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Book source: Stedman's Surinam, Richard and Sally Price, The John Hopkins Univ. press, Baltimore, 1992. ISBN: 0-818-4260-3

Subject: [Mil. History] Gado Saby Is Taken (1775)

In August 1775 while on a patrol with some 140 men, Captain Meyland (a Swiss national) had discovered Gado Saby. The chief of the village was Boni. While crossing the swamp Capt. Meyland and his troops were attacked and he and his nephew were killed in action.. Upon this news, Col. Fourgeoud (a Swiss national) with some 200 European troops entered the woods for an expedition to destroy Gado Saby. He was later joined by 100 Black Rangers. These Black Rangers had the reputation to know how to engage the rebels much better than the marines. This expeditonary force followed the path made by capt. Meyland's troops as was known by the marks cut in the trees. Close to the location of Gado Saby the expeditonary force was attacked by the rebels who were hiding behind temporary fortifications of large trunks and roots of fallen trees. The expeditionary force drove off the attackers and when they were about to enter the town, a rebel captain with a torch set the town on fire and retreated with the wives and children. All what was left of Gado Saby was a smoking ruin. The town consisted of some 100 huts and a few of these were two stories high. In the town of Gado Saby the troops found three skulls fixed upon stakes. They were the skulls of the men of Capt. Meyland's patrol. There were also two skulls of young blacks. [Note: the head cutting of the dead involves a complex ritual and belief relating to self-protection against the avenging spirit of the deceased and can be traced to West Africa] After Gado Saby was taken, Col Fourgeoud ordered to destroy all found surrounding harvest fields. When al that was accomplished the expeditionary force returned to their base camp. The troops were completely spent, worn-out or sick. They did not capture any rebels but they had driven them away so they would never return to that same spot. ------

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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