Ten Years
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Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892

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217 Pages
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp1882-1892, by F. R. WingateThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892Author: F. R. WingateRelease Date: June 18, 2010 [EBook #32875]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TEN YEARS' CAPTIVITY ***Produced by StevenGibbs, Linda Hamilton and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netFather Ohrwalder, The Sisters Catterina Chincarini and Elisabetta Venturini and The Slavegirl AdilaFrom a photograph by Stromeyer & Heyman, Cairo.Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.TEN YEARS' CAPTIVITYIN THEMAHDI'S CAMP1882-1892FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS OFFATHER JOSEPH OHRWALDERLATE PRIEST OF THE AUSTRIAN MISSION STATION AT DELEN, IN KORDOFANBYMAJOR F. R. WINGATE, R.A.DIRECTOR OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, EGYPTIAN ARMY; AUTHOR OF 'MAHDIISM AND THE EGYPTIAN SUDAN'WITH MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONSBY WALTER C. HORSLEYTHIRD EDITIONLONDONSAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANYLIMITEDSt. Dunstan's HouseFETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.C.1892(All rights reserved.)LONDON:PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, Limited,STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.PREFACE.------After the fall of Khartum in January 1885, various attempts ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp
1882-1892, by F. R. Wingate
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892
Author: F. R. Wingate
Release Date: June 18, 2010 [EBook #32875]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TEN YEARS' CAPTIVITY ***
Produced by StevenGibbs, Linda Hamilton and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Father Ohrwalder, The Sisters Catterina Chincarini and Elisabetta Venturini and The Slave
girl Adila
From a photograph by Stromeyer & Heyman, Cairo.
Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.TEN YEARS' CAPTIVITY
IN THE
MAHDI'S CAMP
1882-1892
FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS OF
FATHER JOSEPH OHRWALDER
LATE PRIEST OF THE AUSTRIAN MISSION STATION AT DELEN, IN KORDOFAN
BY
MAJOR F. R. WINGATE, R.A.
DIRECTOR OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, EGYPTIAN ARMY; AUTHOR OF 'MAHDIISM AND THE EGYPTIAN SUDAN'
WITH MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
BY WALTER C. HORSLEY
THIRD EDITION
LONDON
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY
LIMITED
St. Dunstan's House
FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.C.
1892
(All rights reserved.)LONDON:
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, Limited,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
PREFACE.
-----After the fall of Khartum in January 1885, various attempts were from time to time made to effect theFATHER OHRWALDER.
release of some of the European prisoners who had fallen into the Mahdi's hands during the early
stages of the Sudan revolt.
These attempts were for the most part attended with little result. The causes of their failure, and eventual success in
one instance, are fully described in the following personal narrative of Father Ohrwalder.
As Father Ohrwalder is the first European who has escaped from the Sudan since 1885, I was fully occupied with him
during the few days immediately following his arrival in ascertaining, for official purposes, the actual situation in the
Sudan, and that completed, we had many interesting conversations on the historical events which had occurred in these
revolted districts during the last ten years.
[A]Having but recently completed a resumé of these events, which had been largely compiled from the statements of
natives who had escaped, I was not unnaturally desirous to verify, by the independent witness of Father Ohrwalder, the
accounts which they had given, and I further begged Father Ohrwalder to carefully read over the book and point out the
errors. It was with considerable satisfaction that I learnt from him that the facts had been faithfully recorded; but the flood
of light which he was enabled to throw on many obscure passages, and the great interest attaching to the narrative of an
active participator in so many of these now historic occurrences, induced me to suggest that he should set to work, while
the memory of these events was fresh in his mind, to write a personal narrative of his varied and terrible experiences, of
which the general public have hitherto learnt but the bare outline.
It should be borne in mind that the circumstances under which Father Ohrwalder lived in the Sudan precluded him from
keeping any written record of his life; it was therefore agreed that I should supervise his work which, I need scarcely add,
it has given me great pleasure to do. Father Ohrwalder's manuscript, which was in the first instance written in German,
was roughly translated into English by Yusef Effendi Cudzi, a Syrian; this I entirely rewrote in narrative form. The work
does not therefore profess to be a literal translation of the original manuscript, but rather an English version, in which I
have sought to reproduce accurately Father Ohrwalder's meaning in the language of simple narration.
England and the British public in general have shown so much interest in the stirring events which have occurred in the
Sudan, and in which many gallant British officers and men have lost their lives, that it is Father Ohrwalder's desire that the
narrative of his experiences should be published in the first instance in England, as his modest tribute to the nation which
struggled so gallantly, and so nearly successfully, to effect the relief of Khartum and the rescue of those unfortunate
Europeans who, like himself, had fallen into the hands of a cruel and merciless enemy.
