The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 1 No 3 - December 1968

Irregular units of the 7th Kaffir War 1846-7


Units involved in the 7th Kaffir War were either Regulars (British), Burgher Commandos or Levies. In theory Commandos were all burghers liable for military service. In practice it was only a relatively small proportion of those liable who turned out and added to the distance at which the Western Commandos lived from the frontier, the time factor as well as the lack of man-power compelled the raising of extra units called Levies.

These are to be distinguished from the Commandos on various grounds;
(a) they received pay, arms and accoutrements.
(b) they were ad hoc units usually disbanded at the end of hostilities as contrasted with the continuing existence of the Commandos.
(c) they were composed of Europeans, Hottentots, Fingoes and friendly Bantu whereas the Commandos were mostly European.

Unfortunately official nomenclature often refers, not only in this war, to Burgher Levies and it is not always clear whether a unit was a Commando or a Levy. The purpose of this article is to deal with Levies and not with Burgher commandos.

The war lasted over 12 months (April, 1846 to May, 1847) and was distinguished by a badly run supply system which had the effect of almost completely inhibiting the turn out of the Commandos in the 8th Kaffir War (1850-1853) and from the materials available to the writer the administrative side appears to have been as bad.

The levies were dealt with by a long and detailed General Order dated at Fort Peddie on 6th May, 1847. As this Order is essential for understanding the subject no apology is made for quoting it in full:

General Order

By his Excellency the Right Honourable the Governor, Commander-in-Chief, High Commissioner &c., &c.

Camp at Fort Peddie, 6th May, 1847

  1. The Right Honourable the Governor, Commander-in-Chief, and High Commissioner, having had under his careful examination such of the returns called for by the Government Notices of the 3rd and 10th instants, as have yet been sent in, and having also had occasion to take into serious consideration a variety of circumstances which have come to his knowledge since his arrival on the frontier of the Colony, connected with the local and provisional Levies and Corps, (under whatever denomination they may be, or have hitherto been, in the service of the Government) - His Excellency is pleased to promulgate the following instructions, the whole of which are to take effect from and after Saturday, the 15th May, present, unless otherwise directed.
  2. The officers who were detached from Graham's Town for the purpose of recruiting in the Uitenhage, George, &c., Divisions by General Order, No.12 of the 10th March, 1847, issued by the Honourable the Lieutenant General Commanding Her Majesty's Forces in communication with the Governor, had been found to be no longer of any use, and they are accordingly relieved from that duty from the 1st of this month, by instructions communicated through Major-General Cuyler, who had zealously and kindly assumed the general direction of the recruiting parties.
  3. Field Captain Melville and two subalterns (to be selected by Major-General Cuyler) are still, however, to be retained on the recruiting service, and will continue to receive pay and rations until further orders.
  4. One Captain of this (recruiting) Levy, who was directed by the above quoted Order to remain at Graham's Town, will likewise be considered to be employed on duty up to the 31st May, and he will in the mean time make over to the Civil Commissioner of Albany, under such instructions as His Honour the Lieutenant Governor, &c., may be pleased to give, all clothing, arms and other description of Government property at present in his charge, taking receipts for the same.
  5. The Levy hitherto known by the name of the "Tarka Levy" being composed of the followers and adherents of the Kaffir Chiefs Kama and Hermanus, and having been embodied without any authority that can be discovered, will be abolished from and after the 15th May, on which day all pay, rations, &c., to the Levy and officers attached to it will cease, wherever they may be stationed.
  6. The services of the following four individuals, lately or at present in the public employ, are dispensed with from the dates opposite their respective names :-
    Mr. (Captain Commandant) Stretch of the Fingo Levy attached to the 1st Division, 30th April, 1847.
    Mr. (Captain) Alcock, commanding the post at Commando Kraal, 30th April, 1847.
    Mr. (Captain) Smith, of the Graaf-Reinet Levy, from the 15th May, 1847.
    Mr. (Lieutenant) Knight of the Graaf-Reinet Levy, from the 15th May, 1847.
  7. The forage rations hitherto drawn by the officers and men of the Graham's Town Yeomanry Cavalry, will be discontinued from and after the 15th day of May, 1847.
  8. The Wynberg and Simon's Town Volunteers, commanded by Captain Fielding, if not already discharged, are to be paid up to and discontinued from and after the 30th April, 1847, and the same rate is to be considered applicable to the Cape Town Volunteers, the Cape Town Levy, and the Cape Town Malay Volunteers.
  9. The strength of the Graham's Town Fingo Levy will, until further orders, be limited from and after the 31st day of May, 1847, to the following numbers:

    2 Captains
    4 Subalterns, (to act as Quartermasters)
    8 Sergeants
    8 Corporals
    200 Privates.

    These officers and men will be employed exclusively at the Outposts, under such instructions as His Honor the Lieutenant Governor may issue. They will receive pay and rations, and each of the Captains will be allowed forage for two horses, and the Subalterns for one. All extra horses belonging to the government are to be sent to the Civil Commissioner of Albany to be held at the disposal of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor, &c., for public use.

