MoboReader > Literature > Three Years' War

   Chapter 39 No.39

Three Years' War By Christiaan Rudolf De Wet Characters: 359556

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:05

The End of the War

On the morning of the 15th of May, I arrived at Vereeniging with some of the Free State delegates. The others were already there, together with the thirty Transvaal delegates, Commandant-General Louis Botha and General De la Rey. In addition to the above, the following had also arrived: Vice-State President Burger, States-President Steyn, the members of the two Governments, and General J.C. Smuts (from Cape Colony).

I was exceedingly sorry to find that President Steyn was seriously ill. For the last six weeks he had been in the doctor's hands; and, since his arrival at Pretoria, had been under the care of Dr. Van der Merwe, of Krugersdorp. This physician said that serious consequences might ensue if his patient were to attend our meetings, and advised him to go to his home at Krugersdorp, where he could be properly nursed. It was sad for us to receive this news immediately we arrived. We asked ourselves what we should do without the President at our meetings? At this moment he seemed more indispensable to us than ever before.

President Steyn was a statesman in the best sense of the word. He had gained the respect and even the affection of us all. Of him, if of any man, it may be said that he never swerved from his duty to his country. No task was too great for him, no burden too heavy, if thereby he could serve his people. Whatever hardships he had endured, he had never been known to complain-he would endure anything for us. He had fought in our cause until he could fight no longer, until sickness laid him low; and he was worn out, and weak as a child. Weak, did I say? Yes! but only in the body-his mind was still as strong, as brave, as clear as ever.

And thus it was that President Steyn was only able to be present on two occasions at our meetings; for, on the 29th of May-before the National Representatives had come to any decision-he went with Dr. Van der Merwe to Krugersdorp.

As I write these lines-six months after the meetings at Vereeniging-and think that during all the intervening time he has been lying on a bed of sickness-I am cheered by the news which I received in Holland that hopes are now entertained of his ultimate recovery.

The National Representatives began their important deliberations on the morning of the 13th of May, 1902.

For three days we discussed the condition of our country, and then proceeded with Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner to Pretoria. This Commission was composed of Commandant-General L. Botha, Commander-in-Chief C.R. de Wet, Vice-Commandant-General J.H. De la Rey, Vice-Commander-in-Chief Judge J.B.M. Hertzog, and States-Procureur J.C. Smuts.

The negotiations with the representatives of the British Government continued from the 18th to the 29th of May; and upon their conclusion the Commission communicated to the National Representatives the terms on which England was prepared to conclude peace.

On May the 31st we decided to accept the proposals of the English Government.[110] The Independence of the two Republics was at an end!

I will not attempt to describe the struggle it cost us to accept these proposals. Suffice it to say that when it was over, it had left its mark on every face.

There were sixty of us there, and each in turn must answer Yes or No. It was an ultimatum-this proposal of England's.

What were we to do? To continue the struggle meant extermination. Already our women and children were dying by the thousand, and starvation was knocking at the door-and knocking loudly!

In certain districts, such as Boshof and Hoopstad, it was still possible to prolong the war, as was also the case in the districts of Generals Brand and Nieuwouwdt, where the sheep and oxen, which had been captured from the enemy, provided an ample supply of food. But from the last-named districts all the women and children had departed, leaving the burghers free to wander at will in search of food-to Boshof, to Hoopstad, and even into the Colony.

In other parts of the Free State things were very different. In the north-eastern and northern districts-for instance, in Ladybrand, Winburg, Kroonstad, Heilbron, Bethlehem, Harrismith and Vrede-there were still many families, and these could not be sent to Boshof or to Hoopstad or to the Colony. And when, reduced to dire want, the commandos should be obliged to abandon these districts, their wives and families would have to be left behind-to starve!

The condition of affairs in the Transvaal was no better. We Free-Staters had thought-and I, for one, had supported the view at Vereeniging-that, before sacrificing our independence, we ought to tell the owners of these farms, where there were still women and children, to go and surrender with their families, and thus save them from starvation. But we soon realized that such a course was not practicable-it would involve the loss of too many burghers.

Moreover, even if, by some such scheme as this, we had succeeded in saving the women, we, who remained in the field, would still have been exposed to the dangers of starvation, for many of us, having no horses, could not have left want behind us, by removing to Cape Colony or some other equally prosperous region.

In the large eastern divisions of the Transvaal also, there were many burghers without horses, while the poor jaded creatures that remained were far too feeble and exhausted to carry their masters into Cape Colony, without the certainty of being captured by the enemy.

Our forces were now only twenty thousand in all, of which the Transvaal supplied ten thousand, the Free State six thousand, while the remainder came from Cape Colony. But our numerical weakness would not in itself have caused us to abandon the struggle had we but received encouraging news from the Colony. But alas! reports which we received from there left us no room for hope.

No room for hope! that was the message of Vereeniging-a message which struck a chill in every heart. One after another we painted the destitution, the misery of our districts, and each picture was more gloomy than the last. At length the moment of decision came, and what course remained open to us? This only-to resign ourselves to our fate, intolerable though it appeared, to accept the British proposal, and to lay down our arms.

Most bitter of all was the thought that we must abandon our brethren in Cape Colony and in Natal, who had thrown in their lot with ours. And many a sleepless night has this caused me. But we could not help ourselves. There was nothing else to do.

And as things have turned out, may we not hope that the Cape and Natal Governments, following in the wake of the British Nation, will soon understand that the wiser course is to forgive and forget, and to grant as comprehensive an amnesty as possible? It is surely not unjust to expect this of these Governments, when one remembers that whatever the Colonists may have done, must be ascribed to the tie that binds them to us-the closest of all ties-that of blood.

It is now for the two Governments to strive to realize the situation, and then, by granting a general amnesty, to promote, as far as in them lies, the true progress of South Africa.

* * *

On the evening of the 31st of May, 1902, the members of the Government of both Republics met Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner, in the former's house, at Pretoria.

It was there that the Treaty of Peace-the British Proposal which the National Representatives had accepted-was now to be signed.

It was a never-to-be-forgotten evening. In the space of a few short minutes that was done which could never be undone. A decision arrived at in a meeting could always be taken into reconsideration, but a document solemnly signed, as on that night, by two parties, bound them both for ever.

Every one of us who put his name to that document knew that he was in honour bound to act in accordance with it. It was a bitter moment, but not so bitter as when, earlier on the same day, the National Representatives had come to the decision that the fatal step must be taken.

On the 2nd June, 1902, the Representatives left Vereeniging, and returned every man to his own commando. It was now their sad duty to tell their brave and patient burghers that the independence which they cherished so dearly was gone, and to prepare them to surrender their arms at the appointed places.

I left Pretoria on the 3rd of June with General Elliott, who had to accompany me to the various centres to receive the burghers' arms.

On the 5th of June the first commando laid down their weapons near Vredefort. To every man there, as to myself, this surrender was no more and no less than the sacrifice of our independence. I have often been present at the death-bed and at the burial of those who have been nearest to my heart-father, mother, brother and friend-but the grief which I felt on those occasions was not to be compared with what I now underwent at the burial of my Nation!

It was at Reitz that the commandos of Vrede, Harrismith, Heilbron and Bethlehem laid down their arms. Accordingly I went there on the 7th of June, and again had to be a spectator of what I fain would never have witnessed. Had I then to go on from commando to commando, to undergo everywhere the martyrdom of beholding ceaseless surrenders? No! I had had enough, and could bear no more. I decided, therefore, to visit all the other commandos, in order to acquaint the burghers with what had taken place, and to explain to them why we, however unsatisfactory the Peace Proposal was, had felt bound to accept it, and then to leave each commando before the men handed over their arms to General Elliott. Everywhere I found the men utterly despondent and dissatisfied.

The whole miserable business came to an end on the 16th of June, when the burghers who had fought under Generals Nieuwouwdt and Brand, laid down their arms-the Nation had submitted to its fate!

There was nothing left for us now but to hope that the Power which had conquered us, the Power to which we were compelled to submit, though it cut us to the heart to do so, and which, by the surrender of our arms, we had accepted as our Ruler, would draw us nearer and ever nearer by the strong cords of love.

* * *

To my Nation I address one last word.

Be loyal to the new Government! Loyalty pays best in the end. Loyalty alone is worthy of a Nation which has shed its blood for Freedom!

* * *



Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Pretoria, 9th October, 1899.


The Government of the South African Republic feel themselves compelled to again refer the Government of Her Majesty, the Queen of Great Britain, to the London Convention of 1884, concluded between this Republic and the United Kingdom, which in Article XIV. guarantees certain specified rights to the white inhabitants of this Republic, to wit:-

"All those who, although not born in this Country, yet abide by the laws of the South African Republic, (a) shall have full freedom to come with their families into, to travel in, or to reside in any part of the South African Republic; (b) shall be entitled to hold in possession their houses, factories or warehouses, shops, and allotments, either on hire or as their own property; (c) may transact their business, either in person or through agents, to their own satisfaction; (d) shall not be subjected to any other general or local taxation-with regard to their families or properties, or their commerce or trade-than those which shall be laid on the burghers of the said Republics."

Our Government wishes also to draw attention to the fact that the above-mentioned rights are the only ones which Her Majesty's Government, in the above-mentioned Convention, has stipulated for the foreign inhabitants in this Republic, and that only contravention of these rights can give the British Government the right of diplomatic intervention; whereas, further, the adjustment of all other questions concerning the position, or the rights, of the foreign inhabitants under the said Convention is vested in the Government and National Representatives of the South African Republic; among the questions the adjustment of which comes exclusively under the authority of the Government and the Volksraad, are those of the Franchise and representation in this Republic.

Although, therefore, the exclusive right of this Franchise and representation is indisputable, our Government has approved of discussing in a friendly way the Franchise and the representation with Her Majesty's Government; without, however, acknowledging by so doing any right thereto on the side of Her Majesty's Government. Our Government has also, by the wording of the already existing Voting Law, and the decision concerning the representation, always kept this friendly consultation in view.

On the side of Her Majesty's Government, however, the friendly manner of these consultations has made way for a more threatening tone; and the minds of the people of this Republic, and of the whole population of South Africa, have been brought into a state of apprehension; and a state of unusual tension has been created by the action of Her Majesty's Government, in no longer abiding by the laws concerning the voting right, and the decision concerning the representation of this Republic; and lastly, as is expressed in your letter of the 25th of September, 1899, in breaking off all friendly communication, giving us to understand that Her Majesty's Government were about to formulate their own proposals for final arrangement. Our Government can see in the before-mentioned notification nothing less than a new violation of the Convention of 1884, which does not reserve to Her Majesty's Government the right of a one-sided adjustment of a question which belongs exclusively to the inner policy of our Government, and has been already settled by them.

On the grounds of the tension, the considerable loss arising therefrom, and the interruption of business in general, which is caused by the correspondence on the Franchise and the representation of this Republic, Her Majesty's Government has not long ago insisted on a speedy adjustment, and finally, through your intervention, insisted on an answer-within forty-eight hours-(later on somewhat amended)-to your Memorandum of the 12th of September, which was answered by the Memorandum of our Government of the 15th of September, and by the Memorandum of the 25th of September, 1899; on which other friendly negotiations were interrupted, and our Government received notice that the proposal for final arrangement would be made within a short time; but although these promises were repeated, no such proposal has as yet reached our Government. When the friendly correspondence was still going on, a great increase of troops was made by Her Majesty's Government, which troops were drawn up in the neighbourhood of the frontiers of our Republic. Taking into consideration certain events in the history of our Republic, which events need not here be recited, our Government found themselves compelled to look upon the Army in the neighbourhood of the frontier as a threat to the independence of the South African Republic, because they were not aware of any circumstances which could justify the presence of such a force in South Africa and in the neighbourhood of their frontier.

In answer to a question concerning this, addressed to His Excellency the High Commissioner, our Government received, to their great astonishment, the covert accusation that from the State of the Republic an attack on Her Majesty's Colonies was being arranged, and also a mysterious hint of coming possibilities, by which our Government were strengthened in their suspicion, that the independence of the Republic was threatened.

As a measure of defence, they were, therefore, compelled to send a body of burghers to the frontiers in order, if required, to be able to resist such an eventuality. The unlawful interference of Her Majesty's Government in the inner policy of our Republic, in defiance of the London Convention of 1884, which interference consisted in the exceptional strengthening of troops in the neighbourhood of the Republic's borders, has thus created an unbearable state of affairs, of which our Government-not only in the interests of our Republic, but also in the interests of the whole of South Africa,-feel it their duty to bring to an end as speedily as possible, and consider themselves called upon to insist emphatically and energetically on an immediate conclusion of this condition of things, and to ask Her Majesty's Government to give them the assurance (a) that all points of mutual difference shall be adjusted by friendly arbitration, or by any other amicable way that may be agreed upon between our Government and that of Her Majesty; (b) that the troops on the frontiers of the Republic shall be recalled at once, and that all reinforcements which, after the 1st of June, 1899, have arrived in South Africa, shall be removed within a time agreed upon with our Government,-with the counter assurance and guarantee from our Government that no attack on, or hostilities against, any part of the possessions of the British Government shall be undertaken by the Republic during the further negotiations within the time which shall be agreed upon by the Government-our Government shall, in accordance with this, be ready to call back the armed burghers of the Republic from the frontiers; (c) that Her Majesty's troops, which are now on the high sea, shall not be landed in any of the harbours of South Africa.

Our Government has to insist on an immediate and favourable answer on the above four points, and urgently requests Her Majesty's Government to give an answer in this spirit before, or on, Wednesday, October 11th, 1889, before 5 o'clock in the afternoon. They wish to add further, that in case, against their expectations, no satisfactory answer within this time should be received by them, that they, to their great sorrow, would be obliged to look upon the actions of Her Majesty's Government as a formal declaration of war, for the consequences of which they do not consider themselves responsible; and, in case further movements of troops should take place within the above-mentioned time in the direction of our borders, that our Government will be compelled to look upon this also as a formal declaration of war.

I have the honour to be, etc.,

F.W. Reitz,



From Mr. Chamberlain to the High Commissioner, Sir Alfred Milner.

(Sent 7.30 p.m. 10th October, 1899)

"10th October, No. 7. The British Agent has, in answering the demands of the Government of the South African Republic, to say that, as the Government of the South African Republic have declared in their dispatch, that they will look upon a refusal to consent to their demands as a formal declaration of war, he has received orders to demand his passport."

From Mr. Chamberlain to the High Commissioner, Sir Alfred Milner.

(Sent 10.45 p.m. 10th October, 1899)

"10th October, No. 8. The Government of Her Majesty has received with great sorrow the determined demands of the Government of the South African Republic contained in your telegram of the 9th of October, No. 3. You will, as an answer to the Government of the South African Republic, communicate to them that the conditions put forward by the Government of the South African Republic are of such a nature that the Government of Her Majesty cannot possibly think of taking them into consideration."


From the States-President of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State to His Excellency Lord Salisbury, London.

"Bloemfontein, 5th March, 1900.

"The blood and tears of the thousands who have suffered through this war, and the prospect of all the moral and material ruin which now threatens South Africa, render it necessary for both parties carrying on the war to ask themselves calmly, and in the faith of the Trinity, for what they are fighting and if the aims of both justify all this horrible misery and devastation. On this account, and with an eye to the assertion of several English Statesmen that the war was begun and carried on with the determined end to undermine Her Majesty's authority in South Africa, and to establish in the whole of South Africa a Government independent of Her Majesty's Government, we consider it our duty to declare that this War was only commenced as a measure of defence and for the purpose of obtaining a guarantee for the threatened independence of the South African Republic, and was only continued in order to ensure the indisputable independence of both Republics as Sovereign International States, and to obtain the assurance that the subjects of Her Majesty who have taken part with us in the war will not suffer the least hurt either in their lives or their possessions. On these conditions alone we demand, as in the past, to see peace restored in South Africa, and an end made to the wrong that now exists there. But if Her Majesty's Government has decided upon destroying the independence of the Republic, nothing remains to us and our people but to persist to the bitter end on the road now taken, notwithstanding the overpowering might of the British Empire, trusting that God, who has lit the inextinguishable fire of the love of liberty in our hearts, and in the hearts of our fathers, will not abandon us, but will fulfil His work in us, and in our descendants.

"We hesitated to lay this declaration earlier before Your Excellency, because we were afraid that as long as the advantage was on our side, and our Army had in their occupation positions of defence far into the British Colonies, such a declaration would have hurt the feelings of the English nation; but now that the prestige of the British Empire may be considered to be restored, through the capture of one of our armies, and we are compelled by this to sacrifice other positions which our armies occupied, this difficulty is removed, and we can no longer hesitate to tell you, in the face of the whole civilized world, why we are fighting, and on what conditions we are prepared to make peace."

From Lord Salisbury to their Excellencies the States-Presidents of the South African Republic and Orange Free State.

"London, 11th March, 1900.

"I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Honour's cable, dated 5th March, from Bloemfontein, of which the purport is principally whether Her Majesty's Government will acknowledge the indisputable independence of the South African Republic and Orange Free State and treat them as Sovereign International States, and will offer to conclude the war on these conditions.

"In the beginning of October of this year, there was peace between the Queen and the two Republics, under the Convention which then held good. There was a discussion carried on during a few months between Her Majesty's Government and the South African Republic, of which the purport was the amendment of very serious grievances under which English inhabitants suffered in the South African Republic. In the course of these negotiations, the South African Republic obtained the knowledge that Her Majesty's Government had made considerable preparations for war, and had taken steps to provide the necessary reinforcements for the English garrisons at Cape Colony and Natal. No inroad on the rights guaranteed by the Conventions had, until then, taken place on the English side. Suddenly the South African Republic, after having two days previously issued an insulting ultimatum, declared War on Her Majesty; and the Orange Free State, with which there had been no disagreement, took a similar step. Thereupon an inroad was made into Her Majesty's territory by the two Republics; three towns within the British frontier were besieged, a great part of the two Colonies was over-run, with great destruction of property and life, and the Republics claimed the right to treat the inhabitants of Her Majesty's territory as if this territory had been annexed by one of these States. The Transvaal having these actions in view, had for years stored up, on an enormous scale, military provisions, which could only have been destined for use against England.

"Your Excellencies made some remarks of a negative nature concerning the aim for which these preparations were made. I do not consider it necessary to discuss the question which you have thus raised, but the consequences of the preparations, made in great secrecy, have been that the British Empire has found itself forced to repel an inroad which has brought on a costly war, and caused the loss of thousands of valuable lives. This great misfortune has been the punishment that Great Britain has had to undergo during the last few years for having suffered the two Republics to exist. Keeping in sight the use which the two Republics have made of the position presented to them, and the misfortunes which their unprovoked attacks on Her Majesty's territory have brought, Her Majesty's Government can only reply to Your Honour's telegram by saying that they are not prepared to acknowledge the independence either of the South African Republic, or of the Orange Free State."

* * *

Appendix A


The first meeting of the representatives of the two Governments took place at 11.30 a.m. on May 15th.

There were present:-

For the South African Republic-His Honour the President, S.W. Burger, F.W. Reitz, Commandant-General L. Botha, Messrs. J.B. Krogh, L.J. Meijer, L.J. Jacobs, and His Honour the Staats-Procureur.

For the Orange Free State-States-President, M.J. Steyn; Judge, J.B.M. Hertzog; Secretary of State, W.J.C. Brebner; Commander-in-Chief, C.R. de Wet; and Mr. C.H. Olivier.

The first matter discussed was the formula for the oath which the delegates were to take, and it was decided that it should run as follows:-

"We, the undersigned, duly swear that we, as special national representatives, will remain true to our people, country, and Government, and that we will serve them to the best of our ability, and fulfil our duties faithfully and with all necessary secrecy, as is the duty of all faithful burghers and representatives of the nation. So help us God."

The question now arose as to whether the representatives had the right to decide, if circumstances rendered it necessary, upon any matter touching the independence of the country, irrespective of the powers given to the various delegates, for at some of the meetings the delegates had only received limited powers, whilst at others full authority had been given them to act according to their own judgment.

After considerable discussion it was decided to lay the matter before the delegates themselves.

The following representatives were called into the tent, and took the oath:-

For the South African Republic.

1. H.A. Alberts, Vechtgeneraal; for Heidelberg.

2. J.J. Alberts, Commandant; for Standerton and Wakkerstroom.

3. J.F. De Beer, Commandant; for Bloemhof.

4. C.F. Beijers, Assistant-Commandant-General; for Waterberg.

5. C. Birkenstock, burgher; for Vrijheid.

6. H.J. Bosman, magistrate; for Wakkerstroom.

7. Christiaan Botha, Assistant-Commandant-General; for Swaziland and the States Artillery.

8. B.H. Breijtenbach, Veldtcornet; for Utrecht.

9. C.J. Brits, Vechtgeneraal; for Standerton.

10. J.B. Cilluos, Vechtgeneraal; for Lichtenburg.

11. J. De Clercq, burgher; for Middelburg.

12. T.A. D?nges, Veldtcornet; for Dorp Middelburg in Regeeringswacht.

13. H.S. Grobler, Commandant; for Bethal.

14. J.L. Grobler, burgher; for Carolina.

15. J.N.H. Grobler, Vechtgeneraal; for Ermelo.

16. B.J. Van Heerden, Veldtcornet; for Rustenburg.

17. J.F. Jordaan, Commandant; for Vrijheid.

18. J. Kemp, Vechtgeneraal; for Krugersdorp.

19. P.J. Liebenberg, Vechtgeneraal; for Potchefstroom.

20. C.H. Muller, Vechtgeneraal; for Boksburg.

21. J.F. Naude, burgher; for Pretoria, late Commandant with General Kemp.

22. D.J.E. Opperman, Veldtcornet; for Pretoria.

23. B.J. Roos, Veldtcornet; for Piet Retief.

24. P.D. Roux, Veldtcornet; for Marico.

25. D.J. Schoeman, Commandant; for Lijdenburg.

26. T.C. Stoffberg, Landdrost; for Zoutpansberg.

27. S.P. Du Toit, Vechtgeneraal; for Wolmaransstad.

28. P.L. Uijs, Commandant; for Pretoria.

29. P.R. Viljoen, burgher; for Heidelberg.

30. W.J. Viljoen, Commandant; for Witwatersrand.

For the Orange Free State.

1. C.C.F. Badenhorst, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for Boshof, Hoopstad, West Bloemfontein, Winburg, and Kroonstad.

2. A.J. Bester, Commandant; for Bethlehem.

3. A.J. Bester, Commandant; for Bloemfontein.

4. L.P.H. Botha, Commandant; for Harrismith.

5. G.A. Brand, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for Bethulie, Rouxville, Caledon River, and Wepener in the eastern part of Bloemfontein.

6. H.J. Brouwer, Commandant; for Bethlehem.

7. D.H. Van Coller, Commandant; for Heilbron.

8. F.R. Cronje, Commandant; for Winburg.

9. D.F.H. Flemming, Commandant; for Hoopstad.

10. C.C. Froneman, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for Winburg and Ladybrand.

11. F.J.W.J. Hattingh, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for the eastern part of Kroonstad, in the district of Heilbron.

12. J.B.M. Hertzog, Commandant; for Philippolis.

13. J.N. Jacobs, Commandant; for Boshof.

14. F.P. Jacobsz, Commandant; for Harrismith.

15. A.J. De Kock, Commandant; for Vrede.

16. J.J. Koen, Commandant; for Ladybrand.

17. H.J. Kritzinger, Veldtcornet; for Kroonstad.

18. F.E. Mentz, Commandant; for Heilbron.

19. J.A.P. Van der Merwe, Commandant; for Heilbron.

20. C.A. Van Niekerk, Commandant; for Kroonstad.

21. H. Van Niekerk, Commandant.

22. J.J. Van Niekerk, Commandant; for Ficksburg.

23. I.K. Nieuwouwdt, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for Fauresmith, Philippolis, and Jacobsdal.

24. H.P.J. Pretorius, Commandant; for Jacobsdal.

25. A.M. Prinsloo, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for Bethlehem in Ficksburg.

26. L.J. Rautenbach, Commandant; for Bethlehem.

27. F.J. Rheeder, Commandant; for Rouxville.

28. A. Ross, Commandant; for Vrede.

29. P.W. De Vos, Commandant; for Kroonstad.

30. W.J. Wessels, Vice-Commandant-in-Chief; for Harrismith and Vrede.

The meeting now proceeded to choose a chairman, and the following were proposed:-J. De Clercq, C.F. Beijers, C.C. Froneman, W.J. Wessels, and G.A. Brand.

The choice of the meeting fell on General C.F. Beijers, who called upon the Rev. Mr. Kestell to offer prayer.

His Honour, S.W. Burger, now declared that the meeting was formally opened, and after the Chairman had spoken a few words, the representatives adjourned until three o'clock.

When they reassembled, the Chairman requested President Burger to explain the objects for which the meeting had been called.

Then the President spoke a few words of welcome to all; he expressed his sorrow for the absence of some who would certainly have been present had they not given their lives for their country. But still there were many left to represent the two Republics.

"The difficulties which confront us," continued the President, "are like a great mountain, at the foot of which we have just arrived. Everything now depends on us who are assembled together here. It is impossible to deny that the state of affairs is very serious, and that the future looms dark before us. Our position requires the most careful consideration, and as there are sure to be differences of opinion, it will be necessary for us to bear with one another, and yet, at the same time, to speak our minds freely."

The President proceeded to refer to the correspondence which had taken place between Holland and England. A copy of this correspondence had been sent, through Lord Kitchener, to the Governments of the two Republics. The opinion of the Transvaal Government (which was the first to receive the correspondence) was that advantage should be taken of this opportunity. It was proposed to ask Lord Kitchener to allow the Transvaal Government to meet that of the Orange Free State, so that they might discuss the desirability of making a peace proposal to England. The two Governments had accordingly met, and had corresponded with Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner. As a result of this, a letter, with the above correspondence annexed, had been sent to the various commandos.

"We felt," continued President Burger, "that we had no power to surrender our independence, and that we were only justified in making such terms of peace as would not endanger our national existence. Whether it is or is not our duty to surrender our independence is a question that must be left to the decision of our people. And it is to represent the people that you are here. It is from your lips, then, that our Governments must learn the opinions of the two nations. It is clear enough that the English Government has no idea of allowing us to remain independent-it expresses surprise that we even dare to speak of such a thing.

"You have now to report upon the condition of the country, and upon the circumstances in which your wives and children are placed. You have also to decide whether you are willing to make any further sacrifices. We have lost so much already that it would be hard, indeed, to lose our independence as well. But, although this matter is so near to our hearts, we must still listen to the voice of reason. The practical question, then, which we have to ask ourselves is, whether we are prepared to watch our people being gradually exterminated before our eyes, or whether we should not rather seek a remedy.

"The Government can do nothing without the support of the nation. You, therefore, must determine our best course. For instance, if you come to the conclusion that we have exhausted every expedient, will you still continue the struggle? Are we not to desist until every man of us is in captivity, in exile, or in his grave? Again let me urge you to speak freely, and yet with consideration for the feelings of others. For myself, I can truly say that my spirit is not yet broken; but I would hear from you what the feeling of the people is."

"At this point, however, a difficulty arises. Some of you, having only received limited powers from your constituencies, appear to think that you would not be justified in exceeding your mandates, while others have been authorized to act as circumstances may seem to require. But I do not think that this difficulty should be insurmountable. At least I beg of you not to allow it to cause any dissension among you. Let us all be of one mind. If we are united, then will the nation be united also; but if we are divided, in what a plight will the nation find itself?"

A letter was then read from the deputation in Europe, which had been written five months previously, and which had been brought through the English lines in safety. It contained little more than an assurance that our cause occupied a better position in Europe than it had ever done before.

The Chairman then asked Commandant L. Botha to address the meeting.

Complying with this request, the Commandant said that he wished to be assured, before anything further was done, that the fact that some of the representatives had been entrusted with limited powers, whereas others had been given a free hand, was not going to prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to united action on their part.

To this Judge Hertzog replied that it was a principle in law that a delegate is not to be regarded as a mere agent or mouthpiece of his constituents, but, on the contrary (when dealing with public affairs), as a plenipotentiary-with the right, whatever his brief might be, of acting to the best of his judgment.

States-Procureur Smuts concurred in this opinion, which appeared to satisfy both the Commandant-General and also all the other representatives, for no further allusion was made to the subject by anybody.

Commandant-General Botha now made his report.

In the districts of Vrijheid and Utrecht, he stated, the store of maize was so small that it could not last for more than a short time; but there was still a great number of slaughter-cattle. In the districts of Wakkerstroom there was hardly sufficient grain for one month's consumption. Two other districts had still a large enough number of slaughter-cattle-enough, in fact, to last for two or three months. In Ermelo, to the west and north-west of the blockhouses, and in Bethal, Standerton, and Middelburg, there was grain for one month. But the Heidelberg and Pretoria commandos had now, for the first time, no corn remaining for food. In the neighbourhood of Boksburg the only grain left was the old maize of the previous year, whilst there were no cattle at all in the district. When he had visited Boksburg he had found that the commandos had had no meat for three days. In the country between Vereeniging and Ermelo there were only thirty-six goats, and no cattle whatsoever. In the Wakkerstroom district, however, there were still a few slaughter-cattle. The horses were everywhere worn out and exhausted. They had been so constantly kept on the move, owing to the enemy's increasing attacks, they could now only cover the shortest distances.

The Kaffir question was becoming from day to day more serious. At Vrijheid, for instance, there was a Kaffir commando which had already made several attacks upon the burghers. This attitude of the Kaffir population was producing a very dispiriting effect upon the burghers.

The women were in a most pitiable state, now that the lines of blockhouses had been extended in all directions over the country. Sometimes the commandos had to break through the lines and leave the women behind alone; and when the burghers later on returned they would perhaps find that the women had been driven from their houses, and, in some instances, treated with atrocious cruelty.

Referring to the numbers in the field, he said that there were, in the whole of the Transvaal, ten thousand eight hundred and sixteen men, and that three thousand two hundred and ninety-six of them had no horses. The enemy during the summer had taken many of the burghers prisoner; and since June, 1901, the commandos had diminished to the extent of six thousand and eighty-four men. The burghers thus lost to them had either been killed, or taken prisoner, or had surrendered their arms.

The number of households was two thousand six hundred and forty.

The Commandant-General concluded by saying that the three greatest difficulties with which they were confronted were their horses, their food supply, and the miserable condition of their women and children.

Commander-in-Chief de Wet then spoke. He said he would leave it to the delegates who were officers to make reports. They had come from far and near, and knew exactly what the condition of things was. He, however, could state that the number of burghers in the Orange Free State was six thousand one hundred and twenty, of whom about four hundred were not available for service. The Basutos, he found, were more favourably inclined to the Boer cause than ever before.

"General De la Rey," continued General de Wet, "like myself, does not quite know what task he has to perform here, but he thinks with me that the duty of making reports belongs to the delegates. However, he feels bound to state that in his divisions there is a great scarcity of everything. But precisely the same state of affairs existed there a year ago. And when his burghers were at that time without food-well, he went and got it for them." (Cheers.)

General Beijers (Waterberg) then addressed the delegates, telling them that he would not detain them long. In Zoutpansberg, he stated, they had still a plentiful supply of food, for they were able to buy from the Kaffirs. At Waterberg the Kaffirs were neutral, but at Zoutpansberg they were getting out of hand. Yet, since no co-operation existed amongst them, they were not to be feared, and any uprising could easily be quelled.

Besides this trouble, they had many difficulties to face, which were produced by horse-sickness and fever.

As to the question of grain, there was food enough for the whole of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. But now the English were beginning to buy up the maize at £1 a sack.

General Muller (Boksburg) reported that in his division the burghers had never suffered from hunger. He could still hold out for a few months more, as food could be obtained from the Kaffirs. There was, it could not be denied, a tendency to mutiny amongst the Kaffirs, but he did not think that this need cause any anxiety. He believed that he would be able to carry on operations until the end of the winter.

General Froneman (Ladybrand) said that the condition of his divisions, namely Winburg and Ladybrand, gave no cause for uneasiness. There were still eighty families in the districts, but they were able to provide for all their necessities. The Kaffirs were peaceable and well disposed, and were of great service to the burghers, for whom they bought clothing in Basutoland. It was possible for the burghers, he considered, to hold out for more than a year.

General Hattingh (Kroonstad) declared that in one part of the Kroonstad district there were still plenty of sheep and cattle, and that seed had been sown for next year's harvest. But another part of the district was entirely exhausted, and had to obtain its supplies from Bethlehem.

General Badenhorst (Boshof) stated that he could report on the Boshof district and the parts of the Winburg and Bloemfontein districts to the west of the railway. There were enough cattle to last his commandos for years, even if they had no other food at all. Recently he had captured fifteen hundred head of cattle, and he was in a position to give assistance to other districts. Grain, however, was not so plentiful as it had been the previous year, but nevertheless there was still a large enough supply to permit him to send help to others.

General Nieuwouwdt (Fauresmith) reported that his district was entirely devastated, and that for the last seven months there had been a dearth of all provisions; nevertheless, his burghers had contrived to live. There was, moreover, enough corn left to last them for another year. There were now only three women in the whole of his district.

General Prinsloo (Bethlehem) declared that he would be telling a falsehood if he were to say that there was no food in his district. He possessed slaughter-cattle and corn, and could help other districts. One of his commandants had recently found a store of maize (consisting of one hundred and thirty sacks) buried in the ground. The enemy had made many inroads into his district, and especially during the last few months. The blockhouses were a source of constant annoyance to him.

General Brand (Bethulie) reported upon the south-western part of the Orange Free State, where he commanded. There were some parts of his division, he said, which had been entirely laid waste. Everything had been carried off; there was not a sheep left; and the burghers had been without meat for days. But he was able to capture booty, and could still hold out for a year.

General Wessels (Harrismith) drew attention to the constant passage of large Kaffir families through the districts of Harrismith and Vrede. He could tell the delegates that the Kaffirs had been quite astonished that there were still cattle and sheep and supplies of grain in the districts. He had not yet come to the end of his provisions; but, even if everything were taken, he saw a chance of obtaining food from elsewhere.

Commandant C.A. Van Niekerk (Kroonstad) declared that if there was one part of the country which was entirely exhausted it was the part where he was in command, namely Hoopstad and a portion of Kroonstad. But yet, during the last twelve months, they had been able to obtain food, and even to sow for the ensuing year. There were no cattle in his district; but he had taken a thousand sheep and fifty-two cattle from the English.

Commandant Van der Merwe (Heilbron) spoke to the same effect.

General Smuts was the next to address the meeting. He began by saying that his expedition into Cape Colony had been the outcome of the advice which the deputation had given in July, 1901, namely to continue the war. That he had been in command of it had come about in the following way. News had been received in the Transvaal that affairs in Cape Colony were taking a favourable turn, and accordingly General De la Rey had received orders to go thither, and to take over the command there. But afterwards it was thought wiser to annul these orders, because De la Rey could not well be spared from the western parts of the Transvaal. Owing to this, he (General Smuts) took the task upon his own shoulders, and crossed the Orange River with two hundred men. He had had a difficult task to accomplish. He had marched through Cape Colony to Grahamstad, and from thence he had pushed on towards the coast, through Graaff Reinet. Thence he had proceeded to the neighbourhood where he was now carrying on operations.

