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THE EVE OF WAR The next six weeks will be an anxious time for the British Empire. The war which begins as I write between three and four on Wednesday afternoon, October 11th, 1899, is a conflict for supremacy in South Africa between the Boer States, their aiders and abettors, and the British Empire. In point of resources the British Empire is so incomparably stronger than the Boer States that there... more...

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I. THE ROUNDHEADS OF SOUTH AFRICA History often reproduces without reference to nationality some particular human type or class which becomes active and predominant for a time, and fades away when its task is finished. It is, however, not utterly lost, for the germ of it lies dormant yet ready to re-appear when the exigencies of the moment recall it. The reserve forces of human nature are inexhaustible... more...

INTRODUCTION The Transvaal War—like a gigantic picture—cannot be considered at close quarters. To fully appreciate the situation, and all that it embraces, the critic must stand at a suitable distance. He must gaze not merely with the eye of to-day, or even of the whole nineteenth century, but with his mind educated to the strange conditions of earlier civilisation. For in these conditions will be... more...

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE—Vol. II. OCTOBER. 11.—Boer Ultimatum time-limit expired. Great Britain commenced to be at war with Transvaal and Orange Free State. 12.—Text of Great Britain's reply to Boer Ultimatum issued. It stated that the conditions demanded were such as her Majesty's Government deemed it impossible to discuss. Mr. Conyngham Greene recalled. Armoured train captured by Boers... more...

INTRODUCTORY In all the ages of which we have any record there have been men who gained a living by that practice of robbery on the high seas which we know by the name of Piracy. Perhaps the pirates best known to the English-speaking world are the buccaneers of the Spanish Main, who flourished exceedingly in the seventeenth century, and of whom many chronicles exist: principally owing to the labours of... more...

CHAPTER I Outbreak of the war—The Transport Service and despatch of Army Corps from Southampton—Departure of a Naval Brigade from England and landing at Capetown and Durban—I join H.M.S. Philomel. During a short leave of absence in Scotland, after my return from Flag-Lieutenant's service in India with Rear-Admiral Archibald L. Douglas, that very kind friend, now Lord of the Admiralty,... more...

THE PETTICOAT COMMANDO CHAPTER I THE SCENE OF ACTION When, on October 11th, 1899, shortly before 5 o'clock in the afternoon, martial law was proclaimed throughout the Transvaal and Orange Free State, South Africa, and after the great exodus of British subjects had taken place, there remained in Pretoria, where the principal events recorded here took place, a harmonious community of Boers and... more...

CHAPTER I STEAMING SOUTH R.M.S. 'Dunottar Castle,' at sea: October 26, 1899. The last cry of 'Any more for the shore?' had sounded, the last good-bye had been said, the latest pressman or photographer had scrambled ashore, and all Southampton was cheering wildly along a mile of pier and promontory when at 6 P.M., on October 14, the Royal Mail steamer 'Dunottar Castle' left... more...

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTORY The declaration of war—Sir George White and the defence of Natal—The force at Glencoe—Battle of Talana Hill—General Yule's retirement—Battle of Elandslaagte—Useless victories—Enemy's continued advance. Before taking up the history of the siege proper it will be well here to pass briefly in review the events which led up to the isolation and investment of... more...

Charles Francis Adams, Esq.,Boston, Massachusetts. Dear Sir: I have been handed a pamphlet written by you entitled "The Confederacy and the Transvaal," the burden of which is, that the Boers ought not to continue their irregular guerilla struggle against England, because it is destructive of themselves and wasteful of England's resources; or to use your own words "the contest drags... more...

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