Black and White Budget, Transvaal Special, No. 3

4 BLACK AND WHITE excitement all throughout South Africa was intense. Thursday, October 12th, was the date of the capture of Captain Nesbitt and his armoured train. Two days afterwards we had our revenge. An armoured train proceeding from Kimberley came upon some Boers nnd killed a few, then retired and returned to kill a few more. Meanwhile at Mafeking itself Colonel Baden-Powell gave Cronje a lesson that he will not forget in a hurry. He had posted Colonel More with four hundred men in a strong position among some hills. Then he pretended to give battle, retreated, and drew the Boers right across Colonel Hore’s cline f fire. Needless to say, the latter made splendid use of his opportunity, and mowed down the too confident foe to the tune of 300 men. At Dundee, Glencoe, and Ladysmith, in the North of Natal, the Boers were awaited by the forces under Sir George White. They advanced in three columns through three passes, and evidently meant to cutoff the communications between Dundee and Lady­ smith. Sir George endeavoured to draw one of these columns (the Free State Boers) into an engagement, but failed. Skirmishing then took place at Besters and Acton Homes, a British train with officers and a few men were captured, then our outposts were attacked, and eventually a general engagement took place, which resulted in a great victory for our arms. On Friday morning, October 20th, the Boers commenced shelling Glencoe camp with big guns. They numbered about 9,000 men, and evidently expected to sweep us out in no time. But our guns soon replied, and in twenty minutes every Boer gun was silenced. Then, undercover of a hot fire, the Dublin Fusiliers and the King’s Royal Rifles forwent the foe, carried the position, and captured five guns. Well done, Fusiliers !Perhaps there won’t be much need of the Army Corps after all. It was undoubtedly a time of great excitement but, then, South Africa is the place for excitement. The following article shows how the Transvaal has from the very beginning been in a perpetual hum. Let us hope that after our final victory things Yill settle down a bit. FROM THE “GREAT TREK” A t the seat of war we move forward, solemnly, slowly, irresistibly, in harmony with our high traditions and during these moments of suspense a glimpse at the history of that region known as the Transvaal may not lack readers. Indeed, a brief chronicle of those events lying between the exodus of 1833 to 1837, and the present time, is worthy of perusal. Until the first date mentioned, history has no concerns with the Transvaal, but from 1833 began that tremendous influx of the Cape Colony Boers—an exodus known as the “Great Trek.” From the first it was the Boer inspirit practice that accounted for their northward movement from the first their ignorance and cruelty prompted to differences with the more enlightened government of the Ruling Power in Africa for upon a question of the liberal treatment of native races they finally broke away and with them to the Transvaal they carried their inconquerable qualities—the worst that have ever made any community sprung from European stock an object of distress to civilisation. B y 1836 many thousand Boers had already crossed the Vaal, or reached “Transvaal ”country and during 1837, to avenge the massacre of various emigrant bands, the new settlers attacked Moselekatze, a sovereign Zulu chieftain who held high sway in the Transvaal until their advent, and defeated his forces at Mosega. The Zulu prince fell back beyond the Limpopo and founded the state of the present M atabele while his defeat and departure left all that region between the Vaal and the Limpopo in the hands of the Trekking party. In 1838 the emigrant Boers sustained a complete reverse at the hands of the Zulus, but Andries Pretorius turned the tide and crushed the fiery Dingaan and his black legions in two successive encounters. L’ pon the death of this great Zulu, Dingaan, the Boers proclaimed Natal apart of their new Republic, but the occupation of that territory by the British in 1843 rendered their contention vain, and they withdrew across the Drakensberg in two large com­panies. Of these, one division founded the Orange Free State the other passed again into the Transvaal, and stopped there. Thanks, however, to eternal bickerings between the leading Boers, Pretorius and Potgieter, no regular system of rule could be determined upon until 1852, when Pretorius induced the British Government to sign the Sand River Convention. A period of internal peace followed, but the seed of death was already sown deep in the Boer character, which has invariably shown itself as opposed to progress as a ragged cliff-face to the advances of the sea. It is, however, the blind cliff that suffers. By their continued and brutal refusal to treat
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