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From Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Hardinge, G. C. B., to His Excellency General Sir Hugh Gough, Bart., G. C. B., Commander-in- Chief of India.
Camp, Ferozepore, December 22, 1845 Sir,—I have the honour to report to your Excellency that, when the army under your command had formed its junction with the forces from Ferozepore, under Major-General Sir John Littler and was drawn up in order of battle, on the 21st inst., I proceeded with the two left brigades, commanded by Colonels Wallace and Mc Laren, to attack the enemy's entrenched position at Ferozeshah.
2. The line advanced with great steadiness, notwithstanding the nature of the ground, intersected with jungle. When the troops had cleared these impediments, and had opened out into the plain, they continued to press on, without a check, under a very heavy fire of grape and musketry from the enemy's batteries, and having borne down all opposition, entered the enemy's camp, and captured the guns in their front.
3 This portion of the camp was soon after on fire, compelling the troops to desist from their attack of the remainder, and as it was now dark, the troops formed on the ground, nearly on a line with the burning camp. From that period till the morning, these brave men were exposed to an incessant fire from the enemy's guns, the darkness of the night being illuminated by the explosion of mines, tumbrils, and shells.
4. I need not dwell on the events of this night, so remarkable in military history, because your Excellency witnessed them, and with me admired the fortitude and resolution of these brave men, ready to encounter any danger, although harassed by fatigue, and suffering from thirst.
5. I have personally reported to your Excellency my admiration of the conduct of H. M. 80th regiment, and the 1st European Light Infantry, in obeying with alacrity the order I gave about midnight to stand to their arms and charge a battery, which bore destructively on our ranks. Lieut.-Col. Bunbury, assisted by Lieut.Col. Wood, my Aide-de-Camp, led the attack, on which occasion the latter officer was wounded. The guns were spiked, the enemy driven away with loss, and this part of our line left undisturbed for the remainder of the night. Their conduct in the preceding part of the action came more immediately under your Excellency's own observation.
6. Your Excellency, having formed the troops before daylight, led the right of the attack, entrusting the left to me. The whole line instantly advanced, and, animated by your example, carried everything before them; and, having traversed the camp from one extremity to the other, drew up in a perfect line, expressing by loud cheers, as we rode up the line, their conscious pride that every man had done his duty.
7. I again most cordially congratulate you on the brilliant success of the army under your Excellency's command.
8. It is now my duty to report to your Excellency, that MajorGeneral Gilbert, commanding a portion of this division of the army, gave me great satisfaction.
9. Colonel Wallace fell bravely at the head of his troops.
10. Colonel McLaren led his brigade with his accustomed judgment and resolution.
11. My own personal Staff having been all disabled, with the exception of one most dear to me, and who still remained by my side, I derived, on the morning of the 22nd, the most valuable aid from Lieutenant-Colonel Birch, Judge-Advocate-General; from Lieutenant-Colonel Parsons; and from your Excellency's intelligent and brave Aide-de-Camp, Captain West. These Officers, riding several paces in front of the line, regulated the advance, animated the men, and prevented any unnecessary firing.
12. I have great obligations, during the whole of these operations, to Colonel Benson, a Member of the Military Board, and acting as my Aide-de-Camp, who has constantly accompanied me in the field, and in whose cool judgment and experienced ability I place great reliance.
13. My Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, has shown all the qualities which make a good officer.
14. I beg to bring to your notice my Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant Hillier, who is wounded, and Lieutenant Peel, of the 37th Native Infantry, Acting Aide-de-Camp, who is slightly wounded. Captain Becher, of the Quarter-Master-General's Department attached to my camp, also accompanied me, and I recommend him as a very promising officer.
15. I also recommend the officers belonging to the Political Agency of these provinces, who acted as my Aides-de-Camp, Capt. Abbott, and Lieutenant Lake, and are both wounded. Capt. Mills, Acting Aide-de-Camp, took the command of a troop of Horse Artillery, with his usual spirit.
16. It is now with great pain that I have to record the irreparable loss I have sustained, and more especially the East India Company's Service, in the death of Major Broadfoot, of the Madras Army, my Political Agent. He was thrown from his horse by a shot, and I failed in prevailing upon him to leave the field. He remounted, and shortly afterwards received a mortal wound. He was as brave as he was able in every branch of the Political and Military Service.
