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With the conduct of the troops in general, under me, I was much gratified; their patience and perseverance in marching through the day, exposed to the sun and want of water, must have, no douht, in some measure weakened their energies, hut they notwithstanding evinced great firmness and resolution in advancing to the attack, until borne down by the furious and irresistible fire from all arms that man could be exposed to; the loss of many of their officers must have tended to relax their efforts and check their ardour, and under such circumstances only could the disappointment to Her Majesty's 62nd regiment themselves and to their country have been for a moment conceived.
The native troops, under the numerous temptations to which they have been exposed for several months past by Sikh emissaries, have evinced their loyalty to the British Government in a most remarkable manner, not a single desertion having taken place, since the enemy crossed the Sutlej, that has come to my knowledge. They have maintained the character of the Bengal army in displaying courage and bravery under a heavy fire.
I have much pleasure in bringing to the favourable notice of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief the services of those zealous and indefatigable officers, Brigadiers T. Reed, the Honourable T. Ashburnham, D. Harriott, commanding cavalry, and E. Huthwaite, commanding artillery, whose cool courage during the attack was conspicuous. To the several commanding officers of regiments and divisions, Lieutenant-Colonel Gairdner, commanding 14th regiment native infantry; Lieutenant-Colonel Bruce, commanding 12th regiment native infantry, who lost his arm in the action; Major Wake, commanding 44th regiment native infantry; Major Shortt, commanding Her Majesty's 62nd foot; Major Osborn, commanding 54th regiment native infantry; and Captain Sandeman, commanding 33rd regiment native infantry; I feel much indebted for the spirited and gallant manner in which they brought up their respective regiments during the advance.
It is with sincere regret that I have to report for his Excellency's information the death of my Aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Harvey, of Her Majesty's 39th foot, a very promising and intelligent young officer, and devoted to his profession. He was shot during the advance, in the act of cheering on the men, when within about 250 yards of the enemy's works. His death will be a loss to the public service, and deplored by his friends and relations.
Of Captain Egerton, my Assistant Quarter-Master-General, whose activity and zeal were conspicuous, I cannot speak too highly; he was severely wounded on the morning of the 22nd.
It is with much gratification that I also submit for his Excellency's consideration, and acknowledge the obligation to Major P. Innes, my Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General, and Captain Burnett, Major of the Brigade, for their indefatigable exertions throughout the affair, as well as for their able assistance on all occasions.
Lieutenant Goodwyn, of the Engineers, has proved himself a most zealous and indefatigable officer during the whole time that the Sikh army has been opposite Ferozepore, as well as on the evening of the 21st, during the engagement, and whom I beg to recommend to his Excellency's notice.
To Captain W. B. Thomson, Commissariat Department, who accompanied me, and to Lieutenant W. Fullerton, superintending the Sudder Bazaar, who Volunteered his services as my Aidede-camp, and was particularly useful to me in the field, I feel indebted.
Captain Nicolson, late Assistant Governor-General's agent, and Colonel Van Courland, late of the Sikh service, who were placed at my disposal by the late Major Broadfoot, C. B. afforded me every assistance in their power during the engagement and previously, when the Sikhs first crossed the Sutlej.
I have, &c.
J. H. Littler, Major-Gen.
Commanding Inf. Division.
Despatch from Major-General Gilbert to the Commander-in Chief, detailing the Operations of the Troops under his command at the Battle of Ferozeshah. "Camp Sultan, December 24, 1845.
Sir,—Agreeably to instructions just received I have the honour to report for the information of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, the operations of the 2nd Infantry Division in action with the enemy since that of the 18th instant at Moodkee.
My division consisting of the troops, as per ^ margin, having been directed to lead the attack upon the enemy's entrenched camp at Ferozeshah, after steadily advancing under a heavy cannonade in echellon of regiments from the right covered by two light field batteries, commanded by Captain Horsford, came into action about four P.m., and succeeded in driving the enemy from that part of their position opposed to me, though I regret to say this was not effected without considerable loss, particularly in European officers.
In consequence of the night setting in, the fear of the troops firing on each other, and through confusion, consequent on part of the enemy's camp being on fire, not rendering it expedient that I should retain the position so gallantly won, I took up another, under instructions, about 400 yards from the camp, where I bivouacked for the night.
