MARCH AND OPERATIONS
ARMY OF THE INDUS,
EXPEDITION TO AFFGHANISTAN
IN THE YEARS 1838-1839.
ILLUSTRATED BY A MAP, *
VIEWS OF CANDAHAR, GHUZNEE, AND CABOOL, AND
THE HISTORY OF THE DOORANEE EMPIRE FROM
ITS FOUNDATION TO THE PRESENT TIME.
By MAJOR W. HOUGH,
48th Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry.
LATE DEPUTY JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE "BENGAL COLUMN, ARMY OF
THE INDUS;" AND AUTHOR OF PRACTICE OF COURTS MARTIAL,
AND SEVERAL OTHER WORKS ON MILITARY LAW.
Wm. H. ALLEN and CO.,
7, Leadenhall Street.
* Note - The map is not available on-line due to its large size.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
|1.--Address to the Earl of Auckland, Governor General of India,
|2.--Address to the Reader,
|3.--The Invasion of India, and its Defence,
|4.--Acknowledgments to Contributors,
|5.--Details of the "Army of the Indus;" and its Reserves,
|Chap. I.--March of the "Army of the Indus" from Kurnal to Rohree on the Indus--Movements of the Bombay Troops,
|Chap. II.--March from Rohree to Lower Sindh, and back to Sukkur, crossing the Bridge of boats--March to Shikarpoor-Movements of the Bombay Troops,
|Chap. III.--March from Shikarpoor to Dadur near the Bolan Pass-Movements of the Bombay Troops,
|Chap. IV.--March from Dadur--Through the Bolan Pass to Quetta,
|Chap. V.--Quetta, and march from it through the Kojuk Pass, to Candahar,
|Chap. VI.--Arrival at Candahar--Detachment sent to Girishk--Arrival of two grain convoys--Occurrences, &c.--Preparations to leave it,
|Chap. VII.--Description of Candahar,
|Chap. VIII.--March from Candahar towards Ghuznee,
|Chap. IX.--March on Ghuznee-Operations before; Assault and capture of the Fortress--Reports of operations-- Despatches, &c. &c.-Description of Ghuznee,
|Chap. X.--March from Ghuznee towards Cabool--Dost Mahomed Khan's flight--Pursuit after him--Arrival at Cabool,
|Chap. XI.--Arrival at Cabool---Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk's entry into the Capital--Return of party from the pursuit of Dost Mahomed Khan, unsuccessful--Medals proposed for the capture of Ghuznee--Arrival of Shahzada Timoor and Lieut.-Col. Wade with his Troops. Review of H. M.'s 16th Lancers--Review of the Bengal and Bombay Horse Artillery--Grand Review--Races at Cabool--Durbar-- The Dooranee Order--Attack on Ghiljies--Troops to remain in Affghanistan--Arrival of 2 treasure convoys-- Disposition of Troops in Affghanistan--Troops to return to India--Mahomed Hyder Khan, and Hajee Khan, Kakur, return to India,
|Chap. XII.--Description of the country of Cabool--Trade-- Fruits--Climate--Grain--The city of Cabool--Revenue--Population-Army-Provisions-Police,
|Chap. XIII.--March of the Hd. Qrs. and Troops returning to India, from Cabool, through the Khoord Cabool Pass--to near the Khyber Pass,
|Chap. XIV.--March through the Khyber Pass to Peshawer--The Khyber Pass and its defence--Payments to the Khyberees. Tax, or Toll, levied--Commercial and Military use of the Pass-Arrival at Peshawer,
|Chap. XV.--Peshawer described--Revenue--Troops--Attacks in Khyber Pass--Battle of Noushera (1823). Cross the Indus over a bridge of boats-Arrival at Attok,
|Chap. XVI.--March from Attok to Ferozpoor viâ the Punjab to--Rawul Pindee--The Tope of Muneekyala--Rhotas-- Jheelum--Loss in crossing the river---Cross the Chenab --The true site of Nica; Bucephalia; and Taxilla. Sir John marches to Lahore. Cross the Ravee--Rumour of attempt to rescue the state Prisoners--The visit at Lahore --Display of the Sikh Army and extensive Artillery--Their state of discipline and knowledge of tactics---Cross the Sutluj--Camp near Ferozpoor--Orders breaking up the "Army of the Indus"--The longest Indian march ever known--Sir J. Keane embarks on the river for Bombay, with Mahomed Hyder Khan--The Troops proceed to their destinations,
|Chap. XVII.--The History of the Dooranee dynasty, from its foundation (1747) to the present period,
|Chap. XVIII.--Tablet of routes of the Bengal column, from Kurnal to Cabool, and of Hd. Qrs., back to Ferozpoor-- Of the Bombay Column from the landing in Sindh, to Dadur--Of the Bombay Column from Cabool, by a new route, on its return to Sindh,
|No. I.--Proclamation declaring the object of the expedition into Affghanistan,
|No. II.--Report of the Envoy and Minister of arrival at Candahar,
|No. III.--Sir John Keane's order on arrival at Candahar,
|No. IV.--Report of arrival at Cabool,
|No. V.--G. O. by the Govr. Genl. of India regarding the termination of the expedition,
|No. VI.--Despatch regarding the operations and capture of Khelat,
|No. VII.--Honors conferred on Lord Auckland, Sir John Keane, and on officers of the Army of the Indus,
|No. VIII.--Lord Auckland's letter on the fall of Khelat to the Secret Committee of the E. I. Company,
|No. IX.--Letter of Lord Hill, Comg.-in-Chief H. M.'s Forces, to Lieut.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, regarding the capture of Ghuznee,
|No. X.--G. O. by the Comr.-in-Chief in India, expressive of the Queen's satisfaction (through Lord Hill) at the capture of Khelat,
|No. XI.--Directions regarding the Family Remittances of officers,
|No. XII.--The Queen's permission to wear the order of the "Dooranee Empire,"
|No. XIII.--List of officers killed, and who have died in the course of the expedition,
|No. 1.--Return of Death Casualties of Men, Horses, and Bullocks, in the Army of the Indus,
|No. 2.--Monthly numerical return of the Admissions into Hospital, and Deaths of the Bengal Column, Army of the Indus, for the year 1839,
|No. 3.--The range of the Thermometer during the year 1839,
|No. 4.--Barometrical heights in feet--Observations with an Englefield's Barometer, without an attached Thermometer,
|No. 5.--Return of Ordnance stores, and grain, captured at Ghuznee, &c. &c.,
|No. 6.--Return of a month's supply for the Army of the Indus,
|No. 7.--Return of Ordnance, Ordnance stores, Musket, Carbine, and Pistol Ammunition, and Powder, which accompanied the Bengal Park, Army of the Indus,
|No. 8.--Loss of public and hired cattle in the Bengal Column, "Army of the Indus." Also, the loss of cattle by officers and men in the Bengal and Bombay Columns, "Army of the Indus"--during the Affghanistan expedition,
|The Index after the Tables.
|The Errata last.
RT. HON. THE EARL OF AUCKLAND, G. C. B.
& c. &c.
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA.
I HAVE at length the satisfaction of presenting the "Narrative of the March and Operations of the Army of the Indus," which you did me the honor to permit me to dedicate to your Lordship.
2. The importance, in a political and military point of view, of the great measure of your Lordship's administration, by which an additional barrier against foreign invasion, has been secured to the North West Frontier of British India, has induced me to add to this volume, a History of the Dynasty of the "Dooranee Empire;" exhibiting the period of its foundation; the period and splendour of its rule; the dethronement of its sovereign, and loss of its most valuable provinces; the dismemberment of the remaining portion of the country and thirty years of anarchy and misrule: and finally, the restoration, under your Lordship's auspices, of Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk, to the throne of his ancestors.
3. May I be permitted to add--while the result of the expedition has obtained such present advantages, and has rendered an act of justice to a fallen monarch, who long lived under the protection of a liberal government--that I trust, under Divine Providence, the event may not only cause the regeneration of Affghanistan; but may, in future times, be attended with great commercial advantages to Great Britain.
I have the honor to be,
Your Lordship's faithful servant,
25th August, 1840.
I HAVE given to this work the title of the "March and Operations of the Army of the Indus," because it is not merely a "Diary." The details of the march and operations of an Army in the form in which I have given them, appeared to me to be the most simple method, and the notice, as they occurred, of the losses sustained in cattle, &c. by the State or by private individuals, has the advantage of identifying the places where the Army suffered most. The details of the losses sustained by an army marching into a foreign country, may be useful as guides for the future; and I am indebted to friends for many valuable tables to prove the amount in each case.
2. Had I the ability to give a comprehensive political view of so great an undertaking, still as the necessity for the measure is acknowledged by sound politicians, it were useless to argue the point in detail. If the article on the "Invasion of India," and the "History of the Dooranee Empire," will not satisfy the objections of another class of politicians, I plead my inability, on the present occasion, to do more than refer them to the "Parliamentary
1. "While you keep the pen of correction running over this work, cover its faults with the mantle of generosity."
Papers." I am of that class called "Whig;" and am of opinion that a mistaken policy towards Persia caused the expedition into Affghanistan.
The expense I believe, will be less than the admirers of another plan would suppose: but the cost should be referred to another period.
3. The nature of the country, in a great measure, prescribed the plan of our marches. Our operations were against fortresses, where the engineers, as a matter of science, had the chief direction of the mode of procedure, and as they declared only one form of attack was available under the existing circumstances, the execution of it only remained to be carried into effect. The daily description of the country we passed through, may serve to show by the relative position of our columns, the means to resist an enemy. If the reports of "advancing foes" often proved fallacious, such will be found to be the case in all warfare; it is wise to be prepared for their truth: but we must not condemn the "Politicals," because a rumour of such a nature proved untrue. Information obtained in a foreign country must often be uncertain; the parties giving it may have every inducement to be sincere; but, like Hajee Khan, Kakur, they may prove deceitful.
4. I have commented on several occurrences, from a desire to state, fairly, what took place, and I have endeavoured to do so with a view to elicit a consideration of what I have deemed erroneous, to prevent their recurrence; but without any intention of hurting the feelings of any one. Where any action of gallantry or conspicuous good conduct occurred, I have mentioned the name of the
individual, which is an act of justice. I have employed the most simple style, which is a type of the old-school: but, if I have rendered the work a useful record of facts, I shall be satisfied; and willingly concede to others, the ability to write in a more fascinating form.
5. From the nature of our operations, Cavalry were less employed than Infantry, the Affghan troops are chiefly composed of Cavalry, but do not equal the description given of the "Candahar Horse" of former days; though we had no opportunity of testing their military worth. The Ghiljies have proved themselves, of late, to be the boldest of the mounted troops of the country.
The European troops of our Army had no "rum" from the time we left Candahar, till a supply came from India, after the campaign. Owing to eating the fat Doomba mutton which is rich, and drinking the water of the country possessing an aperient quality, they suffered much from bowel complaints. Whatever may be the opinion of the "Abstinence Societies," all sound medical men declare the sudden deprivation of spirits to be injurious.
Now that the "Magnates" have received the meed of their merits, in the shape of Honors and Rank, it is to be hoped that the more humble officers, N. C. O. and soldiers may be honored with the "Medal" for the capture of Ghuznee, which his Affghan majesty designed to bestow, in high approbation of their services; while the public voice has sanctioned the justness of the expectation.
6. As it appeared to me that some account of a country so little known, and which has been the scene of our operations, should be afforded, and
having possessed the means of effecting such an object; I have in my XVIIth Chapter given the "History of the Dooranee Dynasty." It may, here, not be out of place, to show the ancient dimensions of the Empire; now reduced to the kingdom of Cabool and its dependencies.
|At the death of Ahmed Shah the founder (1747)
who died in 1773, the Empire was composed of:--
|Under Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk,
| 1. Neeshapoor.
|| 1. Cabool.
| 2. Meshid.
|| 2. Bameean.
| 3. Herat.
|| 3. Ghuznee.
| 4. Cabool.
|| 4 Candahar.
| 5. Balkh.
|| 5. Jellalabad.
| 6. Bameean.
| 7. Ghorebund.
| 8. Ghuznee.
| 9. Candahar.
|13. The Punjab.
|14. Dera Ghazee Khan.
|15. Dera Ismael Khan.
|19. The country as far E. as Sirhind.
THE INVASION OF INDIA, AND THE MEANS OF DEFENCE.
1. The Invasion of India, has been contemplated at various periods for more than half a century. Sir John McNeill2 states that Prince Nassau Siegen presented to Catherine of Russia in 1787, a project, drawn up by a Frenchman, for marching an Army through Bokhara and Cashmeer3 to Bengal, to drive the English out of India, this was to be preceded by a manifesto declarative of the intention to re-establish the great Moghul on the throne of India;4 and though Potemkin derided it, the plan was favorably received by the Empress: and has never been forgotten in Russia.
2. It is a singular fact that Zeman Shah,5 brother to Shah Shoojah, whom the British Government has just replaced on the throne of Cabool, should have twice (1797 and 1798) threatened the invasion of India; the last time accompanied with a letter addressed to the minister at Delhi
2. Progress and present position of Russia, (1838,) p. 46.
3. Then possessed by the Affghans, now belonging to the Sikhs. In our treaty with the Sikh government (25th April, 1809), it was provided (Article 1st) that "the British Government will have no concern with the territories and subjects of the rajahs to the northward of the river Sutlej." But for this article, the Sikhs never would have obtained possession of this valuable province.
4. Shah Alum was then in the hands of the Mahrattahs. The above measure, it was supposed, would secure the concurrence of the intermediate states, and attract all discontented spirits to the standard of Russia. The Shah was replaced on his throne in 1803, by the British Government.
5. He was dethroned in 1801, and blinded. Shah Shoojah succeeded him as king, and was dethroned in 1809. Both were pensioners of the British Government, till the result of the expedition placed Shah Shoojah, a second time, on the throne of Cabool.
declaring his intention of returning, on a more favorable occasion, to replace Shah Alum on his throne, and make the Mahomedan the paramount power in India. An ambitions Government would in 1838 have taken possession of Affghanistan, instead of adopting the more generous act of the restoration of a long deposed monarch. Both the above events caused great alarm in India, and occasioned a considerable increase in the Bengal Army.6
A Persian of rank was entrusted, by the Government of Bombay, with a letter to the King of Persia to endeavour to secure his aid, which was afforded in the shape of an attack on an Affghan province in Khorasan; which caused Zeman Shah's return from Lahore to his Capital.
3. The Government of India next determined to send an Ambassador to Persia. Sir J. Malcolm was selected. He left Bombay in the end of 1799, arrived in Persia in 1800, and in 1801, commercial and political treaties were signed between the British and Persian Governments. The invasion of Egypt by France about this period, with 40,000 men, though it failed in gaining the object intended, owing to our successes, ought to have opened the eyes of the ministry of that period, to the probability of an attempt to invade India by the way of Persia; but the opportunity was lost. This was the first error.
In 1805,7 the King of Persia being unable to cope with Russia, addressed a letter to Napoleon, desiring to form an alliance with France. M. Jaubert was sent to Tehran. Merza Reza, in return, went on a mission to Napoleon, accompanied him to Tilsit, and concluded a treaty, which was ratified at Fenkenstein in May, 1807. At the same time Mahomed Nebbee Khan was sent as Envoy to the British Government of India, to claim its assistance against Russia; but his mission was unsuccessful; and Persia losing all hope of support from her old ally, had no alternative but to throw herself into the arms of France.
6. The 4th Lt. Cavy., the present 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th and 35th Regts. N. I. were raised inconsequence.
7. McNeill, p. 55.
4. This was the second error in our policy towards Persia. There was also at this period, a secret treaty signed at Tilsit, between Napoleon and the Emperor Alexander, having for its object the invasion of India, each power to furnish 30,000 men. Napoleon was playing a double game. Probably his plans in Spain and Portugal prevented the execution of his designs on India on a great scale. Probably he was not desirous of sharing his conquest with Russia; and wished, by a successful invasion of Russia, to carry single-handed his views in the East. The next step of Napoleon was to send General Gardanne as Ambassador to the Court of the Shah. French officers were sent who first introduced European discipline into the Persian Army. French Engineers built the first regular fortifications.
5. In 1809 Sir J. Malcolm was sent on a second mission to Persia. On his arrival at Bushire he was denied permission to proceed to the capital, owing to French influence;8 in consequence he returned to Calcutta. Sir Harford Jones,9 who had been sent by the Court of London on a mission to Persia, was received at the Persian Court. The Shah apprehensive of the threatened hostilities from India, and more than all, the inability of the French Ambassador to perform the promises his master had made,10 secured to this mission a favorable reception, and ultimately forced the French Embassy to retire, and procured a Persian Ambassador to be sent to England. Sir H. Jones settled a preliminary treaty on the 12th March, 1809, to the following effect:11
8. He was told to communicate with the Viceroy at Shiraz, which he refused to do. It was expected that an Ambassador should be sent by the crown and not by the E. I. Company.
9. Since Sir H. Jones Brydges. He was (in January, 1809), entering, as he states, the harbour of Bombay just as Sir J. Malcolm had sailed from it.
10. Genl. Gardanne had persuaded the Shah to take a French subsidiary force, but Napoleon disapproved of the measure, which is most unaccountable.
11. And returned to England in 1811. A treaty founded on this was settled by Sir Gore Ousley, who was appointed Ambassador extraordinary from the king of England.
Article IV.12 "In case any European Forces shall invade the territories of Persia, His Britannic Majesty will afford a force, or, in lieu of it, a subsidy. That in case the dominions of H. B. M. in India are attacked or invaded by the Affghans, or any other power, H. M. the King of Persia shall afford a force for the protection of the said dominions."13
But, while the Government of India had, thus, secured the aid of Persia in case of the invasion of British India by the Affghans, or any other power, it was resolved to be doubly armed, on the present occasion, by having a treaty with the Affghans themselves. Accordingly, the mission of the Honorable Mr. M. Elphinstone was despatched to the Court of Cabool, which resulted in the following treaty.14
6. Article II. "If the French and Persians, in pursuance of their confederacy, should advance towards the king of Cabool's country in a hostile manner, the British state, endeavouring heartily to repel them, shall hold themselves liable to afford the expenses necessary for the above mentioned service, to the extent of their ability. While the confederacy between the French and Persians continues in force, these articles shall be in force, and be acted on by both parties."
So that, while the Government of India entered into a treaty with Persia to defend British India in case of its invasion by the Affghans, or any other power, it, at the same time, sent a mission to the King of the Affghans, and made
12. Parliamentary papers.
13. The definitive treaty, concluded at Tehran, by Messrs. Morrier and Ellis, on the 25th Nov. 1814, fixed the subsidy to Persia, if troops were not furnished, at 900,000 Tomauns (£400,000); but the late Abbas Mem, P. R. of Persia, in March, 1828, gave his bond cancelling the subsidy, provided £400,000 were given by the British Government to Persia, towards liquidating the indemnity due by Persia to Russia: this the king of Persia confirmed.
14. On the 17th June, 1809, at Peshawer. By Article III. the king of Cabool, Shah Shoojah, was to receive no individual of the French nation into his territories. He was shortly after dethroned, which annulled the treaty.
a treaty with him to protect India from an invasion by the French and Persians! While the British Government merely engaged to defend Persia against European enemies, and Affghanistan only against one European power!
7. Had the British ministry secured the advantages to be expected to result from the commercial and political treaties with Persia, settled by Sir J. Malcolm in 1801, they might have prevented the King of Persia, in 1805, seeking the alliance of France. Our expedition to Egypt had been crowned with success, and there was no war in India. But when in 1809, we obtained the dismissal of General Gardanne's Embassy, and induced a Persian Ambassador's being sent to England, then, at all events, was the time to have secured such a political and military alliance with Persia, as to have prevented Russian influence succeeding that of France. It must have been foreseen that, if remote France could gain an ascendancy in Persia, the proximity of Russia rendered it probable that she would exert a more direct and permanent ascendancy in the councils of the Shah.
As observed by Sir J. McNeill,15 "British replaced the French officers in the armies of the Shah, and taught them to combat, on several occasions with success, the battalions of the Czar." At this period too, France was amply engaged in Spain and Portugal.
8. In 1812, Russia was invaded by France. At this time though we were much engaged in the war in Spain and Portugal, still in India there was no war16 to have prevented our embracing so favorable an opportunity to strengthen our relations in Persia, and prevent Russian influence in that country.
As the greatest commercial nation in the world, it was to have been expected that such permanent relations would have
15. P. 60.
16. In 1810, the expedition to the Mauritius had captured that island. In 1811, we became possessed of Java. British officers were sent to accompany divisions of the Russian troops, engaged against the French.
been established in Persia as should have secured to the British nation, a paramount commercial influence; and by such means, some recognised principle of permanent political advantage.17 But the ministry of the day neglected British interests, and those of her ancient ally, and threw her on the mercy of Russia: this was not the Act of a Whig ministry.
In 1814, a treaty was concluded between Russia and Persia, by which the latter ceded to Russia, all her acquisitions South of the Caucasus, and engaged to maintain no navy on the Caspian; which now belongs to Russia: this we might have prevented. By the treaty of 1828 with Persia, Russia established the line of the river Arras (Araxes) as her frontier towards Persia.18
9. In 1833, several British officers were sent to Persia19 to discipline the king's troops. Had Abbas Merza lived, British influence would have prevented the march of a Persian Army to Herat in 1837. The present king of Persia, Mahomed Shah, eldest son of Abbas Merza, having inarched to Herat, the British officers in his service were not allowed to accompany the troops; and shortly after returned to Bengal.
Supposing the subsidy of 1814 to have been continued up to the year 1828, 5,600,000 were paid to Persia, and there have been several expensive Embassies;20 so that eight or nine millions sterling have been paid to our ancient
17. Our war with France, in Spain and Portugal was to support our commerce, and prevent the extension of Napoleon's "Continental System." Napier says (Hist. Peninsular War, Vol. 1, p. 3)--
"He prohibited the reception of English wares in any part of the continent, and he exacted from allies and dependants the most rigid compliance with his orders; but this 'Continental System,' as it was called, became inoperative when French troops were not present to enforce his commands."
18. The Persians to have no navy on the Caspian.
19. Col. Pasmore, (the late,) Majors Todd and Laughton of the Bengal army. They sailed from Calcutta, in July, 1833.
20. Sir H. Jones Brydges says, Sir J. Malcolm's two missions cost more than £262,000 alone!
ally, for which no adequate political advantage has been gained.
Sir J. McNeill states21 that the British imports into Persia the last two years amounted to 1½ millions, and the last year (1837) to nearly two millions. But it might be greater if we possessed more influence in that country.22
10. When Abbas Merza in 1828, cancelled the subsidy of 1814, with his father's consent, such a fact fully proved the hold which Russia had obtained on Persia, which a more liberal system might have averted. Persia had at one time consented to receive a French subsidiary force, and a British force would no doubt have been received, and at a time when the integrity of the Persian empire could have been assured. The years 1809 or 1812, would have been the best periods for such an arrangement, to have prevented the execution of the Russian and Persian treaty of 1814. But even in the year 1827, important service might have been afforded to Persia; and such a course would doubtless, have rendered our expedition into Affghanistan unnecessary.
11. The failure of the ministry of the above period to act with true policy towards Persia, and the advance of a large Persian army against Herat in 183723 imposed on
21. P. 119. He writes in 1838. The last two years must mean 1835 and 1836.
22. We have not very recently learnt what the Committee of Commercial men in Great Britain, &c. have effected towards the extension of trade to the East, &c.
23. Sir J. McNeill announced to Lord Palmerston that Mahomed Shah's army consisted of 45,000 men and 80 guns. There were besides one Russian Regt. and three European officers exclusive of those in the Russian corps, the staff of the Russian Envoy, and the Envoy himself was there aiding.
The Persian army drove in the garrison outposts at Herat on the 22nd Nov. 1837. There were two very large breaches, four smaller sized, and three difficult breaches; but they were not all practicable at once. On the 9th September, 1838, the siege was raised. The regular, or paid army of Herat was 8,000 men, but the whole city engaged in the defence. There were about 2,000 horse, and these were strong enough to prevent the Persians from foraging. All the guns (seven) were mounted on the walls.
the Government of India the necessity of sending the expedition into Affghanistan; since the fall of the above fortress, would have caused the whole of Affghanistan to become a Persian Province! Treaties had been tried since the year 1801, without success; because treaties, alone, were of no avail. I do not believe the expedition will cost above one-third of the money expended in Persian diplomacy.
If then it were good and sound policy, to prevent the conquest of Affghanistan, by Persia, the next consideration was, whether it were better to restore Shah Shoojah who had been deposed for 30 years, and thus add to the measure an act of justice; or to make Dost Mahomed Khan, an usurper, the head of the Affghan nation?
I think the former measure was the most advisable and legitimate one; as there would be a sense of gratitude to the British Government for its past liberal asylum to a fallen monarch;24 and kingly power was preferable to that of an usurper, whose rule was not by the choice of the people. To have made Dost Mahomed the head of the nation, and to have fully effected such a measure, we must have placed him in possession of Candahar, which would have involved a subsidiary force both at Candahar and Cabool, equal to the expense of the Shah's contingent;25 together with European political officers at both cities; as is now the case. But we could not have placed the same confidence in Dost Mahomed; and it was of importance that the head of the nation should not be on unfriendly terms with Shah Kamran of Herat.26
24. Who had received a pension from our Government for twenty-four years, as well as his brother Zeman Shah, a blind, and also a deposed monarch.
25. 6,000 men. Though there are more than 60 British officers employed in the Shah's service, many must have been employed in the other case. With respect to the British Regts. now in the country, some must have been employed to have aided Dost Mahomed to establish his rule at Candahar, &c.
26. Kamran had been accessary to the murder of Futeh Khan, (Vizier of his father, Mahmood Shah,) the brother of Dost Mahomed, which caused a deadly feud. While Shah Shoojah is Kamran's uncle, and is on friendly terms with his nephew.
12. The result of the expedition will prove, that the difficulties of the invasion of India are far greater than have been supposed. The British Army had the resources of the country at its command, or it never could have replaced a great portion of the 33,000 animals which died, &c. during the campaign.27 This an invading army from Persia could not reckon on. The friends of Shah Shoojah brought cattle to us. Were a Persian Army now to invade Affghanistan, the camels, &c. would be driven away.
We had two convoys of grain sent to our Army from our Provinces; but, had we not, through the Shah's possession of Candahar, obtained grain from the city (having only two or three days' supplies on our arrival) and the coming crops of grain, we must have been starved! The quantity of grain required for our small army,28 and the great number of cattle required for its transport, prove that the feeding an army, in a country where the people only grow enough grain for their own support, is one of great difficulty. We nearly starved the inhabitants of Candahar.
13. The greater the force sent to invade India, the more would the difficulties multiply. The Emperor Baber in 152529 invaded India the 5th, and last time, with only 12,000 men, including followers, and defeated Sultan Ibrahim, at Paneeput, at the head of an army of, it is said, 100,000 men! Baber had guns, the Sultan had not; and the troops of the former were better disciplined: but with Asiatic armies the first success often insured a victory, as in the above case, against very superior numbers. At Herat a Persian army of 45,000 men with 80 guns besieged that fortress for nearly 14 months, against a garrison of 8,000 men. Napoleon seems to have thought 60,000 men necessary. He failed in Egypt with 40,000 men.
27. See Table, No. 8, Appendix.
28. See Table, No. 6, Appendix.
29. Erskine's translation, pp. 293 to 304.
Sir J. McNeill supposes the Persians to attempt the invasion with a larger force still.30
The cavalry portion of an invading army would prove the most uncertain of reaching India, as every cavalry soldier requires for himself and horse six or seven times as much grain as the infantry soldier.31 I say grain, for the sheep would, as well as the cattle of the country, be driven out of reach. The British Government could collect on the Indus a much larger force than the invading one could bring to it, a considerable portion of which would be European Infantry. The native regiments in the Company's army, with European officers, are superior to any
30. He says, p. 120, "50,000 Persian Infantry, composed of what are perhaps the finest materials in the world for service in those countries, and disciplined by Russian officers, with about 50 guns of Persian artillery, in a high state of efficiency, and an almost unlimited number of irregular horse, could be put in motion by Russia, in any direction, within 12 months after the resources of the kingdom were at her disposal."
The late Lieut.-Col. Macdonald in his geographical memoir on Persia, (1813) p. 32, states, that the Persian standing army consisted of the king's Body Guard of about 10,000 men, and the Gholams (or royal slaves) at 3,000. The former were a kind of militia who lived in the capital or its vicinity. The latter in constant attendance on the king. That it was the number and bravery of the wandering tribes which constituted the military force of the empire. That when the sovereign was desirous of assembling any army, the chiefs of the different tribes were commanded to send to the royal camp a number of men, proportionate to the power and strength of his tribe. The army thus assembled was entirely irregular, chiefly consisting of cavalry. They seldom received either clothing or pay, and were only kept together by the hope of plunder. The late king (Futeh Ali Shah) as an extreme measure, might probably have been able to collect a force of 150,000, or 200,000 men.
To the cavalry, which was excellent, the rulers of Persia entrusted the defence of their dominions. Their arms were, a scimetar, a brace of pistols, a carbine, and sometimes a lance or a bow and arrows, all of which they alternately used, at full speed, with the utmost skill and dexterity. He states the revenue of Persia in 1813 at three millions sterling. It is now said to be about one and half million, so that Persia is a poor nation.
31. See Table, No. 6, Appendix.
troops in Asia, European excepted. The artillery of India is equal to any in the world perhaps, as the guns are chiefly manned by Europeans, and we could produce on the Indus, three times the number of guns any invading force could transport to the banks of that river.
14. Sir J. McNeill32 says, "the invasion of India by Russia from her present frontier is impracticable; or at least beyond all probability from the facility with which we could multiply impediments on so long and difficult a line, and our power to throw troops into India by sea, in a shorter time than Russia could march them by land,-- possessed of Herat, there will no longer be any insuperable impediment to the invasion of India."33 Herat is alone 370 miles from Candahar. If the reader will peruse with attention, the nature of the route from Shikarpoor to Candahar, he will perceive that owing to the want of forage, we were obliged to move our small army by separate columns, and at times, by small detachments! If he will also read the account of the return of Hd. Qrs. with less than 1,500 men, he will see that we were obliged to march in two separate columns, and that besides the cattle of officers and others, the Government lost 1300 out of 3,100 camels, on the march between Cabool and Peshawer, a distance of only 193 miles. His opinion will, therefore, be confirmed as to the utter impracticability of a large invading army reaching India; and I need not insist on the inutility of a small force. The other routes are now I believe, pretty well known, and offer many obstacles to an invading army.
15. When Baber invaded India in 1525, he was in possession of the intervening countries, so that we will suppose in the view taken by Sir De Lacy Evans34 a
32. P. 120.
33. He says, elsewhere, that on his arrival at Herat he was convinced (having before doubted the fact) that between it and Candahar, there would be no difficulty in procuring supplies. But from an account I have seen of the route, there are more difficulties than many suppose, and great want of forage and supplies for an army.
34. The practicability of the invasion of India, pp. 94 and 95.
start to be made from Khiva.35 He allows of two campaigns from Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand to the Attok. He says "Let us suppose, that early in the following year there are 10 or 15,000 Russians, with 20 or 30,000 newly organised troops, assembled between Balkh and the ancient Anderab at the foot of the mountain; smaller columns being directed towards the Passes leading to Peshawer and Cashmeer.36
"From Anderab, through the defiles of the Hindoo Koosh to Cabool, is 100 miles.37 From Cabool to Attok is about 23038 miles. It is strange if they cannot accomplish this within the second campaign."
But, as there would be some little to be done in Affghanistan, and in the Punjab, before they reached our frontier, and a strong one too, we will call the whole, the operation of three campaigns. In the meanwhile that admirable plan of the command of the navigation of the Indus would, by the aid of steamers, throw European troops into India, and, making certain allowances for losses in the invading army, we could present a larger army of fresh troops: while our plan would be, to harass the enemy by light detachments, at certain points; to cut off stores and baggage; and to drive off all the means of supplies; while the Punjab would offer many obstacles to the progress of an invading force.39
35. Consult the Map.
36. I beg him to read the invasion of Cashmeer in 1809.
37. "It was in commencing this march that Alexander caused the private baggage of the army to be burnt, the soldiers being overloaded with booty, according to Plutarch."
38. 238 miles.
39. The possession of India by Russia, as observed by a writer at Pondicherry, in 1838, would be of no commercial advantage, while Great Britain kept possession of the sea. Sir J. McNeil has, also, pointed out, that Circassia and Georgia would be the first sacrifices on the advance of Russia beyond her frontier with a large force. It is clear that the Navy of Great Britain would ruin the commerce of Russia; and that such a result would cause a revolution in that kingdom.
16. Looking at the result of the expedition in all its bearings, I think the operations have been attended with beneficial consequences. I have in my XVIIth Chapter given the History of the "Dooranee Empire" from its foundation (1747) to the present period; and while its distracted state, for 30 years, will prove the impracticability of the regeneration of the country under Dost Mahomed Khan, the good effect which has already flowed from the operations of the "Army of the Indus," by the restoration of a kingly Government, with every prospect of the re-establishment of tranquillity and prosperity in Affghanistan; cannot fail to render that kingdom, a real and efficient barrier against the invasion of India; for while it remained in an unsettled state, with a plundering and discontented population, it was desirable to remove the cause: unless, indeed, it be argued that it were a matter of indifference whether Dost Mahomed possessed the country; or that it should become a Persian Province. But, in a commercial point of view, the regeneration of our northwest frontier, is of the very first importance; and the constant intercourse between us and the inhabitants of those countries, cannot fail, ere long, to convince the people, that the change has, in every point of view, been for their benefit.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TO CONTRIBUTORS.
Sensible of the great advantages which the present work possesses by the contributions of many friends, I take this opportunity of returning my best thanks for the kind aid afforded me in the progress of the preparation of this volume; which is designed to be a record of our operations.
To Lieut. A. M. Becher, 61st Bengal N. I. and D. A. Qr. Mr. Genl., for a most valuable Map, tracing the routes of the Army.
To Lieut. H. T. Coombe, 1st Bengal European Regt., for the views of Candahar, Ghuznee, and Cabool.
To Lieut.-Col. Sir C. M. Wade, Knt. C. B. Resident at Indore, for materials for the continuation of the Dooranee Dynasty from 1809, &c.
To Jas. Atkinson, Esq. Suptg. Surgeon, Bengal Column, Army of the Indus, for a return of the admissions and deaths in Hospital, for the year 1839.
To Lieut.-Col. T. Monteath, C. B. 35th Bengal N. I. for a return of the sick in his Regt. at Cabool.
To Major P. Craigie, D. A. G., Bengal army, for a return of casualties in the Bengal Column, for 1839; and for access to the Genl. Orders of the Army.
To Major Sage, 48th Bengal N. I. late Post Master, Bengal Column, for the Register of the Thermometer for the year 1839; and also, for access to his Journal of the route, which I have made use of on many occasions.
To Dr. Jas. Thomson, 31st Bengal N. I. for the Register of the Thermometer at Quetta.
To Dr. Geo. Griffiths, Madras Army, for a copy of his Barometrical Heights.
To Capt. A. Watt, A. C. G. Bengal, for the return of a month's supply for the Army, &c. &c.
To Capt. E. F. Day, late Commissary of Ordnance, for the return of ordnance, ordnance stores, &c. taken with the Bengal Column.
To Lieut.-Col. N. Campbell, Qr. Mr. Genl. Bombay Army, for the routes of the Bombay Column.
To Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Burnes, Knt., (Bombay Establishment) for information on several subjects.
To the several officers who have afforded the returns of the loss of cattle, &c. &c.
The works of Sir A. Burnes, Dr. Jas. Burnes, K. H., and Major Jas. Outram; Major Leech and Dr. Lord's Reports, have been of great service to me.
Those of Sir John McNeill, Sir De Lacy Evans, and other authors referred to in the course of the work, I duly acknowledge: while the writings of the former, from his personal experience at the Court of Persia, for many years, are of paramount importance in regard to the position of Persia with reference to Russia.
I deem it a duty to acknowledge the above obligations, and I have always made it a rule to show the sources from which I draw my materials; by which I render justice to the authors, and add a value to the work, by the aid of so many authorities, which it, otherwise, would not possess.--W. H.
DETAILS OF THE ARMY OF THE INDUS; AND ITS RESERVES.
H. E. Lieut-Genl. Sir John (now Lord) Keane,40 K. C. B., and G. C. H. Comr.-in-Chief, Bombay Army. Comr.-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus.
Lieut.-Col. R. Macdonald, K. H., H. M. 4th Foot, (D. A. G. Q. T. Bombay) Offg. Mily. Secy. and A. D. C.
Lieut. E. A. W. Keane, H. M. 2nd Foot, A. D. C.
Capt. (now Major) Outram, 23rd Bombay N. I. Extra A. D. C.
Capt. T. S. Powell, H. M. 40th Foot, Persian Interpreter and Extra A. D. C.
Asst. Surgeon B. P. Rooke, Surgeon.
General Staff of the Bengal Column.
Major P. Craigie, D. A. G.
Major W. Garden, D. Q. M. G.
Capt. Geo. Thomson, Chief Engineer.41
Major J. D. Parsons, Dy. Commy. Genl.42
Capt. J. Patton, A. Q. M. G.43
Capt. A. Watt, D. A. C. G.44
40. Genl. (the late) Sir H. Fane, G.C.B. Comr.-in-Chief in India, was appointed Comr-in-Chief to the Army, but on the reduction of the Force, gave up the command to Major.Genl. Sir W. Cotton, who retained it till Sir J. Keane joined on the 6th April, 1839.
41. And of the Army of the Indus.
42. And General control of the Bengal and Bombay Depts.
43. Major W. Sage, 48th N. I. officiated till he joined.
44. Relieved Capt. H. R. Osborn, A. C. G. who was sick.
J. Atkinson, Esq. Suptg. Surgeon.45
Surgeon R. M. M. Thomson, Field Surgeon.
Asst. Surgeon M. J. M. Ross, H. M. 16th Lancers, Medical Store-keeper.
Capt. R. Bygrave, 5th N. I., Pay Master.
Capt. E. F. Day, Arty., Commissary of Ordnance.
Rev. A. Hammond, A. B., Chaplain.
Bt. Major W. Hough, 48th N. I., D. J. A. G. Dinapore and Benares Divisions,46 D. J. A. G.
Bt. Major W. Sage, 48th, N. I. Executive Officer Dinapore Division, Post Master.46
Capt. C. Troup, 48th N. I. Baggage Master.47
Lieut. J. Anderson, Engineers, Surveyor.
Lieut. H. M. Durand, Engrs. ditto.
Lieut. J. Laughton, ditto, Field Engineer.48
Lieut. R. D. Kay, Adjt. 2nd N. I., Offg. A. A. G.
Lieut. A. M. Becher, 61st N. I., D. A. Q. M. G.
Cornet W. F. Tytler, 9th Lt. Cavy., Offg. ditto,
Lieut. G. Newbolt, S. A. C. G.
Lieut. G. B. Reddie, ditto.
Lieut. R. S. Simpson, ditto.
45. Relieved Dr. Playfair who was sick. Surgeon Jas. Thomson, 2nd Lt. Cavy. officiated till relieved.
46. G. O. G. G. in C. 31st Aug. 1838. "Their full staff salary, provided that other officers are not appointed to officiate for them, and that they hold no staff situation in the Army with which they are serving. In cases where other officers may be employed to officiate, during the absence of staff officers (as above) a moiety of their staff salary will be drawn by the absentees, and the other moiety by the officiating officers." Staff officers whose Regts. were ordered on this service had notice of the fact; and with one or two exceptions they all joined.
47. Succeeded by Capt. J. Nash, 43rd N. I.
48. Appointed Garrison Engineer at Bukkur.
|Cavalry Brigade of the Bengal Column.
|Major Genl. J. Thackwell, K. H. Comg. the Cavy. of the Army.
Major Cureton49 16th Lancers, A. A. G.
Lt. Roche, 3d L. D., A. D. C.
Lt. Crispan, 2d Lt. Cavalry, Do.
|Col. Arnold50 H. M. 16th Lancers, Brigr.
Lt. Pattinson, 16th Lancers, A. D. C.
Bt. Capt. Havelock,51 H. M. 16th Lancers, M. B.
Bt. Major Hay, 2d Lt. Cavy. A. Q. M. Genl.
Lt. Reddie, S. A. C. G.
|2nd Regt. Lt Cavy.
H. M.'s 16th Lancers.
3rd Regt. Lt. Cavy.
4th Local Hor. and Dett. Skinner's 1st Local Horse.
Not attached to the Brigade.
|Lt. Col. A. Duffin.52
Lt. W. Persse.53
Lt. C. C. Smyth.54
Capt. J. Alexander.
|Artillery of the Bengal Column.
|Brigr. Stevenson, Bombay Artillery.
Bt. Capt. Backhouse, M. B.
Capt. E. F. Day Commy. of Ordnance.
Lt. Newbolt, S. A. C. G.
|2nd Troop, 2nd Brigade H. A.
4th Co. 2nd Bn. Arty.
2nd Co. 6th Bn. (Camel battery.)
|Capt. C. Grant.
Capt. A. Abbott.
49. Succeeded by Capt. Bere, 16th Lancers, at Cabool.
50. Ditto by Lieut.-Col. Persse, on Brigr. A.'s death.
51. Ditto Capt. F. Wheler, 2nd Lt. Cavy.
52. On his death, Major Fitzgerald commanded, till Major Salter joined.
53. Succeeded by Major McDowell, and then by Major Cureton.
54. Major Angelo commanded till he joined.
55. Brigr. Graham was appointed Brigr. but Brigr. Stevenson, Bombay Arty., being senior, commanded the whole of the Artillery, and Major Pew the Bengal Arty. Brigr. G. did not go.
|Infantry Division, Bengal Column.
|Major Genl. Sir W. Cotton, K. C. B. and K. C. H.56
Capt. W. Cotton, 44th Foot, A. D. C.
Capt. Havelock, H. M. 13th Lt. Infantry, A.D.C.57
Capt. J.D. Douglas, 53rd N. I. A. A. G.
Capt. J. Patton, (4) A. Q. M. G.
Lt. Laughton, Fd. Engineer.
Capt. A. Watt, D. A. C. G.
Col. Sale, C. B. H. M. 13th Lt. Infantry, Brigr.
Lt. Wood, H. M. 13th Lt. Infy. A. D. C.
Bt. Maj. Squires, H. M. 13th Lt. Infantry M. B.
Lt. Simpson, S. A. C. G.
Maj.-Genl. Nott,58 Brigadier.
Lt. Hammersly, 41st N. I. A. D. C.
Capt. Polwhele, 42nd N. I. M. B.
Lt.-Col. Roberts, Eurn. Regt. Brigr.
Lt. Gerrard, Eurn. Regt. A. D. C.
Capt. Tayler, Eurn. Regt. M. B.
|16th Regt. N. I.
H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.
48th Regt. N. I.
42nd Regt. N. I.
31st Regt. N. I.
43rd Regt. N. I.
35th Regt. N. I.
1st Eurn. Regt.
37th Regt. N. I.
Two Cos. Sappers and Miners.
Lt.-Col. J. Thompson.59
Lt.-Col. Orchard, C. B.
Lt.-Col. Herring, C. B.
Engrs. and Lieuts. J. L. D. Sturt. N. C. Macleod. R. Pigou. J. S. Broadfoot. Dr. F. C. Henderson.
56. Commanded the Bengal Column till Sir J. Keane joined; and then Maj.-Genl. Nott commanded the division.
57. Maj.-Genls. Comg. divisions had a 2nd A. D. C, and Brigrs. one A. D. C.
58. Commanded the 2nd Brigade, when Genl. Nott commanded the division, when Major Tronson commanded the Regt.
59. Major Weston (on the Lieut.-Col.'s death) who commanded it at the storming of Khelat.
The Bombay Column Army of the Indus. Major-Genl. Willshire, C. B. Commanding the 2nd Division of the Army.
Major Keith, D. A. G.
Capt. Hagart, A. A. G.
Major N. Campbell, Actg. Qr. Mr. Genl.
Lieut. J. Ramsay, D. A. Q. M. G.
Capt. A. C. Peat, Chief Engineer.
-----D. Davidson, senior A. C. G.
----- Stockley, S. A. C. G.
Lieut. Threshie, ditto.
----- Wardell, Actg. ditto.
----- Hogg, S. A. C. G. charge of bazars.
Capt. Swanson, Pay Master.
-----Warden, Commy. Ordnance.
----- Bulkley, D. J. A. G.
Lieut. Jephson, Post Master.
-----North, Field Engineer.
----- Marriott, ditto.
R. H. Kennedy, Esq. Suptg. Surgeon.
Surgeon Pinkey, Field Surgeon.
Asst. do. Don, Medical Storekeeper.
Rev. G. Pigott, Chaplain.
Ensn. Malcolm, Baggage Master.
|Cavalry Brigade, Bombay Column.
|Major General Thackwell, K. H.
||Lt.-Col. J. Scott, H. M. 4th L. D.
Lt. Campbell, 4th L. D., A. D. C.
Capt. Gillespie, H. M. 4th L. D., M. B.
|Wing H. M. 4th L. D.
1st Lt. Cavalry.
Poona Local Horse, (unattached.)
Lieut.-Col. Sandwith, Brigr.
Major D. Cunninghame.
|Artillery of the Bombay Column.
||Lt.-Col. Stevenson, Brigadier.
Lieut. Woosnam, A. D. C.
Capt. Coghlan, M.B.
|3rd Troop, H. A.
4th Ditto ditto.
Horse Field Battery ditto.
|Infantry of the Bombay Column.
|Major General Willshire, C. B. Comg. 2nd Division, Army of Indus.
Capt. Robinson, 2nd Queen's, A. D. C.
Lt. Halkett, do. do.
|Col. Baumgardt, 2nd Queen's Brigr.60
Capt. Kershaw, H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. A. D. C.
Capt. Wyllie, 21st Regt. N. I. M. B.
|H. M.'s 2nd Q.'s Royals.61
H. M.'s 17th foot.62
19th Regt., N. I.63
Sappers & miners.
Lt. Wemyss Engrs.
|Shah Shoojah-Ool-Moolk's Force.
||Major General F. H. Simpson, Comg.64
Capt. Griffin, 24th N. I., A. D. C.
Capt. McSherry, 30th N. I., M. B.65
1st Regt. Cavy.
1st Regt. Infy.
4th Lt. Infy. Regt.
5th Regt. Infy.
|Capt. W. Anderson, Bengal H. A. Comg.
Lt. Cooper, ditto.
Lt. Turner, ditto.
Capt. Christie, 3rd Bengal Cary.
Capt. W. Anderson, 59th Bengal N. I.
Capt. Bean,66 23rd Bengal N. I.
Capt. Macan, 16th N. I.
Capt. Craigie, 20th N. I.
Capt. Hay, 1st Ruropean Regt.
Capt. Woodburn, 44th N. I.67
60. Appointed Brigr. at Candahar.
61. Belonged to the 1st Brigade.
62. Ditto to the 2nd Brigade.
63. Ditto ditto.
64. Succeeded by Brigr. Roberts.
65. Ditto by Capt. Troup, 48th N. I.
66. Capt. Griffin, 24th N. I. in command.
67. The Shah's Contingent has two troops of Horse Artillery; and since the arrival at Cabool, Garrison Artillery has been formed at Ghuznee with a mountain Train of 12 3-Prs. There are also, Affghan and Kohistan levies amounting to about 4,000 men, principally horse. 2 Local corps of Infantry besides the king's guards; all commanded by British officers. So that the Shah's own force amounts to about 13,000 men; while, including the British force, (H. M. 13th Lt Infy. and 1st Bengal Eurn. Regt., 2nd Regt. Lt. Cavy., the 2nd, 16th, 35th, 37th, 42nd, 43rd and 48th N. I., the 4th Co. 3rd Bn. Arty. (European), 4th troop, 3rd Brigade H. A., and the camel battery (natives); there is an organized force in Affghanistan, of 20,000 men, with between 70 and 80 guns including the mountain train, forming a much larger, regular, and superior force both at Candahar and Cabool, than in the time of Dost Mahomed.
Shahzada Timoor's Force, under Lieut.-Colonel Wade. Lieut. J. D. Cunningham, Bengal Engineers, Mily. Secy. and Political Assistant.
|Artillery.--Two 24-Prs. Howitzers and two 6-Prs. (and 20 Swivels), under Lieut. Maule, Bengal Artillery,
|British.--2 Co.'s 20th (Capt. Ferris) and 2 Co.'s 21st N. I. (Capt. Farmer),
|Cavalry.--Mahomedans armed with swords, shields and matchlocks 400--irregulars 600,
|Juzzailchees (rifles), 320. Infantry (matchlocks). Regulars 3 Bns. (683)--2,040. Irregulars 820,68
British officers with these troops and commanding parties, Lieut. F. Mackeson, 14th;69 Lieut. Rattray, 20th; Lieut. J. G. Caulfield, 68th; Lieut. Hillersden, 53rd Bengal N. I., and Dr. Lord70 Bombay establishment, Dr. Alexander Reid, Bengal establishment, in medical charge.
68. Under native Commandants.
69. Political Assistant.
70. Ditto to Lieut.-Col. Wade.
The Sikh Contingent with the Shahzada's Force, under Colonel Shaikh Bussawun.
|Artillery. 1 Howitzer and 1 Mortar (French Legion). Horse Artillery guns (8--6-Prs. and 2--9-Prs.) 10,
|Cavalry.--1 Squadron of Cavalry (French Legion) half Lancers and half Dragoons,
||1 Battn. of 5 Cos.,
||2 Battns. (529 and 522),
||2 Cos. Poorubees, (Hindustanees,)
|Cavalry.--Missildars (feudatories) Moosulmans,
||2 Bns. Nujeebs (820 and 455),
||1 Corps of Hill Rangers, Rajpoot, and Moosalmans, from hills N. of Sutluj,
||1 Battn. of Ramgoles,71
||Pioneer, or Beldars,
|Cavalry, (Regular 174--Irregular 893,)
|Infantry, (Ditto 1868--Ditto 2,961,)
71. Aligoles are Moosulman soldiers. The Sikhs (or Hindoos) call them Ramgoles.
Lieut.-Col. Wade's Force.
|Shahzada Timoor's Force, (4,470)
|Sikh Contingent, (6,146)
Average strength of Corps, &c. of the Bengal and Bombay Columns which marched into Affghanistan.
||The Park not brought on to Candahar.
| Field Pieces,
|Camel Battery, (native) 9 do.
|1 Troop Horse Artillery, 6 do.73
||--2 Troops H. A. 6-Prs.
|1 Co. Foot Artillery, 6 do.73
||--2 Field Batteries,77
||Horse, and foot74
||1 Eurn. Regt.
||Wing Eurn. Regt.,
||2 Native ditto,75
||1 Native Regt.
||1 Regt. L. H. & Dett.
||2 Eurn. Regts.
||2 Eurn. Regts.
|7 Native ditto,76
|Sappers and Miners (native),
||Sappers and Miners (native),
72. Left at Candahar.
73. Howitzers included.
74. Left at Candahar.
75. Did not take their recruits.
76. Ditto, nor additional men per Company.
77. One Battery, drawn by mules, left at Quetta
Recapitulation of the Force.
|Bengal and Bombay Columns,78
|Shahzada Timoor's and Sikh Contingent,
|Bengal and Bombay Artillery, Horse 400--Foot 400,
|Sappers and Miners.
|Shah Shoojah's Force,
|Force to act viâ Candahar and Cabool, total,
|Shahzada Timoor's, and Sikh Contingent, to act viâ Khyber Pass and Cabool,
|Left at Bukkur, &c. under Brigr. Gordon, 1st Grenrs., 5th and 23rd Bombay, N. I.,
|Sindh Reserve force under Brigr. Valiant, K. H. 40th Foot.
