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GENERAL ORDER BY THE GOVERNORGENERAL OF INDIA.
No. 449 of 1858. IN publishing for general information the following letter from the Adjutant-General of the Army, No. 888, dated the 7th September, 1858, forwarding one with enclosure from Major-General Sir J. Hope Grant, K.C.B., reporting the occupation of Sultanpore by the troops under the command of Brigadier Horaford, C.B., and the passage of the Goomtee, under the Major-General's pergonal directions, the Right Honourable the Governor-General desires to make known his high appreciation of the military skill displayed by Sir Hope Grant, during the series of operations which occupied six weeks, and ended in the passage across the Goomtee. His Lordship also tenders to Brigadier Horsford, C.B., and to all the other officers and men engaged in these operations his warmest acknowledgments for their gallantry and efficient service.
R. J. H. BIRCH, Major-General, Secretary to the Government of India, Military Department, with the Governor-General.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mayhew, the Adjutant-General of the Army, to the Secretary to the Government of India, Military Department, with the Governor- General.
Head Quarters, Allahabad, 7th September, 1858.
Sir, No. 888.
I HAVE the honour, by desire of the Commander-in-Chief, to inclose in original a letter dated 30th ultimo, No. 212, with enclosures, from Major-General Sir J. Hope Grant, K.C.B., reporting the occujmtion of Sultanpore by the troops under Brigadier A. H. Horsford, C.B., and the passage of the Goomtee, under the personal directions of the Major-General.
2. I am directed by his Excellency to beg you will draw the attention of the Right Honourable the Governor-General to the admirable manner in which Sir J. Hope Grant has conducted the operations of the last six weeks; and more particularly those for the passage of the Goomtee, with most imperfect means.
I have, Ac,
Adjutant-General of the Army.
General Hope Grant to the Adjutant-General of the Army.
Read Quarters, Camp Sultanpore Cantonments, 30th August, 1858.
Sir, No. 212.
I HAVE the honour to report, for the information of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, that under instructions received from the Chief of the Staff, I despatched from Fyzabad the force as per margin,* under the command of Brigadier Horsford, C.B., on the 9th instant, towards Sultanpore, to follow up the rebel forces which had been besieging Maun Sing at Shahgung.
2. Heavy rain had fallen for some days before this force left Fyzabad, which rendered the track (there is no road) to Sultanpore very heavy and
* Detail.—Artillery: Troop Royal Horse Field Artillery. Cavalry: A Wing 7th Hussars; Detachment 7th Hussar*. Infantry: 1st Madras Fusiliers; 5th Punjaub Rifles; Detachment Madras Sappers.
deep in places for the guns and the hackeries carrying the Commissariat supplies. There are two considerable nnddees on this route, but by the exertions of Captain Reid, Deputy Commissioner, they were bridged,
3. Brigadier Horsford's despatch, detailing his operations on the 13th instant, when he drore the enemy to the right bank and occupied Sultanpore, I have already had the honour to forward.
4. It was intended that Brigadier Horsford should cross the Goomtee,* and occupy the Cantonments on the right bank ; but the enemy having taken away or destroyed every boat, no bridge could be thrown across the river, and Brigadier Horsford's instructions were not to cross without one. The right bank being in the possession of the enemy for about fifteen miles up and down the river, it was found impracticable to bring boats from a distance.
5. In consequence of the large increase of the rebel force, amounting to about 20,000 men, with 15 guns, opposing the passage of the river, I received further instructions from the Chief of the Staff to reinforce Brigadier Horsford ; and for this purpose I despatched the 2nd battalion of the Rifle Brigade and two 9-pounder guns from Fyzabad, on the 16th instant. By order of the Commander-in-Chief this entailed the following movements of the Oudh force, viz.:—(1st)—The 53rd Regiment from Durriabad to Fyzabad, to replace the Rifles. (2ndV—The 1st Bengal Fusiliers from Nawabgnnge to Durriabad i and (3rd)—A wing of the 88th Regiment from Lucknow to Nawabgunge, Bara Banke.
6. In consequence of the increasing numbers of the enemy, the determined opposition shown to the passage of the river, and i he importance attached to our occupying the right bank, I deter
• The mer Goomtee is upwards of 400 feet -wide.
mined, without waiting for hi« Excellency's instructions, to still further reinforce the Sultanpore column, and I accordingly marched from Fyzabad on the 19th instant, with the detail mentioned in the margin.*
7. In many places along the route the track led across cidtivation and through marshes, where the gun wheels sunk to the axle. The infantry, too, were obliged to wade through sloughs frequently.
8. 1 arrived at Sultanpore on the 22nd instant. Brigadier Horsford had taken up a good position, and secured an excellent point for the passage of the river. But no boats could be procured. Three small dinghies were found, and of these Lieutenant Raynsford had constructed a very good raft; he also had platforms for a bridge in a forward state. Three dinghies, which were lying at the Biswee Nuddee, nine miles distant, I had conveyed to the ghat, and three others were found sunk in the river; of these two more rafts were constructed.
9. All the preparations necessary for crossing the force on the rafts, with the exception of the heavy guns and park, were completed on the night of the 24th instant.
10. It being evident that there was no possibility of procuring boats for a bridge until the enemy was driven from the opposite bank, I decided upon crossing without one.
11. The force of the enemy occupied several positions. The main position was at Has?enpore, about four miles from cantonments. In the cantonment there was another large body and eight guns; and two villages in front of the point at which I intended crossing were also occupied.
* Detail:—Artillery: Heavy Battery Royal Artillery. Cavalry: Head Quarters and Wing, Her Mnjesty's 7th Hussars. Infantry: Head Quarters and Winpj, Her Majesty's 53rd Regiment; Detachment Madras Sappers and Miners.
Besides the above, there were piequets along the bank of the river, and several batteries, and a regiment watched the Dhera Ghat, where it was said there were some boats.
12. On the 22nd instant I received intelligence that Bene Madho had arrived at the rebel camp, bringing a strong reinforcement, but the numbers were variously reported.
13. The heavy guns being in position to cover the operation and keep down the fire of the enemy, the force commenced passing over on the morning of the 25th.
By -1 P.k. the Madras Fusiliers, the 5th Pimjaub Rifles, two 9-pounder guns and a detachment of Hodson's Horse had crossed, and I ordered this force to advance under the command of IieuteuantGolonel Galway, and take and occupy the two villages in my front. On the approach of the column the enemy fled, the villages were occupied, and 1 thus secured an excellent position ; the river, which here forms a loop, protecting the flanks of the advanced line.
14. There was much difficulty in swimming the horses across the river, and all the force had not got over till late on the 27th.
15. On the 28th I had my arrangements made for attacking the rebels at the cantonments on the following morning at day-break. On that afternoon the enemy came out in strong force and attacked my position. They were easily repulsed and driven back, but as it was late when this was accomplished I did not think it advisable then to follow them up. The followinct morning I advanced at four o'clock, but found that the cantonment was deserted.
16. The enemy retreated towards the southwest, but it is not ascertained yet what position they intend taking up.