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´╗┐Title: The Cape and the Kaffirs - A Diary of Five Years' Residence in Kaffirland
Author: Ward, Harriet
Language: English
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The Cape and the Kaffirs
A Diary of Five Years' Residence in Kaffirland
By Harriet Ward
Published by Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden.
This edition dated 1851.

The Cape and the Kaffirs, by Harriet Ward.




My dear Colonel Somerset,

My work on Kaffirland, which I had the honour to dedicate to you in
1848, having gone through two editions, I should consider this abstract
narrative incomplete without your name.  Permit me, then, to inscribe
this little book to you, in testimony of that admiration for your public
services which all must feel who have benefited by them, as well as in
remembrance of much kindness to

Your obliged and faithful friend,

Harriet Ward.

Dover, _March_, 1851.

Note.  Since this was written Colonel Somerset has been awarded the
local rank of Major-General by Sir Harry Smith.


Much of the following work has already appeared, and has been favourably
received by the public under the title of "Five Years in Kaffirland."
Its price, however, having necessarily limited its circulation, I have
been induced to remodel it, and I now bring it forward in its present
shape, with some little alteration and abridgment, and with the addition
of much that appeared to me likely to render it serviceable to such of
my countrymen as may be meditating an attempt to improve their
circumstances by emigration, particularly if their views of where best
to go are either undecided, or point in the direction of Southern

I have passed five eventful years in that country, and in what I have
said of it I speak from personal experience, without any prejudices to
gratify, or any party to serve, but actuated, I trust, by a sincere
desire to be of service.

It is true that a cloud has again gathered over the land, but I feel
justified in venturing the opinion that, under Providence, it will be
dispersed by the judgment and energy of Sir Harry Smith.

The tide of emigration having lately set strongly in the direction of
Natal, I have thought it necessary to give some account of that
district, but as I have no personal knowledge of it, I have confined
myself to the information supplied by published official reports.



The British possessions in Southern Africa, at the present day, consist
of what has long been known as the Cape Colony, or the country extending
from the extreme southern point of the continent to the 29th degree of
south latitude; of a district adjoining on the east, called British
Kaffraria; and a detached territory, called Natal, lying far removed
from the rest, on the eastern coast, and bordering on the country called
Delagoa, of which the possession is claimed by the Portuguese.  In so
large an extent of country there is, of course, much diversity of soil
and general appearance, but it is unquestionable that the parts best
adapted, on the whole, to European settlement, are the eastern
districts, including Natal.  The extent and population of each of these
divisions may be roughly stated at--Cape Colony and British Kaffraria,
150,000 square miles, and 200,000 inhabitants; Natal, 18,000 square
miles, and 20,000 inhabitants.  In the Cape Colony the white and the
coloured population are of about equal amount, [see Note 1], but in
British Kaffraria and Natal the number of white inhabitants is as yet
but small.  Among the white inhabitants, those of Dutch origin greatly
predominate, as is shown by a Government return of the various religious
persuasions, in 1846, where, out of 70,310 white Christians, no less
than 51,848 belong to the Dutch Reformed Church.

Southern Africa may be described as consisting of a series of terraces
rising one above the other as they recede from the sea, and then
declining towards the great Orange River, which, after a long course,
generally from east to west, falls into the Atlantic Ocean about 500
miles north of the Cape.  On the sea-shore is a belt of land, consisting
of a level plain, from 10 to 30 miles in breadth, with some gentle
hills, generally fertile, and enjoying a mild climate, but backed by a
chain of low mountains called the Lange Kloof, or Long Pass, which
support a wide table-land, or karroo, as it is termed, consisting
generally of barren plains, yet well adapted to sheep-farming.  Beyond,
rises another mountain-chain called the Zwaarte Bergen, or Black
Mountains, and further north a still wider table-land, called the Great
Karroo, which is by some travellers compared to the steppes of Tartary;
rain seldom falls here; the climate is rigorous at one season and
excessively hot at another, and even sheep-farming can hardly be carried
on.  But further north, as the land slopes towards the Orange River, the
climate is more equal, and the land increases in fertility, so that
large herds of cattle are reared.

A somewhat similar series of terraces is found on the western coast, but
their direction is north and south.

Of the rivers, much the largest is the Orange River, but from its
remoteness from the settled portions of the country little use has yet
been made of it.  The Olifant's, or Elephant River, and the Great Berg
River, fall into the sea on the west coast; the Broad River and the
Knysna on the south coast while the east coast is watered by the Sunday
River, which falls into Algoa Bay; the Great Fish River, the Keiskama,
the Kei, and many smaller streams.  In the vicinity of the district of
Natal are found the Umzimkulu, the Umlazi, and many others, of which
even the names are hardly known to Europeans.

The produce of Southern Africa is mainly agricultural.  In the districts
in the neighbourhood of Cape Town wine is produced, while the more
remote parts furnish corn and wheat.  The chief exports are wine and
wool, with hides, tallow, and salted beef, goat-skins, corn, and butter.
The provisions are sent chiefly to the Mauritius and South America.

The exports of wool are increasing rapidly, those of wine decreasing.
In 1827, only 44,441 pounds of wool were exported: in 1846, 3,000,000
pounds; while the wine had decreased in same period from 740,000 to
185,000 gallons.  The white fishery, which was formerly pursued with
success, has now declined, but the amount of shipping belonging to the
Colony has more than doubled in the last ten years.

The Cape Colony is divided into the thirteen districts the Cape,
Stellenbosch, Worcester, and Clanwilliam, in western part; Swellendam,
George, and Uitenhage, in the south; Albany, in the east; and Beaufort,
Graaf Reinet, Colesberg, Cradock, and Somerset, in the interior.

Cape Town, on the southern shore of Table Bay, and about thirty miles to
the north of the Cape of Good Hope, is a well-built place, the streets
laid out in regular lines, and some are shaded by trees.  The houses are
mostly of respectable size, and have a kind of terrace before the door.
It is spoken of as having a more English appearance than most colonial
capitals, the whole being extremely clean, and the public edifices
numerous and substantial, including the Government House, the Stadthuis,
or Municipality, several handsome churches, an exchange, and an
observatory.  The population Is nearly 30,000.  Immediately behind the
town rises the Table Mountain, and to the south is a district in which
are found many elegant villas, surrounded by vineyards and thriving

The town next in importance is Graham's Town, in the Albany district.
This is the capital of the eastern district of the Colony.  It has a
population of about 7,000, and is 650 miles distant from Cape Town.  It
was only founded in the year 1810, by Colonel Graham, but it has many
good buildings, and its merchants and traders are considered as
particularly active and enterprising.  Thirty-five miles off, at the
mouth of the Kowie River, is the rising settlement of Port Frances.

Of the other towns, it may be sufficient to remark, that Swellendam,
Uitenhage, and Graaf Reinet, are Dutch towns, and the latter occupies a
most picturesque situation among gardens and orchards.  George and Port
Elizabeth are more English in appearance; the latter is the port town of
Algoa Bay, and its commerce is rapidly increasing.  Worcester Beaufort,
Cradock, and Somerset, are mere villages.

The importance of the Cape as a naval and military station has been
often dwelt on by abler pens than mine.  The desirableness of fully
occupying the country with a white population is also fully admitted;
and as it is certain that the most fertile and valuable districts are
those which yet remain to be settled, namely, the eastern ports, it is
to be hoped that thousands who now struggle for a precarious existence
at home, will annually take up their abode there, and that their
well-directed industry will tenfold increase the value of the country of
their adoption.

As regards the district of Natal, the following reports, abridged, from
Mr Stanger, the Surveyor-General, Mr Shepstone, the Diplomatic Agent,
and Lieutenant Gibb, of the Royal Engineers, will suffice to give a very
favourable idea of its capabilities.  They are dated December 28, 1847.

The Commissioners state that they have divided the territory into the
six districts of D'Urban, Pietermaritzburg, Umvoti, Impafane, Upper
Tukela, and Umzinyati, (from the native names of the principal rivers
running through them), and then proceed to describe each in detail.

_D'Urban_.--"This division is well adapted to sustain a dense
population; it includes the Bay of Natal, and the township of D'Urban,
the port of the district.  Cotton has been planted in the vicinity of
the bay, and yields superior and abundant produce.  Sugar-cane and
indigo-plants thrive there, as well as elsewhere in the district, and
the coffee-tree has lately been introduced and grows well; but what
success will attend its cultivation, will require time to show.  The
soil is rich, and favourable to the growth of barley, oats, etc, as well
as beans and most descriptions of vegetables.  (Beans form a valuable
article of export to the Mauritius.)  It is, throughout, well supplied
with water; being in its present state unfit for pasture-ground.  It
appears to us desirable that the land should be laid out in small lots,
in order to encourage the settler, as much as possible, to cultivate it.
At present only the small Zulu cattle can be kept there, and those not
with advantage.

"With the exception of mangrove, scarcely any timber adapted for
building purposes is found in this division: in a few localities
valuable waggon-wood is obtained.

"A considerable part of this division is occupied by natives, inhabiting
the ground apportioned for them in the Umlazi and Inanda locations, and
the majority of white colonists will necessarily be north of the Umgeni
River, where a few are already located.  It is of great and immediate
importance that a bridge should be constructed over this river,
separating, as it does, the seat of magistracy and the port, not only
from the most populous part of the division, but from the whole of that
of the Umvoti."

_Pietermaritzburg_.--"This division includes the seat of government, and
head-quarters of the military.

"It is a good grazing and a superior agricultural division; it is
abundantly watered, and capable of irrigation to almost any extent.
Vegetation is very rapid in this, as in all the other districts, and
consequently the grass grows rank and strong, so as generally only to
admit of the larger description of stock, such as cattle and horses,
being depastured upon it with advantage in summer.  Valuable timber,
adapted for building purposes and furniture, grows in several parts of
this division.

"At present, Her Majesty's troops stationed at Pietermaritzburg procure
all their supplies of corn and meal from Cape Town, at a great cost to
the military chest.  This evil may be remedied by the industrious
cultivation of the neighbouring farms (which have hitherto been very
generally neglected), and the lands that appear to us to be available
for this purpose around Pietermaritzburg, which might, at some future
period, be marked off in lots of from 50 to 500 acres, and disposed of
to practical agriculturists.

"Pietermaritzburg being the seat of government, it is of paramount
importance that bridges or other certain means of passage should be
constructed over the Umgeni river, so as to secure free communication as
well to the northern and north-western divisions of the district, as to
that part of this division that lies beyond the Umgeni.

"This portion of country includes the native location of the Zwartkop,
as also the one contemplated on the banks of the Unkomanzi."

_Umvoti_.--"This division comprises some of the finest land in this part
of South Africa, either for grazing or agricultural purposes; the
capabilities of the south-eastern portion of it are similar to those of
D'Urban, but cattle thrive better, and the upper portion of it is
considered much more favourable to the grazier than the division of
Pietermaritzburg; it is abundantly supplied with water, and some good
timber is found in it.  The laying out and making a shorter road to the
mouth of the Tukela from the township, is a matter of importance, seeing
it is the high-road from the capital of the district to the Zulu

"The site proposed for the township [the Umvoti Waggon Drift, high-road
from Pietermaritzburg to the Zulu country, _via_ the mouth of the
Tukela,] is an eligible position at which to station a military force,
to serve at once as a protection to that portion of the district, a
rallying-point for the colonists and native subjects, and to impart
confidence, in the event of any hostile demonstration by the Zulu

"The native location of the Umvoti is comprised in this division; and
natives, in considerable numbers, reside along its northern boundary,
whose location we have not as yet been enabled to report upon."

_Impafane_.--"This tract of country contains land which has been the
most thickly populated portion of the country by the Boers, before they
quitted the district, and crossed the Kahlamba; and has always been
regarded by them as healthier for cattle than either of the three former
divisions.  Sheep have also thrived well in some parts of it; and,
although not generally so well watered, and, therefore, perhaps not so
capable of maintaining over its whole surface so dense a population as
the other three divisions, yet it is equally able to do so in
localities, and at the village of Weenen, and along the banks of the
Mooi River, and particularly Bushman's River.  Wheat and oats have been
grown largely, and with success.  The soil at the village of Weenen is
especially fertile, excellent garden land, the vine, fruit trees,
vegetables, etc, thriving well; but the place being situated in a basin,
and the approach to it on all sides being by miserable roads, that will
require considerable outlay and work to make good, and being situated
off the main road, have retarded the prosperity of the village, and will
be likely to do so.  Small quantities of coal, of inferior quality, have
been found along the banks of the Bushman's River, near the surface.
Some building timber is obtained at the base of the Kahlamba mountains.

"The site recommended for a township on the Bushman's River is well
adapted for the station of a military party, and to form the
head-quarters of the upper portion of the district; it is sixty-three
miles distant from Pietermaritzburg.  There is not, however, much
available government land about it.

"An objection has been raised to this site, that the Little Bushman's
River, from which the water would be led for the supply of the town,
fails in very dry seasons; and another spot has been proposed in its
stead, a few miles lower down the river.  We are not sufficiently
acquainted with this site to be able to report on the eligibility at

"It is highly important that bridges, or other permanent means of
communication, across the Bushman's and Mooi Rivers, should be

_Upper Tukela_.--"Cattle thrive well in this division, and sheep in the
lower part of it.  Its general capabilities, nature of the soil, etc,
are the same as those of the Impafane.  Yellow-wood abounds under the
Kahlamba mountains, and coal of a fair quality occurs in the hills on
the north side of the Tukela.

"Some natives are resident under the Kahlamba: their location has not
yet been reported upon.

"At Lombaard's Drift a small party of military might be stationed with
advantage, as also at Venter's Spruit, to guard Bezuidenhout's Pass over
the Kahlamba, to keep up the communication with the country over the
Kahlamba, and road to the old Colony, _via_ Colesberg."

_Umzintyati_.--"This division has been esteemed as particularly
favourable for sheep and cattle; it has also been largely cultivated by
the Boers.  Anthracitic coal is found near the Washbank's and Sunday's
Rivers, and in abundance and of excellent quality in the ravines between
the Biggar's Berg and the Umzinyati River.  Excellent timber may be
obtained in this division.

"A spot has been selected by the late Volks Raad, for a town on the
Sunday's River, which has lately been occupied by Andries Spies, as a
farm; but the disturbed state of this division prevents us from
reporting definitely upon the capabilities, from personal observation.

"Considerable numbers of natives are resident in the south-east portion
of this division: their location we have not yet been able to report

"The formation of each town and village must, of course, depend almost
entirely upon the nature of the ground upon which it is to be traced,
and that of its immediate vicinity.  But it seems to us most important
that each of these settlements should have some means of defence within
itself;--some rallying-point for its inhabitants and adjacent farmers,
in cases of emergency; and for this purpose we would recommend that the
Government should erect a church, school, and magistrate's office, with
a lock-up room, placed in a defensible position; perhaps, when the
ground will admit, which, in most cases we think it will, according to
one or other of the annexed plans, which includes a cattle kraal in one
part of the market-square, the whole to be surrounded by a fence, and
flanking enclosures, to be constructed either of stone, brick, or
palisades: the remaining portion of enclosures might at first be made by
a ditch and mud wall, to be replaced hereafter by a more durable

"The size of the square and dimensions of the building, etc, must, of
course, be regulated according to the importance of the proposed village
or town.

"Thus would be formed a commencement, round which the settlers might
gather with confidence, which we believe to be essential to the
prosperity of such settlements, the more particularly at their first
formation; one of them, such as the Umvoti, we recommend to be
established at once, by being laid out and surveyed, the necessary
buildings erected, and a magistrate and clergyman appointed, in order to
prepare the way for settlers.

"We are of opinion that each township should have a portion of its town
lands appropriated to the use of such natives as are engaged in the
service of the inhabitants as daily labourers.  The want of such an
appropriation at D'Urban is very seriously felt, especially by such of
the inhabitants as are engaged in the shipping business; and we beg to
recommend that at this, as well as at the other established townships,
such appropriations be at once made.

"We do not at present anticipate that any difficulty will arise from the
necessity of compensating any claims to the lands suggested as the sites
for towns and villages, as the sites recommended do not interfere with
any lands now occupied.  And the details of compensating the claimants
of unoccupied lands, as well as of the extent of land available for
dense population around its township, and of the number of emigrants
that may be accommodated in and around each town, will form the subject
of future inquiry.

"Having thus endeavoured to comply with his Honour's instructions to the
extent of our ability, it now only remains for us to offer such
observations upon the present state and future prospects of this
district, as well as its general capabilities, as appear to us
desirable, in order that the Lieutenant-Governor may have before him all
the information we are capable of imparting, while deliberating on the
important subjects so slightly sketched in the Report.

"The continued emigration of the Boers from this district to the country
beyond the boundaries, that has been going on ever since it was taken
possession of in 1842, by Her Majesty's troops, has, as is well-known,
almost denuded it of its white inhabitants, and discouraged the few that
remain.  It is also evident that there is no prospect of filling up any
portion of it with Boers, and little by any removals from the old
Colony; the only effective remedy to this evil appears to us to consist
in an extensive emigration from the United Kingdom; without this the
resources of the district, confessedly great, and in our opinion equal,
if not superior, to any other British colony, both as respects fertility
of soil and abundance of water, will remain undeveloped.

"The climate is most healthy, and subject to none of the epidemics that
are incidental to other parts of Africa.

"By emigrants we would be understood to imply not so much an exclusively
labouring population, as practical farmers possessed of small capital,
say 200 pounds to 500 pounds.  Men of this class could bring out their
own labourers; and as an encouragement for them to do so, we should
recommend that they should receive an equivalent in land, to the amount
that they have necessarily expended in the outfit and passage of
themselves, families, and servants.  An arrangement of this nature would
enable a man possessing capital to the extent we have mentioned, to
commence farming with advantage, the moment of his arrival in the
district; while, without it, the means of a most valuable class of
colonists would be swallowed up in expenses, and upon their landing
here, emigrants with limited capital, would find themselves very little
better off than before they left their native land.

"Could the fertility of the country and salubrity of its climate be
pointed out, together with advantages such as those we have mentioned,
we doubt not that numbers of the class we allude to, would be found
willing, and even anxious to avail themselves of the facilities which
this district in particular promises to emigrants.

"Any delay occurring in their obtaining suitable land immediately on
their arrival, would of course prove fatal to the success of the
undertaking.  To obviate such a misfortune, we would recommend that a
considerable number of plots of ground be surveyed and ready for
selection by the emigrants, and that every facility be afforded them
immediately to obtain the spots thus chosen, either by public sale or
otherwise, as shall be deemed most advisable by his Honour the

"By a more extensive emigration than this appears to contemplate, or
rather by the simultaneous emigration of persons sufficient in number,
and suitable in character for forming communities of themselves, the
towns and villages might be peopled, and the adjacent lands brought
under cultivation.  After a few of these shall be thus established, the
remaining intervals of country will speedily be filled up, and the more
so when each township shall be provided with its magistrate, minister of
religion, the requisite public buildings, and the means of defence.

"Most of the associations connected in the mind of an European with the
name of Kaffir, have been formed upon the represented bad character and
conduct of the nation so called, now engaged in a serious and expensive
war with the old Colony; and are consequently highly unfavourable to any
people bearing a name which, by common consent, attributes all the
cunning faithlessness of the savage, with an admixture of many of the
depravities of civilised life, to its bearer.

"In our Report of the 30th of March last, we pointed out the peculiar
position and character of the natives inhabiting the district; it will,
therefore, be unnecessary for us to say more on this, than that they are
widely different from those on the frontier of the old colony, and are
valuable and indispensable assistants to the white settler.  We take
occasion to make these remarks, because we are of opinion that when the
recommendations we have made in our General Report shall have been
carried out, the presence of so many natives, most of them available as
labourers, should be an inducement to emigrants selecting this district
as the land of their adoption, rather than operate prejudicially.

"The future prospects of the district of Natal as a colony, depend very
materially, if not exclusively, upon the filling up of the unoccupied
intervals of the district with emigrants from the United Kingdom, and
the efficient management and control of the native population within it.
Its general capabilities, as we have already represented, are of the
highest class, either for agricultural or grazing purposes.  It contains
an area of 18,000 square miles, within which is found every material for
improvement and prosperity a colony can be favoured with, and requires
but an intelligent white population to develop its immense and fertile

"Building stone of a very good quality is found all over its surface;
and in some localities a superior description of free-stone is found in
abundance.  Iron ore is found in great abundance in the district, and
has been used by the natives for their assegais and agricultural
implements, and is said to be of a very superior quality.

"The prices realised in England for the first exportation of cotton
grown in this district, exhibited under all the disadvantageous
circumstances connected with the utter inexperience on the part of the
grower, of 7.25 pence per pound, warrants an inference highly favourable
to the quality of the article, when it shall have received the treatment
that experience has taught to be necessary in cotton-growing countries.

"We are of opinion that this district inhabited by an industrious white
population, will produce valuable exports, both in amount and quality,
and is capable of maintaining a denser population than the colony of the
Cape of Good Hope; and we trust that its resources and advantages may
not become lost to the subjects of the British crown, from their not
being represented as their high merits appear to us to deserve.

"In this Report," Mr Stanger remarks, "I shall not enter fully into the
geography of the interior of the district, reserving that for a future
time, as I shall have a good opportunity of continuing the same kind of
observations, and thus fixing more points than at present I have been
able to do, during the proposed enquiry as to the location of the
natives; but shall describe, as far as I am able, the boundary and
extent of the district of Natal.

"The Umzinyati rises at the base of the Draakberg, in latitude 27
degrees 46 minutes and longitude 20 degrees 25 minutes; from this its
course is about E.S.E., until it falls into the Utukela (incorrectly
called the Tukela.)  From all the information I can obtain, (not having
yet visited this part of the district) this is below the confluence of
the Mooi River and the Utukela, and therefore not very far from the
mouth of the latter, which from the maps appears to be in latitude 29
degrees 16 minutes South and longitude 31 degrees 30 minutes East; thus
forming the north-eastern boundary of the district.

"The country below the rise of the Umzinyati, and for the distance of
about twenty miles, is for the most part flat and undulating, with
little or no wood, but covered with sweet grass, and from what I can
ascertain is considered a good tract for country sheep.

"The river, when I saw it (in February, 1847), was about sixty yards
wide, it being then full of water; below this, and during its whole
course, I understand it runs through a broken and thick bushy country.

"The Draakberg, instead of being considered as one continuous chain of
mountains, may be more correctly divided into two, of different
geological structure, and having different directions: the one forming
the north-western boundary I shall call the Great Draakberg; and the
other, forming the western boundary, the Small Draakberg.

"The north-western portion of the Draakberg is of the average altitude
of five thousand feet above the sea, and about fifteen hundred feet
above the general level of the country at its base.

"The outline is in general round and soft, presenting some remarkable
features, and occasionally high table-lands with precipitous sides.
These mountains are composed of beds of sandstone, cut through by veins
of trap, and diminish in height as they advance to the north-east, until
at some distance beyond the source of the Umzinyati they appear to
terminate in low hills.  They are passable almost at any part by horses
and cattle; but there are only three passes in use by the Boers, one
near Bezuidenhout's Farm, in latitude 28 degrees 33 minutes South and
longitude 28 degrees 44 minutes East; and one at De Beer's, in latitude
28 degrees 20 minutes South and longitude 28 degrees 52 minutes East,
and another a little more to the south-west of Bezuidenhout's.  The two
former are in constant use; the latter rarely.

"Timber abounds in the kloofs on the south-eastern side of the mountain.
On the north-west the country is much higher, being a plain of great

"The Great Draakberg, or that portion of it which forms the western
boundary, has a direction N.N.W. and S.S.E.  The junction of this with
the former, or Small Draakberg, is ten or twelve miles to the S.W. of
Bezuidenhout's Pass:--from this part the Utukela rises.

"These mountains are much higher than the others, and are quite
impassable, presenting a rugged outline and bold and precipitous
escarpments.  From a distant view, from the nature of the outline (not
having been near them) I infer that they are granitic.

"The area of this district, from the ascertained and assumed boundaries
will be much greater than has hitherto been supposed.  It cannot, I
imagine, be less than 13,500 instead of 10,000 square miles.  At the
same time it must be remembered, that if I find by my future
observations, (which I think will very probably be the case) the same
amount of error, and in the same direction in the southern portion of
the district, of which at present I know nothing, as I have found in the
northern, the area will be increased by a great quantity, and may not
fall far short of 16,000 square miles, as a small deviation in the
assigned direction of the Great Draakberg will easily make that

"The district is everywhere covered with vegetation, either in the form
of luxuriant grass, which grows to a great height, or thorns and low
bushes.  Timber trees only grow in kloofs on sides of hills, excepting a
belt which runs along the sea-coast.

"Water abounds in every part, and flowing streams cross the path at
intervals of only a few miles.  In the winter some of these become dry,
but then water may always be obtained at moderate distances.

"The soil is in all cases well adapted for cultivation, and on the
alluvial lands near rivers particularly so, producing much larger crops
than are ever grown in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope.

"The rocks which occur in the district, as far as I have yet seen, are
granite, basalt, and members of the trap family, slate, sandstone, and

"Coal containing but little bituminous matter occurs in in beds in the
sandstone.  In a kloof near the drift of the Bushman's River, there is a
bed nine inches thick.  This is the nearest locality I am aware of to
Pietermaritzburg; it is distant about sixty-three miles.  It is more
abundant to the north-west, and I observed it in a small river near
Biggar's Berg, in about latitude 28 degrees 7 minutes South, and
longitude 29 degrees 25 minutes East, in a bed six feet thick, and of
good quality; it is here cut through by a vein of trap."


Note 1.  In the Blue Book for 1847, the latest published account, the
numbers stand, 71,113 white, and 75,977 coloured; but this leaves more
than 21,000 of the total unaccounted for.



As it is my wish to put nothing but trustworthy information into the
hands of those who may be meditating so very important a step as
removing themselves and all that they value far from their native land,
I have carefully abstracted the following statements from the last
_Colonisation Circular_, issued (March, 1850) by Her Majesty's Colonial
Land and Emigration Commissioners.

"The Government Emigration Officers in the United Kingdom, are:--London:
Lieut. Lean, R.N., Office, 70, Lower Thames-Street.  Liverpool: Lieut.
Hodder, R.N., Stanley Buildings.  Plymouth: Lieut. Carew, R.N. Glasgow
and Greenock: Capt. Patey, R.N. Dublin: Lieut. Henry, R.N. Cork: Lieut.
Friend, R.N. Belfast: Lieut. Stark, R.N. Limerick: Mr Lynch, R.N.
Sligo, Donegal, Ballina etc: Lieut. Shuttleworth, R.N.; Lieut.
Moriarty, R.N. Londonderry: Lieut. Ramsay, R.N. Waterford and New Res.
Comm. Ellis, R.N.

"These officers act under the immediate directions of the Colonial Land
and Emigration Commissioners, and the following is a summary of their

"They procure and give gratuitously information as to the sailing of
ships, and means of accommodation for emigrants, and whenever applied to
for that purpose, they see that any agreements between shipowners,
agents or masters, and intending emigrants are duly performed.  They
also see that the provisions of the Passengers' Act are strictly
complied with, viz., that passenger-vessels are sea-worthy, that they
have on board a sufficient supply of provisions, water, medicines, etc,
and that they sail with proper punctuality.

"They attend personally at their offices on every week-day and afford
gratuitously all the assistance in their power to protect intending
emigrants against fraud and imposition, and to obtain redress where
oppression or injury has been practised on them.

"The Government Immigration Agents at the Cape of Good Hope, are--Cape
Town: R. Southey, Esq.  Port Elizabeth: D.P. Francis, Esq.

"The duties of these officers are to afford gratuitously to emigrants
every assistance in their power by way of advice and information as to
the districts where employment can be obtained most readily, and upon
the most advantageous terms, and also as to the best modes of reaching
such districts.

"The rate of passage in private ships to the Cape of Good Hope and Natal

"At the Cape of Good Hope, persons of the following classes, if of good
character and ability in their callings, are stated to be in demand;
viz. agricultural labourers, shepherds, female domestic and farm
servants, and a few country mechanics, such as blacksmiths,
wheelwrights, carpenters, and masons."

Of the rates of wages the Commissioners give the following Tables from
the latest official returns in their possession:

As very many persons who would be most useful in the Colonies have no
means of their own for proceeding thither, various provisions have been
made to assist them.  Thus the Emigration Commissioners "grant passages
to those Colonies (only) which provide the necessary funds for the
purpose.  These funds, which in the Australian Colonies are derived from
sales or rents of crown lands, are intended not for the purposes of
relief to persons in this country, but to supply the colonists with the
particular description of labour of which they stand most in need.  New
South Wales, South Australia, and the Cape of Good Hope, are at present
the only Colonies which supply the means for emigration."

The Poor Law Commissioners, too, are enabled to assist in emigration,
and the guardians of the poor in parishes are by them allowed to raise
sums of money for the purpose, of which they "may expend a sum not
exceeding 3 pence a mile in conveying each emigrant above seven years of
age to the port of embarkation, and a sum not exceeding 1.5 pence a mile
in conveying each child under seven years of age.

"The guardians may give to each emigrant proceeding to the Cape of Good
Hope, clothing to the value of 2 pounds, and may expend a sum not
exceeding 1 pound for each person above fourteen, and 10 shillings for
every child above one and under fourteen years of age, and in cases of
free emigration, 2 pounds for every single man above eighteen years of
age, in the purchase of bedding and utensils for the voyage."

The following are the regulations and conditions under which emigrants
are selected by the Emigration Commissioners for passages to the Cape of
Good Hope:

"_Description of Emigrants_.

"1.  The emigrants must consist principally of married couples, not
above forty years of age.  All the adults must be capable of labour, and
must be going out to work for wages.  The candidates most acceptable are
young married couples without children.

"2.  The separation of husbands from wives, and of parents from children
under sixteen will in no case be allowed.

"3.  Except in special cases, single women under eighteen are not
eligible, unless they are emigrating with their parents, or under the
immediate care of some near married relatives.

"4.  Young men under eighteen, not accompanying their parents, are
admissible only on payment of the sum in third class of the scale.

"5.  No emigrants, whether adults or children can be accepted unless
they have been vaccinated, or have had the smallpox.

"6.  Persons intending to buy land in the colony, or to invest capital
in trade there, are not eligible for a passage.

"7.  Persons in the habitual receipt of parish relief cannot be taken.
Temporary inmates of workhouses, or persons not in the habitual receipt
of parish relief, will be charged under the third class.

"8.  No applicant will be accepted without decisive certificates of good
character, and of proficiency in his professed trade or calling.

"These rules will also apply generally to emigrants to Natal in case
they be proposed for a passage by purchasers of land, or in case funds
should be provided for carrying on emigration at the public expense.
The persons eligible for passages to Natal would be agricultural
labourers, mechanics, skilled labourers, and small farmers accustomed to
some manual labour, and intending to work for their subsistence.
Deposits to the credit of the Commissioners do not exempt the depositors
from the payment of survey fees.

"_Application and Approval_.

"9.  Applications must be made in a form to be obtained at the office of
the Commissioners, which must be duly filled up and attested, as
explained in the form itself, and then forwarded to this office, with
certificates of birth and marriage of the applicants.  It must, however,
be distinctly understood, that the filling up of the form confers no
claim to a passage; and that the Commissioners do not pledge themselves
to accept any candidates, though apparently within the regulations,
unless they are deemed desirable for the colony, and can be accepted
consistently with the Board's arrangements at the time the application
is under consideration.

"10.  If approved of, the emigrants will receive a passage as soon as
the arrangements of the Commissioners will admit.  But no preparations
must on any account be made by the applicants, either by withdrawing
from employment or otherwise, until the decision of the Board has been
communicated to them.  Those who fail to attend to this warning will do
so at their own risk, and will have no claim whatever on the

"Before an embarkation order is issued, the following payments will be
required from all persons of fourteen years and upwards.

"All children under fourteen will pay 10 shillings each; and if any
family contains, at the time of embarkation, more than two children
under fourteen years of age, for each such child 5 shillings additional
must be paid.

"Wives to pay the same sums as their husbands, in the several classes.

"Out of the above payments, bedding and mess utensils for the use of the
emigrants during the voyage, will be provided by the Commissioners.

"The mode of making these payments to the Commissioners will be pointed
out in the deposit circular.  The Commissioners' selecting agents are
not employed by the Commissioners to receive money."

Any attempted fraud with regard to the signatures of the requisite
certificates, or misrepresentation as to trade, number in family, will
be held to disqualify the party for a passage.  The emigrants must
repair to the appointed port at their own expense, and if they fail to
do so at the proper time, they will lose their passage and be liable to
a forfeiture of 2 pounds for each adult, and 1 pound for each child,
unless they give to the Commissioners timely notice, and a satisfactory
explanation of their inability to proceed.

"Clothing.--The lowest quantity that can be admitted for emigrants to
the Cape is as follows:--"

|For Males.                              |For Females.           |
|Four shirts.                            |Six shifts.            |
|Four pairs stockings.                   |Two flannel petticoats.|
|Two pairs shoes.                        |Four pairs stockings.  |
|Two complete suits of exterior clothing.|Two pairs shoes.       |
|                                        |Two gowns.             |

"For use on the voyage, shoes or slippers are much more convenient than
boots.  The following is a cheap and excellent composition for
preserving leather from the bad effects of sea-water; linseed oil, one
gill; spirit of turpentine, one ounce; bees'-wax, one ounce; Burgundy
pitch, half ounce; to be well melted together, and kept covered in a
gallipot; lay it on boots or or shoes, rubbing it in well, and set them
in a hot sun, or before the fire.

"The usual length of the voyage to the Cape of Good Hope is about
seventy days.

"The whole quantity of baggage for each adult emigrant must not measure
more than twenty cubic or solid feet, nor exceed half a ton in weight.
It must be divided into two or three boxes, the contents of which must
be closely packed, so as to save space in the ship.  Large packages and
extra baggage will not be taken unless paid for, and then only in case
there be room in the ship.

"Each family will be allowed to take only its own luggage.  Any
violation of this rule will subject the party to a forfeiture of his

"On arrival in the colony the emigrants will be at perfect liberty to
engage themselves to any one willing to employ them, and to make their
own bargain for wages.  No repayment or service is required from them
for the passage out.  The only return expected is, a strict observance
on board of the regulations framed with a view to their health and
comfort during the voyage, and general good conduct and industrious
habits in the colony.

"Letters, etc, should be addressed, post paid, to Stephen Walcott, Esq,
Secretary to the Board of Emigration, Number 9, Park Street,

By a recent Act of Parliament known as the "Passenger Act," some most
valuable provisions are made for the protection of emigrants on their
voyage.  The Act applies to foreign as well as British ships, and it
provides for the inspection of the ships by competent surveyors; for
carrying a certain number of boats; for a proper supply of medicine; and
for preventing drunkenness.  It further directs that "in addition to any
provisions which the passengers may themselves bring, the following
quantities at least of pure water and wholesome provisions must be
supplied to each passenger by the master during the voyage, including
the time of detention at any place:--"

3 quarts of water daily.

And per week.  To be issued in advance, and not less often than twice a

  2.5 lbs. of bread or biscuit (not inferior to navy biscuit)
  1 lb. wheaten flour
  5 lbs. oatmeal
  2 lbs. rice
  2 oz. tea
  1 lb. sugar
  1 lb. molasses.

"Five pounds of good potatoes may at the option of the master be
substituted for one pound of oatmeal or rice, and in ships sailing from
Liverpool, or from Irish or Scotch ports, oatmeal may be substituted in
equal quantities for the whole or any part of the issues of rice.  The
Emigration Commissioners, with the authority of the Secretary of State,
may substitute other articles of food.--Sec. 24 and 25.

"Vessels carrying as many as 100 passengers must be provided with a
seafaring person to act as passengers' cook, and also with a proper
cooking apparatus.  A convenient place must be set apart on deck for
cooking, and a proper supply of food shipped for the voyage.  The whole
to be subject to the approval of the Emigration Officer.--Sec. 26.

"If the ship does not sail on the appointed day, and the passengers are
ready to embark, they are entitled to recover from the owner, charterer,
or master of the ship, subsistence-money after the rate of 1 shilling
per day for each passenger.  But if the ship be unavoidably detained by
wind or weather, and the passengers be maintained on board in the same
manner as if the voyage had commenced, no subsistence-money is
payable.--Sec. 33.

"Passengers are not to be landed against their consent at any place
other than the one contracted for, and they are entitled to sleep and to
be maintained on board for forty-eight hours after arrival, unless the
ship in the prosecution of her voyage quits the port sooner.--Sec. 35
and 36.

"Ships detained in port after clearance more than seven days, or putting
into any port in the United Kingdom, must under a penalty not exceeding
100 pounds, replenish their provisions, water, and medical stores before
they can be allowed to proceed on their voyage.  Masters of passenger
ships putting back must, under a penalty not exceeding 10 pounds, within
twenty-four hours report their arrival, and the cause of putting back,
and the condition of the ship's stores to the Emigration Officer, and
produce the official list of passengers.--Sec. 38.

"Such regulations as may be prescribed by order of the Queen in Council
are to be enforced by the surgeon, aided and assisted by the master, or
in the absence of a surgeon, by the master.  Any person neglecting or
refusing to obey them will be liable to a penalty of 2 pounds; and any
person obstructing the master or surgeon in the execution of any duty
imposed on him by the Order in Council, will be liable to the same
penalty, and moreover to one month's imprisonment at the end of the
voyage.--Sec. 39 and 40.

"Two copies of the Act, with such abstracts of it, and of any Order in
Council relating thereto, as the Colonial Land and Emigration
Commissioners may prepare, are to be delivered to the master, who is
bound, under a penalty not exceeding 40 shillings per diem, to post up
previous to the embarkation of the passengers, and to keep posted up in
at least two conspicuous places between the decks, such copies of such
abstracts so long as any passengers are entitled to remain on board.
Any person displacing or defacing this abstract is liable to a penalty
not exceeding 40 shillings.--Sec. 41.

"The requirements of the Act are enforced by penalties on the master not
exceeding 50 pounds except in cases where other penalties are
specifically imposed.  All penalties are to be sued for before two or
more justices of the peace, to the use of Her Majesty.  They can only be
recovered in the United Kingdom by the Emigration Officers, or by the
officers of Her Majesty's Customs; and in the British possessions
abroad, by those officers, or by any other person duly authorised for
the purpose by the Governor of the colony.  Sec. 50 and 52.

"Passengers themselves, however, or the Emigration Officers on their
behalf, may recover, by a similar process, any sum of money made
recoverable by the Act, to their own use, as return of passage-money,
subsistence-money, or compensation; and, in such cases, the passengers
are not to be deemed incompetent witnesses.--Sec. 53 and 56.

"The right of passengers to proceed at law for any breach of contract is
not abridged by proceedings taken under this Act.--Sec. 37."

For the use of the more opulent classes, the Commissioners have
published the following summary of the terms upon which land may be
purchased in Southern Africa.

"1.  The unappropriated Crown lands at the Cape of Good Hope, and Natal,
are sold in freehold, and by public auction only.

"2.  Unless it is otherwise notified, the upset price will be at the
Cape, two shillings per acre, (one acre is about half a morgen), and at
Natal four shillings per acre, but the Governor, for the time being,
will have the power to fix such higher upset price as the locality, or
other circumstances, may render expedient, of which due notice will
always be publicly given.  Lands not sold at auction may afterwards be
purchased at the upset price on payment of the whole purchase money.

"3.  Persons desirous of becoming purchasers will apply, in writing, to
the Secretary to Government respecting the land they wish to have put up
for sale; stating in what division it is situated, and as far as
practicable, its position, boundaries, and probable extent.

"These applications, after being recorded in the Colonial Office, will
be transmitted to the Surveyor-General, who, if he sees no objection to
the land being disposed of, will call upon the applicant to deposit with
him the probable expense of the survey; which expense will be calculated
upon the following tariff, and be borne by the eventual purchaser.

"4.  Should the applicant not become the purchaser, the amount deposited
by him will be refunded when paid by the eventual purchaser; but should
no sale take place, no refund can be made.

"5.  Lands offered for sale will be advertised for two months in the
`Government Gazette,' at the expiration of which time they will be sold
by public auction.

"6.  Ten per cent of the purchase money must be paid at the time of
sale, and the balance, (with the expenses of the survey, if the
purchaser did not make the deposit), within one calendar month from the
day of sale: in default of which, the ten per cent so paid, will be
forfeited to the Colonial Treasury.

"7.  Persons desirous of acquiring Crown lands at the Cape of Natal,
will be at liberty to make deposits at the Bank of England to the credit
of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners, upon the same
conditions, and with the like privileges as are prescribed in the case
of the Australian colonies [see Note 1], with this exception, that for
every hundred pound so paid in, the depositor will be allowed to name
for a free passage to the colony seven, instead of five properly
qualified emigrants.

"Officers of the Army and Navy, whether on full or half pay, who may
wish to settle at the Cape of Good Hope, are allowed a remission of the
purchase money varying from 600 pounds to 200 pounds according to their
rank and length of service.

"Military chaplains, commissariat officers, and officers of any of the
civil departments of the army; pursers, chaplains, midshipmen, warrant
officers of every description, and officers of any of the civil
departments of the navy, are not allowed any privileges in respect of
land.  Although members of these classes may have been admitted
formerly, and under different circumstances, they are now excluded.
Mates in the royal navy rank with ensigns in the army, and mates of
three years standing with lieutenants in the army, and are entitled
respectively to corresponding privileges in the acquisition of lands."


Note 1.  "Persons will be at liberty to make payments for colonial lands
in this country, for which payment or deposit they will receive an order
for credit to the same amount in any purchase of land they may effect in
the colony, and will have the privilege of naming a proportionate number
of emigrants for a free passage, as explained in the next article.  The
deposits must be made in one or more sums of 100 pounds each at the Bank
of England, to the account of the Colonial Land and Emigration
Commissioners; and the depositor must state at the time the colony in
which the land is to be selected, and give notice to the Commissioners
of the deposit.  Upon production of the Bank's receipt for the money,
the Commissioners will furnish the depositor with a certificate, stating
the amount which he has paid, and entitling him to obtain credit for
that sum in any purchase which he may effect in the colony, subject to
all rules and regulations in force in the colony at the time such
purchase may be made.

"For every sum of 100 pounds deposited as above, the depositor will be
entitled, for six months from the date of payment, to name a number of
properly qualified emigrants, equal to five adults, for a free passage.
Two children between one and fourteen are to be reckoned as one adult.
The emigrants are required to be chosen from the class of mechanics and
handicraftsmen, agricultural labourers, or domestic servants, and must
be going out with the intention to work for wages.  They are to be
subject to the approval of the Commissioners, and must, in all respects,
fall within their general regulations on the selection of labourers.
The purchaser and his family cannot receive a free passage under this



The renowned promontory of the Cape was first doubled by the Portuguese
navigator, Bartholomew Diaz, in the year 1487, but the discovery was not
looked on as of any other importance than as opening the maritime route
to India which that nation had so long sought after.  Ten years later De
Gama passed along the southern and eastern coast of Africa, and coming
in sight of a fertile, pleasant country on Christmas day, he gave it the
name of the Land of the Nativity, (Terra Natal) whence the appellation
by which it is now known.  In 1620, two of the officers of the English
Merchant Adventurers landed in Saldanha Bay, and took formal possession
of the country, in the name of James the First, but no European,
settlement was attempted until the year 1650, when the Dutch India
Company, at the recommendation of a surgeon of one of their ships, named
Van Riebeck, placed a colony on the shore of Table Bay, further
southward, for the purpose of affording supplies to their fleets.

Though the colony was at first composed, as was usual in those days, of
persons of abandoned character, it grew and prospered, and in the course
of about thirty years it received an accession of population of
admirable character in the persons of French and German Protestant
refugees, whom the atrocious proceedings of Louis the Fourteenth, in
revoking the Edict of Nantes, and ravaging the Palatinate with fire and
sword, had rendered homeless.  These estimable exiles introduced the
culture of the vine and other improvements, and the colony gradually
spread itself along the belt of level land which extends itself eastward
between the Lange Kloof and the sea.

About the same time Natal was visited by order of the Governor, and some
idea was entertained of forming a settlement there, but, for some reason
not now known, the project was abandoned.

The Dutch continued in peaceable possession of the colony for more than
one hundred years longer, and had gradually spread themselves either as
settlers or elephant hunters almost to the borders of the Orange River,
when in 1795, a small English force, under General Craig and Sir Alured
Clarke appeared, and the whole territory was at once surrendered.  At
the peace of Amiens, in 1802, it was restored to Holland; but in 1806 it
again came into the hands of England, and was finally ceded to us in
1814.  [Note 2.]

From the period of our establishment in the colony in 1806 till 1827
(with the exception of a change in the currency very displeasing to the
Dutch), we were contented to stand by the laws by which it had been
governed, with only such occasional amendments and modifications as the
change of circumstances required.  In that year, however, after three or
four years' notice and consideration, a code of English laws (not
exactly the laws of England) was adopted.  As, from their
non-acquaintance with our language, it was impossible to make the Dutch
thoroughly conversant with the principles upon which these laws were
framed, they soon became discontented.  The clerks in the public
offices, to whom they applied occasionally for information, were unable
to give their time to listen to their grievances; and, had they been
inclined to enlighten them, their ignorance of the Dutch language
rendered it impracticable.  Previously to this, every district had been
governed by a magistrate, or Landrost.  He had to assist him a council
of eight individuals, called Hemraaden, chosen from among the most
respectable and influential landholders, who informed the inhabitants of
all events and changes occurring in the colony and its laws, explained
all difficulties, heard all complaints, and were, in short, the medium
of communication between the people and the authorities.  The English
Laws completely superseded these arrangements, and the utter want of
education among the Dutch, particularly the scattered farmers, rendered
them jealous and suspicious of their new legislators, whose system
(practically or theoretically) they could not understand.

It is true that the bad condition, and, in many cases, the ill-usage of
the Hottentots, called for investigation and amendment; but many
attempts that were made to ameliorate their condition proved vain, from
being as defective as they were ill-executed.  General Bourke passed an
ordinance, freeing the Hottentot race from all those restraints which
are found absolutely necessary for the preservation of social order in
all civilised communities.  The consequence of this ill-advised decree
is manifested to this day, for it is the cause of the gradual
self-extermination (so to speak) of the race.  The mischief, however,
was done, and as a remedy the location of a number of them as an
agricultural community on the Kit River was tried.  A few respectable
individuals are still to be found among them there, and in some other
localities, but these are a mixed race, and it may be said that the
original Hottentot race has been gradually but surely dwindling away
since the enactment of the above-mentioned 50th Ordnance.

Just as matters stood a chance of finding their level, the farmer
beginning to try to accustom himself to bear the inconveniences arising
from the Hottentot's freedom from all restraint, and consequent contempt
of servitude (for on the enactment of the 50th Ordinance they had taken
to a life of vagrancy, spurning all work), the Kaffirs sounded their
war-cry, and burst upon the colony.  This was in 1834.  It arose thus.

From the depredations and encroachments of the Kaffirs on the Hottentot
location in the Kat River settlement, the authorities ordered the
expulsion of the Kaffir chief, Charlie, (so called by the express desire
of his father, Gaika, after Lord Charles Somerset), from a portion of
the neutral territory [Note 2] which he had been allowed to occupy on
sufferance during good behaviour.  This indulgence he had clearly
forfeited, the depredations being almost invariably traced to his
locality.  Though, on solemn promise of amendment, he had been
subsequently permitted to resume his position, yet, from the natural
ingratitude of his race, and the pains taken by his _soi-disant_ and
injudicious European friends to persuade him how ill he had been treated
by his original expulsion,--after a few months of smothered ill-will,
the volcano burst, and these savages poured, _en masse_, into the
colony; fire, devastation, and the murderous blade marking their
progress throughout this astonished, peaceable, and, with trifling
exceptions, unprotected frontier, to the ruin of thousands--a ruin from
which many have never recovered, notwithstanding the strenuous exertions
of their best friend, Sir Benjamin D'Urban.  Under his able
governments--crippled as it was by a change in the Ministry--the colony,
after the war, resumed the appearance and probability of peace, when
another great event altered the face of everything.  Suddenly there was
a voice, which went through all the countries of the known earth, crying
aloud, "Let the slave be free!"

The Dutch were quite ready to listen to the voice that cried shame at
the idea of seizing our fellow-creatures, packing them like herrings in
slave-ships, and bartering for them in the market.  Every one of good
feeling revolted at the custom, and looked for the remedy.  But how to
set about the remedy should have been considered.  The chain was broken,
and the people of England hurrahed to their heart's content.  And the
slave!  What, in the meanwhile, became of him?  If he was young and
vicious, away he went--he was his own master.  He was at liberty to walk
to and fro upon the earth, "seeking whom he might devour."  He was
free--he had the world before him where to choose, though, squatted
beside the Kaffir's fire, probably thinking his meal of parched corn but
poor stuff after the palatable dishes he had been permitted to cook for
himself in the Boer's, or tradesman's kitchen.  But he was fain to like
it--he could get nothing else, and this was earned at the expense of his
own soul; for it was given him as an inducement to teach the Kaffir the
easiest mode of plundering his ancient master.  If inclined to work, he
had no certain prospect of employment, and the Dutch, losing so much by
the sudden Emancipation Act, resolved on working for themselves.  So the
virtuous redeemed slave had too many temptations to remain virtuous.  He
was hungry--so was his wife--so were his children; and he must feed
them.  How?  No matter.

And the aged slave!  He sat himself down on the hearth to which he had
been accustomed, but he had no longer a right to the shelter of the
roof-tree under which he had lived and his children had been born.  He,
too, must beg for food; but he was so old he could hardly crawl.  He
grew sick; there was none to take care of him but the charitable; and,
fortunately for the poor, the aged, and the sick, there _was_ charity in
the land.  Of what availed the slave's freedom, under such
circumstances?  Still, some were harmless.  It was the vicious negro who
rejoiced in his freedom, and taught the Kaffir how best to rob and
murder, till most probably the Kaffir murdered him, or made him toil
harder than he had ever done under the Boer.

Then, the Dutch grumbled not so much at the emancipation, as at the
manner of it.  Even when they were willing to hire those who had been
their slaves, they hesitated to receive as servants those over whom the
law gave no control.  As an indemnification for the loss of their
slaves, the owners obtained, on the average, about one-third of the
value of them.  From their not being paid their compensation-money in
the colony, but being obliged to draw it from England, their loss by
agencies and misunderstanding was very great.

The discontented Dutch, who had been gradually irritated by these
proceedings, now began to migrate with their families over various
branches of the Orange River, to the north-east of the colony.  They
were forbidden to take their apprentices with them; but in many
instances they disregarded this order, and parties of military being
sent after them, to bring the apprentices back to the colony, this
measure increased the feelings of resentment already excited in the
minds of the Dutch towards the English, and the commanders of such
military parties ran imminent risks of their lives in the execution of
these duties.  Having established themselves in various localities
beyond the north-eastern boundary, and having no legal executive among
themselves, the Boers occasionally returned to the colony when any
appeal to justice was required; but, by degrees, the stream of
emigration having set steadily outwards, it swelled to such an extent
that it called for more room in its progress, and, spreading itself
beyond the limits of British jurisdiction or restraint, at length
reached Natal.  The most determined emigrants came to a resolution to
establish for themselves, in the neighbourhood of that port, a colony
totally independent of British rule, and regulated by their own laws.
Meanwhile the Kaffir war had been, by the energy and decision of Sir
Benjamin D'Urban and Colonel Smith (now Sir Harry Smith, the hero of
Aliwal, and the Governor of the Cape), brought to an end.  The
aggressors were driven from the colony, and also from a neighbouring
district between the Keiskama and the Kei, which was erected into a
province called Adelaide, and stringent measures taken to prevent their
again bursting into the colony.  But these measures were disapproved of
by Lord Glenelg, then the Colonial Secretary, the new district was
abandoned, Sir Benjamin D'Urban resigned, and, under the auspices of Sir
Andries Stockenstrom, the Lieutenant-Governor of the eastern province,
new treaties, since known by his name, were formed, which public opinion
in Africa almost universally condemns as the real cause of the late
deplorable warfare.  Since then, the policy that framed them has been
abandoned, and the statesmanlike views of Sir Benjamin are at the
present day being carried out by his former coadjutor, Sir Harry Smith.

About the year 1841 the settlement of the emigrant Boers had attained
something like the appearance of a regular state.  They had, partly by
force and partly by purchase, obtained possession of a considerable
tract of country, and had founded a town, which they called
Pietermaritzburg, and after some correspondence with the Government at
the Cape, they declared themselves independent.  On this a small British
force was despatched to Port Natal, but it was unable to effect anything
against them until the arrival of reinforcements, when the Boers
promised submission to the Queen's authority; but soon after they began
again to move onward, under their general, Pretorius, and it was not
until Sir Harry Smith came among them, at the close of the Kaffir war,
that they could be considered as fully under the control of the British
Government.  Even up to the present time their position with regard to
it is anything but satisfactory, as the following extract from a letter
recently received from the Cape (September 14, 1850), will
show:--"Matters have looked a little portentous over the Orange River.
The Boers, far beyond Bloem Fontein, under Pretorius, are determined
that no one shall pass through their territory to the newly-discovered
lake (Lake Ngami), and have already fined some severely.  The lake will
be easy of access down the Limpopo (river), which runs through the
Boers' country into it, as is believed; all other ways, as far as is
known, are through deserts, and the ignorant people (Boers) will not
suffer the missionaries to teach the natives about them.  It would be
unsafe to send any expedition under seven hundred men there, as
Pretorius is more than 250 miles beyond any military station."


Note 1.  The Boers, however, had little liking for this arrangement,
which severed them from their parent country, and their hearts yearned
towards a reunion with it.  Of this I had a positive assurance before it
was my fate to visit the colony myself.  In the year 1838 I had the
honour of making the acquaintance of H.R.H. Prince William Henry of
Orange, who was on his voyage home in the "Bellona" frigate from Java,
_via_ Saint Helena.  He dwelt with great pleasure on the circumstance of
several Dutch families having travelled many miles from the interior to
meet him at Cape Town, when he touched there.  Aged men and women, who
had scarcely moved out of their farm sitting-room for years, hastened to
meet a Prince from their beloved Fatherland.

Note 2.  Shortly after Lord Charles Somerset succeeded to the government
of the Cape, in 1817, Graham's Town being attacked by Makanna, the
pretended Kaffir prophet, a witch-doctor, Colonel, now Major-General Sir
Thomas Wiltshire, after defeating a horde of these savages, followed up
his success by pursuing them into their own country, where he forced
them to sue for peace.  This was granted, on condition of their
surrendering Makanna, and giving up in atonement for their past, and as
security against future offences, that tract of country lying between
the Fish and Kat Rivers on the one side, and the Tyumie and Keiskama on
the other.



Though the publications on the Cape colony are already so numerous, and
they all more or less profess to describe the native inhabitants, it is
certain that we yet know very little of their real character; more
especially of the character of the Kaffirs.  These are often painted as
an aboriginal race, "a pastoral and gentle people."  They are neither
the one nor the other.  They are intruders on the lands that they
occupy; their habits are the most savage imaginable; [see Note 1] their
treachery is well-known to all who have been unfortunate enough to come
in contact with them, and the conversions among them in ninety-nine
cases out of the hundred have no other existence than in the warm
imaginations of the well-meaning but ill-informed members of Missionary
Societies.  What converts there are, are principally from the despised
slaves of the haughty Kaffirs, the Fingoes.

There are some missionary stations within a ride of Fort Peddie,--one of
them, D'Urban, being scarcely a mile from the post.  I rode over there
one day, to see a Fingo congregation.  Among them, indeed, were some
Kaffirs; in foot, it was composed of many shades of colour, the
pale-faced Englishman, the dingy children of fair-haired mothers and
dusky fathers, the sallow, stunted Hottentot, the merry-eyed Fingo, and
the more dignified Kaffir.  On our approach to the building, we
distinguished a loud monotonous voice holding forth in the Kaffir
language, without the smallest attention to intonation, or emphasis.
This was the interpreter.  In the missionary's absence, an assistant
preached in Dutch, which was translated, sentence by sentence, into
Kaffir.  The unconcerned air of the interpreter, and his reckless bawl,
were much at variance with the wrapt air of attention bestowed on the
exhortations by the congregation.  Some of the Kaffirs and Fingoes were
well-dressed, in homely costume, indeed, but clean and neat, consisting
of moleskin or fustian jackets and trousers, felt hats, like those worn
by English waggoners, and strong shoes.  Others reclined on the floor,
with their blankets, or karosses, draped round them, and ornamented with
strings of beads, whose gaudy colours contrasted finely with their dark
skins.  Another day, I witnessed the baptism of fourteen Fingoes.  Both
men and women seemed to feel the solemnity of their position, the women
particularly evinced extraordinary emotion.  Some were unable to
restrain their sobs, and one aged being affected me much by the manner
in which she sought to subdue her feelings, wiping the tears quietly
away as they followed each other down her dark cheek.  All were decently
clothed, and particularly intelligent in their appearance.

At the close of the service, the missionary permits any of his
congregation to ask questions concerning such sacred matters as they may
at first find difficult to understand.  Some of their arguments evince a
singular disposition to subtle reasoning, and prove how arduous a task
is undertaken by those who endeavour to convert these poor savages to
Christianity.  One day, after the missionary had dwelt on the misery
arising from sin, and had expatiated on the natural proneness of man to
vice rather than virtue, and on the dreadful consequences of
disobedience manifested in the fall of our first parents, and its
terrible results, ameliorated only by the hope of heaven through the
merits of a Redeemer, in whose power to save and mediate we alone can
trust, a Kaffir, who had given his whole attention to the discussion,
begged leave to ask a few questions.  It was granted, and he began.

"You tell us," said he, in the measured and gentle tone peculiar to his
language, "that all the world is wicked--dreadfully wicked; that man is
condemned to punishment, except he be redeemed by faith.  You tell us
that every one is wrong, and God alone is right?"

"Certainly," replied the missionary; "except we believe in and obey God,
we cannot be saved."

"And you are sure," continued the Kaffir, "that man is very wicked, and
God alone is good?"

"Quite sure," replied the missionary.

"And there have been thousands--millions of men, and many, many
countries far away and beyond the waters," pursued the savage, "full of
sin, who cannot be saved, except they love and fear God, and believe in
him and in all these mysteries which none of us can understand, and
which you yourself even cannot explain?"

"It is but too true," said the missionary.

"And there is but one God?" pursued the Kaffir, in a tone of inquiry.

"But one God," was the solemn answer.

The savage pondered some minutes, and then observed, "What proof have
you that God is right, and men are wrong?  Has no one ever doubted that
One being wise and the other being weak and sinful?  How strange that
the word of your One God should be allowed to weigh against the will and
inclination of the whole world!  Your cause is hardly a good one, when
hundreds and millions are opposed in deed and opinion to one!  I must
consider your arguments on Christianity well before I decide on adopting
your creed."

Another remark of one of these natural logicians equally illustrates
their determination not to be persuaded to anything without having their
own reasons for it.  Wherever their inclination leads them, they possess
such an art of defending themselves as would be an invaluable addition
to the talents of a special pleader in a criminal court.  One Kaffir who
had become a Christian, at least apparently so (for I doubt the decided
conversion of any, except the Chief, Kama)--was striving, for reasons of
his own, to bring others to the creed he had adopted.  After much
argument, one, who grew tired of it, closed it by observing that "since
such punishments were in reserve for those who neglected the laws of the
Master whom they engaged to serve, he preferred enjoying the world as
much as he could while living, rather than becoming a subject of one
whose laws were irksome, and whose punishments were so terrible."