He had visited every commando, and as he had seen that there were signs of disorder amongst them he had taken them all under his own command. In this way he had found himself at the head of some fifteen hundred men. During his expeditions Commandant Lotter had been captured with a hundred men; this had reduced his force to only fourteen hundred. But since then the number had nearly doubled, so that they now had two thousand six hundred men (divided into twenty commandos) under arms in Cape Colony. In addition to these men there was a division under General De Villiers operating in Griqualand West, and another under Commandant Van der Merwe in Bechuanaland. The total numbers of these two divisions amounted to about seven hundred men.

Passing on to the question whether help was to be expected from Cape Colony, General Smuts declared that there would be no general rising. The reports which represented such a rising as possible had exaggerated matters. There were great difficulties in the way of a general rising. First, there was the question of horses-and in Cape Colony the want of horses was as great, if not greater, than in the Republics. Secondly, it was exceedingly difficult for Colonials to rise, for they knew that not only would they have to be voetgangers,[111] but also that if they were captured they would be very severely punished by the English. The scarcity of grass was also greatly against any such attempt. The horses had to be fed, and, as the enemy had forbidden any sowing, it was almost impossible to find food for them. A counter proclamation had indeed been issued by the Republics, but it had been of no avail.

He was of opinion that the small commandos which had already been in Cape Colony had done the best they could. The question that now arose was whether the whole of their forces ought to be sent from the Republics into Cape Colony. He himself thought that there was an opening for them, but the difficulty was to find a method of getting them there. The existence of this difficulty, and the facts which he had brought before the delegates, had forced him to the conclusion that a general rising in Cape Colony was an impossibility.

As to the continuation of the war and matters of that nature, they must naturally be settled by the Republics, and not by Cape Colony.

The meeting was then adjourned until eight o'clock in the evening.

* * *

Upon its reassembling, Commandant Nijs (Pretoria, North) said that in that part of the district of Pretoria which lay to the north of the Delagoa Bay Railway there were still cattle enough to last for a considerable time, but that the store of grain would be exhausted within a fortnight. The number of horses also was insufficient. The district could muster one hundred and fifty-three mounted men and one hundred and twenty-eight voetgangers. In the division of Onderwijk, Middelburg, there were twenty-six mounted men and thirty-eight voetgangers.

Commandant Grobler (Bethal) stated that in his district they had not been left undisturbed during the summer. Only a short time previously he had lost sixty-three men in an engagement, where he had been besieged in a kraal, out of which he, with one hundred and fifty-three burghers, had managed to escape. Bethal had been laid waste from one end to the other, and he had no provisions for his commandos. He had on his hands three hundred women and children; these were in a serious position, owing to the lack of food; some of the women had also been assaulted by Kaffirs.

General Christiaan Botha (Swaziland) then reported on the condition of the Swaziland commando. They had no provisions in hand, and were simply living by favour of the Kaffirs. They had no women there. His commando of one hundred and thirteen men was still at Piet Retief. As there was no grain to be had, they were compelled to go from kraal to kraal and buy food from the Kaffirs, and this required money. Yet somehow or other they had managed to keep soul and body together. "I have fought for the Transvaal," he concluded, "for two and a half years, and now, since I hear that there is food in the Free State, I shall fight for the Free State for two and a half years more."

General Brits (Standerton) said that he had still provisions for two months, but no cattle. He had sixty-five families with him, and found it very difficult to provide them with the necessaries of life. Altogether, things were in a most critical state.

Mr. Birkenstock (Vrijheid) spoke as follows:

"I shall go deeper into some of the points which the Commandant-General has brought forward in his general report of the matter. At Vrijheid we have been harassed by large forces of the enemy for six or eight months, and the district is now completely devastated. The presence of women and children causes great difficulty, for of late the English have refused to receive the families which, compelled by absolute famine, wished to take refuge with them. There is also continual danger from the Kaffirs, whose attitude towards us is becoming positively hostile. Both horses and grain are scarce; but as far as the latter is concerned there will be sufficient, provided that the enemy does not return. One morning recently a Kaffir commando, shortly before daybreak, attacked a party of our men, who lost fifty-six killed out of a total of seventy. That peace must be made at all costs is the opinion of all the families in my district, and I feel it my duty to bring this opinion before you."

Commandant Alberts (Pretoria and Middelburg) said that his burghers had had no rest for a year, and that during that period no ploughing or sowing had been done in the district. Consequently a commando would not be able to find the means of subsistence there. On three occasions he had been forced to take refuge in a kraal, but fortunately had always been able to make his escape. They had no cattle which they could use for food, although he had received some, through Commandant Roos, from the Free State. Their horses were in the worst possible condition.

Landdrost Bosman (Wakkerstroom) then gave an account of the condition of affairs in his district. They were dependent for everything, except meat, upon the Kaffirs, giving them meat in exchange. This year there had been a very poor crop of mealies, and, such as it was, it had been much damaged by the enemy. Still the burghers might manage, with what mealies they had, to last out for another two months; but the women and children also needed to be provided for. The cattle were beginning to run short, and the few horses that they had were so weak that they would require a fortnight's rest before they could be used. It might become necessary for the commandos to leave the district, and if so, what was to become of the families?

Mr. De Clercq (Middelburg) regretted that he was unable to give as cheery a report as some of the gentlemen present had done. The part of Middelburg which he represented was in an almost hopeless condition. There were no slaughter-cattle, and only enough grain to last for a very short time. Out of five hundred horses only one hundred now remained, and these could do no work, being too weak even to get away when it became necessary to retreat from the enemy. The state of the burghers was very discouraging; if they should be compelled to leave the district the question would arise whether, considering the condition of their horses, it would be possible for them to reach their new destination. There were fifty families in Middelburg, and things were going very badly with them. The district would have to be abandoned, and what would then be the fate of the families, which even now could only be scantily provided for? The women had wished to go on foot to the English, but he had advised them to wait until the results of the present negotiations should become known.

Commandant David Schoeman (Lijdenburg) said that although but a short time ago there had been eight hundred head of cattle in his district, they had now all been carried off. Grain there was none. Should fighting be continued, he was at a loss to know how he could provide for the women.

Commandant Opperman (Pretoria, South) reported on that part of the Pretoria district which lies south of the line. What he said agreed substantially with the report of Commandant Alberts. (See page 343.)

Commandant Liebenberg (Potchefstroom) stated that during the last eight or nine months blockhouses had been erected in his district. All that was now left to him was a strip of country about twelve miles long; here he could still exist. A good deal of seed had been sown, but the crops had of late fallen into the hands of the English. The grain was altogether spoilt; some of it had been burnt, the rest trodden down by the horses. There were ninety-three households in his district. Between Lichtenburg and Potchefstroom there were some women from the Orange Free State who were reduced to the most dire straits. They had told him that if things did not improve they intended to go on foot to Klerksdorp, and he had replied that they must wait for the result of the negotiations. He had still four hundred mounted men, in addition to one hundred voetgangers. He could hold out for a short time longer, and then would have to look for some way out of his difficulties.

General Du Toit (Wolmaransstad) said that there were five hundred families in his district, but little enough for them to live on. Though his horses were weak, he would be able to save himself by strategy if he should get into a tight corner. His commandos were small-only four hundred and fifty mounted men. The cattle were in good condition, but grain was scarce.

Commandant De Beer (Bloemhof) had still under his command as many as four hundred and forty-four mounted men and one hundred and sixty-five voetgangers. Both grain and cattle were scarce, but then Bloemhof had never possessed many head of cattle. So far the families had not suffered from want. He would be able to hold out for another year.

General Kemp reported that he had under him Krugersdorp, Rustenburg, and parts of Pretoria and Johannesburg. In the district of Krugersdorp no more sowing was possible, and the majority of cattle had been carried away. Yet there was no want. Why should he lack for anything when he was in possession of a great "commissariat" extending as far as the Zoutpansberg, where General Beijers was in command? He took what he wanted from the Kaffirs-it was not their property; he was only taking back what really belonged to the burghers.

Commandant-in-Chief de Wet here asked why the eastern divisions of the Transvaal could not do like General Kemp, and take what they required from the Kaffirs?

General Kemp replied that the fact that in the eastern parts the Kaffirs were united with the English made the difference. The Kaffirs there, he said, gave all they looted to the English, who then sold them the cattle back again. If then cattle were taken in those parts, it would be cattle which was really the property of the Kaffirs. Moreover, the Zulus were Kaffirs of a different sort to those with which he (the General) had to deal. General Botha also had said that among the Kaffirs in the Eastern Transvaal there were not to be found any cattle belonging to the burghers.

Mr. J.L. Grobler (Carolina) had not as yet had to complain of any lack of cattle or grain in his district. The English, however, by their system of blockhouses, had cut the burghers off from the greater part of the crop. If nothing happened, the newly-sown crops ought to produce a good harvest; but he did not like the temper of the Kaffirs. His men could still hold out for another six or seven months. The three hundred horses still remaining to them were in a weak condition; such as they were, there was not one apiece for the burghers.

Mr. J. Naude (Pretoria) said that he represented a part of Pretoria and General Kemp's flying column. In his district sowing and harvesting went on as usual. There were fortunately no women and children. Although the commandos had not a superabundance of cattle, yet no one lacked for any of the necessaries of life.

The meeting was then closed with prayer, and adjourned until the following morning.

Friday, May 16th, 1902.

The meeting opened with prayer a little after nine a.m. The correspondence which the two Governments had addressed to the burghers, in order that it might be communicated to their representatives at one of these meetings, was first read. It was then debated whether the meeting should request Lord Kitchener to put it into communication with the deputation in Europe. After speeches pro and con, it was decided not to do so.

Thereupon General Froneman proposed the following resolution:

"This meeting is of opinion that the Governments should be asked in the first place to thank His Majesty the King of England and Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, through Lord Kitchener, for the efforts which (as appears from the correspondence between the said Governments) they have made to set on foot negotiations for peace; and, in the second place, to express to them the regret of this meeting that His Majesty's Government has not accepted the proposal of Her Majesty's Government that the representatives of the two Republics now in Europe (who still enjoy the full confidence of their fellow-countrymen) should be allowed to return home, and also that Lord Kitchener has declined a similar request addressed to him by the Governments of the two Republics."

This proposal was seconded by Commandant Flemming, and carried.

After another proposal, made by H.J. Bosman, and seconded by J.L. Grobler, had been rejected, the correspondence referred to above came under discussion.

The first speaker was Mr. P.R. Viljoen, who spoke as follows:

"We can apply to our own country those words of Scripture, 'The place whereon thou standest is holy ground.' The soil on which we are now standing, wet as it is with the blood and tears of our forefathers and also of the many who have fallen in this present struggle, may well be regarded as 'holy ground.'

"That we should ever have to surrender this country is a horrible thought. Yet it must be faced. It is certain at least that many districts must be abandoned, for the enemy is doing his utmost to collect us together at a few isolated places, where he will be able to concentrate his forces upon us.

"From the reports which we have received it appears that the state of affairs in the Orange Free State is still hopeful. Not so in the Transvaal. There our prospects are of the gloomiest.

"My opinion is that we must endeavour to bring this war to an end. If there was the least chance of our being able to maintain our independence, we would still fight on, and not even the bitterest sufferings would appear unendurable. But have we any such chance?-that is the question which we have got to answer.

"We know nothing, it will be said, of the present state of affairs in Europe, for the report from our deputation, which has just been read in your presence, is six months old. Nevertheless, if anything favourable to us had occurred since then, we must have heard of it by now.

"It is evident that we must endeavour to obtain peace on terms honourable to ourselves. But how are we to do so? By keeping our independence in view when making terms with the enemy, you will answer. Nevertheless, I think it would be advisable for us to commission our Governments to ask the English Government once more what concessions it is prepared to make to us on condition of our surrendering our independence. Until we know this we can come to no final decision.

"Though it is a bitter thing to have to say, yet I feel it my duty to tell you that I honestly believe it to be impossible for us to carry on the war any longer."

Mr. De Clercq then addressed the meeting in the following words:

"The question before us is, whether or not the war can be continued? To answer it, we must look forward into the future. We must ask ourselves what consequences will ensue from a continuance of hostilities, and what will be the result of their cessation.

"We have only fifteen thousand men against the enemy's quarter of a million. Our food and horses are scarce, and we have other difficulties besides these. It is impossible to go on with the struggle.

"Nevertheless, if I believed that to do so would give us a chance of retaining our independence, I also would be ready for further sacrifices. But as it is impossible to retain our independence, surely we shall only be storing up misery for the future if we continue fighting until every man of us is a prisoner or in his grave. I am of opinion that our most reasonable course is to save what is still left to us-our existence as a nation. It is not too late to save it now, but who can tell what the future holds in store for us? If we are to be still further reduced in number, we shall soon cease to exist as a nation. Can it be right to sacrifice a nation which has fought as the African nation has done?"

Commandant Rheeder (Rouxville) then spoke as follows:

"I know that the times are very dark, but still there are some rays of light. You have been asked whether you will continue fighting until you are exterminated. But there is another alternative. Will you not continue fighting until you are relieved? I maintain that our independence must be a sine qua non of any negotiations that we make-we cannot give it up. So long as we have life we must continue to fight, and we must only lay down our arms when relief arrives."

General Kemp now rose to his feet. "I am fully aware," he said, "of the very serious position in which we are placed. Yet, when the war began, the position was no less grave. We must continue our resistance. When we recall to our minds how much this war has cost us, and what rivers of blood have flowed, we feel that it is impossible to surrender. As far as I am concerned, unless relief comes, I will fight on till I die.

"But one should not look only at the dark side of the picture. It is true enough that in some districts food is scarce, but there are none in which it is absolutely unobtainable. The districts threatened by famine must be abandoned-that is the way to deal with the difficulty.

"It has been pointed out that a large number of our men have been killed or taken prisoners. This fact, however, only fills me with courage. A cause that has cost us so dearly must never be forsaken. To own ourselves beaten would be to dig a grave for the African nation, out of which it would never rise. Why should we lose our trust in God? Up to this moment He has aided us, and He will always be our Helper."

Vice-Commandant Breijtenbach (Utrecht) then spoke as follows:

"The burghers whom I represent have told me to inform them, when these deliberations have come to an end, whether a continuation of the war is possible, and if it be possible, how it is to be accomplished. If I cannot assure them that we are able to continue the struggle, the men of Utrecht will not fight any more. As you know, I can give them no such assurance.

"There are ten districts in the Transvaal which are unable to fight any longer. It surely is not proposed to leave these districts in the lurch! We must not only consult our sentiments, but also our reason. And what does the voice of reason say? This-that the continuation of the war is an impossibility. Should you decide now to continue the war, you would have to start a fresh campaign; and you know that that is beyond our powers.

"A previous speaker has referred to the help of the Lord, but who is able to fathom His counsels? Yet we can understand the answer God has given to our prayer-that prayer which we offered with the Mausers in our hands when the war began. And what was the answer we received ... I leave it to you to reply.

"Yes, we must use our reason. If we continue the struggle we give the death-blow to our existence as a nation. We have been told that there are ten districts that cannot go on fighting. Are we going to say, 'We will continue the struggle and leave these districts to their fate'? No! We must save what we can."

General Liebenberg then spoke. "I am able to give my support," he said, "to all that has fallen from the lips of Messrs. Viljoen and De Clercq. It cannot be doubted that the future is very dark. Yes, we can only trust in God, and use our reason to the best of our ability. I have been commissioned by those whom I represent to retain our independence if possible, and if it be not possible to make peace on the best terms that we can get."

Commandant Uijs was the next speaker. He explained that if the war were to be continued he would have to leave his district and abandon the women and children to the mercy of the Kaffirs. He could see a chance of saving the mounted men if only he could feel certain that they would all follow him, but the case of the women and children would be hopeless. A serious difficulty confronted the delegates, and it was with them, and no longer with the Government, that its solution rested. Never before had he been called upon to face so gigantic a task. It was not the time now to criticize one another, but to practise mutual forbearance. The Bible had been quoted by one of the speakers, but let them not forget the text in which the king is spoken of who calculated whether he was strong enough with ten thousand to encounter him who marched against him with twenty thousand. Then there was the question as to the disposal of the widows and orphans. What was to become of them if the burghers, by refusing to come to terms with the enemy, should no longer be able to act as their mutual protectors? Let them make no more widows and orphans, but let them open their eyes and recognize that the hand of God was against them.

The next business was the reading of two letters-one from General Malan and the other from General Kritzinger. Malan reported on his doings in the Cape Colony, while Kritzinger advised that the war should be discontinued.

General Du Toit then spoke, emphasizing the responsibility of the delegates and the importance of the occasion. He went on to say that he represented a part of the nation which had suffered very severely, but which nevertheless had commissioned him to stand up for independence, if by any means it could be retained; if he failed in this, he was to take whatever course seemed best to him. In his district the burghers were not reduced to such a pass as to oblige them to surrender, but the condition of other districts must also be taken into consideration, and if it appeared that the war could not be continued, the delegates must get the best terms they could. In their demands they must be united-this was the principal reason why dissension was so much to be avoided. For himself, he could only say that whether the meeting voted to continue the war or to bring it to a conclusion, he would fall in with the wishes of the majority. Any decision would be better than the failure of this conference, as that would leave everything undecided.

He was followed by Secretary of State Reitz, who said:

"You all know what the Governments have done. The question now is, Is there anything further that we can do? For my part, I think that there is. We might offer to surrender Witwatersrand and Swaziland; we might also relinquish our rights to a foreign policy; we might even accede to an English Protectorate. If France has been able to do without Alsace and Lorraine, surely we can do without the goldfields. What benefit have they ever done us? Did the money they brought ever do us any good? No! rather it did us harm. It was the gold which caused the war. It is then actually to our advantage to cede the goldfields, and moreover by so doing we shall be rid of a very troublesome part of our population."

Mr. Reitz then went on to discuss in detail the position in regard to Swaziland, the question of a British Protectorate, and the surrender of our right to treat with foreign powers.

General Muller (Boksburg) expressed sympathy with the views of the Secretary of State, while Vice-Commandant Roux (Marico) said that he was prepared to sacrifice many things, but that he intended to hold out for independence.

The next speech was made by Landdrost Stoffberg (Zoutpansberg), who said:

"I agree with General Du Toit in what he said about the necessity for unity amongst us. Disunion must not be so much as mentioned. I have a mandate from the burghers of Zoutpansberg not to sacrifice our independence. But if anything short of this will satisfy the English, I am quite prepared to make concessions. Some of the burghers think that it might be well to surrender the goldfields for a certain sum of money, while others point out that the gold was the cause of the war. I also think that we have suffered through the gold, and that we might give up the goldfields without doing ourselves any harm. For what has the gold done for us? It has enriched us, many will say. Yes! but it has also been a stumbling-block to many a man. And is it not better to be a poor but independent nation than to be rich and at the same time subject to another Power. Let the goldfields go. We shall still, with our markets, be rich enough."

Commandant Mentz (Heilbron) then rose.

"I appeal to the forbearance of the delegates," he said, "for making any speech at this meeting. I fear I am unable to give as rose-coloured a report as my brother Free-Staters have done: My district has been continually harassed by the enemy's troops, and great devastation has been wrought. But the greatest trouble I have is the presence of so many families, for there are still two hundred in the district. I have only eighty burghers under my command, and it is clear to me that I shall soon be obliged to leave the district. What will then become of these families? I received a commission not to sacrifice our independence. But since my burghers met more than half of them have been made prisoners. The remainder have instructed me to do my best to preserve our independence, but if I find that it cannot be maintained to act according to my own judgment. It appears to me that it may be possible to retain our independence by ceding some part of the country; if this be the case it ought most certainly to be done. I can remember the late President Brand saying in connexion with the diamond fields, 'Give them up; you will gain more by giving them up than by keeping them.' This remark may well apply to the present situation."

Commandant Flemming (Cape Town) reported that his district was well-nigh devastated. But they still possessed a fair number of cattle, which they had carried away with them. But even if they had no cattle, that would be no excuse for surrender, for in his district it was possible to live on the game. The view which he and his burghers had taken was that since they had already sacrificed nearly everything they possessed, they would not now sacrifice their independence. For should this also be lost, then there would be nothing left to them. That had been their opinion, but they had not then known how matters stood in the Transvaal. Now that he was aware of the state of affairs, he agreed with State Secretary Reitz that their best course was to cede a part of their territory.

Vice-President Burger now rose from his seat, and said:

"This meeting has to formulate a fresh proposal to the English Government, and to await its answer. If this proposal be rejected, well, you will be no worse off than you are at present. If there be a man who has earnestly considered what the sacrifice of everything means to us, then I am that man. It has been said, we must retain our independence, or else continue to fight; and we are still able to hold out for another six months, or even a year. Now, supposing that we can hold out another year, what should we gain by doing so? Why, we should only grow weaker, whilst the enemy grew stronger! I emphatically state that the war cannot be carried on any longer; and I ask if there is any man here who can maintain with a clear conscience that the struggle can be successfully continued.

"Some of you may tell me that complications may arise in Europe. But that is a groundless hope. Others may say that it is astonishing enough that we have been able to hold out till now, and that we still have the power of making our voices heard. Yes! that is very surprising; but shall we retain this power long? I heard some delegates say, 'We shall fight till we die!' That is a manly sentiment. But was it not, perhaps, prompted by a desire to make a fine speech, which would go down to posterity? Was not the aim in some cases that future generations might recall these speeches when they were told of the brave fight our men had made?

"Let every one consider this well: Is he prepared to sacrifice the nation on the shrine of his own ambition? Ambition, although it may cost us our lives, can never lead to martyrdom. A martyr is made of finer stuff!

"Have we not arrived at the stage of our history when we must pray, 'Thy will be done'? That prayer, considered rightly, is a prayer of faith. Do not let us imagine that we can compel God to do our will-that is not faith.

"I beg of you to consider what will become of the women and the children and the banished burghers if you still persist until your last shot has been fired. What right shall we have to intercede for these unfortunate ones when we have rejected the proposals of the English Government? We shall have no right whatsoever.

"Perhaps it is God's will that the English nation should oppress us, in order that our pride may be subdued, and that we may come through the fire of our troubles purified.

"My opinion is that we should make a peace proposal to England, yielding as much as we rightly can; and if England rejects our proposal, it will be time enough then to see what other course is open to us.

"There is one fact which we cannot allow ourselves to forget. There are ten districts in the Transvaal which must be abandoned. In the Free State, too, there are districts in a similar plight. It is the opinion of lawyers that so long as the inhabitants remain in a district their property cannot lawfully be confiscated; but if the district be abandoned, then confiscations can take place.

"It is criminal to say, 'Come what may, we will fight till everything is lost and all of us are dead!'"

The following resolution was then proposed by General Kemp, and seconded by Mr. J. Nand:

"This meeting decides, in order to expedite the work in hand, to depart from the original programme; and to constitute a Commission, to be composed of the Hon. Jacob Smits and the Hon. Judge Hertzog, and to give this Commission authority to draw up, conjointly with the two State Presidents, a draft proposal, to be laid before the delegates to-morrow morning."

This resolution was put to the meeting, and accepted by the delegates. The meeting then adjourned.

* * *

At half-past seven in the evening the delegates reassembled.

General Cilliers (Lichtenburg and Marico) was the first to make a report. "In my division," he said, "things are in a very favourable condition. Yet we are bound to take the other divisions into consideration. My burghers said to me, 'Stand firm for independence!' But when they gave me the order they did not know about the condition of the other districts. Will those other districts-such of them, I mean, as are in a worse predicament than ourselves-be able to co-operate with us in continuing the war? Some of them have already answered my question in the negative. Must we then not ask ourselves, What will be the best for the nation as a whole? Shall we say continue the war, or shall we approach the enemy and make a proposal?

"But are we really justified in prolonging the struggle, and making still further sacrifices? Some will answer, 'Yes, for we have a God in whom we have trusted from the beginning; shall we not continue to trust in Him who has worked such wonders for us already?' But I have heard a brother say, 'God's hand is against us.' It was bitter to hear these words from him, and for myself I will have none of them. My vote is given here and now for a continuance of the war.

"But we must hear what the rest of the delegates have to say, and if they can point out some other way by which we can retain even a portion of our national independence, we must be ready to follow it."

General Froneman next addressed the meeting.

"I fear," he began, "that too much is being made of the condition of my division: things are not so prosperous with us as some here appear to imagine. But for all that, my burghers are for nothing short of absolute independence. They cannot forget the blood which has already been spilt in our cause. They mean to hold out until they are relieved.

"I sympathize deeply with those districts that are less happily circumstanced than my own, but it pains me to discover that there are some here who doubt that God is for us. For what has supported us up till now save faith in God?-the faith of those who first prayed God to prevent the war, and then, when they saw that this was not His will, fought like men, putting all their trust in Him.

"Up till now the Lord hath been my helper; the enemy has cut us off from everything, and yet we see our two little Republics still full of hope, still holding out."

He concluded his speech by saying that he would like to hear the opinions of Generals Botha, De Wet, and De la Rey. They ought to be able to throw much light upon the matter.

Commandant General Botha then rose, and said:

"I am glad to have an opportunity of giving my views upon the present state of affairs. We know that differences of opinion are to be found everywhere and on every question; when, therefore, a man differs from those who think that this war can and ought to be continued, we must ascribe his opinion to discouragement, weakness, or cowardice. We must acknowledge the truth of the facts from which he draws his conclusions, and which have compelled him to utter it. His object is to make known the true state of the country-which indeed is his plain duty. Were he not to do so on the present occasion he would be accused, later on, of having kept secret what he ought to have revealed. Differences of opinion then need not, and must not, cause a disunion and discord. Whatever our private opinions may be, yet, as delegates of the burghers, we must speak and act as one man.

"The war has now lasted two years. But the question for us to answer is this: Are we going forwards or backwards? My own conviction-a conviction founded upon the views expressed by my commandos and the speeches which I have listened to at this meeting-is that we are not gaining, but losing ground. There is nothing, in my opinion, more evident than that, during the last six months, the tide has been setting steadily against us, and in favour of the enemy.

"A year ago there were no blockhouses. We could cross and recross the country as we wished, and harass the enemy at every turn. But now things wear a very different aspect. We can pass the blockhouses by night indeed, but never by day. They are likely to prove the ruin of our commandos.

"Then, as regards food. We are told that there is food here, and food there; but how are we to get at it? How are we to transport it from one district to another? Outside the frontiers of our Republics there are plenty of provisions, but it becomes daily more difficult to get them into our hands. The cattle, for instance, that used to be at Ladysmith have now been removed to Estcourt. Even the friendly Kaffirs, from whom we are now able to obtain provisions, may quite possibly soon turn against us. The time is coming when we shall be compelled to say, 'Hunger drives us to surrender.'

"The horses have been chased about so incessantly, and have suffered so much from want of forage, that their strength is almost exhausted. They are so weak that it is almost impossible to accomplish any long distance with them.

"As to the Cape Colony, I had always understood that the Colonists were going to rise en bloc, but General Smuts has just told us that there is no chance of such a thing happening. And he speaks from personal knowledge, having just returned from paying them a visit. Moreover, he has seen our horses, and says that it is impossible for them to go into the Colony, so it appears that our successes there are over. This is a severe check indeed; but it could not have been otherwise. We have not enough horses to enable us to give the Colonists effectual help, and they themselves have been cowed by the heavy penalties imposed upon all those who did rise. Many of those who are well disposed towards us dare not join us now.

"Again, there is no chance of European intervention: not one of the Powers will do anything for us. To see this it is only necessary to peruse that correspondence between the Netherlands and England, which was the cause of these negotiations. There we shall find that the Dutch Minister says that our deputation is only accredited to Holland, whereas it had been accredited by the two Republics to all the Governments in Europe. Moreover, the correspondence makes it very plain that England will not tolerate the intervention of any foreign Power whatsoever. But the truth is, that no foreign Power wants to help us. When the women were first made prisoners I thought that European intervention might perhaps be attempted, because to make prisoners of women is a thing quite outside the usual methods of warfare. But nothing was done even then. We were told that we had the sympathy of the nations of Europe-their sympathy, and nothing more!

"I have come to a subject that is very near our hearts-our women-folk. If this meeting decides upon war, it will have to make provision for our wives and children, who will then be exposed to every kind of danger. Throughout this war the presence of the women has caused me anxiety and much distress. At first I managed to get them into the townships, but later on this became impossible, because the English refused to receive them. I then conceived the idea of getting a few of our burghers to surrender, and sending the women in with them. But this plan was not practical, because most of the families were those of prisoners of war, and the men still on commando were not so closely related to these families as to be willing to sacrifice their freedom for them.

"We have heard much talk about fighting 'to the bitter end.' But what is 'the bitter end'? Is it to come when all of us are either banished or in our graves? Or does it mean the time when the nation has fought until it never can fight again? As to myself, personally, I can still continue the struggle. I have horses, my household is well provided for, and as far as my own inclination goes I am all for going on. But am I only to consider myself? Is it not my first duty to look at the interests of my nation? I have always been, and still am, of the opinion that, before letting the nation go to rack and ruin, it is our duty to parley. We must not let the chance for negotiations slip out of our hands. When our numbers have fallen to only four or five thousand men under arms we shall no longer have that chance, and this will undoubtedly happen if we hold out for another year, or even six months.

"There are some who say, 'We must trust in God and keep on fighting,' and I grant them that miracles are possible at all times. But it is beyond our power to say whether God will work a miracle for us. We do not know what His will may be. If we continue the war, and if it should afterwards appear that everything has been in vain, our responsibility will be only the heavier, the blinder our confidence now is. And over and over again we shall hear, 'He is dead,' 'and he, and he.' Will not this make our remorse all the more bitter? Our commandos are so weak, our country so exhausted, that the loss of one great battle, the surrender of a single strong force, would spell ruin for us.

"'But we have managed to hold out for so long.' Yes, but there is a natural reason, a military reason, why this has been the case. The fact that our commandos have been spread over so large a tract of country has compelled the British, up to the present time, to divide their forces. But things have changed now; we have had to abandon district after district, and must now operate on a far more limited territory. In other words, the British army can at last concentrate its forces upon us.

"I firmly believe that, under like circumstances, no other nation in the world would have fought as our nation has done. Shall such a nation perish? No! we must save it. If we delegates are convinced that we can no longer offer resistance to the enemy, it is our plain duty to tell the people so. We must not let them be exterminated for want of timely advice. More than twenty thousand women and children have died in the camps during this one year.

"There are men of our own kith and kin who are helping to bring us to ruin. If we continue the war, it may be that the Afrikanders against us will outnumber our own men.

"What is there left to hope for? Are we to retain our independence by ceding a part of our territories? Most assuredly yes, if such a compromise is feasible. As regards Swaziland, it is of so little importance to us that we can give it up without a thought. Then there are the goldfields-let them go. They are but a cancerous growth, sapping the very life of our country.

"We must face the fact that things are not at a standstill: we are slipping back every moment. We must all pull together, or everything is lost. If our sacrifices will buy our independence, well and good. But suppose that we are compelled to give it up-well, if it even comes to this, we must never do so unconditionally. An unconditional surrender would be well enough if the leaders only had to be considered. But we must think of the interests of the nation. We must say to our people, 'We have no thought of ourselves: our only desire is to place ourselves in the breach, if so we may save you.'"

General Botha then proceeded to discuss eventualities in the event of independence being lost. Representative government, he said, might perhaps still be retained, and the national language need not necessarily be supplanted. Thus the nation would still retain its old ideals and its old customs. General Roux had been pertinently asked whether it were better to strive for the recuperation of the people now or to wait until they were altogether overpowered and reduced to such straits that it would require some thirty years before they could once more call themselves a nation. He then went into the terms of the proposal by the British Government, and repeated that there must be no idea of unconditional surrender.

The General concluded in the following words:

"Although we do not wish to accept terms, we have no right to refuse them altogether. On the other hand we must not say to the English, 'Do with us as you like.' For then our descendants would eternally reproach us. We should have lost the privilege of looking after our own wives and children. They would be handed over to strangers. No! we must secure by some means or other that we ourselves shall be able to provide for them. The fate of our country is in the hands of the men in this tent. It has been bitter, indeed, for me to have to speak as I have done. But if I have not spoken the truth, convince me of my error, and I will be the first to own it. But do not condemn me, for I have had no other object than to tell you what I believe to be the truth."

General De la Rey spoke.

"I will not detain you long," he began, "but there are a few points to which I wish to draw attention. In regard to the districts under my command, every one will understand that my burghers, after their recent brilliant successes, are firmly resolved not to sacrifice their independence. If I allude to the battles which I have just fought it is with no thought of boasting, but only that you may picture to yourselves the effect which they must have had upon the enemy; and that no one may be angry with myself and my burghers for standing firm when our feet are on such solid ground.

"But since my arrival at Vereeniging I have heard about our districts where matters are in a far less favourable condition than in my own. So far as I myself am concerned, I cannot think of laying down my arms. Yet it appears to me that some parts of the country will be compelled by starvation to give up the struggle. It is well that those who represent these parts have spoken openly, and not left this meeting in ignorance of the state of affairs only to go and lay down their arms.

"I myself have never thought intervention possible. Even before the war broke out I said that nothing would come of it. I saw that South Africa was divided between Germany and England. And that if only the Republics could be extinguished, then England and Germany would be the only Powers left, and Germany would be safe. But if the Republics were victorious, then Germany would be in danger. Why then should Germany interfere in favour of the Republics, when she has everything to lose by such a course of action? No! intervention was entirely out of the question.

"There has been talk about fighting to the bitter end; but has not the bitter end already come? Each man must answer that question for himself.

"You must remember that everything has been sacrificed-cattle, goods, money, wife, and child. Our men are going about naked, and some of our women have nothing but clothes made of skins to wear. Is not this the bitter end?

"I believe that the time has now come to negotiate. England will never again give us the chance of doing so, should we allow this opportunity to slip by. But how shall we negotiate? I must leave it to this meeting to answer that question. If we do not obtain what we ask for, we shall at least stand or fall together. Yet let us act with reason.

"I cannot agree with one of the opinions expressed by Commandant-General Botha and States-Secretary Reitz. They have stated that they are against surrendering the goldfields to England; firstly, because England would never accept such a proposal, for by doing so she would declare to the whole world that she had only been fighting for the goldfields; and, secondly, because if we gave up the goldfields we should lose a source of revenue, without the aid of which we could not repair the damages which the war has wrought."

Commandant-in-Chief de Wet spoke as follows:

"I am of opinion that the circumstances in the Orange Free State are no less critical than those in the Transvaal. Nine districts were entirely ruined; but these, though at one time abandoned by the burghers, have now been reoccupied.

"If I now differ from those who are of opinion that it is useless to prolong the war, it must not be thought that I am lacking in respect for their judgment. By no means. I know that what has been said about the wretched plight of the people is only too true; but they must not take it amiss if I point out that the same condition of affairs was described in the correspondence from the Transvaal which fell into the hands of the English at Reitz. But, granting that the facts have been correctly stated, even then the Orange Free State will refuse to give in. Let me be candid with you, and say frankly that, in my opinion, this is virtually the Transvaal's war. This, however, makes no difference to me. For me the barrier of the Vaal River has never existed. I have always endeavoured to maintain the Nauwere-Vereeniging,[112] and I feel strongly the obligation which the union of the two States casts on each one of us. They are two nations, but their cause is one.

