The Boer Republics under siege: Koos De la Rey: A Boer general like Lee, Jackson and Forrest
The Boer Republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free
State in South Africa were under siege by the British Empire during the
First Boer War from 1880 to 1881 and again during the more famous Second
Boer War from 1899 to 1902.
The issues were Boer independence versus gold mining
resources and empire. In 1879, just before the First Boer war, the
British Army engaged migrating Zulu tribes during what was called the
Anglo-Zulu War, which is more famous in the U.S. because of two famous
battles: Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. The heroism of a small detachment
of 141 men, mostly from the 24th Welsh Foot (infantry) at Rorke’s
Drift, for which eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded, was the subject
of the American movie, Zulu. But before we continue the story of Koos De
la Rey and the Second Boer War, it is important to summarize the state
of South Africa from 1994 until today.