Winston Churchill, in addition to his careers of soldier and politician, was a prolific writer under the pen name "Winston S. Churchill". After being commissioned into the 4th Queen's Own Hussars in 1895, Churchill gained permission to observe the Cuban War of Independence and sent war reports to The Daily Graphic. He continued his war journalism in British India, at the Siege of Malakand, then in the Sudan during the Mahdist War and in southern Africa during the Second Boer War.
In 1899 Winston Churchill, traveling as a correspondent for the Morning Post, was captured as a prisoner of war in Pretoria. The true-life story of the first five months of the Boer war and of his daring escape and adventures are chronicled here in correspondence and dispatches written during those times. From the author's introduction: "The stir and tumult of a camp do not favor calm or sustained thought, and whatever is written herein must be regarded simply as the immediate effect produced by men powerfully moved, and scenes swiftly changing upon what I hope is a truth-seeking mind." He described his impressions of the Boer army when he first saw it, as a recently taken captive: What men they were, these Boers! I thought of them as I had seen them in the morning riding forward through the rainthousands of independent riflemen, thinking for themselves, possessed of beautiful weapons, led with skill, living as they rode without commissariat or transport or ammunition column, moving like the wind and supported by iron constitutions and a stern, hard Old Testament God.