  10. The Levy known by the name of Meurant's or the Graham's Town Hottentot Levy is to be broken up, and all expenses connected with it to cease from and after the 31st day of May. The duties at present performed by the officers and men of this Levy will be provided for by His Honor the Lieutenant Governor in communication with his Excellency the Governor, Commander-in-Chief, and High Commissioner.
  11. The Graham's Town Sporting Club, or Nos. 1 and 2 Mounted corps are likewise to be broken up from and after the 31st May, and in like manner as Meurant's Levy no public expense connected with it will be sanctioned subsequent to that date.
  12. The Levy under Mr. (Captain) Gardiner, called the Salem Provisional Levy, is abolished from the date up to which it has been already paid and rationed, and no further issue of pay or rations is to be made to it.
  13. From the returns received it would appear that there are three companies or levies of natives (Hottentots, Fingoes, &c.) belonging to the Cradock Division, but that they have never been regularly organised, that some of the officers have never been paid at all; that some of the men are absent without leave, and that the whole are discontented, and consequently must be held to be inefficient. His Excellency the Governor is therefore pleased to direct that those three companies shall be disbanded and immediately reformed into two companies, to consist of
    1 Captain
    2 Subalterns, (one to act as Quartermaster and Paymaster)
    4 Sergeants
    4 Corporals
    100 Privates.

    This duty will be performed by the Civil Commissioner, under special instructions which he will receive from the Secretary of Her Majesty's High Commissioner, and he will immediately place himself in communication with Major Sutton, and will request that officer's advice and assistance in selecting the officers and men to be henceforward employed. The new arrangement will take effect from and after the 1st day ofJune next.

  14. It appears from the returns submitted that the Fingo Levy attached to the late 1st Division at Fort Hare, consists of one Commandant, two Captains, two Subalterns, one Lieutenant and Adjutant, one Lieutenant and Quarter-master, nine sergeants, eight corporals and 206 privates.
    Mr. Stretch, the Commandant, has been already removed by a preceding part of this Order (6), and the services of Adjutant McGlashan and Quartermaster Hamilton are likewise no longer required for these duties. His Excellency the Governor &c. is however, pleased to direct that the above officers and men shall be embodied into two companies, each to consist of

    1 Captain
    2 Subalterns, (one to act as Quartermaster)
    4 Sergeants
    4 Corporals
    100 Privates

    Mr. Borcherds, the Resident Justice of the Peace at Fort Beaufort, being the nearest Civil Officer of Government, will place himself in immediate communication with the officer commanding the late 1st Division, and Lieutenant Colonel Montresor, superintendent of Levies, with the object of carrying out of this arrangement, which will take effect as to pay, rations, &c on and after the 1st of June, 1847.

  15. A body called the "Irregular Horse", amounting to one Captain, two Lieutenants, two sergeants, and thirty-three privates, commanded by Mr. (Field Captain) Dargon, is included in the returns received from Fort Hare; but as no trace can be found of any authority for the maintenance of such a body, and as the Right Honorable the Governor is unacquainted with the duties it has to perform, and also, thinks that it is highly desirable to dispense with such irregular Levies, His Excellency is pleased to direct that all Pay and Rations and other expenses attending the "Irregular Horse", shall cease from and after the 31st of this month.

    The saddles which are stated to have been lately issued to this body and all other Government property will be returned into store by Mr. Dargon.

  16. Within the Fort Beaufort Sub District it is shown by the Returns that there are six Levies or Bodies of Natives serving. Of these six one is part of the "Tarka Levy" stationed at the Springs, and the abolition of which is already provided for by the 5th paragraph of these Orders. Of the remaining five, three are termed Beaufort Fingo Levies - one of the Graaf-Reinet Levy, and one of the Somerset Burgher Force - none of the Fingo Levies are of the strength entitled to have a Captain attached - is only fifty men.

