First shots at Kraaipan
The Boers were people who lived from the veldt and were frequently in conflict with the native people. For this reason they had to develop excellent protection and defense skills in order to survive.
The main weapons used were the Martini Henry. Other weapons were used from time to time. Gunpowder were stored in powder-horns. These were (as the name says) horns from animals either wild buck or cattle. A hole was made inside and a string attached. They also casted their own gun-barrels and bullets. The whole family were involved in the casting of gun-barrels, using flute reed/cane planted upright in the ground.
The Commandant was the leader of a commando and military leader of his district. A Veldkornet was appointed as spokesperson between the commandant and the soldiers. Everyone who could handle a weapon joined as a soldier during war situations. The ages of the soldiers varied from 16 to 60. This system was very informal and not really military. Unfortunately this also meant that military discipline was absent and usually men were chosen as leaders because of there seniority or position in private life and not because they were suitable. This costed the Boers dearly.
A Laager was ox-wagons drawn in the form of a circle. They made sure that they had a great view of their surroundings and defended themselves from inside. There were also women and children inside the Laagers. and they helped to load the weapons. They always sent out scouts to see if there is danger around.
According to the act of Commando's of the ZAR each Burger were always supposed to have the following ready, a horse with a saddle a riffle and 30 bullets and food for 8 day thereafter the government will provide. Boers in need were supplied by the necessary from Start by the government.