The Two Soudanese
Brigades, Formed Into A Division Under Command Of Major-General Hunter,
With The Artillery, Reached Kunur On The Night Of The 15th.
brigade - the Lincolns, the Warwicks, and the Camerons - marched thither
The Seaforth Highlanders, who on the 13th were still at Wady
Halfa, were swiftly railed across the desert to Geneinetti. Thence the
first half-battalion were brought to Kunur in steamers. The second wing -
since the need was urgent and the steamers few - were jolted across the
desert from Railhead on camels, an experience for which neither their
training nor their clothes had prepared them. By the 16th the whole force
was concentrated at Kunur, and on the following day they were reviewed by
the Sirdar. The first three days at Kunur were days of eager expectation.
Rumour was king. The Dervish army had crossed the Atbara at Hudi, and was
within ten miles of the camp. Mahmud was already making a flank march
through the desert to Berber. A battle was imminent. A collision must take
place in a few hours. Officers with field-glasses scanned the sandy horizon
for the first signs of the enemy. But the skyline remained unbroken, except
by the wheeling dust devils, and gradually the excitement abated, and the
British brigade began to regret all the useful articles they had
scrupulously left behind them at Dabeika, when they marched in a hurry
and the lightest possible order to Kunur.
On the 19th of March the gunboats reported that the Dervishes were leaving
the Nile, and Mahmud's flanking movement became apparent.
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