The Military Operations at Cabul: Which Ended in the Retreat and Destruction of the British Army, January 1842 : with a Journal of Imprisonment in Afghanistan

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John Murray, 1843 - 328 pages

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Page 395 - Certainly, when that morning dawned, I thought it was the last I should see on this earth ; and so did we all, and proceeded to make a few little arrangements, ere the final attack on us took place. The regimental colours were...
Page 189 - Dreary, indeed, was the scene over which, with drooping spirits and dismal forebodings, we had to bend our unwilling steps. Deep snow covered every inch of mountain and plain with one unspotted sheet of dazzling white ; and so intensely bitter was the cold, as to penetrate and defy the defences of the warmest clothing.
Page 41 - It no sooner," says Lieutenant Eyre, " became generally known that the commissariat fort, upon which we were dependent for supplies, had been abandoned, than one universal feeling of indignation pervaded the garrison ; nor can I describe the impatience of the troops, but especially the native portion, to be led out for its recapture — a feeling that was by no means diminished by their seeing the Affghans crossing and recrossing the road between the commissariat fort and the gate of the Shah Bagli,...
Page 29 - But the most unaccountable oversight of all, and that which may be said to have contributed most largely to our subsequent disasters, was that of having the commissariat stores detached from cantonments, in an old fort which, in an outbreak, would be almost indefensible. Captain Skinner, the chief commissariat officer, at the time when this arrangement was made, earnestly solicited from the authorities a place within the cantonment for his stores, but received for answer that " no such place could...
Page 38 - Afghans to maintain a very strict watch at night. A man in Captain Johnson's employ was accordingly sent out to reconnoitre the place ; he returned in a few minutes with the intelligence that about twenty men were seated outside the fort near the gate, smoking and talking ; and from what he overheard of their conversation, he judged the garrison to be very small, and unable to resist a sudden onset. The debate was now resumed, but another hour passed and the General could not make up his mind. A...
Page 202 - Giljyes were observed hastening to crown the heights in considerable force. A hot fire was opened on the advance, with whom were several ladies, who, seeing their only chance was to keep themselves in rapid motion, galloped forward at the head of all, running the gauntlet of the enemy's bullets, which whizzed in hundreds about their ears, until they were fairly out of the pass. Providentially the whole escaped, with the exception of Lady Sale, who received a slight wound in the arm.
Page 152 - Dangerous it is ; but if it succeeds, it is worth all risks : the rebels have not fulfilled even one article of the treaty, and I have no confidence in them ; and if by it we can only save our honour, all will be well. At any rate, I would rather suffer a hundred deaths, than live the last six weeks over again.
Page 204 - ... the camp destitute of shelter, and perished during the night. Groans of misery and distress assailed the ear from all quarters. We had ascended to a still colder climate than we had left behind, and were without tents, fuel, or food : the snow was the only bed for all, and of many, ere morning, it proved the winding-sheet. It is only marvellous that any should have survived that fearful night ! January 9th.
Page 202 - Affghan professions, that little or no confidence was placed in the present truce, and we commenced our passage through the dreaded pass in no very sanguine temper of mind. This truly formidable defile is about five miles from end to end, and is shut in on either hand by a line of lofty hills, between whose precipitous sides the sun, at this season, could dart but a momentary ray. Down the centre dashed a mountain torrent, whose impetuous course the frost in vain attempted to arrest, though it succeeded...
Page 403 - Troup for the night, and we might go and have a chat with them in private, as doubtless we were anxious to do so. On the following morning, the arch-fiend sent us an excellent breakfast, and horses to carry us out a few miles to the fort, where the other British prisoners were living, and he desired a list of our wants, regarding clothes, &c., might be made out, and they should be furnished. We found our countrymen living in what appeared to us a small paradise ; they had comfortable quarters, servants,...

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