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THE BRIDGE OVER THE VAAL RIVER AT FOURTEEN STREAMS.
NORTH OF. KIMBERLEY. TO WHICH IT IS SAID GENERAL CRONJE HIMSELF, iwiTH A LARGE .PORTION, OF HIS ARMY FROM MAGERS FONTEIN. IS' NOW HASTENING. ' ;-.... THE POINT IS A MOST IMPORTANT ONE; COMMANDING THE RAILROAD TO MAFEKING, AND THE NATURE OF THE COUNTRY IS SUCH AS TO MAKE IT EASY OF DEFENSE AGAINST A LARGE FORCE. Kitchener Be lieved to Have Cut Off the Retreat of the Fleeing Com mander-in- Chief of the Orange Free State Forces. LONDON, Feb. 20, 3:45 a. m. — A member of the Cabinet told H. W. Lucy to-night that the War Office had received a telegram announcing that General Cronje was hope lessly surrounded. Mr. Wyndham was beset by anxious members of the House, but would only reply that the Government's news was ex tremely satisfactory. The sole explanation of the Government's withholding good news is that confirmation and more details are awaited. The situation as described by correspondents over the Free State border is tantalizing to the public. The elementary facts are the Boers are trekking eastward toward Bloemfontein, with slow lnoving baggage-trains, and that they are pursued by Lord Kitchener, with General Kelly- Kenny's division. General Mac- Donald, with the Highlanders, made a forced march to Koo doosrand ford, and on Sunday pushed twenty miles eastward. General French left Kimberley Saturday, going east along the Modder River. Lord Kitchener is trying to outmarch and outflank the Boers, thus checking their re treat, if possible, and driving them back into the hands of Mac Donald ar.d French. The War Office message com municated to Mr. Lucy seems to indicate that Lord Kitchener has either got ahead of the Boers or is about to realize his plan, and the War Office waits to an nounce a decisive result. Meanwhile Commandant De larey, with the Boers from Coles berg, is hanging on the right flank of the British pursuing columns, seeking to delay their movement and so to assist the Boer wagon-trains to escape. Students of topography think the Boers will hardly risk a fight until they get into the rough A Daily Mail correspondent, who was with the British convoy attacked by the Boers at Riet River ford, wires: "Ultimately the British aban doned the convoy, in order not to check the advance. Thus 200 wagons and 600 tons of stores fell into the hands of the Boers, though it is doubtful if they will be able to carry them away." General Buller has achieved a real success seemingly in captur ing the range of hills south of the Tugela. It makes more feasible another attempt to relieve Lady smith. The Queen has sent a direct message to Lord Roberts con gratulating him and his troops. General French and Colonel Kekewich have been acquainted with their promotions. Dr. Leyds, at Brussels, says the Free State troops who were besieging Ladysmith have with drawn in order to defend their homes. In this way he ac counts for General Buller's suc cess against the weakened forces. He will forego his projected trip to Rome, he says, because of "decisive events now taking place in the theater of war." from Honey Nest Kloof arrived to-day. It appears that the captured supplies are a white elephant to the Boers, since they are unable! to clear them away. There is considerable probability that they will be recovered. ' COMMONS VOTES MONEY FOR THE WAR LONDON. Feb. 19.— 1n the House of Commons to-day during the discussion of the report of the Committee on Supply on the vote for the addition of 120,000 men to the army, William Redmond opposed the. measure on the ground that the Gov ernment's proposals were largely of a permanent character. He denounced the scheme as a "miserable makeshift." Other Irish members opposed the meas ure. I .'.¦ The report was finally adopted by 164 votes against 32. Michael Joseph Flavin, Nationalist Series of Suc cesses on the Tugela That Might Lead to the Relief of Ladysmith if Properly Fol lowed Up by British Forces. /^\ HIEVELEY, Monday \^y morning, Feb. 19. — The Boers' line of fortresses i 3 broken. The British have achieved a decided success in capturing the enemy's position on Monte Cristo. The Beers, however, effectively executed a retreat, removing their guns and convoy wagons. The British had comparatively few casualties. BULLER'S MODEST REPORT OF SUCCESS LONDON, Feb. 19.— The War Office has received the following dispatch from Gen eral Buller: "CHIEVELEY CAMP. Feb. 19.