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TRANSVAAL WA$ «. SERIOUS BRITISH REVERSE. GATACRE MISLED BY GUIDES. » BR1LLANT SORTIE FROM LADY- SMITH. OFFICIAL DESPATCHES. The following despatch was issued by the War Office at midnight on Sunday from General, Cape Town, to Secretary of State for War: — Following from Gatacre this morning.— Dseply regret to inform you that I have met with a seriou* reverse in an attack this morning on Stormberg. í I was misled as to enemy's position by the guides, and found him on impracticable ground. From General, Cape Town, to Secretary of State for War. 10th December: — With reference to my telegram this morning, casualties so far as known at present only— SECOND ROYAL IRISH RIFLES. Officers. Killed, none. Wounded Lieut.-Col. Eager, Major Seaton, Capt. Bell, Capt. Kelly, Lieut. Stephens, Lieut. Barnards- ton (Suffolk Regiment), Second-Lieut. Maynard. Missing: Capt. Weir, Lieut. Christie, Seoond- Lieut. Rodney. Rank and file: Killed, none. Wounded 12, Miss- ing, 290. BERKSHIRE (MOUNTED INFANTRY). Killed: Private Wells. 74th FIELD BATTERY. Severely Wounded: Lieutenant Lewis and three men. Slightly wounded: One man. Wounded; Gunner Wallace. 77th FIELD BATTERY. Slightly Wounded: Major Perceval. Killed Gunner Maund. 2nd NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS. Officers Missing: Major Stevens Captain Fletcher, Captain Morley, Second-Lieutenant Wake, Second-Lieutenant Coulson, Lieutenant Radcliffo (Dorset Regiment). 306 non-commissioned officers and men also missing Remainder of casualties will be wired as soon as known, together with the full list of names. From General, Cape Town, to Secretary of State for War: — Cape Town. 8-30 p.m., Dec. 9th. Position of enemy Stormberg district last night. Stormberg six laagers Dordrecht 800 men twenty-three miles to the south of Strk. strom 220 men. Major Elliott reported Dalgetty with force has gone towards Dordrecht to 00- operate with Gatacre. THE ENEMY'S FORCE NEAR GATACRE. The War Office has issued the following despatch from the General Officer Commanding at Cape Town to the Secretary of State for War (received 11-45 p.m.): — Cape Town, Friday, 9 p.m. enemy's force near Gatacre is reported to bo constituted 3."0 follows: — At Dordrecht, 800. Marching from James- town to Dordrecht, 700, with six guns. At Stormberg, 1,500. At Waterfall, a large force, strength unknown. At Molteno, about 400. « police sergeant and two railway employes have been captured by Boers near Molteno. (Jeneral French reported on the 7th December (Thursday) that the New Zealand Mounted Infantry left Naauwpoort at daybreak, and occupied a ridge to the south of Arundel, cover- ing the detrainment of three trains of mounted troop". Arundel was occupied at 6 p.m. The enemy's outposts were three miles beyond the station. J" LATER MESSAGE FROM ? GATACRE. following despatch has been received at the War Office from the general commanding at Cape I'own: — Cape Town, Dec. 11th. Gatacre reports: The idea of an a.ttack on Stormberg seemed to promise certain success, but the distance was under-estimated by myself and local guides. A policeman took us round eome miles consequently we were marching from 9-30 p.m. till four in the morning, and were landed in an impossible position. I dÐ not considpr the error was intentional. Boers commenced firing from top of unscalable hill, and woundd a good many men while in the open plain. Second Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers tried to turn out the enemy but failed. Second Battalion Irish Rifles seized kopje near and held on, supported by Mounted In- fantry and Cape Police. The guns under Jeffereya could not have been better handled, but I regret to say that one gun was overturned in a deep nullah; one sank in quicksand. Neither could be extri- cated in time. Seeing situation I sent despatch rider to Molten with the news. I collected and with- drew the force from ridge to ridge for about nine miles. Boer guns were remarkably well served and carried accurately 5,000 yards. I am holding Bushmanshoec and Cyphergat. I am sending Second Battalion Irish Rifles and Second Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers to Sterkstroom to recuperate. Wounded proceed to Queenstown. The name of Major Sturges, 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, should be substituted for that of Major Stevens, reported as missing in the previous telegram. The number of rank and file reported missing of the Northumberland Fusiliers is 366, and not 306, as previously reported. I GATACRE'S BLUNDER. OFFICIAL BOER DESPATCH. The following official