Blood River, Battle of
(1838)
   An engagement between the Boers and the Zulu during the former group’s Great Trek, the Battle of Blood River was fought on December 16, 1838, along the banks of the Blood River in Natal in southern Africa. The Boers, led by Andreas Pretorius, encountered a force of 10,000 Zulu under Dingaan. The battle, in which 3,000 Zulu died with no losses on the Boer side, was a reckoning for the Bloukrans Massacre (February 17, 1838) in which a Zulu force had attacked a Boer laager and killed 41 men, 56 women, and 97 children in violation of a pact in which Dingaan had agreed to permit a Boer settlement in northern Natal.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Davenport, T.R.H., and Christopher Saunders. South Africa: A Modern History. New York: St. Martins, 2000;
    Harrison, David. The White Tribe of South Africa. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982;
    Morris, Donald R. The Washing of the Spears. London: Cape, 1966.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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