FALL OF GHUZNI, & ENTRANCE OF THE BRITISH ARMY INTO CABOOL.
(From the Bombay Government Gazette Extraordinary of August 29th, 1839.)
Bombay Castle, Aug 29th, 1839.
The Honourable the Governor in Council has the highest satisfaction in republishing the following notification issued by the Right Honourable the Governor-General, announcing the capture by storm of the town and fortress of Ghuzni, as also the general order issued on the occasion by his Excellency Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane, K.C.B. and G.C.H., Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus. By order of the Honourable the Governor in Council,
L.R. REID, Acting Chief Secretary.
Simla, August 18th, 1839.
The Right Hon. the Governor-General of India has great gratification in publishing, for general information, a copy of a report this day received from his Excellency Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane, K.C.B, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus, announcing the capture, by storm, on the 23d ult., of the important fortress of Ghuzni.
A salute of twenty-one guns will be fired on the receipt of this intelligence at all the principal stations of the army in the three Presidencies. By order of the Right Hon. the Governor-General of India,
(Signed) T.H. MADDOCK,
Officiating Secretary to the Government of
India, with the Governor-General.
TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD AUCKLAND, G.C.B., ETC.
MY LORD,--I have the satisfaction to acquaint your Lordship that the army under my command have succeeded in performing one of the most brilliant acts it has ever been my lot to witness during my service of forty-five years in the four quarters of the globe, in the capture, by storm, of the strong and important fortress and citadel of Ghuzni yesterday.
It is not only that the Afghan nation, and, I understand, Asia generally have looked upon it as impregnable; but it is in reality a place of great strength, both by nature and art, far more so than I had reason to suppose from any description that I had received of it, although some are from others in our own service who had seen it in their travels.
I was surprised to find a high rampart in good repair, built on a scarped mound about thirty-five feet high, flanked by numerous towers, and surrounded by a fausse brayze and a wet ditch, whilst the height of the citadel covered the interior from the commanding fire of the hills from the north, rendering it nugatory. In addition to this, screen walls had been built before the gates, the ditch was filled with water, and unfordable, and an outwork built on the right bank of the river so as to command the bed of it.
It is therefore the more honourable to the troops, and must appear to the enemy out of all calculation extraordinary, that a fortress and citadel to the strength of which, for the last thirty years, they had been adding something each year, and which had a garrison of 3500 Afghan soldiers, commanded by Prince Mahomed Hyder, the son of Dost Mahomed Khan, the ruler of the country, with a commanding number of guns, and abundance of ammunition, and other stores, provisions, &c., for regular siege, should have been taken by British science and British valour in less than two hours from the time the attack was made, and the whole, including the governor and garrison, should fall into our hands.
My dispatch of the 20th instant, from Nanee, will have made known to your Lordship that the camps of his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, and of Major-General Willshire, with the Bombay troops, had there joined me in accordance with my desire, and the following morning we made our march of twelve miles to Ghuzni, the line of march being over a fine plain. The troops were disposed in a manner that would have enabled me at any moment, had we been attacked, as was probable, from the large bodies of troops moving on each side of us, to have placed them in position to receive the enemy. They did not, however, appear; but on our coming within range of the guns of the citadel and fortress of Ghuzni, a sharp cannonade was opened on our leading column, together with a heavy fire of musketry from behind garden walls, and temporary field-works thrown up, as well as the strong outwork I have already alluded to, which commanded the bed of the river from all but the outwork. The enemy were driven in under the walls of the fort in a spirited manner by parties thrown forward by Major-General Sir Willoughby Cotton, of the 16th and 48th Bengal Native Infantry, and her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, under Brigadier Sale. I ordered forward three troops of horse artillery, the camel battery, and one foot battery, to open upon the citadel and fortress, by throwing shrapnel shells, which was done in a masterly style under the direction of Brigadier Stephenson. My object in this was to make the enemy shew their strength in guns, and in other respects, which completely succeeded, and our shells must have done great execution, and occasioned great consternation. Being perfectly satisfied on the point of their strength in the course of half an hour, I ordered the fire to cease, and placed the troops in bivouac. A close reconnoissance of the place all around was then undertaken by Captain Thomson, the chief engineer, and Captain Peat, of the Bombay Engineers, accompanied by Major Garden, the Deputy Quartermaster-General of the Bombay army, supported by a strong party of her Majesty's 16th Lancers, and one from her Majesty's 18th Light Infantry. On this party a steady fire was kept up, and some casualties occurred. Captain Thomson's report was very clear, he found the fortifications equally strong all round; and, as my own opinion coincided with him, I did not hesitate a moment as to the manner in which our approach and attack upon the place should be made. Notwithstanding the march the troops had performed in the morning, and then having been a considerable time engaged with the enemy, I ordered the whole to move across the river (which runs close under the fort wall) in columns, to the right and left of the town, and they were placed in opposition on the north side on more commanding ground, and securing the Cabool road. I had information that a night attack upon the camp was intended from without. Mahomed Ubzul Khan, the eldest son of Dost Mahomed Khan, had been sent by his father with a strong body of troops from Cabool to the brother's assistance at Ghuzni, and was encamped outside the walls, but abandoned his position on our approach, keeping, however, at the distance of a few miles from us. The two rebel chiefs of the Ghiljee tribe, men of great influence--viz., Abdool Rhuman and Gool Mahomed Khan, had joined him with 1500 horse, and also a body of about 3000 Ghazees from Zeimat, under a mixture of chiefs and mollahs, carrying banners, and who had been assembled on the cry of a religious war. In short, we were in all directions surrounded by enemies. These last actually came down the hills on the 22nd, and attacked the part of the camp occupied by his Majesty Shah Shooja and his own troops, but were driven back with considerable loss, and banners taken.
At daylight on the 22nd I reconnoitered Ghuzni, in company with the chief engineer and the brigadier commanding the artillery, with the adjutant and quartermaster-general of the Bengal army, for the purpose of making all arrangements for carrying the place by storm, and these were completed in the course of the day. Instead of the tedious process of breaching, (for which we were ill prepared,) Captain Thomson undertook, with the assistance of Captain Peat, of the Bombay Engineers, Lieutenants Durand and Macleod, of the Bengal Engineers, and other officers under him, (Captain Thomson,) to blow in the Cabool gate, the weakest point, with gunpowder; and so much faith did I place on the success of this operation that my plans for the assault were immediately laid down and the orders given.
