Troops were of course sent from England to maintain the British cause; and Sir George Colley, who enjoyed a high reputation and had experience in South African warfare, was made governor of Natal, and entrusted with the military command.
Wholly misralculating the strength of the Boers, Sir George Colley, at the end of January 1881, attacked them at Laings Nek, in the north of Natal, and was repulsed with heavy loss.
The following day the Boers attacked the hill, overwhelmed its defenders, and Sir George Colley was himself killed in the disastrous contest on the summit.
It is at all events abundantly clear that had the Boers not resorted to arms they would not have gained the support of the cabinet.4 Sir Evelyn Wood, who had succeeded Colley as general in command and governor of Natal, under instructions from home, concluded a treaty of peace on the 22nd of March.
Pomeroy-Colley, Cecil Rhodes, Paul Kruger and Lord Milner.