At Kurachee--(with the park.)
|Artillery.--3rd Co. 1st Bn. Arty. and 5th Co. Golundaze Bn.,
| Detail on Pioneers
| H. M.'s 40th Foot,
| 2nd Grenrs., 22nd and 26th Bombay N.I.,
78. Or 56 for the Bengal and Bombay Columns, including mortars and howitzers. The Shah's two troops (12 guns, &c.) of Horse Artillery had not joined. Therefore add 18 guns, &c. to the 70, making a total of 78 guns, &c. for all the forces.
|Major General Duncan's Reserve Force at Ferozpoor.79
|Artillery.--3rd Troop, 2nd Brigade, H. A. and 3rd Co., 2nd Bn. Arty.,
|Cavalry.-- Skinner's Hd. Qrs. Local Horse,
|Infantry.--3rd Brigade, 27th N. I.; H. M.'s 3rd Buffs; 2nd N. I.,
|5th Brigade 5th N. I.: 20th N. I.; and 53rd N. I. (Bengal,)
|Total forces, for the operations in Sindh and Affghanistan, (See also page 5 of the work.)
N. B. The total force now in Affghanistan, (including British troops) 20,000 men, and 70 to 80 guns. See note 67.
79. These corps had their recruits with them.
MARCH AND OPERATIONS
ARMY OF THE INDUS.
1. Kurnal (31st Oct. 1838).--The restoration of His Majesty Shah Shoojah-Ool-Moolk to the throne of Cabool having been determined on by the Government of India, a proclamation was published, dated the 1st October 1838, explaining the motives of the British Government in undertaking the expedition into Afghanistan.1 The Governor General (Lord Auckland) had on the 10th Sept. directed the formation of an Army to be employed on the expedition into Afghanistan; and the Commander-in-Chief in India, (General Sir H. Fane) issued orders dated 13th Sept. 1838, appointing the several regiments to compose the army, to rendezvous at Kurnal:--while His Excellency was himself solicited to assume the command.
2. March to Ferozpoor.--The troops were directed to march from Kurnal to Ferozpoor, in the following order. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades of Infantry to march on the 8th and 9th Nov. by Kythul, 16 marches. The 4th and 5th Brigades on the 8th and 9th, viâ Kotla Mullair, 17 marches. H. M. 16th Lancers and 2nd Lt. Cavy. from Delhi, on the 4th Nov. viâ Termana, Nughara, Moonuk, &c. The 3rd Lt. Cavy. the Arty, and 21st N. I. (the latter not attached
1. See Appendix, No. I, Copies were sent to Dost Mohammed Khan, to the Ameers of Sindh, to Maharajah Runjeet Singh the ruler of the Sikhs, to Shah Kamran of Herat, and to the Native powers of India generally; while Shah Shoojah addressed the Chiefs of Kandahar and of the Ghilzye country; and issued a Proclamation on entering Affghanistan.
to the force) marched on the 8th Nov. viâ Umballah and Loodianah to Ferozpoor; 18 marches: and by the 29th Nov. the whole were assembled in one camp.2
3. Ferozpoor (29th Nov. 1838).--The whole of the troops were encamped to the W. and N. W. of the town,3 and the camp of the Governor General, who had come to be present on the occasion and to have an interview with Maharajah Runjeet Singh, was pitched some distance to the N. W. of the army, and about four miles from the Ghat on the left bank of the Sutluj, over which His Highness had thrown a bridge of boats, and on the right bank of which were the camp of the Maharajah and of the Sikh troops.
Before the march of the Army from Ferozpoor, Lord Auckland received a visit, in state, from the Maharajah, which his Lordship returned in due form; and the "Army of the Indus" then amounting to between 14 and 15,000 men, commanded by H. E. Sir H. Fane, in person, passed in review before the Sikh Chieftain and the Governor General, and performed a series of movements. The Sikh army, consisting of 25 or 30,000 men, commanded by one of their Generals, was, on a subsequent day, paraded in review order before Lord Auckland and Sir H. Fane, and performed many manoeuvres in very good style.
4. Reduction of Force (30th Nov. 1838).--The following notification, dated Ferozpoor, 30th Nov. 1838, in the Secret Dept., by the Governor General of India, was published on the 4th Dec. by H. E. the Commander-in-Chief in India. "The retreat of the Persian Army from before Herat having been officially announced to the Government as notified to the public on the 8th instant,4 the circumstances no
2. A detail of the Regiment and Brigades, &c. is given in the introduction.
3. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Infantry Brigades were in one line. 1st Infantry Brigade, the Cavalry Brigade and Skinner's horse were in another line, on the right, thrown back.
4. The king of Persia raised the siege on the 9th Sept 1838, and marched from Herat towards his Capital. It was known to Government about the 22nd Oct.; but Runjeet Singh transmitted the intelligence in a letter from Peshawer, dated the 10th October 1838.
longer exist which induced the Right Honorable the Governor General to solicit a continuance of the services of H. E. the Commander-in-Chief, with a view to his conducting military operations to the west of the Indus." H. E. therefore published the following order, that "under these altered circumstances the command of the detachment of the Bengal army is to be assumed by Major General Sir W. Cotton, K. C. B. and K. C. H. and in an order dated the 11th Dec. 1838, directed that, "under the orders of the Right Honorable the Governor General, the 2nd division of Infantry of the Army of the Indus is to remain till further orders near the Sutluj, the Head Quarters at Ferozpoor; and to facilitate supplies, the 5th Brigade and the troop of H. A. may be placed at Loodianah, the other Brigade, and field battery, to remain at Ferozpoor." This reduced the army to about 9,500 men.5
5. Shah Shoojah's Force.--A Force had been raised for Shah Shoojah only about five months before, the contingent consisting of 6,000 men,6 officered by British officers; the whole commanded by Major General Simpson. This force, as intended, preceded the march of the Army. The Shah quitted Loodianah on the 15th Nov. and proceeded to Ferozpoor, from which he marched on the 2nd Dec. with the contingent, while the British army did not leave Ferozpoor till the 10th Dec. 1838.
6. The Sikh and Shazada's Forces.--Maharajah Runjeet Singh having signed the treaty by which he agreed to furnish his quota of troops,7 it was decided that after the
5. To decide upon the Brigades, &c. to be left behind, lots were drawn; and the 3rd and 5th Brigades of Infantry (including H. M.'s 3rd Buffs) the 3 T. 2 B. H. A., 3rd Company, 2nd Battn. A, and Skinner's 1st Local horse, were destined to remain at Ferozpoor.
6. 2 Regts. of Cavy; of 1,000 each, and 5 of Infy. of 800 men each with a troop of horse Artillery. In one Regt. there were 200 Ghoorkhas afterwards increased to 400; and more of that excellent claw of soldiers are being entertained. There are two British officers to each corps, the rest being native officers.
7. Though Runjeet Singh was willing to aid Shah Shoojah in his restoration, as evinced by the treaty of 1834 between them, still he did not like to have a British force march through his country, and he remarked that "he had been for many years adding to his dominions; but that this expedition would prove a bar to future conquests." But he did more than fulfil his engagement by the amount of force which he furnished. The treaty was tri-partite, the parties being the British Government, Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk and Runjeet Singh.
army had marched, the Governor General should pay a visit to His Highness at the court of Lahore, and the 21st N. I. and other troops accompanied his Lordship as an escort. On the 6th Dec. Lieut.-Col. Wade, Political Agent at Loodianah, left that place to proceed to Lahore to introduce Shahzada Timoor (Shah Shoojah's eldest son) to Runjeet Singh: and after the Governor General quitted Lahore, the Lieut.-Col. moved to Peshawer with the Shahzada for the purpose of forming and organizing a force of about 4,800 men,8 with British officers; the whole to be under the Colonel's command. Two companies of British N. I. formed part of the forte, and of the personal guard of the young prince.
The Sikh contingent, amounting to about 6,000 men,8 was assembled under General Ventura, at Peshawer. Both bodies were composed chiefly of Mahomedans, as the Sikhs were known to be disliked by the Afghans, as well as by the Khyberees through whose country and the famous pass, lies the road between Peshawer and Cabool. The general political and military control was vested in Lieut.-Colonel Wade: while a Sikh army of observation, under Koonwar Nao Nihal Singh,9 was assembled on the frontier at Peshawer. The Shahzada's force was organized by the 7th, and by the middle of May 1839, both forces were prepared to commence operations.
7. The Bombay Force.--The Government of India had directed the formation of an army at Bombay consisting of about 5,600 men,10 which, under the command of H. E. Lieut.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, Commander-in-Chief,
8. See the introduction for the details.
9. Grandson of Runjeet Singh, and son of the present Maharajab Khurruk Singh.
10. See the introduction, for details.
Bombay Army, was to land in Sindh, with a view to compel the Ameers of Hyderabad to sign a treaty agreeing to pay Shah Shoojah a certain sum in consideration of tribute due to him, and for the purpose of obtaining the free navigation of the river Indus; and to aid if required in the operations of the Army of the Indus in Affghanistan.
The Head Quarters embarked at Bombay on the 21st and reached the Hujamree mouth of the Indus on the 27th of Nov. 1838, where they found Major General Willshire, and a portion of the 1st Brigade; and the rest of the troops landed at Vikkur near the mouth of the Indus, on the 30th Nov. 1838, with the loss of some horses. "No preparations whatever had been made by the Ameers of Sindh, either for carriage for the troops, or for provisioning them."11
8. Total Bengal and Bombay, &c. Forces.--It being found necessary to send more troops to Sindh, a reserve force of about 3,000 men was despatched from Bombay, and landed at Kurachee on the 3rd Feb. 1839, after a slight resistance.12
I will here give a summary of the whole of the troops which were available for employment in the Afghanistan expedition.
|1st.--The Army of the Indus (Bengal) under Major General Sir W. Cotton,
|2nd.--Major General Duncan's reserve division, at Ferozpoor, &c.,
|3rd.--Shah Shoojah's Contingent,
|4th.--The Bombay force under H. E. Lieut. Genl. Sir J. Keane,
|5th.--The Bombay reserve Sindh force,
|To act in Sindh and in Afghanistan,
11. See Capt. Outram's narrative. He was an extra A. D. C. to Sir J. Keane.
12. H. M.'s Ship Wellesley, 74 guns by her fire, nearly destroyed the fort; upon which the troops landed without further opposition.
|6th.--The Shahzada's force,
|7th.--The Sikh Contingent,
|To move from Peshawer on Cabool,
|8th.--The Sikh army of observation at Peshawer13
9. Herat, if threatened.--Though the Bombay force under Lieut.-Genl. Sir J. Keane had to settle affairs with the Ameers of Sindh, still the main object of the expedition was to replace Shah Shoojah on the throne of Cabool, and to settle the country of Afghanistan. Now, though the Persian army had marched from Herat, still there was a contingency to be provided for in case of its falling into the hands of enemies; for owing to the gallant defence of the place, under the skill and science of Lieut. (now Major) Pottinger of the Bombay Artillery, and the long protracted siege of nearly a year, some danger was to be apprehended for its safety.14 In the event, therefore, of it being deemed advisable to detach a force to its aid, instructions were given by the Governor General to do so; provided that the sending such force did not compromise the ulterior design of the expedition in Afghanistan--the securely re-seating Shah Shoojah on the throne at Cabool.
10. Disposable Force.--Of the 28,350 men above detailed, about 19,000 actually marched through the Bolan Pass into Afghanistan,15 so that there were 9,350 men to form the force to be left in Sindh, and for Depôts between it and the pass, and including General Duncan's division; for the troops under Lieut.-Col. Wade, were to operate in a different
13. This was beyond his promise, see note 7.
14. It was afterwards ascertained that there were seven breaches in its walls, the fort almost in a defenceless state; and the inhabitants were almost starving, the country having been laid waste all round the place.
15. 9,500 under Sir W. Cotton, Shah Shoojah's of 6,000 and Sir J. Keane's of 3,500; total 19,000 men, from which we could not safely have spared any sufficient body of troops.
direction16 and were not available. So that it might have been practicable to send about 4 or 5,000 to Herat, and as the army did not leave Candahar till the 27th June, 1839, such an object might have been attained, as far as time and troops were concerned; but the difficulty would have been to furnish carriage for the stores, baggage, and provisions of such a force. The Bombay troops on landing in Sindh, found no carriage or provisions had been furnished by the Ameers.17 Had it been necessary to detach any force to Herat, the circumstances under which such necessity existed, would have, most probably, caused delay in the operations in Sindh, by giving confidence to the Ameers; and might have induced them to resist our demands, and thus have rendered it necessary to attack Hyderabad; after which the Bengal column might have marched on Candahar, and have there awaited the arrival of the troops destined to march to Herat, distant 370 miles. I state this to prove the importance due to the defence of Herat, and to show that it is easier to furnish troops, than to feed them, and carry the munitions of war!
11. March of the Army of the Indus from Ferozpoor18
16. The Bengal troops were to move S. W. from Ferozpoor to Sindh and thence N. W. The Bombay troops to move N. on landing, and through Sindh, while Lieut.-Col. Wade was to move from Peshawer more than six degrees N. and a little E. of Shikarpoor, which is nearly on the N. frontier of Sindh.
17. See para. 7.--There had been a famine in the N. W. Provinces of India in 1838, and the collection of grain to any great extent was a difficult operation. The districts from which camels are procured, had been drained by the great demands of Government and private individuals for carriage, so that, as the Bengal Commissariat must have supplied carriage for the additional 4 or 5,000 men, and had been called on to furnish camels, &c. for Sir J. Keane's force, it would not have been easy to have answered the demand.
18. The Journal of the route from Ferozpoor to Cabool with the Army, and that from Cabool back to Ferozpoor with the troops which returned with Sir J. Keane and the Bengal column Head Quarters, as well as that of the Bombay column through Sindh to Dadur (whence they followed the route of the Bengal column to Candahar, &c.) will be found at Chapter 18. The route of Lieut.-Col. Wade from Peshawer to Cabool, and that by which we returned, were the same.
(10th Dec. 1838.)--Preparations having been made19 for the advance of the troops, (Shah Shoojah having preceded) they marched in five columns, preceded by the engineers, sappers and miners in advance. The Hd. Qrs. (Major Genl. Sir W. Cotton, commanding) H. A. and Cavalry Brigade moved on the 10th. The 1st, 2nd and 4th Infy. Brigades; and the park of Artillery and 4th Local horse and the Commissariat supplies and stores, in separate columns, in succession, keeping a march between each column; and this was the order of march till the Army reached Rohree (Bukkur) in Sindh. The Commissariat supplies which accompanied the Army (amounting to about 9,500 and about 38,000, including camp-followers) were as follow: 30 days' supplies of all kinds, slaughter cattle for 2½ months; additional quantities of grain were sent down by water to Rohree, and Depôts were formed at Bhawulpoor, Shikarpoor, &c. A Reserve Depôt was established at Ferozpoor containing 50,000 maunds,20 and two months' supplies of other grain. 14,235 camels were employed (for supplies only) with the army on leaving Ferozpoor. Each column carried a certain quantity of supplies with it.
The sick and principal hospital stores were sent down by water. It was intended, had it been practicable, to have sent the ordnance stores, &c. by water, but boats could not be procured in sufficient numbers. Indeed, boats were required to be sent down to Bukkur, on the Indus, to form the bridge of boats; for which purpose timbers were floated down.21 It would have been desirable to transport all
19. The road from Ferozpoor to Bhawulpore, and through that country, was made by Lieut. Mackeson, Pol. Assist., who, as well as Dr. Gordon (Pol. Assist.) were, for a long time, employed in collecting grain, and experienced great difficulty, owing to the neglect of Bhawul Khan's people. Dr. G. was afterwards engaged in a similar manner at Mooltan, where Capt. W. Thomson, S. A. C. G. was subsequently sent, on the march of the troops, for the same purpose.
20. 4,000,000 lbs.
21. Many boats were sent to Ferozpoor from Bhawulpoor for the grain, &c.; but the boats for the bridge were chiefly obtained on the Indus.
the heavy stores by water and thus have saved the cattle. The march of the army down from Ferozpoor to Rohree, on the Indus, never being above 20, and often within a few miles of the river (which assumes the names of the Sutluj, Gharra, and Punjnud till it falls into the Indus) enabled the troops to have communications with the fleet of Boats.
H. E. Genl. Sir H. Fane, Commander in Chief in India, on the march of the army, embarked on board his boats, and proceeded down the river.
The Bombay army at this time, having landed in Sindh, were engaged in procuring carriage to enable it to move on Hyderabad, the capital. On the 24th Dec. the Bombay troops marched from Bominacote towards Hyderabad.
12. Camels and Carriage of the Army.--There must have been from 25, to 30,000 camels with the army (public and private) and so early as the 26th of Dec.22 it was found necessary to allow the camels, &c. to quit camp some hours before the troops, as they fell off in condition, owing to their arriving late in camp and being unable early enough to get forage or to graze. This will account, in some degree, for the loss of camels with the Army, as we often could not allow them to proceed in advance of the troops, owing to the danger of being attacked by plunderers or by the enemy; and so numerous were the camels, that though we marched in several columns, forage could not be obtained in sufficient quantity in many places, after we marched from Shikarpoor. The fact is, that most of the officers had too many camels, too large tents, and too much baggage: though Sir H. Fane had issued an order to caution all against taking large tents, or establishments.
13. Money Rations to the Native Troops (27th Dec. 1838).---When within two marches of Bhawulpoor we were all gratified by the receipt and publication in orders of the following extract of a despatch from the Secretary to the Government of India in the Mily. Dept. (No. 138), dated the 18th Dec. 1838. "The same advantages are extended to
22. Some of the Camels had marched nearly 500 miles, at this period; but many camels were overloaded by the men.
the Native troops serving with the Army of the Indus, as were granted to those who served 'beyond the Eastern-frontier of the British Dominions, during the war with Ava,' from the date of crossing the Indus."23
We were now within 22 marches of the Indus, and while all were pleased at the liberality of Government, we still regretted that the measure had not been promulgated previous to the march from Ferozpoor. Before the army marched from Ferozpoor, several Native officers were invested with the order of British India, which was a well timed measure. It is a Boon attended with some extra expense to Government, but one which is amply repaid by the zeal of the Native troops; which has never been greater than on the service on which they were now employed in a foreign
23. "The Native troops and establishments, who served beyond the Burrampooter, by G. O. G. G. in C. No. 358, of 1824, 25th Nov. 1824" (vide Pay and Audit Regulations, pages 420.21). However, the field pay-master (who had served in the Pioneers in Ava) suspecting a mistake might occur, the following memorandum was published in G. O. on the 16th Feb. 1839 to explain who were entitled to the gratuity, viz. "To extra and permanent authorized establishments attached to the Local Horse" (an irregular corps); "and not to the establishments of other corps, and of other branches of the service; which last, if entitled to batta in Cantonments, received" (in Ava) "extra batta, and money rations; but no increase of 1/3rd pay."
The Pay and Audit Regulations, p. 420, para. 2, state that "such money rations will be drawn in regular abstracts of troops and companies, under the head of extra charges, at the rates regulated in public orders by Commanding Officers of divisions and detachments at the end of each month, on a certificate from the Commissariat officer of the correct prices of the articles in the bazar; or the rates at which they have been issued from the public stores; with a calculation of the value of each man's ration for the month, on the publication of which the officer commanding the troop or company will draw for the amount due to it."
Under para. 4.--The money rations are to be drawn for "all Native officers, N. C. O., Drummers and Privates, Gun or Tent Lascars, or other permanent establishments, drawing half or full batta, and regularly enrolled."
The expense to the Government and the advantage to the soldier, depends on the price of grain; according to the dearness of which is the soldier's gain.
country; and with the prospect of a long absence from their Native land.
14. Arrived at Bhawulpoor, (29th Dec. 1838.)--The Head Qrs. of the Army of the Indus arrived at Bhawulpoor to-day under a salute from the town, and found that Sir H. Fane had arrived in his boats. The army encamped to the W. of the town. The rest of the columns moved up on the following days. On the 30th, Sir H. Fane held a Durbar and received the Khan in state; presents were given to the Khan who did not seem quite at his ease, the fact is, that neither he nor his people (kardars) had been at all active in procuring the supplies required for the Army24 though ample notice was given.
On the 31st Dec. 1839.--Sir H. Fane returned the Khan's visit in company with Sir W. Cotton and the staff; when a a salute was fired from the town. In the evening the order of British India was conferred on three native officers, and we buried Lieut.-Col. Duffin, Comg. 2nd Lt. Cavy., the first officer who had died with the army. Lieut. Mackeson joined us here as the Asst. Political agent.
24. Indeed the Government was obliged to remonstrate with the Khan himself: perhaps he was afraid of displeasing the Ameers of Sindh, his neighbours. There was said to be a deficiency in the N. portion of his territory, when he was told that there was plenty of grain in the S. districts, from which he could transport it, having a great number of boats at his command; we did not find the quantity of supplies we expected on our arrival, though it is a fine grain country. The excuse made was, that he had understood the troops of Shah Shoojah were to precede our march two months. Bhawul-khan even said he was afraid the advance of the army would cause his people to desert; though it was well known that, when Shah Shoojah went on his expedition in 1834 through his country, the people did not then desert their villages. The discipline of British troops and the precautions used against plundering, could not be unknown to him; while it was known that the Kardars and people of his country, dared not to disobey his orders. Arrangements had been made by Dr. Gordon to procure grain from Pak Puttun on the other side of the Sutluj, in the Punjab; and Lieut.-Col. Wade also induced the grain merchants of Loodianah to enter into contracts, to furnish supplies: supplies were required both for the troops of Shah Shoojah, and for the British Army.
15. Bhawulpoor.--The town of Bhawulpoor, is on the left bank of the Gharra river, distant 229 miles from Ferozpoor, and about halfway between it and Rhoree (Bukkur) on the Indus. The town has a mud-wall all round it, without ditches, or bastions. It is said to contain about 4,000 houses, and 20,000 inhabitants.25 It is about 4 miles from the river. It is a wretched place, the houses and huts being of mud; and in a military point of view of no consideration. Bhawul-khan has about 4,000 infantry and some horsemen, and though dressed in uniform they do not make a very formidable appearance, but answer the purpose of preserving the tranquillity of the country; which the Khan keep in good order. The place is rich in woollens, carpets, and fruit: pears, apples, oranges and grapes; all except the grapes, are brought from Cabool. There is a manufacture of carpets and durrees. Indigo is exported from it to Mooltan. It is cultivated between this place and Khanpoor, which is 90 miles distant--to the annual value of 3 or 4 lakhs of rupees; and at Mooltan to the value of 6 or 7 lakhs of Rs. Indigo is sent from Mooltan to Sindh. The road between Ferozpoor and Bhawulpoor is jungly, the roads sandy; and we found several deserted villages, though the strictest discipline was maintained, and safeguards furnished to every village.
The Head Quarters marched from Bhawulpoor on the 1st January, 1839; and Sir H. Fane proceeded in his boats down the river towards Bukkur.
16. Ahmedpoor, (3rd Jan. 1839.)--The Head Quarters arrived here to-day. Halted on the 4th and marched on the 5th Jan. The town is large and contains about 6,000 houses and 30,000 inhabitants.25 It has no kind of fortification, but there is a pukha enclosure where the Khan (of Bhawulpoor) lives when in the vicinity; and the great bazar is pukha, and contains a handsome mosque with four beautiful minarets, seen for several miles before you reach
25. There may be a doubt as to the number of inhabitants, as it is easier to ascertain the number of houses, than that of the people who dwell in them.
the town. This place exports coarse cotton cloths and indigo, and imports silks, woollens, fruit and grain. The country all round is a rich plain, covered with turnips, carrots, wheat, indigo;--and fruit trees of the apple, orange, pomegranate, grow in the fields; the oranges were covered in with matting, to protect them from the frost. There is a house built by Lieut. Mackeson, in which he resided here, as the British agent for the navigation of the Indus.
17. Khanpoor, (8th Jan. 1839.) The Head Quarters arrived here to-day. Camp one and a half miles beyond the town. The place is said to contain 10,000 inhabitants, and has many pukha houses in it. A salute of 21 guns was fired from two guns on our arrival. There is a canal running through the town. It comes from a branch of the river, which is about 18 miles off, and expends itself in a jheel. There are two Battalions of Bhawul-khan's in the town. There is a mart for rice, and brass utensils. The canal fertilizes the soil which produces rich crops of wheat and barley. We marched from Khanpoor on the 10th Jan.
18. Enter the Sindh Country, (14th Jan. 1839.)--Sir A. Burnes26 joined us yesterday, and to-day the Head Quarters arrived at Subzul ka kote, which is just on the frontier between the Bhawulpoor and the Sindh territories. The distance from the river is about 18 miles; two-thirds of this place belong to the Ameers of Hyderabad, and one-third to Roostum Khan of Khyrpoor (cousin to the Ameers). It formerly belonged to the Khan of Bhawulpoor.
19th Jan. 1839.--We, at this period, found that the Commissariat camels were dying faster than the grain was consumed; for though we had supplies at each stage, still not to the extent required for all the columns: and many of the carriage camels were carried off by the owners, which obliged the Commissariat to employ some of the hired or rewaree camels carrying grain, to carry the baggage of the men of one of the Regts. The owners of camels did not like the notion of crossing the Indus!
26. He had been engaged, for several months at Shikarpore, (Sindh) in arranging for supplies for the Army, re-coining some old rupees, and for other purposes.
23rd Jan. 1839.--We heard this day that Sir H, Fane had been requested, from England, to remain as Comr.-in-Chief in India.
24th Jan. 1839.--The Head Quarters, to-day, reached Rohree (Bukkur) on the Indus, where we found Sir H. Fane. The Engineers had been sent on in advance with the sappers and miners, to prepare materials for the bridge of boats across the Indus. The Shah who had preceded us seven or eight days had arrived here, and crossed the whole of his force in boats in seven days, by the 17th January.
The Bombay army under Lieut.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, was within three marches of Hyderabad (Sindh); and Lieut.- Col. Wade with the Shahzada, was proceeding on his march towards Peshawer.
THE ARMY ARRIVES ON THE INDUS--MOVEMENTS OF THE BOMBAY TROOPS.
1. Arrival at Rohree, (24th Jan., 1839.)--Major-General Sir W. Cotton, with the Head Qrs., the H. A. and Cavalry brigade under Major-General Thackwell,1 arrived this day at Rohree, where we found H. E. the Commander-in-Chief Sir H. Fane, on board his boats. The other brigades, &c. moved up on the following days. The Engineers had made considerable progress in making the bridge of boats for the passage of the troops.2 In the afternoon Sir H. Fane held a Durbar to receive the son of the Ameer of Khyrpoor, at which the Major-Generals, &c. and staff were present, together with Sir A. Burnes. The young man and his attendants seemed much alarmed; no doubt, owing to the presence, of our troops, and the unsettled state of affairs at Hyderabad, being connected with the Ameers of that place.
25th Jan. 1839.--By subsequent intelligence3 it appeared, that Sir J. Keane with the Bombay troops, was at Jirrikh, only two marches from Hyderabad, which are both on the other side of the river, and I mention it here, to
1. He joined the army on the 13th December, 1838, having been appointed to command the whole of the Cavalry of the Army of Indus, (Bengal and Bombay.)
2. Shah Shoojah, who reached the Indus before us, crossed at the Hossein Bahleh ghat, which is four from Uzeezpoor, and about seven miles from Rohree, as the bridge was not ready. They commenced on the 11th and finished crossing the whole force (6000 men,) camels, cattle, and baggage, in seven days.
3. We only learnt this on the 5th February, 1839, on our march from Rohree down towards Hyderabad, as those who brought letters were obliged to take a circuitous route; but our movements must have reached the Ameers very quickly; as they had the command of the whole country, on both sides of the river.
show how far a knowledge of the proximity of the two forces operated on the minds of the Ameers of Sindh, regarding the treaty proposed for their signature; while the Shah's force having crossed on the 17th January, had reached Shikarpoor, which is only two marches from Rohree; so that there were three forces to act against Hyderabad; two of which were about twenty marches from their Capital.4 This night arrived the treaty from the Governor General ready signed, and addressed to Colonel Pottinger, the resident in Sindh, but it was sent, immediately, to Sir A. Burnes, the Political Agent with the force; by it the Ameer of Khyrpoor was to deliver up the fort of Bukkur situated on the island in the centre of the Indus, and near the town of Rohree; by which we obtained command of the river.
2. Visit of the Ameer of Khyrpoor, (26th Jan. 1839.)--To-day was appointed by H. E. Sir H. Fane to receive the visit of the Ameer of Khyrpoor himself, at half-past 7 a.m.; but he did not make his appearance till about 11 a. m. preceded by his minister, who was anxious for H. E. to go and meet his master, which was not complied with. He came in state, and was received by a guard of honor, consisting of four Cos. H. M.'s 13th Light Infantry, one troop H. M. 16th Lancers, and a party of the Bengal 3rd Light Cavalry. As soon as the old man reached the carpet, Sir H. Fane rose and welcomed him; then arose a confusion of tongues; then commenced struggling, pushing, and screaming for the seats of honor. At last silence ensued,-- speeches were made--then the duly ratified treaty was produced, upon which the Ameer said he would insist on Noor Mahomed Ali, of Hyderabad, agreeing to our terms. Sir H. Fane replied,5 "I have wasted time enough in treating; I will now march down, and attack him; and if you like, I will show you the troops I shall send to do it." The review of the Cavalry brigade, and 2nd T. 2nd B. Bengal H.
4. Sir J. Keane's force was about 5,600, Sir W. Cotton's 9,500, and Shah Shoojah's 6,000, total 21,100 men, of which 15 or 16,000 might have been employed against Hyderabad.
5. Sir A. Burnes was the interpreter on the occasion.
A. took place in the evening. The Ameer was astonished at the Military array, but expressed his fears on seeing the Europeans! As affairs were in an unsettled state at Hyderabad, Sir H. Fane suggested the propriety of detaching a considerable portion of the Bengal Column to Lower Sindh.
3. The Bridge--Order for march, (27th Jan. 1839.)--The river rose to-day 18 inches, and the bridge opened to some extent, and caused a good deal of anxiety, for it was not yet finished; the portion over the strongest part of the stream, i. e. on the left bank, was to be constructed, and it was highly important to have it ready as soon as possible. To-day the 1st and 2nd Infy. brigades marched into camp.
The troops in orders yesterday, to march to lower Sindh were as follows;--1st, The H. A. and Cavalry brigade to march on the 28th--2nd, The 1st Brigade of Infantry on the 29th, with the camel-battery--3rd, 2nd Brigade on the 30th Jan. 1839, a total of about 5,600 men, equal to Sir J. Keane's force; who would thus have had more than 11,000 men with which to act in Sindh. The 4th Brigade of Infantry, the 4th Local Horse, the Park of Artillery, and the Engineers, Sappers, and Miners, (the latter required to complete the bridge) were to remain at Rohree, the whole under the command of Brigadier Roberts.6 The order for the march was postponed, as we had not yet got possession of the Fort of Bukkur. Sir W. Cotton invested certain native officers with the order of "British India," in the afternoon.
6. Major General Nott went in command of the 2nd Brigade. The sick horses and those out of condition, and sick men were left at Rohree; and officers and men were recommended to move as light as possible; and with such servants and baggage only, as were essentially necessary. The infantry took 150 rounds with them; of this 25 rounds in pouch, and the rest packed in boxes. A spot was fixed on for a Field Hospital at Rohree.
No baggage was allowed to precede the troops, the first day, but we afterwards found it was not necessary to prevent its going on in advance. Servants were cautioned as to the danger of quitting the line of march; and of the risk of stragglers being ill-treated.
4. Orders for march repeated--False alarm in Camp.--(28th Jan. 1839). The orders for the march were repeated to-day. Both yesterday and to-day many armed persons were observed to leave the town of Rohree, and from certain indications, it was supposed by some that an attack would be made on us. Enemies were talked of--picquets were strengthened after sunset--sentries were doubled, and their muskets were loaded. At 12 o'clock at night, a musket went off by chance, when the whole line turned out under arms, in the course of a few minutes,7 as the alarm spread through the whole Camp in a moment. It was a fine moon-light night, and the movements of an enemy could easily have been seen. On an examination at the picquets, and in the vicinity of the town, no enemy could be seen--it proved a false alarm. The real cause I believe to have been this. The people in the town most probably were in a state of alarm at the presence of an army near them, though guards to protect them were placed in the town, and were leaving the place, as we afterwards heard, with their families and property, through fear, but neither with an intention of attacking us, nor of proceeding to Lower Sindh, to join the Ameers at Hyderabad.8 In fact all
7. Orders had been given to the sentries to fall back on their picquets on hearing any firing, and to give the alarm. The sentry whose musket went off belonged to a Regt. N. I. of the 4th Brigade.
8. Sir W. Cotton praised the vigilance of the troops, and the alacrity with which they turned out, and published the following order next day: "on a sentry, or vidette, finding it necessary to fire upon any object advancing, it is the duty of the officer Comg. the picquet from which the sentry is posted, to ascertain, by personal examination, the cause of the alert; and should he discover that any ground exists for apprehending an attack on his post; he will sound the 'alarm,' and take the usual steps to repel it." He should likewise, send to report to the field officer of the day of the Brigade to which he belongs.
The beating of tom-toms, &c. after 7 o'clock at night was prohibited; and the Provost Marshal and his Deputy, were ordered to patrol at uncertain intervals during the night, and to cause people disobeying, to be arrested.
the people of the country are armed, and their going away in considerable bodies gave rise to the reports.
5. Possession of the Fort of Bukkur; and order for march, (29th Jan. 1839).--The Fort was to be given up to us by the Ameer of Khyrpoor to-day at half past three in the afternoon, four Cos. of the 35th Bengal N. I. under Lieut.-Col. Monteath, and the flank Companies of the 16th N. I. under Capt. Graves, were paraded for the purpose of taking possession of it. At about 5 P. M. the troops entered the boats, accompanied by Major Genl. Sir W. Cotton and staff, and the boats reached the fort in about half an hour. When two-thirds of the way across the river, we saw the garrison in their boats, half across the river. The troops landed, and the setting sun shone on the British Flag. A bag of gunpowder was taken by the party in the boats to blow open the gate had it been required, under the superintendence of Capt. A. Abbot, Arty. The treaty for the possession of the fort had arrived on the night of the 25th; so that four days had elapsed, and the delay was imputed by some to a desire on the Ameer's party not to fulfil his agreement; but, I believe, he had no such intention. The people in the fort did not like, as I was informed by Sir A. Burnes, to give up the keys of the fort to any but to those from whom they had received them: this caused delay on the 29th: but resistance was quite out of the question; because there were only about 20 or 30 men in the place, with one old gun; and besides, we could have crossed over in boats and have breached it from Sukkur, where the river is narrow.9 The troops were in orders to march for lower Sindh on the 30th Jan. Brigadier Roberts was ordered to
9. Or have attacked it from Rohree (see para. 7). Lieut. Wood of the Indian Navy, Supt. of boats, went in his boat, and it was agreed that he should make a signal when they left. The fort was evacuated, the signal was not seen. It was agreed that the flag of the Ameer should, also, be hoisted as well as the British; for we were only to have possession of the fort during the war. The real cause for the delay was, I believe, owing to some dilatory forms, or etiquette, on the part of the people, for there was not the least show of resistance.
assume command of the Posts of Rohree and Bukkur (in which a force was placed) and adjacent country, on the left bank of the Indus; and to move his brigade nearer to Rohree and the river, and take up a military position. The stores, &c. left by the different brigades were directed to be placed in the fort. The treasure not required, was left here, likewise.10 It was at one time suggested to send down some troops by water, to Hyderabad; but a sufficient number of boats were not procurable: and it would have been unwise to have broken up the bridge for such a purpose.
6. The town of Rohree.--The streets of the town are full of filth and so narrow, that meeting a camel, &c. you are obliged to turn into a cross-street. The houses are all built of sun-burnt bricks, some have 3 or 4 stories, particularly those looking towards Bukkur. Descending a steep slope through the gateway, you come to a sandy-road, with the rock on which Rohree is built, on your left, and several isolated rocks on your right; and in front is a grove of date-trees on a rising slope. The river when filled by the freshes has washed the rock on which Rohree stands, so completely away, that men could walk under the over-hanging town. The rocks to the right were accessible, though evidently islands in the time of the freshes: and on one of them were the bones of all the chiefs and warriors of Rohree and Bukkur; passing these, you come to the river. The boats used are flat-bottomed, high in the stern, and the hull out of all proportion to the upper works, built in three pieces; the bottom and the two sides nailed together; so that if heavily laden, the bottom is apt to fall out, unless there be a pressure on the upper part of the sides, to keep them bearing on the bottom.
10. 3 Guns of No. 6, Field (or Camel) battery were to-day ordered to be attached to the 4th Brigade, and a Regt. of N. I. from it was directed to march back to Uzeespoor (one march) to escort the train to camp. The Brigadier was authorised to appoint a Post Master to keep up the communication with the army; and to report to Hd. Qrs. direct.
The town of Rohree has been of much consequence, and wide-spread ruins prove its former extent and magnificence. At present, it is said to contain 2,000 houses and about 8,000 inhabitants; six miles from it is the still more ancient capital of Arore, where a Hindu Raja once reigned in great splendour; the ruins occupy a space of four miles in depth, and the same in length. "The Meerwah canal runs from the Indus S. for 90 miles, and is lost in the sands."11 Rohree is seen 3 or 4 miles before you reach the river, and all at once strikes the mind in an imposing manner.12
7. The Fort of Bukkur.--When within 3 or 4 miles of the Indus, all at once Rohree, Bukkur, and the deep, broad winding Indus, burst on the view. From the right flows the mighty stream, sweeping from a magnificent reach, round the island of Bukkur, and dividing it from the town of Rohree. Pile above pile rear their heads on the island. This is the fort built by Alexander the Great, to bridle surrounding nations. Lieut. Leach, of the Bombay Engineers, gives the following description of the fort in his report to Govt. in 1838.
"It is situated on an island in the Indus, between Rohree on the E. bank, and the village of Sukkur on the W. near to the latter; it is conveniently situated, and if remodelled, would be an excellent situation for troops; it is built in the usual manner, partly of burnt and partly of unburnt bricks, and its walls are 30 to 35 feet high; the elevation of the island on which it stands above the river is 25 feet; it is loopholed, and has a weak parapet; on the E. there is an unfinished fausse-braye without a terreplein, acting merely
11. Burnes, vol. III, p. 960.
12. "Here is the castle built by Craterus to awe Musicanus and his city. From this he marched out with his elephants and state, to do homage to Alexander, and from this, after his revolt, he was led forth in chains by Python, and crucified in his own dominions, with the Brachmanes," (Brahmins) "who had induced him to rebel." (Arrian, Book 6th. chapters 14 to 19.)
as a screen to part of the fort Walls; it looks, however, imposing from without, with its turrets and loop-holes; there is a low parapet wall to the west. It is commanded by the city of Rohree, where an enfilading battery would be advantageously erected, to cover the occupation of the island to the N. of the fort, well screened by large trees, from which island the escalading party could cross with no difficulty; as there is no current. There is at present a garrison of about 10 men and one gun on the ramparts,13 which have been partly destroyed by its discharge! The inside is in ruins, there being only a few huts, and a bungalow of the Ameer of Khyrpoor; the magazine in time of siege."14
8. March towards Hyderabad, (30th Jan. 1830).--Major Genl. Sir W. Cotton with the Hd. Qrs. marched this morning from the camp at Rohree; while Sir H. Fane, with a suitable escort, accompanied by the staff, went to Khypoor to return the Ameer's visit. This place was a few miles to the left of our route. After the visit Sir Henry returned to his boats at Rohree; and Sir W. Cotton and Staff joined the camp.
13. This gun was on a bastion (where the flag was hoisted) facing towards our camp.
14. He adds, "the Sindhians have a knowledge of sand-bag-batteries; and of driving galleries, which they support with framework in loose ground."
The walls are said to be ten feet thick, and ages of accumulated filth had raised the platform inside so much, that the ascent by the gate-way, was one of great difficulty to some who went to take possession of the Fort on the 29th January, 1839. The fort is about 800 by 300 yards long.
Sukkur is about half a mile from the right bank of the river. The place is one of extensive ruins; but towers, bastions mosques, and minarets, are still standing, the latter in perfect order, and giving an extensive view of the surrounding country. The present village has about 100 houses and 600 inhabitants. Shah Khair Deen ke Durga, is a mosque built to commemorate the memory of Khair Deen, who made himself Shah; and that of his son Peerun Peer Ka, who lies beside his father.
The order of march was as follows:
|1. 1 Squadron of Cavalry.
2. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.
3. The Artillery.
4. 3 Squadrons of Cavalry.
||5. 1 Regt. N. I.
6. 2 Regts. of Cavy.
7. The Baggage.
8. 1 Regt. N. I.15
The road for the first six miles was so strong with enclosed walls, ditches, and forest, that 3 or 400 resolute men might have annoyed us much on our march, by firing from behind the walls; as we could not, as it was, move on quickly. The road was narrow, and very bad; the camels of the 9-pr. field battery fell into a ditch; and before the water-courses could be crossed, the pioneers were obliged to be employed. We saw a small camp of horsemen at a short distance on the right of the road, after we had passed the most enclosed part of the road, but met with no enemy, or opposition, on our march towards Hyderabad. We encamped on rather open ground; and found the rest of our march in Lower Sindh, to require the aid of the pioneers.
9. The Bombay Reserve Force in Sindh.--On the 3rd Feb. 1839, the Bombay reserve force of about 3,000 men landed at Kurachee on the Sea Coast, about 50 miles to the N. and a little to the W. of the Hujamree mouth of the Indus, where Sir J. Keane had landed on the 27th November, 1838. Kurachee town, according to Col. Pottinger and Capt. Maxwell, of the Indian Navy, lies a considerable distance from the anchorage, and the channel to it is narrow, and very shoaly even for boats at low water; the fortifications of the town are very mean and irregular, being in some places not above five or six feet high, and even there so broken down, that a horseman might ride to the top of them; while in others they are lofty and kept in excellent repair; the whole are built of mud and straw; and the side towards the creek, which flows up from the head of the harbour, the works are faced, to a certain height, with masonry. A fort built in 1797 on the promontory that forms the western side of the
15. On subsequent days, the H. A. and Cavy. went in advance, and the rest of the troops in separate columns.
Bay, is judiciously placed to defend the entrance.16 The Sindh reserve force landed under the fire of H. M.'s ship Wellesley of 74 guns17 with slight opposition. The fort fired into her, when she brought her broadside to bear, and it is said nearly reduced the parapets and bastions to one level.18
10. Operations on right bank of the Indus, (4th Feb. 1839.)--At about the time that the Bengal column was ordered to march down the left bank, Major General Simpson, with a part of the Shah's force, marched from Shikarpoor down the right bank of the Indus, and took Larkhana, belonging to the Ameers of Hyderabad. This place is 52 measured miles from Shikarpoor, and our column was pretty nearly parallel to Larkhana. We took the direct
16. There were various opinions as to the practicability of the approach of a large ship so as to cover the landing of troops. Col. Pottinger supposed that no ship could approach it with impunity, and certainly not with effect; for her guns would require to be so elevated, to avoid striking the hill, that nine shots out of ten would pass over and fall into the sea on the opposite side.
Lieut. Leach (Bombay Engineers) remarked, "The same cause would undoubtedly screen her from the fire of the fort, but as she would be close under the hill, her decks might be cleared by matchlockmen, who would be completely protected by the masses of rock; and, therefore, in the event of its ever becoming necessary to take this place, the only plan would be, to land troops at some distance from it, and carry it by escalade."
Dr. Lord who visited Kurachee in 1838, says that, "there were 11 guns in the fort, which could have no effect on a vessel going into the harbour, owing to the partial degree of their depression; there was then, no garrison, but a few days after 13 men arrived to defend it; after passing the fort, however, there is a three gun-battery level with the water. There is no road from the fort to the town, the ground being a marsh. There is no hard road when the tide is out, from the landing-place to the town, which is there three miles distant; the only hard road by which troops, when landed, could approach the town, is from the E.; but the possibility of landing there, has not been ascertained by sounding."
17. Rear Adml. Sir F. Maitland commanded the Naval Force; and Brigr. Valiant, the troops.
18. This news only reached Sir W. Cotton's column on the 9th February, 1839.
route for Noushera, instead of marching by the river route. The place was found evacuated on the General's approach; it is a great mart for rice; and the place where the Ameers kept their artillery.
Sir J. Keane had been detained at Jerrikh19 two marches from Hyderabad ever since the 25th January; but this day he reached Kotre near Hyderabad.
The horses had commenced to fall off in condition, and this day an order was issued for the commissariat to serve out rations of eight seers (15 lbs.) of kurbee20 per horse of the H. A. and Cavalry, whenever there was a scarcity of grass, or forage of inferior description.21 The Bengal European Regt. attached to the 4th Brigade, and the Engineers had been ordered to join our column, as Sir J. Keane had now directed our advance, it being considered that operations against Hyderabad, and a siege were inevitable. The Engineers and supplies were ordered down by the river; and supplies were, also, to be sent by land, to join us.
11. Countermand of our March--Treaty signed--ordered back, (6th Feb. 1839.)--We had to-day arrived at Khundearee seven marches from Rohree, and four from Noushera, at which latter place the country of the Ameers of Hyderabad commences; and which is about half-way between Rohree and Hyderabad. At half-past 10 o'clock at night, our march for the next day was countermanded; and the baggage, which had gone on in advance, was ordered back.22 The Ameers of Hyderabad had signed the treaty which Col. Pottinger was anxious to effect, without having recourse to hostilities. The columns in our rear were
19. This we heard on the 6th February, 1839.
20. It is the stalk of a grain, and given to bullocks in Bengal, and often to horses in the south of India.
21. The officer at the head of the Qr. Mr. Genl.'s Dept. to ascertain and certify the necessity; and the Dy. Cy. Genl. to make arrangements for its collection, and issue, on indents duly vouched.
22. The country between Rohree and Noushera, belongs to the Ameers of Khyrpoor, with whom we had made a treaty.
ordered to stand fast; and the troops, &c. ordered to join us, were directed to stand fast at Rohree. On the 9th February, we were ordered to retrace our steps, and the rear columns now became the leading ones, on the march back to Rohree.
12. Orders for crossing the Bridge of Boats over the Indus, (9th Feb. 1839).--Brigadier Roberts, Comg. at Rohree, was directed to move the ordnance and commissariat stores across the river. On the 10th February, the Baggage Master was ordered to proceed to Rohree to arrange with the Chief Engineer in communication with the Dy. Qr. Mr. Genl. for the passage of the troops and baggage across the river.
The Artillery and Ordnance Stores were ordered to be passed across the Bridge by manual labour, or to be ferried over the river in rafts, as the Chief Engineer might think fit. The troops crossed by Brigades. The baggage of Brigades was to be collected by regiments, and to move in rear of the troops, in the order of corps, the baggage of each regiment under an European officer, with a small detail of local horse.
The whole of the troops, baggage, bazars, and cattle, had all crossed by the 18th February, over the Bridge, without a single accident; for which the Baggage Master, (Capt. Troup) was thanked in orders.23
13. The Bridge of Boats.--The Bengal Engineers, under Capt. G. Thomson, and the two companies of sappers and miners, under Capt. E. Sanders of the same corps, had preceded the head-quarter column, under Major General Sir W. Cotton, about a week, for the purpose of cutting and collecting wood, and preparing materials24 with which
23. The troops from Lower Sindh moved across the Bridge and encamped at Sukkur, to which the road lay to the left. We left the town of Rohree to our right. The troops were directed to march from Sukkur. The 2nd Brigade was ordered to move on the 16th. The 1st Brigade on the 17th. The 4th brigade on the 18th instant; and the H. A. Cavalry and Head-Quarters on the 19th February, 1839.
24. There were plenty of khujoor (palm) trees in the vicinity of Sukkur on the right bank of the river; to which side they crossed over.
to form a road across the boats to form the Bridge. Boats had been previously collected there. The Bridge was commenced first over the narrowest part of the river, or from the right bank at Sukkur to the island on which the fort of Bukkur stands. The advantages of this selection were as follow:--1st, Materials were most easily procured close to Sukkur. 2nd, Shikarpoor being only two marches from the right bank, it enabled them to hold communication with that place and the Shah's force; and as we were encamped at Rohree, on the left bank, operations could be aided from both sides of the river. 3rd. The water being slack on the right bank, the operation was more easily effected. 4th, It established a direct communication from the right bank to the island on which the fort of Bukkur stands. Now as this portion of the Bridge was finished before we got possession of Bukkur; it is clear that, the plan adopted would have enabled us to attack it from Sukkur, as well as from Rohree.25
The extent of river bridged was 500 yards; 74 large boats were used in its formation, being 19 from Sukkur on the right bank to the Island, and 55 boats from the Island to Rohree on the left bank.
There were two pier-heads and 19 boats of an average of 220 maunds (about 80 lbs. each) on the smaller or western-stream, 400 feet broad; and two pier-heads and 55 boats, average 500 maunds, on the largest or eastern-branch of the river, which was 1,100 feet broad.
The two branches being 1,500 feet, or 500 yards of river bridged.
The western-branch was bridged in four days. On the eastern, it took 16 days; but had all the boats been ready, it might, and would have been completed in ten days. So that the operation was the actual work of 14 days; and the two bridges were ready on the 3rd February, 1839.
14. Thanks to the Engineers.--On the 15th Feb. 1839, on the arrival of Major General Sir W. Cotton, with the
25. See Lieut. Leech's opinion at note 16.
staff at Sukkur on our return from Lower Sindh, he issued an order praising Capt. Thomson, the Chief Engineer, and Capt. E. Sanders, Comg. the sappers and miners, for the admirable manner, in which they had performed the arduous undertaking in forming the bridge of boats over the Indus, and for the military skill and abilities evinced on the occasion; and returned his thanks to the officers and men engaged on the work. On the 16th February H. E. General Sir H. Fane, Commander-in-Chief in India, issued the following order: (Para. 4.) "He feels it just, more particularly to notice the Corps of Bengal Engineers, and the sappers. The manner in which they have completed the important work of throwing a Bridge over the Indus (490 yards),26 reflects great credit on their skill and their industry; and H. E. requests that Capt. Thomson, the Chief
26. The ground between the two bridges was about 300 yards. The best boats and materials, were used in the large bridge which extended from the left Bank to the island, where the stream was rapid, with many eddies. The smaller bridge from the island to the right bank, had the planks covered with earth. Great precaution was used by the Baggage Master to prevent crowding on the bridge. H. M.'s 16th Lancers rode over. The great object, in crossing a bridge, is to avoid crowding on it, so as to have the whole of the road-way covered at once.
