Page images


“ My Lords and Gentlemen- forward, and carried out to their You will concur with me in the completion in a spirit, which told expression of humble gratitude to well both in Parliament and with Almighty God, for the favourable the country for the earnestness season which His bounty has vouch- and sincerity of those who had safed to us, and for the prospects propounded them. Accordingly, of a harvest more abundant than although in some respects the meathose of recent years.

sures in themselves were of an “ There are, I trust, indications unpopular character, bearing disof gradual recovery from that de- advantageously on particular interpression which has affected many ests, and tending to disunite that branches of manufacturing indus, political party on which the Mitry, and has exposed large classes nistry depended for support, it of my people to privations and suf- cannot be doubted, that the result ferings which have caused me the of the session upon the whole, was deepest concern.

materially to strengthen the po* You will, I am confident, be sition of Sir Robert Peel and his actuated on your return to your colleagues in office, and to gain for several counties by the same en- them in the public mind a characlightened zeal for the public inter- ter for those essential qualities of ests which you have manifested vigour and decision of purpose, in during the discharge of your Par. which their predecessors had been liamentary duties, and will do found wanting. It was very reyour utmost to encourage by your markable also to observe in the example and active exertions that House of Commons, as the session spirit of order and submission to proceeded, how much the force of the law, which is essential to the opposition became relaxed in vigour public happiness, and without and concentration, as compared which there can be no enjoyment with that menacing and united of the fruits of peaceful industry, front, which had been presented at and no advance in the career of the commencement, by the various social improvement."

sections of the Liberal party. It The Lord Chancellor then de- must be recollected also, that these clared Parliament prorogued till effects were accomplished, and the the 6th of October.

position of the Government thus Thus terminated the long and strengthened, under circumstances busy session of 1842. Whatever of no slight disadvantage; during opinion may be entertained of the the continual pressure of severe individual merits of those legis- public distress, and consequent dislative changes which it produced content-powerful engines at all under the auspices of the Conserva- times, and, on this occasion, untive Government, their importance, sparingly employed for the disat all events, will be unquestioned, paragement of the party in power. and in the amount of substantial The advancement of Sir Robert results, which were achieved, this Peel and his colleagues in the pubsession deserves to be favourably lic confidence against such obstacontrasted with those of preceding cles, may fairly be regarded as an years. The great economical and evidence of the conviction enterfinancial reforms which Sir R. Peel tained by the impartial and reflecthad announced, were early brought ing portion of the community, that the Executive power was lodged prepared earnestly and honestly to in trustworthy and able hands, and grapple with them. that, without holding out false Such was the state of the public hopes, or making delusive profes- mind, and the relative position of sions, the statesmen at the head of parties, when the labours of Paraffairs both understood the real dif- liament were terminated by the ficulties of the country, and were prorogation.


INDIA-AFFGHANISTAN.-Collision with the Eastern Ghilzies

Causes of the Quarrel-Reduction of stipulated Payment-Kafila seized at Tezeen-Sir Robert Sale sent to force the Khoord Cabul Pass-The Pass carriedMarch of Sir R. Sale to JellalabadSevere Contest in the Jugdulluck Pass - Arrival at JellalabadPosition of the British Forces at Cabul-Situation of the Cantonments-Outbreak of the Insurrection at Cabul-Cause of this Murder of Sir Alexander Burnes and other OfficersTroops with drawn into Cantonments from the Seeah Sung Camp-Allacks of the Affghans upon the British CantonmentsSir W. Macnaghten negotiates with the hostile Chiefs~Terms agreed upon- Plot laid for the Envoy-Secret Agreement entered into between Sir W. Macnaghten and Akbar Khan - Murder of Sir W. Macnaghten and Captain Trevor-Renewal of Negotiations with the Afghan Chiefs - Additional Terms agreed upon-The British Troops leave

the Cantonments-Treacherous Attacks of the Affghans-Perfidy of Akbar Khan-Hostages given up to himContinued Attacks of the Affghans-The Ladies are placed under the Protection of Akbar Khan-Destruction of the native Indian Troops in the Huft Kothul Pass Miserable Situation of the British Forces in the Tezeen Valley-General Elphinstone detained Prisoner by Akbar KhanDestruction of H. M. 44th RegimentMassacre of the Officers and Escape of Dr. Brydon-The Affghans invest Jellalabad Gallant Conduct of Sir Robert Sale-Measures taken by the Indian Government-Lord Ellenborough arrives at Calcutta-Troops collected at the Mouth of the Khyber Pass under Brigadier Wild Failure of attempt to force the Pass.

