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Hissar. The rest of the troops in offer was made on the part of the that camp were withdrawn into Affghan chiefs to negotiate, and the cantonment. The forces at this General Elphinstone advised Sir time in cantonments consisted of William Macnaghten to accept the following :--The 5th regiment it. Accordingly, next day, two No. I., under Lieutenant-Colonel deputies from the Affghans entered Oliver ; a wing of 54th N.I. ; five the cantonment, but the terms 6-pounder field guns, with a de- offered were such that the Envoy tachment of the Shah's artillery; could not listen to them ; and he the Envoy's body guard ; H. M. stated in a letter to the chiefs, that 44th foot; a troop of Skinner's if they persisted in them, he inust horse, and another of local horse ; again appeal to arms, leaving the three companies of the Shah's sap- result to the God of battles. At pers, a body of the Company's sap- length, however, the provisions in pers, with 2 horse artillery guns. camp being almost wholly ex. This force was afterwards increased hausted, and there being no means by the arrival of the 37th N.I. of obtaining supplies, the Envoy the next day from Khoord Cabul, resolved to try again the effect of where they had marched to sup a negotiation, and on the 11th of port General Sale, but had been December he went out of cantonrecalled by General Elphinstone. ments, accompanied by three offiThe number of camp followers, cers, to meet the insurgent chiefs exclusive of women and children, in the plain towards Seeah Sung. amounted to 12,000.
A discussion then took place, and Our space prevents us from ultimately terms were agreed upon, giving details of the long and mi- written out and signed.
They serable siege which now took place. consisted of the following:- That The Affghans surrounded the can the British should evacuate the tonments, and from every available whole of Affghanistan, including quarter poured in a constant fire. Candahar, Ghuznee, and JellalaThe Commissariat fort was in a bad ; that they should be permitted few days abandoned by the few to return unmolested to India, and troops left in the occupation of it, that supplies should be granted to and all the stores upon the pre them on their road thitherservation of which the existence tain men of consequence accompaof the British forces depended, nying them as hostages; fell into the hands of the enemy. of transport should be furnished to For some time supplies were ob- the troops ; that Dost Mahomed tained from the village of Beyma- Khan, his family, and every Affroo, the proprietor of which was ghan then detained within our largely bribed by the Envoy, but territories should be allowed to rethis was rendered very difficult by turn to their own country ; that the active hostility of the Affghans, Shah Soojah and his family should who occupied the heights during have the option of remaining at Cathe day. Various sorties took place bul, or proceeding with the British at different times, but no advan- troops to Loodianah, in either case tage was gained over the enemy; receiving from the Affghan governand, at last, famine stared the ment one lac of rupees per annum; devoted garrison in the face. that an amnesty should be granted
On the 26th of November, an to all who had taken the part of
Shah Soojah ; that all prisoners Captains Lawrence, Trevor and should be released ; that no British Mackenzie, left the Mission-house force should ever be sent into to attend a conference with MaAffghanistan unless invited by the homed Akhbar Khan in the plain Affghan government. The chiefs, towards Seeah Sung. Crowds of in retiring from the conference, armed Affghans were observed hotook with
them Captain Trevor as vering near, and excited strong a hostage.
suspicions of treachery. On ar. Notwithstanding these terms riving near the bridge, the English had been agreed upon, much de- party was met by several chiefs, lay took place in carrying any of including Akbar Khan, and they them into effect; and no means of all sat down near some rising transport were sent to the canton- ground, which partially concealed ment to enable the garrison to set them from cantonments. Captain forth. On the 18th of December, Lawrence having called attention a heavy fall of snow covered the to the number of armed men ground, and proclaimed the setting around them, and begged that they in of a severe winter. It was might be ordered off. Akbar Khan quite evident that the object of exclaimed, “No! they are all in the the Affghans was to starve out the secret.” At that instant, Sir WilBritish forces, and by obstinate liam, and the three officers, were delays compel them to surrender seized from behind, and instantly unconditionally,
disarmed. The latter were dragged A trap was now laid for the forcibly along, and compelled to unfortunate Envoy, into which he mount each behind a Ghilzie fell. On the 22nd of December, chief, who galloped off with them two Affghans came into canton to a fort in the neighbourhood, ments and had a private confer. while the infuriated Affghans cut ence with Sir W. Macnaghten, in at them with their long knives as which they made a proposal on the they rapidly passed. Captain Trepart of Akbar Khan that Ame vor happened to fall off his horse, noollah Khan should be seized the and was instantly murdered; the next day and delivered up to the lives of the other officers were British as a prisoner ; that the saved with the utmost difficulty. Bala Hissar should be immediately But the unfortunate Envoy was occupied by one of our regiments; last seen on the ground struggling that Shah Soojah should continue violently with Akbar Khan, king, and Mahomed Akhbar be “consternation and horror depicted come his Wuzeer (or prime minis on his countenance." ter), and that our troops should There is no doubt that having remain in their present position strenuously resisted the attempt until the following spring. To to compel him to mount on horsethese specious terms Sir William back he was shot through the Macnaghten unwarily assented, body by Akbar Khan, and afterand gave a written paper to that wards his head was cut off and effect. He was to meet Akhbar paraded in triumph through the Khan the next morning, in order city of Cabul, while the bleeding to arrange every thing definitively. and mangled trunk was exposed to
Accordingly, on the 23rd of De- the insults of the populace in the cember, the Envoy, attended by Char Chouk, or principal bazaar.
