Under the Union Jack, No. 18, Vol. 1, March 10th 1900

412 UNDER THE UNION JACK. [March 10,1900. the Engineers made a defeat imminent. The gallant Canadians, with theist Gordons and 2nd Shropshires, made a rush at 3 a.m., and got within 80yds. of the enemy’s trenches. This precipitated matters, and a letter offering unconditional surrender was sent out by Cronje. He came into Lord Roberts’s camp, was reassured, and has since been sent to CapeTown, while his followers, having laid down their arms, were passed to the rear. It is evident that the large force he had at Magersfontein had partly dispersed, and the heavy guns had been got away. Six smaller pieces fell into our hands. The glorious intelligence of the capture of Cronje’s force, all the more welcome because it came on Majuba Day, was received with rapturous enthusiasm through­out the Empire. Majuba was not a great defeat, but the memory of it has been treasured by the Boers to stimulate race hatred, and the reproach exists more.no Sir R edvers B uller’s Advance. It may well be that the readers of these pages will be informed of the relief of Ladysmith before they appear. Certainly hard fighting is going onto accomplish that much- desired object, and the advance of Sir Redvers Buller has been wisely co-ordinated with the aggressive movement 011 the Western Frontier. His movement began on February 14th, when he seized Hussar Hill, following it upon the 17th and 18th by the capture of Cingolo and Monte Cristo, which made the holding by the Boers of Hlangwane impossible. It will be remembered that during the disastrous attack on Colenso on December 15th the Boers were in great strength on that hill, and seriously threatened our right. Now, by a sound strategic movement, they have been compelled to abandon the height, which was taken by the Fusilier Brigade on February 19th. This success gave us the command of Colenso, which General Hart occupied after a weak resistance on the next day. W e now discovered how exceedingly strong was the position thus secured. The Boer trenches had been constructed with extreme skill, and they were almost impregnable to frontal attack. They have now fallen into our hands with little loss, and the enemy fled, leaving behind stores, ammunition, and even personal effects. Hundreds of cases of Mauser cartridges and the Vickers-Maxim ammuni­tion fell into our hands, besides an electric searchlight plant, newly arrived from the factory. The advance from Colenso began on the 22nd, and progress was slow, for it involved the attacking of a series of entrenched kopjes in a steep, broken, and wooded country full of dongas. For reasons best known to themselves, some of the Boers fell back upon a second line of defence, and as we write the heaviest part of the work is being done. There are still many positions of the enemy, and they are fighting with great tenacity but our soldiers have learned to take full advantage of cover, and they are now as skilful in that matter as the Boers themselves. There is not space hereto describe the details of all the opera­tions. W e must be content to say that in the slow progress the British troops have displayed the most splendid qualities and most soldier-like skill. As we write the relief of Lady­ smith seems imminent. The place has held out splendidly, and the garrison have watched the efforts of the relieving column with very lively interest, ready themselves to take part in the final success when the moment comes. The position selected for the passage of the Tugela did not prove favourable, the approach being commanded by strong en­trenchments. Accordingly Colonel Sandbach found another, and a pontoon bridge was over,laid which the troops and guns passed on February 27th. On that day General Barton, with two battalions of the 6th Brigade and the Royal Irish Fusiliers, crept a mile and a-half along the bank of the Tugela, ascended a precipitous clift 500ft. high, and assaulted and captured Pieter’s Hill, while General Warren directed the 4th and nth Brigades to attack the main position, which was magnificently carried by the South Lancashire Regiment- The Artillery did splendid work, especially the Naval guns- and those manned by the Natal Naval Volunteers. O then Southern Frontier. W e were able to chronicle last week the splendid service of General Brabant’s forces, which, having driven out the Boers from Dordrecht, occupied the place and prepared for further operations. The bayonet charge was a most brilliant affair, and many accounts of it have been received. General Brabant was instructed to offer lenient terms to the rebels if they would immediately surrender, and as these pages to-go press the situation has developed further. Jamestown has been occupied, and the Boers are fleeing in all directions. The defeat of Cronje is now beginning to have a marked effect upon the Boers on the Southern Frontier, but it is believed that they regarded our overtures as springing rather from weakness than magnanimity. Now they have learned a wholesome fear of the gallant colonial forces General Brabant brings against them. They are instill strength at Stormberg, where General Gatacre reconnoitred their position on February 24th. The operation was a success, but unfortunately a party of scouts under Captain Montmorency came into close contact with the enemy, and that gallant officer, well honoured with the Victoria Cross, who was in command of the force which he had raised, was killed, along with Lieutenant-Colonel Hoskier of the 3rd Middlesex Volunteer Artillery. This untoward incident took place at Schoeman’s Farm, and the loss of these gallant officers has caused regret throughout the Army. The situation at Arundel is changing. When General Clements retired from Colesberg the Boers followed him in force, resumed their old positions, and endeavoured to cut communications with Naauwpoort. They made a deter­mined attempt to invest the camp on February 20th, but the smart action of the Inniskillings, Australians, and Mounted Infantry, with Field and Horse Artillery and some howitzers,, defeated their attempt. Nearly the whole of the Australian regiment was inaction. General Clements on February 23rd attacked the Boers seven miles west of Arundel, and their position was shelled with good effect. There was fighting also on the 24th and 25th in the same direction, and a great deal of firing has occurred, but the purpose of General Clements was to keep the Boers on the alert until the time should come when he would be able to drive them back. They have since been attacked, and have retired to the northward,, and General Clements will followup his success. The Situation at Mafeking. Unfortunately Colonel Plumer appears not to have been able to make his advance to the relief of gallant“ .PB .”with the rapidity that was expected, and his progress has been arrested at Crocodile Pools, where the Boers have been reinforced. On February 15th all was well at Mafeking, but the enemy were actively pushing their trenches, and pouring a heavy fire upon the place. Colonel Baden-Powell had compelled them to move their big gun again, and they mounted it 4,000yds. to the west, whence they deliberately put two shells into the camp of the women and children. The reports from the beleaguered town show that a spirit of great exasperation is felt at such outrages. The brutality has been several times repeated, and great indignation has been felt in this country at the general disregard of the rules of civilised war which is becoming more and more marked among the Boers. Some o f tlie photographs used here are owned by Messrs. Cumming, Gavin, W. Gregory and Co. (London), Russell and Sons, and Scott. By special arrangement with the proprietors o f the A'in if we are also able to reproduce in this number five o f their photographs. “UNDER THE UNION JACK ”HAS BEEN REPRINTED OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
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