The different troops of horse artillery, the camel and foot batteries, moved off their ground at twelve o'clock that night, without the slightest noise, as had been directed, and in the most correct manner took up the position assigned them, about 250 yards from the walls. In like manner, and with the same silence, the infantry soon after moved from their ground, and all were at their post at the proper time. A few minutes before three o'clock in the morning the explosion took place, and proved completely successful. Captain Peat, of the Bombay Engineers, was thrown down and stunned by it, but shortly after recovered his senses and feeling. On hearing the advance sounded by the bugle, (being the signal for the gate having been blown in,) the artillery, under the able directions of Brigadier Stevenson, consisting of Captain Grant's troop of Bengal Horse Artillery, the camel battery, under Captain Abbott, both superintended by Major Pew, Captains Martin and Cotgrave's troops of Bombay Horse Artillery, and Captain Lloyd's battery of Bombay Foot Artillery, all opened a terrific fire upon the citadel and ramparts of the fort, and, in a certain degree, paralysed the enemy.
Under the guidance of Captain Thomson, of The Bengal Engineers, the chief of the department, Colonel Dennie of her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, commanding the advance, consisting of the light companies of her Majesty's 2nd and 17th regiments of Foot, and of the Bengal European regiment, with one company, of her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, proceeded to the gate, and with great difficulty, from the rubbish thrown down, and determined opposition offered by the enemy, effected an entrance, and established themselves within the gateway closely followed by the main column, led in a spirit of great gallantry by Brigadier Sale, to whom I had entrusted the important post of commanding the storming party, consisting (with the advance above-mentioned) of her Majesty's 2nd Foot, under Major Carruthers; the Bengal European regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Orchard, followed by her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, under Major Thomson; and her Majesty's 17th regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Croker. The struggle within the fort was desperate for a considerable time. In addition to the heavy file kept up, our troops were assailed by the enemy sword in hand, and with daggers, pistols, &c.; but British courage, perseverance, and fortitude, overcame all opposition, and the fire of the enemy in the lower area of the fort being nearly silenced, Brigadier Sale turned towards the citadel, from which could now be seen men abandoning the guns, running in all directions, throwing themselves down from immense heights, endeavouring to make their escape; and on reaching the gate with her Majesty's 17th, under Lieutenant-Colonel Croker, followed by the 13th, forced it open at five o'clock in the morning. The colours of her Majesty's 13th and 17th were planted on the citadel of Ghuzni amidst the cheers of all ranks. Instant protection was granted to the women found in the citadel, (among whom were those of Mahomed Hyder, the governor) and sentries placed over the magazine for its security. Brigadier Sale reports having received much assistance from Captain Kershaw, of her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, throughout the whole of the service of the storming.
Major General Sir Willoughby Cotton executed in a manner much to my satisfaction the orders he had received. The Major General followed closely the assaulting party into the fort with the reserve--namely, Brigadier Roberts, with the only available regiment of his brigade; the 35th Native Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Monteath; part of Brigadier Sale's brigade, the 16th Native Infantry, under Major Maclaren; and 48th Native Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wheeler; and they immediately occupied the ramparts, putting down opposition whenever they met any, and making prisoners, until the place was completely in our possession A desultory fire was kept up in the town long after the citadel was in our hands, from those who had taken shelter in houses, and in desperation kept firing on all that approached them. In this way several of our men were wounded, and some killed, but the aggressors paid dearly for their bad conduct in not surrendering when the place was completely ours. I must not omit to mention that three companies of the 35th Native Infantry, under Captain Hay, ordered to the south side of the fort to begin with a false attack, to attract attention on that side, performed that service at the proper time, and greatly to my satisfaction.
As we were threatened with an attack for the relief of the garrison, I ordered the 19th Bombay Native Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Stalker, to guard the Cabool road, and to be in support of the cavalry division. This might have proved an important position to occupy, but as it was, no enemy appeared.
The cavalry division, under Major-General Thackwell, in addition to watching the approach of an enemy, had directions to surround Ghuzni, and to sweep the plain, preventing the escape of runaways from the garrison. Brigadier Arnold's brigade--the Brigadier himself, I deeply regret to say, was labouring under very severe illness, having shortly before burst a blood-vessel internally, which rendered it wholly impossible for him to mount a horse that day--consisting of her Majesty's 16th Lancers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Persse, temporarily commanding the brigade, and Major Mac Dowell, the junior major of the regiment, (the senior major of the 16th Lancers Major Cureton, an officer of great merit, being actively engaged in the execution of his duties as Assistant Adjutant-General to the cavalry division,) the 2nd Cavalry, under Major Salter, and the 3rd, under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, were ordered to watch the south and west sides. Brigadier Scott's brigade were placed on the Cabool road, consisting of her Majesty's 4th Light Dragoons, under Major Daly, and of the 1st Bombay Cavalry under Lieutenant-Colonel Sandwith, to watch the north and east sides: this duty was performed in a manner greatly to my satisfaction.
After the storming, and that quiet was in some degree restored within, I conducted his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, and the British Envoy and Minister, Mr. Macnaghten, round the citadel and a great part of the fortress. The king was perfectly astonished at our having made ourselves masters of a place conceited to be impregnable, when defended, in the short space of two hours, and in less than forty-eight hours after we came before it. His Majesty was, of course, greatly delighted at the result. When I afterwards, in the course of the day, took Mahomed Hyder Khan, the governor, first to the British Minister, and then to the King, to make his submission, I informed his Majesty that I had made a promise that his life should not be touched, and the King, in very handsome terms, assented, and informed Mahomed Hyder, in my presence, that although he and his family had been rebels, yet he was willing to forget and forgive all.
Prince Mahomed Hyder, the Governor of Ghuzni, is a prisoner of war in my camp, and under the surveillance of Sir Alexander Burnes, an arrangement very agreeable to the former.
From Major General Sir W. Cotton, commanding the 1st infantry division, (of the Bengal army,) I have invariably received the strongest support; and on this occasion his exertions were manifest in support of the honour of the profession and of our country.
I have likewise, at all times, received able assistance from Major-General Willshire, commanding the 2nd infantry division, (of the Bombay army,) which it was found expedient on that day to break up, some for the storming party, and some for other duties. The Major-General, as directed, was in attendance upon myself.
To Brigadier Sale I feel deeply indebted for the gallant and soldierlike manner in which he conducted the responsible and arduous duty entrusted to him in command of the storming party, and for the arrangements he made in the citadel immediately after taking possession of it. The sabre wound which he received in the face did not prevent his continuing to direct his column until everything was secure; and I am happy in the opportunity of bringing to your Lordship's notice the excellent conduct of Brigadier Sale on this occasion.
