1899 - From the diary of Miss Bella Craw in Ladysmith
A few shells from the enemy today, mostly into the old camp, and the Gordon Highlander camp by the bridge. We have heard of no lives lost. The Volunteers had orders for 2 o'clock Parade in the morning, all seemed delighted at the thought of doing something again, but Uncle George has just come in and says the order has been countermanded again. We have heard nothing more today of the Relief Column, except that there has been an engagement at Ennersdale, yesterday.
A kaffir who made his escape from Umbulwana, a Boer prisoner, gave the information today. The Boer loss is said to be 70 killed and 200 prisoners. So far we have had no other information.
I went for a pleasant ride this afternoon up the zig-zag road to Caesar's Hill and saw three shells fall into the Gordon Camp. A tennis match was played here by some of the Volunteers today, also cricket and football matches.
1899 - From the diary of Major George Tatham, Natal Carbineers
Yesterday natives reported that Relief Column was at Chieveley and Frere. Shelling from enemy morning and afternoon and a few shots in return from our naval guns 4.7. General order issued to stand to arms at 2 a.m.
This order was countermanded in consequence of its having become too generally known. No one knows what was to have been done, all were anxious for action and gladly received order to move and regretted the contrary order.
1899 - Diary of the siege of Mafeking by Edward Ross
Wednesday, 29 November
We have had no big shells since yesterday afternoon. This is owing to a squadron of the B.P. having managed to entrench themselves at about fourteen hundred yards from the enemy’s big gun and whenever the Boers approach to load they fire volleys and keep back the gunners.
A native brought in a despatch from the north but it is said that it cannot be ciphered owing to, as the native explains, it having fallen in the water whilst he was drinking. It was on very fine tissue paper, so if it got wet no wonder it could not be read.