Towards morning of the 22nd instant, the 3rd Division under Brigadier Wallace, consisting of the troops, as per margin, having been placed under my command, in addition to my own (2nd division,) I, at daybreak, under instruction from his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, made my dispositions for again storming the enemy's entrenched post, which had been re-occupied during the night, and the troops, as per margin, advanced in line drawn up from the right, as follows:—
The front of the left of my division was led into action by his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, and the right by the Right honourable the lieutenant-General Sir H. Hardinge, and I myself leading H.M.'s 80th Foot, and notwithstanding the advance was made under a tremendous fire of heavy gun's, the enemy's entrenchment was retaken, battery after battery, at the bayonet's point, and although the troops under my immediate command required no stimulus to oppose the enemy, yet the presence of those two abovementioned distinguished officers in the field of battle greatly animated them on this trying occasion.
The conduct of H.M.'s 80th Regiment and the Hon. Company's 1st European Light Infantry, I cannot too highly speak of, as well as that of the 16th Grenadiers, and portions of the 2nd Grenadiers, 26th Light Infantry, and 45th Regiment Native Infantry.
It affords me great satisfaction to record the valuable services I received on this occasion and on the preceding evening from those distinguished officers, Brigadier C. Taylor, C.B., Brigadier J. Mac Laren and Brigadier N. Wallace; the first-named officer although wounded by a cannon shot in the evening, was again at the head of Capt.F.W. Anson, A.A.G. his brigade on the following morning, and the Lieut T. S. Rawson last-named officer (Brigadier Wallace) I re
0%. D. A. Q. M. G. ,.,,,11 , 0. ,
Capt. G. Carr, gret to say was killed towards the end of the
Capt R^Houghton' action; as well as from the general and per
Aide-de-Camp. sonal staff, whose names are mentioned in the Lieut. F. M. Gilbert, . .. ■, , r « . ,
Offg. Extra. A.D.C. margm, particularly from the first-named
Brevet Capt. P. Gordon, officer (Captain Anson). Nor can I forbear Brig. Maj. 6th Brig. ^ menti0n the gallant behaviour of Lieutenant and Adjutant Paton of the 14th regiment N. I., who commanded one of the detachments of Native Infantry on the right, which at one time hesitated to move forward, when that officer, seizing a colour, advanced in front, and by this necessary example induced the men to regain their place in the line and move onwards.
In consequence of the death of Brigadier Wallace, commanding the 3rd division of Infantry, I take leave to bring to the notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief the valuable services of that zealous officer, Capt. T. R. Pond, Deputy Assistant Adjutant General of the 3rd Division. A return of the killed and wounded of both actions will be forwarded as soon as possible. I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
(Signed) W. R. Gilbert, Maj. Gen.
Com. 2nd Div. Army of the Sutlej. P.S.—The following of the General Staff had horses shot under them:—Maj .-General Gilbert, 1 killed and 1 wounded; Lieutenant T. R. Rawson, 1 killed; Capt. Carr, 1 killed and 1 wounded.
Ferozepore, Dec. 25, Christmas Day, 1845.
The Governor-General has the heartfelt satisfaction to announce to his Honour the President in Council, to the Army, and to the People of India, the repulse of the Sikh forces in their attack on a portion of the British army, near Moodkee, on the night of the 18th instant, and the capture, on the evening of the 21st and morning of the 22nd, of their entrenched camp, with seventy pieces of cannon, defended by 60,000 men, near the village of Ferozeshah. Upwards of ninety pieces of the enemy's artillery have been taken in these two operations.
These events so glorious to the British arms, have been followed by the precipitate retreat of the enemy towards the Sutlej, his pride abated, and the unprovoked aggression on the British territory signally avenged.
The Governor-General cordially congratulates the Commanderin-Chief, General Sir Hugh Gough, Bart, G.C.B., on the entire success of his Excellency's rapid and energetic operations, in which the troops, both British and native, have displayed, under circumstances of long continued fatigue, since the 11th instant, their accustomed discipline and valour.
The Governor-General will rejoice in recording the gallant exploits of the army during this important campaign, by decorating