The River War - An Account Of The Reconquest Of The Sudan By Winston S. Churchill

















































 -  The camels, mules, and horses of the transport - 
their heads supported with inflated water-skins tied under their jowls - 
were - Page 430
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The Camels, Mules, And Horses Of The Transport - Their Heads Supported With Inflated Water-Skins Tied Under Their Jowls - Were Made To Swim Across The River By The Local Shukrieh Arabs.

Such was the skill of these tribesmen that only one camel and one mule were drowned during the operation.

The passage was completed on the 16th, and the next day the advance was resumed along the west bank of the Atbara. At midday on the 18th Mugatta was reached, and at dawn on the 20th the little force - having filled their water-skins, tightened their belts, and invoked the assistance of the various gods they worshipped - started off, and marched all day in single file through the thick bush which lies between the Atbara and Gedaref. The column retired to rest peacefully during the night of the 21st, although within twelve miles of Gedaref. But at midnight startling news arrived. A deserter from the Dervishes made his way into the camp and informed Colonel Parsons that the Emir Saadalla awaited him with 3,500 men two miles before the town. The situation was grave. A retreat through the broken country and thick bush in the face of a powerful and triumphant enemy seemed impossible. There was no alternative but to attack.

Very early on the morning of the 22nd - the same day on which General Hunter on the Blue Nile was compelling Musa Digna and his followers to surrender - Colonel Parsons and the Kassala column set forth to march into Gedaref and to fight whatever force it might contain.

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