Ladysmith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 183 pages of information about Ladysmith.

The quantities of the various articles in hand at the beginning of November were as follows:—­

lbs. 
Flour                           979,996
Preserved Meat                  173,792
Biscuits                        142,510
Tea                              23,167
Coffee                            9,483
Sugar                           267,699
Salt                             38,741
Maize                         3,965,400
Bran                            923,948
Oats                          1,270,570
Hay, &c.                      1,864,223

and a large amount of medical comforts, such as spirits, wines, arrowroot, sago, beef tea, &c.

In addition to the above we had rice, ghi, goor, atta, &c., for the natives of the Indian contingent. (Ghi is clarified butter; goor, unrefined sugar; atta is whole meal.)

At the beginning of the siege the scale of rations was as follows:—­

   Bread, 1-1/4 lb, or biscuit, 1 lb. 
   Meat (fresh), 1-1/4 lb., or preserved meat, 1 lb.
 { Coffee, 1 oz.,
 { or
 { Tea, 1/2 oz. 
   Sugar, 3 oz. 
   Salt, 1/2 oz. 
   Pepper, 1/36 oz.
 { Vegetables (compressed), 1 oz.,
 { or
 { Potatoes, 1/2 lb.

Cheese, bacon, and jams were frequently issued as an extra, in addition to the above.

REQUISITIONING.

The above quantities of articles, large as they appear, would not have sufficed to supply our wants for the long siege.  The military authorities therefore very wisely determined at a very early date to make use of the Requisition.  This power of seizing at a certain price from their owners all articles required by the troops has to be used very carefully and tactfully, as otherwise the people hide or bury their goods.  A civilian, commanding the confidence of the people, was appointed by the local authorities to fix the prices in co-operation with a military officer, who represented the interests of her Majesty’s Government.  In this way a large quantity of food, &c., was obtained at a fair price.  These quantities were:—­

  Cattle, 1,511. 
  Goats and sheep, 1,092. 
  Mealies or maize, 1,517,996 lbs. 
  Kaffir corn, or a kind of millet, 68,370 lbs. 
  Boer meal, or coarse wheat-meal, 108,739 lbs.

All spirits and wines were taken and a fair price paid.

In December, when the cases of enteric fever and dysentery began to be very numerous, it was determined to take possession of the milch cows, and to see that the milk was used for the sick alone.  So under the supervision and control of Colonel Stoneman and Captain Thompson, a dairy farm was started, and the milk was issued to civilians and soldiers alike on medical certificate.  Owing to the scarcity of milk, and to the great necessity for it in cases of enteric and dysentery, the dairy farm is still going (March 23, 1900), the owners of the cows being paid 1s. per quart; a careful account being kept of the milk produced.

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Ladysmith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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