It has been the writer's object in the following pages to lay before his readers an accurate and interesting account of the incidents and events connected with the invasion of Natal by the Boers, and also of their repulse and defeat by the British forces.
Natal was, of course, only a portion of the British territory invaded by the Boers, but it was there where the main army of the Federal forces of the South African Republic and Orange Free State made its attack. The other points of invasion were Fort Tuli, in Matabeleland ; Mafeking, in British Bechuanaland; and the towns near the southern and south-western borders of the Orange Free State, including Kimberley and Colesberg. Of the events which occurred in those places the writer has not written, preferring to confine his attention to Natal, the country districts of which he is well acquainted with, having traversed them continually in the pursuance of his professional duties as an architect and Government land surveyor.
Accurate maps of the districts affected and of the more important battlefields have been inserted, to which it is hoped the reader will refer, to enable him to better understand the various movements of the rival armies.
It has been the writer's endeavour to avoid all bias toward either side, to give to each the praise and honour due to it, and to record with the utmost possible accuracy the various engagements and incidents of interest in connection with the war. It may here be stated, however, that it has been impossible to give a correct return of the casualties on the Boers' side, as their Governments have made a rule of suppressing the true figures and publishing fictitious reports—their object, no doubt, being to prevent the burghers from becoming disheartened.
It is hoped that this brief account will be accepted as a tribute of praise to the brave British soldier and the gallant Natal volunteer who responded so willingly to the call to arms, and underwent so manfully the hardships of the campaign, and at last successfully rid our borders of the invader. It is to be regretted that those regiments and men who deserve praise for their gallant deeds have not been separately mentioned, but the individual acts of heroism shown were far too numerous to be particularised.
CLEMENT H. STOTT.
PIETERMARITZBURG, NATAL. 1900