Infantry, if in a very close compact order, weigh more than the same space occupied by Cavalry, as the spaces between the horses, being greater than between men, the weight of Cavalry is proportionably less. It is even said, that if a given extent of bridge be occupied by a gun, horses, &c. they bear with less weight on it, than a close column of Infantry. In many cases, Cavalry dismount, if the bridge has a weak road-way, or the boats are not strong. Cavalry, therefore, should pass over by single files, as if the stream be strong and rushes with violence against the boats, the horses are apt to be frightened. Infy. should generally pass over by threes, or by small sections, with proper intervals between. Camels, &c. should pass over singly, and if unsteady, their loads must be taken off. If horses are unsteady and likely to fight by going two abreast, confusion will be created. See Capt Macauley (Rl. Engineers) on Mily. Bridges. The river rose on the 27th Jan. before it was finished; and afterwards on the 3rd Feb. 1839, when danger for its safety was apprehended.
Engineer, and the commissioned, N. G. O. and soldiers under his command, concerned in the work, will accept his thanks."
15. Sir H. Fane's order on taking leave.--G. O. by H. E. Genl. Sir H. Fane, 6. C. B. and G. C. H. Comr.-in-Chief in India. Hd. Qrs. Bengal Column of the Army of the Indus, Camp, Bukkur, 16th Feb. 1839.
1.--"H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief being about to leave the Bengal Column of the Army of the Indus, in his progress where his duty calls him; feels it due to the troops, previous to his departure, to record what he has witnessed of their conduct, during their march from Ferozpoor into Sindh,27 to hold it up, as an example for their brother soldiers, on all occasions.
2.--"The excellent discipline and good behaviour of the troops have conciliated the inhabitants of the country wherever they have passed, and he is glad to be able to point out the consequences. These have been, not only the exaltation of their fame and character as soldiers, but these circumstances have greatly conduced to their personal advantage, because the confidence of the inhabitants, which such good conduct has produced, has led to their freely resorting to our camps with the produce of their villages, by which means we have been free from all wants and privations.
3.--"H. E. desires, that the officers of all ranks and departments will accept the expression of his approbation of their zeal, and of the good example they have set."28
16. Bukkur--Force left in the Fort.--The 35th Bengal N. I. was directed to stand fast in the fort of Bukkur, until arrangements were made for its relief; and Lieut.--Col. Monteath ordered to correspond direct with the Head Quarters of the column.
27. The Army had marched 600 miles, including 145 miles down to lower Sindh and back to Sukkur.
28. Sir H. Fane left us on the 18th Feb. 1839, and proceeded by water down the Indus to Bombay; where he established his Head Quarters. His leaving the army was much regretted by us all. He had an interview with Sir J. Keane, on his way down.
A sick Depôt was directed to be established at Sukkur, and a proper supply of medicines and surgical instruments to be left The recovered men in hospital were sent to join their corps.
A Fort Adjutant was appointed, and Lieut. Laughton, Bengal Engineers, to be Garrison Engineer, to receive instructions from the Chief Engineer; and to be under the commandant of the fort.
The heavy baggage of the Cavalry Brigade, which could not conveniently be carried on, was directed to be deposited in the fort; and to be sent in empty boats proceeding to Ferozpoor, where it was to be lodged.
The Commandant of the fort of Bukkur was authorized to disburse treasure from the military chest29 for the public service, without reference, on any emergency; payments to be made in presence of the Ft. Adjt.30
The Bridge of Boats was directed to be made over to Lieut. Wood, of the Indian Navy, and to be kept up till Shah Shoojah's Artillery should have crossed to the right bank; the larger bridge, or that in the main branch, was then to be broken up, 10 most suitable boats to be used for a Ferry, either at Rohree, or Uzeezpoor.31 The remainder of the boats to be made over to the Commissariat Department for transport of grain, &c. The other materials to be deposited in the fort, under charge of the Garrison Engineer, for the public service. The smaller bridge to be kept up as long as practicable, to facilitate the communication with Bukkur;
29. Treasure was left in the fort, and was to be afterwards forwarded to the army in charge of the 35th N. I. when relieved by a Bombay corps.
30. Triplicate receipts, the original and duplicate to be sent to the Field Pay Mr. the triplicate, retained by the Comdt.
31. Distant about 11 miles higher up the river. On the 8th March it was published in orders that Lieut. Wood I. N. had made arrangements for a boat to leave Sukkur on the 15th, and another on the 1st of April; after which, a boat was to leave on the 1st of each month; and that as soon as a boat leaving Sukkur could reach Ferozpoor, the same arrangement would take place there.
and when necessary to break it up, the boats to be transferred to the Commissariat, and the materials to the Garrison Engineer.
17. The Bengal and Bombay Columns--Army of Indus.-- Lieut.-Genl. Sir John Keane, K. C. B. and G. C. H. Comr.-in-Chief of the Bombay army, and in command of the forces in Sindh, was now, to assume the command of the "Army of the Indus" which occasioned the following arrangements to be made. The whole of the Cavalry (Bengal and Bombay) as originally intended, were to form a division under the command of Major Genl. Thackwell. The whole of the Artillery (Bengal and Bombay) to be under Brigr. Stevenson, Bombay Army. The Infantry of the Bengal column, to be denominated the 1st Infy. Division, under the personal command of Major Genl. Sir W. Cotton;32 the infantry of the Bombay column, to be the 2nd division under Major Genl. Willshire.
Major Parsons (Bengal) Dy. Commy. Genl. was directed to assume a general control over the Commissariat of the Bengal and Bombay columns; and Capt. G. Thomson, Chief Engineer of the Bengal column, became the chief Engineer of the "Army of the Indus" There were no other staff arrangements made.33
It was subsequently notified34 that the 15th Feb. 1839 was the period from which the Native Troops, and permanent establishments of both presidencies, were to be placed on a footing of perfect equality in regard to pay and allowances: being the date on which the Head Quarters of the
32. Sir W. Cotton commanded the Bengal column till Sir J. Keane joined us at Quetta on the 6th April, 1839, when Sir W. C. assumed the command of the 1st Division; and Major Genl. Nott, reverted to the command of the 2nd Brigade.
33. The late Major Keith, D. A. G. Bombay Army, and Major N. Campbell, Depy. Qr. Mr. Genl. Bombay Army, were seniors in their Depts. to Major Craigie and Garden, of the Bengal army, which is the rule by which departmental seniority is governed, while Lieut. Col. R. Macdonald, was D. A. G. Queen's troops, Bombay, and Mily. Secy. to Sir J. Keane.
34. On Sir J. Keane's joining us (6th April 1839).
Bengal column were established on the right bank of the Indus.35
18. Bengal Column arrived at Shikarpoor.--The train of artillery marched into Shikarpoor on the 16th of Feb. 1839. The 2nd Brigade of Infantry reached it on the 17th Feb. The 1st Brigade of Infantry on the 18th Feb. The 4th Brigade on the 19th: and the Head Quarters, the H. A. and Cavalry Brigade on the 20th Feb. 1839, where we found the Shah, Mr. MacNaghten, the Envoy and Minister at his court; and the Shah's contingent, commanded by Major General Simpson.
The Chief Engineer was directed to entertain 300 bildars for the purpose of making roads; as the sappers and miners were required for other duties. Preparations were now to be made for the advance of the troops. The Bombay column was about 15 marches in our rear at Lukkee, one march on the other side of Sewun. The Dy. Commy. General, Major Parsons, wished to have remained about 20 days at Shikarpoor, to enable us to start with the greatest possible quantity of supplies; but it was urged, that it was highly expedient to push on to the Bolan Pass to secure it as soon as possible. We were just 10 marches from Dadur at the entrance to the pass, 18 marches from Quetta, and 32 marches from Candahar. No doubt it was expedient to move on to the pass, and to move through it, but as the Shah had reached Shikarpoor a month before us, the Chiefs of Candahar had ample time to have made 22 marches to occupy the pass, to which they must have known the invading force to be so near. It was proposed by one party that a brigade of Infantry only should be sent on in advance to occupy the pass; but as it could not be known whether Dost Mahomed Khan would join the Candahar Chiefs,36 and
35. The Bombay troops were on the right bank of the Indus the whole time.
36. In 1834 when Shah Shoojah went to Candahar, in his last attempt to recover his throne, Dost Mahomed did march from Cabool to Candahar, where he defeated, and put the Shah to flight. The distance from Cabool to Candahar is 29 marches. Had he done so he might have effected more for his cause than making a stand at Ghuznee!
whether they might not both have contested for the possession of the Pass;--great caution was required in risking an advance without the means of an immediate support.37 The Bombay column halted at Larkhana nine days (from 3rd to 11th March), and 10 days at Gundava (21st to 30th March) after the treaty had been signed at Hyderabad: and if Sir J. Keane could have pushed on with his escort from Larkhana,38 he would have reached Quetta by the time we did--whereas we had to halt there, from the 27th March to the 6th April 1839--11 days, by which we consumed our supplies, and were obliged to be put on half rations.39
19. Shikarpoor.--The town of Shikarpoor contains about 6,000 houses and 30,000 inhabitants, the houses are all built of mud, and it is a dirty place. It is a place of much resort, and the first of importance between Rohree and Dadur, near the entrance to the Bolan Pass. It has some pretensions to trade, but none to consideration from its
37. From the nature of the pass, the cattle would have been starved had any force been kept many days in it. The pass was known from the written report of Mr. Masson. In a Mily. point of view, a Brigade of Infy. and a few guns could have defended the Head of the pass!
38. Leaving Larkhana on the 4th of March he might have reached Shikarpoor by the 8th, then Dadur (10 marches) on the 18th March, while we only marched from Dadur on the 16th March, 1839.
39. His Excy. was anxious to ascertain the practicability of the Gundava Pass, which it was desirable to do. It is to be regretted that he did not join us sooner, as we did not obtain one day's supplies either at Bhag or at Dadur, nor even at Quetta, where we awaited his arrival.
The Bombay column made 12 marches from Larkhana to Dadur, and the Bengal column 10 marches from Shikarpoor to Dadur, so that the march was a little shortened by moving by the Gundava Pass, but much time was lost. Capt. Outram (Rough notes, &c. p. 39) makes the distance from Larkhana to Shikarpoor, 52 miles, equal to four marches, so that about two marches were saved: but from 15 to 17 days more time were consumed by the route viâ Gundava, while the Bengal troops were already in advance from Shikarpoor.
buildings. There are a number of Jews here, from whom Bills can be obtained or negotiated, on any place in India, or even on Constantinople, China or any place almost in the world:--in fact money transactions are the chief employment of the wealthy people of the place, and the merchants will contract to furnish large quantities of grain. Being so near the Indus, whenever the free navigation of the river increases the commerce of Sindh and Afghanistan, Shikarpoor will become a place of great commercial importance.
When Shah Shoojah visited Sindh in his last expedition to try to recover his throne in 1834,40 he obtained possession of this place, with the consent of the Ameers of Hyderabad. He tried to obtain money from Ameers, which they would not at first comply with. The Shah threatened to plunder Shikarpoor and Larkhana, if not supplied with money. A very severe action took place on the 9th Jan. 1834, seven koss (14 miles) beyond Rohree. The Sindhians lost 1,370 horse and foot soldiers, and a considerable number were killed and wounded on the Shah's side. The army of Talpoorians fairly fled from the field of battle; and the Shah obtained firm possession of Shikarpoor. They consented to the pecuniary aid in preference to hazarding another battle: and agreed to farm the place from the Shah at from 5 or 7 lakhs of Rupees.41 There were, now 15,500 troops at Shikarpoor; so that with camp-followers, there must have been nearly 100,000 people to feed.
40. His departure from Loodianah was reported to Government as having taken place on the 17th Feb. 1833.
41. The only European officer with the Shah, was a Mr. Campbell, who was made prisoner by Dost Mahomed Khan on the defeat of the Shah at Candahar on 2nd July, 1834, and afterwards entered his service.
MARCH FROM SHIKARPOOR TO DADUR NEAR THE BOLAN PASS.
1. Preparations to leave Shikarpoor, (20th Feb. 1839.)-- On the arrival of the Head Quarters with Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton at Shikarpoor, the whole of the Bengal column, and the Shah's contingent, were present,--a force amounting to about 15,500 men. Consultation was held between Sir W. Cotton and Mr. MacNaghten, the Envoy and Minister, the principal staff being present, as to the time of marching onwards to the Pass. Mr. MacNaghten had received a report that the Bolan Pass (10 marches distant) was occupied by the enemy;1 he, therefore, on the 18th Feb. had addressed a dispatch2 to Lieut.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Indus, then in Sindh, pressing him to push on. It was resolved to march towards the Pass, at once, to secure its possession. The Dy. Commy. Genl. had represented that it was necessary to remain at Shikarpoor for about 20 days, to enable the commissariat to obtain the greatest possible quantity of supplies for all the troops; while halting at this place, the troops would not consume their stock of supplies, but procure their grain, &c. from the city, where a large quantity had been collected; and more was procurable for the rear columns, Bombay troops, &c. on the arrival of an expected convoy, with wheat, gram, &c. coming from Mooltan, &c. The Bengal Commissariat were to supply the Bombay troops, not only with grain
1. It turned out to be a mere report.
2. It reached Sir J. Keane on the 93rd Feb. 1839, when he was about 12 marches distant from Shikarpoor.
but with Camels.3 Before the resolution to move on immediately, was known, the Dy. Commy. Genl. had detached 4,000 camels to bring up from the rear grain, &c. He was also led to expect 10 days' supplies would be ready at Dadur4 (10 marches in advance), and 20 days' supplies at Quetta5 (18 marches in advance); while Candahar was 32 marches distant from Shikarpoor: so that, including halts, &c. 45 or 50 days' supplies were required for the troops up to Candahar:6 and as we marched with carriage for and with only a mouth's supplies from Ferozpoor,7 more carriage was required than could be procured at the time, both for the Bengal and Bombay columns,8 as well as for the Shah's force.
3. It was well known that the Bombay troops had great difficulty in procuring 3000 camels in Sindh. As on their march from Shikarpoor they would be deprived of their Water-carriage, it was estimated that 10,000 would at least be required for the Bombay Army alone. Of grain there was plenty to be had, but the difficulty was, thus unexpectedly, to supply the camels for the Bombay column. Undoubtedly, the supplies and cattle were properly to be used by both columns. The Bengal Commissariat did not know, till now, that it would have to supply both columns--or previous arrangements would have been made, of course, in due time, to procure a greater number of camels. It was not to be expected that the Ameers of Sindh would be very zealous in their exertions to supply camels; but if the Govt. of Bombay could not well rely on the army procuring carriage in Sindh, it would have been better to have intimated to the Bengal (supreme) Govt. their fears on this head. Sir J. Keane could do nothing less than share the supplies and cattle, between the two columns. I say thus much to exonerate, as is but just, the Bengal Commissariat from any supposed want of exertions. Neither do I attribute any blame to that of Bombay; they could not bring with them any cattle but horses--by sea. The error committed was, timely notice not having been given. Between Shikarpoor, and up to the time of the Bombay column leaving Cabool, on its return, the Bengal Commissariat supplied it with 6,830 camels.
4. And even at Bhag, eight marches only in advance.
5. We were deceived in our expectations. We only obtained about 300 maunds there.
6. Not one day's supplies were obtained between Shikarpoor and Candahar, at any one place!!!
7. See p. 8.
8. We left Shikarpoor, leading column and Hd. Qrs, on 23rd Feb. and reached Candahar on 26th April, 1839, & period of 63 days thus elapsed; and our staying 11 days at Quetta, partly, and not obtaining supplies on our march, were the causes of our being so early placed on half rations.
Supplies taken with the Bengal Column.--The Bengal Column marched from Shikarpoor with one and a half month's supplies, and a similar quantity remained in depot there, to follow if required. Rum for three mouths, accompanied the Bengal column.
2. Order for march from Shikarpoor, (21st Feb. 1839.)--The troops of the Bengal column were directed to march in the following order, in columns, and on the following dates:
1st. On the 22nd Feb.--The Engineer Dept., Ressalah of Local Horse, and a Company of Infy.
2nd. On the 23rd.--The Head Quarters. Cavy. Brigade and Horse Arty, and a wing of Native Infy.
3rd. On the 24th.--1st Brigade Infy. and Camel battery.
4th. On the 25th.--4th Brigade of Infy. and a Regt. from 2nd Brigade (temporarily attached.)
5th. On the 26th.--The Park, 4th Local Horse, and a Coy. N. I.
6th. On the 27th.--Field Commissariat stores, escorted by one Ressalah of Local Horse, and one Coy. of Infy.
7th.--The 2nd Brigade, with H. M. Shah Shoojah-Ool-Moolk.9
8th.--The field hospital with the 4th Brigade. A portion of treasure, and a party of Local Horse, attached to each Brigade.
Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton, inspected the Park of Arty, and the H. A. Cavy. and Infy. Brigades and Camel battery, on the 21st and 22nd Feb. previous to the march of the troops.
Review of Troops.--The troops were paraded in Review order before H. M. Shah Shoojah-Ool-Moolk, who was
9. Though His Majesty took the lead up to Shikarpoor; it was decided that the British troops should move in advance, being better able to cope with an enemy. Had any check been given to the contingent raised but recently, it might have been serious; and besides, we should have been deprived of the best of the little forage to be expected, and we had more cattle to provide for.
pleased to present a donation of 8,000 Rs. (£800) to be divided, in equal proportions among the corps, European and Native.
3. March from Shikarpoor, (23rd Feb. 1839.)--Marched this day 17½ miles, the road through a jungly country to Jagan. 24th Feb. marched 11¾ miles to Janeedera, through a jungly country, but, except in a few places, open on both flanks. To prevent the Rewaree camels falling off in condition by coming late to the ground, they were allowed to go on at any hour during the night, under parties of Local Horse. Scarcity of water reported at next stage (Rajhan): Hd. Qrs. directed to halt to-morrow. The 1st Brigade to halt till further orders. The 4th Brigade to close up to it at Jagan. The Park and Field Commisst. to stand fast at Shikarpoor; till columns in advance have moved on in the order already directed.
Of the Shah's force, the 2nd Regt. of Cavy. and a Provisional Battn. of Infantry (900 strong) were left at Shikarpoor, on the march of H. M. from that place.
Major Leech joined the Hd. Qrs. to-day. He had been engaged in collecting supplies between Shikarpoor and Dadur.
Post office.--The Post Master, under the directions of the Envoy and Minister, agreed to lay daks and establish a post along the line of march, using horsemen, camels, and men, as the obstacles to be overcome, and the nature of the country and circumstances might dictate.
New order of March,10 (25th Feb.)--On the 27th Feb. H. A. and a Regt. of Cavy. to march; on 28th, remainder of Cavy., a wing of Infy., and the Hd. Qrs. of the column; on 28th Feb. 1st Infy. Brigade; on 1st March, 4th Infy. Brigade and Field Commisst; on 2nd March the Park and 4th Local Horse.
26th Feb.--Report of only three wells at the next ground. The Engineers in advance; H. M.'s 16th Lancers marched by wings.
10. This was rendered necessary, owing to the reports of the scarcity of water in advance, and to there being a "marshy desert," to cross. (See Journal, chapter 18.)
27th Feb.--Hd. Qrs. marched to Rajhan, 11¼ miles. The road passed over the edge of the Desert. Scarcity of forage.
28th Feb.--The Hd. Qrs. halted.
1st March.--The 3rd Cavy. to march to Barshore tomorrow. The 2nd Cavy. and Dett. 48th N. I. to march tomorrow, from Janeedera to Rajhan.
The supply of Kurbee11 unequal to the demand, limited to rations for officers' chargers. Infantry officer for one horse only.
The mails going to and coming from Hindustan, plundered; one runner killed and two wounded. Heard of a Convoy coming on with grain, having been attacked.
2nd March.--The 3rd Cavy. marched over the desert. The Hd. Qrs., one Squadron 2nd Cavy., and one Coy. of N. I. to move to-night to Barshore, across the desert; and to wells near Cundah on the following day. Remaining two Squadrons of 2nd Cavy. and remainder detachment of Infy. to Barshore, on the 4th, and to wells on the 5th,--where the whole were to remain till further orders.
1st Infy. Brigade, with camel battery to Jagan on the 4th; remainder of troops, to stand fast till further orders.
4. Supplies and Forage, (3rd March.)--Supplies ordered to be pushed on to the Army, as a scarcity was found on the march hitherto. Capt. Lawrence 2nd Cavy. sent with a party to Cundah (eight miles W. of Meerpoor) to collect forage for the Cavy. (The Bombay Column to-day at Larkhana.)
The Desert (called the Putt). The distance over the Desert was 26½ miles. The troops moved at night to prevent the men suffering from the heat, or the reflection and glare caused by the rays of the sun, striking from the hard sandy soil. It was a clear moon-light night, and after leaving camp the desert appeared interminable. The troops, by the above arrangements, did not suffer in the least.12 There is not
11. Supplied when a deficiency of grass or bad forage.
12. Detachments which crossed this desert late in April, and in the month of May suffered dreadfully.
a drop of water to be had, and when in the centre of the desert, if the traveller loses the proper direction, he may wander about, and die of thirst, as many others have done. We found strings of camels moving across in several lines with guides, so that we could not lose our way.
We found bad water at Barshore. There were a number of small wells, but the water so salt and muddy, that the horses refused to drink it, though they had marched so many miles without drinking. A large pukha well was ordered to be made here.13
4th March.--The Head Qrs. moved to-day to Meerpoor, distant, 14½ miles. The road much the same as that of the desert: wells in any number dug in the bed of the river, but water salt and bad.
Two Squadrons of 2nd Cavy. and three Cos. 48th N. I. march to Meerpoor to-morrow.
Intimation received of a party of Jahranee Belochees having descended from the mountains to carry off camels, and plunder stragglers. The Maj. Genl. warns officers Comg. columns, to take precautions to protect the baggage, &c. on the march. They usually move in parties of five or six men.14
Commsst. Cattle.--The Camels were obliged to be allowed to travel over night, as otherwise, owing to the long marches, want of forage, and heat of the weather. (98° to-day at 3 P.M.) they could not carry their loads of grain; to be protected by small parties of horsemen in front, on the flanks, and in the rear, and not to go far from Camp to graze, without a suitable escort.
5th March.--Head Quarters to-day at Ustad, distance 13¾ miles. There is a lake of fresh water here. The country on this march as barren as last march; a desert within a few miles of the hills. A chief of the Belochees has a
13. Each soldier should carry a canteen to hold a quart of water. Every Bombay soldier had one. A certain quantity of water should be carried for each troop of Cavy. &c.
14. It was owing to these Belochees, that we found so many deserted villages, since our leaving Shikarpoor.
fort in the bills, and about 20 miles distant. A number of camels carried off in the night.15
5. Cavalry Horses, (6th March).--The Head Qrs. today at Bhag, distant 9½ miles from last ground. The Hd. Qrs. and Cavy. to halt to-morrow. Obtained 300 or 400 maunds of grain here.
Comsst. unable to furnish full rations of Kurbee; to issue an extra ration of one seer (two lbs.) of Jooar (barley) to each horse.
A number of more camels driven off by the Belochees to-day. The Governor paid the General a visit in the afternoon.
The camp-followers who went beyond the picquets, were plundered, and their cattle stolen.
The Crops, (7th March).--Warning against depredations committed on fields of growing wheat, and severe punishment denounced. Whenever necessary to assign growing wheat, or barley, as forage for Cavalry,16 a portion of a field to be marked off for each corps, by an officer of the Qr. Mr. Genl.'s Dept., and the owner paid by the Executive Commissariat officer of the Brigade, on statements of the number of rations, by Qr. Mrs. of the Regts., countersigned by Comg. officers.
The Shah marched from Shikarpoor on the 7th March, with 1 Regt. of irregular Cavy. and 5 Regts. of Infantry, (each 820.)
8th March.--Hd. Quarters marched to-day to Myhesur (or Myhsur) distance 16 miles, across a wretched country. The village stands on the bank of the Bolan river, which issues from the Pass.
Half-rations to Non-Combatants.--There being a difficulty in bringing on supplies from the rear, the Comsst. Dept. for the present, to issue Half-rations to men of the mustered establishments; paying compensation in money in lieu of
15. A horse-artilleryman shot himself to-day, and died in the night.
16. This was often found necessary; so I here give the mode of carrying the plan into operation, to save repetition.
the other half: this order not to affect the troops. We were now, within 23 miles of the Pass.
9th March.--The Hd. Quarters moved to-day to Noushera 15¾ miles; road over a bleak, barren desert for 15 miles. Crossed a Pass about five miles from the last ground. If great care be not taken, the road may be blocked up at this Pass for hours. After quitting the narrow gorge of the pass, the road, though bounded on each side by low hills, is good. The country throughout is a desert. Plenty of good water from the Bolan river. The baggage to-day crowding at the pass, delayed the march of the troops for a long time.
9th March.--Camels with the treasure, &c. over-driven; orders not to force them on.
6. Arrive at Dadur, (10th March).--The Hd. Quarters, to-day, arrived at Dadur, a distance of 7½ miles. At 4½ miles from the last ground, crossed the Bolan river. Hence over a good road (the mountains closing in on all sides) three miles is Dadur near the entrance to the Bolan Pass.
Reconnoitring--Detachment in Advance.--A detachment of one troop of Cavy.17 and three Cos. 48th N. I.,18 under Major Cureton,19 was directed to move into the pass to-morrow, to escort the Dy. Qr. Mr. Genl. (Major Garden) to make his observations on the forage, and grass procurable; and on the obstacles to the passage of the troops.20
The Engineer Dept. also to move to Drubbee21
17. Under Capt Wheler, 2nd Cavy.
18. Under Major Thomas.
19. 16th Lancers, and A. A. G. of Cavy. Sir A. Burnes accompanied this party.
20. Major G. was recalled when he had proceeded half-way. We got, afterwards, reports from Major C. the Chief Engineer, and from Sir A. Burnes.
21. This place is only seven miles from Dadur; has a fine green sward and a clear stream of water running past it. The Engineers did not move on with Major Cureton, but encamped short of his stages, with the two Cos. of sappers and miners. They were to remove any obstacles on the road.
to-morrow; and proceed with their operations, in facilitating the passage of the Army through the Defile.
11th March.--To supply six or seven days forage for the Cavy., &c. horses, a quantity of green barley was directed to be supplied to each corps, to be cut, dried, and mixed with grass.22 Reports from the rear, of Camp-followers being robbed and cut down by the Belochees.
12th March.--Forage reported to be in the Pass. In the rear columns, the Qr. Mrs. of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.23 and 16th Bengal N. I., attacked by a party of Belochees, while riding on to take up new ground.
13th March.--The Maj. Genl. intimated to Comg. officers that the country, through which the army was now passing, abounds in a good description of carriage-bullocks, and afforded a good opportunity to complete the transport for their several bazars, to carry three days supplies; as required by the Regns. of the service.24 From the reports from the advance, it was stated that there were occasional patches of dry, coarse grass, to be found in the Pass. Caution published against lighting fires in or near the grass; all transgressors to be severely punished.
The Dâwk robbed, and the letters destroyed. Reports of more thefts in the 4th Brigade, in the rear. Good reports from the advance.
7.--Order for March into Pass, &c.--(14th March)-- The Hd. Qrs.--2 T. 2 B. H. A.--a Regt of Cavy. and 2 Regts. of Infy. from 1st Brigade, and half a Ressalah of Local Horse--to march on the 15th;--remainder of Cavy. and remaining Regt. of the 1st Brigade, No. 6 Lt. Fd.
22. The A. Qr. Mr. Genl. of Cavy. arranged this with Major Leech. Asst. Pol. Agent, by a field near camp, being assigned.
23. His Sergt. not being so well mounted was cut up and stripped. The Qr. Mr. of the 13th (Lt. Fenwick) charged seven of them.
24. It was found impracticable to keep up this Regtl. arrangement. By the orders of the 14th March 1839, the supplies were to he served out through the buneahs attached to the different Brigades; and it was directed that "if they cannot carry the whole, indented for, the Commissariat. Dept. must lend the aid of Rewaree camels."
Battery, and half a Ressalah of Local Horse, on the 16th 2 Regts. of 4th Brigade, and a Ressalah of Local Horse, and the Field Hospital, on the 17th;--The remaining Regt. of the 4th Brigade, in charge of Commissariat Field Depôt, on the 20th inst
The Columns actually marched a day later than the above dates, viz.--on 16th March, and following days.-- Each Column to carry with it its proportion of Commissariat supplies.
Order of March.--The order in which the leading Columns will enter the Defile.
The Infantry by Sections, right in front; the Artillery and Cavalry, conforming.
|1. H. M.'s 13th Infy.
2. Horse Arty.
3. 2nd Lt. Cavy.
4. Wing 48th N. I.
||6. Led horses of Cavy. &c.
7. Hd. Qr. baggage.
8. Regtl. baggage, according to Regtl. seniority.
9. Local Horse.25
Two Cos. of Infy., when practicable, to move parallel with the guns; ready to afford aid to them, in getting over difficult parts of the road.
The Baggage Master to reconnoitre the gorge of the Pass, to make the necessary arrangements, for regulating the march of the baggage. A detail of Local Horse at his disposal. (March countermanded, at 10 p. m.)
The 1st Infy. Brigade, and the Camel battery marched into Dadur. Orders received from Sir J. Keane.
Yesterday the Dhoolee bearers of the 3rd. Lt. Cavy. ran away.26
25. The baggage of Hd. Qrs., Divisional, and Brigade staff, to be collected under the Provost Marshal--of Regtl., under an officer from each Regt.; with a party to preserve order, and protect the camels, &c. from plunderers. The baggage packed and loaded in one hour.
The baggage of each Regt. to be conducted to centre of its lines; awaiting its time for moving off.
26. G. O. 15th March 1839.--"Symptoms of discontent, and insubordination having occurred among the Dhoolee bearers, and other camp-followers (notwithstanding the very great consideration shown them during the March from the Provinces); officers Comg. Brigades, or detached Columns, have the power to inflict the summary punishment of flogging, on all followers, who hesitate to do their duty."
"Officers in command to take precautions against followers, &c. deserting; and it is to be explained, that the A. P. A. (Major Leech) has been requested to give a reward of five Rs. for every mustered follower who may desert, and whom his Belochees may secure, and bring to camp.
15th March.--The 1st Column to march to-morrow, the rest on subsequent days, in the order above indicated.
Memo.--Compensation, in money, will be disbursed in lieu of the moiety of their rations, while on half-rations, to those belonging to mustered Establishments,--the difference between the price of Attah (flour) in the Suddur bazar, and the rate issued from the Commissariat stores.
Full rations to be restored as soon as supplies, in transitu, reach the army.27
8. Position of the Forces, (15th March 1839).--At this period the Bombay Troops were nine marches from Dadur. The Shah had marched from Shikarpoor towards Dadur, and Lt.-Col. Wade was within five marches of Peshawer.
We did not find here the 10 days' supplies of grain which we expected, and had been promised. Before leaving Shikarpoor, Mehrab Khan of Khelat wrote to say that the grain was collected for the Army, and "to send people to receive it, as he could not take care of it."28 The people at Dadur were under his authority, and from the way in which we were supplied here, we might somewhat judge of the conduct to be expected from this chief.--The Dy. Comy. Genl. left Camels and people with money to purchase grain in the Valley of Seistan, which is close to Dadur, but
27. A Dâk in the Balan Pass cut up, and others in the Rear; two Artillerymen and two camp-followers, (unarmed) attacked by the mountaineers; one European was dragged into the mountains, and stripped, his jaw broken, and his arm cut with a sabre.
28. Major Leech was at Kelat, as late as August 1838, urging the Chief to supply us; and I must say he never was very sanguine as to his keeping his promise to furnish supplies.
only obtained about 500 maunds--not a tenth of what had been promised us.
A Depôt was, subsequently formed here, on the advance of the Troops, and a force was left here.
MARCH FROM DADUR--THROUGH THE BOLAN PASS--TO QUETTA.
1. Country between Shikarpoor and Dadur.--The distance between Shikarpoor and Dadur, is 146 miles, and 10 marches; but owing to the want of water on the road, the Hd. Quarters did not reach Dadur in less than 16 days, as it was found necessary to send the troops by detachments, and sometimes by wings of Regts. of the Cavy., as they require three or four times more water than Infantry Regts. From Rajhan, or after our 3rd march, we found the whole country between it and Noushera, a distance of 96 miles, and only six marches, a desert almost the whole way, except a little cultivation round the villages. The marches were long, and no water to be had at intermediate places; so that we found the troops much fatigued and the cattle much knocked up, owing to the length of the distance they daily travelled, and the difficulty of procuring water, and forage. A party of Cavalry was sent out to collect forage for the horses, and strict orders were given to prevent the columns closing up on each other. After crossing over the "Marshy desert" we left Sindh, and entered, at Barshore, Belochistan, the country which produces such numerous bands of plunderers,1 by which the troops were so much annoyed, so many of our followers killed and wounded, so many of our cattle carried off, and property lost and destroyed. It
1. The Belochees inhabit the country to the W. of Sindh, and the Hala mountains which run N. and S., divide Sindh from Belochistan. We found Janeedera (the 2nd march though in Sindh) was deserted, and had been for a long time, owing to the depredations committed by these robbers.
is to be hoped that one of the benefits to be derived from our operations in Sindh and Affghanistan, will be the restoration of the country, between Shikarpoor and Dadur, so necessary to keep up our communications in that quarter, to some order, and to free it from these pests, and enemies to civilization.2
2. Entrance of the Bolan Pass to Kohan Delan, (16th March, 1839.)--Thermometer at 3 A.M. 62°. The Hd. Qrs. left Dadur this morning at day break, with the 1st Column. Dadur is 743 feet above the level of the sea. The road lay over the Bolan river after leaving camp. The entrance to the Pass might be disputed for a short time, by parties being stationed on the broken hills on each side; but an irregular enemy could not long oppose regular troops--who would dislodge those occupying the heights before the advance of the column was made! They might much annoy the rear, baggage, and cattle. It would be necessary to crown the heights to protect the advance of the troops, and the passage of stores, baggage, etc., and to post parties at such points, as those from which the enemy could descend from the hills to make an attack. Our column was not attacked, but the rear columns were.
After entering the Pass the road lay N. W., and after marching about four miles, the mountains began to close
2. The treaty was signed at Hyderabad on the 3rd Feb. 1839. Capt. Outram says (p. 34) in his notes, that 16 or 17,000 Belochees had occupied the opposite (Hyderabad) bank, for two miles. The Ameers "(who had called them in to their assistance)" had great difficulty in inducing them to withdraw. Sheer Mahomed, having expressed his determination to oppose us, was joined by the followers of all the other Ameers. "Meer Sobdar Khan (since favorably distinguished in the new treaty) prevailed on him to retire, and by distributing upwards of five Lakhs of Rs. (£50,000) induced them to depart."
But the Belochees were much under the influence of the late Mehrab Khan, the Belochee chief of Khelat, to whose instigation we owed the attacks of this people. There being a British force in Sindh, and our influence now extending to Khelat, will be the means of imposing a check on these people, and will render the country safe to merchants and travellers.
on us from N. E. to S. W. The hills which immediately enclose the pass, are not very high--are irregular in height and barren; their strata most confused, and their formation of coarse pudding-stone, changing near the surface, to loose clay and pebbles. The distance from hill to hill, on each side, varied; but in few places within the command of musketry, though shots from Juzzails (rifles) would have reached us more frequently.3 The road lay over rough loose stones and shingle. We to-day crossed the Bolan river eight times, never deeper than three feet in any place. At about eight miles we came to a spot called "Drubbee," where there is a small valley, and green sward, as the name imports, where the Engineers had encamped. A clear stream runs by it, and 1,500 men might have their camp here. From this, the distance between the hills contracts again.
On the left hand side and close to camp, we saw six trees, not having seen one before. We found our camp at the distance of 11 miles from Dadur at Kohan Delan,4 where the valley of stones widens. But little forage here.
The H. A. and Cavy. were in one Camp just beyond the six trees. The five Cos. 48th N. I. in another across the river, which was fordable. The Hd. Qrs. near some grave stones, near a height situated between the two camps.5 We found nothing to prevent our tents being sent on in advance, with a party to protect them. The elevation of this place above the level of the sea was 904 feet, or 161 above Dadur---which, in a distance of 11 miles gives a rise of 1 foot in 360--Thermometer at 3 P.M. 86°. On entering the Pass you are in Khorassan.
3. The native Rife with a fixed rest, it is said will kill at 800 yards. The common rifle is only 4 feet 10 inches in the barrel, the larger Juzzails are six or seven feet in the barrel.
4. Kundyee of Conally. From this place there is said to be a road out of the Pass, which goes to Dadur, Khelat, &c.; the Dâk went by this road, or path, over the hills.
5. A Sergt. of the 16th Lancers was drowned by his horse getting into deep water. Subsequently, we were obliged to wait for day-light.
3.--March to Kirta, (17th March, 1839.)--Marched before day-light; thermometer 3 A.M. 60° crossed the river on leaving camp,6; the darkness of the morning was increased by heavy clouds, and rain, with a cold cutting wind. Crossed the Bolan river 13 times, at no place deeper than three feet. The distance between the hills greater than on the last march, and on reaching Kirta, we found our camp. The village of Kirta was about a mile in advance, to the right, and did not contain many houses or inhabitants.7
The valley, here, is from 3 to 4 miles broad, and 6 or 7 miles long, in the direction of the next stage. The whole length of the valley about 10 miles. A Kalifa of merchants from Candahar came into camp at noon, on its way to India.
The same kind of road as last march, over loose stones, and shingle. Crossed the last time about three miles from camp just where we entered the valley. The country has the same sterile appearance; there is some long dry grass, and a few stunted bushes: little forage.
The distance marched 10 miles, 5 furlongs; the elevation above the level of the sea 10818 or 177 feet above Kohan Delan, which gives in to-day's march, a rise of one foot in 304; thermometer at 3 P.M. 80°: very close and cloudy weather.
4.--March to Beebee Nanee, (18th March, 1839.)--Thermometer at 5 A.M. 60°. Marched at 8 A.M. owing to the rain, early in the morning. The clouds hid the barrenness of the mountains, rolling down towards their base. The valley barren except a few bushes of coarse grass, Lanna,9 and dwarf Tamarisk. The march from Kirta for the first 6 or 7 miles, lies through the valley which is
6. We were obliged to fasten the tent-ropes to stones; could not use tent-pins. Iron-pins are used in a rocky soil.
7. It was made a Dâk station.
8. This is the elevation of Gurm-ab a little beyond Kirta. A little grain was procured at Kirta.
9. A bush which the camels eat, but not the camel-thorn.
here from 3 to 4 miles broad. The route lay close to the left towards the hills, and at the termination of this valley, which runs to the right to a considerable extent; entered another and smaller valley about a mile or 1½ mile wide, by crossing a small range of hills of clay and sand-stone, by a short gorge, about 18 or 20 feet wide.10 Up this second valley the road is better, at the distance of 3 miles from the gorge, saw our tents at Beebee Nanee, about a mile from which, we came to numerous tombs of stones, and one of brick, on both sides of the road. It is considered a Holy place, and the dead are brought to it for interment from a great distance, said to be the bodies of travellers, murdered by the Murhees; a tribe of lawless, cowardly robbers, who live in these wastes, who will not attack armed men, but will kill travellers when asleep, or entrap them and stone them, without running any risk themselves.11 Our camp at the further end of this valley, where we crossed the Bolan, at Beebee Nanee, much swollen and discolored by the rain of this morning. There are two caverns in the mountain, on the left, after crossing the river, which go by the name of Beebee Nanee;12 but no human habitation to be seen.
The Camp.--The Hd. Qr. and Infy. camp were across the river; that of the H. A. and Cavy. on the Kirta side of it. There were graves near Hd. Qrs.
Distance marched 9 miles, 1 furlong. The elevation today above the level of the sea 1695 feet, or 614 feet above Kirta,13 this gives the increased rise of 1 in 77 feet: thermometer at 3 P.M. 72°. Thunder and lightning
10. You can enter the second valley without going through this gorge, by passing to the right and round it.
11. A description of Thug. About 30 attacked a hackery this morning, and were beaten off by three horsemen who accidentally came up.
12. Which we may translate to be the "Old Lady of the mountain." In Hindustani, Beebee (lady) and Nanee (grandmother).
13. Gurm-ab beyond it, the place at which the rise was calculated.
and rain at sun-set; a gale of wind, and some heavy showers during the night, and very cold: many tents blown down.14
5.--March to Abi-goom, (19th March, 1839).--Marched at 5 A.M., thermometer 50°. The road this morning had much more of ascent than heretofore, and the gusts of wind were so violent, that it was difficult to keep our seats on horseback. The same dreary waste was around us, and we saw snow-capped mountains, which we shall approach tomorrow. The road passed through two valleys, between which the distance of the hills which bound the road, may be 2 to 300 yards in some places; crossed the river several times; at one place it was 3½ feet deep, passing through thick grass, and marshy ground, about 3 miles from our new camp.--The site of our camp is the same from which the engineers, sappers and miners were driven a few nights ago15 , and every table, chair, and tent, was washed down by the sudden rising of the river, or mountain torrent. We encamped in higher ground. Running streams of good water, close to camp: strong wind at night. There are some houses on the left-hand side of the road. The distance marched to-day, 8 miles, 5 furlongs. The elevation above the level of the sea was 2,540 feet, or 845 feet above Beebee Nanee; being a rise on this march of 1 foot in 51--much greater than in the last march. The gale in full force, and thermometer at noon 60°. Strong wind during the night. There were low hills to our right, and close to camp, from which we could see the open road in advance for a considerable distance.
14. Obliged to fatten the tent-ropes to large stones, and pile stones on the ropes, to prevent the tent-pins being forced out of the ground. It was impossible to sleep, expecting every minute the pole of the tent to break, or the pins to be pulled out of the ground, by the sudden and strong gusts of wind.
15. The 15th of March; the day before we marched, and on which it blew a gale of wind all day. They had encamped in the bed of the river, which we found quite dry. About one or two miles further on, is the real Abi-goom, (turn of the stream,) where the ground is more open.
6.--March to Sir-i-Bolan,16 (20th March, 1839.)--Thermometer at 4 A.M. 52°. Marched to-day at 5 A.M. with a N. W. wind which pierced to the bone. The ascent this morning was greater than we had yet found it, while the road was still stony and pebbly, and lay through the bed of a mountain torrent. A slight descent, at first, in the road. The valley narrowed a good deal, and precipices of sandstone, pudding-stone, and loose earth and pebbles, overhung our route; while in our front glistened in the morning sun, the snow-capped mountains; the streams had lost their depth, and every thing indicated an increased elevation.
At about 6 miles came to Sir-i-Khijoor, where are some Khujoor (Date) trees on the right of the road, on a rising ground and some green fields, and a spring of water. Except "Drubbee" on the first march, this was the only green spot we met with in the Pass. There was some snow on the mountains a few miles off.
After marching 3½ miles more, we came to the camp at Sir-i-Bolan, distance from the last ground 9 miles and 5 furlongs. The elevation above the level of sea this march far exceeded that of the last, being 4,494, or 1,954 feet above Abi-Goom, giving a rise of about 1 in 25 feet, the greatest we found in the Pass. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 66°.
The destruction of animals, and camels, this day, has been very great, and the horses of the Artillery were greatly distressed--8 horses (2 additional) to each gun and the assistance of the Infantry, hardly sufficed to bring them into camp. The Horse Artillery were five hours in marching from the last ground (9½ miles).17
16. Or, Head, or source, of the river Bolan. When Major Cureton's advance party was here on the 15th March, 1839, there was a snow-storm which killed a great number of camels and other animals, and occasioned great loss of property. It is not safe to enter the Pass very early in March; as there is great danger of having snowstorms, and very cold weather.
17. The Camel battery got on very well; the camels in this Pass performed their work with more ease than the horses. Some of the camels of officers were preserved by being fed with flour, goor, and ghee; the mode of feeding suwaree (riding) camels. There was very little camel forage at this place.
Here there is not a blade of grass to be seen. The road from Sir-i-Khujoor to Sir-i-Bolan was constantly intersected by the stream of the river. There is a spring in the rock at Sir-i-Bolan. on the left of the road, close to where our Camp was; and it is from this spring that the Bolan river has its source.18
Lt.-Colonel Wade this day arrived at Peshawer.
7.--March to Head of and beyond the Pass, (21st March, 1839.)--Thermometer at 5 A.M. 44°. The troops having a long march before them, they were ordered to cook and eat their dinners and be ready to march. The order yesterday was, "Camp to be struck at day-break, tents loaded, and sent to the mouth of the Pass, and the camp to be pitched in the valley; an escort to be sent with the baggage, which is to be allowed to move off till 11 A.M.--after which, not till the troops shall have marched.19 The troops to cook, and be prepared to move at 2 P.M."
18. The Hills near camp were of no great height; picquets were placed on each during the evening, and remained there all night. Parties of the enemy might have annoyed us from these heights, but we saw no enemy. From the height to our right, fields of cultivation were seen. The distance between the hills on the right and left was about 300 to 400 yards. The camp was obliged to be a very straggling one.
19. The grain-camels to be sent off before 11 A.M. or after 2 P.M. as least harassing to the cattle, the object being to enable the troops and baggage to clear the Bolan Defile before night; and be prepared to pass the sterile plain to Sir-i-ab with as little inconvenience to troops and followers as possible. It was supposed that there was no water at Dusht-i-Bedowlut, 12¾ miles hence and 2¾ beyond the Pass. The March to Sir-i-Ab, would have been 28½ miles. The mushuqs, &c. were ordered to be filled with water, and sent with the troops. In today's orders extra drams were ordered to be given to the 3 Cos. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. employed this afternoon as a working party with the Artillery; and also to the men of the 2 T. 2 B. H. A. The Chief Engineer went with the S. and M. in advance into the Valley. Major Leech gave the dejeune staff a dejeune a la fourchette consisting of a lamb, roasted whole and stuffed with raisins, &c. in the true Affghan style.
The morning was clear and still. The camp laid before us, with the snow-clad mountains on the right, and the stream gushing from the mountain on the left,20 which gives the name to the Pass--the picture was fine and even grand; while the stream was tainted with the dead bodies of camels, &c. The road lay through the same bed of pebbles, until we passed the river Bolan, when the hills closed; and reduced the valley to about a quarter of a mile in width.
At about five miles there were some stunted trees on each side of the road, the precipices became more abrupt, and the confusion of the different strata was beyond description. The ascent was considerable, and the Pass gradually narrowed, until it wound through some high hills, the shadows of which left us cool for a little while; the sun and radiation of heat were far from pleasant.
There were groups of starved camels, and here and there a horse, and a bullock; men, women, and children crowded the road, and lay among the stones basking in the sun; every thing indicated our gradual approach to the head of the Pass.
The last three miles to the head of the Pass, the road is good in many places; but this is the most commanding part of the Pass. The road is in some places not more than 40 to 60 feet wide, with perpendicular rocks 100 feet high; from which an enemy could give a most destructive fire.21
20. A valley is also to he seen from the height on the left, just above the spring.
21. It was from this part of the Pass that the Belochees, or rather Kakurs, (having crowned the heights) annoyed the column marching with the 37th N. I. The Comg. officer was obliged to send up parties to dislodge them. This part of the Pass consists of a road varying from 40 to 60 feet, and flanked, on each side, by high perpendicular hills, which you can only ascend at either end; so that, if the precaution of crowning the heights be not used, and you be caught in the centre of the pass, or distant from either end of it, an enemy is within pistol shot of you; he can fire from behind rocks, and retire, and you cannot return one shot, with any effect. Capt. Barstow, 37th N. I. was badly wounded in this Pass.
At 10 miles, we reach the Ghaut, or head of the Pass. The ascent of the ghaut was gradual and only about 100 yards in length. The camels loaded, walked up and down it without stopping or resting.22
Descent from Pass.--After the descent, which is not great, a Plain covered with wild thyme lay before us, hills covered with snow, sparkled in the sun (near setting), and a cold, piercing wind from the N. E. swept over it, and took from the scene, its fierceness.23 The distance to camp was 2¾ miles; the road took a turn to the right; and we did not see the camp on first entering the valley, or Dusht-i-Bedowlut.24
The distance from Sir-i-Bolan to Dusht-i-Bedowlut was 12¾ miles. The elevation above the level of the sea is 5,793 or 1,299 feet above Sir-i-Bolan, which gives a rise of one foot in 41 in this march.
|Marches in the Pass.
||Level above the sea.
||Rise at each stage.
|1. Dadur to Kohan Delan
||1 in 360 ft
|2. Kohan Delan to Kirta (or Gurm-ab,)
|| " 304
|3. Kirata to Beebee Nanee,
|| " 77
|4. Beebee Nanee to Abi-i-Goom,
|| " 51
|6. Ab-i-Goom to Sir-i-Bolan,
|| " 25
|6. Sir-i-Bolan to head of Pass,
|| " 41
22. Parties were sent here to prevent the crowding of the camels, &c. You do not see the Ghaut till you come upon it; it lies to the right, and the road winds round to it. It is said that there is another road to the right, into the valley; and just before you turn to the right to the ghaut, there is a road to the left, and in continuation of the road you are leaving.
23. The skin was peeled off our faces, the effects of a hot-sun, succeeded by a cold wind.
24. The barren-plain. This place is also called, Munzilgar, or halting-place.
25. The whole rise is 5050 ft. from Dadur to Dusht-i-Bedowlut, making the latter the same height as the head of the Pass; this divided by 59 miles will give a general rise of about one in 63 feet, fractions omitted. I have given the daily rise in each march, to enable the reader to judge of the increased labor of horses, camels and bullocks drawing guns, wagons, hackeries, &c.
From Shikarpoor to this place we had marched 206 miles, of which 96 miles of a Desert country between Shikarpoor and Dadur, (See para. 1) and thence to this place 59 miles of Pass, or total of 155 miles of road, furnishing but scanty forage for our cattle.
We were obliged to carry our supplies, not getting a day's supply any where on the road. If we had entered the Pass with fresh cattle, or animals not jaded after a march of 833 miles from Ferozpoor, (1038 from Kurnal; indeed some of the cattle had marched nearly 1,200 miles,) the animals would not have been so knocked up; but they were worn out by a long march, bad water, and want of food, and therefore our loss was very severe, and those remaining had strength only equal to the carriage of half loads. As the Rewaree camels (of which class they chiefly were) are not fed on grain, it will be readily imagined what numbers would die on a march, where their food was to be derived from a barren-country.
