Mr. Winston Churchill Has Left It Upon Record
That Within His Own Observation Three Of Their Shrapnel Shells
Fired At A Venture On To The Reverse Slope Of A Hill Accounted For
Nineteen Men And Four Horses.
The enemy can never have known how
hard those three shells had hit us, and so we may also believe that
our artillery fire has often been less futile than it appeared.
General Buller had now realised that it was no mere rearguard
action which the Boers were fighting, but that their army was
standing doggedly at bay; so he reverted to that flanking movement
which, as events showed, should never have been abandoned. Hart's
Irish Brigade was at present almost the right of the army. His new
plan - a masterly one - was to keep Hart pinning the Boers at that
point, and to move his centre and left across the river, and then
back to envelope the left wing of the enemy. By this manoeuvre Hart
became the extreme left instead of the extreme right, and the Irish
Brigade would be the hinge upon which the whole army should turn.
It was a large conception, finely carried out. The 24th was a day
of futile shell fire - and of plans for the future. The heavy guns
were got across once more to the Monte Christo ridge and to
Hlangwane, and preparations made to throw the army from the west to
the east. The enemy still snarled and occasionally snapped in front
of Hart's men, but with four companies of the 2nd Rifle Brigade to
protect their flanks their position remained secure.
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