20 JANUARY 1900, Page 1

The details of Sir R,edvers Bailer's advance, and his crossing

of the Tugela, are as follows. On Wednesday, January 10th, he moved out of Frere and Chieveley, while Lord Dundonald's Mounted Brigade, and the Fifth Brigade, under General Hart, marched rapidly in front of him to Springfield, on the north-west side of Frere. When Springfield had been occupied by the main body of our troops, the cavalry seized Potgeiter's Drift on the Tugela,— apparently to the surprise of the Boers. It is a little difficult to follow exactly the later movements of our troops, but by Thursday not only had a large body of troops, under General Lyttelton, crossed the Tugela at Potgeiter's Drift, but Sir Charles Warren had thrown a pontoon across the river at a point five miles higher up, and most of his men had passed over. Thus on Friday we were not only holding the river at two places, but the bulk of our forces were across and beginning to advance under cover of a heavy bombardment. The Boers did not seriously oppose our passage of the river at either point. They are now said to be busily entrenching themselves on a line of hills which runs parallel to the Tugela. No doubt the attempt to turn them out will cause a stiff fight, but if they are turned out the road to Ladysmith lies more or Jess open. We see it stated that the garrison at Ladysmith are too much exhausted by illness to be able to help their relievers. We doubt it. They have had a hard time, but if they can only catch sight of a British force they will soon find plenty of energy to join hands with it.