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From Major-General Sir G. POLLOCK, G.C.B., to the Right Hon.
Lord ELLENBOROUGH, Governor-General of India; dated Allahabad, 2 April, 1843.
My Lord, I have had the ho- the instances alluded to have not nour to receive your Lordship's been specified, as I may possibly be letter, dated 23rd ultimo, inti- suspected of suppressing facts. mating that disapprobation had This, however, I beg to assure been expressed at the destruction your Lordship I have no wish of the bazaar and mosque at Cabul, to do. and of trees: also, that excesses The feeling of the Hindoos have been imputed to the troops. against the Affghans was very na
It is difficult to grapple with turally strong, in consequence of vague and anonymous accusations the latter having deprived the against the conduct of the troops. Hindoos of their caste whenever Many detailed statements in the they came into their power ; but newspapers were entirely unfound no troops could feel otherwise than ed, and were got up with the sole excited at the sight of the skeleobject of creating a sensation ; but tons of their late brethren in arms, I confess that, if individual and which still lie covering the road isolated instances of excess had from Gundamuck to Cabul ; and, occurred, I should not have been as if the more to raise a spirit of much surprised, composed, as all revenge, the barricade at JugdulIndian armies are, of such an hete- luck was literally covered with rogeneous mass, comprising all skeletons. classes and castes, more than two
What I have stated above will thirds of whom are either public not be considered as justifying exor private servants and adventu cesses on the part of a British rers, who, though nominally fol- army, but it may be admitted in lowing some occupation useful to extenuation of individual cases. an army, proceed with it for the A few days previous to the sole purpose of plundering when march of a brigade under Brigaa favourable opportunity offers. dier Monteith, an European was Some excesses may, unknown to murdered by the Affghans at Jel. me, have been committed ; but I lalabad. The destruction of Ali will venture to assert, that no Bughan by some men under Britroops ever conducted themselves gadier Monteith's command was with more forbearance under such caused by one of those sudden unprecedented aggravations; per- bursts of feeling, which, being haps no army was ever placed in a wholly unexpected, no precautions more trying situation.
were deemed necessary; but it During the whole course of their was a solitary instance, and ocprogress towards the capital, they curred nearly as follows:-Some had ocular proofs of the treachery camp followers entered the village, and brutality of a merciless enemy; and having found parts of the, but still I am unable to call to dress of some of our soldiers who mind any wanton, deliberate act of had been massacred on the march inhumanity on the part of the from Cabul, a number of men protroops, and cannot but regret that ceeded to the village, which was
eventually burnt, whether acci On the subject of trees being dentally or intentionally is doubt- destroyed, I am unable to call to ful. So very soon was the mischief recollection what occurred in Briperpetrated that the Brigadier was gadier Monteith's detachment ;hardly aware of it till the place and the only instance of their was in flames. He immediately destruction which came under my took measures to prevent a recur- personal observation was at Marence of such scenes, and I wrote mookhuil, when the ground was in strong terms on the subject. such that I was obliged to enSubsequent to that event, during camp the different regiments in the whole time the Brigadier was the gardens surrounding the fort. detached, I heard of no more ex Without this precaution, I should
In the instance of Ali have subjected the troops to conBughan, after a most minute in stant annoyance, as the enemy quiry, I have reason to believe that would certainly have occupied not a man, woman, or child was them; the destruction of the injured; and I know the greater vines and other small plants was part of the property was returned almost a necessary consequence of to the head man of the village. our occupying Mamookhuil.
