MY DEAR FATHER,—I begin this letter to you on the 8th of June, 1839, though when it will reach you, or whether it ever will, is very doubtful. I have not written, I see, since the beginning of March, from Larkhanu; there was, however, very little use in so doing, as there was very little chance of your ever getting it, our friends the Beloochees, Kaukers, &c., having made free with nearly every mail, and destroyed them. I am very much afraid that I also have been a sufferer by them, and that you must have written to me long ere this, but that our friends of the Bolan Pass have made use of the letter to wrap their cabobs in. I have not heard from you or from home at all since the 2nd of February, when I got your letter, dated November 20th, enclosing the bill on government, and informing me of Kate’s intended marriage. I have, however, long since this heard of my lieutenancy, and seen my name in the “Gazette,” but have not yet received the confirmation of it from Sir H. Fane in this country, so that I have been fighting my way, and am likely to continue so, on the rank and pay of a full ensign; however, there will be so much the more back pay to receive when it does come; it is a great nuisance, however, not having it, as I require it so much in this country. You can form no conception of the hopeless expense which we have inevitably been obliged to incur. We have had a tolerable share of hardships, &c., and the poor marching soldiers have suffered terribly. What do you think of our having made a forced march of thirty to forty miles, for six hours of it under the hottest sun I can recollect, and I have felt a few of them in India? Since we left Larkhanu we have met with little but a series of robberies, murders, alarms, and skirmishes; in short, everything but an actual stand-up fight, which we were all anxious for, as it would settle matters at once, and free us from the predatory attacks and cold-blooded murders of these barbarous tribes.
To begin from where I left off: we marched from Larkhanu on the 11th March, and reached Dadur, about four miles from the entrance to the Bolan Pass, the nest of the robber hordes of Kaukers, Tuckers, and Beloochees, on the 6th of April, having halted several times at intermediate places, and made some terrible marches, fifteen miles being the average distance. We often lost our way, and marched thereby a great deal further than was necessary, through bad guidance. I must tell you, however, that before leaving Larkhanu, Sir J. Keane assumed the command of the whole army, both Bengal and Bombay, by which General Willshire got command of the Bombay division. The two Bombay brigades were broken up, the Grenadiers and 5th regiment of Native Infantry were sent to garrison Bukkur, a tolerably strong fort on the Indus, and the 23rd Native Infantry was sent to Lukkur, a town on the opposite side. There also the different regiments that were to go on sent their sick, and Bukkur was made a depot for supplies, medical stores, &c. The