Settler Colonialism Uncovered

Battle of Staoueli 19 June 1830

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Battle of Staoueli 19 June 1830


Battle of Staoueli


The Battle of Staoueli 19 June 1830 resulted in a route. The French forced the Algerians into a disorganized retreat and advanced toward Algiers.

Renowned Algerian historian and novelist, Assia Djebar, describes the battle as follows: "On 18 June the Aga Ibrahim [commander of the allied Algerian forces] inspects the terrain: rocks, clumps of lentisks, patches of undergrowth, thorny or sandy hills, a setting in which the Arab cavalry will have no difficulty in performing their usual ballet, and the infantry will be able to fling themselves flat on the ground, like invisible reptiles. The numbers seem slightly to favour the defenders. But the Aga neglects one detail which will weigh finally on the outcome: the superiority of the Western artillery, and most of all, the unity of the French command and tactics, in the face of the discord reigning among the native chiefs.

At eight in the morning, after seven uninterrupted hours of bitter fighting, the Algerian batteries are surrounded and overpowered. And then it is the final phase: Marshal Bourmont's regiments, which till then have been cut off, succeed in routing their assailants and are able to advance. As soon as they have captured the first high ground, they come upon the camp of the Aga and the Beys; three hundred sumptuous tents have been abandoned and stand intact, as though in waiting for them" (17).

The Aftermath

"The Staouéli plateau is strewn with corpses. Two thousand prisoners are taken. In defiance of their officers, the soldiers themselves insist on shooting them all. 'One battalion's fire brought down this rabble and two thousand of them will never see the light of day again,' writes [French first officer of the ship Ville de Marseille Amable] Matterer, who has remained aboard his ship during the battle" (18).

--Assia Djebar, Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade, translated by Dorothy S. Blair (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1993), 17-18.


Unknown French School Artist.


Bridgeman Art Museum


Bridgeman Art Museum




Ashley Sanders


JPEG. 400 x 292 pixels. 53 KB




Pencil on paper


Battle of Staoueli 19 June 1830


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Pencil on paper



Unknown French School Artist. , “Battle of Staoueli 19 June 1830,” Settler Colonialism Uncovered, accessed March 22, 2018,