    His Excellency is pleased to direct that out of the three shall be embodied two Companies, each consisting of

    1 Captain
    2 Subalterns, (one to act as Quartermaster)
    4 Sergeants
    4 Corporals
    100 Privates

    These two Companies will be placed from the 1st of June, on which day the arrangements now ordered are to take effect, under the command of Field Captain Rowles and Webb, and the Resident Magistrate of Beaufort will immediately put himself in communication with these two local officers for the purpose of breaking up the old and reforming, without inconvenience to the duties in which they may be employed, the Fort Beaufort new Levies (Nos. 1 and 2) on the footing now sanctioned.

  17. The Graaf-Reinet Levy is to be augmented - under the superintendence of the Civil Commissioner of that Division - to the full strength of a Company of 100 men as above, and Messrs. Smith and Knight having been removed by Paragraph 6 of these Orders, the Civil Commissioner will select a Field Captain and a subaltern to fill their places. This levy is to be styled the "Graaf-Reinet New Levy", and will take effect on the footing now directed from the 1st June next.
  18. The Company No. 1 of the Somerset Burghers which is stated in the Returns to be composed of Europeans, Hottentots, Fingoes, and other natives is to be finally and totally abolished from and after the 31st day of May, on which day all Rations, Pay, etc. to it will cease.
  19. The Company No.2 of the Somerset Burghers commanded by Field Captain Vowe is to be remodelled, under the superintendence of the Civil Commissioner, to the strength of

    1 Captain
    2 Subalterns, (one to act as Quartermaster)
    4 Sergeants
    4 Corporals
    100 Privates

    and to be placed under the military orders of the officer commanding the Sub-District of Fort Beaufort, within whose command it has apparently hitherto been serving.

  20. His Excellency the Governor, &c, requires further information before he can make up his mind with regard to the future strength of the native levies to be employed at the Kat River (Stockenstrom) Settlement, or at Shiloh, but His Excellency's orders on these points will shortly be promulgated.
  21. The appointment of Mr. Frederick Carlisle to be Paymaster to the Uitenhage etc., levies, will cease from the 31st of May.
  22. The allowance of 7s. 6d. per day granted to Field Cornet Bradshaw, of Bathurst, will also cease from the 31st of May.
  23. The appointments of Mr. Abel Hoole, and Mr. Weinand Bezuidenhout, as guides and interpreters, will likewise cease from the 31st day of May.
  24. The following will be the rates of pay allowed to all officers serving with the local levies sanctioned by these Orders;
    Captains 9s. per diem.
    Subalterns 6s. per diem.
    Sergeants ls. per diem.
    Corporals 9d. per diem.
    Privates 6d. per diem.

    with the customary rations. The Captains (as already stated in paragraph 9) will be allowed forage for two horses and the Subalterns for one each.

  25. Under the arrangements intended to be carried out by these Orders it will be the duty of the officers commanding Divisions or stations of the army to see (under such instructions as they may receive from the Honorable the Lieutenant-General commanding Her Majesty's Forces), that the number of Civil Auxiliaries assigned to their respective commands are present and efficient, and any representations they may find it requisite to make to the contrary will be immediately attended to and rectified. The officers and men of the local levies are only to be allowed leave of absence by the commanding officers of Divisions and Stations - not by Captains and Subalterns of the different Levies, and they will be mustered under the same authority, and the Muster Rolls attested by the necessary officer.
  26. The Muster Rolls must show the names of the officers of each Levy or Company, but those of the sergeants, corporals and privates will not be required. A Pay Abstract corresponding with the Muster Roll will be sent with the attested Roll by the Captain or senior local officer, to the Civil Commissioner, under whose superintendence the Levy has been embodied, and the Civil Commissioner will countersign and transmit - until directed to the contrary - both documents to the Secretary to Her Majesty's High Commissioner for His Excellency's information, and in order that the honorable the Lieutenant General Commanding Her Majesty's forces,&c, may be moved to issue a warrant for the issue of the amount of the Pay Abstract from the military chest within the Division in which the Levy or Company may be serving.
  27. The Honorable the Lieutenant General commanding, &c, will be further moved to give the necessary authority for the issue of the usual Rations to the Officers and Men only of the Levies or Companies, referred to in these orders, from and after the dates laid down.
  28. The only cases in which the Rations in future will be allowed to the wives and families (that is to say one wife and three children as the maximum) of men serving in the Local and Provisional Levies, will be where men have entered for actual service beyond the Frontier. Arrangements in these cases will be made as occasion may arise through the Civil Commissioners.
  29. All men belonging to the Local or Provisional Levies, or Burgher Forces, not distinctly referred to in these Orders, and employed with the Troops in advance, will be rationed in such manner as the Honorable the Lieutenant General may be pleased to direct, the expense of such Rations becoming a civil charge.
  30. Any cases of Local or Provisional Levies not provided for by these Orders will be considered and defined when the Returns are submitted.
  31. His Excellency the Governor, Commander-in-Chief and High Commissioner, will take an early opportunity of communicating his thanks to the Officers and Men whose services are herein dispensed with as being no longer required by the Government.
  32. His Excellency considers that the time has arrived when the feelings and ideas of all classes should, if possible, be recalled to the habits of peace, and an attempt be made to restore by degrees, the totally disorganised state of Society consequent on the War. His Excellency's object, in addition to those primary ones, is to introduce a system of regularity and responsibility in the different branches of the service under his guidance without impairing the efficiency of the means at his disposal for protecting the Colony, and he relies with full confidence on the zealous co-operation of all whose duty it is to assist in giving effect to the plans he has in view.

