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Henderson's Missing Second Sentence About Chelmsford
Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 93
Location: U.K.
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I'm aware Lt. Henderson wrote a very damning comment on Col. Durnford at Isandhlwana, which has been used to darken the latter's mindset on the day, but curiously, to this member's knowledge, the second sentence wasn't included about Lord Chelmsford -

Alfred wrote again three days later with further details: I wrote you the other day to say that I had got out of the fight the other day. I have not as yet heard anything about George. If I had known what sort of a man Durnford was (when he got into action) I dont think I would have gone with him. He was close to me during most of the fight and he lost his head altogether in fact he did not know what to do. The General was (I think) a good deal to blame as he left the camp in such a bad place to defend. As far as I can make out there are about 700 killed white and black. They say there were about 20,000 Zulus and I think there must have been quite that number. We shot hundreds of them but it seemed to make no impression they still came on. Here we are now with nothing, all I saved was my mackintosh which was on the saddle. I have got one shilling left today. We have got to patrol the country with my troop and the Edendale troop, the only ones left...

So instead of just using the first sentence as a criticism of Durnford (his own view as a survivor) in books, the second points towards the bigger issue of camp placement, by someone who was there, strangely not included in Henderson's quotes in (some) source(s).

So someone other than Lt. Melvill was well aware of the poor siting of the camp to mention it in a letter.


Last edited by Colin on Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1371
Location: Wales
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Surely out of the other 50 odd escapees from the battle there were other accounts and opinions? I don't off hand recall any.

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Henderson's Missing Second Sentence About Chelmsford
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