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In the Shadow of Death   By: (1870-1930)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: GENERAL P.H. KRITZINGER.

Photo by Emberon, London. ]

In the Shadow of Death

BY

GENERAL P.H. KRITZINGER

AND

MR. R.D. MCDONALD

ILLUSTRATED WITH PORTRAITS AND DIAGRAMS

PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION 1904

LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, DUKE STREET, STAMFORD STREET, S.E., AND GREAT WINDMILL STREET, W.

Preface.

Several excellent works have already been written about the Anglo Boer War of the beginning of the twentieth century; but the field of operations was so extensive, the duration of the war so long, and the leaders, on the Boer side, were necessarily so independent of one another in the operations that were conducted with one common aim, that something of interest may well remain to be said. We have not here chronicled our experiences and adventures in the form of a diary, but have rather grouped together events and observations. We write as Boers, frankly regretting the loss of that independence for which we took the field; but also as those who wish to give no offence to any honourable opponent. Our aim has been to do equal justice to both sides in the war; to unite and reconcile, not to separate and embitter, two Christian peoples destined to live together in one land.

"In the Shadow of Death" is a title the reader will hardly consider inappropriate by the time he reaches the end of this little book. Outnumbered on the battlefield, often exposed to the enemy's fire, and one of us wounded and laid low on a bed of intense suffering, and then charged before a Military Court with the greatest of crimes, we did not dare to hope that we should live to write these pages.

And here let our cordial thanks be given to Advocate F.G. Gardiner for his inestimable services in the hour of need, and for kindly submitting to us the "papers" bearing on the trial.

P.H. KRITZINGER.

R.D. MCDONALD.

Contents.

CHAP. PAGE

PREFACE iii

I. ANTECEDENTS 1

II. DARK DAYS 5

III. ENGAGEMENTS 21

IV. IN TIGHT CORNERS 43

V. TO THE CAPE COLONY 56

VI. WOUNDED 70

VII. COURT MARTIALLED 81

VIII. WHY WE SURRENDERED 102

IX. THE BOER AS SEEN IN THE LIGHT OF THE WAR 118

X. THE RISING IN THE CAPE COLONY 149

XI. WAR INCIDENTS 170

"In the Shadow of Death."

CHAPTER I.

ANTECEDENTS.

The child is father to the man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.

Wordsworth.

A few preliminary pages of personal history I offer to those who followed me either in thought or deed during the Anglo Boer War.

My ancestors were Germans; my grandfather was born in the South. About the year 1820 he, along with two brothers, bade farewell to the land of his nativity and emigrated to South Africa. They found a home for themselves in the neighbourhood of Port Elizabeth, and there they settled as farmers. Two of the brothers married women of Dutch extraction; one died a bachelor. A small village, Humansdorp, situated near to Port Elizabeth, was the birth place of my father. There he spent the greater part of his life. He, too, married a Dutch lady; and we children adopted the language of our mother, and spoke Dutch rather than German.

My father took an active part in several of the early Kaffir Wars, and rendered assistance to the Colonial forces in subjugating the native tribes in the Eastern Province of the Cape Colony. With rapt attention and enthusiasm we children would listen to him as he told the tale of those early native wars. I then thought that there was nothing so sublime and glorious as war. My imagination was inflamed, and I longed intensely to participate in such exciting adventures... Continue reading book >>




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