By Order of His Excellency the Right Honorable the Governor, Commander-in-Chief and High Commissioner.
Richard Woosnam.

The Order is almost as interesting for what it does not say as for what it does. Quite obviously the situation did not please Sir Henry Pottinger, the Governor referred to in the Order. Comment on the Order was favourable. According to the Cape Town Mail (22nd May, 1847) it was high time that action was taken to check the notorious abuses which had grown up. Details of the abuses are not given, but it would not be unreasonable to suppose that pay and loot were two of the worst.

List of Units

  1. Albany Levy: Recovered cattle stolen from Manley's Flat, under the command of Captain O'Brien. Stationed at Manley's Flat and Waay Plaats. (C.T.M. 6th February, 1847). Note: possibly the same as the Graham's Town Tirailleurs, No.54.
  2. Albany Burgher Levy: Turned out 22 strong under Captain Gardiner at the Buffalo mouth to track stolen cattle (C.T.M. 6th June, 1847).
  3. Bethelsdorp Hottentots: At Commando Kraal (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846). Probably part of the Port Elizabeth Levies.
  4. Cameron's Hottentots: 65 strong under Lt. Cameron, arrived at Port Elizabeth from Cape Town aboard the bark "Sultan" (S.S.J. 25th June, 1846) probably early in June, 1846.
  5. Cape Town Volunteers: Disbanded w.e.f. 30th April, 1847. See paragraph 8 of G.O. of 6th May, 1847.
  6. Cape Town Contingent (Levy): The first division of the Contingent sailed from Cape Town for Port Elizabeth on board the "Thunderbolt" and arrived at Grahamstown on 25th May, 1846 (S.S.J. 11th June, 1846). Captain Wilson and Lts. Reeler and Borcherds remained at Port Elizabeth to take command of the Cape Town Levy of burghers, 500 strong, expected by the "Meg Merrilees" and other chartered vessels (S.S.J. llthJune, 1846). On 31st May a reinforcement of Hottentots under Captain Cook was sent to Bathurst which had previously been strengthened by the first detachment of the Cape Town Contingent (S.S.J. 18th June, 1846).

    A large detachment of the Cape Town Contingent, chiefly substitutes, arrived at Grahamstown on Tuesday 30th June, 1846. 350 strong under Captain Wilson (S.S.J. 16th June, 1846). Arrival of the bark "Sultan" from Cape Town at Port Elizabeth early in June, 1846, with 81 substitutes aboard under Lts. Williams and Clarence. Held there until two days later when 210 Cape Town Burghers arrived aboard the "Meg Merrilees" under Lts. Campion and Walsh. These are to form a corps with the substitutes, under Captain Wilson (S.S.J. 25th June, 1846).

    350 men, mostly substitutes, arrived at Grahamstown on 30th June, 1846, under Captain Wilson, an experienced officer. On 3rd July a detachment under Lts. Walsh and Williams left the town with some sailors for Fort Dacres (C.T.M. 11th June, 1846). Reported from Port Elizabeth to be undisciplined. Camped under Captain Wilson at Koega, on the way to Grahamstown (S.S.J. 2nd July, 1846).

    135 of the Contingent, under Wilson, were reported as forming part of the 1st Divison leaving Fort Beaufort, probably late in July, 1846. (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846).

    Disbanded w.e.f. 30th April, 1847. (Paragraph 8 of G.O. of 6th May, 1847). From this it seems the Contingent or Levy was distinct from the Volunteers (No.5).

  7. Cape Town Malay Volunteers: Formed into two instead of three companies, under Captains Alexander and Granger.

    1 Company: Captain Alexander; Lts. J. C. Skead, W. B. Thorne, J. J. Barber and C. C. Campion Priest and Lt. David. Bugler: George Shapcott.

