Zulu War. Blood River. Striking tents, 1879-01-18
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The 18th January 1879, orders came from Colonel Wood at 7 a.m. to strike tents, break up camp, and form in line of march to advance into Zululand, so at 10 a.m. the Column was formed No.4 and the march commenced. It was a pretty sight to see the troops as they advanced with bands playing, with the long line of waggons, 160 in all, with 2,400 trek oxen. This small army was composed of 900 of the 90th Regiment under Colonel Wood who commanded the Column, 800 of the 13th Regiment under Colonel Gilbert and Major England, 112 Artillery men with six guns under Major Trimlett, R.A., and 50 horses. 350 Frontier Light Horse and 400 horses, under Major R. BuIler. 50 Dutch Boers and 50 horses under Piet. 2,210 British soldiers. 1,000 Swazi contingent, some 50 of which were mounted armed. 3,210 Fighting men. After, came the Hospital staff, Engineers and Transport Officers, ambulance, wagons, &c., &c., with my and other waggons, 16 in all. Take the road to the interior, the Column as it marched extended nearly 2 miles in length. See sketch. This sketch shows the tents as they were being struck, while I was taking breakfast with Captain Purse and Lieut. Clark of the 13th Regiment.
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