Under the Union Jack, No. 32, Vol. 2, June 16th 1900

74S UNDER THE UNION JACK. [June 16, V JO 'j .displayed in preparing for defence, and yet the conviction existed that no defence would be offered. Meanwhile the situation increased hourly in gravity, and fear was expressed that desperate men might give the city to the flames, v ieneral Louis Botha arrived in the place after being three da\ 3 and three nights in the saddle in the engagements about Johannes­burg, and he said to one correspondent that if only the real fighting Boers amounted to half the number of the invading forces, the country would never have been taken, but that panic and despondency were ruling the majority of them. After this, there seemed to be some revival of inspirit the place, and the Krygsraad or War Council assumed the powers of government, and issued a manifesto declaring that, with the help of God, the hour would still come when Great Britain would acknowledge the independence of the two Republics, and that a tremendous change might presently be expected. The Fall of the C a pit al. Meanwhile, Lord Roberts had taken his measures to reduce Pretoria. At daybreak on June 4th he started from his camp and marched to Six Mile Spruit, a distance often miles, where both banks were found to be occupied in force. The Mounted Infantry, under Henry and Ross—many of them our gallant Colonials— dislodged them in grand style from the southern bank, and in the pursuit came under a heavy lire from concealed guns. Our heavy guns, both naval and military, were near the head of the column, ready to engage the defences of the town, and were then rapidly brought up by the teams of oxen and mules, supported by Stevenson’s brigade. A few rounds drove out the enemy, who, however, tried to turn our left flank, being foiled by the Mounted Infantry and Yeomanry, supported by Maxwell’s division. Still the Boar pressed onus that side, but Hamilton,Ian who has done so much in the advance, came up and filled the gap, thus checking the enemy, and driving them back on Pretoria. Then night fell, with the Guards’ brigade near the southernmost fort French, with the 3rd and 4th Cavalry brigades and Hutton’s Mounted Infantry, on the north Broadwood between French and Hamilton, and Gordon again holding the right flank as at the passage of the Vaal. The Boer were beaten back, and before midnight General Botha proposed an armistice to arrange terms of surrender. Lord Roberts would hear nothing of conditions, and it was arranged to handover the place. The troops accordingly marched in at 2 p.m. on June 5th, meeting with a rather enthusiastic reception, and the British flag was hoisted on the Government Offices, amid cheers and a salute, while the 3rd Grenadiers lined the square as our men marched past. It was a triumph indeed. Fig h tin gin the Orange River Colony. It was stated 0:1 military authority in Pretoria on June 1 st that 5,000 men had left Standerton for the late Free State to cut the British lines, and this announcement, with the exaggerated reports of fighting there, may have contributed to some revival of hope among the Boers at Pretoria. Already large numbers of burghers were in the Heilbron district, and our troops in their movement through the country met scat­tered parties almost everywhere. Sir Leslie Rundle was very stoutly opposed near Senekal, where heavy fighting occurred, and had been opposed in his march by small bodies ashe approached that place from Thaba Nchu. Senekal was occu­pied on May 24th, and on the 29th he made a reconnaissance in force of the enemy’s position to the east. He found them inconsiderable strength, and attacked with the 2nd Grenadier Guards in the centre, and the 2nd West Kent Regiment and the 2nd Coldstream Guards respectively on the right and left flanks, these being intended to execute turning or enveloping movements. The Grenadiers suffered rather severely, partly owing to the firing of the veldt, which disclosed their position to the enemy’s riflemen. Among the enemy was Commandant de Villiers, who was severely wounded. General Rundle was afterwards reinforced by Major-General Clements’s brigade, and further fighting was expected. General Colvile, with the Highland brigade, also met with great opposition during his march east of the railway, and almost parallel with it, from Ventorsburg to Heilbron, which place he reached on May 29th. There was skirmishing and sniping almost everyday, and he had eight killed and thirty-six wounded. The movement of General HamiltonIan across the front of the main advance, which has been described, had left Heilbron in the enemy’s hands, and the Highland brigade was sent forward to re-occupy it. A further evidence of the activity of the Boers in this region was found in the fact that Colonel Spragge with the 13th battalion of Yeomanry was attacked on May 29th in marching from Kroonstad to Lindley, and suffered some loss. But the most unfortunate event of all occurred on May 31st, when Colonel Spragge’s battalion was compelled to surrender to an overwhelming force of Boers near Lindley. Lord Methuen made a magnificent march of 44 miles in 25 hours, and attacked and defeated the Boers in a running fight, but was too late to rescue Colonel Spragge. More to the south-east is General Brabant’s Cc’onial brigade, which has also been hampered in its movements by raiding parties of Boers. Within six miles of this camp at Hammonia two small patrols were captured, and he therefore threatened, if this kind of guerilla warfare continued, that he would drive in all the cattle. All these circumstances show that the Boers were endeavouring to make a great counterstroke. The future is very obscure, and it yetis uncertain whether the Boer commandants will be able to prosecute with any success the guerilla warfare of which we have heard so much. It will be our business to stamp out resistance, and if this method of fighting belong continued and take the form of predatory war, we shall be quite wit!vn our rights in treating the burghers who undertake it as bt.jands, and not as belligerents. Nothing has been heard of the operations of Sir Frederick Carrington since the battery of Canadian Artillery, which he had with him, dashed out of obscurity to take its part in the relief of Mafeking. He, however, has a body of picked Bushmen on the northern side of the Transvaal who should play a large part in crushing the guerilla spirit. On the western side it is now clear that General Hunter has advanced from Maribogo Station 011 the railway between V rybur^ and Mafeking in the direction of Lichtenburg, from which there is a direct road to Ventersdorp, and thus to the railway between Klerksdorp and Johannesburg. The Rebellion Gin riq u alan d. The rebellion on the western side has certainly not been suppressed, and Sir Charles Warren who occupied Douglas has been losing heavily. He advanced to Faber’s Spruit, and on the night of May 29th, owing to circumstances which seem to call for explanation, the rebels crept up between the pickets and secured an advantageous situation almost within the camp. Firing began before daylight, and was very heavy. Communications between the Infantry and the Yeomanry were cut, and in the alarm all the English horses stampeded. The firing was at very short range, but ultimately the enemy were driven off, a portion of our Yeomanry, however, losing very heavily, and the Canadian gunners also suffered, as did also some of the Cape troops. The total casualties were eighteen killed and about thirty wounded, and among the killed was Colonel Spence of the Duke ot Edinburgh’s Volunteers. Some of the photographs used here are owned by Messrs. Barnett, Bradley, A. Ellis, Kemp, Lafayette, Maull and Fox, Mavall, and Mendelssohn. The stereoscopic photographs which appear on pages 749,751,761, and 763 were taken by Messrs. Underwood and Underwood, Loudon, copyright 1900 and we are indebted to the courtesy of the Graphic, Sphere, and Navy and Army Illustrated for some of the other illustrations in this number. THE BACK NUMBERS OF ‘UNDER THE UNION JACK ”CAN BE HAD OF GEORGE NEWNES, LTD.
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