The Military Operations at Cabul, which Ended in the Retreat and Destruction of the British Army, January 1842: With a Journal of Imprisonment in Afghanistan

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J. Murray, 1843 - Afghan Wars - 330 pages

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Page 193 - Dreary, indeed, was the scene over which, with drooping spirits and dismal forebodings, we had to bend our unwilling steps. Deep snow covered every inch of mountain and plain with one unspotted sheet of dazzling white ; and so intensely bitter was the cold, as to penetrate and defy the defences of the warmest clothing.
Page 45 - It no sooner," says Lieutenant Eyre, " became generally known that the commissariat fort, upon which we were dependent for supplies, had been abandoned, than one universal feeling of indignation pervaded the garrison ; nor can I describe the impatience of the troops, but especially the native portion, to be led out for its recapture — a feeling that was by no means diminished by their seeing the Affghans crossing and recrossing the road between the commissariat fort and the gate of the Shah Bagli,...
Page 33 - But the most unaccountable oversight of all, and that which may be said to have contributed most largely to our subsequent disasters, was that of having the commissariat stores detached from cantonments, in an old fort which, in an outbreak, would be almost indefensible. Captain Skinner, the chief commissariat officer, at the time when this arrangement was made, earnestly solicited from the authorities a place within the cantonment for his stores, but received for answer that " no such place could...
Page 42 - Afghans to maintain a very strict watch at night. A man in Captain Johnson's employ was accordingly sent out to reconnoitre the place ; he returned in a few minutes with the intelligence that about twenty men were seated outside the fort near the gate, smoking and talking ; and from what he overheard of their conversation, he judged the garrison to be very small, and unable to resist a sudden onset. The debate was now resumed, but another hour passed and the General could not make up his mind. A...
Page 206 - Giljyes were observed hastening to crown the heights in considerable force. A hot fire was opened on the advance, with whom were several ladies, who, seeing their only chance was to keep themselves in rapid motion, galloped forward at the head of all, running the gauntlet of the enemy's bullets, which whizzed in hundreds about their ears, until they were fairly out of the pass. Providentially the whole escaped, with the exception of Lady Sale, who received a slight wound in the arm.
Page 215 - European soldiers were now almost the only efficient men left, the Hindoostanees having all suffered more or less from the effects of frost in their hands and feet; few were able even to hold a musket, much less to pull a trigger ; in fact, the prolonged delay in the snow had paralysed the mental and bodily powers of the strongest men, rendering them incapable of any useful exertion. Hope seemed to have died in every breast. The wildness of terror was exhibited in every countcTnance.
Page 206 - Affghan professions, that little or no confidence was placed in the present truce, and we commenced our passage through the dreaded pass in no very sanguine temper of mind. This truly formidable defile is about five miles from end to end, and is shut in on either hand by a line of lofty hills, between whose precipitous sides the sun, at this season, could dart but a momentary ray. Down the centre dashed a mountain torrent, whose impetuous course the frost in vain attempted to arrest, though it succeeded...
Page 142 - In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise ! From Marlborough's eyes the streams of dotage flow, And Swift expires a driveller and a show.
Page 17 - The immediate cause of the outbreak in the capital was a seditious letter addressed by Abdoollah Khan to several chiefs of influence at Cabul, stating that it was the design of the Envoy to seize and send them all to London ! The principal rebels met on the previous night, and, relying on the inflammable feelings of the people of Cabul, they pretended that the king had issued an order to put all infidels to death...
Page 207 - Native Infantry, suffered severely ; and at last, finding that delay was only destruction, they followed the general example, and made the best of their way to the front. Another horse-artillery gun was abandoned, and the whole of its artillerymen slain. Captain Anderson's eldest girl, and Captain Boyd's youngest boy, fell into the hands of the Atfghans. It is supposed that 3,000 souls perished in the pass, amongst whom were Captain Paton, assistant quartermaster-general ; and Lieutenant St.

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