Oliphant’s Hoek,
29th April, 1897.

To the Secretary for Defence.

Sir,—I have the honour to report that at 1 a.ra. on the morning of the 28th April, 1897, a party consisting of 96 Dukes Mounted, 54 Vryburg Volunteers, 50 Gordonia Volunteers, 10 Natives, and 11 Medical Staff, under command of Captain Johnson, left this Camp and moved up Oliphant’s Kloof. The object of this party being to proceed about five or six miles up the Kloof before daylight. At 2 a.m. on the same morning a column composed as follows :—

C.M.R. Artillery. 1 Officer, 15 Other ranks. 2 Maxims
P.A.O.C.A. No officers. 9 Other ranks. 1 12-pr
1st City. 2 Officers. 54 Other ranks
D.E.O.V.R. and P.A.V.G. 6 Officers. 121 Other Ranks
Vryburg Volunteers. 3 Officers. 44 Other ranks
Gordonia Volunteers. 2 Officers. 50 Other ranks
Mount Temple Volunteers. 2 Officers. 15 Other ranks

Total: 16 Officers. 309 Other ranks

under my command, moved in the same direction so as to arrive at the foot of the hill which the other party were to ascend at daybreak. All men except 25 were dismounted. This plan was duly carried out and the Main Column moved along the foot of the hills occupying and holding the hills on our right flank, and keeping pace with Captain Johnson’s column who were slowly moving along hills on our left.

On reaching the entrance to Riet Kloof, I found that it was impossible to proceed any further with the 12-pounder, Ambulance and Water carts, so I sent a party of the Gordonia Volunteers to occupy a hill to our left front towards Lokeug, and almost directly after reaching the top they were engaged with about 50 of the rebels who had also been making for tbe same hill. Captain Johnson who was with his men on the other side of the ravine then flushed down with his helio that it would be advisable to strengthen the Gordonia Volunteers as more of the rebels were appearing, and I accordingly sent a company of the D.E.O.V.R. under Col. Spence to the support of the Gordonia Volunteers, and advancing, they drove the rebels back about a couple of miles towards Lokeng.

Captain Johnson, who was able from his position to see tbe engagement, reported the shootiug of the Gordonia men as being excellent, and as blood spoor, karosses, and Martini-Henri ammunition was found where the rebels had been, I conolude that some execution was done. As soon as the men had breakfasted, the columns moved back to laager, which was reached about 1*30 p.m.

There were no casualties on our side.

At about 9 p.m. on the night of the 28th, most of the men having turned in after a tiring day, one of the piquets on the rear face of the laager challenged, and immediately a heavy fire was poured in on the left and rear faces by the rebels, who had stolen right up to the piquet. The fire was returned by the men on the faces attacked, the remainder remaining perfectly steady and lying to their arms. The fire from the rebels lasted 10 or 15 minutes, and then ceased, aud after a short time a party was sent out
and patrolled round the laager, but found that the rebels had retired. I then posted double piquets and let the men turn in again.

The casualties on our side were as follows:—

Killed ... ... Fred Isaacs (Ambulance driver.)
Dangerously wounded John Corbett (Ambulance driver) (since died.)
Severely wounded Pte. Jacobs C. Police, James Comtick (Artillery driver) (since died.)
Slightly wounded John Nagel D.E.O.V.R., John Theunis (Artillery driver.)

The behaviour of all ranks was excellent and the fire discipline all that could be desired.

On the following morning 3 guns and 13 hats were found in front of the faces attacked, showing that the rebels must have retired precipitately.

A patrol was made on the 27th A.pril, 181)7, by Commandant Meintjes in the direction of the Korannaberg, burning a quantity of huts and capturing a few sheep, but I have received no written report from this officer. I have also received a report from Captain Searle, Cape Town Highlanders, Command* ing at Gamasep, which I attach marked “ A”.

I have, &e .

(Sgd.) E. H. DALGETY,
Commanding 13. F. Force.

The Staff Officer, Bechuanaland Field Force.

I have to report for the information of Lieutenant-Colonel Dalgety that during Sunday morning, the 25th instant, whaf appeared to be a large party of the enemy was encamped at the foot of and behind a small kopje at the base of Gamaluse. At 2 p.m. I despatched a reconnoitring party consisting of 19 men of the Vryburg Burghers and 9 Basutos, to ascertain their number and any other particulars regarding them. The party advanced as instructed in a direction north of the position occupied by the enemy to a point about 1,200 yards from them. At this point 10 or 12 huts, which I had just before shelled from the 7-pounder of the D.F.A., were then burnt. At this stage of the proceedings the enemy on the kopje fired on our men, but owing to the distance, about 1,200 yards, without effect. I then opened fire on the kopje from the 7-pounder with very considerable effect, seven shots were fired, the two first were a very little wide of the mark, but the other five, viz: 4 percussion and 1 time fuse shrapnel at 2,600 yards were placed beautifully in the midst of the rebels. I am unable to say what the actual loss of the enemy was, but I am informed by the Burghers and the Basutos of the patrol who were in line with the kopje and could see that the enemy, so far as they could judge, numbered about 60, that each of the 5 last shells fell right into their midst, scattering them in all directions, and that a large majority of them must have been killed.

The patrol returned to camp without any casualties, and I have neither seen or heard anything of the enemy since.

The health of the garrison, I am glad to say, is good, and the men are all in excellent spirits.

(Signed) J. SEARLE,
Captain C.T.H.,
Commanding Garrison Gamasep.
Gamasep, 26th April, 1897.