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VOLUME LXXXVI-NO. 153.
SILENCING BIG BOER GUNS COSTS THE LIVES OF MANY TROOPS Shelling of Ladysmith Causes the Combined British Forces Under General White to Sally Forth and Attack the Enemy. Losses Are Heavy on Both Sides, and the British Are Again Puzzled by the Tactical Skill of Joubert's Men--Mules and Guns Fall Into the Hands of Boers. LONDON, Oct. 31. — There is considerable speculation in London as to the strength of the opposing forces at Ladysmith. The British have 15,000 men. With regard to the Boer force the estimates van*. The Morning Post says 30,000, the Standard 18,000 and the Daily Mail 17.000. The Standard summarizes the news as follows: "General White's official estimate of the Boer loss at Glencoe is 500 killed and wounded. All doubt as to the guns captured at Glencoe is set at rest by General White's statement that three Boer guns were dismounted or disabled and left at the top of the hill. The Boers have succeeded in capturing 1500 mules, which is a serious loss in a country where beasts of burden are difficult to obtain." LONDON, Oct. 31. — The Daily Telegraph has the following account of the Ladysmith engagement from its special correspondent at the front : "An indecisive reconnoissance rred to-day. General Sir George Stewart White advanced before daybreak with all the available forces from Ladysmith, moving toward Tintavon. Two I brigades were under Colonels lan Hamilton and Howard, and an ■•neral Archibald j Hunter, went toward Buhnvan, while two regiments, guided by Major A dye, marched on our ex -• left beyond the old camp. "The Boers were found to be in great force at all points. Al though we have seven batteries of artillery, their fire failed entirely to crush that of the enemy until our infantry, the Fifth Lancers. pluckily rode across the enemy's front and feigned a retreat. 1 his, however, failed to entice the en emy out, the Boers only replying -with a shell fire. "This flank attack so developed that Colonel Hamilton had to re rce our right with three bat teries and the Gordon Highland the Devonshire regiment and- the Manchester regiment Intervals. Our artillery then changed front, and a severe artil duel ensued, the guns gener ously supporting the reinforcing they advanced. "Two batteries remained in ac against the twelve-pounder, and quick-firers of the naval con tingent came into action. The enetny had field pieces, machine and a twelve-pounder. Gen eral White in the afternoon with drew his forces upon Ladysmith. WHITE'S REPORT OF THE BATTLE WITH THE BOERS British Commander of the Troops at Ladysmith Practically Admits That He Sustained Heavy Losses LONDON, Oct an.— Tb* War Office here has received a dispatch which says General White has foupht an engage ment, presumaViiy with Genera] Joubert's forces, which wore pushed hack after several hours' fighting. The British lost about 100 m»n and the Boer losses were much greater. The Boers were in grreater number and had better artillery. General White's dispatch, which was dated 4:30 p. m. to-day, read: "I .-mployed all the troops here except the obligatory garrison before the works. I sent a mountain battery, the Royal Irish Fusileers and the Gloucesters to take up a position on the hills to clear my left flank. The J orce moved at 11 o'clock yesterday evening, and during some night firing, the battery mules 6tampeded with some of the guns, which, however, I hope to recover. These two battalions have not yet re turned, but they are expected this afternoon. "I detailed two brigade divisions of field artillery and five battalions of infantry aided by cavalry un der General French to attack a position upon which the enemy yesterday mounted guns. We found this position evacuated, but our force was attacked with considerable vigor with what I believe were General Joubert's troops. They had many guns and showed in great numbers. Our troops were all in action and we pushed the enemy back several miles, but did not succeed in reaching his laager. Our losses are estimated at between 80 and 100, but those of the enemy must have been much greater, the fire of our guns appearing very effective. "After being in action several hours I withdrew the troops, and they returned unmolested to their cantonments. The enemy are in great number, and their guns range further than our fiejd guns. "I now have some naval guns which have temporarily silenced and I hope will permanently dominate the enemy's best juns, with which he has been "bombarding the town at a range of over 6000 yards. The San Francisco Call. The losses on the Boer side were considerable." LADYSMITH, Oct. 30.