europeans
be accounted for?

Five of our soldiers captured at Obeyed came in to-day; they report the
Arabs not strong, and not meditating immediate action (they brought
their arms with them); they say the Arabs knew of our expedition to

The Ulemas sent a letter[33] to the Mahdi to-day; these letters are
interesting, for they show the views of these people.

The steamers are reported to have passed the Shoboloha defile safely;
they ought to be at Berber to-day.

Note that I do not call our enemy rebels, but Arabs, for it is a vexed
question whether we are not rebels, seeing I hold the firman restoring
Soudan to its chiefs.

The Greek who came in yesterday told the Greek doctor here that the
superior of the mission at Obeyed _alone_ has kept his faith; his name
is “Luigi Bonorni;” the other priests and nuns all have become Muslims
(so he says); the nuns have nominally married Greeks to save themselves
from outrage. He says Cuzzi received two horses, a wife, a slave,
and $60[34] from the Mahdi, with whom he was on the closest terms of
intimacy. He says, Slatin had 4000 ardebs[35] of dhoora and 1500 cows,
and plenty of ammunition when he surrendered; he has been given eight
horses by the Mahdi (all this information must be taken with reserve).
The Greeks here made up £38 for their compatriots in captivity, and
the Austrian Consul sent $100 to the mission at Obeyed.[36] I gave the
Greek $5, which I expect was wasted, and I doubt if the Greek will not
keep all the money he has received. I grudge the $20 I gave Cuzzi,
for I expect he is a vile traitor. I expect he gave the Mahdi all
the cyphers; fortunately he had not the Foreign Office cypher, which
Stewart has carried off. Had I known this information about Cuzzi I
ought to have decapitated him, but it is as well I left him to his fate.

If what the Greek says is true about the apostacy of all but Don Luigi,
what a spectacle! for certainly these people came to this country with
more faith than those that stay at home; they could not expect any
comforts in it, but much self-denial. Some of those nuns had as much
as £1000 a year, which they left to come here. Of course the Greek’s
statement is open to much doubt.

Slatin’s name is Abdel Kadi; Cuzzi’s name is Mahomet Yusuf. Mahdi
proposes I should put myself, on my surrender (?) under Abou Gugliz,
who is a _notorious breaker_ of the Dervish rules. I forgot in my
letter to remark on this. It appears each of these men have a spiritual
adviser with them, who acts as a spy as well.

Two more of the Obeyed soldiers escaped this afternoon; they say the
Arabs meditate putting a gun on the Blue Nile above Bourré, and another
in front of south front of lines, with the idea of bombarding the town.

Psammitichus[37] besieged Azotus or Ashdod for twenty-nine years
(according to Herodotus). What a life for the people of Azotus! One is
tired enough of this, and we have only had six months of it. Azotus or
Ashdod is a miserable little village between Jafa (which, by the way,
is called after _Japhet_, the son of Noah) and Gaza.

The black soldiers who come in are generally old acquaintances of mine,
_i.e._ they know me, while their black pug faces are all alike to me.
I like the Chinese best, then the pug-faced blacks, then the chocolate
Soudan people. I do not like the tallow-faced fellaheen, though I feel
sorry for them.

Ezekiel xxix. and xxx. are interesting, for they show Egypt to be
doomed to be the basest of kingdoms, the slave of kingdoms, never
possessing a ruler of its own race (Mahomet Ali was a Sandjak[38] of
Salonica, and an alien to this land). The judgments on this land are on
account of its cruelties in respect to the slave trade. Berber (which
Colonel Stewart ought to pass to-night) is 200 miles from Merowé, where
the cataracts cease, thence there is open water to Dongola, 150 miles
distant from Merowé; he ought there to find the telegraph open, and so
on the 20th of September he ought to be in communication with Cairo and

One thing puzzles me is, if it was really determined to abandon the
Soudan to its fate, why the people of Dongola and of Senheit were not
withdrawn, when the determination was taken; there could be no possible
object for keeping the peoples in those places. I think if, instead
of ‘Minor Tactics’ or books on art of war, we were to make our young
officers study ‘Plutarch’s Lives,’ it would be better; there we see men
(unsupported by any true belief, pure pagans), making, _as a matter of
course_, their lives a sacrifice, but in our days it is the highest
merit not to run away. I speak for myself when I say I have been in
dire anxiety, not for my own skin, but because I hate to be beaten,
and I hate to see my schemes fail; but that I have had to undergo a
tithe of what any nurse has to undergo, who is attached to a querulous
invalid, is absurd, and not to be weighed together. When I emerge all
are complimentary; when the invalid dies the question is, what should
be given to the nurse for her services. We profess to be followers of
our Lord, who, from His birth, when He was hunted, till His death, may
be said to have had no sympathy or kindness shown Him, yet we (and
I say myself especially) cry out if we are placed in any position
of suffering, whereas it is our _métier_, if we are Christians, to
undergo such suffering. I have led the officers and officials the
lives of dogs while I have been up here; it is spurs in their flanks
every day; nothing can obliterate this ill-treatment from my memory. I
may say that I have not given them a moment’s peace; they are conies,
but I ought to have been more considerate. It is quite painful to see
men tremble so when they come and see me, that they cannot hold the
match to their cigarette. Yet I have cut off no heads; I only killed
two Pashas, and I declare, had it not been for outside influences,
those two Pashas would have been alive now; they were judicially
murdered.[39] Happy, as far as we can see, are those men who swing in
small arcs; unhappy are those who, seeking the field of adventure,
swing from the extremes of evil and good. The neutral tint is the best
for wear.

What a contradiction is life! I hate Her Majesty’s Government for
their leaving the Soudan after having caused all its troubles; yet I
believe our Lord rules heaven and earth, so I ought to hate Him, which
I (sincerely) do not.

I hear Hansall, the Austrian Consul, is disposed to go with _his seven
female attendants_ to the Arabs. I hope he will do so.

Heaps of cattle come in every day, but very little grain. Seyd Mahomet
Osman has sent word to his people to go to Kartoum for refuge; this is
pleasant for us! but it shows his confidence in our future, and it is a
great honour to me, who (thank God) am given faith to outspeak “I am a
Christian,” to have obtained such confidence from a man, who would, in
the times of my glory, scarcely look at me.

One of his (Seyd Mahomet Osman’s) men going down to Shendy (where his
sister, a very plucky woman lives) was taking down a pair of slippers
for her, and he brought them here; I wrote my name on the inside of
each, and told him to tell the “Sitt,” or lady, when she put them on,
she put her claw on my head; the man came back the other day, and said
the “Sitt” was delighted with the idea.

What a row the Pope will make about the nuns marrying the Greeks! It
is the union of the Greek and Latin churches.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 14._—Yesterday evening the Arabs fired four cannon shots
towards lines on south front, but they did not reach the fortifications.

Halfeyeh[40] reports the assembly of the Arabs, with a view to
attacking that place. A party has gone out to see what truth there is
in this report.

Four other men came in from the Arabs to-day; they had little to say,
beyond that the Arabs meant to maintain a blockade, and not to attack

The Arabs killed four soldiers who tried to escape, but those who came
in say this will not stop their coming.

A man I sent out to Waled Mocashee, who fought with Waled a Goun
(_vide_ Stewart’s journal), was caught with my letters by Arabs, and
was on the eve of being hung, when my letter arrived, in which I
remonstrated with the Arabs for ill-treating my messengers, on which
they pardoned him, and let him go. This man says the Greek, who came
into the lines yesterday, was sent off to Kordofan on his return to
the Arab camp. The Arabs would have been quite justified in executing
the man above alluded to, for he was a genuine spy; my remonstrance to
them was with respect to their treatment of _direct_ messengers I sent
to them; there is considerable doubt that even Waled Mocashee ever did
fight with Waled a Goun.

In my letter to Sheikh Abdel Kader, I proposed to him to come in and
see me; the Arab chiefs asked him to go, but he would not; it is well
known we have refused to give in.

If it is possible to get rid of the bitter feelings existing between
the two great sections of the Soudan people,[41] it will go a great way
to pacify the country; by degrees this may be done.

Meat has fallen from 10_s._ per lb. to 2_s._ per lb.

The steamer _Towfikia_, which went up the Blue Nile to Giraffe, fell on
the Arabs, and drove them off from collecting grass and wood (one is
thankful for small mercies in these times).

The word “Islam” means the resigning or devoting oneself entirely
to God and His service, _i.e._ self-sacrifice: consequently a true
Christian is of the Islam religion, as far as the name goes (this is
Sale’s translation of the word Islam).

It is curious how quick the people forget their disasters and losses;
it is only ten days ago that we lost in killed nearly one thousand
men, yet no one speaks of it now; it takes about four or six days to
obliterate the bitterness of a disaster.

The old bugbear of the defection of the Shaggyeh has sprung up again.
Saleh Pasha, who is a prisoner with the Mahdi, has written to his
brother to say he and the Mahdi are coming, and that he is not to join
me. These sort of things, which are taken up as gospel truth by those
around me, are one of the most disagreeable parts of my position; those
who will one day declare that the Shaggyeh are faithful, will two days
after urge one to take the sharpest measures of repression against
them, which is, to my mind, just the way to push them into rebellion,
if they had any tendency that way (I mean by rebellion, joining the

Saleh Pasha’s brother came in to-day to see me; he has heard that his
brother is with the Mahdi at Schatt, a place inland from Duem, on White
Nile. He seems to think this is authentic; if so, we shall have the
Mahdi here ere long; he has been there nine days.

The news of the near approach of the Mahdi has not troubled me, for if
he fails he is lost, and there will be no necessity for an expedition
to Kordofan; if he succeeds, he may, by his presence, prevent any
massacre. I have always felt we were doomed to come face to face ere
the matter was ended.

I toss up in my mind, whether, if the place is taken, to blow up the
palace and all in it, or else to be taken, and, with God’s help, to
maintain the faith, and if necessary to suffer for it (which is most
probable). The blowing up of the palace is the simplest, while the
other means long and weary suffering and humiliation of all sorts. I
think I shall elect for the last, not from fear of death, but because
the former has more or less the taint of suicide, as it can do no good
to any one, and is, in a way, taking things out of God’s hands.

Schatt is twenty miles inland from Duem, which is one hundred miles
from here, on left bank of White Nile.

The Greek who came in told the Greek Consul that the Mahdi puts pepper
under his nails, and when he receives visitors then he touches his eyes
and weeps copiously; that he eats a few grains of dhoora openly, but
in the interior of the house he has fine feeding and drinks alcoholic

The Greek says the Mahdi has lots of letters from Cairo,[42] Stamboul,
and India; that his constant conversation is Kartoum, and his chance of
its capture.

After this pepper business! I think I shall drop any more trouble in
writing him letters, trying to convince or persuade him to reasonable

The Greek told the Greek Consul that the Mahdi was perplexed to know
what on earth I was doing up here, as I had no part or lot in the
Soudan. I expect this question is more perplexing for others than the
Madhi (myself included). I must confess that the pepper business has
sickened me; I had hitherto hoped I had to do with a regular fanatic,
who believed in his mission, but when one comes to pepper in the finger
nails, it is rather humiliating to have to succumb to him, and somehow
I have the belief that I shall not have to do so. One cannot help being
amused at this pepper business. Those who come in, for pardon, come in
on their knees, with a halter round their neck. The Mahdi rises, having
scratched his eyes and obtained a copious flow of tears, and takes off
the halter! As the production of tears is generally considered the
proof of sincerity, I would recommend the Mahdi’s recipe to Cabinet
Ministers, justifying some job. The nails (so say the Greeks) must be
long! to contain the pepper.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 15._—Another escaped soldier came in this morning; reports
that they are waiting orders of the Mahdi, and do not mean to attack
the lines. Charity thinketh no evil. She was not in the Soudan, for I
declare, what with the tricks of the officials here, Charity would have
had a bad time of it.

They say the Mahdi, when he goes out and sees a woman carrying a jar
of water, rushes at her and begs to be allowed to carry the water.
He rushes up to the Sitt[43] even as I do, only I have not tried the

It appears that the pepper business is of old date in the Soudan, and
not invented by the Mahdi.

The strength of eastern potentates is the seclusion they live in; they
are sacred. Once they are known, they are done for, and perhaps the
Mahdi coming here will do for him. As long as he could put the misdeeds
of his subordinates on them, he was all right, but when the people see
that he does nothing to rectify wrongs, his prestige ought to go.

This afternoon one of Seyd Mahomet Osman’s family came up from Shendy;
he reports the Stewart expedition having passed Shendy,[44] that they
captured a large boat with grain and twenty-four slaves, which was
collecting taxes for the Arabs. He reports as true the arrival of
troops at Dongola; that the Mudir of Dongola has quieted his province;
that the Arab chief Mahomet el Khair, of Berber, on hearing troops
had come to Dongola, sent round to collect the Arabs, promising them
$20 a month, half responded to the call, and came to Berber and asked
for their pay. Mahomet el Khair sent them to a house where he said
the money was (the Government money, the celebrated £60,000 which
was given to me at Cairo!) When they entered the house, no money was
found, and Mahomet el Khair explained it by saying the devil had
caused it to enter the earth! He then _pretended_ that the Mahdi had
sent for him, and bolted. He seems to have seen he could not hold out.
If he goes to the Mahdi, and does not account in some better way for
the disappearance of the money, I fear it will go hard with him, for
the Mahdi, although he allows certain freedom in miraculous events,
is likely to be chary in allowing such events among his followers,
especially when they affect his pocket.

Another captured soldier escaped and came in. He says the Arabs begin
to notice these diminutions of their men, and to be very strict. Nearly
all the soldiers knew me personally in Darfour.

As for the £60,000 which has been lost and stolen by Soudan Arabs, it
is only a tithe of what has been stolen from the Soudan by the Egyptian
Pashas, that effete race, so I do not regret it.

We hope to finish another of those small steamers in twenty days,
like the _Abbas_ (which went down to Dongola with Stewart), and in
another forty days to complete another one, this will complete the four
steamers bought by Colonel Prout[45] in 1878; one of them, the _Mahomet
Ali_, is in the hands of the Arabs, having been surrendered by Saleh

I should not be surprised if Berber surrendered to Stewart’s
expedition. It was a miserable defence it made, and the people were
never very much inclined for the Mahdi. I cannot help thinking Cuzzi
was at the bottom of its surrender.

The _Towfikia_ steamer went up above Giraffe to-day, fired on some
Arabs and captured a cow. Four of the captured soldiers of Obeyed
escaped here; they had little to say, beyond that they had been very
miserable, and that the Arabs hoped we would surrender.

I sincerely hope that Berber will surrender to Stewart’s party; it
would be a great feather in his cap.

The majority of the soldiers who come in bring their rifles.

Haunting the palace are a lot of splendid hawks. I often wonder whether
they are destined to pick my eyes, for I fear I was not the best of

“Enough for the day is the evil thereof,” but I cannot help feeling
appalled at what is to happen; even if we do manage to extricate
Kartoum from its troubles, we will have to quiet down all the countries
around Sennaar and Kassala, and to withdraw from the Bahr Gazelle,
and Equator (for I do not believe the Greek’s story about those lands
being evacuated). Then comes the question of whether the prisoners in
Kordofan are to be left to their fate. If Her Majesty’s Government has
entered the field this is impossible, and if Her Majesty’s Government
prevent Egypt extricating them, then it is virtually Her Majesty’s
Government who leaves them to their fate. Besides this, there is the
terrible outlay of money (which has to be met) for current expenses.
Also who is to govern the country. All idea of evacuation _en masse_
must be given up, it is totally impossible, and the only solution is to
let the Turks come in, or else to leave me here, the very thought of
which makes me shudder, or to send up Zubair Pasha;[47] in both cases a
subsidy of £100,000 is needed per annum.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 16._—The man left in charge of the Roman Catholic Mission’s
garden is furious with the Austrian Consul for taking those $100 he
sent to the captives at Obeyed. He says that had he known they had
become Muslim he would have sent them poison. The $100 came from the
sale of produce of the garden. Whether his anger is owing to his
bigotry, or to the having to give up the $100, is a question. He says
he cannot leave, for he is in charge of the Bishop’s robes. I expect he
holds on to the garden, whose dates alone sold for over $1600.

A woman escaped from the Arabs this morning.

The notes to Sale’s Koran, chapter xix., entitled “Mary,” are very
interesting, as containing the Muslim view of our Lord’s conception.
The sixteenth chapter of Koran, entitled “the Bee,” is considered to
allow Muslims to apostatise, if forced by violence to do so (_vide_
Sale’s notes with regard to Moseilama), though it is more meritorious
not to do so. So the Muslim here are well off in this respect,
_vis-à-vis_, the Mahdi.

Faki Mustapha, who commanded on the left bank of the White Nile, and
who retired into the interior, was expected to come over to us. He
however has written a letter[48] in abusive terms to Cassim el Mousse,
in which he maintains that Mahomet Achmet is the Mahdi. Another soldier
came in with two rifles. _Towfikia_ went up the Blue Nile, and took
on board two runaway slaves. Another man came in with a letter from
a man who is a prisoner with the Arabs, which letter says positively
that 22,000 troops are at Dongola, and that the Mudir of Dongola is at
Merowé, and is pushing on his men.

The soldier who brought in _two_ rifles accounts for it by saying he
started with his companion to come; that his companion got frightened
and dreaded to delay, so they sat down and his companion went to sleep;
so my friend thought it was time to be off, and that it was as well to
take his comrade’s rifle with him!!

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 17._—I have the strongest suspicion that these tales of
troops at Dongola and Merowé are all gas-works, and that if you wanted
to find Her Majesty’s forces you would have to go to Shepheard’s Hotel
at Cairo.[49]

The reports of the advance which we get from Seyd Osman are never
supported by any written evidence from Dongola, and I expect they are
invented. Whether the resurrection of Stewart, Power, and Herbin will
have any effect remains to be seen, but, ill-natured or not, it is my
firm impression that Her Majesty’s Government will be most disagreeably
surprised by their emerging.

If Stewart gets down, he ought to be in communication with Europe on
the 22nd of September, and Power’s telegrams ought to be in _Times_
23rd September. It makes me laugh to think of the flutter in the
dovecot which will follow. “_That beastly Soudan again!_” (Africa has
indeed been a “beast” to our country, as one of Dickens’s characters
called it.)

Egerton’s telegram,[50] carefully written in cypher (and equally
carefully without date, but which we ascribe to June), respecting the
contracts to be entered into with the Bedouin tribes to escort us down
(“and be sure to look after _yourself_”!) might have been as well
written in Arabic, it would have produced hilarity with the Mahdi. Two
escaped soldiers came in with little news, they came with their arms.

A man came in from visiting the Sheikh el Obeyed. He says that the
Arabs lost very few in their attack on Mahomet Ali Pasha; that they
will wait till the river falls ere they try and close in on Kartoum.

The righteous indignation, expressed on the publication of that slave
circular, which did nothing more than say “that the treaty of 1877
(declaring that the slaves would not be _allowed to be sold after_
1887) would not be put in force,” is rather amusing to think over (a
_pact with the devil_, as, I dare say, some called it), when one thinks
that the probability is the whole country will be a nest of slave
hunters and banditti.

They say the Mahdi means to take up his quarters on the left bank
of the Nile, so as to have his retreat clear to Kordofan in case of

The _Towfikia_ steamer went up the Blue Nile, and found the Arabs
near Giraffe, with three guns, which fired five or six rounds at the
steamer, but did no harm.

The pomp of Egerton’s telegram, informing me “that Her Majesty’s
Government would (really!) pay on delivery so much a head for all
refugees _delivered_ on Egyptian frontier, and would (_positively_, it
is incredible!) _reward_ tribes with whom I might contract with, to
escort them down.”

It was too generous for one to believe! Egerton’s chivalrous nature
must have got the better of his diplomatic training when he wrote
it! The clerks in my divan, to whom I disclosed it, are full of
exclamations of wonder at this generosity! Egerton must consider that
I was a complete idiot to have needed such a permission. I hope he
will get promoted, and will not be blamed for his overstraining his

Another soldier escaped with his wife; he says: The Arabs brought three
guns down to cover their foraging party, and have taken them back,
which is a relief to me.

I own to a great fear that Stewart’s journal will not be published _in
extenso_, but will be doctored; if so, it is a great pity, for there
are lots of nice things in it. For really it is my journal as much as
Stewart’s, though he wrote it.

When the escaped soldiers come in, they pay me a visit, and are given a
dollar, made to look at their black pug faces in the mirrors, which are
in the palace, and asked their opinion of the reflections. Some stare
with wide open eyes, for _they have never seen themselves before_. They
generally approve of the reflections, especially the black sluts, who
think themselves “Venuses,” and shove their hands into their mouths,
which is a general sign among blacks of great modesty, like the casting
down of the eyes with us.

Faki Mustapha’s letter[51] caused great commotion among the Ulemas, for
he says, “He will destroy the Korans, and shut the mosques, and listen
only to the Mahdi.”

There is a tone in Egerton’s telegram[52] which grates on me; it is,
_to me_, as if he said “You have got into a mess, and although you do
not deserve it, I am willing to stretch a point in your favour, and
authorize you,” &c. And in the previous part (the author unknown) of
the telegram, it is as if I was enjoying this wretched fighting up
here. I declare it is Egerton and Co., who made the mess, and would
like to hang its fabrication and solution on me, not that I mind the
burthen, if they did not send such telegrams (the Co. are Malet and

I must say I do not love Diplomatists as a rule (and I can fancy the
turning up of noses at my venturing to express an opinion of them), I
mean in their official attire, for, personally, the few I know are most
agreeable (and I specially except Alston, the chief clerk, and Weller,
the hall porter, who has, of late years, become quite amiable); but
taking them on their rostrums, with their satellites, from their chiefs
down to the smaller fry, no one can imagine a more unsatisfactory lot
of men to have anything to do with. I have seen —--, —--, —--,
—--, at different times, and when one left their august presences,
one marvelled at the policy of Great Britain being in such hands. Lord
Hammond was a Tartar, and one knew he was to be respected.

One would not so much mind if they did not inoculate with their virus
those who get employed by them, but I have found Stokes of the Suez
Canal, Wilson of Anatolia, and many others (I may say Stewart), all
impregnated with their ideas of sun worship and expediency. I own to
having read with pleasure the ‘Queen’s Messenger’ till Lord Carrington
stopped its publication, and Marvin’s work on Public Offices.

A man has come in who says Stewart and his steamers have captured a
large convoy of two hundred camel-loads of stuff belonging to the
Arabs. They had passed Shendy, and had not been fired upon.

The Mahdi will be furious.

I do not think the resources of this place are known. We can turn out
50,000 rounds of Remington ammunition a week, there are some 10,000
rounds of mountain-gun ammunition in store, and if the Mahdi takes
Kartoum (which will entail the fall of every town in Soudan) it will
need a large force to stay his propaganda. According to the Greek
he meditates an invasion of Egypt and Palestine, where they are all
ready to rise.[54] All the steamers on the Nile, even below Assouan,
are but crockery, if struck by a mountain-gun shell; consequently, if
the people rose at Esneh they could, by the Mahdi sending down two
guns, stop the river. The further the Mahdi is off from the people who
rise, the stronger he is; here we are near him, and hear all about his
festivities and pepper business; at Esneh this would be lost in the
mists of distance, still more so at Cairo and in Palestine. What have
we done in Lower Egypt to make them like us? Not a single thing. We
have foisted Europeans on them to the extent of £450,000 a year; we
have not reduced taxes, only improved the way of extorting those taxes.
The Mahdi says, “I will take one-tenth of your produce, and I will rid
you of the ‘dogs’”—a most captivating programme! If well led, and once
he takes Kartoum, the combined forces of France and England will not be
able to subdue him, unless they go at his nest. From a _professional
military point of view_, and _speaking materially_, I wish I was the
Mahdi, and I would laugh at all Europe. Query (believing all the above
as I do)—would I be justified in coming to terms with Mahdi, on the
understanding that he should let down all refugees (on the Egerton
contract arrangement), while I should give over to him, unhurt, all
warlike material in Kartoum?

Certainly, according to the letter, I would be justified in so doing;
and _then_ what! of what I feel sure will happen, _i.e._, a rising in
Egypt occurs, what will my nation say? (for Egerton will disappear by
some appointment in Chili) they will say it is my fault; but (_D. V._)
they shall not say so, for I will not give up the place except with
my life. It cannot be too strongly impressed on the public that it is
not the Mahdi’s forces which are to be feared, but the rising of the
populations by his emissaries. I do not believe he had four thousand
men when he defeated Hicks. We have to think what would a garrison of
ten thousand men do in Cairo if the population rose.

Had Zubair Pasha been sent up when I asked for him, Berber would in
all probability never have fallen, and one might have made a Soudan
Government in opposition to the Mahdi. We choose to refuse his coming
up because of his antecedents _in re_ slave trade; granted that we had
reason, yet as we take no precautions as to the future of these lands
with respect to the slave trade, the above opposition seems absurd.
I will not send up A. because he will do this, but I will leave the
country to B., who will do exactly the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 18._—Men came to Halfeyeh from Shendy, and report in
further detail, the attack on the market of Metemma,[55] and capture
of a lot of things. They report also the arrival of troops at Dongola,
and their advance towards Berber (saying that a reconnaissance was just
pushed out to ascertain if Kartoum had fallen or not). Three escaped
soldiers came in from Arabs; they report that a lot of troops are at
Fashoda.[56] I suppose those from Equator or Bahr Gazelle; it appears
they have been at Fashoda some little time, and have lots of cows, &c.
They did not like to come on, for they did not know if Kartoum existed.

10 A.M.—A fight is going on between the _Towfikia_ steamer and five
hundred of our men and the Arabs, near Giraffe. The Arabs are retiring
towards the White Nile. I sent out the men to get wood, &c. The Arabs
did ditto, thence the collision.

The three men who came in to-day, say the Arabs, seeing the numbers who
desert them, take the rifles from the men at night, and give them out
by day.

These men say the Mahdi knows of the advance of the troops on Berber,
and is in a way about it.

Yesterday, previous to hearing the news of to-day, I had arranged for
the departure of the Greek Consul and subjects to the Equator, and then
their retreat, _viâ_ Zanzibar, but it will now be held in abeyance,
till we see the corroboration or not, of this advance of troops to

The following meditations as to the future, may save a good deal
of talking: therefore I write them. Supposing it to be true, an
expeditionary force comes to Berber, composed of partly British troops.
What will result? The Mahdi’s people will retire still further into
the interior, and some of his people will come in. The chief of the
expeditionary force will say “Now the road from Kartoum to Berber
is open, retire the garrison.” He may say, “I will give you three
months to do it in.” Well, we send up steamers to the Equator and Bahr
Gazelle, and the garrison of Kartoum marches on Sennaar and we get down
the refugees, and garrisons from those places. Of course the moment
it is known we are going to evacuate, we drive all neutrals, and even
friendlies of the country into the arms of the Mahdi, for they will
calculate “We are going to be left, and consequently we must, for
our own interests, do something for the Mahdi, in order to hedge our
position.” This means that arrayed against our evacuation will be the
mass of those living in our midst, and who are now with us. This is
disagreeable, but one cannot help seeing that it is quite impossible
to keep British troops after January. Therefore I maintain we must
install Zubair with a subsidy or give over country to the Sultan with a
subsidy. There is no option. If it is determined to do neither, but to
evacuate purely and simply, then when the Sennaar garrison is brought
down, give me the steamers, and the black troops, who are willing to
go, and let me take them up to Equator, while the expeditionary force
goes down to Berber. I must say I think this will be a mistake, to
leave the prisoners in Obeyed, and to let the Mahdi gain Kartoum.

As for Kassala, it must be relieved, by a separate expedition from
Massowah and Senheit. Supposing the evacuation, and non-establishment
of a regular government (under Zubair or the Turks) is determined upon,
the Mahdi would, on taking Kartoum, think twice of moving on Egypt, if
I was on his rear at Equator, with all the steamers.

No one can feel more strongly than I do, that January must see any
British troops, who may come up on their way down to Egypt, _coute que
coute_. This must be so, therefore I keep on, about giving the country
to Sultan, or installing Zubair, with subsidies.

In the serail, we have a Turkey cock and five Turkey hens. They were
all very tame, but having put the Turkey cock’s head under his wing,
and swung him into sleep, on one occasion, he is now shy to come near
me; however, if one goes to his wives and scratches them he is furious,
and comes up with his neck of all colours, but keeps out of range. I
am sorry to say that one of his wives, having sat with patience for
three weeks on eggs, and brought forth two chicks, _he killed them_;
such is the accusation lodged against him by the cook. I think a Turkey
cock, with every feather on end, and all the colours of the rainbow
on his neck, is the picture of physical strength; his eye is an eye
of fire, and there is no doubt of his being angry when he sees his
wives touched. I am one of those who believe in the fore and future
existence of what we call animals. We have the history of man, shaped
in the image and likeness of God. He had breathed into him the breath
of God, and became alive, while the waters and earth were told to bring
forth animals _that had life already_ (Gen. i. 20). “That hath life.”
Take Psalm viii. “What is man, Thou hast put _all things_ under his
feet.” What a fall there is in the next verse, “_All sheep and oxen_”
and turn to Hebrews ii. 8, where the same Psalm is quoted, and where
_all_ things are subject to Him. All principalities, powers, and every
existence are under Him. Why did the Psalmist go out of his way to
quote “sheep and oxen,” unless they were (so to say) the incarnation of
those powers and principalities? Man, however much he has fallen, has
the grand pre-eminence over all creatures, _he was shaped_ (the word is
the same as is used for a potter making a clay vessel) _in God’s image
and likeness_, and it is only God who could have so shaped him, as it
is only God who knew His own likeness. Also when our Lord took our form
(which he still keeps) as man, in Him dwelt the fulness of the Godhead,
so that there is no doubt (as he differed only from us in being
sinless) that man is capable of containing the fulness of the Godhead.
Our belief is that _as man_ our Lord governs heaven and earth, not a
sparrow falling without His permission; this being so, the _capacity_
of man must be such as to allow of his being so endowed as to rule all
events in heaven and earth, for it is distinctly said our Lord was
incarnated in a similar body to ours, except without sin. Our Lord,
who is now man for ever and ever, is not likely to have taken a form
which contained any hindrance to His fulness of His Godhead, therefore
the form He took must be perfect, and as our difference between Him
and us is our sin (which He has taken away), we, in our turn, must be
capable of realising His fulness of Godhead, and my belief is that our
future happiness is in being finite intelligences. We will keep on to
all eternity, grasping the infinite knowledge of God which we are so
formed as to be able to do, but which will last for ever inasmuch as He
is infinite. When one gets on these subjects, and has to come down to
this dreadful Soudan question, it is depressing; so also is the thought
that misery here is our lot, for if we will be with our Master, we must
be like Him, who from His birth to His death may be said to have been
utterly miserable, as far as things in this world are concerned: yet I
kick at the least obstacle to my will.

I certainly will, with all my heart and soul, do my best if any of Her
Majesty’s forces come up here or to Berber, to send them down before
January, and will willingly take all the onus of having done so. Truly
the people are not worth any _great_ sacrifice, and we are only bound
to them because of our dubious conduct in Egypt, to which bond there is
a limit, which I fix in January. As for the Kordofan Europeans, with
one exception, they have denied their Lord, and they deserve their fate
in some measure.

_September 19._—The ex-Khedive always said that the great difficulty
of governing the Soudan, was the want of means of easy access, so
he went into a great scheme of railways; he always said that the
Government was bad, because of the immunity which Governors enjoyed,
owing to his being unable to control them. The Soudan, if once proper
communication was established, would not be difficult to govern.
The only mode of improving the access to the Soudan, seeing the
impoverished state of Egyptian finances, and the mode to do so, without
an outlay of more than £10,000, is by the Nile.


Take this section to be the bed of Nile from Kartoum from Assouan, _a
b c d e f g_ the cataracts; place steamers on the open spaces between
cataracts, build small forts at cataracts, and a sure and certain road
is open for ever.

The same crews would do for these steamers, for a weekly service would
suffice. Camels should be placed at the cataracts for the transhipment
of goods from steamer to steamer.

After the first outlay, which certainly would not be more than
£10,000, for we have the steamers (I think £5000 would be enough), the
thing would pay itself. Of course, it would be better to make loop
tramways worked by animals, than to keep camels at the cataracts.
I worked at this idea quietly for the time[57] I was in the Soudan
before. Colonel Mason went down and examined the cataracts between
Hannek and Wady Halfa, and he found one space of open water forty
miles in length. The Wady Halfa railway might be produced some nine
kilometres, and brought down to river bank. The mass of the misfortunes
of the Soudan arose from this idea of utilising the Nile not having
been carried out, but one had to work at it quietly, for Cairo was bent
on the Wady Halfa railway over which such sums had been spent. I even
took one steamer up from Wady Halfa to Dongola (_i.e._, Mr. Baird, C.
E., did so), to begin the chain of steamers.

No church parade to speak of; Arabs are now visible only on the south
front, four or five miles distant. Arabs did not bring their gun down
to the Blue Nile to-day, and no escaped prisoners came in. To-day is
the Muslim Sabbath, and there is no office work. (Not that there is
much on other days; however, one never sees anyone from morning till

This has given me time to think over the outburst of indignation _in
re_ the slave circular. We did not see the papers, so can only guess
what they said, but expect that this diabolical fact caused upraised
hands in horror, “Was the world coming to an end?” What complete
rubbish! Was it not announced openly that the Soudan was going to be
abandoned, and consequently that the Soudanese were to be allowed
to follow their own devices (which are decidedly slave-huntingly
inclined)? What possible influence could my saying that that feeble
Treaty of 1877 was not going to be enforced, have on people who were
going to be abandoned? The sole and only object of my mission was to
get out the garrisons and refugees without loss of life. And in saying
what I did I merely told the people a platitude.

Baring deigned to say he would support me! Of course, that was an
enormous assistance, to have his approbation. I expect that my asking
for Zubair to come up was the last drop in the cup, and henceforth
I was a complete pariah, yet, in reality, if the Soudan was to be
abandoned, what difference could it possibly make whether Zubair or
the Mahdi carried on slave-hunting, for, according to all accounts,
the Mahdi is most active in this direction (so says the Greek). We had
decided to abandon the Soudan, and to leave it to its own devices; the
only obstacle to this were those _horrid_ garrisons; once we could
get them out, then chaos might reign, for all we cared. The Arabs,
foolishly, would not let us return, consequently the present position.
Zubair’s coming up, when I asked for him, would have, I think, saved
Berber, and greatly facilitated the getting down of _those_ garrisons,
which we only care for, because it is a _palpable_ dishonour to abandon
them, “they ought to have surrendered at once, troublesome people that
they are, giving so much bother!”

Stewart will bear witness that my whole efforts have been, and will
be, directed to carry out my instructions, viz., the withdrawal of
the garrisons and refugees, and had it not been for the defeat of
Mahomet Ali Pasha, I should have got out at least two-thirds of those
at Kartoum and Sennaar. I was engaged in a certain work, _i.e._, to
take down the garrisons, &c. It suited me altogether to accept this
work (when once it was decided on to abandon the Soudan), which, to
my idea, is preferable to letting it be under those wretched effete
Egyptian Pashas. Her Majesty’s Government agreed to send me. It was a
mutual affair, they owe me positively nothing, and I owe them nothing.
A Member of Parliament, in one of our last received papers, asked
“whether officers were not supposed to go where they were ordered?”
I quite agree with his view, but it cannot be said I was ordered to
go. The subject was too complex for any order. It was “Will you go
and try?” and my answer was, “Only too delighted.” As for all that
may be said of our holding out, &c., &c., it is all twaddle, for we
had no option; as for all that may be said as to why I did not escape
with Stewart, it is simply because the people would not have been such
fools as to have let me go, so there is an end of those greatcoats of
self-sacrifice, &c. Place before men the chance of success by holding
out, and the certainty of death, or miserable captivity, if they give
in, there is not much credit in holding out. I must add _in re_, “the
people not letting me go,” that even if they had been willing for me
to go, I would not have gone and left them in their misery. I think I
say truly, I have never asked for a British expedition. I asked for two
hundred men to be sent to Berber at a time when, Graham having beaten
Osman Digma, one might have supposed there was no risk for those two
hundred men, and I asked for Zubair.[58]

Baring offended Cuzzi, who revenged himself by betraying Berber.
Baring _openly_ announced “that no troops would come up to Berber,”
which was a gratuitous act on his part. We may be sure Cuzzi (who loves
Baring) did not fail to tell this to the Mahdi, yet Baring pitched into
me for indiscretion in asking _openly_ for Zubair,[59] which I did on
_purpose_, in order to save Her Majesty’s Government the odium of such
a step! As for Zubair’s refusing to come up (as Cuzzi says he did), I
put it down to some palace intrigue, and consider (if it is true) he
was forced into saying so. If any Expedition comes up, I am grateful
_officially_ for the people’s sake, but I consider that it is a _right_
they possess, for, had not Egypt been interfered with, somewhat more
than seven persons would have come up here, as reinforcements, between
21st November, 1883, when Hicks’ defeat was known, and 19th September,
1884. _I_ am grateful _personally_, because, as surely as the chief
of that expedition comes up, I will put on him the burthen of the
Government (doing what I can to help him). I am unable to forget the
sufferings of these peoples, owing to our want of decision _in re_
Zubair, and no soft words will obliterate those sufferings from my
memory. It is not over praiseworthy if one holds out, when, if you do
_not_, your throat is cut.

I am deeply grateful to those who have prayed for us.

Any expeditionary force that may come up comes up for the honour of
England, and England will be grateful, and I can hang the yoke of
Government on some one else, for the solution of the problem.

Any one reading the telegram[60] 5th May, Suakin, 29th April,
Massowah, and _without_ date, Egerton saying, “Her Majesty’s Government
does not entertain your proposal to supply Turkish or other troops in
order to undertake military operations in Soudan, and consequently if
you stay at Kartoum you should state your reasons,” might imagine one
was luxuriating up here, whereas, I am sure, no one wishes more to be
out of it than myself; the “_reasons_” are those horridly plucky Arabs.

I own to having been very insubordinate to Her Majesty’s Government and
its officials, but it is my nature, and I cannot help it. I fear I have
not even tried to play battledore and shuttlecock with them. I know if
_I_ was chief I would never employ _myself_, for I am incorrigible.
To men like Dilke, who weigh every word, I must be _perfect poison_.
I wonder what the telegrams about Soudan have cost Her Majesty’s
Government? It has been truly a horrid question. There is the TOWN El
Obeyed and the SHEIKH El Obeyed; there is the Haloman of Cairo and the
Haloman of Kartoum. Sanderson must have a hard time of it. “The _city_
moves about!” “Why, if Haloman is attacked, Cairo must be in danger!
Send for Wolseley! Kartoum forces defeated by Sheikh el Obeyed! Why,
the town must have moved! Is not El Obeyed the place Hicks went to
take? Most extraordinary! Send for Wolseley!”

“Eureka, I have found it out; there is a _man_ called _El Obeyed_ and
a _town_ called _El Obeyed_. When a movement occurs, it is the _man_,
not the _town_, which has moved!” After _this_ I shall hesitate to
ask for any appointment from Foreign Office, and I shall get no more
crisp bank-notes, as I used to do from old Cunnynghame in 1858-59
(when Alston was a boy, so to say), in those dingy rooms in Downing
Street, now pulled down. One can fancy them saying “That brute of a
Mahdi!” “That horrid resurrection of Stewart, Power, and Herbin at
Dongola!” It will destroy all the _well earned repose_ of Her Majesty’s
Government. As Sir Wilfrid Lawson (he is an _irregular_) said, “One
day you will groan when you hear of Tel el Kebir.” I think of _all_
the pusillanimous _businesses_ which happened in 1882 the flight of
the Europeans from Alexandria before these wretched fellaheen troops,
was the worst. Why, had they barricaded their streets, they would have
held Alexandria against 50,000 of these poor things (like Abbot did his
hotel and the Egyptian bank their offices). A more contemptible soldier
than the Egyptian never existed. Here we never count on them; they are
held in supreme contempt, poor creatures. _They_ never go out to fight;
it would be perfectly iniquitous to make them. We tried it once, and
they refused point blank to leave the steamers. We are keeping them in
cotton wool to send down to Baring (if he has weathered the storm?)

“Blessed is the man who does not sit in the seat of the _scornful_”
(Ps. i. 1). I own it is not right to scoff at one’s superiors, but I do
not do it in malice, and I hope those who are remarked upon will not be
offended. Life is a very leaden business, and if any one can lighten
it, so much the better. Because I criticise Baring, Egerton, and the
Foreign Office, it is not that I think I am their superior, but because
I would like them to see how others, outside themselves, view things.
Because I may differ with them it is no reason why they may not be
right, and acting uprightly, and I may be utterly wrong. I am sure the
“Siren” Malet is conscientiously sure all he did in Egypt was right; if
visited in Brussels one will see, at a glance, he is plainly content.

One of the most amusing things which struck me in Palestine,
exemplifying how little worth the world’s praise is, was an article in
the _Times_ describing the making of a D.C.L. at Oxford. Sir Charles
Wilson received this honour. The _Times,_ in remarking on the affair,
mixed Wilson, R.E., up with Rivers Wilson of National Debt Office, and
spoke of his “financial capacities” in Egypt. Of course Wilson, R.E.,
could not help thinking he had been robbing Wilson of National Debt
Office of his renown, while Rivers Wilson felt hurt at being robbed of
it. Two people were accordingly put out; while the innocent writer in
the _Times_, when penning his article, was thinking how he could meet
his rent (this is pure supposition). We may be quite certain, that
Jones cares more for where he is going to dine, or what he has got
for dinner, than he does for what Smith has done, so we need not fret
ourselves for what the world says. The article in the _Times_ was a
Mordecai to Wilson, R.E., and quite destroyed the pleasure of receiving
the D.C.L.; yet the writer in the _Times_ did all he could to exalt
Wilson, R.E. I think the Press is first-rate, to ventilate articles;
but when “we” come out, and praise or blame, I do not care a bit for
“we”; for I have seen the “We’s,” and found them much as myself. I
would never muzzle the press or its correspondents; they are most
useful, and one cannot be too grateful to them (I own this more than
any one), but I certainly think, that their province does not extend to
praising or blaming a man, for by praising, or blaming, an assumption
is made of superiority, for the _greater_ only can do that, to the
_inferior_; and no newspaper can arrogate that its correspondent is
superior to the General (though I declare I think, sometimes, it may be
the case).

Take for instance our defeat here, on the 16th March, which is put down
to the treachery of the Pashas. Ten thousand articles in the _Times_
will not make me think that their execution was not a judicial murder,
yet probably the _Times_ may say, I was justified: it alters not the
affair with me, it is simply my intelligence against that of their
correspondent; if the _Times_ saw this in print, it would say, “Why,
then, did you act as you did?” to which I fear I have no answer.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 20._—Six escaped soldiers came in this morning with
their arms; they say that the others meditate a general rush for the
lines to escape, that the Arabs are quite astonished at our being so
quiet, and believe a mine is being driven under them. The men who
came to-day said the Mahdi is still at Rahad! _not_ at Schatt. One of
these men was a perfect peacock with the patches on his dervish dress.
Yesterday evening, while a gale was blowing, Waled a Goun took out the
Krupp, meaning to bombard us, but he then took it back on Abou Gugliz’
remonstrances, who said that we had stayed quiet for months, that he
had made splendid fortresses, and that on one day we had burst on him,
and broken him up.

A curious letter[61] was found written, just before Hicks’ forces
perished, by a high officer; it is in the terms, “Stranger, go tell the
Lacedemonians we lie here, in obedience to their laws.”

I have in a previous page abused the Egyptian soldier, but it is not
just, for what possible interest can they take in warlike operations
in the Soudan? The English beat them in Egypt, and then sent them up
here to be massacred in detail. One may say the massacred ten thousand
of Hicks’ army, at any rate, showed they could die, if they could not

When we got hemmed in, a lot of slaves belonging to masters in Kartoum
got cut off. They have been coming in in driblets ever since, and we
made the men soldiers, and the women were freed; this of course bore
hard on their masters, who thus lost their slaves, so I have determined
to compensate these masters, at rate of £7 per man, £5 per woman,
being an inferior article. Certainly I would make ‘Plutarch’s Lives’ a
handbook for our young officers; it is worth any numbers of ‘Arts of
War’ or ‘Minor Tactics.’

Some accounts in the _Gazette_, describing reasons for giving the
Victoria Cross, are really astounding, such as a man who, with another,
was sent out on a reconnaissance, this other was wounded, and his
companion waited for him, and took him on his horse, saving his life!
What would we have said, had he left his companion? Lots of these
cases pass by unheeded, which, if read by ‘Plutarch’s Lives,’ would
be simply a man’s duty. A soldier is bound entirely to his work as a
soldier, he can never do more than his duty, and his _métier_ is the
Field; therefore he deserves nothing, for he is already paid for that
_métier_, and not for garrison or home life. The original idea of the
Victoria Cross was to give the subaltern officers, non-commissioned
officers, and men a decoration, which would take the place of the
Bath, to ranks below that of Major, which by the statutes of the Bath
could not be done; then came the mistake to give the Victoria Cross
for deeds of _éclat_, and so now it is. I like that old Iron Duke with
his fearful temper: he told a friend of my father, who was bewailing
his long and meritorious service, “That he ought to be —-- glad the
country had kept him so long.” I wish Wolseley would take up this
line, and get some quixotic chivalry into us: that it is possible I
feel sure, for we are the same men as before. In three campaigns, out
of four of late years, no officer or soldier has gone through such
privations or dangers, as are gone through by our naval officers and
sailors in gunboats, in various parts of the world, yet these latter
would be scoffed at if they pleaded these privations, in order to
get reward. A man defends a post, if he loses it his throat is cut;
why give him a Victoria Cross? and if given, why not give it to all
who were with him? they equally with him defended their throats. The
men I should like to see cross-questioned on the country they are in
are our Generals, whose whole time is taken up in their offices with
courts-martial, &c., &c., an occasional day being devoted to moving
men about in formations, which are never put into execution in the
Field? The _métier_ of a General is the Field, not the office; it is
as if all their time is to be taken up with the horse in the stable,
not in the country, whereas the latter is the most important. I should
like to see Wolseley trot out the generals over their districts; ask
them the routes, their proposed distribution of men in case of attack,
and water-supply to Forts. I do not think it is generally known that
if a gunboat cut the sea-wall near Cooling on Thames, the Cliffe and
Shornemead Forts are cut off from main land, and that the Thames would
come up to high lands, and be ten miles wide. There is one man only
that I know who has the gift of questioning, because he knows every
part of the coast, Sir W. Jervois; and if Wolseley has not the time,
he would do schoolmaster. Of course, this is all fearful treason and

Spy in Halfeyeh states Stewart’s steamers have recaptured the two
steamers I had lost at Berber, and had no fighting to speak of; that
the English troops are advancing on Ambukol,[62] half way between
Debbeh and Merowé, and had defeated the Arabs.

A young black soldier has just escaped from the Arabs; he was pursued
by three horsemen and some footmen, and he kept blazing away at them
till he got into the lines. He says he killed two of his pursuers.

I wrote a letter[63] to Abdel Kader, the old sheikh on South Front, and
sent him a packet of soap with the letter, as he had lamented to one of
our men, who had escaped, that he had none. I daresay he will think the
packet is a mine!

I have ordered the sale of five hundred ardebs of Government dhoora: no
one family to purchase more than two ardebs.

The capture of the steamers at Berber cuts off the Arabs of Berber from
those on other side.

With the young soldier who escaped were three others, but their hearts
failed them, and they were recaptured. I fear they will suffer, but no
physical suffering will change the heart, hence I do not believe in

The _Towfikia_ steamer went up to Giraffe, and as the Arabs had a sort
of sneaking affection for the place, we put down twenty self-exploding
mines, to deter them from going there. The worst of it is, our domestic
matches have run out, and we cannot make any substitute, so we have
to fall back on the powder-hose, connecting groups of ten. I think
good wire entanglements, with mines, will defend any place, if one has
anything like moderate troops behind the parapet. Wire entanglement
ought to be twenty yards in depth, mixed with it the earthmines. No
field artillery will neutralize their effects, and only a continuous
bombardment of days would destroy them.

A man has come in from Shendy, who corroborates the advance of the
expeditionary force and the defeat of the Arabs. Another came in, who
says the _Abbas_ passed down safely, and that the steamers _Mansowrah_
and _Saphia_ are on their return, but says nothing of capture of the
two steamers at Berber.

Another escaped soldier came in.

The Arabs took the man with the flag of truce (I sent out with letter
to Abdel Kader, the old sheikh) into their lines; he took a _letter_
from the Ulemas to the Mahdi.

Tolerably good information says that the Mahdi has written to the
tribes about here, telling them to submit to our authority, and to
fight no more, to pay taxes, &c.; that if he is the Mahdi, then Turks
and all men will eventually acknowledge him, without any more fighting,
&c. We have this from two separate sources. I think he feels that to
fail here would lead to his fall, and so he will come to terms in order
to keep Kordofan, as I originally proposed to him.

Faki Mustapha (the man who commanded Arabs on left bank), has sent in
to say he never wrote the impertinent letter E,[64] to which his seal
was not.

The doctor took a stone as big as a swan’s-egg from a man to-day.

There is nothing like a civil war to show what skunks men are. One of
my greatest worries are the Shaggyeh, who are continually feathering
towards me, or towards the Mahdi. I expect both sides despise them
equally. According to history, the same thing went on during the reign
of James II. When William of Orange landed, Queen Anne’s husband the
Prince of Denmark did not show well in the affair, and I expect that
the Empress Eugenie could say a good deal for “Rats,” during her time.
I must say I cordially hate them, and if I had my way, I would smite
the Shaggyeh, but policy says “give them rope.” I have told them
distinctly, that I know it is self-interest alone which rules them,
which however is a platitude, for it governs most of us.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 21._—Six more escaped soldiers came in with their rifles
to-day. They say the Arabs are furious at losing their Peacock dervish
(who was one of their officers) yesterday, and also at the constant
desertions, and have written to the Mahdi to ask whether they are to
kill these blacks or not. The Mahdi hired one thousand camels at $3 a
head, to bring dhoora to the Arab camp, but the people who engaged to
do this, bolted with the money and the camels into the interior. The
Mahdi is at Schatt.[65]

Messengers have arrived at Omdurman, saying that mixed force of British
and Indian troops at Debbeh, on the Nile, north of Dongola, and that
they had defeated a party of dervishes.

The Greek, who came in a few days ago from the Arabs, said the Mahdi
had given Cuzzi an ointment to rub on his body, which would keep him in
odour of sanctity!

Halfeyeh reports a foraging party of Arabs between Halfeyeh and

The three messengers from Dongola came in with two cipher telegrams
from Egerton of same import, not legible, for want of cipher, which
Stewart carried off. Some photograph letters which I could only
partially make out, and notes from Floyer,[67] and Kitchener[68] saying
forces were coming up. Letter from Mudir Dongola saying he had beaten
the Arabs four times before the British advance! I have made him Pasha,
and asked for the Order of St. Michael and St. George for him from the
Khedive. I have ordered _three_ guns to be fired from all the guns at 4
P.M. as a salute, and to warn the Arabs something is up. I shall send
down spies to-morrow. I gave the _three_ £50, and gave them each £10,
with promise they will be paid £10 more when they get to Dongola. They
say they had nothing given them on starting! which is curious if true.

Three more escaped soldiers came in this afternoon. They say the Arabs
have disarmed all the black troops, and have told them to go where they
liked, so I expect we will have a lot in to-morrow.

We fired a salute of three rounds from each gun on lines, to let the
Arabs know of the advance expeditionary force. The men who came in say
the Arabs were fully expecting an attack, and were in a great way.

I send down to-morrow a telegram to Cairo, which will settle the
business as far as I am concerned. It is thus couched: “If you remove
me from being Governor-General then all responsibility is off me; but
if you keep me as Governor-General then I will, _at the cost of my
commission_ in Her Majesty’s Service, see all refugees out of this

The Arabs in reply to this salute of three guns fired nine shots
against the lines to-night, two of which passed over our lines—a sort
of revenge for our salute.

The man who went up with the letter came back with two letters[69] and
the soap, _which was refused_.

Our salute, which was replied to by the Arabs by shotted guns, made us
fire shotted guns in reply; and the “man who came in with the soap”
says our guns killed twenty men, which I fear is an exaggeration.
This man says the Arabs are in a bad state, with little food. They
threatened to kill him. I sent out letter[70] in answer.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 22._—One escaped slave came in to-day. The Berber steamers
are said to be coming up river. Sent out two hundred men from Halfeyeh
to drive off foraging parties of Arabs investing roads from that place
to Shoboloha.

The _Saphia_ and _Mansowrah_ have returned from Berber. _They passed
the Abbas_, that is about all, and I am grateful for that. They carried
out my orders. Colonel Stewart’s letter reports in detail. The steamers
lost three killed, and had four wounded. They saw the two captured
steamers under the bank.

N.B.—When self-acting mines are placed, it is as well to connect them
with twine to facilitate taking them up.

_September 23._—The men who went out to drive back the marauders
between Halfeyeh and Shoboloha have come back. They drove back the
Arabs and captured a lot of things.

During the blockade here, viz., from say March 12th till to-day
September 22nd we have expended—

  3,240,770 Remington   }
      1,570 Krupp gun   } cartridges.
      9,442 Mountain gun}

Of the Remington cartridges perhaps 240,000 may have been captured by
enemy, so that we fired 3,000,000 away; and I expect the Arabs lost
perhaps 1000 in all. Each Arab killed needed 3,000 cartridges. We have
left here—

  2,242,000 Remington   }
        660 Krupp gun   } cartridges.
      8,490 Mountain gun}

and we turn out 50,000 Remington cartridges a week.

Fifty Arab horsemen came down on our foraging party who were outside
Bourré, but the steamer drove them back.

No escaped soldiers came in to-day. I expect they are all close

There are fifty nuggars at Berber with the Arabs.

I am sure I should like that fellow Egerton. There is a light-hearted
jocularity about his communications, and I should think the cares of
life sat easily on him. Notice the slip in margin. He wishes to know
_exactly_ “day, hour, and minute” that he (Gordon) expects to be in
“difficulties as to provisions and ammunition.”[71]

Now I really think if Egerton was to turn over the “archives” (a
delicious word) of his office, he would see we had been in difficulties
for provisions for some months. It is as if a man on the bank, having
seen his friend in river already bobbed down two or three times, hails,
“I say, old fellow, let us know when we are to throw you the life buoy,
I know you have bobbed down two or three times, but it is a pity to
throw you the life buoy until you really are _in extremis_, and I want
to know _exactly_, for I am a man brought up in a school of exactitude,
though I did _forget_(?) to date my June telegram about _that Bedouin
escort contract_.”

Turn to page 59, “Send for Wolseley,” &c. I see that they did send for
him just a month before; “nasty moving cities, and _very_ nasty Soudan.”

Egerton’s cipher telegram,[72] which I cannot decipher through Stewart
having taken the book, is short, but I feel sure is weighty, and I
regret deeply I cannot get at its contents, which I think would afford
matter for amusing comment.

The Mudir of Dongola sent me a telegram which is on other side.[73] He
tells me of the extreme anxietude which pervaded Cairo (when they heard
Berber had fallen, and it was rumoured Kartoum had ditto), for the
retirement of the Dongola people. “Throw things into the river,” &c.,
“but come away,” “we are very fond of you,” “useless to stay,” &c., &c.
The Mudir laughs over it, I think, and saw the kind instruction, “raise
barrier on barrier between Kartoum and its sister beleagured cities and
Cairo; let us hear the last of these moving cities and Halomans.” What
awful disgust at this resurrection! I made the Mudir a Pasha; he was an
old officer of mine. When I came up I ordered him down, as my orders
were to _organize country with Soudanese employés_, not that he was
bad. Cairo (how they must wring their hands over it now) remonstrated
and asked me to leave him, which I did, and he saved Dongola, and
indirectly Kartoum, for had I put a native in he would have gone over
to the Mahdi, like Hussein Pasha Khalifa did, and then I really think
that the tomb would have been securely sealed, and R. I. P. to all
of us. When one thinks that _Cairo saved us_ by interfering with my
removal of this man, it must add bitterness to the cup they have to
drink! The telegrams about this man’s reinstatement, and my answer, are
in Stewart’s journal about the month of March.

I am arranging attack on Berber with four steamers and Krupps, as soon
as steamers come from Sennaar.

Spies with letters started for Dongola yesterday.

I hope Stewart will get hold of all copies of telegrams sent to us from
Cairo for his journal, and which the Arabs captured (lovely reading!),
also that he will find out result of Hewitt’s Mission to King John,
and of Baring’s negotiations for opening of “the road from Suakim and
Berber,” he spoke about on the 29th of March! which caused hilarity up
here, and which led to his angering Cuzzi, who, idiot-like, questioned
the sagacity and success of the step, and, getting turned out, paid us
both (in all probability) by betraying Berber to the Arabs.

Egerton is a statistician, he evidently is collecting material for some
great work. What earthly use is it to us for Egerton “to know exactly
our want of provisions,” when he is 1500 miles away! I am vexed at not
getting at the pith of his cipher telegram, all I can see is that 7775
(Zubair’s name) is _not_ in it.

I am preparing to clear out of the palace, _in toto_, leaving the
telegraph only, and go into the Mudiriat, so there will be plenty of
room for the staff, if they come up, which is even now a question to me.

From Lord Northbrook coming out, I infer that Baring has returned
to Cairo, and that my friend Egerton has gone back to the Acropolis.
I hope he will say a good word to the King of Hellenes in favour of
Leonidas, the Greek Consul here, who has behaved worthy of his ancestor
of Thermopylæ, on a small scale.

I have a firm conviction we will not do anything in Egypt that will
succeed, unless we fall into accord with France, which would not be
difficult to do.

Arabi Pasha’s private secretary, who even Stewart with all his Job-like
patience had to give up as a bad job, came to-day to say “he was
starving,” so I have given him £10 a month again. How he ever got on
with Arabi is a wonder; he and Stewart used to spend hours, hob and
nob, translating Arabic letters, and then Stewart found out that the
man had just exercised his own imaginations and taken not the least
pains to give the sense of these letters’ contents.

The Shaggyeh are breaking my heart with their family quarrels. I shall
go to Halfeyeh (_D. V._) to-morrow to see after them. They captured
five men who had been pardoned, and had gone back to the Arabs, and
want me to kill them, which I refuse to do, for who are the rebels?
we or the Arabs. I am responsible for the judicial murder of the two
Pashas; beyond this I have put no man to death.

I think Colonel Stewart is hard on our men as to their cowardice; they
are not heroes, I grant, but they are not, to my mind, entire cowards;
“they do not see it,” that is all; but if they are put in a position
where there is a chance, a _fair_ chance of success, they will take
advantage of it and be plucky. The Chinese are of the same temperament.
“No two piecey man can stay one place, supposing you come, I must go.”
This is an acknowledged maxim in the East.

A spy came in, and says that Sheikh el Obeyed has news in his camp
_that Abdel Kader Pasha_ (what a bother for Sanderson all these Abdel
Kaders who he may mix up with the one of Algier) _is with troops at

Two more mines exploded at Omdurman when they were being taken up to
renew the fuses, but did no harm.

I saw the Shaggyeh chief Abdul Hamed to-day. He says that Said and
Ibrahim Hassan Pashas[74] were _not guilty_, and that the Arabs looted
their houses when they heard they had been killed by me, which they
would not have done had they been really in communication with them. I
shall send for their families and give them each £1000, which is all I
can do.

The _Towfikia_ went up and had her usual fight with the Arabs.

Report is that a soldier has taken the breech pieces of the two Krupp
guns with the Arabs, and has run away, rendering them useless.

If Abdel Kader is at Kassala what on earth are our people about not to
tell me, for of course I could help him. We seem to have lost our heads
in the Intelligence Department, though it costs enough money.

As for “_evacuation_,” it is one thing; as for “_ratting out_,” it is
another. I am quite of advice as to No. 1 (as we have not the decision
to keep the country), but I will be no party to No. 2 (this “rat”
business), 1st, because it is _dishonourable_; 2nd, because it is not
_possible (which will have more weight)_; therefore, if it is going
to be No. 2, _the troops had better not come beyond Berber till the
question of what will be done is settled_. So I will end this book.

  _23 Sept., 1884_.

N.B.—To be copied and read by Colonel Stewart, if he likes, and
extracts given Mr. Power (as by promise). Afterwards to be given to
Miss Gordon, Southampton, if not wanted by the Foreign Office.


  _Upon outside wrapper_:





  Contains no secrets as far as I am concerned. Official
  parts those not scratched through. Contains map of
  Berber; large scale.


  For LT.-COL. STEWART, C.M.G. If not with the army,
  for _General Lord Wolseley_, G.C.B.

  _On Book itself_:





  N.B.—Will require pruning down if published.



  _Upon inside_:



  FROM 23 SEPTEMBER TILL              , 1884.

  N.B.—Will require pruning down if published.




_September 24._—My view is this, as to the operations of British
forces. I will put three steamers, each with two guns on them, and an
armed force of infantry at disposal of any British authority, will
send these steamers to either Metemma, opposite Shendy, or to the
cataract below Berber, to there meet any British Force which may come
across country to the Nile. These steamers, with this force coming
across country, will (_D.V._) capture Berber and then communicate with
Kartoum. The steamers will have a month’s provisions. I would not
attempt to pass the _bulk_ of British Force across country, only the
fighting column, to co-operate with the three steamers. No artillery is
wanted with either force; it is not needed in any way in this country.
When Berber is taken I should keep the bulk of the forces there, and
send up the fighting column to Kartoum, after having arranged for its
provisions, for I cannot feed them; then, in combination with us,
clear out rebels from A to B,—an affair of a week; then decide on
your future policy. It is absolutely necessary to understand that we
cannot hurry over this affair.[75] If we do we will incur disaster.
I have spoken of the division of British forces into two lots, one a
small fighting column co-operating across country with the steamers
which will meet them, where you like, on the left bank of the White
Nile; the other, composed of bulk, _without artillery_, coming up right
bank of the Nile. Now if I were doing this, I should, by the _Abbas_
steamer, work up by Merowé,[76] Abou Hamed, to Berber, by a _series
of small stations_ with small garrisons. I should at once get on each
step of the Nile ladder steam launches from Cairo, &c., and put them in
the open strips as previously explained in page 49 of my journal, Vol.
No. I.[77] I then have my route open to Dongola where the bulk of the
forces remain.


Saying the chain of posts is established, that, in the interim, the
Arab forces at A and B are dispersed, then you say _evacuate_. Well,
without moving the bulk, and, with the aid of the fighting column, you
can get down the Sennaar lot, while steamers can bring down the Equator
and Bahr Gazelle garrisons. Now this will take at least six months from
the _present date_ (for you will _not_ come for _a month_). You then
begin your downward march, and are harassed all the way,[78] and the
Mahdi will say he kicked you out. You see you are in for six months,
and if you evacuate all your prestige vanishes. It is therefore, I
say, either, when once you have got up to Kartoum, give the country to
the Turks, or else establish Zubair, and (instead of expending time in
going up to Sennaar and the Equator) combinating with us, commence an
attack upon Kordofan. You must be here six months. How will you spend
the time? Will you at the end of six months allow it to be said you are
kicked out, or will you not establish some government and retire with
dignity. The _cost_ is the same in both cases in money; but in honour
one costs a great deal more. If Zubair falls, after some time, what
is it to you? You did your best and save your honour, and you save a
mint of difficulties and troubles, which these expeditions to Sennaar
and Equator involve. You will not be obliged to go fifty miles beyond
Kartoum.[79] As for the Equator, give it to me, and I will (_D.V._)
keep it from Zubair. It is a thousand pities to give up Kartoum to the
Mahdi when there is a chance of keeping it under Zubair.

[Illustration: BULK OF FORCES]

The fighting force can take the guns of the steamers, if they need
artillery; they are very good guns and have field carriages with
limbers. I shall not send down the castellated barges or the Krupp
guns. Should you cross the desert _en masse_, the way to guard your
communications is to occupy, with a company, all the wells in a
good large radius, for the Arabs cannot come down on your line of
communication, not being able to get water. This is the only way to
deal with the Bedouins, or slave hunters.

The elephants came up by the wells of Gabra,[80] direct from Debbeh to
Kartoum. Care should be taken on approaching Omdurman, for there are
rather a timid lot there (fellaheen).

You must consider whether you will not send down those dreadful Bashi
Bazouks, the scum of Alexandria, and the fellaheen soldiers, on
arrival, for they are of little use, and eat us up.

For my part, I should not hesitate to ride down with three hundred men
(having taken precaution to have made arrangements with the Kababish
tribe) from Kartoum to Debbeh.

There is no difficulty in making flying bridges across the Nile with
the country boats, however wide, using telegraph wire twisted in six or
eight strands.

Seyd Mahomet Osman’s little boy, aged nine years, was caught by Arabs,
and behaved like a hero: “He was not going to be a Dervish. He was
as much the Mahdi as Mahomet Achmet; and they might kill him if they
liked, &c. He was going to stay with the Government and Gordon Pasha.”
They left him alone.

The Sandjak described the scene as splendid: the little fellow with
flaming eyes, gesticulating and stamping with fury.

“U. S. C.,[81] 6.30 P.M.—Did you ever hear of such a thing?
—--[82] is appointed —-- to —--. A more barefaced job never _was_
perpetrated. Why, the man has done nothing, _absolutely_ nothing.
Atrocious! But _what_ can you expect? The whole lot of them are off
again, a regular autumn flight! What! eh! _you will see them all at
Christmas_” (waxing more wrath). “I declare I have half a mind to
go to the Mahdi,” &c. Page interrupts: “Lady —-- is waiting in the
brougham.” Collapse and exit.

I cannot too much impress on you that this expedition will not
encounter any enemy worth the name in an European sense of the word;
the struggle is with the climate and destitution of the country. It
is one of time and patience, and of small parties of determined men,
backed by native allies, which are got by policy and money. A heavy
lumbering column, however strong, is nowhere in this land. Parties of
forty or sixty men, swiftly moving about, will do more than any column.
If you lose two or three, what of it—it is the chance of war. Native
allies above all things, at whatever cost. It is the country of the
irregular, not of the regular. If you move in mass you will find no end
of difficulties; whereas, if you let detached parties dash out here and
there, you will spread dismay in the Arab ranks. The time to attack
is the dawn, or rather before it (this is stale news), but sixty men
would put these Arabs to flight just before dawn, which one thousand
would not accomplish in daylight. This was always Zubair’s tactics. The
reason is that the strength of the Arabs is their horsemen, who do not
dare to act in the dark. I do hope you will not drag on that artillery:
it can only produce delay and do little good. I can say I owe the
defeats in this country to having artillery with me, which delayed me
much, and it was the artillery with Hicks which, in my opinion, did for

Ten thousand times better for us to perish than for you to run the
risk; and besides that, I have a confident belief we will not (_D.V._)
perish. The usual hammer and tongs fusillade will go on, but they will
not attack the place, and we will not go out against them; while you
will creep on quietly and safely, and send out your feelers, making
raids upon these Arabs. I would let Buller have full swing for all
these little biting expeditions. I believe he is well off (and I
think not married, which is an enormous advantage); and he and his
subordinates will learn scouting, &c., in a good school. It is this
very same warfare we will have to exercise if ever we would oppose
Russia in her advance on Afghanistan—_i.e._, of going up and landing
in the Persian Gulf, and cutting in on their flank. So it will be a
good school for him and his.

The wretched peasant, with that filthy cloth, which you see, is a
determined warrior, who can undergo thirst and privation, who no more
cares for pain or death than if he were of stone. The young fellows
even have a game by which they test who will bear the lash of the
hippopotamus’ whip best. They are in their own land; the pains of
war are their ordinary life; and they are supported by religion of
a fanatical kind, influenced by the memory of years of suffering at
the hands of an effete set of Bashi Bazouks. No; if our Kentish or
Yorkshire boys are to come up to help me, it is not with my wish,
unless with the greatest precaution. Thank God we have few Europeans
here, and those I can (_D.V._) care for, and you need not fear for our
retreat; and if we die, why, when we entered the army we sold our lives
at so much a day. I verily believe no merchant would give me £200,
which, to me, is the current value of _the man_ in this world.

It is the most extraordinary thing, quite incomprehensible, that with
only one exception, that of Zubair’s man who came from Cairo (with
Egerton’s famous despatch about contracts), not one single messenger
has entered this place on the proper initiative of outsiders. It has
been invariably _my_ messengers, who were sent out by me, from Kartoum,
who did bring me any news. It would seem as if those outside seemed
to think it was my duty to send out and bring in news for myself, and
that they had nothing to do with it. Either these officers outside do
not care to spend a sou in spies to give me information, or else they
think it is a matter of supreme indifference, whether I know what is
going on or not; and I must say when my messengers do come back, they
bring me scarcely any information of import. There is a lot of “I hope
you are well,” &c.; men like Kitchener and Chermside might be expected
to have more brains than that.[84] If I had not exerted myself in the
spy business, we never would have had a word, I verily believe. I never
saw such a poor lot as these outsiders. Even if they had had to pay
£20 out of their own pockets, one might have expected them to do it,
considering the circumstances. They might have been paid back. But
neither Her Majesty’s Ministers in Cairo, nor these men have seemed to
care a jot to inform us. Silly foolish questions are all we ever have
got from them, and it is not to be wondered at, that I am indignant
with such unpatriotic conduct, and not inclined to be over civil beyond
my duty. I never saw such a feeble lot in my life! One has only to
compare the telegrams, &c., we sent down, with the _rubbish_ sent in by
_our own messengers I_ paid for.

Two children and three escaped soldiers came in to-day from the Arabs,
but had no news.

Read “Floyer’s” telegram, with Kitchener’s note to Stewart on same
paper—it perfectly exasperates one. Kitchener asks Stewart “what he
can do for him”—nothing of what has gone on with respect to the Soudan
since Graham’s expedition. Of course men are not _obliged_ to write at

I altogether _decline_ the imputation that the projected expedition
has come to _relieve me_. It has _come to SAVE OUR NATIONAL HONOUR in
extricating the garrisons, &c., from a position our action in Egypt
has placed these garrisons_. _I was relief expedition No 1._ They are
_relief expedition No 2._ As for myself I could make good my retreat at
any moment if I wished. Now realise what would happen if this _first
relief expedition_ was to bolt and the steamers fell into the hands of
the Mahdi: _this second relief expedition_ (for the honour of England
engaged in extricating garrisons) would be somewhat hampered. We the
_first_ and _second_ expeditions are equally engaged for the honour of
England. This is fair logic. _I came up to extricate the garrisons and
failed. Earle comes up to extricate garrisons and (I hope) succeeds.
Earle does not come to extricate me._[85] The extrication of the
garrisons was supposed to affect our “national honour.” If Earle
succeeds the “national honour” thanks him and I hope rewards him, but
it is altogether independent of me, who for failing incurs its blame. I
am not the _rescued lamb_, and I will not be.

Had Gessi dared to have communicated with me like these men have, he
would have heard of it; but he never did.

The _Towfikia_ steamer went up and saw no Arabs at Giraffe to-day.

Look at this: I send down a spy, A. Kitchener and Co. send him back
with answer. If Kitchener and Co. thought, they would know that A.,
being seen passing to and fro, must incur suspicion; however, A.
happily gets through _with risk_ (not having, by the way, had one penny
from K. and Co.); then all communication stops till I send down B. What
is K. doing at Debbeh? that he could not write a better letter than to
tell me the names of the generals and regiments—a matter of the most
supreme indifference to Kartoum.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 25._—Arabs came down to the Blue Nile in some force, but
the _Mansowrah_ going up, and our men pushing along the bank, they all
fled. I am going to Halfeyeh to see the Shaggyeh, who are the worry
of my heart. Having gone down, I found a very fair market, and the
Shaggyehs less irritating than I expected to find them.

_Question._ What was the policy of her Majesty’s Government in sending
up General Gordon?

_Answer._ To endeavour to retire the garrisons _by quiet means_.

_Question._ What is the object of General Earle’s expedition?

_Answer._ The same. General Gordon having failed.

_Question._ If General Earle’s expedition is for the retreat of General
Gordon and ends there, what is the result?

_Answer._ Her Majesty’s Government agree _that they abandon the

_There is no possible escape from the situation._

According to accounts from Bourré, the Arabs had come down in some
force at night, and had hid in villages near Bourré, meaning to fall
upon our foraging parties; they did not bargain for the _Mansowrah_
coming up with her two guns, and so caught a Tartar when they emerged
to attack our men, and went off in great confusion and some loss.

An escaped soldier came in from the Arabs—no news. He was so
dreadfully itchy, I could not keep my patience, or keep him in my room.
He saw himself in the mirror, and asked who it was; said he did not
know! and really he did not seem to know. It stands to reason that in
countries where there are no mirrors, every one must be a complete
stranger to himself, and would need an introduction.

I wrote to Waled a Goun, Arab commander-in-chief, as follows:—“I
went to Halfeyeh to see Shaggyeh, found five men there; they wanted
me to kill them, for being of your family, who had gone back to you
after pretending to join me. I questioned these five men; they said
they could not bear the smell of you, and that the Shaggyehs had wanted
their things, and so had invented the accusation. I have no scales to
weigh the truth—perhaps Mahomet Achmet Mahdi has—so, as you have sent
me many soldiers of late, I send you these men. I have taken the body
of your Peacock” (alluding to the man who came in with the wonderful
Dervish dress), “but I send you the plumage of your bird on another
body.” I have put the dress on one of the men I sent out.

“Why did you run away so swiftly to-day? was Abou Gugliz there? It
could not be you, for you said so much about your desire to die at the

“As for knowing the truth in the Soudan it is impossible, for the
devils of lying and robbery are riding all over the country.”

I gave them a dollar each; they leave to-morrow. I have also given them
a captured Arab flag and a captured Dervish cap each, so they will go
out a grand procession, and as it is their Sunday (Friday), they will
arrive at church parade.

Thousands of cranes, with their curious cry, are passing over every day
(“The cranes of Ibycus.” Few ever read Schiller’s poems. I only know
Bulwer’s translation, but they have grand things in them. “The Veiled
Image of Truth at Sais,” “The Ring of Polycrates,” for who can bear
_plain truth_? Who can bear _success_?)

The notables were in a regular state about my going to Halfeyeh
to-day. A deputation came to prevent it, but it was of no use. The
Mudir threw himself down and embraced my feet, begging me not to go;
but, as I thought his solicitude was actuated more by the wish to
prevent me going to where he has, I expect, been robbing right and
left, than my security, I did not attend much to him. I should break
the hearts of our F.O., for I say openly, “As your Government is bad,
and will give you nothing when you are decrepit, rob away gaily, but
with wisdom, and do not let me hear of it.”

The Arabs will be in an awful rage to-morrow with the procession of
the five Dervishes with captured flags, &c. You can scarcely imagine
the state (well known to Stewart, Power, and Herbin) one gets in, when
one is constantly hearing explosions; what with the guns, mines, and
musketry, one’s nerves get strained, and nothing can drop without one
thinking it is an explosion. What the Russians underwent at Sevastopol
must have been terrible. As Hansall, the Austrian Consul, says, it is
_abrutissant_. It has slackened off now, but still any loud noise, in
this clear air, makes me jump (_i.e._, be, for a moment, afraid) like
any man who rides knows, when his horse, as it were, sinks completely
beneath him, on a sudden start.

I look forward to the advent of some of the Royal Navy more than
anything. There are such a lot of splendid cutting-outs and surprises
to be made by the steamers, and the steamers are first-rate in every
respect. Each steamer is worth two thousand men, if well handled, and
they have all on board grub and ammunition, and want no commissariat

If I were Earle, I would leave all the principal medical officers
at Dongola, and only take on the lowest ranks of the Army Medical

The Principal Medical Officers are bores and croakers, and want all
sorts of attention. A man is a fool or a physician at forty years of
age. All in this country you want is to _keep the communication open_,
and Cockle will do that. As for wounds, there will be none, _for Arabs
give no quarter_; neither will we, I expect, if we go over one hundred
miles of desert.

At Halfeyeh to-day, going round the Fort, a tallow-faced Egyptian
dashed out with the most fearful whine. I tried to calm him, no good,
so Cassim el Mousse, the Shaggyeh Meleh, interfered; no use! the man
(?) threw himself on the ground, and deluged himself and me with dust,
so Cassim gave him a wipe over the head with his Hippo whip, and I
ordered him to be taken out of the ranks and brought to Kartoum;
_en route_ my cavasses came and remonstrated, saying he ought to be
secured, for he was the most notorious thief of Alexandria; so, justly
or not, I have put him in prison.

It would be a great mistake to think the troops are down in the mouth.
We have certainly lost a lot; but the men are as determined as ever,
and only think it their due if they are aided. Stewart talks of their
cowardice, but it is a cowardice of calculation, and it would be a
great mistake if the expeditionary force _for the extrication of the
garrisons_ comes up here, and thinks the men are going to say they are
_in extremis_. (I leave out Cairo troops and the Bashi Bazouks.) The
black soldiers do not think they have been beaten. There are not many
armies which would bear with the equanimity these troops do, the loss
of say one-fifth of their numbers _killed_, which was the case in one
defeat (only twenty days ago) of Mahomet Ali Pasha.

The steamers from Sennaar will I think be in to-morrow.

The question to-day at Halfeyeh was this. Certain heads of families
had gone over to the Arabs with Saleh Pasha (we put a sponge over that
affair), and their adherents, being in Kartoum, had not gone over (not
their fault); those who had gone over with Saleh Pasha, afterwards
came over to me, and asked for their adherents to be given back to
them. To this the chiefs of families, who had been in Kartoum and who
had kept these adherents under them, objected, so it became a question
what to do. I decided to ask each man his desire. “Will you go with A.
or B.?” The men came in at the door, and after having elected, they
went out of the window, for there were not two doors; they elected as
they wished, and went out of the window. Some came in and thought that
all that was required of them was to come in at the door, and go out
of the window as quickly as possible without answering! I do love to
study mankind; he is far better than any landscape. These fellows knew
well enough I was going to put their decision on them, and tried to
avoid giving any, as to with whom they would go. It was somewhat of a
gymnastic process for them to go out of the window, and they made a
good mess of it; but if I had let them go out of the door by which they
had entered, inextricable confusion would have occurred. As it was, we
had resurrections at the door of those who had departed by the window,
which caused some bother. The two rival chiefs were present, and one’s
object was to prevent the elector looking at either while he elected;
sometimes it was necessary to secure that the pug-face was fairly on
the clerk, the electing officer, who asked the question A. or B. I will
back the eye for knowledge more than any other organ. A man who does
not look you in the face in answering is 99 times in 100 a liar.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 26._—There is one great question, and if you know a
person, say, K. is faithless and is seeking his own, ought one to be
down on him? We have an example in our Lord. He knew Judas was going
to betray Him, yet He did not denounce him; from which I infer, if we
know even that K. is going to rat, or be faithless, unless he, K.,
gives positive proof of such intention, we ought to treat K. as J., of
whom we have no suspicion of treachery. I am inclined (satanically I
own) to distrust every one, _i.e._, I trust every one. I believe that
circumstances may arise when self-interest will almost compel your
nearest relative to betray you to some extent. Man is an essentially
treacherous animal; and although the psalmist said _in his haste_ “all
men are liars,” I think he might have said the same _at his leisure_.

“You may depend upon it, I will do my best for you”—to chief clerk
W.O. “Why, if you give it to _him_ we must give it to more than forty.
It is out of the question.” What is the result? Why the _him_ will
go to his club and say, “Why I was promised it and did not get it.”
Whereas if he had weighed the words, he would have seen he was promised
only “the best he could do.” This is a breach of confidence, but it is
an example. A man long ago dead —-- was asked by a lady to recommend
her son for an appointment —-- (who was most honest), wrote saying
so-and-so wants such and such a thing, but that he did not think the
young man for whom the appointment was solicited was worth much. —--
wrote to the lady to say he had done his best. Unfortunately he placed
the letters into wrong envelopes. The lady never looked on —-- again.
Well, I suppose —-- was treacherous to the lady. He might have refused
to write, but he did more—he did the young man _harm_ by saying _he
was not worth much_.

I like to take things in a light-hearted way. I like the tacit
contract, “that if you are useful to me I will use you”; and “_that_”
(with full belief) “if I cease to be useful to you you will leave me.”
I try and act, “do to others as they wish you to do to them.” I would
never put a man in any position I would not put myself.

Although man is the essence of treachery, I believe every man _wishes
to be honest; his interests prevent him_.

The five men went out to Arab lines with their Arab flags, on which a
church parade, which was going on, dispersed.

It is a curious fact that any effort to relieve the garrisons made
from the outside is contemporaneous with the _expiration_ of the period
stated in March of the time they could hold out, viz., six months.
There are some ugly suspicious circumstances all the way through!
The consequence will be a far greater expense. Had efforts been made
quietly between March and August to span with proper transport between
Wady Halfa and Hannek,[86] much of the present difficulties to an
advance would have been got over, and security would have been felt
everywhere that efforts were really being made. There is a humility in
Baring’s telegram asking my advice as to routes for access to Kartoum.
“Sir E. Baring having gone to London, I am charged by Her Majesty’s
Government to tell you to keep them informed not only as to immediate
but as to any prospective danger at Kartoum, that you should advise
them in order to be prepared for any such danger as to force necessary
to secure your retreat, its amount, character, route for access to
Kartoum, and time for its departure. Her Majesty’s Government does not
entertain your proposal to supply you with Turkish or other forces for
the purpose of undertaking military expeditions, such being beyond
scope of your commission, and at variance with the policy which was
the purport of your mission to the Soudan. If with this knowledge
you continue at Kartoum, you should state cause and intention with
which you so continue.”[87] If the telegrams I sent down in March to
Baring are referred to, it will be seen I had already[88] informed
him of all he could possibly want to know, and I specially said that
the expedition by the route of Wady Halfa would be (as it was at that
epoch) a mere picnic party.

Man proposes—God disposes. Any one who two-and-a-half years ago had
said that the Gladstone ministry would not only go to Egypt, and, not
content with one expedition to the Soudan (Graham’s), would go in
for _two expeditions_, would have been scouted as a madman; and it
certainly is curious that Mr. Gladstone, in “—-- _Review_”[89] of
1878, combating Mr. Dicey’s ideas for the annexation of Egypt, should
have stated that this _annexation was impossible on account of the

There is one thing, which, in the opinion of the world, would expunge
all disagreeables from the whole question, _i.e._, if the abolition
of slavery were proclaimed. It would be a difficult job, but would be
possible if we took our time, and at Lord Mayor’s dinners, &c., it
would be a platform no one could come up to.

4 P.M. Steamers from Sennaar in sight. Now we shall be all together
again, thank God!

The Arabs off the south front are all agog at sight of the steamers
coming down. Those on the Blue Nile are firing on the steamers. I sent
up _Mansowrah_ to help them. The Arabs are in the houses. Expenditure
of ammunition is enormous, I should think. The three steamers have
passed the place where the Arabs are. They came down one by one, which
was not wise.

From the top of the Serail one commands view all round for miles.

It will be a satisfaction to Her Majesty’s Navy to know that it is our
navy which has, humanly speaking, saved us. It really is a splendid
fleet and naval arsenal. The steamers have come in; the Arabs were
numerous and had five guns; seven of their shells struck the steamers
(Arabs had also two rocket tubes). The steamers brought down 2000
ardebs, and report Sennaar well off, and no Arabs in arms in all their
district. Seyd Osman Mahomet is said to have occupied Katarif with his
men. A sheikh has promised to capture the steamer _Mahomet Ali_, which
is up the River Dinder, and to hand her over to the Sennaar Governor.
Wad Medinet did not fire on the steamers, but brandished spears, &c.;
our loss in passing the gauntlet was three killed and eight wounded.

The Arabs have no conscience; they make my captured soldiers serve the
guns, and otherwise act against us under pain of death!

I declare my people do, in a feeble way, what is wanted, and do not
deserve the character of cowards; they bear defeat far better than
other peoples, and they are good-tempered over it. _We_ English are the
cream, all acknowledge that, but we will not exist on two dates a day,
as these men do, without a murmur.

The steamer _Bordeen_ was struck by two shots, one near water-line.
The _Ismailia_ steamer received three, the _Talataween_ steamer
received two shots. Happily all got down safe. The Arabs fired from
guns and rifles with fury—we could see that from the roof. All the
steamers have got small-pox from bullet-marks! Our chief of the
arsenal, Hussein Bey, had been sharp enough to have bits of old tents
ready to stop shot-holes. Had we not had these we might have lost the
_Bordeen_ steamer.

The Arabs had three forts (breastworks) along the river-bank, rather
above Giraffe. I mentioned that we lost three killed and eight wounded;
_now mark this_, on their way down the steamers met three escaped
soldiers from the Arabs; they took them on board, and, odd to say, of
those killed and wounded, were these three men, two having been killed,
and the other badly wounded! This is remarkable. If we could believe
it, _we are as safe in the fiercest battle as in a drawing-room in

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 27._—I have arranged to send down three steamers to Shendy
to co-operate with Dongola forces, and to raise the Shaggyeh tribes.
I have sent out a man to warn Dongola of this fact. He carries no
letters, only a small slip, stating he is a “true man.”

It is of no use sending up to Sennaar again for dhoora, for we have
no money to pay for it, and it is a risk with these Arab guns. Steamer
_Ismailia_ received three shells; steamer _Bordeen_ two; steamer
_Talataween_ two. Some made tremendous holes, and one in _Bordeen_ was
close to water-line; it is wonderful how they escaped. The poor escaped
soldiers were asleep in the hold, when a shell entered and burst; two
were killed, one was seriously wounded.

Two men came in from the Arabs. One said he was the Mahdi, the other
said a courier had come to the Arabs, saying the English were at
Berber; they knew nothing of yesterday’s fight.

Our steamers are of about the same consistency as the Thames
steamboats, so you may imagine the risk there is of putting them under
artillery fire.

_Towfikia_ steamer went up the White Nile exchanging musketry fire with
the Arabs.

My beautiful steamers, which used to be comparatively sweet, now stink
like badgers. As for the swell _Ismailia_ she is a cess-pit.

Several other shots struck the upper works of the steamers; evidently
they were under a nasty fire, and as for bullet marks they are spotted
all over. Among the three killed (two of them escaped soldiers) one was
a little boy.

Another slave came in at Omdurman, but had no news.

Great female squawking under the window of the Serail, approaching
to yells. On examination I find the noise comes from a black female
fighting the cavass. On enquiry I find my lady had gone down to buy
dhoora with two dollars in her hand, and had been pushed by some
ungallant fellow, and the dollars fell into the river. Though I do not
see that the responsibility was upon me, I gave her the two dollars,
and comforted her black soul. It would be a comfort if all the troubles
of life were got rid of so cheaply.

Having undergone considerable anxiety owing to the Shaggyeh tribe in
our lines during the blockade, we got rid of them to Halfeyeh as soon
as we could.[90] But when they got to Halfeyeh, and met their brethren
who had been with the Arabs, and who had come over to us, the former
were seized with distrust of the latter, and so we are obliged to bring
these latter into Kartoum. I do not think it any risk, for the Shaggyeh
have lied so very much to the Arabs that nothing would ever make peace
between them, so I do not feel any discomfort about them.

It is not comfortable to see your steamers with a hole in them through
which you could push your head and shoulders, and that not a foot above
the water-line. The _Bordeen_ had that, the shell came in on one side
and burst on penetrating the other plate of the other side.

To my mind, these Egyptian mountain guns are far preferable to those
steel guns of ours, with their wretched small calibre, and I would
prefer a smooth bore howitzer to an Armstrong for these wars.

I made Nutzer Bey a Pasha for his Sennaar trip, and send him down with
Cassim el Mousse to Metemma to await advance of Her Majesty’s forces.
Ibraham Tongi and Mousse Beys refused, or rather declined to go unless
also made Pashas, which I did not see, so these worthies stay here.

B. to A.—“Well you know I had to send on the telegram, and I added I
hoped Stewart was well. That fellow G. takes exception to this, and
says _va sans dire_, that I could not have wished that Stewart was ill.
Most unjust. Had I added anything to this telegram, I might have got
into a row, which would never do, but what was the use of pampering to
inordinate curiosity?”

A. to B.—“Well he pitched into me for asking Stewart to tell me if I
could do anything for him (the communications being so easy), and for
telling _him_ the names of the Generals (to my mind a most important
matter, for it would strike terror among the Arabs), _he_ says _he_
does not care who the Generals are (which is sheer heresy and perfectly
sickening). I shall write nothing more to _him_ except the purest
official documents. It is very clear his liver is out of order, to go
and attack officers of his own corps like that. It is atrocious!”

_September 28._—Two women and a man came in to-day; they say the
Mahdi is not at Schatt, but at Rahad. Hussan Effendi and another
directed the guns against the steamers. The women say the Arabs had
three guns, not five. The Arabs did not lose many from their people’s
accounts. Among the three guns there was a Krupp, they say.

Say for a moment that the object of Her Majesty’s Government is simply
to enable me to retreat, and is irrespective of the retreat of the
garrisons—then all the loss of life in this neighbourhood on both
sides was thrown away, inasmuch as if I had not come there would have
been a speedier collapse, without the loss of life (at least such is
probable). The Government may say that they had reasonable hopes that I
would succeed; I will neither say I gave them such assurance or that I
did not give it. I think I was neutral in giving or in not giving such

When the steamers get to Shendy, they will be only 150 miles from
Ambukol, which is a little higher up the Nile than Debbeh (35 miles).
Three more slaves came in from the north; they had run away from their
master, and will enter the army. I expect we shall have lots of this
sort of thing.

Arabs show no disposition to close our road to Shendy as yet, and I
believe the country up to that place is with _Kartoum_ (I cannot say
_the Government_, for I do not know what the Government is).

One of the greatest sinners in the way of getting Egypt into financial
difficulties (whence all this trouble) is ... who in the Crimea used to
sell cheeses and other things at exorbitant prices.

Sir Samuel Baker will be disgusted to know that the crack vessel he
got from Samuda, the _Ismailia_, the biggest of his lot, is the worst
of the larger _fighting_ steamers. She is a good yacht, but nothing
more. All these steamers we owe to Sir Samuel Baker.

A Frenchman, Monsieur de Bizemont, brought up the steamers from
Cairo, through all the cataracts. Monsieur le Blanc was with him. Mr.
Higginbotham, C.E., took the steamers in sections across the Korosko

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 29._—To-morrow is Bairam. I have made Ferratch Pasha take
over the festivities. The _Talataween_, _Mansowrah_, and _Saphia_,
(_D.V._) leave for Shendy to-morrow night with 100 men on board of
each. Cassim el Mousse goes with them. I send a slip to Lord Wolseley,
to be forwarded with a spy. The two journals of events from 10th to
30th September, and map of Berber, will go with steamers, in hopes of
their being able to find a more secure road of sending them to Debbeh
or elsewhere.

I found we had 700 bags of Indian rice in store. I have issued it on
account of pay to the troops, at two okes[91] per dollar. They will
sell it at three okes per dollar. It wipes off my debt to them, and
they will gain.

An escaped soldier came in, and says Mahdi has had three messengers
from Metemma, saying British troops were coming up in shoals, and so he
had a dream, in which he was ordered back to Kordofan.

I hope the officers and men of Her Majesty’s forces will be considerate
to the Egyptian soldiers and sailors; _they do not understand English_,
but as they have done some good service, I hope they will be kindly
treated. They are a trying lot, as I well know, but if it were not for
them, our soldiers would have to tramp many a weary sandy mile. It is
one of my joys that I never have to see Great Britain again. I hope to
get out of this affair, and either go to the Congo, _viâ_ Equatorial
Province, or by Brussels. At any rate I shall never have to undergo
the worries I underwent during the week I was in England this year. I
say this in order that those who may have to do with me may know how
very determined a man’s will must be who does not wish (and indeed
_will not ever_) go back to England again, and to whom continuance in
Her Majesty’s Service, except for the honour of it, is a matter of

I am now going to be egotistic, but it will save a mint of trouble, and
I may be pardoned, considering the circumstances. By being so I may
save myself what I should much regret, a quarrel.

My idea is to induce Her Majesty’s Government to undertake the
extrication of all people or garrisons, now hemmed in or captive, and
that if this is not their programme, then to resign my commission and
do what I can to attain it (the object). As long as a man remains in
Her Majesty’s Service he is bound to obey the orders of his superiors,
but if he resigns he cannot be held as insubordinate if he disobeys. Of
course it may turn on the question of whether once having entered the
service of Her Majesty’s Army, one is free to leave it at one’s will.
But we officers are not like the private soldiers engaged for a term
of years, and perhaps one may risk dismissal if the cause is worthy of
it—which, I think, the question of abandoning the garrisons is.

I say this, because I should be sorry for Lord Wolseley to advance from
Dongola without fully knowing my views. If Her Majesty’s Government are
going to abandon the garrisons, then do not advance. I say nothing of
evacuating the country, I merely maintain that if we do so, every one
in the Soudan, captive or hemmed in, ought to have the option and power
of retreat. Having given them that option and power, I have nothing
more to say, and I would not care whether the country is evacuated or

It is a miserable country, but it is joined to Egypt, and to my idea it
would be difficult to divorce the two.

I will end these egotistical remarks by saying that no persuasion
will induce me to change my views; and that as to force, it is out of
the question, for I have the people with me—at any rate of the towns
which hold out. Therefore, if Her Majesty’s forces are not prepared
to relieve the whole of the garrisons, the General should consider
whether it is worth coming up—in his place, _if not so prepared_,[92]
I would not do so. I do not dictate, but I say what every gentleman[93]
in Her Majesty’s Army would agree to—that it would be _mean (coûte
que coûte)_ to leave men who (though they may not come up to our ideas
as heroes) have stuck to me, though a _Christian dog in their eyes_,
through great difficulties, and thus force them to surrender to those
who have not conquered them, and to do that at the bidding of a foreign
Power, to save one’s own skin. Why the black sluts would stone me if
they thought I meditated such action. Stewart knows all this and used
to groan over perversity.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 30._ The Arabs fired seven shells last night at 9 P.M. which
fell inside the lines, but did no harm. To-day being Bairam, they fired
four rounds in their camp—a salute I suppose.

The spy who came in yesterday, says the report is rife that Seyd
Mahomet Osman’s men have entered Katarif.

The three steamers will leave here to-day for Shendy at 4 P.M.

I shoved off the Bairam reception upon Ferratch Pasha, who held it upon
the lines. I am not up to these affairs, and I think he likes them.

As soon as ever I hear of the arrival of troops at Berber, down will
go the Greeks, Bashi Bazouks, and Fellaheen soldiers with a month’s
provisions. The people of Berber then can send them on, as best they
can—they will be off my hands. I have everything ready to send them.
We have no telegraph wire left up here to repair the lines, so Floyer
had better see to it; all ours has been used in the wire entanglements.

The troops on board the steamers are Fellaheen soldiers. If Berber is
captured, better take them out and keep them (they are part of their
way to their homes), and replace them with such black troops as may
be released at Berber; but see after these white soldiers’ pay, and
rations, and do not neglect them.

We do not want to be told the steamers are dirty, for we know it.

If coming up, see beforehand that Arabs have not a gun or guns at the
Shoboloha Pass, and if wood has to be looted, loot those people on the
left bank of the Nile, _not_ those on the right.

I do not care much to have Wood’s men here; there will be sure to be
rows between them and our blacks, and they are not favourites in the
Soudan. Still less do I want to see Bashi Bazouks, or tribes who have
been taken into our pay, for they will rob right and left.

I have prepared the beads, copper rods, uniforms, &c., to send up to
the Equator as soon as it is possible. Report says the garrison of the
Equator is at Fashoda.

The sister steamer to _Abbas_ will be finished in twelve days. We made,
or rather Hassan Bey made, a first-rate crank.

Remember, we have very few dollars here, and gold is depreciated in
value. We have only £1,000 in the treasury.

It would be as well to tell the Greek creditors, who may be coming up,
that there is not the least probability that the Government, whatever
it may be, will look at any of their claims until at least a year has

We have painted the steamers up; they are whited sepulchres.

I hope Ibrahim Tongi and Moussa Beys, who will come down with the
first lot, who leave this (after the hoped-for capture of Berber),
will be sent on to Cairo at once, and not given appointments, on any
consideration, at Berber or elsewhere.

I like trying to find solutions for this Soudan problem. This is the
last. Let Towfik Pasha send up Abdel Kader Pasha, as Governor-General,
to replace me at once. As soon as the Firman comes, I am out of
calculation, and Her Majesty’s Government can do what they like, for
Abdel Kader will follow their dictum. Such an act would not in the
least vex me. Lord Wolseley can then do what he thinks fit with respect
to the Soudan, the abandonment, and all the etceteras, and I am free of
all responsibility to the people and to the troops, or with respect to
the money affairs, dhoora, &c., &c. But in this case, it must be borne
in mind, I am not the “rescued lamb,” simply having been sent up to
perform a certain mission, _i.e._, extrication of garrisons. I failed,
and was replaced by Abdel Kader and a British Force. It is for them to
explain any change in their programme.

The same remarks, appended to the end of Volume I, are added to this
_in re_ Mr. Power and Foreign Office, &c.


  30th September, 2 P.M., Kartoum.

I really think that as Her Majesty’s Government and I are in such
opposite camps (at least I think so)—_in re_ the _extrication of the
garrisons_—it would save a mint of trouble if Towfik Pasha were to
replace me by Abdel Kader Pasha, with whom Her Majesty’s Government
could do as they liked. At any rate, a scandal would be avoided;
and I think Abdel Kader would be well received by all. Of course I
should have the privilege of laughing in my sleeve if, after all,
Her Majesty’s Government found they could not get out without the
establishment of _Turks_ or _Zubair_, or the _retention of the Soudan_
under Egypt. I, therefore, as an adieu, recommend this course, for
it opens a speedy exit for me without rows, and clears me of all
responsibility whatever.



_On outside wrapper (a handkerchief):_

No secrets as far as I am concerned.