After these barbarous murders, tiations between General Elphinwhich evinced too plainly the stone and Akbar Khan were carsavage resolution taken by the ried on by Major Pottinger, and Affghans to avenge themselves after some delay, it was proposed upon the British, the situation of that the former treaty should reour troops in cantonments became main in force with the following desperate, and Major General El- additional terms : Ist. That we phinstone thought that it was should leave behind all our guns necessary to provide for their safety excepting six; -2nd. That we by attempting again to negotiate should immediately give up all our with the enemy rather than risk treasures ; - and 3rd. That the all in a decisive contest. We will hostages should be exchanged for not criticise harshly this resolution, married men, with their wives and for it is perhaps impossible to esti- families. The British married of. mate exactly the difficulties officers, however, refused to accede General Elphinstone's position, to this last stipulation, and it was and hs may have thought the con abandoned. test hopeless against a furious po In pursuance of this convention, pulation in arms on every side the British troops quitted their around him. But considering the cantonments, and commenced their result, we can hardly help regret march on the 6th of January. ing that he did not choose the They consisted of 4,500 fighting bolder expedient, and instead of men, and about 12,000 camp fol. trusting to the good faith of the lowers besides women and children. Affghan chiefs, resolve to emulate What followed baffles description. the example of former British offi. The march became almost immecers in India, who have gained, diately a continued massacre. The with inconsiderable forces, signal rear-guard had hardly quitted the victories against overwhelming camp before it was attacked by the odds. He might have succeeded perfidious enemy. The snow lay in making himself master of the deep upon the ground, and the city of Cabul by a bold and despe. troops had to force their way rate sortie, and the worst that sword in hand. On the 7th they could have happened would not reached Bareekhur, having lost their have exceeded in amount of dis. guns, captured by the Affghans. aster the lamentable events that On the next morning the camp of followed, while the attempt would the retreating British, was entirely have redounded to British honour, surrounded by the infuriated ene. even although it had failed. But my. The accounts which have General Elphinstone thought, even been given of what had occurred after the proof of Affghan trea on the line of march hitherto, if chery exhibited in the bloody scene not exaggerated, prove how despebefore his eyes, that he might trust rate had been the attacks upon our to the professions of Akhbar Khan, troops. The whole way is said to and secure the safety of the forces have been strewed with the dead under his command by entering and dying, who were immediately into a convention with the Affghan stripped and left naked by the chiefs.
Affghans, the corpses were hacked Accordingly, after the murder to pieces by the long knives of of Sir William Macnaghten, nego- merciless Ghazees.
A communication was now open- tection of Akbar Khan. General ed with Akbar Khan, who ap- Elphinstone, at the same time, orpears to have acted throughout dered that those of them who had with the deepest treachery, for husbands, should be accompanied while he pretended friendship, he by the latter. was in reality directing the move The British troops halted here ments of the enemy: at least, such for a day, encamped in the snow. is the conclusion we arrive at from The cold was so intense, that the what followed ; for, we cannot Sepoys became benumbed, and doubt, that had he been sincere in wholly useless. In resuming the his professions, he would have been march, the contest commenced able to protect our troops. He afresh ; and at the Huft Kothul blamed the British officers for hav. Pass (or Pass of Seven Ascents), ing commenced the march from which is between Khoord Cabul the camp at Cabul, before he had and Tezeen, the whole of the naprovided a sufficient escort to de- tive troops, paralysed with cold, fend them from attack, and offered were cut to pieces. to restrain the Affghans from fur The Europeans, however, held ther outrage, provided hostages together in tolerable order, and were delivered to him as a security reached Tezeen on the evening of that the British would not march the 10th, where they halted two beyond Tezeen, until General Sale hours in the snow, and then rehad evacuated Jellalabad.
