View from the high ground before we crossed the river. The homesteads can be seen to NE & NW of the table.
I crossed the river with my two detachments of cavalry crossing at two separate fords. A detachment of Natal Native Horse and a detachment of Natal Mounted Police, together with A boer farmer De Groot and his Zulu scouts who I posted out front as pickets.
I sent De Groot out scouting for our sneaky Zulu foe, he had orders to push for the high ground in the centre of the table but was also ordered to seek out the forces.
It was only a few turns before Zulu skirmishers were spotted in a small Zulu Farm in the centre of the table, with more warriors flooding the table to the rear of the Kraal.
Having reached the high ground I had the NNH dismount and give fire to the approching Zulu's.
I had the NNP dismount to add weight to the firing line as increasingly more Zulu's began to show themselves.
Meanwhile the column continued to cross the drift marching ever closer to the high ground were I was holding my own against the Zulu's.... Then as soon as they had appeared the Zulu disapeared falling back behind the ridge line which shielded us from the NE Boer homestead.
Flushed with Success and with men from Major Cumming and Captian Lewis's detachment on the hill I set off after the Zulu Skirmishers who were taking the occasional pot shots from the Kraal.
Unfortunately it was at that time that the Zulu left horn showed itself breaking a ridge line to the left of the advancing column and closing off the open ground to my mounted troops.
I under estimated the speed of the Zulu advance and my cavalry detachments were caught in the flank by the aggressive Zulu's with their stabbing Assagi's (Big Choppers under the rules)
The NNH and the NPM were forced to flee from the advancing Zulu's many of them unhorsed. I was forced to watch from the massed ranks of infantry as over half my detachment ran for the safety of the border, with enough shock to keep them out of the encounter for several hours.
The British Infantry held firm and awaited Lewis's order to fire.
Meanwhile artillery fire from Lt Marling added to the Zulu's troubles.
With fire from the blue ranks of the naval brigade under Lt Plumstone firing into the ranks of massed warriors they were forces to retreat with a significant amount of shock.
Meanwhile diaster was to strike in the centre, Captain Lewis was distracted by Zulu's within yards of his firing lines, I had been sent back to calm the nerves of De Groot whose natives had taken flight from the first Zulu attack, when one Zulu warband had advanced through a gap in the firing ranks lines and swamped a unit of British Infantry under Sergeant Hunt, who was forced back to the wagon park. Fortunately fire from Major Cumming's detachment and elements under Sergeant Reagan forced the Zulu to flee.
Just as the day was drawing to a close and the troops were toasting their success the Zulu right horm mad it's appearance to the far right of our column and to the rear of our wagons and artillery who so far had been largely in effect.
Whilst the gunners were forced to flee the guns and in one instance actually defeated the Zulu attackers, they were able to inflect sufficent shock on the Zulu's to stall there advance and with the clock striking 8.30 we called it a day.
We had inflicted a large number of casualties on the Zulu's for the loss of very few regulars. Unfortunately we did not reach the farms and can only hope that the Boers managed to slip across the river. I hope they don't bear any ill's to us in the years ahead.
Stay tuned for more adventures from Ferguson of the 99th.