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Major L. J. E. Bradshaw, 35th Sikhs, volunteer officer
305 rifles, including gunners.
This force was accompanied by Her Majesty's Commissioner and his Secretary Mr. J. F. Cunningham.
350 porters accompanied this expedition, divided as follows:
We took with us ten days' supply of rations for Sikhs and five days' supply for native troops and porters. The Sikhs took with them only blankets and great-coats, the former being carried for them.
No tents were taken.
The 7-pr. mountain-gun was carried by porters.
As it would be necessary to advance in single file through the forest and thick grass lands as well as when ascending the lower ranges of hills of the Mangoche range of mountains, our column would be a very long one (about a mile in length), and therefore very vulnerable for attack by the enemy, I divided up the fighting force into small parties, and placed these parties between groups of porters, keeping a strong force of rifles (seventy Sikhs) at the head
of the column and twenty Sikhs as a rear guard; these parties under their officers were, when possible to advance as a flanking guard, on either side of the path and at a distance from it of 100 yards or so, so as to put up any of the enemy lying in ambush or creeping up after the advance guard had passed by. If they could not (owing to the thickness of the jungle) leave the path then on shots being fired, the porters were to lie down and the bodies of armed men between them were to fire volleys and then to pursue as far as 400 yards, the porters closing up as soon as the soldiers started in pursuit.
All the various bodies of porters marched under distinctive flags.
Major Bradshaw was in charge of the transport, assisted by Mr. Cunningham, aud they had under their command:
I issued detailed instructions regarding what was to be done in case of attack, and also regarding halts, formation of camp at night, and breaking up of camp in the morning, &c., and these orders were thoroughly explained by the officers to their men before leaving Zomba.
On the night of the 23rd October we halted at 6 P.M., about 2 miles from Chikala, where Mr. Codrington met Her Majesty's Commissioner, and brought guides from the Yao Chiefs Mposa and Kawinga's son, Chibwana, who also sent thirty-two armed men, whom Her Majesty's Commissioner allowed to accompany the expedition. March, 18 miles.
On the night of the 24th we bivouacked near the Kanjuri River, in the dried-up bed of which we found water pools, which supplied us with bad, though sufficient, water. We had marched 17 miles this day through open forest country, halting for two hours at midday on the Simalu stream,
The next day, about noon, we reached the Mikoko River, in the dried-up bed of which we managed to get water by digging. We then marched through open, park-like country, and halted at 5 P.M. on the same stream, where water was to be obtained in abundance. March, 18 miles.
On the 26th we reached Sonji Hill, about 7 P.M., but found no signs of Captain Stewart's party, so marched on, knowing they would follow us up. About 2 P.M. we reached a stream of water, and halted there, and sent out a party of Atonga under SergeantMajor Bandawe to see if there was any water further on. He sent back word to say that he had found water and a good campingground, and had also come across an outlying picket of Zarafi's; that he had attacked them, killing two men. We marched on at 7:30 P.M. by moonlight, and reached the camp about 10:30 P.M. March, 20 miles.
The camp was in a clearing near an outlying village of Zarafi, and at the base of the first rise of the hills.
October 27.-About 2 A.M. a party of Atonga arrived from Captain Stewart, but as it was too late then to get back word in time to Captain Stewart before the date of the assault, I kept the twenty Atonga with me. Marched out of camp at 5·15 A.M. The road led us round the base of the high hill where Zarafi's scouts had been killed yesterday. We then crossed a stream, and proceeded through some extensive clearings. About 9 o'clock, when marching along a winding path at the base of a steep, high hill, covered with boulders and trees, the enemy opened fire on our column, and one of our Atonga was wounded. Major Bradshaw at once dashed up the hill with his Makua, followed by Captain Cavendish and his Atonga. The enemy was driven from the heights with some loss,
and the march was resumed. About twenty minutes afterwards the advance guard came into contact with the enemy, and Lieutenant Coape-Smith and his men at once advanced straight upon them at the double, and to support him I sent Lieutenant G. de H. Smith with some of the main body up the side of the hill, which he cleared in grand style, and meeting Lieutenant Coape-Smith on the far side of the hill, managed to intercept and kill a large number of the enemy who were on their way to join the advance party in defence of the pass. In the meanwhile the column was moving steadily on, and on turning a spur of the hills I noticed straight in front of me. a strong isolated hillock rising out of a small plateau. This hillock was covered with immense boulders, and the path passed over it. The hill was held by a strong force of the enemy, so I extended for attack, and, after some volleys, pushed on to the assault. The enemy did not stand, owing to Lieutenant Coape Smith and Lieutenant G. de H. Smith having got round to their left and rear, and they were probably afraid of being surrounded. I found the position a very strong one, and admirably adapted for defence, so I halted the advance guard, which, under Lieutenant CoapeSmith, held a ridge about 800 yards distant from the hill to the front, and then formed a camp there. Having got the porters all safely in and posted pickets on the surrounding high boulders, I made arrangements for dispatching a strong reconnoitring party on ahead.
While halted here we noticed some 100 armed men advance across our right flank at a distance of some 1,200 yards. The officers in camp immediately brought their Lee-Metford rifles to bear on them, and managed, after killing several of them, to turn the remainder back the way they had come. After halting half-anhour, I set out with a reconnoitring party consisting of Major Bradshaw, Mr. Gordon-Cumming, Sergeant-Major Devoy, 50 Sikhs, 80 native troops, leaving the camp in charge of Captain Cavendish, with 145 rifles. As soon as we reached the ridge occupied by the advance, we formed up our column, now consisting of
Lieutenant Coape-Smith, with the advance guard of thirty rifles, went on ahead, the main body following.
Shortly after leaving the ridge, and while getting round a spur, we were subjected to a very brisk fire from the enemy on our left flank, who were concealed behind boulders on the slope above us. I immediately gave orders for Lieutenant G. de H. Smith and Major