Facing Them Now Were The Formidable Boer Lines Of Hlangwane Hill
And Green Hill, Which Would Certainly Cost Several Thousands Of Men
If They Were To Take Them By Direct Storm.
Beyond them, upon the
Boer flank, were the hills of Monte Christo and Cingolo, which
appeared to be the extreme outside of the Boer position.
was to engage the attention of the trenches in front by a terrific
artillery fire and the threat of an assault, while at the same time
sending the true flank attack far round to carry the Cingolo ridge,
which must be taken before any other hill could be approached.
On the 17th, in the early morning, with the first tinge of violet
in the east, the irregular cavalry and the second division
(Lyttelton's) with Wynne's Brigade started upon their widely
curving flanking march. The country through which they passed was
so broken that the troopers led their horses in single file, and
would have found themselves helpless in face of any resistance.
Fortunately, Cingolo Hill was very weakly held, and by evening both
our horsemen and our infantry had a firm grip upon it, thus turning
the extreme left flank of the Boer position. For once their
mountainous fortresses were against them, for a mounted Boer force
is so mobile that in an open position, such as faced Methuen, it is
very hard and requires great celerity of movement ever to find a
flank at all. On a succession of hills, however, it was evident
that some one hill must mark the extreme end of their line, and
Buller had found it at Cingolo.
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