LT.-COLONEL STEWART, C.M.G., Chief of the Staff, or LORD WOLSELEY,
G.C.B. Soudan Expeditionary Force.

       *       *       *       *       *

JOURNAL OF EVENTS—KARTOUM, VOL. III. From 1st Oct. to 12th Oct., 1884.

       *       *       *       *       *

_On cover at back_:


From 1st Oct. to 12th Oct., 1884.


It will require pruning down if published.



_On inside sheet_:



From Oct. 1st to 1884.

If published, must be pruned down.




_October 1._—Steamers left yesterday at 3 P.M. for (Berber, _D.V.,
viâ_) Shendy. Yesterday the steamer _Towfikia_ attacked the Arabs on
the White Nile, and killed a horse and three men. Steamer _Bordeen_
drove back the horsemen on the Blue Nile. The Arabs attacked a village
lower down the White Nile than Halfeyeh, and were driven back by the
villagers with loss: you may believe as much as you like of this, _but
our vessels went out_, that is the main thing.

The more I think of appointing Abdel Kader[94] Pasha in my place, the
more strongly does the idea recommend itself, for it does away with
all difficulties, and leaves Her Majesty’s Government perfectly free
to abandon or not as it thinks fit. Abdel Kader Pasha would be under
no such obligations as I am to the soldiers, &c., of these beleaguered
places, and Her Majesty’s Government could put it all on him if
anything was said. To me it has the selfish advantage of being free at
once of a very disagreeable and troublesome position, both personally
and publicly.

As for feeling at all vexed at this arrangement, viz. my being put
out, I should not, for the only thing which actuates me is this: _I
think it mean to leave the garrisons_; but if my superiors decide to do
so, and will take the responsibility, then what am I? to dispute their
decision, the more especially as I cannot do so without funds, which I
have not. I do not dispute but that the withdrawal of the garrisons is
not a difficult task, but not impossible; and if not impossible, our
honour binds us to fulfil it, and to my mind it is shabby not to do
it: but Governments do shabby things, _vide_ the Boer business, and if
they are going to do it here, the way I have pointed out is the best.
There is not the least reason for me to participate in its execution,
it would not be fair to try and force me, and another thing is that I
would _not_ be forced. I believe Her Majesty’s Government will adopt
this idea, and if they do, I see a vista of an escape with honour and
without _fracas_ (which is very pleasing), from a position which is
not likely to be a feather-bed, and which might require me to go on
struggling for over a year, not only against the Arabs, but against the
antipathies and ill-disguised hostility of Her Majesty’s Government,
for certainly they would not be over friendly if forced into a line of
action their soul abhors.

_I think_ we are bound to extricate the garrisons whatever it costs;
_they do not_; there is no reason for any difference of opinion which
cannot exist between a Government and an individual, they simply place
an individual who thinks with them, and the matter is done, and this
individual is Abdel Kader Pasha. I see no reason to try and force me to
do what I do not think right, and which I can consequently do only in a
half-hearted manner if I even undertook it, _which I will not_.

As for the effect of my replacement by Abdel Kader Pasha: 1st, it
would produce no surprise, for it is well known I and Towfik are not at
all friends. 2nd, it is also known that Her Majesty’s Government wish
to be rid of all responsibility of the Soudan, _in re_ the garrisons;
therefore the removal of me would be merely the carrying out of this
policy. 3rd, Abdel Kader Pasha is the best man they have had up here,
and so, till the matter was broken to them, he would be well received.
It is not vaunting myself when I say that the general opinion here is
this, that Her Majesty’s Government would never have sent an expedition
up here had it not had me and Stewart here, _sent up by them!_[95] I
think they fully realise, that as far as the garrisons, &c., &c., were
concerned, were it not for us they might perish as quickly as they
liked; they also realise that, unless for the action of Her Majesty’s
Government at Cairo, assistance would have been sent long ago from
Cairo, so it must not be expected of the people to be very grateful.
They are glad to get out of their mess, but consider they are only
extricated under compulsion of circumstances, and not _con amore_.

If time presses, then telegraph Towfik to make the Mudir of Dongola
_Governor-General_ (it does not signify who is your dummy, only perhaps
he may not be so ductile as Abdel Kader) in my place, and your work is
easy, such work as it is.

_Personally_, I can assure you, I shall be only too delighted, for I
could be in Brussels in December, and free, honourably, of the whole
affair; you could not possibly expect me to stay after being replaced.
_Mark my words, if you have made up your mind, this is the best
solution_ and avoids all scandal.

Abdel Kader will make out that the Mahdi’s government is not really
so bad: that it is impossible, &c., &c., to be wandering all over
Africa, and his paper on the state of affairs will go down splendidly
with the public, and there will be honours all round, and mutual
congratulations. The British public accepted, without hesitation, the
trial of Arabi Pasha, by Ismail Pasha Ayoub, and Réouf Pasha, _as being
a just one_! Why, had they tried an angel, and Towfik had wished the
angel _guilty—guilty that angel would have been_, even if Michael or
Gabriel. Now I have told you how to whitewash I will end this tirade.
I will only remark that Her Majesty’s Government must not say _I was
replaced, because I wished to keep the Soudan_, FOR I DO NOT SAY SO, it
is an useless country; what I say is, that it is shabby _to abandon the
garrisons_, &c., &c.

I own the proposition I make is in some degree a trap, for I feel
confident that there will be no end of trouble, even in placing Abdel
Kader Pasha in my place and trying to evacuate; but if you accept it
you will do so (after this warning) with your eyes open.

Two women slaves came in from the Sheikh el Obeyed; no news, except
that the Arabs with this chief, are very badly off for water.

The following is what I would do, if in supreme command, military and
political. Divide the forces into three sections; one, A, to stay at
Dongola, half force, and look after communications from Wady Halfa to
Berber by river, in those _étapes_ or stages already alluded to.

Another, B, to occupy Berber, quarter force.

Another, C, to be a fighting force (quarter force) without artillery,
for we have guns up here. With C I would come to Kartoum, coax Arabs
down to Giraffe, destroy them, then coax Arabs to El foun and destroy
them; then push up to Wad el Medinet and destroy Arabs there, thus
opening the road to Sennaar and allowing grain to come down.


By which time you would see your way as to the future. I would restore
the telegraph as I went along.

The result of these operations would be the retreat of the Mahdi’s
Arabs to Kordofan, and the surrender of those in and about Kassala.

Humanly speaking, there will be probably _three_ fights, costing each
fight, _eight_ killed and _fifteen_ wounded, as far as experience goes;
not more, and very likely, if the first fight is a good one (and we
have a _good_ pursuit), there will be no more after it; all the rest
will be child’s play.[96]

Arabs must have one good defeat, to wipe out Hicks’ disasters, and _my
defeats_. Berber will be evacuated.


The troops at fight No. 1 _Giraffe_ will go up in the castellated
barges (which are real fortresses), and be covered by five steamers,
each with two guns, and two barges with a Krupp gun in each
(16-pounders), so there would be no risk; none of the Arabs’ forts are
closed at gorge.

Force need not be more than 1000 strong, _for we could send_ 3000 for
the flanks; but, as it would fight on river banks, there would be no
fear for flank attack. All could be done in thirty days as far as
fighting is concerned. This of course leaves the question of Kordofan
unsettled. The Mahdi might come to terms, and abandon his spiritual
power, but I doubt it.


The fighting force C probably will be under Buller. _Earle_ at
_Berber_; _Dormer_ at _Abou Hamed_; and _Fremantle_ at _Dongola_; the
Sirdar at _Wady Halfa_; Lord Wolseley PARTOUT! Goodenough in command of
Royal Artillery; Harrison (in recollection of China) commanding Royal
Engineers. I hope Goodenough will not be too proud to use our guns, he
will be horrified at the vents, which are from continuous firing; we do
not rebouch up here, not having bouches.

No one could be astonished at my reluctance to make a bolt of it
without the garrisons, for it virtually makes out all our toils, for
the last seven months, as utterly useless; we had, to all intents and
purposes, better have surrendered months ago. One feels such a mean
brute to go egging on men to fight, and then to let it end with a

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 2nd._—A sergeant-major, with a soldier, escaped last night;
he reports that the Mahdi came from Obeyed to Schatt, with two ortas
of black captured troops, two Krupp guns, and seven mountain guns;
but then the Arab tribes in his rear rose, and that he went back,
taking the guns with him, sending one of his Ameers, Abdullah Waled
Jubira, to Kalakla with 100 black troops. The sergeant-major reports
the Arabs have 140 Krupp shells and 200 boxes of Remington ammunition;
that the Arabs did not suffer when they fired on the steamers coming
from Sennaar; that, with the Mahdi, are all the Roman Catholic Mission
party, _who have not changed their religion_: one nun is exposed to
the sun to force her to do so. The man says the other guns are all
broken in their carriages, in the Mahdi’s fights with the Arabs. The
Mahdi takes Slatin and all the Europeans with him when he moves; he
reports Waled a Goun has sent the black troops he had with him to the
rear, because so many escaped; the Arabs fired a salute of four guns on
arrival of the Ameer Abdullah Waled Jubira.

A slave coming in from the left bank reports Faki Mustapha with few
troops; says the rumour of the advance expeditionary force is rife;
says the Arab ferry is at Kalakla; they pass only at night. The
sergeant-major says that he is sure the tribes (on the Mahdi’s going
to Schatt) all rose and pillaged on the road: hence the Mahdi’s return
towards Obeyed.

The man the doctor operated upon for the large stone is dead.

From what the sergeant-major says, it appears I am not more liked by
the Mahdi than I am _elsewhere_—a nuisance! and a bore!

The _Towfikia_ steamer went up the _White_ Nile, and fired upon the
Arabs! The _Bordeen_ steamer went up the _Blue_ Nile, and fired upon
the Arabs! The Halfeyeh people went out and captured a camel! All these
things are _hostilities_ not countenanced by Her Majesty’s Government.
This afflicts me, that joker Egerton!

I have sent off another spy to Debbeh, saying that three steamers wait
their orders at Metemma, _one hundred and fifty_ miles from Debbeh!

The Shaggyeh tribes are giving me bother again with their horrid
families down river. They are most exasperating.

A horse escaped from the Arabs, formerly belonging to Government. It
gave _no_ information; but from its action, may be supposed _not to
believe in the Mahdi_.

Simmons[97] and I agree on one subject—that Egypt is useless to us,
unless we have command of the seas; and if we have command of seas,
Egypt is ours; therefore it is not worth bothering about. We will never
be liked by its peoples; we do not go the right way to be liked. To
my mind, if we looked after the Cape and Mauritius, &c., it would be
far more beneficial, and less expensive, than wasting our money on
Egypt and the Soudan; but because Egypt _used to_ be important, we
think it is always so. Whereas, the introduction of steam has quite
altered its importance, while the creation of other Naval Powers in the
Mediterranean renders that sea no longer a question of supremacy of
France or England.

I have mentioned reports of troops moving on Kassala, yet not one word
is said, either one way or another, by Kitchener. Surely he must know
that if this is the case, I ought to be told; or if no movement is
being made in that direction, I ought to be informed.

Arabi’s clerk, Ahmet-Eff-Awaan[98] (Stewart knows him well) was, on
Stewart’s departure, represented to me as in utter misery, so I gave
him back £10 a month. _To-night_ I heard my friend had been positively
preaching for the Mahdi! so I have shut him up. An attempt was made
the day before yesterday morning to set fire to one of the houses near
the magazine at the Roman Catholic Mission. It was discovered; it was
evidently the work of an incendiary. I have ordered all houses to be
pulled down in the neighbourhood. This is not comfortable, for it shows
we have some evil-disposed people here.[99]

_October 3._—Small church parade to-day on South Front. Some
twenty-five horsemen came near the lines, and four shots were fired at

An inquiry is going on about the fire near the magazine. Some little
suspicion that Awaan is mixed up with it, for his house was near;
indeed, it adjoins the place where the fire was. It burned four tents.
It will go hard with him if he is found guilty: certainly his preaching
in favour of the Mahdi is against him.

I visited the place of the fire, and also Awaan’s house. My impression
is against Awaan’s being the culprit; but I have no doubt the Court
of Inquiry will find him guilty. Wilfred Blunt will be crying out
about this ill-used martyr, so will Arabi the blest. I am paying for
the houses pulled down. There is no doubt the fire was the work of an
incendiary. To-day ends the Bairam.

Stewart will not believe it of Awaan; but it appears that in disputing
about the Mahdi, Awaan took off his slipper[100] and struck his
opponent—he was so strong in his opinion. A more fawning, wretched
fellow one never saw. I should send him to the Mahdi, but that he knows
English, and is a born intriguer.

I reason thus, respecting the slackness of the Intelligence Department
not sending in spies. As noted in the Journal, on an average four or
five men come in daily from the Arabs, therefore they do not keep so
very strict a look-out; also now there are vast gaps in their lines
around the place, and one may say from here to Shendy is open. It is
more difficult to go out than to come in, for in going out one may
stumble on some new emplacement of the Arabs, while in coming in a man
can ascertain such emplacements beforehand; it is evident also, that
as all the information we have had has come from my _return spies_,
that no effort has been made by the Intelligence Department. Had that
Department initiated any such step, in any energy, it is unlikely that
all _their_ men would have been stopped—my spies get caught, though,
_so frequently_ passing the lines of Arabs.

The more one thinks of it, the more impossible does it seem for Her
Majesty’s Government to get out of this country without extricating the
garrisons and establishing some Government at Kartoum; once having, as
they have, come up to Dongola, they cannot well go back from Dongola,
they must come to Berber, and when once at Berber, as there is the
river, they must come up here; once here, they must go to Sennaar or
arrange to open this route. It is of all things the most perplexing,
and one does not see the end of it, unless we give the country to
the Turks. With the best will and with all favourable circumstances,
_i.e._, that it is found possible to abandon, it will take six to eight
months, and with a terrible outlay, and one cannot think that even then
it is a satisfactory termination if, after extricating the garrisons
and contenting ourselves with that, we let the Mahdi come down and
boast of driving us out.

If we proclaim the abolition of slave-holding we must proclaim it in
Egypt as well, and then the revenue falls. The Turks really seem the
only way out of it, in a speedy way. It would be cheaper to give them
a million pounds than to keep our people up here, and there is no
discredit to our arms if we take Berber and open the route to Sennaar,
and then leave the country to the Turks, letting them deal with the
Mahdi as they like. I think even the gift of two millions to the Turks
would be a cheap solution of it, and is also a quick and an honourable

As for Her Majesty’s Government keeping the Soudan itself, it is out
of the question, for you could not get men to serve here except under
great salaries and supported with large forces; and as for giving
it back to Egypt, in a couple of years we would have another Mahdi;
therefore, our choice lies between Zubair and the Turks. Now, the time
has gone by when Zubair, almost alone, would suffice; he would now
need aid in men, while the Turks would need no aid from us in men.
Therefore, give the country to the Turks, when once you have come to
Kartoum, with one or two millions sterling (which YOU will spend in
three months’ occupation up here if you delay), make arrangements at
once with the Porte for its Soudan cession, let 6,000 Turks land at
Suakin and march up to Berber, thence to Kartoum; you can then retire
at once before the hot weather comes on.[101] Let 3000 Turks land at
Massowah and go to Kassala; that saves you that journey. You would
be even saved waiting till the troops came from the Equator and Bahr

       *       *       *       *       *

_28th October._—Berber occupied.

       *       *       *       *       *

_5th November._—1000 Troops at Kartoum. 6000 Turks land at Suakin and
march to Berber. 4000 Turks land at Massowah and march to Kassala.

       *       *       *       *       *

_8th November._—Defeat of Arabs on south lines—unless they have

       *       *       *       *       *

_12th November._—Defeat Arabs near El foun, unless they have

       *       *       *       *       *

_15th November._—Despatch of force to Sennaar to clear country round

       *       *       *       *       *

_1st to 10th December._—Arrival of Turks at Berber and Kartoum, and at

       *       *       *       *       *

_20th December._—Return of Her Majesty’s forces to Wady Halfa, leaving
1000 men at Dongola till Turks could come from Berber.

The frontier to be Wady Halfa. All steamers, &c., to be handed over to
the Turks. The two millions to be paid in four instalments.

Suakin and Massowah to be free ports under the Turks.

Egypt is responsible for the pensions of those who return to Egypt.
Turkey is responsible for the pensions of those who stay in the Soudan.
I see nothing to prevent the whole affair being settled by the end of
January, and the whole expeditionary force from being in Cairo at the
end of February.

As for the slave-trade, one cannot help it.[102]

I cannot see why France could object if we let her have some “say” in
Egypt. She will thwart all we do there unless we do let her have a

We make up with Turkey by this action, and she would aid us to prevent
Egypt being annexed by any other Power.

Remember we have no time to lose—that we must make our choice at
once—and that choice must be one of a strong decisive kind, with
no shifting hopes of something turning up. Our expedition is very
ticklish, very expensive, and _utterly unremunerative_.

If once our men get sickly up here, and our programme is a skedaddle,
the consequences might be most disastrous. The skedaddle programme
would cool all the people against us, and strengthen the Mahdi
immensely; and then there is no way to avoid the heats, unless by the
skedaddle programme; but if you agree with the Turks, you avoid the
heats and the skedaddle programme, and have people with you.

I hope I am not going down to History as being the cause of this
expedition, for I decline the imputation. _The expedition comes up to
deliver the garrisons._[104] I think it would read well in history:
“Her Majesty’s Government having accepted duties in Egypt, and
consequently in the Soudan, sent up a force to restore tranquillity,
which, having been done, Her Majesty’s Government handed over that
government of the Soudan to the Sultan.”

Our people may try as they like, they can never govern Egypt and pay
the interest; combine with France, and let down the interest to 3 per
cent., which we cannot do without France agreeing.

As for any of the men in Cairo now pretending to govern, it is
useless; they know nothing of, and have no sympathy with, the
country. What can they know of the country, sitting at Cairo? What
the people want, is half taxes, and Censors going through provinces
remedying evils. Do away with Wood’s army, an useless expense.
Do away with three-fourths of European employés, railway, &c.,
&c.—cormorants!—ditto Gendarmerie.

I shall send out three men in different directions to-morrow to Debbeh,
with further notifications that three steamers, and each with two
field-guns, are at Metemma, Shendy, 150 miles from Ambukol, which is
35 miles higher up river than Debbeh, waiting orders of expeditionary
force, and saying Cuzzi’s baggage is to be searched. I have now done
all I can. In ten days’ time I shall send a steamer to Metemma with
further information. The attempt to fire the magazine has made me
vicious with the people. No one in from Arabs to-day. Query, _ominous_!

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 4._—The boiler will be put in the new steamer (sister to
_Abbas_) to-day. She will be ready for sea in six days.

Report from Cassim el Mousse late last night. Arabs say Sheikh el
Obeyed meditates an attack on Halfeyeh. The trouble these Shaggyeh have
given us is beyond description.

Ibrahim Bey Ruckdi, loq. Lutraim: “He called for me at (9 P.M.) 3! in
the night; he bullied me to work. Can you imagine such a thing?—it
is preposterous. He flew at me like a tiger, because I showed he was
unreasonable. It is _Bairam_ too: can you imagine such a thing?”

_Awaan_, Arabi’s clerk, has been telling, in the town, that the
letters I got saying, “Her Majesty’s troops are advancing,” were
written by him and sent down, and then returned. There is an evident
wish to take off his head; but I think he is more fool than knave, and
shall try and resist the wish of town.

Saleh Pasha’s son telegraphed to me he wanted to come and see me. I
answered he might come or _go_, as he liked. He said, what did I mean
by “go?” I was much tempted to say, “_Go to your father, who is in
chains with Mahdi_,” but resisted temptation, and said, “_Go out of
telegraph station_.”

I had to send down ten barges for those creatures at 10 P.M. last
night. (See p. 185.)

No spies in this morning; people will begin to believe Awaan’s
statement, that he it was who wrote the letters (I pretended to have
had) from the English.

A woman just in says there is a report with the Arabs that the English
are at Dongola; that a steamer and four nuggars, with English, are at
Berber(?) (I expect she has mixed up Stewart’s steamer and boats with
her story); that the Arab chief of Berber has sent for help, which has
not yet been sent him.

One of those large shells was blown up by a boy treading on it; it does
not appear to have hurt him; it was in the group of date palms opposite
to the Palace.

I confess the shells do not seem so very destructive. Perhaps they are
too deeply buried; however, they have frightened people.

A small boy and five men escaped from the Arabs and came in. The
Mahdi, with Europeans, is at Schatt; he means to come to Omdurman. They
corroborate that some troops went back to Obeyed to put down the rising
of tribes.

The boiler has been successfully put in the small steamer.

It is odd how quick the blacks, by instinct, know how to avoid the
effects of the shells, by throwing themselves on the ground when
they hear the fizz of the quick-match; they all do it, and thus have
escaped. Of course it would not do in an assault. The little black chap
never ran so fast as he did when he got up after the explosion, never
looking behind him. He went to two black sluts, who had been alarmed at
the noise, and explained the opening of the ground, &c., with a good
deal of gesticulation. They had a sort of Medgliss[105] on the subject
whether it was not time to return home, and pick no more grass, after
such dreadful things had happened, and which ended in their doing so,
carefully avoiding the scene of the accident.

I expect these improvident people killed over 1000 sheep and goats at
their Bairam; the report is that it exceeds that number.

There is no doubt there will be a fearful famine in this country next
year, for there are vast districts lying desert which were formerly

The party which went to Jaila, the village north of Halfeyeh which
the Arabs had attacked, have come back with the rescued families, and
twenty-five cows captured from the so-called rebels. (Query, Who are
the rebels, _we or the Arabs_?) (To-day is the 206th day we have been
more or less shut up. Delightful life! I wonder what Azotus [Ashdod]
felt with its twenty-nine years blockade?)

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 5._—Two men and a boy came in from the Arabs, and report that
the Mahdi has made a small advance towards Omdurman. Little else of
import. They say Hussein Pasha Khalifa, Saleh Pasha, Slatin, and all
the Europeans are with the Mahdi; that Kordofan is in turmoil; that the
Arabs say they will wait till they can collect a lot of men, and then
will attack the lines.

If you do not arrange with the Turks you will not get out of the
country for a year, and it will cost you twelve millions, and probably
then you will have to fall back on the Turks.[106] Whereas if you
arrange with the Turks you can get out in January, and it will cost you
seven millions, including the two millions you give the Turks. Truly
this black sister “Soudan” has avenged her white sister “Egypt.”

A scorpion in bath sponge this morning. It stung me upon the finger. I
murdered it, and so am quits. I wonder whether any analysis has been
made of the scorpion’s and the cobra’s poison. This is the sixth time I
have been stung.

A sheikh of the neighbourhood came in, and says a short time ago a
Frenchman came up with two Arabs from Dongola to the Mahdi. The Mahdi
could not make it out, and asked why he came. The man said he had come
up to salute the Mahdi. The Mahdi being suspicious imprisoned him for
seven days, and then let him out. He was in a Dervish dress. It is said
he spoke to Saleh Pasha and to Slatin in secret, upon which the Mahdi
separated these two, and put them in open arrest (is this Rochefort?)
My informant says he denied to the Mahdi that the English were in
Dongola, but told Slatin and Saleh Pasha that they were there. This man
is with the Mahdi now, and is free. It might be Renan,[107] the author
of the ‘Life of Jesus,’ who in his last publication takes leave of the
world, and is said to have gone into Africa, not to reappear again. He
was a Roman Catholic priest originally, is a great Arabic scholar, and
evidently a very unhappy and restless man.

I met him once in the rooms of the Royal Geographical Society one
afternoon, and I remember the Secretary proposing to him to go up to
the _top_ of that _high house!_ to see the observatory. Renan declined.
He looked bored and weary in being made a hero of, and when Sir R.
Alcock introduced me to him, I suppose he saw my look of commiseration
for his trials, and was civil to me. I have often thought we might meet
again. What a fearful infliction hero-worship is to its victim. I think
it a great impertinence to praise a man to his face. It implies you
are his superior, for the greater praises the smaller; and though that
may be the case, it is not necessary to announce it to the smaller.
Supposing one is wrinkled and grey-haired, it is satire to say you are
smooth-skinned, &c., &c., and beautiful, and so it must be with every
man who knows himself and who is praised—endurance, self-denial, and
twaddle—one would have bolted like a lamplighter if one could, and one
could have stood the after criticism.

... on going to the trenches before Sevastopol fell out, and said he
would not go down. The colonel put him under arrest. He was in a way
more plucky to do this than to go to the trenches. Self-sacrifice is
that of a nurse—ignored (and “paid,” of course, what can she want
more!). No one goes into ecstasies over her self-denial.

If it is Renan he will not approve of the pepper system. The man says
the Mahdi was perfectly astounded at this Frenchman’s appearance, and
did nothing but question him. “Why do you come here?” &c., &c. If he
comes to the lines, and it is Renan, I shall go and see him, for,
whatever one may think of his unbelief in our Lord, he certainly dared
to say what he thought, and he has not changed his creed to save his

A black mother and her two sons have come in, and say the Mahdi is at
Jura Hadra, twenty-five miles south of Duem. The woman was delighted to
see herself in the mirrors, and grinned and smirked at her reflections.

Spies say Nuehr Bey Angara has been sent back by the Mahdi to Obeyed,
to put down the rising of the tribes; if he would only _rise_ himself,
for he is an old friend of mine, the Mahdi would be cut off from Obeyed
and be in a bad way.

The steamer _Bordeen_ is back from Halfeyeh.

We chose to regard Greece, Spain, Turkey, Mexico, and other lands,
as debtors and bankrupts. We did not attempt to saddle the rulers,
personally, with the debts of these countries—excepting in the case
of Egypt and Ismail Pasha (_i.e._, we did not turn out the rulers of
those states, while we did turn out Ismail), of course it is easy to
put it down to his ill-faith. I expect the rulers of those other states
were guilty of far worse faith. It is the custom to _say_ we acted in
the interests of the oppressed fellaheen, but what have the fellaheen
gained up to the present time? Where are those millions to come from I
have talked of?

Let us consider dispassionately the state of affairs. Does Her
Majesty’s Government consider they are responsible for the extrication
of the Soudan garrisons and Cairo inhabitants? We can only judge that
Her Majesty’s Government does recognise this responsibility, for
otherwise why did they send me up, and why did they relieve Tokar?

Once this responsibility is assumed, I see no outlet for it but to
relieve the garrisons, _coûte que coûte_. It may be said that the
object of the present expedition is for _my_ relief _personally_. But
how is it possible for me to go away and leave men whom I have egged on
to fight for the last six months? How could I leave after encouraging
Sennaar to hold out? No one could possibly wish me to do so. No
Government could take the responsibility of so ordering me. There is
this difficulty: perhaps it would be patriotic to bolt; but _even if_
I could get _my mind_ to do it, I doubt if it is possible to get _my
body_ out of this place. Had Baring said in March, “Shift for yourself
as best you can,” which he could have done, the affair could have been
arranged, and we could have bolted to the Equator; but, if you look
over my telegrams,[108] you will see I ask him what he will do, and he
never answered.[109] The people had not then endured any privation, and
I was, as it were, not much engaged to them; but now it is different,
especially as we have communicated with Sennaar.

No one can judge the waste of money and expense of life in the
present expedition—it is an utter waste of both—but it is simply due
to the indecisions of our Government. Had they said from the first,
“We do not care—we will do nothing for the garrisons of the Soudan,
they may perish; had they not relieved Tokar; had they not telegraphed
to me as to the force to relieve me (_vide_ telegrams, 5th May,
from Suakin; 29th April, from Massowah). Had they telegraphed (when
Baring telegraphed to Cuzzi 29th March, which arrived here saying,
‘No British troops are coming to Berber, negotiations going on about
opening road—Graham was about to attack Osman Digna’”), “_SHIFT FOR
YOURSELF_”, why, nothing could have been said; but Her Majesty’s
Government would not say they were going to abandon the garrisons, and
therefore “_shift for yourself_”. It is that which has hampered us
so much. On the one hand, if I bolted I deserted them (Her Majesty’s
Government); on the other hand, by staying I have brought about this
expedition. Baring gave me distinct orders not to go to the Equator
without the permission of Her Majesty’s Government (_vide_ telegrams
with Stewart’s journal).[110] I do not question the policy of Her
Majesty’s Government in not keeping the Soudan. It is a wretched
country, and not worth keeping. I do not pretend even to judge the
policy of letting the garrisons, &c., &c., perish; but I do say, I
think that Her Majesty’s Government ought to have taken the bold step
of speaking out and saying, _“SHIFT FOR YOURSELF” in March_, when I
could have done so, and not now, when I am in honour bound to the
people after six months’ bothering warfare. Not only did Baring not
say, “_Shift for yourself_,” but he put a veto upon my going to the
Equator—_vide_ his telegrams in Stewart’s Journal. I say this because
no one deplores more the waste of money and life in this expedition,
and no one can realise its difficulties better than myself, but,
owing to what has past, owing to indecision, we are in for it, and
the only thing now to do is to see how to get out of it, with honour
and the least expense possible—and I see no other way than by giving
the country to the Turks. I am not raising difficulties, or being
cantankerous; I wish most sincerely I was out of the place, where from
February I have had no peace. The question is how to do so. I may be
wrong, but I have a strong suspicion that much rejoicing (_rejoicing_
perhaps a _little_ for my personal, but a good deal for my official
safety) would have taken place in official circles had I appeared in
the _Abbas_ with Stewart; but it was not even physically possible, and
I should have been a disgraced man for ever had I been able to do so
and had done it. Besides which, we were entirely in doubt as to the
intentions of Her Majesty’s Government as to letting the garrisons
slide or not. I might have been tried for deserting my post, and for
letting the steamers and stores fall into the hands of the Mahdi, for
that was certain within five days of my quitting the place. What I
suspect or do not suspect, would not justify me in my action, and,
as it turns out, my suspicions were wrong, for after Stewart left, I
hear a British force is coming up—of course it is a query what is
it coming up for? If _for the garrisons_, then I have done what the
Government wants, for I have kept the city; if _for me_, then I have
done wrong, for I should have come down at all costs; but in one case
great inconvenience would have been given; while in the other it is
only my life—and if it is _for me_ the expedition comes, it would be
better to tell me, “Shift for yourself; we do not mean to extricate the
garrisons”—in which case perhaps we may find an issue—at any rate the
people will know exactly the state of affairs, and our Government will
not be exposed to an unnecessary expense and danger in sending troops
up here for _ME_. I should consider Her Majesty’s Government were
completely exonerated from all responsibility with respect to myself
if they sent me that order, “_Shift for yourself_; we _do not mean to
extricate the garrisons_,” I should make my arrangements, and (telling
the people how I am situated, with no hope of relief for them), should
make a bolt to the Equator in six weeks’ time. There would be no
dishonour in that, for, as I had no relief coming, the only sequel of
my staying with them would be to be a prisoner with them, and in fact
my presence would only exasperate the Arabs instead of being of any

It may be argued, Why not retreat on Berber? I would rather not do
that, for I would wish to show in a positive way that I had no part or
lot in the abandoning of the garrisons, &c., &c., and, at any rate, I
should save the garrisons of the Equator and of the Bahr Gazelle if I
succeeded in getting away to them.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 6._—The steamer _Bordeen_ up the _Blue_ Nile wasting a lot
of ammunition on the Arab foraging parties. No arsenals could stand
this drain on their resources. I expect that the _Bordeen_ fired fifty
rounds to-day.

Three escaped soldiers came in from the Arabs; they say that the Arabs
have sent a Krupp and a mountain gun to Giraffe; so that may account
for the heavy firing above mentioned. One of the men says the Arabs
placed two boats in a position close to the two guns they had brought,
in order to entice the steamer to go and take them, thus hoping to
sink her. However, I am glad to say the steamer is on her way back.
The continual anxiety one is in about these little things is very
wearing. One never knows if, through some rash act, I may not lose a
steamer, or men may not be cut off. One has no man like Gessi[111] who
one can trust for these little expeditions. Steamer _Towfikia_ went up
the White Nile and fired upon the Arabs. It is just as I thought: the
_Bordeen_ steamer has come back, having been struck by a shell about a
foot above the water-line, close to the cutwater; no one was hurt. All
the Arabs are going from the White Nile towards Giraffe. I expect we
shall have the old game at Bourré again. In these circumstances you can
imagine how very vicious one feels towards Her Majesty’s Intelligence
Department for not giving us any news. It is not so much for myself as
it is for the townspeople.[112]

The steamer reports that the Arabs had five guns. It is evident the
Arabs mean to hold the Blue Nile by their force at Giraffe, and I dare
not try to dislodge them; they will then communicate with the Sheikh el
Obeyed’s force, and eventually come down upon Shoboloha or thereabouts;
while the Mahdi, coming to Omdurman, will circle us in, a second time.

Owing to a discovered intrigue and the risk of having too much power
in the hands of one man, I have sent Ibrahim Ruckdi to Malia as chief
clerk, and Gugliz Bey of Malia is made my chief clerk. Nothing like
change of air for these fellows.

As interesting to Stewart, I will mention the intrigue. He knows of
the letters which came, accusing Ibrahim Ruckdi of venality. Well, a
Medgliss was held, and Mahomet Bey Agad was found guilty of sending the
letters. I did not care to push the matter, for, in my belief, Agad was
right in his accusation, although he had no right to write anonymously.
_Of course_ the Medgliss found him guilty, as every Egyptian Medgliss
does every one sent before it; so I temporised and hinted to a third
person that it would be well if Ibrahim asked pardon of Agad; this
hint, being of course a sort of order, he took; but I noticed he was
working against Agad; and yesterday he came with a paper against Hassan
Agad the Sandjak, putting it forward as Ferratch Pasha’s idea to turn
Hassan Agad out. I thought over it, and it worried me, the viciousness
of the man; but I took no action. However, to-day, as I told him to
write another order about the troops saluting me by stopping in the
road and saying he was responsible for it, he said, as he turned away,
in an impertinent manner, “Am I Commandant of troops?” He was brought
back, and, nose to grindstone, was sent to Malia, and Gugliz Bey was
brought up to chief clerkship.

I own I am suspicious, _i.e._, I judge by the eye, by little signs,
&c., for I do not know the language; but I cannot help thinking I
am more often right than wrong with my suspicions. One comes on a
group of clerks, heads all together, in the chief clerk’s room; one
sees disturbed countenances at once. I cannot help thinking “You are
concocting devilry!” and I look out for some “_tricks_.”

Another soldier escaped here from the Arabs, and says the Mahdi is
at Jura Hadra, and intends coming to Omdurman. He does not appear to
think the Arabs care for the English advance, though they know they
are at Dongola, “a far cry,” they say, to Kartoum. They consider
Hicks’s defeat was one over the English troops. One thing is good,
viz., that the Arabs came down to Giraffe, for if they stay there,
when the British do come they will fall easy victims without any long
march inland. It certainly does seem astounding that the Arabs seem
so confident when a British force is only 150 miles from them, which
is the case, for that distance of 150 miles alone separates the three
steamers from Debbeh, which has a water-way to Dongola, and the place
the three steamers are at, has a water-way to Kartoum. In reality, with
a well-equipped force, Debbeh is not more than eight days’ from Kartoum
at the outside, saying that the 150 miles were made in six and a-half
days, which for camels is twenty-five miles a day, very easy marching;
while, from Metemma to this is 100 miles—a day and a half for steamers
(when I say Debbeh, I mean Ambukol, to which place from Debbeh you have
the open river). The appearance of one British soldier or officer here
settles the question of relief _vis-à-vis_ the townspeople, for then
they know that I have not told them lies.

The Arabs fired fourteen rounds at the _Bordeen_. The shell which
entered her was a Krupp; the hole is now repaired.

It was an unfortunate remark of Ibrahim Ruckdi, “Am I Commandant
of soldiers?” I had dismissed the thought of changing him, having
comforted myself that, one way or another, my tenure of office could
not be long up here, when he said that; it was like a match in powder;
he was brought back, and made then and there to sign his dismissal. I
do not think he realised it, even after he had written it. Even to me
it was a surprise, for I really had given up all idea of sending him

The sister steamer to the _Abbas_ will be finished, I hope, in four
days. She will be called the _Hussein_, after the head of the dockyard.
The other one, also a sister steamer, will be, I hope, finished in six
weeks, if we exist that time. Of the two steamers at Berber with Arabs,
the _Fascher_ and the _Monsuhania_—the latter is reported disabled.

I have ordered _Bordeen_ to go on the White Nile on patrol from Kalakli
to Shoboloha; the _Ismailia_ is at Halfeyeh, _Towfikia_ at Omdurman.

The Arabs, who went in numbers to Giraffe to-day went back to their Dem
at sunset.

We have another large steamer, the _Chabeen_, up in our _dry-dock_,
which I hope will be soon ready for action.

A man came in from the Arabs; he says Seyd Mahomet Osman has sent 300
camels to bring his family from Shendy to Kassala (this is a bad sign);
he says the English have advanced towards Berber.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 7._—Ibrahim Ruckdi has fallen from £60 per month to £30.
Sixteen soldiers with their arms came in to-day from the Arabs, also
one slave; they had not much to say. Arabs had three guns against the
steamer yesterday; they kept one gun at Giraffe, where they keep small
detachments all night. The Arabs pursued the men escaping, and fired
a few rounds, but did no harm; with these men came in four women of
theirs, quite a flock.

I really think the Arabs on the south side keep such a way off because
they are afraid of the captured soldiers deserting. The sixteen men who
came in were splendid fellows, all nearly six feet; they say a body of
forty others have made up their minds to come in a mass either to-day
or to-morrow.

An Arab of Kartoum came in from Omdurman; says grass huts are being
made for the Mahdi’s arrival there; man says the Arabs report “English
and Turkish troops at Debbeh.” _Towfikia_ went up the White Nile; saw a
few Arabs, who fired on her.

Another soldier has come in—the Arabs will be furious; he says nine
others have made up a party to leave the Arab camp. The Arabs spread
reports that I kill all who come in; but the whole of the soldiers of
the Soudan know me of old, and so the reports are not believed. This
soldier was at Berberah when last I saw him. I had moved all the black
soldiers from there to Senheit, as the climate did not suit them. It is
odd that Berberah, Zeila, and Harrar suits the Egyptian and chocolate
faces; not the blacks, who suffer from pulmonary complaints in those

The sputtering of musketry on the lines this morning quite reminded me
of old times. The Arabs fired a good deal at the runaways.




  _Three Steamers_


  _Three Steamers_




  El foun


Some of the officers are very anxious to go out against the Arabs, but
I do not see it. We are not safe off the river banks, and there is no
good risking matters; besides which, we can never, with our force, give
them a crushing defeat, which will alone settle the question; and we
might, by a small defeat, drive them into the desert, where one could
not reach them if other troops come up. We are now thus placed (see
Map), and in four days I shall have four steamers between Shoboloha
and Kalakla. In a month I hope two more steamers will be ready: total,
_nine_. Arabs have _two_ at Berber, _one_ at Wad el Medinet; of those
at Berber only one is fit for work, the _Fascher_.

I will mention a secret in all Egyptian administrations, _i.e._, if
you give an order, it is totally inefficient in three days’ time if
not repeated again and again at intervals; it seems as if its essence
evaporated in the heat of these countries. The officers would laugh
you to scorn if you said, “Why, I gave a _standing order_ respecting
this or that.” It would be to them perfectly ridiculous and absurd to
expect a “standing order” to be obeyed, unless _repeated_ at intervals.
In most services, standing orders are regarded, but certainly not in
Egypt; this is the reason why all those beautiful proclamations and
laws issued by the control and their successors, are _dead letters_
after ten days; they are constructed for the European Press. What is
needed, is continual hammering at seeing your orders obeyed. Saleh
Pasha sent a man in with a message to me: “Mahdi is coming with 40,000
men, etc., etc., etc.” This is all rubbish. All Kordofan could not
produce this number; and if it could, the country could not support
them in food for five days.

Fearful row to-night because, after one-and-a-half days’ warning, the
_Bordeen_ was going to start for Halfeyeh, no soldiers were found on
board, and this after repeated orders to Ferratch Pasha. Men may say
what they like, but one is bound to lose one’s temper in such cases.
This is the story Saleh Pasha’s man tells: “Mahdi with 40,000 men is
coming to Omdurman, and will take it; he will then plunge into the
river and take Kartoum before the English come.” I reply that “the
Mahdi is not a fool to think that by plunging into the river he will
take Kartoum, neither can he have 40,000 men with him. _Put Saleh
Pasha’s messenger into chains as a spy of the enemy._” We have spies
direct from the Mahdi’s camp, who say “he has not 3000 with him.”
This business was going at the same time as my row with Ferratch
Pasha—certainly one is not on a bed of roses in this place.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 8th._—One soldier who escaped this morning, reports that
the Arabs are furious at the desertions of yesterday. Saleh Pasha’s
messenger (spoken of yesterday), on being put in chains, acknowledges
his statement is all fudge about Mahdi’s 40,000 men, &c., &c.

A sergeant escaped from the Arabs; he says the Arabs sent up about 200
black soldiers to Mesalamieh to get grain, and they escaped to Sennaar;
that Waled a Goun meditates coming over, with two guns, to the old Dem,
which was previously occupied by the son of Sheikh el Obeyed, on the
north side, near Halfeyeh, which, if he does, will be a great bore for
us. The Mahdi is at Jura Hadra; that a man had come from near Berber to
say the expedition was advancing towards that place. One has heard so
much of this sort of report that taken with the report of Waled a Goun
coming to Halfeyeh, one is inclined to doubt it, for he would not be
likely to do that if it was true about the expedition at Berber.

Sent out spy from Halfeyeh towards Shendy.

Whatever may happen, I hope it will be put to our credit that we gave
you the _Abbas_ steamer, and placed three steamers at your disposal
at Metemma,—when, if we had them we might have cut the route between
Jura on left bank of the Nile, and Fakir Ibraham on the right bank of
the Nile,—besides using up 350 soldiers of our meagre garrison in the
equipages of those steamers! Truly the indecision of our Government
has been, from a military point of view, a very great bore, for we
never could act as if independent; there was always the chance of their
taking action, which hampered us.

Take the Tokar business: had Baker been supported by, say, 500 men,
he would not have been defeated; yet, after he was defeated, you go and
send a force to relieve the town. Had Baker been supported by these 500
men, he would, in all probability, have been victorious, and would have
pushed on to Berber, and, once there, Berber would not have fallen.
What was right to do in _March_, was right to do in _February_. We sent
an expedition in March, so we ought to have sent it in February; and
then, the worst of it was, that Baker, having been defeated, _when you
did send your expedition to Tokar_, Baker’s force no longer existed,
and his guns resist me at Berber. It is truly deplorable, the waste
of men and money, on account of our indecision. Baker’s expedition
ought never to have been pushed forward, unless by small stages,
supported by forts. It had not more than fifteen or twenty miles to go,
and that distance ought to be, so to say, sapped. Take your present
expedition, I do not know (_thanks to that Intelligence Department!_)
the details, but it seems to me that till 20th August, or thereabouts,
we were supposed to be quietly disposed of, but about that date our
resurrection occurred, and then, “Let us have an expedition at once,
and send for Wolseley.” Had the men at Wady Halfa (Duncan) been told
in March (when he came up to Assouan) to make _étapes_ up to Dongola,
they would have been all ready for the expedition now. Personally, I
do not care, but I think what a perfect mess we would be in, in an
European war. I am convinced Wood, the Sirdar, and many others, foresaw
what was likely to happen, but they did not consider they were called
upon to make a row about it. (Plutarch’s Lives are out of print in our
generation; we do not like to be what club men call insubordinate,
though, of all insubordinates, the club men are the worst.) What is the
consequence? Why, an infinite expense and great difficulty. Mark the
way the Mahdi treated Cuzzi: is it likely he did it for the love of
Cuzzi? was it not because Cuzzi told him of Baring’s telegram, “that no
troops will be sent to Berber”? Remember, though I put these queries,
it is not I who put them: it is _history_. Why did Baker go to Suakin,
and Wood, the Sirdar, stay at Cairo? One was chief of gendarmerie; the
other was commander-in-chief. It was not a question of police, but of
war. If it was right to let Sinkat perish, it was right to let Tokar;
if it was right to relieve Tokar, it was right to see after Berber,
and thence on to Kartoum, Sennaar, Kassala, Bahr Gazelle, and the
Equator. At any rate, _be consistent_. No one can question the right of
the Government to decide; but when they decide, let it be a decision.
“WE WILL ABANDON ALTOGETHER, _and not care what happens_.” That is a
decision one can understand, whether one approves or not. We are not
the judges; but what we have done is such, that I declare I very much
doubt what is really going to be the policy of our Government, even now
that the expedition is at Dongola.

What were my ideas in coming out? They were these: _agreed abandonment
of Soudan, but extricate the garrisons_, and these were the
instructions of the Government; and I only wish that the public would
look over Baring’s and my telegrams exchanged from 28th February to
16th March, and see how he answered me:[113] it was as if I was amusing
myself up here. And then that light-hearted fellow Egerton ... adds
to it (“that I am in Capua”), “What are your intentions in staying at
Kartoum?”[114] I should like to see some explanation why no efforts
were made for the _relief_ of the _garrisons_ before August (_not_ MY
_relief_). Berber was known to have fallen in March; it may be said
the season was not good, then why in June does Egerton tell me to make
_contracts_? I hope Stewart will _cut out all this biliousness_.

9 P.M. _Telegraph cut with Halfeyeh._ This corroborates rather what
this man who came in to-day said, _i.e._ that the Arabs meditate coming
again to the Dem, north of this town, which will be a trouble—it will
be the beginning of a second blockade, and I hope the _last_, for I
declare I do not think I could go through a third _blockade_—siege is
too great a word for it.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 9._—Telegraph repaired with Halfeyeh. The Arabs came down on
the lines with two guns and exchanged some shots with our people. Only
waste of ammunition.

One soldier escaped from the Arabs to-day. He came from Sheikh el
Obeyed. He says they have got the gun which was captured at Katarif.

The Arabs fired seventeen shells this morning, but did no harm.

_Those Shaggyeh!_ I will back them to try a man’s patience more sorely
than any other people in the whole world, yea, and in the Universe. It
is no use detailing their efforts. I have now sent Moussa Bey down to
Halfeyeh. I really believe that they did try the patience of the Arabs,
from all I hear; for the Arabs frequently thought of putting them to
the sword, and I can quite imagine Arabs having this thought, from the
wear and tear they have given me.

Of course, the officer on the lines reports masses of Arabs killed

Sheikh el Obeyed killed all the prisoners he took (who were
inhabitants of Kartoum) in Mahomet Ali’s defeat, near El foun. I have
ordered the sale of 200 ardebs of grain, no one to buy more than
¼ ardeb.

Stewart will be annoyed at hearing “Ibrahim Ruckdi is _very ill!!!!_”
Illness dates from hour of being turned out of head clerk’s place; he
has not sent for the doctor.

It will be a satisfaction for some to know that, owing to their not
sending me any news, I am exposed to hearing all sorts of disquieting
rumours from the town, which, though I do not mind them, are not
destined to make one’s life lighter. The Ulemas have been coming here
for two days to see me; they have been bothering for more grain, and
so I put off seeing them, but I gave them one ardeb a piece. To-day,
however, they pushed an interview, but I still held out, and said they
_must_ tell my Vakeel what they had to say. After a deal of palaver
my Vakeel came in to say, “_that the whole of the town requested I
would take back Ibrahim Ruckdi_.” What an idea! I said “The town had
better mind their own business, and leave me to mind mine.” I think it
is lovely! and how Ruckdi must have worked at it during his _severe
illness_. Ruckdi had got at my servants. Edrees, the butler, told me,
with a look of deepest commiseration, how ill Ruckdi was, on which I
laughed. I guessed he was on the sick list, and had asked. “Yes” (with
a deep sigh), “_Ruckdi was very ill_.” “Illness commenced when?” I
asked. “Oh, a long time back, but duty and fidelity to _me_ had enabled
him to crawl through his work,” at which I laughed again. Then came
the Ulemas, with the town petition. I can quite imagine when men have
bribed the chief clerk A. to be favourable, that it is a bother to have
to go through the same process with chief clerk B. on A.’s being turned
out; it upsets all calculations. Ruckdi will return to Cairo with Tongi.

“See-saw,[115] see-saw, why it is enough to kill a fellow. I can’t
keep my eyes open. I would give a shilling to have an hour’s sleep!
_Yes_, of course, _you_ say it is close at hand, _you black devil_!”
“I know your _Kareb_ means at least three hours more.” “Give you
the water-bottle? I can’t. I don’t dare to touch the rope of this
long-necked brute. Hullo: there is some one come a cropper. Rifle,
‘broken,’ of course, it is, you cannot fall from a precipice without
its being broken.” “Hi! stop! Catch hold of the brute; the machufat,
as you call it, is slipping round. Can’t you stop the brute (noise of
a body falling); well, there is an end of it. I will walk _now_ sooner
than embark again on the ship of the desert. Am I hurt? Oh, no, of
course not; rather enjoyed sensation. Walks half a mile, boots full of
sand, and tries it again.”—Scene in Desert: Explorations in Central
Africa, by Her Majesty’s Army.

The machufats[116] _will_ slip forward, and camels _will_ object to
people riding _on_ their long necks; they _will_ drop vesuvians on
camels, who will not like it; they _will_ get galled, and have not
glycerine; they will drop their pipes, and not dare to descend for
them; they _will_ pass baggage-camel with sharp edged boxes, which will
rasp their legs; as they mount they will go over the other side and
swear—oh how they will swear! all their Topies will be crushed—aches
and pains in every part of the body (I should be inclined to put them
on ambulance saddles, one on each side: awkward if they meet a baggage
caravan). “Tired and ill! of course I am tired and ill after bowing
and swaying my body to and fro all night, with my eyes pricking like
as from so many needles, from desire to sleep; and you may say what
you like, I swear I saw more than one of those skeleton camels get up,
and I saw houses as plain as I see you.[117] I was between Scylla and
Charybdis. I wanted to sleep, and I was afraid of falling off—shall
never forget it.”

“Chermside to Kitchener: Any news of _him_?”

“Kitchener to Chermside: Nothing particular; two or three more men
down. Steamers at Metemma. Abuse as usual of Intelligence Department.
Mahdi doing much better: _he_ finds it more difficult to get his
letters through, and will have time to get over _his_ liver complaint
and injustices. Stewart says it was a perfect pandemonium to be boxed
up with him when in his tantrums. _I hope you are well. Let me know if
I can do anything for you._”

I think, in the interests of the Telegraph Department, Floyer ought to
make officers pay for telegrams like this intercepted one.

A man came in from the Arabs on the South Front. He says the Arabs have
imprisoned the regular troops with them; that the regulars want to make
a rush for our lines and to escape to us.

A boy came in four days absent from the Mahdi’s camp, which is at a
place opposite Gitana. He says the Mahdi is moving along the left bank
towards Omdurman, and that he has with him all the Europeans, Elias
Pasha, and Slatin; that he will try and take the place before the
advance of the English, who are said to be near Berber. Kordofan is
quiet. The Mahdi has about three to four thousand with him. The Mahdi
says he will cross the river dry-foot—by a miracle.

Sent for the _Ismailia_ from Halfeyeh, replacing her by the
_Towfikia_. The _Bordeen_, down the river, will go to the same place on
her return. Somehow this advance of the Mahdi has raised my spirits;
nothing is more dead-like to be shut up as we have been; now, at any
rate, a month will see him victorious or defeated, as God may will
it. I think he will try and negotiate, for, of course, Hussein Pasha
Khalifa has told him I had a Firman enabling me to give up the country
if I found some one to take it.

“Kitchener to Chermside.—Hurrah! Capital news! The Mahdi has _him_ on
the hip! he has gone to Omdurman. Bottled _him_ up now! We will have no
more impertinent remarks about the Intelligence Departments. Dongola
illuminated! Regular feast of lanterns! Wish you were here, old fellow;
hope you are well! Can I, &c., &c.”

I declare Floyer ought to make them pay for these
telegrams—intercepted and brought here.

... “Well after a long night comes the dawn, this is somewhat
better news. I confess I was never much taken up with Livingstone’s
explorations, and I never would have believed any one, if he had told
me I should be carrying out these explorations with a British army. One
must not be ungrateful, but one may be permitted the remark why that
Mahdi did not move before he has quite spoilt my holiday; why, dear
me, in three months I shall be back in that bear-baiting garden again,
being asked questions. What a life! What do you say? I am sacrificing
myself for my country. Well, you are right there, I am a martyr, if
ever there was one.”

The mass of people who have come in from the Arabs, have spread far and
wide,—what is to be expected from the Mahdi and his Government—so I
have no fear for the town, which I suppose has 40,000 inhabitants in it.

The Arabs prevent all coming to me—I prevent none going to them—and
I even give them written permissions to go; so I gauge the fidelity of
the people.

Small steamer got her steam up to-day, and I hope will be finished in
three days, armed and in action.

I feel sure that the Mahdi comes with the idea of negotiating; if so,
and one can have reasonable hope of success as to the extrication
of the garrisons, I shall negotiate—for up to the present time, my
original instructions are not abrogated, and I feel sure Her Majesty’s
Government will not wish any longer campaign, than is necessary, in
these parts, for their honour, but it must be remembered _if_, by
negotiating, I get out the garrisons at the cost of the steamers, &c.,
&c., I must not be blamed if in the future, by the cession of the
steamers and warlike material, Egypt suffers. Her Majesty’s Government
gave me clear orders, _i.e._, “get out garrisons and evacuate”—these
orders have not been cancelled and are in force. No official notice is
given me of an advance of troops or of a change of policy; therefore I
am justified in acting on my original instructions. Kitchener’s note
is not sufficient to justify me in disobeying my regular instructions.
Egerton’s telegram was not decipherable.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 10._—The beginning of the year 1302 of the Arabs is on the
21st October. On the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd October were Hicks’s defeats.
The Mahdi, bringing all the Europeans with him, makes his move look as
if he were confident of his success ultimately. All information tends
to show that his object is to starve us out. If the man would only drop
his prophet’s functions, we might come to terms; but he will never do
that, I fear. There is one good thing in the Mahdi’s coming here—he
will be easy of access, if our Government wishes to communicate with
him; and also if he is defeated there is an end of him, without going
to Kordofan. I suppose our people at Debbeh must be aware of the
whereabouts of the Mahdi at any rate.

It is an odd coincidence the advance of the Mahdi and of the
expeditionary force at the same time, and to the same place

I have 240 men at Omdurman, and it is pretty strong. It is not likely
to be attacked; for if the Mahdi won it, he would not have gained
Kartoum, though it would be a trouble, as it would discourage the

There is one bother, in any negotiations (which, however, I do not
think possible), viz. how far one ought to go in _re_ the steamers, and
warlike store. If I had Zubair here it might be settled, but now the
expedition is at Dongola it is a query what ought to be done.

I have lost seven guns, two on board each steamer, at Metemma, and one
on board the _Abbas_.

This morning the Arabs fired six Krupp shells into the lines, which did
not burst.

Not a large church parade either at Kalakla, South Front, or at Faki
Mustapha, near Omdurman. Two men came in, one from south front with
rifle, and one from Omdurman; the latter says the Mahdi will come to
Omdurman either to-day or to-morrow, and will content himself with the
investment of the place. He has with him all the Europeans, nuns and
all. The Arabs meditate coming over to the old Dem, near Halfeyeh, but
they say it will be the _Arabs of Waled a Goun_ who will come, _not_
those of the Sheikh el Obeyed; this is odd, and it would seem as if
these two parties had fallen out. We know Sheikh el Obeyed did not
agree with Abou Gugliz.

People do not appear a bit put out at the approach of the Mahdi; in
fact they look on it as a good thing, for they say the affair will be
ended here, and there will be no necessity to go to Kordofan.

A very little Arab boy, with large, black, limpid eyes, came in from
the Arabs. He had been captured some months ago.

The steamer _Bordeen_ is still down the river, robbing, I expect, right
and left.

A Sandjak of Shaggyeh, who was for months a prisoner with Sheikh
Ibrahim (son of Sheikh el Obeyed), told me how this latter used to
quarrel with Abou Gugliz, how the latter had taken the gun they had
captured from us; and how glad Sheikh Ibrahim was when we beat Abou
Gugliz at Giraffe. On one occasion Abou Gugliz put Sheikh Ibrahim in

Four of the Arab Krupp shells fell in the centre of the town—did no
harm—(regular bombardment of Paris), moral effect, _nil_.

Little steamer _Husseinyeh_ trial trip to-morrow. The Arabs will think
one of the large steamers has been brought to bed.

One cannot help being amused at the Mahdi’s carrying all the Europeans
about with him—nuns, priests, Greeks, Austrian officers—what a
medley, a regular Etât major. It will be a great crow for Lord Wolseley
if he manages to put an extinguisher on the Mahdi.

Cambyses, son of Cyrus of Isaiah, lost his army B.C. 525, in these
deserts, 2409 years ago.

The Mussulman year 1302 begins on the anniversary of Trafalgar.
“England _expects_” (does not say even “thank you”) “you will do your

Those who were ever quartered at Gibraltar will remember two
despatches over the mantelpiece, Collingwood’s on Trafalgar; Wellington
on Waterloo. What a different tone in them. I cannot help thinking the
navy is more chivalrous than the army in all nations; they are more
seriously minded, having gone through greater vicissitudes of danger.
I noticed flags around Faki Mustapha’s tent, and three women came in
this evening from Waled a Goun’s camp, and reports that the Mahdi came
to Omdurman to-day; but a soldier who escaped with his rifle came in
afterwards and said the Mahdi had not yet come to Omdurman, but was
expected to-morrow.

In five days’ time I shall send down the _Towfikia_ steamer to Metemma,
and order the _Talataween_ back. With the _Towfikia_ I shall send this
journal up to date. The _Towfikia_ will stay at Metemma.

I have placed two of the castled santels at the end of the lines on
the White Nile, the other two are at Bourré. The _Bordeen_ steamer is
back from Shoboloha; she captured fifteen cows and four slaves. She was
fired on from the left bank of the Nile.

Armed the men of the band and made them body guard of Ferratch Pasha.

In future, for the defence of Kartoum, strong forts ought to be built
at Shoboloha, on both sides of the defile.

The _Bordeen_ telegraphed from Halfeyeh “important spy captured.” I
answered, “what did important spy say?” I was answered, “Important
spy said that the English had sent out three men to see about
roads to Kartoum.” This was two and a half hours’ work to get this
information. It is enough to drive one wild (a very small _mouse_
for such a _mountain_). Couriers were sent on horses to and fro for
this information. I am going to sit on the captain of the _Bordeen_
to-morrow. These people, if they have a grain of information which they
(not I) think important, make a perfect Mont Blanc of it, so as to get
promotion. What on earth of importance is it to us whether the British
general has sent 150 spies to look after roads.

The captain of the _Bordeen_ gave the names of the spies sent out by
the British general obtained from this “important spy,” thinking,
of course, I should be delighted. These things render one perfectly
furious, for, at least, twenty people were kept at work for absolutely
nothing; and like a born idiot, there was I, on tiptoe of excitement,
waiting information of the “important spy,” to end with the news
that “three men had been sent out by the British general.” Had “this
important spy” said the British general had started, it would have
been another thing, but that is in the future, and I do not blame the
British general for not rushing headlong into these deserts.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 11._—A sergeant-major came in at Omdurman to-day, he left
the Mahdi three days ago. The Mahdi was then one day’s march from
Omdurman, at the place Stewart met the chiefs when he went up the Nile
in March. The Mahdi will be at the camp Faki Mustapha to-night or
to-morrow. He has from 2000 to 3000 regulars with him, whom he captured
here and there. Three Krupp guns and four mountain guns, but has a lot
more mountain guns en route from Kordofan. With the Mahdi are Hussein
Pasha Khalifa, Saleh Pasha, Slatin, and all the Greeks, priests, and
nuns, who have become Muslim. A priest and a nun who refused to become
Muslim, he left in Obeyed. Nuchranza is with him. He has a mixed
multitude with him, who are not over zealous, for he has discontented
the people by his exactions. They have plenty of meat, but not much
grain. The Frenchman spoken of (and supposed to be Renan by me) has
gone away from the Mahdi. Fighting is going on in Kordofan in the Gebel
Nubar. Report is rife of the English being at Debbeh. The Mahdi intends
bombarding Kartoum from the other side, and trying to demolish the Fort
Omdurman. The money captured at Berber has not yet left Berber.

Another soldier came in from Waled a Goun’s camp; he says the regulars
are all in chains.

The Arabs are making a fort 2000 yards off the south front. They fired
eight rounds from a Krupp, which entered the town but did no harm.

Four shells entered the town yesterday—one slightly wounded five black
sluts, one struck a house belonging to the family of the Mahdi.

Small steamer’s trial trip took place to-day—a great success; she
snorts terribly.

Two more soldiers came in this morning from the Sheikh el Obeyed. They
say he intends coming to the old Dem off the north front, where they
were before. They say he is not on the best of terms with Waled a Goun.
I hope sincerely he will not come opposite to us.

Sent out two men separately to Debbeh, with notification of the
arrival of his holiness the Mahdi at Omdurman.

Connected the Fort of Halfeyeh by telegraph to river bank, 1500 yards.

Moussa Bey put in charge of the _Bordeen_ and _Ismailia_, and Omdurman
and Mogrim.

Ferratch Pasha is made a Ferile (General of Division). I am more
generous than Her Majesty’s Government (when a colonel, I used to make
Generals of Division. The Khedive used to tear his hair over it). It
may be that Ferratch Pasha may be sold for 2¼$ in a fortnight, if
the town is taken, and be carrying water for one of the Mahdi’s Ameers.
I must say I am against doctors. If a man is suffering intense pain,
and is in a more or less desperate condition, I would give as much
morphine as would still that pain. It was the custom of the ancients
to give to those who were to be crucified a numbing potion, which is
that mentioned in Matt. xxvii. 34, Mark xv. 23. Our Lord would not
abate, by mortal means, the slightest pang of His passion, and He would
not taste it. But in our Lord’s case He knew the object of giving Him
this potion, whereas a patient need not know it. Our doctors give a
composing draught to produce sleep, and I cannot see why they stop at
that and do not give a draught to produce insensibility to pain—but
I suppose they have rules we know not of. Napoleon at Jaffa asked the
principal medical officer a question—whether, with respect to the
plague patients (whom he could not take with him in his retreat to
Egypt, and they would have had their throats cut had they stayed) it
would not be justifiable to give them composing draughts. The principal
medical officer answered, “his business was to cure, not to kill.”
Now Napoleon did not say “do so,” but he merely asked the question,
inasmuch as it was certain that the throats of those patients would be
cut by the Turks if they were left behind. History disputes whether
Napoleon did not get another doctor to give the composing draughts,
but it is certain that the plague-stricken patients were killed by the
Turks (whether under the influence of composing draughts or not it
does not much signify). To my mind the principal medical officer was a
snob, and took advantage of Napoleon’s question to make himself a hero.
Napoleon alluded to it afterwards at St. Helena, and I am inclined to
believe his version, viz. that he only put the alternative question
to the principal medical officer, and did not order the giving of the
composing draught. I shall now conclude this Volume III. I have sent
200 men to Omdurman, and am prepared to evacuate Halfeyeh and place its
garrison at Goba, if the Sheikh el Obeyed moves to the north of this




  _On outside wrapper (a handkerchief)_:

  No secrets as far as I am concerned.


  Chief of the Staff, or LORD WOLSELEY, G.C.B.
  Soudan Expeditionary Force.

         *       *       *       *       *

  From 12th Oct. to 20th Oct., 1884.

         *       *       *       *       *


  From 12th Oct. to 20th Oct., 1884.

  To be pruned down if published.


  The following note accompanied this Journal, addressed to
  Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart:—

  Kartoum, 20th October, 1884.


  Here is the Journal up to date—not much in it. I hear
  you got down all right. Kind regards to Lord Wolseley. I have
  given up now all idea of getting information from you all.

  Yours sincerely,


  _On inside sheet_:

  From 12th Oct. to 20th Oct. 1884.


  Together with a paper, Intelligence Department, on
  False Prophet.[118]

  To be pruned down if published.



_October 12._—Post left for Metemma by _Towfikia_ to-day. I am
almost decided to evacuate Halfeyeh, and put Shaggyeh, now there, at
Goba.[119] I dug up a shell yesterday which was at the foot of a lay
figure at north side, and see that the reason of their (the shells)
not proving fatal is that they are buried too deep, and their force is
expended laterally—a man must be over them to be hurt. Of course this
would be remedied in regular warfare. Were I to put them out again, I
would lay the shells on the surface of the ground, hiding the fuses or
ignitors, and run the risk of their being seen. Men going to assault
a place do not pick their steps, as if they were crossing a street. I
have ordered the concentration of guns on part of lines opposite to
which Arabs bombard us. I have ordered silence for the two or three
first rounds of the Arabs, and then to give them some salvoes.

What with these people’s prayers, eating and sleeping, one’s patience
is indeed tried. I know no people in the world who can take advantage
of cover better than them—the cover being “_I am ill_;” that is a
settler; for although you know it is the illness of laziness, you can
say nothing; if you doubt it, you are universally voted a brute.

When you say to any escaped soldier, “Why do you come here?” he
replies, “Why, the Arabs give us nothing. Why, with you I can get this
or that.” It is merely a question of what they can _get_. The belly
governs the whole world.

Have ordered the _Bordeen_ steamer to creep up when the moon rises, and
attack the Arab ferry at Kalakla.

Went over to Goba, and chose positions for the Shaggeyeh tribe. If we
evacuate Halfeyeh, we shall have to give up three outer forts, and one
central one (Seyd Mahomet Osman’s house).

It is quite a danger to pass through the yard of the Palace on account
of the turkey-cock (though he has a harem of five); he killed two of
his children the other day. I do not know if you have noticed it, but
when not angry, or in full dress, the lobes of flesh about their necks
are grey; but it does not need half a minute for them to make them of
the most brilliant scarlet. I cannot understand how they make part
of their heads blue, while the appendages are scarlet. I think the
turkey-cock is a bird worth studying; the tuft in front is peculiar to
him alone. I know no other bird which has it. I would give him the palm
over all birds for pluck.

I have decided to bring those wretched Shaggyeh over to Goba, and have
sent boats for them.[120]

I declare solemnly, that if it were not for the honour’s sake of our
nation, I would let these people slide; they are of the very feeblest
nature, and the Arabs are ten times better; but because they are weak,
there is so much more the reason to try and help them; for I think it
was because we were such worthless creatures, that Our Lord came to
deliver us. These Shaggyeh know no shame. It is an unknown quantity
with them. What a life one has to live. I wish I commanded the Arabs
(speaking professionally). I think it is a great shame not giving me
Zubair Pasha, for he would know how to deal with these people. They are
the weariness of my life. From February until now they have been one
continued worry to me, and I expect they worried the Arabs as much.

I have decided to put the Shaggyeh into the North Fort, and not to
occupy Goba. A slave came in from Kerowé; had no news. The Arabs did
not fire upon the lines to-day, so concentration of artillery fire on
them did not come off. A woman came into the Lines from Waled a Goun
with a letter.[121] _Towfikia_ was to have left this morning; but late
last night, happening to go to the telegraph office, and asking whether
she was all ready, the captain replied he had no wood! so there was an
end of her start to-day.

I particularly wish to ascertain how many communications were sent me
from Cairo or elsewhere in Egypt between the 12th of March, when the
telegraph wire was cut, and the present date.[122] I hope Stewart will
get this information for me, and not be hoodwinked about it. I should
also much like the substance of those communications.

The letter was from Abou Gugliz sending in a woman who had before been
a spy. He begs me to become a Mussulman, &c. The woman who brought it,
says the Mahdi comes to-night to Omdurman, and that he says, as soon as
he comes, _I shall ask to surrender_! The Mahdi says he will write me
three letters; he will then wait for five days, and that he will then
advance across the river, which will divide for him. Looking at the
date which will be arrived at, after these letters are written and the
five days’ grace have expired, and making allowances for what is meant
by the dividing of the waters, it would bring the Mahdi’s attack about
the 21st October, the New Year’s day of 1302 A.H.[123]

We hear the Arabs are perplexed, because the other day, when they
bombarded us, we did not answer. This was my doing to save ammunition.
The Arabs asked the regulars with them, “why we did not answer?” and
said they were sure the regulars were in communication with us. We are
now weighing the pros and cons for not answering the artillery fire
of the Arabs, which do us no harm and uses up their ammunition. By
not doing so we do not lose the sympathies of the regulars, whereas
if we do so we exasperate and render desperate those regulars. We had
an instance of that at Bourré, where at first the regulars were well
disposed towards us, and came over in numbers; whereas after we had
killed a lot of them they ceased to come in, and used to fight us with

The woman says, beyond the captured regulars, Arabs have no fighting
force. These captured regulars are mostly all blacks.

Another _plot_? In town a man was discovered taking out a note
couched in mysterious language, from one of the clerks in a Government
office. With the note was £34, supposed to be a present to the Mahdi
from Sheikh el Islam (the blind man) here. The efforts to square the
circle are extraordinary. The people here, I expect, have all hedged.
I am going to make a sort of general arrest to-night (similar to that
made by Napoleon III. on the night of the 1st December) of all who are
supposed to be in communication with the Mahdi. I shall not hurt them,
but shall send them out to the Mahdi. Query, was it on the night of
the 1st and 2nd December Napoleon took his foes prisoners, or on the
night of the 2nd-3rd December? I think it was the night of the 1st-2nd
December, and the so-called massacre happened during the day of the 2nd
December. (Vide Kinglake in ‘Coup d’étât.’)

I shall not send out the Sheikh el Islam[124] although he is a
disgrace. I asked Mahomet Edrees, my servant, “to become a Christian.”
He said “he could not.” Then I said, “Why ask me to become a Mussulman,
when your Sheikh el Islam is prepared to acknowledge Mahomet Achmet as
the Mahdi?” 5 P.M.—The arrests are out. Sheikh el Islam, Cadi, and a
host of swells are to be kept in their homes—sixteen in all! A good
swoop; among them the Mudir Achmet Bey Jelaba. I have made Moussa Bey
Mudir. There will be quite a scare about it. I have not sent any away
to the Mahdi. The band boys are all armed, and are quite ferocious. It
would be a great mistake to come up here and think to find soldiers _in
extremis_; they are as cocky as possible. They strut along as if no one
was their equal. The blacks are a stubborn race; and if one sticks to
them, they will stick to you. _Towfikia_ has left for Metemma _at last_.

A mouse has taken Stewart’s place at table; she (judging from her
swelled-out appearance) comes up and eats out of my plate without fear.

The turkey-cock has become so disagreeable that I had to put his head
under his wing and sway him to and fro till he slept. The cavasses
thought he was dead, but he got up and immediately went at me. The
putting the head under the wing acts with all birds, but it is the
_cock_ alone who gets mesmerised by the chalk lines drawn in front of
his beak. How do you account for this?

I believe that a good recruitment of blacks and Chinese would give
England all the troops she wants for expeditions, mixed with one-sixth
English. As for those wretched Sepoys, they are useless. I would
garrison India with Chinese and blacks, with one-sixth English, and
no army could stand against us. The Chinese in Shanghai had the
greatest contempt for the Bombay Sepoys, and used to knock them about.
Beloochees and Sikhs are a different class. I have the greatest
contempt for the pure Indian Sepoys. Chinese, or blacks, or Goorkas,
or Belochees are far better. The moment he (the pure Sepoy) is off
parade, he puts off all uniform that connects him with Her Majesty’s
Government, and puts on his dish-clout. I hate these snake-like
creatures. Any man accustomed to judge by faces sees that they hate us.

I would back the Mussulmans of India against the lot of those snakes.
India, to me, is not an advantage; it accustoms our men to a style of
life which they cannot keep up in England; it deteriorates our women.
If we kept the sea-coast, it is all that we want. It is the centre of
all petty intrigue, while if our energy were devoted elsewhere, it
would produce tenfold. India sways all our policy to our detriment.
Lord Cardwell replied (when I asked him the question as to the benefit
we got from India), “_that we could not get out of it_,” and I suppose
that is the answer that must be given.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 13._—Cavalry sortie this morning from Bourré; captured
fifteen slaves and killed thirteen men who resisted. This sortie was
under Abdoul Hamid, the Sandjak of the Shaggyeh. We lost none.

The Arabs on Omdurman side have spread out their huts in a semicircle
(but at a considerable distance) around Omdurman, on the left bank.

Shaggyeh from Halfeyeh will be in the North Fort to-day. The Arabs off
South Front, near the White Nile, fired musketry against the lines, but
did no harm.

Last night cavalry Shaggyeh captured three men who were going off to
Sheikh el Obeyed from Halfeyeh; they had their arms with them. I have
let them go again.

No definite news yet of the arrival of the Mahdi at Omdurman. The Mahdi
will be furious with this cavalry sortie; it will be disagreeable news
to him on his arrival here.

A man from the Arabs has come in to Omdurman with two letters;[125]
it is too late to see them to-night. By telegraph I hear that the man
brought two letters for the Commandant at Omdurman from Faki Mustapha,
saying the Mahdi was coming the day after to-morrow, and inviting him
to submit; so I have told them to send the man off again.

We are a wonderful people; it was never our Government which made us a
great nation; our Government has been ever the drag on our wheels. It
is, of course, on the cards that Kartoum is taken under the nose of the
expeditionary force, which will be _just too late_.[126]

[Illustration: 1. _Daily News._ _2. Times._ _3. Standard._ _4. Pall
Mall Gazette._]

The expeditionary force will perhaps think it necessary to retake it;
but that will be of no use, and will cause loss of life uselessly on
both sides. It had far better quietly return, with its tail between its
legs; for once Kartoum is taken, it matters little if the Opposition
say “You gave up Kartoum,” or “You gave up Kartoum, Sennaar,” &c., &c.,
the sun will have set, people will not care much for the satellites.
England was made by adventurers, not by its Government, and I believe
it will only hold its place by adventurers. If Kartoum falls, then
go quietly back to Cairo, for you will only lose men and spend money
uselessly in carrying on the campaign.[127]

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 14th._—I have been obliged to make some more arrests. Report
in says many of the people, chiefs, &c., of Shendy come in to the three
steamers now at Metemma; also that the steamers have been firing on the
Arabs of Metemma; report says that expedition advance guard is at Abou
Hamed, remainder at Merowé; that some English are coming from Kassala
with Seyd Mahomet Osman to Gros Ragéb; that the Sakkeyer Arabs meditate
a raid on Shoboloha tribes, who are favourable to Government. The Arabs
fired on the lines this morning, doing no harm. Made Ferratch Ullah,
who used to be at the Palace, a Miralli.[128]

In the two letters,[129] Faki Mustapha says the English are prisoners
at Assouan, and that the Arabs had captured _Abbas_ with Stewart at
Cataract Dar Djumna, below Abou Hamed, _which would be dismal_!

Arabs are keeping a long way off the lines since the cavalry sortie.

No sign of the arrival of the Mahdi at Omdurman. Very few horsemen to
be seen on the South Front. Query, have they gone down towards Berber?

This evening, some twelve of those arrested and allowed to stay in
their houses are to be taken to the barracks; I hate those arrests,
but one can scarcely doubt so many informants, who declare there was
“trahison” meditated, not from any wish to join Mahdi, but for fear I
was not strong enough to hold the city, and owing to Awaan’s statement,
_that he had written the letters_ I had received from Debbeh announcing
that the expeditionary force was coming.

The North side is like a market, with the camels, horses, sheep,
goats, donkeys, of the Shaggyehs, who have come up from Halfeyeh, &c.

I confess I am more perplexed about these arrests than I like; is it a
good thing? or is it not? If I could be sure that the majority wished
to go to the Mahdi, I could make up my mind at once what to do; it
would be an immense relief to me, but does the mass wish it? If they do
not, I ought to take all precautions against such an event. Then comes
the query. Am I not, in these arrests, being made a tool of by the
Turkish and Cairo elements? Are they not gratifying spites? Paul said,
“_I have learned_” (as in a school) “_in whatsoever state I am to be
content_.” I can only say, “_I am learning,” but have “not learned_.”

No sign this evening in Faki Mustapha’s camp of the arrival of the

Heavy thunderstorm and rain this evening, which will be made out by the
proselytes of Mahomet Achmet as a proof of his divine pretensions. It
is rather bad for our mines.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 15th._—No spies in—everything quiet. Some begin to doubt if
Mahdi is so near.

People say I must have some news of relief, otherwise I would not have
made the arrest of Mudir, Cadi and Sheikh el Islam, &c., &c.

I see there was a total eclipse of the moon on 4th October, and there
is a partial eclipse of the sun on the 18-19th October.

I reason thus respecting the arrests: if the people really want to
go over to the Mahdi, it will make no difference beyond hastening
the event; if they do not want to go to the Mahdi it will make no
difference. If there is a minority to go to the Mahdi the arrests have
upset their plans, at any rate for a time. To my idea, these people
were only _hedging_, in order to be prepared for all contingencies.

Mahomed Pasha Hassan, who is a barometer of fear, approves of the
step—so I hear in an indirect way:—_of course_ every body approves of
it, if _asked_ by _me_, for fear of their own arrest.

I had to make three more arrests—when once one begins this detestable
practice, one never can stop. As far as I can judge the mass of people
approve of the arrests. I am now going on the principle “in for a
penny, in for a pound.” Wilfrid Blunt will make a nice row about this.
It is very odd we have had no one in from the Arabs for two days. Glad
to say I found out one arrest not just, and have let the man out.

Jeremiah was arrested over and over again, and let out by King
Zedekiah. I wonder how any man can possibly wish to enjoy despotic
power: he can never be happy or comfortable if he has any pretensions
to a conscience.

2 P.M.—Six flags appeared at Faki Mustapha’s camp. Report in town
says the Mahdi is at his Isle of Abba, 160 miles up White Nile,
attending to the circumcision of his son (poor little fellow). I hope
it is true, for it will give us ten days’ respite. He may also have
another dream there, which will tell him not to come to Kartoum, or he
may persuade his followers to have one to same effect. What a comfort!!!

The Mahdi will make it an excuse that he came for this circumcision
from Kordofan to Abba Island (where he received his first revelation
that he was the _Mahdi_), if he sees things go against him.[130]

3 P.M.—The six flags at Faki Mustapha’s camp have increased to ten
(gathering of waters). We have just completed _our_ concentration of
forces, and the steamers have just come in from their last trip from
Halfeyeh. We may now be said to be in fighting trim, close hauled.
Small steamer _Husseinyeh_ will be completed to-morrow, I hope.

6.30 P.M.—Horsemen riding to and fro in Faki Mustapha’s camp. A
letter has come in with two men from Slatin. Have received the letter,
and send back the men who brought it, at once. “You must remember,”
says England, “that when you entered my service, I bought you, as
far as your body was concerned, giving you at first 5_s._ 3_d._ per
diem, when no one else would have given you 1_s._, giving you also a
beautiful plumage and the _entrée partout_. You have advanced now to
higher pay, but on _same terms_ (your whole life and body). You can
never say you have done _more_ than your duty. If you do not do it you
break your word, and if you do it you merely fulfil your contract, and
have no _claim_ on me.”

The two men who came in with the letter of Slatin were one Arab and
one slave. The latter questioned (apart) says that the report is _that
the Mahdi will come in two days to Omdurman; that he has not been
seen; that the regular soldiers have gone back to Kordofan; and that
Faki Mustapha told him_ (the slave) _to frighten the Kartoumers_. I am
hoping the Mahdi will prove a _bogie_!

Steamers _Bordeen_ and _Ismailia_ went down below Kerowé to-day, and
saw no Arabs on the left bank of the Nile.

The quietude of Sheikh el Obeyed’s forces is curious, for they have
twice beaten us, _with heavy loss_, though they have been beaten by us,
with loss, at other times, but in minor engagements.

I begin to get over my disquietude _in re_ the arrests; from what I
hear, I think public opinion is not dissatisfied; but really it was a
strong measure to arrest Sheikh el Islam, Cadi and Mudir, and sixteen
others, and that without turning the two former out of their employ.

A lot of people were pressing for harder measures, but my new chief
clerk said “we would wish to leave it to you to do or not to do,” which
is lively, as I am innocent of what goes on, or who is a traitor, or
who is not; if ever there was a happy-go-lucky government, it is this,
in Kartoum. I declare that, sometimes, I give a decision, and have no
more idea of what the decision is about than a cow; these, however,
are exceptional cases. I have had about six bad slips in ten years,
not more, and these I have managed to rectify, with loss of prestige.
Slatin is _not_ with Faki Mustapha, so says the slave. What liars these
spies are!

If in two days I find the news correct that the Mahdi is still in
Kordofan, I shall let out all the political prisoners (which will shock
the townpeople), but will be true joy and delight to me, for it has
been a work utterly repugnant to me. I like free will (we left God with
_our own free will_, we must return with our _own free will_). I hate a
forced subjection, and I feel sure that to let these people out, with
free will to go to the Arabs or not, will be good policy. I must say
that I feel it a great compliment, when my counsellors say to _me, “Do
what you think right, irrespective of our advice,” when they know I am
ignorant of all that goes on, ignorant of the Arabic language, except
in my style, ignorant of the Arab customs, &c., &c. “You will do better
than we do_,” is what they say, and _I, poor Devil, do not know where
to turn_. Oh! our Government, our Government! what has it not to answer
for? Not to _me_, but to these poor people. I declare if I thought the
town wished the Mahdi, I would give it up: so much do I respect free

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 16._—The letters of Slatin have arrived.[132] I have no
remarks to make on them, and cannot make out why he wrote them.

Heavy rain last night, I expect there is an end to the vitality of our
mines, and we have now no more matches to renew them.

No spies in, no Arabs visible outside their camp: it is pretty certain
that the Mahdi has not come to Omdurman.

The Austrian Consul[133] has asked me to let him write to Slatin, and
to allow him to give him (Slatin), an interview on the Lines, which I
have agreed to and sent out. Slatin’s letter to Hansall was quite in a
different tone to the one he wrote to me. What astounding lies those
spies have told about the Mahdi and his heterogeneous staff being close

_Noon._—Two spies came in, one from Sheikh el Obeyed, one from
Kordofan. The latter says the Mahdi is not coming to Kartoum, but has
been recalled to Obeyed on account of the advance of expeditionary
force; that the Mahdi has withdrawn all the regulars captured here
and there from our vicinity to Kordofan; that a lot of the Arabs he
forced to come with him have deserted him. That is about all; one feels
disinclined to write these histories, which are contradicted a few days
afterwards. Certainly the Arabs are very quiet, and one does not see
many about. I hope to be able to let out the prisoners on New Year’s
Day of Arab year 1302, which is on 21st October. I shall make Ferratch
Pasha do the honours of the day, I cannot stand these pageants. A woman
came in from the Dem on the South Lines; she says a few days ago there
was a regular panic caused by report of troops having captured Katarif;
half the Arabs went southward. However the report was contradicted and
they have come back.

Slatin’s letter to Austrian Consul contains the remark “that if he
comes over to me I must promise never to surrender the city, _as he
would then suffer terrible tortures and death_.” He evidently is not
a Spartan, he also says “that he changed his religion because he had
not had much attention paid to his religious belief when young.” If
he gets away I shall take him to the Congo with me, he will want some
_quarantine_; one feels sorry for him.

Slatin says there is a rumour that a boat of Stewart’s expedition,
down Nile, was captured by Arabs at the cataract Dar Djumna, below Abou
Hamed, but he doubts its truth; this, in his letter to the consul.

The Arabs have not occupied Halfeyeh. The Shaggyeh are pulling down
Goba and Hogali, the village opposite the Palace. The village of
Omdurman is levelled. The little steamer _Husseinyeh_ is finished and
armed, and will go up against the Arabs (her virgin trip), on Saturday
morning. They have put a little lion as figure-head to it.

Fancy post-office officials (of all people), who have done literally
nothing for seven months (not being _able_ to do anything), asking for
increase of pay!! These people have no conscience. There were very few
Arabs to be seen on south front this day, and few were seen going to
Giraffe. At Faki Mustapha there also seems no numbers, in spite of the
great array of grass huts erected for the Mahdi. Report in town says
that the Arabs in Kordofan say the Mahdi is all fudge, and that they
are robbed more now under his name than before, when they were under
the Government.

Report says the Mahdi sent Sheikh el Obeyed (the _man_ not the _city_)
to tell him to come to Obeyed (the _city_ not the _man_), and devotes
himself to God’s service as a dervish. The Sheikh el Obeyed (the _man_
not the _city_)[134] does not see it, for he is very rich (I know it is
a horrid nuisance these names, but I did not give them). It would be a
charity to execute the _man_, for those who are perplexed, and end the
difficulty. We cannot execute the city.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 17._—Church parade at minimum: that at Faki Mustapha’s Dem
some 400: that at south front not more than a 1000.


Mr. Gladstone has a rival up here in shirt collars: Mohamed Bey Ibrahim
appeared to-day with regular wings rather ragged, his collars up to his
ears, regular orthodox patterns.

I am sending _Bordeen_ and _Husseinyeh_ up the White Nile to
reconnoitre, and the horsemen out towards Giraffe and Halfeyeh.

I shall have nothing to do with Slatin’s coming in here to stay, unless
he has the Mahdi’s positive leave, which he is not likely to get: his
doing so would be the breaking of his parole, which should be as sacred
when given to the Mahdi as to any other power, and it would jeopardise
the safety of all those Europeans, prisoners with Mahdi.[135]

According to all accounts, the cataract at Dar Djumna below Abou Hamed
is a very small one, so I am in hopes it is a false rumour that we
have lost the boat. A slave came from Faki Mustapha, saying the Mahdi
is at Jura Hadra, his people suffering from sickness: many have gone
back to Khordofan. All regulars have gone back, they have little grain,
and people are discontented. This man brought his rifle in with him;
219 days to-day we have been boxed up; four of the principal men were
allowed to be prisoners in their houses, one of these allowed a man to
come to him and bribe the sentry with two dollars: this man was whipped
off to the prison at once. The Sheikh el Islam let two women come to
him, he was only threatened. We caught a man going over to the Arabs
to-day, he had under his ordinary costume the Dervish dress. If Zubair
was here he would take off heads I feel sure. I content myself with
fearful threats, which they know are nothing.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 18._—The _cavalry_ went out towards Giraffe, and captured
five _female_ slaves! and killed three Arabs, who resisted their being
taken. I own I do not feel satisfied with the killing of these men, but
I suppose it is _war_: we lost none. The captive ladies had little to
say more than the Arabs had two guns at Giraffe.

_Bordeen_ and _Husseinyeh_ went up the White Nile, saw no Arabs
at first, but coming back Arabs got down two guns and opened fire,
they killed one man and wounded another. I had warned these steamers
distinctly to keep in the middle of river, and not to go near the
banks. The casualities were from musketry. Arabs fired fifteen rounds
(gun), _Husseinyeh_ fired ten rounds (gun), _Bordeen_ fired ten rounds
(gun). I have stopped these steamers going up the White Nile for the
future. The officer is entirely responsible for the death of this man,
for I had given orders that, _even_ if they saw cattle or boats, they
were not to be enticed to the banks to get them. I never will believe
in ships against land batteries, unless troops are landed, for _unless_
a steamer can get close alongside a battery, the battery will hold its

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 19._—This morning, in spite of my orders not to leave the
lines, Bourré must needs send out men, and the consequence was that I
have a Bimbashi and six men wounded, however I think I have stopped
these excursions for the future. The _cavalry_ went out from the North
Fort to Halfeyeh, and saw no one, and captured a cow!

I hope it will be remembered that with respect to white troops
(Fellaheen) on board the now four steamers at Metemma, I make you a
handsome present of them (officers and all), and request that if you
use the steamers you will disembark those men and take them on your
list, for we never wish to see them (and to have to feed them) up
here again. _You will be carrying out the evacuation policy!!!_ If
you do not use the steamers, please send them back _empty of these
Fellaheen troops_, but send me _their rifles_. You will soon have a
fine contingent? for I have everything ready for a _general discharge
of Cairo débris_ (Bashi Bazouks, &c., &c.), the moment I hear you are
really at Berber; I shall not wait to ask your leave, for I have had
enough of the débris up here, and you can feed them better than we
can; _at any rate, they will be off my hands_, and _on yours_. I hope
it will be an understood thing that _every Egyptian soldier_ you find
_belongs to you_, and that you will not send him back to me. I nobly
present you _with them all_, and then, besides that, you have the glory
of living representatives of your rescuing expedition. I object and
protest against (when once Egyptian soldiers come into your lines) your
returning them to Kartoum. As for their pay, &c., as far as I have been
able to order, it ought to be quite clear what is owed them. I have
given orders enough about that subject, as Stewart knows. I include
_officers_ as _well as men_. I want to see them no more. _Pray attend
to this request!_[136]

The _Talataween_ came in this evening from Shendy; reports Seyd
Mahomet Osman has come to Gros Rageb with English troops. English
troops are coming from Debbeh by Nile, and have passed Abou Hamed.
Arabs captured two boats of Stewart’s expedition, by means of the
captured steamer _Fascher_ above Abou Hamed, which our steamers had
seen getting up steam: _vide_ my journal. I had a feeling about this
that when the steamers had seen the Arab steamer _Fascher_ getting up
steam they ought to have staid and tried to prevent the pursuit. The
Arabs have a gun at Shendy, which came from Berber. The English troops
are only two days distant from Berber. The steamers had twenty-five
wounded, they collected eleven prisoners, and captured four boats. One
of our men was killed. The _Towfikia_ lost none on going down. I am
sending down the _Bordeen_ and _Talataween_ the day after to-morrow
to Shendy, with order to leave one steamer at Shendy, and go on with
the other four to Berber, and to remain in its neighbourhood. The
_Mansowrrah_ will stay at Shendy, and the _Talataween_, _Bordeen_,
_Saphia_, and _Towfikia_ will go towards Berber. I shall keep
_Ismailia_ and _Husseinyeh_ here.

OCTOBER, 1884.

     No. of Black Troops, Regulars  2316
  A         White                   1421
  B         Cairo Bashi Bazouks     1906
            Shaggyeh                2330
            Townspeople enrolled     692
                           Total    8665

A and B will be sent to Berber as soon as it is possible to find
Transport, and as soon as you get to Berber.

  No. of Guns upon Lines                  12
         Steamers                         11
  Rounds Gun Ammunition               21,141
    ”    Small Arms, Remington     2,165,000
    ”    Arsenal turns out weekly     40,000

  _Amount of Grain and Biscuit in Magazine._

  Grain                          Ardebs     4,018
  Biscuit                          Okes   349,000
  Weekly consumption of Troops   Ardebs       500

  No. of Steamers                               7
         Private Boats                         58
         Government Boats                      53

  Money in Specie                           £2900
            Paper                          £39,195

_October 20th._—Here is a summary of reports brought by _Talataween_,
which left Shendy four days ago. _Abbas_ went down to Hagar Homar with
her four boats. She was pursued by _Fascher_, which captured two of
her boats, with twelve Greeks. The _Abbas_ turned and fired two cannon
shots at the _Fascher_, which retired, and the _Abbas_ went on her way
and was seen no more. She is supposed to have been attacked by Arabs
below Abou Hamed and drove off attack, killing seventy-two Arabs, the
Greeks captured in the two boats were not hurt by the Arabs. When
the _Abbas_ got to Debbeh the troops advanced towards Berber. Three
distinct parties moving on Berber: _one_ through the desert of Korosko
(the Arabs have put 1500 men and a gun at Abou Hamed); _one_ from
Merowé to Berber across the desert (making forts at intervals), and
_one_ with Seyd Mahomet Osman down the Atbara valley towards El Damer
(which place is at the junction of the Atbara with the Nile) assisted
by Awad Kerim. The steamers have been bombarding Metemma and Shendy, I
expect with no great effect.

To-day came in from Waled a Goun two men and three women. They say the
Mahdi is opposite Kalakla, _i.e._ within two miles of Kartoum, few
people with him; those who came with him from Kordofan have, in great
part, gone back.

In yesterday’s skirmish the Arabs lost two men in the steamer fight,
the day before they lost more. Waled a Goun has sent his family to
Gitana; many are deserting.

An officer and sergeant have escaped and come into Omdurman.

They say that the Arabs of Berber were warned by someone in the town of
the descent of the _Abbas_. I have ordered the sale of 200 ardebs of
Dhoora on the strength of this news. A man, who was at Berber, on board
one of the captured steamers says Ferratch Pasha! and other officers
have sent news to the Arabs, and that the Arab chief of Berber wrote to
Cassim el Mousse, proposing he should kill me, which Cassim el Mousse
refused to do. This Mahomet el Khair is a true cur, for I have ever
treated him well. I expect if the truth was known very few notables or
officials have not been hedging with the Arabs.

The Shaggyeh on the opposite side are yelling, on enquiring find it
is for Dhoora; they have had their month’s rations and the month is
not up. I went to the telegraph office and told them that “till the
month was up I would give them none, but that the Sheikh el Obeyed had
plenty, and that if they liked they could go to him;” no answer was
given to this telegram.

The officer and sergeant who came in at Omdurman say the Mahdi with
all Europeans, Hassan Khalifa, Saleh Pasha, and _that_ Frenchman are
opposite Kalakla, and that he means coming to Omdurman, that the Arabs
are not in good heart.

The _Saphia_ and the _Mansowrrah_ ought to have laid off Berber, and
prevented the exit of the _Fascher_ when the _Abbas_ went down, but
I expect they only cared to come back here. I am much put out at the
loss of those two boats. What one has felt so much here is the want of
men like Gessi, or Massodaglia, or Slatin; but I have had no one to
whom I could entrust expeditions like that. _I do sincerely hope all
Egyptians and Turks or Circassian officers and men may be taken out of
the steamers and kept by you; it would be too bad to send them back
to me._. I do not mean the _captains_ or _engineers_ of _steamers_.
Twenty-two wounded men were brought to the hospital (four were gravely
wounded) from Shendy steamer. I wish you to take command of steamers,
but do not let any _Khedival authority_ do so, _for he will certainly
be bribed to let back the Egyptians_. Please acknowledge the receipt
of the Journal, of which this is Vol. 4. As far as my experience goes,
there are not more contemptible troops, officers, and men than the
Egyptians, so beware of them, and, with scarcely an exception, all
Turks and Circassians in Egyptian employ are emasculated.

I have prepared to clear out of the Palace, and have five houses ready
for occupation. I hope Cuzzi’s baggage will be searched, for I feel
sure he is a traitor. A slave came in this evening from Waled al Goun
with the usual story of the near approach of the Mahdi; that Arabs want
food; that regulars mean to desert when they get an opportunity. With
the reiterated request that I may not have any _Egyptians, Turks, or
Circassians sent back to me_, I end this Journal.


The sunset to-night ends the year 1301, and begins 1302.


  _On outside wrapper (handkerchief)_:

  20th Oct. to 5th Nov., 1884.


  The Chief of the Staff of Expeditionary Force for the
  Relief of the Garrisons.

  No secrets as far as I am concerned.


         *       *       *       *       *

  _On cover_:

  20th Oct. to 5th Nov., 1884.


  To be pruned down if published.


         *       *       *       *       *

  _On inside_:

  From 20th October to 5th November, 1884.


  The Chief of Staff of Expeditionary Force for Relief of

  VOL. V.

  To be pruned down if published.



_October 21._—Steamers left this morning for Shendy. To-day is New
Year’s Day of the Arabs, 1302. I think the Mahdi speculated on a
rising in the town, but that the arrests[137] have put him out in his

New Year’s gift this morning, in arrival of Mahdi at Omdurman. Not much
display. It is reported that he will occupy Kerowé and Halfeyeh at
once; so it is as well I got the steamers off before he got his guns
down to river bank. They will be safe with you,[138] and very useful.

Two men came in from Saleh Bey of Galabat with the post. They were
thirty-two days _en route._ They brought a letter from Mitzakis, the
Greek Consul, from _Adowa_, dated 17th August (which told me as much,
or more, than Kitchener’s letter of 31st August!).[139] Saleh Bey is
all right; he has been attacked. Spies say the small steamer _Mahomet
Ali_, captured by the Arabs, is now on the Blue Nile, at Abou Haraz.
Sennaar is all right.

Mitzakis writes to the Greek Consul here to say that a treaty has been
made between Her Majesty’s Government and Abyssinia, to give Abyssinia
Kassala, Galabat, Katarif, and Bogos! and that the King is preparing
an army to go and take possession.[140] What an action. These lands
(except Bogos) are entirely Mussulman, have held their own, and are
in no way threatened, and WE go and send a wild _so-called_ Christian
people (who have nothing to do with the quarrel) against these peoples,
who have held their own against the Mahdi.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 22._—I wonder what Saleh Bey of Galabat will say to this
cession, after he has been fighting for me. Also what Seyd Mahomet
Osman will say after all his trouble.

I can now see why I was kept in the dark.

In one of Saleh Bey’s letters he says he sends me a letter from King
John. This I have not got; it apparently was not sent.

A man came in with letter from Slatin, in which he says the _Abbas_ was
captured near Dar Djumna. Stewart killed, with nine men, and all the
papers captured.[141]

Three soldiers escaped yesterday from the Arabs. Seven more came
in to-day; they had no news. Mahdi and all Europeans are four hours
distant. Mahdi has put Saleh Pasha (of Shaggyeh) in chains.

Twenty-six goats came kindly into lines to-day.

I am very anxious about the _Abbas_; it would be terrible, if it is
true, that she is captured.

The cut out pages are, or rather were, a tirade against the cession of
Kassala,[142] &c., &c., but as they would be no use now I have cut them

I believe Government can, now-a-days, get men to do anything by means
of money and honours (_not honour_), and I have a shrewd idea of how
this affair will end up here. However, it is not my affair, and I have
taken my decision.