Brigadier Stevenson, in command of the Artillery, was all I could wish; and he reports that Brigade-Majors Backhouse and Coghlan ably assisted him. His arrangements were good; and the execution done by the arm he commands, was such as cannot be forgotten by those of the enemy who have witnessed and survived it.
To Brigadier Roberts, to Colonel Dennie, who commanded the advance, and to the different officers commanding regiments already mentioned, as well is to the other officers, and gallant soldiers under them, who so nobly maintained the honour and reputation of our country, my best acknowledgments are due.
To Captain Thomson, of the Bengal Engineers, the chief of the department with me, much of the credit of the success of this brilliant coup-de-main is due. A place of the same strength, and by such simple means as this highly-talented and scientific officer recommended to be tried, has, perhaps, never before been taken; and I feel I cannot do sufficient justice to Captain Thomson's merits for his conduct throughout. In the execution he was ably supported by the officers already mentioned; and so eager were the other officers of the Engineers of both Presidencies for the honour of carrying the powder bags, that the point could only be decided by seniority, which shews the fine feeling by which they were animated.
I must now inform your Lordship, that since I joined the Bengal column in the Valley of Shawl, I have continued my march with it in the advance; and it has been my good fortune to have had the assistance of two most efficient staff-officers in Major Craigie, Deputy Adjutant-General, and Major Garden, Deputy Quartermaster-General. It is but justice to those officers that I should state to your Lordship the high satisfaction I have derived from the manner in which all then duties have been performed up to this day, and that I look upon them as promising officers to fill the higher ranks. To the other officers of both departments I am also much indebted for the correct performance of all duties appertaining to their situations.
To Major Keith, the Deputy Adjutant-General, and Major Campbell, the Deputy Quartermaster-General of the Bombay army, and to all the other officers of both departments under them, my acknowledgments are also due, for the manner in which their duties have been performed during this campaign.
Captain Alexander, commanding the 4th Bengal Local Horse, and Major Cunningham, commanding the Poona Auxiliary Horse, with the men under their orders, have been of essential service to the army in this campaign.
The arrangements made by Superintending-Surgeons Kennedy and Atkinson previous to the storming, for affording assistance and comfort to the wounded, met with my approval.
Major Parsons, the Deputy Commissary-General, in charge of the department in the field, has been unremitting in his attention to keep the troops supplied, although much difficulty is experienced, and he is occasionally thwarted by the nature of the country and its inhabitants.
I have throughout this service received the utmost assistance I could derive from Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald, my officiating military secretary, and Deputy Adjutant-General of her Majesty's Forces, Bombay; from Captain Powell, my Persian interpreter, and the other officers of my personal staff. The nature of the country in which we are serving, prevents the possibility of my sending a single staff-officer to deliver this to your Lordship, otherwise I should have asked my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Keane, to proceed to Simla, to deliver this despatch into your hands, and to have afforded any further information that your Lordship could have desired.
The brilliant triumph we have obtained, the cool courage displayed, and the gallant bearing of the troops I have the honour to command, will have taught such a lesson to our enemies in the Afghan nation as will make them hereafter respect the name of a British soldier.
Our loss is wonderfully small considering the occasion, the casualties in killed and wounded amount to about 200.
The loss of the enemy is immense; we have already buried of their dead nearly 500, together with an immense number of horses.
I enclose a list of the killed, wounded, and missing. I am happy to say that, although the wounds of some of the officers are severe, they are all doing well.
It is my intention, after selecting a garrison for this place, and establishing a general hospital, to continue my march to Cabool forthwith--I have, &c.,
(Signed) JOHN KEANE, Lieut.-General.
List of killed, wounded, and missing, in the army under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane, before Ghuzni, on the 21st of July, 1839:--
2nd Troop Bengal Horse Artillery--3 horses wounded.
3rd Troop Bombay--2 rank and file, 2 horses, wounded.
4th Troop Bombay--1 horse killed.
2nd Regiment Bengal Cavalry--1 horse killed, 1 rank and file wounded.
4th Bengal Local Horse--1 rank and file and 1 horse missing.
Her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry--1 rank and file killed.
16th Bengal Native Infantry--1 captain wounded.
48th Bengal Native Infantry--1 lieutenant, and 2 rank and file wounded.
Total killed--1 rank and file, and two horses.
Total wounded--1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 5 rank and file, and 6 horses.
Total missing--1 rank and file, and 1 horse.
Names of Officers wounded.
Captain Graves, 16th Bengal Native Infantry, severely.
Lieutenant Vanhomrigh, 48th Bengal Native Infantry, slightly.
(Signed) R. MACDONALD, Lieut.-Colonel,
Military Secretary, and Deputy Adjutant-Gen. to
her Majesty's Forces, Bombay.
List of killed, wounded, and missing, in the army under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane, K.C.B. and G.C.H., in the assault and capture of the fortress and citadel of Ghuzni, on the 23rd of July, 1839:--
General Staff--1 colonel, 1 major, wounded.
3rd Troop Bombay Horse Artillery--1 rank and file wounded.
4th Troop Bombay Horse Artillery--1 rank and file and 1 horse wounded.
Bengal Engineers--3 rank and file killed, 2 rank and file wounded, 1 rank and file missing.
Bombay Engineers--1 lieutenant, 1 rank and file, wounded.
2nd Bengal Light Cavalry--1 rank and file wounded.
1st Bombay Light Cavalry--1 havildar killed, 5 rank and file and 7 horses wounded.
Her Majesty's 2nd Foot (or Queen's Royals)--4 rank and file killed; 2 captains, 4 lieutenants, 1 sergeant, and 26 rank and file wounded.
Her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry--1 rank and file killed; 3 sergeants and 27 rank and file wounded.
Her Majesty's 17th Foot--6 rank and file wounded.
Bengal European Regiment--1 rank and file killed; 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 2 captains, 4 lieutenants, 1 ensign, 1 sergeant, 51 rank and file wounded.
16th Bengal N.I.--1 havildar, 6 rank and file, wounded.
35th Bengal N.I.--5 rank and file killed; I havildar and 8 rank and file wounded.
48th Bengal N.I.--2 havildars killed, 5 rank and file wounded.
Total killed--3 sergeants or havildars, 14 rank and file.
Total wounded--1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 4 captains, 8 lieutenants, 2 ensigns, 7 sergeants or havildars, 140 rank and file, 8 horses.
Total missing--1 rank and file.
Grand total on the 21st and 23rd of July, killed, wounded, and missing--191 officers and men, and 16 horses.
Names of Officers killed wounded, and missing.
General Staff--Brigadier Sale, her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, slightly; Major Parsons, Deputy Commissary-General, slightly.