N our narrative of events that tion of Cabul, came into hostile I istan, we alluded in our preceding nothing to do with the calamity volume to a disaster which had which it is now our painful duty befallen us in that quarter, which to record ; a calamity which has we partly attributed to our unfor- thrown a deeper shadow over our tunate attack upon, and capture exploits in the East than any of the fort of, Khelat-i-Ghilzie. which has hitherto occurred. And no doubt this was one cause Our collision with the Ghilzies of the irritation felt by the Ghil- arose as follows. The Khoord zies, with the Eastern tribes of Cabul Pass is a long and dangerous whom we, soon after our occupa- defile through which the road

[ocr errors]


between Cabul and Jellalabad runs, too disposed to quarrel with us, and which, therefore, it was neces- whom it regarded as rapacious insary to keep open for the purpose vaders of the soil. However, it of safe intercourse between Cabul

was necessary that the Pass should and British India. The Eastern be forced; and accordingly, early Ghilzies were the tribes which in October, Major-general Sir occupied this part of Affghanistan, Robert Sale was sent by General and it was thought advisable on Elphinstone from Cabul with a our part to purchase from these brigade consisting of companies of the riglt of traversing the Pass the 13th Light Infantry, and the without molestation, rather than 35th N. I, to clear the Khoord be compelled to force it on every Cabul Pass, and open the comoccasion at the sword's point, or munication. On the 12th of Ocattempt to keep permanent pos- tober, these troops commenced session of it. Accordingly, soon their entry into the Pass; near the after we had seated Shah Soojah middle of which, in the valley, the on the throne of Cabul, an agree- main body of the Ghilzies were ment was entered into with the posted behind a breastwork. As Ghilzie chiefs whereby it the assailing body, however, apstipulated, that a certain sum of proached, the enemy withdrew money should be paid them yearly from behind the breastwork, and out of the Cabul treasury, if they ocupied the steep and precipitous would keep the Khoord Cabul Pass ridges of the mountains on either open, and offer no molestation to side, whence they opened a wellour troops on their passage between directed fire, and General Sale Cabul and Jellalabad.

received a ball above the ancle, There are various accounts of which compelled him to leave the the cause of the events that fola field. Lieutenant-colonel Dennie lowed; but it appears that the then took the command, and skirwhole amount of the money stipu- mishing being thrown out on both lated was not paid to the Ghilzies, flanks, who pressed gallantly on whether owing to the financial the enemy, as far as the nature of difficulties of the Cabul treasury, the ground would admit, while or to some mismanagement on the the main column and guns of the part of the officer whose duty it British were rapidly moved along was to disburse the money. They the valley, the Ghilzies gradunaturally felt aggrieved, and im- ally retired : eur troops got posmediately rose in arms and closed session of the heights, and the the Passes. A Kafila valued at southern gorge of the Pass was 20,000 rupees was seized at Te reached, where the 35th N. I and zeen, and all communication with guns were established in a deserted British India was cut off. It is fort. The remainder of the troops matter of deep regret that anything marched back through the defile like the semblance of bad faith to the camp at Boothak, which should bave occurred in this in- they had left in the morning. stance, for British honour was The casualties in this affair were, pledged to the payment of the unfortunately, not few, owing to stipulated sum; and it was most the advantages possessed by the unwise to give any' occasion of enemy in annoying our troops by offence to a population already far their fire from the ridges. But

although the Khoord Cabul Pass report with much satisfaction the was thus cleared, there lay before cheerfulness, steadiness, and persethe force under General Sale a verance with which the troops difficult line of country to traverse have performed every duty required as far as Gundamuck, consisting of of them ; since leaving Cabul, they narrow defiles and mountain Passes, have been kept constantly on the with eminences on either side, alert by attacks by night and day; occupied by an active enemy. It from the time of their arrival at was not, therefore, until the 30th Tezeen they have been invariably of October that General Sale, and bivouacked, and the safety of our the troops under his command, positions has only been secured by reached Gundamuck after having unremitting labour, and throwing fought their whole way during a up intrenchments, and very severe period of eighteen days.

out-post duty; whilst each suc. We do not give details of this ceeding morning has brought its march, as the actions were not of affairs, with a bold and active sufficient importance to justify us enemy, eminently skilful in the in devoting much space to them; species of warfare to which their but, after leaving the Khoord attempts have been confined, and Cabul Pass, both in the valley of armed with juzails, which have Tezeen and that of Jugdulluk, enabled them to annoy us at a severe encounters took place with range at which they could only be the enemy, in which we were sue reached by our artillery. Though cessful in driving them before us compelled by the effects of my from all their positions. In the late wound to witness those conlatter valley the contest was very flicts with a doolie, I must bear my severe. All the salient points of unequivocal testimony to the galthe hills were in possession of the lantry of officers and men on every Ghilzies, who were protected by occasion of contact with the enemy, breastworks ; but by throwing out and especially in scaling the treflanking parties, who gallantly won mendous heights above Jugdul. their way up the lofty heights, luk.” and dispossessed the enemy of After this, the brigade under their positions, while the main the command of General Sale body advanced up the defile, the moved on to Jellalabad, which it Pass was forced. After this, in reached on the 12th of Novemthe words of General Sale's de- ber, after a series of further annoyspatch : “ Our troops commanded ances from the enemy; without, the route to Sookhab, and the however, any serious encounter. enemy seemed to decline any fure In the meantime the fearful ther opposition. The march was tragedy, which ended in the total resumed, but as the cumbrous destruction of our Cabul force, had train of baggage filed over the commenced in that city. It may mountain, the insurgents again be useful to explain the position of appearing from beyond the most our troops. They were placed in distant ridges renewed the contest a cantonment, which seems to have with increased numbers, and the been selected in defiance of every most savage fury."

maxim of prudence and ordinary In the same despatch General caution. It was on the north Sale states, that he is able " to side of the city, and consisted of a

« PreviousContinue »