But The Latter Were Far Superior In Rifles,
And The Black Infantry Were Of Invincible Valour.
in his strength and relying on his powerful cavalry, the Abyssinian general
allowed the Arabs to toil through all the mountainous country, to traverse
the Mintik Pass, and to debouch unmolested on to the plain of Debra Sin.
Abu Anga neglected no precaution.
He knew that since he must fight in the
heart of Abyssinia, with the mountains behind him, a defeat would involve
annihilation. He drew up his army swiftly and with skill. Then the
Abyssinians attacked. The rifle fire of the Soudanese repulsed them.
The onset was renewed with desperate gallantry. It was resisted with
equal valour and superior weapons. After frightful losses the Abyssinians
wavered, and the wise Arab seized the moment for a counterstroke.
In spite of the devotion of his cavalry Ras Adal was driven from the
field. Great numbers of his army were drowned in the river in front of
which he had recklessly elected to fight. His camp was captured, and
a valuable spoil rewarded the victors, who also gratified their passions
with a wholesale slaughter of the wounded - a practice commonly followed
by savages. The effect of the victory was great. The whole of the Amhara
province submitted to the invaders, and in the spring of 1887 Abu Anga
was able to advance without further fighting to the capture and sack
of Gondar, the ancient capital of Abyssinia.
Meanwhile the Khalifa had been anxiously expecting tidings of his army.
The long silence of thirty days which followed their plunge into the
mountains filled him with fear, and Ohrwalder relates that he 'aged
visibly' during that period.
Enter page number
Page 110 of 476
Words from 29084 to 29365