7 DECEMBER 1901, Page 1


DURING the earlier part of the week the war news was meagre, but on Friday came the welcome intelligence that the captures made on Wednesday in various parts of the Transvaal numbered two hundred and fifty. The most impor- tant of these was made near Ermelo by General Bruce Hamil- ton's column. Under the skilful direction of Colonel Wools. Sampson our troops surprised a Boer laager and a hundred men. The rest of the two hundred and fifty were taken in laagers captured by the commands of Major Dawkins and Lord Methuen. In regard to the general situation, it is rumoured that General Botha with some eighteen hundred men has been located in the Ermelo district, and that the line of blockhouses is gradually being extended to bar his exit on the only side not already barred to him by the same means. It is also added that his men are anxious not to fight. We have so often heard that Botha is at last surrounded that we dare not feel confident, but the position certainly seems one of promise. After all, one of the attempts to take him will succeed, and it may be this one.