Since I last wrote we sailed for Kosi Bay on the East coast of the country. Escort of all the fleet was there when we arrived the day before yesterday. It was practicable to land, but a ship of war brought a message from the Consul General at Lorenzo Marquess to the effect that our expedition must have been blown upon for the enemy had strengthened themselves very much at several points. I made up my mind that it was impossible to carry out the object in view, secrecy being an important point and the Admiral and originator of the idea quite agreed with me. The object of the expedition was to surprise the party of the enemy at Komati Poort, blow up the bridge and maintain the position until Major Belcher and the rest of the Regiment could arrive to support us; it having turned out that our two hundred would have to face five hundred entrenched with wire entanglements and with 500 on our right and 500 on our left rear made it too risky - Lord Roberts thought it was a very difficult thing in the first instance but worse than impossible since it has been exposed. It is really lamentable to think of the stupidity of some of the staff. Nothing can be secret. It is not our fault, not an officer of mine knew from me where we were going. I am sending a telegram to the High Commr., suggesting that we go on some other useful service and expect to land to-day. We are in good order - the horses stand it well and are quite at home - The ship is much steadier than the "Monterey". We are sorry not to have yet done your honour, but hope to do so yet. The regt. is in fine condition.
Hoping that your Lordship is quite well,
(Signed) S. B. STEELE.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal,
17, Victoria Street, London.
Military Historical Society