"What, then, is the prevailing feeling in the Orange Free State? Of the six thousand burghers who have been attending meetings, I myself have been in command of five thousand, and I can confidently say that never were five thousand men more unanimous in their opinion than were those I led when they cried, as with one voice, 'Persevere; we have everything to lose, but we have not yet lost it.' What, then, is the answer to be? I am firmly persuaded that we have only one course before us. If we are unable to obtain what we are asking for, then it only remains for us to alleviate as best we may the lot of those who cannot help themselves. I do not as yet clearly see how this is going to be done, but, at all costs, let us continue fighting. What was our total strength when we began this war? Sixty thousand men all told. Against this the English had a standing army of seven hundred and fifty thousand troops. Of these two hundred and fifty thousand, or one-third, are now in South Africa. We know from experience that they are unable to send more than one-third. And we? Have we not also one-third of our army left?

"I do not wish to imply that I am not prepared to concede something, but nothing will induce me to consent to any part of the country in our territory being given up. It will never do to have an English colony planted in our midst, for England then would have far too firm a hold upon our country.

"It is said, and with some truth, that the goldfields have been a curse to us, but surely there is no reason why they should continue to be so. I fail to see how, without retaining possession of these goldfields, the Republics are to be saved. Swaziland perhaps could be ceded, but never the goldfields. I feel that any intervention is out of the question; but is not the very fact that it has not taken place a sure proof that it was not the will of God? Does it not show that He is minded to form us, by this war, into a nation worthy of the name? Let us then bow to the will of the Almighty.

"My people will perhaps say, 'Our Generals see only the religious side of the question.' They will be right. Without faith we should have been foolish indeed to have embarked on this war and to continue it for so many months. Indeed, it must be a matter of faith, for the future is hidden from us. What has been is within our ken, but what is before is beyond the knowledge of the wisest man.

"Cape Colony is a great disappointment to me. I do not refer so much to what we have learnt about it from the reports as to the fact that no general uprising can be expected in that quarter. So much we have heard from General Smuts. But though there is to be no uprising, we have no reason to think that there has been any falling off in the number of our adherents in the Colony. The little contingent there has been of great help to us: they have kept fifty thousand troops occupied, with which otherwise we should have had to reckon.

"I feel deeply for our women and children; I am giving earnest consideration to their miserable plight. But their sufferings are among what we may call the necessary circumstances of the war. I have nothing to do with the circumstances. For me, this is a war of religion, and thus I can only consider the great principles involved. Circumstances are to me but as obstacles to be cleared out of the road.

"If we own ourselves defeated-if we surrender to the foe-we can expect little mercy from him. We shall at all events have dug the grave of our national independence, and, as things are, what difference is there between this and digging our own graves?"

Mr. Birkenstock said that the question about the goldfields must be carefully considered. This source of income must not be given up.

The meeting was then closed with prayer.

Saturday, May 17th, 1902.

The Chairman first called upon Chief Commandant de Wet to offer up prayer.

A private report from Mr. J. Schmorderer, who had brought the missive from the deputation in Europe, was then read.

The first delegate to speak was Landdrost Bosman (Wakkerstroom), who said:

"My opinion is that the best way of ascertaining the probable future course of events is to see what has already happened in the past. A year ago there were six hundred burghers in my district, and each man had a horse; now there are not more than half that number, and many of them have to go on foot. Last year we had from three to four thousand bags of maize ready to hand; this year there are not more than as many hundred, and how to get at them is more than I can tell. If such has been the history of the past year, in what sort of condition shall we be at the end of the present one?

"The great difficulty with regard to our families is not how to clothe them, but how to feed them. I know of a woman who has lived for weeks on nothing but fruit. I myself have had to satisfy my hunger with mealies for days together, although I have no wish to complain about it. Even the scanty food we can get has to be obtained from the Kaffirs by persuasion. Moreover, the Kaffirs side with the English, who in their counter-marches are clearing all the food out of the country.

"The men in my district told me that if I came back and reported that the war was to be continued, they would be obliged-for the sake of their wives and children-to go straight to the nearest English camp and lay down their arms. As to the women it is true that they are at present full of hope and courage, but if they knew how matters stood in the veldt, they would think very differently. Even now there are many of them who say that the war ought to be put a stop to, if only for their sakes.

"The Kaffirs are another great source of trouble; in this problem they are a factor which cannot be neglected.

"There is no hope of intervention, nor can we expect anything from the English nation. Facts that have come to my knowledge prove to me that England has become more and more determined to fight to the bitter end.

"I do not see what we can possibly gain by continuing the war. Our own people are helping the English, and every day the enemy are improving their position. What advantage can there then be in persisting in the struggle? We have now a chance of negotiating, and we should seize that chance. For we have the opportunity given us of obtaining some help for our ruined compatriots, who would be entirely unable to make a fresh start without assistance.

"As to the religious side of this matter, I am not ashamed to say that I believe I am serving God in the course which I am taking. We must not attempt to obtain the impossible against all reason. If we make any such attempt, the results will probably be exactly opposite to what we wish. I have the greatest doubt whether it really is in order to give glory to God that the nation wishes to retain its independence. On the contrary I believe that the motive is obstinacy, a vice to which human nature is always prone.

"It has been said that it would be shameful to disregard the blood already spilt; but surely one ought also to consider the blood that might yet be shed in a useless struggle."

The proposal of the Commission was now read, and after some discussion accepted. It ran as follows:

The meeting of national representatives from both Republics-after having considered the correspondence exchanged, and the negotiations conducted, between the Governments of the two Republics and His Excellency Lord Kitchener, on behalf of the British Government; and after having heard the reports of the deputies from the different parts of both Republics; and after having received the latest reports from the representatives of the two Republics in Europe; and having taken into consideration the fact that the British Government has refused to accept the proposal of our Governments made on the same basis; and notwithstanding the above-mentioned refusal of the British Government-still wishes to give expression to the ardent desire of the two Republics to retain their independence, for which already so much material and personal sacrifice has been made, and decides in the name of the people of both Republics to empower both Governments as follows:-To conclude a peace on the following basis, to wit: the retention of a limited independence offering an addition to what has already been offered by the two Governments in their negotiations, dated the 15th of April, 1902.

(a) To give up all foreign relations and embassies.

(b) To accept the Protectorate of Great Britain.

(c) To surrender parts of the territory of the South African Republic.

(d) To conclude a defensive alliance with Great Britain in regard to South Africa.

During the discussion it was clearly explained that the territory which it was suggested should be ceded was the already mentioned goldfields and Swaziland. The question was put whether the South African Republics would have to pay for the damage done during the war. "By all means let us pay," said Mr. De Clercq. "If I could only buy back the independence of the Orange Free State, I would gladly give all I possess."

Several other Transvaal delegates expressed themselves in the same sense, and said that they fully appreciated the sacrifices which the Orange Free State had made. General Froneman thanked them in the name of the Free State.

He felt that the two Republics no longer thought of themselves as having conflicting interests. In the fire of this war they had been firmly welded together.

Commandant Ross (Vrede) thought it wrong even to discuss the possibility of giving up independence. The delegates had received a definite mandate. They had been commissioned to see that the national independence had remained untouched, whatever else might have to be given up. This being the case, they might come to decisions on all other points, so long as they remembered that independence was not an open question.

Commandant J. Van Niekerk (Ficksburg) spoke to the same purpose. He could not even think of sacrificing independence.

After some other delegates had made a few short remarks, General Brand, seconded by Commandant A.J. De Kock, proposed the following resolution, which was accepted by the meeting:

"This meeting of the national representatives of the two Republics hereby charge the Governments to nominate a Commission for the purpose of entering upon negotiations with His Excellency Lord Kitchener, acting on behalf of His Britannic Majesty's Government. The Commission is to endeavour to make peace on satisfactory terms, and is then to lay the result of its negotiations before this meeting, for the sanction of the two Governments."

The meeting was then closed with prayer.

* * *

Appendix B


Minutes of the Conference held at Pretoria on May 19th, 1902, between Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner, representatives of the British Government, and Commandant-General L. Botha, Commander-in-Chief C.R. de Wet, General J.H. De la Rey, Judge J.B.M. Hertzog, and General J.C. Smuts, delegates of the national representatives, who had met at Vereeniging on May 15th, 1902.

Mr. N.J. de Wet acted as interpreter; Mr. O. Walrond was secretary for the English Government; and the Rev. J.D. Kestell and D. Van Velden acted in a similar capacity for the Commission.

The Conference met at ten o'clock in the morning at the house of Lord Kitchener. After having greeted each other, the members took their seats at the table in the centre of the room.

Commandant-General L. Botha opened the proceedings in the following words:

"Allow me to state that, although the negotiations have taken a longer time than we expected, I am able to assure your Excellencies that we are acting in good faith, and that everything has been done with the sole aim of concluding the peace which we all desire.

"I must also draw attention to the fact that everything we transact here must be submitted to our national representatives, in order to obtain their sanction."

The suggestion was then made that the proposals which the Commission was prepared to make should be laid before the Conference, whereupon the following letter was read to the meeting:

Pretoria, 19th May, 1902.

To their Excellencies, Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner, Pretoria.

Your Excellencies,-

With a view to finally concluding the existing hostilities, and being fully empowered by the Government of the two Republics, we have the honour to propose the following points-in addition to the conditions already offered in the negotiations of April last-as a basis for negotiations:

(a) We are prepared to cede our independence as regards our foreign relations.

(b) We wish to retain self-government in our country, under British supervision.

(c) We are prepared to cede a part of our territory.

Should your Excellencies be prepared to negotiate on this basis, then the above-mentioned points can be elaborated.

We have the honour to be,

Your Excellencies' most obedient servants,






When this letter had been read, a discussion followed.

Lord Milner: "Considering the wide difference between this proposal and that made by His Majesty's Government, when we last met, I fear that I can hold out very little hope of any good results following negotiations on the basis you have suggested."

Lord Kitchener: "We can take those proposals into consideration, but I cannot see how it is possible to bring them into harmony with those of His Majesty's Government."

Commandant-General Botha: "If this is the position you take, we should like to receive from you a final answer to our proposals."

Lord Milner: "Do you wish us to refer your proposals to His Majesty's Government?"

Commandant-General Botha: "Yes, unless you have full powers to give us a final reply."

Lord Milner: "I am quite convinced that your proposal will be rejected; and I feel bound to say that to refer it, as it stands, to His Majesty's Government will only do you harm."

Commandant-General Botha: "If you have no power to decide upon this proposal here, we should like you to refer it to His Majesty's Government."

Lord Milner: "I have no objection to taking the responsibility of refusing your proposal on myself. The instructions received by myself and Lord Kitchener are quite clear on this point."

Commandant-General Botha: "I must then understand that when Lord Salisbury said that this war was not carried on with a view to annex territory, he did not mean it."

Lord Kitchener: "It is no longer a question of territory, for annexation is an accomplished fact."

Commandant-General Botha: "I am unable to see how our proposal is inconsistent with annexation."

Lord Milner: "I cannot now recall the exact words used by Lord Salisbury, but it is true that Lord Salisbury declared that his Government did not begin the war with the intention of obtaining territory. But in the course of the war circumstances developed in such a way that the decision to annex the Republics became a necessity, and the British Government have pronounced their firm intention not to withdraw from this decision."

Judge Hertzog: "I should like to be informed as to what the great difference is between the basis now proposed by us and that laid down by His Majesty's Government during the negotiations of last year-I do not mean the difference in details, but in principle."

Lord Kitchener: "Do you mean by your proposal that the Boers will become British citizens?"

General Smuts: "I cannot see that our proposal is necessarily in contradiction to that of last year. Our proposal only makes provision concerning the administration."

Lord Milner then quoted from the terms offered at Middelburg by the British Government the previous year:-

"At the earliest possible date military administration shall cease, and be replaced by civil administration in the form of a Crown Colony Government. At first there will be in each of the new Colonies a Governor, an Executive Council consisting of the highest officials, and a Legislative Council, which latter shall consist of a certain number of official members and also of a nominated non-official element. But it is the wish of His Majesty's Government to introduce a representative element as soon as circumstances permit, and, in course of time, to grant to the new colonies the right of self-government.

"It may be that I do not properly understand your proposal, but it seems to me to differ not only in detail, but also in spirit from the scheme I have just read to you."

Judge Hertzog: "I entirely agree with you that there is a difference in idea between the two proposals; but only such a difference in idea as might well be found between Colonies of the same State. In other words, one constitution is adapted for one colony, whilst another constitution is found fitting for another colony, but yet they all belong to the same Empire."

Lord Milner: "Exactly. There are different constitutions in different Colonies; but it seems to me that the policy laid down in your proposal differs from that laid down by His Majesty's Government."

Judge Hertzog: "I think that I am expressing the opinion of the whole Commission when I say that we wish for peace. I draw attention to this to show the way in which, according to my opinion, we should consider the matter. For if we on both sides are really desirous of coming to a settlement, we should not make too much of theoretical difficulties, so long as the practical aim has been obtained. For instance, the different Colonies which now are joined to form the United States once possessed constitutions differing much from one another. Now the constitution laid down in our proposal does not differ so much from that laid down in yours that a practical difference should arise therefrom; and such a practical difference would arise if you insisted upon carrying on negotiations on your own basis. I imagine that England has a certain object before her in South Africa, and I believe that that object can be as well obtained by our proposal as by that of Middelburg. I therefore ask, Is the difference so great that, in order for England to obtain her object, an entirely new status must be called into existence?"

Lord Milner: "We are comparing two different things. Here in the Middelburg scheme there are a number of definite proposals, which enter upon a great mass of particulars. I do not mean to imply that we have not the power to go into particulars. I perfectly understand that it lies within the power of Lord Kitchener and myself to carry on further deliberations with you about details, so as to throw light on any doubtful points, and, perhaps, to make such changes as would not fundamentally affect the scheme. As you say that your proposals are not in contradiction with those formulated at Middelburg, then there is no reason why you should not lay aside your proposals and discuss the Middelburg proposals, which are definite."

Judge Hertzog: "I quite admit that you, Lord Milner, are entitled to say that there is a fundamental difference between our proposals. But it is another question whether the difficulty that thus arises is of such a nature that we-those of us who on both sides are anxious to conclude peace-should not be able to find a solution to it satisfactory to both parties. I cannot answer that question; nor can I see why the same result would not be reached by negotiating on the basis proposed by us as by carrying on negotiations on the Middelburg proposal."

Lord Milner: "I understand, then, that you acknowledge that there is a fundamental difference between the two bases. Well, I do not think that we are empowered to negotiate on a basis differing from that laid down in the last report of His Majesty's Government, and also differing from the tenor of the Middelburg proposal. I may say that I believe that His Majesty's Government in their latest message went as far as it was possible for them to go with the object of meeting you. The whole spirit of the telegram was to that effect."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I hope you will understand that I do not speak as a lawyer. (Lord Kitchener, laughing: "That's the case with me too!") I fully concur with what General Botha and Judge Hertzog have said in regard to our eagerness to establish peace. In order to be brief, I will only remark that I did not understand His Excellency, Lord Milner, to mean-any more than I myself meant-that we should go to the nation with the Middelburg proposal, with the idea of coming back with it unaltered."

Lord Milner: "No; if I gave that impression, I did not intend to do so. But I believe that when you went to your people with the last message from His Majesty's Government it was with the knowledge-which the message itself made clear-that His Majesty's Government was not prepared to take into consideration any terms which differed widely from the policy laid down in the Middelburg proposal."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "That was indeed what I understood; and accordingly we have now come with a proposal which does not differ very much from the Middelburg proposal."

General Smuts: "I thought that the vital principle your Government had in view was the destruction of our independence, and in our proposal the independence of the two Republics with regard to foreign relations is given up. I was therefore of opinion that the two parties might come to an arrangement on this basis. I did not think that for the restoration of peace the Middelburg terms were essential."

Lord Milner: "Not in the details, but in the general ideas. As the British Government has laid down a basis, and you have had weeks in which to consider the matter, it would never do for you now to put it on one side. Lord Kitchener has given your nation considerable time in which to take counsel; and now you come back, and, ignoring the Middelburg terms, you propose entirely different ones of your own, and say, let us negotiate on these. I do not believe that I and Lord Kitchener would be justified in doing this. But in case he is of another opinion, the British Government can be asked if they are prepared to set on one side all the former deliberations and begin again on a new basis."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "We cannot, of course, prevent Lord Kitchener from asking his Government any questions he pleases, but, at the same time, we request that you will cable our behests to the English Government."

Commandant-General Botha: "I cannot see that we are beginning again on a new basis, for, in consequence of the negotiations in April last, you were ordered by the British Government to encourage us to make fresh proposals. Our present proposal is the direct result of that order."

Lord Milner: "I did my best to get fresh proposals from you, but you would not make any. You forced the British Government into making proposals."

Commandant-General Botha: "I am of opinion that we must both work together in this matter of formulating proposals."

Lord Kitchener: "You were asked to make proposals, but you did not do so; and now, after the British Government has made a proposal, you yourselves come forward with one of your own."

General De la Rey: "I think that it was the encouragement given us by correspondence between the Netherlands and the British Government that caused us to make our proposals."

Lord Milner: "That correspondence was at the beginning of the negotiations."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "If we had been obliged to make a new proposal in April, we would not have been able to make one so fair, and so much to the advantage of the British Government, as our present one, for, not having consulted the nation, we would have been compelled to insist on entire independence."

Lord Milner: "I must remind you of what has taken place; not with the object of putting you in the wrong, but in order to make the position clear, for there are some points about it which are not very clear. You came and made a proposal. The British Government gave you a distinct answer-they refused to accept it. Their answer was perfectly outspoken, and perfectly intelligible. At the same time they said, 'We are anxious for peace; will you make other proposals?' You then said, 'No! we have no power to do so; we must first consult the nation.' We admitted that argument. Then you said, 'Let the British Government make proposals.' The British Government did so, and they are fully entitled to an answer. In what position do you think you are placing Lord Kitchener and myself? You come back with a totally fresh proposal, and do not say anything about ours. This is not fair treatment to the British Government, and we are not bound to take your proposal into consideration."

Judge Hertzog: "I have endeavoured to show that our reply really cannot be taken as ignoring the proposal of the British Government. The great question in the correspondence in April between us and the British Government was the question of independence; and now, after having consulted the nation, we come here and say that we are prepared to sacrifice in some degree our independence, and we indicate how far we will give it up. And, as General Smuts has said, that is the basis which we have laid down in our present proposal."

Lord Milner: "You say that you give up your independence as regards foreign relations."

Judge Hertzog: "Yes. But then you must understand that this is only a general principle, which we treat in detail later on."

General Smuts: "The independence is given up both in regard to our foreign relations and in regard to interior administration, which will be placed under the supervision of the British Government. So that the effect of these two articles is, that the independence is sacrificed, and that the two Republics will not in the future be able to be regarded as Sovereign States."

Lord Milner: "I understand perfectly well that they would not be Sovereign States any longer, but my intellect is not bright enough for me to be able to say what they really would be."

Lord Kitchener: "They would be a new kind of 'international animal.'"

General Smuts: "It has more than once happened in the course of history that difficulties have been solved by compromise. And this draft proposal goes as near as seems possible towards making us a Colony."

Lord Kitchener: "Do you accept the annexation?"

General Smuts: "Not formally; but I do not see in what way this proposal is in opposition to the annexation proclamation."

Lord Kitchener: "I am afraid I am not clever enough to comprehend this. There would be two Governments in one State. And how do you imagine that this arrangement could be carried on?"

General Smuts: "A more ample explanation will have to be given of the word 'supervision'; and I thought that this was just one of the points on which we could carry on further discussions and negotiations."

Lord Milner: "I am certainly not going to give up an explicit basis for a vague proposal."

Lord Kitchener: "I feel convinced that your proposal would never be able to be carried out in the practical governing of a country."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I agree that our proposal has not been fully worked out, but neither have the Middelburg proposals. This was clearly indicated by Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner when these proposals were made, and they were only looked upon as a basis on which we could negotiate, so that the business might be begun. We naturally cannot compel the British Government to accept our proposal; but, at all events, it is a basis."

Lord Milner: "I am very anxious that these discussions should not end in smoke, and I shall not allow any formalities to stand in the way, but to abandon the definite proposals of Middelburg (March 7th) for a thing like this, and to begin a fresh discussion on the basis of something which is so very vague will surely land us in trouble. I believe we are quite entitled to keep you to the Middelburg proposal, which we might modify in regard to details."

Commandant-General Botha: "Perhaps it would be well if you would first give an answer to our proposals."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I think that (unless your Excellencies have power to give a final answer to our terms) it would not be unfair if we were to ask you to lay our proposal before your Government."

Commandant-General Botha: "We are come here with the earnest intention of concluding peace; and I think that if our proposal is carried out Boer and Briton will be able to live side by side in this country. I presume that it is the wish of both parties to be fair and just, and to make a peace by which both can abide, and which will be permanent in South Africa."

Lord Milner: "That is certainly our aim."

Lord Kitchener: "Your proposal would involve important changes in our own-changes which, so far as I understand them, we should be unable to permit."

Commandant-General Botha: "I am of opinion that before a proposal is made from your side you should give a definite answer to ours."

Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner: "Well, then, change your proposal into ours."

Lord Milner: "I do not believe that the British Government is prepared to go any further to meet you than they have done in their last proposal. They think that they have already gone far in their efforts for peace-further, indeed, than the general opinion of the British public would warrant."

Lord Kitchener: "The difference between our proposals seems to be too great."

Commandant-General Botha: "We shall always remain under the supervision of the British Government."

Lord Kitchener: "Will you then consider yourselves British subjects? 'Supervision' is a new word, and 'suzerainty' has already caused us too much trouble."

Judge Hertzog: "The idea is not so very new. There are several kinds of different States, all belonging to the British Empire. For instance, there is Basutoland."

Lord Milner: "There are many different kinds, but this one is a new variety."

Judge Hertzog: "If your Excellencies could only understand us! We have no wish to lose a single minute. We have been to the nation, and we know what the nation wants and what their temper is. If, then, we are to make a proposal here, it must be:-Firstly, a proposal which shall meet the English Government in a fair way; and, secondly, a proposal which we are honestly convinced will be acceptable to our nation. And such a proposal we have laid before you. And now we are placed in a disadvantageous position, for we are here before your Excellencies, who have not full power finally to decide the matter."

Lord Kitchener: "We are in the same position as yourselves."

Judge Hertzog: "We offer you here what we know is in accordance with the mind of the nation; we cannot possibly do anything that is against it."

Lord Milner: "Are we to understand that the Middelburg proposals are not according to the mind of your people?"

General Smuts: "As yet no answer has been given to them. The only decision come to by the national meeting is that which we are now laying before you."

Lord Kitchener: "Are you prepared to set aside your present proposal and to hand in another one bearing a closer resemblance to that of Middelburg? We must try and find some middle course; and as we are here to endeavour to arrive at something definite, let us try to obtain a basis for discussion. Shall we make a new proposal?"

General Smuts: "As soon as there is a final answer to our proposal we shall be able to take a fresh one into consideration."

Lord Milner: "I believe that the fact that you have refused to enter upon the proposal made by the British Government justifies us in not considering your proposal. Let us rather say that your very refusal implies your answer to what we have proposed."

General Smuts: "I understand the position to be as follows-The British Government has declined our proposals, and at the same time holds fast to the old basis, but without prejudice to its power of making a new proposal."

Lord Milner: "The whole difference between you and myself is that I take the letter of 7th March to be the utmost concession that the British Government is able to grant; not that that letter binds us down to every clause of the proposal, but that it is an indication of how far our Government is prepared to go on the general question. Your answer, however, is no answer at all."

Lord Kitchener then read his telegram, dated 14th April. ["A difficulty has arisen in getting on with the proceedings; the representatives state that constitutionally they have no power to discuss terms based on the surrender of independence, inasmuch as only the burghers can agree to such a basis. Therefore, if they were to propose terms, it would put them in a false position with regard to the people. If, however, His Majesty's Government could state the terms which, subsequently to a relinquishment of independence, they would be prepared to grant, the representatives, after asking for the necessary explanations, and without any expression of approval or disapproval, would submit such conditions to their people."] "Clearly you have not kept to what you undertook in this telegram."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "If it had only been a question of our feelings being hurt by having to give an answer on the basis proposed to us by the British then it would not have been necessary for the people to come together at Vereeniging. But in matter of fact we have come here with a proposal, which, rightly understood, is nearly equivocal to the Middelburg proposal, and which meets the wishes of the English Government as far as possible."

Commandant-General Botha: "I do not see why we should insist so much on our proposal. If it is not to the mind of your Excellencies, if it is an unacceptable proposal, then let us have a definite answer to it."

Lord Milner: "We wish to have an answer to the proposal made by us."

General Smuts: "I do not see that any proposal has been made by the British Government. A certain basis only has been laid down, and therefore no formal answer is required."

Lord Milner: "Our proposal is six times as definite as yours, and I believe that the British Government is justified in wanting to know if your people are inclined to come to terms on the general lines which have been placed before them."

Lord Kitchener: "Here is quite an original suggestion: How would it be if you were to go back to your people and ask them if they would not make a proposal?"

General Smuts: "You must understand that the Middelburg proposal, with all that took place in April, has been read to the people. Their answer was neither 'Yes' nor 'No.' They simply elected the delegates. The delegates as yet have not given any answer. They are still considering the matter, and, in order to gain time, they have commissioned us to see whether we could not come to some arrangement."

Lord Milner: "We are getting away from the subject. Tell us what alterations you want, and then place our proposal before your people."

Lord Kitchener: "Should you agree that your proposal is not in opposition to the annexation, we shall have accomplished something."

General Smuts: "Is it your opinion that our proposal must be set aside?"

Lord Kitchener: "Yes, surely. It is impossible for us to act on it."

Lord Milner: "It is impossible for us to take your proposal into consideration. We can send it to England, but this would certainly tend to hinder the negotiations. This is my personal opinion, which naturally you are not bound to accept. All that we can say is, that this is the only answer that we can give you."

Lord Kitchener: "It would be better to draw up a new document, in which everything of importance would be noted down, and all unimportant matters left out."

General Smuts: "But paragraph 3 of our proposal has not even been mentioned. We are prepared to cede a part of our territory."

Lord Milner: "This would be in contradiction to the annexation of the whole. If the whole becomes annexed by us, how then can a part be ceded by you?"

General Smuts: "The ceded part would then become a Crown Colony, the remaining part being governed as is here proposed."

Lord Milner: "You mean that one part would become a British Colony of the ordinary type, and another part a protected Republic?"

Lord Kitchener: "Two forms of government in the same country would lead to great friction. Our proposals are too divergent. From a military point of view, the two forms of government could not co-exist. Before a year was over we should be at war again."

The meeting was then adjourned till the afternoon.

During the interval the Commission discussed the situation, and sent General J.C. Smuts to deliberate on several points with Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner.

The meeting opened again at four o'clock.

Lord Milner: "In consequence of an informal conversation with General Smuts, Lord Kitchener and I have drawn up a document, which will show the form in which, as we think, the only agreement that can be arrived at must be worded. It is a draft document, and we believe the Governments will be able to sign it. Our idea is that after it has been taken into consideration here it might be laid before the burghers, and you could ask them, 'Are you willing that we should put our signatures to it?'"

This document ran as follows:-"The undersigned, leaders of the Boer forces in the Veldt, accepting, in their own name, and in that of the said burghers, the annexations as mentioned in the proclamations of Lord Roberts, dated respectively the 24th May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred, and number 15, dated 1st day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred, and accepting as a consequence thereof their status of British citizens, agree herewith immediately to lay down their weapons, and to hand over all guns, small arms, ammunition, and stores in their possession, or under their hold, and to cease all further resistance against the Government of His Majesty King Edward Seventh, or his successors. They do this trusting in the assurance of His Majesty's Government that neither their personal freedom nor their property shall be taken away from them, or from the burghers who surrender with them; and that the future action of His Majesty's Government in relation to the consequences of the war shall be in harmony with the declaration mentioned below. It is clearly understood that all burghers who at present are prisoners of war, in order to be able to enjoy the above-mentioned assurance, will have to notify their acceptance of the status of British citizens."

Commandant-General Botha: "Are we to understand that our proposal is now altogether rejected?"

Lord Milner and Lord Kitchener: "Yes."

Commandant-General Botha: "Then I understand that you are going to be guided only by the Middelburg proposals?"

Lord Kitchener: "No; we can alter them."

Lord Milner: "This draft document was originally written out in order to be annexed to the Middelburg proposals. But instead of the Middelburg proposals, this document is now drawn up, in order to place us in the position to formulate the proposals differently."

General Smuts: "If the idea is then that the Middelburg proposals should be amended, would it not be best to do so now, and then to annex them to this document?"

Lord Milner: "That which will take the place of the Middelburg proposals has to be added as a schedule to this document, and we have to work out this schedule together."

General Smuts: "I think it would be far better if you were to alter the proposal yourselves, and then lay it before us for consideration; we could then see what we could do to meet you."

Lord Kitchener: "I think that a sub-committee should be formed by you in order to draw up the schedule."

Lord Milner: "My idea is that the schedule should be drawn up, so that it and the document could be taken into consideration together."

General Smuts: "We should like to consider first whether we will help in drawing it up."

Lord Milner: "I am willing to draw it up in conjunction with you, or to let it be drawn up by you alone, but, from past experience, I must decline to draw it up by myself."

General Smuts: "If we were to sign this document, would not the outcome be that we leaders made ourselves responsible for the laying down of arms by our burghers."

Lord Milner: "Yes. And should your men not lay down their arms it would be a great misfortune."

Lord Kitchener: "I do not think so, for if some of the burghers refused to lay down their arms, the signatories could not help it. There are sure to be some who are dissatisfied."

General Smuts: "The document does not mention this."

Lord Kitchener: "It can be amended."

General De la Rey: "Well, then, there can be no peace, for one part of the burghers will hold back and continue the war."

Lord Milner: "If the national meeting agrees to give you power to sign this document, it will certainly mean that the burghers as a whole are agreeable; and those who after this do not submit will be-well, I do not know what I can call them-outlaws. But we will not consider such an eventuality possible."

General Botha: "We desire a peace that will be honourable to both parties. And, as I understand this document, we are leaving honour behind us, for we are now not only surrendering our independence, but we are allowing every burgher to be fettered hand and foot. Where is the 'honourable peace' for us? If we conclude peace, we have to do it as men who have to live and die here. We must not agree to a peace which leaves behind in the hearts of one party a wound that will never heal. I will do everything in my power to obtain peace. But it seems to me that this document asks too much of us, because, if I interpret it aright, it means that we must surrender our independence, that every one must give up his weapons, and that the leaders, in addition, must sign an undertaking to this effect."

Lord Milner: "All that we wish is that the people should live peacefully together as British citizens. If we do not obtain this, then I do not know what we do obtain."

Lord Kitchener: "I do not think that the Commandant-General realizes what the schedule contains. In it we state what we are ready to grant. Perhaps it would be best that the schedule should be arranged now, and then you will see that an honourable peace is proposed."

General Botha: "Well, then, explain the document."

Lords Kitchener and Milner: "You are to help us: we do not know what the burghers demand."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "By signing this document we shall place ourselves in the position which the Commandant-General has so clearly described."

General De la Rey: "We cannot form a judgment on anything that is not properly elaborated. I have no objection to the constitution of a sub-committee with the duty of helping in the work."

Commandant-General Botha: "I also have no objection, since I understand that it binds nobody to anything."

Lord Kitchener: "No, nobody will be bound."

General De la Rey: "We wish to have the matter concluded, so that we may know what is before us."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I should like to have it clearly understood that I do not think there is the least chance of a Government of which Lords Kitchener and Milner are the heads being accepted. An arrangement of this nature would, it seems to me, be an insurmountable difficulty. When I feel so strongly in this matter, it would not be fair to their Excellencies for me to remain silent."

Lord Kitchener: "I think it would be better if General de Wet were to wait until he has seen the whole document before he gives his opinion."

It was then agreed that Judge Hertzog and General Smuts should act as a sub-committee, in order to draw up a complete draft with Lord Kitchener, who was to be assisted by Sir Richard Solomon.

The meeting then adjourned.

On Wednesday, 21st May, 1902, the Conference reassembled.

Lord Milner laid before the meeting the documents which he had drawn up with the help of the sub-committee. It was in the form of a contract, and the names of the members of both Governments were now filled in. The document was the same as that telegraphed, with the exception of Article 11, dealing with the notes and receipts and the sum of three million pounds.

It was read in Dutch and English, and ran as follows:-

"General Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, Commander-in-Chief, and His Excellency Lord Milner, High Commissioner, on behalf of the British Government;

"Messrs. S.D. Burger, F.W. Reitz, Louis Botha, J.H. De la Rey, L.J. Meijer, and J.C. Krogh, on behalf of the Government of the South African Republic and its burghers;

"Messrs. M.T. Steyn, W.J.C. Brebner, C.R. de Wet, J.B.M. Hertzog, and C.H. Olivier, on behalf of the Government of the Orange Free State and its burghers, being anxious to put an end to the existing hostilities, agree on the following points:-

"Firstly, the burgher forces now in the Veldt shall at once lay down their arms, and surrender all the guns, small arms and war stores in their actual possession, or of which they have cognizance; and shall refrain from any further opposition to the authority of His Majesty King Edward VII., whom they acknowledge as their lawful sovereign.

"The manner and details of this surrender shall be arranged by Lord Kitchener, Commandant-General Botha, Assistant-Commandant-General J.H. De la Rey, and Commander-in-Chief de Wet.

"Secondly, burghers in the Veldt beyond the frontiers of the Transvaal and of the Orange River Colony shall, on their surrender, be brought back to their homes.

"Thirdly, all prisoners of war, being at the time burghers out of South Africa, shall, on their declaring that they accept this status of subjects of His Majesty King Edward VII., be brought back to the farms on which they were living before the war.

"Fourthly, the burghers who thus surrender, or who thus return, shall lose neither their personal freedom nor their property.

"Fifthly, no judicial proceedings, civil or criminal, shall be taken against any of the burghers who thus return for any action of theirs in connexion with the carrying on of the war.

"Sixthly, the Dutch language shall be taught in the public schools of the Transvaal and of the Orange River Colony, where the parents of the children demand it; and shall be admitted in the courts of justice, wherever this is required for the better and more effective administration of justice.

"Seventhly, the possession of rifles shall, on taking out a license in accordance with the law, be permitted in the Transvaal and in the Orange River Colony, to persons who require them for their protection.

"Eighthly, military administration in the Transvaal and in the Orange River Colony shall, as soon as possible, be followed by civil government; and, as soon as circumstances permit it, a representative system tending towards autonomy shall be introduced.

"Ninthly, the question of granting the franchise to the natives shall not be decided until a representative constitution has been granted.

"Tenthly, no special tax shall be laid on landed property in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony to meet the expenses of the war.

"Eleventhly, a judicial Commission shall be appointed, to which the government bank notes, issued under Law No. 1 of the South African Republic, may be presented within six months. All such notes, if found to have been duly issued in conformity with the terms of the law, and if the presenting party shall have given consideration in value, shall be honoured, but without interest.

"All receipts issued in the Veldt by the officers of the late Republics, or by their orders, may also be presented to the said Commission within six months; and if they have been given bona fide in exchange for goods used by the burghers in the Veldt, they shall be paid in full to the persons to whom they were originally issued.

"The amount payable on account of the said Government's notes and receipts shall not exceed £3,000,000; and in case the whole amount of such notes and receipts accepted by the Commission should exceed that amount, a pro rata reduction shall be made.

"The prisoners of war shall be given facilities to present their notes and receipts within the above-mentioned six months.