This art of reasoning, however it may lead them into discussions as full
of sophistry as ingenuity, may be the means of converting some of them
to Christianity.  It makes them keen listeners; and, since the Word of
God is so plain, that "he who runs may read," may not these poor people
be persuaded to that which must teach them that wisdom and power, and
mercy, and unbounded benevolence, are the attributes of that God whom
they are invited to worship?  Sometimes, I hope this, and then some
proof of Kaffir treachery makes me wonder how I can ever form such a

I should say, with Fingoes, Kaffirs and Hottentots, persuasion and quiet
reasoning would work the will of God before all the threats relative to
that dreadful world where sinners are described as in everlasting
torment.  This is hardly the place for such discussion, but I cannot
help saying, that I think the creed of many who profess to explain the
Word of God, a fearful one: instead of holding up our beneficent Creator
as a Being worthy to be served for love, they dwell too much on the
punishment of sin, rather than on the reward of virtue.  It is by some
deemed wiser to frighten the ignorant into serving God, than to lead
them by gentle means to love Him, to honour and to put their whole trust
in Him.  What a mistake!  I have often pondered on the difference (if I
may so express it) of the two sources of religion--the one proceeding
from fear of our great spiritual enemy (and which, after all, is a
fallacious kind of worship)--and the other from love of the Almighty!

Tell the savage that God is infinitely wise and powerful, and good to
those who serve Him, and he will at least listen further; by which means
much may be done.  Talk to him of a dreadful place of punishment, he
will turn his back on you, and refuse to enlist under the banners of
those whose chief arguments are based on such threats.  Begin with
reference to God as merciful, as well as just, and the savage will soon
acknowledge the necessity of punishment for evil deeds in an equal
degree with rewards for virtue.  It is right he should know that eternal
suffering awaits the sinner, but, before he is thus threatened, teach
him "the beauty of holiness," and "praise God as one worthy to be

On my journey into Kaffirland, our road one day lay through a pleasant
country, where the grass was green, and the mimosas bright with their
golden clusters of flowers.  At the spot where we outspanned, a waggon,
driven by Fingoes, had halted: it was drawn close up to a bush, and the
party in charge of it, consisting of two men, three women, and their
children, were seated in the shade.  To our surprise, we observed that
one man was reading aloud to the party; and, anxious to hear the
language, which is peculiarly soft and liquid, we walked up to the
group.  Our surprise was increased when we found that the book occupying
their attention was the Bible, translated into the Kaffir language,
which, by the way, scarcely differs from the Fingo.  The sight of this
dusky group so employed, had a strange effect, and the flowing ease and
beauty of the language in which the Word of God was explained to the
attentive listeners, increased the interest we felt in the scene.  None
of them could speak English; but the reader, pointing to the book,
uttered the single word "Good" impressively.

It is singular enough that Barrow and other travellers do not allude to
the race of Fingoes; this oversight is probably owing to their having
been, till of late years, the slaves of the Kaffirs.  [See Note 2.]  The
following account of them I have gathered from a work compiled by the
editor of the "Graham's Town Journal," and published in 1836:--

"It appears that the term `Fingo' is not their national appellation, but
a reproachful epithet, denoting extreme poverty or misery,--person
having no claim to justice, mercy, or even life.  They are the remnants
of eight powerful nations, which have been destroyed or driven out of
their country by the destructive wars carried on amongst the natives of
the interior.  Five of these nations were destroyed by the cruel
Matawana, and the rest by the notorious Zoola Chief, Chaka, or some of
the tribes tributary to them.  The names of these nations were:

"1.  The Amalubi,--signifying a people who tear and pull off.

"2.  The Amazizi,--a people who bring.  About twenty years ago, they, as
a powerful nation, inhabited the country on the north-east of Natal.

"3.  The Amabile,--people of mercy.

"4.  The Amazabizembi,--axe-vendors.

"5.  The Abasaekunene,--right-hand people.

"6.  The Amantozakive,--people whose things are their own.

"7.  The Amarelidwani,--no definite meaning.

"8.  Abashwawo,--revilers or reproachers.

"These nations being broken up and dispersed, many of those who escaped
flew westward, and thus came into collision with the Amakosa Kaffirs,
but principally with the tribes of the late Hintza, whose death is
graphically described by Sir James Alexander, 14th regiment, in his
account of the last Kaffir irruption in 1834 and 1835.  They became
slaves, herds, `hewers of wood, and drawers of water,' as well as
tillers of the ground.  They were oppressed in every way; when by
industry they had gathered together a few head of cattle, they were
either forcibly taken away from them, or, being accused of witchcraft,
their property was confiscated.  In short, their lives and property were
held on the same precarious tenure, the mere will of their capricious,
cruel and avaricious taskmasters.

"This state of bondage at last became utterly intolerable, and its
victims only looked for an opportunity to throw off the yoke.  Their
attention had been anxiously turned towards the colony, and
communications had been made to the frontier authorities long before the
irruption in 1834, urgently praying for an asylum within our boundary:
but this application was kept a profound secret, from a conviction that
were their intentions known to the Kaffirs, the indiscriminate massacre
of the poor Fingoes would be the consequence."

The war, of which many histories are given, delivered these poor
creatures from their bondage, and they are now a happy people, with
their own independent possessions of cattle, Sir James Alexander
supplies an interesting description of their deliverance from captivity.

They are a fine muscular race, bearing a great resemblance to the
Kaffirs, yet easily distinguishable from them: unlike the Kaffirs, they
are a cheerful race.  The moonlight nights seem their seasons of
festivity; and their wild chant, now rising loud and shrill, from the
huts opposite Fort Peddie, and now felling into a low muttered chorus,
now led by a single voice, and again sinking into indistinctness, has a
singular effect on civilised ears, not the less extraordinary from its
being sometimes united with a running accompaniment of wolves howling
about the cattle-kraals, and dogs yelling after them.  At such times,
the wild chorus generally ceases, lights are carried to and fro in the
kraal [see Note 3], or hamlet, and there is a sound of a hunt, such as
one might fancy would be ably illustrated by Retzsch's wondrous pencil.
After successive shouts from the Fingoes, and yells from the dogs, the
yelp of the wolf is heard further off, and changes to a smothered whine,
till it ceases altogether.  The dogs continue barking for some time, the
torches are extinguished, and, as all again becomes quiet, the strange
chant recommences.  Sometimes the noise of clapping of hands,
resembling, from the distance at which it is heard, the sound of the
tom-tom, or rude drum, may be distinguished, marking time probably to
the steps of the untiring dancers, for their revelry generally lasts
till morning's dawn.

Neither Fingoes nor Kaffirs seem to take much note of time: they sing
and dance when they are merry, sleep when fatigued, eat and drink when
hungry and thirsty.  Days, weeks, months, and years pass by unnoticed,
and uncounted.  If in want of comforts which must be purchased, they
work to earn money; if well provided, they will do nothing.  In cold
weather, they will not leave their huts even to milk their cows.

One of the most interesting anecdotes I have heard, was told me one day,
relative to a Fingo man, tallying well with the scene I have alluded to
of the group reading the Bible under the shade of the mimosa-bush.  A
poor Fingo had made several applications, from Graham's Town, to a
missionary nearly fifty miles off, for a Bible; but for some time there
had not been a sufficient number printed to meet the devout wishes of
those "who would become Christians."  Two years elapsed from the time
this man first asked for the Bible.  At last one day, he suddenly
appeared at the station, and asked the missionary for one.  The latter
replied, that he was afraid he yet had none to spare; "but," said he to
the Fingo, "if you will do what business you may have on hand in the
neighbourhood, and come to me before you leave it, I will endeavour to
procure you one, if such a thing is to be had;" but the poor traveller
surprised the missionary when he said he had no business to transact
there, save the one thing which had brought him so far.  He had come all
the way from Graham's Town, on foot, for the Bible; he would wait till
one was found, or even printed for him.  So the missionary was
constrained to seek for one immediately, which he succeeded in
obtaining; and the Fingo then offering 2 shillings 6 pence (the price of
the book being 1 shilling 6 pence), the missionary offered the 1
shilling in change, but the traveller waited not.  With the precious
book which had cost him so much toil to obtain, in one hand, and his
knob-kiurrie (war-club) in the other, away he trudged, light of foot,
and certainly light of heart.  He evidently considered his prize as more
to be "desired than gold, yea than fine gold."  Such instances of
sincere conversion are very rare.

There seems little doubt that Barrow's idea of the origin of the Kaffir
tribes in this country is a just one.  He imagines them to be the
descendants of those Arabs known to us by the name Bedouin.  "These
people" says he, "penetrated into every part of Africa.  Colonies of
them have found their way into the islands of Southern Africa, where
more difficulties would occur than in an overland journey to the Cape of
Good Hope.  By skirting the Red Sea, and turning to the southward, the
great desert of sand, which divides Africa into two parts, would be
avoided, and the passage lies over a country inhabited, as far as is
known, in every part."  The circumstance of their having short hair,
would seem to militate against their Arabic origin; but their
intermixture with the Hottentots and other nations along the coast may
have produced this.  Barrow adds, "Their skill in music is not above the
level of the Hottentots."

The latter have a most perfect ear for music, and cannot resist dancing
and chorussing to a tune that pleases them.  I have never heard the
Kaffirs evince any disposition to sing, unless I except the monotonous
drawl which the women utter for the men to dance to.  Of the Fingo
evensong, I shall have occasion to speak by and by.

It is already well-known that the Bosjemen and Hottentots are the
aborigines of the whole of this part of South Africa.  As one great
proof of this, we find the names of the rivers are in the Hottentot
language, between which and the Kaffir there is no affinity.  It may, by
the bye, be observed, that the Bosjeman and Kaffir languages have one
thing in common,--a singular click, varying in its sound according to
the letter pronounced: thus, C, T, R, and Q, appear to be the letters
uttered in clicks--T is uttered between the teeth, like _teh_; the R
also resembles T in its pronunciation; Q is produced by a click nearer
the front of the teeth than is requisite for the pronunciation of the C,
which in its turn resembles the noise made in imitation of drawing a
cork, and when two Kaffirs, Fingoes, or Bushmen, are conversing together
on any subject that excites them to unusual rapidity of speech or
gesticulation, the effect is extraordinary.

I desire not to lengthen my work with long quotations from other
writers, though to do so with that experience which a residence in the
country must give, would be to compile a useful and entertaining
chapter; but by here and there comparing what I see of these wild people
with what I have read, much may be gathered together that will throw a
light on matters connected with them in their present domestic state, if
such a term may be applied to a who are not yet tamed, and who, I doubt,
never will be so.  Like the lion, the tiger, the panther, and all the
roaming tenants of the bush, the mountain, or the kloof, the Kaffir has
become identified with the country to which he now belongs; and, though
here and there one or two may be brought to understand the meaning of
good principle, as a body, the Kaffirs will fulfil the destiny of their
great progenitor, Ishmael, of whom it has been decreed by God, that his
descendants shall "have their hands against every man, and every man's
hand against them."  Even though a man be brought up among Christians
from his youth, and accustomed to his dress by day, and his bed by
night, in manhood he will most joyfully return to his kraal, his kaross,
and his mat.  The daughter of Cobus Congo (Konky) is a striking instance
of this.  Educated in the house of an excellent missionary, taught the
value of principle, Konky is now married to a chief who has many other
wives; she wears the kaross, and rides an unsaddled horse, after the
same fashion as her husband and his cortege.  If, however, the
missionaries fail generally in the one grand object of converting the
Kaffirs and Fingoes to Christianity, many among them may be brought to
some degree of civilisation.  Already those who have been prevailed upon
to learn to read (the difficulty lies in getting them to learn at all,)
are diligent, and thirst for knowledge; as they progress in this, their
communion with Europeans becomes more intimate, gradually they may
acquire a wish to be clothed, and this may be of consequence to our
manufactories.  Already the English blanket, greased till it becomes the
colour of ochre, begins to supersede the skin kaross; and the common
brown coverlid is another favourite drapery of the Kaffir.  A printing
press is established at D'Urban [a missionary station near Fort Peddie];
and, besides the translation of the Bible, a periodical is published
monthly, containing articles suited to the taste, comprehension, and
habits of the native.

I have imagined that if some profitable employment were set on foot
among them it would have a beneficial effect; but I understand that
wool-combing was tried, which would have added to their cattle flocks of
sheep, besides promoting habits of industry; but this failed,--their
idleness is incorrigible.  The principal articles of our manufacture
coveted by them are fire-arms.  There was before the late war some
ill-devised and worse-executed law for the prevention of the sale of
these, but it was of small effect.  Even assegais made in England have
been sent out here, but the Kaffirs object to our manufacture of iron,
as being too malleable, preferring that prepared at their own primitive
forges.  I have heard it remarked that the bellows they use in forging
are proof of their having sprung from a race more skilled in the arts of
civilisation than themselves.  Two pieces of hide are sown together in
the form of a pointed bag; the wide part at top is stretched open by two
sticks; in the point at the bottom, also open, is inserted a bullock's
horn, filed at the point, through which passes the air, which is
admitted by opening and shutting the bellows at the wide end.

To enter upon a minute description of Kaffir habits, customs,
ceremonials, and superstitions, would be to exceed my limits.  I prefer
confining myself to the results of my personal observations, which,
however, from my long residence in Kaffirland, will embrace many points
left unnoticed by writers who have merely travelled through the country.


Note 1.  Even in their hunting expeditions, the Kaffirs exhibit a
peculiarity which goes far to prove that the sight of blood renders them
unnaturally ferocious.  At the death of a jackal, a buck, or any large
game which, they have run down, each hunter presses on to give a last
stab at the victim, even after death.  I observed this also among the
Fingoes, in their war-dance, as afterwards described.  Captain Harris
alludes to it in his "Sporting Expedition in Africa," when he so
graphically describes the death of a young eland.  "The savages came
up," he says, "and in spite of my remonstrances, proceeded with
cold-blooded ferocity to stab the unfortunate animal, stirring up the
blood, and shouting with barbarous exultation as it issued from each
newly-inflicted wound."

Note 2.  The term "Kaffir," is by no means recognised by the Kaffirs
themselves.  It was bestowed on them by the Portuguese.  The word is
from the Arabic, and signifies "Infidel."

Note 3.  The word "kraal" applies either to the group of huts forming a
village, to a single hut, or the fold for the cattle.



The Kaffirs have no idea of a future state, and many can hardly be
taught to believe that there are countries beyond their own.  Some have
a crude idea that Europeans, particularly the English, live on the
waters in ships.  Even to their own chiefs, and people who have been in
England, they will give no credence.  A Kaffir believes only what he
sees.  Latterly, they have become more inquisitive, and ask questions,
wondering "if the Queen of England is like other human beings!"

They are so exceedingly superstitious that the more cunning members of
their community take advantage of a weakness common to all, but
possessed in a greater degree by some than by others.  The system of
"eating-up," as it is called, arises from the prevalence of
superstition, and may be thus described.  A man, who, from his knowledge
of herbs and practice among the sick, is considered and denominated a
doctor, entertains, perhaps, a spite against some individual.  He hears
that another is sick,--if a chief so much the better for his purpose,--
or perhaps he may employ some nefarious means to injure the health of a
man by whom he intends to be employed.  The chief, then, falls sick,
naturally, or by foul means; meanwhile, the "doctor" has not been idle,
he has carried to some hiding-place some herbs, skin, or something of
this kind, and has buried it in a nook.  Soon after comes the summons
for him.  He goes.  The patient is suffering, and the mode of
questioning the sick man is singular enough.  With a grave face and
solemn air, the doctor begins his inquiries,--"Does his head ache?"
"No."  "Has he a sore throat?"  "No."  "Pain in the shoulders?"  "No."
"In the chest?"  "No."  "In the arms?"  "No."  And so on, till the part
affected is touched.  Then the pain is acknowledged, and there is a long
pause.  No one ventures to speak, save the doctor and the patient.  At
last, the former asks the invalid who has bewitched him?  All disease is
looked upon as the effect of magic, from their total ignorance of a
Providence.  The patient replies, he does not know.  It is not
improbable, indeed, he may be leagued with the doctor; or, if he be a
chief, that he may have resolved on possessing himself of some poor
dependent's cattle, and therefore bribes the doctor to assist him in his
scheme.  All the inhabitants of the kraal are summoned.  They come.
Perhaps, they expect a feast, unless they are aware of the chief's
illness.  The doctor moves through the assembly, examines the
countenances of this man and that, retires, deliberates, returns, and at
last points out the unfortunate man who has already been devoted to
ruin.  The victim protests his innocence.  It is of no avail.  The wise
doctor can prove where he has hidden the charm which works the mischief.
He goes to the nook where he himself has concealed it.  The people
follow.  Wonderful;--he discovers it--brings it to the chief, who orders
the victim to pay so many head of cattle, the tax imposed being always
so heavy as to injure the unfortunate creature beyond redemption.
Frequently, he is condemned to death, and frightful cruelties are to
this day practised on men and women accused of witchcraft, who, with
their heads smeared with honey, are bound down on an ant-hill, and at
their feet a blazing fire.  Unable to move, they lie for days enduring
this torture, till they are released or die.  In the former case even,
they are crippled for life.  A case came to my knowledge, in which a
rain-maker, a character similar to that of the doctor, but whose
business is curing the weather, caused a poor creature to be put to
death; and, strange to say, on the following day, though we had not had
a drop of rain for nearly four months, and were very short of water, the
torrents which fell deluged the country, and filled the tanks and rivers
beyond what had been seen for a considerable time.

I confess that, as I have ridden through the kraals, and seen the groups
of Fingoes, or Kaffirs, sitting about the fires, surrounded by their
children, cooking their corn, chattering and laughing, while at a little
distance young boys basked in the sun, playing with pebbles at some
game, or, lying on the grass, idle, and happy in their idleness, without
a thought beyond the present, any more than the herd that cropped the
green herbage round them, I have said to my companions, "How can we
expect these happy wretches to be other than savages?"  The earth yields
them food, and their cattle, milk and clothing.  Trees provide them wood
for the frame-work of their huts, and their fires, and the clay on which
they sit is shaped into utensils for their use.  Wise in their own
conceit, they must be but too happy and independent to change their
condition of their own free will.  They have no idea of the sin of a
theft, or a lie, being equal to the folly which permits it to be found

I shall have occasion by and by to describe a council at which I was
present, wherein Umhala, a Kaffir chief, was summoned by the
Lieutenant-Governor, to show cause why he had threatened to "eat up"
Gasella, another chief, his step-brother.  The secret of the threat was
said to lie in Gasella's friendly feeling towards the English, and his
consequent determination to prevent the inroads of the Kaffirs upon the
colony, for the purpose of abstracting cattle; but I strongly doubt the
existence of such a feeling in any Kaffir whatever.  The constant thefts
of cattle give rise to "Commandos" to recover them, and after a
successful one, a military party in charge of cattle, conducting them
into Graham's Town, is not an unamusing sight.  How would some
aristocratic papas and mammas be horrified at seeing their gentlemanlike
sons heading the party, and playing the part of principal herdsman on
the redoubtable occasion!  Such expeditions require the utmost caution,
and are frequently attended with danger; and, though it would be no
addition to the soldier's wreath of glory to be assegaied, or shot, in
the execution of such a duty as that of driving cattle, he would be not
the less killed "for a' that,"--dead,--lost to his sorrowing friends and
his unsympathising country for ever.

The restless desire for plunder among the Kaffirs speaks much in favour
of their Arab origin.  So do their tent-shaped huts, their riches
consisting in herds of cattle, and their wandering habits.  The Kaffirs'
principal instrument of war is the spear, or assegai.  Such, a weapon is
now in especial use among the Arabs.  The poising and hurling this spear
constitute a trial of dexterity which they love to exhibit; and there
could not be a finer subject for a painter than a tall Kaffir,
majestically formed, with one foot firmly planted before him, his head
thrown back, his kaross draped pound him, leaving the right arm and foot
free and unfettered, in the act of poising an assegai before he sends it
flashing through the sunlit air.  Their wearing clothes will be an
excellent thing for our manufactories, but will help to enervate the


I cannot avoid reverting to the fact that writers have never, in their
descriptions, separated the Fingoes from the Kafirs.  There is no doubt
that they once formed one vast nation, but are now not only distinct but
opposed to each other.  In advertisements relative to servants, and
setting forth Government ordinances, mention is made of all the tribes
of Kaffirs to the utmost limits of the known territory, also of
Hottentots and Bushmen, but no reference is made to Fingoes, who differ
from the Kaffirs in appearance as well as in habits.

Mr Shepstone, the Government agent, has kindly written down, from what
he has gathered from them in conversation, the idea of the Kaffirs
respecting their own origin.  He says--

"The traditions among the native tribes on the south-eastern coast of
Africa, which essay to describe the origin of the human race, are as
various as the tribes themselves.  Perhaps, the one most curious in its
detail is the following:--It assumes the pre-existence of the sun, moon,
and stars, etc, as also of our earth, with everything in it as it at
present exists, with the exception of men and cattle.  It then describes
two chasms in the earth, from one of which emerged three descriptions of
men; first, the Kaffir; second, the Bushman (the original Hottentot);
and third, the white man.  These are the fathers of mankind.  Out of the
other chasm came cattle; the greatest part of these were given to the
Kaffir, and he was told they should be `his life and his children's.'
The Bushman `was given the honey-bird,' [Note 1], and was desired to
follow it, as its fortunes should be `_his_ life and _his_ children's.'
The white man was shown the sea, and was told to `try everything.'
Another account represents the white man as having been incited by
curiosity to explore the chasm whence had issued the cattle; that, after
he had entered it, the mouth closed up; but that by extraordinary
exertions he cleared his way out, which explains the cause of his
descendants possessing such persevering ingenuity.  Their different
callings being thus defined, they were permitted to increase and
multiply, and live in love with one another.  This injunction was
followed for a considerable period, when one morning, when the sun shone
as brightly as usual in the heavens, one of their number was discovered
motionless! speechless! cold!  The utmost dismay was the consequence;
all assembled to endeavour to ascertain the cause, and remedy what was
felt to be a serious evil; some ran with water, to sprinkle the lifeless
form; others hastened with broad-spreading leaves, to fan the rigid
countenance, and every effort was made to restore their companion so far
as to be able to tell the cause of such fearful apathy.  All was in
vain--not a ray of hope was left--despair took possession of their
breasts.  The form of their friend and fellow creature began to
moulder.--Nothing remained at last but the more substantial parts of the
person once familiar to them.  Then a voice came and named it `Death!'
It is curious to observe," remarks Mr Shepstone, "in all this the
recognition of a superintending and benevolent power, independent of
man; whereas, in every other tradition, the fortunes of the human race
are represented as under the control of the good and evil spirits of
their forefathers, whichever may, circumstances, predominate at the
time."--Fort Peddie, May 19th, 1843.


Note 1.  A small bird, which, attracting the notice of travellers by its
cry, guides them to the wild bees' nests in trees, or clefts of rocks.



There was nothing very pleasant in the prospect before me of leaving
England just as summer was opening her gates, and exhibiting her
flower-strewn paths and fragrant hedgerows.  My health was not good, and
to my mode of travelling I looked forward as anything but agreeable;
since a troopship can never be considered as affording even convenient
accomodation for a lady, and the miseries of a sea-life must of
necessity be enhanced by being shared with a crowd of fellow-sufferers
of various classes.

Nevertheless, on reaching Ireland, (land of green spots and generous
hearts!) my spirits rallied; my soul could not but respond to kindly
sympathies and disinterested hospitality, and by the time the troopship,
"Abercrombie Robinson," arrived in Kingstown Harbour, whence we were to
embark (in all upwards of 700 souls) for the Cape of Good Hope, I had
shaken off my unavailing regrets in a great degree, and was prepared to
meet my destiny with a fortitude worthy of a soldier's wife,--a
fortitude, indeed, earned by experience in my encounter with "perils by
sea and land."

  But people now don't care for rhymes romantic,
      And I must cease to think of former years.
  This, my third trip across the vast Atlantic,
      Hath taught me to subdue a world of tears;
  For worse than idle, on a joyous track,
      Were the vain sorrow earned by looking back!--_My Journal_.

The inhabitants of Dublin, "in the merry month of May," 1842, emigrated
by instalments to visit the "Abercrombie Robinson,"--a ship of 1400 tons
being rarely seen in Kingstown Harbour.  A few short months after, she
lay a wreck upon the sands of Africa, a true type of the littleness of
man's works, and of the power of Him who "blew with his winds and they
were scattered."

We embarked, and for a day or two enjoyed the balmy breezes of the
summer sea as we lay in harbour.  His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant
came on board in the barge, to see the ship, the barge being steered by
the agent, Lieutenant J.R. Black, R.N.  The guns saluted, the yards were
manned, bands were playing, colours flying, soldiers cheering, etc, etc.
The Lord Lieutenant congratulated us on our fine prospects, and drank
our healths, wishing us prosperity (and I am sure he was in earnest);
and his Aides-de-Camp looked as civil as they could, considering they
were very much bored: and, when we had all played at company and
propriety for a given time, his Excellency left the ship, steered as
before, and there was a repetition of guns firing, soldiers shouting,
etc; and the people on the shore, no doubt, thought it very fine indeed.

We were better off with regard to accommodation than we had been as
inmates of a transport on a former occasion, when we went to Saint
Helena.  Our ship was strong, apparently, as a castle, and our
accommodation very superior.  With the first favourable breeze we spread
our canvass, and sailed out of Kingstown Harbour, hundreds cheering us
from the shores of green Ireland, while our men responded to their

The voyage was dull enough, only varied by a due quantity of parades,
roll-calls, mustering of watches, with a running accompaniment of
bugles, bagpipes, and drums.  Our party, in general, was an agreeable
one; the average quantity of ill-humour being small in proportion to our
number, and therefore falling harmlessly enough on those who were
willing to make the best of every thing.  We paid by the way a visit to

The view of this beautiful island (or rather of Funchal, the principal
town) in some magazine, is the best representation of it I have seen.
The town is prettily situated, but deplorably spoiled by the narrowness
of its streets.  [Note 1.]  I was, unfortunately, too much indisposed,--
suffering as I was from the effects of a species of scarlet fever,--to
visit the interior of the island; but even the outskirts of the town
were most refreshing.  There was a sound of running waters, a waving of
green boughs, scenting the air with their fragrance, and making me
imagine myself, in my weak state, fanned by the kindly wings of unseen
angels.  The last fortnight on shipboard had been passed in great
discomfort: heavy sickness at all times is a severe tax on our patience,
but at sea, in a narrow cabin, where one's weak voice is often drowned
by the creaking of masts, the dashing of the waves, and the hoarse calls
of the seamen, it is beyond all conception to those who have not
similarly suffered.  My little tour in my tiny palanquin at Madeira was,
therefore, most delicious.  First I lingered in the square, under the
trees, looking at the 11th regiment of Portuguese troops on parade.
Well-dressed, well drilled, well appointed, and withal well looking,
they had every appearance of being an efficient body of men.  Then their
harmonious band (no one instrument being heard distinctly above another)
exceeded in sweetness any regimental band I ever heard in our service.
The big drum, instead of being struck with violence, merely swelled in
accompaniment; and, when the fifes took up the strain, the brazen
instruments lowered their tone in perfect unison with the powers of the
lesser ones.  This over, I was carried onwards through alleys green with
the foliage of the graceful vine; the distant hills made me long for
refreshing landscapes and "spicy gales," but these were denied me, and
my bearers carried me into a garden adjoining a house which we
understood belonged to the English Consul, but which we found was
tenanted by Lady Harriet D--, who was residing at Madeira for the
benefit of her children's health.  On learning this, as we were about to
retire, a man-servant followed, begging us, in his lady's name, to
proceed.  We did so, and under a group of trees we discovered Lady
Harriet, surrounded by books and work, and apparently intent on the
instruction of two sable pupils.  The sound of her voice as she rose to
meet me, bespoke her pity for my pale looks and exhausted frame, and the
refreshment we accepted at her ladyship's hospitable hands enabled me to
endure the fatigue of returning to the town better than I should
otherwise have done.

The gun from the "Abercrombie" announced her being under weigh, and we
were obliged to depart in haste, the heavy surf and constant swell of
the sea at Madeira rendering the passage from the shore to the ship
always tedious and more or less difficult.

Almost every one has heard of Clementina, the beautiful nun, at the
Convent at Madeira.  Her name has been so often before the public that
there can be no possible harm in relating a singular incident of which
she was the heroine, and which occurred while we were there.  A large
party (from the English frigate lying like ourselves at anchor) landed
and paid a visit to the convent.  Among the group assembled in front of
the grafting, behind which the nuns appear to receive visitors, was a
Mr H.  As Clementina advanced she caught sight of this gentleman, and
had no sooner done so than with a sudden scream she fainted.  Every one
was amazed, Mr H as much so as any.  On recovering her senses, the fair
nun inquired if the gentleman who had caused her emotion bore the name
of H?  On being answered in the affirmative, she almost relapsed into a
state of insensibility; but on recovering herself, she begged further to
know if he was the Mr H with whom she had formerly eloped from the
convent?  It was explained that the Mr H she now saw was the cousin of
her lover, to whom he bore an extraordinary resemblance.  On learning
this, she requested him to be the bearer of a letter from her to his
cousin, which she afterwards forwarded to him, and then the curtain
dropping between the nuns and the visitors closed this singular and
romantic interview.

Again we set sail, and the same monotonous routine continued with little
variation.  Occasionally, we fell in with a passing ship looking like a
thing of life upon the solitary world of waters, which brought us the
consolation of being able to write homewards.  Homeward letters!  Ah!
what eager hearts at home were wishing for those letters!  How much of
affection, and sorrow, and anxiety, and prayerful love was in them I
thought, as the bag, ere the boat departed for the "Homeward bound" lay
at my feet upon the senseless deck!  It is the habit of tracing the
common things of life back to their sources, be they sad or sweet, which
has sometimes given me pleasure, oftener pain.  There moved off the
gallant ship, there rang the cheers of our soldiers, there sounded the
reckless voices of the young, the gay, the heartless, and the
high-spirited, and while they perhaps were little thinking of the
parents, the friends, the sisters, to whom they had sent home letters,
my eyes were filling as:

  "Eager memories rushed upon the heart
  And burst oblivion's cloud."

On the 22nd of August there was a cry of "land!" and, on the following
morning, the vast mountains forming the boundary of part of the
south-western coast of Africa, lay stretched before us.  Then Table
Mountain and its smaller companions reared their cloud-capped crests;
and the white villas at Green Point tantalised us with their proximity,
from which, owing to the wind, we were obliged to bear away constantly.
For two days we hovered in the offing, but on the evening of the 25th,
we hailed the sound of our anchor-chains.  It was a most lovely night,
the unclouded moon illuminating the white houses in Cape Town, and the
lofty mountains standing out in strong relief against the clear sky;
while our bugles, drums, and fifes, made merry music on the poop of our
gallant ship.  How we lingered about, unwilling to retire to rest, so
anxious were we for the morning!  It came at last, and the commanding
officer went ashore to report in due form our arrival to the Governor.
On his return in a few hours, we learned that all of us, except the
Colonel and the Major, were to proceed, by way of Algoa Bay, to the
frontier.  The flank companies and the band were to be brought from
thence to Cape Town, and the three companies expected from Saint Helena
were to be detained there on their arrival.  Many of our party,
especially the gentlemen, rejoiced at this; liking the prospect of an
active and sporting life infinitely better than that which would be
merely varied by lounging about Cape Town, attempting races, or
philandering at the balls.  We were to remain in harbour about five days
for water and provisions, (our stock being quite exhausted) then to
proceed on our voyage.

On Saturday morning, the 27th of August, all the officers not for duty
obtained permission to go on shore; the command of the troops on board
devolving on Captain Gordon, 91st regiment.  All landed but six; my
husband was one of those to remain, consequently I did not accept the
kind invitation of a friend to accompany him with my little girl to his
house near Cape Town.  Afterwards, in the hour of danger, and in the
time of extreme terror, I had a strange undefinable satisfaction in
having remained, though the sight of my child made me wish I had sent
her on shore in the morning.  Towards evening, the wind increased
considerably; but, though there was a heavy sea and every prospect of a
gale, our captain depended on his anchors.  The Agent, Lieutenant Black,
R.N., had gone on shore on duty at four o'clock in the evening, and
being invited to dine with the Governor at seven o'clock, was in
consequence prevented, by the impossibility of boats getting off, from
returning on board, The whole responsibility, therefore, devolved on the
Master, Mr John Young.  The wind and sea rising caused at first but
little alarm; at twelve o'clock, however, the ship shivered; apparently
from being struck by a heavy sea.  She trembled in every joint, and the
same sensation being almost immediately after felt again, it was evident
the vessel touched the bottom and with some violence.  I rose from my
bed, and dressing my child and myself, we proceeded with my husband to
the cuddy, where some of the officers were assembled round the stove,
the night being bitterly cold.  The captain, still depending on the
strength of his anchor-chains, saw no great cause of alarm, and having
put my child to sleep on a chair, which Captain Gordon kindly prepared
for her, I retired again to my berth, and being quite worn out, soon
fell fast asleep.  I was awoke by my husband bidding me rise and come on
deck immediately, the anchor-chains having both snapped one after the
other.  My little Isabel stood beside her father partly dressed, and
pale and silent.  I have no distinct recollection of what happened for
the first half hour after this awful intelligence.  I remember hearing
the water splashing about my cabin, and seeing our little lamp swinging
violently backwards and forwards.  I remember being dragged in unshod
feet along the wet deck, up the steerage hatchway, while my husband
carried my child.  I can remember, too, her little voice issuing from my
bed, into which she had crept to fasten on her warm boots, and begging
me not to be frightened.

"How calm she is!" said I, to my husband.

"Poor thing!" he whispered, "she does not know her danger."

"Yes, I do," she answered, overhearing us; "but mamma has often told me
that God Almighty can take care of us if He pleases; and I keep saying
that to myself, and then I am not half so frightened."

I remember the very height of the storm, when the noise of the thunder
could scarcely be distinguished from the roar of the waters, and the
torrents of rain,--when the elements in fact howled wildly and angrily
at one another,--when the lightning pouring, as one may call it, on our
decks, blazed in at the fore windows of the cuddy, being horror-stricken
at the ghastly faces assembled under the uncertain and flickering light
of a broken lamp.  I can remember when the water rose up to my knees,
being carried between decks with my child, through rows of shrieking
women and silent soldiers.  The conduct of our men was beyond all

For some time, I sat on a chest with my child, near the fore-hatch, the
ship continuing to drive, every moment striking against the sand, and
our only hopes resting on the coming of the dawn, which would show us
where we were, the floods of rain preventing the lightning--vivid as it
was--from doing this distinctly.  About six in the morning, the master
came down among us with some comfort, saying he hoped the ship was
making a bed for herself in the sand.  In truth, she had been all night
like some great creature scratching her way through it with restless
impatience.  The rudder had been carried away from the first, the stern
cabins knocked into one, and the sea bubbling up like a fountain in the
after part of the ship.  We were yet uncertain of our safety, for there
were rocks not many hundred yards from us on which the "Waterloo"
convict ship had already struck; but of her anon.  Meanwhile, our people
attaching a rope to a shot, fired it on shore, but in vain.  All night
the guns from the fort and other vessels had been giving awful warnings
to the town, while the constant roll of musketry onboard the convict
ship, led us to imagine that the convicts were mutinous.  This was,
however, discovered afterwards not to be the case; they had been
loosened from their bonds on the first alarm, and desired to make use of
the first possible means of escape.

At length, as we neared the coast, which for some time had been crowded
with spectators, we were enabled, through God's mercy, to get a boat on
shore with a rope attached to the ship, and afterwards fastened to an
anchor driven in the sand.  As the surf-boats put off, the first of
which brought Lieutenant Black, the Agent, on board, our men gave nine
hearty cheers, and in a few minutes we commenced our disembarkation; the
women and children being lowered into the boats first: I waited for the
third boat.  Such a noble example had been shown by the officers to
their men, and its effects on the latter had been so important, that, in
spite of my anxiety to land, I felt unwilling to exhibit it by hurrying
from the ship to the shore, and thus creating unnecessary fears among
the poor uneducated women, whose terrors I had witnessed during the
awful hours of the night.  As I was carried between decks, I had been
struck, in spite of my fears, with the scene that met my view there.
Pale women, with dishevelled hair, stretched themselves from their beds,
wringing their hands, and imploring me to comfort them.  Some prayed
aloud; others, Roman Catholics, called on the Virgin and their favourite
saints to help them in their peril; and many bent in silent but eloquent
agony over their unconscious infants.  One woman who had, during the
whole voyage, been considered as dying of deep decline, sat up in the
hammock which had been carefully slung for her, and with a calm voice,
which was yet distinguishable from the noise around her, imparted a
certain confidence in the power of the Almighty to all who were willing
to listen to her, or at least prepared them to view their possibly
approaching fate with more resignation.  That calm, steady voice sounded
strangely amid the cries of fearful women, the hoarse voices of reckless
sailors, and the crashing of timbers; while, above all, still rolled on
the sound of musketry from the convict ship, "Waterloo," now beating
violently against the rocks, and beyond immediate help; while the
appearance of hundreds on the beach striving, some to get their boats
off, and others with daring spirit urging their horses through the surf,
formed a scene difficult to describe, even by the pen of a mere

Our ship was a stout vessel, and held well together.  I embarked at last
in a surf-boat with my child (my husband of course waited for his
company), and with a heart full of earnest gratitude to the Almighty, I
approached the land.  Had I dreamt of the awful calamity which
afterwards befell our unfortunate neighbour, the "Waterloo," I should
not have felt the exhilaration of spirit I did as the Lascars bore me
from the boat to the shore through the surf, while Mr Dalzell, of the
27th, carried my child gallantly through it before him on his saddle.
Mr Jenkins' carriage stood waiting for us on the beach; and having had
the satisfaction of witnessing my husband's disembarkation with his men,
we started for our kind friend's charming villa, in the neighbourhood of
Cape Town.  As we drove on, the sight of the "Waterloo's" inverted flag,
half-mast high, made me shudder; but, as the tide was falling (which,
by-the-by, increased the danger of her position, but of this I was
unaware), I trusted the boats might be enabled to reach her, and thus
hoped for the best.  In half an hour afterwards, her mainmast fell over
her side, the ship parted in four different places, and in less than ten
minutes upwards of 200 unfortunate beings were precipitated into the
raging surf.  About 70 escaped by swimming on shore; among them Mr
Leigh, of the 99th regiment; many were crushed beneath the falling
spars; ghastly faces gleamed up from the boiling waters, and with
outstretched arms implored help from the shore.  Eyes, glazed with agony
and despair, burst from their sockets as the rising heads of the
sufferers got jammed between floating timbers; and mothers, with infants
clinging to their bosoms, were washed off the rafts to which they vainly
strove to cling, whilst:

                  "--The bubbling cry
  Of some strong swimmer in his agony,"

rose above the roar of the elements, and in a moment was smothered by
the dash of the raging waters over his helpless limbs.  Only one woman
was saved: she, poor creature, had seen her husband and child swept away
before her; On being brought into the barrack square at Cape Town, where
the Governor and his Staff were assembled, the unfortunate woman flung
herself at the feet of the former, and embracing his knees exclaimed,
"Can you not help me? you have power here; can you not give me back my
husband and my child? you look a good man; can you do nothing for me?
Ah!  I know you will help me.  Sir, I beseech you to give me back my
husband and my child!"  And this was only one of many scenes of

Great praise was afterwards deservedly bestowed on our men for their
steady conduct and ready obedience to their officers.  The detachments
of the 27th and Cape Mounted Riflemen deserved equal praise.  Young men,
too, they were--the average age of the battalion being scarcely more
than twenty-one years.  Many of them had never been drilled--never even
had arms in their hands;--almost all the rest were volunteers from
different regiments, and consequently little known to their superiors.
The real cause, however, may be traced in the example shown them by
their officers; and too much praise cannot be bestowed on Captain Bertie
Gordon, to whose charge they fell on the senior officer's leaving the
ship.  Young in years, and comparatively so in experience, he acted with
a calmness, decision, and judgment, that give high promise of future
good.  Much more could I say on this subject, but that (as is the case
with all high and generous spirits) he who most deserves praise is
always the most unwilling to have it blazed abroad.  All, however, must
have esteemed themselves fortunate in falling under the command of one
so able to do his duty under such trying circumstances.

It may not be irrelevant to say a word or two here on the subject of the
frequent wrecks in Table Bay during the winter months, viz, in May,
June, July, and August.  Ships during these months are ordered to go
round to Simon's Bay, but this cannot always be done, as in our case.
There had been a great deal of sickness on board during the whole of our
voyage; three days before we made the land, three men belonging to the
91st regiment had died of typhus fever in the short space of thirty-one
hours and a half, their bodies and their bedding being committed to the
deep without one moment's unnecessary delay.  Fresh provisions and
vegetables were thus most desirable, especially for the invalids.
Simon's Bay being between forty and fifty miles by sea, and twenty-three
by land, from Cape Town, it was a point of great importance to disembark
the troops if possible at the latter place.  It must be remembered that
it was only on arriving in Table Bay, when the commanding officer
communicated with the Governor, that we learned we were to proceed to
the frontier.  It was also necessary to take in fresh stock.
Furthermore, the wind (after we had been beating about the offing for
three days in a calm) became favourable for entering Table Bay, the
weather was remarkably fine, and the winter season at its close.

Our vessel was one of Soames' finest ships, and for nearly a month after
the wreck lay firmly imbedded in the sand; but the pieces of the hull of
the "Waterloo" which were picked up on the beach, crumbled to dust in
the hands of those who tried their strength.  I have said thus much of
ourselves, and I have said it impartially, because, in cases of
shipwreck, the captain is frequently blamed for what he cannot help--for
what, in fact, is a visitation of the Almighty.  To the master of the
troopship, as well as to Lieutenant Black, R.N., we were indebted,
during the whole of the voyage, for the utmost attention and kindness;
the more so as, from the unanimity subsisting between them, they were
enabled to act together for the benefit of us all; and I think I cannot
close this part of my narrative better than by publishing a letter
written to Captain Young a few days after the wreck by Captain Bertie
Gordon.  [One equally complimentary was written to our esteemed friend
Lieutenant Black.]

"Main Barracks, Cape Town, August 31, 1842.

"My dear Sir,

"As commanding the reserve battalion of the 91st Regiment at the time of
the wreck of the transport `Abercrombie Robinson' in Table Bay, I feel
myself authorised to express my sense of your coolness, intrepidity, and
readiness of resource, during those anxious hours of responsibility,
when, from eleven o'clock on the night of the 27th of August, to
daylight on the morning of the 28th, the lives of seven hundred souls
depended, under God, on your firmness and seamanship.  They are
qualities essential in the commander of a ship at all times, and must be
more than ever necessary when several hundred soldiers, women, and
children, crowd his decks.

"They conspicuously distinguished your conduct throughout that night,
whose scenes were too full of danger not to have impressed every one
with the near possibility of destruction.

"The question of life or death seemed often to hang on each minute's
duration; but, through God's mercy, your able conduct brought us safely
through a host of perils.

"On the part of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers of
the reserve battalion 91st Regiment, and of the detachments of the 27th
Regiment and Cape Mounted Riflemen, then on board, I beg to offer our
united acknowledgments of the praise and gratitude which your exertions
so highly merited.

"I remain, my dear Sir,

"Very truly yours,

"Bertie E.M. Gordon, Capt. 91st Regt.

"The undersigned officers of the 91st Regiment, on board the
`Abercrombie' at the time of her being driven ashore on the morning of
the 29th of August, beg to subscribe their names to the above letter of

"J. Ward, Captain 91st Regt.

"J.C. Cahill, Paym. Res. Batt. 91st Regt.

"J.H.E. Stubbs, M.D., Asst.-Surg. 91st Regt.

"J. McInroy, Ensign 91st Regt.

"Robt. Lavers, Ensign 91st Regt."


Note 1.  An inhabitant of Madeira gave an excellent reason for this
apparent fault, viz, that the houses being built closely together
afforded a shade from the sun that wide streets would not have have



After six months' residence at the Cape, at last we were suddenly
hurried on board a transport for Algoa Bay, on the afternoon of the 24th
of February, 1843; The agent, for the transport declared her quite ready
for sea, but such proved not to be the case, and we were detained in
harbour for three days, subject to many most unnecessary expenses and
annoyances, as will appear from a few extracts from the journal that I
began on shipboard.

"February 24th,--Hurried on board, in consequence of the signal for
sailing being fired, and the agent for the owner of the ship sending us
word she was ready for sea, and would sail in the afternoon.  The heat
quite overpowering, a hot wind prevailing--what a day for embarking at
half-past two p.m.!  The troops have already been on board
four-and-twenty hours.  Wind quite fair for getting out of harbour, with
the prospect of a north-wester, which would suit us exactly if we were
once out at sea.  Much disappointed at not finding the Captain on board,
and no prospect of even getting up the anchor.  Asked the agent why he
had fired the signal for sailing in the morning; he replied, `Because
the ship and the troops were quite ready for sea.'  The `Malabar' has
just got under weigh, and is clearing the harbour with a fine breeze.

"Sunday, February 26th.--Cold and wet--the ship shockingly dirty.  No
prospect of the Captain.  Some of the officers have got leave to go on
shore.  A wretched day, a heavy sea prevailing.  Many people sick,
especially on the lower decks, which are dark, crowded, and ill

"A violent north-west gale all day and all night.  I spent many hours of
terror in remembering our wreck in Table Bay, in the `Abercrombie
Robinson,' in August.  Ships should not be detained in Harbour in Table
Bay without efficient reasons, especially troopships, containing
hundreds crowded together.

"Monday, February 27th.--A man found dead on the lower deck, suffocated
from the effects of drunkenness.  Had we sailed when we ought to have
done so, he would have had little chance of procuring liquor.  The
Captain of the ship, and the officers who obtained leave to go on shore
yesterday, have come on board.  Some prospect of sailing.  Dead soldier
sent on shore to be buried.

"Sailed at one o'clock.

"March the 1st.--We observed this evening a singular streak of light in
the sky; no one able to account for it; it bore north-west from our
position, steering as we were along the coast to the eastward.

"March 2nd.--The meteoric light greatly increased in size and

"March 4th.--Anchored in Algoa Bay, at eleven o'clock, a.m.  The
meteoric light, which has puzzled us all so much, turns out to be a
comet, and increases in brilliancy every evening.  Landed in the
evening, in a private boat.  The troops will land to-morrow, in
surf-boats.  We have reached the shore by the jetty, which reminds me of
the one at Herne Bay, only that it is on a smaller scale, but is
exceedingly creditable to the place, and a proof of its prosperity in
trade."  [Note 1.]

"March 5th.--The single inn much crowded.  The regiment has landed, and
the little encampment formed on the green opposite the windows is very
picturesque.  How strangely the wild, dusky-looking savages contrast
with the soldiers; the latter busy in their preparations for their
comforts, the former lounging idly in their skins and blankets, draped
not ungracefully round their dark forms!"

On Tuesday, the 7th of March, we started from Port Elizabeth for
Graham's Town.

The evening before we departed, I accompanied my husband into the
Commissariat Yard, to see the waggon which was to be the abode, by day,
of my little girl and myself for nearly a week.  I was already all the
worse for having been condemned, with my husband and child, to a cabin
on board the vessel, certainly not more than _nine feet by five, if so
large_.  On seeing the huge machine in which we were to travel, I could
not help remarking to the Commissary, who was so good as to point it out
to me, that there were but two alternatives to decide between, ere the
bugles sounded in the morning, and the tents were struck, preparatory to
the troops moving off--these being suicide, or mirth.  In a state of
quiescence the thing looked "horrible, most horrible;" but the "start,"
between the disposition to laugh, and the inclination to cry at the
discomfort, was enough to make any one hysterical; and the remembrance
of friends at home, who could never by any possibility be brought to
comprehend the miseries one undergoes here, was strangely blended in my
mind with the sights and sounds of outward objects; with the bellowing
of oxen, the shouts of Hottentot drivers, the screams of children and
scolding voices of their mothers in the neighbouring waggons, and the
mingled oaths and laughter of the soldiers, as they picked up stray
baskets, tin mugs, puppies, and babies, the latter animating the scene
by occasionally tumbling off the waggons.

We left Port Elizabeth at eleven o'clock a.m.  The first day of the
march was fine, yet cool; the sky remaining overcast, yet without
symptoms of rain.  The first thing we approached worth notice was a
salt-pan, looking more like a frozen lake upon which snow-heaps had been
scattered, than anything else.  It is not to my purpose to describe
these singular works of nature here; I mention this one, lying about
four miles from Port Elizabeth, to call the attention of travellers to
the sight; as, being rather below the road, it often escapes the
observation of those who are enclosed within that "narrow receptacle for
the living," a bullock-waggon.

We reached the Zwart-kops, the spot appointed for our out-spanning for
the night, [unyoking the oxen and turning them out to graze] at about
five o'clock.  The scene was certainly very beautiful.  Imagine a vast
plain of fair green meadow-land, intersected, and in fact divided into
parterres, by tall thick bushes, which here and there grew in clumps and
copses, giving the ground the appearance of a vast park laid out with a
great deal of taste,--an amphitheatre of hills and mountains rising one
behind another, till the summits in the distance blended with the
clouds, gorgeously illuminated by the rays of the declining sun, whose
glory was soon succeeded by the milder light of the "gentle moon,"
beside which the comet, in strange contrast, spread its long and fiery
tail.  One by one the tents had risen "side by side in beautiful array."
Arms were now piled; the younger soldiers, tired with their first
march, lounged on the ground in clusters, till roused by the older and
more experienced men, who despatched them to gather wood and fetch
water; and more than a hundred fires soon lit up the camp.

In a short time our own preparations for comfort, refreshment, and
repose had been made.  The tent was pitched, the fire lit in the nearest
bush, and the kettle and gridiron put on.  We had brought with us an
Indian kitchen [Jones's Patent Indian Kitchen], a most compact thing;
but, unfortunately, it had been packed up in a chest too securely to be
got at without much trouble; and, as we were only a party of three, we
resolved on doing without it as long as we could.  For any number of
persons it is invaluable, but for two or three a gridiron, kettle, and
saucepan are, or ought to be, enough.  Our servant had also put away the
bellows and the hatchet; and, though the wind sometimes served us in
lieu of the one, we were frequently obliged to borrow the other, when we
halted.  Having cold fowls, tongue, bacon, bread, butter, tea, sugar,
and a bottle of milk [Note 2], and good store of wine, in our
provision-basket, we did uncommonly well, roasting our potatoes in the
ashes, comforting ourselves on the cold grass (not having thought of a
tent-mat or table), with some warm negus.  A piece of string wound round
the pole of the tent, held a wax candle, but the wind rendering its
light flickering and uncertain, we stuck a bayonet in the ground, and it
made a very convenient and certainly characteristic candlestick.  The
meal and its fragments having been cleared away, our beds were made in
the tent, which had been comfortably pitched (by an old soldier of the
27th, long used to the colony), with its back to the wind; we were thus
screened from that, and could not well be inconvenienced by a shower.

Comparative quiet and much order now reigned in the camp.  Every tent
became more clearly defined as the evening advanced, and the sky formed
a darker background for the moon, the stars, and the refulgent comet.
Round the fires were assembled groups of soldiers, women resting
themselves, as they called it, poor creatures, with babies on their
knees,--Hottentots playing their rude violins, and merry voices joining
in the chorus, led by neighbouring singers.  Sounds of mirth issued from
the tents of others; and the steam of savoury soup gave evidence of the
proximity of the mess-tent and the talents of "little Paddy Farrell,"--
the incomparable cook.  Dinner there was always late, the officers never
sitting down to solace themselves with good cheer till their men had
been well cared for, and their different positions established for the
night.  Now and then the brazen tongue of a bugle intruded its call upon
the stillness of the hour, and helped to disperse the groups gathered
round the fire for a time, till the duty to which it had summoned them
being done, they either returned to the social circle they had left, or
secured a corner in a tent "licensed to hold fifteen inside" to sleep
in.  Gradually, the voices of the singers became mute; the feeble cries
of sleepy infants superseded the monotonous tones of the Hottentot
fiddles.  Snoring "matches" seemed to be "got up," as it were, between
sundry waggon-drivers and their neighbours, they having their mats
spread under the waggons; the peals of laughter among the revellers
became less frequent, and at length ceased altogether.  The fires grew
dim, and the moon and her companions in the sky alone lit up the scene;
tents were closed and the sound of the last bugle died away in the
hushed night air, leaving all silent, peaceful, and at rest.

Although only fifteen miles from Port Elizabeth, I had been led to
expect that I should hear the distant cry of the jackal, and the howl of
the wolf; but, in spite of the bed being spread upon nothing but grass,
in spite of the more than "whispers of the night breeze" which would be
heard from under the flap of the tent, I never slept so soundly in my

I was up and dressed with my child, ready for the march, at half-past
five.  The scene of that morning, though of a different character,
almost equalled in beauty the one we had so much admired on the
preceding evening.  The regiment was drawn up on a natural parade of
smooth green turf, bounded by bush, and the background of the eastern
hills was glowing at the approach of the sun, who, as he advanced in
radiant majesty, tipped with gold the glittering arms and appointments
of the soldiers, and shed an acceptable warmth upon us as we left the
dewy grass, for the rough and stony mountain road before us.  Up this
hill the regiment wound, preceding the waggons,--now presenting a
glittering cluster of arms, and now being altogether lost to the sight
in the thick bush with which the ascent was clothed.  A long line of
nineteen waggons brought up the rear, and, as we proceeded, four hundred
men in advance--women, children, and baggage, wending their way slowly
and steadily after them, I could not but commune in my own mind on the
ways of that inscrutable and unquestionable Providence, by the working
of whose will, England, from her original state of ignorance,
insignificance, and barbarism, is now the chief ruling power in the
world, and sendeth her ships and her soldiers, (in defiance of what to
other countries would perhaps be insurmountable obstacles, when we
consider the dangers and difficulties arising from climates and
localities ill-suited to European habits and constitutions), "even to
the uttermost parts of the earth."

The day (March 8) became dreadfully hot; towards noon the sun had full
sway.  Not a cloud shaded the heavens; and, though the country we passed
through was rich in bush, there were no shady trees, and water was
extremely scarce.

The men being much fatigued with the previous day's march, it was
determined to divide the next long march of thirty-two miles into two;
and such an arrangement was not only merciful but absolutely necessary,
as man by man fell by the roadside overpowered with the heat, foot-tired
and faint for want of water.  About one hour before we halted on the
second day, we came suddenly upon a pool, where a large herd of sheep
and goats (the property of a neighbouring farmer) were drinking.  The
men shouted aloud joyfully; and rushing precipitately to the pool, put
their lips to the element, (which, though muddy, was to them most
grateful), and drank copiously of the unwholesome draught.  Several
became ill after doing so; and, instead of being refreshed by it, were
rendered less capable of proceeding than before.  Fifteen stragglers
fell out of one company, and were probably only induced to crawl after
the battalion that evening by the dread of wild beasts.  On reaching
Sunday River, we learned that such a fear was not without a foundation,
as five lions had, within the last few days, been seen drinking at the
river side.  Most gladly did I find, on reaching the "Outspan," that a
bed could be obtained at the snug, small house of Mr Rose, the
Field-Cornet, close to the encampment: there, too, we obtained fresh
butter, a leg of mutton, and some good English ale and porter, but
rejoiced most in copious ablutions and clean bedding.  My companions
laughed much at my increased admiration of an encampment by moonlight
that night, as I left it for a comfortable roof.  "It certainly," said
I, "is a very pretty sighted--_at a distance_."

We were up with the dawn next morning, and crossed the beautiful ford of
the Sunday River, at sunrise.  "Who would imagine," thought I, "that
such a scene of peace and beauty should be one of the fastnesses for
wild beasts?"  Green boughs met each other across the stream.  Down such
a pleasant-looking river I had often glided in "merry England," singing,
by the way, with young companions, to the gay music of our guitars,
while the plash of oars kept time to the measure of our happy voices.
There, in our own happy land, no lions prowled in our neighbourhood, no
panthers could we fancy glaring on us from the bush, no venomous
reptiles awaited our feet as we stepped upon the green sod from the
boat.  A South African climate is beautiful all the year round, except
when visited by terrific thunderstorms, with their usual accompaniments
of hail, rain, and lightning.  Ah! that word "except;"--"except" for our
dark November days and painful frosts, England would be an
unexceptionable residence; still, even with these outward discomforts,
look at our fire-sides!

But why go dreaming back from the brimming, shady Sunday River to the
"stately homes of England!"  On, on! and let us be thankful, that so far
from home there is yet so much to be thankful for, and to enjoy.  Oh!
for the blessed philosophy which teaches us to make light of every
thing!  Truly, content is riches!  In a moral point of view, may it not
be considered as bearing an analogy to the story of the philosopher's
stone, (always remembering the one to be theory, the other practicable),
which was supposed to possess the gift of transmuting whatever the
possessor of it touched into gold?

On, then, through the river!  The sun is up upon the hills; the troops
are refreshed, the oxen willing, the day balmy, and the road better than
I expected.  How the mimosa-bushes scent the air! and here and there
some, taller than the others, fling down a pleasant shade, affording
cool resting-places for the travellers.

At night we outspanned on the Quagga Flats, not so beautifully
picturesque as the spots we had hitherto selected, but still pretty well
wooded and watered.  Here, for the first time, owing to the rain, which
began to fall in torrents, we slept in the waggon,--an arrangement I did
not at all like; its narrow and close shape give to an excitable mind
the idea of the German story of the "Iron Shroud."  I was awakened in
the middle of the night, by the lowing of the cattle and the rattling of
the horse's halter, by which he was fixed to the wheel.  We soon found
that the restlessness thus manifested by the poor animals arose from the
noise of neighbouring wolves, which are always more likely to approach
the dwellings of man in wet than in favourable weather.  The rain poured
in torrents, the violence of which can only be understood by those who
have experienced it.  Fortunately, the morning proved tolerably fine,
and we proceeded, in the usual order, through the Addo Bush, the scenery
decreasing in beauty as we advanced, but still affording a tolerable
supply of wood and water at the spots where we outspanned.  I had read
and heard much of steenboks, and other noble game, but we saw nothing of
the kind, not even a monkey; nor did we even hear the laugh of the hyena
at night.  Others said they had done so; but we did not.

Among some of the most remarkable things we observed were the ant-hills,
that were scattered all over the face of the country through which we
passed.  On a green plain they reminded us of hay-cocks in England,
being about that size.  Their similarity in shape to the huts built by
the Fingoes, Kaffirs, and, indeed, almost all savage nations, is not the
least curious feature in their appearance.  I had imagined that the ants
themselves were the only architects of these ingenious buildings, but I
was told by the Hottentot drivers that they take possession of a hole
which has been forsaken by the mole (which, indeed, they sometimes
attack and hunt out of its domicile), and thus obtain a foundation, on
which to begin the upper works of their establishment.

In consequence of the second day's march having been divided into two,
we did not reach Sly Kraal (twelve miles from Graham's Town) till
Saturday.  Ere we did reach it, however, we were overtaken by the most
terrific thunder-storm I had ever witnessed, save on the night of our
memorable wreck in Table Bay.  Those who have never witnessed one can
have no idea of such storms as those to be met with in South Africa.
All the artillery of heaven seems opening at once, while floods of light
struggle for mastery with torrents of rain and hailstones.  The
knowledge that such storms are often attended with danger, makes their
approach more awful.  The place where we were overtaken by the one to
which I allude was a barren spot, only varied by rocky eminences here
and there, and scattered over with loose stones and pieces of rock.  The
horizon was bounded by vast mountains, the tops of which were vividly
illumined by the continued blaze of the lightning.  The ground soon
became so slippery that it was considered almost unsafe to proceed; men
and officers were drenched to the skin, and there, in the height of the
storm, we, poor helpless crowd, were obliged to await its progress and
abatement.  The waggon conductor, Pullen, (a most amusing character, as
well as a useful and obliging man), was as much to be pitied as any one,
since many who were annoyed with the detention, would not listen to
reason, and were very much inclined to quarrel with him for it.  As for
me, I could hardly bear to see the little flasks of brandy handed about
among the few to whom it could be distributed, while the weary, thirsty,
shivering soldiers stood by, looking on.  The violence of the hail and
rain decreased at last, and we essayed proceeding, but had not gone far
before we were obliged to descend from our vehicles, as one of the
passes had become dangerous, from the softness of the earth in
consequence of the rain.  Well may it be said, "God tempers the wind to
the shorn lamb!"  Many who might have caught cold in moving from one
room to another less heated, awaited the passing of the waggons up to
their insteps in water, and went on their journey with damp feet, and
with rain drops pattering through the tops of the waggons.

