Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

27 articles on this Page

FOUCHE SURPRISED.

A STORY OF THE WAR.

News
Cite
Share

A STORY OF THE WAR. UNRECORDED CAPTURE OF A LONG TOM. If there is one military art that the Boers acquired more quickly than another it was that -of removing cannon from a place of insecurity itt the shortest possible time. They stood a British assault out to the finish at Elandslaagte, and sacrificed two field-pieces as the price of their temerity. Never again; and it was months before we heard of the capture of Boer guns in an open and stand-up fight. No matter the "weight, no matter the calibre, the Boers seemed to know by instinct the exact psychological moment, and up came the limber teams, whether horses, mules, oxen, or men, and the guns were saved. Now, great military prestige and morale would appear to attach to the capture and loss of guns in battle. In the estimation of the modern mind their possession seemed to rank with the captured chariots in a Roman triumph. It' is the humble opinion of the writer (says a corre- spondent in the "Pall Mall Gazette") that during this war in South Africa more lives have been spent in the attempts to capture and defend artillery than have ever been sacrificed through the accuracy of aftillery fire. But doubtless guns have served their purpose. It is good in war to have something besides human life with which to tally the losses and the gains; something more civilised than the Dyaks' show of heads, or the Redskins' collection of top-knots. Well, we have met the great General who oould shew by his staff diary that he had captured the little Free State hamlet of Vrede seven- teen times in one month. We are familiar with his keenness to excel in the game of war, and we appreciate the caution with which he was voont to temper his success. This great General was ambitious. It was that solid kind of ambition which, based upon a mighty fulcrum of caution, takes long to develop; consequently the great General, as well as the nation, was hardly used a few months ago, when his ambition was "nipped in the bud" by his being caught by the age limit and placed in that secure little nook on the shelf investment proved the taxpayers' cheapest But to this blighted ambition. The great Lerl t,hat the safe road to success would be in the capture of Boer cannon—six-inch "Long Uoms for choice—and he told his pocket corre- spondent so. It happened that the fates seemed propitious to his schemes. The army which the great general commanded was called upon to work through an area of mountain fortresses, and there opposing the advance was a "Long Tom," a real, black-powder-burning, six-inch-shell-flinging "Long Tom." The general rubbed his hands with glee, and made the big gun's presence an excuse to halt his army for a week. Reconnaissance, my boy—reconnaissance," he would say, when his chief of ataff tried to goad him into action, "reconnaissance is the secret of successful soldiering!" And his army sat down and reconnoitred for a week. Then came the -order-the order which his army had been pant- ing for. The gun was to be taken by a night attack after the position had been sufficiently reconnoitred." J Slowly but surely the attacking column hauled itself up the steep breast of the hill. Semicircles of glinting bayonets narrowed round the summit rL. nU 1Clk0?je' f The rim of the moon *'S'nZ. above the tip of a neighbouring height tKJir g ey?Ug to allow the men to correct r ;-d iUnCe/ f was an exciting moment. Up been no challenge, no indication Was ,b?ld" Yet at ^ndown the enemy had been working at "Long Tom's" em- placement. Another fifteen feet, and yet no Srenf.e- „ Now, men!" and with a Light? cheer the British infantry hurled themselves sandbags of the epaulement. The i eer died away, expired in a sickly wail The gunpit was empty the platform deserted DaranW„l«m? deserted; there, posted on the Firrk* gleaming m the strengthening moon- T\S°me,thJng- A Httle toy calnon on ridgl Nor Td !l°m P16 °ase of a Mauser cart- Snage. JNor did the pleasantry of the Boer nners end here. Attached to the toy was a igment of document. It was a CODV of She atrtr da/,6d threo da>'s backf propound knt TomV' and ? °°rner "me wit from barked com-

"TOMMY" DESCRIBES A DRIVE.

THE BOERS' LAST KICK.

MR. SEDDON AT PRETORIA.

CRONJE AT ST. HELENA.

DEATH OF A WREXHAM YEOMAN.

WOMEN EMIGRANTS. .

RAPID BRICKLAYING. 0

[No title]

CORONATION FESTIVITIES. *.———

[No title]

NEW BOOKS. .

IMR. W. CONGREVE'S WILL. .

ARMY AND VOLUNTEERS. «

Advertising

AFRICAN MAIL BOAT LOST.I ♦

THE BRITISH INSULATED WIRE'I…

DROPSY CURED. .

CHESTER GOLF CLUB.

-----ROYAL CHESTER R.C.I

I POLO |

LAWN TENNIS.

'EXCITING MOTOR RACE. .

ADVANTAGES OF ADVERTISING.…

DEATH OF LORD PAUXCEFOTE ---+---

Advertising