A new edition of the classic Second Anglo Boer War memoirs, written by perhaps the most famous Boer general of all, Christiaan De Wet. Penned just six months after the end of the conflict, De Wet’s accurate retelling of his exploits during the three-year war is a first-hand account of the origin of hit-and-run warfare as developed by the Boers against a numerically overwhelming enemy.
Apart from the high adventure contained in these pages, this book is also highly valuable as it contains one of the only full transcriptions of the last meetings of the Boer commanders just before the end of the war. In these transcripts, the Boer discussions reveal the desperation of their plight: of having only 15,000 men left in the field against the British quarter of a million men under arms; of the horrendous condition of the Boer women and children in the concentration camps; and of the choice before them: fight to the end and face extermination, or surrender and hope to live to fight another day.
It is a classic tale of human spirit, endurance, sacrifice, and suffering, which has lost none of its power and meaning over the last century.
First published as De strijd tusschen Boer en Brit in Dutch in 1902, and translated into English as Three year’s War the same year.
This new edition contains the complete original text, and a dramatic biography of the writer. This includes his further adventures after the war, which saw him take up arms once again against the government of the Union of South Africa in 1914.
About the Author
Chapter 1: I Go on Commando as a Private Burgher
Chapter 2: Nicholson’s Nek
Chapter 3: Ladysmith Besieged
Chapter 4: I am Appointed Vechtgeneraal
Chapter 5: The Overwhelming Forces of Lord Roberts
Chapter 6: Paardeberg
Chapter 7: The Wild Flight from Poplar Grove
Chapter 8: The Burghers Receive Permission to Return to their Homes
Chapter 9: Sanna’s Post
Chapter 10: Four Hundred and Seventy English taken Prisoner at Reddersburg
Chapter 11: An Unsuccessful Siege
Chapter 12: The English Swarm over our Country
Chapter 13: Our Position at the End of May, 1900
Chapter 14: Roodewal
Chapter 15: I Make Lord Kitchener’s Acquaintance
Chapter 16: Bethlehem is Captured by the English
Chapter 17: The Surrender of Prinsloo
Chapter 18: I am Driven into the Transvaal
Chapter 19: I Return to the Free State
Chapter 20: The Oath of Neutrality
Chapter 21: Frederiksstad and Bothaville
Chapter 22: My March to the South
Chapter 23: I Fail to Enter Cape Colony
Chapter 24: Wherein Something is Found About War against Women
Chapter 25: I Again Attempt to Enter Cape Colony
Chapter 26: Darkness Proves my Salvation
Chapter 27: Was Ours a Guerrilla War?
Chapter 28: Negotiations with the Enemy
Chapter 29: President Steyn’s Narrow Escape
Chapter 30: The Last Proclamation
Chapter 31: Blockhouses and Night Attacks
Chapter 32: My Commando of Seven Hundred Men
Chapter 33: A Success at Tweefontein
Chapter 34: I Cut my Way Through Sixty Thousand Troops
Chapter 35: I go to the Transvaal with President Steyn
Chapter 36: Peace Negotiations
Chapter 37: The End of the War
Appendix A: Report of the Meeting of the General Representatives Held at Vereeniging, in the South African Republic, on the 15th of May, 1902, and the Following Days
Appendix B: The Conference at Pretoria Between The Commission of the National Representatives and Lords Kitchener and Milner (May 19–28, 1902)
Appendix C: Minutes of the Meeting of the Special National Representatives at Vereeniging, South African Republic, Thursday, the 29th of May, 1902, and the Following Days