Wet, weary, and hungry, we reached Sly Kraal at last.  Here we were to
rest till Monday; for the waggon conductor would not suffer them to
proceed on the Sunday, and we thus passed two nights and a day in the

The kindness of Providence is manifested in providing the South African
traveller with wood that is not the less capable of ignition from being
wet.  Our tents, saturated as they were, were soon pitched; but we were
again obliged to sleep in the waggon, which we did most soundly, after a
welcome meal of carbonatje [meat toasted on a wooden prong before the
fire, or broiled on the ashes], brown bread, and warm negus.  The sun
burst into the waggon in all his glory, the next morning, and, although
within so short a distance of Graham's Town, I cannot but admit that I
was glad of one day's rest before my _entree_ into the capital of the
frontier.  We had, indeed, been so thoroughly knocked up, that, though
refreshed by sleep, the having time for ablutions and the selection of
clean linen was a great treat on such a journey.  The Sabbath of the
12th of March was thus passed in camp.  The ground we had taken up
reminded me of the grouse moors in Scotland, and in the wildest parts of
Yorkshire, and we were told there was abundance of game about; at
dinner, indeed, we were regaled with some hare-soup, sent to us from the
mess-tent.  As we approached the end of our journey, I could not but
acknowledge how much better we had got through it than I had
anticipated; and, accustomed to judge of things by comparison, to seek
content, in fact, by measuring my own case, with that of those who are
worse off, rather than those who have more apparent luxuries than
myself, I felt thankful, in spite of the anxiety and fatigue I had
encountered, for all the benefits bestowed on us; and, while I pondered
gratefully, as I rested on cushions spread on a mat within the shadow of
the tent, I learned that a poor woman had been confined the evening
before, just as the waggons came to their resting-places.  I went to
visit her immediately, though the sight would have been enough to make
one weep, had it not been for the cheerful voice of the poor soldier's
wife herself.  She sat up in the waggon with her husband's cloak and a
blanket under her for a bed, a small red handkerchief round her neck,
her new-born infant in her arms, and three other children gathered round
her.  But, oh! the kind voices and ready hands which helped and cheered
her! and, instead of repining at her fatigue and trouble, she looked up
at the sky, and observed, "it was a blessed, gladsome day."  I left her,
satisfied that that wretched vehicle contained lighter hearts than many
a darkened room, where closed shutters and costly draperies shut out the
noise of the uncaring world, and the glare of a too saucy sun from the
heirs of vast possessions.

On Monday, at six o'clock we started on the last day's march, and
reached the hill above Graham's Town, a little before nine a.m.  Here we
were met by crowds of Hottentot women: some of them young, rather
pretty, and decidedly graceful.  They came bounding on to meet the drums
and fifes, and with their red-handkerchief head-dresses, gay-coloured
clothes, and glittering ornaments, formed a picturesque group, as they
danced on in front of the battalion, to the great entertainment of the
soldiers.  At the very top of the hill, the band of the Cape Mounted
Rifles awaited our approach; their appearance, in their plumed shakos
and scarlet trousers, being very showy.  A little further on, we were
met by the band of the 91st (attached to the first battalion), and that
of the 75th; and in this gay order we entered Graham's Town, the bands
relieving each other, and playing the liveliest airs.  Here, a Hottentot
woman tossed her arms aloft, and spun round to the tune of "Nix my
dolly, pals," there, a driver snapped his fingers to "Rory O'More."
These two tunes, and the "Sprig of shillelah," seemed their especial
favourites; and, if the dancers did not move with the stateliness of
Taglioni, or the airy grace of Cerito, they certainly rivalled them in
the activity of their limbs and the steadiness of their heads; for they
whirled round and round, like the Dervishes in the Arabian Nights.  The
sun illuminated the town, lying within its sheltering circle of hill and
mountain, the rabble shouted welcome, and all looked glad as they
approached their destination (although only a temporary one for some of
us), and the well-spread table, and cleanly appearance of the apartments
provided, truly gave promise of "ease in mine inn."


Note 1.  This fine jetty was destroyed in a gale of wind, in 1847, by a
ship, which, having broken from her moorings, was driven, stern
foremost, right through the fabric.  The unfortunate crew, jumping from
the ship to the lower end of the jetty, had congratulated themselves on
their escape from the raging waves, when another vessel coming in
contact with the wood-work, carried the whole of it away with its
unhappy and ill-starred freight into the boiling surge beneath!

Note 2.  It is very unsafe, when travelling in Southern Africa, to trust
to procuring _anything_ on the road; such a chance is very uncertain.
Milk, boiled with plenty of white sugar, will keep good if bottled, for
three days at least.



We left Graham's Town for Fort Peddie, on the 22nd of March, 1843, the
waggon allowed by the Commissariat being only half the size of the one
we obtained at Port Elizabeth.  Just as we were about to start, we were
ordered to halt and await further orders; and then I had to listen to a
variety of reports.  Some said another regiment had arrived at Cape
Town, and we were to proceed to Natal; others whispered something about
the Isle of France.  At all events, important despatches had reached
Graham's Town from the seat of Government.  So there was I, in my
waggon, hired and packet for Fort Peddie, the troops under arms, the
commissariat preparations made for the march, the tents struck, etc, and
a probability of all these arrangements being upset.  At last, a mounted
orderly arrived, full of important haste, and breathless, as becomes a
herald of South African counter-orders.  The detachment was to be
detained--for an hour--I forget what for, something about a few extra
men, or arms, and we were thus delayed till the afternoon, when we
proceeded as far as we could, and pitched our tents on the top of one of
many hills, between which the wind came rushing in gusts that threatened
to withdraw our shelter from over our heads.  My child I screened a
little from the chilling wind by placing a saddle in an angle at her
head--a novel addition to the couch of a young lady.

The next day's journey led us over grassy plains, in which the mimosa,
with its bright golden clusters, abounded; and on the third day from
Graham's Town we reached Trumpeter's Drift.  Here we were detained for
two days, owing to the swollen state of the river.  When we crossed it,
we sent the waggons before us, ere we took our seats in the ferry-boats,
as it is not an unusual thing to be wrecked in the Great Fish River,
although seated in a ponderous waggon drawn by fourteen oxen.  The
following ingenious mode of crossing a river was once displayed by a
Kaffir who had for some time stood watching the vain attempts of a party
of soldiers to struggle across the stream at a time when to ford it was
attended by considerable danger.  After smiling at their efforts with
that sardonic expression remarkable among these savages, he quietly
raised a heavy stone, placed it on his head, and then walked, with
perfect ease, through the torrent to the opposite side.

Another instance of Kaffir ingenuity has been related to me.  A
missionary and his family were travelling in severely cold weather; now
and then they lighted fires, warmed themselves, and then went on.  The
Kaffir drivers snatched brands from the fires, running on in advance,
setting fire to the bushes on the roadside, returning to the waggons,
again advancing, and so on, till they left a long line of fiery bushes
in the track they had passed over.

One of our waggons stuck in the mud on its way; the drivers shouted, the
dogs barked, the oxen struggled, but all in vain till the soldiers lent
their assistance.

It is said that Trumpeter's Drift is so called from a trumpeter of the
21st Light Dragoons having been lost in the river one dark night.  It is
a small post about twenty miles from Graham's Town.  The little barrack
for the soldiers and the officer commanding, faces inwards upon a
quadrangle, and makes but a dull abode, the windows looking into the
little square, and the air being admitted through loop-holes in the
outward walls.  This gives the quarters a dreary appearance; but, in a
land of savages determined to annoy us whenever they dare, and in whom
no faith should be placed, prevention is better than cure.

Fort Peddie, from a distance, reminds one of Cooper's descriptions of
groups of buildings erected by settlers in the prairies of America.  The
Fingo huts scattered all round favour the delusion, especially at night,
when dark figures stalk to and fro, dimly seen in the light of their
fires, and the chant I have endeavoured to describe rises and falls on
the air.  It was worthy of English philanthropy to rescue the Fingoes
from their captivity, under their hard taskmasters, the Kaffirs; but
their idleness is almost incredible.  It is true that on occasion they
are able assistants to the Government agents in rescuing stolen cattle;
but for this they are amply rationed.  The Missionaries are
indefatigable in teaching them their catechism; but no attempt is made
to fit the women for service.  Idle they are, and idle they will be; and
we foster their idleness by protecting them with troops, while they
absolutely refuse to milk the cows, unless they want money at the

As Fort Peddie is on the eastern side of the Great Fish River, which is
frequently impassable from its swollen state, we were often without the
comforts of butter, rice, flour, wine, etc.  The mutton, of the Cape
breed, is indifferent, and the beef execrable.  The bread was of the
coarsest description.  Poultry could only be obtained, when the Fingoes
took the trouble to catch their fowls and sell them.

Since the Kaffir war, a tower has been built here, on the top of which
is a six-pounder.  An excellent barrack has been built for the Cape
corps, and another for the troops of the line, but as yet no officers'
quarter.  The houses which are scattered about the plain on which the
fortifications stand, (for, besides the barracks, there is another
temporary fortress thrown up from the earth, and protected by a ditch),
give a picturesque air to the spot, and the thatched cottages and white
chimneys rising above the few trees which have thriven round them, make
a tolerable picture to look at, however little comfort there is to be
found within them.  The climate is certainly good, especially in the
winter, which reminds one of our English autumnal days.  The hot winds
occasionally prevailing in the summer, when the thermometer is at 120
degrees, are most unpleasant; but the house may be kept cool by closing
and darkening doors and windows.  These winds never last many days.  I
must not omit to mention our simple barometer, which saves us the
trouble of carrying one about.  Thus, take a bottle with a wide neck--a
large anchovy bottle for instance--and fill it nearly up to the neck
with water; into this insert an inverted empty salad flask, or bottle of
such description, and in the neck of the flask place a loose piece of
cork, of a size that will admit of its free movement up and down.  The
falling of the cork indicates the approach of wet or windy weather,
while the rising of it foretells it will be fair.  Mention is made of
such a barometer in some old Dutch manuscript lately brought under
observation at the Cape.

And now, having given an abstract of particulars relative to the
inhabitants of this land, in order to explain their relations to our
Government, and the character of the people among whom England has
established settlers and soldiers, I shall begin to relate such
occurrences as I witnessed during my sojourn on the eastern side of the
Great Fish River; I shall not confine myself strictly to either the
diary or the narrative form, but shall use either as it may seem best to
answer my purpose of giving my reader a lively idea of the events that I
attempt to describe.

In looking over my rough journal, I find the part best worth
transcribing is dated April 12th, 1843, and opens with a description of
the "Entrance of Sandilla to Fort Peddie."

"I was sitting at my work one morning in my low cottage room, when the
tramp of horses' feet, long continued, like troops on a march, attracted
my attention.  I looked out, and saw across the plain a crowd of
wild-looking horsemen.  A young man was at the head of them, preceded by
an advanced guard, armed and mounted.  Forty others followed their
chief, the young Sandilla, son of old Gaika, and head of the Gaika
tribe, his mother being Sutu, a Tambookie; he is also nephew to Macomo,
at present _nominally_ our ally.  The appearance of this troop was
certainly picturesque; a bright handkerchief formed the head-dress of
each, save one, whose head was shaved in token of mourning.  The corners
of the handkerchiefs hanging down on the left side, gave a jaunty air to
the said head-gear; the kaross concealed the form but the feet and right
arm, the right hand carrying the war allowance of seven assegais.  They
rode on in great precision, the advance guard alone preceding the chief,
who was professedly on his way to visit Mr Shepstone, but was supposed
to be sent out of the way of a council at Beaufort, under some pretext,
by Macomo, as it was well-known that Mr Shepstone was absent.
Sandilla, being of royal blood, great jealousy is felt towards him; he
is imagined by some to be a fool, by others a knave.  He has always an
Imrad (councillor) at his elbow, who watches him, and, as he speaks no
English, interprets for him, and is no doubt his principal guide in
words and deeds.

"Not long ago, a picture was exhibited in London of Sandilla, in his
boyhood, and a note appended to the picture informed the curious that
`this young prince might be considered a fortunate youth, since, in the
first instant of his birth, he stood a chance of being destroyed in
consequence of his left foot being withered, but that during the war, he
was concealed, and taken care of; otherwise, but for his extreme youth,
he would have been sought out and murdered by some of his uncles, who
would gladly have established themselves in his government, which is
superior to most others; the Gaika Chief being head of many other great
tribes, each having their chiefs with petty chiefs under them.'  His
uncle, Bothman, long ago seceded from Sandilla, establishing a tribe for
himself, despising him as a chief on account of his youth: he is now
barely one and twenty.

"Sandilla and his followers hung about the post for two or three days,
and were remarkably insolent in their demands; asking for rations as a
right, and carrying off as much firewood as they wanted on their
bivouac, from the wood-stacks of the inhabitants.  They went to every
house with the usual cry of `Baseila!' and asking for wine and tobacco.

"I was standing with my husband on the green, round which the fort,
tower, barracks, and outbuildings are erected, at Fort Peddie, when
Sandilla, himself on horseback, but with two followers on foot, came up
to us at full tilt.  When in front of us he reined in his horse, and,
leaning forward in his sheepskin saddle, took a quiet survey of us.
There was something singularly wild and almost interesting in his
demeanour.  For a minute, he sate with his gleaming eyes glancing from
one to the other with an intensely earnest look, and helplessly at his
horse's side hung down his withered foot and ankle, no larger than a
child's.  Near him, in silence, stood his two followers,
magnificent-looking creatures, with complexions of dark olive, set off
by their bright blue head-dresses.  Their attitudes, as they leaned on
their assegais, were easy and graceful.  So they stood, till their young
chief had finished his survey, while we repaid him glance for glance.
Sandilla then spoke in a low, muttered tone to his followers, who
repeated, as if demanding a right, `Baseila!'  But we had nothing with
us, and, after another examination of our countenances, Sandilla turned
his horse away, and galloped off without further salutation, his running
footmen keeping pace with his swift steed.  They then established
themselves at our cottage-garden gate; but at last, getting tired of
waiting for us, the crowd of savage cavalry withdrew to the position
they had fixed on for the night, about a mile from the post.  In a few
days, they departed, in the same order as they came.

"Our most interesting visitor is the Christian Kaffir Chief, Kama; his
habits and demeanour are those of a gentleman, his dress is of good,
though plain materials, and his mild voice, coupled with his smooth and
gentle language, is pleasant to listen to.  He has long been a convert
to Christianity, and is so conscientious that, some time ago, he created
a dangerous party against himself by sending back to her country a
Tambookie woman [the Tambookies are considered as a royal race of
Kaffirs]--who had been offered him as a wife--saying that the religion
he had embraced permitted him only one wife.  On the Tambookies
complaining to his brother-in-law, Macomo, the latter declined
interfering, whether from from policy or good feeling is doubtful.  So
uncertain is Kama of the good faith of his brothers, Pato and Cobus
Congo, that he is about to remove to the Bechuana country, where he
intends putting himself under the protection of Mosheesh, the Basoota
Chief, and having, like Mosheesh, a house built in the English style.
So far, Mosheesh is civilised; but on my asking how many wives he had,
he replied, `Perhaps a hundred!'

"We showed Kama, the other day, a six-barrelled revolving pistol, and an
air-cane.  What wonder and admiration were depicted in his fine
countenance!  The Kaffir seldom expresses open surprise; all that he
says is `Soh! soh!' repeated slowly, and with a reflective air.  Kama
was more delighted with the workmanship of the pistol, than with the
wonderful power of the air-cane.

"One day, while we were seated at dinner, with the door open, the day
being warm, Cobus Congo walked in.  He had on an old artillery uniform,
which belonged to the late Colonel Storey.  On that day, as it was
Cobus's first visit, we did not turn him out, but we resolved on not
following the foolish custom of permitting the Kaffirs to take, with us,
liberties which are not suffered among themselves.  Old Pato, also, with
his panther eyes, came up to the door, begging, as usual; and, when they
had obtained the tobacco we gave to get rid of them, off they walked, no
doubt thinking us great fools for our pains."

Another entry in my journal refers to the dispute between Umhala and
Gasella, which was considered of sufficient importance to bring the
Lieutenant-Governor, with a hundred men of the 71st, and fifty of the
Cape Corps, to Fort Peddie.  I find the account of the quarrel and its
consequences in my journal tally so exactly with that given in the
"Graham's Town Journal," that I quote the latter:--

"The outline of the facts connected with this affair, is as follows:--
The youths of two neighbouring tribes, as is often customary when they
happen to meet, had engaged in a fray, in the course of which some of
them were hurt, and one of them is said to have been killed.  On this,
the father of one of these boys, a petty chief, belonging to Sandilla's
tribe, proceeded to the kraal of Gasella, to whom he demeaned himself so
insolently, that the chief, irritated beyond endurance, knocked him
down, and commanded him to be driven from the place.  This appears to
have been seized upon as a sufficient pretext for carrying into
execution the design long entertained of crippling the power of Gasella,
and driving him from his present position, where, with his well-known
friendly disposition towards the colony, he has been a most vexatious
check upon the forays of the neighbouring tribes upon the cattle and
horses of the colonial farmers.

"To understand this matter aright, it may be necessary to explain that
Gasella resides in the very centre of Kaffirland, his kraals occupying a
tract of open country at the base of the Amatola Mountains, at the
extreme point of the range which then turns towards the Tambookie
country.  These mountains are of a most impracticable character, rugged,
encumbered with impervious thicket, and acclivitous,--and hence, the
spot occupied by Gasella, just at the apex of the bend, is the key or
high-road into Hintza's country, and also into the interior of
Tambookie-land.  It will appear very evident from this sketch, that such
a position, occupied by a chief so friendly disposed towards the colony
as Gasella has proved himself to be, must be a continual source of
annoyance to those tribes who consider the plunder of the colonists as
nothing more than a kind of primitive commerce, and who appear to think
that the colonists should supply them, without grumbling, with beef and
mutton, and saddle-horses, whenever they may please to require them.

"The present moment appears favourable for disabusing the Kaffirs, and
their apologists, of these notions, and we have now to learn whether the
Government will permit the design in question to succeed, or whether, by
prompt and efficient interference, the Kaffirs shall be taught to
respect British authority--and be convinced that those who act
faithfully towards the colony will not be suffered, for their fidelity,
to be crushed by their refractory and dishonest countrymen.  Gasella has
long requested the support of the British Government, and it is
important to remember that there is no point in Kaffirland where a force
might be placed with so much advantage to the colony and so well
calculated to secure the peace of Kaffirland, as the territory from
whence an attempt is now being made to drive the chief in question.

"It is creditable to the Lieutenant-Governor that he appears resolved to
act with determination in this matter, and to sustain Gasella against
his enemies.  His Honour is now at Fort Peddie, whence a message had
been sent by him to Umhala, requiring his attendance.  The messengers
returned on Tuesday with Umhala's reply, viz--`I am also a chief,
therefore I will not come at the bidding of his Honour.  I say so
because I have not yet heard who has complained of me to the Government,
and because I know not for what reason I am called--_therefore I will
not come_!!'  Another message has been sent him, to the effect that his
Honour holds him responsible to the British for the welfare of Gasella,
and requires Umhala's attendance at Fort Peddie forthwith, and that if
he does not appear, he (the Lieutenant-Governor) will enter his country
with troops, and he (Umhala) must abide the consequences.  In the
meantime, more troops are ordered from Fort Beaufort on this

Colonel Hare and his aide-de-camp arrived at Fort Peddie on the 24th of
April, 1843, drenched to the skin, and without even a change of clothes,
till the Orderly and saddle-bags arrived.  The 91st and the Cape Corps
had been hurried away from church parade; and one could not but admire
the example of a man in Colonel Hare's position in not staying to
provide himself with personal comforts, which were even permitted to the
soldier; for the Lieutenant-Governor, with the possibility of being
obliged to proceed into Kaffirland before him, had neither tent nor
waggon at command for his own personal convenience.

More troops were under orders at Fort Beaufort.  Day after day, during
the week, some subtle message was received from Umhala.  He was
evidently delaying his march till his spies brought him intelligence
from Fort Peddie, and till, as he himself expressed it (affecting
courtesy, but intending insolence), he had collected a force of
sufficient number to meet Colonel Hare's assemblage.  Umhala, as was
afterwards proved, was lingering in the neighbourhood, conferring with
his brother Umki, and his nephew Sandilla, both of whom are bitterly
opposed to Gasella.  It was said by many worthy of credence, that these
plots had long been concocting between the parties; hence, probably,
arose Sandilla's unexpected and protracted visit to Fort Peddie, whither
he was accompanied by Umki.

On Saturday, April 29th, Colonel Hare, learning that Umhala was resting
at a missionary station four miles from Peddie, with the intention of
advancing to the council on the following Monday, resolved on leaving
the meeting to the arrangement of Major Lamont, next in command; and,
having become acquainted with the leading features of the case, returned
to his duties at Graham's Town.  Umhala had at first proposed to bring
his followers to Peddie on Sunday, but this was not to be permitted, nor
was he at all events to approach nearer to it than Somerset Mount, about
four miles off.  Having ascertained from Mr Shepstone that the meeting
would be a peaceable one, I was prevailed on to accompany my husband and
his brother officers to the conference, and at nine in the morning of
the 30th of April we rode out, keeping pretty close to the Cape Corps,
the _Roed Batjes_, or red-jackets (as they term the British troops on
the frontier) being left at Fort Peddie in reserve.  It was a lovely
morning, resembling in its temperature the opening of one of our warm
spring days.  The mimosa-bushes, more powerful than our own May, yet
reminded us of its redolence; but there were no singing-birds.  This is
one of our wants in South Africa.  A kind of swallow, though, which
built its long bottle-mouthed nest in our verandah, occasionally
enlivened us with its merry chirrup and long trill, clear as a silver

I own to feeling a little bewildered; the arrival of more troops at Fort
Peddie had been sudden, and the total want of provision for comfort
among the officers, called forth activity in at least making them
welcome to such refreshments as we could offer; while the determination
to witness the proceedings of the conference having been a thing of a
moment, produced a certain degree of excitement not easily to be
subdued.  As we proceeded, the advance guard hastened on in front, and I
confess that, when they made a sudden halt, and called out in Dutch that
the Kaffirs were in sight, my heart fluttered.  As a corrective to this,
I gave my horse his head at once, and kept up, at a little distance from
the road, with the hand-gallop of the troops.  Be it remembered, in
defence of my womanly attributes, which I would not abjure for the
world, that I had the greatest faith in Mr Shepstone's assurance that
the Kaffirs would be peaceably disposed as long as we remained so, and I
knew his information, from his knowledge of their character and policy,
to be correct.  Still, I own to the beating of my heart, and a slight
coldness about the lips.  On, however, I went, determined to resist the
feeling; and the fresh morning air, the sight of English officers, and
the knowledge of the effectiveness of the accompanying troops, soon
dissipated my nervous feelings.  Before us, advancing down the hills,
was Umhala, mounted, and surrounded by his followers, also mounted, in
number about two hundred.  As soon, apparently, as they had obtained a
full and fair view of us, enabling them to estimate pretty accurately
our number, they dismounted.  Away went their horses, none being
saddled, nor, apparently, bridled, to enjoy the sweets of the fresh
grass.  Then the Kaffir chief and his people formed themselves into a
phalanx, certainly of most warlike appearance; each man bearing his war
allowance of seven assegais, and carrying a musket in his right hand.
Now, too, I remarked that the blanket and brown coverlid had almost
superseded the kaross.  In a short time, they formed themselves into a
semicircle, six or eight deep, Umhala himself, in European costume--
resembling a mechanic's Sunday coat and trousers, and with a hat to
match--being seated in the centre.  Down they all squatted, with their
arms close by them, for use in case of need.  The English commissioners
(for so we may term Major Lamont and Mr Shepstone) shook hands with
Umhala, as he rose from his seat and advanced to give them a civil
greeting, as the latter did also with his adversary, Gasella, who had
ridden with us to the conference.

Umhala then retired to his position, and there was a silence of some
minutes, the Kaffirs examining us with their keen glances, and we, in
turn, looking at them in true English style, "straight in the face."  At
last, after a long pause, Mr Shepstone entered upon the business of the
meeting, by reading to them a translation, in the Kaffir language, of
Colonel Hare's letter, demanding Umhala's reason for annoying and
letting his people annoy Gasella, etc, etc.  After due deliberation, and
sundry whispers between his Hemraaden, or councillors, and himself,
Umhala began his reply by apologies for keeping Colonel Hare at Fort
Peddie, in expectation of his arrival.  He said "the weather had been
severe, the rains had made the roads heavy for his horses, his people
were unable to hurry themselves," and so forth; and all this apology was
delivered in a cold sarcastic tone, indicative of a contempt he scarcely
cared to conceal.  He denied much that Gasella had stated, though the
story was well authenticated; and, though I could not understand the
language, the characters of the two chiefs were manifested in their
deportment.  Umhala spoke slowly and deliberately, having listened
patiently (with an occasional ejaculation of "Soh," "Soh," at each
period) to Mr Shepstone's address.  Now and then he smiled scornfully,
and with an air of mock civility, towards Gasella, and the whole import
of his speech appeared to me to mean this--"I hate you--you are the ally
of the English; we dare not touch you now, as you are surrounded by
them, but this is only temporary, we will annihilate you whenever a good
opportunity offers."  I found afterwards that my translation was
wonderfully literal.

Gasella, in replying, rather lost his temper, and no wonder, finding
that Umhala denied everything, and persisted that his adversary had
seriously injured the Imrad, though he had taken care to leave the said
Imrad at the kraal, where he had been seen a day or two before, by an
agent of Mr Shepstone's, and was reported perfectly free from injury.

Finding the meeting such a peaceful-looking affair, another officer's
wife who was of the party, proposed that she and I should ride on half a
mile farther, to the missionary station, but it was thought unadvisable;
and it was as well we remained where we were, for we learned that the
peaceful valley behind the site of the council contained a thousand
armed Kaffirs, Umhala fearing we might attempt to take him prisoner.
The sight of those savages would have been unpleasant, though, without a
signal from their chief, they would not have molested us.  On each
hill-top, looking gigantic, as the clear sky threw out their forms in
strong relief, were scouts--their blankets or karosses flying in the
wind, and their assegais over their shoulders--placed there, no doubt,
to watch our proceedings, and alarm Umhala's "reserve battalion," in the
event of our displaying hostile intent.

Umhala asked several times, in a tone of quiet impertinence, "by what
right Colonel Hare had summoned him at all?  What proof was there of his
hostility towards Gasella?" and thus Umhala sneered, and Mr Shepstone
remonstrated, and little shabby Gasella scolded, and then the council
was dissolved, it being decided that Gasella, having already paid a
heavier fine of cattle than he ought to have done, should pay no more,
although Umhala had demanded fifty head above what Gasella had given, as
compensation for the Imrad's pretended injury.

As we returned from the scene of the council, which had taken place on
an elevation crowned with mimosa-bushes, the phalanx rose, and one fired
a musket in the air, a genuine _feu de joie_, no doubt, at our peaceful

Gasella returned to Fort Peddie with us, and, in the afternoon, the
troops marched back to Graham's Town.  Though Gasella gained his point
in not paying the cattle demanded by Umhala, it would eventually be
taken openly, or stolen from him.  In short, the meeting between these
two adverse chiefs reminded me of two quarrelsome boys being summoned
before the master, reprimanded, and sent away, both being more bitter
enemies than before, and the stronger one resolved to have his revenge
on the weaker as soon as he gets him into a quiet corner.

I was rather amused at the "introduction" of the chief Gasella to me, on
the evening before the council was to meet.  I was sitting over the
fire, chatting with an officer, when, Pato and an inferior Kaffir came
in, followed by a dirty, miserable little man, in a threadbare surtout,
broken hat, etc.  On my asking Pato some question relative to the
quarrel with the chiefs, which had sent the troops a three days' march
in miserable weather, he pointed to the wretched little object who had
advanced to my elbow, and said, "There--Gasella."  I stared, and,
feeling some sympathy for the creature, gave him a chair.  Both asked
for wine and tobacco; I gave them some cigars.  At this moment Kama
arrived, and, seeing they intended lighting their cigars at my
sitting-room fire, he pointed out the impropriety of it, and they
departed.  Gasella is less civilised even than Pato, and very unlike a
Kaffir in appearance.

We could not but observe Kama's cautious bearing, as we questioned him
concerning Umhala.  It was evident, however, that he had been entrusted
with no political secrets.  Every trait in Kama was interesting; his
gentleness, consistence, patience, and hazardous position between his
richer brothers, Pato and Congo, made him, indeed, an object of our care
and protection.  Nevertheless, poor Kama gave us very little trouble,
asked for no presents, being resolved on quieter establishing a position
for himself on the other side of the Orange River, or the Keiskama.

May 4th.  Every day brings accounts of cattle-stealing about Beaufort,
in the more immediate neighbourhood of Graham's Town, and the outposts
nearest to it.  The news that has arrived from England concerning Natal,
is promising, though some inquire what compensation is made for the loss
of such promising officers as Lieutenants Wyatt and Prior, who were just
as much killed in action as any of those "brave and lamented soldiers
who fell in the late disastrous affair of Afghanistan?"  How such
leniency will operate, remains to be proved.  Already the Boers about
Colesberg are beginning to creep off to the other side of the Orange
River, ostensibly to attack Panda, the Zoola chief, but in reality to
assist the insurgent Boers at Natal.

May 26.--Chief Kama, the only Christian Kaffir chief--I believe the only
Christian Kaffir--is passing through Peddie, with his family, baggage,
followers, and fifteen hundred head of cattle.  His life is not safe in
the neighbourhood of his brothers, Pato and Cobus Congo.  He is bound
for the Bechuana country, on the other side the Orange River; but, until
spring commences, he will make a halt near Beaufort, and act under the
protection of our nominal and drunken ally, Macomo, uncle of Sandilla,
and a chief of the Gaika tribe.

The post of to-day brings, as usual, accounts of continued depredations,
and the Fingoes of this neighbourhood, the people we are protecting,
have been made to render up more than three hundred head of cattle which
they had appropriated to themselves, from the kraals of various people.



The even tenour of our life at Fort Peddie has just been diversified by
a "foray" into the lands of a redoubtable cattle-stealer of the
I'Slambie tribe, named Tola, against whom repeated complaints had been
made by the settlers in various parts of the district of Lower Albany,
of depredations committed on their farms, and among their cattle.  The
Lieutenant-Governor resolved on sending a body of troops against him, in
order to rescue the stolen cattle, and break up that chief's government
and tribe.  Before, however, the troops had assembled at the
rallying-point, Fort Willshire [Note 1], Tola had sent the plunder away
either into the interior of Kaffirland, with his wives, children, and
people, or into secluded kloofs, under the care of herds belonging to
the tribes of some of those very chiefs who acted as allies and guides
to the British troops on the occasion.  There stood the offender's kraal
consisting of scattered and empty huts, and there was the "grand army,"
(upwards of five hundred strong) in array against "Tola's country;"
while Tola himself was taking an occasional peep at the proceedings from
his lurking-places in the bush, smiling, no doubt, at so many of Her
Majesty's soldiers being sent out to hunt him,--he--a Kaffir Chief--on
his own wild ground, in many places inaccessible to European infantry,
or Hottentot cavalry!

At first setting out on the "Commando," as the campaigns are called, the
affair promised to be pleasant enough; the weather was delightful,
though the month of June is our first winter month here.  One company of
the 91st had obeyed orders to the letter of the law, and had taken the
field in "light marching order:" but the rest had a certain number of
waggons and tents, and it was amusing to see the comforts with which
some had surrounded themselves--canteens, easy chairs, bedsteads,
tables, mats, cooking utensils, etc.  These resolved on making the best
of the matter, turning what at first appeared a warlike expedition into
a pic-nic party; though others were content to lie in the bush, and fare
no better than the men they commanded.

Never, however, had been seen such times of marching, counter-marching,
bivouacking, and eating and drinking, since the days when the City Train
Bands and the Westminster Volunteers were called into active service on
Wimbledon, Kennington, and Clapham Commons, where they encamped to
little purpose, except to eat sandwiches, and drink the King's health in
"London particular."  About a fortnight after the troops had assembled
at Willshire, a division of them, consisting of upwards of two hundred
of the 91st, and the same number of the Cape Corps, were ordered to Fort
Peddie, to halt and refresh themselves; but the springs, owing to the
want of rain, were nearly dry (and a sentry is always placed on the
principal tank at Peddie [Note 2]); so the 91st remained in the
neighbourhood of the kraal belonging to Eno, a dependent chief of the
Gaika tribe, and the Cape Corps came on.  There was brack (salt) water
enough for the horses.

Sunday was spent peacefully at Peddie, and on Monday morning, June 6th,
1843, as the two corps were to meet six or seven miles from the post, I
was induced to ride out, with another lady and a party, to the
rendezvous.  Although I by no means think the head of a brigade in array
for the field an eligible place for ladies in general, my friend and I
did not regret having yielded to the various solicitations, that we
should proceed a little further with the expedition, which had no chance
of becoming in reality a warlike one.

The morning resembled the one I have described in my account of Umhala's
affair.  Certainly a South African morning is incomparably beautiful.
The want of rain had taken from the turf much of its freshness; still,
the mimosa is always green, and the perfume of its bright yellow
blossoms most delicious.  We kept to the grass, smooth as velvet, and
gently undulating here and there, with wooded kloofs to the right and
left of us; while the Cape Corps, in dusky array, filled the high-road.
Nothing can be more efficient than the appearance of the Hottentot
soldier, though I confess to laughing heartily at one or two immediately
in advance of us.

There he is, in his bush-coloured jacket, clay-coloured leather
trousers, seated on his sturdy little steed, as though nothing had ever
parted, or could ever part, the horse and his rider.  Before him, on his
light dragoon saddle, is rolled his cloak; behind him, his blanket,
corn-sack, and nose-bag; a slight change of shoes, trousers, etc, is
carried, in the haversack in light marching order, and in a valise on
other occasions.  His double-barrelled percussion carbine, wrapped in
sheepskin, rests its muzzle in a holster adapted for the purpose; and
across his shoulder is slung his belt, a pouch containing twenty rounds
of ammunition, and, occasionally, a canteen.  When it is remembered that
the average height of a Hottentot soldier is five feet one, and that he
is slight in proportion, it may be imagined what a figure he cuts when
accoutred for the field; but he is the most efficient soldier for this
colony for all that.  He is keen-witted and intelligent, patient of
hunger, thirst, and fatigue, active as a monkey, and possessed of a
perfect knowledge of the country, and occasionally of the Kaffir
language.  Add to this, the officers of this corps have either been long
residents in the colony, or are the sons of people who have known no
other home for many years.  Fit commanders, then, are they for such

Over the turf we cantered, the delicious air imparting spirits to
ourselves and to our steeds, and, as we advanced, we left the
green-jackets winding along the road behind us, while down between two
green hills came the 91st, the shrill bagpipes sounding strangely indeed
among these far plains and echoing valleys of Africa.  Here we all
halted for a few minutes, till I was persuaded to go on to the banks of
the Keiskama, where one party was to encamp for some time, and the other
to bivouac and dine, previously to crossing the river into Kaffirland.
Our little private party then proceeded, with those who were to take up
the ground for the encampment.  A beautiful spot was selected; nothing
could be more picturesque.  On a mound, commanding an extensive view of
the country, the 91st were to establish themselves.  Up the hill
followed the division of the red-jackets, a long line of waggons, camp
sutlers, Fingoes, Commissariat people, servants, led horses, etc,
bringing up the rear.  In a few moments, the white tents dotted the
ground; fires were lit, and, in an incredibly short time, there was
savoury evidence of carbonatje.  My head ached with the fatigue of the
ride, and, perhaps, the excitement of the scene; but that was nothing.
A table was spread for me near a kindly bush, and a breakfast that would
have satisfied an epicure craved attention.  I rejoiced over some
deliciously-made coffee, and then took a survey of the scene beneath.
On a beautiful and level plain the Cape Corps had bivouacked: some
lounged and slept in the centre of the square which had been formed by
piling each man's saddle, blanket, etc; others snatched their
hastily-cooked meal near a cluster of bushes.  The laugh of the
merry-makers ascended gaily up the hill, and the brazen call of the
trumpet, or bugle, was given back by the echoes from the tall grey rocks
bounding the opposite side of the Keiskama, whose quiet waters glided
peacefully on under the shadow of overhanging boughs on one side, and on
the other stately cliffs variegated with mimosas and euphorbias.  On its
green banks reclined a crowd of Fingo warriors, in their war attire of
plumes, assegais, shields of bullock-hide, and their karosses draped
gracefully round them.  The chiefs wore tiger-skins.  Indolent they
looked, basking in the sunshine, smoking dagha, the seed of a kind of
wild hemp, having much the same effect as opium on the senses.  In the
field these people are useful assistants, and most formidable opponents
to their former severe taskmasters, the Kaffirs.  Their rain-makers and
doctors cut a conspicuous and grotesque figure, with their strange
fantastic head-dresses of jackal's and monkey's tails.  The mischief
these wretches do I have already described.

Presently, the quiet of the scene was disturbed; the trumpet of the Cape
Corps gave forth its brazen signal to upsaddle; men and horses were soon
in their ranks; few waggons were were in the train of this corps, so
accustomed to the field, and so fitted to its duties; and, ere half an
hour had elapsed, the ground, which had presented so animated an
appearance, was unoccupied.  The sound of the Keiskama's gently flowing
waters remained undisturbed, the Fingo phalanx had moved onwards, and
the little mound on which the 91st were encamped, formed a lively
contrast to the profound repose of the valley below.  As the afternoon
advanced, we too thought of upsaddling and away.

Writers are often accused of "inventing a moonlight" on occasion; but I
protest that in many of our rambling expeditions here, the moon has
especially favoured us.  Indeed, we seldom ventured to make excursions
in this country of early sunsets and no twilight, without the prospect
of a moon for our homeward ride at night.  We left the camp at three
o'clock; and, as we proceeded from the spot, we looked back.  We could
now see both parties; the white tents and scarlet jackets of the 91st,
and the long array of the Cape Corps, which, having crossed the
Keiskama, was now wending its way into Kaffirland.  The evening air was
growing chilly, and we were fain to advance instead of glancing back.
When we reached the missionary station, within four miles of Peddie, we
found that the hospitable family there had been watching our approach,
for their table was spread with goodly refreshment, and never was poor
creature more grateful for anything than was I for Mrs Tainton's
fragrant cup of tea, so kindly and readily bestowed.

It must be observed that the troops crossed the Keiskama entirely with
the nominal concurrence of the chiefs, with the exception of Sandilla,
as they affected to be much annoyed at Tola's continued contempt of the
treaties, and his repeated inroads on the property of the colonists.  It
has since been proved, as might have been expected, that, while the
chiefs were accompanying the troops into the field, they were constantly
misguiding them, and giving them wrong information relative to the

The troops were soon afterwards dispersed; some went back to Graham's
Town, some to lonely outposts, and some to Beaufort; all very tired of
the business, and some seriously ill, from sleeping in the bush at the
end of the "campaign," when the rain fell in torrents, and the ground
was saturated.  Great part of the cattle was rescued by the Fingoes, who
came into Peddie in phalanx, singing their song of triumph, a low, deep,
solemn chant, each voice modulated to the others, in perfect unison.
Their appearance was indeed warlike.  It is worthy of remark, that while
the colony remained in this unsettled state, the Kaffir and Fingo women
went about armed with assegais.

The crossing of the Keiskama gave great offence to Sandilla, the son of
Gaika, and head of the tribe.  Yet, what could be done?  Not only had
the greater number of the chiefs agreed to it, but some of the cattle
had been traced, and it was necessary to rescue it: but this was more
proposed than done, and the most provoking feature in the case was, that
while we permitted the Kaffirs to occupy the ground they held on
sufferance, they took advantage of the indulgence to plunder the

From this time till war was proclaimed in 1846, the colonists were
engaged in perpetual warfare with the tribes.  The farmers could not
stir without arms; murder stalked through the highway in open day,
robberies were too common to be always recorded, and Commandos were
marched through the country to punish recreant chiefs; but the latter
invariably eluded the troops and escaped with the cattle.

The Dutch, who had long been discontented, declared their intention of
breaking beyond the boundary; but the English settlers were anxious to
"hope against hope," and, on the arrival of Sir Peregrine Maitland in
1844, who came with authority to improve the system of public finance,
their drooping spirits revived, and in the spirit of unshaken loyalty
they placed the most favourable construction on every step proposed to
avert those calamities which subsequently overwhelmed them.


Note 1.  A fort on the banks of the Keiskama, once in the occupation of
the English, but given up to the Kaffirs by the last treaties, when the
Great Fish River was established as the boundary.  It is now defaced,
little being left to mark its site, the Kaffirs having been permitted to
carry away the wood-work of the buildings, which originally cost at
least 50,000 pounds.

Note 2.  In building the new barracks at Peddie, pipes have been placed
along the roofs, for the purpose of collecting water in the rainy
season.  This is a great advantage to the residents, who hitherto have
been dependent on tanks and flays (hollows in the earth, which are
filled by heavy rains).



During this period I have little of personal adventure to record.  After
a sojourn of a few months at Fort Peddie, we were removed to Graham's
Town, and I was residing there when the war broke out.

In the month of February, 1846, the Gaika Chief, Sandilla, having before
agreed to the proposal of the British authorities in South Africa, that
a military post should be established at Block Drift, near his own
kraal, or residence, and on the confines of the ceded territory [Note
1], chose to withdraw his consent, and treat the troops sent thither
with great insolence.  His excuse was, that he had given his consent to
the Resident Agent, without consulting his councillors who were of a
different opinion.

On receiving this haughty message, the Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel
Hare, summoned Sandilla to a conference at Block Drift; the young chief
of the Gaikas appeared before the Lieutenant-Governor and his small
array of British troops, surrounded by two thousand warriors, armed with
muskets, and capitally mounted.  The arms had been purchased from
British traders,--there being then no law to check the indiscriminate
sale of arms and ammunition to the Kaffirs,--and the greater proportion
of the horses had been plundered from the unfortunate farmers in the
colony.  Nothing was decided at this conference, and the project of
establishing a post at Block Drift was for the time, if not altogether,
abandoned.  The troops returned to Fort Beaufort, Sandilla to his kraal,
and, some days after, an abject and pathetic message was received by
Colonel Hare from the Gaika chief, with the assent of several other
chiefs subservient to him.  The message was exceedingly well "got up,"
but meant nothing.

In March, a Kaffir being convicted of some misdemeanour at Fort
Beaufort, was placed, with others, under the charge of a Hottentot
guard, and ordered into Graham's Town, to be confined in the gaol until
the period of the circuit.  Among these prisoners was also an English
dragoon.  A party of Kaffirs secreted themselves near the road leading
from Fort Beaufort to Graham's Town, and, on the approach of the guard
and prisoners, darted out of the bush, shot the Hottentot to whom the
Kaffir was handcuffed, severed the dead man's hand from his body, and
led off the rescued savage; followed, however, by the guard, who were
obliged to retreat at last, narrowly escaping with their lives.  A few
weeks previously to this event, a German missionary, named Schulz, had
been murdered in cold blood in the open day on the public road, not many
miles from Fort Peddie, by some of Pato's people.  The murderers of Mr
Schulz were demanded by the authorities, and Pato promised to deliver
them up, but did not keep his word.  He never intended to do so!

On the murder of the Hottentot, and rescue of the Kaffir prisoner in
March, Colonel Hare resolved to "chastise" the Kaffirs, and issued a
proclamation to that effect.  The proclamation caused an immense stir,
and on the 15th of April the troops, began their march through the ceded
territory, seeing at first nothing but empty kraals.

Nothing was heard in Graham's Town of the progress of the troops for
many days.  The 20th of April brought the unexpected intelligence that
the Kaffirs had made a most determined stand in the Amatolas.  Several
valuable lives had been lost on our side, and fifty-two waggons
containing the whole of the baggage of the 7th Dragoon Guards, and part
of that of the 91st, had fallen into the hands of the enemy, being burnt
and plundered by them; the Kaffirs quietly arraying themselves in the
clothing and accoutrements of the soldiers.

Our troops had been engaged for three days fighting desperately with
thousands of these savages, and were compelled to retire upon Block
Drift, where they kept their ground, and finally established, by force
of arms, the disputed right to build a post there.

On the 15th of April, Colonel Somerset assembled his force on the Deba
Flats.  This force consisted of part of the 7th Dragoon Guards, under
Lieut.-Col.  Richardson [the effective strength of the 7th was now but
240]; the Cape Mounted Riflemen, commanded by Colonel Somerset; three
companies of the reserve battalion 91st, under Major Campbell; the
Grenadier company, 1st battalion, under Captain Ward; and about 150 Kat
River Burghers.  Here Colonel Somerset made his dispositions; and at 7
o'clock on the following morning, the division under Major Campbell,
with the Kat River Burghers, marched into the Amatola Valley; Major
Armstrong, with some Cape Mounted Riflemen, and Captain Sutton, with
some mounted Burghers, were detached over the hill; and, it not being
passable with artillery, Colonel Richardson was requested to co-operate
with his guns, the 7th Dragoon Guards, and a detachment of the Cape
Mounted Riflemen, under Captain Donovan.  Colonel Somerset proceeded
with his party round the Amatola Mountains, in order to unite with and
support the troops under Major Armstrong and Captain Sutton.

Major Campbell, having advanced some way into the valley, soon found
himself opposed to an immense body of Kaffirs, who opened a heavy fire
upon the troops.  The ascent of the infantry up a hill clothed with
thick bush, was accomplished under desperate circumstances--thousands of
Kaffirs, secure in ambush, or assembled on the mountains around them,
shouting their war-cry of "Izapa!  Izapa!"--"Come on!  Come on!"  On
reaching a kloof, a few Kaffirs made their appearance; but, "it being
suggested to Major Campbell that these were merely put there to divert
attention from the scrub [bush intermingled with stones] on the left, he
desired his men to keep a sharp lookout in that direction."  It was well
he did so; the Kaffirs "opened a tremendous fire from that point, from
the kloof on the right, and in the rear."  "I never before," says the
writer of an account from the scene of action, "experienced such
dreadful fatigue; what with the steepness of the mountain, and having to
ascend it amid a shower of balls, I was compelled to lie down twice,
screened by the thorn-trees, before I reached the top.  Two men fainted
by the way, four of the 91st were killed, and two wounded.  From the
number of shots fired, I am surprised half of us were not killed."

By the time the division had reached the summit of the mountain, they
were all fairly exhausted.  It was a joyful sight for them when they
found their position was discovered, and they saw the Cape Corps coming
to their assistance, with a gun, from the other side.  The red-jackets
cheered the reinforcement from the hill-top, and then rested on their
arms, while the Cape Corps went to work, and soon silenced the enemy

In getting round the mountain, Colonel Somerset, after crossing a
difficult drift with a gun, discovered a large drove of cattle on the
left.  Captain Sutton, with his Burghers, Captain Pipon, with a troop of
the 7th, and Captain Donovan, with some Cape Mounted Rifles, were
despatched to capture them, and succeeded in taking eighteen hundred
head.  At sunset, the troops encamped for the night on the flat under
the Amatola.

The first day's action at Burn's Hill was disastrously marked by the
death of Captain Bambrick, 7th Dragoon Guards, a fine old Waterloo
soldier, who had also served for many years in India, in the 11th
Hussars.  He unhappily went too far into a dense bush, and was shot.
One or two circumstances connected with his death are worthy of notice.

Captain Bambrick's troop formed part of a division under Major Gibsone,
7th Dragoon Guards, who had been left in charge of the baggage.  During
the day, some Kaffirs came down upon the herds and oxen belonging to the
waggons, and in fighting for the cattle, mortally wounded a young boy,
named McCormick.  His brother ran to his assistance; and the dying
child, seeing the other herds retreating, raised himself, and shouting,
in his death-agony, "Don't run! don't run!  We'll beat them yet!" sank
back exhausted, and spoke no more.  Captain Bambrick was sent in pursuit
of the Kaffirs who had killed this poor young settler; and the old
dragoon officer, reckless of the foe, seen or unseen, and accustomed to
charge wherever that foe might be, dashed into the bush at the head of
his troop, went too far, and fell in consequence by the hand of a
concealed savage.  Shocking to relate, his body was cut in pieces by the
enemy, and either burned or hung about the bush.  Oh "pastoral and
peaceful" people! as Missionary Society Agents have styled them.  Ere
Captain Bambrick fell, he called to his men to retire, having found out,
too late, that "that was no place for cavalry."

He must have received many wounds.  His charger galloped past the troop
without its rider; its trappings and saddle were covered with blood;
while the savages bore off the mangled body of their victim, brandishing
his sword on the top of the hill as they retreated.  Captain Bambrick
was forty-seven years of age, and had served his country more than
thirty years.

As I have observed, Captain Bambrick's troop formed part of a division,
under Major Gibsone, left in charge of baggage and ammunition, while
Colonel Somerset proceeded with the main body towards the wooded kloofs
and steep ascents of the Amatola Mountains.  Before proceeding in search
of the plundered cattle to a hill overlooking "Sandilla's drift,"
Captain Bambrick received distinct orders from Major Gibsone "by no
means to proceed to any distance."  The old soldier could not, or would
not, understand a warfare which demanded such caution, dashed onwards,
full of chivalry, utterly wasted on such a foe, and fell, as might be
expected.  It may be added, that, had he not fallen when he did, the
whole troop would have become the victims of his noble but ill-timed

Major Gibsone's dispatch states further--"About seven o'clock, just as I
had diminished the size of my camp, we were attacked by a considerable
body of Kaffirs, whom we beat off in six or seven minutes, I am sorry to
say, with the loss, of four men of the 91st killed, and four wounded."
On the 17th, Major Gibsone, in compliance with Colonel Somerset's
instructions, moved from Burn's Hill, at half-past ten a.m.  From the
number of waggons (one hundred and twenty-five), and the necessity of
giving a support to the guns, Major Gibsone was only enabled to form a
front and rear baggage-guard, and could not detach any men along the
line of waggons.  After proceeding about a mile, shots issued from a
kloof by the side of the road; Lieutenant Stokes, R.E., ran the gun up
to a point some three hundred yards in advance, and raked the kloof with
a shell.  When half the waggons had passed, the Kaffirs made a dash upon
one of them, firing at the drivers and some officers' servants, who were
obliged to fly; then took out the oxen, and wheeled the waggon across
the river.  An overpowering force then rushed down from the hills in all
directions, keeping up an incessant fire, which was returned by the 7th
Dragoon Guards and the 91st, with great spirit.  The gun was also served
with much skill; but, owing to the Kaffirs' immense superiority in
numbers, Major Gibsone, to prevent his men from being cut off, was
obliged to return to Burn's Hill, where he again put the troops in
position.  A short time after this, a company of the 91st, under Captain
Scott, advanced in skirmishing order, keeping up a heavy fire; but the
waggons completely blocking up the road, the troops were obliged to make
a _detour_, and, after considerable difficulty, succeeded in getting the
ammunition-waggons into a proper line, but found it quite impracticable
to save the baggage-waggons, the Kaffirs having driven away the oxen.
One of the ammunition-waggons broke down, but the ammunition was removed
to another; the troops then fought their way, inch by inch, to the
Tyumie Camp, where they were met by Colonel Somerset's division, and
where they again encamped for the night.

Colonel Somerset, in his dispatch, dated "Block Drift, 18th of April,"
describes the Kaffirs as "assembling in a very large force on the
heights above the troops, on the 17th, and, on arriving at the Tyumie
Drift, the enemy pressed upon them at every point.  Lieutenant Hill,
R.A., got the gun into position, and made excellent practice into the
dense bush along the river, the enemy pressing on, and opening a severe
fire on our advance.  Lieutenant Armstrong, with some Cape Mounted
Rifles, then scoured the bush in all directions; the flanking-parties of
the 91st kept up a strong fire on the enemy; and Colonel Richardson
supported the rear in the most able and gallant manner.  Major Campbell
held the drift, while ammunition-waggons passed; Captain Browne's guns
taking up an admirable position, and doing great execution under a heavy

Thus, scarcely fifteen hundred men, not all regular troops, encumbered
with a hundred and twenty-five waggons, made their way into the
fastnesses of these savages, who were many thousands in number; and
although unable to follow up the enemy, of whom they killed at least
three hundred, succeeded in saving all their ammunition, captured
eighteen hundred head of cattle, and finally fought their way to the
original ground of dispute.

An old officer, in speaking of this affair of the "three days" in the
Amatolas, informed me that neither he, nor those in the same division
with himself, had had anything whatever to eat, from Thursday the 16th,
at daylight, until Saturday night, the 18th, when they reached Block
Drift; there, some biscuit was served out to them.  My husband was not
only without food during this period, but, having lost all his baggage,
had nothing on for days after (night or day) but his shell jacket and
white trousers.  His horse was slightly grazed by a ball, which touched
it between the saddle-flap and his canteen; fortunately, it must have
struck something on its way.  The Kaffirs invariably aim at the
officers, believing that, in bringing down the leaders, the whole body
will be made to give way.

The following officers were killed and wounded during these engagements;
7th Dragoon Guards--Captain Bambrick, killed; 91st--Lieutenant Cochrane
wounded three times; Cape Mounted Rifles--Captain Sandes, murdered.
Colonel Richardson and Captain Rawstorne, 91st, narrowly escaped wounds
at least, both being struck by spent balls.  Colonel Somerset had just
dismounted from his charger, when the man who took it from him was shot
dead, the animal escaping.  Lieutenant O'Reilly had the trigger of his
gun shot off; and Mr Bisset lost two horses not long after dismounting.

The loss of Captain Sandes, Cape Mounted Rifles, was much deplored.
Being ordered to proceed with an express from Post Victoria to Colonel
Somerset at Block Drift, on the 18th of April, he unfortunately started
after the party, lost his way, returned to Victoria, was advised to wait
until another mounted party should be likely to proceed, but faithful to
his orders, determined on riding to Block Drift alone, which he did, and
was brutally murdered!  The Kaffirs themselves acknowledged that he
fought desperately, cutting his way through two bodies of these
wretches, of whom they admit he must have killed and injured eight or
ten.  The third body despatched him.  So much for the Kaffir's mild
nature and generous sentiments!  So much for his bravery!  No man can be
brave who does not appreciate bravery in others.

Among the slain, was afterwards discovered a soldier of the 91st, who
had probably been burned to death by the savages, as his remains were
found bound to the pole of a waggon, and horribly defaced by fire.

Dr Eddie, of the Cape Mounted Rifles, on going back with a party to
endeavour to recover some of the Government property from the hospital
waggon, found that it had been rifled of almost everything but the jar
of blister ointment, which had been emptied of its contents--the
ointment having been scooped out by Kaffir fingers.

It must be observed that, on the 15th of April, the very day on which
Colonel Somerset assembled his small force on the Deba Flats, for the
purpose of getting the troops into position before attacking the enemy
in the Amatola Mountains, nothing was known in Graham's Town of the
operations of the troops in the field.  Sir Peregrine Maitland, the
Governor, who had arrived on the frontier a few days before, left
Graham's town for Post Victoria with only a small escort, and in total
ignorance of Colonel Somerset's proceedings, which every one knew must
be regulated by circumstances, but which every one supposed would begin
and end in a march through the ceded territory and back again "without
seeing a Kaffir."

I forgot to mention that Colonel Hare, the Lieutenant-Governor, had
moved from Graham's Town to Fort Beaufort, before issuing his
proclamation against our savage neighbours, and on the 18th of April,
went to Post Victoria to meet Sir Peregrine Maitland.

Colonel Hare returned to Beaufort the same evening in safety.  Captain
Sandes must have been murdered within a few miles of him; but
fortunately no one crossed the path of the Lieutenant-Governor or his

On Sunday, the 19th, some cattle were stolen from Post Victoria, in the
very face of the troops and their General.  The Kaffirs were followed,
but had got into the bush with their booty before the troops could come
up with them.

On the morning of the 18th, while General Maitland was on a
reconnoitring expedition, he and his party came suddenly upon an ambush
of Kaffirs; happily he had with him an escort of dragoons, who dashed
after these savages.  Had Sir Peregrine not been so attended, he, with
his staff, would have been cut off.

A party of the 27th went out from Victoria to clear the bush of the
Kaffirs.  In the skirmish which ensued, a serjeant of the regiment being
shot in the ankle, the savages rushed upon him and beat him to death
with their knob-kiurries (war-clubs).

After the troops had taken up their position at Block Drift, they were
joined by Sir P. Maitland, who immediately assumed the command, and
superintended the defences.

But, while the troops were employed in the Amatola Mountains, Graham's
Town was utterly unprotected, and bodies of Kaffirs poured into the
Colony.  Then began the work of devastation, plunder, and murder.  Alas!
while our hearts were torn with anxiety for those dear to us in the
field, we knew ourselves to be surrounded by savages who openly
threatened to attack us!  In all directions we heard the reports of
musketry.  Now, a murdered waggon-driver was brought in, and now, a
Kaffir spy was shot close to the town; the townspeople of course
exaggerating the one waggon-driver to five or six, and the spy to
"thousands of Kaffirs."  On the 29th of April, Colonel Somerset arrived
with his division.  The sight of the troops winding down the hill
towards Graham's Town, cheered the drooping spirits of the inhabitants,
and made many hearts beat with alternate hope and fear, for we knew not
what intelligence they might bring, or what dangers they had
encountered.  Little, indeed, can they, who never experienced the
horrors and anxieties of war, especially a war with savages, comprehend
the feelings of those who wait for tidings of the absent.  The weary
watchings, the very dread of the arrival of expresses, bearing we know
not what tidings, the feverish restlessness to see the printed
dispatches of the day, the waiting for hours in uncertainty, and then
the regret, amidst our thankfulness at so much being done, that there
was yet so much to do.  Ah! these are terrible hours.  I especially
remember the reading of the first dispatch--the wife of one in command
of a division, which had not been engaged, but of which I shall have to
speak hereafter, tearing open the papers with trembling fingers, while
another and I leaned over her shoulder, and would see what she tried to
read with a faltering voice.  Children looked up alarmed at they knew
not what, pausing in their play, and quite silent; while shots echoed
along the hills and through the kloofs above the town, and the sky above
and around us was lit with the fires from the devastated homesteads of
the settlers.  The very sight of the thousands of cattle and sheep being
driven in at sunset by armed herds, was melancholy; and the
panic-stricken inhabitants galloped hither and thither, endangering
people's lives and wearing out their horses, causing a stir and
excitement equally useless and alarming.  The appearance of the town on
one Sabbath morning was wretched beyond description.  The bell for
prayers rang from our roofless church, the Independent Chapel being lent
to us as a place of worship, while the church of the established
religion was undergoing repairs.  A crowd of Fingo and Hottentot
picquets were assembling in the streets, groups of people stood about
talking, and others passed on to the place of prayer with careworn
faces.  At every opening, the sappers and miners were busy blockading
the streets, and parties of armed Burghers came galloping in with fresh
tidings of ruin, murder, and devastation.  The return of Colonel
Somerset's division probably checked the advance of the enemy upon the
town, where the greatest fears had been entertained for the magazine,
containing the gunpowder belonging to the merchants.  It must be added,
that the energies of those who were willing to join in the work of
defence had been considerably damped by a disastrous circumstance, which
had occurred during the absence of the troops in Kaffirland.

