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The Governor-General, therefore, calls upon all those chiefs who are the well-wishers of the descendants of Runjeet Singh, and especially such chiefs as have not participated in the hostile proceedings against the British power, to act in concert with him for carrying into effect such arrangements as shall maintain a Sikh Government at Lahore, capable of controlling its army and protecting its subjects, and based upon principles that shall provide for the future tranquillity of the Sikh states, shall secure the British frontier against a repetition of acts of aggression, and shall prove to the whole world the moderation and justice of the paramount power of India.
If this opportunity of rescuing the Sikh nation from military anarchy and misrule be neglected, and hostile opposition to the British army be renewed, the Government of India will make such other arrangements for the future government of the Punjaub as the interests and security of the British power may render just and expedient. By order, &c.
(Signed) F. CURRIE, Secretary to the Government of India,
with the Governor-General. (True Copy.) W. EDWARDS, Under Secretary to Government of India,
General Order by the Right Honourable the Governor-General of
Camp, Kussoor, February 14, 1846. The Governor-General, having received from his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief the despatch annexed to this paper, announces to the Army and the People of India, for the fourth time during this campaign, a most important and memorable victory obtained by the Army of the Sutlej over the Sikh forces at Sobraon, on the 10th instant.
On that day the enemy's strongly entrenched camp, defended by 35,000 men, and sixty-seven pieces of artillery, exclusive of heavy guns, on the opposite bank of the river, was stormed by the British army, under the immediate command of his Excellency Sir Hugh Gough, Bart., G.C.B., and in two hours the Sikh forces were driven into the river with immense loss, 67 guns being captured by the victors.
The Governor-General most cordially congratulates the Commander-in-Chief and the British army on this exploit, one of the most daring ever achieved, by which, in open day, a triple line of breastworks, flanked by formidable redoubts, bristling with artillery, manned by thirty-two regular regiments of infantry, was assaulted, and carried by forces under his Excellency's command.
This important operation was most judiciously preceded by a cannonade from the heavy howitzers and mortars, which had arrived from Delhi on the 8th instant, the same day on which the forces under Major-General Sir Harry Smith, which had been detached to Loodiana, and had gained the victory of Aliwal, rejoined the Commander-in-Chief's camp.
The vertical fire of the heavy ordnance had the effect intended by his Excellency ; it shook the enemy's confidence in works so well and so laboriously constructed, and compelled them to seek shelter in the broken ground within their cainp.
The British infantry, formed on the extreme left of the line, then advanced to the assault, and, in spite of every impediment, cleared the entrenchments, and entered the enemy's camp. Her Majestys 10th, 53rd, and 80th regiments, with the 33rd, 43rd, 59th, and 63rd Native Infantry, moving at a firm and steady pace, never fired a shot till they had passed the barriers opposed to them, a forbearance much to be commended and most worthy of constant imitation, to which may be attributed the success of their first effort, and the small loss they sustained. This attack was crowned with the success it deserved, and (led by its gallant commander, Major-General Sir Robert Dick) obtained the admiration of the army, which witnessed its disciplined valour; when checked by the formidable obstacles and superior numbers to which the attacking division was exposed, the 2nd division, under Major-General Gilbert, afforded the most opportune assistance by rapidly advancing to the attack of the enemy's batteries, entering their fortified position after a severe struggle, and sweeping through the interior of the camp. This division inflicted a very severe loss on the retreating enemy
The same gallant efforts, attended by the same success, distinguished the attack of the enemy's left, made by the first division under the command of Major-General Sir H. Smith, K.C.B., in which the troops nobly sustained their former reputation.
These three divisions of infantry, concentrated within the enemy's camp, drove his shattered forces into the river, with a loss which far exceeded that which the most experienced officers had ever witnessed.
Thus terminated, in the brief space of two hours, this most remarkable conflict, in which the military combinations of the Commander-in-Chief were fully and ably carried into effect with his Excellency's characteristic energy. The enemy's select regiments of regular infantry have been dispersed, and a large proportion destroyed, with the loss, since the campaign began, of 220 pieces of artillery taken in action.
