23RD NOVEMBER 1887 KARONGA ATTACK AND SIEGE BY THE ARABS SLAVERS.

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Thought I would add some more detail to the table so the tents have arrived and placed in the fort. Resin tents and boat from Grand Manner. I need to get some African cattle next to complete the scenario of the siege at Karonga by the Arab Slavers.

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More figures for British Central Africa

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I ordered some more native villagers, Askari command set, and British adventurers. Ordering from Wargames Foundry is becoming a habit and I need to order cattle and livestock to populate the African stockades and villages.

I now have my ‘Capitaos’ for the incident where two of them crawl up to the Arab held buildings and set fire to them. Also the incident where the villagers save the cattle which escaped from the fort and bring them back into the stockade. A very brave act indeed as they were fired on by the Arab slavers.

I have ordered two tents for the fort at Karonga and a rowing boat from Grand Manner.

‘Capitao’

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I found mentioned in the first action at Karonga that there were native men amongst the British forces at Karonga, called ‘Capitao’, apparently the heads of gangs of men and mentioned by Johnston in his book British Central Africa

‘Capitao’ was the Portuguese term for Captain.

Also mentioned that they would change back to normal dress for work or action with their groups of natives but I felt I wanted to dress them in the Capitao uniform to distinguish them from the rest.

It is obvious that Johnston and Fotheringham held these men in high regard. This will come out in future posts.

 

Seige at Karonga

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(AIN p95-96)

The Arabs seeing that the fort was strong started to build their own stockade and settled into a siege. In the morning it was found that the Arabs had erected a platform in the store room roof protected by thick logs. This commended the north west defence at about 80 paces. Opposite the south west line, at a distance of 100yards the Arabs had  used a huge tree. Five shooting platforms holding 7 men were built in the tree, with think defences, where they could fire down into the fort. Opposite the south west line, at a distance of about 100 yards, the Arabs had monopolized a  huge tree. Five shooting platforms accommodating 70 men had been built in the tree.(Note- This seems some what excessive)  This looked right down into the fort. These platforms were buttressed with heavy logs to protect the sharp shooters. A strong wooden stockade was also built on the sands of the Lake which swept the south eastern line of the fort.

Fortheringham had no difficulty in guessing what their purpose had been in cutting down the cotton trees during the previous few weeks. The whole attack was premeditated; every detail of their strategy had been pre-arranged.

The Arabs thus created a cross fire and soon poured fire into the fort. Consul O’Neil was in charge of the fort proper and Fotheringham the square where the natives were taking cover, so the north and west side of the square enclosure.

23rd November 1887 Karonga attacked by the Arabs.

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(AIN p92)-  Wednesday 23rd November  1887 Monteith Fotheringham mentions the first intimation of the attack came while they were sitting at breakfast. Breakfast consisted of English coffee and mutton. A sharp volley rang out and the garrison sprang to arms and the defenses but could only glimpse the white dresses of the Arabs. The Arabs disappeared among the bananas on the south side and the defenders sent a sharp reply. The Arabs troubled the fort no more that day. A council of war was held and Mr. Nicholl was dispatched to the north to secure the Mwamba as allies. A number of Mwamba men were already in the fort and Manjiwara their chief,  had been urging them to accept the assistance of his people in any difficulty with the Arabs. The Mwamba are a fighting race. Mr Nicholl had to cross unfriendly territory with a couple of guns and half a dozen Mwamba men. They walked as far as Lufira, where they slept for the night.

At 1 or 2 a.m. the fort at Karonga  received a hint from a native that the Arabs had left their stockade to attack Karonga at day break. A strong force Arabs with at least 500 men  armed with guns and innumerable spear men were advancing in open order as to engulf the whole fort. They allowed the Arab force to come within range a then let loose three deadly volleys)

 

Books on British Central Africa

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List of books on British Central Africa.

Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, now Zambia and Malawi.

I coded these books and then give page numbers for the information to be checked. I have just had the book ‘After Livingstone’ by Moir. Great read!

 

Lake Pioneers – (LP)

Adventures in Nyasaland – (AIN)

Northern Rhodesia Police – (NRP)

British Central Africa – (BCA)

The Rise of Our East African Empire – (ROEFE)

Expedition in East Central Africa – (EIECA)

Death in the Dark Continent – (DDC)

History of the Northern Rhodesia Regiment – (HNRR)

Zambezi Sunrise – (ZS)

The African Wars – (TAW)