— 1 yes terday moved around the enemy's flank. The Queen's, who had bivouacked on the northern slope of Cingrolo. crossed the Nek and, supported, by the rest of the Second Brigade, under Hlldyard, assault ed and took the southern end of Monte Christo. "The Fourth Brigade, on the left or western slope, and the Welsh Fusileers. supported by the rest of the Sixth Bri gade, assaulted the eastern flank of the enemy's position, while the Second Bri gade cavalry, on the extreme right, watched the eastern slopes of Monte Christo, and drove back those of the en emy attempting to escape there from our artillery fire. Assaulted by the heavy ar tillery fire on their front and flank, and attacked on their flank and rear, the en emy made but slight resistance, and abandoning their strong position were driven across the Turela. I have taken several camps, a wagon load of ammuni tion, several wagons of stores and sup plies and a few prisoners. . "The weather has been Intensely hot and the ground traversed was exceedingly difficult, but the energy and dash of the troops have been very pleasant to see. They have all done splendidly. The work of the irregular cavalry, the Queen's, the Scots Fusileers and the Rifle BrlgayC. was perhaps most noticeable, while the excel lent practice of the artillery and naval guns and the. steadiness of the gunners, under at times very accurate fire, was re markable. The accurate fire of the naval guns from Chieveley was of great assist ance. "Our casualties are not, I think, many." GENERAL BULLER NOW HAS A GREAT CHANCE LONDON. Feb. 20.— Spencer "Wilkinson, reviewing the military situation in tha Morning Post, dwells upon the importance of the operations of Sir Redvers Buller and says: "Now Is General Butter's great chance. Now is the time to throw himself with all his might Into the task before him and t«» hit hard without counting losses too closely. He will then probably defeat the Boers and relieve Ladysmith this week. Failing that, he will at any rate prevent them from sending reinforcements to tha Free State. "From the comparative ease of the ope rations so far. however. It looks as though the Natal Boers had sent reinforcements to General Cronje, who may be delaying a fight by retreating until those reinforce ments shall have had lime to reach him." In conclusion Mr. Wilkinson reiterates his statement that victories are more Im portant than positions, adding: "No doubt Lord Roberts has done the best that was possible, but the essential thing still U to destroy the Boer army." TO ANNIHILATE THEM LATER. BERLIN. Feb. 19.— The latest news from South Africa is regarded here as of the greatest importance. The Berliner Tageblatt says that the war Is doubtless now in the decisive stage and this view is corroborated by the utterances of most of the German newspapers, although tho Agrarian organs continue to affect to believe that the Boers have permitted the British to penetrate the Free Stata only to annihilate them later on. member for North Kerry, moved to r duce the vote of £13.000,000 to £12,000,C00. Various other members raised protests from different points of view. against the war, John Dillon protesting against the threatened 1 employment of natives In the hostilities. Mr. Wyndham, replying, said; "The .Government Is doing Its best In the circumstances of great difficulty to preventany such horrible occurrence, but if;the Boers attack any other nation we are not going to prevent that nation from defending Itself." ; John Redmond, ; the . Nationalist leader, declared that the principal European na tions were against Great Britain in this war, and that the great mass of the pub lic opinion In the United States was in the same direction. (Ministerial cries of "No, no.") '"--;.,"'¦ ; ¦ Mr. Flavin's motion was rejected by 233 votes against 31. "; .'After further discussion the .debate was closed on" motion- of Mr. Balfour and the vote was carried ; by 207 against 31. - ARMY REORGANIZATION. '. LONDON. ; FebV\ 19.— Replying to a Ques tion in the House of Commons to-day, Mr. formerly soldiers in the army of Japan, for service with the British forces In South Africa. The : Japanese . are eager to go. to the front and all the volunteers have made themselves eligible for] service by taking out papers of. British citizen ship. ' . . ¦¦ FIGHTING PROCEEDING NORTH OF KIMBERLEY LONDON. Feb.. 20.