HOGSFLESH, James, 1835
National Archives, Kew CO48/164, 139
May 6 1835
The disastrous affair of the Caffers breaking in the Eastern Frontier of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope induces me to suggest a hint to prevent further irruptions. I have been there and shall soon return, the Caffers are a people that carry on Bush Warfare, of which there is immense tracks in that Quarter, there is also Rivers in which a line of defence could be made by establishing Posts sufficient to hold a few soldiers at such distances as will enable them to assist each other, clear the River on both its banks of all obstacles that impedes the view and obstructs the range of the Guns, make the River as impassable as possible, except at particular points have the Country between the Posts well patrolled and proper means taken to alarm the Country in case of Invasion, and certain eligible spots be fixed on in the rear of the line of Posts for the Inhabitants to retire to with their Property on the alarm being made.
All the Adult Male Inhabitants in the Invaded Districts of Albany and Somersett do be enroled and instructed in so much Light Infantry movements, sufficient to present Confusion, it is a very rare case to find a Man to be attached to a Station, to repair to on the alarm being given by which means a formidable Force would be collected in a few hours. The Male population of those two Districts by returns is Whites 6785 – Free Blacks 4320 – Slaves 831 – Total 12256 Males, probably one Quarter or 3034 could be depended on at the moment, which in conjunction with the Military would hold the Invaders in check until reinforcements could be brought up. There is 3 Reg'ts of English Infantry and 3 Troops of Mounted Rifles who are Hottentots – 2 Reg'ts remain in Cape Town – 1 Reg't is on the Frontier with the Mounted Rifles – send 2 Reg'ts to the Frontier and increase the Rifles the Hottentots are a very usefull People for the Bush, fond of a Horse and Gun from their infancy and are greatly depended on in Patroling the Country and as Commandos.
To provide against any Deficiency of Garrison in Cape Town form a Militia, there is a Male Population. Whites 6656 Slaves 2864 – Also form a Militia throughout the Colony.
Spies ought to be employed in the Tribes to watch their motions – and the Trade between the Colonists and Caffers placed on certain correct restrictions.
Objections may be raised to the expence but when the value of the property at stake is considered the expence will vanish.
The two districts contain 10,879,964 English acres
The Population 21913 Souls
|Horses 10,222||moderate value £ 51,118|
|Horned Cattle 101,577||do. 203,154|
|Sheep 757,561||do. 113,634|
|Goats 168,323||do. 25,248|
|Wheat grown per year 35009 Bushells||do. 8,752|
|Barley 22601 do.||do. 2,825|
|Rye 2020 do.||do. 404|
|Oats 2957 do.||do. 295|
|India Corn 6600 do.||do. 852|
Above Half a Million Sterling
Besides other Productions and Buildings and it must be remarked that 36,000 of the Sheep are of the superior Wool sort imported at an Immense Expence, the loss by the present Invasion is Immense, being just in Harvest time – the last Invasion was in 1819, about 1 year after which Sir Rufane DONKIN inspected the frontier and Wiltshire Folly.
Should any of those hints be of any Benefit to the Colony I shall be happy
And remain your humble and obed't serv't