17. Major Somerset, my Military Secretary, much about the same time was shot through the body, conducting himself with the hereditary courage of his race. He was always foremost where difficulties required to be overcome. I deeply regret his loss.
18. I have also lost a most promising and brave officer by the death of Captain Herries, on the night of the 18th, at Moodkee.
19. Lieutenant Munro, of the 10th Light Cavalry, my Aide-deCamp, a most amiable and excellent officer, I have also had the misfortune to lose, whilst placed at your Excellency's disposal, in the affair at Moodkee.
20. Captain Hore, Assistant Military Secretary, and a valuable officer, acting as my Aide-de-Camp, was killed about the same time as Major Somerset received his wound
21. I have now to request your Excellency's notice to the conduct of an illustrious nobleman, Count Ravensburg, who, with the officers of his suite, Count Greuben and Count Oriola, accompanied me in the field. These Prussian officers nobly sustained the reputation of their countrymen.
22. The prince's surgeon was struck to the ground by a ball. I saw his Royal Highness instantly spring from his horse to his assistance. The prince's humanity was unavailing: death had already closed the surgeon's career.
23. I am aware of the respectful regard which your Excellency entertains for this illustrious nobleman and his companions, travellers in the East; and I know that this brief record of their actions will be gratifying to your Excellency.
I have, &c.
From Major-General Sir John Littler to the Adjutant-General
of the Army.
Ferozepore, December 25, 1845. Sir,—In pursuance of instructions received from the Right honourable the Governor-General, under date the 20th instant, I moved out of my position at Ferozepore at 8 A.m. on the 21st instant, with the corps as per margin* leaving the defence of the cantonments to the 63rd regiment Native Infantry, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Wilkinson, and that of the town to the 27th Regiment Native Infantry, under Lieut.-Colonel Carnegy, together with detachments of Sappers, and half a field battery in the town, and 2nd company (reserve) of Artillery in the entrenchment.
I effected a junction with the troops under the personal com
•2 Troops Horse Artillery; l£ Light Field Battery; 8th Light Cavalry; 3rd Irregular Cavalry; H. M. 62d Foot, 1st Brigade; 12th Native Infantry, 1st Brigade; 14th ditto, 1st Brigade; 33rd ditto, 2nd Brigade; 44th ditto, 2nd Brigade; 54th ditto, 2nd Brigade; Detachment of Sappers.
mand of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, and, agreeably to his instructions moved into position, or order of battle, on the same evening about 4 p.m. The first advance in line was very steady, and the approach to the enemy's works made under a most galling and destructive fire. The casualties in the ranks were awful. The troops, however, still moved on with great firmness and resolution, and approached the enemy's battery to within about 150 yards, when I considered the prize to be within their grasp.
Brigadier T. Reid gave the order to charge, supported by the left or Brigadier the Honourable T. Ashburnham's Brigade. This charge was commenced with such determined gallantry and spirit that the result seemed certain. The enemy, however, having great confidence in their guns, continued to serve them with extraordinary activity, and to make such havoc in our ranks, as to cause an immediate panic and hesitation in Her Majesty's 62nd foot, which of course had a similar effect on the native regiments on the flanks, notwithstanding all our exertions to induce them to advance by cheering and encouraging them, pointing at the same time to the short distance which they had to proceed when the day would be their own. It was all in vain, and they retired out of gun-shot, to where Her Majesty's 9th foot and 26th regiment native infantry were drawn up in reserve. A part of the 14th regiment native infantry, with their colours, accompanied these two regiments, and entered the enemy's batteries.
At this period it was nearly dark, and, as I had heard that the divisions on the right had also been unable to obtain an entrance, I bivouacked for the night in the vicinity.
On the following morning, I obtained information of the right division having been directed to renew the attack, and I moved to co-operate, as might be necessary. I then received orders to wait until further instructions, and was moved up to the town, and directed to hold it. The result of this attack was most glorious to the British army, and I heartily congratulate his Excellency and the Governor-General on the happy termination of probably one of the most sanguinary engagements that ever took place in India.