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same time the 53rd, Her Majesty's bank and abandoned. These, and Regiment, advanced and carried the one in the middle of the river, the village of Bhoondee at the were gallantly spiked by Lieut. point of the bayonet, while the Holmes, of the 11th Irregular 30th Native Infantry wheeled round Cavalry, and Gunner Scott, of the to attack the enemy in the rear. 1st troop 2nd Brigade Horse About 800 or 1000 men rallied in Artillery, who rode into the stream their flight under a high bank, and and crossed for the purpose, opened a heavy but ineffectual fire covered by our guns and Light upon our troops. The 30th Native Infantry.' Infantry were ordered to charge In a general order issued after them, which they immediately did, the battle, Sir Henry Hardinge and drove them from the bank, ex thus describes it: posing them, as they fled, to the “ In this decisive and glorious deadly fire of twelve guns served action, the enemy's infantry were by our artillery, within the dis- dislodged from every position and tance of 300 yards. The 53rd village they attempted to hold, by Regiment now moved forward to rapid charges at the point of the support the 30th Native Infantry, bayonet. Their horsemen were and the scene that followed is driven from every part of the field vividly described by Sir Harry by repeated charges, in which the Smith in his despatch :
superior valour of the European “ The battle was won, our troops and Native cavalry was most conadvancing with the most perfect spicuous ; and the artillery, movorder to the common focus, the ing with its accustomed celerity, passage of the river. The enemy was always well to the front, directcompletely hemmed in were flying ing its fire with precision and from our fire, and precipitating effect. The result of these noble themselves in disordered masses efforts of the three arms of artillery, into the ford and boats, in the ut- cavalry, and infantry, in which the most confusion and consternation. valour and discipline of the troops Our eight-inch howitzers soon be were happily combined with the gan to play upon their boats, when skill of the commander, has been the debris' of the Sikh army ap- the signal defeat of the enemy; peared upon the opposite and high who was driven across the river bank of the river, flying in every with great loss, his camp being direction, although a sort of line captured, and fifty-two pieces of was attempted to countenance their artillery remaining in the hands of retreat, until all our guns com the victors. These trophies, in admenced a furious cannonade, when dition to those taken at Ferozeshah they quickly receded. Nine guns and Moodkee, complete the numwere on the verge of the river by ber of 143 pieces of artillery taken the ford. It appears as if they in the field from the enemy since had been unlimbered to cover the the British army moved from its ford. These, being loaded, were cantonments to repel a most unfired once upon our advance. Two provoked aggression on its terriothers were sticking in the river, tories.” one of them we got out ; two were
Thus ended the battle of Aliwal, seen to sink in the quicksands, one of the most brilliant actions two were dragged to the opposite that has ever been fought in India.
The next was destined to be the hottest of the action that followed, decisive and final overthrow of the and contributed, by his animating army of the Punjaub. The Sikhs example and active co-operation, no longer dared to remain within not a little to the splendid success reach of our attacks in the open that crowned the British arms. ground on the British side of the · The position of our forces will apSutlej, but they still occupied a pear from the following extract strongly fortified camp at Sobraon, from Sir Hugh Gough's despatch, on that side which had been con written after the battle :structed for the purpose of protect
“ It had been intended that the ing their bridge at Hurreekee. cannonade should have commenced This was the only stronghold they at daybreak ; but so heavy a mist now possessed on the left bank of hung over the plain and river, that the river ; and it was determined it became necessary to wait until to carry it by storm, and pursue the rays of the sun had penetrated the enemy into their own terri- it and cleared the atmosphere. tories. The army under the im- Meanwhile, on the margin of the mediate command of Sir Hugh Sutlej on our left, two brigades of Gough was reinforced on the 8th Major-General Sir R. Dick's divi. of February by the arrival of the sion, under his personal command, division under Sir Harry Smith, stood ready to commence the aswhich had occupied Loodiana after sault against the enemy's extreme the battle of Aliwal, and a supply right. His 7th brigade, in which of howitzers and mortars had been was the 10th Foot, reinforced by sent from Delhi. It was computed the 53rd Foot, and led by Brigadier that behind the entrenchments at Stacey, was to head the attack, Sobraon were sheltered not less supported, at 200 yards' distance, than 30,000 of the best troops of by the 6th Brigade under Brigadier the Sikhs, protected by seventy Wilkinson.
