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Last Outpost on the Zulu FrontiersFort Napier and the British Imperial Garrison$
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Graham Dominy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040047

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040047.001.0001

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Soldiers in Garrison

Soldiers in Garrison

Discipline, Indiscipline, and Mutiny

Chapter:
(p.79) 7 Soldiers in Garrison
Source:
Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontiers
Author(s):

Graham Dominy

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040047.003.0007

This chapter examines the problem of discipline within the ranks of the Victorian army stationed at Fort Napier and how alcohol abuse sparked the mutiny of the Cape Mounted Riflemen (CMR) detachment at the Bushman's River post in 1852. Drunkenness was almost all-pervasive at Fort Napier throughout its existence as a garrison center. The abuse of alcohol provided the fuel for conflict in various incidents, both minor and major. The chapter first provides a background on the CMR, also known as the Cape Corps, in the Colony of Natal before discussing “interior life” in the garrison. It then describes the dispersal of small units across Zululand and how it exacerbated the general problems of crime and drunkenness among soldiers. It also analyzes the CMR mutiny in the context of the Eighth Frontier War (1850–53) in the eastern Cape; this event and the mutiny of the Inniskilling Fusiliers at Fort Napier in 1887 were the most pronounced episodes of indiscipline and inhumanity to occur during the seven decades of military occupation.

Keywords:   discipline, Victorian army, Fort Napier, mutiny, Cape Mounted Riflemen, drunkenness, garrison, Colony of Natal, crime, indiscipline

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