Frederik J. Potgieter was a Transvaal serviceman from his 16th year and was part of the wars against the blacks and also of the first liberation war from 1880 to 1881.
In 1895 he was elected commandant over the Krugersdorp district. Six days after he was sworn in he received telegraphic instructions from the Commandant-general to call up his burgers to prevent the Jamesom raid.
After this he was in a battle against Malaboch and other black chiefs.
At the start of the war he joined General Meyer with his commando at Zandspruit and was part of all the battles that this commando was in action.
During the fourteen days of the battles of Tugela and Peters hill he was seriously wounded in the chest and was out of duty for eight months.
After the death of General Oosthuizen J.L. van der Merwe was acting commandant over the Commando of Krugersdorp but still consulted Potgieter on military matter because, although he was wounded he stayed with the commando.
In August 1900 he again took charge of his commando and operated in the western districts under General de la Rey.
In June 1901 he was appointed as magistrate over the Krugersdorp districts.
In February 1902he was taken prisioner with Commandant Alberts and sent to St Helena.