In 1813 the ruthless severity of the governor-general, Haji Osman, who obtained the co-operation of the Christians, broke the power of the janissaries; but after Osman had fallen a victim.
Plevna surrendered on the 9th of December 1877 after a heroic struggle under Osman Pasha.
In the November following Hicks Pasha's force of io,000 men was destroyed at Kashgil, and in the same year the mandi's lieutenant, Osman Digna, raised the tribes in the eastern Sudan, and besieged Sinkat and Tokar, near Suakin, routing General Valentine Baker's force of 2500 men at El Teb in February 1884.
He occupied Abu Klea wells and Metemma; recalled the amir Ibrahim Khalil, with 4000 men, from the Ghezira; brought to Omdurman thc army of the west under Mahmudsome 10,000 men; entrusted the line of the AtbaraEd Darner, Adarama, Asubri and El Fasherto Osman Digna; constructed defences in the Shabluka gorge; and personally superintended the organization and drill of the forces gathered at Orndurman, and the collection of vast stores of food and supplies of camels for offensive expeditions.
The founder of the Mevlevi dancing dervishes, the poet Mahommed Jelal-ed-Din (Rumi), in 1307, though tempted to assume the inheritance along with the empire of the Seljuk sultan Ala ed-din Kaikobad III., who died without heirs, preferred to pass on the power to Osman, son of Ertogrul, and with his own hands invested Osman and girt him with the sword: this investiture was the legitimate beginning of the Osmanli authority.
In the summer of 1876 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Servian army, but on entering Turkey was driven back by Osman Pasha, who followed him into Servia, defeating him at Zayechar and Yavor in July, and the campaign in Servia proved disastrous.
Kitchener unsuccessfully endeavoured to capture Osman Digna on the 17th of January 1888, but in the attack was himself severely wounded, and was shortly after invalided.
During his reign the Turks under Osman conquered nearly the whole of Bithynia; and to resist them the emperor called in the aid of Roger di Flor, who commanded a body of Spanish adventurers.
By the end of August Osman Digna had occupied Kufit, in the Barea country, with 10,000 men and entrenched himself.
Although he had set his troops in motion too late to relieve Kassala, Ras Alula, his chief general, had succeeded in inflicting a handsome defeat on Osman Digna at Kufit in September 1885.