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On board the ship Syden,
Off the mouth of the Indus, Nov. 27th, 1838.
My dear father,—We left Belgaum on the 22nd of last month, and arrived at Bombay on the first of this; and we started from Bombay on the 18th, for this place. I had intended to write from Bombay, but everything was in such a state of confusion and bustle whilst we were there, that I literally could find no time or place for doing so. We are now at anchor off one of the mouths of the Indus, and have had a delightful voyage. Our ship is a very nice one, of 750 tons, belonging to a Swede, who is an excessively good fellow, and has treated us very well.
Sir John Keane is already arrived in the steamer Semiramis and also one of the native regiments. Our Bombay force consists of 5500 men, of which 2000 are Europeans—viz., 500 of the Queen’s, and 500 of H.M. 17th regiment, one squadron of the 4th Light Dragoons, with foot and horse artillery. The rest of the force is composed of native regiments, horse and foot. We shall not land, I think, until to-morrow evening, as we are almost the only ship that has yet arrived. The infantry are divided into two brigades, and the cavalry form another by themselves. Our brigade (the first) consists of the Queen’s, and the 5th and 19th regiments of Native Infantry, commanded by our worthy Colonel, now General Willshire, C.B.; the other brigade is commanded by a Company’s officer. We have to go in boats about thirty miles, it is said, up the river, before we finally march. Where it is I am perfectly ignorant; however, some place between this and Hydrabad, whence we shall march as far north as Shikarpoor, where we are to form a junction with the Bengal troops, 13,000 in number, under Sir H. Fane. What our destination will be after that I know not; whether we shall advance with the Bengalees upon Herat, or form a corps of reserve on the Indus.
The country between this and Shikarpoor belongs to the Ameers of Sinde. They were very restive at first, when they heard of our intention to march through their country, and threatened to oppose our progress; but I believe they have since thought better of it; however, I do not think that they can do anything against us: time will soon shew. We have been excessively crowded on board: twenty-six officers. I have been obliged to sleep on the poop every night, which, when the dew was heavy, was by no means pleasant. I hope we shall go further than Shikarpoor, as I should like very much to see Cabool, Candahar, and all that part of the world, which so few Europeans have visited.