Thereupon Captain Baring With Two Squadrons Galloped From
The Desert Flank Across The Front Of The Artillery, And, Riding Through The
Advancing Enemy, Repulsed Them With Loss.
The charge was good and
effective, but the shock and confusion broke both squadrons, and, although
successful, they came through the Dervishes and back on to the river flank
in some disorder.
Persse and Le Gallais, who had just rallied, at once
dismounted their men and opened carbine fire on the retreating Dervishes.
Their action not only checked the enemy, but prevented, by getting
the troopers off their horses, any chance of their being involved in
the disorder of the squadrons who had just charged.
Although their horsemen were thus sharply checked, the Dervish infantry
continued in spite of losses to advance rapidly, and for a few minutes
a hot musketry fire was exchanged by the Arab riflemen and the two
dismounted squadrons. Captain Persse was severely wounded, and several
other casualties occurred. But the whole force was drawing away from the
enemy, and by eleven o'clock it had passed through the gap to the
north-east and had shaken off all pursuit. The casualties in the operation
were fortunately small. One British officer was wounded; six Egyptian
troopers were killed and ten wounded; and about thirty horses were lost
The details of the enemy's defences were now known; his strength
was estimated from trustworthy information. It was evident from the
frequent desertions that his army was disheartened, and from his inactivity
that he was scarcely hopeful of success.
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