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Lt. Col. Sam Steele - Report to Lord Strathcona - June 24th, 1900 9 years 10 months ago #3994

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S T R A T H C O N A ' S H O R S E

Standerton, TRANSVAAL.

24th. June, 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

Since I wrote from Durban, the Regiment entrained there in eight trains and proceeded to Newcastle, detrained there and bivouaced for one day, and having more transport than I needed the remainder was handed over the A.S.C. The General thought I could leave the next day as we had so much to do, but being anxious to get to the front I decided to march there the 18th., which we did at 9.a.m. General Wolfe-Murray, G. of Communication viewed the regiment as it marched out of the town and expressed himself highly pleased with its fine serviceable appearance. Ingogo, 16 miles, was my first night and as ordered halted there with the division of General Littleton (sic) and was kindly received. I march the next morning with orders that if I thought Volksrust, 28 miles too far I would be justified in halting at Charleston, 16 miles. I, however, called there for dinner and marched the remaining 12 miles to Volksrust where the 3rd Mounted Brigade was encamped, joined it and the next day marched 10 miles to Paardekop. The Regiment in these three days passed via the historic Langs Nek and saw Majuba Hill and Ingogo heights. At Paardekop we heard the Boers blow up the bridge. General Buller met us on the march and expressed his pleasure at the Regiment joining his command, and hoped that we would have some work. Lord Dundonald, who commands our brigade, also expressed himself to the same effect and Gen. Buller, all other Officers of rank state that the regiment is one of the finest, if not the finest, in South Africa, and one can very easily see that they are all right.

We marched on the next day (the 22nd.) to this place, a small town on the Vaal R., with only a few people left and the railway bridge blown up, but the traffic bridge all right. We halted here and had church parade to-day. Sir R. Buller is here and the army is concentrating. The Regiment furnished the outposts last night and will take its turn in all work. The corps is anxious for a brush, and I hope they will get it. There is plenty to do yet - at least Lord Dundonald says so. The country from Volksrust is like the plains of the North-West and the nights cold. Altitude 5300 ft. above sea level.. One inch of ice on the water last night - quite a change from the close damp sea coast climate.

We earnestly hope, Sir that we shall be able to render some more service to the country and to do credit to your gift of the Regiment to the Government. Not one man has any other wish and I am sure that they ought to be a credit to you only if they get an opportunity.

Hoping that I have not wearied you, I am,
Respectfully yours,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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Re: Lt. Col. Sam Steele - Report to Lord Strathcona - June 24th, 1900 9 years 10 months ago #3998

  • Brett Hendey
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Thank you for your series of posts on Strathcona's Horse. I regret the fact that they missed Buller's campaign in Natal, a subject on which I have focussed my interest and collecting. The unit would have fitted in well in Dundonald's Mounted Brigade and greatly strengthened the Colonial mounted infantry component. Admittedly, at this early stage in the war, many in the Imperial high command disrespected the role of mounted infantry in this war. Perhaps an early exhibition of Canadian flair would have hastened a change in their attitude.


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