    2 Company: Captain R. Granger, Lts. A. Gilstain and J. Stevenson. Priest and Lt. Zadig.

    Lt. Skead to sail on date in the Sultan with a detachment of Malays about 150 strong (C.T.M. 23rd May, 1846).
    56 men under Captain Granger arrived at Port Elizabeth in the Phoenix on 26th May. The three detachments of Malays now arrived were broken up and reformed into two companies before proceeding to the frontier, and left Port Elizabeth on 27th May, under Captains Granger and Alexander (S.S.J. 11th June, 1846).

    On 2nd June, 1846, about 250 Malays from Cape Town arrived at Grahamstown under Captains Alexander and Granger. "The Malays on marching into town made a very good and soldierlike appearance. Many of them are fine, athletic and apparently active men, and if we may judge from appearance, give promise of being a useful body. They were preceded by a standard, exhibiting the Crescent on a green field, with the Union Jack in the corner - rather a novelty to find the standard of Mahomet mingled with the banner of England in defence of a common cause. (S.S.J. 18th June, 1846, quoting G.T.J.).

    Not much use in bush warfare (C.T.M. 20th June, 1846).

    Part of No.2 Company sent under Lt. Gilstain to escort wagons to Trumpetter's Drift, returned to Grahamstown. Conduct good and training has improved them. Gilstain to assume command of No.2 Company as Captain. Granger has been recalled to Cape Town on urgent business. He is to take a detachment to Fish River mouth to relieve sailors and marines of H.M.S. President (C.T.M. 27th June, 1846).

    Insubordination and refusal to march for Fish River mouth because of reports in letters from their families that rations were not being issued in Cape Town. A riot outside the Brigade Office was quelled with the arrest of 18 or 20 (G.T.J. 29th June, 1846).

    On 9th June, 1846, 100 Malays under Alexander formed part of a force under Col Johnstone which left on that date for Hell Krantz to investigate cattle thefts. They objected to marching on the grounds that they maintain they were enlisted on the basis that they would not be required to move further than Port Elizabeth and find they are now required to go beyond the Colonial boundary. (S.S.J. 25th June, 1846).

    26 Malays under Alexander in the main body of the 1st Division, leaving Fort Beaufort (late July?) (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846). Malay Corps under Alexander on escort duty from Grahamstown to Fish River mouth (C.T.M. 15th August, 1846). The Malays ask to be sent home as their three month period of enlistment has expired (C.T.M. 26th September, 1846).

    Malay Corps escorting ammunition wagons from Grahamstown to Waterloo Bay (C.T.M. 28th November, 1846). Arrival of 77 Malays at Cape Town on the schooner Waterloo (C.T.M. 31st January, 1847). Malays replaced at Collingwood by Dell's Grahamstown Levy (C.T.M. 13th February, 1847). 73 Malays arrived at Cape Town per the "Conch" from Waterloo Bay (C.T.M. 10th April, 1847).

    Disbanded w.e.f. 30th April, 1847 (see paragraph 8 of General Order dated 6th May, 1847).

    The Colour was on display in the Castle, Cape Town, during the van Riebeeck Festival in 1952, where the writer remembers seeing it.

  8. Cock's Hottentots: Left for Bathurst 100 strong on 31st May, 1846, under Acting Field Captain Cock, to reinforce the garrison (S.S.J. 18th June, 1846).
  9. Cradock Native Levy: See paragraph 13 of General Order of 6th May, 1846.
  10. Cradock Unit: About 30 men formed under Messrs. Chase and Scheuble (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  11. Cradock Levy: Replaced by (9). See paragraph 13 of General Order of 6th May, 1846.
  12. Dargon's Irregular Horse: See paragraph 15 of General Order of 6th May, 1846.
  13. Fort Beaufort Levy: 3 levies (companies?) of Fingoes disbanded w.e.f. 31st May and personnel incorporated in Fort Beaufort New Levies see 14. Apparently under Captain Pritchard (C.T.M. 7th November, 1846).
  14. Fort Beaufort New Levies: Paragraph 16 of General Order of 6th May, 1847.
  15. Fort Peddie Fingo Levy: 400 strong, serving in Somerset's column on 17th July, 1846, under W. Sheps tone (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846). Accompanied Somerset on an expedition from Hangman's Bush on 9th July, 1846, and proceeded with it to the Buffalo River, Gonubie River, Galocha River and to the Kei, arriving back at Hangman's Bush on 24th July (C.T.M. 19th September, 1846).
  16. Free Troop: Commanded by Captain Lucas, served in Somerset's 2nd Division during May and June, 1846. (General Order No.31 dated 10th June, 1846). Disbanded in late June (?) 1846 (S.S.J. 9th July, 1846).
  17. Genadendal Levy: 6 Companies of the Swellendam Hottentot Levy of Genadendal under the command of Captain Hogg, 7 Dragoon Guards. (General Order of 24th June, 1846, at Fish River mouth). On 3rd July a detachment of Swellendam Hottentots under Captain Emmett left Grahamstown to join the Hottentot Corps under Hogg at Trumpetter's Drift (S.S.J. 16th July, 1846). Arrival at Grahamstown of a body of Swellendam Hottentots under Captain Morris (F.T. 6th July, 1846).