Bombay Engineers--Second Lieutenant Marriott, slightly.
Her Majesty's 2nd (or Queen's Royals)--Captain Raitt, slightly; Captain Robinson, severely; Lieutenant Yonge, severely; Lieut. Stisted, slightly; Adjutant Simmons, slightly; Quartermaster Hadley, slightly.
Bengal European Regiment--Lieutenant-Colonel Orchard, slightly; Major Warren, severely; Captains Hay and Taylor, slightly; Lieutenant Broadfoot, slightly; Lieutenant Haslewood, severely; Lieutenants Fagan and Magnay, slightly; Ensign Jacob, slightly.
(Signed) R. MACDONALD, Lieut.-Colonel,
Military Secretary, and Deputy Adjutant-Gen. to
her Majesty's Forces, Bombay.
By his Excellency Lieutenant-Gen. Sir John Keane, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus.
Head-Quarters, Camp, Ghuzni, July 23rd, 1839
Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane most heartily congratulates the army he has the honour to command, on the signal triumph they have this day obtained in the capture by storm of the strong and important fortress of Ghuzni. His Excellency feels that he can hardly do justice to the gallantry of the troops.
The scientific and successful manner in which the Cabool gate (of great strength) was blown up by Captain Thomson, of the Bengal Engineers, the chief of that department with this army, in which he reports having been most ably assisted by Captain Peat, of the Bombay Engineers, and Lieutenants Durand and MacLeod, 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 up on them, reflects the highest credit on their skill and cool courage, and his Excellency begs Captain Thomson and 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 difficult one to enter by, from the rubbish in the way, the leading column, in a spirit of true gallantry, directed and led by Brigadier Sale, gained a footing inside the fortress, although opposed by the Afghan soldiers in very great strength, and in the most desperate manner, with every kind of weapon.
The advance, under Lieutenant-Colonel Dennie, of her Majesty's 13th, consisting of the light companies of her Majesty's 2nd and 17th, and of the Bengal European Regiment, with one company of her Majesty's 13th; and the leading column, consisting of her Majesty's 2nd Queen's, under Major Carruthers, and the Bengal European Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Orchard, followed by her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, as they collected from the duty of skirmishing, which they were directed to begin with, and by her Majesty's 17th, under Lieutenant-Colonel Croker. To all these officers, and to the other officers and gallant soldiers under their orders, his Excellency's best thanks are tendered; but, in particular, he feels deeptly indebted to Brigadier Sale, for the manner in which he conducted the arduous duty entrusted to him in the command of the storming party. His Excellency will not fail to bring it to the notice of his Lordship the Governor-General, and he trusts the wound which Brigadier Sale has received is not of that severe nature long to deprive this army of his services. Brigadier Sale reports that Captain Kershaw, of her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, rendered important assistance to him and to the service in the storming.
Sir John Keane was happy, on this proud occasion, to have the assistance of his old comrade, Major-General 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, and to complete the subjugation of the place with the 16th Bengal Native Infantry, under Major M'Laren; Brigadier Roberts, with the 35th Native Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Monteath; and the 48th Native Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wheeler. His arrangements afterwards, in continuation of those Brigadier Sale had made for the security of the magazine and other public stores, were such as meet his Excellency's high approval.
The Commander-in-Chief acknowledges the services rendered by Captain Hay, of the 35th Native Infantry, in command of three companies of that regiment 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.
Nothing could be more judicious than the manner in which Brigadier Stevenson placed the artillery in position. Captain Grant's troop of Bengal Artillery, and the camel battery, under Captain Abbott, both superintended by Major Pew; the two troops of Bombay Horse Artillery, commanded by Captains Martin and Cotgrave; and Captain Lloyd's battery of Bombay Foot Artillery, all opened upon the citadel and fortress in a manner which shook the enemy, and did such execution as completely to paralyse and to strike terror into them; and his Excellency begs Brigadier Stevenson, the officers, and men of that arm, will accept his thanks for their good service.
The 19th Regiment Bombay Native Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 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.
In sieges and stormings it does not fall to the lot of cavalry to bear the same conspicuous part as to the other two arms of the profession. On this occasion, Sir John Keane is happy to have an opportunity of thanking Major-General Thackwell, and the officers and men of the cavalry divisions 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, his Excellency is fully satisfied that the different regiments of this fine arm would have distinguished themselves, and that the opportunity alone was wanting.
Major-General Willshire's division having been broken up for the day, to be distributed as it was, the Major-General was desired to be in attendance upon the Commander-in-Chief. To him and to the officers of the Assistant Quartermaster-General's department of the Bengal and Bombay army, his Excellency returns his warmest thanks for the assistance they have afforded him.
The Commander-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 the enemy, reward them for it all. His Excellency will only add, that no army that has ever been engaged in a campaign deserves more credit than this which he has the honour to command, for patient, orderly, and correct conduct, under all circumstances, and Sir John Keane is proud to have the opportunity of thus publicly acknowledging it.
By order of his Excellency Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus.
(Signed) R. MACDONALD, Lieut.-Colonel,
Military Secretary, and Deputy Adjutant-Gen. of
her Majesty's Forces, Bombay.
ENTRANCE INTO CABOOL.
(From the Delhi Gazette Extraordinary, of Thursday, Aug. 29.)
Simla, August 26th, 1839.
The Governor-General of India publishes for general information, the subjoined copy and extracts of despatches from his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus, and from the Envoy and Minister at the Court of his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, announcing the triumphant entry of the Shah into Cabool, on the 7th instant.
In issuing this notification, the Governor-General cannot omit the opportunity of offering to the officers and men composing the army of the Indus, and to the distinguished leader by whom they have been commanded, the cordial congratulations of the government upon the happy result of a campaign, which, on the sole occasion when resistance was opposed to them, has been gloriously marked by victory, and in all the many difficulties of which the character of a British army for gallantry, good conduct, and discipline has been nobly maintained.
A salute of twenty-one guns will be fired on the receipt of this intelligence at all the principal stations of the army in the three Presidencies.
By order of the Right Hon. the Governor-General of India,
Officiating Secretary to the Government of
India, with the Governor-General.
TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD AUCKLAND, G.C.B., ETC.
MY LORD,--We have the honour to acquaint your Lordship that the army marched from Ghuzni, en route to Cabool, in two columns, on the 30th and 31st ult., his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, with his own troops, forming part of the second column.
