The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  As Barton had now
more than a thousand mounted men of most excellent quality it is
difficult to imagine why - Page 600
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As Barton Had Now More Than A Thousand Mounted Men Of Most Excellent Quality It Is Difficult To Imagine Why He Did Not Pursue His Defeated Enemy.

He seems to have underrated the effect which he had produced, for instead of instantly assuming the offensive he busied himself in strengthening his defences.

Yet the British losses in the whole operations had not exceeded one hundred, so that there does not appear to have been any reason why the force should be crippled. As Barton was in direct and constant telegraphic communication with Pretoria, it is possible that he was acting under superior orders in the course which he adopted.

It was not destined, however, that De Wet should be allowed to escape with his usual impunity. On the 27th, two days after his retreat from Frederickstad he was overtaken - stumbled upon by pure chance apparently - by the mounted infantry and cavalry of Charles Knox and De Lisle. The Boers, a great disorganised cloud of horsemen, swept swiftly along the northern bank of the Vaal, seeking for a place to cross, while the British rode furiously after them, spraying them with shrapnel at every opportunity. Darkness and a violent storm gave De Wet his opportunity to cross, but the closeness of the pursuit compelled him to abandon two of his guns, one of them a Krupp and the other one of the British twelve-pounders of Sanna's Post, which, to the delight of the gunners, was regained by that very U battery to which it belonged.

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