— Fir ing commenced at 5 o'clock this morning, the Boers shelling Ladysmith with forty-pounders. An advance of the British forces was made at dawn, with the object of shelling the Boers from the position where yester day they had mounted a number !of guns. On reaching the spot, however, it was found that they had evacuated the position. The British continued to ad vance, and the movement devel oped into a reconnoissance in : force. The enemy were posted on a range of hills having a front age of about sixteen miles. The i British force -was disposed in the following order: On the right, three regiments of cavalry, iour batteries of the Royal Field Ar tillery and five battalions of infan try; in the center, three batteries ' of the Royal Field Artillery, two regiments of cavalry and four in fantry battalions; on the left, the Royal Irish Fusileers, the Glou cestershire regiment and the Tenth Mountain Battery. This force had been detailed to guard the English left flank at a late hour last night. General White's plan of operations was that as the movement developed the force constituting the center, which was disposed under cover of a kopje about three miles from the town, should throw itself ujx>n the enemy, while the left flank was being held by the Fusileers and the Gloucesters. The scheme was well devised but failed in ex ecution, owing to the fact that the Boer position which formed the British objective had been evacuated. SAN FRANCISCO, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1899. The British artillery quickly reduced the volume of the en emy's fire, but the attack deliv ered on the right flank was the principal one, and the column was compelled to charge. The I Boer attack had been silenced for a time, and the British infantry advanced, covered by cavalry. The enemy now began to develop a heavy counter attack, and as they were in great numerical su periority General White gave or ders for the infantry to be gradu ally withdrawn. The movement was carried out with great steadi '; ness and deliberation, under cover of the British guns, which made excellent practice. Some shells were thrown into the town from the Boers forty pounders at a range of over 6000 1 yards, but no damage was done. The engagement lasted several , hours, and resulted, on the Brit . ish side, in casualties estimated at I from 80 to 100. The Boer losses ! must largely have exceeded this total. The attack was admirably de livered by the British right, and ; Boers were fairly driven out of one of their strongholds near I Lombardskop. It was not pos | sible, however, to push the sue ; cess much further, as beyond that I point lay a long, big ridge, afford ing every kind of natural cover. I Of this the enemy took the fullest. ' advantage. The British shells : failed to dislodge the Boers, and as the infantry moved forward in extended order they came under I a heavy and well directed rifle I fire, the result of which was soon apparent. General White, who was with I the center, seeing that the troops lon the right were somewhat This pictorial map shows the positions of the Boer and British forces about Ladysmith, as told in the dispatches. BRITISH TROOPS WERE REPULSED Garrison at Mafeking Made an Unsuccessful Bayonet At tack on Boers. LOURENZO MARQUEZ, Delagoa Bay, Oct. 30.— A dispatch received here to-day under date of October 28 pays General Cronje the Boer commander, announced there that the British garrison at Mafeking made a bayonet attack on Commandant Louw'g laager near Grandstand, but were repulsed, leaving six dead on the field, and it was believed that many of the at tacking party were wounded. The dispatch adds that Saturday morning Colonel Baden-Powell asked for an armistice In order to bury the dead. Gen eral Cronje consented to this, the Boers assisting In placing the dead in the wacon going to Mafeking. LONDON". Oct. 30.— The latest news from the western border has appar ently assured the British authorities as to the ability of Mafeking and Kimber ley to withstand assaults. A dispatch from Fort Tuli, forwarded during the evening of October 24, an nounced that Blackburn's force In the skirmish at Rhodes Drift killed twelve Boers. A Kaffir spy reported that many Boers were lying In the Drift dying. Black burn died of his wounds on returning to Fort Tuli. Scouts there report that the Boers are concentrating strongly on the Rhodeslan border with Maxims. A War Office dispatch from Cape Town, dated October 26. says an armored train under Llewellyn got within 1900 yards of the Boer laager, three miles south of Crocodile port. The Boers had driven in their horses on the approach of the train. Three Maxim volleys were discharged into the Boers, who must have had considerable loss. They returned ten shots with no effect. Colonel Plumers outpost had several skirmishes