— This, dispatch from its special correspondent is published by the Daily Mail: JACOBSDAL.,Feb. 18.— General Cronje : Is dodging away to the eastward and fighting as he retreats under our; harass ing attack.. , Flghtingls.stlll^prbceedlng to the north of Klmberley^at Dronfleld. The enemy has been located -by local troops,' and General French ¦. has .vigorously 'at tacked .them, surrounding *? their : laager. The enemy has _ evacuated '¦¦ Kanif erdam. The reason why the supply wagons were" abandoned at Rletßlver~Drlft was , that an attempt to ¦ retain them would mean a'delay of advance. , Another wagon train SHIP SUBSIDY BILL CERTAIN OF SUCCESS Will Be Favorably Reported to ths House With Objectionable Features Removed. WASHINGTON, Feb. 13.— Senator Han na to-day had a conference with tho Re publican members of the House Mer chant Marine Committee respecting the ship subsidy bill, and as a result of thla conference the whole aspect of the case has been changed and the passage of the bill is practically agreed upon. Another conference will be held to-morrow night, when the bill -is likely to be complete and made ready for reporting to tha House. The objection heretofore had to tho original bill has been partly overcome, and certain features will be eliminated when It Is reported to the House. Ona great objection to the Hanna-Payne measure was it would allow a subsidy to many old hulks and tank steamers, and this will be avoided in some manner, pre sumably by providing that ships applying for a subsidy shall be examined by an inspector and only first-class vessels al lowed upon the list. Senator Hanna said he felt certain the bill would be agreed upon and that the amended document would suit all Republican*. MS** British Cavalry Attacking Gen. Cronje's Wagon Train. THE RAPIDITY OF THE MOVE MENTS *OF THE BRITISH FLANK ING COLUMNS BROUGHT THEM TO THE LINE OF. RETREAT OF THE BOERS FROM SPYTFONTEIN AND MAGERSFONTEIN BEFORE THEIR LONG WAGON TRAINS HAD GOT SAFELY; BY. ON - THEIR -WAY TO BLOEMFONTEIN, AND GENERAL KELLY-KENNY'S DIVISION CUT OFF AND CAPTURED SEVENTY-EIGHT . TRANSPORT WAGONS IN ONE BODY. AND LATER SOME THIRTY. MORE. THE LARGE PIC TURE GIVES A FAIR IDEA OF THE OPERATION. Lord m Roberts' generalship was conducted with such se crecy, says a telegram from Modder River, that even the senior officers who took the sixth division through the pre liminaries of the operation ,did not know what they would finally have to do. BIG BATTLE ON THE TUGELA EXPECTED LONDON. Feb. 20.— A dispatch to the Daily Mail from Lourenzo Marquez, dated Monday, says: "According to advices from Pretoria, the Boers are expecting a. big battle on the Tugela. They claim that seventy of the Wiltshires were killed at Colesberg and that thirty wagons with forage and provisions were captured, but no ammu nition. They thus describe the fighting at Kimberley: " 'The British came through Blaunbank and attacked In two columns. While the Boers were busily engaged with Lord Roberts. General French, with 2000 caval ry and six guns, succeeded In breaking through the Boer lines. The Boers did not seriously oppose General French's ad vance, but confined their efforts to pre venting the provisions getting, through. In this they : succeeded, capturing 2000 head of cattle. 100' wagons of provisions and 100 men.' " The Chieveley correspondent of the Daily News, telegraphing yesterday, sa>'s: "We now : occupy all . the hills to the right of Colenso.-on this side of the Tu gela, including Hlangwane, which the Boers evacuated last (Sunday) night. This capture of Hlangwane hill is of great strategical importance, as -the hill com mands the flank of the Boer defenses at Colenso'. A successful advance and the recapture of the railway may be ex pected." The Daily Mall has the following dis patch, dated Monday, from Pietermaritz burg: "It Is reported that Sir Redvers Buller has captured Hlangwane hill. Large numbers of Free Staters have left to meet Lord Roberts' force. It Is believed that a number of the/ Boers' big guns have been taken back across the border." CAPTURE OF THE WILTSHIRE TROOPERS LOURENZO MARQUEZ. Feb. IK.