ER Gordon

point blank fire, the Boers would undoubtedly have made off over the hills in rear where the column, which was destitute of every means of subsistence, was incapable of pursuing. But to Scobell himself and to every officer and man in his force was due much honour for this the first real success in Cape Colony. Not the small numbers engaged or who fell or were taken in action were the measure of the brilliance of this feat of arms; rather the enormous exertions and privations which and the skill and resolution which consummated it.”

(“Official History of the War in South Africa”)

At last, on the 20th. December 1901, it was found necessary to assemble the column for a week’s rest at Dordrecht. The strain on men and horses of these recent weeks of ceaseless and monotonous activity had been severe; the strength of the squadrons had sunk to seventy men, many of whom were without boots, and all the horses had lost seriously in condition. Even the tireless column commander was so worn out as to be compelled to take a spell of sick leave. Major S.W. Follett, who had been in command of the regiment since the departure of Lieutenant Colonel Colvin take up a staff appointment in February, 1901, took Scobell’s place at the head of the force, Captain E.R. Gordon taking over the regiment.

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