Boer despatch from Pretoria lias been received at Lourenco Marquez: — Six hundred a.nd seventy-two prisoners were taken in the fight at Stormberg. The loss of the British in dead and wounded is unknown. There was fight- ing on Sunday night at Modder River. Cronje maintained his position, and took fifty British prisoners. PRESIDENT STEYN'S VERSION. [Press Association War Special.] Lourenco Marquez, Monday. The following official despatch from Piltona, Hated Sunday, has been received here:—President Steyn gives details of the fight at Stormberg Junc- tion. The British with six guns attacked the Boers under Swanepoel and Olivier. They endea- voured to storm the entrenched position of the Boers on the kopjes, but after a severe fight were compelled to sl1rrende.r. The prisonen are Major Kl1rg-ess {'! Sturges), six officers, twenty non-com- missioned officers, anù 210 men of the Northum- berland Fusiliers, and two officers and about 250 men of the Irish Fusiliers. It is impossible to state the number of dead and wounded British. The Boers captured three guns and two ammunition iragoni. GEN. GATACRE'S SURPRISE. TERRIBLE FIRE. DESPERATE ENGAGEMENT. [Press Association War Special.] Molteno, December 10th, 5-30 p.m. General Gatacre left Putter's Kraal, his head- llluartel's, after midday on Saturday with a fighting force of slightly over 4,000 strong, including a Wttalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles details of Mounted Infantry, and the 77th and 74th Field Batteries. Train was taken as far as Molteno, and thence the force proceeded on foot. The movement may be termed a re- connaissance in force to exactly ascertain the strength and position of the enemy, who were strongly entrenched in the Stormberg range of mountains. Leaving Molteno at 9 p.m., the force quietly stepped forward, with no sound save the tramp of the men, and no distinguishing lights what- ever were given. The night march was a memorable one. The moon shone brightly till half- put eleven and then went down. On and on went Gatacre's men, tramping over a rock-surface road, "kicking against stones, and occasionally pulled up by large boulders which had fallen in the way, and ever and anon striking off into the veldt, where the footing was softer and the ceaseless tramping was silenced. Sometimes a dark figure would come suddenly, swiftly, and almost noiselessly up, and in a hoarse whisper an officer would ejaculate an order to halt, as the enemy was believed to be near. Thus for seven hours the little force slipped and tumbled onwards until a natural basin was entered, a.t the end of which the Rooi Kop, the enemy's main position, stood out in a strong sil- houette against the morning sky. The morning was just breaking, and it was comparatively bright. Ju,< jts the Irish Rifles with General Gatacre and -his etaff at the head of the column were entering the depression a. hot and unexpected fire was opened by the enemy on the right. Following the Rde8 wera 106 of the Northumberland Fusiliers, and the rear was brought up by artillery. The column was marching four abreast, but notwithstanding the suddenness and fierceness of the attack there was jiot the slightest confusion or consternation General Gatacre and hie officers, with the utmost coolness and promptitude, brought the column into line of action, and in short time the battle mta r?F,atr- At UP and ot Into posItIon to the tett on the side or a small kopje, while the Rifles and Northumberlands clambered up the hill held by the enemy in skirmish- ing order. They were met by a galling fire, but bravely pressed forward, and notwithstanding the extremely difficult nature of the ground, succeeded in reaching the top. When they arrived there, however, they found they were the centre of a tremendously hot rifle fire, which was poured in upon them from three different directions in the flank and rear, and our men were forced to retire. Meanwhile the artillery had got into action, and drew the fire of the enemy's guns. A protracted artillery duel ensued, in which our guns belched forth a. terrible fire, demoralising the Boers gun. ners in the fort which they had constructed. at the corne- of the kopje. The position being un- sai!able and the enemy in overwhelming numbers our infantry with the Maxim detachment were ordered to retire towards Molteno. The artillery remained to cover the retreat. Their fire was ter- rific, but the Boere brought their guns along the tops of the kopjes and followed the troops on the road below for miles, sending shell after shell down into the valley. The enemy's practice was good, their shells dropping and