Kitchener to Chermside. “He is furious about that admirable treaty
of Hewitt’s. Fortunate I did not tell him about it. He has the Mahdi
alongside now, and can vent his spleen on him. We have got his steamers
all but two, and need not care.”[143]

Admirable treaty, let us think—yes, spread of Christianity, regular
missionary movement, ancient Christian Church and people...! get me up
a _précis_ of this history of Abyssinia, but not that part of Bruce
which speaks of ravages committed by the Abyssinian army on the march.
Hewitt, charmed with His Majesty, calls the Queen his mother, &c.
Now, if we can _only get_ that Mahdi to make a treaty we are safe for
six months. Enough for the day is its evil. I declare I am becoming a
missionary myself with my quotations and acts.

Graham would be angry if I criticised his despatch, which Slatin sent
me. The _Raumer_[144] seems an excellent weapon.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 22._—It is suspected that the two men who came with letters
from Saleh Bey of Galabat are spies of the Mahdi, into whose hands
has fallen the letter King John wrote to me; these men came in a very
circuitous way from the direction of the Mahdi’s camp.

Another soldier and a slave came in from the Arabs just now.

King John and the Mahdi both force men to change their religion; both
cut off lips of smokers and noses of _snuffers_; both are fanatics and

If the Mahdi has got King John’s letter to me, he knows all about the
famous, or rather infamous, Hewitt Treaty, which is a trouble. Slatin’s
letter mentions the ‘Rapport Militaire’; it seems odd he should have
known it was on board, unless the _Abbas_ was captured; yet we have
two men who declare she passed down. Perhaps the captured Greeks knew
of the existence of this famous journal, and told the Arabs of it, or
Awaan may have written it; it is odd he (Slatin) says nothing of Power
and Herbin.

House of Lords ... in answer to questions put by the ... of ...
replied that the noble marquis seemed to take a special delight in
asking questions which he knew he ( ... ) could not answer. He could
say he had given a deal of time and attention to the affairs of the
Soudan, but he frankly acknowledged that the names of places and people
were so mixed up, that it was impossible to get a true view of the case
(a laugh). The noble marquis asked what the policy of Her Majesty’s
Government was? It was as if he asked the policy of a log floating down
stream; it was going to the sea, as any one who had an ounce of brains
could see. Well, that was the policy of it, only it was a decided
policy, and a straightforward one to drift along and take advantage of
every circumstance. His lordship deprecated the frequent questioning on
subjects which, as his lordship had said, he knew nothing about, and
further did not care to know anything about.

... to ... Why, I did my best to keep the Hewitt Treaty secret from
him. It is no use blaming me. I knew from his telegram he would make a
noise about it, and I told Kitchener not to say a word about it. It is
that brute Mitzakis who let the cat out of the bag.

A man came in from the Mahdi’s camp, who left this fourteen days ago
with my permission to go to the Arabs. He now comes back to see his
family in Kartoum. I have told him,—_once out, there is no return!_ He
is a cool fellow.

The Major wounded at Bourré the other day is dead.

The two men who brought letters from Saleh Bey of Galabat do not like
going out on the North Front side; they want to go out by the West
side, _i.e._ where the Mahdi’s camp is.

I believe that the Hewitt Treaty will be a complete dead letter, for
the Greek Consul says the Admiral gave him (King John) no money, so
what was the use of the treaty. I expect King John wrote to me to ask
me to give him the taxes of the country ceded, quoting the treaty of
Hewitt. As for the King or his men ever leaving their hills, it is out
of the question. He might have made a move had he been given £100,000,
but no chance of his doing so when he has nothing but this paper
treaty. The only place the King could possibly occupy is Senheit, and I
doubt his doing that permanently. He will drive out the Roman Catholic
Mission at once[146] (part of his missionary movement); the occupation
of Senheit just cuts off the safe road from Massowah to Kassala. I
declare it is amusing to see what shifts Her Majesty’s Government have
been put to get out of their mess.

A slave has come in to Omdurman with another letter from the Arabs. I
shall stop this fun for the future.

I feel sure King John gave Admiral Hewitt a spear and shield and
the Order of Solomon—vanity of vanities—for the treaty, and I feel
also sure we shall see no Abyssinian army in the Soudan. The King
will write, or has written, a haughty letter, saying that his mother,
the Queen, has given him, &c., &c., and he requests I will send in
the taxes _at once_, otherwise he will advance. All T.,[147] and we
shall hear no more of His Majesty except groans at my perfidy in not
sending the taxes. He is a hopeless sort of man, and never is worth
considering.[148] Her Majesty’s Government will say: “We made the
treaty; it is not our fault His Majesty did not carry it out, on
paper; Kassala and all the other places are now under King John, and
consequently quite safe.” The treaty is worth as much as any treaty
made now giving Kordofan to any one![149]

We need now only a treaty with the Mahdi about the garrisons, and then
Her Majesty’s Government will sleep in peace: _their work is done_. I
only say I will have no confidence in any such treaty, and shall take
my precautions accordingly.[150]

Letters have come in: one says Lupton Bey has surrendered (Appendix U,
_a_, _b_, _c_, _d_), and has been appointed Governor of Bahr Gazelle
with an adherent of the Mahdi. Another says that he has brought
slaves to the Mahdi, and hopes to buy horses with the products of
their sale.[151] The Mahdi’s letter is to relate how he captured the
post,[152] &c., _Abbas_, &c. My answer[153] was, that I did not care
who had surrendered and who had been captured. As for these letters,
I cannot make head nor tail of them, so I leave them to the Arabic
scholars of the Universities.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 23._—(What a fearful scrawl!) Ten soldiers, with six women
came in this morning to Omdurman. I have sifted out the Mahdi’s
letter[154] respecting the capture of the _Abbas_, and do not believe
it; the papers he sent me as being captured in the _Abbas_ were never
in the _Abbas_, they were taken from a spy I sent out from here, the
same man who brought me the news from Dongola of the British advance.
He had a bad eye (ophthalmia), and was caught at Metemma and killed,
having, when drunk, let out that he had come from me.

The nuns had to walk all the way from Kordofan. The Mahdi has 15,000
head of cattle with him. The Arabs are dying in great numbers from
dysentery. The village of Hogali opposite the palace is levelled. It
may not be generally known, but by the Firman which named Towfik,
there is an express injunction that no part of the Egyptian territory
is to be ceded, except by permission of the Porte. Also by the Treaty
of Paris, and also by that of Berlin, the integrity of the Ottoman
Dominion is guaranteed by the Powers. What a farce it is to say Egypt
ceded Kassala!

The escaped party, I mentioned as having come in, have arrived at the
Palace, nine soldiers, eight women, and two slaves, all old friends,
also a _baby_! They say the Mahdi started with 40,000 Arabs and 1500
Regulars from Kordofan, that he has not now more than 5000 or 6000
Arabs, and 1000 soldiers (500 ran away), that they have no Dhoora, only
35 boxes (35,000 rds.) Remington cartridges, and 50 shells; they say
the other soldiers want to come in, either to-day or to-morrow. The
Mahdi says he will go against the English and will not stop at Kartoum.
The whole gang were shown themselves in the mirrors. Such a display of
ivories was never seen. The baby danced with delight, at seeing itself,
_for the first time_, it was like a black slug. The _mother_ was, of
course, delighted.

The Arab horsemen cut the telegraph which goes out of the lines at
Bourré to the North Fort. I declined to allow its repair since I had
lost a major and had six men wounded when last we went out of the
lines, and besides which I had another cable to the north side. No
sentries at the North Fort or Bourré, or on the Mudirat; these people
are enough to break any one’s heart. Fortunately, from the roof of the
Palace one watches all these things, and can bully them into obeying
orders, but it is (as Hansall says[155]) a _vie abrutissante_, to be
always snarling and growling. The _Ismailia_ and _Husseinyeh_ went
down the river, and saw no Arabs on either bank. If these Arabs (one’s
servants) are not _eating_, they are _saying_ their _prayers_; if
not _saying their prayers_, they are _sleeping_; if not _sleeping_,
they are _sick_. One snatches at them at intervals. Now figure to
yourself the position; you cannot do anything with them while in these
fortresses _eating_, _saying prayers_, _sleeping_, or _sick_, and they
know it. You would be a brute if you did (which I fear I often am).
You want to send an immediate order, and there is your servant bobbing
up and down, and you cannot disturb him. It is a beautiful country for
trying experiments with your patience.

It is very curious, but if I am in a bad temper, which I fear is
often the case, my servants will be always at their prayers, and thus
religious practices follow the scale of my temper; they are pagans if
all goes well.


I must say I hate our diplomatists. I think with few exceptions they
are arrant humbugs, and I expect they know it. I include the Colvin
class. The Rothschilds are, I feel assured, giving Her Majesty’s
Government a lot of bother about the Finance Question. If you had asked
... at Balaklava the price of a cheese, he would have said £5 5_s._ If
you asked him now you would offend him.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 24._—Arab church parade. Mahomet Achmet and Faki Mustapha,
few in number, at Waled a Goun, the Arabs have divided their camp,
putting the regulars near the river, in camp apart from theirs, to act
as buffers if any attack is made on them.

The Arabs have got a nuggar at Giraffe. A man of Zubair’s old force has
come in from the Arabs. To-morrow expires the six months for which the
notes were issued. We have been boxed up 226 days (seven and a half
months); siege of Troy.

The man who came in (Zubair’s old soldier) was one of Lupton’s men
from the Bahr Gazelle; he left five months ago (Bahr Gazelle). He says
Lupton is at Shaka, and is Sheikh Abdullah, so he has changed his
religion.[156] I wonder what has become of the garrison of the Equator.
Another man has come in.

All that bloodshed in fighting the slave dealers in the Bahr Gazelle
has gone, apparently, for nothing![157] There are great doubts if the
Mahdi is really near, no one appears to have seen him.

Since the escape of the lot yesterday, the Arabs have taken the rifles
of the regulars from them: at the Mahdi’s camp, the Arabs have a ferry
under our nose, across the White Nile; but I do not like to send up the
steamers, for the captains are so heedless.

I calculated that the advance force of troops arrived at Wady Halfa on
22nd September,[158] that they took twenty days from there to Debbeh,
so that on 12th October they were at Debbeh (Stewart (_D.V._) arrived
at Debbeh on 28th September), and I calculate they could not be at
Metemma—Shendy—before 10th November, which will give them twenty-nine
days for 150 miles, thence it is five days here for a steamer, so that
15th November ought to see them or their advance guard.

Extracts from Appendix R.

_La Route de Souakim à Berber._

 Avant que la bataille de Tamai eut été livrée et gagnée, le Général
 Herbert Stewart, sinon les généraux Graham et Buller, avaient étudié
 avec soin la question de savoir si les troupes, ou une partie
 des troupes, pouvaient marcher jusqu’à Berber _pour aider Gordon
 à réprimer les partisans du Mahdi dans la région du Nil_. Cette
 proposition semblait alors si convenable que l’état des troupes
 les mieux adaptées à une semblable expédition, les dispositions
 pour les approvisionnements, l’équipement, les chevaux disponibles,
 etc., avaient été l’objet de l’étude journalière des officiers. On
 se souviendra qu’après Tamai, la cavalerie se transporta aux puits
 d’Handouk, à huit milles de Souakim. On croyait généralement, alors,
 que cette marche en avant n’était que la première étape d’un mouvement
 sur Berber d’une force montée. Pour empêcher toute souffrance
 provenant d’une disette d’eau, l’effectif ne devait pas être de plus
 de 500 hommes de cavalerie; aucune infanterie ne devait faire partie
 de l’expédition. Il était en outre entendu, qu’en cas de nécessité, un
 semblable effectif pourrait suivre un jour ou deux après et trouverait
 également, dans les puits, de l’eau en abondance. Le fait est que
 les généraux Graham, Buller, Stewart, les colonels Clery, Taylor,
 et d’autres, semblaient ne pas mettre en doute, si l’ordre en était
 donné, qu’une succession de détachements, forts chacun de 500 hommes,
 pourrait être rapidement poussée sur Berber. Le bruit de ce qui se
 passait parvint rapidement aux oreilles de nos hommes qui étaient à
 la Zariba d’Handouk, et la plupart des troupiers manifestèrent un
 désir intense de prendre part à l’expédition. On savait que le Général
 Stewart avait soumis ses plans pour la marche en avant au Général
 Graham, et que ce dernier, ainsi que l’Amiral Hewett, les avait
 recommandés au gouvernement. _Les jours se succédèrent, mais l’ordre
 du départ n’arrivait pas: quelque empressés de partir que fussent
 beaucoup d’hommes, si nous avions connu alors la position exacte
 de Gordon, on eût manifesté beaucoup plus d’anxiété pour l’ordre
 du départ._ Lorsque cette question était discutée, question qui au
 moment occupait pleinement nos pensées, entre officiers supérieurs,
 ils exprimaient l’étonnement que l’ordre fut tant retardé, et que
 le Gouvernement hésitât davantage. _On n’arrivait qu’à une seule
 conclusion, c’était que la position du Général Gordon était telle
 qu’il n’avait pas besoin d’aide de troupes britanniques venant de
 Souakim._ Quoi qu’en ait pu penser, après réflexion, le Général
 Graham, de la possibilité d’envoyer une troupe de cavalerie forte de
 500 hommes, en mars dernier, de Souakim à Berber, je suis certain
 que lui et la plupart des officiers sous ses ordres croyaient alors
 que c’était une chose sage et guerrière à entreprendre. Nous nous
 apercevons tous trop tard, que cette simple expédition eût sauvé
 Berber, Khartoum et Gordon au vrai cœur.

If they do not come before 30th November the game is up, and Rule
Britannia. In this calculation I have given every latitude for
difficulties of transport, making forts, &c., and on the 15th November
I ought to see Her Majesty’s uniform. I suppose a part of the force
will go to attack Berber on the 10th November (when I calculate they
will be at Metemma—Shendy), and that a small party will come on here;
so we have now 7 days in October and 15 days in November to wait = 22
days—three weeks to add to the 226 days we have already passed, owing
to Baring (who I shall remember) and his peace manœuvres. One of the
papers Slatin sent to me, says that Graham was willing to send men to
Berber, and could have done it; but Evelyn would not give the order. I
asked only for 200 men to be sent there (vide my telegram in Stewart’s
Journal). I take Slatin’s paper out of Appendix R, and put it on the
other side.[159] I do not know the date, but I declare that, if my
telegrams to Baring are made known, it will be proved Baring knew up to
the 12th March the exact position of affairs up here; and therefore,
if there was an impression abroad that I did not say, “Send troops
(200) to Berber,[160] or you will lose it,” he must have suppressed my

I dwell on the joy of never seeing Great Britain again, with its
horrid, wearisome _dinner_ parties and miseries. How we can put up with
those things passes my imagination! It is a perfect bondage. At those
dinner parties we are all in masks, saying what we do not believe,
eating and drinking things we do not want, and then abusing one
another. I would sooner live like a Dervish with the Mahdi, than go out
to dinner every night in London. I hope, if any English general comes
to Kartoum, he will not ask me to dinner. Why men cannot be friends
without bringing the wretched stomachs in, is astounding.

_October 25._—Three men came in from Waled a Goun; one I sent out
again, as I think he is a spy, the other reports that the small
captured steamer _Mahomet Ali_ will be down at Giraffe with twelve boat
loads of grain, either to-day or to-morrow. I do not even attempt to
stop it; for if the expeditionary force arrives, we will capture it; I
cannot risk steamers against land guns.

Two soldiers came in from the Arabs at Omdurman with their rifles.

A lot of people are moving from the right bank of Nile, towards the
Sheikh el Obeyed’s (the _man_ not the _city_). Are they leaving on
account of the advance of the troops? or is it for offensive purposes?
or is it a raid which is returning from pillage? We sent up the
steamers and stopped the Arab ferry near the lines. The Arabs are
retaliating by putting a gun or two in the old place near the large
tree (el Sheddarah). The Arabs fired four shells at the steamers.
Soldiers at Omdurman captured two cows, and killed two others. Another
slave came in at Omdurman. Yesterday some cows were captured near the
South Lines.


What would be the best plan of attacking the Arabs? The object is to
give them such a crushing defeat as will put an end to the fighting,
and prevent them rallying on Kordofan. The position is thus:—

1. I would attack Waled a Goun at A, and I would cut off his retreat by
the sending up steamers to Duem with a small force; the Mahdi’s force
and Sheikh el Obeyed’s force would look on.

2. At the same time I would attack the post at Giraffe. Both operations
on the same day with the following troops.

_Operations on White Nile._—To proceed up the White Nile by boats,
2000 B. infantry to point X. To proceed along the White Nile, right
bank, the cavalry you may have to point X. To occupy with two guns and
1500 men simultaneously the two villages outside the lines, with the
Soudan troops, the troops not to advance, only to threaten, houses
loop-holed, &c. Three steamers to accompany the force.

_Operations on Blue Nile._—To proceed up the Blue Nile or along the
bank, 1000 B. infantry, accompanied by steamers and boats, with the
Shaggyeh horsemen, some 80, and 1000 men of Soudan troops to Giraffe.

If these operations are successful, then 800 men with four steamers to
pursue up the river to Duem.

_Expedition towards Sennaar._—The Sheikh el Obeyed will probably
surrender at once, then a force of 500 B. I. and 1000 Soudan infantry
should go up river to Wad el Medinet, and open the route to Sennaar
(while men are sent up to buy corn with them). There appear to be no
Arabs in arms between Wad el Medinet and Sennaar, or south of Sennaar.
(The Mahdi will at once retreat to Obeyed, _the city_.) This expedition
will probably be met at Abou Haraz by the surrender of Katarif and all
that district, and thus the route to Katarif and Kassala will be opened.

These operations will entail the very smallest amount of marching on
the troops, and would be completed in three weeks or less.

It must be remembered that in all these engagements in the Soudan
no quarter on either side has been given, so it must not be expected
that the Soudan troops will give it now if you come; also with respect
to the wounded Arabs, if you go and help them, they will (like the
Afghans) try and kill your men who make the effort; they are very
treacherous, and, worked up by religious frenzy, they think—1. That
you only pretend to help them, in order to kill them afterwards; 2.
That, being desperate, they think to enter Paradise if they kill an
infidel. It seems rather cold-blooded to write this, but it is the
character of those whom you are to fight. For my part, I hope they
will all run away, for they are only dupes ninety-nine out of every
hundred; it is the leaders who are the prime movers. I would give the
lives to the leaders if they ask pardon; but I would send them all to
Mecca to study Mahdism under the Orthodox. No information as yet as to
the meaning of the caravan, &c., which left the Nile to go towards the
Sheikh el Obeyed. One of our boats, which was collecting grass down
below Halfeyeh, must needs land its crew and try and take some cattle
of the caravan. The Arabs turned on them, and killed the Reis. Crew
says they killed a lot of Arabs (?). I think these people do really
love fighting, if there is the least chance of plunder.

King John (according to the Greek consul) is to be allowed to import
arms at Massowah. He will never do it, for he has not money to buy them.

If the Mahdi has got the Bahr Gazelle, and we evacuate the Soudan in
his favour, the Anti-Slavery Society may as well close their office as
to the suppression of the slave-trade in these parts, especially if we
leave him the steamers.[161]

Special Commission, House of Lords.... under examination, Q. 2389.
Did your Lordship know, when in Cairo, that the Fellaheen were being
dragged in chains, from their houses, to go and fight the Mahdi, under
Hicks, and what steps did you take to prevent it?[162] Did you inform
Her Majesty’s Government of the facts, and what was their answer?

The Mahdi has moved his ferry higher up river since our steamers went
up this morning.

It is a great question of doubt to me, if Public Officials ought to
so sink their personality, as to allow themselves to overlook facts,
which must strike them, as being not only evil, but also detrimental
to our national interests, merely because such facts are likely to be
disagreeable to our Government in requiring them to decide on difficult
questions. ... did know of this forced conscription, and so did.... Did
they not see that, to allow such conscripts to go up to the Soudan,
was not only cruel, but also politically unwise, for it could not be
expected that they would have any heart in the matter? If they had
stopped it, Hicks would have never left Kartoum, and his army would not
have been annihilated; for it is the defeat of Hicks which gave the
Mahdi his great prestige. He had annihilated detachments _before that:
after that_ he had crushed a huge army. See what it has led to! There
are times when men like ... ought to obey, and there are times when
they ought to disobey or else resign. Now, if ... had only hinted his
resignation, the Governments were so placed as to be obliged to listen
to him. I have a strong suspicion ... did know how to act. It was ...
and a wish to be agreeable to Her Majesty’s Government which prevented
him acting according to his own ideas. Sometimes it is the height of
unkindness to be too kind and amiable, and this is one of those cases.
History may be misty about it (will not know the thimble the pea is
under, for the cards are well shuffled), but there is no doubt that ...
had the destinies of Egypt and of the Soudan in his hands, _far more
than Her Majesty’s Government_, and he did not succeed. His amiability
did for him. It is _not insubordinate_ to resign, if you do not agree
to a policy, or feel you cannot carry it out with a whole heart. In
military affairs it is different; one is ordered to go here and there,
and one obeys (even if one thinks it is unwise, having represented
it), but in Diplomacy there is no such call, and certainly there was
none in the case of ... who is only an amateur in the Foreign Office
Service, an outsider. Had ... when he came to Egypt cut down the rate
of interest by a swoop of his pen to 3½ per cent., who would have
said a word; but now it is the difficulty. There would have been a
fearful howl from the bondholders, but that would have been all. He
dismissed the Control (under the _cover_ of Towfik), and could have
reduced the interest, and he would have gained the sympathy of all the
people. Hicks (who, by the way, never wanted to go to the Soudan) would
have held his own at Kartoum, and have worn out the Mahdi, and we would
have had none of this late work. I am afraid to say what numbers have
been killed through this present policy, certainly some 80,000; and it
is not yet over. For my part, I hope they will all run away. We have in
a most effectual way restored the slave-trade and slave-hunting, for
Her Majesty’s Government cannot keep the Soudan, and never will Egypt
be able to govern it. The only thing to be done, is to give it to the
Sultan. What an end to diplomacy of Her Majesty’s Government: and it
was so easy when I left in January, 1880, to have settled it quietly,
_giving up Kordofan, Darfur_, and _Bahr Gazelle_, and _Equator_, with
decency and quiet.

I declare I do not see how we will get out of it (the Soudan) even
now; allow that you come to Kartoum, that you drive off the Arabs, open
the road to Sennaar. What are you going to do? You will say, “Take out
those who wish to leave.” Well, you begin with Sennaar, and of course
will have to fight all the way down. It will take three months. During
those three months, how are you to feed Kartoum? for the moment you
leave Sennaar you leave your granary. You get to Kartoum, you are face
to face with 30,000 people who will not leave, and who are hedging with
the Mahdi; and with 3000 Shaggyeh, all armed. You fight your way to
Berber; another three months, you have no food at Berber; then it will
need another two months to get to Dongola, which (seeing your policy)
will be hostile. It is indeed a terrible problem, and I wish I could
see my way out of it.

Then you come into the hot months, and low Nile. This time _next year_
will not see you out of the Soudan, with decency. Of course you can
go back now, but what was the use of coming? _I will not allow that
you came for_ ME. _You came for the garrisons of the Soudan._ Now, by
the Turkish arrangement, if you act promptly, you can get away quietly
in January, 1885. It will not cost anything like what it will cost
you to keep your troops here for a year, as I fear you must do if you
persevere in trying a “_rapid retreat_.”

I can have no object in this advice. I want to get out of the affair,
but with decency. I regret the necessity of an expedition, but if
once you come to Berber, and communicate with Kartoum, if you stick
to the “_rapid retreat_.” you will not be able to accomplish it, and
you are in for a year’s stay. While, on the other hand, the giving of
country to Turks enables you to get away with credit. Let Her Majesty’s
Government _find excuses_ for it, it will not be difficult for _them_.
Put yourself in my position if you say “_rapid retreat, and leave
Sennaar to its fate_.” I will say “_No, I would sooner die first_,” and
will resign my commission, for I could not do it. If you say, “_Then
you are no longer_ Governor-General,” then I am all right, and all the
responsibility is on you (for I could not be supposed, if you turn me
out of Governor-General, to be obliged to aid such a movement, which I
think is disgraceful). You will then be face to face with the people. I
do not say but that Abdel Kader might not aid in the “_rapid retreat_”
better than I could, even if I agreed to it (of this you can judge for
yourself, at any rate I shall be out of it, and of my engagement to the

It may be that all this writing is unnecessary, and that you
have other views, but it is as well you know my opinions. _I am
secure against any loss, by the King of the Belgians, if I leave
H.M.S., therefore I am, so to say, free of H.M.S. If you turn me
out of Governor-General I am relieved from all responsibility, as
to your action in Soudan, towards the people._ I do not think I am
insubordinate in this matter, nor unreasonable. I do not say I would
not give _all my services in a subordinate position_ to aid you, but
it would be against my grain and be very distasteful, and must NOT be
in POSITION of GOVERNOR-GENERAL, that must be a _sine quâ non_, and
it must be known that I disapprove of the “_rapid retreat_.”[163] I
would not say this if I was not convinced that the “_rapid retreat_”
is an operation of such difficulty as to make every Englishman akin,
and bound to aid one another. If I was Lord Wolseley _I would make_ Her
Majesty’s Government send the Turks here.

I do not advocate the keeping of the Soudan by us, it is a useless
possession, and we could not govern it, neither can Egypt (after the
late events). I am only discussing how _to get out of it_ in _honour
and in the cheapest way_ (we must remember we caused its troubles),
and that way is, either by some sort of provisional Government under
Zubair, or by giving it to the Turks; it is simply a question of
GETTING OUT OF IT with decency. Zubair would square the Shaggyeh and
townspeople and arrange with the Mahdi, and you could get away. He
might hold his own if you gave the Mahdi a good defeat ere you left;
at any rate it is only by Zubair or the Turks you will get out of the
Soudan before November 1885!!!!!

The Turks are the best solution, though most expensive. _They would
keep the Soudan_: give them £2,000,000. The next best is Zubair with
£500,000, and £100,000 a year for two years; he will keep the Soudan
_for a time_. (In both cases slave trade will flourish), thus you will
be quiet in Egypt, and will be able to _retreat to Egypt in January,
1885. If you do not do this_, then be prepared for a _deal of worry and
danger_, and your campaign will be _entirely unprofitable and devoid
of prestige_,[164] for the day after you leave Kartoum the Mahdi will
walk in and say he drove you out, which is not pleasant in India or

In discussing this question I have entirely put my own peculiar views
out of the question: to give up countries which are to some degree
civilised, which, if properly governed, are quiet and orderly, to the
Turks or to Zubair, and to allow of the slave trade to flourish again
in tenfold intensity, is not a very high _rôle_, but _quoi faire_? We
have not the men to govern these lands, we cannot afford the money;
consequently, I advise what I have said. When I left the Soudan it
was quiet and covered its expenses, and there was no bother to have
continued to have governed it. Now it is different, and would need an
outlay which our Government will not give. (It is because the cloth is
short I recommend the shape of coat to be such.)

It would be nobler to keep the Soudan, but it is too much to expect our
taxpayers to agree to (and besides which, ‘Plutarch’s Lives’ are no
longer in vogue, and “_you must pay me well ere I go to the Soudan_” is
the idea). The Soudan could (if cut off from excrescences) be made to
pay its expenses, but it would need a _dictator_, and I would not take
the post if offered to me.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 26._—Three women came in from Waled a Goun. The idea is
gaining ground that the Mahdi is dead, and that his Vakeel is acting
his part. The Arabs are thinking of placing a station at Kerowé.

Yesterday week was the anniversary of Hicks’s defeat, 1st November,
1883, though I believe it went on for three days, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

The Arabs have brought a gun nearer Bourré to-day, probably emboldened
by absence of the steamers. Two lieutenants, one sergeant-major, two
serjeants, one soldier, and one slave came into Omdurman from the Arab
camp. They say the Mahdi is alive; with him are Saleh Pasha, in chains,
Hussein Pasha Khalifa, Elias Pasha, and all the Europeans. They heard
a report (now some days old) that the Expeditionary Force was two days
distant from Berber. The two lieutenants were with Hicks; they say the
army died of thirst, and scarcely fought at all. With the Mahdi are
5000 men, of which 1000 are black troops, 150 are Egyptian troops.
What little weight do engineers place on the existence of populations
in fortresses, yet this existence is all-important; more so than the
works. Malta and Gibraltar are weak, because of their civil population.

The Arabs have a big tent at Giraffe this evening. The lieutenants who
came in say the Mahdi will try and place a station in the place we
drove them out of—on the North Front—in August last, just before our
defeat at El foun. Goba, with the exception of Mahomed Seyd Osman’s
house and the Mosque, is destroyed. Salaam Pasha’s is nearly so.

8 P.M.—Two slaves have come into Omdurman. They say “_the regulars_
in the camp of Mahomet Achmet, _the Mahdi, went this afternoon_ to the
Dem, or camp of _Faki Mustapha_, and looted it, firing on the soldiers
of Faki Mustapha, who resisted the plundering.” I fear it is all fudge.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 27._—One sergeant-major and two slaves came into Omdurman
this morning. Sent out two spies towards Shendy.

One thing which (although spiteful) would cause me intense pleasure if
the “_rapid retreat_” is carried out, is that the English would just
walk into those Shaggyeh and Bashi Bazouks, and bundle them all out,
and thus pay them out for the worry they have given me, and for their

If the Turks come here, you would have scarcely anyone to send down,
and you would hand over the Shaggyeh and Bashi Bazouks to the Turks,
and all the Divans, &c. Nothing then could be better for you than to
get the Turks here. You would get off all responsibility of Kassala and
Sennaar, and you would let the Turks and the King of Abyssinia settle
about the _Hewitt Treaty_. You would also get off the bother of the
Equator and Bahr Gazelle, if it has not fallen.

You would know exactly what sum you had to pay, and save no end of
expense and time and vexation with regard to the settlement of claims.
Remember that Baring authorised me to draw more than £100,000; indeed,
he said, “Such sum as you need.” So you are responsible for paper-money

You would make up with the Sultan, and, as for giving up Suakin and
Massowah to the Turks it is nothing; for those ports are useless,
except as ports of the Soudan, and would be a bother to you to keep,
if the Mahdi has the Soudan. You would be always in strict blockade on
land side.[165]

The more I think of it the more the Turk solution appears Hobson’s
choice. I can see no option, unless, ere you arrived at Kartoum,
Kartoum fell, and then, even, it would not look well to go back from
Berber, while that even would be dangerous to some degree; for the
Dongola people would see you meant to evacuate, and would be hostile.
You have gone so far and spent so much that I cannot see anything for
it but to go on. And the Turks are the only solution which affords the
certainty of being able to stop. I get out of all my troubles if the
Turks come, for I shunt them on the Turks, and so do you. The idea is
that when the English come here the Arabs will bolt.

Stewart’s servant, Macktar, must needs go and marry another wife. How
they can go on like this, marrying and giving in marriage, when one can
never say, that to-morrow is our own, is wonderful. Tangi has taken two
wives up here!

The Government shall not get out of the desertion of Kassala (if they
take cover under the Hewitt Treaty and say, “we arranged with the
King of Abyssinia to look after that country”), if they do desert it,
for the King will never move, and all who have ever known anything of
Abyssinia must know he can never move. There is a report in town that
Slatin has been put in chains. I should not be at all surprised.

The sergeant-major, soldiers, and two men, Shaggyeh, who came in
to-day, say that Slatin is not a prisoner. The sergeant-major states
that one of our soldiers escaped from Omdurman three days ago. On
inquiry, I find that it is true, and the officer in command never
reported it. The sergeant-major says the Arabs meditate an attack on
Omdurman, in consequence of what the deserter told them. This is the
_fourth_ desertion since March that I know of, and it is the _first_
desertion among the soldiers (with saving clause) that I know of. Arabs
fired on the Santels[166] at the end of the lines on the White Nile,
and struck one. The Arabs fired fourteen times with Krupp guns; they
retired when we fired twice on them; they fired from their old battery
near the Tree “el Sheddarah.” Some time ago I gave Ferratch Pasha £100
a month, and I afterwards made him a Ferile, or General of Division,
for political reasons. He had the cheek to ask me to give him £150
a month (the sum I used to give the Seraskier or Commander-in-Chief
in the Soudan in old times, but which was £50 beyond regulation). He
put in an application a few days ago for the £150, and forage for
eight horses! Quite ignoring the state of the Dhoora exchequer, I
said, “Wait.” He was foolish enough to renew the application, which I
tore up. He may go to the Arabs if he likes. The Arabs appear to be
passing the Blue Nile at Giraffe, they may be going to place a post at
Halfeyeh, the Sheikh el Obeyed refusing to send his men there, we shall
see to-morrow. It is not from any feeling of respect to the people up
here that I urge their relief, but it is because they are such a weak
selfish lot, and because their qualities do not affect the question of
our duties to them. The Redemption would never have taken place if it
had depended on our merits.

I must say I rather revel at the thought of the dismay which will
attend the reduction of salaries to quarter their present rate, they
have been so very selfish about these things. I believe if the Mahdi
would only give them half the present rate, they would go to the Mahdi,
but the Mahdi’s service is _gratuitous_, so there is no fear of that.
I go out, a black Bashi Bazouk addresses me on the inadequacy of his
pay and rations. I whisper to him, “_Go to Sheikh el Obeyed_,” he grins
and evaporates. I do not care a bit now. We must either be relieved,
or fall, before the end of November, or at the end of November. I am
meditating the sending down of “_Husseinyeh_” with this post; if the
Arabs come to Halfeyeh I then cut off all hopes of our escape, for the
_Ismailia_ steamer would not be fit to go down to Berber. The financial
affairs up here will be a precious job.

It amuses me to find people here holding on to the delusion that the
old state of affairs is likely to come back as to the Government, and
saying, “You are going to stay with us as Governor-General, and things
are to be as of old.” I answer, “I would not take you again at any
price after your meanness.” They say, “Oh, yes, the people are not well
behaved, &c., &c., but you will stay _for the glory of God_” (_i.e._
our interests). They are an amusing lot: Allah on lips, self interest
at heart, and such self interest, as is _positively naked_, and they
even laugh at it.

A soldier and a slave came in to-night to Omdurman. They say the Mahdi
is undecided what to do. The regulars with the Mahdi have been robbing
the Arabs, so the Mahdi has taken away their arms.

Spy in from Sennaar fifteen days ago with letters,[167] which say
Sennaar is all right. This was in answer to a letter I sent to Sennaar
saying, “Expedition was on its way to relieve the _garrisons, so
Sennaar depends on me to see after it_.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 28._—The man who came from Sennaar says the Mahdi has ordered
all the Arabs to congregate at Kartoum from all parts. Sheikh el Obeyed
has made a station close to Giraffe, on right bank of Blue Nile. They
have two boats plying across the river, taking corn from Sheikh el
Obeyed to Waled a Goun. Arabs had a reconnoitring party in the ruins of
Omdurman village this morning.

One lieutenant, one sergeant-major, four soldiers, and one boatman
came in this morning from the Arabs at Omdurman. Rumour says the
steamers have been looting Shendy (I hope that it will be remembered
none of the Egyptian soldiers, officers, or Pashas are to come up here
again). The boatman left Berber six days ago. He says the Arabs at
Berber have sent the captured money, &c., of Berber into the desert;
that Seyd Mahomet Osman, with a mixed force, were two days’ march
from El Damer; that the five steamers have brought Shendy, &c., into
subjection; that the road from here to Shendy is free of Arabs, who
have gone into the desert; that only in a certain district _near_, but
_higher up_ than Shoboloha, there are marauding Arabs, but no great
number; that the _Abbas_ passed down safely; that the two boats which
had wood in them alone were captured, being abandoned on being emptied;
that at Dar Djumna a sheikh pretended to be friendly, and tried to
capture the steamer, which fired on the Arabs, and killed a lot; that
three spies from Seyd Mahomet Osman were captured trying to communicate
with Dongola, and were executed; that _a man went with a camel from
Berber to Dar Djumna, and came back in one day_; that the expeditionary
force is at Dar Djumna. The officer reports the Mahdi most undecided,
one hour disarming the regulars, and at another hour arming them; the
Arabs deserting, and others joining the Mahdi day after day.

A mine was exploded by a man on the North side, and I hear he is
dangerously wounded, if not dead. On questioning the boatman again he
explained the _Dar Djumna_ is not the cataract, but is a place (near
the cataract, just below Berber) one-and-a-half days from Berber. They,
the expeditionary force, had eight steamers (one, the old screw boat
of Dongola, I had towed up from Wady Halfa in 1878). The man said the
_Abbas_ went on to Dongola (why was it not sent up with the others?). I
have given half month’s pay to all ranks below sergeant-major. I only
owe them now half month’s pay.

If the General of the expeditionary force has sent up a force, _by Nile
to Berber, to take Berber_, and _then_ if he marches across with _bulk
of force_ from Merowé, in my humble opinion he has done the right thing.


If Berber had not been taken it would have been a picnic. Baring!!

The force going up Nile from Merowé to Berber would have pretty
well quieted the banks of the Nile, for the _triangle_ contained by
_Merowé_, _Abou Hamed_, and _Berber_, so that the bulk of the force,
moving from Merowé to the captured Berber, would only be exposed to
attacks from the south flank, where there are few people. My experience
is that whenever you can possibly do so, never expose yourself to be
attacked on all points of the compass; at any rate secure yourself on
_one flank_. The force advancing up the Nile were protected on one
flank, the Nile; that going across from Merowé to Berber, will be
protected on the north flank by the subjugated triangle. Arabs this
evening appear not to intend to come to Halfeyeh. They have a station
at Giraffe, and another at Kokoo, which is nearly opposite Giraffe, on
right bank of Blue Nile. (End of this _blotting paper_!)[169]

Ferratch Pasha tried again in a roundabout way to get the £150 a
month, forage (_i.e._ Dhoora) for four horses, and rations for ten men;
he utterly failed, and had to content himself with £100 a month: they
are a mean lot. (_Do not let any of those Egyptians_ in the steamers
_come back here_ is my earnest prayer.) (Floyer will be furious at
this misuse of telegraph forms.)[170] I am truly delighted that the
_Abbas_ did not leave the Greeks behind, and only abandoned the boats
carrying wood. I hope in fourteen days to have another sister steamer
to _Abbas_ and _Husseinyeh_ completed. I have told them to rivet her
only six inches above water line, and to put holdfast rivets for the
upper portion which is above water, and which does not require to be

They say that the _Fascher_[171] steamer had a gun on her; she went
aground near Abou Shourim (the Father of the Truth), and got delayed in
her pursuit of the _Abbas_. The man wounded by the mine is wounded in
the head, chest, and legs; there is not much hope of his recovery.

Awaan (Stewart’s friend, the secretary of Arabi) is behaving very badly
in prison; he was put in chains by mistake and released, but it has
had no effect: he abuses the soldiers. I expect he wrote to the Mahdi
and told him of Stewart’s departure and of the “Journal.” His arrest
is said to have been of great effect in the town; he is said to have
preached for a long time in favour of the Mahdi.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 29._—To-day, year 1301 A.H., is said to be about the date
of Hicks’s disaster; it was on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd November, but with
the Arabs it was the 12th, 13th, 14th Moharrem. The news was known in
Cairo three weeks after the event occurred; _since that date up to this
date_ nine people have come up as reinforcements—myself, Stewart,
Herbin, Hussein, Tongi, Ruckdi, and three servants, and not one penny
of money.[172] Of those who came up, two, Stewart and Herbin, have
gone down: Hussein is dead, so six of the reinforcements alone remain,
while we must have sent down over 1500 and 700 soldiers, total 2200,
including the two Pashas, Ibrahim Hardar, and Hussein Cheri, Coetlogon,
&c. The regulars, who were in arrears of pay for three months when
I came, are now only owed half a month, while the Bashi-Bazouks are
owed only a quarter month, and we have some £500 in the treasury. It
is quite a miracle. We have lost two battles, suffering severe losses
in those actions of men and arms, and may have said to have scrambled
through, for I cannot say we can lay claim to any great success during
the whole time. Things apparently went against us when we thought we
were getting the best of it.


I believe we have more ammunition, Remington (though we have fired
three million rounds at the Arabs), and more soldiers now, than when
I came up. We have every reason to thank God for His protection. We
had many untoward and unexpected misfortunes; the death of Berzati
Bey[173] at Gitana; the almost unprofitable first trip of steamers to
Sennaar, and their useless delay; our defeat (after El foun victory),
by which we lost the active part of our troops, and our fighting
Pasha, Mahomet Ali; the surrender of Saleh Pasha and 1500 men, with
the capture of the _Mahomet Ali_ steamer; the fall of Berber, with
two steamers lost. It is really very wonderful that, with such few
successes and so many heavy disasters, we should be in the position
we are now. Of the reinforcement, Stewart and Tongi got wounded. We
have lost three steamers, two at Berber and one at the Blue Nile, and
we have built another, the _Husseinyeh_, and hope to have another
finished in a fortnight, which makes our loss only one. The defeat
near El foun brought about the arrival here of the Mahdi, which might
have been very serious, but his arrival has been apparently rendered
innocuous. We have £40,000 in Treasury IN PAPER, and £500. When I came
up, there was £5000 in Treasury. We have £15,000 out in the town in
paper money. When I came, we had two Pashas, _Ibrahim Hardar_, _Hussein
Cheri_; we have now two, _Ferratch_ and _Nutzer Pasha_. Two women,
wives of the men who escaped yesterday (with another very small brown
baby), came into Omdurman to-day. They say the Arabs are very angry
about the desertions; also a boy came in. It would seem, looking over
the past months, that, if taken in detail, events have been very much
against us; while, if taken generally, we have been most successful. I
always had an idea we would not be allowed any success which we could
impute to ourselves; that events would be so ruled that we should just
_scramble_ through and have nothing to boast of. Mahomet Ali Pasha’s
defeat was owing to his and his men and the people of Khartoum’s desire
to _loot_ Sheikh el Obeyed (the _man_, not the city). It was against my
grain, for I wanted to capture Berber, which was the proper military
operation to undertake; it was only because they were so anxious, and
represented the affair as so easy, that I consented to it. Perhaps, if
_we_ had taken Berber, Her Majesty’s Government would have said that
no expedition was necessary for the _relief of the garrisons_; but it
would not have been correct to reason thus, for, though Berber might
have been taken, we could not have garrisoned it; and it would have
been a barren victory, and not have done much towards the solution of
the Soudan problem or withdrawal of the garrisons, while it might, on
the other hand, have stopped the expedition for _their relief_.

It is the Mahdi’s men who have made the station at Kokoo on right bank
of the Blue Nile opposite Giraffe, not the men of Waled a Goun; I
expect it is to overawe the Sheikh el Obeyed.

The Baggaras on the north side captured this morning three of the Arabs
(one is brother of the writer whose things were found on the bank,
and whom we supposed to have been murdered); they were stealing three
horses belonging to Saleh Pasha. A slave came in from the Arabs at
Omdurman; he says the Mahdi says, the Moharrem being a sacred month, he
does not mean to fight; he did not act on that view _in re_ Hicks; but
then Hicks attacked or tried to attack him.

Doubts are thrown on the veracity of that boatman, for he told some few
lies about how he went to Berber in a Government boat, which is not
true. However, his report cheered us for a time. Some one (Talleyrand?)
said, “If a lie got currency for twenty-four hours, it did its work.”
I am still of opinion, however, if the season was not so far advanced,
and the Nile on the fall, that the route by the Nile for a COVERING
force was a correct one, but it ought to have been undertaken in July
with a rising Nile.


The three men caught to-day say the “_expeditionary force is still
at Debbeh_,” and I expect this is the truth, for the eight steamers
coming up the Nile is scarcely possible now, since the Nile is falling.
The distance direct from Kartoum to Debbeh is nearly 250 miles, and if
the Kababish are friendly, the road is not a bad one; however, I think
_Ambukol to Metemma_ (could the force know I had the five steamers at
Metemma) would be better, for it is only 150 miles, and from Debbeh
to Ambukol there is water transport. The road from Ambukol to Metemma
does not plunge so deeply into desert; indeed, _Merowé to Berber_, 150
miles, with water transport from Debbeh to Merowé, would be best of
all, if the force could cross the Nile at Berber. The only enemy the
force will meet with, on any of the three roads, are camel-men and
horsemen, till it arrives on the banks of the Nile.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 30._—This morning the Arabs came to Halfeyeh, capturing some
of our heedless people; whether they will stay there or not I do not
know—rumour says they are on their way to Shoboloha and Shendy to
repel the ravages of steamers.

You have the map made by railway engineers of the route from Ambukol
to Metemma, which must have all information, wells, &c., &c. I should
put five station forts along the line, and when I made my debouch
at Metemma I should split off one detachment to capture Berber, and
another towards Kartoum, taking care of any guns in Shoboloha defile
(during which passage I should march the men, and not leave them in the
steamers or boats). I would make my base at Metemma for all operations
in the Soudan connected with the Nile Valley—the numbers I have put
for the forts along road are probably in excess of what would be

The Arab force which went towards the north (? Shendy) consists of 200
footmen, and 50 horse.

Two men came in from the south front—they say the Sheikh el Obeyed
is with the Mahdi; and Waled a Goun, and Abou Gugliz are at Giraffe.
I expect that the Arabs have captured one of our merchant’s boats at

We have 1300 men in the North Fort, yet 250 Arabs went boldly across
our front to Halfeyeh, and we do not dare to show our noses; this
speaks for our _morale_.

A slave came in at Omdurman; he says the Mahdi says he will not fight
until after Moharrem (to-day is 12th Moharrem).

Arabs fired on the lines from near the White Nile to-day, but did no
harm. Not being able to sleep last night, I was late in getting up,
and consequently every one also slept and no proper look-out was kept
on the Arabs. I should think I had written twenty orders about their
keeping a look-out, but it is of no use. The Arabs have gone back to
Giraffe. I am going to make the officer of North Fort pay compensation
for the men wounded, and to the families of those killed, in this raid.
The map made by the railway engineers (1874-1875) must have every
information as to water supply on Ambukol-Metemma road.

In reality, the relief of the garrisons is only a question of
crossing over a _well-surveyed road_ of _150 miles_, at the end of
which are found _five steamers_ and _nine guns_: of course there is
a great deal of trouble in transport arrangements, but no particular


_I believe we_ (_i.e._ those Shaggyeh) lost to-day twenty-three
soldiers taken prisoners, one killed, one wounded; seventeen cows, five
women, eight slaves, three donkeys, seven horses,[174] twenty-four
Remington rifles[175] captured; and this after I had repeatedly warned
them of an impending attack, and specially warned them last night after
the capture of the three spies. They, these Shaggyeh, number 1200;
on the other side, with 30 horses, the Arabs were not 200; they made
no attempt to defend themselves; dreadful lot, how I look forward to
their disbandment! Had I left them at Halfeyeh what a time I should
have had with them. The Arabs have paid us off with interest for our
cavalry raids of a few days ago. If any troops come up, as soon as the
environs are clear around Kartoum, I would recommend their immediate
disbandment. I cannot see any reason why the “_expedition for the
relief of the garrisons_” should not have _captured Berber_, and
_arrived at Kartoum on 10th November_ (Lord Mayor’s Show), which is
giving ample time; saying that troops did advance from Cairo on the
15th August, which I guess (from Kitchener’s laconic dispatch of 31st
August) was the case. That strong rumours could not have been known
at Debbeh (for at least twenty days) that Kartoum steamers were at
Metemma (plundering right and left) is most unlikely, even if my many
spies (sent with notes to this effect) did not get through one of their
number. These rumours should have pointed out that the Ambukol-Metemma
road was THE ROAD to follow[176]—even if not decided on before, which
is most probable.


  Ambukol to Nesgee            24 hours.
  Nesgee to Om Halfa           12   ”
  Om Halfa to Gakdal           12   ”
  Gakdal to Klela Abou         18   ”
  Abou Klela to Metemma        12   ”
  Caravan                      78   ”

 Wells plentifully supplied.

 _No wells of import on flanks._

 I expect water can be found along Wadi Abou Gir, as water is found at
 Kambok, which is on a higher level. I shall anticipate no danger for a
 force of 200 men as far as Gebil Gelif well—that takes 60 miles off
 this march of 150 and leaves 90 miles.

 In the centre you have the wells Abou Halfa and Gakdul, 12 miles
 apart. This central portion is distant Ambukol 80 miles, Metemma 65
 miles. There appear no wells on flanks where Arabs can assemble in any

_October 31._—Three men, soldiers, came in from the Arabs on the White
Nile last night. To-day it is 7-23/30 months, or 233 days, since the
Arabs appeared in our immediate neighbourhood, since which date we have
had no peace.

It will be bitter cold in the desert, and I think, of all the deserts,
that of Dongola is the coldest. I do not think I should send Nutzi
Pasha and the Egyptians you take out of the steamers down further than
Dongola, for the moment, for if you do you will put Dongola on the
_qui vive_ as to the evacuation. Certainly, for those who are for a
rapid retreat, having a _tête du pont_ (so to say) at Metemma, much
facilitates the movement; for the garrisons and the people of Kartoum
and Sennaar. Shendy-Metemma is evidently the chief strategical point
of the Soudan; for from it you reach Kartoum, Sennaar, and Berber by
water, and Kassala by the Atbara valley; but, short of making Fowler’s
railway to Shendy, I should prefer the making of stations along the
Nile, for a peace route and for small forces, as by the Nile you get
free of camel transport, which depends on the temper of the Arab
tribes; besides, the Nile route is cheaper, and could be put into
execution with one high Nile.

The three soldiers who came in last night have one sergeant-major
among them. He says Mahmound Khalifa wrote to his father, who is
with Mahomet Achmet, in which he says that the English General wants
him to get camels in great haste; that he is delaying as much as
possible; that the English General wants to go in one body; that he is
trying to get him to go in four bodies; _that Mahmound Khalifa_ is a
traitor, like all his family; and he should catch it, for I expect this
information is correct. The sergeant-major says that Mahmound Khalifa
is at Dongola or Debbeh. The Mahdi is going into a cave for this month
and next; he is now in his cave. All the Europeans are with the Mahdi
(not in the cave). Slatin is very good friends with the Mahdi, and
_sees him_ every day (?). (This is rather against the cave report.)

The mysterious Frenchman is not with the Mahdi, but in Kordofan. The
letter which I spoke of as coming from Mahmound Khalifa arrived at the
Mahdi’s camp fifteen days ago, so left Dongola about twenty-two days
ago (9th October). Can it be remembered whether at that time, viz. 9th
October, any altercation took place on subject of march?[177] In the
letter is a remark, that the English General said he wished “all to
go together, for he would not leave a sick man behind.” The man says,
Mahmound Khalifa wrote another letter to his father, stating the start
from Dongola towards Berber. I can produce the sergeant-major who gave
this information.

Church parade much as usual. I expect they exhibited the captives of
yesterday. It is extraordinary if we are employing Mahmound Khalifa,
when his father, Hussein Pasha Khalifa, is a _so-called_ prisoner of
the Mahdi. Stewart knows, I think, that the father gave up Berber by
more or less treachery.

I hope the Mudir of Dongola will look after this man. The
sergeant-major says “that the Mahdi declares” he will execute the
Sheikh el Islam (whom I put in prison) for preventing our surrendering,
by which bit of news _I read_ that an adherent of the Sheikh el Islam
got some friends of his to bribe the sergeant-major _to say this_ while
on his way to the Palace.

Three men more have come in—one sergeant, one corporal, and a
slave—from the Arabs at Omdurman. They say many Arabs leave daily for
Kordofan; the Mahdi has sent three companies of regulars to bring back
deserters; the Mahdi has been taking women from others, which makes the
Arabs doubt his holiness; he has only forty rounds for each Krupp gun,
of which he has two. The slave was a great fat bull-faced fellow. He
was honest, for when I asked him why he came here, he said, “because he
got so little to eat with the Arabs.” His appearance belied his words.
These men said nothing of the cave business. The living skeleton in
hospital (Stewart knows him) departed this life yesterday—I will not
say, deeply regretted, except by _me in a small way_, for I knew him so
long. It turns out that the Shaggyeh chief who commanded in the North
Fort slept in town the day before yesterday night, and so was absent at
yesterday morning’s catastrophe; also the officer Osman Bey, who went
down to Berber with steamers to escort the _Abbas_ past Berber, and who
let the _Fascher_ pursue the _Abbas_ never reported this man’s absence;
I have turned them out, and cut them each a month’s pay. (No sentry
as usual, on North Fort. They are incorrigible. 2 P.M. Though their
men have gone to look for missing rifles, I ordered them thirty blows:
_i.e._ the sentries.)

Two cows have kindly walked into Omdurman Fort. The Arabs fired a few
shots on the lines near the White Nile, which did not reach them; I
expect the Arab chiefs send out the regulars and tell them to fire on
the lines, and the regulars obey orders much as my orders are obeyed
here. The North Fort hate my telescope; day and night I work them. It
is one of Chevalier’s, of Paris, which I picked up here and gave £5
for, it is by far the best glass I ever saw. Commander J. Baker, R.N.,
has the _best_ opera-glasses; he got them from me at Berberah in 1878,
in exchange; they belonged to the Egyptian Government. It was the
father of Hussein Pasha Khalifa who led the Egyptians into the Soudan
in 1823. The family comes from Assouan, for this, the grant of monopoly
of commerce through Korosko desert was given to the family. It was
taken away from them in Ismail Pasha Ayoub’s time, about 1872, and I
restored it to them. I heard the Mahdi gave them this monopoly after
the fall of Berber, or rather agreed to their retaining it. I think
the only good one of the family was Sheikh Hamid, who died this year.
I sent the horsemen of these Shaggyeh out to the scene of yesterday’s
disaster; they recovered a horse! two donkeys! and three Remingtons!
and found the body of one of their slaves. I am going to make them pay
for the lost Remingtons, nineteen in number now. I cannot afford to
have Remingtons thrown away like that. This recalls to my mind how,
when I had 700 men in the North Fort, which consisted of two houses
distant sixty yards apart, the great Melon, who was in the house where
the telegraph office is, declined to open the door of his house and
sent a message to the other house, for fear of the Arabs, who were
camped three miles distant. It was like this:

I have ever felt the greatest insecurity respecting the lines, for I
believe one hundred determined men would carry them with ease, if they
made their attack on the Shaggyeh or Bashi Bazouk part. These creatures
used to shut themselves into the houses at about 7 P.M., and never go
out till it was broad daylight; they were not eighty yards from the
river. The Cairo Turkish Bashi Bazouks, the Shaggyeh, and the Fellaheen
soldiers, I will back against any troops in the world for _cowardice_!
I expect the reason why the Arabs did not take the three recaptured
horses was because they were as frightened nearly as our men (_vide_
p. 259); the worst of it is, that it is taken generally as a thing of
“_matter of course_” by the Kartoum people, and, one may say, officers;
no one is a bit put out or ashamed; it teaches no experience. _Vide_
the absence of sentries on the fort to-day, who, I expect, cannot sit
down over-comfortably to-night after their thirty blows.


One cannot help feeling amused at these Shaggyehs, for they are the
most arrant braggadocios, as are the Cairo Turkish Bashi Bazouks, and
when you come up, if you do, you will see how they will exhibit. They
have little kettledrums about a span in diameter; whenever I hear them
I feel viciously inclined. This dates back many years. The Shaggyeh are
very quiet to-day; they are all boxed up in the houses; very few have
ventured out more than 2000 yards. The report is that they are ashamed,
which, if words could make them so, they ought to be; but I doubt it.
They have not beaten their kettledrums to-night; yes, they have begun
to beat them now. On one occasion, when I had two guns in their fort,
I had a truly miserable night; for a cow would have taken the fort,
though there were 1200 men in it. It was more for the guns than for
them that I was anxious. The horse, which was recovered to-day, was
saddled and _was_ bridled, but, like a wise brute, as he could not eat
with the bit in his mouth, he put his foot on the bridle and broke it
off. I telegraphed to the rider “that I felt sure he could not look him
in the face after leaving him out all night for nothing with the saddle

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 1._—The Arabs came up to their old fort in front of Bourré
this morning and fired a few shots; they did not stay five minutes
there. A Boulak Basha, his son, and two slaves came in to Omdurman
and report the Mahdi is in the cave; that Slatin has retained all his
property; that the Arabs continue to desert the Mahdi, who sends the
regulars after them; that the deserting Arabs fight the soldiers, and
have killed many of them; that the Arabs generally doubt the mission
of the Mahdi, and wish for the return of the Government. The Mahdi
is not going to fight during Moharrem and Saphia months. Two hundred
and fifty Arabs deserted yesterday. The Mahdi sent the regulars after
them, and four regulars were killed, and the deserters got away. Fifty
to one hundred per diem run away. These people are a fine lot. The
merchants of the market have been refusing to give more than three
and a-half reals for a sovereign, five to six reals being the proper
rate; so I captured nine of the chief of them, and have sent them to
the lines with a pretended order to send them out to Waled a Goun, but
with orders to keep them on the lines. I hope this will cure them. I
shall let them in again when they sign a paper agreeing to my terms.
Of course it is tyranny, but there is no other course to be pursued.
The nine culprits, three soldiers with fixed bayonets before, three
soldiers with ditto behind, and a mounted cavass on each flank, are
wending their way to the lines through the market. Quite a procession!
My servants are my staff. I never hear these sort of things from the
officials, who are bribed, I expect, to keep silence.

7 P.M. A small bright fire in direction of and below Halfeyeh, lasting
scarcely a minute. I flatter myself I keep a good look out.[179]

Two soldiers came to Omdurman, escaping from the Arabs this evening.
Nothing new.

One of the trying things of this existence is the way that one is
waylaid as one goes out with petitions for dhoora, and howled at. These
are the times when one feels _amiably_ disposed towards the gentlemen
who have ruled in Cairo for the last seven years.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 2._—Those men I sent out ostensibly to the Arabs have given
in, and I have let them back into town. I hate these coercive measures.
But what is to be done? This frightening them is better than putting
them in prison, or chaining them. No words are of any avail, or orders.
Two dervishes with their weapons presented themselves before lines this
morning, saying they had a letter from the Mahdi for me (at Mesalamieh
Gate). I said, “Leave the letter and go back; I will not let you in. It
is no use any more writing.”

The Arabs fired on the lines near the White Nile. We answered, and
committed some damage, from all appearance; for the whole Dem turned
out. I have forbidden all firing on the Arabs, unless they come so
near as to injure our people; for I expect this vague firing is only
performed by the captured soldiers to conform, in appearance, to the
orders of the Arab chiefs.

Letter has come in;[180] it is an address to the whole town; it has no
seal, the usual rubbish about the Mahdi being Mahdi, &c. A soldier came
in from the Arabs at Omdurman; he says the Mahdi is not in the cave,
but in a tent (very stupid man!) Some one has stolen 93,000 okes of
biscuit; this robbery took place nearly a year ago, and was only found
out two days ago. The people of the town wonder at one’s getting no
information; the last I had was from Kitchener, dated 31st August, and
received 17th September, now forty-six days ago. Had our people sent to
Kassala _viâ_ Massowah,[181] there is no doubt information could have
got through, but it is no use saying any more on the subject. I suppose
you acted according to “your conscience, best of your ability, and
custom of war in like cases.”

3.30 P.M. Sentries off the roof of the North Fort again; sent over to
have them flogged!

Rectified list of biscuit is 266,430 okes.

Dhoora is 2110 ardebs in magazine to-day—six weeks’ consumption!! and
then the sponge must be thrown up.

I could write volumes of pent-up wrath on this subject if I did not
believe things are ordained and all work for the best. I am not at all
inclined to order half rations with a view to any prolongation of our
blockade; if I did so, it would probably end in a catastrophe[182]
before the time, in which, if full rations are given, we should have
exhausted our supplies. I should be an angel (which I am not, needless
to say) if I was not rabid with Her Majesty’s Government; but I hope I
may be quiet on the subject of this Soudan and Cairo business, with its
indecision; but to lose all my beautiful black soldiers is enough to
make one angry with those who have the direction of our future.[183]

Arabs fired four rounds this evening towards the lines near White Nile,
but did no harm (one shell fell in the town) with their Krupp.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 3._—Two women and one boy came in to Omdurman from the
Arabs; also seven cows walked into the same place. To-day is _our_
anniversary of Hicks’s defeat. I have let out several of the men whom I
had arrested as adherents of the Mahdi; they have had a good warning.

4 P.M. _Bordeen_ in sight: I have let out the Sheikh el Islam, Cadi,
and the old Mudir. A soldier came from the Arabs to Omdurman; he says
Slatin is a prisoner for the last three days. With this man came in a
spy from the Mahdi, whom I put in prison. The Mahdi has sent regulars
to the rear. I shall send down the _Bordeen_ the day after to-morrow
to Metemma, and shall send the _débris_, Tongi & Co. down with the
steamer, and you can send them on to Cairo. I think this is noble on
my part, for you get their boats and they use your camels. The post
has come in from _Bordeen_. Kitchener’s letter, saying “_Abbas_ was
captured” was a terrible blow (I send back the letters sent to Stewart
in envelope).[184] Kitchener asks who were on board: Stewart, Power,
and Herbin, the French Consul, and the Greeks named in the margin on
the other side.[185] I cannot understand it, for the general opinion
was that the route was quite safe for the _Abbas_, which had a mountain
gun and some fifty soldiers in her. I can only put it down to some
treachery on the part of the Arabs pretending to be friends.

I cannot decipher Lord Wolseley’s telegram,[186] for Stewart took
the cipher-books. (Please inform Foreign Office of _this_, for if he
[Stewart] is killed, and _Abbas_ captured, they, the cipher-books,
are in the hands of the Mahdi.) I think cipher-messages are in some
countries, like this, a mistake.

The Shendy steamers sent back ten wounded from Shendy, one seriously;
and I hear they had five killed. For goodness’ sake do not send back
any Egyptians, _now_ in steamers, to Kartoum; I include Pashas,
officers, men, and exclude the sailors, engineers, and captains of

If _Abbas_ is lost, I hope a Court of Inquiry will be held on the
departure of Col. Stewart and Messrs. Power and Herbin; for when they
left we had no news of an Expedition of Relief—_vide_ my journal; also
it was generally believed that the passage of the _Abbas_ down was an
absolute certainty without danger. I also add that Stewart, Herbin,
and Power left of their own free will, and without any order from me,
as the papers captured would show, if ever available. I refused to
_order_, but I said, “If you like to go, I will assist you to go. It is
at your own risk. The service you will perform is great, and you can do
no good here.” _I wrote this to Col. Stewart_, in an official letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 4._—I received private letters from Stanley, dated Congo,
5th May, and from Sir S. Baker, 1st June. I like the official
note written on the envelope of Sir Samuel Baker’s letter to
me—“Communications avec la Soudan interrompées.” I should think the
communications were interrompées!!!

The Arabs have one gun at Shendy and one gun at Metemma; they struck
_Mansowrah_ four times.

I looked upon the descent of the _Abbas_ as a certainty. I looked
upon the relief of Kartoum as most uncertain; hence I sent down the
cipher-books of the Foreign Office. Perhaps the _Abbas_ got wrecked
on the cataract. It is very sad. There is a report that the Sheikh el
Obeyed is dead; if true, it will simplify that vexed question with
Foreign Office of the _man_ and the _city_. Arabs fired five shells
at the Lines to-day; we answered with two, and they retired. If the
capture of steamer is corroborated, tell French Consul-General that the
Mahdi has his cipher, which was with Herbin. _If Abbas was captured
by treachery, then I am not to blame; neither am I to blame if she
struck a rock_, for she drew under two feet of water; and fifty boats
(sailing) used to go down yearly to Cairo, with high Nile; _if they
were attacked and overpowered, then I am to blame_, for I ought to have
foreseen the chance, and prevented their going. But when they left we
knew nothing of the Expedition, and I passed them under escort through
Berber, which was the apparent only danger they had to meet. The Mahdi,
if it is true that he has captured the _Abbas_, found two of his own
seals,[187] which we had forged but did not use, also all his letters
to me, and the journal was in most careful detail, hour by hour, so to
say. Steamer leaves at daybreak, 5th November, 1884.





         *       *       *       *       *


  _Vol. VI._

  To be pruned down if published.


         *       *       *       *       *

  _Copy of letter that accompanied this diary._

  KARTOUM, _10 Nov., 1884_.


  Since departure, 10 Sept., of Lt.-Colonel Stewart,
  C.M.G., I have kept a daily journal of all events at
  Kartoum, which contains also my _private_ opinions upon
  certain facts, which perhaps it is just as well you should
  know confidentially. You can of course make extracts
  of all official matter, and will naturally leave my private
  opinions out in the case of publication. I have already
  sent five portions of this journal, and now send the sixth

  I have the honour to be,


  Your most obedient servant,


  The Chief of the Staff,
  Soudan Expeditionary Force.



_November 5._—Steamer _Bordeen_ left this evening for Metemma.
According to all accounts the presence of the steamers at Shendy and
Metemma cause the Arabs great annoyance, for the Arab chief of Berber
keeps calling for them to come down and help him; while they say, “If
we do, then the steamers will pillage our houses.” I cannot get out of
my head the _Abbas_ catastrophe; that the _Abbas_ (with her 970 bullet
marks on her, her gun, and her parapets, which were bullet-proof),
could be captured by force, seems impossible; that she ran upon a rock
seems unlikely, for she had her sides defended by buffers, sunk one
foot in water. I also had warned them against ever anchoring by the
bank, also to take wood from isolated spots; in fact, as far as human
foresight goes, I did all my possible. Why did you let them go? The
matter was thus. I determined to send the _Abbas_ down with an Arab
captain. Herbin asked to be allowed to go. I jumped at his offer. Then
Stewart said he would go, if I would exonerate him from deserting me.
I said you do not desert me. _I_: I cannot go; but if you go, you do
great service. I then wrote him an official; he wanted me to write him
an order. I said “No, for though I fear not responsibility, I will not
put you in any danger in which I am not myself.” I wrote them a letter,
couched thus: “_Abbas_ is going down; you say you are willing to go in
her, if I think you can do so in honour—you can go in honour, for you
can do nothing here, and if you go you do me service in telegraphing
my views.” You will notice the number of Greeks. They were a bodyguard
I ordered and paid highly, to prevent any treachery on the part of the
crew. Thus the question of treachery was duly weighed by me and guarded
against, as far as I could—both on the part of the crew and on the
part of the inhabitants—and I told them to anchor mid stream, and not
to take wood except in isolated spots.[188]

I escorted them by two steamers past every place where danger could
be apprehended, viz., Berber and Shendy. They appear to have been
captured in a comparatively thinly populated place, below Abou Hamed.
I feel somehow convinced they were captured by treachery—the Arabs
pretending to be friendly—and surprising them at night. I will own
that, without reason (apparently, for the chorus was, that the _trip
was safe_) I have never been comfortable since they left. Stewart
was a man who did not chew the cud, he never thought of danger in
prospective; he was not a bit suspicious (while I am made up of it). I
can see in imagination the whole scene,[189] the sheikh inviting them
to land, saying, “Thank God the Mahdi is a liar”—bringing in wood—men
going on shore and dispersed. The _Abbas_ with her steam down, then
a rush of wild Arabs, and all is over! A spy said something of a
chief having pretended to be friendly, and when the _Abbas_ was near,
rushing on her, but then he said the _Abbas_ turned on them, and killed
seventy-two or seventy-three (see back page of this Journal).[190] It
is very sad, but being ordained, we must not murmur. I look on it as
being a Nemesis on the death of the two Pashas.

I do sincerely hope you will have a strict examination into the
question of Stewart, Power, and Herbin going down. What makes me
think so much of the capture being by treachery is, that the two
sailing-boats which went with the _Abbas_ have not arrived at Debbeh,
for if the _Abbas_ struck on a rock, why could not the boats come on?
I expect they were all caught at one _coup_. 11 P.M. last night Arabs
fired twelve shells into the town from their Krupps on the South Front,
they did not frighten us and did no harm. At midnight they fired two or
three volleys of musketry with no effect. Four soldiers came in from
the Arabs at Omdurman. They state the Mahdi sent a party of Arabs to
Sennaar, the garrison sallied out and killed nearly all of them. Also
that the Baggara Arabs, under pretence of getting better pasturage
for their cattle, asked the Mahdi to let them go from his camp some
distance, he agreed, and they the people no longer regard the Mahdi as
before. Hussein Pasha Khalifa is good friends with the Mahdi. The Arabs
came near Bourré and fired a few shots, and then went back. I expect
that the Arabs sent the regulars out, and go through this as a mere
form, one of these men[191] was with Slatin Bey when he surrendered,
and says he did so when he had plenty of food and ammunition, and that
he (Slatin) is on the best terms with the Mahdi. We shall not know the
truth until the other Europeans get out of the Mahdi’s clutches.

Stewart had about £60 in gold with him, and _every paper_ connected
with our mission. I purposely kept none here, for one did not know what
one day would bring forth; when he left on the 10th of September we had
lost over 800 men killed, and 978 Remingtons, with a lot of ammunition
on 4th of September, only six days before he left. Baker tells me news,
he says Clifford Lloyd has left on account of row with Nubar, and that
China and France have come to terms.

One shell from the Arabs went over the town and fell in the river.

I have mentioned that Stewart’s journal contained all events from 1st
March, 1884, to 10th September, and if lost there is only the journal
of the Doctor, which begins 7th March, 1884.

I wish the correspondent of the _Times_ to know this, and to be told
that the Doctor has promised me that the _Times_ shall have the first
offer of that journal. Stewart was wounded near the Palace, at 6 A.M.
on Sunday, 25th May, in the arm (flesh wound). If Sennaar has beaten
back the Arabs a second time I cannot see how it is possible to abandon
the garrison, and if they are to be relieved, I see at least a delay
of four months; all this could be avoided by handing the Soudan over
to the Sultan with a subsidy. When Stewart left we were at the lowest
ebb, the Arabs from Kordofan had arrived with their guns, and our three
steamers were just in from Sennaar, with seven shot holes in them.

Hansall, the Austrian Consul, has a daily journal; Power and Herbin had
one also.

I have captured[192] all the European telegrams which we sent and
which we received. I shall hand them over to you, as they are in
cipher, and as you may have the F. O. cipher books, you can peruse
them. Stewart (as I have said) carried off the cipher books with
him; he had two copies of the journal, but I did not like to ask
him to leave one here, as I said, have bolted—they are his best
horsemen—also that “you can send one home, while you keep the copy to
refer to.”

I send with this the Firman of Towfik and the letters[193] respecting
the troops withdrawing, which I received at Cairo on the 23rd January,
1884, and which have not been promulgated.

If Stewart, Power, and Herbin died because they would not change their
religion, they are as much martyrs as Peter or Paul.

A black boy of ten years was caught by the Arabs outside of the Lines
this morning, collecting grass, and he escaped from them this evening
and came back to the town; he is a smart boy.

If the _Abbas_ is taken, the Mahdi has the small seal I used in my
former time, and he captured at fall of Berber my large seal, so he
has both. If it is true, the _Abbas_ must have been captured between
Abou Hamed and Merowé, on or about the 18th September. Now, on the 18th
September the Arabs must have known of Kitchener being at Debbeh, since
he wrote to me from that place on 31st August. Probably Stewart was
lulled into security in feeling himself so near Merowé, and on account
of the news the Sheikh gave him of the advance of the expedition.

Abou Hamed is one hundred miles from Merowé, which, with the
current, the _Abbas_ could do in twelve hours, and there is only
one small cataract to pass, which is, by all accounts, an easy one.
Stewart had a supreme contempt for the Soudanese people, and for their
courage, which I do not share. That our men are not heroes, I agree,
but we had against us the feeling that the Arabs were ten times our
numbers, while we had received no reinforcements whatever.[194] If he
(Stewart) has fallen, it is because he was carried away by the idea the
Arabs would not dare to do anything. Power had the same defect, viz.,
over-rashness in not considering the material they had to support them.
You may be very strong yourself, but your strength is of no avail if
you are supported by weaker vessels. The rate of progress of a fleet
is decided by the speed of the slowest vessel, so up here one ought
to work as if the whole mass was as cowardly as the greatest coward
in the force. If the _Abbas_ went on a rock she had two boats (which
I expressly mentioned to Stewart were to be taken in case of such an
accident), and they could have got into them, and, with the current,
got down easily. I sent, in 1878, a boat with a large tank, in which
were four hippopotami (infants); it got down to _Cairo_ in fifty days
from _here_, and Stewart had the Reis, or pilot of that boat, in the
_Abbas_. Humanly speaking, when Stewart left here the condition of
Kartoum was desperate; while, on the other hand, when once the _Abbas_
passed Berber, which we escorted her past, the certainty was she would
reach Dongola, and even we discussed whether Dongola might not have
fallen, and agreed that the _Abbas_ even in that case could have got
down to Wadi Halfa, in which case I told Stewart to go on with her to
Cairo. Men may not remember the case of Captain ..., who took a middy
up against Taepings with him, which middy was killed. Middy’s father
... made a great row about this. Why did ... take the middy up, &c.
I say, in defence of my letting Stewart go, that both he, Power, and
Herbin felt our situation here was desperate after the defeat at El
foun—that I had, over and over again, said it was impossible for me to
go, physically impossible, because even my servants would have betrayed
me (even if I had felt inclined to leave), and I would die here (even
going so far as to have two mines brought to the palace with which to
blow it up if the place fell). These three men’s ideas were that it was
shabby to leave me, but when I showed them they could do no possible
good by being prisoners, and when I said I shall send the _Abbas_ with
the journal, then, first, Herbin, then Stewart, and then Power, said
they would go in her. A long conversation took place between me and
Stewart, he wishing me to _order_, I declining to do so, on account of
eventualities which might arise: it ended in my writing the letter I
alluded to in former pages of the journal. I avow I was glad they went,
1. because I thought it was quite safe; 2. because I knew if Europe
knew of the state of affairs the Government would be shamed into action.

Remember that this was when the last telegram[195] from Egerton was to
the effect that “Her Majesty’s Government would pay _on delivery_ for
all who came down, if I contracted with Arabs.” Stewart’s idea was that
every order of Her Majesty’s Government, or wish that they expressed,
was indisputable. We often discussed the nuisance we must have been to
Her Majesty’s Government in being sent up here, and I think he was, to
some degree, actuated by a desire to aid Her Majesty’s Government when
he went down, for then it only left one nuisance (myself), and I had
so completely exonerated Her Majesty’s Government by my letters, and
the notes in his journal, that they might, as far as I was concerned,
have let the garrison fall. On my part, I do not think I could have
done Her Majesty’s Government a better service than to have, at any
rate, tried to send Stewart down with Power and Herbin, for certainly
it only left a small remnant here of Europeans (_one of whom is mad_),
and the French government could no longer say a word. Next, Stewart
knew everything, and could tell Her Majesty’s Government the pros and
cons, from their point of view, and with feelings akin to theirs, which
they would accept from Stewart, and never without suspicion from me (in
which they are justified, for I do not look on things from their point
of view). I told Stewart also, “I know you will act conscientiously
and honourably; but I know your opinions, and, therefore, as you
have all my views on the Soudan in your journal, I beg you will, in
answering queries of Her Majesty’s Government, make extracts from the
journal, and state ‘General G. says this, or that,’ while you are
at full liberty to give your opinion, even if it differs from mine,
but let Her Majesty’s Government know _when I answer_ and _when you
answer_.” Stewart, the night he left, wrote at my dictation a series
of questions, which I answered on half-margin of the same paper, and
in which I said, “If Her Majesty’s Government have not acted up to
time when you get down, then it is too late, and it is no use doing

A curious thing has happened; my friend Kitchener sent up the post;
he wrapped the letters in some old newspapers (he gave me no news in
his letter), the old newspapers were thrown out in the garden: there a
clerk who knew some English found them blowing about, and gave them to
the apothecary of the hospital, who knows English. The doctor found him
reading them, saw date _15th September_, and secured them for me; they
are like gold, as you may imagine, since we have had no news since 24th
February, 1884!

These papers gave us far more information than any of your letters.
Did K. send them by accident or on purpose? Abyssinian ambassadors
in London, Walmer Castle, &c.; my black troops beating back Ras
Aloula at Keren, not recognizing the Hewitt Treaty, and killing 194
of the Abyssinians, at Keren, _vide Standard_, 1 and 15 September.
Lord Wolseley seen off at Victoria Station, for the _Gordon relief
expedition!! NO! for the relief of Soudan garrisons_. Khedive
expressing delight at seeing Lord N., while during the audience the
Khedive displayed great cordiality towards Lord N. Abdel Kader saying
you would have four hard fights. I do not believe it.[196]

It appears that these newspapers were chucked out of the Palace; but
that a man saw the papers were thrown out, and said to the cavass,
“Give me those papers to wrap up tobacco.” The cavass gave them, and
the doctor’s assistant going to the shop saw them, and seeing the date,
took them, and then the doctor got them.

I think that the defeat of Ras Aloula, at Keren, if true, is splendid;
when the Abyssinian Ambassadors were being entertained at Walmer
Castle. The Hewitt Treaty, instead of aiding us, appears only to have
added to our enemies.

It does seem wonderful if Her Majesty’s Government have made a treaty
with King John to give over Bogos, _i.e._ Keren, _i.e._ Senheit, to
him (with other places), that orders were not sent to the fortress
to evacuate; but if the papers we secured are true, that Ras Aloula
was beaten back, it is evident no such orders were given. What an
extraordinary state of affairs! Mitzakis, in his letter to Greek Consul
here of date 25th of August, says, _that possession will be taken of
Keren_ (_i.e._ Senheit, _i.e._ Bogos) _at once_, and then we have the
telegram from Massowa that Ras Aloula has _attacked_ Keren, and lost
heavily (_vide_ the _Standard_ of 1st September). By these papers,
miraculously secured, I see we have made Minister of Interior Abdel
Kader Pasha; according to all accounts up here, he is “Abdel Kader and
the Forty Thieves _in one_.”[197]

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 6._—Three horsemen and four footmen (Arabs) came opposite
Bourré to-day on right bank of the Nile, and fired a few shots, and
went off on our firing two shots from Krupp. Also, the Arabs came
down with their guns to the White Nile end of Lines, and fired on the
Santals. A soldier of ours came in from Sheikh el Obeyed with his
wife and child; he says _Sheikh el Obeyed died_ four days ago (to the
great relief of Sanderson), now we have only the _city_ to deal with.
Two more soldiers came in from Arabs at Omdurman. The Arabs fired
seven rounds from their guns on the Lines near the White Nile. A post
was captured by Sheikh el Obeyed (with European letters, coming from
Kassala) just before his death; the porter of these letters was killed.

I expect that the naming of the expedition the Gordon Relief Expedition
is because the fiction “_that Her Majesty s Government has no
responsibility towards the Soudan and its garrisons_” is going to be
held to, and that the object of the expedition _thus named_, will be
considered as accomplished, if Kartoum is reached; but in that case,
how can the sending up Stewart and me be explained? It was certainly
because our Government thought they were responsible that we were sent;
also if Her Majesty’s Government has no responsibility, why did the
troops attack Osman Digma, and relieve Tokar?[198]

The Sheikh el Obeyed’s death will be a heavy blow to the Arabs, for his
following will no longer hold together.

Another soldier, with his wife, has come in at Omdurman.

These men report Sheikh el Obeyed dead, and that he is succeeded by
his son Achmet, and that not more than 1000 or 1500 are with him; the
Mahdi and the Arabs are against any attack on the Kartoum Lines. A good
many Baggara are still with Mahdi, who is daily losing followers.

A soldier was severely wounded this morning at Bourré.

They say Sheikh el Obeyed died of chagrin. He would not go and see the
Mahdi, who sent him word to give up all his property.

What a fury King John will be in, if it is true Keren has fired on and
killed his men; he will swear it is Towfik’s treachery. I wonder who
are the Treaty Powers—Towfik and King John, or our Government and King
John? Keren is only three days from Massowah, and it is not likely
they would invent this telegram. It makes one laugh, to think of this
addition to our enemies kindly given us.

The soldier (who came in with his wife and two children) says that
Sheikh el Obeyed captured a post with the Arab and European letters;
that he sat for some time in a comatose state, and then died; that
his people are all dispersing. This is a great comfort, for we will
have (D.V.) no fighting there. A soldier and his mother have come in.
They say the Mahdi moved his camp to-day four hours further off. This
evening the Arabs fired six times, with their guns, on the Lines near
the White Nile.

I knew Harrison[199] would come. Extract A[200] on the other side
shows you, A, if you cannot protect dhows _now_, how will you do so if
all the Soudan falls into hands of the Mahdi? Also extract B respecting
rebellion in Hedjaz, will show all their lands are in a fermenting
state, and will be well worked up by the Mahdi if he ever gets to
Kartoum. Another man who came in says the Mahdi has drawn closer to
Omdurman, and has _not gone further off_. I have an idea the Arabs will
make a try to take the place. A soldier was wounded on the Lines near
the White Nile this evening; he was fishing, and got hit. It certainly
does seem most miraculous that Suakin should be besieged[201] and dhows
captured close to it; no lesson has yet been taught these Arabs.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 7._—We captured two cows to-day at Bourré. Mahdi’s camp is
now alongside of Faki Mustapha’s, which is one hour and a half from the
Fort Omdurman.

A large body of Arabs left, with caravan, the Dem of Faki Mustafa,
in a north-west direction, towards the Gabra Wells, the Kababish
headquarters. The Dem of the Mahdi is not far from the river, by which
I conjecture he has his Krupps in position near there. Church parade
going on, average size. I am anxious for the flank of the lines ending
on the White Nile,[202] and have sent up a steamer to stay there. Four
soldiers, one slave and two women came from the Arabs to Omdurman.
The Mahdi means to attack Omdurman; he has received 120 camels of
ammunition; Slatin is in chains. These men say the Mahdi and the Arabs
have not the least intention of risking their skins against the fort,
but will shove on the Black Regulars they have captured. It is like
fighting one’s own flesh and blood; it is not fair warfare.[203]

If I am inclined to be vicious I have some little excuse, with women
yelling for dhoora, under the Palace windows! Church parade to-day, and
the approach nearer to us of the Mahdi’s camp, and his sending for and
getting 120 camel loads of ammunition, does not show he is wanting in
confidence, for if he did fear, he would never have sent for 500,000
rounds of ammunition; or if he had sent for it, he would have stopped
its coming, had he feared the advance. The fact is that the Tokar
affair, with the non-following up of the victory,[204] has given him
great confidence, which is strengthened by his Arabs capturing dhows
and firing on the lines of Suakin with impunity. Perhaps the non-firing
on Suakin for three days (August 30) means that the Hadendowa Arabs
have gone to assist Berber! I wonder whether it has not been observed,
that Suakin is perfectly useless if the Soudan is in the hands of the
Mahdi. I declare I think he (the Mahdi) has a fair chance of getting to
Mecca, if the rebellion in the Hedjaz goes on, and he gets Kartoum.

The Mahdi may, and I daresay has good information from Cairo, as
to the intention of the expedition, or he may reason, “They will
relieve Kartoum, leave me alone in my camp, and go back.” If the
Government instructions are definite, and going to be carried out at
any cost, and if they are to the effect that a _Rapid Retreat_ is to
take place, then nothing more is to be said. All I ask for then, is
to be put out of my place here,[205] to go on my way, and be no more
employed. That is not an unreasonable demand, for my mission here
was a special one, and not obligatory, like a military duty, and in
my position of Governor-General I am quite justified in having said
and done everything for the people over whom I was placed by Towfik
(following the “_fiction_” that he was independent) that I thought
would secure them safety. _If it is determined to abandon_ Sennaar and
Kassala (following the _fiction_ that the King of Abyssinia will look
after them), also the Equator, _to their fate_, after their gallant
defence, there is nothing more to be said, and the sooner this action
is performed the better, if it is to be performed at all. To execute
the operation, if it is confined to the evacuation of Kartoum, I can be
of no possible use, and I do not care to wait and see the Mahdi walk
in on your heels into Kartoum, which we have held against him for so
many months; neither do I wish to see Her Majesty’s forces dogged by
these Arabs all the way to Wady Halfa, or to receive the remonstrances
of those who have stuck to me. I am sure I have now written so fully
on all these subjects that there can be little room for further
discussion: you have to make up your mind and act. I have fully
expressed my views and desires, and shall _take, or try to take_, very
philosophically your decision; though I do most emphatically protest
against this abandonment, which will lead to greater disasters, and is
unworthy of our country.

The men who came in to-day say the Mahdi will attack Omdurman
to-morrow. The following decisions have to be taken if the rapid
retreat is carried out:—

1. Are the Government stores to be destroyed?

2. Are you prepared to supply transport for all who wish to go down?

3. Will you disarm the Shaggyeh ere you leave?

4. What will you do with the steamers?

I declare I should tremble to give these orders. As Governor-General _I
never would do it_.

5. Will you write to Sennaar and Kassala, and inform them of what you
mean to do, and exonerate me?

(A slave came in from the Arabs. He says the Arabs will not attack the
lines; that the regulars are all over with the Mahdi on the left bank.)

6. Will you negotiate with the Mahdi (no use, I expect) _in re_ the
deliverance of the prisoners (European) he has with him?

7. Would you object to aiding the black troops to go to Sennaar and to
fight out the question, with the view of saving Sennaar and Kassala

Two soldiers and one slave came in from Arabs at Omdurman; they say
the Mahdi will not attack directly, that Slatin is in chains for
writing to Kartoum; also Saleh Pasha. The Arabs fired two rounds from
their guns towards the lines near the White Nile this evening. They
fell short.

Supposing Kartoum evacuated, then Sennaar and Kassala fall. The Arabs
now fire on the lines at Suakin, and capture dhows in the Red Sea,
and there is a revolt in the Hedjaz. What is to prevent the Mahdi’s
adherents gaining Mecca, where there are not 2,000 men. Once at Mecca,
we may look out for squalls in Turkey, &c.

If decision is taken on the Rapid Retreat proceeding, the consuls
should be warned on your arrival.

If the British Government had only given us Zubair Pasha in March,
when I asked for him, we would not have lost Berber, and would never
have wanted an expedition. We would have beaten the Mahdi without any
exterior help; it is sad, when the Mahdi is moribund that we should by
evacuation of Kartoum, raise him again. The defect I laboured under has
been that I presented no rallying point to the people, not being of
their nation or creed.[206]

The Arabs began musketry fire on Bourré at 1 P.M., and before this
morning. It was quite like old times, when it used to go on for months.
I never got accustomed to it, for I knew what troops we had, and it
always murdered sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 8._—It must be obvious that if Zubair was with you, and
installed as Governor-General, with a semi-independent position and
a subsidy, in the present decaying position of the Mahdi, and your
temporary presence, he would rally around him a huge following, who are
now disgusted with the Mahdi and his dervishes, but who will be obliged
to hold to him, because you evacuate; even those people with us, we per
force oblige to join the Mahdi. Zubair’s installation would save you
all the bother of the Sennaar evacuation. You would have only to stay
up here a couple of months, and perhaps have to keep a detachment at
Berber and Dongola (in order that Zubair might get up more munitions)
for a time. You have now boats fitted for the communication by the
Nile, via Abou Hamed, and Zubair could soon put them along the Nile in
a chain. As for the slave trade,[207] the Mahdi will be ten times worse
than Zubair, and you could make the payment of the subsidy (to Zubair)
contingent on his not doing it on any vast scale. The Zubair solution
is the sort of half-way house between rapid retreat and continued
occupation, either by Turks or yourself.

The Mahdi could never get the people to rise against Zubair; it will
be only because they are presented with no rallying point, and per
force they will join him if you leave. They never would have joined the
Mahdi if Zubair had come up. It is only because Zubair was not here
that Berber fell.

6.30 A.M.—Arabs streaming across from the White Nile to Bourré. Some
Arabs on the right bank of the Blue Nile look as if they are coming
down that bank to the North Fort. I have ordered up the steamers
_Ismailia_ and _Husseinyeh_. The Arabs have found our weak point,
_i.e._ prolongation of our lines at Bourré, but the steamers will drive
them out.


7.30 A.M.—Fight still going on, steamer coming up the river. 8.30
A.M.—Steamers went up and drove the Arabs off the right bank of the
Blue Nile, who were enfilading our lines. The firing, which has been
continuous for four hours, has pretty well ceased. Up to this we have
had no killed or wounded, I am glad to say. During the night the Arabs
on the left bank of the White Nile (Mahdi’s camp) fired three shells
against the lines ending on right bank of the White Nile. A soldier
_fellaheen_ is thought to have deserted to the Arabs last night. 9
A.M.—The Arabs have collected in the vicinity of Omdurman Fort a
heap of cows, who seem drawing down towards the fort. I have ordered
_Ismailia_ to go down. I expect they will drive the cows on to the
fort, and try and explode the mines. The Arabs on the White Nile are
firing on the lines with their Krupp. 10 A.M.—Arabs are leaving the
vicinity of Bourré, and going back to their Dem near the White Nile.
The Arabs near Omdurman village are firing across the river towards

The Austrian Consul when taking his morning ride was surprised at
seeing two balls strike the water near, and so he returned. 10.45
A.M.—The _battles_ are over, and all is quiet. What a worry all this
is! The rockets from Omdurman drove back the advance of the cows; it
was an ingenious attempt, if meant.[208]

I expect the Arabs fired away 30,000 rounds to-day. We had _one man
killed_ in small steamer, and _one wounded_; in the fort we had _two
wounded_, and _one man_ was wounded by bursting of rocket tube at
Omdurman. I hate these rockets with sticks. Hale’s are the only decent
ones; not that the sticks have anything to do with their bursting. The
composition in these climates shrinks away from the case, and the fire
flares up the whole of the _exterior_ and _interior_ of the rocket. I
expect we are going to have a series of these festivities, which are
so wearisome. In the _Abbas_ there was a heap of money orders, &c.,
connected with the merchants here, so sure did they think she would get
down. Six soldiers came in from the Arabs, also four slaves, who report
the Arabs are thinking of putting a post at Halfeyeh. (I hope they will
not.) The Mahdi has about 8,000 men of sorts with him. Slatin is in
chains, also Saleh Pasha. Hussein Pasha Khalifa is great friends with
the Mahdi. Omdurman captured sixteen cows when they came near the fort,
also one slave. They killed one Arab. The men who came in say the Arabs
mean to continue this day’s festivities every day. They do not seem
to care much about the advance of the expedition, or are uncommonly
confident or ignorant. I do not at all enjoy the thought of these
_daily festivities_, they are “abrutissant,” as the Austrian Consul

It is very curious what a very little effect all our immense
preparations at Dongola, &c., has had on the course of events; one
may say they have not had up to the present the least, while I have
weakened myself by sending down my steamers[209] and four hundred
men (not, however, of the best quality). I expect we will have the
_festivity_ to-morrow on the White Nile end of the Lines, which is our
weakest part. I must not be blamed at looking forward to a repetition
of the past miseries; we truly have had a wearisome time for 241 days!
Another soldier has come in; he says the Mahdi thought Kartoum could
be bombarded from his new camp, but finds it cannot be done. If Lord
Wolseley did say he hoped to relieve Kartoum before “_many months_,”
he must have a wonderful confidence in our powers of endurance,
considering that _when_ he is said to have made this utterance, we had
been blockaded six-and-a-half months, and are now in our ninth month.
I am quite sure of one thing, that the policy followed up till lately
(and the policy which may be carried out, of abandoning Sennaar, etc.)
is one which will act detrimentally on our army; for what officer, if
he was in a fortress, could have any confidence that it might not be
thought advisable to abandon him. Her Majesty’s Government told me, or
rather my friend Baring told me[210] I was not to leave Kartoum for
the Equator until I had permission. I have his telegram (so that if it
was possible, or if I could do it) if I did leave Kartoum, I should be
acting against orders. This Soudan business will cost me £3000[211]
beyond my pay, at least, which I will not ask them or allow them to
pay. I shall get it from others, and I shall get another £1000 to buy
Stewart’s journal, if he has been killed or captured.

Another soldier is in from the Arabs at Omdurman which fort has
captured four more cows, that is twenty to-day (a cow is worth £20
in town!) £400! There is one thing which is quite incomprehensible.
If it is right to send up an expedition now, why was it not right to
send it up before? It is all very well to say one ought to consider
the difficulties of the Government, but it is not easy to get over
a feeling, that “a hope existed of no expedition being necessary,
owing to our having fallen.” As for myself, personally, I feel no
particular rancour on the subject, but I own I do not care to show I
like men, whoever they may be, who act in such a calculating way, and
I do not think one is bound to act the hypocrite’s part, and pretend
to be friendly towards them. If a boy at Eton or Harrow acted towards
his fellow in a similar way, I _think_ he would be kicked, and _I
am sure_ he would deserve it. I know of no sort of parallel to all
this in history, except it be David with Uriah the Hittite, and then
there was an Eve in the case, who, I am not aware of, exists in this
case. Remember, also, that I do not judge the question of abandoning
the garrisons or not: what I judge is the indecision of Government.
They did not dare say “abandon the garrison,” so they prevented me
leaving for the Equator, with the determination not to relieve me,
and the _hope_ (well! I will not say what their hope was) (“March,
April ... August, why! he ought to have surrendered, he said, six
_months_”)—there is my point of complaint. The second is the FICTION
that it is the Egyptian Government which governs Egypt; it is a _silly_
story, for every one sees through it. Can one imagine a greater farce,
than Lord Northbrook asking Towfik for the “assistance of Egyptian
Government to carry out this, or that.” I expect the two roared with
laughter over it (sorry I cannot manage a sketch of the scene). (Baring
would _never_ laugh, _it is too serious_, like jesting in church). The
third grievance is that Treaty with Abyssinia, under the screen of the
“FICTION,” (if it is _true_ it has been made); _however it is a dead
letter_, I am glad to say.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 9th._—Four soldiers, five slaves, of whom two are women,
came in, from the Arabs to-day. Desultory firing _on_ and _from_ the
Arabs at Omdurman, and the White Nile Lines.

Of the men who came in, one is a slave of Slatin Bey. The Mahdi does
not mean to fight _direct_; the Khalifas[212] and the Arabs want
to fight direct. Omdurman killed some of their men; the Arabs have
munitions; Slatin is in chains. These men brought in their rifles. The
Arabs lost at Bourré heavily, some bodies came floating down the river
to-day. A soldier came in from the Arabs. A few Arabs came and fired on
the fort at Omdurman, and wounded a slave in it.

The people up here would reason thus, if I attempted to leave: “You
came up here, and had you not come, we should have some of us got
away to Cairo, but we trusted in you to extricate us; we suffered and
are suffering great privations, in order to hold the town. Had you
not come we should have given in at once and obtained pardon; now we
can, after our obstinate defence, expect no mercy from the Mahdi, who
will avenge on us all the blood which has been spilt around Kartoum.
You have taken our money and promised to repay us; all this goes for
nought if you quit us; it is your bounden duty to stay by us, and to
share our fate; if the British Government deserts us that is no reason
for you to do so, after our having stood by you.”[213] I declare
_positively_, and _once for all, that I will not leave the Soudan
until every one who wants to go down is given the chance to do so,
unless_ a government is established, which relieves me of the charge;
therefore if any emissary or letter comes up here ordering me to come
AND RUN ALL RISKS. These remarks are produced by the extraordinary
confidence of the Arabs, combined with the Abyssinian Treaty and other
significant remarks in the newspaper Kitchener sent me—Gordon Relief
Expedition—who, I expect knows _more_ than I do, and that “THAT MORE
_is that the Expedition has come up for me personally_.” I hope, if
things do come to the worst, and that the Expedition goes back, my
steamers (_after abstraction_ of the _Fellaheen troops_) will be sent
back to this place, with £150,000 which Baring promised me! (or as
much as I wanted), and as much provisions as can be possibly spared;
also a gun to replace the one lost (or said to be lost) in the _Abbas_
trying to _communicate with Europe_ and _Cairo_. Unless Zubair is
absolutely required at Cairo, I would also like him to come up, or (_to
save appearances_) allowed to escape. I hope that Stewart’s supposed
death, if _by treachery_, will be avenged in a signal way, on the way

A boy was captured, during the cow business at Omdurman, but he said
his father was with the Arabs, so I let him go back.

I have now got all the “telegrams,” European, “_sent from_” and
“_received in Soudan_” for “1883-84,”—splendid collection, full of
interest. What would the _Standard_ give for them? However, I think I
can afford to be generous, and so I shall send them down with this Vol.

The fort at Omdurman captured twenty-one cows this evening; this is
splendid—forty-one cows in two days.

The only original document I kept here, and which I was as near as
possible giving to Stewart, is the Firman I have already mentioned,
which I send with this,[216] proclaiming the abandonment of the Soudan
by Towfik.[217] If the Mahdi had got this he would have crowed, though
he may know of it, for I showed it, not knowing well its contents, to
Hussein Pasha Khalifa (_vide_ Stewart’s Journal, which went down, and
in which I criticise my having done so). I felt inclined to give it to
Stewart, who, I felt confident, would get down, because I thought if
found with me the Mahdi might say, “Why, you had the order to give up
the country from Towfik, and you did not”; but, then, I thought as I
shall be killed ere he takes the town it does not make much difference
if here or with Stewart, so I kept it. I call attention to the fact
that _every document_ (except above-mentioned telegrams, of which
Stewart had taken copies) went down with him (Stewart), and that will
show how sure I felt that he and Power would get down, for otherwise,
if I had doubted, I would never have let my original instructions
go; now I have not a _single paper_. I cannot quote textually: all
went with Stewart; but I have my memory, and I even give you the
_Telegrams_. I have not written any dispatch concerning Stewart or
Power. I dare not, with my views, say their death is an evil;[218] if
true. I am sorry for their friends and relations. Stewart was a brave,
just, upright gentleman. Can one say more? Power was a chivalrous,
brave, honest gentleman. Can one say more? Herbin, I liked very much;
he was a most agreeable and gentlemanly Frenchman, and very sharp.
The diplomatic ... called him _names_ in a telegram; but I found him
fairly just,[219] though naturally with a French bias. For my part I
cannot see what harm the French can do us if they had a voice in Egypt;
and I can see much good arising from it. I declare if they had had a
voice in Egypt the present state of affairs would never have existed.
If you can find _no chivalry_ in your own house, you had better borrow
it from your neighbour. We fired yesterday 41,000 rounds of Remington
ammunition, and we fired _less_ than the Arabs.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 10._—This morning forty Arabs came down near Omdurman Fort,
and fired on it—angry about the capture of cows last evening.