on the Crocodile River. From later advices it was learned that the Llewellyn train returned to Mo chudi, 100 miles north of Mafeking. Llewelyn reports all quiet. pressed, sent to their assistance the whole center column with the exception of the Devonshire regi ment. The battle had then lasted four hours, during which the artillery fire on both sides had been almost incessant. The Naval Brigade, which landed at Durban, had ar rived on the scene toward the end of the fight, and they immediately brought their heavy guns into play. Their practice was magnifi cent. At the fourth shot the en emy's forty-pounders had been knocked out of action. The town is now freed from apprehension of bombardment. Throughout the engagement the Boers held their ground with courage and tenacity, and, con sidering the intensity of the Brit ish artillery fire, they must have suffered severely. DEADLY FIRE OF THE BOER ARTILLERY LONDON, Oct. 31.— Mr. Stevens, the war correspondent of the Dally Mall, describ ing the engagement at Ladysmlth, says: "By 10 o'clock the British had driven the Boers back several miles, when the retirement was ordered, which Sir Arch ibald Hunter conducted with great skill, retiring battalion by battalion, cohering the movement with the artillery of their guns by alternate batteries. The Boer ar LADYSMITH ENCIRCLED. tlllery—field, quick firing and slegre gun*— Immediately opened a heavy flre all around, showing their, knowledge of war by aiming at the guns and wagons as they retired. Little damage was done, however, and our operations were quite unflurried. "At the end of the action a bearer com pany advanced under a Red Cross flag to Beck the wounded and was fired upon by the Boers, apparently through a mis apprehension or because of want of dis cipline since the fire soon ceased. In the meantime the native bearers continued their advance, their cool bravery .being most praiseworthy. All the troops retired In safety and pickets were left on the field." Except a vague reference in the Stand ard, none of the special dispatches make mention of the missing battalions, state ments regarding them evidently having been censored. The correspondent of the Times at Lady smith says: "The action seemed to be proceeding most satisfactorily when, at 7:15 a. m., the enemy in largenumbers, with field guns, Maxims and 37-millimeter guns, began to develop a heavy attack on Colonel Grim wood's infantry. The cavalry brigade had moved #ip on our right, holding the parallel ridge over against Colonel Grim wood's position and practically acting as infantry. In the meantime our batteries kept down the siege gun fire upon Lady smith with shrapnel. At 9 o'clock there seemed to be a lull as our reserves moved up, but suddenly the engagement re opened as the enemy on our right brought further artillery to bear. Colonel Grim wood, who, with the three advance bat talions, had held the ridge for five hours, suddenly fell back across the open upon our guns. "The Fifty-third Battery pluckily pushed forward* to cover this withdrawal. Several casualties occurred at this phase. The Fifty-third Battery held on against a cross-fire of rifles and quick-firing guns until the infantry was clear. The team<* of the two guns were damaged and the battery eventually retired, made-up teams being sent to extricate the guns. The .cavalry, remaining unsupported, wero forced to fall back also. EUROPE WILL NOT INTERFERE State Department ■ Fails to Receive Word of Any Action by Powers. CALL HEADQUARTERS. WELLINGTON HOTEL, "WASHINGTON. Oct. 30.— None of the American representatives stationed at European courts has reported anything to the State Department indicating interference by European powers in the Transvaal war. As a matter of fact, here the officials indorse The Call-Herald's cablegram from Paris reporting that the several powers likely to interfere are too busily engaged elsewhere to pay at tenttoTi to South African affairs. Besides, the mobilization of British squadrons is undoubtedly a warning by Great Britain of her preparedness to act, and is accepted as su^h by the powers. Of course, it is to be expected that Russia, France and Germany are watching the situation carefully, ready to take advan tage of anything that may result beneficially to them; but none of them, so far as the information of the State Department indicates, has made any move of a hostile character to Great Britain, nor is it believed they are likely to take any action which may precipitate a general war. No matter if Great Britain should become involved in controversies with for eign nations growing out of the South African situation, the United States will undoubtedly maintain an attitude of strict neutrality, provided American inter ests are not endangered. Such an attitude would undoubtedly be of great value to Great Britain and more valuable to the powers opposing her. BERLIN, Oct. 30.