On the arrival of the Commander-in-Chief with the first column, at Hyde Khail, on the 1st inst., information reached him, and the same reached the Envoy and Minister at Huft Assaya, that Dost Mahomed, with his army and artillery, were advancing from Cabool, and would probably take up a position at Urghundee or Midan, (the former twenty-four, the latter thirty-six miles from Cabool.) Upon this it was arranged that his Majesty, with the second column, under Major General Willshire, should join the first column here, and advance together to attack Dost Mahomed, whose son, Mahomed Akhbar, had been recalled from Jellahabad, with the troops guarding the Khyber Pass, and had formed a junction with his father; their joint forces, according to our information, amounting to about 13,000 men.
Every arrangement was made for the King and the army marching in a body from here to-morrow; but in the course of the night, messengers arrived, and since (this morning) a great many chiefs and their followers, announcing the dissolution of Dost Mahomed's army, by the refusal of a great part to advance against us with him, and that he had in consequence fled, with a party of 300 horsemen, in the direction of Bamian, leaving his guns behind him, in position, as they were placed at Urghundee.
His Majesty Shah Shooja has sent forward a confidential officer, with whom has been associated Major Cureton, of her Majesty's 16th Lancers, taking with him a party of 200 men and an officer of artillery, to proceed direct to take possession of those guns, and afterwards such other guns and public stores as may be found in Cabool and the Balla Hissar, in the name of, and for his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, and the King's order will be carried by his own officer with this party, for preserving the tranquillity of the city of Cabool.
A strong party has been detached in pursuit of Dost Mahomed, under some of our most active officers. We continue our march upon Cabool to-morrow, and will reach it on the third day.
We have, &c.,
(Signed) JOHN KEANE, Lieut.-General,
(Signed) W.H. MACNAGHTEN,
Envoy and Minister.
Extract from a Letter from his Excellency Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane, K.C.B. and G.C.H., dated Head-Quarters, Camp, Cabool, August 8th, 1839:--
"It gives me infinite pleasure to be able to address my despatch to your Lordship from this capital, the vicinity of which his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk and the army under my command reached the day before yesterday. The King entered his capital yesterday afternoon, accompanied by the British Envoy and Minister and the gentlemen of the mission, and by myself, the general and staff officers of this army, and escorted by a squadron of her Majesty's 4th Light Dragoons, and one of her Majesty's 16th Lancers, with Captain Martin's troop of Horse Artillery. His Majesty had expressed a wish that British troops should be present on the occasion, and a very small party only of his own Hindostanee and Afghan troops. After the animating scene of traversing the streets, and reaching the palace in the Bala Hissar, a royal salute was fired, and an additional salvo in the Afghan style, from small guns, resembling wall-pieces, named gingalls, and carried on camels. We heartily congratulated his Majesty on being in possession of the throne and kingdom of his ancestors, and upon the overthrow of his enemies; and after taking leave of his Majesty, we returned to our camp.
"I trust we have thus accomplished all the objects which your Lordship had in contemplation when you planned and formed the army of the Indus, and the expedition into Afghanistan.
"The conduct of the army both European and native, which your Lordship did me the honour to place under my orders, has been admirable throughout, and, notwithstanding the severe marching and privations they have gone through, their appearance and discipline have suffered nothing, and the opportunity afforded them at Ghuzni of meeting and conquering their enemy has added greatly to their good spirits.
"The joint despatch addressed by Mr Macnaghten and myself to your Lordship, on the 3rd instant, from Shikarbad, will have informed you that at the moment we had made every preparation to attack (on the following day) Dost Mahomed Khan, in his position at Urghundee, where, after his son, Mahomed Akhbar, had joined him from Jellahabad, he had an army amounting to 13,000 men, well armed and appointed, and thirty pieces of artillery, we suddenly learned that he abandoned them all, and fled, with a party of horsemen, on the road to Bamian, leaving his guns in position, as he had placed them to receive our attack.
"It appears that a great part of his army, which was hourly becoming disorganized, refused to stand by him in the position to receive our attack, and that it soon became in a state of dissolution. The great bulk immediately came over to Shah Shooja, tendering their allegiance, and I believe his Majesty will take most of them into his pay.
"It seems that the news of the quick and determined manner in which we took their stronghold, Ghuzni, had such an effect upon the population of Cabool, and perhaps also upon the enemy's army, that Dost Mahomed from that moment began to lose hope of retaining his rule, for even a short time longer, and sent off his family and valuable property towards Bamian; but marched out of Cabool, with his army and artillery, keeping a bold front towards us until the evening of the 2nd, when all his hopes were at an end by a division in his own camp, and one part of his army abandoning him. So precipitate was his flight, that be left in position his guns, with their ammunition and wagons, and the greater part of the cattle by which they were drawn. Major Cureton, of her Majesty's 16th Lancers, with his party of 200 men, pushed forward, of the 3rd, and took possession of those guns, &c. There were twenty-three brass guns in position, and loaded; two more at a little distance, which they attempted to take away; and since then, three more abandoned, still further off on the Bamian road; thus leaving in our possession twenty-eight pieces of cannon, with all the materiel belonging to them, which are now handed over to Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk."
Extract from a Letter from W.H. Macnaghten, Esq., Envoy and Minister to the Court of Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, dated Cabool, 9th of August, 1839:--
"By a letter signed jointly by his Excellency Lieutenant-General Sir John Keane and myself, dated the 3rd inst., the Right Hon. the Governor-General was apprised of the flight of Dost Mahomed Khan.
"The ex-chief was not accompanied by any person of consequence, and his followers are said to have been reduced to below the number of 100 on the day of his departure. In the progress of Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk towards Cabool, his Majesty was joined by every person of rank and influence in the country, and he made his triumphal entry into the city on the evening of the 7th instant. His Majesty has taken up his residence in the Bala Hissar, where he has required the British mission to remain for the present."
(From the Bombay Government Gazette Extraordinary of August 29th.)
Simla, August 26th, 1839.
A letter from Shikarbad, of August 3rd, states--
"The chiefs with their military followers are flocking in by thousands. No better commentary on the feeling regarding Dost Mahomed Khan could be given than the fact of his having been able to induce only 300 out of 12,000 men to accompany him; Capt. Outram and seven other officers accompany the pursuing party."
The dates from the army at Cabool are to August the 9th. The letters from thence give the following intelligence:--
"The Shah's reception at this place was equally gratifying as at Candahar, though the enthusiasm was not so boisterous.
"We arrived here yesterday, and, I am happy to say, with a sufficient stock of supplies in our Godown to render us quite independent of any foreign purchases for the next ten days, which will keep down prices, and save us from the extravagant rates which we were obliged to purchase at when we reached Candahar. I have not been to the city yet, but am told it is far superior to Candahar. Our people are now very well off; for the increased rations, and abundance and cheapness of grain as we came along, have left them nothing to want or wish for."
