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From Harper's Weekly. Copyright, 1896, by Harper & Bros.


the siege to witness their bravery. The armament of the fortress was insufficient, only four cannon being available; and ammunition and rations were short. The Abyssinians, intrenched on the neighboring heights, cut off the garrison from their water supply. When further resistance was hopeless, the commandant accepted the terms of surrender offered by Menelek. The garrison, taking all their arms and equipment, were permitted to march out and unmolested to rejoin the main body of the Italian army at Adigrat.

The fall of Makale left the way open for Menelek to advance against General Baratieri at Adigrat, or to interrupt the Italian commander's line of communication with Massowah. But before his army began to move from Makale, King Menelek sent an envoy to the Italian camp

to offer terms of peace. General Baratieri had been empowered by his government to conclude a treaty of peace; but the limits of his power were strictly defined, and those limits he could not transcend. The terms offered by the Abyssinian king were that the Italians should abandon all the positions occupied by them outside of the original boundaries of their colony of Erythrea, and that the treaty


of Uccialli (1889) should be revised to the extent of eliminating from it the provision for an Italian protectorate over Abyssinia. To neither of these stipulations was General Baratieri empowered to assent, so he declared the terms to be unacceptable, and immediately broke off negotiations.

General Baratieri's conduct of the war had for some weeks called forth hostile criticisms in the Italian parliament and in the press; and on February 24 an orITALIAN COMMANDER DEFEATED der of the war department was issued deposing him from the chief command and constituting him commander of one of the two divisions of the army in Abyssinia. General Luigi Pelloux, formerly minister of war, was named as his successor; but two days later the name of General Baldissera was substituted for that of General Pelloux.


BALDISSERA, GENERAL, is fifty-seven years of age, a native of Undine, in Venetian territory. He was admitted to the Military Academy of Wiener Neustadt at the instance of Maria Anna, empress of Austria, to whose notice the boy had been commended by the bishop of Undine. In the war of France and Piedmont with Austria, in 1859, he served in the imperial army against his own countrymen. He re mained in the Austrian service till 1866, and then entered the Italian army as major. He served in Italy's African colony of Erythrea from 1887 till 1890, having the chief command of the army there, and was for a time governor of Erythrea. Since 1890 he has commanded a military department in Italy. To Baldissera is due the first organization of the native troops of Italy's African province-troops that ever since have given a good account of themselves in the protracted war against Abyssinia.

On March 1, when General Baldissera was en route for Massowah, bringing considerable reinforcements of men and war material, General Baratieri advanced from Adigrat in force, intending to attack and defeat the great Abyssinian army concentrated at Adowa, before his successor should arrive. The Italians captured, without meeting any

serious opposition, the passes leading to Adowa. The Abyssinian army numbered about 60,000 men, well armed, well disciplined, flushed with victory, and commanded by Menelek in person and the other native generals who in previous encounters with the Italians had given proof of no mean strategical ability. The numerical strength of the Italian forces is not stated in the meagre and unsatisfactory reports of the action that have



so far been published, but it was not less than 20,000 (not improbably 25,000) with a proportionately large train of artillery. The attack was delivered blindly. General Albertone's column, advancing on Abba Carima, soon found itself engaged with the whole of Menelek's army. Arimondi's brigade was called up from the centre to cover Albertone's retreat. But the movement could not be executed, owing to the obstacles presented by the broken nature of the ground. Presently the attack of the Abyssinians extended along the whole Italian front and enveloped both wings. After a desperate struggle the Italians were forced to give way, and the army was broken up into its individual elements. General Baratieri seems to have been the first, or one of the first, to reach a place of safety; the mass of the army, less the dead and the wounded, headed for Adigrat. All the artillery (fifty-two guns), thousands of rifles, and a great quantity of war material were left on the field or thrown away in the precipitate flight. The loss in killed was probably as much as 3,000; of the number of wounded and prisoners no report has yet been published. The Abyssinians seem to have been content with routing the enemy, at least no mention of a pursuit of the fugitive host is made in the accounts of the affair that have so far come to light. The native African soldiers in the Italian army showed courage and discipline, but they could not avail to steady the panic-stricken ranks. The captured artillery and other war material will add much to the effective force of the Abyssinian armies: the difficulties in the way of the subjugation of the Abyssinians by Italy are enormously increased.

