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Battle of Bloodriver / Geveg van Bloedrivier - Retief's Party

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  • Piet Retief, Voortrekker Leader (1780 - 1838)
    Voortrekker leader to Natal before OCT 1838, murdered by Zulu King Dingane. Bron: Pretorius in Natal by B. J. LIEBENBERG Added by Y. DROST SAG 2008, volume 16, pg 234 Piet retief * "Soetendal",...

Tregardt did not find the massacre site but found Sakana. Not trusting Sakana and believing him to be implicated in the disaster Tregardt cannily told him that he couldn't stay but would return with all his wagons which he would leave in his care while he continued the search.

Tregardt returned to Potgieter at the Zoutpansberg and informed him of his suspicions. Potgieter then rode South to bring up the main body of the Voortrekkers. Tregardt was to wait for more than a year.

Returning, they came upon the camp of a trek party that had crossed the Vaal (dark) River against instructions. All had been massacred. There was further bad news - a hunting party had been attacked by the Matabele and had fared badly.

The Matabele territory extended over 30,000 sq. kms and while Mzilikazi did not dislike white men, all who entered his kingdom were expected to enter through Kuruman where missionary Robert Moffat could screen them. Further, he was exceedingly sensitive about his Southern border, the traditional route of invading Zulu armies.


Survivors from the attack on the hunting party had warned the settler camp but were not believed. Riding on, they warned the next camp which took appropriate action by forming a laager at the bend on the Vaal River. 35 men succeeded in driving off 500 Matabele warriors who eventually retired to Mzilikazi's military kraal at Kapain with assorted wagons, stock and two white girls.

As Potgieter returned to his base on the Sand River, the Voortrekkers were retreating from their land as fast as their stock would allow and some were retiring still further, back to Blesberg where the second wave of the Great Trek had arrived.

The main project is here linked on the right.. The Object of the Project is to give an account of the Great Trek, Identify participants and explore where they went.

In time a number of other projects can be created to explore in more detail different aspects of the subject. For example - the Battle of Bloodriver could be sub project.

To participate in any project......


...... you do need to first be a collaborator - so join the project. Look at the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

In order to join the project use the drop down menu at the top left of the screen and Join the Project. If this option is not available to you then contact a collaborator and ask to be added to the project. As a collaborator you will be able to edit this page.

How to Participate

  • Please add the relevant profiles of those who participated on the Great Trek (not their entire descendants - only those who were actually involved!) This is easily done from the profile page using the Add to project link.
  • If you have any related queries please start a discussion linked to this project. (See the menu top right).
  • Please add related projects to the menu on the right.
  • If you have links to related web pages that would be of interest to others please add them in the relevant section at the bottom of the page.
  • Add any documents of interest using the menu at the top right of the page, and then add a link to the document in the text under the heading below. If you do not know how to do this please contact one of the other collaborators to assist you.