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part it retired again and abandoned the enterprise. In 1844, exactly the same conduct was observed; the Punjaub army, eager for pay, or for booty, if pay could not be obtained, and, instigated by the Government and the chiefs, appeared to contemplate an irruption; but in 1844, as in 1843, the army withdrew to the interior. Accounts, however, reached my gallant friend towards the end of November last, which led him to believe that an invasion of the British territory was seriously menaced.*
* On the 9th of December, the Governor-General, thinking our relations with the Punjaub very critical, and that it was desirable to take every precaution against any sudden irruption, gave orders that the division of troops at Umballa, consisting of 7,500 men, should move towards the Sutlej. On December 11, the very day on which the Lahore army crossed the Sutlej, the British and Native troops of that division were on their march from Umballa to the frontier. The whole proceedings of the Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief, subsequently to that day, as well as before it, were characterized by the greatest prudence, skill, and foresight. From Umballa the troops marched to a place called Buseean, where, owing to the prudent precautions of the Governor-General, they found an ample supply of food and stores. It was resolved that a junction should be effected with the Loodiana division, and that it would be better to incur some risk at Loodiana, rather than forego the advantage of a junction with the Loodiana division of the army, Those troops advanced accordingly towards Ferozepore, and learned by the way that the army of Lahore, amounting to not less than 60,000 men, had crossed the river, and were prepared to attack the British army. The expectations of the Governor-General were entirely justified by the result. There were in Ferozepore 7,500 men, 35 heavy guns in position, and 24 pieces of field artillery, in addition to the heavy ordnance. The army of Lahore shrunk from the attack of so formidable a post, and Ferozepore was entirely safe, according to the anticipations which had been entertained by the Governor-General. The army of Lahore, not venturing to attack Ferozepore, determined to give battle to the British forces on their march from Umballa, and on the 18th of December made a sudden attack on them. On that day the troops had reached Moodkee, after having marched 150 miles by forced marches. The men were suffering severely from want of water, and from exhaustion, and yet such was their discipline and gallantry, that they repelled the whole of the attacking army, though greatly superior to them in number, defeating a force treble their amount, and succeeding in the capture of seventeen of their guns. The army of Lahore, thus repulsed by our forces advancing from Umballa, retired within very formidable entrenchments at Ferozeshah. Those entrenchments, consisting of strong breastworks, were in the form of a parallelogram, of which the opposite faces were a mile, and half a mile in length respectively. In the face of those formidable works, protected by 150 guns of heavy calibre and excellent workmanship, and defended by near 60,000 men, the Gov.-General and the Commander-in-Chief determined to effect a junction with the division of the army which was stationed at Ferozepore. The troops advanced accordingly within three miles of the enemy's position; and manouvred on his left flank; but the Commander-in-Chief having given previous notice to Sir J. Littler, made a march to his left, and on the 21st December effected a junction with the Ferozepore division, which thus gave an addition of 7,500 men. At this time there remained but three hours to sunset. It was resolved, however, to attack the position of the enemy. My gallant friend (the Governor-General) offered his services as second in command, services which were cheerfully and promptly accepted by the Commander-in-Chief. Determined not to wait till next morning, the instant they effected their junction with the division under Sir John Littler, the commanders resolved to make an attack upon the entrenched camp. The result, Sir, of that attack proved the valour of our European and Indian forces in a pre-eminent degree, and has entitled them to the warmest acknowledgments of this House, and of the country
• See the Despatches of Major Broadfoot, page 6 et seq.
The night of the 21st December was one of the most memorable in the military annals of the British Empire. The enemy were well defended within strongly fortified entrenchments—their guns were served with the greatest precision, and told on our advancing columns with great effect. The right of the British army was led by the Commander-in-Chief, whilst the left centre was headed by Sir H. Hardinge. Our forces made an attack on the enemy's camp during the three hours which as yet remained of daylight; but they had not sufficient time to complete that victory, which was gloriously achieved on the following day. The British army, however, made good their attack, and occupied a part of the enemy's camp. In the middle of the night the camp took fire, and further conflict was for a time suspended in consequence; but as soon as it had ceased the army of Lahore brought forward their heavy artillery, and poured a mošt destructive fire upon our troops. The details of those occurrences have been given with admirable clearness in the despatches of both commanders. Perhaps the House will excuse me if I read an extract from a private letter from the Governor-General to a member of his own family. The right hon. Baronet then read as follows:
“The night of the 21st was the most extraordinary of my life. I bivouacked with the men, without food or covering, and our nights are bitter cold. A burning camp in our front, our brave fellows lying down under a heavy cannonade, which continued during the whole night, mixed with the wild cries of the Sikhs, our English hurrah, the tramp of men, and the groans of the dying. In this state with a handful of men, who had carried the batteries the night before, I remained till morning, taking very short intervals of rest by lying down with various regiments in succession, to ascertain their temper, and revive their spirits.” My gallant Friend, as you see, spent that eventful night passing from regiment to regiment, cheering the men by his own example of constancy and courage--doing all that human means could do to ensure victory to our arms. “I found,” my gallant Friend goes on to say—"I found myself again with my old friends of the 29th, 31st, 50th, and 9th, all in good heart”—(regiments with which he had served in the Peninsula)—and with them that regiment which has earned immortal fame in the annals of the British army-Her Majesty's 80th Regiment
“My answer to all and every man was, that we must fight it out, attack the enemy vigorously at daybreak, beat him, or die honourably in the field. The gallant old general, kindhearted and heroically brave, entirely coincided with me." Let the House observe how anxious my gallant Friend is to do justice to his companions in arms.
