The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  These incidents must now be set
down in the order of their occurrence, with their relation to each
other so - Page 750
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These Incidents Must Now Be Set Down In The Order Of Their Occurrence, With Their Relation To Each Other So Far As It Is Possible To Trace It.

General Louis Botha, with the double intention of making an offensive move and of distracting the wavering burghers from

A close examination of Lord Kitchener's proclamation, assembled his forces in the second week of September in the Ermelo district. Thence he moved them rapidly towards Natal, with the result that the volunteers of that colony had once more to grasp their rifles and hasten to the frontier. The whole situation bore for an instant an absurd resemblance to that of two years before - Botha playing the part of Joubert, and Lyttelton, who commanded on the frontier, that of White. It only remained, to make the parallel complete, that some one should represent Penn Symons, and this perilous role fell to a gallant officer, Major Gough, commanding a detached force which thought itself strong enough to hold its own, and only learned by actual experiment that it was not.

This officer, with a small force consisting of three companies of Mounted Infantry with two guns of the 69th R.F.A., was operating in the neighbourhood of Utrecht in the south-eastern corner of the Transvaal, on the very path along which Botha must descend. On September 17th he had crossed De Jagers Drift on the Blood River, not very far from Dundee, when he found himself in touch with the enemy. His mission was to open a path for an empty convoy returning from Vryheid, and in order to do so it was necessary that Blood River Poort, where the Boers were now seen, should be cleared.

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