Extract of a further letter from Shikarbad, August 3rd:--
"The Afghans have not yet recovered from their astonishment at the rapidity with which Ghuzni fell into our hands, nor up to this moment will they believe how it was effected.
"This morning we received intelligence of Dost Mahomed's flight towards Bamian; for several days past many of his former adherents had been joining the King. Since this morning, thousands of Afghans have been coming in to tender their allegiance to his Majesty, who is in the greatest spirits at this pacific termination to the campaign, and says that God has now granted all his wishes, --Cabool is at hand!
"We are all delighted at it. Few armies have made so long a march in the same time that the army of the Indus has done. The country is every day improving. The road to Candahar from where we are now encamped lies in a continued valley seldom stretching in width above two miles; cultivation on each side of the road, and numberless villages nestling under the hills. Since we left Ghuzni, the fruits have assumed a very fine appearance; the grapes, plums, and apples have become very large, like their brethren of Europe. The climate now is very fine. The rapid Loghurd river is flowing close to our encampments, and the European soldiers and officers are amusing themselves with fishing in it. We are beginning to get vegetables again. I passed this morning through fields of beans, but only in flower. Our attention must be turned to the cultivation of potatoes; they grow in quantities in Persia, and this seems to be just the country for them. To revert from small things to great: a party has just been detached towards Bamian with a view of cutting off Dost Mahomed. It would be a great thing to catch him. The party consists chiefly of Afghans, headed by Hajee Khan Kaukur, and about eight or ten British officers have been sent with it, to prevent the Afghans from committing excesses."
LONDON GAZETTE EXTRAORDINARY,
Thursday, Feb. 13th.
INDIA BOARD, FEB. 13TH.
A despatch has been this day received at the East India House, addressed by the Governor-General of India to the Select Committee of the East India Company, of which the following is a copy:--
"Camp at Bhurtpore, Dec. 12th, 1839.
"I do myself the honour to forward copies of the despatches noted in the margin, relative to the assault and capture of the fort of Kelat.
"2. The decision, the great military skill, and excellent dispositions, of Major-General Willshire, in conducting the operations against Kelat, appear to me deserving the highest commendation. The gallantry, steadiness, and soldier-like bearing of the troops under his command rendered his plans of action completely successful, thereby again crowning our arms across the Indus with signal victory.
"3. I need not expatiate on the importance of this achievement, from which the best effects must be derived, not only in the vindication of our national honour, but also in confirming the security of intercourse between Sinde and Afghanistan, and in promoting the safety and tranquillity of the restored monarchy; but I would not omit to point out that the conduct on this occasion of Major-General Willshire, and of the officers and men under his command, (including the 31st regiment of Bengal Native Infantry, which had not been employed in the previous active operations of the campaign,) have entitled them to more prominent notice that I was able to give them in my general order of November 18th; and in recommending these valuable services to the applause of the committee, I trust that I shall not be considered as going beyond my proper province in stating an earnest hope that the conduct of Major-General Willshire in the direction of the operations will not fail to elicit the approbation of her Majesty's Government.--I have, &c.
By the Governor-General of India.
Camp Doothanee, December 4th, 1839.
The many outrages and murders committed, in attacks on the followers of the army of the Indus, by the plundering tribes in the neighbourhood of the Bolan Pass, at the instigation of their chief, Meer Mehrab Khan, of Kelat, at a time when he was professing friendship for the British Government, and negotiating a treaty with its representatives, having compelled the government to direct a detachment of the army to proceed to Kelat for the exaction of retribution from that chieftain, and for the execution of such arrangements as would establish future security in that quarter, a force, under the orders of Major-General Willshire, C.B., was employed on this service; and the Right Hon. the Governor-General of India having this day received that officer's report of the successful accomplishment of the objects entrusted to him, has been pleased to direct that the following copy of his despatch, dated the 14th ultimo, be published for general information.
The Governor-General is happy to avail himself of this opportunity to record his high admiration of the signal gallantry and spirit of the troops engaged on this occasion, and offers, on the part of the government, his best thanks to Major-General Willshire, and to the officers and men who served under him.
By command of the Governor-General,
Officiating Secretary to the Government of
India, with the Governor-General.
FROM MAJOR-GENERAL SIR THOMAS WILLSHIRE, K.C.B., TO THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA.
Camp, near Kelat, Nov. 14th. 1839.
MY LORD,--In obedience to the joint instructions furnished to me by his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Indus, and the Envoy and Minister to his Majesty Shah Shooja, under date Cabool, the 17th of September, 1839, deputing to me the duty of deposing Mehrab Khan of Kelat, in consequence of the avowed hostility of that chief to the British nation during the present campaign, I have the honour to report, that on my arrival at Quettah, on the 31st ultimo, I communicated with Captain Bean, the political agent in Shawl, and arranged with him the best means of giving effect to the orders I had received.
In consequence of the want of public carriage, and the limited quantity of commissariat supplies at Quettah, as well as the reported want of forage on the route to Kelat, I was obliged to despatch to Cutch Gundava the whole of the cavalry and the greater portion of the artillery, taking with me only the troops noted in the margin,[B] and leaving Quettah on the 3rd instant.
[Footnote B: Two guns Bombay Horse Artillery; four guns Shah's ditto; two Ressalaghs Local Horse; Queen's Royals; Her Majesty's 17th regiment; 31st regiment Bengal Native Infantry; Bombay Engineers.]
During the march, the communications received from Mehrab Khan were, so far from acceding to the terms offered, that he threatened resistance if the troops approached his capital. I therefore proceeded, and arrived at the village of Giranee, within eight miles of Kelat, on the 12th instant.
Marching thence the following morning, a body of horse were perceived on the right of the road, which commenced firing on the advanced guard, commanded by Major Pennycuick, her Majesty's 17th regiment, as the column advanced, and the skirmishing between them continued until we came in sight of Kelat, rather less than a mile distant.
I now discovered that three heights on the north-west face of the fort, and parallel to the north, were covered with infantry, with five guns in position, protected by small parapet walls.
Captain Peat, chief engineer, immediately reconnoitered; and having reported that nothing could be done until those heights were in our possession, I decided upon at once storming them simultaneously, and, if practicable, entering the fort with the fugitives, as the gate in the northern face was occasionally opened to keep up the communication between the fort and the heights.
