22 November 1900
I have put off writing to you a long time on account of the many rumours about starting for home. We thought sure we were going about a month ago, when we returned from our trip with Buller through the Lysenburg Mtns. To Machadodorp, as we turned in all our horses to French & the Natal Field Force was broken up. However, when we reached Pretoria by train, they immediately remounted us & we marched for Elandsfontein, where we entrained for Wolverdiend to go to the relief of Gen Barton's column, which was surrounded by DeWet's force near Frederickstad.
When we arrived at Frederickstad, which we did with slight opposition, Barton had been besieged for 5 days & as he was only out on a flying trip, he was almost out of artillery ammunition. As soon as we came in sight, he ordered his infantry to attack the Boers who were in trenches on all sides of him except the one we were advancing from. When we got up, with several fresh guns & lots of ammunition for Barton's guns, the infantry had got the Boers out of their cover & they were flying across the open plain & between the Tommies' bayonets & bullets & the shrapnel from the big guns, they lost heavily, something like 120 killed besides wounded.
Since then, we have been doing nothing but travelling around this district. Charlie has been sick for a while but is alright again; as for myself, it seems as if nothing can affect me. I am now cooking for my troop for a change, as it lets me out of numerous tiresome duties such as guards, patrols, etc. Charlie had a letter from you, also one from Tommy Blake, last night, also the bundle of papers.
We went up to Klerksdorp the other day & occupied the town. We met Gen Douglass' column there. It is the most loyal town I have seen in the Transvaal. The people all turned out with Union Jacks & rosettes to welcome us. They have been recruiting in the regiment, for the Johannesburg & Pretoria police, but altho' the terms are fairly good, I did not think of joining.
This is a very pretty town & if we are here 2 or 3 weeks longer, we will have any amount of fruit. We still continue to have beautiful weather with the exception of the odd thunderstorm. I must close now as I must get dinner ready. Remember me to everybody & hoping you are all well & I will soon be home to see you.
Your affec. son,