At this place, the Freshwater Canal, on 28 August and again on 9 September 1882 the British force operating against Urabi Pasha was attacked by the Egyptians. They needed to carve a passage through Ismailia and the cultivated Delta. Both attacks were repulsed. The Household Cavalry under the command of General Drury Lowe led the "Moonlight Charge", consisting of the Royal Horseguards and 7th Dragoon Guards galloping at full tilt into enemy rifle fire. Their ranks were whittled down from the saddle, but still they charged headlong, ever forward. Sir Baker Russell commanded 7th on the right; whereas the Household was led by Colonel Ewart, c/o of the Life Guards. They captured 11 Egyptian guns. Despite only half a dozen casualties, Wolseley was so concerned about the quality of his men that he wrote Cambridge for reforms to recruiting. Nonetheless these were the elite of the British army and, these skirmishes were costly.
On 9 September Urabi seized what he considered his last chance to attack the British position. A fierce battle ensued on the railway line at 7 am. General Willis sallied out from emplacements to drive back the Egyptians, who at 12 pm returned to their trenches. Thereupon Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived with the main force, while the Household Cavalry guarded his flank from a force at Salanieh. A total force of 634 officers and 16,767 NCOs and men were stationed at Kassassin before they marched on 12 September 1882 towards the main objective at Battle of Tel-el-Kebir.