The Bombay army was this day at Gundava, five from Dadur, and 11 marches from this place. Water was found at Dusht-i-Bedowlut, a collection of rain-water, after a fall of rain, two days before; otherwise, we must have made a march of 28½ miles. Thermometer here at 5 P.M. 60°; at day-break it was as low as 26°.
8. March to Sir-i-Ab,26 (23rd March, 1839.)--Thermometer 38° at 4 A.M. Marched at 5 A.M.27 The road, consisting of numerous foot-paths of sand and pebbles, lay, N. W. over the Dusht-i-Bedowlut, on which nothing but wild thyme was seen. The valley is extensive to the right and left, after leaving Dusht-i-Bedowlut. To the N. and S. were hills covered with snow; bleak mountains, crags, and steeps, bounded the plain on every side. The traveller may picture to his mind, the horrors of a winter in such a place. At 1½ miles from last camp, crossed two ghauts over dry ravines. Within two miles of the new ground near the
26. The Head or source (of water), of the Shahdezee Lora river; the spring gushes from the mountain to the right, in a crystal volume.
27. Baggage not sent in advance.
road, and by the sides of the hills we found some wheat-fields. At Sir-i-Ab, there were no human habitations to be seen. On the mountains were a few black sheep-skin tents, and a flock of sheep and goats. The plain is a wilderness covered with southern-wood (or old man). The crocus and tulip, bloomed in the waste.
There was a slight descent in the country at about 12 miles from the last ground.
Here for the first time, we saw a long line of Karezees28 running across the valley from N. to S.
To the left of Sir-i-Ab and S. from our camp is a valley which leads to the road to Khelat about 112 miles distant.29
The troops did not reach this ground till 11 A.M., and the whole of the baggage not till 2. P.M. About a mile before we arrived at Sir-i-Ab, (or near the Karezees) there was a dry nullah, over which the Pioneers had to make a road.30 Comg. officers of corps and Heads of Depts. reminded of the order against the destruction of growing crops of wheat, &c.
Distance marched to-day was 15 miles, 5 furlongs. The thermometer at 3 P.M. 75°.
To-night, unexpectedly, H. M.'s 16th Lancers marched into camp from Sir-i-Bolan, 28½ miles.31
9. Halt 23rd, 24th, and 25th March, 1839.--On the 23rd
28. Subterranean water-courses, by which water is conveyed from a spring, &c. in any direction to irrigate lands, &c. A well is first dug of sufficient depth, and then a channel to the spring excavated; then other wells are made, and the channel continued in the whole line of direction intended. Water is thus procured from a great number of wells, which are, usually 30 or 40 feet distant from each other.
29. Captain Outram says in his journal, p. 138, "The road from Quetta (i. e. one march in advance from this) to Khelat is excellent, both water and forage so abundant that the whole Division (Maj. Genl. Willshire's) might have marched without the smallest difficulty."
30. One of the Bengal H. A. horses came down, and very nearly injured the rider.
31. They lost many camels. The baggage was coming in all night, the men left their quilts behind, owing to the camels falling down.
March, 1839, Sir J. Keane marched from Gundava, 12 marches behind, to join us. This morning the 16th N. I., the 3rd Cavy. and camel battery, marched into camp.
At the request of Major Leech (P. A. at Hd. Qrs.) attention of officers Comg. Brigades, Corps, and at the head of Depts. called, requiring the troops and followers to be "careful not to interfere with, or Insult the prejudices of the people of the country, through which the army is about to advance."
"The mosques not to be entered by any one, not of the faith of those by whom they have been erected."
"The poles and flags, by the way-sides, are considered sacred by the people, being emblematical of the grave of a pilgrim; these are, on no account to be removed."
"The surwans and others, are to be directed to abstain from cutting fruit trees for forage, for their cattle, or for ether purposes; and signal example will be made, on the. spot, of any one who may be detected, in the act of committing this offence."
"Caution to European and Native soldiers from interfering, when in the bazars, or villages, with the women of the country; quarrels, and loss of life will attend a disregard of this warning."
"The substance of the above order to be particularly explained to the troops; and proclaimed by Tom-tom throughout the different bazars, and lines of the camp."
24th March.--The 4th Brigade marched into camp. Few of the corps have their baggage up, and in several the men have lost their quilts.
The wind rushing down the crannies in the mountains, sweeps clouds of dust into camp, and nearly blows down our tents. Hence, no doubt, the natives live in the caves in the side of the mountains, or in small, low tents. The 37th N. I. still at the head of the Pass.
To-day the Cavalry horses were put on half rations. Officers allowed none. Brigadiers to-day, directed to protect their own camps.
Order for March.--The whole of the troops (except the 4th Brigade, under Major-Genl. Nott.) will move
to-morrow morning towards Quetta, in the following order; right in front.
|1. The Cavy. Brigade.
2. Troop of H. A.
3. 2 Regts. of Infy.
||4. No. 6 Lt. Field battery.
5. A Regt. of Infy.
The March countermanded; the Engineer Dept. and a Compy. of N. Infy. alone to march to Quetta, to-morrow.
10. March-order repeated, (25th March.)--Thermometer at 5 A.M. 44°. The order of yesterday repeated, except that no baggage animals to precede the column, or proceed over night; the baggage to follow the troops. The crops on the line of march to be preserved, and parties posted to prevent animals going over the corn-fields. On the arrival at Quetta, guards to be posted at each of the gates of the town, and orders given to prevent any soldiers, or followers, except the buneeahs of the different bazars, entering it.32
The Post, or Dâk, having been cut off for 10 days, 4 mails came in at once. One of the runners had been shot dead, and the blood-stained packet left on the road, and picked up by the next. Attah at 1½ seers per Rs. Oram, none.33 Thermometer at 3 P.M. 66°.
This afternoon Sir A. Burnes, accompanied by Lieut. Pattison, (16th Lancers and A. D. C. to late Brigr. Arnold) Lt. Simpson, S. A. G. G., and Moonshee Mohunlal, started for Khelat, the object being to induce Mehrab Khan to come to tender his submission to H. M. Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk;
32. On the arrival of the troops at Quetta, Major Cureton's details to rejoin their respective Brigades.
Memo.--1 H. and 8 Troopers, 3rd Lt. Cavy. with rations for man and horse for seven days, to be sent at 2 P. M. for escort duty, with Major Craigie (D. A. G.). This officer went back through the Bolan Pass, to meet Sir J. Keane. He did not meet him till he arrived at Dadur, having been only three nights on the road travelling a distance of 74 miles. He was obliged to leave one trooper's horse in the Pass. He returned to Quetta on 3rd April, having marched 158 miles in 8½ days, over wretched stoney-roads.
33. Indian corn sold for 15 Rs. for 20 seers;½ maund (40 lbs.) of Bhoosa for 2 Rs.
and to obtain a supply of grain. Sir A. B. intended to reach his destination, a distance of 112 miles, in 3 days: an escort of 1 Duffadar and 15 troopers, 1st Local Horse, went with him.
March to Quetta, (26th March, 1839.) Thermometer at 4 A.M. 34°. Marched at day-break; the road was by an old foot-path, or bullock track; it wound up the valley, which, after a march of 3 or 4 miles, exhibited signs of cultivation. The mountain peaks, on our right and left, were covered with snow. These mountains divide the valley of Pesheen from Candahar. The route, had a straight line been drawn, would have been N. N. W. to N. W. by N. After a short but cold march, we reached Quetta--a most miserable mud town, with a small castle on a mound, on which there was a small gun, on a ricketty carriage. The peach and almond trees were in blossom. There is a garden, enclosed by a mud-wall, surrounded by poplars; numerous streamlets watered the valley, only a few inches broad, and as many deep; except a broad one near camp, which was deep. Camp N. E. of Quetta. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 60°.34
The elevation of this place above the sea is 5,637 feet, or 156 feet lower than Dusht-i-Bedowlut.
Sir J. Keane, to-day, met Shah Shoojah at Noushera, one march from Dadur, near the entrance to the Bolan Pass. Halt until further orders.
Brigr. Arnold (Comg. Cavy.) and Brigr. Sale (Comg. Infy.) were directed to protect their Camps, while at Quetta.35
34. The thermometer at 4 A.M. to-day was 34°, the lowest we have yet had it. At 3 P.M. 60° the same as in the valley just beyond the Pass, while the intermediate days, it has ranged several degrees higher.
35. Patrols to be sent every two hours to prevent camp-followers, or others, entering the town, by scaling the walls, &c.
QUETTA, AND MARCH FROM IT TO CANDAHAR.
1. Quetta, (27th March, 1839.)--To-day H. M. Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk, the Envoy and Minister, and Sir J. Keane, arrived at Dadur, 8 marches in our rear. H. M.'s force had been attacked by the Belochees, between Shikarpoor and Dadur, and at one place lost 250 camels. They likewise suffered much from want of water and forage.
28th March.--The want of grain now began to be severely felt. After our arrival, we found the shops which contained grain, shut. Recourse was had to a strict search in the town, and at last, Major Leech, the Pol. Asst., ordered the grain-shops to be forced open; but the Commissariat only obtained a supply of about 3 or 400 maunds of flour, not equal to a day's supply for the troops. Some condemned this measure as likely to prevent people coming to the camp; but we were in want of grain.1 The following order was, therefore, to-day published: "In consequence of the limited quantity of supplies at present in camp, and the country so destitute as to afford nothing to replenish the Commissariat stores, Sir W. Cotton is sorry to be under the necessity of placing the European and Native troops and followers
1. We had here the H. A. Cavy. brigade, Camel battery and 1st. Lt. Infy, brigade. The 4th Brigade was left at Sir-i-Ab, a march behind; but required to be supplied from Quetta, and the Shah, Sir J. Keane and his escort, and the Bombay column, were on their way to join the camp here.
on the following rations, until supplies come in: European soldiers, ½ seer (1 lb.) of Attah (flour) in place of bread; except to men in hospital. Native soldiers and followers half of their present ration."2
"The Native troops and followers will receive compensation in money, in lieu of their half-ration of Attah, at the Nerikh (price) of the day. Major Genls. Thackwell and Nott will cause it to be explained by Brigadiers, and by Officers Comg. Regts, to the Native Commissioned and European and Native N. C. O., rank and file, the urgency of the case; he fully relies on the military spirit which has always animated the Bengal soldier, and that they will meet him, willingly, in overcoming this difficulty; which he trusts will be of short duration."3 This gave the soldier a pound
2. Which was one seer to the troops, and half a seer to the followers. It will be seen that both the European and native soldier were limited to half a seer. While the Europeans had meat served out to them besides (one lb. a day). I mention this to show the mode of feeding; troops in India; while there were plenty of Doomba (or fat-tailed) sheep to be had. The Mahomedans eat meat; the Hindus do not generally. Officers were directed to inquire, through their Native officers, if any and what number of sepoys, &c. would take rations of meat. Some did take them, but the sheep were too dear (3 Rs. or 6s.) for the camp-followers to purchase often.
The soldiers and natives of all classes were on the look out daily, to see for a casual seller of grain, which might be brought to the camp from the villages.
I should observe that the native soldier received one seer daily from the Comsst. stores, paying for the same; but that the followers (servants, &c not mustered persons) only received half a seer, so that the reduction gave the followers only a quarter of a seer (½ lb.) of flour--too little for men who live chiefly on this food, and in a country where (except meat) they could procure nothing else; and often making long marches!
3. "The followers whose pay is not drawn in Abstract, and who are entitled to rations from the godown, will receive their compensation from the Executive Comsst. officer; those attached to Regts. to he drawn for by Comg. officers, and those belonging to Depts. or public establishments, by officers in charge of them." "Brigadiers, and officers in charge of Depts. or public establishments, to muster their respective followers, and forward, without delay to D. C. G., certified Returns of the numbers entitled to rations from the godown." It was intended to give compensation to the servants of officers, on furnishing statements duly vouched: but it was countermanded in orders, next day, and suspended, pending the sanction of Government, for which urgent application was made. No compensation was granted; but afterwards Government liberally, gave six months extra full batta to officers; and many officers who could procure grain, bought it and gave an extra quarter seer of Attah, or the same quantity of meat, to such of their servants as would eat mutton, or the flesh of goats.
The mustered establishments had been put on half-rations on the 8th March, 1839.
of flour and 2 ounces of Dhall,4 and the servants half a pound of flour, and half an ounce of Dhall.
29th March.--Grain selling at 3 seers, and flour 2½ seers per Rs.; a small bundle of Lucerne for 5 Rs.; a maund of Bhoosa, 4 Rs.; a grass sheep, 3 Rs.
30th March.--(Genl. orders) "The store of grain for H. A. and Cavy. horses being consumed, and the Commissariat Dept. being unable to collect a sufficient quantity of Bhoosa,5 or other forage for a general issue of rations to troop horses; to preserve their condition, till a further supply of grain reaches the army, Officers Comg. Corps to make arrangements, under instructions from Maj. Genl. Thackwell, for the purchase of such forage as may be procurable, to serve out to the horses, at a rate not exceeding the Govt. ration." Statements certifying the quantity of forage, and rate of purchase, countersigned by Comg. Officers, to be sent to D. C. G., who will cause a refund to be made."
"To be clearly explained that no interference with the inhabitants of the country is to take place; armed-men not to enter their villages under any pretext. If conciliatory means be used, the Major Genl. is confident they will readily bring supplies to camp. Major Genl. T. to hold Comg. officers responsible."6
5. The Chopped straw of wheat, &c.
The Shah, in consequence of the misconduct of the Cazy of Quetta, gave up the fields of green barley belonging to him, for the use of the Cavy. &c. horses. The horses went in marching order daily from 3 to 6 P.M. to forage in the fields.
6. The people who went unarmed were murdered, or wounded. Armed foraging parties are the best to send, they preserve order, and can defend themselves, and the people soon learn not to be alarmed, if well treated.
"The Arty. Park, on reaching Sir-i-Ab to remain halted there till further orders; the 37th N. I. with it, to rejoin its brigade."
"Comisst. Dept. to entertain an establishment of 10 Domes,7 to remove and bury all dead animals found near camp."
A dâk runner murdered in the Pass, but the mail found.
2. Camels driven off, &c. (31st March, 1839.)--About mid-day the enemy came down from the hills and drove off 200 camels. The history of the case is this: the Cazy or Governor of Quetta,8 in the valley of Shawl, had, for a certain consideration received from Major Leech, agreed to protect the gorge of a pass to the N. E. of our camp, distance five or six miles; he did post his people, and while there we had no attacks from that quarter; but they deserted last night, and the Governor also disappeared!9 Parties went out from camp in pursuit,10 but the camels were carried off, and the troops returned to camp in the evening. This was by the facetious called the battle of Cockatoo, the valley being near a hill called Tukatoo.
1st April.--The Major Genl., though he complimented the zeal of officers, directed that, "when a party is
7. They are the lowest class of Hindus. We found it difficult to procure them, and officers were often obliged to pay people to remove dead animals found near their tent. In a standing camp, the stench from dead camels, was dreadful.
8. An appanage of Khelat.
9. Mehrab Khan of Khelat had this man under his influence, and the Kakurs, always ready for plunder, readily obeyed the order to annoy us in every way, and hence the people did not come in with provisions and grain, so frequently at first.
10. Lt. Coy., 48th N. I., a troop of Cavy., re-inforced by the whole of the 2nd Cavy., a Wing of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy., the Camel-battery, and a number of officers of rank, among others. The Cavy. advanced, found the enemy to be 12 Kakurs (robbers), halted for the Infy. The Lt. Coy., 48th N. I. dislodged them from the hill. Lt. Hasell, Adjt. 48th N. I. had a shot through his hat!
detached, or ordered out, no officer, except those belonging to it, to proceed with it, as he may be wanted with his own corps."
A picquet was sent early this morning, consisting of two Cos. of Infy., (one of H. M's 13th Lt. Infy.) and a troop of 3rd Cavy. to the gorge of the Pass, to prevent camels entering the valley beyond it, to graze; or the ingress of the Kakurs.
The people appear alarmed, and are deserting their villages. Many camp-followers killed and wounded in the villages, to which they go to purchase grain,11 and the cultivation near them often destroyed in retaliation.
2nd April.--The picquet at the pass allowed their own camels to go into the proscribed valley, when the Kakurs came down, and drove them off. The Cavy. pursued, and returned in the evening without a camel; but they overtook the fellows, killed three, wounded four, and made one prisoner.12
The Arty. Park ordered to close up to the 4th Brigade to-morrow.
Provisions, (G. O.) "As the price of provisions daily increases, owing to private competition,13 the Maj. Genl., at the recommendation of Major Leech, A. P. A., publishes the following nerikh (price-current), and requests no higher prices may be given. Wheat or uncleaned rice, 2¾ seers-wheat flour, or cleaned rice, 2½ seers--barley 3 seers, and Indian corn 3 seers per rupee."
3rd April. A party with treasure and camels ordered to be sent from Sir-i-Ab, on the 5th instant, with Lieut. Marsh, 3rd Cavy. to the valley of Mooshtung and Nooshky, to purchase and transport grain for the army.
11. Those who had Affghan servants easily procured grain by sending their Yaboos (ponies) The Natives of Hindustan, were of no use on these occasions, as they could seldom speak Persian.
12. These dours (pursuits) greatly knocked up our Cavy.
13. It is difficult to prevent men half-starved from buying at any price to satisfy the wants of nature; if all would, or could, refuse to buy except at a certain price, they might make more favorable terms; but they will not do so.
Repeated the order against armed people going into villages, under penalty of severe punishment. Officers Comg. Corps, and at the head of Depts. to explain the personal risk run, by people wandering about, or into the deserted villages.14
"The picquet at the gorge of the Pass to be withdrawn this evening; to be replaced by a troop of Native Cavy. to come on duty at sun-rise, and to fall back on camp at dusk."
Major Craigie, D. A. G. returned from his trip through the Bolan Pass, to meet Sir J. Keane.
Bearers and other camp-followers brought in during the day, killed or wounded while plundering. The people retaliated, and camels were stolen. They brought in beams and rafters for firewood from deserted villages. These people were severely punished when caught. Camels carried off and recovered by a party under Lieut. Meik, H. M.'s 16th Lancers.
Two Serjts. of Arty, trepanned while out shooting, and mutilated, while in the act of giving a Kakur, a pinch of snuff.15
3. To meet the Commander-in-Chief, &c. (4th April, 1839.)--Sir W. Cotton, and principal staff, rode with an escort to meet Sir J. Keane at Sir-i-Ab, where the Shah and Envoy and minister also had arrived. "The Arty. Park, its escort and the 4th Brigade of Infy. to move from Sir-i-Ab to Quetta, on the 6th instant."
5th April.--Regtl. Qr. Mrs. to employ their Bildars16 to remove and bury all dead animals found in or near the encampments.
Some camels were stolen and driven off towards a village. Cornet Toone, with a party of the 2nd Cavy. picquet pursued, when the thief was overtaken. The Cornet with one cut,
14. They often decoyed our servants into the villages saying they had grain to sell, and then murdered them.
15. The Kakur snatched the gun from the Serjeant's hand, which was the signal; and they were surrounded by armed men. The Serjts. killed several before they were cut down.
16. Men who use shovels, &c. attached to Regts.
took off his head, and brought three prisoners, and the camels back. The Bombay column to-day reached Dadur, eight marches in our rear.
6th April.--A salute of 19 guns announced the arrival of H. E. Lieut.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, Comr.-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus, who marched in with his Escort of a Wing of the 1st Bombay Lt. Cavy., and of the 19th Regt. N. I.
A guard of Honor of Infy., with the Royal colors of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. and the Band, with No. 6, Light Fd. battery, marched to Sir-i-Ab, this morning, to salute H. M. Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk, on his arrival there. A salute of 21 guns on his reaching his camp. The Shah and the Envoy and Minister, encamped to-day near the town.
Order of Thanks.--"H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief having arrived in camp, and assumed command, in person, of the Army, and having directed Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton to resume command of the Bengal Infantry, of the 1st Division, he (Sir W. C.) cannot give up charge of the Bengal column, without expressing in the strongest and warmest terms, his thanks to Maj. Genls. Thackwell and Nott, Brigrs. Sale, Arnold and Roberts, to officers Comg. Corps, and to the Officers and men generally, and to Maj. Craigie, D. A. G., Maj. Garden, D. Q. M. G., and Major Parsons, D. C. G., and to the officers of the several Depts., for the admirable manner in which their duties have been conducted, and for the good conduct and soldier-like behaviour of the troops during a march of more than 1,100 miles."
Order for March.--The Cavy., H. A., and 1st Brigade of Infy. No. 6, Lt. Fd. battery, with the sappers and miners, to move to-morrow, in the following order.
The sappers and miners, under an escort of 2 Cos., will quit camp at 4 A.M.17
17. The cattle carrying their tools only, to accompany them: remainder of their baggage must remain till the Column quits the ground.
|1. H. M. 13th Lt. Infy.
2. 2 T. 2. B. H .A.
3. 2 Regts, of Cavy.
4. No. 6, Lt. Fd. battery.
||5. A Regt. of Cavy.
6. The Treasure.
7. Remg. Regt. of Infy.
(Column right in front.)
|Baggage to move in the following order.
|1st. Of H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief, and Staff of Divisions, and Brigades--under Provost Marshal.
||3rd; Commissariat Field Depôt, and grain cattle.
|2nd. Baggage of Regts., collected, under an officer from each corps; and marched to new ground, in the order in which Regts. move in the column.
|Rear Guard.--Of 2 Cos. of N. I. and one troop of Cavy., will bring up the whole, and the officer Comg. it will not quit camp till the baggage is off the ground.18
4. Order by Sir J. Keane &c.--1. "H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief, having established his Hd. Qrs. with the advance column, cannot but express his gratification at the proud position in which he is placed by the command of such fine troops; also at having received charge from his friend, and former companion in the Field, Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton, to whom his thanks are due, for the able and judicious manner in which he has conducted the march of the Bengal column, over a great distance of country, from Ferozpoor to this, crossing the Indus; and overcome the difficulties between Shikarpoor to Dadur, and passage of the Bolan Pass, with Arty., Cavy. and Infy., and arrived in
18. "Capt. Watt will direct his treasure-camels to move with those of the Fd. Pay-office, in front of the rear Regt. of Infy. in the column. The ressalah of Horse at his disposal, will afford ample protection to the stores of the Depot."
"The Local Horse will be posted, at convenient distances, along the line of baggage animals."
"The Baggage Master held responsible that no baggage precedes the troops. A party of L. H. will be at Capt. Nash's disposal, to give effect to these orders."
Affghanistan in a highly creditable order, and the Comr.-in-Chief will not fail to report his sentiments, in these terms, to his lordship the Govr. Genl."
3."Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton, will resume command of the 1st Division; and Maj. Genl. Nott of the 2nd Brigade, from which these officers were, temporarily, transferred in G. O. of 4th December 1838."
4."Lt.-Col. Dennie, will deliver over the command of the troops at Shikarpoor, and proceed to join his Regt. the first favorable opportunity."
5."Brigr. Gordon, Comg. in Upper Sinde, will receive orders, to send on to the advance, as occasions may offer, the 3 Regts. of Bengal Infy. now at Shikarpoor; they will be sent by strong detachments, guarding provisions and treasure: the 35th Regt. to be the first sent on."
6."Depôts for ordnance and Comsst. stores, will be formed at Dadur, and at Quetta, and at each of those posts, a Regt. of N. I. will be quartered, with a ressalah of Local Horse, and such details of H. M. Shah Shoojah's troops, as may hereafter be specified."
7. "Maj. Genl. Nott, with the Hd. Qrs. of the 2nd Brigade, to remain at Quetta; and will exercise a general superintendence and military control within the province of Shawl.19 The 43rd N. I. to stand fast at Quetta, and 1 Regt. of Infy., with a ressalah of Horse from H. M. Shah Shoojah's force, also, will be left at that place."
8. "On the arrival of the 35th N. I. at Dadur, the 3 Cos. of the 37th N. I., now there, will be replaced by a similar detail from that corps; which, in its turn, will be relieved, and pushed forward on the arrival of the Regt. of the 2nd Brigade, destined to occupy that place."
10. "In a service of this kind, having in view the interest of the public, as well as that of the Army, and followers, it seems inexpedient that two distinct Comsst.
19. Capt. Bean, 23rd N. I. was appointed Pol. Agent at Quetta, and in the province of Shawl. This province was the gift of a king of Affghanistan to one of his nobles, for service performed, as a Shala, (Shawl) or dowry with his wife.
Establishments, drawing in connexion one with the other, should exist; it is therefore ordered that Major Parsons, the D. C. G., Bengal Army, shall take on himself the general direction of the Comsst. Depts. both of Bengal and Bombay."20
11. "Returns by the Heads of Depts. with troops of each Presidency, to continue; and all periodical papers and reports required by the Regns. of the service to the Hd. Qrs. of the Army of Bengal and Bombay to be transmitted."
12. "Maj. Genl. Thackwell and Brigr. Stevenson, Comg. troops both from Bengal and Bombay, will report for the information of H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief through the Staff officers of the Presidency to which the corps, or detachments happen to belong."
13. "The officers Comg. at Shikarpoor, Dadur, and Quetta, will report direct to the D. A. G. of the Presidency to which the troops belong, all casualties, and occurrences; and use their utmost influence to aid the officers of the Comsst. Dept., or their Agents employed in the collection of grain for the troops; and afford adequate escorts, when provisions are forwarded to the army."
14. "Officers, of whatever rank, must not fail, in passing through those stations, to report their arrival and departure, to the officers Comg. the posts in question, for the information of the Comr.-in-Chief."
5. Occurrences and state of affairs, (6th April, 1839.)--The Lancer patrol this morning was fired on from a loop-holed mud building; the picquet came up; a few of the men dismounted, and ran up to the building, and as the garrison presented their matchlocks, the Lancers seized
20. "Capt. Watt is, at present, at the Head of the Field Comsst. and office of Accts. of the Bengal troops; and Capt. Davidson, at the Head of the Bombay Comsst. will act in the same situation for the Bombay troops; under the orders of Major P."
"Capts. W. and D. will have superintendence over the Comsst. officers in charge of Brigades; and exercise control over their Accts.: all matters relating to provisioning the troops, will be referred by the latter to the former. The above not to interfere with the Regns. of the respective Governments."
them, wrenched them out of their hands; unroofed the building, and pistoled the six men inside, killed 5 and wounded 1; the rest, outside, ran up the mountains.
Sir A. Burnes returned about this time from Khelat, but without any supplies. Mehrab Khan made many excuses for not furnishing grain, saying that he could not force the grain merchants to sell, while it was known that they were willing to sell, but dared not to do so without his orders. Another object of Sir A. B.'s mission was, to try and bring the Khan to tender his submission, in person, to the Shah. Here too, he interposed obstacles; he said he was a poor Beloch, and what harm could he do, that he was attached to the King's service,21 and that if the Envoy and Minister would give him the "Istiqbal" (or meeting) he would come.22 There were several interviews, during which the Khan would not allow even his minister to be present. The Khan, moreover, before he entered into any treaty, wanted to obtain Kurachee and its port in Sindh, hut he waived this claim on the British Govt. agreeing to stand between him and the king, and giving him 1½ Lakh of Rs. (£15,000); for which he said he would protect our supplies, convoys, &c.23
Not much grain was obtained by the Convoy which was sent to the valley of Moostung. To judge of the conduct of Mehrab Khan, who said to Sir A. B.--"You have brought an Army into the country; but how do you propose to take it out again?"--it is necessary to state, that it was, afterwards, ascertained, that the night before the departure
21. Khelat always belonged to the Dooranee empire, and it is quite true as the Khan said, "When the Shah was defeated in 1834, at Candahar, and sought shelter here, I gave it to him; and when urged by the chiefs of Candahar to give him up, I refused."
22. This would not have been according to etiquette, and was tantamount to a refusal.
It is said he was afraid the king would seize and imprison him; however, he was told no such thing should occur, and that he should be escorted back to Khelat in safety.
23. He could have brought about eight or 10,000 Belochees into the field if they were united, and if he had money.
of Sir A. Burnes, a plan had been formed to murder the whole party, which was defeated by their unexpected departure.24
Distress of the followers.--So scarce and dear had grain become, that some of the camp-followers were known to have fried the skins of the sheep, and to have eaten them, and also to have devoured the congealed blood of animals, roots, &c. The thermometer, here, at 5 A.M. averaged from 30° to 55°; and at 3 P.M. from 58° to 76° while we had, at times, heavy rain and cold cutting wind. The Bombay Column was now at Dadur, near the entrance to the Pass, 8 marches in our rear. There were detachments of Bengal troops also there. The Belochees were daily attacking and carrying off the cattle belonging to the troops of both.
"All open communication with their front and rear, was entirely cut off, except by large detachments; and these were invariably menaced by strong bodies of Beloch horse."25
24. I was told so by Lt Simpson, S. A. C. G., one of the party. The Khan said, "Your army will be starved, and the water of the country will kill your people."
25. Capt. Outram says, p. 59, that the Bombay Column "was obliged to wait at Dadur for supplies from Shikarpoor." Shikarpoor to Dadur is 10 marches. The Bombay column made 12 marches from Larkhana to Dadur. Had it marched from Larkhana viâ Shikarpoor (52 miles, or four marches) it would have made two marches more; but would have saved time, and have procured supplies at Shikarpoor. The object of the march viâ the Gundava Pass was, to try and move by Khelat, and thus, avoid the Bolan Pass and the route between Shikarpoor and Dadur. The march of troops viâ Khelat, would have been useful, but we could not afford the time it took; which caused delay, and a consumption of our provisions.
There was one person who thought our advance fraught with great danger, from the certain prospect of starvation! The contents of a letter written by this person were, by mere accident, made known to another person. It contained a proposal to counter-march the Bengal column by double forced marches, from Quetta to Shikarpoor, and one Regt. with two guns, was destined to be intrenched at the Head of the Pass, till the column had got through it to Dadur. The Bombay column was to leave guns, &c. behind; and push through the Gundava Pass to Larkhana!!! This because we had only about nine days full rations in camp. We should have been in a pretty position, with hordes of Belochees, &c attacking our rear and flanks!!!
I must not omit to mention that while Sir J. Keane, was at Sir-i-Ab, one march in our rear, his camp was attacked by plunderers, when 11 were seized in the act, and the fact being proved, were summarily dealt with and shot. This example was necessary to deter others, and was warranted by the custom of war and by necessity.26
6. March from Quetta to Koochlâk, (7th April, 1839).--Leaving the force, above detailed27 at Quetta, the troops marched this morning. Shortly after leaving camp, we heard repeated firing, which turned out to be the shooting of 60 horses belonging to the Cavalry, which had been reported, by a Committee, as too weak to proceed on the march!
There are three roads or passes from Quetta towards Candahar; one to the right N. E.28, another to the N., and a third to the N. W. We marched by that to the N. W. The road lay down the valley over water-courses, ditches, and fields of corn. We saw a number of the dead bodies of camp-followers on the road, and the barbarous savages of such deeds, scowled on us, from their mountain-peaks.
26. Sir A. Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) wrote to Col. Murray, letter dated Bombay, 1st April, 1804, as follows: "However, I think that Bheels, and people of that description, whose profession is plunder, and who come armed into the camp for that purpose, ought not to be considered and treated as common robbers. They are public enemies and rebels against all authority, and I recommend that when one of them is caught in the camp, whether it be situated in the Company's territories, or in those of the Rajah, he may be shot by the nearest rear guard if he should be taken in the act of robbery. If something of this kind be not done, the robberies and outrages of the Bheels, will reduce the troops to the greatest distress." (The Wellington Manual, p. 61.)
27. See para. 4, No. 7 of the G. O. 6th April, 1839. Capt. Bean was ordered to raise a local (Kakur) corps, which has proved to be a useful body.
28. Whence the camels were driven off, see para. 2.
At about 7 miles a slight ascent towards the gorge of the Pass. There are two ghauts, descended by both, (the guns went down by that to the right,) down to the dry bed of the river.
The road lay N. and N. W. to the Pass of Koochlâk. Moved through the bed of the river for about a mile; high hills on each side; then, turning to the right, entered the valley. The Ghauts were not very steep, and about 100 yards long. The bed of the river was stony. The heights near the Pass, command the road: we found no enemy.29
Two miles from camp crossed a deep water-course. The village of Koochlâk, W. of camp, deserted. Our rear (E.) was covered by the hills, and a deep water-course ran along our front (W.): distance marched 10¾ miles.
8th April.--Marched at 5 A.M. to Hyderzye. The road bad; crossed the Shahdeezy-Lora twice; the banks precipitous, and difficult for the guns and cattle. After a tedious march, came to a fine plain and the considerable village of Hyderzye. Most of the people had fled. The guns and baggage not up till 1 P.M. There are two roads hence, by one of which it is said you save a march.
Some baggage camels got in advance to-day, before the troops moved, which caused delay; the order of the 6th inst., repeated.
The Kakurs attacked the Shah's baggage, and were severely handled; six were killed, and the rest fled.
Distance marched 10¼ miles. This place is 5259 feet above the level of the sea; 378 feet below Quetta.
9th April.--Marched at 5 A.M.
The order of march this morning was as follows:
|1. 2. Regts. Cavy.
2. H. A.
3. 2 Regts. Infy.
5. A Regt. Infy.
||6. A Regt. Cavy.
7. Treasure between the 2 rear Regts.
8. Rear Guard, 2 Cos. of Infy., and a troop of Cavy.
29. The subsequent column, H. C. 1st. Bengal Eurn. Regt. and 37th N. I. were fired on; they were obliged to send up parties, and a sharp firing took place. A Sergt. of the European Regt. was wounded, and disabled: and a Sepoy was wounded.
At 8 miles crossed a narrow river with high banks, and shallow water, and the spur of a hill, into the valley of Pisheen.
Grain is coming into camp; and the people have remained in the villages, and asked for guards. A Company of Infy. was posted in the town.
The Park of Arty., under the Escort of the 4th Brigade of Infy. and 4th Local Horse, marched this day from Quetta.
The Bombay Arty. (H. and F.) and H. M.'s 17th foot marched to-day from Dadur into the Pass.
The distance to Hykulzye 10 miles, 7 furlongs. The elevation 5063 feet, or 196 feet less than yesterday.
7. To left bank of the Shahdeezy-Lora, (10th April, 1839).--Marched at 5 A.M. The sappers and miners in advance. No baggage allowed to move in advance. At six miles crossed a dry nullah. At 7½ miles crossed the Shahdeezy-Lora river. The ravines near the river precipitous, and the banks so high and perpendicular, that the troops were obliged to pile their arms, and lower the guns, and drag them down and up the steep Ghauts, made for their passage.30 The river not broad, and not above two feet deep. The horses were taken out of the guns, and the camels from the camel-battery. There was a descent of about 150 yards, and after crossing the stream, a steep bank to ascend; then, at the distance of 150 yards, a second ascent, not very steep. The baggage, thus kept in the rear, did not all come up till 5 P.M. Distance marched 7¾ miles.
After crossing, the Cavy. and H. A. were ordered to move on immediately, as there was here, no forage, to Arumbee, distant 7 miles and 5 furlongs.
The Shah and his force, &c. remained encamped on the other (right) bank of the river.
The Envoy and Minister wrote to Sir J. Keane, to inform him that an attack on the camp at night, was threatened by 3000 men. The troops slept on their arms all night: no
30. Working parties H. A. and H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.
attack was made. Grain brought into camp more freely to-day.31
11th April.--To Arumbee; distance 7 miles, 5 furlongs. The road over a level track of jungle of Tamarisk, interspersed with cultivation. The road good.
The Engineers went on in advance to the head of the Kojuk Pass, to prepare the Ghaut for the passage of the guns, &c. The 1st Brigade Infy. and Camel-battery marched this morning to Quilla Abdoollah Khan.
Lt. Simpson, S. A. C. G., left camp with a company, and went to the rear to purchase grain.
We to-day heard of a very gallant affair which occurred in the Bolan Pass, some days ago, while the 35th Bengal N. I. were marching through it;--a large body of Belochees and Murhees attacked the Rear Guard of the corps (one company) commanded by Lt. Towgood. The Belochees fired a volley with their matchlocks, and then rushed on the guard, sword in hand. The guard waited till they came within about 40 paces, when Lt. T. fired a volley; and, under cover of the smoke, came to the charge. They fled leaving 40 killed and wounded on the spot, and never again ventured within the range of the musketry!
12th April.--The Hd. Qr. marched to Quillah Abdoolah Khan, distant 7½ miles. The road lay over a flat, broken by small hills and the dry beds of mountain-streams, covered with loose stones, till we saw Quillah Abdoolah on our left, (N.) about 4 or 5 miles distant. The camp in a little open valley of stones, bounded by low hills. The fort was deserted. A Battn. of the Shah's Infy, was left here, and withdrawn on the formation of the "Bolan Rangers."32 A grove of trees, and a fine stream of water close to it. There is a tank in the fort, and a garden, and
31. There is said to be a straight road by which you can march from Hyderzye to the river in one march. Major Leech said so; he marched, alone, however.
32. Lt. Bosanquet, 16th N. I. was left at Quillah Abdoolah Khan, in political charge, and directed to raise a corps of Achukzyes, which took some time to effect. It is a useful body, but it is a lonely position, he being the only European there.
room for a Battn. The Cavy. and Arty. order to encamp between this and the entrance to the Pass.
The remainder of the 16th N. I. pushed on to join the Sappers and Miners. The troops at Head Quarters halted to-day.
H. E. Sir J. Keane went this morning to look at the entrance to the Pass, where he breakfasted, and staid sometime.33 This day the remainder of the Bombay troops entered the Bolan Pass. Major Daly, Comg. the wing H. M.'s 4th L. D. saw a party coming in force towards him, and trying to surround him; he retreated from them till he enticed them on, and then, he charged them, and killed many of them.
13th April.--The troops at Hd. Qrs. halt to-morrow.
The sappers and miners, and the 16th N. I., in advance, were established to-day on the northern extremity of the Pass, in the valley.
The whole of the Cavy. and the two batteries marched into our camp.
8. Passage of the Kojuk-Pass, (14th April, 1839.)--The order of march published yesterday for to-day was as follows:
|1. Baggage of H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief--Genls. of Division, and Officers at Hd. Qrs.
2. Baggage of corps, according to position in the Brigade.
3. Fd. Comsst. and grain cattle.34
||At 3 A.M. the 1st Brigade of Infy. and Camel-battery will quit camp, followed by the baggage, in the order detailed in the margin; which is to be protected by the Dett. of Local Horse on duty with 1st Brigade; and a Coy. of Infy., as a rearguard.
"The brigade of Cavy. with its Arty., to move on to the Pass."
"Working parties from the Cavy., and Infy., on the arrival at the ascent near the Sapper's camp, to be told off, to drag the Arty, of their respective brigades, across the Pass."
"The Baggage Master to be on the alert, at the commencement of the ascent, to prevent crowding, and to take care to stop the baggage, at intervals, before it enters the narrow gorge, to admit of the animals filing over with regularity; only one camel can pass up at a time, and H. E. impresses upon Officers, the necessity of having their own animals, as well as those of the men, as lightly laden as circumstances will admit; this will be the only mode of preserving their baggage; as every camel that falls, must be removed with his load, out of the path, and the eventual loss of property must be the result."
Thermometer at 2 A.M. 60°. At 3 A.M. the 1st Brigade of Infantry, and Camel-battery marched, and 5 A.M. the wing of 1st Bombay Cavy. (escort) and Hd. Qrs.
After leaving our last ground, the mountains soon closed on us, and the troops filed up a water-course, dry and stony, with a few stunted trees here and there.
At about 6 miles, the ascent of about 1½ miles in extent to the entrance to the Pass, commenced; the distance between the hills, here, was not more than 80 or 100 feet, the road confined by banks. The centre road had been made for the guns; it was very steep and difficult: there is a steep ascent first up to the left, then there was a turn to the right35 after the ascent; thence there was a descent, with a precipice on one side of the road, which rendered the operation of dragging the guns, &c. a service of great labour and
33. The late Brig. Arnold went to the Pass and was fired at by a well-dressed mounted man, supposed to be a chief. A sentry of H. M. 13th Lt. Infy. to-night, shot an Achukzye (mountaineer of these hills) who came up to his post and did not answer the challenge; he ran off up the hill, but his body was found next day in the hills.
34. All the baggage was to be off the ground this morning by six A.M. after which hour nothing was to quit camp till 1 A.M.
35. Guns with horses, or with men and drag-ropes, cannot make a sharp turn; there must be a considerable sweep in the road. It was necessary to make, as well as cut the road at the turn, to prevent guns falling over the precipice; one H. A. gun fell over, horses and all; a wheel only slightly injured. The ascent was very steep for 800 feet.
fatigue. There were two other roads, one to the left, and another to the right.
The left road, though the longest and circuitous, was the best for camels, being easier of ascent.
The right road was not fit for the passage of camels with loads; some men, bullocks and ponies went by it; it lay over a rocky path.
All the three roads met at the bottom of the Pass. The descent was about a mile by the centre road, and more by the right and left roads.
From the top of the Pass, you behold the road which leads to the valley of Candahar below; and distant hills, beyond which that city lies.
The elevation above the sea, at the halt in the Kojuk Pass was 6,848 feet; the summit of the Pass, 7,457 feet, the summit is 1,780 feet above the valley below, which gave us a commanding view.
9. Confusion in the Pass.--The Cavalry brigade and H. A. were ordered to march to-day at 1 P.M. Thus there were two batteries and six Regts. with their baggage, to move through the Pass, and make a march of 11 miles included in one day's operation! The Camel-battery was overtaken by camels and baggage. The Pass only admitted of one camel passing at a time.36 The ascent was so steep, that some did not like to ride up it; nor, for the like reason, to ride down the descent, for this was more difficult still; some camels fell, and stopt the rest behind. This state of things caused the march of the Cavalry and H. A. to be countermanded; but it was too late, their baggage was in the Pass; and it was clear, as it turned out, that it would take the whole day to cross and pass down the H. A. guns and troops, already in the Pass; for each gun, each tumbril, wagon, &c. was to be separately handed down by manual labor. Orders were given to turn back the camels, and make them go by a different route--that by the left.
36. Sir W. Cotton's buggy got upset, but it made the grand tour to Caubool and back to Ferozpoor. The ascent and descent of the right road were fearfully dangerous.
This augmented the confusion, and the whole became one accumulated mass of troops, guns, and baggage. The ammunition wagons came into camp. Troops were ordered back to protect the baggage for the night. The whole of the Comsst. stores were in the Pass.
The Hd. Qrs. were established at the foot of the Pass at Chumun Chokee in the valley, which is about 2½ miles from the top of the Pass. The road down to the valley, runs between commanding hills, which may be distant 5 to 800 yards from each other. The camp at the Chumun Chokee was 5,677 feet above the level of the sea (40 feet above Quetta), 1,780 feet below the summit of the Pass. This would give, in 3 miles a fall of about 1 in 9 feet, but, as the descent only occupied about 1-3rd of the distance from the top of the Pass to the Chumun, the fall in it must have been about 1 in 3 feet. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 94°.
The troops at Hd. Qrs. directed to halt to-morrow.
15th April--(G. O.) "The Brigade of Cavy., and its Artillery, to encamp to-day at the foot of the Pass. The 1st Brigade (excepting the 16th N. I.) to be employed in bringing the heavy ordnance across the heights."37
16th April--The Cavy. Brigade and H. A., the Engineer Dept. and the 16th Bengal N. I. marched this morning to the Kudany river (Dundee Goolaee), the first march towards Candahar, to obtain forage and water.38
37. G. O. 16th April "Every soldier who can be spared from camp belonging to the 1st Brigade Infy. to be detached as a working party, to the top of the Pass to-morrow morning, to aid in bringing over the heavy Artillery, A party of sappers with the pioneers to move at the same time to the top of the Pass.
"The men of one Coy. of N. I. proceeding to the Pass are to have their arms with them." In such cases I think all should take their arms, and pile them near the working party.
38. There are some springs at the Chumun, but not enough for a large body of troops, they were to the right of our Camp, distant about 800 yards. There were springs in the Pass, between the summit and the Chumun, but it was not a safe position for troops, or baggage cattle; there was not forage in it, but coarse grass; and the hills, an each side, perfectly commanded the road! At Chumun Chokee the forage for camels was not very good, and scarce; our camel were constantly carried off. Captain Outram says, p. 72 "there are some fine springs, but scarcely a blade of grass."
It may be here mentioned, that these only admitted of obtaining water at a great expense of time. They dry up for a time if used all day; so that troops from the rear coming in during an evening, would not find much, and that muddy; and we had great experience of these facts! There was some water in advance about four or five miles to the left of our next march.
Some of the Bombay troops arrived at Quetta to-day. Mehrab Khan of Khelat was, then, said to be in close communication with Dost Mahomed Khan.39
17th April.--"A working party from H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. to be sent to the Head of the Pass to-morrow morning. Every soldier in the 14th Brigade40 who can be spared from the duty of camp, to be detached to-morrow morning as a working-party, to assist in bringing over the heavy Artillery." A report of 3,000 of the enemy in the Plains.
The 4th Brigade and battering train were at the Pass. The Shah passed down the Pass this morning, and took up ground between the Hd. Qrs. and the Cavy., or a little in advance of us.41
The mules of the Bombay 9-pr. battery (at Quetta) were found to be completely exhausted, and arrangements were made for leaving it behind.
10. Head Qrs. march to Dundee Goolaee, (18th April, 1839.)--The Hd. Qrs. with H. E. and escort (wings of 1st Lt. Cavy, and 19th N. I. Bombay), and Staff, marched this morning. Before day-light we heard the sentries firing at the Achukzyes (mountaineers); 5 camels carried off from the
39. Major Todd was there, and must have known it. Some kind of treaty had been made by Sir A. Burnes, but the Khan was acting a part!
40. Arrived to-day at the top of the Pass.
41. Two bullocks were carried off close to camp, and three water carriers dreadfully cut up. The springs ought at first to have been enclosed within the picquets. While at dinner, a saees of Capt. Lowe's (16th Lancers) came to the door of our (staff) Mess-tent dreadfully cut on the head, and robbed of every thing, and this not 100 yards from the tent!
Hd. Qrs. camp. There was a considerable descent over a sterile plain. At about half-way, crossed the dry bed of the Kudany river. The road was over a succession of undulating, stony ground. At the point, about 3 or 4 miles to the right of our track, we perceived what we thought to be a cloud of dust. It had the appearance of Cavy., at a distance, charging down on us! Some officers rode out to see what it was, while we halted, to be prepared. All our glasses were in requisition to ascertain the cause. There was no enemy.42 Had there been, we were between the camp of the Cavy., and that at the Chumun Chokee. There was a long string of camels, with baggage, on our left.
The distance to Dundee Goolaee, where we found the Cavy. &c., was 14¼ miles. The elevation above the sea, at this place, was 4,036 feet, or 1,641 feet lower than the Chumun Chokee; so we descended considerably this march.
Found on the road the mutilated bodies of many camp-followers.
The 4th Brigade hard at work at the Pass to-day. Maj. Genl. Willshire, with part of the Bombay Column at Sir-i-Ab, to-day. His baggage attacked with considerable spirit at the head of the Bolan Pass; 49 camels' load of grain carried off, 5 horses killed, and 3 troopers wounded, many of the enemy said to be killed.
The Hd. Qrs. to halt to-morrow. A good tank of water to the right of camp, fed by the Kudany river; the stream got dry by the evening. The stream had been turned up to the next ground. Thermometer at 3 A.M. 62°, at 3 P.M. 97°.
42. Some grass had caught fire, and the smoke moved rapidly towards us with the wind which was light, in a waving, undulating form; (we know that grass once catching fire, that it will force a passage even against the wind, if a patch of grass to windward be near it, as if lighted to lee-ward the heat bends down the dry grass towards it, and thus communicates with that unburnt.) A little further on, we found some camels from the Cavy. camp out at graze, moving quickly and kicking up a dust, which had a different appearance.
19th April--Thermometer at 5 A.M. 54°, at 3 P.M. 102° The first Brigade Infy. with its Artillery marched from Chumun Chokee into our camp to-day. Halt for the 4th Brigade and Arty.; they are at the Pass still; hard work for the 1st Bengal European Regt. Twelve men and two women killed by the villagers, and two elephants belonging to the Envoy and Minuter, carried off. A party sent to bring back the stream of water, but returned unsuccessful. A party should have been kept there. The D. A. Q. M. Genl. (Lt. Becher) and a troop of the 1st Bombay Cavy. went out to feel for the enemy; but none seen within the distance of 11 miles. The Bombay Column at Koochlâk to-day seven marches in our rear; the enemy fired long shots at them.
The Shah this evening made a tour round the whole camp.
11. G. O. Camp duties, Crops, &c. (19th April, 1839.)--Heard to-day, that the Candahar chiefs, with 1,500 horse, were near our camp, and meant to attack us. "H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief directs that the duties of camp, shall for the future he conducted in the following manner."
1st. "A Brigadier of the day, who will be in charge of the whole of the picquets of the camp."
2nd. "A Field Officer from each Brigade, who will be in charge of the picquets of the Brigade, and who will report to and receive instructions from the Brigr. on duty."
3rd. "A main-picquet of a troop of Cavy. and two Cos. of Infy., will, when the camp is halted, mount every morning, at day-light; from which will be detached to a distance of 2 or 2½ miles, in advance, according to the nature of the ground, at sun-set every evening, a subaltern's party of Cavy."
"This party must be particularly on the alert, and no followers of any description to accompany it."43
43. "Patroles from the main picquet will move up to it, at intervals, throughout the night, and on halting-days, it will rejoin the main picquet at sun-rise."
"On marching days, the main picquet, coming on duty, will form the Advance-guard; and the picquet coming off duty, the Rear-guard." (The main picquet consisted of 1 Coy. of Eurn. and 1 of N. Infy.; and 1 troop of H. M. 16th Lancers.)
"In addition to the main-picquet, the Maj. Genls. Comg. the Cavy. and Infy. will direct such picquets and guards to be furnished from the brigades at their Hd. Qrs. as they may deem expedient; and require the F. O. on duty, to communicate to the Brigr. of the day, the strength of the different details. They are likewise authorized, on his requisition, to increase the number of men on duty, should circumstances render the measure necessary."
4th. "In-lying-picquets equal in strength to the out-lying-picquets of Brigades, are to be told off for duty."44
5th. "The Brigr. of the day when coming off duty, will report, in person, to H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief."45
6th. "Brigades will, alternately, furnish an Adjt. of the day, to be, in attendance on the Brigr."
7th. "The main-picquet will mount this evening at 5 o'clock."
8th. "The officer Comg. the troops, forming H. E.'s escort, will communicate to the Brigr. of the day, the strength of the picquets they may have mounted, and will comply with such requisitions as he may make for additional men, to ensure a communication with the sentries in front and rear of the encampment."