    Attack on a Kaffir village by a force including Hottentots (Captain Hogg) with Capts. Haswell and Owen with the Genadendal Hottentots (S.S.J. 6th August, 1846, quoting a report from Grahamstown dated 25th July).

    Note: Possibly Hogg's Levy was quite distinct from the Genadendal Levy.

  18. Graaf-Reinet Levy: See paragraph 17 of General Order of 6th May, 1847. In view of the language used in this paragraph it seems that this unit simply changed its name by adding "New".
  19. Grahamstown Levy: See No.7. Malay Volunteers.
  20. Grahamstown Fingo Levy: See paragraph 9 of General Order of 6th May, 1847. There was a general refusal to re-engage under the new order and on Saturday 15th May, over 100 marched into Grahamstown and delivered up their arms to the Civil Commissioner (C.T.M. 6th June, 1947).

    Grahamstown Hottentot Levy: see under Meurant's (No. 32).

  21. Grahamstown yeomanry: Paraded on 4th April, 1846, uniformed in dark blue. Capable of loading and firing on horseback (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846). Called out under J. D. Norden after an attack on wagons at the Ecca Heights. 20 to be sent to Botha's Hill to warn outspanned wagons. On 11th April, 1846, some of them went to the scene of the attack with Stubbs and O'Brien's corps. Death of J. D. Norden at Fuller's farm while leading the Yeomanry. Shot through the head (C.T.M. 25th April, 1846, Second Extra edition). Returned from patrol of the Fish River with the Sporting Club (C.T.M. 23rd May, 1846). Part of Col. Johnstone's force which left Grahamstown on 9th June for Hell Poort and Riebeeck. Commanding Officer Captain M. B. Shaw (S.S.J. 25th June, 1846). A detachment was in action under Shaw with detachments of Stubb's Corps and the Tirailleurs against Kaffirs near Lombards' station on the Fish River (G.T.J. 20th June, 1846). Horses being fed at public expense (C.T.M. 31st October, 1846). "Handled the sword well, were good horsemen and better marksmen" (C.T.M. 19th June, 1847). Forage and rations discontinued w.e.f. 15th May, 1847. (Paragraph 7, General Order of 6th May, 1847).
  22. Hankey Hottentots: At Commando Kraal (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  23. Hayne's Fingo Company: 99 strong under Captain Hayne in the rearguard of the 1st Division, leaving Fort Beaufort (late July?) (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846).
  24. Hogg's Hottentot Levy: Mutinied at Fort Beaufort on 25th October, wanting to go home (C.T.M. 7th November, 1846). Captain Hogg, 7 Dragoon Guards, officer commanding the Swellendam Native Levy is now in Grahamstown. He is to go to Swellendam to disband his men. Death of Lt. Franz of the corps at Fort Beaufort (C.T.M. 6th February 1847).

    Note:The writer is still not clear whether Hogg's command was the Swellendam Levy, the Genadendal Levy or whether these were two quite distinct units.

  25. Hoole's Hottentots: 100 strong under A. W. Hoole in Col. Johnstone's column leaving Grahamstown on 9th June, 1846 for Hell Poort and Riebeeck (S.S.J. 25th June, 1846).
  26. Hyde's Company: 20 strong and part of the garrison of Grahamstown (C.T.M. 15th August, 1846).
  27. Kat River Infantry: 20 strong, in the rearguard of the 1st Division leaving Fort Beaufort (late July?) (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846).
  28. Kat River Legion: Mentioned in press reports. Commanding Officer Major Sutton (C.T.M. 27th February, 1847).
  29. Liberated African Corps: On Saturday 30th May, 1846, "115 Liberated Africans embarked at Cape Town, each furnished with a good musket (worth 50/-), a drab duffle jacket, dark continuances, Scotch cap, blanket, cartridge box, knapsack and drinking tin and a pair of shoes" (S.S.J. 4th June, 1846). The bark "Sultan" arrived at Port Elizabeth early in June with 108 Liberated Africans under Captain Sampson, and Lts. Thorn, Shannon and Scott on board (S.S.J. 26th June, 1846). Arrival of 110 of the Corps at Grahamstown on 18th June under Captain Sampson, and Lts. Thorn, Shannon, and Scott (C.T.M. 27th June, 1846, quoting a report from Grahamstown dated 20th June).