Mr Norden, a merchant, having been appointed to the temporary command
of the Yeomanry Corps [Note 2], which, it must be remembered, there had
been but little time to organise, led his men out, on the 25th of April,
to a valley a little beyond Graham's Town, where it had been ascertained
that a number of Kaffirs were lurking.  He was a dashing, enterprising
man, always ready to lead whenever a leader was wanting.  On reaching a
spot commanded by a krantz, or cliff, he divided his corps into two
bodies, directing one to the right and the other to the left, with one
of which he advanced towards a thick bush.  On Mr Norden approaching a
mass of rock, which served as an ambush for one of the savages, he was
shot through the head, and fell dead.  The wretch who shot him was
immediately brought down by the musket of one of the Yeomanry; but
others rushed on the murdered man, and dragged away the body.  The
Yeomanry Corps being thus divided, the numbers of the foe unknown, and
the sun just setting, it was deemed imprudent to attempt the capture of
Mr Norden's remains from the Kaffirs at that moment.  The following
day, the body was observed placed in a conspicuous position on the
krantz, probably as a decoy; and on Monday, the 27th, a large body of
the inhabitants, a few of the Cape Corps, and a remnant of the 90th--in
all amounting to about 200 men--headed by Colonel Johnstone, 27th
Regiment, Commandant of the town, went out, and brought back the mangled
body of the brave man whose life had been so miserably sacrificed.  The
bereaved family of Mr Norden must ever be looked on by the people of
Graham's Town with feelings of deep and grateful interest.

From the windows, we had seen the patriot winding up the hills; all eyes
had followed him with interest; crowds assembled in the restless
streets, to watch his progress; little thought they of the miserable
result, or of the manner of his return,--dead, mutilated; stretched on a
gun-carriage, with a cloak flung over him for a pall!  That night, the
air above us was thick with smoke, rising from the burning grass which
the enemy had fired to destroy the pasturage for the cattle.

The providing the wives and children of officers with safe quarters was
one of the first acts of the Lieutenant-Governor; and, although we were
never under the apprehension of a serious attack on the barracks in
which we were domiciled, it is pretty certain that, but for the
preparations for defence, the outskirts of the town would have been
destroyed.  After the affairs at Block Drift, the Gaikas returned to the
deep recesses of the Amatolas, and there informed their people that they
had killed all the white men.  The cry of "Victory!" rang through
Kaffirland; the loss of our waggons, and the sight of the savages
returning with their spoil, shouting their wild song of triumph, and
bearing their trophies along with them, roused the tribes who had
promised to "sit still;" and straightway the colony swarmed with these
ferocious barbarians.

Sir Peregrine Maitland now armed an immense force [Note 3].  The defeat
of the Kaffirs in the Amatolas, inspired us with hope, and for a while,
daunted the enemy; but the Kaffirs were like vermin in the land,--as
fast as they were hunted out of one corner, they rose up in another.



Everything in Africa is in extremes.  The air is at one moment perfectly
calm, the next wild with terrific storms.  The sky so sweetly serene at
noon, before half an hour passes is often darkened by clouds which
shroud the land as with a pall.  For months, the long droughts parch the
earth, the rivers may be forded on foot, the flocks and herds pant for
refreshing waters and green herbage.  Suddenly, "a cloud no bigger than
a man's hand" appears on the horizon, and lo! the elements rage and
swell, thunder booms upon the air, darkness covers the land, the arrows
of the Almighty dart from the angry heavens, striking death and terror
wheresoever they fall.  From the far desert an overpowering torrent of
sand comes sweeping on, obscuring the air, and making its way into your
very house, in such profusion that you may trace characters in its
dry-depths on the window-sill.  The skies open, the floods descend, the
rivers burst their bounds, trees are uprooted from the saturated earth,
and through the roof of your dwelling the rain beats heavily, the walls
crack, the plaster falls, the beams that support the thatch groan and
creak with "melancholy moan," the voices of angry spirits seem to howl
and shout around you, the poor birds on frightened wing wheel past your
windows, the cattle disturb you with their lowing, the dogs howl, and
the unearthly tones of the Kaffir or Fingo herdsman's song are no
agreeable addition to the wild scene stirring before you.  The tempest,
however, subsides as suddenly as it arose, the voices of the
storm-spirits die away in the distance over the mountain-tops, the dark
pall of clouds is rent by a Mighty Hand, the swollen rivers rush on,
bearing evidences of devastation, but subsiding at last into a more
measured course; the sun lights up the valleys and the hill-sides, the
air is clearer, the sky brighter than ever; and, but for the history of
devastation and oftentimes of death, and the knowledge that for weeks
the country will be subject to these violent convulsions of nature, the
terrors of the tempest would soon be forgotten.

Such is the climate of South Africa.  Lovely indeed it is for part of
the year; for the rest experience is necessary to teach you whether it
be agreeable or not.  At one time of the day, I have known the
thermometer 120 degrees; at sunset, it has been so cold that a fire has
been necessary; nay, I have known it 92 degrees in a room with the air
kept out at noon, and at six I have wanted a shawl, or cloak, during my
walk.  In the morning, you are scorched and blistered by the hot wind,
while the vegetation is withering under your feet, and at night you must
wrap yourself well up, and put your feet in shoes "impervious to the
dew," and yet experience shows that it is perfectly healthy.  [Note 1.]

On the 25th of March we received a report in Graham's Town, that the
Kaffirs were pouring into the colony.  It was afterwards ascertained
that the Kaffirs were only awaiting our threatened blow as the signal
for their work of devastation.  They were well aware of all our
movements, the numerical strength of our army, and the comparative
security into which the farmers had been lulled by Sandilla's message,
or rather by the acceptance of that message; and we soon received
evidence of the Kaffir's proximity to Graham's Town, by constant
robberies of cattle, and skirmishes between themselves and the Fingo and
Hottentot herds.

The 22nd of April was the first day of serious inconvenience to
ourselves.  Three of us, our husbands being with their divisions at
different stations, were assembled with our children, as was our custom,
to spend the evening together.  How often had we paced the verandah,
anxiously watching the lurid sky, red with the fires of devastation, and
listening to the continued and heavy volleys of musketry between the
herds and savages on the hills above us!  We never permitted ourselves
to think of an attack on the town; and, as the Kaffirs seldom risk their
lives or spend their powder without a chance of plunder in return, we
considered our lives safe, since the cattle could be swept away from the
outskirts without venturing into the town.  On the night of the 22nd,
however, the frightened servants rushed into the sitting-room,
exclaiming that the Kaffirs were sweeping down the hills in all
directions; and that, as the house was roofed with shingles, it was
likely it would be fired by the brand of the savages.

Behold us, then, preparing for our pilgrimage across the open,
undefended square of the Drostdy ground [Note 2].  But that we were full
of anxieties for our husbands in the field, we should have laughed in
the very face of apparent danger.  Ill defended as the town was, we
could not believe that the Kaffirs could have passed the picquets on the
hills unnoticed, and accustomed to exaggerated reports, the cry of
"Kaffirs!" was no longer so alarming to us personally as it might have
been had we heard it before our terrors for the absent had deadened our
thoughts of self.  The cry was raised, however, and we were warned to
seek the shelter of the new barracks, built of stone, and roofed with

The lady of the house roused one sleeping child from its bed, and
dressed it hastily, but with perfect calmness, while her boy danced
about and tumbled head over heels with delight at the prospect of "such
fun!"  The young ladies of the party, my own girl among them, collected
what they considered most valuable, their books, work-boxes, trinkets, a
guitar, a doll in a polka dress, a monkey, and their dogs; and the wife
of one in command at Fort Peddie thrust money, jewels, and papers into a
box, which she carried under her arm.  Ere we were ready for the _trek_,
the servants appeared with _their_ "valuables," the hoards and savings
of many years.  Oh, the confusion of tongues on that night, as we passed
through the Square!  Exclamations in Dutch, Irish, Fingo, broad Scotch,
and provincial English, assailed us on all sides; children cried and
laughed alternately, women screamed, Hottentots danced, and sang, and
swore, the oxen attached to the waggons which had accompanied the 90th
uttered frightful roars, and muskets were going off in all quarters of
the town.  Onwards we sped; there was sufficient light to see the tents
of the 90th, who had only arrived the day before, standing up in regular
order.  We made direct for the line between the tents, when lo! they
vanished; they were struck to the ground as if by magic, and lay as flat
as linen on a bleaching-green.  The young girls could not help laughing
as they stumbled over the tent-pegs.

We reached the barrack-rooms appropriated to my use.  If the air was
"full of noises," much more so was the house.  In one room were officers
loading pistols as merrily as if they were going pigeon-shooting; in the
kitchens, the men-servants were unslinging the loaded muskets from the
wall; and up and down the passage stalked dragoon soldiers, fully
accoutred, and ready for the saddle at a moment's notice, their horses
standing in the yard, neighing with impatience; while we ladies, girls,
and children, with three or four officers, sat waiting the result of the
hubbub with the doors open; and the townspeople occasionally rushing in
with affrighted faces.  Had the Kaffirs been at all aware of their own
strength, and our defenceless state, they might, with very little loss
on their side, have burned and pillaged the town, murdered many of the
inhabitants, and possessed themselves of the magazine.  We had not two
hundred soldiers, and most of these were of the 20th Regiment, who had
just arrived from a ten years' sojourn in Ceylon, and were therefore
little fitted for active service.  That the enemy meditated an attack,
there is no doubt; but the reports of their advance proved exaggerated,
and at midnight it was ascertained that they had swept off what cattle
they could from the outskirts, and set fire to the neighbouring farms.
We had very certain testimony of this from the windows, for the glare of
these burning homesteads of the industrious settlers illumined the sky,
and the hills all round were bright with wreaths of flame from the bush.

We were all too much excited to obtain much repose, and at daylight the
next morning the warning bugles of the 90th gave note of preparation for
their departure, with part of the 91st, for Fort Beaufort, with supplies
and ammunition.  Great doubts were entertained as to whether this long
train of waggons, with its slender guard, would be permitted to pass
unmolested through the Ecca Valley, twelve miles from Graham's Town, the
road winding along the edge of a precipice, and being commanded by a
steep krantz.  From this narrow road, where only one waggon at a time
can pass with safety, you look down on a bush so dense that hundreds of
savages might be concealed there; and, on the opposite side, tremendous
mountains, fit haunts for the savage, or the wild beast, slope down,
overshadowing the valley with awful gloom; while the mocking echoes give
back the sharp slash of the waggoner's whip, or the crack of the
traveller's rifle, with a strange precision.

Every precaution was taken to ensure a safe passage through this defile,
and a slow match was so placed in the ammunition-waggon that, had the
Kaffirs poured suddenly upon the party in such numbers as to render it
impossible to save all the waggons, the ammunition was to be left in
their hands as an instrument of destruction.  Happily, the party met
with no obstruction; but all the day long we were listening in
expectation of the explosion in the Ecca.  Meanwhile, farms still blazed
around us, the hills were obscured by smoke, and, as night approached,
fresh rumours arose of "Kaffirs close to the town."  About ten o'clock,
we were again warned of danger; our first notice was the blast of the
bugle sounding the "alarm" close to our windows.  Fatigued with the
watching and excitement of the previous night, we had retired early to
rest.  We were up in an instant.  Lucifers were at a premium that night,
I am sure: great was the smell of brimstone--fit atmosphere for the
expected foe.  Still, we had become too much accustomed to the cry of
"Kaffirs!" to feel great alarm; and, to say truth, there was something
in being within stone walls, and under a roof on which the brand could
take no effect.

Hark!--the gun booms from the battery above.  What a volume of sound
rolls through the heavy air!  Another blast from the bugle, taken up and
echoed back by others!  Another sound of cannon from a piece of
artillery, within three hundred yards of us!  How the windows rattle!--
how the roof shivers!  We are all up and astir--the children laugh, and
cry, and look bewildered--and the monkey hides whatever is most wanted--
and the doors fly open, and there are--not Kaffirs--only terrified women
and children seeking refuge.

I was in some alarm, from the dread of muskets going off in the hands of
the people unaccustomed to the use of them; but had less fear of Kaffirs
than on the previous night, as we had no cattle in the Drostdy Square,
and it is for that booty alone that they will risk life recklessly; so
some of us went up stairs, and sat between the windows, and the servants
placed mattresses against the shutters below.

Then there was a gathering together of all the fighting men that could
be collected, and a sorry show they made in the way of numbers.  A heavy
fire was kept up along the hills, and still the farms and bush blazed
on; but no Kaffirs entered the town, so we retired a little after
midnight, the younger members of the party deeply regretting that we had
been alarmed for nothing.  No Kaffirs!  What a pity after such a
commotion!  In such stirring times, the young, though naturally
kind-hearted, have little thought for the ruined settler, the miserable
widow, the motherless parents, the devastated land.

Some cattle had been fought for, and captured by the Fingoes on the
Bathurst road, about two miles from Graham's Town.  Hence the alarm!

The murder of Mr Norden, which I have before alluded to, was the next
event of painful importance, and the inhabitants of the town maintained
a vigilant and defensive position until the arrival of Colonel
Somerset's division, on the 29th.  Colonel Somerset's presence, with his
serviceable band, inspired the settlers of Lower Albany with confidence,
and he remained scarcely two days for rest and refreshment of men and
horses, ere he again started for the bush.  He had made such
arrangements at Beaufort as had enabled him to move without waggons,
those heavy incumbrances to troops in South Africa, and wisely diverging
from the Ecca pass, had completely eluded the Kaffirs.  He again
prepared to start, equally unencumbered, to clear the eastern side of
the heathen marauders.  Immense mischief had been already dome, but
there were yet many settlers whose lives and property awaited succour,
and Colonel Somerset led his division to a point where they could work
at once, and with the best effect.  The force consisted of 150 of the
Cape Corps, a detachment of the 7th Dragoon Guards, parties of the
Cradock and Albany Burghers, under their respective commandants, and two
light field-pieces, under Captain Browne and Lieutenant Gregory, R.A.,
making altogether a force off 800 men.  The Cape Corps cheered heartily
as they defiled through Graham's Town, taking the road to Woest's Hill,
it being intended to occupy the old position of Major Frazer, Cape
Regiment, at Lombard's post, so celebrated in Kaffir warfare, and by
which great part of the eastern division of the colony might be

Volumes might be filled were I to detail half the miseries to which the
colonists had been subjected during the operations of the troops in
Kaffirland.  None but those who have experienced it, can have an idea of
the nature of the foe to which they were exposed.

The Kaffir, at the first onset, is perhaps less ferocious than cunning,
and more intent on serving his own interests by theft than on taking
life from the mere spirit of cruelty; but once roused, he is like the
wild beast after the taste of blood, and loses all the best attributes
of humanity.  The movement of a body of these savages through the land
may be likened to a "rushing and a mighty wind."  On, on they sweep!
like a blast; filling the air with a strange _whirr_--reminding me, on a
grand scale, of a flight of locusts.  An officer of rank, during the
Kaffir war of 1835, was riding with a body of troops across the country,
when suddenly his attention was arrested by a cloud of dust; then a dark
silent mass appeared, and, lo! a multitude of beings, more resembling
demons than men, rushed past.  There were no noises, no sound of
footsteps, nothing but the shiver of the assegais, which gleamed as they
dashed onwards.  The party of soldiery was too small to render an
advance prudent, and though it is not improbable the Kaffirs observed
the detachment of troops, from which they were distant scarcely half a
mile, they did not stop on their way.  They were bent on some purpose,
and would not turn aside from it.

The same officer described to me a scene which had struck him
particularly when, on an expedition far up the country, many years ago.
His regiment was bivouacked along the ridge of a chain of hills during
the night.  At dawn, he rose to reconnoitre, and, looking below, beheld,
as he imagined, an immense herd of cattle.  As the sun advanced,
lighting up the valley, a solitary figure stepped out from the supposed
herd, and springing on an ant-heap, waved an assegai, and probably
spoke, though nothing could be heard.  Each shield of bullock's hide
then gave up its armed warrior, who had been sleeping beneath its
shelter; the wild chant of the Fingoes filled the valley with strange
harmony; and, in a few minutes a phalanx was formed, in readiness for
the approach of the troops, to whom these Fingoes were attached as
allies.  They have well repaid the white man's good will.

Although the Fingoes were the slaves of the Kaffirs till Sir Benjamin
D'Urban, the good, the true, the generous, and the brave, released them
from their bondage; and, although the Kaffirs to this day denominate
them their "dogs," the Fingoes are in many respects their superiors; and
during this war we had ample opportunity of judging of their patience,
bravery, and fidelity.  The mode of warfare of these two tribes, for
they cannot be considered distinct nations, is in some respects
different.  The Kaffir goes forth to battle besmeared with red clay,
simply arrayed with his kaross, armed with his musket and assegai, and
accoutred with his pouch and sack, for ammunition, plunder, and

The appearance of a body of Fingoes, if less terrific, is more imposing.
Their heads are ornamented with jackals' tails, ostrich plumes, beads,
wolves' teeth, etc.  Across their shoulders is flung a skin, and around
their waist is girt a kilt of monkeys' tails.  The chief, as among the
Kaffirs, wears a tiger-skin kaross, and their rain-makers, who are at
once wizards, doctors, and councillors, are most fearfully grotesque in
their costume.

The Fingoes also bear enormous shields, which they use with great
dexterity, for defence and excitement, sometimes beating time on them as
on a drum; they are also much more ready to meet an enemy on an open
plain than the Kaffirs.  The latter on seeing an enemy, raise a hideous
yell of defiance, and utter the most frightful sounds in imitation of
lions, tigers, jackals, wolves, snakes, etc, by way of intimidating
their assailants, before the attack commences.  A Kaffir meditating a
death-blow with his assegai is a terrific object.  Now, he advances, his
eyes starting from their sockets, his brilliant teeth glittering between
his huge lips, which emit these horrible imitations, his head thrown
back, his whole body writhing and trembling in the excitement of his
anxiety to take a steady aim, his arm upraised, and his spear poised.
The very sight of him is sufficient to inspire the bravest with dread,
for such encounters cannot be considered as fair fights between man and
man.  The Kaffirs, too, have all the cunning of the wild beast, and we
may be thankful in having the Fingoes as our allies in tiny contest with
them; for, while they are sufficiently civilised and instructed to
co-operate with our troops, they are of infinite use in herding cattle
and defending passes.  They will lie down on the watch for hours, and
imitate the cries of animals to attract the attention of the Kaffirs,
who find themselves encountered by creatures of their own mould, instead
of the wolf, or the jackal, they expected.  Sometimes, on the other
hand, the Kaffirs will encircle the Fingoes, and dance round them
yelling frightfully; now roaring like a lion, now hissing like a
serpent; but it is seldom that the Kaffirs conquer the Fingoes, unless
the latter are inferior in numbers.

I prefer citing Colonel Somerset's despatch to the Civil Commissioner of
Albany, to giving any account of my own of the sufferings of the
colonists at this period.  My own detail could only be gathered from
hearsay evidence, and in this I might be misled.  The dispatch no one
can dispute; it is as follows--

McLuckie's Farm, Kariega Kiaa, 4th May, 1846.


"Having moved with the troops under my orders to this part of Albany on
the 1st instant, in order to afford protection to the inhabitants
against the Kaffir tribes, and knowing your anxiety, as well as that of
the public, for their welfare, I feel it necessary to acquaint you that
I arrived here about 7 o'clock, p.m., on the 1st, having observed on my
route that the whole of the Kowie Bush was thickly infested with
Kaffirs.  I moved a patrol early in the morning of the 2nd to Mr Dell's
farm on the Kasonga, where I found several families collected in a great
state of anxiety, the Kaffirs having carried off their cattle, amounting
to about 2,000 head, and the people being exhausted with fatigue and
watching.  Learning that the people at Theopolis were in great distress
for ammunition, I communicated with that station from Mr Dell's.  In a
short time the minister, Mr Taylor, came over to me, saying that his
station had been attacked several nights successively, and his people
were entirely without ammunition, and quite exhausted, and that unless I
could assist him that night, they had no hope, and that there were five
hundred persons who must fall a sacrifice to the Kaffirs, who had stated
they would attack them again that night.  I detached a Serjeant and
twelve men of the Cape Mounted Rifles with Mr Taylor, and supplied him
with a hundred rounds of ammunition as an immediate help.  I also left
at Mr Dell's a party of twelve Burghers, as a reinforcement for the
night.  Having thus afforded some relief to these suffering people, I
returned home, and at nightfall I sent another detachment of twenty men,
Cape Mounted Rifles, under Ensign Harvey, with a further supply of
ammunition, and thus secured these people for the night.

"At daybreak the next morning, I was fortunate enough to fall in with a
large body of Kaffirs, who appeared to have established themselves in
the Kowie Bush.  I attacked them with the troops, and punished them
severely, which I hope will keep them quiet for a day or two.  I then
proceeded to Theopolis, and, having communicated with that station, I
arranged with the missionaries to bring them all here this day, and hope
to forward their families to Graham's Town at an early hour to-morrow
morning, together with some other families who are here in a state of
destitution, the whole of their houses, property, and all they
possessed, having been set on fire by the Kaffirs as soon as they saw
the troops advancing.  These latter people I beg to recommend to the
Government to be put on rations, and have some lodging allotted to them.

"The troops under my command having been detached by the
Lieutenant-Governor for the protection of this part of the Colony, have
been, under Providence, the means of saving the valuable lives of many
helpless families.  Had they arrived forty-eight hours later, all must
have fallen a sacrifice to these ruthless savages, who were only waiting
to complete the work of destruction by murdering the females and
children, [Note 3], to establish themselves in their houses.  Having
been defeated in this by the opportune arrival of the troops, they set
fire to the buildings and hay-stacks, and all their property.  From Mr
McLuckie's 1,800 head of cattle have been carried off, from Mr Dell's
about 2,000, from Theopolis 1,400, besides the total destruction of
almost all their hay-crops.

"It now only remains for me to express my admiration of the gallant
stand that has been made by the inhabitants here for the protection of
their families.  Although surrounded by hundreds of the savage enemy,
they have stood forward like men; and, although seeing their homesteads
in flames, and all at the mercy of these barbarians, have never
flinched, but have, even with cheerful countenances, supported their
characters as men and Britons in defence of all most dear to them; and,
if they had not done so, the assistance the troops have been able to
afford would have come too late.  I am also indebted to Messrs. Fuller
and Ferreira, of Graham's Town, for their assistance in patrolling and
in escorting the missionaries and their families.  There is yet much to
be done; several families on the right bank of the Kowie yet require
protection, hundreds of Kaffirs being in the Kowie Bush for a distance
of twenty miles; but I cannot hold out any immediate hope that I can
cross over into the Bathurst district, either to afford protection, or
to intercept the cattle that the Kaffirs are driving into Kaffirland.
Probably, the Lieutenant-Governor will see fit to detach the cavalry
from Fort Peddie to that district.

"I request that you will communicate the contents of this dispatch to
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, as I am so pressed for time that I
cannot forward one to him to-day.

"I have, etc,

"H. Somerset, Colonel,

"Commanding Field-Forces.

"To the Civil Commander of Albany,

"Graham's Town."

From McLuckie's, Colonel Somerset proceeded, with a force of about sixty
men, on the morning of the 5th of May, to the mouth of the Kowie, to
render assistance to Mr Cock, an individual to whom the commercial
interests of the Colony are much indebted for his success in opening the
mouth of that river.  Here, a large drove of cattle were discovered in
the hands of the enemy as the detachment approached, and only one
hundred and twenty head could be recaptured, as the Kaffirs took shelter
in the bush, with but slight loss to themselves.  On reaching the
dwelling-house overlooking the river, it was ascertained that from four
to five hundred Kaffirs, mostly armed with firelocks, had rushed upon
the cattle as they were going to water, drove off the guard, and
captured the herd.  The little garrison kept up a spirited fire on the
enemy, a small cannon on the building being well served, and doing good

The following morning, another engagement took place near McLuckie's,
the troops following the Kaffirs into a Kloof where they had taken
shelter.  Here the enemy made a desperate stand, as they will do when
driven to fight for their lives, and it was not until a field-piece was
brought to play upon the position, that they were completely routed.
The Kaffirs dragged off many of their dead and wounded, it being
invariably their object to conceal the loss they sustain, but it is
supposed that nearly fifty were killed; while on our side four men were
wounded, three dangerously.  In this encounter, some of these savages
concealed themselves in wolf-holes, firing from their hiding-places.

Colonel Somerset's next care was to secure all the oat-hay he could,
amounting to 500,000 lbs.  In the meantime, two large bodies of the
enemy were in the immediate front of the troops, whose ammunition was
running short.  This, however, was speedily and safely conveyed to them.

It must not be forgotten, that where the troops could not render
assistance to the farmers, the latter in many instances defended their
homesteads with a gallantry equal to those mentioned by Colonel
Somerset.  Frequently, a mere handful of white men followed the enemy
into the most frightful kloofs and passes, rescuing the cattle and
cutting off the retreat of the savages across the drifts, or through the
tangled bush, while their homes, containing their terrified families,
were left to the protection of two or three individuals, the women
assisting them in loading muskets, some bearing a brace of pistols at
their sides, ready to use them if necessary, and mere boys playing their
part right well, through the loop-holes, on any stray Kaffirs
approaching the cattle-kraals.

Meanwhile the outposts, commanding the drifts leading from the colony
into Kaffirland, were so weakly manned, from the want of a sufficient
military force on the frontier [Note 4], that the Kaffirs passed beyond
the range of the guns, but clearly in sight, driving flocks of sheep and
cattle in thousands before them.  At Block Drift, they brought their
plunder to a sunny slope, and shouted in derision their usual cry of
"Izapa!"  "Come on!"  They exchanged shots with the fort, and drove off
a number of "slaughter cattle."  Had Major Campbell (of the 91st)
permitted a sufficient number of men to leave the defences for the
purpose of re-capturing the animals, there would have been a grand rush
from the reserve of the enemy, who were concealed in the neighbouring
kloofs and villages.

Almost all the outposts were similarly assailed, and all were well
defended by the military.  A general order was issued, in which
Lieutenants Cole, Dixon, Metcalf, and Mill, and Ensign Thom, 91st
Regiment, and Lieutenant Bourchier, R.E., were commended for the able
stand they had made against the enemy.

His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland again took up his quarters at
Graham's Town, on the 9th of May.  One of his first arrangements was to
appoint Major Armstrong, Cape Mounted Rifles, to the command of the
district to Bathurst, with a view to protect the colonists there, and
enable them to recommence the cultivation of that beautiful and fertile
locality.  Major Armstrong is an officer of long standing and great
experience in the Colony, and fully worthy of the trust reposed in him.
The inhabitants of Bathurst, whose only place of refuge was the church,
hailed the arrival of Major Armstrong and his force with great joy and

Fort Peddie, a large military station under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Lindsay, 91st Regiment, had in the meantime become
the scene of Kaffir warfare.  The I'Slambie tribes in its neighbourhood
had professed to remain neutral, until they found the Gaikas were
enriching themselves with the plunder of the Colony.  These very
I'Slambie and Congo tribes received the thanks of Government with
praises and presents of money only two years before, in consideration of
their peaceful dispositions towards us.  The Gaikas may be considered a
more worthy foe than these treacherous wretches paid and petted by us.
The Gaikas have ever professed an utter abhorrence of the white man;
and, although Sandilla, their chief, has occasionally been coaxed or
frightened into sending to our authorities persuasive, humble, and
pathetic messages, he has frequently retracted them, or followed them up
by some daring acts of violence or aggression.

Colonel Lindsay having received various threats from the I'Slambie
Chiefs, that they were coming with their warriors to attack his post,
kept a look-out for the approach of the enemy.  Several of these chiefs
had, on the faith of their promises of neutrality, been received by the
English at Fort Peddie with cordiality, especially Pato and Nonnebe, the
latter a female descendant of General Campbell, who with his family was
wrecked in the last century off the east coast of Africa, in the
"Grosvenor" East Indiaman.  Nonnebe's mother was the daughter of Miss
Campbell, one of the General's unhappy daughters, who had been seized
and retained by a Kaffir chief as his "great wife."

On the 1st of May, the war-cry of the enemy sounded in the direction of
the Beka Missionary Station, while the 7th Dragoon Guards were mustering
on the green at Fort Peddie.  From the jaded state of the horses, owing
to a hurried march the day before, some delay took place in the movement
of the troops, but the force under Sir Harry Darell, which had been
stationed at Peddie for some time, was saddled up, and a gun, under
Lieutenant Hill, R.A., was ordered to proceed immediately.  Soon after,
the rest of the 7th, under Lieut.-Col. Richardson, and a party of the
Cape Corps under Captain Donovan, started to meet the enemy, fifty of
the 91st preceding them.  The Kaffirs, on their approach, burnt the
mission buildings and retired into the bush, where they were safe from
any present attack, nor would they leave it, though a feint hurried
movement in retiring was made.

In less than a month afterwards, the same _ruse_ was practised by Major
Yarborough, 91st Regiment, when in command of a small body of infantry
and a troop of dragoons, and with success.  In this rencontre, a Kaffir
Chief was severely wounded.  As he fell, his people surrounded him, and,
raising him up to bear him from the field, uttered the most dismal howls
and lamentations.

The cries of the women for the loss of their relations are mournful in
the extreme, and at night the wailings of these unhappy heathens fill
the air with a melancholy sound, while not far from them, the victorious
warriors chant their wild war-song, and dance their savage dance in
demoniac glee around the blazing watch-fires.

On Friday, the 8th of May, Colonel Richardson, who was ordered to
Bathurst, via Trumpeter's Post, to co-operate with Colonel Somerset in
the protection of Lower Albany, had a rencontre with the enemy on his
march through Trumpeter's Drift, one of those frightful passes formed by
nature for the lurking-place of the savage, or the wild beast.  I know
the spot well: no place could be more favourable for the murderous
operations of the Kaffirs, or less suited to the movements of British
cavalry.  On reaching the spot where the missionary, Schula, was
murdered the year before, Colonel Richardson found Captain Schonswar,
7th, who had the charge of the advance guard of waggons, engaged with
the enemy, the waggons being drawn up.  The difficulty of proceeding
down a steep declivity commanded by a dense kloof, and so bushy that the
waggons could only pass in single file, was represented to Colonel
Richardson.  His reply was, that he was "ordered to Trumpeter's", and he
immediately directed the waggons to advance; but, from the incessant
fire kept up by the enemy from the bush on each side of the defile, and
finding his men falling rapidly, he ordered them to dismount, _each man
of the centre file taking charge of three horses_, whilst the rest were
extended in skirmishing order.  Thus, one-third of the force was
rendered inefficient by the necessary arrangement for guarding the
horses.  "In this manner, they had to fight their way through the bush,
for the distance of about six miles, down to the river, and up the hill
on the other side, the whole time exposed to the fire of the enemy, who
were generally concealed in the bush.  In some places, they attempted to
stop the passage of the troops by rushing into the road in front, when
the dragoons were forced to clear their way through them.  Thirty-seven
dead bodies of Kaffirs were counted by the officers as they passed along
the road.  The Kaffirs approached within five yards to fire, and dropped
down in the bush the moment they had discharged their guns."

One made a dash at Mr Butler, 7th, and the latter, without having time
to raise his rifle to his shoulder, shot the savage dead when close upon

The troops were hotly engaged in this way from nine till twelve o'clock;
the object was the capture of the ammunition-waggon, and the enemy
shouted aloud they would have it either at that drift or the next.  In
this affair several of the dragoons were wounded--two severely--and one

While engaged, a party was despatched for a fresh supply of ammunition,
which was brought from the waggons by the men under a heavy fire from
the enemy.

Colonel Richardson, being short of ammunition, instead of proceeding to
Bathurst, brought his own report of the affair to His Excellency Sir
Peregrine Maitland, who had now assumed the command of the forces on the
frontier in person.

The pressure of the times hastened the gathering of fresh forces of
various descriptions from all parts of the Colony; every district, from
Cape Town upwards, gave forth its burghers, and, among other welcome
arrivals, were six guns escorted by a body of sailors, marines, and the
remainder of the 27th.

The cavalcade of guns guarded by sailors, presented a singular
appearance, marching down the hill into Graham's Town.  No steady tread
of soldiers' measured paces, no shapely column, no waving plumes, though
the marines, in their plain dress, more adapted for work than show,
enlivened the group of brave tars as they entered the Drostdy Square.
The sailors tramped onwards with their usual merry, unconcerned air, in
their coarse blue clothing and straw hats, but they looked well fitted
for their work, as they moved forwards concentrated round the guns.  As
I stood watching the cavalcade, I mused proudly on the might and majesty
of England, and these proud emotions stirred my heart still deeper as
the men fell back from their guns, and the marines drew up in a steady
line before the brave old General--the British hero--the kind Governor--
but, better than all, the _good man_!

On the 22nd of May, our troops and colonists sustained a severe loss by
the capture and partial destruction of forty-one waggons in the
frightful pass where Colonel Richardson's affray with the Kaffirs took
place.  The loss to the public, as well as to private individuals, was
so severe, as to involve the officer in command, Captain Colin Campbell,
91st Regiment, in a court-martial, which sentenced him to be cashiered;
but on a recommendation to mercy from the court, he was permitted to
return to his duty, "with such an admonition as the Commander-in-chief
thought fit to give him."  The Duke of Wellington's opinion on the case
wound up with this characteristic and caustic remark: "It does not
appear that Captain Colin Campbell did anything to show his capacity for
the command in which he was engaged."

On this occasion, Lieutenant Dixon, 91st Regiment, who had been ordered
to assist in escorting the waggons a certain distance, till the other
escort was _met_, nobly volunteered proceeding farther, and led the
advance; nor did he retire till his ammunition was expended.  On
reaching the rear, he found the commanding officer of the party
retreating, by the advice of some civilians, who considered the defile
impassable for so many waggons, under such a fire.  Lieutenant Dixon's
coolness, courage, and energy, in not only leading the men, but
literally "putting his shoulder to the wheel" of a waggon, to clear the
line, were spoken of by all as worthy of the highest praise.  His horse,
and that of Ensign Aitchison, were shot under their riders.  Surgeon
Hadaway's horse also received an assegai wound, and was killed after he
had dismounted from it.

On the 25th of May, Colonels Somerset and Richardson's divisions, which
had both been employed in patrolling the country, returned to Graham's

The 28th was appointed as a day of prayer throughout the Colony.  The
churches were crowded, and the mourning garments of those whose friends
had fallen by the hands of the savage, presented a sad memorial of the
times.  Strangely contrasted on this day were the contending parties,
the white man and the Kaffir.  The former on this occasion lifted up his
voice for help from Heaven, while the heathen, armed with brand and
assegai, stalked wildly through the land; and while good men were
calling upon God to assist them in their righteous cause, the foe, in a
body of nine thousand strong, assembled on the open plains before Fort
Peddie, threatening to "trample it to dust."


Note 1.  By reference to Colonel Tulloch's official Reports on
Invaliding and Mortality in the Army it will be seen that the rate of
sickness and death among the troops at the Cape is less than in England.

Note 2.  The Drostdy barracks occupy the site of the Landros, or Dutch
magistrate's house, hence the name.

Note 3.  It has been remarked as a grand trait in the Kaffir character,
that they will never injure a woman.  Their policy leads them to imitate
ours in this respect with regard to _white women_, but, among their
marauding parties, like those described in Colonel Somerset's dispatch,
even women and children of our nation have fallen a prey to the assegai.
Their politic generosity _never_ applies to any but _white_ people;
they will torture, burn, and impale the unhappy Fingoes who fall into
their hands, without regard to age or sex.

Note 4.  It was found necessary to abandon and burn Post Victoria early
in May.  This post, the establishment of which had so highly incensed
the Gaikas, was reduced to ashes in consequence of the occupation by the
British troops of Block Drift, distant about nine miles from it, and
nearer Sandilla's territory.



The chief, Umki, who had been received under the protection of the
English, at Fort Peddie, had frequently warned them of projected attacks
by his brother chiefs, but as frequently, when these warnings were
given, and the troops kept on the alert within the range of the post,
parties with waggons, or expresses, were arrested in their progress in
some other direction.  Umki was more than once suspected of raising
false reports at Fort Peddie, with a view to keep the troops at home.
His words, however, were verified on the 28th of May, 1846, when the
I'Slambie and Congo warriors had assembled, in a body of nine thousand,
on the plains below the eminence on which the garrison and other
buildings stand.  On the previous day, some spies had brought Colonel
Lindsay information that the Kaffirs were in the neighbourhood, in
straggling parties.  At this intelligence, Colonel Lindsay ordered out
Sir Harry Darell's troop of the 7th Dragoon Guards, fourteen of the Cape
Mounted Riflemen, and a light 6-pounder, to patrol the hills and protect
the cattle.  An hour afterwards, on hearing the gun at work about two
miles off, a hundred infantry were sent out, under the command of Major
Yarborough, to support the gun and cavalry.  This party met the gun
retiring disabled, a wheeler being shot.  The cavalry were found in
extended order, engaged with the enemy near a dense bush.  The infantry
advanced in extended order, firing.  It was on this occasion that Major
Yarborough, ordered them to feign a retreat, as I have already
mentioned, in order to draw the enemy into an open space; this _ruse_
succeeded, and Sir Harry Darell, who had retired behind the infantry and
closed, had an opportunity of charging with his troop, and sabred
fifteen or twenty before they could get into the bush.  Then the
infantry advanced, and again feigned to retire, and the enemy came out a
little way, keeping up a brisk fire, though at a long range.  The 91st
then halted, and ceased firing, waiting for the enemy to come on; but
they did not do so, and, night advancing, the troops retired to
quarters; Sir Harry Darell, and Mr Gore, 7th, returned with their hands
imbued in Kaffir blood, and their swords bent and broken.  The number of
the enemy was estimated at eight hundred, or a thousand.  More than
forty were killed and wounded in the skirmish and charge, besides those
who fell by the shells thrown into the kloof before the infantry came
up.  The casualties on our side were slight.  The troop Serjeant-Major
of the 7th was wounded, and the charger Sir Harry rode; some other
horses were also killed and wounded.  The skirmishing of the enemy was
perfect, hiding themselves, and advancing and retiring behind the
smallest ant-heaps and stones.  With the infantry were a hundred of the
Fort Peddie Fingoes, who assisted the troops, and worked bravely with
them.  Thus, about one hundred and fifty of our own troops, with a
hundred Fingoes, succeeded in driving eight hundred or a thousand
Kaffirs from their position, killing and wounding at least fifty!

This check, though, was only for the night,--this advance by the enemy
towards the post, only the prelude of the morrow, the morning of which
presented the awful spectacle of the gathering of the tribes on the
hills around the open plain on which the buildings of Fort Peddie stand
in somewhat scattered order.  From my long residence there I know the
place well; a solitary tree is the only thing of the land on which the
eye rests in looking from the green plain forming the parade-ground of
the garrison.  All around are open, undulating plains, studded with
ant-heaps, and cultivated here and there by the poor Fingoes, with
Indian and Kaffir corn and pumpkin vines.  These vast and almost
desolate plains are bounded by steep ascents, and here and there a dark
shadow in the landscape indicates the entrance of a kloof.  It was here
I once witnessed the gathering of the Fingoes from those hills, to a
war-dance.  Their wild war-cry issued from their kraals, and then,
coming forth, they united in phalanx and advanced, with their triumphant
chant.  Such a gathering as this is a savage sight.  As they approach an
imaginary enemy, they shout and yell, then form circles, while some
stern old warrior goes round with his war-club as if striking down the
strangling bodies of the wounded and dying foe; then, extending
themselves in skirmishing order, they again advance, assegai in hand,
while, with shrill and exciting cries, and beating their shields, their
leaders spring and leap with the activity of the tiger.

When I witnessed this wild exhibition, the Fingoes became so much
excited with the semblance of a fight, that they threw their assegais
from them, as though in earnest; so much so, that the Resident Agent,
Mr Shepstone, who knew their habits and dispositions well, warned the
soldiers, who were looking on, from the front.  I was inclined to run
myself; but Mr Shepstone assuring me that they would not do our own
party any harm on purpose, but that he could not answer for the effect
of a stray assegai, if we moved, we were fain to stand still amid a
shower of spears; and, as one passed near me, there was a shout on
seeing I stood my ground.

Imagine the approach of nine thousand savage enemies; all _in earnest_,
towards the little garrison of Fort Peddie!  It must have been an
appalling sight.  An eye-witness, and credible person, has published the
following description in a frontier paper.  I extract it, being sure of
its truth, as it coincides exactly with the accounts I have read and
received from officers present during the engagement.  I have chosen
this one as the most graphic:--

"I am afraid," says the writer, "I can give you no description of the
attack itself.  Were it not that life and death were concerned in it, I
should have pronounced it a most beautiful sight.  The Kaffir commanders
sent their aides-de-camp from one party to another, just as you would
see it done on a field-day with European troops.  The main bodies were
continually increasing with horse and shot-men, and soon after eleven
the array was truly terrific.  The largest body was to the westward.
Finding their scheme of drawing the troops out did not succeed, small
parties advanced in skirmishing order, and then the two divisions of
Pato and the Gaikas moved towards each other, as if intending a combined
attack on some given point.  Colonel Lindsay was superintending the
working of the gun himself, and, as soon as a body of the Gaikas came
within range, a shot was sent into the midst of them, which knocked over
several, disconcerted them a little, and threw them into confusion;
rapid discharges of shot and shell followed.  The Kaffirs now extended
themselves in a line six miles in length.  These advancing at the same
time, so filled the valley that it seemed a mass of moving Kaffirs;
rockets and shells were poured rapidly on them, and presently a
tremendous fire of musketry was poured, happily, over our heads.  The
enemy, however, did not come near enough for the infantry to play upon
them, and only a few shots were fired from the infantry barracks.  While
they were rifling a store, a few shots from the howitzer sent them
flying, carrying off their booty, blankets, etc; a rocket was then sent
after them, causing them to drop their plunder.

"The guns having frightened the cattle of the Fingoes under the fort,
they (the cattle) ran off, and were captured by the Kaffirs, but the
brave Fingoes, following them, took a considerable number.  The actual
fighting was between the Fingoes and Kaffirs: the troops could not have
gone out without exposing the forts to danger, as there were masses
ready to pour in at all quarters.

"The dragoons were ordered out, and, though rather late, followed up
some of Pato's men, who fled at their approach, Sir Harry Darell
galloping after them with his troop.  The daring Fingoes followed the
Kaffirs to the Gwanga river, four miles off.  Twelve of the Fingoes were
killed, including a woman and child.  The two latter were destroyed by
the bursting of a shell over the trench under the fort, in which the
poor Fingo women, and their families, were placed for safety."

Upwards of two hundred of the enemy fell, and more were afterwards
ascertained to be dead and dying, but they carried off the greater part
of the cattle.  It has always been a matter of astonishment to me that
they did not fire the outer residences of the inhabitants, civil and
military, built of wood or unburned brick, thatched, and abandoned by
their inmates, with furniture and stores standing in them.  Plunder was
the Kaffir's aim, however; and he obtained the plunder he loved best--
cattle.  The force, for the protection of such a post as Fort Peddie,
was only sufficient to act on the defensive; and it was a horrible
reflection to all, that, if the enemy did succeed in making an entrance,
every soul would be murdered, unless some unhappy women were spared to
swell the number of some savage chieftain's wives.

In spite of their numbers, these wretches were scattered in about two
hours; but they bore off the cattle.  Not one white man fell on that
memorable day: and, so intent was Colonel Lindsay on the working of the
gun with Lieutenant King, R.A., that he was unconscious or careless of
the balls whistling round his elevated position, until reminded of it by
his Adjutant, Lieutenant Jennings.

While this fearful warfare was going on at Fort Peddie, Colonel
Somerset, with an immense train of waggons, containing supplies and
ammunition, and a force of dragoons, Cape Mounted Riflemen, and Burghers
of all sorts, sizes, colours, and denominations, was moving thitherwards
through the bush, avoiding the defiles near Trumpeter's, and making a
_detour_ by Commatjes.  Colonel Richardson, with a division of the 7th,
was sent from Graham's Town, in the middle of the night, to draw the
attention of the enemy from Colonel Somerset's party, but did not meet
any Kaffirs.  The enemy were on the alert, as usual, having their scouts
watching the country; and, before Colonel Somerset could reach his
destination, he was warned of the proximity of the foe by shots fired at
the leading oxen of a foremost waggon; but Colonel Somerset,
ready-witted in the bush as a Kaffir, had anticipated this, and provided
spare oxen.  With admirable coolness and speed, the dead oxen were cut
away, and fresh ones "inspanned," and in this manner, under the fire of
the enemy, did Colonel Somerset and his gallant band make their way
through the dense bush, up narrow and precipitous defiles, down the
valleys, and across the dangerous drifts, and succeeded in reaching Fort
Peddie, with the loss of four men of his own regiment; two or three also
being wounded.  Major Gibsone, 7th Dragoon Guards, and Lieutenant
Stokes, R.E., had their horses shot under them at the first attack, and
some troopers were killed.

This division left Graham's Town on the 29th of May, the day after the
engagement at Peddie, but before any intelligence of it had been
received.  On the 30th, at midnight, we heard the 7th Dragoon Guards
gathering under our windows, in Graham's Town, previously to starting to
make their demonstration; and on Sunday, the 31st of May, Sir Peregrine
Maitland, with a small escort, proceeded to a tower about ten miles from
town, from which he observed Colonel Somerset bivouacked.  It was not
known till the next day that Colonel Somerset had encountered the enemy.
No news was received from him, till he could add that he had passed the
bush, and was within sight of Peddie.

Never happy in idleness when there was an enemy at hand, Colonel
Somerset only remained long enough to Peddie to refresh his men and
horses, and then again moved into the bush.  Well acquainted with the
disposition, habits, and superstitions of the Kaffirs, Colonel Somerset
is the kind of foe they most dread; brave, hardy, active, and
high-spirited, he is just the man to lead the hardy Cape Corps against
such barbarians.  And now, again, he was soon upon some of the
stragglers who had attacked Fort Peddie on the 28th of May.  They had
assembled "to breakfast," in a kloof, thickly wooded; but on one green
spot, lit by the sun, there was gathered a tolerable array of them,
little dreaming that am enemy as wary as themselves was at hand.  The
green and sunlit spot was soon darkened by the smoke of British
artillery, and the kloof and mountains gave back the thundering echoes
to the astonished ears of the savages.  Such as escaped death slipped
through the bush, and along the wooded ravines, to warn their friends of

Colonel Somerset then moved with his division to a place where wood and
water offered the means of a pleasant bivouac, and the troops were about
to open their haversacks and turn their horses, knee-haltered, out to
grass, when Lieutenant Bisset, Cape Mounted Rifles, who had gone out
with Lieutenant Armstrong, of the same corps, to reconnoitre (the latter
having observed a few Kaffirs skulking near the bush, and surmised that
more were in the neighbourhood), rode back with the intelligence that,
his horse having carried him up the slope of a hill, he had found
himself just above a body of about six hundred Kaffirs.  These savages,
having had a long march, were halting on their way, preparatory,
perhaps, to attacking the waggons, which they did not know had passed
through Commatjes Bush; or, it may be, they had been stayed in their
progress by the sound of the shells thrown into the kloof, to rout the
"breakfast-party," two hours before.  There they were, however, a
regular "clump of Kaffirs."  Down the slope flew the fiery steed, which
could only be guided, not stopped, in its career, and right past the
dark mass was borne the rider, while they, bewildered at the unexpected
sight of the "wild horseman" in that sequestered valley, never moved,
but gazed in silence at him as he sped past them.  "Wearing round," in
sailor's phrase, his impetuous and hard-mouthed horse, he managed to
bring it up at the halting-place of the division, where he reported the
near proximity of the enemy to Colonel Somerset, who, lifting has cap
from his head, gave three hearty cheers and shouted to Major Gibsone
(7th Dragoon Guards), "Return carbines, draw swords, and charge!"

"Hurrah!" was echoed back; and on they dashed, Dragoons, Cape Corps,
Burghers, Hottentots, and Fingoes.  They found the enemy up and in
position; but they had never intended to be caught in an open plain.
They had never before had an opportunity of judging fairly of a charge
of English cavalry.  Such a _melee_.  The cavalry dashed through the
phalanx of Kaffirs, and, for want of more cavalry to support them,
_dashed back again_.  A Hottentot soldier, one of the Sturdy Cape Corps,
having two horses given him to take care of, charged _unarmed_, save his
sword, and _with a horse in each hand_!  There was great slaughter among
the enemy.  Captain Walpole, R.E., who had gone out as an amateur, was
severely wounded in two places; Sir Harry Darell was again wounded, but
not severely, with an assegai, as was also Lieutenant Bunbury, 7th
Dragoon Guards.  Such Kaffirs as could not escape fell down exhausted,
and cried for mercy: there was a great deal of cunning in this,--they
would have stabbed any one who approached near enough to them to offer a
kind word.  They had all had enough, however, of meeting a combined
force of cavalry and Cape Corps, and no doubt the latter tried to
surpass themselves.  Those gallant little "Totties" are an untiring,
determined band.  How little do we know in England of the smartness and
courage of the Hottentot!

So excited were the troops by this victory over the enemy--more than two
hundred savages being killed, and an immense number carried off
wounded--that they galloped back to Fort Peddie with the news, and
without refreshing themselves or their horses.  Had the enemy been a few
minutes earlier in leaving _their_ bivouac, or had the troops been a few
minutes later in reaching _theirs_, the parties would never have met.
Only one man fell on our side, a Cape Corps soldier, who had often been
reproved for his rashness.

This action on the Qwanga served to damp the ardour of the Kaffirs for
some time.  They bore off their wounded and dying to the kloofs, where
they had established hospitals in the clefts of rocks, or under bush,
screened by karosses and sheepskins, and mourned the death of many a
chieftain's son, captain, or councillor.  The superior chiefs themselves
seldom fall, and no paramount chief is expected to lead his men to
action.  In the attack on the Mancazana, Macomo, Sandilla's uncle, beat
his warriors to the advance with his knob-kiurries; and then, seating
himself on a hill, waited the result of the attack and the capture of
the cattle.

While these operations were going on "across the border," the Boers
began to show their teeth on the other side of the Orange River, and the
Griquas, in alarm, moved towards Philippolis, a mission station, with
their families and cattle.  The Boers had resolved on taking advantage
of the times to recover the cattle and sheep which the Government had
given to the Griquas, in compensation for their losses in their war with
the Boers, in which we had assisted them.  These were the Boers who had
deserted the Colony and tracked over the Orange River ten years before.
It is irrelevant, however, to my present purpose to touch upon the Dutch
question; nevertheless, it may be remarked that we had great occasion to
regret this disaffection.  Captain Warden, (formerly of the Cape Corps),
the representative of Government at the Modda River, soon settled the
question, in a spirited and judicious manner.  Six rebel Boers were
taken prisoners, and sent to await their trial in gaol.

The Burghers continued to move up from all quarters.  I watched one body
on their entrance into Graham's Town, and saw them winding through the
streets; the cavalcade of horsemen alone must have been at least a mile
in length.  Strong, hardy, daring fellows they looked, too; but there
was something very melancholy in the thought, that they had left their
homes and families to meet a ruthless and savage foe, whom they had in
no wise injured, or treated otherwise than with humanity and patience.
How many might never return!  I turned sorrowfully away, as this thought
passed through my mind.

Still the Colony was overrun with Kaffirs.  As fast as they were put
down in one place, they started up in another.  The mails could not pass
in safety, the enemy sometimes waylaying them, murdering the post
riders, and destroying the letter-bags, or stealing the relay horses
from the mail contractors.  The inhabitants of the different districts
received the most garbled statements of affairs, and discontent
prevailed in all directions at the delay in the warfare; a delay
entirely unavoidable, and as ruinous to the Government as to the

In spite of some attempts to foster enmity between the military and
burgher forces, it was pleasant to observe the manner in which the
_fighting men_ worked together; and I therefore give the substance of a
dispatch from a Burgher officer, which was published by order of the
Commander-in-Chief, and was dated--

"Trumpeter's Post, 24th June, 1846.


"I have the honour to report to you that, in compliance with your
orders, I left this on the 22nd instant, at four o'clock, a.m., taking
with me 240 men of the Provisional Infantry, and 120 Fingoes, under
Captain Symonds, for the purpose of scouring the kloofs on the left bank
of the Fish River.  At seven o'clock the same day, we came upon the
enemy, whose spoor (trail) we had followed up from the Fish River drift.
Sending a flanking party down each side, under Captain De Toit and
Captain Symonds, I proceeded down the Gwanga Kloof.  Scarcely had we
entered, when we heard the enemy talking distinctly about fifteen paces
in advance of us.  We immediately rushed up, and found that their fires,
ninety-three in number, had been deserted a few moments before we came
up, and that cattle had also been driven past.  We soon after fell in
with the enemy, who, being fired at, fled in all directions, leaving
their cattle behind them.  We captured them, 120 in number, with four
horses, and went back up another kloof, where we found the enemy in
strong force hid behind rocks hanging over our heads, opening their
musketry on us.  The fire was returned briskly by our men, who faced the
enemy with much coolness.  By this time, Captain De Toit had joined us,
having had a brush in another kloof.  The skirmish lasted for three
hours.  One Kaffir, I supposed to be a chief, was seated on a hill,
directing the movements of the enemy, telling them to surround us and
take the cattle back.

"After we came out of the kloof, the Kaffirs tried all they could to cut
us off, waylaying us in every ravine, and firing long shots at us.  They
followed us up within five miles of Fort Peddie, when they gradually
retreated, with the loss of six men.  No casualties on our side.  I
suppose the enemy to be about a thousand strong.  I beg leave to state
that I think it impossible to drive the enemy out of the kloof alluded
to, and those immediately beyond it, without a very strong force of
infantry and a piece of artillery.  I beg to bring to your notice the
conduct of Lieutenant Lange, who on all occasions when we have met the
enemy has particularly distinguished himself.

"I have the honour to be, etc,

"Thos. J. Melville.

"To Commandant Size."

On receiving this dispatch, the Commander-in-chief caused the kloofs in
question to be scoured, and it was found that the enemy had abandoned
their strongholds in that quarter.  This was only for a time.  A troop
of dragoons was ordered out six weeks after to clear the "Clay Pits,"
near Trumpeter's.  The name is derived from the red clay which is found
in the neighbourhood by the Kaffirs, who paint their bodies with it.  It
is, however, an unseemly name for the spot, which I know well.  It is
quite a fairy place, with a tiny valley of emerald green, and a crystal
spring, flanked on three sides by steep rocks clothed with thick bush,
and the stately euphorbia tree.  There the conies have their
dwelling-places; there the large starry jessamine of the Cape scents the
air, and contrasts its graceful wreaths with the deep green foliage of
the shrubs; there the wild convolvulus forms its own bright bowers,
intermingled with the ivy geranium; and there the chandelier plant waves
its bells near the clear spring where the lions come down to drink in
the deep twilight so peculiar to South Africa.  There the baboons shout
to each other from rock to rock; and there, through the gay plants that
enamel the turf, winds the glittering and fatal snake.  There the pretty
lizards--"the friend of man," as they are called by those who assert
that they warn the sleeping traveller of the serpent's approach,--creep
about in the sunshine; and there--ah! there we made one day a pleasant
resting-place on a journey.  We were very merry, _then_, and the valley
rang with laughter and with song, as we tried the echoes.  And _now_ the
savage lurked there, like the lion lurking for his prey.  I remember
that the day we did rest there, when I expressed myself enchanted with
the spot, some one said, in an indifferent voice, "This is where poor--
was killed in the last war; and where the waggon was stopped, and the
poor creatures with it were murdered!"

It was now found necessary, in consequence of the dense bush near
Trumpeter's being full of Kaffirs, to open a communication between
Graham's Town and Fort Peddie, by a route near the sea.  The marines,
sailors, and a party of sappers were therefore sent thither to form a
raft for the conveyance of some expected supplies for the troops across
the Great Fish River, near the mouth.

Sir Peregrine Maitland, with a very moderate escort, made his way
through the bush, and established his head-quarters at Peddie for a few
days; but on the 23rd of June, he took the field, and encamped with a
large body of troops, part of the 7th, 90th, 91st, Cape Mounted Rifles,
Burghers, Hottentots, and Fingoes, at the mouth of the Fish River; and,
in compliment to the Admiral of the Cape Station, the locality was named
Fort Dacres.

On the 26th, an express arrived from the Admiral, recalling the sailors
and marines to rejoin the "President," under orders for the Mauritius,
and probably Madagascar.  Their removal, at this moment, was much to be
regretted; British energy, patience, courage, and perseverance, however,
surmounted difficulties hitherto unconsidered, and the "Waterloo," with
her cargo, was soon anxiously looked for.  Supplies, too, reached the
troops, who were occasionally without any food but meat for days, and
even that was scarce and bad.  A shilling was once offered for a glass
of fresh water, without success, and two shillings and six pence for a
biscuit!  At Fort Peddie, too, they were in a miserable plight, the
horses almost starving.  No comforts whatever for the men, some of them
being badly off for clothing, of the arrival of which they had been
disappointed by the destruction of the baggage-waggons near Trumpeter's,
in May.  By the way, some days after the attack on Fort Peddie, Pato's
people brought some of the store-waggons to the hill, in sight of the
garrison, and set fire to them, in order to decoy the troops from the
buildings; but without success.

A discovery was made near the Fish River mouth, by some soldiers, of a
leaf which they substituted for tea; but the water, from being so near
the sea, was very brackish and unwholesome, and thus no good judgment
could be formed of the quality of the substitute.  Some Boers arriving
at Fort Dacres, having never seen the sea, rushed down to it in
amazement at the "Groete Vley" (Big River), and, stooping down to drink,
were much disappointed at finding it "brack" (salt).

Difficulties of various kinds now beset the path of the
Commander-in-chief.  The enemy had stolen most of the colonial cattle,
and what was left was in such a wretched state, from fatigue and bad
pasturage, that, independently of present hunger, the trek oxen could
make but very little way.  On the 6th, Major Yarborough, 91st, in
command of the regular infantry, consisting of about 120 of the 91st,
and part of the 90th, made his first march from the Fish River mouth,
along the sea-shore, to the mouth of the Beka: here they encamped the
first night, and had a taste of the rough service in which they were
engaged.  The waggons did not reach them till morning, so that they had
but slight provision, and no tents.  However, they made the best of it,
and, rolling themselves up in such cloaks and karosses as they could
muster, lay down by the fires to sleep.  Those who had saddles made
pillows of them,--and a saddle makes no bad resting-place for a weary
head, as I can testify from experience.  On the 10th, all was bustle
again; tents were struck, and a hasty meal was made of tough beef and
ration biscuit, hard and mouldy most likely, and the division again
moved on at five o'clock in the afternoon.

After sleeping five nights in the open air--in consequence of the
waggons with the tents being in the rear, from the state of the oxen--
they reached the Buffalo River.  During this march, they experienced
much discomfort from bad weather, as well as want of provisions.  On one
occasion, they could not see their way for twelve hours, and were
obliged to stand under a heavy rain, the ground being so saturated with
wet that they could not lie down.  For four days, the men never tasted
meat, and the officers had only such provisions as their horses could
carry.  The poor Fingoes were reduced to eating their shields of
bullock-hides, and the Hottentots tightened their girdles of famine.
Fortunately, Captain Melville's Hottentot Burghers overtook some Kaffir
women, from whom they captured three hundred cows,--a great god-send to
a starving army, for a long march was before them, the Kaffirs having
gone as far as the Kei.  The General, who shared the privations and
sufferings of the troops under his command, determined to follow them
up, but for a time the division halted till the waggons came up with
comforts, in the shape of coffee, biscuits, sugar, rice, etc; and at the
same time vessels continued to arrive at the Fish River mouth, whence
stores could be forwarded, though literally at a "snail's pace," to the
troops in front.

