The following skirmishes took place in and around Fauresmith
Abrahamskraal lies 25km south-east of Koffiefontein and is now largely inundated by the Kalkfontein Dam.
On the night of 27 January 1902, Lt-Col L.E. du Moulin camped opposite Abrahamskraal on the left bank of the Riet River, having pushed some of the enemy across the drift during the day. The night’s dispositions consisted of a series of piquets posted on a semi-circle of kopjes overlooking the river; behind these’ on either side of a small farmhouse, lay the horse lines and the parked transport wagons.
At one o’clock in the morning of the 28th the sentries at the drift heard the sound of men fording the water. Before warning could be given, the whole piquet was overwhelmed by a rush of burghers who, seizing the point of vantage, kept the gap open whilst a strong body poured through into the camp. In a moment the horse lines and the outbuildings of the farmhouse were theirs, and every corner were searched by bullets.
Du Moulin, who had passed the night in the house, emerged at the first shots, and calling a few men round him led a charge against the nearest Burghers. He himself, with several others, fell dead immediately, but the kraals were cleared, and soon after another determined counter-stroke against the position of the piquet which had been first destroyed regained that also, and at 1.45 a.m., the enemy fell back. Brevet-Major A.R. Gilbert (Royal Sussex regiment) had now assumed command in place of du Moulin, and he quickly redistributed his men along the line of defence.
His promptitude was fortunate, for in an hour’s time a second attack was delivered against the outposts. This was smartly repulsed, and was not repeated. This affair cost the column its commander and seven men killed, eight men wounded, and nearly 150 horses and mules lost or destroyed. The enemy left three on the field, and carried off some dozen wounded, for some of whom they next day begged an ambulance from Gilbert - From - The War in South Africa p432.
A.C. Hamilton, having discovered a commando at the head of the Berg river, attacked at dawn, scattered the laager, took sixteen prisoners and hotly pursued the rest into the Heen-en-Weers Kop, a stronghold north-west of Fauresmith. The chase took him far in advance of his baggage train, which was escorted only by some sixty men. Once more full payment was exacted for a momentary and not inexcusable mistake.
When the wagons had reached Kokskraal, they were suddenly surrounded by 250 Burghers under Hertzog and Niewoudt., the presiding genii of this part. Resistance was out of the question; the handful of guards were caught in the open and Hamilton was out of sight. Every wagon was quickly in the hands of the enemy, who having set fire to them all rode off with fifty-seven prisoners, the other casualties amongst the escort being four killed and five wounded.
The axles of the burnt out wagons were later used as posts in the fences of farms in the area (See Photos).
""D" squadron had a melee at a farmhouse where they took fourteen prisoners after losing a Lieutenant killed and a Sergeant shot through the leg. Lieutenant Alexander was buried beside Trooper Higgins, our "pioneer" (his sole fatigue was to dig and fill in the squadron latrine).
Two months later when we passed this spot we found that their shallow graves had been raided by jackals or wild dogs, the flesh eaten and the bones scattered. Owing to the nature of the ground we had not been able to dig more that two feet deep. How these small wild animals had managed to disturb large boulders from the graves, we could not guess. We gathered what bones we could and re-interred them.
Owen told me that Alexander had stood in the open doorway, pointing a revolver and demanding surrender. A man within the house promptly shot him. Alexander had evidently forgotten to load his revolver, as it was empty when picked up". - From - The War in South Africa p. 122
At Fauresmith there stood a smaller garrison, consisting of 117 men of the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, 20 Imperial Yeomanry and a town guard of 17 men, the whole under Captain A.B.A. Stewart, of the Seaforth. Closely encircled on three sides by hills, which are themselves commanded by higher hills, Fauresmith was a difficult place to defend with such a weak force.
Stewart wisely kept his Highlanders together on a kopje south of the town, while the Yeomanry under Lieutenant Richardson held a fort built of stones and sandbags on a low ridge to the north. At 4.15 a.m. on October 19, 1900 a determined attack was made, mainly against the Highlanders. All the troops held firm, and by 8.30 having inflicted nine casualties, the Burghers drew off. From: Times History of the War in South Africa 1899 - 1902 Vol II - LS Amery
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