bursting on the roadway close to our men, but so skilfully were the troops handled that not a man was hit during this stage of the retirement. Finally the Boers gained a kopje commanding the road at a closer range, and from thi nositinn oneneid with a rifle firp- The uiiiiets, nowever, feu and tne troops arnvecl at Molteno about 11 a.m., after some thirty hours' hard work, including a desperate engagement last- ing three hour5. The enemy's numbers are. esti- mated at 6,000. They are occupying a practically impregnable position, and one which it is hopeless for a small attacking force to carry. SORTIE FROM LADYSMITH. GUNS CAPTURED. The following message was issued by the War Office shortly before midnight on Saturday: — From Sir Redvers Buller to Secretary of State for War. (Received 7-30 p.m.). Frere Camp, December 9th, 4-5 p.m. Following message receiwd from Sir G20rge White to-day:—Last night I sent General Hunter with 500 Natal Volunteers, under Roys- ton, and 100 Imperial Light Horse, under Edwards, to surprise Gun IIilI. The enterprise was admirably carried out ajid was entirely successful, the hill being captured, and a. 6m. gun and a 4.7 howitze destroyed with gun- cotton by Captain Fcwke and Lieutenant Turner, R.E.. a.nd a Maxim was captured and brought to Ladysmith. Our loss: One man killed; Major Henderson, 1st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, wounded. At the same time Colonel Knox seized hill, and one squadron 19th Hussars rode round Pepworth Hill, burning kraals and cutting Boer telegraph lines. No casualties. BRILLIANT BAYONET CHARGE. The War Office has isrued the following telegram from General Buller — Frere Camp, 2.5 p.m., Tuesday. The following telegram was received from Sir George White to-day — 11th December. Last night Li-e<ut.-Colonel Metcalfe, 2nd Rifle Brigade, with 500 men of his battalion, made a eortie to capture Surprise Hill and destroy tho 4.7 Howitzer mounted there. They reached the crest of the hill under cover, and drove off the enemy. The gun was destroyed by gun-cotton successfully by Lieut. Digby Jones, R.E. When returning they found their retirement barred by the. Boers, but forced their way through, using the bayonet freely. The Boer losses were con. siderable. Our losses are: — SECOND RIFLE BRIGADE. Killed Lieut. Ferguson and ten rank and file. Wounded: Capt. Paley, Second Lieut. Daven- port, Second Lieut. Bond, and forty rank and file. Six men of the 2nd Rifle Brigade, who remained behind in charge of the wounded, were taken prisoners. ROYAL ENGINEERS. Rank and .61e killed one, wounded one. LADYSMITH. ANOTHER DESCRIPTION OF THE SORTIE. The war correspondent of the "Daily News" telegraphs from Ladysmith. Friday (via Frere Camp, Saturday, 9-10 p.m.):—A brief heliograph message from Sir G. White has already told yon of the brilliant result of the bold enterprise planned and executed by General Sir Archibald Hunter last night. Accompanied by Major King as aide-de-camp and Major Henderson as staff officer, with a force comprising 100 Imperial Light Horse, 100 Cara- biniers, and about 400 Border Mounted and Natal Rifles, he left camp at eleven o'clock last night and marched five miles to the foot of Lombard's Kop. A field battery followed, but did not come into action. All the other troop- in camp were under arms and ready to act in case of a reverse, General White cordially supporting Sir A. Hunters' plan with all he force possible. At two o'clock the column reached tho foot of Gun Hill, on which the Boers had in position a 6-inch Creusot gun, with other artillery. Major Henderson, with 14 Guides directing our movements, led the force, the Imperial Light Horse on the left flank, and the Carabiniers on the right, up the precipitous boulder-strewn heights. The Border Mounted Rifles and the Volunteers followed in support. Nearly half way up the difficult ascent 30 Boer outpost, apparently just awake, challenged us, and receiving no answer called to his friends, English on us; shoot!" They then let off their rifles, and the explosi/e bullets flashed flame as they struck the rocks. A hurried fusilade from the crest of the hill was answered by a single volley, and thin our men raised ringing cheers, apparently doubling their numbers by the repetition of the sounds. Then General Hunter, leading his officers, took up the pommand, a.nd ordering the men to fix bayonets they climbed like lizards owr the huge boulclers in an irregular but orderly line. When our men gained the crest they found the Boers in full retreat. The Imperial Light Horso were the first to reach the Creusot battery, and claimed the breech