In subsequent engagements with With regard to the destruction the enemy, the Mumoo Khuil, of the Cabul bazaar and mosque, Jugdulluck, and Teezeen, I neither it may possibly be supposed that saw or heard of any excesses. A with them was destroyed other report was circulated that an Eu- property ; but this was not the ropean was burnt alive at Jug. dulluck, and that two Affghans The insult offered to the rewere burnt in like manner by our mains of the late envoy was nototroops, in revenge; the whole of rious to the whole of the chiefs which was an infamous fabrica. and inhabitants of the city; they tion.
admitted that the mutilated body I know of no instances of cruelty was dragged through the bazaar, or excess at Istalif; and the feeling and treated by the populace with of the army could not have been every indigniiy, and eventually very prone thereto, when about hung there, that every Affghan in 400 or 500 women and children the city might witness the treatwere protected from insult and ment of the remains of the repreinjury, and made over to their sentative of the British Govern. families after the engagement. If ment. The intended measure was any excess has been committed, communicated to the chiefs, who, which I have not noticed, I can not only admitted the propriety only affirm that I recollect none; of destroying a place where such and I beg to add, that the praise scenes had transpired, but offered bestowed on the troops on a late to, and did accompany the party occasion by your Lordship, for sent for its destruction. Those their forbearance in victory is, as who resided at and near the far as I am able to judge, well bazaar, had two days' previous merited, and I trust your Lord- notice to remove their property ship will never have cause to alter (which they did), and I am not your good opinion of their con- aware of any instances of violence duct.
having occurred: it was not pos
sible entirely to prevent plundere infantry were on duty in the city ing, but during the time the to prevent any outrage. engineer was employed in the destruction of the bazaar, and
I have, &c., mosque attached, both cavalry and (signed) G. POLLOCK.
From Major-General Sir George POLLOCK, G.C.B., to the Right
Honourable Lord ELLENBOROUGH, Governor-General of India; dated Ghazeepore, 10th April, 1843.
My Lord, Since I had the The destruction of the residence honour to address your Lordship of Khoda Buksh, the chief of on the 2nd instant, in reply to Teezeen, may perhaps have been your Lordship's letter dated 23rd considered an excess. I will thereultimo, it has occurred to me that fore explain, that during the time I could not produce better proof the army remained in advance of of the forbearance of the troops Teezeen, the chief of that place under my command than by a re was the cause of our communicaference to their conduct on the tion being cut off ; he was repeatmorning of the 16th September edly warned what the consequences last. I have already officially de- would be when an opportunity oftailed the number of troops which fered, if he persisted in such a accompanied me on the occasion of course ; but I beg to add, that the planting the colours on the Bala injury sustained by the chief in Hissar ; it was deemed advisable the destruction of his residence on that occasion to go through a entailed no loss on others that I part of the city, and although the am aware of, as the injury done, troops had arrived only the day was confined almost entirely lo before from a march which was the fortified dwelling; forage was abundantly calculated to irritate found there, and brought into and exasperate them, they so fully camp, but not an individual was and literally obeyed the orders 1 injured. had previously given, that not a house or an individual was injured
I have, &c., either in going to, or returning (signed) G. POLLOCK. from the Bala Hissar.
From bis Excellency Major-General Sir W. Nott, G.C.B. to Major
General J. R. LUMLEY, Adjutant-General of the Army ; dated Lucknow, 4 April 1843.
Sir, I have the honour to ac neral of India, to report upon cerknowledge the receipt of your let tain excesses said to have been ter, No. 817, of the 29th ultimo, committed by the British troops calling upon me, by directions of on retiring from Affghanistan. the Right Hon. the Governor-Ge. I will confine my remarks to
that veteran, gallant, and highly town; the whole had been un. disciplined army which I had the roofed and destroyed by the conhonour to command for so long a tending Affghans, for the sake of period ; and I will leave it to my the timber, &c. gallant comrade, Sir George Pol I have said there were no inlock, G.C.B., to defend the honour habitants; and therefore unresistof the troops he commanded. ing individuals could not have been
First, I am called upon to state, destroyed in cold blood, women “Upon what private property, and could not have been violated and upon what private buildings, in- murdered for their ornaments. jury was inflicted, by my orders or These, I boldly say, are gross and under my toleration, at Ghuznee?” villainous falsehoods, whoever they I answer, upon none.
