My grandfather was a Sapper in the 30th Company RE. Here is his view, from the ranks, of the activities of Crealock's column. Perception and fact aren't necessarily the same, but the view is interesting:
Three columns were organized as before, but with Col. Wood in charge of one, Gen. Newdigate of the second, and Gen. Crealock of the third, or coast column. This latter column was the one to which I belonged. We had to march parallel with the coast until we reached Point Durnford, and then strike off towards Ulundi, where it was arranged to meet the other two columns. But this arrangement was never carried out owing to Crealock's procrastinating disposition. We passed several weeks at the Tugela engaged in bridging and building forts that could have been better utilized in advancing on Ulundi. Then when we did make a move, we had to move slowly owing to the bad nature of the country by reason of combined wet weather. When we got to Port Durnford we engaged in a lot of ----- ----- building roads down to the beach and building forts, etc. The fact of the matter was Crealock was as cautious as Durnford had been rash. He would not move a peg until he had made every thing secure behind him, but for this there was really no necessity, and only led to a lot of irritation upon the part of men under him, who began to see that they would fail to be at the general wind-up at Ulundi.