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by a 1 the ound hich stant d all oveable ntly alry and oseved
: Major-General Sir Harry Smith, K.C.B., to the Adjutant-General
of the Army.
Camp, Field of the Battle of Aliwal, Jan 30, 1846. SIR,— My despatches to His Excellency the Commander-inChief of the 23rd* instant, will have put His Excellency in possession of the position of the force under my command, after having formed a junction with the troops at Loodiana, hemmed in by a formidable body of the Sikh army under Runjoor Sing and the Raja of Ladwa. The enemy strongly entrenched himself around the little fort of Budhowal by breast works and “ abattis," which he precipitately abandoned on the night of the 22nd instant (retiring, as it were, upon the ford of Tulwun), having ordered all the boats which were opposite Philore to that Ghat. This movement he effected during the night, and, by making a considerable detour, placed himself at a distance of ten miles, and consequently out of my reach. I could, therefore, only push forward my cavalry so soon as I had ascertained he had marched during the night, and I occupied immediately his vacated position. It appeared subsequently he had no intention of recrossing the Sutlej, but moved down to the Ghat of Tulwun (being cut off from that of Philour, by the position my force occupied after its relief of Loodiana), for the purpose of protecting the passage of a very considerable reinforcement of 12 guns and 4,000 of the regular, or “ Aieen” troops, called Avitable's Battalion, entrenching himself strongly in a semicircle, his flanks resting on a river, his position covered with from forty to fifty guns (generally of large calibre), howitzers, and mortars. The reinforcement crossed during the night of the 27th instant, and encamped to the right of the main army.
Meanwhile his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, with that foresight and judgment which mark the able general, had reinforced me by a considerable addition to my cavalry, some guns, and the 2nd Brigade of my :own division under Brigadier Wheeler, C.B. This reinforcement reached me on the 26th, and 1 had intended the next morning to move upon the enemy in his
* Not received by the Secret Committee.
entrenchments, but the troops required one day's rest after the long marches Brigadier Wheeler had made.
I have now the honour to lay before you the operations of my united forces on the morning of the eventful 28th January, for his Excellency's information. The body of troops uuder my command having been increased, it became necessary so to organize and brigade them as to render them manageable in action. The cavalry under the command of Brigadier Cureton, and horse artillery under Major Lawrenson, were put into two brigades; the one under Brigadier Mac Dowell, C.B. and the other under Brigadier Stedman. The 1st division as it stood, two Brigades:-H. M's 53rd and 30th Native Infantry, under Brigadier Wilson, of the latter corps ;--the 36th Native Infantry, and Nusseree battalion, under Brigadier Godby ;-and the Shekawattee brigade under Major Forster. The Sirmoor battalion I attached to Brigadier Wheeler's brigade of the 1st division; the 42nd Native Infantry having been left at head quarters.
At day-light on the 28th, my order of advance was, the Cavalry in front, in contiguous columns of squadrons of regiments, two troops of Horse Artillery in the interval of brigades ;-the Infantry in contiguous columns of brigades at intervals of deploying distance ;
-Artillery in the intervals, followed by two 8-inch howitzers on travelling carriages, brought into the field from the Fort of Loodiana, by the indefatigible exertions of Lieutenant Colonel Lane, Horse Artillery ;-—Brigadier Godby's Brigade, which I had marched out from Loodiana the previous evening, on the right;—the Shekawattee Infantry on the left ;-the 4th Irregular Cavalry considerably to the right, for the purpose of sweeping the banks of the wet nullah on my right, and preventing any of the enemy's horse attempting an inroad towards Loodiana, or any attempt upon the baggage assembled round the Fort of Budhowal.
In this order the troops moved forward towards the enemy, a distance of six miles, the advance conducted by Captain Waugh, 16th. Lancers, the Deputy Assistant Quarter-Master of Cavalry, Major Bradford, of the 1st Cavalry, and Lieutenant Strachey of the Engineers, who had been jointly employed in the conduct of patrols up to the enemy's position, and for the purpose of reporting upon the facility and point of approach. Previously to the march of the troops it had been intimated to me, by Major Mackeson, that the information by spies, led to the belief the enemy would move somewhere at day-light, either on Jugraon, my position of Budhowal, or Loodiana. On a near approach to his outposts, this rumour was confirmed by a spy, who had just left the camp, saying the Sikh army was actually in march towards Jugraon. My advance was steady: my troops well in hand; and if he had anticipated me on the Jugraon road, I could have fallen upon his centre with advantage. . From the tops of the houses of the village of Poorein, I had a distant view of the enemy. He was in motion and appeared directly opposite my front on a ridge of which the village of Aliwal may be regarded as the centre. His left appeared still to occupy its ground in the circular entrenchment; his right was brought, forward and occupied the ridge. I immediately deployed the cavalry into line; and moved on. As I neared the enemy, the ground became most favourable for the troops to maneuvre, being open and hard grass land. I ordered the cavalry to take ground to the right and left by brigades; thus displaying the heads of the infantry columns; and, as they reached the hard ground, I directed them to deploy into line. Brigadier Godby's Brigade was in direct echelon to the rear of the right; the Shekawattee infantry in like manner to the rear of my left;—the cavalry in direct echelon on, and well to the rear of, both flanks of the infantry ;the artillery massed on the right, and centre and left. After deployment, I observed the enemy's left to outflank me, I therefore broke into open column and took ground to my right. When I had gained sufficient ground, the troops wheeled into line. There was no dust, the sun shone brightly. These manoeuvres were performed with the celerity and precision of the most correct field day. The glistening of the bayonets and swords of this order of battle was most imposing; and the line advanced. Scarcely had it moved