General Jan Smuts, the State Attorney of the Transvaal Republic, was a late arrival on the battlefields of the Anglo-Boer South African War; after the fall of Pretoria.
General Jan Smuts and his Long Ride tells the story of Smuts’ epic dash through the Cape Colony in which his implacable determination and endurance overcame all odds. In twelve action-packed weeks, starving and exhausted, he fought the British in the most appalling weather. Toxic fruit also poisoned him. Despite these hazards, he rode into Van Rhynsdorp with his command intact. Initially the British dismissed him as only an eloquent speaker, but as he outwitted them time and again, a great reputation and an enduring legend grew. The book includes 9 maps, many photographs and the war history of 323 of the men who went with him on the Long Ride.
During the past twenty years, Taffy Shearing and her husband David have travelled the Cape searching for memories of the Anglo-Boer War and studying Karoo flora. The results were Taffy’s 1989 MA (Hons) thesis The Second Invasion of the Cape Colony during the Second Anglo-Boer War, 1901-02 and David’s Karoo, Wild Flower Guide No 6, which was published by the Botanical Society.
In 1998 they published the first book in the Cape Commando Series, Commandant Johannes Lötter and his Rebels. The following year they wrote Commandant Gideon Scheepers and the Search for his Grave which commemorates the manner of Scheepers’ passing and the mystery that followed.