“ During the night I occasionally called on our brave English soldiers to punish the Sikhs when they came too close and were impudent; and when morning broke we went at it in true English style. Gough was on the right. I placed myself, and dear little Arthur [his son] by my side, in the centre, about thirty yards in front of the men, to prevent their firing, and we drove the enemy without a halt from one extremity of the camp to the other, capturing thirty or forty guns as we went along, which fired at twenty paces from us, and were served obstinately. The brave men drew up in an excellent line, and cheered Gough and myself as we rode up the line, the regimental colours lowering to me as on parade. The mournful part is the heavy loss I have sustained in my officers. I have had ten aides-de-camp hors de combat, five killed and five wounded. The fire of grape was very heavy from 100 pieces of cannon; the Sikh army, drilled by French officers, and the men the most warlike in India.”
From my affectionate regard for that gallant man, I am proud to be enabled to exhibit him on such a night as that of the 21st of December-going through the camp-passing from regiment to regiment—keeping up the spirits of the men-encouraging them, animating their ardour—and having lost ten aides-de-camp out of twelve-placing his young son, a boy of seventeen or eighteen years of age, in the front of the line, in order that the British troops might be induced not to fire on the enemy, but drive them back by the force of the British bayonet. It was characteristic of the man to read these details. He had two sons present, one of whom was a civilian, and the other in the army. On the night of the 21st he sent the civilian to the rear of the army, saying that his presence disturbed him, and that if he refused to retire, he would send him away in arrest as a prisoner ; but the presence, he said, of his younger son, an officer, whose duty called him to the field, only made the father more desperately resolute in the discharge of his duty. On the 22nd, after the battle was over, he took his eldest son, when visiting the sepoys and the wounded, and he showed them a Governor-General of India who had lost his hand, and the son of a Governor-General who had lost his foot, and endeavoured to console them in their sufferings by proving to them that men in the highest rank were exposed to the same casualties as themselves.
As I before observed, the accounts of all the military operations are given with admirable clearness in the despatches laid before the House. They must have been read with such attention by every Member of the House, that I will not weaken their effect by minute reference to military details. The pride and satisfaction we must all derive from those gallant exploits are no doubt counterbalanced by deep regret for the loss of so many men of the highest distinction and promise. We have had the misfortune—the great misfortune -of losing that gallant officer who on former occasions has so frequently distinguished himself — Sir Robert Sale. He, Sir, has closed a long career of glory by that death to which I believe he himself looked forward and which he coveted—that death in the field which entitles me to say that even in his own estimation, he was " felix etiam opportunitate mortis.” Sir, I do hope that this House will on no distant day mark their esteem and respect for the memory of Sir Robert Sale by humbly representing to Her Majesty their unanimous wish that she may be pleased to record the gratitude of the country by the erection of a monument to Sir Robert Sale.
We have, Sir, also to deplore the loss of Sir J. M‘Caskill, to whom a brief but touching testimony of approbation is borne in the despatch of the Commander-in-Chief, as well as one of the most eminent men in the civil and military services of India-Major Broadfoot. In that gentleman the highest confidence was placed by every one who came in contact with him. He obtained the applause of every civil and military authority in the country, and his prudence and skill as a civilian were only equalled by his ardour and bravery in the field. He was, I believe, the last of three brothers, all of whom have died in the service of their country on the field of battle. Major Broadfoot was present with Sir R. Sale during the siege of Jellalabad, and took a most conspicuous part in its defence. It is mournful, Sir, that we should have to deplore