"The Brigr. of the day will be furnished, by the D. Q. M. G., with a Plan of the encampment, which, on halting days, he will transfer to the Brigr. who may relieve him."46
9th. (Preservation of Corps.) "As the country through which the army is now moving, affords forage for the camels and good grass for the horses, H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief deems it necessary to acquire the strictest observance of the G. O., which have been issued prohibiting the cutting of
44. They were to join the out-lying picquets, when ordered by the Brigr. or F. O. of the day, being intended as supports to those in front.
45. The Brigr. coming on duty commanded the Advance guard; the F. O. coming off duty, the rear-guard.
46. He was also, to explain the orders he had received, and what had occurred during his tour of duty; and to communicate any intelligence he was acquainted with, reports, &c.
growing crops; and he desires officers Comg. mounted corps, distinctly to understand, that when circumstances may render it necessary to assign green crops for the Cavy. horses, the same will be duly notified to the troops in a G. O. but, without this authority, they are, on no account, to allow the grass-cutters to encroach on the fields."47
To-day died poor Lt.-Col. Jas. Thomson, Comg. the 31st (Bengal) N. I. The Regt. had just made its first march from Shikarpoor; the heat was intense. The thermometer at 135° in the sun. This Officer died of apoplexy. He was an excellent officer, universally respected and esteemed, and regretted as a great loss to the service, as well as to his family. I mention this fact, here, to prove the state of the weather between Shikarpoor and Dadur, in the month of April!
12. (20th April, 1839), Hajee Khan, Kakur.--To-day no water in camp. A party went and opened the bund: the enemy came down, when our party left, and closed it again. The 4th Brigade still employed at the Kojuk Pass. This afternoon came into camp, with a party of about 200 horsemen, the celebrated Hajee Khan, Kakur,48 chief of that
47. "The Provost Marshal and his Assts. are required to be on the alert, to apprehend followers transgressing this order; and it is to be proclaimed by beat of Tom-Tom in the different Bazars that, if they persist in disregarding it, the Comr.-in-Chief will order a signal example to be made of the offending party."
48. "Properly Taj Mahomed Khan, a Kakur by caste, a man of considerable note in the country, both as being one of the chiefs of a large, independent clan, and as having distinguished himself in the field and counsel; has lately sought service with Rahm Dil Khan, 2nd of the three Chiefs of Candahar) who has allowed him, nominally 60,000 Rs. (£6,000) a year, and the command of 300 horsemen; merely to prevent him joining the Sikhs, or Persians. On account of a supposed intrigue with the former during the late war, Dost Mahomed discharged him; he is a man of a ready address, and from the time of Vizier Futteh Khan, has been constantly handed backward and forward, between the Barakzye brothers; his arguments are heard in council, though his sincerity is often doubted." (Lt. Leech's report (1838) to Govt. while at Candahar in 1837; para. 37.) Dost Mahomed is known to have said that the only mistake he committed in regard to this man was, not having taken his life!
H. M. Shah Soojah wrote to Lt.-Col. Wade, before he left Loodianah, that the Cossids despatched to Candahar and to the Ghiljie country, had returned with letters from the Ghiljie chiefs, and added, "The Ghiljie, Dooranee, and other tribes are ready with heart and soul to serve me." "The Cossid delivered a verbal message from Hajee Khan, Kakur, who, out of fear, addressed no letter, but sent a message alluding to a silver dagger which he got before the Persian war, and that, "he will either seize the disloyal and present them before me; or induce all the servants to come along with him to the presence." He did not like to commit himself by writing, 10,000 Rs. (1,000) were sent to the Hajee, before the king left Loodinah, as a retaining fee!
tribe, who tendered his submission; and was graciously received by the Shah; he pitched his tents in the king's camp.
The Hajee informed the King how he had arranged to get quit of the chiefs of Candahar!49 He said the chiefs intended to make an attack, at night, (Chuppao) on our camp; that he told them that they might expect to be attacked themselves; "You have" said he, "carried off two of their elephants;50 the English are not the people to allow this to be done with impunity. They will march with a large force, and guns, against you, and you are unequal to a contest with such troops. Stay where you are, and I will go and see if I can find out from what direction they are coming." "I got them to retire; I then moved off with my party, and so got rid of them; and I have now come to join your majesty!"
49. Capt. Outram says in his notes, p. 74, Deh Hajee (88th April, 1839)--"a considerable village lately plundered by the Sirdars of Candahar, who had come thus far to oppose our army; and dissensions among themselves, and the defection of an eminent chief, (Hajee Khan, Kakur) on whom they principally relied, had broken up their army, and they returned to Candahar, flying from the city with scarce 900 followers, on the 24th April, 1839." From Dundee Goolaee to Deh Hajee is 46½ miles, so that it would appear, that their principal force was not near us on the 20th April. Deh Hajee is 19½ miles from Candahar, so it is probable that the chiefs left Deh Hajee on the 22nd April. Said to have been between 2, and 3,000; see No. 2, Appx. para. 11.
50. They belonged to the Envoy and Minister; and were taken off while out to get forage.
Two other influential men came in, also, to-day, G. O. "H. M. Shah Shoojah, having intimated his desire that the Cavalry be permitted to forage on the crops of growing corn, in the tract of country through which the army is now moving, and having deputed an Officer (Capt. Hutton) to apportion them to the several encampments (an equal distribution to each); H. E. the Comr-in-Chief appoints Maj. Hay, A. Q. M. G. of Cavy., to receive from that Officer, the portion assigned to the Bengal and Bombay troops; Maj. H. will then deliver over to Qr. Mrs. of corps a proportion according to the number of troops of which each is composed; and any infringement on that assigned to the Shah's force, on the part of the followers of the regular Army, is strictly prohibited. (Maj. H. to set apart a proportion for the Cavy. and gun-bullocks, still in the rear.) The prohibition to the destruction of the crops by the followers, and to camels, tattoos, &c. going into the fields; to be in full force."
"The three Cos. 37th N. I., not having been relieved by the 35th N. I. as contemplated in G. O. of the 6th inst., are to be sent on from Dadur with the first considerable despatch of stores, after the arrival at that place, of the corps of the 2nd (Bengal) Brigade, destined to occupy it."
The Bombay column to-day at Hyderzye, six marches in our rear. Their rear-guard was fired on by fifty men, crowning some little heights to the left of the column; no harm done. They found the village deserted. Thermometer at 5 A.M. 54°, at 3 P.M. 102°.
21st April, (Quilla Futtoolah.)--Marched to-day at daybreak. (At 3 A.M. Thermometer 54°.) The main-picquet, coming on duty, with the sappers and miners leading.51
The Cavy. Brigade, with its Arty., followed, and then came the Infy., with No. 6, Lt. Fd. battery.
The old main-picquet, reinforced by a squadron of Cavy.,
51. "To occupy such a position, on arrival at the new ground, as the Brigr. of the day may think fit, in communication with D. Q. M. G."
formed the rear-guard; and the Local Horse was distributed along the line of baggage animals.52
Marched over an immense plain to Quilla Futtoolah, distant 10½ miles; there is a small square mud fort, with bastions at the angles, about¾ of a mile from camp. It was empty, and the village deserted; we heard that the head chief, Kohun-dil-Khan, had returned to Candahar,53 taking Mr. MacNaghten's elephants with him. At 11 A.M. no sweet water in camp; great distress. There was a salt spring, of clear water, to the rear of camp, and about two miles off. The Bombay column when here, on the 26th April, discovered a small well; and opened other wells which had been filled up. The Fort was about¾ mile from the front of camp. At 3 P.M. no water in camp. The thermometer in the tent at 3 P.M. 102°; in the Sun 130°; great suffering among the soldiers, &c. European and native, and the cattle.
The elevation above the sea, here, 3,918 feet; only 118 feet lower than yesterday's camp (Dundee Goolaee).
The Park of Arty. over the Kojuk Pass to-day. There were 27,400 rounds of musket ammunition and fourteen barrels of gun-powder lost in the Pass, and destroyed to prevent their falling into the enemy's hands; and an immense quantity of baggage, and a great number of camels, tents, &c. The men of the 1st Bengal European Regt. were great sufferers; much of the sickness in the corps, is attributed to the very great exertions the men underwent in this Pass.
The Bombay column to-day at Hykulzye, still 6 marches behind us. Their Artillery horses beginning to knock up; no grain, and very scanty forage.54 They had a despatch from Sir J. Keane dated 19th inst. "No opposition
52. "No baggage to quit camp till the rear of the column of Troops, fairly in motion. No animals to crowd upon either flank."
53. See note 49.
54. "Of a kind to which they are unaccustomed, and it disagrees with them. Seven horses shot to-day, and the last few days several of the Poonah Auxy. horse have been shot."
then, expected; two Sirdars had left Candahar; route unknown."
Our D. Q. M. G. (Maj. Garden), accompanied by 60 troopers, did not return from his trip to the next ground till near ten to-night.
13. March to Mehel Mandah, (22nd April, 1889.)--Thermometer at 2 A.M. 52°. Marched at day-break.55 After quitting camp, our road lay a little to the left of the fort, and passed up the Pass56 which the fort protects. The road lay in the front of our centre. A deep ravine ran between the fort and the camp. The Pass between the mountains was from¾ to 1 mile wide, over broken, stony, undulating ground. The length of the Pass was about five miles (a complete desert). At about half-way crossed the dry bed of the Kudany river. The country after quitting the Pass had such great ascents and deep descents, that it represented a sea of rocks and stones. As you ascended you lost sight of the troops descending, and when at the top of the ascent, you could not see those in the descent, to the front or rear, unless close on the brow towards it; thus we could only see the troops near us; the rest were lost to our view.
At about two miles from camp, crossed over several deep ravines; to our right the river Kudany in a small valley below.
Our camp was about two or three miles to the right, off the road to Candahar. We reached our ground at Mehel Mandah after a march of 12 miles.
When the Cavalry (Bengal) came up, not finding water immediately, the Brigadier asked for and obtained leave to go in advance to seek for some.57 We had marched 12,
55. It was at first intended to halt the Brigade of Cavy. with its Artillery, at Quilla Futtoolah, but countermanded.
56. There was another Pass to the left, distant about three or four miles, by which it was proposed to march the 1st Infy. Brigade and Camel battery, and the Shah's force; (it leads to Lower Mehel Mandah;) while the Cavy. halted and followed: on account of the scarcity of water. We all marched by the same route.
57. The Brigadier acted with the best intention on the occasion; but it was found afterwards that there was water sufficient for all, in our camp; there being several water-courses, with good water.
and he marched ten miles further, before he found water at the Doree-river, which lay to the left of our road. They procured plenty of water and forage; but not till both men and horses had suffered dreadfully; 50 or 60 horses fell down on the road and died.58 The Lancers were obliged to dismount, and to goad on their horses with their Lances.
Much of the baggage belonging to our camp went on with the Cavalry; and did not come into camp till late in the evening.
The Park of Artillery and the 4th Brigade at the Chumun Chokee. Thermometer, at 3 P.M. 102°.
23rd April.--To the Doree river, (Tukht-i-Pool.)--Marched at day-break; thermometer at 3 A.M. 60°. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. led, followed by the H. A., the other two Regts. of 1st Brigade, Camel-battery, &c. After leaving camp, and marching about three miles we got into the high road to Candahar; a fine road, and through a cultivated country. The river Doree lay to our left about five miles, and when we had marched about eight miles, we saw the Cavy. camp to the left, so that they must have marched across the country to the river. We had some trifling ascents and descents; we found several Karezees (wells) of good water at about two miles before we reached camp. We encamped on the bank of the Doree river, the water of which is brackish; there was a sandy-desert on the other side of the river. The river was deep in some places. The hill called "Lylee Mujnoon" about three miles N. E. of camp. The distance marched to-day was 15½ miles. This place is 3,630 feet above the level of the sea, or 288
58. Those who were present, describe the scene as most appalling. The moment the horses saw the water, they made a sudden rush into the river as if mad; both men and horses drank till they nearly burst themselves. Officers declare that their tongues cleaved to the roofs of their mouths; the water was very brackish which induced them to drink the more. The river was 3 feet deep and more in some places; and was 5 or 6 miles off the proper road. Many dogs and other animals died. No officer present ever witnessed such a scene of distress.
feet below Quilla Futtoolah; the thermometer at 3 P.M. 102°.59 The Park of Arty. and 4th Brigade at Dundee Goolaee to-day, at 6 P.M. The king went on in the afternoon to Deh Hajee.
14. 24th April. To Deh Hajee.--Thermometer 3 A.M. 62°. The Shah and the Envoy and Minister went on to-day to Khoosh-ab, within seven and a half miles of Candahar.60 We marched at day-break. The Cavy. and H. A. led, followed by the Infantry, and No. 6, Lt. Fd. battery. A good road, though rather stony. The rear of our camp, close to the walled village of Deh Hajee, by which runs a good stream of water. Candahar reported to be deserted. The 4th Brigade and Park of Arty. at Quillah Futtoolah. It was to this place the Candahar chiefs came; and not beyond it
25th April.--To Khoosh-ab. Thermometer at 3 A.M. 68° Marched at day-break, over a desert-like plain. At 7 A.M. heard a "Royal salute" and firing at Candahar, in honor of Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk's entry into the ancient Dooranee capital of Affghanistan. There were several villages on the right and left of the road on this march, and small distant hills. The last two or three miles, the country covered with fields of grain; the village of Khoosh-ab61 close to the rear of camp. There were a number of Karezees close to the front (N.) of camp of clear pure water. We had a distinct view of Candahar from the front of camp. The village of Khoosh-ab is a large place, with mud-walls and houses. The people had not all left it; a good number appeared on the roofs of the houses to gratify their
59. The Cavy. were ordered to join us in the morning before we moved! They halted to-day. They had 8 miles to march to join us, so that they travelled 18 miles from Mehel-Mandah, or about 2½ miles more than we did to the Doree river. Two men and a woman killed near the Karezees, and many others plundered; and in a narrow glen, not far from them, 100 camp-followers were said to have been butchered!
60. It was reported that the chiefs had fled from the city. See note 49.
61. Pleasant, or sweet, water.
curiosity. All round the village the crops of wheat, and barley, were plentiful, and extensive. Part of our camp was pitched in fields of barley. The crops were all in ear.62
The orders of to-day directed for to-morrow's march; protection to the growing crops, to orchards, and villages. "The officer Comg. the advance-guard, to post videttes over any villages or gardens, he may pass on the road; with orders to remain till the arrival of the rear-guard."
"No soldier, or follower, to enter the city of Candahar, till permission be granted, which will be announced in G. O.; and passes afterwards given."
"On the arrival of the troops at Candahar, the Brigr. of the day will post 'safety guards' from the advance, in the different villages in the vicinity."
People bringing Provisions to camp--Marts.63--G. O. "A. Qr. Mr. Genls. of Divisions to assign convenient spots, in the vicinity of the different Brigades, where marts may be held for the sale of provisions, and of articles of country produce."
"The Provost Serjts. of brigades, and any steady soldiers who may be available for the duty, must be required to be on the look out for men bringing in supplies for sale, in order to conduct them to the different marts; at which places guards must be posted, that the Sutlers may not be molested, and that no injustice be done."
"If there be any plundering, H. E. will require the loss to be made good by the Brigade in the Mart of which the robbery may be committed."64
"Prohibition to enter the city of Candahar, for the present, to be published by beat of Tom-Tom in the different buzars."
62. This I think should have been avoided, as there was ground for our camp without encroaching on the fields; there was a desire to get near the Karezees. This was no fault of the D. Qr. Mr. Gl., as he had pitched the flags on other ground.
63. Having been plundered.
64. The Duke of Wellington did so in the Peninsula. He made officers and men both pay. It is an admirable plan; as it operates on the purses of nil--the most effectual check.
"The order for the march of the troops to-morrow, countermanded; the Hd. Qrs. alone to move to Candahar." The 4th Brigade and Park were halting to-day at Quill ah Futtoolah.
The Bombay column at the entrance to the Kojuk-Pass, to-day.65 Thermometer 3 P.M. 99°; elevation, above the level of the sea 3,484 feet.
15. March to Candahar, (26th April, 1839.) State of affairs.--The Head Qrs. arrived at Candahar this day. The 4th Brigade and the Park, were four marches in our rear. The Bombay column was not quite out of the Kojuk Pass; and Lt.-Col. Wade was with the Shahzada Timoor, and his force, waiting at Peshawer.
The Bengal column, on reaching this city, had made a march of 1,005 miles from Ferozpoor, and 1,210 miles from Kurnal; while some of the troops had marched a greater distance.66 The people of the "Mustered Establishments" had been on half-rations since the 8th of March last, or for the preceding 48 days.67 The Cavy. and H. A. horses had been put on half-rations since the 24th March; so that they had been on reduced rations, with scanty forage, for 32 days. The troops and camp-followers had been on half-rations since the 29th March, and had now been 28 days on these rations, without having much opportunity to purchase grain, or obtain any vegetables as a substitute.
The Cavy. and H. A. horses had no grain since the 30th of March, so that for the last 26 days they were subsisted
65. They found a good road had been made by the Bengal column; but the ascents and declivities for 3½ miles were so steep, as to present a most formidable undertaking to their artillery and jaded cattle. A portion of the baggage and of the 4 T. H. A. passed over during the day, assisted by H. M.'s 17th foot and camp-followers, who worked at intervals, also, during the night--flanking parties of the 17th foot, killed several of the hill people. (Capt. Outram, p. 71.)
66. The 31st N. I. which remained at Quetta had, on its arrival there, marched 1,377 miles, having started from Allahabad in Sept. 1838.
67. See p. 41.
on such green forage as might be procurable, and often on very bad grass.68
In this state of affairs, our Cavy. much reduced in amount by the loss of a great many horses, and owing to the weak condition of the rest,--were not fit for Service on our arrival at Candahar; and had the Sirdars come to attack us, we must have opposed them with Artillery and Infantry;69 as we could not have effected any thing with the Cavalry. But Hajee Khan, Kakur turned the scale in our favor; his defection occasioned the flight of the chiefs from Candahar on the 23rd April towards Girishk, a fort 75 miles distant, situated across the Helmund river, and belonging to one of the chiefs.
68. Horses accustomed to five seers (about 9½ lbs.) of gram, naturally got out of condition on such food. The Affghan horses eat green forage (lucerne, &c. chopped up with Bhoosa) in great quantities, and seldom get any grain. "The Toorkmuns prefer dry food for their horses, and give from eight to nine lbs. of barley a day. If green barley be given, the horse has no grain. Clover and artificial grasses are used for feeding horses, and are given in a dry state. Juwaree (Holcus Sorghum) is preferred, contains much saccharine juice." Burnes's Bokhara, vol. 2, p. 272.
The Cavy. &c. gave clover dried, (when procurable) mixed with grass, when they could not obtain Bhoosa. Large quantities of clover given alone, is considered bad for hones. Even barley is a grain which, in its whole state, gives but little nourishment, and is particularly bad if the barley be new, and of gram we had not had one grain for more than two months. Recourse was had to frying the barley, and, sometimes, making it into flour, or to boiling it; but this could not be done for 2,500 horses!
The Toorkmuns usually give the barley flour made up into balls, with the fat of the doomba sheep. Even the camel-men gave balls of this kind, mixed with water, declaring that 4 lbs. in this form, were of more nourishment than 8 lbs. of the barley whole. In fact it was observed, that the barley passed through the horses and cattle, in a whole state.
69. It seems that the chiefs had not on the 13th April, abandoned the hope of raising a religious war against us, as discovered by intercepted letters. Our approach to the Kojuk Pass on the 14th April, had stirred up the Sirdars to move forward; a small advanced party came there; on the 18th and 19th April, two of the chiefs were said to have been within 12 miles of the British camp at Dundee Goolaee with from 2 to 3,000 good horse. It is believed that they never came nearer than Deh Hajee. On the 20th April Hajee Khan, Kakur, and two others of consideration joined us in our camp, and this broke up the Candahar army.
The rest of the troops were moving up from our rear. The pursuit of the chiefs was not deemed, at present, advisable by the Envoy and Minister.70
The thermometer at 3 A.M. 62°; at 3 P.M. 94°. The elevation above the level of the sea, 3,484 feet, or 146 feet below Tukht-i-Pool, three marches in our rear.
Herat understood to be secure at this period.
70. See Appx. No. 2, para. 5.
THE ARMY AT CANDAHAR--OCCURRENCES THERE--PREPARATIONS TO LEAVE IT.
Candahar,1 26th April, 1839.--Thermometer at 3 A.M. 62°. On the arrival of the Hd. Qrs. at Candahar, we had only half-rations for the troops for about two days, and the Cavalry horses had no grain; but there was plenty of lucerne, and good grass to be procured. We were now, to lay in a stock of grain, to recruit our horses, and to purchase others to complete our complement, to be prepared to move towards Cabool. Rest was required both for man and beast. Thermometer 3 P.M. 94°.
27th April. The Camp.--Thermometer 5 A.M. 62°. The troops left at Koosh-ab, marched in to-day, and a camp was formed. The Bengal Infantry and Artillery, had a camp to the S. E. of the city, distant about 2 miles.2 Maj. Gen. Sir W. Cotton, and the Bengal Staff camp, was close to the S. of the city; and half-way between these camps was that of Maj. Genl. Thackwell, Comg. the Cavy. H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief, Sir J. Keane, pitched his camp to the S. W. of, and in a garden near, the city. The 3rd and 2nd Regts. Bengal Cavy. were encamped about half a mile to the W. of the city; and H. M. Shah Shoojah's contingent was encamped in their rear. The Cavy. Brigade was at first encamped on the right of the Infy. The Bombay
1. For an account of Candahar, see Chapter 7th.
2. The corps in one line from right to left; 4th Local-Horse, (and on its arrival) the 4th Infy. Brigade (35th N. I. 1st Eurn. Regt. 37th N. I.); H. A. The Park, the Sappers and Miners. 1st Infy. Brigade (16th N. I.; H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.; Camel battery; 48th N. I.)
column, on its arrival, had its camp, in front of the Comr.-in-Chief's.3
The whole of the camels of the army were ordered to be sent out to grazing ground at a distance, protected by a Wing of Native Infy. and a Ressallah of Local Horse, completed to 100 men.4
A special committee5 was formed for the purpose of admitting horses into the service. The committee were directed to record their opinion as to the fitness of the remounts, for H. A. Dragoons, or Bengal, or Bombay, Light Cavalry; but this committee was found not to work well, and Regimental committees6 were ordered to be formed; limited to the purchase of the number of horses
3. By corps from right to left in one line. The Park; H. A.; Cavalry Brigade; Infy. Brigade; Poonah Auxy. Horse; H. M.'s 16th Lancers.
4. They were relieved weekly, and took seven days' supplies with them. When out grazing during the day, parties were sent with them; and at sun-set they were ordered to be brought within the picquets. "The officer Comg. the escort directed to inflict summary punishment on any Surwan who disobeys his orders; or who permits his camels to stray into any cultivation. To report all casualties and occurrences every three days."
5. Consisting of Brigr. Arnold, President; and a Field Officer from H. M.'s 16th Lancers; from the Bengal Cavy.; from the Bombay Cavy., and officer Comg. 2 T. 2 B. (Bengal) H. A. To meet at the D. C. G.'s tent, on his notification to the President.
6. G. O. 3rd May, 1839. "Under the authority of Comg. officers. But no horse to be branded with the Regtl. mark till inspected and approved of by the Brigr. Comg. the Brigade." The President of the committee gave the seller an order for the price, on the D. C. G.: to whom he sent a descriptive Roll of the horse; the officer Comg. the H. A. held a similar committee. Weekly reports were made of the number of horses purchased, and the prices paid.
This committee answered best; as the attention of each was directed to the description of horse, best suited for the particular branch of the service; and time was saved; not having to assemble officers from the different camps. The Regns. of the Bengal and Bombay Govt. differ as to the price given for horses; in Bengal, 450 Rs. are given for horses for the H. A. and Dragoons; and for the Native Cavy., 400 Rs. At Bombay, 500 and 450 Rs. are given for horses. This difference should not, I think, exist on service in a foreign country, or out of the Company's dominions, as the Cavy. of one establishment does not come into the market on the same terms. Indeed, it may often be necessary to give more than the regulation price for one horse, while by purchasing a great number, the average price may not exceed the Regn.
The Bombay Cavy., are usually mounted on small Arab horses which are more expensive than country horses; they, also, use the Cutch, and Kattywar horses.
actually required to complete. But it was found difficult to procure horses in sufficient numbers of the standard height,7 and the Comr.-in-Chief, at the recommendation of the Maj. Genl. Comg. the Cavy., authorized8 committees to pass, into the service, horses somewhat under the standard; provided they were satisfied that the horses possessed sufficient bone, strength, and activity, and were unexceptionable in other essentials. But no horse admitted as undersized, to be hereafter rejected, or cast, on the score of being undersized.
There must have been a loss of more than 500 horses in the Bengal and Bombay columns. Capt. Outram states that there were 850 lost in the Bengal army,9 and about 150 horses10 of the Artillery and Auxiliary Cavalry of
7. 14½ hands; the Afghan-horses are rather short and thick-set, and have heavy shoulders.
8. G. O. 11th May, 1839.
9. "While the remainder are so reduced in condition, as to be barely able to move from their picquets." p. 75.
10. "Dropped on the road from exhaustion. The survivors have suffered much, but are in better state than the horses of the Bengal army." But it must be recollected that the horses of the Bengal Column had marched 293 miles more than those of the Bombay Column; and that the latter had been on grain-rations till within 2 or 3 marches of Candahar; while ours had had no grain for 27 days! I merely state the fact to account for the result.
Capt. O. adds: "It is now fully proved, and admitted by all parties, that the Arab and Persian horses stand their work better than stud and country-breeds; the latter though younger, stronger, and in far better condition, at starting, have invariably been the first to give in; while they seldom rallied afterwards. A few Cape horses lately introduced into the Bombay army, have also proved themselves superior to our stud-breeds."
Some say the New South Wales, horses are equal to those of the Cape.
the Bombay: this does not include the Wing of H. M.'s 4th L. D., nor the 1st Bombay Light Cavy.
The Bengal column had about 2,560 horses; so that the loss of 350 was about three in twenty-two horses.11 The Bombay column had about 1930 horses, and the loss of 150 would be about five in sixty-four horses. We lost more than two-fifths; and the Bombay column are said to have lost one-fifth; nearly 1,500 horses (Bengal and Bombay) were lost in the whole campaign!12 Thermometer 5 A.M. 50°. At 3 P.M. 88°.
2. 28th April 1839.--Passes were granted by officers to private servants, in limited numbers, to enter the city to purchase supplies. "All passes to be returned on the same evening to the person signing them, that they may be destroyed." Thermometer 3 P.M. 90°.
30th April.--Thermometer 5 A.M. 64°. The 4th Brigade and the Park of Artillery arrived to-day. Provisions were sent to meet the Bombay column. Cossids reported to-day, that the Persians were advancing on Herat. Thermometer 3 P.M. 96°.
1st May.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 54°. The Cavalry this morning, moved to new ground at Mergaum, about 4 miles on the road to Herat, for the greater facility of procuring forage. H. E. Lt.-Genl. Sir J. Keane held a Levee to receive, and be introduced to the Bengal officers, at half past 5 P.M.; and afterwards had an interview with" the Shah, to concert measures for procuring supplies; and as to the pursuit of the Sirdars of Candahar, then at Girishk, 75 miles off; who were said to be raising troops. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 98°.
11. The total loss from 10th Dec. 1838 to 31st Dec. 1839, was 1072, of Bengal horses; being a loss of 5 out of 12 horses!
12. The Bengal Column rendezvous'd at Kurnal, on the 31st Oct. 1838. The Hd. Qrs. and the returning troops reached Ferozpoor on the 1st Jan. 1840, after a march of 2070 miles. The troops marched some distance to join at Kurnal; from 70 to 120 or more miles.
2nd May.--Thermometer 5 A.M. 54°. It had been proposed to send a detachment of two Cos. of Europeans, 1,000 N. I., 300 Cavy., and two guns, to Girishk, to pursue the Sirdars; but owing to overtures received from the fugitives, its march was delayed for the present.13 Thermometer 3 P.M. 94°.
3rd May.--Thermometer at 4 A.M. 55°. Preparations were being made for the King's first public appearance. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 96°.
4th May.--Thermometer 5 A.M. 54°. The Bombay column, under Maj. Genl. Willshire arrived in camp to-day; consisting of two troops of H. A.; the Wing of H. M.'s 4th L. D.; Wing 1st Light Cavy.; (14) H. M.'s 2nd and 17th foot; Wing 19th N. I.;14 the Sappers and Miners and Dett. Poonah horse. It was estimated that 500 Belochees, Kakurs, and Affghans, had been slain by the Bengal and Bombay columns, since leaving Shikarpoor and Larkhana; the loss on our side being thirty or forty killed in open combat; besides some hundreds of followers murdered.15 Thermometer at 3 P.M. 99°.
5th May.--Thermometer at 5 A.M. 56°. The Shah's Artillery was at this time in the Bolan Pass, escorted by the 42nd N. I. and had hard work from the 3rd to 5th May, in protecting the guns, tumbrils and carts, as the cattle were unable to proceed. Five Cos. of the 37th N. I. were, also, engaged on this harassing duty.16 We heard that Mehrab
13. Outram, p. 76.
14. The other Wing, as part of H. E.'s escort, had arrived with us.
15. On our march from Quilla Futtoollah on the 22nd of April,. 150 or more followers were killed, and the Bombay troops on the march from Mehel Mandah lost 100.
16. Brigr. Dennie was proceeding to join his Regt. and was with the party. Orders had several times been given to the men to leave the carts which could not proceed, the cattle being incapable of moving, and to bring on those that could.
The men of the 42nd N. I. were from 10 o'clock on the night of the 3rd until the afternoon of the 5th May, without food, and had only about a pint of water. They suffered dreadfully from thirst and fatigue, and there was great difficulty in inducing them to abandon the carts under their charge, even under the severest privations and hard labour. Both these are excellent Regts., and they well maintained their character on this occasion.
Khan, of Khelat, was desirous of coming to Candahar to tender his submission to the king; but it was too late. Thermometer at 2 P.M. 102°.
6th May.--Thermometer at 4 A.M. 60°. Permission given to the men entering the city, with Passes, to a limited number of well-conducted soldiers, daily; to make purchases; the indulgence if abused, to be withdrawn, on the first occasion of any misconduct. Comg. officers to make their own arrangements for N. C. O. being present in the city whilst the men are there on leave; to check irregularities.
The advance of our troops, or a part of them, to Herat was to have taken place, had the Shah of Persia returned to besiege it. Major Todd, P. A. and certain Engineer and Artillery officers, are to be sent to Herat, on a mission to Shah Kamran; and to repair and strengthen the fortifications. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 100°.
7th May.--Thermometer at 4 A.M. 62°. The Cavy. Brigade moved nearer to the city.
A convoy of camels with grain came in to-day from Shikarpoor; the convoy when it left Shikarpoor, consisted of 2,000 camels, and 8,000 maunds17 of grain; of which grain a little more than 1/5th reached Candahar.
This was a great loss and disappointment to the army. The convoy was occasionally attacked on its route; but the misfortune was, that too much trust was placed in the Native agents.18 The news of the occupation of Candahar
17. 640,000 lbs.
18. The officer in charge was acting in the Comsst. Dept. from which he was removed; an inquiry was held to investigate into the circumstances attending this loss. He was wounded during an attack made by the Belochees on the rear of the convoy; but, the camels ought to have been inspected and counted, as well as the loads, before taking charge; and in all such convoys, the camels and grain bags should be collected, each day, after the march, in one spot, and ranged in lines; by which plan they could be counted in a short time.
by H. M. Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk, and the British army, was brought to Lt.-Col. Wade at Peshawer to-day; when a Royal salute was fired, by the British and Sikh Artillery in camp; and the Shahzada (Tymoor) held a Levee at 6 o'clock in the evening, to receive the congratulations of the officers of the British Mission and of his own party. Thermometer 3 P.M. 100°. At this time the force at Peshawer was ready to advance.
3.--Ceremony of the King's Installation, (8th May, 1839).--Thermometer at 4 A.M. 62°. The whole of the British army (Bengal and Bombay) was drawn up in line, at the dawn of day, in front of the city of Candahar to the N. amounting to about 7,500 men19 . A platform, or throne, was erected in the midst of an extensive plain. At sunrise, the guns of the palace announced H. M.'s departure. H. E. Lt.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, with the Staff were awaiting the egress of the procession, at the Herat gate, whence the King proceeded on horse-back, through a street formed by his own contingent. On his coming near the line, a Royal salute (twenty-one guns) was fired, and on his passing down the line, there was a general salute, and the colors were lowered, as in the case of crowned heads. On his ascending the throne, a salvo was discharged from 10120 pieces of Artillery. Sir J. Keane, and the Envoy and Minister at his Court, offered presents on behalf of the British Govt. of 101 Gold-mohurs each21 , and then the officers, British, and native, in the King's Service, offered nuzzars (presents). The "Army of the Indus" then marched round, in front of the throne, in review order; this grand ceremony presented an imposing spectacle. There were about 3 or 4,000 Affghans
19. The British Force then present at Candahar was about 9,000 men, and there were about 3,000 of the Shah's contingent, besides some Affghan Cavy.
20. The royal salute with Indian kings, &c.
21. £80 16s. An odd number usually given by the natives of India.
assembled, to view the scene, but they did not come on the parade.22
Hospitals.--Buildings having been found in the vicinity of camp, to afford accommodation to the sick of 2 T. 2 B. H. A.; of the Park; and of H. M.'s 13th Lt Infy. H. E. authorized their immediate hire, at a suitable rent.23 Thermometer at 3 P.M. 102°.
9th May.--Thermometer 5 A.M. 60°. The Sirdars having rejected the terms offered them, a detachment ordered to march against them; thermometer 3 P.M. 98°.
10th May.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 56°. The Bombay camp-followers in the greatest distress; flour at only 1½ seer (3 lb) per rupee. Thermometer 3 P.M. 98°.
11th May.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 56°. A riot at the city gates, and several merchants plundered. The unfortunate people shut up their shops, and fled, and many of the villagers fled to the mountains. Grain had become very dear, and though scarce, its excessive dearness was owing to the cupidity and rascality of the old Kothwal of the city. He insisted on high prices and large profits on the grain; this increased the dearness, and the camp-followers were almost driven to desperation.24 A party was sent into the city, to afford protection to the grain and public stores collected by the Commissariat. Thermometer 3 P.M. 100°.
4. 12th May, 1839, (Dett. to Girishk.)--Thermometer 4 A.M. 56°. This morning a Detachment of the following
22. It was expected that there would he an immense crowd, and the Local Horse were stationed "to prevent a pressure towards the throne." This expectation was raised from having observed the cordial manner with which his first arrival was greeted (see Appx. No. 9, para. 3); he, then, came with a few attendants, and on this occasion a large Mily. force was drawn up, a sight to which the people were unaccustomed.
23. This was a great comfort for the sick, they were living in a temperature of 82° instead of 102°. There being a difference of 18 or 20 degrees, between the tents and these buildings.
24. Forty men were flogged on the 18th instant for having been caught among the plunderers. There is no doubt that we caused much distress to the people, as the presence of our army, doubled the number of persons to be fed; and we were there two months!
details marched for Girishk, under the command of Brigr. Sale: 2-18-prs., 2-5½-inch mortars, manned by Europeans, and the Camel battery (4-9-prs. and 1-24-pr. Howit.), with a portion of the Engineer Dept. (Capt. Sanders), and detail of sappers and miners. A Squadron of Cavy., made up by selections25 from the 2nd and 3rd Regts. of Bengal Lt. Cavy.; 100 men of H. M. 13th Lt. Infy.; and the 16th Bengal N. I., with a detail of H. M. Shah Shoojah's Infy. to complete it to 1,000 men; and 300 of the Shah's Cavy., Capt. Christie's--a total force of about 1,700 men.26 Girishk belonged to Kohun-dil Khan (the head chief and is distant 75 miles from Candahar.27 If the chief refused to surrender the place, it was to be stormed, and the garrison put to the sword, giving no quarter. The Post Master ordered to lay a dawk to convey letters to and from the above detachment.
Intercepted letter.--An intercepted letter was found in the city, said to be written to Dost Mahomed Khan, by Hajee Khan, Kakur, stating that our force consisted of 2,500
25. So knocked up were our Cavy. that there was not any one troop fit for detached duty.
26. Twenty days' provisions (half-rations) and 200 rounds per musket, and proper proportion of rounds for the Arty., were sent.
27. The Fort of Girishk is an insignificant place; the defences might be taken by 9-prs., were battering found necessary, and the place carried by escalade; or a favorable spot, where there is no ditch, might be selected for mining, and the wall breached without difficulty. The gateways were weak and the gates badly constructed. The river Helmund is crossed from the left to the right bank, on which stands the fort, about a mile distant.
The river was obliged to be crossed by rafts made of rum casks, which were towed across by the sappers. Capt. Sanders thinks a suspension bridge of ropes, supported on trestles, should be used when the river is in flood. Girishk is on the road to Herat, and when the mission crossed it on the 27th June, 1839, the river had fallen four feet.
This fort, in our possession, might be rendered serviceable against the Affghans.
It is a very unhealthy place in August and September; one of the Shah's Regt. there lost 40 men, and had 4 or 500 sick; and was obliged to be withdrawn!
Cavy. and 7,000 Infy.28 and advising him to advance to oppose us. Subsequent events induce a belief that he was the writer of the letter.
Flour one seer per rupee! Thermtr. 3 P.M. 102°.
13th May.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 56°. The people returned to-day and opened their shops outside the gate of the city, to sell provisions, &c. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 102°.
14th May.--Thermtr. 4 a. m, 56°. The grazing ground changed. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 102°.
16th May.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 60°. "Intelligence received that the chiefs at Girishk have fled, with only 100 horsemen and the same number of Infy.; but in what direction not known."29 Thermt. 3 P.M. 104°.
17th May.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 62°. The Europeans are going fast into hospital.30 Three or four deaths occur daily.
Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk's Leve.--All the British officers and those attached to H. M.'s contingent, were introduced to the king at his palace in the city. H. E. Sir J. Keane, Mr. Macnaghten, the Envoy and Minister, gave a present each, of 101 gold mohurs, Maj. Genls. 21, Brigadiers 11, Held officers 5, Captains 2, and Subalterns 1 gold mohur, each.
Khujawahs for the sick. (20th May.)--Khujawahs31 for the carriage of the sick on the march ordered to be made
28. This was about the amount of the British force then at Candahar, exclusive of the Shah's contingent and the Affghan horse in his service. Dost Mahomed did advance, in 1834, to Candahar, when the Shah came there on his last expedition.
29. We afterwards learnt that they fled, with precipitation, to the frontier of Persia.
30. The 1st European Regt. had 86; H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. 80; H. M.'s 16th Lancers nearly 100. See Table, No. 2.
31. The Khujawahs were made of a wooden frame-work, about 4½ feet long, by 3½ broad, with a seat at the back for two men. The sides of the frame-work were filled up with gunny cloth. Each camel carried two khujawahs, one on each side; so that each camel carried four sick men. This mode of travelling is very uncomfortable for very sick men, as the motion throws the body forward and then backward, at every step the animal takes.
up: for each European Regt. ten pairs; for each Native Regt. five pairs, and two pairs for a troop of H. A., and one pair for the Camel battery.32
A gun was ordered to be fired, daily, at noon.
Grain for horses.--The Commissariat Dept. having obtained a sufficient supply of grain for the horses, of mounted corps, directed to issue 3 seers (6 lbs.) of barley to each horse daily from to-morrow; and the purchase of it by Regimental committees, to be discontinued.33
5. Camels carried off, (23rd May, 1839.)--Thermometer 4 A.M. 56°. A great number of camels carried off from the grazing-ground; and from the report of the officer Comg. the detachment on duty, there being reason to suspect that the Rewaree (hired) owners had exaggerated the numbers carried off, or had been grazing in a forbidden direction; the Comr.-in-Chief desired that Compensation34 should not, on the present occasion, be passed to the claimants; and to secure Govt. from imposition, on the part of the camel-owners, H. E. directed35 all claims for
32. On the 20th June, an order was issued to make up pads, to prevent the khujawahs from galling, or injuring the camels' backs. The price of each pair of khujawahs, including the pads, was 25 Rs. 12 as.
33. They had commenced reaping barley (the earliest crop) about the 10th to 12th May, so that the horses had not had grain for many days, since the 30th of March, 1839.
The Horse Arty, horses were kept on half-rations, longer than the Cavy. horses were.
34. Twenty-five Rs. were paid by Govt. for each camel. There is no doubt that many of the Surwans went into the gardens, or cultivation, and that the camels were thus carried off by the villagers. We lost a great many camels, owing to the Surwans going beyond the Cordon placed for their protection.
35. G. O. 26th May, 1839. The Committee to be held on the requisition of the Comsst. officer, and to record their opinion on the claim. Proceedings sent to Hd. Qrs. D. C. G. not to pay on his own authority. Where a camel died, the surwan, or the owner, was obliged to cut out the mark and bring it to the Comsst. officer. There is no doubt that many of our camels were carried off, and sold again to us by the Affghans!
camels, alleged to have been carried off by robbers, to be sent before a committee of officers, to be assembled in the brigade in which the loss may have occurred.
Commissariat. (24th May, 1839.)--Officers Comg. European corps and Detts. of the Bengal division, were directed to send the names of one steady N. C. O., and three privates, for selection for employment under the orders of the D. C. G.36
A Dram of Rum was about this time, issued out to each of the officers, who chose to indent for it; as we had long been without any wine, or spirits of any kind.37 Thermometer 3 p.m. 92°.
24th May.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 58°. Being the anniversary of Her Majesty's birth-day; a royal salute was fired at noon; and an extra allowance of liquor issued to each European soldier. Thermometer 3 P.M. 95°.
28th May.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 62°. This evening Lts. Inverarity and Wilmer, H. M.'s 16th Lancers, were returning from a fishing party near the Urghundab river, unarmed,38 they were attacked by a party of armed men, but separately; for Lt. W. had gone on in advance, and had despatched his servant with his gun;-Lt. I. staying a little behind for some purpose; at this time no persons were observed. Lt. W., having a stick, beat off the people and escaped to the nearest (the Shah's) camp, and gave the alarm, when a party was sent back with Lt. W. who, on his return, found his companion so dreadfully
36. These Europeans were found very useful. They acted as a check on the Native Agents; but on such an expedition they are absolutely necessary, to see the camels are kept in a compact order on the march, and that the bags are daily counted.
37. Issued to Staff Serjts. of N. I. Regts. by G. O. 1st June, and to medical Warrant officers by G. O. 20th June, 1839. These Drams were paid for by the parties indenting for them.
38. All officers had been directed not to appear out of camp, without their swords. The king was much annoyed at the murder, and took much trouble to find out and seize the murderers. They lived near a Sanctuary, which was razed to the ground.
hacked and cut through the back, that he only spoke a few words; asked for water, drank a little and expired. Thermometer 3 P.M. 96°.39
6. Order for march towards Cabool, (1st June, 1839.)--Thermometer 4 A.M. 52°.--G. O.--" The whole of the troops except 1 Regt. N. I., to be held in readiness to march."
2."Brigr. Gordon, Comg. in Upper Sindh, to require four Cos. 42nd N. I., now at Shikarpoor, and a Regt. of Bombay N. I., to march as an escort to treasure consigned to the army; together with any Detts. of H. M. Shah Shoojah's horse which may still be in the District; and such details of Sindh Cavy., recently raised, as may be available."
3."On the arrival of the treasure at Dadur, the two Cos. 31st Bengal N. I. now there, will be relieved by a similar detail of Bombay N. I., and the former will join the escort, and proceed to Quetta; where the whole of the 2nd brigade of Bengal N. I., will be assembled."
4."The Bombay Battn. will not move beyond Quetta, till F. O.; but Maj. Gen. Nott will despatch the treasure to Hd. Qrs. under charge of a Regt. of Bengal Infy., the Sindh Cavy., and such details of Shah Shoojah's horse, as are available."
5."Maj. Gen. Nott will also send forward one troop of the Shah's Arty., now in Shawl; and two Cos. of the Shah's Infy.; these are to be attached to the guns, and to assist in passing them over difficulties."
6."Candahar to be garrisoned by 1 Regt. Bengal Infy., 1 troop of the Shah's Arty., 1 Regt. of the Shah's Infy. and Capt. Anderson's Ressalah of horse."
7."A Regt from the Bengal Infy. brigade, now at Hd:
39. Capt. Outram, (p. 134) after having captured and razed the different Ghiljie forts between Candahar and Cabool, sent back the Shah's Affghans, viâ Mukoor (16 marches from Candahar and six from Ghuznee) in order to apprehend certain persons residing there, who stood accused of this murder. I have not heard if they were apprehended.
Qrs., will be detailed for this duty, and Capt. Timings's (Native) troop H. A., for the present, to remain at Candahar; to which will be attached a Regt. of the Shah's Infy."
8. "On the arrival of the treasure from Shikarpoor, the Regt. of the second Bengal brigade, which affords it escort from Quetta, will be relieved from the charge, by the Regt. now here, and will remain at Candahar; the latter, till F. O. with Capt. T's troop H. A., and such details of horse (not less than 300) as may be available, will proceed with it to Hd. Qrs. of the army."
"The 4 18-pr. guns and such ordnance stores as the Brigadier may see fit, to be left at Candahar."40
2nd June.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 54°. A number of camels carried off. Thermometer 3 P.M. 104°.
3rd June.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 54°. The camels sent out to graze at Goondoo Memsoor Khan; the escort taking ten days' provisions. Thermometer 3 P.M. 105°.
4th June.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 66°. The public cattle called in from the grazing-ground; from the 5th to 10th June, was the time fixed for the march. The Govr. Genl., it is said, directed that we should not march with less than six weeks' full rations.41 As respects the health of the troops, there was more sickness at Candahar than we had before experienced,42 and we should be marching into a country with a lower temperature; so that, in fact, it was advisable, if we had secured the required quantity of supplies, to move as early as possible; since, having been here
40. See further orders, 10th June, 1839.
41. The crops at Candahar were ripe and ripening, while at Ghuznee and Cabool the crops were green. The object was to collect the crops here (which the Shah permitted us to take); and not to be too soon for the crops at Ghuznee and Cabool, unless we could carry a very large supply with us, which was impossible; and in carrying away what we did, we half-starved the inhabitants; (all the old grain appeared to have been consumed,) besides we expected daily, a convoy of Lohanee merchants with 80,000 maunds (1,600,000 lbs.) of grain.
42. See Table, No. 2.
thirty-nine days, we had recruited our men, horses, and cattle;43 and by a delay, the well-affected might cool in their zeal; and we were affording Dost Mahomed Khan, so much more time to strengthen himself at Ghuznee, and at Cabool: while we knew that Herat was not threatened.
7. Occurrences in our Rear.--On the 23rd May, 1839, a party consisting of detachments, and a wing of the 23rd Bombay N. I. marched from Shikarpoor, with treasure and stores. Dr. Hollaran (Bombay army), Lt. Chalmers, 43rd44 and Ensign Ste. Beaufort, 42nd Bengal N. I., who accompanied the party, fell victims to the tremendous heat; as, also, Conductor Havilland (Bengal), and Mr. Jervis, (Agent of Mr. Frith's, Bombay.) An expedition had been planned from Bukkur,45 of which some Europeans who had been left behind from the army, sick in hospital, formed a part. A subadar and nine sepoys, (Bengal) died in one day, near Meerpoor.46 The above events took place between the 2nd and 4th June, 1839. Thermometer 3 P.M. 106°.
Govt. sent to Tirhun, (5th June).--Thermometer 4 A.M. 58°. H. M. Shah Shoojah, sent a new Governor to Tirhun, about two or three marches from Candahar, to displace the old Governor; the latter resisted and killed twenty of the new Governor's followers; the king then sent a detachment against the place, when the new Governor was allowed to assume his office.
43. We had to purchase 3 or 4,000 camels!
44. Just come out from England.
45. 26 miles to the rear.
46. Lt. Corny, H. M. 17th Foot, (proceeding to join) started with 49 Europeans from Bukkur for Shikarpoor. He, with 12 of the men, lost their way and remained under a tree all day. Natives were sent out to look for them, and in the course of the day, seven Europeans were brought in dead. Lt. C. died of cholera the following day; two of the party, not found, were of course dead; the remaining three were brought in such a state, as to require their being sent to Bukkur immediately--the sun killed them all. The heat was 115° in tents, and 100 in a house with tatties.
Lt. D. Ramsay, 17th Bengal N. I. died in the Bolan Pass on the 26th March, 1839; but not from the effects of the heat.
Peshawer.--About this time there was a good deal of sickness among the officers47 and men at Peshawer. Thermometer 3 P.M. 106°.
Afghans tried for Camel stealing, (6th June).--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 60°. The four Affghans tried by a Native General Court-Martial, for having stolen and carried away on the 2nd instant twenty-three camels belonging to the Bombay army48 and sentenced to be hanged, were to have been executed to-morrow morning, on the spot where the late Lt. Inverarity was murdered; but the king claimed them as his subjects! H. M. was not satisfied with the sentence, and appointed a Meerza to rehear the evidence, when the king pronounced them not guilty,49 upon the evidence taken
47. Lt.-Col. Wade, was sick with a fever, and Dr. Lord, (Bombay,) Lt. Corfield, 2nd Eurn. Regt. had been obliged to leave the camp.
48. Said to be Sir J. Keane's.
49. The facts of the case were these. The four men had driven off these camels from the grazing ground, putting the drivers in bodily fear; one Surwan ran back to give information, when a party of the 4th Local Horse went out after the robbers, and seized them, and recovered the camels, just as the robbers were on the point of reaching some hills close by; where had they gone, the camels would never have been recovered. An example was necessary, and they were sentenced accordingly. The Meerza examined the prisoners themselves; they said that when they saw the Local Horse, that they beckoned to them to come and take the camels, which they had recovered from robbers, and that the heads of the camels were turned towards our camp, as if returning!!! The Mirza made one of the witnesses for the prosecution state in his evidence, that the heads of the camels were turned towards them (the Local Horse).
As I was the D. J. A. G. who tried these Affghans, Sir J. Keane, ordered me to draw up a report as to the discrepancy between the evidence before the Court-Martial, and that taken before the Meerza. I sent for the witness above alluded to, who denied that he ever stated that "when the Local Horse came up, the camels' heads were turned towards them." The Envoy and Minister (now Sir W. H. Macnaghten), declared that the evidence recorded on the proceedings of the Ct.-Martial, warranted the conviction.
