SOUTH AFRICA 1835-53 ‘LIEUT E. J. DICKSON, 91ST REGT’, COMMISSION DOCUMENTS, LETTERS AND LEATHER BOUND DIARY 1846-8.
Major General Edward John Dickson was born Jersey, 16 May 1821 and was commissioned Ensign in the 75th Foot in 1839. He served in the Cape of Good Hope from 26 July 1840, until mid 1848, initially with the 75th Foot, then the 91st. During his service during the ‘War of the Axe’, 1846-7, he was mentioned in dispatches and was highly commended for his gallantry at the attack on the convoy at Trompeter's Drift, 21 May 1846. Here he commanded the advanced party, having his horse shot from under him and subsequently commanding a defence until ammunition was expended. The group for sale contains not only Dickson’s South Africa Campaign medal but 5 original Commissions documents, 22 military related letters and an extremely rare leather bound personal journal/diary, kept by him throughout the War of 1846-7 and into 1848. The contents of the latter have remained unpublished.
“Lieut. Edward John Dickson.— Ens. 75th Foot, 27th Sept. 1839 ; Lieut., 14th Oct. 1842 ; 91st, 11th Aug. 1843; Capt. Ceylon Regiment, 13th April 1849; half-pay 30th April 1850 ; Staff Officer of Pensioners I. of Man, 1st Sept. 1854; Brev.-Maj., 27th Dec. 1860; Brev.-Lieut.-Col., 15th Oct. 1871 ; Col., l«t Oct. 1877; retired with Hon. Rank of Maj.-Gen,, 20th Mar. 1878. Served with the 91st in the Kaffir War of 1846-47, and had his horse shot under him when proceeding from Grahamstown to Fort Peddle 21st May 1846 (medal ; mentioned in despatches). “
Before leaving South Africa in June 1848 to attend a Medical Board in the United Kingdom (he contracted a serious illness while in South Africa) Lieutenant Dickson also served as Temporary In Charge of the 'Fingoe Levies' at Fort Hare. After his good service in South Africa , Dickson's military career included an expensive purchase into the 'Ceylon Rifle Regiment', and subsequent administrative appointments in the United Kingdom, latterly on the Staff looking after Pension Establishments in the Isle of Man. He retired as a Major-General in 1878.
1). A leather bound journal/diary, approximately 7” x 4 .5”, as carried by Dickson during the War of the Axe. The diary covers the period 1846-48. This relates to his services on the frontier in South Africa, and includes mentions of many British Officers as well as NCO's and Other Ranks of the 91st. The book ends with his return voyage to the United Kingdom in 1847. Estimated in excess of 150 entry pages of text, the entry pages all in legible long hand, also a few pages with tables and abstract lists. Leather covers notated with his name and shows use. Binding is weak, pages with occasional spotting and some sprung loose but complete.
2) Five original Commissions/Warrants documents for the ranks of:
Lieutenant, 9lst Foot, 11 August 1843
Captain, Ceylon Rifle Regiment, 13 April 1849
Staff Captain to Command detachments of Pensioners in the Isle of Man, 1 September 1854
Lieutenant Colonel, 25 October 1871
Colonel, Land Forces, 1 October 1877
3) Twenty two hand written letters variously dated 1845 - 1860, these relating to appointments, and testimonials from senior Officers who had served in South Africa , some written in South Africa, others in the UK. Includes May 1846 copy of General Orders in which Lieutenant Dickson is mentioned for his gallantry, as well as those to/from Horse Guards concerning his request for suitable appointments, and medical board reports.
Additionally a photocopy of a portrait of the recipient with wearing his South Africa medal, on which the footnote indicates he became a 'Major-General'.
Condition: Medal is VF, nice original ribbon and brooch buckle. Original documentation relating to the British Infantry in the Kaffir Wars seldom appears on the market, and much less so in company with the recipients medal. A very fine a rare group that will prove a most interesting research project.