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5 THE WAR. 6*___


5 THE WAR. 6* b THE LIGHTING ON BPIOX KOP. ). r- LADY •I.HTIl GARHISON WATCII THE is FIGHTING. 16 IiADV.^»;iLUi. Saturday (by Special Sanger to is Estconrt., Tuesday). l- The bt-oIec;ed people cf this town, civilians and 5, soldiers a;ike, have just endured a period of sus- i- pen so trying to the nerves and more weari- IS somo u; ijio patience than anything they had » experienced eince the first day of the blockade, i. Prow uur commanding heights wo have watched the apparently victorious advance of a powerful i Briton army forcing its way to our relief. We have Been too eiic-my driven from strong positions and » prep.u, u rltreat all along the Ime. Our arms Avert- 4C v outstretched to embrace our saviours. In our ovitiness and joy we almost persuaded our. sclv.;s ,1. we were within bailing distance of the duu-w ,j host in the far distance. And now Our exultation has given place to settled melancholy Recur.,v.auie.-a however by a fierce determination to Work OIL., own salvation if need c # W- iwtvo with our own eyes the British advance t^uyvd at what was very clear to us watchers 11, vcrv moment of complete victory. To-day rea'ise "that Bailor's army is no nearer to m- thart it was two weeks ago. main facts have already been heliographed to uk v-rv brinflv. Here are the d<>av,ails. TLc fh'U indication we in Ladysraith had of the presoeoe -r General Warren's force at and about Tncaiadt' Drift was the shelling by the British gnria on. Wednesday, January 17. of tbe great m mnt.i'i -.bout three miles on the side of Pot- gi«t«r'B Drift, on the Tugela^ known as Taba XV} or Black Mountain. From t-ho heights around Ladyemir.h, crowded with eager watchers ar r,Ite first welcome sound of Warren's guns, were plain I v visible the British positions on the south side of the Tugela. On Zwart's Kop and on the mountain opposite Potgieter's Drift we could see the flash or the British guns, and we followed tne course- of each hurtling shell uutii it burst amongst the Jiosr trendies on the Taba Xyama. Kcver were military operations watched with such Uv:* interest and with such spectacular ad. v.u,;This shelling continued heavily on Thurs- day. vile 18th, and Friday, the 19th. Ou the latter .av v.-c i'-iiifrom the t-hrapne! bursting along the running north from Taba Nyama that oav field artillery had got to work, aud great was our rejoicing. On the afternoon of teas same Friday there was cannonading, arid laser on we learned that the British army bad crossed the Tugela ir. three places. Xeveithele >a there was no change whatever in the Bow posl.ions on or near Taba Nyama until On that- day the Boers ha- v/j ;v.vas camps, one on each side of Taba Ky.Mi.a ISek, and also four 3.e waggon laagers further novth. 0 J Wednesday, the British gunners shell vd the ridge norlh of Taba Nyama n.bove Pinkuey's Farm. The. shelling commenced at daybreak, and sharpnel was al.-nost. exclusively used. The shelling was mo r.-f, it was continued until the afternoon wlv./e it ceased with strange suddenness. wir.le v.G sw the Boers rapidly inspnnmng tied their agitation was p*jIja!de to e'; x.rod watchers. Towards eyening- large ntiiji-f. of ua/gons began trekking northwards g-npi;oo the town that Warren had occupied riXo. Ny-tuja t "■ 'idnn'ohty morning, the 25th, wo were de- lighted to observe that many of the Boer waegone had lofr. the laaaers, while most of those left were engaged In itispanning preparatory to joining in the genera! trek or retreat in the full light, of day. Bebe- the retreat had commenced in earnest, for -.rings of waggons, extending for miles, were i.Hisi.rvy.i moving acrosa the plains from Taba Xvama. ail evidently having the same objective— Ya: R~emui'& Pass. Xumoroua<i burghers were also proceed- ) i he tr ine ctiroc'ioti, but the canvas camps on eacii r cbe Taba Nyama Nek remained un- chaugj; uiid nerds of cattle continned to grass as usual on tb" pasture within the shadow oc the grea t mountain. ilt-j; indeed, was a r'riarkable phenomenon, whit;; v, e Ui.