as a prize. Sir A. Hunter. Major King, Col. Edwards, Major Daries, end Major Henderson were among ths first on the heights. The troops advancing fired volleys into the Boer camp, while the Engineers destroyed the Creusot and two smaller guns. A Maxim and an automatic gun were captured and brought away. The Light Horse had four men wounded, one seriously. These were brought back to-day by Dr. Davies and another sur geon, who were temporarily held prisoners by the Boers. The enemy expressed the highest apprecia- tion of the gallant achievement, though sorely chag- rined at the loss of so many guns. Major Henderson and fonr of the Guides wpre also wounded, but slightly. The 19th Hussars, making a diversion towards Modder's Spruit, cut the telegraph wires, and destroyed some Boer stores before daylight. General Brocklehurst, with cavalry and artillery, reconnoitred in the direction of Pepworth Hill with the object of intercepting the Boers in retreat, but found the portion still strongly held. The 18th Hussars, pushing forward, drew a furious fire, and suffered heavily. The Boers shot incessantly as the force slowly retired. The casualties in this affair were four killed and 17 wounded. At special parades in the afternoon General White thanked Sir A. Hunter and all the troops engaged in the capture of Gun Hill, giving high praise for the servioe ren dered by the Guides and Major Henderson, and generally commending the bravery and steadiness of all detachments. 44 LONG TOM" DISABLED. Another correspondent telegraphs:—Our troop3 brought away the breech-block of "Long Tom," together with the rammer, sponges, sights, friction tubes, and other fittings of the weapons. All the puns on the hill were quite destroyed, and are now utterly useless for offensive or defensive purposes. BOER ACCOUNT OF THE SORTIE. Boer Head Laager outside Ladysmith, Friday (via Lourenco Marquez, Saturday.) The British in Ladysmith have scored. Between one and two in the morning a body crawled up the ravine, assailed and carried one of the kopjes constituting Lombard's Kop Boer position, on which were one big Creusot gun and one Howitzer. They put these out of action with dynamite and then retired. The Lancers. Hussars, and Guards made a. sortie on the west of Ladysmith at daybreak under cover of a heavy artillery fire, which killed one Boer and wounded two. The Boer artillery fire was very heavy. The British returned to Ladysmith. Major Erasmus and Lieut. Malan will be court-martialled in connection with the injury to the cannon this morning. Besides damaging the two big guns the British captured a Maxim. GEN. METHUEN'S ADVANCE. The following despatch from the General Com- manding at Cape Town to the Secretary for War was issued on Sunday night: — The railway bridp at Modder was completed on the 7th December. Methuen report. that 110 made a d..mnn.tratioT1 up the. line of railway at daybreak to-day with one cavalry regiment, a batter j" of Horsr- A rtiilery, and a battalion of infantry, and a naval 4.7 quick-firing gun, which mad bea1:tifu! practice. The enemy did not reply. Methuen is receiving the remainder of his reinforcements and "¡¡ppl¡e, and has estab- lished posts on his lines of communications. Mafeking reported all well on the 30th of November. COMMUNICATION RESTORED. SEVERE FIGHTING. With reference to my previous telegram, Belmont was strengthened by infantry, two guns and a cavalry regiment. A battery of Field Artillery and a battalion of Infa.ntry were despatched from Modder River. and drove off Prinsloo's Commando of one thousand Boers with one gun, who had destroyed the railway. Our losses were fourteen "'>iI wounded. Une killed and one \VoundedBoer were picked up near Enslin. Telegraph ana railway communication to Modder River has been re- opened. NAVAL GUN IN ACTION. BOER EMPLACEMENT DESTROYED. Modder River, Saturday, Dec. 9th, 9-20 p.m. Last night a team of thirty-two oxen hauled a 4.7 gun to the top of a ridge on the north side of the town, and at daybreak thi morning it opened fire on a Boer position, which Colonel Rhodes had located yesterday, and where the Boers were seen to be at work, apparently constructing an em- placement for one of their 40-pounders. The naval detachment mannad the gun and fired it. The first shell, charged with Lyddite, burst over a high point ia the range of hills. The area of destruction was encrmous. The whole ground appeared to be churned into red dust. A steady fire was kept up for half an hour at different points of range. The Boers were perceived hurriedly leaving the em- p;acemen t, which was apparently destroyed. The range was 6,700 