|Above: This page from the Duke of Cambridge's visiting or calling book from 14 February, 1879 bears the bold and confidant signature of Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial of
This entry was made during the Prince's visit to the Commander in Chief when he received permission on 25 February to journey to South Africa along with a letter of introduction
from the Duke to Chelmsford.
Given what lay in store for the young Napoleon, in a sense this document might even be viewed as the Prince's self-signed death warrant.
There are a total of three pages (six sides) in this collection which bear an almost who's who of British society as well as some noted foreign signatories. Just above the Prince's
signature is that of the Minister of the United States and his party.
Amongst the many members of the British military who signed these pages are two officers who figured quite prominently in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 - Major General Frederick
Marshall who would command the Cavalry Brigade of the Second Division during the second invasion and that of Major J. C. Russell, 12th Lancers - who was the first man of Lord
Chelmsford's battered column to reach Rorke's Drift after the epic siege of the mission station as Chelmsford fell back into Natal after the disaster at Isandlwana.
Guest Register Page
6 1/2 Inches x 15 1/2 Inches
`(6.5cm x 39 cm)
14 Februray - 15 February 1879
|Above: A detail of the Prince Imperial's bold and confident signature.
|Above: The signature of Major General Frederick Marshall who would command the Cavalry Brigade during Chelmsford's second invasion of Zululand. At the time Marshall was the
most junior and the youngest major general in the British Army. He signed the guest book on 22 February, 1879.
Both Russell and Marshall's visits to the Commander in Chief as documented by their signatures were probably directly related to their posting to South African during the
|Above: The signature of Major J. C. (John Cecil) Russell, 12th Lancers dated 16 December 1878 from an associated page of the Duke of Cambridge's guest register. Russell's
appointment to command all mounted volunteers during the first invasion raised the ire of the volunteers who wanted to serve under their own officer. He took part in the first phase of
the war and was out on reconnaissance with Chelmsford on 22 January when the camp at Isandlwana was over run and it's garrison massacred. He was also the first man of
Chelmsford's column to enter Rorke's Drift after the epic siege of 22-23 January, 1879.
Prior to the War Russell se ved as equerry to the Prince of Wales and a member of the so-called Wolseley Ring, having accompanied Sir Garnet during the Ashanti Expedition of 1873.