was the pieces of cannon, and a well-con- 5th Brigade under Brigadier the structed bridge afforded an easy Hon. T. Ashburnham, which was means of communication between to move forward from the entrenched them and another body of troops village of Koodeewalla, leaving, if on the other side, who also oc
necessary, a regiment for its decupied a fortified camp with artillery, fence. In the centre, Majorwhich commanded and flanked the General Gilbert's division was defield works on the left bank at So- ployed for support or attack, its braon. On the morning of the 10th right resting on and in the village of February, our attack upon this of the little Sobraon. Majorformidable position commenced. General Sir Harry Smith's was The battery and field artillery was formed near the village of Guttal, arranged in an extended semicircle, with its right thrown up towards which embraced within its fire all the Sutlej. Brigadier Cureton's the works of the Sikhs. Before cavalry threatened, by feigned mentioning the disposition of our attacks, the ford at furreekee, troops, we must record the signal and the enemy's horse under Rajah gallantry of Sir Henry Hardinge, Lall Singh Misr on the opposite the Governor-General, who, as on bank. Brigadier Campbell, taka former occasion at the battle of ing an intermediate position in the Ferozeshah, was present in the rear between Major. General Gil
bert's right, and Major-General contact with the enemy, greatly Sir Harry Smith's left, protected distinguished themselves. This both. Major-General Sir Joseph regiment never fired a shot till it Thackwell, under whom was got within the works of the enemy: Brigadier Scott, held in reserve on The onset of Her Majesty's 53rd our left, ready to act as circum- · Foot was as gallant and effective. stances might demand, the rest of The 43rd and 59th Native Infanthe cavalry.”
try, brigaded with them, emulated Soon after daybreak our field both in cool determination. battery opened its fire, which was “ At the moment of this first replied to by seventy pieces of success, I directed Brigadier the cannon, admirably served by the Honourable T. Ashburnham's briSikhs from behind strongly con- gade to move on in support, and structed redoubts and breastworks Major-General Gilbert's and Sir of earth planks and fascines. Harry Smith's divisions to throw
“ At nine o'clock,” we again out their light troops to threaten quote from Sir Hugh Gough's de- their works, aided by artillery. As spatch, " Brigadier Stacey's Bri- these attacks of the centre and gade, supported on either #ank by right commenced, the fire of our Captains II orsford and Fordyce's heavy guns had first to be directed batteries, and Lieutenant-Colonel to the right, and then gradually to Lane's troop of horse artillery, cease, but at one time the thunder moved to the attack in admirable of full 120 pieces of ordnance reorder. The infantry and guns verberated in this mighty combat aided each other correlatively. The through the valley of the Sutlej, former marched steadily on in line, and, as it was soon seen that the which they halted only to correct weight of the whole force within when necessary. The latter took the Sikh camp was likely to be up successive positions at the gal- thrown upon the two brigades that lop, until at length they were with- had passed its trenches, it became in 300 yards of the heavy batteries necessary to convert into close and of the Sikhs ; but, notwithstanding serious attacks the demonstrations the regularity, and coolness, and with skirmishers and artillery of scientific character of this assault, the centre and right; and the which Brigadier Wilkinson well battle raged with inconceivable supported, so hot was the fire of fury from right to left. The Sikhs, cannon, musketry, and zumboo- even when at particular points rucks kept up by the Khalsa troops, their entrenchments were mastered that it seemed for some moments with the bayonet, strove to regain impossible that the entrenchments them by the fiercest conflict sword could be won under it; but soon in hand. Nor was it until the persevering gallantry triumphed, cavalry of the left, under Majorand the whole army had the satis- General Sir Joseph Thackwell, faction of seeing the gallant Bri- had moved forward and ridden gadier Stacey's soldiers driving the through the openings of the enSikhs in confusion before them trenchments made by our sappers, within the area of their encamp- in single file, and re-formed as they ment. The 10th Foot, under Lieu. passed them, and the 3rd Dragoons, tenant-Colonel Franks, now, for whom no obstacle usually held the first time, brought into serious formidable by horse appears to
check, had on this day, as at Fe- upwards of 200 camel swivels rozeshah, galloped over and cut (zumboorucks), numerous standown the obstinate defenders of dards, and vast munitions of war, batteries and field-works, and until captured by our troops, are the the full weight of three divisions pledges and trophies of our vicof infantry, with every field-artillery tory. The battle was over by gun which could be sent to their eleven in the morning, and in the aid, had been cast into the scale, forenoon I caused our engineers to that victory finally declared for the burn a part and to sink a part of British. The fire of the Sikhs the vaunted bridge of the Khalsa first slackened, and then nearly army, across which they had boastceased, and the victors, then press- fully come once more to defy us, ing them on every side, preci- and threaten India with ruin and pitated them in masses over their devastation.” bridge and into the Sutlej, which Such a victory could not be a sudden rise of seven inches had achieved without severe loss, and rendered hardly fordable. In their amongst the most distinguished efforts to reach the right bank, officers who fell on this memorable through the deepened water, they day were Major-General Sir Robert suffered from our horse artillery a Dick, and Brigadier Taylor; Geneterrible carnage.