suming their march, pushed on to This proposal was accepted, and Jugdulluck, where they arrived in Major Pottinger, with "Captains a miserable plight. Of the whole Lawrence and Mackenzie became force which had left Cabul, amounthostages, and the troops proceeded ing to nearly 16,500 persons, not on their march to the Khoord Cabul more than 300 are said to have Pass. But Akbar Khan's promise reached Jugdulluck, which is thirtyof protection was utterly futile. five miles distant. Throughout the whole of this day Here a halt was ordered, and the attacks of the Affghans, espe- throughout the day the enemy cially the Ghilzie tribe, were in-. galled them with their fire, until cessant; and the British had to Akbar Khan effectually interforce the difficult Pass with con fered, and the unfortunate British siderable loss.
were allowed to occupy, without The next morning Akbar Khan molestation, a ruined enclosure, sent to the encampment, and pro- where they lay down, worn out by fessed his concern at his inability fatigue, and helpless, in the snow. to restrain the Ghilzies, who had General Elphinstone, however, been most active in the attacks of was detained prisoner by Akbar the preceding day. But he offered Khan, who sent for him, under to protect the ladies who were with pretence of wishing to treat perthe retreating force, provided they sonally with him. From the small would put themselves under his fort where he was imprisoned he charge. It was thought right to despatched a note to Brigadier Antake advantage of this offer; and quetil, telling him to march that eight ladies, including Lady Sale night, as there was treachery afoot. and Lady Macnaghten, went over Tke wearied band acccordingly to put themselves under the pro- moved on in the darkness, but as
they advanced up the Pass, an at- Robert Sale, who had maintained tack was made upon their rear by his position there since the day on the Affghans, and all discipline which he reached it, after forcing was lost. The soldiers of the 44th the Khoord Cabul, and other Passes, Regiment threatened to shoot their we have previously narrated. officers, and broke up into detached Here he was besieged by the inparties: they were cut down al. surgent tribes, the Voloos, the Ghilmost to a man by the enemy, in zies, and the Shinwaries, who octhis Jugdulluck Pass.
cupied several old forts about three Of the officers, a considerable miles from the town, from which number escaped on horseback, and they from time to time kept up a reached Gundamuck in the morn fire upon the defences. Previously ing; here they began to separate, to the arrival of Akbar Khan and taking different roads. The vil. the forces with him, General Sale lagers attacked them as they passed, had been engaged in several enand only one individual of the counters with the enemy, in which whole British force was able to he was uniformly successful, and reach Jellalabad. This was Dr. more than once severely punished Brydon, who arrived there wounded them. and faint, on the 13th of January. An account of what occurred at For some time he was supposed to Jellalabad, written by this gallant be the sole survivor of the whole officer, will be found in a subseBritish force, with the exception quent part of our narrative. of those who remained in the We mentioned that it was stipuhands of Akbar Khan as hostages lated on the part of General Eland prisoners; but afterwards it phinstone, in the Convention with was discovered, that a few officers the Affghan chiefs, that the whole and soldiers had escaped death, of the British forces in Affghanisbut were detained in captivity in tan should evacuate that country. various places by the enemy: In compliance with this agreement,
Such was the result of this most he had despatched an order to lamentable march, which was from General Sale to march
from first to last a series of humiliations Jellalabad; but the latter officer, to the British standard, and seemed on receiving it from the hands of likely to do irreparable injury to an Affghan chief, at the latter end our military reputation in Aff of January, refused to abandon his ghanistan.
post. It is said that Lady Sale, Nothing is of more importance then a prisoner in the hands of the to British interests in India, than Affghans, wrote to her husband, that the prestige of our urging him to defend Jellalabad, should not be diminished by any saying, that she preferred death to reverse happening to our arms; dishonour. and this triumph of the Affghans In the meantime, vigorous efforts under Akbar Khan was to be de. were being made to assist the beplored for this reason, as well as sieged garrison, by sending a body the melancholy loss of life occa of troops to its relief through the sioned by the disaster.
Khyber Pass. Lord Auckland was The enemy now approached Jel about to retire from the governlalabad, which was occupied by the ment of India, and a new GoverBritish garrison under General Sir nor-General, Lord Ellenborough, Vol. LXXXIV.