P.S. I have not any horse at present, which I find a great inconvenience. I sold what I had at Belgaum, before I left it, at a dead loss, as I expected to get plenty here on my arrival, but have been wofully disappointed. There were some splendid creatures for sale at Bombay, which was very tempting, but they asked enormous sums for them. I wonder where I shall eat my Christmas dinner! This is the first European army that has been on the Indus since the time of Alexander the Great.
Camp near Tatta, four miles from the Indus,
January 1st, 1839.
My dear father,—I write to wish you a happy new year on this the first day of 1839, which, if it turns out as its opening prognosticates, is likely to be a very eventful one for me, if I do not get knocked on the head or otherwise disposed of. I wrote to you from the ship Syden, about the 28th of November, and to Kate from our last station at Bominacote, on the right bank of the Hujamree, about the 12th of last month, both which letters will, I expect, leave Bombay to-day by the overland mail for England; but as another mail will leave on the 19th, and I thought you would be anxious to learn as much of our movements &c. as possible, I dare say the present letter will not be amiss.
We remained at our old encampment, Bominacote, until the 26th of last month, and I picked up my health very fast there, and was able to enjoy myself shooting a great deal, particularly the black partridge, which is an uncommonly handsome bird, and much bigger than the English. The 2nd brigade of infantry, consisting of H.M. 17th regiment, the 19th and 23rd regiments Native Infantry, under the command of General Gordon, a Company’s officer, together with the 4th Light Dragoons, a regiment of Native Cavalry, and one troop of horse artillery, left the aforesaid place on the 24th, with Sir John Keane and his escort; and the first brigade, consisting of ourselves, the 1st Grenadiers, and 5th regiment Native Infantry, under the command of our chief, General Willshire, left on the 26th. I was on out-lying picket the night before, (Christmas night,) and a very curious way it was of passing it. The first part of the night, till twelve o’clock, was exceedingly fine and beautiful, and, as I lay on the cold ground, my thoughts travelled towards poor old Devonshire, and I could not help fancying in what a much more comfortable way you must be spending it at home, all snug, &c. at Brookhill. After twelve, the strong northerly wind, which blows with great force at intervals this time of the year in this country, sprung up, and it soon got intensely cold. Towards two I forgot myself for about half an hour, and nodded on my post, and on awakening I was taken with what I am sure must have been a slight attack of cholera. I was stone cold, particularly my arms, hands, legs,