The same evening, six regiments of native infantry crossed the Sutlej ; on the following day, the bridge of boats was nearly completed by that able and indefatigable officer, Major Abbott, of the engineers, and the army is this day encamped at Kussoor, thirtytwo miles from Lahore.
The Governor-General again most cordially congratulates the Commander-in-Chief on the important results obtained by this memorable achievement. The Governor-General, in the name of the Government and of the People of India, offers to his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, to the general officers, and all the officers and troops under their command, his grateful and heartfelt acknowledgments for the services they have performed.
To commemorate this great victory, the Governor-General will cause a medal to be struck, with “Sobraon ” engraved upon it, to be presented to the victorious army in the service of the East India
Company, and requests his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief to forward the lists usually furnished of those engaged.
The Governor-General deeply regrets the loss of the brave officers and men who have fallen on this occasion. Major-General Sir Robert Dick, K.C.B., who led the attack, received a mortal wound after he had entered the enemy's entrenchments. Thus fell, most gloriously, at the moment of victory, this veteran officer, displaying the same energy and intrepidity, as when, thirty-five years ago, in Spain, he was the distinguished leader of the 42nd Highlanders
The army has also sustained a heavy loss by the death of Brigadier Taylor, commanding the 3rd brigade of the 2nd division, a most able officer, and very worthy to have been at the head of so distinguished a corps as Her Majesty's 29th regiment, by which he was beloved and respected.
The Company's service has lost an excellent officer in Captain Fisher, who fell at the head of the brave Sirmoor regiment, which greatly distinguished itself.
The Governor-General has much satisfaction in again offering to Major-General Sir Harry Smith, K.C.B., commanding the 1st division of infantry, his best thanks for his gallant services on this occasion, by which he has added to his well-established reputation.
The Governor-General acknowledges the meritorious conduct of Brigadier Penny and Brigadier Hicks, commanding brigades in the Ist division.
Her Majesty's 31st and 50th regiments greatly distinguished themselves, as well as the 42nd and 47th native infantry and the Nusseeree battalion.
The Governor-General's thanks are also due to LieutenantColonel Ryan, commanding Her Majesty's 50th, who, he regrets to hear, has been severely wounded.
To Major-General Gilbert, commanding the 2nd division, the Governor-General is most happy to express his acknowledgments for the judgment, coolness, and intrepidity displayed by him on every occasion since the campaign opened'; and, on the present, the
promptitude and energy of his attack essentially contributed to ensure the success of the day.
The Governor-General trusts that the wound received by Brigadier Maclaren will not long deprive the service of one of its best officers.
Her Majesty's 29th, and the 1st European regiments, and the 16th, 48th, 6lst native infantry, and the Sirmoor battalion, have entitled themselves, by their gallant conduct, to the thanks of the Government.
To Brigadier Stacy, on whom the command of the 2nd division devolved, the Governor-General's thanks are especially due, for the able manner in which the attack within the enemy's camp was directed.
The Governor-General is also glad to have this opportunity of acknowledging the services of Brigadier Wilkinson, commanding the 6th brigade of the attacking division.
The brigade composed of Her Majesty's 9th and 62nd regiments, and the 26th native infantry, under the command of Brigadier the Honourable T. Ashburnham, placed in support of the attacking division, by its firm and judicious advance, contributed to the success of the assault.
The cavalry, under the command of Major-General Sir J. Thackwell, K.C.B. Brigadiers Cureton, Scott, and Campbell, were well in hand, and ready for any emergency. Her Majesty's 3rd Light Dragoons, as usual, were in the foremost ranks, and distinguished themselves under their commanding officer, LieutenantColonel White.
Brigadier Smith, the commanding engineer, fully accomplished the Commander-in-Chief's instructions; and to Captain Baker and Lieutenant Becher of the engineers, the Governor-General's acknowledgments are due, for leading the division of attack into the enemy's camp; these officers will maintain the reputation of their corps whenever gallantry or science may be required from its members.
Major Abbott, of the Engineers, exclusive of his exertions in