Notes Of A War Correspondent By Richard Harding Davis


Early in the campaign, when his officers had blundered, General White
had dared to write:  I alone am to blame - Page 140
Notes Of A War Correspondent By Richard Harding Davis - Page 140 of 202 - First - Home

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Early In The Campaign, When His Officers Had Blundered, General White Had Dared To Write:

"I alone am to blame." But in this triumphal procession twenty-two thousand gentlemen in khaki wiped that line off the slate, and wrote, "Well done, sir," in its place, as they passed before him through the town he had defended and saved.


The Boer "front" was at Brandfort, and, as Lord Roberts was advancing upon that place, one already saw in the head-lines, "The Battle of Brandfort." But before our train drew out of Pretoria Station we learned that the English had just occupied Brandfort, and that the Boer front had been pushed back to Winburg.

We decided that Brandfort was an impossible position to hold anyway, and that we had better leave the train at Winburg. We found some selfish consolation for the Boer repulse, in the fact that it shortened our railroad journey by one day. The next morning when we awoke at the Vaal River Station the train despatcher informed us that during the night the "Rooineks" had taken Winburg, and that the burghers were gathered at Smaaldel.

We agreed not to go to Winburg, but to stop off at Smaaldel. We also agreed that Winburg was an impossible position to hold. When at eleven o'clock the train reached Kroonstad, we learned than Lord Roberts was in Smaaldel. It was then evident that if our train kept on and the British army kept on there would be a collision.

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