The Siege of Khartoum begins to today. Forces inside Khartoum are led by British General Charles George Gordon — he was sent to evacuate the Egyptian garrison but instead chose to fortify the town. Forces outside Khartoum are led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, who has asserted authority over the entire Islamic world.
Gordon believes that the Mahdi has to be met directly and defeated; England wants to simply let the problem run its course and avoid getting involved. Gordon only has around 7,000 soldiers while the Mahdi has at least 50,000. When the Mahdist army enters the city, they slaughter everyone.