On the 17th of July, Colonel Somerset, with three days' provision,
headed a large force of 1,600 cavalry and infantry, the latter
provisional forces, which were to recapture the stolen cattle from Pato;
it will be seen with what success.  From the state of the trek oxen, it
was quite impossible for the regular infantry to follow in support of
Colonel Somerset's division; they therefore proceeded to the Debe flats,
_via_ King William's Town, headed by the untiring and brave General
Maitland, on their way to the Amatolas, to intercept the Gaikas.  The
poor oxen could scarcely crawl, many of them dropping dead on the way.
The Cape ox is certainly the most patient and gentle creature of its
kind.  And now the last issue of meat was again made, and sad prospects
were before the troops on their way from the sea, whence other supplies
alone could be looked for.  Happily, a few straggling sheep were
afterwards captured: and thus fed from day to day, in the wilderness, by
Providence, the troops moved forty miles in ten days.  On the 21st of
July, they encamped four miles from King William's Town, where in the
war of 1834-5, Sir Harry Smith, the present Governor of the Cape, met
the Kaffir chiefs.

On reaching the spot where the troops were to encamp, on the other side
of King William's Town, through which they had passed--finding it
ransacked by the Kaffirs--they were unpleasantly surprised by the return
of twenty empty waggons, which had left them two days before for the
Fish River mouth, with an escort of one hundred Burghers, who had fired
away all their ammunition and retired, having one man wounded, and
losing six oxen.  The Kaffirs informed them, as they set fire to one of
the rear waggons, that "unless we made peace with them, they would stop
all our convoys."

Colonel Johnstone, 27th Regiment, who had left Graham's Town on the 8th
of July, for the Fish River mouth, where he was relieved by the second
division of the 90th, joined the General's Camp on the 26th of the same
month, bringing with him some welcome and long-looked-for supplies.

While thus encamped, a Kaffir woman, pretending to be the sister of the
Chief, Umhala, made her way to the Governor to sue for peace, asserting
that Umhala was "sitting still."  Many such messages had been sent, but
were quite unworthy of obtaining a hearing.  The Kaffirs having driven
their booty across the Kei, were of course anxious for peace, and
Sandilla had the cool impudence to send four ambassadresses to the
Lieutenant-Governor at Fort Beaufort, to ask "why we had made war upon
him," and to request permission to "plant his corn!"  After the affair
at Fort Peddie, Stock, an I'Slambie chief, sent messengers to complain
of _our attacks on him_, when he, too, was "sitting still," and only
wished to be allowed to "watch his father Eno's grave!"  Very pathetic
indeed!  Stock _was_ no doubt "sitting still" beside "his father's
grave," but his people were at work, plundering, burning, murdering,
torturing and mutilating the troops and colonists, _while_ he "sat
still," and _approved_.  He should have _protected_ that sacred spot,
and kept the neighbourhood of Fort Peddie clear of marauders.  When his
father died, after the commencement of the war, he was buried decently;
the military at Fort Peddie witnessing the funeral, and receiving the
promises of fidelity which Stock offered.  But, in spite of these
promises, in spite of the Kaffir law that "no tribe shall engage in war
for twelve moons after the death of its chief," Stock's people were
among the _first_ who made their ruthless way through the helpless
Colony with brand and assegai!

The chief, Umki, took refuge at Peddie, at the commencement of
hostilities, leaving his people, or rather permitting his people to
surrender at will.  He was received at Graham's Town, where, with his
wives and ragged retinue, he was provided with "board and lodging" at
the expense of Government.  There is no faith to be placed in any chief
but the Christian, Kama, who, with the remnant of his people, took an
active part in the defence of the Winterberg district, thirty miles from
Fort Beaufort.  Kama proved himself true to his religion, to us, and to
himself, in every way sacrificing worldly distinctions and property,
and, as I have before remarked, putting his life in jeopardy by the
deadly offence he gave the Tambookies in refusing a second wife from
that royal race.  Yet I have never heard the voice of public
philanthropy raised in favour of Kama.



Early in July, Colonel Somerset proceeded on an expedition across the
Kei, in pursuit of the treacherous chief, Pato, who had carried his
plunder towards Kreli's country.  Kreli is the son of Hintza, who was
shot during the former war by a colonist of the name of Southey, while
endeavouring to escape from Colonel, now Sir Harry Smith.  Kreli had
declared he would not receive Pato, and it had yet to be proved whether
the former was faithful or treacherous to us: if faithful, it was for
policy's sake, and not from any sense of honour.

Colonel Somerset having remained absent on this expedition longer than
was expected, great anxiety was felt for his safe return to the
Governor's camp; when, on the 30th of July, intelligence was received at
Graham's Town that he had crossed the Kei, and taken between six and
seven thousand head of cattle, from Pato's people.  The Kaffirs, it is
said, were very daring; their dread of losing cattle is the only thing
that gives them any courage to face the troops, but the dispatch
mentions that "the moment the troops crossed the Kei, the enemy fled in
all directions."  Before passing the river, the wretches dared them with
their usual cry of "Izapa!"  The Fort Peddie Fingoes, intent on cattle
also, fought desperately--nothing could restrain them; one only was
killed and one wounded.  Captain Groenenwaldt, of the Swellendam
division of Burghers, was badly wounded, after having captured two
thousand head of cattle--is said, with eleven men.  But, when such false
statements were made against the military, it is difficult to believe
all the fine things in favour of the civilians, especially when I know
that many things that could be said militating against the latter, were
carefully concealed from the public.  We have often known the troops
sent out to remedy the disasters and losses of the irregular forces;
when, if the latter were only dismounted Hottentots, no blame was
attributed to them, however careless they might have been.  This is
injurious, for we know not what faith to put in the favourable reports
on civilians, however truly they may deserve them.

Mr Shepstone, Government Interpreter in command of the Fingoes, had a
narrow escape in re-crossing a drift.  The Kaffirs, with their usual
cunning, allowed him to pass it; but, in returning, they completely
surrounded him.  Mr Shepstone ordered his men to lie down, and in this
position they fired on each foe as he crept out of his ambush.  Having
beaten them, they attacked another body, and recaptured two thousand
head of cattle, on the point of being carried off from a weak party of
Fingoes.  On this occasion, Mr Shepstone was struck on the head by a
spent ball, which had, however, sufficient force to hurt him

On the second day of the expedition, the body of a Chief, in a
tiger-skin kaross, was dug up [Note 1].  It was not recognised, and was,
of course, of inferior note.  On approaching the Kei, the Colonial
infantry halted to breakfast at a kraal, where they found an old woman
[Note 2].  They learned from her that the cattle "had only moved that
morning," Mr Melville having heard the report confirmed by some
goatherds whom he had taken prisoners in seizing the goats, pushed on
with two hundred Hottentots, and recaptured some cattle, and the next
day thousands more were seen on the other side of the river.  Captain
Donovan, Cape Mounted Rifles [Note 3], led a party of the Cape Corps
across the river; the guns and the rest of the cavalry lining the
heights.  Captain Donovan brought back several head of cattle to Colonel
Somerset, and bivouacked for the night.  It was a miserable one.  Cold,
dark, and very wet; no tents, scarcely any provision, and but slight
covering!  Little rest could be obtained, for the enemy and the Fingoes
kept up an incessant exchange of shots, yelling and shouting to each
other like demons.  Some of the prisoners admitted that Pato was near
the sea, and observed that Umhala had "died at the Gwanga," but this was
no doubt figurative, implying that his power was broken; he was dead as
a Chief.  Mr Melville, who had lost his way, returned, July 21st, to
Colonel Somerset's camp, bringing with him a large herd of cattle,
having killed five Kaffirs in taking it.  As the colonial infantry were
all sadly knocked up with fatigue and hardship, it was now determined by
Colonel Somerset that the three prisoners should be sent with messages
to Umhala, Pato, and Kreli, previously to the return of the troops.  So,
drawing up his forces in line along the heights above the drift of the
Kei, three rounds of artillery were fired, and the prisoners sent off
with a message to the effect that "Colonel Somerset had fired three guns
on these heights, to say that he took possession of that country, from
the Fish River to the Kei, for the Government--one gun for Kreli,
because he had given shelter to Pato, the great enemy of the Colony; one
gun for Pato; and one for Umhala--that these guns were only the
forerunners of what was to come; that we were going to the Amatolas, to
attack the Gaikas, and that afterwards we would return to the Kei."  The
prisoners were then set free; they kissed Colonel Somerset's feet, and
rushed down the hill towards the river.  On the great guns being fired,
the Kaffirs on the heights about two miles off, fled as fast as

As the division marched back, the Kaffirs showed themselves, in small
parties, following in the rear, and at night continued to harass the
troops by firing into the camp.  The next day, the 22nd July, both men
and horses were knocked up, and the former were frequently obliged to
walk.  About sunset, Mr Melville's party were followed closely by the
enemy; and, had they not received assistance from Colonel Somerset's
division in front, they would have had some hot work, as the savages
were four times their number.  All along the line of march the Kaffirs
continued to fire at them; fifty-eight horses were left dead: during the
whole of the night, the enemy kept up a fire upon the camp, without
effect.  On the 23rd, men and horses began to fail in strength, for want
of provision; and, tired and famished, the troops had to fight their
way, as the enemy fired from every ambuscade along the line of march;
horses and cattle dropping fast.  After sunset, they were again beset by
savages, whose fires were visible from the bivouac.  Lying in a circle
round the cattle, little rest could be obtained; the Kaffirs shouted and
yelled as usual, saying they now had the Umlunghi "in a calabash."  As
this insolence continued, it was supposed the Gaikas had come down from
the Amatolas to help Pato's people; and thus, a rush being expected, the
men were ordered to stand to their arms till daylight.  In the middle of
the night, while this sharp firing from the enemy was at its height, a
man's ammunition blew up, wounding himself and two other men.  Some
horses were also stolen, in spite of all precaution and vigilance.  Two
or three Kaffirs were shot.

Right glad were the troops to reach the General's camp, and the Governor
himself must have been much relieved at their return, especially with
such booty.

On the 26th of July, Colonel Hare left Fort Beaufort with a thousand
troops.  Captain Ward, 91st Regiment, was appointed Commandant of
Beaufort during the absence of the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Andries
Stockenstrom having taken the field some weeks before.  Sir Andries had
had a conference with the Tambookies, who some time before had come down
upon the Hottentot settlement on the Kat River, and done considerable
mischief.  This mischief being done, and the Tambookies having no doubt
shared the plunder with the Gaikas, they promised to take no further
part against the Colony!  The affair at the Gwanga, and the approach of
the planting season, were two grand incentives to them to "sit still,"
but, as long as the cattle were known to be in Tambookie-land, how could
any arrangements be satisfactory?

On the day that Colonel Hare left Fort Beaufort, the 26th of July, Sir
Andries Stockenstrom put his Burgher force in position, moved in the
night from Block Drift, and, on reaching the Tyumie, had a spirited
engagement with Macomo's people (Gaikas), who had entrenched themselves
in those fastnesses.  Sir Andries Stockenstrom's plans of attack were
generally admitted to be good; his movements were made in the night, and
were as stealthy as those of the savages themselves.  It was at dawn of
day, after spending the night on the ridge of the mountains, that Sir
Andries divided his force into parties of two hundred, and entered the
bushy kloofs of these strongholds, where they were soon engaged with the
enemy.  As I have only had hearsay evidence on this subject, I can give
no description of the fight from good authority, but it seems to have
been a smart affair, Sir Andries cheering his men, who fought, it is
said, till their ammunition was nearly expended.  Many Kaffirs are
reported to have fallen in this engagement.  The enemy might be said to
have been nearly hemmed in.  That part of the country where the Kei, the
Bashee, and the Umtata have their sources, is described as being of an
"impracticable character," and abutting upon the territories of the
Tambookie Chief, Umtitara, and of the Amaponda Chief, Faku.  With the
former, Sir Andries had already made "arrangements," and received
promises of good faith!  Faku offered his services to the Government at
the beginning of the war, but it was not considered expedient to accept
them.  He, however, it is said, received permission to seize such cattle
as he could take from our Kaffir foes; and, as he destroyed women and
children without mercy, he became an object of great terror "to all the
country round."  No reliance could be placed on the good faith of any of
these Chiefs, but they seem to have deemed it politic to "sit still" and
plant their own, provided we did not try to seize the cattle.

On the 5th of August, the enemy approached Colonel Hare's division under
the Amatolas, and commenced hostilities by firing; this was returned by
the troops, and continued for some time.  Serjeant Barnes, of the Royal
Sappers and Miners, was shot through the heart, and a serjeant of the
Provincials was also killed, besides eight or nine coloured people being
wounded.  Before sunrise the next morning, the two divisions under
Colonel Hare and Sir Andries Stockenstrom were in motion, and the
former, seeing the Fingoes hesitate for a moment at the edge of a bush,
raised his cap, gave three hearty cheers, and led the way himself.  The
old soldier's Irish blood was fairly up.  The fight continued till
sunset, and during the action blue-lights and rockets were thrown up at
intervals, as signals to the head-quarter division, but there was no
answering signal, nor could it be ascertained where this division
actually was.  On the following morning all was preparation for a second
engagement; but, as usual, the enemy had slipped away in the night, like
a Will o' the wisp, towards the Buffalo.  Colonel Hare moved on to Fort
Cox, where Sir Andries was to join him, after scouring some of the
difficult passes of the mountains, where the Fingoes and Hottentots
fought desperately, climbing the heights in the face of the enemy's

After Colonel Somerset's return from the Kei, the cavalry were too much
done up for further work without rest for men and horses; one hundred
and fifty-seven horses were in such a jaded state, that it was found
necessary to shoot them, and many others died.  The Kaffirs harassed the
troops when they dared not meet them, by firing into the camps at night,
while other parties set fire to the grass, to destroy even the wretched
pasturage left for the toil-worn cattle.

In order to recruit the exhausted strength of his division, Colonel
Somerset bivouacked within five miles of Fort Peddie, near the Gwanga.
Until the cattle and horses were in better condition, it was quite
impossible to continue offensive operations.

The only circumstance on which, at this period, the mind could rest with
satisfaction, was the success attending the landing of stores and
supplies at the Fish River mouth.  It is to be hoped that Mr Cock, at
the Kowie, will reap the reward of many years' perseverance.  Still the
want of rain continued to destroy our hopes of vegetation, and sickness
prevailed in many districts.

Some extracts from my Journal will serve to give an idea of our
defenceless position in Graham's Town; and though the perils,
privations, and terrors of women have little to do in the working of the
great machine of warfare, they can hardly fail to excite some interest
among those who in happy England cannot fully appreciate the blessings
of peace, from the circumstance of their never having endured the
horrors of war.  I shall relate, as concisely as possible, our own
privations, alarms, and anxieties.

"August 1st.--Kaffir fires seen in the distance: in the evening,
received intelligence from head-quarters relative to Colonel Somerset's
engagements on the other side of the Kei, and capture of the cattle.

"Colonel Somerset could have captured more than he did, but he had not
force to retain them.  Every night his bivouacs were surrounded by
Kaffirs, who fired continually into them; sometimes in derision, at
others in anger.  Some called out to the troops, `Take care of the
calves you have got, we will have them in two years!'  Others exclaimed,
`Let us rush upon them!'  `No, no,' said another party, `who ever heard
of attacking a kraal of guns?'  Some crept nearer the bivouac, and
entreated their favourite pack-oxen to come out to them: `What
business,' said they, `have you among white men?  Come out to us--we
will treat you kindly.  Leave the Umlunghi, who will ill-use you and
make you work.'

"Thus they harassed the troops during the whole march; hanging on their
rear in the day-time, and, at night, obliging them to keep up a constant
peppering.  At the drifts there was always troublesome work.

"August 2nd, Sunday.--I am always more impressed with the strange
appearance of the town on Sunday than on any other day; every one who
can, making his way to church, and business suspended; shots, too, above
the town along the hills, and the rattle of arms and accoutrements in
the streets, are more audible on Sunday than in the bustling week-days,
Another thing I have frequently remarked; the news of whatever occurs in
the field generally reaches us on the Sabbath, and we often say, `To-day
is Sunday: I wonder what intelligence we shall have.'

"August 3rd.--A beautiful day.  It is quite grievous--yes, melancholy,
to see the sun scorching the earth, and know that the cattle must die
for want of food, and that there will be no vegetation this year.  We
have had no rain for months, except slight showers for a day or two.
To-day, some young girls have assembled in my cottage-garden to
celebrate a birthday.  What a relief it is to have left the confinement
of the dreadful barrack for this small cottage on the hill!  We are
scarcely considered in a safe position, but we grew weary of the
gaol-like Drostdy, and succeeded in getting shelter at Fort England--
misnamed a fort--where a few of the 91st are in quarters.

"But the birthday.  None of our little female community had been merry
since April; but this bright day I resolved to be cheerful, and to put
aside my child's books and my own employments; and, since the sun would
shine, and not oppressively, to enjoy it.  First, there were flowers to
gather and arrange.  I wanted some arums, the beautiful lilies of the
yam plant, so the girls went down below the parched, uncultivated
garden, to a stream now almost dry and desecrated by Hottentot
washerwomen: they there witnessed melancholy `signs of the times,'--nine
dead animals lay beside the dull and shallow stream.  The poor starved
creatures had crawled into the hollow to die.  These things make but
slight impressions on the young; they do not trace results, however sad,
to their primary causes; so when they had replenished my flower-vase,
away they went to their garden amusements.  I mention these trivial
things by way of contrast.  She whose birthday we celebrated came down
the path, with a gay wreath of flowers and foliage wound round her fair
hair--happy, healthy, blooming, joyous sixteen!  Thus I mused, as she
stood laughing under a fine oak, just coming into leaf--like her, in its
spring.  Suddenly, in the distance we heard the boom of cannon echoing
sullenly along the mountain-ridges, and through the kloofs and passes
far away.  The day was so still that we heard distinctly the rapid
discharges of shot and shell!  The servants told us they had heard these
sounds of death and doom all the morning.  We only knew they came from
that part of the country where the regular troops were co-operating with
Sir Andries Stockenstrom and his Burgher force.  Gazing in that
direction, my eye fell on a signal-tower on a hill-top.  That tower,
with many others, is now deserted, for three reasons.  The first, and
most cogent one is that, like the rest of its fellows, it is useless.
The atmosphere of this climate scarcely ever permits communication by
telegraph.  Secondly, the men cannot be provisioned there in war-time.
Of meat and biscuit they might lay in a stock, as if for sea; but water
cannot be procured without risking life.  Thirdly, in war-time, when the
telegraphs would be of the utmost use, and would save time, labour,
life, and horses, by making swift communications of the stealthy
movements of the Kaffirs, the force on the frontier is so small that no
men can be spared to work the signals.

"All the morning of that birthday we heard the cannon booming as we sat
in the garden, and we afterwards learned that Macomo had been hemmed in
and attacked in the Tyumie fastnesses, but with little success and some
loss on our side.  The enemy, as usual, harassed the troops, and then
gave them the slip.

"5th.  Kaffirs known to be in the immediate neighbourhood of Graham's
Town, an attack fully anticipated by some; fortunately, we never entered
into these `alarms.'  The soldiers' wives on the hill in extreme terror.
Shots firing all day rapidly.  I wonder more accidents do not occur
among those who have lately learned the use of fire-arms.  I stood at
the gate in the evening and watched a fire very near the town: it blazed
up for about ten minutes, and was extinguished as suddenly as it had
been lit.  Fires seen in other directions, supposed to be signals for a
general assembly of the warriors in the mountains.  More cattle stolen
within three miles of us to-day.  Walked down in the evening to the end
of the green, to look at our defences.  Sorry things!  A square of
thatched barracks, more like huts than houses, contains sometimes no
more than fifteen soldiers, some of them left here as ineffective.  Our
space near the guardhouse is defended by a wooden stockade, breast-high,
and two other passages are banked up about three feet high.  No picquets
at this end of the town, for want of men.  We have a kloof just above
the mess-house, and it was a few miles from there that Mr Norden, of
the Yeomanry, was shot.

"6th.  Our garrison is reinforced by a corps of liberated Africans, a
happy, lazy-looking set, who are chiefly employed in escorting waggons.
The Malays have also been brought in a body from Cape Town.  They take
the war coolly enough, and when off duty, lie about the green in the
warm and moonlight nights, whistling and singing the most harmonious
choruses.  They will not enter the bush, and have never been of use in
rescuing cattle.

"7th.  Kaffir Jack, Cosani, arrived.  He has rather a suspicious
character, but has never proved unfaithful.  His adventures would help
to dress up a volume in Cooper's style, for he lives much among the
English, but can wander at will from one end of Kaffirland to the other.
Some days ago, it was suspected that Umki's son, Sio, had gone off to
Kaffirland, on some treacherous mission from his wily father.  Sir Harry
Smith's opinion of Umki was so bad, that he used to tell him plainly in
reply to his fair promises, `Umki, you are a liar!'  Umki, however,
never took offence at this.  Falsehood is no disgrace among the Kaffirs;
on the contrary, the greatest rogue is the best man.  Jack came to say
Sio had never been away.  Just now Jack is under Umki's stern guidance.
At any time the word of a Kaffir is worth nothing.  He asked about
Sandilla.  I told him there was no longer a chief of that name, that
there had been one, who had been to his people as a string by which
beads are held together.  Sandilla had been the string, but it was
broken, his people had been the beads, but they were scattered, unlinked
for ever, and dispersed for and wide, and neither beads nor string could
now be re-united.  Jack bent down his head and mused with his hands
clasped for some minutes, and said, `It is good.'  Umki and his
followers came up in the afternoon; two wives, servants, and children.
He and his ragged retinue amused themselves by inspecting our defences,
our open gardens, and our thatched houses.  If Umki can communicate the
true condition of Graham's Town to his friends in Kaffirland, they may
take advantage of it.  I am sure the Governor, if he were in Graham's
Town, would not allow this treacherous _refugee_ to wander at large as
he does.  News from the camps--unsatisfactory--Kaffirs still firing into
the bivouacs.  Lieut. Stokes, R.E., slightly wounded by a sentry, Mr S
having imprudently ventured beyond the lines.

"August 8th.--The Kaffirs have again entered the Colony in numerous
bodies, and continue plundering and murdering as usual.  We hear this
day of the arrival of the 45th in Simon's Bay on the 30th July.  The
distance they have to travel would in England be journeyed in about
forty hours; we shall now observe the period that elapses between the
arrival of the 45th in Simon's Bay, near Cape Town, and their entrance
into Graham's Town, as well as that between their departure from
Graham's Town and their arrival in the immediate front of the army in
Kaffirland.  It is to be hoped that their approach will daunt the enemy,
but the Kaffirs have learned their power ever since the disastrous
affair at Burn's Hill; and, in spite of occasional reverses, the tide
has hitherto been in their favour.  Their losses, considering their
number, have been trifling; they have possessed themselves of the
colonial cattle, and they have cut off vast quantities of our supplies,
while we are obliged to pause.  We have driven the great body of them
out of the ceded territory, it is true, but they have taken most of the
plunder with them into a richer and more fertile country.  The month of
July has been marked by the death of one of the Colony's most promising
and creditable settlers.  Mr Gordon Nourse, Assistant Commandant of the
Burgher Force, was shot by the enemy, while assisting a neighbour to
rescue his cattle.  Sir Andries Stockenstrom, in announcing officially
the death of Mr Nourse, says, `He fell yesterday in a gallant attack
made by himself at the head of a small party upon a body of Kaffirs in
the jungle.  The Commandant-General has to lament the loss the service
has sustained of one of the most efficient, zealous, and meritorious
officers under his command.'

"9th, Sunday.  Sad news from a place known by the hideous name of Hell's
Poort.  Five burghers have been shot by Kaffirs in that terrible pass.
A party of nineteen having entered a rocky and bushy kloof in search of
some cattle, they were fired upon by some Kaffirs posted on the summit
of the hills on either side.  The burghers, being surrounded by 200
Kaffirs, and their ammunition getting low, retired to their camp for a
reinforcement, with which they returned, and again faced the enemy.
Among the five who fell, were two brothers of the name of De Villiers,
the history of whose death is a mournful one.  As one brother fell
wounded to the ground, the other ran to him to comfort and support him
in his dying moments.  His friends called him away; he would not stir,
but held his young brother's hand in his, till a shot from the savages
brought him down, and laid him beside him whom he would not forsake to
save his own life.

"10th.  The bodies of the five Stellenbosch Burghers were brought in to
be buried.  A concourse of people followed the melancholy train of five
coffins through the town to the burial-ground.

"13th.  Rain, at last! gentle showers.  Only those who have looked on
the parched soil of Africa can have an idea of the blessing of rain
after a long drought.  It sounds quite musical as it patters on the few
trees that are in the garden.  The enemy have laid waste the country
from the Buffalo to the Kei.  What a sight must those vast tracts of
country be, when blazing!  The grass will spring up all the fresher for
it, afterwards.

"17th.  Walked into town.  As we passed the Wesleyan Chapel, we saw Umki
and his wives and children basking idly in the sun on the pavement near
the chapel-porch.  Umki was set aside by his tribe for being a coward in
the last war, so now he bestows his unwelcome company on the English,
roaming about, begging from every one he meets, spending what he gains
at the canteens.

"19th.  My child's birthday! these seem trifles to touch upon; to us
they only bring sad memories when we compare the present state of war
and anxiety with happy anniversaries passed in peaceful England.  News
from the head-quarter division.  The General is encamped at a place
called Fort Beresford, so named in the last war by Sir Benjamin D'Urban,
in compliment to one of his aides-de-camp.  Colonel Johnstone, 27th
Regiment, had led about 300 infantry over the Buffalo mountains, while
Colonel Somerset, with a cavalry column and guns, had gone round the
base of the hills, the infantry, ascending to the summit in single file,
and Mr Melville's Hottentots mounting the hill in another direction,
killed three Kaffirs and captured some cattle.  The troops bivouacked
for the night on the ridge.  Next day, every bush and kloof was scoured,
but neither shots nor yells, nor the old cry of `Izapa!' was heard in
those now solitary places, the enemy having decamped in the night.  At
one time, a party of horsemen were discovered winding leisurely along an
eminence at some little distance, and this was afterwards ascertained to
be the chief Seyolo and his people coolly riding off from the vicinity
of the troops, who, they knew, would have great difficulty in catching
them, from their having no cavalry with them.

"In spite of the silence which reigned in these solitudes, there were
evident traces of hasty retreat, by the fresh spoor of cattle; but to
detail this march up the hill and down again, would be but a repetition
of many other such expeditions.  The Kaffirs slipped away, and the
troops followed them with their ammunition loose in their pouches, to be
ready for action, but returned harassed, disappointed, and half-starved.

"The country through which they passed is of a much grander and more
fertile character than that occupied by the colonists; and, were the
Buffalo and Keiskama rivers opened to trade, an immense increase of
commerce would be the result."  [This desirable change has since been
effected by Sir Harry Smith.]

"The head-quarter division, consisting of part of the 91st and 90th
Regiments, under Major Yarborough (91st), two troops of the 7th Dragoon
Guards, and some of the Cape Corps, remained encamped at Fort Beresford,
the whole being under the command of Sir Peregrine Maitland.  Colonel
Somerset, Cape Mounted Rifles, and Colonel Richardson, 7th Dragoon
Guards, having reported their horses unfit for duty, it was resolved
that the main body of the cavalry should take up a position where both
men and horses could rest and be refreshed.  As soon as the horses that
remain recover from the late fatigue and starvation, the country will be
patrolled and kept, until more decisive measures can be framed, and the
worn-out cattle are fit for more active operations.

"The Kaffirs have long remained in small detached bodies in the
neighbourhood of the camp, firing into it at night and lying in wait for
occasions of theft, or mischief, all day.  A prisoner was brought in one
day, who asserted that the woods close by were full of women and old
men.  Although Macomo had ordered his men not to fight, they were
determined to plunder and murder, and crept into the colony and round
the orders as usual.  `Young Kaffirland' had gone over the Kei for the
present, with the stolen cattle.

"Troops were sent into the woods, to bring in some of the prisoners.
The poor heathen females are employed in carrying powder and provisions
from one ambuscade to another, and it is therefore necessary to search
them.  But they are not easily intimidated; and, when threatened by the
military, who to frighten them put their muskets to their shoulders,
they calmly put the pieces on one side, and as there was little to repay
any one for the trouble of carrying off a set of Kaffir women against
their will, they were left in the woods, where, no doubt, corn was
buried for their provision.  Great scarcity, however, must prevail with
them, as the crops failed last year.

"On the 15th of August, fourteen poor waggon-drivers, chiefly Fingoes
and Hottentots, went into the kloofs of the mountains to search for
corn, and, seeing some cattle, were led miles away.  A strong force of
Kaffirs, seeing the weakness of their party as they emerged upon an open
plain, rushed upon them, and, it is supposed, killed all but one, who
crept into a bush, and, lying by till night, made his way back to the
camp, with the melancholy intelligence.  Lieutenant Owen, with a party
of the 90th, was sent out in search of these poor creatures, but found
only one body.  The rest had probably been borne off, to suffer torture
and mutilation.  The savage brutality of the Kaffir is not satisfied
with taking life, or even by immediate mutilation.  Some Hottentots
having been decoyed to a bush by some goats being placed at the edge of
it to graze, they were seized by the Kaffirs, and murdered.  The bodies,
being discovered by the troops, were buried; but when a party again
traversed the spot where they had been interred, it was found that the
poor dead creatures had been dug up, mutilated, and impaled!  I have
lately heard a shocking anecdote, connected with the death of an
unfortunate Hottentot, who, having been brought up as a Christian,
wished to be allowed to make his peace with the Almighty ere he suffered
death.  Some wished to give him a few moments to devote to prayer, but
others rushed forward, exclaiming, `Nonsense, kill him at once,--what is
the use of his praying here?  Have we not driven God Almighty from the
land?'  The murder of the missionary Schulz dispelled the idea that such
men were protected by an invisible power, an idea the Kaffirs always
entertained before, and even since the commencement of the war.  They
have shown no respect for the missionary stations, for they have
destroyed houses, chapels, and bibles; hence, their idea that they have
`driven God from the land.'

"21st.  News from Fort Beaufort.  Macomo had again sent to Colonel Hare
to sue for peace.  The Lieutenant-Governor replied, that if the Gaikas
would give up their guns and the plundered cattle, he would intercede
for peace with the Governor.  This is not the sort of peace they want.
I hope the rumours of a rupture between Macomo and Sandilla may be

"A paramount chief's person is held sacred, otherwise, perhaps, as
Macomo wishes to head the Gaikas, Sandilla might be secretly disposed
of; but such an instance has never been known.  How strange the tie
between chief and people!  The chief will not hesitate to sacrifice by
death, or torture, any individual of his tribe, however innocent he may
know him to be, if he stand in the way of his most trifling whims, but
the person of the chief is sacred, and will be protected by his people
at the risk of their lives.  [We see the same thing among insect and
animal communities.]  Kreli and Pato have quarrelled, the former, it is
said, reproaching Pato for bringing the Umlunghi into his country.  I
think it more likely they are at variance about the plunder.  Kreli
probably keeps a fair face to us, while he invites Pato to his kraal,
and having got him there, would fain share the booty.

"Nothing yet heard of Sir Andries Stockenstrom and Colonel Johnstone,
with their divisions, but to-day, the 25th, some news of importance has
reached us from the Governor's camp!  Stock, Eno's son, has sent
councillors to say, that he wishes to surrender himself.  Macomo and
Umhala have intimated the same desire, but Sandilla, as obstinate as
ever, protests that if we will not grant peace on his own terms, his
people shall advance into our colony in the same degree as our troops
move through his.  This day, the contractor has killed the last
slaughter-ox for the troops in Graham's Town.

"26th.  News from Fort Beaufort.  Captain Ryneveldt and his Burghers had
had an `affair,'--four people killed on our side, and five wounded.  No
chance of rain, and the country in that district and this is in a
frightful state.  Cattle, as usual, are dying round us, in the very
streets, and dropping dead from the waggons.  Colonel Somerset is
patrolling between the Fish River mouth and Fort Beaufort.  It will be a
great thing to get supplies along that line from Waterloo Bay, for there
is scarcely any corn at Beaufort.  The 7th have gone thither to recruit.

"28th.  Stock's agreement, drawn up by Colonel Somerset, is to be
submitted to the Governor for approval.  Stock's readiness to give up
the cattle surprises me.  He will outwit us, if he can, and probably now
only wants a truce that he may be allowed to plant.  No sense of honour
brings him `to the feet of the Governor,' but the document must speak
for itself.  Like Sandilla's, in February last, it is very pathetic, and
sounds poetical.  Having obtained permission to enter Colonel Somerset's
camp, near the Gwanga, Stock reached it on the 21st, and made the
following declaration:--

"That `he was come to throw himself at the Governor's feet, that he was
to-day the Governor's Fingo (slave), that he had fallen, and laid no
more claim to his ground, that he was come out of the bush, that he was
at our feet, and that by coming without arms he considered he
surrendered himself; that he would leave his father's bush, and asked
only for a place whereon to "sit."  He entreated he might not be sent to
Fort Peddie, as it might lead to quarrel between the Fingoes and his
people.  He stated that his people were so numerous he could not count
them by tens, that he was willing to give up all his cattle and horses,
soliciting nothing but a place where he might sit, and hoped the
Government would appoint him the care of his father's bones.'

"Colonel Somerset replied, that, `the bush where his father's bones lay
was no longer Stock's, that he had forfeited it by breaking faith with
the Government, but that it should be protected, although he would not
be allowed to live in it.'

"Terms were then drawn up.  Stock was to send into Kaffirland for the
stolen cattle and horses, a temporary ground `whereon to sit' was
appointed him till the Governor's pleasure was known; and, in the
meantime, he was to be held responsible that no molestation should be
offered to our convoys proceeding through that part of the country.
Sonto, an inferior chief of his tribe, was not considered in these

"At the close of these proceedings, Stock laid down his arms, and wept
as he did so.  They consisted of thirty-three stand of arms, and
thirty-six assegais in the possession of his immediate followers.
Colonel Somerset returned the chief his own gun.  At first, Stock was
unwilling to resign his arms, saying his tribes had never yet been
subdued, and would be considered women for doing so.  Some time was
given him to decide, and finally he gave them up with this remark, that
`sooner or later the other chiefs must come to the same resolution.'
Still, the `people' continue to infest the Colony, still their
signal-fires are visible from the town, and still the cattle are
captured and recaptured, and poor settlers are found murdered in their
homesteads.  Much anxiety is felt for the result of Sir Andries
Stockenstrom's expedition into Kreli's country.  It is to be hoped he
will make no treaty with that treacherous chief, that can in any way
compromise the Governor."


Note 1.  The Kaffirs are in the habit of burying their chiefs, but no
other dead.

Note 2.  It is the general custom of the Kaffirs to leave an old woman
in a kraal as a spy.  They manage to keep up a constant communication
with her, and supply her with food.

Note 3.  Captain Donovan nearly lost his life on the banks of the
Gwanga, on the day of the memorable action there.  On reaching a drift,
whither he had led his horse to drink, four or five Kaffirs suddenly
rushed upon him.  His rifle was on the ground, and there was no time to
draw his sword, before the musket of a savage was levelled at his head.
A man named Brown, formerly a private in the 75th Regiment, coming up at
this instant, snatched up Captain Donovan's rifle, and shot the Kaffir
dead on the spot.



"September 13th.  Sir Peregrine Maitland is moving with his division
towards the Fish River mouth.  A report is in circulation that Faku, the
Amaponda Chief, has come down upon Kreli's country.  This is not to be
desired.  Faku is a man of immense power, with a great number of people,
who will be ready to creep into the Colony at all points for plunder.

"Among our allies employed with the army are 150 Bushmen, with poisoned
arrows.  [It was some of these who were exhibited lately in England.]
The Kaffirs have great dread of these `new assegais,' which are barbed,
and cannot be extracted without additional injury to the wounds they

"More intelligence has been received relative to Sir Andries
Stockenstrom's expedition to the Kei.  The capture of 7,000 head of
cattle is cheering and important; but the treaty appears a sorry affair.

"Kama, the Christian Chief, has proved himself worthy of our confidence
and respect.  With the few followers who have remained true to him and
us, he has been, as far as lay in his power, an active and efficient
ally in defence of the district to which he was driven by the threat of
assassination from his half-brother, Pato.  Hermanus, too, has, I am
told, been true to us for many years; but of him I know nothing
personally.  We were always glad to receive Kama in our cottage at Fort
Peddie.  It is proposed to give these friendly chiefs the land in the
ceded territory, hitherto occupied by Tola and Botman--Gaikas.

"September 9th.--We learn that General Maitland has reached the mouth of
the Fish River; but he finds it necessary to contract the line of
forces, so to speak.  Much impatience is manifested by people `sitting
still' themselves, at the delay in military operations.  It is said,
`With such a force the Kaffirs ought long since to have been crushed.'
To use a lady's simile, a skein of thread is a simple thing to unwind
when fresh from the weaver's hands; but, when once entangled, it
requires time and patience to unravel it.

"Although the enemy are yet considered to be well supplied with powder,
their bullets are often found to be of zinc, taken from the roofs they
have destroyed.  These are so light that they generally fly over the
heads they are intended to strike.  The chiefs desire peace, but on
their own terms.  Macomo has presented himself at Fort Cox to
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, 91st Regiment.  Sandilla is `in the bush.'
This wild child of nature dreads our making a prisoner of him.  None but
Stock have as yet consented to give up their arms.  Nonnebe (General
Campbell's great-grand-daughter!) protests that she wishes for peace,
but that Seyolo `has his hand on her shoulder, and keeps her down.'
Sonto, Stock's half-brother, calls Stock, `a woman;' and says he, Sonto,
is not weary of the war; he has plenty of men, horses, and plunder, and
will not give in.  The `moon is dead,' and where is the promised cattle
from Stock?  Colonel Somerset, with his division, consisting of the Cape
Corps, some Artillery, part of the 7th Dragoon Guards, and a detachment
of the 45th, has gone over to the Keiskama.  The troops are to be pitied
in these rains; they must encounter difficulties and privations under
the floods that are deluging the land.

"Before Stock left Peddie, he sent the double-barrelled gun, which
Colonel Somerset restored to him at the Gwanga, as a present to Sir
Peregrine Maitland.

"A plan has been submitted to the Governor for the formation of
settlements and locations for the coloured population under our
Government.  The intention is to take in a vast tract of land, and many
men will be required to protect so large a territory.

"The inferior Kaffirs must have learned by this time that their chiefs
have promised more than they could perform; they find that, although
they can harass and evade, they cannot `drive the white man into the
sea;' that, although they may occasionally stop our convoys, other roads
are readily thrown open.  They steal our cattle, nay, the poor oxen die
in our service, on the depastured line of march, and lo! ships,
`sea-waggons,' present themselves on the coast of Kaffirland!  It is
deplorable that the 73rd should be driven out of Waterloo Bay.  There is
no safe harbour there for large vessels, but ships may slip their cables
and run out to sea, in case of danger.  The 73rd, having made their
appearance at Waterloo Bay on the 3rd of September, and been driven back
to Simon's Bay, have landed at Port Elizabeth, and marched from thence
on the 21st.  While at anchor in Waterloo Bay, they observed the
blackened state of the country on both sides of the Fish River mouth,
and some of them stating at Simon's Bay that the grass was burned at
Fort Dacres, and opposite to it, a report was raised in Cape Town that
Waterloo Bay was burned!

"Sir Andries Stockenstrom has given his Burghers leave to retire to
their homes, for the purpose of planting their land.  The Malay force
have represented that their period of service has already expired; the
Burghers in the General's division have requested the same indulgence as
those under Sir Andries, and the liberated Africans will be making the
same demand.  On looking at these latter happy, healthy, free creatures,
we cannot sufficiently rejoice at their freedom, however we may
deprecate the manner in which the emancipation principle was carried
out.  Very different are these well-clad negroes to those who in old
times formed the West India Militia, to whom their officers addressed
the following words of command:--`All dem wid shoe and tocking tan in de
front; all dem wid shoe and no tocking tan behind; all dem wid no shoe
and no tocking tan in de middle!'

"A few nights since, the Malays held a meeting to celebrate the festival
of their new year.  We were induced to look in at the scene of the
_fete_ for a short time.  The only thing worth hearing was the war-song,
which, although very simple, is very inspiring, chiefly from the
enthusiasm with which it is sung.  The choruses present many beautiful
combinations of a peculiar kind, from the circumstance of the singers
being ignorant of the rules of music.  The group was picturesque.  A
priest in white robes, in a posture between sitting and kneeling,
occupied the chief place at the head of the apartment, which was a long
low room, dimly lit, except above the mats whereon the singers were
assembled, without their shoes.  This end was garlanded with flowers and
foliage, and illuminated by a not ungraceful lantern of Chinese
appearance, ornamented with coloured tapers.  The priest, and his two
churchwardens, as they were called, were distinguished by green tufts in
their turbans, and led the chant, which was taken up and chorussed by
the rest with spirit.

"The other part of the room was undecorated; here and there, a solitary
candle on a shelf above cast a dim light on the head of some mustachioed
Dutch Burgher; and, beside him, in strong contrast, was the
comparatively slight English soldier.  At one point, a knot of
Hottentots congregated together, joining in the chorus, and, snapping
their fingers, seemed ready to dance to it; while on the lap of a
dark-faced nurse, slumbered a fair infant, resembling one of Chantrey's
charming pieces of sculpture.

"Some weeks ago, a Malay was buried near this.  The grave was very deep;
within it were placed a number of planks in a slanting position, forming
a kind of penthouse, and within this was laid the body, sewn up in
canvas cloth, and so placed as not to touch the side of the tomb.  Some
biscuit, a pipe, and some tobacco were left within the penthouse beside
the corpse, and it was then covered in.  The ceremony was closed by a
party assembling round the grave, and continuing in silent prayer for
two hours, at least.

"Colonel Somerset has returned from his expedition across the Keiskama,
having captured three thousand head of cattle.  But for the heavy rains,
more might have been taken.  The troops were in a deluge, and we hear of
many suffering from rheumatism, the effects of being obliged to lie down
actually in the mud, while a flood descended from the heavens.  One
passage in Colonel Somerset's dispatch reminds one of Lord Hill's
surprise of Girard.  `Making a night march with seven hundred and fifty
men, to the Gakoon river, I established myself at midnight in the midst
of Umhala's tribe, without their having the slightest intimation of my
move.  Lying _perdu_ till day-dawn, I dispersed the troops in various
directions, and, although the enemy drove off their cattle and abandoned
their kraals, I pursued them to the Gonube River, and by mid-day had
secured three thousand head of very superior cattle, with a few horses,'
etc.  In this affair twenty-two of the enemy were killed.

"Now, although no one is going to compare the Kaffir foe to our brave
but inveterate enemies in the Peninsula, a great deal more exertion is
necessary to get at them--as well as indomitable patience and
considerable skill.  The idea of upwards of seven hundred men making
stealthy way into the midst of a savage tribe, in spite of spies and
watch-dogs, is wonderful, when we consider the difficulties attending a
march at any time in such a country; and the capture of cattle for
starving troops was a matter of more importance than a more glittering
conquest.  Goethe, in describing a disastrous march in 1792, consoles
himself and his friends by affirming that they had been vanquished `not
by the enemy but by the elements.'  Since the war began, the British
cause in South Africa has had to contend with every element.

"September 20th.--The Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel Hare, has arrived in
Graham's Town.  Every one is acquainted with Colonel Hare's character as
a brave soldier.  Of his abilities as a diplomatist he can scarcely be a
fair judge himself.

"October 14th.--Graham's Town is crowded with troops.  The Drostdy
Square presents a very different appearance to what it did six months
ago, when the enemy was hovering round us.  The second division of the
45th have commenced their march to the Fish River mouth.  The 73rd have
just marched in; they have been indeed unfortunate on their way hither,
both by sea and land, and were nearly lost at Waterloo Bay, and driven
back some hundred miles for chains and anchors.  They have been detained
between Algoa Bay and Graham's Town by the floods that deluged Colonel
Somerset's path.  It is said the 73rd are to proceed eventually to the
Buffalo mouth, where a steamer will probably be sent with supplies.  The
anchorage there will be surveyed: it is supposed to be superior to
Waterloo Bay.

"On the 30th of September, a meeting took place between the Gaika tribes
and the Deputy of the British Government, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnstone,
27th Regiment, at the request of the Gaikas.  Mr Calderwood,
missionary, was present, besides several other persons.  The scene of
the assemblage was `the bush.'

"The Governor's terms, offered and interpreted by Mr Calderwood, were
these:--Firstly.  That the tribes should lay down their arms.  Secondly.
That they should restore the colonial cattle.  Thirdly, That the
country as far as the Kei should be placed under British rule--those
Kaffirs who remain on this side submitting to such regulations as may be
made for their future government.

"Macomo, Sandilla's uncle, appeared much dejected.  He is the only one
of the Gaika chiefs who may be said to be really anxious for peace.
Some time since, he sent his eldest son an order not to fight.  The
dutiful son replied, that Macomo was a `drunken coward, and only wished
for peace for the sake of the canteen.'  At the meeting the others
expressed themselves pretty much as they had previously done.  They
stated that they had never heard of a conquered people being called upon
to give up their arms: that they had bought them openly from British
traders [Notre]; that, as for the cattle, most of them were dead; that
they were tired of the war, and would not fight any more--they were
`under our feet;' that our convoys might move through the countries
unmolested; that we might slay the thieves now plundering the Colony--
they were a banditti under no control; and that, `if we were resolved to
continue the war, we must slay them at the doors of their huts.'!!!
Cunning savages! they know that British troops will never kill
unresisting men, much less the miserable tillers of the ground, the poor
women of Kaffirland, and they imagine we are yet to be imposed upon.

"As Mr Calderwood approached Beaufort, on his way to this peaceful
meeting, an assegai passed across him, thrown by the hand of some savage
assassin.  Eight Kaffirs sprang out of a bush close by, and Mr
Calderwood and the Cape Corps orderly following him, galloped onwards
into the town, scarcely half a mile distant.  Probably, two days after
this occurrence, these very men were among those `in the bush,' who
said, `their hearts were heavy; the teacher's word was no longer good;
they were under our feet,' etc, etc! or of that party which, on
encountering a detachment of the 91st, between Block Drift and Fort Cox,
threw themselves on the ground, and suffered the troops to pass on.

"There is, however, no doubt that the inferior Kaffirs are heartily
tired of the war, and suffering from disease, in consequence of
starvation, cold, and change of diet.  Some are living on the sea-shore,
on shell-fish; this shows their state of destitution, as they have not
hitherto been accustomed to eat fish of any description.  Many would be
glad to be under British rule; for, in spite of their old notions of
chieftainship, and habits of vassalage, they have discovered how
completely they have been misled and disappointed by their chiefs.  Last
February, when the 27th appeared at the mouth of the Kowie, they were
extremely astonished; and, had they landed, it would have had a salutary
effect.  The disembarkation of a regiment like the Rifle Brigade at the
Buffalo, in the heart of Kaffirland, would go far towards convincing
these heathens more than ever of the power of the `Children of the foam,
whose great sea-waggons from the broad waters spit forth red men.'

"October 19th.--The General's camp has been deluged.  Colonel Somerset
returned from the Keiskama in the midst of torrents; the wind blew in
such heavy gales, that the encampment, after a tempestuous night,
occasionally presented a deficiency in tents.  Here lay a sleeper
overpowered with fatigue, quite unconscious that his canopy was removed,
there a medley assortment of camp equipage, also shelterless, the tent
that covered it blown many yards away, and flattened in the mud.  The
poor half-starved horses, with their tails turned towards the driving
rain, and quite crest-fallen, neighed joyfully on the approach of any
human being, in hopes of food.  None to be had.  The `Catherine' lies a
wreck upon the shore at Waterloo Bay, with little chance of saving her
cargo of forage, none of landing it for some time, if saved."


Note 1.  This sale of arms and ammunition to the Kaffirs was prohibited
by the Dutch Government, but had been tolerated by the Stockenstrom
treaties; it is now again very properly forbidden.



Early in November, Sir Peregrine Maitland moved towards Block Drift.  He
was accompanied by the 90th, under Lieutenant-Colonel Slade; the reserve
battalion of the 45th under Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine; a troop of the
7th Dragoon Guards; and some artillery.  By the end of the month, all
the principal Gaika chiefs had sent in most abject messages, and were as
humble in appearance as they were insincere in spirit.

Sandilla, in spite of his affected humility, was sullen, and perhaps
among them all the only one in any way anxious for peace was Macomo.

The General, from the first, declared his intention of receiving them
only as common individuals, no longer recognising one any of them as a
Chief of Kaffirland.  Sandilla and the rest of them brought in a few
cattle, and some rusty arms; these tributes were refused, and the
ex-Chiefs were granted another truce of ten days, to bring in the
quantity of cattle demanded--namely, twenty thousand head--together with
five hundred horses, and eighteen hundred guns.

At the time this truce was made there were good reasons for it.  The
General was awaiting his reinforcements, the Rifle Brigade and 6th
Regiment being still on their tedious way from Algoa Bay; and the
Commissary-General, Mr Palmer, was actively exerting himself to fill
the exhausted stores: the cattle were only beginning to recover from the
effects of the long droughts, and there were but few fresh horses in the
field.  Thus, to us, time was of the utmost importance.  At this period,
damaged biscuit was served out for the horses, and the Fingo women at
Fort Beaufort were well paid to cut grass for the starving chargers.
Much sickness prevailed, too, in the camps, owing to bad diet, cold, and

Still, Colonel Somerset contrived to be on the alert, with such men and
horses as he could muster.  The guns from his division soon sent their
thundering echoes along the banks of the Buffalo, and Stock made his
second appearance at Fort Peddie, with a number of his followers,
presenting six or eight muskets, and forty-eight head of cattle; the
latter he declared to be "his whole share of the colonial plunder."
Stock had the hardihood to bring in, among the tributary cattle, some of
the oxen taken from the waggons at Trumpeter's Drift, on the 28th of
May; in which affair he had always professed to have had no share.

All this time the Kaffirs were creeping into the Colony, sweeping off
sheep and cattle, waylaying the settlers, and hanging about the
different drifts, watching their opportunity of crossing them
unobserved.  That these banditti were in a starving condition was
well-known.  One of the most daring robberies was committed at Oatlands,
the residence of Colonel Somerset, within half a mile from the town, the
cattle being whistled off at night by three Kaffirs.  They were pursued
the next morning by a party of Cape Mounted Riflemen, under Ensign
Salis; the oxen were recaptured in a dense bush, but the thieves

The Governor had now to contend with the disaffection that prevailed
among the irregular forces.  These men complained that the promises made
to them, regarding some provision for their families, from whom they
were separated, had not been carried into effect.  I subjoin an account
of the mutiny of the Swellendam Native Infantry, under the command of
Captain Hogg, 7th Dragoon Guards.  The mutiny took place during the
absence of Captain Hogg, who had proceeded to the Governor's camp, near
Waterloo Bay, to make a personal representation of the grievances
complained of by his men.

On Friday, the 23rd of October, Captain Ward, 91st Regiment, Fort
Adjutant and Acting Commandant of Fort Beaufort, warned a hundred men of
the Swellendam Native Infantry to be in readiness to march on Saturday
morning, as an escort for waggons proceeding to Waterloo Bay.  The men
were much pleased with this order, as they wished to speak with the
General on the subject of their complaints.  On Saturday morning,
however, Captain Ward was informed that the whole of the Swellendam
Native Infantry were parading in the great square of the town, and in
the face of their officers; and, before the Commandant had time to
remonstrate with them, the men, to the number of three hundred and
fifty, faced to the left, and marched off in the direction of Graham's
Town.  He was immediately requested by Major Smith, 27th Regiment,
Deputy Quartermaster-General, to follow the mutineers with the troops,
and to stop their progress.  For this purpose, Captain Ward went over to
the barracks, to order the bugler to sound the "alarm," but he was not
at hand.  The Commandant then ordered six of the sappers and two
artillerymen to run the 3-pounder howitzer out, and follow him.  This
was immediately done, and he proceeded down the street in double time,
with the gun, towards the bridge, in the hope of getting there before
the men: but some of them called out from the rear, that the "cannons
were coming," and the mutineers in advance stepped out.  Captain Ward
pushed on, and, on reaching the bridge, ordered the gun to be put in
action, and fired three rounds of blank ammunition to the left--not on
the mutineers,--as a signal for support from the military.  Captain Ward
would have been unwise to follow the mutineers with only eight men, and
no protection for the gun.  The blank firing scattered the Swellendam
people, who rushed up the hill over the bridge, and took up a position
on the top of it.  This hill, like many South African acclivities, is a
natural defence, very steep, and covered with stone, and low bush or

In the mean time, the few mutineers who had followed in the rear of the
gun were passing Captain Ward, who then turned round and desired the
artillery not to fire until he gave the order.  He then rushed in among
the mutineers for the purpose of securing a prisoner; and, seizing the
firelock of one, opened the pan, and then had a scuffle with him, until
a Mr Cumming, of Fort Beaufort, came to his assistance and held the
man.  Captain Ward followed up and laid hold of another, who might have
proved a match for him, had not Mr B.D. Bell, of Fort Beaufort, come
forward and assisted in securing him.  Soon after, eighty men of the
90th, who happened to be at Beaufort on escort duty, advanced to the
assistance of the Commandant, who immediately gave orders to limber up
the gun and follow the mutineers, when he received an order from Colonel
Richardson to let them go on.  The reason for this was as follows.  The
Rev  Mr Beaver, the clergyman of our Established Church at Fort
Beaufort, on learning the step these misguided men had taken,
immediately volunteered his services to follow them and to bring them
back.  In this offer he was seconded by Mr Calderwood, the missionary.
The services of these two gentlemen were immediately accepted by Colonel
Richardson, and this was decidedly a preferable step to the following
three hundred and fifty mutineers up a steep acclivity with a handful of
men.  The result was, that Mr Beaver and Mr Calderwood succeeding in
persuading most of them to return, and would no doubt have induced the
rest to accompany them back to Beaufort had they overtaken them, but
these were too far in advance.

I have given this statement from Captain Ward's own in a letter written
just after the occurrence, and never intended for publication.  One or
two other statements appeared in the Colonial prints at the time, but
these gave a partial and rather incorrect view of the case, deprecating
the plan of firing blank cartridge, without knowing the reason; and, be
it remembered, the writers of these accounts from Beaufort were not with
Captain Ward at the moment of the occurrence.  Sixty-three of the
mutineers came on to Graham's Town, to renew their complaints to Captain
Hogg, who had already represented their grievances.  I am unable to say
whether they obtained redress or not; probably not as soon as they
anticipated, for shortly afterwards they again mutinied, when a
detachment of the 40th was marched against them, and they were compelled
to obey orders.

Mr Beaver's conduct was humane and judicious in this affair.  Colonel
Richardson did wisely in accepting his proffered services, instead of
risking men's lives in a fray; and Mr Calderwood's ready assistance was
praiseworthy and valuable.

Unfortunately, a Serjeant of the 91st, when near the wooden bridge on
the other side of the river, fired at one of the Swellendam Native
Infantry, and wounded him, but not severely.  This piece of folly was
interlarded with the account of the mutiny, by which the public would
infer that it was committed with the knowledge and in the presence of
the officer.

It was quite reviving to see the arrivals of stores and mule-waggons,
during the period of the truce.  Seven Field Officers were also imported
from England, and thus disposed of: Lieutenant-Colonel Nicolls, as
Commandant at Beaufort; Major Wetenhall, late 10th Regiment, of Waterloo
Bay; and Major O'Grady, late 2nd Regiment, was appointed to the command
of the Levies in Graham's Town.  Lieutenant-Colonels Mackinnon, Napier,
and Montresor, were employed with the General's division, and Major
Storks, late 38th Regiment, with the 2nd division, under Colonel

The great misfortune hitherto attendant on the war had been the
impoverished state of the Commissariat; but now, while we were gaining
time and making fresh preparations for a renewal of hostilities, the
enemy were growing hungry.  Their women were their foragers for roots,
and these poor creatures had carried powder and provisions for them from
one stronghold to another for many months.

Wherever these savages found it impracticable to take away the whole of
the cattle they had stolen, they killed what they must otherwise have
left to fall into our hands; and, cutting it up into strips, hung it
about the bush, in the densest thickets, to dry, thus providing for
their friends, who were acquainted with these (probably
long-established) primitive larders.  Meat thus dried and hung up is
called _biltong_, and is by no means bad when grated.

The remains of Captain Sandes, Cape Mounted Rifles, were at last
discovered on the Debe flats, near the side of the road leading to Fort
Wiltshire, by a party of his own regiment, who were patrolling in that
neighbourhood.  A letter was found in the pocket of his jacket, and his
eye-glass lay near him; by these, and his dress, he was identified.
Here Mr Macdonald, a young Ensign of the Cape Corps, caused a grave to
be dug by the soldiers, with their swords: "_Not a drum was heard, not a
funeral note_," at that melancholy burial, in the solitary plains of
Africa, and though it may be little thought of beyond the suffering
friends and relations of that poor murdered man, the circumstances of
his death, fighting alone and desperately as he did through hordes of
savages in their first moments of ferocious excitement, must ever, when
spoken of, awaken the sympathy and regret of his countrymen.  The
discovery of his remains was the only consolation left to his
unfortunate widow, who only awaited this to leave the land which had
brought her so much misery.  It would have been intrusive to have
troubled her with empty condolences, but there were those who felt
deeply for her, and longed to assure her of their sympathy.

Lieutenant Lewes, of the 27th Regiment, met his death by accident,
falling from his horse against the tressel-boom of a waggon.  He
lingered only a short time afterwards, and lies buried near the Camp at
Fort Cox, mourned by all his brother officers, who were sincerely
attached to him, and regretted by all who were acquainted with his
honest-heartedness and kindly disposition.

If any proof were wanting of the innate villainy of the Kaffirs, it
would be furnished by what occurred during the time.  Stock's people, in
passing by Newtondale, formerly a mission station, twelve miles from
Fort Peddie, being hospitably sheltered and fed there by a party
guarding that spot, the repentant chief repaid this kindness by walking
off at dawn with what cattle his people could drive away!  At Fort Hare,
Macomo began his usual career of drunkenness, maltreating his wives,
and, in a fit of passion, striking one of his children dead out of its
mother's arms!  At times, he is in a perfectly frantic state, riding
wildly about the neighbourhood of the General's camp, in an old uniform.
The last time I saw him was at a moment of peace.  The band of the 7th
was playing some choice pieces, and Macomo, in a blue coat and brass
buttons, trousers with a broad red stripe, and a well-burnished dragoon
helmet, stood by, calmly listening, with equal attention, to a set of
lively polkas, and next to a glorious air from "Lucrezia Borgia."  Music
has the most soothing effect on a Kaffir.  The savage, Umhala, has been
known to shed tears, and retire from observation, on hearing the band of
a regiment playing in Graham's Town.

Now that the fighting is over, I confess I should like to see a foray.
I have witnessed the march of a Commando, but in this there is little
excitement.  The sound of the trumpet among the wild mountains in
Africa, the "upsaddling" from a state of calm repose--the "assembling"--
the steady forward movement--the gradual hum of voices on the look-out--
the first sight of cattle quietly grazing in some wooded kloof--the
dusky forms that are seen creeping away, bewitching the cattle on--the
extending the cavalry, who spread themselves out in all directions, and
dash at full speed, in parties of two and three, towards the thieves and
their prey, must make a picture of no ordinary interest.  Then, the hunt
through the bush--the flying up and down short cuts, to intercept the
enemy, or drive him into an open plain--more resembles the hunting some
wild animal than any thing else; while, in the distance, the Kaffir
scouts and videttes, who dot the hill-sides, are seen skimming along the
mountain-ridges, with news of the fray, to their friends.

