The Orange Free State
The expense of maintaining the Orange River Sovereignty
proved too much for the British Government in London, and in
1854 the British withdrew from Bloemfontein, handing over
responsibility to the newly proclaimed Orange Free State
Republic of the Boers.
At first relations with Lesotho were cordial and at one
point Moshoeshoe himself was a guest in Bloemfontein, but
this did not last for long. The boundaries left undefined at
the time of the British withdrawal soon led to armed
conflict in Senekal's War of 1858. The result on the Basotho
side was loss of life and destruction of mission stations,
while the Orange Free State troops lost heavily in an ambush
near Thabana-Morena, in what is now the Mafeteng District.