It seems almost incredible that such sufferings as the European captives endured did not long ago bring to them the
happy release of death they so ardently longed for; but it was not to be. The door of escape, which they had thought
closed to them for ever, suddenly opened, and they did not fear to risk the dangers and perils of that terrible desert
journey, with scanty food and water, and the sure knowledge that they must ride for bare life; re-capture would have
ended in certain death, or, at best, perpetual incarceration in a prison, the horrors of which beggar description. In spite,
however, of all he has endured, Father Ohrwalder longs for the time when it may be possible for him to return to the
Sudan and continue the Mission work so suddenly and hopelessly interrupted since 1882.
I am greatly indebted to Mr. Walter C. Horsley for the admirable manner in which he has executed his portion of the
illustrations. The remainder are chiefly from photographs, taken by Mr. Lekegian in his photographic studio in Cairo, of
Dervish prisoners captured at the action of Toski, and of refugees who have recently reached Cairo from Equatoria,
through the territory administered by the Imperial British East Africa Company.
F. R. Wingate.
Cairo, 30th July, 1892.
FOOTNOTES:
[A] Published under the title of 'Mahdiism and the Egyptian Sudan.' London: Macmillan & Co. 1891.
CONTENTS.
-----INTRODUCTION.
FATHER OHRWALDER'S JOURNEY TO THE SUDAN.
PAGE
Description of Kordofan and Dar Nuba—The Mission Station at Delen 1
CHAPTER I.
THE MAHDI AND HIS RISE TO POWER.
The rise of the Mahdi—Early successes—Personal appearance—His
6
Khalifas described—Military organization—Makes new laws—He summons El Obeid to surrender
CHAPTER II.
FATHER OHRWALDER AND HIS COMPANIONS TAKEN CAPTIVE.
The storm rises in Dar Nuba—The Baggara begin to raid—Khojur Kakum of Delen—Mek Omar
besieges Delen—The slave guard deserts the Mission—The priests and nuns surrender—They 22
are sent to the Mahdi
CHAPTER III.
THE MISSIONARIES AND THE MAHDI.
Description of El Obeid—Said Pasha's system of defence—The Mahdi's followers encircle the town
—Townspeople desert to the Mahdi—Unsuccessful attack on Government buildings—Dervishes
34driven off with loss of 10,000 men—The missionaries brought before the Mahdi—Threatened with
death—Preparations for the execution—Reprieved at the last moment—The Mahdi's camp
described—Death of some of the missionaries—Illness of remainder
CHAPTER IV.
THE SIEGE OF EL OBEID.
Terrible sufferings of the besieged—The Kababish—Fall of Bara—Fall of El Obeid—The Mahdi
enters the town—Fate of the El Obeid Mission—Cold-blooded murder of the brave defenders—
52The Dervishes live a life of ease in El Obeid—The Mahdi makes laws—He sends out
proclamations—Prestige increased by capture of town—News from Khartum—Bonomi and
Ohrwalder summoned before the Mahdi—The interview
CHAPTER V.
THE MAHDI'S VICTORY OVER HICKS PASHA.
The European captives learn that General Hicks is advancing—Slatin Bey's defence of Darfur—His
heroism—The Mahdi prepares to resist Hicks—The march of the Hicks Expedition—Extracts from
the diary of Major Herlth—Colonel Farquhar's gallantry at Rahad—Gustav Klootz deserts to the 72
Mahdi—Klootz's interview with the Mahdi in which Ohrwalder and Bonomi act as interpreters—The
expedition advances towards Shekan—Is surrounded and annihilated—Description of the battle—
The Mahdi victor of Kordofan
CHAPTER VI.
THE MAHDI'S TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO EL OBEID.
Fall of Darfur—Slatin surrenders—The Mahdi's divinity credited after the annihilation of Hicks—King
Adam of Tagalla—Stambuli's kindness to the European captives—Gordon writes to the Mahdi—
Power's letter—The sisters seized and distributed amongst the emirs—They are tortured—The
91missionaries turned into slaves—The terrible journey to Rahad—The Greeks come to the help of
the sisters—The proclamation concerning the treatment of priests and hermits by Mohammedans—The Mahdi at Rahad—Ohrwalder's interviews with the Mahdi concerning religion—The
Dervishes attack the Nubas
CHAPTER VII.