Cavalry, with a battery of Field Artillery, demonstrated on the left front, out no incident occurred. BOER POSITION AT SPYTFON- TEIN. [Press Association War Special.] Modder River, Sunday. Yesterday's bombardment of one of the enemy's positions with lyddite appears to have had a good effect on the Boers, who, according to native re- ports, have been greatly alarmed by this demon- stration of the terrible power of the explosive. From a ridge to the north of our camp the Boer position is distinctly visible, especially in the even- ing, when the setting sun strikes a range of low hills occupied by the enemy. The railway line almost bipcts the position, which is semi-circular, the horns of the circle pointing towards the Modder. A small plain intervenes between two ranges, the western one of which is called Spytfontein and the eastern Magersfontein. Apparently the Boers are holding the former in small force, and are concen- trating their whole energy in strengthening Magersfontein in the western. A portion of the Magersfontein position consists of a detached group of low hills and kopjes standing considerably further south than the main position. Lines of strong shelter trenches have been constructed at the base of the hills running back through the different valleys in order to allow of the safe return of the enemy. Magersfontein consists of a considerably higher range of hills running in an easterly direc- tion. The same plan of entrenchment has been followed here, but several additional walls havo been placed higher up the hills, giving a doublo line of fire. The emp'acement of a big gun can be distinctly seen near the foot of the eastern posi- tion of the range. Reinforcements are reported to be arriving. At Jacobsdaal the Boers hold a. drift across the river between Jacobsdaal and Magersfontein. ARTILLERY DUEL AT MODDER RIVEH. ENEMY'S GUNS OUTCLASSED. DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF LYDDITE. [Press Association War Special.] Modder River, Sunday, 6-45 p.m. Our Howitzer battery moved out of camp last night, and took up a. position to the south-oast of the projecting hills on the left of the Boer position. Early in the afternoon the Naval detachment placed their 4.7 inch gun on its old position on the ridge at the north of the camp. General Pole Carew watched the operations of the Howitzers and naval guns. A brisk fire was opened by the naval gun, fol- lowed shortly afterwards by the Howitzers. Both used Jyddite with shrapnel and common shell. The Boers replied with, it was calculated, 12 guns, and a sharp artillery duel between the Howitzers and Boer guns ensued. The enemy completely unmasked their position, which was the object of the manœtn-r-e. After an hour's interval, the Boer guns were one by one silenced. The Howitzers then thoroughly searched the trenches, which are being constructed facing the south. They were completely enfiladed. Afterwards, the Howitzers turned their attention to the kopjes, and shell after shell burst along the ridges. The effect of the lyddite was magnificent, the whole ground within the area. of destruction being thrown in a brown cloud into the air. The Naval gun also made grand practice, and it is be- lieved dismantled a long gun. The Boers did not reply to it, although they possess a forty-pounder, which it is believed is unable to approach either the Howitzers or the Naval guns in range. The G Battery of the Horse Artillery moved out in a north. easterly direction, but as far as it wa-s possible to see, did not engage the enemy. The wonderful power of lyddite and the accuracy of our own fire must have had a great effect on the Boers, who received our heavy bombardment and searching fire without being able to return it. The correspondent adds: — I am writing in the neighbourhood of the naval gun, and it is impossible to see whether the Howitzer gunners have sustained any casualties. Not a single Boer even attempted to fire at the naval gun, the magnificent range and terrible effect of which place us at a great advantage. Everybody is greatly pleased at the result of to-day's opera- tions. It is now certain that Magersfontein is the Boer position. Spytfontein is apparently not held at all, or the Boers are unwilling to unmask their position in that direction. As I send this despatch off the Howitzers are still enfilading the Boer trenches. MODDER RIVER. FIGHTING REPORTED ALL DAY [Reuter's Agency.) Cape Town, Monday. Five additional squadrons of the Inniskilling Dragoons and a Howitzer battery leave to-morrow for the front. It is reported here that heavy fight- ing has been proceeding in the direction