One soldier and one slave came in from the Arabs at Omdurman. Seven
Arabs on camels went across from the Blue Nile towards Halfeyeh. I fear
a reconnoitring party, previous to their putting a post there. To day
is the day I expected we should have had some one of the Expedition
here. Hicks’ defeat was known at Cairo on the 21st or 22nd November,
since which reinforcements to extent of nine persons reached this place
(up to date) from Cairo—“for which the Egyptian Government” (according
to the FICTION) “is solely and entirely to blame”!!!!!

The man who was wounded by the mine is dead. If man knew what the
future would bring forth he would be pretty miserable. Look at the
telegram on other side, written in December 1883.[220] I would not
read those telegrams, or Stewart’s Journal, for a good deal, when I
think how we kept feeding on delusions for so many months. A soldier
and slave have come in from the Arabs at Omdurman; five more soldiers
and three slaves came in later on in the day; they say Slatin is
released from his chains; that there is a rumour of the advance of
the Expedition direct on Kartoum from Debbeh; that Luigi and Yusef,
two priests, are still in Obeyed, having refused to become Muslim;
that the Arabs lost heavily at Bourré the day before yesterday. Why
Kitchener[221] did not tell me the route the Expedition would take
is inexplicable, for it could have done no possible harm, seeing the
Mahdi has his spies everywhere, and it was easy to have couched this
information in terms I could have understood, and the Mahdi could not
have understood. The Fellaheen soldier did go to the Mahdi.[222]

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 11._—This morning, 6 A.M., 200 Arabs came to north of
Omdurman Fort, and fired vollies towards the village of Tuti and the
Fort; the Fort answered, and the footmen of the Arabs retreated; then
the Arab horsemen made the footmen go back again, and so on, four or
five times; at last they retired. We had three soldiers and one woman
wounded; only one wound was at all serious. Arabs must have fired five
thousand rounds; evidently they do not wish much to fight. Nineteen
Arabs came along the right bank of the White Nile from Halfeyeh to
Goba, and captured a donkey, this even the Shaggyeh could not stand,
and so I suppose one hundred sallied out and some fifteen horsemen;
then came a running fight across the plain, but it was evident the
horsemen would not head the Arabs; however, from the roof, it was
evident four or five Arabs were killed, and the pursuit is still going
on. You may imagine the Arabs have a good deal of confidence, for their
nineteen men were distant at least ten miles of desert from their camp
and were at _a_. They were going along _b b_ when they were discovered
with the captured donkey. Five at least of these Arabs got away. The
Arabs are sure to come down to avenge this. Noon.—Arabs coming down
from their camp. _Ismailia_ getting steam up. North Fort reports (?)
“Captures, 3 Remingtons! 3 spears! 3 swords! and the killing of 20? 5
got away?” The Arabs are halted on the sand hills. Five soldiers and
one woman came in from the Arabs at Omdurman, report, “Arab rocket-tube
broken; carriage of gun broken; the Arabs deserting; rumoured advance
of the expedition; quarrels going on; _Slatin in chains_.” The Shaggyeh
say they killed twenty Arabs, but they only say they captured nine
arms, so eleven must have been unarmed!!!


It appears 93,000 okes + 166,000 okes = 259,000 okes of biscuit have
been stolen in the last year, only found out now; however, we have now
quarter of a million okes, which will see us only for a month or so. It
appears that more than thirty of the principal merchants are engaged
in the above robbery of biscuit. The process is not finished. One of
the greatest problems will be what to do with those Shaggyeh, those
Cairo Bashi Bazouks and fellaheen soldiers, whose courage is about
equal,—perhaps the palm is due to the Shaggyeh. The twenty cows I
mentioned as captured by the men of Omdurman Fort (making up forty-one
captured cows, page 309) _were driven in_ by five soldiers _escaping
from the Arabs_ and _were not captured_. They do not stick at a lie
(and, in this, resemble some people in high places I know). 259,000
okes of biscuit was a good haul, nearly 2½ million pounds: worth
£26,000 now, or £9000 in ordinary times.[223]

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 12._—Last night three slaves came into Omdurman. At 11 P.M.
they reported Arabs meant to attack to-day at dawn. It was reported
to me, but the telegraph clerk did not choose to tell me till 7 A.M.
to-day. We had been called up at 5.30 A.M. by a violent fusillade at
Omdurman. The Arabs came out in considerable force, and, as I had not
been warned, the steamers had not steam up. From 5.30 A.M. to 8.30
Arabs came on and went back continually. All the cavalry were out; the
expenditure of ammunition was immense. The Arabs had a gun or guns on
the bank. Details further on, as the firing is still going on.

10.20 A.M.—For half-an-hour firing lulled, but then recommenced,
and is still going on. The _Ismailia_ was struck with a shell, but I
hear is not seriously damaged. The _Husseinyeh_ is aground (I feel
much the want of my other steamers at Metemma). 11.15 A.M.—Firing
has lulled; it was very heavy for the last three-quarters of an hour
from _Ismailia_ and Arabs; it is now desultory, and is dying away.
_Husseinyeh_ is still aground. The _Ismailia_ is at anchor. What a
six hours of anxiety for me, when I saw the shells strike the water
near the steamers from the Arabs; imagine my feelings! We have £831 in
specie and £42,800 in paper; and there is £14,600 in _paper_ out in
the town! I call this state of finance not bad, after more than eight
months’ blockade. The troops are owed half a month’s pay, and even that
can be scarcely called owed them, for I have given them stores, and
beyond the regulations. Noon.—The firing has ceased, I am glad to say.
I have lived _years_ in these last _hours_! Had I lost the _Ismailia_,
I should have lost the _Husseinyeh_ (aground), and then Omdurman, and
the North Fort! And then the Town! 1 P.M.—The Arabs are firing on the
steamers with their two guns. The _Husseinyeh, still aground_; that is
the reason of it. Firing, 1.30 P.M., now has ceased. The _Ismailia_,
struck by three shells, had one man killed, fifteen wounded on board
of her; she did really very well. I boxed the telegraph clerk’s ears
for not giving me the telegram last night (after repeated orders that
no consideration was to prevent his coming to me); and then, as my
conscience pricked me, I gave him $5. He said he did not mind if I
killed him—I was his father (a chocolate-coloured youth of twenty).
I know all this is brutal—_abrutissant_, as Hansall calls it—but
what is one to do? If you cut their pay, you hurt their families. I
am an advocate for summary and quick punishment, which hurts only
the defaulter. Had this clerk warned me, of course at daybreak, the
steamers would have had their steam up, and been ready. We have a
Krupp at Mogrim Fort. Ferratch Pasha reports he has dismounted one
of the Arab guns. The Arabs had a show of four hundred horsemen, who
kept far off. Telegraph was, and is, interrupted between this and the
Omdurman Fort (whether by bullet or otherwise is not known as yet).
Considering that the Arab mountain gun can (and has) made holes _two
feet square_ in the steamer, my anxiety is not to be wondered at. (I
feel as if I had walked thirty miles.) We fired eighty-three rounds of
Krupp at the Arabs from Mogrim, forty-three rockets. The Arabs fired
three hundred and seventy rounds from their guns at the steamers. As
for ammunition (Remington), we fired from _our steamers_, forts, &c.,
fifty thousand rounds; and I certainly think the Arabs fired as much,
Omdurman certainly was “OVER-EAGER TO FIRE ON THE ENEMY”[224] in the
early dawn, and consequently wasted ammunition. This ends the greatest
battle (_as yet_) of our second blockade. Spies (of last night) say it
was undertaken against the Mahdi’s wish, by his Khalifa or Vizier, who
persuaded him to allow it. During all through, the Arabs of the South
and East never moved a peg. Like the Chinese, one may calculate, they
will never assist one another.

This is our _first_ encounter with the Mahdi’s personal troops. One
tumbles at 3 A.M. into a troubled sleep; a drum beats—tup! tup!
tup! It comes into a dream, but after a few moments one becomes more
awake, and it is revealed to the brain that _one is in Kartoum_. The
next query is, where is this tup, tupping going on. A hope arises
it will die away. No, it goes on, and increases in intensity. The
thought strikes one, “Have they enough ammunition?” (the excuse of bad
soldiers). One exerts oneself. At last, it is no use, up one must get,
and go on to the roof of the palace; then telegrams, orders, swearing,
and cursing goes on till about 9 A.M. Men may say what they like about
glorious war, but to me it is a horrid nuisance (if it is permitted to
say anything is a nuisance which comes on us). I saw that poor little
beast the _Husseinyeh_ (a Thames launch) fall back, stern foremost,
under a terrific fire of breechloaders. I saw a shell strike the water
at her bows; I saw her stop and puff off steam, and I gave the glass
to my boy, _sickened unto death_, and I will say my thoughts turned
on ... more than on anyone, and they are not beneficent towards him.
My boy (he is thirty) said, “_Husseinyeh is sick_.” I knew it, but
said quietly, “Go down and telegraph to Mogrim,[225] ‘Is _Husseinyeh_
sick?’” Answer, “No.” I asked again; answer, “No.” Then telegraph said,
“She was aground.”

2.45 P.M. The _Ismailia_ tried to take _Husseinyeh_ off, and got
struck twice, in addition to the three times before mentioned, with
shells, so she desisted from the attempt. The Arabs are firing on the
_Husseinyeh_. I have ordered the Krupp of Mogrim to play on the Arab
guns, and shall wait till night to take off the _Husseinyeh_. She is
nearer to the _left_ bank than to the _right_ bank; it is not clear
if she is aground or half sunk (equally a trouble). 3.30 P.M. The
Arabs are bringing their guns nearer to the aground or half-sunken
_Husseinyeh_. The _Ismailia_ reports that the two last shells have done
her no material damage. 4.30 P.M. The Arabs have now three guns bearing
on the _Husseinyeh_. 6 P.M. The firing has ceased. I hope to get the
_Husseinyeh_ off at night. 7 P.M. The Arabs keep up a dropping fire
on the _Husseinyeh_, who, I hear, has two shell holes in her, and has
six men, including the captain, wounded. I must say the Arabs to-day
showed the greatest of pluck; over and over again they returned to the
attack, though overwhelmed with the musketry fire of the castellated
_Ismailia_. I think they must have lost heavily, for at times they were
in dense groups. I believe that by the _Arabs_ we may understand _our
own regulars captured in Kordofan and Darfur, &c._ We are going to get
the _Husseinyeh_ off to-night _if we can_. No Royal Navy vessels would
have behaved better than the _Ismailia_ to-day; she passed and repassed
the Arab guns upwards of twenty times, when any one well-placed shell
would have sunk her. Whether the crew knew it or not does not matter.
_I did, and felt comfortable accordingly._ The Arab guns were not 1,200
yards distant from her, and even less at times. She was struck five
times with shell. Remember that the _Ismailia_, is only a superior
penny boat, and that the Egyptian mountain gun is as superior to our
wretched seven-pounders as a three-pounder is to a twelve-pounder
Howitzer, both for range and for effect. You want a gun to make a hole,
not a gimlet-hole, which these seven-pounders do, and what wearisome
work to carry them!

All this worry is (humanly speaking) due to that chocolate-coloured
clerk of the telegraph not warning me. This evening there was an
ominous sign that the Arabs on the Blue Nile knew of our troubles with
the _Husseinyeh_. They came up against Bourré, but two gunshots drove
them off. At 4 P.M. the Arabs on the right bank of the White Nile fired
twelve shells against the Lines, and opened a fire of musketry for a
short time, but did no harm. I have given half a month’s pay to the
_Ismailia_ and to the _Husseinyeh_ crews, and $2 for the men who have
gone to get the latter off; she is _not half sunk_, but _is aground_.
There is (8 P.M.) a fire on the left bank of the White Nile, opposite
to Halfeyeh. The Arabs got into the ditch of the entrenched camp at
Omdurman, which is theirs. We only occupy the fort X. Hicks’ army were
in this entrenched camp. Arabs came to Y.

8.15 P.M. The Arabs have still their guns on the river bank, and are
firing at the _Husseinyeh_, whom I am trying, by my men, to get off.
Evidently they are not cowed, for generally they take their guns back
at night to their camp. Report from _Husseinyeh_ steamer:—-10.20 P.M.,
Wounded, 6; killed, 3; efforts as yet are ineffectual as to taking off
the steamer _Husseinyeh_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 13._—The _Ismailia_, 2 A.M., got struck by _two shells_
(?)[226] going to take off the _Husseinyeh_, so we took her gun out,
and her crew, and have left her. At 5.30 A.M., the Arabs commenced
firing on the Lines at Bourré, and 7 A.M. I see they are coming across
to Goba, bringing a gun with them. The Arabs at Omdurman are quiet. The
Arabs have fired five times with their gun at the Omdurman Fort. The
Arabs have got their gun at the village outside Sheikh Ali, near the
end of the Lines on the White Nile, and have fired shells at the Lines.
Our telegraph was cut yesterday evening with Omdurman Fort, and cannot
be repaired (8 A.M.), for the Arabs are shelling that fort. The Arabs,
on the North Side, have their gun on the low sandhills some 4,000 yards
off, and are shelling us; musketry firing going on at Bourré. The Arabs
had their guns last night defending the approach to the _Husseinyeh_.
We are repairing the _Ismailia_; the barricade of the steersman of the
_Husseinyeh_ got struck by a shell. We raised a parapet on the river
bank to defend any approach of the Arabs to _Husseinyeh_. Omdurman had
yesterday a quarter of a million cartridges—Remington.


Omdurman Fort has one and a half month’s supply of food and water;
it was a fault to place it so far from the river;[227] yesterday it
had not its flag up; to-day it has. The Arabs have sent 250 men to
Goba; but the village Hogali, which was the one close to the palace,
having been levelled, they are too far off to do us any harm. There is
a report in town, the Arabs say they will enter it to-morrow, and say
their prayers in the mosque on Friday. The Arabs at Goba are wasting
a lot of ammunition (Remington), their bullets do not reach us.[228]
They will be bothered for water, for we filled up all the wells in
Goba. 9.15 A.M. The Arabs have returned from Goba. 10 A.M. They have
made a long _détour_,[229] and have gone to the prolongation of our
lines at Bourré, on the right bank of the Blue Nile, where they are
firing heavily. I expect we fired 50,000 rounds yesterday, and the
Arabs rather more, while to-day the Arabs have fired a great deal. We
calculate that with Hicks’ army was lost 1,000,000 cartridges, and
now it is a year ago, during which time, with the firing there and
elsewhere during a year, two-thirds of that million must have been
expended, and they have no means to renew the cartridges; they cannot
have much more than 300,000 rounds.


The Arabs have now gone from opposite Bourré (11 A.M.), having fired
a nice lot of ammunition, and hurt no one in the fort. Omdurman
Fort is still cut off from us; Arabs at A B C. The Arabs certainly
got the best of it yesterday, though I expect they paid for it. It
appears the _Husseinyeh_ got aground through the captain, who was
afterwards wounded, not doing what the Reis told him. Fortunately I
had foreseen the likelihood of the fort at Omdurman being cut off, and
had provisioned it. If the expedition comes at all, it ought to be
here before long. We had fifteen men wounded yesterday, three rather
dangerously, and seven were killed. I never feel anxious about any of
the fights, except when the steamers are engaged, and then I own I am
on tenterhooks as long as they are out. 1 P.M. The Arabs have got four
guns down on the river, and are firing across the river at the Mogrim
Fort, which is answering by Krupp and rockets. We are not fortunate
with the little steamers I had brought out in sections from England; we
have lost, at any rate _temporarily_, one, the _Husseinyeh_; another,
the _Abbas_, where is she? And the Arabs have the third, the _Mahomet
Ali_, on the Blue Nile. The Arabs fired four guns on the lines near the
White Nile this morning (they fired sixty rounds). Musketry (3 P.M.)
going on across river between our men and the Arabs. Certainly we have
been left to almost the very last extremity, and I declare I think the
year will be complete, from the time Cairo heard of Hicks’ defeat, to
the time of the relief expedition arriving here!!! And I am sure, if an
enquiry was made, it would be made out no one was to blame.

The Arabs have eighteen boats plying as ferry from one side of the
White Nile to the other. They may try with these boats to get hold of
the _Husseinyeh_, or else to board her; there are only some bags of
biscuits on board; but as the steamer is blinded, if Arabs once get
on board, it would be very difficult to dislodge them, unless we sink
the steamer, for they will find the biscuit and so have plenty to eat.
Fifteen shells fell into the town this morning, but did no harm.

Nearly all the Arab force which came on the north side to-day were
slaves, with them perhaps forty horsemen Arabs. Eventually the Arabs
will find out the inconvenience of these Mamelukes.[230] Four bullets
came from the Arabs to the Palace to-day—2800 yards—and came with a
good force. A native of Kartoum came and complained he had had nothing
to eat for himself and family for four days; they found eight ardebs of
dhoora in his house; in another house forty ardebs were found.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 14._—8 A.M. The Arabs on both sides of the Blue Nile began
firing on Bourré at 5.30 A.M., and it is going on now. They kept up for
more than quarter of an hour a continuous roll of fire, and have wasted
a precious lot of ammunition. They brought down one of their guns and
fired a few rounds. Up to this time no one is wounded at Bourré.

Two men crossed from Omdurman, and report Ferratch Ullah as all right,
and as having no men wounded in the fort. The Arabs fired their guns on
the fort this morning.

An Arab tried to swim off to the _Husseinyeh_, whom (_they say?_) our
men shot.

I wonder where King John is, with his 200,000 soldiers?

I argue thus: 1. It would be impossible for the Expeditionary
Force, once having come to Dongola, not to move up to Metemma, or
to the vicinity of Berber. 2. That once at Metemma, or at Berber,
they will find the steamers, and consequently must communicate with
Kartoum. 3. Once they communicate with Kartoum they must assume the
responsibility of the government of that place (of course, when once
that responsibility is assumed, the decision as to what they will do
rests with them).

4. It is impossible for them to loiter long on the road between Dongola
(or Debbeh) and Metemma.

5. It will be impossible for them, _owing to the events of the last few
days_,[231] to avoid collision with the Arabs around Kartoum. A week
ago it might have been possible, but now the Arabs are too close to
the town to avoid it. Omdurman Fort being cut off will oblige action
being taken to re-open communications. The Arabs _may run away_, but,
somehow, since a few days, I doubt it.

A soldier came in from the North Fort from the Arabs this morning.

_Another fib_—they told me that they had got everything out of the
_Husseinyeh_ but the biscuit: it appears that the ammunition is still
in her.


No church parade on the right bank of Nile (Kalakla), but one is going
on at Giraffe on the Blue Nile. It appears last night that a boat went
off to the _Husseinyeh_, that the men in this boat got frightened at
the challenge of our own men and jumped into the water, and left their
boat. I went down to Mogrim, and found the _Ismailia_ has been struck
by seven shells, and is pockmarked with bullets all over. The Arabs
(some 400 rifles) line a long trench opposite the _Husseinyeh_: we have
erected a parapet on our side opposite her. The Arabs have four guns,
from which they kept up a desultory fire, doing no harm. The Arabs’
rifle-fire is continuous and futile, ours is less heavy, but I expect
equally futile, for the Arabs keep under cover. The Arabs fired regular
volleys, upwards of five, while I was there: they appear to delight in
the noise. The _Husseinyeh_ is about 1,200 yards from the point X, 800
yards from Y, and 1,000 yards to Z, where my trench is.

_Husseinyeh_ lies just off the end of the entrenchment of Omdurman
_entrenched camp_.

She has her stern to the Arabs.


A soldier came in to the North Fort from the Arabs on the Blue Nile,
and reports that a man with letters came the night before last to the
fort of Omdurman and called out to the sentries, but before they could
let him into the fort the Arabs captured him and the letters. I hope to
be able to-night to communicate by bugle sounds with Omdurman Fort.

Revised list of the robbery; 172,000 okes of biscuit they change every
day. We have to-day in the magazine 240,000 okes of biscuit, 1,326
ardebs of dhoora. Have ordered 1000 okes to be given away, and 4000
okes to be sold.

The Omdurman Fort is ill placed, as it cannot see the ground down to
the river, and is distant 1200 yards from the river. The Arabs on left
bank of the White Nile opposite _Husseinyeh_ number 500 (I expect all
are my soldiers), and they are so far away from any reserve that it
would be easy to crush them before they were aided, _if we dared to
try_, which we do not. I was at Mogrim Fort for half an hour, during
which time the Arabs fired, as I calculated, fifteen shells and 8000
rounds, and no one was touched; indeed, where their bullets went I
could not see nor hear. No stores could stand that, and up to sundown
they were still at it with rifles and guns. Bourré, in spite of all the
heavy firing, has no casualties; 80,000 rounds would scarcely cover our
_united_ expenditure to-day.

Reports from the Arabs at different times said the Mahdi had brought
200 (some say 120) camel loads of ammunition (Remingtons) from
Obeyed—say 200, and say that each camel carried 2 boxes, each box
1000, so that he had, before he began, 800,000 rounds; he must have
expended in the last week 250,000 to 300,000 rounds, and has left
550,000 rounds or 500,000 rounds. I do not expect he has 200,000 rounds
left, which is his weekly expenditure if he goes on at the rate he is
going now. We turn out on an average 40,000 rounds a week, and are
well ahead of our requirements. Looking at the Arab gunners with my
telescope, they never seem to bother themselves about aim, but just to
load and fire. It is, of course, different when the steamers are in
action. The officer in command of Mogrim Fort was wounded in the arm at
sundown. The captain of _Husseinyeh_ died to-day. We suppose that on
board the _Husseinyeh_, are the men I mentioned as having jumped out of
the boat last night on the challenge of the sentry, also a soldier of
Omdurman who swam off to her with letters from Ferratch Bey, commandant
of the fort, so we are sending off a boat to _Husseinyeh_ to take them
off. A workman in the arsenal was wounded to-day by a ball from Bourré,
distant 2300 yards. The Arab fire on Bourré renders the vicinity of the
palace far more dangerous than Bourré, the balls fall so plentifully
around the Mudirat, which is close by, that the Greek consul was
obliged to lay to for some time till the firing ceased: it is at least
2500 to 3000 yards from the palace to the place the Arabs fire from.

We have put the gun of the steamer _Ismailia_ on the bank of the Nile,
to cover the approach to the _Husseinyeh_; the Greek consul says “the
balls fall like water” on the road leading to the palace. I believe
a good deal, if you have the ammunition, in the dropping fire of
rifles, even at three thousand yards; the balls that fell on the palace
are fairly flattened, showing they have plenty of life to kill. The
buglers have communicated with Fort Omdurman, who are all well. 8 P.M.
to-morrow we will have signals with flags. Out of evil comes good—if
_Husseinyeh_ was not aground, the Arabs, instead of concentrating
their force and attention on her, would have devoted it on the fort,
which, cut off, would suffer; as it is now, the fort is unmolested.
Bullets rained on the hospital yesterday and to-day, but did no harm! I
calculate that the _Ismailia_ has two thousand bullet marks on her.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 15._—Last night we sent off a boat to the _Husseinyeh_, and
took off the soldier of Ferratch Ullah Bey, who had come from Omdurman,
also the ten men who jumped into the water from their boat the night
before. Ferratch Ullah writes he is all well; he wants ammunition!!! he
had 230,000 rounds three days ago: he says he has now 150,000 rounds,
also he has regulars, 470, each 100 rounds, 47,000; he has irregulars,
170, each 200 rounds, 34,000 altogether; in magazine of fort, 150,000
rounds, and with the men 81,000; total ammunition in fort, 231,000
rounds: yet he calls for ammunition!!! Hicks took 1,000,000. The
buglers communicated well with the fort at Omdurman; buglers then spoke
the soldiers on Mahdi’s side, but they did not answer; we invited them
to come over to us.

The five feluccas, which took the men off the _Husseinyeh_, were not
seen by the Arabs. I sent an engineer to take off the steam-valves of
the _Husseinyeh_; the five feluccas took off, _this time_, everything
from _Husseinyeh_, biscuit, ammunition, &c., &c. It appears that the
Arabs, who were watching the _Husseinyeh_, had gone off to Kerowé,
opposite Halfeyeh; but this is doubtful.

At dawn the Arabs opened a heavy fire with the usual futile efforts on
Bourré, also they fired with gun and musketry on Omdurman Fort.

At Omdurman Fort they have had, in the last few days, four killed and
sixteen wounded.

A shell from the Arabs struck _Husseinyeh_ yesterday, but did no harm,
for she is well aground. No wounded at Bourré to-day by the Arab fire.

The Bimbashi, who was wounded in the arm yesterday evening, was lying
on his angarep[232] when he was wounded: he thought it a secure place;
he died to-day.

The Arabs from Omdurman side of the river have kept up a desultory fire
of guns and musketry all day; but at sundown the fire was much heavier,
and if the Arabs go on like that for many days, they will be out of
ammunition, both gun and rifle.

It has turned out a benefit for us the _Husseinyeh_ going aground, for
the attention of the Arabs is devoted to her, and they fire scarcely at
all on the fort at Omdurman; even if we had her, she could do little
good: the other little steamer will be completed in twelve days.

I think I have been rather unjust towards the fellaheen soldier, for
though he is not brave enough to take the field, he has done good work
on board the steamers, and a good many of their officers and men have
been killed and wounded (thanks to the policy that has been followed
elsewhere) in a quarrel which does not concern them. These remarks are
produced by a visit I made to the hospital to-day, when I saw the mass
of the wounded were fellaheen soldiers, whom I put in the steamers,
because, when in action, they could not run away, while I kept the
blacks for the defence of the Lines. As I was leaving the hospital
to-day, a dead man was carried out by four men in chains (convicts) on
a stretcher, accompanied by two soldiers with fixed bayonets—to be
buried as a dog! This is part of the glory of war! According to the
demands for ammunition, we are firing away 40,000 rounds per diem; the
officers ask for fresh Remingtons, as by the constant firing those
they have are out of order. I feel quite indifferent, for, if not
relieved for a month, our food supply fails, and even at the above rate
of expenditure of ammunition we have fifty days’ cartridges. I like
to go down with our colours flying. The Arabs are quite equalling us
in expenditure, and they have no reserve of ammunition, or means of
repairing their arms. I am going to call the new steamer the _Zubair_,
after Zubair Pasha Rahama;[233] the town wanted it called after me, but
I said, “I have put most of you in prison and otherwise bullied you,
and I have no fear of your forgetting me.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_November16._—The Arabs quiet, little firing at Mogrim; I expect
the Mahdi has found out that his men have been making away with his
ammunition too fast, even as I have found it out. A small fantasie or
church parade is going on near the Mahdi’s camp this morning.

The Arabs at the Mahdi’s camp have moved the camp further inland;
they did this at sundown yesterday. It is on the _tapis_ that they may
retire altogether; if so it will be glorious. The camp opposite the
Lines on South is much diminished, not more than five or six tents.
The Arabs there have gone to Giraffe and El foun on the Blue Nile.
With the exception of the Arab guns firing on Mogrim, and our guns
answering, everything is quiet to-day. In a couple of hours the Arabs
fired sixteen shells without the least effect. Their gun ammunition
must be nearly expended. A woman was slightly wounded at Bourré this
morning. The Arabs work on a regular principle with the captured black
troops. They know that they will escape to us if they can, in the
first instance, so they keep them on short rations, and promise them
full rations if they fight us. They then force them into contact with
us for (at first) appearance sake and to get the full rations; when
in contact with us we fire on and kill some of them, then their black
blood gets up, and they retaliate _en bonne volonté_, and are egged on
by the Arabs, who say to them, “Now you have fired on the Government
troops you are in for it; the Government will never pardon you,” and so
thus we get no more deserters. It was the same way at Bourré, before we
fired on the Arabs we got plenty of deserters, but when once we gave
them a slating no more came in; they are compromised with the Mahdi’s
cause, and afraid of us if they come in. The Janissaries were the
children of Christian parents captured when young, and they fought with
vigour against the Christians when they grew up. Scarcely ever is the
true Arab in the front, so they say.

We have ninety men in hospital at present, of which fifty-four are
wounded. We had one man killed, and one wounded at Mogrim to-day. A
woman was wounded in the town yesterday. Report in town says seventy
of our captured soldiers have deserted and have entered the fort at

Having been assured by my officers that it was a most terrible risk
even to go along the bank near the _Husseinyeh_, even by night, owing
to the Arabs’ rifle fire, and being extremely sceptical of the past
(putting down the information given me as an excuse for doing nothing
towards taking off the _Husseinyeh_ the first night she got aground;
and also as an effort to enhance the danger and daring of those men who
did take off the ammunition, &c., the night before last), I went down
to-night at 11.30 and found it was all a myth, and that if I wished I
could take her off without any risk. However, as she is a target and
occupies the attention of the Arabs, who leave the fort at Omdurman
alone in consequence of her, I shall leave her as she is. Of course,
needless to say, I found all the officers in charge absent; _they had
gone home to bed!_ However, I am not put out at it. They are, as a
rule, the _very feeblest of the conies_, and nothing will change their
nature. The _Husseinyeh_ lies close to the junction of the White and
Blue Niles, and one may say is within our lines.

I daresay this is a repetition, but if we do get out of this mess it is
a miracle, for I do not think a slacker lot of officers ever could be
found, but a bad workman always complains of his tools. A good workman
turns out good work however rotten his tools may be.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November17._—It is really amusing to find (when one can scarcely call
one’s life one’s own) one’s servant, _already_ with one wife (which
most men find is enough), coming and asking for leave for three days,
in order to take another wife. Yet such was the case, a few days ago,
with one of my servants.

The Arabs this morning fired from their guns from Bourré, from the
White Nile, and from Omdurman; they are also keeping up a musketry
fire. At the Mahdi’s camp they had another “church parade” to-day.
I suppose they are working up their fanaticism. The Arabs have a
Nordenfeldt opposite the little steamer _Husseinyeh_. The town
people are pleased at the new steamer being called the _Zubair_; the
Anti-Slave Society will be furious.[234] If Zubair had come up, I
should have had news long before now.[235] It does seem ridiculous
that when our apparent policy is to hand over the Soudan to the Mahdi,
who with his people are far more slave hunters than Zubair ever would
be, we should not have utilized this man in this expedition. There are
about two hundred people on the Isle of Tuti, yet last night an Arab
came over, killed a man and carried off three donkeys; they do not
deserve the name of men. How Zubair would touch up these fellows; he
would go to Tuti and give all the men between eighteen and fifty at
least thirty blows of Kourbatch. I am obliged to content myself with

(“Count the months—March, April, May, June, July, August, September,
October, and half November! Why, I declare, it is a breach of

If it be true about the repulse of the Abyssinians at Keren, I expect
there were roars of laughter in Downing Street at the greenness of His
Majesty the Emperor John (as Mitzakis calls him). It is very odd, but
we have had no news of Kassala for months, not since September ... to
.... “You said _it was too dreadful_; what will you say when I tell you
he has made sketches of _you_ and ME? and how, horrible to relate, put
them in his demi-official journal; and we can do _absolutely_ nothing,
for if he is attacked as being a British officer, he says he made the
sketches as Governor-General, and _vice versâ_.”

Independent of my regret for Stewart, the loss of his journal affects
me, for there were lots of things in it of interest. All the powers
(including the Pope, and excluding England and France) were appealed to
in a touching memo., to raise an auxiliary force under Baker, &c., &c.,
and to stop the wave of Dervish fanaticism. I also wrote to the Sultan.
I do not know if these appeals ever got through, but Stewart had them
all copied in his journal. Events and my discourses had almost made
him latterly, as vicious as I am. Baring’s ears ought to have burned,
for the last eight months, he was nicely dissected by us all (Power
aiding). If Herbin, the French Consul, had got down Baring would have
had a time of it, for Herbin says that Barère, the French minister,
went to Baring before Herbin left, and Baring did not tell (Barère) any
thing about the evacuation of the Soudan. Of course Baring will shelter
himself under the “fiction” that he, as British minister, had nothing
to do with it. What a farce, if it did not deal with men’s lives.

When one thinks that Baring works harder than a galley slave for such
wretched results, one ought to pity him.

I have sent 150 of these superior troops (the Shaggyeh), to the Isle
of Tuti, in consequence of the outrage of last night (which I do not
believe in, _for that one man came over and killed another man, and
carried off three donkeys in a small boat_ is absurd). However, the
Shaggyeh are safer in the Isle of Tuti than in the North Fort. At 7
P.M. the Arabs came down and fired on Bourré from the left bank of
the Blue Nile. The officer (a full colonel of _my_ creation), asks
me “Is he to fire back?” I said, “Better _not_ ask me that question,
unless you want to catch it.” 7.15 P.M. Omdurman Fort is firing away.
I certainly lay claim to having commanded, more often than any other
man, cowardly troops, but this experience of 1884 beats all past
experiences; the worst of the matter is, that you cannot believe one
word the officers say. With respect to the major who was absent from
the Fort Mogrim last night, he says he was in the telegraph station,
which is a direct falsehood. However, I did nothing to him, more than
call him a liar, which he probably considers a compliment. A sort of
adjutant-major, whom I had borne with for a long time, told me _two
cold lies_ in _two days_, so I bundled him out. Can it be wondered
at that, after nine months and more of this sort of military worry,
and ditto of civil worry, I am heartily sick of the whole affair, and
provided _I_ am not made a party (and I _will not be_) to a shabby
retreat, I should be glad to be out of this place.

The Arabs fired fifteen shells against the Fort of Omdurman; only one
seemed to strike the keep; one man was wounded at Mogrim with the
splinter of a shell. The Arab gun-carriages must be in bad state of
repair, for our carpenters are continually at work making new ones,
and the Arabs have no means of so doing. The _Husseinyeh_ lies just
off the division of the White and the Blue Niles, and not as I showed
her position, page 327. All the scratched out portion is abuse of
Baring.[237] Some one said, “If you feel angry, then write your angry
letter, and then tear it up.” It certainly does relieve the mind
to write one’s bile, and it is good also to scratch it out, for I
dare say Baring is doing his duty better than I am; he is certainly
more patriotic, if patriotism consists in obedience to the existing
Government of one’s country.[238]

Doctor reports that the shells and bullets of the Arabs fell all
around the hospital this morning, but did no harm, they came from

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 18._—Everything quiet all round the place; they fired a few
shots with their guns at the lines near the White Nile.

11.30 A.M. The Arabs on the right bank of the Blue Nile have moved
towards the north, and, from the number of porters, I expect they are
going to form a camp to the north.

It may be turned as one likes; three prominent undeniable facts exist.
Her Majesty’s Government refused to help Egypt with respect to the
Soudan, refused to let Egypt help herself, and refused to allow any
other power to help her: this cannot be disputed or explained away.
Lord Dufferin’s despatch was “hands off.”[239] The resignation of
Cherif was the prohibition of allowing Egypt to help herself. This
tardy succour under pressure, and Baring’s despatch, establishes the
unwillingness to help.

The Arabs have settled down in the old Dem they occupied in March
last!! opposite the palace, and which they evacuated in August; their
vicinity will give us more spies, which we have lacked hitherto; this
proceeding does not show as if they were much appalled at the advance
of the expeditionary force. On the 12th March they pitched their tents
on the very spot they are pitching them now—251 days ago—during which
we have night and day been in hostilities with them, and been obliged
to keep on the alert “because of?” “because of?”—“What?” The answer
has been worn threadbare.

The Arab guns on Omdurman side firing 1.30 P.M. on Mogrim. They have
expended a lot of gun ammunition in last few days. 3.30 P.M. They are
still firing; one can distinguish the Nordenfeldt. I remember how,
when Hicks left for the Soudan, papers wrote of the great effect that
the Nordenfeldts were to have upon Arabs, like the French before the
Franco-Prussian war with their mitrailleuses. At 4 P.M. they fired
for a quarter of an hour quickly. This was caused by five cows which
approached the Fort, the men of which killed three (so to-night they
will have meat). The Arabs fired fifteen shells one after the other
against the Fort, for the outrage on their property. I shall have to
move these superior troops (the Shaggyeh) out of the North Fort, for
the approach of the Arabs has filled them with dismay. I have kept
moving them from every place the Arabs came near. It is really absurd
that one should have to pay and keep such troops. I will say Ferratch
Pasha (however irritating he is in some ways) is always the gentleman,
which I am sorry to say _I am not_, with the fury I get in on state
occasions. A woman came in from the south front; she says they were
all my old soldiers who are fighting on the left bank of the Nile,
and that they lost heavily on the day _Husseinyeh_ got aground. I am
moving _these_ Shaggyeh to the lines; it is no use exposing them to be
attacked. The Arabs now on the north front opposite the palace are the
men of the Mahdi, not as before the men of the Sheikh el Obeyed, who do
not seem to have entered cordially into the second blockade of Kartoum.
We had to-night the Arab forces all around us, and are regularly hemmed
in, but the town does not care a bit, and are fighting questions of
pay with me, for I am paying in paper the three months’ backsheesh I
promised them.

The major who was shot when lying on his angarep, and who died of
his wound, was 3,000 yards distant from the Arabs. We do not know yet
the effect of the rifle in a dropping fire. I offered, in paying the
three months’ backsheesh to the troops, to give orders for bulk sums
£120, £130, but they refused to accept them; they want the _regular
paper money_, so I have issued £10,000 more in £50 notes. In this paper
money notes _I am personally responsible_ for the liquidation, and any
one may bring an action against me, _in my individual capacity_, to
recover the money, while in the orders it might be a query whether they
(the authorities of Cairo) might not decline to pay the orders. Paper
money now cannot be bought at a discount. People have tried to buy it
up, but they failed.[240] I consider this is very satisfactory for
one’s credit. Her Majesty’s Government, as well as the Soudan people,
will not need to name a vessel after me in order to remember me, even
if they felt so disposed, which I very much doubt. We shall get lots
of spies in now the Arabs have hemmed us in. In these deserts, if you
leave a space unguarded you see at once any one moving over it; but if
you surround it entirely, there is the usual going to and fro, and thus
a spy slips in. I do not think it is realised what happened in Hicks’
defeat a year ago. 10,000 soldiers, including 2,000 cavalry, 4,000
camp-followers, 7,000 camels, perished in two days from thirst;[241]
1700 rifles, 1,000,000 rounds Remington ammunition, were captured;
7 Krupps, 6 Nordenfeldts, 29 mountain guns, with 500 rounds each,
were captured (perhaps 300 men were spared out of the host). Eight
Englishmen and 8 Germans were killed, and, according to all accounts,
they were so exhausted that they were unable to move. Stewart took
great pains to get all the details, and wrote them in his journal. The
Arabs have made a pyramid of the skulls. The major who was wounded at
Mogrim was sleeping in the telegraph station in the Fort. He found it
hot, and went out and got struck and died. If you went to the Fort at
Mogrim you would (on seeing the position whence the Arabs fire) say you
were as safe there as in Regent Street. This man was a very timorous
man, and had avoided every service of the least danger. It is of no use
fighting against your destiny. The doctor described to me to-night the
state of the town _a year ago_, when they heard of the defeat of Hicks;
and one compares it to our present state, when one may say perfect
confidence exists in the town, and every one has gone comfortably to
bed—it is a lesson to man to never despair.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 19._—The Arabs came down, 7 A.M., to Goba, opposite the
Palace, and fired, but did no harm; they are pulling down Seyd Mahomet
Osman’s house, which was spared. Ferratch Ullah did not dare to go
out for the three cows killed last night. The Arabs had a bugler
of ours with them at Goba; he bugled a call “1st Regiment!” and
then was apparently stopped, he then bugled “We are strong! We are
strong!” I have packed up and addressed to the chief of staff, Soudan
Expeditionary Force, “all European telegrams sent _from_ and received
_in_ the Soudan for years 1883-84,” and send the box with this portion
of the Journal.[242] The Arabs have put a gun in the breastwork on
the left bank of the White Nile below Omdurman Fort, so as to bar the
entrance to Kartoum on the north.

We have communicated with Omdurman Fort with flags, it is all right.
The Arabs are not firing to-day (since 8.30 A.M.). Twelve days have
to elapse ere the month’s rations become due; this evening it is
reported to me that those utterly useless troops—some fifty Bashi
Bazouks—began crying that they had nothing to eat, and even went
so far as to throw down their arms; now this is rather too much,
considering that they are receiving the full rations of soldiers, and
also the pay of men who are supposed to find themselves, so that it
is a perfectly gratuitous gift to give them rations at all, or if I
do so, I should cut their pay; the best of it is, that I _have given_
them full rations for the month, which has twelve days yet to run ere
that month is out. I do not know if ever the expeditionary force will
come here, and I do not know the policy which will be pursued; but
there is one thing I think I am justified in demanding, that is the
disbandment of these brutes, to whom only yesterday I gave a gratuity
of fifty dollars to erect their breastwork—a totally unnecessary
proceeding on my part. Of course if I can hand over the government
to the Expeditionary Forces’ Leader I have nothing to say; he can do
as he likes. What irritates me is, that a row like this is aided and
abetted by every officer, inasmuch as it is to me the row is brought,
they daring not to decide; of course, it must be seen, that situated
as we are, if one corps can take rations for a month and eat them in a
fortnight, and then get more, it is virtually giving double rations to
the troops, for if you gave to one part, all the rest would want it.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 20._—A caravan of 300 men and twenty camels came up the
left bank of the White Nile, from the direction of Metemma. 7 A.M. A
soldier who came in from the Arabs, says, “The Mahdi sent 2,000 men
down towards Metemma on account of the advance of the Expedition, who
are near Berber.” Also “reports the advance of King Johannes” (which I
doubt). I expect the caravan seen to-day is a caravan with _the money_
from Berber. Report in the town says the Arabs have been repulsed three
times by the Expeditionary Force. The Arabs are very quiet to-day;
their Nordenfeldt kept on grunting at intervals this morning. Four of
those precious troops the Shaggyeh (one a Bashi Bazouk), have deserted
to the Arabs; it was never reported to me. I have a suspicion that more
have gone. We communicated with Omdurman Fort by flag-signals; they are
all right. The Arabs fired from their guns on the White Nile, and from
the Omdurman side, a few rounds this evening.

It is rather astonishing to find that the row about the rations
the night before last, was made by the Cairo Bashi Bazouks, who are
completely at one’s mercy, for the Arabs would never look at them;[243]
they even went so far as to throw down their arms! A volley of lies
was told about this affair, trying to prevent me hearing the truth.
However, I got at the bottom of it, and have noted my friends. A
merchant here had a partner in business, who went to the Arabs eight
months ago with £3,000 belonging to this merchant, who coolly asks me
to pay the £3,000!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 21._—I do not believe one person has died of hunger
during the 8-11/30 months we have been shut up. Ferratch Ullah Bey,
in Omdurman, signalled, “Yes, I have 230,000 rounds, but I fire a lot
every day.” Now this is a corker, for I do not believe he fires ten
rounds without my personal knowledge, and I estimate his expenditure of
ammunition at under 2,000 rounds per diem. By this I expect he wants me
to open the road to him, and ammunition is only an excuse; but I do not
care to risk a defeat, or a momentary success, attended with a lot of
wounded (we have sixty wounded in hospital now). To-day year came the
news to Kartoum of Hicks’ defeat. He left this on the 3rd September.
The Greek Consul and the Greek doctor describes the arrival of news
thus at Kartoum: At night came in the _Bordeen_ with Coetlogon from
the White Nile. The Greek Consul was in his house. Marquet, the French
Consul, came to his house and said, “Come to my house, by the garden.”
He went to Marquet’s house; he found Hussein Pasha Cheri, Ibrahim
Pasha Haidar, Coetlogon, Power, and Hansall. He was told “_Hicks is
finished_.” The Consul sent a telegram to Towfik, “Hicks finished.”
Then Towfik sent a telegram that he would send up reinforcements that
night. Towfik had a large party at the Abdeen Palace, and reports were
rife that something bad was in the air, but nobody knew anything.
_Since that day no aid has come to Soudan._ I hear that the day before
yesterday two corporals (one who had come in from the Arabs), five
soldiers, and a clerk, all Soudan soldiers, deserted to the Arabs. This
was never reported to me. I expect the officers have robbed them.

Ferratch Ullah Bey, of Omdurman, signals he has only 43,000 rounds
left. This, out of 230,000 rounds, and I feel sure he tells fibs,
and is acting in order to force me to relieve him, which I shall not
attempt. He says he has had twenty-five wounded and eleven killed.
Church parades all round to-day. The Arabs fired at Bourré and at Tuti
this morning.

To-day I discovered a robbery of Ruckdi, my old clerk, about which
there could be no doubt whatever, so I have turned him out, and written
to cancel his being made a Bey. A woman came in from the Arabs. She
says the Expedition left Merowé for Berber, and that Mahomet Achmet
will try, on Monday, the 24th November, to take Omdurman Fort. This
is disagreeable news! However, I have done what I can, and one can do
no more than trust now. What has been the painful position for me is
that there is not one person on whom I can rely; also, there is not one
person who considers that he ought to do anything except his routine
duty. We have now been months blockaded, and things are critical; yet
not one of my subordinates, except the chief clerk and his subordinate,
appears to-day. I had to send for them, and wait till they came,
perhaps an hour. “It is Friday, and it is unreasonable to expect us
at the office,” is what they say. My patience is almost exhausted
with this continuous apparently never-ending trial; there is not one
department which I have not to superintend as closely as if I was its
direct head. The officer who commanded the post from which the men
deserted never told me, but says he told Ferratch Pasha. This Ferratch
Pasha denies, and so it goes on, tissues of lies, and they no more care
about being found out than not. It is indeed hopeless work, and yet,
truly, they have been treated most handsomely in every way. Nearly
every order, except when it is for their interest, has to be repeated
two, and even three, times. I may truly say I am weary of my life; day
and night, night and day, it is one continual worry.[244]

Our breastworks at Tuti are bothering the Arabs near Omdurman. A
soldier came in from the Arabs; he had nothing to say of importance. We
have got a breastwork also towards Goba, on the Isle of Tuti. I have
given those improvident troops 15,000 okes of biscuits. I sincerely
hope I may never be besieged with such a garrison another time. A slave
came in, and reports “that Berber has been taken by the troops from
Kassala, and that the Arab Governor of Berber arrived at the Mahdi’s
two days ago (perhaps the caravan we saw yesterday);” also that “the
four steamers have gone to Berber, _one being disabled, or aground, or
sunk_!” If this is the case, it is that brute Nutzer Bey or Pasha who
(keeping himself well under cover) has disobeyed my repeated orders as
to “not taking the steamers against the guns, but to stay quietly at
Shendy and wait for the Expedition.” The last order that I sent him was
that “I would cancel his appointment as Pasha if he dared to disobey me
again.” But of what avail is that?

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 22._—Slight firing at Bourré and Goba this morning. A
soldier deserted to the Arabs last night, with his rifle.

A soldier and a slave came in from the Arabs. It appears more Shaggyeh
deserted to the Arabs than the four I mentioned, but it seems perfectly
impossible to find out the truth, or even the number of Shaggyeh there

I am terribly anxious for the fort at Omdurman, and am trying to devise
some means of occupying the Arabs, and diverting their attention
elsewhere. Omdurman Fort signals they are all right; they had another
man wounded. Up to date we have had, passing through the hospital, 242
wounded. We have had some 1800 to 1900 killed (between 17th March and
22nd November).

This is the present state of affairs; the Arab camps are about five
miles from the city.

Camp C is on river.


A is one mile from river; camp D and E are three to four miles from
the river. Of these numbers perhaps there are 3000 to 4000 fighting
men, and 600 horsemen to 800 horsemen in the _whole lot_. There is
nothing like being precise in these days, and it saves a deal of
talking if one knows a man’s ideas beforehand. If the Expedition
comes here before the place falls (which is doubtful), and _if the
instructions are to evacuate the place at once, and leave Kassala and
Sennaar, &c., I will resign, and have nothing more to do with the
Government of the place, or of the Soudan_; and this I have a perfect
right to do, and no one, not even the Soudan troops or people, could
say one word. It will depend on circumstances how I shall act _in
re_ my commission in Her Majesty’s service (which I do not hold too
fast to, seeing any future employment would not be accepted, even if
in the very improbable case of its being offered); but I consider
that every officer has a right to resign, and if he resigns he is no
longer subject to military orders, and is free to go when and where
he likes. It may be argued I was named Governor-General “in order to
carry out the evacuation of the Soudan, and that I am bound to carry
that out, which is quite correct, but I was named for EVACUATION OF
SOUDAN” (against which I have nothing to say), _not to run away from
Kartoum and leave the garrisons elsewhere to their fate_.[245] If it
is positively determined on _not to look after the garrisons_, and
_not_ to _establish some sort of provisional Government in the Soudan_,
then the course to pursue is _to name a Governor in my place on day of
arrival_, and carry out with that Governor that policy which, I have
already said, is one of very great danger (putting all the _other_
considerations aside). PERSONALLY, looking at the matter from a VERY
SELFISH POINT OF VIEW (and seeing I have done my best to prevent this
policy being followed, and am impatient to oppose it), I should be much
relieved at this _denouement_, for I should be in Brussels on 20th

I have given 6,000 lbs. of biscuit out to the poor (I expect half
will be stolen), and I shall sell to-morrow 90,000 lbs. to the
townspeople. I am determined if the town does fall, the Mahdi shall
find precious little to eat in it. Two soldiers got hold of the head
of a shell-rocket fired by Arabs, and, having nothing better to do,
they set to work to open it. It burst, and has nearly killed one, and
wounded the other—the effects of curiosity!

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 23._—A soldier came in at the North Fort from the Arabs; he
says the Expedition has captured Berber, and are advancing on this, and
the Arabs want to attack Tuti Isle.

The Arabs, this morning, fired from Goba on breastwork of Tuti. The
soldier says my noble friend, Nutzer Pasha, kept safely all the
steamers at Shendy, and never aided in any way at Berber. The Arabs
are (so says this soldier) collecting at Halfeyeh to receive the
expedition, but I do not think it.

Three women came in last night from the Arabs to North Fort; they had
been captured during the raid the Arabs made on the Shaggyeh some days

The soldier who came in brought two rifles and two belts of ammunition.

Ferratch Ullah Bey, of Omdurman Fort, reports “he is all right,” by

A report has come in that the Expedition had arrived at Metemma,
and had encountered the Arabs twice; that a steamer had been sent up
to inform me, but the Arab guns had forced her to return; they say
that this report has come into the town by men who have friends in
the Mahdi’s camp, and who had seen some of the Arabs wounded. This
news is five days old. Very few Arabs in the camp on the North of the
Palace. The Shaggyeh came and asked me to let them go up and pillage
the Arab camp as there were so few in it; they knew well that I knew
if I did give them leave they would not go, so it was a safe volunteer
on their part. A caravan of Arabs came from the North to the Arab camp
this morning. The Arabs have only one gun on the Omdurman side now; I
expect the rest are taken down against the Expedition. We have only 541
rounds of Krupp ammunition left for our two Krupps. I went to Mogrim,
and practised on the Arab House where their gun is, 1600 yards range;
we put three shells into it, upon which the Arabs left. I am still
apprehensive of an attack on Omdurman Fort, and have the _Ismailia_
steamer ready. I have sent down thirty rockets (sky) to Mogrim to be
fired off; this will bother the Arabs, who will not know what to make
of it, and will think we have got some very important _news_. I know
if this happened when _I_ was meditating an assault, I should hesitate
before I made that assault after the fireworks.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 24_, 6 A.M.—Arabs came down and fired on the Isle of Tuti
from Goba. Ferratch Ullah Bey of Omdurman reports all well; another man
had been wounded, and one had died. A slave came in from the Arabs on
the south front, who says there is no news of the Expedition in Walad a
Goun’s camp. 12.15 P.M. The Arabs near Omdurman Fort are retiring from
their position near the small steamer, and are burning the straw huts;
our men are firing on them, and they do not reply, the _Husseinyeh_
steamer has slipped down towards deeper water, of herself. I am sending
down the _Ismailia_ to reconnoitre. The Arabs have not fired from their
gun at Omdurman to-day. It appears the _Husseinyeh_ has sunk, so that
may be the reason of the Arabs retiring. I expect the Mahdi wanted his
troops, who were guarding the steamer _Husseinyeh_, and so he sent off
men last night to sink her, and that is the history of the retreat. It
is somewhat of a relief to me, for I expect it shows the Arabs will
not make an assault on Omdurman Fort. Perhaps our fireworks last night
all along the lines made the Mahdi think I had some great news, which
he did not know of; we fired from five places fifteen sky-rockets at
one concerted moment. They report from Mogrim that the Arabs retreated
_before Husseinyeh_ sank, but I expect that is a fib, and that they
did not leave till she sank; it is against all reason with a falling
river, and, fixed on a level as she was, she sank untouched. The fact
is, I expect, that the man put to watch her was asleep, and the Arabs,
trying to capture her, drew her into deep water, when the water got
into her shot-hole. 1.30 P.M. The _Ismailia_ went down to the junction
of the Blue and White Niles, and the Arab guns opened on her, so she
has come back. I have sent down to make inquiries on the quiet, whether
the Arabs returned BEFORE or AFTER the sinking of _Husseinyeh_. The
Arabs fired five rounds at the _Ismailia_. The Arabs came back to their
breastwork when the _Ismailia_ appeared, but on her return they also
went back. If _Husseinyeh_ had not had a shot-hole in her, the Arabs
would have captured her; but, as I had taken her steam-cocks off, they
could not use her. We may be able to raise her if she has sunk evenly.
The steamer has sunk evenly, for her funnel is above water.

I expect the Arabs put a slave-boy to turn the handle of the
Nordenfeldt, for it keeps on grunting all day at intervals of half
seconds, but does no harm.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 25._—Arabs came to Goba this morning and fired on the Isle
of Tuti for half an hour. It is quite true the _Arabs did work at the
Husseinyeh and caused her to sink, and on her sinking they retired_;
the sentries in our lines being all asleep, as I had supposed. Ferratch
Ullah Bey of Omdurman Fort reports all well; he has another death among
his wounded. I have promised him three days’ pay for every day he and
his men are shut up. 1.15 P.M. Steamers in sight; the doctor saw them
first. The steamers are firing; only one steamer in sight.

The Arabs had three guns at Halfeyeh against the coming-in steamer.
2.30 P.M. I have sent down the _Ismailia_ to cover the incoming
steamer. The Arabs are grunting with their Nordenfeldt, and firing from
their gun. Mogrim is playing on them with the Krupp, and Tuti with
their mountain gun. 2.45 P.M. For the last half-hour the firing on the
part of Arabs on the advancing steamer has been most furious with guns
and musketry; we replying. I am grateful to say that, after this hot
reception, she has got in safe to Mogrim.

If any officer of the Expedition is on board, he will know what it
is to be in a penny boat! under cannon fire. The _Bordeen_ has come
in; she has seven wounded. There are _no Arabs_ at Shoboloha, or
(consequently) _guns_; the wounded were from two shells fired by the
Arabs from Halfeyeh. The expeditionary force is at Ambukol (which is
LIVELY!);[246] the Arabs had four guns at Halfeyeh; one woman was
killed in the _Bordeen_: the letters received by _Bordeen_ are of no
great import, for they do not tell me the route the expedition will
take, and I have received a later post—that of 14th October.

Two men were wounded at Mogrim to-day. According to the report of the
two men who came from Dongola, it is not _certain_ that the _Abbas_ is

I enclose a telegram,[247] which we cannot decipher. I imagine Colonel
Stewart has the key, it being probably Foreign Office cipher.

Towfik, by a telegram, cancels his Firman, which gives up the
Soudan,[248] which I have _torn up_, but enclose; (this telegram[249] I
received to-day).

A telegram to the Ulemas from Towfik says: _“Baring” is coming up with
Lord Wolseley_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 26._—One man came to Goba and fired two shots and retired.
The Arabs fired three rounds at Fort Omdurman. The Fort reports all
right. Nutzi Pasha reports that the money at Berber has been taken
up to the Mahdi. He sends up four wounded. He says the Expedition
is advancing in three parties—one to Berber from Ambukol, one from
Ambukol to Metemma, and one from Ambukol to Shoboloha. This letter
was written six days ago. A caravan came across from the north to the
Mahdi’s camp to-day. The Arabs at Metemma have crossed to Shendy and
gone into the interior. Four fellaheen soldiers deserted from Nutzi
Pasha and went to the Arabs—I expect through his ill-treatment of them.

There are three long telegrams in cipher, which I cannot make out,
pasted on the other side.[250]

I had a letter saying Government had given Kitchener _carte blanche_ to
pay the Mahdi up to £20,000 for me; but adds the “writer does not think
I would accept such a proposition”; in which he is quite right; neither
would the Mahdi.

I like Baker’s description of Kitchener.

“The man whom I have always placed my hopes upon, Major Kitchener,
R.E., who is one of the few _very superior_ British officers, with a
cool and good head and a hard constitution, combined with untiring
energy, has now pushed up to Dongola and has proved that the Mudir is
dependable. The latter has given him a letter received from you asking
about reinforcements, and stating that you have 8000 troops at Kartoum,
and that Sennaar is still occupied by the Government forces.”[251]

There was a slight laugh when Kartoum heard Baring was bumping[252] his
way up here, for so we read Towfik’s telegram—a regular Nemesis.

I am sure we are deprived of a treat in not being able to decipher
the long telegrams on the preceding page. It also is delicious to find
not one civil word from any official personage except Kitchener; it
relieves me immensely (also I must except Towfik, who in his dispatch
was civil and polite). Evidently I am in disgrace! How fearful!

According to the man who came yesterday the _Abbas_ struck a rock,
and the two boats surrendered to the Arabs. I have no doubt but that
the Arabs have captured the steamer _Abbas_, for the Arab chief of
Berber sent to Cassim el Mousse an impression of the seal I used when
I was up here before, and which I sent down by Stewart. Now, it is
impossible he could have known this unless he had possession of the
seal, for I do not think Stewart knew it. The Arabs at Omdurman have
the slave boy grinding away at their Nordenfeldt. I have sent one of
our French mitrailleuses down to grind on them. If Baring does bump his
way up here as British Commissioner, I shall consider he has expiated
his faults and shall forgive him. We seldom realise our position. In
ten or twelve years’ time Baring, Lord Wolseley, myself, Evelyn Wood,
&c., will have no teeth, and will be deaf; some of us will be quite
_passé_; no one will come and court us; new Barings, new Lord Wolseleys
will have arisen, who will call us “bloaks” and “twaddlers.” “Oh! for
goodness’ sake come away, then! Is that dreadful bore coming? If once
he gets alongside you, you are in for half an hour,” will be the remark
of some young captain of the present time on seeing you enter the Club.
This is very humiliating, for we, each one, think we are immortal. That
poor old General ... who for years vegetated at the end of —-- street
close to Clubs! who ever visited him? Better a ball in the brain than
to flicker out unheeded, like he did.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 26._—The ex-Khedive will chuckle over Baring’s ride to the
Soudan. I can fancy him twinkling his little eyes over it. He came up
in his youth to Dongola with his uncle Ismail Pasha, a slim youth;
Halim (the rightful heir to the Khediviat after Ismail) also was here
as Governor-General for three weeks, but he bolted back, without leave,
from Said Pasha, who was then Viceroy. If Ismail, ex-Khedive, could
only get Malet, Vivian, and Colvin to go this ride, I think he would
forgive his deposition. I have published the telegram of Towfik to me,
and to the Notables (note that in this telegram, Towfik—a year late,
it is true—says he is sorry for Hicks’s army destruction!), saying he
will retain the Soudan. Whoever comes up here had better appoint Major
Kitchener Governor-General, for it is certain, after what has passed,
_I am impossible_. (What a comfort!)

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 27._—The Arabs fired with artillery and musketry on Bourré
for about an hour this morning. They fired three shells, at Omdurman
Fort, who signals it is all right.

Two slaves came in to-day; they say the Arabs are wanting in
ammunition. I do not wonder at it, at the way they fire it away; they
say the Mahdi has had a revelation that the Turks will keep the country
for eight years, that he is to go back and come again at the end of the
eight years.[253] The little captured steamer _Mahomet Ali_ came down
near Giraffe last night, and then went back.

If Kitchener would take the place, he would be the best man to put in
as Governor-General, but I must confess I think, _with our Government
constituted as it is_, that for Her Majesty’s Government to take the
charge of these countries would be a very serious burden, and that the
only solution would be the Sultan taking them over, with a subsidy and
the ports of Suakin and Massowah. Judging from Towfik’s telegram to me,
it would seem that the Hewitt Treaty has fallen through, for he speaks
of the retention of Kassala.

Our Government has two courses to pursue, _one_ to appoint Kitchener
or some other Governor-General, and to be prepared to give him £500,000
a year for two years, for he will never get any taxes worth speaking
of; for two years, also, our Government must be prepared to renew the
stores, war material, &c., and give 6000 extra soldiers to the Soudan.
Second, to give the country over to the Sultan with two millions and
the ports.

To me the last is the best and speediest course to pursue; it rids
Her Majesty’s Government for ever of any responsibility. If the first
course was taken, to my mind, a _sine quâ non_ for its success would
be, _to make up with France in re Egypt_.

There is one other course, an intermediate one, viz., Zubair, with
£100,000 a year, and replenished magazines.

About forty females congregated under my window, yelling for food. It
delights me to think of the treat Baring will have when he gets here
(if ever he does). I do not think there are 500 Arabs in the camp on
north side, and no horsemen, though their straw huts extend further
than they did in the first blockade. The _Zubair_ steamer was launched
to-day. With respect to the force of Arabs on north side it may be
said, “if so few, why not attack them;” but supposing I was wrong, and
they were more than I think, a defeat would cause the fall of the town,
therefore I will not risk it.

The Ulemas and Notables got a telegram from Towfik excusing himself
for his indolence. They came to-day and wished to send an answer, which
I agreed to. They did this of their free will, and NOT PROMPTED MUCH BY
ME. It will make Towfik hop. Of the Ulemas who came, _two_ (the Sheikh
el Islam and the Cadi) had been imprisoned by me.[254]

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 28._—Fort Omdurman all right. Another of the wounded has
died. Two soldiers came in from the Arabs. Small church parades, that
on the Blue Nile rather larger than usual. We have to-day in store
174,400 okes of biscuit and 1165 ardebs of dhoora, which is not bad
after 261 days’ blockade. A slave has come in at the North Fort, and
says the Arabs are expecting four steamers to come up. I hope that the
officer in command will clear Halfeyeh before he pushes on to this,
for he may get a shell from the Arabs at Omdurman into one of his
steamers. I do not like to risk the _Bordeen_ down by herself to give
this warning. If the steamers do come up, and have not the sense to
stop at Halfeyeh, I shall endeavour to warn them by a tremendous fire
on the Arabs at Omdurman. The danger is at the Ras, or nose (X), on
the junction of the rivers. We are protecting the _Bordeen_ by casing
her steam-chest with wood. The proper thing to do would be to clear
the Halfeyeh camp of the Arabs before coming on here. You could then
communicate with Kartoum by land, and avoid having to run in penny
steamboats the gauntlet of Arab guns.


A woman came in from the Arabs. She says yesterday morning a man came
to the Arab camp on the north side who said that the Expedition had
captured Berber, and that four steamers were on their way here; that
the Arabs sent out men to see if this was true, and that it is my own
soldiers who are now fighting against us.

If the news that Berber is captured is true, the steamers will be
towing up boats (fifty of which are at Berber) and will not be here for
some days. 2 P.M. I think the Arabs are making an embrasure at Goba,
with the view of bombarding the Palace. I can see this with my glass.
If they do this, it will not hurt us, and it will take their men and
guns from off the river, where their gun-fire is alone dangerous to the
steamers. It is rather amusing to see the _personality_[255] of this
Arab battery. The range is 2,200 yards from here, but as _we_ never
hit anything we fire at, at that distance, I think I shall be safe in
the Palace from the Arab fire. The mountain shell will not penetrate
the walls at that distance, as we know from a shell which struck the
North Fort some time ago. I expect they will begin to-morrow morning
at daybreak. I have fired eight or ten rounds at them; which brought
them out to look, but it is quite a chance if the Remington reaches
them at that range. There was a time when one would have been anxious
for the Palace, but that has gone by. It will not be the first time I
have been fired on by my own soldiers, for in China two men of the 31st
Regiment were on the breach of Taitsan and one was killed. The other
with a shell splinter, was taken prisoner. “Mr. Gordon! Mr. Gordon,
you will not let me be killed.” “Take him down to the river and shoot
him;” and _aside_, “put him in my boat: let the doctor attend him, and
send him to Shanghai.” He was sent down to Shanghai, and got three or
six months’ imprisonment by court-martial for deserting, and I daresay
he exists at present. His name was Hargreaves. I do not know his
regimental number.


Baring to Egerton—“Metemma! at last, after the most fearful
sufferings, every bone in my body dislocated with those beastly camels.
Found here his journal, from which it appears that that duffer, the
Mahdi, has at last roused himself, but I fear it is too late. As to the
tone of the journal, it is _simply deplorable_, and (do not mention it,
please) he has actually made a sketch (brace yourself up to bear it) of
our high priest. Excuse more, for what with the bumping of the camel
and the depravity shown by this scoffer, I am more dead than alive.” A
Bashi Bazouk (no loss), a bugler, and two musicians (of our terrible
band) deserted to Arabs yesterday, as ... says it is “incorrigible.”
This is owing to the robbery of the rations by the officers.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 29._—Omdurman Fort all right, but three men deserted to the
Arabs. Truly this life is almost insupportable: the officers have been
robbing the men of their rations, and the storekeeper has been giving
them short weight. One feels utterly powerless to contend with these
affairs, and unless the Expedition comes soon the place will fall from
the venality of these people.[256] They know I cannot possibly find
out their misdeeds, and chuckle over it. The Arabs are working away at
their battery at Goba.

It is odd that among the despised Egyptian fellaheen soldiers this
robbery of rations does not take place. It is only among the officers,
&c., of the black troops. 1 P.M. I hear that the soldiers waylay the
women, to whom I have given biscuit, and rob them!

I have a strong conviction that neither Baring or Lord W. have taken
the precaution of bringing a firman from Towfik Pasha, giving them a
legal status superior to mine in the Soudan. If this conviction is the
case (and the fiction of Towfik being supreme ruler is kept up), then
it is for me to name the Governor-General, and I feel strongly disposed
to print off proclamations to be issued on arrival of Expedition (if
ever it does arrive), by which I relinquish the government in favour
of the officer commanding the Expedition. Of course, if a firman is
brought, then the situation is different; but _if not brought_, and the
_fiction is going to be kept up_, I have a perfect right to vacate the
government, and to appoint whomsoever I like, subject to the ultimate
approval of Towfik Pasha. It may be that the officer commanding the
Expedition may demur to his appointment, but his doing so will not
absolve him of the responsibility thus officially placed on him if the
town falls.

The great question, “Is any officer, civil or military, of the
Expedition possessed of a firman of Towfik?” If not, there is not the
least doubt that the _de jure_ power is with me to name whom I like
(except in the case of a civil or military officer announcing to the
people that the British Government has annexed Egypt). There can be no
question of military discipline in this, for what has a foreign Power
to do with the civil functionaries of Towfik, unless they usurp his
(Towfik’s) functions?

Two more soldiers deserted to-day. 8 P.M. The Arabs came down to
the ruins of village opposite, and fired on the Palace. I sent the
buglers up to the roof of the Palace, who by their own accounts killed
thousands, and the Arabs retired. I have got so accustomed to the sound
of the firing, that I can tell when the report of firing is _from Arabs
on Tuti or Palace_, or our men _from Tuti_ or _North Fort_. Also if it
is the Arabs firing on Mogrim or Bourré, or our men firing on them,
from these places. According to the directions of the muzzles of the
rifles, so are the sounds. I think I would like to be in a real siege,
with no civil population or robbers of officers to bully me. To-night
a sortie with fifty men would give the Arabs a dose which they would
not forget; but it is no use, we are not up to it. The buglers say they
killed thirty (!!!) between them.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 30._—Fort Omdurman all right. A slave came from the Arabs
to it last night. Arabs (10.30 A.M.) have fired two rounds from their
(“personality”)[257] battery at Goba, but the projectiles did not reach
the Palace.

I hear that one of the shells fired by Arabs did reach the town, and
fell behind the Palace. They have fired three rounds more, and then
the house in which they had their gun fell down. They are now digging
away to get out the gun. I expect the gun-carriage requires repair, for
the house was a good height. 11.15 A.M. Arabs either had another gun
besides that in the house which fell down, or that gun was not damaged
in the fall of house, for they have just fired another round at the
North Fort. Noon. The Arabs fired three more rounds at the North Fort.
The shells burst in the air, and the Arabs have now gone to dinner.
Another man deserted to the Arabs; he had previously deserted from the
Arabs to us. Two of the band reported to have deserted to the Arabs
have been found in the town. The Arabs at Goba (whom I do not think
number more than 40!!!) fired three more rounds from their gun this
evening. I feel strongly disposed to go over _myself_ with 100 men
(_against_ 40!) and attack them to-morrow. It is simply ridiculous the
apathy that is shown. These forty men, which is the outside of their
number, are at least four miles from any assistance. The place is so
flat and bare that this is a certainty.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 1._—During the night the Arabs fired on town with their
guns. At daybreak they fired from their guns on the Palace and the
North Fort, and on Mogrim and Bourré. A caravan of seventeen camels
came to the Mahdi from Dongola to-day. The “Nordenfeldt” (Omdurman) has
been silent for last three days. Omdurman Fort all right. 10.40 A.M.
Arabs just fired one shot, which struck water in front of the Palace;
they fired another which burst in the air.

11 A.M. I have sent down the _Bordeen_ to entice the Arabs to waste
their ammunition, which they are doing.

Towfik’s telegram to me, was to-day more fully explained, and I
gather that he says Lord Wolseley and Sir E. Baring are coming up,
and that they will settle the question of the Soudan. I have replied,
that it may be convenient for him (Towfik), but it does not meet the
case, unless these two officials have a firman from him, giving them
authority. Now this the two officials will never have, for it virtually
would make them _Towfik’s subordinates_. It is implied in the telegram,
that I am to arrange with these two officials, as to the Soudan. A
delightful arrangement for Towfik, but not one so delightful for me; so
I have answered him, _it is for him_ (Towfik) _to arrange with these
two officials, and to send his arrangements in the form of a firman
here_. It is certain that no legal authority exists in the Soudan,
except it is held from Towfik, and unless these two officials have
authority from Towfik, they have no authority in the Soudan; now if
they hold authority from Towfik, they are under Towfik’s orders.

The “fiction” will not hold good in the Soudan. Though I am pretty
well dispirited for the last few days, I cannot help laughing at the
fearful mess we are in. Towfik is as sharp as his father, and wants
to quietly saddle me with the controversy, reserving to himself the
right of criticism, but I do not feel inclined to be thus saddled,
and I shall perhaps appoint Baring Governor-General, subject to the
approval of Towfik, and shall bolt. B. may say he will not take it,
but he will have no choice, for, if he does not, he throws away any
legal status he possesses. He, on his part, may name some one else, but
that will be his look out. My object, of course, is to make tracks,
if I can do so (without hurting our country, or being the cause of
danger in the smallest degree to our troops), and to leave the onus on
Baring and the Ministry. I do not feel so kindly to Towfik as to fight
his battles up here, which is what he evidently aims at, neither do I
feel inclined to compromise myself by aiding Baring.[258] I have said
the only possible solution is the Sultan, let the subsidy be what it
may. The fact is that the expeditionary force comes up here as allies
of Towfik (unless its Government says it comes up as independent),
and as allies of Towfik, it is in all reason subject, as far as civil
affairs are concerned, to Towfik; its officers can issue no decrees,
except _in his name_, save those which concern military operations. A
nice accommodating Governor-General would work this affair, without
friction. _I will not_, for I am too deeply involved with the people;
but I want (like a rat) to leave the house before it falls, so the best
thing is to hint to me, “make Kitchener Governor-General,” “_subject
to the approval of Towfik_!” Then K. would do all you want, and in a
legal way, and you would be happy. Unless you have a superior firman to
mine, you cannot make K. Governor-General (even if you had ten million
troops), unless you declare yourself the rulers of the land, which
you will not do, because of the ninety millions sterling of debt on
Egypt. 5 P.M. Arabs fired two more shells at the Palace, so I put the
three buglers on the roof to practice at them. _They say_ they killed
fifteen. I would much like to know contents of Lord W.’s telegram to
me, also the telegrams in cipher from Nubar and Baring; but I never
shall have that pleasure, for I do not expect either this journal
will ever be given back, or if it is, that I shall be lent the cipher
books to decipher them. The Arabs fired two rounds at the Palace this
evening, one fell in the water in front of the Palace, and one fell
in the garden. Two shells fired by the Arabs from Bourré to-day, fell
close to the hospital.

To my mind, this is the idea of H.M. Government:—_Expedition comes
up to look after British subjects nominally_, but, _in reality, to
settle future government of Soudan, under the pretence that Towfik
governs_. Towfik telegraphs to me, “that the British officials will
settle future status of the Soudan with me _sub rosa_”!! now, of
course, I may be wrong, but my idea is that the British officials will
propose _the keeping of Sennaar, Kartoum, Berber, and Dongola_, the
_non-interference with the Mahdi, cession of Kassala to King John, the
leaving to their fate the Equator Provinces, &c._ And what the British
officials propose Towfik will agree to; but then comes the question, as
_I_ consider _the proposal is unacceptable_ (inasmuch as long as the
Mahdi is alongside, no peace is possible), I will not accept it, and
will leave A. or B. as my, and Towfik’s representative, to carry the
proposition out. (“_Après moi, le déluge._”) No one can blame me for
this, for I should be a scoundrel if I accepted any proposition which
would eventually give trouble to our country.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 2._—The Arabs fired four shells at the Palace at daybreak
with no effect. 9 A.M. They have fired four more; one burst close to
my room—a little high. I have put two guns near the Palace to reply
to them. Report in town says Waled a Goun’s men are passing over from
the right bank of the White Nile to the Mahdi’s camp on the left bank.
Omdurman Fort reports all right. 11 A.M. The Arabs opened fire again
on the Palace; we are answering. The Arabs have now two guns firing on
us. There is a report that the Arabs of the Mahdi are going north (on
the left bank of the White Nile). Noon.—We have silenced our friends
opposite, having concentrated a heavy fire on them. I nearly lost my
eyes this morning, firing on Arabs, the base of the brass cartridge
blew out, and sent the fire into my face; this is a fault of the
Remington; the metal case of this cartridge must not be used too often.


Some people ought to have their heads cut off, if there is to be any
quiet in the Soudan; I wonder how our Government will be able to allow
this to be done under their nose, for however necessary to cut their
heads off, looking to future peace of the Soudan, they can scarcely be
called rebels, for they may say they were forced into rebellion by the
inability of the Government aiding them, and also that they had heard
that the Soudan was abandoned. 3 P.M. _Another battle!_ with Arabs at
Goba, who, however, have no guns—firing terrific. 3.15 P.M. Battle is
over, and we have won. Arabs silent. 3.30 P.M. Arabs began it again, by
firing their gun. 3.38 P.M. Battle over, an Arab (or most likely one
of my men) is standing up, throwing dust in the air (like as Shimei
dusting David—“Thou bloody man.” 2 Samuel xvi. 8). The Arabs must have
used up a lot of ammunition, for they kept up a good fire, though where
their bullets went no one could see; the Palace and the North Fort and
Muduriat being high, our bullets reach them, but theirs do not appear
to reach the river. They have a regular casemate for the two guns, one
directed on the Palace and one on the North Fort. They took two days to
make it, quite a creditable piece of work, with a screen wall in front.
In the Crimea it was supposed and considered mean to bob, and one used
to try and avoid it.... used to say, “It is all well enough for you,
but I am a family man,” and he used to bob at every report. For my
part, I think judicious bobbing is not a fault, for I remember seeing
on two occasions shells like this “●” before my eyes, which certainly,
had I not bobbed, would have taken off my head (“_And a good riddance
too!_” F. O. would say). I make these remarks with reference to the
Arab rifle fire; you can see them with the telescope aim directly at
this wing of the Palace and fire, and then one hears a thud in the
water; I have got quite accustomed to them now. The mitrailleuse (a
Gatling) moved them out of their cover this evening; we have it on the
Muduriat. The Palace roof is thus—


a shell striking _x_ would bring down the roof, so when the Arabs fire,
one does not feel comfortable as one hears the shell sighing through
the air, till one hears it fall; it is at least 40 feet in height, but
with only two storeys. The pasha who built it (Momtoz Pasha) built it
without leave from the old Khedive, taking funds which he had no right
to; the old Khedive did not see it, and Ismail Pasha Ayoub, who was
a prisoner here, split on him; he was tried here, and they say was
poisoned, Ismail Ayoub getting his place. Ismail Ayoub was sent up
because he did not treat one of the cast-off wives of the old Khedive
(whom he was forced to marry) with proper respect; so this wife got up
a harem intrigue, and he was exiled.

He (Ismail Ayoub) was a great scamp, whatever was the cause of his
exile. He belonged to Kurdistan, and was originally a bugler in Said
Pasha’s band; and I used to tell him, he was as much a foreigner in
this land as I was. He was a good musician, and had learnt French
and German. He is now dead. Whilst I was here, I think he was the
best administrator the Soudan ever had. He was the Minister of the
Interior during Lord Dufferin’s time, and wrote the famous despatch
about the inutility of using the kourbatch. _He!_ who was famous for
its use up here, and who, with Cherif and Towfik, roared with laughter
over the affair, for Lord Dufferin in the gravest way reported it to
Lord Granville, who, I dare say, laughed as heartily over it with Mr.
Sanderson. Poor Ismail Ayoub! he was a most agreeable scoundrel; but
he came to grief at Cairo in 1883 as Minister of Finance. The bugler
“_Almas_” (_i.e._ the _diamond_) telegraphed his _confrères_ that he
had killed twenty Arabs to-day!!

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 3._—This morning Arabs fired eight rounds at us, and we
replied; one of our shells struck their casemate. Numbers of Arabs
left Mahdi’s camp for the north. Arabs fired nine rounds into the town
at night from the south lines. One shell fell into the garden of the
Palace; this from the south lines. A shell from Arabs at Goba fell in
the garden, so it will be seen the attention which is being paid to the

Twenty shells fell in town yesterday, but none did any harm.

I think this is the programme, and though it is of doubtful morality,
perhaps it is the shortest route out of a mess. “British Expedition
comes up to relieve British subjects in distress, _nothing else_; it
finds one of its subjects acting as ruler; it takes him away, and
he, on going away, appoints Zubair ruler, subject to approval of
Towfik, Zubair having been allowed to come up to Kartoum, as a private
individual, to look after his family.”

Now who can say anything to the British Government? It has had nothing
to do with the appointment of Zubair, or with the Government of Towfik;
it came up to relieve its subjects, and “Gordon is entirely responsible
for the appointment of Zubair;” “even Towfik is not responsible, for
Gordon did it on his own responsibility.” This will be a splendid
dodge; it first clears Her Majesty’s Government of any blame, it puts
the blame on me, and in the storm that is caused, I shall have been so
effectually blackened that every one will forget the—well! we will not
say it in direct words (count the months), we will call the DELAY; in
fact, I expect the public will rather blame the Government for having
sent any Expedition at all for such a style of British subject; the
Government will chuckle over it all, and will preserve the _fiction_
that they have nought to do with the Soudan or Egypt.

The Opposition will be perfectly wild at seeing the Ministry get
out of the mess, with what one may call really credit, while the
Anti-Slavery Society and Europe at large will empty their vials of
wrath on me. Towfik and his pashas will wring their hands _openly_ over
such an act ... will get such kudos! For my part I shall get out of
any of those wretched honours, for the Ministry will be only too glad
to say, “We could not, you know, confer any honours on him after such
very disreputable conduct,” knowing well enough I would not take them
if offered; and as I am not going to England again, and shall not see
the papers, I shall not much mind the abuse. I think it is a splendid
programme. Zubair must be given either £200,000 or £300,000 a year for
two years, replenished magazines, and stores of all sorts, all the
Expedition’s boats and steamers, &c., &c., and must be aided for two
months in small expeditions; besides the £200,000 or £300,000 for two
years, he must have down on the nail £150,000 to £200,000.

I must clear, in disgrace, out of the country, to prevent any
appearance of any connivance on the part of ... in this arrangement,
which he will or ought officially to deplore. I do not think Zubair
will care for the Equator Province; he will agree to give that up; he
will agree to uphold the Treaty of 1877 Slave Convention, and laugh
as he does so. As for the Bahr Gazelle, I expect the Mahdi has it,
and if so, his people will move up there, when Zubair by his politics
recaptures Obeyed.

What a fearful row there will be. I know one man who will write:
“Better, my dear Gordon, FAR better! to have died, than have so very
far departed from the right path; nothing, no nothing can explain it
away. A happy Christmas to you.” ... “This news from the Soudan is very
satisfactory; I call it a great triumph, for it not only delivers us
out of a dilemma, but it effectually settles our friends, and vitiates
anything he[259] may say as to the Delay.” Any military operations
undertaken after the proclamation of Zubair will be put down “as
measures necessary to be undertaken to secure the return, unmolested,
of the expeditionary force.” 5 P.M. Artillery duel going on between our
two guns and the Arab gun; our practice is very bad. The shells the
Arabs fire from their Krupp gun reach the Palace Garden, but the report
of their gun is not to be heard. The Arab shells from Goba fall just
about 200 yards short of the Palace; but in its line there is just the
second of suspense (after seeing them fire), while one hears the soft
sighing of their shells coming nearer and nearer, till they strike. 7
P.M. _Another battle!_ (the third to-day). The Arabs came down to the
river and fired on the Palace; we could not stand _that_. 7.10 P.M.
Battle over; we are as we were, minus some cartridges. 7.20 P.M. Battle
begun again, because the buglers played “Salaam Effendina,” the Arabs
wasting ammunition. 8 P.M. The Arabs are firing from the south at the
Krupps on the Palace; they (_i.e._ the Arabs) are at least 4000 yards
distant; one hears the shells burst, but not the report of their gun;
they reached the river close to the Palace.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 4._—Omdurman Fort all right. They had a man wounded
yesterday. There was a small battle at Bourré this morning. The Arabs
at Goba are quiet after the exertions of yesterday. Firing was heard
(on north) towards Shoboloha last night. Report in town says the
steamers are near there.

Should the Zubair arrangement be accepted, then comes the question
of the military action during two months, at end of which time the
expeditionary force should be wending its way back. The driving away
of the Arabs from the Dem at the north of the Palace will be immediate
on the arrival of the troops; the Arabs will then hold on to El foun
and to Giraffe. They will vacate the vicinity of Omdurman Fort; 1000
men will deal with El foun and Giraffe, supported by our tag-rag. First
Giraffe, then El foun; but at the same time as this takes place, the
retreat of Arabs ought to be cut off at Gitana from Kordofan by the
steamers and another 1000 men; the Mahdi will return to Schatt, and
the town will be free, and all the troops defending the lines will be
available. Then comes the question of going inland and attacking the
family of the Sheikh el Obeyed’s son, two and a half hours inland, or
else going on and attacking Mesalamieh. I think Sheikh el Obeyed’s
family will give in as soon as the Arabs are driven from El foun (an
affair of an hour, _D. V._). I tried to entice the Arabs at Goba into
a fight this evening, but they would not be drawn, and only replied
by two shells, which fell in the river. We played on them with the
mitrailleuse, and made them move their gun, and then they fired two
more shells, one which fell near the Palace in the river. With a good
mitrailleuse, and a sharp operator, _with telescope sight_, no gun
could be served with impunity at 2000 yards range, though it could be
served _against artillery fire_, for at that range there is plenty of
time to dodge under cover after seeing the flash ere the shell arrives.
The band, principally of small boys, the men being on the lines, went
on to the roof of the Palace to play (they always come on the eve of
their Sabbath, the Friday). The Arabs heard them, and fired a volley at
them; they, furious, threw down their instruments, and flew to arms,
and a regular fusillade went on for some moments, the other places
supporting the fire. The buglers are bugling now “Come to us, come to
us,” to the Arabs. (The Egyptian Government have the French calls, and
can converse by bugle; I do not think we have.) Last night a _renegade_
Dervish bugler in the Arab ranks replied, “Come to us, come to us.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 5._—Small church parades. Three caravans of some size came
in from the north to Mahomet Achmet’s camp this morning. Two deserters
came in from the Arabs. Fort at Omdurman all right. In store 737 ardebs
of dhoora, 121,300 okes of biscuit.

We are going to make an attempt to relieve Omdurman Fort (really
things are looking very black). The men who came in say the Mahdi is
short of ammunition. The Arabs fired three shells at the palace this
afternoon, which fell in the river. A soldier deserted to-day to the
Arabs. 5 P.M. The Arabs fired two shells at the palace, which fell into
the water (if _they only_ knew! that if they sank the trail they would
touch us up! their line is quite correct). 6.30 P.M. Since 3 P.M. we
have been firing on them, and they on us, only wasting ammunition, for
though our bullets reach them, few of theirs reach us. According to the
men who came in from the Arabs, it is the pet detachment of the Mahdi
who are opposite the Palace; they do not number more than one hundred,
and are principally our Soudan soldiers. I have almost given up all
idea of saving the town; it is a last resource, this attempt we make to
open the route to the Omdurman Fort.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 6._—(Certainly every fortified place ought to be provided
with a hundred good telescopes.) The steamers went down and fired
on the Arabs at Omdurman. We have £150 in cash in the treasury. In
the affair to-day we had three killed and thirty-six wounded in the
steamers, and Ferratch Ullah Bey reports he had five wounded at
Omdurman Fort. The Arabs came down in good force, and must have lost.

I have given up all idea of landing at Omdurman; we have not the
force to do it. The Arabs fired forty-five rounds from their guns at
Mogrim and the steamers. We had two men wounded at Mogrim, and one
killed. This is most distressing to have these poor fellows wounded and
killed. To-morrow it will be 270 days 9 months that we have endured one
continuous misery and anxiety. The Greeks who were at Mogrim say at
least 300 or 400 Arabs were killed and wounded in to-day’s engagement.
The _Ismailia_ was struck by four, and the _Bordeen_ by two shells, but
not in vital parts. I visited the steamers, and had weariness of heart
at hearing the complaint of the men as to the robbery of their rations
by the officers.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 7._—The 270th day of our imprisonment. The Arabs fired
from their guns at Goba 8 shells, one of which fell in the town near
Palace, but did no harm. Omdurman reports the fort all right, one
more man wounded there. A great force of Arabs strayed down near
Omdurman last night, and left at dawn. The cock turkey has killed one
of his companions, reason not known. (Supposed to be correspondence
with Mahdi, or some harem infidelity.) Report in town that Berber
surrendered, “_sans coup férir_.” I hope so. We are going to send the
steamers down again to attack the Arabs at Omdurman at noon to-morrow.
The Arabs fired nine shells at Bourré, and begun again their practice
on the Palace, firing five shells, one of which came close to the roof
of Palace.

A soldier escaped from the Arabs and came in; he says the
Expeditionary Force has captured Berber. Two soldiers deserted to the
Arabs to-day! The Arabs at Goba fired three shells this evening at the
Palace; two fell close to it, one fell in the water. One shell from the
Arabs at Bourré fell in the hospital. One of the shells of the Arabs
this evening struck the building next the Palace, and stuck in the
wall, about 9 feet from the ground. A man came in from the Arabs, who
says the Expeditionary Force is approaching. I saw a body of horsemen
going north to-day, very fast, from El foun. In the _Ismailia_ were
eighty bullet holes on the water line of her hull; in the _Bordeen_
there were seventy-five bullet holes, ditto _in the last engagement_!!!
These holes were stopped by screws made for the purpose. As for the
bullet marks elsewhere they are not to be counted.

My belief is that the Mahdi business will be the end of slavery in
the Soudan. The Arabs have invariably put their slaves in the front
and armed them; and the slaves have seen that they were plucky, while
their masters shirked: is it likely that those slaves will ever yield
obedience to those masters as heretofore?

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 8._—The Arabs this morning fired twelve rounds from guns
at Bourré, and five rounds at the North Fort and Palace. Two men came
in from the Arabs; they say no Arabs have gone down towards Berber;
that the report in the Arab camp was that Berber was captured; this
report was four days old. 10 A.M. The steamers are going down to
attack. Omdurman Fort reports “_All right_” 10.30 A.M. The steamers
are engaged; the Arabs have two nasty wasp batteries with regular
embrasures, quite _à l’Europe_. (Query Slatin Bey’s design.) Though we
have protected the steam-chests of the steamers, one cannot help being
very anxious. The Arabs at Goba are _silent_. Another soldier from the
Arabs came in and states report of advance of the Expeditionary Force,
who are coming by land. Every time I hear the guns fire I have a twitch
of the heart of gnawing anxiety for my penny steamers. 11.30 A.M. The
battle is over, and my penny boats are safe, thank God! (not in words
only, but from my heart). We had two wounded on board the _Bordeen_,
none on board the _Ismailia_. We are meditating an attack with 500
men on the 50 Arabs, who with their gun, are at Goba. The _Bordeen_
was struck by four shells, the _Ismailia_ by two shells, one of which
destroyed a cabin: they had not much musketry fire, but the Arabs fired
a great number of rounds; they had six guns playing on the steamers.
At noon Arabs fired five shells at Bourré. In the evening they fired
three shells against the Palace from Goba which fell in the town. Had
we not cased the steam-chest of the _Ismailia_ with wood she would have
had her boiler blown up by one of the shells. The Arab rifle force of
Goba is completely innocuous; we do not even hear their bullets, yet
our bullets reach them, for they cannot stay in the open, and we can
see the dust the bullets throw up that we fire. Wadji Barra, an Ameer
of the Mahdi, on the north side, sent me a letter (in Appendix AB)
asking me to surrender, and saying it is all lies about the Expedition,
the Mahdi is evidently (like H.M.G.) offended with my curt answer to
his last, and so his holiness will not write direct. Whenever we have
what we call a victory we fire some fireworks at the main posts of our
lines, which infuriates the Arabs, and puzzle them as to the reason.
They were very angry to-night, and came down in a good number, and
fired on the Palace several volleys. I ordered up the three buglers,
who put them to flight. The letter Wadji Barra sent me was sent by
a woman who came to the North Fort. I telegraphed the officer “Open
the letter and tell me contents.” He did so, and I answered, “Send
the woman back to the Ameer and tell him to go, &c.” I expect this
irritated the Ameer, who ordered the advance of his men, and consequent
expenditure of his ammunition.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 9._—A party of sixty men, with ammunition, camels, and
some horsemen, left the Dem of the Mahdi, and went north this morning.
The Arabs on the right bank of the White Nile came over to the left
bank of the Blue Nile, and went through some antics, so we suppose
something is up. A man was wounded yesterday at Omdurman, which fort
reports all right. Letter sent by Wadji Barra in Appendix AB. The
Arabs fired yesterday not rifled shell, but round shell, which they
must have got at Obeyed, which shows they are out of ammunition of
the regulation sort. What called forth the letter from Wadji Barra
(Appendix AB) was a paper I issued (Appendix CD) to the town, when I
received Towfik’s telegram saying he would hold the Soudan, and which
I gave to a man to send to the Arabs. If Lord Palmerston was alive
(or Forster was Premier) he would never leave the Soudan, without
proclaiming the emancipation of the slaves. On 18th December, 1862,
Lincoln proclaimed abolition of slavery in the United States; this
would be a good day to issue such a proclamation in the Soudan. Wadji
Barra’s letter calls me Pasha of Kartoum, and says I have been deaf
to all their entreaties. Stewart left this place _three months ago!_
to-day. A man was wounded by the Arab fire at Bourré: they fired twelve
rounds from these guns at the fort. I feel sure that the cause of the
Mahdi’s coming here is, that he got hold of Herbin’s ‘French Consul’s’
journal, written in a hostile critical spirit, and thinking it true,
he advanced from Schatt. I expect Hansall, the Austrian Consul, also
wrote in the style of Lamentations, for he also sent down a journal
by the _Abbas_. It is remarkable that the very effort which I made to
obtain the ear of Europe should have thus recoiled on us. I have for
the present abandoned the attack on the Arabs at Goba, as Omdurman is
more important, and as I expect the Arabs there have taken away their
gun; it has not (up to 2 P.M.) fired to-day. I would like to ask the
Mahdi—allowing _pro formâ_ that he is the Mahdi—what will be his
ultimate work? Certainly his present work is not exhilarating, firing
on his fellow-creatures night and day. The siege of Sevastopol lasted
326 days. We are at our 271st day. In their case they had always their
communication open, and they dealt with an enemy who would recognise
the rights of war; whereas we are not so placed. They, the Russians,
were united, and had no civil population to deal with; yet I cannot say
I think we are over great heroes (the fact is, that, if one analyses
human glory, it is composed of nine-tenths twaddle, perhaps ninety-nine
hundredths twaddle). We are only short of the duration of siege of
Sevastopol 57 days, and we have had _no respite_, like the Russians
had, during the winter of 1854-55; and neither Nicholas nor Alexander
speculated on (well, we will not say what, but we will put it)
“counting the months.” Of course it will be looked on as very absurd
to compare the two blockades, that of Sevastopol and Kartoum; but if
properly weighed, one was just as good as the other. The Russians had
money, we had none; they had skilled officers, we had none; they had no
civil population, we had forty thousand; they had their route open and
had news, we had neither.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 10._—A slave came in to-day, he had been with Slatin. He
says Slatin is still in chains, that there are two insurrections in
Kordofan, and rumour is rife that the Expeditionary Force is near.
Fort Omdurman is all right. The slave says the Arabs have not much
ammunition. The Arabs fired thirty-one rounds at Bourré to-day, and
wounded four men (one an officer, a Major Souleiman Effi, fatally).
The Arabs have been firing stones to-day. Goba is quiet, they did not
fire their gun to-day, or yesterday. I expect it has gone down to the
river-bank. The slave who came in says the Mahdi’s return to Kordofan
is cut off by the insurrection in his rear; so we and he are like two
rats in a box. (I wish _he_ was _out_ of the _box!_) I have ordered the
two steamers to stay up at Bourré, towards which place the Arabs seem
to be directing an unpleasant degree of attention. (Truly I am worn
to a shadow with the food question; it is one continual demand.) Five
men deserted to-day. The Arabs shape the stones they fire, like to the
shells of their guns; they will soon spoil the rifling of their guns if
they continue this.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 11._—The Arabs fired their gun from Goba three times;
one shell fell into the water before the Palace—two passed over it.
I put down more mines at Bourré. I have given the whole garrison an
extra month’s pay in addition to the three months’ they had before
received—I will not (_D. V._) hesitate to give them £100,000, if I
think it will keep the town.

Three soldiers came in from the Arabs who report advance of the
Expedition towards Berber. The Arabs fired fourteen rounds from their
guns at Bourré. The officers say that there is a European directing
the Arab guns there. (I wonder if it is that Frenchman who came from
Dongola, and who, I thought, might have been Renan.) Sennaar is holding
out and in great force (so say the three soldiers), so is Kassala. The
Dem of the Mahdi is altered in appearance. They say he has sent off the
families of his adherents into the interior.

3.30 P.M.—The Arabs fired three shells at the Palace from Goba; two
went into the water, one passed over the Palace. This always irritates
me, for it is so personal, and from one’s own soldiers too! It is not
very pleasant also to feel at any moment you may have a shell in your
room, for the creatures fire at all hours. The steamers fired on the
Arabs at Bourré this morning, and one of the Arab shells struck one
steamer, and another struck a santal which we have there to defend the
flank; but neither did any harm. Two soldiers deserted to the Arabs
to-day—these men are generally those who have before been with the
Arabs, and had deserted to us. The Arabs fired another shell at the
Palace this evening, which burst in the air.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 12._—Small Church Parade. I sincerely hope this will be
the last we shall have to witness. We have in hand 1,796,000 rounds
Remingtons ammunition; 540 rounds Krupp; 6000 rounds mountain gun
ammunition; £140 in specie; £18,000 in paper in treasury!! £60,000 in
town in paper. 110,000 okes of biscuits; 700 ardebs of dhoora. This
morning I was told a long story of report concerning the expeditionary
force being at El Damer, near the Atbara river; of how Berber had
surrendered, &c. On tracing it, I found it was a fib put in circulation
by one of the chief Ulemas, to encourage the people.

3.30 P.M. The Arabs fired two shells at the Palace; one burst in the
air, the other fell in the water in a direct line with the window I was
sitting at, distant about a hundred yards.

3.40 P.M. They fired another shell, which fell only fifty yards short
of the Palace; another burst in the air. I have sent the buglers up
to stop this target practice. All these shells are in good line for
the west wing, in which the Arabs know I stop. They fired seven shells
in all in this affair; though the Arabs have fired over two thousand
shells at us, I do not think we have lost by artillery fire more than
three men.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 13._—The steamers went up and attacked the Arabs at Bourré
(certainly this day-after-day delay has a most disheartening effect on
every one. To-day is the 276th day of our anxiety). The Arabs appear,
by all accounts, to have suffered to-day heavily at Bourré. We had none
wounded by the Arabs; but one man, by the discharge of a bad cartridge,
got a cut in neck: this was owing to the same cause as nearly blew out
my eyes the other day. We are going to send down the _Bordeen_ the
day after to-morrow, and with her I shall send this journal. _If some
effort is not made before ten days’ time the town will fall._ It is
inexplicable, this delay. If the Expeditionary Forces have reached the
river and met my steamers, one hundred men are all that we require,
just to show themselves.

