This history provides a comprehensive account of events that ultimately led to the clashes at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift in January 1879. Here is the history of the area that became known as ‘The Disputed Territory’ and the complicated relationships between several African polities, Boers and British. As the war between the Zulu and the British was being fought in Natal, ongoing along the Transvaal border to the north was a series of local clashes between neighbours that culminated in the action at Hlobane on 28 March. For the first time with full references, The Boiling Cauldron describes that battle in which the local people out-manoeuvred a force of colonial horsemen, burghers and impressed African levies led by Lt-Col H.E. Wood.
Published for the first time are Lt-Col A.W. Durnford’s 1878 map of Zululand and the three maps that he prepared for the 1878 Boundary Commission, one of the maps drawn by Capt J. Alleyne for the Zululand Boundary Commission in September 1879, and five contemporary sketches drawn by Maj T. Fraser, RE, when travelling through the area with Wood in September 1881.
BOILING CAULDRON Utrecht District and the Anglo-Zulu War 1879
The subject of this book is both wider and narrower than the subtitle suggests, for it covers the whole history of what became known as ‘the disputed territory’, in the upper Phongolo basin, from over fifty years before the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War up until the immediate aftermath of the battle of Hlobane. Its theme is that this disastrous military encounter (from the British point of view) was the result, not just of inept military planning, but of tensions and conflicts which had been developing in the area for many years before.