It is reported that Sir J. Keane was so very anxious about it, that when he heard our first cheers, after entering the gate of the town, he actually cried, it was such a relief to his mind; and that he told Brigadier Sale, lieutenant-colonel of the 13th Light Infantry, who commanded on the occasion, that it was very likely that the fate of India depended on our taking this place. Ghuzni was considered Dost Mahomed’s principal fortress; his son commanded in it, and it was garrisoned by 3000 Afghans. Young Dost expected to hold it out for a fortnight; and his father was to have come to his relief in a day or two, when we should have had a difficult part to perform, as we should have been surrounded in this valley by armed parties on all sides; so that it would have been really a ticklish job. They had collected provisions in the town for three months, and arms and ammunition; in fact, it was the regular depot for their army. They had also about four or five lacs of rupees; but that will not give us much prize money. Our loss was very trifling, owing to the daring and sudden nature of the attack, as they were taken totally by surprise. Our regiment suffered the most, and we have thirty-seven killed and wounded, including officers, of whom six out of eighteen were wounded—one-third of the whole,—however, none of the latter dangerously, thank God, though two of them are returned severely wounded. Five men of our regiment were killed outright on the spot, and I am afraid we shall lose some more in a few days from the effects of their wounds. Of the enemy, about 500 were killed, and more than 1500 made prisoners; and of the remainder, who made their escape over the walls, the greater part were cut down by the Dragoons, or spifflicated by the Lancers. Among the prisoners is young Dost himself, the greatest prize of all. More than a thousand magnificent horses have also been taken, besides pack-horses, camels, and grain in abundance. However, I never can tell a story without going back to the very commencement.
I finished my last letter to you the day before we left Candahar. Well; we started on Sunday, the 30th of June, and made seven marches to Belanti Ghiljee, where we caught up the Shah’s army, with a Bengal division. Here Sir John Keane had first come in sight of young Dost’s army, who, however, retired very quickly, though there was some talk of their holding out at this place, and we were pushed on rapidly in consequence. They shewed their sense in not holding out there, as it would not have taken us long to dislodge them. We halted here a day, and then marched on by very short and easy marches, halting every third or fourth day, and taking things very easy, although we were constantly annoyed by the Ghiljees, who murdered several of our camp followers, and tried to rob us whenever they could find an opportunity, until we were within five good marches of Ghuzni, when General Willshire received an order to push on by forced marches, and to make these five into three.