"Twelfthly, as soon as circumstances shall permit, there shall be appointed in each district of the Transvaal and of the Orange River Colony a Commission, in which the inhabitants of that district shall be represented, under the chairmanship of a magistrate or other official, with a view to assist in the bringing back of the people to their farms, and in procuring for those who, on account of losses through the war, are unable to provide for themselves, food, shelter, and such quantities of seed, cattle, implements, etc., as are necessary for the resuming of their previous callings. Funds for this purpose, repayable by instalments extending over a number of years, shall be advanced-free of interest-by the Government."

Lord Milner: "If we come to an agreement, it will be the English document which will be wired to England, on which His Majesty's Government will decide, and which will be signed."

Commandant-General Botha: "Will not a Dutch translation be annexed?"

Lord Milner: "I have no objection to the addition of a Dutch translation. This, then, is the document which we are prepared to lay before the English Government."

Commandant-General Botha: "There are a few points on which I wish to speak. The first is in reference to the receipts given by our officers. It seems to me quite right that they should be mentioned in the paragraph about government notes. These receipts were issued, in accordance with instructions given by our Government, for the purchase of cattle, grain, and other necessaries for the support of our commandos; and the chief officers now present, as well as all other officers, have acted according to these instructions and issued receipts. Therefore I make this request. Some of these receipts were afterwards paid in part, and others in full, in government notes. But many were not paid at all. I do not believe that the amount is great, but it will strengthen our hands to be able to take up this affair honourably, for our honour is concerned in so far as we have signed the receipts. It will be a great point in our favour to be able to go before our delegates and tell them that they are guaranteed on this point, for most of them are officers."

Lord Kitchener: "I understand that General Botha refers not to commandeer or requisition notes, but only to actual receipts issued on the Treasury."

Lord Milner: "I do not see any difference between these receipts and commandeer notes. The willingness of persons to sell goods makes no difference in a legal document."

Lord Kitchener: "I mean that it makes a difference whether it is an order on the Treasury or a requisition note. I should limit this (guarantee) to receipts on the Treasury, issued in consequence of a law that permitted a certain sum to be issued."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "No decision was come to in the Free State as to how much was to be issued."

Lord Kitchener: "Am I to understand by this that it is an unlimited amount, or does it come within the amount decided on by the Volksraad?"

General Smuts: "While the Government existed the Volksraad empowered it to issue notes up to a certain amount. And this was done. Moreover the officers in the Veldt had the right to make purchases for the commandos and to give receipts for them."

Lord Milner: "I can see no difference between receipts and requisition notes, and they have been issued for an unlimited amount."

General Smuts: "These receipts were issued under a totally different law. They were not paid out of the credit voted by the Volksraad."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I would have it clearly understood that I quite agree with what has been said by the Commandant-General, namely that the honour of every officer is engaged for these documents, and if your Excellencies agree it will give us a strong weapon with which to return to the delegates."

Lord Milner: "The proposal is de facto that the British Government shall repay all the monies which the Republics borrowed with the object of fighting against England."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "Yet we have fought honourably, and if we give up our independence it is no more than fair that you should meet us in this matter."

Commandant-General Botha: "Am I to understand your position to be that we must surrender everything, and that whilst you take away the freedom of our country (which amounts to many millions) you at the same time refuse all responsibility for our debts. We had been recognized by you as belligerent, and so are entirely in our rights in asking that when you seize the riches of the country you shall also take its debts upon your shoulders. So long as the British Government reaches the great goal at which it is aiming, a matter so easily arranged as this should not cause any difficulty: we are not bickering about trifles, but are bringing forward what to us is a real hardship, and you must take it for granted that when we say something here we really mean it. And now we tell you that this matter is an obstacle in our way. Personally, we have not signed many receipts: it was the officers of lower rank who signed the greater number, and it is these very officers who form the majority of the national meeting at Vereeniging. In some instances, I may add, special persons were appointed for the purpose of carrying out this work."

Lord Milner: "We do not take over the assets without taking also the liabilities. We take over all the debts owed by the country before the war, and we have even agreed to take over a debt-a legal debt-in the shape of notes, which notes we are fully aware it only became necessary to issue on account of the war, and thus we are already paying a part of the cost incurred in fighting us. I think this is a very great concession; and when I agreed that it should be put down I said that I believed (and I still am of the same opinion) that the English Government would take exception to it, although I hope that this will not be the case. But to go further than this, and to ask us to pay not only a debt contracted under a law for the furtherance of the war, but also every debt contracted by every officer in the armies of both Republics, for the purpose of fighting us, is to my mind a most extravagant proposal. In answer to what General Botha has said, I may observe that the Commission appears to think that we have no persons behind us whose feelings and prejudices (if you use that word) we are bound to take into consideration. If this matter causes a difficulty among your burghers, I can only say that I am sure that your proposal will cause the British Government the greatest trouble when dealing with the nation, with whose feelings they have to reckon."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I should like to explain the position of the Orange Free State. In the Transvaal a law was passed empowering the Government to issue £1,000,000; but in the Orange Free State nothing was done, as the Government possessed the right to pay with receipts, and we thought that a receipt was as good and as legal as a note; and therefore, from my point of view, the two are of equal importance."

Commandant-General Botha: "I might point out that we should not insist so much on the technical meaning of words-and this is especially true for your side, because we have assembled here with the aim of stopping the hostilities which cause you such great expenses every month; and our meeting may be able to bring these expenses to an end. Therefore, if you accept our proposal and pay these receipts, you might save almost enough to cover the cost you incur. It would be much cheaper to make an end of the war by co-operation than to let matters drift on. Therefore I believe that it is the duty of both parties to be willing to make concessions when obstacles appear."

General de Wet: "I can assure His Excellency, Lord Milner, that the people always believed that should everything be lost they still would be able to obtain this money due on receipts. If this is not granted, I cannot imagine what the results will be. I am afraid of the consequences; and I trust that you will do your best to meet our wishes."

Commandant-General Botha: "It will not be a very large sum, but we cannot give you the exact amount."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "You can well understand that our expenses are only a drop in the ocean compared with yours. If I am right, the Orange Free State had three quarters of a million when the war began, and the issue of receipts only started when that sum was exhausted. Your Excellencies must acknowledge that we have the same obligation of creditor through these receipts as we should have in any other case."

Commandant-General Botha: "You have already many of our notes in your possession. In one case alone there were fifty thousand hidden away, and found by you. I have stated privately to Lord Milner that what we are now striving to obtain has already been granted to us de facto by Lord Kitchener. In Lord Kitchener's Middelburg proposal the paying of the Government notes was refused, but there was a proviso that the receipts should be paid to the amount of one million. Should this now be withdrawn, surely such a withdrawal would form a deviation from the Middelburg proposal. The paying of notes is legal, and is on quite another footing, and I cannot understand how it could have been refused in the Middelburg proposal. That it should be granted now is only reasonable. But as regards the payment of receipts, although it was allowed then up to a certain amount, it is now withdrawn. At this present stage of the proceedings I think that a point which had already been practically conceded in the previous negotiations should not be allowed to form a stumbling-block to a final agreement. I believe that the amount is only small; I was for one year in conjunction with De la Rey in command of the forces of the South African Republic. During that period of time an account was kept of all the receipts, and only a short time back the books were still in our possession. These receipts were issued in an orderly manner, and each of them was duly entered in a book, as far as I was able to judge. These receipts amounted to quite a small sum; and although Lord Milner would draw back if the sum was very big, the question how far he will go can be settled when the proposal is accepted. Yet I personally think that there are no grounds for fear, and the amount is really far smaller than you imagine."

Lord Milner: "I do not think it is so much a question of amount. This paying of notes and requisition notes appears to me very unreasonable. I believe that in this matter I am only voicing the opinion of the great majority of the British nation when I say that my countrymen would much prefer to pay a large sum at the conclusion of hostilities with the object of bettering the condition of the people who have been fighting against them than to pay a much smaller sum to meet the costs incurred by the Republics during the war. Whether such a view is right or wrong, it is a view you have to reckon with. We do not wish to pay the accounts of both parties; and my opinion of the clause quoted from the Middelburg proposal is that that clause was one of its faults. But should anything of the kind become necessary, then I think that the paying of the notes is less objectionable than the paying of the requisition notes. I placed this point about the payment of notes in the draft because I thought that if it came to a choice between paying one or the other you would prefer that the notes should be paid. However, if it should be thought better to return on this point to the Middelburg proposal, although I am greatly against the clause, I will waive my objection to it if Lord Kitchener is agreeable."

General Smuts: "I am afraid that we cannot agree to this, for we thought that the notes would be beyond all dispute."

Judge Hertzog: "I do not think that your Excellency is representing the matter fairly when you say that you will not pay the bills of both parties. There is one thing to be taken into consideration as regards the Orange Free State, and which must be considered before everything else, and that is, that we have made no loans nor have we given any government notes. The notes we used were notes of the South African Republic, which had been sent to the Orange Free State. Our law was formed on the idea that in case of war all the costs should be paid by commission notes. The Orange Free State acted on this principle, and receipts were issued. If we take into consideration at the same time that we have been and still are recognized by you as belligerent, then we can only say: On our side we surrender everything that we possess, and we only ask the other party to acknowledge the fact that if we had contracted a loan it would have been to the charge of the British Government, who, in taking everything from us, renders itself responsible for our public loans. Lord Milner should understand that it is of just as much importance to us for the receipts to be paid as it is to the South African Republic for the loan, which it contracted before the war, to be taken over by the British Government. But I can even go further and give Lord Milner the assurance that we have acted more economically when issuing these receipts than we should have done had we contracted the loan previous to the war. Now we have only what is absolutely necessary to meet our present needs. So that Lord Milner must own that we find ourselves in the same position towards those who are in possession of receipts, as we should have occupied towards any other creditor we might have had before the war began. I must give my support to what the Commandant-General has said; and I can only repeat what I have already informally told Lord Milner, namely, that this difficulty is almost insurmountable."

Lord Milner: "We can refer this to our Government. But your proposal is altogether antagonistic to the Middelburg proposal, which absolutely rejected the idea of taking over all the debts of the two States."

Lord Kitchener: "I should like to know the amount."

General De la Rey: "My issue of notes amounts to between twenty and fifty thousand pounds; but I cannot say what the issue in receipt has been."

Lord Milner: "There really is a feasible compromise, namely, to allow the notes and receipts to come in and to establish the suggested limit of £1,000,000."

Lord Kitchener: "Would that meet your difficulty?"

Commandant-General Botha: "No."

Lord Kitchener: "Well, would two or three million be sufficient? We must have a limit before we can do anything."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "It is impossible to stipulate the amount."

Lord Kitchener: "If you were in a position to give a limit, it would simplify matters."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I agree with that entirely, and I can quite understand the position in which you are placed. Yet it is absolutely impossible to assign an amount. Will you give us your permission to adjourn for a moment in order to discuss the matter?"

The meeting was then adjourned. It reassembled at 2.30 p.m.

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "We have agreed to fix on a sum of £3,000,000 for the government notes and receipts; their amount paid pro rata can be lowered should this sum prove insufficient. We have drawn up an article to lay before the meeting."

General Smuts then read a draft which was inserted at the end of Article 11 in the draft agreement.

In answer to a question by Lord Kitchener, Commander-in-Chief de Wet said: "The prisoners of war on the different islands who are in possession of such notes should be given an opportunity of sending them in for payment."

Lord Milner: "What is the next point you wish to raise? We now understand what your position is."

Commandant-General Botha: "Am I to understand that you mean that we are getting away from the point in discussion?"

Lord Milner: "This document contains your view of the matter, so we are now aware of your idea."

Commandant-General Botha: "We must know what to say to the delegates."

Lord Kitchener: "Is this the only point you wish to bring forward, or are there others in addition?"

Commandant-General Botha: "There is another concerning the protection of debtors, which is a vital question for us."

Lord Milner: "We must not have any beating about the bush. Everything must appear in the document."

General Smuts: "Most of the debts contracted before the war will have to be paid after the war; and if the debtors cannot pay we are afraid that it will result in the ruin of a great part of the inhabitants. We should like to see steps taken to prevent this. If Lord Milner intends to take such steps, we should like to be informed what they are."

Lord Milner: "I think it would be best if you were to make a proposal on this point."

General Smuts: "Our proposal is roughly that all interest which became payable during the war should be joined to the principal, and that this should be payable six months after the war."

Lord Kitchener: "Is it necessary to make a proposal about this?"

General Smuts: "If the Government is prepared to meet us in this difficulty it will be unnecessary to place a formal clause in the draft agreement."

Lord Milner: "As I look at the matter, the Government is making certain promises in this document, and I consider that all promises to which a reference may be made later should appear in it. Everything to which the Government is asked to bind itself should appear in this document, and nothing else. I do not object to clauses being added, but I wish to prevent any possible misunderstanding."

General Smuts: "Well, in that case we are quite willing to propose such a paragraph."

Commandant-General Botha: "We waive this question, so that early measures may be taken to arrive at an understanding. In case a great number of the inhabitants become subjects of His Majesty, it is to every one's interest, and principally to that of the Government, that these people should not be ruined. They will be thrown upon the mercy of a Government, whose duty it is to study their interests. If steps are not taken to prevent it, speculators who have been buying up the liabilities will, as soon as peace is concluded, enforce them, and directly the Courts of Justice are opened they will issue summonses. Against this we have to be on our guard."

Lord Milner: "I agree with the Commandant-General. I think that as these people become subjects of His Majesty, then some provision will have to be made for them. But I believe it to be neither necessary nor advisable to point out in every particular case the way in which His Majesty's Government has to provide for these people. I think that an idea exists-perhaps it is a very natural idea-because we have been fighting against the burghers that, therefore, after peace has been concluded we shall still retain a feeling of enmity against them. Just the opposite, however, is the truth. Our endeavour will naturally be, from the moment hostilities cease, to gain the confidence of the people and to do our best to promote their welfare. But if we have to bind ourselves beforehand in regard to the manner in which we shall deal with all sorts of involved legal questions, further misunderstandings are certain to occur. If you have not confidence in us-that we shall try to be a righteous Government, and to maintain the balance between the different classes of His Majesty's subjects-then you must put in writing every point that strikes you, and let them be laid before His Majesty's Government, to see what they think about them."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I trust that you will not think that we are trying to tie the hands of His Majesty's Government. There are many other points which will give the Government opportunity to win the confidence of the people. But about things which concern the financial position of burghers who are entirely ruined we feel it our duty to obtain definite promises. They will be a weapon in our hands when we return to the delegates."

Commandant-General Botha: "I do not quite understand, Lord Milner. I did not interpret Mr. Chamberlain's telegram in the sense that we had to present new proposals in order to bind our hands further. I thought that proposals were to be made with a view to establishing peace."

Lord Kitchener: "I do not think that it is altogether necessary to include this proposal in the document. It concerns the very involved legal questions as to what the rights of creditor and debtor shall be, and as to what the law in the Transvaal may be on the matter. I think that every one can rest assured that the interests of the Boers will be protected by the Government in every way; and this, whether the point is put down now or left in the hands of the Government with the recommendation from this Commission to take the matter into serious consideration.

"I think that I know of a better way to deal with this involved question. Let this matter be brought under the consideration of the Government. I may be mistaken, but, as far as I can see, it will prove a very thorny question for the lawyers, and will take a long time before it can be clearly stated. It is, however, the wish of us all that you should return to the delegates equipped in such a way that you will be able to arrive at a decision. You may rest assured that the matter which you have brought before us has been included in the minutes of this meeting. I do not think that it is necessary for you to go further than this. The matter can now be carefully considered, not only here, but also in England; and you may be quite sure that your interests will receive, in every way, full consideration."

General De la Rey: "I think that the matter has been sufficiently discussed in the presence of your Excellencies, and that it need not be placed in the draft contract, for by so doing one might stumble on legal questions."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "This is my point of view: There are two parties, and one of them is about to cease to exist. It is, therefore, natural that this party cannot allow a vital question to pass unnoticed. It is for this reason that I cannot agree that this matter should be omitted from the draft contract. It will not be necessary that the military Government which now exists should continue after the war."

Lord Kitchener: "But the question will have to be settled by the Civil Government. It is a matter for lawyers, and must be laid before them, and will require much consideration."

Commandant-General Botha: "When hostilities are concluded it will be possible to summon a burgher for a debt contracted before the war. I put this request because our law states that no burgher can be summoned till sixty days have elapsed since the conclusion of peace."

Lord Kitchener: "You may entirely rely upon this, that whenever the war is over each burgher will have the absolute right to obtain consideration for his position in every way, and that his interests will be protected under the new as under the old régime."

Commandant-General Botha: "I understand that perfectly. But the possibility exists that syndicates may be formed to buy up all the debts, and the people may be ruined before a single burgher is in the position to earn anything or to have his position restored."

Lord Kitchener: "I quite agree with what the Commandant-General has said, and he is quite right to bring the question up. Yet I do not think that the draft contract is the best place in which to bring it forward. Once peace is a fact, then it will be the duty of every one to draw the attention of the Government to what is required to aid the nation; but to bring up difficulties at the present moment, and to attempt to right them, seems to be an endless task, and one for which this document was not destined."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I am of opinion that this is a matter which should be settled by a proclamation; but I want to have as many weapons as possible in my hands when I return to the national delegates, and one of the first questions that will be asked me is this, 'What guarantee do we possess that we shall not be ruined by our creditors?' It would not be much trouble to you to give us now a draft of the proclamation which would be issued as soon as peace is concluded."

Lord Kitchener: "But this would be something quite apart from the matter under discussion."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "Yes."

Lord Milner: "What is the good then?"

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "It is such a vital question for us that you cannot take it amiss if we insist upon it, for we have to give up everything."

Lord Kitchener: "Of course, no one is blaming you."

Lord Milner: "But without any thought of blame, I must point out that the effect of their proposal would be that another clause would have to be inserted in the draft contract, undertaking that such a proclamation would be issued."

Lord Kitchener: "I think that as long as the delegates receive an assurance that the Government will take this matter into consideration, in the interests of their subjects, whom they are bound to protect, that such an assurance ought to suffice. There should be no written undertaking, but only a promise that the matter shall receive attention. It is not advisable after the subject has been brought before the Government to press the matter further. The feelings of the burghers, moreover, in other ways than this, will be brought before Lord Milner."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "If we wished to do so, we could insist upon many other little points, but we only bring up vital questions."

Lord Kitchener: "This is one of the questions which, when once brought under the consideration of the Government cannot be put aside; and you may tell the burghers that their interests will be protected as fully as is possible. I think that, in so complicated a matter, this ought to be sufficient for them. All that is debated here is recorded in the minutes, and these minutes will be considered not only here, but also in England. Are you satisfied with this?"

Commandant-General Botha: "Yes, so far as I am concerned."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "I also am satisfied."

Lord Milner: "I hope it is quite understood that if the matter is allowed to remain where it is, my Government will be under no obligation to treat the matter in any particular way."

Lord Kitchener: "But there is a pledge that the matter will be properly considered."

Lord Milner: "Yes, naturally; if we put anything down in writing. I am convinced that it is necessary to make it quite clear that this document must contain everything about which there is anything in the form of a pledge."

Lord Kitchener: "There is, then, a pledge that the point upon which you have touched will be considered in your interests."

General Smuts: "There still remains the question of the payment of receipts."

Lord Kitchener: "That will be placed before the Government. The sum is an essential point; I believe the amount to be considerable. I should now like to know that it is understood that we are agreed about all these draft proposals, including your amendments, and that there are no further questions to be brought forward-it is necessary to know this, as they would have to be telegraphed to England."

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "We have no further points to raise."

Lord Milner: "The telegram that I shall despatch is as follows:

'The Commission is prepared to lay before their burgher meeting the following document (in the event of it being sanctioned by His Majesty's Government), and to ask of the meeting a "Yes" or "No."'

"Is that satisfactory?"

Commander-in-Chief de Wet: "Yes, naturally. Only I cannot say that this document has my approval. Yet I shall be content to abide by the decision of the delegates."

Judge Hertzog: "I should not like to think that we are bound to use our influence with the delegates."

Lord Milner: "I think that is understood. I understand that the members of the Commission are not bound in respect of the opinions they may express before the burghers. They are only bound, if the British Government approves of the document, to lay it before the people. I propose to send the following telegram:

'The Commission is prepared to lay the following document before the burgher meeting at Vereeniging, for a "Yes" or "No" vote, in the event of His Majesty's Government approving of it.'

"I want also to state that we have completely deviated from the Middelburg proposal. I believe everyone is fully aware that the Middelburg proposal has been annulled altogether. Should an agreement be arranged in conformity with this document, and signed, then no attempt must be made to explain the document, or its terms, by anything in the Middelburg proposal."

The meeting was now adjourned.

Wednesday, May 28th, 1902.

The Commission met Lord Kitchener and Lord Milner at eleven o'clock with the purpose of hearing the British Government's answer to the draft proposal sent by their Lordships.

Lord Milner read the following memorandum:

"In answer to the telegram composed at our last meeting with the consent of the Commission and of which the members have received a copy, the following message has been received from His Majesty's Government:-

'His Majesty's Government sanctions the laying before the meeting for a "Yes" or "No" vote the document drawn up by the Commission and sent by Lord Kitchener on the 21st May to the Secretary of War, with the following amendments:

'The final proposal made by the British Government, on which the national representatives at Vereeniging have to answer "Yes" or "No."

'General Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, Commander-in-Chief, and His Excellency Lord Milner, High Commissioner, on behalf of the British Government;

'Messrs. S.W. Burger, F.W. Reitz, Louis Botha, J.H. De la Rey, L.J. Meijer, and J.C. Krogh on behalf of the Government of the South African Republic and its burghers;

'Messrs. M.T. Steyn, W.J.C. Brebner, C.R. de Wet, J.B.M. Hertzog, and C.H. Olivier on behalf of the Government of the Orange Free State and its burghers, being anxious to put an end to the existing hostilities, agree on the following points:

'Firstly, the burgher forces now in the Veldt shall at once lay down their arms, and surrender all the guns, small arms, and war stores in their actual possession, or of which they have cognizance, and shall abstain from any further opposition to the authority of His Majesty King Edward VII., whom they acknowledge as their lawful sovereign.

'The manner and details of this surrender shall be arranged by Lord Kitchener, Commandant-General Botha, Assistant-Commandant-General J.H. De la Rey, and Commander-in-Chief de Wet.

'Secondly, burghers in the Veldt beyond the frontiers of the Transvaal and of the Orange River Colony, and all prisoners of war who are out of South Africa, who are burghers, shall, on their declaration that they accept the status of subjects of His Majesty King Edward VII., be brought back to their homes, as soon as transport and means of subsistence can be assured.

'Thirdly, the burghers who thus surrender, or who thus return, shall lose neither their personal freedom nor their property.

'Fourthly, no judicial proceedings, civil or criminal, shall be taken against any of the burghers who thus return for any action in connexion with the carrying on of the war. The benefit of this clause shall, however, not extend to certain deeds antagonistic to the usages of warfare, which have been communicated by the Commander-in-Chief to the Boer Generals, and which shall be heard before a court martial immediately after the cessation of hostilities.

'Fifthly, the Dutch language shall be taught in the public schools of the Transvaal and of the Orange River Colony when the parents of children demand it; and shall be admitted in the Courts of Justice, whenever this is required for the better and more effective administration of justice.

'Sixthly, the possession of rifles shall, on taking out a licence in accordance with the law, be permitted in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony to persons who require them for their protection.

'Seventhly, military administration in the Transvaal and in the Orange River Colony shall, as soon as it is possible, be followed by civil government; and, as soon as circumstances permit it, a representative system tending towards autonomy shall be introduced.

'Eighthly, the question of granting a franchise to the native shall not be decided until a representative constitution has been granted.

'Ninthly, no special tax shall be laid on landed property in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, to meet the expenses of the war.

'Tenthly, as soon as circumstances permit there shall be appointed in each district in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony a Commission, in which the inhabitants of that district shall be represented, under the chairmanship of a magistrate or other official, with the view to assist in the bringing back of the people to their farms, and in procuring for those who, on account of losses in the war are unable to provide for themselves, food, shelter, and such quantities of seed, cattle, implements, etc., as are necessary for the resuming of their previous callings.

'His Majesty's Government shall place at the disposal of these Commissions the sum of £3,000,000 for the above-mentioned purposes, and shall allow that all notes issued in conformity with Law No. 1, 1900, of the Government of the South African Republic, and all receipts given by the officers in the Veldt of the late Republics, or by their order, may be presented to a judicial Commission by the Government, and in case such notes and receipts are found by this Commission to have been duly issued for consideration in value, then they shall be accepted by the said Commission as proof of war losses, suffered by the persons to whom they had originally been given. In addition to the above-named free gift of £3,000,000, His Majesty's Government will be prepared to grant advances, in the shape of loans, for the same ends, free of interest for two years, and afterwards repayable over a period of years with three per cent. interest. No foreigner or rebel shall be entitled to benefit by this clause.'

Lord Milner: "In making this communication to the Commission we are instructed to add that if this opportunity of concluding an honourable peace is not taken advantage of within a time to be fixed by us, then this conference shall be regarded as closed, and His Majesty's Government shall not be bound in any way by the present terms. I have, in order that there may be no mistake about these terms, made a copy of the documents and of Lord Kitchener's telegram, also of the amendments and additions determined on by His Majesty's Government, and of the memorandum to which I have just drawn your attention."

A debate now followed on the time that should be allowed for the discussion of the proposals at Vereeniging, and it was agreed that Commandant-General Botha should propose a term that very day before the Commission left Pretoria.

It was subsequently settled that the delegates must arrive at a decision before Saturday evening, May 31st.

General Botha asked if there were any objection to the delegates erasing any paragraph of the proposal sent by the British Government.

Lord Milner: "There must be no alteration. Only 'Yes' or 'No' is to be answered."

Commandant-General Botha: "I think that the burghers have the right to erase any article they may wish, for they have the right to surrender unconditionally."

Lord Milner replied that the burghers certainly had the power to do so, but the document of the British Government could not be changed.

There now followed an informal discussion about the colonists who had been fighting on the side of the Republics.

Lord Milner communicated what the British Government's intentions were with regard to these colonists; and read the following document:-

"His Majesty's Government has to formally place on record that the colonists of Natal and the Cape Colony who have been engaged in fighting and who now surrender shall, on their return, be dealt with by the Colonial Governments in accordance with the laws of the Colonies, and that all British subjects who have joined the enemy shall be liable to be tried under the law of that part of the British Empire to which they belong.

"His Majesty's Government has received from the Government of Cape Colony a statement of their opinion as regards the terms to be offered to British subjects of the Cape Colony who are still in the Veldt or who have surrendered since April 12th, 1901. The terms are as follows:-In regard to the burghers, they all

, on their surrender, after having laid down their arms, shall sign a document before a resident magistrate of the district in which their surrender has taken place, in which document they shall declare themselves guilty of high treason; and their punishment, in the event of their not having been guilty of murder, or of other deeds in contradiction to the customs of civilized warfare, shall be that for the rest of their lives they shall not be registered as voters, nor shall they be able to vote in Parliamentary, district, or municipal elections. As regards justices and veldtcornets of the Cape Colony, and all other persons who had occupied official positions under the Government of Cape Colony, and all who held the rank of commandant in the rebel or burgher forces, they shall be brought on the charge of high treason before the ordinary Courts of the country, or before such special Courts as later on may legally be constituted. The punishment for their misdeeds shall be left to the discretion of the Court, with this reservation, that in no case shall capital punishment be inflicted.

"The Government of Natal is of opinion that the rebels should be judged by the laws of the Colony."

The meeting now adjourned.

The secretaries and Messrs. de Wet and J. Ferreira, with the help of lawyers, set themselves the task of making copies of the proposal of the British Government for the use of the national representatives at Vereeniging. This work kept them engaged until the evening.

At seven o'clock the Commission left Pretoria and returned to Vereeniging.


Lord Kitchener to Commandant-General Botha.

Pretoria, March 7, 1901.

Your Honour,-

With reference to our conversation at Middelburg on the 28th February, I have the honour to inform you that, in the event of a general and complete cessation of hostilities, and the surrender of all rifles, ammunition, cannon and other munitions of war in the hands of the burghers, or in Government depots, or elsewhere, His Majesty's Government is prepared to adopt the following measures.

His Majesty's Government will at once grant an amnesty in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony for all bona fide acts of war committed during the recent hostilities. British subjects belonging to Natal and Cape Colony, while they will not be compelled to return to those Colonies, will, if they do so, be liable to be dealt with by the laws of those Colonies specially passed to meet the circumstances arising out of the present war. As you are doubtless aware, the special law in the Cape Colony has greatly mitigated the ordinary penalties for high treason in the present case.

All prisoners of war, now in St. Helena, Ceylon, or elsewhere, being burghers or colonists, will, on the completion of the surrender, be brought back to their country as quickly as arrangements can be made for their transport.

At the earliest practicable date military administration will cease, and will be replaced by civil administration in the form of Crown Colony Government. There will, therefore, be, in the first instance, in each of the new Colonies, a Governor and an Executive Council, composed of the principal officials, with a Legislative Council consisting of a certain number of official members to whom a nominated unofficial element will be added. But it is the desire of His Majesty's Government, as soon as circumstances permit, to introduce a representative element, and ultimately to concede to the new Colonies the privilege of self-government. Moreover, on the cessation of hostilities, a High Court will be established in each of the new Colonies to administer the laws of the land, and this Court will be independent of the Executive.

Church property, public trusts, and orphan funds will be respected.

Both the English and Dutch languages will be used and taught in public schools when the parents of the children desire it, and allowed in Courts of Law.

As regards the debts of the late Republican Governments, His Majesty's Government cannot undertake any liability. It is, however, prepared, as an act of grace, to set aside a sum not exceeding one million pounds sterling to repay inhabitants of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony for goods requisitioned from them by the late Republican Governments, or subsequent to annexation, by Commandants in the field being in a position to enforce such requisitions. But such claims will have to be established to the satisfaction of a Judge or Judicial Commission, appointed by the Government, to investigate and assess them, and, if exceeding in the aggregate one million pounds, they will be liable to reduction pro rata.

I also beg to inform Your Honour that the new Government will take into immediate consideration the possibility of assisting by loan the occupants of farms, who will take the oath of allegiance, to repair any injuries sustained by destruction of buildings or loss of stock during the war, and that no special war tax will be imposed upon farms to defray the expense of the war.

When burghers require the protection of firearms, such will be allowed to them by licence, and on due registration, provided they take the oath of allegiance. Licences will also be issued for sporting rifles, guns, etc., but military firearms will only be allowed for purposes of protection.

As regards the extension of the franchise to Kaffirs in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, it is not the intention of His Majesty's Government to give such franchise before representative Government is granted to those Colonies, and if then given it will be so limited as to secure the just predominance of the white race. The legal position of coloured persons will, however, be similar to that which they hold in the Cape Colony.

In conclusion I must inform Your Honour that, if the terms now offered are not accepted after a reasonable delay for consideration they must be regarded as cancelled.

I have, etc.,


Commander-in-Chief British Forces, South Africa.

To His Honour, Commandant-General Louis Botha.

* * *

Appendix C


May 29th, 1902.

The Rev. J.D. Kestell having offered prayer, the Chairman requested Vice-President Burger to address the meeting.

Vice-President Burger said that the documents laid before the Governments by the Commission would now be read to the meeting. Thereupon Mr. D. Van Velden read the following letter:

Report of the Commission.

Pretoria, 28th May, 1902.

To the Governments of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic:

Honble. Gentlemen,-

In accordance with instructions received from you, we went to Pretoria in order to negotiate with the British authorities on the question of peace. We have the honour to make the following report:

The meetings lasted from Monday, May 19th, to Wednesday, May 28th, its prolongation having been principally caused by the length of time taken up by the cable correspondence with the British Government.

We first handed in a proposal (annexed under A)[113] in which we attempted to negotiate on the basis of a limited independence with surrender of part of our territory. Lords Kitchener and Milner refused emphatically to negotiate on this basis, and expressed the opinion that to cable this proposal to the British Government would be detrimental to the objects of these negotiations. They told us they had already informed the two Governments that the British Government would only negotiate on the basis of an amended form of the Middelburg proposal. In order finally to formulate this proposal, Lord Milner asked the assistance of some members of the Commission; and this was granted, on the understanding that the assistance of these members of the Commission should be given without prejudice to themselves.

As the result of the deliberations of this sub-committee, Lord Milner produced a draft proposal, in which we insisted that a fresh clause (No. 11) should be inserted; and this was done. This draft proposal (annexed under B)[114] was then cabled to the British Government, revised by them, and then communicated to us in its final shape (annexed under B).[115] We were informed by the British Government that no further revision of this proposal would be allowed, but that it must now be either accepted or rejected in its entirety by the delegates of the two Republics; and that this acceptance or rejection must take place within a stipulated time. We then told Lord Kitchener that he should know our final decision by the evening of the next Saturday at latest.

During our formal negotiations certain informal conversations took place in reference to the British subjects (in Cape Colony and Natal) who have been fighting on our side. As a result of these informal conversations a communication from the British Government was imparted to us (annexed under B).[116]

We have the honour to remain, etc.,






Vice-President Burger said that the delegates must proceed to discuss this document, and that they would then be asked to decide-firstly, whether the struggle should be continued; secondly, whether the proposal of the British Government should be accepted; and, thirdly, whether they were prepared to surrender unconditionally.

It was decided that minutes of the meeting should be kept, and the delegates then proceeded to discuss the different articles of the British Government's proposal. The whole of the morning and a part of the afternoon sitting were devoted to questions dealing with the meaning of the several clauses, the members of the Commission answering to the best of their ability.

After these questions had been disposed of, Mr. De Clercq rose to speak. He said that he had already given his own opinion, but that now it was for the whole meeting to decide whether they would give up the war, and, if they resolved to do so, whether they would accept the proposal unconditionally. As to the proposal, it could not be denied that it did not give all that they themselves desired, but that could not have been expected. Should they now return to their commandos and be asked by their burghers what they had effected, they would have to reply, "Nothing." How would they be able to meet their burghers with such an answer as that? It would therefore be better to get terms from the British Government; and by doing so they would also gratify the British nation. As for himself, he was for accepting the proposal, unless it could be proved to him that unconditional surrender would be a still better course to take.

General Nieuwouwdt then proposed that the meeting should, without further delay, proceed to vote whether the war should be terminated, and whether the terms offered to them should be accepted.

General Froneman seconded this proposal.

Mr. Birkenstock (Vrijheid) felt that this was too important a matter to be treated with such haste. A decision about such a document as the one now lying before the meeting could not be come to in a moment. The delegates would hardly agree with the last speaker in his opinion that they should at once proceed to vote whether the war should or should not be continued. Time was required before coming to such a decision. Moreover it had to be proved whether it were possible to continue the war. There were some districts where it certainly could no longer be carried on. Was it possible for one part of the nation to continue fighting without the other? Then there was the question whether their resources and the troops which they still had were sufficient to justify them in prolonging the struggle. If they were insufficient the war must be discontinued and terms must be accepted. It would not be an easy thing to do; one could not, with a light heart, give up the independence of their country; but half a loaf was better than no bread,[117] and even such a sacrifice as this might be necessary if the nation was to be saved.

Commandant Jacobsz (Harrismith) was at one with the last speaker in holding that they must not be in too great a hurry to vote on the proposal.

Mr. P.R. Viljoen (Heidelberg) felt that the proposal of the British Government would so tightly bind them that they would never again be free. They were knee-haltered[118] now, but under certain circumstances they might even be hobbled.[119]

He considered that the meeting should ask the Governments to stop the war.