To effect this object I detached a company from each of the European regiments from the advanced guard with Major Pennycuick, her Majesty's 17th regiment, for the purpose of occupying the gardens and enclosures to the north-east of the town, and two more companies in the plain, midway between them and the column; at the same time I ordered three columns of attack to be formed, composed of four companies from each corps, under their respective commanding officers, Major Carruthers, of the Queen's, Lieutenant-Colonel Croker, her Majesty's 17th regiment, and Major Western, 31st Bengal Native Infantry, the whole under the command of Brigadier Baumgardt, the remainder of the regiments forming three columns of reserve, under my own direction, to move in support.
A hill being allotted to each column, Brigadier Stevenson, commanding the artillery, moved quickly forward in front towards the base of the heights, and when within the required range opened fire upon the infantry and guns, under cover of which the columns moved steadily on, and commenced the ascent for the purpose of carrying the heights, exposed to the fire of the enemy's guns, which had commenced while the columns of attack were forming.
Before the columns reached their respective summits of the hills, the enemy, overpowered by the superior and well-directed fire of our artillery, had abandoned them, attempting to carry off their guns, but which they were unable to do. At this moment, it appearing to me the opportunity offered for the troops to get in with the fugitives, and if possible gain possession of the gate of the fortress, I despatched orders to the Queen's Royal and 17th Regiments to make a rush from the heights for that purpose, following myself to the summit of the nearest, to observe the result. At this moment, the four companies on my left, which had been detached to the gardens and plain, seeing the chance that offered of entering the fort, moved rapidly forward from their respective points towards the gateway, under a heavy and well-directed fire from the walls of the fort and citadel, which were thronged by the enemy.
The gate having been closed before the troops moving towards it could effect the desired object, and the garrison strengthened by the enemy driven from the heights, they were compelled to cover themselves, as far as practicable, behind some walls and ruined buildings to the right and left of it, while Brigadier Stevenson, having ascended the heights with the artillery, opened two guns, under the command of Lieutenant Foster, Bombay Horse Artillery, upon the defences above the gate and its vicinity, while the fire of two others, commanded by, Lieutenant Cowper, Shah's Artillery, was directed against the gate itself; the remaining two, with Lieutenant Creed, being sent round to the road on the left hand, leading directly up to the gate, and when within two hundred yards, commenced fire, for the purpose of completing in blowing it open, and after a few rounds, they succeeded in knocking in one half of it. On observing this, I rode down the hill towards the gate, pointing to it, thereby announcing to the troops it was open. They instantly rose from their cover and rushed in. Those under the command of Major Pennycuick, being the nearest, were the first to gain the gate, headed by that officer, the whole of the storming columns from the three regiments rapidly following and gaining an entrance, as quick as it was possible to do so, under a heavy fire from the works and from the interior, the enemy making a most gallant and determined resistance, disputing every inch of ground up to the walls of the inner citadel.
At this time I directed the reserve column to be brought near the gate, and detached one company of the 17th Regiment, under Captain Darley, to the western side of the fort, followed by a portion of the 31st Bengal Native Infantry, commanded by Major Western, conducted by Captain Outram, acting as my extra Aide-de-Camp, for the purpose of securing the heights, under which the southern angle is situated, and intercepting any of the garrison escaping from that side; having driven off the enemy from the heights above, the united detachments then descended to the gate of the fort below, and forced it open before the garrison (who closed it as they saw the troops approach) had time to secure it.
When the party was detached by the western face, I also sent two companies from the reserve of the 17th, under Major Deshon, and two guns of the Shah's artillery, under the command of Lieutenant Creed, Bombay Artillery, by the eastern to the southern face, for the purpose of blowing open the gate above alluded to, had it been necessary, as well as the gate of the inner citadel; the infantry joining the other detachments, making their way through the town in the direction of the citadel.
After some delay, the troops that held possession of the town at length succeeded in forcing an entrance into the citadel, where a desperate resistance was made by Mehrab Khan, at the head of his people; he himself, with many of his principal chiefs, being killed sword in hand. Several others, however, kept up a fire upon our troops from detached buildings difficult of access, and it was not until late in the afternoon, that those that survived were induced to give themselves up on a promise of their lives being spared.
From every account, I have reason to believe the garrison consisted of upwards of 2000 fighting men, and that the son of Mehrab Khan had been expected to join him from Nerosky, with a further reinforcement; the enclosed return will shew the strength of the force under my command present at the capture.
The defences of the fort, as in the case of Ghuzni, far exceeded in strength what I had been led to suppose from previous report, and the towering height of the inner citadel was most formidable, both in appearance and reality.
I lament to say that the loss of killed and wounded on our side has been severe, as will be seen by the accompanying return; that on the part of the enemy must have been great, but the exact number I have not been able to ascertain. Several hundreds of prisoners were taken, from whom the political agent has selected those he considers it necessary for the present to retain in confinement; the remainder have been liberated.
It is quite impossible for me sufficiently to express my admiration of the gallant and steady conduct of the officers and men upon this occasion; but the fact of less than an hour having elapsed from the formation of the columns for the attack to the period of the troops being within the fort, and this performed in the open day, and in the face of an enemy so very superior in numbers, and so perfectly prepared for resistance, will, I trust, convince your Lordship how deserving the officers and troops are of my warmest thanks, and of the highest praise that can be bestowed.
To Brigadier Baumgardt, commanding the storming column, my best thanks are due, and he reports that Captain Willie, acting Assistant Adjutant-General, and Captain Gilland, his aide-de-camp, ably assisted him, and zealously performed their duties; also to Brigadier Stevenson, commanding the artillery, and Lieutenants Forster and Cowper, respectively in charge of the Bombay and Shah's, artillery. I feel greatly indebted for the steady and scientific manner in which the service of dislodging the enemy from the heights, and afterwards effecting an entrance into the fort, was performed. The Brigadier has brought to my notice the assistance he received from Captain Coghlan, his brigade major, Lieutenant Woosnam, his aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Creed, when in battery yesterday.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Croker, commanding her Majesty's 17th Regiment; Major Carruthers, commanding the Queen's Royals; Major Western, commanding the Bengal 31st Native Infantry, I feel highly indebted for the manner in which they conducted their respective columns to the attack of the heights, and afterwards to the assault of the town, as well as to Major Pennycuick, of the 17th, who led the advance-guard companies to the same point.
To Captain Peat, chief engineer, and to the officers and men of the Engineer Corps, my acknowledgments are due; to Major Neil Campbell, Acting Quartermaster-General of the Bombay army; to Captain Hagart, Acting Deputy Adjutant-General; and to Lieutenant Ramsay, acting Assistant Quartermaster-General, my best thanks are due for the able assistance afforded me by their services.
