« AnteriorContinuar »
would continue to negotiate Captain Baud got into touch without insisting, as
with Lieutenants Voulet and liminary to all discussion, upon Chanoine, who were coming the evacuation of a town over from Wagadugu: this junction which a previous Government of French forces despatched had expressly declared a pro- from countries so remote as the tectorate. Lieutenant Breton- French Sudan and Dahomey net remained therefore in pos- impressed the natives considersession of Bussa, though not in ably, and brought levies of peace.
He was hotly attacked auxiliaries flocking in. Gurma by the natives; but his Sene- was occupied in force, and the galese fought, as they always Voulet - Chanoine expedition do, admirably, and he not only turned westward again, leaving held his ground but extended Captains Baud and Vermeersch his conquest.
After consider- to hold their acquisition. But in able bloodshed he took Wawa, August the whole Bariba couna town south of Bussa, and try rose against the Frenchwas met there by envoys from
Lieutenant Bretonnet's Kiama, where also he hoisted garrisons had to fall back on the tricolour. But the country, his main force; and reinforcethough nominally occupied, was ments
sent not subdued up to July: Lieu- Carnotville under Captain tenant Bretonnet was fighting Ganier, who, as senior, took continuously against what were command at Paraku, assisted described “rebellions” in by M. Vermeersch.
By Novthe different towns that had ember they were strong enough courted his alliance. Kishi, to advance upon the heart of which lies on the direct road the resistance, and after a battle between Carnotville and Kiama, fought somewhat to the south, was occupied ; but Nikki was on November 6 they entered still left untouched.
Nikki, this time as victors, and In the meantime the Baud- hoisted the flag there on DecVermeersch expedition, which ember 10, and immediately had set out also in the end opened communication with of 1896, had been even M. Bretonnet at Bussa. In the fortunate than M. Bretonnet. meanwhile Captain Baud, left They reached Gurma without in charge of Gurma, had struck difficulty, and had the good across from Fada N'Gurma to fortune to find the king coping Say, where he met an outpost with a rebellion. In return of M. Destenave's force from for their help, which was effec- the French Sudan. He then tually given, he placed all proceeded to march upon Illo, Gurma under French protec- whence Lieutenant Bretonnet's tion : this success bore fruit in original post had been withthe Franco-German agreement drawn. Marching south from of July 1897, by which Ger- this, he was surrounded by the many resigned all her claims Baribas; but after a to à hinterland reaching to fight he succeeded in routing the Niger. Moving westward, them, and the country was
terrorised into submission. been declared a protectorate. Thus by December 10, 1897, The recognition of the Niger when Commandant Ricour Company's treaties by the For
to take command as eign Office had sealed the acGovernor of Upper Dahomey, quisition to the Company under the whole of Borgu as well as the authority of her Majesty's Gurma were in reality effec- Government. Now the Comtively occupied. Setting the pany could not declare war question of international moral- upon France, and it appealed ity apart, the French officers to Lord Salisbury to redress had done their work extra- such violent usurpation of its ordinarily well. Their troops rights. Protests lodged by him
. took their supplies by force and in Paris produced no practical cost nothing to keep; and they result. Moreover, the frontier had very few of them. Three between Dahomey and the hincompanies of Senegalese, one of terland of Lagos had been deHausas hastily levied in the limited by joint agreement from latter part of 1897, and two of the coast up to the ninth paralthe Dahomey police, made up lel. But from the middle of the whole force at M. Ricour's 1897 the French, entirely disdisposal. In order to hold such regarding this arrangement, a country with such a force, a had begun to cross our fronreign of terror was imperative, tier, striking to the east from and it was instituted.
The a point considerably south of soldiers were dotted about in Carnotville, and arranged a the towns and villages in line of communication with groups of half-a-dozen or less, Bussa through Saki and Kishi. and a white officer or non- Lieut.-Colonel M‘Callum, Govcommissioned officer went the ernor of Lagos, at rounds in perfect security. The ported this act of trespass, and Baribas were thoroughly cowed; was instructed to request the they hated, but they were afraid. French to withdraw. On SepIt very different from tember 10 a French party unthe method in which we make der Lieutenant Brôt attemptwar against savages, sending ed to capture Ilesha, but were large expeditions and paying repulsed, and had to fall back fair or even at times excessive on Saki; and on the 24th of prices for such goods as the that month, in consequence of natives choose to supply; but Colonel M‘Callum's prompt acof its own kind it was an excel- tion, was obliged to evacuate lent piece of work.