"November 25th.--We have had melancholy proof of the sickness in the
field in the death of Captain Knight, 7th Dragoon Guards.  Although he
went into the field in good health, the cold and privation he endured on
service in a few weeks laid him on his death-bed, with disease of the
liver.  In his military career, he was most fortunate, obtaining his
commission as Cornet in the 7th in 1841, and his troop, by the death of
Captain Bambrick, killed in action at Burn's Hill, on the 16th of April,

We met Captain Knight's funeral in the streets of Graham's town to-day.
The party consisted of but few troops; and the Hottentot soldiers of the
Cape Corps, in their bush dress, green-jackets, and leather trowsers,
with haversacks slung across their shoulders, ready for the field, gave
a service-like appearance to the procession, creating melancholy
emotions, apart from the principal object of the mournful cavalcade.
The charger, which had carried his master through the actions in the
Amatolas, moved on, unconscious of its sad trappings, and the dirge that
wailed through the lately blockaded streets was in strange contrast with
the echoes that had formerly filled them from the rifles on the hills.

"The 6th Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Michel, presents so youthful
an appearance, that some of the recruits look anything but suited to the
service here.  Two hundred of them have never yet been taught to handle
a musket.  Such a country as this is very disheartening to a zealous
Commanding Officer, who finds his men and officers scattered in all
directions, with no prospect of seeing them in a body till he lands in
England.  The Rifle Brigade have taken the coloured population by
surprise, as hitherto all soldiers from England have been _Roed
Batjes_--red-jackets.  They have named the Rifle Brigade the `English
Cape Corps.'"

As the enemy began to succumb, and to mingle with the people in our
camps, we heard various details connected with the war for which we were
not prepared.  It was learnt that the Gaikas, under Sandilla, seriously
meditated an onslaught on our handful of troops, under Colonel Hare, at
Block Drift, on the 26th of January, 1846.  These are the particulars,
as related by the Kaffirs.  Besides the three thousand warriors drawn up
in front of Colonel Hare's force of scarcely three hundred men, there
were immense numbers collected on the hill-sides, and in the ravines.
Women were there, too, watching for the signal, which was to be the
waving of a kaross by a chief.  It was stated, also, that, as soon as
this signal was given, the scout on the point of a hill attempted to
obey it, as he had been desired,--namely, by firing off his piece; but
three times it missed fire, and he gave it up.  No response followed the
raising the tiger-skin banner, and the result was the breaking-up of the
conference, and the safe return of the troops to quarters.  It is most
probable the armed scout was deterred by superstitious motives from
trying a fourth time to give the signal of destruction.  Had the Gaikas
risen _en masse_, as was intended, what a fearful slaughter there would
have been at the moment, and how terrible would have been the effect on
this devoted Colony!

The day that meeting took place, my little girl and I were travelling
with a small party, on horseback, through the bush not far from Block
Drift.  Captain Bambrick had accompanied us part of the way on the first
day's journey: it was the last time I ever saw him.  As we wound along a
splendid road, lately made between Post Victoria and Botha's Post, a
distance of nine miles, I looked up the mountain-sides, clothed with
euphorbia, mimosa, and innumerable shrubs, and observed that probably
those silent thickets were tenanted by human beings, who could watch our
progress unobserved.  We had no fear.  "The word had not been given to
kill;" and, though they were not aware of this expression on the part of
the Kaffirs, we had every reason to believe they would never fire the
first shot.  I am doubtful as to the truth of the premeditated onslaught
at Block Drift; for they did not fire the first shot in the Amatola

The account of one death in the ranks of the 91st Regiment, on the first
day's action in the Amatolas, affected me sincerely when I heard it.
Gibb, a soldier, who was much exhausted with the march up the mountain,
was allowed to mount the horse of an officer's servant, and was shot
dead soon after.  The melancholy task of informing his younger brother--
a bugler, attached to the grenadier company--of his loss, fell to the
lot of the Captain of that company.  The poor fellow was shocked at the
intelligence; but, at the moment he heard it, the enemy were pressing
on; the grenadiers were ordered to advance in skirmishing order, the
cavalry were coming up in support, and it was necessary to sound the
bugle to extend.  The officer, feeling for the young soldier, bid him
calm his emotion, if possible, at such a moment: he obeyed as well as he
could; and after various attempts to sound his instrument, did so at
last, with tears running down his face in showers.  What thoughts of
home and of parents' faces, and sorrowing voices, were passing through
that poor fellow's heart at the moment of excitement and danger!  What
memories of early times, when he and his brother had played as children
together!  [Note 1.]

"15th December.--Another movement is to take place over the Kei, into
Kreli's country.  At the commencement of hostilities, a body of Fingoes
were located, to the amount of three thousand, east of the Kei.  These
soon found that Kreli was in league with the tribes near the colony,
from the circumstance that many of his best men were creeping towards
it.  Large droves of fine colonial cattle were passed over into the
forests of the Bashee.  The resident Agent and the members of the
missionary department, with five hundred Fingoes, took refuge with the
Amapondas, farther east, where they must have suffered great privations.
What must be the sufferings of the women and children in such difficult
straits!  The women are most to be pitied, since their misery arises
from anxiety of mind, and this is worse to bear than a host of physical
evils.  Two thousand five hundred Fingoes remained with their families
and cattle in the district of Kreli, who has certainly displayed great
tact in avoiding all open collision with our dependents.  Faku, it will
be remembered, is the terrible Zoolah Chief, who spares neither women
nor children, but who, with his tribe of warriors, drives all before him
at the point of a short assegai.  With this weapon, these people close
upon their enemy, and stab him.  The Fingoes in Kreli's neighbourhood
have been permitted to keep their ground and cattle; Kreli would not
choose to meddle with them, because they are our allies, while Faku had
probably some dread of the good musket in their hands, a weapon
ill-suited to the Zoolah spear.  Faku's tribe, it is said, resemble the
Mantatees in their cannibal propensities, only indulged, however, after
an unsuccessful foray in search of plunder, or provision.  The Mantatees
are a tribe farther north than the Zoolahs.  It has been determined to
march into Kreli's Country, in consequence of the discovery, that Kreli
has been the receiver-general of the enemy's plunder.  The 27th have
been ordered from the head-quarter division at Fort Hare, to join
Colonel Somerset--Number 2 division--and advance towards the Kei.
Whether they will cross it, appears very uncertain.  It is perfectly
well-known now, that, besides the Gaikas, Pato, Umhala, Sonto, Seyolo,
etc, have made Kreli's Country their depot for stolen colonial cattle.

"Sutu, the mother of Sandilla, has made her appearance at Fort Hare,
wishing to surrender herself, and to make intercession for her son.  To
this latter request, the General has replied, he does not war with
women, and can enter into no negotiations with them.  Sutu is an aged
woman, of a size that would befit the wife of a Daniel Lambert.  She is
very infirm, and would have gladly have given herself up long ago, but
was not permitted by Sandilla to have any communication with the English
authorities.  This young Gaika tyrant was once on the point of roasting
his mother alive! and she was only saved from this fearful doom by
British interference.

"Colonel Somerset has made two successful forays across the Keiskama;
and, besides re-capturing some fine colonial cattle, has brought the
I'Slambies to implore for peace.  After the first expedition, Umhala,
Nonnebe, and Seyolo presented themselves with their abject and deceptive
protestations at his camp on the Chalmuna river.

"In the second expedition, from which he returned not many days ago,
four hundred head of cattle were taken, and the notorious Chief, Pato,
narrowly escaped falling into the hands of the troops, but concealed
himself in a cave.  He has since sent in to beg that he may give himself
up, if permitted to do so.  The Government will be puzzled how to act
towards him; he has been our most treacherous, troublesome, and
determined enemy.

"In the first foray two of the Cape Corps were killed, through their own
imprudence.  They stopped to drink milk in a Kaffir hut, where there
were some women.  The latter slipped away, and gave warning to some men
concealed in a kloof near the kraal, who, on learning that but two were
to be opposed, came upon them at once, and murdered them both.  One poor
Hottentot, in his dying moments, brought down his Kaffir foe.

"In the second expedition, on the 24th and 25th November, the Rifle
Brigade proved a most efficient force.

"On the 17th December, we learn that Sandilla has at last surrendered
himself at Fort Hare, bringing in about forty head of cattle, and
several muskets and carbines taken from the waggons at Burn's Hill, on
the 17th of April, and giving up the two prisoners demanded by Colonel
Hare in February and then refused.  One was the axe-stealer; the other
the murderer of the Hottentot.  They were lodged in gaol.  Another
prisoner, who accompanied them, died the night he entered his prison;
and, some time afterwards, the Kaffirs, affecting to suspect poison,
requested permission to examine the body, which was accordingly exhumed;
but was too much decomposed to allow of the forming any opinion on the


Note 1.  Another soldier of the 91st met with a cruel death at the hands
of the savages.  Being too much exhausted to ascend the Amatolas, he sat
down by the way side.  At night, when the roll was called, poor Ewell
was missing.  The Kaffirs admit, too, that they took him through the
bush to a spot where some of their Chiefs were assembled with many
warriors.  Here they tied their victim to a stake, and literally flayed
him alive; the little children being permitted to assist in tormenting
him.  Oh, "pastoral and peaceful people!"  The Kaffirs said that they
imagined the grenadiers of the 91st could not be killed, as the balls
appeared to glance harmlessly past them.  Mr Cochrane, however, was
wounded three times on the last day in the Amatolas.



The expedition across the Kei was still the theme of expectation during
the month of December, 1846.  Sir Andries Stockenstrom's command of the
Burgher Forces had been deputed to Captain Sutton, Cape Mounted Rifles,
who was to proceed across the Kei in the intended foray.

At this time I wrote in my journal, "This is certainly an extraordinary
warfare.  The enemy are coming into our camps eighty at a time,
enrolling themselves as British subjects, and obtaining cattle, which
they assert to be their own, and even horses; while we are marching
troops into Kaffirland, seizing plunder and meeting with little open
resistance, but running the chance of being murdered, as the Cape Corps
soldiers, were, in the hut.  It is certainly very difficult to

"The attention of the public has been lately called to an article in the
Leeds Mercury, asserting that `the present war has been forced upon the
British Government by the settlers.'  Now, this assertion of a
`correspondent of undoubted veracity,' that `the colonists have
tormented the Governor into this war,' and that they `thirst for Kaffir
blood,' is vicious in its purpose, and utterly opposed to truth.  The
colonists have lived in alarm and uncertainty for ten years.  Waste of
time and property have never been considered, and many lives have been
sacrificed on both sides in consequence of the aggressions of the border
tribes on the unprotected farmers!  No other nation than England would
have permitted her settlers to bear the insults and depredations
suffered by British emigrants at the hands of these heathen robbers, who
have been permitted to arm themselves and to make every preparation for
war during a period of three years, and this in the ceded territory
between Kaffirland and the colony.  Those who assert that the present
Kaffir war has not been forced upon the British Government by the
Kaffirs, are the enemies of their countrymen, and no friends to the
heathen.  We have too long attempted to civilise him by indulgent
measures, and have not even established such laws for the security of
the industrious settlers against the aggressions of these barbarous
thieves, as would be considered necessary defences against any civilised
Christian neighbours, whose characters and customs are opposed to our
own.  Sir Peregrine Maitland is the last man to allow `a people
thirsting for blood' to torment him into `deeds of violence;' and, had
not the colonists an implicit reliance on his justice, they might fear,
from the present aspect of affairs, that his humanity might cause him to
relax in his demands on the Kaffirs for compensation for cattle.  They
are at present, indeed, subdued by terror at the sight of our
reinforcements, but are far from being humbled, or convinced: their
humility is feigned, their apparent conviction and submission are
exhibited in the sulkiest moods.  I much doubt their system of
non-resistance lasting beyond the season for gathering in their corn.
However, as Talleyrand said of the Bourbons' return, `C'est le
commencement de la fin.'  Matters now must be brought to a close, not
speedily, and perhaps not satisfactorily.  Already the colonists say,
`We shall have another war ten years hence.'  The military hoping to
leave the Colony, rejoice in the prospect of home; those lately come out
wear rueful countenances,--visions of solitary outposts, of commandos,
of no society, of continued discomfort, disgust the young soldiers just
arrived, and promise no good will in the performance of their duties.

"At Fort Hare, they are endeavouring to drive away ennui by hack races,
or any kind of amusement which easily presents itself.  The listlessness
of a camp life is too often complained of to need comment.  In this
Colony it is worse than ever, since books are obtained with difficulty,
And the heat and glare render the tent habitations very trying to the
patience as well as to the constitution.  The sight especially suffers,
and several officers and men have been rendered incapable of duty from
inflammation of the eyes.

"Macomo's eldest daughter is the belle of the camp; she is one of
nature's coquettes, and attitudinises, exhibits her teeth, affects
bashfulness, or mirth, as suits the taste of her admirers, and is as
great an adept in the art of mute flirtation as any beauty at Almack's,
or Ascot.

"December 6th.--We hear that Umhala has come into Colonel Somerset's
camp, offering to give us three hundred head of cattle, and bring with
him two hundred and fifty of his people, tendering his submission to
Captain Maclean, late 27th Regiment, and now the Agent between the
British Government and the I'Slambie tribes.  His adhesion is accepted
on the understanding that he can never be recognised as a chief, but
merely as a Kaffir; that the British are not anxious for peace, unless
arranged satisfactorily and honourably, that if he wishes for war he had
better avow it honestly than propose terms which he may intend to
violate, and that he had better now make his decision without duplicity.
In reply to this, Umhala remarked that `the war had lasted too long,
since the corps of the Kaffirs were suffering in consequence of the
delay.'  Very cool!  `His arms and those of his people had been left on
the plains of the Gwanga!  He had but two alternatives.  One was to
place himself at the Governor's disposal, the other to be dependent on
Kreli.  He found he could depend upon the honour of the British! whereas
he could not place confidence in any Chief of his own land!' etc.

"After he and his people had been duly registered, they all moved over
the Buffalo, and are to remain there until matters shall be more
definitively settled.

"Umhala's alternatives remind one of the choice of David, who preferred
`falling into the hands of God rather than men.'  The cunning Kaffir
knows that, by submitting to the British authorities, he yields to the
humane influences of Christianity, whereas by giving himself and his
people up to Kreli's tender mercies they would, to use Umhala's terms,
`become the slaves (Fingoes) of the Amagalekas,' or as some call them,
the Ama Hintza tribe.  The terrible Zoolahs also would assail them.

"The position of the Fingoes for many years, under their hard
taskmasters the Kaffirs, reminds one forcibly of the Israelites under
the Egyptians.  Sir James Alexander, in his sketches, gives an animate
description of the redemption of these unhappy slaves from their
miserable bondage by Sir Benjamin D'Urban."  [Note 1.]

"There is a report, from very tolerable authority, that Pato has come in
contact with Kreli, and that both are disputing about the cattle.  It is
not unlikely that Kreli has coaxed, or at least tacitly encouraged Pato
into his country, with a promise of protection after passing over the
Kei.  Kreli may even make a merit of giving up the treacherous Pato.
These, however, are merely my own surmises.  One thing must be apparent
to every one who has the honour of our country at heart--Pato should
never be admitted to terms by our Government; he should be hunted from
our borders, and made to take his chance among the other tribes eastward
of the Colony.  To enrol him as a British subject would be a disgrace to
the name of one.

"I must not forget to mention that on Umhala's leaving the camp, after
registering his name, it was ascertained that he and his people had
abstracted several of the trek oxen belonging to the Government!  What
honourable subjects are these!

"The Rifle Brigade has been found a most efficient force on the frontier
of South Africa; one hundred of them are to be mounted.  The General
finds it expedient to dispense with the Burgher forces, who will be
permitted to return to their homes in February.  The corps of liberated
Africans, who have been chiefly employed on escort duty, have been asked
if any of them will volunteer for the Cape Corps, but not even the
promise of a horse and the appointments of a soldier, will tempt them to
enlist.  Some say, they would not mind returning to the frontier to
serve, after having seen their families near Cape Town, but they object
to the green jacket.  Scarlet would be a greater temptation.  These poor
redeemed slaves display their joy at the prospect of a release from
service, in dancing and singing.  Unlike the war-dances of the Kaffirs
and the Fingoes, theirs are slow and quiet, and regulated in their time
by a small drum, or tom-tom, and another curious instrument of wood and
wire, a rude imitation of the lute; indescribable, however, in
appearance and sound, but requiring to be regularly tuned before using,
like any other stringed instrument.  While they move, or rather slide
along the ground within a circle, they sing a monotonous air, containing
only three or four notes.

"When I touched on the subject of the burial of a Malay some time since,
I did not mention the custom of turning the face of a corpse towards
Mecca, the Malays being strict Mahommedans.  I should not have thought,
perhaps, of inquiring about it, but that the question was asked me.  I
learn that the Malays are scrupulous with regard to this, regulating the
arrangement by a compass, and making a strict allowance for the

"One peculiarity of Africa has been singularly striking, during the
continuance of this wretched war.  I allude to the variety, consequently
presented, of the coloured tribes.  First, comes the stalwart Kaffir,
with his powerful form and air of calm dignity, beneath which is
concealed the deepest cunning, the meanest principles.  Some call the
Kaffir brave; he is a liar, a thief, and a beggar, ready only to fight
in ambush; and although, to use the common expression, he `dies game,'
his calmness is the result of sullenness.  Are such qualities consistent
with bravery of character?  Next to the Kaffir ranks the Fingo,
differing from the Kaffir much as the Irish do from the English, being
more mercurial, and less methodical.  After these, may be named the Kat
River Hottentots and the Griquas, half-castes between Dutch and English.
The Hottentots, whom I have already described, are little appreciated,
or even known in other countries.  This war has proved that they make
the most efficient soldiers for the service in which they have been
engaged.  The little stunted Bushmen, too, the real aborigines of the
land, have assisted us with their poisoned arrows, and are a keen-witted
race.  Their talent for mimicry is well-known, a proof of their
quickness of observation.  The Malay may be considered naturalised in
the Cape Town districts.  The Africanders, a caste between the Malays
and Europeans, with apparently a dash of Indian blood among them, are a
remarkably handsome race; the women would make fine studies for
Murillo's beauties.  Their hair is their chief ornament, and is of the
deepest black.  They take great pains in arranging it and twist it up
quite classically at the back of the head, fastening the shining mass of
jet with a gilt arrow, or a miniature spear.

"The Zoolahs, or Zooluhs, I have already spoken of.  These are to the
east, beginning some way beyond Kreli's Country, and reaching to Natal
Their great chief, Panda, is in constant communication with that

"Finally, we may name the West Coast Negroes, the liberated Africans,
who have been trained, in a short space of time, into tolerable
discipline.  They have lately been brought to the Cape from Saint
Helena, the latter place having been established as a depot for these
poor creatures, when rescued from their sea-prison by our vessels-of-war
off the coast.  None of them are ever willing to return to their own
country, where they are liable to be seized, and made objects of traffic
between their own people and the European slave-dealers.

"December 28.--As I write, this eventful year is closing in.  The
curtain is gradually falling on the scenes of the last nine months."


"It is thought that this expedition over the Kei will be the last, and
perhaps Kreli may make a merit of necessity, and give up Pato and his
plunder.  This latter, however, is only my own idea.  Colonel Somerset,
will follow up the enemy, as far as he is permitted to do so.  At this
period, while Kreli's people are only waiting to reap their corn, it
seems to me that it would have a good effect, to threaten the Chief with
a march through his country in search of cattle, unless he exerts
himself to restore what we know is either there, or has passed through

"The resources of the colony are open.  We have troops, supplies, and
some fresh horses.  The Graham's Town Journal of the 19th of December,
has some remarks on the efficacy of sending a vessel to the mouth of the
Umzimvooboo, in Amapondaland.  `In one month,' says the writer of this
article, `the British flag may be floating at the mouth of the

"This river lies about midway between Graham's Town and Port Natal,
being, rather nearer to the latter place.

"While Colonel Somerset's division is in preparation for another forward
movement, the Government Agents are busy in registering black British
subjects.  The Kaffirs see that it is to their interest to make peace
for the present.  They will apparently submit to any terms we may
dictate, but no matter what promises they may make, or what guarantee
for future good behaviour they may give, their promises are written upon
sand, and their bond is insecure, because void of all honour.  Thieves
and liars they will remain, until some system is established to overcome
their heathen customs, and subdue their vicious natures.  Whether the
proposed system be available for these purposes, can only be judged of
by the result.

"Sir John Malcolm, in his `Central India,' says there is no other way of
converting heathens than by beginning with children; the prejudices of
the old ones are too strong to be eradicated.  Sir James Alexander makes
a remark to the same effect, and in no country can there be greater
proof of it than in this.

"I yesterday happened to open `The Report of the Directors to the
fifty-first General Meeting of the London Missionary Society, on the
15th of May, 1845,' and in a notice from King William's Town, find these
words in conclusion: `Jan Tzatzoe and the other native assistant have
made extensive journeys through the year, for the purpose of diffusing
the name of Christ and the knowledge of his salvation.'  My first
impulse was to laugh, knowing that Jan Tzatzoe, the propagator of
Christianity in 1845, has been foremost in the mischief of 1846; but it
is melancholy to think how we have been imposed upon.  The very writer
of the report probably considered Jan Tzatzoe in earnest.  It is hard to
accuse others of deliberate mis-statements, unless their motives are
fully proved.  Jan Tzatzoe has also had the advantage of religious
instruction in England, having been exhibited there as a Christian
Kaffir a few years ago!

"December 29th.--Intelligence has been received from Colonel Somerset's
division, which is moving along the sea-coast.  He has captured two
hundred and sixty head of cattle from the I'Slambies.  Sir Peregrine
Maitland had come up with the second division, and would cross the Kei
at Warden's Post on the 21st of December.  Colonel Somerset would
proceed by the mouth of the Kei, and the two divisions would meet at
Butterworth, the missionary station between the river and Kreli's kraal.
The whole country is said to be teeming with cattle.  There have been
some encounters between the Burgher patrols and the cattle-stealers, and
a Hottentot Burgher was shot last week at Kaffir drift.

"More mule-waggons have passed up the hills to-day, with provisions for
the troops.  How invaluable would be the camel in this country!  Some
object to the use of it, in consequence of the moist state of the
country after severe rains; but the slow-moving oxen, with the heavy
waggons, are often detained for weeks.  The camel, by its swift pace and
its strength for burden, would soon make up for time lost by casualties.
The latter animal, too, would always thrive on the food from the bush,
and would have less need of water than the ox.  I heard an officer of
well-known intelligence and keen observation remark how useful elephants
might be made in such warfare; the bush would afford them provision, and
a howdah, filled with armed men, and placed on an elephant's back, would
make a splendid portable battery for the low jungle of Africa.

"The troops cross the various rivers in boats, which they carry with
them.  There must be something very imposing in the sight of an armed
force, varying in numbers from two to four thousand men, moving along
these vast wilds by moonlight; but choosing such paths as shall screen
them from the spies, who lie in wait to bear intelligence back to the
enemy, and give warning of the approach.  In these wilds will be found
much grander scenery than in the colonial districts.  Here the grass is
richer, the trees are of a superior height, the rivers clearer, the
mountain slopes more abundantly clothed, sometimes with vast forests,
and the valleys are more fertile.  Here the Hottentots, Kaffirs, and
Fingoes dwell amid the finest pasturage, and in the most healthy part of
the country.

"December 31st.--New Year's Eve!  Home!  Home!  Where are the happy
faces I have seen gathered round the cheerful hearth long years ago?
How often, as I look back on past years, am I reminded of Mrs Hemans's
`Graves of a household!'  We are sundered--scattered far and wide.  One
who returned to us, after long years of absence in the service of his
country, found his grave at last in Canada.  Another moulders on the
rock of Saint Helena, snatched away in the bloom of life by the ruthless
hand of consumption.  One has been called by duty to the shores of the
Mediterranean; another has returned to England, debilitated by the
climate of the West Indies; and even the sisters from that `household
hearth,' to which I turn with sad remembrance, are, with two exceptions,
suffering from the vicissitudes of a military life.  Vicissitudes,
trials, privations!--these are indeed to be found in Africa, and in the
space of four years I have suffered from the horrors of shipwreck and of

"A strange wild sound of music comes up across the green from the
barracks, and the moon is just old enough to shed her tender light upon
a group of Malays, who, in their picturesque dresses, are marching to
the measured beat of a drum of their own making, and the sounds of
several rude flutes, clarionets, and horns, shaped hurriedly from the
bamboo, but emitting not unpleasant music, in most perfect time.  This
is the peculiar feature in the talent for harmony displayed by the
Hottentots and Malays: no matter how rude the instrument, or how poor
the voice, tune and time are perfect.  The old Irish air of `Garryowen'
has a strange effect played by this untutored band, their rude
instruments assisted by voices of many kinds, from the deepest bass to
the highest soprano.  And now their war-song!--what a fine wind-up, with
its curious combinations that sound scientific, and yet have no musical
grammar in them!  It is over, and the air is still again.  There is the
tramp of their feet over the parade-ground, and--oh, poesy! oh,
heroism!--they have changed their solemn tread for a quick march, and
their stirring war-song for the lively Polka!"


"There is as much trouble here as ever, and less excitement.  The
registered subjects of British Kaffiraria have taken to robbing
orchards, while idling in search of plunder, coolly acknowledging their
purpose, producing their registration tickets, and offering as a
reason--for it cannot be called an excuse--that `the English have taken
their cattle from them, and they want them back again.'

"January 1, 1847.--At Fort Hare, the registration system proceeds as
usual.  Macomo, in a fit of wilfulness, took his departure from thence a
few days ago, with a single follower; and, being traced to Fort
Armstrong, not far from the Tarka Post, has been detained there.  A
letter from the Commanding Officer of a large division on the Kei says,
`There is still much work before us; the patrol is back, bringing in
about four thousand five hundred head of cattle.  Colonel Somerset, and
a party of the Cape Mounted Riflemen, are gone on towards Butterworth.
One of the Rifle Brigade is killed, and another wounded, in crossing the
Kei drift; about fifty Kaffirs are killed.  The Camp will break up
to-morrow, and next day cross the Kei, and join Colonel Somerset.  The
natives are determined to show fight.  They walked away with three span
of oxen this morning; however, they were hotly pursued, and all but five
had been recaptured.  They were in numbers, challenging our people to
come on,' etc.

"This day brings the unexpected intelligence of Sir Henry Pottinger's
appointment to the Governorship of the Cape of Good Hope.  The Home
Authorities have doubtless seen how impossible it is for a man of Sir
Peregrine Maitland's great age to undergo even the physical toil
attendant upon a government of so vast a tract of country; and, when it
is also considered that, in consequence of the distance of Cape Town
from the frontier, Sir Peregrine was prevented from appearing on the
scene till the conclusion of the first great act of the war, every one
will be sensible of the immense difficulties with which he has had to
contend.  Every one is assured that Sir Peregrine Maitland has acted
honourably, conscientiously, and disinterestedly throughout the war;
and, in leaving the frontier of South Africa, he bears with him the
acknowledgements of the colonists, whom he has done his best to serve,
and the earnest respect of the troops, whose toils and privations he has
patiently shared, and to whom he has been an example of British courage,
perseverance, and true nobility of principle.

"January 18th.--The mournful news has just been received of the murder
of three officers and four soldiers, by Kaffirs, on the banks of the
Kei.  They lost their lives in the following manner:--They belonged to a
party sent to guard a drift at the Kei, and, having been some days
without meat where they were, a patrol went in search of some, and,
seeing cattle at a distance, those mounted, namely, the three officers
(namely, Captain Gibson and Dr Howell, Rifle Brigade; and the Hon.  Mr
Chetwynd, 73rd Regiment), and four provisional Hottentots, went in
advance, leaving the infantry, about forty men, some way behind them;
they had secured some cattle, and were returning, when a horde of
Kaffirs rushed from a neighbouring kloof and overpowered the party,
killing the officers and two of the Hottentots.  The infantry were too
far away to be of any assistance.  On reaching the spot where they
expected to find the officers, not a trace of them was to be seen, nor
were the bodies found for two days after the event.  The three murdered
officers died nobly.  They made a stand at once on the approach of the
treacherous enemy from his lair.  Dr Howell's horse fell wounded at the
first fire, and the others, determined not to desert him, fought by his
side till their ammunition was expended.  The remaining Hottentots gave
information, after their escape through the bush, of the scene of
strife, and the bodies were sought for.  There were at first some
rumours of mutilation, but there is scarcely a doubt now of their having
been shot dead at once.  Mr Chetwynd received a ball through his heart,
and Captain Gibson had no less than six gun-shot wounds.

"Ten miles beyond the Kei, these brave spirits now lie at rest.  Beside
a spot called Shaw's Fountain, they were buried by their sorrowing
comrades.  Far from the habitations of the white man are their simple
graves; no monument marks the burial-ground in the mighty wilderness,
but the memory of these gallant spirits is embalmed the breasts of their
fellow soldiers, and their lonely abiding places in the far desert will
be henceforth hallowed spots in an enemy's country.

"The act by which they fell a sacrifice to savage treachery was an
imprudent one, but they were `strangers in the land,' and knew not that
it is a common trick of the Kaffirs to show cattle at the edge of the
bush, and lie in wait."  [See Appendix.]


Note 1.  "On the 7th of May," says Sir James, "I witnessed a most
interesting sight, and one which causes this day to be one of immense
immense importance in the annals of South Africa.  It was no less than
the flight of the Fingo nation, seventeen thousand in number, from
Amakosa bondage, guarded by British troops, and on their way across the
Kei, to find a new country under British protection."--See Sketches in
Western Africa for the rest of this description, volume two, chapter 23.

I have already touched upon the idle state of the Fingoes, who do
nothing for the country which has rescued them from a slavery of the
most miserable character.  They have fought well during this war; but
this has generally been in defence of their own cattle, or with the hope
of remuneration.  The garrison at Fort Peddie was originally placed
there for the protection of the Fingoes, who would in no way render
their services to their protectors, and whose time was chiefly passed in
basking in the sun.  The women tilled the ground, the children herded
the cattle, and the men hunted--when hungry.



"Another year has opened its pages in the book of life, and the record
of the Kaffir war promises nothing in the shape of peace.  Our enemy,
instead of being subdued, appears more obstinate than ever, and deeply
intent on every device that can thwart our purpose and forward his own.

"When the Kaffirs first began to make concessions, I was of opinion that
they were willing to submit to any terms at the moment, in order to gain
time to plant and reap.  The result has been what every one experienced
in the Kaffir character ought to have anticipated.  We have dealt too
mercifully with the treacherous and cruel foe; cruel he is by nature;
witness his brutality even among those of his own colour, nay, his own
blood.  Some say he is not cowardly; it is certain he meets death at the
last moment calmly, and he has a peculiar pride in bearing pain and
annoyance at all times with apparent indifference.  A Kaffir will not
raise his hand to remove a fly from his face; and, as he rubs his skin
with clay and grease to protect it from the effects of the sun, these
attract the flies, and I have known a savage sit for hours in the sun
with his cheeks and brow covered by these tormenting and fidgetty
insects, without attempting to remove them.  It must be allowed, though,
that a Kaffir skin more resembles the hide of some powerful animal than
the skin of a human being.  In the early part of this war, some person
procured the entire skin of a Kaffir, and had it treated in the same way
that leather is first prepared for tanning.  I am told that the texture
is at least three times the thickness of a white man's, and I see no
reason for doubting the assertion.

"The Kaffir has neither generosity nor gratitude, which are invariably
the attributes of a brave nature; he will not meet his adversary openly,
unless he has the advantage immensely in numbers, as in Captain Sandes's
case.  When there are some thousands, to one helpless or unarmed man,
they will annihilate him without mercy.  The Kaffir has no genuine
pride, for he will submit to any personal degradation to obtain his
ends; in short, he is an ignoble foe, and we gain no more credit, or
profit, in fighting such an enemy than if we were endeavouring to
circumvent an army of baboons.  The Kaffir warriors move from kloof to
kloof, from drift to drift, with their provisions in their pouches, or
deposited at certain distances in the bush, while their women contrive
to support themselves in the neighbourhood of the British camp, making
occasional excursions to see their relatives in the field, to furnish
them with useful intelligence and gunpowder.  Where the latter is
obtained is, professedly, a mystery!  The resources of the Colony
present temptations to those who have long lived by trading in the
country beyond the Kei; and, although provisions have not been forwarded
along the coast, small vessels have made their way to the mouths of the
rivers between Waterloo Bay and Natal.  A report, founded on good
grounds, is abroad, that the Kaffir women have lately been employed in
conveying ammunition to their friends, by means of pack-oxen, from Algoa
Bay to the interior of Kaffirland, right through the Colony.  This is by
no means improbable, when the territory is so vast, and the population
scattered, and comparatively small.

"There is little doubt that the Resident Agent at Block Drift now sees
the uselessness of endeavouring to carry out the late arrangements of
Government with regard to `British Kaffraria.'  How he ever supposed
such measures could succeed must remain a puzzle to all acquainted with
the Kaffir's nature!  `I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of
Christ,' is an appeal which the South African savage, in his present
state, cannot be brought to understand.

"January 6th.--We have the old story from the field; the troops have
been patrolling, and have rescued two thousand head of cattle from the
I'Slambies.  The 6th, under the command of Colonel Michell, have had
their share in this foray.  Much sickness continues to prevail.  The
cunning Pato has again succeeded in eluding pursuit, although Colonel
Somerset hemmed him in.  The gallant Colonel, while moving through a
mist with a party of troops, came suddenly on his enemy.  The surprise
of seeing Pato's panther-like face, as the gloom cleared for an instant,
elicited an exclamation from Colonel Somerset, as he drew his pistol
from his holster, and Pato escaped into the bush ere the shot could take
effect.  At the time the despatches were written, only one part of the
troops had crossed the Kei, and our private letters mention that the
rivers were rising fast.  Those who were on the eastern bank, had only a
few days' provisions with them, and they may be cut off from all
communication with the troops on this side for two or three weeks.

"News from England.--Orders have been received to this effect:--the
27th, 90th, and 91st Regiments are to embark for England immediately, if
they can possibly be spared.  The 90th are to march to Graham's Town at
once, and onward to the coast.  I despair of our removal with the 91st.
Sir Henry Pottinger is daily expected on the frontier.  The 27th and
91st Regiments will no doubt be detained till his arrival, and what his
movements may be it is impossible to know."

On the 12th of January, Sir Peregrine Maitland arrived at Graham's Town,
from the frontier, on his way to Cape Town, bringing with him the
intelligence that two thousand head of fine cattle had been captured
across the Kei by Colonel Somerset's division; this was a second
recapture in less than a fortnight, and under considerable difficulties.
But the grand capture, of six thousand head, was made afterwards, and
on the 17th of January, Colonel Somerset crossed the Kei at the imminent
peril of his life, but the patrol, with all the cattle, were unable to
ford the stream, which was still rising with such force that nothing
could stand against the torrent.  All provisions and supplies were cut
off, and the troops had nothing but a few mealies (Indian corn) to
subsist on.  Three men were drowned on the morning of the 15th:
Serjeant-Major Ritchie, 7th Dragoon Guards, and two of the Cape Corps:
and Mr Allen, Assistant-Surgeon of the Cape Corps, was only saved by
disengaging himself from his horse and swimming ashore.

The command of the troops on the frontier now devolved on Colonel
Somerset, until the arrival of General Berkeley.  The efficiency of the
Colonel for such a command has been fully proved during this long and
harassing war.

On the 19th of January the force made its way across the Kei, with eight
thousand head of cattle, captured in Kreli's country.  The Kaffirs hung
upon the rear, disputing each drift and passage with the troops.  In
crossing the Kei, a serjeant of the 6th, and a private of the Cape
Mounted Rifles, were shot by the enemy.

Having recaptured so much cattle, Colonel Somerset now determined to
fall back towards the Colony, and on the 19th he issued an order,
warning those in command of posts and divisions, to be as vigilant as
ever in their observations of the enemy's movements, as hostilities had
not ceased.

Meanwhile, sickness prevailed among the troops in the field and still
increasing.  Rheumatism, camp-fever, and dysentery, reduced the subject
of them to a deplorable state of debility, and it was melancholy to see
young men, who had been scarcely three months in the Colony, brought to
positive decrepitude from these sufferings.

"February 6th.--The 91st are under orders to proceed from Fort Peddie to
Graham's Town, for the purpose of preparing for embarkation for home.

"The `Thunderbolt' steamer, having on board Her Majesty's Commissioner,
Sir Henry Pottinger, and Lieutenant-General Berkeley, the Commander of
the Forces; in rounding Cape Recife, on the 3rd of February, struck upon
a sunken rock, sprung a leak, and it is feared will go to pieces with
the first south-easter.  The disappointment of the 90th, who were
waiting at Algoa Bay for this vessel to convey them to Cape Town for
final embarkation, may be will imagined.  The old soldiers who stood
eagerly watching her approach, set up a universal shout as they saw her
coming round.  What must have been their feelings when they beheld her
run right ashore?

"The appearance of the 90th on leaving the Colony is so totally
different to what it presented on its arrival here, that it goes far to
prove the good effect of the Cape climate on constitutions debilitated
by Indian service.  Under every disadvantage of fatigue, privation, and
a residence under canvas during an African summer, with the thermometer
at times 157 degrees in the open air, the 90th, on their march from
Graham's Town to the coast, presented a perfect picture of a regiment of
British veterans.

"We lately saw them in our evening ride, as they toiled up a steep hill
before us with their long line of waggons and dusky waggon-drivers.  How
cheerful they looked!  I envied them as I turned my horse's head back to
the land of banishment and anxiety!  I could not help uttering the
words, `Happy 90th, God speed you!' aloud, as the last waggon passed us,
and an old soldier, with a bronzed cheek and grey hair, saluted our
party, by way of `Thank you for your good will!'  How little they
anticipated their disappointment at Algoa Bay!"

It is not long since we rode a few miles on the Fort Beaufort road to
see the cattle that had been captured by Colonel Somerset's division
across the Kei.  We reached the bivouac just as the sun was declining.
The cattle, seven thousand in number, were gathered into a dense mass,
and surrounded by their guards.  I never see a poor patient-looking Cape
ox, that I do not think of the strife continually existing here for the
sake of its race.  The mass of cattle was a Smithfield show; but the
tents round it--the huts contrived to hold one person--being a few
bushes and a piece of tattered canvas, the fires where the Hottentots
and their vrouws cooked their suppers, the piled muskets, the picquets
and scouts turning out for the night, and the pack-oxen, apart from
their fellows, and so tame as to be pets and playmates of the boys who
watched them, presented an extraordinary sight, particularly in that
strange light between the setting of the sun and the reign of the moon.
This crowd of cattle had been brought into the Colony with great speed
and security, by the levy in command of Captain Hogg, 7th Dragoon
Guards; and, as was anticipated, the enemy followed them, in various
parties, through the different passes between Kaffirland and our own
territory.  Fortunately, Captain Hogg and his people had been too swift
and careful in their movements to be circumvented even by Kaffirs, and
the cattle was distributed to the farmers without delay.

We took another ride one day, which created sad sensations.  Above the
Drostdy barracks, on the western side of Graham's Town, is a succession
of hills and undulating plains.  We chose our path along the open
ground, being a vast irregular space, evidently very fertile, for the
turf was gay with beautiful wild flowers.  Gigantic mountains, piled one
above the other, formed the background of this noble amphitheatre.  Here
and there a hill was clothed in patches of deep green, and on its summit
waved a few small trees, but there was no dense bush, and two or three
farms dotted the plains, many miles in extent.

"These farms have probably been secure from the Kaffirs during the war,"
said I.

We reached one of them.  Although it had escaped the brand of the
savage, it looked desolate.  The owners had only returned within a few
days.  They had not deserted it till the last moment; their cattle had
been stolen and their herds wounded, their land was untilled, and the
little watercourse was choked with rubbish.  We passed on to the farm a
short distance beyond it.  The settlers, a man and his wife, perfectly
English in appearance, but pale and harassed, stood surveying their
miserable homestead.  This, too, from its open position, had escaped the
brand; but the windows were shattered, the door swung on imperfect
hinges, the steps were broken and grass grew between them; the little
garden laid waste; and, as if in mockery, a scarlet geranium streamed
garishly over the crumbling embankment; rank weeds filled the place of
other plants under the broken boughs of the apricot trees, and a few
poor articles of furniture which had been borne away to Graham's Town,
on the family flitting, stood in the open air, awaiting more strength
than the exhausted mistress of the place could command.  Her husband had
been trying to bring a piece of ground into some sort of cultivation,
but it was heavy work; the long droughts had parched the earth, and the
mimosa fence was scattered over the face of the patch, which had once
yielded vegetables.

We asked them if they, too, had lost their cattle?  The man smiled, as
he said, "Yes;" he seemed amused at our supposing it could have escaped
the hands of the robber.  The woman sighed, and answered that two of her
herds had been killed, and her son had had a narrow escape of being
shot.  "We did not like to stay after that, Ma'am," said she, "and we
have been many months in Graham's Town.  I'm sure I don't think we are
safe now, in spite of all the fresh soldiers we've got in the country,"
she continued, casting a frightened glance towards the gloomy mountains
behind the homestead, "but we are all ruined, and things can't be much
worse, so we may as well take our chance."

The colonists, who are the best judges of the benefits conferred on them
by Colonel Somerset's exertions in their behalf, have come forward to
bestow a solid testimony of their gratitude towards him, by setting on
foot a subscription for the purchase of a piece of plate, setting forth
that "The inhabitants of Albany, impressed with the great service
rendered them by Colonel Somerset during the Kaffir war, by his rapid
march from Block Drift into Lower Albany and other parts of the
district, thereby relieving the inhabitants from imminent danger, and in
some cases from almost certain destruction, from the wrathful hands of
an invading enemy, and further for his services rendered to the Colony
in general by his great exertions in the field, it is proposed to
present him with a piece of plate, as a mark of their esteem and

The march alluded to, of such importance to the safety and he lives of
the unfortunate settlers, was "made on his own responsibility."  By this
"forced march," says the Graham's Town Journal, February 13th, 1847,
"Colonel Somerset saved Theopolis, Farmerfield, Salem, Bathurst, and
other places in Lower Albany, from probable destruction."

On the departure of his Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland from the
frontier, the troops fell back from the Kei to the Buffalo, where
Colonel Van der Meulen assumed the command of a division, consisting of
four companies of the Rifle Brigade, beside his own regiment, the 73rd,
two guns, seventy Cape Corps, a squadron of the 7th Dragoon Guards, and
a chequered group of Provisionals.  This division encamped amid the
ruins of what once promised to be a flourishing town, named by Sir Harry
Smith, King William's Town; the site having been taken possession of by
him in the name of William the Fourth, in 1835; but it was subsequently

Here, then, among these memorials of the last war, the troops are
building huts and bowers for themselves.  The heat is intolerable.  The
walls of Sir Harry Smith's abode are still standing, and the old garden
contains some excellent fruit trees, planted probably under the
direction of Lady Smith, the interesting Spanish heroine of some
charming sketches of the Peninsula, and the favourite of the African
frontier.  Lady Smith, of kindly memory, would live in the hearts of
those who knew her, even were she not connected with one of the heroes
of the late conquests in India.

Fort Peddie has been strengthened, and is now the head-quarters of the
6th Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Michel.  Besides the 6th, Colonel
Michel has at his disposal a troop of Dragoons, a party of the Cape
Corps, and some companies of the Rifle Brigade.

The 91st are scattered far and wide at outposts and bivouacs.  The light
company, under Captain Savage, are in Colonel Michel's district,
patrolling between Post Victoria (abandoned and resumed within eight
months) and Fort Peddie.  The Grenadiers, under Captain Ward, are on
their march to the neighbourhood of Hell's Poort, to intercept
cattle-lifters.  The levies have been dismissed, or dispersed of their
own accord; the flank companies of Her Majesty's 91st are employed in
their stead!

The Beaufort Division is under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel
Johnstone, 27th Regiment, and consists of the 45th Regiment, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine; the reserve battalion 91st,
under Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell; 7th Dragoon Guards, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, and a Burgher Force, under Major Sutton,
Cape Mounted Rifles.



The pithy motto of "Deeds, not words," is fraught with sound sense;
nevertheless, words uttered with calmness and decision, to a suffering
community, carry comfort to the hearts of men, if, by their import, they
simply prove that the sufferer's cause is understood.

Sir Henry Pottinger left Cape Town on the 10th February, 1847, in the
"President" flag-ship, Admiral Dacres, and an address was presented to
him on his landing at Algoa Bay, by the inhabitants of Port Elizabeth,
to which he replied in a manner that evinced his determination to meet
the difficulties before him unflinchingly.

Whilst Sir Henry Pottinger was receiving and replying to the addresses
of the inhabitants of Algoa Bay, Sir Peregrine Maitland, his family and
suite, were embarking at Cape Town for England.  Every demonstration of
respect towards the ex-Governor and Lady Sarah Maitland, was displayed
by the inhabitants, who pressed forward to offer a kind farewell.

On the 24th of February, the guns from the battery above the Drostdy
Barracks announced the arrival of Sir George Berkeley, K.C.B., the newly
appointed Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's forces on the South
African frontier; and, on the 27th, another salute told of Sir Henry
Pottinger's approach to the then immediate seat of Government, Graham's

The registration system has not succeeded.  A farmer misses his cattle,
sheep, and horses, or his garden is trampled down, or stripped of its
produce.  He represents the case to the officer of the line, or the
Burgher in command of the nearest post, or bivouac.  A patrol is
ordered; the spoor is traced, and the men enter the thick bush, creeping
on their hands and knees.  They first come on the ashes of a fire, and
the _debris_ of a meal; the eyes of a savage scout gleam through a
screen of mimosa thorns, and then disappear; there is a rush through the
bush, a Kaffir exclamation of "Ma-wo!" a stray shot or two from the
enemy, fired with deadly intent, but unsuccessfully generally, from the
very desire to take unerring aim, a volley from the patrol, then a chase
to no purpose; for, shortly after, the savages utter a yell of defiance
from some distant or impracticable pass, or more frequently vanish in
silence, leaving, perhaps, the traces of blood, the Kaffirs possessing
extraordinary vitality, and rivalling, though in a different sense, that
celebrated British Corps, the "Die Hards."  The deserted bivouac of the
enemy is then examined, and the booty that presents itself as a reward
of toil and courage, consists of the bones of an ox, the remnant of a
roasted goat, or sheep, some trophies from Burn's Hill, in the shape of
an artillery powder-bag, part of a leather belt, a few stray assegais,
perchance a good hair-trigger gun, some filthy karosses, and a
registration ticket or two, setting forth how Cana, or Weni, or Tuti,
Number 300, or 3000, etc, had "surrendered himself at Fort Hare, or Fort
Peddie, on such a day, 1847," the said surrender, by the way, having
been followed up on some occasions by a gift of cattle recaptured by the
troops on the very morning perhaps that it was presented to the said
Cana, Weni, Tuti, etc, etc.

On the 25th of February, the Grenadiers of the 91st Regiment having been
detained many days on the eastern side of the Fish River, in consequence
of its being impassable from its swollen state, the soldiers adopted a
peculiar mode of getting the baggage-waggons across this gulf of dark
and sluggish waters.  Availing themselves of a short period when the
drift became navigable, these patient and experienced soldiers took the
waggons to pieces, and embarked them piecemeal with their cargoes in the
clumsy craft which forms the sole means of conveyance.

The first two years of our sojourn here, the locusts devastated the
land.  The prophet Joel describes this dreadful visitation as "Like the
noise of chariots on the tops of mountains," "Like the noise of flame of
fire that devoureth the stubble," as a "strong people set in battle
array;" and any one who has ridden through a cloud of locusts, must
admit the description to be as true as it is sublime.  On one occasion,
at Fort Peddie, the cloud, flickering between us and the missionary
station, half a mile distant, dazzled our eyes, and veiled the buildings
from our sight; at last it rose, presenting its effects in some acres of
barren stubble, which the sun had lit up in all the beauty of bright
green a few hours before.  Verily, "the heavens" seemed "to tremble,"
and the sky was darkened by this "great army," which passed on "every
one on his ways," neither "breaking their ranks" nor "thrusting one
another."  So they swept on, occupying a certain space between the
heavens and the earth, and neither swerving from their path, extending
the mighty phalanx, or pausing in the course: the noise of their wings
realising the idea of a "flaming blast," and their whole appearance
typifying God's terrible threat of a "besom of destruction."

"They shall walk every one in his path!"  Nothing turns them from it.
And, if the traveller endeavour to force his way through them with
unwonted rapidity, he is sure to suffer.  I have ridden for miles at a
sharp gallop through these legions, endeavouring to beat them off with
my whip, but all to no purpose! nothing turns them aside, and the poor
horses bend down their heads as against an advancing storm, and make
their way as best they can, snorting and writhing under the infliction
of several sharp blows on the face and eyes, which their riders
endeavour to evade with as little success.  One draws a long breath
after escaping from a charge of locusts, and looking round you, you
exclaim with the prophet, "The land is as the garden of Eden before
them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall
escape them."

The white ants are another plague--books, dresses, carpets, etc, all
fall a prey to their voracity in a few days; the very houses give way
before them; and when they are on a march, never swerving from their
path, some thousands in number, the earth has the appearance of being
covered with ashes.  Twice, then, have I seen the land subject to this
curse; and in 1846 the droughts proved perhaps a worse misfortune.  Here
again the prophet's words were applicable: "How do the beasts groan! the
herds of cattle are perplexed because they have no pasture; yea, the
flocks of sheep are made desolate!"

The rise of the rivers is another of the wonderful sights of Africa.  At
one moment the bed of the river presents little but a surface of mud; a
distant murmur is heard, then a roar; nearer, yet nearer, and a wall of
water is visible up the stream.  On, on,--not foaming, nor leaping, nor
glancing in the bright sun,--like a cheerful, honest, English torrent--
but with a slow sluggish movement, the wall advances, swelling in its
career, and gradually filling the great chasm with a dull and sluggish
volume of lead-coloured fluid; while the cattle stand trembling and
gazing on the brink of this African Styx, their Fingo herdsman making no
bad representation of "Charon grim!"

Pato's last message to Colonel Somerset might be admired for its
coolness, if the intentions implied in it were serious in all their
bearings.  His ambassadress, a Kaffir woman, came into Graham's Town
lately, to tell Colonel Somerset that Pato desired to meet him [Note 1],
and that speedily, as his (the Chief's) tobacco-pouch was worn out, and
he only waited for his enemy's skin wherewith to make a new one!  There
is no doubt that Pato would readily appropriate the said skin of his
persevering foe to the purpose required, but as to meeting Colonel
Somerset, that is "quite another thing."

Witchcraft is working its mischief in Kaffirland, accompanied with the
most revolting ceremonies.  After the first affair on the Amatolas,
Sandilla presented Umyeki, one of his numerous fathers-in-law, with a
trophy of victory.  The skull, skin, and right hand of our unfortunate
friend, Captain Bambrick, 7th Dragoon Guards, were considered by the
young Gaika chief as worthy offerings to this celebrated witch-doctor,
or worker of spells.  These wizards outrival the chiefs in power, and
have hitherto carried on their incantations with a success that baffles
both missionary and military exertions.

The wizard, Umyeki, then gathers round him a vast assemblage of his
fellow-savages; and, after going through the usual harlequinade
attendant on those mysteries of Kaffirland, he exhibits a decoction, a
mixture of herbs with Sandilla's trophies, and as this boils and foams
over on the fire he has prepared according to form, under it, he dips a
stick into it, stirs it up, and then pointing the magic wand in the
direction of our outposts, camps, bivouacs, and leaguers, he decrees as
he thinks fit, sickness to one, fear to another, and so on; and thus by
persuading his deluded and superstitious countrymen that he paralyses
the colonial forces, the Kaffirs acquire fresh courage, and persevere in
their aggressions.  A clever artist has seized on this for a subject,
which promises to make a fine picture.  The demon look of the wizard,
the curiosity depicted in the faces of some of the spectators, the
terror of others who turn aside, or shrink away, with faces
half-averted, are all well portrayed.  Such a scene can only be imagined
by people who are accustomed to the study of the Kaffir countenance.

Those who witnessed Sandilla's first offer of _amende_ to the British
Government described it as singularly impressive, and were touched with
some feelings of compassion for the restless Gaika.  The image presented
is a mournful one.  Sandilla, at the age of twenty-four, hitherto Lord
Paramount of the Amakosas, including Gaikas, I'Slambies, and many
smaller tribes, sits moodily on the mountain-ridge, awaiting an answer
to the conciliatory message wrung from him by force of the British arms;
and, surveying in silence the territory he has forfeited,--lands
extending as far as the eye can reach--mountains and deep valleys, green
pastures, and sheltering bush--the home of the savage, all threaded by
the Tyumie stream--those waters, of which he once vowed "the white man
should never drink,"--on its fertile banks, the tents of the English now
stand in proud array.  The echoes round that vast space give back the
bugle call, the fife's shrill notes, the drum's dull rolling sound,
where once was heard the hunter's shout, the jackal's cry, the peevish
whine of the wolf, the mocking laugh of the hyena, and but lately the
wild whoop of the Gaika warriors.  Silently sits that young Chief upon
the mountain edge, but not alone--to him, at least, his people are true.
A chieftain's power is absolute, but, alas! it is only applicable to
mischievous purposes.  His vassals watch him, and a proud sorrow is
depicted in their countenances as they gaze on him, turning from time to
time their fierce and scowling eyes on the British Commissioner.  In
strong contrast to this, Sir Peregrine Maitland, with his Staff, rides
slowly by--his calm features totally unmoved, as he hands a written
decree to his delegate, and passes on.  With their arms folded, and yet
with every nerve on the alert, and hands ready to seize the short
destructive assegais at their feet [these are used when compelled to
close with the enemy], the warriors of the Amatola, unsubdued in spirit,
haughtily await the "word" of the "White-headed Chief of the children of
the foam," to which Sandilla vouchsafes no reply.  Apart, a young Gaika,
Anta (Sandilla's brother), speaks words of bitter scorn.  Eye and hand
sweep round the glorious territory, and at each pause in his vehement
harangue, a low and solemn sound, like the distant roar of many waters,
rolls through the circle of his auditors.  No notice of what is passing
is vouchsafed by the Amakosa Chief.  At last, drawing his robe of
tiger-skin around his withered limb, he moves slowly and, in spite of
his lameness, with dignity, from the council-ground, and is lost in the
deep recesses of the "bush."

All this, I say, presents a mournful image to the mind, and many a
romance has been formed on poorer incidents; but we must remember when
we hear the broad assertion of philanthropists at home, that we are not
justified in taking from the Kaffir, "the land of his fathers," that the
country is only his by might--no more his than ours, he having driven
the aborigines from the dwelling-place God originally led them into.
Where are these poor Bushmen now?  Far up the country, among the steep
recesses of the mountains, where they form a link between the animals of
the wilderness and human nature.  Thither civilisation may follow them
when the land of their forefathers shall be under British rule!

It may here be remarked that the Zooluh tribes, near Natal, now punish
witchcraft among themselves with death.  Umwangela, a chief, lately
ordered a Zooluh wizard to be destroyed by one of the tribe, named
Nomgulu; both the chief and his subject were seized by the British
authorities, and tried for murder.  Umwangela's defence was, "I was
dead; I had lost my family by the wizard, and determined to have his
life in return."  Nomgulu pleaded that he was "only the dog of
Umwangela; that witchcraft was a crime punishable by death."  Umwangela
and his "dog" were found guilty of murder on the British territory, and
sentenced to death; but the sentence was not carried into effect.  The
witnesses who discovered the prisoners arrested them when returning from
bathing, it being the custom of the Zooluhs to wash after an execution.

Part of the 1st battalion 45th Regiment, stationed at Natal, have lately
been engaged in hostile operations against a chief named Fodo, who had
assembled his warriors near the Umzunculu River, and carried off a
quantity of cattle, killing some of the peaceable inhabitants of the
Ambaca tribe.  On the 27th January, the troops, consisting of some
Artillery, Cape Corps, and a party of the 45th, in all not three
hundred, encamped on the banks of the Umzunculu.  They were accompanied
by some natives subject to our Government.  The country was too rugged
for the Artillery rockets to be of much use, and the bush aided Fodo's
escape.  Some five hundred head of cattle were recaptured from the
enemy, and five prisoners were secured.  The Lieutenant-Governor has
wisely offered a reward for the apprehension of Fodo and his colleague,

I have touched on the subject of this skirmish in the district of Natal,
because, although that district is under a Lieutenant-Governor of its
own, it is closely connected, commercially, politically, and in a
domestic way, with these south-western territories, and also because our
troops have been engaged there.

As a set-off to such hostilities, there are some hopes that the Dutch
will pause [they paused to fight, and be conquered] in their career
beyond Natal.  A few words about their settlements in that part of
Africa will not be irrelevant to my subject, inasmuch as, from the
extension of our possessions to Natal, we are fast approaching the line
of demarcation they would wish to establish.

About two hundred miles north-west of the Portuguese settlement at
Delagoa Bay, a town has arisen, called by the emigrant Boers Orichstadt,
after its founder Orich, one of the first who _trekked_ in a spirit of
discontent against the English.  The natives of the country round
Orichstadt are a branch of the Baraputses, but are called by the Dutch
_knob-neus_, or knob-noses, from that feature being tattooed after the
fashion of a string of beads.  With these natives they have lately made
an expedition against some of the Zooluh race, to rescue cattle.  This
commando lasted one day, and was successful, many Zooluhs being killed,
and the cattle taken from them.  Throughout South Africa the cry is
still "Cattle!  Cattle!  Cattle!"

A sort of trade in ivory has been established between Orichstadt and
Delagoa Bay, but the chief obstacle is the intervening low swampy
country, which is so unhealthy that both men and oxen frequently sicken
and die on the journey.  The natives near the bay navigate the river
Maponta in canoes.  These are a half-caste race, employed by their
masters, the Portuguese, to purchase ivory in the interior.

The fort at the bay is not the residence of the Governor-General of the
Portuguese on the east coast of Africa.  He resides at Mozambique, and
the officer commanding the troops at the fortress has absolute rule over
all the natives within the small district, among whom are a few European
settlers, living in wretched dwellings near the native huts.  The fort
is useless as a defence, being built of mud, and the interior is a mere
stock-yard for the Lieutenant-Governor, who traffics in ivory with the
vessels which touch here.  There is also some suspicion of a trade in

Near Delagoa Bay is a tract of country, called Tembia.  Here Captain
Owen, R.N., once proposed to occupy a position for watching the slavers
on the coast.  A mission was also established here, and progressed
favourably for two years; but England giving up her right in Tembia to
Portugal, the unfortunate natives who had gathered round "the Teacher,"
were soon disposed of to the slavers.  The Dutch are also suspected of
being connected with this melancholy trade.  Let us hope that the future
state of their adopted country will be such as to induce them to return
to it.  The droughts which devastated this part of Africa in 1846, did
equal mischief at Orichstadt, and there has been much consequent
distress.  It is the assurance of this which has arrested the travelling
Boers from advancing further to the north-east with their families.

March 24th.--The troops again take the field this day.  Pato's message
to the Government is conciliatory, based on the usual grounds--a scheme
to gain time until the corn is gathered in.  The Governor's reply is,
that "Pato must surrender himself unconditionally."

Sir Henry Pottinger and his suite have pitched their marquees at Fort
Peddie, in the immediate neighbourhood of the I'Slambie tribes.  It is
possible his Excellency will find more difficulty in dealing with these
savages than with His Celestial Majesty the Emperor of China.  Active
operations are now been carried on under Sir George Berkeley and Colonel
Somerset in the I'Slambie country; and, in the mean time, the key to
Kaffirland is to be made use of, at last; the Buffalo Mouth is to be
opened at once; and, for the present, the haughty spirit of the Gaikas
seems at rest.


