An digital archive on Eritrea and Ethiopia in particular and on the Horn of Africa, in general
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Muslim Egypt and Christian Abyssinia 1880
Moslem Egypt and Christian Abyssinia; Or, Military Service Under the Khedive, in his Provinces and Beyond their Borders, as Experienced by the American Staff
William McEntyre Dye (1831–99) was a graduate of the United States Military Academy, a former colonel in the United States Army, and a veteran of the American Civil War. In late 1873, Dye entered the service of Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt and Sudan, who was recruiting, with the assistance of General William T. Sherman, American officers to serve as advisors in his army. Egypt was at that time formally still part of the Ottoman Empire, but it exercised a high degree of autonomy. Dye served as assistant chief of staff in the Egyptian expedition against Abyssinia (Ethiopia), which Ismail Pasha launched in 1875 to conquer territory on the Red Sea coast. This book, published after Dye’s return to the United States, contains an extensive, first-hand account of the Abyssinian campaign. Despite the involvement of the foreign officers, Ismail Pasha’s army suffered serious defeats in November 1875 and March 1876, which Dye described and analyzed. The book is also noteworthy for its accounts of expeditions undertaken for the khedive to Kordostan in central Sudan and Darfur in western Sudan. The appendix contains an annotated list of 25 American officers (veterans of both the Union and Confederate armies and navies) connected to military service in Egypt between 1869 and 1878.