I send this journal, for I have little hopes of saving it if the town
falls. I put in (Appendix EF), the sort of arrangement I would make
with Zubair Pasha for the future government of the Soudan. Ferratch
Pasha is really showing an amount of vigour I did not give him credit
for. Even if the town falls under the nose of the Expeditionary Force,
it will not, in my opinion, justify the abandonment of Senaar and
Kassala, or of the Equatorial Province, by Her Majesty’s Government.
All that is absolutely necessary is, for fifty of the Expeditionary
Force to get on board a steamer and come up to Halfeyeh, and thus let
their presence be felt; this is not asking much, but it must happen _at
once_; or it will (as usual) be too late. A soldier deserted to the
Arabs to-day from the North Fort. The buglers on the roof, being short
of stature, are put on boxes to enable them to fire over the parapet;
one with the recoil of rifle was knocked right over, and caused
considerable excitement. We thought he was killed, by the noise he made
in his fall. The Arabs fired their Krupps continually into town from
the south front, but no one takes any notice of it. The Arabs at Goba
only fired one shell at the Palace to-day, which burst in the air.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 14th._—Arabs fired two shells at the Palace this morning;
546 ardebs dhoora! in store; also 83,525 okes of biscuit! 10.30 A.M.
The steamers are down at Omdurman, engaging the Arabs, consequently I
am on _tenterhooks!_ 11.30 A.M. Steamers returned; the _Bordeen_ was
struck by a shell in her battery; we had only one man wounded. We are
going to send down the _Bordeen_ to-morrow with this journal. If I was
in command of the two hundred men of the Expeditionary Force, which
are all that are necessary for the movement, I should stop just below
Halfeyeh, and attack the Arabs at that place before I came on here
to Kartoum. I should then communicate with the North Fort, and act
according to circumstances. Now MARK THIS, if the Expeditionary Force,
and I ask for no more than two hundred men, does not come in ten days,
_the town may fall_; and I have done my best for the honour of our
country. Good bye.


You send me no information, ‘though you have lots of money.

  C. G. G.




Letter to General Gordon from Abd el Kâder Ibrahim.

In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate, blessing be on our
lord Mahomed, and peace.

 From the servant of his Lord—the Fakeer (humble one) Abd el Kâder
 Ibrahim, Kâdi (Judge) of Kalâkla, to his Excellency Gordon Pasha,
 Governor General of the Soudan.

Now this is what we have to state to your Excellency: Your benevolence
and compassion towards all are well known, and your special regard
towards us is most particularly known to us, and confirmed by deeds
since the beginning of your presence in the Soudan both the first and
this second time.

That which you have declared in proclamation emanating from you on
your arrival in the Soudan this time is known to us both publicly and

But the first conviction in the true mission of this present Imâm,
the Mahdi (the expected one, on whom be peace) from the very beginning
(first day) of his appearance, forbids us to accept your letters or
to reply to you. For we know about him what the Ulema (wise men), who
have wandered from the right way, do not know. And as the mission of
this Imâm, the Mahdi (the expected one, on whom be peace) is predicted
(confirmed) for us and for you in the ancient books, we cannot incline
to (receive) your many kindnesses and your regard to us (as shown) by
your favours and your bounties, or forsake the command of the glorious
and Most High God and of his prophet Mahomed, on whom be peace. We had
previously to this frequently communicated with your Highness. And on
each occasion we explained sufficiently for him who has a heart (to
understand); and in all our communications we made clear unto you the
way of peace and salvation. But you have not accepted it; nor have you
given your mind to the important object of our call unto you—which is
the means of your material and moral salvation from the dangers of this
world and the next, (and that both) for yourself and for the people of
the city—because many of them are our friends and our relations.

But you have rejected what we have demonstrated to you again and again.
You have listened to the Ulema whom this world has deceived by its
glittering mirage, making them forget both their own souls and the
Moslems, for the sake of contemptible riches of this life.

Yet their enmity, and giving of the lie, to the Imâm, the Mahdi (the
expected one, on whom be peace), are predicted in the ancient books,
and they themselves are aware of this. But if they ignore this let them
consider the preface of the book, “Keshef el Ghumma an Jamia el Umma,”
by Shaàrani.[260]

But you rely upon their sayings and listen to their words,
notwithstanding what has been proved and made known to you and to all
intelligent people of the calamities and destruction that have befallen
the country. This is the very point (acmé) of your error, and of your
blindness as to what is right.

But because we have not ceased to compassionate you and the people
of the city; and because the supreme Emir Abderrahman el Najoomi, and
the Emir Abdallah en Noor and the other emirs with him, have come
with a very great host of troops of all the various tribes which have
submitted to the Imâm, on whom be peace.

(And because) You are utterly heedless as to (the safety of) yourself
and the people of the city, in our exceeding compassion we have written
this to you in return for your past regard and favour to us. And we
beseech God that it may be accepted (by you).

Besides all this, the noble Imâm himself has arrived at Schatt, and
with him innumerable hosts, and he will shortly come with his army to
the city.

It is therefore our duty to inform you of this in the hope that you
will listen to us, and disregard the words of the seditious; and that
you will submit to this Imâm, the Mahdi, because, beyond all doubt
he is the Imâm, the Mahdi (the expected one, on whom be peace). And
all the Governments (Powers) will be destroyed by his hand; for he is
supported and made victorious by the power of God. Be not misled by
that which happened in the Desert (Deem) of Jareef and of the East.

For God made the prophet Mahomed victorious, and humiliated all his
enemies after his defeat in the raid on Badr and on Ohod, both (which
are) well known. And God gave him unbroken victory (success after that)
as much as he wished and desired. All (the defeat) which has occurred
in the two deserts (deems) before-named is worth nothing (unimportant).
It does not equal (counterbalance) a tenth of the tenth of those
slaughtered in the day of the battle of Shaikh el Abeed, as is known to
you and the people of the city.

This is our counsel to you, and please God you and the people of the
city may accept it.

And know, O Excellency Gordon, that we have communicated with his
Highness the Mahdi on your behalf; and his favourable answer has come,
(which is) of a nature to please you and give you confidence, provided
that you submit and obey.

And this is the communication (of the Mahdi) sent to you by the two
Moslem envoys, together with the dervishes, our allies, who now come to


  Dated 18 Zu’l Kâdi, 1301.
  9th Sept., 1884.

_Postscript._—We have sent this reply to your Excellency with our
allies the dervishes, dispatched from the Lord of all, the Mahdi (the
expected one, on whom be peace), and with the two Moslems, Mahomed
Yusuf and George Calamatiano. And because they were refused at the
gates, we now send it back to you with our son Suleiman, specially sent
by us, who has a letter from the headquarters of the Imâm requesting
your speedy reply to him.

All the emirs here present have given assurance of safe conduct, in the
name of God and of his prophet, to whomsoever you may send for needful
negotiations. And if it is agreeable to your Excellency, send for our
son and for our friend George Calamatiano for complete understanding
between us and you, as he is both intelligent and friendly in this

And it appears from your letter that (you consider us) intelligent and
understanding; therefore you should have believed our report about
this Imâm, that there might be fruit (benefit) derived for all. But we
believe that your opinion of us for sense was inconsistent.

Now God is the Director and Guide into truth.


  Written the same date.


General Gordon’s reply to [Ibrahim] Abd el Kâder.

We have received your answer and we have taken note of all you have

With regard to the spies of whom you informed us that they were
entrusted with delivery of the replies—when (they) these special
messengers arrived at the ramparts, we did them no harm.

But when we sent a messenger with our answers you fired with ball upon
the slave when he placed the stick upon the ground.

We received the messenger who came to us from you, and he saw that we
were well.

It would be better that the messengers whom you send to us should be
people of sense, and who know how to behave. As to the Greek whom it is
your intention to send to us—the person who has forsaken our religion
and adopted another religion—we do not wish to receive him, just as
you would not wish to receive a Moslem who had adopted the Christian

A letter has been sent us by this person aforesaid. It shows us that
he has important information which concerns the Europeans. But we
know that there are many like this fellow, who have information that
concerns the son of Najoomi.

But perhaps the information about the Europeans of which he has told us
is about the bringing of the European army to fight the son of Weld el
Najoomeh after thirty days—for we have now a precious opportunity.

I know that you have been invested with a veil and robes of honour,
and you say that Mohammed Achmed is the Mahdi—and I know that there is
among you a man of mature age who has spent his life, from his youth
up, in Islâm—who would consent to the ruin of the country.

Considering that I cannot bear the sight of that renegade traitor, it
is preferable that you should send us a respectable pious man, who
may be depended on, to receive 10,000 guineas for the ransom of the
Europeans who are to be found there, and we will send them by his hand;
and if you say that Mohammed Achmed is the Mahdi, why does he remain
in the White (Nile)?—he ought (if he is the Mahdi) to take the whole

       *       *       *       *       *

[The copy above translated is extremely illegible—evidently written in
haste—by an unaccustomed scribe; the handwriting is bad and in Turkish

We have surmised that General Gordon employed the writer as being
trustworthy, for among the inhabitants of Kartoum it must have been
possible to find one who could write better.

George Calamatiano is evidently the renegade whom the General refuses
to admit to his presence.]


Letter to General Gordon from Abderrahman en Najoomi and Abdallah en

In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate, blessing be on our
lord Mahomed and peace.

From the slaves of their lord, Abderrahhman en Najoomi and Abdallah en
Noor, lieutenants of the Mahdi (the expected one, on whom be peace), to
Gordon Pasha. May God direct him to the truth.

What we state to thee is: First, that thou art a stranger in the
country and to this government, and thou art intelligent and well

What God wishes to reveal neither men nor demons can keep secret; and
even if they seem to do so God will accomplish His design in spite
of the infidels. At thy first arrival at Kartoum the Imâm, &c. (here
follow the customary phrases of respect), wrote to thee to surrender
to God and his prophet, and informed thee of the truth, in which there
is no lie, and assured thee that after that, if thou didst not submit
to the command of God and his prophet, the army of God will come to
thee and will destroy that in which thou (hast aspired) to share with
God thy Creator (in claiming) rule over His (faithful) servants, while
the earth belongs to God, and He causes whom He will of His righteous
servants to inherit it.

And, nevertheless, thou hast sent to his Highness a reply different
from that desired, and the substance of it (is) thy refusal to obey
and submit to what he commanded thee to do. Yet in his desire for thy
good he waited and delayed a space of time, expecting that thy sense
(reason) would return unto thee, and that thou wouldst consider thy
ways, nor rely upon this world and its illusions nor on its transitory
possessions (wealth).

Time has now been prolonged, and he has become aware of thy firm
resolve not to obey and submit. He has now appointed us, the
lieutenants above named, and he has supplied us with trusty men from
among his companions—men who love death as ye love life, and who
count, in fighting you, on the great reward. Death is dearer to them
than their wives or the very best of their possessions.

One man of them in battle is better than a thousand of you. He has
provided us with weapons of war—in which thou thinkest there is
victory—with Krupp cannon, with mountain guns for battle, in which
thou shalt taste of evil if thou turn aside from the way of God.

The desire of the Mahdi (&c.) is for thy good. He did not stop at the
previous correspondence, but sent you his messengers with his letter,
and he especially sent two Europeans to counsel thee and make the
truth known to thee; and this out of mercy and compassion to thee and
those with thee (to save thee) from destruction in this world and from
the evil of torment in the next. Notwithstanding all this thou hast
remained stubborn, and hast turned thy back to counsel in thy greed
for transitory power, from which thou must soon be removed (by death),
either willingly or unwillingly (either peaceable or violent), and thou
hast replied to the Lord of all (on whom be peace) refusing to submit,
arguing by quotations from the Koran and other prophecies dictated by
thy scribes and thy Ulema, and thou reliest on their proofs with which
thou art not acquainted. But the fulfilment of those passages is to be
found in the Mahdi (on whom be peace) and his honourable companions.

And know, O honourable Pasha, and all erring Ulema who are with
thee—for they do know the truth but do not counsel thee (aright),
because they love the grandeur and wealth which they have obtained from
thee by deceit and sedition.

And listen—if thine understanding be enlightened—to our advice and
to what El Jaber our brother, formerly called George Calamatino, will
advise thee, so that if thou dost obey and submit to the command of God
and His prophet thou shalt save thyself, and obtain the privilege of
saving those who are with thee.

Otherwise do not doubt but that those and those with thee will be
destroyed within two days, because the lord of all will, please
God, come here, and on his arrival—should he still find thee in
rebellion—ye will be destroyed.

Awaiting your decision by bearer.


  Dated 21 Zu’l Kâdi, 1301.
  12th Sept., 1884.

_Postscript._—We also inform thee, O honourable Pasha, that as for
the Ulema who are with thee, and on whose sayings thou dependest,
all their children and relations are with the Mahdi, and as soon as
distress comes to them they will leave thee alone. Outwardly they are
bodily with thee; but inwardly their hearts are with us. The news
(information) of the city and of thee is constantly supplied to us by
the people of the city. Do not let the Ulema, the merchants and the
servants, deceive thee, for when thou shalt fall into the grasp (of the
Mahdi) they will not help thee nor protect thee.

Listen to our counsel with an attentive ear.


  Same date.

[This letter is more peremptory in tone, and lacks the proper titles of
respect given in the former one to General Gordon.]

From General Gordon. (Reply to his honour the Sheikh Abderrahhman en

YOUR letter sent by Mr. George Calamatino, who is called El Jâber, has
reached us. That which you have made known in it is understood. It is
true that this is not my country, and I am a stranger in it, but I am
deputed as Governor-General here by the two great Governments, and must
therefore direct its affairs as becomes my friendship and compassion
for the Moslems.

If there be a man who desires to become a dervish we do not hinder him.
With regard to the Ulema, you state that they are all liars, and that
their words are worthless. But they have said nothing but what they
find declared in the books; nay, all the Ulema of Islâm are plain on
the subject.

They do not wish to sleep on the (bare) ground, or to be dressed like
dervishes, or to change the clothing to which they have been accustomed
from the beginning of the Moslem religion.

We have never sent answers to His Honour Mahomed Achmed, or to any
others, at dictation of scribe or any of the Ulema, but by help of the
Arabic and English lexicon in our possession, dictating them (myself)
word by word; and if you do not believe this send us an eminent man, of
good sense, to listen to my words (and hear), whether they are my own
or not.

In proof (of what I say) I have received three dervishes from Mahomed
Achmed. They had with them the robes, (of a dervish), and I spoke to
them many words in Arabic, and I refused the garments (of a dervish
which had been sent by them). Was that my own doing, or that of any one

But as to the cannons and the guns which ye want to fight us with, we
have still many like them.

We have seen from the letters we receive that the Mahdi destroys people
without cannons and guns, which is true.

As to the words which George, the Greek afore-named, has said, we do
not see any advantage in them (of a visit from him).

With regard to the people and the Ulema, of whom you say that outwardly
their bodies are with us, but that their hearts are with you, and that
in the day of battle they will desert us and flee to you, be it known
unto you that we are not keeping them here, nor preventing them from
going to you.

Their going, or not going, are both alike (to us). Why do they not go?

  (Signed)  GORDON PASHA.

  Date 23 Zu’l Kâder.
  15th Sept., 1884.


Letter from George Calamantino.

  Kartoum, 10th September, 1884.


Accept our salutes.

I beg (beseech) you on behalf of myself and that of the other
fellow-countrymen of mine, of Kordofan and Darfour, to try and induce
by any means Mr. Gordon for me to be permitted to see him, as it is of
great need and of good to yourselves and of the Government my entering
Kartoum; and if Mr. Gordon is not satisfied (with the news I propose
to communicate to him), let him imprison me and prevent me going out
again. If he permits my entering, do send me a European suit (of
clothes), but if he does not, then send out a Greek to meet me; there
is no fear whatever his doing so, and he may go back at once. I am
waiting for a reply close to the entrenchments.

  Your friend,



I beg you to give me permission to enter into Kartoum, because I have
important matters in regard to all the Europeans who are slaves with
the Prophet. If you are not disposed to let me return, I should be
disposed and content to remain with your Excellency.


  Arabic Encampment at Kartoum.
  Sept. 10th, 1884.


I beg you to accept my most cordial respects. It displeases me that you
are irritated; I hope to see you in better moments, and I hope soon for
a favourable issue. Health to all and my respects to you.



Received your letter, asking to come to Kartoum, to tell me important
matters concerning all Europe. I do not want to see you.


  C. G. G.


For these letters see Appendix A².


 Copy of the answer written by the Ulema undersigned, to the Sheikh
 Abdel Kader Ibrahim, and to the son of En Najoomi, dated 23rd Zu’l
 Kadi, 1301.

In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate, the Destroyer of
him who is obstinate against His religion. Blessing and peace be on our
Lord Mahomed and his successors, who have established the foundations
and the solid pillars (of the faith).

God has sent down[261] in His glorious book, through which cometh
nothing false, neither in its direct teaching nor in what may be
deduced therefrom. This has been sent down by the All Wise and All
Worthy of Praise (saying), This day I have completed[262] your religion
for you, and I have perfected unto you My grace, and have granted unto
you Islam as (your) religion; which is the last verse sent down to the
Chosen One (Mahomed). After this let no one heed any saying or accept
any act which is not dictated in the Book or the Soonna. But if there
had been any (fresh) Revelation on which reliance could be placed
for superseding any law of the (established) laws of Islam, it would
involve accusing the precious Book of lying; for after completion no
new thing can be added.

Moreover, it has been unanimously agreed that (anything claiming to
be) a revelation of the prophet, on whom be blessing and peace, if its
sense differ from the Law, that revelation is not to be acted upon,
but must be set aside; and it is one of the absolute conditions of him
who contends (for the faith) that he should not violate the unanimous
agreement, that he who utters the double confession (of faith in God
and the prophet) has (thereby) secured safety for his life and his
property, unless by the Law (right) of Islam as is written in the
Hadith;[263] and this Law (right) of Islam has been defined in the
whole of the true Hadiths (namely) that breach of chastity and murder
are contrary to Law (right) and (constitute) apostacy from Islam. And
among apostates (is he) who forsakes his religion and causes schism in
congregation as is (found) in the Hadiths.

Now this pretender to the office of Mahdi is causing schism in the
congregation and has broken the staff (unity) of Islam, and has ruined
the abodes of the Moslems, plundered their property, dishonoured
their women, and made some tyrannize over others, as is in accordance
with their apostacy, because they have made lawful the killing of
the faithful, the dishonour of their women, and the plunder of their
property, and calling them Kafirs (infidels) without cause, though
these are observing (or defending) the laws of religion, and walking in
the firm road (way of truth); moreover, the majority of his followers
are sorely troubled by what they have seen of slaughter, infamy,
pillage, and taking of captives, nor are they with him body and soul
(heartily), the proof of which is that only a few days passed before
some of them came to seek assistance from the Government against
oppression, famine, and nakedness.

A number of letters have come, some of them from you, in which are
a number of erroneous statements, wherein the Sheikh el Akbar says
that the Most High God has appointed for the Mahdi a divine host of
Ministers (Vizirs), whom God has reserved for him in the depths of His
secret councils; He has revealed them declaring and witnessing about
the Creation, and that which God has commanded for His servants; also
that the Mahdi does nothing except by their counsel; and that they
are Persians (foreigners), not one of them is an Arab, yet they speak
nothing but Arabic; that they have a chief, Hafiz, who is not of their
race, who has never at all rebelled against God; he is the chief of the
Vizirs. Their number does not exceed nine, nor is it less than five. To
every six there is a Vizir, who has special knowledge and functions.
Here ends the quotation.[264]

But where are these foreign Vizirs, and that one among them who
professes that he is an Arab? and what about their excess above that

And with all this you accuse us Ulema of error from the way of truth,
and say that you know what others do not know; whereas, between you and
him that has even the very least knowledge, there is a very wide gulf.

And in those letters you address His Excellency the Governor-General
(Gordon) as Sáadat,[265] and yet they contain accusations of his being
a Kāfir (infidel). Is not this to use terms which contradict each other?

In them you also say that the certain proof as to this being indeed
the Mahdi, the Expected One, on whom be peace, was accepted by you at
the very beginning of his manifestation, and forbids you to receive
letters or to reply to them.

Also in some of your letters you say that you have been among the
number of his Vizirs for the last thirty years. How is this after
what you wrote lately under your seal to your Sheikh el Abeed, that
whoever believes that this Mahomed Achmet is the Mahdi must needs be a
Kāfir (infidel), because there has not come any Hadith, or revelation,
or Athar, but shows to all the world the true nature of this man;
therefore to believe in him would involve giving the lie to him, on
whom be blessing and peace, who is, above all, worthy to be believed?

Here is contradiction? Since your love of the world has actually
perverted you even into saying of him, “Peace be on him.”[266] (‘Alaihy
es salaam.)

But the Prince[267] (of the faith), Abd el Ghani, the Nablusi, said
in his book, the Hadik en Nadih, the commentary on the Mahomedan
religion, No one ought to be distinguished by the salaam (after his
name) excepting the prophets, for one cannot say, Ali, on whom be
peace (salaam); and this rule applies both to living and dead alike,
excepting that a person present may be addressed thereby, for people
say, Peace be upon thee. Here ends the quotation.

You have pretended that the coming of the Imam the Mahdi, the Expected
One, is proved for us and for you in the ancient books, and that it
is impossible for you to incline unto us, and that the hostility of
the Ulema against the Imam the Mahdi and their giving the lie to him
are both proved and mentioned in the ancient books, and you call the
attention of the Ulema to the book _Keshef el Ghummah ‘an jamia’ el
ummah_ of Shaàrani. But here, if you meant this for the ignorant who
do not know the ancient books or _Keshef el Ghummah_, that might do,
for there is not in all the ancient books any reference or allusion
which concerns or points to any Mahdi. Nay, it has been denied by the
greatest men as being unsupported by any Hadith or testimony, and it
originates with the Shiahs, who pretend that our Lord Mohammed, son of
the Hanafiyeh, will appear, and also his father ‘Ali, in the clouds.
But, if we admit the sayings which seem to prove that there will be a
Mahdi, where is the Khorassani, brother of him who is appointed Mahdi
who is to prepare the way for him before his appearing? and where
is the Safiyān who was to be king before him? and where is the arm
which was to appear with the hand pointing (as if to direct)—This is
the Mahdi. Follow him? And where is the dwindling of the Euphrates
displaying the mountain of gold? Or have you found in him the tokens
revealed by the prophet of God, on whom be blessing and peace, that
the Mahdi will not disturb any who is sleeping nor will he shed blood.
But there are proofs to you and to all that he has shed blood, and has
disturbed sleepers to so great an extent that you have made bold to say
that he will destroy all governments. Now if what is said about him and
what you tell us about him (be true), what would be the fruit of joy
and favour to those who submit to him, since the end is destruction?

Now the old books still exist. Produce, therefore, someone who can
show us what you have asserted, for we have found no trace of your
assertions as you have set them forth, especially because it is known
to everybody who knows this man who pretends to be Mahdi that he has
neither tribe nor relations of illustrious origin, and the tribe of
which he comes is very small indeed, nor is it (strong enough) to give
victory in any matters of religion to him who may come forth from it;
and as to his standing alone and separate from any family, which you
have put forward as indicating the validity of his claim, that in
truth is a notable proof of its worthlessness; for, as the learned
Imam Ibn Khaldoon said in his preface, of which we extract a literal
copy and send it to you herewith, from which you will learn that he
is not justified in his claim, and that the religious mission without
(the support of) family will not abide, for every matter of public
concern absolutely needs (the support of) family; and a following and
mob of ignorant folk cannot be called family; but (the support of)
family consists in ancestry and kindred, in whom support is to be
found. Let not his pretension deceive you in that he says he is of
the house (of the prophet), for this is not known or proved amongst
people of position. But, if that were granted, have you seen with him
any of the kindred of the prophet who help him to victory? The whole
of his arguments in favour of his claim (establish) the contrary, and
his proofs and evidences are such as decide against the truth of his
claim. And if you had looked with the eye of justice, and followed the
right, you would not have believed in this pretension, or have called
on people to respond to it, while threatening them with death, pillage
and more. But it was your duty to advise[268] the Moslems and not to
take up arms against them. Have ye not read, He who kills a believer
intentionally merits Jehennam everlastingly, and the wrath of God and
His curse are upon him, and great torment is reserved for him? Or (have
you read) the Hadith—He who has borne arms against us is not of us? Or
the command of the prophet, on whom be blessing and peace (who says),
In killing [a Moslem] he has broken the staff (unity) of the Moslems,
for their interests are one? And the Hadith—The believer is brother to
the believer; he may not oppress him or betray him? And the Hadith—One
believer is to another like (the stones of a) building; they support
one another? Then he, on whom be blessing and peace (in so saying),
clasped his hands (locking the fingers together by way of illustration).

Also the Hadith—He is a believer to whom people have confided their
property and their lives, and he has accomplished the Hegira who flees
from sin and transgression. The believer is the mirror of the believer,
and the believer is brother to the believer who shelters him from harm,
and protects him from his pursuers?

Also the Hadith—Whoever casts a look upon his brother believer to
terrify him unjustly, God will terrify him in the day of Resurrection?

Also the Hadith—The believers are as one man. If he accuse his head,
he accuses the whole body; and if he accuses his eye, he accuses the
whole (body)?

Also the Hadith—The (true) Moslem is he from whose hand and tongue
Moslems are safe, and the believer is he to whom people have confided
their blood (life) and their property?

We have looked at the preface of _Keshef el Ghummah_, and found that
the author said in it—The prophet, on whom be peace, announced to
me that this book will remain until the appearance of the Mahdi, on
whom be peace, and his followers will profit by it, and by it will
be able to dispense with the advice of the Mahdi in most matters of
religion, for when he, on whom be peace, is come, he will do away with
contradictions and differences of opinion on the earth, so that in his
days there will remain none but the pure faith, and the body of the
Ulema of his day will be secretly hostile to him.

But there is not found in it that the Ulema err from the way of truth,
but (there is found) they are to be excused for their thought when
they see him differing in doctrine from the doctrine of their Imams
on account of their conviction that there is no authority above the
authority of their Imams; yet they would submit to him for fear of his
power and through coveting the wealth he possesses, for he and the
prophet are brothers, and no one will oppose him but will fail.

Also in the Hadith (it is found) that they (? he) will follow the steps
of the prophet, blessing and peace on him; he will be infallible, and
he will not decree as to what is lawful or unlawful excepting as he, on
whom be blessing and peace, would have decreed if he had been alive.
He will not surpass any of their Imams in knowledge and thought in the
least. This is what ought to be acted upon, and this as regards him who
has attained such a degree of profound knowledge (of religion) that he
has arrived at differing (ventures to differ), though the Imams are
against him.

But your Imam has not attained this degree of profound knowledge, for
he knows nothing of the six sciences on perfection, on which this
profound knowledge depends. Besides which, he has forsaken the axioms
which are among the essentials of religion.

But the Sha’arāni himself, from whose book you quote as guide, has said
in his book _El Yawakeet w’el Jowahir_ (‘Rubies and Jewels’) that the
Mahdi is to be son of Hassan el Askari, and his birth will be in the
night of the middle of Sha’abān, two hundred, fifty and five, and he
remaineth until he meets Jesus the Son of Mary. (Sha’arāni) said, “Thus
was I informed by Sheikh Hassan el Ar’āki when he met with me, and my
lord Ali el Khowas confirmed the same.”

End of the quotation.

Now if his birth was in the year two hundred, fifty and five, and he
is to be appointed Mahdi as a youth, as is found in the Hadiths, and
(seeing that) from since then that one thousand and forty-six years
have passed, while the age of your Imam does not amount to the tenth
part of those years, how can you quote the evidence of Sha’arāni on
your side and convict us of error by him, while he is quite clear
in (saying) that which contradicts this pretension? Whereas if he
(the Mahdi) had laid claim to sovereignty, that would have been more
agreeable to his (Sha’arāni’s) saying:—He has made his claim because
the people followed him. For the Governor-General here does not prevent
any one from going to him or to any one else, but the roads are open
to all who please; notwithstanding which the people do not cease to
come in crowds and crowds, desiring the protection of his government;
and he protects them, and is beneficent to them, and provides for
them; whereas it is just the opposite with those who go to you, even
the envoys. And if you doubt this, stop the seizing of booty and the
killing of deserters, and pillage after fighting, and see after that
who will follow you? For without doubt there are those who do so under
compulsion, and are distressed thereat, and wrongly imagine that this
is from the Turkish Government. But now we and you are here in the
Soudan, and there is not one here of the Turkish Government. If you
were to come to Kartoum you would not find a Turk. Why, then, is this
war? Is it for the ruin of religion, the slaughter of Moslems, for
the overthrow of houses and mosques, for the burning of the books of
the religion of Islam and the killing of the Ulema, or to close the
way against the pilgrimage of the Hajj (to Mecca)? And this is (your)
Mahdi’s work!

Now, because it has been declared in the _Sabbeehh_ that religion
is sincerity to God and His prophet, and His Imāms the Moslems and
their people, we have written this unto you, in the hope that you will
understand it and will act accordingly before you are hemmed in by the
evil of your deeds. And as to this business, since its close and end
are close at hand, we remind you thereof, and if that which we have
enlarged upon is not sufficient for you, then let your Ulema and your
notables come to examine the matter in a place where both parties will
feel secure. For there is the Book and the Soonna, and let them bring
about union between us, and God will guide whom He will and cause to
err whom He will. But if this does not commend itself to you—although
it is enjoined in the saying of the Most High,—If you should differ
in anything submit it to God and His prophet, if ye be believers in
God and in the last Day;—(then) attend to our proposal and come; let
us call our sons and your sons, and our wives and your wives, and
ourselves and yourselves, and consult, and lay the curse of God upon
the liars.

And be not misled by that which you have mentioned about the slaughter
of Moslems in Kordofan and in the engagement with your Sheikh el Abeed,
for this is nothing in comparison with what happened to the Moslems
in the raid of Tithār and the slaughter of Nebuchadnezzar in the Holy
House,[269] and the destruction thereof, and the war of Tamerlane, and
others beside, which are written in the books, as will be understood
on referring to them; also in the last war, in which were martyred, by
the Beni el Asfar,[270] a number of Moslems past counting. And after
the great wars and destruction of countries the Moslems have not seen
any result injurious to the faith. Was not the Caaba overthrown by
the engines of war? Were not the Imām Hussein and his family slain at
Kerbela? Now, if all this proves that he who conquers has right on his
side, why, then, did you not follow the conquering government which
subjugated the Moslem countries?

Moreover, as to the two engagements you have mentioned, and those who
were killed in them, some of them were killed by thirst and some by
treachery. And it is well known that war resembles the buckets (on a
wheel like see-saw; one up, the other down).

We are ashamed to reply to the foolish comparison you draw about the
raid of Badr and that of Ohod, as we are also ashamed to reply to your
Imam, who places on a level with the righteous Khalifs those weak
(miserables), poor in faith, who are like brute beasts and even more
ignorant. Were we to answer that, it would take too long, wherefore
we lay hold of the reins of our pen and stop it from running in that
Maidān (race-course).

And God will direct in the right way.

  Signed and Sealed.

  Zu’l Kadi 23rd, 1301.
  September 14th, 1884.

  MOOSA MAHOMED, Mufti of the
  Mejlis of Kartoum.

  President and distinguished
  one (Primus) of the Ulema of
  the Soudan.

  SHĀKIR EFFENDI, Mufti of the
  Court of Appeal of the

  Professor of Science at the

  Kādi of the Soudan.



“Letter from Faki Mustapha to Cassim el Moos, Melet of Shaggyehs. No
seal to it.”

In the name of God the Merciful and Compassionate, the bountiful Ruler.

Blessing upon our lord Mahomed; and on his successors and peace.

From the servant of his Lord (without Whom he has no strength), the
Fakeer of God Ahhmed el Mustafa the humble theologian, faithful to
Mohammed, to the beloved and virtuous Cassim el Mousse, the Melek
(king) whom may God ever preserve.

After wishing you abundance of peace, I greatly desire (to see) you.
May God never separate me from you or deprive me of you. And it is well
known to your honour that after seeing you, and (after) your enlisting
in our ranks (in faith), besides the previous friendly ties which draw
us nearer to each other, that we have been very anxious about you and
still think of you night and day; and more especially when you were in
Baghshuda, and as was believed, near the Imâm, on whom be peace. Until
(we heard that) the Most High God has delivered you in His mercy and
goodness; and when you came to this town, inhabited by oppressors. And
(when) it was the will of God that thou shouldst enter into this town
our anxiety about thee increased on account of what we know of the
power of the Mahdi, which no Government can withstand. And when a party
of his enemies were destroyed we made inquiries as to those who were
slain, being anxious (feeling compassion) for thee.

And we pray to the most High God, publicly and privately, to deliver
thee out of it (the city) in safety. And when we heard that you had
departed from it to the Halfai, we returned thanks to God for the sake
of your children and of our children, (both) for your safety and for
your departure from among them. Praises be to God for this. We declare
to you, O Beloved! that as to truth (of the mission) of this Mahdi
(that) our being in his service is sufficient for you, if you believe
in us. Do not pay attention to the Ulema of Kartoum who pretend that
Gordon is right whilst he is the most determined of enemies to those
who believe in the glorious Koran. But it was predicted, before his
appearing, that the Ulema would be hostile to him and that he would
kill them. Also that the nobles would be hostile to him and that he
would fight them and kill some of them even (if they took sanctuary)
under the curtains of the Kaaba (at Mecca).

And this man is that very Mahdi who will perform those deeds. And as
soon as we were convinced of the truth of his mission, we arose and
submitted unto him. We left off study of the glorious Koran, and the
(public) prayers on Fridays, and laid hold of him because he is the
unfailing support (= rock, a phrase applied to God). We have not ceased
to think of you, and when you were in Kartoum we tried to get the safe
conduct, and we obtained it, for yourself and for your property and
your children and your wives and all your followers—explicit, sealed
and signed, and beyond chance of fraud or pretence. God is my witness
in what I say.

I tried to get that good tidings into the town to you, but could not
find the way till God heard my prayers and did not disappoint my hopes
concerning you, so that your wife and her mother came to the Mahdi, on
whom be peace, and I obtained their safe conduct.

I am most deeply anxious about you lest you should be (imprisoned)
again with those people, whose ways God hath straitened (who are in
difficulties), for the Imâm, the Mahdi himself (on whom be peace), has
arrived at Schatt fifteen days ago. And he has honoured us these two
days by writing (from him).

If it is in your power to bring away with you all you have of arms and
ammunition and ships (steamers), meet us with them—that will obtain
for you great honour in the sight of the Imâm, and of his honourable
followers; but if not, God will not require of any man more than he is
able to do (quotation from the Koran). Then come by yourself, and if
you leave behind you any property do not mind it, for you will obtain
that at the conquest (of the city) without diminution. Be not troubled
as to what has happened between you and the Fakeers in the East. It
is a small matter considering the indulgence of the Imâm, on whom be
peace. What you did will not be accounted as misdeeds compared with the
misdeeds of Salehh Lik when he killed the Yakoobāt, and plundered their
property; and the sons of the Mukâtify, and plundered their property,
and took their children, although they were noble. In spite of all
that, he is nearer than any other man to the Imâm, who has forgiven
him, and given him full pardon.

Do not take account of what you have done, but come out to us secretly,
if not openly—that we may convince you of the truth (genuineness) of
the Mahdi—by whom in His mercy God has strengthened our weakness. But
beware of delay, for I fear that after his arrival here you will not
find the way (open) to come to us, nor will our entreaties avail.

Do not heed the ignorant talk of the Ulema of Kartoum, or to the
pretences (ideas) of people who heed carnal things rather than sacred.
Wherefore God has sealed their hearts so that they do not know. They
are (foolish) like ostriches, yea they are inferior (to them).

Oh, my beloved, come by yourself—or with those who are with thee if
thou canst—but beware!—beware of delay. I warn you earnestly against
going back to Kartoum after God has brought you out from thence.

Hasten to us that we may help you before it be too late.

The time of the Turks is over. The rope (line) of their dominion is
cut (severed), and what God has cut cannot be mended. Do not hang upon
(attach yourself to) that which has been cut, and which is declared by
the chosen (people) of God to be indeed cut; as was declared by His
prophet, on whom be peace.

Now, according to what we know of your intelligence and knowledge (we
say) do not be misled by the changes of this life,—for the days are
few. (It is only for a time.) Peace be with you.

  (Signed) The Fakeer of God,

  The theologian, the faithful one of Mohammed.
  I have no seal.

  Dated 19 Zu’l Kâdi, 1301.
  September 10, 1884.

Postscript.—I inform you that Gordon and the Ulema of Kartoum have had
one of their mails captured in Metemma by a one-eyed man, named Mahomed
Ahhmed—(going) to the Governor-General of Egypt (? Cairo).

But as to Gordon’s letters, he says in them that he and those with him
will perish if they are not reinforced within these two months, as they
are in want, and have nothing left in their hands but Kartoum only.

The sum of 55,000 guineas at Berber has been taken by the Fakeers, and
the letter of the Kartoum people tells him that they have been lost.

From this it is evident to you that there is no help for them.
Therefore do not remain with them with your family. The wise man looks
after himself.


  Same date.

You will receive an answer to his honour Ahhmed Bek Ali Jallâb secretly
sent to him, and hand his answer to bearer. Peace (to you).

  Same date.


A Proclamation from Gordon, addressed to the people of Kartoum,
preceded his arrival. He told them that, knowing of the general regret
caused by the severe measures of the Government for the suppression of
the slave traffic, and the seizure and punishment of all concerned,
according to convention and decree, he had resolved that none should
interfere with their property, and that henceforth whoever had slaves
should enjoy full right to their service, and full control over them.
When the terms of this document reached Europe, a storm of indignation
was raised against both the law and the giver. Its terms were greeted
as an insult to the honour of England, and as a violation of all the
traditions of philanthropy. Few paused to consider who was the author
of the concession, few to consider what that concession meant; almost
all were as ready with their blame as but a short while before they
had been prodigal of their praise. The implacable enemy of slavery was
now its friend, and in the name of England had declared his change of
front. What would the world say to this, and what could England say to
the man who, however exceptional his character and career, had thus
misrepresented her?

Perhaps this proclamation, in Europe the motive of so much silliness
and ill-feeling, did more than anything else towards enabling Gordon
to win Kartoum. From the moment it reached the town the attitude of
the inhabitants changed; sullen apathy was converted into joyful
expectation, and thousands who had been ready to welcome the Mahdi
became eager to show homage to Gordon. It was altogether a brilliant
diplomatic conception, the work of a man who thoroughly understood
the character of the people whom he addressed. It restored to those
people rights of which they had been robbed, and which they were now
in a position to regain for themselves whenever they would. Yet in the
simple gift of what was already theirs lay the opportunity of avoiding
much bloodshed and misery—an opportunity which Gordon’s insight into
national characteristics enabled him to understand, and his rapidity of
action enabled him to grasp. By the treaty of 1877, the Soudanese were
permitted to hold their slaves until the year 1889; and this treaty
was made when Egypt had no notion of relinquishing her possession of
the country. Yet it was known to be useless, as its conditions could
never have been carried out. The avowed object of Gordon’s mission to
the Soudan was to remove the Egyptians, and to hand it back to its own
children, an operation which in itself involved the permission to hold
slaves for ever. Had Gordon said, “I come to concede you the Soudan,
which is, when I leave, to be governed as you wish, but after 1889 you
must not hold slaves,” the Soudanese, and the whole of Europe, would
have thought him mad; but as he said, “I come to concede to you the
Soudan, which is, when I leave, to be governed as you wish, so that
you will have the right to hold slaves as long as you like,” it was
only the Soudanese who were able to see the sense and value of the
concession, and to call its author mad was a privilege reserved for
certain European philanthropists.—_The Story of Chinese Gordon_, pp.
70-73. v. ii.



From the Mudir of Kartoum to the Governor-General of the Soudan.

 [This Report was made by H.E. Hussein Pasha, Mudir in the
 neighbourhood of Aloob in Kordofan, and it remained passing from hand
 to hand among the rebels till we heard of its existence. We demanded
 it, and received the following copy, which I transmit just as it is.]

On Saturday, 2nd of Moharram, 1301, was accomplished the arrival of
the detachment of troops in the vicinity of Aloob, which is near the
government seat of Kordofan, by the will of the Creator.

On inspection of them (the troops) it was found that they had suffered
from excessive thirst and the not finding sufficient proper drinking
water for the detachment, on account of the loss, six days before,
of the guide who was appointed to lead the way, and on account of
ignorance of the places where drinking water was to be found.

The consequence of which was to throw the square into a state of
confusion, to the extent that privates could not recognise their
companies nor officers their men. The transport also was scattered—I
mean that the animals were scattered singly (without control). It was
then that Monsieur Hicks, commander of the detachment, ordered the men
and officers to collect in order. But as one of the commanding officers
of the detachment disobeyed, he referred the matters to Alî ed Deen
Pasha, to see to bringing the detachment into order. But his Excellency
answered him that he himself was the commander, and responsible. The
consequence of which was to cause universal weakness and paralysis.
We met a body of troops and were all surrounded in one place, and on
account of what I have said—and for want of water until Sunday, as we
did not find enough to last till then—and thus, it was impossible to
escape destruction.

But oh, alas for the Government authorities![271] who are (themselves)
secure from danger. But if the will of the Most High God has ordained
our death, (so far) delayed, it will be from thirst and not from
anything else.

I, the writer of this report, am called Hussein Pasha, Mudir, an
officer of the Home Government in the army, a native of Egypt—one of
those raised from the ranks; and I adjure you by God, who (may) see
what I have written, (if) you are believers in God and his prophet that
you will make this known to the Government authorities.

The will of God be done, and there is no escape from the decree of God,
Who hears and knows all things. May your life be prolonged.

  Written Friday, 19 September, 1884, 8 o’clock 12 minutes.
  Marked in the corner 77.


Letter from General Gordon to Ibrahim Abd-el-Kader, Kâdi of Kalakla.

This moment we have received a letter from the General of the English
troops (stating) that the English troops who arrived in Dongola have
killed the Fakih (theologian) El Huda and the Shareef Mahhmood who
was sent from Mohamet Achmet for the blockade of Dongola—and they
have (also) killed all the dervishes who were with them; and they are
marching straight on Berber; and that the steamers we sent last week
have arrived at Berber and found it perfectly desolate and empty. They
entered it and seized the two steamers which were lying there. And (the
General states) that Mahomet el Khair fled from them, and that before
this he had deluded the people and told them to come to him to meet the
army ready for Berber; some of them would not go, but some of them went
to him, and when they asked him for their expenses he sent them to an
empty room to take the cash. When they found no cash there he told them
that it was in the possession of a Jin (demon). They were astonished
at this. But when they found that the whole thing was deceit from
beginning to end they returned to the places whence they came. Now,
because you are one of our old friends, and because the brotherhood
between us is a fact known to all people, we send you this news which
we received seven days ago; and now we have very greatly strengthened
the defences of Kartoum and its mines. We are now preparing an
earthquake by means of electricity, and I fear for you on its reaching
your place; nor do we wish you to be among the others (when it takes

Tell the son of Najoomi and Abu Kerjah to go to Dongola. It is better
for them; and later on, when we are arranging matters, we will make
them Sultans.

Do not say that Kartoum is starving, or eating dogs and asses. I swear
that such provisions are not to be found with you as are to be found in
Kartoum—both eatables and drinkables. We do not desire your immediate
submission to the Government, lest Mohamet Achmet should suspect you;
nor should we wish you to obey Mohamet Achmet, but that you should
remain neuter until you see what will happen. As I know that you need
soap for washing your faces, I here send you a small box of that
wherewith we wash our faces.

Salute the son of Najoomi from me, and tell him (that) to-day there
came to us a man from your side, like a peacock, from the quantity of
coloured patches ornamenting his mantle, so that the inhabitants were
astonished at him.

A letter from the Ulema to Mohamet Achmet is also sent to you. Please
forward it to him safely.

  30th of Zu’l Kadi.
  Sept. 21, 1884.


From Abd el Kâder Ibrahim, Kâdi of Kalakla, to General Gordon.

In the name of God the Merciful and Compassionate.

Praise be to God the bountiful Ruler—with blessing on our lord
Mahomet, and peace.

From the servant of his lord Abd el Kâder Ibrahim—the Kâdi of Kalakla
to Gordon Pasha.

Three times have we warned you, sufficiently for people who have sense;
and all on account of your friendship for us, of which you spoke in
your letter.

This was for your safety and for the safety of the poor and of the
Moslems who are with you in the city. But neither our warnings nor our
arguments have taken effect upon you.

You write to us every time that you are steadfast in denying (the
mission of) this Imâm the Mahdi, on whom be peace.

But nothing has led you to this false conclusion except the enmity
between the Moslems and the infidels—and the sayings of the wicked
Ulema who are with you at Kartoum as well as the love of supremacy and
of this life—and the desire to continue therein. O delusion! delusion!
(go to! go to!)

But know that all that thy informants have told thee, and of which
thou hast told us, is false; for had there been anything in it we
were better informed than (any such things taken place we had better
opportunities of knowing it than) thou; because the post and (other)
communications pass by night and by day in all parts (of the country)
which has submitted to the Mahdi, upon whom be peace. And if such
things as you mentioned were to happen that would not weaken his title
to be Mahdi. But the Imâm the Mahdi, upon whom be peace, is victorious;
and beyond all doubt he will destroy all rebels and hypocrites,
although he were left alone in the world without a man with him, as has
been proved by evidence and by eye-witnesses.

Such communications as you send do not please the hearts of the
auxiliaries (of the Mahdi)—especially of their Emirs—for by God,
they are firmly resolved and determined, and every one of them comes
and goes (being) willing to die; and they are not afraid of threats by
word or deed. But under all circumstances they trust in God. For this
Mahdi is right. English troops or chemicals (electricity) or stores
of ammunition will not avail against the Mahdi. What will avail (you)
is to return to the truth and cast away what is false; and for all to
submit and surrender to this Imâm, upon whom be peace.

There is no deliverance or safety excepting in him; and if you really
have friendship for me, as you say, listen to my words and benefit by
them, and surrender yourselves with the Moslems,—otherwise the day
will soon come when you will learn who has been the greatest liar.

As to the box of soap sent by your messenger, it has reached us, and
here we send it back to you rejected; because your sending back the
present of the Imâm the Mahdi—upon whom be peace—compels us to return
your present. And how could we do otherwise than return it, when you
sent back the present of the Vicegerent upon Earth of God, and His
prophet, upon whom be blessing and peace? Whereas acceptance of a
present promotes goodwill.

In fine, this letter now (last) sent has done nothing but increase the
ill-will; for if you and the people of the city had known the facts
about the auxiliaries of the Imâm, upon whom be peace, who are now (in
arms) against and around the city, you would not have written this, but
you would simply have surrendered—if so be that God wills your safety
and that of those that are with you.

This is my advice to you. (Surrender.)

God is the guide into all truth, and unto Him all return and submit.


  Written last day of Zu’l Kadi, 1301.
  Sept. 21, 1884.


From Abderrahhmân en Najoomi and Abdallah en Noor to Gordon Pasha.

In the name of God the merciful and compassionate. Praise be to God the
bountiful Ruler, with blessing on our lord Mahomed and his successors,
and on whom be peace.

From the servants of their Lord Abderrahhmân en Najoomi and Abdallah en
Noor to Gordon Pasha, representative of England and of the Khedive. May
God guide him into truth. Amen.

We have to state to you that as to thy presence in the Soudan this last
time, and thy first letter to the Imâm the Mahdi, on whom be peace, and
as to thine appointment by the Khedive; the Imâm the Mahdi, on whom be
peace, has written to thee, and has shown thee the truth in leading
thee to God; and also that which concerns thy salvation and that of
those with thee, and how thou mayest attain salvation in this world and
in the next.

Thou hast replied to his Highness (in a manner) contrary to that
(which was) expected (of thee) rejecting the truth, whether for or
against thee. After we arrived with our hosts to fight thee and drive
thee into submission—willingly or unwillingly—the Imâm, out of
compassion for thee and those with thee, a second time exhorted thee
to surrender to the command of God and his prophet, and gave thee
the covenant (in the name) of God and His promise that if thou didst
surrender thou shouldst be (assured of) safety, with thy children, thy
property, and all that thou hast, (thus) securing to thee the same
(privileges) as to us, and the same (duties) as are required of us.

You have received that letter of his by his messengers the Moslems whom
he appointed from thence to advise thee, after our arrival in this
(desert) Deem. But neither you nor those with you have accepted the
call (wherewith) God and His prophet have called you.

You answered as you did to our lord, and you demanded a thing of Abd el
Kâder Ibrahim, when el Jâber the Moslem came (to thee), (who was) one
of the messengers sent to thee for negotiation—(but) thou didst send
him back. Yet we had sent him to thee in our intention for good and in
our goodwill towards thee and towards those with thee. And we wrote to
you the advice which reached you. Nevertheless, you did not listen to
the truth nor accept it—because the will of God must be accomplished.

We had therefore resolved not to correspond any more with you, nor to
communicate with you except by the sword and such like weapons, until
we have destroyed your glory and your strength departs (from you) and
we pluck you out by the roots when we seize you in our grasp. However,
yesterday your messenger arrived with a letter from you to our brother
Abd el Kâder Ibrahim, in which you deceitfully counsel him and try to
seduce him from his religion, and in which you tell him to desire us
and Aboo Kerja to go to the Dâr el Gharb (West) (as being) better for
us—because when you are arranging matters you will make us Sultans.
But every man of sense knows that all things are in the power of God
and not in your hand, nor in that of those who appointed you, nor in
that of the English, on whom you depend. And you lie unto the people
with you about their arrival (the English) at Dongola, and about their
killing Sheikh Ahhmed el Huda and the Shereef Mohammed; and that they
were going straight to Berber; and that Mahomed el Khair[272] the Emir
of Berber ran away from them, and made fools of the men with him when
they asked him for their pay. As to your promise of making us Sultans
when you settle the affairs of the country as stated in your letter,
and your statement that the steamers sent last week by you had found
Berber desolate and deserted, and that the two steamers found there
had been captured, we have learned from this letter of yours that the
steamers you sent did not seize anything at Berber except only the
steamers, and it is known to all the world that the Moslems captured
a quantity of Government stores which were in Berber. But you do not
mention having seized any of them—only the steamers.

Lying does not become a Pasha such as you.

And we received the day before yesterday a letter from Mahomed el Khair
telling us that he was on the shore—both east and west—ready to fight
your steamers. And, please God, they (the steamers) with the guns, will
not go back to you a second time. But the last will overtake (redeem)
the first, and you will not hear of them again. We did not think that
with your intelligence and your knowledge that God has strengthened
us in His earth, you would have told us lies or tried to frighten and
deceive us, and those who are with us, by talking of things (already
better) known to us, and of which we have constant information,
(receiving) news day and night from all parts of the world.

And you seem to have chosen for us, that we should go back to the
West (Dâr el Gharb;) trying to deceive and mislead us through desire
for the life of this world, and (as though) we covet (the dignity) of
being Sultans and (to have) dominion. But we call upon thee to come to
God and His prophet, and to follow the right faith, and to reject the
religion in which thou art, and to adopt the religion of our prophet
Mahomed, on whom be blessing and peace; and the fellowship of his
Khâlif Mahomed, the Mahdi, on whom be peace. If thou wilt do this thou
shalt have honour in this world and in the next.

Otherwise, if thou dost still look forward to the coming of the
English, who, as thou pretendest, have reached Dongola, and are going
to Berber, know for certain and be sure—and accept the advice we
give thee on the subject—that all the Soudan country, except Kartoum
and the towns of Sennaar and Dongola, is all of it in the hands of
the Mahdi, and in the possession of his honourable friends. From the
extreme border of the Soudan to Suakin, and to Reef, no one shares with
them (in the possession thereof).

The Government who sent thee as Governor-General does not possess a
single hand-breadth of ground.

The English came several times to Suakin. They were killed (fought)
by one of the lieutenants there—Oshman ibn Aboo Bekr Digna—who has
captured all their armies and the booty thereof.

Therefore, look to thy own safety elsewhere without (relying on) them,
and prepare thyself for what may happen to thee before their arrival.
For the whole English Government (nation) could not pass by way of
Suakin or Dongola. But even if the English were to come God would kill
them by the hand of His faithful before they (could) reach you. Know
that the Imâm the Mahdi, on whom be peace, has sent us for the sole
express purpose of fighting thee and as advance-corps to prepare the
way of his army and of his Highness.

But whereas thou hast been appointed Governor on behalf of two eminent
Governments—and as thou sayest that thou hast come to arrange the
affairs of the Soudan—thou wilt not find a better opportunity for
carrying out thy intention and desire successfully than (now) in these
two days before the arrival of the whole army.

But if thou and those with thee in the town delay—awaiting the
English—till after the arrival here of the whole army and the noble
presence (of the Mahdi) you will be disappointed in your hope and
desire. Therefore it (will be) much better for thee to collect all thy
forces and come out to meet us beyond the fortifications, from which we
are but an hour distant.

Then thou and thy men may attain your wish, and go back to your
fortress, happy in having fought us. But if thou dost delay until the
arrival of the whole army and of the noble presence, we are certain
that you will not then think of fighting or of hoping to possess
(conquer) any more.

It can therefore only be your excessive fear of us which prevents your
coming out and fighting us. Soon, please God, thou and those with thee
will be in our grasp, and will taste the sore evil (result) of your
unwillingness to follow the way of God.

Know oh! Excellency Gordon, that whereas thou hast said in thy letter
to Abd el Kâder Ibrahim that thou wast diligently working in preparing
an earthquake, and didst fear for him when it should reach him, that
thy saying is nonsense, unworthy for an intelligent being to utter.

Has the Earth, indeed, brought out to thee her demons? (for thy

Thou hast tried to frighten him by saying that thou wast coming out
thyself to fight and kill us, and didst order him to leave us. But this
(coming out to fight) would have pleased us better.

The earth is (become) too straight for thee, wide though it be, and
thy ways (of escape) are cut off. Look out for thyself (to find) way of
escape from the judgments (vengeance) of God and of His prophet. For
we have thee by the hair of the head, through the power of God and his

As to the answer sent by the Ulema to the Imâm the Mahdi, on whom be
peace, we have sent it by a special messenger to be placed in his
hands. But do not thou rely on the lies they tell in it, because since
the reply which they sent by Jāber the Moslem, in which they denied in
the strongest terms (the validity of the claim of) the Mahdi, they sent
messengers and letters to the Mahdi, on whom be peace, apologizing for
what they wrote to him, and for what they may (in future) write, making
oath to him that they are compelled by you to utter these things for
fear of their life, and (only do so) pending the arrival of his noble
presence, and they pray him not to have any ill-will against them for
what they may say.

If thou hast sense, do not regard what they write, but have it sent
through you.

And whatever you may find to your interest and for the prolongation of
thy dominion, about which thou art deluded, and from which thou shalt
soon depart, please God, do it without their advice or counsel, for all
they show thee is only deceit, till they (can become) master of their
opportunity to join the Imâm the Mahdi, on whom be peace.

As to the favour which God has granted to Sheikh Ahhmed el Huda and
Shereef Mahmood and the faithful ones with them to die as martyrs, that
is the ultimate object (of desire) for all followers of the Imâm the
Mahdi, on whom be peace, and what they have promised him (to do), and
what they pray God may honour them (in granting to them).

We pray God to grant us the favour He has accorded to them, and to
bestow on us the honours of martyrdom, pleasant in His sight. And we
continue in prayer to God to make us among His beloved ones honoured
by Him with martyrdom. For He has the power to do this, and to Him it
appertains to hear (prayer).

What we have said is enough. God has the guidance in His hand.

  (Date and Seals cut off.)

[The length of these letters, and the persuasions used, even the great
sheet of paper and the writing of the letters, testify to the great
respect in which General Gordon was held.

The subterranean earthquake or mine—to be produced by chemicals or
electricity—is mentioned in this letter in reply to the mention made
in General Gordon’s former letter. These chiefs do not believe he could
do such a work except by aid of demons or Jins.

Where, in exhorting General Gordon to surrender, they point out his
critical condition, and use the phrase, “_We have thee by the hair
of the head_,” this is in allusion to the conqueror’s hold upon a
prostrate foe (by the one lock of hair which Moslems have on their
heads), just at the last moment, when the sword is uplifted to slay.]


Letter from General Gordon to the Honourable the Sheikh Abderrahhmân en

Yesterday we wrote to you (as to) the arrival of the English troops
in the neighbourhood of Merowé, and to-day also we have received
letters from the troops, and herewith we send you a specimen of the
correspondence; and although it it is very minute we have read it
with a magnifying glass. But you must open your eyes well that you
may yourselves see its minute letters. English troops have arrived in
the neighbourhood of Merowé; ten regiments, infantry, cavalry, and
artillery, and the rest are behind them in Dongola and Wady Halfa.
(We are informed) that the Mudir of Dongola has killed the Fakir
(Theologian), Ahhmed el Huda, and the Shereef Mahmood, who is the uncle
of Mahomed Achmed, sent from Kordofan. Every one of their host was
destroyed. Other information has reached us by special messenger from
Berber, that our steamers have entered and are awaiting the arrival of
the army.

Before now we announced in one of our proclamations issued to the
inhabitants after our arrival, that we had repeatedly advised the
people to give up (their rebellion) but they did not return (to
allegiance) and that we should be obliged to bring English troops to
this country to chastise the rebellious and bring them to submission.
But I suppose you considered these words to be lies until this army
arrived near to Berber, (an army) which no strength of theirs could

A few days ago we sent you notice to go to Kordofan and remain there,
and that we would make you one of the Sultans of the West. You had
better listen to this advice and go with your men and be happy with
them, obeying your Sultan Mahomed Achmed.

Information has reached us that you have made contracts with the Arab
sheikhs for bringing provisions upon their camels, (for) about 1000
camels, and (that) the sheikhs received from you a quantity of ready
money for buying provisions and ran away from you. All the Soudan
soldiers hate you and have come to us; but if we are bad, as you
imagine, these soldiers would not have followed us.

Mahomed Achmed informs us that he ordered Aboo Kerjah to convert us
to his faith, but this fellow understands drinking Merissa (_i.e._
date-beer) better than anyone else, and we think he may teach us

Please God, the soap we sent yesterday to Sheikh Abd-el-Kader, to wash
his face with, may be found like (as good as) the towel which Mahomed
Achmed sent to Mr. Costi (Cuzzi) Moosa to wipe his face with.[273]

The guns we fired yesterday were (in rejoicing at) news of the coming

Therefore the first and best thing (for you to do) is to consider the
news sent you herein enclosed, and arise and go back to your places
with whatever you have of guns and such like, as the air is bad here.
But Sheikh Ibrahim Abd-el-Kader may remain in his place as his home is
in the neighbourhood of Kalakla, and as he is one of our friends and an
owner of crops in this district.

But if you do not listen to this advice, one of these days you
will arise in the morning and find yourselves in a tremendous

As for the cannon you fired at us yesterday, they killed about 20,000
of our soldiers, so that we were altogether tired out with burying the
dead, and this is as war should be.

After writing this we received your last letter, and as you do not
accept the advice, remain where you are with Sheikh Abd-el-Kader as you
now are.

Gordon Pasha in Kartoum.

  (Signed) C. G. GORDON.

  Date 2nd Zu’l Hejjeh, 1301.
  Aug. 24, 1884

       *       *       *       *       *

(On the back of General Gordon’s letter.) Reply to General Gordon.

In the name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate.

From Abderrahhmân en Najoomi and Abdallah en Noor to Gordon.

Yesterday we sent you an answer to your letter brought to us by your
messenger, who is going back, in which we told you to come out of
the fortress to meet us in fight before the arrival of the standards
(troops) sent to us from the Imâm Mahomed, the Mahdi, on whom be peace,
as we are now near to you—within eyesight. And (as) probably you will
not have another opportunity after these two days. But you have not
done so.

Even to-day we have received your letter and proclamation, both sealed
and signed by you, which are not satisfactory answers to our letter.
But you put in them nonsense—like unto dreams.

But we are better informed than you; for the hands (power) of the
Mahdi, on whom be peace, are over the whole world; and he receives news
from all parts thereof.

We are not inside a fortress listening to the sayings of hypocrites,
who run away like slaves, and the like—on whose authority you issue
lying and deceitful proclamations.

You mention in your answer[275] that you have received a letter from
the troops; but on looking at it we find (that it is) a proclamation
from you, with your own seal, and not from the army.

How can you say so, and contradict yourself? From this we learn that
all your sayings are lies. And after this let there be no more letters
or communications between us and you; but (only) war.

The proclamation is enclosed (returned).


This letter is without any of the usual forms of civility at the top,
and is addressed simply “to Gordon,” without any title, and on the back
of his own letter. It is also written high up, near the top of the
sheet, as from a superior to one greatly his inferior.


Letter from Lieut-Colonel Stewart, C.M.G., to General Gordon.

  Island of El Hassa Heya, 4 miles south of Berber,
  14th September, 1884.


You will no doubt be surprised at our not having yet passed Berber,
but the fact is, we had several vicissitudes the first couple of days.
You know already what happened the first day, how through the ignorance
of the captain and the Reis, we ran into the bank and damaged our
wheel. The second day the captain ran us on to a mud bank, where we
stuck for four hours, and were with difficulty got off by the _Saphia_.
This was too much for my patience. I am sorry to say I lost my temper
and rather severely handled the individual, turned him out and put the
second in command; on the 11th we passed safely through the Shoboloha
defile. We saw the broken end of the telegraph cable which is to the
south of the defile. Anchored for the night opposite the village of Om
Ghirka, and on the right bank, at a small cultivated island inhabited
by Shaggyeh, whose chief is Bab Bekr el Mek, a brother of Cassim el
Moos. His people received us very well; supplied us with all the wood
they could get. The chief came on board, complained greatly of the
dervishes, but said, with the exception of the Shaggyehs all the tribes
were wholly with the Mahdi. I enclose a letter which he has written
you. He begs you will send soldiers, rifles, etc., when he will openly
declare himself for the Government. So far as I am able to judge, the
Shaggyehs are strong for the Government. At the Shaggyeh villages we
passed, the people all showed their joy at our appearance by dancing
and shouting. The villages were all along the right bank. The left
bank was sullen, if not openly hostile. Bab Bekr reported that a boat
full of dervishes had been recently up the river, collecting tithes;
the _Fascher_ steamer also appears to come up now and then. The Arabs
also appear to have received news of our expedition. During that night
war drums were being beaten on the left bank. On the 12th we received
some shots from the left bank, and about mid-day halted at a Shaggyeh
island for an hour or so, where we got some wood. The people were again
friendly. Beyond this island we got into the Djaalen country. Passed
Metemma, where we saw crowds of people and several flags; were fired
on, but distance too great to do any harm. Soon after reached Shendy.
Here we were also fired on. The Government house has been loop-holed,
and there is a small breastwork wall in front of it. The _Saphia_
threw a couple of shells into the town. Saw a man with a letter making
signs to us, so stopped a little below the town, but he did not come
on. Halted again at an island and looted the village on it; killed a
lot of cattle and pulled the houses and Sakkéyés down. We were again
fired on from the left bank, and the war drums were beaten all night.
On the 13th we found both banks of the river openly hostile. Close to
the low hills of Om Ali, on right bank, we saw a gathering of horse
and foot; fired at them and knocked over a horseman. Below this point
we had to hug the right bank very closely, and some Arabs turned out,
ran alongside the steamer, waving swords and lances. We could have
knocked them over with the greatest ease, but refrained, as they were
so plucky. In the afternoon looted a boat going up with sugar. Halted
on right bank about an hour and a half above El Duem. War drums going
on all night. On the 14th we spent the day destroying Sakkéyés in a
systematic manner, taking them one after another. They gave us a fine
supply of wood, without which it would be absurd to go on to Berber.
Should think we have destroyed fifteen to twenty Sakkéyés. This
evening, when halted, have noticed a number of horse and foot come
from the north to the village opposite on right bank. After looking at
us for some time they retired, apparently in the direction of Damr.
I suppose they came to reconnoitre, and perhaps to attack us while
destroying Sakkéyés. To-morrow we shall start before daybreak, and the
steamers will escort us to the other side of Berber. I think everything
now is in fair working train, and am sanguine of getting through all

At the village of Bab Bekr, an Egyptian soldier came on board who had
belonged to the Berber garrison. He had been sold for fourteen dollars
to a certain sheikh, who is said to have a lot more of his comrades. I
shall send him on as baksheesh to the Khedive. So far as I am able to
judge, with the exception of the Shaggyeh, the whole country is with
the Arabs; have no certain news about Dongola, beyond that the garrison
is strong. Some have told us there is a large Egyptian force there, but
others appear to have no knowledge of it. Cannot say much in favour of
the men on _Saphia_ and _Mansowrah_. They will think of nothing but
loot, will not work, and scatter about in the most dangerous way. Omar
Bey appears to have little control over them. I must, however, say that
both he and the steamer captain have done everything in their power to
assist me, and more especially the captain of the _Mansowrah_.

Both Herbin, myself, and Power, wish to be remembered to you. You may
depend upon it that I shall do everything in my power to assist you.
Thanking you for the very great kindness with which you have overlooked
my shortcomings, and praying that the blessing of the Almighty may
abide with you,

  I remain, my dear General,
  Yours very truly,

P.S.—How I wish you were with us.

I have advised Omar Bey on account of the very indifferent quality of
his troops, who are no better than an armed mob, to be very careful how
he lets them land anywhere. He tells me he has now fuel sufficient to
remain two days at Berber, and steam again some distance up the river,
and that he does not intend to allow them to land. I confess I think
he shows his discretion. The incident I mentioned of the Arabs running
alongside our steamer and defying us with sword and lance, impressed me
vividly with their daring and recklessness. I am afraid our miserable
troops would be scattered as chaff before the wind by them. As far as
Shendy you may consider the right bank, if not wholly friendly, is not
at any rate openly hostile.

With that exception the whole country so far as I have seen is hostile.
The Djaalen have I am afraid gone over heart and soul to the Arabs. All
our successes and failures are known everywhere. Mahomet Ali Pasha’s
defeat is perhaps exaggerated.

I forgot to mention that the country is in fine cultivation, and the
people working away at their irrigation as if nothing was the matter.
South of Shendy on right bank they did not run away at our approach,
and even north of that place some few remained and looked at us
unconcernedly. Most however, north of Shendy, ran away, or fired at us.

Letter from Monsieur Herbin, the French Consul, to General Gordon.

  15 Septembre 1884.


Avant de passer Berber permettez-moi de vous remercier encore mille
fois de toutes les bontés que vous avez eues pour moi et de vous
affirmer que je n’oublierai jamais le charmant accueil que le Consul
de France a trouvé auprès du “O Komudar,” M. Herbin—auprès du Général

Malgré les ennuis que vous a causé Mahomet Achmet, je ne regretterai
pas, je vous assure, mon voyage à Khartoum, car j’espère que vous me
permettrez, plus tard, de vous rappeler que je m’y trouvais en même
temps que vous.

Avec les vœux que je fais pour que les événements soient dirigés par
Dieu dans un sens qui vous soit favorable, recevez, mon Général,
l’assurance de mes sentiments de profond respect et d’absolu dévouement.


P.S. Vous me pardonnerez, n’est-ce pas, de vous écrire au crayon.

  A Son Excellence,
  le Général Gordon,



Letter from Abou Gugliz to General Gordon.

In the name of God the Almighty and merciful, and praise be to our
Prophet Mahomet and his relations.

From the servant of God Mahomet Osman Abou Gugliz to Gordon Pasha, the
beloved by England, and the Khedive, may God beguide him to the true
faith. Be it known to you that the bearer, Fatmah, has been seen by
the Fakeers, and they thinking she was a spy, they imprisoned her. It
is true that she is suspicious, being from the inhabitants of Kartoum.
When I saw her I forgave her, and have released her from prison, and
left it to her choice whether to remain here or go back to Kartoum—she
preferred going back, therefore I send her; if she is a spy ask her,
and she will tell you—if not, treat her as you think right.

  23 El Hejah, 1301.
  October 13th, 1884.



From Fakirs El Sayet Eltahen and Hamed Idreer to Commandant Omdurman

In the name of God, the Merciful and Almighty, praise be to Him and our

From El Sayet Eltahen and Hamed Idreer to Issat Osman Bey, the Colonel
and Commander of Omdurman Station, and to all officers with him, our
brethren in God. After many salaams and anxiety to see you, we write
as friends and companions of the same religion, and as there has been
no animosity or hatred existing between us up to the present day, we
inform you that the Government of Egypt is no more under the Turkish
Empire, but the English have taken possession of it, and you, being
Arabs and Moslems, how would you then remain with the infidels and
join Gordon, who has no one except slaves and other very low class of
people, and Kartoum being surrounded on all sides with great numbers of
troops, notwithstanding the approach of the Descendent of the Prophet,
our Iman, and the Iman of all Moslems, Mohamed Achmet, the Mahdi, son
of Abdullah, who has come to a very short distance from Omdurman with
an unlimited number of troops, how Kartoum can oppose them. When we
saw these signs, we have hastened to write to you these lines, and
ask you to come with all your belongings and join our Emir, and that
you should be admitted into the fellowship and take security. You had
better not delay until Wednesday, because the Immaum is expected either
to-morrow, Tuesday, or Wednesday. So do not procrastinate one single
day. Come before the Immaum comes, and you will be well received and
well treated; the same as happened to those who have come before you.
You are, no doubt, aware of the mercy of our Emir Ahmad el Mostapha;
and the Mahdi has sent orders to the said Emir, and instructed him
that all who come out from Kartoum or from the fort should be given
security and receive no harm. Therefore, you should send two messengers
to meet us, and inform us of your designs; and we hope to be the cause
of your safety. Let it be known to you that our Emir is like the ark
of Noah—whoever comes to it will be saved, and who refuses will
perish in deluge; so do not procrastinate not one day. The Emir was
in communication with you at first, to send messengers from your part,
in order to come to an understanding; but now there is no time for
that. One single day will be enough to cause your perish. On account of
friendship we send you this advice; and God is a witness of the truth
of our statement. You are strangers in this country, but not strangers
to our religion; but Gordon is a stranger to both. Now then, would you
leave us and join him? We are told that Gordon Pasha is telling you
that the English are coming. What if they come? What can they do to our
troops? We are very certain that the English who are at Suakin have all
perished by Osman, and those who are at Assouan are besieged there, and
have fortified themselves there, and given up the Soudan; so all the
projects of that infidel are failing, and also the steamer of Stewart
Pasha and the Consul was caught at the cataract, and those who were on
board were all killed. We send you also a letter addressed to Farratch
Pasha el Zeeb. Should you think right, send it to him; and, if you fear
the result, tear it up and destroy it. Leave the others and come and
be saved. We are here near you; come to us secretly, and leave those
infidels to their fate. Send Ibrahim your servant, with those you chose
to send as messengers, as he is trustworthy, and we can deliver any
secret to him. We await your early arrival, so as to go together with
Emir Mustapha, on Tuesday the 23rd El Hajah, to the Mahdi. Peace be
upon him!

  (Signed) HAMED IDREES.

From Faki Mustapha to Commandant Omdurman Fort.

In the name of God, &c., &c.

From the servants of God, Ahmed el Mustāpha, the Governor of the Mahdi,
on whom be peace, son of El Iffah el-Ameen to Issat Osman Bey Caimmakam
of the Omdurman Station, and to all the officers and soldiers, may God
direct the right.

Good friends, we have so often called you to God and to His Apostle,
and to his Mahdi (Reformer), on whom be peace, in our letters, but you
have neither come nor sent us messengers. But inasmuch as the Fakirs
performing patrol duty, and the sentinels tell us that you do not fire
upon them if they fire at you, and if they pass close by you you do
them harm, hence we hope good of you, and hope of God that you will be
directed to the Mahdiship. And now the man of the times has come, the
Iman of all Moslems, the successor of God’s Apostle our Lord Mahomed
the Mahdi [Reformer], son of Abdullah, to a place near to us one day’s
journey from our camp. Out of solicitude for God’s creatures we have
taken the trouble to write this to you after having done so already
repeatedly; and we have sent you your Brethren, Saddeek, son of Taher,
and Hamid el-Shâyib, in order that you should meet them outside beyond
the Fakeers, and agree with them on the plan which shall spare your
property and children, and write you to us before the arrival of the
Mahdi, lest you be lost with those who are lost, which God forbid. You
know our solicitude for the people, and that we do not interfere with
the property or lives without legal authority. Therefore do not fear
us, neither the Imâm, on whom be peace, and who is better than we and
better than all God’s creatures, excepting God’s Prophet. Therefore
you shall have security from God, His Prophet, His Reformer [Mahdi],
and security from me also, who am God’s humble servant. Keep this as
a document to witness against us, sealed with my seal, both in this
world and the next, that if the least harm befall you, your children,
or your property, if you write yourself to me this night, which is
the night before Tuesday the 24th el-Hijjah, for fear lest you delay
further you will find no other opportunity of reaching us, and will
perish. We have already informed you that this Mahdi is the true and
expected Reformer who shall possess the eastern parts and the western
parts of the earth. Will he therefore be too weak to conquer Kartoum,
in which there are only base people and people having no following? And
we know perfectly the number; and they are in want of their relief from
the North, which has been cut off; and the steamer called _Kartoumiah_
has been taken, and the Fakeers have killed those who were in it,
and it was sunk over against Gordon like the people of Seba. Do not
therefore destroy yourselves with him. Those admonished you out of pity
for you that you may be among those who are saved, not among those
that perish. If you listen to my words, come out to your Brethren, and
afterwards come to us, and we will speak about that which will be for
your interest, that is to say, we will agree with you on the delivery
of the sentinels by night, so that the morning will find the Fakeers
there, and will find you with your property with your Brethren here in
the camp, and to-morrow we will meet the Imâm near here, and you will
have saved yourselves. But if you reject our words you will rue it, and
I have thus admonished you.


  October 13, 1884.
  23 Hijjah, 1301.

_P.S._—Herewith is a letter to Ferratch Pasha el-Zeeb, if you send it
by some one who will keep the secret all right. But if any harm come
to you therefrom, then let it alone and save yourselves, and if you
come to us now, and one piastre of your property be lost, or one drop
of your blood, I am responsible, for this is a document against me.
Besides, Our Sovereign Lord the Imâm has given security to all who come
over to us from the people of Kartoum, and from your fort, and there is
no fear.

  [L. S.]


Letter from Slatin Bey.

  A Son Excellence Gordon Pacha,
  Gouverneur Général du Soudan.


J’ai me permi d’écrire à votre Excellence une lettre en allemande
dans laquelle je vous offre mes services. J’ai été obligé d’écrire à
votre Excellence en allemande parce que on a brûlé mon Dictionnaire
française croyat c’est une livre de prière crétienne. J’espère de
trouver l’occasion de m’uni avec votre Excellence et l’acceptation de
mes services. J’espère que vous vous portez bien et prie Dieu qui vous
donne la siege.

  Dévoué et obéissant serviteur,

Une de vos Sandechaque, Abdel Habin, a écri une lettre ici demandant
le pardon, comme j’entende veulent les Scheigines quitte le Halfai et
sê uni avec les partisans du Mahdi pas par l’enémitié contre votre
Excellence, non seulement par peure pour leurs femmes et enfants.

J’entends que votre Excellence m’ont écri une lettre, me je ne l’ai pas
reçu; on dit que le Chalifa Abdullah l’a brûlé.

Letter from Slatin Bey.

His Excellency Gordon Pasha, Governor-General of the Soudan:


I have learnt through George Calamatino, the bearer of the letter from
Mahomet Achmet, that your Excellency, not knowing the true facts of the
case, judges my proceedings and capitulation disparagingly. I therefore
take the liberty of informing you of the true state of affairs as they
are and as they have been, and beg that you may form your opinion of me

Since my appointment as Governor of Darfur, I have been engaged in
warfare with Sultan Haroun and Dud Benga, and when the revolution,
caused by Mahomet Achmet broke out, I was left in Darfur without
officers; some of them had been killed, some had been dismissed by the
Government, and the few remaining ones were not fit to take a command.
At the first outbreak, even of hostilities which were simultaneous
with those of Achmet el Arabi in Egypt, I was compelled personally to
take a command. After several battles, all more or less unsuccessful,
the Arabian officers who bore me a grudge and firmly believed in the
victory of Achmet el Arabi over the Europeans, gave out among the
soldiers as their opinion, that the cause of my defeat lay in my being
a Christian. In order to stifle these injurious opinions, I gave out
that I had for some years already practised the Mahomedan religion and
now publicly proclaimed my conversion. By this step I had regained the
confidence of my soldiers, inspired them with hope, had given them a
happy confidence, uprooted malicious intrigues and conducted several
successful battles until the annihilation of the army in Kordofan
commanded by Hicks.

Whether by my conversion I committed a dishonourable step is a matter
of opinion—it was made more easy to me because I had, _perhaps
unhappily_, not received a strict religious education at home.

I commanded in Dara against the tribes known to your Excellency as
Razagat, H. L., &c., and in spite of great loss of life and want of
ammunition, we were full of glad confidence in Hicks’ reserves, but
after the annihilation of the latter the demoralised troops refused to
fight any longer. I had now at my disposal about 700 soldiers, counting
sick and wounded, and for each gun ten to twelve dozen cartridges.
Officers and men demanded capitulation, and I, standing there alone
and a European, was compelled to follow the majority and compelled to
capitulate. Does your Excellency believe that to me, as an Austrian
officer, the surrender was easy? It was one of the hardest days of my

By submission and obedient behaviour I have attained a certain degree
of confidence amongst the local magnates, and have thus received
permission to write to you, because they are of opinion that by these
lines I am requesting your Excellency to surrender.

Should your Excellency not despise my feeble services and small
knowledge of tactics, I beg to offer you my help, with no desire for
a higher post of honour only from devotion and friendship for your
Excellency and the good cause. I am ready with or under you, for either
victory or death. My few faithful ones here, my fortune, &c., all—all
will I gladly desert to die, if God so please, an honorable death.

Should you accept my services, I beg your Excellency to write me an
answer to these lines in French, but in Arabic the following letter:

“Seek to obtain the permission of Seid Mohamed Ebn Seid Abdullah,[276]
to come to Omdurman in order to discuss with you the possibility and
conditions of surrender.”

By showing this letter I hope to obtain permission and opportunity
to come to Omdurman and to unite with you. It now remains with your
Excellency to accept or refuse my services.

May God give you the victory.

  Your Excellency’s
  Most gratefully devoted,

Sandjak Saleh Bey, as well as Ata Aga and all other sheiks here,
assure your Excellency of their fidelity and devotion, and regret the
miserable circumstances which force them to remain with the supporters
of Mohamet Achmet until help arrives in order to preserve their wives
and children.


Lettre de Slatin Bey à Mr. Hansall.

(Traduction française.)

Le Maigdi vient, mais il n’y a pas beaucoup de monde avec lui, et
si les soldats et les habitants de Kartoum sont suffissants et ne
partagent pas les avis des rebelles, vous n’avez rien à craindre.

Faites tout ce que vous pouvez, que je remontre personnellement son
Excellence Gordon pasha, parce que je puis lui donner des nouvelles
plus sincères et plus exaits que ses spiones.

Avisez S. E. que, s’il accepte mes services à Kartoum, je puis la
annoncer toujours tout ce qu’il arriverai chez les rebelles.

Mais je désire lui parler d’avance de vive voix.

Faites mes compléments à tous les Européens et à tous les indigènes.

Si les hommes de Kartoum sont bien énergique et bien forts, ils doivent
être bien sûrs qu’ils gagnent tout ce qu’ils veulent. Plût à Dieu que
je vous revoir à Omdourman ou à Kartoum. Je désire beaucoup que S.
Excellence me donne la promesse, qu’il ne rendra pas jamais le Kartoum
aux rebelles, parce que en ce cas je soupirai beaucoup des Arabes, qui
vont me tyranniser et me tuer après.

Aussi vos soldats et les habitants de Kartoum doivent prendre patience
et attendre un et demi deux mois jusqu’ils arrivent les secours.

Il y a ici le nouvelle, que le petit bateau que vous avez envoyé à
Dongola est pris des rebelles à Wady Gama, mais ce nouvelle n’est pas
bien sûr, parce que quelques autres disênt le contraire.


FOR many years the creed of Mahomed has been making immense strides in
Central Africa, where it seems to have a peculiar fascination for the
native races. The number of converts has been estimated at from eight
to twelve millions, and the idea of the regeneration of Islam by force
of arms has gained a strong hold among them. On the appearance of the
False Prophet in the summer of 1881, thousands flocked to his standard.

[Sidenote: Biography of the Mahdi.]

The person in question is a Sheikh named Mahomed Achmet, the son of a
carpenter, and a native of Dongola. He was born about the year 1848,
and educated in a village near Kartoum, where he studied religion. In
1870 he became a Sheikh, and after a short stay at Kaka, near Fashoda,
took up his residence on the island of Abba, in the White Nile. There
he gradually acquired a great reputation for sanctity, and in time
assembled a considerable number of dervishes, or holy men, round him.
He augmented his influence by marrying daughters of the leading chiefs
of the Baggara Arabs,[278] and, by his power and tact, succeeded in
uniting the various tribes.

In May 1881, when living at Marabieh, near the island of Abba, he
first advanced his claims to being the Messiah, or Prophet foretold by
Mahomed. By his followers he was styled “El-Mahdi,” more usually, but
incorrectly written “El-Mahdi.” This is an Arabic word meaning simply a
“Leader” or “Guide,” and is not found in the Koran. In the early days
of Islam, it was not unfrequently used as a name or title. The notion
which prevails among Moslems generally, regarding the expected great
“El-Mahdi,” is, that he will be a descendant of the Prophet, and will
appear towards the end of time to uproot wickedness, to avenge the
blood of the Imams who were slain unjustly, and to establish a reign of
righteousness on the earth.

The Ulema[279] of Kartoum did not hesitate to pronounce against Mohamed
Achmet, and he was likewise discredited at Cairo and Constantinople,
and soon became known as the “False Prophet.” Among many reasons for
disbelief, one was, that the Redeemer of the World, promised in the
Koran, would come from the East, and not from the West.

The intentions of Mahomed Achmet, as set forth in various
proclamations, were as follows:—

To gain over the whole of the Soudan to his cause, then march on Egypt
and overthrow the false-believing Turks, and, finally, to establish the
thousand years’ kingdom in Mecca, and convert the whole world.

The principles of his teachings were universal equality, universal law
and religion, and community of goods. All who opposed his mission were
to be destroyed, whether Christian, Mahomedan, or Pagan.

[Sidenote: Causes of rebellion.]

The religious fanaticism of the native tribes of the Soudan was,
however, only one of the many causes of the insurrection which broke
out after the appearance of the Mahdi. The principal one appears to
have been hatred of the Government, due to—

 (1.) The venality of the Egyptian officials, and the oppressive and
 unjust manner of collecting the taxes, and especially to

 (2.) The suppression of the slave trade. Most of the supporters of the
 Mahdi, more especially the Baggara tribes, owe all their wealth to
 the traffic in slaves, which the Egyptian Government has now for many
 years been taking measures to put an end to.

The time selected for the rising was after the garrisons of the Soudan
had been diminished for reasons of economy. Lieut.-Colonel Stewart
is, however, of opinion that the military weakness of Egypt was not
any real cause of the rebellion, as he believes the troops in the
Soudan would have been sufficient to quell it had they been properly

[Sidenote: 1881. July.]

In July, 1881, the attention of Raouf Pasha, the Governor-General of
the Soudan, was drawn to the pretensions of the Mahdi; and he sent a
commission of inquiry from Kartoum to interview him, and ascertain the
true state of affairs.

[Sidenote: 11th August.]

[Sidenote: Military expedition sent to bring the Mahdi to Kartoum.]

On their return, it was determined to send a military expedition to
Marabieh to bring the Mahdi to Kartoum. A force of 200 men left the
latter place by steamer on the 11th August, reaching Djeziret Abba in
15 hours. There they disembarked, and advanced towards the residence
of the Mahdi. When quite close to it, they suddenly found themselves
in the presence of 4000 to 5000 of his followers, armed with swords
and lances. The troops fired one volley, but were almost immediately
overpowered, and forced to retire, leaving behind them 120 of their
party dead, among whom were the two officers.

After this, the Mahdi sent emissaries to all the neighbouring chiefs,
calling on them to join him.

[Sidenote: Concentration of troops at Kawa.]

The Governor-General, on hearing of the disaster, ordered all the
available troops from Kartoum, Sennaar, Fashoda, Kordofan, and Berber
to assemble near Kawa, on the White Nile. The garrisons were left so
weak that hardly sufficient troops remained to carry on the ordinary

[Sidenote: 1881.]

Great excitement prevailed in Kartoum, which had no defences of any
kind; and the inhabitants commenced to agitate for the construction of
earthworks. Fears were entertained that the insurrection would spread
rapidly, and even that the slaves, who formed more than half of the
population of the town, would rise. Many were of opinion that a large
garrison of Egyptian troops was absolutely necessary to ensure safety.

[Sidenote: August. Inactivity of the troops at Kawa.]

By the end of August 1881, 1,400 troops were concentrated near Kawa.
There they remained idle for more than a month, and then dispersed
to their quarters without having made the slightest attempt to
follow the Mahdi, who had retreated into the mountainous district of
Takalla.[281] It is probable that, had he been resolutely attacked, he
would have been defeated, his followers would have deserted him, and
the rebellion, with all its disastrous consequences, would have been

[Sidenote: 8th December.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of Rashid Bey at Jebel Gadir.]

Rashid Bey, the Mudir of Fashoda, twice asked to be allowed to march
against the Mahdi, but on both occasions permission was refused. At
length, acting on his own responsibility, he set out with 400 regular
soldiers, and 100 Shilluk negroes, led by their chief Kaikun, and after
a four days’ march reached the camp of the Mahdi, on the mountain of
Gadir,[282] on the 8th December. In the fight which ensued, Rashid Bey
and the greater part of his troops, including the Shilluk Chieftain,
were cut down by the Baggara horsemen. But few escaped to carry the
news of the defeat to Fashoda. A large quantity of rifles, ammunition,
and stores fell into the hands of the Mahdi.

Great fears for the safety of Fashoda were entertained at Kartoum, and
200 soldiers were immediately sent there by steamer.

[Sidenote: 1882.]

[Sidenote: 15th March.]

It was becoming more evident every day that a regular campaign would be
necessary to quell the rebellion, and that reinforcements of men and
matériel were absolutely necessary. Large numbers of irregular troops
from the Shaikiyeh,[283] Dongola and Berber districts were enrolled,
and armed at Kartoum. Nubir Yussuf Pasha, who had formerly seen service
under Gessi Pasha,[284] was put in command of them. On the 15th March
he left Kartoum with a force 4000 strong to operate against the rebels
in the Shilluk country, but by the time he reached Kawa, several
hundreds of the irregular troops had already deserted, and gone over to
the enemy, and he remained there with the rest of his force inactive
for several weeks.

[Sidenote: 4th March.]

[Sidenote: Appointment of Abdel Kader Pasha as Governor-General of the

Raouf Pasha, the Governor-General of the Soudan, was recalled to Egypt
on the 4th March, and Abdel Kader Pasha was appointed to succeed him.
Pending the arrival of the latter, Giegler Pasha assumed temporary
charge of the Soudan.

Taking advantage of the concentration at Kawa, the rebels attempted to
make themselves masters of the district of Sennaar, and had many minor

[Sidenote: 6th April.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the garrison of Sennaar.]

On the 6th April, the garrison of the town of Sennaar attacked a large
force of Arabs, led by a nephew of the Mahdi, who were encamped in the
neighbourhood, but the attack was repulsed, and the Egyptian troops,
having suffered great loss, retreated to the town, and shut themselves
up in the Government buildings, which they succeeded in defending.

[Sidenote: 1882.]

They were followed by the rebels, and for three days the greater part
of the town was given up to murder, plunder, and fire. Many of the
inhabitants, as well as 14 foreign merchants, 9 officers, and more than
100 soldiers, were killed. The losses of the rebels were also very
considerable. As soon as the news reached Kartoum, reinforcements
were ordered to Sennaar from Kalabat,[285] Katarif,[286] and Kawa. On
the arrival of a detachment from the last-mentioned place, the rebels
retired towards Karkoj,[287] which had already been some time in their

[Sidenote: Spread of the rebellion.]

About this time the Shilluks[288] were reported to be in revolt,
and the news from Darfur was far from re-assuring. The insurrection
appeared to be gaining ground in every direction, and the position of
the Government was becoming most critical.

[Sidenote: 15th April.]

On the 15th April a detachment of 200 troops left Kartoum, and
proceeded up the western bank of the Blue Nile. About the same time
some Bashi-Bazuks, under Ali Kashef, arrived at Abou-Haraz (at the
junction of the Blue Nile and the Rahad) from Katarif, to act on the
eastern bank of the Blue Nile in conjunction with several thousand
Shukuriyeh,[289] under the Sheikh Aud-el-Kerim Bey. By operating on
both flanks, hopes were entertained of speedily restoring tranquillity
in the Province of Sennaar. No engagement of importance took place till
the end of the month, when 150 Egyptian troops were cut to pieces by
the rebels near Mesalameh.

During April the Mahdi with the bulk of his followers still remained on
the mountain of Gadir.

[Sidenote: State of affairs in Kordofan.]

[Sidenote: 1882.]

News received from Kordofan stated that 15 soldiers at the frontier
Post of Abu Haraz (west of El-Obeyed[290] on the way to Shaka[291])
had been killed, and that 150 soldiers stationed in Nuba,[292] for the
suppression of the slave trade had been recalled to El-Obeyed. The
inhabitants of the last-mentioned place were arming themselves, and
constructing entrenchments. 6000 rebels were reported to be encamped in
the neighbourhood, and an attack was expected.

[Sidenote: 3rd May.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels at Abou Haraz by Giegler Pasha.]

By the end of April a considerable force had been collected on the Blue
Nile, and Giegler Pasha placed himself at the head of it. On the 3rd
May he attacked the nephew of the Mahdi, Sherif Ahmed Taha, near Abou
Haraz (on the Blue Nile). The fight was obstinate, and the troops made
but little progress till Sheikh Aud-el-Kerim Bey came to his assistance
with a large body of Shukuriyeh, 2000 of whom were mounted, and clad in

The rebels were at length overpowered. The Sherif was amongst the
slain, and his head was sent to Kartoum, and publicly exposed. In the
telegrams announcing the victory, Giegler Pasha made no mention of the
assistance he had received from the Shukuriyeh, but spoke only of the
bravery of the Khédivial troops.

[Sidenote: 25th May.]

On the 25th May Giegler Pasha appears to have gained another victory
over the rebels in the neighbourhood of Sennaar, in which 800 of them,
including their chief, were killed.

[Sidenote: 11th May.]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Abdel Kader Pasha at Kartoum.]

Abdel Kader Pasha reached Kartoum on the 11th May, and assumed the
duties of Governor-General of the Soudan.

[Sidenote: 16th May.]

[Sidenote: Revolt of the Hassaniyeh Arabs.]

On the 16th May the tribe of Hassaniyeh Arabs, living along the road
from Kartoum to Kordofan, having been reported to be in revolt, 200
soldiers were sent to Tur-el-Hadra, on the White Nile. They were to be
followed by 600 more.

[Sidenote: 1882.]

Communication with Darfur, Sennaar, and Fazokl was interrupted.

At Kartoum the formation of irregular regiments of Shaggyah and
Dongolese was being actively pushed forward. Reinforcements were coming
in from Berber, and were mostly sent on to Kordofan, where great
insecurity prevailed. Large quantities of warlike stores and some guns
were reported to have reached Berber from Cairo.

[Sidenote: 27th May.]

[Sidenote: Rashid Pasha appointed Governor of Kordofan.]

[Sidenote: 3rd June.]

On the 27th May Rashid Pasha, Chief of the Military Posts along the
Abyssinian frontier, reached Kartoum, and left on the 3rd June for
Kordofan, whither more than 1000 troops had already preceded him. It
was supposed that he was to be appointed Hokmdar of Darfur, Kordofan,
and Dongola.

Of the doings of the Mahdi, and the state of affairs in Darfur, there
was no news.

[Sidenote: 9th June.]

The Mudirieh of Sennaar was still far from being pacified, and, on the
9th June, a force of 20,000 rebels was reported to be a day’s march
from the town of that name. The insurrection was also reported to be
spreading to the districts south of Karkoj.

[Sidenote: 7th June.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of Yussuf Pasha near Jebel Gadir.]

Towards the end of May Yussuf Pasha, who had done little or nothing
since March, was ordered to advance from Kawa against the Mahdi, still
supposed to be somewhere near the mountain of Gadir. After great delays
he set out with a large disorganized force of several thousand men and
swarms of camp followers. The rains had begun, and progress was slow.
On the 7th June he was face to face with the rebels in a densely wooded
country. A seriba (or stockade of prickly shrubs) was commenced, and
the troops were formed up inside it in a hollow square. The rebels,
however, broke in upon them, and defeated and utterly routed the whole
force. This crushing defeat gave a fresh impetus to the insurrection.

[Sidenote: 13th June.]

[Sidenote: 1882.]

[Sidenote: Despatch of reinforcements to Fashoda.]

On the 13th June 400 men were sent by steamer to reinforce the garrison
of Fashoda, and on the 29th a battalion, which had arrived at Kartoum
from Senheit,[293] was also sent on there. These reinforcements were
placed under the command of Rashid Pasha, whose orders had been
altered, and who had only accompanied the troops for Kordofan as far as

[Sidenote: Events in Darfur. 17th June.]

[Sidenote: 20th July.]

News from Darfur was scant and unreliable. It was rumoured that an
attack on Omohangah on the 17th June had been repulsed; but that
towards Shaka an Egyptian force of 1000 men had been almost annihilated
on the 20th July.

[Sidenote: 28th June.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels at Bara.]

In Kordofan the rebels attacked Bara[294] on the 28th June, but were
repulsed, it is said, with a loss of 32,000 men. At the same time large
bands infested the neighbourhood El Obeyed, and water, fuel, and grain
were already reported to be scarce in that town.

[Sidenote: July.]

Early in July the insurrection was rumoured to have spread to the
provinces of Bahr-el-Ghazel Shaka, and the Equator, but the reports
turned out to be exaggerated, and the movement never obtained any hold
in those parts.

[Sidenote: June and July.]

[Sidenote: Formation of slave battalions.]

[Sidenote: 1882.]

Towards the end of June the works of defence for the protection of
Kartoum were commenced to the south of the town. It began to appear
doubtful whether the irregular troops would be able to make head
against the rebellion, and reinforcements from Cairo were not arriving.
It was then resolved to form negro battalions, and every slave-owner
in Kartoum was called upon to give up a certain number of slaves for
the purpose. By this means it was estimated that 2000 troops could be
obtained. The same system had been followed two years before, during
the mobilization of the army for operations against Abyssinia. It had
the double advantage of increasing the troops, and diminishing the
number of slaves, who it was feared might revolt.

The foreign inhabitants, having no slaves, decided to give assistance
in kind, and sent 525 ardebs[295] of dhoora,[296] worth 360 pounds
sterling, towards the sustenance of these newly raised battalions.

[Sidenote: August.]

[Sidenote: Proclamation of a state of siege at Kartoum.]

In August a state of siege was proclaimed in Kartoum. Five forts had
been constructed, each armed with one gun. The town was divided into
four military sections, and pickets patrolled the streets both day and
night. A rising in the town was expected, simultaneously with an attack
from without.

As a further protection, it was decided to cut a canal south of the
town, joining the two branches of the Nile, but the commencement of
this work appears to have been delayed till November.

[Sidenote: Revolt of the Kababish tribe.]

The Kababish Arabs, an important tribe occupying a large tract of
country between Kordofan and Dongola, were in revolt, and a large force
of them were menacingly encamped within a day’s march of Kartoum.

[Sidenote: July and August.]

During July and August many minor engagements were fought upon the
lines of communication between the White Nile and Kordofan, which
almost always resulted in favour of the rebels. The commercial town
of Shatt, on the road from Duem, on the White Nile, to El Obeyed, was
totally destroyed by them, the male population was put to the sword,
and the women and children were carried off into captivity.

[Sidenote: August.]

In the beginning of August the insurgent forces were divided into three
principal groups:—

[Sidenote: Distribution of the insurgent forces.]

[Sidenote: 1882.]

The Mahdi, with the bulk of his forces, was still on the mountain of
Gadir, in the Takalla district; a second army was wasting Kordofan,
and a third stretched along the White Nile from Duem to Djezirit Abba,
on the western bank, and from Kawa to Marabieh on the eastern.

[Sidenote: 19th August.]

On the 19th August the rebels were defeated near Bara, and El Obeyed
was subsequently revictualled.

[Sidenote: 28th August.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels near Duem.]

The rebels operating along the western bank of the White Nile, under
Ahmed Woad-el-Makashef, were attacked by the Egyptian troops near Duem
on the 28th of August, and routed, leaving 3500 dead on the field of
battle. This defeat frustrated the projected march on Kartoum.

[Sidenote: Advance of the Mahdi into Kordofan.]

After this the Mahdi took the field in person, and advanced on El
Obeyed, around which an earthen rampart, armed with a few guns,
had been thrown up. The garrison consisted of 6000 men, armed with
Remington rifles. The rifles had been sent there in June by Abdel Kader
Pasha, in anticipation of a siege.

The rebels were armed with spears and matchlocks.

[Sidenote: 8th, 11th, 14th September.]

[Sidenote: Assaults of El Obeyed.]

On the 8th of September the Mahdi made a desperate assault on the town,
but was repulsed with great slaughter, his losses being reported to
be from 12,000 to 15,000 killed, while those of the garrison are put
down at 288. Two brothers of the Mahdi and several insurgent chiefs
were among the slain. The attack was repeated on the 11th and 14th
September, but on both occasions without success. The rebels fought
with the greatest fury, quite regardless of death. Their losses in
the three assaults are said to have reached the enormous total of

[Sidenote: 1882.]

[Sidenote: Appeal to the loyalty of the Arabs, and promise of rewards.]

In presence of the disaffection of many of the regular troops, the
Governor-General of the Soudan issued an appeal to the patriotism
of those of the Shukuriyeh, Dabaina, and Kababish tribes who still
remained loyal, urging them to take the field against the rebels, and
promising the remission of one year’s taxes. He further undertook
to pay £2 for every dervish (as the followers of Mahdi were called)
captured, dead or alive, and £18 for every chief.

