This account of the 1867/68 campaign is by an officer of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, one of the regiments involved, and in the introduction he states clearly that his aim has everywhere been impartiality; his object truth. He begins with a brief but informative historical background to the country of Abyssinia, going back to the earliest days and leading up to the reasons for the despatch of an expedition against the Christian Emperor Theodore III. Briefly, the British Consul, Captain Cameron, was sent home by Theodore with a letter to Queen Victoria which reached the Foreign Office in February 1863 but, due to Foreign Office cack-handedness never reached the Queen. The lack of any response and a visit by Cameron (after he had returned from England in January1864) to the Egyptian frontier town of Kassala infuriated the Abyssinian monarch who had Cameron and his staff thrown into prison. The British made a belated effort to retrieve the situation through an emissary, Mr Rassam, who arrived in January 1866 but he fully described by the author, and he is not slow to criticize. Then follows a detailed account of the advance of Napier’s force, a sharp action at Arogi in which Abyssinian losses amounted to about 1,900 of whom 700 were killed with British casualties numbering twenty wounded, two of whom died. After this the prisoners were released, but Napier pressed on to the capital, Magdala which was captured and the fortress destroyed. Theodore committed suicide. The final chapter looks back over the campaign, describing the withdrawal of the force and including an interesting examination of the cost and the reasons why it exceeded expectations.
by Capt Henry M. Hozier
Usually despatched within 2-5 Days
SB. xi + 271pp 2001 N&MP Reprint of 1869 Original Edition
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