The Battle of Berea
(20 December 1852)
British Order of Battle
Right Flank Column. Lt-Gen. The Hon. George Cathcart. (279)
Governor & Staff
1 x Tp 12th Lancers Lt. G. T. (George) Gough. (1 & 40)
1 x Tp CMR Ens. R. (Richard) Rorke. (1 & 25)
2 x Coys 43rd Regt. Maj. R. N. (Robert) Phillips. (7 & 212)
1 x Sect, No. 4 Coy/8th Bn. RA Capt. S. (Staplyton) Robinson, RA. (1 & 20). (2 x horse-drawn 12-pdr howitzers)
Central Column. Lt-Col. W. (William) Eyre, 73rd Regt. (539)
T. W. (Thomas) Goodrich. (1
NCO’s detail 12th Lancers Sgt. J. (Joseph) Nicholls. (0 & 11)
1 x Coy 43rd Regt. Capt. the Hon. P. E. (Percy) Herbert. (2 & 102)
Lt. the Hon. H. W. C. (Henry) Ward.
3 x Coys. 73rd Regt. Maj. F. G. A. (Frederick) Pinckney. (271)
Coy (No. 9), 1st Bn. Rifle Bde. Lt.
the Hon. L. (Leicester) Curzon. (2
1 x Sect, No. 4 Coy/5th Bn., RA, Capt. the Hon. G. T. (George) Devereux, RA. (1 & 13). (2 x mule-borne 12-pdr rocket tubes)
Mfengu Drovers (40)
Note: Herbert’s company of the 43rd was regrouped from Eyre’s column to Cathcart’s early in the proceedings. This raised Cathcart’s column to 381 all ranks and reduced Eyre’s to 437.
Right Flank Column. Lt-Col. G. T. C. (George) Napier, CMR. (248)
2 x Tps 12th Lancers Maj. W. H. (William) Tottenham. (8 & 114)
2 x Tps CMR Maj C. H. (Charles) Somerset. (7 & 119)
Guard at the Drift. Capt. R. (Robert) Bruce. (200).
1 x Coy 74th Hldrs. (Bruce) (100)
1 x Coy 2nd (The Queen’s Royal) Regt. (100)
In Reserve at Platberg Mission. Lt-Col. J. (John) Macduff 74th Hldrs. (Minimum of 670).
1 x Tp CMR N/K
3 x Coys 74th Hldrs. Capt. F. H. L. (William) Hancock. (300)
3 x Coys 2nd (The Queen’s Royal) Regt. Maj. T. W. E. (Thomas) Holdsworth. (310)
1 x Sect, No. 4 Coy/8th Bn. RA Lt. W. J. (William) St. John. (2 x 6-pdrs).
Basotho & Bataung Order of Battle at Berea
C-in-C: Chief Moshoeshoe (the Basotho Paramount Chief) [now regarded as King Moshoeshoe I].
2IC: Prince Letsie (the paramount's 'Great Son').
Aide: General Makoanyane (Moshoeshoe's best friend).
Possibly Chief Molitsane, although whether he was present is by no means certain.
Mounted Vanguard: c. 1,800 mounted warriors, being a mixture of Basotho and Bataung, the former under Prince Molapo and the latter under the sons of Chief Molitsane.
Main Body: c. 4,200 mounted warriors in three divisions, left, centre and right. The paramount’s half-brother Job Lelosa, his fourth son Prince Mayara, and Prince Nehemiah Sekhonyana, the only son of his third house, were all leaders with the Basotho centre or right flank divisions. Prince David Masopha, the third son of the paramount’s senior house, would seem to be the strongest candidate as the principal leader of the left wing, although it is not possible to pin his position down with any degree of certainty.
Reserve: c. 2,000 warriors on foot, screened behind Thaba Bosiu mountain.
Otherwise internal organization and sub-division of the Basotho force is substantially unknown. They fought as 'feudal' followings, so to speak, of the major regional chiefs, most of whom were relations of Moshoshoe. The next level of chiefs down would also have had significant personal followings, grouped together within the same regional formation. The basic fighting unit was not based on national age-group regimentation, something after the fashion of the Zulus, but on regional circumcision lodges. Thus they straddled an age range and were much smaller than Zulu amabutho or regiments.