Battle of Magersfontein
Meanwhile Methuen had received orders from Buller to go on to Kimberley as quickly as possible. With some 10 500 men, reinforced regularly, he managed to drive the Boers from their positions at Belmont (23 November 1899) and Graspan (Enslin or Rooilaagte) two days later. On 28 November 1899 Methuen and De la Rey again crossed swords at Tweeriviere or Modder River. The Boers again had to fall back when the Free Staters under Combat General J Prinsloo on the western flank left their positions thus exposing the other burghers to danger. The Boers now took up position at Magersfontein where Methuen attacked them on 11 December 1899. The unsuspecting British troops, with the Highland Brigade in the lead, walked straight into the deadly fire from the Boer trenches. Here the Boers suffered some 225 casualties while the British lost some 971 men.
Battle of Stormberg
On the southern front many Cape colonists, who sympathised with the Boer cause, joined the ranks of the Boer army. To quell this rebellious spirit and to restore some lost British prestige, Gatacre decided to attack the Boers at Stormberg with a force of approximately 5 000 men. On 10 December 1899 Gatacre came up against the Boers under General JH Olivier at Stormberg where between 700 -800 British soldiers were put out of action while the Boers lost 21 men - either killed or wounded. British reverses at Stormberg (10/12/1899), Magersfontein (11/12/99) and Colenso (15/12/99), became known as the "Black Week"