Boer Dawn


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That evening, Boers surrounded the position. A party of Boers crept past the British outposts and into the camp under the cover of darkness. Dawn was still a half hour away when a sentry raised the alarm. The Boers poured fire into the mounted infantry lines, killing men and scattering scores of horses. In the Canadian lines See Map , next to the British, the gun detachments ran to their pounder guns , while the drivers harnessed the horses and led them to safety.

Boulders were blasted and embankments made, and by the 31st of October the convoy on its way to Edenburg was able to pass along "King's Road.

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The people of the district probably still find it a great convenience. The country round Ventershoek was constantly patrolled by parties of ten or twelve men under an officer, who went out at night so as to reach positions from which they could see the country round, by dawn.

One of these patrols under Lt. Bond located a Boer commando at Lakensvlei, to the south-west, on November 7th; and on November 8th, a general move of columns was begun with the object of surrounding it. A Boer hospital was found among the hills, and the three ambulances with it were ordered to rejoin their commando. On the 10th two Boers were captured by Liliveld at Lakensvlei, and others were seen in the distance; and on the 11th, Ackerman's commando was found in the middle of the circle of columns.

Hamilton towards Parys. The column was off in ten minutes, and chased Ackerman for the remainder of the day, capturing his Cape cart, eighty horses and twenty-five rifles. A halt was made that night at Mooifontein, after a day's trek of 30 miles for the baggage and 40 for the mounted troops, the Boers being still ahead. Hamilton had taken seven prisoners. One hundred men under Lieut. Bond were sent out at midnight to a hill the Bulsberg where the Boers were last seen.

Silently they rode through the darkness, and, nearing the hill, took one end of it at a gallop; but the Boers had gone. This party was, during the morning, itself attacked by another small column that had come on the same mission. Fortunately the attack was stayed before any harm was done. The Boers escaped out of the ring of columns--so harried, however, that twelve went straight to Bloemfontein to surrender, five of whom were too weak from want of food and sleep to reach the town, and had to be fetched in in Cape carts.

On the night of the 23rd November, Lieut.


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Crawley-Boevey was sent with men cyclists and mounted men to search the hills at Parys for stray Boers. At dawn he saw a couple of Boers watering their horses at a dam near; he despatched a dozen men to cut them off, but these soon returned, having found a commando of sixty on the other side of the hill.

Pilcher was before him, and had captured twelve more. Thus the commando, which was Joubert's, was practically wiped out. At this time Kritzinger with men and a number of led horses was making his way down to the Colony; and on the 27th of November Col.

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Kentish Royal Irish Fusiliers being added to the column. By the evening of the 28th he reached Roodepoort, 25 miles east of Ventershoek as the crow flies and considerably more by road. The baggage, with which were one of the guns under Lt. Warren, R. Harrington, R. By the evening six Boers had been captured, with four rifles. Kritzinger was known to be close to Roodepoort, and likely to break west; Col.

The men, who were carrying Maconochie rations, were served out that evening with a ration of raw meat. It was late however, and many did not trouble to cook the meat, eating the tinned stew instead; as a result they went short the next day.

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The column started again at four the next morning. The Colonel moved out with the main body at a fast trot in a N. The S. Owing to a misunderstanding, the advanced guard took a wrong direction, and a second one had to be sent out somewhat hurriedly.

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Shortly afterwards Boers were reported on the left. The Colonel and his staff, the main body in close order , the gun, pom-pom and escort all turned on to a rise to the left of the road, and saw a large body of Boers going west at the foot of Kaffir's Kop, a couple of miles away. Almost at the same moment, a smart fire was opened from a small kopje 1, yards in rear, which, owing to the pace and the change of advanced guards, had not been searched.

Colonel, staff, men and guns all turned sharp to the right again and galloped under cover of the rise, the crest of which was at once lined, while the guns opened fire. The Boers in rear did not wait, however, and streamed away from the other side of the kopje--to which gun, pom-pom, and troops followed them.

Woodruffe fired his revolver up at a Boer as he jumped his horse over the depression in which Woodruffe was lying. Beset by friend and foe, they had a bad quarter of an hour, losing two men killed by the Boers Sergt. On this day, Soviet troops create a breach in the German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for a year and a half.

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The Soviet forces punched a hole in the siege, which ruptured the German encirclement and allowed for more supplies to come in along Lake Ladoga. Upon invading the After his Mormon bank fails in the Panic of , Joseph Smith flees Kirtland, Ohio, to avoid arrest and heads for Missouri to rebuild his religious community.

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Subsequently, Shabazz admitted her On this day in , American Brigadier General Hugh Mercer dies from the seven bayonet wounds he received during the Battle of Princeton. Born in Rosehearty, Scotland, Mercer studied medicine at the Seeing Boers retreating they galloped forward to take their cattle and rode straight into a trap; other Boers had stayed behind under cover and received them with a volley, checking the advance and wounding four.

The volunteers extricated themselves with difficulty and Gildea brought his force back to camp, explaining lamely that his purpose had been reconnaissance, not assault. In later actions he proved far more confident and aggressive. A week later, on 5 January , a foraging party to a farm nine miles east of the town spotted another Boer laager three miles further off among the Zwartkoppies in a bend of the Pienaars river.


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  • Struben performed a remarkable feat in riding round the laager undetected and taking up position behind it to cut off the Boer retreat, but at first light they foolishly betrayed their presence and drew fire. Gildea pushed ahead hurriedly with the main attack but the forty Boer defenders under Veldcornet Hans Botha held their ground tenaciously until overwhelmed.

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    Two Boers were killed, three wounded, and fifteen taken prisoner; the rest had ridden away while a flag of truce was flying. Gildea wasted no time in withdrawing to camp as more Boers were riding in from other laagers to investigate. This was the only time during the siege that an attack was pushed to a successful conclusion but the cost to the garrison had been high - six men dead, twelve wounded - and the Boers had inflicted more than three times their own losses on the attackers, a grim warning for the future.

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