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Date: May 10th 1885

May 10 - Had very little sleep all night, Lou Macdougald and I bunked together on the ground among the horses and men, all much crowded in our small space inside the enclosure; with about 250 wagons, 900 horses and about 1250 men. It was just a little close. All day we skirmished and advanced a little; our front extended about two miles, our left flank resting on the river bank, the position of ours, the Midlanders, and the right flank on the hills away to the east of us.

Our Colonel (Williams) was always eager for a charge on the rifle position with the bayonet, but I think he was discouraged in the project by the staff or by the General himself. It was a very peculiar feeling when first coming under fire. You feel inclined to, and in fact do, constantly keep ducking your head as you hear the ping and zip of the bullets as they come whistling about you. This is only nervousness and soon passes off. One thing we all soon learned to do admirably, and that was to take cover. We did not require any teaching.

Towards the end of the day we all began to feel somewhat discouraged. We saw nothing of the enemy although they were not more than 300 or 400 yards from us, and some were even closer but all hidden in the bush and deep ravines. We were more in the open but we made the most of every bit of rising ground, stumps and trees. One of our men had his rifle struck fair on the muzzle. The bullet passed down the barrel, destroying the rifle, blew open the breech block and there it lodged in the breech. This saved the man's life, for otherwise he would have been hit on the head or face.

The day closed with very few casualties: one killed and three wounded. The evening was spent in sniping at the enemy on the roofs of houses and the church near the village at a distance of about 300 to 500 yards. Fires and lights all out at dusk, no tents put up; all slept in the open.

The air was pretty cold at night; severe frosts and still some patches of snow on the ground. Shortly after turning in, had a night alarm; the picquet exchanging some shots with the enemy's picquet. Part of our picquet was driven in at one point.