— Emperor William's farewell message to the British Royal Dragoons, of which regiment he is honorary colonel, on their departure for Africa, expressing his Majesty's hope that all might return "unscathed and well." is taken as a proof of Germany's official neutrality. One of the evening papers, referring to the dispatch, points out its high political significance and says it is the best answer to "pan-Germanic leagues, Anglophobia and predictions of for eign intervention, in which Germany is to play a leading part." The Boersen Courier says: "The repeated foreign efforts to inveigle Germany into interfering in a- question absolutely foreign to her national interests have palpably the sole object of discrediting her policy. Germany declines the role of acting manager in foreign interests detrimental to her own." "Then began a general retirement on Ladysmith. The guns which had been covering the Devonshire Regiment stoutly covered the final withdrawal. The enemy did not press, but showed themselves in their position in great numbers, only to find that the Naval Brigade from the Powerful had arrived. Two quick-firing guns were at once placed in position, un der cover of a redoubt, and in five rounds they silenced the enemy's forty-pounder. The troops were back in Ladysmith by 2 o'clock in the afternoon. The casualties caused by the enemy's artillery were not severe. The mountain battery on the left reported it had suffered through a stam pede of mules. Our artillery, cavalry, j mounted infantry and volunteer cavalry | behaved splendidly in difficult circum stances. Dr. Jameson and Sir John Wil loughby arrived to-day and were spec tators of the action." WHITE'S TROOPS YET IN SERIOUS PREDICAMENT LONDON, Oct. 31.— The engagement yesterday at Ladysmith, which, despite the rather heavy losses, must be regarded rather as an extended reconnoissance or skirmish than a battle, seems to make little change in the actual position. It is disappointing to the British public, as again revealing tactical skill of an un expectedly high order on the side of ihc Boers. In addition to the possession of a number of heavy guns, the transport of which causes wonderment here, they have available marvelous ability. Unless commanded by skillful European officers, It is hardly considered probable that Boer farmers would have assumed a feigned position, as they evidently did. in front of the right column, with the intention of retreating from it to their real line of de fense and of inducing the British to at tack over a lire-swept zone. The special dispatches describing the engagement again fail to confirm General White's official account that the Boers PRICE FIVE CENTS. were pushed back several miles. "When It is considered that the censorship is very severe, the only conclusion that can be arrived at is that the action was l»x --tremely inconclusive. The fighting began with a frontal attack on the main Boat position, which, however, was found evacuated. The enemy having retired, now made a change of front and de veloped a heavy attack on Colonel Grim wood's brigade. To meet this, the British artillery, which had been shelling the evacuated position, also changed front. Grimwood's brigade was promptly rein forced, but soon was obliged to fall back rapidly, with consequences which might have been serious had not the Fifty-third fieid battery pluckily covered the move ment at considerable loss to itself. It is quite certain that General White failed to accomplish the object he in tended, and the day's proceedings are an instructive example of the difficulty of operations when the enemy holds an ex tended position by -which he is able to make sudden and unexpected develop ments and changes of front. Sir Eedvers Buller cannot arrive at the scene of the fighting until the end of this week. In the meantime General White will need all his resources to prever' 'he Boers around Ladysmith linking their forces. The omission of all details likely to prive a true idea of the position from General White's dispatch may be due to his reticence, but editing bj- war office offi cials is likely to be again severely com mented upon. BULLER AT TABLE BAY. LONDON, Oct. 31.— A dispatch from Cape Town announces the arrival at Table Bay of the Dunottar Castle late last evening with General Sir Redvers Buller and his staff, who are expected to land this morning. They will meet with a tremendous ovation in Cape Town. It is reported from Pretoria that 200 of the British wounded from Dundee have arrived there and have been furnished ac commodation In the state school building.