of Modder River all day, but no details have been received. THE DESERTION OF FREE STATERS. ["Times" Second Edition Telegram.] Modder River, Sunday. Lord Methuen's advance has been marked bv the gradual elimination of the Orange Free State Boers and' substitution of those of the Transvaal, Cronje gradually assuming the reins. While there have probably been great desertions of Free Staters, they are amply counterbalanced by the Transvaal rein- forcements. Whatever truth there is in the rumours of Mr. Stevn's personal disagreements with Cronje, the repeated tales of friction contain the essential truth that the bulk of the Free Staters are willing to retire from the contest, but are unable officially to abstain from co-operation with Cronje and Albrecht. the German artillery officer. All the in- dications point to the cooling of the Free State's ardour on discovering that the representations of the certainty of an easy defeat of the British were untrue. A possible counteracting influence has been brought to bear, and the losses suffered by the Boers being minimised, and losses inflicted magnified to an absurd degree. Personal influence, treaty rights, even threats of violence have been employed, but these efforts are useless. Spyt- fontein will be the last stand made by the Free State, and consequently the 1 ardes: fight is expected. The Trmsvaalers show no signs of flinching. They will probably hold the northern districts of the Free State. Everything wanted here has arrived, and all is working with the greatest smoothness. Wo have been shelling the Magersfontein kopjes at the eastern end of the Spytfontein range. Beginning at 4.15 the naval 4.7 gun made excellent practice at 7,000 yards, shelling the Boer western position. A Howitzer battery, with half of another battery, fol- lowed from the right. Lyddite and common shells were used by both. The effects of the lyddite were extraordinary, the projectiles throw- ing up clouds of ironstone dust, extending two or three hundred yards, and visible for ten miles. Many Boers were cut off from the retreat on Douglas by the artillery fire, and retired into the kopjes, which are apparently one mile in depth. The range terminated on the east with an abrupt saddle rock some 150 feet high. The Boer entrench- ments run round the whole front position, some two miles ]on due east and west. The western ends of the trenches follow the contour of the kopjes, and afford a retreat from the central plateau of the range. Information points to a. plain northern side of the kopjes stretching to Kimberley, and afford- ing an opportunity for cavalry when the enemy are dislodged. The effect of the firing of lyddite by the naval gun is distinctly felt where we write. The enemy are returning the fire from three or four points, but ineffectually. Much rain fell at mid- day. SIEGE OF KIMBERLEY. ANOTHER SORTIE. DUTCH AND BOER PRISONERS. [Press Association War Special.) Kimberley, Thursday (via Modder River, Saturday.) The proximity of the relief column is engaging the attention of the enemy, and the pressure on Kim-, ber'.ey has been reduced. We pass our days in com- parative quiet now, and can sleep peacefully afc night. The enemy is reported to be lying low. sit- ting behind "Sconies" among tho rocks in their (strong fastness on the Spytfontoin range of kopjes, awaiting an attack. F'ghting General Delarey, a common appellation, bestowed upon their generals by the Boer, is in command. At dawn to-day a. considerable number of Kaffirs, under the direction of our Engineers, built a second redoubt some six hundred yards from the last opposite Carters, as an additional protection for the cattle guard. Mean- while Col. Charnier, with a small mounted force and guns, reconnoitred in the direction of Ottos Kopje. He found the enemy as usual occupying the neigh- bouring ridges and thick bush, into which he sent a few shells before retiring. The Boers replied at a thousand yards' range from the rifle pits and the bush, where they lay so completely concealed that no estimate could be formed of their strength.. The »*• jocai rsoer residents nere made a nostile demonstra- tion on the arrival of the Boer prisoners here lately, spitting in their faces and shouting "You are no Dutchmen, wrecking our houses with your shells." Enquiry shows that the enemy's shells damaged out- lying houses occupied by Boers and Dutch sympa- I thisers. I MAFEKING GARRISON STILL TROUBLING THE ENEMY. REDUCTION OF RATIONS. [Press Association W ar .Special.] Mafeking, Nov. 30 (by despatch runner to Mochudi, Thence via Lourenco Marquez, Monday). Sorties by the armoured train