    25 left as part of the garrison of Fort Beaufort on the departure of the 1st Division (late July?) (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846). Escorting ammunition wagons from Grahamstown under Captain Sampson (C.T.M. 28th November 1846). Involved in a fight with Europeans near Fort England on 31st December, 1846 (C.T.M. 9th January 1847).
    Left Grahamstown under Captain Sampson on the way home to Cape Town. Have done well escorting wagons. Not interested in re-enlisting (G.T.J. 4th January, 1847).

  30. Loxton's Hottentot Levy: Loxton was ordered to watch a drift near Blinkwater. He set off on 13th May leading his own advance guard of Hottentots and Fingoes. Successfully ambushed a kaffir raiding party on the night of 14/15th May. Held his men for an hour after firing before letting them go after loot. 250 sheep were taken as booty and as there was no claim to them from anyone else they were shared out. He has a good active company (S.S.J. 4th June, 1846). Returned from duty at Post Retief with 300 sheep retaken from the enemy (S.S.J. 16th July, 1846). Based at Fort Beaufort (C.T.M. 11th July, 1846). A Sergeant Major of a levy lately commanded by Loxton, killed in an attack on Col. Hare's camp in the Amatolas on 29th July (S.S.J. 13th August, 1847).
  31. Melville's Hottentot Levy: Served in Somerset's Division in July, 1846 (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846). Appointments: Alexander du Toit to be subaltern in Captain Melville's company of Native Infantry, vice Berg resigned. (General Order dated 10th August, 1846).

    Part of Somerset's force in the Kei expedition 9-24 July, 1846.200 Strong and sent to the Buffalo mouth as part of Comdt. Linde's column. Officers were Capt's Melville and van der Riet (C.T.M. 19th September, 1846).

  32. Meurant's Hottentot Levy (Grahamstown Hottentot Levy): To remain for a day or two at Riebeek to assist the inhabitants to move to Hilton, before abandoning it (C.T.M. 23rd May, 1846).

    List of Camps and Laagers in the Albany District: Bathurst, inter alia, Field Captain Meurant, Lt. Fenner and 78 men of Meurant's Hottentot Levy.

    Cawood's Post: inter alia, 13 men of Meurant's Levy (C.T.M. l8thJuly, 1846).
    Obituary of Philip Norton (nephew of Benjamin Norden), temporary Captain, Grahamstown Hottentot Levy (G.T.J. 17th April, 1847). Meurant served personally with the Levy (C.T.M. l9thJune, 1847).

    Disbanded w.e.f. 31st May, 1847 (paragraph 10 of General Order of 6th May, 1847).

  33. Mounted Provisionals: Under Captain Lange. Crossed the Kei as part of Napier's force on 28th December, 1846 (C.T.M. l6th January, 1847).
  34. Port Elizabeth Fingo Corps: Raised and supplied with firearms (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  35. 1st Corps of Port Elizabeth Foot: 60 strong under Captain Griffiths. Busy drilling (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  36. 2nd Corps of Port Elizabeth Foot: Under Captain Jarvis (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  37. Port Elizabeth Hottentot Corps: Raised and supplied with firearms (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  38. Port Elizabeth Malay Corps: As for No's. 34 and 37.
  39. Port Elizabeth Mounted Corps: 53 strong, commanded by Captain Harries. Ready for the field (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846).
  40. Provisional Infantry: 350 strong under Field Commandant Melville, and part of Napier's force which crossed the Kei on 28th December, 1846 (C.T.M. 16th January, 1847, quoting a letter dated 1st January, 1847, from Camp, Kei River).
    Note: Quite possibly this term covered all the irregular foot troops on the expedition.
  41. Ross' Hottentot Company: 100 strong under Field Captain Ross. Left Fort Beaufort on 26th July with 1st Division (S.S.J. 13th August, 1846, from a letter from Fort Beaufort dated 30th July). 93 strong, in the Advance Guard (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846).
  42. Salem Provisional Levy: 12 horses stolen from Captain Gardiner's company, stationed at Jager's Drift, Bushmans River (C.T.M. 24th October, 1846). See paragraph 12 of General Order of 6th May, 1846, for disbandment.
  43. Size's Native Levy: Under Captain Size. In Somerset's 2nd Division (General Order 31 of 10th June, 1846). Still under Somerset in July (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846). Appointments: John Lange as Field Captain in Captain Size's Corps of Native Infantry, vice Field Captain van der Riet resigned. (General Order of 10th August, 1846).
    Served in Somerset's force in the expedition to the Kei 9-24th July, 1846. Described as Hottentots (C.T.M. 19th September, 1846).
  44. Somerset Burghers: See paragraphs 18 and 19 of General Order of 6th May, 1847.
  45. Stellenbosch Levy: Arrival of 200 levies under Captain Hogg at Waterloo Bay per steamer "Rosamond" on 9th May, 1847. Raised by Hogg (C.T.M. 22nd May, 1847). See No.24. Quite possibly these new men became known as Hogg's Levy, although distinct from those in No.24.
  46. Stretch's Fingo Levy: See paragraph 6 of General Order of 6th May, 1847.
  47. Stubb's Sporting Club: In peace time this operated purely as a sporting body. It went under various names in wartime and again appeared for service in the 8th Kaffir War as Stubb's Rangers, the Albany Rangers or Stubb's Albany Rangers.

