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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, November 01, 1899, Image 1

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Two Regiments and a Battery
Compelled to Surrender Dur
ing the Fighting Near Lady
smith -- Disaster to Forces
Under General White Shows
That He Has Been Beaten in
Strategy by Commandant-
General Joubert.
LONDON, Nov. 1. — An ominous curtain has again de
scended upon affairs in Xatal. No dispatch except the
official telegrams ot General Sir George Stewart White
has thus far been permitted to mention the disaster at Lady
smith Monday, and no telegram from Ladysmith has been re
ceived in London since the advices from the British com-
mander. Thi rise to a belief that communications have
already been cut. in which event some time must elapse before
details regarding British losses are received.' If the War Office
officials have received information on this point they have re
frained from publishing it. General White's estimate that the
British losses were about ninety is evidently quite separate from
the probable losses in killed and wounded among the captured
After the receipt of General White's report of the disaster to
the British arms and the capture by the Boers of two regiments
and a Mountain Battery all sorts of reports were circulated
here. One report, which tame from Gape Town, stated that
fighting was resumed at Ladysmith yesterday (Tuesday). This
report stated: "A battle is proceeding at the foot of Umban
bane. a few miles from Ladysmith. Seventy shells have dropped
into the town."
Varied speculations are made in the newspapers as to the
British losses by the Ladysmith disaster. An unofficial state
ment places the number of men at fully 2000, while other re
ports cut the figure to 1460 and point out that both the cap
tured regiments had been in action before and had lost many
men. Then great hope is pinned to the fact that the paucity of
officers officially reported wounded does not indicate the num
ber killed, but would show that the "losses are not extreme.
( > r.e special from Ladysmith says the Boers suffered se
verely during the engagement, some estimating their loss at
900 killed and wounded.
Another report is current that General White may retire to
Pietermaritzburg while the railroad is intact. There is much
divergence of opinion in military circles as to the advisabilitv of
such a step.
Still another rumor is that General White is to be relieved
of the chief command in Natal.
LONDON, Nov. I.— ln the absence of
rewa the morning papers are reduced to
as to how the disaster or
curred. The general opinion is that a mls
alry was i aspn
for the fall into the Boer trap. Vpparent
ly thi io cavalry to watch over
he missing <-,>iump.
The Morning Post, pointing out how
the i-tritlsh were to "a still greater
ter." Bays: "In capturing the column
the Boers also had the Devonshire K. m
ment practically at their men \\ , .
little more daring would have made ;i bad
much worse and, seeing that a.
MAJOR A. J. AD YE, Captured by Boers.
The San Francisco Call.
force strong enoug-h to scoop up a couple
of Infantry battalions could have put It
self practically between Sir Georpe White
and bis camp, we may he very thankful
that things to-day are not more serious
than they are. The Irsson has been a
severe on ». It Is humiliating; to rind a
nation of farmers heating soldiers at their
"\vn cam'--, but the sooner a proper respect
is had for Boer strategy and tactics the
better for our fortunes In Natal."
This Bober note is smirk by all the
morning papers to-day, together with the
ssiona of a determination to carry
th> matter through at whatever cost.
The Dally Chronicle, referring; editorial
ly to the situation, says: "After the
patent failure of the campaign and the
terrible humiliation of the British army.
«■ can only vaguely hope that Sir George
IfPMl^i^^ «™*« the mO ve m ent wnh the uns of the artillery by alternate batter... ."-From the -
LONDON, Oct. a.— The War Office received a dispatch from Lieutenant General White, commanding
the British forces at Ladysmith. reporting that the Royal Irish Fusiliers, No. 10 Mountain Battery
and the Gloucestershire Regiment wore surrounded in the hills by Boers, and after losing heavily
obliged to capitulate. General White adds that the casualties are not yet ascertained
Appended is the text of General Whites' dispatch to the War Office:
LADYS/VHTH, Oct. 30, 10:45 p. m.-I have to report a disaster
to the column sent by me to take a position on a hill to guard the
left flank of the troops. In these operations to-day the Royal Irish
Fusileers, No. 10 Mountain Battery, and the Gloucestershire Regi
ment were surrounded in the hills, and after losing heavily had to
capitulate. The casualties have not yet been ascertained.
A man of the Fusileers, employed as a hospital orderly, came
in under a flag of truce with a letter from the survivors of the col
umn, who asked for assistance to bury the dead. I fear there is no
doubt of the truth of the report.
I formed a plan in the carrying out of which the disaster oc
curred, and lam alone responsible for the plan. There is no blame
whatever to the troops, as the position was untenable.
General Whit* In a subsequent dispatch says:
•The following is a list of the officers taken prisoner to-day
'•Staff Major Adye
•■lrish Fusileers -Colonel Carleton. Major Munn, Major Klncald, Captain Burrows, Captain Rice. Cap
tain Silver, Lieutenant Heard. Lieutenant Southey, Lieutenant Phlbbs, Lieutenant McGrepory. Lleuten
ant Holmes, Lieutenant Kelly, Lieutenant Dooner, Lieutenant Kentish, Lieutenant Killehan, Lieutenant
Jeudwine, Chaplain Matthews.
