Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Middledrift Post
Middledrift district, Eastern Cape


A description of the military post at Middle Drift(sic) circa 1861 is contained in a short article by 'Little John', titled "The Neighbouring Out-Posts", published in the North Lincoln Sphinx. Footnotes in the original article have been incorporated into the text within brackets.

"This out-post lies in the valley of the Keiskama (sic), about seventeen miles (27.36km) to the south-westward of Keiskama Hoek (sic): it is within four hundred yards (365.76m) of the river, and takes its name from the drift across the stream, which is, as nearly as possible, half-way between King William's Town and Beaufort, the former place being twenty-eight miles (45.06km), and the latter twenty-seven miles distant (43.45km). The Fort is a small square redoubt; the Officers' Quarters and Guard-Room are constructed of brick, and the remainder of the Barracks of "wattle and daub". It was built about the end of 1852 or beginning of 1853 by a company of the 2nd or Queen's Regiment, and a party of the ROYAL ENGINEERS. There is accommodation for about eighty men, and the garrison at present consists of a company of the 2nd Battalion 10th Regiment, and a few Cape Mounted Riflemen who are principally employed as post-riders between the different frontier stations.

The country in the immediate neighbourhood is not remarkable for beauty of any kind, but about seven miles away on the road to Keiskama Hoek, near the ruins of Fort Cox, - which are perched upon a small hill at the mouth of the "Amatola Basin" (a spacious valley at the foot of the Hog's Back) – there is some really fine and striking scenery. Here commences the magnificent mountain-range of the Amatolas, which bound the view to the northward, eastward and southward by a series of wild and picturesque craggy peaks, - the principal of which are Gaika's Kop, the Seven-Kloof Mountain, the Hog's Back, the Thomas Mountain, the Kabousie, and the Tabandoda (the latter part of the more southernly or Iseli Range).

There are but four or five houses in the vicinity of Middle Drift, and no town or village nearer than Alice, which is distant about nine miles (14.48km) as the crow flies."

Transcribed from page 279 of:
The North Lincoln Sphinx - A Regimental Periodical 1860 - 1862; Reprinted by the State Library, Pretoria, 1968.
Originally printed for private circulation only, it was compiled by the Officers and Men of the Second Battalion of the Tenth Regiment of the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot and was printed on the Regimental Press, in Grahamstown and Keiskammahoek

Submitted by William MARTINSON.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books that reference Middledrift Post

Coetzee, Colin. 1995. Forts of the Eastern Cape : Securing a frontier 1799 - 1878. Grahamstown: Colin G Coetzee. pg 524, 526