The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  It was occupied next
morning by the Boers, and the whole ridge was at their mercy. Out
of eighteen men - Page 610
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It Was Occupied Next Morning By The Boers, And The Whole Ridge Was At Their Mercy.

Out of eighteen men who served one of the British guns sixteen were killed or wounded, and the last

Rounds were fired by the sergeant-farrier, who carried, loaded, and fired all by himself. All day the soldiers held out, but the thirst was in itself enough to justify if not to compel a surrender. At half-past five the garrison laid down their arms, having lost about sixty killed or wounded. There does not, as far as one can learn, seem to have been any attempt to injure the two guns which fell into the hands of the enemy. De Wet himself was one of the first to ride into the British trenches, and the prisoners gazed with interest at the short strong figure, with the dark tail coat and the square-topped bowler hat, of the most famous of the Boer leaders.

British columns were converging, however, from several quarters, and De Wet had to be at once on the move. On the 26th Dewetsdorp was reoccupied by General Charles Knox with fifteen hundred men. De Wet had two days' start, but so swift was Knox that on the 27th he had run him down at Vaalbank, where he shelled his camp. De Wet broke away, however, and trekking south for eighteen hours without a halt, shook off the pursuit. He had with him at this time nearly 8000 men with several guns under Haasbroek, Fourie, Philip Botha, and Steyn.

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