emanate from. Secondly, I am directed to state, I ordered the fortifications and “Whether unresisting individuals, citadel of Ghuznee to be destroyed; were destroyed in cold blood for it had been the scene of treachery, mere vengeance, and whether wo mutilation, torture, starvation, and men were either violated or mur. cruel murder to our unresisting and dered for their ornaments ?" I imprisoned countrymen. Look at will endeavour to suppress my the contrast ; see the conduct of scorn and indignation while I the noble British soldier ; and is shortly reply to this charge, or caluniny to rob him of the honour? suspicion, or whatever it may be it shall not, as long as I have life called by the persons from whom to defend his fame. it emanated. And this is the re Rosa.—The extensive village or turn made by the people of Eng. town of Rosa is situated about two land (or rather, I would believe, miles from Ghuznee, and it is by a few individuals,) to the gal- lovely to behold. When this city was lant Candahar army! that army taken by the force under my comwhich was for so long a time ne mand, Rosa was full of inhabitants, glected, but which nevertheless men, women, and children; my nobly upheld our national honour, troops were encamped close to its and during a period of four years walls. Its gardens and houses were acted with the greatest forbearance full of property ; its barns and and humanity to the people of farmyards were well stored; its Affghanistan.
orchards were loaded with fruit; Ghuznee.-Colonel Palmer, at its vineyards bent beneath a rich the head of a brave garrison, sur and ripe vintage; the property rendered Ghuznee to various tribes taken from our murdered and mu. of Affghans; the city was occu
tilated soldiers of the Ghuznee pied by these people for months; garrison was seen piled in its it was vacated by the enemy on dwellings. Were not these tempt the arrival of the army under my ing objects to the soldier who had command. On its being entered undergone four years of fatigue by the British troops, it was found and privation ? Some of these that not a single person was in the soldiers had seen, and all had heard city, neither man, nor woman, nor
of the treacherous murder of their child ; there was no property, and relations and comrades by these I do not believe there was a house very people :—but why should I left (completely standing) in the enlarge?Four days the victorious
Candahar army remained encamp I have confined my reply for the ed close to this village, with all present as much as possible to the these temptations before it and at questions in your letter. I will its mercy, but not a particle of only further say, that never did anything was taken from the Aff. an army march through a country ghans; the fruit brought for sale with less marauding and less viowas paid for at a rate far above lence than that which I comits value ; no man, no living thing manded in Affghanistan. was injured. Much more I could In Lower Affghanistan, or the say; but so much for the noble Candahar districts, I put down reBritish soldier, for Ghuznee, and bellion, quelled all resistance to for the beautiful, rich, and tempt the British power, in spite of the ing town of Rosa.
weakness and fears of my superiors. I did not command at Cabul ; I By mild persuasive measures I did not interfere in its concerns; I induced the whole population to never was in its bazaars. My return to the cultivation of their division was encamped at a dis lands, and to live in peace. I left tance, with the exception of one them as friends, and on friendly regiment, against which corps I terms. On my leaving Candahar never received a complaint. My no man was injured or molested, division was not in Cabul after no man was deprived of his proSir George Pollock left; General perty, and my soldiers and the Pollock's army and my troops citizens were seen embracing. It marched the same day.
is on record that I informed the No man under my command was Indian government that I could ever detected in plundering, with hold the country for any time; it out being immediately punished. is on record that I informed Lord
How am I to have patience to Auckland, as far back as December reply to," whether Affghans were 1841, that I could, with permispermitted to be wantonly treated sion, re-occupy Cabul with the and murdered ?" Is this a proper force under my command; there question to put to a British gene was nothing to prevent it but the ral officer who has ever had the unaccountable panic which prehonour of his country uppermost vailed at the seat of government: in his mind and deeply impressed and now I ain rewarded by a cerupon his heart?
* Permitted," tain set of people in England taxindeed ! is it supposed that I am ing me with that which would be void of religion, that I am ignorant disgraceful to me as a religious of what is due to that God whom man, as an honourable gentleman, I have worshipped from my child- and as a British officer. hood ; am I thus to have
I am, &c. ings outraged because a few people in India and in England have sent
W. Nort, forth gross falsehoods to the world?