Campaign of the Indus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about Campaign of the Indus.
and feet, and suffered excruciating pains in my stomach, till nature relieved me, which she was kind enough to do uncommonly frequent.  I had luckily some brandy with me, of which I drank, I should think, half a bottle down without tasting it; but it did me a great deal of good at the time, although I have not been well since, and am still very far from being so.  Our camels, of which I had two, were furnished us by the commissariat, and we ought to have had them at four o’clock on the day before; but, like everything else, we did not get them till four o’clock the morning we marched, about an hour before we turned out.  I had to trust entirely to Providence with regard to mine, as to whether I should get them or not, as I was on outlying picket, and could not attend to them, and I had just two minutes, after coming from picket in the morning, to get a mouthful of villanous coffee, when I was obliged to fall in with my company, which formed the advanced guard of the brigade, and march off in double quick time, leaving all to chance.  My poor stomach wanted something most awfully to stop its proceedings, but it was totally out of the question, as General Willshire hurried us off at a slapping pace; luckily, the march was only eight miles, so it did not fatigue me much:  I marched on foot the whole of it, as I could not get my pony in the hurry of starting.  We got nothing to eat till two o’clock, when part of our mess things arrived, and we pitched into whatever we could get.  This march; though, was by far the most pleasant, as we had a good firm tract of country to pass over, and no sand.  The “rouse” sounded at five, and we marched again at half-past six.  This night I was on in-lying picket, and was obliged to pass it in harness, and ready to turn out at a moment’s notice, although awfully tired.  We had a very unpleasant march, as the north winds got up soon after we started, and blew the dust and sand right into our eyes; we had, however, being on the advance guard, comparatively easy work, as there were only two sections with each officer:  the poor column suffered severely.  This day, however, was paradise compared to the next, which was eighteen miles, through an uninhabited sandy desert, with a few tamarisk shrubs and no water, except a few stagnant pools, which was the cause of the march being so long, there being no place for encampment.  General Willshire, however, made the best of a bad matter, and sent on the night before to a place about half way, and the least unchristian-like spot he could find, half the men’s rations for the next day, together with the bheesties (or water carriers) and the men’s grog, &c., with orders for the cooks to have these rations cooked and ready for the men as soon as they marched in; so that on arriving at the ground we piled arms and formed a curious sort of pic-nic in the middle of the desert.  We halted here about an hour, and lucky it was that the men got the means of recruiting their strength in this
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Campaign of the Indus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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