General Du Toit (Wolmaransstad) said that the times through which they were passing were very critical; every one ought to say exactly what he thought, and no one ought to be condemned for doing so. A delegate who should say that the war could not be continued must not be considered disloyal to his country because he did so. As regarded the three questions before the meeting, according to the opinion of his burghers the war ought to be continued. The views of his burghers when he left the commandos had been clearly expressed. "Let us retain our independence, or go on fighting," they had said. But why were they of this mind? Because they were unaware how matters stood in other districts. The eyes of the delegates, however, while directed towards God, were also able to observe the condition of the eastern parts of their country. If the burghers in those parts could not hold out, it would be impossible for the other commandos to do so. It could not be denied that some of the commandos were no longer able to continue fighting. That being the case, even if there were a majority in favour of prolonging the struggle, that majority would have to yield to the wishes of the minority, and for this reason: if the war were to be continued in conformity with the wishes of the majority, and if the minority were to be compelled to surrender (and nobody would be surprised at this), then the majority would find themselves too weak to go on fighting. Thus there were clear reasons why the war must be ended. Moreover, its continuation would involve not only the national but also the moral death of the Republics. But it was still to be proved that a continuation of the war was even possible; for himself he feared that it was not so, and if fight he must he could only fight without hope and without heart. If he were now to go back to his burghers, and they were to ask him why he persisted in the war, and he was compelled to reply that he was doing so on the strength of opinions expressed in newspapers, and on the encouragement given to the cause of the Republics in their pages, he would be told that he was building on sand. Again, he feared that if the war were to be continued, detached parties would be formed which would try to obtain terms from the English for themselves. And should the commandos in time become so weak as to be forced to surrender unconditionally, what then would be the fate of the officers? Would they not lose everything, and be banished into the bargain? Let no one think, however, that he was trying merely to do what was best for himself. No. There was now a chance for negotiating; should the meeting let slip that chance, unconditional surrender would most certainly result, and that would be disastrous to all. He hoped that he would not be misunderstood; if the meeting decided to go on with the war, he, for one, would not lay down his arms. No, he would actively prosecute the war, and operate in conjunction with the other generals. But what would be the use of it: he sided with those who held that the struggle could no longer be carried on.

Commandant Rheeder (Rouxville) wished to reply to those who demanded reasons for the continuation of the war. One reason, he said, was to be found in the fact that England would not allow them to have any communication with the deputation in Europe; that meant that something advantageous to us was being held back. Another was the consideration of what their descendants in time to come would say. "How is it," they would ask, "that we are not now free men? There were a large number of burghers in the veldt to continue the war-what has become of our independence?" And what answer shall we be able to make?-we whose courage failed us before such tremendous odds, and who laid down our arms when victory was still possible? The speaker would only be satisfied if the meeting were unanimous for stopping the war, not otherwise. He thought of the families. How would the delegates face their families on their return, after the sacrifice of independence? He considered that the commandos should leave those districts where resistance was no longer possible and go to others. If to discontinue the war meant to surrender independence, then the war must not be discontinued.

Vice-President Burger said that he had not heard from the last speaker any reasons whatsoever for continuing the war.

Commandant Rheeder then remarked that if they wanted to surrender their country they should have done so earlier, when the burghers were not entirely destitute. But now nothing was left to them. As to the narrowness of the field of operations, there was still room enough to fight.

Commandant P.L. Uijs (Pretoria) referred to the frequent allusion which had been made to their European deputation. That deputation was now in Holland, and must know if anything was going on there to the advantage of the Republics. If there were any hopeful signs there, their comrades would certainly have informed them. They had not done so, and therefore the meeting should dismiss this subject from its thoughts.

The meeting then adjourned until 7.15 p.m.

Upon reassembling, Commandant Cronje (Winburg) said that he would not detain the meeting for long; he only wished to say a very few words. It had been rightly said that they were passing through a momentous period of their history. To his mind the present was the critical epoch in the existence of the African nation, whose destinies they had now to decide. Delegates were asking what hopes they could now entertain. But what grounds for hope were there when the war began? In his opinion there were none. It was only that men believed then that Right was Might, and put their trust in God. And God had helped them. When the enemy had entered their country everything was dark. There had been a day on which more than four thousand men had surrendered. Then, even as now, they had been without hope. Then, even as now, those who wanted to continue the war had been told that they were mad. That had been some two years ago, and yet the war was still going on. Then, even as now, there had been no food, and yet they had managed to live. The delegates represented a free people; let them not take a step of which they would afterwards repent. As regarded intervention, he had often said that one could not rely on it. But they could rely on God. When he returned to his burghers, and was questioned as to his reason for the course of action which he had advocated, he hoped to be able to answer, "Belief in God." There had always been times when there was no food, and yet they had always managed to live. A deputation had been officially sent to Europe, and was now there to represent their interests. Had the meeting lost its confidence in that deputation? Did it not realize that if the case of the Republic was hopeless in Europe the deputation would send word to that effect? It had been said that by continuing the war they would be exterminating the nation. He did not believe this. The way to exterminate the nation was to accept the British proposal. To go on with the war was their only policy, and it was a very good policy. The deputation had claimed that their advice should be taken before any negotiations were attempted. What right, then, had the delegates to give up the war on the basis of the proposal now before them? To do so was to give the death blow to their national existence; later on they would have cause to rue it. Moreover, the proposal did not safeguard the interests of their brethren in Cape Colony. Again, landed property belonging to burghers had already been sold, and in all probability these burghers would never see any of the proceeds. The sum (£3,000,000) which the proposal offered to compensate for all damages, was not sufficient to cover damage already done. For these and other reasons the proposal could not be accepted. No other course was open to them except to reject the proposal and to continue hostilities.

General Froneman (Ladybrand) agreed with the last speaker. He loved his country, and could not think of surrendering it. The reasons which had induced them to begin the war were still in force. He had been through the whole campaign, and saw stronger reasons now than ever before for the continuing of the war. His districts, like those of others, were exhausted, and yet his burghers remained in the veldt. He had been present at the surrender of the four thousand; he had seen General Cronje give up his sword. Those had been dark days, but the struggle still went on; they could still keep on their legs. It had been God's will that this war should take place. Prayers had been offered that it might be averted, but God had ruled it otherwise. Therefore they must carry the war through, and never think of surrender. They were Republicans. What would it be to have to give up that name for ever? He had consulted his burghers and their women-folk; he had asked them, "What conditions of peace will you accept?" They had answered, "No peace at all, if it means any loss of independence." And so, before he could vote for peace, he would have again to take the opinion of his burghers.

Veldtcornet B.H. Breijtenbach (Utrecht) urged that a definite yes or no must be given to the question, Is the war to continue? The general condition of the country had been laid before the meeting, and it had been clearly shown that its condition made the carrying on of the war impossible. One could not escape from that fact. Why then should they argue any longer? What reason had they for wishing to prolong this struggle? They surely would not do so blindfold. Unless good reasons could be alleged for continuing it, the war would have to be stopped. As those good reasons were not forthcoming, he would vote with those who were for peace. To continue the war would be a crime. Some of the last few speakers had stated that there had been no sufficient reasons for commencing the war. That might be true. They might have been over-confident then. Be that as it might, they certainly had lost so much ground since then that they must now give up the struggle. This was his irrevocable opinion. It had been clearly shown that fourteen commandos were unable to continue in the veldt. This made peace a necessity, for what was to be gained by continuing a struggle without a proper army. The war might last a few months longer, but it must end then-and end in disaster.

Commandant W.J. Viljoen (Witwatersrand) said that some speakers were for and others against the continuation of hostilities. The first were guided by faith alone; the second had brought forward definite grounds for their opinion. A year ago both parties had been inspired by faith, but what had been the result? He would be glad enough to be convinced, but those who wished to continue the war must show grounds for such a line of action.

General De la Rey would only say a few words. He had received definite instructions before he went to his burghers neither to encourage nor discourage them, whatever they might say at their meetings. He had strictly observed these instructions, and had never attempted to influence them. There were present among the delegates nine men (one being from Cape Colony) who represented his burghers, and who would testify as to their state of mind and temper; he need not therefore say anything. The delegates could bear witness how full of courage the men were. Nevertheless, the war could not be continued. Say or do what they would at that meeting, the war must cease. Some had talked about faith. But what was faith? True faith consisted in saying, "Lord, Thy will, not mine, be done." They must bow before the will of God. The delegates, he continued, must choose one of the three courses which were open to them. It would be a great calamity if they were to decide to surrender unconditionally. Had it been necessary to do so it should have been done while they still possessed something. Should they then continue the war? But the question as to what would become of the people under those circumstances must be faced-to continue fighting would be the ruin of the nation. The delegates might go away determined to fight, but the burghers would lay down their arms, and the state of affairs which would thus ensue would not redound to their honour. But the British Government offered guarantees; it would help the nation so that the nation might help itself. If any one were to say now, "Continue fighting," he and his generals might have the heart to do so if they kept their minds fixed on their recent exploits. For himself, however, he would refuse absolutely to accede to that request. And what real advantage had accrued from his successes in the veldt? What had followed on them? All his cattle had been taken away, some three hundred of his men had been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Some of the delegates set their hopes on the European deputation, but what did that deputation say a year ago? It said that all depended on their continuing to fight. They had continued to fight. What more, then, was there left for them to do? Some gentlemen present had definite mandates from their burghers, who very likely had no knowledge of the actual state of affairs when they gave those mandates. He himself had not known at that time in what a plight the country was. He challenged each and all of the delegates to show their burghers the proposal of the British Government, and then to see if those burghers were not in favour of unconditional surrender. But if the meeting insisted on the continuation of hostilities, the nation would be driven into hands-upping; thus the war would end in dishonour and disgrace.

Landdrost Bosman (Wakkerstroom) was glad that General De la Rey had spoken out so boldly; it was every one's duty to do so. He himself also was against the continuance of the war.

Although it had been said that the war had been begun in faith, it ought not to be forgotten that it had also been begun with hope of intervention, as was shown by the sending of the deputation to Europe-that deputation which, as they had often heard, had done so much good work. Another proof that there had then been hope of intervention was that the burghers had ordered the delegates to keep them in communication with the deputation. And that they had not relied exclusively on faith at the beginning of the war was shown by the fact that they had founded great hopes on what their brethren in Cape Colony might accomplish. These hopes had now been dissipated by General Smuts, who had just said that there was no chance of a general insurrection.

Again, could the war be continued when their commandos were so much weakened, and when food was so scarce? It was nonsense to say that food had been scarce a year ago; there had been a sufficiency then, and at the present time there was not. One could ride from Vereeniging to Piet Retief without seeing more than two or three herds of cattle. Moreover, the women and children were in a most pitiable condition. One delegate had spoken against any scheme which would be as it were a trampling on the blood which had already been spilt-he shared that delegate's sentiments; but he considered that to shed yet more blood in a cause which was to all appearance hopeless would be still more reprehensible. He should prefer not to enter into the religious aspect of the question. It was difficult to fathom the purposes of God; perhaps it might be the Divine will that they should lose their independence. All that they could do was to follow the course which seemed to be good and right. Were they, then, to surrender unconditionally? He would say no. It would be giving the enemy opportunities for doing things from which they might otherwise desist. Moreover, by voting for such a policy the leaders would incur the displeasure of the nation. In choosing what course they would pursue the delegates should let nothing else sway them save the good of the nation. They must not be carried away by their feelings; they must listen only to the voice of reason.

Commandant H.S. Grobler (Bethal) felt that, under the circumstances, the war could not be continued. It had already reduced them to such straits that they would soon have to fly to the utmost borders of their territories, leaving the enemy unopposed in the very heart of the country. At the beginning of the war they had not relied on faith alone; there had also been guns, war material and provisions. But now none of these things were left to them. It was terrible to him to think that they must sacrifice the independence of their country. He was a true son of his country, and could not consent to the surrender of her independence unless that were the only way of saving the women and children from starvation. But it was not only the women and children who were on the verge of starvation; the burghers still left in the laagers were in the same predicament. What, moreover, was to happen to the prisoners of war, if the struggle were to be continued? And to the families in the camps? The delegates must not forget those families. If the people generally were dying a national, the families were dying a moral, death. It was a sad thought that there were among their women in the camps, many who were thus losing their moral vitality. It was a thought which should make them determined to conclude the war.

Commandant Van Niekerk (Ficksburg) said that his commandos had commissioned him to hold out for independence. The proposal of the British Government could not be accepted. They must take no hasty step. If they persevered in the war, the enemy would grant them better terms. All they had to do was to act like brave men.

General J.G. Celliers (Lichtenburg) had already told the meeting what mandate he had received from his burghers. But he was there to do the best he could for the nation as a whole. The condition of the country was very critical. The fact that his own commandos were faring well was not a sufficient reason for continuing the war. He must take all circumstances into consideration. He had said that he was in favour of an arrangement by which peace should be made without the sacrifice of independence. Such an arrangement they had attempted to bring about. They had elected a Commission, which had done all in its power to give effect to their wishes in this matter. And the result was the proposal of the British Government now lying before them. That was what the Commission had obtained for them. Which of them could say that he could have obtained better terms for the people than those contained in that proposal? Or that, if the war were to be continued, the people would gain any advantage which that proposal did not give them? It had been said that the deputation in Europe had encouraged the burghers in their prolonged struggle. The last message they had received from the deputation had been: "Go on till every remedy has been tried." Could that be called encouragement? It had also been said that the nation must have faith. He admitted the necessity-but it must not be the sort of faith which chose what it would believe, and what it would disbelieve. They must be prepared to believe that it might be the will of God that they should yield to the enemy. As he had more insight into the state of affairs than his burghers, and therefore was better qualified to form a judgment, he did not feel himself bound by their mandate. Had the burghers known what he now knew, they would have given him a very different commission. He felt that it was a serious thing to continue sacrificing the lives of his fellow-countrymen. Moreover, however dear independence might be, it was useless to attempt impossibilities. Their one aim should be to safeguard the interests of the nation. His vote would be with those who were for accepting the proposal of the British Government.

Commander-in-Chief de Wet was the next to address the meeting. His speech was as follows:-

"As I feel it to be my duty to speak out all my mind before this meeting, I shall go back to the very beginning of the war. And recalling my feelings at that period, I can say that I had less hope then for intervention than I have now. I do not mean to say that I am sanguine about it even now; but I know to-day, what I did not know then, that great sympathy is felt for us by other nations. Even in England this sympathy is to be found, as is shown by the largely-attended 'Pro-Boer' meetings which have been held in that country. And that the feeling in our favour is widespread is evident from the reports which we received by word of mouth from the messenger to whom the deputation entrusted its recent letter, for we cannot believe that the deputation would have employed an unreliable person. And what did that messenger say? Among other things, he said that our cause was winning new adherents every day. It may be asked, however, why the deputation did not send a report of its own? I reply that it had its hand upon the pulse of the Governments, and that the information it was thus gaining was of such a character that it could not be entrusted to any messenger whatsoever. Perhaps the deputation was unable in any way to communicate what it knew to us-it would never do to noise abroad the secrets of European policy. The silence of the delegates ought not, then, to discourage us; on the contrary, we should regard it as a hopeful sign.

"If there is any one man who feels deeply for the critical condition of our country, I am that man. And critical our condition certainly is; so that I am not surprised that some of us are asking, 'What hope have we now in continuing the struggle?' But I would ask another question: 'What hope had we at the beginning of the war?' Our faith in God-we had nothing else to rely on! At the very outset of the war I knew that we, with our forty-five thousand troops, were engaged in a contest against a nation that had no less than seven hundred and fifty thousand men under arms, and who could easily send against us a third of that number. And to counterbalance the terrible odds against us, we had nothing, as I knew, but our faith. At that time there were some who expected that effectual help would come from Cape Colony. I was never deluded by this hope. I knew of course that there were men there who would fight with us against England; I knew how much those men sympathized with our cause; but I also knew that the circumstances of that country would make it impossible for the colonists to help us more than they have, as a matter of fact, done. No! God was our one Hope when the war began. And if, when the war is over, victory lies with us, it will not be the first time that faith in God has enabled the weaker nation to overthrow the stronger.

"Those of you who urge that the war should be discontinued, ask us, who are for carrying it on, what tangible reason we have for our hope. But what tangible reason for hope was there at the beginning of the war? Are our affairs darker now? Quite the contrary-miracles have been worked in our favour during the last twenty-two months. General Botha wrote to me some time ago, saying that the scarcity of ammunition was causing him much anxiety. And he had good cause for that anxiety-ammunition was exhausted. When a burgher came to me at that time with an empty bandolier, it absolutely terrified me. But now, to use an expression of General Joubert's, my pleasure is tempered with shame when I think of the plentiful store of ammunition which we possess. I am not angry with those of my compatriots who ask for reasons-I give my reasons-nor have I given a thousandth part of them.

"The enemy has already made us some concessions. There was a time when Lord Salisbury said that the English Government would be satisfied with nothing short of unconditional surrender. He does not say so to-day. England is negotiating with us-that is to say, she shows signs of yielding to our demands. If we continue the war, England will negotiate again; she will offer still more favourable terms; she will not even stick at independence.

"Do you want more of my reasons? Look back once more upon our past history, and you shall find them. Recall the time when the Transvaal was at war with England. At that time we did not know the English so well as we now know them; we had only thirteen cartridges for each man; and there were the so-called 'Loyalists'-a chicken-hearted crew-to hamper us. Faith was our only support then-and you all know how that war resulted.

"I am asked what I mean to do with the women and children. That is a very difficult question to answer. We must have faith. I think also that we might meet the emergency in this way-a part of the men should be told off to lay down their arms for the sake of the women, and then they could take the women with them to the English in the towns. This would be a hard expedient, but it may be the only one possible.

"America has been referred to by some of the speakers, who have compared our circumstances with those of the United States, when they made war upon England. The comparison is, in one respect at least, an apt one, for we also have large territories to which we can always retreat.

"As to Europe-we know little of the condition of things there. Our information about Europe comes only from newspapers, and 'Jingo' newspapers at that. If there is not a great deal going on in Europe which England wants to hide from us, why is she so careful not to let us see European journals? If there were anything in them unfavourable to our cause, England would flood our country with them in her own interests. We must also note that England will not permit our deputation to return to us.

"Taking all these facts into consideration, and remembering that the sympathy for us, which is to be found in England itself, may be regarded as being, for all practical purposes, a sort of indirect intervention, I maintain that this terrible struggle must be continued. We must fight on, no matter how long, until our independence is absolutely secure."

General Beijers (Waterberg) said that he had to give an answer to the question whether he ought to follow his reason or his conscience; he could only reply that conscience had the first claim upon him. If he were to perish whilst following the guidance of reason, he would feel that he had been unfaithful; whereas, were he to die whilst obeying the dictates of conscience, he would not fear death. Martyrs of old had died for their faith; but he feared that the martyr spirit was now only to be met with in books! Those martyrs had died, and with their death it had seemed that all was lost; but the truth, for which they had given up their lives, had lived!

But how is it now with us? We think our cause a righteous one, but are we willing to die for it? Some spoke of our existence as a nation-but whether that were to be preserved or lost, did not lie with us-it was in the hands of God-He would take care of it. Right must conquer in the end. They must take care to be on the side of right, should it even cost them their lives. He agreed with those who said that, even if the present deliberations were to come to nothing, they would have another chance, later on, of negotiating. This had been proved by what had already happened. General de Wet had shown them how Lord Salisbury had gone back upon his first demands; he (General Beijers) could tell them that on one occasion Lord Roberts had declined even to speak to General Botha-and yet the English were negotiating with them now. He was quite open to conviction, but at present he could not see that the war ought to be stopped. Nevertheless he was not blind to the critical state of their affairs. But their case was not yet hopeless; their anxiety about food, their lack of horses-these were not insurmountable difficulties. They might even find some means by which to save their womenfolk.

No. These difficulties were not insuperable; but there was one difficulty which was insuperable-the present spirit of the nation. When a spirit, be it what it might, inspired or ruled a man, then that man would submit to no other sway. The spirit that now ruled the burghers was a spirit that was driving them over to the enemy. Against that spirit it was impossible to contend. General De la Rey had said that, if the proposal now before the meeting were to be shown to the burghers, they would at once accept it-that was the sort of spirit that was in them, and one must take it into consideration, for he was convinced that it presented an insurmountable obstacle to the continuation of the war.

The meeting was then closed with prayer.

Friday, May 30th, 1902.

After the preliminary prayer had been offered, Vice-President Burger said that before beginning the business of the day, it was his sad duty to inform the meeting that the President of the Orange Free State had been obliged to resign, on account of serious illness. President Steyn had been compelled, in order to obtain medical assistance, to put himself in the hands of the enemy. He had further to communicate that Commander-in-Chief de Wet had been appointed Vice-President of the Orange Free State. He wished to express his deep sympathy with the representatives in the severe loss which they had sustained. President Steyn, he said, had been a rock and pillar to their great cause.

Vice-President de Wet having thanked the Vice-President of the South African Republic for his kind and sympathetic words, Mr. J. Naude (the representative of Pretoria, and of General Kemp's flying columns) put some questions with regard to the colonists who had been fighting on the Boer side. These questions were answered by General Smuts. Mr. Naude then asked if the delegates were expected to come to any decision about independence.

General Botha replied that the Governments had informed Lords Kitchener and Milner that they were not in a condition to decide that question-that it was a matter for the nation to settle. The delegates had then gone to their burghers, and now had returned, and were present.

Mr. Naude said that it must therefore have been known at Klerksdorp that the delegates had to decide upon the question of independence. If that were so, he found himself in a difficulty. Either the delegates had been misled, or they were the victims of a mistake, for they had never been told that they had been elected as plenipotentiaries. Notwithstanding all that the lawyers might say, he considered himself as having a certain definite mission. He had obtained the votes of his burghers on the understanding that he would take up a certain position. He had asked them whether independence was to be given up, and they had answered in the negative. He could not therefore vote for the acceptance of the proposal now before the meeting, for that proposal demanded the surrender of independence. His burghers had also insisted on being allowed to keep their arms, and on the use of their language in schools and Courts of Justice, both of which conditions were refused by the British proposal. Since, therefore, he could not agree to the proposal, he was for continuing the war. Some asked what were the chances of success? He remembered the state of feeling among the burghers at Warmebad-that was a dark time indeed. The Commandant-General had paid those burghers a visit, and had told them that they had nothing to lose, but everything to win, by continuing the struggle. That had been enough for them. They had not had much prospect then; they could not see whither their road was leading. But they had found out afterwards. It had been a dark time too when Pretoria was taken, but most of the burghers had remained steadfast. And after the darkness the light had come back. Again a dark cloud was over them-it would pass away, and the light would reappear.

General De la Rey explained that he had not intended to mislead anybody at the gatherings of the burghers. Every document which the Government had handed over to him had been laid before those gatherings. Mr. Naude had asked whether the delegates at that meeting had to decide about independence. Most certainly they had. And to do so was a duty devolving upon Mr. Naude as much as on any other delegate present. They would have to decide, not for their own districts alone, but for the whole country.

Mr. Naude said that he had no wish to free himself from his responsibility, but he could not forget that he had come there with a definite mission.

Judge Hertzog wished again to explain the rights of the question from a legal point of view. One must ask: If the nation were here, what would it wish to be done? And one must act in conformity with what one thinks its answer would be. The Judge then proceeded to speak on the matter in general. What, he asked, were the arguments in favour of continuing the war? In the first place, England was growing weaker just as their own nation was. Any one could see that with their own eyes. It was true as regarded the financial side of the question. No doubt England could still collect millions of pounds, if she wished, but the time would come when she would have trouble with her tax-payers. Already the British Government found it difficult to pay the interest on the sum borrowed for war expenses, as was proved by the fact that a corn tax had been levied in England. That tax would not have been levied unless things had been in a serious condition. In the second place, he would ask how it was they had not been allowed to meet their deputation? It would only have taken the deputation fourteen days to perform the journey; by now it would have been among them. But permission had been refused them. And why? It was said that to grant a permission would have been a military irregularity. But the present meeting was also a military irregularity. There must be something more behind that refusal. But what were the arguments against going on with the war? He would enumerate them-the situation in which they found themselves was critical; the country as a whole was exhausted. Nearly all the horses had died or had been captured. The strongest argument of all, however, was that some of their own people had turned against them, and were fighting in the ranks of the enemy. Then the condition of the women caused great anxiety; a fear had been expressed that a moral decay might set in among the families in the camps. That consideration had great weight with him. No one with any heart could remain indifferent to it. If there was one thing which more than anything else made him respect Commandant-General Botha, it was that the Commandant-General had the heart to feel, and the courage to express, the importance of that consideration. The present war was one of the saddest that had ever been waged. He doubted if there had ever been a war in which a nation had suffered as they had. But all those sufferings, horrible though they were, did not influence his decision. Did he but see the chance of finally securing freedom for the nation, he would put all such considerations on one side, and go on fighting till death. No; it was not the horror of the situation which influenced him; there was something that weighed upon his heart yet more heavily-it was the holding of that meeting at Vereeniging. He reproached no one. Every one had acted with the best intentions. Nevertheless that meeting was a fatal error; it would give them their death blow. For what had it produced-a statement from the lips of the Commandant-General himself that the condition of the country was hopeless. If there were yet any burghers whose courage was not gone, would they not be utterly disheartened when they heard what their leaders had said at that meeting? That was the saddest thought of all. He could understand that those burghers who had already lost heart should be leaving the commandos, but now those who had never yet been disheartened would become so. But notwithstanding all this, it was difficult to feel certain which was the right course to pursue-to give up the war or to continue it. He could only suggest that those who were now in doubt on the matter should support the line of action which, before their doubt began, had appeared to them to be best.

Mr. L.J. Meijer (a member of the Government of the South African Republic) then gave some account of the devastation of that part of the country which lay to the north of the Eastern Railway, and on the further side of the Sabi River. (This report coincided with those already given by the delegates.) He went on to say that as they were all in the dark, and could not see the road they were travelling along, they must take reason and conscience for their guide. They had already lost much: let them not lose everything. And what could they hope to gain by continuing the struggle? To do so might be to throw away their last chance of peace. What would their progeny say of them if they were to persist in the struggle and thus lose everything they had possessed? They would say, "Our forefathers were brave, but they had no brains." Whereas, if they were to stop the war, their progeny would say, "Our forefathers did not fight for their own glory." He pointed out that however little the British proposal contained of what they desired, it nevertheless promised them representative government. In the past he had been against the war; he had wished that the five years' franchise should be granted. Although the people had opposed this measure he had always supported it. And why? Because he had feared that were that measure not conceded African blood would stain the ground. Must they still continue to shed blood? After the capture of Bloemfontein there had been a secret meeting of the council of war at Pretoria. His Government had then been willing to surrender, but the Free State had refused. The two Governments had therefore decided to go on with the war. A year later, in the month of June, there had been another meeting. A letter had been sent to the Free State. The two Governments had met at Waterval, and had once more decided to continue the struggle. Later on, again, the Government of the South African Republic wrote another letter to the Free State; but there had been no opportunity of meeting until the present occasion, which saw them assembled together at Vereeniging. Were they again going to decide to continue their resistance? It was a matter for serious consideration. There was but little seed-corn left. This must, if they had to go on fighting, be preserved from the enemy at all costs; were it to be destroyed, the African nation must cease to exist. But they could not continue the war. It was the Boers now who were teaching the English how to fight against us; Boers now were with the enemy's forces, showing them how to march by night, and pointing out to them all the foot passes.

Commandant Van Niekerk (Kroonstad) pointed out that the Colonists had already rendered them valuable aid, and could still do so. Were they now to abandon these Colonists, and-thinking only about saving themselves-leave them to fight on alone? It would be sad indeed if the burghers were compelled to lay down their arms.

Commandant-General L. Botha said that in regard to the holding of a national meeting, he had already chosen delegates with power to act. He spoke of the state of affairs at the beginning of the war-the two Republics had then at least sixty thousand men under arms. In reference to the Cape Colony, he said that it had never been expected that that country would allow its railways to be used for the transport of troops. The Commandant-General then proceeded as follows:-

"I used to entertain hopes that the European Powers would interfere on our behalf. All that they have done, however, has been to look on while England was introducing all sorts of new methods of warfare, methods, too, which are contrary to all international law.

"When the war began we had plenty of provisions, and a commando could remain for weeks in one spot without the local food supply running out. Our families, too, were then well provided for. But all this is now changed. One is only too thankful nowadays to know that our wives are under English protection. This question of our womenfolk is one of our greatest difficulties. What are we to do with them? One man answers that some of the burghers should surrender themselves to the English, and take the women with them. But most of the women now amongst us are the wives of men already prisoners. And how can we expect those not their own kith and kin to be willing to give up liberty for their sakes?

"As to the deputation, we must remember that it was accredited to all the Powers of Europe. And yet it has only been able to hand in its credentials to the Netherlands Government. Does not this prove that no other Government is willing to receive it? If you need further proof, I refer you to the letter in which the deputation-they were still allowed to write to us then-said: 'There is no chance for us in Europe.' The deputation wanted to be allowed to return home, but our Government advised them to remain in Europe, because their arrival in South Africa would be a death blow to the hopes of many. That is why the deputation is still in Europe. Later on they said that, although they knew that there was no chance of intervention, yet they felt that they ought to persist in their efforts, because of the sacrifices which we had already made. It is possible that a war may arise in Europe from which we shall gain something, but what right have we to expect such a contingency? Moreover, great nations take but little interest in the fate of small ones-indeed, it is to the advantage of the former that the small nations should be wiped out of existence.

"I cannot refrain from alluding to the faithlessness of some of our burghers, who are to be found in the ranks of the enemy. But this is not the only sign of the way in which affairs are trending-I look back on the past. I remember that we have been fighting a full year since we last heard of our deputation. What have we gained since June, 1901? Nothing. On the contrary, we have been going backwards so fast that, if this weakening process goes on much longer, we shall soon find ourselves unable any more to call ourselves a fighting nation. What have we not undergone in the course of this year which is just over! In the concentration camps alone, twenty thousand women and children have died. When I was in Pretoria I received reports from our information office, and otherwise, of our losses. I found that there were thirty-one thousand six hundred prisoners of war, of whom six hundred had died, and that three thousand eight hundred of our burghers had been killed in the war. Is not a loss such as this, in so short a time as two and a half years, a serious matter? Think, too, of the sufferings which those twenty thousand women who died in the camps must have endured!

"I am not deaf to the claims of the colonists who have been fighting for us. I have said that if we surrender our independence, we must provide for them. Should we serve their interests by continuing the war? No, indeed! The best thing for them would be that we should bring it to a close. But if we are absolutely determined to go on fighting, let us at least say to them, 'We advise you to desist.'

"What I am saying now is in substance what I said at Warmbad at a time when there were two thousand men of that district in the Veldt. How many are there now? Four hundred and eighty! On that occasion I also said that we must continue the war until we were driven by sheer starvation to make peace. Well, in some divisions starvation has already come. The delegates themselves have had to confess that our strength up till now has lain in the fact that we have been able to continue the struggle in every district. In this way we have divided the enemy's forces. But if we are compelled to abandon some of our districts, and to concentrate on certain points, then the English also will concentrate, and attack us with an irresistible force.

"It has been suggested that we ought to march into Cape Colony. I know, however, what that would mean-Commander-in-Chief de Wet marched into the colonies. He had a large force, and the season of the year was auspicious for his attempt, and yet he failed. How, then, shall we succeed in winter, and with horses so weak that they can only go op-een-stap.[120]

"What, then, are we to do? Some will reply, 'Go on with the war,' Yes, but for how long? For ten or twelve years? But would that be possible? If in two years we have been reduced from sixty thousand fighting men to half that number, where will our army be after another ten years of war? It is clear enough to me that if we go on any longer, we shall be compelled to surrender. Would it not be better to come to some agreement with the enemy, while we have the opportunity? We have all received the gift of reason; let us use it on the present occasion.

"As far as I and my own burghers are concerned, to continue the struggle is still possible. But we must not only think of ourselves. We must almost think of others. There are, for instance, the widows and orphans. If we accept the terms now offered to us, they will remain under our care. But if we go on with the war until we are forced to surrender, who will then take care of them? Or if we were all killed, what could we do for them? We should not even be able to send a deputation to Europe, to ask for money to help us to rebuild our farms, and to feed our burghers.

"There are three questions now before us-three alternatives between which we have to choose-the continuing of the war, unconditional surrender, and the acceptance of the British proposal. With regard to the first, I fail to see what satisfactory result can come to us from persisting in this unequal contest, which must result in the end in our extermination. As to the choice between the other two, in many ways unconditional surrender would be the better. But, for the sake of the nation, we may not choose it. Although to reject it may involve us in many hardships, yet we must think of nothing else but the interests of the nation. Our only course, then, is to accept the proposal of the English Government. Its terms may not be very advantageous to us, but nevertheless they rescue us from an almost impossible position."

After a short adjournment the delegates again assembled at about 2 p.m.

General C.H. Muller (Boksburg) said that his burghers had sent him to defend their menaced independence. One part of them had authorized him to act as his judgment should dictate; another part had ordered him to hold out for independence and to try to get into communication with the European deputation. He had long ago told his burghers that they must trust in God if they wished to continue the war, for they could not do so by relying only on their guns and rifles. He did not like to think of what they would say if he were to go back to them and tell them that he had not been in communication with the deputation, and that the proposal of the English Government had been accepted. He could not bring himself to surrender. Nevertheless, having in view what the Commandant-General and others had said, he felt that he must do so, for it was impossible for him to prosecute the war single-handed. But could not the delegates continue to stand by one another, and make a covenant with the Lord? The district which he represented was one of the poorest in the whole country, and the £3,000,000 offered by the enemy did not include any provision for those who, like his burghers, could do nothing to help themselves. He would again suggest that the delegates should make a vow unto the Lord. For himself, he could not vote for the acceptance of the British proposal.

General J.H. Smuts then spoke as follows:-

"Up till now I have taken no part in this discussion, but my opinions are not unknown to my Government; we have arrived at a dark period both in the history of our war, and in the course of our national development. To me it is all the darker because I am one of those who, as members of the Government of the South African Republic, provoked the war with England. A man, however, may not draw back from the consequences of his deeds. We must therefore keep back all private feeling, and decide solely with a view to the lasting interests of our nation. This is an important occasion for us-it is perhaps the last time that we shall meet as a free people with a free government. Let us then rise to the height of this occasion; let us arrive at a decision for which our posterity shall bless, and not curse us.

"The great danger for this meeting is that of deciding the questions before it on purely military grounds. Nearly all the delegates here are officers who in the past have never quailed before the overwhelming forces of the enemy, and who therefore are never likely to do so in the future. They do not know what fear is, and they are ready to shed the last drop of their blood in the defence of their country.

"Now if we look at the matter from their point of view, that is to say, if we look at it merely as a military question, I am bound to admit that we shall come to the conclusion that the war can be continued. We are still an unconquered power; we have still about eighteen thousand men in the field-veterans, with whom one can accomplish almost anything. From a purely military standpoint, our cause is not yet lost. But it is as a nation, and not as an army, that we are met here, and it is therefore for the nation principally that we must consult. No one sits here to represent this or that commando. One and all, we represent the African nation, and not only those members of it which are now in the field, but also those who rest beneath the soil, and those yet unborn, who shall succeed us.

