MY LORD,—I have the satisfaction to acquaint your Lordship that the army under my command have succeeded in performing one of the most brilliant acts it has ever been my lot to witness during my service of forty-five years in the four quarters of the globe, in the capture, by storm, of the strong and important fortress and citadel of Ghuzni yesterday.
It is not only that the Afghan nation, and, I understand, Asia generally have looked upon it as impregnable; but it is in reality a place of great strength, both by nature and art, far more so than I had reason to suppose from any description that I had received of it, although some are from others in our own service who had seen it in their travels.
I was surprised to find a high rampart in good repair, built on a scarped mound about thirty-five feet high, flanked by numerous towers, and surrounded by a fausse brayze and a wet ditch, whilst the height of the citadel covered the interior from the commanding fire of the hills from the north, rendering it nugatory. In addition to this, screen walls had been built before the gates, the ditch was filled with water, and unfordable, and an outwork built on the right bank of the river so as to command the bed of it.
It is therefore the more honourable to the troops, and must appear to the enemy out of all calculation extraordinary, that a fortress and citadel to the strength of which, for the last thirty years, they had been adding something each year, and which had a garrison of 3500 Afghan soldiers, commanded by Prince Mahomed Hyder, the son of Dost Mahomed Khan, the ruler of the country, with a commanding number of guns, and abundance of ammunition, and other stores, provisions, &c., for regular siege, should have been taken by British science and British valour in less than two hours from the time the attack was made, and the whole, including the governor and garrison, should fall into our hands.
My dispatch of the 20th instant, from Nanee, will have made known to your Lordship that the camps of his Majesty Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, and of Major-General Willshire, with the Bombay troops, had there joined me in accordance with my desire, and the following morning we made our march of twelve miles to Ghuzni, the line of march being over a fine plain. The troops were disposed in a manner that would have enabled me at any moment, had we been attacked, as was probable, from the large bodies of troops moving on each side of us, to have placed them in position to receive the enemy. They did not, however, appear; but on our coming within range of the guns of the citadel and fortress of Ghuzni, a sharp cannonade was opened on our leading column, together with a heavy fire of musketry from behind garden walls, and temporary field-works thrown up, as well as the strong outwork I have already alluded to, which commanded the bed of the river from all but the outwork. The enemy were driven in under the walls of the fort in a spirited