FATHER OHRWALDER'S VIEWS OF GORDON'S MISSION.
Ohrwalder describes his treatment at the hands of various masters—The Nubas surrender and
afterwards desert—News from Khartum—The capture of the English mail—Its arrival at the
Mahdi's camp—The Mahdi decides to advance on Khartum—Brief review of events in Khartum 114
and Berber—Ohrwalder's views on Gordon's mission—The Mahdi sets out for Khartum—
Mohammed Ali Pasha's defeat and death—Colonel Stewart, Mr. Power, and others leave Khartum
in ss. "Abbas"—Description of their wreck and treacherous murder
CHAPTER VIII.
THE SIEGE AND FALL OF KHARTUM.
The surrender of Omdurman fort—Gordon's dispositions for defence—His great personal influence—
The night before the assault—The attack and entry of the Dervishes—Gordon's death—The
adventures of Domenico Polinari—The massacre in Khartum—How most of the Europeans died
131
—Ruthless cruelty and bloodshed—The fate of the wives and daughters of Khartum—Ohrwalder's
views on the situation in Khartum and the chances of relief by the British Expeditionary Force—His
description of the town three months after the fall
CHAPTER IX.
THE MAHDI'S LAST DAYS.
Ohrwalder's criticisms on certain events connected with the defence of Khartum—The Sudan
devastated by small-pox—The Mahdi gives way to a life of pleasure—Description of his harem life
152
—The Mahdi sickens and dies—The effect on his followers—The Khalifa Abdullah succeeds—
Party strife and discord—Abdullah prevails—Events in Sennar and Kassala
CHAPTER X.
THE ESCAPE OF FATHER BONOMI.
Ohrwalder continues to describe his personal experiences—Mahmud the emir of El Obeid—His
unsuccessful attempts to entrap the Nubas—The arrival of Olivier Pain in El Obeid—His motives in
joining the Mahdi—His journey towards Omdurman—His sad fate—Lupton Bey arrives at El Obeid 169
from the Bahr el Ghazal—He is sent to Omdurman and thrown into chains—Life in El Obeid—The
escape of Father Bonomi—Ohrwalder's solitude—The death of the Khojur Kakum
CHAPTER XI.
REVOLT AGAINST THE DERVISHES.
The black soldiers of the old Sudan army—They revolt against the Dervishes in El Obeid—And march
189off to Dar Nuba—The emir Mahmud pursues and is slain—Ohrwalder quits El Obeid for
Omdurman—Zogal and Abu Anga at Bara
CHAPTER XII.
OHRWALDER'S IMPRESSIONS OF OMDURMAN.
Ohrwalder's arrival in Omdurman—His first impressions of the Dervish capital—Khalifa Abdullah's
intentions to conquer Egypt—Wad Suleiman of the beit el mal—Wad Adlan succeeds—Gordon's
204
clothes, medals, &c.—Adlan reorganizes the beit el mal—The slave market, museum, mint, and
system of coinage—Counterfeit coining—The lithograph press—The Khalifa's system of justice
CHAPTER XIII.
THE KHALIFA DECIDES TO CONQUER ABYSSINIA.
Events subsequent to the fall of Khartum—Capture of Gedaref and Galabat—Dervishes defeated by
Abyssinians at Galabat—Abu Anga's victorious expedition to Tagalla—His triumphal return to
216Omdurman—The Khalifa's grand review—Destruction of the Gehena tribe—The Khalifa decides 216
to send Abu Anga's army to conquer Abyssinia—The battle of Dabra Sin—Abu Anga sacks
Gondar—The victorious Dervishes return to Galabat—Rejoicings at Omdurman
CHAPTER XIV.
KING JOHN OF ABYSSINIA KILLED IN BATTLE.
Destruction of the Kababish tribe and death of Saleh Bey—Events in Darfur—Revolt of Abu
Gemaizeh—His death and destruction of his army—Rabeh Zubeir—King Theodore's son visits
Omdurman—The conspiracy of "Sayidna Isa"—Death of Abu Anga—King John of Abyssinia 232
attacks Galabat—Success of Abyssinians, but the king killed—Victory turned to defeat—The
king's head sent to Omdurman
CHAPTER XV.
DEFEAT OF NEJUMI AT TOSKI, AND OF OSMAN DIGNA AT TOKAR.
The Khalifa's intentions regarding Egypt—Wad en Nejumi despatched north—Various operations on
the Egyptian frontier—Battle of Toski—Defeat and death of Nejumi—Subsequent events in 254
Dongola—Osman Digna's operations against Sawakin—Is defeated at Tokar—Emin Pasha and
events in Equatoria—Recent events in Uganda and Unyoro
CHAPTER XVI.
