His Efforts To
Communicate With Gordon In Khartoum Did Not, However, Meet With Much
Success, And The Journals Bristle With So Many Sarcastic Comments That
Their Editor Has Been At Pains To Explain In His Preface That There Was
Really No Cause For Complaint.
Major Kitchener, however, gave satisfaction
to his superiors in Cairo, if not to the exacting General at Khartoum,
and in 1886 he was appointed Governor of Suakin.
This post, always one of
responsibility and danger, did not satisfy Kitchener, whose ambition was
now taking definite form. Eager for more responsibility and more danger,
he harried and raided the surrounding tribes; he restricted and almost
destroyed the slender trade which was again springing up, and in
consequence of his measures the neighbourhood of Suakin was soon in even
greater ferment than usual. This culminated at the end of 1887 in the
re-appearance and advance of Osman Digna. The movements of the Dervishes
were, however, uncertain. The defences of the town had been greatly
strengthened and improved by the skill and activity of its new Governor.
[See dispatch from Major-General Dormer to War Office, Cairo, April 22,
1888: 'With regard to the military works and defenses of the town, I was
much struck with the great improvement that has been effected by Colonel
Kitchener since my last visit to Suakin in the autumn of 1884.] Osman
Digna retreated. The 'friendlies' were incited to follow, and Kitchener,
although he had been instructed not to employ British officers or Egyptian
regulars in offensive operations, went out in support.
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