Firban - Emburg - Lasterne
On the 4th August 1873 H.I.M. crossed the frontier of his territories to attack + invade the kingdom of Fredrichsburg. This invasion after the surrender of Nukhel was a despotic movement on the part of H.I.M.
The enemy had posted his troops in and about the village of Firban. Batteries of great strength were erected at every available spot, just a mile behind a second line of batteries stronger than the first. This strong position was occupied by an army of about 215 men commanded by DM Hasher. His majesty arrived in front of Firban, which lie on the borders, at 7 am on the morning of the 4th. By 9.30 the whole army numbering about 200 arrived on the scene. H.I.M. after an ineffectual attempt to shell the position opened a sharp cannonade but with little effect. At 10.30 Major-General Campbell’s Division with DA were extended to the right in order to turn the enemy’s left. The guns drove all within the fort. The fire of the Batteries was so severe that the troops began to waver. The 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards coming to the support a general rush was made + the Battery (No [left blank]) was stormed + taken the enemy abandoning the intervening space between the 1st and 2nd lines.
A strong body of Cavalry charged the troops who threw them back by a sharp rattle of musketry. H.I.M. leaving command to his generals, at the head of his regiment (5th DG) 10th Hussars with the Enniskilleners and Greys in reserve rode at the enemy. Although superior in numbers, the enemy were cut to pieces, not without hard fighting, frightful loss + the charging of the reserve. The conflict taking place in front of the battery it could not fire + being stormed was taken by the CG 3rd Battalion. At 12 the 23rd Welch Fusiliers 8th + 9th Foot + D’s Artillery advanced to storm the village. At 2 the village was taken + the centre of the enemy’s position was stormed + taken at the point of the bayonet by the grand charge of the Guards under Major Gen Cambridge. The Irish Regt + the Reserve formed in line to receive them were overthrown + put to rout by the irresistible fury of the attack + the solidity of the column.
A trifling advantage on the right was temporarily gained by the defeat of the 8th Hussars by the enemy’s Lancers and Firban for a moment was in the enemy’s hands. But the 1st LG under Mercury charging defeated him with great slaughter the enemy quickly abandoned the position + fled in disorder. By 7 pm all firing had ceased, the victory gained. The enemy had 80 killed + 132 wounded. Our loss was 120 killed + wounded. The Grenadier Guards, 5th DDG + 10th Hussars had lost ¾s of their original complement + H.I.M. was wounded, his life being saved by Lt Col Ellis of the 5 D Guards who was killed in a charge at Abosot at Sep 11 1873.
The enemy were immediately followed by H.I.M. and his whole army. Receiving considerable reinforcements he halted at the next town Emburg where he received r=the second defeat at the hands of H.I.M. The village being the centre of his position the 11th Hussars charges up the main street + gained the place, very few infantry being there. The enemy attacked the town repeatedly with the 12th Lancers 4th Hussars and 2nd Dragoons as H.I.M. sent forward the 5 DG. The town was taken + retaken 4 times but finally the overthrow of his Cuirassiers, who had outflanked Emburg, by the 1st LG and defeat of the whole of his cavalry in Emburg by the final charge of the 6th D[ragoons] and 2nd D[ragoons].
After this severe cavalry contest the enemy withdrew, his position being enfiladed on the left by the severe fire of DA. They were followed so quickly that H.I.M. came up with them near Lasterne whither where they were retreating. Overtures of peace being made H.I.M. was absent attending the conference. This did not however prevent hostilities. General Mercury who commanded in the absence of the Emperor immediately attacked the enemy (altho' in a strong position) with the bayonet. As the troops advanced the terrific fire to which they were exposed broke the column s. At this moment the enemy launched his cavalry into the demoralised ranks. A terrible slaughter ensued. The Guards alone stood firm till the arrival of the Heavy Brigade of the Cavalry of the Guard dispersed the enemy’s squadrons. This cavalry fight had covered the advance of DA and the Armstrong being brought to bear upon the enemy’s massed columns played with dreadful effect upon them forcing them to relinquish the ground.
The victory was dearly won. Out of 35 men the Grenadier Guards left 25 dead upon the field. Other regiments, particularly of the Guard, suffered in proportion. The Coldstreamers were almost annihilated, the 5th Imperial Dragoon Guards lost 5/6ths of their original complement. This battle (Lasterne) was fought 11th August 1873.
The enemy however showed a great desire for peace. H.I.M. at once entered into negotiation + peace was signed 13th Aug 1873.
A million-and-a-half war indemnity, expenses paid + the large county of Bordrore annexed to the empire were the fruit of the campaign. On the payment of the money H.I.M. immediately evacuated the enemy territory.