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Encyclopedia > Battle of Blood River
Battle of Blood River
Part of the Great Trek
Date 16 December 1838
Location Blood river, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Result Boer victory
Combatants
Voortrekkers Zulu
Commanders
Andries Pretorius Dambuza
Ndlela kaSompisi
Strength
about 470 men between 10,000 and 20,000 men
Casualties
3 wounded 3,000 dead

The Battle of Blood River (Afrikaans: Slag van Bloedrivier) was fought on 16 December 1838 on the banks of the Blood River (Bloedrivier) in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A group of about 470 Voortrekkers, led by Andries Pretorius, defended a laager (circle of ox wagons) against Zulu impis, ruled by King Dingane and led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi, numbering between 10 and 20 thousand. Trekboers on the Karoo. ... December 16 is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... | Jöns Jakob Berzelius, discoverer of protein 1838 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... KwaZulu-Natal (often referred to as KZN) is a province of South Africa. ... The Voortrekkers (Afrikaans for pioneers, literally those who move ahead or first/forward traveler) were white Afrikaner farmers, then known as Boers, who in the 1830s and 1840s emigrated during a series of mass movements of a number of separate trekking contingents under different leaders in what is called the... The Zulu (South African English and isiZulu: amaZulu) are an African ethnic group of about 11 million people who live mainly in the province KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... Andries Pretorius Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (November 27, 1798 – 23 July 1853) was a leader of the Boers who was instrumental in the creation of the Transvaal Republic, as well as the earlier but short-lived Natalia Republic in present-day South Africa. ... Ndlela kaSompisi (died February 1840) was a key general to Zulu Kings Shaka and Dingane, and also served as Dinganes induna - his chief advisor. ... Afrikaans is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia with smaller numbers of speakers in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia. ... December 16 is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... | Jöns Jakob Berzelius, discoverer of protein 1838 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... KwaZulu-Natal (often referred to as KZN) is a province of South Africa. ... The Voortrekkers (Afrikaans for pioneers, literally those who move ahead or first/forward traveler) were white Afrikaner farmers, then known as Boers, who in the 1830s and 1840s emigrated during a series of mass movements of a number of separate trekking contingents under different leaders in what is called the... Andries Pretorius Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (November 27, 1798 – 23 July 1853) was a leader of the Boers who was instrumental in the creation of the Transvaal Republic, as well as the earlier but short-lived Natalia Republic in present-day South Africa. ... A laager is a defensive formation of vehicles. ... The Zulu (South African English and isiZulu: amaZulu) are an African ethnic group of about 11 million people who live mainly in the province KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... An Impi is an isiZulu word for any armed body of men. ... Dingane kaSenzangakhona (ca. ... Ndlela kaSompisi (died February 1840) was a key general to Zulu Kings Shaka and Dingane, and also served as Dinganes induna - his chief advisor. ...


On 15 December the Voortrekkers received word that a big Zulu force was approaching. Pretorius chose an excellent site next to the Blood river (then the Ncome river), where their ox wagons were arranged into a laager. In spite of mist settling that evening, it was clear the next day. Before the battle commenced, the Voortrekkers made a vow to God that, should they be delivered, they would build a church and commemorate the day as a Sabbath. December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ... This artyicle concerns the Sabbath in Christianity. ...


The Zulus repeatedly and unsuccessfully attacked the laager, until Pretorius ordered a group of horse riders to leave the encampment and engage the Zulus. In the fighting, Pretorius was wounded in his left hand by an assegaai (Zulu spear). An Askari guards an Allied air training school at Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa. ...


Partly due to the fact that the Voortrekkers used rifles and at least one light cannon against the Zulus' spears, as well as the good location and motivation of the Voortrekkers, only three Voortrekkers were wounded and none perished; that contrasted against the more than 3,000 Zulu warriors who died.


16 December is a public holiday in South Africa; before 1994 it was known as the Day of the Vow or Day of the Covenant; but today it is the Day of Reconciliation. December 16 is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... The Day of the Vow was a public holiday held in South Africa before 1994. ... The Day of the Vow was a public holiday held in South Africa before 1994. ... The Day of the Vow public holiday in South Africa, celebrated annually on 16 December, became the Day of Reconciliation after the South African Public holidays act of 1994 was passed. ...


In 1978 a prominent Pretoria academic Floors van Jaarsveld questioned the motivation behind the commemoration of the victory and was subsequently tarred and feathered during a public lecture by members of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement. City motto: Praestantia Praevaleat Pretoria (May Pretoria Be Pre-eminent In Excellence) Province Gauteng Area  - % water 1,644 km² 0. ... Tarring and feathering is a physical punishment, at least as old as the Crusades, used to enforce formal justice in feudal Europe and informal justice in Europe and its colonies in the early modern period, as well as the early American frontier, mostly as a type of mob vengeance (compare... The flag of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, also called Afrikaner Resistance Front or AWB, is an extremist right-wing political group of South Africa. ...

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References

  • "Nuwe Geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika", revised edition, by Cameron & Spies. Human & Rousseau, 1991.
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See also

  • List of battles 1801-1900
[edit]

List of battles - List of battles before 601 - List of battles 601-1400 - List of battles 1401-1800 - List of battles 1801-1900 - List of battles 1901-2000 - List of battles 2001-current See also: Battles of the American Civil War // Nineteenth Century 1801 to 1825 1801 - Battle of Aboukir...

External links

  • In-depth description of the battle

  Results from FactBites:
 
Blood River (752 words)
The reconstructed battlesite at Blood River, situated near Dundee in northern Natal, dramatically illustrates a victory for fire power and military strategy in one of the most famous battles in South African history.
Blood River was, in essence, an act of retribution to avenge the massacre of Piet Retief and his followers at Mgungundlovu.
The Boers' victory at Blood River ensured the survival of the Trekkers in Natal and paved the way for the establishment of the Republic of Natalia.
The Battle of Blood River by Pastor Mark Downey (2574 words)
The most famous of massacres, which prompted Blood River, was February 5, 1838, when the Voortrekkers tried to negotiate a land settlement with the Zulu king, Dengane.
It was a 14 foot deep trench on one side and the Ncome river into which it flowed on the other side; on the remaining sides were open plains to easily rake with gunfire.
In spite of the downpour of spears and arrows that the spear chuckers chucked, all of the animals miraculously remained calm.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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