P.S.—They say Shah Shooja will give us all medals when everything is settled; those for the officers to be a small gold one, with an impression of the Fort of Ghuzni; those for the soldiers to be silver, and the same pattern. If you look into the military papers when this reaches you, I dare say you will find further accounts of the business.
NOTE.—“It was arranged that an explosion party, consisting of three officers of engineers (Capt. Peat, Lieuts. Durand and M’Leod), three Serjeants and eighteen men of the sappers in working dresses, carrying three hundred pounds of powder in twelve sand bags, with a hose seventy-two feet long, should be ready to move down to the gateway at break of day.
“So quickly was the operation performed, and so little was the enemy aware of the nature of it, that not a man of the party was hurt.”—From Memoranda of Capt. Thompson, R.E., Chief Engineer, Army of Indus.
MEMORANDUM.—I have lost this letter, which I regret the more, because it gave a very full account both, of Cabool and its environs, as well as of many interesting circumstances which took place during the time the Bombay division of the army remained there.
As far as I remember its contents, it began with the march of the army from Ghuzni to Cabool, the desertion of the troops of Dost Mahomed, and his flight from the capital. It described his pursuit by a party of officers and cavalry, volunteers from the British army, commanded by Captain Outram, who accompanied Hadjee Khan Kauker, the principal chief of the country, with a body of 2000 Afghans, who had joined Shah Shooja at Ghuzni.
It stated, that after a few days had expired, the party had nearly reached the fugitive, when Hadjee Khan refused to proceed, stating, amongst other excuses, that his men had dispersed to plunder, and that he had not any means of preventing it; and Captain Outram was obliged to proceed without him. It had been supposed by Shah Shooja, that Hadjee Khan had been so committed with Dost Mahomed that he might be safely trusted upon this occasion; but there is not the least doubt but that he was engaged in correspondence with him during the whole time, and that Dost Mahomed was thus enabled to effect his escape with his family, although Captain Outram with his party pursued him as far as Bamian. If Hadjee Khan had not acted in this most treacherous way, there could not be a doubt but that Dost Mahomed must have fallen into the hands of Captain Outram. Thus Hadjee Khan proved his double treachery; for which, on his return to Cabool, it was understood the Shah would have put him to death, but for the presence of the English, upon whose interference his sentence was changed to perpetual confinement in one of the state prisons.