In the Shadow of Death
During the siege attempts were made by General De Wet to relieve Cronje, but none succeeded. Several of the relieving forces, including the pick of the Winburg Commando with Commandant Theunissen, were themselves surrounded and captured in trying to break through the lines of the besiegers.
To intensify the gloom, Ladysmith, which was daily expected to fall, was relieved on the day of Cronje's surrender. For certain reasons the late Commandant-General P. Joubert had evacuated the positions round Ladysmith and retreated to the Biggar's Range. General Louis Botha, who was engaging Buller's relieving forces at Colenso, was then also compelled to retreat.
After Cronje's capture the way to Bloemfontein and Pretoria lay open. The Boers made one more stand at Abraham's Kraal, where the enemy suffered heavily, but carried the day by their overwhelming numbers. After the British occupied Bloemfontein the