The Battle of lngogo [Schuinshoogte]

On the morning of the 8th of February 1881 a force of 311 men, including cavalry with four cannons moved southwards along the lngogo River as part of a plan to protect the supply route between Mount Prospect and Newcastle. Crossing the Harte and lngogo rivers, the British noticed a Boer force of 160 men at the southern side of a hill known as Schuinshoogte. After an unsuccessful bombardment of the Boer forces the British captured the height but they were then surrounded. The Boers, under General Nicholas Smit, charged the British position, overpowering their artillery, through accurate shots at the gunners from horseback. The British losses were 7 men and 6 officers killed and 63 wounded. The Boers had 8 dead and 6 wounded.

A new concept/tactic came into being in terms of 19th century warfare, in that cavalry could overpower artillery with the µse of mounted riflemen.

General Nicolaas Jacobus Smit was commander at both lngogo and Majuba: The Boer forces had a lot of faith in him. After the war, he became Member of Parliament for the Ermelo constituency as well as vice president of the ZAR in 1887. He was highly regarded abroad and the Prussians made him Knight of the Red Eagle [Ridder van die Rooi Adelaar]. The Dutch awarded him the title Commander of the Order of the Dutch Lion [Kommandeur van die Orde van die Nederlandse Leeu]

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