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TRANSVAAL WAR FROM DAY to DAY. Important news comes from three points at the front. A message from THURSDAY the Boer head laager outside Lady- smith contains the tirstannouncement of the recrossing of the Tsgela by the forces under General Buller. On Monday, ap- parently aner a very heavy shelling un the Boer positions, the British forces commenced the passage of the river at Pont Drift and Molen Drift. The message reports that at one of the drifts the British were driven back, and returned to the other side of the other side of the river in great confnsion." A later telegram from the same source admits that I General Buller has captured a position of no im- portance," and that his forces still hold it. From Sterkstroom it is reported that the Boers from Stormberg advanced and attacked the British out- posts at Penhoek and Bird's River siding early yesterday morning, and that firing was still pro- ceeding. On the western frontier General Macdonald, with the Highland Brigade, the 9th. Lancers, and a battery of artillery, has occupied Koodoosberg Drift, on the Riet River, commanding the road that runs between Kimberley and Hope- town. A brief message from Capetown reports that Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener have left for the front, but the destination of the Commander- in-Chief is not disclosed. A New York correspon- (y, dent contradicts on the best authority" the rumour that the 'United States Government is about to offer mediation. The Administration adheres to its attitude of strict impartiality, com- bined with perfect willingness to make an effort to bring about peace provided such offer of good offices is invited by both belligerents. There is very little news from the front. Additional details have been IFJTIDAY,. received of the fighting on the north- ern bank of the Tugela on Monday and Tuesday, but of General Buller's movements sinceTuesday evening no information bad been received at the time of writing. Some further particulars have also been forwarded of the Boer attack on General Gatacre'a outposts at Penhoet and Bird's River Siding-, near Sterkstroom, on I r Wednesday. On Monday the Boers made an at- tempt to rush General Macdonald's position at Koodoosberg, but it was quite unsuccessful. There is no news from General French. No further news has come from General Buller and his movements SATURDAY since Tuesday are, so far as the information obtained from official sources is concerned, still unknown. From the Boer headquarters outside Ladysmith, however, there comes a report that on Thursday morning General Buller's forces abandoned the kopje they had captured early in the week, retired across the Tugela, and reoccupied the position they held before the recent advance. Lord Roberts, in a despatch dated Thursday night, states that on Wednesday the Boers attacked General t Oatacre's outposts from Penhoek and Bird's River. They were driven off, and the outposts are secure. The Boer report that General Buller had abandoned the position he gained MONDAY on Vaal Krantz and retreated again across the Tugela is fully confirmed. The occupant of the car attached to the military balloon discovered that the Boers had a battery of powerfnl guns on the summit of Doom Kloof, and as it was impossible for General Buller to storm that position without sacrificing a terrible number of men, and as to advance to the west leaving the Boers on Doom Kloof would have been to run the risk of being cut off, General Buller decided to retire, and the movement was accordingly carried out in perfect order on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. This retirement does not involve the abandonment of Ladysmith. An interesting report comes from Rensburg. The Boers at Colesberg are not-as was commonly thought-almost surrounded. Their line of com- munications is quite open, and they are showing considerable activity. A large part of the cavalry who were supposed to be acting under General French at Rensburg have arrived at Modder River, and Lord Roberts, it now appears, is there also. There are many indications that some important movement on the Western frontier is contemplated. A despatch from General Buller, i dated the 9th inst., was issued by the TUESDAY War Office yesterday. The General explains the cause of his last failure to reach Ladysmith. He says it was essential to troops advancing on Ladysmith by Harding or Monger's Drift to hold Vaal Krantz securely. Owing to the nature of the ground he could not entrench, and the place was exposed to fire from heavy guns from a position by which our artillery was dominated. As he could not make the position secure he was not pressing an advance by those roads. The garrison of Kimberley are reported to be suffering considerably, and the report of their condition probably explains why General Robezts has decided upon an advance from Modder River rather than from some more central point. ■<S —








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