Saki, which was at once occuYet from the point of view of pied by men of the Lagos the British the whole thing sim- Hausa Force. A few days ply amounted to this. France later Lieutenant Neale, with a had occupied by force Borgu, a detachment of the same body, country which was British by occupied Igboho, on the line prior treaty and by the 1890 to Kishi. In the meantime agreement with France, and three companies of the West part, if not all, of which had India Regiment, under Lieut.
Colonel Allen, had been ordered Yorubas, half of Hausas; and from Sierra Leone to Lagos, as the Yorubas were the easier and by November 15 two to get, recruiting began at companies were at Saki. But Ibádan. On
November 27, it was thought necessary, since Lieut. - Colonel Pilcher sailed diplomacy proved ineffectual, from London to raise the 1st to make further show of battalion, taking with him his force in West Africa. In European staff, which consisted October 1897 Colonel Lugard of one captain (commander), was recalled from South Africa two subalterns, and five nonto organise a force (to be commissioned officers to each called the West African Fron- of the eight companies of tier Force) which should have which the battalion was to its headquarters in Nigeria. be composed. The nucleus of
The force which it was pro- this battalion, which had been posed to raise amounted prac- already recruited by Captains tically to a brigade. It was to Creighton and Taubman Goldie consist of two very strong bat- at Ibádan, was sent to Lokoja, talions of infantry, each con- whither Lieut.-Colonel Pilcher taining 1200 men, with twenty- proceeded direct by steamer. nine officers and forty-four Lieut.-Colonel Fitzgerald, comnon-commissioned officers. To manding the 2nd battalion, areach battalion was affiliated rived at Lagos early in February, field - hospital, with three
three and proceeded to Ibádan, where doctors and a nursing staff he began recruiting Yorubas. of six non-commissioned offi- Early in March 1898, Colonel cers from the Army Medical Lugard left London to take Corps. There was also to be a command of all the forces in base hospital at Lokoja, with or near Borgu, including the two doctors and three nurses, detachments of the Lagos Conselected from the staff at Guy's. stabulary and the West India The artillery consisted of three Regiment, as well as a large batteries, two of seven-pounders, part of the Niger Company's one of twelve-pounders. There troops and the new levies. was also a transport depart Touching at
Touching at Lagos, he went ment, an accounts department, on to Lokoja, where were the and one engineer company. A headquarters of the 1st batsmall headquarter staff, con- talion: the officers were busily sisting of the Commissioner and engaged in drilling and Commandant, his second in cruiting. He himself proceeded command, and an aide-de-camp, to Jebba, and sent word to made up the whole. The second Colonel Fitzgerald to march in command was Colonel Will
across country from Ibádan cocks, D.S.O., who was tele- to that point, which became graphed for before he had fairly now the general headquarters, returned from the Tochi Valley and everything except
except the campaign on the N. W. frontier 1st battalion was moved
up of India—the eighth on which there. he had seen service. Each bat- It was the end of April betalion was to consist half of fore the headquarters were es
tablished at Jebba, and the Kiama, and on February 6 a situation had in the meantime detachment of Hausas, under become exceedingly strained. a non-commissioned officer, had The Niger Company claimed hoisted the flag in Borea, some Borgu; the French had issued thirty-five miles south-east of a decree declaring that Borgu Nikki. This village became was now part of Upper Da- suddenly notable throughout homey. The French, as has Europe, for on February 19 Mr been
seen, held the country; Chamberlain read to the House but the British troops, under of Commons two telegrams, Colonel M'Callum, had been one of which stated that thirty actively pushing up from the Senegalese had come to Borea, south. On December 4, Lieu- and had ordered the British post tenant Turner, R.E., with there to haul down the uniontwelve non - commissioned offi- jack.