All booty was to remain the property of the captors. The result was
that shortly afterwards several thousand volunteers joined the troops
at Kawa.

[Sidenote: 3rd September.]

On the 3rd September, 300 negro recruits reached Kartoum from Lardo
in the Equatorial provinces, and these were shortly followed by 1100
Bazingers, (untrained soldiers from Dar-Fertit[298]), sent by the Mudir
of the Bahr-el-Ghazel district.

[Sidenote: Defeat of a large relief column sent to Kordofan. 25th

[Sidenote: 1882.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the Mahdi near Bara.]

A relief column of two battalions of regular troops and 850 Bashi
Bazouks, altogether 3000 strong, under Ali Bey Satfi, set out from Duem
towards the end of September to attempt to raise the siege of Bara. It
suffered terrible privations on the way, the rebels having filled in
all the wells along the road between Abu Shoka and Bara (seven days’
march). The troops had almost nothing but the juice of wild melons and
dhoora stalks to quench their thirst. They were continually harassed by
the enemy, but were not attacked in force till they approached El Kona,
when Ali Satfi Bey and all the senior officers were killed. The losses
of the Egyptians amounted to 1100, besides 1150 rifles and a large
quantity of stores and ammunition. The remainder of the troops were at
length rallied by a captain, and succeeded in driving off the enemy.
They then continued the march to Bara, and were met some distance from
the town by the garrison, which had come out to their assistance. The
Mahdi was then encamped at a water station in the neighbourhood of
Bara. On the 25th October the garrison made a sortie, and attacked and
defeated him, but subsequently retired within the entrenchments.

After the repulses at El Obeyed and Bara, the Mahdi was deserted by
many of his followers, and his forces in Kordofan appear to have been
quite shattered for the time. So much was the danger for Kordofan
thought to be over, that, when the Mudir of Darfur appeared at Omchanga
about the end of October with a considerable armed force, his proffered
assistance was declined.

[Sidenote: Demand for reinforcements from Cairo.]

A report having reached Kartoum that the above-mentioned relief column
had been totally destroyed, the Governor-General telegraphed to Cairo
that he must have reinforcements of at least 10,000 men. He stated that
without a large force at his disposal the insurrection would spread
through all parts of the Soudan, and that then the pacification of the
country would require an army of at least four times the strength of
that for which he asked.

       *       *       *       *       *

During Arabi’s short tenure of power, he had but little time to devote
to the affairs of the Soudan, and no reinforcements were sent there; in
fact, orders were actually given for some of the troops to be withdrawn
from there to Egypt to assist in the war against the English.

After the occupation of Cairo, the suppression of the rebellion in the
Soudan was one of the first questions to occupy the attention of the
Government of the Khedive. Various plans were suggested, and it was at
length decided, after the receipt of the previously-mentioned telegram
from Abdel Kader Pasha, to enlist about 10,000 officers and men who had
fought under Arabi for service in the Soudan. At the request of the
Khedive several English officers were appointed to the staff of this

[Sidenote: November.]

[Sidenote: 1882.]

[Sidenote: Despatch of reinforcements to the Soudan.]

By the beginning of November between two and three thousand troops had
already been concentrated at the “Barrage” on the Nile near Cairo, and
were being equipped for the expedition.

The first detachment, one thousand strong, left Suez for Suakin, whence
they were to march to Berber on the 14th November.

Desertions from the depôt at the “Barrage” were very frequent.
They were due to a rumour among the soldiers that they were to be
transported to the Soudan as prisoners. The arms and ammunition
required for the expedition were forwarded to Suakin, separately from
the troops, as a measure of precaution.

On the 12th December 1500 troops left Cairo for the Soudan, bringing up
the total contingent already sent to 5000.

Thanks to the energy of Al-ed-Deen Pasha, Governor of the Red Sea
provinces, steps were taken at Suakin for the speedy despatch of the
reinforcements as soon as they arrived from Suez. No delays occurred,
the necessary supply of camels for the transport of baggage and stores
having always been prepared beforehand. Throughout the revolt of Arabi,
Al-ed-Deen Pasha had remained loyal, and had inspired such respect
for the Khedive that even natives, who may have entertained sympathy
with the rebellious movement, did not dare to commit any overt act of
hostility, and thus public order and tranquillity were never for a
moment disturbed in the provinces over which he was Governor.

By the 9th January, 1883, the arrivals of soldiers at the depôt at the
“Barrage” had reached 9500. The departures were already 7700. They
included 100 dismounted cavalry, 100 gunners, and nine battalions of
infantry, formed into three regiments. The 1st Battalion of the 4th
Regiment was on the point of leaving.

By the middle of February the last of these reinforcements for the
Soudan had left Egypt.

[Sidenote: 1882.]

[Sidenote: 12th November.]

About the 12th November, 1882, a rebel Sheikh attacked Duem, but he was
defeated and captured, and subsequently hanged at Kartoum.

[Sidenote: 15th November.]

[Sidenote: Construction of a canal south of Kartoum.]

On the 15th November the long projected canal south of Kartoum was
commenced, eight hundred to a thousand yards in front of the town. Its
dimensions are as follow: length, when the rivers are in flood, 5900
yards; when at low water, 6700; depth of ditch, 8 feet; width at top,
17 feet; at bottom, 10 feet; slopes steep; width of parapet at bottom,
20 feet; at top, 14 feet; height, 7 feet. The principal defects of the
parapet are its great length, and the absence of flanking defence. The
idea of constructing a defensive canal, and turning Kartoum into an
island, originated with Musa Pasha in 1864.

[Sidenote: December.]

[Sidenote: State of the garrisons of El Obeyed and Bara.]

The garrison of El Obeyed was reported to be still fairly well supplied
with food on the 12th December, and to be in good spirits. A few days
previously it had sallied out and attacked Sheikh Mennoo, the leading
rebel chief in the neighbourhood, killing about 70 of his people.

At Bara,[299] the garrison was badly off for food, and in a depressed
condition. Some of the irregular officers with their men had deserted
to the rebels. The Mahdi, with the bulk of his forces, was encamped
round the town. His ranks had been much thinned by desertion and
sickness, but, on the other hand, he was gaining fresh adherents
every day. For the moment he had ceased to take the offensive, and
was contenting himself with blockading Bara and El Obeyed, while the
Makashef operated with a large force on the Nile.

Darfur was so far quiet, though the Mahdi was reported to be doing his
utmost to stir up the tribes.

[Sidenote: 16th December.]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Lieut.-Col. Stewart, 11th Hussars, at Kartoum.]

On the 16th December, Lieut.-Colonel Stewart, of the 11th Hussars,
arrived at Kartoum.

[Sidenote: 1882.]

Owing to the absence of any trustworthy information, he had been sent
by the British Government to inquire into the true state of affairs in
the Soudan.

[Sidenote: December.]

Two battalions of reinforcements from Egypt (the 1st and 2nd
Battalions, 1st Regiment) reached Kartoum early in December, and formed
a camp at Omdurman on the left bank of the Nile, opposite Kartoum.

Almost immediately after their arrival there were rumours of fresh
outbreak in the neighbourhood of Kawa, and later on, in those of
Sennaar and Mesalamieh on the Blue Nile. Instead of forming a relief
column for Kordofan, it was deemed necessary to employ these battalions
first in restoring order on the banks of the Blue and White Niles. The
1st battalion was sent to Shawal on the White Nile, and on the evening
of the 30th December the 2nd battalion left by steamer for Mesalamieh.

The Makashef, with a large force, was at Sibel threatening Sennaar, and
was causing a great deal of trouble.

Abdel Kader Pasha gave orders for four companies at Sennaar and the
garrison of irregulars at Abut (immediately north of Sibel) to make a
combined attack on the last-mentioned place. It was to support this
attack, which was ordered for the 4th January, that the 2nd Battalion
1st Regiment was sent to Mesalamieh.

[Sidenote: 31st December.]

[Sidenote: Repulse of the rebels at Abut.]

The attack was, however, anticipated by the Makashef, who took the
offensive, and attacked the detached post of Abut on the 31st December.
He was repulsed, but succeeded in interrupting all communication
between Mesalamieh and Sennaar.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

[Sidenote: 1st and 2nd January.]

On the 1st January the four companies at Sennaar left for Sibel. The
following day they were attacked while on the march, and all but about
eighty surrendered to the rebels after making but little, if any,

[Sidenote: January.]

[Sidenote: Reinforcements from Egypt.]

By the beginning of January the undermentioned reinforcements had
arrived from Egypt, viz.: infantry, 5 battalions (4170 men); artillery,
180 men, with 10 mountain guns and 10 rocket troughs; cavalry, 97
Circassians clad in chain armour. A few mules had accompanied
the artillery, but there were no horses with the cavalry. With
the exception of the two battalions, which had gone to Shawal and
Mesalamieh, the whole of this force was encamped at Omdurman, near
Kartoum. The troops were working at elementary drill and tactics, and
making some progress, but the officers were, as a rule, ignorant, and
incapable of grasping the meaning of the simplest movement, unwilling
to assume any responsibility, and totally devoid of initiative.

Many of the troops had superstitious ideas regarding the power of the
Mahdi, and others thought that the Khedive had only sent them to the
Soudan to get rid of them.

They were dressed in long white cotton shirts and native cotton
trousers. Most of them wore coarse leather sandals. Each man had a grey
overcoat and hood. The infantry were all armed with Remington rifles.

The tactics of the Egyptians in the presence of the enemy were to form
battalion or double company squares. The troops were formed in three
ranks, to give them confidence. Each man was provided with four or five
crow’s feet (iron spikes with four points), which he was instructed to
throw in front of him on the approach of the enemy. The rebels usually
attacked in several masses.

[Sidenote: January.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of a detachment of troops near Jura Hadra.]

Early in January news was received of a disaster on the eastern bank
of the White Nile. A detachment of 190 men had been sent from the fort
of Jura Hadra in a northerly direction to repair the line of telegraph
to Kartoum. When a short distance from the fort, they were attacked
by some rebels under Fakir Owde.[300] The troops formed square as
usual, but after a short resistance commenced to give way, the square
was broken, and many were killed. Half the party, however, managed to
rally, and held out until a reinforcement came to their assistance from
Jura Hadra.

[Sidenote: 1883. 2nd January.]

On the 2nd January, Abdel Kader Pasha left Kartoum by steamer to
take personal command of the troops operating between the Blue and
White Niles. He did not reach Mesalamieh till the 7th, having stopped
frequently on the journey to interview the chiefs of the villages on
the banks of the river.

The town of Mesalamieh is six miles west of the river. On arrival,
the Pasha proceeded immediately to inspect the battalion encamped
there (2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment), and informed the officers that
he intended to march with as small a baggage train as possible. They
protested, and made all kinds of difficulties, but it was finally
decided that each company should be accompanied by four camels only.

[Sidenote: 8th January.]

[Sidenote: Advance on Abut.]

On the 8th January, the battalion, with some irregular troops under
Saliha Bey, and some Shukuriyeh horsemen, started for Abut. The
order of march was in company column with scouts on both flanks, and
advance and rear guards. The country traversed was a treeless but
well-cultivated open plain, with many villages and plenty of water. The
crops consisted chiefly of dhoora (maize) and cotton. There were also
many large herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep. The inhabitants were
very friendly, and freely supplied the troops with water, and even with

At 8 P.M., a halt was made at the Faulla (pond) of El-Sunga. The troops
bivouacked, protected by a bank which had, on a previous occasion, been
thrown up round the pond. Ten men per company were employed to patrol
during the night some 500 yards from the camp.

[Sidenote: 9th January.]

On the 9th, the column started at 7 A.M. The order of march was the
same as on the preceding day. Two miles from the bivouac, the village
of Effena was passed. This was the last inhabited village met with on
the road. Further on they were all deserted, the inhabitants having
gone off willingly, or unwillingly, to join the rebels, leaving their
crops standing, and ready for harvesting.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

At 1.30 P.M. the village of Abut was reached. It is a small military
station, and had a garrison of 350 men, who were encamped in a zeriba
with trench near the well. When attacked on the 31st December, only
150 of the garrison were present, 200 men under Osman Agha had arrived
since then. Two new zeribas were at once constructed, one for the
regular troops, and another for the irregulars. Reconnaissances were
pushed in all directions, but especially along the roads leading to
Kawa _viâ_ Waliya, and to Manasra, south of Sibel.

Finding then that the quelling of the insurrection in the province of
Sennaar would be a more difficult task than he had anticipated, the
Pasha determined to call up the battalion from Shawal,[301] and to send
for another from Kartoum.

[Sidenote: 10th January.]

The 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, left Kartoum accordingly on the
afternoon of the 10th January, and proceeded up the Blue Nile in twelve
sailing boats.

[Sidenote: 11th January.]

On the 11th January, Abdel Kader was still at Abut. On that date his
attention was to await the arrival of the 3rd Battalion, and then march
on Sennaar. Reports had come in that that town was hard pressed by a
large body of rebels, that Karkoj was again in their hands, that the
tribe of Rufaa el Sherk,[302] under Sheikh Sherif el Hindi, was in full
revolt, and the last mentioned was doing his best to induce Aud el
Kerim Bey, the powerful Sheikh of the Shukuriyeh, to join the movement.

[Sidenote: 12th January.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 12th, however, it was reported that the Sheikh Wad el Kerif, at
the head of a large force, was marching from Maatuk to attack Abdel
Kader, that he was forcing all the men of the districts through which
he passed to join him, and that Fakir Moosa, who was commanding the
rebels in the neighbourhood of Kawa, would co-operate with him.

This news compelled the Pasha to reconsider his decision, and, instead
of advancing on Sennaar, he resolved to await the approach of the Wad
el Kerif.

[Sidenote: 16th January.]

[Sidenote: Despatch of troops to Karasah.]

[Sidenote: Revolt of the Husseinyeh Arabs.]

On the White Nile, the Hassaniyeh nomads were again giving trouble.
To pacify this tribe, and the villages in the neighbourhood of
Karasah,[303] the 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, left Kartoum on the
16th January in two steamers, and proceeded up the White Nile. It was
accompanied by the Vakeel[304] of the Mudiriyeh and some Ulemas. These
officials were directed to enter into communication with the people,
and to try to induce them to submit quietly. The orders given to the
battalion were to disembark when still a little north of the village,
and then advance in close order.

[Sidenote: 18th January.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the Egyptians at Karasah.]

On the 18th, the steamers reached the neighbourhood of the village.
Here one of the steamers ran aground in the middle of the river. The
other, on board of which was the Bimbashi[305] with five companies,
pushed up right abreast of the village. Three companies immediately
disembarked, lined a low sand dyke parallel to and about 500 yards from
the river, and opened fire on some rebels who were about 2000 yards
off. The latter advanced to the attack, but the severity of the fire
forced them to incline away to the right and left as they approached.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

Three or four horsemen of the right-hand party succeeded in penetrating
between the dyke and the river, and fell upon the two companies which
had disembarked last, and were not yet formed up. This was the signal
for a regular panic, and the flight of all the Egyptians to the river.
The rebels did not pursue. In the confusion the Bimbashi was killed,
some accounts say by his own men, others by the enemy.

The other steamer with the three remaining companies of the battalion
having by this time come up, a council of war was held, when it was
decided that the battalion was not strong enough to advance, and that
reinforcements of men and guns from Kartoum were absolutely necessary.
The rebel force did not in reality exceed 400 men.

[Sidenote: 26th January.]

During the next few days the battalion remained quietly on board the
steamers off Karasah. On the 26th January, the Bimbashi of the 2nd
battalion of the regiment arrived from Kartoum to replace the Bimbashi
who had been killed. The steamers were then lying about two and a half
hours’ march from the village. An advance was ordered for 3 A.M. on
the 27th so as to attack the village at daybreak, and take the rebels
by surprise. But, on the remonstrances of nearly all the officers,
who said that they would certainly be killed if they marched in the
dark through an unknown country, the order was cancelled, and that day
nothing was done except a short reconnaissance inland. The Bimbashi,
however, decided to attack on the 28th. After the orders were issued
five of the senior officers proceeded to report themselves sick.

[Sidenote: 28th January.]

At 3.30 A.M. on the 28th the battalion marched off. It was formed up in
a square, preceded by an advance guard and scouts, and at daybreak was
within about 800 yards of the village, from which it was separated by a
long, narrow strip of forest.

Two companies were ordered into the forest to reconnoitre the path
leading to the village, but the officers refused to advance, saying
that they and their men would certainly be killed.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

During the delay and discussion that followed, some soldiers,
disobeying orders, fired at some cattle that were grazing near by.
This gave the alarm to the rebels, and in a few minutes nine or ten
horsemen appeared at the edge of the wood. By galloping about and
waving their swords, these men engaged the attention of the troops, and
gave time for the removal of the women and cattle from the village.
When this was accomplished, the rebel foot advanced through the wood,
and the troops immediately began to fall back. The rebels, who did
not exceed 350, and had no firearms, followed them till within about
half an hour’s distance of the steamer, but generally keeping out of
rifle range. It is estimated that about thirty of them were killed or
wounded. A few hours after the return of the troops to the boats, the
2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment, as well as two guns and a rocket
trough, arrived from Kartoum with the Kaimakan[306] of the regiment.
These reinforcements had been sent on receipt of a direct order from
the Khedive.

The rebels appear to have been subsequently attacked and defeated, but
there does not appear to be any account of the engagement.

[Sidenote: 24th January.]

The 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment, and 225 Bashi Bazouks, without horses,
arrived at Kartoum from Egypt on the 24th January. 650 camels for
transport purposes had already been collected at Kartoum, and 400 were
expected in a few days from Dongola. According to the lowest estimate,
300 camels per battalion would be required for the Kordofan expedition,
to be distributed as follows:—For rations, 115; water, 75; ammunition,
52; officers, 25; sick hospital, &c., 33.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 23rd January, Hussein Pasha Serri, the senior military officer
at Kartoum, received a telegram from the Khedive ordering him to
suspend all operations and to concentrate all the troops at Kartoum,
pending the arrival of some English staff officers at Cairo. The fact
of the Khedive communicating direct with this officer instead of with
Giegler Pasha, the representative of Abdel Kader, caused a great deal
of unpleasantness. This order was communicated to Abdel Kader, then
at Abut, who replied that, if he withdrew the troops to Kartoum the
rebellion would unquestionably extend in the eastern provinces, and
that, if the expedition did not soon leave for Kordofan, that province
would be lost, and with it Darfur.

[Sidenote: 24th January.]

To return to the operations of Abdel Kader. About the 24th January a
party of rebels pillaged the village of Mangalla, which, together with
some others of the south and south-west of Abut, had submitted to the
Government of the Khedive.

Hearing of this, the Pasha, having been joined by the 3rd Battalion,
1st Regiment, determined to advance against a large body of rebels,
reported to be about eight hours’ march from his camp.

[Sidenote: 27th January.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels near Maatuk.]

Early on the 27th he moved towards the village of Maatuk. When about
three hours from it, the rebels were observed on a plain on the further
side of a small wood. The troops were at once halted in the open, about
500 yards from the wood, and formed into square.

The rebels, after a short halt for prayer, advanced through the wood,
but, contrary to expectation, halted again at the near edge, and Wad
Eyoub, a revolted Benluk Bashi of irregulars, with some negroes, opened
fire on the troops, killing one and wounding five. The square then
fired, and after some minutes the rebels commenced to retire, pursued
by the irregular cavalry. In this affair Faki Moosa was wounded. The
losses of the rebels are estimated at 600 killed and wounded.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

In the retreat the rebels broke up into two parties, one, under Sheikh
Wad-el-Kerif, went in a south-westerly direction towards Göz Abu
Djuma,[307] and the other, under Faki Moosa and Faki Mohammed Abu
Shneb, retired to the village of Baatuk on the road to Kawa.

[Sidenote: 28th January.]

Against the latter, the Pasha directed the whole of his available
cavalry and camel corps, altogether about 300 men. This force came
up with the rebels at 3 A.M. on the 28th, and totally defeated them,
killing Abu Shneb.

[Sidenote: 1st February.]

On the 1st February Abdel-Kader, with his two battalions, reached Kawa,
where he met the 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment, from Shawal. On the 3rd
February this force was increased by the arrival of the 1st and 2nd
battalions 2nd Regiment, which had marched along the river bank from
Karasah, performing, according to their own account, prodigies of
valour on the road.

[Sidenote: 3rd February.]

On the 3rd February Abdel-Kader left Kawa by steamer for Kartoum
leaving orders—

 (1.) That the three battalions of the 1st Regiment were to march at
 once to Wad el Medinet on the Blue Nile, where he would join them
 about the 15th for an advance on Sennaar; and

 (2.) That the two battalions of the 2nd Regiment, under the Kaimakan,
 were to attack the rebels at Abu Djuma.

[Sidenote: Disaffection among the Kababish Arabs.]

Towards the end of January it was rumoured in Kartoum that the Kababish
Arabs had gone over to the Mahdi, or rather to the Faki Manne, who
commanded the rebels in Northern Kordofan. As the Kababish extend as
far north as Dongola, fears were entertained that the rebellion might
spread to that province, and early in February it was reported that
the natives about Debbeh[308] were becoming very restless. Some Bashi
Bazouks were sent there to maintain order.

[Sidenote: 10th February.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

About the 10th February the troops in the camp at Omdurman comprised:—

      4 battalions of Egyptian infantry (3200 men).
    420 Bashi Bazouks.
  1,100 Negro recruits.
     90 dismounted cavalry, and a few artillerymen.

Their health was very good.

[Sidenote: Surrender of Bara, 5th January.]

On the 11th February, a messenger arrived at Kartoum from the west
confirming the rumours that Bara had fallen on the 5th January. The
garrison were said to be fairly well treated by the Arabs, and only
the officers were kept in confinement. By this surrender 2000 troops,
besides a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition, fell into the
hands of the rebels.

[Sidenote: Siege of El Obeyed.]

Four days afterwards the news arrived that El Obeyed had capitulated on
the 17th January, and that the whole of Kordofan was in the hands of
the Mahdi.

After the repulse of the assaults on El Obeyed, in September, 1882,
various plans were proposed for attacking the Mahdi, but the Council
of War was always of opinion that the troops available were too few,
and the garrison relapsed into a state of inactivity, which continued,
so far as any operations of importance are concerned, till the end of
the siege. Small sorties of two or three hundred men were, however, of
frequent occurrence, generally resulting in the capture of some cattle
and grain.

The besiegers, on their side, established themselves comfortably around
the town, some availing themselves of the ruined houses, and others
building straw huts, and patiently awaited the inevitable surrender.

Such was the attitude taken up by both sides till the 13th January,
by which date the supply of food was almost exhausted, and everything
eatable was being sold at fabulous prices.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 14th, the Mahdi sent letters to Mahmoud Said, the Governor
of the Western Soudan, and all the principal officers, telling them
that they had held out long enough, and, if they would surrender, he
would guarantee the safety of their lives. On the 16th, a party of
rebels appeared outside the entrenchments to open negociations for a
capitulation. Mahmoud Said Pasha was not present at the interview which
followed, but the greater part of the garrison appear to have agreed to
the terms that were proposed.

[Sidenote: 17th January.]

[Sidenote: Surrender of El Obeyed.]

During the night many of the garrison deserted. At daybreak on the 17th
the insurgents advanced against the town in force. The Pasha ordered
what remained of the garrison to fire, but the infantry refused to
do so, and passed over to the enemy, while the artillery fired a few
salvoes in a direction that could do no harm to the assailing force.
The Pasha then understood that he was completely abandoned by his men,
and consented to surrender and make submission to the Mahdi, who was
then at an hour and a half’s distance from the town.

On entering the town, the Mahdi proceeded immediately to the principal

Mahmoud Said Pasha, and Ali Sherif Bey, the Mudir of Kordofan, were
at first treated with consideration, but, on their refusal to give up
their money they were seized and imprisoned. 8000_l._ sterling in gold
was found concealed in the house of the former, and 7000_l._ in that of
the latter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Altogether, although little or no money was found in the public
treasury, the Mahdi is said to have taken more than 100,000_l._ from
the officials and notables. He kept all the booty for himself, and
distributed none of it among his followers. This was a source of
great dissatisfaction, and subsequently caused many to waver in their

[Sidenote: 1883.]

The garrison at the time of the surrender numbered about 3500. They
were made to swear fidelity to the Mahdi, enlisted in his service, and
told off by companies to the various banners. About 6000 Remington
rifles, five guns, and one rocket trough passed into the hands of
the rebels. As regards provisions, only 200 ardebs[309] of dhoora
were found in the town. Towards the end of the siege famine had
prevailed, and the inhabitants had kept themselves alive by chewing raw
india-rubber, varied with a small ration of dhoora.

All the books and Government papers were destroyed and the town was
completely looted.

The Mahdi took up his residence in the Government House, and appointed
a Governor of the town, but did not make any attempt to form a regular
administration. The following is a translation of a proclamation issued
by him:—

[Sidenote: Proclamation issued by the Mahdi.]

 “From the servant of his Lord Mohammed el Mahdi, son of Said Abdallah,
 to all the fervent proselytes.

 “We have appointed as your Prince our dear Sheik Mansour, son of Abd
 el hakem. Execute his orders and commands, and follow him in the path
 of battle.

 “He who submits to him submits to us; he who disobeys him disobeys
 us, and disobeys God Himself and His Prophet. Let all show penitence
 before God, and abandon all bad and forbidden habits, such as the
 degrading acts of the flesh, the use of wine and tobacco, lying,
 bearing false witness, disobedience to parents, brigandage, the
 non-restitution of goods to others, the clapping of hands, dancing,
 improper signs with the eyes, tears and lamentations at the bed of the
 dead, slanderous language, calumny, and the company of strange women.
 Clothe your women in a decent way, and let them be careful not to
 speak to unknown persons. All those who do not pay attention to these
 principles disobey God and His Prophet, and they shall be punished in
 accordance with the law.

 “Say your prayers at the prescribed hours.

 [Sidenote: 1883.]

 “Give the tenth part of your goods, handing it to our Prince, Sheikh
 Mansour, in order that he may forward it to the treasury of Islam.
 “Adore God, and hate not each other, but assist each other to do good.”

At the bottom of this, the seal of the Mahdi was affixed.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: 13th February.]

[Sidenote: Advance of Abdel Kader towards Sennaar.]

On the 13th February, Abdel Kader Pasha left Kartoum to rejoin the
troops at Wad of Medinet, who had marched from Kawa. He proceeded
thence towards Sennaar, his force consisting of the three battalions of
the 1st Regiment, about 600 Bashi Bazouks, some Sakkeyer horsemen, and
a few guns and rocket troughs.[310]

On the 22nd February he reached Meshoa-el-Dakhin, about eight hours’
march from Sennaar. That evening, about 8 P.M., a large body of rebels
under the Makashef, who had raised the siege of Sennaar, approached the
camp. Some shots were exchanged, but the rebels, finding the soldiers
on the alert, retired. The following day, Friday, a halt was made, and
the neighbourhood was thoroughly reconnoitred. Abdel Kader received
a letter from the Makashef, in which, after testifying to the divine
mission and the invincibility of the Mahdi, he invited the Pasha to
submit, saying that he had a regard for him, and was anxious to spare
his life and spiritual hereafter.

[Sidenote: 24th February.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels at Meshra-el-Dai.]

Early on the 24th, the march was continued. On approaching
Meshra-el-Dai, the Makashef was discovered with 10,000 or 12,000
followers in some bushy ground close to the river. The guns and rockets
at once opened fire on them. After some time the rebels came out into
the open and attacked the troops.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

They advanced with great determination, but after a severe fight were
dispersed and pursued by the Cavalry; the engagement lasted from 10
A.M. till 1 P.M. Of the troops 27 were wounded. The rebel loss was
estimated at 2000 killed, including Sheikh Woad el Kerif, of Maatuk
notoriety. Many of the rebels fled into the river, where they were
cut down by the cavalry. The Makashef succeeded in escaping. Some of
the rebels used firearms, and Abdel Kader had a narrow escape, his
watch-chain being broken by a bullet.

[Sidenote: 25th February.]

Saturday night the troops remained halted, but on Sunday the 25th the
march was continued to Sennaar. The inhabitants of the villages along
the road came in, and tendered their submission.

The route between Sennaar and Kartoum, both by land and water,
was reported to be safe. A regular postal service was immediately
reestablished, and steps were taken for repairing the line of telegraph.

After the defeat at Meshra-el-Dai on the 24th, the insurgents appear
to have split themselves up into three bodies; one under Abdul Ghaffar
retired to Karkoj and joined Faki Sherif, another under the Makashef
took up a position at Jebel Sekhédy, about six hours west of Sennaar,
and a third came into Sennaar and gave themselves up.

[Sidenote: 4th March.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels at Sekhédy.]

Abdel Kader’s scouts having brought in intelligence of the Makashef’s
whereabouts, a force of 1200 irregulars, made up of Shukuriyeh
and Aburoff Arabs, under Saleh Agha, was directed against him. An
engagement took place on the 4th March at Sekhédy, which resulted in
the total defeat of the rebels, who lost 547 killed, among whom were
Sheikhs Omr and Amr, brothers of the Makashef, and Sadyk, his nephew.
The casualties among Saleh Agha’s force were only two men wounded.

Abdel Kader then proposed marching south up the Blue Nile, and
pacifying the country as far as Karkoj, after which he intended
to cross the river, and advance eastward against the revolted
Rufaa-el-Sherk and Kawakli tribes in the country between the rivers
Dinder and Rahad. But, as will be seen further on, he was superseded
before he had time to carry out these plans.

[Sidenote: 20th Feb.]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Pashas Al-el-din and Suleiman.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

[Sidenote: Nyasi at Kartoum.]

On the 20th February, the Pashas Al-ed-Din and Suleiman Nyasi reached
Kartoum. The latter was to take command of the troops, but the mission
of the former was kept secret, though it was rumoured that he was to
be appointed Governor-General of the Soudan.

[Sidenote: 4th March Arrival of Colonel Hicks at Kartoum.]

On the 4th March Colonel Hicks[311] reached Kartoum, and with him
the undermentioned English Officers, viz.:—Lieut.-Colonel Hon. J.
Colborne,[312] Lieut.-Colonel de Coetlogon,[313] Major Martin,[314]
Major Farquhar,[315] Captain Warner, Captain Massey,[316] Captain
Evans, Captain Walker,[317] and Surgeon-Major Rosenberg.

Colonel Hicks had been appointed Chief of the Staff of the Army of
the Soudan, with local rank of Major-General, but it was intended
that he should direct, and be responsible for, all preparations
and operations—in fact, that he should in reality be the
Commander-in-Chief, while nominally holding a subordinate post.

The Mahdi’s movement being, at any rate ostensibly, a religious one, it
was deemed inadvisable to place at the head of the Egyptian Army of the
Soudan a foreigner and a non-Mussulman, lest the insurgent leader might
make capital out of this to arouse still further the fanaticism of his

Suleiman Nyasi, whose military career dates back to the days of Mahomet
Ali and the Crimean War, was consequently named to the chief command,
but on the understanding that he was to pay strict attention to, and
carefully follow out General Hicks’s instructions and plans, but his
indolence, apathy, ignorance, and in many instances apparent malignity
and jealousy, caused him frequently to act in anything but the spirit
of the instructions given him at Cairo.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

[Sidenote: 8th March.]

[Sidenote: Departure of Lieut.-Col. Stewart for Egypt.]

On the 8th March, Lieut.-Colonel Stewart left Kartoum for Egypt,
travelling by way of Sennaar, Katarif, Kassala, and Massowah.

[Sidenote: 18th March.]

On the 18th March, Major Farquhar, who had been on a reconnaissance up
the White Nile, returned to Kartoum. He reported the inhabitants along
the western bank of the river to be hostile.

Four thousand five hundred rebels and 1800 Baggara Arab Cavalry were
assembled about Marabieh and Abu Djuma, and at Jebel Ain there was a
considerable body, which had lately been reinforced from Kordofan. The
Baggaras had quarrelled with the Mahdi regarding the booty taken at
El Obeyed, and had seized and carried off some of it. The troops at
the posts along the river were in rags, and from four to six months in
arrears of pay.

News from Kordofan stated that the Mahdi’s force was about one hundred
thousand strong, that it had dispersed for the moment, but could be
quickly reassembled. The chiefs met at El Obeyed every Friday for
orders, but the Sheiks of the Baggara did not attend.

Taking advantage of this discontent, General Hicks was trying to open
communications with the last-mentioned, and hoped to arrange a meeting
at Dem.

[Sidenote: 26th March.]

[Sidenote: Proclamation of Al-ed-Deen Pasha as Governor-General of the

On the 26th March Al-ed-Deen Pasha was publicly proclaimed at Kartoum
as Governor-General of the Soudan, and, on the same day, Hussein Pasha
left for Sennaar to inform Abdel Kader Pasha of his removal from
office, and to relieve him of his military command.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

General Hicks and his Staff left Kartoum on the 3rd April by steamer,
and reached Kawa on the 6th. A force of about 5000 men had been
collected at the latter place, consisting of—

  5½ battalions of regular infantry,[318]
   ½ battalion of negroes,
  5  guns,
  2  Nordenfeldts, and some Bashi-Bazouks.

[Sidenote: 10th April. Reconnaissance up the White Nile.]

On the 10th April General Hicks made a reconnaissance up the river.
He started at 6 A.M. on the steamer _Bordeen_, taking with him one
mountain gun, two Nordenfeldts, and 50 Bashi-Bazouks. After proceeding
for about an hour and a-half, the steamer was fired on from the western
bank. Higher up shots were fired from many places, especially opposite
the island of Abba, where the rebels had constructed trenches along
the banks. But a few shells, and some rounds from the Nordenfeldts
and rifles, soon drove them inland. Owing to the failure of fuel, the
reconnaissance could not be continued as far as the ford of Abu-Zed.
The steamer returned to Kawa at 5.30 P.M.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 14th April, General Hicks telegraphed to Cairo that he was
anxious to get to Jebel-Ain (eight marches distant), where the rebels
were concentrating, as soon as possible, but that his supplies were
insufficient as he had only enough for from 15 to 20 days with him,
and nothing was obtainable in the country. The administration of the
army was most difficult, owing to the want of proper departments,
and the troops were several months in arrears of pay. The steamers
were out of repair, and too few in number to do all that was required
of them—viz., to bring up supplies of ammunition and food, take
possession of the ford at Abu-Zed, and patrol the river and stop
communication between the banks. There was no store of fuel, all had to
be cut as required.

[Sidenote: 23rd April.]

[Sidenote: Seizure of the ford of Abu-zed.]

It was not till the 23rd April that the main body, nearly 5000 strong,
set out from Kawa. Owing to the difficulty of obtaining reliable
information, General Hicks himself with a small force had proceeded up
the river on the 22nd to reconnoitre, and seize the ford of Abu-Zed. On
arrival at the ford, it was found to be in possession of a small body
of rebels, who were driven off without much difficulty. General Hicks
remained there on the 23rd, placing boats containing Bashi Bazouks
under the command of Jahier Bey, in échelon across the stream, in which
position they could command a very considerable length of the ford
(which extends about a mile), and support one another in case of any
attempt to force the passage.

He left on the morning of the 24th to continue the reconnaissance up
the river. The banks were found to be occupied by straggling groups of
Arabs, with whom shots were exchanged.

On the 25th, the Chief of the Shilluk village of Musran reported that
the rebels had left Jebel-Ain and were marching in force under the
Makashef to attack the “Turks” on the march from Kawa.

Having ascertained that this information was correct General Hicks
steamed back to the ford, warned Jahier Bey, and, during the night,
dropped down the river to join the army, which was then encamped
opposite the northern end of the island of Abba.

[Sidenote: 29th April.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Marabieh and death of the Makashef.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

Being in a favourable position, it remained halted on the 26th and 27th
in expectation of an attack. On the former date some rebel cavalry
appeared, but were driven back with a few shells, and on the night of
the 27th there were several false alarms. The march was resumed on the
28th. On the following day tents were struck as usual, at daybreak,
and the order was given to march at seven A.M. About nine A.M.[319]
Colonel Farquhar, who had been reconnoitring in front, reported that
the enemy was about two miles off, and advancing at a rapid pace. About
a quarter of an hour afterwards they appeared in considerable numbers,
both cavalry and infantry, and spread out towards the flanks with a
view of attacking the angles of the square in which the Egyptian troops
were formed.[320]

They then advanced quickly, led by chieftains on horseback with banners
borne in front of them. There was considerable delay in getting the
guns into action,[321] but the rebel cavalry broke as soon as the
shells commenced falling among them, and moved off the field. The
infantry still came on boldly, and, although shot down in numbers,
succeeded in getting close enough to the square to throw some spears
into it. But few of the enemy were armed with rifles.

[Sidenote: 1883]

After half an hour’s fighting, during which the Egyptian troops behaved
steadily and well, though they appeared to have fired too high,[322]
the rebel force was completely broken up, and fled in confusion. Owing
to the absence of cavalry, the pursuit was not as vigorous as it would
otherwise have been. The strength of the rebels exceeded 5000 men.
Their losses in killed and wounded were about 500. The Makashef, his
son, and several chiefs were among the slain.

The Khedival troops lost two killed and five wounded.[323]

After the action General Hicks, anticipating that an immediate attempt
would be made by the rebels to cross to the western bank of the river
at some point above the ford of Abu-Zed, embarked on board the steamer
_Bordeen_ at Gozabonne-Gomme, and proceeded up the river, taking with
him two Nordenfeldt guns, a rifled howitzer, and 150 Bashi Bazouks. At
the ford of Abu-Zed he picked up the steamer _Fascher_, with Jahier Bey
and 90 Bashi Bazouks.

[Sidenote: 1st May.]

On the 1st of May, the rebels were found to be crossing in large
numbers at a regular place of passage, about 10 miles below Jebel
Ain. They were driven inland from both banks with some loss. Numbers
had already crossed, but a large body with camels and baggage still
remained on the eastern bank. In the hope of capturing these, General
Hicks sent to Sulieman Pasha asking him to hurry on as fast as
possible. But the Egyptians had no cavalry, and the infantry marched so
slowly that it took them more than two days to accomplish the twelve
miles between their camp and the place of passage.

[Sidenote: 1883]

General Hicks himself went towards Jebel Ain, landed, and sent a party
up the mountain. On their return they stated that not a sign of a
rebel was to be seen, and the Shilluks also reported that the district
had been evacuated.

[Sidenote: May 3rd.]

On the 3rd May General Hicks rejoined the main body, then encamped near
Jebel Ain. Suleiman Pasha was anxious to march through the district, as
he was of opinion that there were several tribes in the neighbourhood
to whom it was of importance to show the army. But it was finally
decided to return to Duem at once, and prepare for an attack on Schatt,
where the rebels were reported to be assembling in large numbers.

[Sidenote: Moral effect of the victory at Marabiyeh.]

The victory of the 29th had a very great moral effect and many of the
Baggara and other chiefs subsequently surrendered. General Hicks,
unaccompanied by any troops, received several of them on the western
bank of the river, and thus gave confidence. Negotiations with the
Kababish Arabs were also in progress.

[Sidenote: Withdrawal of the army to Kartoum.]

Towards the end of May the rebels, who had been threatening Duem,
dispersed, and it was reported that the western bank of the river was
free from hostile bands. The main body of the army was then withdrawn
to Kartoum, leaving garrisons at Kawa and Duem. On the Blue Nile,
Sennaar and Wod-Medinet were garrisoned.

The expedition to Kordofan could not be undertaken till after the
rains, when the wells in the desert would be full, and pools of water
would have been formed.

[Sidenote: Estimate of the expenses of the war.]

On the 15th May, the Governor-General of the Soudan telegraphed to
Cairo that he had only £40,000 in the treasury at Kartoum, and that
he thought it inadvisable to enforce the taxes for fear of producing
further disaffection among the natives.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

Arrears to the amount of £81,000 were still owing in the Mudiriyehs of
Kartoum and Sennaar for pay, food, and transport. He was anxious that
in future all salaries should be paid punctually both to the officials
and to the military, and that the Government should be able to meet its
other expenses at the proper time. He requested that large sums of
money might be forwarded to him, and estimated at £46,000 his monthly
expenditure for the troops at Kartoum, Sennaar, the military posts
on the White and Blue Niles, Fashoda, the Equatorial Provinces, and
Bahr-Gazelle, but exclusive of those at Dongola, Berber, and in the Red
Sea Provinces.

[Sidenote: Amount of money to be forwarded from Cairo to meet the
expenses entailed by the rebellion.]

In reply to the above Cherif Pasha telegraphed on the 11th June, that
the undermentioned amounts would be placed at the disposal of the
Governor-General during the current year, viz.:—

  Seven months’ pay for the army actually
    engaged in the war                       13,000
  Rations for seven months                   32,000
  Forage (_Fourrage_)                        37,500
  Purchase of camels                         25,000
  Arrears                                    80,000
        Total                               187,500

  But the amount actually in the
    Treasury at Kartoum was to be
    deducted from this                       40,000

leaving £147,000 to be sent from Cairo.

Reinforcements to the number of 3000 men were to be sent to the Soudan,
but all the expenses connected with them, which were estimated at
£40,000, would be defrayed by the Egyptian Government.

For the expenses of the Civil Administration and the pay of soldiers
not actually engaged in the war, the Governor-General was ordered to
do the best he could with the revenues of the Soudan, as the Egyptian
Government would not be able to furnish him with more than the sums
already specified.

[Sidenote: 13th May.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

[Sidenote: 2nd August.]

[Sidenote: Removal of Suleiman Pasha from the command of the army of
the Soudan.]

On the 13th May General Hicks telegraphed to Cairo requesting that he
might be put in indisputable command of the army, as otherwise he
could not be responsible for the success of the expedition to Kordofan.
It was subsequently rumoured on several occasions that he had requested
to be relieved of his post on account of the systematic obstructions he
met with from native officials. These reports were always officially
contradicted. However, on the 2nd August, Reuter’s agent at Alexandria
announced that the Governor-General of the Soudan had been appointed
to command the troops in that province, and that Suleiman Pasha had
been recalled, and appointed Governor of the Red Sea Provinces. By this
means it was expected that General Hicks would regain complete liberty
of action, though Al-ed-Deen Pasha was to accompany the expedition to

During the absence of the latter, Hussein Bey, Lieutenant-colonel of
the 2nd Regiment, was to act as his deputy at Kartoum. Rashid Pasha,
who was then Governor of the Red Sea Provinces, was to be given the
command of one of the brigades of the Expeditionary Force.

[Sidenote: Position of The Mahdi.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

The Mahdi only remained master of Kordofan. All reports from there
tended to show that serious dissensions had broken out between him and
his chiefs, and that the number of his adherents was daily diminishing.
His position appeared to be getting critical. From the north he was
threatened by the Egyptian army, and to the east the White Nile, which
was constantly patrolled by Egyptian boats, would bar any attempt at
escape in that direction. On the south King Adam of Takallé had sworn
to kill the Mahdi if he attempted to pass through his country to Jebel
Gedir, whither he had sent his family and most of the booty captured
at El Obeyed. King Adam was also taking steps to arrange with Sheikh
Asaker, chief of the Baggara Gimeh Arabs, inhabiting the desert from
the island of Abba towards Takallé, a joint offensive movement against
southern Kordofan. In the middle of July it was stated that the Mahdi
had given up all hopes of resistance, and was only anxious about his
personal safety; and that it was his intention to try to reach the
copper mines in the south-west of Darfur, not far from Jebel Mara. In
order to do this, however, he would have to make a long detour to avoid
an encounter with the force under Slatin Bey, Governor of Darfur.

[Sidenote: Operations in Darfur.]

Very little news has been received of the real state of affairs in that
far-off province. It appears that, on receipt of orders from Cairo, a
messenger was despatched from Kartoum to El Fascher in April of the
present year with the following instructions for Slatin Bey—viz.,
to concentrate the garrisons of Darfur at El Fascher, attempt to
organise a national Government under a descendant of one of the former
kings, and then withdraw from the country, either to Dongola or Bahr
el Ghazel. Report states that Slatin Bey subsequently evacuated El
Fascher, defeated a tribe of hostile Hamr Arabs, and then intrenched
himself at Omchanga, in an important strategical position on the road
to El Obeyed, where he awaited the arrival of the garrison of Foga
before undertaking any further operations.

[Sidenote: Letter from Slatin Bey, Governor of Darfur.]

The above-mentioned orders do not appear to have reached Slatin Bey,
for on the 30th June he wrote as follows to the Governor-General of the
Soudan from Dara, 200 miles south of El-Fascher:—

“Up to this date I have fought 27 battles of more or less importance,
and have been twice wounded. I am besides suffering from Guinea worm,
and have consequently been obliged to retire on Dar Demittala, but
not before killing in battle the Khalifa of Mohammed Ahmet, Bishari

“I have not only to fight external but internal enemies. Many of the
Arab officers intrigue against me, and seek to undermine my authority.
They spread rumours that Arabi has driven all the Europeans out of
Egypt, and that I myself have been deprived of my functions.”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: 1883.]

“After the commencement of the rainy season, fighting will begin again
with the Razagatt, Habanieh and Mali Arabs, and I am greatly in need
of help, for my best officers and men have fallen, and ammunition is
beginning to draw to an end.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“I ask your Excellency to send me a letter not in cypher, setting forth
my absolute power, and I take upon myself, as long as I am alive, the
responsibility of keeping the Province of Darfur for the Government.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The above letter reached Kartoum in August. It was in reply to one from
Giegler Pasha, dated 14th March, 1883, which, Slatin Bey stated, was
the first direct news he had received from Kartoum for more than a year.

[Sidenote: 20th August.]

[Sidenote: Appointment of General Hicks as Commander-in-Chief of the
Expedition to Kordofan. Plan of campaign.]

On the 20th August, General Hicks received a telegram from the Khedive
appointing him Commander-in-Chief of the expedition to Kordofan,
with the rank of General of Division. His original plan was to leave
Kartoum about the 8th of September, and march up the White Nile as far
Berair,[324] with 8600 infantry, 1400 cavalry and Bashi Bazouks, one
battery of Krupp field guns, two batteries of mounted guns, and one
battery of Nordenfeldts, and 5000 camels.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

Leaving the river at Berair, he proposed to march first on Bara,[325]
and then on El Obeyed, appearing before the last-mentioned place with
7000 men, which it was considered would be sufficient to overcome
the Mahdi. About 3000 were to be employed in keeping open the line
of communications. But the idea of establishing a line of fortified
posts between the Nile and Kordofan was subsequently abandoned, and
it was decided that the whole force should advance together, without
attempting to keep up any communication with the rear. The reason for
adopting this course was, that reports were brought in that large
numbers of hostile Arabs were likely to reappear on the line of march
after the passage of the army, and there would be great difficulty in
inducing small bodies of Egyptian troops to escort convoys of stores
between the posts.

The Egyptian officers attached to the force were inefficient, and, as a
rule, apathetic; they carried little or no respect, and had but slight
authority over their men. To bring the army into a state of efficiency,
feed it, provide transport, and procure intelligence, taxed the
energies of General Hicks and his small European Staff to the utmost.
His greatest anxiety was regarding the water supply during the march,
for Kordofan is the driest province in the whole Soudan. The wells
along the roads across the desert contain but little water, except
immediately after the rains, and it was feared that even then there
would be insufficient for a large force accompanied by horses, mules,
and several thousand camels.

On leaving the Nile, provisions for sixty days were to be carried with
the army.

Rashid Pasha, who was to have commanded a brigade, telegraphed from
Kassala that the Arabs in the neighbourhood were in a state of great
excitement, and he thought it would be best for him to remain there
till it had subsided.

[Sidenote: 9th September.]

[Sidenote: Departure of the army from Kartoum.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 9th September the main body set out from Kartoum, and, passing
Berair, reached Duem[326] on the 20th. No hostility was shown along
the route, though many of the inhabitants fled on the approach of the
troops. The heat was intense, and there was considerable loss of life
among the camels during the march. The line of telegraph had been

On the 23rd September, an advanced force, consisting of three
battalions and six guns, seized the first water station, fifteen miles
from Duem, without encountering any resistance.

General Hicks did not leave Kartoum till the 28th September, when he
proceeded up the river by steamer to Duem, and then joined the main

[Sidenote: 30th September.]

On the 30th September the army encamped at a place 30 miles south-west
of Duem. The heat was still intense, and the camels were dying in
considerable numbers.

[Sidenote: Tactics of the Egyptian army.]

The square continued to be used as the fighting formation. Great
precautions were taken on the line of march. The army marched in three
columns prepared instantly to form square, with the camels and stores
in the centre, the guns in the front faces, and the Nordenfeldts at the
angles. Through constant practice, the men had become very perfect in
this manœuvre. When camping square was formed, two tents per company
were pitched behind piled arms. When possible a zeriba, or dense
abattis of thorny bushes was formed round the square. In case of sudden
attack on the march, each soldier carried four crows-feet, which he was
to throw to a distance in his front to check the rush of the assailing

[Sidenote: 7th October.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 7th October the army appears to have reached Sangi Hamferid, 45
miles south-west of Duem, where it remained halted for several days,
owing to the uncertainty of the water supply in front. At the camp
there was no water except on the surface in depressions of the ground.
The camels were dropping, but the troops were in good health.

[Sidenote: 9th October.]

On the 9th October Colonel Farquhar made a reconnaissance 30 miles
forward, and ascertained that the pools were barely sufficient for a
rapid march to Sarakna, at which village there are a few wells.

The enemy was still retiring, and sweeping the country bare of cattle.
The uncut harvest supplied ample forage.

[Sidenote: Spread of the rebellion to the neighbourhood of Suakin.]

[Sidenote: August.]

In the beginning of August rumours reached Suakin that emissaries of
the Mahdi were inciting the Arabs in the neighbourhood of Sinkat[328]
and Erkowit[329] to revolt. On the 2nd Tewfik Bey, the Governor of
Suakin, left for Sinkat, to inquire into the true state of affairs. He
there learned that Osman Digma, a well-known slave-dealer, assisted
by his nephews, Ahmed and Fagi Digma, had raised the Erkowit, Sherah,
Mishab, Migadaff, and Bishirieh tribes in the name of the Mahdi. All
these are small tribes, living in the Erkowit district; but the more
important Langeb tribe, living in the neighbourhood of Toka, were said
to be preparing to rise.

[Sidenote: 5th August.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the rebels at Sinkat.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

Tewfik Bey immediately summoned Digma to come to him at Sinkat.
He arrived on the 5th August, but accompanied by about 1500 armed
followers, and demanded, in the name of the Mahdi, the surrender of
Sinkat and Suakin, with all the arms and treasure they contain. These
demands being, of course, refused, Digma attacked the barracks and the
summer residences of the Suakis spread over the plain. The inhabitants
defended themselves, and, with the assistance of the troops, drove off
the rebels after an hour’s fight. Digma was severely wounded, and his
two nephews and sixty-three other rebels were killed. The number of
their wounded is unknown. On the Government side, seven soldiers and
Suakis were killed or died of their wounds.

The rebels retired to Erkowit, and it was reported that they were much
discouraged by their defeat.

By the 13th August the garrison of Sinkat, which on the 5th was only
100 strong, had been increased to 200. On that date there were 100
soldiers, forty of whom were artillerymen, and six Krupp 9-pounders at
Suakin. Some measures were being taken for the defence of the town.

[Sidenote: Uneasiness at Berber.]

Some uneasiness was also felt at Berber, and, in consequence, the Mudir
of that place detained there two battalions of infantry, which arrived
early in August, on their way to Kartoum.

It was reported that the last detachment of reinforcements for General
Hicks, consisting of 200 infantry and 300 Bashi-Bazouks, had been
abandoned by their camel-drivers and camels at a place called Kokreb,
about half-way between Suakin and Berber. What became of the troops
after the loss of their baggage and camels is not stated.

Although the attack on Sinkat had been repulsed with loss, the
appearance of the enemy in the rear of General Hicks, and more or less
commanding his line of communications, was sufficiently serious to
cause much uneasiness at Cairo.

[Sidenote: 24th August.]

[Sidenote: Despatch of reinforcements to Suakin.]

300 troops were despatched from Egypt to Suakin about the 24th August,
and they were to be followed by further large reinforcements.

The telegraph line between Suakin and Sinkat was cut on the 10th
August. On the 8th October it was reported that communication between
those places and Berber, which had been interrupted for some time, had
been reestablished.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

[Sidenote: Annihilation of a detachment of Egyptian troops between
Suakin and Sinkat.]

[Sidenote: 18th October.]

On the 18th October, however, two officers and 156 Egyptian soldiers
were killed by the Arabs in a mountain defile, about 20 miles from
Suakin. They were on their way to support Tewfik Bey, who was said to
be surrounded by rebels at Sinkat.

[Sidenote: 5th November.]

[Sidenote: Destruction of a detachment of Egyptians at Tokar, and death
of Commander Moncrieff, late R.N.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 5th November, a body of Egyptian troops, variously estimated
at from 250 to 500 men, were attacked near Tokar[330] by a band of
insurgents, and completely routed. They are said to have thrown their
arms away and taken to flight, notwithstanding the efforts of their
commander to rally them. The reports are not very clear as to whether
the Egyptians were merely making a reconnaissance, or were attempting
to reach Kartoum by way of Kassala. Commander Moncrieff,[331] late
R.N., the British Consul at Suakin, who had accompanied them from that
place, was among the killed.

The latest accounts state that Tokar is still held for the Egyptian
Government by a small body of troops and some convicts. A panic had set
in at Suakin, and the inhabitants were leaving for Jeddah.

[Sidenote: 9th September.]

[Sidenote: Departure of General Hicks’s Army from Kartoum.]

On leaving the camp at Omdurman,[332] on the morning of the 9th
September, the order of march was as follows, viz.—Two guides, mounted
on camels, led the way. Behind them rode a detachment of men in armour,
followed by the general staff. Then came a battalion of infantry
in line, with several battalions in column in rear of each of its
flanks. The artillery marched between the columns of infantry. Another
battalion in line formed the fourth side of the infantry square.[333]
A detachment of cavalry completed the fighting force. Behind it came
a long train of pack animals, led and protected by Bashi-Bazouks. The
rear was brought up by irregular cavalry.

[Sidenote: Marching-out strength.]

The marching-out strength was 10,000 men, 4 Krupp field guns, 10
mountain guns, 6 Nordenfeldts, 500 horses, and 5500 camels.

Al-ed-Deen Pasha, the Governor-General of the Soudan, started at the
same time, proceeding as far as Duem by steamer. He took in his suite
several notables of great influence, who were to be considered as
hostages, and answerable with their lives for any disturbances that
might break out in Kartoum during their absence.

[Sidenote: Precautions on the march.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the march every precaution was taken to guard against surprise. The
troops were always under arms, and lined the “zerebas” an hour before
daybreak, the usual time for an Arab attack. The cavalry used to go out
at dawn, and not till then were the tents allowed to be struck and the
camels loaded. An hour later the whole force marched off. Owing to
the enormous number of camels, progress was slow. After twelve days’
marching, Duem, 110 miles from Omdurman, was reached, and the army
rested for four days. The heat was intense, and both men and camels
suffered considerably.

On quitting the Nile, General Hicks’s original intention had been to
retake Dara,[334] before marching on El Obeyed, but he altered his
plans at the request of King Adam of Takallé, who promised assistance
in the event of the army entering Kordofan from the south.

[Sidenote: 30th September.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

On the 30th September, General Hicks reached Zeraiga, about 30 miles
from Duem. The following despatch was probably written at Sangi
Hamferid,[335] some miles further on, though neither the date nor
the name of the place is stated. It was sent by hand to Kartoum, and
telegraphed thence to Cairo on the 17th October. It runs as follows,
viz.: “The army has arrived within 28 miles of Sarakhna. We have
depended upon pools of rain-water for supply, which we have fortunately
found. A reconnaissance made to-day ensures us water as far as
Sarakhna. Guide information is vague. I regret that I have to abandon
my intention of establishing military posts, and line of communication
with base at Duem. The Governor-General assures me that the Arabs
will close in on my route after the army has passed in sufficient
force to prevent posts forwarding supplies; besides, the pools of
rain-water—the only supply—will dry up. Water not to be obtained by
digging wells. I have no information regarding water between Sarakhna
and Nurabi, nor reliable information of the supply there. This causes
me great anxiety. I quite expected Sarakhna to be occupied by the
enemy, but the reconnaissance to-day found the place evacuated. The
Arabs had left this morning. The health of the troops is, on the whole,
good, which is fortunate, as we have no sick carriage. The heat is

[Sidenote: 3rd October.]

[Sidenote: Camp near Sarakhna. Last despatch from General Hicks.]

The following is the last dispatch received from General Hicks. It is
dated “Camp, near Sarakhna, October 3rd, 1883”:—

[Sidenote: Reasons for advancing without securing line of

“On leaving Duem, on the White Nile, to march by the Khor-el-Nil to
Melbeis and El Obeyed, I decided that my line of communication should
be secured by posts of 200 men each, left in strongly fortified
positions in the following places: Schatt, 16 miles distant; Zeraiga,
16 miles distant; Sarakhna, 32 miles distant; Nurabi, 16 miles distant;
Agaila, 24 miles distant; Johan, 32 miles distant; Abli, 28 miles
distant: Beliab, 22 miles distant; Um Sheikh, 12 miles distant; Rahad,
14 miles distant; Khashil (? Kazghil), 14 miles distant; Melbeis, 25
miles distant.[336]

“At all these places I was informed water would be found.

“Large quantities of biscuits were to arrive at Duem, and as we were
unable to leave a single camel at the base, 1000 were ordered to be
purchased and forwarded to Duem.

“His Excellency Al-ed-Deen Pasha had already at Kartoum 300, and gave
orders for the remaining 700 to be purchased and forwarded to Duem
without delay.

“The biscuits would then, with ammunition and other stores, be pushed
on to the front from post to post.

“Depôts would be formed at each post, and, in case of a reverse, a line
of retreat secured, the troops falling back upon these depôts, where we
should be certain of finding supplies of food, ammunition, and water.

[Sidenote: 1883.]

“We marched to Schatt, and formed the first post and depôt there; but,
before reaching Zeraiga, I was informed by the Governor-General of the
Soudan that it was useless for me to expect any supplies to be pushed
up from Duem, that the soldiers left at the posts would not guard the
convoys; in fact, that they would be afraid to do so; that, to insure
supplies being forwarded, an army would be required with each convoy;
that the Arabs, although now absent from our line of route, would
return after we had passed, and that they would be numerous, and the
garrisons of the posts would not consider themselves strong enough to
forward the supplies; that it would be dangerous; and I would find that
they would not run the risk.

“The Governor-General requested me to abandon the idea of having
this line of posts—to give up my line of communications and line of
retreat, and to advance with the army _en l’air_, with 50 days’ supply
of food only, the Arabs closing in on our rear.

“I am naturally very averse to this, but if, as his Excellency assures
me, it is a fact that the posts will not be supplied from the base at
Duem, and supplies will not be forwarded through them, I should, in
garrisoning these posts, be only weakening my fighting force without
gaining any advantage. I have therefore called a Council, have had
the matter explained, and requested the members to record their

[Sidenote: 1883.]

No news of the Expeditionary Force having been heard for several weeks,
anxiety began to be felt as to its fate. Messengers were despatched
from Duem along the various routes to Kordofan, but, for a long while,
none of the few who returned brought any authentic information.

[Sidenote: 30th October. Rumoured defeat of the Mahdi.]

On the 30th October, rumours were spread in Kartoum that the Mahdi had
been defeated in several important engagements, and that General Hicks
was master of the whole of Kordofan. No official confirmation of the
reported victories was, however, received, and after a few days the
authenticity of the news began to be doubted.

[Sidenote: 5th November.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Kazghil. Annihilation of General Hicks’s army.]

[Sidenote: 1883.]

At length, on the 19th November, a messenger, who had failed to deliver
his despatches to Al-ed-Deen Pasha, returned to Duem, bringing news
of the total destruction of General Hicks’s army. These sad tidings
were soon confirmed by other persons arriving from Kordofan. Their
accounts differ in detail, but most of them agree that the greater
part, if not the whole, of the army was annihilated by the insurgent
forces on the 4th or 5th November. The events which culminated in this
terrible disaster are still shrouded in a certain amount of mystery.
Nothing has been heard from any of the Europeans who accompanied the
expedition, nor from any of the Egyptian Staff Officers, of a later
date than General Hicks’s despatch of the 3rd October. Probably
the most trustworthy account of the fighting is that given by a
camel-driver, who went as servant to a native officer. He states
that the army, on leaving Duem, soon met the rebels, and engaged in
skirmishes with them, the Mahdi’s men being beaten, and the Egyptians
losing a few Bashi-Bazouks and Shaggyehs. Thus the army arrived at
Rahad, where there is a lake. There it filled up with water, and then
marched towards Alouba. At the latter place there was an encounter with
the rebels, in which General Hicks was victorious. On the 2nd November
the army left Alouba, taking what water it could, and, while marching
through a forest, was surprised by a large force of rebels. The
Egyptians formed square, and, after fighting all day, finally defeated
them and drove them off. On Saturday, the 3rd November, the march was
resumed. Water was already becoming scarce. The rebels again appeared
in force, and surrounded the army. A serious engagement ensued, in
which heavy losses were suffered on both sides, but the rebels were
once more beaten. That night was passed on the field of battle, and
next day the army moved towards Kazghil. After proceeding for four
hours, it suddenly came under a heavy fusillade from large numbers of
the enemy. The troops were suffering great torments from thirst, but
nevertheless fought throughout the whole day. On the 5th, when they
were approaching the wells, which were only half an hour distant, the
rebels, who had been concealed in the forest, again suddenly attacked
the column on all sides. The Egyptians returned their fire, and a great
battle raged. Towards mid-day the entire force of the rebels made a
general charge with guns, swords, and spears, and General Hicks and
his whole army perished, except 200 Egyptian soldiers and a few negro
servants, most of whom were wounded.[338]

Of the whole of the expeditionary force, the only European supposed to
be now alive is Adolf Klootz, formerly a sergeant of Prussian Uhlans,
and recently servant to Major von Seckendorff. He is said to have
deserted three days before the final struggle, to have commanded the
insurgent artillery during the action, and to be at present an officer
in the service of the Mahdi.[339]

NOTE—The following is the Extract of a letter from the Mahdi’s Emir at
Berber to Zubair, by whom it was forwarded to Sir Henry Gordon.

Letter of the Emir Ali Mohammed Abou Saad Esshentrawi al Abadi (the
Mahdi’s Emir at Berber).

“Compliments,—After the arrival of Hussein Pasha Khalifat in the
Soudan, it was found that all the inhabitants were aroused by the
appearance of the Imam. Since this every week a disturbance took
place among the Arabs and Jahleien and others. We tried to put down
the disturbances. While we were trying to do so, news came that the
influence of the Imam the Mahdi was established, and that all the
districts of Darfur and Bahr el Ghezel, and Kordofan, Sennaar, and
Jebel Khadir, and the Arabs, all of them, were under him. Why this was
so was that they saw and heard what he has done to the backsliders
at the battle of Jebel Khadir and in the slaughter of Yusuf Pasha
Shelali and his army of 8000 men, and in the destruction of Al-ed-Deen
Pasha and his army of 36,000 men, which was altogether destroyed in a
quarter of an hour. It was a fearful fight, in which you heard only the
slashing of swords into the bodies. At that time we received letters
from our lord the Imam strictly ordering us to fight the backsliders
and to block the way against all mischief-makers whatever, which
we prepared to do. Then came to us Mohammed El Kheir Ibu Abdullah,
Governor-General of the district of Berber, bringing with him standards
of victory prepared for the siege of Berber. When he arrived at
Metemma, he wrote letters to all the districts, calling for the aid of
all the tribes and Arabs. It was only a short time after that he came
to Berber with an army of 40,000 men, the youngest of whom were eager
to die in the field for the sake of God. This was on the 1st Rejeb,
1301. Correspondence took place between the Governor and the Pasha for
the space of eight days, and on Monday, the night of the 23rd Rejeb,
the battle was fought; and before break of day we had won the victory
and had killed all who opposed the Mahdi, and captured the Pasha.
Then all the inhabitants of Bertou, of Berkou, of Islih, of Balalah,
of Baskirmah, and of Salah came into the Imam, and then his reign was
established in all the Soudan, east and west. This is what happened in
these parts; and know, my friend, that the world is turned upside down,
and henceforward there will be nothing but preparation for the holy war
in the path of God, and spending of treasure and life in what pleases
Him and His Prophet. Be on your guard against the covetousness of the

“As to your spy, Mohammed Abou Jibali, who was sent with your men,
after they came to Berber, and had seen the Governor, and had
permission to go to Kartoum, when they reached Shendy the Governor
thought it better that they should return to Berber—which they did on
the 1st Ramadan. They were imprisoned till the 20th. Then eight mounted
men came from among your relatives, and had a conference with the
Governor, who then released them, and they went to your friends living
near Kartoum. After they left, the spy, Mohammed Abou Jibali, was
detained, and imprisoned in Berber, as before, till the 3rd of Zu’l
Kādih. For your sake and friendship, &c., we have done all we could,
until we secretly released him and sent him away safely to you. I hope
he will arrive in safety, and will tell you how honestly we have acted
for you.

  “Accept, &c.

  “3rd Zu’l Kādih, 1301 [about 25th August, 1884].”



From Saleh Bey, Governor at Galabat.

To his Excellency the Governor-General of all the Provinces of the


The two envelopes enclosed were sent to your servant from his Majesty
the King of Kings of Abyssinia, with a special messenger from him, and
a request that we would receive and forward them to your Excellency
where-ever you may be found. Therefore we now send these messengers
with them. And we trust that after you have honoured them with your
attention that your Excellency will quickly send back the answer to
us, that we may send it to the King of Kings of Abyssinia by the two
messengers who have come from his Majesty, and who are at present date
with us at Kalabât (Galabat). Awaiting the said reply.

  District Inspector and Officer of Kalabât (Galabât).

_Postscript._—Sir, The name of the bearer is Ali Othman.

In order not to increase expense (this) is written on ruled paper.


  1 Zu’l Hejjeh, 1301.
  Sept. 22, 1884.

From Saleh Bey, Governor of Galabat.

To his Excellency the Honourable the Governor-General of the Soudan.


Your servant, who stands in the attitude of service (to you), prays God
with a sincere heart to grant his request and to extend His goodness
towards me, in strengthening and preserving your Excellency under His
shadow for the sake of the servants and subjects (of Government), and
to change the condition of affairs from what they are, and to grant me
the honour of seeing your Excellency, to kiss your bountiful hands, by
which we have been covered with good and with blessings;—(even you
who are) the destroyer of the enemies of the Government, the wicked
rebels who have lost their souls and their religion, and are deprived
of the benefits of the Government, from which they had obtained glory
and honour; and turned, in spite of (all) that, from truth to error.
May God preserve the glory of Government (so that) by presence of your
Excellency you may destroy and utterly ruin the wretched Mohammed
Ahhmed and his followers.

We have also to-day heard from the neighbourhood of Dukah of Abou
Sitti and of Abou Haraz about what the energy of your Excellency has
accomplished in beating the rebels and dispersing their people and
troops, assembled for purposes of sedition.

And I beseech God most High, to whom be praise, to stretch out the
sword of your Government more (and more)—(in order) to annihilate the
false pretences of Mohammed Ahhmed, and to disperse his wicked hordes.

If your thoughts be directed towards your servant and the humble
subject of the Government—(I have to say that) at present date I am
well, under your protection, and am still continuing in the attitude
of service to the Government. And oh! what a Government! (it is). How
much compassion and benefit and kindness have you bestowed on us in
goodness and bounty, which no man can deny? I pray in the name of God
and of His prophet that your servant may never depart from this path
of duty (fidelity—being) obedient to the Government openly, without
hindrance—under your protection.

With regard to the subjects of the Government under the care of your
servant—they do not cease to remain as they were in respect of
submission and obedience (loyalty), and will never follow the ways
of rebellion—by the mercy of God most High and as a result of the
advantage of being under your Government.

But, Excellency, we are surrounded by the enemy on all sides; from
the side of the Dukah, by the Shukryeh, by the Dhāniyeh, and by the
Ja’alibiyeh: as on the side of the river, by the Rahbar; also by the
Bukādi, and those rebels who follow them.

But by the influence of your Excellency no harm will come to us from
them. Nor do we take account of him (the Mahdi); our Lord will make
us victorious over him through the strength of the Government and the
reputation of its power and majesty, from which we derive glory and
honour, through your Excellency and the favour of the Khedive.

As to what we have enclosed about —--, we trust and pray for the
answer. Including this time we have now written to you four times.

The messenger takes them (the letters) from here, and when he gets to
Katarif, or Dukah, he finds liers in wait, and the rebels torment him
on meeting him in the road.

This prevented us from writing lately, but we are in constant
communication with the Mudiriyeh; and in that road we have lost two
persons by (hands of) the rebels of Dhāniyeh and of Bukkād, on the road
of Tumruk.

This for the information of your Excellency.

  Ma’amooor and Nāzir, of Kalabât (Galabât)
  (District Inspector and Officer).

  1 Zu’l Hejjeh, 1301.
  Sept. 22, 1884.

From Saleh Bey, Governor of Salahah.

To His Excellency the Honourable the Governor-General of the Soudan.


I have the honour to lay before your Excellency that at the beginning
of the month of Rajeb, from the time of the desertion and change of
conduct of the Shukriyeh and the Dhāniyeh, and the Jaalāni, and the
Bukkādi, in forsaking loyalty to Government and corrupting their ways
when they joined the wretch (the Mahdi) and his followers: as soon
as we received news of their having thrown off their allegiance we
communicated with the Mudiriyeh in the month aforesaid. And these
four tribes combined together against us and besieged us on the side
of Dukah, having with them one called Hussein Abd el Wāhhad, and they
wrote to us as to their intention that we should follow them into
error, or they would fight and hem us in. When we perceived this, and
that it was then the season of autumn and the time for sowing our
seed for necessary provisions—and that their wicked intention was to
prevent the inhabitants from sowing their grain, and that the soldiery
we had were very few; we tried by means of diplomacy and artifice with
their chief Hussein, to get them to leave us during the autumn (seed

All that passed between us and them we have communicated in detail
to the Mudiriyeh from time to time—so that there should be no
misunderstanding from our silence—about what we wrote to them for
putting them off by diplomacy, as it seemed best to us for bringing
them to reason. And please God, after tranquillity is established,
we will hasten to make copies of all the communications which have
passed with them, as well as of what we wrote to the Mudiriyeh. On your
seeing them you will know the zeal of your servant in upholding his
office; and his exertions for honour of the Government, whose bounties
overwhelm him, will appear.

And, Sir, now that autumn is over and these four tribes above mentioned
are now in Katarif, and as there is great energy displayed in
assembling them for the certain purpose of besieging Kalabât (Galabât),
it became necessary to inform your Excellency, trusting and praying
for issue of your Excellency’s order, sanctioning all that we do for
the purpose of impeding and destroying those wretches before named.
And with the help of the most High God your servant will do nothing
but what will lead to victory, and will increase the supremacy of the
Government and the destruction of its enemies. It is not to be hidden
from your Excellency about Mohammed Bey Zain, that when the Mudiriyeh
sent orders to the Ma’amoor (district officer) of Katarif for payment
of 6000 dollars for payment of the salaries of the officials of
Galabât, an officer and thirty-five soldiers were appointed to receive
that amount from the officials of Katarif. And when they were coming
to Galabât, Mahmood Bey, the above-named, took the money from them and
left the officer to go his way. We wrote at the time to the Mudiriyeh
about it, telling what Mahmood had done, and also to his Excellency,
Mahmood Bey, and received his reply (denying) that the sum had been
given to him at all, and refusing to have any more communication on the
subject. And we made copy of what we received from him, and we wrote
about him to the Mudiriyeh, and his answer is preserved by us in case
of necessity.

  Nazir and Ma’amoor of Kalabat (District
  Inspector and Officer).

  Date, 1 of Zu’l Hejjeh, 1301.
  Sept. 22, 1884.

_Postscript._—SIR, We learn from the Mudiriyeh of Saka (by letter)
of this date of what the energy of your Excellency has done there to
impede and repulse the rebels. They are joyful to-day at not being
besieged as hitherto, and the neighbourhood is pretty clear at present.
At this date there is perfect safety on account of the water from their
being surrounded. After this month the crossing of the rivers will
become possible, and (then) without doubt the rebels will be able to
get at them. Your servant is constantly writing to the General of his
troops to be always wide awake, and to look out for the preservation
and the safety of the honour of the Government.

  Always, Sir, at your order,

From the Greek Consul at Adowa to General Gordon.

  Adowa (Abyssinia), 5/17 August, 1884.


I arrived in Abyssinia on the 12/24 May, sent by my Government to aid
the mission of Admiral Hewett at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor

Thanks to the intelligence and the good feeling of His Majesty, aided
by my counsels, the mission of the Admiral has completely succeeded.

In Egypt and in England we have been for four months without news from
you, in spite of all the attempts which have been made to obtain news
from you.

In England they have prepared an expedition of 15,000 men for the Nile,
commanded by Lord Wolseley, besides which the Emperor John will put
himself in the field after the Haref with a great army. Take courage,
then. Give me news of you that I may send them to England.

The messenger is sent by the Emperor John, whom I have caused to
understand the urgent need of news from you. You must not detain the
messenger more than two days.

I wish you all honour and glory in your mission, and

  I am your devoted friend,


From Greek Consul Mitzakis, dated 24th August, to Greek Consul,
Kartoum, received 20th October, 1884.

  Adowa (Abyssinia), 5/17 August, 1884.


His Majesty’s Government is much affected at the misfortunes of the
Greeks in the Soudan, and has ordered me to come here, in order that by
my relations with His Majesty the Emperor John, I may help the Greeks
in the Soudan, and give them news.

His Majesty’s Government is much distressed about its subjects, because
there has been no news for four months of His Excellency Gordon Pasha,
in spite of all the efforts of the Governments of England and of Egypt.

The Most Christian Emperor John, to whom I have spoken of the great
interest of England and Greece in the Soudan, has promised me to send
this letter by Metemma[340] (Galabat) by a trusty messenger, who will
return, bringing your answer and a letter from His Excellency Gordon
Pasha, to whom I also write. Therefore I beg you to be so good as to
write to me all your news, that is to say, if the siege is very strict;
if the Mahdi himself is at the head of the besiegers; if you have
provisions and munitions, and for how many months; how many Greeks
and Europeans there are in Kartoum, together with their names; how
many soldiers have you, and what is the spirit of the soldiers and the
inhabitants of the town, and all other important news.

It must be thoroughly understood that you are to send back the
messenger at the earliest possible moment, and give him a letter, in
very small form, in order that he may conceal it in safety.

I am surprised that you have not sent any letter by Metemma or by

If you can send me letters by Metemma, you must address them to the
Governour-General Gondar Axum-Gabroun; or by Walkeit, to the Governour

Hoping that your siege will soon be raised,

  I am, &c.,



The English Admiral Hewett has come here, and has signed the Convention
of the Emperor John with the Egyptian Government, by which Abyssinia
takes Bogos,[341] Kassala, Katarif, and the right of importing and
exporting merchandize and arms by the port of Massowa.

Even while I am writing, the Egyptians are giving up Bogos to
Ras-Aloula (the Abyssinian Commander-in-Chief).

In England 15,000 soldiers are preparing to come to relieve Kartoum,
and I trust that an expedition of from 100,000 to 200,000 brave men
will start to save you.

If there is a messenger who can bring your letter to Metemma (or
Galabat) or to Walkeit you can promise him whatever you wish, and we
will pay him, because the English Government has a great interest in
General Gordon.

  I am yours, &c.


From Slatin Bey.

His Excellency Gordon Pasha, Governor-General of the Soudan.


I have sent two letters, one by George Calamatino and the other by
my servant, without having received an answer from your Excellency,
neither has Consul Hansall answered me.

Your Excellency, I have fought twenty-seven times for the Government
against the enemy, and they have beaten me twice, and I have done
nothing dishonourable, nothing which should hinder your Excellency from
writing me an answer, that I may know what to do.

They have taken the little steamer at Dar-Djumna, after it passed the
Sehelal of the Robatat, and they have brought the whole of the letters
from Kartoum for Cairo here. In order to assure you that they have
taken the steamer they have sent your Excellency some letters, and I
have done all that I could to send your Military Journal,[342] because
it may be, perhaps, of some value for your Excellency.

I hope that Consul Hansall has made a translation of my letter, in
which I place all my feeble services to your Excellency’s disposal, and
I have been obliged to write in German, because they have burnt my
French dictionary, believing that it was a prayer book.

His Excellency Stewart Pasha, with nine men, is dead. They have taken
the others to Berber.

When you have a letter for Dongola I beg you to send it me, and I will
find means of sending it on.

Your scribe has written a dispatch in cipher, half Arabic and half
cipher, so badly, that they have been able to decipher it, and so
they have found a key to your despatches, and have also deciphered
your Excellency’s despatch to his Excellency Towfik Pasha. If there
are letters from Europe for me at the post I beg you to send them
me, because it is almost three years since I have had any news of my
family. I entreat your Excellency to honour me with an answer.

  Your devoted and obedient servant,


I and Seid Gjoma, Mudir of Fascher, are seeking occasion to enter
Omdurman to remain with you. Pray, Excellency, do your best to give us
permission, because we are always in fear of spies. I pray God that He
may give you success in the siege.

P.S.—If your Excellency has perhaps understood that I have done
anything contrary to the honour of an officer, and if that hinders you
from writing to me, I pray you give me a chance of defending myself,
and judge according to truth.


From the Mudir of Sennaar.

To the Governor-General of the Soudan and its dependencies, to His
Excellency the Honourable.

We stated to your Excellency that on Oct. 6, 1884, we had the honour to
receive the order of your Excellency, dated September 24, announcing
the arrival of nine regiments of the braves of the English army and
Moslems of India; artillery, cavalry, and infantry of the army,
experienced in passing mountains, plains, and rough places, with new
cannons and powerful horses. And our reading it to the public and
publishing it in the country produced great rejoicing and happiness
in all, and they augured all good and every benefit, and they are
all praying for victory and success for you and for the army. And
please God they are arrived at Berber and have taken possession
of it, and have arrived at Kartoum. Everybody at Sennaar and the
neighbourhood—Ulema, merchants, citizens, notables, officers, and
soldiers—kiss the hands of your Excellency, and we proclaim about your
Excellency, that by the power of God and His protection, and by the
help of our prophet—on whom and on his people be the best of blessings
and peace—the disturbances of the Soudan and the pretensions of the
Mahdi are stopped, and nothing remains thereof but little trifles in
some parts. And they will all submit to the sword of the Government.

To God belongs success, and help is in Him.

  Mudir General of Sennaar,

  (Signed) HASSAN SADIK.

  Dated 18 Zu’l Hejje, 1301.
  Oct. 9, 1884.

Postscript to his Excellency.—We beg your Excellency to give orders
for the quick despatch of a steamer with what we asked for in our
(letter) laid before you, No. 39/14.


Letter from the Mahdi to General Gordon.

In the name of God the merciful and compassionate: praise be to God,
the bountiful Ruler, and blessing on our lord Mahomed with peace.

From the servant who trusts in God—Mahomed the son of Abdallah.

To Gordon Pasha of Kartoum: may God guide him into the path of virtue,

Know that your small steamer, named _Abbas_—which you sent with the
intention of forwarding your news to Cairo, by the way of Dongola,
the persons sent being your representative Stewart Pasha and the two
Consuls, French and English, with other persons, has been captured by
the will of God.

Those who believed in us as the Mahdi, and surrendered, have been
delivered; and those who did not were destroyed—as your representative
afore-named, with the Consuls and the rest—whose souls God has
condemned to the fire and to eternal misery.

That steamer and all that was in it have fallen a prey to the Moslems,
and we have taken knowledge of all the letters and telegrams which were
in it, in Arabic and in Frankish (languages), and of the maps, which
were opened to us (translated) by those on whom God has bestowed His
gifts, and has enlightened their hearts with faith, and the benefits of
willing submission. Also (we have found therein) the letters sent from
you to the Mudir of Dongola, with the (letters, &c.) accompanying, to
be forwarded to Egypt and to European countries. All has been seized,
and the contents are known. It should all have been returned to you,
not being wanted here; but as it was originally sent from you, and is
known unto you, we prefer to send you part of the contents and mention
the property therein, so that you may be certified; and in order that
the truth may make a lasting impression on thy mind—in the hope that
God may guide thee to the faith of Islam, and to surrender; that you
and your followers may surrender to Him and to us, that so you and they
may obtain everlasting good and happiness.

Now first (among the documents seized) is the cipher dated Sept. 22,
1884, sent to Mustafa Jāwer, Mudir of Dongola, in answer to his letter
dated 30th August, 1884, European reckoning, (saying) that you have
given him the rank of Liwa—on the back of which is your telegram to
the Khedive of Egypt, asking that he will confirm the said appointment.
We have also taken knowledge of (extract from) the Journal (daily
record) of the provision in the granary (as) seen by the Inspector
Moosa Othmān, namely 3374 ardebs of dhoora; 4 ardebs and ⅓ and ¼ of
wheat, &c. Also (extract from) the Journal[343] (daily register) of the
ammunition seized by the Inspector Mohamed, dated Aug. 18, 1884—the
number (? of cartridges) in store being 581,395.

Also of the telegram sent to the Khedive of Egypt, and Nubar Pasha,
and to the English Consul-General from nineteen persons who have put
their seals to it, and who are presidents of the Court of Appeal,
(namely) Hassan Abdul Munam, and the members and the merchants, who
pray (therein) that the Soudan Railway, which the Egyptian Government
find it difficult to make, (may be) exchanged for river steamers and
military stations, with telegraphic lines between the stations.[344]

Further, (there is) the letter (found) with the French Consul, written
by you to him on July 12, 1884, No. 512/38, in acknowledgment of the
100 francs distributed to the poor and needy.

(There is) also your letter dated August 28, 1884, No. 35/144, sent to
Nubar Pasha, and to the English Consul-General, and to the Chief of
the Egyptian Treasury, with information about the 50,000 guineas sent
from Egypt to Berber, and captured by the auxiliaries of the faith,
and mentioning the advances (made) by the merchants at interest of
one piastre per 100 piastres, with the hope of paying it back to the
principals or their agents in that part.

(There is) also your communication dated August 26, 1884, No. 34/144,
sent to the President of the Council, with a list of sixteen persons,
in which you ask for confirmation of the rank which you have bestowed
on them.

Also your letter, No. 1/141, dated August 14, 1884, to the Mohurdâr
(Keeper of the Seals) of the Khedive, as to disposal of the four
decorations you have given, and of which you enclose a specimen.

Also (as to) the ranks of the officers named by you, and the note
containing eleven names, like Nuehr Bey Mahomed, Commandant of the Army
of Sennaar, whom you made Liwa (General).

Also your telegram, dated Sept. 3, 1884, No. 23, to the afore-mentioned
Mohurdâr (Keeper of the Seals), to confirm the appointment of Ibrahim
Foozi, and Mohammed Nefii, and Moosa Shoki as Liwas (Generals).

Also your letters, (written) in European (language), all about the
siege of Kartoum, and all about the arranging of the steamers, with the
number of the troops in them, and their arms, and the cannon, and about
the movements of the troops, and the defeat of your people, and your
request for reinforcements, even if only a single regiment, and all
about how your agent Cuzzi turned Moslem.

Also many letters which had come to you from our lieutenants, and what
they contained of advice; also stating the number of Europeans at
Kartoum, 3 English, 2 Austrians, 1 Prussian, 1 Frenchman, 4 Italians,
40 Greeks.

Also the diary (registry) of the arms, ammunition, guns and soldiers
sealed by Faraj (Ferratch) ez Zainy, Commander of the Army, which
has 2 Krupp guns and 284 shells; 11 mountain field-pieces, and their
ammunition (? cartridges), numbering 2303; 2 matchlock guns and their
ammunition, 315; 5 mortars and their ammunition 565; and 1 field
piece, and 2 mitrailleuses without ammunition; and 8 howitzers (?) and
their ammunition, 599; and 7064 Remington rifles, and 1205 percussion
muskets; and 246 muskets (called) arshalik; and 127 rifles, old bore,
and 19 pistols; and the ammunition (cartridges) for the Remingtons
being 150,233 packets. And the number of the soldiers: 2 Liwas
(Generals), 2 Colonels, 5 Lieut.-Colonels, and so on for other grades,
and 2370 privates; the contingent of Bashi-Bazouk, and of the Shaggyeh
and Khotriyeh and others, the amount of their strength (being) 26
divisions, numbering 4797 men. Also giving the number of the servants
of the arsenal and on the steamers, ship by ship.

We have also taken knowledge of the two letters of Salehh, the Melek of
the Sanjak (district) of Sanik, which he gave up to us (the Mahdi).

One of them, dated April 30, 1884, in which he threatens (this); and
the second, dated May 1, in which he states that which he has already
stated, and in which he asks for his reward.

We have also noted the telegram of the officials and of the presidents
of courts, and of the Kadi and the Muftis and Ulema, numbering 34 sent
to the Mohurdâr of the Khedive in Egypt, dated August 28, 1884, in
which they ask for succour from the Egyptian Government; to which was
attached your note to the Mudir of Dongola on account of his drafts.
Also your cipher telegrams, one of which is dated August 8, 1884, to
the Mohurdâr of the Khedive, in which you explain that on your arrival
at Kartoum the impossibility had become clear to you of withdrawing the
troops and the employés, and sending them to Egypt; on account of the
disturbances (rebellions) in the country, and the cutting (closing) of
the roads; for which reason you ask for reinforcements, which did not
come until that happened which has happened to the Mudiriyeh of Berber.

Also about your coming to Kartoum with seven men after the annihilation
of Hicks’s army; and your requesting a telegram to be sent to you in
Arabic, in plain language about the Soudan, to show to the people
of Kartoum—as the telegrams in European cipher do not explain
enough, except only certain news (matters), and their meaning is not
intelligible, except only certain things (which are understood).

And also (you refer) to the useless waste of time, so much so, that
from your repeated promises to the people of Kartoum about arrival of
reinforcements, you have appeared to them as if you were a liar.

Also (about) your asking for Turkish troops and your promise to send
your representative, Stewart, and Mr. Power to Dongola, both of whom
the Most High God has destroyed.

And the second (telegram) with the same date and the same tenor, to the
President of the Council and the English Minister in Cairo.

And the third (telegram) dated August 28, 1884, to the Mohurdâr (of the
Khedive), in which you promise to send a detachment to attack Sheikh el
Obeyed; which you sent, and the Most High God has destroyed.

Also your letter to the Khedive of Egypt, without date, in which you
ask to have English soldiers sent, and appoint Zubair Pasha with
reinforcements for withdrawal of the Egyptian troops to Egypt, and
that you (will) give the Soudan to the Sultan on the arrival of the
reinforcements of 200,000 men. And (you state that) if this be not
done those in the Soudan will be killed, and their blood will be on
their conscience (i.e. those to whom he writes will be responsible for
their deaths). And the last you say in it (is) that Mahomed Ali Pasha
is the only and single one in the Soudan on whom you (could) rely to
take your place. But God has destroyed Mohamed Ali Pasha, on whom you

The fourth telegram is dated August 28, to the Khedive of Egypt, and
to Nubar Pasha and the English Consul in Egypt, in which you say that
you were expecting the reinforcements before asked for—by way of
Merowé—and also state the telegrams sent to the above-named at that
date; in which you speak about fighting my auxiliaries, and about your
having provisions for five months.

Also the telegram, dated August 25, 1884, to the above-mentioned, in
which you pretend (suppose) that Ibrahim el Obeyed has been killed. And
you say that you have the news of our arrival, which, however, was not

And your letter to the President of the Council and the English
Minister in Cairo, dated August 8, 1884, in which you speak of your
appointing three steamers to go and inquire as to the state of Sennaar,
and that you will send soldiers to Berber by the steamers to recapture
it, sending with them Stewart and the Consuls, whom the Most High God
has destroyed.

And the telegram, dated August 8, 1884, sent to the President of
the Council and the English Minister, in which you promise to send
2000 soldiers to Berber for recovering it, and (say) that unless
the reinforcements come to strengthen Berber, when the water of the
Nile gets lower the same thing will happen again to Berber which had
(already) happened.

Also your telegram to the Khedive of Egypt and Nubar Pasha, dated Sept.
8, 1884, in which you say it was your purpose to remove those (the
garrison, &c.) at Sennaar, but that you saw that it would not be done;
and (you mention) the sorrow of the inhabitants and of the employés at
Kartoum and Sennaar at the non-arrival of succour.

Also the telegram, dated Sept. 9, to the Khedive of Egypt and Nubar
Pasha and to the General, in which you speak of the sending of Stewart
and those with him by the small steamer, and (with) the two large
steamers escorting them for protection. And that you had so many times
already asked for succour, and had deep anxiety for the state of the

And (stating) that you had received no answer whatever, so that the
people had become disgusted.

Also your telegram, dated August 28, 1884, stating that (as to) the
Firmān emanating from the Khedive to all the nobles and notables and
people of the Soudan, announcing the withdrawal of the troops of the
Government from it, and their evacuation of the country, (and) leaving
it to the Soudanese to appoint rulers of the country from among the
natives,—you had not been able to communicate or to show it to anybody
on account of what had taken place.

Also (we have seen) the two seals engraved with our name to imitate our

We never miss any of your news, nor what is in your innermost thoughts,
and about the strength and support—not of God—on which you rely. We
have now understood it all.

Tricks in making ciphers, and using so many languages, are of no avail.

From the Most High God, to whom be praise, no secrets can be hidden.

As to your expecting reinforcements, reliance for succour on others
than God, that will bring you nothing but destruction, and (cause you
to) fall into utmost danger in this world and the next.

For God most High has dispersed sedition through our manifestation,
and has vanquished the wicked and obstinate people, and has guided
those who have understanding to the way of righteousness.

And there is no refuge but in God, and in obedience to His command, and
that of His Prophet and of His Mahdi.

No doubt you have heard what has happened to your brethren, from whom
you expected help, at Suakin and elsewhere, whom God has destroyed, and
dispersed and abandoned.

Notwithstanding all this, as we have now arrived at Mushra’ el Koweh’,
at a day’s journey from Omdurman, and are coming, please God, to your
place, if you return to the Most High God, and become a Moslem, and
surrender to His order and that of His Prophet, and believe in us as
the Mahdi, send us a message from thee, and from those with thee, after
laying down your arms and giving up the thought of fighting, so that I
may send you one with safe conduct, by which you will obtain (assurance
of) benefit of the blessing in this world and the next. Otherwise, and
if you do not act thus, you will have to encounter war from God and
His Prophet. And know that the Most High God is mighty (able) for thy
destruction, as He has destroyed (others) before thee, who were much
stronger than thou, and more numerous.

And you, and your children and your property, will be for a prey to the
Moslems, and you will repent when repentance will not avail. For, after
the beginning of the battle were you to surrender, it would be from
fear, and not willingly, and that will not be accepted.

And there is no succour or strength but in God, and peace be upon those
who have followed the Guidance.[345]

  Dated (Wednesday) 7th day 2nd of Moharram, 1302.
  Oct. 22, 1884.

_Postscript._—In one of your cipher telegrams sent to Bahhri and
seized, you mention that the troops present in Bahr Gazelle and the
Equator and elsewhere (number) 30,000 soldiers, whom you cannot leave
behind, even though you should die.

And know that Bahr Gazelle and the Equator are both of them under our
hand (power), and that both have followed us as Mahdi, and that they
and their chief and all their officers are now among the auxiliaries
of the Mahdi. And they have joined our lieutenant in that part, and
letters from them are constantly coming and going without hindrance, or
diminution of numbers.

And here inclosed are two letters of those which we have received from
our agents (lieutenants) there. On seeing them thou wilt understand and
know if Bahr Gazelle is (or not) in thy possession as thou thinkest, or
whether it forms part and parcel of the Mahdi’s dominions.

And for thy better information, and in our compassion for thee and
the worshippers of God (with thee), we have thought of adding this
postscript, and so that you should see clearly what to do, this
postscript was necessary.

  (Seal.) There is no God but (God) ALLAH.
          Mahomed is the prophet of (God) ALLAH.
          Mahomed the Mahdi (son of) ABD-ALLAH.
                                          (Year) 1292.

This Seal is square, and very large. It is roughly engraved, and the
inscription forms a triplet, each line ending with the name of God.

The letter is altogether written on one side of a very large sheet of



Letter from Mohammed Sheikh Mohammed Kerkasâwi to Achmet, son of

In the name of God the Merciful and Compassionate. Praise be to God the
Supreme Ruler, and blessing and peace upon our lord Mahomed and his
successors with salutation.

From the Fakir of God, the humble and lowly, Mahomed Sheikh Mahomed
Kerkasâwi to our brother and beloved in God, to

Achmed, son of Suleiman, Receiver General of the Treasury of the
Moslems. May God preserve him. Amen!

After praying for the peace of God and His blessing and mercy upon
you; if you inquire after me (I can say that) I am by God’s help in
possession of all the conditions of good health.

As to the information which we have to give you (it) is that on
the arrival of the Emir Karm Illah Sheikh Mohammed in the parts of
Bahr Gazelle and the neighbourhood of Sirkua, your servant had been
appointed to the office of gathering in the crops; and we had not
received news of his arrival, excepting from the letter which reached
us from the Emir Abdullah,[346] surnamed Bilbitn, in which he asked
my presence at the seat of the Mudiriyeh. On my arrival at the seat
afore-named, I got to know positively about that, and after that I
tried, with the Emir Abdullah, to obtain the consent and surrender (of
the people there) without delay.

In the interval there came two dervishes from the Emir Karm Illah; in
their hands were several letters to us and to some of the brethren, and
to the Emir Abdullah.

After these letters had been carefully read by us, the Emir Abdullah
stopped the (carrying out of the) surrender to the Emir (Karm Illah),
because no letter had been sent to him to his (own) address by his

So we and all the brethren used our utmost efforts with him, (urging)
the desirableness of (his) sending a letter from him to the Emir Karm
Illah, requesting him (the latter) to send (on) the letter of his
Highness that it might be considered, and as to settling the mode of
surrender. And this was done. When the letter was written, I received
it, and went with it in company of the two dervishes above-named, and
with us went the Sheikh Wakîa’ Allah Edrisi and Mahomed Sālim esh
Shareef; and Haj Omar, all of them of the inhabitants of this seat
(of the Mudiriyeh), they being appointed with me by order of the Emir
Abdullah for bringing quickly the Proclamation written by H. E. the

On our arrival at (the place of) Karm Illah, and on his reading the
letter of the said Emir (Abdullah), he ordered copy to be made of
the Proclamation and gave it to me. Those appointed with me of the
inhabitants of the seat (of the Mudiriyeh) also wrote a message as they
remained with the Emir Karm Illah. On receiving the letter from the
afore-named, I came back with it to the Emir Abdullah, who on reading
it with intelligence, in the presence of the brethren, all of them
became delighted and filled with happiness and joy which could not be

Especially the Emir Abdullah obeyed and accepted (the terms of) the
proclamation of his Highness; and so everything was settled with the
help of God, the Lord to whom worship (is due).

All the brethren are longing to see his Highness, and so the letters
were written from the Emir Abdullah and the brethren in the form of
a deed (compact) of submission by them, and of obedience to the
Emir Karm Illah, appointed by his Highness the Mahdi, which I took,
and went to the town of Yānikah, the place where the afore-named
Emir was encamped; and I delivered it to him, and on his reading and
understanding it, his countenance expressed joy thereat. And he wrote
a letter to the Emir Abdullah, informing him of his being about to
leave the town of Yānikah, and to come to the seat of the Mudiriyeh
on Tuesday, the 25th of Jamād el Akhar, 1301, and he gave the safe
conduct for all—for themselves, their families, and their property.
And, praise be to God Most High, on the day named we and the Emir Karm
Illah, and the troops with him, arrived at an hour’s distance from the
seat (of the Mudiriyeh). And the Emir Abdullah and all the notables and
the brethren came to meet us outside of the wooden stockade surrounding
the seat (of the Mudiriyeh). The meeting was like the meeting of dear
friends with each other, and it was a memorable day for all that was
accomplished therein, and for the filling up of (our) joy.

On our entering the Mahhkameh (Court of Justice) of the Mudiriyeh, and
on the friends and the Emirs being seated, the Emir Abdullah rose, and,
standing upright, uttered the two declarations of testimony, saying,
“I testify that there is no God but God; and I testify that our Lord
Mohammed is the prophet of God, blessing be upon him, and that the
(Seyyed[347]) Lord Mohammed, son of the Lord Abdullah, he (is) the
Mahdi and Khalif of God and His prophet.” Likewise (after this) the two
Copts Gabriel B’abal and Sālehh Shanooda, became Moslems, and uttered
the two testimonies before the Emir Karm Illah (who received their
profession of faith).

After which all (the property) which was in the stores of the
Mudiriyeh, situated in the seat (thereof) and elsewhere, became the
property of the Treasury of Islām, as stated in the letters of the
Emir Karm Illah sent to his Highness.

And we pray God Most High, to whom be praise, that He may soon grant
us the favour of a journey (Hejira) to the honoured place, that we may
be blessed with sight of his Excellency the Mahdi, and that we may be
included in the number of the warriors on the way (for the truth) of

I send from me to their Excellencies (the Hanifs) the nobles, and
Emirs, and friends, and acquaintances who fight for God, thousands of
salaams of God so long as I live.


  Written 17 Ramadan, 1301.
  July 11, 1884.



In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate, &c.

 From the servant of his Lord, the Fakir, Karam Illah, Sheikh Mohammed
 at Bahr el Gazelle to the relation of the Mahdi and Emir of the army
 of the Mahdi, the Khalif Abdallah Ben of the Seyyed Mohammed. May his
 glory be prolonged.