General Baratieri's report of the battle, made to the Italian war department, has not been deemed worth publication in extenso by the public press; its character may perhaps be surmised from such imperfect summaries of its contents as this:

The report explains why the Italians were obliged to make the attack upon the Abyssinians as they did, and why the former were defeated. General Albertone's brigade, the report says, had advanced too far and lost contact with the main army. To protect them, Baratieri was obliged to move forward. The white troops of Albertone's command did not resist the assault of the Abyssinians, and fell back in disorder, hindering the artillery from taking position. The black troops of the brigade were braver and fought with more valor and vigor than the whites. It is difficult, General Baratieri says, to ascertain the Italian losses accurately. Large numbers of the men are missing, who are supposed to be dead or taken prisoners.




Throughout Italy the intelligence of the great disaster to the army called forth a storm of popular rage against the ministry. Premier Crispi immediately tendered to King Humbert his resignation, but was by him advised to withhold it till the meeting of the chambers, so that he might discharge himself of responsibility for the conduct of the war. In Milan 30,000 persons took part in a tumultuous demonstration against the Crispi ministry. The police being unable to disperse the crowds, the troops were called out, and only after several bayonet charges were the streets cleared. At Pavia a crowd of men, women, and children attacked a train of railway coaches which were carrying troops to the coast for transportation to Massowah. The soldiers were dragged forcibly out of the cars, and the rails torn up to prevent the train from proceeding. Similar manifestations of intense popular feeling were made in all quarters of the peninsula. The police and military officers used great and unwonted forbearance in dealing with the excited multitudes: it was felt that a total breakdown of civil government and social order might occur at any moment.

The Marquis di Rudini succeeded Crispi as prime minister March 8. He immediately reopened negotiations for

peace with Menelek. This step, there is every reason to believe, was taken merely for the purpose of gaining time for assembling a new army, and winning the co-operation of European powers, England especially. Certain it is that both of these objects were gained, for reinforcements were poured into Massowah, and England decided to dispatch an expedition against the khalifa (as the successor of the Mahdi in the Soudan is called),

one avowed purpose of which is to save Italy from the necessity of defending Kassala against the dervishes while she proceeds to assert her sovereignty over Tigré.

About the time of the defeat of the Italians at Adowa, the Russian emperor conferred on King Menelek the grand cross of the Order of St. George, the highest military decoration in Russia. It is not, however, certain that this mark of favor was intended to have added significance at this special juncture.



At the end of March a dispatch from Massowah reported the force of dervishes investing Kassala to amount to 15,000: this is the estimate of Colonel Stevani, commanding the garrison of Kassala. The activity and enterprise of the dervishes are shown in the frequency of their attacks on the defenses of the place. A mixed Italian and native battalion, which was conveying a caravan from Kassala to Massowah, was attacked between Kassala and Sabderat, by 5,000 dervishes. Beaten off, the dervishes returned to the attack, having received reinforcements. Again they were repulsed, but the loss on the Italian side was 100 killed and wounded.

In the Abyssinian councils of state and war, the mind and will of Taïtou, Menelek's queen, count for a good deal.

This lady is credited with having some years ago caused the negotiations for peace with Italy to be dropped; and it is believed that it is she who procures the insertion, in every program for peace conventions, of one condition or another to which Italy cannot be brought to assent. The Italians, having occupied Massowah in 1885, had by 1889 seized nearly the whole of the province of Tigré, and in the northwest had established their rule almost as far as Kassala in the Mahdi's domain. In that year Menelek was induced to sign a treaty which the Italians interpret as giving to their king protectorate rights over Abyssinia. Menelek having protested against the protectorate, King

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