It is believed we shall halt here about a week; but what we shall do then nobody seems to know. The greater part of the force will, it is believed, follow the Bengalees to Candahar, who marched from Shikarpoor for that purpose, under Sir Willoughby Cotton, on the 22nd, but have since been detained, owing to the impracticability of the country. One regiment of our brigade (the Grenadier regiment, Native Infantry) is under orders for Bukkur, an island fort on the Indus, about twenty-five miles from Shikarpoor, which (i.e., Bukkur) is to be our depot for stores, &c., and where all the present unfits, in the shape of sick men, are to be sent. No doubt some other troops will be left in Upper Sinde, at different places, and I have some fears that the “Queen’s” may be among the number. Heaven defend us from being quartered in any part of this wretched country, particularly from Shikarpoor, which is said to be one of the hottest places in existence. In fact, the Persians say, “While there is a Shikarpoor, there ought to be no Johannum,” or hell. What a pity it would be to lose such a capital chance of seeing Candahar, and perhaps Cabool, which is said to be a splendid place and a delightful climate. The Bolan Pass, a most magnificent and difficult one, the key to Afghanistan from Sinde, is said to be now totally impassable, from the number of dead cattle, horses, and camels, which Shah Shooja’s force lost there. This I believe, however, to be mere report. We heard, the other day, that Dost Mahomed had occupied it, and that we should have to take it at the point of the bayonet. So much do reports vary, one knows not what to believe. This pass, said to be thirty miles long, and at some places almost impassable, runs through and over the large chain of mountains that separates the mountainous country of Candahar and Cabool, or, as it is generally called, Afghanistan, from the lowland of Sinde; it is not easy to cross it, at least before April, as till then the snows are not melted.
I hope and trust my next letter will be dated from Candahar, which is, however, a good six weeks’ march from this place. We have found the weather dreadfully hot for the last few days, averaging generally 106 in our tents in the day time, though the nights are cool, and the mornings generally very cold. I have not yet been in Larkhanu, though we marched through a part of it on our arrival. Our men have been now for three days without any dram at all, and their rations are getting worse and worse every day; in fact, things are so bad that they have been obliged to send to Shikarpoor for part of what was left there by the Bengal commissariat, which is said to be excellent, and which has fed their army very well, although they have come a much greater distance than we have.