"No! We do not only represent our burghers on commando, the troops over which we are placed in command; we represent also the thousands who have passed away, after making the last sacrifice for their country; the prisoners scattered all the world over; the women and children dying by the thousand in the prison camps of the enemy; we represent the blood and the tears of the whole African nation. From the prisons, the camps, the graves, the veldt, and from the womb of the future, that nation cries out to us to make a wise decision now, to take no step which might lead to the downfall or even to the extermination of their race, and thus make all their sacrifices of no avail. Our struggle, up to the present, has not been an aimless one. We have not been fighting in mere desperation. We began this strife, and we have continued it, because we wanted to maintain our independence and were prepared to sacrifice everything for it. But we must not sacrifice the African nation itself upon the altar of independence. So soon as we are convinced that our chance of maintaining our autonomous position as Republics is, humanly speaking, at an end, it becomes our clear duty to desist from our efforts. We must not run the risk of sacrificing our nation and its future to a mere idea which can no longer be realized.

"And ought we not to be convinced that independence is now irretrievably lost? We have been fighting without cessation for nearly three years. It is no exaggeration to say that during that period we have been employing all the strength and all the means which we possess, in the furtherance of our cause. We have sacrificed thousands of lives; we have lost all our earthly goods; our dear country is become one continuous desert; more than twenty thousand of our women and children have perished in the camps of the enemy. And has this brought us independence? Just the reverse; it is receding further and further from us every day. The longer we fight, the greater will be the distance between us and the aim for which we are fighting.

"The manner in which the enemy has been conducting, and still continues to conduct, this war, has reduced our country to such a state of exhaustion, that it will soon be a physical impossibility for us to fight any longer. Our only hope lies in the chance of help from outside. A year ago I, in the name of my Government, communicated the condition of our nation to His Honour States-President Kruger, in Europe. He wrote in reply that we must rely on the state of affairs in Cape Colony-and the sympathy of European nations-and that we must continue the war until all other means were exhausted."

The speaker here enlarged upon the political developments which had taken place in the United States and in the principal European countries during the preceding two years, and then continued:-

"So far as we are concerned, the sum total of the foreign situation is that we obtain a great deal of sympathy, for which we are naturally most grateful. More than this we do not obtain, nor shall obtain for many a long year. Europe will go on expressing sympathy with us until the last Boer hero has died on the field and the last Boer woman has gone down to her grave-until, in fact, the whole Boer nation has been sacrificed on the altar of history and of humanity.

"I have already, on a former occasion, told you what I think about the situation in Cape Colony. We have made great mistakes there; perhaps even now Cape Colony is not ripe for the sort of policy which we have been pursuing with regard to it. At all events, we cannot entertain any hopes of a general rising of the Colonists. We cannot, however, give too much honour to those three thousand heroes in the Colony who have sacrificed all in our behalf, even though they have not succeeded in securing our independence for us.

"Thus we have given President Kruger's advice a fair trial. For twelve months we have been testing the value of the methods which he urged upon us. And, as a result of it all, we have become convinced that those methods are of no avail-that if we wish to remain independent we must depend upon ourselves alone. But the facts which the various delegates have brought before our notice show that we cannot thus depend upon ourselves; that, unless we obtain outside help, the struggle must come to an end. We have, then, no hope of success. Our country is already devastated and in ruins; let us stop before our people are ruined also.

"And now the enemy approaches with a proposal, which, however unacceptable it may be to us in other respects, includes the promise of amnesty for our Colonial brethren who have been fighting side by side with us. I fear that the day will come when we shall no longer be able to save these so-called rebels, and then it will be a just ground for reproach that we sacrificed their interests in a cause that was already hopeless. Moreover, if we refused the proposal which the British Government now makes to us, I am afraid that we shall considerably weaken our position in the eyes of the world, and thus lose much of the sympathy which to-day it evinces in our favour.

"Brethren, we have vowed to stand fast to the bitter end; but let us be men, and acknowledge that that end has now come, and that it is more bitter than ever we thought it could be. For death itself would be sweet compared with the step which we must now take. But let us bow before the will of God.

"The future is dark indeed, but we will not give up courage, and hope, and trust in God. No one shall ever convince me that this unparalleled sacrifice which the African nation has laid upon the altar of freedom will be in vain. It has been a war for freedom-not only for the freedom of the Boers, but for the freedom of all the nations of South Africa. Its results we leave in God's hands. Perhaps it is His will to lead our nation through defeat, through abasement, yes, and even through the valley of the shadow of death, to the glory of a nobler future, to the light of a brighter day."

Commandant A.J. Bester (Bloemfontein) said that at the meeting at which he had been elected his burghers had told him that they were resolved not to become the subjects of England. The arguments now urged against the continuation of the war were not new-they had been used in former times of depression. History gave many instances in which their nation had been delivered out of the most critical positions. One could not help believing that Right would conquer. How was it to be explained that two hundred and forty thousand troops had failed to exterminate two small Republics? Then there had been miraculous escapes; surely the thoughts of these ought to encourage them. They must all be of one mind. His own decision was to stand or to fall for his freedom.

Mr. Birkenstock (Vrijheid) asked whether the proposal could not be accepted under protest.

General J.C. Smuts answered that the meeting could empower the Governments to accept the proposal, and to add that they did so with such and such provisos.

Commandant A.J. Bester (Bloemfontein) thought that there had been enough said, and recommended that the discussion be closed.

Commandant F.E. Mentz (Heilbron) also thought that it was not necessary to argue any more. He believed that the war could not be continued. In Heilbron, Bloemfontein, and part of Bethlehem there were not five head of cattle left. The helpless condition of the women and children also demanded consideration. The state of the country was becoming so desperate that they were now obliged to break away from the kraals. He himself had been compelled to this not long ago, and had lost forty men in one day. He would have to leave his district, but could not bring it to his heart to leave the women behind. It was quite clear to him that the war must be stopped, for some parts of the Transvaal were absolutely unable to go on fighting. Moreover, were the war to continue, commando after commando would go over to the enemy.

General Kemp (Krugersdorp) took a more encouraging view of affairs. He would stand or fall with the independence. His mandate was to that effect. His conscience also would not justify him in taking any other course. He thought that the proposal of the English Government was vague, that there was not sufficient provision for the Boer losses in it, and that it treated the Dutch language as a foreign tongue. Circumstances had often been dark, and the darkness would pass away this time as it had done before. Remembering the commission which had been given to him by the burghers, he could not do otherwise than vote for a continuation of the war.

Vice-President Burger: "I have already given my opinion. I am sorry that the meeting seems to be divided. It is necessary for the welfare of our nation that we should be of one mind. Are we to continue the war? From what I have seen and heard, it is clear to me that we cannot do so. I repeat that there is no possibility of it, neither does any real hope exist that by doing so we should benefit the nation. It is idle to compare our condition in the struggle in 1877-1881 with that in which we now find ourselves; I speak from experience.

"It is true that the victory was then ours; that it was so is due to the help which we received from outside. The Orange Free State remained neutral, but assistance came from President Brand in South Africa and from Gladstone in England: thus it was not by our own sword that we were enabled to win.

"It will be asked why, if we have kept up the struggle for two years and a half, can we not still continue to do so?

"Because, in the meantime, we have become weaker and weaker, and if we persist the end must be fatal. What grounds have we for expecting that we may yet be victorious? Each man we lose renders us weaker; every hundred men we lose means a similar gain to the enemy. England's numerical strength does not diminish; on the contrary, there are even more troops in the country at this moment than when Lord Roberts had the command. England also has used our own men against us, and has not been ashamed of arming the Kaffirs; the enemy are learning from our own men in what way they should fight-he must be blind indeed who cannot see these facts.

"I do not think we can appropriately call this altogether a 'war of faith.' Undoubtedly we began this war strong in the faith of God, but there were also two or three other things to rely upon. We had considerable confidence in our own weapons; we under-estimated the enemy; the fighting spirit had seized upon our people; and the thought of victory had banished that of the possibility of defeat.

"The question still remains, What are we to do? I have no great opinion of the document which lies before us: to me it holds out no inducement to stop the war. If I feel compelled to treat for peace it is not on account of any advantages that this proposal offers me: it is the weight of my own responsibility which drives me to it.

"If I think that by holding out I should dig the nation's grave, nothing must induce me to continue the struggle.

"Therefore I consider it my duty, as leader of our nation, to do my utmost that not one man more shall be killed, that not one woman more shall die.

"The sacrifice must be made; is not this also a trial of our faith? What shall we gain by going on? Nothing! It is obvious that further surrenders will take place-here of a few, there of many-and our weakness will increase.

"We shall also be obliged to abandon large areas of the country. Will this make us stronger? Rather, will it not enable the enemy to concentrate still more? And the abandoned tracts-to whom will they belong? To the enemy!

"In all probability this is our last meeting. I do not believe that we shall be given another chance to negotiate: we shall be deemed too insignificant. If we reject this proposal, what prospects have we in the future? If we accept it, we can, like a child, increase in size and strength, but with its rejection goes our last opportunity.

"Fell a tree and it will sprout again; uproot it and there is an end of it. What has the nation done to deserve extinction?

"Those who wish to continue the war are influenced chiefly by hope; but on what is this hope founded? On our arms? No. On intervention? By no means. On what then? No one can say.

"I am sorry that the Transvaal and the Orange Free State are at variance on this point, and I regret that it is the Transvaal which has to declare itself unable to proceed further; but the enemy have concentrated all their forces in this State, and we can hold out no longer."

Mr. L. Jacobsz: "I have hitherto not spoken, because I am a non-combatant. I have also suffered much, although less than others. I have listened to what has been said, but my opinion is not changed by the views I have heard expressed.

"I repeat now what I said at Klerksdorp, namely that the struggle cannot continue. I have noted the condition of the country, which is such that the commandos can no longer be supported. I would point out the condition of the women and children, of whom many are dying, and all are exposed to great dangers. If there was a chance of succeeding in the end, then we might hold out, but there is no such chance; there is no possibility of intervention, and the silence of the deputation is ominous.

"I sympathize with the heroes present at this meeting; we must have a foundation for our faith, and we cannot altogether compare our people with the people of Israel. Israel had promises made to them; we have none. I would further point out that, in the interests of the nation, it will not do to surrender unconditionally: the terms before us may be deceptive, but they are the best obtainable.

"With regard to the difficulty of those delegates who consider that they are bound to act as they have been commissioned, I am of the same opinion as Judge Hertzog and General Smuts."

Commandant J.J. Alberts (Standerton) spoke more or less in the same strain. He was of opinion that the war should be finished by ceding territory, but, failing this, that it should be ended on any terms obtainable.

Vice-President de Wet expressed his opinion that, considering the short time at their disposal, they should proceed, if possible, to make some proposal.

General D.A. Brand said that he would have spoken if he had not thought that enough had been said; he considered it desirable to close the discussion, and was willing to make a proposal.

Veldtcornet D.J.E. Opperman (Pretoria South) considered that the difficulties of continuing the war, and of accepting the proposal, were equal. Some of his burghers would fight no longer. What troubled him most was the condition of the women; it went to his heart to see these families perish. He was of opinion that, for the sake of the women and children who were suffering so intensely, the proposal should be accepted under protest.

Veldtcornet J. Van Steedden, seconded by Veldtcornet B.J. Roos, moved that the discussion be now closed.

The meeting was adjourned after prayer.

Saturday, May 31st, 1902.

The meeting was opened with prayer.

General Nieuwouwdt, seconded by General Brand, made the following proposal:-

"This meeting of special deputies from the two Republics, after considering the proposal of His Majesty's Government for the re-establishment of peace, and taking into consideration (a) the demands of the burghers in the veldt and the commissions which they had given to their representatives; (b) that they do not consider themselves justified in concluding peace on the basis laid down by His Majesty's Government before having been placed in communication with the delegates of the Republic now in Europe, decides that it cannot accept the proposal of His Majesty's Government, and orders the Governments of the two Republics to communicate this decision to His Majesty's Government through its representatives."

Mr. P.R. Viljoen, seconded by General H.A. Alberts, made a proposal, amended afterwards by General Smuts and Judge Hertzog, which appears later on under the proposal of H.P.J. Pretorius and C. Botha.

A third proposal by General E. Botha and General J.G. Celliers was laid upon the table, but subsequently withdrawn.

Mr. F.W. Reitz considered it to be his duty not only to the nation but also to himself as a citizen, to say that, in case the proposal of the British Government should be accepted, it would be necessary for the meeting to make provisions as to whose signatures should be attached to the necessary documents. He himself would not sign any document by which the independence would be given up.

Remarks were made by several members on the first proposal, and Mr. P.R. Viljoen asked that no division should arise.

Vice-President de Wet then said that, as the time was limited, and all could not speak, he would propose that a Commission should be nominated in order to draw up a third proposal in which various opinions of the members should be set down; and that, whilst the Commission was occupied in this way, the Orange Free State delegates on their part and those of the South African Republic on their part, should meet in order that an understanding might be come to between them. They must endeavour to come to a decision, for it would be of the greatest possible advantage to them.

Commandant-General Botha thought that this hint should be taken. They had suffered and fought together: let them not part in anger.

The above-mentioned Commission was then decided upon, and Judge Hertzog and General Smuts were elected.

Then the Orange Free State delegates went to the tent of Vice-President de Wet, whilst those of the South African Republic remained in the tent in which the meeting was held.

After a time of heated dispute-for every man was preparing himself for the bitter end-they came to an agreement, and Judge Hertzog read the following proposal:-

"We, the national representatives of both the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, at the meeting held at Vereeniging, from the 15th of May till the 31st of May, 1902, have with grief considered the proposal made by His Majesty's Government in connexion with the conclusion of the existing hostilities, and their communication that this proposal had to be accepted, or rejected, unaltered. We are sorry that His Majesty's Government has absolutely declined to negotiate with the Governments of the Republics on the basis of their independence, or to allow our Governments to enter into communication with our deputations. Our people, however, have always been under the impression that not only on the grounds of justice, but also taking into consideration the great material and personal sacrifices made for their independence, that it had a well-founded claim for that independence.

"We have seriously considered the future of our country, and have specially observed the following facts:-

"Firstly, that the military policy pursued by the British military authorities has led to the general devastation of the territory of both Republics by the burning down of farms and towns, by the destruction of all means of subsistence, and by the exhausting of all resources required for the maintenance of our families, the subsistence of our armies, and the continuation of the war.

"Secondly, that the placing of our families in the concentration camps has brought on an unheard-of condition of suffering and sickness, so that in a comparatively short time about twenty thousand of our beloved ones have died there, and that the horrid probability has arisen that, by continuing the war, our whole nation may die out in this way.

"Thirdly, that the Kaffir tribe, within and without the frontiers of the territory of the two Republics, are mostly armed and are taking part in the war against us, and through the committing of murders and all sorts of cruelties have caused an unbearable condition of affairs in many districts of both Republics. An instance of this happened not long ago in the district of Vrijheid, where fifty-six burghers on one occasion were murdered and mutilated in a fearful manner.

"Fourthly, that by the proclamations of the enemy the burghers still fighting are threatened with the loss of all their movable and landed property-and thus with utter ruin-which proclamations have already been enforced.

"Fifthly, that it has already, through the circumstances of the war, become quite impossible for us to keep the many thousand prisoners of war taken by our forces, and that we have thus been unable to inflict much damage on the British forces (whereas the burghers who are taken prisoners by the British armies are sent out of the country), and that, after war has raged for nearly three years, there only remains an insignificant part of the fighting forces with which we began.

"Sixthly, that this fighting remainder, which is only a small minority of our whole nation, has to fight against an overpowering force of the enemy, and besides is reduced to a condition of starvation, and is destitute of all necessaries, and that notwithstanding our utmost efforts, and the sacrifice of everything that is dear and precious to us, we cannot foresee an eventual victory.

"We are therefore of opinion that there is no justifiable ground for expecting that by continuing the war the nation will retain its independence, and that, under these circumstances, the nation is not justified in continuing the war, because this can only lead to social and material ruin, not for us alone, but also for our posterity. Compelled by the above-named circumstances and motives, we commission both Governments to accept the proposal of His Majesty's Government, and to sign it in the name of the people of both Republics.

"We, the representative delegates, express our confidence that the present circumstances will, by accepting the proposal of His Majesty's Government, be speedily ameliorated in such a way that our nation will be placed in a position to enjoy the privileges to which they think they have a just claim, on the ground not only of their past sacrifices, but also of those made in this war.

"We have with great satisfaction taken note of the decision of His Majesty's Government to grant a large measure of amnesty to the British subjects who have taken up arms on our behalf, and to whom we are united by bonds of love and honour; and express our wish that it may please His Majesty to still further extend this amnesty."

Mr. P.R. Viljoen then withdrew his proposal.

Commandant H.P.J. Pretorius, seconded by General C. Botha, presented the proposal, as read by the Commission.

General Nieuwouwdt also withdrew his proposal, but it was at once taken over by General C.C.J. Badenhorst, seconded by Commandant A.J. Bester, of Bloemfontein.

The meeting then adjourned till the afternoon.

* * *

In the afternoon at 2.05 it again met.

Proceeding to the voting, the proposal of H.P.J. Pretorius, seconded by General C. Botha, was accepted, by fifty-four votes against six. Then Vice-President Burger spoke a few words suitable to the occasion as follows:-"We are standing here at the grave of the two Republics. Much yet remains to be done, although we shall not be able to do it in the official capacities which we have formerly occupied. Let us not draw our hands back from the work which it is our duty to accomplish. Let us ask God to guide us, and to show us how we shall be enabled to keep our nation together. We must be ready to forgive and forget, whenever we meet our brethren. That part of our nation which has proved unfaithful we must not reject."

Later, Vice-President Burger spoke a few words of farewell to the Commandant-General, to the Members of the Executive Councils, and to the delegates.

In the afternoon, as it turned out for the last time, Commandant Jacobsz, seconded by General Muller, made the following proposal, which was unanimously accepted by the meeting:-

"This meeting of Delegates, having in view the necessity of collecting means to provide for the wants of the suffering women and children, widows and orphans, and other destitute persons, who have through this war come to a condition of want, and also having in view the desirability of nominating a Committee, whose duty it shall be to arrange the necessary steps in this matter, and to finally decide on the management and distribution of the donations received, decides:-

"To nominate the Hon. Messrs. M.J. Steyn, S.W. Burger, L. Botha, C.R. de Wet, J.H. De la Rey, A.P. Kriel, and J.D. Kestell, as the Committee, to carry out all arrangements for the above-mentioned purposes, that may seem desirable and expedient to them, and also to appoint new Members, Sub-Committees and working Committees; and the said Committee is empowered to draw up regulations, and to amend them from time to time as shall seem to them expedient.

"This meeting further decides to send abroad from the above-mentioned Committee, Messrs. C.R. de Wet, L. Botha, and J.H. De la Rey, in order that they may help in collecting the above-mentioned donations."

Then this-the last meeting of the two Republics-was closed with prayer.

* * *


Aard, Commandant Frans van-

Election as Commandant of Kroonstad, 115

Killed in engagement between Kroonstad and Lindley, 157

Abraham's Kraal-Bombardment by British, Boer Flight, 52

Achterlaaiers, 3

Active Service-Calling up of Orange Free State Burghers, 4

Commando Law as to Equipment, Provisions, etc., 3

Notification to Orange Free State Burghers to hold themselves in readiness, 3

Alberts, Capt.-Tribute to, 243

Albrecht, Major-Command of Boer Reinforcements at Koedoesberg, 28

Ammunition-Amount possessed by Boers in 1902, 408

Capture of Ammunition by the Boers, 173

Dewetsdorp, 178

Doornspruit, Capture of Train near, 132

Roodewal-Amount captured, 103

Digging up, 191, 193

Disposal of, 104, 106

Tweefontein, 282

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Ammunition hidden in Cave, 298

Amnesty-General Amnesty for Boer Sympathisers in Cape Colony and Natal, proposed, 322

Annexation of the South African Republic-Battles fought after the alleged Annexation, 229

Peace Negotiations at Pretoria, References to the Annexation, 367

Armistice to admit of attendance of Officers at the Vereeniging Meeting (May, 1902), 315

Misunderstanding on the part of the British Columns, 317

Arms, Surrender of, see titles Banishment and Surrender

Assistant-Commander-in-Chief Gen. de Wet obtaining Post from Government, 95

Assistant-Commander-in-Chief of the Orange Free State-

Prinsloo, Mr. Marthinus, Illegal Election of, 126

Steenekamp, Commandant, Nomination of, 144

Badenhorst, Siege of, by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 77, 78

Abandonment of Siege, 79

Badenhorst, Veldtcornet, 94

Vice-Commander-in-Chief in Districts of Boshof, etc., Appointment, 159

Baggage Animals of British Troops-Exhaustion of, 148

Use of, 279

Baker's, Col., Column-Commander-in-Chief de Wet lying in wait with a view to Reprisals, 271

Banishment Proclamation of Aug. 7, 1901 (Lord Kitchener's Proclamation), 247-250

Battles fought subsequent to, 252

Burghers, Effect on, 252

Kitchener's, Lord, Letter to Commander-in-Chief de Wet enclosing copy of Proclamation, 247

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Reply, 248

Officers, Effect on, 250

President and Commander-in-Chief of Transvaal and Orange Free State-Replies, 250, 251, 257, 258

Steyn's, President, Letter to Lord Kitchener, 251-259

Terms of, 247-251

Bank Notes of the South African Republic-Peace Terms, Arrangements for honouring Notes, 380

Prisoners of War, Opportunity of sending in Notes for Payment, 386

Barbed Wire Fences, see Wire Fences

Barton, Gen., Attack on at Frederiksstad by Commander-in-Chief de Wet and Gen. Liebenberg, 164-167

Beijers, Gen.-Continuance of the War, Spirit of the Nation an obstacle-Speech at Vereeniging Conference, 410

Waterberg District, Situation in-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 339

Bergh, Capt.-Attacks on Boer Forces with bands of Kaffirs, 271

Bester, Commandant A.J.-Continuance of the War, Argument in favour of at the Vereeniging Conference, 421

Bester Station, Skirmish at, 10

Bethlehem-Commandants of Boer Forces, Appointments, 227, 228

Defence of-British Reinforcements, Arrival of, 121, 122

Dispositions of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 120, 121

Voetgangers on Wolhuterskop, Bravery of, 121, 122

Engagement near, 194, 195

Fall of, 122

Bethlehem Commando-Fidelity of Burghers, 94, note

Bezuidenhoutspas-Occupation by Vrede Commando, 7, 8

Biddulphsberg Engagement-English wounded burnt by veldt fire, 84

"Big Constable"-Transvaalers mistaking President Steyn for Police Agent, 86, 87

Birkenstock, Mr.-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 399

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 343

Blauwbank, Fight at, 30

British Camp abandoned-Booty taken by Boers, 33, 34

British Convoy, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Attack on, 32, 33

Blijdschap-Arrival of Laager of Women, 268

De Lange sentenced to death for High Treason at, 268, note

Massing of Commandos at, 268

Blikkiescost, 4

Blockhouse System-"Blockhead" System, alleged, 260

Boer Success in breaking through Blockhouses, 260, 261

Bothaville, Boers breaking through Blockhouse Line, 299

British loss of faith in Blockhouses, 291, 292

Cost of erection and maintenance, 262

Description of, 262

Districts surrounded by the British, 261

Failure of, alleged, 261

Lindley-Kroonstad Line, Boers breaking through, 287

Palmietfontein, Boers breaking through Line near, 289, 290

Prolongation of the War by, alleged, 263, 264

Small number of Captures effected, 260, 261

Springhaansnek-Commander-in-Chief de Wet breaking through the Line of Blockhouses on the march to the South, 173

Thaba'Nchu and Sanna's Post, Forts between-Capture by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 201, 202

Trenches dug by British near Blockhouse Lines, etc., 288, 294, 295

Bloemfontein-Capture by British, 55

Defence of-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Arrangements, 54

Water Works-Occupation by General Broadwood, 61

"Boer Biscuits," 3

Boer Forces-

Burghers who had returned home after fall of Bloemfontein, Re-call to the front, 71

Commandos left with Commander-in-Chief de Wet after fall of Bloemfontein, note 57

Confusion among Burghers at Holspruits, 294, 295

Discipline, see that title

Disposition of Forces after fall of Bethlehem, 124

Harrismith Commando, Refusal to part with Waggons-Return home, 161, 163

Medical Certificates, Abuse of, note 59

Mobility, see that title

Numbers at Outset of War, 408, 414, 415, 419

Numbers at the Termination of the War, 322, 338, 339, 347, 348, 359, 360, 361, 362

Orange Free State Commandos-

Commander-in-Chief, Election of, 6, 7

Harrismith, Concentration at, 4, 6-7

Heilbron Commando, see that title

Number of Burghers ready to fight after fall of Pretoria, 94

Panic after Paardeberg, 48, 49, 51, 52, note 57

Permission given to Burghers by Commander-in-Chief de Wet to return home, 56 note, 57-Gen. Joubert's Protest, 57

Reduction in numbers due to Paardeberg Surrender, etc., 89, 90

Roberts', Lord, Surrender Proclamation-Effect on Numbers rejoining Commandos, 60

Non-observance of Terms, Burghers returning to Commandos, 80

Separation of Free Staters and Transvaalers after fall of Kroonstad, Reasons for, 89, 90

Boesmanskop Skirmish, 80

Boshof, Vrow-Gift of Clothes to Burghers who had swum the Orange River, 221, 222

Bosman, Landdrost-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 404, 405, 406

Situation in South Africa on 15th May, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 361, 362

Botha-Capture at Honingkopjes, Subsequent Escape and Death, 110

Botha, Commandant-General-

Continuance of the War, Arguments against-Terms of Surrender, etc., 414, 415

Estcourt Skirmishes-Capture of Armoured Train, etc., 19

Fortitude after Fall of Pretoria, 93

Independence of the South African Republic and Orange Free State-Vereeniging Conference Delegates' power to decide as to Independence, 411

Junction with Commander-in-Chief de Wet at Rhenosterriviersbrug, 88, 89

Middelburg Peace Proposals, see that title

Mission to Europe on behalf of Relief Fund Committee, 428

Peace Negotiations-Member of Commission of National Representatives at the Pretoria Conference, 320, 365-396

Situation in South Africa on 15th May, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 337, 338, 354-358

Botha, General Philip-

Dewetsdorp Defences, Occupation of, 175, 176

Engagement with General Knox's Forces, 194, 195

Kroonstad War Council, Presence at, 58

Reinforcements sent to Commander-in-Chief de Wet before Paardeberg, Command of, 36, 37

Stinkfontein-Failure to recapture Position, 45

Storming of, 40

Tabaksberg, Engagement at, 83

Botha, Mr. Jan-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Tribute to, 150, 151

Bothaville-Boers breaking through Blockhouse Line, 299

Surprise Attack by the British on Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Forces-Boer Panic, 168-170

Losses of the Boers, 170-171

Bout Span, 5

Boys-Presence with Commandos, 287, 289, 290

Children killed and wounded, 289, 290, 295, 296

Brabant's, General, Successes, 50

Brabant's Horse-Attack on Commandant Kritzinger and Captain Scheepers, 185, 186

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Opinion of, 75, 76

Brand, President-Assistance rendered to South African Republic in War of 1877-1881, 422, 423

Brandfort, Boer Forces at-Hotels closed by Commander-in-Chief, 60

Brandwachten, 22

Breijtenbach, Veldtcornet B.H.-Continuance of the War, Impossibility of Carrying on the Struggle, 403, 404

British Forces-Artillery, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Tribute to, 25

March from Bethlehem to Reitz, under guidance of Free Staater, 263, 264

Sixty Thousand Men, Cordon of, 291, 292, 293, 294

Broadwood, General-Occupation of Thaba'Nchu, 65, 66

Retreat towards Thaba'Nchu before General Olivier, 62

Broodspioen, 207, 208

Bruwer, Commandant-Appointment to Command of Bethlehem District, 227, 228

Buller, Sir Redvers-Drakensberg Frontier, Crossing of, 93

Landing at Cape Town, 21

Relief of Ladysmith, 50

Strength of Positions operated against by Sir Redvers Buller, 21

Bulwana Hill-Boers surprised by British, 21

Burger, Vice-President-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 398, 421, 422, 424, 425

Meeting with Orange Free State Government, Letter to President Steyn, 301, 302

Situation in South Africa on 15th May, 1902-Address at the Vereeniging Conference, 336, 337, 351-354

Steyn, President, Resignation of-Announcement at Vereeniging Conference, 411

Cape Colony-

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Attempted Inroad-March towards Cape Colony-

Blockhouses-Commander-in-Chief de Wet breaking through the Line at Springhaansnek, 173, 187, 188, 189


Defences, British neglecting to hold, 175, 176

Storming of, 175-179

Forces under Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 172

"Good Hope" Farm, Engagement near, 181

Knox's, Gen., Arrival with British Reinforcements, 181

Gun and Amount of Ammunition taken, 173

Karmel, March towards, 181, 182

Knox's, Gen., Pursuit of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 185, 186, 187, 189, 190

Orange and Caledon Rivers in flood-Commander-in-Chief de Wet "cornered," 182, 183

Prinsloo's, Commandant Michal, Commando-Appearance in the nick of time, 187, 188

Retreat across Orange River, 184, 185

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Expedition into-

Capture of Farm held by British Troops, 207, 208

Courage and Endurance of Burghers, 212

Diminution in number of Boer Forces, 206, 207

Engagements with British Troops, 206, 207, 212

Escape of Boer Forces in the darkness, 216, 219, 220

Fodder, Lack of, 206, 207

Knox's, Gen., Movements, 201, 202, 203

Miraculous Nature of Boer Achievements, 223, 224

Moddervlei, Passage of-Boer Loss of Ammunition and Flour Waggons, 208, 209, 210, 212

Officers serving with Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 195, 196

Position of Boer Forces after crossing Orange River, 205, 206

Retreat across Orange River, Difficulties of, etc., 217-224

Strategy employed to mislead Gen. Knox, 202, 203, 204

General Rising of Burghers, Impossibility of-Reports of Delegates at the Vereeniging Conference, 340, 341, 342, 355, 360, 361, 405, 406

Position of affairs at the beginning of 1901-Colonial Burghers' Sympathy with Boer Cause, 195, 196

Sheep-farming, success of in North-Western Districts, 211

Small Commandos sent to Cape Colony, Policy of, 234

Cape Mounted Rifles, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's opinion of, 77, 78

Cartwright, Mr., Editor of South African News-Punishment for publication of "not to take prisoners" Anecdote concerning Lord Kitchener, 184, 185

Casualties, see Losses in Killed and Wounded, etc., on either side

Cattle-Blockhouse Line between Lindley and Kroonstad, Boer Cattle breaking through, 288

Capture of Boer Cattle on "Majuba Day," 296, 297

Destruction by the British, 192, 232

Supply available on May 15, 1902-Report of Vereeniging Delegates, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345, 346, 351, 352

Causes of the War-British Government Interference with the inner policy of the South African Republic, 252, 253

Declaration of War by the South African Republics as the Cause-President Steyn's Contradiction, 251, 252

Extermination of the Republics already determined on by England, alleged, 254, 255

Franchise Law-British Government Demands, 252, 253, 254

Goldfields the main object, alleged, 350, 351

Jameson Raid as a Cause, alleged, 251, 252, 253

Memorials to H.M. Government concerning alleged Grievances-President Steyn's efforts to keep the Peace, 252, 253, 254

Orange Free State joining issues with the Transvaal, 254, 255

Steyn's, President, Letter to Lord Kitchener, 250-259

Troops landed by the British Government prior to outbreak of War, 253, 254

Ultimatum of Boers, Lord Salisbury's Assertion, 53, 54

Ceylon-Boer Prisoners taken with Gen. Prinsloo sent to Ceylon, 156

Chamberlain, Mr. J.-Boer Ultimatum-Telegrams to Sir A. Milner, 329

Jameson Raid-Defence of Mr. Rhodes, President Steyn on, 251, 252

Cilliers, Gen. J.G.-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 404, 405

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-Address at the Vereeniging Conference, 353, 354

Cilliers, Sarah-Death at Frederiksstad Engagement, 166, 167

Clothing-De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Clothes hidden in Cave, 298

Difficulty of obtaining, 233

Hides for tanning, Destruction by the British, 233

Stripping British Prisoners to obtain, 233

Colenso-British losses at, 23

Colesberg-Strength of Boer Positions, 26

Colonial Burghers-British subjects fighting on Boer Side, Boer Hopes of Assistance unfulfilled, 405, 406, 408, 420

British Government Intentions with regard to Rebels, 394, 395

Proposal for General Amnesty, 413, 414

Safeguarding in Peace Negotiations, 398, 402, 403, 411, 414, 415, 416, 421, 427

Commandeering-Provisions of Commando Law, 3

Commander-in-Chief of Orange Free State-

De Wet, Gen.-Appointment of, 49

Secret Election of, 118

Prinsloo, Election of, 6, 7

Commando Law-Provisions as to Commandeering, 3

Commandos-Division of into small parties, 225

Advantages of, 227

List of Districts and Commandants, 225-227

Skirmishes, Splendid Record, 267

Small Commandos sent into Cape Colony-De Wet's Policy, 234

(For particular Commandos see their names)

Commissariat-Comparison of Boer and British Commissariat Arrangements, 4, 5, 6, 7

Compensation for Boer Losses, see Repatriation

Concentration Camps-Number of Deaths in, etc., 416, 419, 426

Women-Flight of to avoid being sent to Camps, 193, 279

Maintenance of Boer Women and Children by the British Government-President Steyn on, 257, 258

Treatment of, 232, 257, 258

Conduct of the War by British-Exhaustion of the Republics, 419

Continuance of the War in 1902, Vereeniging Conference-

Burghers, Attitude of, 404, 405, 410, 411

Effect on Vereeniging Meeting, 413, 414

Comparison of Situation with that of 1877-1881, Futility of, 421, 422

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Speech, 407

Kruger's, President, Advice, 420

Possibility, Question of-Situation in South African Republic, Reliance on Government, etc., 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354-358, 359, 360-362, 363, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 407, 408, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 417, 418, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 426

Reasons for, 400, 401

Correspondence relating to the War, Preservation of, 247

Court Martial on Commandant Vilonel, Composition of, note 85

Cowboys, Capture by Boers-Blauwbank Capture, 33, 34

Cronje, Commandant-Continuance of the War, Reliance on God, etc., 402

European Intervention, Boer Deputation to Foreign Courts, 402, 403

Cronje, Gen. A.P.-Modder Spruit, Command at, 11

Sanna's Post, Share in Engagement, 64

Vechtgeneraal of Orange Free State, Nomination as, 11

Cronje, Gen. Piet-De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Scheme for breaking Lord Methuen's Railway Communications-Refusal to permit Execution of, 23

Ladysmith, Occupation of Positions South and Southwest of, 19

Magersfontein-Command at, 23, 24

Refusal to profit by Commander-in-Chief De Wet's Advice, 25

Message in reply to Commander-in-Chief De Wet's warning before Paardeberg, 31

Retreat towards Paardeberg, 36, 37

Surrender at Paardeberg (see Paardeberg)

Cronje, Vechtgeneraal Andreas-Command of Boers' Reinforcements from Bloemfontein, 45

