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Although there was no fighting in the Mponda expedition, yet the effect was none the less crushing to the Slave Trade in British Central Africa: 379 slaves were released, and taken to Fort Johnston, where they now form a free settlement. Most of these slaves have been raided or purchased during the last three years, and several only quite recently.
One hundred and twelve guns and 270 lb. of gunpowder were captured, and in addition to the Chief Mponda having surrendered himself unconditionally to Her Majesty's Commissioner, there were eleven Headmen of Mponda and seventy-four other Yaos of position captured, all of whom have been actively engaged in the Slave Trade, and have since been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment by Her Majesty's Commissioner.
As I had received instructions from Her Majesty's Commissioner before he left Fort Johnston for Zomba to proceed against the Yao Chiefs of south-east Nyasa, as soon as the expedition against Mponda was finished, on the 13th November I dispatched a column under Lieutenant Coape-Smith to ascend the mountains by the road leading to Zarafi's, and as soon as the plateau was reached to wheel round to their left and to march on Namazini (beneath which hill Makanjira had built his new town), where they were to ambush till the morning of the 17th November, when they would descend on Makanjira's town, while I, with the main body, would assault it from the west side.
The force under his command consisted of Lieutenant Smith, Mr. Gordon-Cumming, 180 rifles, including 40 Sikhs.
I also dispatched forty rifles in the gun-boats Adventure and Pioneer to Fort Maguire, and sent instructions to Lieutenant Alston to advance to Ngombe's from the north, and to join me there on the 16th November with as many men of the Fort Maguire garrison as he could with safety take, in addition to the men I sent him.
On the 14th I left Fort Johnston with the main body, consisting of Captain Stewart, Lieutenant A. S. Hamilton, Dr. Wordsworth Poole, 180 rifles, including 48 Sikhs.
Having marched about 12 miles along the lake shore, we saw Makumba's villages on the high hills above us, about 3 miles inland. I at once changed direction and marched straight to the hills, keeping under cover as much as possible. At about half a-mile from the first village I halted the porters, and left them with a guard in a secure position, and extended for attack, Captain Stewart taking the right and Lieutenant Hamilton the left, while I took the
After some fighting we managed to capture the villages and destroy them. Makumba, his brothers, and three of his Headmen were taken prisoners, and sent back under escort to Fort Johnston. We then
halted for the night, and proceeded on our way the following morning, marching along the lake shore. Towards evening the column was fired upon by a few men while traversing the thick jungle. We extended and skirmished through the bush, but with no result. Bivouacked for the night in an open plain. On the 16th November, about 9:30 A.M., we reached Kadango's village, which was deserted. We halted here, and then proceeded on to Ngombe's village, some 3 miles further on. The roads between these towns were covered with very thick jungle, and intercepted with deep nullahs. After proceeding about a mile I heard some shots, and, proceeding to the front, found that Lieutenant Hamilton had been shot in the arm, and a Yao soldier in the knee. I sent them to the doctor, and then extended the whole of the main body and skirmished through the bush; only two more shots were fired at us. About 11:30 A.M. We reached Ngombe, where I found Lieutenant Hamilton, who, as soon as his wound was dressed, had collected some men, and, taking a direct road, had got on ahead of us.
Halted here the whole day.
Lieutenant Alston arrived at 9 P.M., with sixty-six rifles and several men with cap guns from Fort Maguire, having marched 63 miles in two days, a great part of which was along the sandy beach of the lake shore.
On the 17th, at 5 A.M., I left Ngombe for Namazini, dividing my force into three columns. The right, under Captain Stewart, with eighty-two rifles, was to ascend the hills and work around the crest, while I, with eighty-four rifles and the friendly Yaos of Kazembe, went through the pass by the main road, followed by Lieutenant Alston, with seventy rifles, whom I could detach, if necessary, to make a flauk attack.
Lieutenant Hamilton was left in charge of the baggage guard at Ngombe, with Dr. Poole and the wounded.
After marching three hours, and meeting with no opposition, we reached the top of the hills that separated the undulating valley occupied by Makanjira from the lake, and saw in the far distance burning villages on the steep slopes of Namazini. I knew at once that Lieutenant Coape-Smith's party had arrived, so I pushed on at once to Makanjira's chief town, and met Lieutenant Coape-Smith. His column had made a most brilliant march, covering over 120 miles in four days, through trackless forests and over several mountain ranges. They had been very short of water, and for two days had nothing to drink except the water they found in holes made by the feet of elephants in marshy soil.
On the night of the 15th November it appears that they halted just above Makanjira's on the top of the Namazini range, but the guide did not recognize the place, and told them the hill overlooking
Makanjira's was some 20 miles further on. So the following day they marched on, and about noon crossed a broad caravan track. This the guide recognized as leading from Makanjira's to Mtaka's, and so on to the coast. They at once retraced their steps, and proceeding along this caravan route, meeting with very recent evidences of the Slave Trade in the shape of hundreds of gori-sticks lying by the side of the road and barracoons at intervals. While walking along the road they met with a large number of fugitives. These they made prisoners, and hearing that Makanjira was aware of the approach of the three columns, and had decided to flee to Mtaka's, Lieutenant Coape-Smith pushed on with all speed.
