Anglo-Ashanti Wars

The Anglo-Ashanti Wars were a series of five small conflicts between the Ashanti Empire, in the Akan interior of the Gold Coast and the invading British Empire and allied African states that took place between 1824 and 1901.

The wars were mainly due to Ashanti attempts to establish strong control over the coastal areas of what is now Ghana. Coastal peoples, such as the Fante and the inhabitants of Accra, who were chiefly Ga, came to rely on British protection against Ashanti incursions.

Allies & Allied African States Ashanti
1st Conflict
strength - 11,000
Casualities - unknown
2nd Conflict
strength - unknown
3rd Conflict
strength - 2,500
Casualities - 18 killed, 185 wounded
4th Conflict
strength - 2,200
Casualities - 18 Europeans dead due to sickness and 50% troops ill
5th Conflict
strength - 2,500
Casualities - 1007 killed

1st Conflict - First Anglo-Ashanti War (1823-1831)
strength - 20,000
Casualities - 2,000
2nd Conflict - Second Anglo-Ashanti War 1863
strength - unknown
3rd Conflict - Third Anglo-Ashanti War 1873
strength - unknown
Casualities - 18 killed in action 55 from disease 165 wounded Europeans and 29 African
4th Conflict - Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War 1895 strength - unknown
Casualities - unknown
5th Conflict - Fifth War or "War of the Golden Stool" 1900
strength - 2,000
Casualities - 1007 killed
Many britsh Casualties died of disease
Numbers are Approximate

First Anglo-Ashanti War
The British had decided to support the Fanti, enemies of the Ashanti. The cause of the war was when a group of Ashanti kidnapped and murdered an African sergeant of the Royal African Corps. A small British group was led into a trap which resulted in 10 killed, 39 wounded and a British retreat.
In retaliation MacCarthy the governor led an invading force in two columns: he was in the first group of 500, out of touch with the second column of 2,500 when he encountered an Ashanti army of around 10,000 on 22 January 1824, in the Battle of Nsamankow. The British were overrun with almost all the British forces being killed immediately.
The new governor, John Hope Smith, gathered a new army, mainly comprising of natives from the traditional enemies of the Ashanti. In August 1826 the governor heard that the Ashanti were planning on attacking Accra. A defensive position was prepared 10 miles north of Accra and the 11,000 men waited. On 7 August the Ashanti army appeared and attacked the centre of the British line which included some Royal Marines, the militia and a battery of Congreve rockets. The battle dissolved into hand-to-hand fighting but when the the rockets were fired the Ashanti fled leaving thousands of casualties on the field

Second Anglo-Ashanti War
In 1863, a large Ashanti army crossed the Pra river chasing a fugitive, Kwesi Gyana. There was fighting, with casualties on both sides, but the governor's request for troops from England was declined and sickness forced the withdrawal of his troops.

The Third Anglo-Ashanti War
Britain expanded their territory when they bought the Dutch Gold Coast, including Elmina which was claimed by the Ashanti. The Dutch had signed the Treaty of Butre in 1656 with the Ahanta, this all changed with the sale of the Dutch Gold Coast. The Ashanti invaded the new British protectorate. General Garnet Wolseley with 2,500 British troops and several thousand West Indian and African troops was sent against the Ashanti.
The first troops arrived and from 1 January 1874 started marching along the road to the front.The troops comprised a battalion of the Black Watch, Rifle Brigade and Royal Welsh Fusiliers, along with the 1st and 2nd West Indian Regiment, a Naval Brigade, two native regiments, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Royal Marines.
The Battle of Amoaful was fought on 31 January. A road was cut to the village and the Black Watch led the way, forming square in the clearing with the Rifle Brigade, whilst flanking columns moved around the village.The Black Watch charged with bayonets and the shocked Ashantis fled. The flank columns were slow moving in the jungle and the Ashantis moved around them, in their normal horseshoe formation and attacked the camp to the rear, the Royal Engineers defended themselves until relieved by the Rifle Brigade. The capital, Kumasi, was abandoned by the Ashanti when the British arrived on 4 February.

The Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War
The Ashanti turned down an unofficial offer to become a British protectorate in 1891.The Ashanti King Prempeh refused to surrender his sovereignty. Wanting to keep French and German forces out of Ashanti territory (and its gold), the British were anxious to conquer the Ashanti once and for all. Colonel Sir Francis Scott left Cape Coast with the main expeditionary force of British and West Indian troops in December 1895, Prempeh was arrested and deposed. He was forced to sign a treaty of protection, not a shot had been fired.

Fifth War or "War of the Golden Stool"
In the War of the Golden Stool (1900), Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson committed a political error by insisting he should sit on the Golden Stool, not understanding it was the Royal throne and very sacred to the Ashanti. The Ashanti, enraged by this act attacked the British Forces. The British retreated to a small stockade, where 8 Europeans, dozens of mixed-race colonial administrators, and 500 Nigerian Hausas with six small field guns and four Maxim guns defended themselves. The stockade was besieged, and the telegraph wires cut . A rescue party of 700 arrived in June, but with so many sick in the fort that could not be removed, the healthier men, Hodgson with his wife and 100 Hausas escaped, meeting up with the rescue party, they managing to avoid the 12,000 Ashanti warriors.
On 14 July a second relief force of 1,000 made it to Kumasi relieving the fort on the 15th when they only had a few days of supplies left. The remaining Ashanti had mounted the offensive against the British and Fanti troops resident at the Kumasi Fort, but were defeated.

Boldon Combatants
PrivateHenry KnowlesA Colliery Worker employed at Boldon Pit for over 40 year


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