Cropper, F.C., Death of, near Lindley, 269

Dakasburg Engagement, 200

Dalgety, Colonel-Command at Badenhorst, 77

Davel, Commandant-Command of President Steyn's Bodyguard, 191

Days of Thanksgiving and Humiliation, Appointment of, 243

De Clercq, Mr.-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, 399

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 344, 348

De la Rey, General-Colesberg Command, 24

Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 403, 404

Fortitude after Fall of Pretoria, 93

Independence of the South African Republic-Powers of Vereeniging Delegates to decide on Question, 411, 412

Kraaipan, Capture of Armoured Train, 8

Kroonstad War Council, Presence at, 58

Magersfontein Laager, Command at, 23

Mission to Europe on behalf of Relief Fund Committee, 428

Peace Negotiations-Member of Commission of National Representatives at the Pretoria Conference, 320, 365-396

Permission given to Burghers to return home, 56

Reitfontein, Work at, 52

Roberts', Lord, Attempt to cross the Orange River-Success in preventing, 26

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 358

Steyn's, President, and General de Wet's visit to, 300

De Lange-Sentence of Death for High Treason at Blijdschap, 268 note

De Wet, General Piet-Advice to Commander-in-Chief De Wet after Siege of Badenhorst, 81

Discontinuance of Struggle proposed-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Reception of Proposal, 130

Lindley Garrison, Capture of, 92

Sanna's Post Engagement, Share in, 64

Swartbooiskop, Guarding after Fight at Nicholson's Nek, 17

De Wet, Jacobus, Capture of, 296, 297

De Wet, Johannes-Death near Smithfield, 181

De Wet, Veldtcornet-Wounded during Retreat from Dewetsdorp, 181

Debtors, Protection of, against Creditors for Six Months after the War-Peace Negotiations at Pretoria (May, 1902), 387

Declaration of War by South African Republic (see Ultimatum)

Deputation to European Powers to ask for Intervention (1900)-Departure from Delagoa Bay, 53, 54

Encouragement to continue Struggle, 407

England's Refusal to permit Return of Deputation, 409, 412, 413

European Governments unwilling to receive, 415, 416

Failure of, 355, 356

Object of, 54

Silence of, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 407

Delagoa Bay Harbour, Forbidden to Boers by Portuguese Government, 53, note 54

Destitution caused by the War, 321, 322

Appointment of Committee to Collect and Administer Relief Funds, 428

Devastation by the British-War against Boer Property, 192

Crops destroyed, Corn burnt, etc., note 83

Farm-burning and Waggons (see those titles)

Male Attire, Burning of, 221, 222

Dewetsdorp, Occupation by British, 71

Storming by Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Forces, 174-179

Diederiks of Boshof, Commandant, 24

Discipline of Boer Forces-Imperfect Discipline, 7, 8, 9, 57

Failure to remove Cattle along Railway Line, 111

Roodewal, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Difficulties in carrying away Booty, 103, 104

Sanna's Post, irritating Results at, 67

Stricter Discipline, Results of, 61

Taljaart's and Prinsloo's, Veldtcornets, Burghers "preferred to go their own way," 286

Waggon Difficulty, 120, 121

Harrismith Burghers' Refusal to part with their Waggons at Spitskopje, 161-163

Doornberg, War Council at-Decision as to Presidential Election, 197

Doornspruit-Line near crossed by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, Capture of Train, Ammunition, etc., 132

Drakensberg Range-

Boundary between Boer and British Territory in 1899, 7, 8

Passes, Occupation by Orange Free State Commandos, 7, 8

Drive Tactics of British-

Bethlehem-Lindley to Frankfort-Vrede Line-Cordon of Sixty Thousand Men, 290-296

Boer Forces caught between Cordon of Troops and Vaal River, 135, 136

Harrismith, Heilbron and Bethlehem District, 285, 286

Du Toit, General-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 400, 401

Dundee, Line near, cut by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 9, 10

Elandsfontein Engagement-Commandant Michal Prinsloo's Exploit, 119, 120

Elandskop-British Attack in Hope of Capturing Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 290, 291

Elandslaagte Engagement, 114

Els, Veldtcornet Marthinus, wounded outside Ladysmith, 20

Epithets applied by the British to the Boer Forces, 227, 228

European Journals kept from Republics by England, 409

Eustin, Lieut. Banie, wounded and captured by British, 204, 205

Extermination of the South African Republics-British Determination to exterminate the Republics prior to the Outbreak of War, alleged, 254, 255

Fanny's Home Farm-Recapture of Guns by British, 285

Farm-burning, etc., by the British-Heilbron, Bethlehem and Harrismith District, 285

Roberts', Lord, Proclamations, ordering, 192

Shelter, Lack of-Women living in Narrow Sheds, 290, 291

Wholesale Destruction of Farms by the British, 232

Fauresmith and Jacobsdal Burghers-Failure to rejoin Commandos, 60

Return Home without Permission after Poplar Grove, 56

Ferreira, Mr. T.S., Commander-in-Chief, at Kimberley-Death due to Gun Accident, 49

Firing of the Veldt by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 141, 142

Fissher, Abraham-Member of Boer Deputation to Europe (1900), 53, 54

Food Supply-Failure of Food Supply, Reason for Acceptance of British Peace Terms, 233, 321, 401, 402, 405, 406, 410, 416, 417, 421, 422, 427, 428

Kemp's, Gen., Plan of Commandeering Food Supplies from the Kaffirs, 345

Situation in the various Districts on May 15, 1902-Reports of the Delegates to the Vereeniging Conference, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 355, 361, 362

Forces-Comparison between numbers, etc., engaged on either Side in the War, 339

(See also titles Boer and British Forces)

Fourie, General Piet-Bethlehem Engagement, 281

Blauwbank, Exploits at, 33, 34, 35

Cape Colony Expedition, Part in, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 210, 212, 213, 221, 222

Commandos escaped from behind the Roodebergen, Command of, 238, 239

Despatch of, to the South-Eastern Districts, 225

Engagement with British Troops from Bloemfontein (1900), 80

Prinsloo's Surrender, Escape from, 128

Springhaansnek, Leader in Attack on Blockhouse Line, 187, 188, 189

Vice-Commander-in-Chief in Bloemfontein District, Appointment, 157

Franchise-British Government Demands on the South African Republic prior to Outbreak of War, 252, 253, 254

Frankfort, British Success at (1900), 82

Ross', Commandant, Engagement with Colonel Rimington's Troops, 267

Fraser, Gordon-One of two faithful Burghers of Philippolis District, 94

Frederiksstad Station-Attack by Commander-in-Chief de Wet and General Liebenberg on General Barton, Causes of Failure, etc., 165-168

French, General-

Koedoesberg, Fight for, 27

Magersfontein-Boer Lines broken through, 36, 37

Froneman, General-

Continuance of the War at all Costs advocated, 402, 403

Escape from Paardeberg, 41

Frederiksstad, Attack on General Barton-Failure to hold advanced Position, 165, 166, 167

Koedoesberg, Share in Fighting at, 27, 28

Kroonstad War Council, Presence at, 58

Prinsloo's Surrender-Escape from, 128

Railway Line wrecked near America Siding, 115, 116

Reddersburg, March on, 72, 73

Rhenosterriviersbrug Engagement, 99, 101, 104, 105

Sanna's Post Engagement, Share in, 62

Smithfield Expedition, Results of, 79

Train captured by, near Jagersfontein Road Station, 203, 204

Ventersburg, Failure to hold Position, 85

Gatacre, General-Capture of Stormberg, 50

Gatsrand-Death of Danie Theron, 153, 154

Germany-Attitude towards the War, Reasons for Non-intervention, 358, 359


Assistance rendered to South African Republic in War of 1877-1881, 422, 423

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, tribute to, 85

Goldfields-Surrender of, to the British proposed, 350, 351, 352, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364

Gouveneurskop-General de Villiers' Exploits at, 83

Government of Orange Free State-

Accompanying Commander-in-Chief de Wet in Departure from Roodebergen, 124, 129

Bethlehem, Transference to, 117

Cape Colony, Expedition into, Decision to accompany, 197

Capture of Members of the Government by the British at Reitz-Escape of President Steyn, 244

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Operations after Prinsloo's Surrender-Government accompanying Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 124, 129

Executive Raad, Constitution of, 198

Heilbron, Transference to, 86

Kroonstad, Transference to, 58

Third Transference, Reasons for, 92

Volksraad-Impossibility of assembling a legally constituted Volksraad, 198, 199

Government of South African Republic-

Capture of Members by the British at Reitz, 244

Appointments to Vacancies, 244

Treachery on the part of Burgher Steenekamp, 244

Steyn's, President, Visit to Machadodorp, 144

Termination of the War (see that title)

Governments of the Orange Free State and South African Republic-

Peace Deliberations, Meeting at Klerksdorp, 303, 305

Peace Negotiations at Pretoria, Boer Proposals for Retention of Self-Government under British supervision, 366, 371, 372

Grain Waggons, captured by British near Vredefort, 133

"Granary" of Orange Free State lost to Boers, 84

Grant by the British Government for Repatriation Purposes, Re-stocking Farms, etc., 394

Great Britain, King of-Thanks of Boer Generals for Efforts to promote Peace-Resolution at the Vereeniging Conference, 346

Grobler, Commandant H.S.-Continuance of the War, Impossibility of carrying on the Struggle, 406

Grobler, Mr. E.R.-Colesberg Command, 22

Groenkop, Description of, 278


Designation of Boer Forces by the British as "Guerillas," Objections to the term, 228, 229

Meaning of the term, 229


Boer Captures-

Blauwbank, 33

Colenso and Stormberg, 22

Dakasburg Engagement-

Capture of a Maxim-Nordenfeldt, 200

Dewetsdorp, 178

Nicholson's Nek, 16

Sanna's Post, 67, 69

Tweefontein, 282

Boer Losses, 208, 209

Bothaville, Number lost at, 170, 171

Fanny's Home Farm, Recapture of Guns by the British, 285

Frederiksstad, Retreat after-Loss of one gun, 167

Springhaansnek, Gun Abandoned, 189, 190

Ventersdorp, Loss of Krupp Gun near, 141

"Hands-uppers," British use of, 18

Harbour, Boer Lack of, note 53


Engagement with British Troops near, 272-274

Boer Casualties, 274

Failure of Boer Charge, 273

Orange Free State Troops, Concentration at, 4, 6

Harrismith Burghers-

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Visit to, 260

Surrender following Prinsloo's Surrender, 128

Waggon, Refusal to part with-Return home, 161-163

Hasebroek, Commandant-Cape Colony Expedition-Holding the Enemy in Check, 212, 215, 219, 220

Engagement with Colonel White near Thaba'Nchu, 189, 190

Hattingh, General-Command at Harrismith and Vrede Commandos, 161

Commander-in-Chief in the Drakensberg Appointment, 117

Hattingh, Veldtcornet Johannes-Leader in Springhaansnek Attack on Blockhouse Lines, 187

Heenop, David-Swimming the Orange River, 220

Heilbron-District to which Commander-in-Chief de Wet belonged, 4

Government of Orange Free State transferred to, 86

Mentz, Commandant F.E., Engagement with Colonel Byng's Column, 267

Heilbron Commando-Commandant Mr. L. Steenekamp, 4

Vice-Commandant, Election of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 7

Visits to, by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 230, 243

Heliographic Communication, Use by Boers, 286 note, 289

Hertzog, Judge-Continuance of the War, Arguments for and against-Vereeniging Conference, 412

Despatch of, to the South-Western Districts, 225

Mission to bring back Commandos which had escaped from Prinsloo's Surrender, 137

Peace Negotiations-Member of Commission of National Representatives at the Pretoria Conference, 320, 365-396

Rejection of British Terms-Proposal, 425, 426

Report on Attitude of Burghers in North-Western Parts of Cape Colony, 195

Vice-Commander-in-Chief, Appointment in Districts of Fauresmith, etc., 158

Hides for Tanning-Destruction by the British, 233

Hijs, Commandant, P.L.-Impossibility of European Intervention, 401, 402

Holspruits-Boers breaking through British Lines, 293, 294

Honing Kopjes-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's first Engagement with Lord Kitchener, 108-110

Honingspruit Station, Failure of Commandant Olivier's Attack, 115, 116

Horses-Bothaville, Capture of Horses by Boers, 299

Condition of Boer Horses, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 355

Dependence of the Boers on their Horses, 172

Fodder, Scarcity of, 341, 355

Skin Disease among, 271, 272

Wild Horses of the Veldt, Use of, by the Boers, 292, 293

Humiliation Days, Appointment of, 243

Independence of the Republics-

Afrikander Feeling as to, 58

British Government Attitude towards, 337

Correspondence between Presidents Kruger and Steyn and Lord Salisbury, 330-332

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Meetings to ascertain the feeling of the Burghers as to Surrender of Independence, 313

"Irretrievably Lost," 419

Maintenance of-Burghers' Mandate to Vereeniging Delegates, 333, 337, 338, 347, 348, 362, 363, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 407, 411, 412, 417, 421, 422, 423, 424

Peace Negotiations-Conference at Pretoria between Commission of the National Representatives and Lords Kitchener and Milner (May 19-28, 1902), 366, 370, 371

Refusal of the British Government to consider Terms based on Retention of Independence, 53, 54, 309, 310, 397

Steyn, President, Views of, 306

Surrender of-Conditions offered by the British in exchange, 346, 347, 358

Vereeniging Conference, opinions of Burghers' Delegates, 333, 336, 346, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 362, 363, 364

Intervention of Foreign Powers on behalf of the Republics-

Attitude of England towards, 356, 362, 363

Boer Deputation to European Powers (see Deputation)

Boer Hopes unfulfilled, 405, 406, 412, 414, 415, 416, 423, 424

Germany, Reasons for Non-intervention, 358, 359

Improbability of Intervention, 355, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 433

Intervention not desired by Boers, 54

Steyn, President, on, 354, 355

Jameson Raid, President Steyn on, 251, 252

Jew at Nicholson's Nek-Burgher declining to do Business, 15

Johannesburg Police, Behaviour at Nicholson's Nek, 15, 16

Jonson, Burgher, Death at Bester Station-First Victim in the Fight for Freedom, 10, 11

Joubert, General-

Junction with Orange Free State Forces at Rietfontein, 13

Kroonstad War Council, Presence at, 58

Kaffirs-Arming by England, 422, 423

Attitude towards the Boers-Reports of Vereeniging Delegates, 337, 338, 339, 340, 343, 345, 346, 355, 361, 362, 363

Boer Women, Treatment of, 151, 152, 153

Capture of Kaffirs by Boers at Dewetsdorp, 178, 179

Release of Prisoners, 181

Treatment of Kaffirs by Boers-Kaffirs captured at Leeuwspruit Bridge, 113

Warfare, Native Methods-Boer Sufferings at the Hands of Zulus and Basutos, 10

Kemp, General-Continuance of the War, Independence of the Republics, etc., 421, 422

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 345, 347, 348

Kitchener, Lord-Armistice agreed on, to admit of Attendance of Boer Officers at the Vereeniging Meeting, 316

Misunderstanding on the Part of the British Columns, 317, 318

Capture of President Steyn and Commander-in-Chief de Wet anticipated-Visit to Wolvehock Station, 290, 291

Escape from Armoured Train, near Leeuwspruit Bridge, 112

Honingkopjes and Roodepoort-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's first Engagement with Lord Kitchener, 108, 109

Independence of Republics as basis for Peace Negotiations, Refusal to consider-Pretoria Conference, 309, 310, 397

Kroonstad, Arrival at, 111

Middelburg Peace Proposals (see that title)

Peace Negotiations-Conference at Pretoria with Commission of National Representatives (May 19-28, 1902), 320, 365, 395, 396

Proposals by the Boer Representatives in April, 1902, 305-313

Prisoners, Order given to Gen. Knox "not to take prisoners"-South African News Statement, 184, 185

Klerksdorp-Peace Deliberations, Meeting of Governments of the Republics, 303, 304, 305

Knight, Captain Wyndham-

Surrender at Rhenosterriviersbrug, 105, 106

Tribute to, by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 107

Knox, General-Bethlehem, Engagement near, with Generals Botha and Fourie, and Commandant Prinsloo, 194, 195

Cape Colony-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Operations-Attempted Inroad-Fighting near Smithfield, 181

Expedition into Cape Colony, Dispositions to prevent, 201, 202, 203

Kroonstad taken by, 194, 195

Pursuit of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 185, 186, 187, 189, 190

Thaba'Nchu, Engagement near, with Gen. Fourie, 201, 202

Koedoesberg-Struggle between General French and Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 27, 28, 29

Kotzé, Mr. (General Prinsloo's Secretary)-Bearer to Commander-in-Chief de Wet of News of General Prinsloo's Surrender, 135, 136, 137

Kraaipan-Armoured Train captured by Boers, 8, 9

Kritzinger, Commandant-Crossing of Orange River, Seizure of British Outpost, 195, 196

Kritzinger, Commandant, and Captain Scheepers-Engagement with Brabant's Horse, 185, 186

Krom Ellenborg, Sub-district to which Commander-in-Chief de Wet belonged, 4

Kroonstad-British Advance, 86, 87

Abandonment by Boers, 87, 88

Capture by General Knox, 194, 195

Government of Orange Free State transferred to, 58

Government of Orange Free State transferred to Heilbron, 86, 87

Kitchener's Lord, Arrival-Strength of British Forces, etc., 111

Kroonstad Commando, Share in Battle of Modderspruit, 10, 11

Kruger, President-Despatch of Mission to Europe to represent Condition of the Country to President Kruger, proposed, 236, 237, 238

Peace, Joint Letter to Lord Salisbury stating Conditions on which the Republics were willing to make Peace, 330, 331, 332

Poplar Grove, Visit to Boer Troops at, 50

War Council at Kroonstad, Presence, at, 58

Krugersdorp-Potchefstroom Railway-Crossed by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 149


British Retreat on Ladysmith, 9, 10

Bulwana Hill-Boers surprised by British, 21

Engagement of 3rd Nov., 1899, 29, 30

Relief, 50

Landsheer, Doctor de-Death at Bothaville, English Newspaper Report, 170, 171

Language Question-

Equal Rights for English and Dutch Languages in Schools-Boer Peace Proposals to Lord Kitchener (April, 1902), 308, 309

Terms of the Peace Protocol, 380, 393, 394

Objections to, 412, 421, 422

Leeuwspruit Railway Bridge-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Scheme for breaking British Lines of Communication, 112

Froneman's, General, Failure to carry out Instructions, 113

Kitchener's Lord, Escape, 112

Leeuwspruit Scheme, Failure of, 112

Methuen's, Lord, Railway Communications-General Cronje's Refusal to permit Execution of Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Scheme for Cutting, 23

Orange Free State Railway-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Work on, 153, 154

Scheepers, Captain, Work of, 154

Wolvehoek, Wrecking the Railway, 163

Liebenberg, General-

Frederiksstad-Failure of Attack on General Barton, 164, 165, 166, 167

Mooi River, Junction with Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 140, 141

Retreat from Rustenburg, 142, 143


British Retreat, 284

Guns, Recapture by British at Fanny's Home Farm, 285


British Garrison Captured by General Piet de Wet, 92

Destruction by the British, Alleged, 271, 272

Engagement near, 268

Postponement of Second Boer Attack-Escape of the British during the Night, 270

Halt of Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Forces, 271, 272

Lindley-Kroonstad Line of Blockhouses-Boers breaking through the Line, 287

Lines of Communication-Boer Attempts to cut British Lines, 172, 246

America Siding Railway Line Wrecked by General Froneman, 115, 116

De Wet, Commander-in-Chief, Schemes of, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153

Frederiksstad Station-Wrecking of Railway Bridge and Line, 140, 141

"Little Majuba"-Name given to Swartbooiskop after Nicholson's Nek, 13

Loans by the British Government for restocking Farms, etc., 394

Long Tom damaged by Dynamite, 21

Looting by British, 6, 7

Losses in Killed, Wounded, etc., on either side during the War, 201, 202, 247, 265, 266, 415, 416, 417, 422, 423

Blijdschap, 269

Bothaville, 170, 171

Cape Colony Expedition, 206, 207, 208, 209

Colenso, 22

Dakasburg Engagement, 200

Dewetsdorp, 177, 178

Engagement between Commandant Hasebroek and Colonel White, 189

Frederiksstad Engagement, 166, 167

Heilbron, 26

Koffiefontein, 35, 36

Ladysmith, Engagement of 3rd Nov., 1899, 20

Leeuwspruit Bridge, 112, 113

Lindley, 267, 269

Magersfontein, 23

Modder Spruit, 11

Nicholson's Nek, 16

Paardeberg, 50

Prinsloo's Surrender, 127

Reitz, 265

Rhenosterriviersbrug, 105

Roodewal, Extent of British Losses, 102

Sanna's Post, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70

Stinkfontein, 40, 46

Stormberg, 23

Tijgerfontein, 138, 139

Tweefontein, 181

Vanvurenskloof, 139, 140

Verkijkersdorp, 239, 240

Vredefort Engagement, 134, 135

Loyalty to British Government-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Final Advice to the Boers, 324

Lubbe, Commandant-Return from Paardenberg's Drift, 36, 37

Wounded and Captured near Thaba'Nchu, 82

Lyddite Shells, Effect of-

Bethlehem Incident, 121, 122

Magersfontein Laager, 24

Maagbommen, 5

Macdonald, General Sir Hector-

Command of Reinforcements against Bethlehem, 121, 122

Machadodorp-President Steyn's Visit to the Government of the South African Republic, 144

Magalies Mountains, Passage of, by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 145, 146, 147

Magersfontein Engagement-

British Losses, 23

Magersfontein Laager-

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Command, 23, 24

Duties and Annoyances of Command, 64

Shelling by British, 24

Women, Presence of-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Failure to induce Government to Prohibit, 25

Mailbags captured at Roodewal, Contents used by Boers, 102

"Majuba Day"-Capture of Commandant van Merwe and men, 296, 297

Malan, Lieut.-Expedition into Cape Colony, 206, 207

Martial Law-Proclamation by Governments of the Republics, 7, 8

Massey, Major-Command at Dewetsdorp, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Tribute, 175, 176

Matthijsen, Corporal Adriaan and the crossing of the Magalies Mountains, 146, 147

Mauser Rifle in Portrait of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, History of, 151, 152

Mears, Commandant-Loss of Guns at Fanny's Home Farm, 285

Medical Certificates, Abuse of by Burghers, note 59

Meijer, Commandant J.-Tribute to, 271, 272

Mentz, Commandant J.E.-

Continuance of the War, Impossibility of, 421, 422

Situation in South Africa on 15th May, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 351, 352

Merve, Commandant-General van, wounded at Sanna's Post, 68, 69

Merve, Commandant van der-

Appointment to Command of Winburg Burghers, 64

Capture of, on "Majuba Day," 296, 297

Meyer, Mr. J.L.-Continuance of the War, Arguments against, Vereeniging Conference, 413, 414

Meyer, Veldtcornet-Loss of Position at Stinkfontein, 42

Middelburg Peace Proposals-

Annulled by the Terms of Peace arranged at the Pretoria Conference (May, 1902), 392

Communications between the Boer Leaders with reference to the proposed Conference, 230

Difference between the Basis of Negotiations proposed by the Boer Representatives in May, 1902, and the Middelburg Proposals, 367, 372, 373

Receipts issued by Boer Officers, Proviso as to Payment, 384, 385

Milner, Lord-

Boer Ultimatum-Mr. Chamberlain's Telegrams, 329

Independence of Republics as Basis for Peace Negotiations, Refusal to consider-Pretoria Conference, 365-396, 397

Peace Negotiations-Conference at Pretoria with Commission of National Representatives (May 18-29, 1902), 320, 365-396

Mobility-British Incapacity to keep pace with Boers, 140, 141 (see also Waggons)

Modder River-British entrenched at, 24

Modder Spruit, Battle of, 9, 10, 11

Boer and British Losses, 11, 12

Modderrivierpoort (see Poplar Grove)

Muller, Capt.-Exploit at Roodewal, 101

Muller, General C.H.-Continuance of the War-Vereeniging Delegates' Refusal to accept British Surrender Proposal, 417

Myringen, Burgher, killed at Rhenosterriviersbrug, 105, 106

Naauwpoort-Prinsloo's Surrender, 85

Natal-British Subjects fighting for the Boers (see Colonial Burghers)

Natal Operations-

Absence of Commander-in-Chief de Wet after 9th Dec., 1899, 21

Bester Station Skirmish, 10, 11

Colenso, Magersfontein, and Stormberg Engagements-British Losses, 23

Drakensberg Passes, Occupation by Orange Free State Commandos, 7, 8

Estcourt Skirmishes-General Louis Botha's Exploits, 19

Failure of Boers to cut off English at Dundee and Elandslaagte, 9, 10

Kraaipan, Capture of Armoured Train by General De la Rey, 8, 9

Ladysmith (see that title)

Modder Spruit, Battle of, 9, 10, 11

Natal Frontier, Commander-in-Chief C. de Wet's Reconnaissance, 7, 8

Nicholson's Neck (see that title)

National Representatives (see Peace Negotiations)

National Scouts-Arming men who had taken the Oath of Neutrality, 159

Bergh's, Captain, Attacks on Boers with bands of Kaffirs, 271, 272

Night Attacks by the British instigated by, 263, 264

Services to the British, 184, 185, 223, 224

Naude, Mr. J.-Independence of the South African Republic and Orange Free State, Vereeniging Delegates' power to decide as to Position of British Subjects fighting on Boer side, etc., 411

Neikerk, Altie van-Capture at Honingkopjes, 186

Neikerk, Captain-Appointment as Commandant of President Steyn's Bodyguard, 245

Nel, Commandant-

Farm stormed by English-Escape of Commander-in-Chief C. de Wet, 152, 153, 154

Modder Spruit-West Wing of Boer Forces commanded by Nel, 10, 11

Nicholson's Nek-Failure to hold Swartbooiskop, 13, 14

Resignation, 115, 116

Nerwe, Van de-Drowned in crossing Orange River, 217


Peace-Correspondence with the British Government, 301, 302

Boer Response to the Invitation implied in the forwarding of the Correspondence, etc., 305, 306, 370, 371

Queen of-Thanks of Boer Generals for efforts to promote Peace-Resolution at the Vereeniging Conference, 345, 346

Newspapers-Circulation of European Papers prohibited in Republics by England, 409

Nicholson's Nek-

Ambulance for British wounded-Sir G. White's Delay in sending, 17

Booty taken by Boers, 16


Nel's, Commandant, Failure to hold, 13, 14

Storming by Steenekamp and Commander-in-Chief C. de Wet, 14, 15

White Flag Incident, 15

Transvaal Burghers, Work of, 17

Nieuwouwdt, General-Peace, Rejection of British Terms, Proposal, 424, 425

Night Attacks by the British-Success of, Losses caused to the Boers, 263, 264

Norvalspont-Commander-in-Chief C. de Wet's Schemes for Operations in rear of British, 81, 82

Oath of Neutrality, Breaking-Re-arming of Burghers who had taken the Oath, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Scheme, 156-160

British Military Authorities' Breach of Terms of Lord Roberts' Proclamation justifying Scheme, 159, 160

Olivier, Commandant-

Bethlehem District, Appointment to Command, 227, 228

Honingspruit Station, Failure of Attack on, 115, 116

Prinsloo's, General, Position as Private Burgher, Dissatisfaction with, 118

Oliviershoekpas-Occupation by Bethlehem Commando, 7, 8

Orange Free State-

Annexation of-Battles fought after the alleged Annexation, 228, 229

De Wet, Commander-in-Chief, Return of, 144, 150, 151

Government (see Government of Orange Free State)

Number of Burghers in Arms after Fall of Pretoria, 94

Outbreak of War-Orange Free State joining issues with the South African Republic, 254, 255

President-Powers granted to President in Matters Concerning War, 9, 10

Situation of Boer and British Forces in 1901, President Steyn on, 255, 256

Ortel, Mr. Charles-Owner of Abraham's Kraal, 51

Outbreak of the War, 7, 8

Paardeberg-General Cronje's Forces surrounded by the British, Bombardment of Laager, etc., 39

Boer Reinforcements, Arrival of, 45

Cronje's, Gen., Determination not to abandon Laager, 41

Efforts to release General Cronje-Storming of Stinkfontein, etc., 40-46

Abandonment of Position by Boers, 44

Botha's, General, Attempt to recapture Position abandoned on 25th February, 45

British Efforts to recapture Position, 42, 43, 44

Way of Escape opened to General Cronje, 41, 43

Sketch of Boer and British Positions, 38

Surrender of General Cronje, 47

Effect on Boer Forces, 48, 49, 51

Theunisson, Mr., Capture by British, 6, 7

Paardenberg's Drift, British Advance on, 30

Camp of "Water-draggers" surprised by British, 32, 33

Palmietfontein-Boers breaking through Blockhouse Line, 289, 290

Panic among Boer Forces-

Burghers returning to Farms after Fall of Pretoria, 93

Holspruits, 294, 295

Peace Negotiations-Boer Overtures, etc.-

Armistice agreed on, to admit of attendance of Officers at the Vereeniging Meeting, 315

Misunderstanding on the part of the British Columns, 317, 318

Concessions in addition to the Terms already offered in the Negotiations of April, 1902, 366

Conference at Pretoria between the Commission of National Representatives and Lords Kitchener and Milner (19-28 May, 1902), 320, 365

Draft Document drawn up to place Negotiations in position to amend the Middelburg Proposals, 376, 377

Prolongation of Meetings due to Cable Correspondence with Great Britain, 397

Report of Commission discussed at Vereeniging Meeting, 397

Governments of the Republics, Meeting at Klerksdorp, 303, 304, 305

Burger's, Vice-President, Letter to President Steyn, 301, 302

Independence (see that subheading)

Middelburg Peace Proposals (see that title)

National Representatives-

Commission sent to the Pretoria Conference (May, 1902)-

Decision to appoint Commission, 364

Names of Members, 412

Election of Representatives for the Commandos, 313, 314

Meeting at Vereeniging (15th May) to consider the Situation, 352, 353, 358, 359, 362, 363

Peace Terms Proposed, 362, 363, 364

Netherlands' Communication with the British Government, 301, 302

Boer Response to the Invitation implied in the forwarding of the Correspondence, etc., 305, 306, 370, 371

Letter sent to Commandos, 336, 345, 346, 347

Presidents of the Republics-Correspondence with Lord Salisbury, and Lord Salisbury's Reply (5th March, 1900), 50, 53, 54, 330-332, 409

Proposals to Lord Kitchener (April, 1902), 299

Correspondence between Lord Kitchener and the Secretary of State-Independence Difficulty, 401, 402

Signing of Peace at Pretoria, 323, 324

Steyn's, President, Views, 258, 259

Terms of Peace sanctioned by the British Government and accepted by the Boers (May, 1902)-

Acceptance of British Terms, 320, 427, 428

Acceptance under Protest proposed, 421

Dissatisfaction among men of the Commandos, 324

Failure of Food Supply as reason for acceptance, 321

Unconditional Surrender v. Acceptance, 399, 401, 404, 405, 417, 423, 424

Better Terms, Possibility of obtaining, 406, 409, 410, 423, 424

Decision as to Acceptance or Rejection essential, 425, 426

Middelburg Proposal Annulled by the Terms of the Peace Protocol of May, 1902, 392

Milner's, Lord, Telegrams, 392

Rejection of Terms proposed, 424, 425

Signatures to Acceptance, Question of, 425, 426

Sub-committee appointed to aid in formulating Peace Proposals, 378, 398

Text of Draft Proposal and of Draft Proposal with Amendments sanctioned by the British Government, 379, 393

Time allowed for discussion of Terms, 394, 395

"Ultimatum," Description of British Terms, 321

Penzhorn, Mr., Relatives of-Kindness to Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 145

Petrusberg-Capture of by British, 51

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Visit, 232

Plans, Sketch Plans of Engagements, 97, 276

Plessis, Veldtcornet du-Death due to White Flag Treachery at Reddersburg, 76

Poplar Grove-

Concentration of Boer Troops at, 50

Kruger's, President, Visit to Boer Troops, 50

Panic among Boers-Commander-in-Chief de Wet unable to prevent flight, 51

Potchefstroom, Portrait of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, History of Mauser Rifle, which appears in the photograph, 151, 152

Potgieter, Commandant (of Wolmaranstadt)-Escape from Paardeberg, 41

Potgieter, Mr. Hendrik-Appointment as Public Prosecutor of Orange Free State, 198

Preeij, Vice-Commandant Ignatius du, killed near Bethlehem, 194, 195

Presidency of Orange Free State-

Expiration of President Steyn's term of office-Difficulties in the way of an Election, Action of the Doornberg War Council, 197, 198

Resignation of President Steyn, 411

Rhodes, Mr., proposed as Candidate, 198


Capture by British, 92

Panic ensuing among Transvaalers, 93

Peace Negotiations-Conference between Commission of National Representatives and Lords Kitchener and Milner (May 19-28, 1902), 320, 365

Pretorius, Willem-

Storming of British Schanze on Orange River, 204, 205

Tribute to, 271, 272

Veldtcornet, Nomination as, 205, 206

Prinsloo, Commandant Michal-

Bethlehem Engagement, 194, 195

Elandsfontein Exploit, 119, 120

Liebenbergsvlei Engagement, 284

Springhaansnek, Covering Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Passage of Blockhouse Lines at, 187, 188

Train captured and burned by, 152, 153

Vice-Commander-in-Chief of Bethlehem and Ficksburg Sub-districts, Appointment, 227, 228

Prinsloo, Mr. Marthinus-

Assistant Commander-in-Chief, Irregular Election as, 126

Commandant of Winburg District, 6, 7

Commander-in-Chief of Orange Free State, Election, 6, 7

Natal Campaign, Preliminary Arrangements, 7, 8

Resignation of Post as Commander-in-Chief in the Drakensberg, 117

Surrender at Naauwpoort, 85

Letter to Commander-in-Chief de Wet announcing Surrender and Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Reply, 136, 137

News brought to Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 135, 136, 137, 138

Suspicious Circumstances of Surrender, 127

Prinsloo's, Veldtcornet, Burghers, Capture of, 286

Prisoners-Boer Prisoners-

Bank Notes of the South African Republic, Opportunity of sending in for Payment, 386, 387

Ceylon-Prisoners taken with General Prinsloo sent to Ceylon, 156

Merwe, Commandant, and men-Capture on "Majuba Day," 296, 297

Number taken by the British, Frederiksstad, 40, 46, 170, 171, 264, 265

Total Number (35,000) in the Hands of the British in 1901, 256, 257

Taljaart's and Prinsloo's Veldtcornets, Burghers, Capture of, 286

British Prisoners-

Boer Inability to keep their Prisoners, 227, 228, 426, 427

Clothing taken by the Boers, 233

Numbers taken, 16, 23, 66, 67, 69, 70, 76, 102, 105, 106, 112, 113, 163, 178, 179, 185, 186, 194, 195, 202, 203, 205, 206, 207, 222, 223, 267, 281

Release on Fall of Pretoria due to Transvaalers' negligence, 92

Treatment by Boers-

Personal Property of Prisoners, etc., Disposition of, 101, note

Prisoners taken in Cape Colony Expedition, Treatment of, 210

Kaffir Prisoners taken by Boers-

Dewetsdorp, 178, 179

Release of Prisoners, 181

Leeuwspruit Bridge, 113


De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Tribute to, 218

Meetings in England, 407

Public Prosecutor of Orange Free State-Appointment of Mr. Hendrick Potgieter, 198

