Buller, of whom so much was expected, had failed in his first attempt to measure swords with the burghers. His 19,000 men and forty-two guns fighting for six hours inflicted on the enemy a loss of less than two score. His casualties exceeded 1,100, he lost ten guns, and he then returned to the place from which he came.
The casualties among the Australian troops on the Gallipoli peninsula up to the same date amounted to 29,121 officers and men. On September 23, acting upon the advice of Premier Venizelos, King Constantine of Greece ordered a general mobilization of the Greek army, "as a measure of elementary prudence in view of the mobilization of Bulgaria."
The number of casualties on both sides was infinitesimal, and thus after eleven days' farce the Manchu dynasty found itself worse off than ever before.
The Highlanders were suffering the most heavily, their dark kilts showing up strongly against the light sandy soil, and while the Devons and Manchesters sustained but few casualties, they were dropping fast. They and the Manchesters were somewhat in advance of the Devons, who were guarding their flank, which was threatened by a large number of Boers gathered on the ridges on that side.
The result was that by the 24th the Austrians were practically cleared out of the country, and Vienna announced that the punitive expedition, which had cost 40,000 casualties and fifty guns, had accomplished its object.
The first week in this dreary spot passed uneventfully; the enemy guns and minenwerfer, the latter of the largest calibre, whose explosion was deafening, were active, but not unusually so, and up to the 15th the Battalion could congratulate themselves on an absence of casualties during the tour.
The small towns which they shelled were of no importance whatever from a military standpoint, and such casualties as resulted were insignificant as compared to the death roll that London might be expected to yield. A French squadron engaged in a raid of some consequence on April 16, 1915. Leopoldshoehe, east of Rurigue, fell a victim.
As the American troops were poured into the French and British trenches he began to find the names of many Harvard men among the casualties recorded in the Army and Navy Journal. But for all the sweat and blood the situation appeared unchanged, and he saw no prospect of the war's ending in the perceptible future.
The 8th Mounted Brigade, covering the retirement so successfully that the enemy knew nothing about it, held on in front of Beitunia till three o'clock, reaching Foka before dawn, while the 22nd Brigade remained covering the northern flank till almost midnight, when it fell back to Tahta. The Division's casualties during the day were 300 killed and wounded.
"We accounted for quite a few, but I'm sorry for our boys." Several of the Diamond X outfit had been grievously wounded, and one was killed outright. But the casualties on the side of the enemy were greater. The fight was over. The cattle of the boy ranchers were saved, and the rustlers captured.