THE FAMINE AT OMDURMAN—1888-1889.
Ohrwalder describes Omdurman—The Mahdi's tomb, and how it was built—Pilgrimage to Mecca
forbidden—A description of the great mosque—The Khalifa's palace—The markets—The 273
population—The Khalifa's tyrannical rule—The terrible famine of 1888-1889—Awful scenes and
sufferings—The plague of locusts
CHAPTER XVII.
THE KHALIFA AND HIS GOVERNMENT.
The Khalifa's system of government—His household—An outline of his character—His system of
prayers in the mosque—His visions and dreams—His espionage system—His household troops
293—His great activity and circumspection—The great Friday review described—The emigration of
the Baggara and western tribes to Omdurman—The flight of Sheikh Ghazali—Management of the
beit el mal—System of taxation
CHAPTER XVIII.
A CHAPTER OF HORRORS.
The revolt of the Batahin tribe—Revolt suppressed with appalling cruelty—Wholesale executions—
Method of hanging—Punishment by mutilation—The execution of Abdel Nur—Trade with Egypt— 315
Wad Adlan the emin beit el mal—His imprisonment and death
CHAPTER XIX.
SOCIAL LIFE AT OMDURMAN.
System of public security and justice in Omdurman—The court of small causes—Bribery and
corruption—The story of the slave and her mistress—How the Khalifa deals with quarrelsome
328persons—Thieves and pickpockets—The story of Zogheir—Usurers and their trade—The chief of
police—Brigandage—Disproportion of males to females in Omdurman—How the Khalifa
overcame the difficulty—Immorality—The marriage ceremony
CHAPTER XX.
THE KHALIFA'S TREATMENT OF THE WHITE CAPTIVES.
Description of the prison, or "Saier"—The "Abu Haggar"—The imprisonment of Charles Neufeld—
Terrible sufferings of the prisoners—Domenico Polinari—The danger of corresponding with the
344European prisoners—Neufeld threatened with death—He is given charge of the saltpetre pits—The fate of Sheikh Khalil, the Egyptian envoy—The Khalifa's treatment of the "Whites"—Exile to
the White Nile
CHAPTER XXI.
LUPTON BEY AND THE AMMUNITION.
The Khalifa's powder and ammunition begin to fail—Lupton Bey makes fulminate—Unsuccessful
366attempts to make powder—Yusef Pertekachi at last succeeds—The explosion in the powder
factory
CHAPTER XXII.
AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE IN THE MAHDI'S KINGDOM.
Remarks on the agriculture and commerce of the Mahdiist kingdom—A sandstorm in Omdurman—
376The paucity of cattle—System of taxation on imports—Provincial beit el mals—Local manufactures
—Slavery and the slave-markets—Torture of slaves
CHAPTER XXIII.
THE BAGGARA MASTERS OF THE SUDAN.
Relations between Abdullah and the rival Khalifas—Mahdiism practically dead—The Khalifa's son
Osman—His marriage to Yakub's daughter—His intentions regarding the succession—The
Baggara and the Aulad-Belad—The Baggara masters of the Sudan—Examples of their tyranny—
387
Emigration of the Rizighat tribe—Hostility between the Khalifa's and the late Mahdi's households—
The Ashraf conspiracy—Witchcraft—The dispute between the Khalifas—Riots in Omdurman—The
Mahdi's widows
CHAPTER XXIV.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE FLIGHT.
Ohrwalder forms plans for escape—The fate of other Europeans attempting to fly—Stricter
surveillance—Ohrwalder's means of livelihood—Letters from Cairo—The faithful Ahmed Hassan
408
discloses his plan—Archbishop Sogaro—Miseries of captivity in Omdurman—Death of Sister
Concetta Corsi—Preparations for flight
CHAPTER XXV.
ON CAMELS ACROSS THE GREAT NUBIAN DESERT.
Father Ohrwalder and Sisters Venturini and Chincarini escape—The ride for life—The rencontre with
the Dervish guard near Abu Hamed—Alarm of the party—The journey across the great Nubian 424
desert—Five hundred miles on camel-back in seven days—Arrival at the Egyptian outpost at
Murat—Safe at last—Arrival in Cairo
CHAPTER XXVI.
THE PRESENT KHALIFA'S DESPOTISM IN THE SUDAN.
Reflections on the situation in the Sudan—The horrors of the present Khalifa's rule—How long shall it
447
continue?
451
INDEX.