These robbers, called themselves the "cultivators of the soil," but the people all round Candahar, were incited by the Ghiljie chiefs to plunder and rob us in camp, and out of camp. The latter larked about in strong parties at some distance from our camps to protect the robbers, and to be ready to carry off the camels into the hills; and then both would share the booty. Now, under these circumstances, a severe example was required to be made; and it was a pity the example was lost.
by the Meerza. Had the king wished to save the lives of these men, he might have asked Sir J. Keane to pardon them. For though Shah Shoojah was the sovereign of the country, still there were no Courts of Justice; the country was in an unsettled state. His authority was not firmly established. He was placed on his throne by a British army, and we had a perfect right to punish offenders, by whom the safety of that army might be endangered, if such offences were unpunished. The Duke of Wellington would not under such circumstances, have made over robbers to the Spanish or to the Portuguese Government.
Capt. Prole, 37th Bengal N. I. arrived to-day with treasure, and an escort consisting of 102 Europeans belonging to H. M.'s Regts., 3 Cos. 37th N. I., and 2nd Regt. Shah Shoojah's Cavy. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 106°.
8th June. Thermtr. 4 a. m, 54°.--To enable the D. C. G. to collect a supply of grain for the horses when on the march, obliged to limit the daily issue to mounted corps, from to-morrow, to three seers of barley per horse. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 106°.
9th June. Thermtr. 4 A.M. 62°.--Order for the pay of the troops before the march.50
Eighty camels carried off by the villagers. The escape of the four Affghans from their sentence, has induced these people, "not having the fear of Death before their eyes" to take to their old trade of thieving, &c.
The camels ordered to be in from the grazing ground; by the 12th instant, to enable the D. C. G. to distribute them to brigades. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 106°.
50. Statements sent in to know how much specie would be required, for some part of the pay was absorbed by Drafts on India, and money was, now, a scarce article.
8. Order of march from Candahar, (10th June 1839).--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 74°. "The 4th Co. 2nd Bn. Bengal Arty. added to the garrison of Candahar, till F. O.; remaining troops to march in the following order:--"
1st column, "on the 15th51 under the personal command of H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief."
"2nd T. 2 B. Bengal H. A.; 1 T. Bombay H. A.; the Cavy. Division (Bengal and Bombay); the Camel battery; the Engineer Dept.; 1st Brigade Bengal Infy.; 4th (Bengal) Local Horse; Comsst. Field Depôt."
"H. M. Shah Shoojah signified his intention to march on the 16th instant.52 1 T. Bombay H. A. to march with H. M."
"The 2nd column53 under Brigr. Roberts to quit Candahar on the day subsequent to that on which H. M. the Shah may move; consisting of--The Bengal Park of Artillery; the 4th Brigade Bengal Infy; a Ressalah and a half of Local Horse, and the field hospital."
"The 3rd column, on the succeeding day, consisting of the remainder of the troops54 and establishments of the "Army of the Indus," under Maj. Genl. Willshire"
"The Genl. Staff of the Bengal army, to march with the 1st column. That of the Bombay army, with the 3rd column.55 Column right in front, (order of march.)"
4.--No. 6, Lt. Fd. battery (camel.)
5.--1st Brigade Infy. (to which 1 Regt 4th Brigade added.)
6.--4th Local Horse.
"Camp colormen of the mounted corps, and Qr. Mrs. of
51. Did not move till the 27th June, 1839; waiting for the arrival of the Lohanee grain-merchants.
52. Moved on the 28th June.
53. G. O. 24th June, 1839.
54. 1st Brigade Bombay Infy., a battery, and the Poonah Local Horse.
55. Maj. Genl. Willshire's column, changed from the 2nd to the 3rd column.
corps formed on the reverse flank of leading squadron, ready to move with the D. Q. M. G."56
Rear Guard.--"A rear-guard of one troop Light Cavy. and one Coy. N. I. to remain on the ground till the baggage be loaded and in motion; and to afford protection to the camp."
Baggage.--"To protect the baggage on the march, the Maj. Genl. Comg. the Cavy. to leave N. C. O.'s parties of Cavy. alternately on the right and left of the road, at intervals of one mile from each other,57 and to prevent straggling."
"A Ressalah of Local Horse at the disposal of the baggage Master, to prevent baggage or followers preceding the column, or moving on its flanks."
"Baggage of H. E. and Staff at Hd. Qrs., to follow the column, under the Provost Marshal, of corps, (under an officer from each) as corps stand in column."
"Comsst. camels, under the Sergts. at the disposal of the officers of that department, to follow the baggage of Regts."
Treasure.--" The Treasure between two Regts. of the Infy. brigade, covered by flanking parties of Infy."
Main Picquet.58 --"On the arrival at the new ground, a main-picquet of two guns,59 a squadron of Cavy., and two Cos. of Infy., under a field officer, to be posted as the Brigr. of the day directs; from this picquet, a subaltern's party of Cavy. to be detached, at sun-set, four miles in advance, on the main-road; to fall back on the main-picquet it felt by the enemy. With this party, no syces or grass-cutters must be sent, the horses to remain bridled up."60
56. Tindals and classics to remain in the rear.
57. They were posted on hillocks, or rising ground, to command a view of the country and baggage, &c. These to join the rear-guard; on its passing by them.
58. Formed the advance guard; see G. O. 19th April, 1839. The Brigr. of the day accompanied it.
59. H. A. guns.
60. "On halting-days the picquets to come on duty at sun-rise, when the advance party will be withdrawn. Tents of the main picquet to be struck at 6 o'clock every evening. The Brigr. of the day to be furnished with a sketch of the ground, by D. Q. M. G., and to make arrangements to protect the camp through the night, by ordering a connecting chain of sentries from Qr. and Rear, guards of corps. Officers Comg. Regts. to comply with requisitions from the Brigr. of the day, for flank picquets, or additional men for duty."
"Parties from the main-picquet will patrol up to the advance, at intervals, throughout the night."
In-lying picquets.--"An in-lying picquet of one troop or company, from each Regt. to be told off for duty, ready to move out in support, when called for."
Cordon at grazing ground.--"The Maj. Genl. Comg. the Cavy., will form as soon as possible after the arrival of the troops, a Cordon around the spot selected as grazing ground for the cattle, the troopers to drive back, with blows,61 any surwan attempting to push camels beyond the line."62
"Officers Comg. Regts. and Detts. to send parties of their own men with their cattle, promptly to oppose the attempts of robbers63 to approach the grazing ground. Camels to be brought in before sunset; those of brigades to be carefully parked near the bazars and within the rear-guards. Of the field Depôt, in rear of the Local Horse."
Dismounted cavalry.--" The dismounted men of the Cavy.64 must take the duties of the Cavy. brigade, on what, under other circumstances, Infy. would have been employed.65 Thermtr. 3 P.M. 100°."
9. Party and Mission to Herat, (11th June, 1839.)--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 56°. The details66 of officers and men to
61. This is the only plan to adopt. Had it been adopted sooner, we should not have lost so many camels at Candahar, and elsewhere; we had not before a proper Cordon formed.
62. The D. Qr. Mr. Genl. selected the grazing ground.
"The Comr.-in-Chief warns officers of the necessity of sending camels to graze, at the same time and place, to which the public camels move out, to take advantage of the guard specially assigned for their protection; and in the event of their neglecting to do so, they need expect no aid from H. E. in replacing cattle carried off."
63. We were about to enter the Ghiljie country.
64. Not having been able to complete the complement of horses.
65. "During the separation of the columns, a Ressalah of Local Horse to be attached to the 4th Brigade."
66. Published in G. O. 26th May, 1839.
be in readiness to march towards Herat, under Capt. Sanders, Bengal Engineers; except Capt. J. Abbott (Bengal Arty.) appointed in the Pol. Dept., Assist. to Major Todd (the Envoy) the officers were--
|Capt. E. Sanders, Bengal Engr
Br. Capt. J. Abbott, do. Arty.
Lt. R. C. Shakespear, do. do.
Dr. J. S. Login (Asst. Surg.) do. Estt.
||Lt. C. F. North, Bombay Engineers.
Dr. Ritchie (Asst. Surg.) Bombay;
|One European Sergt. and 25 Sappers (Natives); one Naick and three Golundaz, (Bengal Arty.)67
Girishk Detachment.--The Girishk detachment under the command of Brigr. Sale, returned to Candahar about the end of May, 1839. The Sirdars had quitted the place a day or two after our troops marched. The Brigadier had some difficulty in crossing the troops on rafts made of Rum kegs.68 It was, at one time, contemplated to swim over the Cavy, horses, but it is said that there would have been great risk, as the water was deep, and the stream rushed with such violence, that some few who tried it riding bare-backed, were carried more than a mile down the river. The Shah's governor being placed in possession, H. M.'s troops went into the fort,69 and one Battalion of H. M.'s Infy, and 200 irregular horse were left at Girishk when we marched from Candahar. Thermtr. 3. P.M. 102°.
12th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 52°. The Ghiljies being in our neighbourhood in some force our picquets were increased. The mail again cut off in the Pisheen valley. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 100°.
67. Two pairs of khajawahs for the sick, a suitable proportion of camp-equipage, small selection of sapping, mining, and blasting tools, and one camel load of spare fuzil ammn. accompanied the Dett.
68. Rafts of this kind are so far out of the water and so light, that great care must he taken in troops getting on them; they are liable to upset.
69. The people did not like our troops going into the place, which was garrisoned by the king's people; the troops were encamped outside the fort.
13th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 62°. Pay to be issued to the troops for May.70
Capt. McGregor, the Mily. Secy, to the Envoy and Minister, gave notice of 30 recovered camels having been brought into the city, and all were allowed an opportunity of seeing them, to try and recognise their own.71 Thermtr. 3 P.M. 104°.
14th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 62°. The march of the troops postponed. The Lohanee grain convoy not yet arrived.
The king about this time sent 10,000 Rs. (£1,000) to the Ghiljie chiefs, in the hope of inducing them to join him. He, also, sent a Koran with a messenger to them, which is a custom among the Affghans; and had they sworn allegiance to the Shah, and retained the book, it would have been held to be a perfect assent to join the royal cause; but, they kept the cash, and returned the Mahomed an sacred volume, which was a certain sign that they would not support him. The kings of Affghanistan requiring the services of any clan, have usually sent money, as it is termed, for "shoeing the horses;" in other words, to enable them to prepare for a march; such people often not having the means. So that we were to consider them as our enemies. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 100°.
10. Preparations for the march--Reports, &c. (15th June, 1839.)---Thermtr. 4 A.M. 60°. The Infantry ordered to complete their ammunition in pouch to 30 rounds per man, and a proportion to be taken out of the Regtl. reserve ammunition boxes, and placed in the empty treasure boxes; these being light loads for camels, they could easily keep up with the troops.
70. Beginning with the troops to be left at Candahar, then with those of the 2nd column, while, as the Pay Mr. was with the 1st column, he could pay those belonging to it, on the march, if we marched before all were paid.
71. All the prudent people marked their camels; but the Affghans often contrived to deface the mark, (perhaps aided by some of our camel-drivers.)
Thirty-nine horses of H. M.'s 16th Lancers reported, by a committee, unfit for the service.
The accounts from Cabool stated that, owing to our delay at Candahar, Dost Mahomed did not believe that we should attack him this year, and that conceiving we should direct our views to Herat, he had posted a portion of his army at Jellalabad,72 (between Peshawer and Cabool.) Hearing however, since, of our intention to advance, he was in the greatest alarm; pressing people to labour on the defences of Ghuznee.73
The reports from Herat, describe the Persians to have abandoned all intention of coming against that place again.74 Thermtr. 3 P.M. 100°.
16th June.--Thermtr. 4 P.M. 52°. A Post-office notice published of the dawk from Candahar having been robbed on its way from Quilla Abdoolah Khan; but of what date, unknown.75 Our post was so uncertain, that duplicates and even triplicates were obliged to be sent of letters of consequence, and we often got letters of two or three months date with our regular mails; as they were picked up on the road the runners having been killed, or robbed, the packages
72. Mahomed Akbar was there. His force was stated by his brother Hyder Khan (Govr, of Ghuznee) to have been 2,500 men, 1,000 horse, 1,000 Eljarees (militia), and 500 foot, and 14 guns.
73. This we afterwards found to be the case; and that he had commenced fresh works at the Bala Hissar at Cabool. He had disgusted the inhabitants by destroying the orchards and vineyards, to clear the approaches to Ghuznee; he distrusted all about him, and not long since had assembled all his chiefs, and followers, endeavouring to exact an oath of allegiance. He had deputed one of his sons (Mahomed Ufzul Khan) to urge the Ghiljie tribes to oppose our passage. (See Outram, p. 81.) Had Dost Mahomed marched to Ghuznee, there is no doubt that the Ghiljies would have joined him there.
74. There was a rumour that Kamran, (or his minister) had demanded Candahar and Cabool, in right of his father having been the elder brother of Shah Shoojah; this must have been a Russian movement to endeavour to prevent Kamran entering into our views.
75. The Post to India was sent from Candahar viâ Quetta, between which and the Kojuk Pass (Quilla Abdoolah Khan lies,) and the Bolan Pass to Shikarpoor.
being opened and the letters scattered about, and recovered by accident, the envelopes often destroyed; no doubt expecting to find money or valuables concealed inside.
A report was said to have been brought to-day from Cabool, that Dost Mahomed had signified his intention of accepting a pension, and a residence in Hindostan.
A great number of camels belonging to the 3rd Bengal Cavy. were stolen last night, a surwan killed, and a trooper cut down. Various reports have superseded those of the morning. Runjeet Sing's death76 reported, and a war in the Punjab talked of, no doubt under the belief that the Sikh territories would become a scene of contention on the Maharajah's death. The newspapers also declared war with Nipal, and with Burmah, to be inevitable. These rumours were calculated to give some degree of confidence to the expiring hopes of Dost Mahomed.
Want of cash felt at this period. The Comsat, were obliged to make purchases on credit, and at one time to suspend them. Upwards of 30 lakhs of Rs. (£300,000) had been disbursed in the city of Candahar; but every attempt to negotiate a loan failed.77 Thermtr. 3 P.M. 100°.
76. He died on the 27th June, 1839, and was at this time, dangerously ill. His army was employed at Peshawer, at this moment; partly to aid in the expedition; and partly as an army of observation. His illness, at this critical moment, and his subsequent death, were events to be much regretted; for had his successor withdrawn his troops from Peshawer; our force in that quarter would have been much reduced, and would have made Dost Mahomed less fearful of an advance from that frontier.
77. Outram, p. 82. Money to a certain extent was obtained at a discount of six per cent.; but as 10 Lakhs Rs. which left Shikarpoor on 23rd May, were daily expected, recourse was not had to the above measure to any great extent, and that in the Shah's force only. But till we completed our purchases we could not move. The people of Candahar did not like bills on India. Much money was made and saved by natives and others, and paid to native shreffs (brokers) who gave orders on India; and thus remittances were effected through native agency. In such cases, the Govt, must hold out equal or superior inducements: and at starting should state, that for all monies paid into the Mily. chest, bills would be granted at certain rates, and thus prevent the money getting into the hands of native agents.
11. Executions--the Ghiljies collecting, (17th June, 1839.)--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 54°. To-day, at 12 o'clock, the king caused one criminal to be blown away from a gun, and three others were deprived of life in another way, and their bodies were exposed in the market place. The Affghan mode of execution is usually by blowing away from a gun. More camels carried of. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 106°.
18th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 60°. Capt. J. P. Ripley, 1st Eurn. Regt., appointed Ft. Adjt. and Post Master, at Candahar.
The Envoy and Minister informed the Comr.-in-Chief that the Ghiljies were bent on hostilities, and had assembled with a design to attack our advanced Cavy. picquet;78 or of cutting off the Lohanee convoy advancing from the rear.
In consequence, a detachment consisting of the 3rd Bengal Cavy. and 48th Bengal N. I. with two guns, the whole under Lt.-Col. Wheeler, marched this morning to meet the Lohanee merchants, as it was reported that a body of 1,500 Ghiljies had thrown themselves between them and the city of Candahar;79 it was highly important to prevent the convoy being captured by the Ghiljies. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 106°.
19th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 70°. At 2 P.M. an attack was made on the camels at graze. The guard, two N. C. O. and eight sepoys (16th Bengal N. I.) were attacked by 20 horsemen in front, and some foot soldiers in the rear. The sepoys fired on the horsemen and killed three men and two horses. One musket missed fire, and the poor sepoy was sabred across the forehead; he, however, primed again80 and shot his man; a second volley brought down several,
78. A troop of the 1st Bombay Cavy. under Capt S. Poole, was posted 14 or 15 miles off on the Cabool road. The picquet was ordered to fall back, if menaced.
79. It was rumoured that Dost Mahomed's son (Mahomed Ufzul Khan) had advanced with 1,000 Infy., 500 Cavy., and four guns towards our advance post on the Cabool road.
80. A Surwan gave him a cartridge from behind.
and the Ghiljies fled, leaving five men and two horses dead on the ground; and not one camel was carried off.
G. O. A piquet of Infy. was directed to be posted in front of the right of the line. The Brigr. of the day was directed to post a second picquet, of a Coy. of Infy. and a Ressalah of Local Horse, on the extreme right of the Bengal line,81 with instructions to patrol down to the main-picquet on its left.82
"A standing order that an in-lying picquet of a troop, or company, each Regt. shall mount daily; and remain on duty through the 24 hours, ready to turn out when called for. A field officer furnished, daily, from each brigade, is to command its picquets, and to assemble them, under arms, at sunset, every evening, and again in the course of the night."
"A main and flank picquet of the usual strength83 will mount at sun-set, and be withdrawn, at sun-rise." Thermtr. 3 P.M. 108°.
12. Camels carried off. (20th June, 1839)--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 66°. To-day about 150 camels belonging to one of H. M.'s Regts, were carried off, while grazing close to camp; one of five unarmed Europeans in charge killed, and the rest severely wounded.84 A guard of a Sergt. and eight men was sent out as a protection to the camels, but they went into a village to escape from the heat of the sun;85 and knew nothing of the camels being carried off till too late. The five unarmed men went down to the rivulet to
81. This was the direction in which the Ghiljies would come, in moving down from the Cabool road, to attack the convoy.
82. Both to be withdrawn at sun-rise.
83. Main picquet one squadron of Cavy., two Cos. Infy. Flank picquet one Coy. Infy, and one Ressalah of Local Horse. (G. O. 21st June, 1839.)
"The duty of Brigade Major for the day discontinued, and each M. B. must parade the details for duty in his own lines, and make them over to the senior officer of his Brigade, going on picque." The M. B. had many other duties to perform, and could well be spared from remaining on the ground.
84. One died that night, and another the next day.
85. Thermtr. 100° to-day at 10 A.M. and 108° at 3 P.M.
water the camels; a gang of mounted Affghan robbers, rushed from concealment, and drove off the camels. The Europeans behaved as well as men could do, without arms, in defending the camels. The Brigr. of the day went out immediately, with the picquets, but the camels were off to the hills, and could not be traced.86
21st June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 68°. Another attempt at camel stealing, three of the thieves taken. Heard to-day that the detachment had not been able to fall in with the Lohanee grain convoy, and the Ghiljies being reported to have moved to intercept the convoy, this evening the 35th Bengal N. I. (Lt.-Col. Monteath), with a squadron of Cavy. and two guns, marched to Dehi-now, where they were reported to be, or 14 miles N. of Deh Hajee, thus taking a different route from Lt.-Col. Wheeler's Dett., which went towards Quilla Futtoolah. To-day died Dr. Hamilton, H. M.'s 17th foot.
This morning Major Todd, the Envoy to Herat on a friendly mission, marched with his small party from Candahar, under a salute of 11 guns. Shah Kamran had written to offer to send his son to Candahar, but Nujjoo Khan, Topchee Bashee, or Comdt. of Kamran's Artillery, who came in a few days ago with a party, returned with the Major as his Mehmandar. This proceeding proved Shah Kamran and his vizier, Yar Mahomed Khan, to be favorable to the British Government. Two lakhs of rupees (£20,000) were sent with the mission, to be employed in improving the fortifications of the place.87 Thermtr. 3 P.M. 108°.
86. Owing to the want of camel-drivers, the Europeans were obliged to go out with the cattle, and this was usually done with the Regts. of the Bombay force; but, then, they took their arms with them. Sepoys were sent out from the Bengal Native Regts., the men being armed. I do not think a soldier should ever be employed while on service or in a foreign country, without taking his arms with him to defend himself, as well as his charge. Indeed, I think the Surwans should have been armed, as well as all the servants, as they would often have been a protection to the cattle and baggage, against robbers.
87. About this time, Hajee Dost Mahomed of Gurmseer, with 1,000 followers, came in to Shah Shoojah. He is a man of influence, and his having come in, added strength to the Shah's cause.
22nd June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 68°. News of the Lohanee convoy being safe, reached us to-day. Another skirmish for camels; one prisoner brought in. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 108°.
23rd June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 70°. The Lohanee convoy of grain came in, all safe, this morning,88 having been threatened by large bodies of Ghiljie horse, night and day, for the last week; division of counsels existed; one party proposed to march for Cabool and to join Dost Mahomed; and the other to proceed to Candahar and join the king. Some days before the party under Lt.-Col. Wheeler was sent out, 100 of the 4th Bengal Local Horse, under Ressaldar Uzeem Khan, had been sent out to gain intelligence of the convoy; and bis presence and firmness of character, turned the scale in favor of the king; and the detachment coming within feeling distance, decided those who were wavering, to proceed to Candahar. It would appear89 that the convoy had been secretly joined, on this side of Quetta, by come emissaries of Dost Mohamed Khan, who had endeavoured to seduce its director, Surwar Khan, the Lohanee Chief, and his followers, to desert our cause, and carry over the convoy to the ex-ruler. The agents had seduced a number of the followers; and they would probably have gained over the whole convoy to the enemy, but for the determined conduct of the party of the 4th Local Horse under Uzeem Khan; who declared their determination to oppose such treachery with their lives; and maintained night and day so vigilant a guard90 that the scale was turned, and one of the emissaries was seized and brought prisoner to camp.91 Owing to the casualties among the private servants by
1,000 followers, came in to Shah Shoojah. He is a man of influence; and his having come in, added strength to the Shah's cause. Major Todd reached Herat on the 85th of July, 1839.
88. With Lt.-Col. Monteath's detachment.
89. Outram, p. 83.
90. They took possession of a village near the convoy.
91. The convoy experienced much opposition in the Bolan and Kojuk Passes from predatory hordes, who plundered and wounded many people belonging to it. The people attached to the convoy ware all armed, and Surwar Khan, the leader, is a meet determined man. He said that if he was refused grain at any place, or was plundered near any village, he invariably attacked the place. His plan was to unload and pack the loads; then, leaving a guard, he headed his armed people, and made his attack, and putting all he caught to the sword, he then destroyed the village, &c. Capt. O. says, "had the chief himself remained faithful, of which there is some reason to doubt." The conduct of Surwar Khan was of a very doubtful character, for he had entered into a contract to transport grain to the army, and if he, when alone, could not control his followers, still, the presence of Uzeem Khan, ought to have given him confidence, for there were two parties; and had he exercised his usual firmness and, at once, sided with the Candahar party, and with it joined Uzeem Khan, he would have compelled the other party to give in; and the evidence of Uzeem Khan would in such case, have been conclusive in his favor, for he must have known that, serving the British Govt, faithfully, at such a juncture, would have met with its due reward, in such a way as to have rendered him free from any apprehension from the Cabool Party.
Sir J. Keane was so pleased with the determined, and meritorious, conduct of Uzeem Khan, that, having duly inquired into the facts of the case, he sent for Uzeem Khan, highly praised his conduct, and presented him with a very handsome pair of English pistols. His conduct was also favorably reported to Govt.; and, here I may observe, that the conduct of the 4th Local Horse throughout the whole campaign, obtained the approbation of every officer. On every occasion they exhibited the greatest gallantry. They were employed on all occasions, on every duty of fatigue as escorts, and in guarding convoy. They lost 540 horses out of 797 between the 16th Dec. 1838, and 31st Dec. 1839, or, within 35 of the number lost by the rest of the Cavy. of the Bengal column! I trust Uzeem Khan will receive the "Order of British India," which he so well merits.
deaths, or desertions, and their numbers being reduced, fresh returns were ordered to be sent to the D. C. G.92 The king to-day shifted his camp preparatory for the march. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 108°.
13. The Lohanee convoy, (24th June, 1839.)--Thermtr. 4 a.m. 70°. The Lohanee convoy having arrived with 20,000 maunds,93 we expected to march with full rations for the
92. And Comg. officers held responsible for these returns being correct.
93. 1,600,000 lbs., about equal to one month's supplies for the army at half-rations.
whole army all the way to Cabool; but there was an objection raised on the part of the convoy camel men to proceed. They objected, that their wives and families were confined by Dost Mahomed, and would be sacrificed if they accompanied the army.94 This was an objection started by Surwar Khan, their leader.95 They wanted us to buy their camels, and not to hire them, but if we bought them, still they would not accompany us: and men could not be procured as drivers. The purchase would have cost more money than could be spared.96 We still had hopes of bringing them to terms. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 110°.
25th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 72°. The first column in orders to march on the 27th instant, in the order detailed in G. O. of the 10th instant. The other columns to move forward in succession. Officers Comg. Brigades not to move their corps on the road, till the troops to precede them in column, have passed on.97
Commissariat. "To aid the Commissariat, officers Comg. Regts. to indent immediately on the godown in the city, for as much attah (flour) as their bazars can carry, but, till F. O., the troops to be only on the present (half) rations." "Officers reminded that the camels brought to Hd. Qrs. by Surwar Khan, and other Lohanee merchants, are still in Government employ; and they are not to purchase any of them."98
94. These people lived near Ghuznee where their families were.
95. Capt. Outram says, p. 84: "By transporting his charge to the army he fulfilled his contract; but without his assistance the army cannot now be equipped with full rations."
96. Allowing 20,000 Mds. of grain at 4 Mds. load per camel, 5,000 camels would be required, which, even at 60 Rs. each would have cost 3 Lakhs Rs. (£30,000), and money was scarce. However, part might have been purchased.
97. There were so many gardens and enclosures near camp, that but for this arrangement, there must have been great confusion and delay, in the movements of the troops.
98. The Comsst. were in hopes of the camel-men coming into their terms, but they would not hire them, and officers, or others, offering to purchase the camels, would induce the owners, who wished to sell not to hire them: however, as soon as they positively refused to hire them to the Comsst., officers were at liberty to buy them. In all such eases, the interests of the Govt, must supersede those of private individuals.
5,000 of our camels would require about 1,000 drivers, but, the convoys have often a less number; the Affghans usually drive them in flocks, without ropes attached to the tails of the camels; but they must be trained to it.
Supplies on the march.--"Every encouragement must be given to the people of the country through which the troops are about to march, to bring in grain and other supplies, and officers Comg. Regts, will assign some spot in the vicinity of their standard, or quarter-guards, for the people to sell their goods in. A steady N. C. O., must be present with them, throughout the day, to see that they are not maltreated; but, all must be turned out of camp by sunset."100 Thermtr. 3 P.M. 110°.
26th June.--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 72°. "The troops destined to occupy the garrison of Candahar, will take up their position this evening at sun-set."
The troops, &c. left at Candahar were Capt. Timing's Bengal 4th T. 3rd Brigade (native) H. A. and 4th Co. 2nd Bn. Bengal Arty.; the 37th Regt. Bengal N. I.; the 4 18-prs. and such ordnance stores as the Brigr. might see fit to be left at Candahar, under Lt. Hawkins,101 Bengal Arty. A troop of the Shah's artillery.102 A Battn, of the Shah's Infy.,103 and Capt. Anderson's Ressallah of Horse. The whole under the command of (late) Lt.-Col. J. Herring, C. B. Capt. J. P. Ripley, 1st Bengal Eurn. Regt. being the Fort Adjt, and Post Master.
"The Fort Adjt. to receive from the Medical store-keeper such stores as are necessary to be left at Candahar, to be sent, the first favorable opportunity, to Quetta."
99. [Skipped in original text.]
100. Without this precaution you might have an enemy in your camp; but even on marches in our own provinces in India, many thefts are committed by not having recourse to the above measure.
101. Attached to the Shah's force.
102. Lt. Cooper's. Capt. Anderson, Comg. both troops of H. A. was stationed at Candahar, on his arrival.
103. Withdrawn from Quilla Abdoolah Khan, a corps having been raised there.
"The whole of the Treasure with the army to move with the 1st (Bengal) Infy. Brigade; and the Pay Master to make over to it all specie in excess to current disbursements."
Major Leech104 was left at Candahar as the Political Agent; to act, on the part of H. M. Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk, under the orders of the Envoy and Minister at his Court.
About this time an insurrection had been arranged and had commenced in Kohistan, a district which partly supplied the city of Cabool with grain; and endeavours were being made by us, to cut off the communication between Cabool and Jellalabad. The insurrection in Kohistan (recently acquired by the Cabool chief) affected him much, as he did not like to quit his capital under these circumstances, and indeed the city of Cabool was in an unsettled state; while the force at Peshawer, also, rendered it necessary for Dost Mahomed Khan, to keep near the seat of danger; and he had failed to quell the insurrection in Kohistan, in his neighbourhood. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 110°.
104. Bombay engineers.
1. Candahar in Afghanistan is in Lat. 310 40 N.; Long. 65° 30' E.1 It is 370 miles from Herat, which lies to the N. W. in Lat. 34° 20' N.; Long. 62° 10' E., and is 318 miles from Cabool, which lies to the N. E. in Lat. 34° 30' 30" N., Long. 68° 34' E. Candahar thus lies to the S. of and nearly mid-way between Herat and Cabool. Cabool and Candahar, have from early antiquity been reckoned the gates of Hindostan; one affording entrance from Tooran,2 and the other from Iran.3 Between Candahar and Herat lies Girishk,4 nearly W., and distant 75 miles; and beyond Herat is Ghorian, a place of some strength, 40 miles on the road from Herat to Meshid.5 Between Candahar and Cabool lies Kelat-i-Ghiljie6 N. E., distant 89 miles; and Ghuznee N. E. of it, and distant 229 miles from Candahar and 89 miles from Cabool, which lies nearly N. from it. Thus its position as the capital, at one time, of
1. According to Hamilton's Gazetteer (erroneously) Lat. 33° N. and Long. 65° 34' E.
2. Toorkistan, or Tartary.
4. It belongs to Candahar; half-way between it and Herat, and N. W. off the road, is Furrah, to which Kohun-dil Khan of Candahar laid siege in July, 1838, but was driven from it by Kamran's troops. In Feb. 1839, the Candaharees sent a force there: they were nearly starved; and nearly one-half lost by the snow.
5. It belongs to Herat, and capitulated to the Shah of Persia, after a siege of 10 days, on the 15th Nov. 1837, on his march to Herat.
6. A place of some strength in the time of Baber, and surrendered to him in A. D. 1505. It is now in ruins.
Affghanistan was good, being central; particularly when Sindh and the Punjab belonged to it. Nadir Shah destroyed the old fortress of Candahar, which stood on the top of a high rocky hill, and founded on a contiguous plain a city named Nadirabad which was completed by Ahmed Shah, Abdalli, but is now only known by the name of Candahar. Two or three miles to the N. W. of Candahar, are the remains of the old fortress on the summit of a rocky mountain.7
"In 1737, Nadir Shah, entered Affghanistan with a large army, and took Candahar after a siege, from first to last, of 18 months."
In 1747, Ahmed Shah, Abdalli, an Afghan chief of the tribe of Abdal, on the massacre of Nadir Shah,8 had acquired so great an ascendance among the troops, that upon this event, several commanders and their followers joined his standard; and he drew off towards his country. He repaired to Candahar, where he arrived with a force not
7. Hamilton, &c. Baber got possession of the castle in 1507, by the gates being opened to him. He had only 2,000 men, but defeated the enemy in the field; they had 4 or 5,000 men. (Baber's memoirs, pp. 227--229). In 1650, Shah Jehan sent his eldest son to drive Shah Abbas 2nd out of it, but though his army consisted of 300,000 men, yet the place was so well defended, that he lost the best part of his army before it. The next year he sent another army under the command of Sultan Sujah, but he had no better success than his brother." Tavernier, p. 258.
Mill, vol. II. p. 334, says, that Abbas 2nd of Persia, "marched to Candahar with a great force, and obtained possession of the city by capitulation, before the Mogul army was able to arrive. The strongest efforts were made for its recovery. Aurungzebe besieged it two several times; and Dara, the eldest son of the Emperor, once. It baffled the operations of both."
"Affghanistan was held by the posterity of Aurungzebe (who in 1678 subdued an insurrection of the Affghans), after which event its subjection was scarcely nominal. About A. D. 1720, the Affghans, under their native chiefs, conquered Persia; but, in 1737, were expelled by Nadir Shah from that country, and their own subjugated. In 1739, after the capture of Delhi by Nadir Shah, Affghanistan was, by treaty, annexed to the Persian Empire." Hamilton, &c.
8. In his tent not far from Meshed, on the 8th June, 1747.
exceeding 2 or 3,000 horse. He fell in with and seized a convoy of treasure coming from India to Nadir Shah, which had just been seized by the Dooranees, and he immediately claimed it for himself. This enabled him to engage in his pay a still larger body of his countrymen. Candahar submitted to his arms; and he was crowned there in October, 1747.9
2. Town of Candahar.--The modern city, comprised within an ordinary fortification of 3 miles and 1,006 yards, in circumference, is an irregular oblong-square, surrounded by a ditch 24 feet wide and 10 feet deep; but it was not in good repair. The wall is 204 feet thick at the bottom, and 144 feet thick at the top, and 27 feet in height; its western face is 1,967, eastern 1,810, southern 1,345, and northern face 1,164 yards long. It has six gates, but they were not in good order; that to the N. being called the Eed-gah gate; that to the S. called the Shikarpoor gate. The two gates to the E. called the Berdouranee and the Cabool gates. The two gates to the W., called the Tope-Khana,10 and Herat gates. The Shikarpoor, Cabool, and Herat gates, are towards the roads leading to those places. The length of the city is from N. to S. The gateways are defended by six double bastions, and the angles are protected by four large circular towers. The curtains, between the bastions, have 54 small bastions, distributed along the faces. The citadel and palace, where the kings reside, is in the centre of the N. end, near the gateway. The tomb of Ahmed Shah, who was buried here, is to the left of the palace. There are four principal streets running from N. to S. and from E. to W. which meet in the centre, in which there is a large dome, or circular covered space, about 50 yards in diameter, a public market place surrounded by shops where the great merchants live; this is called the "Char-soo."11
9. Mill's History of India, Vol. II. p. 408. Elphinstone, Appx. A p. 337.
11. Four roads, crossing each other.
To the N. and close to the city runs, from W. to E., a canal, which issues from the Urghand-ab river. There is another canal which runs W. to E., through the centre of the city. There is, also, a canal running W. to S. E.; and at about ¾ of a mile to the S. of the city. There is a road which runs, near the W. side of the city to the N., to the "Baba Wullee" Pass. The road to old Candahar runs to the W., in continuation of the direction of the S. face of Candahar.
The four principal streets are about 40 yards wide, lined with shops and houses, which are all built of sun-burnt bricks, and are flat-roofed. There are some upper-storied houses. There are smaller and narrower streets which run from the principal ones towards the city walls, (all crossing each other at right-angles,) between which and the houses there is a road about 25 yards wide, all round the city. There is a rampart all round the place, but that round the gateways is separate: to walk round the walls of the city, it is necessary to descend from the gateways, and ascend to the ramparts between each gateway. There was a gun on the bastion near the Shikarpoor gate; but the ramparts are not broad, and it would not have been safe to fire heavy-guns from them. The guns were kept, in the city, near the Tope Khana gate.
3. Buildings Houses, &c.--The tomb of Sultan Ahmed Shah, Abdalli,12 the founder of the Dooranee monarchy,
12. The hero of the battle of Panniput (1761). "The Dooranees of Cabool, who were the strength of the Army, being about 20,000, were all men of great bodily vigour, and their horses of the Turkish breed, and very hardy."
The combined Mahomedan army consisted of 48,000 horse, and 38,000 foot, besides camels, and 70 or 80 guns. " The regulars of the Mahrattah army consisted of 55,000 horse and 15,000 foot, 800 cannon, and camel pieces and rockets without number. Also, 15,000 pindaries (plunderers), and camp-followers estimated at four times the number of the regulars." See Hamilton, &c.
The Candahar horse of the present day, is far inferior to that so well known in the History of former Indian warfare: the horses we saw were small and indifferent.
Ahmed Shah went from Candahar to Toba in the Ackuksye country, where the summer is cooler, and died at Murgha, in June, 1773, in the 50th year of his age.
is covered with a gilt cupola, and is held a sacred asylum; the king himself not daring, it is said, to take a criminal from it. There are said to be 40,000 houses13 and a population of 100,000 persons.14 The houses of the rich are enclosed by high-walls, and contain three or four courts with gardens and fountains. Each court contains a building with several small apartments, and three or four large halls, reaching to the roof, supported by wooden-pillars, carved and painted. The apartments open on the halls, and are filled up with paintings on the walls, and looking-glasses let into the recesses.
In the houses of the rich, the walls are plastered with a kind of stucco made of Chunam,15 and divided into compartments, which are ornamented with flowery patterns, impressed on the stucco by means of a wooden stamp, and then covered over with Talkh16 which gives a silvery, but neat, appearance to the room. The recesses are of plain stucco, and contain glasses or other ornaments. The ceilings are either painted, or formed of many small pieces of wood, carved, and fitting into each other; and varnished.17 The houses of the common people are of one story,
13. The houses are generally small, and many of them in ruins, and uninhabitable.
14. Some considered that there were only 80,000, giving two to each house. There were said to be 100,000 in 1809 (Elphinstene's Cabool), but as part of the population consists of Hindus and other tribes not Affghans, it is probable that, in unsettled times, many would leave the place for a more secure abode. In taking a census, it is difficult, in the East, to determine the number of persons living in each house, though there can be none, in estimating the number of houses.
15. Lime prepared with water, mixed with goor, (molasses.)
16. Isinglass, which is formed into a shining powder.
17. "One room at least has glazed windows, and several have fire-places. The doors are carved, and covered in winter, with velvet or brocade. The floors are covered with handsome carpets, and thick felt seats go all round the room close to the wall, and are covered with silk or velvet."
and usually of a single room about 20 by 12 feet; they have little ornament and scarcely any furniture.18
There are several vapour baths in the city, as well as cold-baths, so that you may enjoy both, proceeding from one to the other.19 Some are private property, others for public use.
The streets are paved with small stones, but we found them in bad order.20
There are some buildings with roofs formed with flat arched domes, with a hole at the top in the centre, and made of sun-burnt bricks; these apertures admit the light. These houses are to be seen, chiefly, in the suburbs outside the city, in ranges containing several together; they have on one side, doors, but no windows, or regular fire-places.
The four principal streets are usually crowded from 8 or 9 in the morning till sun-set. The street from the Shikarpoor (S.) gate-way to the Char-soo, is filled with one mass of people, some riding, some walking, proceeding to and from the great market-place; and also, with camels, Yaboos, &c. carrying loads. People of different nations are seen, dressed in various colors, though all assume the Affghan dress. The dress of the women is very singular. They wear a white veil which is fastened to the top of the head, and reaches nearly down to the feet in front. The face is covered, but a fine net-work comes over the eyes, which enables them to see without being seen; the eyes alone are seen. The women of Candahar are said to be more virtuous than those of Cabool. Outside the gates, or in the city, may be bought the kubab,21 the poolao,22 the nan, &c.23 The
18. "Neither tables nor chairs are used; their place is supplied by coarse woollen carpets, and thick cushions of felt."
19. Wood being a scarce article, care must be taken to ascertain that those who heat the bath, do not use offensive substances to make the fire with!
20. The Shah ordered a new road to be made down the principal street running from S. to N. towards the palace.
21. Roasted meats, usually fixed on wooden skewers.
22. Meat (fowls, &c.) mixed with flesh and rice; sometimes hard boiled eggs are added.
23. Bread unleavened; it is mixed with milk, and is rolled out to a considerable size, and in it they often insert a portion of their curry and rice, &c.
accounts of Forster and other travellers regarding the frugal habits of the Affghans do not agree with their present mode of living; for man, woman, and child, eat as much animal food as they can procure; no Europeans eat so much. Fruit of all kinds are devoured in great quantities.
4. Surrounding Country, &c.--Candahar is on a tableland, surrounded by a well cultivated plain. Detached hills rise from the plain on the S. and E.; on the N. and W. they appear more like a broken range of hills; their height varies from 300 to 2,000 feet. Those to the W. have a singular appearance, they rise up near the top like a wall, are indented, very rugged, and look very bleak, being of a clayey color. To the S. the hills are more distant than in the other directions. There is neither tree, nor shrub, nor herb to be found on them, or, in the language of the Emperor Baber.24 "The mountains are worthy of the men; as the proverb says, 'a narrow place is large to the narrow-minded.' There are, perhaps, scarcely in the whole world, such dismal-looking hill countries as these. The heat radiates from them during the summer so much, as to warm the breeze as it passes over them; and in the evenings, it is not uncommon to experience a current of hot air from the mountains, and one cool from the plain--the latter usually succeeding the former;25 from this and from other causes, there is a great difference between the temperature of the morning and the middle of the day.26
24. Emperor Baber's Memoirs, p. 152, in his description of the hills of Affghanistan.
25. This we felt in the Bengal Staff camp, which was on a Chummun (or green sward) to the S. of the city, and the water was within three feet of the ground; we were at no great distance from the perpendicular hills to the W., which just at one point were low with a curved lime, admitting the W. wind to blow freely towards us: indeed we could nearly see the last of the setting sun. The other camps to our left, being closer to these hills, the warm current would pass over them, and not be felt.
26. See Table, No. 3. Sometimes 40 and 50 degrees. From the 26th April to 26th June, 1839, both inclusive, at 4 and 5 A.M. it ranged from 50° to 72°, and at 3 P.M. from 85° to 110°. From about the middle of May, they reckon two hot periods of 40 days each, the second period hotter than the first. For two or three nights there blew a hot wind all night; but at other times, the nights were cool.
From the Arghund-ab river being near the city to the W., and there being many canals running from it, and the Turnuk river being at some distance to the E., the country about Candahar is susceptible of a high state of cultivation. On the road towards Herat the crops are very abundant, and also in the direction towards Koosh-ab (7 miles S.) and between it and the city. But they do not appear to grow more grain than is required for their own consumption.
There are plenty of orchards, and gardens in the vicinity, which contain vines of various kinds;27 apples, pears, quinces, nectarines, peaches, figs, plums, apricots, cherries. Poplars and willows, surround the orchards; the whole being secured by mud-walls, against the inroads of cattle.
The people have no knowledge of Horticulture, or gardening. Having sown the seed, or planted the tree, their chief attention is paid to irrigation, leaving the rest to nature.
In their various trades, they are far inferior to the natives of Hindostan. They are less educated than the people of India, under British rule, and appear to have changed the habits of pastoral and agricultural tribes, for those of the robber and plunderer; induced no doubt, by the insecurity of property, and constant change of rulers.
5. Commerce and Politics, &c.--Candahar, from its position, was, in Baber's time, one of the great marts to which caravans resorted, and Cabool was another. To the former came those from Khorasan. In the time of Dost Mahomed, owing to his system at Cabool being more liberal than the fiscal arrangements at Candahar, more merchants resorted to Cabool than to Candahar; though from its situation, the trade with Persia, and with the south of India, might be naturally expected to pass through Candahar. The route by the Indus from Bombay, will be that by which the trade from
27. The vines are planted in trenches, ranged in parallel rows, and have nothing to support them.
England and India will be carried on; as the distance from Bombay is less than that from Calcutta, and it is obvious that Indian goods will be sent viâ Cabool, from the upper portion of Bengal alone; since to go to Persia, the extra distance between Cabool and Candahar (318 miles) must be travelled.28
In a Military and Political point of view, Candahar is more exposed than Cabool, for the frontier towards the latter is more easily defended, having several defensible passes; while the former would be exposed by the fall of Herat.
The three brothers, Sirdars, Kohun-dil Khan, Rehm-dil Khan, and Mehr-dil Khan, held 9-10ths of the land, and would not rent it without an immediate return; nor grant a water-lease but on exorbitant terms; hence the people were ripe for a change. Khelat was free from the influence of the Sirdars, who appear to have looked only to personal advantages; without regard to the welfare of the state. They had lost their connection with Sindh.29
The Moollahs (priests) were not regarded with respect by the Sirdars, so that they could not succeed in raising a war on the score of religion; and the Sheeah part of the Kuzzulbashes not being influential, the Sirdars alone would appear to have desired an alliance with Persia. Though Dost Mahomed came to the rescue of Candahar in 1834, when Shah Shoojah invaded the country; he on the occasion of our march on Candahar, left his brothers to their fate. It is said that
28. Candahar forms an outlet to the commerce of the whole of Sindh, and to that by the Indus, from the Punjab. Being at the western extremity of the present kingdom of Affghanistan, the trade not only of Cabool, but of the internal parts of the country, would flow to Candahar. There are a number of the passes on the Indus, between Shikarpoor and the Attok, with roads for caravans; while Cabool labours under the disadvantage of the commerce passing through the Punjab, where the duties are not only high; but, we have no means of regulating the duties to be levied in a foreign state.
29. In the time of Timoor Shah, Sindh paid a tribute of 22 Lakhs rupees (£890,000), in subsequent reigns only three Lakhs Rs. (£30,000;) but in later years nothing was paid. See Lt. Leech's Report.
the Sikhs were not so much disliked at Candahar, as at Cabool; and that the Candaharees would rather have been subject to the court of Lahore, than to that of Persia.
It was by some supposed, that placing Shah Shoojah in possession of Candahar, would have been a more prudent measure, than that of extending the operations to Cabool; but it seems clear that, by such a plan, if ever Herat should fall, Candahar would have been placed between two hostile powers, Herat and Cabool; and the passes between Candahar and Cabool would have been in the bands of Dost Mahomed. There never could have been any doubt as to the result of our military operations, had the chiefs of Candahar been joined by Dost Mahomed.30
6. Revenue of Candahar--New Prospects.--The Revenue of Candahar was stated to be not more than eight Lakhs of Rs. (£80,000.)31 Forster32 says, "The city with a track of dependent territory (under a son of
30. The Surdars of Candahar were said to have had 3,000 good Cavalry, 1,000 Infy. and 15 guns. Dost Mahomed's regular force consisted of about 13,180 (of these 3,000 were in Ghuznee), of which about 6,000 were Cavy. He had 40 guns. So that the two, united, could not have brought more than 10,000 men into the field. The king in 1834, had 6,000 Hindostanees and many Affghans, and six or eight field pieces, when he fought his battle at Candahar. The Barukzyes (Candahar and Cabool forces) had, it is said, 10 or 12,000, and six or eight field pieces. Dost Mahomed acknowledged that he was nearly losing the battle; and must have done so, had Shah Shoojah remained on the field. The fact is Mr. Campbell, his only officer, (the rest being Natives,) was wounded; the troops got into confusion; and the king thought the battle was lost.
From their force being principally Cavy., they could not effectually have opposed us at the Bolan or Kojuk Passes. Our Cavalry were, certainly, out of condition, but then we had good Infantry, and plenty of guns. Had Dost Mahomed come to Candahar, and had it been necessary to wait for the Bombay column, the delay would not have been long. They reached Candahar, eight days after us; but, might have moved up sooner; as under this view, they would never have attempted to move by the Gundava Pass.
31. Lt. Leech's report.
32. Travels in 1783, p. 103.
Timoor Shah) produced 18 Lakhs of Rs. (£180,000); so that it is clear that under the kings, the country was more productive, than under independent chiefs; and that however well European countries may prosper under a republican form of Government; still it is inapplicable to Eastern Nations.33 There being no one possessing a general authority in Affghanistan, each chief made himself independent. Shah Shoojah came to the throne in 1801; twice he lost his crown; but he came to the throne at the early age of 20 years, and was obliged to trust to his minister34 in whom he confided, and who became his worst enemy. The Shah twice35 formed expeditions, and tried to recover his throne. The British Government have restored to him his crown, with a diminished kingdom. The king is now about 60 years of age; misfortune ought to have taught him moderation and prudence. He has never committed any act of wanton cruelty; indeed, more firmness and decision would have saved his crown. His chief fault is said to be a certain hauteur in his deportment to those under him, which is displeasing to those Affghans, who were accustomed to the indiscriminate frankness, and freedom of converse with their chiefs, who36 attached their followers to them, by associating with the petty chiefs on terms of equality; regarding less personal character, than the importance they derived from the number of the retainers they could bring into the field. With our Envoy and Minister at the court of the Shah, the influence of British advice cannot fail to
33. The people being ignorant, cannot appreciate the advantages of a form of Government which gives only one supreme head; and owing to a misrule under two of the last kings, seem to have desired to have had no master. Niamut Ullah (a contemporary of Ferishta) thus describes the Affghans: "We are content with discord; we are content with alarms; we are content with blood; but we never will be content with a master, (Preface Transln. vi. part i.--1829.)
34. Akram Khan, who amassed wealth which he would not (1809) lend to his king to raise and pay troops to defend his throne.
35. In 1818, and 1834.
36. Dost Mahomed in particular.
secure to the people, their property, rights, and privileges in undisturbed possession; and the prosperity of Affghanistan will be the result: but, it will require time, to restore the habits of peace, after 30 years of constant anarchy and rebellion.
MARCH FROM CANDAHAR TOWARDS GHUZNEE.
1. March to Abdool Uzeez, (27th June, 1839.)--Thermtr. 4 A.M. 72°. The Hd. Qrs. and the 1st column marched at day-break from Candahar, the Cavalry leading.1 After a march of nearly six miles encamped near the small village of Abdool Uzeez. The table-land very level and stony. The crops having been cut, the appearance of the valley was dreary. No camel thorn; water brackish. Thermtr. 3 P.M. 108°.
As the Lohanee merchants would not accompany the army, we were obliged to leave the 20,000 maunds2 of grain brought by the Convoy, in the city of Candahar; and thus, the troops and followers were obliged to march on half-rations,3 while could this grain have been brought on, we should have been on full rations; but we wanted carriage for its conveyance.
To-day Maharajah Runjeet Singh died,4 and as his death was early known at Cabool, Dost Mahomed, doubtless, calculated on a change of circumstances in his favor.
1. In the order detailed in G. O. 25th June, 1839, p. 128. See also, G. O. 10th June, 1839, p. 116.
2. 1,600,000 lbs.
3. While at Candahar the issues from the Govt. stores were discontinued; as the market was open to all, those who had the means, were able to purchase a greater quantity than the half rations.
