The Katamanso War


The Katamanso war, also known as the battle of Dodowa happened on the 7th of August,1826 between the Ashantis and the people of Accra (the people of Dangme of Prampran, Ningo and Ada). Accra had been in alliance with the local chiefs who helped the British, Denkyiras and Fantis in the resistance of an attack to capture the Cape Coast Castle from the Ashantis in the year 1824. After the war, the Ashantis lost their dominion and superiority over the most southern and coastal towns to the British.

After consideration and thinking about how they lost the war, the Ashantis realized that it was due to the alliance of the Accra people that led to their defeat. The leader of the Ashantis, Asantehene Nana Osei Yaw Akoto mobilized an army of 40,000 men and vowed to pursue and punish the people of Accra for aiding the British, Denkyiras and the Fantis to fight against them.

The battle of Dodowa between the Ashantis and the people of Accra began fiercely on the 7th of August,1826 at Katamanso near Dodowa. The combined forces of Prampram, Ada, Ningo, and the riversides people joined the attack, making the position of the Ashantis a very critical one.

Nana Osei Yaw Akoto realizing the situation marched in defense with his bodyguard, stood upon the royal stool and removed his war sword and waved it into the heavens, and to the earth just like any other king will do. The war became very fierce and a conflict ensued between Osei Yaw Akoto’s bodyguards and the forces  of Opoku Fredefrede.

the Katamanso War (The battle of Dodowa)

The Ashantis were defeated and Nana Osei Yaw Akoto was wounded. On account of the defeat, Nana Osei Akoto poisoned himself and died at Asafo. During the war, it is said that Dshani Afutu and Ante from Teshi, shouted the religious war cry of ‘Awo awo awo’ of which every warrior responded ‘Awo, Agabai bereku tso!’ The enemy responded, ‘Ɛdɔm ɛgu o’, meaning “the battle is lost”.

The Ashantis suddenly threw their baggage on a heap and the army took to fight. After holding their position from 6am to 3pm, the Accra people took prisoners and took over the camps of the Ashantis and the baggages were also taken. The Asantehene with the help of his right wing, was able to escape with his bodyguards and the people of Accra were left victorious. 

After the war, trading purposes went on smoothly across the coastal areas without a fear of invasion from the Ashantis. The people of Ga and Adangbe were united. Accra became one of the most prestigious kingdoms and their allies even bowed to them. Their name spread across many towns and a lot of foreigners came to trade with them.


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