'Charge on The Gwanga, Cape of Good Hope, on the 8th June 1846'
Lithograph after Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Harry Darell (1814-1853) 7th Dragoon Guards, No 9 in the series 'China India Cape of Good Hope and Vicinity a Series of Thirteen Treble-Tinted Views'. published by Day and Son, London, 1852.
The 7th Frontier War began in March 1846 with the massacre of the escort for a Xhosa prisoner accused of the theft of an axe. When the Rharhabe Xhosa chief, Sandile, refused to surrender the murderers, a punitive expedition under Colonel Henry Somerset was sent to destroy his kraal in the Amatola Mountains; it was repulsed and the Xhosa began mounting raids which resulted in considerable loss of life and property.
On 8 June, Somerset's mounted column encountered a large force of Xhosa - which had made the tactical error of crossing open country in daylight - on the Gwanga, a tributary of the Keiskamma River. The country was ideal for a cavalry charge and the Xhosa were routed by a troop of 7th (The Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards wielding sabres, Cape Mounted Riflemen firing carbines, and mounted volunteers.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection