THE WEDDING FEAST WAR - The Final Tragedy of the Xhosa People Now Available
THE WEDDING FEAST WAR, Keith Smith, South Africa, Military
There are few published works which deal with the last of the South African frontier wars, fought in 1877–78, and none which covers it in detail. The lack of a published comprehensive study of this important war is all the more surprising because it set the final seal on the relegation of the majority Xhosa Africans, who inhabited the Eastern Cape, to the position of lowly workers for the colonists.
This work, written after extensive research in British and South African archives, is an attempt to rectify the omission. The last of the nine Frontier Wars fought between 1799–1877 was in many ways a 'prequel' to the more famous Zulu War of 1879, featuring as it did many of the British regiments and personalities who were to fight at Isandlwana, as well as being the final defeat of the Xhosa people and their reduction to lowly workers for the colonists.
This war saw conflict between the British authorities (the governor-general and the commander-in-chief) and the government of the Cape, leading to the dismissal of that government by Sir Bartle Frere, the Governor-General. The Wedding Feast War makes extensive use of British Parliamentary Papers, official War Office dispatches and personal accounts and correspondence to tell the full story of this neglected yet fascinating episode of South African military history, which provides an insight into the origins and attitudes of the principal figures in the following conflict with the Zulus.
Keith Smith is a retired computer consultant with a long-standing interest in South African military history. He has published several books on the subject, including Harry Smith's Last Throw, also published by Frontline Books.