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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, transmitted to congress, with the annual message of the president, December 4, 1876

Egypt,   pp. 594-605 PDF (934.1 KB)

Page 601

mander of the Abyssinian troops, fell back upon Adua, capital of the Tigris
province. Although the Egyptian soldiers were received with manifestations
of joy by the inhabitants of the Hamacin, Colonel Arendrup distributed in
the following manner the twenty-two companies of which he had the disposal.
Six companies remained at Fidour under the orders of Dasholz, the chief of
the battalion. Passing afterward by Atkhal, where he left seven companies
with Lieut. Col. Rustem Naghi Bey, Colonel Arendrup marched with the seven
remaining companies to Goudet, near the river Marb. Arriving at the last-named
place, he formed an advance guard of four companies, under the orders of
Adjutant-Major Murgan Agha, and ordered him to advance farther into the country,
though the three other companies remained at Goudet. It appears from the
news lately received by telegraphic dispatch that a part of the inhabitants
of Goudet came on the 16th day of the month Chawal to Murgan Agha, announcing
that the Abyssinian soldiers were marching on their town, and implored his
aid and protection against the invaders.
 Upon this information, and at the instance of Comte Zichy, the adjutant-major
pushed forward part of the advance guard, which soon encountered the Abyssinian
troops, putting them to flight, and killing fifteen men.
 The news spreading on the morrow that an engagement had taken place between
the advance guard and the Abyssinians, they hastened to inform Colonel Arendrup
of it, who at once marched on Goudet, accompanied by Lieut. Col. Rustem Bey,
Arakel Bey, governor of Massawa, and five companies. Arriving first at Goudet,
Colonel Arendrup left the two companies which had escorted him, and took
with him two others which he found there to reinforce the advance guard.
Having taken part for some~' time in the combat, he left the adjutant-major
in command and returned to Goudet with four soldiers.
 However, as a great number of Abyssinian soldiers soon followed them, a
square was formed of the soldiers which were at Goudet, Colonel Arendrup
placed himself in the midst, and a fight took place lasting from one o'clock
a. m. until evening. The governor of Massawa and Colonel Arendrup were the
first struck and killed. Lieut. Col. Rustem Bey, wounded by a ball in the
head, bound his wound with his handkerchief and continued to command his
soldiers for some time longer. Struck by a second ball which brought him
down, he ordered, in expiring, to charge with the bayonet and to hold on
' till death.
 The chief of the battalion of artillery, Ismail Raghi Effendi, and the chief
of the battalion of infantry, Achmet Fanzi Effendi, sustained the struggle
with much bravery and vigor. As much can be said of the soldiers, who, when
their ammunition failed, charged the Abyssinians with the bayonet and continued
the battle with fury until they fell victims to their devotion. Of the eleven
companies which took part in the battle, one sub-lieutenant, one aid-major,
and twenty soldiers fell as prisoners into the hands of the enemy.
 The heroic resistance displayed by these brave men, from the chief officers
to the plain soldiers, is a proof that every one performed his military duties
with the greatest honor.
 The number of deaths is 770 men of the infantry, including one entire battery.'
As the engagement lasted a long while, the Abyssinians must have suffered
considerable losses.
 Recent news states that Ras Raga, Vezir of the King of Abyssinia, also Ras
Ourania, commander-in-chief of the Abyssinian troops, and the governors of
Adua and of Hamacm, were killed. Later intelligence places the number of
Abyssinian losses at 15,000 men. A little while after the battle, an army
composed of infantry and cavalry, commanded by the King of Abyssinia in person,
appeared before Atkhal, and summoned, in writing, the Egyptian soldiers who
were there to deliver up their arms, and leaving them free to withdraw or
to remain in the same place.
 The Egyptians having answered that as their commander was absent the letter
must be sent to him, and that tl~ey could not of themselves accept the propositions
of the King, the Abyssinian soldiers retired without making any attack.
 After spiking four cannons, which they were forced to leave on the spot
for want of horses, the Egyptian detachment likewise fell back to a place
called Harkikon, near Massawa, where it is now. It results from the aforementioned
details that the misfortune met with by the troops which were under the command
of Colonel Arendrup was occasioned in part because they were not numerous
enough, and in part by the distance which separated the one from the other.
But our brave soldiers shall be avenged!
 His Highness the Khedive has decided to send a complete expedition, undpr
the command of his excellency liatib Pasha, general-in-chief of the Egyptian
army. Four steamers filled with soldiers have already departed for Suez,
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, en route for Massawa, and the remainder will
follow soon.
 The expedition consists of four regiments of infantry, two squadrons of
cavalry, and three batteries of artillery. His excellency Ratib Pasha will
have as chief of staff General Loring, and will be accompanied by other chief
officers, among whom are their excellencies Osman Rifky Pasha, brigadier-general,
and four staff-officers.

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