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.
III - THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BATTLE
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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