-oucfscd escitedly. If,aswehadbeeo assured, the British soldiers had stormed and cap- tured Xyatna, otherwise Splon Kop, the pre- vious u,fu:rr.oon, continued to hold it, what w trro camps doing on the Noko and why v, ei. cattle below unmolested P Either the L' Li"; retreated ntmCl8C, abandoning every- tb.ii. <o v,he victors, or they intended to return ufiv. >ii.g the; wagcror.s to a rafe d;stanoe. Iu ;J; it seemed that our men ibe-. ti!;T5 i-f activity. v!owrver, no immed- iate siuiiui'/ci the problem w:«.g fortbcomitig. Du: ,g the Thursday tbere was a little artillery firing, and several British shells burst over the ridge at the tiaaie spot as on Wednesday. Night foJJ with- out any explanation of the situation, and the staff }!av8 professed to be quite in the dark as to what had happened. On the morning of Friday, January 26th the startling circumstances was revealed that the Boer ■'•Jiggon laagers which wera broken np on the previonsoday had reappeared, and were in precisely the position f,3 before. We could net say whether they were the same waggons which had trekked on Wednesday night t.nd i'liii)- day, or whether they were fresh ones bringing up supplies of food and mnunition, pasiDg the empty ones tin -.he road, There was no tiring on either side on Friday, and this, together with the 'continued presence of the Boers in force in the vicinity of Taba Nyama, made the situation decid- edly puzzling us. Twa-t night we learned that Warren had secllrod the crest cf Taba Nyama mountain, driving out the Boers with great loes. But 1-tt t,hp same tinH) a Beer report came iu whieh stated that 100 of our men had been taken prisoners. there was an entire absence of hostilities on the Tnnri'oay, Friday, and Saturday in the neighbour- hood of Taba Nyama, which was sufficiently (C. t-oume-'l for by IO presumption that an armistice .taut beta agreed to for the purpose of enabling both side. to collect their wounded and bury their dead. In focu v.agiojiis and ambulance carts were peen going and comieg iive.n Thursday inorui'g until Bat nr.lay afternoon. T.i~ Mw»e pH the between Taba Nyama and L:eiy.i uncbanged until Sunday, January 2B. Or! t:e. morning of that day a new Boer laager 1); (:»n\e visible on the Oolenso road nine miles away. The Boers were much in evidence in the country between Bifieman's Ridge a.nd Taba Nyama. Un Sundav afternoon wo learned the d is* heartening- truth that after actual!v taking and hoh! Suion Kop on Taba Nyama Warren, for , reason, had retired or had been driven back, and chat the Boers had reoccnpied the commanding position. We were further told 1,1: our losses in kided, wounded, and prisoners amounted to the terrible total of 1,100. Our only con:-o]rtt,ioii in our sore disappointment was in k,LJ;¡J¡{ that the Boer losses were considerably more than our own, that they also had many of thru: ••umber prisoners, and that i'ut. doa-:roved seven out of the eight, guns brought ou the scene by the Boers. We were told that the Boers were demoralised, but our own eyes did not furnish on Sunday u ;il¡!ma in support of this optimistic statement. On Monday, January 29th, the scene before us wan ibtiii unchanged, except that the Boer laager 0" the Colenso road had disappeared as quickly as it had come. There had been then an entire sus- P81\si,)n of hor,tilit,ic:-1 on Taba Nyama since the previous Sunday. On the Monday news was re- œ>è:\ by ns that while a body of British troops were making the passage of the Tugela ou Satur. day, the 27th, at Skiet's Drift they were hotly attacked by a Boer commando, and that thereupon another British Torce unexpectedly fell upon the enemy and smote them hip and thigh.. We gloried to hear that there had been what we have so long ye.iring for—hand-to-hand fighting-rand that our men bad bayouetted nearly every Boar of the CM i.U mando.









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