chapter  XX
En Route to Khartoum
Pages 12

W h i l e Gordon was hurrying to Khartoum-and not to Suakin as Lord Granville had originally planneda force of 3,715 Egyptians, under the command of General Valentine Baker, was marching to the relief of Sinkat and Tokar, two Egyptian garrisons on the Red Sea Coast. Though commanded by an Englishman, who had several British officers with him, the expedition was under the orders of the Khedive. Neither Gordon nor London was responsible for the enterprise. Osman Digna, a Sudanese chieftain, attacked this army at El Teb on 2nd February. The Egyptians were routed, 2,375 of their number being killed in the battle. Among the dead were three English officers, Captain Forrestier-Walker and Lieutenants Carroll Smith and Watkins, not to speak of the wounded or of the other Europeans who lost their lives.1