National Geographic : 1900 May
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA the midland and eastern by a line from Rosmead Junction, on the former, to Stormberg Junction, on the latter. The eastern section is also connected with the Orange Free State line by a branch running from Albert Junction to Springfontein, a short distance from the Orange River, in the Orange Free State. It crosses the river at Bethulie Bridge. These roads have numerous branches in Cape Colony, so that the British are fairly well supplied with railroads south of the Orange River, but the Orange Free State line beyond Springfontein is the only line running north through Boer territory. The distance from Cape Town to Bloemfontein is 750 miles, while from Port Elizabeth to Bloemfontein it is 300 miles less. There is a railroad running from Durban, on the Indian Ocean, in a general northwesterly direction. At Ladysmith it branches, one branch going northwest from Ladysmith through the mountains into the Orange Free State; the other branch runs north from Ladysmith through the apex from Natal, then turns to the northwest and goes to Johannesburg and Pretoria. By this line Ladysmith is 180 miles from Durban, and Pretoria is 511 miles. Still farther to the north a railroad runs from Delagoa Bay in a westerly direction to Pretoria. This road runs through Portuguese territory, and is the only means of access to the sea from Boer terri tory. It will thus be seen that one system of roads gives transporta tion from the south to the Boer country, while the other at Durban gives it to the northwest. There is no communication between these systems, and troops and supplies for Natal must be landed at Durban. THE RAILROAD FROM BEIRA The permission recently given to England by Portugal to transfer troops through Portuguese territory has directed attention to a line of which very little is generally known. This line starts from Beira, a port on the Indian Ocean about 850 miles north along the coast from Durban, and extends in a general northwesterly direction via Umtali to Salisbury. Here the road ends. If the troops sent by this route are intended as an expedition for the relief of Mafeking, it will be some time before they can reach it, as they will have a march of about 300 miles over the country to Bulawayo, the present northern terminus of the Rhodesian railway. This expedition can hardly have any other object, as Salisbury is about 300 miles north of the northern border of the Transvaal and about 600 miles north of Pretoria, and no part of this distance is covered by railroads.