To conciliate the Boers of Zoutpansberg the new-born assembly at Potchefstroom appointed Stephanus Schoeman, the commandantgeneral of the Zoutpansberg district, commandant-general of the whole country.
This offer was, however, declined by Schoeman, and both Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg indignantly repudiated the new assembly and its constitution.
The executive council, which had been appointed by the Potchefstroom assembly, with Pretorius as president, now took up a bolder attitude: they deposed Schoeman from all authority, declared Zoutpansberg in a state of blockade, and denounced the Boers of the two northern districts as rebels.
The immediate followers of Pretorius now became extremely incensed at the action of the Lydenburg party, and a mass meeting was held at Potchefstroom (October 1860), where it was resolved that: (a) the volksraad no longer enjoyed its confidence; (b) that Pretorius should remain president of the South African Republic, and have a year's leave of absence to bring about union with the Free State; (c) that Schoeman should act as president during the absence of Pretorius; (d) that before the return of Pretorius to resume his duties a new volksraad should be elected.
Having driven Schoeman and his followers from Pretoria, Kruger invaded Potchefstroom, which, after a skirmish in which three men were killed and seven wounded, ' fell into his hands.
He then pursued Schoeman, who doubled on his opponent and entered Potchefstroom.
The Natal invaders fell back to the mountains which enclose the north of the colony; Oliver and Schoeman retired from Cape Colony before the small forces of Gatacre and Clements; and the presidents of the republics, realizing that the British Empire was capable of more resistance than they had calculated upon, put forward feelers aiming at the restoration of the status quo before the war.
President Boshof not only got together some eight hundred men within the Free State, but he received offers of support from Commandant Schoeman, the Transvaal leader in the Zoutpansberg district and from Commandant Joubert of Lydenburg.
The Zoutpansberg Boers formed a semi-independent community, and in 1857 Stephanus Schoeman, their commandant-general, sided against Marthinus Pretorius and Paul Kruger when they invaded the Orange Free State.