On reaching Makanjira's town he saw a large number of men going up the steep slopes of Namazini, and sent Lieutenant G. de II. Smith after them with the advance guard.
Lieutenant G. de H. Smith soon got up with them, and had a very sharp rear-guard action, the enemy disputing every inch of ground. He made the enemy throw away two large tusks of ivory, eleven bales of calico, and thirteen loads of gunpowder, and managed to kill many of them. They also captured a number of slaves that the enemy were trying to take away with them. Being thoroughly tired out, he returned to the main body, which had in the meanwhile been employed in overcoming the small resistance that was offered them by the enemy, who had not had time to get away.
Lieutenant Coape-Smith, hearing that Makanjira himself was with the main body of the enemy with whose rear guard Lieutenant Smith had had a fight, at once dispatched 103 rifles (native regulars) in pursuit.
The valley in which Makanjira was settled was about 12 miles long by 8 broad, and contained about 8,000 huts, divided amongst many villages. Many of the houses were built in the coast style, and there was evidence every where of the existence of a large Arab and coast population. A great many slave sticks were found in the villages, several of them covered with blood.
The population could not have been less than 25,000, and probably much more.
The 17th and 18th were employed in destroying all the huts. On the 18th the sub-Chiefs Lipongo, Namalaka, Ngombe, and Kadango came in and submitted. I told them to go to Fort Maguire, where the Political Officer would state the terms under which they would be allowed to return and settle down again.
On the 19th November I left for Fort Johnston with Lieutenant G. de H. Smith and 104 rifles, arriving there the following day, after two long marches.
Captain Stewart left the same day, with Lieutenant Alston, for
Fort Maguire, and Lieutenant Coape-Smith was instructed to proceed to Fort Maguire with the remainder of the men as soon as the party he had sent in pursuit of Makanjira had returned. Our casualties in the Makanjira expedition were
Lieutenant A. S. Hamilton, wounded.
4 Atonga wounded.
1 Yao, severely wounded.
The enemy lost about thirty men killed.
During the operations we bave released and freed the following number of slaves :
We should have freed a great many more at Makanjira's if all the Arabs and coast men, after the fall of Zarafi, had not at once evacuated Makanjira's town, and proceeded to Mtaka's with all their slaves.
The officers and men throughout the operations behaved splendidly, notwithstanding the great hardships they had to undergo and the long and arduous marches performed. The main body in twentythree days of actual marching covered 459 miles, or a daily rate of 19 miles, and some of the men of the detached columns marched a great deal more thau this.
I was very pleased with the conduct of the few Yao regulars that we have enlisted and trained. They seemed steadier than the Atonga and Makua, and were the only men of the native contingent who without Sikhs would assault a hill held in force by the
I would before closing this Report bring to your notice the following officers and men who have specially distinguished themselves:
Lieutenant H. Coape - Smith, 11th Bengal Lancers, for his activity and bravery in heading the advance guard on the march to Zarafi's town, and for the brilliant march he conducted on the Makanjira expeditior.
Lieutenant G. de H. Smith, 45th Sikhs, for the gallant way in which he stormed the heights with his Sikhs on the 27th October and held an advanced position in the presence of a numerous enemy, several of whom were armed with rifles.
Major L. J. E. Bradshaw, 35th Sikhs, for the gallant way in which he led his men on the 27th October when clearing the heights above the pass, and for the careful and complete way he organized and commanded the transport of the forces during the Zarafi expedition.
Lance-Naick Naraik Singh, 19th Punjab Infantry; Lance-Naick Jowala Singh, 11th Bengal Lancers; Naick Atma Singh, 45th Sikhs; Sepoy Pertab Singh, 35th Sikhs; Sepoy Sundar Singh, 36th Sikhs; Lance-Naick Sham Singh, 15th Sikhs; Sepoy Pertap Singh, 45th Sikhs, for conspicuous bravery.
1. A plan of our encampment at night.
2. A Report from Commander Cullen, R.N.R., on his bombardment of Kasanka village.
3. A map.
Zomba, December 27, 1895.
C. A. EDWARDS, Major,
Commanding Armed Forces in British Central Africa.
(Inclosure 3.)-Plan of Encampment at Night when on the March.
(Inclosure 4.)-Commander Cullen to Major Edwards.
Adventure, at Monkey Bay, November 16, 1895. I HAVE the honour to inform you that, in accordance with your request, forty rifles, native contingent, 1,200 lb. rice, and forty loads Sikh ration have been conveyed to Fort Maguire, together with a letter for Lieutenant Alston, the whole being landed by 4 P.M., 14th November.
I also beg to report that, in accordance with your desire, I proceeded in Her Majesty's ship Adventure to the village of Kasanka on the morning of the 16th November, and, laying off at 500 yards, I set fire to the place with incendiary shell, and then running close in landed Mr. Savage, boatswain, and four men, and after anchoring landed myself with all other available hands.
Kasanka's people made a slight stand on the outskirts of the village, firing a few volleys, but a couple of volleys cleared them out, and after pursuing them about 2 miles I returned to the village, and after searching the houses burnt them all with the exception of the mission house and buildings and the grain stores; the grain I handed over to a native policeman of Mr. Cardew's, who lives in the adjacent Nyasa village.
The houses numbered over 300, and several were much superior to the ordinary run. No guns were found, but most of the huts