"Of the above Captains Rice and Silver and Lieutenant Dooner were wounded.
'•Gloucestershire Regiment— Major Humphrey. Major Capel-Cure. Major Wallace, Captain Duncan
Captain Conner. Lieutenant Bryant, Lieutenant Nesbitt, Lieutenant Ingham. Lieutenant Davey, Lieuten
ant Knox, Lieutenant Temple. Lieutenant Radice, Lieutenant Breul, Lieutenant Hill, Lieutenant Smith
Lieutenant Mackenzie, Lieutenant Beasley. Lieutenant Gray.
"Of the above Captains Duncan and Conner were wounded.
"Royal Artillery— Major Bryant.
"Mounted Battery -Lieutenant Wheeler, Lieutenant Nugent, Lieutenant Moore, Lieutenant Webb."'
LONDON, Oct. 31.— While minor reverses were not wholly unexpected, nothing like the staggering
blow General Joubert delivered to General White's forces yesterday was anticipated. The full extent of
the disaster is not yet acknowledged. If it Is known at the War Office. The loss in effective men must
bo appalling to a general who is practically surrounded. Two of the finest British regiments and a mule
battery deducted from the L,adysmith garrison weakens it about a fifth of its total strength and alters
the whole situation very materially in favor of the Boers, who have again shown themselves stern fighters
and military strategists of no mean order. The disaster cost the British from 1500 to 2000 men and six
seven-pound screw guns, and as the Boer artillery is already stronger than imagined, the capture of these
guns will be a great help to th» Boers.
Further news must be awaited before It Is attempted to flx tho blame where It belongs. Genera!
White manfully accepts all the responsibility for the disaster, which apparently was at least partly due to
the stampeding of thu mules with the guns.
From the Jist It will be seen that forty-two officers were made prisoners, besides a newspaper corre
spondent. J. Hyde.
Tho interest in tha news was universal, pervading all classes and conditions of London's populace
The newspaper extras were eagerly read in business houses, in the streets and by women in their car
Then there was a rush to the War Office, which by noon was surrounded by private carriages and
hansoms, while many of the humbler class of people came on foot, all waiting and watching for the names
they held dear. Never was the old saying. "Bad news travels quickly." bettor exemplified here than to
day. By noon gloom and bitter Borrow prevailed throughout the British metropolis.
At the Government offices no effort was made to conceal the feeling of dismay prevailing. One offi
cial said to a correspondent: "It is inexplicable, and T am sorry to say that its moral effect is inestima
ble. We have lost heavily In many wars and have had regiments .almost wiped out; but to have regiments
captured, and by the Boers, it is terrible."
The disaster had an Immediate effect on the Stock Exchange, where consols fell %. South African
securities dropped heavily, Rand linos falling two points. Rio Tintos fell %.
The throngs of visitors at tho War Office remained all day. Anxious people practically fought
their way to the notice board. Most affecting scenes were witnessed. Many women were hoard to
gasp, "Thank God. he"s alive, at ;uiy rate: 1 v they found the name of some beloved one on the' list of
prisoners. The sidewalks were packed with solid masses awaiting their turn to enter.
There wns a continuous stream of callers at tho War Office until a late hour, everybody anxiously
Inquiring regarding yesterday's casualties, but the War Office declared that nothing had been received since
Sir George White's dispatch communicating the news of the capture of the Royal Irish Fusileers and
the Gloucestershire regiments.
This delay In getting further Intelligence is attributed in part to the breakdown of the East Coast
cable; but it stands to reason that the War Office must be possessed of further news which it is nrohahlv
not thought advisable should be published yet. ' u»uiy
The disaster has caused a feeling akin to consternation, and in Gloucestershire and the North of
White, in the hard days that lie before
him. may bo able to hole', Ladysmith. Re
treat would be an undertaking which the
imagination fails to grasp. If this war
Is to be a war of vengeance, we shall
have to wipe out a disaster before which
the memory of Majuba fades away. Tho
empire is face to face with a repulse
comparable only to the uurronder of
Burgoyne to the embattled farmers of
our American colonies. If the catastrophe
cal4s forth something better than music
hall patriotism we may come to reckon
It aB a timely lesson well earned for the
good of our "souls."
