Being Unpublished Letters from H.H.S. Pearse the 'Daily News' Special Correspondent
fight--The order of battle--Leviathan--The Boers reinforced--A retrograde movement--How Marsden met his death--Naval guns in action--A night of disaster--Who showed the white flag?--A truce declared--A humiliating position.
_October 31._--If the action on Rietfontein, or Pepworth's Farm ridges, a week ago was the great score for us that official reports represent, in that it checkmated all possible efforts of the Boers to intercept Brigadier-General Yule's column on its march from Dundee, there can be no doubt that the tables were turned upon us effectually yesterday. Not only did our attempt to beat one of the enemy's columns in detail, and capture the heavy Creusot guns that had been harassing us, fail through misdirection, but when attacked in turn by Boer reinforcements, our troops were untimely ordered to abandon a position that they had held for four hours without serious loss, and this gave moral, if not material victory to the enemy. Successful in every fight up to that point, we ar