Note 1.  The Kaffir _sobriquet_ for Colonel Somerset implies, in their
language, a peculiar species of hawk, famous for its keen sight and its



The opening of the mouth of the Buffalo river, for the transmission of
stores seaward to Kaffirland, will, I trust, prove the usefulness of
this key to the seat of war and turmoil.  With what breathless eagerness
will the first boat be watched careering through the foam, which at
times separates, as a veil, the stream from the ocean!  Intent as we,
poor exiles, are upon every movement that affects the progress of
operations, languishing for home, as well as interested in the welfare
of the colony, we gaze earnestly on each convoy of waggons wending its
slow, uncertain way up the hill "hard by," on its way to the front.  On
the 22nd of March, we paused in our evening walk to observe the train of
twenty-six waggons, _en route_ for the Buffalo mouth.  What an example
of African locomotion it presented!  Some of these contained ammunition,
and it struck me that the nature of their contents might have been
concealed rather than manifested by their funereal coverings of black
canvas.  The foremost in the train suddenly stopped.  Had a steam-engine
led the van, it would have panted, and puffed, and tugged in vain, along
such a pathway.  The transport for soldiers' necessaries in this country
is so small, that this waggon had been loaded beyond the capabilities of
so cumbrous a machine, and it stuck fast; none of the others, therefore,
could move along the narrow road.  In vain, the driver slashed his long
whip,--the echoes only mocked it.  In vain, he shouted "Bosjeman!"
"Abeveldt!"  "England!" to his oxen; in vain, the Hottentot _forelouper_
screamed, and leaped, and scolded "Ireland" and "Scotland."  He might as
well have attempted to move those two ancient kingdoms from their
foundations, as the oxen named after them: they only tossed their heads
at him and their tails at the driver as if in pure scorn.  They were
weary, and chose to rest!  The despairing escort, foreseeing delay, used
frantic exertions to push the huge vehicle from behind, and the drivers
in the rear took advantage of the blockade to light their pipes and
smoke them with their usual imperturbability.  The shrill voices of the
vrouws, who accompany their husbands on all occasions, to make their
coffee, light their fires, and broil their carbonatje, formed a chorus,
in very high treble and very low Dutch, to the unmusical medley.

At length, there was at attempt at an advance; but, as the leaders would
only move up the face of the hill on one side, or down the slope on the
other, very little ground was got over; and, soon after sunset, the
opening between the hills was illuminated by the fires of the encampment
formed there.

In March the second campaign fairly commenced; Pato was yet unconquered.
Three companies of the 73rd marched from King William's Town for the
Buffalo Mouth, and were relieved by the same number of the 45th, from
Fort Hare.  Colonel Buller, Rifle Brigade, commanded the field-force at
King William's Town; Colonel Van der Meulen, the 73rd, at the mouth of
the Buffalo, where Lieutenant Jervois, R.E., selected the site, and made
preparations for building a military post for 300 men.  Colonel
Johnstone, 27th Regiment, was appointed Commandant at Fort Hare.  The
great Chief, Macomo, went wandering about the town at Fort Beaufort in a
state of frenzy, from intoxication, having made the canteen his
head-quarters.  The only wife, out of ten, who clung to him in his
fallen fortunes, complained, at last, of the injuries he had inflicted
upon her, by blows, as well as with a sharp instrument; and his child,
whom he had in some whim named "Magistrate," narrowly escaped the fate
of the poor little creature at Fort Hare, which, if not murdered at once
by him, died from the effects of his savage treatment.

The intelligence received from the Buffalo Mouth on the 4th of April,
was, that Major Smith, 73rd, had been wounded by the enemy in ambush
near the camp, when visiting the sentries; and two Burghers and a Fingo
shot.  There was the usual detail of cattle stolen and recaptured, with
casualties on both sides pretty equal, waggons fired at, and a
successful chase by Captain Armstrong, Cape Mounted Rifles, after a
Kaffir lad, whom he rode down, but who would give no satisfactory
information, although he was endeavouring to communicate with some
mounted Kaffirs, swimming their horses across the Keiskama.  Colonel
Somerset, in his dispatch, suggested "the expediency of establishing a
cavalry post on the cast bank of the Keiskama, to intercept marauding
parties, who are constantly passing out of the Colony with cattle."  Sir
Henry Pottinger decided on shooting all such captured cattle as could
not be removed without encumbering the troops, or delaying them in their

Colonel Somerset's plan, of dotting the Colony with troops, was the
means of protecting it materially from Kaffir thieves.  An old Dutch
settler's cattle were once driven, by a band of these robbers, right
into Commatje's post, on the Fish river; proving that they were hurried
or intercepted in their march, or, what is equally probable, that they
had come from a distance.  One lot of cattle was recaptured in the
neighbourhood of Double Drift, another post of the Fish River; the
Kaffir thief was first observed reclining under a bush, calmly
contemplating his precious booty.  Occasionally, we were without milk,
in consequence of the milkman's cows having vanished in the night,
within three miles of Graham's Town.  Such losses, however, not
unfrequently occurred from carelessness on the part of the owners, or
herds; the cattle straying to the edge of the bush, where there were
always Kaffirs lying in wait to "lift" them.

Bathurst, in Lower Albany, may be said to defend itself to its best
ability.  This pretty settlement has risen and flourished under the
patient labour of emigrants, sent thither in 1820, chiefly through the
instrumentality of the Duke of Newcastle.  The labourer, the mechanic,
the unthriving tradesman, the servant without work, may not only find
employment, but are absolutely wanted here.  The former may plant his
three, and sometimes four, crops of potatoes in the year, to say nothing
of other produce, and manifold resources of gain and comfort.  It is
singular that Great Britain, in 1847, suffered from the failure of the
crops; the gardens of corn, pumpkin, etc, in Kaffirland, were more than
usually productive.

One of the most thriving establishments I have seen is a location called
Clumber, five miles from Bathurst, originally established by an emigrant
sent hither by the Duke of Newcastle.  Here, as in other places, the
chapel is built as a place of refuge in case of war; it stands on a
green mound, commanding an extensive view, and its position is admirably
adapted for the purposes of defence and observation.  I am struck with
the church, which would be an ornament to any large, well-built English

The ride to the Kowie, from Bathurst, is exceedingly pretty, and I shall
never forget the by-path to the sands, from the small inn at Port
Frances.  Such is the name of the scattered village (for it cannot be
called a town), rising in the immediate neighbourhood of the little bay,
or, more properly speaking, creek.  On turning a corner, we entered a
shrubbery, thickly planted, by the graceful hand of Nature, with a
variety of flowering shrubs and trees.  On each side rose tall grey
rocks, relieved in shape and colour by the euphorbia, and other stately
plants.  The velvet turf under our feet was enamelled with flowers of
various hues; wreaths of jessamine floated over our paths, and festoons
of the wild cucumber, with its glorious scarlet, but poisonous fruit,
hung in graceful garlands, forming natural arches above our heads.
Silently our little party wound its way through these fragrant and
beautiful arcades.  How grand was Nature in her solitude! undisturbed,
save by the occasional trill of some bird, the more valuable because the
voices of birds are seldom heard in the magnificent solitudes of South
Africa!  Amid such fair scenes, I have often regretted the want of
water, which always adds life to a picture; but here, on emerging from
this green and quiet nook, our horses bounded upon firm sands, with the
sea before us, dashing up its vast and glittering volumes of spray and
foam in indescribable grandeur.

The house built for Mr Cock, the enterprising individual who has
resolved on establishing the harbour, gives evidence of great
expectations of success, and, should Port Frances ever assume the
character of a moderately thriving town, it will form a charming
locality for the settler.

One ordinance of the Lord High Commissioner was important, and doubtless
had a great effect on the Kaffirs, especially at the opening of the
South African winter.  All traffic was forbidden "between her Majesty's
subjects (whether residing within or without the boundaries of the
Colony) and the different Kaffir tribes who were still in arms, or had
been recently so, against Her Majesty's paramount authority and
dignity."  Instructions to this effect were given to Mr Calderwood,
(Commissioner for the Gaika tribes) on the 25th of March, 1847, but
"that no persons may plead ignorance of, or want of information with
respect to the said notice," Sir Henry Pottinger again announced that
"any of her Majesty's subjects who might attempt, under whatever plea or
pretence; to evade it, would do so at their peril, and would be held to
be in treasonable intercourse with her Majesty's enemies."  The
withdrawal of the traders from Kaffirland must have worried the enemy
considerably.  The Kaffir is miserable without tobacco; men, women, and
children indulge in smoking to an extraordinary degree; and as the
winter advances they will feel the loss more and more.  Snuff is another
luxury with which they have become fairly infatuated--they will even
_eat_ it, frequently swallowing it in the shape of a ball; and the
English blanket is now one of the necessaries of life.  They carry their
love of ornament to such an excess, that they have certain fancies
relative to their beads, which have as much sway over the fancies of the
sable belles of Kaffirland, as any fiat, or caprice, from the divan of a
Parisian modiste, or the penetralia of a Mayfair beauty.  One year the
leathern bodice of a Tambookie bride is _parsemented_ with beads of a
dead white; another season, the I'Slambie girls will quarrel for a
monopoly of bright blue, and the Gaikas set up an opposition in
necklaces of mock garnet and amber.  Birmingham buttons ornament the
skin cloaks of the women of Kaffraria, and brass bangles, from our
manufactories, conceal the symmetry of their arms, which are models for

Although our British traders would suffer individually, for a time, by
this cessation from their traffic, the most respectable of them
acknowledged that they saw the necessity of it, and anticipated
advantageous results hereafter.  The great object of this measure was to
prevent, or rather check, the sale of gunpowder.  It is by these means
that the Kaffirs have been enabled for years to collect it, and it is
still to be feared that there are many men among the "pale faces,"
wicked enough to traffic, not only in the articles named above, but in
arms and ammunition.  Magazines have long been stored with the latter;
and as the traveller passes through a village of Kaffir huts, he little
imagines that two or three of these rude edifices, standing side by
side, were unceasingly and jealously watched by as many idle-looking
savages, whose listless air well conceals the importance of their real

Our enemies soon learned that we were determined on tiring them out;
that we could not only reduce them to subjection, but leave nothing
undone to keep them so.  They were made to understand, that we were not
merely "fighting for a hatchet!"  During the operations of the troops
under the command of General (late Colonel) Hare, against the Gaika
tribes, the enemy, when beyond the range of our musketry, would call out
from the ridges of the hill, "Well, Umlunghi, have you found the hatchet
yet?"  In January, 1847, a Kaffir woman's body being discovered near the
camp at Fort Hare, horribly mutilated, the legs and arms amputated, some
of her countrymen stated that, a stolen hatchet having been found in her
possession, they had determined to make an example of her, lest an
additional cause should arise for the continuance of the war.  Had this
been legally investigated and proved against the perpetrators of the
deed, they would have suffered for the atrocity; but, although the story
wanted official confirmation, it was believed by most of those who were
in camp at the time.

A long line of posts was immediately planned along the Buffalo River.
The General, Sir George Berkeley, had a narrow escape on the 31st of
March, being fired at by the enemy from behind a bush, the ball passing
at no great distance from him.  He was encamped at the mouth of the
Buffalo, awaiting the arrival of ships with stores and provisions.  No
field operations could take place until the question was decided as to
the practicability of landing cargo there; the surf is at times
tremendous, but the place is allowed to be equal to Waterloo Bay, if not

In the mean time patrols were scouring the bush in the neighbourhood of
Pato's gardens, near the Buffalo; and although shots were occasionally
fired into the camps, they were too uncertain to be often effective.  As
usual, the enemy was scarcely ever seen; he fired from his cover of
rocks, and thus, his own loss was concealed.  Stock and Nonnebe profess
to be friends, and to protect certain passes, but Colonel Somerset
recommended caution in this respect, as he knew they were not to be

In dwelling on the necessity of emigration, as a refuge and amelioration
for the condition of the Irish especially, I have called to mind
circumstances under which I have known great solicitude expressed by
them, when separated from all communication with their priest.  The
Roman Catholic clergyman who left this, in 1846, was unremitting in his
duties towards his flock.  Sunshine or storm, Father Murphy and his
black horse, each identified with the other, were seen wending their
way, at a sharp pace, towards the humble cottages of Irish emigrants, or
the hospital, where lay some poor Catholic, who "could not die" until he
obtained comfort from his pastor.  His successor, the Rev  Mr
Devereux, is rapidly gaining the esteem and confidence of his people, by
his unremitting attention and exertions.  It is, indeed, honourable to
the colony to witness the readiness with which all unite in the great
purpose of forwarding relief to the poor stricken creatures at home.

"April 13th.--News from the Front!  Sir Henry Pottinger has received an
order from the Home Government to augment the regiment of Cape Mounted
Riflemen to twelve companies, thus adding a battalion to that efficient

"I shall look with great anxiety on the progress of recruiting for the
Cape Corps, having long since earnestly dwelt on the advantages to be
derived from such a measure.  It is worthy of remark that, when an order
was given in London, in 1842, to raise a certain number of boys, for the
Cape Mounted Riflemen, it was carried out in less than two days, without
the slightest difficulty.  The Hottentots here will not be so easily
obtained, at least until better pay is promised.

"Another victim has fallen a sacrifice, not to the bullet or the
assegai, but to the bodily hardships and anxiety of mind undergone
during the war.  The Colony has lost a friend by the death of Mr
Mitford Bowker.  For several years he held the appointment of Resident
Agent to the I'Slambie tribes; but after his retirement from this
office, he became a sheep-farmer, and for ten years suffered from the
depredations of the savage.  He was one of those brave settlers who
stood by his homestead till `the word had been given to kill,' remaining
on his farm, with his family, till the last moment.  Forming a little
encampment near a kloof, he and his brave brothers, with a small body of
steady friends, were attacked by the enemy, whom they kept in check,
losing one of their number, of the name of Webb, Mr Bowker himself
being struck by a ball.  At last, from the smallness of the force, they
were compelled to break up their encampment; and then, Mr Bowker,
although long and decidedly opposed to the policy of Sir Andries
Stockenstrom, accepted the appointment of Commandant of part of the
force under the latter officer.  Worn out in body and mind, and ruined
in fortune, he finally sought shelter under a brother's roof, and died
at the age of forty-five, leaving a wife and children, with the good
name their father bore as their sole inheritance.

"In a sketch which I have read of his life, he is spoken of as belonging
to the aristocracy of England, `being related to Lord Redesdale' through
his mother's family.  Mrs Bowker's eight sons may be considered among
the props of the Colony, and to their mother they owe an education which
has enabled them to fill the position of British settlers with credit;
and, it might have been, with eminent success.  From a stirring mother
of a numerous and thriving family, assisting all in their industrious
occupations, and cheerfully sharing their toils, anxieties, and
difficulties, I hear it stated by her intimate acquaintances that Mrs
Bowker has become a broken-hearted woman.  What a reward after more than
twenty years' patience, perseverance, and good example!  As an
honourable close to the outline I have quoted of Mr Mitford Bowker's
life, I have to add that he was not merely `a relation of Lord
Redesdale's,' but of our own dear English Miss Mitford--God bless her!

"In the record of a war, where troops and settlers are united in the
field, and where each among the latter has a stake at issue beyond mere
worldly fame, the settler claims an equal place with the soldier, and
honourable mention when he deserves it.  Alas! within the last twelve
months how many have `died and made no sign,' who, with hearts crushed
under the weight of sorrow and anxiety, and toil-worn and dispirited,
have sat down at last, awaiting their release from present misery, in
dull, absolute despair!  `Ha!' exclaimed the Kaffir scouts one day from
the hills, `ha! ha!  Umlunghi, we will put the cold hand upon you!'
Truly, they have kept their word, in more ways than one.  Those who fell
in the first engagements have escaped a year's anguish, and much `hope
deferred.'  Let us trust that those who die now, like Mr Bowker,
leaving his widow and children mourning for him on his desolate land,
may at least close their eyes on the dawning of a bright horizon."

I must not omit to mention the death of another settler, Mr Philip
Norton, holding the temporary rank of Captain in the Graham's Town
Hottentot Levy.  Here we have the same record of misery, the same tale
of slow fever induced by the fatigue, exposure, and privations
incidental to the state of this frontier at the present juncture.
Driven from his home, a year before, by the rush of the Kaffirs, his
premises were fired, his flocks were scattered, and he was obliged to
take up arms in the common defence.  At the age of seven-and-twenty,
this young man, who commenced his career with every prospect of success,
dies the victim of the late disastrous war, leaving a young widow and
four little children to mourn his loss.



"April 20th, 1847.--To-day is the anniversary of our sad intelligence
from the Amatolas, with its list of killed and wounded.  It is a
singular fact that the Kaffirs themselves dislike to be questioned
concerning the remains of poor Captain Bambrick, but have no hesitation
in speaking of other sufferers.

"Within the year we have heard of the death of the late
Lieutenant-Governor of the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope.
Major-General Hare died on board the `Essex,' four days after leaving
this country for England.  He, indeed, may be considered as one of the
principal victims of the war.  Long ere the irruption burst forth, he
should have been at home.  In 1845, finding his health declining, he
expressed desire to be relieved from the duties of his appointment, and
it is most deeply to be deplored that his wishes were not complied with
at once.  When he was called to the field, all ideas of self were laid
aside; and who shall say what the gallant soldier suffered, in mind and
body, at the very moment the cheers of encouragement burst from his
lips?  Whatever may be said of his political career, when
Lieutenant-Governor, the difficulties he had to contend with would, if
explained, be sufficient excuse for many errors set down as wilful.  He
is dead! and it is a pleasure to recall his many excellent qualities.
If he was not the man for South Africa, let it be remembered that,
during the most eventful period of his government, he was here against
his will, and that, having led his old corps against the ungrateful
Gaikas, whom it had been his chief fault to trust and treat too kindly--
when, I say, he had headed the 27th once more, with honour to himself
and them, he left the field, debilitated from fatigue and anxiety; and
it was not until the mountains of the land in which he had suffered so
much had faded from his sight, that `he turned his face to the wall,' in
the cheerless cabin of that restless ship, and died of a broken heart;
for such, in fact, his disease may be pronounced."

One of the last anecdotes recorded of him, though trifling, is one of
the many proofs of his kind nature.  When about to leave Fort Beaufort
for the field, and engaged in giving over the command of the Northern
District to Captain Ward, 91st Regiment, his attention was diverted from
the arrangements for defence to a little child who passed him by,
looking up smilingly in his face.  Bastions, forts, bridges,
picquet-houses, etc, faded from the mind of the single-hearted soldier;
the child's smile was returned, and the kind eyes followed her
retreating footsteps till she passed out of sight.  The attention of the
officer engaged with Colonel Hare was more particularly recalled to this
little incident, by his Commander returning gravely and officially to
the solemn charge he was handing over, namely, the defence of a large
garrison town, with scarcely any garrison to protect it.  It may be
added that Mrs Hare was one of the inhabitants left to the mercy of the
invaders, who, however, never came beyond the outskirts of the place;
and Colonel Hare was pleased to express himself highly satisfied with
the arrangements made by Captain Ward.  Neither cattle nor horses were
lost in the immediate neighbourhood of Fort Beaufort, during the period
of that officer's command, nor did the enemy venture to fulfil their
threat of invasion.

The registration system is dying a natural death; at least, such an
inference may be drawn from the order lately given to officers, not to
inquire for their tickets of Kaffirs who may be found driving cattle.
Many months ago, a party of the 27th Regiment, suspecting that some
cattle found in a kraal was stolen, demanded the necessary credentials,
when a Kaffir coolly offered as such, a leaf from a soldier's pocket
ledger, picked up, perhaps, after the burning of the waggons at Burn's

The immediate border of the Colony was subject to the usual
depredations; the Chiefs making the old excuse, that they "are sitting
still, but that they cannot control their people."

The post established at Waterloo Bay, under the command of Captain
Savage, 91st Regiment, became the favourite haunt of these thieving
wretches, in consequence of the number of waggons collected there,
waiting for supplies.  A clear front offers a great temptation to these
cattle-lifters; and, on the 22nd of April, Lieutenant Butler, 7th
Dragoon Guards, had a smart gallop after the enemy.  On the 21st, sixty
waggon-oxen were whistled away through the bush: the Dragoons pursued
them; but, sighting them at dark, could not come up with them in time to
attack the thieves.  From the scanty force we have, compared with the
land we have taken, sufficient guards cannot be given for the cattle in
the pasture-grounds, sometimes a mile from the posts, and, by the time
the herds,--if not shot,--can give notice of the loss, the Kaffirs, with
half-an-hour's start, can generally elude their pursuers.  But, on the
22nd of April, the Dragoons, only ten in number, were in the saddle in a
few minutes; yet, notwithstanding this, they had a ride of fifteen miles
before they came up with their game, having traced the spoor along the
sea-coast.  The robbers were caught at the mouth of the Beka River,
where Lieutenant Butler cut them off.  The cattle were retaken, and
three of the enemy killed.  Only four had been employed in the marauding
expedition, though, doubtless, there was a horde in the bush.  The
fourth fell to Mr Butler's lot to despatch; and he, having ridden down
the savage, struck him on the head with his sabre, which broke at the
hilt; and the Kaffir, clinging to the officer's stirrups, and imploring
mercy, Mr Butler gave him his life, and took him on, as a prisoner, to
Waterloo Bay, with some guns and a number of assegais.  Unfortunately,
in his transit from Waterloo Bay to Fort Peddie, being tied by one hand
to a waggon, he soon slipped the _reim_ [Note 1], and escaped.

On the 30th of April, a soldier of the 6th was found murdered very near
the camp.

Colonel Somerset lately recommended that a guard of cavalry should be
placed at the ebb and flow-drift near the mouth of the Keiskama, this
river lying between the Great Fish and Buffalo Rivers, to intercept
marauders; but there are no cavalry to send thither; and, at this
juncture, we hear of troubles with the Griquas and Boers, near the
Orange River.  The Resident, Captain Warden, Cape Mounted Rifles, has
applied for troops, and Lieutenant Plestow, 7th Dragoon Guards, has
marched to the Modda River, with thirty men of his regiment.

Lieutenant Davis, late Adjutant of the 90th Light Infantry, having been
appointed Superintendent of Native Police, has succeeded in drilling and
organising a very efficient force, consisting chiefly of "tame" Kaffirs.

During our residence at Fort Peddie in 1843-4, we were frequently struck
with the idleness of the Fingoes.  The women, poor creatures, tilled the
ground, carried water, cut wood, ground the corn,--in short, did all the
heavy work; and the little boys and old men herded the cattle; while the
young men, unless called out on a _commando_, for a few weeks or days in
a year, spent their time in hunting, dancing, eating, and sleeping, and,
not unfrequently, in lifting their neighbours' cattle.  It was at this
period that Captain Ward, 91st Regiment, deprecating so weak a system,
proposed to the Lieutenant-Governor to have these Fingoes organised,
armed, and drilled as regular troops, by British non-commissioned
officers; but Colonel Hare neither then nor afterwards dreamed of the
mine which was about to explode beneath his feet, and the suggestion was
not seriously considered by his Honour.

When we read of the distress of our own country, and of the wretched
earnings of our mechanics, we are disgusted at the idea of these same
Fingoes striking work (as Coolies) at Waterloo Bay, being dissatisfied
with the pay of 2 shillings a day.  As their services are necessary in
landing cargo, their demand of 3 shillings a day has been acceded to,
and they have consented to work, when it suits them! for they take
occasional holidays, for dancing and eating.  At Algoa Bay, the Fingoes
are often paid 6 shillings a day for working as Coolies.

What a settlement for the starving Highlanders the Amatola Mountains
would be!  And what employment offers itself along the coast for the
active Irish!  If the Amatolas were devoted partially to agriculture,
instead of pasturage, or to sheep-farming, with a view to the
exportation of wool, there would be comparatively no temptation for the
Kaffir, and a New Erin might rise, upon the eastern shore of this
fertile country.  Its very productiveness renders agriculture an
uncertain speculation, in consequence of the small population: here
again, emigration provides the remedy.  It is to be hoped that the Royal
Society will send hither intelligent and truthful individuals, who would
make none but just reports of the capabilities of the colony.  Coffee,
sugar, and innumerable other articles might be raised here; flax,
particularly, would be successful; and the discovery of coal at Natal,
leads scientific men to infer that it is to be found elsewhere.  At the
Kowie, it is pretty well ascertained to be in existence.  We learn from
Natal, that the military there are intent on farming, the productive
soil tempting many to purchase land, with the intention of settling.  We
might thin our dark mines of England, by sending men to South Africa, to
work the treasures of her earth.  It is, however, of the utmost
importance, that the Emigration Societies should be particular as to the
class of people selected.

Captain Hogg, 7th Dragoon Guards, has succeeded in raising another levy
of about 200 Hottentots from the lower districts, who are expected at
Waterloo Bay on the 10th of May.  Lieutenant Forsyth, R.N., is relieved
from his duties as a harbour-master at this bay by Lieutenant Connolly,
R.N.  Lieutenant Forsyth was appointed to this office at the Buffalo
Mouth, 30th of April.  The long-looked-for vessel, the "Frederick Huth,"
has at last reached the Buffalo in safety, after a month's voyage from
Port Elizabeth, Algoa Bay.  She was seen three weeks since off the
Buffalo, and was driven back to Waterloo Bay.  At last, she was again
sighted eight or ten miles from her place of destination: a mist came
on, and it was doubtful whether she could make her way over the bar.  At
length, the curtain of vapour, which hung between Colonel Van der
Meulen's camp and the ocean, was lifted up, and there at last lay the
welcome ship at anchor.  The landing of the cargo is progressing
favourably, which is at this moment of great advantage to the troops,
their provisions being at a very low ebb.

The first step taken by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Henry Young, has
been to send the Chief, Umyeki, out of Graham's Town.

"May 10th.--Further particulars have been received of the murder of the
soldier of the 6th.  Those on the spot, and most capable of judging, are
of opinion that this horrible deed has been committed by Fingoes.  It
seems that, on the unhappy man's cries being heard, the guard rushed to
his assistance.  A little pool of blood was observed near the spot where
he had fallen, and he had been dragged some sixty yards along the road.
A gun-shot wound in the body, and an assegai stab in the heart, had
silenced his cries speedily.  The _spoor_ of three or four men was
traced towards Peddie; and, as the murdered man had some tobacco about
him, and an empty case, with a hatchet beside it, lay near him, it is
supposed, that, having gone to fetch some stolen and secreted tobacco
from the bush, he was waylaid by Fingoes and murdered, for the sake of
the plunder.  As no cattle were near the place, it is not likely that
Kaffirs would be lurking there.

"We have an instance to-day, the 19th of May, of our enemy's
perseverance and determination, in the report from a patrol in search of
stolen cattle.  A private of the Rifle Brigade, having lost his way in
the bush, heard Kaffirs approaching the spot where he lay _perdu_;
thanks to his green jacket, he was enabled to watch the movements of the
savages, without decided danger to himself.  They approached a kloof, in
which one of their number awaited them.  The rifleman saw them handing
their arms to the Kaffirs in the ravine, who concealed them in some nook
selected for the purpose.  Watching his opportunity, the soldier
effected his journey back to the camp; and, on giving his information,
Lieutenant Macdonald, and a party of the Cape Mounted Rifles, were sent
out to search the spot, for the muskets and ammunition hidden.  From
this, it may be inferred that there are many similar depots of arms in
the bush."


Note 1.  "Reims" are strips of bullock-hide used as thongs, and
constantly carried in this country, by experienced travellers, for
repairing broken girths, etc, and so on.  One day, when out riding, my
stirrup-leather broke, and the Orderly of the Cape Corps was about to
receive a sharp reproof from the Officer who accompanied me, for not
having a reim, when he pulled some hairs out of his horse's tail, which
served the purpose at once.



Sandilla came into Graham's Town, as a captive, on Sunday, the 25th of
October, 1847, closely guarded by a body of Cape Mounted Riflemen and
7th Dragoon Guards, under Captain Bisset and Lieutenant Petre, and
attended by the Councillors, and his own brother, Anta (a young man of
great talents and energy, and his chief warrior), he rode through the
streets, just as the church doors opened to send forth the Christian
observers of the Sabbath.  Bare-headed, and with downcast eyes, his
withered limb hanging below his kaross, marking him as the restless
Gaika,--he who had issued his "word" from the mountain-side, over his
wide-spread and beautiful territory, now passed on a prisoner, followed
by a few Hottentot boys!

How little could that wild creature comprehend the feelings of white
men, as they watched him on his way!  There was, of course, great
satisfaction at seeing him thus secured; but all anger would have been
as much thrown away on him as on the wild beast which it is necessary to
cage.  The cavalcade moved slowly through the streets, the Drostdy
barrack-ground is reached, the soldiers on guard at last behold the man
whom they have so long sought--the door of a large empty store is thrown
open, and, in another moment, the fallen Chief sits down, in that dim
space, with his followers.  The free air and the bright sun make but
little way through the narrow loop-holes, and the shape and aspect of
his prison must offer a wretched contrast to the broad valleys and free
mountain paths which the ill-advised and misguided Lord of the Amakosas
has forfeited.

It was the useful green-jackets, the untiring Rifle Brigade, who worried
Sandilla out of his hiding-place among the mountains.  In June, the
troops were about to hut themselves for the first months of the winter
season, which, in this climate, is so uncertain as to render all
calculations relative to military movements useless.  Our enemy took
advantage of this temporary cessation of hostilities to burn all the
grass, from the Buffalo to the Kei, and to take his usual pastime in
cattle-stealing.  Happily, the Colony was tolerably well guarded, and
the boundary vigilantly watched; the colonists, too, had not only much
less cattle to lose, but took the precaution of drawing nearer the
towns, with their families and property.

Sandilla remained in the neighbourhood of Fort Hare during the pause in
our operations.  On the other side of the Buffalo River, Pato was
coquetting with the authorities, now sending Jan Tzatzoe with a
conciliatory message, and now making his simple-minded brother, Cobus
Congo, an envoy to our camps with a flag of truce, and hollow
protestations.  At last, he consented to come in and surrender himself
unconditionally, as was required by the Government; but this step was
prevented by a skirmish between our troops and Sandilla's immediate
followers.  Pato, of course, changed his mind, to wait the result of
this affair, handed over the stolen cattle to the care of Kreli, beyond
the Kei, and sat down quietly to observe our proceeding.

The affair in question, which took place on the 15th of June, was as

Some colonial property (goats and horses) were stolen by Kaffirs from
the Kat river settlement; the spoor of these was traced to the territory
of Sandilla, who, with every appearance of good faith, returned them to
Fort Hare.  But, although he did this, he determined on turning the
robbery to good account, and punished the thief by "eating him up,"
appropriating his cattle to his own royal purposes, thus taking the law
into his own hands; and, finally, refusing to give up the thief to the
patrol sent for him by our authorities.  This patrol consisted of two
troops of the 7th Dragoon Guards, two companies of the 45th Regiment,
small detachments of the Cape Corps, a Fingo levy, and eighty of the
Kaffir Police.  These were deputed to demand the thief, and a fine of
three head of cattle, from the Gaika Chief.  The cunning Sandilla "knew
nothing of the thief," the goats "had been found straying."  The troops
secured the Chief's cattle; but, on their return towards Fort Hare, were
waylaid by the Kaffirs in great numbers.  These called out, "You have
done well to come to the old graves," alluding to the battle at Burn's
Hill, in April, 1846; and, following the troops nearly to Fort Hare,
they succeeded in re-capturing almost all the cattle, exclaiming, as
they retired with their prize, "By and by, you will learn wisdom, and
not come again."

Lieutenant Davis was in command of the Kaffir Police, so successfully
organised by him, on this occasion.  These men "fought bravely, and did
good service against their countrymen," "a fact," says the Graham's Town
Journal, "which only shows that, when self-interest is sufficiently
influential, they will sacrifice those of their own blood with as little
remorse as they will the colonists."  [Their treachery has since been
plainly manifested.]  Lieutenant Russell, of the Kaffir Police, was
killed, at the early age of twenty-three; eight or ten casualties,
killed and wounded, occurred on our side, and several of the enemy are
supposed to have fallen.

The Christian Kaffir, Kama, who had served us well during this war,
against the Tambookies, remonstrated when called upon to fight against
the Gaikas.  He was willing, he said, to defend the white man's property
and rights, and this he did with the remnant of his tribe, but he begged
the Government would not insist on his attacking his own people in their
haunts.  Kama and his little band have not eaten the bread of idleness
during the war; cattle have been rescued by them, positions defended,
and safe escort to travellers afforded.

On Sir George Berkeley reaching Fort Hare, on the 22nd of June, Sandilla
sent him a few cows as a peace-offering for his late offence, saying,
that "the account was fairly balanced in the late affray with his
people--two being killed on either side; and he therefore hoped nothing
more would be said about it."  Sir George Berkeley returned to Graham's
Town a few days after, and it being determined to trust no longer to
Sandilla's promises, it was resolved to commence active operations
against him in August or September.  Meanwhile Sir Henry Pottinger
published a proclamation, dated 7th August, declaring Sandilla a rebel,
and no longer under the protection of the British Government, and
calling on all to assemble in Commandos against him; the final clause
related to the neutral tribes, and closed in these words:

"I do strictly, solemnly, and unqualifiedly enjoin and command all
persons heaping allegiance to her Majesty, to refrain from molesting
such neutral (or friendly) Kaffirs, and to consider the protection of
them and their lives and property to be a paramount duty."

So, now, this headstrong savage became a hunted outlaw.  He who had
vowed to drive the white man to the sea,--that white man who should not
"taste of the Tyumie waters,"--had not now a resting-place for his head!

The remembrance of an interview I once had with Tola [Tola, Dodo, Eno,
Moshesh (Moses), will be recognised as patriarchal names] occurs to me
at this moment.  It was in a picturesque spot near Colonel Somerset's
residence at Post Victoria, in the centre of a large bower, which had
been constructed round some splendid trees.  What had once been a fair
pasture land for Tola's herds, was now worn with the tread of soldiers'
feet; the stir of the camp filled the air which once breathed over a
comparatively silent space, and not far from us a band played Irish
tunes, to which Tola's Kaffir councillors and attendants listened with a
grave silence, unmoved at the grotesque attitudes of Hottentot children.
On a rustic bench sat Tola, with his kaross wound round him; his face
resembled that of a wolf--his eyes glaring and the teeth projecting, and
his hair, dressed with red clay, looked more like a knitted worsted wig
than anything else.  There were other ladies present besides myself, and
also some officers.  I asked Tola if he belonged to the war-party?  He
replied, it was only the young men of Kaffirland who were for war,--he
loved peace.  He is the freebooter of his tribe!

"Why," I asked, "are the young men permitted to raise their voices above
the old ones?"

"The young men are numerous, and hold the assegai."

"Well, have the old men no power to restrain them from throwing it?"  I
inquired.  "If so, Young Kaffirland will soon have the voice in council,
and there will be little wisdom."

Tola sat in deep silence many minutes, and then observed, "It is true."
He afterwards asked the interpreter how it was that white women spoke
with the minds of men?  A female offering any opinion at all was a
source of astonishment to him.  The Kaffir women are, however,
remarkable for shrewdness; but this is seldom exercised but upon great
occasions, and then only by witch-doctresses, who profess also to have
the gift of prophecy.

All this time that Tola was professing to deprecate war, he was filling
his kraals with colonial cattle, sending out marauding parties
(gipsies), and collecting ammunition.

An English paper states, "it is said that the attack on the escort in
charge of a Kaffir prisoner, was absolutely planned, by Bothman and
Tola, on the market-place at Fort Beaufort."  That it was planned there,
and carried into execution an hour or two afterwards, I know, and that
Tola was the planner.  Bothman is an inferior Chief and quite dropsical.
We one day met him out riding; he begged us to raise our veils, which
we did, laughing, and he acknowledged the courtesy by a sound between a
bark and a sigh.

When the movement of the troops was anticipated by Sandilla, he named
Macomo's son, Kona, as his successor, in the event of his death.  Of
Kona's wife, an anecdote, illustrative of her shrewdness, was told me by
the Acting Quartermaster-General at Block Drift.  During a foray made on
a Kaffir kraal in that neighbourhood, the enemy fired on our troops, and
managed, ere the fire was returned, to screen themselves behind some of
their women.  Among these was Kona's wife.  Some days afterwards, she
presented herself to Capt.  Scott, 91st Regiment, Acting
Quartermaster-General, saying that Colonel Hare had desired her to ask
him for rations, in consequence of her previous suffering and distress.
As a token of the truth of her statement, she produced a biscuit which
Colonel Hare had given her, desiring her, she said, to show it to
Captain Scott, in proof of her assertion.  Rations were issued to her,
and she enjoyed them till Colonel Hare counter-ordered them, never
having mentioned the subject to her: he had merely given her a biscuit
when he met her, as she complained of hunger!

We were not sorry to hear that the women of Kaffirland began to dread an
invasion of their kraals, and threatened to strike work.  They were
tired of the war, they said.  Although they have no voice, their
assistance in the Ordnance and Commissariat departments is invaluable.
Poor wretches! no wonder they dreaded another year of privation and

The advantages of the opening of the Buffalo River were particularly
manifested in the facility with which the "Rosamond" steamer landed
troops and ordnance stores there, on the 28th of July, in the space of
two hours and a half, in perfect safety; and the 90th thus accomplished
in little more than a fortnight, a journey which, by the old route,
could not have been performed under at least six weeks, and most
probably two months.

A tradition has been handed down among the Kaffirs, similar to a
superstition entertained by the Burmese.  To the latter, it had been
foretold by their priests that, as soon as a vessel without sails, or
rowers, should be seen in the Irawaddy River, Burmah would fall.  The
appearance of the "Enterprise" steamer in their river daunted their
spirits, and contributed in a great measure, to discourage the Burmese
troops.  The Kaffirs relate, that a prophecy exists among them to the
effect "that when sea-waggons shall make their resting-places in the
mouth of the Buffalo, Kaffirland shall _die_."

The 20th of August had been originally fixed for the march upon the
Amatolas, but unavoidable delays occurred, which might have been
disadvantageous, but that time was given for the grass to grow which the
enemy had burned.  The Cape Corps, with the addition of several young
officers, left Graham's Town in high spirits at the prospect of
"smelling powder," but the Burghers were, in most instances, unwilling
to take the field, notwithstanding the promise held out to them, that
the cattle they might take should become their property.

In September, all became anxious for the march of the British troops
upon the Amatolas.  Various reports were afloat, some of them probably
having originated among the Kaffirs themselves.  Sandilla was said to be
assembling his warriors; Pato and Kreli were to combine their forces;
and many other similar rumours, not to be relied on, but sufficiently
alarming to the inhabitants of isolated farms, were circulated.

Sir George Berkeley left Graham's Town for the front; Colonel Somerset
marshalled his people along the Buffalo line; and on the 17th of
September the army was fairly set in motion, with its face towards one
great rallying-point, the mountains of the Amatola, which were to be
entered at three given points, viz, by the Burgher and Native levies,
under Major Sutton, Cape Mounted Riflemen, and Captain Hogg, 7th Dragoon
Guards, from Shiloh, upon the upper part of the Amatola; Colonel
Somerset, with the Cape Mounted Rifles, from King William's Town; and
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, with reserve battalion 91st Regiment, a
strong detachment of the 45th, and some Burghers, from Fort Hare.  I
subjoin, as much more graphic than any description of mine, the
following account of the "gathering" of the Reserve Battalion, 91st, at
Fort Beaufort, on the morning of their march to Fort Hare, where they
were to take up their position previously to their movements on the
enemy's territories.  The extract is from "a letter addressed by a young
soldier to his friend."

"The Colonel (Campbell) and our men left this on the 17th, and after
scouring every hole and corner in the Amatolas, succeeded, I believe in
killing some fourteen Kaffirs.  Colonel Campbell took the pipes with
him, gaily decorated with ribbons and a flag.  The drums played them out
with `The Campbells are coming.'  They were all in good spirits; and, as
they passed the barracks from the main square, the men who were left
behind commenced cheering them, and they returned it with a will.  I
don't think there was one left that would not gladly have gone to the
field at that moment, especially under such a Commander as Colonel
Campbell.  After searching the kloofs, the division ascended the hill,
where the Kaffirs were so _civil_ to us at _first_, and, not seeing the
enemy, they had a dance at the top, the pipes playing a national tune,
to which--danced the Highland Fling, just to begin the performance."
[Note 1.]

After eighteen months' warfare, with so harassing and treacherous a foe,
it was something to see men start again with such spirit for their work.

Sir George Berkeley made good use of the unavoidable postponement of the
march upon the enemy.  The camps were well stored with provisions and
ammunition, supplies were laid in for a hundred days, and everything was
made ready for military movements, when the time should arrive for them.
Thieving went on, but the Colony escaped another irruption, owing to
the boundaries being well garrisoned.

The Commander-in-Chief having waited till the great machine was prepared
to work, set it in motion, and, on the 20th of September, each division
was at the post appointed for co-operating with the others.  All was
well arranged, and Sir George Berkeley gave good evidence of his
generalship in his determination not to make an advance without a large
force, well provisioned, and unencumbered with baggage.  There were
three grand divisions; these encamped on their allotted ground, and from
their camps sent forth their patrols into the mountain passes, without
waggons, and in the lightest marching order.


Note 1.  During the advance of the enemy on Block Drift, at the
beginning of the war, and when this post was commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel (then Major Campbell), he took up a position on the
top of the school-house, rifle in hand; four men were employed in
loading his arms for him, and he brought down two of the enemy
successively in a few minutes.  When a third fell dead, a soldier of the
reserve battalion 91st Regiment, could restrain himself no longer;
forgetting Colonel Campbell's rank as an officer, in his delight at his
prowess as a soldier, the man slapped his Commanding Officer on the back
with a shout of delight, and the exclamation, "Weel done, Sodger!"  Was
not such a compliment worth all the praise of an elaborate despatch.



The rain fell in torrents throughout the Colony, but this did not deter
the patrols from advancing on the enemy's country.  As the Kaffirs did
not think it wise to show themselves to such large bodies of troops,
nothing took place, at first, but a conflagration among the huts and
kraals of the contumacious Gaikas; it was, however, well-known, that
they had not left their hiding-places.  Towards the Mancazana, some
houses were fired, probably in retaliation, and the usual system of
cattle-lifting, though to less extent, was carried on in the Colony by
gipsy parties of the enemy.

In the meantime, old Sutu, Sandilla's mother, sent word to Sir George
Berkeley that Sandilla was "the Governor's dog," etc, etc; that, "if the
Government would accept his submission, he would behave better," and so
on.  These messages were like all the rest--hollow and designing.  The
Kaffirs under Tyalie, a petty Chief, having captured twelve hundred head
of cattle from Sandilla, claimed a right, as British subjects, to retain
them, according to the Governor's notice; but, as this was suspected to
be a _ruse_ adopted by Sandilla himself, the troops under
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, Reserve Battalion, 91st Regiment, were sent
forward to secure the cattle.

Several Kaffirs, caught in the act of stealing were brought into King
William's Town; and, after receiving one hundred lashes, were dismissed.
Prison rations were thus dispensed with, and these Kaffirs became, for
a period a least, a warning and a mockery to their tribes.  In
Kaffirland, as in China, disgrace is attached to a thief, not for
stealing, but for being found out.

The division under Major Sutton, Cape Mounted Rifles, and Captain Hogg,
7th Dragoon Guards, which had moved from Shiloh, captured two hundred
head of cattle in the Amatolas, and killed a few Kaffirs; with the loss,
on our side, of Serjeant Phillips, Cape Mounted Rifles, and formerly of
the 91st.

Although incessant rains deluged the country, the troops continued
healthy.  In reply to Sandilla's messages, Jan T'Jatzoe was desired to
intimate to him that no terms would be listened to from him but those of
unconditional surrender.

This T'Jatzoe, to whom I have before alluded as a Kaffir who had been
exhibited in England [at Exeter Hall, at Sheffield, etc, in 1836] in the
false character of a Christian Chief, played a cunning part during the
war of 1846-7, and was actually engaged in the attack on the waggons at
Trumpeter's Drift.  The British public were completely imposed upon by
this savage heathen, for such he is, and ever will be.  On his return
from England, whither he had gone, or rather been taken, in direct
opposition to the orders and wishes of his father, a petty Chief [Note
1], he was asked many questions by his tribe, concerning the country he
had visited.

"Was it large?"

"Yes, it was large; but the people were so numerous they found it

"Were they so very numerous?"

"Yes; England was like a huge piece of meat covered with flies crowding
upon each other."

"What surprised him most?"

"The waggons which travelled without oxen or horses."  (Railway

"Ah," said Macomo, after a conversation of this kind with T'Jatzoe, "I
have always told our people, that there was no use in trying to conquer
the white man.  It is like little boys attempting to shoot elephants
with small bows and arrows."

Macomo, with all his people were removed to the neighbourhood of Algoa
Bay.  He was opposed to the war, from policy, from the beginning; but
when once the cry was raised in the mountains, he immediately assumed
the command, being the General of the Gaikas, and, when sober, an able
warrior and councillor.  He was glad when an opportunity offered of
surrendering himself, the charms of the canteen superseding the desire
for glory among his tribe; but he used every means to remain on his old
location.  His appeal was pathetic enough, but we have profited somewhat
by our experience in the "word of a Kaffir."  "Here," said he,
stretching his hand over the beautiful territory, "my father, a great
Chief, dwelt; these pastures were crowded with cattle", stolen, of
course; "here I have lived to grow old; here my children have been born;
let me die in peace where I have so long lived."  These entreaties,
however, could not be listened to for one moment; and, as a last trial,
his daughter, Amakeya, the beauty of Kaffirland, made her way to the
tent of Colonel Campbell, 91st Regiment, who, totally unprepared for her
appearance, was yet more astonished at the sacrifice she offered, if her
father's sentence of banishment might be rescinded.

I have elsewhere mentioned Amakeya as the belle of the camp at Fort
Hare, and no doubt she had been sufficiently reminded of her charms to
make her sensible of the value of them.  She made her strange offer in
all the consciousness and pride of beauty; and, with her finely-moulded
arms folded before her, she spoke without hesitation, for she was guided
by motives worthy a lofty cause--motives, how desecrated! how degraded!
Poor Amakeya!

"If her father might remain on his own lands," she said, "she would be
the sacrifice and guarantee for his future good faith towards the white
man.  She would leave her own people, and follow Colonel Campbell; his
home should be hers; she would forsake all, and dwell with him.  This
was her last word, her final decision, and she would abide by it."

It may here be observed, that the young girls in Kaffirland are brought
up with strict notions of female propriety; to forfeit their reputation,
is to entail on themselves severe punishment, and on their families
perpetual disgrace.

Amakeya's motives were not unappreciated by her hearer, but the proposal
was, of course, rejected, with every consideration for her position, and
the circumstances by which she had been actuated; and she departed with
her father on his journey.  We may fancy Amakeya taking a last look at
the green places wherein her childhood had been passed, and finally
sitting down among a strange people, in sight of the "great waters."  A
new and wondrous spectacle to that mountain-girl must have been that
mighty and pathless sea.

On the 4th of October, an express arrived at King William's Town,
containing the information, that the division under Colonel Somerset had
captured one thousand head of cattle, and a number of horses and goats,
at a sweep, and had killed eight of the enemy.  The division under
Colonel Campbell had also been successful in capturing cattle among the
Gaikas, as well as some horses, and in killing some twenty of the enemy,
and laying waste his country.  The detachment of the 45th, under Major
Hind, did good service with Colonel Campbell's column; and afterwards
accompanied the head-quarter division to the Kei, together with two
companies of the Reserve Battalion of the 91st, under Captain Scott and
Colonel Campbell, with Lieutenants Dixon and Metcalfe.

The same work went on, from day to day.  Now, our troops captured cattle
from the Gaikas, who, it was ascertained, were a good deal disorganised
[Macomo foretold this, saying "they could not fight when he was gone"];
and now Pato's I'Slambies slipped away with the oxen pastured near our
camps and bivouacs.  The rains poured on, and the troops, though
healthy, suffered from the unusual cold.  There was nothing to be done
with the enemy but to worry him; which was attended with dreadful harass
to us.

As was conjectured, by those who knew the character of the Gaikas,
Sandilla and his people had not entirely abandoned the Amatolas; the
Chief had secreted himself in one of the deep valleys of those
mountains, near a stream called by the Kaffirs, the "Wolf's River."  The
nature of the ground secured him from the approach of cavalry, but it
was just the place for the operations of the Rifle Brigade.  Sir George
Berkeley's plan of patrolling the country, and falling back on camps
well stored with provisions, in the very neighbourhood of Sandilla, soon
drove the rebel Chief from his haunts.  Abandoned by many of his people,
his crops destroyed, his dwelling burned, his cattle scattered among
those he could not trust, and deprived of Macomo's support, he found
himself constantly exposed to the fire of our troops, and at one time,
it is said, he dared not venture to slake his thirst at the stream for
four-and-twenty hours.  Thus worn out, without the slightest advantage
to himself or his nation, he resolved on surrendering; and, sending to
King William's Town a message to the effect that "he was driven to this
step by the prospect of starvation," some bread and meat were forwarded
to him by his envoys; and, on the 19th of October, the troops in the
camp, commanded by Colonel Buller, Rifle Brigade, looked anxiously,
through the mists of a stormy day, for the expected prisoner.  He came
at last, followed by eighty of his people; and, after an interview with
Colonel Buller, "an escort of dragoons, which had been in readiness,"
was ordered to accompany Captain Bisset, Cape Mounted Rifles, and
Lieutenant Petre, 7th Dragoon Guards, with the captive Chief, and the
necessary dispatches from the Lieutenant-General commanding, to Sir
Henry Pottinger.  Captain Bisset, on that day, the 20th of October, rode
120 miles.

Sandilla admitted that he had been nearly taken by a patrol of the Rifle
Brigade, acting with Colonel Somerset's division, on the 12th of
October.  The party had lost their way while skirmishing; but for this,
he must have surrendered to them, or been shot.  He afterwards told
Colonel Campbell, 91st, that on one occasion they had been within 1200
feet of each other, the Chief watching Colonel Campbell from the bush.
When passing, as a prisoner, near the camp of this officer, Sandilla
stopped his horse, and, calling to the former "My friend, my friend,
come hither!" begged to shake hands with him.  Colonel Campbell's good
advice to the misguided Gaika had been unheeded, and the latter now
acknowledged the truth of what the Colonel had told him, that "it was
madness to fight with the white man, who would not be conquered, even
though the war were to last for ever."

In the announcement by Sir Henry Pottinger, that the surrender of
Sandilla had taken place, His Excellency the High Commissioner records
"the high sense he entertains of the zeal and energy with which the
operations against Sandilla had been carried on under the
Lieutenant-General's guidance, in which operations the troops and levies
have been subjected to great hardships, and exposed to unusually
inclement weather."

Immediately after the surrender of Sandilla, Colonel Somerset planned
his forward movement towards the Kei, with a force upwards of 1200
strong, including cavalry, infantry, and levies.  The country beyond the
Kei was known to be swarming with cattle.

On the 30th of October the troops made a night march of thirty miles
towards the Kei, and, on the morning of the 31st, reached a stream
called Chechabe.  On the heights above this little river, the Kaffirs
were seen gathering in great numbers, and at last took up a very strong
position, evidently determined to make a stand against the British
force.  The latter was soon disposed in battle array in front of the
enemy, with flankers thrown out, supports in the rear, and the reserve
under Captain Bentinck, 7th Dragoon Guards.  The Cape Mounted Rifles,
led by Captain O'Reilly, advanced up the face of the hill, the enemy, as
usual, screening himself, while the troops moved slowly but steadily
onwards, under the incessant fire of the Kaffirs, until within eighty
yards of them, when, the bugle sounding the gallop, the "Totties"
cheered, and entered the bush in gallant style.  In twenty minutes, the
savages were dislodged, and driven over a hill into a ravine below,
leaving behind them arms, karosses, and several horses.  Seventeen of
them were counted dead after the engagement; many had been borne off,
and the rocks over winch they had been dragged were streaming with
blood.  In this affair, our troops sustained but two casualties.

Colonel Somerset considered that this gathering of the Kaffirs was
arranged to divert his attention from the cattle concealed not far from
the scene of action, the Kei being in too swollen a state to permit
their crossing into Kreli's country--the Amaponda.  This was, no doubt,
correct; and as, from the nature of the country, it was impossible for
the troops to follow the enemy at once, they vanished, as usual, in the
deep recesses of the mountains.

Early in the morning of the 31st, Captain Somerset, Aide-de-Camp to
General Berkeley, had very nearly fallen a sacrifice to his imprudence
in venturing out, _en amateur_, with a single orderly, on the spoor of
cattle.  A party of Kaffirs suddenly appearing, Captain Somerset turned
his horse's head; so did his orderly: the speed of Captain Somerset's
charger saved his rider's life; the poor orderly fell from his, and his
throat was instantly cut by the savages.

It was hoped that the success of Colonel Somerset, at the Chechabe,
would daunt Pato; but no offers of submission worth listening to were
received.  A few Kaffirs, coming within hail of the troops, called out
that they "did not intend fighting any more; the cattle were across the
Kei, and the Umlunghi must go for them if they wanted them."  Either
Pato or one of his councillors shouted aloud, "We will not meet you, but
will return into the Colony, and wander as wolves."

Although I had seen Sandilla at Fort Peddie in 1843, I went to pay him a
visit in captivity.  The room in which he was imprisoned was half filled
with his followers and councillors.  Seated on an iron bedstead, with
his blanket wound round him, he smoked his pipe in silence; some of his
followers reclined idly on the straw mattresses provided for them; and,
by the side of the young Chief's couch lay Anta, whom he roused from
sleep on our naming him, for he was as great an object of interest as
Sandilla.  Putting aside the blanket from his face, he sat up and eyed
us keenly, looking from us to his brother, but what was passing within
their minds no one could divine; their countenances expressed neither
surprise, curiosity, resentment, nor dislike.  Some sat round a fire in
the centre of the room, and one aged Kaffir, with a grey head, gazed
earnestly in our faces.  This was one of Sandilla's chief advisers, and
one whom he managed to cage with himself, by sending for him amicably,
giving secret orders, however, to compel him to come in case he
hesitated.  As the cunning Gaika has always professed to act "by the
advice of his councillors," he anticipated that the greater punishment
would devolve upon them, and by this means he trusted that his own would
be lightened.

The replies of Sandilla to various remarks and questions lately put to
him are shrewd enough.  On his being told, by one of the authorities,
that if he attempted to escape from his confinement he would be shot,
Sandilla answered that "as he had voluntarily surrendered himself, it
was not likely he should run away."  Soon after his imprisonment, he
requested a daily allowance of wine.  On being asked if he had ever been
in the habit of drinking it, he said "No."  Then why indulge in what he
had never been accustomed to?  "I am now the white man's child," replied
Sandilla; "my father is wise, and I would do all things as he does."
When his warriors left his "Great Place," to join the gathering in the
Amatolas, he found one lingering long behind the rest.  "What are you
doing here?" asked the Chief; "you are like a solitary locust when the
swarm has gone; so, the sooner you hop after it the better."

"December 17th.--The frontier to-night is delirious with joy.  The town
is illuminated, and beacon lights telegraph from the hill-tops that Sir
Harry Smith has arrived."


Note 1.  As was proved before Sir Harry, then Colonel, Smith, and
published in a document signed by him, and by Captain Lacy, 72nd
Highlanders, Arthur Balfour, Aide-de-Camp, and Mr Shepstone, Kaffir
Interpreter.  This document, dated King William's Town, February, 1836,
bears the marks also of Macomo and Ganga.



I have lately ridden within the space of a fortnight--and resting half
that fortnight--two hundred and fifty miles, through the country lately
infested, and still haunted, by the savage enemy.  It presents a
glorious contrast to last year; the hand of Providence has put aside the
hand of man.  The majestic Winterberg mountain, nearly nine thousand
feet high, rose before us in our ride, green almost to its summit.  The
valleys beneath us, as we passed from one mountain-top to the other,
were "smiling with corn;" the grass on the plains waved as in our
English meadow-lands; the woodman's axe rang in the forests, near the
scene of many a bloody fray; and, although small groups of Kaffirs
doubtless looked down upon us from many "a leafy nook," we passed up the
steep ascents in the midst of deep jungle and impervious thickets,
unmolested.  On the road to Fort Hare, a spot was pointed out to me, on
which a Hottentot waggon-driver had breathed his last.  He was shot by
the enemy, who had carried off his oxen, scarcely a month before.  A
fortnight after I had travelled that way, with but slight escort,--
Colonel Campbell, 91st, being the only one of our party who was armed,--
a man, formerly of the Royal Artillery, was killed by an assegai, thrown
by an unseen hand, from some huts formerly occupied by some of Macomo's

In spite of terrible associations, my ride in the Winterberg Mountains
was a peaceful one, and full of interest.  The monkeys swung from bough
to bough, the canaries sang their untiring melodies, the bell-bird
chimed its solemn-sounding note, and there was little to break the calm
of the scene save the advance of the Christian Chief, Kama, with a dozen
dusky followers, all armed and mounted, on his way to Graham's Town.

The Winterberg is a district taking its name from the mountains so
called--_berg_ meaning mountain, in Dutch.  The tops of these mountains
are often covered with snow.  The close of the first day's journey from
Graham's Town brought us to the Koonap River, which we found almost
impassable for horses.  The troopers of the dragoon orderlies were towed
over in the wake of the boat, trembling, snorting, kicking, some turning
heels uppermost, and others at last submitting to their fate, and
falling exhausted on the bank on reaching it.  The river roared and
tumbled, and the passage across, in the old boat, with its uncertain
rope, would have frightened fine ladies.  But people must cease to be
fine ladies in Africa.  Some of our horses were left picqueted with a
guard of soldiers, and I confess to some uneasiness during the night, as
I lay listening to the noisy torrent below our little inn, half
expecting to hear shots exchanged between the guard and the enemy.  The
inn itself was a "sign of the times."  The host, Mr Tomlinson, an old
Life Guardsman, had made the place defensible, and stood his ground
during the heat of the war.  My bed-room window, hung with white
curtains of primitive English dimity, was still bricked up half way, and
travellers passing by rested their arms against the loop-holed walls,
and told of cattle lost and Kaffirs killed, with an air of as little
concern as they would have worn in relating the prices of a country

I was not sorry to hear, the next morning, that our steeds had neither
been stolen by the enemy nor swept down the river.

After a night's rest at Fort Beaufort, we left it, on the 12th of
November, for Fort Hare, a strange-looking garrison, consisting of
innumerable formal houses of a single room each, reminding one of the
account of some barracks in England, in which an officer can lie in his
bed, stir the fire, open the window, and shut the door, without much
alteration in his position.

The scenery around Fort Hare is very grand, and not at all in accordance
with the prim little edifices of "wattle and daub" which form precise
squares and most unpicturesque alleys of a pale gingerbread hue.  In
approaching Fort Hare, we were obliged to plunge our horses into the
Tyumie stream, amidst a crowd of Kaffir girls, who were swimming,
laughing, and shouting to each other, like a bevy of sable Naiads, from
the bashes and the boughs overhanging the long-disputed waters.