Railways-Wrecking the Lines, Cutting British Lines of Communication, 172, 242

America Siding, Line near, wrecked by General Froneman, 115, 116

De Aar and Hopetown, Line blown up, 208, 209, 211

Frederiksstad Station, Bridge and Line wrecked, 115, 116

Leeuwspruit, Failure of Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Attempt, 112, 113

Orange Free State Line, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Work on, 153, 154, 155

Scheepers, Captain, Work of, 153, 154

Schemes of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153

Wolvehock, 163

Rebels-Colonial Burghers Fighting on Boer Side (see Colonial Burghers)

Roberts', Lord, Description of Burghers continuing to fight after annexation of the Republics as "Rebels," 227, 228

Receipts issued by Boer Officers for the Purchase of Cattle, Grain, etc.-Peace Negotiations, Boer Representatives' Request for a Guarantee of Payment, 382

Amount likely to be required, 386, 387

Middelburg Proposal, 384, 385

Orange Free State, Position with reference to Receipts, 383, 384, 385, 386

Terms of Peace Agreement, 380

Reddersburg-Boer Messenger fired on by British, 74

British Commanding Officer's Reply to Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Advice to Surrender, 74

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Dispositions, 71-74

Mostertshoek, British Failure to reinforce Detachment at, 75

White Flag Treachery, 75, 76

Reich, Dr.-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Meeting with at Senekal, 231

Reitz-Engagement near, 263-266

Surrender of Arms by Commandos after Declaration of Peace, 323, 324

Reitz, Secretary of State-Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902, Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 350, 351

Relief Funds for Destitution caused by the War-Appointment of Committee to Collect and Administer, 428

Repatriation of Boers-Compensation for Losses sustained during the War-District Commissions, Institution of, 393, 394

Grant of £3,000,000 by the British Government, 393, 394

Inadequacy of Proposals, 402, 403, 421

Loans by the British Government, 394, 395

Rheeder, Commandant-Continuance of the War, Terms of Surrender, etc., 401

Rhenoster River, Fighting on, 89, 90

Hurried Retreat of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 90

Rhenosterriviersbrug-General Froneman's Success, 104, 105, 106

Rhodes, Mr. C.-

Jameson Raid-Mr. Chamberlain's Defence of Mr. Rhodes, 251, 252

Presidency of Orange Free State-Mr. Rhodes proposed as a Candidate, 198

Rietfontein, Battle of (see Modder Spruit)

Roberts, Lord-

Advance of, into the Orange Free State, 26

Bloemfontein, Appearance before, 54

Dispositions after Capture of Kroonstad (May 18, 1900), 88, 89

Inaction after Paardeberg, 50

Thaba'Nchu, Operations near (1900), 82


Burning of Buildings within radius of Ten Miles from Railway wrecked by Boers, 192

Oath of Neutrality, Proclamation as to Charge against Lord Roberts of violating Terms of Proclamation, 80, 159

Effect in preventing Burghers from rejoining Commandos, 60

Roodewal Disaster due to negligence of Lord Roberts, 105, 106

Sanna's Post, Failure to reinforce Troops at, 70 note

Ventersburg, Attack on, 85

Roch, General-Natal Campaign, General Roch's Command in Opening Movement of Boer Forces, 9, 10

Roodebergen-De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Departure from, 124, 129

Occupation by Boer Forces-Commander-in-Chief De Wet's Opposition to Scheme, 124

Passes of, 123

Roodepoort-Commander-in-Chief De Wet's first Engagement with Lord Kitchener, 108, 109

Roodewal Station, Action at, 98-101

Booty burnt by Boers, 104, 105

Sketch Plan, 97

Roux, Assistant Commander-in-Chief-Prinsloo's Surrender, weak and childish Conduct of General Roux, 126, 127

Roux, Deacon Paul, Appointment as Vechtgeneraal, 85

Russian Reception of Escaped Burghers, 110 note

Rustenburg-General Liebenberg's Retreat, 142, 143

Salisbury, Marquess of-Peace Negotiations, Boer Proposals of March 5, 1900-Reply to, 50, 53, 54, 409

Peace-Correspondence with Presidents Kruger and Steyn, 330-332

Sanna's Post, Action at-

Broadwood's, General, Troops, Arrival of, 65, 66

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Preparations, 62, 64

Koornspruit, Position occupied by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 64, 65, 66

Women and Children from Thaba'Nchu, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Care for, 66, 67

Scheepers, Captain, and Commandant Kritzinger-

Brabant's Horse, Engagement with, 185, 186

Despatch Rider chosen by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, to carry Message to General Cronje before Paardeberg, 31, 32

Orange River, Crossing of-Seizure of British Outpost, 195, 196

Railway Lines, Wrecking of, 152, 153, 154

Scouting Services, 124, 131

Zandnek Engagement, 139, 140


Boer and British Methods-Services rendered to the British by Boer Deserters, etc., 18, 121, 122

Importance of, 165, 166

National Scouts, Services of (see National Scouts)

Secrecy as to Future Movements-Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Determination to keep his Plans secret, 61, 199

Self-Government, Retention of under British Supervision-Peace Negotiations, Boer Representatives' Proposals at the Pretoria Conference (May 19, 1902), 366, 371, 372

Sheep-Huge Tail of African Sheep, 211

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-De Wet's Commander-in-Chief, Address at the Vereeniging Conference, 358-362

Situation of the Boer and British Forces in 1901, President Steyn on, 255, 256

Sketch Plans of Engagements, 38, 97, 276

Smith, Veldtcornet Hans, of Rouxville, Desertion after Roodewal, 106, 107

Smuts, General-

Continuance of the War, Arguments for and against-Vereeniging Conference, 418

Peace Negotiations-Member of Commission of National Representatives at the Pretoria Conference, 320, 365-396

Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902-Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 340-342

Sobriety of Boers, 60

South African News-Publication of, Order not to take Prisoners, Anecdote of Lord Kitchener, 184, 185

South African Republic-

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Journey with General De la Rey, Incidents during, 238, 239, 242

Extermination of, by the British determined on prior to the Outbreak of War, alleged, 254, 255

Government of (see Government of South African Republic)

Situation of, in 1902-Impossibility of continuing the War, 421, 422

Situation of Boer and British Forces in 1901-President Steyn on, 255, 256

Speller, Veldtcornet, of Wepener-Capture by British at Stinkfontein, 44

Springhaansnek-Blockhouse Line broken through by the Boers, 173, 187, 188

Spruit, Commandant-Capture by British at Stinkfontein, 42, 43; Subsequent Escape, 43

States-Procureur of Orange Free State-Capture of Mr. Jacob de Villiers at Bothaville, 170, 171, 198

Steenekamp, Burgher-Betrayal of Members of the South African Government to the British, 244

Steenekamp, Commandant-

Assistant-Commander-in-Chief, Nomination as, 144

Heilbron District, Commandant of, 4, 6, 7

Illness of, 7, 8, 9, 10

Vredefort Road Station, Attack on, 98, 105, 106

Steyn, President-

Accompanying Commander-in-Chief de Wet in his departure from Roodebergen, 129

Bethlehem Engagement, Presence at, 117

Bloemfontein, Departure from, 57


Davel, Commandant, Command of, 191

Niekerk, Captain-Appointment as Commandant, 245

Botha, General Philip, Visit to, 86, 87

Burgher's Vice-President, Request for Meeting with Orange Free State Government, 301, 302

Cape Colony Expedition, Decision to accompany, 197

Capture of Members of Governments of the South African Republics by the British at Reitz-President Steyn's Escape, 244

Causes of the War-Letter to Lord Kitchener, 250-259

Commander-in-Chief of Orange Free State, Refusal to allow Election-Consent to Election of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 118

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Schemes for operating in the Rear of the British, Opposition to, 82

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Tribute to, 212

Eyes, Weakness of-Visit to Dr. van Rennenkamp, 300

Government of the South African Republic, Meetings with-

Machadodorp Visit, 144

Vrede Meeting, 231

Illness of, 319

Independence of the Republic, Refusal to surrender, 306

Intervention of Foreign Powers, Attitude as to, 54

Kroonstad War Council presided over by President Steyn, 58

Peace-Correspondence between Presidents Kruger and Steyn and Lord Salisbury, 330-332

Resignation owing to Illness, 411

Ventersdorp-Meeting with Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 168, 169

Western Parts of the State, Visit to, 298-302

Steyn, Willie, Capture at Honing Kopjes-Subsequent Escape, 110 note

Stinkfontein, Stormed and Abandoned by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 40


British Losses at, 22, 23

Capture by General Gatacre, 50

Stormjagers, 5

Strauss, David-Prisoner taken by the British in contravention of Lord Roberts' Proclamation, 80

Stripping British Prisoners in order to obtain Clothing, 233

Supervision of the British Government-Peace Negotiations, Boer Representatives' offer to accept Supervision as a Compromise on the Independence Question, 366, 371, 372, 373


Banishment Proclamation (see that title)

Oath of Neutrality, Lord Roberts' Proclamation (see Oath of Neutrality)

Peace Negotiations at Pretoria in May, 1902-Draft Agreement, 376

Surrender of Arms after Declaration of Peace, 323, 324


Nel's Commandant, Failure to hold, 13, 14

Storming by Commandant Steenekamp and Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 14, 15

Swaziland-Cession to the British, Proposals of the Vereeniging Conference, 350, 351, 360, 361, 363, 364

Sympathy felt for Boer Cause in England-Indirect Intervention, etc., 407, 410, 420

Tabaksberg Engagement, 83

Taljaart's, Veltcornet, Burghers, Capture of, 286

Telegraph Wires-cutting wires between Wolvehock and Viljoensdrift, 299

Telegraphic Communication between Orange Free State and Transvaal, 92

Termination of the War-

Attitude of the Burghers, 237, 238

Boer Women, Opinion of, 361, 362

Conference between Transvaal and Orange Free State Governments-

Decision to continue Fighting, 242, 243

Klerksdorp Meeting, 303, 304, 305

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Forebodings, 58

Letter from Commandants in the Field to Secretary of the Orange Free State-

Conference with Transvaal Government, 242

Discussion of, by President Steyn and Generals De la Rey and De Wet, 234

Steyn's President, Answer, Extracts from, 236-239

Terms of, 234-237

Mission to President Kruger on behalf of South African Republic proposed, 236, 237, 238

Vereeniging Conference-Views of the Representatives, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 354-358, 359, 360-362, 363

Territory, Session of-Peace Negotiations-

Pretoria Conference, Boer Representatives' Offer, 366, 375

Vereeniging Conference Proposals (15th May, 1902), 350, 351, 352, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364


De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Retreat on after Badenhorst, 81

Occupation by General Broadwood, 65, 66

Thanksgiving Days, Appointment of, 243

Theron, Danie-

Death at Gatsrand, 153, 154

Paardeberg-Passing Enemy's Lines to carry Message from Commander-in-Chief de Wet to General Cronje, 46

Scouting Party, Appointment as Chief by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 54

Scouting Services, 88, 89, 124, 131

Train Captured by, 132

Theron, Jan-Appointment to succeed Commandant Danie Theron, 153, 154

Theunissen, Commandant of Winburg, 45

Capture by British at Stinkfontein, 46

Election as Commandant of Winburg, 6, 7

Thring, Veldtcornet-War Experiences, Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Tribute, etc., 87, 88, 89

Tijgerfontein Engagement, 138, 139

Tintwaspas-Occupation by Kroonstad Commando, 7, 8

Tonder, Mr. Gideon van-Killed by Lyddite Shell at Magersfontein, 25


Blowing up with Dynamite, 230, 246

Devices to throw the British off the Scent, 246

Mechanical Devices, 246

Boer Captures of, 132, 152, 153, 203, 204


Negligence in leaving Prisoners at Pretoria, 92

Nicholson's Nek, Work at, 17

Truter, Commandant-Abandonment of Krupp gun and Ammunition, 182

Tweefontein-Attack on British Position, 275-283

Sketch Plan, 276

Uijs, Commandant-Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902, Report to the Vereeniging Conference, 349, 350

"Uitschudden"-Institution of, in order to obtain Clothing, 233

Ultimatum by the South African Republic-

Cause of the War alleged-

Salisbury's, Lord, Assertion, 53, 54, 409

Salisbury's, Lord, Demand, 53, 54, 409

Steyn's, President, Contradiction, 251, 252

Chamberlain's, Mr. J., Telegrams to Sir A. Milner, 329

Text of the "Ultimatum," 325-328

Unconditional Surrender-Discussion at Vereeniging Meeting of May 29, 1902, 398, 399, 401, 405, 406, 423, 424

Vaal River-Crossing of President Steyn's Party, 300

Valsch River Bridge, Destruction by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 88, 89

Van Dam, Under Captain-Command of Johannesburg Police at Nicholson's Nek, 16

Van Niekerk, Commandant-Continuance of the War, Argument in favour of, 414, 415

Van Reenen's Pass-

Occupation by Harrismith and Winburg Commandos, 7, 8

War Council at-Commander-in-Chief de Wet attending in place of Commandant Steenekamp, 8, 9

Vanvurenskloof, Boer Retreat from, 139, 140

Vechtgeneraal of the Orange Free State-

Abolition of Post, 95

Creation of Post, 9, 10

De Wet, Commander-in-Chief, Appointment of, 22

Roux, General Paul, appointed by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 85

Ventersburg-Boer Lines broken through, 85


Fighting near, 140, 141, 142

Meeting between President Steyn and Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 168, 169


Meeting of General Representatives to discuss the Situation (May 15, 1902), 333-364

Authority given to Delegates to voice the wishes of their Constituencies, 333, 337, 338, 400, 402, 403, 404, 405, 407, 411, 412, 417, 421, 422, 423, 424

Thanks of the meeting to the King of England and Queen of the Netherlands for efforts to promote Peace, 345, 346

Unity among Delegates essential, 337, 338, 349, 350, 351, 357

Meeting of Special National Representatives to discuss British Peace Terms (May 29, 1902), 397

Armistice agreed on to admit of Attendance of Officers, 315

Misunderstanding on the part of the British Columns, 317, 318

Divisions among Delegates, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426

Meeting a Fatal Error, 413, 414

Questions to be decided, 398, 411, 417

(For details of subjects discussed see Independence, Peace Negotiations, etc.)

Verkijkersdorp-Capture of Women's Laager near, by the British, and Rescue by Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Commando, 238-241

British Casualties, 239, 240

Vice-Commanders-in-Chief, Orange Free State-

Badenhorst, Veldtcornet, C.C., Appointment for Districts of Boshof, etc., 159

De Wet, Gen., Appointment of, 49

Fourie, Gen., Appointment for Districts of Bloemfontein, etc., 157

Hertzog, Gen., Appointment for Districts of Fauresmith, etc., 158

Vice-President of Orange Free State-

Appointment of Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 411

Creation of Temporary Post, 198

Viljoen, Mr. P.R.-Situation in South Africa on May 15, 1902, Report of the Vereeniging Conference, 346, 347

Villiers, General de-Death due to Wound received at Biddulphsberg, 84

Natal Expedition, Commanding as Vechtgeneraal, 8, 9

Prinsloo's Surrender, Escape from, 128

Work in South-Eastern Districts of the Orange Free State, 83

Villiers, Mr. Jacob de, States-Procureur of Orange Free State, Capture of at Bothaville, 170, 171, 198

Vilonel, Commandant-

Resignation-Enforced Resignation due to Insubordination, 64

Surrender to British-Recapture by Captain Pretorius and Trial for Desertion, 84

Removal from Bethlehem to Fouriesburg, 121, 122

Waggons, Persistence in use of, 62

Visser, Commandant-Death of at Jagersfontein Engagement, Faithfulness and Valour of Commandant Visser, 158

Vleeschkorporaal, Duties of, 4, 5


De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Meeting with Louis Botha, 231

Meeting between President Steyn and the Transvaal Government, 231

Vrede Commando, Surrender following Prinsloo's Surrender, 128


Capture of British Outpost, 232

Engagements near, 133, 134, 135

Retreat of the Boers to the Vaal River, 164, 165

Surrender of Arms by Commando after Declaration of Peace, 323, 324

Vredefort-weg Station-Commandant Steenekamp's Success at, 98, 105, 106

Vrijheid-Kaffir Atrocities, Murder and Mutilation of Burghers, 426, 427


Boer Reluctance to abandon use of, 62, 120, 121, 129, 131, 135, 136

Harrismith Burghers' Refusal to part with their Waggons at Spitskopje, 161-163

De Wet, Commander-in-Chief, Use of Little Waggon, 293, 294, 398

Destruction by British, 120, 121, 191

No Waggons with Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Commando, 279

Vilonel's, Commandant, Persistence in using Waggons, 62

Waggon Camps, Regulation prohibiting, 58

War Commission-Orders to commence Natal Campaign, 4

War Councils, 19

Decisions of Council of March 28, 1900, 61

Doornberg, Council at-Decision as to Presidential Election, 197

Kroonstad Council-Officers present, Decisions, etc., 58 note, 59

War of 1877-1881-Futility of Comparison with War of 1899-1902, 421, 422

Warfare, Boer Methods of-

Checking an Enemy's Advance-Boer Tactics, 213

Rapidity of Action, Importance of, 75

Wauchope, General-Death at Magersfontein, 23

Weilbach, Commandant-Desertion of Post at Bloemfontein, 54

Wessels, General J.B.-

Kroonstad War Council, Presence at, 58

Sanna's Post Engagement, Share in, 64

Wessels, Mr. C.J.-

Commander-in-Chief of Free Staters at Magersfontein and Kimberley, 23

Member of Boer Deputation to Europe (1900), 53, 54

Wessels, Veldtcornet-

Capture of, at Frederiksstad, 166, 167

Dewetsdorp Exploits, 176, 177, 178

White, Colonel-Engagement with Commandant Hasebroek near Thaba'Nchu, 189, 190

White Flag Treachery at Reddersburg, 75, 76

Wire Fencing-

Bothaville Boers cutting the Wire, 299

Erection of, by the British, 262

Lindley-Kroonstad Line of Blockhouses-Escape of Boers, 287

Palmietfontein, Boers breaking through Line, 289, 290

Witkopjes Rheboksfontein Engagement, 135, 136

Witwatersrand, Cession to the British-Proposals of the Vereeniging Conference, 350, 351, 360, 361, 363, 364

Wolfaard Brothers-Wounded by Lyddite Shell at Magersfontein, 25

Wolmarans, Daniel-Member of Boer Deputation to Europe (1900), 53, 54

Wolvehock-Railway blown up by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 163

Women and Children-

De Wet's, Commander-in-Chief, Care for, after Sanna's Post, 66, 67

Difficulties of providing for-Deliberations of the Vereeniging Conference, 333, 339, 342, 343, 344, 345, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 356, 405, 406, 410, 412, 413, 415, 416, 417, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427

Flight of Boer Women to escape Capture by the British, 279

Kaffir Treatment of Boer Women, 151, 152, 153

Magersfontein Laager, Presence in, 25

Sufferings in Concentration Camps, etc., 198, 290, 291, 421, 422

Treatment by the British, 232, 239, 240, 241, 257, 258

Verkijkersdorp Laager, Capture of by British, and rescue by Commander-in-Chief de Wet's Commando, 238-241

Wonderkop-General de Villiers' Exploits, 83

Wounded, Boer Treatment of-

Doornspruit, Care of Wounded after, 133, 134

Nicholson's Nek-Care for Wounded by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 17

Yeomanry, Imperial-Gallantry at Tweefontein, 281

Yule, General-Ladysmith Retreat conducted by, 9, 10

Zandnek-Captain Scheepers' Engagement near, 139, 140

Zwavelkrans Farm-British Convoy Captured by Commander-in-Chief de Wet, 96, 98


[1] Small loaves manufactured of flour, with fermented raisins instead of yeast, and twice baked.

[2] Officer in charge of the meat-literally, Flesh-corporal.

[3] Literally, a team of oxen which are not all of the same colour.

[4] Storm-hunters; so-called from being rapidly cooked.

[5] Stomach-bombs-a reflection on their wholesomeness.

[6] A Vice-Commandant has no duties to fulfil so long as the Commandant is himself in camp and fit for work.

[7] Fighting general.

[8] Sometimes referred to as the battle of Rietfontein.

[9] Water-courses.

[10] About nine miles: distance reckoned by average pace of ridden horse-six miles an hour.

[11] Clear off.

[12] Hill.

[13] Literally, watch-fire men. They were the furthest outposts, whose duty it was to signal by means of their fires.

[14] Pioneers.

[15] A table-shaped mountain.

[16] A shelter-mound of earth and boulders.

[17] A ravine or water-course.

[18] In the district of Jacobsdal.

[19] Biscuits.

[20] Mr. Philip Botha had just been appointed Vice-Vechtgeneraal.

[21] Brother to Judge Hertzog.

[22] "How is it with you?"

[23] Eleven or twelve days after, Commandant Spruit was again with us. When he appeared, he seemed to us like one risen from the dead. We all rejoiced, not only because he was a God-fearing man, but also because he was of a lovable disposition. I heard from his own mouth how he had escaped. He told me that the day after his capture, he was sent, under a strong escort, from Lord Roberts' Headquarters to the railway station at Modder River, and that he started from there, with a guard of six men on his road to Cape Town. During the night as they drew near De Aar, his guards fell asleep, and our brave Commandant prepared to leave the train. He seized a favourable opportunity when the engine was climbing a steep gradient and jumped off. But the pace was fast enough to throw him to the ground, though fortunately he only sustained slight injury. When daylight came he hid himself. Having made out his bearings he began to make his way back on the following night. He passed a house, but dared not seek admission, for he did not know who its occupants might be. As he had no food with him, his sufferings from hunger were great, but still he persevered, concealing himself during the day, and only walking during the hours of darkness. At last he reached the railway line to the north of Colesberg, and from there was carried to Bloemfontein, where he enjoyed a well-earned rest. In the second week of March he returned to his commando, to the great delight of everybody.

[24] This correspondence will be found in Chapter XXX.

[25] Member of the Free State Volksraad and Executive Council.

[26] Member of the Free State Volksraad and Executive Council, and also President of the Volksraad.

[27] Member of the first Volksraad of the South African Republic.

[28] This harbour, then the only harbour in South Africa open to us, was subsequently forbidden us by the Portuguese Government, whose officials even went so far as to arrest eight hundred of our burghers (who, for want of horses, had taken refuge in Portuguese territory), and to send them to Portugal. The ports of German West Africa cannot be counted among those which were available for us. Not only were they too far from us to be of any service, but also, in order to reach them, it would have been necessary to go through English territory, for they were separated from us by Griqualand West, Bechuanaland, and isolated portions of Cape Colony. We had, therefore, during the latter portion of the war, to depend for supplies upon what little we were able to capture from the enemy.

[29] The men I still had with me belonged to commandos from Bloemfontein, Ladybrand, Wepener, Ficksburg, Bethlehem and Winburg. They were respectively under Commandants Piet Fourie, Crowther, Fouche, De Villiers, Michal Prinsloo and Vilonel; and these Commandants took orders from Vechtgeneraals J.B. Wessels, A.P. Cronje, C.C. Froneman, W. Kolbe and Philip Botha.

The Colesberg and Stormberg commandos had received the order to go northwards in the direction of Thaba'Nchu and Ladybrand. These commandos also had been panic-stricken since General Cronje's surrender.

The Kroonstad, Heilbron, Harrismith and Vrede burghers, under Commander-in-Chief Prinsloo, were directed to remain where they were, and guard the Drakensberg.

General De la Rey followed my example, and gave his men permission to return home for some time.

[30] This council also enacted that officers should be very chary in accepting doctors' certificates. The old law had laid it down that if a burgher produced a medical certificate, declaring him unfit for duty, he should be exempted from service. That there had been a grave abuse of this was the experience of almost every officer. There were several very dubious cases; and it was curious to note how many sudden attacks of heart disease occurred-if one were to credit the medical certificates. I remember myself that on the 7th of March, when the burghers fled from Poplar Grove, I had thrust upon me suddenly eight separate certificates, which had all been issued that morning, each declaring that some burgher or other was suffering from disease of the heart. When the eighth was presented to me, and I found that it also alleged the same complaint, I lost all patience, and let the doctor know that was quite enough for one day. When this question of certificates was discussed at the council, I suggested in joke that no certificate should be accepted unless it was signed by three old women, as a guarantee of good faith. The system had indeed been carried to such lengths, and certificates had been issued right and left in such a lavish manner, that one almost suspected that the English must have had a hand in it!

[31] Ford.

[32] Water-course or ravine.

[33] I may note here that it seemed very strange to me and to all whose opinion I asked, that Lord Roberts, with his sixty thousand men, sent no reinforcements from Bloemfontein. The battle had taken place not more than seventeen miles from the capital, and it had lasted for four hours; so that there had been ample time to send help. The English cannot urge in excuse that, owing to our having cut the telegraph wire, Lord Roberts could know nothing of General Broadwood's position. The booming of the guns must have been distinctly heard at Bloemfontein, as it was a still morning. In addition to this plain warning, the English had an outpost at Borsmanskop, between Koorn Spruit and Bloemfontein. I do not mention these things with the object of throwing an unfavourable light upon Lord Roberts' conduct, but merely to show that even in the great English Army, incomprehensible irregularities were not unknown, and irregularities of such a character as to quite put in the shade the bungles we were sometimes guilty of. But the Republics, young though they were, never thought of boasting about the order, organization, or discipline of their armies; on the contrary they were perhaps a little inclined to take too lenient a view when irregularities occurred.

[34] Vexed.

[35] I have never been able to understand why the great force, stationed at Reddersburg, made no attempt to come to the aid of the unfortunate victims at Mostertshoek. Their conduct seems to me to have been even more blameworthy than the similar negligence which occurred at Sanna's Post. They were not more than five miles off, and could watch the whole engagement-and yet they never stirred a foot to come and help their comrades. And it was fortunate for us that it was so, for we should have stood no chance at all against a large force.

To oppose successfully such bodies of men as our burghers had to meet during this war demanded rapidity of action more than anything else. We had to be quick at fighting, quick at reconnoitring, quick (if it became necessary) at flying! This was exactly what I myself aimed at, and had not so many of our burghers proved false to their own colours, England-as the great Bismarck foretold-would have found her grave in South Africa.

[36] Cape Mounted Rifles.

[37] This "granary" lay in the Ladybrand, Ficksburg and Bethlehem districts, and not only supplied the Free State, but also the greater part of the Transvaal. If the districts of Wepener, Rouxville, Bloemfontein, and Thaba'Nchu be included, this "granary" was the source of a very large yield of corn, and there had been an especially rich harvest that year. As the men were away on commando, the Kaffirs reaped the corn under the supervision of the Boer women; and where Kaffirs were not obtainable the women did the work with their own hands, and were assisted by their little sons and daughters. The women had provided such a large supply, that had not the English burnt the corn by the thousand sacks, the war could have been continued. It was hard indeed for them to watch the soldiers flinging the corn on the ground before their horses' hoofs. Still harder was it to see that which had cost them so much labour thrown into the flames.

In spite of the fact that the English, in order to destroy our crops, had let their horses and draught oxen loose upon the land, there was still an abundant harvest-perhaps the best that we had ever seen. And so it happened that whilst the men were at the front, the housewives could feed the horses in the stable. But Lord Roberts, acting on the advice of unfaithful burghers, laid his hand upon the housewives' work, and burnt the grain that they had stored.

[38] This Court was not composed of officers, but consisted of three persons, one of whom was a lawyer.

[39] Township.

[40] Police Agent.

[41] Railway trucks.

[42] Everyone will know him, this brave man of pure Afrikander blood, subsequently a famous Commander, a martyr. I appointed him Captain of Scouts, and from the moment that he commenced his work I saw that a man had come forward. It was sad to think in what manner such a man was deprived of his life. I shall speak more of him later on, for, as our proverb says, "I had eaten too much salt" to pass over his career unnoticed

[43] Afterwards Commandant, and, still later, Assistant Commander-in-Chief.

[44] At the conclusion of peace it was the Bethlehem commando which had the greatest number of burghers under arms.

[45] Highlanders.

[46] A pond which only contains water during "the rains."

[47] The Uitschudden (stripping) of the enemy had not become necessary at that date. I can say for myself that when, at a later period, it came into practice, I never witnessed it with any satisfaction. Yet what could the burghers do but help themselves to the prisoners' clothing, when England had put a stop to our imports, and cut off all our supplies?

[48] At this time the burghers were beginning to use the rifles which they had taken from the enemy.

[49] Rhenoster River bridge.

[50] These dated back to the time of Moselekatze (Umzilygazi).

[51] He was afterwards appointed Commandant.

[52] Literally the proverb runs as follows: "There are some trials which will not sit in one man's clothes."

[53] I.e. the ruins of Kaffir stone huts, built in the time of Moselekatze.

[54] Among these seven burghers were Willie Steyn, Attie Van Niekerk, and a certain young Botha. It was Steyn and Botha, with two men of the name of Steytler, and two other Free-Staters whose names I have forgotten, who managed to escape from the ship that lay anchored in the harbour of Ceylon. They swam a distance of several miles to a Russian ship, by which they were carried to one of the Russian ports, where they received every hospitality. I shall always be grateful to the Russians for this. They then travelled through Germany into Holland, being subsequently conveyed in a German ship to German West Africa. Thence they made their way through Boesmansland to Cape Colony, and, after many adventures, joined General Hermanus Maritz's commando. Botha, unfortunately, was killed in a skirmish some time later. What will the world say of these young burghers? Surely, that more valiant and faithful men than they have never lived. I regret that I do not remember the names of all Willie Steyn's comrades. I travelled with him by train from the Free State to Cape Town, where I had to join General Louis Botha and J.H. De la Rey, so as to accompany them to Europe on my nation's behalf. He promised then to give me all the particulars of his escape, but I suppose there has been some obstacle in the way.

[55] The word honing means honey.

[56] At that time the Natal and Delagoa Bay railways were still in our possession.

[57] He had left the remainder of his burghers at Witnek and at Houtnek, near Ficksburg.

[58] Infantry.

[59] As I have already stated, I intend to write on another occasion a book dealing with the art of scouting; and the above incident will there form a striking proof of how foolishly the English scouts did their work.

[60] Precipice.

[61] The Harrismith and Vrede commandos had also received orders to join us.

[62] I put down here the very words I used, for any other course would not be honest.

[63] Kaallaagte-a barren hollow.

[64] Parijs is situated on the Vaal River.

[65] The reason why Captain Scheepers was so late in sending his report was because he himself was engaging the enemy with six of his men near Zandnek. He had come across a convoy of fourteen waggons and thirty men, and had, after an hour's fight, nearly brought them to the point of surrendering, when reinforcements arrived. He was thus forced to retire, and then discovered that the enemy were approaching our laager; and he had a hair's breadth escape from capture in bringing me the report.

[66] "Mooi" means beautiful in the Taal language.

[67] Master.

[68] Ravine.

[69] General Store.

[70] Commandant Van Tender had been made prisoner at the same time, but he eluded the vigilance of his captors, and running for his life under a shower of their bullets, got away in safety.

[71] Uncle Peter.

[72] Judge.

[73] Pioneer.

[74] Nieuwjaarsfontein.

[75] A table-shaped hill.

[76] He was subsequently appointed Vice-Commander-in-Chief in Cape Colony.

[77] In the original a Kaffir word is used here. The literal meaning of the phrase is "to throw the knuckle bones"-the Kaffir equivalent for dice.

[78] Vlei-a valley with stagnant water in it.

[79] The Boer proverb is:-"Blood creeps where it cannot walk."

[80] I had appointed him in place of Commandant Truter, who had resigned.

[81] Our forethought proved later on to have been of little avail. For notwithstanding the bountiful rains which had fallen at the end of November and the beginning of January in the southern and western parts of the State we found, when we arrived there, that the grass had been entirely destroyed by the locusts. Neither could we obtain any fodder; and so the difficulty of providing for our horses was as great as ever.

[82] At this date the English had not re-garrisoned the town.

[83] Barend.

[84] Stellenbosched: this was the word the English applied to officers, who, on account of inefficiency, or for other reasons, had to be dismissed. Stellenbosch was a place where only very unimportant work was performed.

[85] I must give a short account of Willem Pretorius, for he was a dear friend of mine. He had only reached the age of twenty when I made him a Veldtcornet. His courage certainly could not be surpassed, yet he never let it go beyond his reason. About twenty days before the conclusion of Peace, he was killed by a bullet at a range of 1,100 paces. Throughout the whole previous course of the war fortune had favoured him almost miraculously: six horses had been killed and many more wounded under him; yet he had never received more than a scratch. But in the end he, like so many other brave men, was destined to die for the country that he loved so dearly. Poor Willem! You and the other heroes in our struggle will live for ever in our memories.

[86] Broodspioen: literally a bread spy. This was the name applied to a burgher, who, with or without an order from his officer, rode in advance of his commando to obtain bread for himself and his comrades. He was frequently a man who placed the interests of his stomach before the safety of his commando.

[87] A swamp.

[88] There were still two Krupps left, but we had no ammunition for them.

[89] Farmer's wife.

[90] Stripping.

[91] Veldtcornet Franz Jacobsz was afterwards appointed in the place of this Commandant, who resigned.

[92] When this Commandant resigned, Veldtcornet J.J. Van Niekerk was appointed in his place.

[93] When, at a later period, Commandant Theunissen was put in command of the burghers of Fauresmith, Commandant Mijburg was appointed in his place. This latter Commandant was afterwards killed.

[94] Where the yeomanry were captured.

[95] (District Vrede)-encounter with Brabant's Horse.

[96] Stripping.

[97] The previous evening we had received a report of two English camps on the Wilge River: One at Duminy Drift, the other at Steildrift-under General Elliott. They were led by Piet de Wet and other National Scouts.

[98] Nobody dies of fright.

[99] The report of the Commission of which he was a member.

[100] Resident Magistrates.

[101] A court-martial was held at this place, and several persons appeared before it. A certain De Lange was condemned to death for high treason.

[102] We had heliographic communication between Elandskop and Blaauwkop, which formed a connecting link between Bethlehem and Lindley; and from Blaauwkop we had communication with Verkijkerskop. There was also heliographic communication between Bethlehem and Lindley, and Biddulphsberg, across the line of blockhouses.

[103] "Rooije" is the Taal for "red."

[104] In this I was correct. They contrived to break through where the enemy were more scattered.

[105] Spruit-rivulet.

[106] Also my son, Jacobus (Kootie). He has now returned from St. Helena, whither he had been sent as a prisoner, and we have met. He tells me that on the night when I broke through, he wanted to come with me, but was unable to do so, because his horse had been shot under him.

[107] Shortly afterwards I heard that it was Colonel Rimington's column who were encamped there. They discovered the cave, and removed the documents and wearing apparel, leaving me with only a suit of clothes-which I should have liked to preserve as a curiosity!

[108] A salt lake.

[109] Commandant Jacobsz was somewhere not very far from Kimberley; Commandant Bester, close to Brandfort; Commandant Jacobus Theron, near Smaldeel; Commandant Flemming, near Hoopstad; and Commandant Pieter Erasmus, near the Gannapan.

[110] A complete report of the various proceedings in connexion with the conclusion of peace will be found in the Appendix of this book.

[111] Infantry.

[112] Closer Union.

[113] See page 363 et seq.

[114] See page 379 et seq.

[115] See page 391 et seq.

[116] See page 395 et seq.

[117] The Boer form of this proverb is: Half an egg is better than an empty shell.

[118] The head fastened to the knee.

[119] Having two legs fastened together.

[120] The step of a tired horse.

* * *

(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top