Hundreds fell ral M.Laren died afterwards of the under this cannonade ; hundreds wounds he received*. The carnage upon hundreds were drowned in at
The official return of the loss on our tempting the perilous passage. Their awful slaughter, confusion, officers, 3 native officers, 8 sergeants
side was as follows :— Total, 13 European and dismay were such as would 2 trumpeters, 292 rank and file, 3 syces, have excited compassion in the and 36 horses killed ; 101 European hearts of their generous conquerers, officers, 39 native officers, 74 sergeants, if the Khalsa troops had not, in trumpeters, 1832 rank and file, 3 lascars, the early part of the action, sullied 5syces, and 83 horses wounded ; 29 horses
missing. their gallantry by slaughtering
Killed. Wounded. and barbarously mangling, every
European officers...... 13 101
Native officers .... 3 39 wounded soldier whom, in the
Warrant and non-com. vicissitudes of attack, the fortune
officers, rank and file 301 1,913 of war left at their mercy. I must Lascars, syce-drivers, pause in this narrative especially syces, &c.......... 3... to notice the determined hardihood
Total....... 320 2,063 and bravery with which our two Grand total of killed and wounded, 2,383. battalions of Ghoorkhas, the Sir
NAMES OF OFFICERS KILLED. moor and Nusseree, met the Sikhs
Artillery Division. 1st Troop 2nd Bde. wherever they were opposed to H. A. - First Lieut. H. J. Y. Faithful. them. Soldiers of small stature, First Infantry Division. Brigade Staff but indomitable spirit, they vied
-Lieut. R. Hay, Major of Brigade. H.
M, 50th-Foot-Lieut. G. R. Grimes, in ardent courage in the charge
Second Infantry Division. Divisional with the grenadiers of our own Staff-Lieutenant J. S. Rawson, Offg. nation, and, armed with the short D. A. Q. M. General. Brigade Staff weapon of their mountains, were Lieut. Col. C. C. Taylor, C. B., Brigadier. a terror to the Sikhis throughout worth and Ensign F. W. A. Hamilton.
1st Eur. Lt. Infy. — Lieut. F. Shuttlethis great combat.
Sirmoor Battn. - Captain J. Fisher. “ Sixty-seven pieces of cannon, Third Infantry Division. Divisional
amongst the enemy was very great,
" The Governor-General anand it was computed that not fewer nounces, by this proclamation, that than eight or ten thousand men of this measure has been adopted by the Khalsa army perished in the the Government of India in acaction, and while attempting to cordance with the intentions excross the river in their flight when pressed in the proclamation of the we had carried their entrench- 13th December last, as having ments. Amongst these were some been forced upon the Governorof their bravest and ablest leaders. General, for the purpose of 'effecThis glorious victory was described tually protecting the British proby Sir Henry Hardinge, in a ge- vinces, for vindicating the authority neral order after the battle, “ of the British Government, and for an exploit, one of the most daring punishing the violators of treaties ever achieved, by which in open and the disturbers of the public day a triple line of breastworks, peace. flanked by formidable redoubts, “These operations will be bristling with artillery, manned steadily persevered in, and vigorby thirty-two regular regiments ously prosecuted, until the objects of infantry, was assaulted and proposed to be accomplished are carried."
fully attained. The occupation of On the evening of the day the Punjaub by the British forces on which the action was fought, will not be relinquished until ample six regiments of Native Infantry atonement for the insult offered to crossed the Sutlej ; and the rest of the British Government by the inthe army soon after followed on a fraction of the treaty of 1809 A.D., bridge of boats, constructed for and by the unprovoked invasion of the passage of the troops.
the British provinces, shall have On the 14th of February, the been exacted. These objects will inwhole army encamped at Kussoor, clude full indemnity for all expenses thirty-two miles from Lahore, on incurred during the war, and such its march to that capital. The arrangements for the future goGovernor-General then issued the vernment of the Lahore territories following Proclamation, dated : as will give perfect security to the “ Foreign Department, Kussoor,
British Government against similar 14th February, 1846.
acts of perfidy and aggression. “ The Sikh army has been ex Military operations against the pelled from the left bank of the Government and army of the Lariver Sutlej ; having been defeated hore state have not been underin every action, with the loss of taken by the Government of India more than 220 pieces of field- from any desire of territorial agartillery.
grandizement. The Governor-Ge“ The British army has crossed neral, as already announced in the the Sutlej, and entered the Pun- proclamation of the 13th Decemjaub.
ber, sincerely desired to see a
strong Sikh government re-estaStaff_M. Gen. Sir R. H. Dick, K. C.B., blished in the Punjaub, able to conand K.C.H. H. M. 62nd Foot-Lieut. W. T. Bartley
trol its army and to protect its sub33rd Regt. N. I. -Lieut. W. C. Playfair. H. M. 10th Footjects. The sincerity of these pro-Lieut. W. S. Beale. H. M. 53rd fessions is proved by the fact that Foot-Capt. C. E. D. Warren. no preparations for hostilities had