After paying our dutiful salutations and respectful compliments, if
you inquire about us (we can say) all praise to the Most High, all
is well, and I have the honour to announce to you we have captured a
large number of (female) slaves as booty; and that about 1360 head of
slaves have already been sent to Shakka,[348] including 200 slaves of
Kanâwi (of) Alyoo, which family passes to the Moslem Treasury (_i.e._
their value); and this (was done) in three divisions the first time
(under convoy of) the Fakir Ahhmed Mohammed, the Shakiyi; the second
(party) which is considered the most numerous, (under convoy of) our
brother Mohammed Sheikh Mohammed Karkasâwi, and the third under convoy
of the conductor Mohammed Salehh et Toom; (being) needed for buying
(barter for) horses for use of our auxiliaries, with the knowledge of
our brother Mohammed el Karkasâwi. And those which may be sent to your
honour to the noble camp (_i.e._ the Mahdi’s camp), will be also with
his knowledge, as he has already been appointed from here for that

Also all the Fakirs, our auxiliaries, have been distributed in the
different zerebas in order to collect the booty. And, please God, all
that can be got will be sent to Shaka by degrees (as captured). And
Mahomed Sheikh Mohammed Karkasâwi is my brother (son) of my father and
mother—older than me, and he it is who helped us to take the town
of Bahr Ghazel—and in consideration of his good management we have
appointed him (to go) to Shaka to barter slaves for horses. And the
slaves which may be sent to your Honour will be with his knowledge and
by his instructions. And as the slaves taken as booty are exceedingly
numerous in this part, and are continually arriving at the camp of the
Mudir, we are much pressed in despatching them and in looking after

If it is agreeable to your Honour (please) to write to Sheikh Manzal
Hamid, and the sons of Hamad Dodao, about their gratuitous assistance,
and their surrendering the booty to our brother, Sheikh Mohammed
Karkasâwi. We are at present awaiting the orders of your Excellency,
(whether) to remain here or to come to you, or to wait for the drying
up of the waters of the rain, out of compassion (in consideration for)
the believers (the slaves) who have little infants. And we pray the
most high God, to whom be praise, to bring us soon together with your

  Salaam! (Signed) KARAM ILLAH MAHOMED.

  Dated 22 Sha’abān, 1301.
  June 17, 1884.

_Postscript._—My Lord, after what I have stated to you, your servant
awaits your orders; if your answer is that I should wait (here) or

This is (all) that is needful (to write). Salaam.


 Copy of Telegram from his Excellency Gordon Pasha to his Excellency
 Ferratch Ullah Bey, Commandant of Omdurmān.

Sheikh Mahomed Achmed has sent us a letter to inform us that Lupton
Bey, Mudir of Bahr Gazelle, has surrendered to him, and that the small
steamer in which was Stewart Pasha has been captured by him, together
with what was therein. And he demands that we should surrender to him.

But to me it is all one whether Lupton Bey has surrendered or has not
surrendered. And whether he has captured twenty thousand steamers like
the _Abbas_, or twenty thousand (officers) like Stewart Pasha (or not);
it is all one to me.

I am here, like iron, and hope to see the newly-arrived English; and if
Mahomed Achmed says that the English die, it is all the same to me. And
you must take a copy of this and give it to the messenger from Slātin,
and send him out early in the morning, that he may go to him. It is
impossible for me to have any more words with Mahomed Achmed, only
lead; and if Mahomed Achmed is willing to fight he had better, instead
of going to Omdurmān, go to the White Nile by the moat.

And after this the messengers whom he wants to send to us must not come
by the Omdurmān; they had better come by the moat afore-mentioned. And
send a literal copy of this, according to orders—when it has been
sealed by you—by the emissary of Slātin Bey to be delivered, and
explain to him that this is by our order.

  At night.
    3 of Moharram, 1302.
    22nd October, 1884.

The forcible sentence: “I am here like iron, and I hope to see the
newly-arrived English,” runs as a rhymed couplet:—

  “Wa ana mawjood hona zey el hhadeed
  Wa ashoof el Ingleez el jadeed.”

This _may_ have been accidental on the part of the scribe, for the
letter is written in Arabic, but it is worth notice. The phraseology,
and even the words, are General Gordon’s own—as he wrote in a former
letter that he chose his own words by help of his dictionary, and did
not suffer his scribes to write only as they pleased.

       *       *       *       *       *

Supposed Enclosure in Mahdi’s letter.

  Intercepted communication from General Gordon to the Mudir of

  Note (in Arabic) from General Gordon to the Mudir of

To His Excellency the Mudir of Dongola.

Wire the telegram enclosed herein to Cairo from the station at Dongola,
and charge the expense to account of the Mudiriyeh (Government account).

  (Signed) C. G. GORDON (_across the seal_).

  Dated 7 Zu’l Hejjeh.
  Sept. 28, 1884.
  Gordon Pasha.

Written on a small piece of thin paper 4 by 4½ inches.

  Au Consulat Général d’Autriche-Hongrie à Caire.

  Kartoum, 21 September, 1884.

To-day was a joyful Sunday! The inhabitants of the city were stirred
with joy when the salvoes of artillery announced from the fort the
approach of the English relieving army.

Three express messengers brought to General Gordon an autograph letter
from Lord Wolseley from Debbe. Rescue after all! Long live England!

Now at least the lives of (so many) these thousands will be saved, even
though goods and chattels be lost.

Yesterday the news had been already orally spread of an army
approaching from Dongola, but found no credence, any more than many
other false rumours. It was also said that the first messenger who left
on the 9th for Dongola had passed Berber without hindrance, and will
probably reach Cairo in safety.

Further, I was able, on the 13th, to speak outside the city lines with
Georgio Calamatino, the letter-carrier of the Mahdi. He was in dervish
dress. I sent the missionaries 100 dollars by him. The Mahdi was then
in Schatt, four hours from Duém, with all the European prisoners, and
among them Slatin, who were enrolled as dervishes in the armoury.
(_Secret_: the missionaries of both sexes have accepted [the religion
of] Islam. The six sisters are married to Greeks; only the superior,
Don Luigi Bonorn, remained steadfast, but he is condemned to martyrdom
unless he also apostasizes).

It is to be hoped that soon after the arrival of the English we may
or must remove (emigrate). No one knows whether they will permanently
occupy the country or only effect the complete evacuation.

  With respect and devotion,

  (Signed) M. L. HANSAL,
  Consulate General of Austro-Hungary, Cairo.

Also written on a small piece of thin paper.

Note (in Arabic) from General Gordon to the Mudir of Dongola.

To His Excellency the Mudir of Dongola.

Take from bearer Mohammed Achmet, on his safe arrival, the telegrams
sent by him, and forward them to their destination, and give him fifty
dollars; and if you have any telegrams for us send them by him that he
may bring them here.

  (Signed) GORDON.
  C. G. GORDON (_written in pencil across the seal_).

  Dated 15 Shawwāl, 1301.
  Aug. 8, 1884.
  Gordon Pasha in Kartoum.

Written on a small piece of thin paper 4 inches by 3.



In the year 1300.

In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate.

Praise be to God, the bountiful Ruler, and blessing on our Lord Mahomed
and his successors, with peace.

From the servant of his Lord, Mahomed the Mahdi, son of the Seyyed
Abdallah, to his beloved in God the believers in God, and in His Book
(the Koran).

The changes (disturbances) of the times are not hidden from you, nor
the forsaking of the Sunnas; and he who has the (true) faith and
understanding will not be pleased thereat, but will leave all he needs
and his native place (house and home) in defence of religion and the
Sunnas; and therefore jealousy for Islam will not delay to possess in
full strength (the heart of) the believer.

Now, O my beloved! as to what the Most High God, to whom be praise, has
willed in His Eternity and in His decrees to grant to His servant, the
humble and lowly, in (bestowing on him) the great Khalifate:—

The eminent Lord (Mahomed), on whom be blessing and peace, several
times informed me that I am the Mahdi, the Expected One, and
(appointed) me (as) successor[349] to himself, on whom be blessing and
peace, to sit on his throne, and (as successors) to their Excellencies
the four Khalifs and Princes[350] (of the Faith), and to El Khudr,[351]
on whom be peace: And God gave as my helpers, the angels (who are),
the Cherubim, and the saints from Adam to this our day, and also the
believing Jinns;[352] and in the hour of battle the eminent Lord, the
Bountiful One, on Whom be blessing and peace, will in person go with
them before my hosts, as also the four Khalifs and the Princes (of the
faith), and El Khudr, on whom be peace.

And He gave me the sword of victory of his Excellency (Mahomed), on
whom be blessing and peace; and it was made known to me that none of
either race, human or Jinn, can conquer him who has it.

Then said he, on whom be blessing and peace, “God has given to thee a
sign that thou art the Mahdi”; which (sign) is the mole on my right
cheek; and he likewise gave to me another sign (namely, that) there
should go forth before me in the hour of battle a banner of light,
borne by Azraïl,[353] on whom be peace, that by it God should convince
my friends, and terror should fall upon the hearts of my enemies, and
(that) God will destroy whoever should encounter me in hostility.

Then he, on whom be blessing and peace, said to me: “Thou art created
out of the effulgence of my innermost heart,” and he to whom happiness
(is granted) will believe I am the Mahdi, the Expected One. But God has
put hypocrisy (wickedness) into the heart of those who love vain pomp,
and they will not believe, being greedy of their vain pomps.

Then he, on whom be blessing and peace, said: Love of wealth and pomps
cause hypocrisy to spring up in the heart as water causes the herb to
spring up; and it is found in the Athar (traditional sayings about
Mahomed): If you see worldlings loving this world, charge them with it.
And it is found in some of the ancient books (saying): Do not ask of
me a world intoxicated with love of earthly things, for it will close
against thee the way of my love. And these (are they who like brigands)
stop the way of (true) service (of God).

And when there came to me, O my beloved, from God and His prophet the
decree of the great Khalifate, He ordered me (to take my) Hegira[354]
(flight) to Jebel Kadeer close by Masāt, and He commanded me to write
thence to all entrusted with public offices. I wrote thus to the
Emirs and Sheikhs of religion, and the wicked denied (my mission),
but the righteous believed; even those who do not mind any hardship
they may encounter for God, nor what they fail to attain of their
dearest wishes; but steadfastly regard the promises of the most High
God, to Whom be praise, in which He said that He will reserve that
other world for those who do not desire exaltation in this world, nor
(its) corruptions. Now since it is for God to decree, and since He has
willed to bestow the office of Mahdi upon His humble and insignificant
servant Mahomed the Mahdi, the son of the Seyyed Abdallah, it behoves
us to submit to the will of God; and, seeing that it is unanimously
agreed by the present and past generations to attribute supreme
knowledge to God, and as His knowledge, to Whom be praise, is not
limited by control of rules nor by the knowledge of the malevolent,
and since God will blot out (abrogate) or establish what He wills,
and since He is the source of the Book (the Koran), of which none can
understand anything save what He wills, and since with Him is the
key of the unknown (future),—none knows it but He, nor is He to be
questioned as to what He does,—He creates what He will,—He chooses
and bestows His mercy on whom He will. Sheikh Mohi ed Deen Ibn el Arabi
especially says in his commentary on the glorious Koran that knowledge
of the Mahdi is like knowledge of the hour (of resurrection), and that
hour none knoweth but God most High. And Sheikh Ahmed Ibn Edrees said,
Fourteen generations of the generations of the people of God have
denied the (coming of the) Mahdi. Then he said: He will come forth from
a place that they do not know and in a condition which they will disown.

It is not hidden from your knowledge that the writings about the
(coming of the) Mahdi are among others the Athar and the Keshef el
Ulema and others; and the conclusion of them all (is), and I understand
from them, that God will blot out (abrogate) what passages He will, and
some of these are the Hadiths (traditional sayings), and among them Ed
Dha’eef and El Maktooa’ and El Mansookh and El Mowdhooa’. The Hadith Ed
Dha’eef is superseded by the Hadith El Saheehh word for word. The Ayat
also are replaced by other Ayat.[355] And the truth as to this is not
known save to people of deep thought and insight.

Further, this is what the eminent Lord (Mahomed), on whom be blessing
and peace, said to me, “He who doubts that thou art the Mahdi has
blasphemed God and His prophet.” This he, blessing and peace be upon
him, declared to me thrice.

All that I have told you about my succession to the office of
Mahdi was told to me by the eminent Lord (Mohammed), on whom be
blessing and peace, when I was awake and in perfect health, free
from all transgressions of the law, not in sleep nor in (a state of)
hallucination, or drunkenness or madness, but accounted to be of sound
mind, following the traditions of the prophet, on whom be blessing and
peace, in ordering what he ordered and forbidding what he forbade.

And my Hegira (flight) to the aforesaid places was necessary, according
to the Book (the Koran) and to the Sunnas. The Most High God has said,
“Those who have had to flee (make a Hegira) for the sake of God after
having been persecuted; He will give them good things in this world,
and the reward in the next will be greater. And He, on whom is blessing
and peace, said, ‘One who has fled from land to land, even though it be
but a hand-breath of land, has deserved Paradise, and has become (in so
doing) a partaker with[356] Abraham, the friend of God and of Mahomed,
on whom be blessing and peace.’”

Thus also in other passages of the Hadiths.

And the duty of listening to God and His prophet is binding. The Most
High God has said, “Follow the way of those who are sincere to Me.”

If you have understood this, we order all the chosen ones to flee
(make their Hegira) unto us for the Jehād (holy war) in the cause of
God, to the nearest town, because God Most High has said, “Slay the
infidels who are nearest to you”; and he who holds back from this has
come within the threat uttered by the Most High. Say if your fathers,
your sons, your brethren, your wives, your tribes, the wealth you have
gained, the merchandise you are in fear of losing, or the dwellings
you delight in are dearer to you than God and His prophet and the
Jehād (holy war) in His cause, then wait till God shall come with His
sentence (against you). (So far) the Aya (verse).

The Most High has also said, “O you who have believed, why do you
cleave to the earth when called upon to fly (to the war) for God? Do
you love the life of this world better than that of the next? But the
possessions of this world will be less than nothing in the other world.”

The Most High has also said, “O you who have believed, why do you
cleave to the earth when called upon to fly (to the war) for God? Do
you love the life of this world better than that of the next? But
the possessions of this world will be less than nothing in the other

He has also said, “Seek not to fly.” He will torment you with eternal
torments, and will accept others in your place.

Now, if you have understood the foregoing, hasten to us, and fear none
save God, for fear of the creature shows lack of trust and confidence
in God, from which may God preserve (us).

The Most High has said, “Fear ye not man, but fear ye Me;” and the Most
High has said, “Dread them not, but dread Me, if ye be believers.”

The Most High has said, “God is worthy to be feared”; and especially
because God has promised in His precious Book (the Koran) victory to
him who contends for the faith.

The Most High has said, “If you fight for God, He will fight for you
and establish your goings.”

And the Most High has said, “If you do not fight for him (the Mahdi)
God fighteth for him.” Because you have known this, if you do not
respond to him who calls (in the name) of God and hasten to fight for
the faith, you must receive punishment from God, inasmuch as you are
the light of creation, its strength, and its head.

Whoever among you is anxious about his faith and zealous for the
command of his Lord will answer the call, and will join with those that
fight for the religion of God.

Be it known unto you that I am of the family of the prophet of God, on
whom be blessing and peace. My father is a Hhusni on his father’s side;
and his mother, and my mother likewise, on the side of both father
and mother (are) Abbāssides, and God knows that I am of the blood of
Hussein, and these excellent indications will suffice for him who has
been touched by His grace and (by) the faith.

It will not be wonderful if some do see and do not believe it.

Fear God and join the righteous, and help one another in righteousness,
and in the fear of God and in the Jehād (holy war) in the cause of God,
and stand firm within the boundaries of God, for he who transgresses
those boundaries will injure himself.

Know that all things are in the hand of God. Leave all to Him and rely
on Him. He who makes God his support has been guided into the straight

  Peace (be with you).

  In the year 1300.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God,
the Bountiful Ruler, and blessing and blessing and peace on our Lord
Mahomed and his successors.

From the slave of his Lord, the Imām Mohamed the Mahdi, the son of
the Seyyed Abdallah, to all his beloved in God the believers, men and
women, in God and in His Book.

What I have to inform you is that the world is the abode of him who has
no (other) abode, and it is a prison to believers, and that the other
(world) is better, and (is) enduring, and that is the abode of those
who fear God.

Fear God and do....

This Manifesto is written on four sides of a two-leaved sheet of paper,
and breaks off abruptly, “and do” being written at bottom as catch-word
for the next page.

Specially to be noticed is the attempt made to forestall the objections
of those who would see that this man contradicts well known passages
in the writings which Moslems hold to be authoritative. Mahomed Achmet
boldly declares all such passages to be either abrogated or superseded,
or unintelligible save to those to whom deep thought and insight are


Letter from Major Kitchener to General Gordon.

  DEBBEH, _14th October, 1884_.


Please inform me by this present messenger, who is paid to return, who
were on board the steamer that came down from Kartoum. I am sorry to
say, whoever they were, they have fallen into the hands of Suleiman
Wady Goun, Sheikh of the Minassir, and have, I am afraid, been killed.
Lord Wolseley is now at Wady Halfa, and it is expected this expedition
will definitely start from Dongola on or about the 1st November.
Special boats are coming out from England for the passage up the Nile.

There are a considerable number of troops now at Dongola. I am
instructed by Sir Evelyn Baring to send you the following telegram from
the Austrian Consul-General:—

“Caire, 1^{er} Oct.—Je vous remercie, de tout cœur, des nouvelles que
vous avez bien voulu me donner. J’ai fait des démarches pour faciliter
le voyage de notre consul de Berbér jusqu’au Caire, mais on m’assure
que les chemins de Berber à Debbeh ne sont pas libres; en tous cas, je
vous recommande chaudement la sécurité personnelle de notre consul et
des sujets Austro-Hongrois et Allemands. Je serai très heureux d’avoir
des nouvelles directes de Monsieur Hansall.”

I also enclose two letters that have arrived here for you.

I hope you have received some of my previous letters; I have received
none from you in reply.

       *       *       *       *       *



I hope you will excuse me such an intermezzo.

Notwithstanding they abandoned you, and they did not at all follow your
instructions, I hope you will be victorious, and your name engraved in
the history of the world.

  I am, dear General,

  Your most obedient servant,


       *       *       *       *       *

  To his Excellency General Gordon, Kartoum.

  Berlin, 4th May, 1884.


I had the honour to write you on the 10th of April, &c.

Meantime I permitted me to do the following:

On the 22nd of April I wired to Earl Granville: “For Heaven’s sake,
help Gordon, Kartoum.”

And confirmed this despatch with the following letter:—

To the Right Honourable Lord Granville, London.

  Berlin, 22nd April, 1884.


“I have the honour to confirm my telegram of this afternoon: ‘For
Heaven’s sake, help Gordon, Kartoum.’

“Your Lordship may be kind enough to excuse such a telegram.

“As I am an admirer of Gordon, and as he had the kindness to do his
best to become liberated my brother Gottfried Roth, who is said
prisoner of the Mahdi, and to whom your Lordship congratulated when he
captured at Sint a band of slaveholders with several hundred slaves
some years ago, I considered it a duty to do something too for Gordon.
And so the idea to wire to your Lordship, who perhaps may be able in
consequence of your powerful position to let have Gordon what he wants.

“I have the honour, &c., &c.”

I had the pleasure to receive the following letter from the Secretary
of State, Sir J. Pauncefote:—

  Foreign Office, 29th April, 1884.


“I am directed by Earl Granville to acknowledge the receipt of your
telegram and letter of the 22nd instant, urging that assistance may be
given to General Gordon at Kartoum.

  “I am, Sir,

  “Your most obedient humble servant,

  (Signed) “J. PAUNCEFOTE.”

Roth did not get much change out of his Lordship!!

  (C. G. GORDON.)


Arabic Cypher Telegram.

Above message from Lord Wolseley, dated 20 September, forwarded by
messenger for second time, 15/10/84, from Debbeh.


This is the only paper received.

  C. G. G.



From the Khedive of Egypt.

To His Excellency Gordon Pasha, the Honourable.

(Literally “to His Felicity! ... —the excellent,” which is the usual

As it is known to you that the object of the coming of your Excellency
to this part, and of your going to the Soudan, is only the evacuation
of that neighbourhood and the withdrawal of our troops, now found
there, with the Government officials of the realm, and the bringing
hither of those inhabitants of that part who may desire to come
together with their belongings, we trust that your Excellency will take
every care in the fulfilment of this Commission by employing the best
means and arrangements which may be necessary for the safety of those
troops and employés, and inhabitants and merchants, both native and
foreign, who may desire to come to this part.

Then, after completion of this (business), you will adopt the necessary
means and arrangements indispensable for framing a firm government in
the Soudan provinces, that there may be continuance of order in that
part, and that there may be security from the misfortunes (which must
befall) the ignorant populace (left) without a ruler. And I rely on
your understanding and courage, to which is intrusted the carrying out
of this commission in the manner desired.


  January 27, 1884.

(Seal of Mahomet Towfik).

From the Khedive of Egypt and its dependencies to all the Ulema,
Judges, Notables, Sheikhs of Arabs of villages, Merchants, and
all inhabitants, both Arabs and domesticated people in the Soudan
countries, greeting.

It is known to all that when my grandfather JANTIMGAN MAHOMED ALI took
the reigns of Government of the Lands of Egypt, he began to spread
knowledge and education and enlarge the sphere of agriculture and
commerce throughout the same, and increase the means of wealth of the
inhabitants, until Egypt was considered a well-cultivated and civilised
country. After that he saw the necessity of taking (or opening up) the
Soudan Region, to spread out the lights of civilisation therein—and
God Almighty prospered him in that enterprise. From that time until
now these regions have not ceased to grow in prosperity, until towns
and market cities were established and enlarged, and commerce grew,
and the inhabitants became enlightened by the means of commerce and
agriculture. By a comparison of the condition of the Soudan Regions
before these conquests, with their condition after it, it will clearly
appear that they progressed and advanced greatly during the latter
time. The minds of the people were enlightened by seeing their own
interest and prosperity. This was the only purpose which moved our
grandfather aforesaid to take these regions. But the great distance
that lies between me and you caused a disintegration which had for
its result the rising and rebelling of some disturbers against my
Government. This rebellion caused great losses of money and men without
any fruits at all; and the Land of Egypt sustained thereby very heavy
burdens. Therefore I have concluded to give back again independence
to the ancient families of the Kings of the Soudan Regions. And, as
I know that His Excellency Gordon Pasha, during his stay among you,
seeing that you witnessed the good results of his efforts for the
quiet and prosperity of the country. Therefore, and also because he
is deemed an able man of politics and of your judgment, and desirous
of your welfare, We have appointed him to proceed to those regions as
our representative, with full authority to agree with in establishing
a peaceable and amicable way of withdrawing from those parts, and
bringing away the officials of my Government and the troops with their
belongings and the property of my Government, so that the departure
from you may be brought about in perfect security. I therefore ask of
all who bear arms to throw the same away, and to endeavour, with all
diligence and quiet and peacefulness, to form their own Government of
the future within my boundaries, and to work for the prosperity of
their countries, and the security of the roads at all times; so that
between us and them the bonds of communication shall continue to exist
and so that commerce shall be rendered easy, which is conducive to
wealth, and so that civilisation and luxury may be furthered. And thus
the bonds of friendship may be kept up, as is dictated by the laws of

  Written on the 28th day of Rabia the First, 1301.
  (January 26th, 1884).


Formerly the Government had decided to transport the Egyptians down to
Cairo, and abandon the Soudan: and in fact some of them had been sent
down during the time of Hussein Pasha Yusri, as you yourselves saw. On
our arrival at Kartoum, we, on account of pity for you, and in order
not to let your country be destroyed, we communicated with the Khedive
of Egypt, our Effendi, concerning the importance and the inexpediency
of abandoning it. Whereupon, the orders for abandoning the Soudan
were cancelled; and serious attention was turned, and all energy was
directed towards smothering the disturbances and driving away the
disturbers: therefore sufficient troops were appointed, both cavalry
and infantry some time ago; and indeed they have reached Dongola and
started in three divisions, one under the leader of the army and the
Mudir of Dongola is coming on to Berber: the second division has the
Sheikh of the Hawaweer, and is coming by way of Hobaji: the third
division, with Sheikh Saleh, son of Salim, Sheikh of the Kababeesh, is
coming to Metemma. Each one of these divisions is alone sufficient to
oppose all the rebels. They will soon be in Kartoum. We shall increase
in defence of the Soudan until the arrival of the troops here, as is
the will of the Khedive’s iradé issued to us on the 14th September,
1884. The Ulema and teachers of Kartoum had presented a telegram to the
Khedive asking for reinforcements—now an iradé of the Khedive has been
issued to them, a copy of which is given here above. Be therefore fully
reassured as to yourselves and your families, and all your possessions
in your houses, taking no heed of what has occurred in the past. If
God will in the next few days the siege will be raised, and your alarm
will pass away. Know also that if Mohammed Achmet should call upon me
for three years to surrender Kartoum I will not listen to him, but will
protect your lives and families and possessions with all energy and

  (Signed) GORDON PASHA.


Translation of a letter addressed to General Gordon by the Kalifa
Abdulla Mahommed, 10. 12. 85.

In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to the
Bountiful God, and blessings be upon our Lord Mahomed and upon his

We, the servant of God ABDALLAH MOHAMMED JIFARAH, one of the governors
of the Mahdi, on whom be peace, on the East, to Gordon, the Pasha
of KARTOUM. You have paid no attention to the counsel and reasoning
repeatedly sent to you, but have increased in folly; and the numerous
kindly admonitions have only made you more haughty and wayward; because
truth enlightens the breasts of believers and only increases the
oppressors in their degenerations. Your letter has reached us, in which
you deceived the population, saying that the British reinforcement
is coming to you in three divisions, and that it will soon reach you
and give you victory; thus your letter betrays the greatness of your
fear, and anxiety, and alarm, as in your deceit you have caught hold
of spider-web ropes and have feared to die at our hands; thou must
inevitably die, O thou heathen! These promises you have been holding
them out since last year to the inhabitants of KARTOUM, and have been
promising them that the English will come soon. Your promise has only
increased their sorrows; and now that you are in straits, and that evil
is coming upon you, you are practising deceit from the interior of your
den (_sic_) in which God has imprisoned you, upon him who is in the
land of peace and crowned with exceeding much honour, and who is able
to get the news of riders arriving from the remotest regions. I ask,
do the sounds, winged and free, unfettered, need news from the like of
thee in the sea of billows covered by waves upon wave, above which are
clouds of darkness piled one over the other. Know thou, O thou enemy
of God, that the true news is with us and not with you, and that the
news which has reached us contains nothing to cheer thy eye or uphold
thy power; on the contrary, there is no escape for thee from death at
our hands, and from death by lack of food. But it is no wonder that
you deny the Mahdiship, for you did not believe in the Apostleship of
Mahomed; but the wonder is that the learned men of wickedness, who
are raised to prominent positions by you, and whom God has left to go
astray, and whose hearts He has closed, whose ears He has sealed, and
over whose eyes He has put a veil, since they have been satisfied with
you as a leader, and have taken you as a teacher, and have waged war
against Believers, and seek victory to those who believe in more than
one God, as though they had not heard the word of God. “If you wage
war, war will come upon you, and if you end war it is better for you,
and if you return He will return, and God is with the Believers.” Do
you not know, O you wicked learned men, that he who secedes from the
Commonwealth has slipped away from the Faith, just as a hair is drawn
out from the lump of dough? If you, by reason of your love of office
and by reason of your association with darkness, are in doubt as to
this Imàn, are you also in doubt as to the Apostleship of Mahommed, on
whom be peace and blessings, that you followed his enemies the evil
unbelievers, and have made your rulers in preference to the sons of
Islam and desire them to be victorious? Have you not heard the word of
God which says, “O ye who have believed, take not my enemy and your
enemy to be rulers, nor bestow on them your affection, and I know what
you have hidden and what you have made known; and he among you who does
this has strayed away to the wrong path.” God also says, “O ye who have
believed do not take your fathers and your brothers to be your chiefs
if they prefer unbelief to faith.” God also says, “you will not find a
people who believes in God and in the Last Day that will befriend those
who stray from God and the Prophet, even though they be their fathers,
brothers, or relations.” But you, you have taken the Christians to
be your rulers when you have no doubt as to their heathenism. Look
therefore to yourselves after these quotations; do you consider it to
be counted of the company of Believers? (_sic_). It is strange how you
frighten the people, saying the English are coming, and how you think
that the Allies will be affected by your false rumours. No, by God!
even though swarms of English and others should come, this would only
increase the faith of the Allies, and their steadfastness would grow in
the labour of the siege until God shall make you taste confusion and
destruction. Take warning by those who are like you if you are children
of intelligence. Before you the people of Obeid were longing for
reinforcements like the longing of the thirsty for water; and they too
were writing deceitful and cheering letters, more than you have done;
and, nevertheless, you have heard what befel them.

If you are content to remain as you are, then prepare for what shall
come: but if you knock at the door of repentance, peradventure it may
be opened unto you.

Peace be upon those who follow after the right way.


  19 S. 1302.
  7th or 8th December, 1884.


Telegraphic Petition from the Ulema and officials of KARTOUM to the

We make bold to present our humble thanks to our Sovereign the Khedive.
The enemy drew near to KARTOUM and besieged it, and our lives were in
our throats, and we had no more patience, and words cannot describe our
miserable condition. Then the Governor-Generalship was conferred upon
H. E. GORDON Pasha, and on his arrival he bestowed all kinds of favours
and conceded all that had been demanded, and took all precautions and
brought order out of chaos. And although KARTOUM was attacked on all
four sides by musketry and cannon, the Governor-General watched day
and night; and when the Nile rose he sent out the victorious soldiers
who were victorious over the enemy, and we hope the victory will be
soon complete. KARTOUM is fortified like an impregnable rock.

We pray God to give long life to H.H. the Khedive, and to remove our
present disturbances.

Copy of the Khedive’s Iradé sent in cypher to all the Ulemas and
Teachers, and to the Cadi and all military officers and civil officials
in KARTOUM, dated September 21st, 1884.

Your telegram, dated 27th Shamal, 1301, (19th August, 1884), was
received on the first day of Dhee-l-Hijjah, 1301, (September
20th, 1884). We regret the condition you are in by reason of the
impossibility of sending you reinforcements, and help up till now on
account of circumstances. But we are very glad because you are still
safe, and the city is kept by your energy and bravery. If God will,
reinforcements will soon reach you, and you shall be rewarded. We hope
you will exercise all diligence in upholding the honour of Government.
The difficulties are being overcome and the time of relief is at hand
by the Grace of God.



1. His Excellency, El Zubair Pasha, shall be the Governor (or Ruler)
of the Soudan; he shall have the rank of Fareek and the Osmaniah
decoration. His pay shall be £6000 per annum, _i.e._ £500 per month.

2. He shall be free to appoint and discharge the Mudirs and Wakeels,
and all other officials and employés of his own motion, and make
regulations for the employés necessary for the administrative and
military work in every region in each mudirieh and in the central
town, and for the finances and arsenal, etc.; and also regulations
fixing the taxes and all the revenues and expenses needed yearly.

3. He is permitted to give military and civil grades up to the grade of
Mir-Alâi, and shall refer to the Khedive’s cabinet in Cairo asking for
the brevets (or commissions), but above that grade he must refer to the
Khedive of Egypt.

4. The boundaries of the Soudan on the north shall be at Handak, one
of the Dongola regions: and the Soudan regions shall be by Mudirieh
as follows: Dongola: whose boundary shall be Handak as aforesaid: and
Berber and Kartoum: the extreme boundary of which shall be Donaim and
Sennaar up to Faiz-Aghlon, Godareep, Gallabat, Kassala and Suakin.
As for Massowa and Senheit, they shall not belong to the Soudan
Government. The regions of Fashoda, the Equator and Bahr-Gazelle, shall
be left (or abandoned) and the employés withdrawn from them.

5. The Egyptian Government now pays towards the Soudan expenses,
£250,000; it shall further send a like sum for two more years.

6. The customs duties taken upon goods coming up and going down by way
of Suakin shall be the same as before, and shall enter into the Soudan
revenues. Also, goods coming to Suakin while passing Suez shall be paid
at Suakin; but goods going from or coming to the Soudan by Handak, the
boundary of the Soudan, shall pay no duty and shall remain as formerly.

7. All warlike stores and all ammunition and arsenal stores, and
baggage of soldiers that shall be needed, shall be asked for from the
Egyptian Government, and shall be sent to the Soudan. The value of the
same shall not be included in the sum of money fixed to be supplied by
Egypt to the Soudan.

8. The military stores and soldiers’ baggage, and apparatus for boats
and steamers now in the Soudan, shall remain in it.

9. The boats and steamers which are in the Soudan and which are brought
up with the English shall be left for the use of the Soudan.

10. Stations for steamers must be erected from Handak to Kartoum: each
station shall have a fort and earthworks and that which is necessary
for transport; but the stations from Handak northwards shall belong to
the Egyptian Government.

11. The British troops must help in carrying on the war until the
central town is passed and the siege raised from Kartoum and Sennaar:
after which, under direction of the Ruler of the Soudan, that shall be
done which will quell the disturbance.

12. His Excellency El Zubair Pasha shall undertake to capture Mohammed
Achmed, the would-be Mahdi, and bring the captives that are with
him, both Europeans and others, for the execution of which His said
Excellency shall receive £30,000.

13. Trade in slaves shall be stopped, and the lines to be followed
herein shall be the Convention of 1877 between England and Egypt.

14. The monopoly and contract of roads in the Soudan and the Atmoor
(desert) shall be wholly denied to Hussein-Khalifa, his family, and

15. The Soudan Government must pay the losses sustained by the family
of Seyd Mahomet Osman during the disturbances.





  _Abbas_, 35;
    plan for, to reach Berber, 84;
    Gordon and Stewart in the, 151;
    reported capture of, with Stewart, 193;
    pursued by _Fascher_, 207;
    capture near Dar Djumna, 214;
    letter from Mahdi respecting capture of the, 221;
    reported safe, 247;
    reported at Dongola, 248, 250;
    capture of, 272;
    list of those on board the, 273;
    Gordon thought descent of, a certainty, 274;
    Gordon to blame for loss of, 274;
    what Mahdi would find on the, 275;
    Gordon cannot forget catastrophe to, 279;
    under what conditions, went, 279;
    treacheries weighed on departure of, 280;
    number of Arabs killed by, 282;
    sailing boats left with, not arrived at Debbeh, 282;
    place and date of  capture of, 285;
    a pilot on board the, 286;
    certainty of, reaching, 286;
    money orders of merchants on, 302;
    gun lost in the, 308;
    capture of, uncertain, 359;
    struck on rock, 361;
    Mahdi tells of the capture of, 522.

  Abdallah Mohammed Jifarah, 554.

  Abdel Kader, Gordon proposes a visit to, 29.

  Abdel Kader Pasha, 117, 118, 123, 124;
    appointment of, 122, 123, 125;
    as Minister of Interior, 291;
    appointment of, as Governor-General of Soudan, 461;
    arrival of, at Kartoum, 463.

  Abd el Kader Ibrahim, 399, 403, 410, 430, 433, 440.

  Abdel Kadi, Arabic name of Slatin Bey, 24.

  Abderrahhman en Najoomi, 404, 432, 440.

  Abdoul Hamid, 190.

  Abdullah, Emir, 531;
    testimony of, as to Mahdi, 533.

  Abdullah Waled Jubira, 129.

  Abou Gugliz, and Waled a Goun, 13;
    the Mahdi’s spiritual adviser, 24;
    begs Gordon to become a Mussulman, 186, 447.

  Abou Hamed, expedition advance guard at, 192;
    Arabs and gun at, 207, 249;
    Stewart captured below, 280;
    distance of, from Merowé, 285.

  Abou Haraz, defeat of rebels at, 463; 512.

  Abou Klea to Metemma, time to get from, 261.

  Abou Sitti, 512.

  Abu Kerjah, 429, 433, 434.

  Abut, repulse of rebels at, 472;
    advance on, 474.

  Abu-zed, seizure of the ford of, 489.

  Abyssinia, treaty between Her Majesty’s Government and, 214;
    treaty with, grievance of Gordon as to, 306;
    no news in, of Gordon, 517.

  Abyssinians, repulse of, at Keran, 337.

  Achmet-eff-Awaan, 131;
    suspected of incendiarism, 133;
    preaches for Mahdi, 133, 134.

  Afghanistan, kind of warfare to use in defence of, 90.

  Afghans, treachery of, 232.

  Ahhmed Bek Ali Jallab, 424.

  Ahhmed el Huda, 434, 439.

  Ahmed el Mustapha, 450.

  Al-ed-Deen, proclamation of, 487.

  Al-ed-den and Suleiman, arrival of pashas, 485.

  Alexandria, the flight from, 60.

  Ali-el-Khowas, 417.

  Ali Mohammed Abou Saad Esshentrawi al Abadi, 508.

  Ali Othman, 511.

  Ambukol, reported advance of troops on, 66;
    distance of steamers from, 110.

  Ambukol to Metemma a better course, 257;
    map by railway engineers, 257, 258;
    station forts should be along line from, 257;
    Gordon’s scheme for advance from, 257;
    road, the road to follow, 261;
    wells plentifully supplied on, 261;
    no wells much on flank of, 261.

  Ambukol to Nesgee, time to get from, 261.

  Ammunition, resources of, 44;
    amount expended, 72;
    amount left, 73;
    amount of, in Kartoum, 19th October, 206;
    and soldiers with Mahdi when he started, 222;
    amount fired at Arabs, 252;
    Mahdi bringing up large quantities of, 296;
    amount fired, 311, 317;
    lost with Hicks, 323;
    still in _Husseinyeh_, 326;
    amount with Ferratch Ullah, 331;
    daily expenditure of, by Ferratch Ullah, 348;
    returns of, 393;
    waste of, by Arabs, 393;
    and guns, amount of, in Kartoum known to Mahdi, 525.

  Ancient Books, no allusion in, to any Mahdi, 414.

  Animals, belief in future existence of, 49.

  Anti-Slavery Society and the Mahdi, 233, 337, 379.

  Apostacy of Mussulmans and Christians, 15.

  Arabic, Gordon ignorant of, 198.

  Arabi Pasha’s private secretary, 77;
    trial of, 125, 133.

  Arab school children, and their schools, 7;
    Gordon’s affection for, 16.

  Arabs, reported scarcity of food with, 15;
    ill-treatment of Greeks and other prisoners by, 16;
    Greek came in from, 18;
    distinction between and Rebels, 22;
    attacked by steamer _Towfikia_, 30;
    in camp near Giraffe, 41;
    foraging party of, 41;
    fight between Gordon’s men and, 47;
    retreating towards White Nile, 47;
    desertion from, 63;
    expecting an attack, 71;
    small parties of men create dismay with, 89;
    attack before dawn, 89;
    no quarter given by, 98;
    firing on steamers, 104;
    have no conscience, 105;
    attack on village on White Nile by, 121;
    badly off for water, 125;
    means of forcing to retreat, 126;
    to be well defeated, 126;
    amount of ammunition of, 129;
    average daily number of deserters from, 134;
    defeat of, 136;
    presence of Gordon exasperating to, 152;
    going towards Giraffe, 153;
    have captured gun of Katarif, 166;
    prevent desertions to Gordon, 171;
    meditate coming to old Dem, 174;
    perplexed, 186;
    policy in not answering fire of, 187;
    fighting force of, 187;
    Sakkeyer, meditate raid, 192;
    policy in letting people go to, 198;
    have not occupied Halfeyeh, 201;
    few only at Faki Mustapha, 201;
    Gordon does not like killing, 203;
    capture of two boats of Stewart’s expedition by, 205;
    officials, hedging with the, 208;
    death among, from dysentery, 221;
    number of, with Mahdi when he started, 222;
    and mirrors, 222;
    telegraph cut at Bourré by, 222;
    either eating, praying, sleeping, or sick, 223;
    have divided their camp, 224;
    take rifles from regulars, 224;
    ferry across White Nile by, 225;
    best place of attacking, 230;
    none in arms between Wad-el-Medinet and Sennaar, 231;
    should not be helped when wounded, 232;
    belief of, 232;
    leaders of, prime movers, 232;
    attack on Omdurman, 244;
    passing Blue Nile at Giraffe, 244;
    ordered by Mahdi to congregate at Kartoum, 246;
    reconnoitring party of, in ruins of Omdurman, 246;
    reported removal of captured money by, 247;
    at Shoboloha, 247;
    positions of, 249;
    amount of rounds of ammunition fired at, 252;
    capture of three, by the Baggaras, 255;
    force of, towards north, 258;
    driven back to Giraffe, 258;
    itinerary of, 261;
    cannot assemble on banks from Ambukol to Metemma, 261;
    have given no peace for one hundred and thirty-three days, 261;
    camel transport depends on temper of, 262;
    doubt holiness of Mahdi, 264;
    continue to desert Mahdi, 268;
    firing on, forbidden, 270;
    presence of steamers among, 279;
    number of, killed by _Abbas_, 282;
    party of, at Sennaar, 282;
    Stewart’s feeling as to the, 286;
    have found out weak point, 301;
    unconcerned as to advance of expedition, 303;
    want to fight direct, 306;
    lost heavily at Bourré, 306;
    reconnoitring party feared, 311;
    at Goba, 313;
    confidence of, 313;
    do not assist one another, 317;
    in ditch at Omdurman, 320;
    firing on lines at Bourré, 321;
    coming across to Goba, 321;
    declare to enter town, 322;
    firing at Moggrim fort, 324;
    ferry of, across White Nile, 324;
    may run away, but not probable, 326;
    futility of firing of, 327;
    capture of man and letters by, 328;
    bad firing of, 330;
    at Giraffe and El foun, 334;
    keep black troops on short rations, 334;
    fire from Bourré, White Nile, and Omdurman, 336;
    settled down in old by dem, 341;
    Kartoum hemmed in by, 343;
    made a pyramid of skulls from Hicks’s army, 344;
    repulsed three times by expedition, 347;
    distance of from city, 351;
    collected at Halfeyeh, 354;
    scarcity of, at Omdurman, 355;
    retreat of, 356, 357;
    and capture of _Husseinyeh_, 357;
    at Tuti, 357;
    fire on _Ismailia_, by, 358;
    and Shendy, 359;
    want of ammunition by, 362;
    strength of on north side, 364;
    and the bombardment of Palace, 366;
    “Personality” of battery of, 366, 370;
    and battery of Goba, 368;
    fire on Palace, 369;
    mishap to gun of, 370;
    at Goba, 370;
    another battle with, 375;
    one of the, throwing dust in the air, 376;
    shelling Palace, 378;
    battles with, 381;
    will be dispersed by troops, 382;
    at Goba “silent”, 387;
    innocuous, 388;
    on bank of Blue Nile, 388;
    short of ammunition, 391;
    European directing guns of, 392;
    their waste of ammunition, 393;
    fire on Palace slackened, 395;
    daring and recklessness of, 445;
    appeal to loyalty of, 468;
    disaffection among Kababish, 480.

  Armageddon, 173.

  Arms, amount of, in Kartoum, 19th Oct., 206.

  Army, Her Majesty’s, in the desert, 168, 169.

  Arrests by Gordon, 188;
    more, 192;
    perplexed about, 194, 195;
    more arrests, 195;
    public opinion not dissatisfied with, 197.

  Artillery not needed in Soudan, 83;
    fire, Gordon on, 383.

  Ata Aga, 455.

  Atbara Valley, party moving down, 207.

  Attack, time to, is the dawn, 89.

  Austrian Consul, 199;
    telegram from, to Gordon, 546.

  Awaan, Arabi’s clerk, 140;
    statement of, 193;
    secretary of Arabi, 250;
    in prison, 250.

  Azotus, 143.


  Bab Bekr el Mek, 442.

  Backsheesh to troops, 343.

  Baggaras, the capture of three Arabs by, 255;
    Arabs, desertion of, 282.

  Bahr Gazelle and Equator garrisons, 85, 235;
    and Mahdi, 380;
    in possession of Mahdi, 530.

  Bairam, 115.

  Baird, Mr., 54.

  Baker, Tokar and, business, 162;
    Commander, has best opera glasses, 265;
    Sir S., letters received by Gordon from, 274;
    news from, 283;
    and Kitchener, 360;
    auxiliary force under, 338;
    Sir Samuel, 110.

  Balaklava, price of cheese at, 224.

  Band fired on by Arabs, 383.

  Bara, defeat of rebels at, 465;
    state of the garrison of, 471;
    surrender of, 481.

  Baring, 55;
    and troops for Berber, 57;
    offended Cuzzi, 57, 147, 150;
    and telegrams from Gordon, 165;
    would not send troops to Berber, 227;
    amount authorised by, to Gordon, 242;
    would never laugh, 306;
    money promised to Gordon by, 308;
    bumping up to Kartoum, 360, 361, 362;
    to Egerton, 367;
    at Metemma, 367;
    without Firman from Towfik, 368;
    subordinate to Towfik, 371;
    and Gordon, 373;
    and Austrian Consul’s telegram, 546.

  Barère, 338.

  Bashi Bazouks, of little use, 87;
    Arab sufferings at hands of, 90;
    for Berber, 116;
    robbers, 116;
    problem what to do with, 314;
    outcry for rations by, 345.

  Bear-baiting garden, back again in, 171.

  Bedouins, the way to deal with, 87.

  Believers, true, 419.

  Beloochees and Sikhs, 189.

  Berber, captured steamers at, 14;
    betrayal of, by Cuzzi, 22;
    Arabs aware of expedition to, 22;
    mentioned, 25;
    miserable defence of, 35;
    desired surrender of, by Gordon, 36;
    could have been saved by Zubair, 46;
    Cuzzi, 57;
    return of _Saphia_ and _Mansowrah_ from, 72;
    fifty nuggars at, 73;
    arranging attack on, 76;
    plan for capture of, 83;
    plan for reaching, 84;
    soldiers for, on arrival of British at, 116;
    occupied, 136;
    arrival of Turks at Berber, 137;
    and Baker, 162;
    known to have fallen in March, 165;
    troops advanced towards, 207;
    three distinct parties moving on, 207;
    route to Suakin from, 225-227;
    Graham willing to send men to, 227;
    to Dar Djumna from, and back on camel in one day, 247, 248;
    must be captured by expeditionary force, 248, 249;
    a detachment from Metemma should be sent to Berber, 257;
    expedition ought to have captured, 260;
    Stewart escorted past, 280;
    fell through Zubair not being with Gordon, 301;
    caravan with money from, 347;
    reported taken, 350;
    four steamers reported at, 351;
    money at, taken to Mahdi, 359;
    reported surrender of, 385, 387.

  Berzate Bey, his death a misfortune, 253.

  Biscuit, large amount stolen, 270;
    and dhoora in magazine, 271;
    amount of, stolen in a year, 314;
    worth of stolen, 315;
    given to the poor, 354.

  Bizemont, M. de, 111.

  Black regulars, Gordon’s affection for, 295.

  Black soldiers, the equanimity of, 99.

  Blanc, M. le, 111.

  Blockade, a second, 166;
    of Kartoum, ninth month of, 304;
    greatest battle of second, 317.

  Blotting paper, Journal written on, 249.

  Blue Nile, Arabs at, 94;
    operation on, 231;
    Arabs driven off right bank of, by steamers, 301.

  Blunt, Wilfrid, 133, 195.

  Boatman from Berber, 247;
    a liar, 255.

  Boats, two abandoned and captured, 247.

  Bogie, hopes the Mahdi will prove a, 197.

  Bondholders of Egypt, 235.

  _Bordeen_ struck, 105, 106, 108;
    drove back horsemen on Blue Nile, 121;
    up Blue Nile, 130, 146, 152;
    ordered to White Nile, 157;
    for Halfeyeh, 170;
    down the river robbing, 174;
    back from Shoboloha, 176;
    ordered to attack Arabs, 184;
    cavalry sortie from, 190;
    below Kerowé, 197;
    up the White Nile, 202, 203;
    for Shendy, 206;
    post came in from, 272;
    left for Metemma, 280;
    and news of Hicks’s defeat, 348;
    arrival of, 358;
    protection of, 365;
    sent down, 371;
    struck by shells, 385, 387, 395;
    to bring Journal, 394.

  Boulak Basha, 268.

  Bourré mentioned, 24;
    foraging party at, 73;
    accounts from, 95;
    sends out men, 204;
    major wounded at, dead, 218;
    telegraph cut at, 222;
    no sentries at, or North Fort, 222;
    Arabs in front of their old fort at, 268;
    Arabs lost heavily at, 306;
    Arab loss at, 312;
    Arabs firing on lines at, 321;
    firing on, 325, 332, 339, 349, 362;
    small battle at, 382;
    mines at, 391;
    heavy loss of Arabs at, 394.

  British forces, Gordon view as to, 83;
    division of, 84;
    only one hundred and fifty miles from steamers, 156.

  Brussels, Gordon and, 354.

  Buglers, 383.

  Buller, let him have full swing, 90;
    fighting force probably under, 128.


  Cairo, telegram to, 71;
    saved us, 76;
    general discharge of, _débris_, 204;
    time as to advance of troops from, 260;
    Turkish Bashi Bazouks for cowardice, 267;
    braggarts, 267;
    and the gentlemen who rule, 269;
    Stewart told to go on to, 287;
    Mahdi and information from, 296;
    and money orders, 343;
    reinforcements demanded from, 407;
    amount of money to come from, for war, 493.

  Cadi released, 272.

  Calamatino, George, 402;
    a traitor, 404;
    called El Jaber, 406;
    urges Gordon to see him, 409;
    and Europeans, 409.

  Cambyses, 175.

  Camel transport depends on temper of Arabs, 262.

  Campaign, unprofitable, 239.

  Caravans, supposed to bring money from Berber, 347;
    three, from north to Mahomet Achmet’s camp, 383.

  Cardwell, Lord, 189.

  Cassim el Mousse, 38;
    asked to kill Gordon, 208;
    impression of seal sent to, 361, 420;
    brother of, 442.

  Cavalry sent towards Giraffe, 203;
    out from North Fort towards Halfeyeh, 204.

  _Chabeen_ in dry dock, 157.

  Cherif, resignation of, prohibited Egypt from helping herself, 341.

  Chermside, 92.

  China and France come to terms, 283.

  Chinese, Gordon’s opinion of the, 25;
    for English expeditions, 189;
    contempt of, for Sepoy, 189.

  Chivalry, borrow, if you have it not, 311.

  Christian, Gordon regrets being a, _note_, 15;
   true of the religion of Islam, 30.

  Cipher-books taken by Stewart, 273;
    why Gordon sent down the, 275.

  Circassian soldiers not wanted, 209.

  Circumcision, 195.

  Club bores and Gordon, 361.

  Cock turkey, 385.

  Coetlogon, Colonel, opinion of, as to rebels, 86.

  Colours flying, to go down with, 333.

  Column, strong, no use in Soudan, 89.

  Colvin, Sir Auckland, held responsible for Soudan disasters, 21;
    the Co. are Malet and, 42;
    class, and humbugs, 224.

  Composing draughts, 179, 180.

  Congo, Gordon’s intention of retiring to, 112.

  Conscience, acted according to, 271;
    and ability, acted according to, 271.

  Court of Inquiry and Stewart, Power, and Herbin, 274.

  Cowardice, the troops to back for, 267.

  Cows, two, come into Omdurman Fort, 265;
    seven, came in, 272;
    Arabs drive, in, supposed to explode mines, 302;
    number captured at Omdurman, 305, 309.

  Cranes, 96.

  Crimea, considered mean to bob in, 376.

  Cunnynghame, 60.

  Cuzzi, came into lines, 8;
    questioned as to Mahdi, 8;
    escort sent to try to capture, 15;
    left for Berber, 21;
    suspected as emissary of Mahdi, 22;
    presents received by, from Mahdi, 23;
    Gordon regrets his gift to, 24;
    his Arabic name, Mahomet Yusuf, 24;
    Baring and, 57;
    revenge of, 57; 140;
    sure that, is a traitor, 210;
   Mahdi speaks of, 524.


  Dar Djumna, Cataract, Stewart captured at, 193;
    treachery of a sheikh at, 247;
    from Berber to, and back on camel in one day, 247;
    expeditionary force at, 247;
    position of, 247.

  Dar el Gharb, 433, 435.

  Darfur, 235;
    events in, 465;
    operations in, 495.

  Deaths, Gordon’s returns of, and wounded, 351.

  Debbeh, eight days from Kartoum, 156;
    expeditionary force reported at, 255;
    distance from to Kartoum, 255;
    unlikely that rumours did not reach, 260.

  _Débris_, Cairo, 205.

  Decisions to be taken in event of rapid retreat, 298.

  Defeat, Gordon fears, 20.

  Delusions, feeding on, for months, 312.

  Dem, explanation of defeat on the, 12.

  Dervishes, two came in with Mahdi’s letter, 9;
    letters sent back by them, 9;
    the procession of the five, 96;
    bring letter from Mahdi, 270;
    fanaticism of, 338;
    allies, 402.

  Desert, the way to cross the, _en masse_, 87;
    bitter cold in the, 261.

  Deserters and Arabs, 335.

  Despatches deciphered by Mahdi, 520.

  Destiny, no use fighting against, 344.

  Dhoora, _i.e._ forage, 249;
   trying to be petitioned for, 269.

  Dictator needed for Soudan, 240.

  Dilke, Sir Charles, held responsible for Soudan disasters, 21; 59.

  Dinner parties, Gordon and, 228.

  Diplomatists, no love for, 42;
   Gordon hates our, 223.

  Diplomatic and military service, 234.

  Djaalen, country, Stewart in, 443;
   gone over to the Arabs, 445.

  Doctors, Gordon against, 179, 180.

  Document, only original, kept by Gordon, 309.

  Don Luigi, his fidelity, 24.

  Dongola, tales of troops at, 38;
   no evidence of troops at, 39;
   reported arrival of troops at, 46;
   messengers from, 69;
   letter from Mudir, 70;
   telegram from Mudir of, 75;
   spies started for, 76;
   scheme for having open route to, 85;
   and medical officers, 98;
   Gordon on Wolseley’s advance from, 113;
   Mudir of, as Governor-General, 124;
   people of, would be hostile if evacuated, 243;
   the desert of, coldest of all deserts, 261;
   Nutzer Pasha and Egyptians should not be sent lower than, 262;
   Mudir of, his account of Stewart’s landing, _note_, 281;
   certainty as to _Abbas_ reaching, 286;
   little effect of our preparation at, 305;
   blockade of, 428;
   Stewart has no certain news of, 444;
   note to Mudir of, from Gordon, 539.

  Dud Benga and Slatin Bey, 453.

  Duem, defeat of rebels near, 467.


  Earle to extricate garrisons, 93, 98.

  Earthquake, 21;
   Gordon and an, 429, 440.

  Edrees, 167.

  Egypt, Palestine, and meditated invasion of, by Mahdi, 44;
   our action in, and the garrisons, 93;
   and Gladstone in 1878, 104;
   General Simmons’s views on, 130;
   responsible for pensions, 137;
   Kassala not ceded by, 222;
   and the bondholders, 235;
   cannot govern Soudan, 238;
   fiction that Egyptian Government governs, 306;
   Government refused to help, as to Soudan, 341;
   Government refused to let, help herself, 341;
   Government refused to allow any other Power to help, 341;
   debt on, 373;
   reinforcements from, 472.

  Egyptian soldier, contempt for, 60;
   soldier, apology for abusing, 63;
   mountain guns, usefulness of, 109;
   soldiers, Gordon’s consideration for, 112;
   soldiers, climate that suits, 158;
   administrations, inefficiency of, 160;
   soldiers not wanted in Kartoum, 205;
   their pay, 205;
   no troops more contemptible than, 209;
   territory, no part to be ceded except by permission of Porte, 221;
   from steamers should not be sent further than Dongola, 262;
   Government and bugle calls, 383;
   army, tactics of, 498;
   annihilation of, troops, 501.

  Egerton, his telegram from Lord Granville, 39;
   pomp of telegram of, 41;
   tone of telegram from, grates, 42;
   contract arrangement of, 45;
   and Government telegram, 58;
   telegram from, 69;
   affection for, 73;
   cipher telegram of, 74;
   is a statistician, 77; 130;
   telegrams of, undecipherable, 172;
   last telegram from, 288.

  El Duem, Stewart halted at, 443.

  El-foun, ammunition captured by Arabs at, 9;
   situation desparate after defeat at, 287.

  El Heza, Stewart at, 442.

  El Huda, 428.

  Elias Pasha and Slatin, with Mahdi, 170.

  El Jaber, another name of Calamatino, 406; 433.

  “El Jaoakeet w’el Jowahir”, 417.

  El Obeyed, man from, 40;
   the town and the Sheikh, confusion of, 59;
   at Kassala, 78;
   assault of, 467;
   state of the garrison of, 471;
   siege of, 471;
   surrender of, 482.

  El Sayet Eltahen, 448.

  El Sheddarah, 229, 244.

  Emin Bey, reported capture of, 221.

  Emirs with Mahdi, 401.

  Emissary, Gordon will not obey, 307.

  England, Gordon will never return to, 112;
   made by adventurers, 192;
   and terms for soldiers, 197.

  English, prisoners at Assouan, 193;
   troops passed Abou Hamed, 205;
   two days distant from Berber, 206;
   General wants camels in great haste, 262;
   wants to go in one body, 262;
   troops and Merowé, 438.

  Equator and Bahr Gazelle garrisons, 85;
   garrison of, 117;
   question as to garrison of, 14, 22, 235.

  Esneh, importance of, on the Nile, 44.

  European directing fire of Mahdi’s gun, 302;
   prisoners with Mahdi and Slatin, 202;
   officers, names of those that perished with Hicks, 507.

  Europeans have nothing to do with apostate in Arab camp, 6;
   of Kordofan deserve their fate, 51;
   information about, 403.

  Evacuate, to, prestige vanishes, 86.

  Evacuation of Soudan, solution of, 37;
   and bolting out, distinction between, 79;
   Gordon indifferent to,  113;
   policy, carrying out of the, 204.

  Ex-Khedive, view of governing Soudan, 52, 53, _note_.

  Expedition will encounter no enemy, 88;
   to save national honour, 93;
   relief No. 1, 93;
   relief No. 2, 93;
   waste of money and life in, 149, 151;
   unremunerative, 138;
   Gordon not cause of, 139;
   to Tokar, 163;
   ought to have captured Berber, 260;
   knew nothing of, when _Abbas_ left, 225;
   Arabs unconcerned as to advance of the, 303;
   expected by this time, 311;
   rumour of advance of, 312.

  Expeditionary force comes for honour of England, 58;
   but too late, 191;
   useless to retake Kartoum, 191;
   Gordon on movements of, 326;
   impossible to avoid Arabs, 326;
   question as to arrival of, 346;
   reported near Berber, 347;
   Arabs repulsed three times by, 347;
   left Merowé for Berber, 349;
   and Gordon’s steamer, 351;
   doubtful arrival of, before fall of Kartoum, 352;
   and the reported capture of Berber, 354, 365;
   reported at Metemma, 355;
   no news of, in Waled a Goun’s camp, 356;
   at Ambukol, 358;
   advancing in three parties, 359;
   must soon arrive to save Kartoum, 368;
   question as to arrival of, 368;
   as allies of Towfik, 373;
   to relieve British subjects, 378;
   to give boats and steamers, &c., to Zubair, 380;
   reported capture of Berber by, 386;
   reported as coming by land, 387;
   rumoured near, 391;
   reported advance towards Berber, 392;
   reported at El Damer, 393;
   only 100 men of required by Gordon, 394;
   must not be withdrawn if Kartoum falls, 394;
   only fifty of, sufficient, 394;
   Gordon’s tactics if in command of, 395;
   if, does not arrive in ten days, Kartoum may fall, 395.

  Expeditions to Sennaar and Equator, trouble of, 86.

  Ezekiel cited as to Soudan, 11.


  Faith, not a small thing to deny our, 5;
   if Christian, is a myth, throw it off, 6;
   mean to throw it off to save one’s life, 6.

  Faithless man, should not denounce, 100.

  Fakeers and money at Berber, 424.

  Faki Mustapha, report that he wishes to join Government, 4;
    General Gordon bids him wait events, 4;
    captured soldier come in from, 15;
    letter from, 38;
    commotion through letter of, 42;
    desires a letter, 68;
    camp of, six flags at, 195, 196;
    few Arabs at, 201;
    looting dem of, 241;
    camp of, alongside of Mahdi’s, 295; 420.

  Fakirs and booty, 535.

  False Prophet, appearance of the, 456.

  Fanatics and robbers, both King John and Mahdi are, 216.

  Fanaticism, decline of, 18.

  _Fascher_, an Arab steamer, 205, 206;
   captured by Arabs, _note_ 35, 250, 443.

  Fashoda, troops reported at, 46;
    reinforcements for, 465.

  Fate, belief in, 271.

  Fatmah, 447.

  Fear, contagion of, 20.

  Fellaheen, uncleanliness of, 17;
    contemptible as soldiers, 60;
    for Berber, 115;
    acted in interests of, 146, 233;
    Gordon makes a present of the, 204;
    to be backed for cowardice, 267.

  Ferratch Pasha, a Ferik, 179;
    made a Miralli, 192;
    and releasing of prisoners, 200;
    and news to the Arabs, 208;
    salary of, 244; 249, 253;
    reported safe, 325;
    letter from, 331;
    dares not go out, 345, 348, 349;
    reports all right, 355, 356, 357;
    always the gentleman, 342, 350;
    vigour of, 394.

  Ferratch Pasha el Zeeb, letter to, 451.

  Ferratch Ullah Bey, telegram from
    Gordon to, 536.

  Fiction, that Egyptian Government
    governs Egypt, 306;
    as to Abyssinian treaty, 306.

  Finance question and the Rothschilds, 224.

  Firman of Towfik, 285, 309;
    Gordon’s resolve in absence of, 368, 372.

  Fleet, progress decided by slowest vessel, 286.

  Floyer, notes from, 70;
    telegram of, 92;
    and telegraph department, 170, 171, 249.

  Food question, 391.

  Forage, _i.e._ Dhoora, 249.

  Foraging parties sent out, 72.

  Force, only enemy, would meet from Debbeh to Merowé, 257.

  Forces, division of, according to Gordon’s plans, 126;
    concentration of, completed, 196.

  Foreign Office and cipher books, 273;
    and Gordon, 376.

  Forts, numbers required for, from Ambukol to Metemma, 256.

  Fowler’s railway to Shendy, and Nile route, 262.

  France and Egypt, 138, 139, 364.

  Free will, Gordon likes, 198.

  French Consul-General, cipher of with Mahdi, 275.

  French and Egypt, 310.

  Frenchman not with the Mahdi, 263.

  Friday, unreasonable to work on, 350.

  Funds in Treasury, 117.

  Future, meditations as to the, 47.


  Gabra wells, 87.

  Gakdul to Abou Klea, time to get from, 261.

  Garrisons, obstacle to abandonment of Soudan, 55;
    distance to abandon, 56;
    time for bringing down, 85;
    expedition to relieve the, 93;
    Earle sent to relieve, 93;
    relief of from outside, 102;
    mean to leave the, 122;
    extrication of, 123;
    abandonment of, 125;
    and government, 151;
    Gordon refuses to abandon, 113;
    Gordon’s views as to relief of, 114;
    what the relief of, really amounts to, 258.

  Gebel Nubar, fighting in the, 178.

  Genesis cited, 14, 50.

  Gessi, 94, 153;
    men like, wanted, 209.

  Gibraltar and Malta weak, 240.

  Giraffe, Arabs going towards, 153;
    cavalry out towards, 203;
    Arabs passing Blue Nile at, 244; 246;
    Arabs at, 249;
    position of, 249;
    Arabs gone back to, 258.

  Gitana, Mahdi’s camp opposite, 170.

  Gladstone view in 1878 of occupation of Egypt, 104;
    a rival to, in shirt collars, 202.

  Glory of God, question as to Gordon staying for, 245.

  Goba, inclined to put Shaggyeh at, 183;
    and Hogali pulled down by Shaggyeh, 201;
    destroyed, 280;
    Arabs coming across to, 321;
    at, 322;
    Arabs firing from, 345;
    breastwork towards, 350.

  God of Muslims our God, 19;
    final revelation of, to Mahomed, 410.

  Goorkas, 189.

  Gordon, General, his horse captured by Arabs at El foun, 5;
    regrets being a Christian, _note_, 15;
    affection for Arab children, 16;
    interview with Ulemas, 18;
    decline of fanaticism, 18;
    defends the Koran, 19;
    compares Muslims and Christians, 19;
    fears defeat, 20;
    contagion of fear, 20;
    answers Waled a Goun, 20;
    charges against Colvin, Malet and Dilke by, 21;
    charge against _Times_ correspondent, 22;
    suspects Cuzzi, 22, 24;
    his opinion of the Chinese, 25;
    his views on prophecy, 25;
    fear of, in the Soudan, 27;
    his freedom from blood-guiltiness, 27;
    doubts whether or not to blow up Palace at Kartoum, 31;
    no love for diplomatists, 42;
    envy of Mahdi, 45;
    his meditations as to the future, 47;
    promises to do
    his best in sending down soldiers, 51;
    and means to govern Soudan, 52;
    object of the mission of, 55;
    and abandonment of garrisons, 56;
    the mission of, a mutual affair, 56;
    why, did not escape, 56;
    would not have left Soudan, 57;
    never asked for an expedition, 57;
    charged by Baring with indiscretion, 57;
    of, on arrival of expedition, 58;
    grateful for people’s prayers, 58;
    reasons for staying, 59;
    owns to being insubordinate, 59;
    and Dilke, 59;
    and his superiors, 60;
    apologises for abusing Egyptian soldiers, 63;
    and the Victoria Cross, 64, 65;
    and the Shaggyeh, 68;
    affection for Egerton, 73;
    preparing to clear out of place, 77;
    responsible for murder of the pashas, 78;
    the view of, as to British forces, 85;
    will keep Equator from Zubair, 87;
    extract from Herodotus by, 89;
    belief of, that he would not perish, 90;
    only the messengers of, bring news, 91;
    and the spies, 92;
    complains of no information from the Ministers in Cairo, 92;
    declines imputation of expedition to relieve him, 93;
    relief expedition No. 1, 93;
    logic of, 93;
    not the rescued lamb, 93;
    admiration of, for Schiller, 96;
    looks forward to the advent of Navy, 97;
    love of study of mankind, 100; on liars, 100;
    on denouncing a faithless man, 100;
    and Psalmist on liars, 101;
    his fairness to fellow man, 102;
    telegram from British agent and Nubar Pasha, 102;
    telegram to Baring, 103;
    on slavery, 104;
    on admiration of Navy, 105;
    his people not cowards, 105;
    safety during battle, 106;
    on troubles of life, 108;
    statement as to his success or not, 110;
    and the Government, 110;
    sends two first journals by steamers, 111;
    hopes Egyptian soldiers will be well treated, 112;
    determined not to return to England, 112;
    views on abandoning garrisons, 113;
    and Wolseley, 113;
    indifferent to evacuation, 113;
    egotistical remarks, 113;
    on relief of garrisons, 114;
    on solution of Soudan problem, 117;
    as “rescued lamb”, 118;
    his mission, 118;
    reasons for remaining, 122;
    honour, 122;
    not to be forced, 122;
    sent up by Government, 124;
    Government must not say, was replaced, 125;
    thinks Soudan a useless country, 125;
    his plans if in chief command, 125;
    division of forces, 125;
    ideas as to command of forces, 128;
    a nuisance and bore, 130;
    on Naval Powers in Mediterranean, 131;
    and his spies, 134;
    not the cause of expedition, 139;
    and son of Saleh Pasha, 141;
    stung by scorpion, 143;
    sincerely wishes to be out of place, 151;
    exonerates Government from responsibility as to himself, 152;
    presence of, exasperating to Arabs, 152;
    complaint of, against Intelligence Department, 154;
    judges by the eye, 155;
    and an European war, 163;
    queries put by, 164;
    ideas of, on coming out, 164;
    telegrams to Baring, 165;
    gives people written permission to go to Arabs, 171;
    thinks Mahdi will negotiate, 172;
    had clear orders from Government, 172;
    against doctors, 179;
    desires information as to number of communications sent him, 186;
    Abou Gugliz begs, to be a Mussulman, 186;
    a general arrest by, 187, 188;
    hates Sepoys and admiration of Chinese, 189;
    and India, 189;
    makes more arrests, 192;
    perplexed as to arrests, 194, 196;
    ignorant of Arabic language and Arab customs, 198;
    will take Slatin to Congo, 200;
    will have nothing to do with Slatin’s coming, 202;
    does not like killing Arabs, 203;
    ships, according to, cannot stand land batteries, 204;
    Cassim el Mousse asked to kill, 208;
    put out at the loss of the two boats, 209;
    does not want Egyptians, Turks, or Circassians, 209;
    prepared to clear out, 210;
    sure of Cuzzi being a traitor, 210;
    emphatic protest against Egyptians, &c., by, 210;
    letter from King John to, 214;
    anxious about the _Abbas_, 215;
    shrewd idea of how affair will end, 215;
    and Graham’s dispatch, 216;
    notes on Abyssinia, 216;
    amusing to, to see what shifts Government have been put to, 219;
    sure of no Abyssinian army in Soudan, 219;
    contention of, as to Kassala, &c., 220;
    has letter from Mahdi, 221;
    often in a bad temper, 223;
    our diplomatists hated by, 225;
    calculation of, as to arrival of troops, 225;
    latest time given by, for arrival of troops, 227;
    and Baring concerning troops for Berber, 228;
    rejoices at the thought of never seeing Great Britain again, 228;
    and dinner-parties, 228;
    best plan of attacking Arabs, 230;
    on belief of Arabs, 232;
    problem of evacuation, 236;
    denies that expedition is for his relief, 236; advice of, 236;
    emphatic statement as to Sennaar, 237;
    rapid retreat question, 237;
    anxious to resign post of Governor-General, 238;
    and subordinate position, 238;
    says that Soudan is useless to us, 238;
    peculiar view not considered, 239;
    can see no other course but to go on, 243;
    and the salary of Ferratch Pasha, 244;
    the reasons why he urged relief of people, 244;
    amused at the old state of affairs returning, 245;
    letter to Sennaar, 246;
    hopes no Egyptian soldiers, officers, or pashas will be sent again
          to Kartoum, 246;
    opinion of expeditionary force up Nile to Berber, 248;
    “secure yourself on one flank”, 249;
    reiterates earnest prayer that Egyptians be not sent back, 249;
    hopes to have another sister steamer to _Abbas_, 250;
    estimation of Awaan, 250;
    his management of forces and finance, 252;
    thanks God for protection, 253;
    contemplates position after misfortunes, 253;
    “covering” force _viâ_ Nile when rising, not falling, 255;
    scheme by, for reaching Ambukol and Metemma, 257;
    _morale_ of men with, 258;
    lament of, as to the Shaggyeh, 259;
    recommends immediate disbandment of Shaggyeh on arrival of troops,
    no danger anticipated by, for force to Gebil Gelif well, 261;
    and the recall of Wolseley, 263;
    regrets the death of the living skeleton, 264;
    and his telescope, 265;
    restores grant of monopoly of commerce to family of Hussein Pasha
          Khalifa, 265;
    felt insecurity respecting the lines, 266;
    and the merchants, 269;
    passed a great part of his time on roof of Palace, 269;
    hates coercive measures, 270;
    belief in things being ordained, 271;
    would be an angel if not rabid with Government, 271;
    Stewart, Power, and Herbin, left in _Abbas_ without order from, 274;
    what, wrote to Stewart concerning his going, 274;
    receives private letter from Stanley, 274;
    looked upon descent of _Abbas_ as a certainty, 274;
    thought relief of Kartoum most uncertain, 274;
    question as to, being to blame for loss of _Abbas_, 275;
    letter of, that accompanied sixth journal, 278;
    defence for departure of _Abbas_, 279;
    gives Stewart letter on leaving Kartoum, 280;
    convinced Stewart was captured by treachery, 281;
    not comfortable since Stewart left, 281;
    made up of suspicion, 281;
    his account of landing of Stewart, 281;
    wishes for examination as to deaths of Stewart, Power, and Herbin,
    captures all European telegrams, 284;
    defence of, at letting Stewart go, 287;
    physically impossible for, to go, 287;
    declined to order Stewart, 287;
    and contents of newspaper, 290;
    Relief Expedition, 292;
    and addition to enemies, 293;
    and extracts from newspapers, 294;
    affection for black regulars, 295;
    rights of, as Governor-General, 297;
    and decisions as to rapid retreat, 298;
    defect laboured under by, 299;
    cost of Soudan business to, 304;
    and Stewart’s Journal, 305;
    argument by, as to right of sending expedition, 305;
    grievances of, 306;
    reasoning of people if left, 307;
    emphatic declaration of, to stay in Kartoum, 307;
    money promised to, by Baring, 308;
    telegrams given by, from memory, 310;
    dares not say that death of Stewart and Power is an evil, 310;
    money in hand, 316;
    advocates quick punishment, 316;
    war a horrid nuisance according to, 318;
    and _Husseinyeh_, 318;
    blames telegraph clerk, 320;
    calculates Arab ammunition, 323;
    unfortunate with little steamers, 324;
    left to last extremity, 324;
    goes to Mogrim, 329;
    and fellaheen, 332;
    visits hospital, 333;
    his indifference as to his fate, 333;
    and new steamer, 333;
    visits the _Husseinyeh_, 335;
    and his officers of _Husseinyeh_, 336;
    sketches made of, 338;
    complains of a British Minister, 339;
    has commanded cowardly troops more often than other men, 339;
    will not retreat shabbily, 340;
    why has been kept on alert, 342;
    hemmed in by Arabs, 343;
    personally responsible for paper money notes, 343;
    and account of Hicks’s defeat, 344;
    and Bashi Bazouks, 345;
    urges disbandment of Bashi Bazouks, 346;
    no person on whom to rely, 349;
    weary of life, 350;
    Nutzer Bey disobeys order of, 351;
    anxiety of, for Omdurman fort, 351;
    his returns of killed and wounded, 351;
    and his resignation, 352;
    and his actions on arrival of Expedition, 353;
    and the evacuation of Soudan, 353;
    receives letter from Government, 360;
    receives civil word only from Kitchener, 360;
    Wolseley, Wood, and Baring as club bores, 361;
    and Towfik’s telegram, 362;
    two Ulemas imprisoned by, 364;
    anxiety for steamers, 365;
    safe in Palace, 366;
    and Chinese experience, 367;
    and the Governor Generalship, 368;
    on Firman from Towfik, 369;
    able to distinguish firing, 369;
    and Towfik’s arrangement of officials, 372;
    wishes to leave, 372;
    wants to leave house before it falls, 373;
    anxious to understand telegrams, 373;
    on the idea of the Government, 374;
    nearly loses his eyes, 375;
    and bobbing at shots, 376;
    quite accustomed to Arab fire, 377;
    programme of, 378;
    responsible for appointment of Zubair, 379;
    refusal of honours, 380;
    musings of, for the future, 380;
    on the retreat of Arabs, 382;
    almost given up idea of saving town, 384;
    distress at having wounded men, 385;
    meditating attack on Arabs, 387;
    receives letter from Ameer of Mahdi, 388;
    answer to Ameer, 388;
    called Pasha of Kartoum, 389;
    would like to question Mahdi, 390;
    and human glory, 390;
    frets at delay, 394;
    plan of, for future government of Soudan, 394;
    his tactics if in command of expeditionary force, 395;
    done his best for honour of country, 395;
    good-bye, 395;
    does not wish to see Greek, 403;
    calls Calamatino a traitor, 404;
    mails of, captured, 424;
    proclamation from, 425;
    what enabled, to win, 425;
    warned by Abd el Kader Ibrahim, 430;
    asked to come out and fight, 436;
    sort of people with, 448;
    Slatin Bey and, 519;
    and the people of Sennaar, 521;
    receives letter from Mahdi, 528;
    telegram from, to Ferratch Ullah Bey, 536;
    and Slatin, 536;
    wrote his own letters, 537;
    notice published by, 552;
    letter from Abdullah Mahommed, 553.

  Government, Gordon and the, understanding between, 56;
    sale of, dhoora, 66;
    Gordon owns being insubordinate to, 59;
    Greek creditors and, 117;
    and extrication of garrisons, 118;
    and Abdel Kader Pasha, 122;
    and Boer business, 122;
    hostility of the, 123;
    wished to be rid of Soudan business, 123;
    instructions to Wolseley, 124;
    action of, at Cairo, 124;
    must not say Gordon was replaced, 125;
    and garrisons, 134;
    cannot hold Soudan, 135;
    and duties in Egypt, 139;
    extrication of garrisons, 146, 149;
    Gordon does not question policy of, as to Soudan, 150;
    should have said “Shift for yourself”, 150;
    and the garrisons, 151;
    indecision of, a great bore, 162;
    and decision by, 164;
    will not wish longer campaign, 172;
    clear orders from, to Gordon, 172;
    a drag on us, 191;
    England not made by its, 192;
    what it has to answer for, 198;
    when the, will sleep in peace, 200;
    treaty between Abyssinia and, 214;
    can get men to do anything, 215;
    policy of Her Majesty’s, asked, 218;
    and treaty with King John, 220;
    and the Rothschilds, 224;
    and actions in the Soudan, 234;
    numbers killed through policy of, 235;
    and slave trade, 235;
    and a rapid retreat, 237, 238;
    and desertion of Kassala, 243;
    and relief expedition, 254;
    Arabs wish for return of the, 268;
    Gordon an angel, if not rabid with, 271;
    shamed into action, 287;
    Stewart’s ideas as to the, 288;
    Gordon and the, 289;
    and treaty with King John, 291;
    and Gordon relief expedition, 292;
    and irresponsibility, 292;
    and definite instructions, 296;
    Gordon would be acting against, to leave Kartoum, 304;
    Gordon and feeling towards, as to expedition, 305;
    indecision of, judged, 305, 306;
    Egyptian, to blame for reinforcements, 311;
    refused to help Egypt as to Soudan, 341;
    refused to let Egypt help herself, 341;
    refused to allow any other Power to help Egypt, 341;
    will not need to name a vessel after Gordon, 345;
    and instructions to Expedition, 352;
    and letter to Gordon, 360;
    authorises Kitchener to pay Mahdi, 360;
    charge of Soudan a serious business for, 363;
    two courses to pursue, 363, 364;
    Gordon as to idea of, 374;
    and quiet of Soudan, 375;
    and appointment of Zubair, 379;
    blamed by English people for sending expedition, 379;
    must not abandon other garrisons if Kartoum falls, 394;
    does not possess hand-breadth of ground, 435.

  Governor-General, Gordon anxious to resign the post of, 238;
    rights of Gordon as, 297.

  Graham, and his despatch, 216;
    willing to send men to Berber, 227.

  Grain, sale of, 167;
    amount of, in Kartoum, 19th October, 206.

  Granville, Earl of, and Sir E. Baring, 228.

  Great Britain, Gordon rejoices at the thought of never seeing, again,

  Greek Consul sent to interview a Greek, 18;
    return of, 20;
    departure of, in abeyance, 47;
    and defeat of Hicks, 348.

  Greeks, for Berber, 116;
    list of, on board the _Abbas_, 273;
    bodyguard of, on _Abbas_, 280.

  Greek creditors and Government, 117.

  Grievances, three, of Gordon, 306.

  Gros Rageb with English troops, 205.

  Guns, number lost, on steamers, 175;
    concentration of, on Arab lines, 183.

  Gugliz Bey, 154, 155.


  Hadith, the, 415, 416, 417.

  Hagili, village of, levelled, 221.

  Hale’s rockets, the only decent ones, 302.

  Halfeyeh, foraging party between, and Shoboloha, 69;
    two hundred men sent from, 72;
    deputation to prevent Gordon going to, 96;
    question at, 99;
    meditated attack on, 140;
    telegraph cut with, 165;
    telegraph to, repaired, 166;
    connected fort of, by telegraph, 179;
    prepared to evacuate, 180;
    cost to evacuate, 184;
    Arabs have not occupied, 201;
    cavalry out from, 204;
    if Arabs come to, escape hopeless, 245;
    Arabs collected at, 354;
    to clear Arabs from, 365;
    only fifty of expeditionary force required at, 394.

  Halim as Governor-General, 362.

  Hamad, Dodao, sons of, 535.

  Hamed Idreer, 448.

  Hammond, Lord, a Tartar, 43.

  Hansall, the Austrian Consul, disposed to join Arabs, 28;
    and captives at Obeyed, 37, 197, 222;
    has daily Journal, 284;
    and his Journal, 389;
    not answered by Slatin Bey, 519.

  Harrison, Colonel, 293.

  Hassan Agad, 155.

  Hassan Bey and Cuzzi, 8.

  Hassan el Araki, Sheikh, 417.

  Hassaniyeh Arabs, revolt of, 463.

  Hawks at the Palace, 36.

  Heart, a man lived eleven days with bullet in, 17.

  Hebrews cited, 50.

  Hedjaz, revolt in, 299.

  Herbin left Kartoum for Dongola, 3;
    on board the _Abbas_, 273;
    left of his own freewill, 274;
    sent to reinforce, 252;
    has daily Journal, 284;
    as a martyr, 285;
    agreeable and gentlemanly Frenchman, 310;
    Journal of, cause of Mahdi’s advance, 389.

  Herodotus, extract from, 89.

  Hewitt, Admiral, treaty of, 215, 218;
    King John gave a spear and shield, 219;
    all twaddle, 219;
    Treaty, King John and Turks to settle about, 242;
    and the desertion of Kassala, 243, 290;
    the falling through of, 363;
    arrival of, in Abyssinia, 518.

  Hicks, strength of Mahdi when he defeated, 46;
    defeat, date of, 172;
    defeat of, gave prestige to Mahdi, 234;
    and Kartoum, 235;
    anniversary of defeat of, 240;
    army of, died of thirst, 241;
    probable date of defeat, 250-252;
    when defeat of, was known at Cairo, 311;
    defeat of, not material, 344;
    army of, perished from thirst, 344;
    Arabs made a pyramid of skulls from army of, 244;
    account of arrival of news of defeat of, 348;
    and state of his army, 427;
    and Slatin Bey, 453;
    arrival of, at Kartoum, 486;
    appointment of, to command of expedition to Kordofan, 496;
    departure of from Kartoum, 502;
    last despatch from, 504.

  Higginbotham, C. E., 111.

  History, no parallel in, as to Gordon’s treatment, 305.

  Hobson’s choice, the Turk solution, 242.

  Honour, better to fall with, than gain with dishonour, 6;
    binding as to withdrawal of garrisons, 122.

  House of Lords, 217, 233.

  Hospital, number of men in, 335.

  Humbugs and diplomatists, 224.

  Human glory nine-tenths twaddle, 390.

  Hunger, no death from, 348.

  Hussein, 157; sent to reinforce, 252.

  Hussein Bey, 106.

  Hussein Pasha Khalifa, 76, 170;
    the giving up of Berber, 263;
    father of, led Egyptians into Soudan in 1823, 265;
    good friends with Mahdi, 283;
    great friends with Mahdi, 303, 426.

  Hussein Sadik and Gordon, 520.

  _Husseinyeh_ reconnoitring up White Nile, 202, 203;
    went down river, 223, 250;
    ordered up to drive Arabs back, 301;
    aground, 315;
    under fire, 318, 319, 320, 324, 327, 328;
    death of captain of, 330;
    stores taken off, 321;
    struck by shell, 332;
    the grounding of, a benefit, 332;
    visit of Gordon to, 335;
    sinking of, 356, 357.


  Ibrahim Hardar, 253.

  Ibrahim Ruckdi, 154, 156;
    “very ill”, 167;
    deputation asking to take back, 167, 168;
    will return to Cairo, 168.

  Ibrahim Tongi Bey, 117.

  Ibycus, the cranes of, 96.

  Intelligence Department, 134;
    Gordon’s complaint against, 154, 163.

  Imam, Mahdi the present, 399.

  Immaum, 448.

  India, garrison, with Chinese and blacks, 189;
    Mussulmans of, against Sepoys, 189;
    not an advantage to our men, 189;
    and Lord Cardwell, 189.

  Insurgent forces, distribution of, 466.

  Islam, definition of, 30.

  Ismail Pasha, 362.

  Ismail Pasha Ayoub, Momtoz Pasha and, 377;
    cause of recall of, 377;
    a great scamp, 377;
    best administrator the Soudan has had, 378;
    Minister of Interior in Dufferin’s time, 378;
    came to grief as Minister of Finance, 378.

  _Ismailia_ struck, 105, 106;
    at Halfeyeh, 157;
    sent for from Halfeyeh, 170;
    below Kerowé, 197;
    went down river, 223;
    ordered up to drive Arabs back, 301, 302;
    struck by shell, 315, 316, 318, 319, 327;
    gun of, on bank of Nile, 330;
    sent to reconnoitre, 356, 357;
    sent down, 358;
    struck by shells, 385, 387.

  Issat Osman Bey, 450.


  Janissaries, children of Christian parents, 335.

  Jantimgan Mahomed Ali, grandfather of Khedive, 551.

  January, impossible to keep troops after, 48;
    must see other troops by, 49.

  Jeremiah, comparison drawn by Gordon, 10;
    and the arrests, 195.

  Jervois, Sir W., 66.

  Jesus Christ, miserable from birth to death, 51.

  Journal, little hopes of saving, if town falls, 394.

  Journals, the two first sent by steamers, 111.

  Jura Hadra, defeat of troops near, 473.

  “Just too late”, 191.


  Kaaba, 422.

  Kababish tribe, revolt of, 466.

  Kalakla, Mahdi opposite, 208; 440.

  Kalifa Abdulla Mahommed, letter from, 553.

  Kambok, water is found at, 261.

  Karam Illah, 534.

  Karasah, despatch of troops to, 476;
    defeat of Egyptians at, 476.

  Kartoum, thankful telegram of people of, to Khedive respecting Gordon,
    census taken of, 8;
    ammunition in, 44;
    and troops at Fashoda, 47;
    establishment of Government at, 134;
    Debbeh, eight miles from, 156;
    Mahdi take, by plunging into river, 161;
    inhabitants of, killed by Sheikh el Obeyed, 166;
    Mahdi intends bombarding, 178;
    Gordon’s instinct as to taking of, 191;
    useless to retake, 191;
    once taken, matters little what is said, 191;
    if falls, go quietly back, 192;
    happy-go-lucky government of, 198;
    two hundred and nineteenth day in, 203;
    protest against returning Egyptian soldiers to, 205;
    statement of troops, arms, ammunition, and grain, &c., 206;
    compared to siege of Troy, 224;
    and Hicks’s army, 234;
    Arabs ordered to congregate at, by Mahdi, 246;
    road from, to Shendy, reported clear, 247;
    distance from Debbéh, 255;
    detachment should be sent from Metemma to, 257;
    expedition ought to have reached, on November 10th, 260;
    Gordon thought relief of, most uncertain, 274;
    desperate when Stewart left, 286;
    Gordon rather stop at, than leave, 287;
    Mahdi against attack on the lines of, 292;
    Gordon on evacuation of, 297;
    and fall of Sennaar and Kassala, 299;
    Lord Wolseley and relief of, 304;
    nine months of blockade of, 304;
    Gordon not to leave for Equator until he had permission, 304;
    how the people of, would reason as to Gordon leaving, 307;
    emphatic statement by Gordon not to leave, 307;
    expeditionary force and government of, 326;
    and Sheikh el Obeyed’s men, 343;
    hemmed in by Arabs, 343;
    state of, a year ago, 344;
    Arab gun to bar entrance to, 345;
    Baring bumping up to, 360;
    fired on, 371;
    Gordon called Pasha of, 389;
    must fall in ten days, 394;
    what enabled Gordon to win, 425;
    defences of, 429;
    food and, 429;
    proclamation of state of siege at, 466;
    construction of a canal south of, 471;
    arrival of Stewart at, 471;
    withdrawal of army to, 492;
    departure of army from, 497;
    letter from Mitzakis to Greek Consul in, 517;
    number of soldiers coming to relieve, 518;
    Gordon on abandonment of, 552;
    petition from Ulema and officials of, to Khedive, 556.

  _Kartoumiah_, 451.

  Kassala must be relieved, 48;
    tiradeagainst cession of, 215;
    Egypt could not cede, 222;
    desertion of, and Hewitt Treaty, 243;
    information should have been sent to, _viâ_ Massowah, 271;
    no news from, 338;
    still holding out, 392.

  Katarif and Kassala, means of opening route to, 231.

  Kazghil, battle of, 506.

  “Keshef el Ghummah”, 416.a

  Khalifas and Arabs want to fight direct, 306.

  Khalif Abdallah Ben, 534.

  Khedival authority, none to have charge of steamers, 209.

  Khedive, bakshesh for, 444;
    letter from, to Gordon, 550;
    petition from officials of Kartoum, 556.

  King of Belgians, 237.

  King John of Abyssinia, letter from, to Gordon, 214;
    despotism of, 216;
    forces men to change their religion, 216;
    wants the taxes of ceded country, 219;
    allowed to import arms at Massowah, 232;
    and Towfik, 293;
    and his men, 326, 338;
    reported advance of, 347;
    letter from, 511;
    messenger from, 517.

  Kinglake, 188.

  Kitchener, notes from, 70;
    letter from, 73;
    notes to Stewart from, 92, 94;
    note of, insufficient, 172;
    to Chermside, 215;
    the last information was from, 270;
    old newspapers from, 289;
    and Gordon, 312;
    Government authorises, to pay Mahdi, 360;
    description of, by Baker, 360;
    as Governor-General, 362, 363, 373;
    letter to Gordon from, 546;
    and Wolseley, 546, 549.

  Kokoo, Arabs at, 249.

  Koran, defence of, 19;
    interesting chapters in, 37;
    sent by Angel Gabriel, 410.

  Kordofan, questions as to prisoners in, 36;
    Europeans deserve their fate, 51;
    could not produce forty thousand men, 160, 235;
    two insurrections in, 391;
    return of Mahdi to, cut off, 391;
    affairs in, 462;
    advance of Mahdi into, 467;
    defeat of relief column sent to, 468;
    plan of campaign of, 496.

  Korosko, party moving through desert of, 207;
    desert, grant of monopoly of commerce in, 265.

  Kourbatch, Ismail Ayoub and inutility of, 378.

  Kowa, concentration of troops at, 459;
    inactivity of troops at, 460.


  Latest time for arrival of troops, 226.

  Leonidas, the Greek Consul, 77.

  Letter from Gordon to Mahdi, 9;
    to the Sheikh El Obeyed, 9;
    from Abdel Kader, 11;
    from Calamatino, 11;
    sent out to Arabs, 13, 14;
    from Waled a Goun, 20;
    to Mahdi from Ulemas, 22;
    from Faki Mustapha, 38;
    from Arab camp, 38;
    curious, found, 63;
    to Abdel Kader, 66;
    two letters, 71;
    from Gordon, 72;
    Gordon to Waled a Goun, 95;
    letter from Waled a Goun by a woman, 185;
    two from Arabs, 190;
    from Faki Mustapha, 193;
    from Slatin, 196, 198, 200;
    from Greek Consul, 213;
    from Slatin, 214;
    from Arabs, 219;
    from the Mahdi, &c., 220;
    has come in, 270;
    from Mahdi, 270;
    Gordon has, from Stanley and Baker, 274;
    accompanying sixth Journal, 278;
    given by Gordon to Stewart on leaving Kartoum, 280;
    Gordon declares not to obey, 307;
    received with _Bordeen_, 358;
    from Abd el Kader Ibrahim to Gordon, 399;
    Gordon to Abd el Kader Ibrahim, 403;
    from Abderrahhman en Najoomi and Abdallah en Noor to Gordon, 404;
    from Gordon to Abderrahhman en Najoomi, 407;
    from Calamatino to Gordon, 409;
    from Cuzzi to Gordon, 409;
    from Gordon to Cuzzi, 410;
    from Ulema to Abd el Kader Ibrahim, 410;
    from Faki Mustapha to Cassim el Mousse, 420;
    from Mudir of Kartoum to Governor-General, 426;
    from Gordon to Abd el Kader Ibrahim, 428;
    from Abd el Kader Ibrahim to Gordon, 430;
    from Abderrahhman Abdallah en Noor to Gordon, 432;
    from Gordon to Abderrahhman, 438;
    from Abderrahhman to Gordon, 440;
    from Stewart to Gordon, 442;
    from Herbin to Gordon, 445;
    from Abou Gugliz to Gordon, 447;
    from El Sayet Eltahen, and Hamed Idreer to Commandant of Omdurman
          Fort, 448;
    from Faki Mustapha to Commandant of Omdurman Fort, 450;
    from Slatin Bey to Gordon, 452, 453;
    from Slatin Bey to Hansall, 455;
    from Emir Ali Mahommed Abou Saad Esshentrawi al Abadi to Zubair,
          508; from Saleh Bey to Gordon, 511, 512, 514;
    from Greek Consul at Adowa to Gordon, 516;
    from Greek Consul Mitzakis to Greek Consul at Kartoum, 517;
    from Slatin Bey to Gordon, 519;
    from Mudir of Sennaar to Gordon, 520;
    from Mahdi to Gordon, 522;
    from Mohammed Sheikh Mohammed Kerkasawi to Achmet, 531;
    from Fakir Karam Illah to Khalif Abdallah Ben, 534;
    from Kitchener to Gordon, 546;
    from Roth to Gordon, 547;
    from Sir J. Pauncefote to Roth, 548;
    from Khedive of Egypt to Gordon, 550;
    from Kalifa Abdulla Mahommed to Gordon, 553.

  Lies of officers, 255, 339.

  Lines, greatest insecurity felt respecting the, 266;
    the weakest part of, 303.

  Lincoln and abolition of slavery, 389.

  Livingstone’s explorations, 171.

  Lloyd-Clifford row with Nubar, 283.

  Loot on left bank of Nile, 116.

  Lord Mayor’s Show Day, Kartoum ought to have been relieved on, 260.

  Lupton, surrender of, 21;
    at Shaka, 224;
    and surrender to Mahdi, 536.


  Maatak, defeat of rebels near, 479.

  Machufats, 168.

  Mahdi, progress of, 21;
    arrival at Kartoum likely to prevent a massacre, 31;
    a hypocrite and drinker of alcohol, 32;
    puts pepper under finger-nails to make himself weep, 32;
    the same recipe recommended to Cabinet Ministers, 33;
    quarters on the Nile, 40;
    and taking of Kartoum, 44;
    meditates invasion of Egypt and Palestine, 44;
    more powerful at a distance, 45;
    programme of, 45;
    Gordon envies, 45;
    not the forces of, to be feared, 46;
    strength of, at defeat of Hicks, 46;
    as a slave hunter, 55;
    at Rahad, 63;
    proposes peace to tribes, 68;
    at Schatt, 62;
    will say he kicked you out, 86;
    pity to give up Kartoum to, 87;
    not at Schatt, 109;
    dream of, 111;
    at Schatt, 129;
    Roman Catholic Mission with, 129;
    Slatin with, 129;
    would be strengthened by skeddadle, 138;
    intends to come to Omdurman, 142;
    all Europeans with, 143;
    Frenchman imprisoned by, 144;
    at Jura Hadra, 155;
    expected at Omdurman, 158;
    and Cuzzi, 164;
    camp of, opposite Gitana, 170;
    number with him, 170;
    good thing to be near, 172;
    not likely to attack Omdurman, 173;
    people glad at approach of, 174;
    one day’s march from Omdurman, 177;
    number of regulars and guns with, 177;
    intends bombarding Kartoum, 178;
    promises Gordon letters, 186;
    date of attack of, 186;
    no news of arrival of, at Omdurman, 190;
    no sign of, at Omdurman, 193;
    reported at Isle of Abba, 195;
    uncertainty as to movements of, 197;
    and Kordofan respecting the arrests, 198;
    lies as to being close, 199;
    at Jura Hadra, 202;
    said to be opposite Kalakla, 208, 209;
    speculated on a rising, 213;
    arrival of, at Omdurman, 213;
    and Europeans four hours distant, 215;
    has put Saleh Pasha in chains, 215;
    treaty with, 216;
    suspected spies of, 216;
    forces men to change their religion, 216;
    and King John fanatics and robbers, 216;
    treaty with about the garrison, 220;
    number of Arabs with, when he started, 222;
    moved ferry higher up, 233;
    prestige gained from defeat of Hicks, 234;
    and Zubair, 238;
    belief that, is dead, 240;
    number of men with, 240;
    service of, gratuitous, 245;
    regulars of, robbing Arabs, 246;
    undecided, 247;
    position at El foun might have been dangerous, 253;
    at Kokoo not Arabs, 255;
    reported as unwilling to fight during a sacred month, 255;
    will not fight until after Moharrem, 258;
    going into a cave for two months, 263;
    all Europeans with, not in cave though, 263;
    Slatin good friends with, 263;
    and Sheikh el Islam, 264;
    three companies of regulars sent by, to bring back deserters, 264;
    gave family of Hussein Pasha Khalifa monopoly of Korosko desert,
    will not fight during Moharrem, 268;
    not in cave, 270;
    letter from, 270;
    cipher books in hands of, 273;
    what he would find in _Abbas_, 275;
    best horseman of desert, 282;
    and Slatin Bey on best terms with, 283;
    and Gordon’s seals, 285;
    camp of, moved, 293;
    closer to Omdurman, 294;
    camp of, alongside Faki Mustapha, 295;
    means to attack Omdurman, 295;
    bringing up ammunition, 296;
    prospect of getting to Mecca, 296;
    worse than Zubair as to slave trade, 300;
    number of men with, 303; does not mean to fight direct, 306;
    and Firman of Towfik, 309;
    first encounter with personal troops of, 317;
    camp moved inland, 334;
    may retire altogether, 334;
    men sent by, towards Metemma, 346;
    and Gordon’s fireworks, 356;
    revelation of, 363;
    caravan from Dongola to, 371;
    Arabs of, going north, 375;
    reported short of ammunition, 384;
    set detachment of, opposite palace, 384;
    offended with Gordon, 388;
    reasons for the advancement of, 389;
    return of, to Kordofan cut off, 391;
    the present Imam, 399;
    the Lord of All, 402;
    lieutenants and slaves of, 404;
    biography of, 457;
    expedition sent to bring, to Kartoum, 459;
    entrance of into Kordofan, 467;
    defeat of, near Bara, 469;
    proclamation issued by, 483;
    position of, 494;
    rumoured defeat of, 506;
    Saleh Bey and the, 518;
    despatches deciphered by, 520;
    letter from, to Gordon, 522;
    details contents of captured letters, telegrams, &c., 523;
    and Cuzzi, 524;
    manifesto of, to inhabitants of Kartoum, 539;
    sign frommMahomed as being the, 540;
    genealogy of, 545.

