Campaign of the Indus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about Campaign of the Indus.
the “wrongful one,” alias the usurper.  Dost Mahomed had possession of the country, and the Indian government, from what motives I know not, determined to unseat him and replace Shah Shooja.  In this matter they are assisted by old Runjet Sing, King of Lahore, or, as his oriental title goes, “the blind lion of the Punjab.”  The Persians, on the contrary, took part with Dost Mahomed, insulted our resident at their court, and besieged Shah Shooja’s party in Herat; from which, however, after a siege of long duration, they were finally obliged to retire.  There was a report at first that Russia was concerned in this affair, and that Russian troops were present with the Persians at the siege, but these turned out to be a regiment or two of Russian renegadoes whom the King of Persia has in his pay.  There was another report of a letter having been discovered from the government of Russia to the King of Persia, which induced the belief that the Emperor of Russia was playing a deep game, the object of which was to lessen our influence in the East; and many people, I believe, are very much of this opinion.  How far all this may be true I know not; but I have been told by old Indians that for a long time the Indian government have been anxious to have a strong footing in Sinde, and to command the navigation of the Indus; and that now they have the opportunity they are not likely to let it slip.  The Afghans are a very hardy race of men, and we may have some sharp work with them; but I think a gun or two of our horse artillery would have sent the Beloochees scampering.  They are miserably equipped; but being nearly all robbers, they might have annoyed us by a night attack, which would have been anything but pleasant, particularly for the poor sub. on out-lying picket.  Some Bombay native merchants are at present at Tatta; they have been here for ten years, and have been afraid to stir for fear of being robbed.  I have no doubt but that the inhabitants of the country would prefer our government considerably to that of the Ameers, as they are exceedingly tyrannical, and grind their subjects to the last degree, demanding half of everything that is offered for sale.  When Burnes travelled first in this country, some few years ago, and was received by the Ameer in divan, at Hydrabad, an old priest who was present is said to have reproved the Ameer for receiving Burnes so civilly, and to have told him “that since one Englishman had seen the Indus, it would not be long before they would be in possession of it;” and so it seems likely to turn out.

Well; as long as I keep my health I care little where we go or what we do; but marching in ill health is a great damper to the spirits.  The stay-at-home soldiers in England little know what service in this climate really is.  I should like to see ——­ of the ——­ on out-lying picket here; he would not find it quite so pleasant as Almack’s.  I have very little time to add more, as the post goes to Bombay to-day, but to wish you all at home a very happy new year, and love to all relations and friends, as you may not hear from me again for some time.  I will endeavour to pick up as many curiosities and things of that description as possible for you, if I do not get knocked on the head.  I keep a journal, and will write by every opportunity.  Your next letter to me may find me in Cabool.  Once more, good bye.

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Campaign of the Indus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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