20 SEPTEMBER 1873, Page 1


TIHE event of the week has been a disastrous bit of news from the Ashantee country, where a naval reconnaissance of ours up the Prah,—the river which drains the Ashantee territory,—had fallen into an ambuscade, and been driven back, with wounds for almost all who took part in it, some of them very severe, among which was Commodore Commerell's, the commander of the expedition.. The disaster appears to have been due to a certain almost culpable unsuspiciousness in the brave and very popular Commodore who was in command. The Commodore, hearing of the presence of Ashantees in force on an island in the river Bussum Prah, determined, if possible, to drive them out ; and for that purpose held, on the 14th August last, a con- ference with the King of Chamah, a small place on the opposite (or non-Ashantee) bank, near the month of the river, in the hope of persuading him to give his assistance cordially to the English. The King professed complete neutrality, but de- clined to give any hostages to the English for that neutrality. Notwithstanding this, the Commodore accepted his neutrality as real, and proceeded. up the river close to the Chamah side of it, from which he theught nonttack was to be feared. An ambuscade had, however, been planned : a fierce fire was opened from the bank on the boats, and the expedition returned in deplorable condition to H.M.S. Rattlesnake, to bewail the Commodore's artlessness, and to revenge itself on Chamah for the treachery practised.