Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.
Cairo , March 9, 1874. (Received April 10.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that Colonel Gordon, of the Royal English Engineers, who has been appointed to carry on the work commenced by Sir Samuel Baker in the lake regions of Central Africa, left Cairo for his field of duty about ten days ago.
Colonel Gordon was conspicuous in China during the rebellion against the imperial authority, and was instrumental in restoring law and order to the empire and completely suppressing the rebellion. For several years past he has been a member of the commission of the Danube. His present appointment was offered to him last summer, when His Highness the Khedive was at Constantinople, and was accepted by him late in the fall.
The only foreign officer who accompanied him from here was Lieut. Col. Charles Long, an American officer in the Egyptian service, who goes with the expedition as Gordon’s chief of staff.
Colonel Gordon has requested that Major Campbell, also an American officer in the Egyptian service, may be attached to his expedition, and the major will leave here for Khartoum in a few days to join Gordon at that place. A force of about two hundred and fifty men and native officers went with the expedition from this place, and as many more will be added at Khartoum as Colonel Gordon may think necessary.
Colonel Gordon is a man of about forty years of age, of medium stature, of quiet, unassuming manners, and apparently of iron constitution.
It is believed that he will quietly carry out the views of annexation and organization of His Highness the Khedive, without manifesting, undue zeal in the suppression of the slave trade, and that his policy will be one of conciliation, so far as is consistent with the objects of his mission.
I hope to be able to report from time to time the progress of the expedition in its important work.
I am, &c,