From my Aides-de-camp, Captain Robinson and Lieutenant Halket, as well as from Captain Outram, who volunteered his services on my personal staff, I received the utmost assistance; and to the latter officer I fell greatly indebted for the zeal and ability with which he has performed various duties that I have required of him, upon other occasions, as well as the present.
It is with much pleasure that I state the great assistance I have received from Captain Bean in obtaining supplies.
Major-Gen., Commanding Bombay Column,
Army of the Indus.
Return of Casualties in the army under the command of Major-General Willshire, C.B., employed at the storming of Kelat, on the 13th of November, 1839:--
1st Troop of Cabool Artillery--2 rank and file, 6 horses, wounded.
Gun Lancers attached to ditto--1 rank and file, 1 horse, wounded; 1 corporal, since dead.
Her Majesty's 2nd, or Queen's Royal Regiment--1 lieutenant, 21 rank and file, killed; 2 captains, 2 lieutenants, 1 adjutant, 2 sergeants, 40 rank and file, 1 horse, wounded.
Her Majesty's 17th Regiment--6 rank and file, killed; 1 captain, 3 sergeants, 29 rank and file, wounded.
31st Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry--1 subadar, 2 rank and file, killed; 1 captain, 1 ensign, 2 jemadars, 2 sergeants, 1 drummer, 14 rank and file, 1 bheestie, wounded.
Sappers and Miners and Pioneers--1 sergeant wounded.
4th Bengal Local Horse--1 rank and file wounded.
Total--1 lieutenant, 1 subadar, 29 rank and file, killed; 4 captains, 2 lieutenants, 1 ensign, 1 adjutant, 2 jemadars, 8 sergeants, 1 drummer, 87 rank and file, 1 bheestie, 7 horses, wounded.
Total killed and wounded--138.
Names of Officers killed and wounded.
Killed--Her Majesty's 2nd or Queen's Royal Regiment--Lieutenant T. Gravatt.
Wounded--Her Majesty's 2nd, or Queen's Royal Regiment--Captain W.M. Lyster, Captain T. Sealy, Lieutenant T.W.E. Holdsworth, severely; Lieutenant D.J. Dickenson, slightly; Adjutant J.E. Simmons, severely.
Her Majesty's 17th Regiment--Captain L.C. Bourchier, severely.
31st Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry--Captain Saurin, slightly; Ensign Hopper, severely.
C. HAGART, Captain,
Acting Deputy Adjutant-Gen Bombay
Column, Army of the Indus.
State of the Corps engaged at the storming of Kelat, on the 13th of November, 1839, under the command of Major-General Willshire, C.B.
Camp at Kelat, November 13th, 1839.
Staff--1 major-general, 2 brigadiers, 5 aides-de-camp, 1 acting deputy-adjutant general, 1 acting quartermaster-general, 1 deputy assistant-quartermaster-general, 2 brigade-majors, 1 sub-assistant commissary general.
Detachment 3rd Troop Horse Artillery--2 lieutenants, 2 sergeants, 36 rank and file.
1st Troop Cabool Artillery--1 lieutenant, 8 sergeants, 1 drummer, 1 farier, 58 rank and file.
Her Majesty's 2nd, or Queen's Royal Regiment--1 major, 3 captains, 7 lieutenants, 1 ensign, 1 adjutant, 31 sergeants, 10 drummers, 290 rank and file.
Her Majesty's 17th Regiment--1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 4 captains, 13 lieutenants, 2 ensigns, 1 quartermaster, 1 surgeon, 29 sergeants, 9 drummers, 338 rank and file.
31st Regiment Bengal Native Infantry--1 major, 2 captains, 3 lieutenants, 2 ensigns, 1 adjutant, 1 quartermaster, 1 surgeon, 12 native officers, 30 sergeants, 14 drummers, 329 rank and file.
Sappers and Miners and Pioneers--1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 assistant surgeon, 3 native officers, 1 sub-conductor, 7 sergeants, 3 drummers, 117 rank and file.
Total--1 major-general, 2 brigadiers, 5 aides-de-camp, 1 acting deputy adjutant-general, 1 acting quartermaster-general, 1 deputy assistant-quartermaster-general, 2 brigade-majors, 1 sub-assistant-commissary-general, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 4 majors, 10 captains, 27 lieutenants, 5 ensigns, 2 adjutants, 2 quartermasters, 2 surgeons, 1 assistant-surgeon, 15 native officers, 1 sub-conductor, 107 sergeants, 37 drummers, 1 farrier, 1,166 rank and file.
The Sappers and Miners and Pioneers were not engaged until the gate was taken.
C. HAGART, Captain,
Acting Deputy Adjutant-Gen., Bombay
Column, Army of the Indus.
Note--Two russalas of the Bengal Local Horse remained in charge of the baggage during the attack.
List of Beloochee Sirdars killed in the assault of Kelat, on the 13th of November, 1839:--
Meer Mehrab Khan, Chief of Kelat. Meer Wullee Mahomed, the Muengul Sirdar of Wudd. Abdool Kurreem, Ruhsanee Sirdar. Dad Kurreen, Shahwanee Sirdar. Mahomed Ruzza, nephew of the Vizier Mahomed Hoosein. Khysur Khan, Ahsehrie Sirdar. Dewan Bucha Mull, Financial Minister. Noor Mahomed and Taj Mahomed, Shagassa Sirdars.
Mahomed Hoossein, Vizier. Moola Ruheem Dad, ex-Naib of Shawl; with several others of inferior rank.
J.D.D. DEAN, Political Agent.
CAPTURE OF THE FORT AND CITADEL OF KELAT.
Political Department Fort William, Dec. 14, 1839.
The Hon. the President in Council has much satisfaction in publishing the following despatch from Major-General Willshire, C.B., with the returns annexed to it, reporting the capture of the fort and citadel of Kelat, by storm, on the 13th of November, which brilliant achievement was effected by a force consisting of only 1200 men, with the loss, his Honour in Council grieves to say, of 138 killed and wounded, including amongst the former one officer, Lieutenant Gravatt, of her Majesty's 2nd, or Queen's Regiment, and amongst the latter, eight officers.
Meer Mehrab Khan himself, and eight other sirdars, were amongst the slain of the enemy.
The general order issued by the Right Hon. the Governor-General, on the receipt of this intelligence, is republished, and his Honour in Council unites with his Lordship in recording his high admiration of the signal gallantry and spirit of the troops engaged, and in offering his thanks to Major-General Willshire, and to the officers and men who served under him on this occasion.
A royal salute will be fired from the ramparts of Fort William, at noon this day, in honour of the event.
By order of the Hon. the President in Council,
Secretary to the Government of India.