Drawings, paintings or plans of British redoubts.

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Drawings, paintings or plans of British redoubts.

Postby Athelstan » 02 Jan 2013 11:35

Hi all.

I haven't been on the site for a while, but those of you who might remember my posts will recall I was interested in the Ashanti Wars in what is modern day Ghana in west Africa. Why then, I hear you ask, am I posting on the Maori wars section? Well there is a slight link with the 1873/74 Ashanti War. Let me explain :D.

When the main column advanced from Cape Coast to Kumasi they built not only a road through bush and forest but temporary fortified bases to store supplies and protect their supply line usually with a garrison of 50 to 60 men and at least one long hut inside. At least one of these at Akrofumu just after crossing the Pra river is described as being of the "New Zealand type". The Illustrated London News had an artist with the campaign and I've found sketches that might be acurate of at least two of the others built. While I have the descriptions of the one at Akrofumu it would be nice to have a drawing etc to go with them. So, if I give members the descriptions I have, can anyone point me in the right direction for museums, collections books etc where I can find examples. The photos of the Alexandra Redoubt at Tuakau are useful but drawings, sketches etc would be even better.

The descriptions are as follows.

".....Here we found an admirable fort, constructed on what is known as the New Zealand type, consisting of a low parapet into which a wattle-fence was driven, with an exterior ditch, fraised at the angles. A fort of this description affords far better shelter, and is constructed with about a tenth part of the labour of the stockade at Essiaman, and against slugs affords a considerable protection." Capt H. Brackenbury ' The Ashanti War: A Narrative.' Vol II. 1874. Chap 11. p75.

"..... The native huts, not more than a dozen in number, are almost exactly of the same kind as those at Essiamen. The entrenchment here has not been thrown round them, and has not been made of the solid stockade work of that of Essiamen. A small earth-mound has been thrown up and on the top of it a simple wattle fence has been erected. This is amply sufficient to give protection against any possible Ashantee attack attempted over the open. It is easy for the men to fire through the interstices of the wattle." J. F. Maurice. 'The Ashantee War: A Popular Narrative.' 1874. Chapt. 11. p 289.

"....Starting again at 2 p.m., we reached Akrofoomuh, 3. 30. Here the stockade is of wattle only, with a breastwork, the entrance guarded by a stout frise." F. Boyle. 'Through Fanteeland to Coomassie: A Diary of the Ashantee Expedition.' Chap 9. p 289.

"......Here as at Essiaman a large circle had been cleared by Major Russell's regiment and a central fort erected and fortified by the Engineers. In this case, however, Major Home adopted the same method which he used at Mansue and other places- namely, a ditch with the earth thrown up inside, and strengthened by a sort of abatis of bamboo, the whole being amply sufficient strength to keep off any attacks of the enemy, while it offered but slight impediment to the circulation of air." G. A. Henty. ' The March to Coomassie' 1874. (?) Chap. 11. p 346.

Any help would be very gratefully received :D

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