— A correspondent who was with the Baer forces in the attack upon Rensberg giv«s further particulars regarding the capture of the Wiltshires. He says: "Commandant Peller, who.arrived first, 1 found two companies of the Wiltshires and began attacking In the open. Soon' after he was Joined by a body of , Fr<*e' Staters and together they drove the Brit ish back from . the . neighboring -kopjes,' capturing all but three. "It Is Impossible to say; exactly how many of the British were killed and At Kimberley a report Is current that Mafeking has been relieved, but that the Boers are trying to conceal the Informa tion. • . • • . ? SEVERE FIGHTING ALONG THE MODDER [Special Cable to the New York Herald. Copy right, 1900, by New York Herald Com pany. Republlcation of this dispatch is prohibited. AH rights reserved in the United States and Great Britain.] PRETORIA, Feb. 16, via Lourenzo Marques, Feb. 19. — Two thousand British troops succeeded In entering Kimberley yesterday. There are reports of severe fighting along the Modder River, but de tails are lacking. LOURENZO MARQUES. Feb. 19.— 0n Saturday the relieving column attempted to break out of Kimberley with the gar rison, but failed. Heavy fighting is pro gressing. ROBERTS' SUCCESS. LONDON, Feb. 20.— The Standard's cor respondent at Modder River, under date of Sunday, Feb. 18, wires as follows: "The magnificent success of the plan of campaign of Lord Roberts must be ascribed in great part, after full consider ation has been given for careful and bril liant strategy, to the extreme mobility of the newly organized forces employed, but this mobility has to be paid for. It In volves a great " expenditure in horses. Those of the Boers, for instance, are nearly finished. /'lt we are to retain our advantage there must be an unstinted drawing upon every possible source of supply throughout the empire. Otherwise we shall be without enough horses of the suitable kind to fur nish the necessary remounts. "The Infantry under Lord Roberts has done some marvelous marching, mostly at night. Its pluck and endurance have gone very far toward iripuring the safety and success of the cavalry operations." PRETORIUS RELEASED. ARUNDEL. Sunday, Feb. 18.—Com mandant Pretorius, who was captured by the British at Elands Laagte. and three other Boer prisoners were handed over to the Boers from Arundel to-day. A messenger under a flag of truce had pre viously arranged the programme. The prisoners had a cordial interview with General Clements and were then taken in an ambulance half way to the Boer camp. METHUEN AT KIMBERLEY. LONDON. Feb. 20.— The Cape Town correspondent of the Dally News, tele graphing Sunday, sayo: "Lord Methuen's , force, I learn, haa ar rived at Kimberley, having grot through from Magersfonteln ¦ without fighting." Wyndham, Parliamentary Secretary of the Foreign Office, declared the Govern ment proposed to Invite expression of opinion from the Colonial Governments re garding the reorganization of the forces of the empire, and kindred questions. MAFEKING REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN RELIEVED CAPE TOWN, Feb. 19.— Dispatches from Maseru say that large forces are being sent from the Transvaal to the Free State under prominent generals. It Is also said the Free State Is making desperate efforts to collect an army to face the British at Koffyfontein. An official proclamation orders out all male inhabitants between the ages of 16 and 60, and enthusiasts declare that every one up to the age of 100 must go. , Typhoid fever is said to be playing havoc among the Boers at Colesberg. wounded, but of the 200 Wiltshires 1 4 2 were captured, .and of those forty-four were wounded. • . "The- suffering, of- the wounded . from heat and thirst was. lntense. The burgh ers did their best to alleviate this, and many of the wounded «were . carried ;in blankets to Rensberg siding. "At Rietfontein the British rear guard begran shelling, thus compelling the Fed erals to leave the .wounded in order io re pulse the attack. A Krupp gun replied effectively to the British cannonade. The Boers lost two killed and four wounded. They now occupy all the Rensberg posi tions formerly - occupied by the Br/tlsh. whose rear guard' ls at Rietfontein, with the Federals close up." JAPANESE WANT TO FIGHT. VANCOUVER. B. C. Feb. 19.— The Jap anese residents of thiß province have renewed their offer to raise and equip at their personal expense a corps of at least one hundred trained men, fifty of them CRONJE REPORTED SURROUNDED, BULLER GAINS MINOR VICTORIES VOLUME LXXXVII— NO. 82. PRICE FIVE CENTS. SAN FRANCISCO, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1900. THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL