After re-occupying Molteno on 23 February, Lt-Gen Gatacre ordered a reconnaissance towards the Boer positions at Stormberg.
Gatacre’s force was checked by a Boer Commando on Schoeman’s Farm and he ordered Captain the Hon. R H L J De Montmorency, 21st Lancers (legendary Omdurman VC recipient) with his Scouts and a body of mounted troops to advance and try to lure the Boers towards the position of his guns and infantry.
The mid-morning attempt by Capt De Montmorency to take Schoemanskop was thwarted by some 25 Boers who had beaten him to the summit.
De Montmorency and 2 men were killed in the first Boer volley and the rest of the Scouts were pinned down till 3:30pm. The losses in his small corps were: 2 officers and 4 other ranks killed, 2 other ranks wounded and one officer and 5 other ranks prisoner, of whom 2 were wounded.
QSA (1) CC (Scout W. Cooper, Montmorency’s Scouts)
A clever capture: Smart work of Montmorency's Scouts
'Our correspondent writes: The night after the occupation of Bethulie and the crossing of the Orange River, Montmorency's Scouts having had information of a small party of armed Boers being in the neighbourhood, lay in ambush in a donga by the side of a road which the Boers would have to pass. They had not been there half an hour when seven armed Boers came along. They fell in the very arms of the ambush and tried to bolt, but they were immediately surrounded and taken prisoner. They all belonged to the Colesberg commando.'