4. We did not know of it till the 1st of August; but it must have been known at Ghuznee and Cabool, before we reached the former. The Gov. Genl. notified the event in a G. O. dated 4th July, 1839, from Simla, and directed minute guns to be fired corresponding with the age (60 years) of the ruler of the Punjab. The event caused some change in the affairs at Peshawer. There was an attempt to conceal his death for some little time, but Khurruk Singh, the new ruler, reported it to Lt.-Col. Wade. The Sikh troops which were on the frontier under Konwar Nao Nehal Singh (the son of Khurruk Singh) left it and crossed the Indus; the son being desirous of being present at Lahore, on his father's accession. They were recommended to stay on the frontier till the present service was over, but could not be induced to stay. There was no commotion among the Mahomedan tribes on either side of the Indus; the presence of the mission and the troops under Lt.-Col. Wade, was no doubt useful at this juncture. On the 8th July, the Sikh (reserve) troops marched. Genl. Ventura (one of the Sikh Generals) also marched to Lahore; he commanded the Sikh contingent attached to Lt.-Col. W.'s force: the cause of his going would appear to have been a wish not to be second in command; or perhaps, a desire to look after his own interests at Lahore! On the 10th July accounts were received at Peshawer of rumours at Cabool, of Runjeet's death, and a contested succession; so that as a considerable Sikh force was withdrawn on this frontier, from the death of the Sikh chieftain, might have been of serious detriment to our operations against Cabool viâ the Khyber Pass.
In consequence of the great heat of the weather, by which both men and cattle suffered much, and there being moonlight in our favor; it was resolved to march early in the mornings.
28th June.--To Quillah Azeem. Thermtr. 2 A.M. 82°. When we marched, in the same order. During the march the wind changed and the temperature became about 12 degrees cooler. With day-light we found a broad and extensive plain to our right, and in our front broken chains of hills, stretching to our left.
At about 10 miles came to Quillah Azeem, a small square mud-fort with round towers at the angles. A small stream of brackish water ran through the village outside the fort. The whole ground covered with camel thorn. Several little streams of brackish water intersected our camp. Plenty of good water in the fort ¾ mile to the left and W. of camp. There were heights in our front, and to the right of camp, where our main picquet was. The road good to-day. This place is 3,945 feet above the sea, and 461 feet above Candahar. Thermometer at 3 P.M. 103°.
A Ghiljie chief and forty or fifty followers came in and made submission to the king, who to-day marched from Candahar. Another chief, with a number of Ghiljies, reported to have gone over to Dost Mahomed.
Orders to prevent the led-horses of Regts. crowding in front of the column.
29th June.--To Khel-i-Akhoond. Thermometer at 1 A.M. 72°, when we marched in the same order. Full-moon. First part of the road over a dead flat, skirted by broken ranges of mountains. The ascent most considerable after we had passed over the flat; and the road continued rugged, stony, and narrow, with a constant ascent, and descent across the dry beds of mountain streams and ravines, until we came to the valley of the Turnuk. The valley is narrow, and on the right bank of the Turnuk river, is the village of Khel-i-Akhoond, about a mile N. W. from camp. The camp on the right bank of the river which was close to, and S. of camp. Thermometer 3 P.M. 100°.
This place is 4,418 feet, or 473 feet above the last ground.
The second column, under Brigr. Roberts, marched to-day from Candahar. There being the defile of Pootee to be passed to-morrow, the sappers and miners, with two Cos. of Infy. and a troop of Cavy., were directed to march an hour before the column; the Comg. Officer of the party to occupy the defile with his Infy., sending his Cavalry to the E. extremity of the gorge; the defile to be so held while the sappers and miners are at work, and until the column, and baggage shall have passed over it.
2. 30th June, (the Pootee Defile.)--To Shuhr-i-Suffa. Thermometer 2 A.M. 68°, when we marched. The road crossed a very wild country, and ran along the bank of the Turnuk for 2 miles. Country low, we crossed some watercourses to get to the Pass; the hills in one part so narrowing it, that the pioneers were obliged to widen it, before the guns could pass. A water-course ran close to the right of the road. At about 3 miles was the defile, extending about 200 yards, and 10 to 15 feet broad, on the slope or brow of a hillock. Beyond the Pass, the left of
the road was flanked by low hills, close to it, for some distance. From this point the road lay over a low country, with water-courses. The road was then rather stony; the rest of the road more open. One mile W. of camp, a hill and an old fort. Heights in front of camp; to the rear and S of it, ran the Turnuk. Thermometer 3 P.M. 104°.
Distance to Shuhr-i-Suffa 11¾ miles; the elevation above the sea 4,618 or 200 feet above last ground.
G. O.--All guards and picquets to prevent armed parties from passing, or approaching the camp, till they shall have given a satisfactory account of themselves.5
The Ghiljies had cut the bunds,6 and flooded the road, thus rendering it difficult for the troops to move. Parties of pioneers sent out, to stop them up again.
Maj. Genl. Willshire's (or third) column marched from Candahar to-day.
1st July. To Teerundaz.7 --Thermometer 2 A.M. 70°, when we marched. We did not experience any difficulty from yesterday's flooding of the road. At 3 miles crossed some water-courses; then an ascent which required 10 horses to some of the H. A. guns; moving them with difficulty, owing to the low condition of the animals. The road was winding, round the base of low-hills; there was, however, plenty of room in the valley for troops to encamp in.
At 10 miles 8 furlongs, came to Teerundaz. There was a range of low hills in front (N.) of camp. The Turnuk river, close to the S. There is a small village. Thermometer 3 P.M. 100°.
Accounts from Kelat-i-Ghiljie, that the Ghiljies are
5. "Any such approaching a Post, they are to be stopt by the Officer Comg. it; and a report immediately made to the Brigadier on duty, who will communicate such particulars as he may have been able to elicit to the D. A. G.; who will notify to him the Comr.-in-Chief a pleasure on the case."
6. Banks to dam up water in channels, &c.
7. The "Flight of the Arrow." The spot were Ahmed Shah, first Dooranee king of the Affghans, shot his arrow to, from the neighbouring hills. There is a round, solid column, to commemorate the event.
assembling there, in great force; 1,000 there and 6,000 more expected. Chuppaos (night attacks) to be expected, or attacks on our baggage, or carrying off cattle from the grazing ground. This place is 4,829 feet, or 211 feet above our last ground.
2nd July.--To Tool (or Toot) Gallowgheer. Thermometer 2 A.M. 68°, when we marched. Ravines not far from camp; a little further on, the river ran so close under the hills, that the pioneers were obliged to cut a road in the slope for the guns to pass. At 8 miles a defile on the left of the road, which extended about a mile, with a slight ascent, which required the aid of the pioneers to render it passable, and detained the troops for 2 hours. The Turnuk and country below, to the right. Re-cross a water-course. At 6 miles the bed of a river: a small stream. Road stony in some places, and in parts, slightly winding. The road generally bad to-day. Confusion among the baggage cattle; one man killed, and two nearly lost their lives. Camp. Range of low hills in front (N.) distant¾ mile. The river, Turnuk, to the rear (S.) and close to camp. Hills to the S.; 7 or 8 miles off. Encamped as soon as the valley was sufficiently wide.
The baggage up late; and the troops much exposed. Thermometer 3 P.M. 100°. Distance marched 11¾ miles.
3rd July.--To Assia Hazarah. Thermometer 2 A.M. 76°, when we marched. A gale of hot wind blew all night; much heat and dust on the march. The road passable, with the exception of a large ravine, the almost perpendicular sides of which the troops had to ascend and descend. Camp, front, the river Turnuk; rear, low hills; the cornfields still not reaped; an increased elevation this march. Reports of enemies. Dost Mahomed's son said to have advanced from Ghuznee towards Kelat-i-Ghiljie. Orders for an increase to the advance party to-morrow.8 Thermometer 3 P.M. 120°.
8. Picquets and two guns were posted on the road towards Kelat-i-Ghiljie. It was here, on the bank of the river, and from the Comr.-in-Chief's camp, that Capt. Outram, A. D. C. to H. E. lost a most valuable Arab, the best horse in camp. Capt. O. offered a reward of 2,000 Rs. for the recovery of his charger, without success. The rear was too much exposed.
3. To Kelat-i-Ghiljie, (4th July, 1839.)--Thermometer at 2 A.M. 62°, when we marched. The sappers and miners with 3 Cos. of Infy., and a squadron of Cavy., and two guns, moved in advance of the column, to prepare the road. The wing H. M. 4th L. D.; the first Bombay, and third Bengal Lt. Cavy., and two guns, went with the D. Q. M. G. (Maj. Garden) to feel for the enemy, and prepare the camp for the troops.
Soon after we cleared camp, found the guns and pioneers brought up by a deep ravine, at which the pioneers were employed. At about half-way crossed a ravine which required the aid of the pioneers. The road in other parts good, though stony in some places. At about 2 or 3 miles from Kelat-i-Ghiljie, we found the three Regts. of Cavy. en bivouac. A man had passed and given information that a chief had arrived in the town last night.9 Sir J. Keane, immediately ordered the Cavalry to move on.10
Having marched nearly 12¾ miles we reached Kelat-i-Ghiljie.
Camp. The Hd. Qrs. were on a height E. of the hill on which stood the old fort. The Infy. camp below us to the W. The Cavy., N. E. in the low ground towards the river. The Turnuk river to the E.
Half-way on this march is a small stone bridge; the boundary between the Ghiljies and Dooranees. Thermometer 8 P.M. 100°.
Kelat-i-Ghiljie,11 is on a hill, on which a fort once
9. This was, I believe, a fact; the head-man of the place said so.
10. Some say 100 or 150 horsemen were seen disappearing over the hills. Capt. Outram, says, p. 87, "Except a few mounted scouts, who fled at our approach, no signs of Ghiljies. A proposal from one of the chiefs.
11. The "forts of the Ghiljies." It was the Hd. Qrs. of the Ghiljies, there being numerous forts in the country. Being on the high road between Candahar and Cabool, its position was good for the head of the chiefs.
stood. There is no town here, there are two small walled villages not far from it, to the N. W., and some felt tents. The old fort is completely in ruins; it contains two springs of most excellent water. There is a tradition that whatever conqueror passed this place without meeting an enemy, might go to Cabool from Candahar (or vice versa) sure of success, and meet with no opposition in his advance.12
All was quiet during the day, and only a few horsemen were seen near camp in the afternoon, near some hills not far from camp. Thermometer 3 P.M. 100°. Kelat-i-Ghiljie is 5,773 feet above the sea.
5th July.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 62°. The Hd. Qrs. and 1st column halted to-day. The Shah's force and the 4th Brigade13 joined us this morning. Abdool Rehman and Gool Mahomed, (Gooroo,) Ghiljee chiefs, marched in columns on our left and right all the way from Candahar, covering on our flanks. The former reported to have had 1,500 and the other 3,000 horse.14 They were decidedly hostile; but, they waited to be joined by Dost Mahomed, before they would make an attack. These men having refused to submit to the king's authority, two other leading
12. Baber took this place and thus describes it: "Kelat-i-Ghiljie, (in the vale of the Turnuk) A. H. 911, A. D. 4th June, 1505." "When we reached Kelat, without having arrayed ourselves in armour, or erected any engines for an attack, we instantly made an assault. The conflict was severe. Huchek Beg had clambered up a tower on the S. W. of Kelat, and had nearly gained the top, when he was wounded in the eye with a spear; and he died of this wound two or three days after Kelat was taken. The fight continued in this way till about the time of afternoon prayers; when just as the assailants, who had fought bravely and exerted all their vigour, were almost exhausted, the garrison demanded quarter, and surrendered. They came out with their bows, quivers, and scymitars hanging round their necks; and I forgave them." Memoirs, p. 171.
13. They had closed up to join the Shah for his better protection. He was much annoyed by plunderers on the march.
14. Their numbers were variously reported at from 5 to 1,500. These chiefs are descended from the Ghiljie kings who (from the W.) invaded Persia.
members of the tribe were set up in their stead as rulers.15
The Shah left some of his Affghan troops at this place.16 Thermometer 3 P.M. 98°. A few stray camels carried off.
4. To Sir-i-Usp, (6th July, 1839.)--Thermometer 2 A.M. 72°, when we marched. H. M. Shah Shoojah, his force, and the 4th Brigade, halting to-day at Kelat-i-Ghiljie. The road a very passable one, intersected at intervals, by water-courses, which a little delayed the guns. At 3 and 6 miles crossed two nullahs about knee-deep. Road good, but stony in places. Country more open, with low hills. Camp close to the Turnuk river. Distance marched 10¼ miles. Thermometer 3 P.M. 96°. The elevation above the sea 5,973, or 200 feet above Kelat-i-Ghiljie.
7th July.--To Nouruk.17 Thermometer 2 A.M. 72°. Marched at 3 A.M. On leaving camp, road difficult for guns and camels. Cross, not far off, a water-course 60 feet wide; mud and water, but not deep; an ascent and descent on leaving it which detained the guns an hour; two more afterwards. The country barren, and road stony. At 9 3/8 miles reached Nouruk on the bank of the Turnuk; it covered the camp on two sides. On reaching camp, we found the Cavalry en bivouac; and had seen no enemy. Thermometer 3 P.M. 93°. This place is 6,136 feet, or 163 feet above the last ground.
15. Outram, p. 87. The father of Abdool Rehman, is said to have disputed the empire with Shah Zeman (brother of Shah Shoojah, who succeeded him as king), at the head of 50,000 horse and foot. On the 6th October, 1839, the fort of this chief (Killa-i-Murgha; a well constructed fort, with a high citadel, and wet ditch) was surrounded by Major MacLaren's Dett.; but he escaped during the night. The place was demolished. Shah Shoojah in his former reign, twice, unsuccessfully, besieged this place. See, Capt. O., p. 131.
16. Major Leech recommended the Shah to repair the fort, and have a garrison in the place. The object generally is to raze all the forts and strongholds of these Ghiljies; short of which, all operations will be useless, as when defeated in the field they can retire to them.
17. Or, Tazee Noorook.
G. O.--"A Regt. of Cavy. under the Brigadier of the day, coming on duty, with the sappers and miners and 2 Cos. of Infy. to leave camp an hour before the column."18
Prohibition against camels crossing to the other side of the Turnuk river, to graze.19.
8th July.--To Abee Tazee, 8¾ miles. Thermometer 2 A.M. 70°. Marched at½ past 3 A.M. On leaving camp cross a small nullah. At about 2 miles, road narrow and for 1½ mile along the brow of a hillock on the left; road about 20 feet wide. On right, a water-course, and the country low; the Turnuk flowing through it. Cross two or three watercourses, and slight ascents and descents. The rest of the country open, and road good for a hilly-country. The Turnuk in rear, and close to camp.
Some few stray camels carried off, a Ghiljie killed, one wounded, and some prisoners taken.20 Thermometer 3 P.M. 93°. The elevation to-day 6,321 feet, or 185 feet above last ground.
9th July.--Thermometer 4 A.M. 62°. Halted; to give time to the pioneers to level, &c. the banks of some nullahs and ravines, which cross the road.21 Thermometer 3 P.M. 90°.
18. "The two guns, usually sent with this Dett., to move with the main column; to provide a place for them at its head; to be sent to the front if required."
19. There were a number of villages across the river, and Gool Mahomed, the Ghiljie chief, was moving on our right flank; the river lying between us.
20. G. O.--"At the next ground the Brigr. to post picquets to protect the camp, and the cultivation."
21. G. O.--"The sappers with their Escort, to continue on their present ground; working parties from the Infy. must be in readiness to assist the artillery across the ravines in front."
This morning the son of a Ghiljie chief came into camp, to make submission to the Shah; who overtook us at this place. Some petty chiefs, with about 100 horse and foot, came into camp to the king. Two men were blown from guns, and one spared. The Ghiljies had been guilty of cold-blooded murder, for the sake of plunder.
10th July.--To Shuftul, 6½ miles. Thermometer 2 A.M. 60°. Marched at½ past 3 A.M. Route over a very precipitous line of road, which still required strong working parties, to pass the guns over the steep banks of the nullah and ravines. One gun broke loose, capsized, fractured one man's jaw-bone, and seriously injured several others. Crossed three ascents and descents, with ghauts made over them. Camp. The Turnuk close to the rear. Thermometer 3 P.M. 96°. Elevation 6,514 feet, or 193 feet above last ground.
G. O.--"The Regt. of Cavalry, to go in advance, will proceed, at once, to the new ground, under the Brigadier coming on duty; accompanied by the D. Q. M. G." "Safety guards to be posted, for protection of the fields, and in villages in the immediate vicinity of camp."22 Another party of Ghiljies came in this evening; but none of note among them.
22. G. O.--" After posting of the picquets and the Cordon, all farther arrangements, to secure the safety of camp and cattle, to rest with the Brigadier of the day."
"On bodies of plunderers being observed collecting in any direction, it is to be communicated by any one discovering them, to the Brigadier of the day, who will either send out a support to the cattle guard, or take such steps as may seem fit, for dispersing, or capturing the robbers."
"Officers not on duty, prohibited riding in pursuit of plunderers, carrying with them Detts. not under their orders; thereby unsteadying the men; knocking up the horses; and defeating any systematic arrangements which may be concerted for capturing the thieves, by the responsible authority in camp." (See G. O. 1st April, 1839.)
"Quiet to be observed in camp throughout the night, and officers Comg. corps, to cause Patrols to be sent from their rear guards, to put a stop to the shouting of camel-drivers, and other followers." (The camel-men coming in from grazing make a great noise calling out to each other; by which means they hear from those near the camp, the direction in which they should proceed to their quarter of it.)"
Two troopers were robbed by our own camp-followers, within the picquets. Most of the robberies in camp, were committed by our own followers; such is the case in all Indian Camps.
5. To Chusma-i-Shadee, 10½ miles; (11th July, 1839.)--Thermometer 2 A.M. 58°. Marched at½ past 3 A.M. Road tolerable, crossed by a nullah with 2 feet water, and several dry ones. Half way crossed a nullah which became a slough by the horses feet stirring up the mud. Country open; considerable extent of table-land.23 Camp. The Turnuk to the rear. Water-courses in rear of the Infy. and Cavy. camps. Some villages, at distance, in front of camp; and across the river. Thermometer 3 P.M. 97°. Elevation 6,668, or 154 feet above the last ground.
The people offered no molestation, and we got on very quietly. Abdool Rehman, who has been all along moving on our left flank, tendered his submission; but on such impudent terms, that no answer was given him.24
12th July.--To Punguk, 6½ miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 70°. Marched at½ past 4 A.M. At 2½ and 4 miles crossed water-courses. The country open, through a valley about 20 miles in width, crossed by several fine streams of water. Numerous villages, orchards, and much cultivation.
Camp. The Turnuk river a mile, to the rear (E.) of camp. On the other side of the river, about 1 mile, is Quilla-i-Jaffier. Large villages E. and W.; (rear and front) on each side of the river. Thermometer 3 P.M. 93°. Elevation 6,810 feet, or 142 feet above last ground.
Report that Abdool Rehman is near us with 500 horse; a reconnaissance ordered, but no enemy seen.25
13th July.--To Ghojan 12 miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 66°. Marched at 4 A.M. At 5 miles crossed a deep ravine; rather a hard pull for H. A. horses. Crossed several other ravines. At 11 miles crossed the Jaffier nullah, but little water. The river Turnuk 3 or 4 miles off. Road good. The valley widened as we advanced, 10 to 15 miles wide; many
23. About four miles from Chusma-i-Shadee, there is a plain on which 50,000 men might encamp, fronted by a crystal stream and plenty of grass, and wild clover. By halting there, you might make two instead of three marches from Shuftul to Ghojan.
24. Outram, p. 88.
25. The Bombay Brigade two marches in our rear.
villages with orchards around them and much cultivation. The villagers reaping and threshing in their fields; springs of water in our camp. An attempt made by some horsemen to carry off camels at graze, and while the picquet was coming up, two troopers of the 4th Local Horse recaptured the camels, and, taking different roads, tried to cut off the robbers from reaching the hills; unfortunately, close to the foot of the hill, their horses ran against each other, both men and horses fell to the ground. The Ghiljies took advantage of this accident, and cut both the helpless men to pieces, before they could recover themselves; and escaped into the mountains. Thermometer 3 P.M. 92°. Elevation 7,068 feet, or 25ft above last ground.
14th July.--To Mukoor, or Mookloor,26 12¼ miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 64°. Marched at 4 A.M. Road good, over a large table-land (crossed only by two or three small ravines) to the right covered with numerous mud-walled villages,27 clumps of trees, and orchards near them. At 10 miles, there were 20 or 30 Karezees on each side of our route.28
The mountains near this place are about 2,000 feet above the plain; extremely rugged, and from their base the river Turnuk issues in numerous springs, near a clump of trees. Crossed the river, and also a water-course, to enter camp.29
26. The name of the district. It was in Dost Mahomed's country. At this place is the source of the river Turnuk.
27. These are rendered necessary for their defence against their neighbours.
28. Said to have but little water.
29. There is a plain (or Chumun) here, covered with a fine green turf, with white and red clover. The plane, poplar, and willow are seen among the fruit trees, and orchards. The Hd. Qrs. camp on the green sward.
Plenty of forage for all the animals. Grain, and some gram (a small white kind) procured here.
From the mountain near camp, a well cultivated valley was seen on the other side.
Camp, N. of the river, the rear towards it. The left close to the mountain. To the right, distant hills 15 or 16 miles off, on the other side of the valley. The village of Mukoor, S. W., and in rear of our left. Thermometer 3 P.M. 87°.
The elevation of this place is 7,091 feet, only 23 feet above the last ground.
The Ghiljies showed themselves to-day, but picquets were thrown out. No attack on our line of baggage, was made in that, direction.30
6. Halt at Mukoor, (15th July, 1839.)--Thermometer 4 A.M. 56°. The Hd. Qrs. and 1st column halted to-day, in consequence of the indisposition of H. E. Sir J. Keane. The Shah, his troops, and the Envoy and Minister came in to-day. During his last march, the Shah's Goorkhas had a skirmish with Abdool Rahman, the Ghiljie chief.31 Thermometer 3 P.M. 87°.
16th July.--To Oba, 14¼ miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 60°. Marched at 4 A.M. At 6 and 10 miles crossed the dry bed of a nullah; rather steep banks the first time. Road generally good, over a flat, and well cultivated country; few impediments. Numerous small forts, and walled villages,
30. After the rear guard had arrived, many people who kept behind, were murdered and plundered by the thieves. Some of the medical stores of the Bombay troops were carried off. The Bengal medical store-keeper was ordered to supply more medicines. Accounts that the Shah's Affghans had surprised a body of Ghiljies, killed and wounded many, capturing a standard.
31. They attacked the Shah's flanks, and were said to have had 1,000 horse and 500 foot. The foot occupied a range of hills commanding the road; the Ghoorkha Battn. went up and attacked them, killed and wounded many, and dispersed the rest. The Shah's party had 1 killed and 2 wounded. The Ghoorkhas, are the best troops for hill warfare in India; the mountaineers in Affghanistan are very good, but are larger men, and not so active as the little Ghoorkhas. The Shah is, consequently, obtaining more of this class of soldier. They are excellent shots. The Shah's camp was attacked in a part protected by a party of the Ghoorkha Battn. The Ghoorkhas, at home, on such ground, drove them off, overtook them, killed 13, and wounded many.
and extensive cultivation to the right and left. Numerous groups of villagers, viewing the troops as they passed. Parties of Cavalry thrown out to protect the cultivation; grain, &c. brought into camp.
Camp, Springs of water in camp, a water-course to the rear, beyond which to the N. was the dry bed of a river. Plenty of food for all the animals. The village of Oba to the W. was deserted.32
G. O.--" The advance guard, of a Regt. of Cavalry; a Wing of Infy., and two H. A. guns, with the sappers and miners to assemble at the main picquet at the 1st Trumpet, and move off under the Brigadier coming on duty, as soon as day-light sufficient to discern obstacles on the road."33
Rations.--"The D. C. G. to issue from to-morrow, rations of¾ seer of Attah (flour) to fighting-men; and half a seer (1 lb.) to public establishments, and to camp-followers, instead of that now supplied."34 Thermometer 3 P.M. 92°. The elevation here is 7,325 feet, or 234 above Mookhloor.
17th July.---To Jumrood,35 12½ miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 62°. Marched at½ past 4 A.M. The road crossed by several dry nullahs, and a few ravines, rather heavy for the guns in some places. Numerous forts, and walled villages, with orchards, and much cultivation. About half-way some Karezees were passed, some dry, some between them
32. An unfortunate washerman who strayed from the road, was robbed and his left arm cut off. The head-man of the village, near the spot, seised the criminal, and brought him, the wounded man and his property, into camp. After an inquiry and full proof of guilt, the man was shot.
33. "To leave parties for the preservation of the grain, in the vicinity of the road: to join the rear-guard."
34. The troops had been on half-rations of half a seer, and the camp-followers on a quarter of a seer, since the 29th March, 1839. (G. O. 28th March, 1839,) or for more than 3½ months; except what little could casually be bought by those followers who had the means, between this place and Candahar; at the latter place there was an open, but dear market, for the poor!
35. In the district of Kharabaugh.
and the camp; where there were three streams of water. Thermometer 3 P.M. 93°. The elevation 7,426 feet, or 101 feet above the last ground.
Many men were now sick, some in consequence of sleeping on the green sward at Mukoor.36 Flour to-day, sold in camp at 22, and barley at 28 seers per rupee.
Accounts from Cabool and Ghuznee most conflicting. That Dost Mahomed's eldest son,37 with four guns had re-inforced his younger brother (Hyder Khan) at Ghuznee.
18th July.--To near Musheekee, 8¾ miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 66°. Marched at½ past 4 A.M. The first 5 miles road rather heavy for guns; intersected by many watercourses, &c. rendering the march difficult for camels; rest of the road good, but rather stony. The whole plain covered with forts, walled villages, and much cultivation. The mountaineers, here, are called Huzarahs.38
Camp. Heights in front, and Karezees to the front, to the left, and to the rear. The heights N. W. of and close to camp, and a large collection of grave stones in front, and close under the hills. Thermometer 3 P.M. 91°. The elevation at this place 7,309 feet or 117 less than the last ground.
A party of Kuzzulbashes came in to render obedience to the king.39 Alarms of the enemy, and more picquets
36. 37 men of the 16th Bengal N. I. and many of the 48th N. I. went into hospital. Many of the soldiers European and natives lost their beddings in the Bolan and Kojuk Passes. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. buried three men last night.
37. Meer Ufzul Khan. He was in the neighbourhood. But the report that Dost Mahomed had marched from Cabool on the 16th July, for Ghuznee, was not true. He was afraid to leave Cabool without his troops at this time; expecting we should be detained at Ghuznee for a long time. The disaffected Ghiljie chiefs were said to be moving with a considerable body of Cavalry on our flanks, intending to aid the Khan in resisting our advance; or if he did not come to oppose us; then, to tender their submission.
38. Hussar means 1,000, the number said to have been sent by one of the conquerors, to people the land.
39. Said to be the first deserters from Dost Mahomed's army.
thrown out. Authentic accounts received here, that the enemy have assembled in force to oppose us at Ghuznee. Rear columns ordered to close up by forced marches.40 Heavy rain at night.
7. Troops closing up from the Rear, (19th July, 1839.)--To Ahmed Khel,41 9½ miles. Thermometer 3 A.M. 66°. Marched at 4 past 4 A.M. The road first 5 miles heavy sand,42 and large loose stones; crossing several watercourses: the rest of the road good. Crossed two more watercourses. Many small mud-forts, and villages at the slopes of the hills.
The Infantry, Cavalry, and guns were halted near Urguttoo, which was occupied by forty of the enemy's horse, who decamped on the arrival of our advance guard.43 The Shah, and the force with him, joined us to-day.
Camp. Heights in front; numerous small streams of water near camp. Thermometer 3 P.M. 93°. Elevation 7,502 feet, or 193 feet above the last ground.
The 2nd column joined us to-day by forced marches; and Genl. Willshire (3rd column) is pushing on to join us.44
G. O.--"The 4th Brigade will resume its position in the 1st (Bengal) division of Infantry,45 on the march
40. Outram, p. 90.
41. In the district of Arghistan.
42. Tents all wet, which increased the weight of the loads of the camels, &c
43. The advanced guard were fired upon by a patrol of about 60 of the enemy's horsemen; after a few shots, driven into the hills. A troop of 1st Bombay Lt. Cavy. went after them, but did not come up with them. Outram, p. 91.
44. G. O.--" To be considered a standing order that, when the 'alarm' is sounded at night" (or day) "the in-lying picquets shall immediately turn out, and proceed, under their commander, to the front of the standard, or Qr. guard, of the centre Regt. of the Brigade to which they belong; where they will remain under the Fd. officer of the day of the Brigade; awaiting the orders of the Brigadier on duty. Should the "Assembly" be sounded, the Line will get under arms; each Regt. forming in front of its encampment; and remaining in position, till ordered in some particular direction, by competent authority."
45. It had been marching with the king.
tomorrow; and the park, with the Dett. usually assigned to it from the 4th Brigade, will follow in column."
"The Rear Guard to be increased by a Compy. from the 4th Brigade. The camels carrying the spare ammunition attached to the corps of Infantry, to move on the reverse flanks of their respective Regts." Thermometer 3 P.M. 93°. The elevation, here, 7,502 feet or 193 feet above the last ground.
20th July.--Thermometer 3A.M. 68°. To Nannee 7½ miles. Marched at ½ past 4 A.M. The road sandy, heavy, and stony. At about 6 miles, passed between commanding hills, distant ¼ to ⅓ mile from each other. The road from this, was over table-land, crossed by the dry beds of mountain torrents.46
About fifty or sixty of the enemy were seen on the hills, but they moved off on the approach of our advance guard.
A body of Huzzarahs came into camp, and submitted to the Shah. Thermometer 3 P.M. 94°. The elevation here was 7,420 feet, or 82 feet less than the last ground.
8. reparations for the march to Ghuznee.
G. O. Officers quitting camp. "H., E. calls attention to the impropriety, in the present position of the army, of Officers, quitting camp on shooting-parties; and to the unmilitary practice of discharging fire-arms within, or in the vicinity, of the lines; the latter practice must be put a atop to."47
"The army to move to-morrow, in three columns, in the following order."
"The Artillery will march by the main-road, having with it the sappers and miners."
46. To the W. of Nannee there is a small stream, to cross which and encamp on the Ghuznee side, is said to give to an army the possession of the country. This must mean, if the river be crossed without opposition; and is something like the tradition regarding Kelat-i-Ghiljie.
47. "To be proclaimed in the different bazars that, any camp-follower found discharging fire-arms, within camp, will be severely punished."
"The Cavalry, on the right, in column of troops,¼ distance, right in front."
"The Infantry, on the left, in column of Companies,¼ distance, left in front."
"Parties of pioneers will move near the head of the columns of Cavy. and Infantry."48
"The Rear-guard will consist of a company of Infantry from each Brigade, a troop of Light Cavalry, and the whole of the Local Horse; and will be under the command of the Fd. Officer coming off the duty of the main picquet, who will regulate the march of the baggage, from front to rear."49
"The Brigadier Comg. the Artillery, will arrange for the Mortars, and a portion of ammunition, moving with the army; the remainder of the Park, must immediately precede the baggage."
"The treasure will move with the Park, and will be under the charge of a Company of Native Infy."
48. "As the march of the columns must be simultaneous, they will be formed when the 'Assembly' is sounded; but will await a signal from H. E., to move forward."
"It is the desire of H. E. that corps should muster to-morrow, as strong as possible; and that all personal guards, and orderlies, and every soldier capable of bearing arms, should join their colors, on the present occasion. H. E. is, also, pleased to permit officers on the civil staff of the army, whose Regts. are in the field, to join them to-morrow."
"The Camp-colormen must march on the reverse flank of the rear troop, or Company, of their respective Regts. The spare ammunition, and two Doolies for each Regt., will be allowed to move in the same position."
"Medical officers must arrange to carry on these Doolies the means of affording ready assistance; and the Supg. Surgeon will make such arrangements as may appear to him expedient, for affording relief to individuals sent to the rear."
"Not an article of baggage, nor a follower, must be permitted to pass the picquets, nor to move from the present ground, until½ an hour after the rear of the column shall have quitted camp."
49. "All Detts. of Local Horse now on duty with the different Depts., excepting the detail with the Baggage Master, will rejoin their standards, at the first trumpet, to-morrow."
"The Infantry must move with forty rounds of ammunition in pouch, and Qr. Mrs. of corps will be held responsible, that the spare ammunition, is kept well up with the column."
"The sick of corps are to be collected under a steady N. C. O., and to move in front of the baggage; the led-horses will follow the doolies."
Orders will hereafter be given for an advance guard.'"
Major Garden D. Q. M. G. (Bengal) returned from a reconnaissance to Ghuznee. He went within a quarter of a mile of the town, and saw no armed men near the place, and only a few men walking about; nothing to indicate the place being occupied in force.50 Authentic (though not official) intelligence having reached Lt.--Col. Wade at Peshawer, of H. M. Shah Shoojah having marched from Candahar, the Lt.-Colonel, with the Shah's son, (Shahzada Tymoor) moved, to-day, with the force under his orders, from Peshawer to Jumrood, near the entrance to the Khyber Pass; in order to move through the Pass towards Cabool.
As it was reported that Meer Ufzul Khan, (Dost Mahomed's eldest son) who had 3,000 horsemen, was in our neighbourhood, and meant to attack the camp at night, (Chuppao) the whole of the troops were en bivouac all night. But no enemy appeared, and the only occurrence was the accidental discharge of a musket. The troops rose up with their arms perfectly steady, and without firing a shot. At midnight
50. He took about 30 troopers with him; and leaving (as he usually did) his party about a mile or two behind, went on with four troopers up to within¼ mile of the place. It was afterwards ascertained, that, Hyder Khan, the Govr., who had a telescope and saw him advance, had ordered a party to go out in pursuit of Major G.; but they were too late. Major Parsons, D. C. G. (Bengal) when riding out on the evening of the 5th July, at Kelat-i-Ghiljie, was nearly falling in with a party of horsemen. The hills concealed them, but Brigr. Scott (4th L. D.) who saw them, sent some troopers to intercept them. The Minarets at Ghuznee were visible from our camp at Nannee.
Major Genl. Willshire's (3rd) column, which had been ordered up from the rear by express, marched into camp; and we were now looking forward to the operations and the events of the coming day.
MARCH ON OPERATIONS BEFORE; AND ASSAULT AND CAPTURE OF GHUZNEE
1. March from Nannee to Ghuznee (21st July, 1839.)--The army marched from Nannee1 at 4½ A.M., in three columns; Maj. Genl. Willshire, and the Bombay column, having joined us last night. The artillery marched, by the main road, as the centre column. The Cavalry were the right column, in column of troops, right in front. The Infantry formed the left column, in column of companies, left in front. The Shah's cavalry were to the right of all. It was supposed that the enemy would, if they made any attack on us, move from Ghuznee towards our left front; so that the Infantry by being left in front, could easily form to the front. Meer Ufzul Khan2 was supposed to be in our neighbourhood, and had he joined the troops under his brother Hyder Khan (Govr. of Ghuznee), still the arrangements of the Horse Artillery and Cavalry were suitable to meet the enemy. If he confined his attack to our right flank, it was very easy to meet him in that direction; while an attack on our rear, was the most probable mode of attack on the plain. There were low hills on our left, which rendered an attack from that side in force, unlikely. The British troops amounted to about 8,000.3 The Shah's
1. Orders were given last night to the Qr. Guards not to allow any armed natives of the country to enter the lines; but to direct them to the right flank parties. It was expected that parties would come in; and it is usual to appoint a place in orders, where they are to be taken to.
2. Dost Mahomed's eldest son.
3. I speak of the numbers fit for duty and under arms, and include the Advance and Rear Guards.
contingent to about 2,000, and H. M.'s Affghans to about 2,000 men, in all about 12,000 men, and about forty guns, of which eighteen were Horse Artillery. The Comr.-in-Chief formed his advance guard, and we moved off, in parallel columns, preserving such distances between each, as would enable the troops to form to the front, or to either flank. The rear guard4 consisted of about 800 men. Brigr. Sale5 was Brigadier of the day; and Major Fitzgerald6 Field Officer of the day.
The country over which we marched was undulating, but open; though we crossed some water-courses, still there was nothing to impede our movements, or prevent our acting in concert. Shortly after we had marched, we met a chief7 with a few followers, who had been in the fort of Ghuznee, and had left it during the night, with the intention of joining us. The route was nearly in a direct line all the way, except the last 3 or 4 miles, when it turned to the left, and then the fort of Ghuznee burst on our view. It looked formidable with its fortifications rising up, as it were, on the side of a hill, which seemed to form the back ground to it, towards the citadel. We observed as yet no hostile movements. The columns were advancing slowly, but steadily, on the wide plain, and no noise was heard, save that of the movement of the guns, the distant sound of the horses' feet, and the steady tramp of the Infantry; while, there being a slight breeze, the distant clouds of dust indicated, to those afar off, the approach of an army in battle-array. The
4. Consisting of three Cos. of Infy., one troop of Cavy., and the whole of the Local Horse.
5. Comg. 1st Bengal Brigade.
6. 2nd Bengal Cavy.
7. A nephew of Dost Mahomed's. He was sent to Sir A. Burnes who was in advance with the Comr.-in-Chief. From him they learnt that Gool Mahomed, the Ghiljie chief, who had been marching on our right flank all the way from Candahar, had gone into the fort and left it again, but that his horses were there. Also, that the Governor meant to resist, and various other particulars. This chief said he had not been well treated by his uncle.
advance of the army was observed by Hyder Khan by means of his telescope. As soon as the advance had arrived within a mile of the fortress, it was perceived that preparations were being made by the enemy to stop our advance.8 The object was, now, to dislodge the enemy from the villages and gardens which they occupied close to, and around the fort.
2. Enemy driven in--Fire against the Fort.--The 1st (Bengal) Brigade of Infantry was leading. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. were ordered to the right in the direction of some gardens near the fort; the 16th N. I. went to the left, and the 48th N. I. were pushed through the centre of a village, between the above corps. The Light Company of the (Bengal) European Regt. was sent still more to the right, to drive the enemy out of a garden in that direction; while the remainder of the Regt. was kept in ¼ distance column, and as the fire from the fort was heavy, the men were made to sit down.9 In the direction to the left there was a garden within the range of the fort, and completely commanded by an outwork of the fort, about 60 yards distant. The Light Companies of the 16th N. I. (Capt. Graves) and of the 48th N. I. (Lt. Van Homrigh) were sent to this garden to dislodge the enemy. They soon succeeded in driving them from the garden into the out-work. The above corps were placed in position to prevent the enemy coming out to occupy any ground near the fort; as well as a support to the Light Companies in advance. Some Cavalry were placed in position, to prevent any attack on the Horse Artillery from the country near the gardens: while
8. "Some scouts were perceived to be hastily evacuating some walled-gardens. The Comr.-in-Chief and staff having passed the gardens, awaited the arrival of the troops in a position overlooking the fort; observing which, the enemy opened a few guns from the walls and discharging several match-locks from a garden in our vicinity." Capt. Outram, (p. 91.)--He was with H. E. in advance. A man near some fields, told us that there were 1,000 armed men in the place. The villagers we met, seemed quite at their ease.
9. The rest of the troops kept in column ready to move in any direction.
the Infantry protected the guns from any assault by parties issuing from the fort.
The enemy, as soon as their match-lockmen had retired within the outwork, opened a fire from the works with their guns. It was desired by the Comr.-in-Chief to ascertain, what extent of fire the enemy could direct against us from the fort, and accordingly the H. A. guns10 were brought up, and placed in position as they came up, extending in a line from a village on the right, to the out-work on the left, and opened a fire on the fort with shrapnels and shot at about the distance of 700 yards. The enemy returned the fire, which lasted for about ¾, of an hour. There were some casualties arising from this fire; they had got the range pretty accurately, and could they have sufficiently depressed their guns, would have killed and wounded many. The shots struck close to the Regt. of Infy.11 posted between a village and the angle of the fort, and many struck the ground close to the Horse Artillery; some shot passing under the horses' bellies, and some reaching to the Cavalry. The position in the garden near the outwork was one of considerable danger, being close to and within musket shot of it; Capt Graves, 16th Bengal N. I. was severely wounded, being shot through the shoulder and hip;12 and Lt. Van Homrigh, 48th Bengal N. I. was wounded in the right arm, slightly.13 Having ascertained the
10. There were 18 H. A. guns, and including the camel battery of 9-prs., &c. there were 30 guns employed.
11. 48th N. I.
12. At one time his wound was considered to be a dangerous one.
13. There were one R. and F. and two horses killed; and one Capt., one Lt., six R. and F. and five horses wounded. One R. and F. and 1 horse missing--besides some accidents.
There was one of the enemy who kept mounted on the parapet of the out-work, waving his flag, and calling out to our men to come on; one of our shot knocked off his head, and down went the flag; and the rest became more cautious. Some one contemplated assaulting this out-work at once; but the Comr.-in-Chief would not allow of so hazardous an attack. We afterwards ascertained that our fire had committed havock in the fort, killing and wounding some men, and a great many horses.
extent and power of the enemy's fire from the fort, the troops were ordered to be withdrawn from further exposure; and orders were given not to pitch the camp till a position for the troops was determined on.14 While the troops were engaged, a report was received that Meer Ufzul Khan15 had gone back, with the whole of his horse, to attack our baggage; in consequence of which, the Wing H. M.'s 4th L. D. and 1st Bombay Cavalry, were sent back to reinforce the rear-guard; this gave the rear-guard, altogether, about 1,600 men.16 The next operation was, to reconnoitre the place; which Capts. (now Majors) G. Thomson (Bengal) and A. G. Peat (Bombay) the chief Engineers immediately commenced.17 The result of this reconnaissance determined the Comr.-in-Chief to change ground to the Cabool (S. E.) side of the fort.
3. Move to the Cabool (S. E.) side of the fort.--The D. Q. M. G. (Major Garden) who had accompanied the reconnoitring party, having returned to Hd. Qrs.18 the following order was issued. G. O. "The troops will change ground this afternoon, the 1st trumpet to sound at three; and the 'assembly' at 4 o'clock, to sound from Hd. Qrs."
"The Cavalry will proceed under such directions as Maj. Genl. Thackwell may think fit, and take up ground for the
14. This was not generally understood, for many tents were pitched, and many of the camels were sent out to graze; which turned out to be a very inconvenient measure; but they should not have been sent out to any distance.
15. With 3,000 horse. Capt. Outram, p. 92, says, "The Bombay Cavy. and Infy. Brigade had been halted when within about three miles of the fort, in order to afford protection to our rear."
16. See para. 1 and note 4.
17. See the Chief Engineer's report, dated 25th July, 1839, paras. 2 to 6 in this chapter. The party consisted of a Company H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. (Capt. Sutherland), a Coy. 48th Bengal N. I. (Lt. Spankie), and a troop of 2nd Bengal Lt. Cavy. (Major Fitzgerald); and not of H. M.'s 16th Lancers, as inserted by mistake in Sir J. Keane's Despatch, of the 85th July, 1839, para. 5, in this chapter: one European killed and one man wounded.
18. They had been established in a garden beyond the village near the fort.
whole of the troops. The D. Q. M. G.19 will accompany the Cavalry."20
"The Maj. Genls. Comg. the Divisions of Infantry, will make a corresponding movement, and will cross the river at such points as may be indicated by the Officers of the Qr. Mr. Genl.'s Dept. attached to their respective Divisions."21
"In making the change of position, care must be taken to keep the troops out of fire from the fort."
"The Artillery, and the whole of the Park establishment will follow the Cavalry."
"A strong Rear-guard, consisting of a Regt. of Infy.22 and the whole of the Local Horse, will form in rear of the centre of the present encampment, and will move under the orders of the Brigadier of the day,23 who will make suitable arrangements for the protection of the baggage."24
"Parties of Pioneers must be attached to each of the columns, and the sappers will move with the Park."
"Two Cos. of Infantry from the 1st Division will also march with the Park, and be prepared to aid in conveying the ordnance across the river."
"Orders for the formation of the picquets, and for the protection of the camp throughout the night, will be hereafter issued."25
19. Maj. Garden.
20. The Cavy. and Arty. formed the column moving to the right by the nearest route. The 19th Bombay N. I., moved with them.
21. The Infantry and the (Bengal) Comsst. cattle, moved by the route which lay to the left.
22. The 48th N. I. and 4th Local Horse.
23. Brigr. Sale.
24. The baggage of each column marched with it.
25. "Returns of the actual number of R. and F. which marched with each division of Cavy. and Infy., and of the Arty. and sappers this morning, to be sent, without delay, to the D. A. G.; and nominal rolls of this day's casualties among the Comssd. officers, and numerical returns of those of the men and horses, to be sent, as soon as they can be prepared, to the same authority."
As it was reported that Dost Mahomed Khan, had marched from Cabool towards Ghuznee,26 it was important to make a move towards the Cabool road, to prevent either Dost Mahomed, or his son, Meer Ufzul Khan, pushing into it; or reinforcements, or any parties getting into the place. The Shah took a different view of the case; he thought that, in our peculiar situation, we could not take the place with our present ordnance;27 and his advice was, to leave the fort behind and march on for Cabool: but better judges had determined otherwise; and we were now to move to the Cabool side.
4. March in two Columns to the Cabool side.--The troops marched in two columns to take up a new camp on the side of the fort which commanded the Cabool gate, and the road to Cabool. Thus we were gaining two points of great
26. Capt. Outram, p. 90, says, "It was confidently stated that Dost Mahomed Khan, himself, marched on the 16th (July)." The distance is 88 miles (we made seven marches) and by regular marches he would have reached Ghuznee on the 22nd (next day), and as this day (21st) he would have been within one march, and would have heard the firing, he would, it was to be supposed, push on; so that there was a great object in not delaying in changing ground. As in 1834, Dost Mahomed had moved from Cabool to defend Candahar against the Shah, the presumptions were in favor of his march to Ghuznee. We knew, from Dost Mahomed's own nephew, that two of the three gates were blocked up, and it was argued by some, that the sudden movement to the Cabool gate, which was said not to be built up, would put the enemy on their guard; and cause that gate also to be secured. Whereas, by a march in the morning, it would not appear so suspicious. The movement was a delicate one, being a march in two columns by two different routes; for it involved a night march for the rear and much of the baggage, if not for the troops, as we were not to march till four in the afternoon; and the route for both columns could not be well known. The march in two columns would, it was concluded, expedite the movements, but then there were two columns of baggage to protect, and we could not protect that of the column on the right. The march of the baggage at all, that night, was inconvenient; and we gained no time by it.
27. The king said "I know well that, if you can once breach the place, the fort will be certainly yours; but I cannot understand how you are to get into the fort."
moment; but, we, also, had a third point,--to protect the rear, while we were uncertain as to the movements of Meer Ufzul Khan. The troops of the left column did not march till near 6 P.M. The right column marched earlier. The troops arrived at their new position late at night, but the baggage and rear-guard were not so fortunate.28 The rear-guard29 did not leave till the moon had risen; it was twelve days old. When we had marched about four miles on the road, nearly the same as that by which we had advanced in the morning, we were obliged to move slowly on account of the rear camels.30 A Wing of the 48th N. I. was, therefore, ordered to move on to overtake the baggage on a-head, which it did in the course of ½ an hour. We found that the people in advance had lost the road; this was about 10 o'clock at night. We found camels, bullocks, hackeries, (carts,) guards, all jammed up together. People were sent to discover the road, but it could not be found; the moon went down at about ½ past 12, and we could do nothing more than wait for the rear party, and then make the best military disposition of our forces we could;31 but, it was dark, and we could not well have protected such a number of cattle and baggage had we been attacked. We, therefore, were necessitated to bivouac till day-light should show us the road to camp.32 We
28. The orders were out late, as it was not decided till late in the afternoon (3 P.M.) how we were to move. Some camels had gone to graze and did not come in till near sunset, and the rear guard could not move till all the baggage was off the ground.
29. I was with it, and my Regt. 48th N. I.
30. A Wing of the 48th N. I. and the Local Horse remained under the Brigr. of the day, to bring up the rear, and he sent the other Wing under Major Thomas on in advance, to overtake the baggage in advance; as the moon had risen, and a stronger party than they had with them was deemed necessary.
31. Throwing out flanking parties in different directions.
32. An officer of the Qr. Mr. Genl.'s Dept. at about 2 A.M. finding we had not arrived, came to us; he had to cross over to our right from the hills near the fort; under these hills runs the river which was to be crossed, as well as about 10 or 12 canals which ran between us and the river, (by the route he came,) an operation which caused many camels to fall in daylight.
heard all night a firing of matchlocks and wall pieces from the fort, about every five minutes, as if the enemy were firing at persons approaching the walls, or ditch.33
This firing lasted till day-light: nothing else occurred during the night, except some blue lights were exhibited in the fort, and signal lights were observed in the hills. At day-break, we commenced pushing on the baggage to camp. At sun-rise Lt. Keane, A. D. C. to the Comr.-in-Chief came across-to Brigr. Sale, Comg. the Rear-guard, and said that H. E. had perceived parties of the enemy's horse34 moving towards the baggage, and that he had ordered a Regt of Cavalry to come and join the rear-guard. Lt. K. desired the Brigr. to accompany him to the Comr.-in-Chief who wished to speak to him.35 Brigr. Sale therefore, made over the command to Lt.-Col. Wheeler, who took prompt and judicious measures for sending on the baggage to camp.36 The whole of the baggage did not reach camp till near 12 A.M. on the morning of the 22nd July.
The route of the left column was circuitous, and when about half way was parallel to the river, about 1½ miles distant; then moving a mile on from our bivouac we came to a village whence the road turned to the right, crossing two streams
33. The rear guard supposed they were firing at working parties. It was by some thought that the enemy were keeping up a fire to convince us that they were on the alert; and that they might, during the confusion of our troops moving, take the opportunity of escaping from the fort by the hills, after the moon had gone down. In camp they thought they were firing on the rear guard.
34. Must have been Meer Ufzul Khan. At day-break we perceived parties of eight or ten horsemen to our left about three or four miles off, on some rising ground, watching us; and at sun-rise we heard the firing of matchlocks near our rear, but we saw no men.
35. This was regarding the proposed attack on Ghuznee.
36. A portion of the baggage was sent in succession, with a suitable guard, by which means all confusion was avoided. The Lt.-Colonel seeing all well across the river, moved with his rear Dett. directly across to the river; thus moving on the centre of the line of baggage. A Regt. of our Cavy. (2nd Bengal) moving towards us.
of the river; then turning to the right the road ran parallel to the river; and a turn to the left up the hills, and another to the right brought us to camp. The route of the right column, with which the Comr.-in-Chief went, was a movement to its right, and then turned up the left.
The right column did not reach its ground till 10 o'clock, and the left column, not till 12 o'clock at night of the 21st July; and the troops had to bivouac till next morning; not a single tent up till after sunrise in the left column. The distance marched by the left column must have been nine miles; that by the right column less.37 The position of the rear guard at the bivouac was about one and a half mile in rear of the hills, which divided us at nearly equal distances from our new camp; part of which range of hills commanded the citadel: and between the range and our bivouac ran the river, and, besides, ten or twelve canals. The route of the right column was across the river, and then turned to the left; but they had no hills to cross.38
5. 22nd July. Enemy near camp.--At day-break H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief, accompanied by the Engineers,
37. Though they moved before the left column, the guns detained them; so that this route may not have been above two miles less than that of the left.