On the 15th I started, under the care of the Rev  Mr Beaver, from Fort
Beaufort, for my ride among the mountains.  Colonel Campbell, of the
91st, accompanied us on the first day's journey, beguiling the day with
many graphic anecdotes of the war; and the rest, beside some clear
spring, after passing up the steep ascents between the Blinkwater and
Post Retief, was delightful.  This Blinkwater post was ably defended,
during the war, against a hundred and fifty of the enemy at least, by
Serjeant Snodgrass, of the 91st Regiment, and six or eight soldiers.
Serjeant Snodgrass was honourably mentioned in general orders, in

Another rest at Retief, and we advanced the next day.  As drew near the
noble Winterberg, it presented the appearance of a huge elephant with a
howdah (of basaltic rock) on its back; a fringe of grey stone round it
gave an idea of its trappings.  Our destination was Glenthorn, the
residence of Mr Pringle, one of that family of Yair, familiarly
mentioned by Sir Walter Scott.  My short stay, of barely two days, at
Glenthorn, prevented me from seeing much that was interesting; but a
Bushman's cave tempted me, in spite of sun, dust, wind, and a "tempest
coming up," to scramble through a little forest of shrubs.  In this
haunt, for it could scarcely be called a cave, we discovered some of
those curious paintings which present a singular memento of these
creatures of an almost extinct race.  I have seen various facsimiles of
such drawings published, but the subjects they were intended to
represent have been seldom sufficiently defined to illustrate their
original meaning.  The one we saw was perfect in its representation of
an eland and buffalo hunt.  One strange pigmy creature sat sideways on
horseback, in full chase of the game; another stood at bay, as if to
prevent the animals from leaving the path into which they had turned;
and others were awaiting them with their poisoned bows and arrows.
[Note 1.]  These drawings were done in variously coloured ochres--brown,
red, yellow, and some black.  This lovely spot was more like the
dwelling-place of fairies than of the hideous aborigines of South
Africa.  A stream rippled under the trees, and the green turf was
spangled with flowers of many colours.  The monkeys had doubtless
deserted it at our approach, but their _ropes_ (a peculiar kind of
creeper, hanging like swings from the yellow-wood trees) attested their
constant presence there.  We tried to imagine the Bushmen resting here
after their day's hunt, and recording its events on the scarp of rock
facing us, at the head of the wooded eminence, now almost roofed in with
tall trees and parasitical plants.  Here they prepared the poisons, for
madness, disease, or death, as suited their wild purposes, from the wild
bulbs which grew in such bright profusion--deceitful things!  Now, the
birds were singing above us in the sunshine.  The Bushman's foresight
with regard to provision, in this uncertain country, might afford a
lesson to the white man.  If they cannot consume at a meal the little
lizards, locusts, etc, on which they prey, they impale them, leaving
them on the thorny bushes, to return to when in need.  [This is the
system of the butcher-bird.]

The Bushmen who have lately been exhibited in London, were described as
belonging to a race of people, "caught on the banks of the Great Fish
River," which is altogether a mistake, as the few Bushmen left in Africa
have now gone far to the northward.  The Boers beyond the Orange River
know their haunts, and often supply them with game, to prevent them from
stealing and destroying their sheep, for, what they cannot eat on the
spot, they will kill and mutilate, in the spirit of sheer mischief.
These unfortunate little beings live literally among the clefts of
rocks, subsisting on locusts, roots, and anything else they can find in
the eating way.

A Dutch farmer, who for some time had regularly furnished a small colony
of Bushmen with game, became surprised at the non-appearance of the
periodical envoys for it, and therefore went up to their
"dwelling-places among the conies."  A wretched scene presented itself:
the measles had broken out in the community, and the dead, the dying,
the sick, the old and the young, men, women, and children, were all
heaped together within the caves and nooks of the steep krantzes.  He
dragged them from their covert, but they would listen to no suggestions
calculated, if acted on, to remedy or lighten the disease, and all he
could do was to rescue some of the children from the pest-house in the

Unlike these Bushmen, and some other savages, the Kaffirs are most
cautious in endeavouring to avoid all infections maladies; and, when the
smallpox swept off the aborigines in numbers, the different tribes of
the Kafirs established _cordons sanitaires_, and framed and abided by
the most stringent laws of quarantine.

I could write many pages on the subject of Mr Pringle's charming and
admirably-planned location.  I shall long think of the Bushman's haunt,
the little chapel in the fertile valley, and, above all, the kindly
welcome I met with at Glenthorn, but such agreeable reminiscences must
be reserved for another time; these pages are dedicated to a history of
war and turmoil, and I must not pause to dwell on pleasant memories
connected with my journey through those mountain-ranges.

None of Mr Pringle's family deserted the mansion during the war.  It
was made defensible, and afforded a refuge for many who dared not remain
on their isolated farms.  It was quite a little garrison in itself, and
was never even attacked by the Kaffirs.

On our way to the Mancazana, we rested again at Mr Macmaster's farm--a
place with a pretty, peaceful-looking garden, backed by such cliffs! and
interesting from its being associated with the poet Pringle, and his
works, many of them having been written on this romantic spot.  In the
Maacazana valley we passed by the ruins of several farms, and at the
post we heard an indistinct rumour of the deaths of five officers [Note
2]; that such a number had been killed was clear, but to what regiment
they belonged I could not ascertain.  In no happy frame of mind I
reached Mr Gilbert's farm, within seven miles of Fort Beaufort; here
again were the evidences of war--bullet-marks on the walls, palisades
torn up, and gates well battened.  A charger, formerly belonging to
Captain Bertie Gordon, of the 91st, stood peaceably eating his forage in
the yard, but his once sleek skin was rough, and his frame looked worn.
Poor "Prussian!" his owners regretted his changed appearance, and so did

On our return to Beaufort, we learned further particulars of this
frightful affair in the field, which were eventually fully confirmed.
The sorrowing comrades of these poor officers have raised a monument to
their memory, on the site of the General's camp on the Conga [see
Appendix I].

The following particulars, extracted from the "Cape Frontier Times,"
correspond so entirely with the information I received from Sir George
Berkeley himself, from Colonel Somerset, and other private sources, that
I subjoin them in preference to writing my own impressions on the

A most magnificent view of the adjacent country, from a peninsula
stretching out upon the Kei, had tempted some of the officers of the
General's camp to form a plan for visiting it.  The day before they
started on this expedition, Captain Baker, of the 73rd, dined with Sir
George Berkeley, who told me that had he known the intention of these
ill-fated men to visit a locality so far from the camp, so thickly
wooded and precipitous, he would not have permitted their departure.
Captain Faunee, and Lieutenant Nash, 73rd, were to have accompanied the
party, but happily their duties prevented them from doing so, Lieutenant
Littlehales started with them, but, rain coming on, and having a severe
cold, which he was unwilling to increase in the field, he turned back.
In the evening of Saturday, the 13th of November, "he became alarmed at
the absence of his brother officers; and, half-an-hour afterwards,
Captains Somerset, Berkeley Seymour, (the General's Staff) and Captain
Bisset, C.M.R., started in search of them, and descended into the bed of
the river.  It was dark, and they returned at two o'clock on Sunday
morning, their search having been unsuccessful.  Two hours afterwards,
the same officers, with a company of the 73rd, took up the spoor of the
missing officers again, and succeeded in finding the unfortunate men in
a deep chasm near the river.  They were all lying near each other.  It
is conjectured that they had all been to the top of the mountain, from
which elevation they had been seen by the Kaffirs, who had posted a
large body to intercept them on their return."  Since the event, this
has been ascertained to have been the case.  "At this time, a large
quantity of cattle was perceived going down to the Kei, with a number of
the enemy; a dispatch was immediately sent back to the camp, and the
party was reinforced by detachments from the head-quarter division, and
Colonel Somerset's."  The latter headed the people from his own camp.
After a night march of great fatigue, the troops were all anxiety for
the attack: the 73rd were furious, and the sight of the dead bodies,
stripped of everything, and with every proof about them of having fought
desperately against the savages, enraged their brother soldiers more and
more at every step they took.

The force selected for the engagement, consisted of a hundred and thirty
of the Cape Mounted Riflemen, three hundred of a native levy, thirty or
the 7th Dragoon Guards, and two hundred of the 73rd Regiment; there were
also about eighty farmers: the native infantry were under the command of
Captain Owen.  When the dispositions for attack had been made, "the
troops were formed into small divisions, and a point of attack assigned
to each.  During these operations, the General and Staff climbed the
Table Mountain, to the top, and Colonel Somerset endeavoured to cross a
ford on the river; but, being baffled in his design, joined the General.
A number of cattle being descried in the bend of the Kei, Colonel
Somerset, with his people, wound down a pass to reach them."  The
Kaffirs stood their ground here unusually well, but the 73rd dashed at
them in gallant style, and soon dislodged them, while the Provisionals,
Captain Hogg's levy, and the Cape Corps, pushed onwards for the cattle.
Colonel Somerset was busy exchanging shots with the enemy at one of
their drifts, Lieutenant Macdonald, C.M.R., having been the first, with
his detachment, to commence the attack at the river.

Before the engagement the troops had marched thirty miles.  No great
loss was sustained on the British side, and a great many Kaffir guns
were taken.  "Colonel Somerset," remarked the "Graham's Town Journal,"
"made an admirable disposition of the force under his command, and
directed the whole movement with great skill.  The General overlooked
the whole affair, and is said to have expressed his satisfaction at the
spirited and gallant manner in which the troops, and all who were
engaged, behaved.  The gallantry and activity of Colonel Somerset
throughout the affair were conspicuous: directing, under the General,
the whole of the operations below the mountain, he displayed the most
perfect acquaintance with the habits of the enemy and the character of
the country; he was to be seen at every point where danger presented
itself, or direction was needed, and ably and zealously was he supported
by every officer and engaged in one of the severest field-days ever
experienced since the commencement of the present contest."

At least thirty Kaffirs were counted dead after this action; some of
them wearing the clothes of the deceased officers.  Mr Faunt's horse
was captured in the fray, and poor Captain Baker's charger galloped into
the camp, still saddled, and bleeding from an assegai wound in its head.

Soon after this affair, Colonel Somerset succeeded in crossing the Kei,
with the Cape Corps, and Captain Hogg's levy, all in light marching
order, with supplies for five days.  As soon as this force was on the
other side of the river, Pato came back.  Captain O'Reilly was then
detached, with some of the Cape Corps, to look for him, when he again
doubled, and escaped with a quantity of Colonial cattle; only four
hundred being captured in the course of these operations.

Umhala was suspected of sheltering Pato's people and the cattle; and
afterwards, when disturbed on his location by the operations of the
troops, he had the insolence to remonstrate on the inconvenience he was
put to by being thus suspected.  Such fallacious reasoning did not
influence Colonel Somerset's plans.  The craftiness of these Kaffirs is
the most difficult thing possible to contend with.  What, for instance,
could be more cunning than Kreli's reply, when accused of sheltering
Pato?  "Colonel Somerset's commands," he said, "had forced Pato over the
Kei into his (the Amaponda) country, and so precipitately that the
stolen Colonial cattle had got mixed up with Kreli's in the
pasture-ground.  Now," said Kreli, "this could not have been so, had
Pato come hither with my permission, as, in that case, I should have
separated my cattle from his."  He also begged to know on what authority
the British Government had decided that he had sheltered Pato.  He was
told, in reply, that the information had been received from certain
Kaffir prisoners, whose names, however, were unknown; whereupon his
councillors answered, "You, Colonel Johnstone (27th), and the Governor,
and Somerset, and Stockenstrom, and Kreli, are great men, and are you
going to settle an important national question, upon the report of
prisoners of whom you know nothing?"  Certainly a Kaffir would puzzle
Lord Brougham himself, by his plan of meeting cross questions with
crooked answers.


Note 1.  The poison used by the Bushmen is extracted from the serpent's
bag, from the root of the agapanthus, lily, and other plants.

Note 2.  Captain Baker, Lieutenant Faunt, Ensign Burnop, and Surgeon
Campbell, all of the 73rd, and Assistant-Surgeon Loch, 7th Dragoon



On the 1st of December, 1847, Sir Harry and Lady Smith, with his
Excellency's staff and suite, landed at Cape Town, amid the acclamations
and rejoicings of assembled thousands.  I have already alluded to Lady
Smith as "once the favourite of the African Frontier;" and, at a public
assembly.  Judge Menzies welcomed the arrival of the Governor and Lady
Smith, by proposing a toast, not to "His Excellency and his Lady," but
to "Harry Smith and his Wife."  On all sides their return was hailed
with joy; but, as the colonists are too apt to be guided by results
rather than motives, it is better not to dwell on this reception.

Sir Henry Pottinger left Graham's Town, under a salute of guns from the
batteries, on the 16th of December, and Sir George Berkeley followed on
the 17th.  The great event of the day was the entree of Sir Harry Smith.
The shops were closed, every one made holiday, triumphal arches were
erected, surmounted by inscriptions proclaiming welcome to the new
Governor and old friend.  The very _bonhommie_ with which Sir Harry had
met his old acquaintances--even an old Hottentot serjeant, with whom he
shook hands on the road--procured for him a ready popularity ere he
entered Graham's Town.

At Sidbury, within thirty miles of the town, Sir Henry Pottinger and his
successor had a short conference.  There is no doubt the latter had
brought his instructions from the Colonial Office with him; but the
meeting between two such men, and the conference on the destinies of
South Africa, at a scattered village on the borders, must have been
connected with singular and interesting associations.

From Port Elizabeth to Graham's Town one scene of joy and welcome
presented itself.  Soon after landing at the former place, his
Excellency made his appearance before a throng of spectators, amongst
whom he recognised the Chief Macomo.  At sight of him, Sir Harry drew
his sword half way from the scabbard, held it thus for a minute, and
drove it back again with an expressive gesture of anger and scorn; at
which Macomo shrank back, and the crowd laughed.  His Excellency
afterwards saw Macomo, whom he bitterly upbraided for his treachery, and
derided for his folly.  As he uttered his reproaches, he ordered him to
kneel prostrate before him, which he did, unwillingly enough.  "This,"
said Sir Harry Smith, placing his foot on the neck of the conquered
savage, "this is to teach you that I have come hither to teach
Kaffirland that I am chief and master here, and this is the way I shall
treat the enemies of the Queen of England."

On the 17th, as we watched the rockets ascending, and the lights
flashing from one end of Graham's Town to the other, I could not help
comparing the circumstances of last year with the present.  Then all was
gloom, save when the fires on the hill-tops telegraphed mischief between
the Kaffirs.  Now, beacons blazed, the silent heralds of glad tidings;
the very Fingo kraals adjacent to the town sent forth shouts, and
torches flitted from hut to hut.  Amongst all this stir, there is
something interesting in recording where Sir Harry Smith was, and how he
was employed, during the rejoicings of the excited populace.  Long
before the lights were extinguished, he was up and at work.  Three
o'clock on the morning of the 16th found him at his desk, which he
scarcely left till five in the evening.  Amid all the din of these
rejoicings for the hero of Aliwal, Colonel Somerset, having conquered
the I'Slambies, and delivered Pato into his Excellency's hands, quietly
rode into town, unnoticed, but not forgotten by those who, eighteen
months before, looked to him for protection and assistance.  [See
Appendix I.]

On his Excellency's arrival at Government House, he sent for Sandilla,
whom he addressed in severe terms.  Sandilla, of course, admitted, in
the old style, that he had been in error.  On Sir Harry asking him who
was now the "Inkosi Enkulu," (Great Chief) of Kaffirland, he, after a
pause, in true Kaffir style, and closely observed by his councillors,
replied "Kreli."  At this Sir Harry broke forth, in terms of great
anger.  "No!" said the Governor, "I am your paramount chief--I am come
to punish you for your misdoings--your treachery--and your obstinate
folly.  You may approach my foot and kiss it, in token of submission,
but not until I see a sincere repentance for the past, will I permit you
to touch my hand."

Sandilla was released from confinement by Sir Harry's order.
Chieftainship, in a Kaffir sense, being abolished, and the ex-chiefs
being invested with a sort of magisterial influence over their people,
checked by British rule, a baton of office was sent to to be placed in
the ground before his hut, side by side with the wand always planted
there as a symbol of authority.  His wand is surmounted by a cow's tail,
and marks the chief's residence from the other huts of Kraal.  The baton
given by Sir Harry is a stick, with a brass knob at the top of it.  A
proclamation, dated the 17th of December, 1847, announced the Keiskama
as the boundary of the Colony.  The advantages of such a line of
demarcation, I have before alluded to.

At noon, on the 20th, his Excellency was in the saddle, _en route_ for
King William's Town, _via_ Fort Hare and Post Victoria.  He was
accompanied by the heads of departments in general, and by his staff.
At Fort Hare, the party was entertained at dinner by the officers of the
45th Regiment, and next day, proceeding to King William's Town,
breakfasted on the road in the Tyumie valley.  At King William's Town,
Sir Harry had appointed a meeting of the Chiefs of Kaffirland, desiring
them to obey him, or abide the consequences.  They knew him too well to

In the mean time, Pato, hearing that Colonel Somerset was again on the
track in search of him, grew frightened; and, as this officer was _en
route_ with his force, the rebel savage sent his councillors, with an
offer of five thousand head of cattle, and a promise of surrender, if
his life might be spared.

It was on Sunday, the 19th of December, while Sir Harry Smith was yet in
Graham's Town, that the work of Colonel Somerset was, so to speak,
brought to a close by the surrender of Pato.

While moving with his forces towards the Kei, and debating where he
should "off-saddle" and bivouac, for a short refreshment, Colonel
Somerset observed two Kaffirs riding at a rapid gallop towards him.
These were two of Pato's councillors, who looked tired and frightened
beyond description, but they rode direct for Colonel Somerset; and, as
soon as one of them could get breath, he spoke.  He had been sent by his
chief, he said, to make terms of surrender.  "The tribe was broken up.
Pato was hunted down, and could hold out no longer."  Colonel Somerset
asked what guarantee he should have that Pato would keep his word: a
word which had been broken so often?  "I am Pato's mouth," said the
messenger; "I speak his word, and _now_ it is true.  I have been told to
ride and find Somerset, or _die_."

Colonel Somerset refused to give any promise until Pato came forward
personally, and surrendered at discretion.  With this answer, the
councillors departed.  Old Cobus Congo, Pato's brother, next made his
appearance, and Colonel Somerset's peremptory command to have the arms
given up was followed by the approach of Kaffirs in all directions,
hurrying down the hills, and emerging from the apparently uninhabited
kloofs, with guns and assegais.  The eminences, which had appeared
untenanted by man, were now dotted with these wretched creatures; the
silent krantzes gave up the warriors long concealed therein; and, two
days afterwards, Pato, with twelve councillors, all haggard, dirty, and
trembling with terror, approached the bivouac, and, in a state of the
most abject misery, the treacherous savage surrendered himself.  He had
been "hunted from rock to rock," he said, "for three months: he was no
longer a man, but a baboon, for he had been dwelling among the monkeys;
he had concealed himself where no cavalry could come, but the dreaded
name of Somerset had stirred him from his hiding-place, and he now
implored to be taken out of the bush."  He spoke of the miseries to
which he and his people had been subjected; at times, they had not been
able to kill an ox for food, and some of his followers had been
compelled to eat their shields.  (This was no more than our allies, the
Fingoes, were frequently obliged to do.)

All his professions were in a tone of the deepest humility.  In short,
he had been hunted like a dog, as he deserved, and he was ready to
submit to anything to be allowed to have the mountains near the
Amapondas, and to "sit still," at least, for a season.

Colonel Somerset was, of course, perfectly aware of the motives which
directed this pacific movement on the part of Pato, who was quite ready
to submit to any terms for the present.  Cattle were demanded.  Pato
promised _five thousand head down_.  More arms were asked for; the ease
with which many guns and assegais had already been produced, was
sufficient guarantee for the future.  Colonel Somerset, however, held no
responsible position as a diplomatist; during the whole war he had only
been the fighting-man in Kaffirland.  So, having beaten Sandilla, Pato,
Umhala, Souto, Stock, etc, etc, and their tribes, he was to submit the
rebel and his propositions to Sir Harry Smith, and his Excellency was to
meet the Chiefs at King William's Town, and hold a parley there on the
23rd of December, preparatory to the great meeting on the 7th January,
1848.  This last assembly was fixed on that day as the anniversary of a
solemn convocation of the kind, held on the 7th January, 1836.

The present Governor has, as Umhala would say, "ears that hear," and
"eyes that see," and will not abuse or neglect the confidence reposed in
him by the colonists.  His Excellency's decisive replies to the Chiefs
when he met them at King William's Town, and the clearness with which he
impressed on their minds that they held their present position only by
right of active allegiance on their parts towards the British
Government, were the best guarantees of the manner in which he would
carry _out_ the plans as yet only in abeyance.  "I am the Inkosi Enkulu
(the Great Chief) of Kaffirland," said he.  "From me, as the
representative of the Queen of England, you hold your lands.  My word
shall be your law, and whoso shall disobey it, him will I sweep from the

Now, one great secret of Sir Harry Smith's rule is, that the _Kafirs
know he will execute what he threatens_.  They are sure he will _keep
his word_.  As Pato knew Colonel Somerset would never rest till he found
him and hunted him and his people down, so Gaikas and I'Slambies,
Tambookies and Zooluhs, feel that Sir Harry Smith, too, will be "up and
doing" among them, if they fail in their promises.

When Sir Benjamin D'Urban resigned the Government, in 1836, he took up
his residence near Cape Town, and there, for ten long years, he
sorrowfully abided the result of the system which had been introduced by
his opponents.  His friends thought that he ought to proceed to England,
and there expose the mischiefs that were gathering round the Colony; but
he "bided his time," and it was not until the events of the war had
proved the soundness of his former arguments, and that he had truly
described the Kaffirs as "irreclaimable savages," that he repaired to
the Colonial Office in London.  His statements had now their due weight,
and the offices of Governor and Commander-in-Chief were again united in
the person of Sir Harry Smith, whose opportune arrival in England from
India was hailed with joy by the very party that had, in 1836, discarded
the opinions and overthrown the policy of Sir Benjamin D'Urban and Sir
Harry himself.  His appointment to the Government of the Cape soon
followed his triumphant reception at home as the hero of our Indian



Enthusiastic as his English welcome had been on his return from India,
his Excellency's _entree_ into Graham's Town, escorted by at least five
hundred friends, independently of all military attendance, must have
been deeply gratifying to him.  How much more so must have been his
sensations on the morning of the 23rd of December, 1647, when he
galloped into the centre of the square formed by the garrison drawn up
to receive him, "at the old place of meeting"--King William's Town!  The
band of the Rifle Brigade received him with the National Anthem, and the
cheers of the multitude formed a noble chorus; but, as the General rode
down the line, the troops, presenting arms, the air changed to "See the
Conquering Hero comes!"  Shouts rose from the concourse, consisting of
the military, the colonists, Kaffirs, Fingoes, and others of many
different grades and denominations.

When these had subsided, Sir Harry Smith addressed the troops.  His
Excellency complimented Colonel Buller, of the Rifle Brigade, on the
command of such a body of men, calling the attention of the latter to
their advantage in having such a Commander; and having noticed "that
bravery and endurance which they had displayed during the long and
harassing warfare through which they had struggled," he beckoned Colonel
Somerset to his side, and thus addressed him:--

"To you, Colonel Somerset, we are mainly indebted for the satisfactory
close of this severe contest.  You have been in the field throughout,
and have exhibited equal courage, patience, perseverance, and ability in
the discharge of the severe duties which have devolved upon you.  To an
officer so nearly of my own rank, it is not for _me_ to return my
thanks.  But I thank you in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, for your
efficient services in this command; I thank you in the name of the
eminently illustrious and immortal Duke of Wellington, the
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, for the manner in which you have
prosecuted this war until you have brought it to a final issue."

The scene at King William's Town, at this period, was very imposing: the
Kaffirs, in number at least two thousand, all unarmed, formed a
semicircle of perhaps eight deep; in front of this semicircle stood the
Chiefs, facing the General, Colonels Somerset, Buller, and Mackinnon,
and Mr Shepstone, the Interpreter.  In the rear of the latter were the
troops, consisting of the Rifle Brigade, part of the 7th Dragoon Guards,
and 73rd Regiment.  His Excellency scanned the assembly before him with
a searching look; and, as his eye rested on the line of Chiefs, he
missed Sutu, and her son Sandilla, in a moment.  Punctual himself, he
was naturally angry at their absence, and demanded where they were?

Mother and son had retired from the great crowd to a little drift in a
hollow.  They were sent for, and obeyed the summons.  The dense
semicircular mass opened in the centre, and the lame Chief and Sutu
entered the area.  Some Kaffirs were disposed for a moment to press
inward; but a low murmur went round, and those in front seated
themselves the moment the young Gaika and his mother took their places
at the head of the line of Chiefs.  There was then a silence among the
multitude, and the Governor addressed them, every word he uttered being
carefully translated by Mr Shepstone.

Previously to his Excellency's address, two large staves were brought
forward, one was surmounted by a brass knob, the other was a Serjeant's
halbert.  These Sir Harry Smith planted on each side of him as symbols
of peace and war.

He opened his speech with bitter reproaches against the Kaffirs for
their treachery and violence, upbraiding them for their faithlessness
while he scorned them for their folly.

He told them the Queen of England had sent him to Africa to put a stop
to their violence, and to organise the country over which they had so
ruthlessly stalked as destroyers.  Pointing to the staves, he called on
them to advance, and to take their choice of peace or war.  It mattered
not to him, they might fight, but he _would_ conquer them: he _would_ be
Chief.  They had seen already how the troops of England could harass
them; the grasp and vengeance of England could never be eluded.  "You,
Sutu," said his Excellency, "I call upon you to come forward, and make
your choice, by touching one staff or the other."

Sutu advanced, and, placing her hand on the staff of peace, her example
was followed by all the rest in succession.  As Stock approached, his
Excellency exclaimed, "Stock, son of Eno! is not your sleep disturbed by
evil spirits, as a punishment for the contempt with which you treated
your father's last words?--And for you, Pato, Colonel Somerset has taken
you out of the bush this time: you may thank him for your life; had I
been there, you should have lost your head."  [Note 1.]

Pato's appearance was miserable.  He more resembled a Hottentot than a
Kaffir, being of the Gona tribe, which is a mixture of both races.  An
old handkerchief was wound round his head, and his shrunken limbs were
enveloped in a dirty blanket.  Several times during Sir Harry Smith's
address, those peculiar murmurs of wonder, approbation, and assent,
which I have elsewhere compared to the waves of a great ocean, rising
and falling in the distance, went through the mighty circle.  As the
Governor took care to remind them occasionally that Chieftainship, in
their sense of the term, was abolished, and declared, from that moment,
_he_ was the Great _Inkosi Enkulu_, and the representative of the Queen
of England, an irrepressible groan burst forth from the Kaffirs; but
none attempted to reply; all seemed paralysed by fear.  Not even an
assegai was to be seen in their hands--a most unusual circumstance among
these savage tribes.

At the close of his stern address to the assembled Kaffirs, his
Excellency read the Proclamation defining the conditions on which
British Kaffraria is to be occupied for the future.  Colonel Mackinnon
was appointed to the command of the district.  While reading this, he
paused at several passages, giving the Chiefs an opportunity of
ascertaining the exact meaning of what they heard; as he uttered the
word "conquered," in reference to the territory, his manner and tone
were such as could not be misunderstood.

The Chiefs, declaring it was "good," were ordered to advance separately,
and to touch the staff of Peace or War, as pleased them best.  There was
no hesitation in deciding: the voice of Young Kaffirland had been
silenced, and the Chiefs stepped forward one by one, kissing Sir Harry
Smith's foot as he sat on horseback, in token of their repentance for
the past, and as a guarantee for future submission.

Not one of them approached the new Inkosi Enkulu, without eliciting some
severe remarks.  Threats were not spared, accompanied by significant
gestures.  "He would teach them," he said, "who should henceforth be
their masters; and, if they failed to obey _his Word_, he would sweep
the disobedient from the land."  In short, he gave them to understand,
in plain English, that they were a set of unworthy miscreants, who had
forfeited all claim to indulgence; but who, upon a promise of future
good behaviour, were to be mercifully tried once more, _but not to be
trusted_.  No!  Sir Harry Smith knew them too well for that!

Words like these, from his lips, carried with them more weight than all
the written documents the Colonial Office could send forth.  As the
Chiefs retired to their position, his Excellency, having possessed
himself of a piece of paper for the purpose, held it up to the multitude
as emblematic of the former Treaties; and, tearing it to pieces,
scattered it to the winds, exclaiming with his accustomed energy, "There
go the Treaties!"  He next seized the staff of war, and, poising it for
a few moments, cast it to the ground with great vehemence.  "Behold,"
said he, "the end of war!  And now, three cheers for Peace!"  Lifting
his hat, he bade those beside him follow his example.  The loud hurrahs
ascended to the sky, sending their echoes along the banks of the Buffalo
River.  All united in the acclamations which the occasion called forth.
From soldiers, spectators, and Kaffirs arose one simultaneous shout, and
from kloof to kloof, from plain to plain, resounded the cheers which
proclaimed "Peace on earth, and good will towards men!" two days before
the great festival of Christmas.

On the evening of the 23rd, some of the chiefs being offered coffee in
an officer's tent, old Botman was heard making sundry remarks on the
occurrences of the day.  On being asked what he thought of the
Governor's address, he replied, "The day was stormy--the wind blew very
strong."  But there was no gaining from him his real opinion as to past
circumstances, or future arrangements.

It is the custom of the Kaffirs to assemble after any great gathering,
whether of peace or war, a wedding or a witchcraft scene.  Those who
have not been present are always desirous of hearing "the news."  When
Sir Harry Smith was in Kaffirland in 1836 he had occasion to summon the
Chiefs to a meeting, when he reproached them severely for sundry
aggressions.  On their dismissal, they repaired to the Kraal, where
several members of each tribe awaited their return with the eager
question, "What news?"  "There was a storm," said one, "Much thunder!"
"But," asked another, "was it followed by refreshing rain?"  "Oh! yes,
when the thunder ceased there fell some cooling and pleasant showers;"
alluding to food and gifts.

One secret of Sir Harry Smith's success is, that he does not suffer the
Kaffirs to parley with him.  He looks upon them now as unworthy to be
listened to, and they feel this; they make no attempt to reply.  As for
reasoning with them, it were but lost time; they are the cleverest
logicians in the world, and have always an answer more suitable to their
own purpose than we could possibly anticipate.

Umhala was once told he could not be permitted to marry a Christian
Kaffir girl, as he had eleven wives already.  After repeated messages
and munificent offers of cattle, etc, on his part he pressed his suit by
saying, "his wives knew not the white man's God; he desired to have a
Christian wife, that she might teach him!"  He did not succeed, however,
with the lady.  "We know," said a Kaffir to a missionary, "that what you
tell us is for our good.  We feel it must be so, because you bid us be
kind to one another, and to be neither thieves nor liars.  You bid our
children be dutiful, our wives obedient, our neighbours peaceful; but
when you tell us to abide with our old wives, and take no more young
ones, then the teacher's words are no longer good, and our ears are deaf
to them."

A Kaffir prisoner, having been six months in the Graham's Town gaol, was
tried at the assizes in April, 1847, and acquitted of the crime of which
he had been accused.  Before leaving the box, he was observed speaking
to one of the officers of the court.  "What is he saying?" asked the
Judge.  "He wishes to know," replied the functionary, "why he has been
so long in prison, and afterwards brought here, as he has committed no

The Keiskama River was proclaimed the immediate boundary of the Colony;
and between this and the Kei lies what "shall be called and known as
British Kaffiraria," to be held by the Kaffirs "under such rules and
regulations as Her Majesty's High Commissioner, or other Representative,
who shall be the Great Chief of the whole of the said territory, shall
deem best calculated to promote the civilisation, conversion to
Christianity, and general enlightenment of the benighted beings subject
to her rule."

In order "to define and fix a certain line of boundary, that no dispute
or disaffection might hereafter arise among the people on a question of
right or occupation," the lands appropriated to the different chiefs of
their tribes received English names.  The "Great Place" of Sandilla is
now called York; the country allotted to the Amabala people, under
Stock, Lincolnshire.  The location of the Amagunuquebes, under Palo, son
of Gasella, is named Bedfordshire; and Umhala's district, with the
I'Slambies, Cambridgeshire; another portion of the I'Slambies, under
Tois, are settled "within the limits of the county of Sussex."  Tois's
own place is to be called Goodwood.  The Tambookies, under Umtikaka
[Note 2.] and Mapassa, are to be located to the north of Yorkshire and
Sussex; and the various villages which are to be established within the
limits of British Kaffiraria have yet to be defined.

The substitution of English names for the ancient and poetic
denominations by which the Kaffirs have hitherto distinguished their
abodes, is a necessary measure; but who can reconcile himself, at this
juncture, to London at the mouth of the Buffalo River, on the borders of
Kaffirland; York some forty miles distant, lying among the Amatola
Mountains; Cambridge near Fort Waterloo, (late Waterloo Bay,) and so

The 7th of January brought together another assemblage, from all parts
of the frontier, at King William's Town.  The absence of Lady Smith, who
had been present on that spot in 1836, was regretted by all who
remembered her.  Old Sutu presented herself at Fort Cox, when _en route_
for the Buffalo, and begged some intelligence of "her mother."  His
Excellency's movements had been too rapid and fatiguing to permit of a
lady's accompanying him, and Lady Smith remained at Cape Town during the
absence of her gallant husband.

At half-past nine in the morning the Rifle Brigade were under arms,
awaiting the arrival of His Excellency.  The Kaffirs lingered about the
camp, talking in groups, and finally dropping into the semicircle, in
front of which, as before, the Chiefs and great men stood.  There were
about two thousand assembled by the time Sir Harry rode up, and Pato,
having desired the tribes to greet the Governor as a great Chief, the
usual cheers arose from the throng as, dressed in the uniform of the
Rifle Brigade, and wearing the star of the Order of the Bath, the hero
of Aliwal made his entrance, surrounded by his staff.

The opening of the Governor's address was well suited to the occasion,
and to the character of his auditors.  "My children, God, you see,
blesses this occasion: your gardens were dry, and burnt up, and He, last
night, sent you a copious rain."

A prayer was read, in the Kaffir language, by the Reverend Mr Dugmore,
a missionary, and, at the conclusion of this, Sir Harry Smith continued
his address to the multitude.

Nothing could be clearer than Sir Harry Smith's explanation of affairs
to the wretched people now at his feet.  He pointed out the line of
demarcation between the colony and "British Kaffraria," and again
between that and the Amapondas, reminding them that henceforth there
would be no more treaties; the Kaffirs were British subjects, holding
the lands forfeited by their late aggressions only on condition of good
behaviour.  That at the great meeting, eleven years ago, he had advised
them to be industrious and honest.  "I left you," said he, "learning to
be English.  Look upon yourselves now, and then see the miserable
wretches war has made you!  Where are the large herds of cattle of which
I left you in possession?  _Fools_!" and Sir Harry advancing within a
pace or two of the Kaffirs, struck the ground vehemently with the staff
of peace...  "The great Queen of England has sent me back to you to show
you that she has not thrown you away, if you still desire to be her
children.  _Did I ever tell you a lie_?" ...  "Hear!  I am your Inkosi
Enkulu--no Kreli, no Sandilla, no Macomo...  But I shall keep every
chief at the head of his own tribe, and I will make English and good men
of you.  Now, you great chiefs, come forward, and touch my staff of
office; the staff of war I have thrown away."

The following oath of obedience was then administered, the Kaffirs
holding the staff of peace with one hand, while two fingers of the other
were lifted up, according to the custom of these people.

"Know you _this_, our own Inkosi Enkulu, representative of our great
Queen of England, that I (here each chief repeated his name) will be
faithful and true unto you, or whomsoever Her Majesty pleases to place
over us, and faith to you bear for the lands which I hope to hold of
you--and that I will lawfully do to you the customs and services which I
ought to do in the terms assigned, viz..."  The terms pointed out to
them by his Excellency were then agreed to.  These were, to obey the
laws established by him; to abolish and "disbelieve" (?) in witchcraft;
to protect their people, and encourage them to honesty; to hold the
lands conditionally; to acknowledge no Chief but the representative of
the Queen of England; to cease from buying wives; to listen to the
missionaries, and send the children of the tribes to their schools; and,
on the anniversary of the 7th of January, to bring each a fat ox to King
William's Town, in testimony of acknowledgment of the footing on which
the land was held.

This ceremony over, Sandilla offered his "great thanks," professing, in
the usual strain, to be "under the Governor's feet," and abjuring all
idea of chieftainship in his own person, except as it was reflected in
him by the "White Inkosi Enkulu."  He then added, "Your children now beg
for more land, as they are very much crowded."

His Excellency remarked that there was plenty of land towards the Kei,
but Sandilla answered "He did not know that country; he was not brought
up there."  "Nor," said Sir Harry, "were you brought up in the Colony,
into which you so lately found your way."  Sandilla "wished to protect
both sides of the drifts!"  "The soldiers will do that," was his
Excellency's answer.  Umhala spoke his thanks, which had as much meaning
in them as Sandilla's, but Pato's were very characteristic of his
nation.  "I thank you as a great chief," said he; "to-day you have taken
me from among the monkeys [Note 3]; to-day I may sit in the sun--I could
live under you before--to-day I can sit outside.  There is the Chief;
(Sandilla); where we churn we take our butter; speak to him, that we may
listen to his word."

But the Governor interrupted him by striking the staff of peace
violently on the ground, exclaiming there should be no Chief but
himself, and, flinging the staff forward, made Pato, who trembled
exceedingly, pick it up, and lay it at his feet.

"Take to the bush again," said his Excellency, "and see how I will hunt
you out!"

Konah, Macomo's son, "thanked," and remarked that he "was a little
child, and had no place `to sit in!'"  Macomo's absence at Port
Elizabeth [Note 4] prevented any decisive arrangements being made to
settle his people.

After all the chiefs had spoken, his Excellency again addressed them on
the subject of a fair division of the land, on the advantages of
industry, of their young people becoming servants, and of agricultural
pursuits; and, deprecating the love of cattle, he declared that each
disputed bullock should be shot, and threatened to "eat up" the idle and
the vicious.  He pointed out to them the Kaffir police, which had been
clothed--"These," said his Excellency, "are not to hunt the good, but to
keep rogues out of the Colony;" and, in allusion to the recent murder of
a settler named Stanley, he offered 50 pounds reward for the
apprehension of the murderers, observing they should be "hunted out."

Colonel Mackinnon was pointed out as "The _mouth_ of the Governor," who
was to be obeyed, and listened to in the absence of his Excellency;
landmarks were promised, and arms demanded.

"Go to Kreli [Note 5] and Boko," said Sir Harry Smith, "and tell them
they are no longer chiefs.  The Queen of England has sent me to keep
peace! peace!"

The word was taken up by the Kaffirs, and accompanied by shouts on all
sides.  The Governor then bade them good bye, promising to be amongst
them again in thirty days.  The National Anthem, from the magnificent
band of the Rifle Brigade, closed the ceremonies of this eventful day,
and "Peace!  Peace!  Peace!" were the last words echoed by the multitude
before the people separated--some to return to the Colony, and resume
their pursuits--some to wander back to the people of their tribe with
"the news."

Among the arrangements for the protection of the Colony, a force was
organised in 1848 by placing soldiers discharged from the 7th Dragoon
Guards, 27th, 90th, and 91st Regiments, on certain grants of land in
British Kaffraria, and thus forming military villages.

Since then it has been reported that these settlements have not answered
the purpose for which they were established; I grieve to say that from
all I can learn from good authority, the two great sources of mischief
have been idleness and cheap brandy.  The plan was excellent; the men so
located were to be rationed at the public expense for the first year of
their location.  Seed corn and implements of husbandry were found for
the tillage of their land; each portion consisting of twelve acres, with
the right of common; to every ten men a span or team of oxen was
allotted, and to every twenty, a waggon.  While actually serving, they
were to receive 2 shillings 6 pence a day, with other allowances.  Each
village to be superintended by a retired military officer, armed with
magisterial authority for settling petty disputes, and this
superintendent would also take command of the party in the event of its
being called out to protect the Colony against Kaffir depredations and

By this arrangement, the land would be cultivated as well as protected,
and would that the men so comfortably provided for, would invite their
friends to join them.  Ere many years have elapsed, we may find the
wealth of Africa appreciated, and her mines worked by the scientific men
and intelligent mechanics of England.  The societies at home are already
alive to the value of Mr Bain's researches in geology; and the
botanist, the naturalist, the artist, in short, all who are enterprising
and persevering, must reap the reward of their exertions in this vast
field of new, important, and profitable discoveries.

Hands alone are wanting to complete the system of industry: this once
established, would lead to a long and lasting peace; for, by industry,
the interests of the Kaffir and the white man will be united.

The former will learn that his best policy is to work; and, although
little in this way can be expected, at first, from a predatory savage,
the old Kaffir will correct the younger one in the belief that the
Umlunghi may be beaten.  As another generation rises, it will learn not
only our customs, but our wants; and, on the latter circumstance we may
rest, politically speaking, with more satisfaction than on all the
teaching young Kaffirland may receive, or on all the promises he may

Peace being fairly proclaimed from Cape Town to the Kei, Sir Harry Smith
started for Natal, accompanied by Mr Southey, Secretary to the High
Commissioner, and Major Garvock, 31st Regiment, A.D.C., and Private
Secretary.  The object of his Excellency's visit was to inquire into the
causes of that discontent which has so long existed among the Boers, and
to take decisive measures for the welfare of the various classes of
inhabitants occupying the country to the eastward.  Sir Harry Smith's
determination to travel by land was a most fortunate circumstance; for,
had he gone by sea, extraordinary opportunities would have been lost.
The families of many Dutch settlers were thus overtaken, while
_trekking_ from the Colony to settlements where they would be beyond
British rule.  Some were on the eve of departure, and a few were
pausing, but prepared for a move.  In this state of discontent, misery,
and suspense, the approach of his Excellency was hailed with an
enthusiasm very rare among these phlegmatic and taciturn people.

At Colesberg he was met by a deputation of the inhabitants, principally
Dutch, who presented him with an address of welcome.  At Bloem Fontein,
between the Riet and Modda Rivers, he was greeted by numerous Boers, all
anxious to listen to his terms, and send for their friends from various
points that they might do the same.  The chief, Moshesh, whose country
lies beyond the Orange River, presented himself to the Governor at
Winberg.  The chief was accompanied by his two sons, who had been
educated at Cape Town.

Most satisfactory arrangements were made, tending to promote peace and
content among the Boers, the Griquas, and the tribes under Moshesh,
Moroko, and other chiefs.  All expressed themselves satisfied with Sir
Harry Smith's "proposals," for _he pledged himself to nothing_ until he
had removed, or overcome, many difficulties incidental to his high and
responsible position.

One incident, trifling in itself, went further towards conciliating the
Dutch than any well prepared speeches would have done.  While about to
reply to the address of the Boers at Bloem Fontein, his Excellency
observed an aged man "whose whitened locks told of some eighty summers."
He immediately called him from the crowd; and, handing him his own
chair, Sir Harry expressed his regrets that the old man should have
stood so long without being observed.  How few there are who consider
the advantage we gain by dealing with others according to _their_
dispositions and tempers, rather than _our own_!

Sad scenes of distress among the unsettled farmers excited the sympathy
of the humane Governor on his journey.  Rains, in almost unparalleled
floods, having fallen at this period, the plains were inundated: the
waggons, their drivers, and the cattle, were found resting
disconsolately in the midst of a waste of waters.  The old, the young,
the sick, and the impoverished, were bewailing their sad condition at
the foot of the Draakenberg Mountains, dreading their journey through
the wilderness, over which they were about to drag their weary way, when
he, who "had come because he knew they wanted a friend," rode into the
encampment of Pretorius.  Some idea may be formed of the sufferings of
these people, by the fact that the forelouper of the waggon of Pretorius
having left them, a young girl of twelve years, Pretorius's daughter,
had been compelled to lead the oxen for some days; and in doing so, her
arm had been frightfully gored by the leading bullock.  The fatigue of a
forelouper is great for a boy, and to a young girl must be absolutely

In sullen disgust at his reception in Graham's Town, or rather his
non-reception by Sir Henry Pottinger, Pretorius had resolved on
abandoning the districts under our Government, and the example of such a
man was not lost on his neighbours.  From the difficulty of
communication between the immediate scene of Sir Harry Smith's
proclamations, and the disaffected Boers, no positive assurance of
better prospects had reached them, till he in person offered himself as
their friend.  A spot on the banks of the Tugala River was named as a
place of conference, and a great many farmers assembled there,
requesting Pretorius to address his Excellency on the subject of their
grievances, which he did in such a way as to excite the sympathy of all
who heard him.

The result of this conference was a Proclamation announcing "the
Sovereignty of the Queen of England over the territories north of the
Orange River, north to the Vaal River, and east to the Draakenberg, or
Quathlamba, Mountains."  The Boers, to a man, declared their readiness
and anxiety to return to the farms they had forsaken; those further off
were invited by proclamation to leave "their miserable locations among
the Draakenberg Mountains;" and the arrangements respecting quit-rents,
judicial authority, grants of land, etc, were met with satisfaction by
the whole population assembled to hear and understand them.

The Tugala stream being impassable, the Governor returned to Pretorius's
camp, and was there detained some days.  On his way back, his Excellency
had to ford a passage which, from the rains, had become a deep stream.
The people provided a strong horse for him, and assisted themselves, in
getting the travelling waggon, "Government House" as they called it,
through the waters, which threatened to sweep it away.  The
indefatigable Governor at last left Pretorius in the rain: and, after
crossing many drifts, forded a dangerous mountain-stream, called the
Blue Krantz River.  At the Great Bushman's River, he found a party under
Captain Campbell, C.M.R., and Lieutenant Gibb, R.E., who had brought a
float from Pietermaritzburg.  By these means the Mooi and the Umgeni
Rivers were passed, and his Excellency reached Natal.

Many of the inhabitants had ridden out fifteen miles to meet their
"friend."  The proclamations had satisfied every one of Sir Harry
Smith's desire to make all parties justly and permanently happy, and the
town was the scene of general rejoicing.

After remaining a day or two at the Lieutenant-Governor's, his
Excellency left Natal for Cape Town, on the 12th of February; landed at
the Buffalo mouth, from H.M. steamer "Geyser," on the 15th, and on the
19th reached Graham's Town.  On the 1st of March he made his _entree_
into Cape Town, amid the acclamations of the people and the rejoicings
of his friends, and the day closed with illuminations throughout the
town.  One of these was worthy of remark: it was a small transparency
representing the "Hero of Aliwal" leading the aged Boer to his own seat!

One point has been gained by the miseries of the last two years--the
Colony has attracted the attention of the whole of the civilised world;
its resources have been brought into notice; and, finally, a Governor
has been appointed, whose mind is unprejudiced, whose head is clear,
whose heart is honest, and whose powers are unshackled.

While this work has been preparing for the press, we have been startled
by the melancholy intelligence of another outburst in Kaffirland.  The
cause is traced to the deposition of Sandilla from his high estate of
Paramount Chief of the Gaikas.

In perusing the foregoing work, the reader will do me the justice to
acknowledge that although I have been sanguine in my _hopes_ of peace, I
have never for one moment swerved from my opinion of the Kaffir.  From
first to last I have denounced him as incapable of honest feelings--as
an irreclaimable savage.  No sooner were the Rifle Brigade removed from
the Colony, than the wild beast began to show his claws.  We have
already received the grievous news of death and devastation to a painful
extent, and all we have to rest upon at present is the certainty that no
one knows better than Sir Harry Smith how to deal with these misguided
wretches, and to hope that the final result will not be detrimental to
the true interests of either the Kaffir or the emigrant.

The following is a summary of what may be called the first chapter of
the present war in Kaffirland.

Sir Harry Smith having summoned Sandilla to a conference, of the Gaika
tribes with the British Governor, Sandilla chose to absent himself: his
adviser and supporter in this affair was, no doubt, his brother and
chief councillor, Anta, a man already noticed in this work.  Upon this
Sir Harry Smith deposed Sandilla, and nominated his mother Sutu; the
"Great Widow" of Gaika, in her son's stead.  Sandilla and his friends
resented this, especially as Sir Harry had declared the chief's land
confiscated, and, in spite of all former oaths of allegiance, they
treated the Governor's messages with contempt.

On the 24th of December, 1850, Colonel Mackinnon, at the head of six
hundred men, being detached to capture Sandilla, was led into a defile,
probably by the treachery of the Kaffir police; for although they so
preserved appearances that their conduct is described in Colonel
Mackinnon's despatch as "admirable," they subsequently deserted by
hundreds.  Those remaining have, it is said, been very wisely disarmed.
[Note 6.]

In this defile or gorge of the Keiskama, through which the men could
only pass in single file, a fire was opened on the infantry who were in
the rear, and who with difficulty and serious loss forced their way;
dislodging the enemy from the bush _en passant_.

The casualties on this occasion were:--Assistant-Surgeon Stuart, Cape
Mounted Rifles, one corporal and nine privates of the 6th Regiment, and
one corporal of the 73rd Regiment, killed.  Brigade-Major Bisset, Cape
Mounted Rifles, and Lieutenant Catty, 6th Regiment, were wounded
severely; and five privates 6th Regiment, and two privates 73rd
Regiment, also wounded.  A considerable number of the enemy were killed.

Colonel Mackinnon moved back by a different road, and on reaching the
Debe flats, a horrible sight presented itself: fourteen soldiers of the
45th Regiment lay dead upon the plain.  The Kaffirs had stripped them
and cut their throats.

This disastrous affair was a signal for a general rising of the Gaikas.
They stalked, as usual, through the land with brand and assegai, and the
poor settlers in the military villages, who were gathered together to
make merry on Christmas day, were surprised by the treacherous foe; and
many were cut to pieces on their devastated homesteads.  Among these
thus murdered are Lieutenant Stacey, late of the 45th Regiment, and Mr
Phelps.  So say the accounts, but they must be received with caution,
unless official.

On the 29th of December, 1850, Colonel Somerset attempted to form a
junction with Sir Harry Smith, and for this purpose detached a party of
one hundred and fifty of the 91st Regiment under Lieut.-Colonel
Yarborough, seventy Cape Mounted Rifles under Major Somerset, and a
small 3-pounder gun Royal Artillery, but the enemy burst upon the troops
in such force that it was deemed necessary to retire; a desperate
struggle ensuing between the enemy and the troops, the latter succeeded
at length in regaining Fort Hare, but not without lamentable losses on
our side.

In this melancholy business the casualties were:--Lieut. Melvin and
Adjutant Gordon, 91st Regiment, killed; Ensign Borthwick, 91st, wounded,
and several soldiers of the 91st and Cape Mounted Riflemen.  Major
Somerset's charger was also wounded.  Colonel Somerset in his despatch
expresses great satisfaction at the conduct of the troops and their
officers, especially naming Colonel Yarborough and Major Somerset.  The
loss to the enemy was considerable.

The colonists, who at first deserted their property, have since readily
come forward at the call of the Governor; the troops have enough to do
to defend the line of posts; and the next intelligence is waited for
with an interest and anxiety which none can fully understand but those
who have already experienced the horrors of a Kaffir war.

Meanwhile reinforcements are ordered from England, and the colonists
have armed themselves to assist Sir Harry Smith.  May God defend the

I have elsewhere touched on our hurried move from the Frontier of South
Africa, by which I have been prevented from satisfactorily transcribing
my notes on past occurrences.  A _trek_ in a bullock-waggon, at the rate
of _two miles and a half an hour_, over rough roads, to which a
tread-mill would be smooth, and an occasional ride "through the bush,"
under a vertical sun, are by no means incentives to employment of any
kind.  It was a frightful and toilsome journey, especially to one whose
nerves had been shattered by the events of the last twenty-two months.
The only agreeable chapter in the journey from the Frontier, was the
voyage of forty-nine hours in H.M. steamer "Geyser," from Algoa Bay to
Cape Town; the distance being 600 miles.  What a contrast to the five
days' previous _trek_ of 96 miles!  Here was rest, indeed!  Sailors
certainly have a way of making things pleasant to their guests, and
persuading the latter, at the same time, that it is _they_ who
contribute to the _agremens_ of the passage, whereas it must decidedly
inconvenience, in no trifling degree, the officers and crew of a
man-of-war, to convert it into a travelling barrack.

A deep debt of good-will and thanks do the 91st owe the officers of the
"Geyser," and long, long will the right pleasant welcome they received
upon her decks be remembered by them all, and returned some day--if it
be possible!  But, it will _not_ be possible!


Note 1.  Sir Harry Smith's precise words I believe, on good authority,
were, "As for you, Pato, you are a vagabond; and, instead of being taken
out of the bush, you deserve to be shot."

Note 2.  Soon after the meeting at King William's Town Umtikaka died.
There is some reason to believe he was poisoned.  It will be remembered
that he wished to assist us against Mapassa in the early part of the

Note 3.  "I am no longer a man, but a baboon," said Pato to Colonel
Somerset, when the latter took the hunted chief "out of the rocks."

Note 4.  Macomo was then in gaol there for making a disturbance in the
street, when intoxicated.

Note 5.  Kreli had sent a messenger to the meeting, excusing himself for
not attending, on the score of "being sick;" but on the 25th of January
he presented himself at King William's Town, attended by forty mounted
followers, to remonstrate on the subject of the new boundary line
between his country and the Tambookies.

Note 6.  In my original journal, when speaking of the organisation of
this body by Lieutenant Davis, late of the 90th Regiment, I remarked:
"This experiment of arming so treacherous a race seems fraught with
danger."  My misgivings have been amply justified.



I copy from a Colonial newspaper (the "Graham's Town Journal") the
following account of the military honours recently paid to the remains
of the gallant sufferers:--

"King William's Town, 7th September 1850.

"The inhabitants of King William's Town have been lately very sensibly
reminded of one of the most tragical and melancholy events of the late
Kaffir War, by a pleasing and gratifying exhibition of that mutual
feeling of good will and companionship, which so eminently distinguishes
the gentlemen of the military profession.  It is now three years since
the occurrence of the events alluded to, but that time seems to have had
but little influence in obliterating from the soldier's mind the
remembrance of those who fell in the late strife, whether when in actual
contact with the enemy, or slain in cold blood by the merciless cruelty
of a barbarous foe.  The incidents of the affair spoken of, are no doubt
still fresh in the recollection of most of the inhabitants of the
Colony, yet it may be neither uninteresting nor unedifying, shortly to
repeat them, tending as they do, in some measure, to illustrate the
native character of the Kaffir.

"In September, 1847, a party of five officers, consisting of Captain
Baker (whose promotion to the rank of Major was received shortly after
his death), Lieutenant Faunt, Ensign Burnop, Dr Campbell, of the 73rd
Regiment, and Dr Loch, of the 7th Dragoon Guards, set out from Fort
Wellington, to determine a wager which had been made concerning the
locality of a hill which, from that place, may be observed as exhibiting
a very remarkable resemblance to Table Mountain--one party maintaining
the opinion that it was situated on the north, the other, that it was on
the south side of the River Kei.  With light hearts, and jocund spirits,
they may easily be imagined to have parted from those companions they
were destined never to meet again; and also, after having reached in
safety the end of their journey, to have been returning in happy
anticipation of the merry welcome their comrades would afford them with
the intelligence they had obtained; when, in passing through a ravine by
a narrow pathway, where they could travel only in file, they were
waylaid by a vast number of Kaffirs, and literally cut to pieces.  They
fell, 'tis true, as British officers under similar circumstances ever
will fall,--together; and bravely and strongly contending against
numbers sufficient to combat with a battalion; but the determination,
self-devotion, and bravery of such a defence only increases our
admiration of their characters, and redoubles in poignancy the sincerity
of regret.

"Around the fatal spot were scattered many ghastly evidences how dearly
they had sold their lives, but on the same ground also were too
evidently portrayed the characters and dispositions of their assassins,
by the awful spectacle of horror and blood which was spread out before
the beholders.  It would be vain, or at least unfit, to attempt
describing such a scene; humanity would revolt and shudder at the
detail, and it is enough (if not more than sufficient) to say, that the
detached limbs, and mutilated members of those who a few hours before
were happy, and in manly vigour, were gathered from different and
distant places, into the great coats of the infuriated and sorrowing
soldiers, who unhappily arrived too late for the relief of their
murdered officers.  `Vengeance belongeth not to man,' yet the human
heart cannot know of such barbarity, without feeling at the same time
satisfied, when assured, that an awful retribution was visited upon its

"In as perfect a manner as their mangled and disfigured state would
permit, their remains were enshrouded in the soldier's last covering
when in the field, and deposited in one lonely and desolate grave, far
from the resort of their fellow men--beyond the reach of the tear of the
bereaved, and the sigh of a friend,--where no tablet would proclaim the
worth of the departed, nor bewail their untimely and melancholy end.
They were not, however, allowed to remain, in such undeserved obscurity;
the genuine feeling of comradeship, which is ever found in the heart of
a British soldier, and reaches beyond the present, sought a more
hallowed spot where their ashes might slumber--where the tear of sorrow
might fall upon their tomb; a testimony of affection, where the finger
of regret might be pointed on a recital of their hapless fate, and where
their virtues might be told to generations yet to come.

"For this desirable and commendable purpose an escort belonging to the
6th Royal Regiment of Foot, now under the command of Brevet
Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, accompanied by the Reverend J. Fleming,
Military Chaplain, proceeded to the spot where their remains had been
left; and having, with the utmost care, recovered from their lonely
resting-place, brought them to King William's Town, where, on the
morning of the 31st of August, 1850, they were re-interred in one
coffin, in a grave prepared within the boundaries of the church now
being erected there, being borne to their last home by twelve men of the
above regiment, and followed in solemn procession by the whole of Her
Majesty's officers in the garrison.


Appendix Two.


A very solid proof has lately been afforded of the value attached to
Colonel Somerset's services by the Colonists of South Africa.  The
estate of Oatlands, formerly in the possession of Colonel Somerset, was
purchased by a number of landholders, principally farmers of Lower
Albany, whose property Colonel Somerset was so instrumental in saving
during the war of 1846-7, is presented to this gallant officer as a
residence.  The act is alike honourable to Colonel Somerset and to the

The correspondence on this interesting occasion was very brief, and I
therefore can have the pleasure of giving it entire.  Two of the
Colonists, in the name of the rest, thus wrote to Colonel Somerset:

"Graham's Town, 24th July, 1850.

"Sir,--We beg to inform you that we have been appointed the Trustees of
the Oatlands property by a number of landholders, by whom it has been
purchased; and it becomes our duty to acquaint you, by desire of those
gentlemen, that, impressed with a sense of the benefits which they, in
common with the inhabitants at large, have derived from your public
services, they have purchased the Oatlands Estate, with a view of
offering the same to you as a permanent residence during such time as
you may remain in the Colony, in testimony of their respect, and of
their appreciation of your services.

"We have, therefore, the satisfaction of offering for your acceptance a
lease of the dwelling-house and the grounds immediately adjoining it,
and shall have much pleasure in communicating to the proprietors your
acceptance of their offer.

"We have the honour to be, Sir,

"Your obedient humble servants,

"Signed P.W. Lucas.

"F. Carlisle."

The Colonel's answer was as follows:

"Graham's Town, 25th July, 1850.

"Gentlemen,--I have had the honour to receive your letter of the 24th
instant, in which you inform me that you have been desired by the
gentlemen who purchased the Oatlands property, to acquaint me that,
impressed with a sense of the benefits which they, in common with the
inhabitants at large, have derived from my public services, they have
purchased the Oatlands Estate, with the view of offering it to me as a
permanent residence during such time as I may remain in the Colony.  In
reply I request you will do me the favour to convey to those gentlemen
how highly I appreciate their kind intentions so handsomely expressed in
your letter; and that I accept with pleasure this handsome testimony of
their estimation of my services.  I beg, gentlemen, you will receive my
sincere thanks for the kind manner in which you have done me the honour
to convey to me the sentiments and kind wishes of these gentlemen on
this occasion.

"I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,

"Your obedient humble servant,

"Signed H. Somerset.

"To P.W. Lucas and F. Carlisle, Esqrs."


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