  Mahmoud Khalifa and camels for English, 262;
    a traitor, 262;
    at Dongola or Debbeh, 262;
    extraordinary to employ, 263.

  Mahomed, the chosen one, 410.

  Mahomed Khowajli, 420.

  Mahomed Pasha Hassan, approves of the arrests, 195.

  Mahomet Achmet accepted generally by Soudan families as Mahdi, 15;
    proselytes of, 194, 262;
    and taking of Omdurman Fort, 349;
    letter from Ulema to, 429;
    the Mahdi, 403, 439, 441.

  _Mahomet Ali_, 35;
    promise to capture by a sheikh, 105;
    on Blue Nile, 214;
    expected with grain, 229;
    at Giraffe, 363.

  Mahomet Ali Pasha, 56;
    prisoners killed in defeat of, 167;
    “fighting Pasha”, 253;
    reason of his defeat, 254.

  Mahomet Bey Agad, 154.

  Mahomet Edrees, 188.

  Mahomet el Khair a cur, 208;
    and English troops, 428, 434.

  Mahomet Yusuf, Arabic name of Cuzzi, 24, 402.

  Malet, Sir Edward, held responsible for Soudan disasters, 21;
    the Co. are Colvin and, 42;
    the “Siren”, 61;
    Vivian, and Colvin and desert ride, 362.

  Malta and Gibraltar weak, 240.

  Mamelukes, 325.

  Man, pre-eminence of, over all creatures, 50;
    future happiness of, in being finite intelligences, 51;
    misery of, 51;
    current value of, in the world, 91;
    essence of treachery, 102.

  Manifesto of Mahdi, 539.

  Mankind, Gordon’s love of the study of, 100.

  _Mansowrah_, action with Arabs, 94, 95;
    to stay at Shendy, 206.

  Manzal Hamid, Sheikh, 535.

  Marabiyeh, moral effect of victory of, 492.

  Mark cited, 179.

  Marrying and giving in marriage, 243.

  Martyrs, men of the present compared with the, 6.

  Mason, Col., 54.

  Massodaglia, men like, wanted, 209.

  Massowah, Turks should land at, 136;
    useless, except as port of Soudan, 242;
    telegram from, 291.

  Matthew cited, 179.

  Mecca, Mahdi’s prospects of reaching, 296.

  Medgliss, 142;
    finds every one sent before it guilty, 155.

  Melon, the great, 266.

  Merchants, Gordon pretends to send, to Waled a Goun, 269;
    robbers of biscuits, 314.

  Merissa, 439.

  Merowé, tales of troops at, 38;
    as regards route of expeditionary force, 248, 249;
    to Berber, best course, 257;
    Stewart felt secure at, 285;
    and arrival of English troops, 438.

  Meshra-el-Dai, defeat of rebels at, 484.

  Messenger, Arabs fire on, 403.

  Messengers, only Gordon’s, to bring news, 91;
    telegrams compared with, 92.

  Metemma, attack on market of, 46;
    steamers await orders at, 130;
    post left for, 183;
    steamers bombarding, 208;
    Gordon would make, base for operations of Nile valley, 257;
    caravan from direction of, 346;
    Gordon’s mails captured in, 424;
    Stewart passed, 443.

  Military Journal and Slatin Bey, 519.

  Mind relieved to write one’s bile, 340.

  Mine exploded by donkey, 7, 13;
    exploded, 247.

  Ministers, Her Majesty’s, send no information, 92;
     Gordon’s position with, 110.

  “Minor Tactics”, 64.

  Mirrors and Arabs, 222.

  Mission, object of Gordon’s, 55;
    of Gordon, 118.

  Mitzakis, Greek Consul, letter from, 213, 214;
    and letter to Greek Consul, 291;
    arrival of, in Abyssinia, 516.

  Mogrim, Krupp gun at, 316;
    Gordon visits, 326;
    Arabs fire on, 329;
    Fort, the major killed at, 344;
    shell practice from, 355.

  Mohamed Bey Ibrahim and Gladstone collar, 202.

  Mohammed Kerkasâwi, 531.

  Mohammed Bey Zain, money taken by, 515.

  Moharrem, Mahdi will not fight until after, 258;
    and Saphia, Mahdi will not fight during, 268.

  Mohi ed Deen Ibn el Arabi Sheikh, 542.

  Moncrieff, Commander, death of, 501.

  Momtoz Pasha and the building of the Palace, 377.

  Money in specie and paper in Kartoum, 19th Oct., 206;
    in Kartoum, 316.

  Monopoly of Korosko desert given to Hussein Pasha Khalifa’s family,

  _Monsuhania_ reported disabled, 157.

  Moon, total eclipse of, 194.

  Moosa Mahomed, Mufti of Mejlis of Kartoum, 420.

  Moslems, usual formula of salutation, 413;
    as to dealing with brother, 415;
    safety of, in Kartoum, 430;
    and messengers, 433;
    and capture of Government stores, 434.

  Mouse at table, 188.

  Mousra Bey, 166;
    in charge of _Bordeen_  and _Ismailia_, 179;
    made Mudir, 188.

  Moussa Bey, 117.

  Mudir, the old, released, 272.

  Mudir of Dongola, 439.

  Mudirat, no sentries at, 222.

  Mushra el Koweh’, Mahdi says he is at, 529.

  Muslims, toleration of, for Christian religion, 19;
    self-sacrifice of, 19.


  Najoomi, the son of, 403, 429.

  Napoleon at Jaffa, 179, 187.

  National honour, 93.

  Navy, advent of, looked for, 97.

  Negro soldiers, cleanliness of, 17.

  Nerves, constant explosions strain, 96.

  Nesgel to Om Halfa, time to get from, 261.

  Newspapers like gold, 289;
    Gordon on contents of, 290.

  Nile, right bank of, reported quiet, 15;
    steamers, frailty of, 44;
    the only way of access to Soudan, 52;
    plan for utilising the, 52;
    no difficulty in making flying bridges across, 87;
    people removing from right bank, 229;
    hot months and low Nile, 236;
    valley, Metemma as a base for all operations in the, 257;
    route the best, 262;
    is cheaper, 262.

  Nordenfeldts and the Arabs, 342.

  Northbrook, Lord, 77;
    the farce of, asking Towfik for assistance, 306.

  North Fort, no sentry on, 265;
    hate the telescope, 265;
    sentries off roof again, 271;
    no sentries at, 272;
    reports from, 314.

  North side like a market, 194.

  Notes, expiration of six months for which, were issued, 224.

  Notice published by Gordon, 552.

  November, must be relieved or fall before the end of, 245.

  Nubar Pasha, telegram from, to Gordon, 102.

  Nuchranza, 178.

  Nuehr Bey Angara, 146.

  Nuns in Kartoum, 28;
    said to have married Greeks, 28;
    walked from Kordofan, 221.

  Nutzer Bey, made Pasha, 109, 253;
    should not be sent further than Dongola, 262;
    Gordon’s order disobeyed by, 351, 354, 359.

  Nzasi at Kartoum, 486.


  Obdallah en Noor, 432, 440.

  Obeyed, two priests in, 312;
    Mahdi brought ammunition from, 329.

  Om Ali, Stewart at, 443.

  Omar Bey, 444.

  Om Ghirka, Stewart anchored opposite, 442.

  Om Halfa to Gakdal, time to get from, 261.

  Omdurman, forces at, 69;
    Mahdi expected at, 158;
    strength of men at, 173;
    two hundred men sent to, 180;
    levelled, 201;
    meditated attack on by Arabs, 244;
    and the taking of by Arabs, 294;
    distance of Mahdi from, 295;
    Mahdi intends to attack, 295;
    fort, Arabs north of, 312;
    fire and fusillade at, 315;
    telegraph interrupted between, and Khartoum, 317;
    over eager to fire on enemy, 317;
    month and a half supply for, 322, 324;
    communication by bugle, 328;
    casualties at, 332;
    fort, anxiety of Gordon for, 351, 355;
    Arabs retiring near, 356, 362, 365, 367, 370, 371, 375, 381, 383;
    attempt to relieve, 384;
    number of wounded at, 384;
    idea of landing at, given up, 384;
    reported safe, 385, 387, 391;
    fort of, Arab shelling of, 340, 342;
    communication with, with flags, 345.

  Oshman Ibn Aboo Bekr Digna, 435.

  Osman Digna reported as writing to Berber, 14.

  Ottoman Dominion, integrity of, guaranteed by the Powers, 221.


  Palace, prepared to clear out of the, 210;
    Gordon’s arrangement for blowing up, 287;
    bullets fall on, 330;
    under fire, 369, 374, 375;
    illustration of roof of, 377;
    built by Momtoz Pasha, 377;
    shelled by Arabs, 378, 381;
    band on roof of, 383;
    Arab fire on, 384;
    pet detachment of Mahdi opposite the, 384;
    fired on, 385;
    building next to, struck, 386;
    fired on, 387, 388, 392, 393.

  Paper money, troops prefer, 343.

  Parentage of Mahdi, 545.

  Pashas, treachery of, cause of a defeat, 62;
    death of Stewart, nemesis of the death of two, 282.

  Patriotism, 340.

  Paul, St., cited, 194.

  Pauncefote, Sir Julian, letter from, to Roth, 548.

  Pay of soldiers, 248.

  Peace route and small forces, small stations along Nile best for, 262.

  Peasant, Arab, a determined warrior, 90.

  Penny steamers, 387.

  People, fidelity of, gauged by Gordon, 171;
    reasoning of, if Gordon left, 307.

  Peter or Paul, SS., Stewart, Power, and Herbin compared to, 285.

  Plot, 187.

  ‘Plutarch’s Lives’ as a handbook for officers, 64, 163, 240.

  Policy being acted, detrimental to army, 304.

  Porte must give permission in ceding Egyptian territory, 221.

  Post-office officials and increase of pay, 281.

  Potentates, Eastern, their strength lies in their seclusion, 33.

  Potion, Gordon in favour of numbing, 179.

  Powder hose instead of “matches” for mines, 5, 67.

  Power left Kartoum for Dongola, 3;
    and Herbin, Slatin says nothing of, 217;
    on board the _Abbas_, 273;
    left of their own free will, 274;
    had daily Journal, 284;
    as a martyr, 285; over-rashness of, 286;
    no despatch written by Gordon concerning, 310;
    a chivalrous, brave, honest gentleman, 310;
    his telegrams in _Times_, 39.

  Powers appealed to for auxiliary force, 338.

  Prayers and the Arabs, 223.

  Press, the province of the, 62.

  Priests, two at Obeyed, 312.

  Prisoners sent to the Arabs, September 10, 7.

  Proclamation from Gordon to people of Kartoum, 425.

  Prout, Colonel, 35.

  Provisions, amount of, 328.

  Psalms cited, 50, 60.

  Psalmist and Gordon as to liars, 101.

  Public officials and their personality, 233.


  ‘Queen’s Messenger,’ pleasure in reading the, 43.


  Rahad, Mahdi still at, September 10, 5.

  _Rammer_, the, 216.

  Rapid “retreat”, 236;
    decisions in event of, 298.

  “Rapport Militaire”, 217.

  Ras Aloula, on defeat of, 290.

  Rashid Bey, defeat of, at Jebel Gadir, 460;
    appointed Governor of Kordofan, 464.

  Rations, row as to troops’, 346, 347;
    robbed by officers, 367, 368, 385.

  Razagat, Slatin commanded against the, 454.

  Rebellion, causes of, 458;
    spread of the, 462.

  Reconnoitring party feared, 311.

  Redemption did not take place through our merits, 245.

  Red Sea, Arabs captured dhows in, 299.

  Regulars, number with the Mahdi, 177.

  Reinforcements for Soudan, nine people, 252.

  Renan, 144, 145, 392.

  Rescued lamb, Gordon not the, 93, 118.

  Resign, not insubordinate to, 234.

  Revelation cited, 12.

  Rice issued as pay to troops, 111.

  Rockets, 302.

  Roman Catholic Mission, garden of, 37;
    with Mahdi, 129;
    house of, set fire to, 132;
    King John will drive out the, 219.

  Roth, letter to Gordon from, 547;
    from Pauncefote to, 548.

  Rothchilds causing bother about finance question, 224.

  Royal Navy, _Ismailia_ compared with, 319.

  Ruckdi sent to reinforce, 252;
    robbery by, discovered, 349.

  Russia, kind of warfare to be used against, 90.


  Sakkeyer Arabs, meditate raid on, 192.

  Sakkéyés, 443.

  Salaries, reduction of, 245.

  Salehh Lik, 423.

  Saleh Pasha, a prisoner with the Mahdi, 30-31;
    his son, 141;
    message from, 160;
    in chains, 215, 299.

  Saleh Bey, of Gabalat, men from, 213, 214, 511;
    attitude of, to Government, 513;
    the four tribes who besieged it, 514.

  Samuel, Book of, cited, 376.

  Sanderson, 89.

  Sandjak Saleh Bey, 455.

  Santels, Arabs fired on, 244.

  Saphia, Mahdi will not fight during, 268;
    and Stewart, 442;
    _Mansowrah,_ men on, 444.

  Sarakhna camp, 504.

  Scene in Desert, 168, 169.

  Schatt, an inland town mentioned, 31;
    Mahdi not at, 109.

  Schiller, Gordon’s admiration for, 96.

  Seid Gjoma and Slatin Bey trying to enter Omdurman, 520;
    Mohamed Ebn Seid Abdullah, Slatin’s new name, 454.

  Sekhedy, defeat of rebels at, 485.

  Senheit, the only place King John could occupy, 219.

  Sennaar, useless to send to, for dhoora, 106;
    means of opening road to, 126;
    despatch of force to, 137;
    all right, 214;
    expedition towards, 231, 236, 246;
    party of Arabs at, 282;
    and the relief of, 284;
    and Kassala, and abandonment of, 297, 299;
    evacuation and Zubair, 300;
    still holding out, 392;
    defeat of garrison, 461;
    inhabitants of, for Gordon, 521.

  Sepoys useless, 189.

  Sept. 10, of losses up to, 283.

  Serail and Turkey cock, 49.

  Service of Mahdi gratuitous, 245.

  Sevastopol and Kartoum, 390.

  Seyd Mahomet Osman, his confidence in Gordon, 28;
    little boy of, a hero, 88;
    with English, 192;
    and Abyssinian question, 214;
    house of, pulled down by Arabs, 345.

  Shaggyeh, the defection of, 30;
    both sides despise the, 68;
    family quarrels of, 78;
    questions put to Gordon by, 94;
    at Halfeyeh, 108;
    troublesome again, 130;
    trouble of the, 166;
    worry of the, 185;
    at North Fort, 185;
    pulling down Goba and Hogali, 201;
    want more dhoora, 208;
    Bashi Bazouks and English chastisement, 241;
    losses of the, 259;
    Gordon laments the, 259;
    to pay for the lost Remingtons, 266;
    to be backed for cowardice, 267;
    arrant braggadocios, 267;
    problem what to do with, 314;
    the absurdity of paying for the, 342;
    desertion of, to Arabs, 347, 351;
    for the Government, 442.

  Shakir Effendi, 420.

  Shareef Mahhmood, 428.

  Sheikh el Emin Mahomed, 420;
    el Islam, supposed present from Mahdi to, 187, 188;
    threatened, 203;
    Mahdi declares he will execute, 264;
    release of, 272.

  Sheikh el Obeyed, killed prisoners of Kartoum, 166;
    quietude of forces of, 197;
    the man and the city, 201, 246;
    reported dead, 274;
    dead, 291, 292, 293;
    people of, dispersing, 293;
    men of, and second blockade of Kartoum, 343.

  Sheikh Hussein el Mahdi, 420.

  Sheikh Ibrahim put in chains by Abou Gugliz, 174.

  Shells, the reason they do not prove fatal, 183.

  Shendy, road to, still open, 110;
    steamers leave for, 111, 115;
    steamers bombarding, 208;
    steamers left for, 213;
    reported looting of, by steamers, 246;
    brought into subjection by steamers, 247;
    Stewart escorted past, 280;
    Arabs at, 359;
    Stewart reached, 443.

  Shendy-Metemma, chief strategical point of Soudan, 262.

  Shepheard’s Hotel, prediction as to forces being at, 38.

  Shereef Mohammed, 434, 439.

  Shimei dusting David, 376.

  Ships no good against land batteries, 204.

  Shoboloha, endeavour by Arab chief to raise people of, 16;
    no Arabs at, 358.

  Shoboloha Pass and Stewart, 442.

  Sikhs and Belochees, 189.

  Simmons, General Sir Lintorn, 130.

  Sinkat, defeat of rebels at, 499.

  Sirdar, the, 163.

  Skeleton, living, in hospital, dead, 264.

  Slatin Bey, in Kordofan, 21;
    ammunition and stores surrendered by, 23;
    Arabic name of, Abdel Kadi, 24;
    with Mahdi, 129;
    and Elias Pasha with Mahdi, 170;
    not with Faki Mustapha, 198;
    not a Spartan, 200;
    and his coming to stay with Gordon, 202;
    men like, wanted, 209;
    curious part of letter of, 217;
    and paper from, 227;
    reported to be in chains, 243;
    good friends with Mahdi, 263;
    a prisoner, 272;
    surrender of, 283;
    on best terms with Mahdi, 283;
    in chains, 295, 298;
    reported release from chains, 312;
    in chains, 314, 391;
    offers to join Gordon, 453;
    letter from, 495, 519;
    three years since, had news from family, 520.

  Slave battalions, formation of, 465.

  Slave circular, indignation at, 40, 54.

  Slave Convention Treaty and Zubair, 380.

  Slave-holding and abolition of, 135.

  Slave-hunting by Mahdi and Zubair, 55.

  Slave-trade cannot be helped, 137;
    restoration of by Government, 235.

  Slave traffic and Gordon, 425.

  Slavery, Gordon on abolition of, 104;
    Mahdi will end, in Soudan, 386.

  Slaves made soldiers, 64;
    and Lord Palmerston, 389;
    trade in, to be stopped, 559.

  Slippers, to strike with, a Moslem insult, 133.

  Soldier, the place of a, the field, 64, 65;
    their pay, 248.

  Soudan, ex-Khedive’s view of governing, 52;
    Nile only way of access to, 52;
    garrisons only obstacle to abandonment of, 55;
    artillery not needed in the, 83;
    future of, cannot be hurried, 84;
    heavy column no use in the, 89;
    best solution of the difficulties in the, 124;
    a useless country, 125;
    must not be given to Egypt, 135;
    for Turks, 136;
    cannot be governed by men in Cairo, 139;
    cost of holding, 143;
    Gordon does not question Government policy as to, 150;
    all soldiers in, know Gordon, 158;
    no quarter given on either side in engagements, 232;
    cruel to our conscripts to go up to, 233;
    politically unwise, 233;
    Egypt unable to govern, 235;
    way out of the, not seen by Gordon, 235;
    prediction as to the, 236;
    useless to us, 238;
    getting out of, 238;
    nobler to keep, 240;
    Shendy-Metemma chief strategical point of, 262;
    private cost of, business to Gordon, 304;
    emphatic statement of Gordon not to leave, 307;
    Towfik’s Firman as to abandonment, 309;
    no aid has come to, since defeat of Hicks, 348;
    Gordon and the evacuation of, 353;
    Towfik’s Firman as to, cancelled, 359;
    legal authority over, only from Towfik, 372;
    “Fiction” not held good in, 372;
    and quiet of, 375;
    Ismail Ayoub best administrator the, has had, 378;
    “Fiction” as having nought to do with, 379;
    Mahdi will be end of slavery, in 386;
    and slavery, 389;
    despatch of reinforcements for, 470;
    organization of, 557;
    boundaries of, 558.

  Soudanese, and their property, _note_, 19;
    not worth any great sacrifice, 51.

  Spies, none from outsiders, 92;
    of Seyd Mahomet Osman, captured and executed, 247;
    liking to get more, 344, 403.

  Spy, important, captured, 176.

  Standard and telegrams, 308.

  “Standing order”, absurd in Egypt, 160.

  Stanley, letters received by Gordon from, 274.

  Statement of troops, arms, ammunition, and grain in Kartoum, 206.

  Steamer, trial trip of small, 178.

  Steamers, Mr. Bond and, on the Nile, 54;
    from Berber, 72;
    Stewart’s left for Berber Sept. 11, 8;
    expected at Berber, 22;
    frailty of, 44;
    value of, 97;
    compared to Thames steamers, 107;
    bad state of, 107, 108;
    take two Journals, 111;
    leave for Shendy, 115;
    left for Berber, 121;
    Gordon has nine, 60;
    hopes by Gordon as to return of, 308;
    fears for, 316;
    Gordon unfortunate with, 324;
    four at Berber, 351;
    in sight, 358;
    reported at Shoboloha, 382;
    fire on Arabs at Omdurman, 384;
    engaged, 387;
    ordered to stay at Bourré, 391;
    attack at Bourré, 393;
    at Omdurman, 395.

  Stewart, Col., left Kartoum for Dongola, 3;
    his expedition passed Shendy, 34, 43;
    and communication with Europe, 39;
    Journal, fear as to non-publication of, 41;
    mention of, 43;
    capture by, with steamers, 43;
    as witness of Gordon’s efforts, 56;
    why Gordon did not escape with, 56;
    steamers of, recapture steamers, 66;
    and Hewitt’s mission, 76;
    hard on men, 78;
    receives note from Kitchener, 92;
    charges troops with cowardice, 99;
    sent up by Government, 124;
    does not suspect Awaan, 133;
    and Ibrahim Ruckdi, 167;
    Gordon desires, to obtain information, 186;
    mouse takes place of, at table, 188;
    reported capture of, with _Abbas_, 193, 200;
    and pay of Egyptian soldiers, 205;
    death of, 214;
    sent to reinforce, 252;
    and the giving up of Berber, 263;
    on board _Abbas,_ 273;
    left of his own free will, 274;
    what Gordon wrote for, concerning his going, 274;
    great service done by, in leaving Kartoum, 280;
    escorted pass dangerous places, 280;
    captured below Abou Hamed, 280;
    did not chew the cud, nor suspicious, 281;
    Gordon’s account of the landing of, 281;
    Mudir’s account of the landing of, 281;
    his death ordained, 282;
    Gordon wishes for examination into death of, 282;
    amount of gold and papers with, 283;
    wounded near the Palace, 284;
    at lowest ebb when left, 284;
    took both copies of Journal, 285;
    a martyr, 285;
    contempt of for Soudanese, 286;
    should have escaped in boats, 286;
    Gordon’s defence for letting go, 287;
    Gordon declined to order, 287;
    on the Government, 288;
    questions written by before leaving, 289;
    Gordon, and money, to secure Journal of, 305;
    Gordon hopes for revenge for the death of, 308;
    every document but one went with, 309;
    no dispatch written by Gordon concerning, 310;
    brave, just, upright gentleman, 310;
    wrote full details of Hicks’s army and defeat, 344;
    left three months, 389;
    account of voyage of, 442;
    spares some Arabs, 443;
    sanguine of getting through, 444;
    arrival of, at Kartoum, 471;
    departure of, for Egypt, 487;
    reported dead by Slatin Bey, 520;
    Mahdi tells of capture of, 522.

  Stokes, of Suez Canal, 43.

  Stomach governs the world, 14, 184.

  Stores, returns of, 383, 393, 395;
    Mahdi tells Gordon of, in Kartoum, 523.

  Suakin, reported arrival of English at, 14;
    to Berber, route from, 225-227;
    and Massowah useless if Mahdi holds Soudan, 242;
    besiege of, miraculous, 294;
    meaning of non-firing on, 296;
    useless if Mahdi holds Soudan, 296;
    spread of rebellion to, 499;
    reinforcements sent to, 500.

  Suleiman, reply to Gordon sent by, 402.

  Suleiman Pasha, removal of, 494;
    Wady Goun, steamer fell into hands of, 546.

  Sultan, give over the country to the, 48, 49;
    Gordon’s promises as to, 433;
    Haroun and Slatin Bey, 453.

  Sun, partial eclipse of, 194.

  Suspicion, Stewart and Gordon compared with regard to, 281.


  _Talataween_ struck, 106;
    in from Shendy, 205;
    for Shendy, 206;
    summary of reports brought by, 207.

  Telegram, December, 1883, 311;
    Gordon cannot decipher, 359, 360.

  Telegrams, two sets of, sent off by spy, September 10, 3;
    from Floyer, 92;
    humility in, from Baring, 102;
    from Nubar Pasha to Gordon, 102;
    from Gordon to Baring, 103;
    cannot decipher, from Lord Wolseley, 273;
    Gordon captured all European, 284;
    received in Soudan, 345;
    Mahdi details contents of the captured, 523.

  Telegraph forms used for Journal, 250.

  Tel-el-Kebir, 60.

  Thirst, Hicks’s army perished from, 344.

  _Times’_ correspondent, charge against, 22;
    Powers’ telegrams in, 39;
    confusion in, as to the Wilsons, 61;
    and execution of the Pashas, 62;
    extract from, _note_, 86;
    and Gordon’s Journals, 283;
    to have first offer of Doctor’s Journal, 283.

  Tokar, relief of, 146;
    Mahdi gained confidence by victory of, 296.

  Tongi, sent to reinforce, 252;
    and Co., 272.

  Towfik Pasha, 117, 118;
    and Gordon not friends, 123;
    wish law, 125;
    and the Porte, 221;
    Firman of, 285, 309;
    farce of Northbrook asking, for assistance, 306;
    telegram from, explained, 371;
    Wolseley and Baring subordinate to, 371;
    and authority over Soudan, 372;
    expeditionary force, allies of, 373;
    and death of Hicks, 348;
    cancels his Firman, 359;
    telegram to Ulemas from, 359;
    Gordon publishes telegram of, 362;
    telegram to Ulemas from, 364;
    and appointment of Governor-General, 369.

  _Towfikia_, fell on the Arabs, 30;
    above Giraffe, 35;
    up Blue Nile, 38, 41;
    fighting against Arabs, 47;
    at Giraffe, 67;
    fight with Arabs, 79;
    at Giraffe, 94;
    attacked Arabs on White Nile, 121;
    went up White Nile, 130;
    up the White Nile, 153;
    at Omdurman, 157;
    up White Nile, 158;
    to replace _Ismailia_, 170;
    post left by, for Metemma, 183;
    left for Metemma, 188.

  Trafalgar, Mussulman year begins on anniversary of, 175.

  Transport arrangements, trouble in, 259.

  Treachery never succeeds, 6;
    question of, weighed before sending _Abbas_, 280, 282.

  Treasury Funds in, 117;
    amount in, 253.

  Treaty of Paris guarantees integrity of Ottoman dominion, 221.

  Treaty Powers, who are the, 293.

  Troops, impossible to keep, after January, 48;
    determined as ever, 98.

  Troy, siege of, Kartoum compared to, 224.

  Turkey and Mecca, 299.

  Turkey cock of the Palace, 184.

  Turks, and the evacuation of Soudan, 37;
    give the country to the, 86;
    hand over Soudan to, 135;
    or Zubair, 135, 136, 138.

  Turk solution, Hobson’s choice, 242.

  Turkish Government, 418;
    soldiers, uncleanliness of, 17.

  Turks and Government of Soudan, 235;
    expensive, 239;
    Suakin and Massowah, nothing to the, 242;
    and keeping of Soudan, 363;
    and the taking over of the Soudan, 363.

  Tuti, runaways of, wish to come back, 5;
    Isle of, 337;
    troops, sent to, 339;
    breast works at, bother to Arabs, 350;
    Arabs want to attack, 354;
    Arabs at, 357.


  Ulema of Kartoum, 423.

  Ulemas protest to Arab chiefs, 16;
    Gordon’s interview with, 18;
    letter to Mahdi, 22;
    visit of, to Gordon, 167;
    reply to Towfik, 364.

  United Service Club, 88.

  Uriah the Hittite and David and Gordon, 305.


  “Venuses”, Black, 42.

  Victoria Cross, reasons for giving, 64;
    a mistake generally, 64.


  Wadji Barra, letter from, to Gordon, 388;
    the cause of letter being written, 389.

  Wady Abou Gir, water might be found along, 261.

  Wady Halfa railway, 54;
    route to, a picnic party, 104;
    return of troops to, 137;
    estimated time by Gordon for troops to reach, 225;
    question as to _Abbas_ reaching, 287.

  Waled a Goun, force with, according to Cuzzi, 8;
    captured soldier came in from, 15;
    letter from, 20;
    letter from Gordon to, 95;
    brings a Krupp out, 63;
    and black troops, 129;
    meditates coming over to Dem, 161;
    and Sheikh el Obeyed, 178;
    family at Gitana, 208, 224, 229, 246;
    pretends to send merchants to, 269;
    men of, passing to Mahdi, 375.

  Waled Mocashee, caught with Gordon’s letters, 29.

  War, the cause of the, 418;
    estimate of expenses of, 492.

  Water to be found along Wadi Abou Gir, 261;
    found at Kambok, 261.

  Wellington, 64;
    and Collingwood, Dispatches of, 175.

  Wells from Ambukol to Metemma well supplied, 261.

  White flag, Arabs fire on, 3;
    Arab use and abuse of, 3;
    respected by Arabs, 14.

  White Nile, Arabs retiring towards, 47;
    Arab ferry across the, 225;
    operation on, 230;
    end of lines the weakest part, 303;
    Arab gun on left bank of, 345;
    reconnaisance up, 488.

  Wilfrid Lawson, Sir, 60.

  Wilson of Anatolia, 43.

  Wilson, Sir Charles, 61.

  Wilson, R. E., 61.

  Wilson, Rivers, 61.

  Wolseley and Wellington, 64.

  Wolseley, Lord, 113, 117;
    instructions conveyed to, 124, 175;
    and Gordon, 238;
    the recall of, and the _Times_, _note_, 263;
    cannot decipher telegram from, 273;
    and relief of Kartoum, 304;
    without Firman from Towfik, 368;
    will settle Soudan question, 371;
    and Firman, 371;
    subordinate to Towfik, 371;
    Mitzakis concerning, 517;
    and Kitchener, 546.

  Wood, 163;
   to take, from isolated spots, 280.

  Wood’s army to be done away with, 139.


  Yakoobat, 423.

  Yussuf Pasha, defeat of, 464.


  Zubair Pasha, 37;
    and saving of Berber, 46, 56;
    reasons for non-employment of, 46;
    argument for installing, 49;
    refusal of, to come up, 58;
    to establish, 86;
    Gordon will keep Equator from, 87, 173, 238;
    expense of, 239;
    as Governor-General, 300;
    Mahdi “ten times” worse than, as to slave trade, 300;
    people would never rise against, 300;
    and fall of Berber, 301;
    Gordon wishes for, 308;
    and Soudan, 364;
    steamer named after, 333;
    launched, 364;
    at Kartoum as private individual, 379, 380;
    to be governor of Soudan, 557.





  to illustrate

  _E. Weller lith._

  _London; Kegan Paul, Trench & Co._]


[1] Hill’s ‘Colonel Gordon in Central Africa,’ p. 373.

[2] See Appendix.

[3] From _Pall Mall Gazette_ extra, “Too Late,” No. 14.

[4] _Egypt_, No. 9, Encl. 3, 43.

[5] General Gordon had been incorrectly informed by his spies about
Abdel Kader, who had not left Cairo.

[6] This department must not be confounded with the one associated with
the Quartermaster-General at the War Office.

[7] The military, civilians, Ulemas, inhabitants and settlers in
Kartoum telegraphed on August 19th to the Khedive as follows: “Weakened
and reduced to extremities, God in His mercy sent Gordon Pasha to
us in the midst of our calamities of the siege, and we should all
have perished of hunger and been destroyed. But we, sustained by his
intelligence and great military skill, have been preserved in Kartoum
until now.”—_Egypt, No. 35_, _p._ 112; see also _Appendix AB_.—ED.

[8] In this passage we have an example of the old and perfect fairness
with which General Gordon dealt with others. Before allowing Mustapha
Faki, the neutral, to join his ranks and aid him against the Mahdi, he
must first himself be satisfied that such a step would not endanger
Faki Mustapha’s life. Success or failure was still doubtful. This, of
course, he could not tell Mustapha, but would it be right and just to
use him while such a doubt existed? Gordon was of opinion that it would
not, and thus he bade Mustapha wait events, and do for him that only
which involved no risks.—ED.

[9] Tuti is an island at the junction of the White and Blue Nile.—ED.

[10] Near El Obeyed and about 200 miles from Kartoum.—ED.

[11] _Vide_ Sir Henry Gordon’s Prefatory Note.—ED.

[12] A small town eight miles north of Kartoum.—ED.

[13] Berber is about 200 miles from Kartoum.—ED.

[14] English Consular Agent at Berber. According to M. Herbin’s
telegram from Kartoum received by M. Barrère on 22nd September, 1884,
Cuzzi had gone to Kordofan, but whether free or as a prisoner was not
stated.—_Egypt, No.35_ (1884), _No.142._—ED.

[15] Duem is a town on the White Nile about 100 miles from Kartoum.—ED.

[16] A cereal very much resembling Indian corn.—ED.

[17] The Sheikh el Obeyed declared for the Mahdi in March 1884.

[18] At first sight there might seem something of a contradiction in
these sentiments, but, when weighed, they will be found consistent and
sound. They convey an idea which was constantly at work in General
Gordon’s mind, and this to the effect that man should make every effort
towards the attainment of perfection, and then, and not till then,
leave the issue to God; that he should, in fact, draw on all earthly
resources—as the instrument of God—and that, these exhausted, he
should then look to Heaven for aid not to be drawn from earth.—ED.

[19] “Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and
I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the
tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.

“No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass
through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

“And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the
countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that
are laid waste shall be desolate forty years; and I will scatter
the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the

“Yet thus saith the Lord God; at the end of forty years will I gather
the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered:

“And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to
return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and
they shall be there a base kingdom.”—ED.

[20] Appendix A and A 1.

[21] Appendix B.

[22] “Go, and with ghouls and afrits rave.”—_The Giaour._

[23] These words may be taken literally. Such was Gordon’s power and
influence in 1879, when he resigned the Governor-Generalship of the

[24] “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee
shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”—ED.

[25] “Everything one does is known, and the only regret is that I am
a Christian. Yet they would be the first to despise me if I recanted
and became a Mussulman.”—_Extract from General Gordon’s Letter, dated
Kassala, December 7th, 1877._—ED.

[26] “I have upset so many vested interests, that the only people I
can count on are the Ulemas, to whom I gave back all their ancient
privileges, which had been taken away from them by Ismail Pasha
Yacoub.”—_Extract from General Gordon’s letter dated Kartoum, May 4th,

[27] “If fighting occurs, it is the Soudanese conservative of their
property fighting the Soudanese communists, who desire to rob
them.”—_Extract from General Gordon’s Memorandum received by Sir E.
Baring, February 4th, 1884.—Egypt, No. 12._—ED.

[28] “We have, thank God, passed our dangers. Whether they were
imaginary or not I do not know, but we were threatened by an attack
from thousands of determined blacks, who knew I was here. Now very few
Englishmen know what it is to be with troops they have not a bit of
confidence in. I prayed heartily for an issue, but it gave me a pain
in the heart like that I had when surrounded at Masindi. I do not fear
death, but I fear, from want of faith, the results of my death—for the
whole country would have risen.”—_Extract from General Gordon’s letter
dated Toashia, July 11th, 1877._ ED.

[29] Appendix C.

[30] Appendix C 1.

[31] Lupton Bey was Governor of the Bahr el Gazelle.

[32] According to a telegram from M. Herbin to M. Barrère, Slatin Bey,
formerly Governor of Darfour, had by this time joined the Mahdi, and
by him had been placed in command of the Kordofan cavalry, which force
was supposed to represent the most formidable contingent of the Mahdi’s

[33] Appendix D.

[34] Dollars.

[35] An ardeb is equal to five bushels.


  _Prétres à Kordofan._
  1. Don Luigi Bonorni, _Superior_.
  2. Don Guiseppe Ohrwalder.
  3. Don Paulo Nusignoli.
  4. Fra Isodoro Locatelli.
  5. Fra Guiseppe Regusto.

  1. Teresa Grigolini, _Superioress_.
  2. Fortunata Corce.
  3. Catarina Chincherini.
  4. Cometta Corsi.
  5. Elizabetta Venturini.
  6. Maria Caprini.

[37] Kings of Egypt.—ED.

[38] The commander of a company.—ED.

[39] “Surviving Soudanese declared that the two Pashas in command
charged back into their own square; the soldiers, recognising them,
opened their ranks to let them through; and into the gap thus made the
rebel cavalry followed. The treachery, doubtless pre-arranged, was
complete in its success, but retribution was close at hand. When the
battle was over these two traitors, Said and Hassan, came into Gordon’s
tent, and the General offered them drink. They refused; Gordon’s
secretary, divining the reason, drank first, and the Pashas, who had
suspected poison, followed suit. During the remainder of that day they
lay hidden in their homes, for the soldiers were crying aloud for
vengeance, and would have murdered them at once had they appeared in
the streets. The next day they were tried by court-martial, and found
guilty of communication with the enemy and of having treacherously
murdered their own men. In the house of Hassan a great store of rifles
and ammunition was discovered; and it was proved that both he and
his colleague had stolen the two months’ pay given to the troops on
account of six months’ arrears. They had also taken into the field with
them seventy rounds of cannon ammunition, instead of eight, the usual
number, so that the rebels’ guns might be well supplied for future
attacks on Kartoum. The trial was long and patient, but the verdict was
apparent from the beginning. Hassan and Said were found guilty, and on
the same evening, amid expressions of universal delight, they were shot
by the men they had betrayed.”—_The Story of Chinese Gordon_, _pp._
92-3, v. ii.—ED.

[40] _i.e._ Natives from Halfeyeh report.—ED.

[41] Those for, and those against the Mahdi.—ED.

[42] “I strongly suspect that he (the Mahdi) is a mere puppet put
forward by Elyas, Zubair’s father-in-law, and the largest slave-owner
in Obeyed, and that he has assumed a religious title to give colour
to the defence of the popular rights.”—_General Gordon’s view as
expressed to the Editor of “Pall Mall Gazette” on Jan. 8, 1884._—ED.

[43] A woman.—ED.

[44] Shendy is ninety-five miles from Kartoum.—ED.

[45] Colonel Prout was appointed by General Gordon to the command of
the Equatorial Provinces at the date of the latter’s resignation in the
autumn of 1876.—ED.

[46] “The eye that mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his
mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young
eagles shall eat it.”—Prov. xxx. 17.

[47] Zubair is the correct spelling. It must not be forgotten that
Zubair is of very high family, being a direct descendant of the

[48] Appendix E.

[49] Lord Wolseley and staff left Cairo for Wady Halfa ten days after
Gordon wrote those words.—ED.

[50] Lord Granville on May 17, 1884, instructed Mr. Egerton to
communicate the following message from Her Majesty’s Government to
General Gordon:—

“Having regard to the time which has elapsed, Her Majesty’s Government
desire to add to their communication of the 23rd April as follows:—As
the original plan for the evacuation of the Soudan has been dropped,
and as aggressive operations cannot be undertaken with the countenance
of Her Majesty’s Government, General Gordon is enjoined to consider and
either to report upon, or, if feasible, to adopt, at the first proper
moment, measures for his own removal and for that of the Egyptians at
Kartoum who have suffered for him or who have served him faithfully,
including their wives and children, by whatever route he may consider
best, having especial regard to his own safety and that of the other
British subjects.

“With regard to the Egyptians above referred to, General Gordon is
authorised to make free use of money rewards or promises at his
discretion. For example, he is at liberty to assign to Egyptian
soldiers at Kartoum sums for themselves and for persons brought with
them per head, contingent on their safe arrival at Korosko, or whatever
point he may consider a place of safety; or he may employ and pay the
tribes in the neighbourhood to escort them. Her Majesty’s Government
presume that the Soudanese at Kartoum are not in danger. In the event
of General Gordon having dispatched any persons or agents to other
points, he is authorised to spend any money required for the purpose
of recalling them or securing their safety.”—_Egypt, 22, 1884, No.

[51] Appendix E.

[52] _i.e._ The telegram given on page 39.—ED.

[53] See _ante_, note on page 39.—ED.

[54] “The danger to be feared is not that the Mahdi will march
northward through Wady Halfa; on the contrary, it is very improbable
that he will ever go so far north. The danger is altogether of a
different nature. It arises from the influence which the spectacle of a
conquering Mahommedan Power, established close to your frontiers, will
exercise upon the population which you govern. In all the cities in
Egypt it will be felt that what the Mahdi has done they may do; and, as
he has driven out the intruder and the infidel, they may do the same.
Nor is it only England that has to face this danger. The success of the
Mahdi has already excited dangerous fermentation in Arabia and Syria.
Placards have been posted in Damascus calling upon the population to
rise and drive out the Turks. If the whole of the Eastern Soudan is
surrendered to the Mahdi, the Arab tribes on both sides the Red Sea
will take fire. In self-defence the Turks are bound to do something
to cope with so formidable a danger, for it is quite possible that if
nothing is done the whole of the Eastern Question may be reopened by
the triumph of the Mahdi.”—_General Gordon’s views, as expressed to
the Editor of the “Pall Mall Gazette._”—ED.

[55] A town nearly opposite to Shendy, on the left bank of the

[56] An old hot-bed of slavery on the White Nile.—ED.

[57] “Ismail, the ex-Khedive, fully considered that to maintain his
hold of the Soudan, he must improve his communications with it and
Egypt proper. Unfortunately, in his wish to bring the Soudan trade
down the Nile through Egypt proper, he was led to abandon its natural
outlet by the route from Berber to Suakin, across the 280-mile desert,
and determined to make a railway through the desert along the Nile past
the Cataracts from Wady Halfa to Hanneck, a distance of 180 miles.
Contracts were made, and some £450,000 were spent on the line; but
financial difficulties arose, and in 1877 it came to a standstill some
fifty or sixty kilometres south of Wady Halfa. It was evident that on
this grand scale the continuation of the line could not be hoped for,
so I studied the question. There was the line made from Wady Halfa
for say fifty miles; and therefore 130 miles remained to be got over
before this barrier of desert was passed. By the researches of Colonel
Mason and Mr. Gooding, and also by my own personal examination, the
river for this 130 miles was shown to be not continuously encumbered
by rocks. There were, as it were, long strips of open, water between
the ridges of rocks,—one of these strips was forty miles in length.
Now steamers built in England had in full flood been hauled up every
one of these ridges, and had thus been brought to Kartoum and had plied
to Gondokoro. My idea was to bring up small steamers during high Nile,
place them on all the open strips of water of any reasonable extent;
and thus work them from ridge to ridge in these open spaces. I proposed
further to have only one crew, and to ship them from steamer to steamer
so as to save expense. At those places where the ridge was of any great
length, I proposed to use tramways to get over the space between the
debarking landing-place of one open water-way to the embarking wharf
of the other open water-way. Thus, by using the water-way where open,
and tramways where the river was encumbered, I should get over these
130 miles. I calculated that the cost of all this work, steamers, and
tramways, &c., would be £70,000, while the railway, if carried, would
have cost over a million and a half. However, the revolts, troubles
of different kinds, and other things, prevented this being carried
out, and the controllers would not take it up; so, after an expense of
nearly half-a-million, the railway exists with its end _en l’air_, with
its valuable stores perishing, while Egypt proper has no more hold over
the Soudan than was had by Ancient Egypt.”—_See “Colonel Gordon in
Central Africa,” p. 315._—ED.

[58] “On the 18th Feb., the day General Gordon arrived at Kartoum, he
recommended in the strongest manner that Zubair should be sent up, and
gave his reasons in detail.”—_Egypt, No. 12, 1884. Enclosure in No.

“On March 9, Sir Evelyn Baring recommended that Zubair should go
up, such a recommendation being in harmony with the policy of
evacuation.”—_Egypt, No. 12, 1884, in 115 & 222._—ED.

[59] This cannot be traced—ED.

[60] Egypt, 1884, Nos. 201-56. See also Egypt, 1884, Nos. 35-166.

[61] Appendix F.

[62] About 180 miles from Kartoum.—ED.

[63] Appendix G.

[64] Appendix E.

[65] Between forty and fifty miles west of Duem.—ED.

[66] A pass about midway between Shendy and Halfeyeh.—ED.

[67] “_London, 12th._—Debates on Egypt, House of Commons, subject
Egypt. Gladstone declined communicate Northbrook’s instructions.
Declared Anglo-French accord dead letter.

“_13th._—Financiers—German, Austrian, Russian—attack England’s
attitude. Conference considered must lead coalition against England.
Fitzmaurice stated British Government not prepared change advice given
Egypt withdraw from Kartoum.

“_13th._—Parliament closed till 15th September. Message hopes mission
Northbrook suggest useful counsels. England will continue to fulfil
public duties imposed upon her by events in Egypt.

“_17th August._—The 88th, 46th, and 56th regiments, with expedition of
19th Hussars and corps of Mounted Infantry, go to Halfa.

“_London, 19th._—General Erle commands expedition Halfa. Buller chief
of staff.”


 “I send you the above as the last public news we have heard. I have
 been appointed Inspector General of the Soudan Telegraph, but at
 present I can’t get beyond Debba to inspect them, as Mr. Hudai has
 captured the Merowi telegraph office, and the Sirdar will not let
 us advance. I am ordered back to Halfa, and am leaving by boat this
 morning. With kind regards to Colonel Stewart,

  “Yours sincerely,
  “E. A. FLOYER.”

  “Debba, 22nd August, 1884.”



 “Can I do anything for you or General Gordon? I should be awfully
 glad if you will let me know. The relief expedition is evidently
 coming up this way, but whether they will go by Berber or attempt the
 direct road from here I do not know. The Mahdi is in a bad way; he has
 abandoned Parfur, and has no reinforcements to send to Kartoum and
 Sennaar, which are asked for.

  “Yours always,

[69] Appendices K and L.

[70] Appendix M.



 “Mr. Egerton has asked me to send you the following:—August 30th.
 Tell Gordon steamers are being passed over second cataracts, and that
 we wish to be informed through Dongola exactly when he expects to be
 in difficulties as to provisions and ammunition.” Message ends, “Lord
 Wolseley is coming out to command. The 35th Regiment is now being
 sent from Halfa to Dongola. Sir E. Wood is at Halfa. General Earle,
 Dormer, Buller, and Freemantle are coming up Nile with troops. I think
 an expedition will be sent across from here to Kartoum, while another
 goes with steamer to Berber. A few words about what you wish done
 would be very acceptable.”


  “Debbeh, August 31st.”


  “Cairo, August 20th, 10.30 P.M.



The following was written on the back of this cipher telegram:—

“Your letters of 13/7/84 and 20/7/84 have been received, and their
contents telegraphed on. The last news here is the 35th Regiment has
been ordered to advance from Halfa to Dongola at once. General Earle
commands expedition, Buller C. of S., Dormer and Freemantle brigades.
All coming up. Lord Wolseley leaves London directly to take over
supreme command. All well here. Mudir working well. No danger. Sir E.
Wood is at Halfa sending on troops.


  “Debbeh, 29th August, 1884.”

[73] Telegram Mudir of Dongola, saying Cairo Government had shown
pressing benevolence for him to evacuate and thus _rivet_ the
“_tombstone_” over Kartoum.—ED.

[74] The two black Pashas condemned to death by court-martial for
treachery on March 20th.

[75] _I.e._, the future of the Soudan.—ED.

[76] _I.e._, 4th Cataract.—ED.

[77] _I.e._, p. 52.—ED.

[78] “In Colonel Coetlogon’s opinion the rebels will retire south
on the approach of the British, and await events. General Gordon
would certainly refuse to go unless the population and garrison were
guaranteed safe departure. The population and garrisons of Kartoum and
Sennaar amount to about 40,000 to 50,000 souls, and it would take two
years to remove them. As the places become evacuated the rebels would
enter and become hostile in front and in the rear.”—_Times, 13 Sept.,

[79] General Gordon proposed to the Government to give to the King of
the Belgians the Bahr Gazelle and Equatorial provinces, and from the
first time he suggested the appointment of Zubair, he had determined to
defend those provinces from all slave raids.—ED.

[80] The Gabra wells are about thirty miles to the north-west of

[81] United Service Club.—ED.

[82] The blanks are General Gordon’s.—ED.

[83] The following extract from Herodotus is pasted on the opposite
side of page in the original journal:—“The spies having seen
everything returned home; and when they reported all they had passed,
Cambyses marched against the Ethiopians without making any provision
for the subsistence of his army, or once considering that he was
going to carry his arms to the remotest parts of the world; but as a
madman and not in possession of his senses, as soon as he heard the
reports of the Icthyophagi he set out on his march ... but before the
army had passed over a fifth part of the way all the provisions were
exhausted, and after the provisions the beasts of burden were eaten.
Now if Cambyses had then led back his army he would have proved himself
a wise man. He, however, went on; but afterwards none, except the
Ammonians, and those who have heard their reports, are able to give
account of them; for they neither reached the Ammonians or returned
back, but the report was that heaps of sand covered them over and they
disappeared.” General Gordon has written against this extract:—“Hicks’
army disappeared. This expedition was made into these lands.”—ED.

[84] General Gordon was under the impression that Colonel Chermside was
at Debbeh, whereas he was, in fact, at Suakin.—ED.

[85] The primary object of the expedition up the Valley of the Nile is
to bring away General Gordon and Colonel Stewart from Kartoum. When
that object has been secured no further offensive operations of any
kind are to be undertaken.—_Egypt, No. 35, 1884; No. 157._—ED.

[86] Upper part of Nubian Desert.—ED.

[87] From British agent and Nubar Pasha to General Gordon, sent 5th May
from Suakin; reached 29th of July.—ED.

[88] Telegram from General Gordon to Sir E. Baring dated Feb. 27, 1884,
says: “You have to say whether the partial evacuation of the Soudan
fulfils your objects,—if it does not, then you must act by Indian
Moslem troops from Wady Halfa; and do so at once by sending detachments
of troops to Wady Halfa.”—_Egypt, No. 12_ (1884), _Enclosure 1_, in
_No. 229_. And again, on Feb. 29, “Should you wish to intervene, send
200 British troops to Wady Halfa and adjutants to inspect Dongola, and
then open up Suakin-Berber road by Indian Moslem troops. This will
cause an immediate collapse of the revolt. Whether you think it worth
while to do this or not you are, of course, the best judge. I can only
tell you the _modus operandi_ of an expeditious intervention. If you
decide against this you may probably have to decide between Zubair and
the Mahdi. Zubair with £100,000.”—_Egypt, No. 12_ (1884), _Enclosure
5, No. 229_.—ED.

[89] “Nineteenth Century,” August, 1877.—ED.

[90] A telegram from Mudir of Dongola says that “on the 24th July,
the Emir Abou Kanga and his army, who had come from Kordofan, were
slaughtered, and that before the messenger quitted Kartoum another
fight occurred, in which the son of Sheikh Sid and his followers were
killed on the 30th August, and the siege raised. This is confirmed
by a letter sent to me by Cassim-el-Mousse Bey, stating that he and
his soldiers were at Halfeyeh, and that the Shaggyeh tribe and people
had come in and tendered their submission.—_Egypt, No. 35, 1884, No.

[91] An oke equals 3½ lbs. troy.—ED.

[92] The position of the garrisons in Darfour, the Bahr-el-Gazelle and
Equatorial provinces renders it impossible that you should take any
action which would facilitate their retreat without extending your
operations far beyond the sphere which Her Majesty’s Government is
prepared to sanction.

As regards the Sennaar garrison, Her Majesty’s Government is not
prepared to sanction the dispatch of an expedition of British troops up
the Blue Nile in order to insure its retreat.

From the last telegrams received from General Gordon, there is reason
to hope that he has already taken steps to withdraw the Egyptian
portion of the Sennaar garrison.

You will use your best endeavours to insure the safe retreat of the
Egyptian troops which constitute the Kartoum garrison, and of such of
the civil employés of Kartoum, together with their families, as may
wish to return to Egypt.

As regards the future government of the Soudan, and especially of
Kartoum, Her Majesty’s Government would be glad to see a Government
at Khartoum which, so far as all matters connected with the internal
administration of the country are concerned, would be wholly
independent of Egypt.—_Lord Wolseley’s Instructions, Egypt, No. 35,
1884, No. 157._—ED.

[93] “I am strongly against any permanent retention of the Soudan, but
I think we ought to leave it with decency, and give the respectable
people a man to lead them, around whom they can rally, and we ought
to support that man by money and by opening road to Berber. Pray do
not consider me in any way to advocate retention of Soudan; I am quite
averse to it, but you must see that you could not recall me nor could I
possibly obey until the Cairo employés get out from all the places. I
have named men to different places, thus involving them with Mahdi; how
could I look the world in the face if I abandoned them and fled? As a
gentleman, could you advise this course? It may have been a mistake to
send me up, but having been done I have no option but to see evacuation
through, for even if I was mean enough to escape I have no power to
do so. You can easily understand this; would you do so? If you were
the people of Khartoum, you would, like they would, make terms with
Mahdi by making me backsheesh Mahdi.”—_Gen. Gordon to Sir E. Baring,
Kartoum, March 3, 1884; Egypt, No. 12, 1884; No. 231._ This telegram,
forwarded by Sir E. Baring to Lord Granville, was received by H. M.
Ministers on March 11, 1884. On April 3 Mr. Gladstone stated in the
House of Commons that “General Gordon was under no orders and under no
restraint to stay at Kartoum.”—ED.

[94] Abdel Kader was then Minister of War. In March 1882, he was
appointed to succeed Raouf Pasha as Governor-General of the Soudan,
and on the 11th of May he reached Kartoum and assumed his duties. He
carried on an active campaign against the Mahdi until March 26th,
1883, when Al-ed-Din Pasha was publicly proclaimed at Kartoum,
Governor-General of the Soudan, in his place. In January 1884 Abdel
Kader was selected by the Egyptian Government as their envoy to
Kartoum. He at first accepted the position and then declined it.
Upon this the Egyptian Government requested Her Majesty’s Government
to select a well-qualified British officer to go to Kartoum instead
of Abdel Kader. General Gordon was the officer selected. Thus, in
suggesting Abdel Kader as his successor, General Gordon was suggesting
the very man whom he had succeeded.—ED.

[95] The instructions conveyed to Lord Wolseley by Her Majesty’s
Government were to the effect that the _primary object of the
expedition was to bring away General Gordon and Colonel Stewart from
Kartoum_. He was moreover enjoined not to advance further southwards
than was absolutely necessary in order to attain _the primary object of
the expedition_.—ED.

[96] It must be borne in mind that when Gordon wrote this he expected
the expedition to reach Kartoum before the middle of November and not
towards the end of January. The strength of the rebels had materially
increased during December and January.—ED.

[97] General Sir Lintorn Simmons, G.C.B.—ED.

[98] “I have ascertained within the last few weeks that the principal
agent in the surrender of the city was not Ferratch Pasha, as
originally stated, but a certain civilian exile from Egypt who had
acted at one time under Arabi as Secretary of the Ministry of Marine. I
know the history of this man well, and can vouch for its accuracy, as
I often heard it at Cairo when I was there. Four years or so ago Awaan
was an honest and zealous employé in the Cadastral Survey under Sir
Auckland Colvin—a service which of all others under the Control was
the most inefficient, and is now acknowledged to have been so. Awaan,
provoked at the waste and mismanagement, one day had the temerity to
draw up a memorandum of what he knew and to send it to his chief. The
answer was his dismissal. He then appealed to the native press—for
there was some liberty in those days—and his grievance made him a
hero; and when Arabi came to power he gave him this place as secretary,
which he held at Alexandria down to the bombardment. I never heard of
his taking any prominent part in the politics of that eventful time,
but on Sir Auckland Colvin’s landing he was among the first persons
arrested. Lord Charles Beresford tried him by one of his courts-martial
and found him guilty of exciting to rebellion, or some such charge.
He was handed over to the Circassian tender mercies, and, after
seventy-four days in irons in the terrible Borgho prison, he was exiled
to Kartoum. He was clearly a political prisoner if ever there was one;
and when Lord Dufferin promised us the amnesty at the compromise of
Arabi’s trial, I wrote to him recommending Awaan’s case to his special
attention, and I have his answer, with a memorandum, curiously enough,
by the very Sir Charles Wilson who was afterwards to reap such bitter
disappointment at his hands. But Lord Dufferin declined to interfere,
and Awaan was left at Kartoum to his revenge. On January 26 it was he
who, with the English again at his gates, negotiated its surrender to
its Arab deliverer.”—_Mr. Wilfred Blunt in a letter to the ‘Times’ of
May 4, 1884._—ED.

[99] “One of the most painful parts of this business is the constant
and continual reports one hears of the intended treachery of this or
that influential man. I have, though greatly tired, kept my faith in
all men, and have resisted any of those measures which never benefit
and which throw widespread alarm throughout the town. Men who belonged
to the beleaguered Shaggyeh and who had been shut up with them escaped
here without arms, saying that the Shaggyeh had gone over to the enemy,
while others would come from them beseeching for aid. I am glad to
say that without exception the people of the town and the troops have
behaved themselves in a most kind and proper way. This binds me not to
leave them until I can do so under Government which would give them
some hope of peace.”—_General Gordon’s telegram to Sir E. Baring,
received at Cairo end of March, 1884. Egypt, No. 12, No. 287._—ED.

[100] To strike with a slipper during a dispute is with Moslems the
greatest insult one man can offer another.—ED.

[101] On Feb. 11th, 1884, General Gordon telegraphed from Berber to Sir
Evelyn Baring: “I would not, if I were supreme, try again any Egyptian
forces at Suakin, but would engage 3000 Turkish troops in British pay.
That would settle the affair. It would be sufficient for the Padishah’s
troops to appear to cause a collapse of all fanatical feeling.”—ED.

[102] “Several telegrams have been sent from press asking about what I
said respecting slaves. The question asked me was this: Did I insist on
the liberation of slaves in 1889 as per Treaty 1877? I answered that
the Treaty would not be enforced in 1889 by me, which, considering
the determination of Her Majesty’s Government respecting Soudan, was
a self-evident fact. The question is one of slave-holding, not of
slave-hunting, and, in my opinion, that Treaty of 1877 will never be
carried out in Cairo as to slave-holding.”—_General Gordon’s telegram
to Sir E. Baring, received at Cairo Feb. 21, 1884, Egypt 12, No.

“Let it be known to you all that I have been appointed, in concert
between the Khedive’s Government and the Government of Great Britain,
Governor-General of the whole Soudan; and the Soudan has now become
an independent State, to govern itself without the intervention of
the Egyptian Government in any way whatever.”—_General Gordon’s
Proclamation to All the Notables and Inhabitants in the Soudan, Feb.
13, 1884._—ED.

[103] General Gordon is here probably quoting the views of Herbin, the
French Consul.—ED.

[104] Though, as shown in a previous note, General Gordon was right
in assuming no expedition would have been sent had he not been in
Kartoum with Stewart, he is also right in saying, “The expedition
comes up to deliver the garrisons,” for the avowed policy declared
in the instructions of Her Majesty’s Government to Lord Wolseley was
that steps were to be taken to insure the safe retreat of the Egyptian
troops and civil employés.—ED.

[105] Court of Enquiry.—ED.

[106] This forecast is in a fair way of being fulfilled.—ED.

[107] It seems pretty clear that this is Olivier Pain.

[108] Not received from the Government with these Journals.

[109] “European Consuls came to me to-day with the question whether
Kartoum was menaced. I replied that it was not so, directly, but that
the road to Berber was threatened. They asked me if I could help them
to go to Berber. I replied ‘Yes.’ There is no doubt that when these
Europeans leave, it will be a most significant sign to the people in
this town and in the provinces that no assistance is likely to come to
Kartoum. Under these circumstances, what do you recommend me to say
in order to neutralise the ill-effects of their departure?—_General
Gordon to Sir Evelyn Baring, Kartoum, March 9, 1884_, 11.30 P.M.
_Egypt, No. 12 (1884), Inclosure in No. 242_.

“You know exactly the position of the different garrisons so far as I
can explain it, and that there is no probability of the people rallying
round me, or of paying any attention to my Proclamation.

“If you mean to make the proposed diversion to Berber (of British
troops), and to accept my proposal as to Zebehr, to instal him in the
Soudan and evacuate, then it is worth while to hold on to Kartoum.

“If, on the other hand, you determine on neither of these steps, then I
can see no use in holding on to Kartoum, for it is impossible for me to
help the other garrisons, and I shall only be sacrificing the whole of
the troops and _employés_ here.

“In this latter case, your instructions to me had better be that I
should evacuate Kartoum, and, with all the employés and troops, remove
the seat of government to Berber. You would understand that such a step
would mean the sacrificing of all outlying places except Berber and

“You must give a prompt reply to this, as even the retreat to Berber
may not be in my power in a few days; and, even if carried out at once,
the retreat will be of extreme difficulty.

“I should have to leave large stores, and nine steamers which cannot go
down. Eventually, some question would arise at Berber and Dongola, and
I may utterly fail in getting the Cairo employés to Berber.

“If I attempt it, I could be responsible only for the attempt to do so.

“Once the Mahdi is in Kartoum, operations against him will be very
arduous, and will not serve Sennaar and Kassala.”

  “_Kartoum, March 9, 1884_, 11.40 P.M.

“If the immediate evacuation of Kartoum is determined upon,
irrespective of outlying towns, I would propose to send down all the
Cairo employés and white troops with Colonel Stewart to Berber, where
he would await your orders. I would also ask Her Majesty’s Government
to accept the resignation of my commission, and I would take all
steamers and stores up to the Equatorial and Bahr Gazelle Provinces,
and consider those provinces as under the King of the Belgians.

“You would be able to retire all Cairo employés and white troops with
Stewart from Berber to Dongola, and thence to Wady Halfa.

“If you, therefore, determine on the immediate evacuation of Kartoum,
this is my idea. If you object, tell me.

“It is the only solution that I can see if the immediate evacuation
of Kartoum, irrespective of the outlying towns, is determined

[110] “I have received your telegram of the 9th inst., informing me
that you have received a letter from General Gordon from which it
appears that that officer contemplates proceeding to Bahr Gazelle and
the Equatorial Provinces. I have to state that Her Majesty’s Government
are of opinion that General Gordon should not at present go beyond
Kartoum.—_Earl Granville to Sir E. Baring, Feb. 11th, 1884. Egypt, No.
12 No. 4._—ED.

[111] Romulus Gessi, who was formerly employed as interpreter at the
headquarters of the army before Sebastopol, and who did such excellent
work against the slave-hunters in the Soudan as General Gordon’s
lieutenant in 1878. Gessi was subsequently appointed Governor of the
Bahr Gazelle, but was obliged to retire owing to the intrigues of Raouf
Pasha. He died at the hospital at Suez in 1881.—ED.

[112] General Gordon’s chief complaint against the Intelligence
Department was that they spent no money in bribing natives to try and
get messages through to Kartoum; had they done so, many, he held, would
have volunteered, and some must have succeeded.—ED.

[113] General Gordon to Sir E. Baring, March 1st.—“_Re_ policy. I
maintain firmly policy of eventual evacuation, but I tell you plainly
it is impossible to get Cairo employés out of Kartoum unless the
Government helps in the way I told you.”—_Inclosure 1 in No. 229, No.
12 in Blue Book No. 12._

Sir Evelyn Baring replies in a telegram dated March 2nd, 1884:—“I have
received your eleven telegrams of the last four days on matters of
general policy. I am most anxious to help and support you in every way,
but find it very difficult to understand exactly what you want. I think
your best plan will be to reconsider the whole question carefully and
then state to me in one telegram what it is you recommend, &c.”

[114] Earl Granville to Mr. Egerton, April, 23rd, 1884:—“Gordon should
be at once informed by several messengers ... that we do not propose to
supply him with Turkish or other force for the purpose of undertaking
military expeditions, such being beyond the scope of the commission he
holds, and at variance with the pacific policy which was the purpose of
his mission to the Soudan; that, if with this knowledge, he continues
at Kartoum, he should state to us the cause and intention with which he
so continues.”—_Egypt, No. 12 (1884), No. 36._—ED.

[115] Supposed remarks of British soldiers crossing the desert upon

[116] Saddles.—ED.

[117] Allusion to images produced on the retina by an excited or
exhausted brain.—ED.

[118] See Appendix, “The Insurrection of the False Prophet.”

[119] Goba is on the right bank of the Blue Nile, to the north of Tuti
Island, and within two miles of Kartoum.—ED.

[120] See p. 141.

[121] Appendix P.

[122] It would be interesting if some Member of Parliament would ask
Her Majesty’s Government for information on this subject.—ED.

[123] Appendix P.

[124] _I.e._, the priest.—ED.

[125] Appendix Q.

[126] Many of General Gordon’s “instincts” have been no less remarkable
than many of his escapes. In a telegram to Sir Evelyn Baring, dated
March 1st, he said, “I will do my best to carry out my instructions,
but feel convinced I shall be caught in Kartoum.”—ED.

[127] It is worth while to note how readily Her Majesty’s Government,
who had declined all General Gordon’s suggestions while he lived,
accepted this posthumous piece of advice.—ED.

[128] In his ‘Wild Tribes of the Soudan,’ Mr. F. L. James gives an
account of how he and his party were treated by Ala-ed-Deen and the Bey
at Senheit. This Bey was no other than Ferratch Pasha, who is said to
have opened the gates of Kartoum. “We had engaged camels at Senheit,”
says Mr. James, “for some weeks’ shooting in the vicinity. On our
return, a steamer was leaving Massowah for Suez, which we could only
catch by taking the same camels on to the coast. Our Shaggyeh drivers
objected, saying the road to the sea was out of their country, and
their camels were tired—perfectly valid excuses. We offered them half
as much again as the proper fare, but they still demurred, fearing
that the Governor of Massowa would take their camels, make them carry
for the Government, and probably never pay them. On obtaining a letter
for the Bey at Senheit (Ferratch), asking (as we fondly imagined)
Ala-ed-Deen, who was at that time Governor of Massowah, to let them go
free, they consented to accompany us. On our arrival we presented the
letter, which, we found, merely stated that the garrison of Senheit was
in want of salt, and that he had better load up the camels with some,
and return them to him.”—ED.

[129] Appendix Q.

[130] The Mahdi declared that the Archangel Gabriel had twice appeared
to him and commanded him to unsheath the sword of faith in order to
reform the bad Moslem and to found a Mussulman Empire which would be
followed by universal peace.—ED.

[131] The action of Her Majesty’s Government had now raised the
question in General Gordon’s mind as to whether he was justified in
punishing any of the inhabitants of Kartoum who were _hedging_ with the
Mahdi. He was almost disposed to let them _hedge_ if it gave them a
better chance of their lives.—ED.

[132] Appendix R.

[133] Hansall.—ED.

[134] These distinctions are in satirical allusion to some mistake made
at the Foreign Office.—ED.

[135] Appendix S.

[136] There is a good-natured, and half playful ring about these
orders, but the fact must not be overlooked that they are distinct
commands. General Gordon, while Governor-General of the Soudan, had
the right to issue orders to anyone in the Soudan, and no one was more
cognizant of this right than he.—ED.

[137] The arrests of the Mudir, Cadi, Sheikh el Islam, &c., who were
supposed to be in communication with the Mahdi.—ED.

[138] _I.e._, Chief of Expeditionary Force.—ED.

[139] Appendix Q.

[140] Appendix Q.

[141] Appendix R.

[142] Eight pages of the diary were cut out.—ED.

[143] General Gordon has just stated that a letter received from the
Greek Consul, dated 17th of August, contained more news than one he
received, dated 31st of August, from an officer in Her Majesty’s
service. He then goes on to say he sees now (_i.e._, after reading the
Greek Consul’s letter) why he was kept in the dark.—ED.

[144] Sir Gerald Graham’s despatch.—ED.

[145] “King John issued an edict that if any of his subjects were found
smoking they should lose hand and foot. General Gordon in his notes
on Abyssinia in 1879, said: ‘I write in haste, but I will sum up my
impression of Abyssinia. The king is rapidly growing mad. He cuts off
the noses of those who take snuff, and the lips of those who smoke. The
king is hated more than Theodore was. Cruel to a degree, he does not,
however, take life. He cuts off the feet and hands of people who offend
him. He puts out their eyes by pouring hot tallow into their ears. No
one can travel without the king’s order if he is a foreigner. You can
buy nothing without his order; no one will shelter you without his
order—in fact no more complete despotism could exist.’

       *       *       *       *       *

“The cruelties the king and his people committed were atrocious. Forty
Soudan soldiers were mutilated altogether, and sent to Bogos with the
message that, if His Highness the Khedive wanted eunuchs he could have
these.”—_Hill’s Colonel Gordon in Central Africa_, pp. 421-423.—ED.

[146] Mr. F. L. James in his ‘Wild Tribes of the Soudan,’ gives an
excellent and interesting account of this mission station, p. 210,

[147] Twaddle.—ED.

[148] Ismail, the Ex-Khedive, who knew King John well, said to General
Gordon, “Never go near him, it is perfectly useless.”— ED.

[149] Of course General Gordon’s contention throughout is that giving
Kassala, Katarif, Galabat and Bogos, to the King of Abyssinia, is in
fact precisely the same thing as abandoning those places.—ED.

[150] Here a page has been cut out by General Gordon himself.—ED.

[151] Appendix U, _a_.

[152] Appendix U, _c_.

[153] U, _b_.

[154] U, _d_.

[155] The Austrian Consul.—ED.

[156] When a Christian becomes a Mahommedan he has to take a Mahommedan

[157] General Gordon is here evidently thinking of Gessi’s glorious
campaign against Suleiman.—ED.

[158] The Black Watch started from Cairo for Wady Halfa on September
23rd. The Mounted Infantry reached Deel on September 24th, and 150
men under Daubeny got as far as Tangoor on the 26th. The first steam
pinnace arrived at Sarras, which is about twenty miles above the second
cataract, on September 26th. Lord Wolseley did not reach Wady Halfa
until October 5th.—ED.

[159] The paper referred to is the French extract just given.—ED.

[160] _Sir E. Baring to Earl Granville (received March 5th)._

“General Gordon has on several occasions pressed for 200 British troops
to be sent to Wady Halfa. I agree with the military authorities in
thinking that it would not be desirable to comply with this request.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Sir Evelyn Baring to Earl Granville (received March 4th)._

“General Gordon and Colonel Stewart strongly urge the desirability,
from the point of view of the success of their present mission, of
opening up the Berber-Suakin route.... I cannot agree with the proposal
mentioned in Colonel Stewart’s telegram, that a force of British or
Indian cavalry should be sent through for Suakin to Berber.”—_Egypt
No. 12 (1884). No. 205._—ED.

[161] Gordon’s intention and desire was to have taken the steamers
to the Bahr Gazelle, and to have protected that country against the

[162] The fact that the Fellaheen were dragged in chains from their
huts, and kept in chains in the streets of Cairo, is well known.—ED.

[163] General Gordon intends H.M. Government to understand by this
statement, that, in the position of a Major-General in H.M. service,
he would give all his services to the retreating expedition, were he
ordered to do so, though such an order would be most unwelcome; but
that he would do nothing of the kind until some one replaced him as
Governor-General. He is really applying to himself the remarks he made
a few pages back: “In military affairs it is different: one is ordered
to go here and there, and one obeys (even if one thinks it unwise,
having represented it), but in diplomacy there is no such call.”—ED.

[164] Up to the present we have neither given the Soudan to the Turks
nor have we established Zubair as Governor-General, but we have had
“_a deal of worry and danger_,” and the campaign has been “_entirely
unprofitable and devoid of prestige_.”—ED.

[165] We are at present not only in strict blockade on the land side of
Suakin, but absolutely besieged.—ED.

[166] Barges.—ED.

[167] Appendix T.


  _Sir Evelyn Baring to Earl Granville._

  Cairo, February 28th, 1884.

“I have the honour to report to your Lordship that, although I did not
specially consult General Gordon on the subject of sending British
troops to Assouan, he telegraphs to me that if 100 British troops were
sent to Assouan or Wady Halfa, they would run no more risk than Nile
tourists, and would have the best effect.... I certainly would not risk
sending so small a body as 100 men.”—_Egypt No. 12, No. 170._—ED.

[169] The foregoing portion of the Journal is written on tissue

[170] This part of the Journal is written on telegraph forms.—ED.

[171] Captured at Berber by the Arabs.—ED.

[172] General Gordon asks in an undated telegram, written after the
fall of Berber: “Is it right that I should have been sent to Kartoum
with only seven followers, after the destruction of Hicks’ army, and no
attention paid to me till communications were cut?”—ED.

[173] Formerly General Gordon’s under secretary and secretary. He was
of old and good family, and greatly respected by General Gordon, who
said in 1879: “A few men like Berzati Bey would regenerate Egypt, but
they are rare.”—ED.

[174] Two of these horses returned to-day; as I expect the riders threw
themselves off and let their horses loose, and that, too, at a distance
so great that the Arabs did not see them!!!

[175] I am going to make them pay for twenty-two of the Remingtons,
for it appears doubtful if they were captured, inasmuch as to-day they
asked me to send the steamer down to look for them. I expect the men
simply threw them down and bolted upon the appearance of the Arabs.

[176] See map on opposite page.—ED.

[177] It was about this date that the recall of Lord Wolseley was
generally rumoured at home and abroad. On the 10th of October this
rumoured recall was officially contradicted. The ‘Times,’ however,
said: “We have every confidence in the veracity and good information of
our correspondent, but so incredible did his statement seem at first
sight that we have made further inquiries, in order to be quite sure
there was no mistake in its transmission.”—ED.

[178] It is interesting to note how often General Gordon breaks away
abruptly from a subject which is irritating him, and deals with one
which has a touch of humour in it. He never does this when he is
discussing or explaining any particular point; it is only when he is
thoroughly annoyed with his subject that he suddenly leaves it.—ED.

[179] General Gordon was in the habit of passing a great part of the
day and of the night on the roof of his palace.—ED.

[180] Appendix V.

[181] Massowah is only 466 miles from Kartoum, and less than half that
distance from Kassala.—ED.

[182] _i.e._ In mutiny or a stampede to the Mahdi. “The belly governs
the whole world.”—ED.

[183] Here again General Gordon is really angry, and breaks off with a
humorous touch about his black soldiers, so that he may, as it were,
hold himself in.—ED.

[184] Appendix X.

[185] List of Greeks who went in the steamer _Abbas_, 10 Sept. ‘84.

  Demitrios Kapnoulas.              Demosthen Kapilos.
  George Kepetzakos.                Demitrios Georgopoulos.
  Herial Bolanaki.                  George Kontis.
  Alexandre Genacari.               Xenophon Apostolidis.
  Nasum Abagui.                     George Tantzos.
  Nessim Morinos.                   Jean Stergiou.
  Demitrios Perdicakis.             Nicolas Kouvaras.
  Michel Nomikos.                   Jean Dermitrzakis.
  Stauros Papadakis.                Michel Chatzi Christodoulou.
  Jean Prospion.

[186] Appendix X.

[187] See Mahdi’s remarks upon this in Appendix U.

[188] It is impossible to read this without a feeling of admiration for
the thorough way in which General Gordon examined into the minutest
details of everything himself. Every precaution human foresight could
conceive he took to ensure the safety of the _Abbas_ and her crew;
having done this, her _fate_ was in higher hands than his.—ED.

[189] Compare General Gordon’s account with the account given by
the Mudir of Dongola:—“A certain Faki Walad Ahmet, who appears
trustworthy, has arrived here, stating that he has heard that after
General Gordon’s return to Kartoum a steamer, with forty men on board,
partly Europeans and partly Egyptians, besides five negroes and three
servants, arrived at Salamat, where she ran aground, but did not
founder. The population, aware of the fate of Berber, and being much
alarmed, several persons from the steamer went ashore in order to
reassure the natives, declaring that they had not come to make war,
but to purchase camels in order to cross the desert to Merawi. The
Sheikhs Soliman and Abu Noman, and the uncle of Faki Osman, agreed
to see to their conveyance, and provided a guide, who was to conduct
the party. Those on board were so pleased with this attention that
they presented one of the Sheikhs with a gold sword, the uncle with a
silver sword, and the guide with a rich dress, whereupon the Sheikhs
requested them to leave the steamer and accept their hospitality until
preparations had been completed for crossing the desert. The invitation
was accepted, and the party entered a house, where they were all
massacred. The Sheikhs afterwards returned to the steamer and killed
most of them on board. Of forty persons only fourteen were spared, and
these were taken prisoners.” The Sub-Mudir, not knowing if there were
any Europeans among the survivors, had sent messengers for further

[190] _i.e._, details of the fighting strength of the _Abbas_.—ED.

[191] Who came in.

[192] _i.e._, collected them from the different offices and officials
in Kartoum. They have not been given over by the Government.— ED.

NOTE.—On the opposite page is an extract from Lord Lytton’s speech,
cut from one of the papers: “Ask General Gordon, if he ever comes
safely home to us, what he and his still unrescued garrison have
learned to think of the high sense of national honour, the chivalrous
courage, the unflinching good faith of Mr. Gladstone and his Radical
Cabinet.” (Three cheers were given for Gordon.)—ED.

[193] Appendix Y.

[194] That is to say, the men were depressed by the apparent remoteness
of their chance of escape.—ED.

[195] Egypt, ‘84, No. 22.

[196] On the page opposite the one which contains this paragraph
General Gordon has pasted cuttings from the paper to which he alludes.
One of these cuttings says, “An official telegram received here from
Wady Halfa states that, owing to the unprecedented lowness of the Nile,
no confidence is felt in the practicability of hauling boats over the
cataracts till the end of September.” General Gordon’s comment written
against this is, “It was not a low Nile—it was an average Nile, only
you were _too late_.”— ED.

[197] _See_ ‘Ismailia,’ vol. i., p. 31.—ED.

[198] General Gordon has already fully explained wherein the
responsibility of Her Majesty’s Government towards the Soudan lies.—ED.

[199] Colonel Harrison, C.B., C.M.G., R.E.—ED.

[200] At this point General Gordon refers to the newspaper cuttings he
has made and pasted in on the opposite page. The first reference is a
comment on a telegram in the _Standard_, dated Suakin, August 30th,
which runs as follows: “The _Jaffariyeh_ overtook _not far_ to the
_south_ of Suakin the three dhows _recently captured_ by the rebels.
The latter on being overtaken ran the boats aground, and escaped
inland. The crew of the _Jaffariyeh_ subsequently burned the dhows.”
The italics are General Gordon’s. (_b_) refers to a further telegram
headed “Rebellion in Arabia,” and dated Constantinople, Sunday night:
“Fighting still going on in the Hedjaz between the Ottoman troops
and the Arab tribes which have revolted against the authority of the
Sultan’s Government. Matters must be considered somewhat serious by
the Porte, for the Government have decided to despatch to the seat
of disturbance further reinforcements of Imperial troops to the
extent of some two thousand, &c.” In an account in a London paper of
the departure of Lords Northbrook and Wolseley, General Gordon has
marked certain penny-a-line passages, and in all cases where “Gordon
Relief Expedition” occurs, he has drawn his pen through this and all
expressions indicating that the Expeditionary Force comes to his

[201] Suakin was at this time besieged on the land side.—ED.

[202] The lines extended from the Blue to the White Nile, _i.e._ from
Bourré to the Mogrim Fort.—ED.

[203] General Gordon had great admiration and affection for the Black

[204] _Baring to Lord Granville, March 6th, 1884._

“With reference to General Graham’s message communicated to Her
Majesty’s Secretary of State for War relative to the opening out of the
Berber-Suakin route, I wish to say that I do not recommend any English
troops being sent to Berber.”—_Egypt, No. 12, 1884, No. 214._

[205] _i.e._ to be removed from my position as Governor-General.—ED.

[206] “In fact, things are not serious, although they may become so if
delay occurs in sending Zebehr (Zubair). My weakness is that of being
foreign and Christian and peaceful; and it is only by sending Zebehr
that prejudice can be removed.”—_General Gordon to Sir E. Baring,
Kartoum, March 4th, 1884. Egypt, No. 12. Enclosure 5, in No. 202._

[207] See accounts of slave hunting in the Bahr Gazelle, App. U, _b_.

[208] _I.e._ driving the cows down with the view to their exploding the

[209] The steamers General Gordon sent to Metemma to assist the
relieving force.—ED.


  _Sir E. Baring to Lord Granville._

  “Cairo, March 13th, 1884.

“I have instructed him (General Gordon) to hold on at Kartoum, until
I can communicate further with Her Majesty’s Government, and have
told him that he should on no account proceed to the Bahr Gazelle and
Equatorial Provinces.”—_Egypt_, 1884, Nos. 12-242.—ED.

[211] The English Government has, in the most liberal manner, stated
it will meet any bills that General Gordon may have drawn upon it on
his private account, and of which General Gordon has given a list. The
Egyptian Government has acted in a similar manner with regard to moneys
spent by General Gordon at Kartoum.—ED.

[212] _i.e._ the Viziers.—ED.

[213] Whenever General Gordon deals with this subject, he shows how
thoroughly angry he is, and his anger increases as he proceeds. Hence
the frequent reiterations of his resolve not to leave.—ED.

[214] Briefly summarised, what General Gordon says is: “If the
expeditionary force has come for me alone, I will not return with it:
it may go back, while I will remain here as Governor-General, and make
the best use I can of the war material which belongs to me while I hold
that position. If I am removed from that position by a Firman from the
Khedive, I will still remain here, in a private capacity, and devote
my life and energy to those people who have devoted their lives to

[215] Not received from the Government.

[216] Appendix Y.

[217] The Firman of Towfik respecting the troops withdrawing,
which Gordon received 24th January, 1884, and which he did not

[218] It is important there should be no misconstruction placed on
these words. Had General Gordon thought their death would benefit
the Soudan, he would never have said when he urged their going down,
“If you go, you do me a great service, _i.e._ do the Soudan a great
service.” When he said, “I dare not, with my views, say their death
is an evil,” he merely meant, “I dare not say that two brave, just,
upright men are not happier in the future life than in the present

[219] General Gordon means, in my opinion, “Fairly just in his
political views.” Herbin was the Editor of the _Bosphore Égyptien_.—ED.

[220] This refers to a telegram sent by Colonel Coetlogon to Colonel
Fraser Floyer, at Wady Halfa, at the above date, which runs: “No fresh
news. Anxiously awaiting reinforcements.” Underneath this General
Gordon has written: “If Coetlogon had only been then informed that
there was no intention to send reinforcements (further than nine
persons) for (nearly) a year!”—ED.

[221] Major Kitchener did not know it himself

[222] A soldier previously mentioned, who was thought to have

[223] This recovery of biscuit enabled General Gordon to hold Kartoum
until the gates were treacherously opened to the enemy.—ED.

[224] _Vide_ General Graham’s despatch in _re_ Black Watch.—ED.

[225] Fort Mogrim.—ED.

[226] I expect that this story of _Ismailia_ being again struck twice
is a fib!

[227] _i.e._ 1,200 yards.—ED.

[228] Goba is rather more than a mile from the Palace of Kartoum.—ED.

[229] _i.e._ to escape the guns of the North Fort.—ED.

[230] _i.e._ mounted Arabs.—ED.

[231] _i.e._ it would have been possible had the force started

[232] _i.e._ a bedstead.—ED.

[233] Not because General Gordon held Zubair in esteem, but as a record
of how often he had asked for his presence, and of how closely his
absence was connected with the welfare of the Soudan.—ED.

[234] “The Committee are unanimous in the feeling that countenance in
any shape for such an individual (_i.e._ Zubair) would be a degradation
to England and a scandal to Europe.”—_Mr. Sturge to Earl Granville,
British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, March 10th, 1884._—ED.

[235] _i.e._ Zubair would have been able to obtain it for me.—ED.

[236] “You will bear in mind the main end to be pursued is the
evacuation of the Soudan.

“In undertaking this difficult task which now lies before you, you
may feel assured that no effort will be wanting on the part of the
Cairo authorities, whether English or Egyptian, to afford you all
the co-operation and support in their power.”—_Sir E. Baring to
Major-General Gordon, Inclosure in Egypt No 6._—ED.

[237] General Gordon has here drawn his pen through some dozen lines of
his journal.—ED.

[238] Patriotism does not consist in obedience to an existing
Government, but in love of one’s country, and in devotion to its public
interest and welfare.—ED.

[239] _i.e._ Her Majesty’s Government declined to send troops to the
Soudan, yet ordered Egypt to evacuate it, and would not permit Turkish
troops to assist her.—ED.

[240] Showing how thoroughly they trusted General Gordon.—ED.

[241] See Appendix upon the insurrection of the False Prophet.—ED.

[242] These have not been handed over by the Government.—ED.

[243] If they deserted.—ED.

[244] Here succeed some dozen lines through which General Gordon has
drawn his pen. Underneath is written “Abuse of Baring & Co.”—ED.

[245] Sir E. Baring, in writing to General Gordon on the instructions
of H. M. Government conveyed to him, says: “You will bear in mind the
main end to be pursued is the _evacuation of the Soudan_.”—_Enclosure,
in Egypt No. 6._ Sir E. Baring does not say, “the evacuation of Kartoum
and the abandonment of all the other garrisons in the Soudan.”—ED.

[246] That is to say, the expeditionary force was 185 miles further
from Kartoum than General Gordon expected it to be.—ED.

[247] General Gordon marks on back of this telegram, which is one of
three, “Telegraph of which Colonel Stewart has the key.”

[248] Appendix Y.

[249] The one alluded to in former paragraph.

[250] See last page.

[251] This account of Major Kitchener is in a letter from General
Baker. General Gordon has cut out the portion of the original letter,
and has pasted it in the body of his journal.—ED.

[252] _i.e._ coming up on a camel.—ED.

[253] There is some significance in this. The Mahdi in all probability
knew General Gordon had recommended Turkish troops being dispatched to
the Soudan, and felt he could not hold the country against them, if
they came.—ED.

[254] They were two of the sixteen General Gordon imprisoned for
conspiring with the Mahdi.—ED.

[255] _i.e._ the way in which this battery was directed towards that
part of the Palace which the Arabs knew General Gordon inhabited.—ED.

[256] That is to say, either those who are being robbed and cheated
will in their own interest be forced to give up the town to the enemy,
or the robbers and cheats will be bought over by the Mahdi.—ED.

[257] “It is rather amusing to see the _personality_ of this Arab
battery:” p. 42.—ED.

[258] General Gordon here declines to fight the Khedive’s ministerial

[259] _i.e._ General Gordon.—ED.

[260] Title of the Book, ‘The Dissipation of Gloom from all
(Mohammedan) Peoples.’

[261] The Moslems say that the Koran was sent down, every word of it,
by the Angel Gabriel to Mahomed.

[262] This verse is considered to be the _completion_ of God’s final
Revelation through Mahomed.

[263] The Hadiths—the authorised traditional sayings of Mahomed and
those brought down by Gabriel.

[264] In Arabic writing quotation marks are not used, but, at the end
of the quotation, they append the words, “End of his words.”

[265] Saadat—“Felicity”—is used as title of honour, and cannot, of
course, be properly used for one who is a Kāfir and under Divine wrath.

[266] “Peace be on him” (on whom be peace), the usual formula of
salutation to a true believer if alive, and used of prophets when their
names are mentioned.

[267] Prince of the Faith—literally, axis or pole.

[268] The argument here rests upon the duty of avoiding force in
dealing with brother Moslems, and of using persuasion only.

[269] The argument here is that true believers are sometimes killed,
though in the right, as the Israelites were by Nebuchadnezzar.

[270] “Yellow-haired Greeks”—the ancient phrase here applied as
“Children of the Yellow (race),” the yellow-haired Russians being meant.

[271] The intention of the writer seems to be to convey reproach of
the Government authorities in Cairo, who were responsible for the fate
of the army and his own desperate condition. But he seems unwilling to
utter a word inconsistent with Moslem resignation or the loyalty of a
soldier, though the detachment to which he belonged had been exposed to

[272] The latest accounts from the Soudan state that Ibn en Najoomi has
quarrelled with Mahomed el Khair on account of his peculations.

[273] Query—Does this refer to a veil such as dervishes wear, which
was sent to a renegade by the Mahdi?

[274] Reference is here made to the earthquake mentioned in a former
letter, as being prepared by Gordon.

[275] Evidently a wrong enclosure had been put in by General Gordon.

[276] Slatin’s new name.

[277] This document came down with the fourth Journal. It was compiled
in the Intelligence Branch, Quartermaster-General’s Department of the
War Office.

[278] Powerful nomad tribes inhabiting the country west of the White
Nile, and south east of Kordofan and Darfur.

[279] A body corresponding to the Divines in Christendom, who are
appealed to by the Sultan respecting the right application of precepts
of the Moslem faith, and their decision is known as a _fetua_.

[280] This opinion hardly agrees with that of a military correspondent
of the _Times_, who, writing from Kartoum, on the 24th July, 1883,
states that to preserve tranquillity at ordinary times, 9,000 troops,
exclusive of the garrison of Kartoum, would be necessary, even
supposing the provinces of Kordofan and Darfur to be abandoned, as has
been recommended by several high authorities. He suggests that the
9,000 troops should be distributed as follows—viz., 4,000 between
Kartoum and Jebel Ain, on both sides of the White Nile, 1,000 at
Fashoda to keep the Denka tribes and Shilluks in order, and 4,000 on
the Blue Nile, between Kartoum and Karkoj.

[281] South of Kordofan. This district is principally inhabited by
negro tribes, with a king of their own, nominally subject to Kordofan.

[282] About 150 miles north-west of Kaka on the White Nile.

[283] A tribe above Korti, on the left bank of the Nile.

[284] An Italian of great force of character. He joined Colonel
Gordon’s Staff in the summer of 1874, and subsequently became Governor
of the Bahr-el-Ghazāl province.

[285] A district on the Abyssinian frontier near the sources of the

[286] Sometimes called Suk-abu-Sin.

[287] Above Sennaar on the Blue Nile.

[288] A negro tribe, numbering nearly a million souls, inhabiting the
banks of the White Nile for 200 miles northwards from the mouth of the
Ghazal river.

[289] A powerful Arab tribe, living in the country between the Atbara
and Kartoum.

[290] Capital of Kordofan.

[291] A large town in the south of Darfur.

[292] A district south of Kordofan.

[293] A district called by the Abysrians Bogos, on the road between
Kassala and Massowah.

[294] A pretty town, with a good supply of water, and surrounded by
excellent gardens.

[295] One ardeb = 5⅗ bushels.

[296] A kind of maize.

[297] The information concerning the events of the rebellion up to
the arrival of Lieut.-Colonel Stewart at Kartoum, is derived almost
entirely from native sources, and it is consequently impossible to put
much reliance on the statements as to the extent of the losses in the
various engagements. It is even difficult to ascertain the correct
dates of the principal events. Some accounts state that the assaults on
El Obeyed took place on the 4th, 5th and 6th September.

[298] South of the country of the Baggara Arabs, and west of Bahr

[299] Bara is due north of Obeyed.

[300] The Fakirs are learned pious men. The Dervishes are their

[301] The junction between the 1st Battalion and Abdel Kader’s force
was to have taken place on the 15th January, but, for some reason or
other, it did not take place till Abdel Kader’s arrival at Kawa on the
1st February.

[302] An Arab tribe inhabiting the country between Sennaar and Fazokl.

[303] Sometimes written El Gerazeh or Qurassa. A village on the right
bank of the White Nile.

[304] Deputy Governor.

[305] Major.

[306] Lieutenant-Colonel.

[307] Sometimes written Goz Abou Goumeh.

[308] On the left bank of the Nile near Old Dongola.

[309] One ardeb = 5⅗ bushels.

[310] Number not stated.

[311] Late Bombay Staff Corps.

[312] Late 11th Foot.

[313] Late 70th Foot.

[314] Late Captain of Baker’s Horse in South Africa.

[315] Late Guards, and subsequently 15th Foot.

[316] Late Duke of Cambridge’s Own Middlesex Regiment.

[317] Late the Buffs, East Kent Regiment.

[318] Two of the battalions were those of the 2nd Regiment, which had
been ordered by Abdel Kader Pasha to operate against the rebels at
Abu-Djuma, but they had done absolutely nothing. It is not known to
what regiments the other battalions belonged, and whether they had all
been sent up from Kartoum, or if part of the 1st Regiment had been
withdrawn from Sennaar. Owing to the hostility of the Hassanieh Arabs
it had been necessary to reinforce the garrison of Duem by a battalion,
and 2000 troops remained in reserve at the camp of Omdurman.

[319] The column had then marched about five miles, and was close to
the village of Marabiyeh.

[320] The troops both marched and fought, formed up in square, with
camels and baggage in the centre, and a few mounted Bashi Bazouks and
men on dromedaries in front to feel the way. In this formation the army
could hardly accomplish eight miles a day, six being the usual march,
and it could, consequently, only strike a blow when and where the enemy

[321] The Nordenfeldts were placed at the angles of the square, and the
guns in the faces. Owing to obstacles thrown in the way by Suleiman
Pasha, who was nominally in chief command, General Hicks had great
difficulty in getting any of them to open fire.

[322] At the battle of Marabiyeh, as the engagement of the 29th April
is called, the Egyptians were formed in four ranks, but the front rank
was never made to lie down, and the fourth or rear rank, not being able
to reach over three men’s shoulders, fired their rifles up into the air.

[323] Of the English officers, Colonels Colborne and de Coetlogan had
marched with the army from Kawa, Colonel Farquhar, Captains Massey
and Evans, and Dr. Rosenberg had accompanied General Hicks on his
reconnaissance up the river.

The others were not present at the battle of Marabiyeh. Major Martin
and Captain Walker had been invalided home, and Major Warner was with
Hussein Pasha on the Blue Nile.

[324] Sixteen miles below Dueim.

[325] Bara is nearer the Nile than El Obeyed, and in a fertile country,
from which General Hicks hoped to be able to procure some supplies.

[326] The distance between Duem and Kartoum is about 110 miles.

[327] The other English officers with the Expeditionary Force are
Colonel Farquhar, Chief of the Staff; Majors Warner, Massey, and Evans;
Captains Heath and Walker, and Surgeon-Major Rosenburg. In addition to
these, there are several Austrians and Germans. Colonel de Coetlogon
remains at Kartoum, and Colonel Colborne and Major Martin have been
invalided home.

[328] On the road from Suakin to Berber, situated in a valley about
three miles in breadth, enclosed by mountains. Many of the inhabitants
of Suakin live there during the hot season.

[329] The lofty mountains of Erkowit lie 20 to 30 miles south-east of
Sinkat. Erkowit is another summer retreat for the people of Suakin.

[330] Tokar is a small town in the centre of a great grain-producing
district. It is a penal settlement for Suakin, from which it is about
45 miles distant.

[331] Commander Lynedoch Needham Moncrieff entered the Royal Navy in
1863, and in February 1865, while Sub-Lieutenant of the _Peloros_, was
engaged in the destruction of piratical junks in Tungroa Bay. He became
Lieutenant in July 1865, and retired with the rank of Commander in
1873. Proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope on the outbreak of the Zulu
war, Commander Moncrieff served with the 2nd battalion of the Native
Contingent from May 1879 till the close of the campaign, during which
he was engaged in the battle of Ulundi, where he was slightly wounded,
afterwards having Commissariat charge at Fort Cambridge. His services
were officially commended at the close of the campaign. In January
1880, the deceased officer was nominated Consul at Cayenne, and, having
passed the examination, was, on the 4th of March, 1880, appointed
Consul for French Guiana, to reside at Cayenne, but did not proceed
thither, being shortly afterwards sent as acting Consul to Jeddah. He
was appointed Consul at Suakin on the 1st of April, 1882, the post
being worth 750_l_. per annum, besides an annual allowance of 250_l._
for office expenses. Commander Moncrieff received the silver medal of
the Royal Humane Society for saving life at sea in 1864.

[332] On the left bank of the White Nile, opposite Kartoum.

[333] After leaving Duem, the formation, with the camels in the centre
of the square, appears to have been adopted.

[334] An important town in Kordofan, north of El Obeyed.

[335] From information received, the army appears to have arrived
at Sangi Hamferid about the 1st October, and not on the date before
mentioned—7th October.

[336] Duem to Melbeis—total 251 miles. These distances are only

[337] The existence of these two despatches was not known to Sir
E. Baring till they appeared in the ‘Egyptian Gazette’ of the 27th
November. Chérif Pasha had previously informed him that nothing had
been heard of General Hicks since the 27th September, the date on which
he started from Duem. Chérif Pasha subsequently admitted that he was
mistaken in making that statement.

[338] The undermentioned European officers are believed to have
perished, viz.—Lieut.-General Hicks, Colonel Farquhar, Majors Warner,
Massey, Evans, Alfred Freiherr von Seckendorff, Captains Arthur Herlth,
and Alexander Matyuga, Lieut. Morris Brody, late Sergeant-Major
R.H.A., Surgeon-General Georges Bey, and Surgeon-Major Rosenberg.
And with them, Al-ed-Deen Pasha, Governor-General of the Soudan, and
many Egyptian officers of high rank. Mr. O’Donovan and Mr. Vizetelly,
newspaper correspondents who accompanied the expedition, have not since
been heard of.

[339] The Paris _Temps_ of 23rd November, 1883, states that the Mahdi’s
forces are organised and comm