and the shelling of the town have continued at intervals, the latter with increased effect. The enemy's custom is to fire one shot after cark. On the night of the 27th a shot landed near our trenches, where some natives were at work. It killed on" and injured two. On the 2SLh a shell burst in front of the trenchcs, killing two Chinamen. On the afternoon of the same day the crumy suddenly opened fire and the alarm bell was rung to give notice, while the guns were trained and loaded. A hundred-pound shell struck a wagon which WAS being unloaded, and wrecked the out- houses of Riesle's Hotel. During the nighc a, rail- way guard, named Neilson, was shot through the lorehead by a Hoer sharpshooter. He is neverthe- less now doing weli. Last night a detachment of the Protectorate Regiment managed to occupy an outpost from which our Lee-Meti'ords can reach the big Boer gun and make things uncomfortable outpost from which our Lce-Mctfords can reach the big Boer gun and make things uncomfortable for tho gunners. This manoeuvre must have dis- agreeably surprised the enerrp- who thought them- selves secure To-day the usefulness of this piece of work has bpen noticeable in the lessened accuracy. of the enemy's artillery fire. The smokeless powder used with the Lee- Metford ammunition by the men in our ad- vanced trenches and the general unevenness of the ground prevented the Boers from discovering where* their assailants were. Their futile endeavours to work their big gun under our volleys could plainly be seen by means of field glasses. They were driven from their positions again and again, but ultimately ran back and put their gun out of the sight of our troops who, howc-ver. continued to fire at the smoke as the trajectory of the Lce-Metford bullet at 1.400 yards is very great. Neither this manoeuvre on the part of the enemy nor the erection of a parapet avails them much against our rifle fire. The enemy are now bringing Maxima and field guns to bear on our advanced party under Lord Charles Bentinck. At daybreak to-day there was quite a sharp rally at the south-east corner of the town, in which our machine and field guns played a part. The enemy endeavoured to depress their big gun so as to reach our men underneath, but failed. A heavy storm is raging to-day. It is providing us with good drinking water. Rations have now been reduced, meat by lb., and bread by ilb. This has been deemed necessary owing to tho probability of our being required to stand a long siege. The supply of water is still plentiful. RHODESIA. [Press Association War Special] Mag'alapye, December 3rd (via Lourenco Marquez, Dec. 11th). The force which is advancing south from Rhodesia made a reconnaissance yesterday from Mochudi, which proved a complete success. The mounted men proceeded as far as Gaberones Fort, where they found no signs of the enemy. Everything that could be looted had been carried off, and the fort presented a scene of desolation. The Boerz, how- ever, had left a considerable quantity of forage, which our men destroyed. The party then returned to Mochudi. To-morrow the work of repairing the railway will be proceeded with under cover of an armoured train armed with a Maxim and a seven- pounder. It is rumoured that a portion of the Boer commando which had taken possession of Selika has moved off. [Reuter's Agency.J Naauwpoort, Monday. Patrols from General French's force came into contact with an advance post of the enemy on the Octolate. The Boers were driven by the artillery fire to seek refuge behind the Vaalkop. Our guns fired twenty shells. ORANGE RIVER DISTRICT. [Reuter's Agency.] Orange River, Sunday. A heavy thunderstorm passed over the camp to-day. Many of the troops were washed out of their tents. About twenty-nine Boer wounded have been sent south. Batchers of wounded will leave every week in order to relieve pressure here. [Reuter's Agency.] v Orange River, Saturday. Half the Canadians have gone forward. Like the Australian contingent they have been put to stiff work since their arrival here, building sidings and erecting platforms, besides the usual routine work of the soldier. They shape well, and are very and erecting platforms, besides the usual routine work of the soldier. They shape well, and are very zealous in the performance of their duty. I HOW ARUNDEL WAS OCCUPIED. NEAT AND SUCCESSFUL OPERATIONS. [Press Association War Special.] Arundel, December 8. Col. Potter, with the Sixth Dragoon Guards and I Mounted Infantry, arrived here yesterday from Naauwpoort. The force alighted four miles from the town and advanced across the plain, half of the Dragoons on the left