First Ashanti War

In 1823 Sir Charles MacCarthy, rejecting Ashanti claims to Fanti areas of the coast, led an invading force from the coast. He was defeated and killed by the Ashanti, and the head of MacCarthy was kept as a trophy. Major Alexander Gordon Laing returned to Britain with news of their fate.

The Ashanti swept down to the coast, but disease forced them back. At first they fought very impressively in an open battle against superior numbers of British allied forces, including Denkyiras. However, the novelty of British Congreve rockets caused the Ashanti army to withdraw. In 1831, the Pra River was accepted as the border in a treaty, and there were thirty years of peace.

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by Stephen Luscombe