Campaign of the Indus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about Campaign of the Indus.

The 21st we marched over the Pass to Schwun, the largest place in Sinde next to Tatta.  The Pass was not half so bad as we expected, so we filed over it very easily.  On our arrival at Schwun we heard that Sir H. Fane had just passed down the river, with his staff, en route for Bombay, and was laying at anchor about five miles down the river, where Sir J. Keane went to meet him; so that here ended my last chance of meeting Col.  Fane, and giving him Arthur’s letter.  Sir H. Fane will remain at Bombay, which is to be the head quarters of the Indian army while this business lasts.  We only halted one day at Schwun; I rode in to look at the town, which was nearly desolate, as the inhabitants of every place invariably remove with their families on our arrival.  There was, however, a fine old castle in ruins, which was well worth seeing, and must have been a place of some importance in former days; and a very superb mosque in the centre of the town, in which was a tame tiger.  We left Schwun on Saturday, the 23rd, crossing the Arrul river, which flows round the town into the Indus, on pontoons, and commenced our first march in Upper Sinde.  This day’s march was delightful, and the only tolerable one we have had, all the rest being through a dismal, dusty desert, with sometimes no path at all, and the dust generally so thick in marching that you cannot see an inch before you.  This was, however, a grand exception.  We marched by the side of a magnificent lake, full of wild fowl, the banks of which were carpeted with rich wild clover, and over-shadowed with fine trees, the only ones of any size that we have yet seen in Sinde; so that you might almost fancy you were going through a nobleman’s park in England (Kitly, par example.) In fact, this place put me more in mind of Old England than, any I have seen in the East.  From Schwun we marched direct to this place, which we reached on the 4th, the day before yesterday, without halting once:  most of the marches fifteen miles, and all terrible teasers, on account of the badness of the roads, and the stupidity or wilful ignorance of our guides.  One of our marches was to have been a short one of ten miles; but for some unaccountable reasons our route and encamping ground were changed three times.  We lost our way in the jungle, and marched fifteen, instead of ten, miles before we found ourselves in our proper places; on arrival at which we found that half the officers’ and men’s baggage was gone on to our next encamping ground, fifteen miles further, which, owing to the variety of places named in orders, our servants supposed to be the right one.  My baggage was one of the unlucky; but my servant came back with my things about five o’clock in the evening; so that my poor camels must have gone nearly forty miles that day, with a prospect of another fifteen the next morning at five.  General Willshire, and, I hear, Sir J. Keane also, were among the sufferers.  Our poor sick were all lost in the jungles for this day, and we saw nothing of half of them till we arrived on our next encamping ground.  Some of them were upwards of twenty-four hours without getting anything to eat, or attendance of any sort.  Well, we marched to this place on the day before yesterday, after ten days’ regular hard work.  A great number in hospital; though they are coming out again now pretty fast.

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Campaign of the Indus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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