flank, the remainder on the the Dragoons on the left flank, the remainder on the right, and the Mounted Infantry in the centre slightly to the rear. The Boers, who occupied the adjacent hill, on observing cavalry about to out- flank them, retired to a second position on a ridge three miles to the north. Our advance patrol located this position before nightfall. At daybreak Col. Potter sent forward four companies of Mounted Infantry, who occupied a hill two and a half miles north of Arundel. A troop of Dragoons meanwhile reconnoitred the town, which they found evacuated by the Boers. The advance was then resumed in the same order as on the previous evening, the Mounted Infantry, consisting of New Zealanders and Australians, being again in the centre. Mari- baschiaagte was reached about eight o'clock, and here the enemy were discovered on the hills traver- sing Rensburg Farm. We could see them placing a large gun in position, over a hundred men drag- ging it up the hill. As we had no artillery, this prevented a continuation of the flanking movement. On the left We crossed the open plain, and out- flanked the enemy. They were three miles in advance of the remainder of the force. The enemy opened with rifle fire, which was ineffectual, and then brought two guns into action on our right. The New South Wales Lancers reinforced the first line in the afternoon, and were soon under fire. They sustained the only casualty of the day-a horse being killed. The enemy had previously gauged the range by means of a gate, and th-ey dropped shells there whenever our troops passed. The whole force was under fire, and it is surprising that we had no casualties to record. The operations were entirely successful. They consisted mostly of a reconnaissance to locate and discover the strength of the enemy, who numbered two thousand. The telegraph section maintained constant communica- tion with the base of operations, though frequently under fire. RECONNAISSANCE AT COLENSO. [Press Association War Special.1 Frere Camp, Monday. All the troops here are exercised thoroughly every clay. The cavalry reconnoitred to-day as far as Colenso at a point on a line with which they came into touch with several hundreds of the enemy, who fell back across the river. Several shots were exchanged, but without result. The kopjes were observed to be thickly occupied by the enemy. All the five spans of the Colenso railway bridge have been broken, and two stone piers were blown up last night. The enemy, however, have not touched the road bridge. SIÉGE OF LADYSMITH. IN TOUCH WITH THE ENEMY A "Morning Post" telegram from Frere Camp, Monday, 5-15 p.m., says :-A section of Bethune's Horso came into touch with 500 Boers to-day to the south of the Tugela near Colenso. Some firing took place. Seeing a squadron of the Royals the enemy retired. Everything is quiet otherwise. MEN AND HORSES ON IIALF RATIONS. [Press Association War Special.] Boer Head Laager, outside Ladysmith, Dec 9. Some Kaffir runners, bearing Press and other mes- sages from Ladysmith to Estcourt, have been cap- tured by the Boers. They received from EIS to £ 40 for the trip. From the intercepted messages it appears that both men and horses in the be- sieged town have been placed on half rations. Whisky costs JB1 a bottle, and milk half-a-crown a tin, while the supply of beer has run out altogether. The Press messages are from Mr. Dunn and Mr. Howe. I have gleaned the following particulars regarding the effects of the bombardment from them. From November 1 to December 5, 3,264 Boer shells dropped into the town, killing (?) civilians and wounding 145 during the 39 days' bom- bardment from them. Ladysmith Town Hall is a, complete wreck. The building actually contained wounded men, and the Red Cross flag was flying over it. One shell wrecked Mr. Carter's house, another fell dangerously near the gaol which con- tains the Boer prisoners, a third struck the Standard Bank, a fourth just missed Colonel Rhodes, a fifth removed the porch of the English church, a sixth penetrated through the roof and two walls of the Royal Hotel during dinner hour, where a number of officers were dining, and killed Dr. Start, of Torquay. A seventh burst through the roof of Mr. Davies's house, where lrs. Davies, who was re-st- ing, was seriously injured, and an eighth demolished the convent. Mr. Dunn also says that in the fight of November 9 the Pretoria commando left 100 dead on the battle field, and next day was spent in bury- ing the Boer dead. The Boers, he declares, are giving themselves up to the British pickets, being weary of the war.


Oysters and Civilisation.