    On parade at Grahamstown on 4th April, 1846 clothed in duffle with equipment to match. Load and fire on horseback (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846). 11th April went to relief of wagons at the Ecca Heights - see No.21 and at Lombard's station.

    30 strong, on patrol, but part of the garrison of Grahamstown (C.T.M. 15th August, 1846). Horses fed at public expense (C.T.M. 31st October, 1846). Part of Col. Johnstone's force to Hell Poort and Riebeek on 9th June, 1846 (S.S.J. 25th June, 1846).

    Disbanded w.e.f. 31st May, 1847 (paragraph 11 of General Order of 6th May, 1847).

  48. Symons' Fingoes: Served under Captain Symons in Somerset's 2nd Division in May-June, 1846 (General Order 31 of l0th June, 1846).
  49. Tarka Levy: See paragraph 5 of General Order of 6th May, 1846.
  50. Uitenhage Hottentot Levy: Raised (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846). On 3rd July a detachment of Uitenhage Hottentots under Captain van der Riet left Grahamstown to join the Hottentot Corps under Captain Hogg at Trumpetter's Drift (S.S.J. l6thJune, 1846).
  51. Verity's Fingo Company: 140 strong under Captain Verity in the rearguard of the 1st Division leaving Fort Beaufort (late July?) (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846).
  52. Vowe's Provisional Levy: Stationed at Guala Post under Comdt. Vowe (C.T.M. 24th April, 1847).
  53. Vowe's Corps: See No.44.
  54. Ward No. 2 Volunteers (Tirailleurs): Paraded at Grahamstown on 4th April, 1846, with banners, under Mr. O'Brien and formed the Governor's escort on his arrival (C.T.M. .8th April, 1846).
    In action on 11th April, see No's. 21 and 47. (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846, Supplement). On 15th April, a party of O'Brien's Corps left for Cawood's Post to relieve 7th Dragoon Guards.
    In action at Lombard's station. See No's. 21 and 47 (C.T.M. 27th June, 1846).

    On patrol, 28 strong, part of the Garrison of Grahamstown (C.T.M. 15th August, 1846).

  55. Webb's Fingo Company: 132 strong under Captain Webb, leaving Fort Beaufort (late July) in the rearguard of 1st Division (C.T.M. 8th August, 1846).
  56. Wynberg Rifles: l0 of the unit were part of the garrison of Cawood's Post (C.T.M. 18th July, 1846). See paragraph 8 of General Order of 6th May, 1847.

No claim is made that this list is comprehensive and the writer is the first to admit that many gaps remain to be filled and that a study of Archive sources is essential to a proper record of these levies. It is also entirely possible that many duplications have been made. Units headed "Captain X's Company" may well have been sub-units of larger units and have been noted here simply because the writer has seen them so described in the contemporary sources used.

The size of units could and did vary. The application of strict establishments is the invention of a later period of the century and South African military history abounds in small, quite legally constituted units no more than a score strong.

The source abbreviations are:

C.T.M. Cape Town Mail
G.T.J. Grahamstown Journal
F.T. Cape Frontier Times
S.S.J. Sam Sly's African Journal.

General Note: Various units are credited to Port Elizabeth. At the outbreak some 600 men were raised there (C.T.M. 18th April, 1846) but this source does not give details of strengths of individual units.

The contrary view to that of the Press (Cape Town Mail of 22nd May 1847) is contained in Cory (Vol. 1, 19-22) who comments at considerable length on this Order, but does not quote it.

On his return to South Africa he was appointed Commander of the Port Elizabeth Fortress and in October 1942 Commander of the Cape Fortress.

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