Under the Union Jack, No. 28, Vol. 2, May 19th 1900

652 UNDER THE UNION JACK [Hay 19,1900, enemy, threatened them seriously, and doubtless was instrumental in causing them to fly. Another object had been achieved— the Boers who opposed General Rundle to the east of Thaba Nchu were cutoff from W inburg, and, if they mean to retire upon Kroonstad, will have togo along way round. They are said to be in a state of great dismay, and to be greatly discouraged by the rapid movements that have cut their line of retreat. General HamiltonIan placed the Highlanders at W inburg, and made’ a reconnaissance to the Zand River, wrhere he confirmed the observation of General Hutton. Archibald Hunt e r’s Success. On May 4th Lord Roberts was able to transmit the re"v y satisfactory news” that Sir Archibald Hunter had crossed the V aal without opposition at W'indsorton, which lies about midway between Kimberley and Fourteen Streams, where the Boers were in great strength. He thus was in a position, by marching north on the Boer side of the river, to threaten them in flank. The Boers trekked away fighting hard as they went, and General Barton, whose brigade forms part of Hunter’s division, hung on their rear, and shelled them vigorously. On May 5th he attacked them in a st-rong position at Rooidam, where a stiff engagement ensued, ending in the Boers being driven out to the number of 2,000 or 3,000. The Imperial Yeomanry, under Colonel Meyrick, displayed great gallantry, and chased the enemy for some miles. At the same time General Paget made a strong demonstration against the Boers from his position at W arrenton on the south side of the Vaal opposite to Fourteen Streams. Major Phillips had amounted 6in. gun, which the soldiers immediately christened“ B obs,” and this monster shelled the position at Fourteen Streams effectually. The enemy’s position was about four miles long, but our men, who had marched magnificently, attacked in grand style, and carried ridge after ridge. The Boers were completely defeated, and General Hunter, marching forward, joined hands with Paget near W arrenton, where two infantry brigades- and a strong mounted force was thus concentrated. The movement had been entirely successful, and once more an attack that was not frontal had worked its effect. The Boer position at Fourteen Streams was occupied, and much camp equipment was captured. Their entrench­ments and shelters were found to be of great strength, but the defeat at Rooidam, where they lost heavily, took the heart out of them. The Relief of M afeking. It may, perhaps, be that Mafeking will have been relieved before these lines appear, or that the operation so long expected will follow immediately after. It is understood that Lord Roberts promised to relieve the place heron M ajesty’s Birthday, and when he sent out that message he no doubt knew, while contemplating the possibilities that were open to him, that the relief of the long-tried garrison would abe most welcome incident to celebrate that auspicious day. It would doubtless have been possible to push forward at an earlier time, but sound military wisdom dictated a pause. It is highly probable that the Boers w’ould have endeavoured to throw a great body of troops—if they could— to resist Sir Archibald Hunter’s advance. It was therefore necessary —or at least advisable—to wait until the Boers were very well occupied by the main movement from the centre. Sir Archibald Hunter has now a strong force, and, although it is too much to hope that the railway has not been wrecked, there is no reason why his march should not abe complete success. It is quite possible even that it may not be necessary for him to relieve Mafeking directly. His advance will seriously compromise the position of Commandant Snyman, who will probably find it discreet to withdraw while he has time. A movement on the part of General Hunter along the northern bank of the Vaal would necessarily abe serious matter for the Boers, more especially as Lord Methuen with a considerable mounted force is at Boshof, and able to co-operate by moving along the south bank of the river. In any case there is not the least reason to doubt that the relief of M afeking is assured. Already Snyman has thought it wise to withdraw his big gun, and he has quite relinquished any idea of carrying the place by assault. Colonel Baden-Powell is much tougher than the Boers expected, and a shout of gladness will certainly rise when that gallant officer is relieved. A force concentrated in the neighbourhood of Mafeking, if General Hunter should find it necessary to march there, will be in an excellent posture for a direct advance upon Johannesburg and Pretoria. Meanwhile it is interesting to know that the beleaguered garrison has continued cheerful and confident, and has accepted readily the hardships of the siege. There have been 10,000 mouths to fill, and the business of husbanding the resources and providing for a regular supply has been one of great difficulty and complexity. Lord Roberts’s movements have been admirably con­cealed. There has been some appearance of confusion and unreadiness, but it was appearance only, and suddenly order appeared, and the excellent operations, which herald our invasion of the Transvaal, began. W e must still await with interest for the disclosure of the further plans of the gallant Field-M arshal. There are other forces in the field which are surely destined to play a notable part in the final achievement. Sir Redvers Buller is instill great strength in Natal, and will not remain idle during the rest of this war. Sir Frederick Carrington arrived at Marandallas in Rhodesia some little time ago, and the preparations for his work are ripening. It may perhaps be assumed that his Bushmen and hardy Colonials will have an important duty in cutting off fugi­tive parties of Boers, who are certain to attempt to escape in various directions. Rum ours continue to be circulated that vast stores are being sent to the Lyden- burg district, which is a sort of miniature Switzerland, lying in the eastern part of the Transvaal. Large quanti­ties of supplies have income through Lorenzo Marquez, and inasmuch as the railway runs from that place to Pre­toria along the. southern side of the Lydenburg Hills, it is quite likely that ample preparations have already been made to continue resistance there.In Swaziland also, as we have before remarked, the Boers may find temporary shelter, and it w-ould not be difficult for them to pick a quarrel with the Swazi Queen, and to invade a territory which they already have in vassallage. It would be rash to conclude because Lord Roberts has now made a decisive advance and is almost threatening Kroonstadt, the seat of Mr. Steyn’s government, such as it is, that the war is necessarily coming to an end. As a Member of Parliament remarked, “It will not end till it is finished,” and that will not be until the last hope of inter­vention has been crushed out of the Boers, or until we have accomplished the complete subjection of the two Republics which so insolently attacked us. As these pages togo press the advance to the Zand River has been made, but whether the Boers will make a stout resistance it is difficult to say. There are persistent rumours that the Orange Staters are violently quarrelling with their “Brother Boers,” and that they are completely disheartened. Our troops are advancing victoriously on every hand, and the position of those Boers w^ho were lately before Thaba Nchu is not without danger. They delayed too long, and the rapid advance of Lord Roberts took them by surprise. A counter­ march ordered by their leaders has thrown the whole of their transport into confusion on the Wepener and Clocolan road, which is said to be terribly blocked. Some of the photographs used here are owned by Messrs. Jbennett, D’Arcy, Gillard, Jenks, and Maull. We are indebted to the courtesy of the Graphic, Sphere, and Navy and Army Illustrated, for some of the illustrations in this number. “NAVY AND ARMY” IS FIRST AND FOREMOST AMONGST SIMILAR PUBLICATIONS.
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