38. The march of the Cavalry and Artillery by the right, saved the interruption and inconvenience caused by crossing hills, particularly in the night.
While it was desirable to occupy the Cabool road without loss of time, still much confusion would have been saved had about 6 or 7,000 men with the principal part of the guns, been, sent to the Cabool road, the troops being ordered to bivouac there in position, and the whole of the baggage and Comsst. stores been collected and parked in compact order, guarded by the rest of the troops and some guns; thus, by marching at day-break, the whole of the baggage would have been as early in camp. For, besides Meer Ufzul Khan's 6,000 horse (the number stated by Hyder Khan) had the enemy made a sortie from the fort, our baggage must have suffered dreadfully. If Meer Ufzul Khan had actually gone towards the Cabool road, a less force might have been required on the ground the troops were leaving; but we had to guard against the chance of a sortie, and to protect the baggage.
proceeded to the heights of Bullal, on the right of camp to the N. from which a good view was obtained of the E. face of the fort, where the attack was to be made;39 and confirmed in the opinion formed before, he then resolved to blow open the gate and storm the place. The Engineers had now made further observations as to the nature of the works, and the position of the gate-way.40 Preparations were, therefore, promptly made for the assault next morning; to be by a false attack to divert the attention of the enemy, while the gate was being blown open.
Attack near Shah's Camp.--The enemy's cavalry under Meer Ufzul Khan were said to have been joined by about 3,000 horsemen under the disaffected Ghiljie chiefs41 and were waiting for an opportunity to fall upon our camp. At about 11 A.M. the hills to the S. of camp were observed to be crowned with numerous bodies of horse and foot, displaying their standards. And as the Shah's troops were in this direction, it was supposed the attack was intended to be made on his camp.42 Some of H. M.'s guns, the whole of his cavalry, supported by the Lancers, and a Regt. of Bengal Cavy., immediately moved out, and the enemy who had descended into the plains being met by a gallant charge of the Shah's horse under Lt. P. Nicolson43 were compelled to reascend the heights. Capt. Outram44 moved
39. From these heights he could observe the horsemen going towards the baggage.
40. The Engineers had the day before observed the position of the gate-way; but on a closer examination, afterwards, Major Thomson came to the conclusion that the gate was not blocked up; for at considerable risk, he got as near it as he could undiscovered, and observed people coming out at dusk, which satisfied him that there must be a gate, or wicket, by which an entrance was to be obtained. The Lt. Coy. (1st) Euro. Regt. were out reconnoitring on the 22nd July.
41. This would make the above force about 6,000.
42. It is said they wanted to seize his person.
43. 28th Bengal N. I.
44. 23rd Bombay N. I. A. D. C.
with a party to the rear round by the hills, where he posted them to cut off their retreat; but the enemy ascended heights beyond the reach of our horse. Capt. O. then returned and accompanied the Shah's infantry and match-lockmen, who followed the enemy and, killing the standards bearer, the Holy-banner45 was captured. They then fled with precipitation. There were 20 killed and wounded of the Shah's troops: and the enemy had 30 or 40 killed and wounded, and 50 prisoners. Capt. Outram exerted himself very much on this occasion; and was very actively employed on the previous day.
6. Orders for the attack of Ghuznee.--G. O. C. C. Hd. Qrs. camp before Ghuznee, 22nd July, 1839. "The following movements are directed for to-morrow. At 12 o'clock P.M. theartillery will commence moving towards the fort, and the Batteries will follow each other, in succession at the discretion of the Brigr. Comg. The guns must be placed in the most favorable positions, with the right above the village on the hill N. E. of the fortress, and their left amongst the gardens on the Cabool road. They must all be in position before day-light, and as in the progress down, they cannot avoid being heard, and fired upon, they should make a return, sufficient to attract the enemy's attention from the gate-way, about 3 A.M."
2. "The 1st Battery will be accompanied by the sappers and miners, and by six Cos. of N. I. from the 1st Division;46 four of these Cos. are intended to close the gardens on the left of the road, and to support the sappers; and the other two Cos. will be formed on the right of the artillery for the protection of that flank."
45. This was a green and white flag. The Mahomedan high priest had preached a religious war against the British, and had collected a number of fanatics. The Ghiljie chief, the leader of this army, surrendered himself to Capt. Outram on the 28th Sept. 1839, on the occasion of the operations against the Ghiljie chiefs between Cabool and Candahar. The father-in-law of Dost Mahomed was killed in the skirmish of the 92nd July.
46. 35th Bengal N. I.
3. "The storming party will be under the command of Brigr. Sale, C. B., and will be composed as follows; viz. The advance to consist of the Light Cos. of H. M.'s 2nd and 17th Regts.; of the47 European Regt., and of a flank Coy. of H. M. 13th Lt. Infy.--under the command of Lt.-Col. Dennie, C. B."
4."The main column will consist of H. M.'s 2nd Regt. of foot, of the47 European Regt., with the remainder of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. formed as skirmishers on the flanks; the latter will push into the fort with the rear of the main-column. H. M.'s 17th Regt. will be formed in support, and will follow the storming party into the works."
5."The whole must quit their respective encampments in column of Companies, at ¼ distance, right in front, so as to ensure their arrival at the place appointed for the Rendezvous, by 2 o'clock (A.M.)"
6."Officers from H. M.'s 2nd, and 17th Regts. and47 European Regt. to be sent to Brigr. Sale's camp this afternoon at 6 o'clock, for the purpose of having the place of assembly pointed out to them."
7."At ½ past 12 o'clock, the Cos. of the 13th Lt. Infy. intended to act as skirmishers, will move up to cover, in front of the gateway, and be ready to keep down any fire on the party of Engineers who proceed to blow it open; this last party will move up to the gateway, before day-break, followed, slowly and at some distance, by the Assaulting column."
8."On the chief Engineer finding the opening practicable, he will have the advance sounded, for the column to push on; when the Head of the column has passed the gateway, a signal must be made for the Artillery to turn their fire, from the walls of the town, on the Citadel. The nature of the signal to be arranged by Brig. Stevenson."
9."At 12 o'clock P.M. 3 Cos. of Native Infy.48 will quit camp and move round the gardens on the S. of the
47. 1st Bengal.
48. 35th Bengal N. I. under late Capt. J. Hay.
town, where they will establish themselves; and about 3 A.M. open a fire upon the place, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the garrison."
10."The Infantry of the Division not warned for duty in the foregoing part of this Order, will be formed as a 'Reserve' and will be under the personal command of Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton."
11."A Regt. of Cavy.49 will quit camp at 12 o'clock P.M., and will move towards the southern face of the Fort, to cut off any parties making their escape from the Fort."
12."These movements must be made without the sound of Bugle, or Trumpet. The remainder of the Cavalry will be employed in observation on the Cabool road, and in such manner as the Maj. Genl. Comg. may think the best calculated to prevent the operations before the Fort, from being interrupted; and for the protection of the camp."50
13."The camp guards of the Infantry must continue at their Posts, but it is expected that corps will muster, on the present occasion, as strong as possible;51 each Cavy.
49. 3rd Bengal Cavy.
50. Cavy. D. O. 22nd July, 1839. "A Regt. of Native Cavy. (3rd Bengal) will quit camp at 12 o'clock to-night, and move towards the southern face of the fort, to cut off any parties making their escape from it. The Regt. to assemble and move off without the sound of trumpet A guide will we furnished by the A. Q. M. G. of Cavy."
"The remainder of the Cavalry will be formed in column of troops, right in front, on the Cabool road, in rear of the Comr.-in-Chief's camp, at 3 P.M., to turn out and form without the sound of trumpet."
"The Regts. to turn out as strong as possible. Sufficient guards for its protection to be left in camp, upon which duty the dismounted men can be employed. Comg. officers of Regts. to be provided with 'states' showing the number of officers, N. C. O. and rank and file, mounted in the field."
"The 2nd Light Cavy. (Bengal) will remain on the present ground and be formed on this side of the fort; detaching one squadron to the rear, for the protection of the camp."
51. All the sick in hospital, capable of doing any duty, were put on the inferior camp guards; it was found difficult to keep the men in hospital, they all desired to go.
officer to be provided with a return, showing the exact number of Commissioned, N. C. O., and Rank and File under arms with his Regt."
14."Suptg. Surgeons will arrange for having a portion of their Field Hospital Establishments, in the vicinity of the Batteries; but in a hollow of the mountain, and out of range of fire."
15."The A. Q. M. G. of cavalry and infantry will furnish guides to the detachments from their respective divisions, proceeding to the S. of the town."
N. B. "This order to be considered strictly confidential for this night, and only such portions of it to be communicated to the troops, as may be absolutely necessary to ensure compliance with its various provisions."
7. The Assault on Ghuznee, (23rd July, 1839.)--1. The orders were duly explained by Brigr. Sale52 to the several officers Comg. corps53 as well as to Lt.-Col. Dennie Comg. the "advance" the evening before the assault. These orders were for the "advance," on the sounding the "advance" the signal agreed on, to push into the gate-way. The "storming party" to follow, and on entering the fort H. M.'s 2nd Foot, and (1st) Bengal European Regt. to take the road to the left leading into the town. H. M.'s 13th and 17th Regts. to take the road to the right leading up to the citadel. The troops composing the above parties, were ordered to leave camp54 a little after 2 A.M. The
52. See No. 6, of Para. 6.
53. They were explained by Comg. officers to their 2nd in Command, that they might know how to act in case of the death, &c of the Comg. officer.
54. The camp was facing the hills which run in a continuation of the heights from the village of Bullal close to the fort. Part of the infantry were on the right, on rising ground resting near these hills. The rest of the infantry were on the left (the artillery being in the centre)--on the left of the infantry were the Cavalry; and then came the Shah's camp. The Comr.-in-Chief's camp was in rear of a garden in which there is the tomb of the late Vizier, Futteh Khan. The camp represented a curved-line. The right was about one and half mile from the fort. The left was nearer, and some shots from the enemy's 68-pr. came into the Cavalry-camp, and killed a horse, and wounded others.
artillery, Engineers, and sappers and miners, and the party for the "false attack" moved previously, with their supports, to their assigned positions.
2.--From the right of the camp to the fort the distance was about one and half mile; between this and in a direct line, there are two lofty minarets, which lie perpendicular to the gate-way, so that the troops from the right, marched straight down upon them; while those on the left, easily moved into the road by crossing into it from camp, by a direct route to their front. The wind was cold, and the temperature about 56°.55
As the troops were coming into position there was no sign of any one being in the fort, from the dead silence observed; nor was a shot fired by the enemy. Some thought the place was evacuated.
The guns of the Horse Arty. and of the Light Field Batteries being already placed in position, by Lts. Sturt and Anderson, (Bengal) Engineers, to the right and left, commanding a fire on the gate-way, and on the eastern face of the fort; and H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. being employed as skirmishers, on each side of the gate, and H. M. 17th foot, on the right of the gate-way as a "support," the troops all being in position; the attack commenced by a fire from the "false attack," which had been placed to the S. of the fort.
3.--The Engineers then proceeded, with the "explosion party" to the gate-way, for the purpose of blowing it open, under a heavy fire; at length the gate was blown open. The explosion was heard by nearly all. The Artillery now opened their fire, when blue-lights appeared all round the walls, which gave our party a view of the place. The object was for the guns to play on the works; and as soon as the signal was given for the advance, to fire on the citadel. The signal being given, the "advance" moved forward under Lt.-Col. Dennie, accompanied by Lt. Sturt, Bengal Engineers,56 when the whole of the troops gave three cheers.
55. Within three days of the full of the moon.
56. The same officer who distinguished himself at Pooshoot on the 18th Jan. 1840.
When the "advance" moved forward, it was about 100 yards in front of the "storming party" Before the advance got through the gate-way, the enemy advanced sword in hand and opposed the advance, and while repulsing the Affghans, and by this detention the "storming party" under Brigr. Sale had closed up. The enemy being driven back, the "advance" charged again into the gate-way.57 They soon got in, and then commenced a rapid file firing. On the "advance" getting into the fort58 the enemy made a rush on the rear of the party on both flanks, wounding Lts. Broadfoot, Magnay, and W. K. Haslewood of the Light Coy. (1st) Bengal European Regt. and thirty men.59 Lt. Haslewood shot the first man who attacked him, and the second, who had cut him down, was run through the body with a bayonet by a man of his company named "Kelly;" and thus his life was saved.60 The "advance" having entered the body of the place, pushed through into the town; and then took the road to the right.
4.--The "storming party" under Brigr. Sale, while the above was going on, were exposed to a severe fire, and even when the "advance" had entered, the enemy made a rush and attacked the head of the main column, which when repulsed, the Brigadier pushed in and was wounded in the gate-way.61 H. M.'s 2nd foot now were moving into
57. The Affghans had swords and shields, and received the bayonets on them in the rushes they made at various times; and cut at their enemy over and under their shields!
58. The gate-way was about 150 feet long and about 20 feet wide. About half way it turned to the right; so that no one could see through the whole distance.
59. I don't know the names of the officers, or number of men belonging to the other Lt. Cos.; but the chief loss was on the rear of the "advance," and front of the "storming party."
60. Lt. Haslewood is very anxious to serve this man, and I hope his recommendation will be attended to.
61. The gateway was so completely strewed with fallen timbers, that it was difficult to walk through it without any opposition! The Brigadier on being wounded fell among the timbers and rubbish, and called out to Capt. Kershaw to run the man through, while he (Brigr.) seized the sword of the man who cut him down, with his left hand; and getting up, cut his enemy right through his head, (see Para. 8 of the despatch 24th July, 1839.)
the fort, but the troops were obliged to move slowly, and as the centre square of the fort was not only not extensive, but crowded with the enemy, the Bengal European Regt. was delayed outside for sometime. On each side of the gate-way are bastions, loop-holed, and here this Regt. lost most of their men, and all its officers were here wounded, except Major (now Lt.--Col.) Warren, and Lt. Haslewood, owing to the cross-fire from the bastions and parapets. As soon as the storming party had well entered the centre square, the enemy rushed up the ramps to the citadel,62 and for the houses in the streets. The ramparts were crowded with Affghans.
5.--The 2nd Queen's and the Bengal European Regt., agreeably to the orders given, pushed into the town, to the left. The orders were to keep the men well hugged to the houses, so as to face the ramparts and obtain a fire on them, without suffering from their rear. This order was strictly obeyed. The streets were found empty; but the Affghans crowded the tops of the houses, firing at the troops as they advanced; but never came into the streets.
The advance of the storming party, having all entered, H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy., which had been skirmishing outside, and H. M.'s 17th foot (the "support") followed into the fort; and they, according to orders, on getting into the square,
62. As you entered the fort from the gate-way, you came into a square about 150 yards square. There were houses commanding it on three sides, while on the fourth side was the Citadel immediately opposite to the gate-way. There was a 68-pr. which was on commanding ground under the Citadel, while the Citadel itself commanded the square. There were two steep ramps up to the Citadel, one by the right, passing under some houses, high up, which could fire on the square, and on troops advancing by that road; the other ramp was to the left towards the entrance to the town. From the gate-way above, and the ramparts on that side, a fire was obtained.
pushed up the ramp to the right, and moved up towards the Citadel, H. M.'s 17th foot leading. They were seen from the outside moving steadily up the second ramp leading to the small gate, the entrance into the upper fort; and every one expected to see a heavy fire from this usually strong-hold of a fortress; but the death and destruction which they saw all around appalled them; and they, here, made no opposition.63 The Affghans seeing so many of their countrymen killed all around, for it commanded a view of the whole town; made their escape from its walls, and the citadel was taken possession of.
6.--The 2nd Queen's and the European Regt were in the meantime, moving down the streets of the town, towards the Kenak64 gate-way; near this gate is the outwork, before mentioned, and in the street leading to it was the heaviest fire, a constant whizzing of matchlock balls. The 2nd Queen's then went up the ramparts which commanded the above outwork, and from the loop-holes fired into the work; the powder in it shortly afterwards exploded, and killed and scorched many of the enemy. The European Regt. from this point, turned off to the left, and proceeded down a street which led back to the Cabool gate, originally entered; for the purpose of clearing the street. It was, here, that observing the party moving up to the citadel, the troops in the town expected a severe opposition would be made at the upper fort; when all of a sudden, and unexpectedly, the colors of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. and H. M.'s 17th were seen flying on the top of the upper fort; and the enemy rushing down from it in all directions, to effect their
63. There was an upper-roomed house to the right, in going up, where a Coy. H. M.'s 17th foot killed 58 Affghans. There was a heap of straw here, some stray shot struck it, a moving was observed, a shower of balls was poured in, the straw fired, only one man escaped, and he was shot close to the burning mass. This (citadel) was the residence of the Govr. (Hyder Khan), and the females of the principal people of the place were collected here. Here, too, were the magazine and granary.
64. By some called the Candahar gate, being opposite to the Cabool gate.
escape. When about half-way down this street, a firing was heard from a house, Major (now Lt.-Col.) Warren turned round to his right, to see from whence the fire came, when he was struck on the left-side by three shots, one carrying away the upper part of the left wrist, the 2nd striking over the left breast, and passing over the chest; the 3rd entering the upper part of the upper right arm, shattering the bone completely. Had he not turned round, he must have been killed, as the three shots would have struck him in front.65 The caps of almost all the men of this Regt. were riddled, owing to the enemy firing high from the houses, and many were shattered by sabre-cuts.66
7--The "Reserve" under Maj. Genl. Sir W. Cotton, consisting of the 16th, 35th and 48th Bengal N. I., followed the storming party close in; a desultory fire was still kept up by the enemy, from the houses, and from behind walls; some ran along the ramparts to make a rush down to the gateway, and several rushes were made for this purpose,67 which drew a fire from our troops in the citadel. When the leading Cos. of the 48th N. I., the last corps, had entered, about seventy Affghans made a rush between No. 1 and 2, Cos., killed two Havildars, and wounded three sepoys before sufficient space could be cleared to fire on them; when many were killed, and not a man escaped.
8.--The centre square exhibited a scene of blood and confusion; horses, many wounded, were running about in all directions, fighting with each other, kicking, and biting, and running quite furious at any one they saw; so dangerous had these animals become, that, the men were obliged to be ordered to shoot the horses in self-defence, as they
65. The Grenadiers and the rear Company of this Regt. suffered most; excepting the Lt. Compy.
66. A great many men were obliged, afterwards, to wear their forage caps.
67. The ramparts were not wide, and there was no ramp except by a circuitous road, leading to this gate-way.
endangered the lives of all, and particularly of the wounded men while being carried out in Dhoolies.
9.--Opposition was kept up for some considerable time, from the houses and from behind walls, and a number of men, principally of the 35th N. I. were shot by some desperate Affghans who refused quarter; and lay still and concealed, till an opportunity offered of being certain of killing their opponents; and then they met their own deaths, with the satisfaction of having killed so many Infidels. Parties of the 16th, 35th and 48th N. I. were sent into the different streets of the town to clear them of any remaining foes.
10.--While the operations were going on inside the fort, the Cavalry were busily engaged outside in pursuit of those who, having descended from the walls, were trying to effect their escape into the country, and into different villages. The arrangements for the Cavalry were good, for the purpose of cutting off the flying enemy; but till day-light appeared Sir J. Keane, who expected Dost Mahomed would march to Ghuznee to try to relieve it, was desirous of having troops on the Cabool road for its protection; besides which, this was a measure of precaution, as a protection to the camp; and even to move against any party which might move in rear of the "storming party;" or attack those moving to the rear to camp. In point of fact, Meer Ufzul Khan, with 5,000 horse was, afterwards, found to have been close to our camp very early in the morning. He heard the firing, and was only waiting for day-light to see the state of affairs in Ghuznee; he saw the British Flag flying; and he, then, knew that its fate had been sealed. He immediately made the best of his way to Cabool.68 As soon, therefore, as day-light gave a full view of the state of affairs in and in the neighbourhood of camp, the Cavalry were sent in pursuit of the fugitives. Numbers of them were cut
68. Hyder Khan, the Govr. of Ghuznee said, his brother had nearly 5,000 horsemen outside. He abandoned his elephants, and the whole of his baggage at a village about 6 miles off. The Shah sent a party to secure them.
up by the Cavalry, by whom they were pursued to some distance. The 1st Bombay Cavalry alone are said to have killed upwards of fifty, with the loss of only one killed, and six wounded.69 There must have been 150 of the enemy killed by the Cavalry, and a great number of wounded, as many were found next day in all the neighbouring villages.
11.--The "False attack" by the three Cos. 35th N. I. to the S. drew many of the enemy to that quarter; and being in an opposite direction from the citadel (N.) while it operated in our favor by actually drawing the governor and many of the enemy from the upper fort, and from the ramparts near the Cabool gate, had, also, the effect of checking the egress of those who were attempting to escape, by the ditches, and close under the walls, where Cavalry could not reach them; the party, therefore, composing the false attack, effected two objects; a diversion in favor of the "storming party," and the cutting off the garrison's retreat from that quarter, by which they might have securely reached the hills in rear of the camp.
The parties of the Native Infantry, which were sent down the different streets to clear them of any of the enemy who might be seen, had many men killed and wounded by the Affghans who had asked for quarter (Aman, Aman,) and afterwards kept up a fire from their houses.
12. H. M. Shah Shoojah, with the Envoy and Minister, were in rear of the "storming party," looking on at the
69. Capt. Outram says, p. 99: "I was directed by H. E. to place guns to command the W. face of the fortress, over the walls of which, a number of the garrison were making their escape; after which I rode round to the E. walls to draw on a squadron of the Lancers, to intercept their escape by the gardens. While passing under the walls, a large body of the enemy, who were descending by a fallen tower through a breach not before observed, deterred by the sudden appearance of the Lancers, turned back; when a picquet was planted, by which egress was precluded." Some of the enemy likewise tried to push through the 2nd Cavalry, who were stationed near the S. side of the Fort, near the Bazar gate.
operations. As soon as all was quiet H. M., and the Envoy and Minister, went into the fort, and up to the citadel, where they found H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief, and a number of the staff. Hyder Khan, the Govr., who was there, having surrendered himself, was introduced to the Shah (his uncle); and Sir J. Keane, through the Envoy and Minister, asked the king to pardon his nephew, which he did. It was here that we found collected, a great number of prisoners, many badly wounded, and about 300 women belonging to the families of Hyder Khan and the principal men among the Affghans. Here, also, we found the magazine, and granary.
13. It was singular that the enemy should have allowed the guns, and troops to take up their positions without firing on them, and it is only to be accounted for, by relating the following fact derived from Hyder Khan, the Govr. himself. Dost Mahomed never anticipated that we should resort to the hazardous measure of blowing open the gateway. He conceived that we should proceed in the regular and usual manner by breaching, and then storm the place by escalade.
This he fully calculated on, and that it would occupy us a long time, by which delay, also, he hoped to complete the works he had commenced at Cabool. In the event of an escalade, the orders were, to man the walls, and not to fire a shot, or use any weapon, till they saw the heads of the British fairly above the walls; thus expecting to destroy a great number at once. Hyder Khan, the Governor, when he heard our first firing, from the "false attack" went to that quarter: but, when he learnt that the British troops, were entering the fort, he galloped back to the gateway, where he met some of the Europeans. He had a bayonet run through his Kummur-bund (waistband), and one of his attendants, had a shot through his turban. At this moment his horse reared, and he was almost falling; if he had his life was gone. He recovered himself, and dashed away up to the citadel. He saw the place was lost, and he resolved to give himself up to the first British officer he saw, fearing the men would kill him. Capts. A. W. Taylor,7
70. 1st Bengal Eurn. Regt. and M. B. 4th Brigade.
and G. A. Macgregor,71 passing by, he sent to tell them that he was in the citadel, and ready to give himself up on his life being spared.72
14.Hyder Khan, the Govr., who is only now about 21 years old, did not understand the probable effect which the explosion would produce; his chief gunner, a native of Hindostan, knew that there would be no use for his services any longer, and he escaped from the fort. He afterwards came in to us and said, having served in forts attacked by the British in India, that "as soon as I heard the explosion, I knew the gate was blown open, and that you would storm the fort and take it without escalade; and I thought it time to be off." There were a number of Hindostanees in the "out-work," and many of them were scorched by the explosion of gunpowder in the work, caused partly by the powder being loose, and by the fire of H. M.'s 2nd Queen's. These men said they had been pressed into the service, against their will. At about 8 o'clock the European troops were withdrawn, and Brigr. Sale was appointed Governor of Ghuznee; the 16th and 35th N. I. were left in the fortress and town, under Brigr. Roberts, to secure the place, guard the prisoners, and preserve the captured property. A desultory fire was kept up from some isolated houses during the day.
15.The Loss.--The loss on our side was seventeen killed, and eighteen Officers, and 147 N. C. O. and rank and file wounded. On the part of the enemy, the loss was very great. Eight hundred bodies were buried next day. There were many found dead in the houses three or four days afterwards. Many (about 150) were killed by the Cavalry, and about 300 bodies are said, altogether, to have been found outside73, probably many of these wounded men who had escaped from the place, died of their wounds: so that
71. Bengal Arty. and Asst. to the Envoy and Minister.
72. The account given by himself while a prisoner.
73. 180 were counted round about the gate-way, within 80 yards.
there must have been 1,200 of the enemy killed, and about 300 wounded, and 1,500 prisoners were taken; (some among the wounded,) which, allowing for some to have escaped, will make the garrison to have amounted to 3,000 men; exactly the number stated by Hyder Khan, and found in the Duftur, or Register of the troops.
16. Wounded Officers.--Brigr. (now Maj. Genl.) Sir R. H. Sale was wounded in the chin, but was able to continue with the troops till the fort was fairly ours, and only left it at the urgent request of the surgeon, as he was bleeding much; after having given the necessary orders to the troops, the Comr.-in-Chief being in the fort himself, at the time.74
Major (now Lt.--Col.) Warren, 1st Bengal European Regt. was wounded in three different places, one shot carrying away the upper part of the left wrist, which was so far dangerous that for two or three days a lock-jaw was apprehended; a second shot by a ball striking the left breast and passing over the surface of the chest; the third shot entered the upper part of the upper right arm, shattering the bone completely. This was the same arm which was very severely wounded by a sabre cut on the shoulder at the escalade of the Jungeenah-gate, at Bhurtpoor, on the 18th Jan. 1826.75 The surgeons wished to amputate the arm, thinking it was necessary to save his life; but, he, at once, decided on taking his chance as to the result.
74. This gallant officer entered the army on the 19th Jan. 1795. Served as Lieut. In the 18th Regt. at the siege and storm of Seringhapatam, in May, 1799. Served with great distinction in the Burmese War, and was severely wounded on the 15th Dec 1824 (as senior Major in command of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.) in one of the numerous assaults of the Burmese stockades.
75. He has likewise a severe sabre cut on the left side of his face, lost the upper joint of his left thumb, the cut rendering two of his fingers useless; so that had he lost his right arm, he would have had a useless left one. On the occasion of the above escalading party by two Cos. 1st Bengal European Regt., Lt. Candy was killed, all the officers were severely wounded; of whom Lt.-Col. W. is the only surviving officer.
Lt. W. K. Haslewood, 1st Bengal European Regt. was very severely wounded. He received five wounds by sword-cuts. One on the head which knocked him down; one on the right shoulder joint, very severe; one lower down, and another crossing it: and a very severe wound in the right hip, several inches in extent.76
Capt. H. M. Graves, 16th Bengal N. I. was severely and badly wounded in the shoulder and hip. Capt. O. Robinson, and Lt. G. N. K. A. Yonge, of the 2nd Queen's, were severely wounded; the former, by a sabre cut on the head; and the latter by a match-lock ball in the groin. The other officers were slightly wounded.77 Major (now Lt.-Col.) Parsons was wounded in the cheek near the Comr.-in-Chief, on the heights of Bullal. The Rt. Hon. Earl of Auckland, Govr. Genl. has kindly noticed Lt.-Col. Warren and Lt. Haslewood, by appointing the former to be officiating Town Major, and the latter to be an A. D. C. on his Lordship's personal; these appointments, while they are gratefully received by them, are duly appreciated by their brother officers; and afford convincing proofs of Lord Auckland's desire to reward those who suffer in their country's cause.78
8. Orders after the storm.--(G. O. C. C. 23rd July, 1839.)--1. "Brigr. Sale, C. B. is appointed Comdt. of Ghuznee, and will immediately order such arrangements as may appear to him necessary, for restoring order in the fort; and for securing the property for the benefit of the captors".
76. From the nature of the wounds it was to be expected that Lt. Haslewood would never thoroughly recover the use of either the arm or leg; and although returned "severely wounded," in order not to cause too much alarm to his friends in England, he might, with propriety, (as declared by the Surgeons) have been returned "dangerously wounded;" the wounds are likely to cause more pain and constitutional disturbance than the loss of a limb.
77. Capt. Barston, Bengal 37th N. I. and Lt. H. Palmer 48th Bengal N. I. were severely wounded, the former in the "Bolan Pass," and the latter before entering the Pass.
78. Capt. Graves has been appointed Offg. Agent for 1st Division of army clothing.
2. "The Maj. Genl. Comg. the 1st Division of Infantry, will comply with such requisitions as he may receive from the Brigadier, for troops, for securing the place, until a proper garrison may be provided."
"Every gate-way in the fort, with the exception of the Cabool gate, is to be effectually blocked up,79 and the chief Engineer will be pleased to send down parties of Sappers, to carry this order into operation. The Brigr. will direct patrols to be sent throughout the town, to prevent plundering; and to turn out every camp-follower and soldier, not on duty in the place."
4. "The Maj. Genl. Comg. the Cavalry will direct Detts. from the 4th L. D. and 16th Lancers to be sent into the town, with fifty syces,80 for the purpose of bringing out all the horses, camels, and bullocks, which may be found in the place. These are to be picqetted in some convenient situation in the Bengal Cavy. lines; and a suitable guard placed over them, until they can be disposed of."
5. "All the horses, camels, and bullocks, already brought out, either by officers, or their followers, are to be immediately sent to the same place; and any person failing to comply with this order, will be dealt with, as having disobeyed a positive command; and all who may purchase horses, &c. which can be identified81 as having been captured, will be required to restore them."
6. "It is believed, that individuals are now offering horses for sale, that were taken out of the fort; and all are enjoined to abstain from making purchases of them. Officers in command are required to send all such as may be
79. The other gate-ways were not, as far as I could see, built up with masonry, as I saw no rubbish near the S. gate.
81. The fact is, that before the order came out, camp-followers and others had taken off a great many horses, &c, and the process of cutting the tail, &c. soon prevented identification. The Shah's camp got its share.
presented in their lines, to the place appointed for their being collected."82
7. "Depy. Provost Marshal Parry, at present doing duty with the 4th Brigade, is directed to place himself under the orders of the Comdt. of Ghuznee."
8. "A main picquet will mount, immediately, on the Cabool road consisting of two guns, a squadron of Cavy. (4th L. D.,) and of two Cos. of Infy. the latter to be furnished by the Bengal Division."
9. Order of thanks.--G. O. by H. E. Lt.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, Comr.-in-Chief of the "Army of the Indus" Hd. Qrs., camp Ghuznee 23rd July, 1839.
1. "Lt.-Gen. Sir J. Keane, most heartily congratulates the army he has the honor to command, on the signal triumph they have this day obtained in the capture, by storm, of the strong and important fortress of Ghuznee. H. E. feels that he can hardly do justice to the gallantry of the troops."
2. "The scientific and successful manner in which the Cabool gate (of great strength) was blown open by Capt. Thomson of the Bengal Engineers, the chief of that Dept. with this army, in which he reports having been most ably assisted by Capt. Peat, of the Bombay Engineers, and Lts. Durand and McLeod, of the Bengal Engineers, in the daring and dangerous enterprise of laying down powder in the face of the enemy, and the strong fire kept upon them, reflects the highest credit on their skill and cool courage, and H. E. begs Capt. Thomson, and the officers named, will accept his cordial thanks. His acknowledgments are also due to the other Officers of the Engineers of both presidencies, and to the valuable corps of sappers and miners under them. This opening having been made, although it was a
82. "Maj. Genl. Thackwell will place an officer of Cavy. in charge of these horses, and they will be subsisted by the Comsst. Dept., and the same Dept. will, likewise, supply rope to fasten them to their picquets; the expense incurred in their feed and in the supply of rope, must be charged against the Prize Fund, hereafter."
difficult one to enter by, from the rubbish in the gate-way; the leading column, in a spirit of true gallantry, directed and led by Brigr. Sale, gained a footing inside the fortress; although opposed by the Affghan soldiers in very great strength, and in the most desperate manner with every kind of weapon."
3. "The advance under Lt.-Col. Dennie, of H. M.'s 13th, consisting of the Lt. Cos. of H. M.'s 2nd and 17th, and of the (1st) Bengal European Regt., with one Compy. of H. M.'s 13th; and leading column, consisting of H. M.'s 2nd Queen's under Maj. Carruthers, and the (1st) Bengal European Regt. under Lt.-Col. Orchard; followed by H. M.'s 13th Light Infy., under Major Tronson, as they collected from the duty of skirmishing which they were to begin with; and by H. M.'s 17th under Lt.-Col. Croker."
4. "To all those officers, and to the other officers and gallant soldiers under their orders, H. E.'s best thanks are tendered, but in particular, he feels deeply indebted to Brigr. Sale, for the manner in which he conducted the arduous duty entrusted to him in command of the "storming party." H. E. will not fail to bring it to the notice of His Lordship the Govr. Genl.; and he trusts the wound which Brigr. Sale has received, is not of the severe nature, long to deprive this army of his services. Brigr. Sale reports, that Capt. Kershaw of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy., rendered important assistance to him, and to the service in the storming."
5. "Sir J. Keane was happy on this proud occasion, to have the assistance of his old comrade Maj. Genl. Sir Willoughby Cotton, who in command of the "Reserve" ably executed the instructions he had received, and was at the gate ready to enter after the "storming party" had established themselves inside; when he moved through it to sweep the ramparts, to complete the subjugation of the place with the 16th Bengal N. I., under Maj. MacLaren, Brigr. Roberts with the 35th N. I. under Lt.-Col. Monteath, and the 48th N. I., under Lt.-Col. Wheeler. His arrangements afterwards, in continuation of those Brigr. Sale, had made, for the security of the magazine and other public stores, were such as met H. E.'s high approval."
6. "The Comr.-in-Chief acknowledges the services rendered by Capt. Hay, of the 35th N. I. in command of three Cos. of the Regt. sent to the South side of the fortress to begin with a "false attack," and which was executed at the proper time, and in a manner highly satisfactory to His Excellency."
7. "Nothing could be more judicious than the manner in which Brigr. Stevenson placed the artillery in position. Capt. Grant's troop of Bengal Arty. and camel-battery under Capt. Abbott, both superintended by Major Pew; the two troops of Bombay H. A. commanded by Capts. Martin and Cot grave, and Capt. Lloyd's battery of Bombay foot Arty. all opened upon the citadel and fortress, in a manner which shook the enemy, and did execution so as completely to paralyze and to strike terror into them; and H. E. begs Brigr. Stevenson and the officers and men of that Arm, will accept his thanks for their good service."
8. "The 19th Regt. Bombay N. I. under the command of Lt.-Col. Stalker, having been placed in position to watch any enemy that might appear on the Cabool road, or approach to attack the camp, had an important post assigned to them; although as it happened, no enemy made an attack upon them."
9. "In sieges and stormings, it does not fall to the lot of Cavalry to bear the same conspicuous part as the two other arms of the profession. On this occasion, Sir J. Keane is happy to have an opportunity of thanking Maj. Genl. Thackwell, and the officers and men of the Cavalry Division under his orders, for having successfully executed the directions given, to sweep the plain and to intercept fugitives of the enemy attempting to escape from the fort, in any direction around it; and, had an enemy appeared, for the relief of the place during the storming, H. E. is fully satisfied that the different Regts. of this fine arm would have distinguished themselves, and that the opportunity alone was wanting."
10. "Maj. Genl. Willshire's Division having been broken up for the day to be distributed as it was, the Maj. Genl.
was desired to be in attendance upon the Comr.-in-Chief. To him and to the officers of the Adjt. and Qr. Mr. Genl.'s Dept. of the Bengal and Bombay army, H. E. returns his warmest thanks for the assistance they have afforded him."
11. "The Comr.-in-Chief feels, and in which feeling he is sure he will be joined by the troops composing the "Army of the Indus" that after the long and harassing marches they have had, and the privations they have endured, this glorious achievement, and the brilliant manner in which the troops have met and conquered their enemy, rewards them for it all. H. E. will only add, that no army that has ever been engaged in a campaign, deserves more credit than that which he has the honor to command, for patient, orderly, and correct conduct, under all circumstances; and Sir J. Keane is proud to have the opportunity of thus publicly acknowledging it."
By order of H. E. Lt.-Genl. Sir J. Keane, Comr.-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus.
(Signed.) R. Macdonald, Lt.-Col., Mily. Secy. and D. A. G. H. M.'s forces, Bombay.
10. Report of the Chief Engineer.83
1. "Arrival before Ghuznee.--The accounts of the fortress of Ghuznee, received from those who had seen it, were such as to induce his Excy. the Comr.-in-Chief to leave in Candahar the very small battering train then with the army, there being a scarcity of transport cattle. The place was described as very weak, and completely commanded from a range of hills to the north."
83. This Report, it is admitted by competent judges, contains so clear an account of the nature of the works; their strength; and of the operations before Ghuznee, as well as of the storm, that I have long hesitated in my humble attempt, to describe what I only partially saw myself: but, as I obtained a knowledge of some facts not generally known, or which would not form the subject matter of such a report, or even of a despatch, and thinking the details might be interesting, I made up my mind, to endeavour to relate them as concisely, and in the order in which they occurred.
2. "When we came before it on the morning of the 21st July, we were very much surprised to find a high rampart in good repair, built on a scarped mound about 35 feet high, flanked by numerous towers and surrounded by a Fausse braye, and a wet-ditch. The irregular figure of the enceinte gave a good flanking fire, whilst the height of the citadel covered the interior from the commanding fire of the hills to the N., rendering it nugatory. In addition to this, the towers at the angles had been enlarged; screen walls had been built before the gates; the ditch cleared out, and filled with water (stated to be unfordable), and an outwork built on the right bank of the river, so as to command the bed of it. The garrison was variously stated to be from 3 to 4,000 strong, including 500 Cavalry. From subsequent information we found that it had been over-rated."84
3. "On the approach of the army a fire of artillery was opened from the body of the place, and of musketry from the neighbouring gardens. A detachment of Infantry cleared the latter, and the former was silenced for a short time by shrapnels from the Horse Artillery. But the fire from the new out-work on the bank of the river was in no way checked. A nearer view of the works was however obtained from the gardens which had been cleared. This was not at all satisfactory; the works were evidently much stronger than we had been led to anticipate, and such as our army could not venture to attack in a regular manner with the means at our disposal. We had no Battering train, and, to attack Ghuznee in form, a much larger train would be required than the army ever possessed. The great height of the Parapet above the Plain (60 or 70 feet), with the wet ditch were insurmountable obstacles to an attack merely by mining or escalading."
4. "Reconnaissance.--It therefore became requisite to examine closely the whole "contour" of the place, to discover if any other mode of attack could be adopted. The Engineers, with an escort, went round the works,
84. Ascertained to have been 3,000.
approaching as near as they could find cover; the garrison were on the alert, and kept up a hot and well-directed fire on the officers whenever they were obliged to show themselves. However, by keeping the Infantry beyond musket-range, and the Cavalry at a still greater distance, only one man was killed, and one wounded, and the former was hit by the men sent out of the place, to drive off the reconnoitring party."
5. "The fortifications were found equally strong all round, the only tangible point observed was the "Cabool gate-way" which offered the following advantages for a coup-de-main; the road up to the gate was clear; the bridge over the ditch was unbroken; there were good positions for the Artillery within 350 yards of the walls on both sides of the road; and we had information that the gateway was not built up, a reinforcement from Cabool being expected."
6. "The result of this reconnaissance was a report to H. E. the Comr.-in-Chief, that, if he decided on the immediate attack of Ghuznee, the only feasible mode of attack, and the only one which held out a prospect of success, was a dash at the Cabool gate-way,--blowing the gate open by bags of powder."
7. "H. E. decided on the attempt; the camp was moved that evening to the Cabool-road, and next morning (the 22nd) Sir J. Keane, in person, reconnoitred the proposed point of attack;--he approved of the plan, and gave orders for its execution. Preparations were made accordingly; positions for the Artillery were carefully examined, which excited the jealousy of the garrison, who opened a smart fire on the party."
7. Preparations for and Blowing open the gate.--" It was arranged that an explosion party, consisting of three Officers of Engineers, Capt. Peat (Bombay,) Lts. Durand and Macleod, (Bengal,) three Serjeants, and eighteen men of the sappers,85 in working dresses, carrying 300 lbs. of powder in twelve sand-bags, with a hose 72 feet long, should be ready to move down to the gateway at day-break.
85. Native soldiers.
At midnight the first battery left camp, followed by the other four, at intervals of half an hour. Those to the right of the road were conducted to their positions by Lt. Sturt of the (Bengal) Engineers, those to the left by Lt. Anderson (Bengal); the ground for the guns was prepared by the Sappers and Pioneers, taking advantage of the inequalities of the ground on the right, and of some old garden-walls on the left. The Artillery were all in position and ready by 3 A.M. of the 23rd; and shortly after, at the first dawn, the party under Capt. Peat moved down to the gateway, accompanied by six men of H. M.'s 13th Light Infy. without their belts, and supported by a detachment of the same Regt. which extended to the right and left of the road when they arrived at the ditch, taking advantage of what cover they could find; and endeavouring to keep down the fire from the ramparts, which became heavy on the approach of the party; though it had been remarkably slack during the previous operations. Blue-lights were shewn which rendered the surrounding objects distinctly visible; but, luckily, they were burned from the top of the parapet,86 instead of being thrown into the passage below."
8. "The explosion party marched steadily on, headed by Lt. Durand; the powder was placed; the hose laid,87 the train fired: and the carrying party, retired to a tolerable cover in less than two minutes. The Artillery opened when the blue-lights appeared, and the musketry from the covering party at the same time, so quickly was the operation performed, and so little were the enemy aware of the nature of it, that not a man of the party was hit."
9. "As soon as the explosion took place, Capt. Peat, though hurt, his anxiety preventing his keeping sufficiently under cover, ran up to the gate (accompanied by a small party of H. M's 13th Lt. Infy.) and ascertained, that it
86. A shot from the camel-battery cut a man into two, who was holding a Blue-light near the top of the gate-way.
87. On the first application of the port-fire to the hose the powder would not ignite.
was completely destroyed. There was some delay in getting a bugler to sound the 'advance,' the signal agreed on for the assaulting column to push on; and this was the only mistake in the operation."
10. The Storm.--"The assaulting column consisted of four European Regts.* commanded by Brigr. Sale. The advance under Lt.--Col. Dennie, accompanied by Lt. Sturt, Engineers, moved steadily through the gate-way, through a passage inside the gate, ending in a domed-building with the opening on one side, which made every thing very obscure; and rendered it difficult to find the out-let into the town. They met with little opposition; but a party of the enemy, seeing a break in the column, owing to the difficulty in scrambling over the rubbish in the gate-way; made a rush, sword in hand, and cut down a good many men, wounding the Brigadier and several other officers. These swordsmen were repulsed, and there was no other regular opposition; the surprise and alarm of the governor and sirdars being so great, when they saw the column occupying the open space inside the gate and firing on them, that they fled, accompanied by their men; even the garrison of the citadel following their example. Parties of the Affghans took refuge in houses, firing on the column as it made its way through the streets; and a good deal of desultory firing took place in consequence, by which some loss was sustained. The citadel was occupied as soon as day-light showed that it had been evacuated by the enemy; and the whole of the works were in our possession before 5 o'clock A.M."
11. Loss.--"We lost 17 men (6 Europeans and 11 Natives), killed; 18 officers, 117 Europeans, and 30 Natives wounded; total 182. Of the Affghans more than 514 were killed in the town, that number of bodies having been buried; and about 100 outside by the Cavalry: 1,600 prisoners, were taken; but I have no means of estimating the number of wounded."
12. Guns, Stores, &c.--" There were nine guns of different calibres, found in the place; a large quantity of good
*H. M. 2nd Queen's (1st) Bengal European Regt. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.H. M.'s 17th Foot.
powder; considerable stores of shot, lead, &c.; and a large supply of attah (flour), and other provisions."88
(Signed) Geo. Thomson,
Chief Engineer, Army of the Indus.
Camp, Ghuznee, 25th July, 1839.
To Colonel D. MacLeod,
Chief Engineer, Bengal Army.
11. Observations of the Chief Engineer, Bombay Column.89 --1. "During the reconnaissance, the wall-pieces were particularly troublesome. This weapon is almost unknown in our service, but is a very efficient one, especially in the defence of works; and its use should not be neglected. Every fortified post should be supplied with a proportion of them; and a certain number of men in every Regt. practised in firing them."
2. "The charge recommended by Col. Pasley, for blowing open gates, is from 60 to 120 lbs., and this is doubtless sufficient in ordinary cases, but in this instance we were apprehensive that the enemy might have taken alarm at our being so much on that side of the place, and in consequence have partially or wholly built up the gate-way. It was afterwards found that some attempts of the kind had been made by propping up the gate with beams."90
88. See Table, No. 4, Appendix.
89. From Capt. Outram, pp. 197 to 200. As Capt. (now Major) Peat's observations contain some points of interest they are inserted here, as they explain the reasons for the great quantity of powder used, and other matters relative to Asiatic sieges.
90. The gate-way was strewed with timbers, which lay in it as if they had been placed in nearly parallel lines, with rubbish between them. That the gate was propped up with timbers there can be no doubt; and it is probable (by being fastened across the gate one above the other), that when the explosion took place, those which were uppermost were blown to the greatest distance, thus scattering them along the whole range. The effect of the explosion on the roof, appeared to be about the centre, where there was a recess to the left; just beyond which, the gate-way took a turn to the right.
3. "The charge was so heavy, that it not only destroyed the gate but brought down a considerable portion of the roof of the square building in which it was placed; which proved a very considerable obstacle to the assaulting column, and the concussion acted as far as a tower under which an officer's party of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy., were standing at the time, but without occasioning any casualties. In cases of this nature it is of course the first object to guard against any chance of failure, and it is impossible even, now, to say how much the charge might have been reduced with safety."
4. "The enemy appeared so much on the alert, and the Fausse-braye was so much in advance of the gate, that we never contemplated being able to effect our object by surprise. The only question was whether it ought to be done by day, or night. It was argued in favor of the former, that the Artillery would be able to make so much more correct practice, that the defences would be in a considerable degree destroyed, and the fire so completely kept under, as to enable the "explosion party" to advance with but little loss, and with the advantage of being able to see exactly what they were about. Capt. Thomson, however, adhered to the latter, and we were afterwards convinced it was the most judicious plan; for although the fire of the Artillery was necessarily more general than it would have been in day-light, still it was so well directed, as to take up a good deal of the attention of the besieged, and draw upon their batteries a portion of the fire which in day-light would have been thrown upon the "explosion party," and "assaulting columns."
5. "It would also, even in day-light, have been difficult with our light Artillery to have kept down the fire so completely but that a few match-lock-men might have kept their position near the gate-way, and in that narrow space a smart fire, from a few pieces, might have obliged the party to retire. The obscurity of the night, to say nothing of the confusion which it must occasion among undisciplined troops, is certainly the best protection to a body of men engaged in
an enterprise of this nature. Blue-lights certainly render objects distinctly visible, but their light is glaring and uncertain, especially to men firing through loop-holes."91
6. "The party of H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy. consisted of 18 Officers; 28 Serjeants; 7 Buglers; 276 Rank and File." lt was made of this strength, not only to keep up a heavy fire upon the parapets, and thereby divert attention from the party at the gate-way, but also, because we were not aware whether the Fausse-braye was occupied or not; and as it extends so much in advance as to take the gate completely in reverse, it would have been necessary, had a fire opened from it, to have carried it by assault, before the party with the bags could have advanced.
7. "The party with Lt. Durand (Bengal) was accompanied by six men of the 13th Lt. Infy. without their belts, the better to secure them from observation, to protect them from any "sortie" that might be made from the "postern of the Fausse-braye on the right, or even from the gate itself; while another party under Lt. P. R. Jennings,92 accompanied them as far as the tower, so as to check any attempts that might have been made from the Fausse-braye, on the left, and at the same time keeping up a fire on such of the enemy as shewed their heads above the parapet; of this party, one man was killed and a few wounded." "Nothing could have been more gallant than the conduct of Lts. Durand and McLeod, (Bengal Engrs.) and the men under their command, or more efficient than the manner in which they executed their duty."
8. "The powder being in bags, of a very coarse, open texture, a long hose and port fire, was thought to be the safest method of firing it. The end of the hose fortunately
91. The ancient use of "Blue-lights" was, to place them in such a situation as to be level with the lower part of a wall, so as to throw a light directly forward on the ground, by which the besieged could distinguish any one approaching the wall, or counterscarp of a ditch, &c.
92. H. M.'s 13th Lt. Infy.
just reached the small "postern."93 "The casualties during this operation were much fewer than was expected, being in all one private killed; 2 Serjts. and 23 rank and file wounded"
9. "The heaviest fire was certainly outside the bridge, for the enemy near the gate-way being marked whenever they attempted to shew their heads above the parapet, were obliged to confine themselves to the loop-holes, the range from which is very uncertain and limited, against men moving about. A high loop-holed wall, although imposing in appearance, is a profile but ill adapted to resist attacks of this nature."94
10. "The enemy were perfectly aware that we were in the gateway, but appeared to have no idea of the nature of our operations. Had they been so, they might easily have rendered it impossible to place the powder bags; by throwing over blue-lights, of which they had a large quantity in store."
11. "The powder-pots and other fire-works, so much used by the Natives of Hindostan, would certainly have rendered the confined space leading to the gate, much too hot for such an operation; but the ignorance of the besieged was known and calculated upon; the result shows how justly."
12. "Their attempts at resistance were confined to the fire from the loop-holes, and throwing over large pieces of earth, some of which appeared to be intended to knock off the portfire."
13. "The gate-way appeared from what I had seen from the hills to the N. to lead straight into the town. I was led to believe that the gate-way had been blocked up, from seeing in front of the gate that had been destroyed, the
93. Lt. Durand was obliged to scrape the hose with his finger-nails, finding the powder failed to ignite on the first application of the port fire. This sometimes happens owing to the powder getting damp.
94. In the citadel the loop-holes did not command a fire on the works below. The shots fired from the citadel would not strike those within 200 yards of the ditch round the fort.
outline of an arch filled up with brick-masonry.95 The true entrance turned to the right, and would have been discovered by advancing a few paces, and that in perfect safety; for the interior was secure from all fire."