The demand was cers and sappers of his corps, fused, and the Senegalese left England for Lagos, to carry camped a little distance off. a telegraph wire through the The other telegram related a hinterland of Lagos and Illórin similar incident at Wa, on the to Jebba, in order to put the Gold Coast. In both of these officers acting in this debate- regions parties of troops belongable land into direct communi- ing to the rival nations were cation with their Government. interspersed like men on a chessOn December 12, the Hausas, board, and it was plain that under Major Ewart, occupied the tension on the spot must be Ilesha, from which the French very great. It was particularly had been repulsed some months galling to the Frenchmen, beearlier; and on Christmas Day cause, while England merely 100 Hausas, with four guns, asserted a protectorate left Saki to march on Okuta, these regions, on the French a town of Borgu. Mr Rohr- system whatever was part of weger, a district commissioner a colony was part of France : of Lagos, who acted through- Borgu was part of Upper Daout this whole affair as politi homey, and Lieutenant Bretoncal agent, reported on January net and the rest were defending, 15 that Okuta had been occu- as they considered, the frontier pied. In the meanwhile pre- of their country, just as much paration was being made for as if they had been, for instance, the telegraph wire as far as in Algeria. Saki, and by February 22 the Neither the Wa incident nor wire was actually brought up that of Borea had in itself any to that point, and Governor particular importance; but the M'Callum moved with it. His manner in which they were presence at the front was ur- announced, and the spirit in gently necessary, because public which the announcement was feeling in England had been received by the country, were roused to fever pitch. Mr significant. The English conRohrweger had succeeded in tinued their advance in Borgu occupying a couple more towns wherever it was possible withon the line between Okuta and out an actual collision, which
sides avoided. Three when on April 22 the inhabimore companies of the 2nd tants of this town rose, drove West India Regiment had out the French garrison, and been despatched from Sierra called in some West Indian Leone to Lagos, and, on Feb- soldiers from the nearest British ruary 28, 149
of that post. Politically also it was regiment left Saki for Okuta.
a grave reverse, as it certainly The British advanced posts did not go to bear out the were now within a couple of French contention that their marches of Nikki. In the troops were
in the various first week of March Governor towns by the special prayer of M‘Callum proceeded in person their inhabitants. to Okuta. But the tornado Such was the position of season was now beginning, and affairs when Colonel Lugard he reported home that the diffi- arrived at Jebba. He had culties occasioned by the rains, reached Lokoja on April 10, combined with the strength and set out for his headquarters of the French line of posts on the 13th. By April 17 the between Kishi and Kiama, telegraph wire had reached its made it advisable that any destination /having been carfarther advance should be ried from Lagos in little over made from the Niger. In the three months—and he was in meanwhile the telegraph wire touch with the authorities at was being rapidly carried to- home. Steps were at wards Illórin, which point it taken to carry on from the new reached on April 3; and the base the work which had been presence of the British posts, begun by Governor M'Callum. interrupting lines of communi- Three hundred of the Niger cation, greatly hampered the Company's troops, who had French in Borgu. They had shown their value in the Bida devastated the country, which campaign, had been sent up is at no time a rich one, and hurriedly into Sokoto when were in difficulty for supplies. word came that a French exFor these they depended largely pedition had crossed the Niger upon Kishi, a town lying about from Say. Of this ill-fated misfifty miles south of Kiama. sion under M. Cazemajou (afterKishi was, properly speaking, wards massacred at Zinder) no part of Borgu, but a they could find no trace, and Yoruba town, with which a were returning by the Niger treaty had been concluded in when they were stopped at 1894. The Yorubas
Fort Goldie, and ordered to peaceful and industrious people, be in readiness to act as and consequently Kishi, al- field force. They could be well though a small place, was spared for the purpose, as the much richer than the rest of new battalions could now supthe country which the French ply men to take their places had to draw on. It was there- in the Company's various garfore a serious blow to them risons. Colonel Willcocks was
1 It has since been carried to Lokoja.