Under The Union Jack, No. 9, Vol. 1, January 6th 1900

196 UNDER THE UNION JACK. f Jan. 6,1900. in the rear, and there is thus always a protected line of retreat. They resemble underground dwellings, being deep and wide, and they are casem ated at intervals to admit ot the concen­tration of force at important points. A n uneasy suspicion exists that treachery induced the Highlanders to attack the very strongest point in the line, and deep resentment exists among them, with a furious resolve to wreak vengeance for the disaster. Nothing better could happen now than that the Boers should assault us, and place themselves in some such position of disadvantage as we occupied but this is not likely to happen and it may yet be sometime before Lord Methuen is able to undertake a further operation, which will probably not take the form of an attack upon the carefully- prepared position of M agersfontein. Fortunately in our camp the men are in excellent spirits and the best of health, and they are being almost daily reinforced with men, and other guns have arrived. Kimberley itself appears to be in no immediate danger, though the Boers are able to put great pressure upon the place. They cannot do so, however, without subjecting them­selves to the danger of a counterattack from Lord M ethuen. The Diamond City, therefore, may presumably be able for sometime yet to take care of itself, and the garrison is believed to be on full rations, and to have a plentiful supply of water, and it is certainly full of fight. O then Orange River .The reverse of General G atacre did not produce the immediate effect in stimulating active disloyalty that was expected. N o doubt many of the Cape Dutch have thrown in their lot with the enemy, who, notwithstanding, has so far been able to make no use of his advantage. The whole country is infested with spies, against whom General G atacre has taken stringent precautions, and his movements are doubtless well known in the Boer laagers. B u tin this theatre of Avar, fortunately for us, there is a singular want of initiative in our foes. They are probably influenced by the knowledge that our reinforcements must rapidly arrive and place us in a position to enter upon some enveloping movement from General French position’s at A rundel. On the other flank, by a clever movement of Major D a lg e ty with a force of Cape Police, the Boers were compelled to retreat from Dordrecht, a success which was reported on Christmas Day .But, apart from this little operation, we can chronicle no movements in Cape Colony, and the outbreak of horse sickness there will tend to retard operations. The Cape Colonists are showing excellent spirit, and are a little grieved that they should have received less credit than their brothers in Natal. Another regiment of South African Light Horse Irregulars is being raised under command of Colonel Broadw ood, of the 12th L an cers, and it appears that Cape Colony has already provided about 15,000 men for the war, whose identity has been partly lost in the scattered arrangement of our forces. It is urged that a colonial division should be formed under imperial command, and with batteries of Royal Artillery attached. A general feeling exists that even now sufficient use is not being made of the magnificent resources of the Colony. M a fek gin and T u li. It fell to Colonel Plum er to have the honour of first invading the Tran sva a lin any force. H e left Fort T u lion December 1st, and entered the Transvaal at the junction of the Crocodile and M aklutsi Rivers, and then crossed the veldt to a point on the coach road fifty miles north of Pietersburg. H e was compelled to retire owing to the Crocodile being in flood, but his reconnaissance was satisfactory as showing that the northern part of the Transvaal has been evacuated by the fighting Boers. M afeking appears now to have seen the worst. Colonel Baden o-P well, or“B. P .”ashe is commonly called, is a host in himself. “To see him go vhistling down the street,” says one correspondent, “deep in bought, pleasing of countenance, cheerful and confident, is far more cheering and heartening than a pint of dry cham­pagne.” H e adds that if the place had been under command of .a man in whom the garrison felt less confidence it would certainly have fallen. The various attacks which have been made and the counterattacks delivered Mat afekirg have been recorded, but some matters concerning the siege deserve to be noticed. According to a late report the relations with Cronje before he went south to the position near Kimberley were very amicable. Pie expressed the opinion that th 3 Red Cross flag should not be flown at several places at the same time, that mines were not fair play, and that it was very wrong to employ natives. Whereupon P“B. .”explained to him the faults he had committed, and the errors into which he had fallen. The Boer commander was very angry with some of his men who had fired upon one of our ambulance parties, and he sent in Dr. Pirow ,of his medical staff, in a landau drawn by a spanking pair of greys, to say that if anyone had been injured, he would shoot the man who instigated the shot. But, while these things were going forward, the Boers were upbringing their heavy gun, and Reuter’s correspondent gives an account of the manner in which the garrison took care of themselves. The big gun was watched, and as soon as it was laid to fire in the direction of the town or the women’s laager, a horn would be blown to indicate the fact, whereupon everybody was to fly to shelter. A t this time the occupation of the garrison very often took the form of dodging shells—avery worrying employment— and the correspondent admits that he never met anything more alarming than a ioolb. shell. But even this exciting experience began to grow monotonous, and the successful sorties were welcomed as an agreeable and inspiring variation, whilst sniping, which took the form of crawling outwith a day’s food supply, to take shelter behind the bush, and pot any enemy who rashly showed himself, became a favourite amusement, and at the very worst time, when the Boers were pushing up their trenches, there never was any thought of surrender. Yeomanry and Volunteer Rein for cement s.Even transcending the importance of events in the field is that wave of enthusiasm which is gathering into a great volume the hidden might of the Empire. The loyalists of the Cape are not behind the splendid men of Natal. Most gratifying is the response to the call for a second Canadian contingent, and three Allen liners have been chartered to convey the force. Great fervour has been aroused in Australia, and the new Mounted Infantry, numbering 1,100 of all ranks, will be contributed by New South Wales, Victoria, Queens­land, South Australia, West Australia, and Tasmania, and the premier colony will also send afield hospital. The action of the New Zealand Government in sending another contin­gent, and supplying men and horses for the H otchkiss battery presented by Messrs. Arm strong, has been enthusiastically approved, and there is a desire to do more. While our colonial brothers are working thus, we are not less enthu­siastic at home. The City of London, true to its traditions, is forming “The City of London Imperial Volunteers,” to number probably 1,400, of whom 600 shall be mounted. That excellent officer, Colonel M ackinnon, A .A.G .for the Home District, has been selected as colonel commandant, and there is extreme enthusiasm among the Volunteers of the United Kingdom to serve. On Christmas Day the Lord Mayor had collected £”70,000 for the City corps. The Yeomanry areas full of enthusiasm as the Volunteers, and the Government\ i.l have no difficulty in raising a large mounted force. Thus we have a splendid illustration of national strength. The photographs used are owned by Messrs. Barton and Sons, Cribb, Crockett, Dickinson, Eldridge, Elliott and Fry, Fyne, Gregory (London), Hanna, Harris and Gillard, Jenks, K app and Co., Kerry and Co., Lafayette, Lambert, Weston, and Son, Livernois, Miller, Nicliolls, Rae, Russell, and Schwake. “UNDER THE UNION JACK ”HAS BEEN REPRINTED OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
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