The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  To this Buller despatched an amended message, which with
Sir George White's reply, is here appended:

Message of December 16th - Page 220
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To This Buller Despatched An Amended Message, Which With Sir George White's Reply, Is Here Appended:

Message of December 16th, as altered by that of December 17th, 1899.

'I tried Colenso yesterday, but failed; the enemy is too strong for my force except with siege operations, and these will take one full month to prepare. Can you last so long?

'How many days can you hold out? I suggest you firing away as much ammunition as you can, and making best terms you can. I can remain here if you have alternative suggestion, but unaided I cannot break in. I find my infantry cannot fight more than ten miles from camp, and then only if water can be got, and it is scarce here. Whatever happens, recollect to burn your cipher, decipher, and code books, and all deciphered messages.'

From Sir G. White to Sir R. Buller. December 16th, 1899.

'Yours of today received and understood. My suggestion is that you take up strongest available position that will enable you to keep touch of the enemy and harass him constantly with artillery fire, and in other ways as much as possible. I can make food last for much longer than a month, and will not think of making terms till I am forced to. You may have hit enemy harder than you think. All our native spies report that your artillery fire made considerable impression on enemy. Have your losses been very heavy? If you lose touch of enemy, it will immensely increase his opportunities of crushing me, and have worst effect elsewhere.

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