The Daily News says: "If it Is found
possible to move the stores. Sir George
White will probably be ordered to wlth
The dispatch further says:
Sill! W^^^^^^^SM
srrcu a nr sa "" c trap ' out ot ~ hich ' - rxsi s^srsssf
General White advanced with the idea of driving the Boers from the hill seven miles -* -■*»
General Joubert made an ostentatious show of fortifying on Sunday. OUt> Whlch
The Boer commander left a force sufficient to draw General White on while the m-. B « n f m, r>
difficulty, and during the turning movement his troops suffered from a flanking fire g '
Harsh things are said in military circles of the British tactics which have made Dos^ble th* a ™
bush of the Eighteenth Hussars at Glencoe. and now the loss of two fine regime™ It is feared ?E~t
Sir George White Is no match for the Boers in cunning, and it is pointed out that "if the Brkish i
manders continue to load their men into obvious traps further disasters must be looked for ""
An interview is published with a British officer whose name is withheld, but who is described «•
"a well-known general with a distinguished record during the Indian mutiny," in the course of wE ha
passes severe criticism upon the conduct of the campaign. <-uurse 01 wmcn ne
.? "Yesterday's disaster.',; ay the officer, "is only another proof of serious blundering. Although Sir
George White Is a good regimental commander, he does not seem to excel in strategy or the mfnage
ment of a big division. I regard the Glencoe business as another example of blundering " mana S
Proceeding to discuss the engagement at Glencoe, the officer observes
"Some of the enemy's officers were allowed to occupy and plant guns on Talana hill. Nothing was
done to stop this until the Boers began to shell Glencoe on the following morning. As for yesterday* cas
ualty, it seems Inexcusable that the two regiments should have been allowed to separate themselves
from the main body, especially with a considerable swarm of the enemy against them I know lam ex
pressing the opinion of many military officers. We are disgusted with the War Office for having nrema"
turely allowed the issuance of glowing reports of victories without equal frankness and promptitude in
disclosing the circumstances discounting these reports." p *
Sir George White's honest admission of full responsibility and the terms of his dispatch are re
garded in some circles as virtually placing his case in the hands of the home authorities and it Is
even rumored late this evening that the War Office has already decided to supersede him The report
however, is discredited In well informed quarters. ******
. About 6000 fresh troops will arrive at Cape Town on Sunday next from England and will be avail
able to reinforce Sir George White. Transports will arrive there daily after Sunday until by the end
of next week 28,000 troops will have been landed in South Africa. These men are Intended for General
Sir Redvers Buller's army, but they will undoubtedly be sent to Natal if the situation there should be
come perilous. The British army will eventually reach the huge total of 89,650, of which 69.634 will bo
regulars and the other 20,000 miscellaneous, but excellent colonial troops.
LONDON, Oct. 31.— The War Office has sent the following dispatch to General Buller:
"Three extra battalions of foot and one mountain battery with reserves will leave England dur
ing the course of ten days to make good the casualties." ,
The commander-iri-chlef, Field Marshal Lord Wolseley. has Issued an order for the mobilization b-
November 6 of the reserves of the Suffolk, Essex and Derbyshire regiments, which will be added to the
South Africa forces. ' .
LONDON, Oct. 31— The War Office has ordered the Second Army Corps to be in readiness to be called
out. . . •
The military officials have not yet decided whether the consummation of the plan will be necessary
but they are determined to have everything in readiness either for a demonstration in Europe of Greet
Britain's capabilities or for sending even a larger force to the scene of action.
Until the receipt of the news of the Lady smith disaster the latter course was considered out of the
question, but now there is no knowing what steps will be decided upon.
The preparation to call out the Second Army Corps, taken In conjunction with the extraordinary naval
activity here, has again aroused the belief in British circles that the Government has good reason to
anticipate European hostility. No reason to justify this latest reiteration of rumors "of Russian. French or
German Intervention can be found, however. It was learned on good authority that the motive consists to
quote an official. In wanting to "show the other fellows what we can do," and is on a line with calling
out the militia, a purely precautionary measure dictated by the necessity of bringing up the home mili
tary force to Its normal strength, or rather a strength proportionate with the necessities .of a nation en
gaged In a foreign war. Still it is doubtful, whether the Second Corps will be actually called out That
development depends on two circumstances— the attitude of European nations, as evinced by this
first serious British, reverse; second, upon the judgment of General Buller. who. finding the conditions not
50 favorable as expected, may demand the troops. ,
It does not follow that the entire army corps, even if called out. will be sent to General Buller It
Is more probable that It will be kept home to supply the places of units sent out in consonance with
General Buller's wishes. Upon the present organization these home forces are supposed to be capable
of raising at short notice three army corps. Should the War Office decide upon raising a second corns
It will necessitate the calling out of more reserves. v
draw upon Colenso. If the order is not
given it will be because a removal of the
stores would be too risky."
The Morning Post calls attention to Sir
George White's use of the word "capitu
lation," remarking that It suspects the
word was used carelessly. It says; "We
prefer to assume that the column fougnt
until it was cut to pieces and .all the am
munition was pone. Capitulation is a
word of shame. Troops in the field cannot
capitulate without disgrace, and disaster
is not necessarily dißhonor."
The Times says: "We have met with a
considerable reverse. It is for the nation
to show that it can bear ill-fortune with
courage and dignity."
There Is no general desire evinced on
the part of the morning papers to criti
cize 0r George White harshly pending the
arrival of further details. On the con
trary, the disposition is to admire his
manly courage in assuming full respon
sibility. Abroad, especially in France
no pains is taken to disguise the satisfac
tion in consequence of the British rebuff
In Paris every means of spreading the

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