Meanwhile the enemy’s cavalry, flushed with success, advanced against the infantry with colours flying and loud shoutings, as in expectation of an easy victory. But the infantry were prepared to receive them, and a few rounds from the nine-pounders soon caused them to halt; finding that their antagonists were not under the same influence as the cavalry, they gave up the attack and retired to a distant position on the hills. The steady advance of the 37th N.I. from the main body of our forces, together with a few judiciously thrown shells, soon drove their infantry to a more elevated range of hills; and before sunset we had quiet possession of the field.
We had the melancholy satisfaction of finding the bodies of our comrades, whom we buried at night in one large grave, and performing the solemn service of the dead by torchlight. There is no chance of their being forgotten: so long as gallantry is admired and honour revered amongst British soldiers, so long will they remember Fraser’s charge at Purwan Durrah.
I am loath to dwell on the misconduct of the troopers; as far as I am enabled to ascertain it was unexpected by the officers. Some, indeed, declare that previous disaffection existed amongst the men; others say that the troopers being Mussulmen did not like to charge against Dost Mahommed himself, whom they considered as their religious chief; but I think we may fairly attribute their flight to downright cowardice, as no complaint or cause was assigned by the men previous to encountering the foe. Whatever be the truth, the event was most unfortunate, for it appears that the Dost was even previous to the action anxious to throw himself upon the protection of the British, but his followers would not permit him to do so; nevertheless, on the evening of that day he managed to elude their vigilance, and riding directly to C[=a]bul met the envoy Sir William M’Naghten taking his evening ride, and surrendered himself into his hands.
The news of this event of course put an end to further hostilities, and on the 7th of November we returned to C[=a]bul, heartily glad once more to get comfortably housed, as the winter was rapidly approaching and the nights severely cold.
LIST OF PLATES.
Map of Cabul and the Kohistan, with the Route to Koollum
View of the Ice Caves in the Cavern of Yeermallik
View of Koollum from the Eastward
Fac-Simile Drawings of Ancient Coins found in Toorkisthan
Affghanistan, in the possession of Capt. Burslem, as follows:
No. 1. A Bactrian coin: legend on the obverse, [Transliterated from the Greek lettering, Basileus ermaion sot]. Reverse, Hercules on a tuckt or throne, with his right arm extended.